The Project Gutenberg eBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 4, March, 1896

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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 4, March, 1896

Author: Various

Release date: December 10, 2004 [eBook #14319]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

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Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.

McClure's Magazine

March, 1896.

Vol. VI. No. 4



ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By Ida M. Tarbell. 307

Lincoln Is Admitted to the Bar. 310

Lincoln in the Tenth Assembly of Illinois. 312

The Removal of the Capital to Springfield. 315

Lincoln's First Reported Speech. 317

Abraham Lincoln's First Protest Against Slavery. 320

Social Life in Vandalia in 1836 and 1837. 321

Lincoln Moves to Springfield. 322

Lincoln's Position in Springfield. 325

THE SHIP THAT FOUND HERSELF. By Rudyard Kipling. 328


CY AND I. By Eugene Field. 353

A YOUNG HERO. By John Hay. 354

CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. 361

LOST YOUTH. By R.L. Steveson. 369

THE DIVIDED HOUSE. By Julia D. Whiting. 370

SCIENTIFIC KITE-FLYING. By Cleveland Moffett. 379

How to Make a Scientific Kite. 380

How to Send Up a Kite. 382

Runaway Tandems. 383

The Lifting Power of Kites. 384

The Meteorological Use of Kites. 386

The Highest Flight Ever Made by a Kite. 387

Drawing Down Electricity by a Kite-string. 390

The Use of Kites in Photography. 390

Possible Use of Kites in War. 391

A DRAMATIC POINT. By Robert Barr. 393


"Justice, Where Art Thou?" 399

"A Disgrace to Civilization." 399

The Real Lincoln. 400

Lincoln in 1860--J. Henry Brown's Journal. 400











LINCOLN IN 1863 OR 1864.
























































Murray Street. Warren Street.






From an ambrotype taken in Springfield, Illinois, on August 13, 1860, and now owned by Mr. William H. Lambert of Philadelphia, through whose courtesy we are allowed to reproduce it here. This ambrotype was bought by Mr. Lambert from Mr. W.P. Brown of Philadelphia. Mr. Brown writes of the portrait: "This picture, along with another one of the same kind, was presented by President Lincoln to my father, J. Henry Brown, deceased (miniature artist), after he had finished painting Lincoln's picture on ivory, at Springfield, Illinois. The commission was given my father by Judge Read (John M. Read of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania), immediately after Lincoln's nomination for the Presidency. One of the ambrotypes I sold to the Historical Society of Boston, Massachusetts, and it is now in their possession." The miniature referred to is now owned by Mr. Robert T. Lincoln. It was engraved by Samuel Sartain, and circulated widely before the inauguration. After Mr. Lincoln grew a beard, Sartain put a beard on his plate, and the engraving continued to sell extensively. While Mr. Brown was in Springfield painting the miniature he kept a journal, which Mr. Lambert also owns and which he has generously put at our disposal. It will be found on page 400.

[pg 307]


By Ida M. Tarbell.


Letter T

HE first twenty-six years of Abraham Lincoln's life have been traced in the preceding chapters. We have seen him struggling to escape from the lot of a common farm laborer, to which he seemed to be born; becoming a flatboatman, a grocery clerk, a store-keeper, a postmaster, and finally a surveyor. We have traced his efforts to rise above the intellectual apathy and the indifference to culture which characterized the people among whom he was reared, by studying with eagerness every subject on which he could find books,—biography, state history, mathematics, grammar, surveying, and finally law. We have followed his growth in ambition and in popularity from the day when, on a keg in an Indiana grocery, he debated the contents of the Louisville "Journal" with a company of admiring elders, to the time when, purely because he was liked, he was elected to the State Assembly of Illinois by the people of Sangamon County. His joys and sorrows have been reviewed from his childhood in Kentucky to the day of the death of the woman he loved and had hoped to make his wife. These twenty-six years form the first period of Lincoln's life. It was a period of makeshifts and experiments, ending in a tragic sorrow; but at its close he had definite aims, and preparation and experience enough to convince him that he dared follow them. Law and politics were the fields he had chosen, and in the first year of the second period of his life, 1836, he entered them definitely.

The Ninth General Assembly of Illinois, in which Lincoln had done his preparatory work as a legislator, was dissolved, and in June, 1836, he announced himself as a candidate for the Tenth Assembly. A few days later the "Sangamon Journal" published his simple platform:

NEW SALEM, June 13, 1836.


"In your paper of last Saturday I see a communication over the signature of 'Many Voters,' in which the candidates who are announced in the 'Journal' are called upon to 'show their hands.' Agreed. Here's mine:

I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its burdens. Consequently, I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms (by no means excluding females).

If elected, I shall consider the whole people of Sangamon my constituents, as well those that oppose as those that support me.

While acting as their representative, I shall be governed by their will on all subjects upon which I have the means of knowing what their will is; and upon all others, I shall do what my own judgment teaches me will best advance their interests. Whether elected or not, I go for distributing the proceeds of the sales of public lands to the several States, to enable our State, in common with others, [pg 308] to dig canals and construct railroads without borrowing money and paying the interest on it.

"If alive on the first Monday in November, I shall vote for Hugh L. White for President.

"Very respectfully,


The campaign which Lincoln began with this letter was in every way more exciting for him than those of 1832 and 1834. Since the last election a census had been taken in Illinois which showed so large an increase in the population that the legislative districts had been reapportioned and the General Assembly increased by fifty members. In this reapportionment Sangamon County's delegation had been enlarged to seven representatives and two senators. This gave large new opportunity to political ambition, and doubled the enthusiasm of political meetings.

But the increase of the representation was not all that made the campaign exciting. Party lines had never before been so clearly drawn, nor personal abuse quite so intense. One of Lincoln's first acts was to answer a personal attack. He did it in a letter marked by candor, good-humor, and shrewdness.

"NEW SALEM, June 21, 1836.


"I am told that during my absence last week you passed through the place and stated publicly that you were in possession of a fact or facts which, if known to the public, would entirely destroy the prospects of N.W. Edwards and myself at the ensuing election; but that through favor to us you would forbear to divulge them. No one has needed favors more than I, and generally few have been less unwilling to accept them; but in this case favor to me would be injustice to the public, and therefore I must beg your pardon for declining it. That I once had the confidence of the people of Sangamon County is sufficiently evident; and if I have done anything, either by design or misadventure, which if known would subject me to a forfeiture of that confidence, he that knows of that thing and conceals it is a traitor to his country's interest.

"I find myself wholly unable to form any conjecture of what fact or facts, real or supposed, you spoke; but my opinion of your veracity will not permit me for a moment to doubt that you at least believed what you said. I am flattered with the personal regard you manifested for me; but I do hope that on mature reflection you will view the public interest as a paramount consideration and therefore let the worst come.

"I assure you that the candid statement of facts on your part, however low it may sink me, shall never break the ties of personal friendship between us.

"I wish an answer to this, and you are at liberty to publish both if you choose.

"Very respectfully,



Usually during the campaign Lincoln was obliged to meet personal attacks, not by letter, but on the platform. Joshua Speed, who later became the most intimate friend that Lincoln probably ever had, tells of one occasion when he was obliged to meet such an attack on the very spur of the moment. A great mass-meeting was in progress at Springfield, and Lincoln had made a speech which had produced a deep impression. "I was then fresh from Kentucky," says Mr. Speed, "and had heard many of her great orators. It seemed to me then, as it seems to me now, that I never heard a more effective speaker. He carried the crowd with him, and swayed them as he pleased. So deep an impression did he make that George Forquer, a man of much celebrity as a sarcastic speaker and with a great reputation throughout the State as an orator, rose and asked the people to hear him. He began his speech by saying that this young man would have to be taken down, and he was sorry that the task devolved upon him. He made what was called one of his 'slasher-gaff' speeches, dealing much in ridicule and sarcasm. Lincoln stood near him, with his arms folded, never interrupting him. When Forquer was done, Lincoln walked to the stand, and replied so fully and completely that his friends bore him from the court-house on their shoulders.

"So deep an impression did this first speech make upon me that I remember its conclusion now, after a lapse of thirty-eight years. Said he:

"'The gentleman commenced his speech by saying that this young man would have to be taken down, and he was sorry the task devolved upon him. I am not so young in years as I am in the tricks and trade of a politician; but live long or die young, I would rather die now than, like the gentleman, change my politics and simultaneous with the change receive an office worth three thousand dollars a year, and then have to erect a lightning-rod over my house to protect a guilty conscience from an offended God.'

"To understand the point of this it must be explained that Forquer had been a Whig, but had changed his politics, and had been appointed Register of the Land Office; and over his house was the only lightning-rod in the town or country. Lincoln had seen the lightning-rod for the first time on the day before."

[pg 309]

From a carbon enlargement, made by Sherman and McHugh of New York City, of an ambrotype owned by Mr. A. Montgomery of Columbus, Ohio, to whose generosity we owe the right of reproduction. This portrait of Lincoln was made in June, 1860, by Butler, a Springfield (Illinois) photographer. On July 4th of that year, Mr. Lincoln delivered an address at Atlanta, Illinois, where he was the guest of Mr. Vester Strong. Before leaving town he handed Mr. Strong the ambrotype which we copy here. Mr. Strong valued the picture highly, but as he had no children to whom to leave it, and as he wished it to be in the care of one who would appreciate its value, he gave it a few years ago to Mr. Montgomery.

[pg 310]

This speech has never been forgotten in Springfield, and on my visits there I have repeatedly had the site of the house on which this particular lightning-rod was placed pointed out, and one or another of the many versions which the story has been given, related to me.

It was the practice at that date in Illinois for two rival candidates to travel over the district together. The custom led to much good-natured raillery between them; and in such contests Lincoln was rarely, if ever, worsted. He could even turn the generosity of his rival to account by his whimsical treatment, as the following shows: He had driven out from Springfield in company with a political opponent to engage in joint debate. The carriage, it seems, belonged to his opponent. In addressing the gathering of farmers that met them, Lincoln was lavish in praise of the generosity of his friend. "I am too poor to own a carriage," he said, "but my friend has generously invited me to ride with him. I want you to vote for me if you will; but if not, then vote for my opponent, for he is a fine man." His extravagant and persistent praise of his opponent appealed to the sense of humor in his farmer audience, to whom Lincoln's inability to own a carriage was by no means a disqualification. 1

The election came off in August, and resulted in the choice of a delegation from Sangamon County famous in the annals of Illinois. The nine successful candidates were Abraham Lincoln, John Dawson, Daniel Stone, Ninian W. Edwards, William F. Elkins, R.L. Wilson, Andrew McCormick, Job Fletcher, and Arthur Herndon. Each one of these men was over six feet in height, their combined stature being, it is said, fifty-five feet. The "Long Nine" was the name Sangamon County gave them.


Ebenezer Peck, who was chiefly instrumental in introducing the convention system into Illinois politics, was born in Portland, Maine, May 22, 1805. He lived for some time in Peacham, Vermont, where he was educated. While yet a boy, removed with his parents to Canada. He studied law at Montreal, and practised there; became King's Counsel for Canada East, and was finally elected to the provincial parliament on the Reform ticket. In the summer of 1835 he removed to Chicago, and there, as a lawyer and a politician, he at once made his mark. He was a delegate to the first Democratic State convention in Illinois, held at Vandalia, December 7, 1835, and was the chief advocate of the general adoption of the convention system—a system which was at first opposed and ridiculed by the Whigs, but which very soon they were forced to adopt. In 1837 Mr. Peck was made one of the Internal Improvement Commissioners. In 1838 he was elected to the State Senate, and in 1840 to the House. He was clerk of the Supreme Court from 1841 to 1848, and reporter of that court from 1849 to 1863. His anti-slavery sentiments led him to abandon the Democratic party in 1853, and in 1856 he helped establish the Republican party in the State. He was again elected to the legislature in 1858. In 1863 President Lincoln appointed him a judge of the Court of Claims, and he held this position until 1875. He died May 25, 1881.—J. McCan Davis.


As soon as the election was over Lincoln occupied himself in settling another matter, of much greater moment, in his own judgment. He went to Springfield to seek admission to the bar. The "roll of attorneys and counsellors at law," on file in the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court at Springfield, Illinois, shows that his license was dated September 9, 1836, and that the date of the enrollment of his name upon the official list was March 1, 1837. The first case in which he was concerned, as far as we know, was that of Hawthorn against Woolridge. He made his first appearance in court in October, 1836.

Although he had given much time during this year to politics and the law, he had by no means abandoned surveying. Indeed he never had more calls. Surveying was particularly brisk at the moment, and he frequently was obliged to be away for three and four weeks at a time, laying out towns or locating roads. "When he got a job," says the Hon. J.M. Ruggles, a friend and political supporter of Mr. Lincoln, "there was a picnic and jolly time in the neighborhood. Men and boys would gather around, ready to carry chain, drive stakes, and blaze trees, but mainly to hear Lincoln's odd stories and jokes. The fun was interspersed with foot races and wrestling matches. To this day the old settlers around Bath repeat the incidents of Lincoln's sojourns in their neighborhood while surveying that town."

[pg 311]


NINIAN W. EDWARDS was born in Kentucky in 1809, a son of Ninian Edwards, who in the same year was appointed Governor of the new Territory of Illinois. Mr. Edwards was appointed Attorney-General of Illinois in 1834; in 1836 was elected to the legislature; was reëlected in 1838; served in the State Senate from 1844 to 1848, and again in the House from 1848 to 1852. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1847. He died at Springfield, September 2, 1889.

JOB FLETCHER, SR., was born in Virginia in 1793; removed to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1819. In 1826 he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, and in 1834 to the State Senate, where he served six years. He died in Sangamon County in 1872.

WILLIAM F. ELKINS was born in Kentucky in 1792. He went to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1825. In 1828, 1836, and 1838 he was elected to the legislature. In 1831 he raised a company for the Black Hawk War, and was its captain. In 1861 President Lincoln appointed him Register of the United States Land Office at Springfield, an office which he held until 1872, when he resigned. He died at Decatur, Illinois, 1880.

ROBERT LANG WILSON was born in Pennsylvania in 1805. In 1831 he went to Kentucky; in 1833 removed to Sangamon County, Illinois; in 1836 was elected to the Illinois House. He removed to Sterling, Illinois, in 1840, and died there in 1880. For some years he was paymaster in the United States Army.

JOHN DAWSON was born in Virginia in 1791; he removed to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1827. He was elected to the lower house of the legislature in 1830, 1834, 1836, 1838, and 1846. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1847. He died November 12, 1850.

The other members of the "Long Nine" were Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Stone, Andrew McCormick, and Arthur Herndon.

[pg 312]


In December Lincoln put away his surveying instruments to go to Vandalia for the opening session of the Tenth Assembly. Larger by fifty members than its predecessor, this body was as much superior in intellect as in numbers. It included among its members a future President of the United States, a future candidate for the same high office, six future United States Senators, eight future members of the National House of Representatives, a future Secretary of the Interior, and three future Judges of the State Supreme Court. Here sat side by side Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas; Edward Dickinson Baker, who represented at different times the States of Illinois and Oregon in the national councils; O.H. Browning, a prospective senator and future cabinet officer, and William L.D. Ewing, who had just served in the senate; John Logan, father of the late General John A. Logan; Robert M. Cullom, father of Senator Shelby M. Cullom; John A. McClernand, afterward member of Congress for many years, and a distinguished general in the late Civil War; and many others of national repute.2


From a silhouette loaned by Mr. Owen Lovejoy of Princeton, Illinois. Elijah Lovejoy was born in Maine in 1802. When twenty-five years old he emigrated to St. Louis, where he at first did journalistic work on a Whig newspaper. In 1833 he entered the ministry, and was soon after made editor of a religious newspaper, the "St. Louis Observer." Mr. Lovejoy began, in 1835, to turn his paper against slavery, but the opposition he found in Missouri was so strong that in the summer of 1836 he decided to move his paper to Alton, Illinois. Before he could get his plant out of St. Louis a mob destroyed the greater part. The remainder he succeeded in getting to Alton, but a mob met it there and threw it into the river. The citizens of Alton, ashamed of this act, gave Mr. Lovejoy money to buy a new press. At first the tone of the paper was moderate, but gradually it grew more emphatic in its utterances against slavery. The pro-slavery element of the town protested, indignation meetings were held, and in August, 1837, his press was thrown into the river. Another was immediately bought, which, in September, followed its predecessor to the bottom of the Mississippi. When it was known in Alton that Mr. Lovejoy had ordered a fourth press, and had resolved to fight the opposition to the end, a public meeting was called, at which many speeches were made on both sides, and he was urged to leave Alton. This he refused to do, and his fourth press was landed on November 6, 1837. The next night a mob attacked the warehouse where it was placed, and in the riot one of the assailants, Lyman Bishop, and Elijah Lovejoy himself were killed.

The members came to Vandalia full of hope and exultation. In their judgment it needed only a few months of legislation to put their State by the side of New York; and from the opening of the session they were overflowing with excitement and schemes. In the general ebullition of spirits which characterized the Assembly, Lincoln had little share. Only a week after the opening of the session he wrote to a friend, Mary Owens, at New Salem, that he had been ill, though he believed himself to be about well then; and he added: "But that, with other things I cannot account for, have conspired, and have gotten my spirits so low that I feel I would rather be any place in the world than here. I really cannot endure the thought of staying here ten weeks."

Though depressed, he was far from being inactive. The Sangamon delegation, in fact, had their hands full, and to no one of the nine had more been entrusted than to Lincoln. In common with almost every delegation, they had been instructed by their constituents to adopt a scheme of internal improvements complete enough to give every budding town in Illinois easy communication with the world. This for the State in general; for Sangamon County in particular, they had been directed to secure the capital. The change in the State's centre of population made it advisable to move the seat of government northward from Vandalia, and Springfield was anxious to secure it. To Lincoln was entrusted the work of putting through the bill to remove the capital. In the same letter quoted from above he tells Miss Owens, "Our chance to take the seat of government to Springfield is better than I expected." Regarding the internal improvements scheme he feels less confident: "Some of the legislature are for it, and some against; which has the majority, I cannot tell."

[pg 313]
LINCOLN IN 1863 OR 1864.
LINCOLN IN 1863 OR 1864.

From a photograph by Brady, and kindly loaned by Mr. Noah Brooks for this reproduction.

[pg 314]
Frontispiece of "Alton Trials."
Frontispiece of "Alton Trials."

Frontispiece of "Alton Trials," a small volume published in 1838, containing full notes taken at the time of the trial of the persons engaged in what is called the "Alton riot." Twelve persons were indicted "for the crime of riot committed on the night of the 7th of November, 1837, while engaged in defending a Printing Press from an attack made on it at that time by an Armed Mob;" eleven others were indicted "for a riot committed in Alton on the night of the 7th of November, 1837, in unlawfully and forcibly entering the warehouse of Godfrey Gilman and Company, and breaking up and destroying a printing press." In both cases the juries returned a verdict of "not guilty." (See note on Elijah Lovejoy.)

It was not long, however, before all uncertainty about internal improvements was over. The people were determined to have them, and the Assembly responded to their demands by passing an act which provided, at State expense, for railroads, canals, or river improvements in almost every county in Illinois. To compensate those counties to which they could not give anything else, they voted them a sum of money for roads and bridges. No finer bit of imaginative work was ever done, in fact, by a legislative body, than the map of internal improvements made by the Tenth Assembly of Illinois.

There was no time to estimate exactly the cost of these fine plans. Nor did they feel any need of estimates; that was a mere matter of detail. They would vote a fund, and when that was exhausted they would vote more; and so they appropriated sum after sum: one hundred thousand dollars to improve the Rock River; one million eight hundred thousand dollars to build a road from Quincy to Danville; four million dollars to complete the Illinois and Michigan Canal; two hundred and fifty thousand for the Western Mail Route—in all, some twelve million dollars. To carry out the elaborate scheme, they provided a commission, one of the first duties of which was to sell the bonds of the State to raise the money for the enterprise. The majority of the Assembly seem not to have entertained for a moment an idea that there would be any difficulty in selling at a premium the bonds of Illinois. "On the contrary," as General Linder says in his "Reminiscences," "the enthusiastic friends of the measure maintained that, instead of there being any difficulty in obtaining a loan of the fifteen or twenty millions authorized to be borrowed, our bonds would go like hot cakes, and be sought for by the Rothschilds, and Baring Brothers, and others of that stamp; and that the premiums which we would obtain upon them would range from fifty to one hundred per cent., and that the premium itself would be sufficient to construct most of the important works, leaving the principal sum to go into our treasury, and leave the people free from taxation for years to come."

[pg 315]

The professional card of Stuart and Lincoln shows that the copartnership began April 12, 1837. The card appeared in the next issue of the "Sangamo Journal," and was continued until Lincoln became the partner of Judge Logan, in 1841.


Although Lincoln favored and aided in every way the plan for internal improvements, his real work was in securing the removal of the capital to Springfield. The task was by no means an easy one to direct; for outside of the "Long Nine" there was, of course, nobody particularly interested in Springfield, and there were delegations from a dozen other counties hot to secure the capital for their own constituencies. It took patient and clever manipulation to put the bill through. Certain votes Lincoln, no doubt, gained for his cause by force of his personal qualities. Thus Jesse K. Dubois says that he and his colleagues voted for the bill because they liked Lincoln, and wanted to oblige him. But probably the majority were won by skilful log-rolling. Not that Lincoln ever sanctioned "trading" to the sacrifice of his own convictions. General T.H. Henderson, of Illinois, says in some interesting reminiscences of Lincoln, prepared for this Life and hitherto unpublished: "Before I had ever seen Abraham Lincoln I heard my father, who served with him in the legislature of 1838-39 and of 1840-41, relate an incident in Mr. Lincoln's life which illustrates his character for integrity and his firmness in maintaining what he regarded as right in his public acts, in a marked manner.

"I do not remember whether this incident occurred during the session of the legislature in 1836-37 or 1838-39. But I think it was in that of 1836-37, when it was said that there was a great deal of log-rolling going on among the members. But, however that may be, according to the story related by my father, an effort was made to unite the friends of capital removal with the friends of some measure which Mr. Lincoln, for some reason, did not approve. What that measure was to which he objected, I am not now able to recall. But those who desired the removal of the capital to Springfield were very anxious to effect the proposed combination, and a meeting was held to see if it could be accomplished. The meeting continued in session nearly all night, when it adjourned without accomplishing anything, Mr. Lincoln refusing to yield his objections and to support the obnoxious measure.


The chair is now in the Oldroyd Collection in Washington, D.C.

"Another meeting was called, and at this second meeting a number of citizens, not members of the legislature, from the central and northern parts of the State, among them my father, were present by invitation. The meeting was long protracted, and earnest in its deliberations. Every argument that could be thought of was used to induce Mr. Lincoln to yield his objections and unite with his friends, and thus secure the removal of the capital to his own city; but without effect. Finally, after midnight, when everybody seemed exhausted with the discussion, and when the candles were burning low in the room, Mr. Lincoln rose amid the silence and solemnity which prevailed, and, my father said, made one of the most eloquent and powerful speeches to which he had ever listened. And he concluded his remarks by saying, 'You may [pg 316] burn my body to ashes, and scatter them to the winds of heaven; you may drag my soul down to the regions of darkness and despair to be tormented forever; but you will never get me to support a measure which I believe to be wrong, although by doing so I may accomplish that which I believe to be right.' And the meeting adjourned."


From a photograph loaned by Jesse W. Weik. The law office of Stuart and Lincoln was in the second story of the building occupied at the time the photograph was made by "Tom Dupleaux's Furniture Store." Hoffman's Row, as this group of buildings was called, was used as a court-house at that date, 1837. The court-room was in the lower story of the two central buildings.

If Lincoln did not support measures which he considered doubtful, he did, now and then, "tack a provision" on a bill to please a friend, as the following letter, hitherto unpublished, shows:3



"Mr. Edwards tells me you wish to know whether the act to which your town incorporation provision was attached passed into a law. It did. You can organize under the general incorporation law as soon as you choose.

"I also tacked a provision on to a fellow's bill, to authorize the relocation of the road from Salem down to your town, but I am not certain whether or not the bill passed. Neither do I suppose I can ascertain before the law will be published—if it is a law. Bowling Green, Bennett Abell, and yourself are appointed to make the change.

"No news. No excitement, except a little about the election of Monday next. I suppose, of course, our friend Dr. Henry stands no chance in your 'diggings.'

"Your friend and honorable servant,



As was to be expected, the Democrats charged that the Whigs of Sangamon had won their victory by "bargain and corruption." These charges became so serious that, in an extra session called in the summer of 1837, a few months after the bill passed, Lincoln had a bitter fight over them with General L.D. Ewing, who wanted to keep Vandalia as the capital. "The arrogance of Springfield," said General Ewing, "its presumption in claiming the seat of government, is not to be endured; the law has been passed by chicanery and trickery; the Springfield delegation has sold out to the internal improvement men, and has promised its support to every measure that would gain a vote to the law removing the seat of government."

Lincoln answered in a speech of such severity and keenness that the House believed he was "digging his own grave;" for Ewing was a high-spirited man who would not hesitate to answer by a challenge. It was, in fact, only the interference [pg 317] of their friends which prevented a duel at this time between Ewing and Lincoln. This speech, to many of Lincoln's colleagues, was a revelation of his ability and character. "This was the first time," said General Linder, "that I began to conceive a very high opinion of the talents and personal courage of Abraham Lincoln."


This advertisement appeared in the "Sangamo Journal" in April, 1834, and held a place in the paper through the next three years. As the "Four Horse Coach" ran through Sangamon town and New Salem, it doubtless had Lincoln as a passenger now and then, but not often, probably, for the fare from New Salem to Springfield was one dollar and twenty-five cents, and walking, or riding upon a borrowed horse, must generally have been preferred by Lincoln to so costly a mode of travelling.

A few months later the "Long Nine" were again attacked, Lincoln specially being abused. The assailant this time was a prominent Democrat, Mr. J.B. Thomas. When he had ended, Lincoln replied in a speech which was long known in local political circles as the "skinning of Thomas."


No one doubted after this that Lincoln could defend himself. He became doubly respected as an opponent, for his reputation for good-humored raillery had been established in his campaigns. In a speech made in January he gave another evidence of his skill in the use of ridicule. A resolution had been offered by Mr. Linder to institute an inquiry into the management of the affairs of the State bank. Lincoln's remarks on the resolution form his first reported speech. This speech has been unnoticed by his biographers hitherto; and it appears in none of the editions of his speeches and letters. It was discovered in the "Sangamo Journal" for January 28, 1837, by Mr. J. McCan Davis, in the course of a search through the files instituted by this Magazine.


Born in Kentucky in 1808. Lincoln first met Miss Owens in 1833 at New Salem, where she made a short visit. In 1836 she came back to New Salem, and a warm friendship sprang up between them. The question of marriage was discussed in a disinterested way. Miss Owens left Illinois in 1838, and in 1841 she married a Mr. Jesse Vineyard. The letters written to her by Mr. Lincoln she herself gave to Mr. Herndon for publication.

Lincoln began these remarks by good-humored but nettling chaffing of his opponent.

"Mr. Chairman," he said: "Lest I should fall into the too common error of being mistaken in regard to which side I design to be upon, I shall make it my first care to remove all doubt on that point, by declaring that I am opposed to the resolution under consideration, in toto. Before I proceed to the body of the subject, I will further remark, that it is not without a considerable degree of apprehension that I venture to cross the track of the gentleman from Coles [Mr. Linder]. Indeed, I do not believe I could muster a sufficiency of courage to come in contact with that gentleman, were it not for the fact that he, some days since, most graciously condescended to assure us that he would never be found wasting ammunition on small game. On the same fortunate occasion he further gave us to understand that he regarded himself as being decidedly the superior of our common friend from Randolph [Mr. Shields]; and feeling, as I really do, that I, to say the most of myself, am nothing more than the peer of our friend from Randolph, I shall regard the gentleman from Coles as decidedly my superior also; and consequently, in the course of what I shall have to say, whenever I shall have occasion to allude to that gentleman I shall endeavor to adopt that kind of court language which I understand to be due to decided superiority. In one faculty, at least, there can be no dispute of the gentleman's superiority over me, and most other men; and that is, the faculty of entangling a subject so that neither himself, or any other man, can find head or tail to it."

[pg 318]

From a photograph made by Brady early in Mr. Lincoln's first term.

[pg 319]

From the original, owned by Jesse W. Weik, by permission.

