The Project Gutenberg eBook of Standard Selections

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Title: Standard Selections

Editor: Robert I. Fulton

Edwin P. Trueblood

Thomas C. Trueblood

Release date: November 27, 2006 [eBook #19926]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Kevin Handy, John Hagerson, Martin Pettit and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK STANDARD SELECTIONS ***

[Pg i]

STANDARD SELECTIONS

A COLLECTION AND ADAPTATION OF SUPERIOR
PRODUCTIONS FROM BEST AUTHORS
FOR USE IN CLASS ROOM AND
ON THE PLATFORM

Arranged and Edited by

ROBERT I. FULTON

Dean of the School of Oratory and Professor of Elocution and Oratory in the Ohio Wesleyan University

THOMAS C. TRUEBLOOD

Professor of Elocution and Oratory in the University of Michigan

and

EDWIN P. TRUEBLOOD

Professor of Elocution and Oratory in Earlham College

 

GINN AND COMPANY

BOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO · LONDON
ATLANTA · DALLAS · COLUMBUS · SAN FRANCISCO


[Pg ii]

Copyright, 1907, by
R. I. Fulton, T. C. Trueblood, and E. P. Trueblood

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

The Athenæum Press

GINN AND COMPANY · PROPRIETORS
BOSTON · U.S.A.


[Pg iii]

PREFACE

The purpose of the compilers of this volume is:—

First, to provide some new material in poetry and eloquence that has never before appeared in books of this character, in addition to many standard selections familiar to the general public;

Second, to furnish selections that will stand the test of literary criticism and at the same time prove to be popular and successful for public entertainment;

Third, to offer for the use of classes in public speaking such carefully selected literature of varied scope as will be helpful and stimulating in the practice of reading aloud and profitable in acquiring power of vocal interpretation;

Fourth, to stimulate interest in the works of the authors from whom we have chosen and in the speeches or books from which extracts have been taken;

Fifth, to present as models for students in public speaking notable specimens of eloquence, among which are masterpieces of the seven great orators of the world and from the six great triumphs in the history of American oratory;

Sixth, to provide carefully chosen scenes from a few standard, modern dramas for class-room and platform use. In these scenes the attempt has been made to preserve the spirit and unity of the plays, to shorten them to practical length, and to adapt them to the demands of the public audience.

To avoid reprinting material which is already universally accessible, we have inserted no scenes from Shakespeare; but the reader is referred to [Pg iv]Fulton and Trueblood's "Choice Readings" (published by Ginn and Company), which contains copious Indexes to choice scenes from Shakespeare, the Bible, and hymn-books. The two volumes include a wide field of literature best suited for public speaking.

The selections throughout the book are arranged under six different classes and cover a wide range of thought and emotion. While many shades of feeling may be found in the same selection, it has been our aim to place each one under the division with which, as a whole, it is most closely allied.

We are grateful to the many authors and publishers who have courteously permitted us to use their publications. Instead of naming them in the preface we have chosen to make due acknowledgment in a footnote wherever their selections appear in the volume.

F. and T.


[Pg v]

CONTENTS

PREFACE

I

NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, PATHETIC

Arena Scene from "Quo Vadis?" The             Sienkiewicz.
Arrow and the Song, The Longfellow..
Aux Italiens Lytton.
Bobby Shafto Henry.
Carcassonne Nadaud.
Child-wife, The Dickens.
Count Gismond Browning.
Death of Arbaces, The Lytton.
Dora Tennyson.
Easter with Parepa, An Delano.
Evening Bells, Those Moore.
Ginevra Coolidge.
High Tide at Lincolnshire, The Ingelow.
How Did You Die? Cooke.
Indigo Bird, The Burroughs.
Jackdaw of Rheims, The Barham.
Jaffar Hunt.
Jim Bludsoe Hay.
King Robert of Sicily Longfellow.
Lady of Shalott, The Tennyson.
Legend of Service, A Van Dyke.
Little Boy Blue Field.
Mary's Night Ride Cable.
Nydia, the Blind Girl Lytton.
O Captain, My Captain! Whitman.
On the Other Train Anon.
Pansy, The Anon.
"Revenge," The Tennyson.
Rider of the Black Horse, The Lippard.
Sailing beyond Seas Ingelow.
Sands of Dee, The Kingsley.
School of Squeers, The Dickens.
Secret of Death, The Arnold.
Shamus O'Brien Le Fanu.
Ships, My Wilcox.
Soldier's Reprieve, The Robbins.
Song, The Scott.
Stirrup Cup, The Hay.
Swan-song, The Brooks.
Sweet Afton Burns.
Violet's Blue Henry.
Waterfowl, To a Bryant.
Wedding Gown, The Pierce.
When the Snow Sifts Through Gillilan.
Wild Flower, To a Thompson.
Zoroaster, The Fate of Crawford.

II

SOLEMN, REVERENTIAL, SUBLIME

Centennial Hymn Whittier.
Chambered Nautilus, The Holmes.
Crossing the Bar Tennyson.
Destruction of Sennacherib, The                         Byron.
Each and All Emerson.
Laus Deo! Whittier.
Pilgrim Fathers, The Hemans.
Present Crisis, The Lowell.
Recessional, The Kipling.
Sacredness of Work, The Carlyle.
What's Hallowed Ground? Campbell.

III

PATRIOTIC, HEROIC, ORATORICAL

Abolition of War Sumner.
American Flag, The Beecher.
American People, The Beveridge.
American Question, The Bright.
America's Relation to Missions Angell.
American Slavery Bright.
Armenian Massacres, The Gladstone.
Battle Hymn of the Republic Howe.
Blue and the Gray, The Lodge.
Corruption of Prelates Savonarola.
Cross of Gold, The Bryan.
Death of Congressman Burnes Ingalls.
Death of Garfield, The Blaine.
Death of Grady, The Graves.
Death of Toussaint L'Ouverture Phillips.
Dedication of Gettysburg Cemetery, The       Lincoln.
Fallen Heroes of Japan, The Togo.
Glory of Peace, The Sumner.
Hope of the Republic, The Grady.
Hungarian Heroism Kossuth.
International Relations McKinley.
Irish Home Rule Gladstone.
Lincoln Castelar.
Lincoln Garfield.
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Hay.
Man with the Muck-rake, The Roosevelt.
Message to the Squadron Togo.
Minute Man, The Curtis.
More Perfect Union, A Curtis.
Napoleon Corwin.
Napoleon Ingersoll.
National Control of Corporations Roosevelt.
Negro, The Grady.
New England Quincy.
New South, The Grady.
O'Connell Phillips.
Open Door, The Henry.
Organization of the World Mead.
Permanency of Empire, The Phillips.
Pilgrims, The Phillips.
Principles of the Founders Mead.
Responsibility of War, The Channing.
Scotland Flagg.
Secession Stephens.
Second Inaugural Address Lincoln.
Slavery and the Union Lincoln.
Subjugation of the Filipino Hoar.
Sufferings and Destiny of the Pilgrims Everett.
To Arms Kossuth.
True American Patriotism Cockran.
Vision of War Ingersoll.
War in the Twentieth Century Mead.
Washington Phillips.

IV

GAY, HUMOROUS, COMIC

A Boy's Mother Riley.
Almost beyond Endurance Riley.
Bird in the Hand, A Weatherly.
Breaking the Charm Dunbar.
Candle Lightin' Time Dunbar.
"Day of Judgment, The" Phelps.
De Appile Tree Harris.
Dooley on La Grippe Microbes                         Dunne.
Doctrinal Discussion, A Edwards.
Finnigin to Flannigan Gillilan.
Gavroche and the Elephant Hugo.
Hazing of Valiant, The Anon.
Hindoo's Paradise, The Anon.
If I Knew Anon.
Imaginary Invalid, The Jerome.
Jane Jones King.
Knee-deep in June Riley.
Little Breeches Hay.
Low-Backed Car, The Lover.
Mammy's Pickanin' Jenkins.
Mandalay Kipling.
Mr. Coon and Mr. Rabbit Harris.
Money Musk Taylor.
One-legged Goose, The Smith.
Pessimist, The King.
Schneider Sees Leah Anon.
Superfluous Man, The Saxe.
Usual Way, The Anon.
Wedding Fee, The Streeter.
When Malindy Sings Dunbar.
When the Cows Come Home Mitchell.

V

DRAMATIC, NOT IN THE DRAMA

Confessional, The Anon.
Jean Valjean and the Good Bishop                     Hugo.
Lasca Anon.
Michael Strogoff Verne.
Mrs. Tree Richards.
Portrait, The Lytton.
Tell-tale Heart, The Poe.
Uncle, The Bell.

VI

SCENES FROM THE DRAMA

Beau Brummell, Act I, Scene I; Act II, Scene 3 Jerrold.
Bells, The, Act III, Scene I Williams.
Lady of Lyons, The, Act II, Scene I; Act III Scene 2 Lytton.
Pygmalion and Galatea, Act I, Scene I; Act II, Scene I Gilbert.
Rip Van Winkle, Act I, Scene I; Act II, Scene I Irving.
Rivals, The, Act I, Scene 2; Act II, Scene I; Act III, Scene I; Act IV, Scene 2 Sheridan.
Set of Turquoise, The, Act I, Scene I; Act I, Scene 2 Aldrich.
She Stoops to Conquer, Act II, Scene I Goldsmith.
   
Index of Authors  
Announcements  

[Pg 1]

STANDARD SELECTIONS

I

NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, PATHETIC

THE ARENA SCENE FROM "QUO VADIS"[1]

Henryk Sienkiewicz

The Roman Empire in the first century presents the most revolting picture of mankind to be found in the pages of history. Society founded on superior force, on the most barbarous cruelty, on crime and mad profligacy, was corrupt beyond the power of words to describe. Rome ruled the world, but was also its ulcer, and the horrible monster, Nero, guilty of all hideous and revolting crimes, seems a fit monarch for such a people.

A few years ago appeared "Quo Vadis?" the story from which this selection is made. The book attained so great a popularity, that it was translated into almost every tongue. In spite of its many faults, it invited the attention, and, although it shocked the sensibilities, when its great purpose was understood it melted the heart.

The author drew a startlingly vivid and horrible picture of humanity at this lowest stage, and in conflict with it he showed us the Christ spirit.

The extract is the story of how the young Vinicius, a patrician, a soldier, a courtier of Nero, through the labyrinth of foul sin, of self-worship and self-indulgence, with love for his guide,[Pg 2] found his way home to the feet of Him who commanded, "Be ye pure even as I am pure."

It is the love story of Vinicius and the Princess Lygia, a convert to Christ. The girl's happy and innocent life was rudely disturbed by a summons to the court of the profligate emperor. Arrived there, she found that Nero had given her to Vinicius, who had fallen passionately in love with her; but on the way to Vinicius' house she was rescued by the giant Ursus, one of her devoted attendants and a member of her own faith. They escaped in safety to the Christians, who were living in hiding in the city.

The imperious nature of the youthful soldier for the first time in his life met resistance. He was so transported with rage and disappointment that he ordered the slaves from whom Lygia had escaped to be flogged to death, while he set out to find the girl who had dared to thwart his desire. His egotism was so great that he would have seen the city and the whole world sunk in ruins rather than fail of his purpose. For days and days his search was unceasing, and at last he found Lygia, but in making a second attempt to carry her off was severely wounded by the giant Ursus. Finding himself helpless in the Christians' hands, he expected nothing but death; but instead he was carefully and tenderly nursed back to health. Waking from his delirium, he found at his bedside Lygia—Lygia, whom he had most injured, watching alone, while the others had gone to rest. Gradually in his pagan head the idea began to hatch with difficulty that at the side of naked beauty, confident and proud of Greek and Roman symmetry, there is another in the world, new, immensely pure, in which a soul resides. As the days went by, Vinicius was thrilled to the very depths of his soul by the consciousness that Lygia was learning to love him. With that revelation came the certain conviction that his religion would forever make an inseparable barrier between them. Then he hated Christianity with all the powers[Pg 3] of his soul, yet he could not but acknowledge that it had adorned Lygia with that exceptional, unexplained beauty, which was producing in his heart besides love, respect; besides desire, homage. Yet, when he thought of accepting the religion of the Nazarene, all the Roman in him rose up in revolt against the idea. He knew that if he were to accept that teaching he would have to throw, as on a burning pile, all his thoughts, ideas, ambitions, habits of life, his very nature up to that moment, burn them into ashes and fill himself with an entirely new life, and from his soul he cried that it was impossible; it was impossible!

Before Vinicius had entirely recovered Nero commanded his presence at Antium, whither the court was going for the hot summer months. Nero was ambitious to write an immortal epic poem which should rival the "Odyssey," and in order that he might describe realistically a burning city, gave a secret command while he was in Antium that Rome should be set on fire.

 

One evening, when the court was assembled to hear Nero recite some of his poetry, a slave appeared.

"Pardon, Divine Imperator, Rome is burning! The whole city is a sea of flames!" A moment of horrified silence followed, broken by the cry of Vinicius. He rushed forth, and, springing on his horse, dashed into the deep night. A horseman, rushing also like a whirlwind, but in the opposite direction, toward Antium, shouted as he raced past: "Rome is perishing!" To the ears of Vinicius came only one more expression: "Gods!" The rest was drowned by the thunder of hoofs. But the expression sobered him. "Gods!" He raised his head suddenly, and, stretching his arms toward the sky filled with stars, began to pray.

"Not to you, whose temples are burning, do I call, but to Thee. Thou Thyself hast suffered. Thou alone hast understood people's pain. If Thou art what Peter and Paul declare,[Pg 4] save Lygia. Seek her in the burning; save her and I will give Thee my blood!"

Before he had reached the top of the mountain he felt the wind on his face, and with it the odor of smoke came to his nostrils. He touched the summit at last, and then a terrible sight struck his eyes. The whole lower region was covered with smoke, but beyond this gray, ghastly plain the city was burning on the hills. The conflagration had not the form of a pillar, but of a long belt, shaped like the dawn.

Vinicius' horse, choking with the smoke, became unmanageable. He sprang to the earth and rushed forward on foot. The tunic began to smolder on him in places; breath failed his lungs; strength failed his bones; he fell! Two men, with gourds full of water, ran to him and bore him away. When he regained consciousness he found himself in a spacious cave, lighted with torches and tapers. He saw a throng of people kneeling, and over him bent the tender, beautiful face of his soul's beloved.

Lygia was indeed safe from the burning, but before the first thrill of relief was over an infinitely more horrible danger threatened her. The people were in wrath and threatened violence to Nero and his court, for it was popularly believed that the city had been set on fire at the emperor's instigation. The coward, Nero, was startled and thoroughly alarmed, and welcomed gladly the suggestion that the calamity should be blamed on the Christians, who were viewed with great suspicion by the common people, and obliged even then to live in hiding. In order to clear himself and to divert the people's minds, he instituted at once against the Christians the most horrible persecutions that have ever stained man's history. For days and days the people came in countless numbers to witness the tortures of the innocent victims; but at last they grew weary of blood-spilling. Then it was given out that Nero had arranged a climax for the last of the Christians who were to die[Pg 5] at an evening spectacle in a brilliantly lighted amphitheater. Chief interest both of the Augustinians and the people centered in Lygia and Vinicius, for the story of their love was now generally known, and everybody felt that Nero was intending to make a tragedy for himself out of the suffering of Vinicius.

At last the evening arrived. The sight was in truth magnificent. All that was powerful, brilliant and wealthy in Rome was there. The lower seats were crowded with togas as white as snow. In a gilded padium sat Nero, wearing a diamond collar and a golden crown upon his head. Every eye was turned with strained gaze to the place where the unfortunate lover was sitting. He was exceedingly pale, and his forehead was covered with drops of sweat. To his tortured mind came the thought that faith of itself would spare Lygia. Peter had said that faith would move the earth to its foundations. He crushed doubt in himself, compressed his whole being into the sentence, "I believe," and he looked for a miracle.

The prefect of the city waved a red handkerchief, and out of the dark gully into the brilliantly lighted arena came Ursus. In Rome there was no lack of gladiators, larger by far than the common measure of man; but Roman eyes had never seen the like of Ursus. The people gazed with the delight of experts at his mighty limbs, as large as tree trunks; at his breast, as large as two shields joined together, and his arms of a Hercules. He was unarmed, and had determined to die as became a follower of the Lamb, peacefully and patiently. Meanwhile he wished to pray once more to the Saviour. So he knelt on the arena, joined his hands and raised his eyes towards the stars. This act displeased the crowd. They had had enough of those Christians, who died like sheep. They understood that if the giant would not defend himself, the spectacle would be a failure. Here and there hisses were heard. Some began to cry for scourgers, whose office it was to lash combatants unwilling to fight. But soon all had grown silent, for no one knew what was[Pg 6] waiting for the giant, nor whether he would not defend himself when he met death eye to eye.

In fact, they had not long to wait. Suddenly the shrill sound of brazen trumpets was heard, and at that signal into the arena rushed, amid the shouts of the beast-keepers, an enormous German aurochs, bearing on his head the naked body of a woman.

Vinicius sprang to his feet.

"Lygia! Oh, ... I believe! I believe! Oh, Christ, a miracle! a miracle!" And he did not even know that Petronius had covered his head at that moment with a toga. He did not look; he did not see. The feeling of some awful emptiness possessed him. In his head there remained not a thought. His lips merely repeated as if in madness, "I believe! I believe! I believe!"

This time the amphitheater was silent, for in the arena something uncommon had happened. That giant, obedient and ready to die, when he saw his queen on the horns of the wild beast, sprang up, as if touched by living fire, and, bending forward, he ran at the raging animal.

From all breasts a sudden cry of amazement was heard, as the giant fell on the raging bull and seized him by the horns. And then came deep silence. All breasts ceased to breathe. In the amphitheater a fly might be heard on the wing. People could not believe their own eyes. Since Rome was Rome no one had ever seen such a spectacle. The man's feet sank in the sand to his ankle; his back was bent like a bow; his head was hidden between his shoulders; on his arms the muscles came out so that the skin almost burst from their pressure; but he had stopped the bull in his tracks. The man and the bull remained so still that the spectators thought themselves looking at a group hewn in stone. But in that apparent repose there was a tremendous exertion of two struggling forces. The bull's feet, as well as the man's, sank in the sand, and the dark,[Pg 7] shaggy body was curved so that it seemed a gigantic ball. Which of the two would fail first? Which would fall first?

Meanwhile a dull roar resembling a groan was heard from the arena, after which a brief shout was wrested from every breast, and again there was silence. Duller and duller, hoarser and hoarser, more and more painful grew the groan of the bull as it mingled with the whistling breath from the breast of the giant. The head of the beast began to turn in the iron hands of the barbarian, and from his jaws crept forth a long, foaming tongue. A moment more and to the ears of the spectators sitting nearer came, as it were, the crack of breaking bones; then the beast rolled on the earth, dead.

The giant removed in a twinkling the ropes that bound the maiden to the horns of the bull. His face was very pale; he stood as if only half conscious; then he raised his eyes and looked at the spectators.

The amphitheater had gone wild. The walls of the building were trembling from the roar of tens of thousands of people.

Everywhere were heard cries for mercy, passionate and persistent, which soon turned into one unbroken thunder.

The giant understood that they were asking for his life and liberty, but his thoughts were not for himself. He raised the unconscious maiden in his arms, and, going to Nero's padium, held her up and looked up imploringly.

Vinicius sprang over the barrier, which separated the lower seats from the arena, and, running to Lygia, covered her with his toga.

Then he tore apart the tunic on his breast, laid bare the scars left by wounds received in the Armenian war, and stretched out his hands to the multitude.

At this the enthusiasm passed everything ever seen in a circus before. Voices choking with tears began to demand mercy. Yet Nero halted and hesitated. He would have preferred to see the giant and the maiden rent by the horns of the bull.

[Pg 8]Nero was alarmed. He understood that to oppose longer was simply dangerous. A disturbance begun in the circus might seize the whole city. He looked once more, and, seeing everywhere frowning brows, excited faces and eyes fixed on him, he slowly raised his hand and gave the sign for mercy.

Then a thunder of applause broke from the highest seats to the lowest. But Vinicius heard it not. He dropped on his knees in the arena, stretched his hands toward heaven and cried: "I believe! Oh, Christ! I believe! I believe!"

FOOTNOTE:

[1] Copyright, 1896, by Jeremiah Curtin.


THE ARROW AND THE SONG[2]

H. W. Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air.
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air.
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song.
Long, long afterward, in an oak,
I found the arrow still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

FOOTNOTE:

[2] Used by permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., publishers of his works.


AUX ITALIENS

R. Bulwer Lytton

At Paris it was, at the opera there;
And she looked like a queen that night,
With a wreath of pearl in her raven hair,
And the brooch in her breast so bright.[Pg 9]
Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,
The best, to my taste, is the "Trovatoré":
And Mario can soothe, with a tenor note,
The souls in purgatory.
The moon on the tower slept soft as snow;
And who was not thrilled in the strangest way,
As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low,
"Non ti scordar di me?"
The Emperor there in his box of state,
Looked grave; as if he had just then seen
The red flag wave from the city gate,
Where the eagles in bronze had been.
The Empress, too, had a tear in her eye;
You'd have thought that her fancy had gone back again,
For one moment, under the old blue sky,
To that old glad life in Spain.
Well! there in our front row box we sat
Together, my bride betrothed and I;
My gaze was fixed on my opera hat,
And hers on the stage hard by.
And both were silent and both were sad;
Like a queen she leaned on her full white arm,
With that regal indolent air she had;
So confident of her charm!
I have not a doubt she was thinking then
Of her former lord, good soul that he was,
Who died the richest and roundest of men,
The Marquis of Carabas.
I hope that, to get to the kingdom of heaven,
Through a needle's eye he had not to pass;[Pg 10]
I wish him well for the jointure given
To my lady of Carabas.
Meanwhile I was thinking of my first love
As I had not been thinking of aught for years;
Till over my eyes there began to move
Something that felt like tears.
I thought of the dress that she wore last time,
When we stood neath the cypress-trees together,
In that lost land, in that soft clime,
In the crimson evening weather;
Of that muslin dress (for the eve was hot);
And her warm white neck in its golden chain;
And her full soft hair just tied in a knot,
And falling loose again.
And the Jasmine flower in her fair young breast;
(O the faint sweet smell of that Jasmine flower!)
And the one bird singing alone to its nest;
And the one star over the tower.
I thought of our little quarrels and strife,
And the letter that brought me back my ring;
And it all seemed there in the waste of life,
Such a very little thing.
For I thought of her grave below the hill,
Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over;
And I thought, "Were she only living still,
How I could forgive her and love her!"
And I swear as I thought of her thus in that hour,
And of how, after all, old things are best,
That I smelt the smell of that Jasmine flower
Which she used to wear in her breast.[Pg 11]
And I turned and looked; she was sitting there,
In a dim box over the stage; and drest
In that muslin dress, with that full soft hair,
And that Jasmine in her breast!
I was here, and she was there;
And the glittering horse-shoe curved between;—
From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair
And her sumptuous scornful mien,
To my early love with her eyes downcast,
And over her primrose face the shade,
(In short from the future back to the past)
There was but a step to be made.
To my early love from my future bride
One moment I looked, then I stole to the door,
I traversed the passage; and down at her side
I was sitting a moment more.
My thinking of her or the music's strain,
Or something which never will be expressed,
Had brought her back from the grave again,
With the Jasmine in her breast.
She is not dead, and she is not wed!
But she loves me now and she loved me then!
And the very first words that her sweet lips said,
My heart grew youthful again.
The Marchioness there, of Carabas,
She is wealthy and young and handsome still,
And but for her ... well, we'll let that pass;
She may marry whomever she will.
But I will marry my own first love,
With her primrose face, for old things are best;[Pg 12]
And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above
The brooch in my lady's breast.
The world is filled with folly and sin,
And love must cling where it can, I say,
For beauty is easy enough to win,
But one isn't loved every day.
And I think in the lives of most women and men,
There's a moment when all would go smooth and even,
If only the dead could find out when
To come back and be forgiven.
But O! the smell of that Jasmine flower!
And O that music! and O the way
That voice rang out from the donjon tower,
Non ti scordar di me,
Non ti scordar di me!

BOBBY SHAFTO[3]

Daniel Henry, Jr.

Theme.

"Bobby Shafto's gone to sea:—
Silver buckles on his knee—
He'll come back and marry me,
Pretty Bobby Shafto!"
"Mother Goose Melodies."
"With his treasures won at sea,
Spanish gold and Portugee,
And his heart, still fast to me,
Pretty Bobby Shafto!
"In a captain's pomp and pride,
With a gold sword at his side,[Pg 13]
He'll come back to claim his bride,
Pretty Bobby Shafto!"
So she sang, the winter long,
Till the sun came, golden-strong,
And the blue birds caught her song:
All of Bobby Shafto.
Days went by, and autumn came,
Eyes grew dim, and feet went lame,
But the song, it was the same,
All of Bobby Shafto.
Never came across the sea,
Silver buckles on his knee,
Bobby to his bride-to-be,
Fickle Bobby Shafto!
For where midnight never dies,
In the Storm-King's caves of ice,
Stiff and stark, poor Bobby lies—
Heigho! Bobby Shafto.

FOOTNOTE:

[3] From "Under a Fool's Cap."


CARCASSONNE

Gustav Nadaud, translated by M. E. W. Sherwood

"How old I am! I'm eighty years!
I've worked both hard and long;
Yet patient as my life has been,
One dearest sight I have not seen,—
It almost seems a wrong.
A dream I had when life was new;
Alas, our dreams! they come not true;
I thought to see fair Carcassonne,—
That lovely city,—Carcassonne![Pg 14]
"One sees it dimly from the height
Beyond the mountains blue,
Fain would I walk five weary leagues,—
I do not mind the road's fatigues,—
Through morn and evening's dew;
But bitter frost would fall at night;
And on the grapes,—that yellow blight!
I could not go to Carcassonne,
I never went to Carcassonne.
"They say it is as gay all times
As holidays at home!
The gentles ride in gay attire,
And in the sun each gilded spire
Shoots up like those of Rome!
The bishop the procession leads,
The generals curb their prancing steeds.
Alas! I know not Carcassonne—
Alas! I saw not Carcassonne!
"Our Vicar's right! he preaches loud,
And bids us to beware;
He says, 'O guard the weakest-part,
And most that traitor in the heart
Against ambition's snare.'
Perhaps in autumn I can find
Two sunny days with gentle wind;
I then could go to Carcassonne,
I still could go to Carcassonne.
"My God, my Father! pardon me
If this my wish offends;
One sees some hope more high than his,
In age, as in his infancy,
To which his heart ascends![Pg 15]
My wife, my son have seen Narbonne,
My grandson went to Perpignan,
But I have not seen Carcassonne,
But I have not seen Carcassonne."
Thus sighed a peasant bent with age,
Half-dreaming in his chair;
I said, "My friend, come go with me
To-morrow, then thine eyes shall see
Those streets that seem so fair."
That night there came for passing soul
The church-bell's low and solemn toll.
He never saw gay Carcassonne.
Who has not known a Carcassonne?

THE CHILD-WIFE

Charles Dickens

All this time I had gone on loving Dora harder than ever. If I may so express it, I was steeped in Dora. I was not merely over head and ears in love with her, I was saturated through and through. I took night walks to Norwood where she lived, and perambulated round and round the house and garden for hours together, looking through crevices in the palings, using violent exertions to get my chin above the rusty nails on the top, blowing kisses at the lights in the windows, and romantically calling on the night to shield my Dora,—I don't exactly know from what,—I suppose from fire, perhaps from mice, to which she had a great objection.

Dora had a discreet friend, comparatively stricken in years, almost of the ripe age of twenty, I should say, whose name was Miss Mills. Dora called her Julia. She was the bosom friend of Dora. Happy Miss Mills!

One day Miss Mills said: "Dora is coming to stay with me.[Pg 16] She is coming the day after to-morrow. If you would like to call, I am sure papa would be happy to see you."

I passed three days in a luxury of wretchedness. At last, arrayed for the purpose, at a vast expense, I went to Miss Mills's, fraught with a declaration. Mr. Mills was not at home. I didn't expect he would be. Nobody wanted him. Miss Mills was at home. Miss Mills would do.

I was shown into a room upstairs, where Miss Mills and Dora were. Dora's little dog Jip was there. Miss Mills was copying music, and Dora was painting flowers. What were my feelings when I recognized flowers I had given her!

Miss Mills was very glad to see me, and very sorry her papa was not at home, though I thought we all bore that with fortitude. Miss Mills was conversational for a few minutes, and then laying down her pen, got up and left the room.

I began to think I would put it off till to-morrow.

"I hope your poor horse was not tired when he got home at night from that picnic," said Dora, lifting up her beautiful eyes.

"It was a long way for him."

I began to think I would do it to-day.

"It was a long way for him, for he had nothing to uphold him on the journey."

"Wasn't he fed, poor thing?"

I began to think I would put it off till to-morrow.

"Ye-yes, he was well taken care of. I mean he had not the unutterable happiness that I had in being so near to you."

I saw now that I was in for it, and it must be done on the spot.

"I don't know why you should care for being near me, or why you should call it a happiness. But of course you don't mean what you say. Jip, you naughty boy, come here!"

I don't know how I did it, but I did it in a moment. I intercepted Jip. I had Dora in my arms. I was full of eloquence. I never stopped for a word. I told her how I loved her. I told her I should die without her. I told her that I[Pg 17] idolized and worshiped her. Jip barked madly all the time. My eloquence increased, and I said if she would like me to die for her, she had but to say the word, and I was ready. I had loved her to distraction every minute, day and night, since I first set eyes upon her. I loved her at that minute to distraction. I should always love her, every minute, to distraction. Lovers had loved before, and lovers would love again; but no lover had ever loved, might, could, would, or should ever love, as I loved Dora. The more I raved, the more Jip barked. Each of us in his own way got more mad every moment.

Well, well! Dora and I were sitting on the sofa by and by quiet enough, and Jip was lying in her lap winking peacefully at me. It was off my mind. I was in a state of perfect rapture. Dora and I were engaged.

Being poor, I felt it necessary the next time I went to my darling to expatiate on that unfortunate drawback. I soon carried desolation into the bosom of our joys—not that I meant to do it, but that I was so full of the subject—by asking Dora without the smallest preparation, if she could love a beggar.

"How can you ask me anything so foolish? Love a beggar!"

"Dora, my own dearest, I am a beggar!"

"How can you be such a silly thing," replied Dora, slapping my hand, "as to sit there telling such stories? I'll make Jip bite you, if you are so ridiculous."

But I looked so serious that Dora began to cry. She did nothing but exclaim, "O dear! O dear!" And oh, she was so frightened! And where was Julia Mills? And oh, take her to Julia Mills, and go away, please! until I was almost beside myself.

I thought I had killed her. I sprinkled water on her face; I went down on my knees; I plucked at my hair; I implored her forgiveness; I besought her to look up; I ravaged Miss[Pg 18] Mills's work-box for a smelling-bottle, and in my agony of mind, applied an ivory needle-case instead, and dropped all the needles over Dora.

At last I got Dora to look at me, with a horrified expression which I gradually soothed until it was only loving, and her soft, pretty cheek was lying against mine.

"Is your heart mine still, dear Dora?"

"O yes! O yes! it's all yours, oh, don't be dreadful."

"My dearest love, the crust well earned—"

"O yes; but I don't want to hear any more about crusts. And after we are married, Jip must have a mutton chop every day at twelve, or he'll die."

I was charmed with her childish, winning way, and I fondly explained to her that Jip should have his mutton chop with his accustomed regularity.

When we had been engaged some half-year or so, Dora delighted me by asking me to give her that cookery-book I had once spoken of, and to show her how to keep accounts, as I had once promised I would. I brought the volume with me on my next visit (I got it prettily bound, first, to make it look less dry and more inviting), and showed her an old housekeeping book of my aunt's, and gave her a set of tablets, and a pretty little pencil-case, and a box of leads, to practice housekeeping with.

But the cookery-book made Dora's head ache, and the figures made her cry. They wouldn't add up, she said. So she rubbed them out, and drew little nosegays, and likenesses of me and Jip, all over the tablets.

Time went on, and at last, here in this hand of mine, I held the wedding license. There were the two names in the sweet old visionary connection,—David Copperfield and Dora Spenlow; and there in the corner was that parental institution, the Stamp Office, looking down upon our union; and there, in the printed form of words, was the Archbishop of Canterbury,[Pg 19] invoking a blessing on us and doing it as cheap as could possibly be expected.

I doubt whether two young birds could have known less about keeping house than I and my pretty Dora did. We had a servant, of course. She kept house for us. We had an awful time of it with Mary Anne. She was the cause of our first little quarrel.

"My dearest life," I said one day to Dora, "do you think Mary Anne has any idea of time?"

"Why, Doady?"

"My love, because it's five, and we were to have dined at four."

My little wife came and sat upon my knee, to coax me to be quiet, and drew a line with her pencil down the middle of my nose; but I couldn't dine off that, though it was very agreeable.

"Don't you think, my dear, it would be better for you to remonstrate with Mary Anne?"

"O no, please! I couldn't, Doady!"

"Why not, my love?"

"O, because I am such a little goose, and she knows I am!"

I thought this sentiment so incompatible with the establishment of any system of check on Mary Anne, that I frowned a little.

"My precious wife, we must be serious some times. Come! sit down on this chair, close beside me! Give me the pencil! There! Now let us talk sensibly. You know, dear," what a little hand it was to hold, and what a tiny wedding ring it was to see,—"you know, my love, it is not exactly comfortable to have to go out without one's dinner. Now, is it?"

"N-n-no!"

"My love, how you tremble!"

"Because, I know you're going to scold me."

"My sweet, I am only going to reason."

"O, but reasoning is worse than scolding! I didn't marry[Pg 20] to be reasoned with. If you meant to reason with such a poor little thing as I am, you ought to have told me so, you cruel boy!"

"Dora, my darling!"

"No, I am not your darling. Because you must be sorry that you married me, or else you wouldn't reason with me!"

I felt so injured by the inconsequential nature of this charge, that it gave me courage to be grave.

"Now, my own Dora, you are childish, and are talking nonsense. You must remember, I am sure, that I was obliged to go out yesterday when dinner was half over; and that, the day before, I was made quite unwell by being obliged to eat underdone veal in a hurry; to-day, I don't dine at all, and I am afraid to say how long we waited for breakfast, and then the water didn't boil. I don't mean to reproach you, my dear, but this, is not comfortable."

"Oh, you cruel, cruel boy, to say I am a disagreeable wife!"

"Now, my dear Dora, you must know that I never said that!"

"You said I wasn't comfortable!"

"I said the housekeeping was not comfortable!"

"It's exactly the same thing! and I wonder, I do, at your making such ungrateful speeches. When you know that the other day, when you said you would like a little bit of fish, I went out myself, miles and miles, and ordered it to surprise you."

"And it was very kind of you, my own darling; and I felt it so much that I wouldn't on any account have mentioned that you bought a salmon, which was too much for two; or that it cost one pound six, which was more than we can afford."

"You enjoyed it very much. And you said I was a Mouse."

"And I'll say so again, my love, a thousand times!"

I said it a thousand times, and more, and went on saying it[Pg 21] until Mary Anne's cousin deserted into our coal-hole and was brought out, to our great amazement, by a picket of his companions in arms, who took him away handcuffed in a procession that covered our front garden with disgrace.

"I am very sorry for all this, Doady. Will you call me a name I want you to call me?"

"What is it, my dear?"

"It's a stupid name,—Child-wife. When you are going to be angry with me, say to yourself, 'It's only my Child-wife.' When I am very disappointing, say, 'I knew a long time ago, that she would make but a Child-wife.' When you miss what you would like me to be, and what I think I never can be, say, 'Still my foolish Child-wife loves me.' For indeed I do."

I invoke the innocent figure that I dearly loved to come out of the mists and shadows of the past, and to turn its gentle head toward me once again, and to bear witness that it was made happy by what I answered.


COUNT GISMOND

Robert Browning

Christ God, who savest man, save most
Of men Count Gismond who saved me!
Count Gauthier, when he chose his post,
Chose time and place and company
To suit it; when he struck at length
My honor, 'twas with all his strength.
And doubtlessly ere he could draw
All points to one, he must have schemed!
That miserable morning saw
Few half so happy as I seemed,
While being dressed in queen's array
To give our tourney prize away.[Pg 22]
I thought they loved me, did me grace
To please themselves; 'twas all their deed;
God makes, or fair or foul, our face;
If showing mine so caused to bleed
My cousins' hearts, they should have dropped
A word, and straight the play had stopped.
They, too, so beauteous! Each a queen
By virtue of her brow and breast;
Not needing to be crowned, I mean,
As I do. E'en when I was dressed,
Had either of them spoke, instead
Of glancing sideways with still head!
But no: they let me laugh and sing
My birthday song quite through, adjust
The last rose in my garland, fling
A last look on the mirror, trust
My arms to each an arm of theirs,
And so descend the castle-stairs—
And come out on the morning-troop
Of merry friends who kissed my cheek,
And called me queen, and made me stoop
Under the canopy—(a streak
That pierced it, of the outside sun,
Powdered with gold its gloom's soft dun)—
And they could let me take my state
And foolish throne amid applause
Of all come there to celebrate
My queen's-day—Oh I think the cause
Of much was, they forgot no crowd
Makes up for parents in their shroud![Pg 23]
Howe'er that be, all eyes were bent
Upon me, when my cousins cast
Theirs down; 'twas time I should present
The victor's crown, but ... there, 'twill last
No long time ... the old mist again
Blinds me as it did then. How vain!
See! Gismond's at the gate, in talk
With his two boys: I can proceed.
Well, at that moment, who should stalk
Forth boldly—to my face, indeed—
But Gauthier, and he thundered, "Stay!"
And all stayed. "Bring no crowns, I say!
"Bring torches! Wind the penance-sheet
About her! Let her cleave to right,
Or lay herself before our feet!
Shall she who sinned so bold at night
Unblushing, queen it in the day?
For honor's sake, no crowns, I say!"
I? What I answered? As I live,
I never fancied such a thing
As answer possible to give.
What says the body when they spring
Some monstrous torture-engine's whole
Strength on it? No more says the soul.
Till out strode Gismond; then I knew
That I was saved. I never met
His face before, but, at first view,
I felt quite sure that God had set
Himself to Satan; who would spend
A minute's mistrust on the end?[Pg 24]
He strode to Gauthier, in his throat
Gave him the lie, then struck his mouth
With one back-handed blow that wrote
In blood men's verdict there. North, South,
East, West, I looked. The lie was dead,
And damned, and truth stood up instead.
This glads me most, that I enjoyed
The heart of the joy, with my content
In watching Gismond unalloyed
By any doubt of the event:
God took that on him—I was bid
Watch Gismond for my part: I did.
Did I not watch him while he let
His armorer just brace his greaves,
Rivet his hauberk, on the fret
The while! His foot ... my memory leaves
No least stamp out, nor how anon
He pulled his ringing gauntlets on.
And e'en before the trumpet's sound
Was finished, prone lay the false knight,
Prone as his lie, upon the ground:
Gismond flew at him, used no sleight
O' the sword, but open-breasted drove,
Cleaving till out the truth he clove.
Which done, he dragged him to my feet
And said, "Here die, but end thy breath
In full confession, lest thou fleet
From my first, to God's second death!
Say, hast thou lied?" And, "I have lied
To God and her," he said, and died.[Pg 25]
Then Gismond, kneeling to me, asked
—What safe my heart holds, though no word
Could I repeat now, if I tasked
My powers forever, to a third
Dear even as you are. Pass the rest
Until I sank upon his breast.
Over my head his arm he flung
Against the world; and scarce I felt
His sword (that dripped by me and swung)
A little shifted in its belt;
For he began to say the while
How South our home lay many a mile.
So 'mid the shouting multitude
We two walked forth to never more
Return. My cousins have pursued
Their life, untroubled as before
I vexed them. Gauthier's dwelling-place
God lighten! May his soul find grace!
Our elder boy has got the clear
Great brow; though when his brother's black
Full eye shows scorn, it ... Gismond here?
And have you brought your tercel back?
I just was telling Adela
How many birds it struck since May.

THE DEATH OF ARBACES[4]

Edward Bulwer Lytton

In the eventful year of the eruption of Vesuvius, there lived in Pompeii a young Greek by the name of Glaucus. Heaven had given him every blessing but one; it had denied him the[Pg 26] heritage of freedom. He was born in Athens, the subject of Rome. Succeeding early to an ample inheritance, he had indulged that inclination for travel, so natural to the young, and consequently knew much of the gorgeous luxuries of the imperial court. His ideals in life were high. At last he discovered the long-sought idol of his dreams in the person of Ione, a beautiful, young Neapolitan, also of Greek parentage, who had lately come to Pompeii. She was one of those brilliant characters which seldom flash across our career. She united in the highest perfection the rarest of earthly gifts,—Genius and Beauty. No wonder that the friendship of these two ripened into a higher love than that which served a theme for the idle gossip of the Roman baths, or the epicurean board of a Sallust or a Diomede.

Arbaces, the legal guardian of Ione, was a subtle, crafty, cunning Egyptian, whose conscience was solely of the intellect awed by no moral laws. His great wealth and learning, and his reputation as a magician gave him great power and influence over not only the superstitious worshipers, but also the priesthood of Isis. Shrouding the deceit and vices of a heathen metaphysical philosophy in a brilliant and imposing ceremonial, Arbaces was the better able to gratify his own desires and work out his diabolical scheme.

As Ione just ripened into beautiful womanhood, Arbaces determined to claim her life and her love for himself alone; but his first overture not only met with rebuff, but revealed the fact that she already loved Glaucus. Angered by a fate which not even his dark sorcery could remove, and which the prophecy of the stars had foretold, he is further enraged by the violent opposition of Apæcides, the brother of Ione, who on his own account threatens and has prepared to expose the lewd deceits and hypocrisy of the worship of Isis. Arbaces murders Apæcides, imprisons the priest Calenus, the only witness of the deed, and with great cunning weaves a convicting net of cir[Pg 27]cumstantial evidence around Glaucus, his hated rival. Glaucus is tried, convicted and doomed to be thrown to the lion.

The day of the sports of the amphitheater had come. The gladiatorial fights and other games were completed. "Bring forth the lion and Glaucus the Athenian," said the editor. Glaucus had been placed in that gloomy and narrow cell in which the criminals of the arena awaited their last and fearful struggle. The door swung gratingly back—the gleam of spears shot along the walls.

"Glaucus the Athenian, thy time has come," said a loud and clear voice. "The lion awaits thee."

"I am ready," said the Athenian. "Worthy officer, I attend you."

When he came into the air its breath, which, though sunless, was hot and arid, smote witheringly upon him. They anointed his body, placed the stylus in his hand, and led him into the arena.

And now when the Greek saw the eyes of thousands and tens of thousands upon him, he no longer felt that he was mortal. All evidence of fear—all fear itself—was gone. A red and haughty flush spread over the paleness of his features—he towered aloft to the fullness of his glorious stature. In the elastic beauty of his limbs and form, in his intent but unfrowning brow, in the high disdain, and in the indomitable soul, which breathed visibly, which spoke audibly, from his attitude, his lip, his eye, he assumed the very incarnation, vivid and corporeal, of the valor of his land—of the divinity of its worship—at once a hero and a god.

The murmur of hatred and horror at his crime, which had greeted his entrance, died into the stillness of involuntary admiration and half-compassionate respect; and with a quick and convulsive sigh, that seemed to move the whole mass of life as if it were one body, the gaze of the spectators turned from the Athenian to a dark uncouth object in the center of the arena.[Pg 28] It was the grated den of the lion. Kept without food for twenty-four hours, the animal had, during the whole morning, testified a singular and restless uneasiness, which the keeper had attributed to the pangs of hunger. Yet its bearing seemed rather that of fear than of rage; its roar was painful and distressed; it hung its head—snuffed the air through the bars—then lay down—started again—and again uttered its wild and far-reaching cries.

The editor's lip quivered, and his cheek grew pale; he looked anxiously around—hesitated—delayed; the crowd became impatient. Slowly he gave the sign; the keeper, who was behind the den, cautiously removed the grating, and the lion leaped forth with a mighty and glad roar of release. The keeper retreated hastily through the grated passage leading from the arena, and left the lord of the forest—and his prey.

Glaucus had bent his limbs so as to give himself the firmest posture at the expected rush of the lion, with his small and shining weapon raised high, in the faint hope that one well directed thrust might penetrate through the eye to the brain of his grim foe.

At the first moment of its release the lion halted in the arena, raised itself half on end, snuffing the upward air with impatient sighs; then suddenly sprang forward, but not on the Athenian. At half speed it circled around and around the arena; once or twice it endeavored to leap up the parapet that separated it from the audience. At length, as if tired of attempting to escape, it crept with a moan into its cage, and once more laid itself down to rest.

The first surprise of the assembly at the apathy of the lion soon grew into resentment at its cowardice; and the populace already merged their pity for the fate of Glaucus into angry compassion for their own disappointment. The editor called the keeper.

[Pg 29]"How is this? Take the goad, prick him forth, and then close the door of the den."

As the keeper, with some fear, but more astonishment, was preparing to obey, a loud cry was heard at one of the entrances of the arena; there was a confusion—a bustle—voices of remonstrance suddenly breaking forth, and suddenly silenced at the reply. All eyes turned in wonder at the interruption, toward the quarter of disturbance; the crowd gave way, and suddenly Sallust appeared on the senatorial benches, his hair disheveled,—breathless—half exhausted. He cast his eyes hastily round the ring. "Remove the Athenian," he cried. "Haste,—he is innocent. Arrest Arbaces the Egyptian. He is the murderer of Apæcides."

"Art thou mad, O Sallust?" said the prætor, rising from his seat. "What means this raving?"

"Remove the Athenian. Quick! or his blood be on your head. Prætor, delay and you answer with your own life to the Emperor. I bring with me the eye-witness to the death of Apæcides. Room there—stand back—give way. People of Pompeii, fix every eye on Arbaces—there he sits. Room there for the priest Calenus."

"The priest Calenus,—Calenus," cried the mob. "Is it he?"

"It is the priest Calenus," said the prætor. "What hast thou to say?"

"Arbaces of Egypt is the murderer of Apæcides, the priest of Isis; these eyes saw him deal the blow. It is from the dungeon into which he plunged me—it is from the darkness and horror of a death by famine—that the gods have raised me to proclaim his crime. Release the Athenian—he is innocent."

"A miracle—a miracle," shouted the people. "Remove the Athenian. Arbaces to the lion!"

"Officers, remove the accused Glaucus—remove, but guard him yet," said the prætor.[Pg 30]

"Calenus, priest of Isis, thou accusest Arbaces of the murder of Apæcides?"

"I do."

"Thou didst behold the deed?"

"Prætor—with these eyes—"

"Enough at present—the details must be reserved for more suiting time and place. Ho! guards—remove Arbaces—guard Calenus! Sallust, we hold you responsible for your accusation. Let the sports be resumed."

"To the lion with the Egyptian!" cried the people.

With that cry up sprang—on moved—thousands upon thousands! They rushed from the heights—they poured down in the direction of the Egyptian. In vain did the ædile command—in vain did the prætor lift his voice and proclaim the law. The people had been already rendered savage.

Arbaces stretched his hand on high; over his lofty brow and royal features there came an expression of unutterable solemnity and command. "Behold!" he shouted with a voice which stilled the roar of the crowd; "behold the gods protect the guiltless! The fires of the avenging Orcus burst forth against the false witness of my accusers!"

The eyes of the crowd followed the gesture of the Egyptian, and beheld, with ineffable dismay, a vast vapor shooting from the summit of Vesuvius, in the form of a gigantic pine tree; the trunk, blackness,—the branches, fire,—a fire that shifted and wavered in its hues with every moment, now fiercely luminous, now of a dull and dying red, that again blazed terrifically forth with intolerable glare.

There was a dead heart-sunken silence. Then there arose on high the universal shrieks of women; the men stared at each other, but were dumb. At that moment they felt the earth shake beneath their feet; the walls of the theater trembled; and beyond in the distance, they heard the crash of falling roofs; an instant more and the mountain-cloud seemed to[Pg 31] roll towards them, dark and rapid, like a torrent; at the same time, it cast forth from its bosom a shower of ashes mixed with vast fragments of burning stone! Over the crushing vines,—over the desolate streets,—over the amphitheater itself,—far and wide,—with many a mighty splash in that agitated sea,—fell that awful shower! The crowd turned to fly—each dashing, pressing, crushing, against the other. Trampling recklessly over the fallen—amidst groans, and oaths, and prayers, and sudden shrieks, the enormous crowd vomited itself forth through the numerous passages; prisoner, gladiator and wild beast now alike freed from their confines.

Glaucus paced swiftly up the perilous and fearful streets, having learned that Ione was yet in the house of Arbaces. Thither he fled to release—to save her! Even as he passed, however, the darkness that covered the heavens increased so rapidly, that it was with difficulty he could guide his steps. He ascended to the upper rooms—breathless he paced along, shouting out aloud the name of Ione; and at length he heard, at the end of a gallery, a voice—her voice, in wondering reply! He rescued her and they made their way to the sea, boarded a vessel and were saved from the wrath of Vesuvius.

Arbaces returned to his house to seek his wealth and Ione ere he fled from the doomed Pompeii. He found them not; all was lost to him. In the madness of despair he rushed forth and hurried along the street he knew not whither; exhausted or lost he halted at the east end of the Forum. High behind him rose a tall column that supported the bronze statue of Augustus; and the imperial image seemed changed to a shape of fire. He advanced one step—it was his last on earth! The ground shook beneath him with a convulsion that cast all around upon its surface. A simultaneous crash resounded through the city, as down toppled many a roof and pillar!—The lightning, as if caught by the metal, lingered an instant on the Imperial Statue—then shivered bronze and column![Pg 32] Down fell the ruin, echoing along the street, crushing Arbaces and riving the solid pavement where it crashed! The prophecy of the stars was fulfilled!

So perished the wise Magician—the great Arbaces—the Hermes of the Burning Belt—the last of the royalty of Egypt.

FOOTNOTE:

[4] An adaptation by R. I. Fulton from the "Last Days of Pompeii."


DORA

Alfred Lord Tennyson

With farmer Allan at the farm abode
William and Dora. William was his son,
And she his niece. He often look'd at them,
And often thought, "I'll make them man and wife."
Now Dora felt her uncle's will in all,
And yearn'd toward William; but the youth, because
He had been always with her in the house,
Thought not of Dora.
Then there came a day
When Allan call'd his son, and said, "My son,
I married late, but I would wish to see
My grandchild on my knees before I die;
And I have set my heart upon a match.
Now therefore look to Dora; she is well
To look to; thrifty too beyond her age.
She is my brother's daughter; he and I
Had once hard words, and parted, and he died
In foreign lands; but for his sake I bred
His daughter Dora. Take her for your wife;
For I have wish'd this marriage, night and day,
For many years." But William answer'd short;
"I cannot marry Dora; by my life,
I will not marry Dora." Then the old man
Was wroth, and doubled up his hands, and said,[Pg 33]
"You will not, boy! you dare to answer thus!
But in my time a father's word was law,
And so it shall be now for me. Look to it;
Consider, William, take a month to think,
And let me have an answer to my wish;
Or, by the Lord that made me, you shall pack,
And never more darken my doors again."
But William answer'd madly; bit his lips,
And broke away. The more he look'd at her
The less he liked her; and his ways were harsh;
But Dora bore them meekly. Then before
The month was out he left his father's house,
And hired himself to work within the fields;
And half in love, half spite, he woo'd and wed
A laborer's daughter, Mary Morrison.
Then, when the bells were ringing, Allan call'd
His niece and said, "My girl, I love you well;
But if you speak with him that was my son,
Or change a word with her he calls his wife,
My home is none of yours. My will is law."
And Dora promised, being meek. She thought,
"It cannot be, my uncle's mind will change!"
And days went on, and there was born a boy
To William; then distresses came on him;
And day by day he pass'd his father's gate,
Heart-broken, and his father help'd him not.
But Dora stored what little she could save,
And sent it them by stealth, nor did they know
Who sent it; till at last a fever seized
On William, and in harvest time he died.
Then Dora went to Mary. Mary sat
And look'd with tears upon her boy, and thought
Hard things of Dora. Dora came and said,
"I have obey'd my uncle until now,[Pg 34]
And I have sinn'd, for it was all thro' me
This evil came on William at the first.
But, Mary, for the sake of him that's gone,
And for your sake, the woman that he chose,
And for this orphan, I am come to you.
You know there has not been for these five years
So full a harvest; let me take the boy,
And I will set him in my uncle's eye
Among the wheat; that when his heart is glad
Of the full harvest, he may see the boy,
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone."
And Dora took the child, and went her way
Across the wheat, and sat upon a mound
That was unsown, where many poppies grew.
Far off the farmer came into the field
And spied her not; for none of all his men
Dare tell him Dora waited with the child;
And Dora would have risen and gone to him,
But her heart fail'd her; and the reapers reap'd,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
But when the morrow came, she rose and took
The child once more, and sat upon the mound;
And made a little wreath of all the flowers
That grew about, and tied it round his hat
To make him pleasing in her uncle's eye.
Then when the farmer pass'd into the field
He spied her, and he left his men at work,
And came and said, "Where were you yesterday?
Whose child is that? What are you doing here?"
So Dora cast her eyes upon the ground,
And answer'd softly, "This is William's child!"
"And did I not," said Allan, "did I not
Forbid you, Dora?" Dora said again,
"Do with me as you will, but take the child,[Pg 35]
And bless him for the sake of him that's gone!"
And Allan said, "I see it is a trick
Got up betwixt you and the woman there.
I must be taught my duty, and by you!
You knew my word was law, and yet you dared
To slight it. Well—for I will take the boy,
But go you hence, and never see me more."
So saying, he took the boy that cried aloud
And struggled hard. The wreath of flowers fell
At Dora's, feet. She bow'd upon her hands,
And the boy's cry came to her from the field,
More and more distant. She bow'd down her head,
Remembering the day when first she came,
And all the things that had been. She bow'd down
And wept in secret; and the reapers reap'd,
And the sun fell, and all the land was dark.
Then Dora went to Mary's house, and stood
Upon the threshold. Mary saw the boy
Was not with Dora. She broke out in praise
To God, that help'd her in her widowhood.
And Dora said, "My uncle took the boy;
But, Mary, let me live and work with you:
He says that he will never see me more."
Then answer'd Mary, "This shall never be,
That thou shouldst take my trouble on thyself:
And, now I think, he shall not have the boy,
For he will teach him hardness, and to slight
His mother; therefore thou and I will go,
And I will have my boy, and bring him home;
And I will beg of him to take thee back;
But if he will not take thee back again,
Then thou and I will live within one house,
And work for William's child, until he grows
Of age to help us."[Pg 36]
So the women kiss'd
Each other, and set out, and reach'd the farm.
The door was off the latch. They peep'd, and saw
The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's knees,
Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm,
And clapt him on the hands and on the cheeks,
Like one that loved him; and the lad stretch'd out
And babbled for the golden seal, that hung
From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire.
Then they came in; but when the boy beheld
His mother, he cried out to come to her,
And Allan set him down, and Mary said,
"O Father!—if you let me call you so—
I never came a-begging for myself,
Or William, or this child; but now I come
For Dora. Take her back, she loves you well.
O Sir, when William died, he died at peace
With all men; for I ask'd him, and he said,
He could not ever rue his marrying me—
I had been a patient wife; but, Sir, he said
That he was wrong to cross his father thus,
'God bless him!' he said, 'and may he never know
The troubles I have gone thro!' Then he turn'd
His face and pass'd—unhappy that I am!
But now, Sir, let me have my boy, for you
Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight
His father's memory; and take Dora back,
And let all this be as it was before."
So Mary said, and Dora hid her face
By Mary. There was silence in the room;
And all at once the old man burst in sobs:—
"I have been to blame—to blame. I have kill'd my son.
I have kill'd him—but I loved him—my dear son.
May God forgive me!—I have been to blame.
Kiss me, my children."[Pg 37]
Then they clung about
The old man's neck, and kiss'd him many times.
And all the man was broken with remorse;
And all his love came back a hundred-fold;
And for three hours he sobb'd o'er William's child
Thinking of William.
So those four abode
Within one house together; and as years
Went forward, Mary took another mate;
But Dora lived unmarried till her death.

AN EASTER WITH PAREPA

Myra S. Delano

When Parepa was here she was everywhere the people's idol. The great opera houses in all our cities and towns were thronged. There were none to criticise or carp. Her young, rich, grand voice was beyond compare. Its glorious tones are remembered with an enthusiasm like that which greeted her when she sung.

Her company played in New York during the Easter holidays, and I, as an old friend, claimed some of her leisure hours. We were friends in Italy, and this Easter day was to be spent with me.

At eleven in the morning she sang at one of the large churches; I waited for her, and at last we two were alone in my snug little room. At noon the sky was overcast and gray. Down came the snow, whitening the streets and roofs. The wind swept icy breaths from the water as it came up from the bay and rushed past the city spires and over tall buildings, whirling around us the snow and storm. We had hurried home, shut and fastened our blinds, drawn close the curtains, and piled coal higher on the glowing grate. We had taken off our wraps, and now sat close to the cheery fire for a whole afternoon's blessed enjoyment.

[Pg 38]Parepa said, "Mary, this is perfect rest! We shall be quite alone for four hours."

"Yes, four long hours!" I replied. "No rehearsals, no engagements. Nobody knows where you are!"

Parepa laughed merrily at this idea.

"Dinner shall be served in this room, and I won't allow even the servant to look at you!" I said.

She clasped her dimpled hands together, like a child in enjoyment, and then sprang up to roll the little center-table near the grate.

The snow had now turned into sleet; a great chill fell over the whole city. We looked out of our windows, peeping through the shutters, and pitying the people as they rushed past.

A sharp rap on my door. John thrust in a note.

"My Dear Friend:—Can you come? Annie has gone. She said you would be sure to come to her funeral. She spoke of you to the last. She will be buried at four."

I laid the poor little blotted note in Parepa's hand. How it stormed! We looked into each other's faces helplessly. I said, "Dear, I must go, but you sit by the fire and rest. I'll be at home in two hours. And poor Annie has gone!"

"Tell me about it, Mary, for I am going with you," she answered.

She threw on her heavy cloak, wound her long white woolen scarf closely about her throat, drew on her woolen gloves, and we set out together in the wild Easter storm.

Annie's mother was a dressmaker, and sewed for me and my friends. She was left a widow when her one little girl was five years old. Her husband was drowned off the Jersey coast, and out of blinding pain and loss and anguish had grown a sort of idolatry for the delicate, beautiful child whose brown eyes looked like the young husband's.[Pg 39]

For fifteen years this mother had loved and worked for Annie, her whole being going out to bless her one child. I had grown fond of them; and in small ways, with books and flowers, outings and simple pleasures, I had made myself dear to them. The end of the delicate girl's life had not seemed so near, though her doom had been hovering about her for years.

I had thought it all over as I took the Easter lilies from my window-shelf and wrapped them in thick papers and hid them out of the storm under my cloak. I knew there would be no other flowers in their wretched room. How endless was the way to this East-Side tenement house! No elevated roads, no rapid transit across the great city then as there are now. At last we reached the place. On the street stood the canvas-covered hearse, known only to the poor.

We climbed flight after flight of narrow dark stairs to the small upper rooms. In the middle of the floor stood a stained coffin, lined with stiff, rattling cambric and cheap gauze, resting on uncovered trestles of wood.

We each took the mother's hand and stood a moment with her, silent. All hope had gone out of her face. She shed no tears, but as I held her cold hand I felt a shudder go over her, but she neither spoke nor sobbed.

The driving storm had made us late, and the plain, hard-working people sat stiffly against the walls. Some one gave us chairs and we sat close to the mother.

The minister came in, a blunt, hard-looking man, self-sufficient and formal. A woman said the undertaker brought him. Icier than the pitiless storm outside, yes, colder than ice were his words. He read a few verses from the Bible, and warned "the bereaved mother against rebellion at the divine decrees." He made a prayer and was gone.

A dreadful hush fell over the small room. I whispered to the mother and asked: "Why did you wait so long to send for me? All this would have been different."

[Pg 40]With a kind of stare, she looked at me.

"I can't remember why I didn't send," she said, her hand to her head, and added: "I seemed to die, too, and forget, till they brought a coffin. Then I knew it all."

The undertaker came and bustled about. He looked at myself and Parepa, as if to say: "It's time to go." The wretched funeral service was over.

Without a word Parepa rose and walked to the head of the coffin. She laid her white scarf on an empty chair, threw her cloak back from her shoulders, where it fell in long, soft, black lines from her noble figure like the drapery of mourning. She laid her soft, fair hand on the cold forehead, passed it tenderly over the wasted delicate face, looked down at the dead girl a moment, and moved my Easter lilies from the stained box to the thin fingers, then lifted up her head, and with illumined eyes sang the glorious melody:

"Angels, ever bright and fair,
Take, oh! take her to thy care."

Her magnificent voice rose and fell in all its richness and power and pity and beauty! She looked above the dingy room and the tired faces of men and women, the hard hands and the struggling hearts. She threw back her head and sang till the choirs of paradise must have paused to listen to the Easter music of that day.

She passed her hand caressingly over the girl's soft dark hair, and sang on—and on—"Take—oh! take her to thy care!"

The mother's face grew rapt and white. I held her hands and watched her eyes. Suddenly she threw my hand off and knelt at Parepa's feet, close to the wooden trestles. She locked her fingers together, tears and sobs breaking forth. She prayed aloud that God would bless the angel singing for Annie. A patient smile settled about her lips, the light came back into her poor, dulled eyes, and she kissed her daughter's face with a love[Pg 41] beyond all interpretation or human speech. I led her back to her seat as the last glorious notes of Parepa's voice rose triumphant over all earthly pain and sorrow.

And I thought that no queen ever went to her grave with a greater ceremony than this young daughter of poverty and toil, committed to the care of the angels.

That same night thousands listened to Parepa's matchless voice. Applause rose to the skies, and Parepa's own face was gloriously swept with emotion. I joined in the enthusiasm, but above the glitter and shimmering of jewels and dress, and the heavy odors of Easter flowers, the sea of smiling faces, and the murmur of voices, I could only behold by the dim light of a tenement window the singer's uplifted face, the wondering countenance of the poor on-lookers, and the mother's wide, startled, tearful eyes; I could only hear above the sleet on the roof and the storm outside Parepa's voice singing up to heaven: "Take, oh! take her to thy care!"


