The Project Gutenberg eBook of McClure's Magazine December, 1895

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Title: McClure's Magazine December, 1895

Editor: Ida M. Tarbell

Release date: May 1, 2004 [eBook #11548]
Most recently updated: December 25, 2020

Language: English

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McClure's Magazine

Vol. VI. No. 549 DECEMBER, 1895. No. 1.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Edited by Ida M. Tarbell



CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE, By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps




THE SUN'S HEAT, By Sir Robert Ball

HALL CAINE, STORY OF HIS LIFE AND WORK, By Robert Harborough Sherard

NEIGHBOR KING, By Collins Shackelford




Edited by Ida M. Tarbell.




Letter A

Abraham Lincoln grew to manhood in Southern Indiana. When he reached Spencer County in 1816, he was seven years of age; when he left in 1830, he had passed his twenty-first birthday. This period of a life shows usually the natural bent of the character, and we have found in these fourteen years of Lincoln's life signs of the qualities of greatness which distinguished him. We have seen that, in spite of the fact that he had no wise direction, that he was brought up by a father with no settled purpose, and that he lived in a pioneer community, where a young man's life at best is but a series of makeshifts, he had developed a determination to make something out of himself, and a desire to know, which led him to neglect no opportunity to learn.

The only unbroken outside influence which directed and stimulated him in his ambitions was that coming first from his mother, then from his step-mother. It should never be forgotten that these two women, both of them of unusual earnestness and sweetness of spirit, were one or the other of them at the boy's side throughout this period. The ideal they held before him was the simple ideal of the early American, that if a boy is upright and industrious he may aspire to any place within the gift of the country. The boy's nature told him they were right. Everything he read confirmed their teachings, and he cultivated, in every way open to him, his passion to know and to be something.


A neighbor of Thomas Lincoln, still living near Gentryville. Mr. Brooner's wife was a friend of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The two women died within a few days of each other, and were buried side by side. When the tombstone was placed at Mrs. Lincoln's grave, no one could state positively which was Mrs. Brooner's and which Mrs. Lincoln's grave. Mr. Allen Brooner gave his opinion, and the stone was placed; but the iron fence incloses both graves, which lie in a half-acre tract of land owned by the United States government. Mr. Allen Brooner, after his wife's death, became a minister of the United Brethren Church, and moved to Illinois. He received his mail at New Salem when Abraham Lincoln was the postmaster at that place. Mr. Brooner confirms Dr. Holland's story that "Abe" once walked three miles after his day's work, to make right a six-and-a-quarter-cents mistake he had made in a trade with a woman. Like all of the old settlers of Gentryville, he remembers the departure of the Lincolns for Illinois. "When the Lincolns were getting ready to leave," says Mr. Brooner, "Abraham and his stepbrother, John Johnston, came over to our house to swap a horse for a yoke of oxen. 'Abe' was always a quiet fellow. John did all the talking, and seemed to be the smartest of the two. If any one had been asked that day which would make the greatest success in life, I think the answer would have been John Johnston."

There are many proofs that young Lincoln's characteristics were recognized at this period by his associates, that his determination to excel, if not appreciated, yet made its imprint. In 1865, thirty-five years after he left Gentryville, Mr. Herndon, anxious to save all that was known of Lincoln in Indiana, went among his old associates, and with a sincerity and thoroughness worthy of great respect, interviewed them. At that time there were still living numbers of the people with whom he had been brought up. They all remembered something of him. It is curious to note that all of these people tell of his doing something different from what other boys did, something sufficiently superior to have made a keen impression upon them. In almost every case the person had his own special reason for admiring young Lincoln. His facility for making [pg 4] rhymes and writing essays was the admiration of many who considered it the more remarkable because "essays and poetry were not taught in school," and "Abe took it up on his own account."

Many others were struck by the clever use he made of his gift for writing. The wit he showed in taking revenge for a social slight by a satire on the Grigsbys, who had failed to invite him to a wedding, made a lasting impression in Gentryville. That he was able to write so well that he could humiliate his enemies more deeply than if he had resorted to the method of taking revenge current in the country—that is, thrashing them—seemed to his friends a mark of surprising superiority.


Mr. Lamar was one of the "small boys" of Spencer County when Lincoln left Indiana, but old enough to have seen much of him and to have known his characteristics and his reputation in the county. He is still living near his old home, and gave our representative in Indiana interesting reminiscences which are incorporated into the present article.

Others remembered his quick-wittedness in helping his friends.

"We are indebted to Kate Roby," says Mr. Herndon, "for an incident which illustrates alike his proficiency in orthography and his natural inclination to help another out of the mire. The word 'defied' had been given out by Schoolmaster Crawford, but had been misspelled several times when it came Miss Roby's turn. 'Abe stood on the opposite side of the room,' related Miss Roby to me in 1865, 'and was watching me. I began d-e-f—, and then I stopped, hesitating whether to proceed with an i or a y. Looking up, I beheld Abe, a grin covering his face, and pointing with his index finger to his eye. I took the hint, spelled the word with an i, and it went through all right.'"

This same Miss Roby it was who said of Lincoln, "He was better read then than the world knows or is likely to know exactly.... He often and often commented or talked to me about what he had read—seemed to read it out of the book as he went along—did so to others. He was the learned boy among us unlearned folks.He took great pains to explain; could do it so simply. He was diffident then, too."

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From an ambrotype in the possession of Mr. Marcus L. Ward of Newark, New Jersey. This portrait of Mr. Lincoln was made in Springfield, Illinois, on May 20, 1860, for the late Hon. Marcus L. Ward, Governor of New Jersey. Mr. Ward had gone down to Springfield to see Mr. Lincoln, and while there asked him for his picture. The President-elect replied that he had no picture which was satisfactory, but would gladly sit for one. The two gentlemen went out immediately, and in Mr. Ward's presence Mr. Lincoln had the above picture taken.

One man was impressed by the character of the sentences he had given him for a copy. "It was considered at that time," said he, "that Abe was the best penman in the neighborhood. One day, while he was on a visit at my mother's, I asked him to write some copies for me. He very willingly consented. He wrote several of them, but one of them I have never forgotten, although a boy at that time. It was this:

"'Good boys who to their books apply

Will all be great men by and by.'"


The store in Gentryville, in which Lincoln first made his reputation as a debater and story-teller, was owned by Mr. Jones. The year before the Lincolns moved to Illinois Abraham clerked in the store, and it is said that when he left Indiana, Mr. Jones sold him a pack of goods which he peddled on his journey. Mr. Jones was the representative from Spencer County in the State legislature from 1838 to 1841. He is no longer living. His son, Captain William Jones, is still in Gentryville.

All of his comrades remembered his stories and his clearness in argument. "When he appeared in company," says Nat Grigsby, "the boys would gather and cluster around him to hear him talk. Mr. Lincoln was figurative in his speech, talks, and conversation. He argued much from analogy, and explained things hard for us to [pg 6] understand by stories, maxims, tales, and figures. He would almost always point his lesson or idea by some story that was plain and near us, that we might instantly see the force and bearing of what he said."

There is one other testimony to his character as a boy which should not be omitted. It is that of his step-mother:

"Abe was a good boy, and I can say, what scarcely one woman—a mother—can say in a thousand, Abe never gave me a cross word or look, and never refused, in fact or appearance, to do anything I requested him. I never gave him a cross word in all my life.... His mind and mine—what little I had—seemed to run together. He was here after he was elected President. He was a dutiful son to me always. I think he loved me truly. I had a son, John, who was raised with Abe. Both were good boys; but I must say, both now being dead, that Abe was the best boy I ever saw, or expect to see."


From a photograph loaned by W.W. Admire of Chicago. This little log church or "meetin' house" is where the Lincolns attended services in Indiana. The pulpit is said to have been made by Thomas Lincoln. The building was razed about fifteen years ago, after having been used for several years as a tobacco barn.

These are impressions of Mr. Lincoln gathered in Indiana thirty years ago, when his companions were alive. To-day there are people living in Spencer County who were small boys when he was a large one, and who preserve curiously interesting impressions of him. A representative of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE who has recently gone in [pg 7] detail over the ground of Lincoln's early life, says: "The people who live in Spencer County are interested in any one who is interested in Abraham Lincoln." They showed her the flooring he whip-sawed, the mantles, doors, and window-casings he helped make, the rails he split, the cabinets he and his father made, and scores of relics cut from planks and rails he handled. They told what they remembered of his rhymes and how he would walk miles to hear a speech or sermon, and, returning, would repeat the whole in "putty good imitation." Many remembered his coming evenings to sit around the fireplace with their older brothers and sisters, and the stories he told and the pranks he played there until ordered home by the elders of the household.

Captain John Lamar who was a very small boy in one of the families where Lincoln was well known, has many interesting reminiscences which he is fond of repeating. "He told me of riding to mill with his father one very hot day. As they drove along the hot road they saw a boy sitting on the top rail of an old-fashioned stake-and-rider worm fence. When they came close they saw that the boy was reading, and had not noticed their approach. His father, turning to him, said: 'John, look at that boy yonder, and mark my words, he will make a smart man out of himself. I may not see it, but you'll see if my words don't come true.' The boy was Abraham Lincoln."


From a photograph in the collection of T.H. Bartlett, of Boston, Massachusetts.1 Mr. Bartlett regards this as his earliest portrait of Mr. Lincoln, but does not know when or where it was taken. This portrait is also in the Oldroyd Collection at Washington, D.C., and is dated 1856.

Captain Lamar tells many good stories about the early days: "Uncle Jimmy Larkins, as everybody called him, was a great hero in my childish eyes. Why, I cannot now say, without it was his manners. There had been a big fox chase, and Uncle Jimmy was telling about it. Of course he was the hero. I was only a little shaver, and I stood in front of Uncle Jimmy, looking up into his eyes, but he never noticed me. He looked at Abraham Lincoln, and 'Abe, I've got the best horse in the world—he won the race and never drew a long breath;' but Abe paid no attention to Uncle Jimmy, and I got mad at the big, overgrown fellow, and wanted him to listen to my hero's story. Uncle Jimmy was determined that Abe should hear, and repeated the story. 'I say, Abe, I have the best horse in the world; after all that running he never drew a long breath.' Then Abe, looking down at my little dancing hero, said, 'Well, Larkins, why don't you tell us how many short breaths he drew?' This raised a laugh on Uncle Jimmy, and he got mad, and declared he'd fight Abe if he wasn't so big. He jumped around until Abe quietly said: 'Now, Larkins, if you don't shut up I'll throw you in that water.' I was very uneasy and angry at the way my hero was treated, but I lived to change my views about heroes."


Son of Mr. James Taylor, for whom Lincoln ran the ferry-boat at the mouth of Anderson Creek. Mr. Taylor, now in his eighty-second year, lives in South Dakota. He remembers Mr. Lincoln perfectly, and wrote our Indiana correspondent that it was true that his father hired Abraham Lincoln for one year, at six dollars a month, and that he was "well pleased with the boy."

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Abraham was twenty-one years old when Thomas Lincoln decided to leave Indiana in the spring of 1830. The reason Dennis Hanks gives for this removal was a disease called the "milk-sick." Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and several of their relatives who had followed them from Kentucky, had died of it. The cattle had been carried off by it. Neither brute nor human life seemed to be safe. As Dennis Hanks says: "This was reason enough (ain't it?) for leaving."

The place chosen for their new home was the Sangamon country in central Illinois. It was a country of great renown in the West, the name meaning "The land where there is plenty to eat." One of the family—John Hanks, a cousin of Dennis—was already there, and sent them inviting reports.

Gentryville saw young Lincoln depart with real regret, and his friends gave him a score of rude proofs that he would not be forgotten. Our representative in Indiana found that almost every family who remembered the Lincolns retained some impression of their leaving.

"Neighbors seemed, in those days," she writes, "like relatives. The entire Lincoln family stayed the last night before starting on their journey with Mr. Gentry. He was loath to part with Lincoln, so 'accompanied the movers along the road a spell.' They stopped on a hill which overlooks Buckthorn Valley, and looked their 'good-by' to their old home and to the home of Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, to the grave of the mother and wife, to all their neighbors and friends. Buckthorn Valley held many dear recollections to the movers."

After they were gone James Gentry planted the cedar tree which now marks the site of the Lincoln home.2 "The folks who come lookin' around have taken twigs until you can't reach any more very handy," those who point out the tree say.

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Only living son of Josiah Crawford, who lent Lincoln the Weems's "Life of Washington." To our representative in Indiana, who secured this picture of Mr. Crawford, he said, when asked if he remembered the Lincolns: "Oh, yes; I remember them, although I was not Abraham's age. He was twelve years older than I. One day I ran in, calling out, 'Mother! mother! Aaron Grigsby is sparking Sally Lincoln; I saw him kiss her!' Mother scolded me, and told me I must stop watching Sally, or I wouldn't get to the wedding. [It will be remembered that Sally Lincoln was 'help' in the Crawford family, and that she afterwards married Aaron Grigsby.] Neighbors thought lots more of each other then than now, and it seems like everybody liked the Lincolns. We were well acquainted, for Mr. Thomas Lincoln was a good carpenter, and made the cupboard, mantels, doors, and sashes in our old home that was burned down."

Lincoln himself felt keenly the parting from his friends, and he certainly never forgot his years in the Hoosier State. One of the most touching experiences he relates in all his published letters is his emotion at visiting his old Indiana home fourteen years after he had left it. So strongly was he moved by the scenes of his first conscious sorrows, efforts, joys, ambitions, that he put into verse the feelings they awakened.3


Drawn by J. McCan Davis with the aid of Mr. John E. Roll, a former resident.

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Born in Green Village, New Jersey, June 4, 1814. He went to Illinois in 1830, the same year that Mr. Lincoln went, settling in Sangamon town, where he had relatives. It was here he met Lincoln, and made the "pins" for the flatboat. Later Mr. Roll went to Springfield, where he bought large quantities of land and built many houses. A quarter of the city is now known as "Roll's addition." Mr. Roll was well acquainted with Lincoln, and when the President left Springfield he gave Mr. Roll his dog, Fido. Mr. Roll knew Stephen A. Douglas well, and carries a watch which once belonged to the "Little Giant."

While he never attempted to conceal the poverty and hardship of these days, and would speak humorously of the "pretty pinching times" he saw, he never regarded his life at this time as mean or pitiable.

Frequently he talked to his friends in later years of his boyhood, and always with apparent pleasure. "Mr. Lincoln told this story" (of his youth), says Leonard Swett, "as the story of a happy childhood. There was nothing sad or pinched, and nothing of want, and no allusion to want in any part of it. His own description of his youth was that of a joyous, happy boyhood. It was told with mirth and glee, and illustrated by pointed anecdote, often interrupted by his jocund laugh."

And he was right. There was nothing ignoble or mean in this Indiana pioneer life. It was rude, but it was only the rudeness which the ambitious are willing to endure in order to push on to a better condition than they otherwise could know. These people did not accept their hardships apathetically. They did not regard them as permanent. They were only the temporary deprivations necessary in order to accomplish what they had come into the country to do. For this reason they could endure hopefully all that was hard. It is worth notice, too, that there was nothing belittling in their life, there was no pauperism, no shirking. Each family provided for its own simple wants, and had the conscious dignity which comes from being equal to a situation.


The company which emigrated to Illinois included the families of Thomas Lincoln, Dennis Hanks—married to one of Lincoln's step-sisters—and Levi Hall, thirteen persons in all. They sold land, cattle, and grain, and much of their household goods, and were ready in March of 1830 for their journey. All the possessions which the three families had to take with them were packed into a big wagon—the first one Thomas Lincoln had ever owned, it is said—to which four oxen were attached, and the caravan started. The weather was still cold, the streams were swollen, and the roads were muddy, but the party started out bravely. Inured to hardships, alive to all the new sights on their route, every day brought them amusement and adventures, and especially to young Lincoln the journey must have been of keen [pg 11] interest. He drove the oxen on this trip, he tells us, and, according to a story current in Gentryville, he succeeded in doing a fair peddler's business on the route. Captain William Jones, in whose father's store Lincoln had spent so many hours in discussion and in story-telling, and for whom he had worked the last winter he was in Indiana, says that before leaving the State Abraham invested all his money, some thirty-odd dollars, in notions. Though the country through which they expected to pass was but sparsely settled, he believed he could dispose of them. "A set of knives and forks was the largest item entered on the bill," says Mr. Jones; "the other items were needles, pins, thread, buttons, and other little domestic necessities. When the Lincolns reached their new home, near Decatur, Illinois, Abraham wrote back to my father, stating that he had doubled his money on his purchases by selling them along the road. Unfortunately we did not keep that letter, not thinking how highly we would have prized it years afterwards."


From a painting in the State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. This picture is crude and, from a historic point of view, inaccurate. The celebrated flatboat built by Lincoln and by him piloted to New Orleans, was a much larger and better craft than the one here portrayed. The little structure over the dam is meant for the Rutledge and Cameron mill, but the real mill was a far more pretentious affair. There was not only a grist-mill, but also a saw-mill which furnished lumber to the settlers for many miles around. The mill was built in 1829. March 5, 1830, we find John Overstreet appearing before the County Commissioners' Court at Springfield and averring upon oath "that he is informed and believes that John Cameron and James Rutledge have erected a mill-dam on the Sangamon River which obstructs the navigation of said river;" and the Commissioners issued a notice to Cameron and Rutledge to alter the dam so as to restore the "safe navigation" of the river. James M. Rutledge, of Petersburg, a nephew of the mill-owner, helped build the mill, and says of it: "The mill was a frame structure, and was solidly built. They used to grind corn mostly, though some flour was made. At times they would run day and night. The saw-mill had an old-fashioned upright saw, and stood on the bank." For a time this mill was operated by Denton Offutt, and was under the immediate supervision of Lincoln. A few heavy stakes, a part of the old dam, still show themselves at low water.—Note prepared by J. McCan Davis.

The pioneers were a fortnight on their journey. The route they took we do not exactly know, though we may suppose that it would be that by which they would avoid the most watercourses. We know from Mr. H.C. Whitney that the travellers reached Macon County from the south, for once when he was in Decatur with Mr. Lincoln the two strolled out for a walk, and when they came to the court-house, "Lincoln," says Mr. Whitney, "walked out a few feet in front, and after shifting his position two or three times, said, as he looked up at the building, partly to himself and partly to me: 'Here is the exact spot where I stood by our wagon when we moved from Indiana twenty-six years ago; this isn't six feet from the exact spot.'... I asked him if he, at that time, had expected to be a lawyer and practise law in that court-house; to which he replied: 'No; I didn't know I had sense enough to be a lawyer then.' He then told me he had frequently thereafter tried to locate the route by which they had come; and that he had decided that it was near to the line of the main line of the Illinois Central Railroad."

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This broad-axe is said to have been owned originally by Abram Bales, of New Salem; and, according to tradition, it was bought from him by Lincoln. After Lincoln forsook the woods, he sold the axe to one Mr. Irvin. Mr. L.W. Bishop, of Petersburg, now has the axe, having gotten it directly from Mr. Irvin. There are a number of affidavits attesting its genuineness. The axe has evidently seen hard usage, and is now covered with a thick coat of rust.


The party settled some ten miles west of Decatur, in Macon County. Here John Hanks had the logs already cut for their new home, and Lincoln, Dennis Hanks, and Hall soon had a cabin erected. Mr. Lincoln himself (though writing in the third person) says: "Here they built a log cabin, into which they removed, and made sufficient of rails to fence ten acres of ground, fenced and broke the ground, and raised a crop of sown corn upon it the same year. These are, or are supposed to be, the rails about which so much is being said just now, though these are far from being the first or only rails ever made by Abraham."4


The inscription above this model, which is shown to all visitors to the Model Hall of the Patent Office, reads: "6469 Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Ill. Improvement in method of lifting vessels over shoals. Patented May 22, 1849." The apparatus consists of a bellows, placed in each side of the hull of the craft, just below the water-line, and worked by an odd but simple system of ropes and pulleys. When the keel of the vessel grates against the sand or obstruction, the bellows is filled with air; and, thus buoyed up, the vessel is expected to float over the shoal. The model is about eighteen or twenty inches long, and looks as if it had been whittled with a knife out of a shingle and a cigar box. There is no elaboration in the apparatus beyond that necessary to show the operation of buoying the vessel over the obstructions.

If they were far from being his "first and only rails," they certainly were the most famous ones he or anybody else ever split. This was the last work he did for his father, for in the summer of that year (1830) he exercised the right of majority and started out to shift for himself. When he left his home to start life for himself, he went empty-handed. He was already some months over [pg 13] twenty-one years of age, but he had nothing in the world, not even a suit of respectable clothes; and one of the first pieces of work he did was "to split four hundred rails for every yard of brown jeans dyed with white walnut bark that would be necessary to make him a pair of trousers." He had no trade, no profession, no spot of land, no patron, no influence. Two things recommended him to his neighbors—he was strong, and he was a good fellow.


From a photograph loaned by H.W. Fay of De Kalb, Illinois. The original was taken early in 1857 by Alex. Hesler of Chicago. Mr. Fay writes of the picture: "I have a letter from Mr. Hesler stating that one of the lawyers came in and made arrangements for the sitting so that the members of the bar could get prints. Lincoln said at the time that he did not know why the boys wanted such a homely face." Mr. Joseph Medill of Chicago went with Mr. Lincoln to have the picture taken. He says that the photographer insisted on smoothing down Lincoln's hair, but Lincoln did not like the result, and ran his fingers through it before sitting. The original negative was burned in the Chicago fire.

His strength made him a valuable laborer. Not that he was fond of hard labor. Mrs. Crawford says: "Abe was no hand to pitch into work like killing snakes;" but when he did work, it was with an ease and effectiveness which compensated his employer for the time he spent in practical jokes and extemporaneous speeches. He would lift as much as three ordinary men, and "My, how he would chop!" [pg 14] says Dennis Hanks. "His axe would flash and bite into a sugar-tree or sycamore, and down it would come. If you heard him fellin' trees in a clearin', you would say there was three men at work by the way the trees fell." Standing six feet four, he could out-lift, out-work, and out-wrestle any man he came in contact with. Friends and employers were proud of his strength, and boasted of it, never failing to pit him against any hero whose strength they heard vaunted. He himself was proud of it, and throughout his life was fond of comparing himself with tall and strong men. When the committee called on him in Springfield, in 1860, to notify him of his nomination as President, Governor Morgan of New York was of the number, a man of great height and brawn. "Pray, Governor, how tall may you be?" was Mr. Lincoln's first question. There is a story told of a poor man seeking a favor from him once at the White House. He was overpowered by the idea that he was in the presence of the President, and, his errand done, was edging shyly out, when Mr. Lincoln stopped him, insisting that he measure with him. The man was the taller, as Mr. Lincoln had thought; and he went away evidently more abashed at the idea that he dared be taller than the President of the United States than that he had dared to venture into his presence.


From a painting in the State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. New Salem, which is described in the body of this article, was founded by James Rutledge and John Cameron in 1829. In that year they built a dam across the Sangamon River, and erected a mill. Under date of October 23, 1829, Reuben Harrison, surveyor, certifies that "at the request of John Cameron one of the proprietors I did survey the town of New Salem." The town within two years contained a dozen or fifteen houses, nearly all of them built of logs. New Salem's population probably never exceeded a hundred persons. Its inhabitants, and those of the surrounding country were mostly Southerners—natives of Kentucky and Tennessee—though there was an occasional Yankee among them. Soon after Lincoln left the place, in the spring of 1837, it began to decline. Petersburg had sprung up two miles down the river, and rapidly absorbed its population and business. By 1840 New Salem was almost deserted. The Rutledge tavern the first house erected, was the last to succumb. It stood for many years, but at last crumbled away. Salem hill is now only a green cow pasture.—Note prepared by J. McCan Davis.

Governor Hoyt tells an excellent story illustrating Lincoln's interest in muscle and his involuntary comparison of himself with any man who showed great strength. It was in 1859, after Lincoln had delivered a speech at the State Agricultural Fair of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The two men were making the rounds of the exhibits, and went into a tent to see a "strong man" perform. He went through the ordinary exercises with huge iron balls, tossing them in the air and catching them, and rolling them on his arms and back; and Mr. Lincoln, who evidently had never before seen such a thing, watched him with intense interest, ejaculating under his breath every now and then, "By George! By George!" When the performance was over, Governor Hoyt, seeing Mr. Lincoln's interest, asked him to go up and be introduced to the athlete. He did so; and, as he stood looking down musingly on the fellow, who was very short, and evidently wondering that a man so much shorter than he could be so [pg 15] much stronger, he suddenly broke out with one of his quaint speeches. "Why," he said, "why, I could lick salt off the top of your hat."


The Rutledge and Cameron mill, of which Lincoln at one time had charge, stood on the same spot as the mill in the picture, and had the same foundation. From the map on page 18 it will be seen that the mill was below the bluff and east of the town.

His strength won him popularity, but his good-nature, his wit, his skill in debate, his stories, were still more efficient in gaining him good-will. People liked to have him around, and voted him a good fellow to work with. Yet such were the conditions of his life at this time that, in spite of his popularity, nothing was open to him but hard manual labor. To take the first "job" which he happened upon—rail-splitting, ploughing, lumbering, boating, store-keeping—and make the most of it, thankful if thereby he earned his bed and board and yearly suit of jeans, was apparently all there was before Abraham Lincoln in 1830 when he started out for himself.


Through the summer and fall of 1830 and the early winter of 1831, Mr. Lincoln worked in the vicinity of his father's new home, usually as a farm-hand and rail-splitter. Most of his work was done in company with John Hanks. Before the end of the winter he secured employment which he has given an account of himself (writing again in the third person):5

"During that winter Abraham, together with his stepmother's son, John D. Johnston, and John Hanks, yet residing in Macon County, hired themselves to Denton Offutt to take a flat-boat from Beardstown, Illinois, to New Orleans, and for that purpose were to join him—Offutt—at Springfield, Illinois, so soon as the snow should go off. When it did go off, which was about March 1, 1831, the country was so flooded as to make travelling by land impracticable; to obviate which difficulty they purchased a large canoe and came down the Sangamon River in it from where they were all living (near Decatur). This is the time and manner of Abraham's first entrance into Sangamon County. They found Offutt at Springfield, but learned from him that he had failed in getting a boat at Beardstown. This led to their hiring themselves to him for twelve dollars per month each, and getting the timber out of the trees, and building a boat at old Sangamon town on the Sangamon River, seven miles northwest of Springfield, which boat they took to New Orleans, substantially on the old contract."


Sangamon town, where Mr. Lincoln built the flatboat, has, since his day, completely disappeared from the earth; but then it was one of the flourishing settlements on the river of that name. Lincoln and his friends on arriving there in March immediately began work. [pg 16] There is still living in Springfield, Illinois, a man who helped Lincoln at the raft-building—Mr. John Roll, a well-known citizen, and one who has been prominent in the material advancement of the city. Mr. Roll remembers distinctly Lincoln's first appearance in Sangamon town. To a representative of this MAGAZINE who talked with him recently in Springfield he described Lincoln's looks when he first came to town. "He was a tall, gaunt young man," Mr. Roll said, "dressed in a suit of blue homespun jeans, consisting of a roundabout jacket, waistcoat, and breeches which came to within about four inches of his feet. The latter were encased in raw-hide boots, into the top of which, most of the time, his pantaloons were stuffed. He wore a soft felt hat which had at one time been black, but now, as its owner dryly remarked, 'it had been sunburned until it was a combine of colors.'"

Mr. Roll's relation to the newcomer soon became something more than that of a critical observer; he hired out to him, and says with pride, "I made every pin which went into that boat."


It took some four weeks to build the raft, and in that period Lincoln succeeded in captivating the entire village by his story-telling. It was the custom in Sangamon for the "men-folks" to gather at noon and in the evening, when resting, in a convenient lane near the mill. They had rolled out a long peeled log on which they lounged while they whittled and talked. After Mr. Lincoln came to town the men would start him to story-telling as soon as he appeared at the assembly ground. So irresistibly droll were his "yarns" that, says Mr. Roll, "whenever he'd end up in his unexpected way the boys on the log would whoop and roll off." The result of the rolling off was to polish the log like a mirror. Long after Lincoln had disappeared from Sangamon "Abe's log" remained, and until it had rotted away people pointed it out, and repeated the droll stories of the stranger.


The flatboat was done in about a month, and Lincoln and his friends prepared to leave Sangamon. Before he started, however, he was the hero of an adventure so thrilling that he won new laurels in the community. Mr. Roll, who was a witness to the whole exciting [pg 17] scene, tells the story as follows:


This costume, worn by Mrs. Lucy M. Bennett of Petersburg, Illinois, has been a familiar attraction at old settlers' gatherings in Menard County, for years. The dress was made by Mrs. Hill, of New Salem, and the reticule or workbag will be readily recognized by those who have any recollection of the early days. The bonnet occupied a place in the store of Samuel Hill at New Salem. It was taken from the store by Mrs. Hill, worn for a time by her, and has been carefully preserved to this day. It is an imported bonnet—a genuine Leghorn—and of a kind so costly that Mr. Hill made only an occasional sale of one. Its price, in fact, was $25.

"It was the spring following the winter of the deep snow.6 Walter Carman, John Seamon, myself, and at times others of the Carman boys, had helped Abe in building the boat, and when he had finished we went to work to make a dug-out, or canoe, to be used as a small boat with the flat. We found a suitable log about an eighth of a mile up the river, and with our axes went to work under Lincoln's direction. The river was very high, fairly 'booming.' After the dug-out was ready to launch we took it to the edge of the water, and made ready to 'let her go,' when Walter Carman and John Seamon jumped in as the boat struck the water, each one anxious to be the first to get a ride. As they shot out from the shore they found they were unable to make any headway against the strong current. Carman had the paddle, and Seamon was in the stern of the boat. Lincoln shouted to them to 'head upstream' and 'work back to shore,' but they found themselves powerless against the stream. At last they began to pull for the wreck of an old flatboat, the first ever built on the Sangamon, which had sunk and gone to pieces, leaving one of the stanchions sticking above the water. Just as they reached it Seamon made a grab, and caught hold of the stanchion, when the canoe capsized, leaving Seamon clinging to the old timber, and throwing Carman into the stream. It carried him down with the speed of a mill-race, Lincoln raised his voice above the roar of the flood, and yelled to Carman to swim for an elm-tree which stood almost in the channel, which the action of the high water changed. Carman, being a good swimmer, succeeded in catching a branch, and pulled himself up out of the water, which was very cold, and had almost chilled him to death; and there he sat, shivering and chattering in the tree. Lincoln, seeing Carman safe, called out to Seamon to let go the stanchion and swim for the tree. With some hesitation he obeyed, and struck out, while Lincoln cheered, and directed him from the bank. As Seamon neared the tree he made one grab for a branch, and, missing it, went under the water. Another desperate lunge was successful, and he climbed up beside Carman. Things were pretty exciting now, for there were two men in the tree, and the boat was gone.