Taking up the resolution on the bank, he declared its meaning:

"Some gentlemen have their stock in their hands, while others, who have more money than they know what to do with, want it; and this, and this alone, is the question, to settle which we are called on to squander thousands of the people's money. What interest, let me ask, have the people in the settlement of this question? What difference is it to them whether the stock is owned by Judge Smith or Sam Wiggins? If any gentleman be entitled to stock in the bank, which he is kept out of possession of by others, let him assert his right in the Supreme Court, and let him or his antagonist, whichever may be found in the wrong, pay the costs of suit. It is an old maxim, and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler. Now, sir, in the present case, if any gentlemen whose money is a burden to them, choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people's money being used to pay the fiddler. No one can doubt that the examination proposed by this resolution must cost the State some ten or twelve thousand dollars; and all this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people; and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel."

The resolution had declared that the bank practised various methods which were "to the great injury of the people." Lincoln took the occasion to announce his ideas of the people and the politicians.

"If the bank really be a grievance, why is it that no one of the real people is found to ask redress of it? The truth is, no such oppression exists. If it did, our people would groan with memorials and petitions, and we would not be permitted to rest day or night till we had put it down. The people know their rights, and they are never slow to assert and maintain them when they are invaded. Let them call for an investigation, and I shall ever stand ready to respond to the call. But they have made no such call. I make the assertion boldly, and without fear of contradiction, that no man who does not hold an office, or does not aspire to one, has ever found any fault of the bank. It has doubled the prices of the products of their farms, and filled their pockets with a sound circulating medium; and they are all well pleased with its operations. No, sir, it is the politician who is the first to sound the alarm (which, by the way, is a false one). It is he who, by these unholy means, is endeavoring to blow up a storm that he may ride upon and direct. It is he, and he alone, that here proposes to spend thousands of the people's public treasure, for no other advantage to them than to make valueless in their pockets the reward of their [pg 320] industry. Mr. Chairman, this work is exclusively the work, of politicians—a set of men who have interests aside from the interests of the people, and who, to say the most of them, are, taken as a mass, at least one long step removed from honest men. I say this with the greater freedom, because, being a politician myself, none can regard it as personal."

The speech was published in full in the "Sangamo Journal" and the editor commented:

"Mr. Lincoln's remarks on Mr. Linder's bank resolution in the paper are quite to the point. Our friend carries the true Kentucky rifle, and when he fires he seldom fails of sending the shot home."


During the special session of the legislature convened in the fall of 1839 (the first one held at Springfield), the House of Representatives occupied this church, the State House being unfinished. At the short special session which opened November 23, 1840, the House first went into the Methodist church, but on the second day Representative John Logan (father of General John A. Logan) offered a resolution "that the Senate be respectfully requested to exchange places of convening with this House for a short time on account of the impossibility of the House discharging its business in so small a place as the Methodist church." This was adopted, and the House moved over to the Second Presbyterian church. At this special session the Whigs were interested in preventing a sine die adjournment (because they desired to protect the State bank, which had been authorized in 1838 to suspend specie payment until after the adjournment of the next session of the General Assembly), and to this end they sought to break the quorum. All the Whigs walked out, except Lincoln and Joseph Gillespie, who were left behind to demand a roll-call when deemed expedient. A few were brought in by the sergeant-at-arms. Lincoln and Gillespie, perceiving that there would be a quorum if they remained, started to leave; and finding the doors locked, Lincoln raised a window, and both men jumped out—an incident, as Mr. Herndon says, which Lincoln "always seemed willing to forget." It was in this church, too, that Lincoln delivered an address before the Washingtonian Temperance Society, on Washington's birthday, in 1842. The church was erected in 1839, and stood until torn down, some thirty years later, to make room for a new edifice.—J. McCan Davis.


One other act of his in this session cannot be ignored. It is a sinister note in the hopeful chorus of the Tenth Assembly. For months there had come from the Southern States violent protests against the growth of abolition agitation in the North. Garrison's paper, the "infernal Liberator," as it was called in the pro-slavery part of the country, had been gradually extending its circulation and its influence; and it already had imitators even on the banks of the Mississippi. The American Anti-slavery Society was now over three years old. A deep, unconquerable conviction of the iniquity of slavery was spreading through the North. The South felt it and protested, and the statesmen of the North joined them in their protest. Slavery could not be crushed, said the conservatives. It was sanctioned by the Constitution. The South must be [pg 321] supported in its claims, and agitation stopped. But the agitation went on, and riots, violence, and hatred pursued the agitators. In Illinois, in this very year, 1837, we have a printing-office raided and an anti-slavery editor, Elijah Lovejoy, killed by the citizens of Alton, who were determined that it should not be said among them that slavery was an iniquity.

To silence the storm, mass-meetings of citizens, the United States Congress, the State legislatures, took up the question and voted, again and again, resolutions assuring the South that the Abolitionists were not supported; that the country recognized their right to their "peculiar institution," and that in no case should they be interfered with. At Springfield, this same year (1837) the citizens convened and passed a resolution declaring that "the efforts of Abolitionists in this community are neither necessary nor useful." When the riot occurred in Alton, the Springfield papers uttered no word of condemnation, giving the affair only a laconic mention.

The Illinois Assembly joined in the general disapproval, and on March 3d passed the following resolutions:

"Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Illinois:

"That we highly disapprove of the formation of Abolition societies, and of the doctrines promulgated by them.

"That the right of property in slaves is sacred to the slave-holding States by the Federal Constitution, and that they cannot be deprived of that right without their consent.

"That the General Government cannot abolish slavery in the District of Columbia against the consent of the citizens of said District, without a manifest breach of good faith.

"That the Governor be requested to transmit to the States of Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, New York, and Connecticut a copy of the foregoing report and resolutions."

Lincoln refused to vote for these resolutions. In his judgment no expression on the slavery question should go unaccompanied by the statement that it was an evil, and he had the boldness to protest immediately against the action of the House. He found only one man in the Assembly willing to join him in his action. These two names are joined to the document they presented:

"Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed both branches of the General Assembly at its present session, the undersigned hereby protest against the passage of the same.

"They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy, but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.

"They believe that the Congress of the United States has no power under the Constitution to interfere with the institution of slavery in the different States.

"They believe that the Congress of the United States has power under the Constitution to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, but that the power ought not to be exercised unless at the request of the people of the District.

"The difference between these opinions and those contained in the above resolutions, is their reason for entering this protest.



"Representatives from the County of Sangamon."


From a photograph owned by his grandson, Hon. William J. Butler, Springfield, Illinois. William Butler was a native of Kentucky, being born in Adair County, that State, December 15, 1797. In the war of 1812, he carried important despatches from the Governor of Kentucky to General Harrison in the field, travelling on horseback. He went to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1828. In 1836 he was appointed clerk of the Circuit Court by Judge Logan, whom he had known in Kentucky. In 1859 he was appointed by Governor Bissell State treasurer of Illinois, to fill a vacancy, and in 1860 was elected to that office. He was married to Elizabeth Rickard, December 18, 1863. He died in Springfield, January 11, 1876. Soon after becoming a resident of Springfield, Lincoln went to William Butler's house to board. There he was like a member of the family. He lived with Mr. Butler until his marriage in 1842. The two men were ever the warmest personal and political friends.


The Tenth Assembly was important to Lincoln not only in its legislation; it greatly increased his circle of acquaintances. The character of the work of the [pg 322] session called to Vandalia numbers of persons of influence from almost every county in the State. They were invariably there to secure something for their town or county, and naturally made a point of getting acquainted. Game suppers seem to have been the means usually employed by visitors for bringing people together. The lobbyists were not the only ones in Vandalia who gave suppers, however. Not a bill was passed nor an election decided that a banquet did not follow. Mr. John Bryant, the brother of William Cullen, was in Vandalia that winter in the interest of his county, and he attended one of these banquets, given by the successful candidate for the United States Senate. Lincoln was present, of course, and so were all the prominent politicians of the State.

"After the company had gotten pretty noisy and mellow from their imbibitions of Yellow Seal and 'corn juice,'" says Mr. Bryant, "Mr. Douglas and General Shields, to the consternation of the host and intense merriment of the guests, climbed up on the table, at one end, encircled each other's waists, and to the tune of a rollicking song, pirouetted down the whole length of the table, shouting, singing, and kicking dishes, glasses, and everything right and left, helter skelter. For this night of entertainment to his constituents, the successful candidate was presented with a bill, in the morning, for supper, wines, liquors, and damages, which amounted to six hundred dollars."

But boisterous suppers were not by any means the important feature of Lincoln's social life that winter in Vandalia. There was another and quieter side in which he showed his rare companionableness and endeared himself to many people. In the midst of the log-rolling and jubilations of the session he would often slip away to some acquaintance's room and spend hours in talk and stories. Mr. John Bryant tells of his coming frequently to his room at the hotel, and sitting "with his knees up to his chin, telling his inimitable stories and his triumphs in the House in circumventing the Democrats."

Major Newton Walker, of Lewiston, was in Vandalia at the time; and still talks with pleasure not only of the Assembly's energetic legislation, but of the way Lincoln endeared himself to him and to his colleague. "We both loved him," says Major Walker, "but I little thought then that he would become the greatest man that this country ever produced, or perhaps ever will. Many a night I have sat up listening to Lincoln's wonderful stories. That was a long time ago—nearly sixty years. I shall be ninety-two years old in a few days. I was six years older than Lincoln."


The invitation is in the collection of Mr. C.F. Gunther of Chicago, through whose courtesy it is here reproduced.

"I used to play the fiddle a great deal, and have played for Lincoln a number of times. He used to come over to where I was boarding and ask me to play the fiddle for him; and I would take it with me when I went over to visit him, and when he grew weary of telling stories he would ask me to give him a tune, which I never refused to do."


As soon as the Assembly closed, Lincoln returned to New Salem; but it was not to stay. He had determined to go to Springfield. Major John Stuart, the friend who had advised him to study law and who [pg 323] had lent him books and with whom he had been associated closely in politics, had offered to take him as a partner. It was a good opening, for Stuart was one of the leading lawyers and politicians of the State, and his influence would place Lincoln at once in command of more or less business. From every point of view the change seems to have been wise; yet Lincoln made it with foreboding.

To practise law he must abandon his business as surveyor, which was bringing him a fair income; he must for a time, at least, go without any certain income. If he failed, what then? The uncertainty weighed on him heavily, the more so because he was burdened by the debts left from his store and because he was constantly called upon to aid his father's family. Thomas Lincoln had remained in Coles County, but he had not, in these six years in which his son had risen so rapidly, been able to get anything more than a poor livelihood from his farm. The sense of responsibility Lincoln had towards his father's family made it the more difficult for him to undertake a new profession. His decision was made, however, and as soon as the session of the Tenth Assembly was over he started for Springfield. His first appearance there is as pathetic as amusing.

"He had ridden into town," says Joshua Speed, "on a borrowed horse, with no earthly property save a pair of saddle-bags containing a few clothes. I was a merchant at Springfield, and kept a large country store, embracing dry-goods, groceries, hardware, books, medicines, bed-clothes, mattresses—in fact, everything that the country needed. Lincoln came into the store with his saddle-bags on his arm. He said he wanted to buy the furniture for a single bed. The mattress, blankets, sheets, coverlid, and pillow, according to the figures made by me, would cost seventeen dollars. He said that perhaps was cheap enough; but small as the price was, he was unable to pay it. But if I would credit him till Christmas, and his experiment as a lawyer was a success, he would pay then; saying in the saddest tone, 'If I fail in this I do not know that I can ever pay you.' As I looked up at him I thought then, and I think now, that I never saw a sadder face.

"I said to him: 'You seem to be so much pained at contracting so small a debt, I think I can suggest a plan by which you can avoid the debt, and at the same time attain your end. I have a large room with a double bed upstairs, which you are very welcome to share with me.'

"'Where is your room?' said he.

"'Upstairs,' said I, pointing to a pair of winding stairs which led from the store to my room.

"He took his saddle-bags on his arm, went upstairs, set them on the floor, and came down with the most changed expression of countenance. Beaming with pleasure, he exclaimed:

"'Well, Speed, I am moved.'"

Another friend, William Butler, with whom Lincoln had become intimate at Vandalia, took him to board; life at Springfield thus began under as favorable auspices as he could hope for.

After Chicago, Springfield was at that day the most promising city in Illinois. It had some fifteen hundred inhabitants, and the removal of the capital was certain to bring many more. Already, in fact, the town felt the effect. Houses and blocks were started; lawyers, politicians, tradesmen, laborers, were pouring in. Hitherto most of the dwellings had been of log or frame; now, however, there was an increase in brick buildings.

The effect was apparent too, in society. "We used to eat all together," said an old man who in the early thirties came to Springfield as a hostler; "but about this time some one came along and told the people they oughtn't to do so, and then the hired folks ate in the kitchen." This differentiation was apparent to Lincoln and a little discouraging. He was thinking vaguely, at the time of this removal to Springfield, that perhaps he best marry a Miss Mary Owens, with whom he had become intimately acquainted in 1836 in New Salem; but Springfield society, and the impossibility of his supporting a wife in it, discouraged him.

"I am often thinking of what we said about your coming to live at Springfield," he wrote her in May.

"I am afraid you would not be satisfied. There is a great deal of flourishing about in carriages here, which it would be your doom to see without sharing it. You would have to be poor, without the means of hiding your poverty. Do you believe you could bear that patiently? Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented; and there is nothing I can imagine that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort. I know I should be much happier with you than the way I am, provided I saw no signs of discontent in you. What you have said to me may have been in the way of jest, or I may have misunderstood it. If so, then let it be forgotten; if otherwise, I much wish you would think seriously before you decide. What I have said I will most positively abide by, provided you wish it. My opinion is that you had better not do it. You have not been accustomed to hardship, and it may be more severe than you now imagine. I know you are capable of thinking correctly on any subject, and if you deliberate maturely upon this before you decide, then I am willing to abide your decision."

[pg 324]
MAP OF ILLINOIS. ILLUSTRATING "An Act to establish and maintain a General System of Internal Improvements, in force 27th Feb. 1837"

When the Illinois legislature adopted the above plan of internal improvement in 1837, there was in the whole United States only about eleven hundred miles of railroad. The above scheme provided for thirteen hundred and fifty. The basis of the outlines used by the committee in developing the plan was contained in a series of resolutions offered in the beginning of the session by Stephen A. Douglas. In the house the vote on the bill stood sixty-one in favor to twenty-five against.

[pg 325]

This decidedly dispassionate view of their relation seems not to have brought any decision from Miss Owens; for three months later Mr. Lincoln wrote her an equally judicial letter, telling her that he could not think of her "with entire indifference," that he in all cases wanted to do right and "most particularly so in all cases with women," and summing up his position as follows:

"What I do wish is that our further acquaintance shall depend upon yourself. If such further acquaintance would contribute nothing to your happiness, I am sure it would not to mine. If you feel yourself in any degree bound to me, I am now willing to release you, provided you wish it; while, on the other hand, I am willing and even anxious to bind you faster, if I can be convinced that it will in any considerable degree add to your happiness. This, indeed, is the whole question with me. Nothing would make me more miserable than to believe you miserable—nothing more happy than to know you were so."

Miss Owens had enough discernment to recognize the disinterestedness of this love-making, and she refused Mr. Lincoln's offer. She found him "deficient in those little links which make up the chain of a woman's happiness," she said. The affair seems to have been a rather vigorous flirtation on her part, which had interested and perhaps flattered Mr. Lincoln. In the sincerity of his nature he feared he had awakened a genuine attachment, and his notions of honor compelled him to find out. When finally refused, he wrote a description of the affair to a friend, in which he ridiculed himself unmercifully:

"I was mortified, it seemed to me, in a hundred different ways. My vanity was deeply wounded by the reflection that I had so long been too stupid to discover her intentions, and at the same time never doubting that I understood them perfectly; and also that she, whom I had taught myself to believe nobody else would have, had actually rejected me with all my fancied greatness. And, to cap the whole, I then for the first time began to suspect that I was really a little in love with her. But let it all go! I'll try and outlive it. Others have been made fools of by the girls, but this can never with truth be said of me. I most emphatically, in this instance, made a fool of myself. I have now come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying; and for this reason—I can never be satisfied with any one who would be blockhead enough to have me."


It was not long before Lincoln became a favorite figure in Springfield. The skill, the courage, and the good-will he had shown in his management of the bill for the removal of the capital gave him at once, of course, special prominence. The entire "Long Nine," indeed, were regarded by the county as its benefactors, and throughout the summer there were barbecues and fireworks, dinners and speeches in their honor. "The service rendered Old Sangamon by the present delegation" was a continually recurring toast at every gathering. At one "sumptuous dinner" the internal improvement scheme in all its phases was toasted again and again by the banqueters, "'The Long Nine' of Old Sangamon—well done, good and faithful servants," drew forth long applause. Among those who offered volunteer toasts at this dinner were "A. Lincoln, Esq.," and "S.A. Douglas, Esq."

At a dinner at Athens, given to the delegation, eight formal toasts and twenty-five volunteers are quoted in the report of the affair in the "Sangamo Journal." Among them were the following:

A. Lincoln. He has fulfilled the expectations of his friends and disappointed the hopes of his enemies.

A. Lincoln. One of nature's noblemen.

By A. Lincoln. Sangamon County will ever be true to her best interests, and never more so than in reciprocating the good feelings of the citizens of Athens and neighborhood.

Lincoln had not been long in Springfield before he soon was able to support himself, a result due, no doubt, very largely to his personal qualities and to his reputation as a shrewd politician. Not that he made money. The fee-book of Lincoln and Stuart shows that the returns were modest enough, and that sometimes they even "traded out" their account. Nevertheless it was a satisfaction to earn a livelihood so soon. Of his peculiar methods as a lawyer at this date we know very little. Most of his cases are utterly uninteresting. The very first year he was in Springfield, however, he had one case which created a great sensation, and which, so far as we know, has been overlooked entirely by his biographers. It is an admirable example of the way Lincoln could combine business and politics as well as of his merciless persistency in pursuing a man whom he believed unjust.

It seems that among the offices to be filled at the August election of 1837 was that of probate justice of the peace. One of the candidates was General James Adams, a man who had come on from the East in the early twenties, and who had at first claimed to be a lawyer. He had been an aspirant for various offices, among them that of governor of the State, but with little [pg 326] success. A few days before the August election of 1837 an anonymous hand-bill was scattered about the streets. It was an attack on General Adams, charging him with having acquired the title to a ten-acre lot of ground near the town by the deliberate forgery of the name of Joseph Anderson, of Fulton County, Illinois, to an assignment of a judgment. Anderson had died, and the widow, upon going to Springfield to dispose of the land, was surprised to find that it was claimed by General Adams, and she employed Stuart and Lincoln to look into the matter. The hand-bill, which went into all of the details at great length, concluded as follows: "I have only made these statements because I am known by many to be one of the individuals against whom the charge of forging the assignment and slipping it into the general's papers has been made; and because our silence might be construed into a confession of the truth. I shall not subscribe my name; but hereby authorize the editor of the 'Journal' to give it up to any one who may call for it.".

After the election, at which General Adams had been elected, the hand-bill was reproduced in the "Sangamo Journal," with a card signed by the editor, in which he said: "To save any further remarks on this subject, I now state that A. Lincoln, Esq., is the author of the hand-bill in question." The same issue of the paper contained a lengthy communication from General Adams, denying the charge of fraud.

The controversy was continued for several weeks. General Adams used, mostly, the columns of the "Springfield Republican," filling six columns of a single issue. He charged that the assault upon him was the result of a conspiracy between "a knot of lawyers, doctors, and others," who wished to ruin his reputation. Lincoln's answers to Adams are most emphatic. In one case, quoting several of his assertions, he pronounced them "all as false as hell, as all this community must know." Adams's replies were always voluminous. "Such is the turn which things have lately taken," wrote Lincoln, "that when General Adams writes a book I am expected to write a commentary on it." Replying to Adams's denunciation of the lawyers, he said: "He attempted to impose himself upon the community as a lawyer, and he actually carried the attempt so far as to induce a man who was under the charge of murder to entrust the defence of his life to his hands, and finally took his money and got him hanged. Is this the man that is to raise a breeze in his favor by abusing lawyers? ... If he is not a lawyer, he is a liar; for he proclaimed himself a lawyer, and got a man hanged by depending on him." Lincoln concluded: "Farewell, General. I will see you again at court, if not before—when and where we will settle the question whether you or the widow shall have the land." The widow did get the land, but this was not the worst thing that happened to Adams. The climax was reached when the "Sangamo Journal" published a long editorial (written by Lincoln, no doubt) on the controversy, and followed it with a copy of an indictment found against Adams in Oswego County, New York, in 1818. The offence charged in this indictment was the forgery of a deed by Adams—"a person of evil name and fame and of a wicked disposition."

Lincoln's victory in this controversy undoubtedly did much to impress the community, not necessarily that he was a good lawyer, but rather that he was a clever strategist and a fearless enemy. It was not, in fact, as a lawyer that he was prominent in the first years after he came to Springfield. Reëlected to the Assembly in 1838, and again in 1840, his real impress on the community was made as a politician. The qualities which he had already shown in public life were only strengthened as he gained experience and self-confidence. He was the terror of the pretentious and insincere, and had a way of exposing their shams by clever tricks which, to voters, were unanswerable arguments. A case in point happened in 1840. It was considered necessary, at that day, by a candidate to prove to the farmers that he was poor and, like themselves, horny-handed. Those politicians who wore good clothes and dined sumptuously were careful to conceal their regard for the elegancies of life from their constituents. One of the Democrats who in this campaign took particular pains to decry the Whigs for their wealth and aristocratic principles was Colonel Dick Taylor, generally known in Illinois as "ruffled-shirt Taylor." He was a vain and handsome man, who habitually arrayed himself as gorgeously as the fashion allowed. One day when he and Lincoln had met in debate at a countryside gathering, Colonel Dick became particularly bitter in his condemnation of Whig elegance. Lincoln listened for a time, and then, slipping near the speaker, suddenly caught his coat, which was buttoned up close, and tore it open. A mass of ruffled shirt, a gorgeous velvet vest, and a great gold chain from which dangled numerous rings and seals, were uncovered to the crowd. Lincoln needed [pg 327] to make no further reply that day to the charge of being a "rag baron."

Lincoln loved fair play as he hated shams; and throughout these early years in Springfield are examples of his boldness in insisting that friend and enemy have the chance due them. A most dramatic case of this kind occurred at a political meeting held one evening in the Springfield court-room, which at that date was temporarily in a hall under Stuart and Lincoln's law office. Directly over the platform was a trap-door. Lincoln frequently would lie by this opening during a meeting, listening to the speeches. One evening one of his friends, E.D. Baker, in speaking angered the crowd, and an attempt was made to "pull him down." Before the assailants could reach the platform, however, a pair of long legs dangled from the trap-door, and in an instant Lincoln dropped down beside Baker, crying out, "Hold on, gentlemen, this is a land of free speech." His appearance was so unexpected, and his attitude so determined, that the crowd soon was quiet, and Baker went on with his speech.

In all the intellectual life of the town he took a place. With a few of the leading young men he formed a young men's lyceum. One of his speeches before this body has been preserved in full. Its subject is "The Perpetuation of our Political Institutions."4 The speech has not, however, any of the peculiarly original style which usually characterized his efforts.

He came immediately to be a favorite figure in all sorts of local affairs. What he said and did on these occasions is still recollected by those interested in them. "When the seat of government was removed from Vandalia to Springfield in 1836," says the Rev. Peter Wallace of Chicago "I obtained the contract of taking down the court-house to make a place for the State House. Lincoln, with others, was present to receive the job. 'Peter,' he said to me, 'if you succeed as well in building houses as you have in tearing this one down, you will make your mark as a builder.'" Mr. Wallace tells, too, of hearing Lincoln say in a speech, at the funeral of one of their friends: "I read in a book whose author never errs, 'Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you.' Our friend will escape that woe, for he would be the exception had he no enemies."

The most pleasing feature of his early life in the town was the way in which he attached all classes of people to him. He naturally, from his political importance and from his relation to Mr. Stuart, was admitted to the most exclusive circle of society. But Lincoln was not received there from tolerance of his position only. The few members left of that interesting circle of Springfield in the thirties are emphatic in their statements that he was recognized as a valuable social factor. If indifferent to forms and little accustomed to conventional usages, he had a native dignity and self-respect which stamped him at once as a superior man. He had a good will, an easy adaptability to people, which made him take a hand in everything that went on. His name appears in every list of banqueters and merry-makers reported in the Springfield papers. He even served as committee-man for cotillion parties. "We liked Lincoln, though he was not gay," said one charming and cultivated old lady to me in Springfield. "He rarely danced, he was never very attentive to ladies, but he was always a welcome guest everywhere, and the centre of a circle of animated talkers. Indeed, I think the only thing we girls had against Lincoln was that he always attracted all the men around him."

Lincoln's kindly interest and perfectly democratic feeling attached to him many people whom he never met save on the streets. Indeed his life in the streets of Springfield is a most touching and delightful study. He concerned himself in the progress of every building which was put up, of every new street which was opened; he passed nobody without recognition; he seemed always to have time to stop and talk. He became, in fact, part of Springfield street life, just as he had of the town's politics and society. By 1840 there was no man in the town better known, better liked, more sought for; though there were more than one whose future was considered brighter.

Footnote 1: (return)

Reminiscences of Mr. Weir, a former resident of Sangamon County, related by E.B. Howell of Butte, Montana.

Footnote 2: (return)

Summary condensed from Moses's "History of Illinois."

Footnote 3: (return)

The original of this letter is owned by E.R. Oeltjen of Petersburg, Illinois.

Footnote 4: (return)

Lincoln's address on "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions" is dated January 27, 1837, in most biographies, but it was published in the "Sangamo Journal" of February 3, 1838. The address is preceded by the following resolution:


SPRINGFIELD, January 27, 1837[8].

"Resolved, That the thanks of this Lyceum be presented to A. Lincoln, Esq., for the lecture delivered by him this evening, and that he be solicited to furnish a copy for publication.

"JAS. H. MATHENY, Secretary"

The confusion as to the date of the delivery of this address evidently arises from the fact that the resolution here quoted bears the date of "1837"—a mere slip of the pen, of course. In January, 1837, Lincoln was in the legislature at Vandalia. He had not yet become a resident of Springfield. According to Mr. Herndon, who was a member of the Young Men's Lyceum, that society was not formed until the fall of 1837.

[pg 328]


By Rudyard Kipling,

Author of "The Jungle Book," "Plain Tales from the Hills," etc.
Letter I

T was her first voyage, and though she was only a little cargo steamer of two thousand five hundred tons, she was the very best of her kind, the outcome of forty years of experiments and improvements in framework and machinery; and her designers and owners thought just as much of her as though she had been the "Lucania." Any one can make a floating hotel that will pay her expenses, if he only puts enough money into the saloon, and charges for private baths, suites of rooms, and such like; but in these days of competition and low freights every square inch of a cargo boat must be built for cheapness, great hold capacity, and a certain steady speed. This boat was perhaps two hundred and forty feet long and thirty-two feet wide, with arrangements that enabled her to carry cattle on her main and sheep on her upper deck if she wanted to; but her great glory was the amount of cargo that she could store away in her holds. Her owners—they were a very well-known Scotch family—came round with her from the North, where she had been launched and christened and fitted, to Liverpool, where she was to take cargo for New York; and the owner's daughter, Miss Frazier, went to and fro on the clean decks, admiring the new paint and the brass-work and the patent winches, and particularly the strong, straight bow, over which she had cracked a bottle of very good champagne when she christened the steamer the "Dimbula." It was a beautiful September afternoon, and the boat in all her newness (she was painted lead color, with a red funnel) looked very fine indeed. Her house flag was flying, and her whistle from time to time acknowledged [pg 329] the salutes of friendly boats, who saw that she was new to the sea and wished to make her welcome.

"And now," said Miss Frazier, delightedly, to the captain, "she's a real ship, isn't she? It seems only the other day father gave the order for her, and now—and now—isn't she a beauty?" The girl was proud of the firm, and talked as though she were the controlling partner.

"Oh, she's no so bad," the skipper replied, cautiously. "But I'm sayin' that it takes more than the christenin' to mak' a ship. In the nature o' things, Miss Frazier, if ye follow me, she's just irons and rivets and plates put into the form of a ship. She has to find herself yet."

"But I thought father said she was exceptionally well found."

"So she is," said the skipper, with a laugh. "But it's this way wi' ships, Miss Frazier. She's all here, but the parts of her have not learned to work together yet. They've had no chance."

"But the engines are working beautifully. I can hear them."

"Yes, indeed. But there is more than engines to a ship. Every inch of her, ye'll understand, has to be livened up, and made to work wi' its neighbor—sweetenin' her, we call it, technically."

"And how will you do it?" the girl asked.

"We can no more than drive and steer her and so forth; but if we have rough weather this trip—it's likely—she'll learn the rest by heart! For a ship, ye'll obsairve, Miss Frazier, is in no sense a reegid body, closed at both ends. She's a highly complex structure o' various an' conflictin' strains, wi' tissues that must give an' tak' accordin' to her personal modulus of eelasteecity." Mr. Buchanan, the chief engineer, in his blue coat with gilt buttons, was coming toward them. "I'm sayin' to Miss Frazier, here, that our little 'Dimbula' has to be sweetened yet, and nothin' but a gale will do it. How's all wi' your engines, Buck?"

