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The Glenn Negley Collection
of Utopian Literature
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
Duke University Libraries
B R E N T A NO'S
NEW YORK MCMVII
Copyright, igoy, by Brentanoi
Entered at Stationers' Hall
THE TROW PRESS, NEW YORK
I. A Goddess and a Comic Song , . , . y
II. Harvesting and Harmony 2i
III. The Cult of Demeter 37
IV. Anna of Ann 53
V. Irene 63
VI. Neaera 77
VII. A Tragic Denouement 94
VIII. How the Cult was Founded .... loi
IX. How It Might be Undermined . . . 119
X. An Unexpected Solution 127
XI. The Plot Thickens 135
XII. Neaera's Idea of Diplomacy . . . . 144
XIII. Neaera Makes New Arrangements . . 150
XIV. "I Consented" 162
XV. The High Priest of Demeter . . . . 171
XVI. Anna's Secret 183
XVII. Designs on Anna of Ann ...... 190
XVIII. A Dream o . 200
XJX. The Legislature Meets 207
XX. On Flavors and Finance 219
XXI. The Investigating Committee . . . 226
XXII, "Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils" . 238
XXIII. A Libel 249
XXIV. Neaera Again 259
XXV. The Libel Investigated 266
XXVI. The Election 285
XXVII. The Joint Session 293
XXVIII. Lydia to the Rescue 302
Conclusion ...o 315
A GODDESS AND A COMIC SONG
I REMEMBER awakening with a start, con-
scious of a face bending over me that was
beautiful and strange.
I was quite unable to account for myself, and
my surprise was heightened by the singular dress
of the woman I saw. It was Greek — not of mod-
ern but of ancient Greece.
What had happened? Had I been acting in
a Greek play and been stunned by an accident to
the scenery? No; the grass upon which I was
lying was damp, and a sharp twinge between the
shoulders told me I had been there already too
long. What, then, was the meaning of this classic
I raised myself on one arm; and the young
woman who had been kneeling beside me arose
also. I was dazed, and shaded my eyes from the
sun on the horizon — whether setting or rising I
could not tell. I fixed my eyes upon the feet of
my companion; they were curiously shod in soft
leather, for cleanliness rather than for protection;
tightly laced from the toe to the ankle and half
way up the leg — half-moccasin and half-coth-
urnus. I fixed my eyes upon them and slowly
became quite sure that I was alive and awake,
but seemed still dazed and unwilling to look up.
Presently she spoke.
"Are you ill?" she asked.
*' I don't think so," answered I, as I lifted my
eyes to hers.
When our eyes met I jumped to my feet with
an alertness so fresh and fruitful that I seemed to
myself to have risen anew from the Fountain of
Youth. A miracle had happened. I was dead
and had come to life again — and apparently this
time in the Olympian world.
"Here!" I exclaimed; "or Athene! Cythe-
rea, or Artemis! "
Then quickly the look of sympathetic concern
that I had just seen in her eyes vanished. A rip-
ple of laughter passed over her face like the first
touch of a breeze on a becalmed sea; for a moment
she seemed to restrain it, but her merriment awak-
ened mine, and on perceiving it she abandoned
all restraint and burst Into a laugh tha^ was mus-
ical, bewitching, and contagious. We stood there
A Goddess and a Comic Song
a full minute, both of us laughing, though I did
not understand why. She soon explained.
" Where on earth do you come from, Xenos,
and where — where did you get those things?"
She pointed to my pantaloons as she spoke.
Then I discovered how ridiculous I appeared.
" And why have they cut all the hair off your
face and left that ugly little stubble?"
I put my hand to my chin and felt there a
beard of several days' growth.
" It must prick dreadfully," she said ; and com-
ing up to me she daintily passed a soft, rosy finger
over my cheek. I caught her hand and kissed it.
She jumped away from me like a fawn.
" Take care, young man," she said, reprov-
ingly but not reproachfully; " though I don't sup-
pose you are very young, for I see some gray in
I don't suppose I liked being reminded of my
years, but I was altogether too much absorbed in
the richness of her beauty and health to be con-
cerned about myself. And the subtle combination
of freedom and reserve in her manner conveyed
to me an indescribable charm. At one moment it
tempted me to trespass, but at the next I became
aware that such an attempt would meet with
humiliating resistance; for she was tall and strong.
Her one rapid movement away from me proved
her agility. She was perfectly able to take care
of herself. Her consciousness of this had enabled
her to meet my first advance with unruffled good
humor, but I felt sure that persistence on my part
would elicit repulsion and perhaps scorn.
We stood a moment smiling at each other;
then she said:
" Come, you must take ofif those dreadful
things; why, you are wet through" — and she
passed her hand over my back — " and you must
tell me what you are and where you come from.
But you are chilled now and need something
warm, so come to the Hall and you can tell me as
As she spoke she swung to her head a basket
I had not before observed; it was heavy, for she
straightened herself to support it; and the weight,
until she balanced it, brought out the muscles of
her neck. She put her arms akimbo and showed
" Well," she said, as we walked together side
by side, " when are you going to begin? "
" How and where shall I begin? " answered I.
"You forget that I too have questions to ask; I
am bewildered. Who and what are you? In
what country am I? Where did you get that
A Goddess and a Comic Song
beautiful dress?" I stepped a little away from
her to observe the beauty of her form.
" We try to make all our garments beautiful,"
she answered, simply; "but this is the common
dress of all — or rather the dress commonly worn
in the country. We dress a little differently in
town — but what do you find peculiar in my attire?
What else could I wear out in the fields?"
I looked at the drapery, which did not hang
lower than the knee; at the girdle that barely in-
dicated the waist; at the chiton gathered by a
brooch on one shoulder, leaving bare the whole
length of her richly moulded arm.
" I would not have you wear anything else,"
said I, restraining my admiration; "but our
women dress differently."
" Tell me about them," said she.
" I will," answered I, " but tell me first where
I am and where we are going? "
" You are near a place called Tyringham,"
answered she, " and you are going with me to
breakfast at the Hall."
As she spoke we were walking down a grassy
slope and came in sight of a meadow on the left,
through which meandered a crystal stream; it
flowed from the right of the hill on which we
stood, and just below where it fell in cascades over
successive ledges it was straddled by a mill smoth-
ered in jasmine and purple clematis. The mo-
ment the mill came in sight my companion uttered
a loud call that came echoing back to us from the
surrounding hills. Her call was answered by sev-
eral voices, and soon there came to meet us a youth
as handsome in his way as my own companion.
He, too, wore the Greek dress; he was about eight-
een years of age and so like the girl that I guessed
at once he was her brother. He put me out of
countenance by staring at me with open-mouthed
wonder and then bursting into an uncontrolled
roar of laughter. But his sister took him by the
arm and shook him.
'' Stop laughing," she said. " Don't you see he
doesn't like it? "
The boy stopped immediately — for I confess
his laughter was not as agreeable to me as hers —
and there came upon him an expression of the gen-
" I am sorry," he said, with tears of laughter
still in his eyes; " I thought you were playing a
joke on us."
I tried to look pleasant.
" I cannot at all account for myself," I said,
" or for you; I suppose a long time has elapsed
since I went to sleep ; so long that I hardly remem-
A Goddess and a Comic Song
ber where it was, though I think it was in Boston
— in my bachelor quarters there."
They both looked puzzled and concerned.
^' And what is your name? " asked the girl.
" Henry T. Joyce," answered I.
I could see that my very name amused them
though they tried to conceal it.
" And yours? " asked I of the girl.
" Lydia — Lydia second, or more correctly,
Lydia of Lydia."
" That means," said the boy, " that her moth-
er's name was Lydia; and so I call myself Cleon
of Lydia, because, my mother's name was Lydia.
She," he added, pointing to the girl, " is my
He was dressed, like her, in a simple tunic
coming to the knees, and was shod like her also;
but the tunic was not pinned up on one shoulder:
it had sleeves like our jacket.
We were walking down the hill and came now
in sight of a group of buildings entirely of wood,
of a beauty that made them a delight to behold.
One much larger than the others reminded me of
what Westminster Hall would be if separated
from the more recent Houses of Parliament. It
was lighted by large Gothic windows that started
from above a covered veranda; the veranda
offered countless opportunities for surprises in the
way of carved pillars, twisting staircases, and sub-
sidiary balconies, every corner being smothered in
vines and bursting into blossoms of varied hue.
Clearly the upper part of the building was a large
hall, and the lower part split up into smaller
rooms. Near this Hall and connected with it by
covered ways were numerous other buildings, all
different, but conforming to the lay of the land
on either side of a torrent, upon one level reach of
which stood the mill in the same quaint style.
" Our power house," said Cleon, pointing to it.
I thought of the hideous masonry that ruined
the valley of the Inn between San Moritz and
Celerina in the old days, and I wondered. But my
eyes were too much bent on the beautiful lines of
Lydia's form to linger long on the mill or its adja-
cent buildings. I had fallen behind her in order
to be able to take better account of her. The
v/eight of the basket on her head brought out the
strength of her shoulders and the rhythmic move-
ment of her body. Every time she turned to speak
to us her hands left the waist in an unconscious
effort to maintain her balance, thus throwing into
relief the rounded outline of her arm and the deli-
cacy of her wrist. " Alma venus genitrix," thought
I, '' hominum divumque voluptas."
A Goddess and a Comic Song
Cleon kept talking all the way, interrupted oc-
casionally by Lydia. He explained all the build-
ings to me and their respective uses. As we ap-
proached the Hall we met several other young
men and women who joined us, for all were going
in the same direction. Each expressed the same
surprise and amusement on beholding me; they
joined Lydia, who with an air of importance
repeated her story to every one. I felt more
comfortable between Lydia and Cleon and had
therefore joined the brother and sister, so as to
have the protection of one of them on either
When we reached the Hall, Cleon suggested
that I must feel uncomfortable in my damp clothes
and took me to the men's quarters. He provided
me with all that was necessary for a complete
toilet. A large swimming tank occupied the base-
ment of the building, and into it I was glad to
plunge. After I had shaved — for a razor was pro-
vided — I assumed the simple garment of my
neighbors and for the first time felt ashamed of
the whiteness of my skin. By the side of the
swarthy limbs about me my arms and legs looked
naked and pitiful. I was extremely hungry, how-
ever, and my appetite overcame my reluctance at
facing the crowd that I felt was awaiting me at
the Hall. As we approached it we heard echoes
of song and laughter.
" They have finished breakfast," said Cleon,
pushing me through the open doorway.
Our entrance was unobserved, for they were all
engaged in singing; the words I heard in chorus
were "The Lightning Calculator!" They all
stamped at each alternate syllable and I noticed
that Lydia was the centre of observation. She was
flushed, half with vexation and half with merri-
ment, and was being held by a crowd of girls who
prevented her from interfering with the soloist,
who, standing on a chair with a guitar, was impro-
I could not hear the words distinctly from
where I stood but caught something about a cer-
tain Chairo, at the mention of whose name there
was a laugh, and the stanza closed, as had the last,
with " The Lightning Calculator," whereupon all
laughed again and stamped as they repeated in
chorus " The Light-ning Cal-cu-la-tor."
" That's my sister," said Cleon to me in a whis-
per. " She's the Lightning Calculator."
In the next stanza, which was quite unintelli-
gible to me, I noticed an allusion to Demeter, at
which the women looked shocked and the men
delighted. I was wondering at the significance of
A Goddess and a Comic Sono:
this when Lydia discovered me, and, delighted to
divert attention from herself by directing it toward
me, she said to the tormentors who were holding
her: "There he is!" — and she nodded in my
Immediately all eyes were turned toward me
and I became painfully conscious of my bare white
legs. The young man with the guitar stepped
down from 'his chair and came .to me.
" Welcome to Tyringham," said he. " We
don't know how you got here or where you come
from, but we are ready to answer questions and
willing to ask none."
I stammered something in answer and was led
to a table where two places had been left for us.
Cleon and I sat down and food was brought.
Lydia asked me a few conventional questions to
put me at my ease ; but hardly succeeded, for seem-
ingly some hundreds were engaged in staring at
me. At last some one pushed the soloist by the
arm. " One more verse, Ariston," said he, and
Ariston jumped on the chair again, and, twanging
his guitar, resumed :
" Of swarthy skins she tires soon
To her new things must cater,
So now she's found a pantaloon —
The Lightning Calculator."
My legs were well under the table so I could
join in the laugh, secretly satisfied to be associated
with her even in the jingling nonsense of a comic
" Boobies! " exclaimed Lydia, " and Babies! "
she added. "Boobies and Babies!" She ran to
the door and they all followed her, boisterously
laughing, and leaving me alone with Cleon.
" I didn't understand much of it," said I.
"Who is Chairo?"
" Chairo is a great man; one of our great men;
the youngest of them; he may become anything;
but he is not popular because he is so dictatorial."
" And he is in love with Lydia? "
" Frightfully in love."
" And Lydia? "
"Ah! no one knows; she's very sly, Lydia";
and Cleon chuckled to himself.
" And why did everybody look at one another
when Ariston sang about Demeter? "
" Well, the women don't like to have it talked
I was puzzled.
" Do tell me about it," I said, " for I know
nothing about Demeter except what I have read
in my classics."
" Well, Demeter, you see " — but he blushed
A Goddess and a Comic Song
and stammered — " I really never had it altogether
explained to me; the women never talk of it, and
yet the Cult, as they call it, ' the Cult of Demeter,'
is the most important thing to them in the world."
I went on eating my breakfast and trying to
guess what Cleon was driving at, but altogether
^' What does this Cult of Demeter have to do
with your sister? " I asked at last.
" Why," answered Cleon, looking round cau-
tiously and lowering his voice, " Lydia is a De-
" What does that mean — ' Demetrlan '? "
" It means that she has been selected by De-
" Do try to remember," I said a little impa-
tiently, '' that I know nothing about your De-
meter and can make neither head nor tail of what
you are saying."
The irritation I felt made me aware that I was
jealous of Chairo, jealous of Demeter, and infat-
uated with Lydia. Cleon's half explanations
seemed to be putting Lydia out of my reach, and
I was exasperated at not being able to understand
just how far.
*' Well," answered Cleon, " I don't know
whether I ought to tell you, but it's this way:
Lydia is awfully clever at figures. She can square
any ten of them; add any number of columns;
multiply any number by any number all in a flash.
And so she's been selected by Demeter; that is to
say, I suppose, they are going to marry her to some
"What!" exclaimed I, indignantly. "They
are going to sacrifice her to a mathematician? "
"Sacrifice!" retorted Cleon with open eyes.
" Why, it isn't a sacrifice! It is the greatest honor
a woman can have! "
" And what does Lydia say to it? "
" She hasn't made up her mind."
" Oh, then, she has to be consulted," said I, re-
lieved. " She cannot be compelled."
" Oh, no," answered Cleon, " she is selected —
that is to say, the honor is offered to her; she may
not accept it if she does not like; but a girl sel-
dom refuses. She is no more likely to refuse the
mission of Demeter than Chairo would be to re-
fuse the Presidency. It is very hard work being
President — very wearing; in fact, I should think
it would be an awful bore; but nobody ever re-
fuses it, because of the honor. I suppose it is the
same thing with the mission of Demeter."
I was more and more puzzled, but despaired
of getting satisfaction from Cleon.
HARVESTING AND HARMONY
WE had finished breakfast now, and my
hunger satisfied, I was free to look
about me a little. The hall was lofty,
and the roof supported by Gothic arches, sculp-
tured by hands that had enjoyed the work; for
although the design of the building was simple
and dignified it was covered with ornaments of
bewildering complexity. We were waited on by
women who could not be distinguished from those
upon whom they waited; of every age and of
every type, most of them were glowing with
health and cheerfulness. They laughed a great
deal with one another, and offered me advice as
to what they put before me; warned me when a
dish was hot, and recommended the cream as par-
ticularly fresh and sweet. They made me feel
as though I had been there for years and knew
every one of them intimately. Just as we were
finishing, a fine old man with a white beard and
a patriarchal countenance joined us:
" You come from a couple of centuries ago,"
"Is it two centuries, or a thousand years?"
" I have been looking at your clothes; you
don't mind, do you? they indicate the end of the
nineteenth or beginning of the twentieth century."
" You have guessed right," said I ; '' and what
year are you? "
" We count from the last Constitution which
was voted ninety-three years ago, in 201 1 of your
reckoning. So we call the present year 93."
" So you have given up the old Constitution,"
I said with a touch of sentiment in my voice.
" Yes, it had to be changed when we advanced
to where we are now in methods of manufacture
and distribution of profits."
'* Can you give your methods a name?"
"You used to call it Collectivism; we call it
" You mean to say you actually practise Col-
The patriarch smiled.
" Your writers used to say it was impossible,"
he said; "just as the English engineers once said
the building of the Suez Canal was impossible,
and our own engineers the building of the Panama
Harvesting and Harmony
Canal was impossible. As a matter of fact. Col-
lectivism is as much easier than your old plan as
mowing with a reaper is easier than mowing with
a scythe. You will see this for yourself — and you
will see " here his brow darkened — " that the
real problem — the as yet unsolved problem — is a
very different one. But Cleon must join the hay-
makers; what would you like to do?"
I was much interested in the old man and was
anxious to hear what he had to say about the " as
yet unsolved problem," which I already guessed.
But I was still more anxious to be with Lydia, so
" Does Cleon work with his sister? "
" Yes," said Cleon, " on the slope, a few min-
utes from here."
" Perhaps I had better make myself useful,"
said I hypocritically.
I thought I detected a little smile behind the
big white beard as the old man said to Cleon,
"Well, hurry off now; you are late."
I followed Cleon up the hill. He explained
to me on the way that the meadows were all cut
by machinery, but that the slopes had still to be
cut by hand. We soon came upon a group in
which I recognized Lydia and Ariston. They
were on a steep hill. Lydia was swinging her
scythe with the strength and skill of a man. She
was the nearest to me of a row of ten, all swinging
together. Ariston was singing an air that fol-
lowed the movement; he sang low; and all joined
occasionally in a modulated chorus. Cleon took
up a scythe and joined them. I was glad to ob-
serve that there was no scythe for me, for I had
never handled one. I stood watching the work.
When the song was over they worked in silence,
but the rhythm of their swinging replaced the
music. It reminded me of the exhilarating har-
mony of an eight-oared crew. At last one of the
girls cried out, '' I want to rest "; and all stopped.
" I was hoping some one would cry ' halt! ' "
*' So was I," whispered Lydia to hirrk
" So were we all," called out the rest.
They sat down on the grass ; after a moment's
breathing space Ariston lifted his hand; all looked
at him, and he started a fugue which was taken
up, one after another, by the entire party; to my
surprise and delight I recognized Bach's Num-
ber Seven in C flat, and I began to understand the
role that music might play in the life of a people,
and what a pitiable business our twentieth-cen-
tury notion of it was. Confined to a few labori-
ous executants and still fewer composers, the rich
Harvesting and Harmony
partook of it at stated hours in overheated rooms,
and the masses ignored it, except in its most vul-
gar form, almost altogether; while here, under a
tree in the large light of the sun during an in-
terval of rest, all not only enjoyed it, but joined in
it at its best. I singled out Lydia's rich contralto
and noted how she dwelt on the notes that marked
changes of key, with a delight in counter-point
that belonged to her mathematical temperament.
I watched her every movement. She had thrown
off the loose gloves she wore while mowing and
was lying on her face, playing with a flower. The
posture would have been regarded by us of the
twentieth century as unmaidenly; but in the at-
mosphere created by the simplicity of these peo-
ple I felt as though I were in one of Corot's
pictures. Maidenliness had ceased to be a mat-
ter of convention and had become a matter of
fact. There was a fund of reserve behind the
frankness of Lydia's manner that conveyed a con-
viction of rectitude entirely beyond the necessity
of a rigorous manner, or of a particular method of
I seemed to be transported back to the peas-
antry of some parts of France or of the Tyrol;
but here was an added refinement that demolished
the distance which had always kept me despair-
ingly aloof from these; here was the charm of
frankness, of gayety, and of simplicity, coupled
with a cleanliness of person, delicacy of thought
and manner, culture, art, music — all that makes
life beautiful and sweet.
The young men and women who sat singing
under the trees, smitten here and there with
patches of sunlight, were all of them comely and
wholesome of body and mind; but Lydia was to
me preeminent; and yet, could it be said that she
was beautiful? Her eyes were long and narrow
and when I crossed glances with her they escaped
me; so that I forgot the matter of beauty in my
eagerness to penetrate their meaning; her face
was too square to satisfy the ideal; her nose was
distinctly tip-tilted, like the petal of a flower; her
mouth was large and well shaped — altogether de-
sirable; and her hair was flaxen and straight, but
in its coils it seemed to have a separate life of its
own so brightly did it gleam and glow.
Lydia was the first to jump up and suggest
that work be resumed; and as she stood among
the prostrate forms of her companions she em-
bodied to my mind Diana, with a scythe in her
hand instead of a bow. All arose together and
set to work again, but in silence this time; and
under the shade where I sat, nothing broke the
Harvesting and Harmony-
quiet save the hum of insect life in the blazing
sun and the periodic swirl of the reapers. They
did not rest again until the patch of hillside at
which they worked was mown, when with a sigh
of satisfaction they rested a moment on their
scythes; but for a moment only, for presently
Lydia ran for shelter from the sun to the shade of
the tree under which I sat. She reclined quite
close to me, looked me frankly in the face and
smiled. I was surprised to find eyes that had
escaped me till now suddenly become fixed com-
posedly on mine, and noticed for the first time
that these women put on and off their coquetry
according to the context of their thought, for
presently she said:
" I am afraid you are lazy! "
" I believe I am," answered I.
" You mean to say you wouldn't like to join
us in our work? "
There was not the slightest reproach in her
voice, only surprise.
" I much prefer looking at you," I replied
with a little attempt at gallantry. But there was
no response in her eyes that remained fixed on
me. She was trying to explain me to herself. I
felt uncomfortable at being a mere object of ab-
stract curiosity. She w^as reclining on her side,
resting on one hand: in the other hand she was
absently twisting a flower she had plucked. Not-
withstanding my discomfort I rejoiced in at last
plunging my look deep into hers. What was hap-
pening in the blue depths of those eyes? I felt
as though I were trying to penetrate the secrets
of a house the windows of which reflected more
light than they passed through. I saw the reflec-
tion only. Behind was a judge weighing me in
the balance, but as to whose judgment I could
form no idea. And although I was conscious that
in her I had a critic, I was so bewitched by her
charm that I said to her in an undertone — for the
others were talking to one another:
"You are very beautiful!"
She waved her flower before my eyes as
though to put a material obstacle, however frail,
between us and smiled; but she looked down pres-
ently and laughingly answered:
" That doesn't make you any the less lazy."
I did not wish to be set down permanently in
her mind as good for nothing, so I explained:
"I am not incurably so; indeed, at my own
work I was industrious; but I never held a scythe
in my life."
She looked at me again in open-eyed wonder.
" What was ' your own work '? " asked she.
Harvesting and Harmony
" I practised law."
" What, nothing but law? Did you never get
tired of doing nothing but law? "
" We believed in specializing."
"Ah, I remember! The nineteenth century
was the great century of specialization. Later on
it was found that specialization was necessary to
original work, but that it brutalized labor; we
have very few specialists now: only those who
have genius for particular things, as, for example,
doctors, engineers, electricians — but we have no
lawyers.''^ She laughed at me with bantering but
good-natured contempt in her laugh as she em-
phasized the word " lawyers." " And you mean
to say you did nothing but lawyerise? " And she
suddenly with finger and thumb lifted my free
hand that was resting on the grass — for I was re-
clining on my other elbow, too — and I became
aware that my hand was soft and white.
" It wasn't always soft and white," I ex-
plained. " I did a great deal of rowing at col-
She kept hold of my hand with finger and
thumb and laughed gently:
" I don't believe it ever did a useful bit of
work in its life."
I was piqued; and yet her low laugh was so
catching, her long eyes so subtle, her lips so be-
witching, that I gladly let my hand hang in her
contemptuous fingers so long as I could be near
her and in commune with her.
" That depends on what you call useful work,"
" I call useful any work that contributes to our
health, wealth, and well-being." The coquetry
went out of her manner again and she became
thoughtful. '' The people of that time needed
lawyers to fight their battles for them, but we have
got rid of at any rate one principal occasion of
discord — the occasion that made lawyers neces-
sary. We have men specially versed in the law
still, but they don't confine themselves to law;
they cut hay too. Ariston is a great lawyer."
She had dropped my hand by this time; as
she mentioned Ariston we both looked toward
him; one of the girls exclaimed:
" I am hot; let's sing something cool."
" The Fountain," called out another.
Ariston lifted his hand again, and after beat-
ing a measure struck a clear high note; he held
the note during a measure and then his voice came
tumbling down the scale in bursts of semitones
relieved by tonic spaces, with a variety that re-
minded me of the Shepherd's song in " Tristan
Harvesting and Harmony
and Isolde." The moment he left the first high
note it was taken up by another voice during the
full measure, and as soon as the second voice
dropped down the scale, a third one pitched the
high note again, and so on voice after voice, the
high note imaging the highest point of the jet
d'eauj and every voice dropping tumultuously
down into a placid pool of infinite variety below.
Lydia did not attempt the high note, but begin-
ning low kept at the low level in peaceful con-
trast to the sparkling tenors and sopranos, the
whole musical structure resting on the bass which
moved ponderously and contrapuntally against
How shall I tell the thoughts that crowded
upon me as, lying on my back, I listened to this
amazing harmony! The beginning reminded me
of one of Palestrina's masses and transported me
to a Christmas midnight at the church of St. Ger-
vais; but as soon as the intention of the strain be-
came clear to me, I felt that it belonged to the
open air, to the eternal spaces, to the new-mown
hay, to my radiant companions. The merriment
of it, its complexity, its wholesomeness, the de-
light it gave — all brought to a focus and intensi-
fied the Interest that was growing within me for
But the whole party rose now to begin work
on another hillside and Lydia turned to me with:
"Why do you stay with us? Why not go to
the Hall? You will find the Pater there; we call
him the Pater because he is the father of the
settlement. He will want to talk to you, and you
need to talk to him." She put an arch little em-
phasis on the word " need." Evidently she did
not want me to be loitering among them. I pre-
tended to adopt her suggestion with alacrity al-
though in my heart I wished nothing but to re-
main with her.
" Yes," I said, " I shall never get out of my
bewilderment unless I talk to some one who can
understand my point of view."
" And you will probably find Chairo there,"
she added, with a provoking smile. " He was to
Ariston pricked his ear:
"Ah!" he said. "You will enjoy meeting
Chairo; he is the leader of our Radical party;
he is in favor of all sorts of Radical measures —
such as the destruction of the Cult — " the women
looked at one another — " the respect of private
"What! Do you call the respect of private
property Radical?" asked I. "It was the shib-
Harvesting and Harmony
boleth of the Conservatives in my time; they
called it the ' sacredness of private property.' "
" Just as the Demetrians speak of the ' sacred-
ness ' of the Cult to-day," said Ariston.
" Whenever Hypocrisy wants to preserve an
abuse she calls it Sacred," said a strong voice at
my elbow. I turned and saw that a new compan-
ion had been added to us, and I guessed at once
that it was Chairo.
He was a splendid man; nothing was wanting
to him — stature, nor beauty, nor strength. He
was remarkable, too, by the fact that his face was
clean shaved, whereas all the other men I had
met wore beards; but his face bore a likeness so
striking to that of Augustus that to have hidden
it by a beard would have been a desecration. And
he was strong enough in mind as well as in muscle
to bear being exceptional. It would have been
impossible for him to be other than exceptional.
Lydia blushed as she recognized him, and the
blush suggested what I most feared to know.
Chairo went to her and without a shadow of af-
fectation took her hand, knelt on one knee, and
kissed it. There could have been no clearer con-
fession of his love. I could not help contrasting
the frankness of this act and the superb humility
of it with the reticence, hypocrisy, and pride
that characterized our twentieth-century love-
Lydia with her disengaged hand made a sign
of the cross over his head; not the rapid, timid,
fugitive conventional sign that Catholics made in
our day, but with her whole arm, a large sign,
swinging from above her head to his as it bowed
over her hand, with a large sweep afterward
across ; and as she did so I saw her eyes widen and
her glance stretch forward across the heavenly
For the first time I felt the narrowness of my
life and my own insignificance. And I — I — had
dared to think I could make love to this woman!
For a moment it occurred to me that Lydia had
encouraged me; but so mean an apprehension of
her could not live in her presence. As she stood
there making the sign of the cross over the bowed
head of her beloved, I knew that Love was some-
thing more in this civilization than the satisfac-
tion of a caprice or the banter of good-humored
gallantry; that it was possible to make of Love
a religion, without for that reason sacrificing the
charm of life, and the particular charm that
makes the companionship of a woman something
different from the companionship of a man.
And yet I was puzzled; was Lydia not a
Harvesting and Harmony
Demetrian? Cleon had told me she had not yet
made up her mind; but was there not in this
greeting with Chairo a practical admission of a
betrothal? And what was the meaning of the
sign of the cross? Was Christianity still alive,
then? And if so, how reconcile Christ and De-
meter? And there swung through my mind the
terrible invocation of the poet: "Thou hast con-
quered, O pale Galilean! The world has grown
gray from thy breath."
When the cult of Demeter had first been
hinted to me I had assumed that the reign of the
Galilean was over, and that the old gods had
resumed their sway. The possibility of this had
admitted a note of latent triumph in the hymn
Will thou yet take all, Galilean ? Yet these things
thou shalt not take :
The laurel, the palm and the paean ; the breast of
the nymph in the brake.
Could it be that we could keep these things and
yet remain loyal to the religion of sacrifice?
Could we worship as well at the voluptuous altar
of Cytherea and at the mystic shrine of the Holy
My mind was in a tumult of inquiry as Chairo
arose from his knee and engaged in conversation
with the group ; and though they did not point or
look at me I knew that it was of me they were
talking. Presently, Chairo came to me and held
out his hand:
"You are a traveller from the Past, I hear!
Dropped down among us in some unaccountable
way." He looked me squarely in the eye as he
held my hand a moment, with a frank scrutiny
that I had already noticed in Lydia. Then he
" You were returning to the Hall; if you don't
mind, I shall accompany you ; it is too late for
me to begin work before lunch; besides, there is
no scythe for me." And waving his hand to
Lydia and the others, he walked away with me
toward the Hall.
THE CULT OF DEMETER
"j ^OR some distance we walked in silence. At
1^ last I said: "You will not be surprised to
hear that I am bewildered; everything is
in some respects so much the same and in others
" I am curious to know what bewilders you
" Well, it is bewildering enough to be told
that you are actually living under the regime of
Collectivism — a thing which we always consid-
ered impossible; but I confess what piques my
curiosity most is this cult of Demeter "
A scowl came over Chairo's face.
" How much do you know about it? "
" Nothing, except that Lydia is a Demetrian
and that she is to be married to some mathema-
" Married!" interrupted Chairo. " It cannot
be called a marriage! It is a desecration!" He
paused a moment as if to collect himself and then
began again in a calmer voice:
'' It is difficult for me to speak of It with-
out impatience; but declamation which is well
enough on the rostrum is not tolerable in conver-
sation, so I shall not give way to it. The cult
of Demeter is an abomination — one of the natural
fruits of State Socialism, which, to my mind,
means the paralysis of individual effort and death
to individual liberty. I lead the opposition in
our legislature, and you will, therefore, take all
I say with the allowance due to one who has
struggled, his whole life through, against what I
believe to be an intolerable abuse. The cult of
Demeter is nothing more nor less than the at-
tempt to breed men as men breed animals. It
totally disregards the fact that a man has a soul,
and that the demands of a soul are altogether
paramount over those of the body. To attempt
to breed men along purely physical or mental
lines without regard to psychical aspirations is
contrary not only to common sense, but to the
highest religion. Did not Christ Himself say,
* What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul'?"
" You quote Christ," interrupted I. " Is it
The Cult of Demeter
possible that the Christian religion can live side
by side with the cult of Demeter? "
" Yes," said Chairo, " and this is perhaps just
where the mischief lies. Christianity has re-
mained among us as the religion of sacrifice; and
the priests of Demeter bolster up their hideous
doctrine and their exorbitant power by appeal to
this religion of sacrifice."
" But where," asked I, " do they derive this
power of theirs? "
" Where else," answered Chairo, " but through
the hold they have upon the imagination of the
women — that terrible need for ritual which has
given the priest his power ever since the world
began. Gambetta was right, ' Le clericalisme ;
voila I'ennemi.' "
" Do you mean to say," asked I, '' that super-
stition has survived among you?"
" No, you cannot call it superstition; the time
has long since passed when the priesthood could
impose on the minds of men through superstition;
but just because they now appeal to a higher and
nobler function of mind are they the more dan-
" Tell me," I said — I paused a moment, for
I was very anxious to ask a question and yet a
little afraid to do so.
But Chairo looked at me again with a look
so frank that I ventured:
" Tell me," I said, " is Lydia going to accept
the mission? "
" No one can tell," said Chairo. " She is pro-
foundly religious, profoundly possessed with this
notion of sacrifice; she has been brought up to
believe the mission of Demeter the highest honor
which the state can give, and it comes to her now
clothed with all the mysticism of a strange ritual
and a religious obligation. Think of it: just be-
cause she has the talent of rapid calculation, a
knack which you in your time used to exhibit as
a freak in a country fair, she is to be sacrificed —
ah, if it were only a sacrifice I shouldn't com-
plain — but she is to be contaminated. She is to
be contaminated, because, forsooth, it is believed
that by coupling this knack of calculation with
one possessing a profounder genius for mathe-
matics, she will bring into the world a being fur-
ther endowed with mathematical ability. What
if she did; is there not something in the world
worth more than mathematics? "
" And what mathematician will be selected? "
" That is the wicked part of it," answered
Chairo; "that matter is absolutely in the hands
The Cult of Demeter
of the priests. My God!" he said, " I shall not
His eyes flashed, and his voice, though low,
rang as he spoke these words. But we were now
approaching the Hall and we saw the Pater, as
they called him, sitting upon the veranda. " I
have spoken vigorously," he said in a lower voice,
as we approached the Hall — " perhaps too vigor-
ously; but I do not mean to disguise my inten-
tion. I would not speak in this way upon a public
platform, because they would endeavor to stop
me, and the issue would be raised before public
opinion is ripe for it. But I warn you the Pater
is on the side of the priests, and so, to avoid dis-
cussion, which we seldom allow to interfere with
the harmony of our domestic life, I recommend
you not to speak of these things to the Pater when
I am present."
The Pater arose and advanced to meet us,
holding out his hands to Chairo.
" Welcome to Tyringham," he said. And
then looking toward me he added : " You could
not get hold of a better man to explain to you the
changes that have occurred since your time, but
I warn you he will not give you an optimistic
view of them."
I smiled, but said nothing.
After a few words about the weather and the
crops Chairo left us, and I at once began upon
the burning theme.
I repeated to him the substance of what
Chairo had said, leaving out the heat, the indig-
nation, and the threat. I sat down on the bal-
cony with the Pater, and he, after listening to me,
" Chairo is a man of extraordinary gifts, and
has, of course, the quality which generally at-
tends these gifts — inordinate ambition. Such
men are naturally prone to favor individualism
as opposed to collective action, and to desire the
rewards that come from individual success. It
was such men as Chairo who prevented so long
the realization of Solidarity, and who will al-
ways constitute a formidable opposition. Nor,
indeed, would it be well for the state that they
should cease to exist; for the CoUectivist com-
munity would soon lapse into mere routine and
officialism, were it not kept perpetually at its best
by the opposition of just such as these.
" Unfortunately in this particular case his op-
position is rendered not only acute but danger-
ous, by the fact that he has come into collision
with one of the most precious institutions of the
state, through his inordinate passion for Lydia.