"It was a cold, raw April day, and there was great danger of the men becoming benumbed and falling back into the water. Lincoln called out to them to keep their spirits up and he would save them. The village had been alarmed by this time, and many people had come down to the bank. Lincoln procured a rope, and tied it to a log. He called all hands to come and help roll the log into the water, and after this had been done, he, with the assistance of several others, towed it some distance up the stream. A daring young fellow by the name of 'Jim' Dorrell then took his seat on the end of the log, and it was pushed out into the current, with the expectation that it would be carried downstream against the tree where Seamon and Carman were. The log was well directed, and went straight to the tree; but Jim, in his impatience to help his friends, fell a victim to his good intentions. Making a frantic grab at a branch, he raised himself off the log, and [pg 18] it was swept from under him by the raging water, and he soon joined the other two victims upon their forlorn perch. The excitement on shore increased, and almost the whole population of the village gathered on the river bank. Lincoln had the log pulled up the stream, and securing another piece of rope, called to the men in the tree to catch it if they could when he should reach the tree. He then straddled the log himself, and gave the word to push out into the stream. When he dashed into the tree, he threw the rope over the stump of a broken limb, and let it play until he broke the speed of the log, and gradually drew it back to the tree, holding it there until the [pg 19] three now nearly frozen men had climbed down and seated themselves astride. He then gave orders to the people on the shore to hold fast to the end of the rope which was tied to the log, and leaving his rope in the tree he turned the log adrift, and the force of the current acting against the taut rope swung the log around against the bank, and all 'on board' were saved. The excited people, who had watched the dangerous experiment with alternate hope and fear, now broke into cheers for Abe Lincoln and praises for his brave act. This adventure made quite a hero of him along the Sangamon, and the people never tired of telling of the exploit."


Map made by J. McCan Davis, aided by surviving inhabitants of New Salem. Dr. John Allen was the leading physician of New Salem. He was a Yankee, and was at first looked upon with suspicion, but he was soon running a Sunday-school and temperance society, though strongly opposed by the conservative church people. Dr. Allen attended Ann Rutledge in her last illness. He was thrifty, and moving to Petersburg in 1840, became wealthy. He died in 1860. Dr. Francis Regnier was a rival physician and a respected citizen. Samuel Hill and John McNeill (whose real name subsequently proved to be McNamar) operated a general store next to Berry & Lincoln's grocery. Mr. Hill also owned the carding-machine. He moved his store to Petersburg in 1839, and engaged in business there, dying quite wealthy. Jack Kelso followed a variety of callings, being occasionally a school-teacher, now and then a grocery clerk, and always a fisher and hunter. He was a man of some culture, and, when warmed by liquor, quoted Shakespeare and Burns profusely, a habit which won for him the close friendship of Lincoln. Joshua Miller was a blacksmith, and lived in the same house with Kelso—a double house. He is said to be still living, somewhere in Nebraska. Miller and Kelso were brothers-in law. Philemon Morris was a tinner. Henry Onstott was a cooper by trade. He was an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and meetings were often held at his house. Rev. John Berry, father of Lincoln's partner, frequently preached there. Robert Johnson was a wheelwright, and his wife took in weaving. Martin Waddell was a hatter. He was the best-natured man in town, Lincoln possibly excepted. The Trent brothers, who succeeded Berry & Lincoln as proprietors of the store, worked in his shop for a time. William Clary, one of the first settlers of New Salem, was one of a numerous family, most of whom lived in the vicinity of "Clary's Grove." Isaac Burner was the father of Daniel Green Burner, Berry & Lincoln's clerk. Alexander Ferguson worked at odd jobs. He had two brothers, John and Elijah. Isaac Gollaher lived in a house belonging to John Ferguson. "Row" Herndon, at whose house Lincoln boarded for a year or more after going to New Salem, moved to the country after selling his store to Berry & Lincoln. John Cameron, one of the founders of the town, was a Presbyterian preacher and a highly esteemed citizen.—Note prepared by J. McCan Davis.


The flatboat built and loaded, the party started for New Orleans about the middle of April. They had gone but a few miles when they met with another adventure. At the village of New Salem there was a mill-dam. On it the boat stuck, and here for nearly twenty-four hours it hung, the bow in the air and the stern in the water, the cargo slowly setting backward—shipwreck almost certain. The village of New Salem turned out in a body to see what the strangers would do in their predicament. They shouted, suggested, and advised for a time, but finally discovered that one big fellow in the crew was ignoring them and working out a plan of relief. Having unloaded the cargo into a neighboring boat, Lincoln had succeeded in tilting his craft. By boring a hole in the end extending over the dam the water was let out. This done, the boat was easily shoved over and reloaded. The ingenuity which he had exercised in saving his boat made a deep impression on the crowd on the bank. It was talked over for many a day, and the general verdict was that the "bow-hand" was a "strapper." The proprietor of boat and cargo was even more enthusiastic than the spectators, and vowed he would build a steamboat for the Sangamon and make Lincoln the captain. Lincoln himself was interested in what he had done, and nearly twenty years later he embodied his reflections on this adventure in a curious invention for getting boats over shoals.


William G. Greene was one of the earliest friends of Lincoln at New Salem. He stood on the bank of the Sangamon River on the 19th of April, 1831, and watched Lincoln bore a hole in the bottom of the flatboat, which had lodged on the mill-dam, so that the water might run out. A few months later he and Lincoln were both employed by the enterprising Denton Offutt, as clerks in the store and managers of the mill which had been leased by Offutt. It was William G. Greene who, returning home from college at Jacksonville on a vacation, brought Richard Yates with him, and introduced him to Lincoln, the latter being found stretched out on the cellar door of Bowling Green's cabin reading a book. Mr. Greene was born in Tennessee in 1812, and went to Illinois in 1822. After the disappearance of New Salem he removed to Tallula, a few miles away, where in after years he engaged in the banking business. He died in 1894, after amassing a fortune.


The raft over the New Salem dam, the party went on to New Orleans without trouble, reaching there in May, 1831, and remaining a month. It must have been a month of intense intellectual activity for Lincoln. New Orleans was entering then on her "flush times." Commerce was increasing at a rate which dazzled merchants and speculators, and drew them in shoals from all over the United States. From 1830 to 1840 no other American city increased in such a ratio; exports and imports, which in 1831 amounted to $26,000,000, in 1835 had more than doubled. The Creole population had held the sway so far in the city; but now it came into competition and often into contest with a pushing, ambitious, and frequently unscrupulous native American party. To these two predominating elements were added Germans, French, Spanish, negroes and Indians. Cosmopolitan in its make-up, the city was even more cosmopolitan in its life. Everything was to be seen in New Orleans in those days, from the idle luxury of the wealthy Creole to the organization of filibustering juntas. The pirates still plied their [pg 20] trade in the Gulf, and the Mississippi River brought down hundreds of river boatmen—one of the wildest, wickedest sets of men that ever existed in any city.

Lincoln and his companions probably tied their boat up beside thousands of others. It was the custom then to tie up such craft along the river front where St. Mary's Market now stands, and one could walk a mile, it is said, over the tops of these boats without going ashore. No doubt Lincoln went, too, to live in the boatmen's rendezvous, called the "Swamp," a wild, rough quarter, where roulette, whiskey, and the flint-lock pistol ruled.

All of the picturesque life, the violent contrasts of the city, he would see as he wandered about; and he would carry away the sharp impressions which are produced when mind and heart are alert, sincere, and healthy.

In this month spent in New Orleans Lincoln must have seen much of slavery. At that time the city was full of slaves, and the number was constantly increasing; indeed, one-third of the New Orleans increase in population between 1830 and 1840 was in negroes. One of the saddest features of the institution was to be seen there in its most aggravated form—the slave market. The great mass of slave-holders of the South, who looked on the institution as patriarchal, and who guarded their slaves with conscientious care, knew little, it should be said, of this terrible traffic. Their transfer of slaves was humane, but in the open markets of the city it was attended by shocking cruelty and degradation. Lincoln witnessed in New Orleans for the first time the revolting sight of men and women sold like animals Mr. Herndon says that he often heard Mr. Lincoln refer to this experience: "In New Orleans for the first time," he writes, "Lincoln beheld the true horrors of human slavery. He saw 'negroes in chains—whipped and scourged.' Against this inhumanity his sense of right and justice rebelled, and his mind and conscience were awakened to a realization of what he had often heard and read. No doubt, as one of his companions has said, 'slavery ran the iron into him then and there.' One morning in their rambles over the city the trio passed a slave auction. A vigorous and comely mulatto girl was being sold. She underwent a thorough examination at the hands of the bidders; they pinched her flesh, and made her trot up and down the room like a horse, to show how she moved, and in order, as the auctioneer said, that 'bidders might satisfy themselves' whether the article they were offering to buy was sound or not. The whole thing was so revolting that Lincoln moved away from the scene with a deep feeling of 'unconquerable hate.' Bidding his companions follow him, he said, 'Boys, let's get away from this. If ever I get a chance to hit that thing' (meaning slavery), 'I'll hit it hard.'"


Mentor Graham was the New Salem school-master. He it was who assisted Lincoln in mastering Kirkham's grammar, and later gave him valuable assistance when Lincoln was learning the theory of surveying. He taught in a little log school-house on a hill south of the village, just across Green's Rocky Branch. Among his pupils was Ann Rutledge, and the school was often visited by Lincoln. In 1845, Mentor Graham was defendant in a lawsuit in which Lincoln and Herndon were attorneys for the plaintiff, Nancy Green. It appears from the declaration, written by Lincoln's own hand, that on October 28, 1844, Mentor Graham gave his note to Nancy Green for one hundred dollars, with John Owens and Andrew Beerup as sureties, payable twelve months after date. The note not being paid when due, suit was brought. That Lincoln, even as an attorney, should sue Mentor Graham may seem strange; but it is no surprise when it is explained that the plaintiff was the widow of Bowling Green—the woman who, with her husband, had comforted Lincoln in an hour of grief. Justice, too, in this case, was clearly on her side. The lawsuit seems never to have disturbed the friendly relations between Lincoln and Mentor Graham. The latter's admiration for the former was unbounded to the day of his death. Mentor Graham lived on his farm near the ruins of New Salem until 1860, when he removed to Petersburg. There he lived until 1885, when he removed to Greenview, Illinois. Later he went to South Dakota, where he died about 1892, at the ripe old age of ninety-odd years.

Mr. Herndon gives John Hanks as his authority for this statement. But this is plainly an error, for, according to Mr. [pg 21] Lincoln himself, Hanks did not go on to New Orleans, but having a family and being likely to be detained from home longer than at first expected, turned back at St. Louis. Though there is reason for believing that Lincoln was deeply impressed on this trip by something he saw in a New Orleans slave market, and that he often referred to it, the story told above probably grew to its present proportions by much telling.7


The month in New Orleans passed swiftly, and in June, 1831, Lincoln and his companions took passage up the river. He did not return, however, in the usual way of the river boatman "out of a job." According to his own way of putting it, "during this boat-enterprise acquaintance with Offutt, who was previously an entire stranger, he conceived a liking for Abraham, and believing he could turn him to account, he contracted with him to act as a clerk for him on his return from New Orleans, in charge of a store and mill at New Salem."8

The store and mill were, however, so far only in Offutt's imagination, and Lincoln had to drift about until his employer was ready for him. He made a short visit to his father and mother, now in Coles County, near Charleston (fever and ague had driven the Lincolns from their first home in Macon County), and then, in July, 1831, he drifted over to New Salem, where, as he says, he "stopped indefinitely and for the first time, as it were, by himself."


"The village of New Salem, the scene of Lincoln's mercantile career," writes one of our correspondents who has studied the history of the town and visited the spot where it once stood, "was one of the many little towns which, in the pioneer days, sprang up along the Sangamon River, a stream then looked upon as navigable and as destined to be counted among the highways of commerce. Twenty miles northwest of Springfield, strung along the left bank of the Sangamon, parted by hollows and ravines, is a row of high hills. On one of these—a long, narrow ridge, beginning with a [pg 22] sharp and sloping point near the river, running south, and parallel with the stream a little way, and then, reaching its highest point, making a sudden turn to the west, and gradually widening until lost in the prairie—stood this frontier village. The crooked river for a short distance comes from the east, and, seeming surprised at meeting the bluff, abruptly changes its course, and flows to the north. Across the river the bottom stretches out, reaching half a mile back to the highlands. New Salem, founded in 1829 by James Rutledge and John Cameron, and a dozen years later a deserted village, is rescued from oblivion only by the fact that Lincoln was once one of its inhabitants. His first sight of the town had been in April, 1831, when the flatboat he had built and its little crew were detained in getting their boat over the Rutledge and Cameron mill-dam, on which it lodged. When Lincoln walked into New Salem, three months later, he was not altogether a stranger, for the people remembered him as the ingenious flatboat-man who, a little while before, had freed his boat from water (and thus enabled it to [pg 23] get over the dam) by resorting to the miraculous expedient of boring a hole in the bottom."9 Offutt's goods had not arrived when Mr. Lincoln reached New Salem; and he "loafed" about, so those who remember his arrival say, good-naturedly taking a hand in whatever he could find to do, and in his droll way making friends of everybody. By chance, a bit of work fell to him almost at once, which introduced him generally and gave him an opportunity to make a name in the neighborhood. It was election day. The village school-master, Mentor Graham by name, was clerk, but the assistant was ill. Looking about for some one to help him, Mr. Graham saw a tall stranger loitering around the polling place, and called to him, "Can you write?" "Yes," said the stranger, "I can make a few rabbit tracks." Mr. Graham evidently was satisfied with the answer, for he promptly initiated him; and he filled his place not only to the satisfaction of his employer, but also to the delectation of the loiterers about the polls, for whenever things dragged he immediately began "to spin out a stock of Indiana yarns." So droll were they that years afterward men who listened to Lincoln that day repeated them to their friends. He had made a hit in New Salem, to start with, and here, as in Sangamon town, it was by means of his story-telling.


Photographed from the original poll-book, now on file in the county clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln's first vote was cast at New Salem, "in the Clary's Grove precinct," August 1, 1831. At this election he aided Mr. Graham, who was one of the clerks. In the early days in Illinois, elections were conducted by the viva voce method. The people did try voting by ballot, but the experiment was unpopular. It required too much "book larnin," and in 1829 the viva voce method of voting was restored. The judges and clerks sat at a table with the poll-book before them. The voter walked up, and announced the candidate of his choice, and it was recorded in his presence. There was no ticket peddling, and ballot-box stuffing was impossible. To this simple system we are indebted for the record of Lincoln's first vote. As will be seen from the fac-simile, Lincoln voted for James Turney for Congressman, Bowling Green and Edmund Greer for Magistrates, and John Armstrong and Henry Sinco for Constables. Of these five men three were elected. Turney was defeated for Congressman by Joseph Duncan. Turney lived in Greene County. He was not then a conspicuous figure in the politics of the State, but was a follower of Henry Clay, and was well thought of in his own district. He and Lincoln, in 1834, served their first terms together in the lower house of the legislature, and later he was a State senator. Joseph Duncan, the successful candidate, was already in Congress. He was a politician of influence. In 1834 he was a strong "Jackson man;" but after his election as Governor he created consternation among the followers of "Old Hickory" by becoming a Whig. Sidney Breese, who received only two votes in the Clary's Grove precinct, afterward became the most conspicuous of the five candidates. Eleven years later he defeated Stephen A. Douglas for the United States Senate, and for twenty-five years he was on the bench of the Supreme Court of Illinois, serving under each of the three constitutions. For the office of Magistrate Bowling Green was elected, but Greer was beaten. Both of Lincoln's candidates for Constable were elected. John Armstrong was the man with whom, a short time afterward, Lincoln had the celebrated wrestling match. Henry Sinco was the keeper of a store at New Salem. Lincoln's first vote for President was not cast until the next year (November 5, 1832), when he voted for Henry Clay.—Note furnished by J. McCan Davis.

(To be continued.)

Footnote 1: (return)

The collection of Lincoln portraits owned by Mr. T.H. Bartlett, the sculptor, is the most complete and the most intelligently arranged which we have examined. Mr. Bartlett began collecting fully twenty years ago, his aim being to secure data for a study of Mr. Lincoln from a physiognomical point of view. He has probably the earliest portrait which exists, the one here given, excepting the one used as a frontispiece in our November number. He has a large number of the Illinois pictures made from 1858 to 1860, such as the Gilmer picture, which we use as a frontispiece in the present number, a large collection of Brady photographs, the masks, Volk's bust, and other interesting portraits. These he has studied from a sculptor's point of view, comparing them carefully with the portraiture of other men, as Webster and Emerson. Mr. Bartlett has embodied his study of Mr. Lincoln in an illustrated lecture which is a model of what such a lecture should be, suggestive, human, delightful. All his fine collection of Lincoln portraits Mr. Bartlett has put freely at our disposal, an act of courtesy and generosity for which the readers of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE, as well as its editors, cannot fail to be deeply grateful.

Footnote 2: (return)

See November number of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE, page 502.

Footnote 3: (return)

Letter to —— Johnston, April 18, 1846. "Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John G. Nicolay and John Hay. Volume I., pages 86, 87. The Century Co.

Footnote 4: (return)

Short autobiography written in 1860 for use in preparing a campaign biography. "Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John G. Nicolay and John Hay. The Century Co. Volume I., page 639.

Footnote 5: (return)

Short autobiography written for use in preparing a campaign biography. "Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John G. Nicolay and John Hay. Volume I., page 639. The Century Co.

Footnote 6: (return)

1830-1831. "The winter of the deep snow" is the date which is the starting point in all calculations of time for the early settlers of Illinois, and the circumstance from which the old settlers of Sangamon County receive the name by which they are generally known, "Snowbirds."

Footnote 7: (return)

"No doubt the young Kentuckian was disgusted [with what he saw in the New Orleans slave auction]; but there is no proof that this was his first object lesson in human slavery, or that, as so often has been asserted, he turned to his companion and said, 'If I ever get a chance to hit slavery, I will hit it hard.' Such an expression from a flatboat-man would have been absurd."—Personal Reminiscences of 1840-1890, by L.E. Chittenden.

Footnote 8: (return)

"Abraham Lincoln. Complete Works." Edited by John G. Nicolay and John, Hay. Volume I.

Footnote 9: (return)

New Salem plays so prominent a part in the life of Lincoln that the MAGAZINE engaged Mr. J. McCan Davis, of Springfield, Illinois, who had already made a special study of this period of Mr. Lincoln's life, to go in detail over the ground to secure a perfectly accurate sequence of events, to collect new and unpublished pictures and documents, and to interview all of the old acquaintances of Mr. Lincoln who remain in the neighborhood. Mr. Davis has secured some new facts about Mr. Lincoln's life in this period; he has unearthed in the official files of the county several new documents, and he has secured several unpublished portraits of interest. His matter will be incorporated into our next two articles.


By Anthony Hope,

Author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," "The Dolly Dialogues," etc.


Letter I

It was in the spring of the year that Ludwig, Prince of Glottenberg, came courting the Princess Osra; for his father had sought the most beautiful lady of a royal house in Europe, and had found none to equal Osra. Therefore the prince came to Strelsau with a great retinue, and was lodged in the White Palace, which stood on the outskirts of the city, where the public gardens now are (for the palace itself was sacked and burnt by the people in the rising of 1848). Here Ludwig stayed many days, coming every day to the king's palace to pay his respects to the king and queen, and to make his court to the princess. King Rudolf had received him with the utmost friendship, and was, for reasons of state then of great moment, but now of vanished interest, as eager for the match as was the King of Glottenberg himself; and he grew very impatient with his sister when she hesitated to accept Ludwig's hand, alleging that she felt for him no more than a kindly esteem, and, what was as much to the purpose, that he felt no more for her. For although the prince possessed most courteous and winning manners, and was very accomplished both in learning and in exercises, yet he was a grave and pensive young man, rather stately than jovial, and seemed, in the princess's eyes (accustomed as they were to catch and check ardent glances), to perform his wooing more as a duty of his station than on the impulse of any passion. Finding in herself, also, no such sweet ashamed emotions as had before now crossed her heart on account of lesser men, she grew grave and troubled; and she said to the king:

"Brother, is this love? For I had as lief he were away as here; and when he is here he kisses my hand as though it were a statue's hand; and—and I feel as though it were. They say you know what love is. Is this love?"

"There are many forms of love," smiled the king. "This is such love as a prince and a princess may most properly feel."

"I do not call it love at all," said Osra, with a pout.

When Prince Ludwig came next day to see her, and told her, with grave courtesy, that his pleasure lay in doing her will, she broke out:

[pg 24]

"I had rather it lay in watching my face;" and then, ashamed, she turned away from him.

He seemed grieved and hurt at her words, and it was with a sigh that he said: "My life shall be given to giving you joy."

She turned round on him with flushed cheek and trembling lips:

"Yes, but I had rather it were spent in getting joy from me."

He cast down his eyes a moment, and then, taking her hand, kissed it, but she drew it away sharply; and so that afternoon they parted, he back to his palace, she to her chamber, where she sat, asking again: "Is this love?" and crying: "He does not know love;" and pausing, now and again, before her mirror, to ask her pictured face why it would not unlock the door of love.

On another day she would be merry, or feign merriment, rallying him on his sombre air and formal compliments, professing that for her part she soon grew weary of such wooing, and loved to be easy and merry; for thus she hoped to sting him, so that he would either disclose more warmth, or forsake altogether his pursuit. But he made many apologies, blaming nature that had made him grave, but assuring her of his deep affection and respect.

"Affection and respect!" murmured Osra, with a little toss of her head. "Oh, that I had not been born a princess!" And yet, though she did not love him, she thought him a very noble gentleman, and trusted to his honor and sincerity in everything. Therefore, when he still persisted, and Rudolf and the queen urged her, telling her (the king mockingly, the queen with a touch of sadness) that she must not look to find in the world such love as romantic girls dreamt of, at last she yielded, and she told her brother that she would marry Prince Ludwig, yet for a little while she would not have the news proclaimed. So Rudolf went, alone and privately, to the White Palace, and said to Ludwig:

"Cousin, you have won the fairest lady in the world. Behold, her brother says it!"

Prince Ludwig bowed low, and, taking the king's hand, pressed it, thanking him for his help and approval, and expressing himself as most grateful for the boon of the princess's favor.

"And will you not come with me and find her?" cried the king, with a merry look.

"I have urgent business now," answered Ludwig. "Beg the princess to forgive me. This afternoon I will crave the honor of waiting on her with my humble gratitude."

King Rudolf looked at him, a smile curling on his lips; and he said, in one of his gusts of impatience:

"By heaven! is there another man in the world who would talk about gratitude, and business, and the afternoon, when Osra of Strelsau sat waiting for him?"

"I mean no discourtesy," protested Ludwig, taking the king's arm and glancing at him with most friendly eyes. "Indeed, dear friend, I am rejoiced and honored. But this business of mine will not wait."

So the king, frowning and grumbling and laughing, went back alone, and told the princess that the happy wooer was most grateful, and would come, after his business was transacted, that afternoon. But Osra, having given her hand, would now admit no fault in the man she had chosen, and thanked the king for the message, with great dignity. Then the king came to her, and, sitting down by her, stroked her hair, saying softly:

"You have had many lovers, sister Osra, and now comes a husband."

"Yes, now a husband," she murmured, catching swiftly at his hand; and her voice was half caught in a sudden sob.

"So goes the world—our world," said the king, knitting his brows and seeming to fall for a moment into a sad reverie.

"I am frightened," she whispered. "Should I be frightened if I loved him?"

"I have been told so," said the king, smiling again. "But the fear has a way of being mastered then." And he drew her to him, and gave her a hearty brother's kiss, telling her to take heart. "You'll thaw the fellow yet," said the king, "though I grant you he is icy enough." For the king himself had been by no means what he called an icy man.

But Osra was not satisfied, and sought to assuage the pain of her heart by adorning herself most carefully for the prince's coming, hoping to fire him to love. For she thought that if he loved she might, although since he did not she could not. And surely he did not, or all the tales of love were false! Thus she came to receive him very magnificently arrayed. There was a flush on her cheek, and an uncertain, expectant, fearful look in her eyes; and thus she stood before him, as he fell on his knee and kissed her hand. Then he rose, and declared his thanks, and promised his devotion; but as he spoke the flush faded, and the light died from her eyes; and when at last he drew near to her, and offered to kiss her cheek, her eyes were dead, and her face pale [pg 25] and cold as she suffered him to touch it. He was content to touch it but once, and seemed not to know how cold it was; and so, after more talk of his father's pleasure and his pride, he took his leave, promising to come again the next day. She ran to the window when the door was closed on him, and thence watched him mount his horse and ride away slowly, with his head bent and his eyes downcast; yet he was a noble gentleman, stately and handsome, kind and true. The tears came suddenly into her eyes and blurred her sight as she leant watching from behind the hanging curtains of the window. Though she dashed them angrily away, they came again, and ran down her pale, cold cheeks, mourning the golden vision that seemed gone without fulfilment.

That evening there came a gentleman from the Prince of Glottenberg, carrying most humble excuses from his master, who (so he said) was prevented from waiting on the princess the next day by a certain very urgent affair that took him from Strelsau, and would keep him absent from the city all day long; and the gentleman delivered to Osra a letter from the prince, full of graceful and profound apologies, and pleading an engagement that his honor would not let him break; for nothing short of that, said he, should have kept him from her side. There followed some lover's phrases, scantily worded, and frigid in an assumed passion. But Osra smiled graciously, and sent back a message, readily accepting all that the prince urged in excuse. And she told what had passed to the king, with her head high in the air, and a careless haughtiness, so that even the king did not rally her, nor yet venture to comfort her, but urged her to spend the next day in riding with the queen and him; for they were setting out for Zenda, where the king was to hunt in the forest, and she could ride some part of the way with them, and return in the evening. And she, wishing that she had sent first to the prince, to bid him not come, agreed to go with her brother; it was better far to go than to wait at home for a lover who would not come.

Thus, the next morning, they rode out, the king and queen with their retinue, the princess attended by one of her guard, named Christian Hantz, who was greatly attached to her, and most jealous in praise and admiration of her. This fellow had taken on himself to be very angry with Prince Ludwig's coldness, but dared say nothing of it. Yet, impelled by his anger, he had set himself to watch the prince very closely; and thus he had, as he conceived, [pg 26] discovered something that brought a twinkle into his eye and a triumphant smile to his lips as he rode behind the princess. Some fifteen miles she accompanied her brother, and then, turning with Christian, took another road back to the city. Alone she rode, her mind full of sad thoughts; while Christian, behind, still wore his malicious smile. But, presently, although she had not commanded him, he quickened his pace, and came up to her side, relying on the favor which she always showed him, for excuse.

"Well, Christian," said she, "have you something to say to me?"

For answer he pointed to a small house that stood among the trees, some way from the road, and he said:

"If I were Ludwig and not Christian, yet I would be here where Christian is, and not there where Ludwig is." And he pointed still at the house.

She faced round on him in anger at his daring to speak to her of the prince, but he was a bold fellow, and would not be silenced now that he had begun to speak. He knew also that she would bear much from him; so he leant over towards her, saying:

"By your bounty, madam, I have money, and he who has money can get knowledge. So I know that the prince is there. For fifty pounds I gained a servant of his, and he told me."

"I do not know why you should spy on the prince," said Osra, "and I do not care to know where the prince is." And she touched her horse with the spur, and cantered fast forward, leaving the little house behind. But Christian persisted, partly in a foolish grudge against any man who should win what was above his reach, partly in an honest anger that she whom his worshipped should be treated lightly by another; and he forced her to hear what he had learnt from the gossip of the prince's groom, telling it to her in hints and half-spoken sentences, yet so plainly that she could not miss the drift of it. She rode the faster towards Strelsau, at first answering nothing; but at last she turned upon him fiercely, saying that he told a lie, and that she knew it was a lie, since she knew where the prince was and what business had taken him away; and she commanded Christian to be silent, and to speak neither to her nor to any one else of his false suspicions; and she bade him, very harshly, to fall back and ride behind her again, which he did, sullen, yet satisfied; for he knew that his arrow had gone home. On she rode, with her cheeks aflame and her heart beating, until she came to Strelsau, and having arrived at the palace, ran to her own bedroom and flung herself on the bed.

Here for an hour she lay; then, it being about six o'clock, she sat up, pushing her disordered hair back from her hot, aching brow. For an agony of humiliation came upon her, and a fury of resentment against the prince, whose coldness seemed now to need no more explanation. Yet she could hardly believe what she had been told of him; for, though she had not loved him, she had accorded to him her full trust. Rising, she paced in pain about the room. She could not rest, and she cried out in longing that her brother were there to aid her, and find out the truth for her. But he was away, and she had none to whom she could turn. So she strove to master her anger and endure her suspense till the next day; but they were too strong for her, and she cried: "I will go myself. I cannot sleep till I know. But I cannot go alone. Who will go with me?" And she knew of none, for she would not take Christian with her, and she shrank from speaking of the matter to any of the gentlemen of the court. And yet she must know. But at last she sprang up from the chair into which she had sunk despondently, exclaiming:

"He is a gentleman and my friend. He will go with me." And she sent hastily for the Bishop of Modenstein, who was then in Strelsau, bidding him come dressed for riding, and with a sword, and the best horse in his stable. And the bishop came equipped as she bade him and in very great wonder. But when she told him what she wanted, and what Christian had made known to her, he grew grave, saying that they must wait and consult the king when he returned.

"I will not wait an hour," she cried. "I cannot wait an hour."

"Then I will ride, and bring you word. You must not go," he urged.

"Nay; if I go alone, I will go," said she. "Yes, I will go, and myself fling his falseness in his teeth."

Finding her thus resolved, the bishop knew that he could not turn her; so, leaving her to prepare herself, he sought Christian Hantz, and charged him to bring three horses to the most private gate of the palace, that opened in a little by-street. Here Christian waited for them with the horses, and they came presently, the bishop wearing a great slouched hat, and swaggering like a roystering trooper, while Osra was closely veiled. The bishop again imposed secrecy on Christian, and then, they both being mounted, said to Osra: "If you will, then, madam, come;" and thus they rode [pg 27] secretly out of the city, about seven o'clock in the evening, the gate-wardens opening the gates at sight of the royal arms on Osra's ring, which she gave to the bishop in order that he might show it.

In silence they rode a long way, going at a great speed. Osra's face was set and rigid, for she felt now no shame at herself for going, nor any fear of what she might find. But the injury to her pride swallowed every other feeling, and at last she said, in short, sharp words, to the Bishop of Modenstein, having suddenly thrown the veil back from her face:

"He shall not live, if it prove true."

The bishop shook his head. His profession was peace; yet his blood, also, was hot against the man who had put a slight on Princess Osra.

"The king must know of it," he said.

"The king? The king is not here tonight," said Osra; and she pricked her horse, and set him at a gallop. The moon, breaking suddenly in brightness from behind a cloud, showed the bishop her face. Then she put out her hand, and caught him by the arm, whispering: "Are you my friend?"

"Yes, madam," said he. She knew well that he was her friend.

"Kill him for me, then! Kill him for me!"

"I cannot kill him," said the bishop. "I pray God it may prove untrue."

"You are not my friend if you will not kill him," said Osra; and she turned her face away, and rode yet more quickly.


At last they came in sight of the little house that stood back from the road, and there was a light in one of the upper windows. The bishop heard a short gasp break from Osra's lips, and she pointed with her whip to the window. Now his own breath came quick and fast, and he prayed to God that he might remember his sacred character and his vows, and not be led into great and deadly sin at the bidding of that proud, bitter face; and he clenched his left hand, and struck his brow with it.

Thus, then, they came to the gate of the avenue of trees that led to the house. Here, having dismounted, and tied their horses to the gatepost, they stood an instant, and Osra again veiled her face.