"Well enough—true by plumb an' rule, of course; but there's no spontaneeity yet." He turned to the girl. "Take my word, Miss Frazier, and maybe ye'll comprehend later, even after a pretty girl's christened a ship it does not follow that there's such a thing as a ship under the men that work her."

"I was sayin' the very same, Mr. Buchanan," the skipper interrupted.

"That's more metaphysical than I can follow," said Miss Frazier, laughing.

"Why so? Ye're good Scotch, an'—I knew your mother's father; he was fra' Dumfries—ye've a vested right in metapheesics, Miss Frazier, just as ye have in the 'Dimbula,'" the engineer said.

"Eh, well, we must go down to the deep watters, an' earn Miss Frazier her deevidends. Will you not come to my cabin for tea?" said the skipper. "We'll be in dock the night, and when you're goin' back to Glasgie ye can think of us loadin' her down an' drivin' her forth—all for your sake."

In the next four days they stowed nearly four thousand tons dead weight into the "Dimbula," and took her out from Liverpool. As soon as she met the lift of the open water she naturally began to talk. If you put your ear to the side of the cabin the next time you are in a steamer, you will hear hundreds of little voices in every direction, thrilling and buzzing, and whispering and popping, and gurgling and sobbing and squeaking exactly like a telephone in a thunder storm. Wooden ships shriek and growl and grunt, but iron vessels throb and quiver through all their hundreds of ribs and thousands of rivets. The "Dimbula" was very strongly built, and every piece of her had a letter or a number or both to describe it, and every piece had been hammered or forged or rolled or punched by man and had lived in the roar and rattle of the shipyard for months. Therefore, every piece had its own separate voice in exact proportion to the amount of trouble spent upon it. Cast iron, as a rule, says very little; but mild steel plates and wrought iron, and ribs and beams that have been bent and welded and riveted a good deal, talk continuously. Their conversation, of course, is not half as wise as human talk, because they are all, though they do not know it, bound down one to the other in black darkness, where they cannot tell what is happening near them, nor what is going to happen next.

A very short while after she had cleared the Irish coast a sullen, gray-headed old wave of the Atlantic climbed leisurely over her straight bows, and sat down on the steam capstan, used for hauling up the anchor. Now, the capstan and the engine that drove it had been newly painted red and green; besides which, nobody cares for being ducked.

"Don't you do that again," the capstan sputtered through the teeth of his cogs. "Hi! Where's the fellow gone?"

The wave had slouched overside with a plop and a chuckle; but "Plenty more where he came from," said a brother wave, and went through and over the capstan, who was [pg 330] bolted firmly to an iron plate on the iron deck beams below.


"Can't you keep still up there," said the deck beams. "What's the matter with you? One minute you weigh twice as much as you ought to, and the next you don't."

"It isn't my fault," said the capstan. "There's a green brute from outside that comes and hits me on the head."

"Tell that to the shipwrights. You've been in position up there for months, and you've never wriggled like this before. If you aren't careful you'll strain us."

"Talking of strain," said a low, rasping, unpleasant voice, "are any of you fellows—you deck beams, we mean—aware that those exceedingly ugly knees of yours happen to be riveted into our structure—ours?"

"Who might you be?" the deck beams inquired.

"Oh, nobody in particular," was the answer. "We're only the port and starboard upper-deck stringers; and, if you persist in heaving and hiking like this, we shall be reluctantly compelled to take steps."

Now, the stringers of the ship are long iron girders, so to speak, that run lengthways from stern to bow. They keep the iron frames (what are called ribs in a wooden ship) in place, and also help to hold the ends of the deck beams which go from side to side of the ship. Stringers always consider themselves most important, because they are so long. In the "Dimbula" there were four stringers on each side—one far down by the bottom of the hold, called the bilge stringer; one a little higher up, called the side stringer; one on the floor of the lower deck; and the upper-deck stringers that have been heard from already.

"You will take steps, will you?" This was a long, echoing rumble. It came from the frames; scores and scores of them, each one about eighteen inches distant from the next, and each riveted to the stringers in four places. "We think you will have a certain amount of trouble in that;" and thousands and thousands of the little rivets that held everything together whispered: "You will! You will! Stop quivering and be quiet. Hold on, brethren! Hold on! Hot punches! What's that?"

Rivets have no teeth, so they can't chatter with fright; but they did their best as a fluttering jar swept along the ship from stern to bow, and she shook like a rat in a terrier's mouth.

An unusually severe pitch, for the sea was rising, had lifted the big throbbing screw [pg 331] nearly to the surface, and it was spinning round in a kind of soda water—half sea and half air—going much faster than was right, because there was no deep water for it to work in. As it sank again, the engines—and they were triple-expansion, three cylinders in a row—snorted through all their three pistons: "Was that a joke, you fellow outside? It's an uncommonly poor one. How are we to do our work if you fly off the handle that way?"

"I didn't fly off the handle," said the screw, twirling huskily at the end of the screw shaft. "If I had, you'd have been scrap iron by this time. The sea dropped away from under me, and I had nothing to catch on to. That's all."

"That's all, d'you call it?" said the thrust-block, whose business it is to take the push of the screw; for if a screw had nothing to hold it back it would crawl right into the engine room. (It is the holding back of the screwing action that gives the drive to a ship.) "I know I do my work deep down and out of sight, but I warn you I expect justice. All I ask is justice. Why can't you push steadily and evenly, instead of whizzing like a whirligig and making me hot under all my collars?" The thrust-block had six collars, each faced with brass, and he did not want to get them heated.

All the bearings that supported the fifty feet of screw shaft as it ran to the stern whispered: "Justice—give us justice."

"I can only give you what I get," the screw answered. "Look out! It's coming again!"

He rose with a roar as the "Dimbula" plunged; and "whack—whack—whack—whack" went the engines furiously, for they had little to check them.

"I'm the noblest outcome of human ingenuity—Mr. Buchanan says so," squealed the high-pressure cylinder. "This is simply ridiculous." The piston went up savagely and choked, for half the steam behind it was mixed with dirty water. "Help! Oiler! Fitter! Stoker! Help! I'm choking," it gasped. "Never in the history of maritime invention has such a calamity overtaken one so young and strong. And if I go, who's to drive the ship?"

"Hush! oh, hush!" whispered the steam, who, of course, had been to sea many times before. He used to spend his leisure ashore, in a cloud, or a gutter, or a flower-pot, or a thunder storm, or anywhere else where water was needed. "That's only a little priming, as they call it. It'll happen all night, on and off. I don't say it's nice, but it's the best we can do under the circumstances."

"What difference can circumstances make? I'm here to do my work—on clean, dry steam. Blow circumstances!" the cylinder roared.

"The circumstances will attend to the blowing. I've worked on the North Atlantic run a good many times—it's going to be rough before morning."

"It isn't distressingly calm now," said the extra strong frames, they were called web frames, in the engine room. "There's an upward thrust that we don't understand, and there's a twist that is very bad for our brackets and diamond plates, and there's a sort of northwestward pull that follows the twist, which seriously annoys us. We mention this because we happened to cost a great deal of money, and we feel sure that the owner would not approve of our being treated in this frivolous way."

"I'm afraid the matter's out of the owner's hands for the present," said the steam, slipping into the condenser. "You're left to your own devices till the weather betters."

"I wouldn't mind the weather," said a flat bass voice deep below; "it's this confounded cargo that's breaking my heart. I'm the garboard strake, and I'm twice as thick as most of the others, and I ought to know something."

The garboard strake is the very bottom-most plate in the bottom of a ship, and the "Dimbula's" garboard strake (she was a flat-bottomed boat) was nearly three-quarters of an inch mild steel.

"The sea pushes me up in a way I should never have expected," the strake went on, "and the cargo pushes me down, and between the two I don't know what I'm supposed to do."

"When in doubt, hold on," rumbled the steam, making head in the boilers.

"Yes, but there's only dark and cold and hurry down here, and how do I know whether the other plates are doing their duty? Those bulwark plates up above, I've heard, aren't more than five-sixteenths of an inch thick—scandalous, I call it."

"I agree with you," said a huge web frame by the main cargo hatch. He was deeper and thicker than all the others, and curved half-way across the ship's side in the shape of half an arch, to support the deck where deck beams would have been in the way of cargo coming up and down. "I work entirely unsupported, and I observe that I am the sole strength of this vessel, so far as my vision extends. The responsibility, I assure you, is enormous. I believe [pg 332] the money value of the cargo is over one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. Think of that!"

"And every pound of it dependent on my personal exertions." Here spoke a sea-valve that communicated directly with the water outside and was seated not very far from the garboard strake. "I rejoice to think that I am a Prince-Hyde valve, with best Para rubber facings. Five patents cover me—I mention this without pride—five separate and several patents, each one finer than the other. At present I am screwed fast. Should I open, you would immediately be swamped. This is incontrovertible!"

Patent things always use the longest words they can. It is a trick they pick up from their inventors.

"That's news," said a big centrifugal bilge pump. "I had an idea that you were employed to clean decks and things with. At least, I've used you for that more than once. I forget the precise number in thousands of gallons which I am guaranteed to pump in an hour; but I assure you, my complaining friends, that there is not the least danger. I alone am capable of clearing any water that may find its way here. By my biggest delivery, we pitched then!"

The sea was getting up in workmanlike style. It was a dead westerly gale, blown from under a ragged opening of green sky, narrowed on all sides by fat gray clouds; and the wind bit like pincers, as it fretted the spray into lace-work on the heads of the waves.

"I tell you what it is," the foremast telephoned down its wire stays. "I'm up here, and I can take a dispassionate view of things. There's an organized conspiracy against us. I'm sure of it, because every single one of these waves is heading directly for our bows. The whole sea is concerned in it—and so's the wind. It's awful!"

"What's awful?" said a wave, drowning the capstan for the hundredth time.

"This organized conspiracy on your part," the capstan gurgled, taking his cue from the mast.

"Organized bubbles and spindrift! There has been a depression in the Gulf of Mexico. Excuse me!" He leaped overside; but his friends took up the tale one after another.

"Which has advanced—" That wave threw green over the funnel.

"As far as Cape Hatteras—" He drenched the bridge.

"And is now going out to sea—to sea—to sea!" He went out in three surges, making a clean sweep of a boat, which turned bottom up and sank in the darkening troughs alongside.

"That's all there is to it," seethed the broken water, roaring through the scuppers. "There's no animus in our proceedings. We're a meteorological corollary."

"Is it going to get any worse?" said the bow anchor, chained down to the deck, where he could only breathe once in five minutes.

"Not knowing, can't say. Wind may blow a bit by midnight. Thanks awfully. Good-by."

The wave that spoke so politely had travelled some distance aft, and got itself all mixed up on the deck amidships, which was a well deck sunk between high bulwarks. One of the bulwark plates, which was hung on hinges to open outward, had swung out, and passed the bulk of the water back to the sea again with a wop.

"Evidently that's what I'm made for," said the plate, shutting up again with a sputter of pride. "Oh, no, you don't, my friend!"

The top of a wave was trying to get in from outside, but the plate did not open in that direction, and the defeated water spurted back.

"Not bad for five-sixteenths of an inch," said the bulwark plate. "My work, I see, is laid down for the night;" and it began opening and shutting, as it was designed to do, with the motion of the ship.

"We are not what you might call idle," groaned all the frames together, as the "Dimbula" climbed a big wave, lay on her side at the top, and shot into the next hollow, twisting as she descended. A huge swell pushed up exactly under her middle, and her bow and stern hung free, with nothing to support them, and then one joking wave caught her up at the bow, and another at the stern, while the rest of the water fell away from under her, just to see how she would like it, and she was held up at the two ends, and the weight of the cargo and the machinery fell on the groaning iron keels and bilge stringers.

"Ease off! Ease off there!" roared the garboard strake. "I want an eighth of an inch play. D'you hear me, you young rivets!"

"Ease off! ease off!" cried the bilge stringers. "Don't hold us so tight to the frames!"

"Ease off!" grunted the deck beams, as the "Dimbula" rolled fearfully. "You've cramped our knees into the stringers and we can't move. Ease off, you flat-headed little nuisances."

[pg 333]
[pg 334]

Then two converging seas hit the bows, one on each side, and fell away in torrents of streaming thunder.

"Ease off!" shouted the forward collision bulkhead. "I want to crumple up, but I'm stiffened in every direction. Ease off, you dirty little forge filings. Let me breathe!"

All the hundreds of plates that are riveted on to the frames, and make the outside skin of every steamer, echoed the call, for each plate wanted to shift and creep a little, and each plate, according to its position, complained against the rivets.

"We can't help it! We can't help it!" they murmured. "We're put here to hold you, and we're going to do it. You never pull us twice in the same direction. If you'd say what you were going to do next, we'd try to meet your views."

"As far as I could feel," said the upper-deck planking, and that was four inches thick, "every single iron near me was pushing or pulling in opposite directions. Now, what's the sense of that? My friends, let us all pull together."

"Pull any way you please." roared the funnel, "so long as you don't try your experiments on me. I need fourteen wire ropes, all pulling in opposite directions, to hold me steady. Isn't that so?"

"We believe you, my boy!" whistled the funnel stays through their clenched teeth, as they twanged in the wind from the top of the funnel to the deck.

"Nonsense! We must all pull together," the decks repeated. "Pull lengthways."

"Very good," said the stringers; "then stop pushing sideways when you get wet. Be content to run gracefully fore and aft, and curve in at the ends as we do."

"No, no curves at the end. A very slight workmanlike curve from side to side, with a good grip at each knee, and little pieces welded on," said the deck beams.

"Fiddle!" said the iron pillars of the deep, dark hold. "Who ever heard of curves? Stand up straight; be a perfectly round column, and carry tons of good solid weight. Like that! There!" A big sea smashed on to the deck above, and the pillars stiffened themselves to the load.

"Straight up and down is not bad," said the frames who run that way in the sides of the ship, "but you must also expand yourself sideways. Expansion is the law of life, children. Open out! Open out!"

"Come back!" said the deck beam, savagely, as the upward heave of the sea made the frames try to open. "Come back to your bearings, you slack-jawed irons!"

"Rigidity! Rigidity! Rigidity!" thumped the engines. "Absolute, unvarying rigidity—rigidity!"

"You see!" whined the rivets in chorus. "No two of you will ever pull alike, and—and you blame it all on us. We only know how to go through a plate and bite down on both sides so that it can't and mustn't and sha'n't move."

"I've got one-sixteenth of an inch play at any rate," said the garboard strake triumphantly; and so he had, and all the bottom of the ship felt a good deal easier for it.

"Then we're no good," sobbed the bottom rivets. "We were ordered—we were ordered—never to give, and we've given, and the sea will come in, and we'll all go to the bottom together! First we're blamed for everything unpleasant, and now we haven't the consolation of having done our work."

"Don't say I told you," whispered the steam consolingly; "but, between you and me and the cloud I last came from, it was bound to happen sooner or later. You had to give a fraction, and you've given without knowing it. Now hold on, as before."

"What's the use?" a few hundred rivets chattered. "We've given—we've given; and the sooner we confess that we can't keep the ship together and go off our little heads, the easier it will be. No rivet forged could stand this strain."

"No one rivet was ever meant to. Share it among you," the steam answered.

"The others can have my share. I'm going to pull out," said a rivet in one of the forward plates.

"If you go, others will follow," hissed the steam. "There's nothing so contagious in a boat as rivets going. Why, I knew a little chap like you—he was an eighth of an inch fatter, though—on a steamer—to be sure, she was only twelve tons, now I come to think of it—in exactly the same place as you are. He pulled out in a bit of a bobble of a sea, not half as bad as this, and he started all his friends on the same butt-strap, and the plate opened like a furnace door, and I had to climb into the nearest fog bank while the boat went down."

"Now that's peculiarly disgraceful," said the rivet. "Fatter than me, was he, and in a steamer not half our tonnage? Reedy little peg! I blush for the family, sir." He settled himself more firmly than ever in his place, and the steam chuckled.

"You see," he went on quite gravely, "a rivet, and especially a rivet in your position, is really the one indispensable part of the ship." The steam did not say that he had whispered the very same thing to every [pg 335] single piece of iron aboard. There is no sense in telling too much.

And all that while the little "Dimbula" pitched and chopped and swung and slewed, and lay down as though she were going to die, and got up as though she had been stung, and threw her nose round and round in circles half a dozen times as she dipped, for the gale was at its worst. It was inky black, in spite of the tearing white froth on the waves, and, to top everything, the rain began to fall in sheets, so that you could not see your hand before your face. This did not make much difference to the iron-work below, but it troubled the foremast a good deal.

"Now it's all finished," he said, dismally. "The conspiracy is too strong for us. There is nothing left but to—"

"Hurraar! Brrrraaah! Brrrrrrp!" roared the steam through the foghorn, till the decks quivered. "Don't be frightened below. It's only me, just throwing out a few words in case any one happens to be rolling round to-night,"

"You don't mean to say there's any one except us on the sea in such weather?" said the funnel, in a husky snuffle.

"Scores of 'em," said the steam, clearing its throat. "Rrrrrraaa! Brraaaaa! Prrrrp! It's a trifle windy up here; and, great boilers, how it rains!"

"We're drowning," said the scuppers. They had been doing nothing else all night, but this steady thresh of rain above them seemed to be the end of the world.

"That's all right. We'll be easier in an hour or two. First the wind and then the rain; soon you may make sail again! Grrraaaaah! Drrrraaaa! Drrrrrp! I have a notion that the sea is going down already. If it does you'll learn something about rolling. We've only pitched till now. By the way, aren't you chaps in the hold a little easier than you were?"

There was just as much groaning and straining as ever, but it was not so loud or squeaky in tone; and when the ship quivered she did not jar stiffly, like a poker hit on the floor, but gave a supple little waggle, like a perfectly balanced golf club.

"We have made a most amazing discovery," said the stringers, one after another; "a discovery that entirely changes the situation. We have found, for the first time in the history of shipbuilding, that the inward pull of the deck beams and the outward thrust of the frames locks us, as it were, more closely in our places, and enables us to endure a strain which is entirely without parallel in the records of marine architecture."

The steam turned a laugh quickly into a roar up the foghorn. "What massive intellects you great stringers have!" he said, softly, when he had finished.

"We, also," began the deck beams, "are discoverers and geniuses. We are of opinion that the support of the hold-pillars materially helps us. We find that we lock upon them when we are subjected to a heavy and singular weight of sea above."

Here the "Dimbula" shot down a hollow, lying almost on her side, and righting at the bottom with a wrench and a spasm.

"In these cases—are you aware of this, steam?—the plating at the bows, and particularly at the stern,—we would also mention the floors beneath us,—helps us to resist any tendency to spring." It was the frames who were speaking in the solemn and awed voice which people use when they have just come across something entirely new for the very first time.

"I'm only a poor, puffy little flutterer," said the steam, "but I have to stand a good deal of pressure in my business. It's all tremendously interesting. Tell us some more. You fellows are so strong."

"You'll see," said the bow plates proudly. "Ready behind there! Here's the father and mother of waves coming! Sit tight, rivets all!" The great sluicing comber thundered by, but through all the scuffle and confusion the steam could hear the low, quick cries of the iron-work as the various strains took them—cries like these: "Easy now, easy! Now push for all your strength! Hold out! Give a fraction! Hold up! Pull in! Shove crossways! Mind the strain at the ends! Grip now! Bite tight! Let the water get away from under, and there she goes."

The wave raced off into the darkness shouting, "Not bad that, if it's your first run!" and the drenched and ducked ship throbbed to the beat of the engines inside her. All three cylinders were wet and white with the salt spray that had come down through the engine-room hatch; there was white salt on the canvas-bound steam pipes, and even the bright work below was speckled and soiled; but the cylinders had learned to make the most of steam that was half water, and were pounding along cheerfully.

"How's the noblest outcome of human ingenuity hitting it?" said the steam, as he whirled through the engine room.

"Nothing for nothing in the world of woe," the cylinders answered, as if they had [pg 336] been working for centuries, "and precious little for seventy-five pounds head. We've made two knots this last hour and a quarter! Rather humiliating for eight hundred horse-power, isn't it?"

"Well, it's better than drifting astern, at any rate. You seem rather less—how shall I put it?—stiff in the back than you were."

"If you'd been hammered as we've been this night, you wouldn't be stiff—ffreff—ff—either. Theoreti—retti—retti—cally, of course, rigidity is the thing. Purr—purr—practically, there has to be a little give and take. We found that out by working on our sides for five minutes at a stretch—chch—chh. How's the weather?"

"Sea's going down fast," said the steam.

"Good business," said the high-pressure cylinder. "Whack her up along, boys. They've given us five pounds more steam;" and he began humming the first bars of "Said the young Obadiah to the old Obadiah," which, as you must have noticed, is a pet tune among engines not made for high speed. Racing liners with twin screws sing "The Turkish Patrol" and the overture to the "Bronze Horse" and "Madame Angot," till something goes wrong, and then they give Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" with variations.

"You'll learn a song of your own some fine day," said the steam, as he flew up the foghorn for one last bellow.

Next day the sky cleared and the sea dropped a little, and the "Dimbula" began to roll from side to side till every inch of iron in her was sick and giddy. But, luckily, they did not all feel ill at the same time; otherwise she would have opened out like a wet paper box. The steam whistled warnings as he went about his business, for it is in this short, quick roll and tumble that follows a heavy sea that most of the accidents happen; because then everything thinks that the worst is over and goes off guard. So he orated and chattered till the beams and frames and floors and stringers and things had learned how to lock down and lock up on one another, and endure this new kind of strain.

They had ample time, for they were sixteen days at sea, and it was foul weather till within a hundred miles of New York. The "Dimbula" picked up her pilot, and came in covered with salt and red rust. Her funnel was dirty gray from top to bottom; two boats had been carried away; three copper ventilators looked like hats after a fight with the police; the bridge had a dimple in the middle of it; the house that covered the steam steering-gear was split as with hatchets; there was a bill for small repairs in the engine room almost as long as the screw-shaft; the forward cargo hatch fell into bucket staves when they raised the iron crossbars; and the steam capstan had been badly wrenched on its bed. Altogether, as the skipper said, it was "a pretty general average."

"But she's soupled," he said to Mr. Buchanan. "For all her dead weight, she rode like a yacht. Ye mind that last blow off the Banks? I was proud of her."

"It's vara good," said the chief engineer, looking along the dishevelled decks. "Now, a man judging superficially would say we were a wreck, but we know otherwise—by experience."

Naturally, everything in the "Dimbula" stiffened with pride, and the foremast and the forward collision bulkhead, who are pushing creatures, begged the steam to warn the port of New York of their arrival. "Tell those big boats all about us," they said. "They seem to take us quite as a matter of course."

It was a glorious, clear, dead calm morning, and in single file, with less than half a mile between each, their bands playing, and their tugboats shouting and waving handkerchiefs beneath, were the "Majestic," the "Paris," the "Touraine," the "Servia," the "Kaiser Wilhelm II." and the "Werkendam," all statelily going out to sea. As the "Dimbula" shifted her helm to give the great boats clear way, the steam (who knows far too much to mind making an exhibition of himself now and then) shouted:

"Oyez! oyez! oyez! Princes, Dukes, and Barons of the High Seas! Know ye by these presents we are the 'Dimbula,' fifteen days nine hours out from Liverpool, having crossed the Atlantic with four thousand ton of cargo for the first time in our career. We have not foundered! We are here! Eer! eer! We are not disabled. But we have had a time wholly unparalleled in the annals of shipbuilding. Our decks were swept. We pitched, we rolled! We thought we were going to die! Hi! hi! But we didn't! We wish to give notice that we have come to New York all the way across the Atlantic, through the worst weather in the world; and we are the 'Dimbula.' We are—arr—ha—ha—ha-r-r!"

The beautiful line of boats swept by as steadily as the procession of the seasons. The "Dimbula" heard the "Majestic" say "Humph!" and the "Paris" grunted "How!" and the "Touraine" said "Oui!" with a little coquettish flicker of steam; and the "Servia" said "Haw!" and the [pg 337] "Kaiser" and the "Werkendam" said "Hoch!" Dutch fashion—and that was absolutely all.

"I did my best," said the steam, gravely, "but I don't think they were much impressed with us, somehow. Do you?"

"It's simply disgusting," said the bow-plates. "They might have seen what we've been through. There isn't a ship on the sea that has suffered as we have—is there now?"

"Well, I wouldn't go so far as that," said the steam, "because I've worked on some of those boats, and put them through weather quite as bad as we've had in six days; and some of them are a little over ten thousand tons, I believe. Now, I've seen the 'Majestic,' for instance, ducked from her bows to her funnel, and I've helped the 'Arizona,' I think she was, to back off an iceberg she met with one dark night; and I had to run out of the 'Paris's' engine room one day because there was thirty foot of water in it. Of course, I don't deny—" The steam shut off suddenly as a tugboat, loaded with a political club and a brass band that had been to see a senator off to Europe, crossed the bows, going to Hoboken. There was a long silence, that reached without a break from the cut-water to the propeller blades of the "Dimbula."

Then one big voice said slowly and thickly, as though the owner had just waked up: "It's my conviction that I have made a fool of myself."

The steam knew what had happened at once; for when a ship finds herself, all the talking of the separate pieces ceases and melts into one deep voice, which is the soul of the ship.

"Who are you?" he said, with a laugh.

"I am the 'Dimbula,' of course. I've never been anything else except that—and a fool."

The tugboat, which was doing its very best to be run down, got away just in time, and its band was playing clashily and brassily a popular but impolite air:

In the days of old Rameses—are you on?

In the days of old Rameses—are you on?

In the days of old Rameses,

That story had paresis—

Are you on—are you on—are you on?

"Well, I'm glad you've found yourself," said the steam. "To tell the truth, I was a little tired of talking to all those ribs of stringers. Here's quarantine. After that we'll go to our wharf and clean up a little, and next month we'll do it all over again."



By Will H. Low.

Letter L

OOKING backward to the first quarter of this century, it is hardly too sweeping an assertion to say that, with a single exception, there was little that was important in the way of painting outside of France and England. There were local reputations in all the other countries, practitioners of the art who joined to a respectable proficiency in painting an adhesion to the traditions which had been handed down to them. These men, in their time and place, were notable; and in the museums of their respective countries their works remain of chronological interest to students of painting. But to the larger public which these papers address, they are of little importance, having exercised but slight influence on contemporaneous art.

The exception already noted was in Spain, and there only in the case of a single painter. Francisco Goya y Lucientes, "Pintor Español," as he delighted to call himself, would be, indeed has been, a fascinating subject for picturesque biography. Charles Yriarte, the well-known French art critic, has given the world a most interesting and complete story of Goya's life, which, though it is only separated from our own day by a span of seventy years, chronicles the exploits of one who in the history of art must hark back to Benvenuto Cellini in the sixteenth century to find his parallel.

Goya was born March 31, 1746, at Fuente de Todos, in the province of Aragon. The son of a small farmer, he was [pg 338] placed when very young in the local Academy of Fine Arts at Saragossa, where he received instruction from Bayen and Luzan, painters little known outside of Spain. The swashbuckler instincts which were to govern him through life manifested themselves here, where in a street brawl he laid low three of his adversaries. He found it prudent to evade both justice and the vengeance which followed swift and sure in those days in Spain, by flying to Madrid. Soon after his arrival in the capital, however, in continuation of his old mode of life, he was picked up for dead in one of the low quarters of the town. Surviving the poignard, but again threatened with arrest, he joined a quadrilla of bull-fighters, in whose company he went from town to town, giving exhibitions of his prowess in the national sport.


There is a tradition that this etching was made from nature, the model—some malefactor executed by the strangling method employed in Spain—being studied by Goya from his chamber window.

With all this, painting must have been somewhat of an interlude; but Goya had early shown signs of great talent, and before he left Saragossa, his master, Josepha Bayen, had confidence enough in his future to entrust the happiness of his daughter to his care by permitting his marriage to her. Goya's biographer notes that through all the various adventures of his career he had the utmost care for the material comfort of this lady. Her character must impress us to-day as charitable to excess; for, shortly after the bull-fighting episode, Goya found himself in Rome, where his next exploit was the abduction, from a convent, of a noble Roman girl. With the police once more on his track, he sought refuge at the Spanish Embassy, whence he was despatched home in disguise, probably to the relief of his country's representative in Rome. Before this adventure, which was only one of many which the charitable wife had to pardon, he had attracted the attention of David, who was then in Italy, and who, as his art differed in every way from that of Goya, must have been strongly impressed by his work to give it his approval.