The Cult of Demeter
Indeed, I had Chairo in mind wlien I said to you,
as we parted, that the economic problem pre-
sented by the distribution of wealth was by far
the least of the problems that presented them-
selves. The desire for the accumulation of wealth
is an artificial desire; it grew with the institution
of private property, and when the institution of
private property was abolished the desire for it
very soon, in great part, disappeared. But the
desire of a man for a woman is an elemental pas-
sion which has its root deep down in the neces-
sities of human nature. This passion will always
be with us and will always tend, when coupled
with such abilities as Chairo's, to disrupt the
" But," I interrupted, " is not this cult of
Demeter a dangerous thing? "
" To the mind of Chairo," answered he, " in-
flamed as it is by his love for Lydia, undoubtedly
it is. But all those who belong to Chairo's party
and hate Collectivism because it doesn't furnish
them the reward which they feel due to their
ability, are using this issue in an attempt to break
up the entire system. But consider for a moment
what is this cult of Demeter which you think so
dangerous. In the first place there is in it no
coercion, absolutely none: the priests tender to
such women as they think proper the mission of
Demeter, and this mission can be accepted or de-
clined; no disgrace attends the declining of it;
the woman to whom it is offered is absolutely
free. In the second place, the cult is to the ut-
most degree reasonable. Let us, for a moment,
glance at the notions that have prevailed on this
subject in times past.
" From the earliest civilization the notion has
prevailed that the most highly religious act a
woman could perform was to make the sacrifice
involved in celibacy. We see it in one of its most
beautiful developments at Rome. There, to the
Vestal Virgins was entrusted the maintenance of
the sacrificial flame; to them were accorded the
highest honors of the Roman state, the most fa-
vored places at all state functions; they alone,
except the consuls, were preceded in the street
by lictors, and if, in walking through the streets
of Rome, they met a criminal going to execution,
he was immediately set free. The sacrifice re-
quired by this institution was chastity. So, in the
Christian Church, those of both sexes who desired
to give themselves particularly to the worship of
Christ secluded themselves in convents and took
the vow of chastity. Yet what a barren piece of
sentimentality it was! We respect it still, because
The Cult of Demeter
there was in it the element of sacrifice; but a
woman capable of such self-sacrifice as this com-
mits a crime against the body politic by refusing
to become the mother of children; it is just from
such women as these that we want to raise new
generations, capable of carrying the torch of civ-
ilization onward in its march. The real sacrifice
to be demanded of these is not chastity; it is the
surrender of personal inclination to the benefit
of the commonwealth. The real sacrifice con-
sists in refusing to leave the maternal function at
the mercy of a momentary caprice, and, on the
contrary, in consecrating it to a noble purpose
and to the general good. But you can hardly un-
derstand all this till you have heard the story of
Latona, who founded the cult — the first and
greatest saint in our calendar."
The Pater did not persuade me; it was hor-
rible to me that it should be in the power of any
man or men, by appealing to a woman's willing-
ness to sacrifice herself or by the exercise of priest-
ly craft, to condemn her to marriage without love,
which, to my mind, is its only justification.
" And you think," said I, protesting, " that it
is right to sacrifice the love of a woman for life? "
"No," interrupted the Pater, "not for life!
There you labor under a mistake. Let me tell you
what happens: if a woman accepts the mission
she becomes attached to the temple of Demeter,
and while attending upon the ritual is slowly pre-
pared for the act of sacrifice; this is a period of
seclusion and prayer. Not that we believe in the
existence of a goddess Demeter, but that Demeter
represents to us that divinity in our own hearts
which puts passion under constraint, and makes
of it, not a capricious tyrant, but a servant to hu-
man happiness — our own happiness best under-
stood, believe me — as well as the happiness of the
community. And so the Vestal — for so we entitle
her — invokes and keeps herself in communion
with this special divinity within us each, and
without us all, until her heart is lifted into a con-
sciousness of her mission as the highest ppssible
to her sex. Compare that, my friend, with the
maternity which is often the undesired conse-
quence of a caprice or ceremony. But as I have
already hinted, the sacrifice is neither imposed at
all, nor is it suggested for a lifetime.
" Indeed, the Demetrian ceremony, once con-
summated, often results in permanent marriage;
upon this point the woman has the first word;
though, of course, the ultimate conclusion must
rest upon the consent of both. For example, the
woman decides the question whether the bride-
The Cult of Demeter
groom shall become known to her. Some women,
in whom the instinct of the mother predominates
over that of the wife, elect never to know the
father of their child; and as soon as pregnancy is
assured, cease all relations with him. Others, in-
deed the great majority, become mystically at-
tached to the man who, in the obscurity of the
Demetrian temple, has accomplished for them the
mission of their motherhood; they ask to see him;
and if upon fuller acquaintance both consent, a
provisional marriage is celebrated between them."
" Provisional marriage!" exclaimed I, aghast
" All our first marriages are provisional," an-
swered the Pater with magnificent disregard for
my indignation. " What can be more preposter-
ous — more fatal to happiness — than to commit a
man and woman for life to bonds accepted at an
age when the mind is immature, and under an
impulse which is notoriously blinding. It became
a commonplace paradox in your time that the
fact of being in love was a convincing argument
against marriage; for a human being in love is
one who has been by so much deprived of reason
— by so much deprived of the exercise of the very
judgment most necessary to select a life compan-
ion. Look back at the consequences of your in-
stitution of marriage: in your time it was already
in process of dissolution; the facility of divorce
had already destroyed the indissolubility of mar-
riage, and made of it a mere time contract. And
divorce, that the clergy of your day regarded as
a trespass of Immorality on the sanctity of the
marriage tie, was, as a matter of fact, the protest
of Morality against the immoral consequences of
the indissolubility of the marriage tie. No, there
are two essential elements in sexual morality: one
is temperance; the other is sacrifice. All are ex-
pected to practise the one; the few only are ca-
pable of practising the other. The art is to frame
institutions which recognize this and to accom-
modate the institution to the temperament of the
" Yes," interrupted I, '' but this is just where
you fail; how are you accommodating your Deme-
trian institutions to such temperaments as those
of Lydia and Chairo? Do you not see that by
imposing them in such cases as theirs you are
risking the wreck of your entire system? "
" You are perhaps right," answered the Pater.
" I am not initiated into the secrets of the priest-
hood; but it may be easily guessed that upon the
application of the system there may well be diver-
gence of opinion. We have already seen the sys-
The Cult of Demeter
tern result in infamous outrage in the South, and
give rise to the necessity of government interven-
tion — a very dangerous thing in such questions."
" But how do you practise this system of pro-
" Simply enough: the first marriage is always
provisional; if a child is born, the marriage must
last until the child is weaned; at that time the
parties are expected either to renew the vow of
fidelity in the temple of Demeter, or to renounce
it. They can at that time renounce it without dis-
grace, though it is seldom renounced without
heart-burning; one wants to renounce and the
other to renew. But both know in advance that
the day of the weaning — which is a function of
the cult — is the day upon which final vows are
to be pronounced; both prepare for it, and its
inevitable coming insures on the part of the
one who most desires the renewal a conduct of a
nature to insure it. But renunciation on the part
of either involves no disgrace. A second renun-
ciation after a second marriage is otherwise.
There is no institutional obstacle to it; each or
both can at any time renounce; but public opin-
ion has happily created a sentiment against a sec-
ond renunciation, which makes them rare. This
is just where the system broke down in the South;
the public opinion against repeated renunciations
did not exist; caprice became the order of the
day; the priests of Demeter became corrupt; and
sexual disorder involved, as it always must, every
conceivable other disorder in the state."
" And what was done? " I asked.
The Pater looked grave : " The Government
interfered and substituted state control for in-
dividual control. It is this that furnishes to
Chairo and his party their strongest weapon.
State control is abominable; institutions like ours
are possible only in a community possessed of such
a moral sense as prevails in these New England
" But how could the Government undertake
control of marriage? "
" By an extension of our State Colony system;
this you will understand only when you have seen
the working of the State Colony system for your-
One thing more I was eager to know. " What
had the gesture of Lydia, as Chairo kissed her
hand, meant; was it an acceptance?" I asked the
Pater, and he answered:
*' Just as it is no disgrace to a man that a
woman should not return his love, so is it no dis-
grace to a woman that she should withhold her
The Cult of Demeter
answer. In your time a woman who did not re-
spond affirmatively or negatively to a proposal of
marriage was accused of playing fast and loose.
But we do not regard it as a bad thing for a man
to be kept waiting, or for a woman to keep him
waiting; indeed, I am reminded of a word of one
of your own authors who said that there was no
better education for a man's character than the
effort to win the love of a worthy woman. And
so, when a man has altogether made up his mind
that he loves a woman, he does not feel it neces-
sary to keep his love secret till he knows whether
the woman will accept it; on the contrary, he
makes open confession of it as Chairo did. And the
woman, if she is not prepared to decide, responds
to such an act as Chairo's, with a sign of the
cross to indicate that she is for the time being set
apart until such time as she has prayerfully con-
sidered. And in Lydia's case, this has a double
signification; her choice is doubly religious, in
that she not only has to consult her heart as to
her love for Chairo, but also her conscience as
to her duty to the cult."
I was glad that the reapers began returning
and that our conversation was brought to a close
by their return, for I was fairly tired. Great as
was my curiosity to know more of these singu-
lar institutions I felt the need of thinking a
little about them before my mind was crowded
with further information. And so I gladly re-
turned to the men's quarters, which were becom-
ing crowded with those who had more right there
than I to a plunge in the crystal pool. We were
soon ready for lunch, and I was accompanied
thither by Chairo, Cleon, and Ariston.
ANNA OF ANN
MY place at lunch was by the side of the
Mater. I soon guessed that she was the
wife of the patriarchal old man with
whom I had been conversing. She had a deli-
cious air of comfortable embonpoint, a clear skin,
pink cheeks, and massive white hair. She was al-
ready seated when Ariston took me to her table,
and, moving the empty chair a little to help me
to my seat, she said, smiling:
" You are to sit here ; I am dreadfully anxious
to talk to you; where on earth have you come
from now? "
I sat down by her, and answered :
" I wish you could explain it to me."
She looked me in the face and said: ''You
look just like the rest of us, except, that only
our priests shave"; I looked in the direction of
Chairo inquiringly. " Oh, yes, Chairo shaves, and
a few others who want to be peculiar; but all of
us simple folk "
She chuckled a little, and then, bending near
me, whispered in my ear: " I have been looking
at your trousers! "
I made a deprecating gesture and smiled; she
joined me, but in a laugh so brimming over with
merriment and so contagious that very soon all
the table had joined but without knowing why.
When the Mater had finished laughing and the
others with her, Ariston said:
*' Well, Mater, now that you've finished laugh-
ing, perhaps you will tell us what it's all about? "
"Indeed, I won't," answered she; and there
was almost a wink in her innocent old eye as she
turned to me and said: " It is a secret — isn't it? —
a secret between us two," and she patted my hand
as if I had been her son.
I promised her with exaggerated solemnity
never to reveal it, and she patted my hand again
" I see you'll become one of us — one of the
Tyringham Colony; we always come together at
every harvest time — as indeed do all the other
colonies — only we think our colony is just a little
bit nicer than every other."
" And so does every other," said Ariston,
" think itself better than the rest."
" And so all are happy," answered the Mater
Anna of Ann
convincingly. " But have you met your neighbor,
Anna of Ann?"
I turned to my right, and saw that Lydia was
not the only beautiful woman at Tyringham.
Anna of Ann was of a different type. Her fea-
tures were delicate; the eye was not remarkable;
indeed, her glance was veiled and almost disap-
pointing; her nose was ordinary; her skin clear
but colorless; it was assuredly in her mouth, and
perhaps in her low forehead and clustering hair,
that her beauty resided; and as she spoke there
were little movements of the lips that were be-
" No, I have not been haymaking with Aris-
ton's group and so we have not spoken," she said.
" But I saw you this morning after breakfast,
and "—she added archly—" I stared at you with
all the others; we were dreadfully rude! But
then, there was some excuse for us, wasn't
" Every excuse," I answered reassuringly.
" But tell me, what do you do when you are not
" What do you mean; work or play? "
"What do you work at, and what do you
play at? "
" My work generally consists in attending at
the public store; I sell in the hosiery department
at New York."
" And what do you play at? "
" She's a great sculptor," volunteered Cleon,
nodding at her from the other side of the table.
"No, I am not," deprecated Anna; ''I am
I looked at the Mater inquiringly.
" By ' recognized,' " said the Mater, " she
means the state hasn't recognized her; that is to
say, she has to do her work at the store or wher-
ever else she is assigned during the regular three
hours a day. When the state recognizes her — as
it is sure to do one of these days — she will be al-
lowed to devote all her time to sculpture."
" I don't believe the state will ever recognize
her," said Ariston; " she is a great deal too good.
That Sixth is a fool!"
" Sixth is head of the fine arts department,"
explained the Mater. " His full name is Sprague
Sixth; six generations ago we had a great artist
called Sprague, who was for twenty years our
secretary of the fine arts, and one of his sons has
borne his name ever since, until it has become a
tradition in Massachusetts that we must have a
Sprague at the head of our fine arts. This man
Anna of Ann
Sprague Sixth, whom we call Sixth for short,
doesn't believe anybody can be good at art unless
he has studied in the state school. Now Anna
did not show any talent until her school days were
over and she had been assigned to work in the
" And now there is no chance for her," said
" What do you mean," exclaimed Cleon, tak-
ing Ariston seriously, " she can be a great artist,
without being recognized? "
'* I am not sure I want to be recognized," said
Anna. " If I were recognized I should have to
spend half my day in doing dull things for the
state to please Sixth; whereas, now one half of
the day is spent in doing mechanical work at the
store; the other half I have fresh for my own
work. I am going to ask to be assigned to a fac-
tory; for factory work is still more mechanical
than that of the store, and I can then be more
free to think of my own work."
All this was very strange and illuminating. A
sculptor asking to do factory work!
" But won't factory work be very hard and
brutalizing? " I asked.
Anna looked at me, puzzled, and Ariston
came to her rescue.
" I don't think," he said, " Anna appreciates
your point of view. In your day all factory work
was done purely to make money; the factories
were uncomfortable places, and workmen had to
work eight and ten hours a day. Now that most
of us have to do some factory work during the
year, inventiveness has set to work to make the
factory comfortable, and as we all of us have to
work for the state and we no longer have to pay
the cost of competition, three or four hours a day
are all that are necessary to furnish the whole
community with the necessaries and comforts of
" And so I can give the rest of the day to
sculpture," said Anna.
" Without any anxiety as to whether her sculp-
ture will pay or not," added Ariston.
" She just has to please herself," said the Ma-
" I am dreamingi " said I.
"No, you're not," said the Mater; and she
pinched me till I started.
Everybody found this very funny — and so I
took it as good-naturedly as I could. But I made
up my mind to have a little revenge, so I asked
the Mater quite loud as soon as they had finished
Anna of Ann
" Tell me, is Lydia the only Demetrian
All looked shocked except Cleon, who laughed
louder than ever, but Anna looked at him severely
" Cleon, I'm surprised."
I noticed, too, a smile curl Ariston's lip. The
Mater put a warning finger to her mouth and
shook her head reproachfully.
" You see," I said, with no small satisfaction
at the confusion I had caused, " I am new to all
these things; I have to distinguish fact from
fancy; the sacred from the profane."
" Of course," said Ariston, " although we have
our domestic life in the cities, apart, every family
having its own separate home, even there we jostle
against one another a great deal more than you
used in your time; and here at the colony we are
like one large family; we have, therefore, to re-
spect one another's opinions, and I might add —
prejudices." He bowed here at the Mater as
though in deference to her cult of Demeter.
"We wouldn't be happy otherwise; and we have
learned that after all, the highest religion is the
highest happiness. And so each of us respects
the religion of the other; in our heart of hearts
we doubtless tax one another with superstition,
but we never admit it. Every cult, therefore, is
tolerated and receives the outward respect of all."
I could not help wondering whether this was
true. Chairo clearly regarded the cult of Deme-
ter as dangerous and bad; how long then would
he tolerate it? Ariston divined my thought, for
" Of course, I assume that the cult involves no
danger to the state; or to individual liberty."
But the brows of the women darkened and I
felt we were on dangerous ground, so I asked :
'' And what are you going to do this after-
'' We are going on with our haymaking."
" But I thought you worked only three or four
hours a day? "
" Yes, that is all we owe the state ; but we
often ask to work all day for a season in order to
have the whole day to ourselves later. And as
harvesting must be done within a given space of
time, it suits our economy as well as our inclina-
tion to work all day at this season and have Octo-
ber to ourselves. Most of us go hunting all of
October, and in November we meet again at the
"Hunting?" I asked; "but where do you
Anna of Ann
" Almost wherever we want, though, of course,
this has to be arranged. Since your time the state
has replanted forests on alf the high ground least
suited to agriculture, and game is carefully pre-
served there during the whole year except Octo-
ber; which is our open season. Some hunting is
done, too, in November and December to suit the
convenience of those who have to work in Octo-
ber; but it is mostly done in October."
Lunch was by this time over and we adjourned
to the veranda for coffee and a cigar. There we
were joined by Chairo and others, and gradually
I began to get some notion of the working of their
CoUectivist State. But as their explanations left
me in considerable bewilderment, and it was only
when I saw the system in actual operation that I
understood it, I shall not attempt to give an ac-
count of our conversations, but rather describe
the events that followed, not only for the interest
of the events themselves, but for the light they
threw on the problems which still remain un-
solved for our race.
Lydia's good-natured reproach at my idleness
kindled in me a desire to remove the occasion of
it, so I set myself to learn to mow, and in a very
few days my muscles accustomed themselves to the
work. I soon picked up a part in their favorite
refrains and was able to join in their music as well
as their occupations. My ardor for Lydia cooled
when I felt its hopelessness; and I confess to an
admiration for Chairo which justified her love
for him. Neither of them attempted to disguise
their desire to be alone with each other, and yet
they never moved far from the rest of us. Ob-
viously, Lydia had not decided between Chairo
The Pater told me that she need not decide
for another year, though it was likely that she
would do so at the Eleusinian festival in Novem-
ber. This festival, corresponding to our Thanks-
giving Day, was held in honor of Demeter and
Persephone, the genii of fruitfulness, whether of
the earth or of men; and it was generally on some
such occasion that vows were taken or missions
I SPENT the whole harvest season at Tyring-
ham, and when it was over I went with
Chairo to New York in order to get some
ocular understanding of their factory system. It
was there that I understood one of the reasons that
made Lydia hesitate, for I met there another
woman — a Demetrian also — whose history had
been intimately interwoven with Chairo's.
Lydia had decided, much to Chairo's disap-
pointment, that she would spend October in the
Demetrian cloister attached to the temple. She
said she felt the need of seclusion. It was one
of the functions of the cloistered to attend the
daily rite at the altar, and I often went at the sa-
cred hour to attend the service, doubtless drawn
by the desire to see Lydia engaged in her minis-
tration. One afternoon, as I sat in the shadow of
a pillar, I was struck by the singular majesty of
one of the ministrants. She headed the procession
of women who carried the censers, and it was she
who offered the incense at the altar.
I was living with Chairo and Ariston in bach-
elor quarters and described the priestess to the
latter on my return home. Ariston's face flushed
as he answered: "That must be Irene of Tania;
she is a Demetrian and is the mother of a boy by
Noticing that my question had moved Ariston
I was unwilling to push my inquiries; but after a
few moments of silence Ariston, who after his
laconic answer had lowered his eyes to the book
he was reading, looked up and seeing the question
in my eyes that I had refrained from putting into
" Her story is a sad one. She was selected by
Demeter not on account of any special gifts, but
because of her splendid combination of qualities;
she was a type; she represented a standard it was
useful to reproduce. Chairo for similar reasons
was selected as her bridegroom; she chose to know
him and became deeply enamored. How should
she not? He remained devoted to her until her
boy was weaned and then did not renew his vows.
She bore his decision with dignity; indeed, so well
did she disguise her disappointment that for a
long time no one knew whether it was Chairo or
herself who had decided to separate. But when
Chairo began to show his love for Lydia, Irene
sickened; there was no apparent reason for it and
no acute disease; her appetite failed and she lost
strength and color."
Ariston paused, as though he were going over
it all in his mind, unwilling to give it utterance.
Finally, he arose and walked to the window, and
after looking out a little, turned to me and said:
" The fact is, I was consumedly in love with
her myself; her illness gave me an excuse for be-
ing a great deal with her, and at last in a moment
of folly — for I might have guessed — I told her of
my love. I shall never forget her face when I
did so: the sadness on it deepened; she held out
her hand to me and said: 'I am fond of you,
Ariston — and am grateful! But I love Chairo
and shall never love anyone but him.' " Ariston's
voice became hoarse as he repeated Irene's words.
But he paused, cleared his throat, and went on.
" Since then she has made a great effort over
herself. She was told that she was allowing sor-
row to unfit her for her duty to her child, and that
she was suffering from no malady beyond that
most pernicious ot all maladies — the malady of
the will. She collected herself, regained control,
and has now recovered her health — and all her
beauty. Was there ever beauty greater than
" She is very beautiful — more than beautiful
— she filled me with a kind of wonder. But tell
me, won't she object to your having told me her
"It is not a secret; these things are not re-
garded as secrets ; we hold it unworthy to blab of
such things, but we never make an effort to con-
ceal them. Often since then Irene has spoken of
Chairo in such a manner as to leave no doubt as
to her feelings for him; and yet she has probably
never in terms admitted it to anyone but me. In
confiding to you my love for her, she would not
complain at my also confiding to you her love for
Ariston's simplicity filled my heart with ten-
derness for him.
I went to him, put my hands on his shoulders,
" I am sorry for you."
For a moment he seemed taken aback by this
expression of sympathy; but when our eyes met
his were dimmed. . In a moment, however, he had
recovered control, and said:
" It doesn't make any difference in one way.
I see her still; and one of these days she will be
sorry for me and become my wife; she will then
end by loving me. I mean to work to this end;
the hope of attaining all this gives me courage."
It seemed all the worse to me that Ariston,
with his gayety and humor, should be in his heart
so sad. And yet, if it was to be, better that it
should come to one who had a fund of joyousness
within himself, on which he could draw.
The next day Lydia sent word to Ariston that
she would like to see him, and Ariston suggested
that I should go with him to the cloister. " I
shall, of course," he said, " wish to see Lydia alone
for a little, but you will have an opportunity of
seeing the cloister and what they do there."
The cloister of Demeter and all the institu-
tions which clustered around it were situated in
the neighborhood of what was in my time Madi-
son Square. All the buildings between Twen-
tieth Street and Thirty-fourth Street, north and
south, and between Sixth Avenue and Fourth
Avenue, east and west, had been cleared away;
and upon the cleared space had been constructed
a building dedicated to the cult. The temple of
Demeter, closely resembling the Pantheon, was
surrounded by a grove of ilex trees. At a short
distance from the temple and connected with it
by a columned arcade, was the cloister, built also
of white marble, around a court carpeted with
lawn; this cloister was the dwelling place of the
priestesses of Demeter and of all those women
who were either in retreat or in novitiate. A short
distance from the cloister was a large building,
similar to the other large buildings of which New
York now mainly consisted. Twenty stories in
height, covering acres of ground and built around
a large open court, these buildings were no longer
open to the objection alleged against them in my
time, owing to the fact that they were now re-
moved from one another by large spaces planted
with trees. This particular building was devoted
to the education of youth, and particularly all
children who, for any reason, became what was
termed " children of the state." The building
was so large that it permitted of a running track
within the court of four laps to the mile. New
York had been transformed by the construction
of these enormous buildings, each one of which
constituted practically a city of itself. Some of
them, such as the one in which I was living with
Ariston, were devoted exclusively to bachelors
and childless widowers; others were entirely for
unmarried women and childless widows; others,
on the contrary, were set aside for the use of fami-
lies and consisted of apartments of different sizes.
Although the inmates of these buildings con-
stantly met after the fulfillment of their daily task,
every family had as separate a home as in my day.
Almost every building had a dramatic corps of
its own, a musical choir of its own, a football club,
a tennis club, and other athletic, amusement, and
educational clubs of its own, and all these clubs
contributed to the amusement one of the other,
each colony contributing its share to the enjoy-
ment of the whole community.
Lydia was in the hospital ward of the state
children's building, where at last we found her,
for though in retreat she was by no means idle.
She was not discountenanced when she saw us;
nor would she even allow me to leave them, but
told Ariston what she had to say simply and in a
few words. It was this: She had come to the
cloister, she said, very largely for the purpose of
seeing Irene there; she took it for granted that
Irene's duties at the temple would bring them to-
gether. Lydia feared, however, that Irene was
avoiding her, and wanted Ariston to arrange a
meeting between them.
Ariston promised to do this, and then we all
three vv^alked through the buildings, Lydia taking
great pride in her share of the work there.
Ariston did not find it easy to arrange this
meeting. Irene freely confessed that she did not
want to speak to Lydia at this moment; she was
unwilling to give her reasons, but we both easily
guessed them. Irene, however, did not refuse to
see Lydia and promised to go to her on the fol-
The following day was the first of the Eleu-
sinian festival. In the daily rite, incense was of-
fered to the goddess as a token of sacrifice, but
at the Eleusinian festival there was added a note
of thanksgiving to the rite, which substituted per-
fumes and flowers in lieu of incense. It was the
privilege of Irene to select from among the min-
istrants the one who was to hand her the gifts
brought by the rest, and it was from the hand of
the chosen one that Irene took the gifts and laid
them upon the altar.
On this opening day Irene selected Lydia for
this privilege, for she meant this joint ministra-
tion at the altar to serve as prelude and prepara-
tion for their meeting. The temple was crowded.
Lydia trembled a little as she followed Irene
to the altar; a priest stood on either side as the
priestesses, postulants, and novices of the Deme-
trian procession went up the steps to it. Arrived
at the foot of the altar they formed a group about
it, dividing one-half on one side, the other half
on the other; between the altar and the body of
the temple stood only Irene and Lydia.
Lydia took the perfumes and handed them to
Irene, who sprinkled them first upon the altar,
then upon the priests, and then toward the con-
gregation ; then she took the flowers, some of them
in vases, others in wreaths, and handed them to
Irene, who arranged them upon the altar; when
the last gift had been taken there Irene kneeled
and Lydia kneeled by her side. There was a deep
silence in the temple. At this point in the ritual
there was a pause, during which it was the privi-
lege of the postulants and novices to have a prayer
offered in case of special anxiety. Irene, though
unsolicited, at this moment offered the following
" Mother of Fruitfulness, to her who now asks
for thy special grace, grant that she may neither
accept thy mission hastily nor reject it without
consideration; for thy glory, O Mother, is the
glory of all thy people."
There was a word in this prayer which did
not fail to strike the attention of every worship-
per in the temple that day. The words of the
ritual were " Grant that she may neither accept
the mission unworthily.''^ Irene had substituted
" hastily " for the word " unworthily." She had
paused at this word and given it special em-
phasis. It was usual for the Demetrian proces-
sion to remain kneeling after the service was over
and the congregation dismissed; and it happened
that the procession and the priests left the tem-
ple, leaving Irene and Lydia alone there. For
Irene did not rise with the other Demetrians, and
Lydia, feeling that she had been chosen as min-
istrant for a purpose, remained beside Irene. The
two knelt alone in the temple, Irene praying and
Lydia waiting on her. At last Irene arose and
Lydia also, and they both walked out into the
Neither spoke until they were in the seclusion
of the cloistered court. Then Irene said: "You
wanted to speak to me, Lydia."
" And you have been avoiding me," said
" Yes," answered Irene. " You have a matter
to decide regarding which you have already
guessed I am not altogether unconcerned."
Lydia lowered her voice as she said: "You
still love Chairo?"
Irene answered in a voice still lower, but firm,
" I do."
For a few minutes they paced the cloister.
Lydia was trying to decide how to confess her
own secret, but she did not find the words. At
last Irene said:
" When the mission of Demeter was first ten-
dered to me I was eighteen, and, although I had
often preferred certain of my playmates to others,
I had not known love. The honor of the mission
made a great impression, and as it slowly came
upon me that I was chosen to make of myself a
sacrifice, the beauty of it filled my heart with hap-
piness. It hardly occurred to me possible to re-
fuse the mission; I was absorbed by one single
desire — to make myself worthy of it. I thought
very little about the sacrifice itself. I had the
legend of Eros and Psyche in my mind; one day
I should hear heavenly music and be approached
as it were by an unknown god. And passing
from the pagan to the Christian myth, I saw the
Immaculate Conception of Murillo — that of the
young maiden at the Prado in Madrid — and I felt
lifted into the ecstasy of a mystic motherhood. So
until I accepted the mission at the Eleusinian fes-
tival I lived in a rapture — the days passing in the
studies and ministrations of our novitiate, the
nights in dreamless sleep. But once the vows
taken and the bridal night fixed, there came upon
me a revulsion as it were from the outside and
took control of my entire being so as to make me
understand what the ancients meant when they
described certain persons as ' possessed by an evil
spirit.' The thought of the approaching crisis
was a pure horror to me. I lost my appetite and
sleep ; or, if I slept, it was to dream a nightmare.
Neither our priest nor priestess could console me,
the legend of Eros and Psyche became abomin-
able, the Immaculate Conception absurd, and, be-
lieve me, Lydia, nothing but pride kept me to my
word. It was a bad pride, the pride that could
not look forward to the humiliation of refusing a
sacrifice I had once accepted. That pride held
me in a vice and accomplished what religion itself
would never have accomplished."
Irene paused — and Lydia passed her arm
around Irene's waist as they continued to pace the
solitary cloister, whispering " Go on " in Irene's
" You know the rest," continued Irene. " The
unknown god came to me in my terror and con-
verted my terror into love; and as I look back at
it now I am struck by two things: One, how un-
accountable and unfounded the terror was; the
other, how little my pride would have sufficed to
overcome it had the terror been enforced by love."
Lydia looked at Irene askance.
" I mean," said Irene, "love for some one
A sigh broke from Lydia. This was what she
had been waiting for.
" And you think," said Lydia, " that a woman
should not accept the mission if she already
" I don't think it; I know it! "
Lydia felt a burden taken from her^the bur-
den of doubt as well as the burden of sacrifice.
But suddenly she remembered that Irene in ad-
vising the refusal of the mission was making a
sacrifice of her own love, and she said very low
in Irene's ear:
" But, Irene, it's Chairo "
'^ I know," answered Irene, " and this is all the
greater reason for refusing. Had you loved a
lesser man you might have doubted the trueness
of your love, but having loved Chairo once you
can never cease to love him. I speak who know " ;
and Irene turned on Lydia a look of immortal
But the tumult of emotion in Lydia's heart
could no longer be restrained. Her own great
love for Chairo, her inability to sacrifice it, con-
trasted with the dignity of Irene's renunciation,
started a torrent of tears. She fell on Irene's
neck and sobbed there. Irene's strong heart beat
against her's as they stood in close embrace under
the cloister, and calmed Lydia. She slowly disen-
gaged herself, and looking into Irene's face, said:
" And so you tell me to refuse the mission? "
" You cannot do otherwise."
Then Lydia kissed Irene and withdrew.
Lydia went to her chamber and sat in the win-
dow seat, looking across the lawn to the temple
What did it all mean? She had felt the beauty
of the mission; had glowed at the thought of sac-
rifice; had taken pride in it. But such was the
strength of her love for Chairo that so long as he
was in her mind the mission seemed a sacrilege
and her heart had responded to Irene's advice
with a bound of gratitude and delight. And yet
now as she looked at the white columns of the
temple at which she would never again be worthy
to minister, an unutterable sadness came over her,
as though she were parting from the dearest and
most precious thing in her existence.
She was unwilling to mingle that night with
the other novices, and retired without seeing
them. The night was filled with conflicting
dreams and she woke up next morning with the
guilty conviction that she had committed a crime.
MEANWHILE I was becoming ac-
quainted with Lydia's family and their
friends. They occupied a building ex-
tending from Fifth Avenue to Lenox Avenue and
from 125th Street to 130th Street. It had a large
cloistered court within which was a beautiful
garden, consisting of a grove inclosing a lawn
bordered by flowers. It was usual for the inmates
of the building to meet for tea in the grove on the
border of the lawn. They divided themselves into
groups, each with his own arrangement of chairs,
hammocks, and tables, which reminded me of some
of our fetes champetres. Within the grove were
openings for such games as tennis — of which they
had an infinite variety — and also for stages on
which they rehearsed concerts and plays. The
hours between five and seven were by common
consent surrendered to social amusements. At
seven there was an adjournment to the swimming
bath and gymnasium with which every building
was provided. Eight was the usual hour for din-
ner, this meal being usually reserved to the family;
and the evening was spent very much as with us,
either at some theater or at home. The dinner
party was a thing almost unknown. In the first
place, the principal meal, and the only one which
required much preparation, was in the middle of
the day. The evening meal at eight was never
more than our high tea, the object of this system
being to lighten domestic service. In the second
place, the unmarried, who did not live with their
families, generally dined together in the common
hall; and if members of a family wished to dine
at the common table they could at any time do so.
Members of different families frequently dined
at one another's domestic table but upon terms of
intimacy; the conventional dinner party had be-
come ridiculous, no one having the means or feel-
ing the necessity to make a display. The more
thrifty and the best managers, who were skillful
at dressing food and chose to apply their leisure
to securing exquisite wines, often entertained ; but
out of the hospitality that enjoys sharing good
things with others, rather than the pride which
seeks to impress a neighbor by ostentation of
I learned later that, although the conditions I
have described still prevailed, the state was pass-
ing out of the pure Collectivism with which it
started; that numerous factories had been started
by private enterprise, partly to supply things not
supplied by the state, partly because of dissatisfac-
tion at state manufacture. Although private en-
terprise could only count on voluntary labor dur-
ing one-half of every day it had already assumed
vast proportions, had given rise to considerable
private wealth and was modifying the social con-
ditions that resulted from primitive Collectivism.
I also perceived that although many of the
problems of life, such as pauperism and prostitu-
tion, had been solved by the introduction of Col-
lectivism, nevertheless it had not brought that
total disappearance of ill feeling which prophets
of Collectivism had promised us in my time. On
the contrary, I soon discovered that the inmates
of every building were split up into cliques as
devoted to gossip as in our day, the only difference
being that they were determined by individual
preference and political divisions and not by pov-
erty or wealth; perhaps it might be said, that the
absence of the wealth standard raised the level
of the social struggle, deciding it by personal ex-
cellence and attractiveness, rather than along con-
ventional lines. Every man and woman knew
that popularity — and even political influence —
could be secured only by these, and this knowl-
edge checked many an angry word and prompted
many an act of kindness. Chaff, too, and even
sallies of wit with a dash of malice in them were
borne with more good humor than in our day; be-
cause we all of us love to laugh, and generally the
more if it is at the expense of a neighbor, provided
only there be no intention to wound ; so that those
who bore banter well were as popular as those
who best could set it going.
And yet there were some very foolish and
malicious people among them. I remember a
foolish one particularly. Aunt Tiny they called
her. She was an aunt of Lydia and Cleon. Lydia
First, as Lydia's mother was called, had married
twice. Her first husband had not known how to
keep her love and they had separated after her
first child was weaned. Then she had married a
second time; her second husband was an excellent
man but inferior to her; he had not been able to
impress his personality nor his name upon the
family, and so the children of the second marriage
as well as the child of the first had taken the
name of the mother. The second husband had
died some years before the beginning of this story;
but a sister of his — Aunt Tiny — had remained at-
tached to the family. She was very small and
plump; her hair was of a sickly yellow color and
so thin on the top of her head that the scalp was
plainly visible; she wore a perpetual smile of self-
satisfaction which expressed the essential feature
of her character; it was impossible for her to en-
tertain the thought that she was plain or unat-
tractive; her happiness depended, on the contrary,
upon the conviction that no one could resist her
charms did she only decide to exercise them. Age
did not dull this keen self-admiration; on the
contrary, as the mirror told her that lengthening
teeth contributed little to an already meaningless
mouth, or wrinkles little to browless eyes, she felt
the need of faith in herself grow the more, and her
efforts by seductive glances to elicit from others
the expression of regard so indispensable to her
I first saw her in Lydia's drawing-room. I
had found it empty on entering, but presently
there came into it a little body with a hand
stretched up, in her eagerness to be cordial, at
the level of her head, and behind it a smirking
face bubbling over with the effort of maidenly
reserve to keep within bounds an overflowing
"Welcome to New York!" she said. "I'm
so glad to see you! "
She lisped a little, and as she emphasized the
word " tho " she shook her head in a little con-
fiding way, and the smirk deepened into a nervous
I had been so long in New York that I felt
her welcome a little superfluous, but it was part
of the doctrine, which kept her happiness alive,
that New York had not completed a welcome to
a stranger until it had been expressed by her.