THOSE EVENING BELLS

Thomas Moore

Those evening bells! those evening bells!
How many a tale their music tells
Of youth, and home, and that sweet time
When last I heard their soothing chime.
Those joyous hours are passed away;
And many a heart that then was gay
Within the tomb now darkly dwells,
And hears no more those evening bells.
And so 'twill be when I am gone;
That tuneful peal will still ring on,
While other bards shall walk these dells,
And sing your praise, sweet evening bells.
[Pg 42]

GINEVRA

Susan Coolidge

So it is come! The doctor's glossy smile
Deceives me not. I saw him shake his head,
Whispering, and heard poor Giulia sob without,
As, slowly creeping, he went down the stair.
Were they afraid that I should be afraid?
I, who have died once and been laid in tomb?
They need not.
Little one, look not so pale.
I am not raving. Ah! you never heard
The story. Climb up there upon the bed:
Sit close and listen. After this one day
I shall not tell you stories any more.
How old are you, my rose? What! almost twelve?
Almost a woman! scarcely more than that
Was your fair mother when she bore her bud;
And scarcely more was I when, long years since,
I left my father's house, a bride in May.
You know the house, beside St. Andrea's church,
Gloomy and rich, which stands and seems to frown
On the Mercato, humming at its base.
That was my play-place ever as a child;
And with me used to play a kinsman's son,
Antonio Rondinelli. Ah, dear days!
Two happy things we were, with none to chide,
Or hint that life was anything but play.
Sudden the play-time ended. All at once
"You must wed," they told me. "What is wed?"
I asked; but with the word I bent my brow,
Let them put on the garland, smiled to see[Pg 43]
The glancing jewels tied about my neck;
And so, half-pleased, half-puzzled, was led forth
By my grave husband, older than my sire.
O the long years that followed! It would seem
That the sun never shone in all those years,
Or only with a sudden, troubled glint
Flashed on Antonio's curls, as he went by
Doffing his cap, with eyes of wistful love
Raised to my face—my conscious, woeful face.
Were we so much to blame? Our lives had twined
Together, none forbidding, for so long.
They let our childish fingers drop the seed,
Unhindered, which should ripen to tall grain;
They let the firm, small roots tangle and grow,
Then rent them, careless that it hurt the plant.
I loved Antonio, and he loved me.
Life was all shadow, but it was not sin!
I loved Antonio; but I kept me pure,
Not for my husband's sake, but for the sake
Of him, my first-born child, my little child,
Mine for a few short weeks, whose touch, whose look
Thrilled all my soul and thrills it to this day.
I loved: but, hear me swear, I kept me pure!
It was hard
To sit in darkness while the rest had light,
To move to discords when the rest had song,
To be so young and never to have lived.
I bore, as women bear, until one day
Soul said to flesh, "This I endure no more,"
And with the word uprose, tore clay apart,
And what was blank before grew blanker still.[Pg 44]
It was a fever, so the leeches said.
I had been dead so long, I did not know
The difference or heed. Oil on my breast,
The garments of the grave about me wrapped,
They bore me forth and laid me in the tomb.
Open the curtain, child. Yes, it is night.
It was night then, when I awoke to feel
That deadly chill, and see by ghostly gleams
Of moonlight, creeping through the grated door,
The coffins of my fathers all about.
Strange, hollow clamors rang and echoed back,
As, struggling out of mine, I dropped and fell.
With frantic strength I beat upon the grate;
It yielded to my touch. Some careless hand
Had left the bolt half-slipped. My father swore
Afterward, with a curse, he would make sure
Next time. Next time! That hurts me even now!
Dead or alive I issued, scarce sure which,
And down the darkling street I wildly fled,
Led by a little, cold, and wandering moon,
Which seemed as lonely and as lost as I.
I had no aim, save to reach warmth and light
And human touch; but still my witless steps
Led to my husband's door, and there I stopped,
By instinct, knocked, and called.
A window oped.
A voice—'twas his—demanded: "Who is there?"
"'Tis I, Ginevra." Then I heard the tone
Change into horror, and he prayed aloud
And called upon the saints, the while I urged,
"O, let me in, Francesco; let me in!
I am so cold, so frightened, let me in!"[Pg 45]
Then with a crash, the window was shut fast:
And, though I cried and beat upon the door
And wailed aloud, no other answer came.
Weeping, I turned away, and feebly strove
Down the hard distance toward my father's house.
"They will have pity and will let me in,"
I thought. "They loved me and will let me in."
Cowards! At the high window overhead
They stood and trembled, while I plead and prayed.
"I am your child, Ginevra. Let me in!
I am not dead. In mercy, let me in!"
"The holy saints forbid!" declared my sire.
My mother sobbed and vowed whole pounds of wax
To St. Eustachio, would he but remove
This fearful presence from her door. Then sharp
Came click of lock, and a long tube was thrust
From out the window, and my brother cried,
"Spirit or devil, go! or else I fire!"
Where should I go? Back to the ghastly tomb
And the cold coffined ones! Up the long street,
Wringing my hands and sobbing low, I went.
My feet were bare and bleeding from the stones;
My hands were bleeding too; my hair hung loose
Over my shroud. So wild and strange a shape
Saw never Florence since.
At last I saw a flickering point of light
High overhead, in a dim window set.
I had lain down to die: but at the sight
I rose, crawled on, and with expiring strength
Knocked, sank again, and knew not even then
It was Antonio's door by which I lay.
A window opened, and a voice called out:[Pg 46]
"Qui e?" "I am Ginevra." And I thought,
"Now he will fall to trembling, like the rest,
And bid me hence." But, lo, a moment more
The bolts were drawn, and arms whose very touch
Was life, lifted and clasped and bore me in.
"O ghost or angel of my buried love,
I know not, I care not which, be welcome here!
Welcome, thrice welcome, to this heart of mine!"
I heard him say, and then I heard no more.
It was high noontide when I woke again,
To hear fierce voices wrangling by my bed—
My father's and my husband's; for, with dawn,
Gathering up valor, they had sought the tomb,
Had found me gone, and tracked my bleeding feet,
Over the pavement to Antonio's door.
Dead, they cared nothing; living, I was theirs.
Hot raged the quarrel: then came Justice in,
And to the court we swept—I in my shroud—
To try the cause.
This was the verdict given:
"A woman who has been to burial borne,
Made fast and left and locked in with the dead;
Who at her husband's door has stood and plead
For entrance, and has heard her prayer denied;
Who from her father's house is urged and chased,
Must be adjudged as dead in law and fact.
The Court pronounces the defendant—dead!
She can resume her former ties at will,
Or may renounce them, if such be her will.
She is no more a daughter or a spouse,
Unless she choose, and is set free to form
New ties if so she choose."[Pg 47]
O, blessed words!
That very day we knelt before the priest,
My love and I, were wed, and life began.
Child of my child, child of Antonio's child,
Bend down and let me kiss your wondering face.
'Tis a strange tale to tell a rose like you.
But time is brief, and, had I told you not,
Haply the story would have met your ears
From them, the Amieris.
Now go, my dearest. When they wake thee up,
To tell thee I am dead, be not too sad.
I who have died once, do not fear to die.
Sweet was that waking, sweeter will be this.
Close to Heaven's gate my own Antonio sits
Waiting, and, spite of all the Frati say,
I know I shall not stand long at that gate,
Or knock and be refused an entrance there,
For he will start up when he hears my voice,
The saints will smile, and he will open quick.
Only a night to part me from that joy.
Jesu Maria! let the dawning come!

THE HIGH TIDE AT LINCOLNSHIRE

Jean Ingelow

The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
The ringers rang by two, by three;
"Pull, if ye never pulled before;
Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he.
"Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
Ply all your changes, all your swells,
Play uppe, 'The Brides of Enderby.'"[Pg 48]
Men say it was a stolen tyde—
The Lord that sent it, He knows all;
But in myne ears doth still abide
The message that the bells let fall:
And there was naught of strange, beside
The flight of mews and peewits pied
By millions crouched on the old sea-wall.
I sat and spun within the doore,
My thread brake off, I raised myne eyes;
The level sun, like ruddy ore,
Lay sinking in the barren skies,
And dark against day's golden death
She moved where Lindis wandereth,
My sonne's faire wife, Elizabeth.
"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling
Ere the early dews were falling,
Farre away I heard her song.
"Cusha! Cusha!" all along;
Where the reedy Lindis floweth,
Floweth, floweth,
From the meads where melick groweth,
Faintly came her milking song.
Alle fresh the level pasture lay,
And not a shadowe mote be seene,
Save where full fyve good miles away
The steeple towered from out the greene;
And lo! the great bell farre and wide
Was heard in all the country side
That Saturday at eventide.[Pg 49]
I looked without, and lo! my sonne
Came riding down with might and main:
He raised a shout as he drew on,
Till all the welkin rang again,
"Elizabeth! Elizabeth!"
(A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.)
"The old sea wall (he cried) is downe,
The rising tide comes on apace,
And boats adrift in yonder towne
Go sailing uppe the market-place."
He shook as one that looks on death:
"God save you, mother!" straight he saith,
"Where is my wife, Elizabeth?"
"Good sonne, where Lindis winds away,
With her two bairns I marked her long;
And ere yon bells beganne to play
Afar I heard her milking song."
He looked across the grassy lea,
To right, to left, "Ho Enderby!"
They rang "The Brides of Enderby!"
With that he cried and beat his breast;
For, lo! along the river's bed
A mighty eygre reared his crest,
And uppe the Lindis raging sped.
It swept with thunderous noises loud;
Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud,
Or like a demon in a shroud.
So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
The heart had hardly time to beat,[Pg 50]
Before a shallow, seething wave
Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet.
The feet had hardly time to flee
Before it brake against the knee,
And all the world was in the sea.
Upon the roofe we sat that night,
The noise of bells went sweeping by;
I marked the lofty beacon light
Stream from the church tower, red and high—
A lurid mark and dread to see;
And awesome bells they were to me,
That in the dark rang "Enderby."
They rang the sailor lads to guide
From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed,
And I—my sonne was at my side,
And yet the ruddy beacon glowed;
And yet he moaned beneath his breath,
"O come in life, or come in death!
O lost! my love, Elizabeth."
And didst thou visit him no more?
Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare;
The waters laid thee at his doore,
Ere yet the early dawn was clear,
Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace,
The lifted sun shone on thy face,
Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.
That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,
That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea;
A fatal ebbe and flow, alas!
To manye more than myne and me:[Pg 51]
But each will mourn his own (she saith),
And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.
I shall never hear her more
By the reedy Lindis shore,
"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,
Ere the early dews be falling;
I shall never hear her song,
"Cusha! Cusha!" all along
Where the sunny Lindis floweth,
Goeth, floweth;
From the meads where melick groweth,
When the water winding down,
Onward floweth to the town.
I shall never see her more
Where the reeds and rushes quiver,
Shiver, quiver;
Stand beside the sobbing river,
Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling
To the sandy lonesome shore;
I shall never hear her calling,
"Leave your meadow grasses mellow,
Mellow, mellow;
Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;
Quit your pipes of parsley hollow,
Hollow, hollow;
Come uppe Lightfoot, rise and follow;
Lightfoot, Whitefoot,
From your clovers lift the head;
Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow,
Jetty, to the milking-shed."

[Pg 52]

HOW DID YOU DIE?[5]

Edmund Vance Cooke

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful,
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble is a ton, or a trouble is an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only—how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there—that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why, the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
It's how did you fight—and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why The Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow, or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only—how did you die?
[Pg 53]

FOOTNOTE:

[5] By permission of Forbes & Co, publishers, and of the author.


THE INDIGO BIRD[6]

John Burroughs

Oh, late to come but long to sing,
My little finch of deep-dyed wing,
I welcome thee this day!
Thou comest with the orchard bloom,
The azure days, the sweet perfume
That fills the breath of May.
A winged gem amid the trees,
A cheery strain upon the breeze
From tree-top sifting down;
A leafy nest in covert low;
When daisies come and brambles blow,
A mate in Quaker brown.
But most I prize, past summer's prime,
When other throats have ceased to chime,
Thy faithful tree-top strain;
No brilliant bursts our ears enthrall—
A prelude with a "dying fall,"
That soothes the summer's pain.
Where blackcaps sweeten in the shade,
And clematis a bower hath made,
Or, in the bushy fields,
On breezy slopes where cattle graze,
At noon on dreamy August days,
Thy strain its solace yields.
Oh, bird inured to sun and heat,
And steeped in summer languor sweet,
The tranquil days are thine.
The season's fret and urge are o'er,
Its tide is loitering on the shore;
Make thy contentment mine!

FOOTNOTE:

[6] By permission of Harper & Bros., publishers, and the author.


[Pg 54]

THE JACKDAW OF RHEIMS

R. H. Barham

The Jackdaw sat on the Cardinal's chair!
Bishop and abbot and prior were there;
Many a monk, and many a friar,
Many a knight, and many a squire,
With a great many more of lesser degree,—
In sooth, a goodly company;
And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee.
Never, I ween, was a prouder seen,
Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams,
Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims!
In and out through the motley rout,
That little Jackdaw kept hopping about:
Here and there, like a dog in a fair,
Over comfits and cates, and dishes and plates,
Cowl and cope, and rochet and pall,
Miter and crosier! he hopped upon all.
With a saucy air, he perched on the chair
Where, in state, the great Lord Cardinal sat,
In the great Lord Cardinal's great red hat;
And he peered in the face
Of his Lordship's Grace,
With a satisfied look, as if he would say,
"We two are the greatest folks here to-day!"
And the priests with awe, as such freaks they saw,
Said, "The deuce must be in that little Jackdaw!"
The feast was over, the board was cleared,
The flawns and the custards had all disappeared,
And six little singing-boys—dear little souls
In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles—
Came, in order due, two by two,
Marching that grand refectory through![Pg 55]
A nice little boy held a golden ewer,
Embossed and filled with water, as pure
As any that flows between Rheims and Namur,
Which a nice little boy stood ready to catch
In a fine golden hand-basin made to match.
Two nice little boys, rather more grown,
Carried lavender-water, and eau de Cologne;
And a nice little boy had a nice cake of soap,
Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope.
One little boy more a napkin bore,
Of the best white diaper, fringed with pink,
And a Cardinal's hat marked in "permanent ink."
The great Lord Cardinal turns at the sight
Of these nice little boys dressed all in white;
From his finger he draws his costly turquoise:
And, not thinking at all about little Jackdaws,
Deposits it straight by the side of his plate,
While the nice little boys on his Eminence wait;
Till when nobody's dreaming of any such thing,
That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring!
There's a cry and a shout, and a terrible rout,
And nobody seems to know what they're about,
But the monks have their pockets all turned inside out;
The friars are kneeling, and hunting and feeling
The carpet, the floor, and the walls, and the ceiling.
The Cardinal drew off each plum-colored shoe,
And left his red stockings exposed to the view;
He peeps, and he feels in the toes and the heels;
They turn up the dishes, they turn up the plates,
They take up the poker and poke out the grates,
They turn up the rugs, they examine the mugs;
But, no! no such thing,—they can't find The Ring![Pg 56]
The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,
He called for his candle, his bell, and his book!
In holy anger and pious grief
He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!
Never was heard such a terrible curse!
But what gave rise to no little surprise,
Nobody seemed one penny the worse!
The day was gone, the night came on,
The monks and the friars they searched till dawn;
When the sacristan saw, on crumpled claw,
Come limping a poor little lame Jackdaw!
No longer gay, as on yesterday;
His feathers all seemed to be turned the wrong way;
His pinions drooped, he could hardly stand,—
His head was as bald as the palm of your hand;
His eye so dim, so wasted each limb,
Regardless of grammar, they all cried, "That's Him!
That's the scamp that has done this scandalous thing,
That's the thief that has got my Lord Cardinal's ring!"
The poor little Jackdaw, when the monks he saw,
Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw;
And turned his bald head as much as to say,
"Pray be so good as to walk this way!"
Slower and slower he limped on before,
Till they came to the back of the belfry-door,
Where the first thing they saw,
Midst the sticks and the straw,
Was the Ring, in the nest of the little Jackdaw!
Then the great Lord Cardinal called for his book,
And off that terrible curse he took;
The mute expression served in lieu of confession,
And, being thus coupled with full restitution,
The Jackdaw got plenary absolution![Pg 57]
When these words were heard, the poor little bird
Was so changed in a moment, 'twas really absurd:
He grew slick and fat; in addition to that,
A fresh crop of feathers came thick as a mat!
His tail waggled more even than before;
But no longer it wagged with an impudent air,
No longer he perched on the Cardinal's chair.
He hopped now about with a gait devout;
At matins, at vespers, he never was out;
And, so far from any more pilfering deeds,
He always seemed telling the Confessor's beads.
If any one lied, or if any one swore,
Or slumbered in prayer-time and happened to snore,
That good Jackdaw would give a great "Caw!"
As much as to say, "Don't do so any more!"
While many remarked, as his manners they saw,
That they never had known such a pious Jackdaw!
He long lived the pride of that country side,
And at last in the order of sanctity died:
When, as words were too faint his merits to paint,
The Conclave determined to make him a Saint.
And on newly made Saints and Popes, as you know,
It's the custom at Rome new names to bestow,
So they canonized him by the name of Jim Crow!

JAFFAR

Leigh Hunt

Jaffar the Barmecide, the good vizier,
The poor man's hope, the friend without a peer,
Jaffar was dead, slain by a doom unjust;
And guilty Haroun, sullen with mistrust
Of what the good, and e'en the bad, might say,
Ordained that no man living, from that day,[Pg 58]
Should dare to speak his name on pain of death.
All Araby and Persia held their breath;
All but the brave Mondeer; he, proud to show
How far for love a grateful soul could go,
And facing death for very scorn and grief
(For his great heart wanted a great relief),
Stood forth in Bagdad, daily, in the square
Where once had stood a happy house, and there
Harangued the tremblers at the scimitar
On all they owed to the divine Jaffar.
"Bring me this man," the caliph cried; the man
Was brought, was gazed upon. The mutes began
To bind his arms. "Welcome, brave cords," cried he,
"From bonds far worse Jaffar delivered me;
From wants, from shames, from loveliest household fears,
Made a man's eyes friends with delicious tears;
Restored me, loved me, put me on a par
With his great self. How can I pay Jaffar?"
Haroun, who felt that on a soul like this
The mightiest vengeance could not fall amiss,
Now deigned to smile, as one great lord of fate
Might smile upon another half as great.
He said, "Let worth grow frenzied if it will;
The caliph's judgment shall be master still.
Go, and since gifts so move thee, take this gem,
The richest in the Tartar's diadem,
And hold the giver as thou deemest fit!"
"Gifts!" cried the friend; he took, and holding it
High toward the heavens, as though to meet his star,
Exclaimed, "This, too, I owe to thee, Jaffar!"

[Pg 59]

JIM BLUDSOE[7]

John Hay

Wall, no! I can't tell where he lives,
Because he don't live, you see;
Leastways, he's got out of the habit
Of livin' like you and me.
Whar have you been for the last three years,
That you haven't heard folks tell
How Jimmy Bludsoe passed in his checks,
The night of the Prairie Belle?
He warn't no saint—them engineers
Is all pretty much alike—
One wife in Natchez-Under-the-Hill,
And another one here in Pike.
A careless man in his talk was Jim,
And an awkward man in a row—
But he never flunked, and he never lied—
I reckon he never knowed how.
And this was all the religion he had—
To treat his engine well;
Never be passed on the river;
To mind the pilot's bell;
And if ever the Prairie Belle took fire;
A thousand times he swore,
He'd hold her nozzle agin the bank
Till the last soul got ashore.
All boats has their day on the Mississip',
And her day came at last[Pg 60]
The Movastar was a better boat,
But the Belle, she wouldn't be passed,
And so came a-tearin' along that night,
The oldest craft on the line,
With a nigger squat on her safety-valve,
And her furnaces crammed, rosin and pine.
The fire burst out as she cleared the bar,
And burnt a hole in the night,
And quick as a flash she turned and made
For that willer-bank on the right.
Ther' was runnin' and cursin', but Jim yelled out
Over all the infernal roar,
"I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank
Till the last galoot's ashore."
Thro' the hot black breath of the burnin' boat
Jim Bludsoe's voice was heard,
And they all had trust in his cussedness,
And know'd he would keep his word.
And sure's you're born, they all got off
Afore the smokestacks fell,
And Bludsoe's ghost went up alone
In the smoke of Prairie Belle.
He warn't no saint—but at judgment
I'd run my chance with Jim
Longside of some pious gentleman
That wouldn't shook hands with him.
He'd seen his duty, a dead sure thing,
And went fer it thar and then;
And Christ ain't a-goin' to be too hard
On a man that died for men.

FOOTNOTE:

[7] By permission of Mrs. Hay.


[Pg 61]

KING ROBERT OF SICILY[8]

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,
Appareled in magnificent attire,
With retinue of many a knight and squire,
On St. John's eve, at vespers, proudly sat,
And heard the priests chant the Magnificat,
And as he listened, o'er and o'er again
Repeated, like a burden or refrain,
He caught the words, "Deposuit potentes
De sede et exultavit humiles;"
And slowly lifting up his kingly head,
He to the learned clerk beside him said,
"What mean those words?" The clerk made answer meet,
"He has put down the mighty from their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree."
Thereat King Robert muttered scornfully,
"'Tis well that such seditious words are sung
Only by priests and in the Latin tongue;
For unto priests and people be it known,
There is no power can push me from my throne!"
And leaning back, he yawned and fell asleep,
Lulled by the chant, monotonous and deep.
When he awoke it was already night;
The church was empty, and there was no light,
Save where the lamps, that glimmered few and faint,
Lighted a little space before some saint.
He started from his seat and gazed around,
But saw no living thing and heard no sound.
He groped toward the door, but it was locked;[Pg 62]
He cried aloud, and listened, and then knocked,
And uttered awful threatenings and complaints,
And imprecations upon men and saints.
The sounds reëchoed from the roof and walls
As if dead priests were laughing in their stalls.
At length the sexton hearing from without
The tumult of the knocking and the shout,
And thinking thieves were in the house of prayer,
Came with his lantern asking, "Who is there?"
Half choked with rage, King Robert fiercely said,
"Open: 'Tis I, the King! Art thou afraid?"
The frightened sexton muttering with a curse,
"This is some drunken vagabond or worse!"
Turned the great key and flung the portal wide;
A man rushed by him at a single stride,
Haggard, half naked, without hat or cloak,
Who neither turned, nor looked at him, nor spoke,
But leaped into the blackness of the night,
And vanished like a spectre from his sight.
Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane
And Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,
Despoiled of his magnificent attire,
Bareheaded, breathless, and besprent with mire,
With sense of wrong and outrage desperate,
Strode on and thundered at the palace gate;
Rushed through the courtyard, thrusting in his rage
To right and left each seneschal and page,
And hurried up the broad and sounding stair,
His white face ghastly in the torches' glare.
From hall to hall he rushed in breathless speed,
Voices and cries he heard, but did not heed,
Until at last he reached the banquet room,
Blazing with light and breathing with perfume.[Pg 63]
There on the dais sat another king,
Wearing his robes, his crown, his signet ring,
King Robert's self in feature, form and height,
But all transfigured with angelic light.
It was an Angel; and his presence there
With a divine effulgence filled the air,
An exaltation piercing the disguise,
Though none the hidden Angel recognize.
A moment speechless, motionless, amazed,
The throneless monarch on the Angel gazed,
Who met his look of anger and surprise
With the divine compassion of his eyes;
Then said, "Who art thou, and why comest thou here?"
To which King Robert answered with a sneer,
"I am the King, and come to claim my own
From an imposter, who usurps my throne!"
And suddenly, at these audacious words,
Up sprang the angry guests and drew their swords!
The Angel answered with unruffled brow,
"Nay, not the king, but the king's Jester, thou
Henceforth shalt wear the bells and scalloped cape,
And for thy counselor shalt lead an ape;
Thou shalt obey my servants when they call,
And wait upon my henchmen in the hall!"
Deaf to King Robert's threats and cries and prayers,
They thrust him from the hall and down the stairs;
A group of tittering pages ran before,
And as they opened wide the folding doors,
His heart failed, for he heard, with strange alarms,
The boisterous laughter of the men-at-arms,
And all the vaulted chamber roar and ring
With the mock plaudits of "Long live the King!"[Pg 64]
Next morning, waking with the day's first beam,
He said within himself, "It was a dream!"
But the straw rustled as he turned his head,
There were the cap and bells beside his bed,
Around him rose the bare discolored walls,
Close by the steeds were champing in their stalls,
And in the corner, a revolting shape,
Shivering and chattering sat the wretched ape.
It was no dream; the world he loved so much
Had turned to dust and ashes at his touch!
Days came and went; and now returned again
To Sicily the old Saturnian reign;
Under the Angel's governance benign
The happy island danced with corn and wine,
And deep within the mountain's burning breast
Enceladus, the giant, was at rest.
Meanwhile King Robert yielded to his fate,
Sullen and silent and disconsolate,
Dressed in the motley garb that Jesters wear,
With look bewildered and a vacant stare,
Close shaven above the ears as monks are shorn,
By courtiers mocked, by pages laughed to scorn,
His only friend the ape, his only food
What others left,—he still was unsubdued.
And when the Angel met him on his way,
And half in earnest, half in jest, would say,
Sternly, though tenderly, that he might feel,
The velvet scabbard held a sword of steel,
"Art thou the King?" the passion of his woe,
Burst from him in resistless overflow,
And, lifting high his forehead he would fling
The haughty answer back, "I am, I am, the King!"[Pg 65]
Almost three years were ended, when there came
Ambassadors of great repute and fame
From Valmond, Emperor of Allemaine,
Unto King Robert, saying that Pope Urbane
By letter summoned them forthwith to come
On Holy Thursday to his City of Rome.
The Pope received them with great pomp and blare
Of bannered trumpets, on St. Peter's Square,
Giving his benediction and embrace,
Fervent, and full of apostolic grace.
While with congratulations and with prayers
He entertained the Angel unawares.
Robert, the Jester, bursting through the crowd,
Into their presence rushed, and cried aloud,
"I am the King! Look and behold in me
Robert, your brother, King of Sicily!
This man who wears my semblance in your eyes,
Is an imposter in a king's disguise.
Do you not know me? Does no voice within
Answer my cry, and say we are akin?"
The Pope in silence, but with troubled mien,
Gazed at the Angel's countenance serene;
The Emperor, laughing said, "It is strange sport
To keep a madman for thy fool at court!"
And the poor baffled Jester in disgrace
Was hustled back among the populace.
In solemn state the Holy Week went by,
And Easter Sunday gleamed upon the sky;
The presence of the Angel, with its light,
Before the sun rose, made the city bright,
And with new fervor filled the hearts of men,
Who felt that Christ indeed had risen again.[Pg 66]
Even the Jester, on his bed of straw,
With haggard eyes the unwonted splendor saw,
He felt within a power unfelt before,
And, kneeling humbly on the chamber floor,
He heard the rushing garments of the Lord
Sweep through the silent air, ascending heavenward.
And now the visit ending, and once more
Valmond returning to the Danube's shore,
Homeward the Angel journeyed, and again
The land was made resplendent with his train,
Flashing along the towns of Italy
Unto Salerno, and from thence by sea.
And when once more within Palermo's wall,
And, seated on the throne in his great hall,
He heard the Angelus from convent towers,
As if a better world conversed with ours,
He beckoned to King Robert to draw nigher,
And with a gesture bade the rest retire;
And when they were alone, the Angel said,
"Art thou the King?" Then, bowing down his head,
King Robert crossed both hands upon his breast,
And meekly answered him: "Thou knowest best!
My sins as scarlet are; let me go hence,
And in some cloister's school of penitence,
Across those stones that pave the way to heaven,
Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul be shriven!"
The Angel smiled, and from his radiant face
A holy light illumined all the place,
And through the open window, loud and clear,
They heard the monks chant in the chapel near,
Above the noise and tumult of the street:
"He has put down the mighty from their seat,[Pg 67]
And has exalted them of low degree!"
And through the chant a second melody
Rose like the throbbing of a single string:
"I am an Angel, and thou art the King!"
King Robert, who was standing near the throne,
Lifted his eyes, and lo! he was alone!
But all appareled as in days of old,
With ermined mantle and with cloth of gold,
And when his courtiers came, they found him there
Kneeling upon the floor, absorbed in silent prayer.

FOOTNOTE:

[8] Used by permission of, and special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin, & Co., authorized publishers of his works.


THE LADY OF SHALOTT

Alfred Lord Tennyson

PART I

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs forever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
The Lady of Shalott.[Pg 68]
By the margin, willow-veil'd
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot.
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?
Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to tower'd Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."

PART II

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
And moving thro' a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,[Pg 69]
Shadows of the world appear,
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

PART III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.[Pg 70]
A red-cross knight forever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick jewel'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

[Pg 71]

PART IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance—
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Lying robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right—
The leaves upon her falling light—
Thro' the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,[Pg 72]
Till her blood was frozen slowly
And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And around the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they cross'd themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in His mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

A LEGEND OF SERVICE[9]

Henry van Dyke

It pleased the Lord of Angels (praise his name!)
To hear, one day, report from those who came[Pg 73]
With pitying sorrow, or exultant joy,
To tell of earthly tasks in His employ;
For some were sorry when they saw how slow
The stream of heavenly love on earth must flow;
And some were glad because their eyes had seen,
Along its banks, fresh flowers and living green.
So, at a certain hour, before the throne
The youngest angel, Asmiel, stood alone;
Nor glad, nor sad, but full of earnest thought,
And thus his tidings to the Master brought:
"Lord, in the city Lupon I have found
Three servants of thy holy name, renowned
Above their fellows. One is very wise,
With thoughts that ever range above the skies;
And one is gifted with the golden speech
That makes men glad to hear when he will teach;
And one, with no rare gift or grace endued,
Has won the people's love by doing good.
With three such saints Lupon is trebly blest;
But, Lord, I fain would know which loves thee best?"
Then spake the Lord of Angels, to whose look
The hearts of all are like an open book:
"In every soul the secret thought I read,
And well I know who loves me best indeed.
But every life has pages vacant still,
Whereon a man may write the thing he will;
Therefore I read in silence, day by day,
And wait for hearts untaught to learn my way.
But thou shalt go to Lupon, to the three
Who serve me there, and take this word from me:
Tell each of them his Master bids him go
Alone to Spiran's huts, across the snow;
There he shall find a certain task for me,
But what, I do not tell to them nor thee.[Pg 74]
Give thou the message, make my word the test,
And crown for me the one who answers best."
Silent the angel stood, with folded hands,
To take the imprint of his Lord's commands;
Then drew one breath, obedient and elate,
And passed the self-same hour, through Lupon's gate.
First to the Temple door he made his way;
And then because it was an holy-day,
He saw the folk by thousands thronging, stirred
By ardent thirst to hear the preacher's word.
Then, while the echoes murmured Bernol's name,
Through aisles that hushed behind him, Bernol came;
Strung to the keenest pitch of conscious might,
With lips prepared and firm, and eyes alight.
One moment at the pulpit step he knelt
In silent prayer, and on his shoulder felt
The angel's hand:—"The Master bids thee go
Alone to Spiran's huts, across the snow,
To serve Him there." Then Bernol's hidden face
Went white as death, and for about the space
Of ten slow heart-beats there was no reply;
Till Bernol looked around and whispered, "Why?"
But answer to this question came there none;
The angel sighed, and with a sigh was gone.
Within the humble house where Malvin spent
His studious years, on holy things intent,
Sweet stillness reigned; and there the angel found
The saintly sage immersed in thought profound,
Weaving with patient toil and willing care
A web of wisdom, wonderful and fair:
A seamless robe for Truth's great bridal meet,
And needing but one thread to be complete.[Pg 75]
Then Asmiel touched his hand and broke the thread
Of fine-spun thought, and very gently said,
"The One of whom thou thinkest bids thee go
Alone to Spiran's huts, across the snow,
To serve Him there." With sorrow and surprise
Malvin looked up, reluctance in his eyes.
The broken thought, the strangeness of the call,
The perilous passage of the mountain-wall,
The solitary journey, and the length
Of ways unknown, too great for his frail strength,
Appalled him. With a doubtful brow
He scanned the doubtful task, and muttered, "How?"
But Asmiel answered, as he turned to go,
With cold disheartened voice, "I do not know."
Now as he went, with fading hope, to seek
The third and last, to whom God bade him speak,
Scarce twenty steps away whom should he meet
But Fermor, hurrying cheerful down the street,
With ready heart that faced his work like play,
And joyed to find it greater day by day!
The angel stopped him with uplifted hand,
And gave without delay his Lord's command:
"He whom thou servest here would have thee go
Alone to Spiran's huts, across the snow,
To serve Him there." Ere Asmiel breathed again
The eager answer leaped to meet him, "When?"
The angel's face with inward joy grew bright,
And all his figure glowed with heavenly light;
He took the golden circlet from his brow
And gave the crown to Fermor, answering; "Now!
For thou hast met the Master's bidden test,
And I have found the man who loves Him best.[Pg 76]
Not thine, nor mine, to question or reply
When He commands us, asking 'how?' or 'why?'
He knows the cause; His ways are wise and just;
Who serves the King must serve with perfect trust."

FOOTNOTE:

[9] From "Music and other Poems," copyright, 1904, by Charles Scribner's Sons.


LITTLE BOY BLUE

Eugene Field

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little tin soldier is red with rust,
And his musket molds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
"Now, don't you go till I come," he said;
"And don't you make any noise!"
So toddling off to his trundle bed
He dreamt of the pretty toys.
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue—
Oh, the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true.
Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place.
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face.
And they wonder, as waiting these long years through,
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of that Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and put them there.

[Pg 77]

MARY'S NIGHT RIDE[10]

George W. Cable

Mary Richling, the heroine of the story, was the wife of John Richling, a resident of New Orleans. At the breaking out of the Civil War she went to visit her parents in Milwaukee. About the time of the bombardment of New Orleans she received news of the dangerous illness of her husband, and she decided at once to reach his bedside, if possible. Taking with her, her baby daughter, a child of three years, she proceeded southward, where, after several unsuccessful attempts to secure a pass, she finally determined to break through the lines.

About the middle of the night Mary Richling was sitting very still and upright on a large, dark horse that stood champing his Mexican bit in the black shadow of a great oak. Alice rested before her, fast asleep against her bosom. Mary held by the bridle another horse, whose naked saddle-tree was empty. A few steps in front of her the light of the full moon shone almost straight down upon a narrow road that just there emerged from the shadow of woods on either side, and divided into a main right fork and a much smaller one that curved around to Mary's left. Off in the direction of the main fork the sky was all aglow with camp-fires. Only just here on the left there was a cool and grateful darkness.

She lifted her head alertly. A twig crackled under a tread, and the next moment a man came out of the bushes at the left, and without a word took the bridle of the old horse from her fingers and vaulted into the saddle. The hand that rested a moment on the cantle as he rose grasped a "navy six." He was dressed in dull homespun, but he was the same who had been dressed in blue. He turned his horse and led the way down the lesser road.

"If we'd gone on three hundred yards further," he whispered,[Pg 78] falling back and smiling broadly, "we'd 'a' run into the pickets. I went nigh enough to see the videttes settin' on their hosses in the main road. This here ain't no road; it just goes up to a nigger quarters. I've got one o' the niggers to show us the way."

"Where is he?" whispered Mary; but before her companion could answer, a tattered form moved from behind a bush a little in advance and started ahead in the path, walking and beckoning. Presently they turned into a clear, open forest, and followed the long, rapid, swinging stride of the negro for nearly an hour. Then they halted on the bank of a deep, narrow stream. The negro made a motion for them to keep well to the right when they should enter the water. The white man softly lifted Alice to his arms, directed and assisted Mary to kneel in her saddle, with her skirts gathered carefully under her, and so they went down into the cold stream, the negro first, with arms outstretched above the flood; then Mary, and then the white man,—or, let us say plainly, the spy—with the unawakened child on his breast. And so they rose out of it on the farther side without a shoe or garment wet, save the rags of their dark guide.

Again they followed him, along a line of stake-and-rider fence, with the woods on one side and the bright moonlight flooding a field of young cotton on the other. Now they heard the distant baying of house-dogs, now the doleful call of the chuck-will's-widow, and once Mary's blood turned, for an instant, almost to ice at the unearthly shriek of the hoot owl just above her head. At length they found themselves in a dim, narrow road, and the negro stopped.

"Dess keep dish yeh road fo' 'bout half mile, an' you strak 'pon de broad, main road. Tek de left, an' you go whah yo' fancy tek you."

"Good-by," whispered Mary.

"Good-by, Miss," said the negro, in the same low voice;[Pg 79] "good-by, boss; don't you fo'git you promise tek me thoo to de Yankee' when you come back. I 'feered you gwine fo'git it, boss."

The spy said he would not, and they left him. The half-mile was soon passed, though it turned out to be a mile and a half, and at length Mary's companion looked back as they rode single file with Mary in the rear, and said softly:

"There's the road," pointing at its broad, pale line with his six-shooter.

As they entered it and turned to the left, Mary, with Alice again in her arms, moved somewhat ahead of her companion, her indifferent horsemanship having compelled him to drop back to avoid a prickly bush. His horse was just quickening his pace to regain the lost position, when a man sprang up from the ground on the farther side of the highway, snatched a carbine from the earth and cried: "Halt!"

The dark recumbent forms of six or eight others could be seen, enveloped in their blankets, lying about a few red coals. Mary turned a frightened look backward and met the eyes of her companion.

"Move a little faster," said he, in a low, clear voice. As she promptly did so she heard him answer the challenge, as his horse trotted softly after hers.

"Don't stop us, my friend; we're taking a sick child to the doctor."

"Halt, you hound!" the cry rang out; and as Mary glanced back three or four men were just leaping into the road. But she saw also her companion, his face suffused with an earnestness that was almost an agony, rise in his stirrups with the stoop of his shoulders all gone, and wildly cry:

"Go!"

She smote the horse and flew. Alice woke and screamed.

"Hush, my darling," said the mother, laying on the withe; "mamma's here. Hush, darling, mamma's here. Don't be[Pg 80] frightened, darling baby. O God, spare my child!" and away she sped.

The report of a carbine rang out and went rolling away in a thousand echoes through the wood. Two others followed in sharp succession, and there went close by Mary's ear the waspish whine of a minie-ball. At the same moment she recognized, once,—twice,—thrice,—just at her back where the hoofs of her companion's horse were clattering—the tart rejoinders of his navy six.

"Go!" he cried again. "Lay low! lay low! cover the child!" But his words were needless. With head bowed forward and form crouched over the crying, clinging child, with slackened rein and fluttering dress, and sun-bonnet and loosened hair blown back upon her shoulders, with lips compressed and silent prayers, Mary was riding for life and liberty and her husband's bedside.

"O mamma, mamma," wailed the terrified little one.

"Go on! Go on!" cried the voice behind; "they're—saddling up! Go! go! We're goin' to make it! We're going to make it! Go-o-o!"

And they made it!

FOOTNOTE:

[10] From "Dr. Sevier."


NYDIA, THE BLIND GIRL[11]

Edward Bulwer Lytton

As Glaucus, a young Athenian, now a resident of Pompeii, was strolling with his friend Clodius through the streets of that renowned city, their steps were arrested by a crowd gathered round an open space where three streets met; and just where the porticoes of a light, graceful temple threw their shade, there stood a young girl, with a flower-basket on her right arm and a small three-stringed instrument of music in her left hand, to whose low and soft tones she was modulating a low, plaintive air.

[Pg 81]"It is my poor, blind Thessalian," said Glaucus, stopping; "I have not seen her since my return to Pompeii. Hush! let us listen to her song."

THE BLIND FLOWER GIRL'S SONG

Buy my flowers, O buy, I pray!
The blind girl comes from afar;
If the earth be as fair as I hear them say,
These flowers her children are!
Do they her beauty keep?
They are fresh from her lap, I know,
For I caught them fast asleep
In her arms an hour ago.
Ye have a world of light,
Where love in the loved rejoices;
But the blind girl's home is the house of night,
And its beings are empty voices.
Come buy,—buy, come buy!—
Hark! how the sweet things sigh
(For they have a voice like ours)
O buy—O buy the flowers!

"I must have that bunch of violets, sweet Nydia," said Glaucus, "your voice is more charming than ever."

The blind girl started forward as she heard the Athenian's voice; then as suddenly paused, while a blush of timidity flushed over neck, cheeks, and temples.

"So you are returned!" she said in a low voice.

"Yes, child, I have not been at Pompeii above a few days. My garden wants your care, you will visit it, I trust, to-morrow, and mind, no garlands at my house shall be woven by any hands but those of the pretty Nydia."

Nydia smiled joyously but did not answer; and Glaucus, placing in his breast the violets he had selected, turned gaily and carelessly from the crowd.

[Pg 82]Though of gentle birth, for her cradle was rocked at the foot of Olympus, Nydia had been sold when quite young to Burbo, a gladiator of the amphitheater. She was cruelly treated by the wife of Burbo.

Glaucus bought her, took her to his home, and her sweetest joy was to minister to the comfort and entertainment of her deliverer. The vines that grew upon the walls of the peristyle were not more graceful, their tendrils not more trusting and tender, nor the flowers woven into wreaths and garlands by her skillful fingers more beautiful than the blind flower-girl of the house of Glaucus.

As the months went on what wonder that the kind words and sympathetic voice which had been the first that had sounded musically to her ear should awaken in the breast of Nydia a deeper love than that which springs from gratitude alone! What wonder that in her innocence and blindness she knew no reason why the most brilliant and the most graceful of the young nobles of Pompeii should entertain none other than feelings of friendship for her! When the Athenian drew her unconsciously to his breast, deeming her still a child—when he kissed her cheek and wound his arm around her trembling form, Nydia felt that those feelings she had innocently cherished were of love.

What wonder then that into her wild and passionate soul should creep the pangs of jealousy when another claimed the homage of him who was all to her!

Glaucus loved Ione, a beautiful young Neapolitan of Greek parentage who had lately come to Pompeii. She was one of those brilliant characters which seldom flash across our career. She united in the highest perfection the rarest of earthly gifts,—Genius and Beauty. No one ever possessed superior intellectual qualities without knowing them. In the person of Ione, Glaucus found the long-sought idol of his dreams; and so infatuated was he, that he could talk of no one else. No song was sweet[Pg 83] but that which breathed of love, and to him love was but a synonym of Ione.

"Play to us, dear Nydia,—play, and give us one of thy songs; whether it be of magic or not as thou wilt—let it at least be of love."

"Of love! wish you that I should sing of love?"

"Yes."

She moved a little way from Ione, who had learned to love her more as a sister than a slave, and placing her light, graceful instrument on her knee, after a short prelude, she sang the following strain, in which with touching pathos, her own sighs were represented by the Wind, the brightness of the beautiful Ione by the Sun-beam, and the personality of Glaucus by his favorite flower, the Rose.

I

The Wind and the Beam loved the Rose,
And the Rose loved one;
For who seeks the Wind where it blows?
Or loves not the Sun?

II

None knew where the humble Wind stole,
Poor sport of the skies—
None dreamt that the Wind had a soul,
In its mournful sighs!

III

Oh, happy Beam! how canst thou prove
That bright love of thine?
In thy light is the proof of thy love,
Thou hast but—to shine!

IV

How can the Wind its love reveal?
Unwelcome its sigh;
Mute—mute to its Rose be it still—
Its proof is—to die!

[Pg 84]Alike in their mornings at the house of Ione, and in their evening excursions, Nydia was usually their constant, and often their sole companion. They did not guess the secret fires which consumed her; the flames of which were ever fanned by the unconscious breath of the two lovers. Yet her fidelity arose above her pitiful pangs of jealousy and in the hour of need she was the tried and trusted.

The scene changes; where only the brightness of uninterrupted love had hitherto fallen, now creep the black shadows of tragic sorrow.

Ione falls into the clutches of Arbaces, a subtle, crafty Egyptian, who attempted by the magic of his dark sorcery, to win her away from Glaucus. In pursuit of his base designs, Arbaces murders Apæcides, the brother of Ione, imprisons the priest Calenus, the only witness of the deed, and with great cunning weaves a convicting web of circumstantial evidence around Glaucus, his hated rival. Glaucus is tried, convicted, and doomed to be thrown to the lion. Ione and Nydia are also prisoners in the house of Arbaces. Glaucus has been placed in that gloomy and narrow cell in which the criminals of the arena awaited their last and fearful struggle.

Alas! how faithless are the friendships made around an epicurean board! Where were the gay loiterers who once lingered at the feasts and drank the rich wines of the house of Glaucus? Only Sallust shed a tear, but he was powerless against Arbaces who was backed by the corrupt priesthood of Isis.

What ministering angel should now come forth as a light out of darkness bearing, even in her blindness, the conditions of deliverance, but Nydia. From the slaves of Arbaces she learned the approaching fate of Glaucus. Working upon the superstition of her special guard Sosia, she manages to escape his vigilance for a time, and creeping along a dark passage she overhears the cries of the priest Calenus lately incarcerated in[Pg 85] an adjoining dungeon cell. From him she learns the circumstances of the crime of Arbaces for which the innocent Glaucus was doomed to die. A few hours later she was captured by Sosia and replaced in her cell.

Yet knowing that the sole chance for the life of Glaucus rested on her, this young girl, frail, passionate, and acutely susceptible as she was—resolved not to give way to despair. Glaucus was in deadly peril, but she should save him! Sosia was her only hope, the only instrument with which she could tamper.

As if afraid he would be again outwitted, Sosia refrained from visiting her until a late hour of the following day.

"Kind Sosia, chide me not," said Nydia, "I cannot endure to be so long alone, the solitude appalls me. Sit with me, I pray, a little while. Nay, fear not that I should attempt to escape; place thy seat before the door. Sosia, how much dost thou require to make up thy freedom?"

"How much?" said he, "why, about 2000 sesterces."

"The Gods be praised! not more? Seest thou these bracelets and this chain? they are worth double that sum. I will give them thee if thou wilt let me out, only for one little hour! let me out at midnight—I will return ere to-morrow's dawn; nay, thou canst go with me."

"No," said Sosia, sturdily, "a slave once disobeying Arbaces is never heard of more."

"Well, then, thou wilt not, at least, refuse to take a letter for me; thy master cannot kill thee for that."

"To whom?"

"To Sallust, the gay Sallust. Glaucus was my master, he purchased me from a cruel lord. He alone has been kind to me. He is to die to-morrow. I shall never live happily if I cannot, in this hour of trial and doom, let him know that one heart is grateful to him. Sallust is his friend; he will convey my message."

[Pg 86]"Well, give me the trinkets, and I will take the letter."

Nydia carefully prepared the epistle, but ere she placed it in the hands of Sosia she thus addressed him:

"Sosia, I am blind and in prison. Thou mayst think to deceive me—thou mayst pretend only to take the letter to Sallust—thou mayst not fulfill thy charge; but here I solemnly dedicate thy head to vengeance, thy soul to the infernal powers, if thou wrongest thy trust; and I call upon thee to place thy right hand of faith in mine, and repeat after me these words;—'By the ground on which we stand—by the elements which contain life and which can curse life—by Orcus, the all-avenging—by the Olympian Jupiter, the all-seeing—I swear that I will honestly discharge my trust, and faithfully deliver this letter into the hands of Sallust.' Enough! I trust thee—take thy reward. It is already dark—depart at once."

Sosia was true to his trust—Sallust read the letter, she wrote,—"I am a prisoner in the house of Arbaces. Hasten to the Prætor! procure my release, and we yet shall save Glaucus from the lion. There is another prisoner within these walls, whose witness can exonerate the Athenian from the charge against him;—one who saw the crime—who can prove the criminal to be a villain hitherto unsuspected. Fly! hasten! quick! quick! Bring with you armed men, lest resistance be made,—and a cunning and dexterous smith; for the dungeon of my fellow-prisoner is thick and strong. Oh! by thy right hand, and thy father's ashes, lose not a moment!"

The day for the sports in the amphitheater had come and all the seats were filled with eager and expectant people. The gladiatorial fights and other games of the arena were completed.

"Bring forth the lion and Glaucus the Athenian," said the editor.

Just then a loud cry was heard at one of the entrances of the arena; the crowd gave way and suddenly Sallust appeared on[Pg 87] the senatorial benches, his hair disheveled; breathless; half exhausted—he cast his eyes hastily around the ring.

"Remove the Athenian," he cried, "haste,—he is innocent. Arrest Arbaces the Egyptian. He is the murderer of Apæcides."

"Art thou mad, O Sallust?" said the prætor, "what means this raving?"

"Remove the Athenian—quick, or his blood be on your head. I bring with me the eye-witness to the death of Apæcides. Room there—stand back—give way. People of Pompeii, fix every eye on Arbaces—there he sits—room there for the priest Calenus."

"Enough at present," said the prætor. "The details must be reserved for a more suiting time and place. Ho! guards! remove the accused Glaucus, arrest Arbaces, guard Calenus! Sallust, we hold you responsible for your accusation. Let the sports be resumed."

As the prætor gave the word of release, there was a cry of joy—a female voice—a child voice—and it was of joy! It rang through the heart of the assembly with electric force—it was touching, it was holy, that child's voice!

"Silence!" said the grave prætor—"who is there?"

"The blind girl—Nydia," answered Sallust; "it is her hand that raised Calenus from the grave and delivered Glaucus from the lion."

Stunned by his reprieve, doubting that he was awake, Glaucus had been led by the officers of the arena into a small cell within the walls of the theater. They threw a loose robe over his form and crowded around in congratulation and wonder. There was an impatient and fretful cry without the cell; the throng gave way, and the blind girl flung herself at the feet of Glaucus.

"It is I who saved thee," she sobbed, "now let me die!"

"Nydia, my child!—my preserver!"

[Pg 88]"Oh, let me feel thy touch—thy breath! yes, yes, thou livest! We are not too late! That dread door methought would never yield! But thou livest! Thou livest yet!—and I—I have saved thee!"

FOOTNOTE:

[11] Adapted by Robt. I. Fulton from "Last Days of Pompeii."


O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN![12]

ON THE DEATH OF LINCOLN

Walt Whitman

O Captain, my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But, O heart, heart, heart! O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies, fallen cold and dead.
O Captain, my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here, Captain, dear father! this arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck, you've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My Captain does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage is closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! but I with mournful tread
Walk the deck where my Captain lies, fallen cold and dead.

FOOTNOTE:

[12] By permission of David McKay, publisher.


[Pg 89]

ON THE OTHER TRAIN

A CLOCK'S STORY

Anonymous

"There, Simmons, you blockhead! Why didn't you trot that old woman aboard her train? She'll have to wait here now until the 1.05 a.m."

"You didn't tell me."

"Yes, I did tell you. 'Twas only your confounded stupid carelessness."

"She—"

"She! You blockhead! What else could you expect of her! Probably she hasn't any wit; besides, she isn't bound on a very jolly journey—got a pass up the road to the poorhouse. I'll go and tell her, and if you forget her to-night, see if I don't make mince-meat of you!" and our worthy ticket agent shook his fist menacingly at his subordinate.

"You've missed your train, marm," he remarked, coming forward to a queer-looking bundle in the corner.

A trembling hand raised the faded black veil, and revealed the sweetest old face I ever saw.

"Never mind," said a quivering voice.

"'Tis only three o'clock now; you'll have to wait until the night train, which doesn't go up until 1.05."

"Very well, sir; I can wait."

"Wouldn't you like to go to some hotel? Simmons will show you the way."

"No, thank you, sir. One place is as good as another to me. Besides, I haven't any money."

"Very well," said the agent, turning away indifferently. "Simmons will tell you when it's time."

All the afternoon she sat there so quiet that I thought sometimes she must be asleep, but when I looked more closely I[Pg 90] could see every once in a while a great tear rolling down her cheek, which she would wipe away hastily with her cotton handkerchief.

The depot was crowded, and all was bustle and hurry until the 9.50 train going east came due; then every passenger left except the old lady. It is very rare, indeed, that any one takes the night express, and almost always after ten o'clock the depot becomes silent and empty.

The ticket agent put on his greatcoat, and, bidding Simmons keep his wits about him for once in his life, departed for home.

But he had no sooner gone than that functionary stretched himself out upon the table, as usual, and began to snore vociferously.

Then it was I witnessed such a sight as I never had before and never expect to again.

The fire had gone down—it was a cold night, and the wind howled dismally outside. The lamps grew dim and flared, casting weird shadows upon the wall. By and by I heard a smothered sob from the corner, then another. I looked in that direction. She had risen from her seat, and oh! the look of agony on the poor pinched face.

"I can't believe it," she sobbed, wringing her thin, white hands. "Oh! I can't believe it! My babies! my babies! how often have I held them in my arms and kissed them; and how often they used to say back to me, 'Ise love you, mamma,' and now, O God! they've turned against me. Where am I going? To the poorhouse! No! no! no! I cannot! I will not! Oh, the disgrace!"

And sinking upon her knees, she sobbed out in prayer:

"O God! spare me this and take me home! O God, spare me this disgrace; spare me!"

The wind rose higher and swept through the crevices, icy cold. How it moaned and seemed to sob like something human that is hurt. I began to shake, but the kneeling figure never[Pg 91] stirred. The thin shawl had dropped from her shoulders unheeded. Simmons turned over and drew his blanket more closely about him.

Oh, how cold! Only one lamp remained, burning dimly; the other two had gone out for want of oil. I could hardly see, it was so dark.

At last she became quieter and ceased to moan. Then I grew drowsy, and kind of lost the run of things after I had struck twelve, when some one entered the depot with a bright light. I started up. It was the brightest light I ever saw, and seemed to fill the room full of glory. I could see 'twas a man. He walked to the kneeling figure and touched her upon the shoulder. She started up and turned her face wildly around. I heard him say:—

"'Tis train time, ma'am. Come!"

A look of joy came over her face.

"I am ready," she whispered.

"Then give me your pass, ma'am."

She reached him a worn old book, which he took, and from it read aloud:—

"Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."

"That's the pass over our road, ma'am. Are you ready?"

The light died away, and darkness fell in its place. My hand touched the stroke of one. Simmons awoke with a start and snatched his lantern. The whistle sounded down brakes; the train was due. He ran to the corner and shook the old woman.

"Wake up, marm; 'tis train time."

But she never heeded. He gave one look at the white set face, and, dropping his lantern, fled.

The up train halted, the conductor shouted "All aboard," but no one made a move that way.

The next morning, when the ticket agent came, he found[Pg 92] her frozen to death. They whispered among themselves, and the coroner made out the verdict "apoplexy," and it was in some way hushed up.

But the last look on the sweet old face, lit up with a smile so unearthly, I keep with me yet; and when I think of the occurrence of that night, I know she went out on the other train, that never stopped at the poorhouse.


THE PANSY

Anonymous

Of all the bonny buds that blow,
In bright or cloudy weather,
Of all the flowers that come and go,
The whole twelve moons together,
This little purple pansy brings,
Thoughts of the sweetest, saddest things.
I had a little lover once,
Who used to give me posies;
His eyes were blue as hyacinths,
His lips were red as roses;
And everybody loved to praise
His pretty looks and winsome ways.
The girls that went to school with me
Made little jealous speeches,
Because he brought me royally
His biggest plums and peaches,
And always at the door would wait,
To carry home my books and slate.
They couldn't see—with pout and fling—
"The mighty fascination
About that little snub-nosed thing,
To win such admiration;[Pg 93]
As if there weren't a dozen girls
With nicer eyes and longer curls!"
And this I knew as well as they,
And never could see clearly
Why, more than Marion or May,
I should be loved so dearly.
So once I asked him, why was this;
He only answered with a kiss;
Until I teased him: "Tell me why,
I want to know the reason."
Then from the garden-bed close by
(The pansies were in season)
He plucked and gave a flower to me,
With sweet and simple gravity.
"The garden is in bloom," he said,
"With lilies pale and slender,
With roses and verbenas red,
And fuchsias' purple splendor;
But over and above the rest,
This little heart's-ease suits me best."
"Am I your little heart's-ease, then?"
I asked with blushing pleasure.
He answered "Yes!" and "Yes!" again—
"Heart's-ease and dearest treasure;"
That the round world and all the sea
Held nothing half so sweet as me!
I listened with a proud delight,
Too rare for words to capture,
Nor ever dreamed what sudden blight,
Would come to chill my rapture.[Pg 94]
Could I foresee the tender bloom
Of pansies round a little tomb?
Life holds some stern experience,
As most of us discover,
And I've had other losses since
I lost my little lover;
But still this purple pansy brings
Thoughts of the sweetest, saddest things.

"THE REVENGE"

A BALLAD OF THE FLEET, 1591

Alfred Lord Tennyson

At Flores in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay,
And a pinnace, like a flutter'd bird, came flying from far away:
"Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted fifty-three!"
Then spake Lord Thomas Howard: "'Fore God I am no coward;
But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of gear,
And the half my men are sick. I must fly, but follow quick,
We are six ships of the line; can we fight with fifty-three?"
Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: "I know you are no coward;
You fly them for a moment to fight with them again.
But I've ninety men and more that are lying sick ashore;
I should count myself the coward if I left them, my Lord Howard,
To these Inquisition dogs and the devildoms of Spain."
So Lord Howard passed away with five ships of war that day,
Till he melted like a cloud in the silent summer heaven;
But Sir Richard bore in hand all his sick men from the land[Pg 95]
Very carefully and slow,
Men of Bideford and Devon,
And we laid them on the ballast down below;
For we brought them all aboard,
And they blest him in their pain, that they were not left to Spain,
To the thumbscrew and the stake, for the glory of the Lord.
He had only a hundred seamen to work the ship and to fight,
And he sailed away from Flores till the Spaniard came in sight
With his huge sea castles heaving upon the weather bow.
"Shall we fight or shall we fly?
Good Sir Richard, let us know,
For to fight is but to die!
There'll be little of us left, by the time this sun be set."
And Sir Richard said again: "We be all good Englishmen;
Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil,
For I never turned my back upon Don or Devil yet."
Sir Richard spoke and he laugh'd, and we roar'd a hurrah, and so
The little "Revenge" ran on, sheer into the heart of the foe,
With her hundred fighters on deck and her ninety sick below;
For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left were seen,
And the little "Revenge" ran on, thro' the long sea-lane between.
Thousands of their soldiers looked down from their decks and laugh'd,
Thousands of their seamen made mock at the mad little craft
Running on and on, till delay'd
By their mountain-like "San Philip," that, of fifteen hundred tons,
And up-shadowing high above us with her yawning tiers of guns,
Took the breath from our sails and we stay'd.[Pg 96]
And while now the great "San Philip" hung above us like a cloud
Whence the thunderbolt will fall
Long and loud,
Four galleons drew away
From the Spanish fleet that day,
And two upon the larboard and two upon the starboard lay,
And the battle-thunder broke from them all.
And the sun went down, and the stars came out, far over the summer sea,
But never a moment ceased the fight of the one and the fifty-three.
Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built galleons came,
Ship after ship, the whole night long, with her battle-thunder and flame;
Ship after ship, the whole night long, drew back with her dead and her shame,
For some were sunk, and many were shatter'd, and so could fight us no more—
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world before?
For he said: "Fight on! fight on!"
Tho' his vessel was all but a wreck;
And it chanced that, when half of the summer night was gone,
With a grisly wound to be dressed, he had left the deck,
But a bullet struck him that was dressing it suddenly dead,
And himself he was wounded again, in the side and the head,
And he said: "Fight on! fight on!"
And the night went down, and the sun smiled out far over the summer sea,
And the Spanish fleet, with broken sides, lay round us, all in a ring;[Pg 97]
But they dared not touch us again, for they feared that we still could sting,
So they watched what the end would be.
And we had not fought them in vain,
But in perilous plight were we,
Seeing forty of our poor hundred were slain,
And half of the rest of us maim'd for life
In the crash of the cannonades and the desperate strife.
And the sick men down in the hold were most of them stark and cold,
And the pikes were all broken or bent, and the powder was all of it spent;
And the masts and the rigging were lying over the side;
But Sir Richard cried in his English pride:
"We have fought such a fight for a day and a night
As may never be fought again!
We have won great glory, my men!
And a day less or more
At sea or ashore,
We die—does it matter when?
Sink me the ship, Master Gunner—sink her, split her in twain!
Fall into the hands of God, not into the hands of Spain!"
And the gunner said: "Ay, ay," but the seamen made reply:
"We have children, we have wives,
And the Lord hath spared our lives.
We will make the Spaniard promise, if we yield, to let us go;
We shall live to fight again, and to strike another blow."
And the lion there lay dying, and they yielded to the foe.
And the stately Spanish men to their flagship bore him then,
Where they laid him by the mast, old Sir Richard caught at last.
And they praised him to his face with their courtly foreign grace;
But he rose upon their decks, and he cried:[Pg 98]
"I have fought for Queen and Faith, like a valiant man and true;
I have only done my duty, as a man is bound to do;
With a joyful spirit, I, Sir Richard Grenville, die!"
And he fell upon their decks, and he died.
And they stared at the dead that had been so valiant and true,
And had holden the power and glory of Spain so cheap,
That he dared her with one little ship and his English few;
Was he devil or man? He was devil for aught they knew,
But they sank his body with honor down into the deep,
And they mann'd the "Revenge" with a swarthier alien crew,
And away she sail'd with her loss, and long'd for her own;
When a wind from the lands they had ruin'd awoke from sleep,
And the water began to heave, and the weather to moan,
And or ever that evening ended a great gale blew,
And a wave like the wave that is raised by an earthquake grew,
Till it smote on their hulls and their sails and their masts and their flags,
And the whole sea plunged and fell on the shot-shatter'd navy of Spain,
And the little "Revenge" herself went down by the island crags,
To be lost evermore in the main.

THE RIDER OF THE BLACK HORSE

George Lippard

It was the 7th of October, 1777. Horatio Gates stood before his tent, gazing steadfastly upon the two armies now arrayed in order of battle. It was a clear, bracing day, mellow with the richness of autumn. The sky was cloudless, the foliage of the wood scarce tinged with purple and gold, the buckwheat in yonder fields frostened into snowy ripeness. But the tread of legions shook the ground, from every bush shot the glimmer of the rifle barrel, on every hillside blazed the sharpened bayonet.[Pg 99] Gates was sad and thoughtful, as he watched the evolutions of the two armies. But all at once a smoke arose, a thunder shook the ground and a chorus of shouts and groans yelled along the darkened air. The play of death had begun. The two flags, this of the stars, that of the red cross, tossed amid the smoke of battle, while the sky was clouded with leaden folds, and the earth throbbed with the pulsations of a mighty heart.

Suddenly, Gates and his officers were startled. Along the height on which they stood came a rider on a black horse, rushing towards the distant battle. There was something in the appearance of this horse and his rider that struck them with surprise. Look! he draws his sword, the sharp blade quivers through the air, he points to the distant battle and lo! he is gone; gone through those clouds, while his shout echoes over the plains. Wherever the fight is thickest, there through intervals of cannon-smoke you may see riding madly forward that strange soldier, mounted on his steed black as death. Look at him, as with face red with British blood he waves his sword and shouts to his legions. Now you may see him fighting in that cannon's glare, and the next moment he is away off yonder, leading the forlorn hope up that steep cliff. Is it not a magnificent sight, to see that strange soldier and that noble black horse dashing, like a meteor, down the long columns of battle?

Let us look for a moment into those dense war-clouds. Over this thick hedge bursts a band of American militiamen, their rude farmer-coats stained with blood, while scattering their arms by the way, they flee before that company of red-coat hirelings, who come rushing forward, their solid front of bayonets gleaming in the battle light. At this moment of their flight, a horse comes crashing over the plains. The unknown rider reins his steed back on his haunches, right in the path of a broad-shouldered militiaman. "Now, cowards! advance another step and I'll strike you to the heart!" shouts the[Pg 100] unknown, extending a pistol in either hand. "What! are you Americans, men, and fly before British soldiers? Back again, and face them once more, or I myself will ride you down!"

This appeal was not without its effect. The militiaman turns; his comrades, as if by one impulse, follow his example. In one line, but thirty men in all, they confront thirty sharp bayonets. The British advance. "Now upon the rebels, charge!" shouts the red-coat officer. They spring forward at the same bound. Look! their bayonets almost touch the muzzles of their rifles. At this moment the voice of the unknown rider was heard: "Now let them have it! Fire!" A sound is heard, a smoke is seen, twenty Britons are down, some writhing in death, some crawling along the soil, and some speechless as stone. The remaining ten start back. "Club your rifles and charge them home!" shouts the unknown. That black horse springs forward, followed by the militiamen. Then a confused conflict, a cry for quarter, and a vision of twenty farmers grouped around the rider of the black horse, greeting him with cheers.

Thus it was all the day long. Wherever that black horse and his rider went, there followed victory. At last, towards the setting of the sun, the crisis of the conflict came. That fortress yonder, on Bemus Heights, must be won, or the American cause is lost! That cliff is too steep—that death is too certain. The officers cannot persuade the men to advance. The Americans have lost the field. Even Morgan, that iron man among iron men, leans on his rifle and despairs of the field. But look yonder! In this moment when all is dismay and horror, here, crashing on, comes the black horse and his rider. That rider bends upon his steed, his frenzied face covered with sweat and dust and blood; he lays his hand upon that bold rifleman's shoulder, and as though living fire had been poured into his veins, he seizes his rifle and starts toward the rock. And now look! now hold your breath, as that black[Pg 101] steed crashes up that steep cliff. That steed quivers! he totters! he falls! No! No! Still on, still up the cliff, still on towards the fortress. The rider turns his face and shouts, "Come on, men of Quebec! come on!" That call is needless. Already the bold riflemen are on the rock. Now, British cannon, pour your fires, and lay your dead in tens and twenties on the rock. Now, red-coat hirelings, shout your battle-cry if you can! For look! there, in the gate of the fortress, as the smoke clears away, stands the black horse and his rider. That steed falls dead, pierced by an hundred balls; but his rider, as the British cry for quarter, lifts up his voice and shouts afar to Horatio Gates waiting yonder in his tent, "Saratoga is won!" As that cry goes up to heaven, he falls with his leg shattered by a cannon-ball.

Who was the rider of the black horse? Do you not guess his name? Then bend down and gaze on that shattered limb, and you will see that it bears the mark of a former wound. That wound was received in the storming of Quebec. The rider of the black horse was Benedict Arnold.


SAILING BEYOND SEAS

Jean Ingelow

Methought the stars were blinking bright,
And the old brig's sails unfurl'd;
I said: "I will sail to my love this night,
At the other side of the world."
I stepp'd aboard—we sail'd so fast—
The sun shot up from the bourn;
But a dove that perch'd upon the mast
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.
O fair dove! O fond dove!
And dove with the white, white breast—
Let me alone, the dream is my own,
And my heart is full of rest.[Pg 102]
My true love fares on this great hill,
Feeding his sheep for aye;
I look'd in his hut, but all was still,
My love was gone away.
I went to gaze in the forest creek,
And the dove mourn'd on apace;
No flame did flash, nor fair blue reek
Rose up to show me his place.
O last love! O first love!
My love with the true, true heart,
To think I have come to this your home,
And yet—we are apart!
My love! He stood at my right hand,
His eyes were grave and sweet;
Methought he said: "In this far land,
O, is it thus we meet?
Ah, maid most dear, I am not here;
I have no place, no part,
No dwelling more by sea or shore,
But only in thy heart."
O fair dove! O fond dove!
Till night rose over the bourn,
The dove on the mast, as we sail'd fast,
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.

THE SANDS OF DEE

Charles Kingsley

"O Mary go and call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
And call the cattle home,
Across the sands o' Dee!"
The western wind was wild and dank wi' foam,
And all alone went she.[Pg 103]
The creeping tide came up along the sand,
And o'er and o'er the sand,
And round and round the sand,
As far as eye could see;
The blinding mist came down and hid the land—
And never home came she.
"Oh, is it weed, or fish, or floating hair—
A tress o' golden hair,
O' drowned maiden's hair
Above the nets at sea?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair,
Among the stakes o' Dee."
They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
The cruel, crawling foam,
The cruel, hungry foam,—
To her grave beside the sea;
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home,
Across the sands o' Dee.

THE SCHOOL OF SQUEERS[13]

Charles Dickens

The following advertisement appeared in the morning papers:

Education.—At Mr. Wackford Squeers's Academy, Dotheboys Hall at the delightful village of Dotheboys, near Greta Bridge in Yorkshire, Youth are boarded, clothed, booked, furnished with pocket money, provided with all necessaries, instructed in all languages living and dead, mathematics, orthography, geometry, astronomy, trigonometry, the use of the globes, algebra, single-stick, if required, writing, arithmetic, fortification, and every other branch of classical literature. Terms twenty guineas per annum. No extras, no vacations, and diet unparalleled. Mr. Squeers is in town and attends[Pg 104] daily, from one till four, at the Saracen's Head, Snow Hill. N.B. An able assistant wanted. Annual salary, five pounds. A Master of Arts would be preferred.