One of the plates from the "Disasters of War" where the grotesque and huge figure of Death appears to the combatants.

On arriving home Goya was given employment in designing a series of tapestries for the royal palace; and from 1780, when he was made a member of the Spanish Royal Academy, ensues the period of his greatest artistic activity. Carrying into his art the same excess of temperament which marked his life, his execution was rapid and decisive. Rebellious to the ordinary means employed by painters, he used various mediums, some of which [pg 339] have ill withstood the ravages of time; and, disdaining brushes, he often employed sponges or bits of rag in their place. In the case of one of his pictures, a revolt of the Madrilenians against the French, it is said that he employed a spoon.

In 1799 Goya was made painter to the king, Charles III., whose successor, the fourth of his name, continued his favor. The time, which was that of the notorious "Prince of Peace," Godoy, was favorable for a character like that of Goya, whose eccentricities were looked upon with an indulgent eye by a court which must have felt that its function was hardly that of moral censor. At least Goya, the intimate of Maria Louisa and the court circle, by no means abandoned his friends the bull-fighters and tavern-keepers. Fresh from an altar-piece for a cathedral, or a royal portrait, his ready brush found employment in rapidly painting a street scene, or even a sign for a wine-shop. A whitewashed wall for canvas and mud from the gutter for pigment, were the means employed to embody a patriotic theme at the entrance of the French soldiers into Madrid—a popular masterpiece executed to the plaudits of the crowd.

All this would seem to denote a charlatan; yet withal, Goya has fairly won his place amid the great painters of the world. Perhaps no better example could be found of the essential difference between the outward and visible actions of a man and the inward and spiritual grace of an artist than in this instance; and the Latin standpoint, always more intellectually liberal than our own Anglo-Saxon appreciation of the same problem furnishes the reason why Goya was left free to pursue his artistic career instead of languishing in prison. His illogical brush filled the cathedrals of Saragossa, Seville, Toledo, and Valencia with masterly frescoes, while with the etching needle he produced many plates. Some of these, like the "Caprices," a series of eighty etchings, are filled with imagination alternately tragical and grotesque; while another series, representing bull-fights, throughout its thirty-three plates depicts the incidents of the game with intense realism. The "Disasters of War," another series of eighty, were inspired by the French invasion; and never, perhaps, were the cruelties of war more strenuously realized in art than in these. Probably these etchings, executed, like all his works, by methods peculiar to himself, constitute his best title to remembrance. But his painting, replete though it be with the defects of his qualities, stands as a precursor of the great coloristic school of which Delacroix was the head and front. This is notably to be felt in his portraits, and in some of the rapidly executed single figures of which the Louvre has a specimen and the Metropolitan Museum, New York, another—the latter, "A Jewess of Tangiers."


This portrait is the frontispiece to a series of etchings by Goya.

Before leaving Goya for men whose works are their only history, a characteristic incident, which caused his flight from Spain to Bordeaux in France, must be told. In 1814 Wellington was in Madrid and sat for his portrait to Goya. After the first sitting, the soldier presumed to criticise the work; whereat Goya, seizing a cutlass, attacked him, causing the future hero of Waterloo to flee for his life from the maniacal fury of the painter. It is said that, later, peace was made between the two men, and that the portrait was achieved; but for the moment Goya found safety in France, together with his [pg 340] long-suffering wife, who had incidentally borne him twenty children. At the green old age of eighty-two Goya died at Bordeaux, April 16, 1828.


These are the patron saints of Seville. The legend has it that they were the daughters of a potter and followed their father's trade, giving away in charity, however, all that they earned more than was sufficient to supply their simple wants. At the time of a festival to Venus, they were requested to supply the vessels to be used in her worship, and on their refusing, they were dragged before the prefect, who condemned them to death, July 19, A.D. 304. They are generally represented with earthen vessels and the palms of martyrdom; in this case, the broken statue of Venus lies in the foreground. The Giralda tower, the chief ornament of Seville, and the prototype of the Madison Square tower in New York City, is their especial care, and it is believed that its preservation from lightning is due to them.

No greater contrast could be devised than the four works which follow, either in the character of the art or in the uneventful respectability of the painters' lives. They are all typical of a class of pictures which has been popular in England, from the time of Hogarth to the present day. The earliest of them is the "Blind Fiddler" of Sir David Wilkie, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807. The dates at which the others, by Mulready, Webster, and Leslie, were painted would preclude their appearance here, if strict chronological sequence were imposed, as they were painted about 1840. It is instructive, however, to group them together, to show that these artists and their followers, who were legion, thought at least as much of subject as of method. Not that the latter quality is lacking. On the contrary, it is only too evident; but it is a method of convention. No one would imagine for a moment, in looking at any one of these pictures, that he was admitted an unseen spectator to some scene of intimate family life. It is this quality which the great Dutchmen in all their scenes of familiar life preserved; and when we look at a Pieter de Hooge, for instance, there is no suspicion that the homely scene has been arranged for our delectation. In its transplantation from Holland, however, English art lost just this quality.

David Wilkie, born in Scotland, at Cults in Fifeshire, November 18, 1785, came to London in 1805 to enter the Royal Academy schools, after some preliminary training at Edinburgh. His first picture, in the exhibition of 1806, "The Village Politicians," attracted attention, and was followed the next year by "The Blind Fiddler." The work of a youth of twenty-two, it is remarkable for its close observation of character and the skilful use made of what may be termed the theatrical faculty of grouping the personages so that their action tells the story. This is not a merit, and there is little doubt that the scene would be greater as art were it more consistently human. Character is well and pictorially rendered; but by its insistence in every figure, we feel that it is but a moment since the curtain was withdrawn and the tableau vivant shown. This and the pictures following it met with the most unbounded popular approval, were reproduced by engraving, and exercised an influence increased by the honors and fortune which were showered on the painter.

In 1825 Wilkie made an extended continental tour, and three years later, after his return to England, changed his class of subjects for historical and portrait painting, bringing to these later themes the same ability and the same lack of naïveté which characterized his former work. A Royal Academician since 1811, he was appointed first painter in ordinary to the king, on the death of Lawrence, in 1830. He was knighted in 1836, and died at sea on June 1, 1841, while returning from Egypt.

[pg 341]

"An itinerant musician is entertaining a cottager and his family with a tune on the fiddle; the father gayly snaps his fingers at an infant on the knees of the mother, behind whom a mischievous boy, with the poker and bellows in his hands, is mimicking the action of the musician. With this exception, all, even the dog standing by the chair of its mistress, appear to be intent upon the music of the blind fiddler." This quotation, from the catalogue of the National Gallery where the original picture is placed, accurately describes it.

[pg 342]

To the title of this picture, the painter himself added, as expository of his theme and the source of his inspiration, the following passage from Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield": "I had scarcely taken orders a year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but for such qualities as would wear well." The picture thus affords a good instance of the dependence on literature of the painters of Mulready's school. Its title alone would suffice, so well and simply is the story told; but, apparently, with the British public, and in the painter's mind, it gained an added grace by diverting the visual impression of the observer to the realm of literature. The picture is here reproduced from a copyrighted photograph by Frederick Hollyer, Kensington.

William Mulready was of Irish birth, having come into the world at Ennis, in the County Clare, April 1, 1786. In 1809, after a period in the schools of the Royal Academy, he exhibited there a picture entitled "Fair Time," which gave him almost instant success; and until his death, July 7, 1863, though producing fewer pictures than Wilkie, he worked on very much the same class of subjects. [pg 343] His color is less agreeable than that of the Scot, and his execution very much more labored. His life was uneventful, occupied exclusively with his work, which he loved; so much so that two days before his death, an old man of seventy-seven, he sat drawing in the evening life class at the Royal Academy. He had been a member of the Academy since 1816. The picture here reproduced is (even without the quotation from the "Vicar of Wakefield" which accompanies it in the catalogue of the South Kensington Museum) a simple story simply told. It is free from the mannerisms which mar much of Mulready's work, especially in the portrayal of children, and in the original is more agreeable in color than are many of his pictures.


The happily chosen title explains sufficiently this pleasant scene. The picture, painted in 1843, is now in the South Kensington Museum.

Thomas Webster, born March 20, 1800, in London, and dying at Cranbrook in Kent, September, 1886, was another painter whose work had enjoyed the full meed of popularity, from 1825 to the time of his retirement from the Royal Academy in 1877. Pictures like the one here reproduced (from the original in the South Kensington Museum, painted in 1843, and entitled "Contrary Winds"), pictures depicting homely rustic life, were his specialty. His work had gained him the title of Royal Academician in 1846.

Through all this time, and in the work of many painters unnoticed here, the qualities are evident of an honest endeavor to paint the simple life of the country. With a higher standard of taste, and better preliminary instruction, painting would have gained; and the defect with which British art has been so often reproached, of being too literary, might have been lessened. Charles Robert Leslie, whose works are almost uniformly inspired by literature, was born at Clerkenwell in England, of American parents, October 19, 1794. He was taken to Philadelphia when five years of age, but returned to England in 1811, to study at the Royal Academy. Washington Allston and Benjamin West, both Americans—the latter at the time President of the Royal Academy—aided Leslie by advice.

After a preliminary stage as a portrait painter, Leslie exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1819 a picture of "Sir Roger de Coverley Going to Church," the first of a long series of pictures dependent on books for their subjects. In 1825 he painted "Sancho Panza and the Duchess," which procured him his election as an Academician the following year. The picture here reproduced is a repetition, with some slight changes, of the same subject, [pg 344] but was painted in 1844. Leslie may be said to have originated this style of subject in England, where he has had many followers; and, given the requisite knowledge of literature, his pictures tell their story with directness and humor. In painting, his work is rather hard; but in grace and style of drawing he was much superior to his contemporaries. Among his pictures are many suggested by Shakespeare, which have been popularized by engraving.


Sancho having, by the command of the Duchess, seated himself upon a low stool, is saying, "Now, madam, that I am sure that nobody but the company present hears us, I will answer without fear or emotion to all you have asked and to all you shall ask me; and the first thing I tell you is that I take my master, Don Quixote, for a downright madman." The original picture is in the National Gallery, London.

Leslie returned to this country in 1833 to accept the professorship of drawing at the West Point Military Academy, but remained only a few months. After returning to London, he enjoyed a successful career until his death, May 5, 1859. He was one of the first and most consistent admirers of Constable's work, and wrote his life. He also published lectures on painting, delivered at the Royal Academy, where he had been appointed lecturer in 1848.

The consideration of the two men whose portraits face each other here, and who stood thus opposed, during their lives, as the leaders of all that constituted art in their time and country, takes us back to France. Frequent returns of this character will be necessary in the course of these papers; for, without undue prejudice in favor of the French, it must be said that they alone have through the century maintained a consistent attitude in regard to art. Other countries have from time to time encouraged painting, with as frequent lapses of interest or lack of men who could legitimately inspire interest. Although transplanted bodily from Italy to France, in the time of Francis the First, art had taken so firm a root by the commencement of this century that, as we have seen, it grew and flourished though watered by the red blood of revolution. As a national institution, following the prescribed rules of the Academy, it has, of course, met with frequent assaults at the hands of men for whom prescribed academic law was as naught in comparison with the higher law of genius. In 1819 such a man appeared, with a picture which violated the unwritten law formulated by David: "Look in your Plutarch and paint!"

[pg 345]

The frigate "Medusa," accompanied by three other vessels, left France June 17, 1816, heading for Saint-Louis (Senegal), with the governor and principal officers of the colony as passengers. On July 2 the vessel stranded on a reef, and after five days of ineffectual effort to float her, was abandoned. A raft was constructed and one hundred and forty-nine men embarked on it, the remainder of the crew and passengers, four hundred all told, taking to the boats. For twelve days, the raft floated at the will of the waves and winds; then it was sighted by one of the convoys, the brig Argus. Only fifteen men survived. The picture represents the moment of their deliverance.

[pg 346]

Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault, born at Rouen, September 26, 1791, came to Paris in 1808, and entered the studio of Guérin, where his method of painting displeased his master to such a degree that he advised him to abandon the study of art. Guérin had thoroughly imbibed the defects of the David method; and the spectacle of a youth who obstinately persisted in trying to paint the model as he really appeared, instead of making a pink imitation of antique sculpture, seemed to him to be of little promise.


Painted for the gallery of Painters' Portraits in the Uffizi, Florence, in 1858, according to the inscription on the picture. This most interesting collection, which is still being added to year by year, comprises the portraits of the great painters, in most cases by their own hands, from the time of the Renaissance to our day.

Géricault, however, persisted; and with the exception of about a year, when the halo of military glory seduced him from his work, he worked so well and earnestly that, after two years' sojourn in Italy, he returned to Paris, a few weeks before the Salon of 1819, equipped with the knowledge of a master.

Taking a canvas about fifteen feet high by twenty in length, using the green-room of a theatre for a studio, he set to work. Disdaining the prevailing taste for mythology and classic themes, he took from the journals of the time the moving recital of the sufferings of the crew of the frigate "Medusa," abandoned on a raft in mid-ocean. Choosing the moment when the fifteen survivors of the hundred and forty-nine men who had embarked on the raft sighted the sail in the offing which meant their deliverance, he worked with an energy and fire which have remained remarkable in the annals of art. Certain of the figures, all of which are more than life size, were painted in a day, and when the Salon of 1819 opened, the picture was finished.

Seen as it is to-day in the Louvre, blackened by time and the neglect from which it suffered for six or seven years before it was placed there, it remains one of the capital pages in the history of modern art. The effect on the younger generation who saw it fresh from the hand of the master, accustomed as they were to the lifeless effigies of the classic school, was puzzling, and none but the most revolutionary dared approve of it. With the older painters there was a similar distrust of the impression which it caused. Yet David—an artistic kernel encased in an academic husk—admired it; and so did a swarthy youth who was soon to make his [pg 347] mark and who was a friend and former comrade of Géricault in the atelier Guérin—Eugène Delacroix.


This portrait was left by the painter at his death to Mlle. Jenny Leguillon, his housekeeper, and by her was bequeathed to the Louvre in 1872.

Géricault received a recompense of the fourth class, and, disgusted with his lot, took the immense canvas to London, where it was exhibited with success. During his sojourn in England he executed a number of pictures in oil and water color, and many lithographs, which are to-day eagerly sought by collectors. Returning to France full of projects for work, his health began to give way, and on the 18th of January, 1824, he died. The influence which he exercised had, however, borne its fruits. Already in the Salon of 1822 Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, born at Charenton, near Paris, April 26, 1799, had shown his "Dante and Virgil."

Before considering Delacroix, however, it is best to return to the earlier years of the century, and give J. Dominique Auguste Ingres, whose stern face confronts Delacroix's portrait, the precedence to which his age entitles him.

"Monsieur" Ingres, as the iconoclastic leaders of the romantic school called him in mock deference, was born at Montauban, August 29, 1780. His life was fortunate, and his history, which is chiefly that of his works, can be told in few words. A pupil of David, he received the Prix de Rome in 1801. He remained in Rome much longer than the allotted four years to which his prize entitled him, and returned there often during his life as to the source of all art. By portraiture and the constant patronage of the government, the material conditions of his life, which was of a simple character, befitting a man who viewed his mission as that of an apostle preaching the doctrine of pure classicism, were made easy; and the official titles of Member of the Institute, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, and Senator of the Empire all came to him with the lapse of years.

More royalist than the king, and the last of David's disciples, Ingres pursued throughout his life the even tenor of a man convinced that the source of all inspiration in art was Greek sculpture as amplified, transmuted, and translated to the realm of painting by Raphael. Painting in his hands became almost purely a matter of form. The element of color was virtually ignored, and form, chastened in contour and modelling, became through the magic of his genius the almost sufficient quality. The qualification is necessary. For though too great a man to lose, as too many of his master's pupils did, the grasp on nature; and while, therefore, his works, seen as they are through the glamour of the antique, never lack an intimate relation to existing life, it is impossible to resist the feeling before them that it is life beautified, of exquisite yet virile choice, but of life arrested. The reproach of his opponents of the romantic school that he was an "embalmer" has a foundation of truth.

[pg 348]

This lovely drawing, from the collection in the Louvre, shows Ingres in his most pleasing aspect. By the magic of a few lines faintly traced, he has evoked for us the image of a charming person; and by the slight indication of costume, has also fixed the epoch at which the drawing was made. It was in the earlier years of the master, while he was in Rome, that he drew many such little masterpieces as a means of livelihood, drawings which he then made for a few francs, and which are now eagerly sought by the museums of Europe.

[pg 349]

Originally painted for a ceiling in the gallery of Greek and Roman Antiquities, in the Louvre, where it is now replaced by a copy of the same executed by Ingres's pupils. The picture represents Homer crowned as Jupiter by Victory, and seated before his temple receiving the homage of the poets, painters, sculptors, and architects of the world.

[pg 350]

In 1203, through political intrigue, a French army, raised to take part in the fourth crusade for the rescue of Jerusalem from the Mohammedans, joined with a Venetian army in an attack on Constantinople, then a Christian city, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The city fell, but later was recovered. Then, on April 12, 1204, the invaders secured it again, and subjected it to a despoilment without parallel. Delacroix's picture portrays a scene in this despoilment. One of the invading barons, attended by his escort, rides on to a terrace, and the citizens fall before him, praying his mercy. Behind lies the Bosphorous, and beyond it are the shores of Asia.

For all this, it is hardly superlative to say that, since art began, no man has ever felt the exquisite and subtle harmony of line to the same degree as Ingres. Naturally the best examples of this, his greatest quality, are to be found in his rendering of the nude human form; and from the "Oedipus and the Sphinx," of 1808, to "La Source," of 1856, both of which are now in the Louvre, he returned again and again to its study, producing each time a masterpiece. His portraits, again, are most masterly, occasionally rising through sheer force of rendering each characteristic trait of his model (as in the portrait of M. Bertin, the editor of the "Débats"), to the extreme exactitude of Holbein, coupled with an allure so thoroughly modern that the whole epoch of Louis Philippe lives before us. In the slighter drawings of his earlier years in Rome, one of which is reproduced here, only the most typical details are chosen, and these are indicated with a delicacy of touch, a sureness of hand, that not only indicates the master, but lends a distinctive charm of truthful delicacy of which none but Ingres has known the secret. It is in such works that his influence will be felt the longest; [pg 351] for, as with his master, the great pictures in which he exemplified his principles remain cold and uninteresting. The "Homer Deified," reproduced here, was originally intended as a ceiling for the Louvre, and from a decorative point of view would excite a pitying smile from Veronese or Tiepolo. Taken bit by bit, as a beautiful exhibition of supreme knowledge, of the evasive quality of style in drawing, it is, however, admirable, and as a whole it has the merits of grave, balanced composition. It was the spirit of work like this which the master sought to force upon his epoch, rather than that of his portraits or of pictures like the "Source;" and the austerity of these principles met with more submission in the earlier years of the century than when later Géricault had shown the path in which the audacious Delacroix threw himself at the head of a band of romantic followers.


The subject is taken from Dante's "Inferno," and represents the poet and his companions and guide standing in a bark conducted by Phlegyas, while around them appear on the surface of the water the writhing bodies of the condemned, among whom Dante recognizes certain Florentines.

[pg 352]

I have used the term audacious in speaking of Delacroix, and circumstances forced him to justify the epithet. Yet to a student of his work, and still more of his character as revealed in his writings (his recently published letters and the few articles published during his life in the "Revue des Deux-Mondes"), he would appear to have been by nature prepared to receive the full academic tradition, and only because of what appeared a violation of the tradition as he understood it, to have arrayed himself in violent opposition: a situation which rendered him in work and in life contradictory to his natural instinct. It is the old story of the defect of system. Even the most cunningly devised cannot make a place for all the many manifestations of temperamental activity. Like Géricault, a pupil of Guérin, Delacroix found in his master and in the general spirit of the school an insistence on the letter of the classic law to which his richly endowed nature could not bend, and was thus forced to rebel; whereas a more elastic application of received principles would have found him an enthusiastic adherent. In this way he missed acquiring the technical mastery over form, which proved a stumbling block to him through life. At times his drawing is possessed of a vigor and life which even Ingres never had; at others his work is almost lamentable in its lack of constructive form. In respect to color in its finest, most harmonic qualities, he is the greatest of French painters; and at all times he is master of an intense dramatic force. It was with a masterpiece—"Dante and Virgil"—that he made his first appearance at the Salon in 1822. At a bound he found himself famous. Guérin, who had counselled him against sending his picture to the Salon, grudgingly acknowledged that he was wrong. Gros told him that it was like Rubens, with more correctness of form—Rubens "chastened" was the word. The government bought the picture, paying the artist two hundred and forty dollars—twelve hundred francs—for it.

The same year Delacroix submissively made his final attempt for the Prix de Rome, but came out sixtieth in the competition. Thenceforward he was to be constantly before the public, constantly opposed, misunderstood, criticised; but nevertheless, with all the energy which shows in his portrait, constantly in the front. When his defenders had sufficient influence to force the hand of the ministry of fine arts, he was commissioned to paint for the state; and to this we owe the decorations in the gallery of Apollon in the Louvre, the decorations in the church of St. Sulpice, and others. When he received the order for the entrance of the Crusaders to Constantinople for the Gallery of Battles at Versailles, the good King Louis Philippe sent him word to make it as little like his usual style as possible!

Among Delacroix's critics Ingres, with all the force of his convictions, was the foremost. He to whom a sky had always served as a simple background was not created to understand the almost purple canopy of azure stretching far above the heads of the Crusaders; nor to find barbaric delight in the rich trappings of horses and men, since to him a drapery was simply a textureless covering adjusted to accentuate the form beneath. Delacroix, whose intelligence was of a higher order and who said of himself that he was "more rebellious than revolutionary," treated Ingres when they met on official occasions, as at the meetings of the Institute (where finally Delacroix had penetrated), with a high and distant courtesy which his sturdy adversary, strong in his pious devotion to classicism, hardly returned. Delacroix had by far the most brilliant following, reinforced as it was by the landscape painters, who from 1830 onwards gave to this century its most notable school of painting. Added to this was a fair measure of appreciation on the part of collectors.

Delacroix's genius found expression in many small pictures, all of them characterized by a gem-like coloration (which is more than mere color, however, for in it lies the secret of a powerful and direct expression of sentiment) and by a vivid realization of movement. Proud by nature, delicate in health, his life was far from happy; he never ceased to feel the sting of adverse criticism. "For more than thirty years I have been given over to the wild beasts," he said once. He had warm friends, who have left many records of his sweetness of disposition when the outer barrier of haughty reserve was broken through; but they were few in number. He never married; painting, he said, was his only mistress, and his passion for his art is felt through all his work. His death occurred at Champrosay near Paris, where he had a modest country house, on August 13, 1863; and four years later, January 14, 1867, his great adversary, Ingres, followed him.

[pg 353]


By Eugene Field.

As I went moseyin' down th' street,

My Denver friend I chanced t' meet.

"Hello!" says I,

"Where have you been so long a time

That we have missed your soothin' rhyme?"

"New York," says Cy.

"Gee whiz!" says I.

"You must have seen some wonders down

In that historic, splendid town;"

And then says I:

"For bridges, parks, and crowded streets

There is no other place that beats

New York," says I.

"Correct!" says Cy.

"The town is mighty big, but then

It isn't in it with its men,

Is it?" says I.

"And tell me, Cyrus, if you can,

Who is its biggest, brainiest man?"

"Dana!" says Cy.

"You bet!" says I.

"He's big of heart and big of brain,

And he's been good unto us twain"—

Choked up, says I.

"I love him, and I pray God give

Him many, many years to live!

Eh, Cy?" says I.

"Amen!" says Cy.

[pg 354]



By John Hay,

Author, with John G. Nicolay, of "Abraham Lincoln: a History."

From a photograph loaned by Mr. Miller and taken in 1861 by Colonel E.L. Brand, at that time commanding the company.

It is in contemplating what the world loses in the deaths of brilliant young citizen soldiers that we appreciate most fully the waste of war and the priceless value of the cause for which such lives were sacrificed. When a man like Henri Regnault—the most substantial hope and promise of art in our century—is seen at the siege of Paris lingering behind his retreating comrades, "le temps de bruler une dernière cartouche" the last words he uttered; when a genius like Theodore Winthrop is extinguished in its ardent dawn on an obscure skirmish field; when a patriot and poet like Koerner dies in battle with his work hardly begun—we feel how inadequate are all the millions of the treasury to rival such offerings. We shall have no correct idea what our country is worth to us if we forget all the singing voices that were hushed, all the noble hearts that stopped beating, all the fiery energies that were quenched, that we might be citizens of the great and indivisible Republic of the Western world.

I believe that few men who fell in our civil conflict bore with them out of the world possibilities of fame and usefulness so bright or so important as Colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, who was killed at Alexandria, Virginia, on May 24, 1861—the first conspicuous victim of the war. The world can never compute, can hardly even guess, what was lost in his untimely end. He was killed by the first gun he ever heard fired in strife; and his friends, who believe him to have had in him the making of a great soldier, have nothing to support their opinion but the impression made upon them by his manly character, his winning and vigorous personality, and the extraordinary ardor and zest with which his powerful mind turned towards military affairs in the midst of circumstances of almost incredible difficulty and privation. He was one of the dearest of the friends of my youth. I cannot hope to enable the readers of this paper to see him as I saw him. No words can express the vivid brilliancy of his look and his speech, the swift and graceful energy of his bearing. He was not a scholar, yet his words were like martial music; in stature he was less than the medium size, yet his strength was extraordinary; he seemed made of tempered steel. His entire aspect breathed high ambition and daring. His jet-black curls, his open candid brow, his dark eyes, at once fiery and tender, his eagle profile, his mouth just shaded by the youthful growth that hid none of its powerful and delicate lines—the whole face, which seemed made for nothing less than the command of men, whether as general or as orator, comes before me as I write, with a look of indignant appeal to the future for the chance of fame which inexorable fate denied him. The appeal, of course, is in vain. Only a few men, now growing old, knew what he was and what he might have been if life had been spared him for a year or two. I will merely try to show in these few pages, mainly from his own words, how great a heart was broken by the slugs of the assassin at the Marshall House.

He was born in the village of Mechanicsville, Saratoga County, New York, on April 23, 1837. His parents were plain people, without culture or means; one cannot guess how this eaglet came into so lowly a nest. He went out into the world at the first opportunity, to seek his fortune; he turned his hand, like other American [pg 355] boys, to anything he could find to do. He lived a while in New York, and finally drifted to Chicago, where we find him, in the spring of 1859, a clerk and student in the law office of Mr. J.E. Cone. From his earliest boyhood he had a passionate love of the army. He learned as a child the manual of arms; he picked up instinctively a knowledge of the pistol and the rifle; he became, almost without instruction, a scientific fencer. But he was now of age, and determined to be a lawyer, since, to all appearance, there was no chance for him in the army. The way in which he pursued his legal studies he has set down in a diary which he kept for a little while. He began it on his twenty-second birthday. "I do this," he said, "because it seems pleasant to be able to look back upon our past lives and note the gradual change in our sentiments and views of life; and because my life has been, and bids fair to be, such a jumble of strange incidents that, should I become anybody or anything, this will be useful as a means of showing how much suffering and temptation a man may undergo and still keep clear of despair and vice."


From a photograph by Brady in the Civil War collection of Mr. Robert Coster, by whose permission it is here reproduced.

He was neat, almost foppish, in his attire; not strictly fashionable, for he liked bright colors, flowing cravats, and hats that suggested the hunter or ranger rather than the law clerk; yet the pittance for which he worked was very small, and his poverty extreme. He therefore economized upon his food. He lived for months together upon dry biscuits and water. Here is a touching entry from his diary: "Had an opportunity to buy a desk to-day worth forty-five dollars, for fourteen dollars. It was just such a one as I needed, and I could sell at any time for more than was asked for it. I bought it at auction. I can now indulge my ideas of order in the arrangement of my papers to their fullest extent. Paid five dollars of my own money and borrowed ten dollars of James Clayburne; promised to return it next Tuesday. By the way, this was an instance in a small way of the importance of little things. Some two years since, when I was so poor, I went one day into an eating-house on an errand. While there, Clayburne and several friends came in.

"As I started to go out they stopped me and insisted upon my having an oyster stew. I refused, for I always made it a practice never to accept even an apple from any one, because I could not return like courtesies. While they were clamoring about the matter and I trying to get from them, the waiter brought on the oysters for the whole party, having taken it for granted that I was going to stay. So to escape making myself any more conspicuous by further refusal, I sat down. How gloriously every morsel tasted—the first food I had touched for three days and three nights. When I came to Chicago with a pocket full of money I sought James out and told him I owed him half a dollar. He said no, but I insisted my memory was better than his, and made him take it. Well, when I wanted ten dollars, I went to him, and he gave it to me freely, and would take no security. Have written four hours this evening; two pounds of crackers; sleep on office floor to-night."