"Let me go alone, madam," he implored.

"Give me your sword, and I will go alone," she answered.

"Here, then, is the path," said the bishop; and he led the way [pg 28] by the moonlight that broke fitfully here and there through the trees.

"He swore that all his life should be mine," she whispered. "Yet I knew that he did not love me."

The bishop made her no answer; she looked for none, and did not know that she spoke the bitterness of her heart in words that he could hear. He bowed his head, and prayed again for her and for himself; for he had found his hand gripping the hilt of his sword. And thus, side by side now, they came to the door of the house, and saw a gentleman standing in front of the door, still but watchful. And Osra knew that he was the prince's chamberlain.

When the chamberlain saw them he started violently, and clapped a hand to his sword; but Osra flung her veil on the ground, and the bishop gripped his arm as with a vise. The chamberlain looked at Osra and at the bishop, and half drew his sword.

"This matter is too great for you, sir," said the bishop. "It is a quarrel of princes. Stand aside!" And before the chamberlain could make up his mind what to do, Osra had passed by him, and the bishop had followed her.

Finding themselves in a narrow passage, they made out, by the dim light of a lamp, a flight of stairs that rose from the farthest end of it. The bishop tried to pass the princess, but she motioned him back, and walked swiftly to the stairs. In silent speed they mounted till they had reached the top of the first stage; and facing them, eight or ten steps farther up, was a door. By the door stood a groom. This was the man who had treacherously told Christian of his master's doings; but when he saw, suddenly, what had come of his disloyal chattering, the fellow went white as a ghost, and came tottering in stealthy silence down the stairs, his finger on his lips. Neither of them spoke to him, nor he to them. They gave no thought to him; his only thought was to escape as soon as he might; so he passed them, and, going on, passed also the chamberlain, who stood dazed at the house door, and so disappeared, intent on saving the life that he had justly forfeited. Thus the rogue vanished, and what became of him no one knew nor cared. He showed his face no more at Glottenberg or Strelsau.

"Hark! there are voices," whispered Osra to the bishop, raising her hand above her head, as they two stood motionless.

The voices came from the door that faced them, the voice of a man and the voice of a woman. Osra's glance at her companion told him that she knew as well as he whose the man's voice was.

"It is true, then," she breathed from between her teeth. "My God, it is true!"

The woman's voice spoke now, but the words were not audible. Then came the prince's: "Forever, in life or death, apart or together, forever." But the woman's answer came no more in words, but in deep, low, passionate sobs, that struck their ears like the distant cry of some brute creature in pain that it cannot understand. Yet Osra's face was stern and cold, and her lips curled scornfully when she saw the bishop's look of pity.

"Come, let us end it," said she; and with a firm step she began to mount the stairs that lay between them and the door.

Yet once again they paused outside the door, for it seemed as though the princess could not choose but listen to the passionate words of love that pierced her ears like knives. Yet they were all sad, speaking of renunciation, not happiness. But at last she heard her own name; then, with a sudden start, she caught the bishop's hands, for she could not listen longer. And she staggered and reeled as she whispered to him: "The door, the door—open the door!"

The bishop, his right hand being across his body and resting on the hilt of his sword, laid his left upon the handle of the door and turned it. Then he flung the door wide open; and at that instant Osra sprang past him, her eyes gleaming like flames from her dead-white face. And she stood rigid on the threshold of the room, with the bishop by her side.


In the middle of the room stood the Prince of Glottenberg; and strained in a close embrace, clinging to him, supported by his arms, with head buried in his breast, was a girl of slight and slender figure, graceful, though not tall; and her body was still shaken by continual, struggling sobs. The prince held her there as though against the world, but raised his head, and looked at the intruders with a grave, sad air. There was no shame on his face, and hardly surprise. Presently he took one arm from about the lady, and, raising it, motioned to them to be still. Osra took one step forward toward where the pair stood; the bishop caught her sleeve, but she shook him off. The lady looked up into the prince's face; with a sudden, startled cry clutched him closer, and turned a terrified face over her shoulder. Then she moaned in great fear, and, reeling, fell against the prince, and would have sunk to the [pg 29] ground if he had not upheld her; and her eyes closed and her lips dropped as she swooned away. But the princess smiled, and, drawing herself to her full height, stood watching while Ludwig bore the lady to a couch and laid her there. Then, when he came back and faced her, she asked coldly and slowly:

"Who is this woman, sir? Or is she one of those that have no names?"

The prince sprang forward, a sudden anger in his eyes; he raised his hand as if he would have pressed it across her scornful mouth, and kept back her bitter words. But she did not flinch; and, pointing at him with her finger, she cried to the bishop, in a ringing voice:

"Kill him, my lord, kill him!"

And the sword of the Bishop of Modenstein was half-way out of the scabbard.


"I would to God, my lord," said the prince in low, sad tones, "that God would suffer you to kill me, and me to take death at your hands. But neither for you nor for me is the blow lawful. Let me speak to the princess."

The bishop still grasped his sword; for Osra's face and hand still commanded him. But at the instant of his hesitation, while the temptation was hot in him, there came from the couch where the lady lay a low moan of great pain. She flung her arms out, and turned, groaning, again on her back, and her head lay limply over the side of the couch. The bishop's eyes met Ludwig's; and with a "God forgive me!" he let the sword slip back, and, springing across the room, fell on his knees beside the couch. He broke the gold chain round his neck, and grasped the crucifix which he carried in one hand, while with the other he raised the lady's head, praying her to open her eyes, before whose closed lids he held the sacred image; and he, who had come so near to great sin, now prayed softly, but fervently, for her life and God's pity on her, for the frailty her slight form showed could not withstand the shock of this trial.

"Who is she?" asked the princess.

But Ludwig's eyes had wandered back to the couch, and he answered only:

"My God, it will kill her!"

"I care not," said Osra. But then came another low moan. "I care not," said the princess again. "Ah, she is in great suffering!" And her eyes followed the prince's.

There was silence, save for the lady's low moans and the whispered prayers of the Bishop of Modenstein. But the lady opened her eyes, and in an instant, answering the summons, the prince was by her side, kneeling, and holding her hand very tenderly, and he met a glance from the bishop across her prostrate body. The prince bowed his head, and one sob burst from him.

"Leave me alone with her for a little, sir," said the bishop; and the prince, obeying, rose and withdrew into the bay of the window, while Osra stood alone near the door by which she had entered.

A few minutes passed, then Osra saw the prince return to where the lady was, and kneel again beside her; and she saw that the bishop was preparing to perform his most sacred and sublime office. The lady's eyes dwelt on him now in peace and restfulness, and held Prince Ludwig's hand in her small hand. But Osra would not kneel; she stood upright, still and cold, as though she neither saw nor heard anything of what passed; she would not pity nor forgive the woman even if, as they seemed to think, she lay dying. But she spoke once, asking in a harsh voice:

"Is there no physician in the house or near?"

"None, madam," said the prince.

The bishop began the office, and Osra stood, dimly hearing the words of comfort, peace, and hope; dimly seeing the smile on the lady's face, for gradually her eyes clouded with tears. Now her ears seemed to hear nothing save the sad and piteous sobs that had shaken the girl as she hung about Ludwig's neck. But she strove to drive away her softer thoughts, fanning her fury when it burnt low, and telling herself again of the insult that she had suffered. Thus she rested till the bishop had performed the office. But when he had finished it he rose from his knees, and came to where Osra was.

"It was your duty," she said. "But it is none of mine."

"She will not live an hour," said he. "For she had an affection of the heart, and this shock has killed her. Indeed, I think she was half dead from grief before we came."

"Who is she?" broke again from Osra's lips.

"Come and hear," said he; and she followed him obediently, yet unwillingly, to the couch, and looked down at the lady. The lady looked at her with wondering eyes, and then she smiled faintly, pressing the prince's hand and whispering:

[pg 30]

"Yet she is so beautiful." And she seemed now wonderfully happy, so that the three all watched her, and were envious, although they were to live and she to die.

"Now God pardon her sin," said the Princess Osra suddenly, and she fell on her knees beside the couch, crying: "Surely God has pardoned her."

"Sin she had none, save what clings even to the purest in this world," said the bishop. "For what she has said to me I know to be true."

Osra answered nothing, but gazed in questioning at the prince, and he, still holding the lady's hand, began to speak in a gentle voice.

"Do not ask her name, madam. But from the first hour that we knew the meaning of love we have loved one another. And had the issue rested in my hands I would have thrown to the winds all that kept me from her. I remember when first I met her—ah, my sweet! do you remember? And from that day to this, in soul she has been mine, and I hers in all my life. But more could not be. Madam, you have asked what love is. Here is love. Yet fate is stronger. Thus I came here to woo, and she, left alone, resolved to give herself to God."

"How comes she here, then?" whispered Osra. And she laid one hand timidly on the couch near the lady, yet not so as to touch even her garments.

"She came here," he began—but suddenly, to their amazement, the lady, who had seemed dead, with an effort raised herself on her elbow, and spoke in a quick, eager whisper, as if she feared time and strength would fail.

"He is a great prince," she said; "he must be a great king. God means him for greatness. God forbid that I should be his ruin! Oh, what a sweet dream he painted! But praise be to the blessed saints that kept me strong. Yet, at the last I was weak. I could not live without another sight of his face, and so—so I came. Next week I am—I was to take the veil, and I came here to see him once again—God pardon me for it—but I could not help it. Ah, madam, I know you, and I see now your beauty. Have you known love?"

"No," said Osra; and she moved her hand near to the lady's hand.

"And when he found me here he prayed me again to do what he asked, and I was half killed in denying it. But I prevailed, and we were even then parting when you came. Why, why did I come?" And for a moment her voice died away in a low, soft moan. But she made one more effort. Clasping Osra's hand in her delicate fingers, she whispered: "I am going. Be his wife."

"No, no, no!" whispered Osra, her face now close to the lady's. "You must live you must live and be happy." And then she kissed the lady's lips. The lady put out her arms, and clasped them round Osra's neck; and again she whispered softly in Osra's ear. Neither Ludwig nor the bishop heard what she said, but they heard only that Osra sobbed. Presently the lady's arms relaxed a little in their hold, and Osra, having kissed her again, rose, and signed to Ludwig to come nearer; while she, turning, gave her hand to the bishop, and he led her from the room, and finding another room near, took her in there, where she sat silent and pale.

Thus half an hour passed; then the bishop stole softly out, and presently returned, saying:

"God has spared her the long, painful path, and has taken her straight to his rest."

Osra heard him, half in a trance, and as if she did not hear; she did not know whither he went, nor what he did, nor anything that passed, until, as it seemed, after a long while, she looked up, and saw Prince Ludwig standing before her. He was composed and calm, but it seemed as if half the life had gone out of his face. Osra rose slowly to her feet, supporting herself on an arm of the chair on which she had sat, and when she had seen his face she suddenly threw herself on the floor at his feet, crying:

"Forgive me! Forgive me!"

"The guilt is mine," said he; "for I did not trust you, and did by stealth what your nobility would have suffered openly. The guilt is mine." And he offered to raise her, but she rose unaided, asking with choking voice:

"Is she dead?"

"She is dead," said the prince; and Osra, hearing it, covered her face with her hands, and blindly groped her way back to the chair, where she sat, panting and exhausted.

"To her I have said farewell, and now, madam, to you. Yet do not think that I am a man without eyes for your beauty, or a heart to know your worth. I seemed to you a fool and a churl. I grieved most bitterly, and I wronged you bitterly; my excuse for all is now known. For though you are more beautiful than she, yet true love is no wanderer; it gives a beauty that it does not find, and weaves a chain no other charms can break. Madam, farewell."

[pg 31]

She looked at him and saw the sad joy in his eyes, an exultation over what had been that what was could not destroy; and she knew that the vision was still with him, though his love was dead. Suddenly he seemed to her a man she also might love, and for whom she also, if need be, might gladly die. Yet not because she loved him, for she was asking still in wonder: "What is this love?"

"Madam, farewell," said he again; and, kneeling before her, he kissed her hand.

"I carry the body of my love," he went on, "back with me to my home, there to mourn for her; and I shall come no more to Strelsau."

Osra bent her eyes on his face as he knelt, and presently she said to him in a whisper that was low for awe, not shame:

"You heard what she bade me do?"

[pg 32]

"Yes, madam, I know her wish."

"And you would do it?" she asked.

"Madam, my struggle was fought before she died. But now you know that my love was not yours."

"That also I knew before, sir;" and a slight, bitter smile came on her face. But she grew grave again, and sat there, seeming to be pondering, and Prince Ludwig waited on his knees. Then she suddenly leant forward and said:

"If I loved I would wait for you to love. Now what is the love that I cannot feel?"

And then she sat again silent, but at last raised her eyes again to his, saying in a voice that even in the stillness of the room he hardly heard:

"Now I do dearly love you, for I have seen your love, and know that you can love; and I think that love must breed love, so that she who loves must in God's time be loved. Yet"—she paused here, and for a moment hid her face with her hand—"yet I cannot," she went on. "Is it our Lord Christ who bids us take the lower place? I cannot take it He does not so reign in my heart. For to my proud heart—ah, my heart so proud!—she would be ever between us. I could not bear it. Even though she is dead, I could not bear it. Yet I believe now that with you I might one day find happiness."

The prince, though in that hour he could not think of love, was yet very much moved by her new tenderness, and felt that what had passed rather drew them together than made any separation between them. And it seemed to him that the dead lady's blessing was on his suit, so he said:

"Madam, I would most faithfully serve you, and you would be the nearest and dearest to me of all living women."

She waited a while, then she sighed heavily, and looked in his face with an air of wistful longing, and she knit her brows as though she were puzzled. But at last, shaking her head, she said:

"It is not enough."

And with this she rose and took him by the hand, and they two went back together to where the Bishop of Modenstein still prayed beside the body of the lady.

Osra stood on one side of the body, and stretched her hand out to the prince, who stood on the other side.

"See," said she, "she must be between us." And having kissed the dead face once, she left the prince there by the side of his love, and herself went out, and turning her head, saw that the prince knelt again by the corpse of his love.

"He does not think of me," she said to the bishop.

"His thoughts are still with her, madam," he answered.

It was late night now, and they rode swiftly and silently along the road to Strelsau. And on all the way they spoke to one another only a few words, being both sunk deep in thought. But once Osra spoke, as they were already near to Strelsau. For she turned suddenly to the bishop, saying:

"My lord, what is it? Do you know it?"

"Yes, madam, I have known it," answered the bishop.

"Yet you are a churchman!"

"True, madam," said he, and he smiled sadly.

She seemed to consider, fixing her eyes on his; but he turned his aside.

"Could you not make me understand?" she asked.

"Your lover, when he comes, will do that, madam," said he, and still he kept his eyes averted. And Osra wondered why he kept his eyes turned away; yet presently a faint smile curved her lips, and she said:

"It may be you might feel it, if you were not a churchman. But I do not. Many men have said they loved me, and I have felt something in my heart—but not this!"

"It will come," said the bishop.

"Does it come, then, to every one?"

"To most," he answered.

"Heigho, will it ever come to me?" she sighed.

And so they were at home. And Osra was for a long time very sorrowful for the fate of the lady whom the Prince of Glottenberg had loved; but since she saw Ludwig no more, and the joy of youth conquered her sadness, she ceased to mourn; and as she walked along she would wonder more and more what it might be, this great love that she did not feel.

"For none will tell me, not even the Bishop of Modenstein," said she.

[pg 33]


By Will H. Low.

When shepherds watched their flocks by night, and the angel appeared, bringing the tidings of good-will, a new vocation, until then unknown, was given to men. Tradition has it that one of the earliest of the followers of the Child born that night was a painter, and in the pictures of the primitive Dutch and Italian schools a not uncommon subject is St. Luke painting the Virgin and Child, while in more than one church in Europe the original(?) picture may be seen. Perhaps the most notable of these is the beautiful though quaint picture by Rogier van der Weyden, now in the Old Pinakothek, in Munich. And the tradition is a pleasant one, showing how early the services of the painters were enlisted in spreading abroad the new gospel of peace on earth.

When we consider that, even stripped of divinity, the birth of a child, its first dawning intelligence, its flower-like tenderness of aspect, are one and all motives which excite the best that is in man, there is little wonder that the Christ-child should have been and should still be the best subject that a painter could demand. In many forms, in fact, do we of a later day and of less fervent faith celebrate the beauty of mother and child. How much more ardently, therefore, in the days when faith and the painter's craft were so intimately linked, have the painters approached their task. Almost transfigured to divinity is the woman with the child at her breast that shines upon us in so many galleries; quite divine in the devout painter's thought it was as he wrought.

"Fair shines the gilded aureole

In which our highest painters place

Some living woman's simple face."

sings Rossetti; and the "highest painter," pious monk, as in the [pg 34] case of Fra Angelico, and stately courtier, as was Peter Paul Rubens, meet, extremes though they are, on the same ground when they approach this sacred subject. The pictures reproduced here, it may safely be said, are all celebrated, and yet they represent but a small part of the pictures of the same subject which are known to be by men of importance, and of which every museum in the world has a goodly number. If we add to these the pictures in private collections, and then take into account the tens of thousands of pictures of the same subject which, everywhere throughout the world, especially in Europe, are to be found in the churches, it is safe to say that no other subject has so often given its inspiration to the painter.


Nor in any other case has a subject given such variety of inspiration. The elements are few and simple, and though occasionally there are accessory figures, the concentration of interest, the reason for the existence of the picture, is centred on the Mother and Child. A survey of these pages will suffice to show that of these two principal elements a great variety of pictorial effect, of expression, of sentiment, of composition of line, and of light and shade, is possible. We can go back to the splendid Byzantine churches, with their wealth of mosaic, their subdued splendor of dulled gold covering arch and pillar as a background for the glow of color with which the artists of Constantine worked,—in a rigid convention as to form which gives their figures an impressive air, but which is ill-suited to the representation of the divine Mother and Child. Hence, in this, the earliest manifestation of Christian art, it is the remembrance of the majesty of a prophet, of the benign dignity of the mature Christ, that I we carry away with us. Giotto, however, had no sooner freed himself from the hampering conditions under which his predecessors worked, than we begin to feel the human element enter into art. Down through the centuries until to-day, the long procession of artists comes to us: those of Italy first of all, birthplace of modern art, land where time has touched everything with so reverent a hand that all has been rendered beautiful.


This legion of valiant painters enlisted in the service of "that most noble Lady and her Son, our Lord and Seigneur," have names which sound sweet to the ear, as their work is goodly to the sight. [pg 35] Giotto, Era Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Gentile da Fabriano, Ghirlandajo, names like the beads of a rosary, commence the list, to which Botticelli, Perugino, Raffaello Santi, Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea del Sarto, Correggio, Tiziano, Veronese, and, last of all, with a name like the blast of a trumpet, the mighty Michael the Archangel, add their syllabic charm. Then the painters of more northern lands bring the tribute of their name and work; names less pleasing to the ear, as their work has less beauty to the sight, but rich, both in name and work, with honest intent and simple devotion.


First come the men whose names are those of their works or of their birthplace: Master William of Cologne, Master of the Death of Mary, Master of the Holy Companionship. Then the Van Eycks, Hubert and Jan, Rogier van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, Hans Memling, Quentin Massys, Lucas van Leyden, the two Hans Holbein, elder and younger, Burgkmair, Wolgemut, and then, master of them all, Albrecht Dürer. Something of their honesty of purpose must have been mixed with their pigments, for the works of these fortunate painters of the early Dutch and German schools shine on us to-day from the gallery walls with undiminished splendor; and brave with vivid reds, with blues as rich and deep as an organ chord, and yellows rich as the gold with which they embroidered their Virgin's robes, their pictures show, with touching lapses in some of the details, a large technical mastery, coupled with an intensity of sentiment which has remained unapproachable.

[pg 36]
[pg 37]
[pg 38]

The next of these northern painters who can claim the first rank is he who is in some respects the greatest of all from a painter's standpoint, Rembrandt van Ryn. There is little of the primitive Italian here, little of the painter who worships his Madonna through the medium of his craft as some great lady, "empress of heaven and of earth." Rembrandt's picture, lacking this mysticism, gains, however, in humanity; and however far even from our modern point of view it may be as a creation embodying the divine Motherhood, it throbs with tenderness. The homely interior, the good mother, the almost pathetic abandon of the sleeping child—surely no painter ever wrought better, nor, we may be sure, more devoutly!

[pg 39]

Then the giant Peter Paul Rubens, with his facile brush, his acres of canvas, covered with the virile arabesque by which he has transmitted to us the record of a temperament so full of life that it needs no great effort of imagination, before one of his crowded canvases, to imagine the doughty Fleming back in our midst, and taking his place as Jupiter upon his painted Olympus, reawakened to life. Yet, when he in turn approaches this natal subject, his pagan [pg 40] brush touches the canvas lightly, and all its deftness is given to the praise of Our Lady and Our Lord. With him, as with the painters of all and differing nationalities, both Mother and Child bear the strong impress of the painter's surroundings. It is as though the miraculous birth had, by some mysterious dispensation, taken place in each of the countries of the world, the better to insure the comprehension of the message of divine love to all peoples.

[pg 41]

With Van Dyck, a little later, the Child is a young patrician; the quality of the painter's imagination, influenced by his frequentation of the princes of the earth, making him conceive the young Christ as a magnificent man-child, fit to be called later to the high places of the world, a serene and noble leader.

Somewhat differently did the Italians of the great epoch of painting, Raphael, Titian, Veronese, even Bellini, who was earlier, conceive their subject. While both Mother and Child with them were merely what painters call a "bit" of painting, directly founded on close study of a living woman and child, there was always present a religious feeling, different, but almost as intense as that of the primitive Italian painters. Throughout the many Madonnas on which the fame of Raphael is founded we feel that, through a certain variety of type, the research was always the same—a desire to realize the maid-mother, and to presage, in the lineaments of the child, his future character. This sentiment, everywhere present, is approached reverently, and the too short-lived painter in his work at least utters a constant prayer. With Bellini, with Titian, and with Veronese the effort is not dissimilar, though something of the sumptuosity of Venetian life has crept in, and it is to a queen of earth as much as of heaven, and to a prince of the church temporal, that their service is rendered.

In the Spanish pictures, particularly those of earlier date than any Spanish picture reproduced here, we feel the strong impress of the Church. In the picture by Alonso Cano there looks out from the eyes of the Mother the sentiment of the cloistered nun; and though, with the Murillos, we catch a glimpse of Spain outside of the Church, even with him there is a sense of subjection from which the memories of the Inquisition are not altogether absent.

[pg 42]
[pg 43]

Our modern art has become so complex, the demands on the modern painter are so different from those which the older masters met, that our latter-day painting offers fewer examples of the Mother and Child. Dagnan-Bouveret, in France, however, has treated the subject in such a way as to show that there yet remains new presentations of the world-old theme. To-day the painter has to retain the sentiment of his subject through a network of technical difficulties, and the gracious virginal figure which Monsieur Dagnan-Bouveret has painted does this measurably well; while he has triumphed technically in painting a figure in white, lit by reflected light filtered through a network of green leaves. Another picture of the Virgin and Child, where the outline of the Child is seen through the cloak by which his mother shelters him, was exhibited not long ago in New York, and is reproduced here.

[pg 44]
[pg 45]


In Italy, sadly fallen from her former greatness in art, many painters render their service to the Church and to their ancient faith, and there are numerous pictures of the divine Mother and Child. The best of these, however, are characterized by novel arrangement of the figures rather than by any sentiment in keeping with theme—a criticism applicable also to most the modern French examples. Modern Germany gains in sentiment while losing decidedly in pictorial value, and it is a question whether it is possible, in these times, to avoid a mere repetition of what has already been so well done, and produce more than a picture which, with pictorial and technical qualities, is laboring in the messages of "peace on earth, good-will to men."


[pg 46]
[pg 47]

[pg 48]
From a photograph by Mr. Benjamin Kimball, Boston.

[pg 49]



By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps,

Author of "The Gates Ajar," "The Madonna of the Tubs," etc.

 Letter H

Has it not been said that once in a lifetime most of us succumb to the particular situation against which we have cultivated the strongest principles? If there be one such, among the possibilities to which a truly civilized career is liable, more than another objectionable to the writer of these words, the creation of autobiography has long been that one.

Yet, for that offence, once criminal to my taste, I find myself hereby about to become indictable; and do set my hand and seal, on this day of the recall of my dearest literary oath, in this year of eminent autobiographical examples, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five.

"There is ——, who has written a charming series of personal reminiscences, and —— ——, and ——.

"You might meet your natural shrinking by allowing yourself to treat especially of your literary life; including, of course, whatever went to form and sustain it."

"I suppose I might," I sigh. The answer is faint; but the deed is decreed. Shall I be sorry for it?

It is a gray day, on gray Cape Ann, as I write these words. The fog is breathing over the downs. The outside steamers shriek from off the Point, as they feel their way at live of noon, groping as though it were dead of night, and stars and coast-lights all were smitten dark, and every pilot were a stranger to his chart.

A stranger to my chart, I, doubtful, put about, and make the untried coast.

At such a moment, one thinks wistfully of that fair, misty world which is all one's own, yet on the outside of which one stands so humbly, and so gently. One thinks of the unseen faces, of the unknown friends who have read one's tales of other people's lives, and cared to read, and told one so, and made one believe in their kindness, and affection and fidelity for thirty years. And the hesitating heart calls out to them: Will you let me be sorry? Thirty years! It is a good while that you and I have kept step together. Shall we miss it now? If you will care to hear such chapters as may select themselves from the story of the story-teller,—you have the oldest right to choose, and I, the happy will to please you if I can.

The lives of the makers of books are very much like other people's in most respects, but especially in this: that they are either rebels to, or subjects of, their ancestry. The lives of some literary persons begin a good while after they are born. Others begin a good while before.

Of this latter kind is mine.

It has sometimes occurred to me to find myself the possessor of a sort of unholy envy of writers concerning whom our stout American phrase says that they have "made themselves." What delight to be aware that one has not only created one's work, but the worker! What elation in the remembrance of the battle against a commercial, or a scientific, or a worldly and superficial heredity; in the recollection of the tug with habit and education, and the overthrow of impulses setting in other directions than the chosen movement of one's own soul!

What pleasure in the proud knowledge that all one's success is one's own doing, and the sum of it cast up to one's credit upon the long ledger of life! To this exhilarating self-content I can lay no claim. For whatever measure of what is called success has fallen to my lot, I can ask no credit. I find myself in the chastened position of one whose literary abilities all belong to one's ancestors.

It is humbling—I do not deny that it may be morally invigorating—to feel that whatever is "worth mentioning" in my life is no affair of mine, but falls under the beautiful and terrible law by which the dead men and women whose blood bounds in our being control our destinies.

[pg 50]

Yet, with the notable exception of my father, I have less than the usual store of personal acquaintance with the "people who most influenced me." Of my grandfather, Moses Stuart, I have but two recollections; and these, taken together, may not be quite devoid of interest, as showing how the law of selection works in the mind of an imaginative child.

I remember seeing the Professor of Sacred Literature come into his dining-room one morning in his old house on Andover Hill which was built for him, and marked the creation of his department in the early days of the seminary history. He looked very tall and imposing. He had a mug in his hand, and his face smiled like the silver of which it was made.

The mug was full of milk, and he handed it ceremoniously to the year-old baby, his namesake and grandson, my first brother, whose high-chair stood at the table.

Then, I remember—it must have been a little more than a year after that—seeing the professor in his coffin in the front hall; that he looked taller than he did before, but still imposing; that he had his best coat on—the one, I think, in which he preached; and that he was the first dead person I had ever seen.

Whenever the gray-headed men who knew him used to sit about, relating anecdotes of him—as, how many commentaries he published, or how he introduced the first German lexicon into this country (as if a girl in short dresses would be absorbingly interested in her grandfather's dictionaries!)—I saw the silver mug and the coffin.

Gradually the German lexicon in a hazy condition got melted in between them. Sometimes the baby's mug sat upon the dictionary. Sometimes the dictionary lay upon the coffin. Sometimes the baby spilled the milk out of the mug upon the dictionary. But for my personal uses, the Andover grandfather's memoirs began and ended with the mug and the coffin.

The other grandfather was not distinguished as a scholar; he was but an orthodox minister of ability and originality, and with a vivacious personal history. Of him I knew something. From his own lips came thrilling stories of his connection with the underground railway of slavery days; how he sent the sharpest carving-knife in the house, concealed in a basket of food, to a hidden fugitive slave who had vowed never to be taken alive, and whose master had come North in search of him. It was a fine thing, that throbbing humanity, which could in those days burst the reformer out of the evangelical husk, and I learned my lesson from it. ("Where did she get it?" conservative friends used to wail, whenever I was seen to have tumbled into the last new and unfashionable reform.)

From his own lips, too, I heard the accounts of that extraordinary case of house-possession of which (like Wesley) this innocent and unimaginative country minister, who had no more faith in "spooks" than he had in Universalists, was made the astonished victim.

Night upon night I have crept gasping to bed, and shivered for hours with my head under the clothes, after an evening spent in listening to this authentic and fantastic family tale. How the candlesticks walked out into the air from the mantelpiece, and back again; how the chairs of skeptical visitors collected from all parts of the country to study what one had hardly then begun to call the "phenomena" at the parsonage at Stratford, Connecticut, hopped after the guests when they crossed the room; how the dishes at the table leaped, and the silver forks were bent by unseen hands, and cold turnips dropped from the solid ceiling; and ghastly images were found, composed of underclothing proved to have been locked at the time in drawers of which the only key lay all the while in Dr. Phelps's pocket; and how the mysterious agencies, purporting by alphabetical raps upon bed-head or on table to be in torments of the nether world, being asked what their host could do to relieve them, demanded a piece of squash pie.

From the old man's own calm hands, within a year or two of his death, I received the legacy of the written journal of these phenomena, as recorded by the victim from day to day, during the seven months that this mysterious misfortune dwelt within his house.

It may be prudent to say, just here, that it will be quite useless to make any further inquiries of me upon the subject, or to ask of me—a request which has been repeated till I am fain to put an end to it—for either loan or copy of these records for the benefit of either personal or scientific curiosity. Both loaning and copying are now impossible, and have been made so by family wishes which will be sacredly respected. The phenomena themselves have long been too widely known to be ignored, and I have no hesitation in making reference to them.

[pg 51]

Perhaps it is partly on account of the traditions respecting this bit of family history that I am so often asked if I am a spiritualist. I am sometimes tempted to reply in grammar comprehensible to the writers of certain letters which I receive upon the subject:

"No; nor none of our folks!"

How the Connecticut parson on whom this mysterious infliction fell ever came out of it not a spiritualist, who can tell? That the phenomena were facts, and facts explicable by no known natural law, he was forced, like others in similar positions, to believe and admit. That he should study the subject of spiritualism carefully from then until the end of his life, was inevitable.

But, as nearly as I can make it out, on the whole, he liked his Bible better.

Things like these did not happen on Andover Hill; and my talks with this very interesting grandfather gave me my first vivid sensation of the possibilities of life.

With what thrills of hope and fear I listened for thumps on the head of my bed, or watched anxiously to see my candlestick walk out into the air!