I was a little confused by her effusiveness, for
I did not wish to offend an aunt of Lydia's, and
yet I felt it impossible to respond in proper pro-
portion to her advances.
" You must be Aunt Tiny," I said. " I have
often heard of you."
I refrained from telling her what I had heard;
how she had constituted one of the favorite types
for Ariston's mimicry; how, indeed, Ariston had
gone through the very performance I had just
witnessed, in which the uplifted hand, the smirk,
and the lisping " tho " had lost nothing in Aris-
"Dear Lydia!" she exclaimed; and in the
pronunciation of the " d " in " dear " she put ex-
aggerated significance and added a shake of her
head. She wore little corkscrew curls; every time
she shook her head the curls quivered with sup-
" Do sit down," she added — with unnecessary
emphasis in the " do."
There was nothing to be done but to resign
myself; she drew up a chair quite close to mine
and settled down in it as an army might settle
down for a Trojan siege.
" Do tell me — I am dying to know — how did
it happen and what do you think of us? You
don't look very dif^ferent from us ; you remind me
of Chairo, and he is thought very handsome " —
her head and curls shook again and she giggled
consciously — ^^ very, very handsome!" She gig-
gled still more and her eyes assumed a coy mean-
ingfulness that increased my discomfort.
I have never been able to understand why this
poor little woman — perfectly innocent of any real
ability to harm — should have been able to cause
me so much annoyance; but there was something
in her glance that made me wish to throw things
" And Lydia — isn't Lydia beautiful? " There
was something caressing in her tone as she puck-
ered up her lips and dwelt on the word " beauti-
ful " that exasperated me again.
" What do you suppose she is going to do? Is
she going to accept the mission or marry Chairo?
She is a great flirt, you know; quite a terrible
flirt! But / shouldn't talk of flirting! " — and she
giggled again the same suggestive giggle. " We
mustn't be hard on flirts, must we? "
This appeal to me, as though I were already
particeps criminis, would have led me to protest,
but she did not allow me the opportunity, for she
'' But she has not been fair to Chairo; a girl
ought to know when to make up her mind " — she
became very serious now — " / always knew where
to stop; no man ever had the right to reproach
I at last could agree with her and I smiled
approval. She seemed delighted.
" I am sure we are going to be great friends,
and you will never misunderstand me, will you? "
I protested that I never would, and was re-
lieved by the entrance of Lydia First, who sug-
gested our going to tea in the grove.
On our way there as we passed the main en-
trance a detachment of militia — some dozen or so
— entered, divided into two columns, and stood at
arms while between them passed a woman some-
what more heavily draped than usual. I asked
the meaning of this, and was told that she was a
" But why the military escort? " asked I.
" Demetrians are always attended by an es-
cort unless they particularly desire to be spared
the honor; many would avoid it but the cult dis-
penses with it only as a special favor and for a
'* I cannot see the use of it," lisped Aunt Tiny.
But Lydia First looked sadly at her, and turn-
ing to me, said :
" All of us do not understand the importance
of upholding the dignity of the cult. It is the
very key-stone of social order and we cannot pay
too much honor to those by whose sacrifice it is
We were joined at the grove by quite a party;
Ariston came later; and among others I remarked
a young girl with bright black eyes who was de-
scribed to me as a journalist. It took me some
time to become accustomed to their habit of de-
scribing a person's occupation as that adopted for
recreation. The work they did for the state was
not regarded as a matter of particular concern; it
was the w^ork they selected for their leisure hours
which marked their character and bent. Neaera
had been first attached to the official journal of
the state; but she had joined Chairo's political
party and her work on the journal betrayed her
partisanship, so the state assigned her work in a
factory, and she devoted her leisure therefore to
the paper edited by Chalro.
As leader of the opposition Chairo was, by
an established tradition, relieved of all work for
the state. Every political party representing a
designated proportion of the voters of the state
could elect a certain number of representatives
upon the plan of minority representation, and the
leaders of the opposition were by virtue of such
election released from working for the state. No
law had enacted this, but it had become the rule
by the operation of the principle of noblesse ob-
lige. The representatives who neither belonged
to the ministry nor were recognized as leaders of
the opposition did not enjoy this privilege, except
during the sessions of the legislature. But it was
recognized that the minority parties in opposition
had as much work to do as the party in power, and
public opinion approved the plan which gave to
the recognized leaders of these parties the great-
est opportunit)'" possible for exercising vigilance.
The number of these leaders being small, there
was no fear that the plan would give rise to idle-
ness on a scale to be feared, and the temptation of
the government to annoy leaders of the opposition
by the allotment to them of onerous tasks, or that
of ascribing such motives to the government, was
So Chairo had his whole time free for the or-
ganization of his so-called Radical party, and he
published, with the assistance of his supporters, a
paper entitled Liberty^ to which Neaera devoted
all her spare time. She was uncommonly pretty,
but like all these women, was capable of sudden
changes of face and manner which, until I became
accustomed to it, constantly surprised me; though,
indeed, I remember having noticed it in some of
the women of my own day whom we described
then as " advanced." Neaera was already seated
at a small tea table with a young man called Bal-
bus, also a member of the Liberty staff, when we
arrived and was engaged in earnest conversation
with him. She looked at me scrutinizingly when
I was presented to her, neither rising nor offering
me her hand, and acknowledged the presentation
only by a little conventional smile. There was
something that seemed to me ill-bred in her keep-
ing her seat when Lydia First and the rest of us
arrived; but I soon discovered that Neaera was
a person of no small importance, and expected
attention from others which she did not herself
The Demetrian ^
concede. Our party seated itself about an ad-
joining table and presently Neaera called to
" Xenos, are you going to lecture at our
I had been invited by the Pater to lecture on
the social, political, and economic conditions of
the twentieth century. He had assumed that such
a lecture would tend to strengthen the conserva-
tive and coUectivist government; and Chairo had
asked me to lecture at his hall in the hope, on the
contrary, that it could be made to serve his own
cause. I had been told that these lectures were
usually followed by an open discussion, and I
knew that it was from this discussion that both
parties hoped to draw arguments to sustain their
views respectively. Fearing, therefore, to be-
come involved in their political animosities I had
not yet decided whether I would lecture or not,
so I answered:
" I am not sure; I feel a little the need of un-
derstanding your own conditions better than I do,
before undertaking to contrast them with those of
" We'll undertake to explain our conditions,"
she said, with an oblique smile at Balbus, " if
you'll let us."
" I could wish for no pleasanter instruction,"
" But I see you have Aunt Tiny," retorted she
" Oh, I haven't taken him in hand yet," said
Aunt Tiny, taking the suggestion au grand seri-
eux, " but," she added encouragingly, " I will! I
Balbus threw his head back and laughed out-
" What are you laughing at, you goose! " said
" Let him laugh and enjoy himself," answered
Aunt Tiny quickly, by way of discarding the
thought that there could be in his laughter any-
thing disobliging for herself.
And Balbus, taking the cue, said:
*' We don't want Aunt Tiny to take you in
hand for she is terribly persuasive " — the poor
little thing giggled delightedly — " and we want
you on our side."
" I don't mean to be on either side," I an-
swered. " I am your guest, and, as such, must
confine myself to stating facts; you will have to
draw your own conclusions."
" That's right," said Neaera. " All we want
are facts; the conclusion will be clear enough.
For example, in your time, every man could
choose his own occupation."
" Undoubtedly," answered I.
" And was not subjected to the humiliation of
working in a factory because he would not be
convenient to the party in control ! " flashed out
I nodded my head gravely in approval.
" Imagine any of the writers of your day com-
pelled to work in a factory — Emerson, Browning,
Longfellow! — and Tennyson — imagine Tennyson
working in a factory! "
"Abominable!" responded Balbus. "Abom-
inable and absurd! "
" Wasn't Burns a plough-boy? " said Ariston,
" And Shakespeare a play-actor? "
" A second-rate play-actor, too," echoed Lydia
First, " and ended by lending money at usurious
" He chose to be that," retorted Balbus.
" What we are fighting for is the right to choose
"But haven't you chosen yours?" asked I.
" Isn't journalism of your choosing? "
" But I have to work at the state factory at
the bidding of the state," answered Balbus, " for
half of every day."
I could not help comparing his lot with my
own in Boston. I had never enjoyed the practice
of law; indeed, I had adopted the profession be-
cause my father had a practice to hand down to
me. And as I sat day after day listening to the
often fancied grievances of my clients, their petty
ambitions, narrow animosities, and, particularly
in divorce cases, to the nasty disputes of their
domestic life, I often felt as though my profession
converted me into a sort of moral sewer into
which every client poured his contribution. Had
I really been free when I chose to devote my
whole life to so pitiful a business!
" Some part of the day," I answered, thinking
aloud, " must, I suppose, be devoted to the secur-
ing of food and clothing. In the savage state —
in which some people contend liberty is most
complete — the whole day is practically devoted
to it. In our state it was much the same, except
that a few were exempt because they made the
many work for them. But only a very few en-
joyed the privilege of idleness — or shall we call it
' liberty ' ? "
" No," answered Neaera, " it Is quite unneces-
sary to confuse things; liberty is one thing and
idleness is another. We want the liberty to choose
our work — not the license to refuse it."
'' Liberty, then," said Ariston, " is our license;
and license is other people's liberty! "
" Ingenious," retorted Neaera, " but not cor-
rect. Can't you see the difference between choos-
ing work and refusing it? "
" Certainly," answered Ariston. " The work
I should choose would be lying on my back and
' thinking delicate thoughts,' like Hecate. The
work I should refuse would be factory work, like
Neaera did not like to find herself without an
answer; so she covered her defeat by taking a
flower out of her bosom and throwing it at Aris-
ton, who, picking it up, kissed it and fastened it
to a fold of his chiton. Just then a strain, that
reminded me of our negro melodies, being wafted
to us through the trees, Balbus exclaimed, " Now,
Neaera, a dance! "
She sprang up at once and began moving
rhythmically to the music. It was a strange and
beautiful dffnce, that had in it some of the quaint
movement of a negro breakdown, and yet the
gayety and grace of a Lydian measure.
Balbus clapped his hands to accentuate the
broken time, and we all joined him; Neaera, stim-
ulated by a murmur of applause, gave a signifi-
cance to her movements; danced up to Ariston,
then flinging her hands out at him in mock aver-
sion, danced away again; next reversing her step
danced back to him, and, snatching the flower out
of his chiton, tripped triumphantly off, throwing
her head up in elation; and to increase Ariston's
spite she made as though she would give it to
Balbus; but upon his holding out his hand for it,
danced away from him, and after raising hopes in
others of our group by tentative movements in one
direction and another, finally fixed her bright eyes
on me, danced hither and thither as though un-
certain, and then finally brought it to me, and
daintily pressing it to her lips, put it with both
hands and a pretty air of resolution into mine.
A TRAGIC DENOUEMENT
LYDIA could not disembarrass herself of
the feeling of guilt with which she awoke
after her interview with Irene. She went
to the temple for help and knelt before the story
of Demeter's sorrows, which was told in sweeping
frescoes on its walls. Chance so happened that
she found herself before that part of the story
which described the goddess forgetting her own
sorrow in her devotion to the sick child of the
woodman in his hut. The artist, in the reaction
from the Greek method of treating this story
which marked the narrative of Ovid as contrasted
with that of Homer, had dwelt upon the humble
conditions of the poor hut in which the light of
Demeter's golden hair shone like a beneficent
aureole; and the nascent maternal instinct in
Lydia vibrated to the beauty of Demeter's task.
Was she to renounce this highest standard of
maternity? What though she did love Chairo,
A Tragic Denouement
was it not this very love which the goddess bade
her renounce? And was not the greater the love
the nobler the sacrifice?
She returned to the cloister weary with the
struggle and strove to forget it by devoting her-
self to the duties of the hospital. As she cared
for a sick child there, the fresco in the temple be-
fore which she had that morning kneeled came
back to her, and in the memory of that hour and
in the love that went out to the child she was
nursing she found consolation.
But perhaps she was most influenced by a cer-
tain capacity for passive resistance in her, which
unconsciously set her upon opposing the inclina-
tion to yield, whether to her love for Chairo or to
the pleading of the priest. She could refuse to
yield to both more easily than decide to yield to
either. And so, many days passed in the valley
of indecision before she was lifted out of it by an
A novice came to her one morning and bade
her go to Irene, who had asked for her. She
had not seen Irene since the day they had spoken
in the cloister and she had wondered; but some-
thing in her had secretly been satisfied. Irene
would have challenged her to decide, and this was
just what she was not prepared to do.
As she followed the novice to Irene's rooms
the novice had told her that Irene was very ill and
had moaned all night, begging for Lydia. In-
quiry elicited that Irene was threatened and per-
haps was actually suffering from congestion of
the brain, and that she had been confined to her
rooms ever since she had ministered with Lydia
in the temple. When Lydia approached Irene's
rooms a nurse stopped her by saying that Irene
had just fallen into a sleep — the first for a fort-
night — and must not be awakened. So Lydia re-
mained in the sitting room, peeping occasionally
through the curtain that separated it from the
room in which Irene slept. For many hours
Irene remained motionless, but at last as Lydia
stood holding aside the curtain, Irene opened her
eyes; her face was flushed; she sprang up in her
bed, leaning on one hand, and glared at Lydia
with eyes that lacked discourse of reason. Then,
suddenly, she seemed to recognize her and a
shriek rent the room and sent Lydia staggering
back against the nurse who stood behind her.
Putting both her hands over her eyes and ears
Lydia dropped the curtain between herself and
the raving Irene; but no hand could keep her
from hearing the words that came through the
curtain and pierced her brain:
A Tragic Denouement
"Go away! Go away! " shrieked Irene. "You
have taken him from me! Stolen him! "
Irene's shriek sounded to Lydia like the crack
of doom. Then came the words, " Stolen him,"
in the voice of the accusing angel — and as if it
were in answer to her own shrinking gesture of
protest behind the curtain, she heard Irene shriek-
ingly repeat: "Stolen, yes, stolen!"
The nurse put Lydia into a chair and went to
Irene; she found her risen from the bed, and,
shrouded in her curtain of blue-black hair, with
lunatic eyes, she was advancing slowly to the room
where Lydia sat. When Irene saw the nurse
she said, in low grave accents, " Not you — not
you!" and then with menacing significance added,
almost in a whisper, " The other! "
The nurse tried to stop her and urge her back
to her bed, but Irene swept her away with a single
movement of her arm, and moved to the curtain
which separated her from Lydia. But Lydia had
by this time recovered control of herself; she knew
that a maniac was approaching and she arose to
await her. Irene pushed aside the curtain and con-
fronted Lydia standing in the middle of the room,
motionless and rigid as though changed to stone.
"Don't stand there, brazen-faced!" shrieked
Irene. "Kneel — I say, kneel!"
But Lydia stood her ground unflinchingly.
Then Irene burst into a furious laugh: " Great
mother," she began mockingly, and Lydia had to
stand and listen while the maniac, with lurid eyes
and frantic gesture, recited the most sacred of the
prayers to Demeter — the prayer in which daily
the vestal repeats her vows ; but as the prayer came
to a close the light went out of Irene's eyes, the
fury out of her gesture; she slowly bent down
upon her knees, and the last words of the prayer
were, in a voice sinking to a whisper, addressed
to Lydia as though she had been the goddess her-
When Irene's voice died away it seemed as
though the paroxysm was over; she remained
kneeling, with her head bowed upon her breast.
Then Lydia thought to lift her up, and bent
down to her. Irene looked up suddenly and
shrieked as she recognized Lydia; she frantically
waved her hands before her face as though to rid
her eyes of the spectacle, and Lydia resumed her
erect posture again.
By this time the nurse had returned to the
room and tried to lead Irene away. At first she
succeeded, but suddenly Irene swept her away,
and confronted Lydia again:
" It hurts here," she said, clutching at her
A Tragic Denouement
heart. " You'll know," she added, and laughed
harshly. "You'll know!" she repeated, and
throwing up her hands she clutched the air; then
in an agony of paroxysm she whispered again in
a faltering voice, " You'll know " — and suddenly
sank a huddled heap upon the floor.
Lydia and the nurse ran to her and lifted
her back upon the bed, and from that moment
Lydia did not leave her side. For many days life
hovered on the edge of Irene's lips, sometimes
appearing to take flight altogether, and again re-
turning to reanimate the clay. And Lydia with
anguish in her heart bent over her night and day.
At last a crisis came and Irene fell into a pro-
found and restful sleep; the fever left her, and the
pulse slowly recovered regularity and strength;
she seemed to recognize no one, and it was ex-
pected that for some weeks she would probably re-
main unaware of those around her. Lydia was
advised to absent herself, lest to Irene, on recover-
ing her reason, the shock of seeing Lydia prove
dangerous; and so, one evening as the sun set, her
strength shattered, she returned to her own rooms.
It happened that the following day was the
ninth of the Eleusinian festival, on which, if at
all, those to whom the mission had been tendered
might accept or renounce it. Strange to say, with
her waning strength ebbed also the power of pas-
sive resistance which had kept Lydia from deci-
sion; she surrendered not to the exercise of a con-
trolling will but to the suggesting influence of
Irene's anguish; and on the next day in the tem-
ple, to the rage of some and to the deep concern of
all, in the procession she wore the yellow veil
which announced her as a bride of Demeter.
HOW THE CULT WAS FOUNDED
BEFORE the dramatic climax of the Eleu-
sinian festival, the first incident of which
closed the last chapter, and the thrilling
sequel of which I shall have later to narrate, I
had become, in spite of myself, dragged deeper
into the political arena than I wished.
In the first place I had not remained an un-
moved spectator of Neaera's dance. It was very
new to me and altogether bewitching. She had a
faultless figure — or, if it had a fault, what it
took away from the type of ideal beauty it per-
haps added to her feminine attractiveness. And
so, on returning with Ariston to our bachelor
quarters she was the theme of our conversation.
Ariston had passed through a phase of tendresse
for Neaera. Most of his generation who were
of Neaera's class had experienced her novitiate.
Even Chairo had not returned unscathed. We
found him at the bath, and after a plunge into the
bracing sea water we lounged in our wraps on
the couches prepared for that delightful moment.
Chairo declined to take Neaera seriously: " * II
y des gens,' " he said, " ' qui sont le luxe de la
race.' She is a sprite created to awake sentiments
which must be satisfied by others; or, perhaps,
remain unsatisfied, and thus stimulate the brush
of the painter and the pen of the poet. She is an
artist herself; utterly without conscience or heart;
but contributing greatly to the charm of life, and
if not taken in too heavy doses, altogether de-
Ariston was more severe! " She is a calculat-
ing little minx with her own ends to serve; some-
times those ends are good and she secures a large
following by virtue of them; sometimes they are
altogether bad, and then she uses the following se-
cured by her good ends to attain the bad. But
the worst of it is, she uses what she has of charm
remorselessly and has more than once been sum-
moned before the priests of Demeter."
" That is no discredit," retorted Chairo. " The
whole band of priests ought to be consigned to the
shades. They are an unmitigated curse "
It was no easy matter to understand the work-
ing of the priestly system but I gathered this from
the discussion: According to Ariston, the cult of
How the Cult was Founded
Demeter was organized mainly through the in-
fluence of the women to accomplish a reform in
the marriage system and an intelligent, scientific,
and religious regulation of all sexual relations.
The evils to be remedied were threefold: To rec-
oncile continence with love; to retain the sanctity
of marriage without imposing a life penalty for
a single innocent mistake; and to secure, without
compulsion, the improvement of the race.
In regard to the first of these three, it was
recognized that no one function in the human
body contributed so much to the health or malady
of the race as this; and that free love, which had
constituted one of the planks of the Socialist party,
would be fatal to the survival of the community,
in consequence of the physical and moral abuses
to which incontinence would give rise. The sur-
vival of the races which practised continence over
those which did not practise it was too clearly
recorded in history for its lesson to be neglected.
Thus, the promiscuous savage disappears before
the savage who exercises the continence, however
slight, involved in metronymic institutions; these
last disappear before the races which exercise the
higher degree of continence required by the patri-
archal or polygamous system; and these last suc-
cumb in the conflict with those which practise the
highest degree of continence, known in our day
under the name of monogamy. The lesson of his-
tory, then, is that continence is essential to the
progress of the race. The problem consists in de-
This could not be done by written laws; the
attempt to regulate sexual relations by law had
broken down in my own day. Divorce was the
attempt of morality to rescue marriage from
promiscuousness. The greatest immorality pre-
vailed where divorce was forbidden; in other
words, the institution of marriage became a screen
for immorality; women took the vow of marriage
only the easier to break it, and even those who
took it with the sincere intention of being faithful
to it, once the bond proved intolerable, finding no
moral escape from it adopted the only immoral
alternative. Divorce, therefore, was the only
escape; and the easier divorce became the more
did the sanctity of marriage diminish; so that at
last it became impossible to decide which system
resulted in more demoralization — the one which
maintaining a theoretically indissoluble marriage
resulted in secret promiscuousness, or the one
which through divorce by making marriage easily
dissoluble opened the door wide to the satisfac-
tion of every caprice.
How the Cult was Founded
The only force that has ever seemed able to
cope with this problem is religion. Religion for
centuries filled convents and monasteries with
men and women who under a mistaken morality
offered love as a sacrifice to God; religion has
been the determining factor in the survival of
community life; that is to say, those communities
which were animated by religion — such as Shak-
ers, and the conventual orders — have relatively
prospered, whereas those which were not ani-
mated by religion have rapidly disappeared. Re-
ligion effectually preserves the chastity of women,
even outside of convents — as in Ireland — and has
been the main prop of such continence as sur-
vived during our time in the institution of mar-
riage. Religion, then, seemed to be the only
human sentiment that could determine continence,
and to some religious institution, therefore, it was
thought this question must be referred.
What actually happened was this: The consti-
tutional convention, which put an end to the old
order of things and brought in the new, was con-
trolled by the Socialist faction which believed in
free love; a provision, therefore, was inserted in
the constitution forbidding all laws on the sub-
ject of marriage. The same constitution, how-
ever, provided that all adults over the age of
twenty-five years who had passed the necessary ex-
aminations — female as well as male — should have
a vote; and this last gave women a voice in politi-
cal matters, which they soon exercised with un-
expected solidarity. They became a power in the
state, and threatened a modification of the consti-
tution on the subject of marriage, which would
not only restore it to its original inflexibility, but
would impose penalties on both sexes for violation
of the marriage vow, such as the world had not
up to that time seen or dreamed of. The whole
community was aghast at the conflict between the
sexes to which this question gave rise, and all the
more so, that women had become a fighting power
that could no longer be disregarded. The drill
introduced into the schools for both sexes had
demonstrated that in marksmanship the average
woman was quite equal to the average man, and
in ability to endure pain she proved altogether su-
perior to him. Already the licentiousness that
prevailed in Louisiana and the adjacent States be-
tween Louisiana and the Atlantic seaboard had
given rise to a civil war; and the women of the
North had fought on the side of sexual morality
in a manner that opened the eyes of men to the
existence of a new and formidable power in the
state. The issue upon which Louisiana had under-
How the Cult was Founded
taken to secede was upon the power of the federal
Government to enact penal laws against idleness.
Obviously, idleness is, under a CoUectivist gov-
ernment, a most dangerous offence. Collectivism
cannot survive except upon the theory that all the
members of the community furnish their quota of
work. It was supposed that this question could
be left to state legislation; and during a few
generations every state did secure enough work
from its citizens to furnish the stipulated amount
of produce to the common store. But as disso-
luteness prevailed in the South, the Southern
States fell more and more behind in their con-
tribution, and their failure was obviously due to
the demoralization which attended promiscuity in
sexual relations. In the Northern States a certain
sense of personal dignity had created a public
opinion on the subject, that prevented free love
from producing its worst results; habits of indus-
try, too, already existed there, and the creation
of state farm colonies — such as existed in our day
in Holland — where the unwilling were made to
work prevented idleness from prevailing. In the
Southern States, the climate lent itself to all the
abuses that attend the surrender of self-control;
the women never possessed the initiative necessary
for defense; the more the men abandoned them-
selves to pleasure the less they were able either to
govern or to tolerate government; and, as a neces-
sary consequence, there was a relaxation of effort
in every direction whether political, industrial, or
Much agitation prevailed in the rest of the
Union over the condition of the South; the wom-
en, particularly, fearing that the contagion would
spread, banded together to form purity leagues,
with a view to meet the evil by a system of social
ostracism; but before the sexual issue came to a
head, the failure of the Southern States to furnish
their quota to the common store raised an eco-
nomic issue easier to handle. The federal Gov-
ernment passed a measure providing that in case
any State failed to furnish its quota, the President
was to replace the elected governor by one ap-
pointed by himself, and the whole penal admin-
istration was to pass into federal hands, with
power to the federal Government to create pauper
colonies and administer them. This aroused the
ferocity of the whole Southern people, and it was
at this crisis that the women of the North showed
their prowess and initiative. They formed regi-
ments which rivaled those of the men in number,
and even compared with them in efficiency. The
seceding States proved utterly unable to resist the
How the Cult was Founded
forces of the North, and were soon reduced to un-
In the period of reconstruction which fol-
lowed this civil war, there came to the front in
Concord a woman of singular ability, who united
the mystic power of the founders of all religions
with a personal beauty that made of her the model
of the great sculptor of that day — Phocas. She
early developed a faculty for divining thought,
which secured for her the wonder and awe of the
entire neighborhood; and when upon reaching
maturity Phocas took her as his model for a statue
of Demeter, she entered into the spirit of his work
and the spirit of his work entered into her. The
statue was his masterpiece, and was moved from
city to city until, coupled as it soon was with the
personality of Latona — for so the new priestess
styled herself — it became the center of a veritable
cult. It drew the minds of men to the old Greek
worship of Fertility and Death in the personali-
ties of Demeter and Persephone, so that Fertility
became dignified by Death, and Death disarmed
by Fertility — both merging, as it were, into a no-
tion of immortality dear to the hopes of men. The
p-olden ear of corn that figured in the radiant
tresses of Demeter was shadowed by the death in
the dark earth that awaits it, and thus became to
them an emblem of the annual resurrection of the
spring with its promise of a new after-life for
To Latona the quality of the Greek myth most
worthy of commemoration was the spirit of sacri-
fice, which made of Demeter the Mater Dolorosa
of the ancient world. The mother seeking her
ravished daughter through all the kingdoms of
the world, wresting her at last from the dark god
— but for a season only — and during the season
of sorrow and solitude finding compensation in
caring for the sick child of a woodman in a forest
hut — here was a myth for which Latona could
stand and through which she could draw men to
learn the lesson of progress and happiness through
sacrifice. The long hours she spent with Phocas
in the study of these things and the strength of
his genius inspired her with a love for the man
as well as for his art; but as the thought that she
was born to a mission slowly dawned upon her
she withdrew from his companionship, as, indeed,
from the companionship of her neighbors; per-
formed the tasks she owed the state with punctili-
ousness, and gathered about her a few women who
responded to her exalted ideas. Her love for
Phocas, about which all her earthly life cen-
tered, became to her the consummate sacrifice that
How the Cult was Founded
she could make to this new religion that was
slowly taking shape in her. She drew her votaries
chiefly from the conventual order that had gath-
ered about the great cathedral on Morningside
Heights; for the Christian religion had experi-
enced a great change since the revolution. The
Christian Church, released from the necessity of
worldly consideration of wealth, was now sus-
tained by those only who sincerely believed in her
principles; and as soon as the city had been re-
built to suit the new conditions, those who had
contributed their leisure to the beautifying of the
streets, turned their attention to the neglected
foundations on the Heights. They found in the
new Christian spirit something of the enthusiasm
of the thirteenth century, and ridding the creed
of all save the principle of love which Christ
had made the foundation of His church, set
themselves to embodying this principle with its
mystic consequences of sacrifice into gothic arch
and deep-stained glass, upon a scale and design
heretofore never accomplished. Abandoning the
transitional style at first contemplated, they adopt-
ed the general scheme of Chartres; but in lieu
of the almost discordant steeples of Chartres they
substituted a design taken rather from what is
left of St. Jean, at Soissons, varying in height
and detail, but identical in style, stimulating won-
der without shocking it. The entrance porches
of the western fagade were inspired by Rheims
and Bourges, for there were five of them; the nave
and choir towered to the heights of Beauvais ; and
in the center rose the spire of Salisbury. The
lateral steeples flanking the north and south ap-
proaches were completed with the same bewilder-
ing variety as on the west front, and the apse,
where rested the sanctuary, terminated the story
with a cluster of chapels that equaled, if not ex-
celled, the chevet of Le Mans; and so every part
of this tribute to Christ lifted itself up in adora-
tion to heaven like a flame. It rose from a green
sward, and adjoining it, on the north side, was a
cloister that in the hush of its seclusion brought
back hallowed recollections of a bygone age.
It was from this cloister that Latona drew her
following; for Latona, with her thoughts turned
to Eleusis and not to Galilee, conceived of a wor-
ship which — though sorrow had a part in it — par-
took also of joy and thanksgiving; sacrifice as-
suredly, but for the happiness of this world,
rather than for its mortification; an after life also,
but an after life for which preparation in this
world might through the great unselfishness of a
few assure the happiness of the many. So that
How the Cult was Founded
while sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice had become
the underlying principle of the Christian reli-
gion, sacrifice for the making of joy became the
central idea of the new cult. And Latona, as
indeed every mystic, the more she dwelt upon
these things, the more she grew to believe in her
mission; she began by dreaming dreams and ended
by seeing visions; she found that fasting and ascet-
icism contributed to lengthen and strengthen the
moments when, losing consciousness of this world,
she seemed to find herself in direct communion
with the divine. Her body soon showed the traces
of her spiritual life; she lost her beauty, but in
the place of it came a happiness so radiant that
as she walked in the streets to her allotted task it
caused men and women to stand and wonder.
Meanwhile, her fame grew apace. But her
personality was at first far more impressive than
her cult. The one was clear and striking, the
other vague and even obscure. At last on a day
that afterward became the great festival of the
Demetrian calendar, Latona fell into an ecstasy
that lasted from the rising of the sun to the set-
ting. She spent it on her knees, in adoration;
rigid and motionless, with her hands held out as
though upon a cross; none of those about her
dared intrude; when darkness came she swooned,
and those watching lifted her to her couch. For
a week she lay as it were unconscious. Then she
gathered her votaries about her, and for the first
time clearly enunciated her gospel to the world.
This done, a strange sickness came upon her,
she was, as it were, consumed by the fire of her
inspiration; she wasted away, and with her dying
breath asked that what was left of her be placed in
an alembic, the gases into which her body passed
be burned and the flame, so lit, be never extin-
And it was done. The corpse of Latona gave
birth to a new vestal fire tended by new vestals,
vowed no longer to barrenness, but to fertility and
Her words were preserved by many of her vo-
taries, but their stories varied, as must indeed all
such records vary in a world where minds differ
as much as inclinations. But the central idea re-
mained and gave rise to a cult which, unsupported
by the state or by law, acquired control over the
minds of men, much as did the papacy in the
eleventh century. Some, as Ariston, believed it
to be founded on reason, but dreaded its power
and increase; others, as Chairo, regarded it as
an unmitigated despotism. The issue was to be
fought out — as, indeed, such issues generally are
How the Cult was Founded
— through the conflict between personal passions
and political beliefs, each using and abusing the
other and out of both emerging, after the appease-
ment to which every struggle eventually tends^
into a clearer idea and a popular verdict.
Meanwhile, the followers of Latona had built
the temple of Demeter on the old classic lines,
and the solemn grove about the temple had not
detracted from the cathedral close, perhaps be-
cause each cult appealed to different tempera-
ments; perhaps, also, because many found that the
two cults appealed to the different sides of char-
acter and to the different demands of each.
The cult, though unsupported by any law or
statute, had acquired extraordinary power in the
state. It undertook to summon before its council
all persons charged with offenses against Demeter
— Demeter standing amongst other things for the
purity of domestic life. If the party summoned
refused to appear before the council, the matter
was referred to the attorney general, who, under
the influence of the cult, prosecuted the charge
in the criminal courts with the utmost severity;
and whether the person accused was convicted or
not, a refusal to appear before the council resulted
in a social ostracism so complete that few ven-
tured to incur it. If, on the other hand, the party
charged appeared before the council, the case was
likely to be treated with leniency, and conviction
seldom resulted in more than the imposing of
some penitential task. Should it, however, appear
that the charge was more serious than could be
dealt with by the cult, it was referred to the
The cult was careful to abstain from any act
or teaching which could tend to encourage idol-
atry or superstition; thus, the statue of Latona,
which had first inspired the Demetrian idea, was
not placed in the temple where it might be
thought properly to belong, but in the cloister.
The temptation to worship it, therefore, was re-
moved. Indeed, it was for the purpose of making
the worship of a graven image the more impos-
sible that Latona had asked that her body be con-
sumed and the flame from it perpetuated on the
altar. A flame could remain an emblem; it could
hardly itself, in our day, ever become an object
In this way was kept alive the idea that the
divine, wherever else it might also exist, exists
certainly within each and every one of us, and
that by the cultivation of love and usefulness it
can be made to prosper and increase in us. For
men, the active scope of usefulness lay chiefly in
How the Cult was Founded
the field of labor; for women, chiefly in the field
of fertility — neither field excluding the other —
but rather both including all. And so women
contributed labor, in so far as labor did not im-
pair their essential function of motherhood, and
men contributed continence as the highest male
duty in the field of fertility.
The duties of the male, therefore, were
grouped into two classes, active and passive; the
former were for the most part exercised in will-
ingness to labor for the commonwealth without
too grasping a regard for reward; the latter con-
sisted mainly in continence, carefully itself dis-
tinguished from abstention — for it was a cardinal
maxim of the Demetrian faith — as old, indeed,
as the days of Aristotle — that human happiness
could but be attained by conditions that permitted
the due exercise of all human functions, each ac-
cording to its laws. Science therefore came to
the rescue of human happiness by determining
thfe laws of human functions; and art completed
its work by creating an environment which to the
highest degree possible enabled every man and
woman to exercise all their functions with wis-
dom, moderation, and delight, to the best happi-
ness of all and the ultimate advancement of the
And although the future of the race was for-
ever present to the priests of the cult, yet were
men and women not expected to make any great
sacrifice beyond the immediate generations that
succeeded them, the institution of marriage being
carefully maintained because it kept alive the care
of the parent, each for its own offspring, thus pro-
viding for every generation the protection fur-
nished by paternal pride and maternal solicitude.
The purity of the domestic hearth, its rever-
ential care of offspring, the lifting of motherhood
out of the irreligion of caprice into the religion
of sacrifice; the exercise in all these matters of
the highest, because the most difficult, of all the
virtues — moderation — these are the special con-
cerns of the Demetrian cult.
HOW IT MIGHT BE UNDERMINED
THE discussion of these matters by Ariston
and Chairo elicited an old story which
was to receive its sequel in my time and
it is important, therefore, to narrate it.
It seems that the year before my arrival among
them Neaera had encouraged the addresses of a
certain Harmes — a brother of Anna of Ann, and
that Harmes was accused by her of having become
so ungovernable that it had given rise to a public
prosecution. Harmes had been convicted and
confined to a farm colony, where he was still serv-
ing his term. The incident had given rise to much
vexation of spirit, for many felt that Harmes was
more sinned against than sinning.