Nicholas Nickleby obtained the above situation, having found that it was not absolutely necessary to have acquired the degree, and arrived at the inn, to join Mr. Squeers, at eight o'clock of a November morning. He found that learned gentleman sitting at breakfast, with five little boys in a row on the opposite seat. Mr. Squeers had before him a small measure of coffee, a plate of hot toast, and a cold round of beef; but he was at that moment intent on preparing breakfast for the little boys. "This is two penn'orth of milk, is it, waiter?" said Squeers, looking down into a large blue mug, and slanting it gently, so as to get an accurate view of the quantity of liquid contained in it.

"That's two penn'orth, sir," replied the waiter.

"What a rare article milk is, to be sure, in London! Just fill that mug up with lukewarm water, William, will you?"

"To the very top, sir? Why, the milk will be drowned."

"Never you mind that. Serve it right for being so dear. You ordered that thick bread and butter for three, did you?"

"Coming directly, sir."

"You needn't hurry yourself, there's plenty of time. Conquer your passions, boys, and don't be eager after vittles." As he uttered this moral precept, Mr. Squeers took a large bite out of the cold beef, and recognized Nicholas.

"Sit down, Mr. Nickleby. Here we are, a-breakfasting, you see! Oh! that's the milk and water, is it, William? Very good; don't forget the bread and butter presently. Ah! here's richness! Think of the many beggars and orphans in the streets that would be glad of this, little boys. A shocking thing hunger is, isn't it, Mr. Nickleby?"

"Very shocking, sir," said Nicholas.

"When I say number one, the boy on the left hand nearest[Pg 105] the window may take a drink; and when I say number two, the boy next him will go in, and so till we come to number five which is the last boy. Are you ready?

"Yes, sir," cried all the little boys.

"That's right, keep ready till I tell you to begin. Subdue your appetites, boys, and you've conquered human nature. This is the way we inculcate strength of mind, Mr. Nickleby. Number one may take a drink."

Number one seized the mug ravenously, and had just drunk enough to make him wish for more, when Mr. Squeers gave the signal for number two, who gave up at the same interesting moment to number three; and the process was repeated until the milk and water terminated with number five.

"And now," said Squeers, dividing the bread for three into as many portions as there were children, "You had better look sharp with your breakfast, for the horn will blow in a minute or two, and then every boy leaves off.—Ah! I thought it wouldn't be long; put what you haven't had time to eat in here, boys! You'll want it on the road." Which they certainly did, for the air was cool, and the journey was long and tiresome. However, they arrived quite safely; and Nicholas, weary, retired to rest.

In the morning he was taken to the school-room accompanied by Squeers.

"There, this is our shop, Nickleby." It was a crowded scene. A bare and dirty room, with a couple of windows, whereof a tenth part might be of glass, the remainder being stopped up with old copybooks and paper. Pale and haggard faces, lank and bony figures, little faces, which should have been handsome, darkened with the scowl of sullen, dogged suffering. There was childhood with the light of its eye quenched, its beauty gone and its helplessness alone remaining—truly an incipient Hell. A few minutes having elapsed, Squeers called up the first class.

"This is the first class in English, spelling, and philosophy,[Pg 106] Nickleby. We'll get up a Latin one, and hand that over to you. Now then, where's the first boy?"

"Please, sir, he's cleaning the back parlor window."

"So he is, to be sure. We go upon the practical mode of teaching, Nickleby, the regular educational system. C-l-e-a-n, clean. Verb active. To make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder. A casement. When a boy knows this out of his book he goes and does it. It's just the same principle as the use of the globes. Where's the second boy?"

"Please, sir, he's weeding the garden."

"To be sure, so he is. B-o-t, bot, t-i-n, tin, bottin, n-e-y, ney, bottinney. Noun substantive. A knowledge of plants. When a boy learns that bottinney is a knowledge of plants, he goes and knows 'em. That's our system, Nickleby. Third boy, what's a horse?"

"A beast, sir."

"So it is. A horse is a quadruped, and quadruped is Latin for beast, as everybody that's gone through the grammar knows, or else where's the use of havin' grammars at all? As you're perfect in that, go and look after my horse, and rub him down well or I'll rub you down. The rest of the class go and draw water up, till somebody tells you to leave off, for it's washing day to-morrow and they want the coppers filled."

So saying, he dismissed his first class to their experiments in practical philosophy.

It was Squeers's custom to call the boys together, and make a sort of report, after every half-yearly visit to the metropolis. They were therefore soon recalled from the house, window, garden, stable, and cow yard, and Mr. Squeers entered the room. A deathlike silence immediately prevailed.

"Boys, I've been to London, and have returned to my family and you as strong and as well as ever."

According to half-yearly custom, the boys gave three feeble cheers at this refreshing intelligence. Such cheers! Sighs of extra strength with the chill on.

[Pg 107]"I have seen the parents of some boys, and they're so glad to hear how their sons are getting on, that there's no prospect at all of their going away, which of course is a very pleasant thing to reflect upon for all parties. But I've had disappointments to contend against. Bolder's father was two pound ten short. Where is Bolder?

"Here he is, please, sir."

"Come here, Bolder," said Squeers.

An unhealthy boy with warts all over his hands, stepped from his place to the Master's desk, and raised his eyes imploringly to Squeers's face.

"Bolder, if your father thinks that because—why, what's this, sir?"

As Squeers spoke, he caught up the boy's hand by the cuff of his jacket, and surveyed the warts with an edifying aspect of horror and disgust.

"What do you call this, sir?"

"I can't help it, indeed, sir. They will come; it's the dirty work, I think, sir—at least I don't know what it is, sir, but it's not my fault."

"Bolder, you're an incorrigible young scoundrel, and as the last thrashing did you no good, we'll see what another will do towards beating it out of you."

With this, and wholly disregarding a piteous cry for mercy, Mr. Squeers fell upon the boy and caned him soundly; not leaving off, indeed, until his arm was tired out.

"There, rub away as hard as you like, you won't rub that off in a hurry. Now let us see. A letter for Cobbey. Stand up, Cobbey. Oh! Cobbey's grandmother is dead, and his uncle John has took to drinking, which is all the news his sister sends, except eighteen pence, which will just pay for that broken square of glass. Mrs. Squeers, my dear, will you take the money?

"Graymarsh, he's the next. Stand up, Graymarsh. Graymarsh's aunt is very glad to hear he's so well and happy, and[Pg 108] sends her respectful compliments to Mrs. Squeers and thinks she must be an angel. She likewise thinks that Mr. Squeers is too good for this world, but hopes he may long be spared to carry on the business. Would have sent the two pairs of stockings as desired, but is short of money, so forwards a tract instead, and hopes that Graymarsh will put his trust in Providence. Hopes, above all, that he will study in everything to please Mr. and Mrs. Squeers, and look upon them as his only friends; and that he will love master Squeers, and not object to sleeping five in a bed, which no Christian should. Ah! a delightful letter. Very affecting indeed.

"Mobbs!—Mobbs's mother-in-law took to her bed on hearing that he wouldn't eat fat, and has been very ill ever since. She wishes to know, by an early post, where he expects to go to if he quarrels with his vittles; and with what feelings he could turn up his nose at the cow's liver broth, after his good master had asked a blessing on it. This was told her in the London newspapers—not by Mr. Squeers, for he's too kind and good to set anybody against anybody. She is sorry to find he is discontented, which is sinful and horrid, and hopes Mr. Squeers will flog him into a happier state of mind. With which view she has also stopped his half penny a week pocket-money, and given a double-bladed knife with a cork-screw in it to the missionaries, which she had bought on purpose for him. A sulky state of feeling won't do. Cheerfulness and contentment must be kept up. Mobbs, come to me!"

Mobbs moved slowly towards the desk, rubbing his eyes in anticipation of good cause for doing so; and he soon afterwards retired, with as good cause as a boy need have.

This business dispatched, a few slovenly lessons were performed, and Squeers retired to his fireside, leaving Nicholas to take care of the boys in the school-room which was very cold, and where a meal of bread was served out shortly after dark.

There was a small stove at that corner of the room which was[Pg 109] nearest the master's desk, and by it Nicholas sat down, depressed and self-degraded.

As he was absorbed in his meditations, he all at once encountered the upturned face of Smike, who was on his knees before the stove, picking a few stray cinders from the hearth and planting them on the fire. He had paused to steal a look at Nicholas, and when he saw that he was observed, shrank back, as if expecting a blow.

"You need not fear me. Are you cold?"

"N-n-o."

"You are shivering."

"I'm not cold. I'm used to it."

There was such an obvious fear of giving offense in his manner, and he was such a timid, broken-spirited creature, that Nicholas could not help exclaiming, "Poor fellow!"

"Oh dear, oh dear! my heart will break. It will, it will!" said Smike.

"Hush! Be a man; you are nearly one by years. God help you!"

"By years! Oh dear, dear, how many of them! How many of them since I was a little child, younger than any that are here now! Where are they all?"

"Of whom do you speak? Tell me."

"My friends, myself—my—oh! what sufferings mine have been!"

"There is always hope."

"No, no; none for me. Do you remember the boy that died here?"

"I was not here, you know."

"Why, I was with him at night, and when it was all silent, he cried no more for friends he wished to come and sit with him, but began to see faces round his bed that came from home. He said they smiled, and talked to him; and he died at last lifting his head to kiss them. Do you hear?"

[Pg 110]"Yes, yes," rejoined Nicholas.

"What faces will smile on me when I die? Who will talk to me in those long nights? They cannot come from home; they would frighten me if they did, for I shouldn't know them. Pain and fear, pain and fear for me, alive or dead. No hope, no hope!"

The bell rang to bed; and the boy, subsiding at the sound into his usual listless state, crept away as if anxious to avoid notice. It was with a heavy heart that Nicholas soon afterwards—no, not retired, there was no retirement there—followed to his dirty and crowded dormitory.

FOOTNOTE:

[13] Adapted by E. P. Trueblood from "Nicholas Nickleby."


THE SECRET OF DEATH

Edwin Arnold

"She is dead!" they said to him; "come away;
Kiss her and leave her,—thy love is clay!"
They smoothed her tresses of dark-brown hair;
On her forehead of stone they laid it fair;
Over her eyes, that gazed too much,
They drew the lids with a gentle touch;
With a tender touch they closed up well
The sweet thin lips that had secrets to tell;
About her brows and beautiful face
They tied her veil and her marriage lace,
And drew on her feet her white silk shoes—
Which were the whitest no eye could choose—
And over her bosom they crossed her hands.
"Come away!" they said; "God understands."
And there was silence, and nothing there
But silence, and scents of eglantere,[Pg 111]
And jasmine, and roses, and rosemary;
And they said, "As a lady should lie, lies she."
And they held their breath till they left the room,
With a shudder, to glance at its stillness and gloom.
But he who loved her too well to dread
The sweet, the stately, the beautiful dead,—
He lit his lamp, and took the key
And turned it,—alone again,—he and she.
He and she; but she would not speak,
Though he kissed, in the old place, the quiet cheek.
He and she; yet she would not smile,
Though he called her the name she loved erewhile.
He and she; still she did not move
To any one passionate whisper of love.
Then he said: "Cold lips and breasts without breath,
Is there no voice, no language of death?
"Dumb to the ear and still to the sense,
But to heart and to soul distinct, intense?
"See now; I will listen with soul, not ear;
What was the secret of dying, dear?
"Was it the infinite wonder of all
That you ever could let life's flower fall?
"Or was it a greater marvel to feel
The perfect calm o'er the agony steal?
"Was the miracle greater to find how deep
Beyond all dreams sank downward that sleep?[Pg 112]
"Did life roll back its records, dear,
And show, as they say it does, past things clear?
"And was it the innermost heart of the bliss
To find out so, what a wisdom love is?
"Oh, perfect dead! Oh, dead most dear,
I hold the breath of my soul to hear!
"I listen as deep as to horrible hell,
As high as to heaven, and you do not tell.
"There must be pleasure in dying, sweet,
To make you so placid from head to feet!
"I would tell you, darling, if I were dead,
And 'twere your hot tears upon my brow shed,—
"I would say, though the Angel of Death had laid
His sword on my lips to keep it unsaid.
"You should not ask vainly, with streaming eyes,
Which of all deaths was the chiefest surprise,
"The very strangest and suddenest thing
Of all the surprises that dying must bring."
Ah, foolish world! Oh, most kind dead!
Though he told me, who will believe it was said?
Who will believe that he heard her say,
With the sweet, soft voice, in the dear old way:
"The utmost wonder is this,—I hear
And see you, and love you, and kiss you, dear;
"And am your angel, who was your bride,
And know that, though dead, I have never died."

[Pg 113]

SHAMUS O'BRIEN

A TALE OF '98, AS RELATED BY AN IRISH PEASANT

Joseph Sheridan le Fanu

Jist after the war, in the year '98,
As soon as the Boys wor all scattered and bate,
'Twas the custom, whenever a peasant was got,
To hang him by trial—barrin' such as was shot.
An' the bravest an' hardiest Boy iv them all
Was Shamus O'Brien, from the town iv Glingall.
An' it's he was the Boy that was hard to be caught,
An' it's often he run, an' it's often he fought;
An' it's many the one can remember right well
The quare things he did: an' it's oft I heerd tell
How he frightened the magistrates in Chirbally,
An' 'scaped through the sojers in Aherlow valley;
How he leathered the yeoman, himself agin four,
An' stretched the two strongest on ould Golteemore.
But the fox must sleep sometimes, the wild deer must rest,
An' treachery prey on the blood iv the best;
Afther many a brave action of power and pride,
An' many a hard night on the mountain's bleak side,
An' a thousand great dangers and toils overpast,
In the darkness of night he was taken at last.
Now, Shamus, look back on the beautiful moon,
For the door of the prison must close on you soon.
Farewell to the forest, farewell to the hill,
An' farewell to the friends that will think of you still.
Farewell to the pathern, the hurlin' an' wake,
And farewell to the girl that would die for your sake!
An' twelve sojers brought him to Maryborough jail,
An' the turnkey resaved him, refusin' all bail.[Pg 114]
Well, as soon as a few weeks were over and gone,
The terrible day iv the thrial kem on,
There was sich a crowd there was scarce room to stand,
An' sojers on guard, an' Dragoons sword-in-hand;
An' the courthouse so full that the people were bothered,
An' attorneys an' criers on the point iv bein' smothered;
An' counsellors almost gev over for dead,
An' the jury sittin' up in their box overhead;
An' the judge settled out so detarmined an' big
With his gown on his back, and an illegant wig;
An' silence was called, an' the minute 'twas said
The court was as still as the heart of the dead,
An' they heard but the openin' of one prison lock,
An' Shamus O'Brien kem into the dock.
For one minute he turned his eye round on the throng,
An' he looked at the bars so firm and so strong,
An' he saw that he had not a hope nor a friend,
A chance to escape, nor a word to defend;
An' he folded his arms as he stood there alone,
As calm and as cold as a statue of stone;
And they read a big writin', a yard long at laste,
An' Jim didn't understand it nor mind it a taste,
An' the judge took a big pinch iv snuff, and he says,
"Are you guilty or not, Jim O'Brien, av you plase?"
An' all held their breath in the silence of dhread,
An' Shamus O'Brien made answer and said:
"My lord, if you ask me, if in my lifetime
I thought any treason, or did any crime
That should call to my cheek, as I stand alone here,
The hot blush of shame, or the coldness of fear,
Though I stood by the grave to receive my death-blow
Before God and the world I would answer you, No!
But if you would ask me, as I think it like,
If in the Rebellion I carried a pike,[Pg 115]
An' fought for ould Ireland from the first to the close,
An' shed the heart's blood of her bitterest foes,
I answer you, Yes; and I tell you again,
Though I stand here to perish, it's my glory that then
In her cause I was willin' my veins should run dhry,
An' that now for her sake I am ready to die."
Then the silence was great, and the jury smiled bright,
An' the judge wasn't sorry the job was made light;
By my sowl, it's himself was the crabbed ould chap!
In a twinklin' he pulled on his ugly black cap.
Then Shamus's mother, in the crowd standin' by,
Called out to the judge with a pitiful cry:
"O judge! darlin', don't, O, don't say the word!
The crather is young, have mercy, my lord;
He was foolish, he didn't know what he was doin';
You don't know him, my lord—O, don't give him to ruin!
He's the kindliest crathur, the tindherest-hearted;
Don't part us forever, we that's so long parted!
Judge mavourneen, forgive him, forgive him, my lord,
An' God will forgive you—O, don't say the word!"
That was the first minute O'Brien was shaken,
When he saw that he was not quite forgot or forsaken;
An' down his pale cheeks, at the word of his mother,
The big tears wor runnin' fast, one afther th' other;
An' two or three times he endeavored to spake,
But the sthrong manly voice used to falther and break;
But at last, by the strength of his high-mountin' pride,
He conquered and masthered his grief's swelling tide;
"An'," says he, "mother, darlin', don't break your poor heart,
For, sooner or later, the dearest must part;
And God knows it's better than wand'ring in fear
On the bleak, trackless mountain, among the wild deer,[Pg 116]
To lie in the grave, where the head, heart, and breast,
From labor and sorrow, forever shall rest.
Then, mother, my darlin', don't cry any more,
Don't make me seem broken, in this my last hour;
For I wish, when my head's lyin' undher the raven,
No thrue man can say that I died like a craven!"
Then toward the Judge Shamus bent down his head,
An' that minute the solemn death-sentence was said.
The mornin' was bright, an' the mists rose on high,
An' the lark whistled merrily in the clear sky;
But why are the men standin' idle so late?
An' why do the crowds gather fast in the strate?
What come they to talk of? what come they to see?
An' why does the long rope hang from the cross-tree?
O Shamus O'Brien! pray fervent and fast,
May the saints take your soul, for this day is your last;
Pray fast an' pray sthrong, for the moment is nigh,
When, sthrong, proud, an' great as you are, you must die!—
At last they threw open the big prison-gate,
An' out came the sheriffs and sojers in state,
An' a cart in the middle an' Shamus was in it,
Not paler, but prouder than ever, that minute.
An' as soon as the people saw Shamus O'Brien,
Wid prayin' and blessin', and all the girls cryin',
A wild, wailin' sound kem on by degrees,
Like the sound of the lonesome wind blowin' through trees.
On, on to the gallows the sheriffs are gone,
An' the cart an' the sojers go steadily on;
An' at every side swellin' around of the cart,
A wild, sorrowful sound, that id open your heart.
Now under the gallows the cart takes its stand,
An' the hangman gets up with the rope in his hand;[Pg 117]
An' the priest, havin' blest him, goes down on the ground,
An' Shamus O'Brien throws one last look round.
Then the hangman dhrew near, an' the people grew still,
Young faces turned sickly, and warm hearts turned chill;
An' the rope bein' ready, his neck was made bare,
For the grip of the life-strangling cord to prepare;
An' the good priest has left him, havin' said his last prayer.
But the good priest did more, for his hands he unbound,
An' with one daring spring Jim has leaped on the ground;
Bang! bang! go the carbines, and clash go the sabers;
He's not down! he's alive! now stand to him, neighbors!
Through the smoke and the horses he's into the crowd,—
By the heavens, he's free!—than thunder more loud,
By one shout from the people the heavens were shaken—
One shout that the dead of the world might awaken.
The sojers ran this way, the sheriffs ran that,
An' Father Malone lost his new Sunday hat;
To-night he'll be sleepin' in Aherloe Glin,
An' the divil's in the dice if you catch him ag'in.
Your swords they may glitter, your carbines go bang,
But if you want hangin', it's yourselves you must hang.

MY SHIPS[14]

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If all the ships I have at sea—
Should come a-sailing home to me,
Ah well! the harbor could not hold
So many ships as there would be,
If all my ships came home to me.
If half my ships now out at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,[Pg 118]
Ah well! I should have wealth as great
As any king that sits in state,
So rich the treasure there would be
In half my ships now out at sea.
If but one ship I have at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,
Ah well! the storm clouds then might frown,
For if the others all went down,
Still rich and glad and proud I'd be,
If that one ship came home to me.
If that one ship went down at sea,
And all the others came to me,
Weighed down with gems and wealth untold,
Of riches, glory, honor, gold,
The poorest soul on earth I'd be,
If that one ship came not to me.
Oh, skies, be calm, oh, winds, blow free!
Blow all my ships safe home to me!
But if thou sendest some awrack,
To never more come sailing back,
Send any—all that skim the sea,
But send my love ship back to me.

FOOTNOTE:

[14] By permission of the author.


THE SOLDIER'S REPRIEVE

R. D. C. Robbins

"I thought, Mr. Allan, when I gave my Bennie to his country, that not a father in all this broad land made so precious a gift,—no, not one. The dear boy only slept a minute, just one little minute, at his post; I know that was all, for Bennie never dozed over a duty. How prompt and reliable he was! I know he only fell asleep one little second;—he was so young,[Pg 119] and not strong, that boy of mine! Why, he was as tall as I, and only eighteen! and now they shoot him because he was found asleep when doing sentinel duty! Twenty-four hours, the telegram said,—only twenty-four hours. Where is Bennie now?"

"We will hope with his heavenly Father," said Mr. Allan, soothingly.

"Yes, yes; let us hope; God is very merciful!"

"'I should be ashamed, father!' Bennie said, 'when I am a man, to think I never used this great right arm,'—and he held it out so proudly before me,—'for my country, when it needed it! Palsy it rather than keep it at the plow!'

"'Go then, go, my boy,' I said, 'and God keep you!' God has kept him, I think, Mr. Allan!" and the farmer repeated these last words slowly, as if, in spite of his reason, his heart doubted them.

"Like the apple of His eye, Mr. Owen, doubt it not!"

Blossom sat near them listening, with blanched cheek. She had not shed a tear. Her anxiety had been so concealed that no one had noticed it. She had occupied herself mechanically in the household cares. Now she answered a gentle tap at the kitchen door, opening it to receive from a neighbor's hand a letter. "It is from him," was all she said.

It was like a message from the dead! Mr. Owen took the letter, but could not break the envelope, on account of his trembling fingers, and held it toward Mr. Allan, with the helplessness of a child.

The minister opened it, and read as follows:

"Dear Father:—When this reaches you, I shall be in eternity. At first, it seemed awful to me; but I have thought about it so much now, that it has no terror. They say they will not bind me, nor blind me; but that I may meet my death like a man. I thought, father, it might have been on the battle-field, for my country, and that, when I fell, it would be fighting[Pg 120] gloriously; but to be shot down like a dog for nearly betraying it,—to die for neglect of duty! O father, I wonder the very thought does not kill me! But I shall not disgrace you. I am going to write you all about it; and when I am gone, you may tell my comrades. I cannot now.

"You know I promised Jemmie Carr's mother I would look after her boy; and, when he fell sick, I did all I could for him. He was not strong when he was ordered back into the ranks, and the day before that night, I carried all his luggage, besides my own, on our march. Toward night we went in on double-quick, and though the luggage began to feel very heavy, everybody else was tired too; and as for Jemmie, if I had not lent him an arm now and then, he would have dropped by the way. I was all tired out when we came into camp, and then it was Jemmie's turn to be sentry, and I would take his place; but I was too tired, father. I could not have kept awake if a gun had been pointed at my head; but I did not know it until—well, until it was too late."

"God be thanked!" interrupted Mr. Owen, reverently. "I knew Bennie was not the boy to sleep carelessly at his post."

"They tell me to-day that I have a short reprieve,—given to me by circumstances,—'time to write to you,' our good Colonel says. Forgive him, father, he only does his duty; he would gladly save me if he could; and do not lay my death up against Jemmie. The poor boy is broken-hearted, and does nothing but beg and entreat them to let him die in my stead.

"I can't bear to think of mother and Blossom. Comfort them, father! Tell them I die as a brave boy should, and that, when the war is over, they will not be ashamed of me, as they must be now. God help me: it is very hard to bear! Good-by, father! God seems near and dear to me; not at all as if He wished me to perish forever, but as if He felt sorry for His poor,[Pg 121] sinful, broken-hearted child, and would take me to be with Him and my Saviour in a better—better life."

A deep sigh burst from Mr. Owen's heart. "Amen," he said solemnly,—"Amen."

"To-night, in the early twilight, I shall see the cows all coming home from pasture, and precious little Blossom standing on the back stoop, waiting for me—but I shall never, never come! God bless you all! Forgive your poor Bennie."

Late that night the door of the "back stoop" opened softly, and a little figure glided out, and down the footpath that led to the road by the mill. She seemed rather flying than walking, turning her head neither to the right nor to the left, looking only now and then to Heaven, and folding her hands as if in prayer. Two hours later, the same young girl stood at the Mill Depot, watching the coming of the night train; and the conductor, as he reached down to lift her into the car, wondered at the tear-stained face that was upturned toward the dim lantern he held in his hand. A few questions and ready answers told him all; and no father could have cared more tenderly for his only child than he for our little Blossom.

She was on her way to Washington, to ask President Lincoln for her brother's life. She had stolen away, leaving only a note to tell her father where and why she had gone. She had brought Bennie's letter with her; no good, kind heart, like the President's, could refuse to be melted by it. The next morning they reached New York, and the conductor hurried her on to Washington. Every minute, now, might be the means of saving her brother's life. And so, in an incredibly short time, Blossom reached the Capital, and hastened immediately to the White House.

The President had but just seated himself to his morning's task, of overlooking and signing important papers, when, without one word of announcement, the door softly opened, and Blossom, with downcast eyes, and folded hands, stood before him.

[Pg 122]"Well, my child," he said, in his pleasant, cheerful tones, "what do you want so bright and early in the morning?"

"Bennie's life, please, sir," faltered Blossom.

"Bennie? Who is Bennie?"

"My brother, sir. They are going to shoot him for sleeping at his post."

"Oh, yes," and Mr. Lincoln ran his eye over the papers before him. "I remember! It was a fatal sleep. You see, child, it was at a time of special danger. Thousands of lives might have been lost for his culpable negligence."

"So my father said," replied Blossom, gravely; "but poor Bennie was so tired, sir, and Jemmie so weak. He did the work of two, sir, and it was Jemmie's night, not his; but Jemmie was too tired, and Bennie never thought about himself, that he was tired, too."

"What is this you say, child? Come here; I do not understand," and the kind man caught eagerly, as ever, at what seemed to be a justification of an offense.

Blossom went to him; he put his hand tenderly on her shoulder, and turned up the pale, anxious face toward his. How tall he seemed, and he was President of the United States, too! A dim thought of this kind passed for a moment through Blossom's mind; but she told her simple and straightforward story, and handed Mr. Lincoln Bennie's letter to read.

He read it carefully; then, taking up his pen, wrote a few hasty lines, and rang his bell.

Blossom heard this order given: "Send this dispatch at once."

The President then turned to the girl and said: "Go home, my child, and tell that father of yours, who could approve his country's sentence, even when it took the life of a child like that, that Abraham Lincoln thinks the life far too precious to be lost. Go back, or—wait until to-morrow; Bennie will need a change after he has so bravely faced death; he shall go with you."

[Pg 123]"God bless you, sir," said Blossom; and who shall doubt that God heard and registered the request?

Two days after this interview, the young soldier came to the White House with his little sister. He was called into the President's private room, and a strap fastened upon the shoulder. Mr. Lincoln then said: "The soldier that could carry a sick comrade's baggage, and die for the act so uncomplainingly, deserves well of his country." Then Bennie and Blossom took their way to the Green Mountain home. A crowd gathered at the Mill Depot to welcome them back; and as Farmer Owen's hand grasped that of his boy, tears flowed down his cheeks, and he was heard to say fervently, "The Lord be praised!"


THE SONG[15]

Walter Scott

Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking;
Dream of battled fields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking.
In our isle's enchanted hall,
Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
Fairy strains of music fall,
Every sense in slumber dewing.
Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Dream of fighting fields no more;
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done,
While our slumbrous spells assail ye,
Dream not, with the rising sun,
Bugles here shall sound reveillé;[Pg 124]
Sleep! the deer is in his den;
Sleep! thy hounds are by thee lying;
Sleep! nor dream in yonder glen
How thy gallant steed lay dying.
Huntsman, rest! thy chase is done;
Think not of the rising sun,
For at dawning to assail ye
Here no bugles sound reveillé.

FOOTNOTE:

[15] From "Lady of the Lake."


THE STIRRUP CUP[16]

John Hay

My short and happy day is done;
The long and lonely night comes on
And at my door the pale horse stands
To carry me to distant lands.
His whinny shrill, his pawing hoof,
Sounds dreadful as a gathering storm;
And I must leave this sheltering roof
And joys of life so soft and warm.
Tender and warm the joys of life—
Good friends, the faithful and the true;
My rosy children and my wife,
>So sweet to kiss, so fair to view.
So sweet to kiss, so fair to view,
The night comes on, the lights burn blue;
And at my door the pale horse stands
To bear me forth to unknown lands.

FOOTNOTE:

[16] By permission of Mrs. Hay.


[Pg 125]

THE SWAN-SONG

Katherine R. Brooks

The great old-fashioned clock struck twelve, but as yet not one of the boys had stirred. All were listening too intently to what Carl von Weber was saying to notice the time. Around one of the grand pianos a group of boys was gathered. Perched on the top of it was a bright, merry-looking boy of fourteen. By his side sat a pale, delicate little fellow, with a pair of soft, dark eyes, which were fixed in eager attention upon Carl's face. Below, and leaning carelessly upon the piano, was Raoul von Falkenstein, a dark, handsome boy of fifteen.

"Pshaw!" he exclaimed, scornfully, after Carl had finished. "Is that all? just for a few paltry thalers and a beggarly violin, to work myself to death? No! I don't think I shall trouble myself about it."

"Oh, Raoul!" cried Franz, the little fellow who sat by Carl, "you forget that it is to be the most beautiful violin in Germany, and to be given to us by the Empress herself. And the two hundred thalers—just think of that!" and Franz's dark eyes grew bright to think what he could do with them.

"Really," returned Raoul, insolently, "you don't mean to say that you are going to try! Why, the last time you played you broke down entirely!"

The color mounted into Franz's face, and the tears came into his eyes; and Carl cried out, angrily:

"For shame! you know very well that it was only fright that made Franz fail.

"Don't mind him," he said, putting his arm around his friend's neck, "he is only hateful, as he always is. Let us go and see who is to be chosen for the concert. Come, Franz!"

"No, Carl," said his friend, quietly; "I would rather stay here. You go and find out, and then come and tell me."

The Empress once a year gave a prize to the school, but this[Pg 126] year it was to be finer than usual, and her Majesty had sent to Herr Bach and requested him to choose five of his best boys, each of whom was to compose a piece of his own. No one was to see it until the end of three weeks, when they were to play it at a grand concert, which the imperial family were to attend with the whole court. Franz was very anxious to be chosen, for he wanted the prize very much. He thought how pleased the mother would be, and he thought how hard she worked to give her little boy a musical education, and how many comforts the thalers would buy. Oh, he would work hard for it. The dear mother would be so surprised. And he fell into a brown study, from which he was awakened by feeling a pair of strong arms around him, and being frantically whirled around the room, while a voice shouted in his ear:

"We've got it! We're chosen—you, Gottfried, Johann, old hateful Raoul, and I!"

The boys worked very hard, for there was only a short time given them. Franz put his whole soul into his composition, and made himself almost sick over it. Raoul went about declaring, in his usual contemptuous manner, that he did not intend to kill himself over it, but secretly he worked with great industry.

One lovely moonlight night, as he sat by his window composing, for the moon was so bright he could see very well, he impatiently flung his pen down and muttered, "There is no use; I can never do it; this will never do!" and began angrily to tear up one of the music sheets, when suddenly he stopped and raised his head and listened intently. Such a lovely melody, so soft and clear, rising and falling in the sweetest cadences, now growing louder and louder in a wild, passionate crescendo, and then dying slowly away!

For a moment, the boy remained silent; then, suddenly springing to his feet, he cried:

"It is Franz! I know it, for no one but he could write any[Pg 127]thing so beautiful. But it shall be mine, for it is the piece that will gain the prize! Ah, Franz, I play before you, and what I play shall be—"

He stopped, and the moonlight streaming in at the window glanced across the room, and revealed a look of half triumph, half shame on his dark, haughty face. Why had he stopped? Perhaps his guardian angel stood behind him, warning him against what he was about to do. For a moment, a fierce struggle seemed to take possession of the boy, between his good and his evil spirit. But, alas! the evil conquered, and, sitting down, he wrote off what he had heard, aided by his wonderful memory; and, after an hour, he threw down the piece, finished. Then, with an exulting smile, he cried, "The prize is mine!" and, throwing himself on the bed, he fell into a troubled sleep.

The time had come at last for the great concert, and the boys were so excited they could hardly keep still; even Franz, whose cheeks glowed with a brilliant hectic flush, and whose eyes were strangely bright. The hall was crowded. The imperial family was there, together with the whole court.

The concert began with an overture from the orchestra. Then came Fraulein, the prima donna of the Imperial Opera, and then the boys. Carl came first, and played a brilliant, sparkling little piece, and was loudly applauded; next Gottfried and Johann, and then Raoul. When he stepped out upon the platform, his handsome face and fine form seemed to make an impression on the audience, for they remained perfectly silent. Raoul commenced. At first Franz paid no attention to him, then suddenly he started. The melody flowed on; louder and louder, clearer and clearer it rose. Franz stood motionless, listening in strained, fixed attention, until at last, overcome with grief and astonishment, he sank upon the floor and cried out piteously, with tears streaming down his face:

"Oh, Raoul! Raoul! how could you, could you do it—my own little piece that I loved so much? Oh, mother! mother!"—and,[Pg 128] burying his head in his arms, he sobbed in an agony of grief.

He heard the burst of applause that greeted his piece—not Raoul's; he heard it all, but moved not until he heard Carl say:

"Come, Franz! it's time to go. They are all waiting for you; but I am afraid that Raoul has won the prize."

What should he do, he wondered? And then he thought perhaps the kind Father in heaven would help him. So, breathing a little prayer in his heart, he walked calmly forth upon the platform.

At first, he trembled so that he could hardly begin; then a sudden inspiration seemed to come to him—a quick light swept across his face. He raised the violin to his shoulder and began.

The audience at first paid no attention; but presently all became quiet, and they leaned forward in breathless attention. What a wonderful song it was!—for it was a song. The violin seemed almost to speak, and so softly and sweetly and with such exquisite pathos were the notes drawn forth that the eyes of many were filled with tears. For it was pouring out all little Franz's griefs and sorrows; it was telling how the little heart was almost broken by the treachery of the friend; it was telling how hard he had worked to win, for the dear mother's sake; and it was telling, and the notes grew sweeter as it told, how the good God had not forsaken him. The boy seemed almost inspired; his eyes were raised to heaven, and his face glowed with a rapt delight, as he improvised his beautiful song. Not a sound was heard; it seemed as if all were turned to stone, so intense was the silence. His heart seemed to grow lighter of its burden, and the song burst into a wild, sweet carol, that rang rich and clear through the hall; and then it changed and grew so soft it could hardly be heard, and at last it died away.

For a moment the vast audience seemed spell-bound; then, all rising with one uncontrollable impulse, and breaking into a[Pg 129] tempest of applause that rocked the building to its very foundations, they rained down bouquets on his head.

But the boy stood with a far-off look in his large and beautiful eyes, and then, giving a little sigh, fell heavily to the floor.

When he returned to consciousness, he heard a voice say, "Poor child!" It seemed like Herr Bach's; and then he heard Carl say, in a sobbing voice, "Franz! dear Franz!" Why did they pity him, he wondered; and then it all came back to him—the prize, the violin, and Raoul.

"Where is the violin?" he murmured.

"It will be here in a moment," some one said.

Then he saw the pale, remorseful face of Raoul, who said: "Dear little Franz, forgive me!"

The boy raised his hand and pointed to heaven, and said, softly: "Dear Raoul, I forgive you!"—and then all the pain and bitterness in his heart against Raoul died out.

The sweet face of the Empress, made lovely by its look of tender pity, bent over him, and she kissed him and murmured, "Poor little one!" Then she placed the beautiful violin in his arms, and the thalers in his hands.

And so, with the famed violin and bright thalers clasped close on his breast, the life-light died out of his eyes, and little Franz fell asleep.


SWEET AFTON

Robert Burns

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise,
My Mary's asleep by the murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.
Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds through the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.[Pg 130]
How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighboring hills!
Far marked with the courses of clear, winding rills,
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.
How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below!
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft as mild evening sweeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.
Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by my cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flowerets she stems thy clear wave.
Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays,
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

VIOLET'S BLUE[17]

Daniel Henry Jr.

Theme.

"Violet's blue—Diddle, diddle!
Lavender's green.
When I am King—Diddle, diddle!
You shall be Queen."
"Mother Goose Melodies."
 
You shall have crown—Diddle, diddle!
Jewels and gold,
Damasks and lace—Diddle, diddle!
Centuries old.[Pg 131]
Pages behind—Diddle, diddle!
Heralds before,
And all the state—Diddle, diddle!
Queens had of yore.
But when you're queen—Diddle, diddle!
And I am king,
Will your eyes shine—Diddle, diddle!
Will my lips sing,
As they do now—Diddle, diddle!
When we are still,
Poor country-folk—Diddle, diddle!
Plain Jack and Jill?
Can our hearts beat—Diddle, diddle!
Our love unfold,
Prisoned in pomp—Diddle, diddle!
Girdled with gold?
Love thrives alone—Diddle, diddle!
In open air;
Where pageants are—Diddle, diddle!
Love is not there.
When skies are blue—Diddle, diddle!
And fields are green,
I will be king—Diddle, diddle!
You shall be queen.
Queen of Day-dreams—Diddle, diddle!
King of No-lands,
With full-filled hearts—Diddle, diddle!
And empty hands.[Pg 132]
Let others king—Diddle, diddle!
And queen, who will:
We're better so—Diddle, diddle!
Plain Jack and Jill.

FOOTNOTE:

[17] From "Under a Fool's Cap," published by Kegan Paul, French & Co., London.


TO A WATERFOWL[18]

William Cullen Bryant

Whither, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean-side?
There is a power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast—
The desert and illimitable air—
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,[Pg 133]
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart:
He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.

FOOTNOTE:

[18] By permission of D. Appleton & Co., publishers.


THE WEDDING-GOWN

Etta W. Pierce

"Bring it from the oaken press; full fifty years ago
I sewed those seams, my heart all full of youth and hope and Joe—
Joe, whose wife I was to be—my lover, strong and brown,
Captain of the stanchest craft that sailed from Gloucester town.
It seems a worthless thing to hold so carefully in store,
This poor, old, faded bridal dress, which no bride ever wore;
Cut in the curious style of half a century ago,
With scanty skirt and 'broidered bands—my own hands shaped it so.
Niece Hester, spread it on my bed—my eyes grow blind with tears;
I touch its limp and yellow folds, and lo! the long dead years
Come trooping back like churchyard ghosts. This was my wedding-gown—
'Twas made the year the equinox brought woe to Gloucester town.[Pg 134]
"Ah, I remember well the night I walked the beach with him—
The moon was rising just above the ocean's purple rim,
And all the savage Cape Ann rocks shone in her mellow light;
The time was spring, and heaven itself seemed close to us that night.
We heard the cool waves beat the shore, the seabird's startled cry;
Like spirits in the dark, we saw the coasters flitting by.
High in their towers the beacons burned, like wintry embers red,
From Ipswich, down the rough sea-line, to crag-girt Marblehead.
'I love you, Nan!' Joe said, at last, in his grave, simple way—
I'd felt the words a-coming, child, for many a long, glad day.
I hung my head, he kissed me—oh, sweetest hour of life!
A stammering word, a sigh, and I was Joe's own promised wife.
"But fishing-folks have much to do; my lover could not stay—
The gallant Gloucester fleet was bound to waters far away,
Where wild storms swoop, and shattering fogs muster their dim, gray ranks,
And spread a winding-sheet for men upon the fatal Banks.
And he, my Joe, must go to reap the harvest of the deep,
While I, like other women, stayed behind to mourn and weep,
And I would see his face no more till autumn woods were brown.
His schooner Nan was swift and new, the pride of Gloucester town;
He called her by my name. ''Tis sure to bring me luck,' said Joe.
She spread her wings, and through my tears I stood and watched her go.[Pg 135]
"The days grew hot and long; I sewed the crisp and shining seams
Of this, my wedding-gown, and dreamed a thousand happy dreams
Of future years and Joe, while leaf and bud and sweet marsh-flower
I fashioned on the muslin fine, for many a patient hour.
In Gloucester wood the wild rose bloomed, and shed its sweets and died,
And dry and tawny grew the grass along the marshes wide.
The last stitch in my gown was set; I looked across the sea—
'Fly fast, oh, time, fly fast!' I said, 'and bring him home to me;
And I will deck my yellow hair and don my bridal gown,
The day the gallant fishing-fleet comes back to Gloucester town!'
"The rough skies darkened o'er the deep, loud blew the autumn gales;
With anxious eyes the fishers' wives watched for the home-bound sails
From Gloucester shore, and Rockport crags, lashed by the breakers dread,
From cottage doors of Beverly, and rocks of Marblehead.
Ah, child, with trembling hand I set my candle at the pane,
With fainting heart and choking breath, I heard the dolorous rain—
The sea that beat the groaning beach with wild and thunderous shocks,
The black death calling, calling from the savage equinox;
The flap of sails, the crash of masts, or so it seemed to me,
And cries of strong men drowning in the clutches of the sea.
"I never wore my wedding-gown, so crisp and fine and fair;
I never decked with bridal flowers my pretty yellow hair,[Pg 136]
No bridegroom came to claim me when the autumn leaves were sear,
For there was bitter wailing on the rugged coast that year;
And vain was further vigil from its rocks and beaches brown
For never did the fishing-fleet sail back to Gloucester town.
"'Twas fifty years ago. There, child, put back the faded dress,
My winding-sheet of youth and hope, into the oaken press.
My life hath known no other joy, my heart no other glow,
Feeble and worn, it still beats on in faithful love for Joe;
And, like some hulk cast on a shore by waters sore distressed,
I wait until he calls me from his own good place of rest."
 
She woke at dawn and lifted up her head so old and gray,
And stared across the sandy beach, and o'er the low blue bay.
It was the hour when mists depart and midnight phantoms flee,
The rosy sun was blushing red along the splendid sea.
A rapture lit her face. "The bay is white with sails!" she cried,
"They sweep it like the silver foam of waves at rising tide—
Sails from an unknown sea. Oh, haste and bring my wedding-gown—
It is the long-lost fishing-fleet come back to Gloucester town!
And look! his Nan leads all the rest. Dear Lord, I see my Joe!
He beckons from her shining deck—haste, friends, for I must go.
The old, old light is in his eyes, the old smile on his lips;
All grand and pale he stands among the crowding, white-winged ships.
This is our wedding-morn. At last the bridegroom claims his bride.
Sweetheart, I have been true; my hand—here—take it!"Then she died.

[Pg 137]

WHEN THE SNOW SIFTS THROUGH[19]

S. W. Gillilan

The icy gale that hurled the snow
Against the window pane,
And rattled the sash with a merry clash
Used not its strength in vain;
For now and then a wee flake sifted
Through the loose ill-fitting frame,
By the warmer breezes each was lifted
All melting as they came.
The baby stood with shining eyes,
Her hands upon the sill;
She watched each flake and the course 'twould take,
And her voice was never still.
'Twas, "Papa, where does the whiteness go?"
And, "Where's all the beauty gone?
What makes it be wet spots 'stead o' snow,
When it gets in where it's warm?"
I smiled that day, but seldom now
Does the thought of smiling come;
A phantom shape, a bow of crape,
And my sweet little child went home.
O Father, "Where does the whiteness go?
And whither's the beauty flown?
Why are there 'wet spots 'stead o' snow'
On my cheek as I face the storm?"
Again the wild wind hurls the snow
Against the frosted pane
And a few flakes dash through the rattling sash,
While I hear those words again.[Pg 138]
The flakes scurry off to a spot on the hill
Where a little mound is seen,
And they cover it softly and tenderly
As the grass with its cloak of green.

FOOTNOTE:

[19] By permission of the author.


TO A WILD FLOWER[20]

Maurice Thompson

In the green solitudes
Of the deep, shady woods
Thy lot is kindly cast, and life to thee
Is like a gust of rarest minstrelsy.
The winds of May and June
Hum many a tender tune,
Blowing above thy leafy hiding-place,
Kissing, all thrilled with joy, thy modest face.
About thee float and glow
Rare insects, hovering low,
And round thee glance thin streams of delicate grass,
Plashing their odors on thee as they pass.
The sheen of brilliant wings
Songs of shy, flitting things,
The low, mysterious melodies that thrill
Through every summer wood, thy sweet life fill.
Oh bloom! all joy is thine,
All loves around thee shine,
The thousand hearts of nature throb for thee,
Her thousand voices praise thee tenderly.[Pg 139]
Oh bloom of purest glory,
Flower of love's gentlest story,
Forever keep thy petals fresh and fair,
Forever send thy sweetness down the air!
I'll put thee in my song,
With all thy joys along,
At which some sunny hearts may sunnier grow,
And frozen ones may gently slip their snow.

FOOTNOTE:

[20] Used by permission of, and special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the authorized publishers of this author's works.


THE FATE OF ZOROASTER

F. Marion Crawford

Zoroaster a young Persian and Nehushta a Hebrew maiden were betrothed lovers; an unfortunate misunderstanding separated them and, in a fit of jealousy, Nehushta became a wife of Darius, king of the Persians. Zoroaster entered the priesthood and later became the high priest of the temple in the king's palace. In a subsequent interview with the high priest, Nehushta discovers that her jealousy was groundless, but it was now too late to correct her unhappy mistake. In the meantime Nehushta had incurred the jealousy and hatred of another wife of Darius, who, in the absence of the king, planned the massacre of the priests of the temple and Nehushta and her servants.

Four days after the king's departure, Nehushta was wandering in the gardens as the sun was going down. Just then a strange sound echoed far off among the hills, an unearthly cry that rang high in the air and struck the dark crags and doubled in the echo and died away in short, faint pulsations of sound. She started slightly, she had never heard such a sound before. Again that strange cry rang out and echoed and died away. Her slave women gathered about her.

"What is it?" asked Nehushta.

"The war cry of the children of Anak is like that," said a little Syrian maid.

Nehushta pushed the slaves aside and fled towards the palace. The truth had flashed across her. Some armed force was collecting on the hills to descend upon the palace. But one[Pg 140] thought filled her mind. She must find Zoroaster and warn him.

Through the garden she ran, and up the broad steps to the portico. Slaves were moving about under the colonnade, lighting the great torches that burned there all night. They had not heard the strange cries from the hills. As she entered the great hall, she heard the cry again.

"Go, my little maid, in one direction and I will go in another, and search out Zoroaster, the high priest, and bring him."

The girl turned and ran through the halls, and Nehushta went another way upon her search. Something within her told her that she was in great danger, and the calm she had seen in the palace could not allay the terror of that cry she had heard three times from the hills. Just then the Syrian maid came running in and fell breathless at Nehushta's feet.

"Fly, fly, beloved mistress, the devils of the mountains are upon us—they cover the hills—they are closing every entrance—the people in the lower palace are all slain."

"Where is Zoroaster?"

"He is in the temple with the priests—by this time he is surely slain—he could know of nothing going on—fly, fly!"

"On which side are they coming?"

"From the hills, from the hills they are descending in thousands."

"Go you all to the farther window, leap down upon the balcony—it is scarce a man's height,—follow it to the end past the corner where it joins the main wall of the garden. Run along upon the wall till you find a place where you can descend. Through the gardens you can easily reach the road. Fly, and save yourselves in the darkness." But before she had half finished, the last of the slave women, mad with terror, disappeared.

"Why do you not go with the rest, my little maid?" asked Nehushta.

[Pg 141]"I have eaten thy bread, shall I leave thee in the hour of death?"

"Go, child, I have seen thy devotion; thou must not perish."

But the Syrian leaped to her feet as she answered:

"I am a bondwoman, but I am a daughter of Israel, even as thou art. Though all the others leave thee, I will not. It may be I can help thee."

"Thou art a brave child; I must go to Zoroaster; stay thou here, hide thyself among the curtains, escape by the window if any one come to harm thee." She turned and went rapidly out.

But the maid grasped the knife in her girdle, and stole upon her mistress's steps. The din rose louder every moment—the shrieks of wounded women with the moaning of wounded men, the clash of swords and arms, and a quick, loud rattle, as half a dozen arrows struck the wall together.

Onward flew Nehushta till she reached the temple door; then she listened. Faintly through the thick walls she could hear the sound of the evening chant. The priests were all within with Zoroaster, unconscious of their danger. Nehushta tried the door. The great bronze gates were locked, and though she pushed with her whole strength, they would not move a hair's breadth.

"Press the nail nearest the middle," said a small voice. Nehushta started. It was the little Syrian slave. She put her hand upon the round head of the nail and pressed. The door opened, turning noiselessly upon its hinges. The seventy priests, in even rank, stood round. Solemnly the chant rose round the sacred fire upon the black stone altar. Zoroaster stood before it, his hands lifted in prayer. But Nehushta with a sudden cry broke their melody.

"Zoroaster—fly—there is yet time! The enemy are come in thousands; they are in the palace. There is barely time!"

The high priest turned calmly, his face unmoved, although the priests ceased their chanting and gathered about their[Pg 142] chief in fear. As their voices ceased, a low roar was heard from without as though the ocean were beating at the gates.

"Go thou and save thyself," said Zoroaster. "I will not go. If it be the will of the All-Wise that I perish, I will perish before this altar. Go thou quickly and save thyself while there is yet time."

But Nehushta took his hand in hers, and gazed into his calm eyes.

"Knowest thou not, Zoroaster, that I would rather die with thee than live with any other? I swear to thee, by the God of my fathers, I will not leave thee!"

"There is no more time! There is no more time! Ye are all dead men! Behold, they are breaking down the doors!"

As she spoke the noise of some heavy mass striking against the bronze gates echoed like thunder through the temple, and at each blow a chorus of hideous yells rose, wild and long drawn out.

"Can none of you save Zoroaster?" cried Nehushta.

But Zoroaster gently said:

"Ye cannot save me, for my hour is come; we must die like men, and like priests of the Lord before His altar;" and, raising one hand to heaven, he chanted:

"Praise we the all-wise God
Who hath made and created the years and the ages;
Praise Him who rides on death,
In whose hand are all power and honor and glory;
Who made the day of life,
That should rise up and lighten the shadow of death."

With a crash the great bronze doors gave way, and fell clanging in. In an instant the temple was filled with a swarm of hideous men. Their swords gleamed aloft as they passed forward, and their yells rent the roof. They had hoped for treasure—they saw but a handful of white-robed, unarmed men. Their rage knew no bounds, and their screams rose[Pg 143] more piercing than ever, as they surrounded the doomed band, and dyed their blades in the blood that flowed red over the white vestures.

The priests struggled like brave men, but the foe were a hundred to one. A sharp blade fell swiftly and the brave little slave fell shrieking to the floor.

Nehushta's eyes met the high priest's triumphant gaze and her hands clasped his wildly.

"Oh, Zoroaster, my beloved, my beloved! Say not any more that I am unfaithful, for I have been faithful even unto death, and I shall be with you beyond the stars for ever!"

"Beyond the stars and for ever!" he cried; "in the light of the glory of God most high!"

The keen sword flashed and severed Nehushta's neck and found its sheath in her lover's heart; and they fell down dead together.


[Pg 144]

II

SOLEMN, REVERENTIAL, SUBLIME

CENTENNIAL HYMN[21]

John G. Whittier

Our father's God! from out whose hand
The centuries fall like grains of sand,
We meet to-day, united, free
And loyal to our land and Thee,
To thank Thee for the era done,
And trust Thee for the opening one.
Here where of old, by Thy design,
The fathers spake that word of Thine
Whose echo is the glad refrain
Of rended bolt and falling chain,
To grace our festal time, from all
The zones of earth, our guests we call.
Be with us while the New World greets
The Old World thronging all its streets
Unveiling all the triumphs won
By art or toil beneath the sun;
And unto common good ordain
This rivalship of hand and brain.
Thou, who hast here in concord furled
The war flags of a gathered world,[Pg 145]
Beneath the Western skies fulfill
The Orient's mission of good-will,
And, freighted with love's Golden Fleece,
Send back its Argonauts of peace.
For art and labor met in truce,
For beauty made the bride of use,
We thank Thee; but, withal, we crave
The austere virtues strong to save,
The honor proof to place or gold,
The manhood never bought nor sold!
Oh, make Thou us, through centuries long,
In peace secure, in justice strong;
Around our gift of freedom draw
The safeguards of Thy righteous law;
And, cast in some diviner mold,
Let the new cycle shame the old!

FOOTNOTE:

[21] By permission of, and special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., authorized publishers of this author's works.


THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS[22]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings,
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,[Pg 146]
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,—
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

FOOTNOTE:

[22] Used by permission of, and special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., authorized publishers of this author's works.


CROSSING THE BAR

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar
When I put out to sea.[Pg 147]
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell
And after that the dark;
And may there be no sadness of farewell
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of time and place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB

Lord Byron

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen;
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath flown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.[Pg 148]
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And their idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

EACH AND ALL[23]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown,
On thee, from the hill top looking down;
And the heifer that lows on the upland farm,
Far heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton, tolling the bell at noon,
Dreams not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse and lists with delight,
As his files sweep round yon distant height;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed hath lent;
All are needed by each one—
Nothing is fair or good alone.
I caught the linnet's note from heaven,
Singing at dawn, on the alder bough;
I brought him home in his nest at even:
He sings the song; but it pleases not now;
For I did not bring home the river and sky;
He sang to my ear—they sing to my eye.[Pg 149]
The delicate shell lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their emerald gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
And fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore,
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar
Nor rose, nor stream, nor bird is fair;
Their concord is beyond compare.

FOOTNOTE:

[23] Used by permission of, and special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the authorized publishers.


LAUS DEO![24]

ON HEARING BELLS ANNOUNCING EMANCIPATION

John G. Whittier

It is done!
Clang of bell and roar of gun
Send the tidings up and down.
How the belfries rock and reel!
How the great guns, peal on peal,
Fling the joy from town to town!
Ring, O bells!
Every stroke exulting tells
Of the burial hour of crime.
Loud and long, that all may hear.
Ring for every listening ear
Of Eternity and Time![Pg 150]
Let us kneel!
God's own voice is in that peal,
And this spot is holy ground.
Lord, forgive us! What are we,
That our eyes this glory see,
That our ears have heard the sound!
For the Lord
On the whirlwind is abroad;
In the earthquake he has spoken;
He has smitten with his thunder
The iron walls asunder,
And the gates of brass are broken!
Loud and long
Lift the old exulting song;
Sing with Miriam by the sea
He has cast the mighty down;
Horse and rider sink and drown;
"He hath triumphed gloriously!"
Did we dare
In our agony of prayer,
Ask for more than He has done?
When was ever his right hand
Over any time or land
Stretched as now beneath the sun!
How they pale,
Ancient myth and song and tale,
In this wonder of our days,
When the cruel rod of war
Blossoms white with righteous law,
And the wrath of man is praise![Pg 151]
Blotted out!
All within and all about
Shall a fresher life begin;
Freer breathe the universe
As it rolls its heavy curse
On the dead and buried sin!
It is done!
In the circuit of the sun
Shall the sound thereof go forth.
It shall bid the sad rejoice,
It shall give the dumb a voice,
It shall belt with joy the earth!
Ring and swing,
Bells of joy! On morning's wing
Send the song of praise abroad!
With a sound of broken chains
Tell the nations that He reigns,
Who alone is Lord and God!

FOOTNOTE:

[24] By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., authorized publishers of this author's works.


THE PILGRIM FATHERS

Felicia Dorothea Hemans

The breaking waves dashed high on a stern and rockbound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky their giant branches tossed,
And the heavy night hung dark the hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark on the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes, they, the true-hearted, came,—
Not with the roll of stirring drums, and the trumpet that sings of fame:[Pg 152]
Not as the flying come, in silence and in fear,—
They shook the depths of the desert's gloom with their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang; this the stars heard and the sea!
And the sounding aisles of the dim wood rang to the anthems of the free!
The ocean-eagle soared from his nest by the white waves' foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roared;—this was their welcome home.
There were men with hoary hair amidst that pilgrim band;
Why had they come to wither there, away from their childhood's land?
There was woman's fearless eye, lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high, and the fiery heart of youth.
What sought they thus afar? Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Aye, call it holy ground, the soil where first they trod!
They have left unstained what there they found,—freedom to worship God!

THE PRESENT CRISIS[25]

James Russell Lowell

When a deed is done for freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from East to West;
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb,[Pg 153]
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of time.
For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along
Round the earth's electric circle the swift flash of right or wrong;
Whether conscious or unconscious, yet humanity's vast frame
Through its ocean-sundered fibers feels the gush of joy or shame—
In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.
Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
Backward look across the ages, and the beacon moments see
That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through oblivion's sea;
Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry
Of those crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff must fly;
Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.
Careless seems the great avenger; history's pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne,
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
We see dimly in the present what is small and what is great;
Slow of faith, how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate![Pg 154]
But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din,
List the ominous stern whisper from the delphic cave within,
"They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin."
Then to side with truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified,
And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes—they were souls that stood alone,
While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone;
Stood serene and down the future, saw the golden beam incline
To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine
By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme design.
By the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I track,
Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back,
And these mounts of anguish number how each generation learned
One new word of that grand credo which in prophet-hearts hath burned,
Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to heaven upturned.
For humanity sweeps onward; where to-day the martyr stands,
On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his hands;
Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots burn,
While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return
To glean up the scattered ashes into history's golden urn.[Pg 155]
'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves
Of a legendary virtue carved upon our fathers' graves.
Worshipers of light ancestral make the present light a crime;
Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men behind their time?
Turn those tracks toward past or future that make Plymouth Rock sublime?
They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors to our sires,
Smothering in their holy ashes freedom's new-lit altar fires.
Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in our haste to slay,
From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away
To light the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day?
New occasions teach new duties; time makes ancient good uncouth;
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth;
Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! We ourselves must Pilgrims be,
Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea,
Nor attempt the future's portal with the past's blood-rusted key.

FOOTNOTE:

[25] Used by permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., authorized publishers of this author's works.


THE RECESSIONAL

Rudyard Kipling

God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine;
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget,—lest we forget.[Pg 156]
The tumult and the shouting dies,
The captains and the kings depart—
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget,—lest we forget.
If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget,—lest we forget!
For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on thy people, Lord!

THE SACREDNESS OF WORK

Thomas Carlyle

All true work is sacred; in all true hand-labor, there is something of divineness. Labor, wide as the earth, has its summit in Heaven. Sweat of the brow; and up from that to sweat of the brain, sweat of the heart; which includes all Kepler's calculations, Newton's meditations, all sciences, all spoken epics, all acted heroism, martyrdoms—up to that "Agony of bloody sweat," which all men have called divine! Oh, brother, if this is not "worship," then, I say, the more pity for worship; for this is the noblest thing yet discovered under God's sky!

[Pg 157]Who art thou that complainest of thy life of toil? Complain not. Look up, my wearied brother; see thy fellow-workmen there, in God's Eternity; surviving there, they alone surviving; sacred Band of the Immortals, celestial Body-guard of the Empire of Mind. Even in the weak human memory they survive so long, as saints, as heroes, as gods; they alone surviving; peopling the immeasured solitudes of Time! To thee Heaven, though severe, is not unkind; Heaven is kind—as a noble mother; as that Spartan mother, saying, while she gave her son his shield, "With it, my son, or upon it!" Thou, too, shalt return home, in honor to thy far-distant home, doubt it not—if in the battle thou keep thy shield.


WHAT'S HALLOWED GROUND?

Thomas Campbell

What's hallowed ground? Has earth a clod
Its Maker meant not should be trod
By man, the image of his God,
Erect and free,
Unscourged by superstition's rod
To bow the knee?
What hallows ground where heroes sleep?
'Tis not the sculptured piles you heap,
In dews that Heavens far distant weep,
Their turf may bloom,
Or Genii twine beneath the deep
Their coral tomb.
But strew his ashes to the wind,
Whose sword or voice has saved mankind,
And is he dead, whose glorious mind
Lifts thine on high?[Pg 158]
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die!
Is't death to fall for Freedom's right?
He's dead alone that lacks her light!
And murder sullies, in Heaven's sight
The sword he draws.
What can alone ennoble fight?
A noble cause.
What's hallowed ground? 'Tis what gives birth
To sacred thoughts in souls of worth.
Peace! Independence! Truth! go forth
Earth's compass round,
And your high priesthood shall make earth
All hallowed ground.

[Pg 159]

III

PATRIOTIC, HEROIC, ORATORICAL

THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS OF THE WORLD

Harvard University after mature consideration has proclaimed that in the history of eloquence there are seven great orators who stand preëminent above other orators whom the world calls great. A visitor to that venerable institution of learning, on coming to Memorial Hall, will find at the theater end, on the outside and just above the cornice, seven niches containing gigantic busts of these seven orators: Demosthenes, the Greek; Cicero, the Roman; Chrysostom, the Asiatic Greek; Bossuet, the Frenchman; Chatham, the Englishman; Burke, the Irishman; and Webster, the American.

It is in furtherance of this idea that we have selected short passages of eloquence from each of these men; and also with the threefold purpose of acquainting young students with masterpieces of oratory since the dawn of history, of providing passages well worth committing to memory, and offering extracts well suited for practice in public speaking.


I. DEMOSTHENES

THE ENCROACHMENTS OF PHILIP[26]

Men of Athens, if any one regard without uneasiness the might and dominion of Philip, and imagine that it threatens no danger to the state, or that all his preparations are not against you, I marvel, and would entreat you every one to hear briefly from me the reasons why I am led to form a contrary expectation, and why I deem Philip an enemy; that, if I appear to have the clearer foresight, you may hearken to me; if they, who have such confidence and trust in Philip, you may give your adherence to them.

[Pg 160]What did Philip first make himself master of after the peace? Thermopylæ and the Phocian state. And how used he his power? He chose to act for the benefit of Thebes, not of Athens. Why so? Because, I conceive, measuring his calculations by ambition, by his desire of universal empire, without regard to peace, quiet, or justice, he saw plainly that to a people of our character and principles nothing could he offer or give that would induce you for self-interest to sacrifice any of the Greeks to him. He sees that you, having respect for justice, dreading the infamy of the thing, and exercising proper forethought, would oppose him in any such attempt as much as if you were at war. But the Thebans, he expected, would, in return for the services done them, allow him in everything else to have his way, and, so far from thwarting or impeding him, would fight on his side if he required it. You are judged by these to be the only people incapable of betraying for lucre the national rights of Greece, or bartering your attachment to her for any obligation or benefit. And this opinion of you he has naturally formed, not only from a view of present times, but by reflection on the past. For assuredly he finds and hears that your ancestors, who might have governed the rest of Greece on terms of submitting to Persia, not only spurned the proposal when Alexander, this man's ancestor, came as herald to negotiate, but preferred to abandon their country and endure any suffering, and thereafter achieved such exploits as all the world loves to remember,—though none could ever speak them worthily, and therefore I must be silent, for their deeds are too mighty to be uttered in words. But the forefathers of the Thebans either joined the barbarian's army or did not oppose it; and therefore he knows that they will selfishly embrace their advantage, without considering the common interest of the Greeks. He thought then if he chose your friendship, it must be on just principles; if he attached himself to them, he should find auxiliaries of his ambition. This is the reason of his pre[Pg 161]ferring them to you both then and now. For certainly he does not see them with a larger navy than you, nor has he acquired an inland empire and renounced that of the sea and the ports, nor does he forget the professions and promises on which he obtained the peace.

I cannot think that Philip, either if he was forced into his former measures, or if he were now giving up the Thebans, would pertinaciously oppose their enemies; his present conduct rather shows that he adopted those measures by choice. All things prove to a correct observer that his whole plan of action is against our state. And this has now become to him a sort of necessity. Consider. He desires empire; he conceives you to be his only opponents. He has been for some time wronging you, as his own conscience best informs him, since, by retaining what belongs to you, he secures the rest of his dominion. He knows that he is plotting against you, and that you are aware of it; and supposing you to have intelligence, he thinks you must hate him; he is alarmed, expecting some disaster, unless he hastens to prevent you. Therefore he is awake and on the watch against us; he courts certain people, who from cupidity, he thinks, will be satisfied with the present, and from dullness of understanding will foresee none of the consequences.

I imagine that what Philip is doing will grieve you hereafter more than it does now. I see the thing progressing, and would that my surmises were false, but I doubt it is too near already. So when you are able no longer to disregard events, when, instead of hearing from me or others that these measures are against Athens, you all see it yourselves and know it for certain, I expect you will be wrathful and exasperated. I fear then, as your ambassadors have concealed the purpose for which they know they were corrupted, those who endeavor to repair what the others have lost may chance to encounter your resentment, for I see it is a practice with many to vent their anger, not upon[Pg 162] the guilty, but on persons most in their power. Had you not been then deceived there would be nothing to distress the state. Philip would certainly never have prevailed at sea and come to Attica with a fleet, nor would he have marched with a land force by Phocis and Thermopylæ; he must either have acted honorably, observing the peace and keeping quiet, or been immediately in a war similar to that which made him desire the peace. Enough has been said to awaken recollection. Grant, O ye gods, it be not all fully confirmed! Though he may deserve death I would have no man punished to the damage and danger of the country.