The diary relates many incidents like this. He took a boyish pride in refusing offers of assistance, in resisting temptation to innocent indulgence, in passing most of his hours in study, earning only enough by his copying to keep body and soul together. One entry is, "Read one hundred and fifty pages of Blackstone—slept on floor." Such a regimen was not long in having its effect upon even his rugged health. He writes: "I tried to read, but could not. I am afraid my strength will not hold out. I have contracted a cold by sleeping on the floor, which has [pg 356] settled in my head, and nearly sets me crazy with catarrh. Then there is that gnawing, unsatisfied sensation which I begin to feel again, which prevents any long-continued application." About this time he was urged to take command of a company of cadets which, through mismanagement, had been reduced to a deplorable condition. He at first declined, but afterward consented if the company would accept certain rigorous conditions of discipline and obedience. He was as firm as granite to his company, and cheery and gay to the world, while in his private life he was subjecting himself to the cruel rigors described in his diary of April 21: "I am convinced that the course of reading which I am pursuing is not sufficiently thorough. Have commenced again at beginning of Blackstone. I now read a proposition or paragraph and reason upon it; try to get at the principle involved, in my own language; view it in every light till I think I understand it; then write it down in my commonplace book. My progress is, in consequence, very slow, as it takes on an average half an hour to each page. Attended meeting of cadets' committee on ways and means; all my propositions accepted. I spent my last ten cents for crackers to-day. Ten pages of Blackstone."

The next day he writes: "My mind was so occupied with obtaining money due to-morrow that I could not study. Five pages of Blackstone. Nothing whatever to eat. I am very tired and hungry to-night. Onward."


From a photograph loaned by Mr. H.H. Miller of Chicago, a member of the Chicago company, and taken July 2, 1860, by Colonel E.L. Brand of Chicago, a member of Ellsworth's Chicago company, and afterwards in command of it. In the State House at Springfield, Illinois, is a portrait group of the members of the Ellsworth company, with a reproduction of this portrait of Ellsworth in the centre.

In these circumstances of hunger and toil, he took charge of the company of cadets, which was falling to pieces from neglect. There was no sign in his bearing of the poverty and famine which were consuming him. He told them roundly that if they elected him their captain they did so with their eyes open; that he should enforce the strictest discipline, and make their company second to none in the United States. His laws were Draconic in their severity. He forbade his cadets from entering [pg 357] a drinking or gambling saloon or any other disreputable place under penalty of expulsion, publication of the offender's name in the city papers, and forfeiture of uniform. He insisted on prompt obedience and unremitting drill. The company under his firm and inspiring command rapidly pulled itself together, and attracted all at once the notice and admiration of Chicago and northern Illinois. The young captain did not give up his law studies. He wrote and affixed to his desk a card which contained his own daily orders: "So aim to spend your time that at night, when looking back at the disposal of the day, you find no time misspent, no hour, no moment even, which has not resulted in some benefit, no action which had not a purpose in it. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays: Rise at 5 o'clock; 5 to 10, study; 10 to 1, copy; 1 to 4, business; 4 to 7, study; 7 to 8, exercise; 8 to 10, study. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: Rise at 6; 6 to 10, study; 10 to 1, business; 1 to 7, study and copy; 7 to 11, drill."

Working faithfully as he did in the office, his whole heart was in his drill room. His fame as a fencer went abroad in the town, and he was challenged to a bout by the principal teacher of the art in Chicago. Ellsworth records the combat in his diary of May 24th: "This evening the fencer of whom I have heard so much came up to the armory to fence with me. He said to his pupils and several others that if I held to the low guard he would disarm me every time I raised my foil. He is a great gymnast, and I fully expected to be beaten. The result was: I disarmed him four times, hit him thirty times. He disarmed me once and hit me five times. At the touche-à-touche I touched him in two places at the same allonge, and threw his foil from him several feet. He was very angry, though he tried to conceal it."


From a photograph in the Civil War collection of Mr. Robert Coster, by whose permission it is here reproduced.

Public interest constantly grew in the Zouaves and their young captain. Large crowds attended every drill. The newspapers began to report all their proceedings, and to comment upon them with more or less malevolence; for military companies were treated with scant respect in Western towns before the war. Ellsworth at last determined to confront hostile opinion by giving a public exhibition of the proficiency of his company on the Fourth of July. He was not without trepidation. The night before the Fourth he wrote: "To-morrow will be an eventful day to me; to-morrow I have to appear in a conspicuous position before thousands of citizens—an immense number of whom, without knowing me except by sight, are prejudiced against me. To-morrow will demonstrate the truth or falsity of my assertion that the citizens would encourage military companies if they were worthy of respect." The result was an overwhelming success; and the young soldier, after his feast of crackers the next night, wrote in exultation: "Victory! And thank God!"

The Chicago "Tribune," which had previously been unfriendly to the little company who were trying to make soldiers of themselves, gave a long and flattering account of the performance, and said: "We but express the opinion of all who saw the drill yesterday morning, when we say this company cannot be surpassed this side of West Point."

Encouraged by this public applause, he brought his company of Zouaves as near to absolute perfection of drill as was possible; and then, having tested them in as many competitive contests as were within reach, he challenged the militia companies of the United States, and set forth in the summer of 1860 on a tour of the country which was one unbroken succession of triumphs. He defeated the crack companies in all the principal Eastern cities, and [pg 358] went back to Chicago one of the most talked-of men in the country. Hundreds of Zouave companies started up in his wake, and a very considerable awakening of interest in military matters was the substantial result of his journey.


On his return to Illinois he made the acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln, and gained at once his friendship and esteem. He entered his office in Springfield ostensibly as a law student; but Mr. Lincoln was then a candidate for the Presidency, and Ellsworth read very little law that autumn. He made some Republican speeches in the country towns about Springfield, bright, witty, and good-natured. But his mind was full of a project which he hoped to accomplish by the aid of Mr. Lincoln—no less than the establishment in the War Department of a bureau of militia, by which the entire militia system of the United States should be concentrated, systematized, and made efficient: an enormous undertaking for a boy of twenty-three; but his plans were clear, definite, and comprehensive.

[pg 359]

From a photograph owned by Bryan, Taylor & Co., publishers, New York, and reproduced here by their permission.

After Mr. Lincoln's election Ellsworth accompanied him to Washington. As a preliminary step towards placing him in charge of a bureau of militia, the President gave him a commission as a lieutenant in the army. Shortly afterward he fell seriously ill with the measles; and before he was thoroughly convalescent, the guns about Sumter opened the Civil War. There had been much doubt in many minds as to the loyalty of the people in case of actual war. Ellsworth never had doubted it. He said to me as I sat by his bedside: "You know I have a great work to do, to which my life is pledged; I am the only earthly stay of my parents; there is a young woman whose happiness I regard as dearer than my own; yet I could ask no better death than to fall next week before Sumter. I am not better than other men. You will find that patriotism is not dead, even if it sleeps." When the news came that South Carolina had begun the war, he did not wait an instant. He threw up his commission in the regulars, took all the money we both had, which was not much, and thus insufficiently equipped, started for New York, and raised, with incredible celerity, the New York Zouaves, a regiment eleven hundred strong.

This unique organization filled so large a space in the public mind while Ellsworth commanded it that it seems hard to realize that its history with him is only a matter of a few weeks. He brought his regiment down to Washington early in May, arriving thin as a greyhound, his voice hoarse with drilling; but flushed and happy to know he was busy and useful at last.

There was no limit to the hopes and the confidence of his friends. We had grown to admire and respect him for his high and [pg 360] honorable character, his thorough knowledge of his business, ardent zeal for the flag he followed, and his extraordinary courage and energy. We fully expected, relying upon his splendid talents and the President's affectionate regard, that his first battle would make him a brigadier-general, and that his second would give him a division. There was no limit to the glory and usefulness we anticipated for him. How soon all these hopes were dust and ashes!


From a photograph taken by Colonel E.L. Brand, a member of Ellsworth's Chicago company, and reproduced by the courtesy of Mr. H.H. Miller, also a member of the company. The photograph was taken in New York City, July, 1860, on the occasion of an exhibition drill given there by Ellsworth's company. The persons shown in the picture are, beginning on the left, the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Sixth Regiment, New York Militia; E.E. Ellsworth, Captain of the United States Zouave Cadets (Ellsworth's Chicago company); Joseph C. Pinckney, Colonel of the Sixth Regiment, New York Militia; the Adjutant of the Sixth Regiment, New York Militia; H. Dwight Laflin, Second Lieutenant of the United States Zouave Cadets, and J.R. Scott, First Lieutenant of the United States Zouave Cadets. The colors shown in the picture were won by Ellsworth's company in a drill competition at the National Agricultural Fair, Chicago, September, 15, 1859, and were, by it, never lost. They are to-day in the custody of the company's color sergeant, B.B. Botteford, Chicago.

On the evening of May 23d he received his orders to lead his regiment on the extreme left of the Union lines in the advance into Virginia. The part assigned him was the occupation of Alexandria. He worked almost all night in his tent, arranging the business of his regiment, and then wrote a touching letter of farewell to his parents. Anticipating an engagement, he said: "It may be my lot to be injured in some manner. Whatever may happen, cherish the consolation that I was engaged in the performance of a sacred duty; and to-night, thinking over the probabilities of the morrow and the occurrences of the past, I am perfectly content to accept whatever my fortune may be, confident that He who noteth even the fall of a sparrow will have some purpose even in the fate of one like me. My darling and ever-loved parents, good-by. God bless, protect, and care for you." These loving and filial words were the last that came from his pen.

The Zouaves were embarked before dawn the next morning. The celerity and order with which Ellsworth performed his work excited the admiration and surprise [pg 361] of Admiral Dahlgren, who commanded the navy yard.

The town of Alexandria was occupied without resistance; and Ellsworth, with a squad of Zouaves, hurried off to take possession of the telegraph office. On his way he caught sight of a Confederate flag floating from the summit of the Marshall House. He had often seen, from the window of the Executive Mansion in Washington, this self-same banner flaunting defiance; and the temptation to tear it down with his own hands was too much for his boyish patriotism. Accompanied by four soldiers only and several civilians, he ran into the hotel, up the stairs to the roof, and tore down the flag; but coming down was met on the stairs by the hotel-keeper and shot dead. His assassin perished at the same moment, killed by Frank E. Brownell.

Ellsworth was buried from the East Room of the White House by the special order of the President, who mourned him as a son. Many brave and able officers were to perish in the four years that followed that mournful day; but there was not one whose death was more sincerely lamented than that of this young soldier who had never seen a battle; and it is the belief of his friends that he had not his superior in natural capacity among all the most eminent heroes of the war. But who will care to hear this said? If Napoleon Bonaparte had been killed at the siege of Toulon, who would have listened to some grief-stricken comrade's assertion that this young Corsican was the greatest soldier since Cæsar? I have written these lines merely to show how simple, kindly, and heroic a heart Colonel Ellsworth had—and not to claim for him what can never be proved.


By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps,

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


Letter O

NE study in our curriculum at the Andover School I have omitted to mention in its place; but, of them all, it was the most characteristic, and would be most interesting to an outsider. Where else but in Andover would a group of a dozen and a half girls be put to studying theology? Yet this is precisely what we did. Not that we called our short hour with Professor Park on Tuesday evenings by that long word; nor did he. It was understood that we had Bible lessons.

But the gist of the matter was, that we were taught Professor Park's theology.

We had our note-books, like the students in the chapel lecture-rooms, and we took docile notes of the great man's views on the attributes of the Deity, on election and probation, on atonement and sanctification, on eschatology, and the rest.

Girls' with pink ribbons at white throats, and girls with blue silk nets on their pretty hair, fluttered in like bees and butterflies, and settled about the long dining-room table, at whose end, with a shade over his eyes to shield them from the light, the professor sat in a dark corner.

Thence he promulgated stately doctrines to those soft and dreaming woman-creatures, who did not care a maple-leaf whether we sinned in Adam, or whether the Trinity were separate as persons or as attributes; but who drew little portraits of their dearest Academy boys on the margins of their lecture-books, and passed these to their particular intimates in surreptitious interludes between doctrines.

What must have been the professor's private speculations on those Tuesday evenings? I had a certain sense of their probable nature, even then; and glanced furtively into the dark corner for glimpses of the distant, sarcastic smile which I felt must be carving itself upon the lines of his strong face. But I never caught him at it; not once. With the gravity befitting his awful topics, and with the dignity belonging to his Chair and [pg 362] to his fame, the professor taught the butterflies, to the best of my knowledge and belief, as conscientiously as he did those black-coated beetles yonder, the theologues on the Seminary benches.


Of the class of 1861 over twenty went into the war, and several died in battle or in war prisons. Lieutenant S.H. Thompson, son of the late Professor William Thompson of East Windsor Seminary, was among this number. Also, Sergeant J.H. Thompson, son of the late Dr. Joseph P. Thompson of New York City. President Ward of Franklin College, the Rev. Dr. Dougherty of Kansas City, and the Rev. Dr. Brand of Oberlin College, were members of the class, and their portraits appear in the picture. The valedictorian was Carlos F. Carter, brother of President Carter of Williams College. He was drowned in the Jordan a few months after graduation.

I ought to say, just here, that, in a recent correspondence with Professor Park upon this matter, I found him more or less unconscious of having been so generous with his theology to the girls. I am giving the pupil's impressions, not the teacher's recollections, of that Bible-class; and I can give no other. Of course, I may be mistaken, and am liable to correction; but my impressions are, that he gave us his system of theology pretty straight and very faithfully.

I cannot deny that I enjoyed those stern lessons. Not that I had any marked predilections towards theology, but I liked the psychology of it. I experienced my first appreciation of the nature and value of logic in that class-room, and it did me good, and not evil altogether. There I learned to reason with more patience than a school-girl may always care to suffer; and there I observed that the mysteries of time and eternity, whatever one might personally conclude about them, were material of reason.

In many a mental upheaval of later life, the basis of that theological training has made itself felt to me, as one feels rocks or stumps or solid things underfoot in the sickly swaying of wet sands. I may not always believe all I was taught, but what I was taught has helped me to what I believe. I certainly think of those theological lectures with unqualified gratitude.

The Tuesday evenings grow warm and warmer. The butterflies hover about in white muslins, and pretty little bows of summer colors glisten on bright heads as they bend over the doctrines, around the long table. On the screens of the open windows the June beetles knock their heads, like theologues who wish they could get in. There is a moon without. Visions of possible forbidden ecstasies of strolls under the arches of the Seminary elms with the bravest boy in the Academy melt before the gentle minds, through which depravity, election, predestination, and justification are filing sternly. The professor's voice arises:

[pg 363]

"A sin is a wrong committed against God. God is an Infinite Being; therefore sin against Him is an infinite wrong. An infinite wrong against an Infinite Being deserves an infinite punishment—"

Now, the professor says that he has no recollection of ever having said this in the Bible-class; but there is the note-book of the girl's brain, stamped with the sentence for these thirty years!

"I have sometimes quoted it at the Seminary," he writes, "for the purpose of exposing the impropriety of it. I do not think any professor ever quoted the statement, without adding that it is untenable. The Andover argument was ——"5 He adds the proper controversial language, which, it seems, went solidly out of my head. Tenable or untenable, my memory has clutched the stately syllogism.

Sharp upon the doctrines there falls across the silence and the sweetness of the moonlit Hill a strange and sudden sound. It is louder than theology. It is more solemn than the professor's system. Insistent, urging everything before it—the toil of strenuous study, the fret of little trouble, and the dreams of dawning love—the call stirs on. It is the beat of a drum.

The boys of old Phillips, with the down on their faces, and that eternal fire in their hearts which has burned upon the youth of all the ages when their country has commanded: "Die for me!" are drilling by moonlight.

The Academy Company is out in force, passing up and down the quiet, studious streets. The marching of their feet beats solemnly at the meeting of the paths where (like the gardens of the professors) the long walks of the Seminary lawns form the shape of a mighty cross.

"An infinite wrong deserves an infinite punishment—" The theologian's voice falls solemnly. The girls turn their grave faces to the open windows. Silence helps the drum-beat, which lifts its cry to Heaven unimpeded; and the awful questions which it asks, what system of theology can answer?

Andover was no more loyal, probably, than other New England villages; but perhaps the presence of so many young men helped to make her seem so to those who passed the years from 1861 to 1865 upon the Hill.

Theology and church history and exegesis and sacred rhetoric retreated from the foreground of that scholastic drama. The great Presence that is called War swept up and filled the scene.

Gray-haired men went to their lecture-rooms with bowed heads, the morning papers shaking in their hands. The accuracy of the Hebrew verb did not matter so much as it did last term. The homiletic uses or abuses of an applied text, the soundness of the new school doctrine of free will, seemed less important to the universe than they were before the Flag went down on Sumter. Young eyes looked up at their instructors mistily, for the dawn of utter sacrifice was in them. He was only an Academy boy yesterday, or a theologue; unknown, unnoticed, saying his lesson in Xenophon, taking his notes on the Nicene Creed; blamed a little, possibly, by his teacher or by his professor, for inattention.

To-day he comes proudly to the desk. His step rings on the old, bare floors that he will never tread again. "Sir, my father gives his permission. I enlist at once."

To-day he is a hero, and the hero's light is glorious on his face. To-day he is the teacher, and the professor learns lessons in his turn now. The boy whom he has lectured and scolded towers above him suddenly, a sacred thing to see. The old man stands uncovered before his pupil as they clasp hands and part.

The drum calls on, and the boys drill bravely—no boys' parade this, but awful earnest now. The ladies of Andover sew red braid upon blue flannel shirts, with which the Academy Company make simple uniform.

Then comes a morning when the professors cannot read the papers for the news they bring; but cover streaming eyes with trembling hands, and turn their faces. For the black day of the defeat at Bull Run has darkened the summer sky.

Andover does not sew for the missionaries now. Her poor married theologues must wait a little for their babies' dresses. Even the blue flannel shirts for the drill are forgotten. The chapel is turned into sudden, awful uses, of which the "pious founders" in their comfortable graves did never dream. For there the women of the Hill, staying for no prayer-meeting, and delaying to sing no hymns, pick lint and roll bandages and pack supplies for the field; and there they sacrifice and suffer, like women who knew no theology at all; and since it was not theirs to offer life to the teeth of shot and shell, they "gave their happiness instead."

The first thing which I wrote, marking in [pg 364] any sense the beginning of what authors are accustomed to call their "literary career"—I dislike the phrase and wish we had a better—was a war story.

As nearly as I can recall the facts, up to this time I had shown no literary tendency whatever, since the receipt of that check for two dollars and a half. Possibly the munificence of that honorarium seemed to me to satiate mortal ambition for years. It is true that, during my schooldays, I did perpetrate three full-grown novels in manuscript. My dearest particular intimate and I shared in this exploit, and read our chapters to each other on Saturday afternoons.

I remember that the title of one of these "books" was "The Shadow of a Lifetime." It was a double title with a heroine to it, but I forget the lady's name, or even the nature of her particular shadow. The only thing that can be said about these three volumes is, that their youthful author had the saving sense not to try the Christian temper of a publisher with their perusal.

Yet, in truth, I have never regretted the precious portion of human existence spent in their creation; for I must have written off in that way a certain amount of apprenticeship which does, in some cases, find its way into type, and devastate the endurance of a patient public.

The war story of which I speak was distinctly the beginning of anything like genuine work for me. Mr. Alden tells me that it was published in January, 1864; but I think it must have been written a while before that, though not long, for its appearance quickly followed the receipt of the manuscript. The name of the story was "A Sacrifice Consumed." It was a very little story, not covering more than four or five pages in print. I sent it to "Harper's Magazine," without introduction or what young writers are accustomed to call "influence;" it was sent quite privately, without the knowledge of any friend. It was immediately accepted, and a prompt check for twenty-five dollars accompanied the acceptance. Even my father knew nothing of the venture until I carried the letter and enclosure to him. The pleasure on his expressive face was only equalled by its frank and unqualified astonishment. He read the story when it came out, and, I think, was touched by it—it was a story of a poor and plain little dressmaker who lost her lover in the army—and his genuine emotion gave me a kind of awed elation which has never been repeated in my experience. Ten hundred thousand unknown voices could not move me to the pride and pleasure which my father's first gentle word of approval gave to a girl who cared much to be loved, and little to be praised; and the plaudits of a "career" were the last things in earth or heaven then occupying her mind.


From a photograph by Geo. H. Leek, Lawrence, Massachusetts, taken in 1864.

Afterwards, I wrote with a distinct purpose, and, I think, quite steadily. I know that longer stories went, soon and often, to the old magazine, which never sent them back; and to which I am glad to pay the tribute of a gratitude that I have never outgrown. There was nothing of the stuff that heroines and geniuses are made of in a shy and self-distrustful girl who had no faith in her own capabilities, and, indeed, at that time, the smallest possible amount of interest in the subject.

It may be a humiliating fact, but it is the truth, that had my first story been refused, or even the second or the third, I should have written no more.

For the opinion of important editors, and for the sacredness of market value in literary wares, as well as in professorships or cotton cloth, I had a kind of respect at which I sometimes wonder; for I do not recall that it was ever distinctly taught me. But, assuredly, if nobody had cared for my stories enough to print them, I should have [pg 365] been the last person to differ from the ruling opinion, and should have bought at Warren Draper's old Andover book-store no more cheap printer's paper on which to inscribe the girlish handwriting (with the pointed letters and the big capitals) which my father, with patient pains, had caused to be taught me by a queer old travelling-master with an idea. Professor Phelps, by the way, had an exquisite chirography, which none of his children, to his evident disappointment, inherited.


This building was burned in 1864 or 1865.

But the editor of "Harper's" took everything I sent him; so the pointed letters and the large capitals continued to flow towards his desk.

Long after I had achieved whatever success has been given me, this magazine returned me one of my stories—it was the only one in a lifetime. I think the Editor then in power called it too tragic, or too something; it came out forthwith in the columns of another magazine that did not agree with him, and was afterwards issued, I think, in some sort of "classic" series of little books.

I was a little sorry, I know, at the time, for I had the most superstitious attachment for the magazine that, when "I was a stranger, took me in;" but it was probably necessary to break the record in this, as in all other forms of human happiness.

Other magazines took their turn—the "Atlantic," I remember—in due course; but I shared the general awe of this magazine at that time prevailing in New England, and, having, possibly, more than my share of personal pride, did not very early venture to intrude my little risk upon that fearful lottery.

Perhaps this reserve was more natural because "Harper's" published as fast as I could write; which is not saying much, to be sure, for I have always been a slow worker. The first story of mine which appeared in the "Atlantic" was a fictitious narrative of certain psychical phenomena occurring in Connecticut, and known to me, at first hand, to be authentic. I have yet to learn that the story attracted any attention from anybody more disinterested than those few friends of the sort who, in such cases, are wont to inquire, in tones more freighted with wonder than admiration: "What! Has she got into the 'Atlantic'?"

The "Century" came in turn, when it came into being. To this delightful magazine I have always been, and always hope to be, a contributor.


From a photograph taken in 1864 by Geo. H. Leek, Lawrence, Massachusetts.

I read, with a kind of hopeless envy, histories and legends of people of our craft who "do not write for money." It must be a pleasant experience to be able to cultivate so delicate a class of motives for the privilege of doing one's best to express [pg 366] one's thoughts to people who care for them. Personally, I have yet to breathe the ether of such a transcendent sphere. I am proud to say that I have always been a working-woman, and always had to be; though I ought to add that I am sure the proposal that my father's allowance to his daughter should cease, did not come from the father.

When the first little story appeared in "Harper's Magazine," it occurred to me, with a throb of pleasure greater than I supposed then that life could hold, that I could take care of myself, and from that day to this I have done so.

One hesitates a little, even in autobiography, about saying precisely this. But when I remember the thousands of women who find it too easy to be dependent on too heavily-weighted and too generous men, one hesitates no longer to say anything that may help those other thousands of women who stand on their own feet, and their own pluck, to understand how good a thing it is to be there.

Of all the methods of making a living open to educated people to-day, the profession of literature is, probably, the poorest in point of monetary returns. A couple of authors, counted successful as the world and the word go, said once:

"We have earned less this year than the fisherman in the dory before the door of our summer home." Perhaps it had been a good year for Jack; possibly a poor one for those other fishers, who spread their brains and hearts—a piteous net—into the seas of life in quest of thought and feeling that the idlers on the banks may take a summer's fancy to. But the truth remains. A successful teacher, a clever manufacturer, a steady mechanic, may depend upon a better income in this country than the writer whose supposed wealth he envies, and whose books he reads on Sunday afternoons, if he is not too sleepy, or does not prefer his bicycle.

When we see (as we have actually done) our market-man driving by our old buggy and cheap horse on holidays, with a barouche and span, we enjoy the sight very much; and when I say (for the other occupant of the buggy has a little taste for two horses, which I am so plebeian as not to share, having never been able to understand why one is not enough for anybody): "But would you be the span-owner—for the span?" we see the end of the subject, and grow ravenously contented.

One cannot live by bread or magazine stories alone, as the young daughter of toil too soon found out. Like other writers I did hack work. My main dependence was on that venerable and useful form of it which consists in making Sunday-school books. Of these I must have written over a dozen; I wince, sometimes, when I see their forgotten dates and titles in encyclopædias; but a better judgment tells me that one should not be ashamed of doing hard work honestly. I was not an artist at Sunday-school literature (there are such), and have often wondered why the religious publishing societies kept me at it so steadily and so long.

There were tales of piety and of mischief, of war and of home, of babies and of army nurses, of Tom-boys, and of girls who did their mending and obeyed their mothers.

The variety was the only thing I can recall that was commendable about these little books, unless one except a considerable dash of fun.

One of them came back to me—it happened to be the only book I ever wrote that did—and when the Andover expressman brought in the square package, just before tea, I felt my heart stand still with mortification. Fortunately nobody saw the expressman. I always kept my ventures to myself, and did not, that I can remember, read any manuscript of mine to suffering relatives or friends, before publication. Indeed, I carried on the writer's profession for many years as if it had been a burglar's.

At the earliest moment possible I got myself into my little room, and turned both keys upon myself and my rejected manuscript. But when I came to read the publisher's letter, I learned that hope still remained, a flickering torch, upon a darkened universe. That excellent man did not refuse the story, but raised objections to certain points or forms therein, to which he summoned my attention. The criticism called substantially for the rewriting of the book. I lighted my lamp, and, with the June beetles butting at my head, I wrote all night. At three o'clock in the morning I put the last sentence to the remodelled story—the whole was a matter of some three hundred and fifty pages of manuscript—and crawled to bed. At six, I stole out and found the expressman, that innocent and ignorant messenger of joy or woe. The revised manuscript reached the publisher by ten o'clock, and his letter of unconditional acceptance was in my hands before another tea-time.

I have never been in the habit of writing at night, having been early warned against this practice by the wisest of fathers (who notably failed to follow his own advice); and this almost solitary experience of the midnight [pg 367] oil remains as vivid as yesterday's sunset to me. My present opinion of that night's exploit is, that it signified an abnormal pride which might as well have received its due humiliation. But, at the time, it seemed to be the inevitable or even the creditable thing.


From a photograph by G.C. Cox, New York.

Sunday-school writers did books by sets in those days; perhaps they do still. And at least two such sets I provided to order, each of four volumes. Both of these, it so happens, have survived their day and generation—the Tiny books, we called them, and the Gypsy books. Only last year I was called upon to renew the copyright for Gypsy, a young person now thirty years old in type.

There is a certain poetic justice in this little circumstance, owing to the fact that I never worked harder in my life at anything than I did upon those little books; for I had, madly enough, contracted to supply four within a year.

We had no vacations in those days; I knew nothing of hills or shore; but "spoke straight on" through the terrible Andover weather. Our July and August thermometers used to stand up hard at over ninety degrees, day and night, for nearly a week at a time. The large white mansion was as comfortable as ceiled walls and back plaster could be in that furnace; but my own small room, on the sunny side of the house, was heated seven times hotter than endurance. Sometimes I got over an open register in a lower room, and wrote in the faint puffs of damp air that played with my misery. Sometimes I sat in the cellar itself; but it was rather dark, and one cherished a consciousness of mice. In the orchard, or the grove, one's brains fricasseed quickly; [pg 368] in fact, all out-of-doors was a scene of bottomless torment worthy of a theology older and severer than Andover's.

When the last chapter of the last book was done, it occurred to me to wonder whether I might ever be able to afford to get for a week or two where the thermometer went below ninety degrees in summer. But this was a wild and baseless dream, whose irrationality I quickly recognized. For such books as those into which I had been coining a year of my young strength and heart, I received the sum of one hundred dollars apiece. The "Gypsy" publisher was more munificent. He offered one hundred and fifty; a price which I accepted with incredible gratitude.