The account Ariston gave of the matter was
greatly to Neaera's discredit; according to him,
Neaera originally had designs on Chairo, and
he seemed willing enough to enjoy her society.
Much thrown together, both by politics and jour-
nalism, it was not unnatural that their compan-
ionship should often extend itself into their hours
of leisure. But Chairo was far too clear-sighted
not to perceive the capriciousness and duplicity
of his collaborator, and Neaera wasted her efforts
Of this, however, she could never be convinced
and she returned to the charge over and over
again. During one of the interludes she happened
to meet Harmes and took a liking to the fresh-
ness of his youth; he became infatuated with her,
and one evening he visited her at her apartment
on an occasion when Neaera's mother was absent
and she was therefore alone. It seems the young
couple remained together so late into the even-
ing that Neaera on the following day, fearing that
a rumor of the visit might reach Chairo to her
disadvantage, complained of Harmes's violence.
Harmes, with a devotion to Neaera of which
Ariston did not think her worthy, refused to de-
fend himself against the charge. It is probable
the matter would have dropped had not some ene-
mies of Neaera taken the matter up, believing
that, if prosecuted, Harmes would not refuse to
vindicate himself and injure Neaera.
The charge had therefore been brought first
before the Demetrian council ; and the council, on
the same theory as that adopted by Neaera's ene-
How it Might be Undermined
mies, and convinced that Neaera would be pun-
ished, put the matter into the hands of the attorney
general. Harmes's silence, however, only served
to vindicate Neaera and convict himself; and the
community was still undecided as to which was
the culprit and which the victim.
I had an opportunity myself of forming an
opinion on the subject, for shortly after my con-
versation with Ariston and Chairo I received an
intimation from Neaera that she would like to
see me at the office of the Liberty staff, and upon
going there at the hour mentioned I found Neaera
busily engaged writing in a room that suggested
other things than labor; for it was furnished with
more luxury than was usual, and there were richly
upholstered divans in it laden with piles of eider-
down pillows; the air, too, was heavy with per-
Neaera, however, received me with her brow
contracted; she was working at an editorial, and
I evidently interrupted the flow of her thought;
but the frown very soon passed away from her
forehead, and standing up a little impatiently she
flung her pen down on the table.
"There!" she said, "I am glad you have
come; I need rest."
She threw herself on the divan, and I could
not help thinking as she lay there that the Greek
dress was less open to criticism in the fields and
open air than in a closed room. In town the
longer mantle was worn which came down to the
feet; but the clinging drapery displayed the lines
of the figure in a manner to which I felt uncom^
" I sent for you," said she, " to speak to you
seriously about this lecture you are to give. Your
views may have an important bearing and you
ought to know the evils of our system if you are
to compare them with the old."
" I am impressed," answered I, *' with certain
things — such as the absence of poverty, the rela-
tive well-being of all; and this seems to me so
important that I am inclined perhaps to under-
value the price you pay for them "
" The price — that is it — the terrible price; we
are subjected to a despotism such as you in your
times would not for a moment have endured."
" Undoubtedly — in one sense of the word —
despotism. But Ariston claims that this despot-
ism, though absolute, applies to only a few hours
in the day, whereas in our time there was for the
mass as great a despotism that controlled their
entire existence. Some time must be given to the
securing of food, clothing, and shelter. The pres-
How it Might be Undermined
ent government claims to furnish this to all with
less labor and less compulsion than under our
We discussed this question at some length, but
I could not help thinking that some other thought
.was preoccupying Neaera's mind, and presently
she stretched her arms over her head and said,
'^ Oh, I am tired of it all! " — then turning on her
side she laid her head upon a bare arm, and look-
ing at me, smiled.
It was impossible to mistake her gesture or her
smile; it told me that she had not called me to
speak of serious things at all; it beckoned me to
her side on the divan, and I almost felt myself
unconsciously responding to her invitation. But
I was aware of danger and refrained. Neverthe-
less, I was curious to know whether I was accus-
ing her wrongfully, and I said:
" The thing that puzzles me most about you
all is — " I hesitated intentionally, and she helped
" What is it? "
" I don't know how to say it."
" A little."
" Can I guess? "
" I think you can."
" We are all as much puzzled about it as you.*'
" And yet I am told you pride yourselves on
your good behavior."
" Some do " — she paused a little, took a flower
from a vase by her side and bit the stalk; she held
the flower in her mouth a minute, looked at me
again, half closing her eyes; but I remained seated
where I was. Finding I remained unresponsive,
she went on :
" We have all the faults that come from too
great intimacy between men and women. The
men get so accustomed to the women that romance
is dead. We tend to become a vast family of
brothers and sisters. Fortunately we travel and
receive travelers, and so the dreadful monotony is
relieved. You are a traveler, you see."
I understood now why I was favored, but still
I remained seated where I was.
Perceiving that I was either stupid or resolute
she jumped up from the divan and came to where
I sat. She was short, and as she stood by me, her
face was near mine and only a little above it. She
had the flower in her hand now, and handing it to
" Put it in my hair."
I did so. She lowered her head to help me.
I thought the time had come to effect an escape.
How it Might be Undermined
" Did you ever hear," said I, " the Eastern
story of the man with the staff, the cock, and the
" No, tell it me."
" There was once upon a time a man climb-
ing a mountain. He had a pot hung on his arm
and a cock in his hand. In the other hand he held
a staff. On his way he perceived a young girl
and invited her to climb the mountain with him.
V/ith some little show of reluctance she consented,
but as they approached the last house on the
mountainside she paused and said:
" ' I shall go no farther with you! '
" ^ Why not? ' asked he.
" ' Because I fear that when we have gone be-
yond reach of these houses you will kiss me.'
" ' Nay,' answered the man, * do you not see
that both hands are encumbered? In one hand I
hold my staff; in the other is a cock and a pot
hangs upon my arm.'
" The maiden smiled and they pursued their
way. But when they were gone well up on their
way the maiden stopped again and said:
" ' I shall go no farther with you.'
" ' Why not? ' asked he.
" ' Because I fear that now we are beyond
reach of the houses, you will stick your staff in the
ground; you will put your cock under your pot,
and you will kiss me.'
" And the man did then at once stick his staff
in the ground; he put the cock under the pot and
kissed her — as indeed all along she meant he
She gradually edged away from me as I pro-
ceeded with my story, until at last she sank on the
When I had finished she said, " That is a very
old story, and if you will permit me I shall get
to work again."
I bowed very low and left her, feeling more
humiliated than Neaera; and I wondered why it
was that virtue, in the presence of vice, sometimes
seems cheap and even ridiculous.
AN UNEXPECTED SOLUTION
GHAIRO had been kept informed of what
was happening to Lydia until the last day
of the Eleusinian festival, and he believed
that all danger of losing her was over. The ap-
pearance of Lydia, therefore, in the procession
wearing the yellow veil was all the more a
stupefying surprise to him. I was standing with
him and Ariston as the procession passed, and
was looking with eager and delighted interest at
the gracefully draped figures that succeeded one
another to the sound of music, which, with a
subtle combination of majesty and grace, com-
bined the plain chant of the Catholic liturgy with
the lighter fugues of Bach, for in and out of great
chords there ran intermingling strains of many
voices, very light and delicate.
The procession was headed by girls and boys,
selected for their perfect wholesomeness, who
carried flowers and scattered them; they were
dressed in the old Greek chiton which, fastened
only above the shoulder, betrayed every move-
ment of their lithe young bodies, as, swaying with
the rhythm of the sower casting his seed, they
threw their offerings first on one side and then
on the other. The governor of the State, the
mayor of the city, the commander of the militia,
and their respective cabinets and staffs followed,
respectively arrayed in the insignia of their of-
fice; the other cults also were represented; those of
Jupiter robed in purple; those of Asclepius; those
of Dionysus, and others. In striking contrast with
these came next the novices and the nuns, swathed
closely and heavily, even the head being concealed
within a fold of drapery. The procession entered
from the cloister, and on approaching the altar
where was kept burning the vestal flame, it di-
vided so as to allow the high priest and his acolytes
to pass up between. The high priest was followed
by the choir, and after the choir walked those
who had accepted the mission.
It was upon these that the curiosity and im-
patience of the congregation centered; it some-
times happened that there were none; in such case
the procession was closed by the Demetrians —
that is to say, all who had already accepted the
mission and completed it. On this occasion a
single figure was seen to enter the portal, covered
An Unexpected Solution
with the yellow veil and so draped as to conceal
her features. The head, however, more usually
bowed, was erect. For a sensible period of sus-
pense it was impossible to tell who it was that
had assumed the yellow shroud; but presently
those nearest to her had discovered Lydia, and
her name passed in an awful whisper to where v/e
stood. The name once pronounced, there could
no longer be mistake; Lydia alone of all the pos-
tulants could so hold herself: Vera incessu patuit
dea. I felt a clutch at my arm, and, turning, saw
the face of Chairo blanched and hard; but I was
too absorbed in the procession to take long heed
of him; I saw the procession close, and followed
the ritual with breathless interest till the congre-
gation was dismissed, unaware that Chairo had
already slipped away from me and out of the
As Ariston and I walked back to our lodging
I asked what Chairo would do. Ariston answered
that he feared trouble. We were both deeply af-
fected, for even Ariston, votary of Demeter
though he was, could not but feel as I did, that
there was something in the choice of Lydia
strange and portentous. We discussed it in low
voices, and for many days little else was spoken
of. Meanwhile, anxiety regarding the action of
Chairo redoubled for he bad disappeared. It was
well known that the Demetrian council was tak-
ing steps, but no one knew what the steps were,
and a sense of impending calamity weighed upon
From the moment Lydia had decided to accept
the mission, there seemed to grow in her a strength
that was not her own. She rose from the couch,
on which she had thrown herself upon leaving
Irene, without a symptom of her old irresolution;
she stood without sense of fatigue while the yel-
low shroud was so draped about her as to hide her
face to the utmost possible, for though she knew
she could not escape recognition an instinct in her
set her upon the attempt to do so; and when in
the procession she entered the portals of the tem-
ple, a glow moved up from her heart to her head
that deeply flushed her countenance as she heard
the whisper " Lydia " grow from mouth to mouth
into an almost angry protestation. Nevertheless,
she felt sure now that she was right; it was easier
as well as nobler to make the sacrifice than to
yield. She walked firmly, with head erect, until
she sank upon her knees before the altar, and the
choir's triumphant processional was subdued in
low responses to the chant of the high priest.
At last he turned to her and lifted his hands
An Unexpected Solution
in mute suggestion that she should bring her trib-
ute to the goddess. A Demetrian presented her
the flint which was to symbolize the strength of
her sacrifice; the priest gave her the steel that
symbolized its cruelty; and striking one against
the other she lit a spark that added a new flame
to the altar. This was the irrevocable act. A
great sigh mingled with many sobs broke from
those present in the temple; but her eyes remained
dry, and at the close of the ceremony she walked
back to the cloister as firmly as she had left it.
But once returned, there came upon her
the inevitable reaction; she discovered that the
strength which had come upon her suddenly
could no less suddenly forsake her; she threw her-
self upon a couch and asked to be left alone. As
the door closed upon her attendant she was half
astonished, half afraid to find sobs invade her and
tears gush from her eyes. What did it all mean?
Had she a will of her own, or was she merely
the arena upon which instincts, half of heredity,
half of education, were fighting out their battle,
independently of her? She seemed to have be-
come a mere spectator of it; alas, she must also
be its victim. She lay sobbing until the sobs
slowly died away, leaving her exhausted, and at
last she slept like a tired child.
The next morning she awoke as weak as
though she had had a long fever. It was the cus-
tom for novices to be removed to a temple in an
island off the coast as soon as they accepted the
mission — for, from the day of acceptance they
were secluded — living with Demetrians only, un-
der conditions which, though compatible with
their mission were, nevertheless, most conducive
to gayety and health. But Lydia was too weak to
be moved; and she lay in her bed night and day,
eating little, sleeping little, very quiet. There
was hardly room in her thoughts for regret; she
had committed the irrevocable act and now she
must resign herself; her body had been exhausted
by the struggle and cried for rest; and rest was
Slowly her strength returned, and she was be-
ginning to feel the time had come to go to the
island cloister when, suddenly in the middle of
the night, she was aware that some one had pushed
aside the curtain at her door and was standing in
her room. She had neither seen nor heard any-
thing, but she was conscious of a presence, and
a guilty delight in her heart told her, however
incredible, that it was — Chairo.
She raised herself in her bed on her hand and
found herself seized in a passionate embrace.
An Unexpected Solution
" For the love of God!" she heard his voice
vv^hisper to her, "don't resist"; and compelling
arms lifted her off her couch, w^rapped the heavy
coverings upon it about her, and carried her like
a child out of the room. She was taken into the
cloister; her head was covered, and she did not
wish to see. The weakness which had racked
her bones and from which she had barely re-
covered came back to her, but now how differ-
ent! For it wrapped a lethargy about her to
which it was an ecstasy to surrender; no pain now;
no sorrow; not even contrition. She was in the
arms of Chairo, and it had happened without a
sign from her; almost against her will; without
her consent. For a season, at any rate, Lydia sur-
rendered herself to the sweet self-deception that
this had really all happened without her consent.
Deep in her heart, however, was the conviction
that she had strength enough to resist had she
chosen; that a single cry would have sufficed to
thwart a desperate stratagem. She was a little
alarmed to find that this conviction could remain
unshaken, and that, nevertheless, there was a song
of thanksgiving in her heart that the strength of
resistance had remained unused and the cry re-
Chairo's strong arms were about her as he
silently hurried through the cloister. Lydia
heard other hurrying steps besides his; he had
clearly joined confederates; she was soon put
into a carriage and whirled away from the
THE PLOT THICKENS
■^HE first news I had of the carrying off of
Lydia was from Ariston. I was just go-
ing down to breakfast when he abruptly
entered the sitting room we shared, and ex-
claimed: "Lydia has disappeared!"
To my inquiries he answered that the gate of
the cloister had been forced, and the janitor
bound and gagged. Obviously several men were
involved, for traces of many steps were clearly
visible — all shod; Lydia's sandals and cothurni
were still in her room: she had, apparently, been
lifted off her bed in the bed clothes; the absence
of all trace of bare feet indicated that Lydia had
not put foot to ground. Probably she had been
gagged also, as no cry had been heard ; everything
seemed to indicate that she had been carried off
against her will. The Demetrian council was
swearing in special constables and had called upon
the state authorities for help to capture the in-
truders; on the other hand, Balbus and others
were collecting their followers, and armed con-
flict was feared.
Ariston was in great perplexity; all his con-
victions were on the side of order; but friendship
made it impossible for him to join Chairo's ene-
mies. After an animated discussion we decided
that he should go to the council and endeavor to
obtain a hearing, in the hope of persuading the
council to abandon the effort either to recover
Lydia or punish Chairo. Ariston begged me to
go to Lydia First, explain to her the steps he was
taking, and put myself at her disposal should she
have a message to send him.
I hurried to Lydia First's apartment and
found Cleon there. With flushed face Cleon an-
nounced that Chairo and his sister had been cap-
tured; that they were probably at that moment
before the magistrate; that he had rushed home to
tell his mother, and that she was preparing to go
to her daughter.
Presently Lydia First entered the room; the
events of the night had not impaired the dignity
of her manner but had deepened the lines in her
already timeworn countenance. She bade me
seek Ariston, of whose knowledge of legal proce-
dure she felt in need, and hurry him to the court
where Lydia and Chairo were being examined.
The Plot Thickens
Prisoners were entitled to counsel if they asked
for it; but the innocent seldom availed themselves
of the privilege. The examination might, there-
fore, be actually then proceeding unless either
Chairo or Lydia demanded an adjournment. It
little suited the temperament of Chairo to seek
counsel, and the consciousness of innocence would
prevent Lydia from doing so. I hastened, there-
fore, with all speed and found Ariston waiting
to be introduced into the council chamber. He
was still ignorant of the capture. We hurried to
the courthouse and Ariston, who had no right
to appear except at the request of one of the
prisoners, sent in a line both to Chairo and
Lydia urging them to demand an adjournment.
The examination had already commenced. Both
Chairo and Lydia, however, asked that Ariston
be admitted, and I was admitted with him.
Lydia First was there and had already urged
both Chairo and Lydia to ask for counsel, and
both had refused. The examination was not a
public one, only relations and friends or counsel
being admitted; when, however, Ariston's mes-
sage was received, he was by general consent
admitted, and he immediately addressed the ex-
amining magistrate. He pointed out that Chairo,
being a member of the state legislature, enjoyed
immunity from arrest unless captured in flagrante
delicto, and that Lydia was not charged with any
ofifense; both ought, therefore, to be released with-
out examination. A priest, however, who ap-
peared for the Demetrian council persisted that
their doors had been forced, their sanctuary vio-
lated, a vestal carried off without her consent, and
Chairo found in the act of flight with her; the
priest maintained that this constituted arrest in
flagrante delicto. Chairo reminded the magis-
trate that he had not sought to escape examina-
tion, but added that, mindful of the magnitude
of the issue involved in the case, he felt it ought
to be fought out in the political rather than the
judicial arena, and that he was indebted to Aris-
ton for having reminded the court of an immunity
which would transfer the question from the courts
to the legislature.
The magistrate decided that he would not pro-
ceed with the examination, but in view of the
seriousness of the offense he would hold Chairo
until the question whether legislative immunity
applied to his case could be decided by a full
Chairo was, therefore, confined in the house
of detention, and Lydia was restored to her
The Plot Thickens
We at once sought admittance to Chairo, and
found him impatiently pacing the room where he
" There was treachery," he exclaimed. " My
carriage had been tampered with; it broke down
within a mile of the cloister. I am trying to think
who can have been guilty of it."
He continued pacing the room and neither of
us was disposed to speak. Suddenly he turned
" But I have not thanked you; I should have
made a mistake had you not interfered; and I
know you belong to the other side." He put his
hand out to Ariston and they shook hands warmly.
'' You may be of immense service at this mo-
ment," he continued, " just because you belong to
the government party. I was prepared for vio-
lence, and Balbus is now collecting our friends;
but this treachery makes me doubtful of success;
only some half dozen knew of my plan; the
loyalty of every one of them seems essential to us,
and one of them is a — traitor."
" You should be thankful that treachery pre-
vented your resort to violence," answered Ariston.
" You have secured what must be the matter of
most importance to you: Lydia is restored to her
home; she is removed from the cloister and is
given time for reflection. This you could doubt-
less not have brought about in any other manner
than by the plan you adopted. But had you
escaped there would have been only one alterna-
tive; now the question can be settled without the
shedding of blood."
"But I have lost Lydia!" exclaimed Chairo,
with haggard eyes.
" Not lost," said Ariston. " I have yet to learn
just what part Lydia has played in the matter.
Did she consent? "
Chairo, who was still pacing the room, sud-
denly stopped and faced us; he put out both hands
deprecatingly and seemed about to answer, but ar-
rested himself and resumed his walk. Then very
slowly he said:
*' What do you mean by consent? Can she be
said to have consented when, under an influence
that paralyzed her will she paid her tribute at
the altar? The question we have to bring before
the state is not whether Lydia consented to the
cult or to me, but whether the influence exercised
by the cult is a wholesome influence or a damn-
" If you want this issue to be fairly presented,"
said Ariston, " don't allow your case to be preju-
diced by violence. Send orders at once to Balbus
The Plot Thickens
bidding him abandon this gathering together of
your followers. The mere fact that he is pre-
paring for violence will distort the issue, and any
attempt at rescue will prevent a calm and fair
discussion of it altogether."
" You are right," said Chairo. He took out a
note book and made as though he would write,
but checking himself, he said: " I must put noth-
ing on paper," and turning to me asked: " Won't
you go to Balbus at once and explain to him that
violence now would be a mistake? He would
hardly accept such a message from Ariston, who
is known to be on the government side; but from
you it will seem less open to suspicion. Tell him
if he doubts you to come and see me, and hear my
views from my own lips."
On leaving Ariston I was aware that a large
force of special constables, bearing the badge of
Demeter — a sheaf of wheat — were gathered about
the House of Detention. I hurried to the office
of Liberty and found a crowd there, through
which it was difficult to penetrate. Obviously
something unusual was happening. I should nev-
er have got through to Balbus had I not been able
to state that I was the bearer of a message from
Chairo. This, however, opened every door to me,
and soon I found myself in a room where Balbus
was engaged in giving rapid instructions to a
number of men waiting their turn to be received.
Neaera was there also, sitting at a side table,
busily writing. As soon as I began giving my
message to Balbus, Neaera rose and came toward
us. She was serious and there was a slight frown
upon her face. When I had finished, Balbus
turned to her and she answered:
" It is too late. Measures have already been
taken. Besides, Chairo's messenger " — and as she
looked at me squarely in the face her brow dark-
ened — " is not accredited."
I explained the situation as Chairo had stated
it and urged Balbus to go himself to the House
of Detention. But Neaera said quickly:
" If Balbus were to leave this office unes-
corted he would be arrested. He is already com-
promised. Moreover, we cannot take our orders
from a prisoner."
" The House of Detention is strongly guard-
ed," said I.
" And we are strongly armed," answered
I felt that it was useless further to insist and
proposed to retire, but Neaera whispered a word
in Balbus's ear, and he said to me, " I think I
shall ask you to stay with us a little while."
The Plot Thickens
" I shall not stay with you except compelled
to do so by actual violence," I answered, with no
" Then we shall have to use violence," an-
In a moment I was seized, bound, gagged, and
hurried into an adjoining room where I was tied
to a chair and a band was fastened about my eyes.
In this uncomfortable position I remained for
neaera's idea of diplomacy
AT first I was aware from a hum of voices
that others remained in the room with me;
but after some time the hum ceased; next
I heard the noise of artillery not far off. It did
not last long, but I recognized the tearing screech
of machine guns. When it was over, believing my-
self to be alone, I sought to extricate myself from
my bonds. The cords, however, were so tightly
fastened about my wrists that the skin was torn,
and every efifort I made to loosen them occasioned
acute pain. I must have uttered a low cry, for I
heard a voice I knew well say mockingly:
" Does it hurt? " And the gag was removed
from my mouth.
" I thought I was alone," answered I.
'' We are alone — quite alone," said Neaera.
*' Why don't you stick your staff in the ground and
put the cock under the pot? "
She was so close to ^me that I could feel her
breath on my cheek.
Neaera's Idea of Diplomacy
" Release my hands and I will," answered I.
"Thank you, indeed! Do you think I have
had you bound for that! "
" I do not flatter myself; but as you are dis-
posed to chat, tell me what is happening."
She took the band off my eyes and looked be-
witching as she mocked me:
"Nothing is happening; and if there were
something happening how should I know it? "
"Who tampered with Chairo's carriage?"
I asked the question suddenly in the hope that
I should take her by surprise.
"What carriage?" asked she with an air of
innocence, but the color mounting to her cheek
" Chairo says some one treacherously tam-
pered with his carriage."
" Nonsense," answered Neaera. " The acci-
dent to Chairo's carriage is not the first carriage
accident in the world. Chairo is thinking only
" He wants Lydia; we want liberty."
My suspicions were confirmed.
" I suppose Chairo has made love to you — as
have all the rest."
The dimple deepened in Neaera's cheek, but
she busied herself unfastening the cords that
bound my wrist.
'' I am going to give you liberty at any rate,"
she said. '' For I want you to do something for
" Stick my stafif in the ground and put "
''No; I have forgiven you; it is something
very different from that."
My hands were free now, and I stretched them
out in exquisite relief.
"Are you a little grateful?"
" Of course, I am grateful — but I am still more
curious to know what you want me to do for you."
" It is very simple." She showed me a sheet
of paper upon which was some typewriting. " I
want you to sign this."
I put out my hand to take the paper and read
" Oh, no! " she cried, putting the paper behind
her back. " I want you to sign without reading."
She looked at me with a smile which she meant
to be irresistible; and, assuredly, to most men the
temptation would have been great — for the smile
said plainly that acquiescence would have its full
I had unloosed the cords about my feet and
was standing in front of her irresolute; not wish-
Neaera's Idea of Diplomacy
ing to make an enemy of her by a downright
refusal, for I did not know what confederates
might be within call and yet half inclined to
snatch at the paper and read it in spite of her.
But I suspected that she meant me to do this; that
she shrewdly guessed a playful struggle between
us would increase the temptation to yield to her
beyond powers of resistance.
As I stood smiling at her, for the grace of her
posture— leaning a little forward and holding the
paper behind her back — disarmed me, she sud-
denly waved the paper before me as though in-
viting me to snatch at it.
I cannot imagine what would have been the
result of this little comedy had not a distant hum
from the street suddenly attracted our attention.
She ran to the window, threw up the sash and,
taking up a field glass that was lying on the table,
looked down the street. One glance was suffi-
cient; when she turned back into the room her
face was blanched; every trace of coquetry had
disappeared; she barely looked at me and hurried
from the room. She locked the door upon me as
she left. I went to the window, but on my way
there picked up the paper she had offered for my
signature and which she had dropped as she
picked up the field glass. I was too much inter-
ested in what was happening in the street to read
it then. I thrust it in my wallet and saw without
the help of the field glass that the street was full
of armed men hurrying to the Liberty building,
and upon their shoulders the badge of Demeter —
a golden sheaf on a blue ground — was clearly vis-
ible. Obviously, Balbus's attempt at rescue had
failed, and instead of bringing back Chairo in
triumph to the Liberty office, it was the special
constables who were crowding to its doors. Soon
I heard a rush of steps up the stairs; there was a
fumbling at the door; the door was forced and
there rushed in a number of men, one of whom
recognized me. I explained the message from
Chairo which I had brought to the office of Lib-
erty and, without mentioning names, added that
I had been bound and imprisoned there. The
cords in the room and the abrasions on my wrists
confirmed my story. I promised to hold myself
at the disposal of the investigating magistrate and
was given my liberty.
The offices in which I had been confined were
searched and every paper in them carefully col-
lected. I betook myself at once to the chambers
I shared with Ariston, but on the way I took the
paper I had been asked to sign out of my pocket
and read it.
Neaera's Idea of Diplomacy
'' Dear Chairo:
" Balbus has confined, bound, and gagged me.
I owe my freedom now to Neaera, who will see
that this reaches you. VERB. Sap."
Not a word in this interesting document was lit-
erally false; and yet it was obvious how falsely
Neaera meant to use it.
NEAERA MAKES NEW ARRANGEMENTS
NEAERA left the building in which were
the Liberty offices by an entrance on a
street other than that which she had seen
threatened by the constables, and hurriedly con-
sidered where she could find a certain Masters to
whom she had always determined to fly in case of
defeat. Masters was a man whose career had
greatly contributed to the particular phase of Col-
lectivism which I found prevailing in the New
England States. Originally the state had under-
taken to monopolize manufacture, and for a long
period — over a hundred years — had succeeded in
giving general satisfaction. During the first cen-
tury of CoUectivist existence so much time was
spent in transforming cities that there was no
leisure for individual enterprise; indeed, during
this period the majority worked as hard as they
had ever worked under the competitive regime;
for although a half-day's labor only was exacted
to earn a full share in the national income, an-
Neaera Makes New Arrangements
other half-day's labor was asked and freely given
to make those changes in the cities and towns
which were obviously necessary under the new
regime. And a certain exchange of occupation
had taken place, masons and carpenters working
all day at their respective trades, while others
worked all day at theirs, extra wages being paid
for extra work; these extra wages were applicable
to the purchase of luxuries, the most laborious and
the most thrifty thus reaping the reward of their
labor and thrift. When, however, the cities,
towns, and villages had been so converted as to
furnish practically equivalent lodging to all, un-
der conditions that were wholesome and with due
regard to the demand for the beautiful that,
though expressed in my time only by a few, is in
fact latent in us all, there was no longer the same
imperious call for extra labor on the part of the
state, and the leisure enjoyed in consequence was
soon employed in a manner not anticipated by
socialists of my day. And Masters had been the
first to inaugurate the new system. It happened
in this way:
The state had exposed itself to much criticism
as to many of the things furnished by its factories
and when Masters was still a youth of twenty-five
years, the complaint on this subject became so
wide-spread that he set himself to correcting the
evil. He was employed in a wall-paper factory,
and wall paper was just one of the articles that
had given rise to the greatest dissatisfaction; so
one day when an artistic friend was mocking at
the work the state factory turned out, Masters
suggested that they should get a few others to join
them in setting up a factory of their own. The
experiment Vv^as looked upon at first as a piece of
innocent child's play, but when some hundred
young men and women actually succeeded in pro-
ducing a wall paper so preferable to that manu-
factured by the state that theirs alone was pur-
chased and the state had to shut down some of the
government mills, the question of the right of in-
dividuals to compete with the state was brought
up in the legislature, and the issue became suffi-
ciently serious to drive Masters into politics for
the purpose of defending what came to be known
as " Liberty of Industry."
The principal argument made against this so-
called liberty of industry was that Masters and
his fellow-workers were becoming rich. The
money that formerly was paid to the state factory
was now paid to them, and thus the accumulation
of wealth became possible which it was the prin-
cipal object of Collectivism to prevent. In vain
Neaera Makes New Arrangements
Masters argued that they applied their leisure to
the manufacture of wall paper not in order to be-
come rich, but in order to have paper that suited
their taste; that the real value of Collectivism was
to provide all men with the necessaries of life so
as not to subject poor men to a few rich; that so
long as the state provided necessaries against a
stipulated amount of labor it was quite immaterial
whether a few chose by voluntary labor to pro-
vide an article that was needed and incidentally
increase their own wealth; and that such volun-
tary labor benefited all. The cry against accumu-
lation was too powerful to be silenced, and Mas-
ters felt some concession must be made to it; so
he consented to a proposition that all state money
should have purchasing power only during a
period of two years; under this system hoarding
or accumulation would be prevented, because
every two years the money so hoarded would be-
come valueless — all money being paper and bear-
ing a date, gold being used only by the state in
This compromise was adopted, and the efifect
of it was to give an immense impulse to private
industry. While the question was being discussed
few were willing to embark on an enterprise that
might be declared illegal and be appropriated by
the state. As soon, however, as private enterprise
was indirectly sanctioned by the passage of this
law it became clear that any individual might
devote his leisure to the production of anything
not satisfactorily produced by the state, and the
result of this new departure was considerable, for
it not only greatly increased the total wealth of
the community but it stimulated the state to main-
tain and improve standards of manufacture, con-
tributing all that is good in competition without
tolerating those features of oppression and pau-
perism which had made competition so evil in
And Masters became a great man in the com-
munity; for not only was he regarded as the
author of private enterprise, but possessing the
powers of organization and the judgment in se-
lecting his fellow-workers essential to success, he
soon became the head of numerous enterprises;
and although he was unable at first to accumulate
wealth in the shape of money, he did accumu-
late it in the shape of products of manufacture.
Moreover, the fact that he could not accumulate
it in the shape of money and that there was a
limit to his power to accumulate it in the shape
of products of manufacture, drove him to distrib-
ute his earnings among his neighbors with a
Neaera Makes New Arrangements
prodigality so lavish that, possessing a naturally
generous heart and an attractive manner, he be-
came a man of enormous — some men said undue — •
influence in the state. Recently, too, owing to the
establishment of a banking system, accumulation
in private money became possible.
Masters had never married. His interests
were so various and engrossing that he had not
felt the need of a wife. Nor was he ever at a loss
for a companion; the bath was his club; and a
short evening — for he was an early riser — was
comfortably spent in the society of those with
whom he dined at the common table. But he was
by no means insensible to feminine charm, and
Neaera had not ineffectually aired her graces for
Neaera had often decided that Masters was
the best match in the country and had schemed to
secure him; but she was aware of his sagacity and
had so far refrained from any overture that might
alienate him. She had, however, never failed to
improve an opportunity for displaying her attrac-
tions in his presence, taking care to keep re-
ligiously away from him at such times lest he
should guess the plot that lay at the bottom of all
her performances. On more serious occasions she
had had long and confidential conversations with
him, chiefly on political subjects ; she had indeed
been one of his political lieutenants, but when en-
gaged in politics she had studiously avoided the
slightest symptoms of coquetry. Masters, on the
contrary, had often allowed her to feel that he
would gladly have made their relations more in-
timate. She had seen the big fish rise — a little
lazily, it is true — at her cast; she had felt that
upon a sufficiently dramatic occasion she could
land him; and now it satisfied her sense of antith-
esis that so signal a defeat as that of her party
that day might be converted by her skill into an
It was about four in the afternoon — the hour
when Masters should be leaving his office for his
apartment. If she walked in the direction of the
latter he would possibly overtake her; she did not
wish to go to him; she preferred to meet him
accidentally; it would not do for him to imagine
she had counted on him. She walked, therefore,
slowly and with a pretty air of concern along the
street he usually took, wondering whether she
would be favored by fortune before the arrest
which she knew was being prepared for her. She
felt that the events of the day would be likely
to change the daily routine, even of so methodical
a man as Masters, and was beginning to fear she
Neaera Makes New Arrangements
would have to take refuge in his apartment, when
she heard a step overtaking her, and to her great
relief his big voice said:
"Why, Neaera, what are you doing here? I
thought you were in the thick of it? "
Neaera looked up shyly and then down again.
" I am afraid all is over," she said very low.
" And where are you going? "
'' I don't know."
" Is there any fear of arrest? "
Neaera brewed up a tear and cast an appeal-
ing glance at him. She was one of those fortu-
nate and dangerous women who could summon
a tear to her eye without at the same time bring-
ing blood to her nose and eyelids.
" You must step into my apartment until we
can take precautions," he said.
*' I'm afraid I'll compromise you."
'' Compromise me\ " exclaimed Master, *' nev-
er in the world! And as for yow, I'll send for
"Will you, indeed?" said Neaera, edging a
little closer to him ; but she did not mean that he
should do this.
They were at his door then; and touching her
lightly on the elbow he guided her past the por-
ter's lodge, up the staircase and into his rooms.
Masters bade her sit down and tell him how
matters stood. Neaera took care that her version
of the story should, by keeping herself in the
shade, throw the whole responsibility on Chairo
and Balbus. Masters, however, plied her with
questions which she parried with skill. At last
'' But you are blameless in the matter; they
cannot mean to arrest you; and if they do, you
will be immediately released."
" I am afraid," answered Neaera, ^* you are
inclined to believe others as frank and generous
" I don't understand," said Masters, a little un-
comfortable under the flattery implied in Neaera's
words — for he liked neither flattery nor those who
" I have not lived very long," said she, " but
I have lived long enough to know that failure
brings discord between the best of friends. I have
believed that we could effect our reforms best
through constitutional measures; and the very
fact that I have been right will unite them all
against me now. Of course I have done a great
deal of the writing — generally at the dictation of
others"; Neaera, as she said this, congratulated
herself on having utilized the absence of all from
Neaera Makes New Arrangements
the offices except herself in destroying every shred
of paper that could compromise her, and even
fabricating some that would exonerate her. She
paused a little, and then went on: "I don't even
know who has survived the disaster; some of them
I could trust to the end; but others are capable
of any treachery. And then mamma " — Neaera's
chin twitched a little — " mamma does not know
how far I am involved in the matter — and she is
so alone "
And here Neaera's grief became uncontrob
lable; she jumped up from her chair and burst
into a flood of tears. As she stood there, her face
in her hands and her soft and rounded figure
convulsed by sobs, compassion filled the heart of
Masters; all his nascent fondness for her sud-
denly burst into a flame; he went to her, took her
by the shoulders, and said:
" Don't cry, Neaera; I am very fond of you;
it hurts me to see you cry; tell me about it; let
me help you; I can help you and I will — if you
will let me."
As he ejaculated these sentences he gently
pressed her shoulders to give emphasis to them;
and Neaera yielded to his pressure, so that at the
end she was very close to him and her bowed head
rested against his breast.