But not a thump! Not a rap! Never a snap of the weakest proportions (not explicable by natural laws) has, from that day to this, visited my personal career. Not a candlestick ever walked an inch for me. I have never been able to induce a chair to hop after me. No turnip has consented to drop from the ceiling for me. Planchette, in her day, wrote hundreds of lines for me, but never one that was of the slightest possible significance to me, or to the universe at large. Never did a medium tell me anything that ever came to pass; though one of them once made a whole winter miserable by prophesying a death which did not occur.

Being destitute of objections to belief in the usefulness of spiritualistic mystery,—in fact, by temperament, perhaps inclining to hope that such phenomena may be tamed and yoked, and made to work for human happiness,—yet there seems to be something about me which these agencies do not find congenial. Though I have gone longing for a sign, no sign has been given me. Though I have been always ready to believe all other people's mysteries, no inexplicable facts have honored my experience.

The only personal prophecy ever strictly fulfilled in my life was—I am not certain whether I ought to feel embarrassed in [pg 52] alluding to it—made by a gipsy fortune-teller. She was young and pretty, the seventh child of a seventh child, and she lived in a Massachusetts shoe-town by the name of Lynn. And what was it? Oh, but you must excuse me.

The grandfather to whom these marvels happened was not, as I say, a literary man; yet even he did write a little book—a religious tale, or tract, after the manner of his day and profession; and it took to itself a circulation of two hundred thousand copies. I remember how Mr. James T. Fields laughed when he heard of it—that merry laugh peculiar to himself.

"You can't help it," the publisher said; "you come of a family of large circulations."

One day I was at school with my brother,—a little, private school, down by what were called the English dormitories in Andover.

I was eight years old. Some one came in and whispered to the teacher. Her face turned very grave, and she came up to us quietly, and called us out into the entry, and gently put on our things.

"You are to go home," she said; "your mother is dead." I took my little brother's hand without a word, and we trudged off. I do not think we spoke—I am sure we did not cry—on the way home. I remember perfectly that we were very gayly dressed. Our mother liked bright, almost barbaric colors on children. The little boy's coat was of red broadcloth, and my cape of a canary yellow, dyed at home in white-oak dye. The two colors flared before my eyes as we shuffled along and crushed the crisp, dead leaves that were tossing in the autumn wind all over Andover Hill.

When we got home they told us it was a mistake; she was not dead; and we were sent back to school. But, in a few weeks after that, one day we were told we need not go to school at all; the red and yellow coats came off, and little black ones took their places. The new baby, in his haggard father's arms, was baptized at his mother's funeral; and we looked on, and wondered what it all meant, and what became of children whose mother was obliged to go to heaven when she seemed so necessary in Andover.

At eight years of age a child cannot be expected to know her mother intimately, and it is hard for me always to distinguish between the effect produced upon me by her literary success as I have since understood it, and that left by her own truly extraordinary personality upon the annals of the nursery.

[pg 53]

My mother, whose name I am proud to wear, was the eldest daughter of Professor Stuart, and inherited his intellectuality. At the time of her death she was at the first blossom of her very positive and widely-promising success as a writer of the simple home stories which took such a hold upon the popular heart. Her "Sunnyside" had already reached a circulation of one hundred thousand copies, and she was following it fast—too fast—by other books for which the critics and the publishers clamored. Her last book and her last baby came together, and killed her. She lived one of those rich and piteous lives such as only gifted women know; torn by the civil war of the dual nature which can be given to women only. It was as natural for her daughter to write as to breathe; but it was impossible for her daughter to forget that a woman of intellectual power could be the most successful of mothers.

From an early photograph.

"Everybody's mother is a remarkable woman," my father used to say when he read overdrawn memoirs indited by devout children; and yet I have sometimes felt as if even the generation that knows her not would feel a certain degree of interest in the tact and power by which this unusual woman achieved the difficult reconciliation between genius and domestic life.

In our times and to our women such a problem is practical, indeed. One need not possess genius to understand it now. A career is enough.

The author of "Sunnyside," "The Angel on the Right Shoulder," and "Peep at Number Five," lived before women had careers and public sympathy in them. Her nature was drawn against the grain of her times and of her circumstances; and where our feet find easy walking, hers were hedged. A child's memories go for something by way of tribute to the achievement of one of those rare women of the elder time whose gifts forced her out, but whose heart held her in.

I can remember no time when I did not understand that my mother must write books because people would have and read them; but I [pg 54] cannot remember one hour in which her children needed her and did not find her.

My first distinct vision of this kind of a mother gives her by the nursery lamp, reading to us her own stories, written for ourselves, never meant to go beyond that little public of two, and illustrated in colored crayons by her own pencil. For her gift in this direction was of an original quality, and had she not been a writer she must have achieved something as an artist.

Perhaps it was to keep the standards up, and a little girl's filial adoration down, that these readings ended with some classic—Wordsworth, I remember most often—"We are Seven," or "Lucy Gray."


It is certain that I very early had the conviction that a mother was a being of power and importance to the world; but that the world had no business with her when we wanted her. In a word, she was a strong and lovely symmetry—a woman whose heart had not enfeebled her head, but whose head could never freeze her heart.

I hardly know which of those charming ways in which I learned to spell the word motherhood impressed me most. All seemed to go on together side by side and step by step. Now she sits correcting proof-sheets, and now she is painting apostles for the baby's first Bible lesson. Now she is writing her new book, and now she is dyeing things canary-yellow in the white-oak dye—for the professor's salary is small, and a crushing economy was in those days one of the conditions of faculty life on Andover Hill. Now—for her practical ingenuity was unlimited—she is whittling little wooden feet to stretch the children's stockings on, to save them from shrinking; and now she is reading to us from the old, red copy of Hazlitt's "British Poets," by the register, upon a winter night. Now she is a popular writer, incredulous of her first success, with her future flashing before her; and now she is a tired, tender mother, crooning to a sick child, while the MS. lies unprinted on the table, and the publishers are wishing their professor's wife were a free woman, childless and solitary, able to send copy as fast as it is wanted. The struggle killed her, but she fought till she fell.

In these different days, when,

"Pealing, the clock of time

Has struck the Woman's Hour,"

[pg 55]

I have sometimes been glad, as my time came to face the long question which life puts to-day to all women who think and feel, and who care for other women and are loyal to them, that I had those early visions of my own to look upon.

When I was learning why the sun rose and the moon set, how the flowers grew and the rain fell, that God and heaven and art and letters existed, that it was intelligent to say one's prayers, and that well-bred children never told a lie, I learned that a mother can be strong and still be sweet, and sweet although she is strong; and that she whom the world and her children both have need of, is of more value to each, for this very reason.

I said it was impossible to be her daughter and not to write. Rather, I should say, impossible to be their daughter and not to have something to say, and a pen to say it.

The comparatively recent close of my father's life has not left him yet forgotten, and it can hardly be necessary for me to do more than to refer to the name of Austin Phelps to recall to that part of our public which knew and loved him the quality of his work.

"The Still Hour" is yet read, and there are enough who remember how widely this book has been known and loved, and how marked was the literary gift in all the professor's work.

It has fallen to me otherwise to say so much of my peculiar indebtedness to my father, that I shall forbid myself, and spare my [pg 56] reader, too much repetition of a loving credit which it would not be possible altogether to omit from this chapter.

He who becomes father and mother in one to motherless children, bears a burden which men shirk or stagger under; and there was not a shirking cell in his brain or heart.

As I have elsewhere said: "There was hardly a chapter in my life of which he was not in some sense, whether revealed or concealed, the hero."

"If I am asked to sum in a few words the vivid points of his influence, I find it as hard to give definite form to my indebtedness to the Christian scholar whose daughter it is my honor to be, as to specify the particulars in which one responds to sunshine or oxygen. He was my climate. As soon as I began to think, I began to reverence thought and study and the hard work of a man devoted to the high ends of a scholar's life. His department was that of rhetoric, and his appreciation of the uses and graces of language very early descended like a mantle upon me. I learned to read and to love reading, not because I was made to, but because I could not help it. It was the atmosphere I breathed."

"Day after day the watchful girl observed the life of a student—its scholarly tastes, its high ideals, its scorn of worldliness and paltry aims or petty indulgences, and forever its magnificent habits of work."

"At sixteen, I remember, there came to me a distinct arousing or awakening to the intellectual life. As I look back, I see it in a flash-light. Most of the important phases or crises of our lives can be traced to some one influence or event, and this one I connect directly with the reading to me by my father of the writings of De Quincey and the poems of Wordsworth. Every one who has ever heard him preach or lecture remembers the rare quality of Professor Phelps's voice. As a pulpit orator he was one of the few, and to hear him read in his own study was an absorbing experience. To this day I cannot put myself outside of certain pages of the laureate or the essayist. I do not read; I listen. The great lines beginning:

"'Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears;'

the great passage which opens: 'Then like a chorus the passion deepened,' and which rises to the aching cry: 'Everlasting farewells!... Everlasting farewells!' ring in my ears as they left his lips."

For my first effort to sail the sea of letters, it occurs to me that I ought to say that my father's literary reputation cannot be held responsible.

I had reached (to take a step backwards in the story) the mature age of thirteen. I was a little girl in low-necked gingham dresses, I know, because I remember I had on one (of a purple shade, and incredibly unbecoming to a half-grown, brunette girl) one evening when my first gentleman caller came to see me.

I felt that the fact that he was my Sunday-school teacher detracted from the importance of the occasion, but did not extinguish it.

It was perhaps half-past eight, and, obediently to law and gospel, I had gone upstairs.

The actual troubles of life have never dulled my sense of mortification at overhearing from my little room at the head of the stairs, where I was struggling to get into that gingham gown and present a tardy appearance, a voice distinctly excusing me on the ground that it was past her usual bedtime, and she had gone to bed.

Whether the anguish of that occasion so far aged me that it had anything to do with my first literary undertaking, I cannot say; but I am sure about the low-necked gingham dress, and that it was during this particular year that I determined to become an individual and contribute to the "Youth's Companion."

I did so. My contribution was accepted and paid for by the appearance in my father's post-office box of the paper for a year; and my impression is that I wore high-necked dresses pretty soon thereafter, and was allowed to sit up till nine o'clock. At any rate, these memorable events are distinctly intertwined in my mind.

This was in the days when even the "Companion," that oldest and most delightful of children's journals, printed things like these:

"Why Julia B. loved the Country.

"Julia B. loved the country because whenever she walked out she could see God in the face of Nature."

I really think that the semi-column which I sent to that distinguished paper was a tone or two above this. But I can remember nothing about it, except that there was a sister who neglected her little brothers, and hence defeated the first object of existence in a woman-child. It was very proper, and very pious, and very much like what well-brought-up little girls were taught to [pg 57] do, to be, to suffer, or to write in those days. I have often intended to ask Mr. Ford if the staff discovered any signs of literary promise in that funny little performance.

At all events, my literary ambitions, with this solitary exercise, came to a sudden suspension. I have no recollection of having written or of having wanted to write anything more for a long time.

I was not in the least a precocious young person, and very much of a tomboy into the bargain. I think I was far more likely to have been found on the top of an apple-tree or walking the length of the seminary fence than writing rhymes or reading "solid reading." I know that I was once told by a queer old man in the street that little girls should not walk fences, and that I stood still and looked at him, transfixed with contempt. I do not think I vouchsafed him any answer at all. But this must have been while I was still in the little gingham gowns.

Perhaps this is the place, if anywhere, to mention the next experiment at helping along the literature of my native land of which I have any recollection. There was another little contribution—a pious little contribution, like the first. Where it was written, or what it was about, or where it was printed, it is impossible to remember; but I know that it appeared in some extremely orthodox young people's periodical—I think, one with a missionary predilection. The point of interest I find to have been that I was paid for it.

With the exception of some private capital amassed by abstaining from butter (a method of creating a fortune of whose wisdom, I must say, I had the same doubts then that I have now), this was the first money I had ever earned. The sum was two dollars and a half. It became my immediate purpose not to squander this wealth. I had no spending money in particular that I recall. Three cents a week was, I believe, for years the limit of my personal income, and I am compelled to own that this sum was not expended at book-stalls, or for the benefit of the heathen who appealed to the generosity of professors' daughters through the treasurer of the chapel Sunday-school; but went solidly for cream cakes and apple turnovers alternately, one each week.


Two dollars and a half represented to me a standard of munificent possession which it would be difficult to make most girls in their first teens, and socially situated today as I was then, understand. To waste this fortune in riotous living was impossible. From the hour that I received that check for "two-fifty," cream cakes began to wear a juvenile air, and turnovers seemed unworthy of my position in life. I remember [pg 58] begging to be allowed to invest the sum "in pictures," and that my father, gently diverting my selection from a frowsy and popular "Hope" at whose memory I shudder even yet, induced me to find that I preferred some excellent photographs of Thorwaldsen's "Night" and "Morning," which he framed for me, and which hang in our rooms to-day.

It is impossible to forget the sense of dignity which marks the hour when one becomes a wage-earner. The humorous side of it is the least of it—or was in my case. I felt that I had suddenly acquired value—to myself, to my family, and to the world.

Probably all people who write "for a living" would agree with me in recalling the first check as the largest and most luxurious of life.


By Robert Barr,

Author of "In the Midst of Alarms," "A Typewritten Letter," etc.

The monarch in the Arabian story had an ointment which, put upon his right eye, enabled him to see through the walls of houses. If the Arabian despot had passed along a narrow street leading into a main thoroughfare of London one night, just before the clock struck twelve, he would have beheld, in a dingy back room of a large building, a very strange sight. He would have seen King Charles the First seated in friendly converse with none other than Oliver Cromwell.

The room in which these two noted people sat had no carpet and but few chairs. A shelf extended along one side of the apartment, and it was covered with mugs containing paint and grease. Brushes were littered about, and a wig lay in a corner. Two mirrors stood at each end of the shelf, and beside them flared two gas jets protected by wire baskets. Hanging from nails driven in the walls were coats, waistcoats, and trousers of more modern cut than the costumes worn by the two men.

King Charles, with his pointed beard and his ruffles of lace, leaned picturesquely back in his chair, which rested against the wall. He was smoking a very black briar-root pipe, and perhaps his Majesty enjoyed the weed all the more that there was just above his head, tacked to the wall, a large placard containing the words, "No smoking allowed in this room, or in any other part of the theatre."

Cromwell, in more sober garments, had an even jauntier attitude than the king; for he sat astride the chair, with his chin resting on the back of it, smoking a cigarette in a meerschaum holder.

"I'm too old, my boy," said the king, "and too fond of my comfort. Besides, I have no longer any ambition. When an actor once realizes that he will never be a Charles Kean or a Macready, then comes peace and the enjoyment of life. Now, with you it is different; you are, if I may say so in deep affection, young and foolish. Your project is a most hair-brained scheme. You are throwing away all you have already won."

"Good gracious!" cried Cromwell, impatiently, "what have I won?"

"You have certainly won something," resumed the elder, calmly, "when a person of your excitable nature can play so well the sombre, taciturn character of Cromwell. You have mounted several rounds, and the whole ladder lifts itself up before you. You have mastered several languages, while I know but one, and that imperfectly. You have studied the foreign drama, while I have not even read all the plays of Shakespeare. I can do a hundred parts conventionally well. You will, some day, do a great part as no other man on earth will do it, and then fame will come to you. Now you propose recklessly to throw all this away and go into the wilds of Africa."

"The particular ladder you offer to me," said Cromwell, "I have no desire to climb; I am sick of the smell of the footlights and the whole atmosphere of the theatre. I am tired of the unreality of the life we lead. Why not be a hero, instead of mimicking one?"

"But, my dear boy," said the king, filling his pipe again, "look at the practical side of things. It costs a fortune to fit out an African expedition. Where are you to get the money?"

This question sounded more natural from the lips of the king than did the answer from the lips of Cromwell.

[pg 59]

"There has been too much force and too much expenditure about African travel. I do not intend to cross the continent with arms and the munitions of war. As you remarked a while ago, I know several European languages, and if you will forgive what sounds like boasting, I may say that I have a gift for picking up tongues. I have money enough to fit myself out with some necessary scientific instruments, and to pay my passage to the coast. Once there, I will win my way across the continent through love and not through fear."


"You will lose your head," said King Charles; "they don't understand that sort of thing out there, and, besides, the idea is not original. Didn't Livingstone try that tack?"

"Yes, but people have forgotten Livingstone and his methods. It is now the explosive bullet and the elephant gun. I intend to learn the language of the different native tribes I meet, and if a chief opposes me, and will not allow me to pass through his territory, and if I find I cannot win him over to my side by persuasive talk, then I will go around."

"And what is to be the outcome of it all?" cried Charles. "What is your object?"

"Fame, my boy, fame," cried Cromwell enthusiastically, flinging the chair from under him and pacing the narrow room.

"If I can get from coast to coast without taking the life of a single native, won't that be something greater to have done than all the play-acting from now till doomsday?"

"I suppose it will," said the king gloomily; "but you must remember you are the only friend I have, and I have reached an age when a man does not pick up friends readily."

Cromwell stopped in his walk, and grasped the king by the arm. "And are not you the only friend I have?" he said. "And why can you not abandon this ghastly sham and come with me, as I asked you to at first? How can you hesitate when you think of the glorious freedom of the African forest, and compare it with this cribbed, and cabined, and confined business we are now at?"

The king shook his head slowly, and knocked the ashes from his pipe. He seemed to have some trouble in keeping it alight, probably because of the prohibition on the wall.

"As I said before," replied the king, "I am too old. There are no 'pubs' in the African forest where a man can get a glass of beer [pg 60] when he wants it. No, Ormond, African travel is not for me. If you are resolved to go—go, and God bless you; I will stay at home and carefully nurse your fame. I will from time to time drop appetizing little paragraphs into the papers about your wanderings, and when you are ready to come back to England, all England will be ready to listen to you. You know how interest is worked up in the theatrical business by judicious puffing in the papers, and I imagine African exploration requires much the same treatment. If it were not for the press, my boy, you could explore Africa till you were blind and nobody would hear a word about it; so I will be your advance agent, and make ready for your home coming."

At this point in the conversation between these two historical characters, the janitor of the theatre put his head into the room and reminded the celebrities that it was very late; whereupon both king and commoner rose with some reluctance and washed themselves—the king becoming, when he put on the ordinary dress of an Englishman, Mr. James Spence, while Cromwell, after a similar transformation, became Mr. Sidney Ormond; and thus, with nothing of royalty or dictatorship about them, the two strolled up the narrow street into the main thoroughfare, and entered their favorite midnight restaurant, where, over a belated meal, they continued the discussion of the African project, which Spence persisted in looking upon as one of the maddest expeditions that had ever come to his knowledge. But the talk was futile—as most talk is—and within a month from that time Ormond was on the ocean, headed for Africa.

Another man took Ormond's place at the theatre, and Spence continued to play his part, as the papers said, in his usual acceptable manner. He heard from his friend, in due course, when he landed. Then at intervals came one or two letters showing how he had surmounted the unusual difficulties he had to contend with. After a long interval came a letter from the interior of Africa, sent to the coast by messenger. Although at the beginning of this letter Ormond said he had but faint hope of reaching his destination, he nevertheless gave a very complete account of his wanderings and his dealings with the natives; and up to that point his journey seemed to be most satisfactory. He enclosed several photographs, mostly very bad ones, which he had managed to develop and print in the wilderness. One, however, of himself was easily recognizable, and Spence had it copied and enlarged, hanging the framed enlargement in whatever dressing-room fate assigned to him, for Spence never had a long engagement at any one theatre. He was a useful man who could take any part, but had no specialty, and London was full of such.

For a long time he heard nothing from his friend; and the newspaper men to whom Spence indefatigably furnished interesting items about the lone explorer began to look upon Ormond as an African Mrs. Harris, and the paragraphs, to Spence's deep regret, failed to appear. The journalists, who were a flippant lot, used to accost Spence with, "Well, Jimmy, how's your African friend?" and the more he tried to convince them the less they believed in the peace-loving traveller.

At last there came a final letter from Africa, a letter that filled the tender middle-aged heart of Spence with the deepest grief he had ever known. It was written in a shaky hand, and the writer began by saying that he knew neither the date nor his locality. He had been ill and delirious with fever, and was now at last in his right mind, but felt the grip of death upon him. The natives had told him that no one ever recovered from the malady he had caught in the swamp, and his own feelings led him to believe that his case was hopeless. The natives had been very kind to him throughout, and his followers had promised to bring his boxes to the coast. The boxes contained the collections he had made and also his complete journal, which he had written up to the day he became ill.

Ormond begged his friend to hand over his belongings to the Geographical Society, and to arrange for the publication of his journal, if possible. It might secure for him the fame he had died to achieve, or it might not; but, he added, he left the whole conduct of the affair unreservedly to his friend, on whom he bestowed that love and confidence which a man gives to another man but once in his life, and then when he is young. The tears were in Jimmy's eyes long before he had finished the letter.

He turned to another letter he had received by the same mail as Ormond's and which also bore the South African stamp upon it. Hoping to find some news of his friend, he broke the seal, but it was merely an intimation from the steamship company that half a dozen boxes remained at the southern terminus of the line addressed to him; but, they said, until they were assured the freight upon them to Southampton would be paid, they would not be forwarded.

A day or two after, the London papers announced in large type, [pg 61] "Mysterious Disappearance of an Actor." The well-known actor, Mr. James Spence, had left the theatre in which he had been playing the part of Joseph to a great actor's Richelieu, and had not since been heard of. The janitor remembered him leaving that night, for he had not returned his salutation, which was most unusual. His friends had noticed that for a few days previous to his disappearance he had been apparently in deep dejection, and fears were entertained. One journalist said jestingly that probably Jimmy had gone to see what had become of his African friend; but the joke, such as it was, was not favorably received, for when a man is called Jimmy until late in life it shows that people have an affection for him, and every one who knew Spence was sorry that he had disappeared, and hoped that no evil had overtaken him.

It was a year after the disappearance that a wan living skeleton staggered out of the wilderness in Africa, and blindly groped his way to the coast, as a man might who had lived long in darkness, and found the light too strong for his eyes. He managed to reach a port, and there took steamer homeward-bound for Southampton. The sea-breezes revived him somewhat, but it was evident to all the passengers that he had passed through a desperate illness. It was just a toss-up whether he could live until he saw England again. It was impossible to guess at his age, so heavy a hand had disease laid upon him; and he did not seem to care to make acquaintances, but kept much to himself, sitting wrapped up in his chair, gazing with a tired-out look at the green ocean.

A young girl often sat in the chair beside him, ostensibly reading, but more often glancing sympathetically at the wan figure beside her. Frequently she seemed about to speak to him, but apparently hesitated about doing so, for the man took no notice of his fellow-passengers. At length, however, she mustered up courage to address him, and said: "There is a good story in this magazine—perhaps you would like to read it."

He turned his eyes from the sea, and rested them vacantly upon her face for a moment. His dark mustache added to the pallor of his face, but did not conceal the faint smile that came to his lips; he had heard her but had not understood.

"What did you say?" he asked gently.

"I said there was a good story here entitled 'Author, Author!' and I thought you might like to read it;" and the girl blushed very prettily as she said this, for the man looked younger than he had before he smiled.

"I am not sure," said the man slowly, "that I have not forgotten how to read. It is a long time since I have seen a book or a magazine. Won't you tell me the story? I would much rather hear it from you than make the attempt to read it myself in the magazine."

"Oh," she cried breathlessly, "I'm not sure that I could tell it—at any rate, not as well as the author tells it; but I will read it to you if you like."

The story was about a man who had written a play, and who thought, as every playwright thinks, that it was a great addition to the drama, and would bring him fame and fortune. He took this play to a London manager, but heard nothing from it for a long time, and at last it was returned to him. Then, on going to a first night at the theatre to see a new tragedy which this manager called his own, he was amazed to see his rejected play, with certain changes, produced upon the stage; and when the cry arose for "Author, Author!" he rose in his place; but illness and privation had done their work, and he died proclaiming himself the author of the play.

"Ah," said the man when the reading was finished, "I cannot tell you how much the story has interested me. I once was an actor myself, and anything pertaining to the stage interests me, although it is years since I saw a theatre. It must be hard luck to work for fame and then be cheated out of it, as was the man in the tale; but I suppose it sometimes happens—although, for the honesty of human nature, I hope not very often."

"Did you act under your own name, or did you follow the fashion so many of the profession adopt?" asked the girl, evidently interested when he spoke of the theatre.

The young man laughed, for perhaps the first time on the voyage. "Oh," he answered, "I was not at all noted. I acted only in minor parts and always under my own name, which, doubtless, you have never heard; it is Sidney Ormond."

"What!" cried the girl in amazement, "not Sidney Ormond, the African traveller?"

The young man turned his wan face and large, melancholy eyes upon his questioner.

"I am certainly Sidney Ormond, an African traveller, but I don't think I deserve the 'the,' you know. I don't imagine any one [pg 62] has heard of me through my travelling any more than through my acting."

"The Sidney Ormond I mean," she said, "went through Africa without firing a shot; his book, 'A Mission of Peace,' has been such a success both in England and America. But of course you cannot be he, for I remember that Sidney Ormond is now lecturing in England to tremendous audiences all over the country. The Royal Geographical Society has given him medals or degrees, or something of that sort—but I believe it was Oxford that gave the degree. I am sorry I haven't his book with me; it would be sure to interest you. But some one on board is almost certain to have it, and I will try to get it for you. I gave mine to a friend in Cape Town. What a funny thing it is that the two names should be exactly the same!"

"It is very strange," said Ormond gloomily; and his eyes again sought the horizon, and he seemed to relapse into his usual melancholy.

The girl left her seat, saying she would try to find the book, and left him there meditating. When she came back after the lapse of half an hour or so she found him sitting just as she had left him, with his sad eyes on the sad sea. The girl had a volume in her hand. "There," she said, "I knew there would be a copy on board, but I am more bewildered than ever; the frontispiece is an exact portrait of you, only you are dressed differently and do not look"—the girl hesitated—"so ill as when you came on board."

Ormond looked up at the girl with a smile, and said:

"You might say with truth, so ill as I look now."

"Oh, the voyage has done you good. You look ever so much better than when you came on board."

"Yes, I think that is so," said Ormond, reaching for the volume she held in her hand. He opened it at the frontispiece, and gazed long at the picture.

The girl sat down beside him, and watched his face, glancing from it to the book.

"It seems to me," she said at last, "that the coincidence is becoming more and more striking. Have you ever seen that portrait before?"

"Yes," said Ormond, slowly, "I recognize it as a portrait I took of myself in the interior of Africa, which I sent to a very dear friend of mine—in fact, the only friend I had in England. I think I wrote him about getting together a book out of the materials I sent him, but I am not sure. I was very ill at the time I wrote him my last letter. I thought I was going to die, and told him so. I feel somewhat bewildered, and don't quite understand it all."

"I understand it!" cried the girl, her face blazing with indignation. "Your friend is a traitor. He is reaping the reward that should have been yours, and so poses as the African traveller, the real Ormond. You must put a stop to it when you reach England, and expose his treachery to the whole country."

Ormond shook his head slowly and said:

"I cannot imagine Jimmy Spence a traitor. If it were only the book, that could be, I think, easily explained, for I sent him all my notes of travel and materials; but I cannot understand his taking of the medals or degrees."

The girl made a quick gesture of impatience.

"Such things," she said, "cannot be explained. You must confront him, and expose him."

"No," said Ormond, "I shall not confront him. I must think over the matter deeply for a time. I am not quick at thinking, at least just now, in the face of this difficulty. Every thing seemed plain and simple before; but if Jimmy Spence has stepped into my shoes, he is welcome to them. Ever since I came out of Africa, I seem to have lost all ambition. Nothing appears to be worth while now."

"Oh!" cried the girl, "that is because you are in ill health. You will be yourself again when you reach England. Don't let this worry you now; there is plenty of time to think it all out before we arrive. I am sorry I spoke about it, but you see I was taken by surprise when you mentioned your name."

"I am very glad you spoke to me," said Ormond, in a more cheerful voice. "The mere fact that you have spoken to me has encouraged me wonderfully. I cannot tell how much this conversation has been to me. I am a lone man, with only one friend in the world; I am afraid I must add now, without even one friend in the world. I am grateful for your interest in me, even though it was only compassion for a wreck, for a derelict, floating about on the sea of life."

There were tears in the girl's eyes, and she did not speak for a moment. Then she laid her hand softly on Ormond's arm, and said: "You are not a wreck—far from it. You sit alone too much, and I am afraid that what I have thoughtlessly said has added to your troubles." The girl paused in her talk, but after a moment added: [pg 63] "Don't you think you could walk the deck for a little?"

"I don't know about walking," said Ormond, with a little laugh; "but I'll come with you if you don't mind an incumbrance."

He rose somewhat unsteadily, and she took his arm.

"You must look upon me as your physician," she said, cheerfully, "and I shall insist that my orders are obeyed."

"I shall be delighted to be under your charge," said Ormond, "but may I not know my physician's name?"

The girl blushed deeply as she realized that she had had such a long conversation with one to whom she had never been introduced. She had regarded him as an invalid who needed a few words of cheerful encouragement; but as he stood up she saw that he was much younger than his face and appearance had led her to suppose.

"My name is Mary Radford," she said.

"Miss Mary Radford?" inquired Ormond.

"Miss Mary Radford."

That walk on the deck was the first of many, and it soon became evident to Ormond that he was rapidly becoming his old self again. If he had lost a friend in England he had certainly found another on shipboard, to whom he was getting more and more attached as time went on. The only point of disagreement between them was in regard to the confronting of Jimmy Spence. Ormond was determined in his resolve not to interfere with Jimmy and his ill-gotten fame.

As the voyage was nearing its end Ormond and Miss Radford stood together, leaning over the rail, conversing quietly. They had become very great friends indeed.

"But if you do not intend to expose this man," said Miss Radford, "what then do you propose to do when you land? Are you going back to the stage again?"

"I don't think so," replied Ormond. "I will try to get something to do, and live quietly for awhile."

"Oh," answered the girl, "I have no patience with you."

"I am sorry for that, Mary," said Ormond, "for if I could have made a living I intended to have asked you to be my wife."

"Oh!" cried the girl breathlessly, turning her head away.

"Do you think I would have any chance?" asked Ormond.

"Of making a living?" inquired the girl, after a moment's silence.

"No. I am sure of making a living, for I have always done so. Therefore, answer my question: Mary, do you think I would have any chance?" And he placed his hand softly over hers, which lay on the ship's rail.

The girl did not answer, but she did not withdraw her hand; she gazed down at the bright green water with its tinge of foam.

"I suppose you know," she said at length, "that you have every chance, and that you are merely pretending ignorance to make it easier for me, because I have simply flung myself at your head ever since we began the voyage."

"I am not pretending, Mary," he said. "What I feared was that your interest was only that of a nurse in a somewhat backward patient. I was afraid that I had your sympathy, but not your love. Perhaps that was the case at first."

"Perhaps that was the case—at first—but it is far from being the truth now—Sidney."

The young man made a motion to approach nearer to her, but the girl drew away, whispering:

"There are other people besides ourselves on deck, remember."

"I don't believe it," said Ormond, gazing fondly at her. "I can see no one but you. I believe we are floating alone on the ocean together and that there is no one else in the wide world but our two selves. I thought I went to Africa for fame, but I see I really went to find you. What I sought seems poor compared to what I have found."