I mention these figures distinctly, with the cold-blooded view of dimming the rosy dreams of those young ladies and gentlemen with whom, if I may judge by their letters, our country seems to be brimming over.

"Will you read my poem?" "Won't you criticize my manuscript?" "I would like to forward my novel for your perusal." "I have sent you the copy of a rejected article of mine, on which I venture to ask—," etc., etc. "I have been told that all I need is Influence." "My friends think my book shows genius; but I have no Influence." "Will it trouble you too much to get this published for me?"

"Your Influence—" and so on, and so on, run the piteous appeals which every successful author receives from the great unknown world of discouraged and perplexed young people who are mistaking the stir of youth or vanity, or the ennui of idleness, or the sting of poverty, for the solemn throes of power.

What can one do for them, whom no one but themselves can help? What can one say to them, when anything one says is sure to give pain, or dishearten courage?

Write, if you must; not otherwise. Do not write, if you can earn a fair living at teaching or dressmaking, at electricity or hod-carrying. Make shoes, weed cabbages, survey land, keep house, make ice-cream, sell cake, climb a telephone pole. Nay, be a lightning-rod peddler or a book agent, before you set your heart upon it that you shall write for a living. Do anything honest, but do not write, unless God calls you, and publishers want you, and people read you, and editors claim you. Respect the market laws. Lean on nobody. Trust the common sense of an experienced publisher to know whether your manuscript is worth something or nothing. Do not depend on influence. Editors do not care a drop of ink for influence. What they want is good material, and the fresher it is, the better. An editor will pass by an old writer, any day, for an unknown and gifted new one, with power to say a good thing in a fresh way. Make your calling and election sure. Do not flirt with your pen. Emerson's phrase was, "toiling terribly." Nothing less will hint at the grinding drudgery of a life spent in living "by your brains."

Inspiration is all very well; but "genius is the infinite capacity for taking pains."

Living? It is more likely to be dying by your pen; despairing by your pen; burying hope and heart and youth and courage in your ink-stand.

Unless you are prepared to work like a slave at his galley, for the toss-up chance of a freedom which may be denied him when his work is done, do not write. There are some pleasant things about this way of spending a lifetime, but there are no easy ones.

There are privileges in it, but there are heart-ache, mortification, discouragement, and an eternal doubt.

Had one not better have made bread or picture-frames, run a motor, or invented a bicycle tire?

Time alone—perhaps one might say, eternity—can answer.

Footnote 5: (return)

"A sin once committed, always deserves punishment; and, as long as strict Justice is administered, the sin must be punished. Unless there be an Atonement, strict Justice must be administered; that is, Sin must be punished forever; but, on the ground of the Atonement, Grace may be administered, instead of Justice, and then the sinner may be pardoned."

Chapter End Graphic.

[pg 369]

From a photograph by Fradelle & Young, London.


By R. L. Stevenson.

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,

Say, could that lad be I?

Merry of soul he sailed on a day

Over the sea to Skye.

Mull was astern, Egg on the port,

Rum on the starboard bow;

Glory of youth glowed in his soul:

Where is that glory now?

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,

Say, could that lad be I?

Merry of soul he sailed on a day

Over the sea to Skye.

Give me again all that was there,

Give me the sun that shone!

Give me the eyes, give me soul,

Give me the lad that's gone!

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,

Say, could that lad be I?

Merry of soul he sailed on a day

Over the sea to Skye.

Billows and breeze, islands and seas,

Mountains of rain and sun,

All that was good, all that was fair,

All that was me is gone.

Originally published in the "Pall Mall Gazette."

[pg 370]


By Julia D. Whiting,

Author of "The Story of Myra," "Brother Sesostris," "A Special Providence," and other stories.
Letter W

HEN Selucius Huxter had arrived at his last illness, he proved himself more than ever in his life troublesome and wearing. Having a suspicion that his condition was worse than his doctor or children allowed, he gave them no peace until he had extracted an admission that such was the case. Left alone with the doctor at his request, he reproached him.

"Ye might as well told me before as let me lay here thinkin' and stewin' about it. I've lost a sight of strength tryin' to git the truth from ye, and there wa'n't no need. Wall—I suppose I ain't reely dyin' naow, while I'm a-talkin', be I?"

Assured as to that point, he added: "The reason I wanted to know is because I've got to fix my concerns so as to leave 'em as well as I can; and all I want of you is that when you think I'm—wall—if you see there's goin' to be a change, I want you should tell me, so's't I can straighten things right out and git their consent to it." Having promised, the doctor apprised him as the last moments drew near.

"Sho! I want to know! Why, I feel full as well as I did yes'dy and a leetle grain easier, if anythin'."

"I hope this notice does not find you unprepared," observed the doctor.

"Wall, no; I'm prepared as much as I can be, as you may say. I've been a member in good and regular standin' this fifty-five year—and I hain't arrived at my age without seeing there's somethin' in life beside livin'." He paused, then added with an accent of pride, "I don't owe any man a cent, nor never cheated a man of one. Wall, I've had quite a spell to think of things in, durin' my sickness, and I don't know but what I've enjoyed it considerable. Thought of things all along back to when I was a boy. Events come up that I'd clean forgot."

The doctor gone, he called his children in.

"Wall, Armidy, wall, Lucas, the doctor don't seem to think I shall tucker it out much longer. Wall, naow," he exclaimed, quite vexed, "I vow for't if I didn't forgit to ask him how long! Wall, too late naow. He's got out of sight, I s'pose."

Armida stepped to the window, and assured him of the fact.

"Wall, no gret matter. I jist thought if I could git him to fix the time I'd like to see how nigh he'd hit it.

"Naow, I want to fix the property so's't you won't have no trouble with it. No use wastin' money gittin' lawyers here. There ain't no cheatin' nor double-dealin' anywhere to be found amongst the Huxters nor the Lucases; and when you give me your promises to abide by my last will and testament I shall expect you to hold to it jist the same as if it was writ out.

"Naow, about the farm and house. The house, as you know, stands in the middle line of the farm; that is, the north side has a leetle the advantage in hevin' the Jabez Norcross paster tacked unto it, over and above the south half, but it's near enough. That paster don't count for much. Pooty thick with sheep laurel. Wall, seein' the land lies jist as it does, and the house is jist as it is, I propose to divide it even. Lucas, you can have the north half, and Armidy the south, beginnin' right to the front door, and runnin' right through the house and right along down to the river, straight as you can fetch it. Do you agree to my plan?"

Armida and Lucas exchanged glances. "You speak," said Lucas in a low tone.

"No, you," said Armida.

"What you whisperin' about? P'raps you think I can't hear because I'm dyin', but I'd have you to know my hearin' ain't affected a grain. Speak up naow! What is it, Lucas?"

"We were thinkin' of Theodore," said Lucas. "You're leavin' him out, seems so."

"'Tain't 'cause I forgot him; but I give him all I cal'lated to when he quit home five year ago—money; and so I sha'n't leave him anythin'. Wouldn't do him no good, if I did," he said to himself.

"Well, we should feel better if you did," said Armida. "I don't want he should be [pg 371] left out. Neither would mother if she was livin'; she'd feel bad."


"I'll settle it with your ma when I see her. Come, now, what do you say?"

There was a long silence, which Armida broke by saying, "S'posin' him or me was to want to leave the place, I mean for good—get tired of stayin' here to home?"

"Wall," said her father with a chuckle, "if either of you feels like givin your share to the other, you may. I ain't goin' to leave my old place for either of you to sell to each other nor nobody else. I expect you to live on't."

"Well," now objected Lucas; "s'posin' one of us should git married, then how would it be?"

"Why, live along. Put in and work a leetle harder, maybe. This farm carried a pooty fair number when I was younger. If you should git too numerous you could build on either side. I guess there ain't no gret danger," he added.

As neither offered further objections, Mr. Huxter said: "There's been talk enough, I s'pose. Do you agree to 't?" He waited while each gave an audible "yes." "Naow," said he, "I hain't an earthly thing to hamper me."

The father dead, for the brother and sister no new life began. Armida still skimmed all the milk and made the butter, looked after Lucas as she had before, and Lucas attended impartially to the whole of the farm, and Armida sometimes wondered what difference it made. To be sure the profits were divided with the most rigid exactness; but everything went tranquilly [pg 372] on until more than a year after their father's death, when Armida had a suspicion, confirmed by appearances, that Lucas was becoming interested in a young girl in a neighborhood a few miles away. The spirit of jealousy surely animated poor Armida, for nothing else could have prompted her action. Having ascertained the girl's name, she caused to be conveyed to her the facts, colored for the occasion, relating to the partition of the house and land; and the young woman, having a shrewd eye to the main chance, bluntly told Lucas when next she saw him that she didn't wish the half of a house nor the half of a farm.


Lucas had thought all might go on smoothly with a wife, and had counted on her accepting the situation. Inquiring as to who had meddled in his affairs, he traced the matter back to Armida, and coming home mortified and angry, reproached her in unsparing terms, ending his recital of wrongs with: "I don't know what you did it for, unless you was afraid your half was going to be invaded; and if you feel that way you'd better keep to your side and take care of your own property. I ain't going to interfere."

Armida was powerless to protect herself except with tears, which did not avail with Lucas. She made overtures of peace, such as offering to cook her brother's meals and look after his share of the milk; but was warned to attend to her own business.

Lucas had a new pipe-hole made in the kitchen chimney, and bought a new stove, and hunted up a kitchen table, telling Armida she was welcome to the stove and table they had previously used in common, but he'd thank her to stay on her own side of the room. The situation would have been ludicrous if it had not been grim earnest to the brother and sister. Lucas had a hard side to his character, and he could not forgive his sister's interference. He would not even give Armida advice, but allowed her cows to break into her cornfield and her sheep to stray away, without warning her, though all the while his heart pricked him at sight of her distress. Still all he would do was to suggest that she get a hired man.

Accordingly Armida, in despair, hired an easy-going, good-natured creature that offered his services. He did very well, and Armida got on better, and took courage.

But there was a dreadful blow in store for her. Lucas brought a gang of carpenters to the farm, who instituted repairs on his half of the house. He even went so far as to commit the extravagance of having blinds hung for his sitting-room and front chamber windows, and his half of the front porch was trimmed with brackets, and then the whole of his half of the house painted white, so that his neighbors rallied him on being proud. "Only," as [pg 373] one said, "why don't you extend your improvements right along acrost the house, Lucas? It looks sorter queer to see one-half so fine and the other so slack."

"Armida's free to do she's a mind to," said Lucas. "If she wants to fix up her side, she can. I don't hinder her—"

"Nor you don't help her neither, as I see," said the other.

"I believe in 'tendin' to your own affairs and not interferin' with other folks," Lucas rejoined.

Armida was made very unhappy by these changes and the comments of the neighbors, and would gladly have beautified her half also, but had no money to spend. The farm had fallen behind, and she was pinched for means. She did what she could, taking more care than usual of vines and flowers, and even had an extra bed dug under her front windows, where she had many bright-hued flowers; but as she rose from digging around her plants and surveyed the house—Lucas's side with the new green blinds and the clapboards shining with paint, hers with its stained, weather-beaten appearance and its staring windows—she felt ashamed and discouraged.

[pg 374]

She feared her hired man was slack and neglected his work; yet when he threatened to go, and afterward compromised the matter by offering to stay if she'd marry him, at a loss what to do, and partly because she was lonely, she married him. He was a respectable man, whose only fault was laziness, and she hoped that now he would take an interest. When Armida and her husband came back from the minister's and announced to Lucas that they were married, his only comment was, "Well, a slack help will make a shif'less husband."

Years went by, and Armida's side of the house fell more and more into ruin; while Lucas, with what Armida considered cruel carefulness, kept his in excellent repair and occasionally renewed the paint. The contrast was so great that passers-by stopped their horses that they might look and wonder at their leisure. Every glance was like a blow to Armida, so that she avoided her sitting-room and kept herself in the uncomfortable kitchen that was divided by an imaginary line directly through the middle, a line never crossed by her brother, her husband, or herself.

It would have looked absurd enough to a stranger to see this divided room, with the brother clumsily carrying on his household affairs on the one side and the sister doing her work on the other, with often not a word exchanged between them for days together. Absurd it might be, but it was certainly wretched. Armida grew old rapidly. Her husband was a poor stick, and when, as years passed, a touch of rheumatism gave him a real excuse for laziness, he did little more than sit by the fire and smoke.

As Armida sat on the bench under the old russet apple-tree by the back door one day, regretting her evil fate, she heard footsteps approaching, and, pushing back her old sun-bonnet, looked up to see a shabby, shambling, oldish man coming around the side of the house and gazing in at the windows, "What ye doin' there?" said Armida sharply.

The man turned, surveyed her with a smile, then said with a drawl she remembered: "I hain't been gone so long but that I know ye, Armidy. Don't you remember me?"

"Theodore Huxter! Is that you? Well!" and she hurried up to him, and shook hands violently.

"I heard only last week that father was dead," he explained. "I seen a man from this way, and he said he was gone. How long since?"

"More than ten years ago."

"Well, I thought I'd come and see ye."

"I'm glad you did," she said. "But come right in;" and she led the way into the kitchen.

He leaned up against the door and surveyed the room. "I should 'a' s'posed I'd have remembered this room, but what ye done to it? What hev you got two stoves and two tables and all that for, Armidy?"

Armida told him all, winding up her story with a few tears.

"That accounts for the looks of the outside, I s'pose," was his only comment. "I thought it was about the queerest I ever see. It's ridiculous! Why haven't you and Lucas straightened out affairs before this?"

"I can't, and he can't, I s'pose," she said hopelessly; "and everything makes it worse. I wouldn't care so much if he hadn't fixed up the outside the way he did."

"Oh, well now, don't you fret. If I had money—but then I haven't."

"How have you lived sence you left home?" Armida inquired.

"Why, I've had a still, and made essence and peddled it out; but I sold the still to git money to come here, and it took all I had."

"Well now, Theodore, I wish you'd stay here now you've got round again," said Armida with great earnestness. "I've worried about you a sight. I'd be glad to have you, and Lucas would, I know."

To spare a possible rebuff for Theodore, she ran out as she saw Lucas coming to the house to get his supper, and apprised him of his brother's arrival, glad to find he shared her pleasure in it. As Lucas entered the room he shook hands with Theodore, saying, "How are ye?" to which Theodore responded with "How are you, Lucas?"

Theodore was a relief and pleasure to all the family. He observed a strict impartiality. If he split some kindling-wood for Armida, he churned for Lucas. If he took Armida's old horse to be shod, he helped Lucas wash his sheep. He accepted everything, asking no questions after the first evening, but kept an observant eye on all.

Both Lucas and Armida had loved him since their earliest remembrance, and retained their old fondness for him now. He was a welcome guest on either side of the kitchen, and though when he announced of an evening that he was going visiting, and stepped across the line to the other [pg 375] side of the half from where he had been sitting, the owner of the side he honored felt pleased by the distinction, yet the one on the opposite side, though no longer (according to an understood law) joining in the conversation, still had the benefit of Theodore's narratives.


He was busy, too, in his way. He was indefatigable in berry-picking and herb-gathering, selling what Armida and Lucas did not wish, and showing not a little shrewdness. When he had laid a little money together he bought a still, and distilled essences of peppermint, wintergreen, and other sweet-smelling herbs and roots, and when a store was accumulated he filled a basket and departed on a peddling expedition, returning with money in his purse and a handkerchief or ribbon for Armida. Once he bought her a stuff gown, which she came near ruining by weeping over it, it was such a delight.

Lucas remonstrated. "I think you're foolish, Theodore. Why don't you spend your money on yourself? You'd a sight better get you a new coat."

"I'd rather see Armida crying over that stuff," said Theodore, "than have a dozen coats. Nobody knows Armida's good looking, because she's no good clothes. But she is, and when she gets that dress made up and puts it on with that pink ribbon I bought her last time, she'll look as pretty as a pink."

Not so great a success were the Venetian blinds that he bought second-hand and gave to Armida to hang in the sitting-room. They proved to be in sorry condition, and Theodore was much mortified. Being a handy creature, he managed to patch them up so that, though they could not be rolled up, they looked very well from the outside; and, as he philosophically remarked:

"What more do you want, Armidy? A room you never set in, you don't want any light in."

There was one thing that Theodore would not do. He would not, as he said, fellowship with Jerry, Armida's husband. "Tell you, Armidy," he would say, "I can't put up with a man like him."

[pg 376]

"Some folks call you shif'less, Theodore," Armida retorted with bitterness.

"Well, I am," he allowed; "but the difference is—I'm lazy, but work, my fashion; but he's lazy, and don't work at all."

Though he disdained Jerry, he would rather do his tasks than see Armida's interests suffer; and when he was not occupied with his still or peddling, he busied himself on her side of the farm. Lucas would at any time give him a helping hand rather than see Theodore hurt himself, and so Armida's fences were mended and sundry repairs on her barns and out-houses made. Lucas was still as stiff as ever, and the help given was always to oblige Theodore, who laughed to himself but said nothing.

He once attempted to wheedle Lucas into painting at least all of the front of the house, but Lucas was not to be moved. Disappointed in that, Theodore brought home a pot of yellow paint when returning from his next expedition, and painted his sister's half of the kitchen floor, in spite of her remonstrating that Lucas wouldn't like it, though she acknowledged it looked pretty, and in spite of Lucas's vexation at finding the room ridiculous.

"No more ridiculous than it was before," Theodore assured him; "it couldn't be. Besides," he added, as an afterthought, "I'll bring it plumb up to the middle, and neither of you will be trespassin' on the other's side. I noticed one of your chairs was a leetle grain onto Armidy's side the other night, and that ain't right."

In the middle of an afternoon, as Lucas was ploughing out his corn, he heard a "Hello!" to which, when it had been two or three times repeated, he replied, though without looking around. Presently he heard some one coming, in a sort of scuffling run, and breathing heavily, and looked over his shoulder to see Theodore, who dropped into a walk as he spied him, and gasped: "Lucas! Say! Stop! Look here!"

"Well?" said Lucas, and pulled up his horse.

"I'm too old to run like this, that's a fact," said Theodore, mopping his face and leaning up against the plough. "There's a queer piece of work for us to do, Lucas. Armidy's all smashed up on the road, right down here on that second dip, and I guess Jerry is stone dead, and we must fetch 'em up just as soon as we can."

Lucas made no comment, but mechanically unfastened the horse and turned toward the house, his brother stumbling behind, quite exhausted by the hurry and fatigue of the hour.

As they went Lucas said: "How did you come to know of it?"

"Well, it was cur'us," said Theodore. "You know I had old Sam this morning, bringing in a little jag of wood for Armidy, and lengthened out the traces to fit the old waggin. Well, all I know about it is what I guess. I see from the looks they must 'a' concluded to go to the village with some eggs and so on, 'cause you can see in the road where they smashed when the basket flew out; and Jerry didn't know no more than to hitch up into the buggy without shortenin' the traces, and you know how that would work. Well, the cur'us thing is that I was out in the paster mowin' some brakes—here, let me hitch up this side, while you do the other—and I heard somebody or somethin' comin' slam-bang, and I looked up—I wa'n't near enough so as to see who 'twas nor anythin'—and I looked up, and see 'em comin' like hudy, down one of them pitches. Thinks said I, well, there's a hitch-up that's goin' to flinders—and just then the forward wheel struck a big stone, and I see the woman and man and all fly inter the air and come down agin, and the hoss went."

"Where's the horse now?" said Lucas.

"I don't know, and I don't care. Tell ye, best put a feather-bed in the bottom of this waggin, because her arm's broke for certain, and I don't know what else. I'll fetch it—if you've got some spirits."

"Yes," said Lucas, "I'll fetch some;" and both hurried into the house, and soon came out again and hastened off.

"How did you know who 'twas?" Lucas inquired, with solemn curiosity fitting the occasion.

"Why, I didn't; but I knew when they didn't offer to git up, whoever 'twas wanted help, and I put across the lot to 'em, and sure enough 'twas Armidy and Jerry. I looked her over, and see by the way she lay that one of her arms was broke, anyway, and stepped over to where Jerry was, and sir! he was as dead as Moses! Head struck right on a big stone and broke his neck—his head hung down like that," letting his hand fall limply from the wrist.

"Does she know?" said Lucas.

"No, and I hope she won't for a spell. She hadn't come to when I left her."

Lucas struck the horse with the end of the reins to urge him on.

"There, now you can see 'em," said Theodore, rising in his seat and pointing [pg 377] down the road. Lucas followed his example, and looking before them they could see both husband and wife lying motionless in the road.


Between them they soon lifted poor Armida into the wagon, and laid her on the bed as tenderly as might be, eliciting a groan by the operation.

"Best give her some?" said Lucas, bringing a bottle of brandy from out his pocket. "Come to think of it, best not. She won't sense it so much if she don't realize."

A brief examination of Jerry was sufficient. The brothers exchanged glances and shakes of the head. "And to think," said Theodore, as they regarded the body, "that it was only this morning I said to Armidy there was one tramp too many in the house, meaning me, and now to have my words brought before me like this! 'Twasn't anything but a joke, but I hope she won't remember it against me."

"Well, first thing we've got to do is to get her to the house," said Lucas.

Armida having been made as comfortable as the present would allow, and Jerry having been brought up and consigned to the best chamber, as befitted his state, Lucas hastened after the doctor and Aunt Polly Slater. The doctor found Armida in a sad case. "Though I don't think," he assured the brothers, "if she isn't worried she will be hard sick. She's naturally rugged, and it's merely a simple fracture of the forearm. The sprained ankle will be the most tedious thing, but I must charge you to keep her in ignorance of her husband's death."

Theodore helped Aunt Polly in caring for Armida, and never was woman more tenderly cared for. Many were the lies he was forced to tell, as Armida was first surprised, then indignant, at Jerry's apparent neglect.

"Even Lucas has come to the door and looked at me," she complained, "and Jerry ain't so much as been near me."

Theodore was fain to concoct a story about a strained back that would not allow Jerry to rise from the bed. When it was deemed prudent to tell her, the task fell to Theodore, who was very tender of his sister, remembering that though he considered Jerry a shiftless, poor shack of a creature, Armida probably had affection for him. She took her loss very quietly.

"He was always good to me," she said, "and he cared for me when no one else did."

"You're wrong there," Theodore remonstrated.

[pg 378]

"I used to tell myself I was," she replied sadly. "I knew I give the first offence, but Lucas never would 'a' done as he did by the house if he'd cared for me."

Lucas heard the reproach where he stood out of sight in the little entry that led to Armida's room, listening to the brother and sister as they talked together within. He often lingered there, wishing to enter, but not daring to; longing to atone for the unhappiness he had caused his sister, but not knowing how to set about it. Now, taking Theodore into his confidence, he set to work to obliterate all outward signs that made it "the divided house," leaving to his brother the task of keeping it from Armida. As she querulously inquired what all the hammering and pounding that was going on in front of the house meant, Theodore had a story ready about the steps to the front porch being so worn out that Lucas had to have some new ones, "or else break his legs goin' over them." The smell of paint was accounted for by Lucas "havin' one of his spells of gittin' his side painted over agin;" on which Armida gave way to tears, until her brother comforted her by saying it didn't make much difference, a new coat couldn't make it any whiter than it was.

It was a great day when Armida was pronounced well enough to eat breakfast in the kitchen. Hobbling out with the aid of Theodore's arm, she stepped on the threshold, and looked over to where Lucas stood by his window. He greeted her with, "How are ye, Armidy?" but did not leave his place.

"It seems good to git out of my bedroom," said Armida; then stopped, gazed about her, and sank into a convenient chair, exclaiming, "What does it mean?"

For both her and Lucas's old stoves were gone, and a new one stood directly before the middle of the chimney, with its pipe running into the old pipe-hole that they used before the house was divided. The coffee-pot steamed and bubbled over the fire, and a platter of ham and eggs stood on the hearth, while the table, set for breakfast, stood exactly in the centre of the room; the dividing line had been wiped out by the paint-brush, and Lucas's side shone with yellow paint like her own.

"What does it mean?" she cried, trembling and clutching at Theodore's arm. Theodore said nothing, but slipped out of the room, and Lucas, after an awkward pause, said: "Armidy, I wanted, if you was willin', that we should quit doin' as we have done and have things together as we used to. Seems as if it would be pleasanter, and if you can forgive what I've done, I'll try to make it up to ye."

"Why, Lucas!" was all she could say.

"I know I hain't done by ye like a brother," said Lucas, anxious to get his self-imposed humiliation over, "and I'm sorry, and I'd like to begin over again."

"I'm just as much a transgressor as you be," said Armida, anxious to spare him. "If I hadn't said what I did, I 'spose you'd married Ianthe, and like as not had a family round ye."

"I don't know as I care now," said Lucas; "I have felt hard to ye; but I see Ianthe last March"—he laughed—"and I didn't mourn much that her name wa'n't Huxter. But that's neither here nor there. If you feel as if you could git along with two old brothers to look after instead of one, and overlook what's passed—"

"I'd be glad to, Lucas, if you won't lay up anything against me."

"Well, then;" and coming to her side Lucas bent over her, and, to her great surprise, kissed her. Turning away before she could return the kiss, he opened the back door and called to Theodore.

As Theodore came in, Lucas said: "If you had a shawl round ye, Armidy, wouldn't you like to git out a minute before breakfast?" and without waiting for an answer, he brought her shawl and wrapped it round her, then put on her bonnet.

"Can't you and I," he said to Theodore, "make a chair and take her out? You hain't forgot sence you left school, hev you?"

Locking their hands together they formed what school-children call a chair, and lifting Armida between them, carried her through the hall, out at the front door, down the walk to the gate, and turned round, while Theodore bade his sister look up at the house. Armida obeyed. She saw the house glistening with paint, her side of it as white as Lucas's, and blinds adorning her front windows, while the front porch, with new-laid floor and steps and bristling with brackets, was, in her eyes, the most imposing of entrances.

Could it be true? she asked herself, and shut her eyes; then glanced again, then looked at her brothers, who were both silent, Theodore smiling with joy, while Lucas looked gravely down at her.

"Oh, Lucas!" she cried, throwing her arms around his neck, "you done this for me!"

"I told you I was sorry, Armidy," he said.

[pg 379]


By Cleveland Moffett.

On the long peninsula that separates New York Bay from Newark Bay, there is, among other things, a red house by an open field, in which lives the king of kite-flyers. Every one in Bayonne, the town which covers this peninsula, knows the red house by the open field; for scarcely a day passes, winter or summer, that kites are not seen sailing above this spot—sometimes a solitary "hurricane flyer," when the wind is sweeping in strong from the ocean; sometimes a tandem string of seven or eight six-footers, each one fastened to the main line by its separate cord. And wonderful are the feats in kite-illumination accomplished by Mr. Eddy (the king aforesaid) on holiday nights, especially on the Fourth of July, when he keeps the sky ablaze with gracefully waving meteors, to the profound awe or admiration of his fellow-townsmen.


If you enter the red house and show a proper interest in the subject, Mr. Eddy will take you up to his kite-room, where skyflyers of all sorts, sizes, and materials range the walls—from the tiniest, made of tissue paper, to nine-footers, with lath frames and oil-cloth coverings. Hanging from the ceiling is one of the queer Hargrave kites, which looks like a double box, and seems as little likely to fly as a full-legged dining-table; yet fly it will, and beautifully too, though by a principle of aëroplanes only recently understood.

Then Mr. Eddy will show you the room where, with the help of his deft-fingered wife, also a kite enthusiast, he spends many hours developing and mounting photographs taken from high altitudes, with a camera especially constructed to be swung and operated from the kite cord.

Until one talks with a man like Mr. Eddy—though, indeed, there is no one just like him—one does not realize what a large and important subject this of scientific kite-flying is. Many men of distinction have devoted years of their best energies to experiments with kites. Mr. Eddy himself is a scientist first, last, and always; for the sake of a new observation he will send up a tandem of kites when the thermometer is below zero, or stand half a night at his reeling apparatus, getting records of the thermograph.

Perhaps I shall do best to begin by giving some useful information to those who may contemplate constructing a modern scientific kite. The first thing that should be done by such a person, be he boy or man, is to rid his mind of all his preconceived [pg 380] notions about kites, for it is almost certain that they are incorrect. To begin with, the scientific kite has no tail. A few years ago people would have laughed at any one who attempted to send up a kite without a tail. But the question is now no longer even open with the scientific kite-flyers, who not only send up tailless kites with the greatest ease, but do so under conditions which, to kites with tails, would be impossible: for instance, in dead calms and in driving hurricanes. The tailless kite, sent from the hands of a master, will fly in all winds.