When Masters felt the pressure of her head
against him, a rush of love for her passed beyond
his control. Looking down at her he observed the
delicate whorl of a small ear like a pink shell and
a soft neck so inviting that, bending his own head,
he pressed his lips against it.
Neaera burst away from him and threw her-
self upon a chair.
" Masters, Masters," she said reproachfully,
" you should not have done that! "
He had often heard stories of Neaera to her
disadvantage and at that culminating moment her
reproach became a conviction in him that those
stories were false. She was looking at him now
with tearful eyes wide open; Masters felt con-
trite; he had taken advantage of her at a time
when she was at his mercy; of a woman, too,
whose talents and conspicuousness had made of
her a mark for envy and malice; she was down
now; anyone could hurl a stone at her; she had
thrown herself upon his generosity, and he had
responded by insulting her. There was only one
reparation he could make, and that reparation his
heart was already urging him to make.
He threw himself on one knee by the side of
Neaera as she sat, put both his arms on her lap, and
looking straight into her reproachful eyes, said:
Neaera Makes New Arrangements
" Only one thing could have justified it; I love
you, Neaera; have indeed loved you long "
Neaera bowed her head and said nothing.
There was a long pause. But Neaera allowed
him to remain there, very close to her, with his
arms upon her lap. Then Masters moved his
head slowly nearer to her until it rested on her
bosom. And Neaera folded her soft round arms
about his neck.
" I CONSENTED "
WHEN I reached our chambers I found
them empty. At the bath, however,
though Ariston was not there I learned
the incidents of the day. Almost immediately
after my interview with Balbus he had headed the
attempt to rescue Chairo; it had been carefully
planned, for exactly at three o'clock there con-
verged upon the House of Detention from every
side no less than six different lines of attack, which
took shape only within a few yards of the house
itself, so as to avoid conflicts at points other than
the one upon which the attack was concentrated.
But the cult had taken precautions. Some ma-
chine guns had been put into position and Balbus
and his followers were blown out of existence,
leaving a mass of wounded men and but few
unwounded survivors. The constables that day
sworn in had at once repaired to the Liberty of-
fices where I had met them. Ariston was doubt-
less at that moment conferring with Chairo and
the authorities as to how far this act of violence
was to afifect the procedure.
Ariston did not appear at our chambers until
after midnight, and he was then so weary that I
did not press him for details. He informed me,
however, that my message to Balbus would prob-
ably constitute the pivotal fact in his defense of
Chairo; that Balbus was shot to pieces; and that
the question whether Chairo was to be kept in con-
finement would probably be heard within a week.
The next morning Ariston had a long confer-
ence with me over the whole situation, which was
a complicated one. The courts, though fair, were
undoubtedly strongly Demetrian in their ten-
dencies, and Ariston did not believe they would
set Chairo at liberty; but he felt it his duty as
Chairo's counsel to make the effort. Ariston did
not conceal from me, however, his conviction that
Chairo was insisting on the effort being made
in order to use the decision of the courts on the
political arena, where the issue must be ultimately
decided. He, Ariston, doubted the wisdom of his
appearing as Chairo's counsel under the circum-
stances, for on the political issue Ariston would
fight Chairo to a finish, and Chairo knew this.
But Chairo had declined to release Ariston. He
claimed that Ariston having offered to act for
him, and he having accepted the ofifer, Ariston
was no longer free to withdraw except for better
reason than he could give.
The importance of the testimony I could give,
and the fact that I was a lawyer admitted me into
all the conferences that were held. Chairo's case
was to come up on habeas corpus, and I undertook
to prepare an affidavit as to the message sent
through me by Chairo to Balbus. In the prepara-
tion of this affidavit I was confronted with the
question whether it was necessary to introduce
Neaera's name; there was in me a strong repug-
nance to doing so. If by involving Neaera I
could save an innocent man I should have been
guilty in omitting her intervention in my inter-
view with Balbus; but the only person that to my
mind could be affected by her intervention was
Balbus, and Balbus was dead. Nor would his
memory gain much by testimony that would tend
to prove that the incriminating act was done at
the bidding of a woman.
Three days after Chairo's arrest I was still
hesitating over this question when I received a
message from Masters asking for an interview. I
readily accorded one, and we met in Chairo's
chambers which were put at my disposal during
Masters opened the conversation by telling me
confidentially that Neaera had promised to marry
him, and that he was naturally, therefore, anxious
to exonerate her from responsibility as regarded
the rash attempt at rescue. I let him speak pre-
ferring to hold my tongue till I learned the story
Neaera had told him. He admitted that Neaera
had taken a strong stand in favor of Chairo and
all that Chairo stood for, but explained the enor-
mous difference between constitutional opposition
and appeal to force. Neaera had told him that
no word of writing that she could remember —
save such as might have been written at the dic-
tation of others — could possibly compromise her,
but that she did not know how far some of the
survivors might not seek to escape punishment by
throwing responsibility on her. Neaera had par-
ticularly asked Masters to see me and find out how
far this was to be feared.
I recognized the fine work of our astute friend
in the story told by Masters, and anxious to know
just how far Masters was committed to Neaera, I
" When do you expect to be married? "
Masters lowered his voice as he answered:
*' Confidentially, we are already married. I
found her wandering aimlessly about the street
expecting arrest; so I took her at once to Wash-
ington and married her there. I have left her
among friends in a neighboring state till this mat-
ter blows over."
The marriage having taken place, there vs^as
clearly no duty upon me to enlighten Masters, so
I said to him:
" Assure Neaera from me that I shall keep
you informed of how matters move and particu-
larly if any witness testifies in a manner to com-
promise her. No such testimony has been given
as yet to my knowledge — but then, none of the
survivors of the rescue party have yet been ex-
I worded my answer in a manner to reassure
Neaera so far as I myself was concerned and Mas-
ters left me satisfied. He deserved sympathy, at
Ariston was extremely busy endeavoring to
obtain affidavits from the survivors as to Chairo's
non-complicity in the attack, and asked me there-
fore to see Lydia and explain to her the impor-
tance of silence at this juncture. Accordingly I
went to see her and found Aunt Tiny in a state of
great excitement. Lydia was ill and her mother
was with her. Aunt Tiny wanted to take the
whole matter on her shoulders.
" Lydia will do just what I tell her to do,"
assured Aunt Tiny, nodding her curls gravely at
" I think I ought to see Lydia myself if it can
be managed," I answered.
" But she is so ill." Her lisp was childish and
I unconsciously smiled a little. My smile put the
little woman in quite a flutter.
*' I'll manage it," she said confidently. " You'll
see; I'll manage it"; and the busy little body, in
spite of her age, tripped out of the room.
Presently she returned radiant. " It's all
right," she said. "You can come; I told you I
should manage it " ; and she showed me to Lydia's
Lydia was lying on a couch with a shawl
thrown over her knees; but the chiton loosely
fastened over her right shoulder showed all the
beauty of her bare arm. Very different, indeed,
did she look from the girl I awoke to find bend-
ing over me on the hill on Tyringham. The warm
color of the sun had left her skin, which was now
white and extremely delicate. Her head, then
strong and erect, now leaned upon a pillow so
gently that it seemed
" A petal of blown roses on the grass."
Her mother was standing as I entered and pushed
a chair for me by Lydia's side. I sat upon it, and
taking Lydia's hand, kissed it. A tear came in
her eye at this act of sympathy and she said:
" I am glad you have come to see me."
" I would not have dared to come," said I,
" were it not that I have to warn you in Chairo's
interest and in your own to say nothing for the
"Say nothing!" she exclaimed, raising her
head erect. "What! does Chairo wish me to say
nothing when I can by a word exonerate him al-
" How so? " I asked.
" I consented," she said. " If the charge is
that he carried me away it must fall when I say
that I consented."
"Lydia!" exclaimed her mother. "Do be
careful! Our friend here can be depended on;
but such an admission might be used against you;
it may be no crime in law to have consented, but
in the cult you will be disgraced forever."
" Then may I be disgraced," said Lydia de-
spondingly. " I did consent; and Chairo must
not suffer the odium of having carried me off
against my will. Besides," added she, erect
again, " I am not ashamed of having consented. I
love Chairo. I am ready to declare it before the
world. I was wrong when I accepted the mission
and those around me should have known it. Not
you, mother," added Lydia, as she saw her mother
start, "not you, but the priests — they should
have known it — they did know it — and yet they
allowed me to accept the mission, loving Chairo."
Lydia put out her arms to her mother, who
bent over and kissed her.
" The time will doubtless come," said I,
'' when you will be able to vindicate Chairo. But
at this moment I think, perhaps, it may be wiser
to say nothing. Chairo does not wish to be re-
leased. He wants the court to decide against
him. Such a decision will constitute a grievance
which will to his mind strengthen his cause with
the people. I don't know," I added, smiling,
" whether I am altogether on his side upon all
the political issues he stands for; but I am on
your side, Lydia. I want you to be happy, and
much depends upon the circumstances under
which your declaration is made. At this moment
it may be wiser to keep silence; they cannot com-
pel you to testify until Chairo is tried, and he
proposes to postpone the trial, if he can, until the
legislature meets. Masters is taking a vigorous
stand in favor of Chairo, and he may carry a suffi-
cient number of votes to constitute a radical ma-
jority. Up to the present time Masters has voted
upon most issues with the government."
Lydia listened to me with her long blue-gray
eyes fixed on mine. It was a luxury to look into
them. I thought I was no longer in love with
her, but there was a fascination in those eyes to
which it was a delight innocently to surrender.
" Chairo is doubtless right," she said, " and
'' The priests will probably ask you for a dec-
laration; you are ill enough to make illness an
excuse for keeping out of the case altogether. My
advice is not to antagonize them at this moment.
You can let them know that you propose to make
no affidavit whatever, neither on one side nor on
the other — at present."
THE HIGH PRIEST OF DEMETER
THE affidavits read before the court by
both sides brought out the facts of the
case in a manner to leave no doubt in a
reasonable mind as to Chairo's guilt. It was true
that the person who actually forced the gate of
the cloister and overpowered the janitor remained
unknown, but Chairo had been arrested in the
act of flight and in the company of Lydia, whose
capture was the only possible motive for the act.
Then, too, on the evening that preceded the cap-
ture a typewritten message had been received by
the high priest of the cult informing him that
Chairo's carriage would that night break down
upon a certain road, and that the cult would have
an interest in watching the event. Clearly, there-
fore, the capture had been planned by Chairo.
Then, too, for every affidavit read by Ariston to
prove that the attack on the House of Detention
had been arranged as well as executed by Balbus
a dozen affidavits were read by the other side
showing the preparations for violence that had
been made by Chairo prior to the carrying off of
Lydia. The only question that the court had to
decide was, whether Chairo's immunity from im-
prisonment as a member of the legislature applied
to his case; obviously he was an accessory to the
crime after as well as before the fact, even though
he were not guilty of the crime itself; and he was
caught in the very act of carrying out the object
for which the crime was committed — that is to
say, the placing of Lydia beyond the reach of
the cult. But Ariston argued that there was no
obligation upon the court to hold Chairo; the
matter under the peculiar conditions which pre-
sented themselves was practically left to their
discretion; and he appealed to them to liberate
Chairo lest he should use his imprisonment as an
argument before the higher tribunal of public
opinion, to which the question must ultimately be
referred. The court adjourned without render-
ing a decision; and it was later arranged that
Lydia be removed from New York and Chairo
released on parole not to leave the city limits until
the trial of his case.
Lydia, therefore, was taken to the Pater's farm
at Tyringham; and I gladly accepted an invita-
tion to join the party there, which included Aris-
The High Priest of Demeter
ton, Anna of Ann, the high priest of the cult, and
a few others.
I was much interested to learn there the par-
ticular form of Collectivism which prevailed in
the country districts of New England. The land,
it is true, technically belonged to the state, but
the enjoyment of it had never been taken from
those farmers who were able and willing to pay
to the state the amount of produce exacted by it.
Assessors periodically visited every district to de-
termine what crops the land was best fitted to
produce, and what amount of the designated crop
the occupying farmer should pay the state. The
farmer was not bound to grow the particular crop
designated, unless a shortage in a preceding year
obliged the state to require a quota of the desig-
nated crop. He was free to furnish the state some
other crop according to a fixed scale, the bushel
of wheat constituting the standard — a bushel of
wheat being equivalent to so much hay, so many
pounds of potatoes, etc. But the farmer generally
grew enough of the particular crop designated
to furnish the amount required. The state sug-
gested the best rotation of crops and the farmer
was left a certain choice.
The working of the system was to eliminate
all the incapable farmers, leaving upon the land
only the most capable. The eliminated were put
to other employments. The surviving fit gener-
ally enjoyed an enviable existence; for the ex-
actions of the state w^ere not exorbitant, and it
had become a rule that no farmer should ever be
deprived of a farm so long as he paid the state
contribution; thus, the state contribution was
practically nothing more nor less than a state tax.
The Pater had succeeded to his farm from his
father, who himself had succeeded to his, so that
the same land had remained in the same family
since our day. There was no limitation of hours
of work on the farm. The occupation was re-
garded as so desirable that farm laborers will-
ingly gave their whole time; for during the sum-
mer their life was enlivened by the arrival of city
dwellers, who occupied the colony buildings ad-
jacent in the neighborhood; and in the depth of
the winter, when the sporting season was over,
every farm laborer had his two or three months
in town. The owner of the farm, for so every
farmer was still called, supported his own la-
borers and supplied them with money for their
annual city vacation. His own wants, including
the wages paid to the laborer, were supplied by
the sale to the state of the farm produce over and
The High Priest of Demeter
above that required by the state for rent. The
essential Collectivist feature of the system con-
sisted in the fact that no man was obliged by the
necessity of earning wages to work upon a farm.
He could always refuse to work for a farmer by
taking work from the state. Only those farmers
who knew how to make their farms not only pros-
perous but attractive, could secure laborers, the re-
lation between a farmer and his hands being that
of man to man rather than that of employer to
employee. Indeed, it was the security every man
and woman had of employment by the state that
had caused pauperism and prostitution to disap-
pear; and with them the dependence of one class
upon another. In agriculture, as in manufac-
ture, employment of one individual by another
was a matter of inclination, not of compulsion;
and under these circumstances every employer
took care to make his employment agreeable and
to share equitably with his fellow-workers the
product of their joint labors.
As soon as the hearing of habeas corpus pro-
ceedings were concluded and Lydia was trans-
ported to Tyringham she rapidly gained health.
Chairo wrote to her daily the progress of his
preparations for the legislature, which was to
meet in a few days. He was assured of Masters's
support in favor of a bill of amnesty to all en-
gaged in the carrying off of Lydia and the attack
on the House of Detention, and this bill would
constitute the first business to be brought before
the Assembly. An identical bill would be intro-
duced in the Senate, and eflforts were being made
at once to secure the approval of the governor.
Meanwhile we often had leisure at Tyring-
ham for the discussion of the Demetrian cult,
which had given rise to so great a tumult. The
day that the high priest received intelligence of
the proposed amnesty bill I asked him his views
The high priest was a tall, aged man, closely
shaven — as indeed were all the priests — and very
slow and distinct in his way of speaking. Though
he occupied the highest function in the cult he
was by no means its controlling will. On the con-
trary, the Demetrian council was composed al-
most entirely of women, that is to say, priestesses;
but it had passed into a tradition that in order
to avoid too great animosity on the part of the
men, these last should be permitted a representa-
tion on the council and the presiding officer and
the head of the cult should be a man.
The high priest answered my question with
his usual deliberation and care:
The High Priest of Demeter
'' I cannot tell you what my own views regard-
ing this matter are; the subject will be discussed
by the council and its argument presented in due
time by its representative in the legislature, but
I can tell you some of the things that occur to me
in favor of this measure and against it:
" In the first place, it is clear that whatever
may be the merits of the Demetrian cult it is
bound sometimes to occasion misfortune; misfor-
tune is seldom distinguished from injustice, and
so the cult is made to bear the brunt of every dis-
appointment that results from the working of the
system, whether it proceeds from unwisdom, ca-
price, or accident. Now against caprice and acci-
dent the cult is powerless; but as regards unwis-
dom, whether it be in the council or in those to
whom the council tenders the mission, the cult
is responsible, and must be held responsible.
Whether the misfortune in this case results from
unwisdom or not is a question which I do not
care to discuss; but obviously something has oc-
curred that can be used to discredit our cult, and
it is the part of wisdom to diminish the evil re-
sulting therefrom to the utmost possible.
" In the second place, there has been recourse
to violence, and violence is the greatest crime
against social welfare which any man can commit.
Are the persons guilty of this crime to be left un-
corrected and free to frame new plots of violence
against the state?
" In the third place, a trial of all the persons
involved in this matter is going to give rise to a
great public scandal. The trial is essentially of
a political character, and no political trial can
be conducted impartially; the very fact that polit-
ical prejudice enters into it necessarily impairs
the impartiality of the court; and even if a fair
court could be secured, the defeated political fac-
tion would surely accuse the court of unfairness.
'' All these things make the decision of this
question complicated and difficult."
" But," asked I, " does not the very fact that
your cult raises these difficulties put into question
the wisdom of the cult itself?"
" Do you mean to say that in your opinion the
mission of Demeter, with the beauty of its sacri-
fice and the blessing it must eventually bring upon
the race, should be abandoned because in a single
instance it has crossed the passion of a Chairo? "
" In the first place," asked I, " is it sure to
bring a sensible benefit to the race? And in the
second, is the sacrifice a beautiful one? Is it not
rather inhuman and repulsive? "
" I shall answer your questions in the order
The High Priest of Demeter
you put them: Plato was the first philosopher on
record who proposed applying to the breeding
of men the same art as we apply to the breed-
ing of animals— and he did not seriously propose
it; his proposition was spurned, as you know, by
all so-called practical statesmen up to the day of
Latona, not because the evil attending the exist-
ing system was not recognized, but because the
remedy proposed seemed worse than the evil.
And, indeed, if men and women were to be
obliged to mate or refrain from mating at the
bidding of the state, one may well ask whether
life would not become intolerable to the point of
universal suicide. The evil, therefore, remained
unabated. Consumption, scrofula, cancer, and
other unnamable diseases became rooted in the
race on the one hand, and no attempt was made
to compensate the evil by selecting according to
art. Not only so, but the pauper proved the most
prolific, the cultured the least prolific; so that the
breeding of man— far more important to human
happiness than the breeding of sheep— seemed
contrived so as to occasion the minimum of good
and the maximum of evil. There seemed to be
only two ways to mitigate this curse: one, to re-
store marriage to the sanctity it theoretically had
under the canons of the church; the other, to ap-
peal to the self-sacrifice of a few gifted women.
As to the first, Latona believed marriage to be
degraded in great part through the inability of
young men and women to choose their mates with
wisdom, and she instituted therefore the system
of provisional marriage, tolerable only in youth,
and though possible in later years, tolerated then
only under extraordinary circumstances. As to
the second, Latona instituted the mission of
" It is not easy yet to draw any definite con-
clusion from the practical working of the system,
for it has not been working long enough. Never-
theless, it would be impossible, I think, to find any-
where a more hopeful band of youths than those
to whose education Irene and her stafif are now
devoting themselves. Indeed, wherever the cult
is in operation the girls and boys who proceed
from the cloister are, to my judgment, immeasur-
ably superior in the average to any similar number
drawn at haphazard from the community at large.
And, indeed, how could it be otherwise? Hered-
ity must in the long run count for a great deal ; and
by securing to the Demetrian issue, not only the
highest conceivable education and parental care,
but a sense that they owe something more to them-
selves as regards standard of conduct because
The High Priest of Demeter
they owe so much to the state, we create an en-
vironment which gives hereditary tendencies the
best possible opportunities for development.
" Now, as regards the last part of your ques-
tion, my answer is a very simple one : The mission
is beautiful only when wisely tendered and wisely
accepted; when unwisely tendered or unwisely
accepted it is likely to be, as you say, inhuman and
" But how are you going to learn wisdom,"
asked I, " in a matter so difficult? "
" Experience has already helped us, I think,
to avoid serious mistakes except in such excep-
tional cases as this of Lydia. For your attention
has perhaps not been called to a profound dif-
ference that exists in women little recognized in
your day. This difference can, I think, beSt be
defined as follows: some women are essentially
wives, others are essentially mothers. Love is the
key that opens the heart of the one, maternity the
instinct that animates the other. You are a lawyer,
are you not? Did you ever have any divorce
" Ransack your brain, then, and see if you do
not find there evidence of what I have stated."
He paused; and there came back to me an in-
terview with a woman who complained that her
husband did not wish her to have children; and
as it was children she wanted — so she said — the
husband was almost immaterial. There came to
my mind also many women I had known for
whom the husband ceased to have importance the
moment a child was born.
" Our art," continued he, " consists in selecting
the women who combine willingness to sacrifice
themselves with this maternal instinct; and not
the maternal instinct alone — most women have
this — but a maternal instinct that preponderates
every other. We have made a double mistake
in Lydia: her love for Chairo is the preponder-
ing instinct; and though she has undoubtedly a
strongly developed religion of sacrifice, she is
also fond of pleasure. That pretty little tip-tilted
nose of hers," he added, smiling, " should have
warned us of this! "
ANNA'S SECRET ,
I SAW very little of Anna during the first few
days of my stay at the Pater's. Cleon had
drawn a bad number and was therefore
drafted on a detachment of workmen engaged in
mending roads — a work all disliked, and as no
one volunteered for it, it had to be apportioned
by lot. Anna of Ann felt the absence of Cleon
because, although he was young, he had attached
himself to her and she had learned somewhat to
depend on his companionship. In the absence of
Cleon, therefore, I often joined Anna in her walks
and became more and more charmed by her sin-
gleness of purpose. She seemed indifferent to
everything except her art, cared nothing for
Chairo and his principles, had little conviction
as regards the Demetrian cult, and absorbed her-
self altogether in the joy to be derived from beauty,
whether in nature or in man. The idea that
there was something in man different from na-
ture had become so familiar to this century that
the confusion between them from which the phi-
losophy of our time was only just emerging seemed
to her altogether impossible, and it was a hope
of hers one day to compose a group or monument
in which man with his faculty of subjugating the
forces of nature to his use would be contrasted
with these forces, typified either by animals or
undeveloped human races. She had shown me
several models upon which she was at work to
typify these forces; among them I remember one
of a negro kneeling, with wonder on his thick lips
and a superb strength about his loins; she had
modelled also a lion crouching at the bidding of
an unseen hand; but I had seen no model of Con-
quering Man. In an abandoned sugar house
which she had arranged as a studio, however,
were many unfinished busts hidden away which
she did not show to me or to others, and there was
a good deal of curiosity and some little chaff as
to the secret so carefully thus concealed by her.
One morning, however, that I had risen early,
tempted by the bright sun of an Indian summer,
I started for a short stroll, and passing Anna's
studio was surprised to find a window open.
Looking inside the window, I saw Anna so ab-
sorbed on a clay bust that she had not heard my
approach. I watched her work in silence without
appreciating that I had surprised a secret, until
moving a little I saw clearly that the bust on
which she was working was a portrait of Ariston.
Even then I was not clear that Anna had been
hiding this portrait from us; it seemed perfectly
natural that she should be engaged upon it. But
when she at last perceived me she blushed scarlet
and threw a cloth over it.
" You have seen it," she said reproachfully.
" Why not? " asked I. " It was only a portrait
" Was it so like him that you saw it at once? "
" Did you not mean it to be so? "
"No!" she exclaimed, almost with temper,
" and I did not mean you to see it."
I apologized to her and suggested that she
should join me in my walk; but she did not answer
me at once; she moved about the studio as though
agitated by my discovery, moving things aim-
lessly, taking things up and putting them down
again. I stood at the window waiting for an an-
swer, for I did not wish to leave her in this dis-
turbed condition. At last she looked me full in
the face and her mobile lips twitched with ill-
suppressed emotion. Had she known how little
I suspected the cause of her trouble she need not
have been so moved; but she had been so long
fighting against her love for Ariston that she
imagined the discovery by me of the portrait had
betrayed her secret.
" You won't tell any one you have seen it, will
you?" she said at last appealingly.
" Certainly not," answered I. " But why are
you so anxious to keep it a secret? "
She opened her eyes at this question and then
burst out, with a sob in her voice :
" I would not have them guess it for the
At last I understood: this bust was not a por-
trait of Ariston ; it was a study for her Conquering
Man, and she could not keep out of it the features
of the one she loved.
" See," she said, pointing to the corner where
the uncompleted busts were hidden, " they all look
like him ; even when I tried to model a face with-
out a beard, expressly to escape this haunting
thought, you can see it — somewhere in the brow,"
and she moved her hand over the brow. " At
every attempt I make, something betrays me," and
she sat down on a low chair and buried her face
in her hands.
I stood by her, not daring to intrude; and pres-
ently she got up sadly and said:
" Yes, I shall go with you — anything to get
away from it all " ; and taking her cap from a peg,
closed the window, locked the door, and joined
" I had half an idea," said I, as we moved
toward the wood, " that you had a fancy for
Anna smiled. " Cleon is a sweet boy and I
am very fond of him; I suppose he thinks he is
in love with me ; but we are accustomed to these
* green and salad ' loves ; indeed, we are taught
not to discourage them. It is good for a boy like
Cleon to be in love with some one much older
than himself that he can never marry; it keeps
him out of mischief and does no one harm. One
day he will reproach me and tell me I have en-
couraged him; I have not, you know, not the
slightest; but he will say I have, and honestly
think it for a few days; a little later he will get
over it and be a good friend of mine to the end
of my days."
We had a walk in the wood that has remained
in my memory as one of the sweetest hours I
spent at Tyringham. She soon accustomed her-
self to my knowledge of her secret, and this
created an intimacy between us that was rare and
At that early hour the woods were dark and
fresh, and the light upon a meadow we were ap-
proaching reminded me of a forgotten poet:
" I knew the flowers ; I knew the leaves ; I knew
The tearful glimmer of the languid dawn
On those long rank dark wood walks drenched
Leading from lawn to lawn."
I quoted them to her and she responded to
them; wanted to know the poet's name and more
of his work; and as the autumn mist lay heavy
on the lower pastures and the heavy fragrance of
the autumn woods filled the air, I repeated to her
those other lines of his:
" The woods decay ; the woods decay and fall,
The vapors weep their burthen to the ground ;
Man comes and tills the earth and lies beneath.
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only, cruel immortality consumes
Here at the Eastern limit of the day "
She put a hand on my arm and stopped me:
'' What is that again, ' Me only, cruel ' "
I repeated the line to her.
''What a subject," she said; "not for a Ti-
thonus — no; what a thought to work into my
I saw her meaning: Man might subdue Na-
ture to his use; what then? Was he to be never-
theless forever consumed by immortality? Here
was the limit to his triumph; its shadow and re-
"What is the meaning of it all!" she said.
" We are unhappy, do what we may, and it is out
of our very unhappiness that we find something
that replaces happiness — a sort of divine sorrow."
We had by this time traversed the wood and
stood on a height which commanded the now
deserted colony buildings. The sun was well up
on the horizon; the birds hopping silently in the
boughs, their spring and summer songs over; but
the torrent filled the air with its noisy music as
it dashed down the hillside, and beyond we saw
it meandering in peaceful curves among the
" It is very beautiful," she said. " After all,
there is joy enough in beauty, and it is no small
thing " — she was looking absently over the mead-
ows as she repeated — " it is no small thing that
we can by art add to it."
" It is a mission of which you can well be
proud," said I.
She looked at me and smiled gratefully.
As we returned I felt that she had shaken off
some of the sorrow with which she had started.
DESIGNS ON ANNA OF ANN
MY Stay at the Pater's farm was altogether
delightful, for most of the day was spent
in shooting. October was the only
month open to all; but one permit was given to
every ten inhabitants during November, and as
there were forty-four, including the Pater's fam-
ily, on the farm, it was easy to spare one to me.
The Pater's younger son Phaines had another;
he was not only a keen sportsman but an agreeable
companion, and we killed much game, great and
small. During a period of twenty years the shoot-
ing of bear had been prohibited, and now, with
the extension of forests, bear had increased so as
to be extremely plentiful. Deer, elk, caribou,
moose, wild boar, and such destructive animals as
lynxes, foxes, and wild cats, furnished all that a
sportsman could ask in the way of variety. As
the amount of game we killed far exceeded the
consuming power of the neighborhood we daily
telephoned to the County Supply Department for
Designs on Anna of Ann
instructions where to ship it, and we received our
During the winter, country people took their
principal meal in the evening, the morning and
midday hours being the pleasantest for being in
the open air. The farm hands and we sportsmen
took our luncheon with us and came home pre-
pared for a large meal. Those who prepared the
meal preferred to spend the dark hours from four
to seven in the preparation of it, and to be free
during the earlier part of the day.
The evening passed pleasantly. Every large
farmhouse — and there were few small ones, ex-
cept such as were, so to speak, dependent upon the
large — had a room with a stage, specially applied
to music and theatrical performances; it could
also be used for such indoor games as squash
or badminton. In this room those who wanted
to practice music, etc., would assemble, and
here they would occasionally give performances.
When these farms sent their inmates to the city
for a few months in the winter, hospitality was
gladly extended them for the variety of perform-
ances which they could furnish; and by this ex-
change of population, the city people going to
the country to harvest in the summer, and the
farmers going to the city for amusement and in-
struction during the winter, monotony of life was
One day when I was returning from a day's
sport with Phaines, a buck packed on each of our
horses, we were talking of marriage, and I asked
him whether he did not intend to marry.
" I want to marry very much," said he.
. I looked at him inquiringly.
'' I have asked Anna of Ann a dozen times to
marry me and she won't," continued he. " I can't
see why she won't, either; she doesn't seem to care
for anyone else ; she might as well marry me, and
then she could give all her time to that art of hers
she is so devoted to."
" But she would have to work some part of the
day at the farm, wouldn't she? "
" No; we are quite well enough off to let her
give all her time to her art if she wanted to. It's
this way: We have to furnish so much butter, or
its equivalent in eggs, poultry, stock, etc., to the
state for the amount of land we cultivate; then
we have to support our farm hands, that is to say,
either we have to give to each wages out of the
surplus produce of the farm, over and above what
we pay the state as rent, or we have to furnish
the state extra produce for every farm hand we
have. Well, our hands prefer the former of these
Designs on Anna of Ann
plans. The amount we give each farm hand de-
pends on the amount of the surplus; every one of
us is interested in making this surplus as large as
possible. In this way we really have a great deal
more than we can spend, and I could easily afiford,
out of my share of the surplus, to support Anna,
so that she need not work at all."
" You are very prosperous then? "
" Yes, and why shouldn't we be? Now that
we get grain at what it really costs instead of
paying middlemen and speculators, railroad stock-
holders, elevators, etc., etc., everything is half the
price it used to be. Then we need never fear that
no one will buy our produce. The Supply De-
partment can always tell us just where what we
have is needed, and pays us for it on the spot. It
does the transportation; and so the state needn't
ask us an exorbitant rent, and can always pay us
a remunerative price for our surplus."
*' But you don't suppose Anna of Ann would
be induced to marry you just because you could
support her, do you? "
" She's a fool if she doesn't, as she apparently
does not care for any one else."
That night after dinner most of the party ad-
journed to the music room, so I took a chair near
the Mater who was knitting by the big fire in the
A benign smile lightened up her dear old
round face as she made room for me to get close to
the fire. I was curious to know what she thought
of Anna, and said to her:
'' Phaines tells me he wants to marry Anna
" Isn't she foolish now not to marry him? "
answered the Mater, putting down her work. " I
am so fond of her, and Phaines and she would
make an ideal couple. She could work all day at
the art she is fond of and both ought to be as
happy, all the year long, as larks in the spring."
" I have sometimes thought," said I, wishing
to draw the Mater out, " that Anna looked sad."
'' Well, she is a genius, and all geniuses look
sad sometimes. It seems as though somebody has
to be sad in order that others may be happy.
Now, I am glad I am a plain farmer's wife and
don't have to be sad. And yet," she added, tak-
ing up her knitting again, " I love to look at sad
things. Have you ever seen Anna's statue of
I had seen it and wondered at it until it was
explained to me that the better Greek notion of
Bacchus as the god of enthusiasm had been re-
Designs on Anna of Ann
stored to the Dionysan cult. Then I perceived
that Anna had given to the wine god something
of the discontent that lends charm to the statues
" Anna's thought doubtless is," said I, " that
the highest enthusiasm springs from a sense of an
" Well, I like to look at it but I don't care to
think about it. I like just to toast my toes by the
fire these long winter evenings and know that our
storehouse is full and our boys happy. But I do
wish Anna would marry Phaines."
Assuredly, thought I, man is a variable thing
— constructed upon lines so different that it is sur-
prising one variety of man can at all understand
the other. And yet, in view of the variety of
occupations in which man must engage if he wants
to satisfy his complex needs, how fortunate that
the Mater could be happy only on her farm, and
Anna happy only in her studio! And for the
Mater and Phaines the question of marriage with
Anna was one that could tarry for its solution
year after year; while for Anna, her love for
Ariston tormented her life, intruded into her art,
saddened and inspired it.
I was interested, however, to discover that she
had escaped from the thraldom of it for the time
at any rate; for on the next day, when I peeped
into her studio early in the morning, she no longer
threw a cloth over her clay, but, on the contrary,
beckoned me in.
And I saw dimly growing out of a gigantic
mass of clay the noble lineaments of an old man
with shaggy projecting eyebrows and a beard
that rivalled that of the Moses of Michael An-
" It is only the bust," she said. She looked
very lovely as with suppressed excitement she ex-
plained to me her thought, and her eyes usually
dim grew bright. *' It is to be a colossal figure,
standing; I think there is something in it that
is going to be suggested by the Creator of the
Sixtine chapel as he stands creating Eve; but then,
too, I see in the clay before me something more
kindly, reminding me rather of Prospero; and
yet he is to be triumphant; I think one arm will
be lifted, half in joy and half in benediction, but
his brow will be thoughtful and sad."
" And you have got rid of Ariston alto-
gether? " asked I.
She blushed and pouted a little.
" You must never speak to me of Ariston again.
I am glad to be free from him, in this at any rate
— and it is your Tithonus that has rescued me.
Designs on Anna of Ann
If I were to put a legend to this sculpture — of
course, I won't — but if I were to do so, it should
be ' Me only, cruel immortality consumes.' "
" And yet this would express only a small part
of the whole thing."
" And that is why no legend should ever be
attached to sculpture; sculpture must tell her own
story in her own way — legends belong to litera-
ture. Sculpture must owe nothing to any other
art than her own." She was looking critically at
the bust now, as though I were not in the room,
but presently becoming conscious of my existence
again, she added: "I value this legend because
it started me on a new line of thought unhaunted
by the old."
For days Anna was so gay that I began to
wonder whether Ariston had not lost his oppor-
tunity, and I wondered so all the more when I
saw little advances to Anna on his part unre-
sponded to. One evening when he had felt him-
self discouraged by her, he said to me:
" I don't think Anna will ever care for any-
thing but her art. I asked her to show me what
she is doing and she refused — a little curtly, I
" My dear Ariston," answered I, " do you sup-
pose Anna is going to fall into your arms the mo-
ment you open them to her? You have treated
her for years as though she did not exist, and now
you are disappointed because at a first lordly ap-
proach she does not at once fall trembling at your
" Am I really such a coxcomb as that? " asked
" Don't take me too seriously," said I. '' All
I mean to suggest is that if Anna is worth win-
ning she is worth wooing; she is absorbed in her
work — her life is quite filled with it — and if you
want her life to be filled with you, you must take
some little trouble and exercise some little pa-
Ariston laughed good humoredly, and asked
me how Lydia was doing. I had seen little of
her. We met at meal-time, but so many sat down
to every meal that I seldom found myself near her.