"Perhaps," said the girl, looking shyly at him, "fame is waiting as anxiously for you to woo her as—as another person waited. Fame is a shameless huzzy, you know."

The young man shook his head.

"No. Fame has jilted me once. I won't give her another chance."

So those who were twain sailed gently into Southampton docks resolved to be one when the gods were willing.

Miss Mary Radford's people were there to meet her, and Ormond went up to London alone, beginning his short railway journey with a return of the melancholy that had oppressed him during the first part of his long voyage. He felt once more alone in the world, now that the bright presence of his sweetheart was missing, and he was saddened by the thought that the telegram he had hoped to send to Jimmy Spence, exultingly announcing his arrival, would never be sent. In a newspaper he bought at the station he saw that the African traveller Sidney Ormond was to be received by the mayor and corporation of a midland town and presented with the freedom of the city. The traveller was to lecture on his exploits in the town so [pg 64] honoring him, that day week. Ormond put down the paper with a sigh, and turned his thoughts to the girl from whom he had so lately parted. A true sweetheart is a pleasanter subject for meditation than a false friend.

Mary also saw the announcement in the paper, and anger tightened her lips and brought additional color to her cheeks. Seeing how adverse her lover was to taking any action against his former friend, she had ceased to urge him, but she had quietly made up her own mind to be herself the goddess of the machine.

On the night the bogus African traveller was to lecture in the midland town, Mary Radford was a unit in the very large audience that greeted him. When he came on the platform she was so amazed at his personal appearance that she cried out, but fortunately her exclamation was lost in the applause that greeted the lecturer. The man was the exact duplicate of her betrothed. She listened to the lecture in a daze; it seemed to her that even the tones of the lecturer's voice were those of her lover. She paid little heed to the matter of his discourse, but allowed her mind to dwell more on the coming interview, wondering what excuses the fraudulent traveller would make for his perfidy. When the lecture was over, and the usual vote of thanks had been tendered and accepted, Mary Radford still sat there while the rest of the audience slowly filtered out of the large hall. She rose at last, nerving herself for the coming meeting, and went to the side door, where she told the man on duty that she wished to see the lecturer. The man said that it was impossible for Mr. Ormond to see any one at that moment; there was to be a big dinner, and he was to meet the mayor and corporation; an address was to be presented, and so the lecturer had said that he could see no one.

"Will you take a note to him if I write it?" asked the girl.

"I will send it in to him, but it's no use—he won't see you. He refused to see even the reporters," said the doorkeeper, as if that were final, and a man who would deny himself to the reporters would not admit royalty itself.

Mary wrote on a slip of paper the words, "The affianced wife of the real Sidney Ormond would like to see you for a few moments," and this brief note was taken in to the lecturer.

The doorkeeper's faith in the consistency of public men was rudely shaken a few minutes later, when the messenger returned with orders that the lady was to be admitted at once.

When Mary entered the green-room of the lecture-hall she saw the double of her lover standing near the fire, her note in his hand and a look of incredulity on his face.

The girl barely entered the room, and, closing the door, stood with her back against it. He was the first to speak.

"I thought Sidney had told me everything. I never knew he was acquainted with a young lady, much less engaged to her."

"You admit, then, that you are not the true Sidney Ormond?"

"I admit it to you, of course, if you were to have been his wife."

"I am to be his wife, I hope."

"But Sidney, poor fellow, is dead—dead in the wilds of Africa."

"You will be shocked to learn that such is not the case, and that your imposture must come to an end. Perhaps you counted on his friendship for you, and thought that, even if he did return, he would not expose you. In that you were quite right, but you did not count on me. Sidney Ormond is at this moment in London, Mr. Spence."

Jimmy Spence, paying no attention to the accusations of the girl, gave the war-whoop which had formerly been so effective in the second act of "Pocahontas"—in which Jimmy had enacted the noble savage—and then he danced a jig that had done service in "Colleen Bawn." While the amazed girl watched these antics, Jimmy suddenly swooped down upon her, caught her round the waist, and whirled her wildly around the room. Setting her down in a corner, Jimmy became himself again, and dabbing his heated brow with his handkerchief carefully, so as not to disturb the make-up—

"Sidney in England again? That's too good news to be true. Say it again, my girl; I can hardly believe it. Why didn't he come with you? Is he ill?"

"He has been very ill."

"Ah, that's it, poor fellow! I knew nothing else would have kept him. And then when he telegraphed to me at the old address on landing, of course there was no reply, because, you see, I had disappeared. But Sid wouldn't know anything about that, and so he must be wondering what has become of me. I'll have a great story to tell him when we meet, almost as good as his own African experiences. We'll go right up to London to-night as soon as this confounded dinner is over. And what is your name, my girl?"

"Mary Radford."

[pg 65]

"And you're engaged to old Sid, eh? Well! well! well! well! This is great news. You mustn't mind my capers, Mary, my dear; you see, I'm the only friend Sid has, and I'm old enough to be your father. I look young now, but you wait till the paint comes off. Have you any money? I mean to live on when you're married, because I know Sidney never had much."

"I haven't very much either," said Mary, with a sigh.

Jimmy jumped up and paced the room in great glee, laughing and slapping his thigh.

"That's first rate," he cried. "Why, Mary, I've got over twenty thousand pounds in the bank saved up for you two. The book and the lectures, you know. I don't believe Sid himself could have done as well, for he always was careless with money; he's often lent me the last penny he had, and never kept any account of it. And I never thought of paying it back either until he was gone, and then it worried me."

The messenger put his head into the room, and said the mayor and the corporation were waiting.

"Oh, hang the mayor and the corporation," cried Jimmy; then, suddenly recollecting himself, he added hastily: "No, don't do that. Just give them Jimmy—I mean Sidney Ormond's compliments, and tell his Worship that I have just had some very important news from Africa, but will be with them directly."

When the messenger was gone Jimmy continued, in high feather: "What a time we will have in London! We'll all three go to the old familiar theatre. Yes, and, by Jove, we'll pay for our seats; that will be a novelty. Then we will have supper where Sid and I used to eat. Sidney will talk, and you and I will listen; then I'll talk, and you and Sid will listen. You see, my dear, I've been to Africa too. When I got Sidney's letter saying he was dying, I just moped about and was of no use to anybody. Then I made up my mind what to do. Sid had died for fame, and it wasn't just he shouldn't get what he paid so dearly for. I gathered together what money I could, and went to Africa steerage. I found I couldn't do anything there about searching for Sid, so I resolved to be his understudy and bring fame to him, if it was possible. I sank my own identity, and made up as Sidney Ormond, took his boxes, and sailed for Southampton. I have been his understudy ever since; for, after all, I always had a hope he would come back some day, and then everything would be ready for him to take the principal role, and let the old understudy go back to the boards again, and resume competing with the reputation of Macready. If Sid hadn't come back in another year, I was going to take a lecturing trip in America; and when that was done, I intended to set out in great state for Africa, disappear into the forest as Sidney Ormond, wash the paint off, and come out as Jimmy Spence. Then Sidney Ormond's fame would have been secure, for they would be always sending out relief expeditions after him, and not finding him, while I would be growing old on the boards, and bragging what a great man my friend Sidney Ormond was."

There were tears in the girl's eyes as she rose and took Jimmy's hand.

"No man has ever been so true a friend to his friend as you have been," she said.

"Oh, bless you, yes," cried Jimmy jauntily; "Sid would have done the same for me. But he is luckier in having you than in having his friend, although I don't deny I've been a good friend to him. Yes, my dear, he is lucky in having a plucky girl like you. I missed that somehow when I was young, having my head full of Macready nonsense, and I missed being a Macready too. I've always been a sort of understudy; so you see the part comes easy to me. Now I must be off to that confounded mayor and corporation. I had almost forgotten them, but I must keep up the character for Sidney's sake. But this is the last act, my dear. To-morrow I'll turn over the part of explorer to the real actor,—to the star."

[pg 66]



By Frank Pope Humphrey.

Letter M

Most people suppose "Annie Laurie" to be a creation of the songwriter's fancy, or perhaps some Scotch peasant girl, like Highland Mary and most of the heroines of Robert Burns. In either case they are mistaken.

Annie Laurie was "born in the purple," so to speak, at Maxwelton House, in the beautiful glen of the Cairn—Glencairn. Her home was in the heart of the most pastorally lovely of Scottish shires—that of Dumfries. Her birth is thus set down by her father, in what is called the "Barjorg MS.":

"At the pleasure of the Almighty God, my daughter Anna Laurie was borne upon the 16th day of December 1682 years, about six o'clock in the morning, and was baptized by Mr. George—minister of Glencairn,"

Her father was Sir Robert Laurie, first baronet, and her mother was Jean Riddell.


Maxwelton House was originally the castle of the earls of Glencairn. It was bought in 1611 by Stephen Laurie, the founder of [pg 67] the Laurie family. Stephen was a Dumfries merchant. The castle was a turreted building. In it Annie Laurie was born.

From a painting now preserved at Maxwelton House.

This castle was partially burned in the last century, but not all of it. The great tower is incorporated in the new house, and also a considerable portion of the old walls was built in. The foundations are those of the castle. The picture shows the double windows of the tower. In places its walls are twelve feet thick. The lower room is the "gun-room," and the little room above, that in the next story, is always spoken of in the family as "Annie Laurie's room," or "boudoir." This room of Annie's has been opened into the drawing-room by taking down the wall, and it forms a charming alcove. Its stone ceiling shows its great age.

In the dining-room, a fine, large apartment, we come again upon the old walls, six feet thick, which gives very deep window recesses. In this room hang the portraits of Annie Laurie and her husband, Alexander Ferguson. They are half-lengths, life-size.

[pg 68]

Annie's hair is dark brown, and she has full dark eyes—it is difficult to say whether brown or deep hazel. I incline to the latter. Whoever doctored the second verse of the original song—I heard it credited to "Mrs. Grundy" by a grandnephew of Burns—whoever it was, he had apparently no knowledge of this portrait, for you all know he has given Annie a "dark blue e'e."

From a painting now preserved at Maxwelton House.

The nose is long and straight; the under lip full, as though "some bee had stung it newly," like that of Suckling's bride. A true Scotch face, of a type to be met any day in Edinburgh, or any other Scotch town. She is in evening dress of white satin, and she wears no jewels but the pearls in her hair.

Alexander Ferguson, the husband of Annie Laurie, has a handsome, youthful face, with dark eyes and curling hair. His coat is brown, and his waistcoat blue, embroidered with gold, and he wears abundant lace in the charming old fashion.

It was at Maxwelton House, Annie's birthplace, that I came across the missing link in the chain of evidence that fixes the authorship of the song upon Douglas of Fingland. Fingland is in the parish of Dalry, in the adjacent shire of Kirkcudbright, and Douglas was a somewhat near neighbor of Annie.

The present proprietor of Maxwelton House is Sir Emilius Laurie, formerly rector of St. John's, Paddington, when he was known as Sir Emilius Bayley. He took the name of Laurie when he succeeded to the family estates. Sir Emilius is a descendant of Sir Walter, third baronet and brother of Annie.

Sir Emilius placed in my hands a letter of which he said I might make what use I liked, and this letter contained the missing link. While the song has been generally credited to Douglas of Fingland, it has always been a matter of tradition rather than of ascertained fact.

But to the important letter.

It was written in 1889, by a friend, to Sir Emilius, and relates an incident which took place in 1854. At that time the writer, whom we will call Mr. B., was on a visit with his wife to some friends in Yorkshire. Mrs. B. was a somewhat famous singer of ballads. A few friends were invited to meet them one evening, and, after the ladies had retired to the drawing-room, their hostess asked Mrs. B. to sing; and she sang "Annie Laurie," in the modern revision, just as we all sing it.

Among the guests was a lady in her ninety-seventh year. She gave close attention to the singing of the ballad, and when Mrs. B. had finished, she spoke up: "Thank you, thank you very much! But they're na the words my grandfather wrote." Then she repeated the first stanza as she knew it.

The next day Mr. and Mrs. B. called upon her, and in the meantime she had had the original first stanza written out, dictating it to a grandniece. She had signed it with her own shaky hand. Not being satisfied with the signature, she had signed it a second time.

She explained that her grandfather, Douglas of Fingland, was [pg 69] desperately in love with Annie Laurie when he wrote the song. "But," she added, "he did na get her after a'."

She was not quite sure as to Annie's fate, she said. Some folks had said she died unmarried, while some had said she married Ferguson of Craigdarrock, and she rather thought that was the truth.

Questioned as to the authenticity of the lines she had given, she said:

"Oh, I mind them fine. I have remembered them a' my life. My father often repeated them to me." And here is the stanza signed with her name:

"'Maxwelton's banks are bonnie,

They're a' clad owre wi' dew,

Where I an' Annie Laurie

Made up the bargain true.

Made up the bargain true,

Which ne'er forgot s'all be,

An' for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me down an' dee.'

"I mind na mair.

[Signed] "Clark Douglas.

"August 30, 1854."

In the common version this stanza reads:

"Maxwelton's braes are bonnie

Where early fa's the dew,

And it's there that Annie Laurie

Gie'd me her promise true;

Gie'd me her promise true,

Which ne'er forgot will be,

An' for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me down an' dee."

In the original song there were but two stanzas, and this is the second:

"She's backit like the peacock,

She's breistit like the swan,

She's jimp around the middle,

Her waist ye weel micht span—

Her waist ye weel micht span—

An' she has a rolling e'e,

An' for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me down an' dee."

As I have said, the "rolling e'e" has been changed, and wrongly, into one of "dark blue."

Who added the third stanza is not known; but no lover of the song would willingly dispense with it:

"Like dew on the gowan lying

Is the fa' o' her fairy feet;

Like summer breezes sighing,

Her voice is low an' sweet—

Her voice is low an' sweet—

An' she's a' the world to me,

An' for bonnie Annie Laurie

I'd lay me down an' dee."

The music of the song is modern, and was composed by Lady John Scott, aunt by marriage of the present Duke of Buccleuch. The composer was only guessed at for many years, but somewhat recently she has acknowledged the authorship.

Maxwelton House sits high upon its "braes." It is "harled" without and painted white, and is built around three sides of a sunny court. Ivy clambers thriftily about it. Over the entrance door of the tower, and above a window in the opposite wing, are inserted two marriage stones; the former that of Annie's father and mother, the latter of her grandfather and grandmother. These marriage stones are about two feet square. The initials of the bride and bridegroom, and the date of the marriage, are cut upon them, together with the family coat of arms, which bears, among other heraldic devices, two laurel leaves and the motto, Virtus semper viridis. Below the grandfather's marriage stone is cut in the lintel the following:

Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.

Looking up the glen from Maxwelton, the chimneys of Craigdarrock House are seen.

It is distant about five miles, and Annie had not far to remove from her father's house to that of her husband. She was twenty-eight at the time of her marriage.

The Fergusons are a much older family, as families are reckoned, than the Lauries. Fergusons of Craigdarrock were attached to the courts of William the Lion and Alexander the II. (1214-1249).

Craigdarrock House stands near the foot of one of the three glens whose waters unite to form the Cairn. The hills draw together here, and give an air of seclusion to the house and grounds. The house, large and substantial, lacks the picturesqueness of Maxwelton. It is pale pink in tone with window-casings and copings of French gray. The delicate cotoneaster vine clings to the stones of it. There are pretty reaches of lawns and abundant shrubberies, and in one place Craigdarrock Water has been diverted to form a lake, spanned in one part by a high bridge. Sheep feed upon the hills topped with green pastures, at the south, and shaggy Highland cattle in the meadows below. A heavy wood overhangs to the north. There is plenty of fine timber on the grounds, beeches, and great silver firs and, especially to be named, ancient larches with knees and elbows like old oaks, given to the proprietor by George II., when the larch was first introduced into Scotland.

[pg 70]

The present proprietor of Craigdarrock is Captain Robert Ferguson, of the fourth generation in direct descent from Annie Laurie.

Religion has always been a burning question in Scotland, and about Annie's time the flames raged with peculiar ferocity. Her father, Sir Robert Laurie, was a bitter enemy of the Covenantry, and his name finds a somewhat unenviable fame in mortuary verses of this sort cut upon gravestones:

"Douglas of Stenhouse, Laurie of Maxwelton, Caused Count Baillie give me martyrdom."

But the Fergusons were staunch Covenanters, and Annie, if we may judge from her marriage with one of that party, must have favored "compromise." Without doubt she must have worshipped with her husband in the old parish kirk, which was burned about fifty years since. The two end gables, ivy-shrouded, are still standing.

Against the east gable is the burial-ground of the Lauries, and against the west that of the Fergusons. A ponderous monument marks the grave of Annie's grandfather, cut with those hideous emblems which former generations seemed to delight in. But the burial-place of the Fergusons is singularly lacking in early monuments, and no stone marks the place of Annie's rest. It is a sweet, secluded spot, and Cock-Robin—it was September—was chanting his cheerful noonday song over the sleepers when I was there.

At Craigdarrock House is kept Annie's will, a copy of which I give. As a will, simply, it is of no special value. As Annie Laurie's, it will be read with interest.

"I, Anna Laurie, spouse to Alexr. Fergusone of Craigdarrock. Forasmuch as I considering it a devotie upon everie persone whyle they are in health and sound judgement so to settle yr. worldly affairs that yrby all animosities betwixt friend and relatives may obviat and also for the singular love and respect I have for the said Alex. Fergusone, in case he survive me I do heirby make my letter will as follows:

"First, I recommend my soule to God, hopeing by the meritorious righteousness of Jesus Christ to be saved; secondly, I recommend my body to be decently and orderly interred; and in the third plaice nominate and appoynt the sd. Alexr. Fergusone to be my sole and only executor, Legator and universall intromettor with my hail goods, gear, debts, and soams off money that shall pertain and belong to me the tyme of my decease, or shall be dew to me by bill, bond, or oyrway; with power to him to obtain himself confirmed and decreed exr. to me and to do everie thing for fixing and establishing the right off my spouse in his person as law reqaires; in witness whereof their putts (written by John Wilsone off Chapell in Dumfries) are subd. by me at Craigdarrock the twenty eight day of Apryle Jajvij and eleven (1711) years, before the witnesses the sd. John Wilsone and John Nicholsone his servitor.

"Ann. Laurie,
"Jo. Wilson, Witness.
"John Hoat, Witness."

If our dates are correct, this will was written the year after her marriage. And it is pleasant to see that she had such entire trust in Alexander Ferguson. Evidently she cherished no lingering regrets for Douglas of Fingland.

In following up the "fairy" footsteps of Annie Laurie I came upon others wholly different, but of equal interest—those of Robert Burns.

At Craigdarrock House is kept "the whistle" of his poem of that name. Burns tells the story of it in a note. It was brought into Scotland by a doughty Dane in the train of Anne, queen of James VI. He had won it in a drinking bout. It was a "challenge whistle," to use a modern term. The man who gave the last whistle upon it, before tumbling under the table dead drunk, won it.

After various vicissitudes, the whistle came into possession of Laurie of Maxwelton, and then passed into the hands of a Riddell of the same connection. Finally came the last drinking skirmish in which it was to appear, and which is chronicled by Burns. This final drinking bout took place October 16, 1790. The three champions were Sir Robert Laurie of Maxwelton, Alexander Ferguson of Craigdarrock—an eminent lawyer, and who must, I think, have been a grandson of Annie Laurie—and Captain Riddell of Friar's Carse, antiquary and friend of Burns. The contest took place at Friar's Carse, and Alexander Ferguson gave the last faint whistle before going under the table, and won the prize, which ever since has been kept at Craigdarrock.

The whistle is large, of dark brown wood, and is set in a silver cup upon which is engraved the fact that it is "Burns's whistle," together with the date of the contest. A silver chain is attached to it; but it reposes on velvet, under glass. It is too precious to use.

[pg 71]


By Ella Higginson,

Author of "The Takin' in of Old Mis' Lane" and other stories.

It was the day before Christmas—an Oregon Christmas. It had rained mistily at dawn; but at ten o'clock the clouds had parted and moved away reluctantly. There was a blue and dazzling sky overhead. The rain-drops still sparkled on the windows and on the green grass, and the last roses and chrysanthemums hung their beautiful heads heavily beneath them; but there was to be no more rain. Oregon City's mighty barometer—the Falls of the Willamette—was declaring to her people by her softened roar that the morrow was to be fair.

Mrs. Orville Palmer was in the large kitchen making preparations for the Christmas dinner. She was a picture of dainty loveliness in a lavender gingham dress, made with a full skirt and a shirred waist and big leg-o'-mutton sleeves. A white apron was tied neatly around her waist.

Her husband came in, and paused to put his arm around her and kiss her. She was stirring something on the stove, holding her dress aside with one hand.

"It's goin' to be a fine Christmas, Emarine," he said, and sighed unconsciously. There was a wistful and careworn look on his face.

"Beautiful!" said Emarine vivaciously. "Goin' down-town, Orville?"

"Yes." Want anything?"

"Why, the cranberries ain't come yet. I'm so uneasy about 'em. They'd ought to 'a' b'en stooed long ago. I like 'em cooked down an' strained to a jell. I don't see what ails them groc'rymen! Sh'u'd think they c'u'd get around some time before doomsday! Then I want—here, you'd best set it down." She took a pencil and a slip of paper from a shelf over the table and gave them to him. "Now, let me see." She commenced stirring again, with two little wrinkles between her brows. "A ha'f a pound o' citron; a ha'f a pound o' candied peel; two pounds o' cur'nts; two pounds o' raisins—git 'em stunned, Orville; a pound o' sooet—make 'em give you some that ain't all strings! A box o' Norther' Spy apples; a ha'f a dozen lemons; four-bits' worth o' walnuts or a'monds, whichever's freshest; a pint o' Puget Sound oysters fer the dressin', an' a bunch o' cel'ry. You stop by an' see about the turkey, Orville; an' I wish you'd run in 's you go by mother's, an' tell her to come up as soon as she can. She'd ought to be here now."

Her husband smiled as he finished the list. "You're a wonderful housekeeper, Emarine," he said.

Then his face grew grave. "Got a present for your mother yet, Emarine?"

"Oh, yes, long ago. I got 'er a black shawl down t' Charman's. She's b'en wantin' one."

He shuffled his feet about a little. "Unh-hunh. Yuh—that is—I reckon yuh ain't picked out any present fer—fer my mother, have yuh, Emarine?"

"No," she replied, with cold distinctness. "I ain't."

There was a silence. Emarine stirred briskly. The lines grew deeper between her brows. Two red spots came into her cheeks. "I hope the rain ain't spoilt the chrysyanthums," she said then, with an air of ridding herself of a disagreeable subject.

Orville made no answer. He moved his feet again uneasily. Presently he said: "I expect my mother needs a black shawl, too. Seemed to me her'n looked kind o' rusty at church Sunday. Notice it, Emarine?"

"No," said Emarine.

"Seemed to me she was gittin' to look offul old. Emarine"—his voice broke; he came a step nearer—"it'll be the first Christmas dinner I ever eat without my mother."

She drew back and looked at him. He knew the look that flashed into her eyes, and shrank from it.

"You don't have to eat this 'n' without 'er, Orville Parmer! You go an' eat your dinner with your mother 'f you want! I can get along alone. Are you goin' to order them things? If you ain't, just say so, an' I'll go an' do 't myself!"

He put on his hat and went without a word.

Mrs. Palmer took the saucepan from the stove and set it on the [pg 72] hearth. Then she sat down and leaned her cheek in the palm of her hand, and looked steadily out the window. Her eyelids trembled closer together. Her eyes held a far-sighted look. She saw a picture; but it was not the picture of the blue reaches of sky, and the green valley cleft by its silver-blue river. She saw a kitchen, shabby compared to her own, scantily furnished, and in it an old, white-haired woman sitting down to eat her Christmas dinner alone.

After a while she arose with an impatient sigh. "Well, I can't help it!" she exclaimed. "If I knuckled down to her this time, I'd have to do 't ag'in. She might just as well get ust to 't first as last. I wish she hadn't got to lookin' so old an' pitiful, though, a-settin' there in front o' us in church Sunday after Sunday. The cords stand out in her neck like well-rope, an' her chin keeps a-quiv'rin' so! I can see Orville a-watchin' her—"

The door opened suddenly and her mother entered. She was bristling with curiosity. "Say, Emarine!" She lowered her voice, although there was no one to hear. "Where d' you s'pose the undertaker's a-goin' up by here? Have you hear of anybody—"

"No," said Emarine. "Did Orville stop by an' tell you to hurry up?"

"Yes. What's the matter of him? Is he sick?"

"Not as I know of. Why?"

"He looks so. Oh, I wonder if it's one o' the Peterson children where the undertaker's a-goin'! They've all got the quinsy sore throat."

"How does he look? I don't see 's he looks so turrable."

"Why, Emarine Parmer! Ev'rybody in town says he looks so! I only hope they don't know what ails him!"

"What does ail him?" cried out Emarine, fiercely. "What are you hintin' at?"

"Well, if you don't know what ails him, you'd ort to; so I'll tell you. He's dyin' by inches ever sence you turned his mother out o' doors."

Emarine turned white. Sheet lightning played in her eyes.

"Oh, you'd ought to talk about my turnin' her put!" she burst out, furiously. "After you a-settin' here a-quar'l'n' with her in this very kitchen, an' eggin' me on! Wa'n't she goin' to turn you out o' your own daughter's home? Wa'n't that what I turned her out fer? I didn't turn her out, anyhow! I only told Orville this house wa'n't big enough fer his mother an' me, an' that neither o' us 'u'd knuckle down, so he'd best take his choice. You'd ought to talk!"

"Well, if I egged you on, I'm sorry fer 't," said Mrs. Endey, solemnly. "Ever sence that fit o' sickness I had a month ago, I've feel kind o' old an' no account myself, as if I'd like to let all holts go, an' jest rest. I don't spunk up like I ust to. No, he didn't go to Peterson's—he's gawn right on. My land! I wonder 'f it ain't old gran'ma Eliot: she had a bad spell—no, he didn't turn that corner. I can't think where he's goin' to!"

She sat down with a sigh of defeat.

A smile glimmered palely across Emarine's face and was gone. "Maybe if you'd go up in the antic you could see better," she suggested, dryly.

"Oh, Emarine, here comes old gran'ma Eliot herself! Run an' open the door fer 'er. She's limpin' worse 'n usual."

Emarine flew to the door. Grandma Eliot was one of the few people she loved. She was large and motherly. She wore a black dress and shawl and a funny bonnet, with a frill of white lace around her brow.

Emarine's face softened when she kissed her. "I'm so glad to see you," she said, and her voice was tender.

Even Mrs. Endey's face underwent a change. Usually it wore a look of doubt, if not of positive suspicion, but now it fairly beamed. She shook hands cordially with the guest and led her to a comfortable chair.

"I know your rheumatiz is worse," she said, cheerfully, "because you're limpin' so. Oh, did you see the undertaker go up by here? We can't think where he's goin' to. D' you happen to know?"

"No, I don't; an' I don't want to neither." Mrs. Eliot laughed comfortably. "Mis' Endey, you don't ketch me foolin' with undertakers till I have to." She sat down and removed her black cotton gloves. "I'm gettin' to that age when I don't care much where undertakers go to so long 's they let me alone. Fixin' fer Christmas dinner, Emarine dear?"

"Yes, ma'am," said Emarine in her very gentlest tone. Her mother had never said "dear" to her, and the sound of it on this old lady's lips was sweet. "Won't you come an' take dinner with us?"

The old lady laughed merrily. "Oh, dearie me, dearie me! You don't guess my son's folks could spare me now, do you? I spend ev'ry Christmas there. They most carry me on two chips. My son's wife, Sidonie, she nearly runs her feet off waitin' on me. She can't do enough fer me. My, Mrs. Endey, you don't know what a [pg 73] comfort a daughter-in-law is when you get old an' feeble!"

Emarine's face turned red. She went to the table and stood with her back to the older women; but her mother's sharp eyes observed that her ears grew scarlet.

"An' I never will," said Mrs. Endey, grimly.

"You've got a son-in-law, though, who's worth a whole townful of most son-in-laws. He was such a good son, too; jest worshipped his mother; couldn't bear her out o' his sight. He humored her high an' low. That's jest the way Sidonie does with me. I'm gettin' cranky 's I get older, an' sometimes I'm reel cross an' sassy to her; but she jest laffs at me, an' then comes an' kisses me, an' I'm all right ag'in. It's a blessin' right from God to have a daughter-in-law like that."

The knife in Emarine's hand slipped, and she uttered a little cry.

"Hurt you?" demanded her mother, sternly.

Emarine was silent, and did not turn.

"Cut you, Emarine? Why don't you answer me? Aigh?"

"A little," said Emarine. She went into the pantry, and presently returned with a narrow strip of muslin which she wound around her finger.

"Well, I never see! You never will learn any gumption! Why don't you look what you're about? Now, go around Christmas with your finger all tied up!"

"Oh, that'll be all right by to-morrow," said Mrs. Eliot, cheerfully. "Won't it, Emarine? Never cry over spilt milk, Mrs. Endey; it makes a body get wrinkles too fast. O' course Orville's mother's comin' to take dinner with you, Emarine."

"Dear me!" exclaimed Emarine, in a sudden flutter. "I don't see why them cranberries don't come! I told Orville to hurry 'em up. I'd best make the floatin' island while I wait."

"I stopped at Orville's mother's as I come along, Emarine."

"How?" Emarine turned in a startled way from the table.

"I say I stopped at Orville's mother's as I come along."


"She well?" asked Mrs. Endey.

"No, she ain't; shakin' like she had the Saint Vitus dance. She's failed harrable lately. She'd b'en cryin'; her eyes was all swelled up."

There was quite a silence. Then Mrs. Endey said, "What she b'en cryin' about?"

"Why, when I asked her she jest laffed kind o' pitiful, an' said: 'Oh, only my tom-foolishness, o' course.' Said she always got to thinkin' about other Christmases. But I cheered her up. I told her what a good time I always had at my son's, an' how Sidonie jest couldn't do enough fer me. An' I told her to think what a nice time she'd have here 't Emarine's to-morrow."

Mrs. Endey smiled. "What she say to that?"

"She didn't say much. I could see she was thankful, though, she had a son's to go to. She said she pitied all poor wretches that had to set out their Christmas alone. Poor old lady! she ain't got much spunk left. She's all broke down. But I cheered her up some. Sech a wishful look took holt o' her when I pictchered her dinner over here at Emarine's. I can't seem to forget it. Goodness! I must go. I'm on my way to Sidonie's, an' she'll be comin' after me if I ain't on time."

When Mrs. Eliot had gone limping down the path, Mrs. Endey said: "You got your front room red up, Emarine?"

"No; I ain't had time to red up anything."

"Well, I'll do it. Where's your duster at?"

"Behind the org'n. You can get out the wax cross again. Mis' Dillon was here with all her childern, an' I had to hide up ev'rything. I never see childern like her'n. She lets 'em handle things so!"

Mrs. Endey went into the "front room" and began to dust the organ. She was something of a diplomat, and she wished to be alone for a few minutes. "You have to manage Emarine by contrairies," she reflected. It did not occur to her that this was a family trait. "I'm offul sorry I ever egged her on to turnin' Orville's mother out o' doors, but who'd 'a' thought it 'u'd break her down so? She ain't told a soul either. I reckoned she'd talk somethin' offul about us, but she ain't told a soul. She's kep' a stiff upper lip an' told folks she al'ays expected to live alone when Orville got married. Emarine's all worked up. I believe the Lord hisself must 'a' sent gran'ma Eliot here to talk like an angel unawares. I bet she'd go an' ask Mis' Parmer over here to dinner if she wa'n't afraid I'd laff at her fer knucklin' down. I'll have to aggravate her.'