It is true that kites with tails have given good results in experimental work; but the tails are annoying and an unnecessary weight, and may better be dispensed with. Every boy has had the vexatious experience of sending up a kite in a light breeze with a tail made light in proportion, only to find that, on reaching stronger air currents above, the kite has begun to dive and grow unmanageable. Then, when he has taken the kite down and added a heavier tail, he has found the breeze at the ground insufficient to lift the extra load; and so, between two difficulties, has had to give up his sport in disgust. This is the one serious defect of kites with tails, that they cannot adapt themselves to wind currents of varying intensities; whereas the tailless kites do so without difficulty. And in tandem flying, which is the backbone of the modern system, the weight of a half dozen or more heavy tails would be a serious impediment, to say nothing of the perpetual danger of the different tails getting entangled in the lines.


It is important, then, to know how to make a scientific tailless kite, such as is used by the experts at the Smithsonian Institution, or at the Blue Hills Conservatory near Boston, for it must not be supposed that kite-flying is merely an idle pastime; it is a pleasure doubtless for boys, but it is also a field of serious experiment and observation for men. The information I here present, including practical directions as well as interesting theories, was obtained from Mr. Eddy himself, and may be regarded as strictly accurate.


This view, from a photograph taken from a kite by Mr. W.A. Eddy, New York City at the crossing of Frankfort and William Streets.

It is much better for amateurs to begin with a kite designed to fly in strong winds, as it is a long and delicate task to learn to manage the variety with extra wide cross-stick meant for ascension in calms. The two sticks which form the skeleton should be of equal lengths, say six feet; and should cross each other at right angles at a point on the upright stick eighteen per cent. of its length below the top. This point of crossing is of great importance, and was only located by Mr. Eddy after months of wearisome experiment. He was misled in his earlier efforts at tailless kite-making by the example of the Malay kiter-flyers, who are reputed to be the most skilful in the world, and who cross the sticks much nearer the middle of the upright one. In a six-foot kite the two sticks, equal in length, should cross at about thirteen inches from the top of the upright stick; and the same proportion should be observed for kites of other dimensions. At the point of crossing, [pg 381] the sticks should be slightly notched, and strongly bound together with twine tied in flat knots. Driving a nail or screw through the sticks, to bind them, weakens the frame at the point of greatest strain.

As material for the sticks Mr. Eddy has found clear spruce better than any other wood. Bamboo is bad, because it bends unevenly at the joints. White pine is not tough enough, and cypress is both too brittle and too flexible. The hard woods, like ash, hickory, and oak, are too heavy; in scientific kite-flying, even so small a weight as a quarter of an ounce may make all the difference between failure and success. All winds are broken by frequent brief intervals of calm, and a kite must rely on its lightness to outride these. Whoever contemplates going seriously into kite-flying will do well to provide himself with a store of suitable sticks by purchasing a straight-grained, well-planed spruce plank, free from knots, and having it sawed on a circular saw into sticks five-sixteenths and seven-sixteenths inches in thickness, to be cut later into such lengths as he may choose.


From a photograph taken from a kite by Mr. W.A. Eddy. This view also is of New York City about the crossing of Frankfort and William Streets. The high wall on the right of Frankfort Street is the back of the "World" building; the high wall on the left is the back of the "Tribune" building.

The two sticks (there are never more than two) having been fastened firmly together, the cross-stick must be sprung backward; so that, when finished, the kite will present a convex or bulging surface to the wind. It might be imagined that a concave surface to the wind would be better; and indeed this has been tried. But it has invariably proved that with a concave surface the kite receives too much of the breeze and becomes quite uncontrollable. The amount of spring that must be given the cross-piece is in proportion to its length, Mr. Eddy's rule being to spring the cross-stick, by means of a cord joining the two ends like a bow, until the perpendicular between the point of juncture of the two sticks and the centre of the cord is equal to one-tenth of the length of the cross-stick, or a little more than one-tenth, if the kite is to be flown in very high winds.

It is of the first importance to keep the two halves of the kite on the right and the left of the upright stick perfectly symmetrical. And this is by no means an easy matter. It often happens in bending the cross-stick that, owing to differences in the fibre and elasticity of the wood, one side bends more than the other, with the result that the two halves present different curves and consequently unequal wind areas. To offset this difficulty, and also to strengthen the skeleton, Mr. Eddy's practice is to add a bracing piece at the back of the cross-stick—a piece about one-fourth of the length of the cross-stick itself, and of the same width and thickness. If the two halves of the kite are already quite symmetrical, he places this bracing stick with its centre directly even with the point of juncture of the two large sticks, its two ends being fastened with twine to the cross-stick, about nine inches on either side of the crossing-point. But if one half of the cross-stick shows a greater bend than the other, he places the longer arm of the bracing piece toward the side that bends the most, thus presenting a greater leverage against the wind on that side than on the other, and so equalizing things.

With the two sticks and the brace all [pg 382] thus properly in place, a supporting frame for the paper or cloth is formed by running, not cord, but fine picture wire, over the tips of the sticks, notched to hold it in place, in the ordinary way. Then, with a thin, clear paste made of starch, the paper may be laid on, care being taken to paste the edges so as to leave a certain amount of slack or looseness in the part of the kite below the cross-stick, so that each of the lower faces will present concave wind surfaces. To preserve the required equilibrium, it is important that the amount of looseness in the paper be equal on the two sides; and in order to keep it so, it is necessary to measure exactly the amount allowed.


Front view, showing how the line is attached.

A storm-flyer.—The diamond-shaped figure in the centre is an opening made to lessen the wind pressure.

Those who wish to make many kites will do well to buy thin manilla paper, as wide as possible, having the dealer roll off for them seven hundred or eight hundred feet, say a yard in width, which will insure a cheap as well as an abundant supply. For strong winds and large kites it is best to use cloth as the covering. It should be sewed to the frame, and, if carefully put on, will do service for years. Silk, of course, is the ideal material; but its costliness puts it beyond ordinary means, and common silesia, such as is used in dress linings, is almost as good. Whatever the material, the kite should be fortified at the corners by pasting or sewing on quadrants of paper or cloth, so as to give double thickness at the points most liable to injury. A finished six-footer should not weigh over twenty ounces, if covered with paper; or twenty-five ounces, if covered with cloth. Mr. Eddy has made a six-footer for calm flying as light as eight ounces.


There is only one way to learn the practical art of kite-flying, and that is to begin and do the thing yourself—with many mishaps and disappointments at the outset. One of Mr. Eddy's practices when sending kites up in very light winds or in an apparent calm, is to reel out two hundred yards or so of cord in a convenient open space, leaving kite and cord on the ground until ready to start. Then, by taking the cord at the extreme distance from the kite, and beginning to run with it, he gets it quickly into the upper air currents, which are always stirring more than those at the surface. It is sometimes necessary to run for a considerable distance before the kite reaches a sustaining current; but a real kite enthusiast will not mind taking trouble; indeed he had better abandon the whole business if he does. It is worth noting that even in a dead calm a kite may be kept up indefinitely as long as the flyer is willing to run with the cord at the rate of about five miles an hour.

In flying kites tandem there is always to be guarded against the danger of a breaking of the cord. Few people realize how hard a pull is exerted by a series of kites well up in the air. A strain of twenty-five or thirty pounds on the cord is not uncommon; and not only the strength of the cord, but the way of attaching it, is of great importance. There should be two strings (never more), fastened to the upright [pg 383] stick at its lower end and at the point of crossing, the upper length being about one-third of the lower one, and the two being adjusted so that, when taut, the kite takes an angle of about twenty degrees with the ground—which means that the kite goes up almost straight overhead, the string making an angle of about seventy degrees with the ground.


It was by kites of this variety, flown in tandem, that the inventor, Hargrave, was lifted sixteen feet from the ground on November 12, 1894.

In sending up a series of kites to fly tandem, it is best to head the line with a small kite, three or, four feet in diameter, and gradually increase the size until a diameter of six feet is reached for the one sent last. This arrangement makes it possible to hold the upper kites by lighter cord, the heavier kites being reserved for the half of the line nearest to the ground; and thus there is a material lessening of the load to be borne. The first kite should be well up, say five hundred feet, before the second is attached to the line. But after that they maybe sent at closer intervals, sometimes with only a few hundred feet between them—say two hundred feet in light winds, and five hundred feet in heavy winds. Each kite in a tandem should have a length of at least one hundred feet of cord from the main line, and great care should be exercised in knotting fast the individual lines.

The best way of starting a second kite, after the first is well up, is to pay out about a hundred feet of cord for the tandem line, attaching one end of this to the main cord and the other to the second kite, which is left lying on the ground back downward. Then pay out the main line evenly until the tandem line begins to lift. As the pendent kite is borne higher and higher, it will swing for a while in a horizontal position; but will presently begin to flutter and sail sideways, and then finally come up more and more, until the wind catches it and it shoots up like a bird into its proper position. In fact, once the first kite is securely up, the others will fly themselves by merely being attached to the main line as described. Of course each fresh kite increases the pull on the main line, and the line must be made proportionately stronger as the tandem is increased.


Mr. Eddy has had some remarkable experiences with escaping kites. One day at Bayonne, in July, 1894, while he was flying a tandem of eight kites in a northwest wind blowing eighteen miles an hour, the main line broke with a loud snap, and the kites sailed away towards Staten Island with the speed of an escaped balloon. One can scarcely conceive the rapidity with which a line of kites like this travels over the first four or five hundred feet after its release. An ice-boat goes no faster, and one might as well pursue the shadow of a flying cloud as chase that string. At the time of the escape the top kite, a four-footer, was up nearly a mile, and the other seven were flying at a good elevation. The consequence was that although, as invariably happens in such cases, they began to drop, the lowest kite did not strike the ground until it had been carried about a quarter of a mile, to the New Jersey shore of the Kill von Kull, which is half a mile wide at this point. [pg 384] Here kite number eight, a six-footer, caught in a tree and held the line for a few seconds until its own cord broke, under the strain, and set the other kites free. This check had lifted the other kites, and they now flew right bravely across the water, not one of the seven wetting its heels before the farther shore was reached. Then the lowest of them came to the ground, in its turn putting a brief check on the others. But its cord soon broke under the strain, and the six still flying went sailing over the trees of Staten Island, hundreds of people watching them as they flew—six tailless kites driving along towards New York Bay, the main line trailing behind over lawns and house-tops.

Then a queer thing happened. As the loose end of the main line trailed along, it whipped against a line of telegraph wires with such violence as to wind itself around the wires again and again, just as a whip-lash winds round a hitching-post when whipped against one. The result was that the runaway kites were finally anchored by the main line, and held fast until their owner, coming in quick pursuit on ferryboat and train, could secure them.

On another occasion, two of Mr. Eddy's kites flying in tandem broke away, and started out to sea, the dangling line passing over a moored coal barge on which a man was working. Feeling something tickle his neck, the man put up his hand quickly and touched the kite-cord. Greatly surprised, he seized the cord and made it fast; and he was not at all disposed to give up the kites when Mr. Eddy claimed them. There is no property, indeed, so hard to prove and recover as a runaway kite. For one thing, there is absolutely no telling how far a runaway kite will sail before landing. Mr. Eddy estimates that when the main line breaks, a kite well up in a twenty-five mile breeze will travel, before alighting, a distance equal to twelve times its height from the ground. This means that a kite straight over the Battery, in New York City, and a mile in the air, driven by a stiff south wind, might land in Yonkers if the cord broke. There is, by the way, an old-time ordinance on the statute book, prohibiting the flying of kites in any part of New York City below Fourteenth Street. This, however, did not prevent Mr. Eddy from taking recently a series of unique photographs (some of them are reproduced in this article), by means of a tandem of kites sent up from a high building near the City Hall Park. The only complication that resulted was a fierce contention among a crowd of idlers and gamins over the possession of one of the kites, which came down accidentally and lodged in one of the Park trees.


From a photograph taken from a kite by Mr. W.A. Eddy.


A tandem of six or eight six-foot kites exerts a pull of thirty pounds or more on the main line; but it must not be assumed that such a tandem would lift and carry through the air a weight of thirty pounds. The weight of thirty pounds would be carried a short distance; but as the weight moved off, there would be a sudden lessening of the resistance on the line, and so of the wind pressure against the kites, which would soon cause them to sink. A tandem of strong kites in a good breeze might be made to operate a sort of jumping apparatus which, after being carried a short distance, would anchor itself to the ground until the renewed strength of the kites lifted it up again for another jump. [pg 385] But all kite experts are agreed that a kite's power for lifting loads clear of the ground must be enormously increased according as the distance to which the load is to be lifted is increased. It would be possible, for example, to build a tandem of kites strong enough to lift a man clear of the ground, supposing him to be swung in a basket from the main line. This, indeed, has been actually accomplished. September 18, 1895, in England, Captain Baden-Powell was lifted to a height of one hundred feet on a kite-string supported by five large hexagon kites. But Mr. Eddy calculates that to lift a man of the same weight (one hundred and fifty pounds) to a height of fifteen hundred feet, with a wind blowing at the same rate (twenty miles an hour), would require seven kites with upright and cross-sticks not less than sixty-four feet each in length.

The only other instance on record where a man has been lifted by a kite-cord was in the experiment of the great Australian kite expert, Hargrave, who, on November 12, 1894, placed himself in a sling seat attached to a tandem of his wonderful box kites, and was swung sixteen feet clear of the earth. The entire load, including the seat and appurtenances, amounted to two hundred and eight pounds. Mr. Eddy calculates that six of his bird-shaped kites, twenty feet in diameter, would lift a man and basket in safety to a height of one hundred feet, assuming the wind to be blowing steadily at twenty miles an hour.


NOTE.—In this picture the square box suspended from the upper line is the camera. The ball hanging from the camera is the burnished signal which, by its fall, informs the operator on the ground when the shutter of the camera has opened. The shutter and the ball are controlled from the ground by the lower line.

[pg 386]


Although Mr. Eddy began flying kites as a diversion, he soon saw that there were more serious reasons for continuing his experiments. Having long been interested in meteorological problems, it occurred to him that good results might be obtained by sending aloft, on kite-strings, self-registering thermometers and apparatus for indicating the direction and strength of the air currents. On February 4, 1891, he sent up what is believed to be the first thermometer ever attached to a kite for scientific purposes. This was at nine o'clock in the evening on a cold winter's night, the thermometer registering ten degrees Fahrenheit at the ground. On reading the record after the descent, the thermometer was found to mark six degrees Fahrenheit, which indicated, according to the recognized law of decrease of temperature, that the kite had been sent to a height of one thousand feet. The law is that in ascending from the earth the temperature falls one degree for every two hundred and fifty feet; but subsequent experiments convinced Mr. Eddy that it was by no means to be relied upon as an indication of the height of kites. Not that the law is false; but it holds good only when the meteorological conditions above are the same as at the earth's surface, which is very far from being the case always.

Out of these experiments Mr. Eddy evolved an important theory which has since been abundantly verified. Seeing the frequent variations in the thermometric readings from what the law had led him to expect, he concluded that these were due to meteorological variations overhead; and that changes in the weather, say the approach of warm waves or cold waves, make themselves felt in the air strata above the earth's surface several hours before they can be detected at the surface. Observations extending over months at the Blue Hills Observatory, near Boston, and elsewhere, have abundantly confirmed this theory.

With this fact established, it followed, in Mr. Eddy's opinion, that it was perfectly possible to use kites in making weather prognostications; and, indeed, he has been doing this himself for several years with the best results. Whenever his kite-thermometers, sent to a fixed height which he determines independently by a specially devised kite-quadrant, show actual readings which are either warmer or cooler than the theoretical readings, he prophesies that the weather will, within a few hours, become warmer or colder at the earth's surface, and these prophecies are fulfilled in a large majority of cases. If the kite-thermometers show exactly the temperature which the law would call for, he prophesies that there will be no change in the weather.


From a photograph taken from a kite by Mr. W.A. Eddy. City Hall Park, New York City, appears in the foreground, with Broadway back of it.

It has also been demonstrated that kites may be used by meteorologists to indicate the approach of storms, which they foretell by a sudden and continuous veering over a considerable arc, usually about sixty degrees. This veering begins usually six or seven hours before a storm, and often as much as twelve hours. And another sure sign of a storm is the continuous and sudden dropping of the kites followed by a quick recovery, which shows that the wind is blowing in gusts interspersed with periods of calm.

[pg 387]

In making a series of meteorological experiments which he conducted at the Blue Hills Observatory, Mr. Eddy often employed as many as eight or ten kites; and in August, 1895, he sent up twelve kites on one line, three of them being nine-footers. This is probably the largest number of kites ever sent up in tandem; and although on this occasion the line carried only the thermographs suspended in a basket, the whole weighing not more than two pounds, a very much larger load might have been carried, had it been desired.

Murray Street. Warren Street. From a Kite.

From a photograph taken from a kite by Mr. W.A. Eddy, showing Murray and Warren Streets, New York City, as they run west from Broadway.

Among many other curious things about the wind observed by Mr. Eddy, is the fact that the night winds are by far the steadiest and most satisfactory for kite-flying. On this account much of his work with kites has been done in the darkness, although he uses lanterns on the lines to assist him in locating the kites. It has also been demonstrated that the force of the wind increases steadily as the distance from the earth increases. Archibald proved this conclusively, by suspending a series of wind-measuring instruments at intervals along the main line, their registration showing almost invariably greater wind pressure at the higher altitude. Mr. Eddy has furthermore noted that, while the early morning wind is usually very light at the earth's surface, it is almost invariably good aloft; and he has again and again verified the well-established fact that all clouds herald their approach and are accompanied by increased wind velocity.


The modern system of flying kites tandem was devised by Mr. Eddy in 1890, although it was hit upon two years later independently by Dr. Alexander B. Johnson, the distinguished surgeon of the Roosevelt Hospital in New York. The tandem system makes it possible to send kites to far greater altitudes than had ever been previously attained. And here the best record is undoubtedly held by one of Mr. Eddy's tandems, sent aloft at Bayonne, on November 7, 1893. Mr. Eddy began to send up the kites at 7:30 A.M.; but, being hampered by light breezes from the east, found he was kept busy until half-past three in the afternoon in getting nine kites aloft. He had paid out nearly two miles of cord, when the top kite, a little two-footer, stood straight over the spar buoy in Newark Bay. The lowest kite, a six-footer, was hovering some distance inland from the shore, on a line from the shore to Mr. Eddy's house (where the end of the line was anchored) measuring fifty-five hundred feet by the surveyor's map. Taking two observations from the two ends of this base line, Mr. Eddy's kite-quadrant showed angles of thirty-five and sixty-six degrees; and these data, by simple methods of triangulation, were sufficient to determine the altitude of the kite, which was found to be five thousand five hundred and ninety-five feet—or something over one mile. The kites were seen by hundreds of persons during the fifteen hours that they remained up, the experiment coming to an abrupt end at ten o'clock that night by the blowing away of the two upper kites in the increasing wind. The escaped kites disappeared in Newark Bay, along with three thousand feet of the line.

[pg 388]

Invented by Prof. J. Woodbridge Davis. This buoy lacks the steering appliances of the one shown below, and travels simply in a line with the kite that draws it.

Much interest attaches from a scientific point of view to experiments designed to test how great an altitude may be reached by kites; and for a year past Mr. Eddy has been working in this direction for the Smithsonian Institution, the hope being that he will ultimately succeed in sending kites two miles above the earth's surface. Professor Langley has been following these experiments with great interest, and has furnished Mr. Eddy with a special quality of silk cord which, it is believed, will give better results in meteorological observation than the ordinary hempen twine or rope. The great difficulty that Mr. Eddy finds in the way of making his kites reach great altitudes, is the pull on the cord, which increases greatly as the kites rise higher. It is probable that a tandem of fifteen or twenty big kites, reaching to a mile above the earth's surface, would exert a pull of one hundred pounds; while at a height of two miles they might, Mr. Eddy thinks, exert a pull of three hundred and fifty pounds; and at a height of three miles, a pull of seven hundred pounds. However great the pull, it is essential to successful flying that the man in control be able to let out or reel in the main line with great rapidity, and it is evident that a dozen men could not by hand alone accomplish this if the kites were sent as high as might be. It is likely, therefore, that, as the importance of scientific kite-flying becomes more widely understood, some simple dummy engine will be devised for rapidly turning the windlass on which the main line is wound.

Mr. Eddy has made frequent experiments with rain-kites, which he used for the first time in November, 1893. It is true that Franklin sent up a flyer during a shower, but in his case the rain was merely an accident accompanying the electric storm, which was his only concern. Mr. Eddy, however, has sent up kites in the rain for the purpose of studying cloud altitudes and other meteorological phenomena; and by this means he has discovered what was not previously believed to be true: that clouds sometimes sink to within six hundred feet of the earth's surface without actually coming down to it. In fact, Mr. Eddy has had kites disappear in a cloud at a height of only five hundred and sixty-eight feet. It has sometimes happened that clouds settling toward the earth have obscured the kites gradually, the top one becoming invisible first, and then the others in succession. Mr. Eddy has found that by such indications he is able to foretell the approach of fog four or five hours before it reaches the earth's surface, so slowly do the clouds settle through the air strata.


This is the buoy invented by Prof. J. Woodbridge Davis for conveying messages, food, or life-lines between disabled vessels and the shore. The buoy is drawn over the water by the kite-line, like the one shown above, but the setting of the keel and the three guy-ropes give it whatever direction is desired.

[pg 389]
[pg 390]

It is best to make rain-kites of oil-skin or paraffine paper, as the ordinary paper or cloth becomes saturated with the dampness and very heavy, thus lessening the buoyancy of the line. So penetrating is the dampness of clouds, even without a rain-storm, that the wooden frames sometimes become warped and the paste seams soak open.


The scientific kite-flyer will find much to tempt him into the field of electricity; and will be able, not only to duplicate Dr. Franklin's historic experiment of bringing down sparks from the heavens, but may go far beyond this, taking advantage of the greater knowledge of electricity at his disposal and the superior apparatus. In the summer of 1885, Alexander McAdie, at the Blue Hills Observatory, got strong sparks at the earth's surface from a wire connected with a kite whose surface had been coated with tinfoil so as to form an electric collector. He also, by the brightness and increased lengths of the sparks obtained, proved that the electric force in the atmosphere is very greatly increased with the approach of thunder clouds; and also that this force increases steadily as the kites reach greater altitude, and vice versa. Indeed Mr. Eddy and others who have conducted similar experiments, have found the electric force so strong at certain altitudes as to make the manipulation of the conducting wire a source of considerable danger.

On October 8, 1892, Mr. Eddy made an important advance in electrical experiments with kites, by using a collector quite separate from the kites themselves, which were merely used in tandem to support the line on which the collector was swung and raised to any desired altitude. By this arrangement any accident that might befall one of the kites is less likely to ruin the whole experiment.

Much experience with the kite-collector has convinced Mr. Eddy that there is always in the air overhead, at all times of the year and in all weathers, an abundant, practically a boundless, supply of electricity. It has never yet happened to him to send his collector up to even so low a height as four hundred feet without getting a spark in his discharge-box at the earth. He has discovered, however, that the greater the amount of moisture in the air, the greater is the height to which he must send the collector before getting the first spark. There is no doubt that large quantities of electricity might be obtained by hoisting large collectors, supported by strong flying tandems, to considerable altitudes, and drawing off the supply at the earth by means of a system of transformers which would lower the electricity from the dangerously high tension at which it discharges down the wire, to a voltage that could be handled with safety. In his experiments thus far, Mr. Eddy has discharged the copper wire leading from his collector into a wooden box containing a pasteboard wheel with darning-needle axle and tinfoil edges. The axle is grounded, and the copper wire from the collector placed near the tinfoil periphery of the wheel, so as to discharge its sparks through the intervening distance, and by the shock cause the wheel to turn.


One of the most interesting applications of the kite, but a thoroughly practical one, is its use in photography. This has been entirely developed within the past year or two; indeed the first kite-photograph taken on the American continent was one made by Mr. Eddy's camera on May 30, 1895. Although some attempts in this direction had been previously made in Europe, this was the first clearly focused kite-photograph obtained. The previous ones had been blurred, owing to defects in the devices for swinging the camera apparatus from the kite-cord, and for loosening the shutter. Mr. Eddy's apparatus will be better understood from the accompanying cut than from any description. In a general way it is a wooden frame capable of holding the camera, and terminating behind in a long stick or boom, by means of which the camera is made to point in any desired direction or at any angle. This is arranged before sending up the apparatus, the boom being properly placed and held in position by means of guy cords from the main kite-line. A separate line hangs from the spring of the camera shutter, with which is also connected a hollow ball of polished metal supported in such a way that it will drop from its position, five or six feet through the air, when the camera cord is pulled. The purpose of this ball is to allow the operator on the ground to be sure that the camera has responded to his pull and that the desired photograph has been taken. He is assured of this, having given the pull, on seeing the flash made by the polished ball in its fall.

All this being arranged, it is only necessary [pg 391] to send the camera up to any desired altitude and pull the camera cord, in order to get photographs of wide-stretching landscapes, extensive cities, like New York, and panoramas of every description. Such photographs could not but be of the greatest value to geologists, mountain climbers, surveyors, and explorers. And they must possess particular interest for students of geography and for map-makers.


It is obvious, too, that kite-photographs might be of great value in time of war, since a detailed view of an enemy's lines and fortifications might be thus obtained; while at sea a perfected kite-photographing apparatus might be of great value in recording the approach of an enemy's ships. Mr. Eddy regards it as perfectly possible to send up a tandem of kites from the deck of a man-of-war, with a circular camera, such as has already been devised, attached to the main line, and an apparatus for snapping all the shutters simultaneously; and photograph, not only the whole horizon as seen from the deck of a vessel, but, because of the greater elevation, many miles beyond. A battle-ship provided with this photographing device would enjoy as great an advantage as if it were able at will to stretch out its mainmast into a tower of observation a mile high.

It is true that some of the lenses in the circular camera, the ones facing the sun, might give imperfect pictures; but in whatever position the sun might be, at least one hundred and eighty degrees of the horizon would be clearly photographed. And by taking such observations in the early morning, and again in the middle of the afternoon, it would be possible to cover the whole circuit, and thus be aware of the approach of an enemy's ships long before they would have been visible to a telescope used on the deck. In such a circular camera each lens would be numbered, and the position of each would be accurately determined with regard to the points of the compass by the use of guy-cords stretching from the main line to the framework of the apparatus. Thus, on looking at the number of a lens, the photographer would immediately know from which direction any vessel whose image was shown might be coming.

Nor is the use of the kite in war limited to the services it would render in photography; it might easily do more than that, and become a most efficient and novel engine of destruction. As has been shown, it is merely a question of carpenter work to send up a tandem of kites that will swing a heavy load high in the air. Suppose that load were dynamite, with an arrangement for dropping it over any desired spot. Mr. Eddy suggests that this might be effected by means of a slow match made by soaking a cotton string in saltpetre, which would be lighted on despatching the load of dynamite, and would burn at a regular rate, say one foot in five minutes, so that the length of the match could be timed to meet the necessities of the case. On burning to its end, the match would ignite a cord holding the dynamite in a pasteboard receptacle, one side of which would fall down like the front of a wall-pocket as soon as the restraining cord was burned through; and immediately the dynamite in the box would be launched toward its destination. Mr. Eddy has already carried out an experiment similar to this, in setting loose from high elevations tiny paper aëroplanes. With a little practice he found he could start the slow match with such precision as to cause the aëroplanes to burst out into flight at any desired altitude. This interesting and beautiful experiment was performed for the first time by Mr. Eddy on February 22, 1893, when he sent off from a height of one thousand feet forty aëroplanes, their forward edges weighted with pins for greater stability.

Assuming such an arrangement made for discharging a load of dynamite, Mr. Eddy calculates that, with a twenty-mile breeze, six eighteen-foot kites would lift fifty pounds of the explosive a quarter of a mile in the air and suspend it over a fort or beleaguered city half a mile distant. It would thus be perfectly possible, supposing the wind to be in the right direction, to bombard Staten Island with dynamite dropped from kites sent up from the Jersey shore. It is evident that, for purposes of bombardment, a tandem of kites possesses several advantages over the war balloon. Kites are much cheaper. Then it would be far more difficult to disable them than to disable a balloon, since they offer a smaller mark to the enemy's guns; and even if one or two were destroyed, the others would still suffice to carry the dynamite. Finally, the kites may be sent up without risk to the lives of those who directed them, which is not the case with the balloons.