I knew that she heard daily from Chairo and
wrote daily to him, but more than this no one
knew. Ariston explained to me that the forces
marshalled in opposition to one another were now
fairly organized, but that it was impossible to
tell with whom the victory would rest. The
leader of the government, Peleas, was not a big
man; on the contrary, many charged him with
being narrow. He was bitterly opposed to the
Designs on Anna of Ann
amnesty bill ; regarded Chairo as a firebrand who
must be suppressed, and asked, if blood could
deluge the streets of New York one day and am-
nesty be voted to those responsible therefor the
next, what security could the community hope for
in the future? Would not such action serve to
encourage all discontent to take the shape of riot
There was, of course, much truth in his view.
The Demetrian council had met, but their deci-
sion was kept absolutely secret. Irene had now
altogether recovered and was expected to direct
the Demetrian forces in the legislature; she would
not, however, take the floor; it was considered
that their spokesman ought to be a man. Ariston
was disqualified by the fact that he was acting for
Chairo; so they decided on an extremely judi-
cious, though not very eloquent speaker, by name
Arkles. Ariston returned to New York the next
^ I ^HE day that Ariston left, the Mater sum-
I moned me to her room to make plans for
the day, and I found Lydia there, en-
gaged in moving a bracket of beautifully wrought
iron that she found too low. While I talked to
the Mater I found my eyes following Lydia's
movements as she stood with her back to me un-
screwing the bracket from the wall. The Mater
soon came to an understanding with me and left
the room to attend to her household duties. I
was left alone with Lydia.
She had by this time unscrewed the bracket
and was holding it higher up against the wall,
estimating the height, prior to fastening it in
" You will never be able to fasten it at that
height," said I, " without a ladder."
She looked round at me, still holding the
bracket against the wall, and I wished I had the
art of a sculptor to immortalize her as she stood.
She smiled as she said: " How about a chair,
I immediately brought a chair to her.
She stepped upon it but slipped. I was hold-
ing the back of the chair, and as she slipped I
put out my hands to catch her. For a moment
I held her in my arms. She had stumbled in such
a way that her head was thrown a little back over
my shoulder, and before she could recover her-
self her face was so close to mine that I could have
kissed her with the slightest possible movement
of my face.
I thought that I had conquered the feeling
which she had inspired in me the first moment
I set eyes on her on Tyringham hill. But the
blood, rushing through my veins, and my beat-
ing pulses, as I held her for a moment in my arms,
told me that I was still hopelessly in love with
She seemed altogether unaware of it, for re-
covering her balance she laughed a little, looked
at me straight in the eyes, her brows a little lifted,
and her lovely lips parted by a smile.
" I slipped," she said. " Wasn't it silly of
And jumping on the chair she got to work
I watched her work and drank deep draughts
of delicious poison as I watched.
As soon as she had finished she looked at her
work critically and said: "That is very much
better! " and turning to me, added, " Isn't it? "
I could not help wondering whether she was
as unconscious of the effect she produced as she
seemed to be. But she gave me no chance of dis-
covering, for finding I did not answer but stood
there silent, like a fool, she added:
" I must be off! Au revoirV^ and taking up her
screwdriver and other things, went with the ap-
pearance of utter unconsciousness out of the room.
All that day my mind was haunted by her; I
knew it was folly to harbor hope, and yet I har-
bored it fatuously; her image came in and out of
my mind as the sun on a rainy day in and out
of the clouds, to delight and to torment.
That evening the orchestra played a minuet
of Mozart so charmingly that Lydia rose, and
saying, " We really must dance to that," made a
I jumped up at the challenge, and soon eight
of us were on our feet. Lydia was my partner.
I was so absorbed by her every movement, so en-
tranced by the occasional touch of her ungloved
hand, that I was aware of nothing else in the
room. Surely, thought I, there never was a
Tanagra figure to compare with hers.
«When we separated for the night I was in a
fever. It was useless to go to bed, and I went out
into the bright cold air. I saw the light in her
room and stood in front of it, cursing myself for
a love-sick fool. But the cold drove me in — and
to bed. For hours I tossed about, and sleep over-
took me at last, but only to torture me; it played
with me, threw me on my back, as it were, at one
moment, only to jump me on my feet the next;
and throughout it all I saw Lydia at odd in-
tervals in every conceivable mood; now smiling
and beckoning, now turning from me as though
offended, and, again, treating me with indiffer-
ence. But at last I seemed to have passed through
a period of deep unconsciousness, for I woke sud-
denly to find Lydia before me more lovely than
I had ever seen her. I was not surprised — al-
though I know I ought to have been — to find her
in a dress that showed her bosom, her hair hung
like a curtain of gold about her; her long eyes
were wet with tears, and yet there shone out of
them a light so mystic and divine that I threw
myself at her feet. She held out a hand to me and
lifted me up. I did not know the meaning of her
tears or of her graciousness, but as I rose nearer
to her she smiled. In an ecstasy I touched her
lips with mine; she did not withdraw them; nay,
she kissed me on the brow and cheek, fond and
despairing kisses, for her tears fell upon my face
and they were warm.
How loner did it last? Was it for a moment
or for all time ? A blaze of light pouring through
my window roused me. I jumped out of bed and
looked stupidly out on the old sugar house that
Anna had converted into a studio. It was noth-
ing but a dream.
" Nothing but a dream! " thought I exulting-
ly. " But no one can ever deprive me of it. I
have felt her kisses on my lips and her tears. All
my life long that memory will belong to me — and
I sat down, weak and tired, closing my eyes to
recall the vanished dream; and it came back to
me, every detail of it, so vividly that I jumped
up from my chair with the thought that it was
not all mere fancy; something had happened,
something had actually happened, of this I felt
sure, and was it possible — I hardly dared enter-
tain the thought — was it possible she had dreamed
also of me?
I dressed automatically, breakfasted automat-
ically, strolled automatically about the grounds.
I must see Lydia. I returned to the house, asked
the Mater where Lydia was, and was told that she
could be found in the room where she had been
the previous morning. I almost ran there, and,
on opening the door, saw her seated in a high-
backed oak chair, very erect, with her hair about
her and something resembling tears in her eyes
as I had seen her in my dream. She had tapestry
in her hands, but they rested idly in her lap. She
did not move when I entered. She seemed to be
I advanced toward her slowly with something
like awe in my heart.
" Did you have a dream in the night? " I at
last summoned courage to ask.
She did not answer, and the look in her eyes
'' Did you dream of m^?" I asked huskily —
Still she said nothing but kept fixed upon me
her inscrutable eyes.
I hardly dared to go on, but in my folly I con-
" Did you " — stammered I — but I could not
put my question in words.
Tears sprang to her eyes, and she sat there just
as I had seen her in my dream, save that she wore
the usual chiton.
I was in an anguish of suspense, but it came to
an end, for she shook her head sadly.
"Don't!" she said. "Don't!"
I fell at her feet and buried my head in her
lap. She did not shrink from me. On the con-
trary, I felt her hand stroke my head, and I knew
it was not love but compassion.
I knelt there a full minute, but even to the
luxury of grief I had not the right to surrender.
So I rose abruptly. I took her hand, kissed it,
held it for a moment in mine, and said:
" I shall not intrude on you again, Lydia; I
love you consumedly, but I shall not intrude on
And laying her hand gently upon her lap I
turned abruptly and left the room.
Next day I left Tyringham.
Almost the entire population of the farm —
save only Lydia, her mother, and the few farm
hands necessary to care for the stock — and these
last had their holiday later — repaired to New
York. Most of them went to the building in
which lived Anna's family. Ariston and I re-
turned to our old quarters.
THE LEGISLATURE MEETS
AT the first meeting of the Assembly — for
the Legislature now sat no longer at
Albany but at New York^ — Masters arose
as soon as the opening formalities were over and
read a bill of amnesty for all concerned in the
so-called riot of the preceding month. He stated
that an identical bill was being at that moment
offered in the Senate, and moved a joint session
of both houses to consider it.
Peleas, the leader of the government, con-
sented to the joint session, but asked that the
matter be referred to a committee. He pointed
out that the facts were not clearly before the
house, and that it was essential that a committee
should investigate the facts and present them in
a report to the joint session.
Masters opposed reference to an investigating
committee. He contended that the very object of
the bill was to prevent the issues, that had caused
their streets to be stained by blood, from remain-
ing confounded by personal animosities. A great
institution had been attacked; that institution was,
in the opinion of many, of the highest social value.
It was possible that in some respects it had a les-
son to learn; it was important that the lesson be
learned free from the heat of such bitter hatred
as must result from an attempt to punish those
who had been driven by misguided zeal to acts of
violence. Already the investigation had shown
how far the desperate effort of those implicated
to shield themselves might distort facts; it had
even been alleged — and his strong, honest coun-
tenance glowed for a moment with indignation as
he spoke — it had even been alleged that the whole
responsibility for the attack rested not upon Bal-
bus and his followers but upon a woman! He
would not waste the time of the house now by
pointing out the diverse reasons why an investiga-
tion was to be avoided. Obviously, what the coun-
try needed, and he thought he could say asked for,
was oblivion. Why, then, an investigating com-
Arkles next arose — and as he was known to be
the spokesman of the cult he was listened to with
breathless attention. He altogether appreciated
the weight of the argument against an investigat-
ing committee just made, but as had also been
The Legislature Meets
justly said, it was possible that the cult had a
lesson to learn. In order to learn that lesson it
had to know the facts, and the facts had not yet
been properly determined. Moreover, something
was due to law and order. It might, in the end,
be considered the better course to allow the pun-
ishment which those involved in the riot had al-
ready suffered, to suffice, and to allow oblivion
to obliterate, to the utmost possible, the whole
matter from their annals. But the state would not
do its duty if it did not thoroughly investigate the
crime it was condoning; and though he regretted
to oppose a man who had always been regarded
as a pillar not only of the government but of the
cult, he nevertheless felt it to be his duty to sup-
port the government in asking for the appoint-
ment of an investigating committee.
Masters, who in his heart, though he could not
admit it to himself, feared the consequences to
Neaera of an investigating committee, maintained
his opposition; Chairo, also, who desired to avoid,
at all hazards, the necessity of Lydia's appearing
before such a committee, was opposed to the in-
vestigation. Both were also influenced by the
desire to carry the bill promptly by a coup de
main, if this were at all possible.
The motion of Peleas was carried by a large
majority, and the result produced much discour-
agement in Chairo's ranks. Masters, however,
immediately arose and moved that in view of the
importance of the question and the impossibility
of calmly discussing any other matter until the
fate of the amnesty bill was settled, the house ad-
journ, and not sit again until after the elections
and after the joint session of both houses had com-
pleted its mission.
Peleas and Arkles both approved of this mo-
tion, and the passage of it, with only a few scat-
tering votes in the negative, to a certain extent
restored the confidence of the opposition. For if
the government to this extent recognized the im-
portance of the issue raised by the amnesty bill,
it was possible that in the end some compromise
would be agreed upon that would give substantial
Ariston took no part in this preliminary skir-
mish. As we walked home together he expressed
to me his satisfaction at what had occurred. Peleas
had not displayed all the narrowness of which he
was capable, and the judiciousness of both Masters
and Arkles indicated a willingness on the part of
both to bring the matter to a fair adjustment. I
was myself, however, concerned by the probability
that I should now have to appear before the inves-
The Legislature Meets
tigating committee. My regard for Masters, as
well as a liking for Neaera, of which, in spite of
her duplicity, I could not altogether rid myself,
made me unwilling to state all that had occurred
when I conveyed Chairo's message to Balbus. I
had hoped that the passage of the amnesty bill
would have made the hearing of testimony un-
necessary; so I asked Ariston whether I would be
compelled to testify. To my great relief Ariston
assured me that my peculiar position as a guest
of the community, made it quite possible for me
to ask and obtain a dispensation; he promised to
arrange it for me.
On reaching our quarters we betook ourselves
as usual to the bath, which, at this season of the
year, was warmed to a suitable temperature, and
after our plunge, as we lay upon our couches
smoking cigarettes, I asked Ariston whether he
had seen Anna of Ann since our return to New
" No," answered he, " it is difficult to see her;
she is working all day at the factory, in order to
earn a full month's holiday later; she is eager to
complete the sculpture on which she is engaged;
and that father of hers never invites any one to his
" I have never met her father," said I. " Her
mother I have seen at the Lydia's, but her father —
what kind of a man is he? "
" He is a miser! "
" A miser! " exclaimed I. " In a CoUectivist
state! How is that possible? "
" It could not be possible in a purely CoUect-
ivist state; but as soon as individual industry took
an important development it became possible."
I was not clear about this, and Ariston, seeing
the confusion in my face, explained.
" Take this case of Campbell's, for example "
— Campbell was the name of Anna's father — " as
soon as Masters got at the head of several in-
dustrial enterprises and had obtained a valuable
credit in the community, Campbell saw that there
was here a credit to exploit and a real service to
be rendered to the public, so he induced Masters
to start a bank, and the bank of Masters & Camp-
bell is known all over the United States. But
Campbell can explain all this better than I can;
and although Campbell never asks any one to his
house, wc can ask him to ours; or, better still, we
can ask the whole family to dine at Theodore's
— you must see Theodore's; his restaurant is one
of our institutions. Come," he added, " let us go
at once to their building; we may catch Anna of
Ann in the tea-room, and agree upon a day."
The Legislature Meets
We dressed rapidly, and on the way I expressed
my disgust at Anna's having to work in a factory
when all her time might, under other circum-
stances, be given to her art.
" Are you quite sure," asked Ariston, " that the
enforced rest from her artistic work is such a bad
thing? How much of Michael Angelo's time was
spent in the purely mechanical part of his art?
Then, too, there is no reason why she should be
compelled to work in the factory at all. Men are
all obliged to give the required quota of work to
the state, but women have always been granted dis-
pensations, provided somebody undertook either
to do their work for them or to relieve the state of
their support. Now if Campbell were not a miser
Anna need never do state work. And if Anna
were to marry an industrious and capable man she
need never do state work."
I looked at Ariston significantly, and he caught
" I saw Irene yesterday," he said, " and we
spoke of it. She is a noble woman, and the eager-
ness and delight with which she heard me speak
of Anna made my eyes fill. She is altogether de-
voted now to her work in the cloister; she is ab-
sorbed in her boy, who seems to combine all the
vigor of Chairo with her own gentleness; she
teaches not only him but a class of boys of his age,
and is doing a splendid work there. I have quite
given up the idea that she will ever marry again."
It was pretty clear that, although Ariston was
willing to admit he had given up the idea of mar-
rying Irene, he was not willing to admit that he
was seriously entertaining the idea of marrying
any one else. So I returned to our original sub-
"But how can Campbell hoard?" asked I.
" Isn't your money valueless two years after its
" Yes, but Campbell has made a money of his
own; besides, before he did this, he hoarded gold."
" But I thought all the gold was owned by the
state and used exclusively for foreign exchanges? "
" So it is — as currency; but the state could not
refuse to allow skillful workers in the precious
metals to exercise their skill in ornaments, and so
there comes into the market not only state manu-
facture of gold and silver, but also for some years
past the products of individual enterprise. Don't
you remember the beautiful necklace Neaera
wears? Lydia, too; even Irene wears a heavy
bracelet of solid gold."
" And do you mean to say that Campbell
hoards ornaments? "
The Legislature Meets
" My dear fellow, there is nothing unusual in
hoarding ornaments; most of the wealth of the
Rajahs at the time of the conquest of India con-
sisted of ornaments and precious stones; and later,
the hoarding of ornaments by the natives consti-
tuted one of the financial difficulties with which
the English Government had to contend. Then,
too, a miser is not actuated by intelligence; he is
the slave of an instinct — the hoarding instinct.
He must hoard something, and as there is no
gold coin to hoard, Campbell hoards gold orna-
We found that both Ann and Anna had left
the tea-room, so we ventured to the inhospitable
door of their apartment. Anna opened it to us
and ushered us into a room where her father was
sitting. He was a small man with an intelligent
face, but the hair grew on his head in a manner
that was characteristic; some people would have
called him bald, but he was not bald; the hair was
extremely thin, so thin that it gave his scalp the
appearance of not being perfectly clean. He
greeted us courteously and inquiringly, as though
we could not have called upon him except for
some definite purpose. So Ariston at once sug-
gested that he and his family should join us that
evening at Theodore's.
^' We should be delighted," said he. " But we
are expecting our boy this evening — Harmes."
Harmes was the young man who had been con-
victed of using violence with Neaera and had been
sent to the Penal Colony.
" You will want to spend your first evening
with Harmes en famille,'" said Ariston, " so let us
Campbell consulted his wife, and accepted.
''When does Harmes arrive?" asked Ariston.
" We are expecting him every moment," an-
" To-morrow, then, at Theodore's at seven,"
said Ariston, and we left.
The absence of all shame as to the imprison-
ment of Harmes struck me as remarkable, but
Ariston soon set me straight.
" You are possessed by the notions that pre-
vailed in your day — notions that resulted in great
part from the fact that most of your criminals were
poor and dirty. Your system created a residuum
— a criminal class — as surely as the thresher by
sifting out the wheat leaves behind the residuum
we call chafif. And the residuum of your com-
petitive system, which recognized practically only
one prize (that is to say, money), necessarily con-
sisted of those who being unable to earn this prize
The Legislature Meets
became destitute; of these the most enterprising
were criminals, the least enterprising, paupers.
This is the state of things to which Collectivism
puts an end. Because all work for the state all
are entitled to an equal share in the national in-
come; there are no destitute, no paupers, no crim-
inal class. Indeed, it may be said that the crim-
inal, such as you were accustomed to see him in
your police courts, does not exist among us at all.
Occasionally a man is tempted beyond endurance,
as in the case of Harmes, or in the case of Chairo
and his confederates. But if Chairo were con-
victed and sent to a penal colony, he would on his
release recover the social position to which he was
by his conduct entitled without regard to the fact
that he had served a term. No one would think
of applying the word ' criminal ' to either Chairo
or Harmes. Of course there are men born
among us, as among you, with what may be
termed truly criminal instinct — moral perverts
who take pleasure in causing pain. Such are
rarely curable. They seldom return to social
life. They are treated like lepers. We try to
make their lot as little wretched as we can. But
we recognize that the happiness of the entire
community must be preferred to that of these
exceptions; they are kept in confinement, and
above all, they are not allowed to perpetuate the
There was nothing new In all this. We were
as familiar In my day with this reasoning as Aris-
ston. But we were dominated by our Institutions,
our penal codes, our criminal lawyers, our prisons,
and, above all, our amazing doctrines of indi-
vidual liberty, which vindicated it for the crim-
inal and disregarded It for the worklngman. So
that the Industrious were bound to as enforced
labor as the convict all the time, whereas the con-
vict was periodically let loose on the community
to idle and to steal.
ON FLAVORS AND FINANCE
NEXT evening we met at Theodore's res-
taurant and sat down to a dinner, which
reminded me of the best I had ever
tasted in Paris.
Theodore himself was a type. Rather short
in stature and stout, he had a large head off which
was combed thick hair, treated very much as a
sculptor would treat hair in a monument. For
Theodore took himself very seriously. He be-
lieved gastronomy to be one of the fine arts, and
that he was its high priest. He would never
allow any one to joke about it, and admitted to
his restaurant only those who behaved toward
him with the respect to which he felt entitled.
He received us at the door with a napkin over
his arm, for of this napkin he was as proud as a
British peer of his robes; it was the emblem of
his art, and as such he bore it proudly. Ariston
greeted him and introduced us to him each by
name. He bowed at every introduction.
" And now," said Ariston, turning to us, " you
have before you the greatest culinary artist in the
Theodore smiled sadly — as indeed he might —
for possessed of the finest palate in New York, he
had for years been confined, by an ungovernable
indigestion, to a milk diet.
Theodore showed us to a private room, and
explained that he meant to open the ceremonies
with a pot au feu garbure, and that the cheese
used on the toasi: had just arrived from France.
He left us to seat ourselves, and very soon after
we were settled, the door was thrown open by his
son and Theodore appeared, with an air of almost
stern solemnity, holding a silver soup tureen in
both hands, the inevitable napkin on his arm. He
placed the soup tureen on a side table, lifted off
the lid, and with religious care ladled the soup
into plates, carefully providing that each had his
share of the preciously prepared toast.
A chorus of approval from us brought the sad
smile back into his face again, and as we sat he
told us that he had ^' created " a new dish for us.
He was very particular about the use of this word
*' created." He kept a list of his special dishes,
and Ariston told us afterwards that he had once
asked Theodore for this list, describing it as the
On Flavors and Finance
list of his inventions. Theodore had offendedly
corrected him. " Creations^ you mean." The dish
he had created for us that day was a pheasant
stuffed with ortolans, all cooked in their own juice
— braise — over a slow fire during six hours. He
explained that it was a great mistake to roast
pheasants. For those who insisted on his roasting
them he provided himself with vine twigs (sar-
ments) , the fire made with them imparting a subtle
flavor to the meat. But the meat of a pheasant
though delicious was dry, and the method he had
adopted was altogether the best for bringing out
the full meaning of the bird. The same was true
Theodore did not appear more than twice: at
the opening ceremony of the soup and at the
climax — the newly created combination. While
we were partaking of this last, he told us of a great
discussion that was about to be settled as to the
respective flavor of three kinds of mutton. He
had been enlisted on the side of the Long Island
breed, and had that day selected the sheep which
was to have the honor of representing Long Island
interests. He explained that much depended on
the choice of the animal. In his selection he had
picked out one upon whose hind legs were the
tooth marks of the shepherd dog, for these marks
showed him to be so keen on sweet pasture that it
took an actual bite to drive him from it.
Theodore was a determined individualist and
warm supporter of Chairo's. It was insufferable,
he said, that an artist like himself — and bowing
condescendingly to Anna, he added — " and our
young lady, too " — should have to work half the
day for the state, when under individualistic con-
ditions thousands of rich men would have been
delighted to cover him with gold in recognition
of his services. I could not help thinking of a
distinguished cook I had known in Paris once
who, under these very individualistic conditions,
had struggled with debt all his life and never
escaped from it.
After Theodore had served the birds he with-
drew. We were enjoying the dish when Anna
surprised us by saying, as though she had just
made the discovery:
"This is really quite nice!"
" Why, my dear child," said her father, " it
is a chef d'ceuvre\ What have you been thinking
about all this time? "
"I have been looking at Theodore; do you
know, he has a good head to sculpt."
We all laughed at this view of Theodore, and
On Flavors and Finance
" This kind of thing is rather a jump from
what we have at the colony."
'' Is the food bad there? " asked I.
"No, not bad; but nothing nice until we can
afford to pay for it with the wages we earn."
This led to a long account by Harmes of how
the colony was managed and the system — often
proposed in my day — for slowly restoring the
inmates of a reformatory to social life.
Harmes spoke so freely of the whole subject
that I ventured to ask him :
" And Neaera — was it her fault or yours? "
Harmes' eye flashed a moment, and then look-
ing around the table, and finally at Ariston, asked:
'^ Can I speak freely? "
" Certainly," said Ariston. " Our friend here
knows, perhaps, more about Neaera than you do."
"Am I to condole with you, then?" asked
" No," I answered. " I had the advantage
over you of age and experience."
" She is a little devil," said Harmes. " And
the devil of it is that if I were to see her to-mor-
row I believe I should want to make love to her
"Harmes!" exclaimed his mother protest-
" Oh, I have learned my lesson! I won't make
love to her again; but the amazing thing is that
after all she has cost me I cannot make up my
mind to dislike her as I ought."
" You needn't dislike her," said Ariston, " any
more than you need dislike a stone that breaks
" I cannot but think, however," said Camp-
bell, *' that the punishment was out of proportion
to the ofifense."
" No," said Ann, to my great surprise. " You
must not say that. No one has suffered more from
Harmes' confinement in the colony than I, and
yet I am bound to say that violence is to my mind
— and to the mind of all of us women — so danger-
ous a thing that I prefer my son should be an in-
nocent victim than that it should go unpunished."
We had a delicious bottle of California Bur-
gundy with our birds, and I asked whether this
was provided by the state.
" Fortunately," said Campbell, " the state has
never taken the vineyards out of the hands of those
who owned them at the time of the new constitu-
tion. It monopolizes the distillation of liquor, but
all wines not containing more than six per cent al-
cohol are produced by individual enterprise. The
owners have to contribute a stipulated quota to the
On Flavors and Finance
state, as in the case of all agricultural products.
The surplus belongs to them; but as the money
they get from the state has no value two years after
issue, we find in this very class the best customers
for our bank."
We had by this time finished our dinner; the
coffee and cigars were before us, and the company
settled themselves for a long talk on the working
of their system, all of which was of great interest
to me, a traveller from the past.
The minutes passed rapidly in this interesting
exchange of experiences until Anna and Ann, who
had long shown signs of ennui, arose to depart, and
Ariston, noting their desire to leave, paid the bill
and we left.
THE INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE
MEANWHILE, the investigating commit-
tee had been appointed, and the day
came when witnesses were to be exam-
ined. The committee sat in the afternoon only, so
as to make it possible for all to attend without
sacrificing their state work. Masters, of course,
was there, Chairo, too, and Ariston, who con-
tinued to act for Chairo. Ariston had consulted
with me as to the wisdom of preparing Masters
for the testimony implicating Neaera, which we
knew would be elicited. But I preferred to allow
events to take their course.
The first witness called was one of those who
had attacked the House of Detention and been
wounded. He had clearly remained devoted to
Chairo; for to every question put to him, which
tended to implicate Chairo, he displayed astonish-
ing forgetfulness; but as soon as the examination
bore upon my interview with Balbus, at which he
The Investigating Committee
had been present, he stated every circumstance ex-
actly as it had happened, except that he was, per-
haps, more severe on Neaera than she deserved.
" She would not allow Balbus to speak," he
said. " She walked right over from the corner
where she was writing and wouldn't allow Balbus
to say a word."
He even insisted that it was Neaera who had
ordered my arrest, and personally supervised the
act of binding me to the chair.
Masters' brow grew dark at this attack on
Neaera, and he undertook to cross-examine the
witness, but did it clumsily and ineffectually. His
principal effort was to induce the witness to admit
that Neaera had already received orders from
Chairo that an attempt at rescue was to be made
whatever apparently contradictory messages might
be received, whether purporting to come from
him, Chairo, or from others.
This line of cross-examination incensed Chairo,
who was indirectly charged by it with having sent
me on a message for the purpose of assuming an
air of innocence, when he all the time intended the
attempt at rescue to be made.
Ariston with great difficulty kept Chairo from
angry interruption; and on redirect examination,
which he was allowed in Chairo's interest to con-
duct, strengthened the evidence of Chairo's good
The next witness was clearly of Hibernian de-
scent, for he at once took the entire committee and
audience into his confidence. " I'll tell you all
about it," he said. " I'm the janitor of the ' Lib-
erty' offices, and I know all about it from the
He then proceeded to give a complete history
of his own life from the earliest years he could
remember, and he assured us that he would go still
further back if he could; that he had nothing to
conceal from the committee, and would tell them
" all about it from the very beginning."
Over and over again he was interrupted by the
committee, who complained of the irrelevancy of
his testimony. " And would you have me hold
anything back? " he said indignantly. " Haven't
I sworn to tell the whole truth as well as nothing
but the truth?"
" We only want to hear you in connection with
the organization and arming of forces by Chairo
with a view to violence and the subsequent attempt
upon the House of Detention."
" And haven't I known Chairo all my life," re-
sponded the witness triumphantly, " and isn't that
just what I'm telling you? Just leave me quiet,"
The Investigating Committee
he added, " and I'll tell you the whole thing from
The committee, thinking time would in the
end be saved, gave the witness rope, of which he
was not slow to take advantage, for he interlarded
his narrative with stories so comic that the com-
mittee was at last obliged to interfere again. But
his wit was equal to every emergency, and after
an hour spent in the futile effort to extract infor-
mation from him, he was released. A broad wink
at Chairo as he left the witness box set the audi-
ence in a roar, but did not help Chairo's case.
The third witness was another of the party
which had attacked the House of Detention, and
he clearly was actuated by no desire to shield
Chairo, for he testified to details so damaging to
him that no one had any longer any doubt as to
Chairo having organized a vast conspiracy against
the state. He had himself been one of Chairo's
lieutenants, and he gave the names of the men
that had joined him, the weapons that had been
secured, the date of his first instructions from
Chairo, and their tenor; in fact, nothing was left
untold. He was not present when I carried
Chairo's message to Balbus.
Ariston cross-examined him with great skill,
tripped him up as to some of his dates and details,
and even threw sonae confusion into his testimony
regarding the character of the instructions. But
as to the main facts his testimony was unshaken.
The examination and cross-examination of
these three witnesses occupied the whole of the
first day; and as Chairo, Ariston, and I returned
slowly to our quarters we found it difficult to
speak. Chairo was still angry with Masters, and
expressed himself on the subject in a few explosive
sentences. Ariston reminded Chairo that Masters
was an old admirer of Neaera's, and I felt almost
guilty at withholding from them that he had ac-
tually married her.
After our plunge, Ariston and I brightened
up a little, but Chairo remained profoundly de-
" The fact is," he said, " I am beginning to
look at things from a different point of view. This
military organization of ours was a gigantic mis-
^' Violence can only be justified," said Ariston,
" by some public necessity or injustice; no isolated
personal grievance can possibly justify it."
" We thought that this whole Demetrian cult
had become a social evil, but others evidently do
Chairo's manner had so changed from what it
The Investigating Committee
was when I first met him among the hills of
Tyringham that my mind was set upon inquiring
as to the cause, and I could not help suspecting
that his misgivings were for the most part due to
I felt that I was de trop and found some excuse
for leaving them.
Later Ariston told me that although Chairo
was profoundly discouraged, strange to say, he
had expressed little concern about himself or his
political aims; what he used to describe as "The
Cause," and really meant his own ambition, seemed
to have entirely passed out of his mind; his whole
concern now was for Lydia.
The examination of witnesses during the next
few days resulted in a confirmation of all the facts
brought out on the first day; Chairo had clearly
undertaken a vast and dangerous conspiracy
against the state ; he had, in good faith, sought at
the last moment to prevent violence, and Neaera
was wholly responsible for the attempt at rescue.
Masters and his following alone persisted in en-
deavoring to shield Neaera. According to them,
instructions had been given by Chairo to both
Balbus and Neaera that in case of any accident
happening to himself, the attempt was to be made
to rescue him, and that this attempt was to serve
as an excuse for the violence which they felt in-
dispensable to the defeat of the Demetrian cult.
As the examination was drawing to a close,
Ariston pointed out to me that I was probably the
only man who could persuade Masters of his mis-
take; he also urged that not only Chairo's fate
hung in the balance but Lydia's also.
Ariston told me that Lydia's letters to him
plainly showed that her own hopes as to the pass-
age of the amnesty bill had come to an end, and
that the subject under discussion between them
now was what they should do in case the amnesty
bill was not passed.
While we were talking over the matter in our
apartment, we were astonished to receive the visit
of Masters, for of late Masters had failed to recog-
nize any of our party in the courthouse, and we
feared that the issue regarding Neaera's responsi-
bility had occasioned a permanent break in the
ranks of the opposition.
When Masters entered the room he made no
pretense of cordiality; he apologized convention-
ally for intruding, and explained that his visit was
due to a letter received from Neaera that day, in
which she had urged him to see me, as she was
convinced I could set his mind at rest regarding
The Investigating Committee
I perceived without difficulty that Neaera
must have been reduced to desperate straits in
order to have recourse to such a reckless measure,
and that the correspondence between Masters and
her must have betrayed considerable doubt in
Masters's mind as to the truth of her statements
concerning her connection with the business. I
was determined to learn from Masters as far as
possible what was his present attitude to Neaera.
So I asked :
" You have heard the witnesses ; what is your
own impression of the matter? "
" You could not expect me to believe them,
could you? "
There was an expression of agony on Masters's
brow which made me feel strongly drawn to him.
" Shall Ariston stay while we talk about this? "
" Yes," said Masters, turning to Ariston. '' It
is well that you should know that Neaera is my
Ariston put up both hands with an involuntary
expression of dismay, the significance of which
Masters did not fail to take in. He looked at me
half in despair, half in inquiry.
" Ariston understands now," I said, " why you
have undertaken to vindicate Neaera."
" I should have undertaken to vindicate her in
any event," answered Masters. " She is a woman,
and a concerted effort is being directed toward
making a scapegoat of her."
" The witnesses," I answered, " are certainly
unanimous on the subject."
" From what you say," Masters said, " I gather
that you do not disbelieve them."
The veins in Masters's forehead were swelling
with the effort he was making to hide his indigna-
" I have been at great pains to be released
from the obligation of testifying," I answered,
" because I have not wished to injure her, because,
above all," I added, " I have not wished to injure
We had remained standing during this conver-
sation, but when I said this — and in saying it I
tried to make Masters feel that I was sorry for
him — he turned away a little and sank sideways
upon a chair. He leaned one arm on the back of
it, bowing his head upon his hand, and after a
moment's pause turned to me again; his face was
" If that is your reason for not testifying I am
obliged to you," he said. " But which is your real
reason — to spare Neaera or to spare me? "
The Investigating Committee
" I have no more reason for sparing Neaera
than that she is a woman; I have every reason for
Masters looked at me inquiringly.
" I have nothing to conceal from you," I con-
" Then tell me just what happened," answered
I took a seat and so did Ariston, and thought
for a moment how I could tell the facts in so far
as they concerned the attempt at rescue without
disclosing Neaera's designs upon myself. I con-
fined myself to the part she played when I gave
Chairo's message to Balbus.
" Might not this have been done by Neaera,"
asked Masters, " in compliance with a prior un-
derstanding with Chairo? "
" I cannot believe," said I, " that there was any
such understanding; indeed, I am convinced that
if Neaera was not herself the cause of Chairo's
capture, she was a party to it." I told then the
story of the tampering with Chairo's carriage.
*' Could not this, too, have been a part of the
plot? " pleaded Masters desperately.
" A part of Neaera's plot, not a part of Chai-
ro's. No one can talk ten minutes with Chairo
now without being convinced that his first object
was to get possession of Lydia; the political in-
trigue in the latest stage of the affair became
altogether a secondary matter."
" Neaera was not," interrupted Ariston,
*' pleased with the role Lydia played in the mat-
ter. At one time there was no small intimacy
between Chairo and Neaera; Neaera is not a
woman to see her place taken by another with-
out vindictiveness. In preventing the escape of
Chairo she was serving a double purpose; she
kept the issue alive, and she satisfied a personal
Masters looked at me as though to learn my
opinion on this view.
*' I gathered this : from a few words Neaera
dropped after she had set me free," I said; ''she
told me that all Chairo wanted was Lydia."
Masters jumped up from his chair.
" Then you would have me believe," said he,
" that my wife is a vixen ! "
At this I jumped up too.
" Masters," I said, " I have told you the facts
because I felt you were entitled to them. If you
cannot stand hearing the facts you should not
have asked for them."
There was a moment when it seemed doubt-
ful whether we might not come to blows ; but the
The Investigating Committee
flash went out of Masters's eye as he looked at me,
and presently he held out his hand to me and said:
" I am sure you have intended to render me a
service, and I suppose in the end " — he paused a
moment as he shook my hand, and added — " in
the end it will prove to be so."
Then, taking up his cap and cloak, he said :
" At any rate there need be no hard feeling
between myself and Chairo, but I am a little dazed
by what I have heard, and so I shall ask you both
to keep this interview confidential for a time. In
a few days I shall know better just how to act."
"TREASONS, STRATAGEMS, AND SPOILS"
BUT as Masters walked homeward his ir-
resolution disappeared. He saw that his
love for Neaera and his amour propre had
blinded him to the real significance of the testi-
mony elicited by the investigating committee.