FOOTNOTE:

[26] From the Second Philippic delivered at Athens, 344 B.C.


II. MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO

ORATION AGAINST ANTONY[27]

Who is there who does not see that Antonius has been adjudged to be an enemy? For what else can we call him, when the Senate decides that extraordinary honors are to be devised for those men who are leading armies against him? What, did not the Martial legion decide by its resolutions that Antonius was an enemy before the Senate had come to any resolution? For if he be not an enemy, we must inevitably decide that those men who have deserted the consul are enemies. Admirably and seasonably, O Romans, have you by your cries sanctioned the noble conduct of the men of the Martial legion, who have come over to the authority of the Senate, to your liberty, and to the whole republic, and have abandoned that enemy and robber and parricide of his country. Nor did they display only their spirit and courage in doing this, but their caution and wisdom also. They encamped at Alba, in a city convenient, fortified, full of brave men and loyal and virtuous citizens. The fourth legion imitated and also joined the army of Caius Cæsar.

[Pg 163]What more adverse decisions, O Marcus Antonius, can you want? Cæsar, who has levied an army against you, is extolled to the skies. The legions are praised in the most complimentary manner, which have abandoned you, which were sent for into Italy by you, and which, if you had been chosen to be a consul rather than an enemy, were wholly devoted to you. And the fearless and honest decision of those legions is confirmed by the Senate and is approved of by the whole Roman people. Do you suppose that the municipal towns and the colonies and the prefectures have any other opinion? All men are agreed with one mind, so that every one who wishes the State to be saved must take every sort of arms against that pestilence. What, does the opinion of Decimus Brutus which has this day reached us appear to any one deserving of being lightly esteemed? The family and name of Brutus has been by some especial kindness and liberality of the immortal gods given to the republic, for the purpose of at one time establishing, and at another of recovering, the liberty of the Roman people. What has been the opinion which Decimus Brutus has formed of Marcus Antonius? He excludes him from his province. He opposes him with his army. He rouses all Gaul to war, which is already aroused of its own accord, and in consequence of the judgment which it has already formed. If Antonius be consul, Brutus is an enemy. Can we then doubt which of these alternatives is the fact?

And just as you now with one mind and one voice affirm that you entertain no doubt, so did the Senate just now decree that Decimus Brutus deserved excellently well of the republic, inasmuch as he was defending the authority of the Senate and the liberty and empire of the Roman people. Defending it against whom? Why, against an enemy. For what other sort of defense deserves praise? In the next place the province of Gaul is praised and is deservedly complimented in most honorable language by the Senate for resisting Antonius. But[Pg 164] if that province considered him the consul, and still refused to receive him it would be guilty of great wickedness. For all the provinces belong to the consul of right, and are bound to obey him. Decimus Brutus, imperator and consul-elect, a citizen born for the republic, denies that he is consul. Gaul denies it. All Italy denies it. The Senate denies it. You deny it. Who then thinks he is consul except a few robbers? I think that at present not only men but the immortal gods have all united together to preserve this republic. For if the immortal gods foreshow us the future, by means of portents and prodigies, then it has been openly revealed to us that punishment is near at hand to him, and liberty to us. Or if it was impossible for such unanimity on the part of all men to exist without the inspiration of the gods, in either case how can we doubt as to the inclination of the heavenly deities?

I will act therefore as commanders are in the habit of doing when their army is ready for battle, who although they see their soldiers ready to engage, still address an exhortation to them; and in like manner I will exhort you who are already eager and burning to recover your liberty. You have not to war against an enemy with whom it is possible to make peace on any terms whatever. For he does not now desire your slavery, as he did before, but he is angry now and thirsts for your blood. No sport appears more delightful to him than bloodshed and slaughter and the massacre of citizens before his eyes. You have not, O Romans, to deal with a wicked and profligate man, but with an unnatural, and savage beast. And since he has fallen into a well let him be buried in it. For if he escapes out of it there will be no inhumanity of torture which it will be possible to avoid. But he is at present hemmed in, pressed, and besieged by those troops which we already have, and will soon be still more so by those which in a few days the new consuls will levy. Apply yourselves then to this business, as you are doing. Never have you shown greater unanimity in[Pg 165] any cause, never have you been so cordially united with the Senate. And no wonder: for the question now is not in what condition we are to live, but whether we are to live at all, or to perish with torture and ignominy.

FOOTNOTE:

[27] Taken from the Fourth Philippic, delivered in the Forum at Rome.


III. SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

I. UNDUE LAMENTATIONS OVER THE DEAD

I am ashamed and blush to see unbecoming groups of women pass along the mart, tearing their hair, cutting their arms and cheeks, and all this under the eyes of the Greeks. For what will they not say? What will they not utter concerning us? Are these the men who philosophize about a resurrection? How poorly their actions agree with their opinions! In words they philosophize about a resurrection, but they act just like those who do not acknowledge a resurrection. If they fully believed in a resurrection they would not act thus; if they had really persuaded themselves that a deceased friend had departed to a better state they would not thus mourn. These things and more than these, the unbelievers say when they hear those lamentations. Let us then be ashamed, and be more moderate, and not occasion so much harm to ourselves and to those who are looking on us.

For on what account, tell me, do you thus weep for one departed? Because he was a bad man? You ought on that very account to be thankful, since the occasions of wickedness are now cut off. Because he was good and kind? If so, you ought to rejoice, since he has been soon removed before wickedness had corrupted him; and he has gone away to a world where he stands ever secure, and there is no room even to mistrust a change. Because he was a youth? For that, too, praise Him who has taken him, because He has speedily called him to a better lot. Because he was an aged man? On this account also give thanks and glorify Him that has taken him. Be[Pg 166] ashamed of your manner of burial. All this is not that you may weep and lament and afflict yourselves, but that you may render thanks to Him who has taken the departed.

When men are called to some high office, multitudes with praises on their lips assemble to escort them at their departure to their stations, so do all with abundant praise join to send forward, as to a greater honor, those of the pious who have departed. Death is rest, a deliverance from the exhausting labors and cares of this world. When, then, thou seest a relative departing yield not to despondency; give thyself to reflection; examine thy conscience; cherish the thought that after a little while this end awaits thee also. Be more considerate; let another's death excite thee to salutary fear; shake off all indolence; examine your past deeds; quit your sins and commence a happy change.

We differ from unbelievers in our estimate of things. The unbeliever surveys the heaven and worships it, because he thinks it a divinity; he looks to the earth and makes himself a servant to it, and longs for the things of sense. But not so with us. We survey the heaven and admire Him that made it, for we believe it not to be a god, but a work of God. I look on the whole creation, and am led by it to the Creator. He looks on wealth and longs for and laments; I see poverty and rejoice. I see things in one light, he in another. Just so in regard to death. He sees a corpse and thinks of it as a corpse; I see a corpse and behold sleep rather than death. And as in regard to books, both learned persons and unlearned see them with the same eyes, but not with the same understanding. To the unlearned the mere shapes of letters appear, while the learned discover the sense that lies within those letters. So in respect to affairs in general, we all see what takes place with the same eyes, but not with the same understanding and judgment. Since, therefore, in all other things we differ from them, shall we agree with them in our sentiments respecting death? Con[Pg 167]sider to whom the departed has gone. He has gone where Paul is, and the whole company of the saints. Consider how he shall arise, with what glory and with what splendor.


II. ON APPLAUDING PREACHERS

It is a mischief when one who teaches will in words impugn the teachings by his deeds. This has been the cause of many evils in the churches. Wherefore pardon me, I beseech you, if my discourse dwells long on this evil affection. Many take a great deal of pains to be able to stand up in public and make a long speech; and if they get applause from the multitude, it is to them as if they had gained the very kingdom of heaven; but if silence follows the close of their speech the defection that falls upon their spirits from the silence is worse than hell itself. This has turned the churches upside down, because you desire not to hear a discourse calculated to lead to compunction, but one that may delight you from the sound and composition of the words, as though you were listening to singers and minstrels. When we idly busy ourselves about beautiful expressions and the composition and harmony of our sentences in order that we might not profit; when we make it our aim to be admired, not to instruct; to delight, not prick to the heart; to be applauded and depart with praise, not to correct men's manners, we do wrong. Believe me, I speak what I feel, when as I discourse, I hear myself applauded, at the moment I feel it as a man; I am delighted and give way to the pleasurable feeling; but when I get home and bethink me that those who applauded received no benefit from my discourse, but whatever benefit they ought to have got they lost it while applauding and praising, I am in pain, and groan and weep, and feel as if I had spoken all in vain. I say to myself what profit comes to me from my labors, while the hearers do not choose to benefit by what they hear from me?

Even the heathen philosophers—we hear of their discours[Pg 168]ing, and nowhere do we find that noisy applause accompanied their words; we hear of the apostles making public speeches, and yet nowhere do the accounts add that in the midst of their discourses the hearers interrupted the speaker with loud expressions of approbation. Christ spoke publicly on the mount, yet no one said aught until He had finished His discourse. How shall the hearer be otherwise than ridiculous? Nay, he will be deemed a flatterer and his praise no better than irony, when he declares that the teacher spoke beautifully; but what he said, this he cannot tell. This has all the appearance of adulation. For when, indeed, one has been hearing minstrels and players, it is no wonder if such has been the case with him, seeing he looks not how to utter the strain in the same manner; but where the matter is not an exhibition of song or of voice, but the drift and purport of thoughts and wise reflections, and it is easy for every one to tell and report what was said, how can he but deserve the accusation, who cannot tell what the matter was for which he praised the speaker? Nothing so becomes the church as silence and good order.

Noise belongs to the theaters, and baths, and public processions, and market-places; but where doctrines, and such doctrines, are the subject of teaching, there should be stillness and quiet, and calm reflection, and a haven of much repose. These things I beseech and entreat; for I go about in quest of ways by which I shall be enabled to profit your souls. And no small way I take this to be; it will profit not you only, but us also. So shall we not be carried away with pride, not be tempted to love praises and honor, not be led to speak those things which delight, but those things that profit: so shall we lay the whole stress of our time and diligence, not upon arts of composition and beauties of expression, but upon the matter and meaning of the thoughts.

Is not all nature decked with stillness and silence? Over all the face of heaven is scattered the charm of repose. On this[Pg 169] account we are evil spoken of even among the Gentiles, as though we did all for display and ostentation. But if this be prevented the love of the chief seats will also be extinguished. It is sufficient, if any one be enamored of praise, that he should obtain it after having been heard, when all is gathered in. Yea, I beseech you that doing all things according to God's will, we may be found worthy of the mercy which is from Him, through the grace and compassion of His only Son.


IV. JACQUES BÉNIGNE BOSSUET

ON THE DEATH OF THE PRINCE OF CONDÉ

Our lamentations ought to break forth at the loss of so great a man. But for the love of truth and the shame of those who despise it, listen once more to that noble testimony which he bore to it in dying. Informed by his confessor that if our heart is not entirely right with God, we must, in our addresses, ask God Himself to make it such as He pleases, and address Him in the affecting language of David, "O God, create in me a clean heart," the Prince is arrested by the words, pauses, as if occupied with some great thought; then calling the ecclesiastic who had suggested the idea, he says: "I have never doubted the mysteries of religion, as some have reported." Christians, you ought to believe him, for in the state he then was he owed to the world nothing but truth.

What was then taking place in his soul? What new light dawned upon him? What sudden ray pierced the cloud, and instantly dissipated, not only all the darkness of sense, but the very shadows, and if I dare to say it, the sacred obscurities of faith? What then became of those splendid titles by which our pride is flattered? On the very verge of glory, and in the dawning of a light so beautiful, how rapidly vanish the phantoms of the world! How dim appears the splendor of the most glorious victory! How profoundly we despise the glory of[Pg 170] the world, and how deeply regret that our eyes were ever dazzled by its radiance! Come, ye people, or rather ye princes and lords, ye judges of the earth, and ye who open to man the portals of heaven; and more than all others, ye princes and princesses, nobles descended from a long line of kings, lights of France, but to-day in gloom, and covered with your grief, as with a cloud, come and see how little remains of a birth so august, a grandeur so high, a glory so dazzling. Look around on all sides, and see all that magnificence and devotion can do to honor so great a hero; titles and inscriptions, vain signs of that which is no more—shadows which weep around a tomb, fragile images of a grief which time sweeps away with everything else; columns which seem as if they would bear to heaven the magnificent evidence of our emptiness; nothing, indeed, is wanting in all these honors but him to whom they are rendered! Weep then over these feeble remains of human life; weep over that mournful immortality we give to heroes. But draw near, especially ye who run with such ardor the career of glory, intrepid and warrior spirits! Who was more worthy to command you, and in whom did you find command more honorable? Mourn then that great captain, and weeping, say: "Here is the man that led us through all hazards, under whom were formed so many renowned captains, raised by his example to the highest honors of war; his shadow might yet gain battles, and lo! in his silence his very name animates us, and at the same time warns us, that to find at death some rest from our toils, and not arrive unprepared at our eternal dwelling, we must, with an earthly king, yet serve the king of heaven."

Serve then that immortal and ever merciful King, who will value a sigh or a cup of cold water, given in His name, more than all others will value the shedding of your blood. And begin to reckon the time of your useful services from the day on which you gave yourselves to so beneficent a Master. Will not ye too come, ye whom he honored by making you his friends?[Pg 171] To whatever extent you enjoyed his confidence, come all of you, and surround his tomb. Mingle your prayers with your tears; and while admiring, in so great a prince, a friendship so excellent, an intercourse so sweet, preserve the remembrance of a hero whose goodness equaled his courage. Thus may he ever prove your cherished instructor; thus may you profit by his virtues; and may his death, which you deplore, serve you at once for consolation and example.

For myself, if permitted, after all others, to render the last offices at his tomb, O Prince, the worthy subject of our praises and regrets, thou wilt live forever in my memory. There will thy image be traced, but not with that bold aspect which promises victory. No, I would see in you nothing which death can efface. You will have in that image only immortal traits. I shall behold you such as you were in your last hours under the hand of God, when His glory began to dawn upon you. There shall I see you more triumphant than at Fribourg and at Rocroy; and ravished by so glorious a triumph, I shall give thanks in the beautiful words of the well-beloved disciple, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." Enjoy, O Prince, this victory, enjoy it forever, through the everlasting efficacy of that sacrifice.


V. WILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM

I. WAR WITH AMERICA[28]

I will not join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. I cannot concur in a blind and servile address, which approves and endeavors to sanctify the monstrous measures which have heaped disgrace and misfortune upon us. This, my lords, is a perilous and tremendous moment! It is not a time for adulation. The smoothness of flattery cannot now avail; cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to[Pg 172] instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must dispel the illusion and the darkness which envelop it, and display, in its full danger and true colors, the ruin that is brought to our doors.

Can the minister of the day now presume to expect a continuance of support in this ruinous infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and its duty as to be thus deluded into the loss of the one and the violation of the other? To give an unlimited credit and support for the steady perseverance in measures not proposed for our parliamentary advice, but dictated and forced upon us—in measures which have reduced this late flourishing empire to ruin and contempt! "But yesterday and England might have stood against the world; now none so poor to do her reverence." It is a shameful truth that not only the power and strength of this country are wasting away and expiring, but her well-earned glories, her true honor and substantial dignity, are sacrificed.

My lords, this ruinous and ignominious situation, where we cannot act with success, nor suffer with honor, calls upon us to remonstrate in the strongest and loudest language of truth, to rescue the ear of Majesty from the delusions which surround it. The desperate state of our arms abroad is in part known. No man thinks more highly of them than I do. I love and honor the English troops. I know their virtues and their valor. I know they can achieve anything except impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannot, I venture to say it, you cannot conquer America. Your armies in the last war effected everything that could be effected; and what was it? It cost a numerous army, under the command of a most able general, a long and laborious campaign, to expel five thousand Frenchmen from French America. My lords, you cannot conquer America.

What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done[Pg 173] nothing and suffered much. Besides the sufferings, perhaps total loss, of the northern force, the best-appointed army that ever took the field, commanded by Sir William Howe, has retired from the American lines. As to conquest, I repeat, it is impossible. You may swell every expense and every effort still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince; your efforts are forever vain and impotent—doubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms—never—never—never.

FOOTNOTE:

[28] Delivered in the House of Lords, Nov. 18, 1777.


II. ATTEMPT TO SUBJUGATE AMERICA

My lords, no man wishes for the due dependence of America on this country more than I do. To preserve it, and not confirm that state of independence into which your measures hitherto have driven them, is the object which we ought to unite in attaining. The Americans, contending for their rights against arbitrary exactions, I love and admire. It is the struggle of free and virtuous patriots. America was indeed the fountain of our wealth, the nerve of our strength, the nursery and basis of our naval power. It is our duty, therefore, my lords, if we wish to save our country, most seriously to endeavor the recovery of these most beneficial subjects; and in this perilous crisis, perhaps the present moment may be the only one in which we can hope for success.

I would impart to them every enjoyment and freedom which the colonizing subjects of a free state can possess, or[Pg 174] wish to possess; and I do not see why they should not enjoy every fundamental right in their property, and every original substantial liberty, which Devonshire or Surrey, or the county I live in, or any other county in England, can claim; reserving always as the sacred right of the mother country the due constitutional dependency of the colonies. The inherent supremacy of the state in regulating and protecting the navigation and commerce of all her subjects is necessary for the mutual benefit and preservation of every part, to constitute and preserve the prosperous arrangement of the whole empire.

You cannot conciliate America by your present measures. You cannot subdue her by your present, or by any measures. What, then, can you do? You cannot conquer, you cannot gain, but you can address; you can lull the fears and anxieties of the moment into an ignorance of the danger that should produce them. But, my lords, the time demands the language of truth. We must not now apply the flattering unction of servile compliance or blind complaisance. In a just and necessary war to maintain the rights or honor of my country, I would strip the shirt from my back to support it. But in such a war as this, unjust in principle, impracticable in its means, and ruinous in its consequences, I would not contribute a single effort, nor a single shilling. I do not call for vengeance on the heads of those who have been guilty; I only recommend to them to make their retreat; and let them make haste, or they may be assured that speedy and condign punishment will overtake them.

My lords, I have submitted to you, with the freedom and truth which I think my duty, my sentiments on this awful situation. I have laid before you the ruin of your power, the disgrace of your reputation, the pollution of your discipline, the contamination of your morals, the complication of calamities, foreign and domestic, that overwhelm your sinking country. Your dearest interests, your own liberties, the constitution itself, totters to the foundation. All this disgraceful danger, this[Pg 175] multitude of misery, is the monstrous offspring of this unnatural war. We have been deceived and deluded too long. Let us now stop short. This is the crisis, the only crisis of time and situation, to give us a possibility of escape from the fatal effects of our delusions. But if, in an obstinate and infatuated perseverance in folly, we slavishly echo the peremptory words this day presented to us, nothing can save this devoted country from complete and final ruin.

Is it possible, can it be believed, that ministers are yet blind to this impending destruction? I did hope that instead of this false and empty vanity, this overweening pride, that ministers would have humbled themselves in their errors, would have confessed and retracted them, and by an active though a late repentance, have endeavored to redeem them. But, my lords, since they had neither sagacity to foresee, nor justice nor humanity to shun, these oppressive calamities; since not even severe experience can make them feel, nor the imminent ruin of their country awaken them from their stupefaction, the guardian care of Parliament must interpose. I shall, therefore, my lords, propose an amendment to the address to his Majesty, to recommend an immediate cessation of hostilities and the commencement of a treaty to restore peace and liberty to America, strength and happiness to England, security and permanent prosperity to both countries.


VI. EDMUND BURKE

I. IMPEACHMENT OF HASTINGS[29]

My lords, you have now heard the principles on which Mr. Hastings governs the part of Asia subjected to the British empire. Here he has declared his opinion, that he is a despotic prince; that he is to use arbitrary power; and, of course, all his acts are covered with that shield. "I know," says he, "the[Pg 176] Constitution of Asia only from its practice." Will your lordships submit to hear the corrupt practices of mankind made the principles of Government?

He have arbitrary power! My lords, the East India Company have not arbitrary power to give him; the King has no arbitrary power to give him; your lordships have not; nor the Commons; nor the whole Legislature. We have no arbitrary power to give, because arbitrary power is a thing which neither any man can hold nor any man can give. No man can lawfully govern himself according to his own will, much less can one person be governed by the will of another. We are all born in subjection, all born equally, high and low, governors and governed, in subjection to one great, immutable, preëxistent law, prior to all our devices, and prior to all our contrivances, paramount to all our ideas, and all our sensations, antecedent to our very existence, by which we are knit and connected in the eternal frame of the universe, out of which we cannot stir.

This great law does not arise from our conventions or compacts; on the contrary, it gives to our conventions and compacts all the force and sanction they can have;—it does not arise from our vain institutions. Every good gift is of God; all power is of God;—and He, who has given the power, and from whom alone it originates, will never suffer the exercise of it to be practiced upon any less solid foundation than the power itself. If then all dominion of man over man is the effect of the divine disposition, it is bound by the eternal laws of Him that gave it, with which no human authority can dispense; neither he that exercises it, nor even those who are subject to it. And if they were mad enough to make an express compact that should release their magistrate from his duty, and should declare their lives, liberties, and properties dependent upon, not rules and laws, but his mere capricious will, that covenant would be void.

This arbitrary power is not to be had by conquest. Nor can[Pg 177] any sovereign have it by succession; for no man can succeed to fraud, rapine, and violence. Those who give and those who receive arbitrary power are alike criminal; and there is no man but is bound to resist it to the best of his power, wherever it shall show its face to the world. Law and arbitrary power are in eternal enmity. Name me a magistrate, and I will name property; name me power, and I will name protection. It is a contradiction in terms; it is blasphemy in religion, it is wickedness in politics, to say that any man can have arbitrary power. In every patent of office the duty is included. For what else does a magistrate exist? To suppose for power, is an absurdity in idea. Judges are guided and governed by the eternal laws of justice, to which we are all subject. We may bite our chains, if we will; but we shall be made to know ourselves, and be taught that man is born to be governed by law; and he that will substitute will in the place of it, is an enemy to God.

My lords, I do not mean to go further than just to remind your lordships of this,—that Mr. Hastings' government was one whole system of oppression, of robbery of individuals, of spoliation of the public, and of supersession of the whole system of the English Government, in order to vest in the worst of the natives all the power that could possibly exist in any government; in order to defeat the ends which all governments ought, in common, to have in view. In the name of the Commons of England, I charge all this villainy upon Warren Hastings in this last moment of my application to you.

My lords, what is it that we want here to a great act of national justice? Do we want a cause, my lords? You have the cause of oppressed princes, of desolated provinces, and of wasted kingdoms. Do you want a criminal, my lords? When was there so much iniquity ever laid to the charge of any one? No, my lords, you must not look to punish any other such delinquent from India. Warren Hastings has not left substance enough in India to nourish such another delinquent.

[Pg 178]Therefore, it is with confidence that, ordered by the Commons of Great Britain, I impeach Warren Hastings of high crimes and misdemeanors. I impeach him in the name of the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has abused. I impeach him in the name of the Commons of Great Britain, whose national character he has dishonored. I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose laws, rights and liberties he has subverted. I impeach him in the name of the people of India, whose property he has destroyed, whose country he has laid waste and desolate. I impeach him in the name of human nature itself, which he has cruelly outraged, injured and oppressed, in both sexes. And I impeach him in the name and by the virtue of those eternal laws of justice, which ought equally to pervade every age, condition, rank, and situation in the world.

FOOTNOTE:

[29] On the 15th of February, 1788, Edmund Burke began a four days' speech in the impeachment of Warren Hastings.


II. CONCILIATION WITH AMERICA[30]

Sir, I have in general no very exalted opinion of the virtue of paper government; nor of any politics in which the plan is to be wholly separated from the execution. But when I saw that anger and violence prevailed every day more and more, and that things were hastening towards an incurable alienation of our colonies, I confess my caution gave way. I felt this as one of those few moments in which decorum yields to a higher duty. Public calamity is a mighty leveler; and there are occasions when any chance of doing good must be laid hold on, even by the most inconsiderable person. To restore order and repose to an empire so great and so distracted as ours, is, merely in the attempt, an undertaking that would ennoble the flights of the highest genius, and obtain pardon for the efforts of the meanest understanding.

The proposition is peace. Not peace through the medium of[Pg 179] war; not peace to be hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations; not peace to arise out of universal discord fomented, from principle, in all parts of the empire. It is simple peace; sought in its natural course, and in its ordinary haunts. It is peace sought in the spirit of peace, and laid in principles purely pacific. I propose, by removing the ground of the difference, and by restoring the former unsuspecting confidence of the colonies in the Mother Country, to give permanent satisfaction to your people; and to reconcile them to each other in the same act and by the bond of the very same interest which reconciles them to British government.

The principle of this proceeding is large enough for my purpose. I mean to give peace. Peace implies reconciliation; and where there has been a material dispute, reconciliation does in a manner always imply concession on the one part or on the other. In this state of things I make no difficulty in affirming that the proposal ought to originate from us. Great and acknowledged force is not impaired, either in effect or in opinion, by an unwillingness to exert itself. The superior power may offer peace with honor and with safety. Such an offer from such a power will be attributed to magnanimity. But the concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear. When such an one is disarmed, he is wholly at the mercy of his superior; and he loses forever that time and those chances, which, as they happen to all men, are the strength and resources of all inferior power.

The leading questions on which you must this day decide, are these two: First, whether you ought to concede; and secondly, what your concession ought to be. On the first of these questions we have gained some ground. But I am sensible that a good deal more is still to be done. Indeed, Sir, to enable us to determine both on the one and the other of these great questions with a firm and precise judgment, I think it may be necessary to consider distinctly the true nature and the peculiar circum[Pg 180]stances of the object which we have before us; because after all our struggle, whether we will or not, we must govern America according to that nature and to those circumstances, and not according to our own imaginations, nor according to abstract ideas of right.

America, gentlemen say, is a noble object. It is an object well worth fighting for. Certainly it is, if fighting a people be the best way of gaining them. Gentlemen in this respect will be led to their choice of means by their complexions and their habits. Those who understand the military art will of course have some predilection for it. Those who wield the thunder of the state may have more confidence in the efficacy of arms. But I confess my opinion is much more in favor of prudent management than of force. The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment, but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed which is perpetually to be conquered.

My next objection is its uncertainty. Terror is not always the effect of force, and an armament is not a victory. If you do not succeed, you are without resource; for, conciliation failing, force remains; but, force failing, no further hope of reconciliation is left. Power and authority are sometimes bought by kindness; but they can never be begged as alms by an impoverished and defeated violence. Nothing less will content me than whole America. I do not choose to consume its strength along with our own, because in all parts it is the British strength that I consume. I do not choose to be caught by a foreign enemy at the end of this exhausting conflict; and still less in the midst of it. I may escape; but I can make no insurance against such an event. Let me add, that I do not choose to break the American spirit; because it is the spirit that has made the country.

In the character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole;[Pg 181] and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicanery, what they think the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people of the earth.

Sir, from these six sources—of descent, of form of government, of religion in the northern provinces, of manners in the southern, of education, of the remoteness of situation from the first mover of government—from all these causes a fierce spirit of liberty has grown up. It has grown with the growth of the people in your colonies, and increased with the increase of their wealth; a spirit that unhappily meeting with an exercise of power in England which, however lawful, is not reconcilable to any ideas of liberty, has kindled this flame that is ready to consume us.

I am much against any further experiments which tend to put to the proof any more of these allowed opinions which contribute so much to the public tranquillity. In effect, we suffer as much at home by this loosening of all ties, and this concussion of all established opinions, as we do abroad; for in order to prove that the Americans have no right to their liberties, we are every day endeavoring to subvert the maxims which preserve the whole spirit of our own. To prove that the Americans ought not to be free, we are obliged to depreciate the value of freedom itself; and we never seem to gain a paltry advantage over them in debate without attacking some of those principles, or deriding some of those feelings, for which our ancestors have shed their blood.

The temper and character which prevail in our colonies are, I am afraid, unalterable by any human art. We cannot, I fear, falsify the pedigree of this fierce people, and persuade them that they are not sprung from a nation in whose veins the blood of freedom circulates. The language in which they would hear[Pg 182] you tell them this tale would detect the imposition; your speech would betray you. An Englishman is the unfittest person on earth to argue another Englishman into slavery.

But let us suppose all these moral difficulties got over. The ocean remains. You cannot pump this dry; and as long as it continues in its present bed, so long all the causes which weaken authority by distance will continue. If, then, the removal of the causes of this spirit of American liberty be for the greater part, or rather entirely, impracticable; if the ideas of criminal process be inapplicable—or, if applicable, are in the highest degree inexpedient—what way yet remains? No way is open but to comply with the American spirit as necessary; or, if you please, to submit to it as a necessary evil.

FOOTNOTE:

[30] Delivered in the House of Commons, March 22, 1775.


III. ENGLISH PRIVILEGES IN AMERICA

Reflect, sirs, that when you have fixed a quota of taxation for every colony, you have not provided for prompt and punctual payment. You must make new Boston Port Bills, new restraining laws, new acts for dragging men to England for trial. You must send out new fleets, new armies. All is to begin again. From this day forward the empire is never to know an hour's tranquillity. An intestine fire will be kept alive in the bowels of the colonies, which one time or other must consume this whole empire.

Instead of a standing revenue, you will therefore have a perpetual quarrel. Indeed, the noble lord who proposed this project seems himself to be of that opinion. His project was rather designed for breaking the union of the colonies than for establishing a revenue. But whatever his views may be, as I propose the peace and union of the colonies as the very foundation of my plan, it cannot accord with one whose foundation is perpetual discord.

Compare the two. This I offer to give you is plain and simple; the other full of perplexed and intricate mazes. This is[Pg 183] mild; that harsh. This is found by experience effectual for its purposes; the other is a new project. This is universal; the other calculated for certain colonies only. This is immediate in its conciliatory operation; the other remote, contingent, full of hazard. Mine is what becomes the dignity of a ruling people—gratuitous, unconditional, and not held out as a matter of bargain and sale. I have done my duty in proposing it to you. I have indeed tired you by a long discourse; but this is the misfortune of those to whose influence nothing will be conceded, and who must win every inch of their ground by argument. You have heard me with goodness. May you decide with wisdom! For my part, I feel my mind greatly disburdened by what I have done to-day. I have been the less fearful of trying your patience, because, on this subject, I mean to spare it altogether in future. I have this comfort, that in every stage of the American affairs I have steadily opposed the measures that have produced the confusion, and may bring on the destruction, of this empire. I now go so far as to risk a proposal of my own. If I cannot give peace to my country, I give it to my conscience.

My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonists always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government,—they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that your government may be one thing, and their privileges another, that these two things may exist without any mutual relation, the cement is gone—the cohesion is loosened—and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the[Pg 184] chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have; the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you.

This is the commodity of price of which you have the monopoly. This is the true Act of Navigation which binds to you the commerce of the colonies, and through them secures to you the wealth of the world. Deny them this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally made, and must still preserve, the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, are what form the great securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your letters of office, and your instructions, are the things that hold together the great contexture of the mysterious whole. These things do not make your government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English Constitution which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivifies every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member. Is it not the same virtue which does everything for us here in England? It is the love of the people; it is the attachment to their government, from the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which gives you your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience without which your army would be a base rabble, and your navy nothing but rotten timber.

All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechanical politicians who have no place among us; a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and material, and who, there[Pg 185]fore, far from being qualified to be directors of the great movement of empire, are not fit to turn a wheel in the machine. But to men truly initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and master principles which, in the opinion of such men as I have mentioned, have no substantial existence, are in truth everything, and all in all. Magnanimity in politics is the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together. We ought to elevate our minds to the greatness of that trust to which the order of providence has called us. By adverting to the dignity of this high calling our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire, and have made the most extensive and the only honorable conquests—not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness, of the human race. Let us get an American revenue as we have got an American empire. English privileges have made it all that it is; English privileges alone will make it all it can be.


VII. DANIEL WEBSTER

I. BUNKER HILL MONUMENT

This uncounted multitude before me and around me proves the feeling which the occasion has excited. These thousands of human faces, glowing with sympathy and joy, and from the impulses of a common gratitude turned reverently to heaven in this spacious temple of the firmament, proclaim that the day, the place and the purpose of our assembling have made a deep impression on our hearts.

If, indeed, there be anything in local association fit to affect the mind of man, we need not strive to repress the emotions which agitate us here. We are among the sepulchers of our fathers. We are on ground, distinguished by their valor, their constancy and the shedding of their blood. We are here, not to fix an uncertain date in our annals, nor draw into notice an obscure and unknown spot. If our humble purpose had never been[Pg 186] conceived, if we ourselves had never been born, the 17th of June, 1775, would have been a day on which all subsequent history would have poured its light, and the eminence where we stand a point of attraction to the eyes of successive generations. But we are Americans. We live in what may be called the early age of this great continent; and we know that our posterity, through all time, are here to enjoy and suffer the allotments of humanity. We see before us a probable train of great events; we know that our own fortunes have been happily cast; and it is natural, therefore, that we should be moved by the contemplation of occurrences which have guided our destiny before many of us were born, and settled the condition in which we should pass that portion of our existence which God allows to men on earth.

But the great event in the history of the continent, which we are now met here to commemorate, that prodigy of modern times, at once the wonder and the blessing of the world, is the American Revolution. In a day of extraordinary prosperity and happiness, of high national honor, distinction, and power, we are brought together, in this place, by our love of country, by our admiration of exalted character, by our gratitude for signal services and patriotic devotion.

The Society whose organ I am was formed for the purpose of rearing some honorable and durable monument to the memory of the early friends of American Independence. They have thought, that for this object no time could be more propitious than the present prosperous and peaceful period; that no place could claim preference over this memorable spot; and that no day could be more auspicious to the undertaking, than the anniversary of the battle which was here fought. The foundation of that monument we have now laid. With solemnities suited to the occasion, with prayers to Almighty God for his blessing, and in the midst of this cloud of witnesses, we have begun the work. We trust it will be prosecuted, and[Pg 187] that, springing from a broad foundation, rising high in massive solidity and unadorned grandeur, it may remain as long as heaven permits the works of man to last, a fit emblem, both of the events in memory of which it is raised, and of the gratitude of those who have reared it.

We know, indeed, that the record of illustrious actions is most safely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know, that if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surfaces could still contain but part of that which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the earth, and which history charges itself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription on entablatures less broad than the earth itself can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone; and that no structure, which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men, can prolong the memorial. But our object is, by this edifice, to show our own deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and, by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a constant regard for the principles of the Revolution. Human beings are composed, not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart.

Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate national hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon it forever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of that unmeasured benefit which has been conferred on our own land, and of the happy influences which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests[Pg 188] of mankind. We come, as Americans, to mark a spot which must forever be dear to us and our posterity. We wish that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his eye hither, may behold that the place is not undistinguished where the first great battle of the Revolution was fought. We wish that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of that event to every class and every age. We wish that infancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the recollections which it suggests. We wish that labor may look up here, and be proud, in the midst of its toil. We wish that, in those days of disaster, which, as they come upon all nations, must be expected to come upon us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hitherward, and be assured that the foundations of our national power are still strong. We wish that this column, rising towards heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may contribute also to produce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally, that the last object to the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden him who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and glory of his country. Let it rise! let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of the morning gild it, and parting day linger and play on its summit.[31]

FOOTNOTE:

[31] This and the following extract taken from an address delivered at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1825.


II. REVOLUTIONARY PATRIOTS

Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives, that you might behold this joyous day. You are now where you stood fifty years ago, this very hour, with your brothers and your neighbors, shoulder to shoulder, in the strife[Pg 189] for your country. Behold, how altered! The same heavens are indeed over your heads; the same ocean rolls at your feet; but all else how changed! You hear now no roar of hostile cannon, you see no mixed volumes of smoke and flame rising from burning Charlestown. The ground strewed with the dead and the dying; the impetuous charge; the steady and successful repulse; the loud call to repeated assault; the summoning of all that is manly to repeated resistance; a thousand bosoms freely and fearlessly bared in an instant to whatever of terror there may be in war and death;—all these you have witnessed, but you witness them no more. All is peace. The heights of yonder metropolis, its towers and roofs, which you then saw filled with wives and children and countrymen in distress and terror, and looking with unutterable emotions for the issue of the combat, have presented you to-day with the sight of the whole happy population, come out to welcome and greet you with a universal jubilee. Yonder proud ships, by a felicity of position appropriately lying at the foot of this mount, and seeming fondly to cling around it, are not means of annoyance to you, but your country's own means of distinction and defense. All is peace; and God has granted you this sight of your country's happiness, ere you slumber in the grave. He has allowed you to behold and to partake the reward of your patriotic toils; and he has allowed us, your sons and countrymen, to meet you here, and in the name of the present generation, in the name of your country, in the name of liberty, to thank you!

But, alas! you are not all here! Time and the sword have thinned your ranks. Prescott, Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, Pomeroy, Bridge! our eyes seek for you in vain amid this broken band. You are gathered to your fathers, and live only to your own country in her grateful remembrance and your own bright example. But let us not too much grieve, that you have met the common fate of men. You lived at least long enough to know that your work had been nobly and successfully[Pg 190] accomplished. You lived to see your country's independence established, and to sheathe your swords from war. On the light of Liberty you saw arise the light of peace, like

"another morn,
Risen on mid-noon;"

and the sky on which you closed your eyes was cloudless.

But, ah! Him! the first great martyr in this great cause! Him! the premature victim of his own self-devoting heart! Him! the head of our civil councils, and the destined leader of our military bands, whom nothing brought hither but the unquenchable fire of his own spirit! Him! cut off by Providence in the hour of overwhelming anxiety and thick gloom; falling ere he saw the star of his country rise; pouring out his generous blood like water, before he knew whether it would fertilize a land of freedom or of bondage!—how shall I struggle with the emotions that stifle the utterance of thy name! Our poor work may perish; but thine shall endure! This monument may molder away; the solid ground it rests upon may sink down to a level with the sea; but thy memory shall not fail! Wheresoever among men a heart shall be found that beats to the transports of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations shall be to claim kindred with thy spirit.

Veterans! you are the remnant of many a well-fought field. You bring with you marks of honor from Trenton and Monmouth, from Yorktown, Camden, Bennington, and Saratoga. Veterans of half a century! when in your youthful days you put everything at hazard in your country's cause, good as that cause was, and sanguine as youth is, still your fondest hopes did not stretch onward to an hour like this! At a period to which you could not reasonably have expected to arrive, at a moment of national prosperity such as you could never have foreseen, you are now met here to enjoy the fellowship of old soldiers, and to receive the overflowings of a universal gratitude.[Pg 191]

But your agitated countenances and your heaving breasts inform me that even this is not an unmixed joy. I perceive that a tumult of contending feelings rushes upon you. The images of the dead, as well as the persons of the living, present themselves before you. The scene overwhelms you, and I turn from it. May the Father of all mercies smile upon your declining years, and bless them! And when you shall here have exchanged your embraces, when you shall once more have pressed the hands which have been so often extended to give succor in adversity, or grasped in the exultation of victory, then look abroad upon this lovely land which your young valor defended, and mark the happiness with which it is filled; yea, look abroad upon the whole earth, and see what a name you have contributed to give your country, and what a praise you have added to freedom, and then rejoice in the sympathy and gratitude which beam upon your last days from the improved condition of mankind!


III. CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON[32]

America has furnished to the world the character of Washington! And if our American institutions had done nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind. Washington! "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen!" Washington is all our own! The enthusiastic veneration and regard in which the people of the United States hold him, prove them to be worthy of such a countryman; while his reputation abroad reflects the highest honor on his country. I would cheerfully put the question to-day to the intelligence of Europe and the world, what character of the century, upon the whole, stands out in the relief of history, most pure, most respectable, most sublime; and I doubt not, that, by a suffrage approaching to unanimity, the answer would be Washington![Pg 192]

The structure now standing before us, by its uprightness, its solidity, its durability, is no unfit emblem of his character. His public virtues and public principles were as firm as the earth on which it stands; his personal motives, as pure as the serene heaven in which its summit is lost. But, indeed, though a fit, it is an inadequate emblem. Towering high above the column which our hands have builded, beheld, not by the inhabitants of a single city or a single State, but by all the families of man, ascends the colossal grandeur of the character and life of Washington. In all the constituents of the one, in all the acts of the other, in all its titles to immortal love, admiration, and renown, it is an American production. It is the embodiment and vindication of our transatlantic liberty. Born upon our soil, of parents also born upon it; never for a moment having had sight of the Old World; instructed, according to the modes of his time, only in the spare, plain, but wholesome elementary knowledge which our institutions provide for the children of the people; growing up beneath and penetrated by the genuine influences of American society; living from infancy to manhood and age amidst our expanding, but not luxurious civilization; partaking in our great destiny of labor, our long contest with unreclaimed nature and uncivilized man, our agony of glory, the war of Independence, our great victory of peace, the formation of the Union, and the establishment of the Constitution,—he is all, all our own! Washington is ours.

I claim him for America. In all the perils, in every darkened moment of the state, in the midst of the reproaches of enemies and the misgivings of friends, I turn to that transcendent name for courage and for consolation. To him who denies or doubts whether our fervid liberty can be combined with law, with order, with the security of property, with the pursuits and advancement of happiness; to him who denies that our forms of government are capable of producing exaltation of soul, and the passion of true glory; to him who denies[Pg 193] that we have contributed anything to the stock of great lessons and great examples;—to all these I reply by pointing to Washington!

FOOTNOTE:

[32] From the Second Bunker Hill Oration, delivered June 17, 1843.


SIX GREAT TRIUMPHS IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN ORATORY

The selections under this division are taken from speeches which represent six of the greatest victories in the history of American eloquence: (1) Patrick Henry before the Virginia Convention, (2) Alexander Hamilton before the New York Convention, (3) Daniel Webster in Reply to Hayne in the Senate, (4) Wendell Phillips on the Murder of Lovejoy, (5) Abraham Lincoln in his debates with Douglas, and (6) Henry Ward Beecher in his speeches in England in defence of the American Union.


I. THE CALL TO ARMS

Patrick Henry

This speech was delivered March 20, 1775, in the Virginia Convention. Although the measures he advocated sent a shock of consternation through the conservative assembly and caused them to oppose the resolutions with all their power, yet all objections were swept away and the measures were adopted.

Mr. President, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who having eyes see not, and having ears hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And, judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentle[Pg 194]men have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love?

Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation, the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy in this quarter of the world to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us. They can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm that is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have[Pg 195] produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned with contempt from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary; but when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature hath placed in our power.

Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston![Pg 196] The war is inevitable, and let it come! I repeat, it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, peace! but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


II. COERCION OF DELINQUENT STATES

Alexander Hamilton

In the summer of 1788 the New York Convention assembled at Poughkeepsie to consider the question of the ratification of the Constitution of the United States. Forty-six of the sixty-five delegates at first stoutly opposed ratification. Hamilton in a series of speeches upheld the Constitution, and when the vote was taken a majority of three sustained his position. The following is an extract from one of those speeches:

The honorable member who spoke yesterday went into an explanation of a variety of circumstances, to prove the expediency of a change in our National Government, and the necessity of a firm Union. At the same time he described the great advantages which this state, in particular, receives from the Confederacy, and its peculiar weaknesses when abstracted from the Union. In doing this he advanced a variety of arguments which deserve serious consideration.

Sir, it appears to me extraordinary, that while the gentlemen in one breath acknowledge that the old Confederation requires many material amendments, they should in the next deny that its defects have been the cause of our political weakness and the consequent calamities of our country. We con[Pg 197]tend that the radical vice in the old Confederation is that the laws of the Union apply only to States in their corporate capacity. Has not every man who has been in our Legislature experienced the truth of this position? It is inseparable from the disposition of bodies who have a constitutional power of resistance to examine the merits of a law. The States have almost uniformly weighed the requisitions by their own local interests, and have only executed them so far as answered their particular convenience or advantage. Hence there have ever been thirteen different bodies to judge of the measures of Congress, and the operations of Government have been distracted by their taking different courses. Those which were to be benefited have complied with the requisitions; others have totally disregarded them. Have not all of us been witnesses to the unhappy embarrassments which resulted from these proceedings? Even during the late war, while the pressure of common danger connected strongly the bond of our union, and incited to vigorous exertion, we have felt many distressing effects of the important system. How have we seen this State, though most exposed to the calamities of the war, complying in an unexampled manner with the federal requisitions, and compelled by the delinquency of others to bear most unusual burdens! Our misfortunes in a great degree proceeded from the want of vigor in the Continental Government.

From the delinquency of those States which have suffered little by the war, we naturally conclude that they have made no efforts; and a knowledge of human nature will teach us that their ease and security have been a principal cause of their want of exertion. While danger is distant its impression is weak, and while it affects only our neighbors we have few motives to provide against it. Sir, if we have national objects to pursue we must have national revenues. If you make requisitions and they are not complied with what is to be done? It has been observed to coerce the States is one of the maddest[Pg 198] projects that was ever devised. A failure of compliance will never be confined to a single State. This being the case can we suppose it wise to hazard a civil war? Suppose Massachusetts, or any large State, should refuse and Congress should attempt to compel them, would they not have influence to procure assistance, especially from those States which are in the same situation as themselves? What picture does this idea present to our view? A complying State at war with a non-complying State; Congress marching the troops of one State into the bosom of another; this State collecting auxiliaries and forming, perhaps, a majority against its federal head. Here is a nation at war with itself. Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself—a government that can exist only by the sword? Every such war must involve the innocent with the guilty. This single consideration should be sufficient to dispose every peaceable citizen against such a government.

But can we believe that one State will ever suffer itself to be used as an instrument of coercion? The thing is a dream; it is impossible. Then we are brought to this dilemma—either a federal standing army is to enforce the requisitions, or the federal treasury is left without supplies, and the Government without support. What, sir, is the cure for this great evil? Nothing, but to enable the national laws to operate on individuals in the same manner as those of the States do. This is the true reasoning upon the subject, sir. The gentlemen appear to acknowledge its force; and yet, while they yield to the principle, they seem to fear its application to the government.

What, then, shall we do? Shall we take the old Confederation as a basis of a new system? Can this be the object of the gentlemen? Certainly not. Will any man who entertains a wish for the safety of his country trust the sword and purse with a single assembly organized on principles so defective,[Pg 199] so rotten? Though we might give to such a government certain powers with safety, yet to give them the full and unlimited powers of taxation and the national forces would be to establish a despotism, the definition of which is, a government in which all power is concentrated in a single body. To take the old Confederation and fashion it upon these principles would be establishing a power which would destroy the liberties of the people. These considerations show clearly that a government totally different must be instituted. They had weight in the convention who formed the new system. It was seen that the necessary powers were too great to be trusted to a single body; they therefore formed two branches and divided the powers that each might be a check upon the other. This was the result of their wisdom and I presume every reasonable man will agree to it. The more this subject is explained the more clear and convincing it will appear to every member of this body. The fundamental principle of the old Confederation is defective; we must totally eradicate and discard this principle before we can expect an efficient government.


III. THE REPLY TO HAYNE

Daniel Webster

This speech was delivered in the Senate, January 26, 1830. The doctrine of Nullification and State Rights had been set forth with great zeal and ability by Senator Hayne of South Carolina. The arguments were overthrown by the masterly speech of Webster.

If anything be found in the national Constitution, either by original provision or subsequent interpretation, which ought not to be in it, the people know how to get rid of it. If any construction unacceptable to them be established, so as to become practically a part of the Constitution, they will amend it at their own sovereign pleasure. But while the people choose to maintain it as it is, while they are satisfied with it, and refuse to change it, who has given, or who can give, to the State[Pg 200] legislatures a right to alter it either by interference, construction, or otherwise? Gentlemen do not seem to recollect that the people have any power to do anything for themselves. They imagine there is no safety for them, any longer than they are under the close guardianship of the State legislatures. Sir, the people have not trusted their safety, in regard to the general Constitution, to these hands. They have required other security, and taken other bonds.

They have chosen to trust themselves, first, to the plain words of the instrument, and to such construction as the government itself, in doubtful cases, should put on its own powers, under its oaths of office, and subject to its responsibility to them; just as the people of a State trust their own State governments with a similar power. Secondly, they have reposed their trust in the efficacy of frequent elections, and in their own power to remove their own servants and agents whenever they see cause. Thirdly, they have reposed trust in the judicial power, which, in order that it might be trustworthy, they have made as respectable, as disinterested, and as independent as was practicable. Fourthly, they have seen fit to rely, in case of necessity or high expediency, on their known and admitted power to alter or amend the Constitution peaceably and quietly, whenever experience shall point out defects or imperfections. And, finally, the people of the United States have at no time, in no way, directly or indirectly, authorized any State legislature to construe or interpret their high instrument of government; much less to interfere by their own power to arrest its course and operation.

I have thus stated the reasons of my dissent to the doctrines which have been advanced and maintained. I am conscious of having detained you and the Senate much too long. I was drawn into the debate with no previous deliberation, such as is suited to the discussion of so grave and important a subject. But it is a subject of which my heart is full, and I have not[Pg 201] been willing to suppress the utterance of its spontaneous sentiments. I cannot, even now, persuade myself to relinquish it, without expressing once more my deep conviction that, since it respects nothing less than the union of the states, it is of most vital and essential importance to public happiness.

I profess, sir, in my career hitherto to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our Federal Union. It is to that Union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that Union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That Union we reached only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit. Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us all a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness.

I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the Union to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counsellor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the Union should be best preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people when it shall be broken up and destroyed.

While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying[Pg 202] prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day at least, that curtain may not rise! God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind! When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the Sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the Earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured; bearing for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as, "What is all this worth?" nor those other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first, and Union afterwards;" but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart,—Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!


IV. THE MURDER OF LOVEJOY

Wendell Phillips

On November 7, 1837, Elijah P. Lovejoy, an anti-slavery editor, was shot by a mob at Alton, Ill., while defending his printing-press from destruction. Prominent citizens of Boston called a meeting, on December 8, to condemn the act of the mob. The Attorney-General of Massachusetts opposed the resolutions of condemnation, defended the mob, and declared that "Lovejoy died as the fool dieth." Wendell Phillips said to a friend, "Such a speech made in Faneuil Hall must be answered in Faneuil Hall." He made his way to the platform and spoke in part as follows:

Mr. Chairman, We have met for the freest discussion of these resolutions, and the events which gave rise to them. I hope I shall be permitted to express my surprise at the senti[Pg 203]ments of the last speaker, surprise not only at such sentiments from such a man, but at the applause they have received within these walls. A comparison has been drawn between the events of the Revolution and the tragedy at Alton. We have heard it asserted here, in Faneuil Hall, that Great Britain had a right to tax the colonies, and we have heard the mob at Alton, the drunken murderers of Lovejoy, compared to those patriot fathers who threw the tea overboard. Fellow-citizens, is this Fanueil Hall doctrine? The mob at Alton were met to wrest from a citizen his just rights, met to resist the laws. We have been told that our fathers did the same, and the glorious mantle of Revolutionary precedent has been thrown over the mobs of our day. To make out their title to such defense the gentleman says that the British Parliament had a right to tax these colonies. It is manifest that without this his parallel falls to the ground, for Lovejoy had stationed himself within constitutional bulwarks. He was not only defending the freedom of the press, but he was under his own roof in arms with the sanction of the civil authority. The men who assailed him went against and over the laws. The mob as the gentleman terms it,—mob, forsooth! certainly we sons of the tea spillers are a marvelously patient generation!—the "orderly mob" which assembled in the Old South to destroy the tea were met to resist, not the laws,—but illegal exactions. Shame on the American who calls the tea-tax and stamp-act laws! Our fathers resisted, not the king's prerogative, but the king's usurpation. To find any other account, you must read our Revolutionary history upside down. Our State archives are loaded with arguments of John Adams to prove the taxes laid by the British Parliament unconstitutional, beyond its power. It was not till this was made out that the men of New England rushed to arms.

The arguments of the Council Chamber and the House of Representatives preceded and sanctioned the contest. To[Pg 204] draw the argument of our ancestors into a precedent for mobs, for a right to resist laws we ourselves have enacted, is an insult to their memory. The difference between the excitements of those days and our own, which the gentleman in kindness to the latter has overlooked, is simply this: the men of our day went for the right as secured by the laws. They were the people rising to sustain the laws and constitution of the Province. The rioters of our day go for their own wills, right or wrong. Sir, when I heard the gentleman lay down principles which place the murderers of Alton side by side with Otis and Hancock, with Quincy and Adams, I thought those pictured lips[33] would have broken into voice to rebuke the recreant American, the slanderer of the dead. The gentleman said that he should sink into insignificance if he dared to gainsay the principles of these resolutions. Sir, for the sentiments he has uttered on soil consecrated by the prayers of Puritans and the blood of patriots, the earth should have yawned and swallowed him up.

The gentleman says Lovejoy was presumptuous and imprudent, he "died as the fool dieth." And a reverend clergyman of the city tells us that no citizen has a right to publish opinions disagreeable to the community! If any mob follows such publication on him rests the guilt. He must wait forsooth till the people come up to it and agree with him. This libel on liberty goes on to say that the want of right to speak as we think is an evil inseparable from republican institutions. If this be so what are they worth? Welcome the despotism of the Sultan where one knows what he may publish and what he may not, rather than the tyranny of this many-headed monster the mob, where we know not what we may do or say till some fellow-citizen has tried it and paid for the lesson with his life. This clerical absurdity chooses as a check for the abuses of the press, not the law but the dread of the mob. By so doing it deprives not only the individual and the minority of their[Pg 205] rights, but the majority also, since the expression of their opinion may sometimes provoke disturbance from the minority. A few men may make a mob as well as many. The majority then have no right as Christian men, to utter their sentiments if by any possibility it may lead to a mob. Shades of Hugh Peters and John Cotton, save us from such pulpits!

Imprudent to defend the liberty of the press! Why? Because the defense was unsuccessful? Does success gild crime into patriotism, and the want of it change heroic self-devotion into imprudence? Was Hampden imprudent when he drew the sword and threw away the scabbard? Yet he, judged by that single hour, was unsuccessful. After a short exile the race he hated sat again upon the throne.

Imagine yourself present when the first news of Bunker Hill battle reached a New England town. The tale would have run thus, "The patriots are routed, the redcoats victorious, Warren lies dead upon the field." With what scorn would that Tory have been received who should have charged Warren with imprudence, who should have said that, bred as a physician, he was "out of place" in the battle, and "died as the fool dieth!" How would the intimation have been received that Warren and his associates should have waited a better time?

Presumptuous to assert the freedom of the press on American ground! Is the assertion of such freedom before the age? So much before the age as to leave one no right to make it because it displeases the community? Who invents this libel on his country? It is this very thing that entitles Lovejoy to greater praise. The disputed right which provoked the revolution—taxation without representation—is far beneath that for which he died. As much as thought is better than money, so much is the cause in which Lovejoy died nobler than a mere question of taxes. James Otis thundered in this hall when the king did but touch his pocket. Imagine if you can his indignant eloquence had England offered to put a gag upon his lips.

FOOTNOTE:

[33] Phillips points to portraits in the hall.


[Pg 206]

V. THE SLAVERY ISSUE

Abraham Lincoln

An extract from a speech delivered at Alton, Ill., October 15, 1858. It is taken from one of a series of seven speeches delivered in joint debate with Douglas in the Senatorial campaign in Illinois. Lincoln lost the Senatorship but won the Presidency by this series of speeches.

Fellow-citizens, I have not only made the declaration that I do not mean to produce a conflict between the states, but I have tried to show by fair reasoning that I propose nothing but what has a most peaceful tendency. The quotation that "a house divided against itself cannot stand," and which has proved so offensive to Judge Douglas, was part of the same thing. He tries to show that variety in the domestic institutions of the different states is necessary and indispensable. I do not dispute it. I very readily agree with him that it would be foolish for us to insist upon having a cranberry law here in Illinois where we have no cranberries, because they have a cranberry law in Indiana where they have cranberries. I should insist that it would be exceedingly wrong in us to deny to Virginia the right to enact oyster laws, where they have oysters, because we want no such laws here. If we here raise a barrel of flour more than we want and the Louisianians raise a barrel of sugar more than they want, it is of mutual advantage to exchange. That produces commerce, brings us together and makes us better friends. These mutual accommodations bind together the different parts of this Union. Instead of being a thing to "divide the house" they tend to sustain it, they are the props of the house tending always to hold it up.

But is it true that all the difficulty and agitation we have in regard to this institution of slavery springs from office seeking, from the mere ambition of politicians? Is that the truth? How many times have we had danger from this question? Go back to the days of the Missouri Compromise. Go back to the Nullification question, at the bottom of which lay this same[Pg 207] slavery question. Go back to the time of the annexation of Texas. Go back to the troubles that led to the Compromise of 1850. You will find that every time, with the single exception of the Nullification question, they sprung from an endeavor to spread this institution. There never was a party in the history of this country, and there probably never will be, of sufficient strength to disturb the general peace of the country. Parties themselves may be divided and quarrel on minor questions. Yet it extends not beyond the parties themselves.

The Judge alludes very often in the course of his remarks to the exclusive right which the states have to decide for themselves. I agree with him very readily that the different states have the right. Our controversy with him is in regard to the new territories. We agree that when the states come in as states they have the right and the power to do as they please. We have no power as citizens of the free states or in our federal capacity as members of the federal Union through the general government to disturb slavery in the states where it exists. What I insist upon is that the new territories shall be kept free from it while in the territorial condition. Judge Douglas assumes that we have no interest in them, that we have no right whatever to interfere. I think we have some interest. I think that as white men we have. Do we not wish for an outlet for our surplus population, if I may so express myself? Do we not feel an interest in getting to that outlet with such institutions as we would like to have prevail there? If you go to the territory opposed to slavery and another man comes to the same ground with his slave, upon the assumption that the things are equal, it turns out that he has the equal right all his way and you have no part of it your way.

The real issue in this controversy is the sentiment on the part of one class that looks upon the institution of slavery as a wrong, and of another class that does not look upon it as wrong. It is the sentiment around which all their actions, all[Pg 208] their arguments circle, from which all their propositions radiate. They look upon it as being a moral, social, and political wrong. Has anything ever threatened the existence of this Union save this very institution of slavery? What is it that we hold most dear amongst us? Our own liberty and prosperity. What has ever threatened our liberty and prosperity except this institution of slavery? If this be true, how do you propose to improve the condition of things by enlarging it? You may have a cancer upon your person and not be able to cut it out lest you bleed to death, but surely it is no way to cure it to graft it and spread it over your body. That is no proper way of treating what you regard as wrong.

That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself are silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other is the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn bread and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.


VI. MORAL ASPECT OF THE AMERICAN WAR

Henry Ward Beecher

Taken from a speech delivered in London, October 20, 1863. In a series of five speeches in order at Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and London, Henry Ward Beecher changed the attitude of the English nation from one of open hostility to the Union to neutrality and even to favor. It is doubtful if there ever was a greater triumph in the history of eloquence.

[Pg 209]

This war began by the act of the South, firing at the old flag that had covered both sections with glory and protection. The attack made upon us was under circumstances which inflicted immediate humiliation and threatened us with final subjugation. The Southerners held all the keys of the country. They had robbed our arsenals. They had made our treasury bankrupt. They had possession of the most important offices in the army and navy. They had the advantage of having long anticipated and prepared for the conflict. We knew not whom to trust. One man failed and another man failed. Men, pensioned by the Government, lived on the salary of the Government only to have better opportunity to stab and betray it. And for the North to have lain down like a spaniel, to have given up the land that every child in America is taught, as every child in Britain is taught, to regard as his sacred right and his trust, to have given up the mouths of our own rivers and our mountain citadels without a blow, would have marked the North in all future history as craven and mean.

Second, the honor and safety of that grand experiment, self-government by free institutions, demanded that so flagitious a violation of the first principles of legality should not carry off impunity and reward, thereafter enabling the minority in every party conflict to turn and say to the majority, "If you don't give us our way we will make war." Oh, Englishmen, would you let a minority dictate in such a way to you? The principle thus introduced would literally have no end, would carry the nation back to its original elements of isolated states. Nor is there any reason why it should stop with states. If every treaty may be overthrown by which states have been settled into a nation, what form of political union may not on like grounds be severed? There is the same force in the doctrine of secession in the application of counties as in the application to states, and if it be right for a state or a county to secede, it is equally right for a town or a city. This doc[Pg 210]trine of secession is a huge revolving millstone that grinds the national life to powder. It is anarchy in velvet, and national destruction clothed in soft phrases. No people with patriotism and honor will give up territory without a struggle for it. Would you give it up? It is said that the states are owners of their territory! It is theirs to use not theirs to run away with. We have equal right with them to enter it. I would like to ask those English gentlemen who hold that it is right for a state to secede when it pleases, how they would like it if the county of Kent would try the experiment. The men who cry out for secession of the Southern States in America would say, "Kent seceding? Ah, circumstances alter cases."

One more reason why we will not let this people go is because we do not want to become a military people. A great many say America is becoming too strong, she is dangerous to the peace of the world. But if you permit or favor this division, the South becomes a military nation and the North is compelled to become a military nation. Along a line of 1500 miles she must have forts and men to garrison them. Now any nation that has a large standing army is in great danger of losing its liberties. Before this war the legal size of the national army was 25,000. If the country were divided then we should have two great military nations taking its place. And if America by this ill-advised disruption is forced to have a standing army, like a boy with a knife she will always want to whittle with it. It is the interest then of the world, that the nation should be united, and that it should be under the control of that part of America that has always been for peace.

The religious minded among our people feel that in the territory committed to us there is a high and solemn trust, a national trust. We are taught that in some sense the world itself is a field, and every Christian nation acknowledges a certain responsibility for the moral condition of the globe. But[Pg 211] how much nearer does it come when it is one's own country! And the church of America is coming to feel more and more that God gave us this country not merely for material aggrandizement, but for a glorious triumph of the church of Christ. Therefore we undertook to rid the territory of slavery. Since slavery has divested itself of its municipal protection and has become a declared public enemy, it is our duty to strike down slavery which would blight this territory. These truths are not exaggerated, they are diminished rather than magnified in my statement, and you cannot tell how powerfully they are influencing us unless you are standing in our midst in America; you cannot understand how firm that national feeling is which God has bred in the North on this subject. It is deeper than the sea, it is firmer than the hills, it is serene as the sky over our head where God dwells.

We believe that the war is a test of our institutions, that it is a life-and-death struggle between the two principles of liberty and slavery, that it is the cause of the common people the world over. We believe that every struggling nationality on the globe will be stronger if we conquer this odious oligarchy of slavery and that every oppressed people in the world will be weaker if we fail. The sober American regards the war as part of that awful yet glorious struggle which has been going on for hundreds of years in every nation between right and wrong, between virtue and vice, between liberty and despotism, between freedom and bondage. It carries with it the whole future condition of our vast continent, its laws, its policy, its fate. And standing in view of these tremendous realities we have consecrated all that we have, our children, our wealth, our national strength, and we lay them all on the altar and say, "It is better that they should all perish than that the North should falter and betray this trust of God, this hope of the oppressed, this western civilization." If we say this of ourselves, shall we say less of the slave-holders? If we are willing[Pg 212] to do these things, shall we say, "Stop the war for their sakes!" If we say this of ourselves, shall we have more pity for the rebellious, for slavery seeking to blacken a continent with its awful evil, desecrating the social phrase, "National Independence," by seeking only an independence that shall enable them to treat four millions of human beings as chattels? Shall we be tenderer over them than over ourselves? Standing by my cradle, standing by my hearth, standing by the altar of the church, standing by all the places that mark the name and memory of heroic men who poured out their lives for principle, I declare that in ten or twenty years of war we will sacrifice everything we have for principle. If the love of popular liberty is dead in Great Britain you will not understand us, but if the love of liberty lives as it once lived, and has worthy successors of those renowned men that were our ancestors as much as yours, and whose example and principles we inherit as so much seed corn in a new and fertile land, then you will understand our firm invincible determination to fight this war through at all hazards and at every cost.


ABOLITION OF WAR[34]

Charles Sumner

Can there be in our age any peace that is not honorable, any war that is not dishonorable? The true honor of a nation is conspicuous only in deeds of justice and beneficence, securing and advancing human happiness. In the clear eye of that Christian judgment which must yet prevail, vain are the victories of war, infamous its spoils. He is the benefactor, and worthy of honor, who carries comfort to wretchedness, dries the tear of sorrow, relieves the unfortunate, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, does justice, enlightens the ignorant, un[Pg 213]fastens the fetters of the slave, and finally, by virtuous genius, in art, literature, science, enlivens and exalts the hours of life, or by generous example, inspires a love for God and man. This is the Christian hero; this is the man of honor in a Christian land. He is no benefactor, nor worthy of honor, whatever his worldly renown, whose life is absorbed in feats of brute force, who renounces the great law of Christian brotherhood, whose vocation is blood.

Fellow-citizens, this criminal and impious custom of war, which all condemn in the case of individuals, is openly avowed by our own country, and by other countries of the great Christian Federation, nay, that it is expressly established by international law, as the proper mode of determining justice between nations,—while the feats of hardihood by which it is waged, and the triumphs of its fields, are exalted beyond all other labors, whether of learning, industry, or benevolence, as the wellspring of glory. Alas! upon our own heads be the judgment of barbarism which we pronounce upon those who have gone before!