Another interesting and important application of the modern kite has been conceived [pg 392] by Professor J. Woodbridge Davis, principal of the Woodbridge Boys' School, in New York, who is one of the most famous kite-flyers in the world, in addition to being a distinguished scientist and mathematician. It was Professor Davis who invented the dirigible kite several years ago, three strings allowing the operator to steer the kite from right to left at will or to make it sink to earth. Having perfected this curious kite, which is of hexagon shape, is covered with oiled silk, is foldable, portable, and has a tail, Professor Davis turned his attention to his more recent and important discovery of the dirigible buoy, which bids fair to do much to lessen the dangers of shipwreck. For months past Professor Davis, assisted by Mr. Eddy, has been experimenting on the Kill von Kull with this buoy, and has obtained most encouraging results. There are two kinds, both being designed to be attached to kite lines and drawn over the water by the power of the kite. The simpler variety is merely a long wooden tube about three inches in diameter and shaped very much like a gun projectile, with a cone of tin dragging behind to give steadiness. It is for use only when the wind is blowing in exactly the direction in which it is designed to send a message or carry a rope. It will be observed that, in a large number of cases when ships are driven on rocks, the wind is blowing toward the shore, and in such cases a line of kites would readily carry one of these buoys ashore with the important words inside or the still more important rope following after.

Not satisfied, however, with this buoy, Professor Davis sought some means of making kites draw a load across the water in any direction desired, regardless of the way the wind might be blowing; and, after much thought and calculation, he hit upon what is now known as the Davis buoy, an object that has become familiar to dwellers at Bergen Point and Port Richmond, from the frequent experiments on the Kill that have been carried on during the past year. This form of buoy is much larger than the other, being three or four feet in length; and its essential feature is a deep iron keel that projects below out of the block of wood forming the body. It is evident that this keel will tend to keep the buoy headed in any given direction; and stability of position is further assured by the presence of guy-ropes attached to the main line of the kite. Each buoy is provided with three of these ropes, which, by being lengthened or shortened, may cause the buoy to form any desired angle with the kite-cord, and to keep it. Professor Davis has entirely succeeded in making the kites drag the buoy along the water in various directions in the very strongest gales—in fact, under precisely the conditions that would assist when the buoys would be needed for life-saving service from wrecks. And he is positive that, with further experiment, he will be able, by moving along the shore until a tacking angle is reached, not only to send lines, food, or messages to a disabled vessel from the shore, but to bring back by the same kites and the same buoy other lines and messages from the people in distress.

Considering the important offices of which it has already been proved capable, and the possibility which these suggest of many other practical applications, it is clear that the kite is no longer to be regarded as simply a toy. And this, in turn, suggests anew the familiar truth that, after all, nothing in this world is of small consequence.

Chapter End Graphic.
[pg 393]


By Robert Barr,

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

In the bad days of Balmaceda, when Chili was rent in twain, and its capital was practically a besieged city, two actors walked together along the chief street of the place towards the one theatre that was then open. They belonged to a French dramatic company that would gladly have left Chili if it could; but being compelled by stress of war to remain, the company did the next best thing, and gave performances at the principal theatre on such nights as a paying audience came.

A stranger would hardly have suspected, by the look of the streets, that a deadly war was going on, and that the rebels—so called—were almost at the city gates. Although business was ruined, credit dead, and no man's life or liberty safe, the streets were filled with a crowd that seemed bent on enjoyment and making the best of things.

As Jacques Dupré and Carlos Lemoine walked together they were talking earnestly, not of the real war so close to their doors, but of the mimic conflicts of the stage. M. Dupré was the leading man of the company, and he listened with the amused tolerance of an elder man to the energetic vehemence of the younger.

"You are all wrong, Dupré," cried Lemoine, "all wrong! I have studied the subject. Remember I am saying nothing against your acting in general. You know you have no greater admirer than I am, and that is something to say when you know that the members of a dramatic company are usually at loggerheads through jealousy."

"Speak for yourself, Lemoine. You know I am green with jealousy of you. You are the rising star, and I am setting. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, Carl, my boy."

"That's nonsense, Dupré. I wish you would consider this seriously. It is because you are so good on the stage that I can't bear to see you false to your art just to please the gallery. You should be above all that."

"How can a man be above his gallery—the highest spot in the house? Talk sense, Carlos, and I'll listen."

"Yes, you're flippant simply because you know you're wrong, and dare not argue this matter soberly. Now she stabs you through the heart—"

"No. False premises entirely. She says something about my wicked heart, and evidently intends to pierce that depraved organ; but a woman never hits what she aims at, and I deny that I'm ever stabbed through the heart. Say in the region or the neighborhood of the heart, and go on with your talk."

"Very well. She stabs you in a spot so vital that you die in a few minutes. You throw up your hands, you stagger against the mantel-shelf, you tear open your collar and then grope at nothing; you press your hands on your wound and take two reeling steps forward; you call feebly for help and stumble against the sofa which you fall upon, and finally, still groping wildly, you roll off on the floor, where you kick out once or twice; your clinched hand comes down with a thud on the boards, and all is over."

"Admirably described, Carlos. I wish my audience paid such attention to my efforts as you do. Now, you claim this is all wrong, do you?"

"All wrong."

"Suppose she stabbed you, what would you do?"

"I would plunge forward on my face—dead."

"Great Heavens! What would become of your curtain?"

"Oh, bother the curtain!"

"It's all very well for you to condemn the curtain, Carl, but you must work up to it. Your curtain would come down, and your friends in the gallery would not know what had happened. Now, I go through the evolutions you so graphically describe, and the audience gets time to take in the situation. They say, chuckling to themselves, 'That villain's got his dose at last, and serves him right, too.' They want to enjoy his struggles, while she stands grimly at the door taking care that he doesn't get away. Then when my fist comes down flop on the stage, and they realize that I am indeed done for, the yell of triumph [pg 394] that goes up is something delicious to hear."

"That's just the point, Dupré. I claim the actor has no right to hear applause—that he should not know there is such a thing as an audience. His business is to portray life exactly as it is."

"You can't portray life in a death scene, Carl."

"Dupré, I lose all patience with you, or rather I would did I not know that you are much deeper than you would have us suppose. You apparently won't see that I am very much in earnest about this."

"Of course you are, my boy, and that is one reason why you will become a very great actor, I was ambitious myself once; but as we grow older"—Dupré shrugged his shoulders—"well, we begin to have an eye on the box-office receipts. I think you sometimes forget that I am a good deal older than you are."

"You mean that I am a fool and that I may learn wisdom with age. I quite admit that you are a better actor than I am; in fact, I said so only a moment ago, but—"

"You wrong me, Brutus; I said an older soldier, not a better. But I will take you on your own grounds. Have you ever seen a man stabbed or shot through the heart?"

"I never have, but I know mighty well he wouldn't undo his necktie afterwards."

Dupré threw back his head and laughed.

"Who is flippant now?" he asked.

"I don't undo my necktie; I merely tear off my collar, which a dying man may surely be permitted to do. But until you have seen a man die from such a stab as I receive every night, I don't understand how you can justly find fault with my rendition of the tragedy. I imagine, you know, that the truth lies between the two extremes. The man done to death would likely not make such a fuss as I make; nor would he depart so quickly as you say he would, without giving the gallery gods a show for their money. But here we are at the theatre, Carlos, and this acrimonious debate is closed—until we take our next walk together."

In front of the theatre soldiers were on duty, marching up and down with muskets on their shoulders, to show that the state was mighty and could take care of a theatre as well as conduct a war. There were many loungers about, which might have indicated to a person who did not know, that there would be a good house when the play began. The two actors met the manager in the throng near the door.

"How are prospects to-night?" asked Dupré.

"Very poor," replied the manager. "Not half a dozen seats have been sold."

"Then it isn't worth while beginning?"

"We must begin," said the manager, lowering his voice. "The President has ordered me not to close the theatre."

"Oh, hang the President!" cried Lemoine impatiently. "Why doesn't he put a stop to the war, and then the theatre would remain open of its own accord?"

"He is doing his best to put a stop to the war, only his army does not carry out his orders as implicitly as our manager does," said Dupré, smiling at the other's vehemence.

"Balmaceda is a fool," retorted the younger actor. "If he were out of the way the war would not last another day. I believe he is playing a losing game, anyhow. It's a pity he hasn't to go to the front himself, and then a stray bullet might find him and put an end to the war, which would save the lives of many better men."

"I say, Lemoine, I wish you wouldn't talk like that," expostulated the manager gently, "especially when there are so many listeners."

"Oh, the larger my audience the better I like it," rejoined Lemoine. "I have all an actor's vanity in that respect. I say what I think, and I don't care who hears me."

"Yes; but you forget that we are, in a measure, guests of this country, and we should not abuse our hosts, or the man who represents them."

"Ah, does he represent them? It seems to me that begs the whole question; that's just what the war is about. The general opinion is that Balmaceda misrepresents them, and that the country would be glad to be rid of him."

"That may all be," said the manager almost in a whisper, for he was a man evidently inclined towards peace; "but it does not rest with us to say so. We are French, and I think therefore it is better not to express an opinion."

"I'm not French," cried Lemoine. "I'm a native Chilian, and I have a right to abuse my own country if I choose to do so."

"All the more reason, then," said the manager, looking timorously over his shoulder—"all the more reason that you should be careful what you say."

"I suppose," said Dupré, by way of [pg 395] putting an end to the discussion, "it is time for us to get our war paint on. Come along, Lemoine, and lecture me on our mutual art, and stop talking politics—if the nonsense you utter about Chili and its President is politics."


The two actors entered the theatre; they occupied the same dressing-room, and the volatile Lemoine talked incessantly. Although there were but few people in the stalls, the gallery was well filled, as was usually the case. When going on for the last act in the final scene, Dupré whispered a word to the man who controlled the falling of the curtain; and when the actor, as the villain of the piece, received the fatal knife-thrust from the ill-used heroine, he plunged forward on his face and died without a struggle, to the amazement of the manager, who was watching the play from the front of the house, and to the evident bewilderment of the gallery, who had counted on an exciting struggle with death. Much as they desired the cutting off of the villain, they were not pleased to see him so suddenly shift his worlds without an agonizing realization of the fact that he was quitting an existence in which he had done nothing but evil. The curtain came down upon the climax, but there was no applause, and the audience silently filtered out into the street.

[pg 396]

"There," said Dupré, when he returned to his dressing-room, "I hope you are satisfied now, Lemoine, and if you are, you are the only satisfied person in the house. I fell perfectly flat, as you suggested, and you must have seen that the climax of the play fell flat also."

"Nevertheless," persisted Lemoine stoutly, "it was the true rendition of the part."

As they were talking, the manager came into their dressing-room. "Good Heavens, Dupré!" he said, "why did you end the piece in that idiotic way? What on earth got into you?"

"The knife," said Dupré, flippantly. "It went directly through the heart, and Lemoine, here, insists that when that happens a man should fall dead instantly. I did it to please Lemoine."

"But you spoiled your curtain," protested the manager.

"Yes; I knew that would happen, and I told Lemoine so; but he insists on art for art's sake. You must expostulate with Lemoine; although I don't mind telling you both frankly that I don't intend to die in that way again."

"Well, I hope not," replied the manager. "I don't want you to kill the play as well as yourself, you know, Dupré."

Lemoine, whose face had by this time become restored to its normal appearance, retorted hotly:

"It all goes to show how we are surrounded and hampered by the traditions of the stage. The gallery wants to see a man die all over the place, and so the victim has to scatter the furniture about and make a fool of himself generally, when he should quietly succumb to a well-deserved blow. You ask any physician, and he will tell you that a man stabbed or shot through the heart collapses at once. There is no jumping-jack business in such a case. He doesn't play at leap-frog with the chairs and sofas, but sinks instantly to the floor and is done for."

"Come along, Lemoine," cried Dupré, putting on his coat, "and stop talking nonsense. True art consists in a judicious blending of the preconceived ideas of the gallery with the actual facts of the case. An instantaneous photograph of a trotting horse is doubtless technically and absolutely correct, yet it is not a true picture of the animal in motion."

"Then you admit," said Lemoine quickly, "that I am technically correct in what I state about the result of such a wound?"

"I admit nothing," said Dupré. "I don't believe you are correct in anything you say about the matter. I suppose the truth is that no two men die alike under the same circumstances."

"They do when the heart is touched."

"What absurd nonsense you talk! No two men act alike when the heart is touched in love; why then should they when it is touched in death? Come along to the hotel, and let us stop this idiotic discussion."

"Ah!" sighed Lemoine, "you will throw your chances away. You are too careless, Dupré; you do not study enough. This kind of thing is all well enough in Chili, but it will wreck your chances when you go to Paris. If you studied more deeply, Dupré, you would take Paris by storm."

"Thanks," said Dupré lightly; "but unless the rebels take this city by storm, and that shortly, we may never see Paris again. To tell the truth, I have no heart for anything but the heroine's knife. I am sick and tired of the situation here."

As Dupré spoke they met a small squad of soldiers coming briskly towards the theatre. The man in charge evidently recognized them, for saying a word to his men, they instantly surrounded the two actors. The sergeant touched Lemoine on the shoulder, and said:

"It is my duty to arrest you, sir."

"In Heaven's name, why?" asked Lemoine.

The man did not answer; but a soldier stepped to each side of Lemoine.

"Am I under arrest also?" asked Dupré.


"By what authority do you arrest my friend?" inquired Dupré.

"By the President's order."

"But where is your authority? Where are your papers? Why is this arrest made?"

The sergeant shook his head and said:

"We have the orders of the President, and that is sufficient for us. Stand back, please!"

The next instant Dupré found himself alone, with the squad and their prisoner disappearing down a back street. For a moment he stood there as if dazed, then he turned and ran as fast as he could back to the theatre again, hoping to meet a carriage for hire on the way. Arriving at the theatre he found the lights out and the manager on the point of leaving.

"Lemoine has been arrested," he cried; [pg 397] "arrested by a squad of soldiers whom we met, and they said they acted by the order of the President."

The manager seemed thunderstruck by the intelligence, and gazed helplessly at Dupré.

"What is the charge?" he said at last.

"That I do not know," answered the actor. "They simply said they were acting under the President's orders."

"This is bad, as bad as can be," said the manager, looking over his shoulder, and speaking as if in fear. "Lemoine has been talking recklessly. I never could get him to realize that he was in Chili, and that he must not be so free in his speech. He always insisted that this was the nineteenth century, and a man could say what he liked; as if the nineteenth century had anything to do with Chili in its present state."

"You don't imagine," said Dupré, with a touch of pallor coming into his cheeks, "that this is anything serious? It will mean nothing more than a day or two in prison, at the worst?"

The manager shook his head and said:

"We had better get a carriage and see the President as soon as possible. I'll undertake to send Lemoine back to Paris, or to put him on board one of the French iron-clads. But there is no time to be lost. We can probably get a carriage in the square."

They found a carriage, and drove as quickly as they could to the residence of the President. At first they were refused admittance; but finally they were allowed to wait in a small room while their message was taken to Balmaceda. An hour passed, but still no invitation came to them from the President. The manager sat silent in a corner, but Dupré paced up and down the small room, torn with anxiety about his friend. At last an officer entered the room, and presented them with the compliments of the President, who regretted that it was impossible for him to see them that night. He added for their information, by order of the President, that Lemoine was to be shot at day-break. He had been tried by court-martial, and condemned to death for sedition. The President regretted having kept them waiting so long, but the court-martial had been going on when they arrived, and the President thought that perhaps they would be interested in the verdict. With that the officer escorted the two dumfounded men to the door, where they got into their carriage without a word. The moment they were out of ear-shot, the manager said to the coachman:

"Drive as quickly as you can to the residence of the French minister."

Every one at the French Legation had retired when the two panic-stricken men reached there; but after a time the secretary consented to see them, and on learning the seriousness of the case, he undertook to arouse his Excellency, and see if anything could be done. The minister entered the room shortly after, and listened with interest to what they had to say.

"You have your carriage at the door?" he asked, when they had finished their recital.


"Then I will take it, and see the President at once. Perhaps you will wait here until I return."

Another hour dragged its slow length along, and they were well into the second hour before the rattle of the wheels was heard in the silent street. The minister came in, and the two anxious men saw by his face that he had failed in his mission.

"I am sorry to say," said his Excellency, "that I have been unable even to get the execution postponed. I did not understand, when I undertook the mission, that M. Lemoine was a citizen of Chili. You see, that fact puts the matter entirely out of my hands. I am powerless. I could only advise the President not to carry out his intentions; but he is to-night in a most unreasonable and excited mood, and I fear nothing can be done to save your friend. If he had been a citizen of France, of course this execution would not have been permitted to take place; but as it is, it is not our affair. M. Lemoine seems to have been talking with some indiscretion. He does not deny it himself, nor does he deny his citizenship. If he had taken a conciliatory attitude at the court-martial the result might not have been so disastrous; but it seems that he insulted the President to his face, and predicted that he would within two weeks meet him in Hades. The utmost I could do was to get the President to sign a permit for you to see your friend, if you present it at the prison before the execution takes place. I fear you have no time to lose. Here is the paper."

Dupré took the document, and thanked his Excellency for his exertions on their behalf. He realized that Lemoine had sealed his own fate by his independence and lack of tact.

[pg 398]

The two dejected men drove from the Legation and through the deserted streets to the prison. They were shown through several stone-paved rooms to a stone-paved court-yard, and there they waited for some time until the prisoner was brought in between two soldiers. Lemoine had thrown off his coat, and appeared in his shirt-sleeves. He was not manacled or bound in any way, there being too many prisoners for each one to be allowed the luxury of fetters.

"Ah," cried Lemoine, when he saw them, "I knew you would come if that old scoundrel of a President would allow you in, of which I had my doubts. How did you manage it?"

"The French minister got us a permit," said Dupré.

"Oh, you went to him, did you? Of course he could do nothing, for, as I told you, I have the misfortune to be a citizen of this country. How comically life is made up of trivialities! I remember once in Paris going with a friend to take the oath of allegiance to the French Republic."

"And did you take it?" cried Dupré eagerly.

"Alas, no! We met two other friends, and we all adjourned to a café and had something to drink. I little thought that bottle of champagne was going to cost me my life; for, of course, if I had taken the oath of allegiance, my friend the French minister would have bombarded the city before he would have allowed this execution to go on."

"Then you know to what you are condemned?" said the manager, with tears in his eyes.

"Oh, I know that Balmaceda thinks he is going to have me shot; but then he always was a fool, and never knew what he was talking about. I told him if he would allow you two in at the execution, and instead of ordering a whole squad to fire at me, order one expert marksman, if he had such a thing in his whole army, who would shoot me through the heart, that I would show you, Dupré, how a man dies under such circumstances; but the villain refused. The usurper has no soul for art, or for anything else, for that matter. I hope you two won't mind my death. I assure you I don't mind it myself I would much rather be shot than live in this confounded country any longer. But I have made up my mind to cheat old Balmaceda if I can, and I want you, Dupré, to pay particular attention, and not to interfere."

As Lemoine said this he quickly snatched from the sheath at the soldier's side the bayonet which hung at his hip. The soldiers were standing one to the right and one to the left of him, with their hands interlaced over the muzzles of their guns, whose butts rested on the stone floor. They apparently paid no attention to the conversation that was going on, if they understood it, which was unlikely. Lemoine had the bayonet in his hands before either of the four men present knew what he was doing.

Grasping both hands over the butt of the bayonet, with the point towards his breast, he thrust the blade with desperate energy nearly through his body. The whole action was done so quickly that no one realized what had happened until Lemoine threw his hands up and they saw the bayonet sticking in his breast. A look of agony came in the wounded man's eyes, and his lips whitened. He staggered against the soldier at his right, who gave way with the impact, and then he tottered against the whitewashed stone wall, his right arm sweeping automatically up and down the wall as if he were brushing something from the stones. A groan escaped him, and he dropped on one knee. His eyes turned helplessly towards Dupré, and he gasped out the words:

"My God!—you were right—after all."

Then he fell forward on his face, and the tragedy ended.

Chapter End Graphic.

[pg 399]



We published in our January number the first of a series of stories by Herbert D. Ward, in which Mr. Ward will exhibit in dramatic form some monstrous imperfections in the present modes of judicial procedure. That there is great need of such a study is shown by the remarkable effect produced by the story already published, "The Silent Witness." In various parts of the country the press has taken particular notice of the story and of the question with which it deals. A recent number of "The Argus," Avoca, Pennsylvania, contained the following editorial:


"'The Silent Witness,' a powerful story in McCLURE's MAGAZINE for January, portrays in a graphic and thrilling manner the evil, which in some cases amounts almost to a horror, of holding in confinement witnesses in cases of capital crime who are unable to furnish bail.

"The story tells of a young and stalwart country lad who goes to Boston in search of fortune, and on the night of his arrival, while wandering about in quest of lodgings to suit his scanty purse, is the unwilling witness of a murder.

"He is arrested and held in the city jail to await the trial of the murderer.

"The news of his imprisonment reaches his widow mother up among the New Hampshire hills. She knows nothing of the circumstances further than the rumors brought to her by her country neighbors. She dies of a broken heart, though never doubting the innocence of her noble-hearted boy.

"The unfortunate young man learns of her death through his sweetheart, who comes to the Boston prison to see him.

"His grief is beyond endurance, and he curses the law that forces such suffering upon the innocent. He has brain fever, and when the case is called several months after the incarceration, the sheriff, who is asked to produce the only witness for the commonwealth, responds that he died that morning.

"The murderer, a saloon-keeper and ward man, has been at liberty under bail during the time that the innocent witness has been suffering the untold agony experienced by one who comes with spotless character from green fields and rural simplicity to the company of felons in a wretched cell. There being no witnesses against him at the trial, a nolle prosequi is found, and he goes free.

"This story is fiction, but it is not overdrawn. Such horrible things do happen in these fin-de-siècle days in a civilized country.

"In Scranton, only this week, a woman, Mrs. Nicotera, was released after having been in custody since February 28th last, as a witness in the Rosa murder case. She was confined with, her husband, who was also a witness, in the Lackawanna county jail until her health broke down, when she was removed to the Lackawanna hospital.

"On Tuesday she was released on her own recognizance. Her husband had been given his liberty in a similar manner some weeks before. She was thin and pale when she appeared in court, and had evidently passed through severe suffering. Careful nursing will be required to restore her to health.

"It would seem as if some means of meeting the ends of justice could be devised without the necessity of subjecting innocent persons to a felon's fate for simply being a chance witness of an affair that is to be brought into the court."

In the editorial columns of a recent number of the Cleveland, Ohio, "World" appeared the following:


"A heart-breaking story, founded on fact, in McCLURE's MAGAZINE for the current month, is an arraignment of the nineteenth century civilization that, considering its boasts of enlightenment and decency, is as horrible an official crime as any that has given so dark a stain to Russian treatment of innocence."

Following this is a long outline of Mr. Ward's story, and then the article continues:

"It is impossible to conceive of more awful inhuman injustice than this. But the story is not overdrawn. It has happened with variations scores, if not hundreds, of times. It is occurring or liable to occur this very day, not alone in Boston, but in Cleveland.

"At a meeting of the judges, a short time ago, Judge Lamson used the following language:

"'The detention of innocent persons as witnesses is, under the best of circumstances, bad. It is clearly the duty of the people of this country or their representatives to see that the present disgraceful method in vogue in the county jail is abolished. We have no right, under any law, to place innocent persons on a plane with criminals. It is nothing more or less than an outrage, inflicted on helpless people. I hope that the people of this county will be aroused to the enormity of this problem, and very soon put an end to this imposition.'

"And the counterpart of the story in McCLURE's MAGAZINE has happened here within a short time. Lewis Gerardin, a sailor, was released last April, after being detained six months. Several months before, Frank Blaha, a saloon-keeper, who committed the crime of murder in the second degree, managed to get bail. While Gerardin was held he received pathetic letters from his wife and family begging him to come home. They did not know why he was held, and he said that if they were to learn of his imprisonment they could not understand his innocence of crime. One day a letter was received from home, announcing that his favorite little son had died but a week before. The last words of the child called for his father. But Gerardin was not released until the prosecutor was ready to dismiss him.

"Such possibilities are a disgrace to any community that tolerates such a horrible law or such a feeble administration of it, and such callousness to human suffering that it will not save these innocent victims from its outrageous injustice. When to this brutality are added the comparative safety of the criminal, and the vile jails and the vile inmates with whom young boys and girls and honest men and decent women [pg 400] are thrown for the crime of witnessing a crime, it convicts the civilization of the age with a combination of stupidity and heartlessness that had better say nothing of the Czar of Russia or the ferocious Kurds. In its essential injustice and inhumanity it is not many removes from the lynchings of the South."


The "McClure's Early Life of Lincoln," which has just been published, is worthy of comment in these pages for several reasons.

1st. It contains no less than twenty portraits of Lincoln; and although this is only one-third of the number that will appear in the whole life, it is more than twice as many as have appeared in any previous life. Furthermore, most of the portraits are new to the public.

2d. There are a large number of entirely fresh documents, several of which are absolutely essential to a full understanding of Abraham Lincoln, and some of which make it necessary to revise our opinion of Lincoln's career.

3d. It contains a remarkable record of the achievements of the Lincoln family, whose services to the country extended through nearly a century—a century which included the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Lincoln himself was ignorant of much of the history we have given about his ancestors; but in the light of the facts set forth, his career is logical and easily understood.

4th. We have shown by new documents that Lincoln's father was by no means the colorless individual we have hitherto understood him to be. The reminiscences of Christopher Columbus Graham, first published in this volume, together with records we have unearthed in Kentucky, show that Thomas Lincoln was the owner of a farm three years before his marriage, that he was a good carpenter, and that he was held in esteem by his neighbors; while according to Mr. Graham, Thomas's brother Mordecai (uncle of Abraham Lincoln) was a member of the Kentucky legislature. His two sisters married into leading families.

5th. In regard to Lincoln personally, we have shown how thoroughly he educated himself, so that at twenty-six he was able to more than hold his own as a member of the legislature of Illinois.

It does not detract from the great fame of Abraham Lincoln to show that he was a worthy son of a splendid ancestry, for his extraordinary personality would be just as hard to account for had he been a scion of the most notable family in the world. When a man climbs the Matterhorn it matters little whether he began his journey at Zermatt or a few furlongs farther on.


As stated in the note to the portrait of Lincoln which makes the frontispiece of this number of the MAGAZINE, the late J. Henry Brown, who went to Springfield, Illinois, in 1860, and painted a miniature of Mr. Lincoln on ivory, left at his death a manuscript journal which contains interesting entries regarding Mr. Brown's sojourn in Springfield and his acquaintance with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. We print herewith this part of the journal entire:

1860. AUGUST, Continued.




Sunday. Arrived here at three o'clock this morning. Wrote some letters.




Called at Mr. Lincoln's house to see him. As he was not in, I was directed to the Executive Chamber, in the State Capitol. I found him there. Handed him my letters from Judge Read. He at once consented to sit for his picture. We walked together from the Executive Chamber to a daguerrean establishment. I had a half dozen of ambrotypes taken of him before I could get one to suit me. I was at once most favorably impressed with Mr. Lincoln. In the afternoon I unpacked my painting materials.




Commenced Mr. Lincoln's picture; at it all day.




At Mr. Lincoln's picture.




Mr. Lincoln gave me his first sitting, in the library room of the State Capitol. Called to see Mrs. Lincoln; much pleased with her. Wrote five letters.




At Mr. Lincoln's picture. Received an invitation from Mrs. Lincoln to take tea with them.




Sunday. Wrote letters.




Mr. Lincoln's second sitting. Have arranged to have his sittings in the Representative Chamber.




At Mr. Lincoln's picture. Heard from home; all well.




Mr. Lincoln's third sitting.




At Mr. Lincoln's picture.




Mr. Lincoln's fourth sitting.




Lincoln's fifth and last sitting. The picture gives great satisfaction; Mrs. Lincoln speaks of it in the most extravagant terms of approbation.




Sunday. At church. Saw Mr. Lincoln there. I hardly know how to express the strength of my personal regard for Mr. Lincoln. I never saw a man for whom I so soon formed an attachment. I like him much, and agree with him in all things but his politics. He is kind and very sociable; immensely popular among the people of Springfield; even those opposed to him in politics speak of him in unqualified terms of praise. He is fifty-one years old, six feet four inches high, and weighs one hundred and sixty pounds. There are so many hard lines in his face that it becomes a mask to the inner man. His true character only shines out when in an animated conversation, or when telling an amusing tale, of which he is very fond. He is said to be a homely man; I do not think so. Mrs. Lincoln is a very fine-looking woman, apparently in excellent health, and seems to be about forty or forty-five years of age.




The people of Springfield who have seen Mr. Lincoln's picture speak of it in strong terms of approbation, declaring it to be the best that has yet been taken of him. Received a letter from Mr. Lincoln indorsing the picture; also one from Mrs. Lincoln expressing her unqualified satisfaction with it; also one from Mr. John G. Nicolay, Mr. Lincoln's confidential clerk; and one from the man who took the ambrotype. This would be, I suppose, the proper place to say a word about Springfield, the prairie city, as it is sometimes called. It is a very pretty place; the streets eighty feet wide. It contains many very fine buildings, and has a population of about ten thousand.