She finished dusting, and returned to the kitchen. "I wonder what gran'ma Eliot 'u'd say if she knew you'd turned Orville's mother out, Emarine?"

There was no reply. Emarine was at the table making tarts. Her back was to mother.

[pg 74]

"I didn't mean what I said about bein' sorry I egged you on, Emarine. I'm glad you turned her out. She'd ort to be turned out."

Emarine dropped a quivering ruby of jelly into a golden ring of pastry and laid it carefully on a plate.

"Gran'ma Eliot can go talkin' about her daughter-'n-law Sidonie all she wants, Emarine. You keep a stiff upper lip."

"I can 'tend to my own affairs," said Emarine, fiercely.

"Well, don't flare up so. Here comes Orviile. Land, but he does look peakid!"

After supper, when her mother had gone home for the night, Emarine put on her hat and shawl.

Her husband was sitting by the fireplace, looking thoughtfully at the bed of coals.

"I'm goin' out," she said briefly. "You keep the fire up."

"Why, Emarine, it's dark. Don't choo want I sh'u'd go along?"

"No; you keep the fire up."

He looked at her anxiously, but he knew from the way she set her heels down that remonstrance would be useless.

"Don't stay long," he said, in a tone of habitual tenderness. He loved her passionately, in spite of the lasting hurt she had given him when she parted him from his mother. It was a hurt that had sunk deeper than even he realized. It lay heavy on his heart day and night. It took the blue out of the sky, and the green out of the grass, and the gold out of the sunlight; it took the exaltation and the rapture out of his tenderest moments of love.

He never reproached her, he never really blamed her; certainly he never pitied himself. But he carried a heavy heart around with him, and his few smiles were joyless things.

For the trouble he blamed only himself. He had promised Emarine solemnly before he married her, that if there were any "knuckling down" to be done, his mother should be the one to do it. He had made the promise deliberately, and he could no more have broken it than he could have changed the color of his eyes. When bitter feeling arises between two relatives by marriage, it is the one who stands between them—the one who is bound by the tenderest ties to both—who has the real suffering to bear, who is torn and tortured until life holds nothing worth the having.

Orville Palmer was the one who stood between. He had built his own cross, and he took it up and bore it without a word.

Emarine hurried through the early winter dark until she came to the small and poor house where her husband's mother lived. It was off the main-travelled street.

There was a dim light in the kitchen; the curtain had not been drawn. Emarine paused and looked in. The sash was lifted six inches, for the night was warm, and the sound of voices came to her at once. Mrs. Palmer had company.

"It's Miss Presly," said Emarine, resentfully, under her breath. "Old gossip!"

"—goin' to have a fine dinner, I hear," Miss Presly was saying. "Turkey with oyster dressin', an' cranberries, an' mince an' pun'kin pie, an' reel plum puddin' with brandy poured over 't an' set afire, an' wine dip, an' nuts an' raisins, an' wine itself to wind up on. Emarine's a fine cook. She knows how to git up a dinner that makes your mouth water to think about. You goin' to have a spread, Mis' Parmer?"

"Not much of a one," said Orville's mother. "I expected to, but I c'u'dn't git them fall patatas sold off. I'll have to keep 'em till spring to git any kind o' price. I don't care much about Christmas, though"—her chin was trembling, but she lifted it high. "It's silly for anybody but children to build so much on Christmas."

Emarine opened the door and walked in. Mrs. Palmer arose slowly, grasping the back of her chair. "Orville's dead?" she said solemnly.

Emarine laughed, but there was the tenderness of near tears in her voice. "Oh, my, no!" she said, sitting down. "I run over to ask you to come to Christmas dinner. I was too busy all day to come sooner. I'm goin' to have a great dinner, an' I've cooked ev'ry single thing of it myself! I want to show you what a fine Christmas dinner your daughter-'n-law can get up. Dinner's at two, an' I want you to come at eleven. Will you?"

Mrs. Palmer had sat down, weakly. Trembling was not the word to describe the feeling that had taken possession of her. She was shivering. She wanted to fall down on her knees and put her arms around her son's wife, and sob out all her loneliness and heartache. But life is a stage; and Miss Presly was an audience not to be ignored. So Mrs. Palmer said: "Well, I'll be reel glad to come, Emarine. It's offul kind o' yuh to think of 't. It 'u'd 'a' be'n lonesome eatin' here all by myself, I expect."

Emarine stood up. Her heart was like a thistle-down. Her eyes were shining. "All right," she said; "an' I want that you sh'u'd [pg 75] come just at eleven. I must run right back now. Good-night."

"Well, I declare!" said Miss Presly. "That girl gits prettier ev'ry day o' her life. Why, she just looked full o' glame to-night!"

Orville was not at home when his mother arrived in her rusty best dress and shawl. Mrs. Endey saw her coming. She gasped out, "Why, good grieve! Here's Mis' Parmer, Emarine!"

"Yes, I know," said Emarine, calmly. "I ast her to dinner."

She opened the door, and shook hands with her mother-in-law, giving her mother a look of defiance that almost upset that lady's gravity.

"You set right down, Mother Parmer, an' let me take your things. Orville don't know you're comin', an' I just want to see his face when he comes in. Here's a new black shawl fer your Christmas. I got mother one just like it. See what nice long fringe it's got. Oh, my! don't go to cryin'! Here comes Orville."

She stepped aside quickly. When her husband entered his eyes fell instantly on his mother, weeping childishly over the new shawl. She was in the old splint rocking-chair with the high back. "Mother!" he cried; then he gave a frightened, tortured glance at his wife. Emarine smiled at him, but it was through tears.

"Emarine ast me, Orville—she ast me to dinner o' herself! An' she give me this shawl. I'm—cryin'—fer—joy—"

"I ast her to dinner," said Emarine, "but she ain't ever goin' back again. She's goin' to stay. I expect we've both had enough of a lesson to do us."

Orville did not speak. He fell on his knees and laid his head, like a boy, in his mother's lap, and reached one strong but trembling arm up to his wife's waist, drawing her down to him.

Mrs. Endey got up and went to rattling things around on the table vigorously. "Well, I never see sech a pack o' loonatics!" she exclaimed. "Go an' burn all your Christmas dinner up, if I don't look after it! Turncoats! I expect they'll both be fallin' over theirselves to knuckle down to each other from now on! I never see!"

But there was something in her eyes, too, that made them beautiful.


By Sir Robert Ball,

Lowndean Professor of Astronomy and Geometry at Cambridge, England; formerly Royal Astronomer of Ireland.

There is a story told of a well-intentioned missionary who tried to induce a Persian fire-worshipper to abandon the creed of his ancestors. "Is it not," urged the Christian minister, "a sad and deplorable superstition for an intelligent person like you to worship an inanimate object like the sun?" "My friend," said the old Persian, "you come from England; now tell me, have you ever seen the sun?" The retort was a just one; for the fact is, that those of us whose lot requires them to live beneath the clouds and in the gloom which so frequently brood over our Northern latitudes, have but little conception of the surpassing glory of the great orb of day as it appears to those who know it in the clear Eastern skies. The Persian recognizes in the sun not only the great source of light and of warmth, but even of life itself. Indeed, the advances of modern science ever tend to bring before us with more and more significance the surpassing glory with which Milton tells us the sun is crowned. I shall endeavor to give in this article a brief sketch of what has recently been learned as to the actual warmth which the sun possesses and of the prodigality with which it pours forth its radiant treasures.

I number among my acquaintances an intelligent gardener who is fond of speculating about things in the heavens as well as about things on the earth. One day he told me that he felt certain it was quite a mistake to believe, as most of us do believe, that the sun up there is a hot, glowing body. "No," he said; "the sun cannot be a source of heat, and I will prove it. If the sun were a source of heat," said the rural philosopher, "then the closer you approached the sun the warmer you would find yourself. But this is not the [pg 76] case, for when you are climbing up a mountain you are approaching nearer to the sun all the time; but, as everybody knows, instead of feeling hotter and hotter as you ascend, you are becoming steadily colder and colder. In fact, when you reach a certain height, you will find yourself surrounded by perpetual ice and snow, and you may not improbably be frozen to death when you have got as near to the sun as you can. Therefore," concluded my friend, triumphantly, "it is all nonsense to tell me the sun is a scorching hot fire."

Professor C. A. Young, writing to the editor of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE, pronounces this "still the best photograph of the entire sun" with which he is acquainted.

I thought the best way to explain the little delusion under which the worthy gardener labored was to refer him to what takes place in his own domain. I asked him wherein lies the advantage of putting his tender plants into his greenhouse in November. How does that preserve them through the winter? How is it that even without artificial heat the mere shelter of the glass will often protect plants from frost? I explained to him that the glass acts as a veritable trap for the sunbeams; it lets them pass in, but it will not let them escape. The temperature within the greenhouse is consequently raised, and thus the necessary warmth is maintained. The dwellers on this earth live in what is equivalent, in this respect, to a greenhouse. There is a copious atmosphere above our heads, and that atmosphere extends to us the same protection which the glass does to the plants in the greenhouse. The air lets the sunbeams through to the earth's surface, and then keeps their heat down here to make us comfortable. When you climb to the top of a high mountain you pass through a large part of the air. This is the reason why you feel warmer on the surface of the earth than you do on the top of a high mountain. If, however, it were possible to go very much closer to the sun; if, for example, the earth were to approach within half its present distance, it is certain that the heat would be so intense that all life would be immediately scorched away.

It will be remembered that when Nebuchadnezzar condemned the unhappy Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be cast into the burning fiery furnace, he commanded in his fury that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated. Let us think of the hottest furnace which the minions of Nebuchadnezzar [pg 77] could ever have kindled with all the resources of Babylon; let us think indeed of one of the most perfect of modern furnaces, in which even a substance so refractory as steel, having first attained a dazzling brilliance, can be melted so as to run like water; let us imagine the heat-dispensing power of that glittering liquid to be multiplied sevenfold; let us go beyond Nebuchadnezzar's frenzied command, and imagine the efficiency of our furnace to be ten or twelve times as great as that which he commanded—we shall then obtain a notion of a heat-giving power corresponding to that which would be found in the wonderful celestial furnace, the great sun in heaven.

From a photograph by Russel & Sons, London.

Ponder also upon the stupendous size of that orb, which glows at every point of its surface with the astonishing fervor I have indicated. The earth on which we stand is no doubt a mighty globe, measuring as it does eight thousand miles in diameter; yet what are its dimensions in comparison with those of the sun? If the earth be represented by a grain of mustard seed, then on the same scale the sun should be represented by a cocoanut. Perhaps, however, a more impressive conception of the dimensions of the great orb of day may be obtained in this way. Think of the moon, the queen of the night, which circles monthly around our heavens, pursuing, as she does, a majestic track, at a distance of two hundred and forty thousand miles from the earth. Yet the sun is so vast that if it were a hollow ball, and if the earth were placed at the centre of that ball, the moon could revolve in the orbit which it now follows, and still be entirely enclosed within the sun's interior.

For every acre on the surface of our globe there are more than ten thousand acres on the surface of the great luminary. Every portion of this illimitable desert of flame is pouring forth torrents of heat. It has indeed been estimated that if the heat which is incessantly flowing through any single square foot of the sun's exterior could be collected and applied beneath the boilers of an Atlantic liner, it would suffice to produce steam enough to sustain in continuous movement those engines of twenty thousand horse-power which enable a superb ship to break the record between Ireland and America.

The solar heat is shot forth into space in every direction, with a prodigality which seems well-nigh inexhaustible. No doubt the earth does intercept a fair supply of sunbeams for conversion to our many needs; but the share of sun-heat that the dwelling-place of mankind is able to capture and employ forms only an infinitesimal fraction of what the sun actually pours forth. It would seem, indeed, very presumptuous for us to assume that the great sun has come into existence solely for the benefit of poor humanity. The heat and light daily lavished by that orb of incomparable splendor would suffice to warm and illuminate, quite as efficiently as the earth is warmed and lighted, more than two thousand million globes each as large as the earth. If it has indeed been the scheme of nature to call into existence the solar arrangements on their present scale for the solitary purpose of [pg 78] cherishing this immediate world of ours, then all we can say is that nature carries on its business in the most outrageously wasteful manner.

What should we think of the prudence of a man who, having been endowed with a splendid fortune of not less than twenty million dollars, spent one cent of that vast sum usefully and dissipated every other cent and every other dollar of his gigantic wealth in mere aimless extravagance? This would, however, appear to be the way in which the sun manages its affairs, if we are to suppose that all the solar heat is wasted save that minute fraction which is received by the earth. Out of every twenty million dollars' worth of heat issuing from the glorious orb of day, we on this earth barely secure the value of one single cent; and all but that insignificant trifle seems to be utterly squandered. We may say it certainly is squandered so far as humanity is concerned. No doubt there are certain other planets besides the earth, and they will receive quantities of heat to the extent of a few cents more. It must, however, be said that the stupendous volume of solar radiation passes off substantially untaxed into space, and what may actually there become of it science is unable to tell.

And now for the great question as to how the supply of heat is sustained so as to permit the orb of day to continue in its career of such unparalleled prodigality. Every child knows that the fire on the domestic hearth will go out unless the necessary supplies of wood or coal can be duly provided. The workman knows that the devouring blast furnace requires to be incessantly stoked with fresh fuel. How, then, comes it that a furnace so much more stupendous than any terrestrial furnace can continue to pour forth in perennial abundance its amazing stores of heat without being nourished by continual supplies of some kind? Professor Langley, who has done so much to extend our knowledge of the great orb of heaven, has suggested a method of illustrating the quantity of fuel which would be required, if indeed it were by successive additions of fuel that the sun's heat had to be sustained. Suppose that all the coal seams which underlie America were made to yield up their stores. Suppose that all the coal fields of England and Scotland, Australia, China, and elsewhere were compelled to contribute every combustible particle they contained. Suppose, in fact, that we extracted from this earth every ton of coal it possesses, in every island and in every continent. Suppose that this vast store of fuel, which is adequate to supply the wants of this earth for centuries, were to be accumulated in one stupendous pile. Suppose that an army of stokers, arrayed in numbers which we need not now pause to calculate, were employed to throw this coal into the great solar furnace. How long, think you, would so gigantic a mass of fuel maintain the sun's expenditure at its present rate? I am but uttering a deliberate scientific fact when I say that a conflagration which destroyed every particle of coal contained in this earth would not generate so much heat as the sun lavishes abroad to ungrateful space in the tenth part of every single second. During the few minutes that the reader has been occupied over these lines, a quantity of heat which is many thousands of times as great as, the heat which could be produced by the ignition of all the coal in every coal-pit in the globe has been dispersed and totally lost to the sun.

But we have still one further conception to introduce before we shall have fully grasped the significance of the sun's extravagance in the matter of heat. As the sun shines to-day on this earth, so it shone yesterday, so it shone a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago; so it shone in the earliest dawn of history; so it shone during those still remoter periods when great animals flourished which have now vanished forever; so it shone during that remarkable period in earth's history when the great coal forests flourished; so it shone in those remote ages many millions of years ago when life began to dawn on an earth which was still young. There is every reason to believe that throughout these illimitable periods which the imagination strives in vain to realize, the sun has dispensed its radiant treasures of light and warmth with just the same prodigality as that which now characterizes it.

We all know the consequences of wanton extravagance. We know it spells bankruptcy and ruin. The expenditure of heat by the sun is the most magnificent extravagance of which human knowledge gives us any conception. How have the consequences of such awful prodigality been hitherto averted? How is it that the sun is still able to draw on its heat reserves from second to second, from century to century, from eon to eon, ever squandering two thousand million times as much heat as that which genially warms our temperate regions, as that which draws forth the exuberant vegetation of the tropics, or which rages in the Desert of Sahara? This is indeed a great problem.

[pg 79]

It was Helmholtz who discovered that the continual maintenance of the sun's temperature is due to the fact that the sun is neither solid nor liquid, but is to a great extent gaseous. His theory of the subject has gained universal acceptance. Those who have taken the trouble to become acquainted with it are compelled to admit that the doctrine set forth by this great philosopher embodies a profound truth.

. By permission of Longmans, Green & Co., from "Old and New Astronomy," by Richard A. Proctor.

Even the great sun cannot escape the application of a certain law which affects every terrestrial object, and whose province is wide as the universe itself. Nature has not one law for the rich and another for the poor. The sun is shedding forth heat, and therefore, affirms this law, the sun must be shrinking in size. We have learned the rate at which this contraction proceeds; for among the many triumphs which mathematicians have accomplished must be reckoned that of having put a pair of callipers on the sun so as to measure its diameter. We thus find that the width of the great luminary is ten inches smaller to-day than it was yesterday. Year in and year out the glorious orb of heaven is steadily diminishing at the same rate. For hundreds of years, aye, for hundreds of thousands of years, this incessant shrinking has gone on at about the same rate as it goes on at present. For hundreds of years, aye, for hundreds of thousands of years, the shrinking still will go on. As a sponge exudes moisture by continuous squeezing, so the sun pours forth heat by continuous shrinking. So long as the sun remains practically gaseous, so long will the great luminary continue to shrink, and thus continue its gracious beneficence. Hence it is that for incalculable ages yet to come the sun will pour forth its unspeakable benefits; and thence it is that, for a period compared with which the time of man upon this earth is but a day, summer and winter, heat and cold, seedtime and harvest, in their due succession, will never be wanting to this earth.

[pg 80]



By Robert Harborough Sherard.

Extreme dignity is the leading characteristic of Thomas Henry Hall Caine as a man, just as extreme conscientiousness is his leading characteristic as a writer. He possesses in a high degree the sense of the responsibility which an author owes to the public and to himself. It is on account of these facts that the story of his uneventful life and brilliant literary career is a highly interesting one. It shows how, by firmness of principle and a high respect of the public and himself, a man of undoubted genius has been enabled to raise himself to a position in the English-speaking worlds to which few men of letters have ever attained—a position which may be compared to that of a vates amongst the Romans, of a prophet in Israel.

Hall Caine, as his double name implies, comes of the mixed Norse and Celtic race which constitutes the population of the Isle of Man. Hall, his mother's name, is Norse, and is common to this day in Iceland, from which the Norsemen came to Manxland. Caine, which means "a fighter with clubs," is Celtic. Hall Caine himself, with his ruddy beard and hair and distinctive features, has inherited rather the physical characteristics of his maternal ancestors, the Norsemen.


He comes of a stock of crofters, or small farmers, who for centuries had supported themselves by tilling the soil and fishing the sea. He is the first of all his line who ever worked his brain for a living. His grandfather, who had a farm of sixty acres in the beautiful parish of Ballaugh, which lies between Peel and Ramsey, was a wastrel, fond of the amusements and dissipations to be found in Douglas, and alienated his small property, so that, at the age of eighteen, his son, Hall Caine's father, was for a living obliged to apprentice himself to a blacksmith at Ramsey. When he had learned his trade he removed, in the hopes of finding more [pg 81] remunerative employment, to Liverpool. Here, however, he found it so hard to support himself as a blacksmith that he set to work to learn the trade of ship's smith—a remunerative one in those days, when Liverpool was the centre of the ship-building trade. He became a skilled worker, and at the time of his marriage was able to command a wage of thirty-six shillings a week, in addition to what he was able to earn by piece work. It was whilst engaged on a [pg 82] piece of work on a ship at Runcorn, in Cheshire, that on May 14, 1853, the child was born—his second son—to whom he gave the names of Thomas Henry Hall. Runcorn can thus claim to be the birthplace of the famous writer, although his birth there was a mere accident, and not more than ten days of his life were spent there.

From a photograph by Barraud, London.

From a photograph by Barraud, London.


Hall Caine has no remembrance of the first years which he spent in Liverpool, and his earliest recollections are of life in his grandmother's cottage of Ballavolley, Ballaugh, in the Isle of Man, a house set in a wooded plain surrounded by high mountains which glow, here yellow with the gorse, there purple with the heather. In the foreground is the beautiful old church of Ballaugh, in the cemetery of which many generations of Caines lie at rest; and between the old church and the village lies the curragh land, full of wild flowers and musical with the notes of every bird that uplifts its voice to heaven. Far off can be descried, across the [pg 83] sea, the Mull of Galloway. It is in its rare beauty a spot than which, for a poet's childhood, no fitter could be found.

From a photograph by Alfred Ellis, London.


The Ballavolley cottage was a typical Manx cottage. On one side of the porch was the parlor, which also served as a dairy, redolent of milk and bright with rare old Derby china. On the other side was the living-room, with its undulating floor of stamped earth and grateless hearthstone in the ingle, to the right and left of which were seats. Here in the ingle-nook the little boy would sit watching his aunts cooking the oaten cake on the griddle, over a fire of turf from the curragh and gorse from the hills, or the bubbling cooking-pot slung on the slowrie. One of his earliest recollections is of his old grandmother, seated on her three-legged stool, bending over the fire, tongs in hand, renewing the fuel of gorse under the griddle. The walls of this room were covered with blue crockery ware, and through the open rafters of the unplastered ceiling could be seen the flooring of the bedrooms above. These were very low dormer rooms, with the bed in the angle where the roof was lowest. One had to crawl into bed and lie just under the whitewashed "scraa" or turf roofing, which smelt deliciously with an odor that at times still haunts the cottage lad in statelier homes.

From a photograph by Barton.

Hall Caine's impressions of his life at Ballavolley are vivid—the old preacher at the church, the drinking-bouts of "jough"-beer by the gallon amongst the villagers, the donkey rides upon the curragh. But what it best pleases him to remember are the times when, seated in the ingle-nook, he used to listen to his grandmother telling fairy stories, as she sat at her black oak spinning-wheel, bending low over the whirling yarn. "Hommybeg"—it was a pet name she had given to him—"Hommybeg," she would say, "I will tell you of the fairies." And the story that he liked best to listen to, though it so frightened him that he would run and hide his face in the folds of the blue Spanish cloak which Manx women have worn since two ships of the Great Armada were wrecked upon the island, was the story of how his grandmother, when a lass, had seen the fairies with her own eyes. That was many years before. She had been out one night to meet her sweetheart, and as she was returning in the [pg 84] moonlight she was overtaken by a multitude of little men, tiny little fellows in velvet coats and cocked hats and pointed shoes, who ran after her, swarmed over her, and clambered up her streaming hair.

From a photograph by Abel Lewis, Douglas, Isle of Man.

He was a precocious lad, and knew no greater delight than to read. The first book that he remembers reading was a bulky tome on the German Reformation, about Luther and Melancthon, which he had found. He spent weeks over it, and, staggering under its weight, would carry it out into the hayfield, where, truant to the harvest, he would lie behind the stacks and read and read. One night, indeed, his interest in this book led him to break the rules of his thrifty home—where children went to bed when it was dark, so that candles should not be burned—and light the candles and read on about Luther. He was found thus by one of his aunts as, pails in hand, she returned home from milking the cows. Her anger was great. "Candles lit!" she cried. "What's to do? Candles! Wasting candles on reading, on mere reading!" He was beaten and sent to bed, bursting with indignation at such injustice, for he felt that candles were nothing compared to knowledge. He was a bookish boy, wanting in boyishness, and never played games, but spent his time in reading, not boyish books, indeed, but books in which never boy before took interest—histories, theological works, and, in preference, parliamentary speeches of the great orators, which he would afterwards rewrite from memory. At a very early age he showed a great passion for poetry and was a great reader of Shakespeare. His talent for reading passages of Shakespeare aloud was such that at the school at Liverpool, where he was educated, his schoolmaster, George Gill, used to make him read aloud before all the boys. This caused him great nervous agony, he says, and he suffered horribly. He was a favorite pupil, and, in a school where corporal punishment was inflicted with great severity, was never once beaten. He left school at the age of [pg 85] fifteen and was apprenticed by his father to John Murray, architect and land-surveyor. The lad had no special faculties for architecture beyond possessing a fair knowledge of drawing. When only thirteen he drew the map of England which appeared in the first edition of "Gill's Geography." At this time he had shown no bent for authorship beyond making the transcriptions from memory of the speeches he had read, and writing, for a school competition, a "Life of Joseph," which was not even read by the arbitrator, because it was much too long. It is noticeable, however, that on this "Life of Joseph" he had worked with the same conscientiousness which has distinguished his literary activity through all his career. "I read everything on the subject that I could lay my hands upon," he says, "and spent day and night in working at it." To-day, as then, when Hall Caine has a book to write, he reads every book bearing on his theme which he can obtain—"a whole library for each chapter"—and will work at his subject day and night, all-absorbed, wrapped up, concentrated.


John Murray was agent for the Lancashire estates of W.E. Gladstone, and it was in this way that Hall Caine first became known to the statesman, who from the first has been amongst his keenest admirers. One of the first occasions on which he attracted Mr. Gladstone's attention was one day when he was superintending the surveying of Seaforth, Gladstone's estate. Gladstone was surprised to see so small a lad in charge of the chainmen, and began to talk with him. He must have been impressed by the lad's conversation, for he patted his head and told him he would be a fine man yet. Mr. Gladstone has never forgotten this incident. Some time later, John Murray having failed in the meanwhile, an offer was made to Hall Caine, from the Gladstones, of the stewardship of the Seaforth estate at a salary of one hundred and twenty pound a year. "Although the thought of so much wealth," he relates, "overwhelmed me, I did not see in this offer the prospect of any career—indeed this had been pointed out to me—and I [pg 86] determined to continue in the architect's office." He accordingly attached himself as pupil or apprentice to Richard Owens, the architect.



Hall Caine's first writings for the public were done in the Isle of Man, at the age of sixteen, when he had come over to recruit his health at the house of his uncle, the schoolmaster at Kirk Maughold. At that time the island was divided by a discussion as to the maintenance or abolition of Manx political institutions, and the boy threw himself into this discussion with characteristic ardor. His vehement articles in favor of the maintenance of the political independence, published each week in "Mona's Herald," were full of force. They attracted, however, little notice beyond that of James Teare, Caine's uncle, the great temperance reformer, who admired them justly. He encouraged the boy to write, and told his skeptical relations that if Hall Caine failed as an architect he would certainly be able to make a living with his pen.

A visit to Kirk Maughold will afford to the observer the best insight into Hall Caine's literary temperament. The spirit of the place expounds his spirit; its genius seems to have entered into him. There are seasons when this headland height lies serene and calm, wrapped in such loveliness of light on sea and land that the heart melts for very ecstasy at the beauty of all things around, the glowing hills, the flowers that are everywhere, the sea beyond, the tenderness, the color, the native poetry of it all. There are seasons, too, of strife and hurricane, of titanic forces battling in the air, when vehement and irresistible winds burst forth to make howling havoc on the bleakest heights—so they seem then—that man's foot ever trod. There are times when not one harebell nods its head in the calm air, not one seed falls from the feathered grass, in the tender serenity of a quiet world; and there are times, too, when Nature aroused puts forth her terrible strength, so that man ventures abroad at his great peril, and ropes must be stretched along the roads by which the unwary wanderer may [pg 87] drag his storm-tossed body home. In Hall Caine's work we also find these extremes of tenderness and its calm, of passion and its riot.

On his return to Liverpool, encouraged by what James Teare had said, Hall Caine continued to write. No longer, however, on political questions, but on the subjects with which his profession had familiarized him. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty this boy wrote learned leading articles on building, land-surveying, and architecture for "The Builder." George Godwin, the editor of this leading periodical, could not believe his eyes when he first met his contributor. Hall Caine was then nineteen. "I felt terribly ashamed of being so young," he says, in speaking of this interview.


From a photograph taken specially for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE, by George B. Cowen, Ramsey, Isle of Man. Mr. Morrison is an artist who has lately painted a portrait of Mr. Caine.

It was about this time that he returned to the Isle of Man, tired of architecture. His uncle died, and there was no schoolmaster at Kirk Maughold school. So Hall Caine became schoolmaster, and for about six months kept a mixed school on the bleak headland. He is still remembered as a schoolmaster, and last year, when "The Manxman" was appearing in serial publication, his grown-up scholars used to gather at a farm near Kirk Maughold school and listen to the schoolmaster reading the story as each instalment came out.

The six months of his schoolmastership were a period of great activity. It was the time of the Paris Commune, and, a rabid Communist, Hall Caine read Communist and socialistic literature with avidity. He contributed violent propagandist articles to "Mona's Herald," in which three years previously he had preached the virtues of conservatism, and attracted the attention of John Ruskin by his eulogies of Ruskin's work with his recently founded Guild of St. George. His leisure was spent in his workshop, and during this period he not only carved a tombstone for his uncle's grave, but built a house—Phoenix cottage—both of which are still standing and may be seen. It was a happy time, a time of inspiration; and it may be, from the sympathy between the man and the place, that Hall Caine would have stayed on at Kirk Maughold had not a most imperative letter from Richard Owens, which said that it was deplorable that he should be throwing his life away in such occupations, recalled him to Liverpool. To Liverpool accordingly he returned, to work as a draughtsman, and fired withal with a double ambition—for one thing to win fame as a poet, for another to succeed as a dramatist. Already in 1870 he had written a long poem, which was published in 1874 anonymously by an enterprising Liverpool publisher. About this poem George Gilfillan, to whom Hall Caine sent it in 1876, wrote that there was much in it that he admired, that it had the ring of genius, but that in parts it was spoiled by affectations of language which could, however, be remedied. Of the same poem, Rossetti, to whom it was also sent, wrote that it contained passages of genius. As a dramatist, Hall Caine wrote, at this period in his career, a play called "Alton [pg 88] Locke." founded on Kingsley's story. It was shown to Rousby, the actor-manager, who liked "the promise that it showed" and asked Hall Caine to write a play to his order. At that time he looked upon himself as a dramatist, and indeed still hopes to achieve as such—when he shall have tired of the novel as a vehicle and shall have learned, the present object of his closest study, the technicalities of the stage—a success as great as that which has attended his novels. Many of his friends, indeed, hope for even better things from him as a dramatist; and Blackmore, for instance, hardly ever writes to him without repeating that, great as has been his success as a novelist, it will be nothing to his success when he gets possession of the stage.

From a photograph by J. E. Bruton, Douglas, Isle of Man.


Till the age of twenty-four he remained in Liverpool, earning his living in a builder's office, lecturing, starting societies, working as secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and writing for the papers. His lectures on Shakespeare attracted the attention of Lord Houghton, who expressed a desire to meet him. A meeting was arranged at the house of Henry Bright (the H.A.B, of Hawthorne); and the first thing that Lord Houghton, the biographer of Keats, said when Hall Caine came into the room was: "You have the head of Keats." He predicted that the young author would become a great critic. Another of Hall Caine's lectures, delivered during this period, "The Supernatural in Poetry," brought a long letter of eulogy from Matthew Arnold. His lecture on Rossetti won him the friendship of this great man, a correspondence ensued, and when Caine was twenty-five years old, Rossetti wrote and asked him to come up to London to see him. Caine went and was received most cordially.

"He met me on the threshold of his house," he relates, "with both hands outstretched, and drew me into his studio. That night he read me 'The King's Tragedy.'"