Who has taught you, O man! thus to find glory in an act, performed by a nation, which you condemn as a crime or a barbarism, when committed by an individual? In what vain conceit of wisdom and virtue do you find this incongruous morality? Where is it declared that God, who is no respecter of persons, is a respecter of multitudes? Whence do you draw these partial laws of an impartial God? Man is immortal; but nations are mortal. Man has a higher destiny than nations. Can nations be less amenable to the supreme moral law? Each individual is an atom of the mass. Must not the mass, in its conscience, be like the individuals of which it is composed? Shall the mass, in relation with other masses, do what individuals in relation with each other may not do? As in the physical creation, so in the moral, there is but one rule for the individual and the mass. It was the lofty discovery of Newton, that the[Pg 214] simple law which determines the fall of an apple prevails everywhere throughout the universe, reaching from earth to heaven, and controlling the infinite motions of the spheres. So, with equal scope, another simple law, the law of right, which binds the individual, binds also two or three when gathered together, binds conventions and congregations of men, binds villages, towns, and cities, binds states, nations, and races, clasps the whole human family in its embrace, and binds in self-imposed bonds, a just and omnipotent God.

Stripped of all delusive apology and tried by that comprehensive law under which nations are set to the bar like common men, war falls from glory into barbarous guilt, taking its place among bloody transgressions, while its flaming honors are turned into shame. Painful to existing prejudice as this may be, we must learn to abhor it, as we abhor similar transgressions by vulgar offenders. Every word of reprobation which the enlightened conscience now fastens upon the savage combatant in trial by battle, or which it applies to the unhappy being who in murderous duel takes the life of his fellow-man, belongs also to the nation that appeals to war. Amidst the thunders of Sinai God declared, "Thou shalt not kill"; and the voice of these thunders, with this commandment, is prolonged to our own day in the echoes of Christian churches. What mortal shall restrict the application of these words? Who on earth is empowered to vary or abridge the commandments of God? Who shall presume to declare that this injunction was directed, not to nations, but to individuals only; not to many, but to one only; that one man shall not kill but that many may; that one man shall not slay in duel, but that a nation may slay a multitude in the duel of war; that each individual is forbidden to destroy the life of a single human being, but that a nation is not forbidden to cut off by the sword a whole people? We are struck with horror and our hair stands on end, at the report of a single murder; we think of the soul hurried to final account; we hunt[Pg 215] the murderer; and Government puts forth its energies to secure his punishment. Viewed in the unclouded light of truth, what is war but organized murder, murder of malice aforethought, in cold blood, under sanction of impious law, through the operation of extensive machinery of crime, with innumerable hands, at incalculable cost of money, by subtle contrivances of cunning and skill, or amidst the fiendish atrocities of the savage, brutal assault. The outrages, which, under most solemn sanction, it permits and invokes for professed purposes of justice, cannot be authorized by any human power; and they must rise in overwhelming judgment, not only against those who wield the weapons of battle, but more still against all who uphold its monstrous arbitrament.

Oh, when shall the St. Louis of the nations arise, and in the spirit of true greatness, proclaim that henceforward forever the great trial by battle shall cease, that war shall be abolished throughout the commonwealth of civilization, that a spectacle so degrading shall never be allowed again to take place, and that it is the duty of nations, involving the highest and wisest policy, to establish love between each other, and, in all respects, at all times, with all persons, whether their own people or the people of other lands, to be governed by the sacred law of right, as between man and man.

FOOTNOTE:

[34] From the "True Grandeur of Nations," delivered in Boston, July 4, 1845.


THE AMERICAN FLAG[35]

Henry Ward Beecher

A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths, the history, which belong to the nation which sets it forth.

When the French tricolor rolls out to the wind, we see France.[Pg 216] When the new-found Italian flag is unfurled, we see resurrected Italy. When the other three-cornered Hungarian flag shall be lifted to the wind, we shall see in it the long-buried but never dead principles of Hungarian liberty. When the united crosses of St. Andrew and St. George on a fiery ground set forth the banner of Old England, we see not the cloth merely; there rises up before the mind the noble aspect of that monarchy, which, more than any other on the globe, has advanced its banner for liberty, law, and national prosperity. This nation has a banner, too; and wherever it streamed abroad, men saw daybreak bursting on their eyes, for the American flag has been the symbol of liberty, and men rejoiced in it. Not another flag on the globe had such an errand, or went forth upon the sea carrying everywhere, the world around, such hope for the captive, and such glorious tidings.

The stars upon it were to the pining nations like the morning stars of God, and the stripes upon it were beams of morning light. As at early dawn the stars stand first, and then it grows light, and then as the sun advances, that light breaks into banks and streaming lines of color, the glowing red and intense white striving together and ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent, so on the American flag, stars and beams of many-colored light shine out together. And wherever the flag comes, and men behold it, they see in its sacred emblazonry no rampant lion and fierce eagle, but only light, and every fold significant of liberty.

The history of this banner is all on one side. Under it rode Washington and his armies; before it Burgoyne laid down his arms. It waved on the highlands at West Point; it floated over old Fort Montgomery. When Arnold would have surrendered these valuable fortresses and precious legacies, his night was turned into day, and his treachery was driven away by the beams of light from this starry banner. It cheered our army, driven from New York, in their solitary pilgrimage through New Jersey. It streamed in light over Valley Forge and Mor[Pg 217]ristown. It crossed the waters rolling with ice at Trenton; and when its stars gleamed in the cold morning with victory, a new day of hope dawned on the despondency of the nation. And when, at length, the long years of war were drawing to a close, underneath the folds of this immortal banner sat Washington while Yorktown surrendered its hosts and our Revolutionary struggles ended with victory.

Let us, then, twine each thread of the glorious tissue of our country's flag about our heartstrings; and looking upon our homes and catching the spirit that breathes upon us from the battle-fields of our fathers, let us resolve, come weal or woe, we will, in life and in death, now and forever, stand by the Stars and Stripes. They have been unfurled from the snows of Canada to the plains of New Orleans, in the halls of the Montezumas and amid the solitude of every sea; and everywhere, as the luminous symbol of resistless and beneficent power, they have led the brave to victory and to glory. They have floated over our cradles; let it be our prayer and our struggle that they shall float over our graves.

FOOTNOTE:

[35] By permission of the publishers, Fords, Howard & Hulbert.


THE AMERICAN PEOPLE[36]

Albert J. Beveridge

The day for the provincial and the transient has passed in American statesmanship. To-day our destiny is brooding over every sea. We are dealing with the world and with the unborn years. We are dealing with the larger duties that ever crowned and burdened human brows. American statesmanship must be as broad as American destiny and as brave as American duty. And American statesmanship will be all this if it draws its inspiration from the masterful American people and their imperial history.

For the American people have never taken fear for a coun[Pg 218]selor. They have never taken doubt for a guide. They have obeyed the impulses of their blood. They have hearkened to the voice of our God. They have surmounted insuperable obstacles on the wings of a mighty faith; they have solved insoluble problems by the sovereign rule of liberty; they have made the bosom of the ocean and the heart of the wilderness their home; they have subdued nature and told history a new tale. Let American statesmanship listen to the heart-beats of the American people in the present hour and there will be no confusion, no hesitation, no craven doubt. The faith of the Mayflower, as it sailed into the storm-fringed horizon, is with us yet. The courage of Lexington and Bunker Hill is with us yet. The spirit of Hamilton and Jefferson and Jackson and Seward and Grant is with us yet. The unconquerable heart of the pioneer still beats within American breasts, and the American flag advances still in its ceaseless and imperial progress, with law and order and Christian civilization trooping beneath its sacred folds.

The American people are the propagandists and not the misers of liberty. He who no longer believes in the vitality of the American people, in the immortality and saving grace of free institutions, in the imperial greatness of American destiny, belongs not in the councils of the American Nation, but in the somber Cabinets of the decaying races of the world. The American people are not perishing; they are just beginning their real career. The full sunrise of the day which peculiarly belongs to the American people in the progress of human events has flooded all the world at last; and we will live each golden moment of our mighty day in a way as great as the day itself.

FOOTNOTE:

[36] By permission of the author.


THE AMERICAN QUESTION

John Bright

Now let me ask you, what is this people about which so many men in England at this moment are writing and speaking and[Pg 219] thinking with harshness? Two centuries ago multitudes of the people of this country found a refuge on the North American Continent, escaping from the tyranny of the Stuarts, and from the bigotry of Laud. Many noble spirits from our country made great experiments in favor of human freedom on that continent. Bancroft, the great historian of his country, has said, "The history of the colonization of America is the history of the crimes of Europe."

From that time down to our own period America has admitted the wanderers from every clime. Since 1815, a time which many here remember, and which is within my lifetime, more than three millions of persons have emigrated from the United Kingdom to the United States. During the fifteen years from 1845 to 1860 more than two million persons left the shores of the United Kingdom as emigrants to North America.

At this very moment, then, there are millions in the United States who personally have been citizens of this country. They found a home in the far West, they subdued the wilderness, they met with plenty there and became a great people. There may be men in England who dislike democracy and who hate a republic. But of this I am certain that only misrepresentation the most gross or calumny the most wicked can sever the tie which unites the great mass of the people of this country with their friends and relatives beyond the Atlantic.

Now whether the Union will be restored I know not. But this I think I know, that in a few years, a very few years, the twenty millions of freemen in the North will be thirty or even fifty millions, a population equal to that of this kingdom. When that time comes I pray that it may not be said amongst them that, in the darkest hour of their country's trials, England, the land of their fathers, looked on with icy coldness and saw unmoved the perils and calamities of their children. As for me I have but this to say, if all other tongues are silent, mine shall speak for that policy which gives hope to the bondsmen of[Pg 220] the South and which tends to generous thoughts and generous words and generous deeds between the two great nations who speak the English language, and from their origin are alike entitled to the English name.


AMERICA'S RELATION TO MISSIONS

James B. Angell

The government which breaks treaties with respect to missionaries and takes no steps to protect them will easily yield to the temptation to infringe on the rights of other citizens. Is it not possible that because our government has allowed outrages against our missionaries to go on since 1883 in Turkey,—highway robbery, brutal assault, destruction of buildings,—without any demonstration beyond peaceful and patient argument, the Ottoman government is now proceeding in so highhanded a manner to prevent by false allegations the importation of our flour and our pork? A nation which allows one class of citizens, who are of the purest character and most unselfish spirit, to be insulted and outraged with impunity in a foreign land must not be surprised if other classes of its citizens are also imposed upon and wronged in that land, wherever selfish interests are invoked against them.

Careful observation will show that our large mercantile interests are likely to be imperiled by our neglect to insist on the rights which citizens of any honorable calling are entitled to under treaties of international law. A display of force does not necessarily mean war. It is certainly an emphatic mode of making a demand. It often insures a prompt settlement of difficulties, which, if allowed to drag on and accumulate, would end in war. Therefore, wisely and opportunely made, a proper demonstration in support of a just demand may obviate the ultimate necessity of war.

The problem is not a simple one for the government. If it does nothing but register requests for justice, injustice may be[Pg 221] done, not only to missionaries, but also to other citizens. Those dilatory, oriental governments, embarrassed by so many difficult problems of internal administration, do not willingly act except under some pressure. And pressure which is not war and which will probably not lead to war, can be brought to bear by diplomatic and naval agencies.

Our government was never in so good a condition to pursue such a policy. It has a prestige among oriental nations before unknown. Its voice, when it speaks with an imperative tone, will now be heard. The question for it is far larger than a missionary question. An influential American citizen has lately written me from an oriental country where our requests have received little attention, saying: "If our government proposes to do nothing for American citizens they should say so and turn us over to the care of the British embassy."

Such language as that makes one's blood tingle and stirs us to ask afresh, not alone as friends of missionaries, but as American citizens, what policy will our nation adopt to secure the rights of all our countrymen of whatever pursuit who are dwelling under treaty guarantees in China and Turkey? The friends of missions ask no exceptional favors from the government. They simply seek for such protection as their fellow-citizens need.

It is, of course, for our government to say at what time and by what methods it shall act. It is sometimes wise and even necessary for a government to postpone seeking a settlement of difficulties with a foreign power, even when it is clear that a settlement is highly desirable. Great exigencies may require delays. We must exercise the patience which patriotism calls for. But we may be permitted without impropriety to express our desire and our opinion that our government should find some way to make it absolutely clear to oriental countries that it intends to secure the protection for all our citizens, including missionaries, to which they are entitled by treaties and by international law.


[Pg 222]

AMERICAN SLAVERY

John Bright

Slavery has been as we all know the huge, foul blot upon the fame of the American Republic. It is an outrage against human right and against divine law, but the pride, the passion of man, will not permit its peaceable extinction. Is not this war the penalty which inexorable justice exacts from America, North and South, for the enormous guilt of cherishing that frightful iniquity of slavery for the last eighty years? The leaders of this revolt propose this monstrous thing,—that over a territory forty times as large as England the blight and curse of slavery shall be forever perpetuated.

I cannot believe that such a fate can befall that fair land, stricken as it now is with the ravages of war. I cannot believe that civilization in its journey with the sun will sink into endless night to gratify the ambition of leaders of this revolt, who seek to

"Wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind."

I have a far other and brighter vision before my gaze. It may be but a vision, but I will cherish it. I see one vast confederation stretching from the frozen North in unbroken line to the glowing South, and from the wild billows of the Atlantic, westward to the calmer waters of the Pacific main,—and I see one people, and one law, and one language, and one faith, and over all that wide continent the home of freedom and a refuge for the oppressed of every race and of every clime.


THE ARMENIAN MASSACRES

William E. Gladstone

Ladies and Gentlemen, Before I come to the resolution which I have undertaken to move, there are certain subjects which I wish to clear out of the way. There are most impor[Pg 223]tant distinctions to be drawn on the ground that the sufferers under the present misrule and the horribly accumulated outrages of the last two years are our own fellow-Christians. But we do not prosecute the cause we have in hand upon the ground that they are our fellow-Christians. This is no crusade against Mohammedanism. This is no declaration of an altered policy or sentiment as regards our Mohammedan fellow-subjects in India. Nay, more; I will say that it is no declaration of universal condemnation of the Mohammedans of the Turkish Empire. On the contrary, amid the dismal and heartrending reports of which we have had to read and hear so much, one of the rare touches of comfort and relief has been that in spite of the perpetration of massacres by the agents of the Government, in spite of the countenance given to massacre by the highest authority, there have been good and generous Mohammedans who have resisted these misdeeds to the uttermost of their power, who have established for themselves a claim to our sympathy and our admiration.

Although it is true that those persons are Christians on whose behalf we move, I confidently affirm, and you will back me in my affirmation, that if instead of being Christians they were themselves Mohammedans, Hindus, Buddhists, or Confucianists—they would have precisely the same claims upon our support; and the motives which have brought us here to-day would be incumbent upon us with the same force and with the same sacredness that we recognize at the present moment.

There is another distinction, gentlemen, less conspicuous, that I would wish to draw your attention to. You have been discouraged by the attitude or by the tone of several of the Continental Governments. Do not too hastily assume that in that attitude and tone they are faithful representatives of the people whom they rule. The ground on which we stand here is not British nor European, but human. Nothing narrower than humanity could pretend for a moment justly to represent it.

[Pg 224]It may have occurred to some that atrocities which it is hardly possible to exaggerate have been boldly denied; and we are told by the Government of Turkey that the destruction of life which has taken place is not the work of either the Sultan or his agents, but is the work of revolutionaries and agitators.

In answer to this we may say that we do not rely upon the reports of revolutionaries or agitators. We rely upon the responsible reports of our public men. Nay, more; while we know that there are those among the six Powers who have shown every disposition to treat the case of the Sultan with all the leniency, with all the friendship that they could, yet every one of them concurs in the statements upon which we stand, and in giving an entire denial to counter-statements of the Turkish Government. The guilt of massacre, and not of massacre only but of every other horror that has been transacted, rests upon that Government. And to the guilt of massacre is added the impudence of denial, and this process will continue—how long? Just as long as you, as Europe, are contented to hear it. Recollect that eighteen months or more have passed since the first of those gigantic massacres was perpetrated, and when that occurrence took place it was thought to be so extraordinary that it was without precedent in the past; for Bulgaria becomes pale by the side of Armenia. But alas! that massacre, gigantic as it was, has been followed up so that one has grown into a series. To the work of murder was added the work of lust, the work of torture, the work of pillage, the work of starvation, and every accessory that it was possible for human wickedness to devise. To all other manifestations which had formerly been displayed in the face of the world there was added consummate insolence.

Come what may, let us extract ourselves from an ambiguous position. Let us have nothing to do with countenance of, and so renounce and condemn, neutrality; and let us present ourselves to Her Majesty's Ministers, promising them in good[Pg 225] faith our ungrudging and our enthusiastic support in every effort which they may make to express by word and by deed their detestation of acts, not yet perhaps having reached their consummation, but which already have come to such a magnitude and such a depth of atrocity that they constitute the most terrible and most monstrous series of proceedings that have ever been recorded in the dismal and deplorable history of human crime.


BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC[37]

Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal,
Let the hero born of woman crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."
He hath sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat,
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat.
Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.[Pg 226]
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

FOOTNOTE:

[37] By special permission of the author.


THE BLUE AND THE GRAY

Henry Cabot Lodge

I was a boy ten years old when the troops marched away to defend Washington. I saw the troops, month after month, pour through the streets of Boston. I saw Shaw go forth at the head of his black regiment, and Bartlett, shattered in body but dauntless in soul, ride by to carry what was left of him once more to the battlefields of the Republic. I saw Andrew, standing bareheaded on the steps of the State House, bid the men godspeed. I cannot remember the words he said, but I can never forget the fervid eloquence which brought tears to the eyes and fire to the hearts of all who listened. To my boyish mind one thing alone was clear, that the soldiers, as they marched past, were all, in that supreme hour, heroes and patriots. Other feelings have, in the progress of time, altered much, but amid many changes that simple belief of boyhood has never altered.

And you, brave men who wore the gray, would be the first to hold me or any other son of the North in just contempt if I should say that now it was all over I thought the North was wrong and the result of the war a mistake. To the men who fought the battles of the Confederacy we hold out our hands freely, frankly and gladly. We have no bitter memories to revive, no reproaches to utter. Differ in politics and in a thousand other ways we must and shall in all good nature, but never let us differ with each other on sectional or state lines, by race or creed.

[Pg 227]We welcome you, soldiers of Virginia, as others more eloquent than I have said, to New England. We welcome you to old Massachusetts. We welcome you to Boston and to Faneuil Hall. In your presence here, and at the sound of your voices beneath this historic roof, the years roll back, and we see the figure and hear again the ringing tones of your great orator, Patrick Henry, declaring to the first Continental Congress, "The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American."

A distinguished Frenchman, as he stood among the graves at Arlington, said: "Only a great people is capable of a great civil war." Let us add with thankful hearts that only a great people is capable of a great reconciliation. Side by side, Virginia and Massachusetts led the colonies into the War for Independence. Side by side, they founded the government of the United States. Morgan and Greene, Lee and Knox, Moultrie and Prescott, men of the South and men of the North, fought shoulder to shoulder, and wore the same uniform of buff and blue,—the uniform of Washington.

Mere sentiment all this, some may say. But it is sentiment, true sentiment, that has moved the world. Sentiment fought the war, and sentiment has reunited us. When the war was closed it was proposed to give Governor Andrew, who had sacrificed health and strength and property in his public duties, some immediately lucrative office. A friend asked him if he would take such a place. "No," said he; "I have stood as high priest between the horns of the altar, and I have poured out upon it the best blood of Massachusetts, and I cannot take money for that." Mere sentiment truly, but the sentiment which ennobles and uplifts mankind.

So I say that the sentiment manifested by your presence here, brethren of Virginia, sitting side by side with those who wore[Pg 228] the blue, tells us that if war should break again upon the country, the sons of Virginia and Massachusetts would, as in the olden days, stand once more shoulder to shoulder, with no distinction in the colors that they wear. It is fraught with tidings of peace on earth, and you may read its meaning in the words on yonder picture, "Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"


CORRUPTION OF PRELATES

Girolamo Savonarola

When the demon sees that man is weak he gives him a blow with a hatchet, to make him fall into sin, but when he sees him strong he strikes him down with an axe. If there be a young woman, honest and well brought up, he sets an immoral youth near her, and with all kinds of flattery deceives her, and makes her fall into sin. Here the devil has dealt a blow with an axe. Here is an honorable citizen, he enters the courts of the great lords; there is the axe, and so well sharpened, that no strength of virtue can resist it. But we are in these days in a sadder plight; the demon has called his followers for the harvest, and has struck terrible blows upon the doors of the temple. The doors are those which lead into the house, and the prelates are those who should lead the faithful into the church of Christ. It is because of this that the devil has dealt his great blows, and broken the doors to pieces. It is for this that good pastors are no longer to be found in the church. Do ye not perceive that they are bringing everything to ruin? They have no judgment. They can make no distinction between good and evil, between truth and falsehood, between sweet and bitter. Things good appear to them evil, things true to them false, the sweet are to them bitter, the bitter sweet. Ye see prelates prostrating themselves before earthly affections and earthly things; they no longer lay to heart the care of souls; it is enough for[Pg 229] them if they receive their incomes; the sermons of their preachers are composed to please princes, and be magnified by them. But something worse yet remains; not only have they destroyed the church of God, but have erected one according to a fashion of their own. This is the modern church, no longer built with living stones, that is, by Christians established in a living faith, and so formed of love. Go to Rome and through all Christendom, in the houses of the great prelates and the great lords, nothing is thought of but poetry and the art of oratory.

Go and see, and you will find them with books of the humanities in their hands, and giving themselves up to the belief that they know how to lead the souls of men aright by Virgil, Horace, and Cicero. Do you wish to see the church guided by the hand of the astrologer? Ye will not find either prelate or great lord who is not in confidential intercourse with some astrologer, who predicts to him the hour when he must ride or engage in some other affair. These same great lords do not dare to move a step contrary to what their astrologer tells them. There are only two things in that temple in which they find delight, and these are the paintings, and the gilding with which it is covered.

It is thus that in our church there are many beautiful external ceremonies in the solemnization of the holy offices, splendid vestments and draperies, with gold and silver candlesticks, and many chalices, all of which have a majestic effect. There you see great prelates, wearing golden miters, set with precious stones, on their heads, and with silver crosiers, standing before the altar with copes of brocade, slowly intoning vespers and other masses with much ceremony, accompanied by an organ and singers, until ye become quite stupefied; and these men appear to you to be men of great gravity and holiness, and ye believe that they are incapable of error, and they themselves believe that all they say and do is commanded by the gospel to be observed.

[Pg 230]Men feed upon those vanities, and rejoice in those ceremonies, and say that the church of Christ was never in so flourishing a state, and that divine worship was never so well conducted as in this day; and that the first prelates were very contemptible preachers in comparison with those of modern times. They certainly had not so many golden miters, nor so many chalices; and they parted with those they had to relieve the necessities of the poor; our prelates get their chalices by taking that from the poor which is their support. But dost thou know what I would say? In the primitive church there were wooden chalices and golden prelates; but now the church has golden chalices and wooden prelates. They have established amongst us the festivals of the devil, they believe not in God, and make a mockery of the mysteries of our religion.

What doest thou, O Lord? Why slumberest thou? Arise and take the church out of the hands of the devil, out of the hands of tyrants, out of the hands of wicked prelates. Hast thou forgotten thy church? Dost thou not love her? Hast thou no care for her? We are become, O Lord, the opprobrium of the nations; Turks are masters of Constantinople; we have lost Asia, we have lost Greece, we are become tributaries of infidels. O Lord God, thou hast dealt with us as an angry father, thou hast banished us from before thee! Hasten the punishment and the scourge that there may be a speedy return to thee! Pour out thy wrath upon the nations!

Be not scandalized, my brethren, by these words; rather consider that when the good wish for punishment, it is because they wish to see evil driven away and the blessed reign of Jesus Christ triumphant throughout the world. We have no other hope left us, unless the sword of the Lord threatens the earth.


[Pg 231]

THE CROSS OF GOLD[38]

W. J. Bryan

I would be presumptuous, indeed, to present myself against the distinguished gentlemen to whom you have listened if this were a mere measuring of abilities; but this is not a contest between persons. The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity. We object to bringing this question down to the level of persons. The individual is but an atom; he is born, he acts, he dies; but principles are eternal; and this has been a contest over a principle.

When you come before us and tell us that we are about to disturb your business interests, we reply that you have disturbed our business interests by your course. We say to you that you have made the definition of a business man too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the cross-roads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, who begins in spring and toils all summer, and who by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of the country creates wealth, is as much a business man as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain; the miners who go down a thousand feet into the earth, or climb two thousand feet upon the cliffs, and bring forth from their hiding-places the precious metals to be poured into the channels of trade are as much business men as the[Pg 232] few financial magnates who, in a back room, corner the money of the world. We come to speak of this broader class of business men.

Ah, my friends, we say not one word against those who live upon the Atlantic Coast, but the hardy pioneers who have braved all the dangers of the wilderness, who have made the desert to blossom as the rose—the pioneers away out there, who rear their children near to Nature's heart, where they can mingle their voices with the voices of the birds—out there where they have erected schoolhouses for the education of their young, churches where they praise their Creator, and cemeteries where rest the ashes of their dead—these people, we say, are as deserving of the consideration of our party as any people in this country. It is for these that we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!

We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe that it is a part of sovereignty, and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than we could afford to delegate to private individuals the power to make penal statutes or levy taxes. Mr. Jefferson seems to have differed in opinion from the gentleman who has addressed us on the part of the minority. Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank, and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of government, and that the banks ought to go out of the governing business.

[Pg 233]And now, my friends, let me come to the paramount issue. If they ask us why it is that we say more on the money question than we say upon the tariff question, I reply that, if protection has slain its thousands, the gold standard has slain its tens of thousands. If they ask us why we do not embody in our platform all the things that we believe in, we reply that when we have restored the money of the Constitution all other necessary reforms will be possible; but that until this is done there is no other reform that can be accomplished.

Why is it that within three months such a change has come over the country? Three months ago when it was confidently asserted that those who believe in the gold standard would frame our platform and nominate our candidates, even the advocates of the gold standard did not think that we could elect a President. Why this change? Ah, my friends, is not the reason for the change evident to any one who will look at the matter? No private character, however pure, no personal popularity, however great, can protect from the avenging wrath of an indignant people a man who will declare that he is in favor of fastening the gold standard upon this country, or who is willing to surrender the right of self-government and place the legislative control of our affairs in the hands of foreign potentates and powers.

We go forth confident that we shall win. Why? Because upon the paramount issue of this campaign there is not a spot of ground upon which the enemy will dare to challenge battle. If they tell us that the gold standard is a good thing, we shall point to their platform and tell them that their platform pledges the party to get rid of the gold standard and substitute bimetallism. If the gold standard is a good thing, why try to get rid of it? If the gold standard is a bad thing, why should we wait until other nations are willing to help us to let go? Here is the line of battle, and we care not upon which issue they force the fight; we are prepared to meet them on either issue or on both.[Pg 234] If they tell us that the gold standard is the standard of civilization, we reply to them that this, the most enlightened of all the nations of the earth, has never declared for a gold standard and that both the great parties this year are declaring against it. If the gold standard is the standard of civilization, why should we not have it? If they come to meet us on that issue, we can present the history of our nation.

More than that; we can tell them that they will search the pages of history in vain to find a single instance where the common people of any land have ever declared themselves in favor of the gold standard. They can find where the holders of fixed investments have declared for a gold standard, but not where the masses have. There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them. You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.

My friends, we declare that this nation is able to legislate for its own people on every question, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth; and upon that issue we expect to carry every state in the Union. I shall not slander the inhabitants of the fair State of Massachusetts nor the inhabitants of the State of New York by saying that, when they are confronted with the proposition, they will declare that this nation is not able to attend to its own business. It is the issue of 1776 over again. Our ancestors, when but three millions in number, had the courage to declare their political[Pg 235] independence of every other nation; shall we, their descendants, when we have grown to seventy millions, declare that we are less independent than our forefathers?

No, my friends, that will never be the verdict of our people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good, but that we cannot have it until other nations help us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has it. If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

FOOTNOTE:

[38] From a speech delivered in the city of Chicago before the Democratic National Convention of 1896.


DEATH OF CONGRESSMAN BURNES

J. J. Ingalls

At this crisis and juncture, when every instant is priceless, the Senate proceeds by unanimous consent to consider resolutions of the highest privilege, and reverently pauses in obedience to the holiest impulses of human nature to contemplate the profoundest mystery of human destiny—the mystery of death. In the democracy of death all men at least are equal. There is neither rank, nor station, nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.

At that fatal threshold the philosopher ceases to be wise and the song of the poet is silent. At that fatal threshold Dives relinquishes his millions and Lazarus his rags. The poor man is as rich as the richest and the rich man is as poor as the pauper. The creditor loses his usury and the debtor is acquitted of his[Pg 236] obligation. The proud man surrenders his dignity, the politician his honors, the worldling his pleasures. James Nelson Burnes, whose life and virtues we commemorate to-day, was a man whom Plutarch might have described and Vandyke portrayed. Massive, rugged and robust, in motion slow, in speech serious and deliberate, grave in aspect, serious in demeanor, of antique and heroic mold, the incarnation of force. As I looked for the last time upon that countenance, from which no glance of friendly recognition nor word of welcome came, I reflected upon the impenetrable and insoluble mystery of death.

If death be the end, if the life of Burnes terminated upon "this bank and shoal of time," if no morning is to dawn upon the night in which he sleeps, then sorrow has no consolation, and this impressive and solemn ceremony which we observe to-day has no more significance than the painted pageant of the stage. If the existence of Burnes was but a troubled dream, his death oblivion, what avails it that the Senate should pause to recount his virtues? Neither veneration nor reverence is due the dead if they are but dust; no cenotaph should be reared to preserve for posterity the memory of their achievements if those who come after them are to be only their successors in annihilation and extinction. If in this world only we have hope and consciousness duty must be a chimera; our pleasures and our passions should be the guides of conduct, and virtue is indeed a superstition if life ends at the grave. This is the conclusion which the philosophy of negation must accept at last. Such is the felicity of those degrading precepts which make the epitaph the end. If the life of Burnes is as a taper that is burned out then we treasure his memory and his example in vain, and the latest prayer of his departing spirit has no more sanctity to us, who soon or late must follow him, than the whisper of winds that stir the leaves of the protesting forest, or the murmur of the waves that break upon the complaining shore.


[Pg 237]

THE DEATH OF GARFIELD[39]

James Gillespie Blaine

On the morning of Saturday, July second, the President was a contented and happy man—not in an ordinary degree, but joyfully, almost boyishly, happy. On his way to the railroad-station, to which he drove slowly, in conscious enjoyment of the beautiful morning, with an unwonted sense of leisure and a keen anticipation of pleasure, his talk was all in the grateful and gratulatory vein. He felt that after four months of trial his administration was strong in its grasp of affairs, strong in popular favor and destined to grow stronger; that grave difficulties confronting him at his inauguration had been safely passed; that trouble lay behind him, and not before him; that he was soon to meet the wife whom he loved, now recovering from an illness which had but lately disquieted and at times almost unnerved him; that he was going to his alma mater to renew the most cherished associations of his young manhood, and to exchange greetings with those whose deepening interest had followed every step of his upward progress from the day he entered upon his college course until he had attained the loftiest elevation in the gift of his countrymen.

Surely, if happiness can ever come from the honors or triumphs of this world, on that quiet July morning James A. Garfield may well have been a happy man. No foreboding of evil haunted him, no slightest premonition of danger clouded his sky. His terrible fate was upon him in an instant. One moment he stood erect, strong, confident in the years stretching peacefully out before him. The next he lay wounded, bleeding, helpless, doomed to weary weeks of torture, to silence and the grave.

[Pg 238]Great in life, he was surpassingly great in death. For no cause, in the very frenzy of wantonness and wickedness, by the red hand of Murder he was thrust from the full tide of this world's interest, from its hopes, its aspirations, its victories, into the visible presence of death. And he did not quail. Not alone for the one short moment in which, stunned and dazed, he could give up life, hardly aware of its relinquishment, but through days of deadly languor, through weeks of agony that was not less agony because silently borne, with clear sight and calm courage he looked into his open grave. What blight and ruin met his anguished eyes, whose lips may tell? What brilliant broken plans, what baffled high ambitions, what sundering of strong, warm, manhood's friendships, what bitter rending of sweet household ties! Behind him a proud, expectant nation; a great host of sustaining friends; a cherished and happy mother wearing the full, rich honors of her early toil and tears; the wife of his youth, whose whole life lay in his; the little boys not yet emerged from childhood's day of frolic; the fair young daughter; the sturdy sons just springing into closest companionship, claiming every day, and every day rewarding, a father's love and care; and in his heart the eager, rejoicing power to meet all demand. Before him, desolation and great darkness! And his soul was not shaken. His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profound, and universal sympathy. Masterful in his mortal weakness, he became the center of a nation's love, enshrined in the prayers of a world. But all the love and all the sympathy could not share with him his suffering. He trod the winepress alone. With unfaltering front he faced death. With unfailing tenderness he took leave of life. Above the demoniac hiss of the assassin's bullet he heard the voice of God. With simple resignation he bowed to the divine decree.

As the end drew near, his early craving for the sea returned. The stately mansion of power had been to him the wearisome[Pg 239] hospital of pain, and he begged to be taken from its prison-walls, from its oppressive, stifling air, from its homelessness and its hopelessness. Gently, silently, the love of a great people bore the pale sufferer to the longed-for healing of the sea, to live or to die, as God should will, within sight of its heaving billows, within sound of its manifold voices. With wan, fevered face tenderly lifted to the cooling breeze he looked out wistfully upon the ocean's changing wonders, on its far sails whitening in the morning light; on its restless waves rolling shoreward to break and die beneath the noonday sun; on the red clouds of evening arching low to the horizon; on the serene and shining pathway of the stars. Let us think that his dying eyes read a mystic meaning which only the rapt and parting soul may know. Let us believe that in the silence of the receding world he heard the great waves breaking on a farther shore, and felt already upon his wasted brow the breath of the eternal morning.

FOOTNOTE:

[39] From a memorial oration delivered in the House of Representatives, February 27, 1882, published by Henry Bill Publishing Co., Norwich, Conn.


DEATH OF TOUSSAINT L'OVERTURE[40]

Wendell Phillips

Returning to the hills, Toussaint issued the only proclamation which bears his name, and breathes vengeance: "My children, France comes to make us slaves. God gave us liberty. France has no right to take it away. Burn the cities, destroy the harvests, tear up the roads with cannon, poison the wells. Show the white man the hell he comes to make"; and he was obeyed.

When the great William of Orange saw Louis XIV. cover Holland with troops, he said: "Break down the dikes, give Holland back to ocean"; and Europe said, "Sublime!" When Alexander saw the armies of France descend upon Russia, he said: "Burn Moscow, starve back the invaders!" and Europe said, "Sublime!" This black saw all Europe[Pg 240] come to crush him, and gave to his people the same heroic example of defiance.

Holland lent sixty ships. England promised by special message to be neutral; and you know neutrality means sneering at freedom, and sending arms to tyrants. England promised neutrality, and the black looked out and saw the whole civilized world marshaled against him. America, full of slaves, was of course hostile. Only the Yankee sold him poor muskets at a very high price. Mounting his horse, and riding to the eastern end of the island, he looked out on a sight such as no native had ever seen before. Sixty ships of the line, crowded by the best soldiers of Europe, rounded the point. They were soldiers who had never yet met an equal, whose tread, like Cæsar's, had shaken Europe: soldiers who had scaled the Pyramids, and planted the French banners on the walls of Rome. He looked a moment, counted the flotilla, let the reins fall on the neck of his horse, and turning to Christophe, exclaimed: "All France is come to Hayti; they can only come to make us slaves; and we are lost!"

Toussaint was too dangerous to be left at large. So they summoned him to attend a council; he went, and the moment he entered the room the officers drew their swords and told him he was a prisoner. They put him on shipboard and weighed anchor for France. As the island faded from his sight he turned to the captain and said, "You think you have rooted up the tree of liberty, but I am only a branch; I have planted the tree so deep that all France can never root it up."

He was sent to a dungeon twelve feet by twenty, built wholly of stone, with a narrow window, high up on one side, looking out on the snows of Switzerland. In this living tomb the child of the sunny tropics was left to die. But he did not die fast enough. Napoleon ordered the commandant to go into Switzerland, to carry the keys of the dungeon with him and[Pg 241] stay four days. When he returned, Toussaint was found starved to death.

Napoleon, that imperial assassin, was taken, twelve years later, to his prison at St. Helena, planned for a tomb, as he had planned that of Toussaint, and there he whined away his dying hours in pitiful complaints. God grant that when some future Plutarch shall weigh the great men of our epoch, he do not put that whining child of St. Helena into one scale, and into the other the negro, meeting death like a Roman, without a murmur, in the solitude of his icy dungeon.

FOOTNOTE:

[40] By permission of the publishers, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.


THE DEDICATION OF GETTYSBURG CEMETERY

Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far beyond our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of[Pg 242] devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


THE FALLEN HEROES OF JAPAN

Admiral Heihaichiro Togo

This speech was a part of a very impressive Shinto ceremony in which the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleets addressed the spirits of the officers and sailors who lost their lives during the war with Russia. For simple eloquence it has seldom been surpassed.

The clouds of war have disappeared from sea and from shore, and the whole city, with a peaceful, placid heart like that of a child, goes out to meet the men who shared life and death with you, and who now return triumphant under the imperial standard, while their families wait for them at the gates of their homes.

Looking back, we recall how, bearing the bitter cold and enduring the fierce heat, you fought again and again with our strong foe, and while the issue of the contest was still uncertain you went before us to the grave, leaving us to envy the glory you had won by your loyal deaths. We longed to imitate you in paying the debt to sovereign and country. Your valiant and vehement fighting always achieved success. In no combat did you fail to conquer. Throughout ten months the attack on Port Arthur continued and the result was determined. In the Sea of Japan a single annihilating effort decided the issue. Thenceforth the enemy's shadow disappeared from the face of the ocean. This success had its origin in the infinite virtues of the emperor, but it could not have been achieved had not you, forgetting yourselves, sacrificed your lives in the public service. The war is over. We who return in triumph see signs of joy everywhere. But we remem[Pg 243]ber that we cannot share it with you, and mingled feelings of sadness and rejoicing struggle painfully for expression. The triumph of to-day has been purchased by your glorious deaths, and your loyalty and valor will inspire our navy, guarding the imperial land for all time.

We here perform this rite of worship to your spirits, and speaking something of our sad thoughts, pray you to come and receive the offerings we make.


SECESSION[41]

Alexander H. Stephens

Mr. President: This step of secession, once taken, can never be recalled; and all the baleful and withering consequences that must follow, will rest on the convention for all coming time. When we and our posterity shall see our lovely South desolated by the demon of war, which this act of yours will inevitably invite and call forth; when our green fields of waving harvest shall be trodden down by the murderous soldiery and fiery car of war sweeping over our land; our temples of justice laid in ashes; all the horrors and desolation of war upon us; who but this Convention will be held responsible for it? And who but him who shall have given his vote for this unwise and ill-timed measure, as I honestly think and believe, shall be held to strict account for this suicidal act by the present generation, and probably cursed and execrated by posterity for all coming time, for the wide and desolating ruin that will inevitably follow this act you now propose to perpetrate? Pause, I entreat you, and consider for a moment what reasons you can give, that will even satisfy yourselves in calmer moments—what reason you can give to your fellow-sufferers in the calamity that it will bring upon us. What reasons can you give to the nations of the earth to[Pg 244] justify it? They will be the calm and deliberate judges in the case; and what cause or one overt act can you name or point, on which to rest the plea of justification? What right has the North assailed? What interest of the South has been invaded? What justice has been denied? And what claim founded in justice and right has been withheld? Can either of you to-day name one governmental act of wrong, deliberately and purposely done by the government of Washington, of which the South has a right to complain? I challenge the answer. While, on the other hand, let me show the facts, of which I wish you to judge, and I will only state facts which are clear and undeniable, and which now stand as records authentic in the history of our country. When we of the South demanded the slave-trade, or the importation of Africans for the cultivation of our lands, did they not yield the right for twenty years? When we asked a three-fifths representation in Congress for our slaves, was it not granted? When we asked and demanded the return of any fugitive from justice, or the recovery of those persons owing labor or allegiance, was it not incorporated in the Constitution, and again ratified and strengthened by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850? But do you reply that in many instances they have violated this compact, and have not been faithful to their engagements? As individual and local communities, they may have done so; but not by the sanction of government; for that has always been true to Southern interests. Again, gentlemen, look at another act; when we have asked that more territory should be added, that we might spread the institution of slavery, have they not yielded to our demands in giving us Louisiana, Florida, and Texas? From these, four States have been carved, and ample territory for four more is to be added in due time, if you, by this unwise and impolitic act, do not destroy this hope, and, perhaps, by it lose all, and have your last slave wrenched from you by stern military rule, as South[Pg 245] America and Mexico were; or by the vindictive decree of a universal emancipation which may reasonably be expected to follow.

But, again, gentlemen, what have we to gain by this proposed change of our relation to the general government? We have always had the control of it, and can yet, if we remain in it, and are as united as we have been. We have had a majority of the Presidents chosen from the South, as well as the control and management of most of those chosen from the North. We have had sixty years of Southern Presidents to their twenty-four, thus controlling the executive department. So of the judges of the Supreme Court, we have had eighteen from the South and but eleven from the North; although nearly four-fifths of the judicial business has arisen in the free states, yet a majority of the Court has always been from the South. This we have required so as to guard against any interpretation of the Constitution unfavorable to us. In like manner we have been equally watchful to guard our interests in the legislative branch of government. In choosing the presidents of the Senate, we have had twenty-four to their eleven. Speakers of the House we have had twenty-three, and they twelve. While the majority of the representatives, from their greater population, have always been from the North, yet we have generally secured the Speaker, because he, to a great extent, shapes and controls the legislation of the country. Nor have we had less control in every other department of the general government. Attorney-generals we have had fourteen, while the North have had but five. Foreign ministers we have had eighty-six and they but fifty-four. While three-fourths of the business which demands diplomatic agents abroad is clearly from the free states, from their greater commercial interest, yet we have had the principal embassies, so as to secure the world-markets for our cotton, tobacco, and sugar on the best possible terms. We have had a vast majority[Pg 246] of the higher offices of both army and navy, while a larger proportion of the soldiers and sailors were drawn from the North. Again, from official documents, we learn that a fraction over three-fourths of the revenue collected for the support of the government has uniformly been raised from the North.

Leaving out of view, for the present, the countless millions of dollars you must expend in a war with the North; with tens of thousands of your sons and brothers slain in battle, and offered up as sacrifices upon the altar of your ambition—and for what, we ask again? Is it for the overthrow of the American government, established by our common ancestry, cemented and built up by their sweat and blood, and founded on the broad principles of right, justice, and humanity? And as such, I must declare here, as I have often done before, and which has been repeated by the greatest and wisest of statesmen and patriots, in this and other lands, that it is the best and freest government—the most equal in its rights, the most just in its decisions, the most lenient in its measures, and the most aspiring in its principles, to elevate the race of men, that the sun of heaven ever shone upon. Now, for you to attempt to overthrow such a government as this, under which we have lived for more than three-quarters of a century—in which we have gained our wealth, our standing as a nation, our domestic safety, while the elements of peril are around us, with peace and tranquillity accompanied with unbounded prosperity and rights unassailed—is the height of madness, folly, and wickedness, to which I neither lend my sanction nor my vote.

FOOTNOTE:

[41] Delivered at the Georgia State Convention, January, 1861.


THE DEATH OF GRADY

John Temple Graves

Oh, brilliant and incomparable Grady! We lay for a season thy precious dust beneath the soil that bore and cherished thee,[Pg 247] but we fling back against all our brightening skies the thoughtless speech that calls thee dead! God reigns and His purpose lives, and although these brave lips are silent here, the seeds sown in his incarnate eloquence will sprinkle patriots through the years to come, and perpetuate thy living in a race of nobler men!

But all our words are empty, and they mock the air. If we should speak the eulogy that fills this day, let us build within the city that he loved, a monument tall as his services, and noble as the place he filled. Let every Georgian lend a hand, and as it rises to confront in majesty his darkened home, let the widow who weeps there be told that every stone that makes it has been sawn from the sound prosperity that he builded, and that the light which plays upon its summit is, in afterglow, the sunshine that he brought into the world.

And for the rest—silence. The sweetest thing about his funeral was that no sound broke the stillness save the reading of the Scriptures, and the melody of music. No fire that can be kindled upon the altar of speech can relume the radiant spark that perished yesterday. No blaze born in all our eulogy can burn beside the sunlight of his useful life. After all, there is nothing grander than such living.

I have seen the light that gleamed from the headlight of some giant engine rushing onward through the darkness, heedless of opposition, fearless of danger, and I thought it was grand. I have seen the light come over the eastern hills in glory, driving the hazy darkness like mist before a sea-born gale, till leaf and tree and blade of grass glittered in the myriad diamonds of the morning ray, and I thought it was grand. I have seen the light that leaped at midnight athwart the storm-swept sky, shivering over chaotic clouds, mid howling winds, till cloud and darkness and the shadow-haunted earth flashed into mid-day splendor, and I knew it was grand. But the grandest thing next to the radiance that flows from the Almighty Throne is the light of a[Pg 248] noble and beautiful life, wrapping itself in benediction round the destinies of men, and finding its home in the blessed bosom of the Everlasting God!


THE GLORY OF PEACE

Charles Sumner

The art of war is yet held even among Christians to be an honorable pursuit. It shall be for another age to appreciate the more exalted character of the art of benevolence which, in blessed contrast with the misery, the degradation, the wickedness of war, shall shine resplendent in the true grandeur of peace. Then shall the soul thrill with a nobler heroism than that of battle. Peaceful industry, with untold multitudes of cheerful and beneficent laborers, shall be its gladsome token. Literature, full of sympathy and comfort for the heart of man, shall appear in garments of purer glory than she has yet assumed. Science shall extend the bounds of knowledge and power, adding unimaginable strength to the hands of men, opening innumerable resources in the earth and revealing new secrets and harmonies in the skies.

The increasing beneficence and intelligence of our own day, the broad-spread sympathy with suffering, the widening thoughts of men, the longings of the heart for a higher condition on earth, the unfulfilled promises of Christian progress are the auspicious auguries of this happy future. As early voyagers over untried realms of waste we have already observed the signs of land. The green and fresh red berries have floated by our bark, the odors of the shore fan our faces, nay, we may seem to descry the distant gleam of light, and hear from the more earnest observers, as Columbus heard, after midnight from the masthead of the Pinta, the joyful cry of "Land! Land!" and lo! a new world broke upon his early morning gaze.


[Pg 249]

THE HOPE OF THE REPUBLIC

H. W. Grady

I went to Washington the other day and I stood on the Capitol hill, and my heart beat quick as I looked at the towering marble of my country's Capitol, and a mist gathered in my eyes as I thought of its tremendous significance, of the armies and the treasury, and the judges and the President, and the Congress and the courts, and all that was gathered there; and I felt that the sun in all its course could not look down on a better sight than that majestic home of a Republic that had taught the world its best lessons of liberty. And I felt that if honor and wisdom and justice dwelt therein, the world would at last owe that great house, in which the ark of the covenant of my country is lodged, its final uplifting and its regeneration.

But a few days afterwards I went to visit a friend in the country, a modest man, with a quiet country home. It was just a simple, unpretentious house, set about with great trees and encircled in meadow and field rich with the promise of harvest; the fragrance of the pink and the hollyhock in the front yard was mingled with the aroma of the orchard and the garden, and the resonant clucking of poultry and the hum of bees. Inside was quiet, cleanliness, thrift and comfort.

Outside there stood my friend, the master, a simple, independent, upright man, with no mortgage on his roof, no lien on his growing crops—master of his land and master of himself. There was the old father, an aged and trembling man, but happy in the heart and home of his son. And, as he started to enter his home, the hand of the old man went down on the young man's shoulder, laying there the unspeakable blessing of an honored and honorable father, and ennobling it with the knighthood of the fifth commandment. And as we approached the door the mother came, a happy smile lighting up her face, while with the rich music of her[Pg 250] heart she bade her husband and her son welcome to their home. Beyond was the housewife, busy with her domestic affairs, the loving helpmate of her husband. Down the lane came the children after the cows, singing sweetly, as like birds they sought the quiet of their nest.

So the night came down on that house, falling gently as the wing of an unseen dove. And the old man, while a startled bird called from the forest and the trees thrilled with the cricket's cry, and the stars were falling from the sky, called the family around him and took the Bible from the table and called them to their knees. The little baby hid in the folds of its mother's dress while he closed the record of that day by calling down God's blessing on that simple home. While I gazed, the vision of the marble Capitol faded; forgotten were its treasuries and its majesty; and I said, "Surely here in the house of the people lodge at last the strength and the responsibility of this government, the hope and the promise of this Republic."


HUNGARIAN HEROISM

Louis Kossuth

Gentlemen have said that it was I who inspired the Hungarian people. I cannot accept the praise. No, it was not I who inspired the Hungarian people, it was the Hungarian people who inspired me. Whatever I thought and still think, whatever I felt and still feel, is but the pulsation of that heart which in the breast of my people beats. The glory of battle is for the historic leaders. Theirs are the laurels of immortality. And yet in encountering the danger, they knew that, alive or dead, their names would, on the lips of people, forever live.

How different the fortune, how nobler, how purer the heroism of those children of the people who went forth freely to meet death in their country's cause, knowing that where they fell they would lie undistinguished and unknown, their names[Pg 251] unhonored and unsung. Animated, nevertheless, by the love of freedom and the fatherland, they went forth calmly singing their national anthems till, rushing upon the batteries whose cross fires vomited upon them death and destruction, they took them without firing a shot,—those who fell falling with the shout, "Hurrah for Hungary!" And so they died by thousands—the unnamed demigods! Such is the people of Hungary. Still it is said it is I who have inspired them. No! a thousand times, no! It is they who have inspired me.


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS[42]

William McKinley

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am glad to be again in the City of Buffalo and exchange greetings with her people, to whose generous hospitality I am not a stranger, and with whose good will I have been repeatedly and signally honored. Expositions are the timekeepers of progress. They record the world's advancement. They stimulate the energy, enterprise and intellect of the people and quicken human genius. They go into the home. They broaden and brighten the daily life of the people. They open mighty storehouses of information to the student.

The wisdom and energy of all the nations are none too great for the world's work. The success of art, science, industry and invention is an international asset and a common glory. After all, how near one to the other is every part of the world. Modern inventions have brought into close relation widely separated peoples, and made them better acquainted. Geographic and political divisions will continue to exist, but distances have been effaced.

Swift ships and fast trains are becoming cosmopolitan.[Pg 252] They invade fields which a few years ago were impenetrable. The world's products are exchanged as never before, and with increasing transportation facilities come increasing knowledge and trade. Prices are fixed with mathematical precision by supply and demand. The world's selling prices are regulated by market and crop reports. We travel greater distances in a shorter space of time, and with more ease than was ever dreamed of by the fathers.

Isolation is no longer possible or desirable. The same important news is read, though in different languages, the same day in all Christendom. The telegraph keeps us advised of what is occurring everywhere, and the press foreshadows, with more or less accuracy, the plans and purposes of the nations. Market prices of products and of securities are hourly known in every commercial mart, and the investments of the people extend beyond their own national boundaries into the remotest parts of the earth. Vast transactions are conducted and international exchanges are made by the tick of the cable. Every event of interest is immediately bulletined.

The quick gathering and transmission of news, like rapid transit, are of recent origin, and are only made possible by the genius of the inventor and the courage of the investor. It took a special messenger of the government, with every facility known at the time for rapid travel, nineteen days to go from the City of Washington to New Orleans with a message to General Jackson that the war with England had ceased and a treaty of peace had been signed.

How different now! We reached General Miles in Porto Rico by cable, and he was able through the military telegraph to stop his army on the firing line with the message that the United States and Spain had signed a protocol suspending hostilities. We knew almost instantly of the first shots fired at Santiago, and the subsequent surrender of the Spanish forces was known at Washington within less than an hour of its[Pg 253] consummation. The first ship of Cervera's fleet had hardly emerged from that historic harbor when the fact was flashed to our capital and the swift destruction that followed was announced immediately through the wonderful medium of telegraphy.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there was not a mile of steam railroad on the globe. Now there are enough miles to make its circuit many times. Then there was not a line of electric telegraph; now we have vast mileage traversing all lands and all seas. God and man have linked the nations together. No nation can longer be indifferent to any other. And as we are brought more and more in touch with each other the less occasion there is for misunderstandings and the stronger the disposition, when we have differences, to adjust them in the court of arbitration, which is the noblest forum for the settlement of international disputes.

The period of exclusiveness is past. The expansion of our trade and commerce is the pressing problem. Commercial wars are unprofitable. A policy of good will and friendly trade relations will prevent reprisals. Reciprocity treaties are in harmony with the spirit of the times; measures of retaliation are not. If perchance some of our tariffs are no longer needed for revenue or to encourage and protect our industries at home, why should they not be employed to extend and promote our markets abroad?

Then, too, we have inadequate steamship service. New lines of steamers have already been put in commission between the Pacific coast ports of the United States and those on the western coasts of Mexico and Central and South America. These should be followed up with direct steamship lines between the eastern coast of the United States and South American ports. One of the needs of the times is direct commercial lines from our vast fields of production to the fields of consumption that we have but barely touched.

[Pg 254]Next in advantage to having the thing to sell is to have the convenience to carry it to the buyer. We must encourage our merchant marine. We must have more ships. They must be under the American flag, built and manned and owned by Americans. These will not be profitable in a commercial sense; they will be messengers of peace and amity wherever they go.

We must build the isthmian canal, which will unite the two oceans and give a straight line of water communication with the western coasts of Central America, South America and Mexico. The construction of a Pacific cable cannot be longer postponed.

In the furtherance of these objects of national interest and concern you are performing an important part. This exposition would have touched the heart of that American statesman whose mind was ever alert and thought ever constant for a larger commerce and a truer fraternity of the republics of the new world. His broad American spirit is felt and manifested here. He needs no identification to an assemblage of Americans anywhere, for the name of Blaine is inseparably associated with the pan-American movement, which finds this practical and substantial expression and which we all hope will be firmly advanced by the pan-American congress that assembles this autumn in the capital of Mexico.

The good work will go on. It cannot be stopped. These buildings will disappear, this creation of art and beauty and industry will perish from sight, but their influence will remain to

"Make it live beyond its too short living
With praises and thanksgiving."

Who can tell the new thoughts that have been awakened, and ambitions fired, and the high achievements that will be wrought through this Exposition?

Gentlemen, let us ever remember that our interest is in con[Pg 255]cord, not conflict, and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war. We hope that all who are represented here may be moved to higher and nobler effort for their own and the world's good, and that out of this city may come not only greater commerce and trade for us all, but, more essential than these, relations of mutual respect, confidence and friendship which will deepen and endure. Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peace to all our neighbors and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of earth.

FOOTNOTE:

[42] His last speech, delivered at the Buffalo Exposition, September 5, 1901.


IRISH HOME RULE[43]

William E. Gladstone

I may without impropriety remind the House that the voices which usually pleaded the cause of Irish self-government in Irish affairs have within these walls during the last seven years been almost entirely mute. I return therefore to the period of 1886, when a proposition of this kind was submitted on the part of the government, and I beg to remind the House of the position then taken up by all the promoters of these measures. We said that we had arrived at a point in our transactions with Ireland where the two roads parted. "You have," we said, "to choose one or the other." One is the way of Irish autonomy according to the conceptions I have just referred to, the other is the way of coercion.

What has been the result of the dilemma as it was then put forward on this side of the House and repelled by the other? Has our contention that the choice lay between autonomy and coercion been justified or not? What has become of each and all of these important schemes for giving Ireland self-government in provinces and giving her even a central establishment[Pg 256] in Dublin with limited powers? All vanished into thin air, but the reality remains. The roads were still there, autonomy or coercion. The choice lay between them, and the choice made was to repel autonomy and embrace coercion.

In 1886 for the first time coercion was imposed on Ireland in the shape of a permanent law added to the statute book. This state of things constituted an offense against the harmony and traditions of self-government. It was a distinct and violent breach of the promise on the faith of which union was obtained. The permanent system of repression inflicted upon the country a state of things which could not continue to exist. It was impossible to bring the inhabitants of the country under coercion into sympathy with the coercion power.

It was then prophesied confidently that Irishmen would take their places in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, but it has been my honored destiny to sit in Cabinet with no less than sixty to seventy statesmen, of whom only one, the Duke of Wellington, was an Irishman, while Castlereagh was the only other Irishman who has sat in the Cabinet since union. Pitt promised equal laws when the union was formed, but the broken promises made to Ireland are unhappily written in indelible characters in the history of the country. It is to me astonishing that so little weight is attached by many to the fact that Irish wishes of self-government were represented only by a small minority.

Now what voting power are the eighty members to have? Ireland is to be represented here fully; that is my first postulate. My second postulate is that Ireland is to be invested with separate powers, subject, no doubt, to imperial authority. Ireland is to be endowed with separate powers over Irish affairs. Then the question before us is: Is she or is she not to vote so strongly upon matters purely British? There are reasons both ways. We cannot cut them off in a manner perfectly clean and clear from these questions. We cannot find an absolutely accurate[Pg 257] line of cleavage between questions that are imperial questions and those that are Irish questions. Unless Irish members vote on all questions you break the parliamentary tradition. The presence of eighty members with only limited powers of voting is a serious breach of that tradition, which ought to be made the subject of most careful consideration.

Now come the reasons against the universal voting powers. It is difficult to say: Everything on that side Irish, everything on this side imperial. That, I think, you cannot do. If you ask me for a proportion, I say nine-tenths, perhaps nineteen-twentieths, of the business of Parliament can without difficulty be classed as Irish or imperial. It would be a great anomaly if these eighty Irish members should come here continually to intervene in questions purely and absolutely British. If some large question or controversy in British affairs should then come up, causing a deep and vital severing of the two great parties in this House, and the members of those parties knew that they could bring over eighty members from Ireland to support their views, I am afraid a case like that would open a possible door to dangerous political intrigue. The whole subject is full of thorns and brambles, but our object is the autonomy and self-government of Ireland in all matters properly Irish.

I wish to supply the keynote to the financial part of the legislation. That keynote is to be found in the provision included in our plans from the first, and wisely and generously acceded to by Ireland through her representatives, that there is to be but one system of legislation as far as external things are concerned that will be found to entail very important consequences. It has guided us to the conclusion at which we arrived of unity of commercial legislation for the three kingdoms. By adopting this keynote we can attain to the most valuable results and will be likely to avoid the clashing of agents of the Imperial and agents of the Irish Government. We can make, under cover[Pg 258] of this proposal, a larger and more liberal transfer to Ireland in the management of her own affairs than we could make if we proceeded on any other principles. The principle to which we are bound to give effect in Ireland is: Ireland has to bear a fair share of imperial expenditure.

I will now release the House from the painful consideration of details which it has pursued with unexampled patience. I must say, however, for my own part that I never will and never can be a party to bequeathing to my country the continuance of this heritage of discord which has been handed down from generation to generation, with hardly momentary interruption, through seven centuries—this heritage of discord, with all the evils that follow in its train. I wish no part in that process. It would be misery for me if I had foregone or omitted in these closing years of my life any measure it was possible for me to take toward upholding and promoting the cause which I believe to be the cause—not of one party or one nation—but of all parties and all nations. To these nations, viewing them as I do, with their vast opportunities, under a living union for power and happiness, to these nations I say: Let me entreat you—if it were my latest breath I would so entreat you—let the dead bury their dead, and cast behind you former recollections of bygone evils; cherish love and sustain one another through all the vicissitudes of human affairs in times that are to come.

FOOTNOTE:

[43] Delivered in the House of Commons, February 13, 1893.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Emilio Castelar

The past century has not, the century to come will not have, a figure so grand as that of Abraham Lincoln, because as evil disappears so disappears heroism also.

I have often contemplated and described his life. Born in a cabin of Kentucky, of parents who could hardly read; born a[Pg 259] new Moses in the solitude of the desert, where are forged all great and obstinate thoughts, monotonous like the desert, and growing up among those primeval forests, which, with their fragrance, send a cloud of incense, and, with their murmurs, a cloud of prayers to heaven; a boatman at eight years in the impetuous current of the Ohio, and at seventeen in the vast and tranquil waters of the Mississippi; later, a woodman, with axe and arm felling the immemorial trees, to open a way to unexplored regions for his tribe of wandering workers; reading no other book than the Bible, the book of great sorrows and great hopes, dictated often by prophets to the sound of fetters they dragged through Nineveh and Babylon; a child of Nature; in a word, by one of those miracles only comprehensible among free peoples, he fought for the country, and was raised by his fellow-citizens to the Congress at Washington, and by the nation to the Presidency of the Republic; and when the evil grew more virulent, when those States were dissolved, when the slave-holders uttered their war-cry and the slaves their groans of despair, humblest of the humble before his conscience, greatest of the great before history, ascends the Capitol, the greatest moral height of our time, and strong and serene with his conscience and his thought; before him a veteran army, hostile Europe behind him, England favoring the South, France encouraging reaction in Mexico, in his hands the riven country; he arms two millions of men, gathers half a million of horses, sends his artillery twelve hundred miles in a week, from the banks of the Potomac to the shores of the Tennessee; fights more than six hundred battles; renews before Richmond the deeds of Alexander, of Cæsar; and, after having emancipated three million slaves, that nothing might be wanting, he dies in the very moment of victory—like Christ, like Socrates, like all redeemers, at the foot of his work. His work! sublime achievement! over which humanity shall eternally shed its tears, and God his benedictions!


[Pg 260]

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

James A. Garfield

In the great drama of the rebellion there were two acts. The first was the war, with its battles and sieges, its victories and defeats, its sufferings and tears. Just as the curtain was lifting on the second and final act, the restoration of peace and liberty, the evil spirit of the rebellion, in the fury of despair, nerved and directed the hand of an assassin to strike down the chief character in both. It was no one man who killed Abraham Lincoln; it was the embodied spirit of treason and slavery, inspired with fearful and despairing hate, that struck him down in the moment of the nation's supremest joy.

Sir, there are times in the history of men and nations when they stand so near the veil that separates mortals from immortals, time from eternity, and men from God that they can almost hear the beatings and pulsations of the heart of the Infinite. Through such a time has this nation passed.

When two hundred and fifty thousand brave spirits passed from the field of honor, through that thin veil, to the presence of God, and when at last its parting folds admitted the martyr President to the company of those dead heroes of the Republic, the nation stood so near the veil that the whispers of God were heard by the children of men. Awe-stricken by his voice, the American people knelt in tearful reverence and made a solemn covenant with Him and with each other that this nation should be saved from its enemies, that all its glories should be restored, and, on the ruins of slavery and treason, the temples of freedom and justice should be built, and should survive forever.

It remains for us, consecrated by that great event and under a covenant with God, to keep that faith, to go forward in the great work until it shall be completed. Following the lead of that great man, and obeying the high behests of God, let us remember that:[Pg 261]

"He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on."

LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION[44]

John Hay

I thank you, Mr. Chairman; I thank you, gentlemen—all of you—for your too generous and amiable welcome. I esteem it a great privilege to meet so many representatives of an estate which, more than any other, at this hour controls the world. It is my daily duty in Washington to confer with the able and distinguished representatives of civilized sovereigns and states. But we are all aware that the days of personal government are gone forever; that behind us, and behind the rulers we represent, there stands the vast, irresistible power of public opinion, which in the last resort must decide all the questions we discuss, and whose judgment is final. In your persons I greet the organs and exponents of that tremendous power with all the respect which is due to you and your constituency, deeply sensible of the honor which has been done me in making me the mouthpiece of the sentiment of appreciation and regard with which the nation welcomes you to this great festival of peace and of progress.

Upon none of the arts or professions has the tremendous acceleration of progress in recent years had more effect than upon that of which you are the representatives. We easily grow used to miracles; it will seem a mere commonplace when I say that all the wonders of the magicians invented by those ingenious oriental poets who wrote the "Arabian Nights" pale[Pg 262] before the stupendous facts which you handle in your daily lives. The air has scarcely ceased to vibrate with the utterances of kings and rulers in the older realms when their words are read in the streets of St. Louis and on the farms of Nebraska. The telegraph is too quick for the calendar; you may read in your evening paper a dispatch from the antipodes with a date of the following day. The details of a battle on the shores of the Hermit Kingdom, a land which a few years ago was hidden in the mists of legend, are printed and commented on before the blood of the wounded has ceased to flow. Almost before the smoke of the conflict has lifted we read the obituaries of the unsepultured dead. And not only do you record with the swiftness of thought these incidents of war and violence, but the daily victories of truth over error, of light over darkness; the spread of commerce in distant seas, the inventions of industry, the discoveries of science, are all placed instantly within the knowledge of millions. The seeds of thought, perfected in one climate, blossom and fructify under every sky, in every nationality which the sun visits.