Taking together the unanimity of this testimony,
the breaking down of Chairo's carriage, the ten-
dresse that Neaera had certainly once entertained
for Chairo, the duplicity with which he had over
and over again heard Neaera charged, certain
ambiguities in some of her own statements, and
this last barefaced appeal to me, there could be
no more doubt. He rehearsed the interview at
which he had asked her to marry him; he had
been trapped by a show of indignation and a tear-
By the time he reached his rooms his mind was
made up. He sat down and wrote the following
"Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils"
"Dear Neaera: I am afraid that the facts
which have come to my knowledge leave no doubt
as to your being responsible for the attack on the
House of Detention. You are charged, too, with
having tampered with Chairo's carriage in order
to prevent his escape with Lydia. Shall I inves-
tigate this matter, or would it not perhaps be
better for you to turn over the leaf and start a
clean page somewhere else? I am prepared to do
what is needful in order to make this easy to you,
and send you by the messenger who hands this to
you money for your immediate necessities. Should
you wish your mother to accompany you, I shall
provide for her also. Meanwhile, of course, we
can arrange to undo the marriage that was some-
what hastily celebrated.
Neaera was not far from New York. She and
her mother were both occupying a cottage belong-
ing to Masters in New Jersey, behind the Pali-
sades. Her mother was a widow and a cipher.
She had been a helpless spectator of her daugh-
ter's too brilliant adventures, and was accustomed
to sudden changes.
When Neaera received Masters's letter she
sent word to him she would be in New York
that night. Masters on receiving the message
packed a small portmanteau and went to Boston,
leaving word with his aunt, who kept house for
him, to receive Neaera should she arrive.
Masters was unwilling to subject himself to
a scene with Neaera. While his messenger was
away evidence had been presented to him which
left no doubt as to Neaera having tampered with
Chairo's carriage; and this was more than suffi-
cient as a last straw. He felt he had been unac-
countably weak in his previous personal encoun-
ters with her and that she was now counting upon
this weakness. It is not easy for a man to turn a
woman out of his house, nor to hand over to the
authorities a political refugee who has entrusted
herself to his care. To keep Neaera in his rooms
under the circumstances would have been con-
sistent neither with what he owed the state nor
with what he owed himself. He trusted, there-
fore, to Neaera's intelligence to conclude from
his departure that his decision was irrevocable.
Meanwhile, Lydia had left Tyringham and
returned to New York. This had not happened
without considerable negotiation, for it had been
part of the understanding upon which Chairo had
been released on parole that Lydia was to remain
away from New York. The intention of this ar-
rangement was to prevent Chairo from further
"Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils"
compromising Lydia, pending the determination
of his case. But Lydia had been of late so much
disturbed by Chairo's letters that she had come to
a decision which she proceeded at once, if pos-
sible, to carry out, and as a first step toward doing
so, it was indispensable that she should go to New
She sent, therefore, to Irene the letter from
Chairo which had particularly exercised her and
asked Irene whether, under the circumstances, she
could not once more be received at the cloister,
no longer as a Demetrian but as one in retreat,
in order that she might concert with Irene and
other members of the council as to the course she
proposed to pursue.
The letter from Chairo — or rather the extract
from it — which she sent to Irene ran as follows:
" I could ask no one but you to believe how
differently my own acts appear to me when I
looked back upon them some weeks ago with the
glamour that self-deception threw around them
and when I hear them to-day coldly recited in the
witness box. During the examination I have
asked myself whether the witnesses I have heard
testifying before the investigating committee were
really telling about me, or were not rather telling
of events which have happened only in a night-
mare. And when I push my self-examination fur-
ther, I see that the difference lies in this: At the
time I prepared our forces for violence I was
thinking of myself; now, I am thinking of you.
" I do not disguise from myself that the story
narrated by more than a dozen witnesses regard-
ing my actions prior to your acceptance of the
mission, condemns me to an extent that makes the
passage of an amnesty bill — so far as I am con-
cerned — difficult if not impossible. The question,
therefore, arises, What am I to do? I am per-
fectly prepared to take my punishment myself,
but it almost makes me die to think that I am
dragging you with me into disgrace. I have
thought that probably I am at this moment the
chief difficulty in the way of a conclusion of this
business; that if I were not fighting for my own
release, the others would be pardoned easily
enough. I would willingly bear the brunt of it
all were it not for you. My perplexity is, that in
fighting for you I am fighting also for myself."
Irene discussed the possibility of Lydia's re-
turn to the cloister with her colleagues, and the
extract from Chairo's letter was read to them.
Masters, also, was consulted; for his efifort to de-
fend Neaera's reputation had enlisted him against
Chairo on the side of the cult, and he had, there-
fore, been occasionally admitted to their counsels.
It was finally decided that in view of Chairo's
present attitude — the sincerity of which very few
were disposed to doubt — and in view of the course
Lydia proposed to adopt, she should be readmitted
"Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils"
to retreat in the cloister, though it was deemed
wise to give as little publicity to this return as
Masters, however, had told Neaera of it, and
when Neaera arrived at Masters's rooms to find
that he had left New York, her agile and vindic-
tive mind immediately set itself to a combination
of " treasons, stratagems, and spoils," in which
somehow or another she wanted Lydia and Chairo
to play a part — a part that would give some satis-
faction to her spite. Then, too, there was some-
where in her mind the possibility that if, as she
understood, Chairo was hard pressed, and if, as
she hoped, Lydia was to any degree alienated
from him through the influence of the cloister,
Chairo might be induced to share her evils with
her. There were chapters in their past that he
might not find it distasteful to rehearse.
Neaera on arriving in New York found Mas-
ters's aunt fussily desirous to be useful to her, and
yet very anxious at the thought that she was har-
boring a political runaway. Neaera had arrived
after dark, so veiled as to escape recognition. She
was nerved for an encounter with Masters, in
which she was by feminine dexterity to dissipate
the suspicions to which he had fallen too easy a
prey, and the news that he was gone had for first
effect to make her restlessly anxious to do some-
thing. She therefore asked whether two notes
could be delivered by private messenger that night,
one to Lydia and one to Chairo. After inquiry,
arrangements were made to do this, and Neaera
sat down to contrive her little plot. The first
part of it was simple enough. She wrote to Lydia
that she had come to New York at great personal
risk expressly to see her on a matter of vital im-
portance, and asked her to come the next morning
punctually at ten. To Chairo she showed less
solicitude: she confined herself to the bare state-
ment of her whereabouts, and that she would be
alone next morning at a quarter past ten till half
past. The messenger was directed not to wait for
an answer to either note.
The next morning, punctually at ten, Lydia,
to Neaera's delight, was shown into Masters's
" I had to see you," said Neaera, kissing her.
She dismissed the aunt, begging her not to admit
any other persons without announcing them, and
put Lydia down on a sofa. She sat next to Lydia
and took her hand.
«" I am afraid you don't like me," she said.
" On the contrary," answered Lydia, " I like
you, but I differ from you."
"Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils"
" Yes, I know; we differ on almost everything;
on the cult, on state employment, on personal lib-
erty, etc., etc., but then, we have one thing in com-
mon, we are both women."
Lydia looked a little puzzled. This abstract
conversation was not what she had been prepared
by Neaera's note to expect.
" I am not at all sure," she said, " that it is not
just about womanhood that we differ most."
"Lydia!" answered Neaera reproachfully.
" I did not mean to wound you," said Lydia
quickly. " There is so much room for honest dif-
ference of opinion that I do not undertake to set
my opinion against yours, or indeed anyone's.
But is it not dangerous for you to be here? "
Neaera smiled consciously, and said:
'' I am not thinking of that. I came to see you
because I felt you ought to be put right, and I
want to do right; in the first place, you will be
misled if you believe the wicked falsehoods that
are being circulated in order to put the whole
blame for what has occurred upon me. I should
never have left New York of my own will. Mas-
ters forced me to go, and I am occupying his
cottage at Englewood. I am prepared at any time
to return to New York and set things right, and
I can ; I can testify to the message sent by Chairo,
to my efforts to induce Balbus to give up the
attempt at rescue, to Balbus's refusal to listen to
me, to his having arrested Xenos and bound him,
to my having released Xenos — and Xenos will, I
am sure, if I ask him, confirm my testimony.
This will set Chairo right before the committee;
only I don't want to see Chairo. He has been im-
ploring me for an interview. I don't want to com-
plicate things; you have suffered enough, you
shall not suffer any more through me "
Lydia was about to rise and leave the room;
she would not by word or gesture admit the in-
ference to be drawn from Neaera's words — ad-
mit the possibility of inconstancy on the part of
Chairo; but at the moment she was about to rise
a ring was heard at the door, and presently the
aunt appeared excitedly, and announced that
Chairo was there. Neaera jumped up and shut
" You must not see him here," she said to
Lydia. " Come into this room," and she beckoned
her into an adjoining parlor, separated from the
study only by a curtain. Lydia, who was under a
promise not to meet Chairo, had no option but to
follow Neaera, but she followed with a cheek
flushed with indignation. She sat stiffly in a chair
while Neaera left her to receive Chairo. She
"Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils"
heard the door of the study open and Neaera's
voice in the adjoining room say:
*' Chairo, my poor Chairo! "
Then she buried her face in her hands and her
fingers in her ears so that she should not be an
unwilling listener. She would be staunch to her
faith in Chairo, for this was the one rock under
the shelter of which in the shifting and stormy
skies she felt there was any longer any safety for
Lydia heard in spite of herself Neaera's coo-
ing treble and the rich vibrating notes of Chairo's
voice; she heard them laugh once, and then there
came what seemed to be a silence that was terrible
to her. Later, the voices resumed again. She
passed a half hour of anguish, striving to listen
and striving not to hear, and during that half
hour she thought she heard the voices in the ad-
joining room pass through every gamut of emo-
tion; they were sometimes raised as though each
was striving to outdo the other, then they would
sink into silence again. Would it never come to
an end — this interview between the man she loved
and a woman she despised? At last she heard a
door close; she removed her hands from her head
and tried to look composed.
Neaera came to her with her cheeks flushed.
" Did you hear anything? " asked she.
" I have been here too long," said Lydia.
" You have nothing else to say, I think," and she
moved out of the parlor into the study and was
moving out of the study into the hall when Neaera
stopped her, and said:
" You are not mistaking Chairo's visit, are
you?" There was the prettiest little dimple in
Neaera's cheek as she said this. " Nothing but
politics," she added, and the dimple deepened.
" Good-by," said Lydia, without holding out
Neaera burst out now into a little laugh, for
Lydia had passed her and was at the door.
" Nothing but politics," laughed Neaera, as
Lydia shut the door behind her.
AS Lydia hurried back to the cloister she
had a humiliated sense of having been in
contact with something foul. Indignant
at the trap which had been laid for her, sore at the
struggle neither to listen nor to doubt, one thought
only occupied her: to get back to the cloister and
wash her mind and body clean of the whole con-
She had not been allowed to respond to
Neaera's invitation without a long discussion with
Irene and the Mother Superior. The compact
upon which she had come to New York was that
she was not to meet Chairo there; to insure this,
it had been the unexpressed understanding that
she would not leave the cloister until Chairo's
case was judged — or at least not leave it without
the permission of the Demetrian authorities. So
when Neaera's message was received, Lydia at
once showed it to Irene.
Neaera's role in the whole matter was such
an important one, and so much depended on what
it could be proved to have been, that the Mother
Superior judged it worth the risk to allow Lydia
to visit Neaera. When, therefore, Lydia returned
to the cloister, Irene at once questioned her as to
the result of the interview.
But Lydia was not prepared to lay bare even
to Irene all she had suffered at Masters's rooms.
It was already pitiful enough that her love for
Chairo had become a subject for public discus-
sion, and, indeed, a matter of political concern.
This last agony she would keep to herself; she
felt unable to talk about it to others, so she an-
swered Irene imploringly:
" Do not ask me. Nothing has come of it
which can be of the slightest importance to the
cult or to any one. Neaera is a worse woman than
Irene hesitated. She did not wish to intrude
on Lydia, and yet she knew the Mother Superior
would not be satisfied with this answer. But
there was no reason for forcing an answer from
Lydia at once, so she accompanied her to her
" I want a bath," said Lydia. " I feel con-
"Physically contaminated?" asked Irene,
" The mere presence of that woman is a phys-
ical contamination," answered Lydia.
" Well, let us go down and take a plunge to-
gether," answered Irene, laughing.
"Will you?" asked Lydia. "And then we
can go to the temple afterwards. That will be the
best of all."
The two women stepped down to the swim-
ming bath and donned their swimming dress.
Lydia stood on the plunging board, and as she
raised her beautiful arms above her head and
straightened herself for the plunge, she said:
"Ah! Irene, if life were all as simple and as
wholesome and as delightful as this!"
Reinvigorated by the fresh salt plunge, they
resumed their draperies and walked slowly to the
temple. The service was coming to an end and
they knelt to hear the closing chorus of the Choe-
phoroi. The words came with refreshing dis-
tinctness to Lydia, and the hopefulness of them
filled her heart with strength. They told of the
beauty of women, of their devotion. Beauty was
a snare, but it was also a sanctuary. For the god-
dess gave beauty to the good and to the evil alike
— so had the Fates decreed. And the evil would
use it to the undoing of man, but the good to the
building of him up. And the goddess loved good
and hated evil.
Then came the prayer of the women; they
prayed to Demeter to give them charm to delight
and courage to renounce, that love and modera-
tion bring in the end happiness and peace.
And the priest lifted his hand in benediction:
" Go forth, for the goddess hath blessed you,
and hath bidden you take heed that, pitiless though
be Anagke, even her empire may at last be broken
by the fruit of your womb."
The congregation knelt at these words and re-
mained kneeling while the choir marched out
singing a recessional, solemn and strong. Then
came the novices, the Demetrians, and, last of all,
the high priest bearing the sacred emblem.
When Lydia and Irene left the temple and
followed the arcade to the cloister, all doubts and
fears seemed to have fallen from Lydia, as scales
from eyes blinded by cataract.
*' How beautiful the cult of Demeter is! " ex-
claimed Lydia, '' and how strengthening."
Irene passed her arm round Lydia's waist.
" You know now," she said, " how easy my sacri-
fice has become! Oh, we have to pass through the
fire, but once the ordeal is over, happiness comes
unbidden and unexpected. Come to my boy — my
boys, I should say. I left them at work and I
shall probably find them at play; but they are
truthful and innocent. Their innocence is a daily
delight to me."
And the two women returned to their duties.
Lydia forgot that she had heard Neaera whis-
pering to Chairo. She had taken in a draught of
strength, and she needed it, for another trial was
Lydia was allowed to sleep that night the sleep
of the innocent, but the next morning while she
was engaged in the hospital ward, Irene came to
her with an expression of agitation on her face
that was unusual. She carried in her hand a
newspaper, which Lydia was not slow in recog-
nizing, and asked Lydia when she v/ould be
through her work, as she had an important word
to say to her.
Lydia promised to hurry and be back in her
room within ten minutes. Irene said she would
go at once to her room and wait there. The mo-
ment Irene left the room the probable contents of
the newspaper flashed upon her, and she saw the
folly of her reticence. She was putting the last
bandage about the leg of a child when suddenly,
at the thought of the false construction that might
be placed upon her silence, a weakness came over
her that made it almost impossible for her to finish
" What is the matter, Aunt Lydia? " asked the
child; ''you look pale."
Lydia collected herself. " Nothing," she said,
'' I shall be all right presently." She passed her
unoccupied hand over her eyes and was able to
resume and complete her work.
When she had sewn up the bandage she put
back the small wounded limb into the bed, tucked
in the sheets, and, preoccupied as she was with her
new concern, was moving away without giving
the child the customary kiss.
"Aunt Lydia!" cried out the child, holding
out its little hands.
'' Darling," answered Lydia, and as the soft
arms closed around her neck and she felt innocent
lips upon her cheek, tears gushed from her eyes,
of which — relief though they gave her — she was
The child looked wonderingly at her, and she
" It is nothing at all, and Aunt Lydia is very
grateful for a sweet little kiss."
The child patted her cheek with a dimpled
hand as she bent over him, and Lydia left, won-
dering how often she would have to be reminded
that happiness did not depend only upon the sat-
isfaction of our own desires. She had left the
temple full of this thought, and yet a suspected
attack, directed by a newspaper against her own
particular designs, had in a moment blackened
her entire horizon. When she reached her room
and found Irene there she was once more calm
She found Irene sitting down, with the news-
paper open on her knees. It was published by
a few devotees in vindication of the cult, although
lacking its support. The cult had, indeed, often
tried to suppress its publication but had not suc-
ceeded. It had been able only to compel the pub-
lishers to change its name, for it had been pub-
lished at first under the title " The Demetrian."
The cult had pointed out that this title gave the
impression that it was an authorized organ,
whereas it was not only unauthorized but pub-
lished in a spirit opposite to that taught by the
cult. So the name had been changed to '' Sacri-
fice," this word having been selected in opposition
to the word " Liberty " — the title of its rival.
In the issue of that morning was the following
" We are incensed to learn that although
Chairo was given his liberty on the express un-
derstanding that he was not to use it in order to
consummate his outrage on Lydia, and although
Lydia was allowed to come to New York only on
the condition that she was to remain confined to
the cloister and not to see Chairo, these two, who
have already scandalized the cult and the whole
community beyond endurance, managed yesterday
to meet clandestinely at the rooms of Masters,
between ten and eleven in the morning. Masters
is not in New York, so he cannot be held respon-
sible for this assignation; and Masters being out
of town it is hardly necessary to point out that on
this occasion the guilty couple were quite alone."
Lydia thought when she entered her room that
she was braced to endure anything, but when she
came to the closing words of the paragraph the
blood rushed to her face. She managed, however,
to avoid further expression of her indignation.
" It is false, of course?" said Irene.
" No," answered Lydia, and with burning
cheeks she turned her tired eyes on Irene. " It is
not false — and it is not true."
" What do you mean? " asked Irene anxiously.
*' Chairo was there."
" And you saw him? "
Irene was bending over her breathlessly.
A fearful agitation tormented Lydia. Must
she indeed renew the anguish of that hour — nay,
treble it, by laying it bare to all the world? She
could have told it to Irene, but to tell it to her as
a vindication of herself would involve the telling
of it to the Mother Superior and to the rest. And
who would believe that she had not seen or spoken
to Chairo, that far from seeing him, she had
crouched in an adjoining room with her fingers
at her ears in agony lest she should hear and lest
she should not hear?
She remained silent, with her head bowed over
the oflfending sheet.
"You must tell me," Irene pleaded; " I need
not tell it to any one — at least I think I need not,"
added she, hesitating, " but I know you have done
no wrong; you must clear yourself, Lydia; for the
love of the goddess, tell me."
" For the love of the goddess," repeated Lydia
slowly; she paused a moment, and then, mistress
of herself again, she said:
" I neither saw Chairo nor spoke to him. You
will believe this, but who else will?"
" Your word is enough for me," answered
Irene, " and I shall make it enough for them all."
The women arose and embraced each other,
then Lydia said :
" Too much has been already said about the
most secret as well as the most sacred matters of
a woman's life. It belongs to us women to pre-
serve the dignity that we derive from Demeter,
and that we owe her. I shall say no more on this
matter. Am I not right? "
NEAERA'S attempt on Chairo had proved
a humiliating failure, and when she con-
fronted Lydia her cheeks were flushed,
not with success as might have been imagined, but
with the effort to escape without disgrace from a
situation for which she had no one to thank or
blame but herself. Chairo had certainly at one
time been attracted by Neaera beyond the limits
of mere companionship, but he had not taken long
to discover that the glances that tended to bewitch
him were no less bewitchingly turned on others,
and he soon put Neaera where she deserved in his
She was extremely useful to him in his polit-
ical plans and on the staff of " Liberty"; and al-
though he was dimly conscious that Neaera would
to the end — at every moment that the strain of the
actual work was relieved — endeavor to bring into
their intimacy the element of coquetry of which
she was a past master, Chairo treated this dis-
position with something of the amused sense of
her charm that would be elicited by a pet animal.
And this willingness to be amused by her Neaera
understood to mean a tribute to her attractiveness
that might on a suitable occasion lead to an ex-
change of vows at the altar of matrimony.
But she little understood Chairo when she
attempted to force the occasion of their meeting
at Masters's into a channel so opposite to his pres-
ent disposition. When he entered the room where
Neaera awaited him the lines in his face and the
fatigue in his eye elicited from Neaera an ejacula-
tion in which, strange to say, there was some real
sincerity. She was truly sorry for him, and she
was woman enough to guess that the weary face
before her was due to no mere political reverses,
for the face was not only that of a tired man, it
was also that of a man who had been chastened.
She was restive under the thought that the chast-
ening influence could be his love for Lydia, and
the problem before her grew complicated when
she guessed how difficult it would be for her to
elicit from Chairo any word that could sting the
woman whom to that particular end she had
secreted in the adjoining room. Then, too, al-
though she was mistress of her own voice, she was
not mistress of Chairo's, and the possibility that
Lydia might close her ears was one that did not
enter within the scope of Neaera's imagination.
After having expressed her sympathy for
Chairo and found that it elicited little or no re-
sponse from him, but, on the contrary, that he was
eager to know the reason of her presence in New
York and of her message to him, she launched
upon a highly imaginative account of her rela-
tions to Masters, and with her command of humor
very soon got Chairo laughing over the success
with which, according to her story, she had pulled
the wool over Masters's e3^es. Chairo had no
reason to love Masters, and he had long ceased to
regard Neaera as a responsible person; the im-
morality of her proceeding affected him, there-
fore, no more than if he had observed it in a
monkey or a cat.
Neaera told her story in words so rapid and a
voice so low that Lydia could hardly have under-
stood it had she tried, and Neaera felt that she had
scored a point when she had made Chairo laugh.
Then, anticipating the effect of silence on Lydia,
she had handed Chairo some selected passages
from Masters's letters to read, and as Chairo
burst again into laughter over certain passages in
them, Neaera began to feel she might venture
farther. Laughter, especially over an unrighteous
matter, tends to make all righteousness seem super-
fluous, but when Neaera got near Chairo, in a
pretense of reading over his shoulder, a very slight
and almost unconscious movement of Chairo away
from her made her understand that any further
effort in this direction would be a mistake.
So Neaera set herself to discussing very seri-
ously the situation with Chairo, assured him that
she was prepared to sacrifice herself, and with a
tear in her eye admitted to him, almost in a whis-
per, that she had tampered with his carriage.
" I knew it," said Chairo.
" But did you guess why? " asked Neaera, very
Chairo did not answer, but looked inquiry.
" Then you shall never know," continued
This was the psychological moment of the in-
terview. She had intended, had Chairo given her
the least encouragement, to throw herself into his
arms and confess to him that she had never loved
any man but him, that so great was her love for
him that she was prepared now to face the inves-
tigating committee, tell the whole story, and tell-
ing the story by so much exonerate him. She had
expected that if there was a spark of affection in
Chairo's heart for her, his chivalrousness would
be roused by this ofifer, and he would share her
fortunes rather than permit her sacrifice to assure
But the possibility of this imagined scene had
been dissipated by that little unconscious move-
ment of Chairo's away from her. Then, too, she
knew that Lydia was in the next room, and she
almost regretted now that she was there, for if
Lydia had not been there she might have risked
the venture. But that Lydia should witness a
humiliating rejection was a risk she could not
take. So she had spoken very low and rapidly in
the hope that although Lydia might not hear any
specific word that would hurt, she might gather
a general impression that would sufficiently tor-
ment her. She little knew how completely she
was, to this extent at any rate, succeeding.
*' My dear Neaera," answered Chairo, " you
are a very charming and complicated person and
I do not pretend to guess why you chose to thwart
my plans. But you have done me a great wrong
in many ways. Should you decide now to repair
them — in so far as this is possible — you will be
behaving in a manner which, though proper,
would hardly be consistent." He smiled a little
as he said this; Neaera wished he would not speak
so loud, and was even betrayed into a gesture
which he interpreted as a gesture of protest, but
was really an instinctive effort to induce him to
lower his voice.
" You are very cruel to me," said Neaera, and
she lowered her eyelids so that her long, black
lashes swept her cheek.
" And you are a charming little comedienne,''^
laughed Chairo, " and you ought to have devoted
yourself to the stage."
" The world's my stage," she said, raising her
eyes with a flash of indignation. *' And there is
upon it every kind of character. But while I have
made a fool of many I have always respected you,
and this is how you pay me for it! "
Chairo was not deceived by her pretty little
air of indignation, but he said to himself that
though it was a part she was playing, she played
it well; so he arose, and, taking her hand, said:
" I do not mean to be unkind, Neaera, and for
anything you do to help me I shall be profoundly
"What shall I do, Chairo?" she asked, look-
ing up appealingly to him.
" Ah! that is in your hands," he answered.
" You can count upon me," she said, holding
his hand in both of hers.
Chairo did not wish to prolong the interview,
so by way of farewell he lifted her hands to his
lips. Then she fell upon her knees, kissed his
hands not once but many times, and bathed them
in her tears. He lifted her gently and put her in
" Good-bye, little woman," he said gently,
" and be sure that whatever you may do, I shall
feel kindly toward you," and disengaging himself
from her, he left the room.
Neaera saw him leave with something like
real affection in her heart. " He is the best of
them all," she said, " and I might have loved him
really." And whether it was that there was in
her something that might have responded to him
had he love to give her or whether it was mere
reaction from her own trumped-up distress, there
was a moment as Neaera sat there when the little
woman did sincerely think herself in love.
But the recollection that Lydia was in the
next room came to her, and she wondered how
much Lydia had heard. She looked in the mirror
and saw there the reflection of the very agitation
she wished Lydia to suspect, and so before the
trace of it could disappear, she hurried to her
victim. Perhaps, thought she, Lydia had heard
something without hearing too much.
THE LIBEL INVESTIGATED
CHAIRO was sitting at the head of one of
the tables in the hall of our building, and
Ariston and I were on either side of him,
when the morning papers were brought in. Since
the disappearance of " Liberty," only two morning
papers were daily published in New York: the
state paper, entitled " The New York News," and
" Sacrifice." Chairo rapidly perused " The
News " and handed it to me. I was absorbed
half in consuming the oatmeal, with which our
breakfast usually closed, and half in reading
" The News," when I was suddenly aware of an
agitation in my neighbor which caused me to look
up at him.
I was surprised at the shape this agitation
took; Chairo was a choleric man; as I first re-
member him, very slight causes of annoyance sent
the blood to his face and found expression at once
in a few violent sentences. This morning, the first
The Libel Investigated
impatient gesture over, he sat very still, pale, and
with beads of cold perspiration on his forehead.
" What is it? " asked Ariston.
Chairo pushed the paper to him.
Ariston, after reading the passage indicated,
" Of course I understand that publicity of any
kind on such a subject must be odious to you ; but
after all, it is a lie, and can be easily proved to be
" It is not altogether a lie," answered Chairo,
" I was at Masters's rooms at the hour indicated,
but Lydia was not there— at least," he added, cor-
recting himself, '' I did not see her there." For
already he began to suspect that Neaera had been
at her tricks again.
" I shall go to the editor at once," continued
Chairo, " and insist on the publication of an
The paper had by this time been handed to
me and I had read the libel.
" Don't go to the editor now," urged Ariston.
" You are justly indignant, and you have a man
to deal with, in the editor, who will only add to
your exasperation. Write a simple denial of the
fact that you have seen or spoken to Lydia at any
time or place since your arrest."
^' I won't drag her name into the paper again,"
exclaimed Chairo. " If I write anything it must
be so contrived as not to introduce her name. I
have a right to insist that my private affairs be no
more discussed in the paper."
'' You have the undoubted right under our
law to demand this, but don't be impatient if I
answer you that this matter is not a purely private
one; it is a matter of grave public interest."
Chairo flashed a look at Ariston that we both
understood; it meant a sudden revival of his aver-
sion for the cult, which made of this private mat-
ter one with which the public had a right to
meddle; but the look died away, and Chairo's
face resumed the settled expression of discourage-
ment which had marked it since the sessions of the
investigating committee began.
" Let me see," said Ariston, " if I cannot draw
up a letter which the paper will have to publish,"
and he scribbled on the newspaper band that
Chairo had torn off and thrown aside. Very soon
he produced the following:
The Editor of " Sacrifice."
"Sir: I avail myself of my right under the
law to insist on your publishing this letter in the
same place and in the same type as the paragraph
to which it refers.
The Libel Investigated
"The statement that I have in spirit or in
letter violated the compact under which I was
released is not true. I was at Masters's rooms at
the hour indicated, but I met no one there.
" Should you add anything to the libel already
published, by way of comment, head line, or
otherwise of a nature to cast a doubt upon the
contradiction herein contained, I shall at once.
have you prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the
" I beg also to inform you that I shall regard
any further reference to this incident as an im-
proper meddling with my private affairs, and
shall proceed accordingly."
Chairo glanced at the proposed letter, and
" It is quite satisfactory except as to one state-
ment in it. I did not meet Lydia at Masters', but
I did meet another woman there."
Ariston and I looked at one another in sur-
" An indiscretion? " asked Ariston.
" Not at all," said Chairo, " but a secret."
This was very awkward.
" I need not hesitate to tell you as my counsel,
in confidence," continued Chairo. " But I think
it must go no further."
We looked our inquiry.
*^ It was Neaera," said Chairo very low.
Ariston and I opened our eyes.
"That woman again!" exclaimed Ariston.
But Chairo rose, suggesting that it would be
more prudent to discuss the matter in our rooms,
and we followed him there.
Chairo then told us of his interview with
Neaera, leaving out of it all that might have ex-
plained or reflected on her motives. Both Ariston
and I felt certain he was leaving out something.
*' Well, we must modify our letter," said Aris-
ton, and after some discussion it was decided to
leave out the statement that Chairo had been at
Masters's rooms altogether, and to confine the
letter therefore to a bare denial.
Ariston advised Chairo to go at once to Arkles
and explain the facts, so as to put the cult in a
position to write a similar denial. Ariston and I
proceeded to the office of " Sacrifice."
On our way there we discussed Chairo's inter-
view with Neaera.
" You may depend upon it," said Ariston, '' she
has lost Masters, and is making a desperate effort
to get back Chairo."
" And she had Lydia secreted in an adjoining
room," guessed I.
" That's it," said Ariston; " she is a devil! "
The Libel Investigated
" But can Chairo insist on the publication of
his letter? " asked I.
^' Certainly," said Ariston. " In this we have
but copied an admirable provision of the French
law in your time. We have added to it a right
for every man to prohibit any paper from pub-
lishing any matter regarding his private move-
ments or his private afifairs. The effect of this rule
is that as every paper wants to be free to publish
what is known as society news, and it can only do
so with the tacit consent of those who make up
society, it has to take care to publish nothing that
even borders on libel. Libel and slander, I think
I have told you, we regard as one of the greatest
of social crimes."
We found the editor of " Sacrifice " in a con-
dition of sanctimonious self-satisfaction. His ar-
ticle had produced a sensation, and he was tri-
umphant in the thought that he was accomplishing
for the cult what the cult itself was too feeble to
accomplish for itself. He assumed an air of por-
tentous gravity when he learned the object of our
'^ I hold Chairo in the hollow of my hand,"
said he, " and I do not mean to let him off."
" You will have to publish his letter," insisted
'' I shall publish his letter and I shall brand it
as a lie," retorted the editor.
" You will do so at your peril," answered
" I fear no consequences," said the little man,
straightening himself in his editorial chair.
" When Chairo denies that he was at Masters's
rooms between ten and eleven yesterday morning,
and Lydia denies that she was there at the same
hour, it will be time to resume investigation. So
bare a denial as this " — and he threw Chairo's
letter contemptuously down on his desk — " is not
worth the paper it is written on."
" What is your proof of the correctness of your
statement? " asked Ariston.
" I need not produce it," said the editor pom-
pously, " but I have nothing to conceal," and after
looking among the papers on his desk, he found
and handed us a typewritten statement of the fact
constituting the alleged libel. I was pretty sure
that I detected here the hand of Neaera.
" Before publishing this anonymous state-
ment," continued the editor, " I was careful to
confirm it. The janitor of the building, upon be-
ing questioned by me in person as to who had
passed his lodge during the hour in question, men-
tioned, of his own accord, both Chairo and Lydia.
The Libel Investigated
They arrived each alone and at an interval of a
few minutes. It was an assignation. There is no
doubt of it."
" You had best not tell Chairo so," said Aris-
" Don't threaten me, sir," exclaimed the editor.
" Your own role in this matter will not bear inves-
Ariston rose suddenly and advanced on the
editor, but I interfered.
" You have come here," said I, " on an errand
as counsel for Chairo, because you feared he
would not control his temper. Are you going to
lose yours? "
I had. clutched Ariston by the arm, and at first
he tried to extricate himself from me, but he saw
the force of my argument, and, looking a little
mortified, he said:
" Xenos is right. I have no right to prejudice
Chairo's case by taking up a quarrel of my own.
Xenos, however, is a witness to the words you have
used and the animus you have shown. Now pub-
lish a word of comment if you dare! "
Then, turning abruptly to the door, we both
left the room.
As soon as we were out of the building Ariston,
who was trembling with suppressed passion, said:
"This man has to be scotched! He means
mischief and is in a position to do mischief
unless we can make Chairo's innocence in this
matter clear as day. Let us summon the janitor
at once before an examining magistrate and get
all the facts from him. You understand me —
I understood him, and appreciated the value
of a procedure that enabled any citizen to demand
at any time the examination of any other citizen
before a magistrate — subject, of course, to a heavy
penalty in case the proceeding turned out to be
unreasonable and vexatious. Had either of us
gone to the janitor ourselves we would have been
accused of having influenced him, so we addressed
ourselves directly to a magistrate who sent a mes-
senger for the janitor and secured his attendance
within half an hour.
The janitor answered rapidly under interroga-
tion as to the attendance of both Chairo and Lydia
at the hour named.
*' Now tell us," asked Ariston, " who was in
Masters's apartment at the time."
" Masters's aunt."
" Was no one else there? "
" Yes, a messenger of Masters went backward
and forward several times."
The Libel Investigated
Ariston demanded the name of the messenger,
and the magistrate at once sent for him.
Ariston continued the examination.
" Was no one else in Masters's apartment be-
sides his aunt? "
" I do not know of any one else being there."
He emphasized the word " know."
" When did Masters leave? "
*' About two in the afternoon."
" Did no one else go to his rooms from two in
the afternoon to the arrival of Lydia next morn-
" Not to my knowledge."
Again he emphasized the word " knowledge."
" You do not know of your knowledge just
where every one who passes your lodge goes? "
" Who passed your lodge and went to Masters's
staircase on the day before Chairo and Lydia went
The janitor mentioned here a large number of
persons, and then added :
*' There may have been others ; I don't see
every one who passes the lodge."
" Did any one that night gain admission after
" A great many."
" Did you get the names of all? "
" Yes — of all — at least, there was one I did not
At last the janitor hesitated, and it seemed clear
that Ariston was on the right scent.
" Who was it? "
" I don't know. I was sleepy, I did not insist."
" Did no one pass out next day whom you had
not admitted on the previous night? "
" I did not notice any one particularly; I
could not distinguish; so many come and go."
The janitor seemed to think a little and hesi-
*' Go on," said Ariston. " Of whom are you
^' A veiled woman passed out that day and put
a piece of money in my hand."
*' Over-astute Neaera!" thought I.
''Did you not recognize the woman?" asked
" No, she was veiled."
'' Would you be surprised if I could guess at
what hour she passed out? "
The janitor looked at Ariston stupidly.
" She passed out within an hour after Lydia."
'' Yes," nodded the janitor, " just about
The Libel Investigated
" Have you seen or talked with Masters's aunt
since that day? "
Ariston then asked the magistrate to send for
the messenger and Masters's aunt.
The janitor wa§ asked to wait in case he should
be needed, and we adjourned for lunch. While
lunching Ariston and I agreed that we were going
to get at the facts, and that it would be better not
to let the editor know them till after to-morrow
morning. " I mean to give him rope," said Aris-
ton. " He'll hang himself, I think."
The messenger arrived shortly, and from him
the identity of the veiled lady was very soon
elicited. He had evidently received his piece of
money also, and endeavored to avoid a direct ad-
mission, but Ariston got the fact out of him with
but little difficulty, and his hesitation to admit it
only brought out the more clearly the means
Neaera had adopted to cover her tracks.