During the evening Rossetti asked him to remove to London and invited him to his house; at the same time—it may be to prepare him for their common life—he showed him, to Caine's horror, what a slave he had become to the chloral habit.


It was not until many months later that Hall Caine determined to accept Rossetti's invitation, and went to share his monastic seclusion in his gloomy London house. In the meanwhile, and in this Rossetti had helped him by correspondence, he had edited for Elliot Stock an anthology of English sonnets, which was published under the title of "Sonnets of Three Centuries." For his work in [pg 89] connection with this volume Hall Caine received no remuneration. Indeed, at this period in his career the earnings of the writer who can to-day command the highest prices in the market, were very small indeed. His average income was two hundred and sixty pounds (thirteen hundred dollars), and of this two hundred pounds was earned as a draughtsman. When he went to live with Rossetti he had about fifty pounds (two hundred and fifty dollars) of money saved, to which he was afterwards able to add a sum of one hundred pounds, which Rossetti insisted on his accepting as his commission on the sale of Rossetti's picture, "Dante's Dream." It may be mentioned, to dispel certain misstatements, that this was the only financial transaction which took place between the two friends. His life in Rossetti's house was the life of a monk, seeing nobody except Burne-Jones (whom, as Ruskin will have it, he resembles closely), going nowhere and doing little. "I used to get up at noon," he says, "and usually spent my afternoon in walking about in the garden. I did not see Rossetti till dinner-time, but from that hour till three or four in the morning we were inseparable." It has been stated that Caine owed much of his success in literature to Rossetti. This is only partly true. His introduction to literary society in London under Rossetti's wing was harmful rather than advantageous to him, for it prejudiced people against him; and his connection with Rossetti, which was that of a spiritual son with a spiritual father, was misrepresented. He was spoken of as Rossetti's secretary, even as Rossetti's valet. On the other hand, so young a man could not but derive benefit from the society of so refined an artist, who had no thought nor ambition outside his art. And, in a practical way, Rossetti also benefited him. When he first came to Rossetti's house he was under an engagement to deliver twenty-four lectures on "Prose Fiction" in Liverpool, and in preparation of these lectures began studying the English novelists.


"One day Rossetti suggested that, instead of reading these novels alone, I should read them aloud to him. From that day on, night after night, for months and months, I used to read to him. I read Fielding and Smollett, Richardson, Radcliffe, 'Monk' Lewis, Thackeray, and Dickens, under a running fire of comment and criticism from Rossetti. It was terrible labor, this reading for hours night after night, till dawn came and I could drag myself wearily upstairs to bed. But it was a very useful study, and this is indeed the debt which I owe to Rossetti."

Rossetti died on Easter Day, 1882, at the seashore, near Margate, in Hall Caine's arms. It shows the extent of their friendship that, the bungalow being crowded that night, Caine readily offered to sleep in the death-chamber. "It is Rossetti," he said.


Hall Caine then returned to London, and whilst continuing to contribute to various papers, and notably to the "Liverpool Mercury," to which he was attached for years, he wrote his "Recollections of Rossetti," which brought him forty pounds (two hundred dollars) and attracted some attention in literary circles, without, however, enhancing his reputation with the general public. This was followed by "Cobwebs of Criticism," the title he gave to a collection of critical essays, originally delivered as lectures. This book did nothing for him in any way. All this while he had [pg 90] been hankering after novel-writing, and, though Rossetti had always urged him to become a dramatist, he had also encouraged him to write novels, advising him to become the novelist of Manxland. "There is a career there," he used to say, "for nothing is known about this land." The two friends had discussed Hall Caine's plot of "The Shadow of a Crime," which Rossetti had found "immensely powerful but unsympathetic," and it was with this novel that Hall Caine began his career as a writer of fiction. He had married in the meanwhile, and with forty pounds (two hundred dollars) in the bank and an assured income of a hundred (five hundred dollars) a year from the "Liverpool Mercury," he went with his wife to live in a small house in the Isle of Wight, to write his book. "I labored over it fearfully," he says, "but not so much as I do now over my books. At that time I only wanted to write a thrilling tale. Now what I want in my novels is a spiritual intent, a problem of life." "The Shadow of a Crime" appeared first in serial form in the "Liverpool Mercury," and was published in book form by Chatto & Windus in 1885. For the book rights Hall Caine received seventy-five pounds (three hundred and seventy-five dollars), which, with the one hundred pounds (five hundred dollars) from the "Liverpool Mercury," is all that he has ever received from a book which is now in its seventeenth edition. "It had a distinguished reception," he says. "Indeed, it was received with a burst of eulogy from the press; but at the time it produced no popular success, and made no difference in my market value."

There is no man living, perhaps, who has more contempt for money than Hall Caine, revealing himself in this also a true artist; yet to exemplify to a confrère the practical value of what he calls the "literary statesmanship" which he has practised throughout his career, he will sometimes show the little book in which are entered the receipts from his various works. No more striking argument in favor of conscientiousness and literary dignity could be found than that afforded by a comparison between the first page of this account book and the last.



A time of need followed, during which Hall Caine beat the streets of London in search of work. He offered himself as a publisher's reader in various houses, and was roughly turned away. He suffered slights and humiliations; but these only strengthened his resolve. In this respect he reminds one of Zola, whom slights and humiliations only strengthened also; and in this connection it may be mentioned that there hangs in Hall Caine's drawing-room, in Peel, a pen-and-ink portrait which one mistakes for that of Emile Zola, till one is told that it is the picture of Hall Caine.

The reverses, which it now pleases him to remember, in no wise daunted him. There was his wife and "Sunlocks," his little son, to be provided for; and with fine determination he set to work. In the year 1886 he wrote a "Life of Coleridge" and finished his second novel, "A Son of Hagar." On the fly-leaf of his copy of the "Life of Coleridge" are written the words: "N.B—This book was begun October 8, 1886. It was not touched after that date until October 15th or 16th, and was finished down to last two chapters by November 1st. Completed December 4th to 8th—about three weeks in all. H.C." It is an excellent piece of work, but Caine regrets now that he threw away on a book of this kind all his knowledge of [pg 91] his subject. "I could have written the Life of Coleridge," he says.

"A Son of Hagar" produced three hundred pounds (fifteen hundred dollars), and has now achieved an immense success, but its reception at the time was a feeble one. Hall Caine ground his teeth and clenched his fist and said: "I will write one more book; I will put into it all the work that is in me, and if the world still remains indifferent and contemptuous, I will never write another." In the meanwhile he had decided to follow Rossetti's advice, to write a Manx novel; and having thought out the plot of "The Deemster," went to the Isle of Man to write it. It was written in six months, in one of the lodging-houses on the Esplanade at Douglas, in a fever of wounded pride. "I worked over it like a galley-slave; I poured all my memories into it," he says. In the meanwhile he maintained his family by journalism, being now connected with the best papers in London. "The Deemster" was sold for one hundred and fifty pounds (six hundred dollars), the serial rights having produced four hundred pounds (two thousand dollars). He would be glad to-day to purchase the copyright back for one thousand pounds. He had great faith in this book.

"Long after we are both dead," he said to his publisher, when they were discussing terms, "this book will be alive." "I was indifferent to its reception," he relates; "I said, that if the public did not take it, that would only prove its damnable folly," Its reception was immense, and "then began for me something like fame."



Offers came in from all sides; the little house in Kent, where he was then living, became the pilgrimage of the publishers. Irving read the book in America, and seeing that there was here material for a splendid play, with himself in the part of the Bishop, hesitated about cabling to the author. In the meanwhile Wilson Barrett had also read the book, and had telegraphed to Kent to ask Hall Caine to come up to London to discuss its dramatization. Hall Caine started, but was forced to leave the train at Derby because a terrible fog rendered travelling impossible. He spent the next ten days in the Isaac Walton Inn, at Dovedale, near Derby, waiting for the fog to lift, and whilst so waiting wrote the first draft of the [pg 92] play, which he entitled "Ben-my-Chree," Barrett was enthusiastic about it, and "Ben-my-Chree" was duly produced for the first time at the Princess Theatre, on May 14, 1888, before a packed house, in which every literary celebrity in London was present. "The reception was enthusiastic; the next day I was a famous man." Notwithstanding its great success on the first night and the splendid eulogies of the press, "Ben-my-Chree" failed to draw in London, and after running for one hundred nights, at a great loss to the management, was withdrawn. It was then taken to the provinces, and was very successful, both there and in America, holding the stage for seven years. It was afterwards reproduced, with some success, in London. This play brought Hall Caine in a sum of one thousand pounds (five thousand dollars), and out of this he bought himself a house in Keswick, where he remained in residence for four years. Having now given up journalism, he devoted himself entirely to fiction and play-writing.


In 1889, he went with his wife to Iceland and spent two months there, for the purpose of studying certain scenes which he wished to introduce into "The Bondman," on which he was then working. Documentation is as much Hall Caine's care in his novels as it is Emile Zola's. "The Bondman," which had been begun in March, 1889, at Aberleigh Lodge, Bexley Heath, Kent, a house of sinister memory—for Caine narrowly escaped being murdered there one night—was finished in October, at Castlerigg Cottage, Keswick, and was published by Heinemann in 1890, with a success which is far from being exhausted even to-day. In this year Hall Caine experienced a great disappointment. He had been commissioned by Sir Henry Irving to write a play on "Mahornet," and had written three acts of it, when such an outcry was made in the press against Irving's proposal to put "Mahomet" on the stage, to the certain offence of British Mohammedans, that Sir Henry telegraphed to him to say that the plan could not be carried out. He offered to compensate Hall Caine for his labor. "I refused, however, to accept one penny," says Caine, "and after relieving my feelings by spitting on my antagonists in an angry article in 'The Speaker,' I finished the play." It was accepted by Willard for production in America, but has not yet been played. "This was a great disappointment," says Caine, "and I had little heart for much work in 1890. I did nothing in that year beyond a hasty 'Life of Christ,' which has never been printed. I had read Renan's 'Life of Christ,' and had been deeply impressed by it, and I had said that there was a splendid chance for a 'Life of Christ' as vivid and as personal from the point of belief as Renan's was from the point of unbelief." This book he wrote, but was not satisfied with it, and has refused to publish it, although only last year a firm of publishers offered him three thousand pounds (fifteen thousand dollars) for the manuscript. "No, I was not satisfied, though I had brought to bear on it faculties which I had never used in my novels. It was human, it was most dramatic, but it fell far short of what I had hoped to do, and I put it away in my cupboard. I hope to rewrite it some day."

In 1891 Hall Caine began to work on "The Scapegoat," and in the spring of that year went to Morocco to fit the scenes to his idea. He suffered there from very bad health, from severe neurosthenia. [pg 93] "I was a 'degenerate,' he says, "à la Nordau." No sooner had "The Scapegoat" been published, than the chief rabbi wrote to him to ask him to go to Russia, to write about the persecutions of the Jews in that country, and in 1892 he started on this mission, which he fulfilled entirely at his own expense, declining all the offers of subsidies made to him by the Jewish Committee. He carried with him for protection against the Russian authorities, a letter from Lord Salisbury to H. M.'s Minister at St. Petersburg, to be delivered only in case of need; and as an introduction to the possibly hostile Jewish Communities, a letter in Hebrew to be presented to the rabbis in the various towns. Lord's Salisbury's letter was never used, but the chief rabbi's introduction secured him everywhere a most hospitable reception.


"I went through the pale of settlement," he relates, "and saw as much of frontier life amongst the Jews as possible and found them like hunted dogs. I, however, got no further than the frontier towns, for cholera had broken out, numerous deaths took place every day, my own health was getting queer, and, to speak plainly, I was frightened. So we turned our faces back and returned home. On my [pg 94] return to London I delivered a lecture before the Jewish Workmen's Club in the East End, in a hall crammed to suffocation. I shall never forget the enthusiasm of the audience, the tears, the laughter, the applause, the wild embraces to which I was subjected."

This was the only use that Hall Caine ever made of all his experiences of his tour in Russia in 1892, which had lasted many months, for when he returned to Cumberland to write the story which was to be called "The Jew," he found the task impossible. "I worked very hard at it, I turned it over in every direction in my mind, but I felt I could not do it. I wanted the experience of a life; I could not enter into competition in their own field with the great Russian novelists. I found it could not be done."


In the meanwhile, circumstances had obliged him to give up Castlerigg Cottage in disgust, and he accordingly removed to the Isle of Man, with the determination of fixing his residence there definitely. For the first six months he lived at Greeba Castle, a very pretty but very lonely house, about half-way between Peel and Douglas, on the Douglas road—and it was there that most of "The Manxman" was written.

"I turned my Jewish story into a Manx story, and 'The Jew' became 'The Manxman.' In my original scheme, Philip was to be a Christian, governor of his province in Russia; Pete, Cregeen, and Kate were to be Jews. I thought that the racial difference between the two rivals would afford greater dramatic contrast than the class difference, and it was only reluctantly that I altered the scheme of my story."

Hall Caine, in speaking of the genesis of "The Manxman," may be induced to show his little pocket-diary for 1893. Against each day during the whole of January and part of February are written the words: "The Jew."

"That means," he will explain, "that all those days I was working at my story in my head."

"The Manxman" was finished at the house in Marine Parade in Peel where Hall Caine is now temporarily residing—a large brick house, which was built for a boarding-house and is certainly not the house for an artist. As he has determined to make his home in the island, he is at present hesitating whether to purchase Greeba Castle, or to build himself a house on the Creg Malin headland at Peel, than which no more wondrous site for a poet's home could be found in the Queen's dominions, overlooking the bay, with the rugged pile of Peel Castle, memory haunted, beyond.

He loves the Manx and they love him. At first "society" in the island objected to his disregard of the conventions. Now he is as popular at Government House, or at the Deemster's, as he is in Black Tom's cottage. But his warmest friends are amongst the peasants and fishermen, from one end of the island to the other. "They are such good fellows," he says, "and such excellent subjects for study for my books. They are current coin for me." So he asks them to supper, and visits them in their houses, and has taught himself their language and their strange intonations as they speak.

In June and July of 1894, whilst in London, Hall Caine wrote a dramatic version of "The Manxman" and offered it to Tree, who, however, refused it, as unlikely to appeal to the sympathies of the fashionable audiences of the Haymarket Theatre. In this version Philip was the central figure. The version which has been played with much success both in America and in the provinces, was written by Wilson Barrett, with Pete as the central figure. It was originally produced in Leeds, on August 20, 1894, and has met with a good reception everywhere except in Manchester and New York. The critics in the latter city wrote that it was a disgrace to the book.

For some years past, Hall Caine has devoted himself to literary public affairs. He is Sir Walter Resant's best supporter in his noble efforts to protect authors and to advance their interests. His ability as a public speaker and a politician of letters is great, and in recognition of this he was asked—a most distinguished honor—in November of last year to open the Edinburgh Literary and Philosophical Institution for the winter session, his predecessors having been John Morley and Mr. Goschen. He is at this writing in America on behalf of the Authors' Society, in connection with the Canadian copyright difficulty. He possesses in a marked degree that sense of solidarity amongst men of letters in which most successful authors are so singularly lacking, and the great power with which his world-wide popularity has vested him is used by him rather in the general interest of the craft than to own advantage.

His life in his home in Peel, in the midst of his family—the old parents, the pretty young wife, and the two bonny lads—is noble in its simplicity, a life of high [pg 95] thinking, when, his success and personal popularity being what they are, he has many temptations to worldliness.

He attributes his success in part to the fact that he has always been a great reader of the Bible.

"I think," he says, "that I know my Bible as few literary men know it. There is no book in the world like it, and the finest novels ever written fall far short in interest of the stories it tells. Whatever strong situations I have in my books are not of my creation, but are taken from the Bible. 'The Deemster' is the story of the prodigal son. 'The Bondman' is the story of Esau and Jacob, though in my version sympathy attaches to Esau. 'The Scapegoat' is the story of Eli and his sons, but with Samuel as a little girl. 'The Manxman' is the story of David and Uriah. My new book also comes out of the Bible, from a perfectly startling source."

Hall Caine does not begin his books with a character or group of characters, like Dickens or Scott, nor with a plot, like Wilkie Collins, nor with a scene, like Black, but with an idea, a spiritual intent. In all his books the central motive is always the same. "It is," he says, "the idea of justice, the idea of a Divine Justice, the idea that righteousness always works itself out, that out of hatred and malice comes Love. My theory is that a novel, a piece of imaginative writing, must end with a sense of justice, must leave the impression that justice is inevitable. My theory is also—on the matters which divide novelists into realists and idealists—that the highest form of art is produced by the artist who is so far an idealist that he wants to say something and so far a realist that he copies nature as closely as he can in saying it."

His methods of work are particular to himself. It is difficult for a visitor in Hall Caine's house to find pens or ink. As a matter of fact, his writing is done with a stylograph pen, which he always carries in his pocket.

"I don't think," he says, "that I have sat down to a desk to write for years. I write in my head to begin with, and the actual writing, which is from memory, is done on any scrap of paper that may come to hand; and I always write on my knee. My work is as follows: I first get my idea, my central moral; and this usually takes me a very long time. The incidents come very quickly, for the invention of incidents is a very easy matter to me. I then labor like mad in getting knowledge. I visit the places I propose to describe. I read every book I can get bearing on my subject. It is elaborate, laborious, but very delightful. I then make voluminous notes. Then begins the agony. Each day it besets me, winter or summer, from five in the morning till breakfast time. I awake at five and lie in bed, thinking out the chapter that is to be written that day, composing it word for word. That usually takes me up till seven. From seven till eight I am engaged in mental revision of the chapter. I then get up and write it down from memory, as fast as ever the pen will flow. The rest of the morning I spend in lounging about, thinking, thinking, thinking of my book. For when I am working on a new book I think of nothing else; everything else comes to a standstill. In the afternoon I walk or ride, thinking, thinking. In the evenings, when it is dark, I walk up and down my room constructing my story. It is then that I am happiest. I do not write every day—sometimes I take a long rest, as I am doing at present—and when I do write, I never exceed fifteen hundred words a day. I do not greatly revise the manuscript for serial publication, but I labor greatly over the proofs of the book, making important changes, taking out, putting in, recasting. Thus, after 'The Scapegoat' had passed through four editions and everybody was praising the book, I felt uneasy because I felt I had not done justice to my subject; so I spent two months in rewriting it and had the book reset and brought out again. The public feeling was that the book had not been improved, but I felt that I had lifted it up fifty per cent."

"I am convinced," he continued, "that my system of writing the book in my head first is a good one. It shows me exactly what I want to say. The mental strain is, of course, immense, and that forces you to go straight to your point; for the mind is not strong enough to indulge in flirtations, in excursions at a tangent, as the pen is apt to do."

Hall Caine was accused, when he began writing, of obscurity, of a predilection for tortuous phrases. "I think that now I have almost gone too far in the other direction," he says; "the critics blame me for a neglect of style. But—you remember the story of Gough and his diamond ring—I am determined not to let any diamond ring get between me and my audience. Writing should not get between the reader and the picture. I take a great joy in sheer lucidity, and if any sentence of mine does not at the very first sight express my meaning, I rewrite it. Obscurity of style indicates that the writer is not entirely master of what he has to say."

[pg 96]
Neighbor King by Collins Shackelford


By Collins Shackelford.

When my husband, Micah Pyncheon, died he left me alone with our baby girl, the farm, an' the grasshoppers. It happened in Kansas, in '76.

You don't mind my crying now, do you? 't seems as though I'd never get the tears all out of me. The time ain't so far away, nor me so old, but that those days spread out before me like a panorama, nat'ral as life. I can feel that hot summer sun, not a cloud in the sky, an' the smell of the bakin' earth movin' all the time in waves of heat until you got dizzy with the motion an' the scent. An' the grasshoppers! You can't know how they came a-flyin' by day an' by night in great brown clouds; how they crept an' crawled an' squirmed through the wheat an' the corn an' the grass, bitin' an' chewin' every green thing, leavin' nothin' but black an' dry shreds, an' the earth more desolate than if a fire had swept over it. They were everywhere out-of-doors; they came into the house—down the chimney when they couldn't get in through the door—an' I've picked their bony bodies out of my pockets many a time, an' knocked 'em off the table so as I might put down a dish. If you killed one, a thousand came to the funeral. All day an' all night you heard the click, click, click of their bodies as they walked about, jumped here an' there, or rubbed against one another. An' poor Micah's body under the blanket—they were all about it, an' I havin' to brush 'em away. Anybody would 'a' cried if they'd been in my place, such a dreary day was that—me an' baby all alone, with the village ten miles off, an' not a soul nearer than neighbor King, three miles away.

Seems to me I don't know how Micah died, it was all so sudden like. All day he'd been out in the sun a-fightin' the hoppers, an' tryin' to work when he wasn't fightin'; an' he came in with his head a hangin' forward an' not a smile on his lips as he put up his hat an' rolled down his sleeves.

"I'm downright discouraged, Miranda," he said at last, lookin' out of the window. "There's no use in standin' up agin natur an' the hoppers. They eat faster'n I can kill 'em, an' in a week the crops 'ull be about all gone. It looks as though when winter comes we won't have anythin' to eat. I b'lieve I've killed ten thousand of those creatures to-day, an' yet they came faster'n drops in a rain-storm."

Then he picked up little Hannah an' lay down on the bed with her in his arms, sayin' no more. I bustled 'round—speakin' nothing, an' as quiet as possible, knowin' how tired in mind an' body the poor man was—an' fixed up a nice supper. When the table was all set, an' the food on it, an' everything as cheerful an' encouragin' as the hoppers would let me make it, I called Micah. But he didn't answer; so I stepped across the room an' put my hand on his face, so as to wake him gently, as I was used to doin'.

Oh, dear! Oh, dear! The loved face was cold and white, an' I give one scream an' fell beside him, knowin' nothin'. Yes, Micah [pg 97] was dead—gone to sleep never to waken, passed from life with little Hannah snuggled in his arms.

No wonder I cry when I remember that lonesome night, holdin' the little one in my arms an' watchin' the still face on the bed, knowin' that nevermore those eyes would look into mine, nevermore those cold lips would speak to me. An' when the mornin' came, gray an' hopeless, there was no one but me an' the baby an' poor Micah's body; an' the hoppers a-creepin' an' a-crawlin' all through the house as if they were a-buyin' of it at auction, a-rustlin' their wings an' a-hustlin' their bodies until I thought theie was a cool wind instead of a hot, breathless mornin'. I covered up the dear face, an', kneelin' by his side, prayed an' cried, an' cried an' prayed. It was all I could do for my husband of three years. I don't know what else I did, what else I thought. I saw nothin', heard nothin', until somebody's hand fell upon my shoulder.

"Why, Mrs. Pyncheon!" was the cry, an' lookin' up through my tears I saw neighbor King a-standin' by me. "I was goin' up the road," he said, "an' thought I'd stop an' say good-mornin'. Where's Micah? In the field, an' you a-cryin' for lonesomeness?"

I answered nothin'; but put up my hand an' pulled back the sheet from the dear dead face.

"My God!" was all he said, an' he staggered back to a chair an' sat in it for five minutes without a word, his face in his hands.

"Madam, forgive me! I never dreamed of such a thing," he cried at last, recoverin' himself; "an' when an' how did it happen?"

I told him the story between sobs, breakin' down every few words. Thank Heaven! it wasn't a long story, or I should have gone crazy before it was told. He was silent for quite a spell, as if he was a-meditatin' over the situation, lookin' mostly at poor Micah as if drawin' ideas from the cold lips.

"Now, Mrs. Pyncheon!" he said finally, in his solemn voice an' grave, slow way of talkin',—"now, Mrs. Pyncheon, you must trust everythin' to me. You're beat out. I've no women folks in my house, as you know; but I'll ride to town an' get an old lady, a friend of mine, to come out an' help you through. I'll see, too, that poor Micah has a coffin an' a minister. Be the brave little woman, Mrs. Pyncheon, that Micah would tell you to be, if he could speak. By sun-down I'll have somebody you can talk to an' who'll cheer you up better than I can. To-morrow—to-morrow we'll bury the poor man!"

When he said this it set me to cryin'. Then it was so still that I looked up an' found myself alone. A-down the road was a line of dust, an' I heard the muffled footfalls of neighbor King's horse on his way to the village.

An' "to-morrow we'll bury him" were words that all that long, lonesome, hot day kept soundin' in my ears as if some one was callin' 'em out with the tickin' of the clock. "Bury him"—an' Micah dead only a few hours! I couldn't believe it, an' would stop an' listen for his whistle at the barn, his talk to the horses, his rattle at the pump, his footfall at the door, until, crazy with waitin,' I'd go over to the bed, pull back the sheet, an' in the still face read why I should never hear those happy sounds again—never again.

Ah, well! The sun went down at last; the long, dreary day was ended, an' in the twilight came back my good neighbor with motherly Mrs. Challen—an'—an'—it hurts me even now to tell it—the coffin for. Micah. In it those two good people softly placed him, an' all that night I watched its shape between me an' the window.


The next day, in the mornin', under the trees in the little grove across from the house, my Micah was laid to rest forever—placed so that when I looked out of the window or the door I could see the mound of earth between the fence of tree limbs [pg 98] woven around it, an' seem' it, know that in that spot was buried one who in my young life was more to me than earth or heaven. I never understood how I got through those two terrible days. I can't remember distinctly. It's all dream-like, as if in a thin, grayish fog. I know that Mrs. Challen held me in her arms—for I was a fragile, girlish thing—like a mother; that the minister said words I never heard; that the strange faces of a few farm people from miles away looked at me; that the grasshoppers were under foot an' in the air an' even on the coffin; but, above all else, I recall, movin' among the other people like somebody from another world, the tall, straight form and sad face of neighbor King. It was neighbor King who managed everything from the minute his hand fell upon my shoulder that mornin' until the last limb was knit into the rough fence around the lonely grave. What would have happened to me without him?

I'm only a woman—one of the weak ones, I s'pose—for I broke down entirely the night after poor Micah was buried, Mrs. Challen said I went crazy; that I'd kneel down at the side of the bed an' cry as if my heart would break; that again an' again I went to the front door an' looked up an' down the lonely, treeless road, an' then to the back door, where I would call "Micah!" "Micah!"—just as I'd been used to callin' him to his meals, an' I'd listen, with my hand to my ear, to hear him answer. Last of all, worst of all, she said, I went staggerin' across the street, an', pushin' through the rough fence, threw myself upon the grave an' begged of the Great Father to give me back the dead that had been so much to me when he was living. I don't wonder at my losing my head. Micah an' I were both so young, an' we had loved each other so much, as common folks often do, that to lose him was robbin' my life of all its brightness an' sweetness.

The mornin' after the funeral neighbor King was round bright an' early, findin' me red-eyed an' weakly.

"Well! well! Mrs. Pyncheon," he began, in what was for him a cheery voice, "what are we a-goin' to do now besides summin' up a little? Are we goin' to our relations?"

"No, Mr. King," I answered, havin' thought over the matter a little, "no, I'm goin' to stay here. I have no relation I want to bother. Here's the place for me an' Hannah. The farm is paid for, an' all I have is here an'—an' over there," turnin' my face to the spot where Micah lay. "If the grasshoppers 'ull let me, I stay."


"Quite right, madam. Very sensible. But, of course, while you can do a good deal, you can't work the farm all alone. That's impossible. I've been givin' the matter some thought, an' intend to [pg 99] help you out, if you'll let me. Suppose we work it on shares? You name my share, ma'am, an' I'll take care that my men look after the hard work for you. The hoppers won't leave much for this year; but what there is you shall have, an' I'll get my share for this year out of next year's crops. I'm glad that suits you. Now, you must not live here alone. One of my men has a sister in the village, a stout, healthy, willin' girl, who wants a home. She'll be glad to come here. I'll try to superintend affairs for you, if you're willin', an' make the best of everything. Oh, we'll keep you in good shape, never fear; but you mustn't mind my askin' questions, so that I can get a knowledge of affairs. Now, don't thank me. I'd rather you wouldn't. Just keep cheerful, an' as long as we've got to live, let's make the best of life."


This was very good from neighbor King—somethin' you wouldn't expect from such a sad or solemn-lookin' man, a man so quiet, so reserved, appearin' always as if he had some grief of his own, so that he could sympathize with others in misery. He must have been forty years old, for his dark brown hair was showin' gray around the temples, an' there were deep wrinkles around the corners of his mouth, an' lots of little ones around his deep, sunken brown eyes. It always seemed to me as if he'd been constructed for a minister or a lawyer, an' stopped half way as a farmer. He was no half-acre farmer, but a worker of hundreds of acres; an' my little homestead was only a potato patch alongside of his. The queerest thing about his place was that there wasn't a woman on it. All the work, cookin' an' everything was done by men. Well, girls was scarce in those days an' those parts, an' perhaps that was the reason. Maybe, again, he was afraid of women, an' didn't want 'em bossin' around his work. I didn't know an' didn't care. It was no concern of mine. I only knew he was mighty good to me in my affliction—the truest, steadiest, most unselfish friend a forlorn woman could have; an' every night I prayed for that same neighbor King, askin' the Lord to bless him for the goodness an' kindness he had shown to me.

True enough, the grasshoppers didn't leave me much that year, just enough to keep soul and body together, with economy. The pesky things eat everything from pussly to leaves. I b'lieve they'd 'a' eaten the green out of the sky if they could 'a' got at it. Why, the earth looked as if the devil had gone over it with a brush of brown paint, missin' a spot here an' there that come up green after the critters had got away. There was only one thing they didn't eat, an' that was themselves—more's the pity!

Neighbor King (his other name was Horace, I found out [pg 100] afterwards) watched my farm matters pretty closely the second year. He tended to my interests before his own, because, as he said, I was a widow an' must not suffer. There was hardly a day he did not ride over the little farm to see how things were goin', always stopping at the door to have a cheerful talk, or to give me, when comin' from the village, a crumb or two of news of the big world so far away; an' often he left a newspaper, that I might read myself what was a-goin' on. This man did everything, in his grave, soothin' way, to smooth down my sorrow—not to lead me to forget, for that was impossible—an' make the roadway of my life as pleasant as a country lane hedged in with sweet-smellin' flowers an' alive with birds nestlin' and twitterin' among the buds and blossoms. In this quiet, restful, peaceful way neighbor King came, in three years, to build his life into mine, until, thinkin' matters over, I realized that he was necessary to make that life pleasant. I didn't forget poor Micah—how could I? At the same time I felt that I could not go on alone the balance of my life with the hunger in my heart for some one to love an' to love me. An' he? Well, not a word out of line had been spoken; but I read the change in his eyes, his looks, his manners, in the tones of his voice. Women read where there's neither print nor writin'. I couldn't tell why he should love me, though as women go I was young—fifteen years younger than he, an' fair lookin', an' a worker. I was companionable an' in sympathy with him. Put yourself in my place an' be the lonesome, forlorn creature I was, an' see if you wouldn't love the man who put aside the dark clouds an' gave you sunshine to drown despair, an' a cheerful voice instead of silence. Neither of us spoke. It wasn't necessary. We understood. An' because of that to me the skies were brighter, an' the earth more beautiful, the days fuller of nature's music, an' there was hope an' quiet joy everywhere.