With these miraculous facilities, with this unlimited power, comes also an enormous responsibility in the face of God and man. I am not here to preach to you a gospel whose lessons are known to you far better than to me. I am not calling sinners to repentance, but I am following a good tradition in stirring up the pure minds of the righteous by way of remembrance. It is well for us to reflect on the vast import, the endless chain of results, of that globe-encircling speech you address each day to the world. Your winged words have no fixed flight; like the lightning, they traverse the ether according to laws of their own. They light in every clime; they influence a thousand different varieties of minds and manners. How vastly important is it, then, that the sentiments they convey should be those of good will rather than of malevolence, those of national concord rather than of prejudice, those of peace rather than of[Pg 263] hostility. The temptation to the contrary is almost irresistible. I acknowledge with contrition how often I have fallen by the way. It is far more amusing to attack than to defend, to excite than to soothe. But the highest victory of great power is that of self-restraint, and it would be a beneficent result of this memorable meeting, this œcumenical council of the press, if it taught us all—the brethren of this mighty priesthood—that mutual knowledge of each other which should modify prejudices, restrain acerbity of thought and expression, and tend in some degree to bring in that blessed time—

"When light shall spread and man be liker man
Through all the season of the Golden Year."

What better school was ever seen in which to learn the lesson of mutual esteem and forbearance than this great exposition? The nations of the earth are met here in friendly competition. The first thing that strikes the visitor is the infinite diversity of thought and effort which characterizes the several exhibits; but a closer study every day reveals a resemblance of mind and purpose more marvelous still. Integrity, industry, the intelligent adaptation of means to ends, are everywhere the indispensable conditions of success. Honest work, honest dealing, these qualities mark the winner in every part of the world. The artist, the poet, the artisan, and the statesman, they everywhere stand or fall through the lack or the possession of similar qualities. How shall one people hate or despise another when we have seen how like us they are in most respects, and how superior they are in some! Why should we not revert to the ancient wisdom which regarded nothing human as alien, and to the words of Holy Writ which remind us that the Almighty has made all men brethren?

In the name of the President—writer, soldier, and statesman, eminent in all three professions and in all equally an advocate of justice, peace, and good will—I bid you a cordial welcome,[Pg 264] with the prayer that this meeting of the representatives of the world's intelligence may be fruitful in advantage to the press of all nations and may bring us somewhat nearer to the dawn of the day of peace on earth and good will among men. Let us remember that we are met to celebrate the transfer of a vast empire from one nation to another without the firing of a shot, without the shedding of one drop of blood. If the press of the world would adopt and persist in the high resolve that war should be no more, the clangor of arms would cease from the rising of the sun to its going down, and we could fancy that at last our ears, no longer stunned by the din of armies, might hear the morning stars singing together and all the sons of God shouting for joy.

FOOTNOTE:

[44] Address of the Secretary of State at the opening of the Press Parliament of the World, at St. Louis, on the 19th of May, 1904. Used by permission of Mrs. Hay.


THE MAN WITH THE MUCK-RAKE[45]

Theodore Roosevelt

In Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" you may recall the description of the Man with the Muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck-rake in his hand; who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.

In "Pilgrim's Progress" the Man with the Muck-rake is set forth as the example of him whose vision is fixed on carnal instead of on spiritual things. Yet he also typifies the man who in this life consistently refuses to see aught that is lofty, and fixes his eyes with solemn intentness only on that which is vile and debasing. Now, it is very necessary that we should not flinch from seeing what is vile and debasing. There is filth on the[Pg 265] floor, and it must be scraped up with the muck-rake; and there are times and places where this service is the most needed of all the services that can be performed. But the man who never does anything else, who never thinks or speaks or writes, save of his feats with the muck-rake, speedily becomes, not a help to society, not an incitement to good, but one of the most potent forces for evil.

There are, in the body politic, economic and social, many and grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them. There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man, whether politician or business man, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful. The liar is no whit better than the thief, and if his mendacity takes the form of slander, he may be worse than most thieves. It puts a premium upon knavery untruthfully to attack an honest man, or even with hysterical exaggeration to assail a bad man with untruth. An epidemic of indiscriminate assault upon character does not good, but very great harm. The soul of every scoundrel is gladdened whenever an honest man is assailed, or even when a scoundrel is untruthfully assailed.

Now, it is easy to twist out of shape what I have just said, easy to affect to misunderstand it, and, if it is slurred over in repetition, not difficult really to misunderstand it. Some persons are sincerely incapable of understanding that to denounce mud-slinging does not mean the indorsement of whitewashing; and both the interested individuals who need whitewashing, and those others who practice mud-slinging, like to encourage such confusion of ideas. One of the chief counts against those who make indiscriminate assault upon men in business or men in[Pg 266] public life, is that they invite a reaction which is sure to tell powerfully in favor of the unscrupulous scoundrel who really ought to be attacked, who ought to be exposed, who ought, if possible, to be put in the penitentiary. If Aristides is praised overmuch as just, people get tired of hearing it; and overcensure of the unjust finally and from similar reasons results in their favor.

Any excess is almost sure to invite a reaction; and, unfortunately, the reaction, instead of taking the form of punishment of those guilty of the excess, is very apt to take the form either of punishment of the unoffending or of giving immunity, and even strength, to offenders. The effort to make financial or political profit out of the destruction of character can only result in public calamity. Gross and reckless assaults on character, whether on the stump or in newspaper, magazine, or book, create a morbid and vicious public sentiment, and at the same time act as a profound deterrent to able men of normal sensitiveness and tend to prevent them from entering the public service at any price. As an instance in point, I may mention that one serious difficulty encountered in getting the right type of men to dig the Panama Canal is the certainty that they will be exposed, both without, and, I am sorry to say, sometimes within Congress, to utterly reckless assaults on their character and capacity.

At the risk of repetition let me say again that my plea is, not for immunity to but for the most unsparing exposure of the politician who betrays his trust, of the big business man who makes or spends his fortune in illegitimate or corrupt ways. There should be a resolute effort to hunt every such man out of the position he has disgraced. Expose the crime, and hunt down the criminal; but remember that even in the case of crime, if it is attacked in sensational, lurid, and untruthful fashion, the attack may do more damage to the public mind than the crime itself. It is because I feel that there should be no[Pg 267] rest in the endless war against the forces of evil that I ask that the war be conducted with sanity as well as with resolution. The men with the muck-rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward to the celestial crown above them, to the crown of worthy endeavor. There are beautiful things above and round about them; and if they gradually grow to feel that the whole world is nothing but muck, their power of usefulness is gone. If the whole picture is painted black, there remains no hue whereby to single out the rascals for distinction from their fellows. Such painting finally induces a kind of moral color-blindness; and people affected by it come to the conclusion that no man is really black, and no man really white, but they are all gray. In other words, they neither believe in the truth of the attack, nor in the honesty of the man who is attacked; they grow as suspicious of the accusation as of the offense; it becomes well-nigh hopeless to stir them either to wrath against wrong-doing or to enthusiasm for what is right; and such a mental attitude in the public gives hope to every knave, and is the despair of honest men.

To assail the great and admitted evils of our political and industrial life with such crude and sweeping generalizations as to include decent men in the general condemnation means the searing of the public conscience. There results a general attitude either of cynical belief in and indifference to public corruption or else of a distrustful inability to discriminate between the good and the bad. Either attitude is fraught with untold damage to the country as a whole. The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well-nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad. There is nothing more distressing to every good patriot, to every good American, than the hard, scoffing spirit which treats the allegation of dishonesty in a public man as a cause for laughter. Such laughter is worse[Pg 268] than the crackling of thorns under a pot, for it denotes not merely the vacant mind, but the heart in which high emotions have been choked before they could grow to fruition.

There is any amount of good in the world, and there never was a time when loftier and more disinterested work for the betterment of mankind was being done than now. The forces that tend for evil are great and terrible, but the forces of truth and love and courage and honesty and generosity and sympathy are also stronger than ever before. It is a foolish and timid, no less than a wicked thing, to blink the fact that the forces of evil are strong, but it is even worse to fail to take into account the strength of the forces that tell for good. Hysterical sensationalism is the very poorest weapon wherewith to fight for lasting righteousness. The men who, with stern sobriety and truth, assail the many evils of our time, whether in the public press, or in magazines, or in books, are the leaders and allies of all engaged in the work for social and political betterment. But if they give good reason for distrust of what they say, if they chill the ardor of those who demand truth as a primary virtue, they thereby betray the good cause, and play into the hands of the very men against whom they are nominally at war....

At this moment we are passing through a period of great unrest—social, political, and industrial unrest. It is of the utmost importance for our future that this should prove to be not the unrest of mere rebelliousness against life, of mere dissatisfaction with the inevitable inequality of conditions, but the unrest of a resolute and eager ambition to secure the betterment of the individual and the nation. So far as this movement of agitation throughout the country takes the form of a fierce discontent with evil, of a determination to punish the authors of evil, whether in industry or politics, the feeling is to be heartily welcomed as a sign of healthy life.

If, on the other hand, it turns into a mere crusade of appetite against appetite, of a contest between the brutal greed of the[Pg 269] "have-nots" and the brutal greed of the "haves," then it has no significance for good, but only for evil. If it seeks to establish a line of cleavage, not along the line which divides good men from bad, but along that other line, running at right angles thereto, which divides those who are well off from those who are less well off, then it will be fraught with immeasurable harm to the body politic.

We can no more and no less afford to condone evil in the man of capital than evil in the man of no capital. The wealthy man who exults because there is a failure of justice in the effort to bring some trust magnate to an account for his misdeeds is as bad as, and no worse than, the so-called labor leader who clamorously strives to excite a foul class feeling on behalf of some other labor leader who is implicated in murder. One attitude is as bad as the other, and no worse; in each case the accused is entitled to exact justice; and in neither case is there need of action by others which can be construed into an expression of sympathy for crime.

It is a prime necessity that if the present unrest is to result in permanent good the emotion shall be translated into action, and that the action shall be marked by honesty, sanity and self-restraint. There is mighty little good in a mere spasm of reform. The reform that counts is that which comes through steady, continuous growth; violent emotionalism leads to exhaustion....

The first requisite in the public servants who are to deal in this shape with corporations, whether as legislators or as executives, is honesty. This honesty can be no respecter of persons. There can be no such thing as unilateral honesty. The danger is not really from corrupt corporations; it springs from the corruption itself, whether exercised for or against corporations.

The eighth commandment reads, "Thou shalt not steal." It does not read, "Thou shalt not steal from the rich man." It does not read, "Thou shalt not steal from the poor man."[Pg 270] It reads simply and plainly, "Thou shalt not steal." No good whatever will come from that warped and mock morality which denounces the misdeeds of men of wealth and forgets the misdeeds practiced at their expense; which denounces bribery, but blinds itself to blackmail; which foams with rage if a corporation secures favors by improper methods, and merely leers with hideous mirth if the corporation is itself wronged. The only public servant who can be trusted honestly to protect the rights of the public against the misdeed of a corporation is that public man who will just as surely protect the corporation itself from wrongful aggression. If a public man is willing to yield to popular clamor and do wrong to the men of wealth or to rich corporations, it may be set down as certain that if the opportunity comes he will secretly and furtively do wrong to the public in the interest of a corporation.

But, in addition to honesty, we need sanity. No honesty will make a public man useful if that man is timid or foolish, if he is a hot-headed zealot or an impracticable visionary. As we strive for reform we find that it is not at all merely the case of a long uphill pull. On the contrary, there is almost as much of breeching work as of collar work; to depend only on traces means that there will soon be a runaway and an upset. The men of wealth who to-day are trying to prevent the regulation and control of their business in the interest of the public by the proper Government authorities will not succeed, in my judgment, in checking the progress of the movement. But if they did succeed they would find that they had sown the wind and would surely reap the whirlwind, for they would ultimately provoke the violent excesses which accompany a reform coming by convulsion instead of by steady and natural growth.

On the other hand, the wild preachers of unrest and discontent, the wild agitators against the entire existing order, the men who act crookedly, whether because of sinister design or from mere puzzleheadedness, the men who preach destruc[Pg 271]tion without proposing any substitute for what they intend to destroy, or who propose a substitute which would be far worse than the existing evils—all these men are the most dangerous opponents of real reform. If they get their way, they will lead the people into a deeper pit than any into which they could fall under the present system. If they fail to get their way, they will still do incalculable harm by provoking the kind of reaction which, in its revolt against the senseless evil of their teaching, would enthrone more securely than ever the very evils which their misguided followers believe they are attacking.

More important than aught else is the development of the broadest sympathy of man for man. The welfare of the wage-worker, the welfare of the tiller of the soil, upon these depend the welfare of the entire country; their good is not to be sought in pulling down others; but their good must be the prime object of all our statesmanship.

Materially we must strive to secure a broader economic opportunity for all men, so that each shall have a better chance to show the stuff of which he is made. Spiritually and ethically we must strive to bring about clean living and right thinking. We appreciate that the things of the body are important; but we appreciate also that the things of the soul are immeasurably more important. The foundation stone of national life is, and ever must be, the high individual character of the average citizen.

FOOTNOTE:

[45] From an address delivered by the President at the laying of the corner-stone of the Office Building of the House of Representatives, April 14, 1906.


MESSAGE TO THE SQUADRON[46]

Admiral Heihaichiro Togo

The war of twenty months' duration is now a thing of the past, and our united squadron, having completed its functions, is to be herewith dispersed. But our duties as naval men are not at all lightened for that reason. To preserve in perpetuity[Pg 272] the fruits of this war, to promote to ever greater heights of prosperity the fortunes of the country, the navy, which, irrespective of peace or war, has to stand between the Empire and shocks from abroad, must always maintain its strength at sea and must be prepared to meet any emergency.

This strength does not consist solely in ships and armaments, it consists also in material ability to utilize such agents. When we understand that one gun that scores a hundred per cent of hits is a match for a hundred of the enemy's guns each of which scores only one per cent, it becomes evident that we sailors must have recourse before everything to the strength which is over and above externals. The triumphs recently won by our navy are largely to be attributed to the habitual training which enabled us to garner the fruits of the fighting. If, then, we infer the future from the past, we recognize that, though wars may cease, we cannot abandon ourselves to ease and rest. A soldier's whole life is one continuous and unceasing battle, and there is no reason why his responsibilities should vary with the state of the times. In days of crisis he has to display his strength, in days of peace to accumulate it, thus perpetually and uniquely discharging his duties to the full.

If men calling themselves sailors grasp at the pleasures of peace, they will learn the lesson that, however fine in appearance their engines of war, those, like a house built on the sand, will fall at the first approach of the storm.

When in ancient times we conquered Korea that country remained over four hundred years under our control, only to be lost by Japan as soon as our navy had declined. Again, when under the sway of the Tokugawa in modern days our armaments were neglected, the coming of a few American ships threw us into distress. On the other hand, the British navy, which won the battles of the Nile and of Trafalgar, not only made England as secure as a great mountain, but also by thenceforth carefully maintaining its strength and keeping it on a level[Pg 273] with the world's progress has safeguarded that country's interests and promoted its fortunes.

Such lessons, whether ancient or modern, occidental or oriental, though to some extent they are the outcome of political happenings, must be regarded as in the main the natural result of whether the soldier remembers war in the day of peace. We naval men who have survived the war must plan future developments and seek not to fall behind the progress of the time. If, keeping the instructions of our Sovereign ever graven on our hearts, we serve him earnestly and diligently, and putting forth our full strength await what the hour may bring forth, we shall then have discharged our great duty of perpetually guarding our country.

FOOTNOTE:

[46] Address at the dispersal of the squadron at the close of the Russo-Japanese war.


THE MINUTE MAN

George William Curtis

Citizens of a great, free, and prosperous country, we come hither to honor the men, our fathers, who on this spot struck the first blow in the contest which made our country independent. Here, beneath the hills they trod, by the peaceful river on whose shores they dwelt, amidst the fields that they sowed and reaped, we come to tell their story, to try ourselves by their lofty standard, to know if we are their worthy children; and, standing reverently where they stood and fought and died, to swear before God and each other, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The minute man of the Revolution! And who was he? He was the husband and father, who left the plough in the furrow, the hammer on the bench, and, kissing his wife and children, marched to die or to be free! He was the old, the middle-aged, the young. He was Captain Miles, of Acton, who reproved his men for jesting on the march! He was Deacon Josiah Haines, of Sudbury, eighty years old, who marched with[Pg 274] his company to South Bridge, at Concord, then joined in that hot pursuit to Lexington, and fell as gloriously as Warren at Bunker Hill. He was James Hayward, of Acton, twenty-two years old, foremost in that deadly race from Charlestown to Concord, who raised his piece at the same moment with a British soldier, each exclaiming, "You are a dead man!" The Briton dropped, shot through the heart. Hayward fell mortally wounded. "Father," said he, "I started with forty balls; I have three left. I never did such a day's work before. Tell mother not to mourn too much; and tell her whom I love more than my mother that I am not sorry I turned out."

The last living link with the Revolution has long been broken; and we who stand here to-day have a sympathy with the men at the old North Bridge, which those who preceded us here at earlier celebrations could not know. With them war was a name and a tradition. When they assembled to celebrate this day, they saw a little group of tottering forms, whose pride was that, before living memory, they had been minute men of American Independence.

But with us, how changed! War is no longer a tradition, half romantic and obscure. It has ravaged how many of our homes, it has wrung how many of the hearts before me? North and South, we know the pang. We do not count around us a few feeble veterans of the contest, but we are girt with a cloud of witnesses. Behold them here to-day, sharing in these pious and peaceful rites, the honored citizens whose glory it is that they were minute men of American liberty and union! These men of to-day interpret to us, with resistless eloquence, the men and the times we commemorate. Now, if never before, we understand the Revolution. Now, we know the secrets of those old hearts and homes.

No royal governor sits in yon stately capitol; no hostile fleet for many a year has vexed the waters of our coast; nor is any army but our own ever likely to tread our soil. Not such[Pg 275] are our enemies to-day. They do not come proudly stepping to the drum-beat, with bayonets flashing in the morning sun. But wherever party spirit shall strain the ancient guarantees of freedom, or bigotry and ignorance of caste shall strike at equal rights, or corruption shall poison the very springs of national life, there, minute men of liberty, are your Lexington Green and Concord Bridge! And, as you love your country and your kind, and would have your children rise up and call you blessed, spare not the enemy! Over the hills, out of the earth, down from the clouds, pour in resistless might! Fire from every rock and tree, from door and window, from hearth-stone and chamber; hang upon his flank and rear from morn to sunset, and so through a land blazing with holy indignation, hurl the hordes of ignorance and corruption and injustice back, back in utter defeat and ruin.


A MORE PERFECT UNION[47]

George William Curtis

Upon this field consecrated by American valor we meet to consecrate ourselves to American union. In this hallowed ground lie buried, not only brave soldiers of the blue and the gray, but the passions of war, the jealousies of sections, and the bitter root of all our national differences, human slavery. Here long and angry controversies of political dogma, of material interest, and of local pride and tradition, came to their decisive struggle. As the fate of Christendom was determined at Tours, that of American Independence at Saratoga, and that of modern Europe at Waterloo, the destiny of the American Union was decided at Gettysburg. A hundred other famous fields there are of the same American bravery in the same[Pg 276] tremendous strife; fields whose proud and terrible tale history and song will never tire of telling. But it is here that the struggle touched its highest point. Here broke the fiery crest of that invading wave of war.

This is one of the historic fields of the world, and to us Americans no other has an interest so profound. Marathon and Arbela, Worcester and Valmy, even our own Bunker Hill and Saratoga and Yorktown, fields of undying fame, have not for us a significance so vital and so beneficent as this field of Gettysburg. Around its chief and central interest gather associations of felicitous significance. Like the House of Delegates in Williamsburg, where Patrick Henry roused Virginia to resistance; like Faneuil Hall in Boston, where Samuel Adams lifted New England to independence; like Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress assembled, this field is invested with the undying charm of famous words fitly spoken. While yet the echoes of the battle might have seemed to linger in the awed and grieving air, stood the sad and patient and devoted man, whose burden was greater than that of any man of his generation, and as greatly borne as any solemn responsibility in human history. Upon this field he spoke the few simple words which enshrine the significance of the great controversy and which have become a part of this historic scene, to endure with the memory of Gettysburg, and to touch the heart and exalt the hope of every American from the gulf to the lakes and from ocean to ocean, so long as this valley shall smile with spring and glow with autumn, and day and night and seed time and harvest shall not fail.

To-day his prophetic vision is fulfilled. The murmur of these hosts of peace encamped upon this field of war, this universal voice of friendly greeting and congratulation, these cheers of the gray echoing the cheers of the blue, what are they but the answering music of those chords of memory; the swell[Pg 277]ing chorus of the Union responding to the better angels of our nature? If there be joy in Heaven this day, it is in the heart of Abraham Lincoln as he looks down upon this field of Gettysburg.

But that the glory of this day, and of America, and of human nature, may be full, it is the veterans and survivors of the armies whose tremendous conflict interpreted the Constitution, who to-day, here upon the field of battle and upon its twenty-fifth anniversary, clasp friendly hands of sympathy to salute a common victory. This is a spectacle without precedent in history. No field of the cloth of gold, or of the grounded arms, no splendid scene of the royal adjustment of conquests, the diplomatic settlement of treaties, or the papal incitement of crusades, rivals in moral grandeur and significance this simple pageant.

The sun of Gettysburg rose on the 1st of July and saw the army of the gray already advancing in line of battle; the army of the blue still hastening eagerly forward and converging to this point. The glory of midsummer filled this landscape as if nature had arrayed a fitting scene for a transcendent event. Once more the unquailing lines so long arrayed against each other stood face to face. Once more the inexpressible emotion mingled of yearning memory, of fond affection, of dread foreboding, of high hope, of patriotic enthusiasm and of stern resolve, swept for a moment over thousands of brave hearts, and the next instant the overwhelming storm of battle burst. For three long, proud, immortal days it raged and swayed, the earth trembling, the air quivering, the sky obscured; with shouting charge, and rattling volley, the thundering cannonade piling the ground with mangled and bleeding blue and gray, the old, the young, but always and everywhere the devoted and the brave. Doubtful the battle hung and paused. Then a formidable bolt of war was forged on yonder wooded height and launched with withering blasts and roar of fire against the foe.[Pg 278] It was a living bolt and sped as if resistless. It reached and touched the flaming line of the embattled blue. It pierced the line. For one brief moment in the sharp agony of mortal strife it held its own. It was the supreme moment of the peril of the Union. It was the heroic crisis of the war. But the fiery force was spent. In one last, wild, tumultuous struggle brave men dashed headlong against men as brave, and the next moment that awful bolt of daring courage was melted in the fervent heat of an equal valor, and the battle of Gettysburg was fought.

If the rising sun of the Fourth of July, 1863, looked upon a sad and unwonted scene, a desolated battlefield, upon which the combatants upon either side had been American citizens, yet those combatants could they have seen aright would have hailed that day as more glorious than ever before. For as the children of Israel beheld Moses descending amid the clouds and thunder of the sacred mount bearing the divinely illuminated law, so from that smoking and blood-drenched field on which all hope of future union might seem to have perished utterly, they would have seen a more perfect union rising, with the constitution at last immutably interpreted, and they would have heard, before they were uttered by human lips, the words of which Gettysburg is the immortal pledge to mankind, government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

FOOTNOTE:

[47] Delivered at Gettysburg, July 3, 1888. The occasion was a reunion of the Blue and the Gray on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the great battle.


NAPOLEON

Thomas Corwin

Napoleon thought France was too small, that Europe should bow down to him. But as soon as this idea took possession of his soul he became powerless, while he meditated the subjugation of Russia. He who holds the winds in his power, gathered the snows from the north and blew them upon[Pg 279] his six hundred thousand men. They fled, they froze, they perished. And now the mighty Napoleon, who had resolved on universal dominion, is summoned to answer for the violation of that ancient law, "Thou shalt not covet anything which is thy neighbor's." And how is the mighty fallen! He beneath whose proud footstep Europe trembled, he is now an exile at Elba, and now, finally a prisoner on the rock of St. Helena, and there on a barren island, in an unfrequented sea, in the crater of an extinguished volcano, there is the death-bed of the mighty conqueror. And all his annexations have come to that! His last hour has now come, and he, the man of destiny, he who had rocked the world as in the throes of an earthquake, is now powerless—even as a beggar, so he died. On the wings of a tempest, that raged with unwonted fury, up to the throne of the only power that controlled him while he lived, went the fiery soul of that wonderful warrior, another witness to the existence of that eternal decree, that they who do not rule in righteousness shall perish from the earth.


NAPOLEON[48]

Robert G. Ingersoll

A little while ago, I stood by the grave of the old Napoleon, a magnificent tomb of gilt and gold, fit almost for a dead deity, and gazed upon the sarcophagus of rare and nameless marble, where rest at last the ashes of that restless man. I leaned over the balustrade and thought about the career of the greatest soldier of the modern world.

I saw him walking upon the banks of the Seine, contemplating suicide. I saw him at Toulon. I saw him putting down the mob in the streets of Paris. I saw him at the head of the army of Italy. I saw him crossing the bridge of Lodi with the tricolor in his hand. I saw him in Egypt in the shadows of the[Pg 280] Pyramids. I saw him conquer the Alps and mingle the eagles of France with the eagles of the crags. I saw him at Marengo, at Ulm and Austerlitz. I saw him in Russia, where the infantry of the snow and the cavalry of the wild blast scattered his legions like winter's withered leaves. I saw him at Leipsic in defeat and disaster, driven by a million bayonets back upon Paris—clutched like a wild beast—banished to Elba. I saw him escape and retake an empire by the force of his genius. I saw him upon the frightful field of Waterloo, where Chance and Fate combined to wreck the fortunes of their former king. And I saw him at St. Helena, with his hands crossed behind him, gazing out upon the sad and solemn sea.

I thought of the orphans and widows he had made, of the tears that had been shed for his glory, and of the only woman who ever loved him, pushed from his heart by the cold hand of ambition. And I said, "I would rather have been a French peasant and worn wooden shoes. I would rather have lived in a hut with a vine growing over the door, and the grapes growing purple in the amorous kisses of the autumn sun. I would rather have been that poor peasant, with my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky, with my children upon my knees and their arms about me. I would rather have been that man, and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust, than to have been that imperial impersonation of force and murder, known as Napoleon the Great."

FOOTNOTE:

[48] By permission of C. P. Farrell, publisher.


NATIONAL CONTROL OF CORPORATIONS[49]

Theodore Roosevelt

When this government was founded there were no great individual or corporate fortunes, and commerce and industry were being carried on very much as they had been carried[Pg 281] on in the days when Nineveh and Babylon stood in the Mesopotamian Valley. Sails, oars, wheels—those were the instruments of commerce. The pack train, the wagon train, the row boat, the sailing craft—those were the methods of commerce. Everything has been revolutionized in the business world since then, and the progress of civilization from being a dribble has become a torrent. There was no particular need at that time of bothering as to whether the nation or the state had control of corporations. They were easy to control. Now, however, the exact reverse is the case. And remember when I say corporations I do not mean merely trusts, technically so-called, merely combinations of corporations, or corporations under certain peculiar conditions. For instance, some time ago the Attorney General took action against a certain trust. There was considerable discussion as to whether the trust aimed at would not seek to get out from under the law by becoming a single corporation. Now I want laws that will enable us to deal with any evil no matter what shape it takes.

I want to see the government able to get at it definitely, so that the action of the government cannot be evaded by any turning within or without federal or state statutes. At present we have really no efficient control over a big corporation which does business in more than one state. Frequently the corporation has nothing whatever to do with the state in which it is incorporated except to get incorporated; and all its business may be done in entirely different communities—communities which may object very much to the methods of incorporation in the state named. I do not believe that you can get any action by any state, I do not believe it practicable to get action by all the states that will give us satisfactory control of the trusts, of big corporations; and the result is at present that we have a great, powerful, artificial creation which has no creator to which it is responsible. The creator creates it and[Pg 282] then it goes and operates somewhere else, and there is no interest on the part of the creator to deal with it. It does not do anything where the creator has power; it operates entirely outside of the creator's jurisdiction.

It is, of course, a mere truism to say that the corporation is the creature of the state, that the state is sovereign. There should be a real and not a nominal sovereign, some one sovereign to which the corporation shall be really and not nominally responsible. At present if we pass laws nobody can tell whether they will amount to anything. That has two bad effects. In the first place, the corporation becomes indifferent to the lawmaking body; and in the next place, the lawmaking body gets into that most pernicious custom of passing a law not with reference to what will be done under it, but with reference to its effects upon the opinions of the voters. That is a bad thing. When any body of lawmakers passes a law, not simply with reference to whether that law will do good or ill, but with the knowledge that not much will come of it, and yet that perhaps the people as a whole will like to see it on the statute books—it does not speak well for the lawmakers, and it does not speak well for the people either. What I hope to see is power given to the national legislature which shall make the control real. It would be an excellent thing if you could have all the states act on somewhat similar lines so that you would make it unnecessary for the national government to act; but all of you know perfectly well that the states will not act on similar lines. No advance whatever has been made in the direction of intelligent dealing by the states as a collective body with those great corporations.

 

I am not advocating anything very revolutionary. I am advocating action to prevent anything revolutionary. Now if we can get adequate control by the nation of these great corporations, then we can pass legislation which will give us the[Pg 283] power of regulation and supervision over them. If the nation had that power, I should advocate as strenuously as I know how that the power should be exercised with extreme caution and self-restraint.

FOOTNOTE:

[49] From a speech delivered at Symphony Hall, Boston, August 25, 1902.


THE NEGRO

Henry W. Grady

The love we feel for that race you cannot measure nor comprehend. As I attest it here, the spirit of my old black mammy from her home up there looks down to bless, and through the tumult of this night steals the sweet music of her croonings as thirty years ago she held me in her black arms and led me smiling into sleep. This scene vanishes as I speak, and I catch a vision of an old Southern home, with its lofty pillars, and its white pigeons fluttering down through the golden air. I see women with strained and anxious faces, and children alert yet helpless. I see night come down with its dangers and its apprehensions, and in a big homely room I feel on my tired head the touch of loving hands, and I thank God that she is safe in her sanctuary, because her slaves, sentinel in the silent cabin or on guard at her chamber door, put a black man's loyalty between her and danger.

I catch another vision. The crisis of battle, a soldier struck, staggering, fallen. I see a slave, scuffling through the smoke, winding his black arms about the fallen form, reckless of the hurtling death—bending his trusty face to catch the words that tremble on the stricken lips. I see him by the weary bedside, ministering with uncomplaining patience, praying with all his humble heart that God will lift his master up, until death comes in mercy and in honor to still the soldier's agony and seal the soldier's life. I see him by the open grave, mute, motionless, uncovered, suffering for the death of him who in life fought against his freedom. I see him when the mound is heaped and the great drama of his life is closed, turn away and[Pg 284] with downcast eyes and uncertain step start out into new and strange fields, faltering, struggling, but moving on, until his shambling figure is lost in the light of this better and brighter day. And out into this new world—strange to me as to him, dazzling, bewildering both—I follow! And may God forget my people when they forget these.


NEW ENGLAND

Josiah Quincy

The great comprehensive truths, written in letters of living light on every page of our history,—the language addressed by every past age of New England to all future ages, is this: Human happiness has no perfect security but freedom; freedom, none but virtue; virtue, none but knowledge; and neither freedom, nor virtue, nor knowledge, has any vigor or immortal hope, except in the principles of the Christian faith, and in the sanctions of the Christian religion.

Men of Massachusetts! citizens of Boston! descendants of the early immigrants! consider your blessings; consider your duties. You have an inheritance acquired by the labors and sufferings of six successive generations of ancestors. They founded the fabric of your prosperity in a severe and masculine morality, having intelligence for its cement, and religion for its groundwork. Continue to build on the same foundation, and by the same principles let the extending temple of your country's freedom rise in the spirit of ancient times, in proportions of intellectual and moral architecture,—just, simple, and sublime.


THE NEW SOUTH

Henry W. Grady

"There was a South of slavery and secession—that South is dead. There is a South of union and freedom—that South,[Pg 285] thank God, is living, breathing, growing every hour." These words, delivered from the immortal lips of Benjamin H. Hill, at Tammany Hall, in 1866, true then and true now, I shall make my text to-night.

Mr. President and Gentlemen: Let me express to you my appreciation of the kindness by which I am permitted to address you. I make this abrupt acknowledgment advisedly, for I feel that if, when I raise my provincial voice in this ancient and august presence, I could find courage for no more than the opening sentence, it would be well if in that sentence I had met in a rough sense my obligation as a guest, and had perished, so to speak, with courtesy on my lips and grace in my heart. Permitted, through your kindness, to catch my second wind, let me say that I appreciate the significance of being the first Southerner to speak at this board, which bears the substance, if it surpasses the semblance, of original New England hospitality—and honors the sentiment that in turn honors you, but in which my personality is lost, and the compliment to my people made plain.

My friends, Dr. Talmage has told you that the typical American has yet to come. Let me tell you that he has already come. Great types, like valuable plants, are slow to flower and fruit. But from the union of the colonists, Puritans and Cavaliers, from the straightening of their purposes and the crossing of their blood, slow perfecting through a century, came he who stands as the first typical American, the first who comprehended within himself all the strength and gentleness, all the majesty and grace of this republic—Abraham Lincoln. He was the sum of Puritan and Cavalier, for in his ardent nature were fused the virtues of both, and in the depths of his great soul the faults of both were lost. He was greater than Puritan, greater than Cavalier, in that he was American, and that in his honest form were first gathered the vast and thrilling forces of his ideal government—charging it with such[Pg 286] tremendous meaning and elevating it above human suffering that martyrdom, though infamously aimed, came as a fitting crown to a life consecrated from the cradle to human liberty. Let us, each cherishing the traditions and honoring his fathers, build with reverent hands to the type of this simple but sublime life, in which all types are honored, and in our common glory as Americans there will be plenty and to spare for your forefathers and for mine.

Dr. Talmage has drawn for you, with a master's hand, the picture of your returning armies. He has told you how, in the pomp and circumstance of war, they came back to you, marching with proud and victorious tread, reading their glory in a nation's eyes! Will you bear with me while I tell you of another army that sought its home at the close of the late war—an army that marched home in defeat and not in victory—in pathos and not in splendor, but in glory that equaled yours, and to hearts as loving as ever welcomed heroes home! Let me picture to you the footsore Confederate soldier, as buttoning up in his faded gray jacket the parole which was to bear testimony to his children of his fidelity and faith, he turned his face southward from Appomattox in April, 1865. Think of him as ragged, half-starved, heavy-hearted, enfeebled by want and wounds. Having fought to exhaustion, he surrenders his gun, wrings the hands of his comrades in silence, and lifting his tear-stained and pallid face for the last time to the graves that dot old Virginia hills, pulls his gray cap over his brow and begins the slow and painful journey. What does he find—let me ask you who went to your homes eager to find, in the welcome you had justly earned, full payment for four years' sacrifice—what does he find when, having followed the battle-stained cross against overwhelming odds, dreading death not half so much as surrender, he reaches the home he left so prosperous and beautiful? He finds his house in ruins, his farm devastated, his slaves free, his stock killed, his barns empty, his trade[Pg 287] destroyed, his money worthless, his social system, feudal in its magnificence, swept away; his people without law or legal status; his comrades slain, and the burdens of others heavy on his shoulders. Crushed by defeat, his very traditions are gone. Without money, credit, employment, material, or training; and beside all this, confronted with the gravest problem that ever met human intelligence—the establishing of a status for the vast body of his liberated slaves.

What does he do—this hero in gray with a heart of gold? Does he sit down in sullenness and despair? Not for a day. Surely God, who had stripped him of his prosperity, inspired him in his adversity. As ruin was never before so overwhelming, never was restoration swifter. The soldier stepped from the trenches into the furrow; horses that had charged Federal guns marched before the plow, and fields that ran red with human blood in April were green with the harvest in June; women reared in luxury cut up their dresses and made breeches for their husbands, and, with a patience and heroism that fit women always as a garment, gave their hands to work. There was little bitterness in all this. Cheerfulness and frankness prevailed.

Never was nobler duty confided to human hands than the uplifting and upbuilding of the prostrate and bleeding South—misguided, perhaps, but beautiful in her suffering, and honest, brave and generous always. In the record of her social, industrial and political lustration we await with confidence the verdict of the world.

The new South is enamored of her new work. Her soul is stirred with the breath of a new life. The light of a grander day is falling fair on her face. She is thrilling with the consciousness of growing power and prosperity. As she stands upright, full-statured and equal among the people of the earth, breathing the keen air and looking out upon the expanded horizon, she understands that her emancipation came because[Pg 288] through the inscrutable wisdom of God her honest purpose was crossed, and her brave armies were beaten.

This is said in no spirit of time-serving or apology. The South has nothing for which to apologize. She believes that the late struggle between the States was war and not rebellion; revolution and not conspiracy, and that her convictions were as honest as yours. I should be unjust to the dauntless spirit of the South and to my own convictions if I did not make this plain in this presence. The South has nothing to take back. In my native town of Athens is a monument that crowns its central hill—a plain, white shaft. Deep cut into its shining side is a name dear to me above the names of men—that of a brave and simple man who died in brave and simple faith. Not for all the glories of New England, from Plymouth Rock all the way, would I exchange the heritage he left me in his soldier's death. To the foot of that shaft I shall send my children's children to reverence him who ennobled their name with his heroic blood. But, sir, speaking from the shadow of that memory, which I honor as I do nothing else on earth, I say that the cause in which he suffered and for which he gave his life was adjudged by higher and fuller wisdom than his or mine, and I am glad that the omniscient God held the balance of battle in His Almighty hand and that human slavery was swept forever from American soil, and the American Union was saved from the wreck of war.

This message, Mr. President, comes to you from consecrated ground. Every foot of soil about the city in which I live is as sacred as a battle-ground of the republic. Every hill that invests it is hallowed to you by the blood of your brothers who died for your victory, and doubly hallowed to us by the blood of those who died hopeless, but undaunted, in defeat—sacred soil to all of us—rich with memories that make us purer and stronger and better—silent but stanch witnesses in its red desolation of the matchless valor of American[Pg 289] hearts and the deathless glory of American arms—speaking an eloquent witness in its white peace and prosperity to the indissoluble union of American States and the imperishable brotherhood of the American people.

Now, what answer has New England to this message? Will she permit the prejudice of war to remain in the hearts of the conquerors, when it has died in the hearts of the conquered? Will she transmit this prejudice to the next generation, that in their hearts which never felt the generous ardor of conflict it may perpetuate itself? Will she withhold, save in strained courtesy, the hand which straight from his soldier's heart Grant offered to Lee at Appomattox? Will she make the vision of a restored and happy people, which gathered above the couch of your dying captain, filling his heart with grace, touching his lips with praise, and glorifying his path to the grave—will she make this vision, on which the last sigh of his expiring soul breathed a benediction, a cheat and delusion? If she does, the South, never abject in asking for comradeship, must accept with dignity its refusal; but if she does not refuse to accept in frankness and sincerity this message of good will and friendship, then will the prophecy of Webster, delivered in this very society forty years ago amid tremendous applause, be verified in its fullest sense, when he said: "Standing hand to hand and clasping hands, we should remain united as we have been for sixty years, citizens of the same country, members of the same government, united, all united now and united forever." There have been difficulties, contentions, and controversies, but I tell you that in my judgment,

"Those opened eyes,
Which like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in th' intestine shock,
Shall now, in mutual, well beseeming ranks,
March all one way."

[Pg 290]

DANIEL O'CONNELL[50]

Wendell Phillips

I do not think I exaggerate when I say that never since God made Demosthenes has He made a man better fitted for a great work than He did Daniel O'Connell.

You may say that I am partial to my hero, but John Randolph of Roanoke, who hated an Irishman almost as much as he did a Yankee, when he got to London and heard O'Connell, the old slaveholder threw up his hands and exclaimed, "This is the man, those are the lips, the most eloquent that speak English in my day," and I think he was right.

Webster could address a bench of judges; Everett could charm a college; Choate could delude a jury; Clay could magnetize a senate; and Tom Corwin could hold the mob in his right hand, but no one of these men could do more than this one thing. The wonder about O'Connell was that he could out-talk Corwin, he could charm a college better than Everett, and leave Henry Clay himself far behind in magnetizing a senate.

It has been my privilege to have heard all the great orators of America who have become singularly famed about the world's circumference. I know what was the majesty of Webster; I know what it was to melt under the magnetism of Henry Clay; I have seen eloquence in the iron logic of Calhoun; but O'Connell was Webster, Clay, and Calhoun in one. Before the courts, logic; at the bar of the senate, unanswerable and dignified; on the platform, grace, wit, and pathos; before the masses, a whole man. Emerson says, "There is no true eloquence, unless there is a man behind the speech." Daniel O'Connell was listened to because all England and Ireland knew that there was a man behind the speech,—one who could be neither bought, bullied, nor cheated.

When I was in Naples, I asked Thomas Fowell Buxton,[Pg 291] "Is Daniel O'Connell an honest man?" "As honest a man as ever breathed," said he, and then he told me the following story: "When, in 1830, O'Connell first entered Parliament, the anti-slavery cause was so weak that it had only Lushington and myself to speak for it, and we agreed that when he spoke I should cheer him up, and when I spoke he should cheer me, and these were the only cheers we ever got. O'Connell came with one Irish member to support him. A large party of members (I think Buxton said twenty-seven) whom we called the West India interest, the Bristol party, the slave party, went to him, saying, 'O'Connell, at last you are in the House, with one helper. If you never go down to Freemason's Hall with Buxton and Brougham, here are twenty-seven votes for you on every Irish question. If you work with those Abolitionists, count us always against you.'

"It was a terrible temptation. How many a so-called statesman would have yielded! O'Connell said, 'Gentlemen, God knows I speak for the saddest people the sun sees; but may my right hand forget its cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if to help Ireland—even Ireland—I forget the negro one single hour.' From that day," said Buxton, "Lushington and I never went into the lobby that O'Connell did not follow us."

And then, besides his irreproachable character he had what is half the power of a popular orator, he had a majestic presence. A little O'Connell would have been no O'Connell at all. In youth he had the brow of a Jupiter and a stature of Apollo. Sydney Smith says of Lord John Russell's five feet, when he went down to Yorkshire after the Reform Bill had passed, the stalwart hunters of Yorkshire exclaimed, "What, that little shrimp, he carry the Reform Bill!" "No, no!" said Smith, "he was a large man, but the labors of the bill shrunk him."

I remember the story Russell Lowell tells of Webster; when a year or two before his death, the Whig party thought of[Pg 292] dissolution, Webster came home from Washington and went down to Faneuil Hall to protest, and four thousand of his fellow Whigs came out; drawing himself up to his loftiest proportion, his brow charged with thunder, before the listening thousands, he said, "Gentlemen, I am a Whig, a Massachusetts Whig, a Faneuil Hall Whig, a revolutionary Whig, a constitutional Whig. If you break up the Whig party, sir, where am I to go?" And says Lowell, "We all held our breath, thinking where he could go. But if he had been five feet three, we should have said, 'Who cares where you go?'"

Well, O'Connell had all that; and true nature seemed to be speaking all over him. It would have been a pleasure even to look at him if he had not spoken at all, and all you thought of was a greyhound.

And then he had what so few American speakers have, a voice that sounded the gamut. I heard him once in Exeter Hall say, "Americans, I send my voice careering across the Atlantic like a thunderstorm, to tell the slave-holders of the Carolinas that God's thunderbolts are hot, and to remind the negro that the dawn of his redemption is drawing near," and I seemed to hear his voice reverberating and reëchoing back to Boston from the Rocky Mountains.

And then, with the slightest possible flavor of an Irish brogue, he would tell a story that would make all Exeter Hall laugh, and the next moment there would be tears in his voice, like an old song, and five thousand men would be in tears. And all the while no effort—he seemed only breathing.

"As effortless as woodland nooks
Send violets up and paint them blue."

FOOTNOTE:

[50] By permission of the publishers, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.


THE OPEN DOOR

Patrick Henry

I venture to prophesy there are those now living who will see this favored land among the most powerful on earth; able, sir,[Pg 293] to take care of herself, without resorting to that policy which is always so dangerous, though sometimes unavoidable, of calling in foreign aid. Yes, sir, they will see her great in arts and in arms, her golden harvests waving over fields of immeasurable extent, her commerce permeating the most distant seas. But, sir, you must have men, you cannot get along without them. Those heavy forests of valuable timber under which your lands are groaning must be cleared away. Those vast riches which cover the face of your soil as well as those which lie hid in its bosom are to be developed and gathered only by the skill and enterprise of men. Your timber must be worked up into ships to transport the productions of the soil from which it has been cleared. Then you must have commercial men and commercial capital to take off your productions and find the best markets for them abroad. Your great want, sir, is the want of men, and these you must have and will have speedily if you are wise.

Do you ask how you are to get them? Open your doors and they will come in. The population of the Old World is full to overflowing. That population is oppressed by the government under which they live. They are already standing on tiptoe on their native shores and looking to your coasts with wistful and longing eyes. They see here a land blessed with natural and political advantages, which are not equaled by those of any other country upon earth, a land upon which a gracious Providence hath emptied the horn of abundance, a land over which peace hath now stretched forth her white wings, and where content and plenty lie down at every door.

Sir, they see something still more attractive than all this. They see a land where Liberty hath taken up her abode, that Liberty whom they had considered a fabled goddess existing only in the fancies of poets. They see her here a real divinity, her altars rising on every hand throughout these happy states, her glories chanted by three millions of tongues and the whole[Pg 294] region smiling under her blessed influence. Let but this, our celestial goddess, stretch forth her fair hands toward the people of the Old World, and you will see them pouring in from the North, from the South, from the East, and from the West. Your wilderness will be cleared and settled, your deserts will smile, your ranks will be filled, and you will soon be in a condition to defy the powers of any adversary.


ORGANIZATION OF THE WORLD[51]

Edwin D. Mead

To-day, a century after Washington, we are called to a vision as inspiring and imperative as that which came to him as he rode up the Mohawk, and to a greater organizing work than that which he performed with such wisdom, courage, patience, and success. He was commanded to organize a nation; we are commanded to organize the world. He saw that the time had come when our power and our true interests must be measured on a continental scale; we are warned that the time has come when we must conceive of our power and our true interests by the measure of mankind. Let no man think himself any longer in the first place as a New England man, as a New Yorker, as a Virginian, but all of us Americans,—that was the vision and message of Washington; and that insight and that law, coming to petty, prejudiced, jealous, and disordered states, put an end to chaos and brought peace, prosperity, strength, largeness of life, and an ever broadening horizon. Let no man think of himself any longer in the first place as an American, as an Englishman, a Spaniard, a Frenchman, a German, a Russian, but all men in the first place citizens of the world,—that is the message which has been thundered in the ears of Washington's America in these eventful and surprising years as it was never done before. It took a civil war to teach[Pg 295] Gadsden's Carolina and Washington's Virginia that the interests of the nation are above those of the state, and that a state can only then be true to itself and its duty when it remembers that there is a lower and a higher, and knows well what that lower and that higher are. Virginia and Massachusetts have no less genuine and worthy pride as states, they do not put to smaller or less vital use their sacred history and heritage, their great sons are no less their sons, because they bowed their heads to the baptism of a nation which must measure its powers and duties on a continental scale. They know that national life into which they are incorporated as the nobler and more commanding life. The nation is organized. Its logic was shaped finally in the fiery forge of war.

The nation is the largest thing we have yet got organized. We must organize the world. Unending jealousies, commercial clash, friction of law, paralysis of industry, financial disorder, the misdirection and miscarriage of good energy, mischievous ignorance and prejudice, incalculable waste, chronic alarm, and devastating wars are before us until we do it. That is the lesson of the hour. The relations and interdependence of the nations of Christendom have become, by the amazing advance of civilization in the century, closer, complexer, and more imperious far than the relations of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, when Washington from the heights of the Alleghanies looked into the West and thought of the continent. Yet France and Germany, England and Russia, America and Spain, in their great burrs of guns, jealous of each other, distrustful, envious, afraid, go on in their separate, incoöperant, abortive ways, keeping God's earth in chaos, when a great wisdom and great virtue like Washington's a hundred years ago would convert them into a family of nations, into a federation and fraternity, with a comprehensive law, an efficient police, and a purposeful economy.

In the Parliament House at Westminster, among the scenes[Pg 296] from English history painted on the walls, the American is most stirred when he comes to the Departure of the Pilgrim Fathers to found New England. England—the England descended from the England which "harried them out"—will not let that scene go as a part of American history only, but claims it now as one of the proudest scenes in her own history, too. So the American will no more view Wyclif and Shakespeare and Cromwell and Milton and Gladstone as chiefly Englishmen, but as fellow-citizens,—as he views Victor Hugo and Kant and Tolstoï and Mazzini. The American is to be pitied who does not feel himself native to Stratford and to London, as to St. Louis or St. Paul,—native to Leyden and to Weimar and Geneva. Each narrower circle only gains in richness and in sacredness and power as it expands into the larger; each community and state and nation, as it enters into a broader and completer organic life. This is the divine message to the world. Let there be peace; let there be order; and, that there may be, let us know what manner of men we are. "Peace on earth!"—that was the first Christmas greeting; and the first Christian argument upon the hill of Mars,—"God hath made of one blood all nations of men."

FOOTNOTE:

[51] By permission of the author.


THE PERMANENCY OF EMPIRE[52]

Wendell Phillips

I appeal to History! Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can all the wealth of a universal commerce, can all the achievements of this world's wisdom, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions? Alas! Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once; yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate. So thought Palmyra—where is she? So thought[Pg 297] the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan; yet Leonidas is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman. In his hurried march, Time has but looked at their imagined immortality; and all its vanities, from the palace to the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps. The days of their glory are as if they had never been; and the island that was then a speck, rude and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards. Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent as she appears, may not, one day, be what Athens is, and the young America yet soar to be what Athens was! Who shall say, that, when the European column shall have moldered, and the night of barbarism obscured its very ruins, that mighty continent may not emerge from the horizon to rule, for its time, sovereign of the ascendant!

FOOTNOTE:

[52] By permission of the publishers, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.


THE PILGRIMS[53]

Wendell Phillips

When we undertake to criticise the Pilgrims, we ought first to ask ourselves the question, where would they be to-day? Indeed, to be as good as our fathers, we must be better. Imitation is not discipleship. Thee and thou, a stationary hat, bad grammar and worse manners, with an ugly coat, are not George Fox to-day. You will recognize him in any one who rises from the lap of artificial life, flings away its softness, and startles you with the sight of a man. Neither do I acknowledge the right of Plymouth to the whole rock. No, the rock underlies all America; it only crops out here. It has cropped out a great many times in our history. You may recognize it always.[Pg 298] Old Putnam stood upon it at Bunker Hill, when he said to the Yankee boys: "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes." Ingraham had it for ballast when he put his little sloop between two Austrian frigates, and threatened to blow them out of the water if they did not respect the flag of the United States in the case of Martin Koozta. Jefferson had it for a writing-desk when he drafted the Declaration of Independence and the "Statute of Religious Liberty" for Virginia. Lovejoy rested his musket upon it when they would not let him print his paper at Alton, and he said: "Death or free speech!" Ay! it cropped out again. Garrison had it for an imposing-stone when he looked into the faces of seventeen millions of angry men, and printed his sublime pledge, "I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard."

If I were going to raise a monument to the Pilgrims, I know where I should place it. I should place one corner-stone on the rock, and the other on that level spot where fifty of the one hundred were buried before the winter was over; but the remainder closed up shoulder to shoulder as firm, unflinching, hopeful as ever. Yes, death rather than compromise of Elizabeth. I would write on their monument two mottoes: One, "The Right is more than our Country!" and over the graves of the fifty: "Death, rather than Compromise!"

How true it is that the Pilgrims originated no new truth! How true it is, also, that it is not truth which agitates the world! Plato in the groves of the Academy sounded on and on to the utmost depth of philosophy, but Athens was quiet. Calling around him the choicest minds of Greece, he pointed out the worthlessness of their altars and shame of public life, but Athens was quiet. It was all speculation. When Socrates walked the streets of Athens, and, questioning every-day life, struck the altar till the faith of the passer-by faltered, it came close to action; and immediately they gave him hemlock, for the city was turned upside down. What the Pilgrims gave the[Pg 299] world was not thought, but action. Men, calling themselves thinkers, had been creeping along the Mediterranean, from headland to headland, in their timidity; the Pilgrims launched boldly out into the Atlantic and trusted God. That is the claim they have upon posterity. It was action that made them what they were.

FOOTNOTE:

[53] By permission of the publishers, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.


PRINCIPLES OF THE FOUNDERS[54]

Edwin D. Mead

The old Athenian life and our American life have much in common. The resemblances between Greek character and ours are marked. Those little Greek democracies were more like our great one than almost any intervening states. They offer us more pertinent examples and warnings than almost any other; and they are of peculiar value for us in this, that their history is rounded and complete, and in it we can see the various conflicting principles and tendencies working themselves out to the end, and so learn the full lesson of their logic. Pericles and Demosthenes speak to America as well as to Athens; and we may well domesticate their admonitions here to-day and emphasize them to our people and ourselves as the words of fellow-citizens, of Washington and Jefferson, of Sumner and Emerson. If the life and burning eloquence of Demosthenes teach anything, if the rounded period of history whose darkness he lights up teaches anything, they teach the vitality and the imperious moment of the appeal, in times of danger and temptation, to the fathers and to the great past, to the history and the teachings which in times of soberness have ever had the nation's highest honor. No nation which is virtuous and vital will ever[Pg 300] be slave to the past; at the command of virtue and of vision it will snap precedent like a reed. But every people of seriousness, stability, and character is a reverent people; and when a people's reverence for its noble ancestors, its sacred oracles and its venerable charters ceases to be sturdy and becomes sentimental, much more when it ceases to exist at all, then the hour of that people's decay and doom hast struck. On this anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, let us remember and vow never to forget that when it becomes general or popular among us, as it has become common, to flout at the Declaration and its principles; whenever the nation commits itself to courses which for the sake of consistency and respectability invite and compel its disparagement; when our politics does not match our poetry and cannot be sung; when Washington and Jefferson and Sumner and Lincoln cease to be quoted in our cabinet and at our helm, then it is not well with us, but ill, and it is time to study the compass.

It is right to say, and let us remember it on this sacred anniversary, as an inspiration to duty, that Boston has been the center of the two great movements in our history, the movement which gave us independence and the movement which purged the land of slavery. If we could rear on Boston Common a monument upon which, around the central form of Samuel Adams, should be grouped the figures of James Otis and John Adams, John Hancock and Joseph Warren and their associates, how much that monument would represent of what was most dynamic in the days which led up to the American Revolution! If we could rear beside it a monument upon which, around the central figure of William Lloyd Garrison, should stand Wendell Phillips, Parker and Channing, Lowell and Emerson, Sumner and Andrew, how much would be represented by that group of what was most potent in the anti-slavery struggle! When the final history is written of the great social and industrial revolution into which we have already far advanced, and which will[Pg 301] continue until there exists throughout the republic an industrial equality as great as the political equality which we now enjoy or claim to enjoy, it will be seen that here, too, Boston has done her conspicuous part. And when we survey the movement in behalf of the overthrow of war, in behalf of the peace of nations and the organization of the world, the preëminent task of our own time, we shall find that in this great movement Boston has led America; I think it is not too much to claim that she has led the world. As it was the glory of Boston and of Massachusetts, proudest of cities and commonwealths, strongest in patriotism, to lead the country in the assertion of national sovereignty against every false emphasis of state rights, in that long struggle which nearly cost the nation its life, and which made it forever impossible for the American to say henceforth, "My state is first," so it has been their glory to lead in the creation of the sentiment which meets the peculiar problem and menace of our own age, enabling and inspiring men to harmonize their politics and their religion, and know that their first allegiance is not to their nation but to humanity.

In this our Commonwealth and city have but been true to the sublime pointings and ideals of the leaders of the Revolution and the founders of the Republic, whom we celebrate to-day. Independence for the sake of independence, a new nation for the sake of a new nation,—that was not the aim and motive of our fathers. Their dream was of a new nation of juster institutions and more equal laws, a nation in which should dwell righteousness, and which should mark a new era among men. It should be especially an era of peace and brotherhood among the nations. They hated war. They believed that the time had come when the bloody dispensation of war, with all its terrible wickedness and waste, should cease; and their ambition and high hope was that their new republic might lead in the new dispensation of peace and order and mutual regard.

FOOTNOTE:

[54] From an oration delivered before the city government and citizens of Boston, at Faneuil Hall, July 4, 1903. Used by permission of the author.


[Pg 302]

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WAR[55]

William E. Channing

Nothing in the whole compass of legislation is so solemn as a declaration of war. By nothing do a people incur such tremendous responsibility. Unless justly waged, war involves a people in the guilt of murder. The state which, without the command of justice and God, sends out fleets and armies to slaughter fellow-creatures, must answer for the blood it sheds, as truly as the assassin for the death of his victim. Oh, how loudly does the voice of blood cry to heaven from the field of battle! Undoubtedly the men whose names have come down to us with the loudest shouts of ages stand now before the tribunal of eternal justice condemned as murderers; and the victories which have been thought to encircle a nation with glory have fixed the same brand on multitudes in the sight of the final and Almighty Judge. How essential is it to a nation's honor that it should engage in war with a full conviction of rectitude!

But there is one more condition of an honorable war. A nation should engage in it with unfeigned sorrow. It should beseech the throne of grace with earnest supplication that the dreadful office of destroying fellow-beings may not be imposed on it. War concentrates all the varieties of human misery, and a nation which can inflict these without sorrow contracts deeper infamy than from cowardice. It is essentially barbarous, and will be looked back upon by enlightened and Christian ages with the horror with which we recall the atrocities of savage tribes. Let it be remembered that the calamities of war, its slaughter, famine, and desolation, instead of being confined to its criminal authors, fall chiefly on multitudes who have had no share in provoking and no voice in proclaiming it; and let not a nation talk of its honor which has no sympathy[Pg 303] with woes, which is steeled to the most terrible sufferings of humanity.

When recently the suggestion of war was thrown out to this people, what reception did it meet? Was it viewed at once in the light in which a Christian nation should immediately and most earnestly consider it? Was it received as a proposition to slaughter thousands of our fellow-creatures? Did we feel as if threatened with a calamity more fearful than earthquakes, famine, or pestilence? The blight which might fall on our prosperity drew attention; but the thought of devoting as a people, our power and resources to the destruction of mankind, of those whom a common nature, whom reason, conscience, and Christianity command us to love and save,—did this thrill us with horror? Did the solemn inquiry break forth through our land, Is the dreadful necessity indeed laid upon us to send abroad death and woe? No. There was little manifestation of the sensibility with which men and Christians should look such an evil in the face.

As a people we are still seared and blinded to the crimes and miseries of war. The principles of honor, to which the barbarism and infatuation of dark ages gave birth, prevail among us. The generous, merciful spirit of our religion is little understood. The law of love preached from the cross and written in the blood of the Saviour is trampled upon by public men. The true dignity of man, which consists in breathing and cherishing God's spirit of justice and philanthropy towards every human being, is counted folly in comparison with that spirit of vindictiveness and self-aggrandizement which turns our earth into an image of the abodes of the damned. How long will the friends of humanity, of religion, of Christ, silently, passively, uncomplainingly, suffer the men of this world, the ambitious, vindictive, and selfish, to array them against their brethren in conflicts which they condemn and abhor? Shall not truth, humanity, and the mild and holy spirit of Chris[Pg 304]tianity find a voice to rebuke and awe the wickedness which precipitates nations into war, and to startle and awaken nations to their fearful responsibility in taking arms against the children of their Father in heaven? Prince of Peace! Saviour of men! speak in thine own voice of love, power, and fearful warning; and redeem the world, for which thou hast died, from lawless and cruel passions, from the spirit of rapine and murder, from the powers of darkness and hell!

FOOTNOTE:

[55] From a speech delivered in Boston, January 25, 1835.


SCOTLAND

Edmund Flagg

Scotland! There is magic in the sound. Statesmen, scholars, divines, heroes, poets! Do you want exemplars worthy of study and imitation? Where will you find them brighter than in Scotland? Where can you find them purer than in Scotland? Here, no Solon, indulging imagination, has pictured the perfectibility of man; no Lycurgus, viewing him through the medium of human frailty alone, has left for his government an iron code, graven on eternal adamant; no Plato, dreaming in the luxurious gardens of the Academy, has fancied what he should be, and bequeathed a republic of love; but sages, knowing his weakness, have appealed to his understanding, cherished his virtues, and chastised his vices.

Friends of learning! would you do homage at the shrine of literature? would you visit her clearest founts? Go to Scotland! Are you philosophers, seeking to explore the hidden mysteries of mind? Bend to the genius of Stewart. Student, merchant, or mechanic! do you seek usefulness? Consult the pages of Black and of Adam Smith. Grave barrister! would you know the law, the true, sole expression of the people's will? There stands the mighty Mansfield.

Do we look for high examples of noble daring? Where shall we find them brighter than in Scotland? From the "bonny[Pg 305] highland heather" of her lofty summits, to the modest lily of the vale, not a flower but has blushed with patriot blood. From the proud foaming crest of the Solway, to the calm, polished breast of Loch Katrine, not a river, not a lake, but has swelled with the life tide of freedom. Would you witness greatness? Contemplate a Wallace and a Bruce. They fought not for honors, for party, for conquest; 'twas for their country and their country's good, religion, law, and liberty.


SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Abraham Lincoln

Fellow-countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for extended address than there was at first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. On the occasion corresponding to this, four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it; all sought to avoid it.

While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it with war, seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in[Pg 306] the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.

Both read the same Bible and prayed to the same God, and each invoked His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purpose.

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still must it be said that "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.


[Pg 307]

SLAVERY AND THE UNION[56]

Abraham Lincoln

We have made a good beginning here to-day. While extremists may find some fault with our moderation they should recollect that "the battle is not always to the strong nor the race to the swift." In grave emergencies moderation is generally safer than radicalism; and as this struggle is likely to be long and earnest we must not, by our action, repel any who are in sympathy with us, but rather win all that we can to our standard. Our friends who urge an appeal to arms with so much force and eloquence should recollect that the government is arrayed against us and that the numbers are now arrayed against us as well and we should repel friends rather than gain them by anything savoring of revolutionary methods.

As it now stands we must appeal to the sober sense and patriotism of the people. We will make converts day by day; we will grow strong by calmness and moderation; we will grow strong by the violence and injustice of our adversaries. And, unless truth be a mockery and justice a hollow lie, we will be in the majority after a while, and then the revolution which we will accomplish will be none the less radical from being the result of pacific measures. The battle of freedom is to be fought out on principle. Slavery is a violation of eternal right. We have temporized with it from the necessities of our condition; but as sure as God reigns and school children read, that foul lie can never be consecrated into God's hallowed truth!

One great trouble in the matter is that slavery is an insidious and crafty power, and gains equally by open violence of the brutal as well as by sly management of the peaceful. Once let slavery get planted in a locality, by ever so weak or doubtful a title, and in ever so small numbers, and it is like the Canada[Pg 308] thistle, you can't root it out. You yourself may detest slavery; but your neighbor has five or six slaves, and he is an excellent neighbor, or your son has married his daughter, and they beg you to help save their property, and you vote against your interest and principles to accommodate a neighbor, hoping that your vote will be on the losing side. And others do the same; and in those ways slavery gets a sure foothold. And when that is done the whole mighty Union—the force of the Nation—is committed to its support.

It is a very strange thing, and not solvable by any moral law that I know of, that if a man loses his horses the whole country will turn out to help hang the thief; but if a man a shade or two darker than I am is himself stolen the same crowd will hang one who aids in restoring him to liberty. Such are the inconsistencies of slavery, where a horse is more sacred than a man; and the essence of squatter or popular sovereignty—I don't care how you call it—is that if one man chooses to make a slave of another no third man shall be allowed to object. And if you can do this in free Kansas, and it is allowed to stand, the next thing you will see is shiploads of negroes from Africa at the wharf at Charleston; for one thing is as truly lawful as the other; and these are the notions we have got to stamp out, else they will stamp us out. But we cannot be free men if this is, by our national choice, to be a land of slavery. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.

The conclusion of all this is that we must restore the Missouri Compromise. We must highly resolve that Kansas must be free! We must reinstate the birthday promise of the Republic; we must reaffirm the Declaration of Independence; we must make good in essence as well as in form Madison's avowal that "the word slave ought not to appear in the Constitution"; and we must even go further, and decree that only local law, and not that time-honored instrument, shall shelter[Pg 309] a slaveholder. We must make this a land of liberty in fact, as it is in name. But in seeking to attain these results, so indispensable if the liberty which is our pride and boast shall endure, we will be loyal to the Constitution and to the "flag of our Union," and no matter what our grievance, even though Kansas shall come in as a slave State; and no matter what theirs, even if we shall restore the compromise, we will say to the Southern disunionists, We won't go out of the Union, and you shan't!

But let us, meanwhile, appeal to the sense and patriotism of the people, and not to their prejudices; let us spread the floods of enthusiasm here aroused all over the vast prairies so suggestive of freedom. There is both a power and a magic in popular opinion. To that let us now appeal; and while, in all probability, no resort to force will be needed, our moderation and forbearance will stand us in good stead when, if ever, we must make an appeal to battle and to the God of hosts!

FOOTNOTE:

[56] From the celebrated "last speech," made at Bloomington, Ill., May 29, 1856.


SUBJUGATION OF THE FILIPINO[57]

George F. Hoar

The American people have got this one question to answer. They may answer it now; they can take ten years, or twenty years, or a generation, or a century to think of it. But it will not down. They must answer it in the end: Can you lawfully buy with money or get by brute force of arms the right to hold in subjugation an unwilling people and to impose on them such constitution as you, and not they, think best for them?