Masters's aunt arrived a little later in a state
of utmost trepidation. She came up to Ariston at
once and implored him to tell her what the matter
was; had she done anything wrong; she would tell
anything that was wanted, but there were some
things she could not tell; really, was Ariston going
to ask her to tell things she really could not tell?
But Ariston calmed her, and told her the
magistrate was there to protect her.
She bustled up to the magistrate, who stopped
her by handing her the Bible, upon which she was
told to take her oath.
The judicial severity of the magistrate sub-
dued her at once; she took the oath and sat down.
Ariston whispered to the magistrate, begging him
to conduct the examination, and pointing out that
the object of it was to elicit what occurred at
Masters's rooms and whether or not Chairo and
Lydia had actually met there.
The magistrate asked her a few leading ques-
tions, and as soon as the witness had recovered
from the subduing efifect of the magistrate's pres-
ence the floodgates were opened, and she poured
forth the whole story, leaving a strong presump-
tion that Lydia had not seen Chairo, and that
Chairo had ignored the presence of Lydia.
It was late in the afternoon before the exami-
nation was closed. We found Chairo resting after
his bath. He told us that he had seen Arkles,
shown him a copy of the letter Ariston had drawn,
and agreed with Arkles that a similar letter be
written by Lydia.
Ariston told Chairo that we had not been idle,
The Libel Investigated
but that we judged it wiser for the present not to
disclose to him what we had done. It would be
advantageous later to be able to say that we had
acted upon our own responsibility. We took
Chairo after dinner to hear some music, and tried
to make him forget the dreadful incidents of the
day, suspecting, as we did, that a still more bitter
dose was awaiting him next morning.
And the editor did not disappoint us. We
breakfasted earlier than usual in order to receive
the papers in our rooms. " Sacrifice " contained
Chairo's letter just as Ariston had submitted it.
Next came a shorter letter from Lydia to the fol-
" Sir : It is not true that I have met Chairo since
his release, clandestinely or otherwise, whether at
Masters's rooms between ten and eleven day be-
fore yesterday, or at any other time or place.
" Lydia Second."
But an editorial carried out the editor's threat
of the day before. It stated that in compliance
with the law, letters signed by Chairo and Lydia
respectively had been that day published denying
the truth of the charge made against them on the
previous day, but that a sense of the duty which
the paper owed to the public made it impossible
to comply with Chairo's order to refrain from
further comment on the matter. It was not of a
private nature. On the contrary, it was a matter
of the gravest public concern. " No one," it went
on to say, " is less interested in Chairo's private
affairs than ourselves, and we fully appreciate the
reasons why he should prefer that his private
affairs be not at this moment, or any other, ex-
posed to public scrutiny; but he is charged with
having violated the sanctity of the cloister, with
having outraged a Demetrian, and with having,
in violation of his oath, sought to consummate the
crime, the perpetration of which had been pre-
vented by the vigilance of the Demetrian cult. Is
this a matter of purely private concern? "
The editorial then proceeded to explain the
carefulness with which it had verified the truth
of the statement published, compared the circum-
stantial evidence produced by themselves with the
bareness of the denial published by the parties
incriminated, and closed with the following
" We have always stood, and we stand to-day,
for peace, purity, and cleanliness of life. Chairo
stands for violence, lust, and turpitude. We shall
not allow ourselves to be intimidated by him or
diverted from our plain duty to brand his contra-
diction as a lie."
The Libel Investigated
It was a paper containing this outrageous at-
tack on Chairo that Ariston brought into our
room, flourishing it over his head with an air of
triumph, and crying:
"We have him — we have him. Good-bye/ Sac-
rifice'"; and making a semblance of blowing it into
the air, he handed it to Chairo, but before Chairo
could read it he held it away from him and said:
" This is going to exasperate you — but believe
me it is the best thing that could happen. We
have already secured sworn evidence taken before
a magistrate that vindicates both you and Lydia
— don't ask us what it is — I shall be responsible
for all I do. The intemperance of the language
you are going to read is going to do you more
good than all the eloquence you can command in
yourself or in others."
When Chairo read the article he insisted on
Ariston's telling him what evidence we had, and
Ariston explained the proceedings of the previous
day at length; he added that he knew Chairo
would object to bring home the responsibility to
Neaera, but that what Chairo might have reasons
for not doing he, Ariston, had no reason for not
doing, and that he proposed to make it clear that
he, Ariston, was responsible for the whole pro-
ceeding and not Chairo.
" Well," said Chairo, '' you have gone beyond
the point where I can either stop or help you."
" Exactly," argued Ariston, " and this is ex-
actly where I wanted to put you. This last attack
upon both you and Lydia — for, of course, she is
as much included as yourself — leaves you no alter-
native but to prosecute the editor. I propose to
present to-day's article to the magistrate who took
the testimony yesterday. He will grant me an
order of arrest against the editor for libel, and
both you and Lydia will be vindicated as you
As Ariston spoke, a note was handed to me
from Anna of Ann begging me urgently to go and
see her that afternoon at tea time. I showed it to
Ariston, and we wondered what new development
things were taking that could include Anna of
" Harmes! " exclaimed Ariston.
I was puzzled.
" What do you mean? " asked I.
" Neaera is playing her last card."
Then it flashed upon me.
That afternoon I went to see Anna of Ann and
found her in profound dejection. Ariston had
guessed right. A few days before Harmes had re-
The Libel Investigated
ceived a letter from Neaera and absented himself
the whole afternoon. He had returned much ab-
sorbed, and the next afternoon he had absented
himself again. Anna had asked him if he had
not heard from Neaera, and he had answered in-
dignantly that all were conspiring to make a scape-
goat of her. Anna had protested, but every word
she said had only contributed to increase his in-
dignation. He was evidently caught in the siren's
meshes and hopelessly under her influence. What,
asked Anna, should be done?
I pointed out to Anna that Ariston was much
better able to help her in such a matter, and asked
to be allowed to send Ariston to her the following
day, but she demurred. I guessed at the reason
of her objection and suggested her father calling
on Ariston. But her father knew nothing of the
matter and Anna thought it unwise to let him
" Then let your mother call on Ariston at his
ofiice," suggested I.
" That would be better," answered Anna.
And I arranged to let her know next day when
Ariston would be at his office.
Ariston was much interested to learn that he
had guessed right, and very willingly gave an
appointment for the next day.
Meanwhile, the district attorney had obtained
an order of arrest against the editor, and next
day's issue was edited by a new man. It contained
a statement of the arrest of the editor, professed
to suspend judgment until after the trial, and sub-
mitted under the circumstances the wisdom of
silence on the subject.
But the affair had made a profound impres-
sion upon the public and the legislature, and al-
though Chairo's guilt as to conspiracy was clear,
it was felt to be equally clear that he had sincerely
done what he could to prevent the attack upon the
House of Detention. Moreover, he was now
being unfairly treated and this created a revulsion
of feeling in his favor. Ariston was much en-
couraged, for he did not conceal from me his con-
viction that, as matters stood before this incident,
the feeling of a large majority of the legislature
was that an example ought to be made of Chairo.
So long as this feeling prevailed, no amnesty bill
could have been passed that included him, and
there was no reason to believe that he could expect
anything less than the full penalty of the law at
the hands of the courts.
I OFTEN heard Chairo and his friends dis-
cuss their plans for the coming electoral
campaign, but have not set these things
down because there was in them nothing that was
necessary to my story or very different from the
political campaigns of our day. There was less
corruption, for there were no needy persons in the
state; but corruption was by no means unknown,
especially since the development of private in-
dustry had created a private and transferable
money system, and the relatively large wealth of
such men as Campbell and Masters caused them
to be feared. Campbell, however, had no political
aspirations; his hoarding instinct occupied his
time and devoured his ambition. Masters, on the
other hand, had a large fund at his disposal which
it was feared he might use in his unreasoning de-
sire to vindicate Neaera. But when Masters re-
turned from Boston and read the testimony taken
by the magistrate he called on Chairo to express
regret at the attitude he had taken and to agree
with him as to the coming campaign.
Masters was still in favor of the amnesty bill,
but he saw that a general bill that would include
Neaera could not, and ought not, to be passed.
He doubted the possibility of pushing through
the legislature one that would altogether protect
Chairo, and frankly told Chairo so. He was sur-
prised to hear Chairo admit his own concurrence
with this view.
" I cannot play a conspicuous part," said
Chairo, " in a campaign in which I am so deeply
involved; I propose to stand for the legislature
in my own district, but I shall address my con-
stituents only once, and then I shall make it clear
to them that I shall not regard my election as a
vindication of the course I have adopted in setting
myself against the state, but as evidence that upon
my frank avowal that I was wrong I still have
their sympathy and confidence."
Masters suggested that they should attend on
the governor, who was standing for reelection, and
agree with him as to the course to be taken, with a
view to diminishing to the utmost possible the
chances of a serious collision between the govern-
ment and the opposition on the amnesty question.
I was very much surprised one day to find
both Masters and the governor dining at our table
in our hall, and to learn that although the gov-
ernor had offices in the capitol he lived with his
family in the same apartment in which he had
always lived, and, except when he was actually
engaged in the duties of his office, there was noth-
ing to distinguish his manner of living from that
of the humblest of his fellow citizens.
He was a man of an extremely simple exterior,
though his head was distinguished and his lan-
guage chosen. We conversed about the political
outlook, and over our coffee, which Ariston made
himself in our rooms, the governor summed up
the position as follows:
'' The country districts will send us a large
majority hostile to Chairo, because they are con-
servative and abhor violence. Chairo will have
from the city and most of the large towns a small
but staunch and intelligent following. Masters
will influence a large number of votes, as will also
the Demetrian cult. I don't myself think the state
can afford to allow any man to organize an armed
rebellion — not even Chairo — without putting upon
him some mark of its authority, and I think it
would be unwise in Chairo's interests to ask that
he should escape without censure and even punish-
ment. I propose in my electoral address to advise
pardon for all who have been led by others into
rebellion, severity for those who led them into it,
and for those leaders who can plead extenuating
We all felt that the governor's attitude was not
only wise on general political grounds, but also
from the narrower point of view of Chairo's per-
The nomination of candidates at the primaries
evinced a political animosity against Chairo of
which we were altogether unaware. To our
amazement the notion that Neaera was the vic-
tim of a concerted effort to exonerate Chairo at
her expense had so widely prevailed that neither
discussion nor argument was any longer of any
avail. All who defended Chairo were hounded
down as the persecutors of a defenseless woman,
and were it not for the votes of the women, who
were less obtuse on the question than the men,
neither Chairo nor any of his following would
have received a nomination. As it was, Chairo
was nominated only by a dangerously narrow
majority, and most of his party were dropped alto-
gether. But the very women who were not de-
ceived into vindicating Neaera went far beyond
the limits of wisdom in their defense of the Deme-
trian cult. Although Arkles and Irene did their
utmost to keep the enthusiasm of their supporters
within reasonable bounds, the belief that the cult
was attacked caused the nomination of a class of
candidates who, if elected, were likely to do
Chairo scant justice by their votes.
For some weeks I lived in a turmoil of polit-
ical campaigning. It was a relief to be wakened
on Christmas by a peal of Cathedral bells, and
these over, to hear in the distant corridors an
approaching hymn swell its note of praise as it
passed our door and die away as it disappeared
in the distance. We were all glad to feel that the
electioneering was over, for Christmas Day is de-
voted entirely to the morning ritual and afternoon
family gatherings; the 26th is devoted to final
athletic competitions, the crowning of the victors,
and public balls; and the 27th to the silent vote.
I am ashamed to say that although I had often
delighted in the exterior of the Cathedral from
a distance, I had never entered it till Christmas
morning, for our quarters were some distance
from it, and such religious exercises as I had
attended with Ariston were held either in a
neighboring chapel or at the temple of Demeter.
The scene as I approached the Cathedral re-
minded me of what my imagination had some-
times constructed out of mediaeval chronicles
around the spires of Chartres. It was a cold day
and all the approaches to the Cathedral were
crowded with men, women, and children, covered
with outer garments that far more resembled those
we see in the thirteenth century tapestries than the
Greek dress that had first surprised me at Tyring-
ham and in the interiors of New York. I learned
that even in summer it was usual to don a special
dress when attending a church service, not only
out of respect for the church, but out of a sense of
the artistic inappropriateness of a Greek dress in
a gothic Cathedral.
The gigantic doors of the main entrance were
thrown wide open, and as I mounted the long
flight of steps that led to it, I was delighted and
bewitched by a facade, wide as Bourges, richly
sculptured as Rheims, and flanked by spires more
beautiful than those of Soissons. From the deep,
dim Cathedral itself came the pealing notes of the
organ which, as we entered, made the air throb;
I was rejoiced to find that the secret of old glass
had been rediscovered, but so great a blaze of
light came from the five great western portals that
I did not fully appreciate the mystic colors of the
vitraux till the doors were closed. Thereupon,
from an entrance in the south transept there
marched in a procession which, though more
familiar than that I had already witnessed in the
temple of Demeter, far exceeded in splendor and
impressiveness anything I had seen before. Less
graceful, perhaps, than in the Demetrian cult but
more solemn and devout, marched in the acolytes,
swinging censers; they were followed by the choir,
singing a Gregorian chant, than which assuredly
nothing more subtly conveying the Christian idea
has ever been composed. In order came after
them the great officials of the city and state, in-
cluding the mayor and the governor, a full rep-
resentation from the priests and priestesses of
Asclepius and from those of Demeter; the pro-
cession was closed by the lesser ecclesiastics bear-
ing the cross, the canons, and, last of all, the
bishop. The ritual did not differ much from that
of the Roman and Anglican churches, except that
the music was rendered with as much care and
effect as at Munich or Bayreuth.
The sermon did not last more than ten min-
utes, and closed with an earnest reminder that
in casting our votes we were exercising the highest
act of sovereignty of which man is capable, and
an entreaty so to cast them that the church — and
all that the church stood for — might feel itself
strengthened in the legislature as well as in the
hearts of the people.
Whether on emerging from the Cathedral this
solemn exhortation left as little trace in the shape
of actual conduct as in our day I, of course, can-
not tell, but I think the language of the headstrong
during the succeeding days was less violent and
the animus evinced less bitter for it.
The Christmas dinner which followed the
service was held in the common hall, for it was
deemed an occasion when all should join and con-
tribute to make the day a happy one. Families
either arranged to dine at separate tables or united
to dine at one, and on this great festival wine
flowed in abundance at the expense of the state.
Our own party consisted for the most part of
the Tyringham colony, to which, however, were
added many new city friends. Ariston sat be-
tween Anna of Ann and Irene. We missed, how-
ever, Chairo and Lydia; the one dined alone from
discretion, the other remained at the cloister.
We were not a merry party, for the prospect for
both of these two was dark, and when we drank
the toast of " absent friends " there was a tear in
many an eye.
THE JOINT SESSION
ELECTION day passed quietly; it resulted
in an overwhelming majority in favor of
the government, and the character of the
majority was clearly animated by the intention to
visit heavily upon Chairo the consequences of his
We had all understood that Lydia's return to
New York was due to some determination on her
part, but what that determination was not even
Ariston knew. The first session of the legislature
on the ist of January, '94, was attended by the
deepest misgiving on the part of all Chairo's
friends; nothing could be determined by the pro-
ceedings of that day— which were purely formal—
but on the next an incident occurred which
showed how matters stood. The previous Speaker
of the Senate who would, if reelected, preside at
the joint session of both houses, was a man of
moderate views, who had for years impartially
administered the duties of his office. It was a
matter of course that he should be renominated as
the candidate of the government, and a motion
to this effect was duly made by Peleas. But it
was seconded by Masters, and this produced the
effect of an understanding between the govern-
ment and Chairo's men which exasperated the
irreconcilables; one of them, therefore, in a
moment of impulse nominated a distinguished
Asclepian priest, who had been elected on the
platform of war on Chairo; his nomination was
hotly seconded by a chorus of voices, and although
he was opposed by the government party and by
the supporters of both Chairo and Masters, he was
beaten only by a dozen votes.
The situation looked critical for Chairo when
Masters stood up to bring the amnesty bill before
the joint session ; he was received in a manner sig-
nally different from that which usually greeted
him; the applause of his own particular adherents
sounded faint and hollow and only served to ac-
centuate the silence of the rest. He did not speak
at length, reserving himself till after the report
of the investigating committee had been read.
He was followed by several speakers, who re-
peated the unreasoning vituperation which had
marked the electoral campaign, all of them op-
The Joint Session
posed to the passage of an amnesty bill of any
The real incident of the day was the reading of
the report of the investigating committee, which,
for the first time, officially brought out the facts
as they were. The chairman of the committee
who read the report concluded by a brief expres-
sion of personal opinion to the effect that after
the reading of the report it was impossible for
any one duly conscious of his duties to the state
to approve of the amnesty bill as read. Doubt-
less many — perhaps, indeed, most of those con-
cerned — had been unduly influenced by others,
and for these he was himself prepared to cast a
vote of pardon. But all the guilty parties were
not before them. He was interrupted here by a
loud murmur of approval and by a counter dem-
onstration of those who still believed in Neaera's
innocence. He did not propose to try any one
in their absence (applause), but assuredly it was
not proper to pardon any one in their absence
either (loud applause) . There was one case which
demanded particular attention; he referred to the
man who had organized the whole conspiracy.
(There was a deep silence here, and many invol-
untarily turned to where Chairo sat erect and
immovable with his arms crossed.) There was
evidence to show that after he had effected the
particular personal end he had in view, he had
sent a message intended to put an end to further
violence. He asked the legislature to consider
how far this tardy, unsuccessful, and, as it ap-
peared to him, half-hearted effort at reparation
deserved to be taken into account in mitigation.
This conclusion was greeted with the wildest
applause; members stood up and, with vociferat-
ing gestures directed at the corner where Chairo
sat, demanded justice and the full measure of the
It was expected that Masters would take the
floor, but in the heated condition of the house he
judged it wiser that Arkles should be heard before
him. So Arkles slowly rose, and straightening
himself to his full height, addressed the speaker.
The disorder which had followed the speech of the
chairman of the committee immediately subsided,
and the spokesman of the Demetrian cult was
listened to in respectful silence. " It is my honor,"
he said, " to address you on behalf of a religious
cult which has been outraged, upon the question
whether this outrage shall go unpunished or
whether the cult shall be vindicated by the visi-
tation on the guilty of the full measure of the
The Joint Session
He used advisedly the very catchword " full
measure of the law," which had never failed to
secure applause at the meetings held by the indig-
nant supporters of the cult, and his purpose was
fulfilled, for he at once got them on his side, as
the approval that greeted his opening fully
showed. He then reviewed the history of the
cult, its principles, the benefit it had bestowed;
he dwelt upon the earnestness of its devotees, and
contrasted the social conditions that prevailed
where the cult was strong with those that pre-
vailed where it was non-existent. For two hours
he kept the unflagging attention of the audience
with the most carefully reasoned exposition of
what the cult stood for that that generation had
heard. Clearly the conclusion to be drawn from
his argument was, that an institution so essential
to public welfare was entitled to the further pro-
tection of the state, and that an outrage upon it
must be so punished as to render any repetition
of the offense to the highest degree improbable.
Sure of this conclusion, the irreconcilables joined
with the government ranks in loud approval of
Arkles's discourse. But here Arkles turned an
unexpected corner, for after having demanded
justice, in tones that filled the house with a rever-
beration of applause, he suddenly asked the ques-
tlon : " And in this case, what is the justice we
have a right to ask? "
He turned at this point to the desk by him,
filled a glass with water, drank it, and continued:
" The Demetrian cult is not founded on legal
enactment. It is not propped by any state author-
ity. It derives all its strength from the appeal it
makes to reason and morality. So long as it finds
support in the public conscience it is strong; the
moment it appeals from conscience to the state
it confesses a weakness of which the cult is not
to-day aware. Nay, there never was a day when
the cult was more strong than now, never when
it was better able to vindicate its rights upon
its own merits, that is to say, not by appeal to
the state for protection, but by appeal to every
man and woman in the commonwealth for sup-
" And here it is essential to make a careful dis-
tinction between acts committed in violation of
the law of the land and those committed in viola-
tion of our sanctuary. As to the first, he, as spokes-
man of the cult, had nothing to say; the state alone
could deal with them. As to the last, they had
received the prayerful deliberation of the Deme-
trian council, and he was instructed now to read
the following resolution:
The Joint Session
" ' Inasmuch as the exercise of our duties can
be justified only by the extent to which this ex-
ercise is approved, not merely by the worshippers
of Demeter but by the community at large;
" ' Inasmuch as such exercise deals with the
most sacred and intimate passions of the human
" ' We now solemnly declare that we count
only upon devotion to the cult for protection, and
deem it wiser to sufifer sacrilege to go unpunished
than by retaliation to keep alive in the hearts of
the guilty or of those who support them, a spark
of hostility or resentment.' "
A profound silence followed the reading of
this resolution, and Arkles concluded as follows:
" It has been the policy of our commonwealth
to abandon the principle of punishment for crime.
Those who are unfit for social, life we remove
from social life and try to make them fit; until
they are fit for it, we keep them isolated. Do not
let us depart from a salutary rule in the interests
of the cult, which the cult itself has largely con-
^ tributed to introduce and which it is deeply in-
terested in keeping alive. There are contingen-
cies, Mr. Speaker, when the highest justice is
When Arkles sat down he left the session in
a state of suspended judgment. There was ap-
plause, but it was the applause of men convinced
against their will, and the irreconcilables re-
mained absolutely silent. The day was drawing
to a close, and the session adjourned almost in a
state of confusion.
As we walked home to our quarters we none
of us were inclined to speak. " That speech of
Arkles will bear fruit," said Ariston. But Chairo
was gloomily silent, and I did not have the heart
to speak words of encouragement I did not feel.
We were joined at the bath by quite a number of
our house, who seemed anxious to cheer us up by
the gossip of the day. All were much exercised
by the result of the four-mile race which had just
been run. It was the first time a woman had ever
entered for this race, and she had succeeded in
making a dead heat of it. Chairo, who had ex-
celled in these sports, was gradually aroused from
his discouragement, and, without much reason for
it, we returned to the session next day in a bet-
ter humor than circumstances warranted, for the
whole day was taken up in violent harangues
against the incriminated parties, some attacking
Chairo not only as a conspirator but as a coward
for treachery to Neaera, others attacking Neaera
without vindicating Chairo.
That evening Chairo left us to dine with a
few of his followers, who, feeling the situation
The Joint Session
desperate, advised a conference with Peleas, Mas-
ters, and Arkles, with a view to suggesting an
amendment to the amnesty bill that would secure
a majority without going to the extremes de-
manded by the irreconcilables.
LYDIA TO THE RESCUE
POLITICAL offenses, such as the one with
which Chairo was charged, were punished
not by confinement in farm colonies but
by imprisonment in a fortress, and had this disad-
vantage that, whereas the term in the former case
could be diminished by good conduct, in the latter
case it was fixed for a number of years and was
generally of inordinate length. This was the
remnant of a code prepared at a time when social
crimes were not much feared, whereas political
crimes were regarded as of utmost danger to the
commonwealth. The maximum term of impris-
onment was fifty years, and this for Chairo would
be practically equivalent to imprisonment for
life. The irreconcilables clamored for nothing
less than this. It was no small credit to Chairo's
character in the community that with so heavy a
sentence impending over him, it occurred to no
one — not even his worst enemies — to ask that
special precautions be made to prevent his escape.
Lydia to the Rescue
That he would keep his parole was never for a
The difficulty attending any conclusion arose
from the heterogeneous and unorganized char-
acter of the irreconcilables ; they were split up
into a number of factions, agreed only upon one
thing — the " full measure of the law " for Chairo;
in every other respect they differed, some de-
manding what they called justice, on grounds
which they could not explain, but the reasonable-
ness of which they made a matter of conscience
and morality; others declared themselves to be
vindicating " principles " which, upon examina-
tion, turned out to be pure assumptions built upon
prejudice and temper; others professed to be act-
ing as champions of the cult, too helpless to be
able to defend itself, and although willing and
anxious to discuss and explain their attitude, could
never be brought to any other conclusion than the
" full measure of the law " — a phrase which had
obtained as complete a mastery over them as the
" sleep " of a hypnotizing doctor over a hypnotic
The third day of the session opened in as great
uncertainty as before. Peleas had not spoken,
and was unwilling to speak, until some amend-
ment could be hit upon which had a reasonable
chance of uniting a majority. The debate was,
therefore, left almost entirely in the hands of the
irreconcilables, who vied with one another in the
application to Chairo of epithets that were pic-
turesque and vituperative. Toward the close of
the session, however, an incident occurred that
was unexpected and startling: Arkles arose and
asked that the courtesy of the floor be extended
to Lydia Second. Chairo half rose in protest, but
Masters, who sat beside him, whispered a word
in his ear and he resumed his seat, burying his
chin in his breast. A loud murmur of excitement
filled the chamber; the motion was put, and it was
carried without a dissenting voice; the house sat
wrapt in silence awaiting the entrance of the
speaker. Soon Irene was seen coming down a
side aisle, and by her side, shrouded by a veil, a
figure, which all immediately recognized as
Lydia's. When they reached a point half way
down the aisle they paused; Irene said a word to
Lydia, and Lydia removed her veil.
I had not seen her since we parted at Tyring-
ham; as I looked at her preparing herself to
speak I experienced a conflict of emotion that
brought beads of perspiration to my forehead; my
love for her now kindled into admiration, the
hopelessness of it, the fate of Chairo, an un-
Lydia to the Rescue
doubted admiration for him and yet a jealousy
of him that tortured me, willingness, nay, almost
a burning desire to effect Lydia's happiness at any
cost — all these things struggled within me for
mastery, as with compressed lips I sat waiting to
hear her speak. She was obviously suffering from
an emotion that made her eyes water and her
throat dry; she lifted her hand to her bosom once
or twice in futile agitation, but mastering her-
self, she stiffened, and, at last, as it were by a su-
preme effort, lifting her head high, began:
" I do not presume, Mr. Speaker and gentle-
men of the legislature, to present myself before
you trusting in my strength. I depend rather on
my weakness, for I am a woman, and because I
am a woman who has faltered " — she corrected
herself — " who has suffered, you will hear me."
She spoke very low but very distinctly, and
there was in the chamber a silence so complete
that she could be heard at the utmost corner of it.
" For him who has joined with me in this
misadventure I do not presume to speak at all.
He is a man, and among men, able to hold his
own. But you cannot strike him without striking
me, and it is for myself I plead."
Chairo's chin buried itself deeper In his breast,
but he controlled the impulse to protest. Indeed,
there was a note in Lydia's voice that brought a
lump into his throat. He could not have protested
had he dared.
Irene had sent for a glass of water; Lydia
partook of it, and then, raising her voice, pro-
" Ever since I was restored to my home I have
kept silence, because I felt — and I was so advised
— that a moment would come when I should be
better understood than at a time when the public
mind was inflamed by revolution and bloodshed.
As to these things, I have cruelly felt the extent
to which I was the occasion of them, but I ask
you to consider whether indeed I was the cause.
And I ask you, too, not to confuse the question
raised by the cult of Demeter with those other
questions for which the rebels stood. In these
last I have had no share and to them I shall not
again refer. They have no part in the question
you have to decide. To give them a part would
be to do me a great wrong.
" And as regards the cult of Demeter, there
is no devouter daughter of the cult than I; and
that I should stand to-day, arrayed in the eyes of
some of you against the cult, chokes my utterance
and fills my eyes with tears. Nor should I have
had strength to plead my cause with you to-day
Lydia to the Rescue
had I not come to you leaning on one of Demeter's
Here Lydia put her hand on Irene's shoulder,
and Irene looked into her face and smiled.
" For in my heart there is a reverence for
Demeter so profound that when the mission was
tendered to me, I felt that a cubit had been
added to my stature; I felt a strength grow in me
to make what sacrifice was needful, and as day
passed day the sacrifice grew less and my strength
" But oh, fellow-worshippers of Demeter,"
and she looked here at the part of the hall where
the irreconcilables had grouped themselves, " do
not frown on me when I say that there was also
in my heart another reverence, another strength,
of which I was not sufficiently aware ; and in your
faith in the cult you serve, do not blind yourself
to that other cult to which, whether we will or
no, we are all — yes, all — subject. We may harden
our hearts to it, we may bring it as a sacrifice
upon your altar, but if it has once grown deep
enough, it overpowers all the rest — I am not
ashamed to say it here — before you who ask mercy
for Chairo and you who ask for his destruction,
I am not ashamed to publish it to all the world —
stronger than reverence for Demeter, stronger
than the unutterable honor of the Demetrian mis-
sion — is the love of a woman for a man."
She paused; there was no applause, but the
breathless silence that reigned bore a higher trib-
ute to the impression made than any spoken word
" And when love came it brought with it a
sense of duty to another, so that I no longer stood
merely between Demeter and my love, I stood
also between Demeter and Chairo " — a loud mur-
mur of disapproval greeted these words. Lydia,
however, went bravely on. " But I looked with
suspicion upon an argument that so favored my
own inclination, and believing duty to lie in re-
sistance to inclination rather than in consent to it,
I strangled my love, and with a pride in my own
sacrifice that was false and bad I accepted the
Again a murmur of disapproval filled the hall.
This time Lydia acknowledged it by turning to
the corner whence it came.
" Yes, I repeat it — with a pride In my own
sacrifice that was false and bad — for it gave me
strength to do a thing that was wrong! What is
heroic in one is vanity in another. And I thank
you for that expression of disapproval that re-
minds me to distinguish those to whom it is an
Lydia to the Rescue
ugly hypocrisy. There are women — and may
their names be blessed — who, before their hearts
have been kindled by love, bear within them a
capacity for sacrifice and a longing for maternity
which makes of them fitting subjects for the
Demetrian mission; but when a woman has once
harbored the young God Eros, when she has by
implication, if not by express promise, sanctioned
the harboring of him in another, then the strength
that can disown her love and break that promise
is drawn from a vanity that is foolish, or a conceit
that is contemptible; and as I look back to the
day when, after weeks of weakening struggle, I
arose from the bed of torment strangely endowed
with a strength that enabled me to make unmoved
my final vows, I see that my strength came not
from Demeter but from self-righteousness and
self-conceit. And I make this bitter confession
before you all that the fault may rest where it
should, not upon you, priests and priestesses of
Demeter " — and here she looked up at the gal-
lery where they sat — *' not upon him " — and she
turned almost imperceptibly to Chairo — "but
Her voice sank as she said these words, and
there broke from many of us a murmur of sym-
" But these things," she continued in a louder
voice, " are of little importance by the side of
what I have yet to say. Pardon me, if I have had
to speak of myself; it is not often — and, indeed, it
is distressful that so private a thing as this should
become matter of public concern. But you have
to decide an issue in which the conduct of one
least worthy of your attention has become set up,
as it were, before you as the conduct of all my
sex. It is not I that am judged, 'but all who are
unworthy of the mission — or shall I not rather
say — unfitted for it. For though I am willing —
nay, desire — to accept my full share of blame, yet
am I not willing that my sex shall in my person
be judged less worthy than it is. Believe me, that
noble as is the mission of Demeter, noble also is
the love of a woman for a man, and though I bow
my head as I confess my unfitness for the one, in
vindication of the other I hold my head erect."
She straightened herself at these words, and
her stature helped to give to this vindication both
dignity and strength. There was something splen-
did in the gesture, the emphasis, and the inflection
with which these words were said. For the first
time Lydia's speech was here interrupted by ap-
plause; it began far away from her and was soon
caught up by others, it swelled through the build-
Lydia to the Rescue
ing, and feelings long pent up in hushed atten-
tion to her now found relief in an expression of
triumphant approval; a few in their excitement
rose to their feet, then more, till all, except Chairo,
who remained resolutely seated, stood wildly
gesticulating their admiration for the girl who
had the courage to face them in vindication of
a love upon which some had wished to throw
disgrace, but which now she held up to universal
The applause lasted several minutes; if it died
away in one corner it was vociferously renewed in
another, and when at last, out of very weariness,
it came to an end, Lydia resumed :
" But all I have said is but a preface to what
I have still to say: I have spoken to you of myself,
but what shall I say to you of Chairo? I have
told you of a duty I felt to him, but to every duty
is there not a corresponding right? And if Chairo
had rights does he not stand, too, for the rights of
all his sex? "
Once more the chamber rang with renewed
applause, and Chairo for the first time raised his
head and looked at Lydia. Now at last she had
lifted the subject to a level which eliminated him.
He was no longer the issue; she was speaking for
all men, for the rights universal of manhood,
which the cult had, in his case, ignored and must
at last be vindicated.
" I have told you that by implication, if not
by express words, Chairo had reason to know I
loved him; was he to stand by and see the rights
I had given him denied, rights for which he has
stood, not for himself alone, but for all men long
before his own became involved? He stands
charged here with sacrilege and with violence.
Mr. Speaker, and gentlemen of the legislature, so
far as I am concerned, he is guilty of neither the
one nor the other."
A deep murmur passed through the chamber
as Lydia's voice impressively lowered on these
" Had the woman he snatched from Demeter's
sanctuary been indeed fitted for it, then he would
have been guilty of both. But he knew I was not
fitted for it, he knew that I belonged to him, he
knew that once I felt his presence in my room I
would consent — and I consented.^''
Chairo, whose eyes had remained riveted on
Lydia ever since he raised them, now lowered
them again, and he covered his face with his
hands. That so sacred a thing to him as Lydia
and his love for her should be dragged into a
public discussion was cruel to him, but that the
Lydia to the Rescue
story should be told as Lydia told it, filled his
heart with a mixture of triumph and bitterness
he could not endure to show.
" And so, Mr. Speaker, with my confession of
consent, the charge against Chairo of sacrilege
and violence falls to the ground. As to those who
against his bidding sought to rescue their leader
from his bonds I have this to say: When there
shall have disappeared from the hearts of men
the loyalty, devotion, and sacrifice that prompted
an act of violence forever to be deplored, then let
this world and all that is in it disappear from the
constellations of God. They erred, but they erred
in a cause they believed to be righteous, and I
protest — I plead the state is strong enough to grant
" Every institution, human and divine, has to
pay a price for the blessings it bestows — dura lex
sed lex. Eventually, perhaps, wisdom may so in-
crease among us that the price all pay shall grow
less and less; eventually, the mission maybe neither
offered to nor accepted by those unfit for it; per-
haps, indeed, the events of last month may con-
tribute to this wisdom, but to-day, O priests and
priestesses of Demeter, join with me in the prayer
to our legislators that they do not, by visiting on
these men too severely the consequences of their
errors, bring discredit upon a cult so precious and
so noble as that of the goddess you serve. Great
is Demeter! But great also is Eros. May wis-
dom so guide your counsels that Eros, no longer
tempted to destroy the altars of Demeter, may
strengthen them and build them up, and so,
through continence and sacrifice, remain for us
as beautiful as he is strong!"
Lydia bowed her head over these words and
gave her hand to Irene. We all sat motionless;
not a sound was heard as they slowly turned and
proceeded to leave the chamber. Then, with one
accord, we rose, and in a breathless silence the
two women passed out.
We resumed our seats, and for some minutes
no one spoke. At last Arkles moved that, in view
of the remarkable and touching words they had
just heard, the joint session adjourn for the day.
" For," he added, " neither I, nor apparently any
of my colleagues, are able or willing by any word
of our own to efface or modify the impression they
have left upon us."
" You have heard the motion," said the speak-
er. " In the absence of a dissenting voice the
session will adjourn for the day." Not a voice was
heard; we rose and left the chamber in silence.
My narrative has now come to a close: an
amnesty bill was passed that included every per-
son charged, except Neaera, and deprived Chairo
of his political rights until the legislature should
by a joint resolution restore them; the editor ar-
rested for libel was found guilty and committed
to a penal colony.
Lydia married Chairo. And Anna of Ann
did not visit on Ariston his indifference too heav-
ily, but her nuptials were darkened by the ab-
sence of Harmes. Out of a bold and crooked
game Neaera had secured this one small satisfac-