Ah, me! I didn't know it; but behind this sunny life, back of this bit of heaven that came down all around me, was a big, black cloud full of storm. I remember well the evenin' it first began to show itself. I saw neighbor King comin' down the road from the village, on his pony. He didn't stop, as was his habit, but cantered by, head down and reins loose. Then, as if he'd forgotten somethin', he wheeled the horse sharp around, trotted back, threw the bridle over a fence-post, an' came in. I saw somethin' was the matter from the absent-minded way he talked an' by his lookin' mostly at the floor.

Strange, too, he began about crops an' prices; then he had somethin' to say about the village, and from that to livin' in big cities, an' how such places changes people's natures, makin' women different creatures—more bold, more forgetful of friends, less kindly to their sex, than those of the country; an' he said it all as slowly an' softly an' solemnly as those ministers pray who don't think the Lord's deaf. He seemed to be tryin' to get at somethin' by goin' round it; an' I thought that somethin' was me.

"Neighbor King," I said finally, "you always speak so kindly of women folks that it seems odd to me that you never have a woman on your farm; an' odder still that you've never married."

"Mrs. Pyncheon," his face lightin' up like the sky just before sunrise, "you an' I are old an' tried friends, an' I know you'll respect an' keep secret what I'm going to tell you, an' what, to be [pg 101] plain, I came to tell you. I knew, an' I didn't wonder, that you thought it strange I'd never married. The Lord only knows how I hunger for a woman's love, a woman's talk, a woman's presence where I can see her. I would give all I am worth if I could take a good woman by the hand as my wife, an' go forth even to begin life over again. Hunger an' thirst are terrible; but they are easily borne in comparison with the hunger an' thirst for a woman's love that I have endured for years. No one can realize my lonesomeness, Mrs. Pyncheon;" an' reachin' out he caught my hands in his. "I've been your friend for years. You know it. I believe you've been mine. Will you continue such when I keep from you a truth I dare not tell, an' give you in its place a fact that you must know? I know you to be brave an' strong. You'll be so now, an' secret, too—for no one here knows what I'm goin' to tell you. Mrs. Pyncheon, I am a married man."

I couldn't help it; but the news was so sudden an' so startlin' that my hands came away from his with a wrench, an' I drew away, feelin' hurt an' shamed, if not guilty; an' I felt a flush of anger burnin' my cheeks.

"There! there! don't misjudge me, Mrs. Pyncheon. Pity me, instead. I've made no attempt to deceive you. I've been silent, because I could not talk about a matter that was sad an' sacred. Yes, I'm married; but"—an' great tears came into his eyes—"my wife has been hopelessly insane for ten years. You buried Micah an' mourned for him, knowin' he was dead; I buried my wife alive, God knows whether I've grieved for her. She is in an insane asylum. For years I could not break away an' leave her; it seemed so heartless to desert one who had been the joy an' pride of my youth. But the doctor told me that it was death for me if I stayed; that I could not last more than a year goin' on as I'd been livin'. Now you can understand why I am here, solitary an' hopeless, without a friend—unless I can call you one?"

"You never had a truer one, neighbor King," my heart speakin' out its gratitude. "When I think of what you've done for me, an' how you've thought of me, all when the world was the darkest,—why, it seems as if my life was too short in which to say all my prayers for you."

Perhaps I spoke particularly quick an' spirited, an' perhaps my eyes showed more'n I spoke; for he looked very queerly at me for a minute, his face lightin' up in a way it was unused to, an' then he said, "Thank you, Mrs. Pyncheon; I think I understand. I shall not forget this meetin'. Good-by." An', before I knew what he meant to do, he stooped an' kissed my forehead, an' was out of the house before I could speak.

I wasn't angry; I wasn't hurt. If the truth was given, I was delighted; for I, too, was hungry an' thirsty for a little love. I was woman enough to know what that kiss meant. At the same time I grieved for the poor man, chained, so to speak, to a crazy person, bearin' his unseen burden so uncomplainingly, an' doin' God-like [pg 102] work all the year round. But the more I thought over that kiss, the more I realized that between neighbor King an' myself had been suddenly put up a high wall, he on one side, I on the other; an' that in the future I should see him very seldom.

It happened as I thought. Days passed, an' neighbor King came not. The thumpety-thump of his pony no longer sounded along the road. Mornin's and evenin's came an' went, an' not a "howdy-do" in his pleasant voice. I wasn't surprised; I expected as much for a time. Finally, one of the hired men said he'd gone away. Then I put my lips together in a dogged way an' settled down to a lonesome life, cheered a little by the prattle of little Hannah, an' kept from rustin' by the farm work. I was lonesome, very lonesome, when the evenin' shadows crept over the ground, an' the crickets began to sing, the katydids to scold, an' the hoot owl to give his mournful cry over in the grove where Micah lay.


There was daybreak at last, though nearly a month after neighbor King had gone. One of his men brought me a letter—the first I'd had for years—an' I looked at it a long time before I opened it, wondering what strange news it had for me to know, why I should have it, an' what I should do with it now it had come. I knew the writin'. It was neighbor King's. Was it good news, or news to shrivel my heart up as with fire? I tore off an end an' pulled out the sheet. It didn't take long to read it.

Chicago, August 17, 187-.

Mrs. Pyncheon: I find that my wife has been dead a year.

Horace King.

The letter dropped from my hand. It was the heart-breaking end of a love story—the closin' up of one of those little tragedies which the world seldom hears about. Such love stories are happening all the while among poor people, an' so are too common for the way-up world; yet they are full of heartaches, an' hot, droppin' tears, an' great sobs that are like moans. An' so my neighbor King had come to the end of his tragedy; had found the idol of his young life an' love put away in her grave, an' the waitin' an' hopin' was at an end. What that good man must have suffered durin' those ten long years, nobody but himself could know. Now that he was free, possibly he would sell his farm an' go back to the city to live, an' I, to whom he had been so good an' grand, would soon be forgotten. Ah! that was a bitin' thought. It almost crazed me, now that I knew how much I loved him, to think of being left alone to grow old an' wrinkled an' withered, an' no words of comfort to cheer me up along the path walked by nobody but myself. I knew he was too great a man to plough his talents into the soil or to hide the light of his intellect in the jungles of his fields of wheat or corn. That letter made me feel, somehow, that everything was suddenly changed; that my little world was not the same as it had been ten minutes before. The tears came into my eyes, an' I'm not sure but I was sobbin' under a forlorn, lonesome feelin', when I heard a step behind me, an' before I could put away the letter or wipe my eyes, a hand was softly laid upon my shoulder. I sprang to my feet, too frightened to speak. Instantly there was an arm around my neck an' a kiss upon my cheek, an' I heard neighbor King say, with a happy laugh, "It's only me, Miranda. I find I'm here as soon as my letter."

"I thought, you might not be comin' back," I whispered, with quiverin' lips.

"Why, my darling, I've come back for you," he said, bendin' over an' kissin' me again. "Didn't you understand me when I was here last?"

"I thought I did, but wasn't sure. The kiss was a sort of mystery. But it's all plain now, an' I'm so happy;" an' like a little fool was off to cryin' again, this time for gladness, an' he a-holdin' me close in his arms.

This may not read like much of a love story, yet it was a bitter story for me, all in all, during the years from Micah's death to the golden mornin' that brought such sweet relief an' rest. The thought troubles me now an' then, but I don't believe that Micah, if he sees from the other world what I've done, blames me for the change. He knows I can't forget him, an' would not if I could.

Through months an' years of loneliness, of heartaches, of hopin' an' expectin', of draggin' along for no particular purpose, save to keep body an' soul together; with few joys, an' but little else than sighin'; an' the great world made no more for me than a little farm, a little house, an' a voiceless sky above me—what blame, then, have I, if I brightened an' happified my life an' his by makin' neighbor King my husband?

[pg 103]


by Cy Warman,

Author of "A Thousand-mile Ride on the Engine of a 'Flyer.'"

Soul of Sappho, if, to-night,

When my boat is drifting near

Your fair island, spirit bright—

If I sing, and if you hear,

From your island in the sea,

Soul of Sappho, speak to me.

Soul of Sappho, they have said

That your hair, a heap of gold,

Made a halo for your head;

And your eyes, I have been told,

Were like stars. Oh, from the sea,

Soul of Sappho, speak to me!

Constantinople may be considered as the end of the railway system of the earth. Here, if you wish to see more of the Orient, you must take to the sea. There is, to be sure, a projected railway out of the Sultan's city into the interior, but only completed to Angora, three hundred and sixty-five miles. The intention of the projectors was to continue the road down to Bagdad, on the river Tigris, through which they could reach the Persian Gulf.


I had arranged to go to Angora, but found a ten-days' quarantine five miles out of Constantinople, and backed into town, and then made an effort to secure from the office of the titled German who stands for the railway company, some idea of the road, its prospects, probable cost, and estimated earnings, but had my letters returned without a line.

To show them that I was acting in good faith, and willing to pay for what I got, I went with Vincent, the guide (the only guide I ever had), and asked them for some printed matter or photographs, or anything that would throw a little light along the line of their plague-stricken railway; but they still refused to talk. No wonder it has taken these dreamers ten years to build three hundred and sixty miles of very cheap railroad.

It was my misfortune to fall into a little old Austrian-Lloyd steamer called the "Daphne." Before we lifted anchor in the Golden Horn I learned that her boilers had not been overhauled for ten years; and before we reached the Dardanelles I concluded that the sand had not been changed in the pillows for a quarter of a century. I have slept in the American Desert for a period of thirty nights, between the earth and the heavens, and found a better bed than was made by the ossified mattress and petrified pillows of the "Daphne." It was bad enough to breathe the foul air that came up from the camping pilgrims on the main deck; but the first day out we learned that these ugly Armenians, greasy Greeks, and buggy Bedouins would be allowed to come up on the promenade deck and mingle with those who had paid for first-class passage. Poorly clad, half-starved, poverty-stricken people, headed for the Holy Land, came and rubbed elbows with American and European women and [pg 104] children. Of course one sympathizes with these poor, miserable people, but one does not want their secrets.


We left the Bosporus at twilight, crossed the Sea of Marmora during the night, and the next morning were at Gallipoli, where the bird-seeds come from. The day broke beautifully, and the little sea was as calm as a summer lake. By ten o'clock we were drifting down the Dardanelles, which resembles a great river, for the land is always near on either side.

The ship's doctor, who was my guide, at every landing-place kindly pointed out the many points of interest.

"Those pyramids over there," he would say, "were erected by the Turks, to commemorate a victory. Here is where Byron swam the sea from Europe to Asia; and over there is where King Midas lived, whose touch turned piastres to napoleons, and flounders to goldfish. Here, to the left, on that hill, stood ancient Troy."

All things seemed to work together to make the day a most enjoyable one, and just at nightfall the doctor came to me and said:

"See that island over there? That was the home of Sappho."

An hour later we anchored in a little natural harbor, and five of us went ashore. Besides the ship's doctor (whose uniform was a sufficient passport for all), there were in our party a Pole and a Frenchman—both inspectors of revenue for the Turkish government, and splendid fellows—a Belgian, and the writer. We entered a café concert, where one man and five or six girls sat in a sort of balcony at one end of the building and played at "fiddle." The main hall was filled with small tables, at which were Greeks, Arabs, Armenians, Turks, and negroes as black as a hole in the night. Between acts the girls were expected to come down, distribute themselves about, and consume beer and other fluid at the expense of the frequenters.

The girls were nearly all Germans, plain, honest, tired-looking creatures, who seemed half embarrassed at seeing what they call Europeans. One very pretty girl, with peachy checks, who, as we learned, had for several evenings been in the habit of drinking beer with a Greek, sat this evening with a dark Egyptian, almost jet-black. The Greek—a hollow-chested, long-haired fellow—came in, and, the moment he saw the girl with the chalk-eyed Egyptian, turned red, then white, and then whipping out a pistol levelled it at the girl. Nearly all the lights went out, and the girl dropped from the chair. When the smoke and excitement cleared away, it was found that the bullet had only parted the girl's hair, and she was able to take her fiddle and beer when time was called.

At midnight we were rowed back to the boat, with all the poetry knocked out of the isle of Sappho, hoisted anchor, and steamed away. On the whole, however, the day had been most delightful. To [pg 105] me there are no fairer stretches of water for a glorious day's sail than the Dardanelles.

When we dropped anchor again, ten hours later, it was at Smyrna, the garden of Asia Minor. Here I went ashore with my faithful guide the doctor, and found a real railway.


The Ottoman Railway, whose headquarters are at Smyrna, was the first in Asia Minor, and was begun by the English company which continues to do business, thirty-six years ago. William Shotton, the locomotive superintendent, showed us through the shops and buildings. One does not need to be told that this property is managed by an English company. I saw here the neatest, cleanest shops that I have ever seen in any country. There were in the car shops some carriages just completed, designed and built by native workmen who had learned the business with the company, and I have not seen such artistic cars in England or France.

Mr. Shotton explained to me that they found it necessary to ask an applicant his religion before employing him, so as to keep the Greeks and Catholics about equally divided; otherwise, the faction in the majority would lord it over the weaker band to the detriment of the service. An occasional Mohammedan made no difference, but the Greeks and Catholics have it "in" for each other.

The Ottoman Railway Company has three hundred and fifty miles of good railroad, and hope some day to be able to continue across to Bagdad, though it is hinted by people not interested that the Sultan's government favors the sleepy German company, to the embarrassment of the Smyrna people, who have done so much for the development of this marvellously blessed section.

We spent a pleasant day at Smyrna, with its watermelons, Turkish coffee, and camels, and twenty-four hours later we were at the Isle of Rhodes, where the great Colossus was. It was a dark, dreary, windy night, and the Turks fought hard for the ship's ladder; for we had on board a wise old priest from Paris, with a string of six or eight young priests, who were to unload at Rhodes. Despite the cold, raw wind and rain, men came aboard with canes, beads, and slippers made of native wood—for there is a prison, here—and offered them for sale at very low prices.

For the next forty-eight hours our little old ship was walloped about in a boisterous sea, and when we stopped again it was at Mersina, where a little railway runs up to Tarsus. As we arrived at this place after sunset, which ends the Turkish day, we were obliged to lie here twenty-four hours to get landing. An hour before sunset it is twenty-three o'clock, an hour after it is one. That's the way the Turks tell time.


On the morning of the second day after our arrival at this struggling little port, our anchor touched bottom in the beautiful bay of Alexandretta. Here they show you the quiet nook where the whale "shook" Jonah. That was a sad and lasting lesson for the [pg 106] whale, for not one of his kind has been seen in the Mediterranean since. All day we watched them hoist crying sheep and mild-eyed cattle, with a derrick, from row-boats, up over the deck, by the feet, and drop them down into the ship just as carelessly as a boy would drop a string of squirrels from his hand to the ground. The next morning we rode into the only harbor on the Syrian coast, and anchored in front of the beautiful city of Beyrout.

It would take too long to describe this place, even if I had the power. To tell of the road to Damascus, the drives to the hills of Lebanon, through the silk farms; the genial and obliging American consul, and the American college. Here, after nine days and nights, we said "good-by" to the obliging crew of the poor old "Daphne."


For nearly a week the steamers had been passing Jaffa without landing, and the result was that Beyrout and Port Saïd were filled with passengers and pilgrims for the Holy Land. All day the Russian steamer, which we were to take, had been loading with deck or steerage passengers, poorer and sicker and hungrier, if possible, than those on the "Daphne." It was dark when they had finished, and when we steamed out of the harbor we had seven hundred patches of poverty piled up on the deck.

It began to rain shortly, that cold, damp rain that seems to go with a rough sea just as naturally as red liquor goes with crime. For a week or more these miserable, misguided beggars had been carried by Jaffa, from Beyrout to Port Saïd, then from Port Saïd to Beyrout, unable to land. The good captain caused a canvas to be stretched over the shivering, suffering mob that covered the deck, but the pitiless rain beat in, and the wind moaned the rigging, and the ship rolled and pitched and ploughed through the black sea, and the poor pilgrims regretted the trip, in each other's laps. All night, and till nearly noon the next day, they lay there, more dead than alive, and the hardest part of their pilgrimage was yet before them.

If you have ever seen a flock of hungry gulls around a floating biscuit, you can form a very faint idea of a mob of native boatmen storming a ship at Jaffa. Of course, the ladders are filled first, then those who have missed the ladders drive bang against the ship, [pg 107] grab a rope or cable, or anything they can grasp, and run up the iron, slippery side of the ship as a squirrel runs up a tree.


From the top of the ship they began to fire the bags, bundles, and boxes of the deck passengers down into the broad boats that lay so thick at the ship's side as to hide the sea entirely. When they had thrown everything overboard that was loose at one end, they began on the poor pilgrims.

Women, old and young, who were scarcely able to stand up, were dragged to the ladders and down to the last step. Here they were supposed to wait for the boat into which the Arabs were preparing to pitch them, for the sea was still very rough. Now the bottom step of the ladder was in the water, now six feet above, but what did these poor ignorant Russians know about gymnastics? When the rolling sea brought the row-boats up, the pilgrim usually hesitated, while the bare-armed and bare-legged boatmen yelled and wrenched her hands from the chains. By the time the Mohammedans had shaken her loose, and the victim had crossed herself, the ladder was six or eight feet from the small boat; but it was too late to stay her now, even if the Arabs had wished to, but they did not. When she made the sign of the cross, that decided them, and they let her drop. Some waiting Turks made a feeble attempt to catch the sprawling woman, but not much. Sometimes, before one could rise, another woman—for they were nearly all women—would drop upon her bent back. Sometimes, when the first boat was filled, an Arab would catch the pilgrim on his neck, and she could then be seen riding him away, as a woman rides a bicycle. From one boat to another he would leap with his helpless victim, and finally pitch her forward, over his own head, into an empty boat, where she would lie limp and helpless, and regret it some more.

I saw one poor girl, with great heavy boots on her feet, with horse-shoe nails in the heels, fall into the bottom of a boat, and, before she could get up, three large women were dropped in her lap. Just then the boat, being full, pulled off, and I saw her faint; her head fell back, and her deathlike face showed how she suffered. It was rare sport for the Mohammedans.

"Jump," they would say to the Christians; "don't be afraid; Christ will save you!"

It was four P.M. when the last of these miserable people, who ought to have been at home hoeing potatoes, left the ship. An hour later a long dark line of smoke was stretching out across the plain of Sharon, behind a locomotive drawing a train of stock cars. These cars held the seven hundred pilgrims bound for Jerusalem. It will be midnight when they arrive at the Holy City, and they will have no money and no place to sleep. Ah, I forgot. They will go to the Russian hospice, where they will find free board and lodging. It is kind and thoughtful in the Russian church people to care for those [pg 108] poor pilgrims, now that they are here, but it is not right nor kind to encourage them to come. It will be strangely interesting to them at first, but when they have seen it all, there will be nothing for them but idleness. Nothing to do but walk, walk, up the valley of Jehoshaphat and down the road to Bethlehem.


Nearly all the "places of interest" in and about Jerusalem have been collected together, and are now exhibited under one roof, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Most travellers go there first, but they should not. One should go first to the Mount of Olives, survey, and try to understand the country. It is easy to believe that this is the original mount. There, at your feet, is the Garden of Gethsemane, and beyond the gulch of Jehoshaphat (for it is not a valley) is the dome of the marvellous Mosque of Omar. It is easy to believe, also, that the dome of this mosque covers the rock where Abraham was about to offer up his son, for it is surely the highest point on Mount Moriah.

Looking along the wall you can see the Golden Gate, with the decay of which, the Mohammedans say, will come the fall of Islam, just as the Sultan's power shall pass away when the last sacred dog dies. Looking down the cañon you see the old King's Garden, the pool of Siloam, the Virgin's Well, and, farther down, some poor houses where the lepers live. Still farther, fourteen miles away, and four thousand feet below you, lies the deep Dead Sea, beyond which are the hills of Moab. If you have been lucky enough to come up here without a guide or dragoman with a bosom full of ivory-handled revolvers and long knives, you will sit for hours spellbound. The guide tries too hard to give you your money's worth. He will not allow you to muse over these things, which are reasonably real and true, but will tell you the most marvellous stories, which you cannot believe. He will show you the grave of Moses, and I am told that the Scriptures say, "No man knoweth where his grave is;" yet, if you doubt, the guide feels hurt. He will ask you to harken to the "going in the mulberries," and if you say you don't hear he is surprised.


I made no notes of Jerusalem, for I did not and do not intend to write of it. It was well done long ago by a man equally innocent and more abroad, and has not changed much since. The Turks are still on guard at the cradle and the grave of Christ, to try and keep the devout Christians from spattering up the walls with each other's blood. The lamps have been carefully and nearly equally divided between the Greeks, Catholics, and Armenians, as well as the space around and the time for worship.

What strikes the traveller most forcibly on seeing Jerusalem for the first time is the littleness of everything. The Mount of Olives is a little mound; Mount Moriah is a scarcely perceptible rise of ground; Mount Zion is a gentle hill; the valley of Jehoshaphat is a deep, ugly gulch, with scarcely enough water in it to wet a postage stamp: and the Tyropoeon Valley is an alley. Then you look at the unspeakable poverty, the dreariness, the miles of piles of hueless rocks, and are interested. The desert is interesting because it is desolate, but it is an awful interest. The people—the beggars that hound you—are as poor, as dwarfed and deformed as the gnarled trees that try to live on the naked rocks.

One day in a narrow street we met two women who nearly blocked the way.

"They are lepers!" cried the guide, pushing me by them. I started to run, for never had the voice of man thrilled and filled me with such fear; but, remembering my photographic machine, I had the guide throw them some coin, and made a picture, but not a good one. I was surprised that the poor beggar near whose feet the money fell made no effort to pick it up, but continued to pray to us, and waited for her companion. Then I saw that there were no fingers on her hands.

[pg 109]



FROM THE HON. THOMAS M. COOLEY, for many years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan, and the first Chairman of the Inter-State Commerce Commission.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, October 24, 1895.

MR. S.S. McCLURE, New York City.

Dear Sir: I have received the daguerreotype likeness you sent me on the 19th inst., and which you understand to be the first ever taken of Mr. Lincoln. I am delighted to have the opportunity to see and inspect it. I think it a charming likeness; more attractive than any other I have seen, principally perhaps because of the age at which it was taken. The same characteristics are seen in it which are found in all subsequent likenesses—the same pleasant and kindly eyes, through which you feel, as you look into them, that you are looking into a great heart. The same just purposes are also there; and, as I think, the same unflinching determination to pursue to final success the course once deliberately entered upon. And what particularly pleases me is that there is nothing about the picture to indicate the low vulgarity that some persons who knew Mr. Lincoln in his early career would have us believe belonged to him at that time. The face is very far from being a coarse or brutal or sensual face. It is as refined in appearance as it is kindly. It seems almost impossible to conceive of this as the face of a man to be at the head of affairs when one of the greatest wars known to history was in progress, and who could push unflinchingly the measures necessary to bring that war to a successful end. Had it been merely a war of conquest, I think we can see in this face qualities that would have been entirely inconsistent with such a course, and that would have rendered it to this man wholly impossible. It is not the face of a bloodthirsty man, or of a man ambitious to be successful as a mere ruler of men; but if a war should come involving issues of the very highest importance to our common humanity, and that appealed from the oppression and degradation of the human race to the higher instincts of our nature, we almost feel, as we look at this youthful picture of the great leader, that we can see in it as plainly as we saw in his administration of the government when it came to his hands that here was likely to be neither flinching nor shadow of turning until success should come.

Very respectfully yours,


FROM HERBERT B. ADAMS, Professor of History in Johns Hopkins University.


S.S. McCLURE, ESQ., 30 Lafayette Place, New York City.

My Dear Mr. McClure: I thank you for a copy of the new portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which I shall promptly have framed and exhibited to my historical students. Indeed, I called it to their attention this morning, and they are all greatly interested in this remarkable likeness of the Saviour of his Country. The portrait indicates the natural character, strength, insight, and humor of the man before the burdens of office and the sins of his people began to weigh upon him. The prospect of a new life of Lincoln, revealing the Man as well as the Statesman, is most pleasing. From the previous work of Miss Tarbell on Napoleon, and from her preliminary sketches of Lincoln's boyhood, I am confident that this new series which you have undertaken to publish [pg 110] will have unique interest for the American people, and prove an unqualified success. The illustrations of the first number are worthy of the subject-matter. You have secured a wonderful combination of literary skill and artistic excellence in the presentation of Lincoln's life.

Very sincerely yours,


FROM HENRY C. WHITNEY, an associate of Lincoln's on the circuit in Illinois, whose unpublished notes have saved from oblivion the great "lost speech" made by Lincoln at Bloomington in 1856, at the first meeting for organizing the Republican party in Illinois. Mr. Whitney's account of this speech will appear later in this Magazine.


My Dear Sir: I am greatly obliged for your early picture of Abraham Lincoln, which I regard as an important contribution to history. It is without doubt authentic and accurate; and dispels the illusion so common (but never shared by me) that Mr. Lincoln was an ugly-looking man. In point of fact, Mr. Lincoln was always a noble-looking—always a highly intellectual looking man—not handsome, but no one of any force ever thought of that. All pictures, as well as the living man, show manliness in its highest tension—this as emphatically as the rest. This picture was a surprise and pleasure to me. I doubt not it is its first appearance. It will be hailed with pleasure by friends of Mr. Lincoln. You ought to put his latest picture (the one I told Miss Tarbell about) with it. This picture was probably taken between December, 1847, and March, 1849, while he was in Congress. I never saw him with his hair combed before.



FROM THE HON. HENRY B. BROWN, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

WASHINGTON, October 23, 1895.

S.S. McCLURE, New York.

Dear Sir: Accept my thanks for the engraving of the earliest picture of Mr. Lincoln. I recognized it at once, though I never saw Mr. Lincoln, and know him only from photographs of him while he was President. I think you were fortunate in securing the daguerreotype from which this was engraved, and it will form a very interesting contribution to the literature connected with this remarkable man. From its resemblance to his later pictures I should judge the likeness must be an excellent one.

Very truly yours,


FROM MAJOR J.W. POWELL, of the United States Geological Survey.

WASHINGTON, October 24, 1895.

My Dear McCLURE: I am delighted with the proof of the portrait of Lincoln from a daguerreotype. His pictures have never quite pleased me, and I now know why. I remember Lincoln as I saw him when I was a boy; after he became a public man I saw him but few times. This portrait is Lincoln as I knew him best: his sad, dreamy eye, his pensive smile, his sad and delicate face, his pyramidal shoulders, are the characteristics which I best remember; and I can never think of him as wrinkled with care, so plainly shown in his later portraits. This is the Lincoln of Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, and Bloomington.

Yours cordially,


[pg 111]

FROM MR. JOHN C. ROPES, author of "The First Napoleon" and "The Story of the Civil War."

99 MOUNT VERNON STREET, BOSTON, October 24, 1895.


My Dear Sir: I thank you for the engraving of the daguerreotype portrait of Mr. Lincoln. It is assuredly a most interesting portrait. The expression, though serious and earnest, is devoid of the sadness which characterizes the later likenesses. There is an appearance of strength and self-confidence in this face, and an evident sense of humor. This picture is a great addition to our portraits of Mr. Lincoln.

With renewed thanks, I am,

Very truly yours,


FROM WOODROW WILSON, Professor of Finance and Political Economy at Princeton.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, October 23, 1895.


My Dear Mr. McCLURE: I thank you very much for the portrait of Lincoln you were kind enough to send me, reproduced from an early daguerreotype. It seems to me both striking and singular. The fine brows and forehead, and the pensive sweetness of the clear eyes, give to the noble face a peculiar charm. There is in the expression the dreaminess of the familiar face without its later sadness. I shall treasure it as a notable picture.

Very sincerely yours,


FROM C. R. MILLER, editor of the New York "Times."

NEW YORK, October 24, 1895.

S. S. McCLURE, ESQ., City.

Dear Mr. McCLURE: I thank you for the privilege you have given me of looking over some of the text and illustrations of your new Life of Lincoln. The portraits are of extraordinary interest, especially the "earliest" portrait, which I have never seen before. It is surprising that a portrait of such personal and historic interest could so long remain unpublished.

Yours very truly,


FROM THE HON. DAVID J. BREWER, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

WASHINGTON, October 24, 1895.

S. S. McCLURE, ESQ., New York.

My Dear Sir: I have yours of 19th inst., accompanied by an engraving of an early picture of Abraham Lincoln. Please accept my thanks for your kindness. The picture, if a likeness, must have been taken many years before I saw him and he became the central figure in our country's life. Indeed, I find it difficult to see in that face the features with which we are all so familiar. It certainly is a valuable contribution to any biography of Mr. Lincoln, and I wish that in some way the date at which it was taken could be accurately determined.

Yours truly,


[pg 112]

FROM MURAT HALSTEAD, for many years editor of the Cincinnati "Commercial Gazette," and now editor of the Brooklyn "Standard-Union."



My Dear Sir: I am under obligations to you for the artist's proof of the engraving of Abraham Lincoln as a young man. It is a surprising good fortune that you have this most interesting and admirable portrait. It is the one thing needed to tell the world the truth about Lincoln. The old daguerreotype was, after all, the best likeness, in the right light, ever made. This is incredibly fine. It shows Lincoln to have been in his youth very handsome, and the stamp of a manhood of noble promise is in this. There is manifest, too, intellectuality. The head is grand, the mouth is tender, the expression composed and pathetic. One sees the possibility of poetry and romance in it. The dress is not careless, but neat and elegant. The elaborate tie of the cravat is most becoming. The chin is magnificent. The length of neck is shaded away by the collars and the voluminous necktie. This young man might do anything important. I cannot understand how this wonderful picture should have been private property so long. It is at once the first and last chapter of the life of Lincoln. The young face of Lincoln, thus far unknown to the world, will be the most famous of all his portraits. It will be multiplied by the million, and be found in every house inhabited by civilized men.


FROM GENERAL FRANCIS A. WALKER, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

BOSTON, October 24, 1895.

S. S. McCLURE, ESQ., 30 Lafayette Place, New York City.

Dear Mr. McCLURE: I am in receipt of your picture of Lincoln. Having seen Mr. Lincoln in the war time, I have not been so dependent upon photographs and engravings as have most of the men of my generation for an impression of Mr. Lincoln's personality. I can, however, say that the present picture has distinctly helped me to understand the relation between Mr. Lincoln's face and his mind and character, as shown in his life's work. It is, far away, the most interesting presentation of the man I have ever seen. To my eye it explains Mr. Lincoln far more than the most elaborate line-engraving which has been produced.

Very truly yours,



HARTFORD, October 24, 1895.

My Dear Mr. McCLURE: The engraving you sent me of an authentic picture of Abraham Lincoln is of very great interest and value. I wish the date could be ascertained. The change from the Lincoln of this portrait to the Lincoln of history is very marked, and shows a remarkable development of character and expression. It must be very early. The deep-set eyes and mouth belong to the historical Lincoln, and are recognizable as his features when we know that this is a portrait of him. But I confess that I should not have recognized the likeness. I was familiar with his face as long ago as 1857, '58, '59. I used often to see him in the United States Court room in Chicago, and hear him, sitting with other lawyers, talk and tell stories. He looked then essentially as he looked when I heard him open in Chicago the great debate with Douglas, and when he was nominated. But the change from the Lincoln of this picture to the Lincoln of national fame is almost radical in character, and decidedly radical in expression.

For the study of the man's development, I think this new old portrait has a peculiar value.

Yours sincerely,