The question will be answered soberly and deliberately and quietly as the American people are wont to answer great questions of duty. It will be answered, not in any turbulent assembly, amid shouting and clapping of hands and stamping of feet. It will be answered in the churches and in the schools[Pg 310] and in the colleges, it will be answered in fifteen million American homes, and it will be answered as it has always been answered. It will be answered right.

I have sometimes fancied that we might erect here in the capital of the country a column to American liberty which alone might rival in height the beautiful and simple shaft which we have erected to the fame of the father of the country. I can fancy each generation bringing its inscription, which should recite its own contribution to the great structure of which the column should be but the symbol.

The generation of the Puritan and the Pilgrim and the Huguenot claims the place of honor at the base. "I brought the torch of freedom across the sea. I cleared the forest. I subdued the savage and the wild beast. I laid in Christian liberty and law the foundations of empire. I left the seashore to penetrate the wilderness. I planted schools and colleges and courts and churches. I stood by the side of England on many a hard-fought field. I helped humble the power of France. I saw the lilies go down before the lion at Louisburg and Quebec. I carried the cross of St. George in triumph in Martinique and Havana."

Then comes the generation of the revolutionary time. "I encountered the power of England. I declared and won the independence of my country. I placed that declaration on the eternal principles of justice and righteousness, which all mankind have read, and on which all mankind will one day stand. I affirmed the dignity of human nature and the right of the people to govern themselves. I created the Supreme Court and the Senate. For the first time in history I made the right of the people to govern themselves safe, and established institutions for that end which will endure forever."

The next generation says, "I encountered England again. I vindicated the right of an American ship to sail the seas the wide world over without molestation. I made the American[Pg 311] sailor as safe at the ends of the earth as my fathers had made the American farmer safe in his home. I proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine in the face of the Holy Alliance, under which sixteen republics have joined the family of nations. I filled the western hemisphere with republics from the lakes to Cape Horn, each controlling its own destiny in safety and in honor."

Then comes the next generation: "I did the mighty deeds which in your younger years you saw and which your fathers told. I saved the Union. I put down the rebellion. I freed the slave. I made of every slave a free man and of every free man a citizen and of every citizen a voter. I paid the debt. I brought in conciliation and peace instead of war. I devised the homestead system. I covered the prairie and the plain with happy homes and with mighty states. I crossed the continent and joined together the seas with my great railroads. I declared the manufacturing independence of America, as my fathers affirmed its political independence. I made my country the richest, freest, strongest, happiest people on the face of the earth."

And now what have we to say? Are we to have a place in that honorable company? Must we engrave on that column, "We repealed the Declaration of Independence. We changed the Monroe doctrine from a doctrine of eternal righteousness and justice, resting on the consent of the governed, to a doctrine of brutal selfishness, looking only to our own advantage. We crushed the only republic in Asia. We made war on the only Christian people in the East. We converted a war of glory to a war of shame. We vulgarized the American flag. We introduced perfidy into the practice of war. We inflicted torture on unarmed men to extort confession. We established reconcentrado camps. We devastated provinces. We baffled the aspirations of a people for liberty?"

No, Mr. President, never! never! Other and better counsels will yet prevail. The hours are long in the life of a[Pg 312] great people. The irrevocable step is not yet taken. Let us at least have this to say, "We, too, have kept the faith of the fathers. We took Cuba by the hand. We delivered her from her age-long bondage. We welcomed her to the family of nations. We set mankind an example never beheld before of moderation in victory. We led hesitating and halting Europe to the deliverance of their beleaguered ambassadors in China. We marched through a hostile country, a country cruel and barbarous, without anger or revenge. We returned benefit for injury, and pity for cruelty. We made the name of America beloved in the East as in the West. We kept faith with the Filipino people. We kept faith with our own destiny. We kept our national honor unsullied. The flag which we received without a rent we handed down without a stain!"

FOOTNOTE:

[57] United States Senate, May 22, 1902.


SUFFERINGS AND DESTINY OF THE PILGRIMS

Edward Everett

Methinks I see it now, that one solitary, adventurous vessel, the Mayflower of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound across the unknown sea. I behold it pursuing, with a thousand misgivings, the uncertain, the tedious voyage. Suns rise and set, and weeks and months pass, and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings them not the sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now, scantily supplied with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation in their ill-stored prison, delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route; and now driven in fury before the raging tempest, on the high and giddy wave. The awful voice of the storm howls through the rigging; the laboring masts seem straining from their base; the dismal sound of the pumps is heard; the ship leaps, as it were, madly, from billow to billow; the ocean breaks and settles with ingulfing floods over the floating deck, and beats with deadening, shivering weight against the staggered vessel. I[Pg 313] see them, escaped from these perils, pursuing their all but desperate undertaking, and landed, at last, after a few months' passage, on the ice-clad rocks of Plymouth,—weak and weary from the voyage, poorly armed, scantily provisioned, without shelter, without means, surrounded by hostile tribes.

Shut now the volume of history and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers? Tell me, man of military science, in how many months were they all swept off by the thirty savage tribes enumerated within the early limits of New England? Tell me, politician, how long did this shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant coast? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the deserted settlements, the abandoned adventures, of other times, and find the parallel of this! Was it the winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women and children? was it hard labor and spare meals? was it disease? was it the tomahawk? was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined enterprise, and a broken heart, aching, in its last moments, at the recollection of the loved and left, beyond the sea?—was it some or all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate? And is it possible that neither of these causes, that not all combined, were able to blast this bud of hope? Is it possible that from a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy, not so much of admiration as of pity, there has gone forth a progress so steady, a growth so wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a promise, yet to be fulfilled, so glorious?


TO ARMS

Louis Kossuth

Our fatherland is in danger. Citizens, to arms! to arms! Unless the whole nation rise up as one man to defend itself all[Pg 314] the noble blood already shed is in vain. People of Hungary, will you die under the exterminating sword of the Russians? If not, defend yourselves. Will you look on while the Kossacks of the far north tread under foot the bodies of your fathers, mothers, wives and children? If not, defend yourselves. Will you see a part of your fellow-citizens sent to the wilds of Siberia, made to serve in the wars of tyrants, or bleed under the murderous knout? If not, defend yourselves. Will you behold your villages in flames, and your harvests destroyed? Will you die of hunger on the land which your sweat has made fertile? If not, defend yourselves.


TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOTISM[58]

Bourke Cockran

The American patriot is the soldier of civilization. One hundred years ago the republic was first born, but the roots from which it sprung grew and flourished for centuries. The beginning of republicanism is not of American origin nor of any one country or nation of the world. The beginning of republicanism was not upon this soil but upon the soil trodden by the Lord. It was not first announced by the booming of the cannon and the pealing of the liberty bell, but when the star of Bethlehem shone over the place where the new-born babe was in the manger and the songs of the angels told of "Peace on earth, good will toward men."

This right is the crowning glory of man's progress. It is the natural attitude of Christian civilization. A government based upon the equality of all men before the law is based upon the principle of equality of all men in the sight of God. Democracy is Christianity applied to civilization. From the very moment the Savior of mankind told his disciples to go forth and preach his word it became unavoidable that the triumphs of[Pg 315] Christianity would mean the destruction of every form of government based upon inequality of man. The first champions of freedom were the apostles who preached the word of Christ. The advent of feudalism in Europe seemed as if a dark night had set over the face of the world. Man had conquered territory by the sword and was forced to defend it by the torch. In the face of that condition of civilization Christianity proceeded to teach the doctrine that the weak and strong were equal in the sight of heaven.

Columbus was the natural outcome of conditions which had been in course of preparation for years. The Old World, with its prejudices and barbarism, was unfit for the planting of the germ of freedom, and so Providence guided the bark of Columbus to the shores of America. Here the tree of liberty was planted under circumstances which encouraged its growth and insured its life. Nowhere is the providence of God more visible. Here was the virgin soil to be conquered. Here were forests to be felled; a strong arm was of more use in cutting down a tree than the lineage of a thousand years. The value of the settler was not the blood which flowed in his veins, but the power of his muscles and the strength of his will. Then the dignity of labor was raised to a pitch unknown to this world. They did not come here to enrich themselves with gold. They did not come here to plunder the soil and return to Spain to spend the proceeds in riot. They were men in whose hearts liberty never died. They sought this continent that they might create liberty, and they did it. Their labor was fruitful.

FOOTNOTE:

[58] Auditorium, Chicago, April 30, 1894. By permission of the author.


A VISION OF WAR[59]

Robert G. Ingersoll

The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle for national life. We hear the sounds of[Pg 316] preparation, the music of boisterous drums, the silver voices of heroic bugles. We see thousands of assemblages, and hear the appeals of orators. We see the pale cheeks of women, and the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers. We lose sight of them no more. We are with them when they enlist in the great army of freedom. We see them part with those they love. Some are walking for the last time in quiet, woody places, with the maidens they adore. We hear the whisperings and the sweet vows of eternal love as they lingeringly part forever. Others are bending over cradles, kissing babes that are asleep. Some are receiving the blessings of old men. Some are parting with mothers who hold them and press them to their hearts again and again, and say nothing. Kisses and tears, tears and kisses—divine mingling of agony and love! And some are talking with wives, and endeavoring with brave words, spoken in the old tones, to drive from their hearts the awful fear. We see them part. We see the wife standing in the door with the babe in her arms—standing in the sunlight sobbing. At the turn of the road a hand waves; she answers by holding high in her loving arms the child. He is gone, and forever.

We see them all as they march proudly away under the flaunting flags, keeping time to the grand, wild music of war; marching down the streets of the great cities, through the towns and across the prairies, down to the fields of glory, to do and to die for the eternal right. We go with them, one and all. We are by their side on all the gory fields, in all the hospitals of pain, on all the weary marches. We stand guard with them in the wild storm and under the quiet stars. We are with them in ravines running with blood, in the furrows of old fields. We are with them between contending hosts, unable to move, wild with thirst, the life ebbing slowly away among the withered leaves. We see them pierced by balls and torn[Pg 317] with shells, in the trenches, by forts, and in the whirlwind of the charge, where men become iron, with nerves of steel. We are with them in the prisons of hatred and famine; but human speech can never tell what they endured. We are at home when the news comes that they are dead. We see the maiden in the shadow of her first sorrow. We see the silvered head of the old man bowed with the last grief.

The past rises before us, and we see four millions of human beings governed by the lash; we see them bound hand and foot; we hear the strokes of cruel whips; we see the hounds tracking women through tangled swamps. We see babes sold from the breasts of mothers. Cruelty unspeakable! Outrage infinite! Four million bodies in chains—four million souls in fetters. All the sacred relations of wife, mother, father and child trampled beneath the brutal feet of might. And all this was done under our own beautiful banner of the free. The past rises before us. We hear the roar and shriek of the bursting shell. The broken fetters fall. These heroes die. We look. Instead of slaves we see men and women and children. The wand of progress touches the auction-block, the slave-pen, the whipping-post, and we see homes and firesides and schoolhouses and books, and where all was want and crime and cruelty and fear, we see the faces of the free.

These heroes are dead. They died for liberty; they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless palace of rest. Earth may run red with other wars; they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for the soldiers living and dead: Cheers for the living and tears for the dead.

FOOTNOTE:

[59] By permission of the publisher, C. P. Farrell.


[Pg 318]

WAR IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY[60]

Edwin D. Mead

It is a great mistake to think, as many are apt to do when some terrible war overwhelms some part of the world, that war is on the increase among men and that we are probably on the eve of a portentous new era of it. The temptation to think so is strong when two or three such wars come at the same time, waged by enlightened nations which we had fondly trusted had got beyond such wickedness and folly. But there is no warrant for the belief. There is seldom real warrant for any fear that the world generally is going backward, although it would be stupid not to see that there come many days which are far behind many yesterdays in insight, in ideals, and in conduct. The long view is the encouraging view, the view of progress.

We have entered a new century. As one looks back over the nineteenth century, which has closed, as one reads perhaps some brief historical survey of the century, it is worth while to ask oneself whether one would rather live in 1800 or in 1900, in the world pictured in the first pages of the book or that pictured in the last pages. The serious man can give but one answer. The England and France and Germany and Italy and Spain of the end of the century were, when every deduction has been made on particular points, vastly more habitable, better places to live in, than the same countries at the beginning of the century. The brilliant historian of the administration of Jefferson paints a masterly picture of the life of our own people in 1800. Every aspect of the social and intellectual life of the time is treated with marvelous fullness of detail and in the most graphic and impressive way; and there is an element of hope and buoyancy, of prophecy and promise, pervading the pages, which is at once inspiring and sobering.[Pg 319] Yes, surely one would rather live in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century than at the beginning of the nineteenth. The century has been on the whole emphatically a period of progress. The same was true of the century before, and of the century before that.

What has been true concerning progress in general during the last few centuries has been especially true of progress out of the habit of war toward the habit of peace. Events at the close of the nineteenth century have been indeed deplorable; they were also deplored—and this is the significant thing—more than such events were ever deplored before. The body of protest against unnecessary and unrighteous wars becomes steadily larger, bolder, and more outspoken; the public conscience is more troubled by them; more and more men perceive their wastefulness and wrong, and discern the more excellent way; and to-morrow the total of protesting insight and morality shall be great enough to tip the balance and hold the tempted, ruffling nation to self-restraint, respect for others, and respect for civilization. There was much less war in Christendom during the nineteenth century than during the eighteenth, and there will be less during the twentieth century than during the nineteenth. The steady and sure progress of the world is toward the supplanting of the ways of greed and violence among nations by the methods of reason, legality, and mutual regard. As one travels over Europe, one is never far from some great battle-field. In Scotland one remembers how half a dozen centuries ago one clan was continually fighting with another, this group of clans warring with that, or all were leagued together against one Edward or another advancing with his archers from beyond the Tweed. The English armies fighting at Falkirk and Bannockburn and Halidon were straightway—they or their successors—in France fighting at Crécy and Poitiers and Agincourt. The wars between England and France were interminable; and so were the wars between France and[Pg 320] other nations. There were civil wars and religious wars and wars of succession; seven-years wars and thirty-years wars and hundred-years wars. War was the regular vocation of nations, the profession of arms the chief profession, peace merely an occasional respite, in no sense to be reckoned on or presumed to endure as the natural condition of things.

All this has been fundamentally changed. Europe bends under the burden of her great armies and multiplies her costly battleships, and we say that it is wasteful and barbarous; but the soldiers and ships are almost never used. We grieve and blush at the shameful wars of subjugation in our own time; but these wars were anachronisms, sporadic survivals of courses common and universally approved three hundred years ago, when men did not blush for them, but not typical of the tendencies and civilization of the present age. The true exponent of the world's best judgment and increasing purpose and policy, as the twentieth century begins, is not the warring in Luzon and the Transvaal, but the Hague Tribunal. For a century the states in the United States, because we have had a Supreme Court, have settled there, and not by combat, their boundary disputes and other quarrels, graver often than many which have plunged European nations into war, while most of us have not known even of the fact of litigation. To-day, because an International Tribunal exists, the Venezuelan imbroglio is referred to it, which else might have gone on to the dread arbitrament of arms. Such references will multiply; the legal way instead of the fighting way will become easy, will become common, will become instinctive, will become universal; war will hasten after the duel, to be loathed and to be laughed at, and to cease to be at all; the cannon will follow the rack to the chamber of horrors; and nations when they disagree will not go into battle, but into court. This is the sure end of the process which the broad survey of history reveals. The critical student of war becomes the sure prophet of peace.

FOOTNOTE:

[60] By permission of the author.


[Pg 321]

GEORGE WASHINGTON[61]

Charles Phillips

It matters very little what immediate spot may be the birth-place of such a man as Washington. No people can claim, no country can appropriate him; the boon of providence to the human race, his fame is eternity and his residence creation. Though it was the defeat of our arms and the disgrace of our policy, I almost bless the convulsion in which he had his origin. If the heavens thundered and the earth rocked, yet when the storm passed how pure was the climate that it cleared; how bright in the brow of the firmament was the planet which it revealed to us!

In the production of Washington, it does really appear as if nature were endeavoring to improve upon herself, and that all the virtues of the ancient world were but so many studies preparatory to the patriot of the new. Individual instances no doubt there were; splendid exemplifications of some single qualification. Cæsar was merciful, Scipio was continent, Hannibal was patient; but it was reserved for Washington to blend them all in one, and like the lovely chef d'œuvre of the Grecian artist, to exhibit in one glow of associated beauty the pride of every model and the perfection of every master. As a general he marshaled the peasant into a veteran, and supplied by discipline the absence of experience; as a statesman he enlarged the policy of the cabinet into the most comprehensive system of general advantage; and such was the wisdom of his views and the philosophy of his counsels that to the soldier and the statesman he almost added the character of the sage. A conqueror, he was untainted with the crime of blood; a revolutionist, he was free from any stain of treason; for aggression commenced the contest, and his country called him to the[Pg 322] command. Liberty unsheathed his sword, necessity stained it, victory returned it.

If he had paused here, history might have doubted what station to assign him, whether at the head of her citizens or her soldiers, her heroes or her patriots. But the last glorious act crowns his career and banishes all hesitation. Who, like Washington, after having emancipated a hemisphere, resigned his crown and preferred the retirement of domestic life to the adoration of a land he might be almost said to have created?

"How shall we rank thee upon glory's page,
Thou more than soldier, and just less than sage?
All thou hast been reflects less fame on thee,
Far less than all thou hast forborne to be!"

Such, sir, is the testimony of one not to be accused of partiality in his estimate of America. Happy, proud America! the lightnings of heaven yielded to your philosophy! The temptations of earth could not seduce your patriotism!

I have the honor, sir, of proposing to you as a toast,

"The immortal memory of George Washington."

FOOTNOTE:

[61] Delivered at a dinner on Dinas Island, Lake Killarney, Ireland, given in honor of Mr. O. H. Payne (afterward Senator Payne) of Ohio.


[Pg 323]

IV

GAY, HUMOROUS, COMIC

A BOY'S MOTHER[62]

James Whitcomb Riley

My mother she's so good to me
Ef I was good as I could be,
I couldn't be as good—no, sir!
Can't any boy be good as her!
She loves me when I'm glad er mad;
She loves me when I'm good er bad;
An' what's a funniest thing, she says
She loves me when she punishes.
I don't like her to punish me;
That don't hurt, but it hurts to see
Her cryin'—nen I cry; an' nen
We both cry—an' be good again.
She loves me when she cuts and sews
My little cloak and Sunday clothes;
An' when my pa comes home to tea,
She loves him most as much as me.
She laughs an' tells him all I said.
An' grabs me up an' pats my head;
An' I hug her, an' I hug my pa,
An' love him purt' nigh much es ma.
[Pg 324]

FOOTNOTE:

[62] Used by special permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company. From "Rhymes of Childhood," copyright, 1900.


ALMOST BEYOND ENDURANCE[63]

James Whitcomb Riley

I ain't a-goin' to cry no more, no more!
I'm got ear-ache, an' ma can't make
It quit a-tall;
An' Carlo bite my rubber-ball
An' puncture it; an' Sis she take
An' poke my knife down through the stable-floor
An' loozed it—blame it all!
But I ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!
An' Aunt Mame wrote she's a-comin', an' she can't—
Folks is come there!—An' I don't care,
She is my Aunt!
An' my eyes stings; an' I'm
Ist coughin' all the time,
An' hurts me so, an' where my side's so sore
Granpa felt where, an' he
Says "maybe it's pleurasy!"
But I ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!
An' I climbed up an' nen falled off the fence,
An' Herbert he ist laugh at me!
An' my fi'-cents
It sticked in my tin bank, an' I ist tore
Purt' nigh my thumbnail off, a-tryin' to git
It out—nen smash it!—An it's in there yit!
But I ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!
Oo! I'm so wickud!—An' my breath's so hot—
Ist like I run an' don't rest none
But ist run on when I ought to not;[Pg 325]
Yes, an' my chin
An' lip's all warpy, an' my teeth's so fast,
An' 's a place in my throat I can't swaller past—
An' they all hurt so!—
An' oh, my—oh!
I'm a-startin' a'gin—
I'm a-startin ag'in, but I won't, fer shore!—
I ist ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!

FOOTNOTE:

[63] Used by special permission of the publishers, the Bobbs-Merrill Company. From "His Pa's Romance," copyright, 1903.


BREAKING THE CHARM[64]

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Caught Susanner whistlin'; well,
It's most nigh too good to tell.
'Twould 'a' b'en too good to see
Ef it hadn't b'en fur me,
Comin' up so soft an' sly
That she didn' hear me nigh.
I was pokin' round that day,
An' ez I come down the way,
First her whistle strikes my ears,—
Then her gingham dress appears;
So with soft step up I slips.
Oh, them dewy, rosy lips!
Ripe ez cherries, red an' round,
Puckered up to make the sound.
She was lookin' in the spring,
Whistlin' to beat anything,—
"Kitty Dale" er "In the sweet."
I was just so mortal beat
That I can't quite ricoleck
What the toon was, but I 'speck[Pg 326]
'Twas some hymn er other, fur
Hymny things is jest like her.
Well she went on fur awhile
With her face all in a smile,
An' I never moved, but stood
Stiller'n a piece o' wood—
Wouldn't wink ner wouldn't stir,
But a-gazin' right at her,
Tell she turns an' sees me—my!
Thought at first she'd try to fly.
But she blushed an' stood her ground.
Then, a-slyly lookin' round,
She says: "Did you hear me, Ben?"
"Whistlin' woman, crowin' hen,"
Says I, lookin' awful stern.
Then the red commenced to burn
In them cheeks o' hern. Why, la!
Reddest red you ever saw—
Pineys wa'n't a circumstance.
You'd a' noticed in a glance
She was pow'rful shamed an' skeart;
But she looked so sweet an' peart,
That a idee struck my head;
So I up an' slowly said:
"Woman whistlin' brings shore harm,
Jest one thing'll break the charm."
"And what's that?" "Oh, my!" says I,
"I don't like to tell you." "Why?"
Says Susanner. "Well, you see
It would kinder fall on me."
Course I knowed that she'd insist,—
So I says: "You must be kissed
By the man that heard you whistle;
Everybody says that this'll[Pg 327]
Break the charm and set you free
From the threat'nin' penalty."
She was blushin' fit to kill,
But she answered, kinder still:
"I don't want to have no harm,
Please come, Ben, an' break the charm."
Did I break that charm?—oh, well,
There's some things I mustn't tell.
I remember, afterwhile,
Her a-sayin' with a smile:
"Oh, you quit,—you sassy dunce,
You jest caught me whistlin' once."

FOOTNOTE:

[64] By permission of Dodd, Mead & Co.


CANDLE-LIGHTIN' TIME[65]

Paul Laurence Dunbar

When I come in f'om de co'n-fiel' aftah wukin' ha'd all day,
It's amazin' nice to fin' my suppah all erpon de way;
An' it's nice to smell de coffee bubblin' ovah in de pot,
An' it's fine to see de meat a-sizzlin' teasin'-lak an' hot.
But when suppah time is ovah an' de things is cl'ared away,
Den de happy hours dat foller are de sweetes' ob de day.
When my co'n-cob pipe is sta'ted, an' de smoke is drawin' prime,
My ole 'ooman says, "I reckon, Ike, it's candle-lightin' time."
Den de chillun snuggle up to me and all commence to call,
"Oh, say, daddy, now it's time to make de shadders on de wall."
So I puts my han's togethah—evah daddy knows de way—
An' de chillun snuggle closer roun' es I begin to say,[Pg 328]
"Fus thing, hyeah come mistah Rabbit, don' you see him wuk his eahs?
Huh uh! dis mus' be a donky; look how innercent he 'pears!
Dah's de ole black swan a-swimmin', ain't she got a' awfu' neck?
Who's dis feller dat's a-comin'? why, dat's ole dog Tray I 'spec!"
Dat's de way I run on, tryin' fer to please 'em all I can;
Den I hollahs, "Now be keerful, dis hyeah las' 's de buga-man!"
An' dey runs an' hides dey faces; dey ain't skeered—dey's lettin' on,
But de play ain't raaly ovah twell dat buga-man is gone.
So I jes' takes up my banjo an' I plays a little chune,
An' you see dem hai'ds come peepin' out to listen mighty soon.
Den my wife say, "Sich a pappy fer to give you sich a fright!
Jes' you go to bed, an' leave him, say yo' prayers, an' say good night."

FOOTNOTE:

[65] By permission of Dodd, Mead & Co., publishers. From "Lyrics of Lowly Life," 1896.


A BIRD IN THE HAND

F. E. Weatherly

There were three young maids of Lee,
And they were fair as fair can be;
And they had lovers three times three,
For they were fair as fair can be,
These three young maids of Lee.
But these young maids they cannot find
A lover each to suit her mind;
The plain-spoke lad is far too rough,[Pg 329]
The rich young lord not rich enough,
And one's too poor, and one too tall,
And one an inch too short for them all.
"Others pick and choose, and why not we?
We can very well wait," said these maids of Lee.
There were three young maids of Lee,
And they were fair as fair can be;
And they had lovers three times three,
For they were fair as fair can be,
These three young maids of Lee.
There are three old maids of Lee,
And they are old as old can be;
And one is deaf, and one can't see,
And they all are cross as a gallows tree,
These three old maids of Lee.
Now, if any one chanced—'tis a chance remote—
One single charm in these maids to note,
He need not a poet nor handsome be,
For one is deaf, and one can't see;
He need not woo on his bended knee,
For they all are willing as willing can be;
He may take the one or the two or the three,
If he'll only take them away from Lee.
There are three old maids at Lee,
And they are cross as cross can be;
And there they are, and there they'll be,
To the end of the chapter, one, two, three,
These three old maids of Lee!

[Pg 330]

"THE DAY OF JUDGMENT"[66]

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

I am thirteen years old and Jill is eleven and a quarter. Jill is my brother. That isn't his name, you know; his name is Timothy and mine is George Zacharias; but they call us Jack and Jill.

Well, Jill and I had an invitation to Aunt John's this summer, and that was how we happened to be there.

I'd rather go to Aunt John's than any place in the world. When I was a little fellow I used to think I'd rather go to Aunt John's than to Heaven. But I never dared to tell.

She invited us to come on the twelfth of August. It takes all day to get there. She lives at Little River in New Hampshire, way up. You have to wait at South Lawrence in a poky little depot, and you get some played out—at least I don't, but Jill does. So we bought a paper and Jill sat up and read it. When he'd sat a minute and read along—

"Look here!" said he.

"Look where?" said I.

"Why, there's going to be a comet," said Jill.

"Who cares?" said I.

Jill laid down the paper, and crunched a pop-corn all up before he answered that, then said he, "I don't see why father didn't tell us. I suppose he thought we'd be frightened, or something. Why, s'posing the world did come to an end? That's what this paper says. 'It is pre—' where is my place? Oh! I see—'predicted by learned men that a comet will come into con-conjunction with our plant'—no—'our planet this night. Whether we shall be plunged into a wild vortex of angry space, or suffocated with n-o-x—noxious gases, or scorched to a helpless crisp, or blasted at once, eternal an-ni-hi—'" A[Pg 331] gust of wind grabbed the paper out of Jill's hand just then, and took it out of the window; so I never heard the rest.

"Father isn't a goose," said I. "He didn't think it worth while mentioning. He isn't going to be afraid of a comet at his time of life." So we didn't think any more about the comet till we got to Aunt John's, where we found company. It wasn't a relation, only an old school friend, and her name was Miss Togy; she had come without an invitation, but had to have the spare room because she was a lady. That was how Jill and I came to be put in the little chimney bedroom.

That little chimney bedroom is the funniest place you ever slept in. There had been a chimney once, and it ran up by the window, and grandfather had it taken away. It was a big, old-fashioned chimney, and it left the funniest little gouge in the room, so the bed went in as nice as could be. We couldn't see much but the ceiling when we got to bed.

"It's pretty dark," said Jill; "I shouldn't wonder if it did blow up a storm a little—wouldn't it scare—Miss—Bogy!"

"Togy," said I.

"Well, T-o—" said Jill; and right in the middle of it he went off as sound as a weasel.

The next thing I can remember is a horrible noise. I can't think of but one thing in this world it was like, and that isn't in this world so much. I mean the last trumpet, with the angel blowing as he blows in my old primer. The next thing I remember is hearing Jill sit up in bed—for I couldn't see him, it was so dark—and his piping out the other half of Miss Togy's name just as he had left it when he went to sleep.

"Gy—Bogy!—Fogy!—Soaky!—Oh," said Jill, coming to at last, "I thought—why, what's up?"

I was up, but I couldn't tell what else was for a little while. I went to the window. It was as dark as a great rat-hole out-of-doors, all but a streak of lightning and an awful thunder, as if the world was cracking all to pieces.

[Pg 332]"Come to bed!" shouted Jill, "you'll get struck, and then that will kill me."

I went back to bed, for I didn't know what else to do, and we crawled down under the clothes and covered ourselves all up.

"W-would—you—call—Aunt—John?" asked Jill. He was most choked. I came up for air.

"No," said I, "I don't think I'd call Aunt John." I should have liked to call her by that time, but then I should have felt ashamed.

"I s'pose she has got her hands full with Miss Croaky, anyway," chattered Jill, bobbing up and under again. By that time the storm was the worst storm I had ever seen in my life. It grew worse and worse—thunder, lightning, and wind—wind, lightning, and thunder; rain and roar and awfulness. I don't know how to tell how awful it was.

In the middle of the biggest peal we'd had yet, up jumped Jill. "Jack!" said he, "that comet!" I'd never thought of the comet till that minute; I felt an ugly feeling and cold all over. "It is the comet!" said Jill. "It is the day of judgment, Jack."

Then it happened. It happened so fast I didn't even have time to get my head under the clothes. First there was a creak, then a crash, then we felt a shake as if a giant pushed his shoulder up through the floor and shoved us. Then we doubled up. And then we began to fall. The floor opened, and we went through. I heard the bed-post hit as we went by. Then I felt another crash; then we began to fall again; then we bumped down hard. After that we stopped falling. I lay still. My heels were doubled up over my head. I thought my neck would break. But I never dared to stir, for I thought I was dead. By and by I wondered if Jill were dead too, so I undoubled my neck a little and found some air. It seemed just as uncomfortable to breathe without air when you were dead as when you weren't.

[Pg 333]I called out softly, "Jill!" no answer. "Jill!" not a sound. "O—Jill!" But he did not speak, so then I knew Jill must be dead, at any rate. I couldn't help wondering why he was so much deader than I that he couldn't answer a fellow. Pretty soon I heard a rustling noise under my feet, then a weak, sick kind of a voice, just the kind of a noise I always supposed ghosts would make if they could talk.

"Jack?"

"Is that you, Jill?"

"I—suppose—so. Is it you, Jack?"

"Yes. Are you dead?"

"I don't know. Are you?"

"I guess I must be if you are. How awfully dark it is."

"Awfully dark! It must have been the comet."

"Yes; did you get much hurt?"

"Not much—I say, Jack?"

"What?"

"It is the judgment day."

Jill broke up, so did I; we lay as still as we could. If it were the judgment day—"Jill!" said I.

"Oh, dear me!" sobbed Jill.

We were both crying by that time, and I don't feel ashamed to own up, either.

"If I'd known," said I, "that the day of judgment was coming on the twelfth of August, I wouldn't have been so mean about that jack-knife of yours with the notch in it."

"And I wouldn't have eaten your luncheon that day last winter when I got mad at you," said Jill.

"Nor we wouldn't have cheated mother about smoking, vacations," said I.

"I'd never have played with the Bailey boys out behind the barn," said Jill.

"I wonder where the comet went to?" said I.

"'Whether we shall be plunged into,'" quoted Jill, in a[Pg 334] horrible whisper, from that dreadful newspaper, "'shall be plunged into a wild vortex of angry space—or suffocated with noxious gases—or scorched to a helpless crisp—or blasted—'"

"When do you think they will come after us?" I interrupted Jill.

That very minute somebody came. We heard a step and then another, then a heavy bang. Jill howled out a little. I didn't, for I was thinking how the cellar door banged like that. Then came a voice, an awful hoarse and trembling voice as ever you heard.

"George Zacharias!"

Then I knew it must be the judgment day and that the angel had me in court to answer him, for you couldn't expect an angel to call you Jack after you was dead.

"George Zacharias!" said the awful voice again. I didn't know what else to do, I was so frightened, so I just hollered out "Here!" as I do at school.

"Timothy!" came the voice once more.

Now Jill had a bright idea. Up he shouted, "Absent!" at the top of his lungs.

"George! Jack! Jill! where are you? Are you killed? Oh, wait a minute and I'll bring a light."

This did not sound so much like judgment day as it did like Aunt John. I began to feel better. So did Jill. I sat up. So did he. It wasn't a minute till the light came into sight, and something that looked like a cellar door, the cellar steps, and Aunt John's spotted wrapper, and Miss Togy in a night-gown, away behind as white as a ghost. Aunt John held the light above her head and looked down. I don't believe I shall ever see an angel that will make me feel any better to look at than Aunt John did that night.

"O you blessed boys!" said Aunt John—she was laughing and crying together. "To think that you should have fallen[Pg 335] through the old chimney to the cellar floor and be sitting there alive in such a funny heap as that!"

And that was just what we had done. The old flooring (not very secure) had given away in the storm; and we'd gone down through two stories, where the chimney ought to have been, jam! into the cellar on the coal heap, and all as good as ever excepting the bedstead.

FOOTNOTE:

[66] From "Trot's Wedding Journey."


DE APPILE TREE[67]

Joel Chandler Harris

Dat's a mighty quare tale, 'bout de appile tree
In de pah'dise gyardin, whar Adam runned free,
Whar de butter-flies drunk honey wid ole mammy bee.
Talk about yo good times, I bet you he had 'em—Adam—
Adam en Eve, an' de appile tree.
He woke one mawnin wid a pullin at he sleeve;
He open his eye, an' dar was Eve—
He shook her han', wid a "Honey, don' grieve.
You's de only gal on earth for me
An' dats de truf, believe."
Talk about yo good times, I'll bet you dey had 'em—Adam—
Adam en Eve, an' de appile tree.
Den Eve took a bite er de appile fruit
En Adam he bit, en den dey scoot.
Dar's whar de niggah leahn de quick cally hoot,
Ben a runnin' ever since from somebody's boot.
En runned en hide behin' de fig tree—Adam—
Adam en Eve behin' de fig tree.[Pg 336]
Dey had der frolics, en dey had dere flings,
Den arter dat, de fun tuck wings,
Honey's mighty sweet, but bees has stings
An' dey came into de shadder dat de storm cloud brings.
Talk about yo hahd times, u-h-m uhm,
I bet you dey had 'em—Adam—
Adam en Eve behin' de fig tree.
Kase outer de gyardin dey had fur tuh skin.
Ter fin' de crack whar Satan crept in
Dey sarch fur and wide, dey sarch mighty well.
Eve, she knowed, but she 'fused fur ter tell.
Ole Satan's trail was all rubbed out
'Ceppen a track er two, whar he walked about.
Talk about troubles, I bet you dey had 'em—Adam—
Adam en Eve, en all dere kin.
Well, when dey got back de gate wuz shut.
An' dat wuz de pay, what Adam got.
In dat gyardin he went no moh.
De ober-seer gib him a shobel en a hoe,
A mule, en a plow, en a swingle tree,
Talk about yo hahd times, I bet you dey had 'em—Adam—
En all uh his chillen bofe slave en free.
En de chillen ob Adam, en de chillen's kin,
Dey all got smeared wid de pitch ob sin.
Dey shut dere eyes, to de great here-atter,
En flung sin aroun', wid a turrible splatter.
En cahooted wid Satan, en dat wat de matter—
An' troubles, well. I bet you dey had 'em—Adam—
De chillen ob Adam, what forgot ter pray, dey had 'em,
And dey keep on a hadden 'em down tuh dis day.[Pg 337]
But dat wa'n't de las' ob de appile tree,
Kase she scatter her seeds bofe fur en free,
And dat's whut de mattah wid you en me,
I knows de feelin's what brought on de fall,
Dat same ole appile, an' ole Satan's call,
Lor' bless yo chile, I knows 'em all.
I'm kinder lop-sided en pigeon toed
But jes' you watch me keep in de middle ob de road.
Kase de troubles I'se got is a mighty heavy load.
Talk about troubles, I got 'em en had 'em,
Same as Adam.
An' don' yo see I mighty well know
Dat I got 'em from Adam long ago,
From Adam en Eve en de appile tree,
When dey runned free
In de pahdise gyardin
Wid butter-flies en honey bee?

FOOTNOTE:

[67] By permission of D. Appleton & Co.


MR. DOOLEY ON LA GRIPPE MICROBES

Finley Peter Dunne

Mr. Dooley was discovered making a seasonable beverage consisting of one part syrup, two parts quinine and fifteen parts strong waters.

"What's the matter?" asked Mr. McKenna.

"I have th' lah gr-rip," said Mr. Dooley, blowing his nose and wiping his eyes. "Bad cess to it! Oh, me poor back! It feels as if a dhray had r-run over it. Did ye iver have it? Ye did not. Well, ye'er lucky. Ye'er a lucky man.

"I wint to McGuire's wake las' week. They give him a dacent sind-off. No porther. An' himsilf looked natural—as fine a corpse as iver Gavin laid out. Gavin tould me so himsilf. He was as pr-roud iv McGuire as if he ownded him;[Pg 338] fetched half th' town in to look at him an' give ivery wan iv thim his ca-ards. He near frightened ol' man Dugan into a faint. 'Misther Dugan, how old a-are ye?' 'Sivinty-five, thanks be,' says Dugan. 'Thin,' says Gavin, 'take wan iv me ca-ards,' he says. 'I hope ye'll not forget me,' he says.

"'Twas there I got th' lah grip. Lasteways 'tis me opinion iv it, though th' docther says I swallowed a bug. It don't seem right, Jawn, f'r th' McGuires is a clane fam'ly, but th' docther says a bug got into me system. 'What sort iv bug?' says I. 'A lah grip bug,' he says. 'Yez have Mickrobes in ye'er lung,'he says. 'What's thim?' says I. 'Thims th' lah grip bugs,' says he. 'Ye took wan in an' warmed it,' he says, 'an' it has growed an' multiplied till ye'er system does be full iv thim,' he says, 'millions iv thim,' he says, 'ma-archin' an' counthermarchin' through ye.' 'Glory be to th' saints,' says I. 'Had I betther swallow some insect powdher?' I says. 'Some iv thim in me head has had a fallin' out an' is throwin' bricks.' 'Foolish man,' says he. 'Go to bed,' he says, 'an lave thim alone,' he says. 'Whin they find who they're in,' he says, 'they'll quit ye.'

"So I wint to bed an' waited, while th' Mickrobes had fun with me. Monday all iv thim was quiet but thim in me stummick. They stayed up late dhrinkin' an' carousin' an' dancin' jigs till wur-ruds come up bechune th' Kerry Mickrobes an' thim fr'm Wixford an' th' whole pa-arty wint over to me lift lung, where they could get th' air, an' had it out. Th' nex' day th' little Mickrobes made a toboggan slide iv me spine an' manetime some Mickrobes that was wur-r-kin' f'r th' tiliphone comp'ny got it in their heads that me legs was poles, an' put on their spikes an' climbed all night long.

"They was tired out th' nex' day till about 5 o'clock, whin thim that was in me head begin flushin' out th' rooms an' I knew they're was goin' to be doings in th' top flat. What did thim Mickrobes in me head do but invite all th' other Mick[Pg 339]robes in f'r th' avnin'. They all come. Oh, by gar, they was not wan iv thim stayed away. At 6 o'clock they begun to move fr'm me shins to me thrawt. They come in platoons an' squads an' dhroves. Some iv thim brought along brass bands an' more thin wan hundred thousand iv thim dhruv through me pipes in dhrays. A throlley line was started up me back an ivry car r-run into a wagon load iv scrap iron at th' base iv me skull.

"Th' Mickrobes in me head must've done thimsilves proud. Ivery few minutes some wan iv th' kids 'd be sint out with th' can an' I'd say to mesilf: 'There they go, carryin' th' trade to Schwartzmeister's because I'm sick an' can't wait on thim.' I was daffy, Jawn, d'ye mind? Th' likes iv me fillin' a pitcher f'r a little boy-bug! Ho, ho! Such dhreams. An' they had a game iv forty-fives, an' there was wan Mickrobe there that larned to play th' game in th' County Tipp'rary, where 'tis played on stone, an' iv'ry time he led thrumps he'd like to knock me head off. 'Who's thrick is that?' says th' Tipp'rary Mickrobe. 'Tis mine,' says a little red-headed Mickrobe fr'm th' County Roscommon. They tipped over th' chairs an' tables, an' in less time thin it takes to tell th' whole pa-arty was at it. They'd been a hurlin' game in th' back iv me skull an' th' young folks was dancin' breakdowns an' havin' leppin' matches in me forehead, but they all stopped to mix in. Oh, 'twas a grand shindig—tin millions iv thim min, women an' childher rowlin' on th' flure, hands an' feet goin', icepicks an' hurlin' sticks, clubs, brickbats an' beer kags flyin' in th' air. How manny iv thim was kilt I'll niver know, f'r I wint as daft as a hen an' dhreamt iv organizin' a Mickrobe Campaign club, that'd sweep th' prim'ries an' maybe go acrost an' free Ireland. Whin I woke up me legs was as weak as a day-old babby's an' me poor head impty as a cobbler's purse. I want no more iv thim. Give me anny bug fr'm a cockroach to an aygle save an' excipt thim wist iv Ireland fenians—th' Mickrobes."


[Pg 340]

A DOCTRINAL DISCUSSION

Harry Stillwell Edwards

Looking wearily over the far-stretching fields of corn, the leaves twisting in the heat, and contemplating the discouraging cotton prospect, old Uncle Henry, the plantation carpenter, said, half jestingly to a negro passing, "Uncle Ben, why don't you pray for rain?"

"Ef I had faith enough, I could fetch er rain, for don't de Book say, ef you have faith as er mustard seed you can move mountains? I say you done parted from de faith, Unc' Henry. Ef you was still en de faith, an' ask anythin', you goin' ter git it."

"Why don't you ask fer er million dollars; what you hoein' out dah en de sun fer, when all you got ter do is ter ask de Lord fer money?"

"Dat ain't de question, dat ain't hit. You dodgin' now!"

"No, I ain't dodgin'—"

"Yes, you is. De Lord don't sen' ter people what dey axes fer deyse'ves. He only sen' blessin's. Ef I ax fer er million er money, hit 'u'd be 'cause I'd natch'ly want ter quit work, an' dat's erg'in' his law. By de sweat er de brow de Book says, dat's how hit's got ter come ef hit come lawful."

"Well, why don't you git rain, then? Hyah's Mr. Ed'ards waitin' an' waitin' fer rain, payin' you ter hoe, an' one good rain 'd do more fer him 'n all the hoein' in the worl'."

"I didn't say I could fetch rain, Unc' Henry, I didn't say hit!"

"What did you say then?"

"I said, ef I had faith."

"You b'lieve ef you had faith you could fetch er rain?"

"Yes, I do!"

"Well, ain't dat faith? Ef you b'lieve hit, hit's faith. Trouble is, you don't b'lieve hit yo'se'f."

[Pg 341]"Yes I do. You done parted from de faith, Unc' Henry, dat's what ails you."

"No, I ain't parted from no faith, but I got too much sense ter b'lieve any man can git rain by asking fer hit."

"Don't de Book say, 'Ask, an' you shall receive'?"

"Not rain. Hit mean grace. When hit comes ter rain, de Lord don't let nobody fool wid him; he look atter de rain, 'specially hisse'f. Why, man, look at hit right! S'pose two men side by side pray diffunt—an' wid faith—what happen? Yonder's Mr. Ed'ards's oats ter be cut nex' week, an' on 'tother side de fence Unc' Jim's gyarden burnin' up. Mr. Ed'ards wants dry weather, an' Jim want rain, an' dey bofe pray deir own way! Bofe got faith, now, bofe got faith, an' one pray fer rain while t'other pray fer dry weather; what de Lord goin' do? Is he goin' ter split er rain on dat fence? Answer me! Don't turn yo' back ter me; answer me, Ben!"

"You want my answer?"

"Yes, I want hit. Don't stan' dah a stammerin'! What de Lord goin' do?"

"You want my answer? Well, hyah 'tis. De Lord 'u'd sen' 'nough rain to help de gyarden, but not 'nough ter hurt de oats. Dat's my answer!"

"You don't know what you all talkin' bout! Send 'nough rain ter help de gyarden, an' not 'nough to hurt de oats! You reckon Mr. Ed'ards let er nigger stay on dis place an' pray fer rain when he cuttin' oats? You reckon er nigger goin' ter come hyah an' run er market-gyarden wid 'im on sheers, an' him er prayin' fer dry wedder when cabbage oughter be headin' up? No, sah! You c'n pray fer grace, an' when you gits grace you're all right, rain er no rain; but you better not resk yo'se'f on rain. Folks got ter have somebody ter settle when hit shall rain, an' when hit sha'n't rain. Faith ain' got nothin' ter do 'ith hit. It takes horse sense. Why, ef de Lord was ter tie er rope to de flood-gates, an' let hit down hyah ter be pulled[Pg 342] when dey need rain, somebody'd git killed ev'y time dey pulled hit. Folks wid oats ter cut 'u'd lie out wid dey guns an' gyard dat rope, an' folks wid cabbages 'd be sneakin' up in de dyark tryin' ter git hold er hit. Fus' thing you know, er cem'tery grow up roun' dyah an' nobody lef' ter pull de rope!"

"Faith 'u'd fetch it. Yes, sah, hit'll fetch hit."

"You got any?"

"Not 'nough ter fetch rain."

"Yo' fam'bly got any?"

"Not 'nough fer rain."

"Well den it look like faith es 'bout as scyarce an' hard ter git as rain. Has Macedony Church got any?"

"Plenty."

"Got 'nough fer rain?"

"Plenty."

"Well den you go down dyah to prayer-meeting ter-night; an' take yo' fambly, an' all de niggers in de settlement what' got faith,—don't get none but faith niggers,—an' see ef you git er rain. You git rain, an' I'll give up. I hyah you all been prayin' fer me ter come in chu'ch—cause de ole roof wants patchin' I reckon. Git de rain an' you gits me too. Go on, an' try hit. I ain't got no time ter waste. Fus' thing you know, rain'll be pourin' down, an' dat dah chu'ch'll be leakin' faster'n a sieve. You goin' ter git rain, Ben?"

"Yes, I'm going' ter try. An' ef we have faith we'll git hit. Hit's a dry moon; ain't narry drop of water dyah, but faith c'n do hit."

The next morning a thin little cloud floated out of the brazen east, a mere ghost of a cloud, and from it was sifted down for about two minutes the poorest apology that nature ever made to injured verdure. Soon it passed into nothingness, and the full sun blazed over the parched land once more. A triumphant laugh was heard out where the hands were hoeing, and Ben's voice was recognized above all the others. They were congratu[Pg 343]lating him upon his success, when up came old Henry, his sack of carpenter's tools on his back. Ben shouted,

"Hello, Unc' Henry. I told you we'd fetch hit."

"Ben, did you say hit only taks faith as er grain er mustard seed ter move er mountain?"

"Yes, sah."

"Well now, hyah's de whole of Macedony Church, full of faith niggers, a prayin' for rain, an' de whole pack o' 'em can't lay de dust!"


FINNIGIN TO FLANNIGAN[68]

S. W. Gillilan

Superintindint wuz Flannigan;
Boss of the siction wuz Finnigin;
Whiniver the kyars got offen the thrack
An' muddled up things t' th' divil an' back,
Finnigin writ it to Flannigan,
Afther the wrick wuz all on agin.
That is, this Finnigin
Repoorted to Flannigan.
Whin Finnigin furst writ to Flannigan
He writ tin pages—did Finnigin.
An' he tould jist how the smash occurred—
Full minny a tajus, blunderin' wurrd
Did Finnigin write to Flannigan
Afther the cars had gone on agin.
That wuz how Finnigin
Repoorted to Flannigan.
Now Flannigan knowed more than Finnigin—
Had more idjucation—had Flannigan;[Pg 344]
An' it wore 'm clane an' complately out
To tell what Finnigin writ about
In his writin' to Muster Flannigan.
So he writed back to Finnigin:
"Don't do sich a sin agin!
Make 'em brief, Finnigin!"
Whin Finnigin got this frum Flannigan,
He blushed rosy rid—did Finnigin;
An' he said: "I'll gamble a whole moonth's pa-ay
That it will be minny an' minny a da-ay
Befoore Sup'rintindint—that's Flannigan—
Gits a whack at this very same sin agin.
From Finnigin to Flannigan
Repoorts won't be long agin."
Wan da-ay on the siction of Finnigin,
On the road sup'rintinded by Flannigan,
A rail give way on a bit av a curve,
An' some kyears went off as they made the swerve.
"There's nobody hurted," sez Finnigin,
"But repoorts must be made to Flannigan,"
An' he winked at McGorrigan
As married a Finnigin.
He wus shantyin' thin, wuz Finnigin,
As minny a railroader's been agin,
An' the shmoky ol' lamp wuz burnin' bright
In Finnigin's shanty all that night—
Bilin' down his repoort, wuz Finnigin.
An' he writed this here: "Muster Flannigan:
Off agin, on agin,
Gone agin.—Finnigin."

FOOTNOTE:

[68] By permission of the author.


[Pg 345]

GAVROCHE AND THE ELEPHANT[69]

Victor Hugo

[A story of how Gavroche, a street gamin of Paris, uses for a home the monument built in the form of a huge elephant, which Napoleon Bonaparte erected in 1823.]

The forest has a bird. Paris a child. The bird is called a sparrow. The child—a gamin. This little being is joyous; he has not food every day; no shoes on his feet; not much clothing on his body. He runs, he swears like a convict, he haunts all the wine shops, knows all the thieves—but he has no evil in his heart. Little Gavroche was one of these. He had been dispatched into life with a kick and had simply taken flight. The pavements were less hard to him than his mother's heart.

One evening, little Gavroche was skipping along an alley, hands in his pockets and singing merrily, when he came upon a young man who had a wild, happy look in his eye, but no hat on his head.

"Whoa there, monsieur, where's your roof? You've got enough light in them blinkers of yours to light up my apartments—say, monsieur, you're either crazy or you've had an awful good time!"

"Be off with you, imp."

"Say, did you know there wus a goin' ter be war in this town in a few days and I'm goin' to enlist as general of the army—Forward—March—Say, monsieur, I believe I know you, yes, sir, I've seen you down in that Napoleon meetin' way down there in that cellar—"

"Oh, be off with you, imp!"

"Yes, sir, I'm goin' now. Sorry I can't walk with you further, but business calls me in the other direction.

"Good evenin', monsieur—Watch out there. Can't ye[Pg 346] see where yer goin'? Little more an' ye'd been eatin' the dandelions! Good evenin', monsieur!"

A little further down the street, Gavroche was standing scrutinizing a shop window, when two little children came up to him crying.

"What's the matter with you, brats?"

"Boo-hoo—we—ain't got no place to sleep."

"The idea a bawlin' about that. Come along with me, I'll give ye a place to sleep. Say, hev ye got any shiners?"

"Boo-hoo—no—sir!"

"Well, come along with me. I'm rich. Ye can't hear 'em rattle, but all is not gold that rattles."

"Monsieur, we—boo-hoo—we asked that barber man over there to let us get warm in his store and—and—he wouldn't do—it—boo-hoo!"

"Well, now, don't bawl about that. He don't know no better. He's an Englishman. But I'll jes' take a note of that insult. [Takes paper from his pocket and writes.]—Get even with Barber at 63 Rue Saint Antoine. Too mean to occupy space here below. There now! that'll fix 'em. Hurry along here now or my hotel will be closed.—Say, brats, you stay here a minute. There is a poor little girl what's cold and she ain't got nothin' around her. You stay here till I gits back.

"There, little girl, take my scarf and put around you. This kind of life is alright fer boys but it's pretty tough on girls. Brr! it's rather chilly. And I'll eat a piece out o' Hades if it ain't re-raining again."

"Monsieur, boo-hoo—we—ain't had nothin' to eat—since—morning."

"Well, now don't bawl about that. Let me see—oh, here's a shop. Shovel in here.

"Boy, give us five centimes worth o' bread."

"For how many?"

"Well, there seem to be two uv 'em.

[Pg 347]"Here—now take that—brat senior, and you take that, brat junior—now grub away. Ram that into your muzzle. Don't you understand? Well, classically speaking—eat. Well, I thought ye knew how to do that. [Whistles Marseillaise until they have finished, then stops suddenly and says to the boy behind the counter.]—Say, ain't them two nice specimens to be bawlin' jes' 'cause they ain't got no home?

"Hey there, are ye through? Well, shovel out, then. We've got to hurry or the elephant will have closed down his ears. Hey there, Montparnasse! See my two kids?"

"Well, where did you get them, Gavroche?"

"Oh, a gentleman made me a present of 'em, down the street—say, they've got hides like linseed plasters, hain't they?"

"Where are you taking them, Gavroche?"

"To my lodging—the Elephant."

"The Elephant!"

"Yes—the El-e-phant. Any complaints?"

"You don't mean Napoleon's monument?"

"I mean Napoleon's monument—You see when Napoleon left for Elba, he put me in charge of the Elephant. Forward, march, there, brats! Good evenin', Montparnasse."

On arriving at the Elephant, Gavroche climbed up and then invited his friends to come up.

"Hey, there, brat senior—see that ladder? Well, put your foot on—Now ye ain't agoin' ter be afraid are ye? Here, give me your hands—Now—up—There, you stand still now, till I git yer little brother up—Here, brat junior. Oh, can't you reach that ladder? Well, step on the Elephant's corn then—That's the way—Now—up—There! Now, gentlemen, you're on the inside of the Elephant. Don't ye feel something like Jonah? But stop yer talkin' now fer we're goin' straight ter bed. This way to yer sleepin' apartments—Here, brat junior, we'll wrap you up in this blanket."

"O, thank you, sir. It's so nice and warm."

[Pg 348]"Well, that's what the monkeys thought. Here, senior, you take this mattress. Ye see, I stole these from the Jardin de Plants. But I told the animals over there that they were fer the Elephant and they said that was all right. Are ye in bed? Now I am goin' ter suppress de candelabra. [Blows out candle.] Whew! listen to it rain. How the rain do be runnin' down the legs of this here house. That's first class thunder too. Whew! that's no slouch uv a streak uv lightnin' nuther. Here, calm down there, gentlemen, or ye'll topple over this edifice. Time ter sleep now, good-night. Shut yer peepers!"

"Oh, sir?"

"Hey?"

"What's that noise?"

"Why—it's—rats."

"Oh, sir."

"Hey?"

"What is rats?"

"Oh—rats—is—mice."

"Sir?"

"Hey?"

"Why don't you get a cat?"

"Oh—I—I did have—a cat and—and the rats eat 'er up."

"Boo-hoo. Will they eat us up too?"

"Ah—no—they won't eat you. You ain't got enough meat on you. Besides I got 'em all screened off with a wire. They can't get at ye. See here—Ef yer goin' ter be afraid, take hold er my hand an' I'll lay down long side o' yer and go ter sleep—Now I fergot ter tell you gentlemen that when ye wake up—I'll be gone, fer business calls me early, but ye're to make this yer home jes' as long as yer wants ter and come here jes' whenever yer wants ter. Now fer the last time—good-night!"

FOOTNOTE:

[69] A dramatization from "Les Misérables," by Lucy Dean Jenkins.


[Pg 349]

THE HAZING OF VALIANT

Anonymous

She was a small girl, but her sense of the ridiculous was tremendous. All summer long she sat on the sand and was nice to two boys, a sub-freshman and a sophomore. The sub-freshman's name was Valiant; he had a complexion that women envied, he was small and dainty and smelled sweet. The other, whose name was Buckley, was bigger and much more self-assertive.

One day the girl decided it would be fun to make them hate each other, and after that, when they were all three together, the sophomore would tell her how hard his class would haze the freshman in the Fall, while the sub-freshman only gazed out over the water and smiled. But one day the sophomore made a remark about "pretty pink-cheeked boys," which had better been left unsaid. Then arose the younger one and shaking impressively a slender pink-nailed finger he spoke, "You had better not try to haze me, Will Buckley."

In the good old days you had only to casually drop a word to a freshman on the way to recitation to wait for you when evening came, and he would turn up promptly, take his little dose meekly and go back to bed a better boy for it. But all that is changed now.

Twice had Buckley waited near the house where Valiant ate his dinner. He had tried several ways of getting into the house where Valiant lived, but without success; then for three successive nights he waited in an alley near by; on the third night Valiant came, but with him an upper classman friend. Buckley kept in the shadow but Valiant called out, "Oh, is that you, Mr. Buckley? How do you do? Aren't you coming in to see me?" Which was decidedly fresh.

"Not now, I'll drop in later. Which is your room?"

"That room up there, see?"

[Pg 350]The next night Buckley got his gang together. They decided that a dip in the canal would be excellent for Valiant's health; if he felt cold after that he could climb a telephone pole for exercise. It was nearly two o'clock when they carried a ladder into the alley way. This was a particularly nervy go. A young professor and his young wife had a suite of rooms in this house; it was moonlight, and a certain owl-eyed proctor was pretty sure to pass not far away; but if they hurried they thought they could send a man up and get away without being caught.

Buckley was to get in the window, which was open, it being a warm night, the others were to hustle away with the ladder, and wait for him at a street several blocks distant. There was no doubt but that Valiant would have to come with him.

Buckley climbed up, got one foot over the sill, and was in the room. He leaned out and raised his hand. Silently the ladder disappeared. He turned and started across the room; when a soft voice said, "Is that you, dear?"

Then before all the blood in his body had time to freeze, he stepped out of the moonlight into the shadow and whispered, "Shsss!" Instinct made him do this.

Across the silence the soft voice came again, "Oh, I'm not asleep. But why did you stay so long, Guy dear?"

Buckley heard the squeaking of a bed-spring and as his knees stiffened he spied coming toward him something white with two black streaks hanging half way down, which as the thing came into the moonlight, he saw to be long braids of dark hair. It was a tall, slender figure clothed in a white garment. The face was young and beautiful. Buckley closed his eyes. But it came nearer and nearer. He stood up perfectly rigid in the darkness as two soft arms reached up and met about his neck.

Buckley did not budge and the soft voice began, "You have not forgiven me yet." It began to sob. "You know I did not mean it. Won't you forgive me? Tell me you do forgive[Pg 351] me. Say it with your own lips, Guy dear. Speak to me, my husband!" Buckley didn't. A soft, fragrant hand came up along his cheek, which tingled, and over his eyes, which quivered. For fully a half minute he tried to think what to do, then he gritted his teeth and placed one arm about her waist and threw the other around her neck in such a way that he could draw it tight if necessary. Suddenly she raised her head, gave one startled look into his face, and with a shuddering gasp, she recoiled.

"For Heaven's sake, don't scream—I can explain!"

"Ugh, oh, let go! Who—let me go, or I'll screa-ch-ch-ch!"

Buckley pressed on the windpipe, feeling like three or four murderers as he did so. "Oh, please, if you scream it'll only make things awfully awkward. I got in here by mistake. Oh, please keep quiet. Promise me you'll not cry out, and I'll let you go."

"Yes, yes, I promise," said the scared voice. Buckley released his grasp. She fled across the room. He thought she was making for the door and sprang to stop her, but she only snatched up an afghan or something from the sofa, and holding it about her, retreated to the dark part of the room, moaning, "Oh, dear! oh, dear!"

"I don't know who you are, but I wish you wouldn't cry. Please be calm. It's all a big mistake, I thought I was coming to my own room—"

"Your own room!"

"I mean my classmate's room,—I mean I thought a freshman roomed here. You aren't half so sorry as I am—oh, yes, you are—I mean I'm awfully sorry, and wish to apologize. I didn't mean anything."

"Mean anything!"

"Really I didn't. If you'll only let me go down and promise not to wake the house before I get out, why no one will ever know anything about it and I'll promise not to do it again."

[Pg 352]"Just as soon as I get my breath I mean to wake up the whole house, and the whole town if I can." Buckley started across the room.

"Stop!"

"You promised not to scream."

"You forced me to promise. I am going to scream."

The bold, bad sophomore went down on his knees with his hands clasped toward the dark where the voice came from. "Oh, don't, please don't. Have pity on me."

"You stay right there in the moonlight."

"Right here?"

"Right there, and if you dare to move I'll scream with all my might." Buckley shivered and froze stiff.

And then he began to plead. "Please, oh, please, whoever you are, won't you forgive me and let me go? I wouldn't harm a girl for the world. I'll be fired—I mean expelled from college—I'll be disgraced for life. I'll—"

"Stop! While it may be true that you did not break into my room with intent to rob or injure a defenseless woman, yet, by your own confession you came to torment a weaker person. You came to haze a freshman. And when my husband—"

"Have mercy, have mercy. If I'm fired from college I'll be disgraced for life. All my prospects will be blighted; my life will be ruined, and my mother's heart broken."

She gave a little hysterical sob:—

"For your poor mother's sake, go!"

"Oh, thank you with all my heart. My mother would too if she could know. I don't deserve to be treated so well. I shall always think of you as my merciful benefactress. I can never forgive myself for causing you pain. Oh, thank you," and Buckley the proud sophomore groveled out of the room.

Next morning he received a letter, which read as follows:[Pg 353]

"Just as a tall woman looks short in a man's make-up, so does a short man look tall in a woman's make-up, and you should know that blondes are hard to recognize in brunette wigs. You ought to know that a real girl wouldn't have behaved quite that way. You see you still have a number of things to learn, even though you are a soph. Hoping that you will learn to forgive yourself, I am,

"Your merciful benefactress,

"H. G. Valiant."


THE HINDOO'S PARADISE

Anonymous

A Hindoo died, a happy thing to do,
When twenty years united to a shrew.
Released, he hopefully for entrance cries
Before the gates of Brahma's paradise.
"Hast thou been through purgatory?" Brahma said,
"No, but I've been married," and he hung his head.
"Come in, come in, and welcome too, my son,
Marriage and purgatory are as one."
In bliss extreme he entered heaven's door,
And knew the peace he ne'er had known before.
But scarce had he entered the garden fair,
When another Hindoo asked admission there.
The self-same question, Brahma asked,
"Hast thou been through purgatory?"
"No, what then?" "Thou canst not enter," did the God reply.
"Why, he that entered first was there no more than I."[Pg 354]
"All that is true, but he has married been,
And so on earth, had suffered from all sin."
"Married, 'tis well, I've been married twice."
"Begone, we'll have no fools in Paradise."

IF I KNEW

Anonymous

If I knew the box where the smiles are kept,
No matter how large the key,
Or strong the bolt, I would try so hard,
'Twould open, I know, for me.
Then over the land and sea broadcast,
I'd scatter the smiles to play,
That the children's faces might hold them fast
For many and many a day.
If I knew a box that was large enough
To hold all the frowns I meet,
I would like to gather them, every one,
From the nursery, school and street,
Then, holding and folding I'd pack them in,
And turning the monster key
I'd hire a giant to drop the box,
Into the depths of the sea.

THE IMAGINARY INVALID[70]

Jerome K. Jerome

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch—hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I[Pg 355] idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into—some fearful, devastating scourge I know—and, before I had glanced half down the list of "premonitory symptoms," it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for a while, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever—read the symptoms—discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it—wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus's Dance—found, as I expected, that I had that too,—began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom and so started alphabetically—read up ague, and learned that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright's disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid's knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight. Why hadn't I got housemaid's knee? Why this invidious reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed. I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid's knee. Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood. There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.

I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an acquisition I[Pg 356] should be to a class! Students would have no need to "walk the hospitals," if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they need do would be to walk around me, and, after that, take their diploma.

Then I wondered how long I had to live. I tried to examine myself. I felt my pulse. I could not at first feel any pulse at all. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed to start off. I pulled out my watch and timed it. I made a hundred and forty-seven to the minute. I tried to feel my heart. I could not feel my heart. It had stopped beating. I have since been induced to come to the opinion that it must have been there all the time, and must have been beating, but I cannot account for it. I patted myself all over my front, from what I call my waist up to my head, and I went a bit round each side, and a little way up the back. But I could not feel or hear anything. I tried to look at my tongue. I stuck it out as far as ever it would go, and I shut one eye, and tried to examine it with the other. I could only see the tip, and the only thing that I could gain from that was to feel more certain than before that I had scarlet fever.

I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I'm ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. "What a doctor wants," I said, "is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each." So I went straight up and saw him, and he said:

"Well, what's the matter with you?"

I said:

"I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is not[Pg 357] the matter with me. I have not got housemaid's knee. Why I have not got housemaid's knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I have got."

And I told him how I came to discover it all.

Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn't expecting it—a cowardly thing to do, I call it—and immediately afterward butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.

I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist's and handed it in. The man read it and then handed it back. He said he didn't keep it.

I said:

"You are a chemist?"

"I am a chemist. If I was a coöperative store and family hotel combined I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me."

I read the prescription. It ran:

"1 lb. beefsteak, every 6 hours,
1 ten-mile walk every morning,
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."

FOOTNOTE:

[70] From "Three Men in a Boat," published by Henry Holt & Co.


JANE JONES[71]

Ben F. King

Jane Jones keeps talkin' to me all the time,
An' says you must make it a rule
To study your lessons 'nd work hard 'nd learn,
An' never be absent from school.[Pg 358]
Remember the story of Elihu Burrit,
An' how he clum up to the top,
Got all the knowledge 'at ever he had
Down in a blacksmithing shop!
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so!
Mebbe he did—
I dunno!
O' course what's a-keepin' me 'way from the top,
Is not never havin' no blacksmithing shop.
She said 'at Ben Franklin was awfully poor,
But full of ambition an' brains;
An' studied philosophy all his hull life,
An' see what he got for his pains!
He brought electricity out of the sky,
With a kite an' a bottle an' key,
An' we're owing him more 'n any one else
For all the bright lights 'at we see.
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so!
Mebbe he did—
I dunno!
O' course what's allers been hinderin' me
Is not havin' any kite, lightning, er key.
Jane Jones said Abe Lincoln had no books at all
An' used to split rails when a boy;
An' General Grant was a tanner by trade
An' lived way out in Ill'nois.
So when the great war in the South first broke out
He stood on the side o' the right,
An' when Lincoln called him to take charge o' things
He won nearly every blamed fight.
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so!
Mebbe he did—
I dunno![Pg 359]
Still I ain't to blame, not by a big sight,
For I ain't never had any battles to fight.
She said 'at Columbus was out at the knees
When he first thought up his big scheme,
An' told all the Spaniards 'nd Italians, too,
An' all of 'em said 'twas a dream.
But Queen Isabella jest listened to him,
'Nd pawned all her jewels o' worth,
'Nd bought him the Santa Maria 'nd said,
"Go hunt up the rest o' the earth!"
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so!
Mebbe he did—
I dunno!
O' course that may be, but then you must allow
They ain't no land to discover jest now!

FOOTNOTE:

[71] By permission of the author and Forbes & Co., publishers.


KNEE-DEEP IN JUNE[72]

James Whitcomb Riley

Tell you what I like the best—
'Long about knee-deep in June,
'Bout the time strawberries melt
On the vine,—some afternoon
Like to jes' git out and rest,
And not work at nothin' else!
Orchard's where I'd ruther be—
Needn't fence it in fer me!
Jes' the whole sky overhead,
And the whole airth underneath—
Sorto' so's a man kin breathe
Like he ort, and kind o' has[Pg 360]
Elbow-room to keerlessly
Sprawl out len'thways on the grass
Where the shadders thick and soft
As the kivvers on the bed
Mother fixes in the loft
Allus, when they's company!
Jes' a-sorto' lazin' there—
S'lazy, 'at you peek and peer
Through the wavin' leaves above
Like a feller 'at's in love
And don't know it, ner don't kere!
Ever'thing you hear and see
Got some sort o' interest—
Maybe find a bluebird's nest
Tucked up there conveenently
Fer the boy 'at's apt to be
Up some other apple-tree!
Watch the swallers skootin' past
'Bout as peert as you could ast;
Er the Bob-white raise and whiz
Where some other's whistle is.
Ketch a shadder down below,
And look up to find the crow—
Er a hawk,—away up there,
'Pearantly froze in the air!—
Hear the old hen squak, and squat
Over ever' chick she's got,
Suddent-like—And she knows where
That-air hawk is, well as you!—
You jes' bet yer life she do!—
Eyes a-glitterin' like glass,
Waitin' till he makes a pass![Pg 361]
Pee-wees' singin', to express
My opinion, 's second class,
Yit you'll hear 'em more er less;
Sapsucks gittin' down to biz,
Weedin' out the lonesomeness;
Mr. Bluejay, full o' sass,
In them base-ball clothes o' his,
Sportin' 'round the orchard jes'
Like he owned the premises!
Sun out in the fields kin sizz,
But flat on yer back, I guess,
In the shade's where glory is!
That's jes' what I'd like to do
Stiddy fer a year er two!
Plague! ef they ain't somepin' in
Work 'at kindo' goes ag'in
My convictions!—'long about
Here in June especially!—
Under some old apple-tree,
Jes' a-restin' through and through,
I could git along without
Nothin else at all to do
Only jes' a-wishin' you
Was a-gittin' there like me,
And June war eternity!
Lay out there and try to see
Jes' how lazy you kin be!—
Tumble round and souse yer head
In the clover-bloom, er pull
Yer straw hat acrost yer eyes,
And peek through it at the skies,
Thinkin' of old chums 'at's dead,
Maybe, smilin' back at you[Pg 362]
In betwixt the beautiful
Clouds o' gold and white and blue!—
Month a man kin railly love—
June, you know, I'm talkin' of!
March ain't never nothin' new!
Aprile's altogether too
Brash fer me! and May—I jes'
'Bominate its promises,—
Little hints o' sunshine and
Green around the timber-land—
A few blossoms, and a few
Chip-birds, and a sprout er two—
Drap asleep, and it turns in
'Fore daylight and snows ag'in!—
But when June comes—Clear my th'oat
With wild honey!—Rench my hair
In the dew! and hold my coat!
Whoop out loud! and th'ow my hat!—
June wants me, and I'm to spare!
Spread them shadders anywhere,
I'll git down and waller there,
And obleeged to you at that!

FOOTNOTE:

[72] From "Afterwhiles," published by the Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis, Ind.


LITTLE BREECHES[73]

John Hay

I don't go much on religion,
I never ain't had no show;
But I've got a middlin' tight grip, sir,
On the handful o' things I know.[Pg 363]
I don't pan out on the prophets,
And free-will and that sort of thing,
But I believe in God and the angels,
Ever sence one night last spring.
I come into town with some turnips,
And my little Gabe come along—
No four-year-old in the country
Could beat him for pretty and strong,
Peart and chipper and sassy,
Always ready to swear and fight—
And I'd larnt him to chew terbacker,
Jest to keep his milk teeth white.
The snow come down like a blanket
As I passed by Taggart's store;
I went in for a jug of molasses
And left the team at the door.
They scared at something and started—
I heard one little squall,
And hell-to-split over the prairie
Went team, Little Breeches and all.
Hell-to-split over the prairie!
I was almost froze with skeer;
But we rousted up some torches,
And searched for 'em far and near.
At last we struck hosses and wagon,
Snowed under a soft white mound,
Upsot, dead beat—but of little Gabe
No hide nor hair was found.
And here all hope soured on me,
Of my fellow-critters' aid—
I jest flopped down on my marrow bones,
Crotch deep in the snow, and prayed.[Pg 364]
By this the torches was played out,
And me and Isrul Parr
Went off for some wood to a sheepfold
That he said was somewhar thar.
We found it at last, and a little shed
Where they shut up the lambs at night;
We looked in, and seen them huddled thar,
So warm and sleepy and white.
And thar sat Little Breeches and chirped,
As peart as ever you see,
"I want a chaw of terbacker,
And that's what's the matter with me."
How did he get thar? Angels.
He could never have walked in that storm,
They just scooped down and toted him
To whar it was safe and warm;
And I think that saving a little child
And bringing him to his own,
Is a derned sight better business
Than loafing around the Throne.

FOOTNOTE:

[73] By permission of Mrs. Hay.


THE LOW-BACKED CAR

Samuel Lover

When first I saw sweet Peggy,
'Twas on a market-day;
A low-backed car she drove, and sat
Upon a truss of hay;
But when that hay was blooming grass,
And decked with flowers of spring,
No flower was there that could compare
With the blooming girl I sing.[Pg 365]
As she sat in the low-backed car,
The man at the turnpike bar
Never asked for the toll,
But just rubbed his owld poll,
And looked after the low-backed car.
In battle's wild commotion,
The proud and mighty Mars
With hostile scythes demands his tithes
Of death—in warlike cars;
While Peggy, peaceful goddess,
Has darts in her bright eyes
That knock men down in the market-town,
As right and left they fly;
While she sits in her low-backed car:
Than battle more dangerous far—
For the doctor's art
Cannot cure the heart
That is hit from that low-backed car.
Sweet Peggy round her cart, sir,
Has strings of ducks and geese,
But the scores of hearts she slaughters
By far outnumber these;
While she among her poultry sits,
Just like a turtle-dove,
Well worth the cage, I do engage,
Of the blooming god of love;
While she sits in her low-backed car,
The lovers come near and far,
And envy the chicken
That Peggy is pickin'
As she sits in her low-backed car.[Pg 366]
Oh! I'd rather own that car, sir,
With Peggy by my side,
Than a coach and four, and gold galore,
And a lady for my bride;
For the lady would sit forninst me,
On a cushion made with taste,
While Peggy would sit beside me,
With my arm around her waist,
While we drove in the low-backed car
To be married by Father Maher;
Oh! my heart would beat high
At her glance and her sigh,
Though it beat in a low-backed car.

MAMMY'S PICKANIN'

Lucy Dean Jenkins

Now, whah d'ye s'pose dat chile is?
My, he's got a head!
He's a-hidin' frum his mammy
'Case it's time to go to bed.
Hyah, you, Petah Johnsing!
Come inside dat fence.
I done tole you yes'day
You didn't hab no sense.
What's dat? A-waitin' fo' yo' daddy?
(Bress his little hea't!)
Why, chile! Yo' daddy won't be comin'
Froo dat woodsy pa't
At dis time ob de ebenin'.
Don't you see dat moon?[Pg 367]
Dat's de sign dat spooks
'Ll be a-trablin' soon.
I b'lieve I see 'em
Comin'—Massy me!
As sho' as you is breavin'
Dar's one behind dat tree!
Ha! Ha! I t'ought dat 'd bring him.
Come hyah, sweety hon',
Come to yo' ole mammy,
An' if dose spookies come
An' want my pickaninny,
I'll swat 'em in de face;
I'll take dar flowin' ga'ments,
An' jest wipe up de place.
I'll take dat ar bu'nt hoe-cake,
An' hit 'em on de head,
Till dey'll be glad to go away,
An' let my baby go to bed.
So, don't cry no mo', my honey,
Jes' close yo' little eye,
An' mammy'll rock ye in her a'ms,
An' sing de—
"Lullaby,
Close yo' eye,
Mammy's little dusky baby;
Hush-a-bye,
Close yo' eye,
Mammy's little baby boy,
Den hush-a-bye."[Pg 368]
Now, what's de mattah, honey?
Ain't you neber gwine ter sleep?
Dose spookies ain't a-comin';
Dey's gwine off down de street.
Now shet yo' eyes up tight,
An' go right off to sleep;
An' to-morrow for yo' breakfus'
You'll hab' possum for to eat.
So, don't cry no mo', my honey,
Jes' close yo' little eye,
While mammy rocks you in her a'ms
An' sings de—
"Lullaby," etc.

MANDALAY

Rudyard Kipling

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', an' I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, an' the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chuckin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!
'Er petticut was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat—jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,[Pg 369]
An' I seed her fust a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:
Bloomin' idol made o' mud—
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd—
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay—
When the mist was on the rice fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "Kullalo-lo!"
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' her cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an' the hathis pilin' teak.
Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay—
But that's all shove be'ind me—long ago an' fur away,
An' there ain't no 'buses runnin' from the Benk to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year sodger tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin,' why, you won't 'eed nothin' else."
No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells!
On the road to Mandalay—
I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gutty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and—
Law! wot do they understand?[Pg 370]
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener, land!
On the road to Mandalay—
Ship me somewheres east of Suez where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments, an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be—
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea—
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

MISTER COON AND MISTER RABBIT[74]

Joel Chandler Harris

Well one time Mr. Rabbit an' Mr. Coon live close ter one anudder in de same neighborhoods. How dey does now I ain't a-tellin' you, but in dem days dey wa'n't no hard feelin's 'twixt um. Dey jest went along like two ole cronies. Mr. Rabbit he was a fisherman an' Mr. Coon he was a fisherman. But Mr. Rabbit he kotch fish, an' Mr. Coon he fished for frogs. Mr. Rabbit he had mighty good luck, and Mr. Coon he had mighty bad luck. Mr. Rabbit he got fat an' slick an' Mr. Coon he got po' an' sick. Hit went on dis-a-way tell one day Mr. Coon met Mr. Rabbit in de big road. Dey shook han's dey did, an' den Mr. Coon he 'low: "Brer Rabbit, whar you git sech a fine chance er fish?" Mr. Rabbit laugh an' say, "I kotch 'em outen de river, Brer Coon. All I got to do is to bait my hook," sezee.

[Pg 371]Den Mr. Coon he shake his head an' 'low, "Den how come I ain't ketch no frogs?" Mr. Rabbit sat down in de road an' scratched fer fleas an' den he 'low, "It's kaze you done make um all mad, Brer Coon. One time in de dark er de moon, you slipped down ter de branch an' kotch de ole king frog, an' ever sence dat time, w'enever you er passin' by, you kin year um sing out, fus' one an' den anudder, 'Yer he come! Dar he goes! Hit 'im in de eye! Hit 'im in de eye! Mash 'im an' smash 'im! Mash 'im an' smash 'im!' Yasser, dat w'at dey say. I year um constant, Brer Coon, an' dat des w'at dey say."

Den Mr. Coon up an' say, "Ef dat de way dey gwine on, how de name er goodness kin I ketch um, Brer Rabbit. I bleege ter have sumfin ter eat fer me an' my fambly connection."

Mr. Rabbit sorter grin in de corner ob de mouf an' den he say, "Well, Brer Coon, bein' ez you bin so sociable 'long wid me, an' ain't never showed your toofies w'en I pull yo' tail, I'll des whirl in an' hep you out."

Mr. Coon he say, "Thanky, thanky, Brer Rabbit!"

Mr. Rabbit hang his fish on a tree lim an' say, "Now, Brer Coon, you bleege ter do dis lik' I tell you." Mr. Coon 'lowed dat he would ef de good Lawd spared 'im.

Den Mr. Rabbit say, "Now, Brer Coon, you des rack down yonder an' git on de big san-bar 'twix' de river an' de branch. Wen you git dar you mus' stagger like you sick, an' den you mus' whirl roun' an' roun' an' drap down lak you dead. Arter you drap down, you mus' sorter jerk yo' legs once er twice an' den you mus' lay right still. If fly light on yo' nose let 'im stay dar. Don't move; don't wink yo' eye; don't switch yo' tail. Des lay right dar an' 'twont' be long for yo' hear from me. Yit don't yo' move till I give de word."

Mr. Coon he paced off he did, an' done des like Mr. Rabbit told him. He staggered roun' on de san'-bank, an' den he drapped down dead. Atter so long a time, Mr. Rabbit come[Pg 372] lopin' 'long, an' soon's he got dar he squall out, "Coon dead!" Dis rousted de frogs, an' dey stuck dey heads up fer ter see w'at all de rippet was about. One great big green frog up an' holler, "W'at de matter? W'at de matter?" He talk like he got bad cold. Mr. Rabbit he 'low, "Coon dead!" Frog say, "Don't believe it! Don't believe it!" N'er frog say, "Yes, he is! Yes, he is!" Little bit er one say, "No, he ain't! No, he ain't!"

Dey keep on sputin till bimeby hit look like all de frogs in de neighborhood wuz dar. Mr. Rabbit look like he ain't a-kearin' what dey do er say. He sot down dar in de san' like he gwine in moanin' fer Mr. Coon. De frogs kep' gittin' closer and closer. Mr. Coon he ain't move. W'en a fly'd git on 'im, Mr. Rabbit he'd bresh 'im off.

Bimeby he 'low, "Ef you want ter git 'im outin de way, now's you time, cousin frogs. Des whirl in an' bury 'im, deep in de san'."

Big old frog say, "How we gwine ter do it? How we gwine ter do it?"

Mr. Rabbit 'low, "Dig de san' out from under 'im an' let 'im down in de hole." Den de frogs dey went ter work sure enough. Dey mus' 'a' been a hundred un um, an' dey make dat san' fly.

Mr. Coon he ain't move. De frogs dey dig an' scratch in de san' tell atter while dey had a right smaht hole an' Mr. Coon wuz down in dar.

Bimeby Big Frog holler, "Dis deep nuff? Dis deep nuff?"

Mr. Rabbit' low, "Kin you jump out?"

Big Frog say, "Yes, I kin! Yes, I kin!"

Mr. Rabbit say, "Den 'tain't deep nuff."

Den de frogs dey dig an' dey dig tell bimeby Big Frog say, "Dis deep nuff? Dis deep nuff?" Mr. Rabbit 'low, "Kin you jump out?" Big Frog say, "I des kin! I des kin!" Mr. Rabbit say, "Dig it deeper." All de frogs keep on diggin' tell[Pg 373] bimeby Big Frog holler out, "Dis deep nuff? Dis deep nuff?"

Mr. Rabbit 'low, "Kin you jump out?" Big Frog say, "No, I can't! No, I can't! Come he'p me! Come he'p me!"

Den Mr. Rabbit bust out laffin' an' holler out, "Rise up, sandy, an' git yo' meat." An' Mr. Coon riz.

FOOTNOTE:

[74] By permission of D. Appleton & Co.


MONEY MUSK

Benjamin F. Taylor

Ah, the buxom girls that helped the boys—
The nobler Helens of humbler Troys—
As they stripped the husks with rustling fold
From eight-rowed corn as yellow as gold,
By the candle-light in pumpkin bowls,
And the gleams that showed fantastic holes
In the quaint old lantern's tattooed tin,
From the hermit glim set up within;
By the rarer light in girlish eyes
As dark as wells, or as blue as skies.
I hear the laugh when the ear is red,
I see the blush with the forfeit paid,
The cedar cakes with the ancient twist,
The cider cup that the girls have kissed.
And I see the fiddler through the dusk
As he twangs the ghost of "Money Musk!"
The boys and girls in a double row
Wait face to face till the magic bow
Shall whip the tune from the violin,
And the merry pulse of the feet begin.[Pg 374]
In shirt of check, and tallowed hair,
The fiddler sits in the bulrush chair
Like Moses' basket stranded there
On the brink of Father Nile.
He feels the fiddle's slender neck,
Picks out the note, with thrum and check;
And times the tune with nod and beck,
And thinks it a weary while.
All ready! Now he gives the call,
Cries, "Honor to the ladies!" All
The jolly tides of laughter fall
And ebb in a happy smile.
"Begin." D-o-w-n comes the bow on every string,
"First couple join right hands and swing!"
As light as any blue-bird's wing
"Swing once and a half times round."
Whirls Mary Martin all in blue—
Calico gown and stockings new,
And tinted eyes that tell you true,
Dance all to the dancing sound.
She flits about big Moses Brown,
Who holds her hands to keep her down
And thinks her hair a golden crown,
And his heart turns over once!
His cheek with Mary's breath is wet,
It gives a second somerset!
He means to win the maiden yet,
Alas, for the awkward dance!
"Your stoga boot has crushed my toe!"
"I'd rather dance with one-legged Joe!"
"You clumsy fellow!" "Pass below!"
And the first pair dance apart.[Pg 375]
Then "Forward six!" advance, retreat,
Like midges gay in sunbeam street.
'Tis Money Musk by merry feet
And the Money Musk by heart!
"Three quarters round your partner swing!
Across the set!" The rafters ring,
The girls and boys have taken wing
And have brought their roses out!
'Tis "Forward six!" with rustic grace,
Ah, rarer far than—"Swing to place!"
Than golden clouds of old point-lace
They bring the dance about.
Then clasping hands all—"Right and left!"
All swiftly weave the measure deft
Across the woof in loving weft,
And the Money Musk is done!
Oh, dancers of the rustling husk,
Good night, sweet hearts, 'tis growing dusk,
Good night for aye to Money Musk,
For the heavy march begun!

THE ONE-LEGGED GOOSE[75]

F. Hopkinson Smith

The Colonel had been detained at his office, but had sent word that I was to wait for him. Chad was serving the coffee. "My Marsa John," he remarked, filling the cup with the smok[Pg 376]ing beverage, "never drank nuffin' but tea, eben at de big dinners when all de gemmen had coffee in de little cups—dat's one ob 'em you's drinkin' out ob now; dey ain't mo' 'an fo' on 'em left. Old marsa would have his pot of tea. Henny useter make it for him; makes it now for Miss Nancy.

"Henny was a young gal den, long 'fo' we was married. Henny b'longed to Colonel Lloyd Barbour, on de next plantation to ourn.

"Mo' coffee, Major?" I handed Chad the empty cup. He refilled it, and went straight on without drawing breath.

"Wust scrape I eber got into wid old Marsa John was ober Henny. I tell ye she was a harricane in dem days. She come into de kitchen one time where I was helpin' git de dinner ready an' de cook had gone to de spring-house, an' she says:

"'Chad, what ye cookin' dat smells so nice?'

"'Dat's a goose,' I says, 'cookin' for Marsa John's dinner. We got quality,' says I, pintin' to de dinin'-room do'.

"'Quality!' she says. 'Spec' I know what de quality is. Dat's for you and de cook.'

"Wid dat she grabs a caarvin' knife from de table, opens de do' ob de big oven, cuts off a leg ob de goose, an' dis'pears round de kitchen corner wid de leg in her mouf.

"'Fo' I knowed whar I was Marsa John come to de kitchen do' an' says, 'Gittin' late, Chad; bring in de dinner.' You see, Major, dey ain't no up an' down-stairs in de big house, like it is yer; kitchen an' dinin'-room all on de same flo'.

"Well, sah, I was scared to def, but I tuk dat goose an' laid him wid de cut side down on de bottom of de pan 'fo' de cook got back, put some dressin' an' stuffin' ober him, an' shet de stove do'. Den I tuk de sweet potatoes an' de hominy an' put 'em on de table, an' den I went back in de kitchen to git de baked ham. I put on de ham an' some mo' dishes, an' marsa says, lookin' up:

"'I t'ought dere was a roast goose, Chad?'

[Pg 377]"'I ain't yerd nothin' 'bout no goose,' I says. 'I'll ask de cook.'

"Next minute I hyerd old marsa a-hollerin:

"'Mammy Jane, ain't we got a goose?'

"'Lord-a-massy! yes, marsa. Chad, you wu'thless nigger, ain't you tuk dat goose out yit?'

"'Is we got a goose?' said I.

"'Is we got a goose? Didn't you help pick it?'

"I see whar my hair was short, an' I snatched up a hot dish from de hearth, opened de oven do', an' slide de goose in jes as he was, an' lay him down befo' Marsa John.

"'Now see what de ladies 'll have for dinner,' says ole marsa, pickin' up his carvin' knife.

"'What'll you take for dinner, Miss?' says I. 'Baked ham?'

"'No,' says she, lookin' up to whar Marsa John sat. 'I think I'll take a leg ob dat goose.'

"Well, marsa cut off de leg an' put a little stuffin' an' gravy on wid a spoon, an' says to me, 'Chad, see what dat gemman 'll have.'

"'What'll you take for dinner, sah?' says I. 'Nice breast o' goose, or slice o' ham?'

"'No; I think I'll take a leg ob dat goose.'

"I didn't say nuffin', but I knowed bery well he wa'n't a-gwine to git it. But you oughter seen ole marsa lookin' for de udder leg ob dat goose! He rolled him ober on de dish, dis way an' dat way, an' den he jabbed dat ole bone-handled carvin' fork in him an' hel' him up ober de dish, an' looked under him an' on top ob him, an' den he says, kinder sad like:

"'Chad, whar is de udder leg ob dat goose?'

"'It didn't hab none,' says I.

"'You mean to say dat de gooses on my plantation on'y got one leg?'

"'Some ob 'em has an' some ob 'em ain't. You see, marsa,[Pg 378] we got two kinds in de pond, an' we was a little hurried to-day, so Mammy Jane cooked dis one 'cause I cotched it fust.'

"'Well,' said he, 'I'll settle wid ye after dinner.'

"Well, dar I was shiverin' an' shakin' in my shoes, an' droppin' gravy, an' spillin' de wine on de table-cloth, I was dat shuck up; an' when de dinner was ober he calls all de ladies an' gemmen, an' says, 'Now come down to de duck-pond. I'm gwine ter show dis nigger dat all de gooses on my plantation got mo' den one leg.'

"I followed 'long, trapesin' after de whole kit an' b'ilin', an' when we got to de pond"—here Chad nearly went into a convulsion with suppressed laughter—"dar was de gooses sittin' on a log in de middle of dat ole green goose-pond wid one leg stuck down—so—an' de udder tucked under de wing."

Chad was now on one leg, balancing himself by my chair, the tears running down his cheeks.

"'Dar, marsa,' says I, 'don't ye see? Look at dat ole gray goose! Dat's de berry match ob de one we had to-day.'

"Den de ladies all hollered an' de gemmen laughed so loud dey hyerd 'em at de big house.

"'Stop, you black scoun'rel!' Marsa John says, his face gittin' white an' he a-jerkin' his handkerchief from his pocket. 'Shoo!'

"Major, I hope to have my brains kicked out by a lame grasshopper if ebery one ob dem gooses didn't put down de udder leg!

"'Now, you lyin' nigger,' he says, raisin' his cane ober my head, 'I'll show you.'

"'Stop, Marsa John!' I hollered; ''tain't fair, 'tain't fair.'

"'Why ain't it fair?' says he.

"''Cause,' says I, 'you didn't say "Shoo!" to de goose what was on de table.'"

"And did he thrash you?"

[Pg 379]"Marsa John? No, sah! He laughed loud as anybody; an' den dat night he says to me as I was puttin' some wood on de fire, 'Chad, where did dat leg go?' An' so I ups an' tells him all about Henny, an' how I was 'fraid the gal would git whipped, an' how she was on'y a-foolin', thinkin' it was my goose; an' den old marsa look in de fire a long time, an' den he says: 'Dat's Colonel Barbour's Henny, ain't it, Chad?'

"'Yes, marsa,' says I.

"Well, de nex' mawnin' Marse John had his black hoss saddled, an' I held de stir'up fur him to git on, an' he rode ober to de Barbour plantation an' didn't come back till plumb black night. When he come up I held de lantern so I could see his face, for I wa'n't easy in my mind all day; but it was all bright an' shinin' same as a' angel's.

"'Chad,' he says, handin' me de bridle reins, 'I bought yo' Henny dis evenin' from Colonel Barbour, she's comin' ober to-morrow, an' you can bofe git married next Sunday.'"

FOOTNOTE:

[75] Used by permission of and arrangement with Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, Mass., publishers of the works of F. Hopkinson Smith.


THE PESSIMIST[76]

Ben F. King

Nothing to do but work,
Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes
To keep one from going nude.
Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash 'tis gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on.
Nothing to comb but hair,
Nowhere to sleep but in bed,[Pg 380]
Nothing to weep but tears,
Nothing to bury but dead.
Nothing to sing but songs,
Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out,
Nowhere to come but back.
Nothing to see but sights,
Nothing to quench but thirst,
Nothing to have but what we've got,
Thus thro' life we are cursed.
Nothing to strike but a gait;
Everything moves that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
Can ever withstand these woes.

FOOTNOTE:

[76] By permission of the author and Forbes & Co., publishers.


SCHNEIDER SEES LEAH

Anonymous

I vant to dold you vat it is, dot's a putty nice play. De first dime dot you see Leah, she runs cross a pridge, mit some fellers chasin' her mit putty big shticks. Dey ketch her right in de middle of der edge, und der leader (dot's de villen), he sez of her, "Dot it's better ven she dies, und dot he coodent allow it dot she can lif." Und de oder fellers hollers out, "So ve vill;" "Gife her some deth;" "Kill her putty quick;" "Shmack her of der jaw," und such dings; und chust as dey vill kill her, de priest says of dem, "Don'd you do dot," und dey shtop dot putty quick. In der nexd seen, dot Leah meets Rudolph (dot's her feller) in de voods. Before dot he comes in, she sits of de bottom of a cross, und she don'd look pooty lifely, und she says, "Rudolph, how is dot, dot you don'd come und see[Pg 381] about me? You didn't shpeak of me for tree days long. I vant to dold you vot it is, dot ain't some luf. I don'd like dot." Vell, Rudolph he don'd was dere, so he coodent sed something. But ven he comes in, she dells of him dot she lufs him orful, und he says dot he guess he lufs her orful too, und vants to know vood she leef dot place, and go oud in some oder country mit him. Und she says, "I told you, I vill;" und he says, "Dot's all right," und he tells her he vill meet her soon, und dey vill go vay dogedder. Den he kisses her und goes oud, und she feels honkey dory bout dot.

Vell, in der nexd seen, Rudolph's old man finds oud all about dot, und he don'd feel putty goot; und he says of Rudolph, "Vood you leef me, und go mit dot gal?" und Rudolph feels putty bad. He don'd know vot he shall do. Und der old man he says, "I dold you vot I'll do. De skoolmaster (dot's de villen) says dot she might dook some money to go vay. Now, Rudolph, my poy, I'll gif de skoolmaster sum money to gif do her, und if she don'd dook dot money, I'll let you marry dot gal." Ven Rudolph hears dis, he chumps mit joyness, und says, "Fader, fader, dot's all righd. Dot's pully. I baed you anydings she voodent dook dot money." Vell, de old man gif de skoolmaster de money, und dells him dot he shall offer dot of her. Vell, dot pluddy skoolmaster comes back und says dot Leah dook dot gold right avay, ven she didn't do dot. Den de old man says, "Didn't I told you so?" und Rudolph gits so vild dot he svears dot she can't haf someding more to do mit him. So ven Leah vill meet him in de voods, he don'd vas dere, und she feels orful, und goes avay. Bime-by she comes up to Rudolph's house. She feels putty bad, und she knocks of de door. De old man comes oud, und says, "Got out of dot, you orful vooman. Don'd you come round after my boy again, else I put you in de dooms." Und she says, "Chust let me see Rudolph vonce, und I vill vander avay." So den Rudolph comes oud, und she vants to rush of his arms, but dot[Pg 382] pluddy fool voodent allow dot. He chucks her avay, und says, "Don'd you touch me, uf you please, you deceitfulness gal." I dold you vot it is, dot looks ruff for dot poor gal. Und she is extonished, und says, "Vot is dis aboud dot?" Und Rudolph, orful mad, says, "Got oudsiedt, you ignomonous vooman." Und she feels so orful she coodent said a vord, und she goes oud.

Afterwards, Rudolph gits married to anoder gal in a shurch. Vell, Leah, who is vandering eferyveres, happens to go in dot shurchyard to cry, chust at de same dime of Rudolph's marriage, vich she don'd know someding aboud. Putty soon she hears de organ, und she says dere is some beeples gitten married, und dot it vill do her unhappiness goot if she sees dot. So she looks in de vinder, und ven she sees who dot is, my graciousness, don'd she holler, und shvears vengeance. Putty soon Rudolph chumps oud indo der shurchyard to got some air. He says he don't feel putty good. Putty soon dey see each oder, und dey had a orful dime. He says of her, "Leah, how is dot you been here?" Und she says mit big scornfulness, "God oud of dot, you beat. How is dot, you got cheek to talk of me afder dot vitch you hafe done?" Den he says, "Vell, vot for you dook dot gold, you false-hearded leetle gal?" und she says, "Vot gold is dot? I didn't dook some gold." Und he says, "Don'd you dold a lie about dot!" She says slowfully, "I told you I didn't dook some gold. Vot gold is dot?" Und den Rudolph tells her all aboud dot, und she says, "Dot is a orful lie. I didn't seen some gold;" und she adds mit much sarkasmness, "Und you beliefed I dook dot gold. Dot's de vorst I efer heered. Now, on accound of dot, I vill gif you a few gurses." Und den she swears mit orful voices dot Mister Kain's gurse should git on him, und dot he coodent never git any happiness eferyvere, no matter vere he is. Den she valks off. Vell, den a long dime passes avay, und den you see Rudolph's farm. He has got a nice vife, und a putiful leetle child. Putty soon Leah[Pg 383] comes in, being shased, as ushual, by fellers mit shticks. She looks like she didn't ead someding for two monds. Rudolph's vife sends off dot mop, und Leah gits avay again. Den dat nice leedle child comes oud, und Leah comes back; und ven she sees dot child, don'd she feel orful aboud dot, und she says mit affectfulness, "Come here, leedle child, I voodn'd harm you;" und dot nice leedle child goes righd up, and Leah chumps on her, und grabs her in her arms, und gries, and kisses her. Oh! my graciousness don'd she gry aboud dot. You got to blow your noses righd avay. I vant to dold you vat it is, dot looks pully.

Und den she says vile she gries, "Leedle childs, don'd you got some names?" Und dot leedle child shpeaks oud so nice, pless her leedle hard, und says, "Oh! yes. My name dot's Leah, und my papa tells me dot I shall pray for you efery nighd." Oh! my goodnessness, don'd Leah gry orful ven she hears dot. I dold you vat it is, dot's a shplaindid ding. Und quick come dem tears in your eyes und you look up ad de vall, so dot nobody can'd see dot, und you make oud you don'd care aboud it. But your eyes gits fulled up so quick dot you couldn'd keep dem in, und de tears comes down of your face like a shnow storm, und den you don'd care a tarn if efery body sees dot. Und Leah kisses her und gries like dot her heart's broke, und she dooks off dot gurse from Rudolph und goes avay. De child den dell her fader and muder aboud dot, und dey pring her back. Den dot mop comes back und vill kill her again, but she exposes dot skoolmaster, dot villen, und dot fixes him. Den she falls down in Rudolph's arms, und your eyes gits fulled up again, und you can'd see someding more. I like to haf as many glasses of beer as dere is gryin' chust now. You couldn't help dot any vay. Und if I see a gal vot don'd gry in dot piece, I voodn't marry dot gal, efen if her fader owned a pig prewery. Und if I see a feller vot don'd gry, I voodn't dook a trink of lager bier mit him. Vell, afder de piece is oud, you[Pg 384] feel so bad, und so goot, dot you must ead a few pieces of hot stuff do drife avay der plues. But I told you vat it is, dot's a pully piece, I baed you, don'd it?


THE SUPERFLUOUS MAN

John G. Saxe

I long have been puzzled to guess,
And so I have frequently said,
What the reason could really be
That I never have happened to wed;
But now it is perfectly clear
I am under a natural ban;
The girls are already assigned—
And I'm a superfluous man!
Those clever statistical chaps
Declare the numerical run
Of women and men in the world
Is Twenty to Twenty-and-one:
And hence in the pairing, you see,
Since wooing and wedding began,
For every connubial score
They've got a superfluous man!
By twenties and twenties they go,
And giddily rush to their fate,
For none of the number, of course,
Can fail of the conjugal mate;
But while they are yielding in scores
To nature's inflexible plan,
There's never a woman for me—
For I'm a superfluous man![Pg 385]
It isn't that I am a churl,
To solitude over-inclined,
It isn't that I am at fault
In morals or manners or mind;
Then what is the reason, you ask,
I'm still with the bachelor clan?
I merely was numbered amiss—
And I'm a superfluous man!
It isn't that I am in want
Of personal beauty or grace,
For many a man with a wife
Is uglier far in the face.
Indeed, among elegant men
I fancy myself in the van;
But what is the value of that,
When I'm a superfluous man?
Although I am fond of the girls,
For aught I could ever discern,
The tender emotion I feel
Is one that they never return;
'Tis idle to quarrel with fate,
For, struggle as hard as I can,
They're mated already, you know,
And I'm a superfluous man!
No wonder I grumble at times,
With women so pretty and plenty,
To know that I never was born
To figure as one of the Twenty;
But yet, when the average lot
With critical vision I scan,
I think it may be for the best
That I'm a superfluous man!

[Pg 386]

THE USUAL WAY

Anonymous

There was once a little man, and his rod and line he took,
For he said, "I'll go a-fishing in the neighboring brook."
And it chanced a little maiden was walking out that day,
And they met—in the usual way.
Then he sat him down beside her, and an hour or two went by,
But still upon the grassy brink his rod and line did lie;
"I thought," she shyly whispered, "you'd be fishing all the day!"
And he was—in the usual way.
So he gravely took his rod in hand and threw the line about,
But the fish perceived distinctly he was not looking out;
And he said, "Sweetheart, I love you," but she said she could not stay,
But she did—in the usual way.
Then the stars came out above them, and she gave a little sigh
As they watched the silver ripples like the moments running by;
"We must say good-by," she whispered by the alders old and gray,
And they did—in the usual way.
And day by day beside the stream, they wandered to and fro,
And day by day the fishes swam securely down below,
Till this little story ended, as such little stories may,
Very much—in the usual way.
And now that they are married, do they always bill and coo?
Do they never fret and quarrel, like other couples do?
Does he cherish her and love her? does she honor and obey?
Well, they do—in the usual way.

[Pg 387]

THE WEDDING FEE

R. M. Streeter

One morning, fifty years ago,—
When apple trees were white with snow
Of fragrant blossoms, and the air
Was spellbound with the perfume rare,—
Upon a farm horse, large and lean,
And lazy with its double load,
A sun-browned youth and maid were seen
Jogging along the winding road.
Blue were the arches of the skies;
But bluer were that maiden's eyes.
The dewdrops on the grass were bright;
But brighter was the loving light
That sparkled 'neath the long-fringed lid,
Where those bright eyes of blue were hid;
Adown the shoulders brown and bare
Rolled the soft waves of golden hair,
Where, almost strangled with the spray,
The sun, a willing sufferer, lay.
It was the fairest sight, I ween,
That the young man had ever seen;
And with his features all aglow,
The happy fellow told her so!
And she without the least surprise
Looked on him with those heavenly eyes;
Saw underneath that shade of tan
The handsome features of a man;
And with a joy but rarely known
She drew that dear face to her own,
And by her bridal bonnet hid—
I cannot tell you what she did![Pg 388]
So, on they ride until among
The new-born leaves with dewdrops hung,
The parsonage, arrayed in white,
Peers out,—a more than welcome sight.
Then, with a cloud upon his face,
"What shall we do," he turned to say,
"Should he refuse to take his pay
From what is in the pillow-case?"
And glancing down his eye surveyed
The pillow-case before him laid,
Whose contents reaching to its hem,
Might purchase endless joy for them.
The maiden answers, "Let us wait,
To borrow trouble where's the need?"
Then, at the parson's squeaking gate
Halted the more than willing steed.
Down from the horse the bridegroom sprung;
The latchless gate behind him swung.
The knocker of that startled door,
Struck as it never was before,
Brought the whole household pale with fright;
And there, with blushes on his cheek,
So bashful he could hardly speak,
The farmer met their wondering sight.
The groom goes in, his errand tells,
And, as the parson nods, he leans
Far o'er the window-sill and yells,
"Come in! He says he'll take the beans!"
Oh! how she jumped! With one glad bound,
She and the bean-bag reached the ground.
Then, clasping with each dimpled arm
The precious product of the farm,[Pg 389]
She bears it through the open door;
And, down upon the parlor floor,
Dumps the best beans vines ever bore.
Ah! happy were their songs that day,
When man and wife they rode away.
But happier this chorus still
Which echoed through those woodland scenes:
"God bless the priest of Whitinsville!
God bless the man who took the beans!"

WHEN MALINDY SINGS[77]

Paul Laurence Dunbar

G'way an' quit dat noise, Miss Lucy—
Put dat music book away;
What's de use to keep on tryin'?
Ef you practice twell you're gray,
You cain't sta't no notes a-flyin'
Lak de ones dat rants and rings
F'om de kitchen to de big woods
When Malindy sings.
You ain't got de nachel o'gans
Fu' to make de soun' come right,
You ain't got de tunes an' twistin's
Fu' to make it sweet an' light.
Tell you one thing now, Miss Lucy,
An' I'm tellin' you fu' true,
When hit comes to raal right singin'
'Tain't no easy thing to do.[Pg 390]
Easy 'nough fu' folks to hollah,
Lookin' at de lines an' dots,
When dey ain't no one kin sense it,
An' de chune comes in, in spots;
But fu' real melojous music,
Dat jes' strikes yo' hea't and clings,
Jes' you stan' an' listen wif me
When Malindy sings.
Ain't you nevah hyeahd Malindy?
Blessed soul, tek up de cross!
Look hyeah, ain't you jokin', honey?
Well, you don't know what you los'.
Y'ought to hyeah dat gal a-wa'blin',
Robins, la'ks, an' all dem things,
Hush dey moufs an' hides dey faces
When Malindy sings.
Fiddlin' man jes' stop his fiddlin',
Lay his fiddle on de she'f;
Mockin' bird quit tryin' to whistle,
'Cause he jes' so shamed hisse'f.
Folks a-playin' on de banjo
Draps dey fingahs on de strings—
Bless yo' soul—fu'gits to move 'em,
When Malindy sings.
She jes' spreads huh mouf and hollahs,
"Come to Jesus," twell you hyeah
Sinnahs' tremblin' steps an' voices,
Timid-lak, a-drawin' neah;
Den she tu'ns to "Rock of Ages,"
Simply to de cross she clings,
An' you fin' yo' teahs a-drappin'
When Malindy sings.[Pg 391]
Who dat says dat humble praises
Wif de Master nevah counts?
Hush yo' mouf, I hyeah dat music,
Ez hit rises up an' mounts—
Floatin' by de hills an' valleys,
Way above dis buryin' sod,
Ez hit makes its way to glory
To de very gates of God!
Oh, hit's sweetah dan de music
Of an edicated band;
An' it's dearah dan de battle's
Song o' triumph in de lan'.
It seems holier dan evenin'
When de solemn chu'ch-bell rings,
Ez I sit an' calmly listen
While Malindy sings.
Towsah, stop dat ba'kin', hyeah me!
Mandy, mek dat chile keep still;
Don't you hyeah de echoes callin',
F'om de valley to de hill?
Let me listen, I can hyeah it,
Th'oo de bresh of angel's wings,
Sof' an' sweet, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,"
Ez Malindy sings.

FOOTNOTE:

[77] By permission of Dodd, Mead & Co., publishers. From "Lyrics of the Hearthside," 1899.


WHEN THE COWS COME HOME

Agnes E. Mitchell

With klingle, klangle, klingle,
Way down the dusty dingle,
The cows are coming home;[Pg 392]
Now sweet and clear and faint and low,
The airy tinklings come and go,
Like chimings from some far off tower,
Or patterings of some April shower
That makes the daisies grow;
Ko-ling, ko-lang, kolinglelingle,
'Way down the darkening dingle
The cows come slowly home;
And old-time friends and twilight plays,
And starry nights and sunny days,
Come trooping up the misty ways
When the cows come home.
With jingle, jangle, jingle,
Soft tunes that sweetly mingle,
The cows are coming home.
Malvine and Pearl and Florimel,
Dekamp, Redrose and Gretchen Schnell,
Queen Bell and Sylph and Spangled Sue—
Across the fields I hear her "loo-oo"
And clang her silver bell;
Goling, golang, golinglelingle,
With faint far sounds that mingle,
The cows come slowly home;
And mother-songs of long-gone years,
And baby joys and childish tears,
And youthful hopes and youthful fears,
When the cows come home.
With ringle, rangle, ringle,
By twos and threes and single
The cows are coming home.
Through violet air we see the town
And the summer sun a slipping down,[Pg 393]
And the maple in the hazel glade
Throws down the path a longer shade,
And the hills are growing brown;
To-ring, to-rang, to-ringleringle,
By threes and fours and single
The cows are coming home;
The same sweet sound of wordless psalm,
The same sweet June-day rest and calm,
The same sweet scent of bud and balm,
When the cows come home.
With tinkle, tankle, tinkle,
Through fern and periwinkle
The cows are coming home;
A-loitering in the checkered stream
Where the sun-rays glance and gleam,
Clarine, Peachbloom and Phœbe Phillis
Stand knee-deep in the creamy lilies
In a drowsy dream;
To-link, to-lank, to-linklelinkle,
O'er banks with butter cups a-twinkle,
The cows come slowly home;
And up through memory's deep ravine
Come the brook's old song and its old-time sheen,
And the crescent of the silver queen,
When the cows come home.
With klingle, klangle, klingle,
With loo-oo and moo-oo and jingle
The cows are coming home;
And over there in Merlin hill,
Hear the plaintive cry of the whip-poor-will;
The dew drops lie on the tangled vines,
And over the poplars Venus shines,[Pg 394]
And over the silent mill;
Ko-ling, ko-lang, kolinglelingle
With ting-a-ling and jingle
The cows come slowly home;
Let down the bars, let in the train
Of long-gone songs, and flowers and rain,
For dear old times come back again,
When the cows come home.

[Pg 395]

V

DRAMATIC NOT IN THE DRAMA

THE CONFESSIONAL

Anonymous

'Twas twilight, and the early lighted lamps
Were flickering down into the Arno's tide
While yet the daylight lingered in the skies,
Silvering and paling, when I saw him first.
I was returning from my work, and paused
Upon the bridge of Santa Trinita
To rest, and think how fair our Florence is.
And I remember, o'er the hazy hills,
Far, far away, how exquisitely fair
The twilight seemed that night. My heart was soft
With tender longings, misted with a dim,
Sad pleasure as a mirror with the breath.
Ah, never will those feelings come again!
I was in a mood to take a stamp
From any passing chance, even like those clouds
That caught the tenderest thrill of dying day,
When, by some inward sense, I know not what,
I felt that I was gazed at, drawn away
By eyes that had a strange magnetic will.
And so I turned from those far hills to see—
A stranger? No; even then he did not seem[Pg 396]
A stranger, but as one I once had known,
Not here in Florence, not in any place,
But somewhere in my spirit known and seen.
I felt his eyes were fixed upon me,
And a sweet, serious smile was on his lips:
Nor could I help but look and smile again.
I know not what it was went to and fro
Between us in that swift smile and glance.
We neither spoke;
But something went that thrilled me through and through.
And that quick clash of souls
Had struck a spark that set my soul on fire.
And I was happy, oh, so happy then!
It seemed as if this earth could never add
One little drop more to the joy I owned,
For all that passionate torrent pent within
My heart had found its utterance and response.
He was Venetian, and that radiant hair
We black-haired girls so covet haloed round
His sunny northern face and soft blue eyes.
I know not why he loved me—me, so black,
With this black skin that every Roman has,
With this black hair, black eyes, that I so hate.
Why loved he not Beata? she is fair,
But yet he often swore to me Beata's body
Was not worth one half my finger,
And then kissed me full upon the mouth as if to seal his oath;
Ah! glorious seal—I feel those lips there now!
And on my forehead, too, one kiss still glows
Like a great star.[Pg 397]
Ah! well! those days are gone. No! no!
They are not gone; I love him madly now.
I love him madly as I loved him then.
Ah, God! how blissfully those days went by!
You could not fill a golden cup more full
Of rubied wine than was my heart with joy.
Long mornings in his studio, there I sat
And heard his voice; or, when he did not speak,
I felt his presence like a rich perfume,
Fill all my thoughts.
I was his model. Hours and hours I posed
For him to paint his Cleopatra, fierce,
With her squared brows, and full Egyptian lips;
A great gold serpent on her rounded arm,
And a broad band of gold around her head.
At last the autumn came, the stricken, bleeding autumn.
Something weighed upon his mind I could not understand.
I knew all was not right, yet dared not ask.
At last few words made all things plain;
"Love, I must go to Venice." "Must?" "Yes, must."
"Then I go, too." "No, no; ah, Nina, no.
Four weeks pass swiftly; one short month, and then
I shall return to Florence, and to you."
Vain were my words. He went, alas! he went
With all the sunshine, and I wore alone
The weary weeks out of that hateful month.
Another month I waited, nervous, fierce
With love's impatience. When that month was gone
My heart was all afire; I could not stay.
Consumed with jealous fears that wore me down
Into a fever, necklace, earrings—all[Pg 398]
I sold, and on to Venice rushed. How long
That dreary, never-ending journey seemed!
I cursed the hills up which we slowly dragged,
The long, flat plains of Lombardy I cursed,
That kept me back from Venice.
But at last in a black gondola I swam along
The sea-built city, and my heart was big
With the glad thought that I was near to him.
Yes, gladness came upon me that soft night,
And jealousy was hushed, and hope led on
My dancing heart. In vain I strove to curb
My glad impatience—I must see him then,
At once, that very night; I could not wait
The tardy morning—'twas a year away.
I only gave the gondolier his name,
And said, "You know him?" "Yes."
"Then row me quick to where he is."
He bowed and on he went,
And as we swept along, I leaned me out
And dragged my burning fingers in the wave,
My hurried heart forecasting to itself our meeting,
What he'd say and think,
How I should hang upon his neck and say:
"I could not longer live without you, dear."
At last we paused. The gondolier said,
"This is the palace." I was struck aghast.
It flared with lights, that from the windows gleamed
And trickled down into the black canal.
"Stop! stop!" I cried; "'tis some mistake.
Why are these lights? This palace is not his.
He owns no palace." "Pardon," answered he,
"I fancied the signora wished to see[Pg 399]
The marriage festa—and all Venice knows
The bride receives to-night." "What bride, whose bride?"
I asked, impatient. "Count Alberti's bride,
Whose else?" he answered, with a shrug. My heart,
From its glad, singing height, dropped like a lark
Shot dead, at these few words. The whole world reeled,
And for a moment I was crushed and stunned.
Then came the wild revulsion of despair;
Then, calm more dreadful than the fiercest pain.
"Row me to the steps," I said. I leaped
On their wet edge, and stared in at the door
Where all was hurry, rush, and flare of light.
My eyes ran, lightning, zigzag, through the crowd
In search of him—he was not there. Ah, God!
I breathed. He was not there! I inly cursed
My unbelief, and turned me round to go.
There was a sudden murmur near the door,
And I beheld him—walking at her side.
Oh! cursèd be the hour I saw that sight,
And cursèd be the place! I saw those eyes
That used to look such passion into mine
Turned with the selfsame look to other eyes,
Yes, light blue eyes, that upward gazed at him.
I could not bear their bliss.
I scarcely knew what happened then; I knew
I felt for the stiletto in my vest
With purpose that was half mechanical,
As if a demon used my hand for his.
I felt the red blood singing through my brain,
I struck—before me, at my feet, she fell.
Who was the queen then? Ah! your rank and wealth,
Your pearls and splendors—what did they avail[Pg 400]
Against the sharp stiletto's little point?
You should have thought of that before you dared—
You had all the world beside—to steal
The only treasure that the Roman girl e'er had.
You will not smile again as then you smiled.
Thank God, you'll never smile again for him!
I was avenged, avenged, until I saw
The dreadful look he gave me as he turned
From her dead face and looked in mine. Ah, God!
It haunts me, scares me, will not let me sleep.
When will he come and tell me he forgives
And loves me still? Oh, bid him come,
Come quickly, come and let me die in peace.
I could not help it; I was mad;
But I repent, I suffer; he at least
Should pity and forgive. Oh, make him come
And say he loves me, and then let me die.
I shall be ready then to die; but now
I cannot think of God; my heart is hell,
Until I know he loves me still.

JEAN VALJEAN AND THE GOOD BISHOP[78]

Victor Hugo

Early in the month of October, 1815, about an hour before sunset, a man who was traveling on foot, entered the little town of Digne, France.

It would be difficult to encounter a wayfarer of more wretched appearance. He was a man of medium stature, thick-set and robust. He might have been forty-six or forty-eight years old. A cap with a drooping leather visor partly concealed his face,[Pg 401] which, burned and tanned by the sun and wind, was dripping with perspiration. He wore a cravat which was twisted into a long string; trousers of blue drilling worn and threadbare, and an old gray tattered blouse, patched on one of the elbows with a bit of green cotton cloth, sewed on with a twine string. On his back, a soldier's knapsack, well buckled and perfectly new; in his hand, an enormous knotty stick. Iron-shod shoes enveloped his stockingless feet.

No one knew him. He was evidently a chance passer-by, but nevertheless he directed his footsteps toward the village inn (the best in the country-side), and entered the kitchen. The host, on hearing the door open, addressed him without lifting his eyes from the stove.

"What is it this morning?"

"Food and lodging."

"Nothing easier—by paying for it."

"I have money, I can pay."

"In that case we are at your service."

"When will dinner be ready?"

"Immediately."

While the newcomer was depositing his knapsack upon the floor, the host tore off the corner of an old newspaper, wrote a line or two on the margin and handed it to a lad standing near. After whispering a few words in his ear, the lad set off at a run toward the town hall. In a few moments he returned, bringing the paper. The host read it attentively, remained silent a moment and then took a step in the direction of the traveler.

"I cannot receive you, sir!"

"What! Are you afraid I won't pay you? I have money—I can pay."

"You have money, but I have no room."

"Well, put me in the stable."

"The horses occupy all the space there."

"In the loft then—But come, we can settle that after dinner."

[Pg 402]"I cannot give you your dinner."

"Bah! I'm hungry. I have been on foot since sunrise and I wish to eat."

"Well, I have nothing."

"Nothing—and all that?"

"All that is engaged by messieurs and wagoners,—twelve of them."

"There's enough food there for twenty."

"I tell you, it is all engaged and paid for in advance."

"Well, I'm at a public inn and hungry. I shall remain."

"Stop! Do you want me to tell you who you are—you are Jean Valjean—Go!"

The man dropped his head, picked up his knapsack and took his departure.... That evening the Bishop of the little town of Digne was sitting with his sister and housekeeper, talking over his day's work among his parishioners, when there came a violent knock at the door.

"Come in—"

The door opened; a man entered and without waiting for the Bishop to speak, he cried out—"See here—My name is Jean Valjean. I have been nineteen years in the galleys. Four days ago I was released and am now on my way to Pontarlier. This evening when I came into these parts, I went to an inn and they turned me out. I went to another and they said "Be gone." I went to the prison; the jailer would not take me in. I went to a dog's kennel; the dog bit me and drove me off as though he had been a man. I went to the fields to sleep beneath the stars; there were no stars. I returned to the city. Yonder, in the square, a good woman tapped me on the shoulder and told me to knock here, and I have knocked. What is this place? Do you keep an inn? Are you willing that I should remain?"

"Ah, Madam Magloire," said the Bishop, "you will set another place."

[Pg 403]"No, that's not it. I'm a galley-slave—a convict—Here's my yellow passport, read that, but no—I can read, I learned in the galleys. [Reads.] 'Jean Valjean, discharged convict, has been nineteen years in the galleys. Five years for burglary and theft and fourteen years for having attempted to escape on four different occasions. He—is—a very—dangerous—man'—There, that's what bars me out. Will you give me something to eat and a bed? Have you a stable?"

"Madam Magloire, you will put white sheets on the bed in the alcove—Now sit down, sir, and warm yourself. We will sup in a few moments and your bed will be prepared while we are supping."

"What, you call me sir—You do not drive me out? A bed, with sheets, like the rest of the world? It has been nineteen years since I slept in a bed. Pardon me, monsieur inn-keeper,—what is your name?"

"I am only an old priest who lives here."

"Then you will not demand my money of me?"

"No—keep your money. How much have you?"

"One hundred and nine francs and fifteen sous."

"How long did it take you to earn that?"

"Nineteen years."

"Nineteen years! Madam Magloire, you will place the silver fork and spoon as near the fire as possible. The north wind blows harsh on the Alps to-night. You must be cold, sir."

"Ah, Monsieur le Cure, you do not despise me? You receive me into your house? You light your candles for me? Yet I have not concealed from you who I am."

"You need not tell me who you are. This is not my house. This is the house of Jesus Christ. That door does not ask of him who enters, whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer, you are hungry, you are welcome. But do not thank me; do not say that I receive you into my house. You are more at home here than I am. Everything in this house[Pg 404] belongs to you. Besides, what need have I to know your name, for I knew that before you told me."

"What! You knew what I was called?"

"Yes, you are called 'my brother.'"

"Oh—stop! I—was very hungry when I came in here, but now—my—my hunger is all gone. Oh—you are—so—good—to me."

"You have suffered much. You have come from a very sad place—but listen! There will be more joy in heaven over the tear-bathed face of one repentant sinner than over the white robes of a hundred just men. If you emerge from that place with thoughts of evil and wrath against mankind, you are to be pitied; but if you emerge with thoughts of peace and good will, you are more deserving than any of us. But now, Monsieur, since you have supped, I will conduct you to your room. This is your room, sir. May you pass a good night, and to-morrow before you leave us you must drink a cup of warm milk."

"Ah, is this true? Do you lodge me close to yourself like this? How do you know that I am not a murderer?"

"That is the concern of the good God. Good night, brother. Good night."

FOOTNOTE:

[78] An adaptation from "Les Misérables," by Lucy Dean Jenkins.


LASCA

Anonymous

I want free life, and I want fresh air;
And I sigh for the canter after the cattle,
The crack of the whips like shots in a battle,
The mellay of horns and hoofs and heads
That wars and wrangles and scatters and spreads;
The green beneath and the blue above,
And dash and danger, and life and love.
And Lasca![Pg 405]
Lasca used to ride
On a mouse-gray mustang close to my side,
With blue serape and bright-belled spur;
I laughed with joy as I looked at her.
Little knew she of books or of creeds;
An Ave Maria sufficed her needs;
Little she cared, save to be by my side,
To ride with me, and ever to ride,
From San Saba's shore to Lavaca's tide.
She was as bold as the billows that beat,
She was as wild as the breezes that blow;
From her little head to her little feet
She was swayed in her suppleness to and fro
By each gust of passion; a sapling pine,
That grows on the edge of a Kansas bluff,
And wars with the wind when the weather is rough
Is like this Lasca, this love of mine.
She would hunger that I might eat,
Would take the bitter and leave me the sweet;
But once, when I made her jealous for fun,
At something I'd whispered, or looked, or done,
One Sunday in San Antonio,
To a glorious girl on the Alamo,
She drew from her belt a dear little dagger,
And—sting of a wasp!—it made me stagger!
An inch to the left, or an inch to the right,
And I shouldn't be maundering here to-night;
But she sobbed, and, sobbing, so swiftly bound
Her torn rebosa about the wound,
That I quite forgave her. Scratches don't count
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande.
Her eye was brown—a deep, deep brown—
Her hair was darker than her eye;[Pg 406]
And something in her smile and frown,
Curled crimson lip and instep high,
Showed that there ran in each blue vein,
Mixed with the milder Aztec strain,
The vigorous vintage of old Spain.
She was alive in every limb
With feeling, to the finger tips;
And when the sun is like a fire,
And sky one shining, soft sapphire,
One does not drink in little sips.
The air was heavy, the night was hot,
I sat by her side, and forgot—forgot
The herd that were taking their rest,
Forgot that the air was close opprest,
That the Texas norther comes sudden and soon,
In the dead of night, or the blaze of noon—
That once let the herd at its breath take fright,
Nothing on earth can stop the flight;
And woe to the rider, and woe to the steed,
Who falls in front of their mad stampede!
Was that thunder? I grasped the cord
Of my swift mustang without a word.
I sprang to the saddle, and she clung behind.
Away! on a hot chase down the wind!
But never was fox-hunt half so hard
And never was steed so little spared;
For we rode for our lives. You shall hear how we fared,
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande.
The mustang flew, and we urged him on;
There was one chance left, and you have but one,
Halt! jump to the ground, and shoot your horse;
Crouch under his carcase, and take your chance,
And if the steers in their frantic course[Pg 407]
Don't batter you both to pieces at once,
You may thank your star; if not, good-by
To the quickening kiss and the long-drawn sigh,
And the open air and the open sky,
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande!
The cattle gained on us, and, just as I felt
For my old six-shooter behind in my belt,
Down came the mustang, and down came we,
Clinging together, and—what was the rest?
A body that spread itself on my breast.
Two arms that shielded my dizzy head,
Two lips that hard on my lips were prest;
Then came thunder in my ears,
As over us surged the sea of steers,
Blows that beat blood into my eyes,
And when I could rise—
Lasca was dead!
I gouged out a grave a few feet deep,
And there in Earth's arms I laid her to sleep;
And there she is lying, and no one knows;
And the summer shines and the winter snows;
For many a day the flowers have spread
A pall of petals over her head;
And the little gray hawk hangs aloft in the air,
And the sly coyote trots here and there,
And the black snake glides and glitters and slides
Into a rift in a cotton-wood tree;
And the buzzard sails on,
And comes and is gone,
Stately and still like a ship at sea;
And I wonder why I do not care
For the things that are like the things that were.
Does half my heart lie buried there
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande?

[Pg 408]

MICHAEL STROGOFF, COURIER OF THE CZAR

Jules Verne

Russia was threatened by a Tartar invasion. The commander of the Russian troops was the Czar's brother, the Grand Duke, now stationed at Irkutsk. Suddenly all communication between him and the Czar was cut off by the enemy, under the leadership of Ivan Ogareff, a traitor, who had sworn to betray Russia and to kill the Grand Duke. It became necessary to send a messenger to the Grand Duke to warn him of his danger, and Michael Strogoff was chosen for that purpose. He was brought before the Czar, who looked this magnificent specimen of manhood full in the face. Then: "Thy name?"

"Michael Strogoff, sire."

"Thy rank?"

"Captain in the Corps of Couriers to the Czar."

"Thou dost know Siberia?"

"I am a Siberian."

"A native of—?"

"Omsk, sire."

"Hast thou relations there?"

"Yes, sire, my aged mother."

The Czar suspended his questions for a moment; then pointed to a letter which he held in his hand: "Here is a letter which I charge thee, Michael Strogoff, to deliver into the hands of the Grand Duke, and to no one but him."

"I will deliver it, sire."

"The Grand Duke is at Irkutsk. Thou wilt have to traverse a rebellious country, invaded by Tartars, whose interest it will be to intercept this letter."

"I will traverse it."

"Above all, beware of the traitor, Ivan Ogareff, who will perhaps meet thee on the way."

"I will beware of him."

[Pg 409]"Michael Strogoff, take this letter. On it depends the safety of all Siberia, and perhaps the life of my brother, the Grand Duke." (Hands him letter.)

"This letter shall be delivered to His Highness, the Grand Duke."

"Go, thou, for God, for the Czar, and for your native land."

That very night Michael Strogoff started on his perilous journey. His path was constantly beset with dangers, but not until he reached Omsk did his greatest trial come. He had feared that he might see his mother in passing through the town. They stopped only for dinner and the danger was almost past, when, just as they were leaving the posting-house to renew their journey, suddenly a cry made him tremble—a cry which penetrated to the depths of his soul—and these two words rushed into his ear, "My son!" His mother, the old woman Marfa, was before him! Trembling she smiled upon him and stretched forth her arms to him. Michael Strogoff stepped forward; he was about to throw himself—when the thought of duty, the serious danger to himself and mother, in this unfortunate meeting, stopped him, and so great was his self-command that not a muscle of his face moved. There were twenty people in the public room, and among them were perhaps spies, and was it not known that the son of Marfa Strogoff belonged to the Corps of Couriers to the Czar? Michael Strogoff did not move.

"Michael!" cried his mother.

"Who are you, my good woman?"

"Who am I? Dost thou no longer know thy mother?"

"You are mistaken; a resemblance deceives you."

Marfa went up to him, and looking straight into his eyes, said, "Art thou not the son of Peter and Marfa Strogoff?"

Michael would have given his life to have locked his mother in his arms. But if he yielded now, it was all over with him, with her, with his mission, with his oath! Completely master[Pg 410] of himself, he closed his eyes that he might not see the inexpressible anguish of his mother.

"I do not know, in truth, what it is you say, my good woman."

"Michael!"

"My name is not Michael. I never was your son! I am Nicholas Horparoff, a merchant of Irkutsk," and suddenly he left the room, while for the last time the words echoed in his ears.

"My son! My son!"

Michael Strogoff remembered—"For God, for the Czar, and for my native land," and he had by a desperate effort gone. He did not see his old mother, who had fallen back almost inanimate on a bench. But when the Postmaster hastened to assist her, the aged woman raised herself. Suddenly the thought occurred to her: She denied by her own son! It was impossible! As for being herself deceived, it was equally impossible. It was certainly her son whom she had just seen; and if he had not recognized her, it was because he would not, because he ought not, because he had some strong reason for acting thus. And then, her mother feelings arising within her, she had only one thought: Can I unwittingly have ruined him?

"I am mad," she said to her interrogators. "This young man was not my son; he had not his voice. Let us think no more of it. If we do, I shall end in finding him everywhere."

This occurrence, however, came to the knowledge of Ivan Ogareff, who was stationed in the town. To obtain possession of any official message, which, if delivered, would frustrate his plans, and to detain the courier was his great desire. He succeeded in arresting Michael Strogoff, and then sent for Marfa to appear before him. Marfa, standing before Ivan Ogareff, drew herself up, crossed her arms on her breast, and waited.

"You are Marfa Strogoff?" asked Ogareff.

"Yes."

"Do you retract what you said a few hours ago?"

[Pg 411]"No."

"Then you do not know that your son, Michael Strogoff, Courier to the Czar, has passed through Omsk?"

"I do not know."

"And the man whom you thought you recognized as your son, was not your son?"

"He was not my son."

"And since then, have you seen him among the prisoners?"

"No."

"If he were pointed out to you, would you recognize him?"

"No."

"Listen! Your son is here, and you shall immediately point him out to me."

"No."

"All these men will file before you, and if you do not show me Michael Strogoff, you shall receive as many blows from the knout as men shall have passed before you."

On an order from Ogareff, the prisoners filed one by one past Marfa, who was immovable as a statue, and whose face expressed only perfect indifference. Michael was to all appearances unmoved, but the palms of his hands bled under the nails which were pressed into the flesh.

Marfa, seized by two soldiers, was forced on her knees on the ground. Her dress torn off, left her back bare. A saber was placed before her breast at a few inches' distance. If she bent beneath her sufferings, her breast would be pierced by the sharp steel. The Tartar drew himself up and waited.

"Begin," said Ogareff.

The whip whistled through the air, but, before it fell, a powerful hand stopped the Tartar's arm. Ivan Ogareff had succeeded.

"Michael Strogoff!"

"Ivan Ogareff!" and raising the knout, he struck Ogareff a blow across the face.

[Pg 412]"Blow for blow." Twenty soldiers threw themselves on Michael and in another instant he would have been slain, but Ogareff stopped them.

"This man is reserved for the Emir's judgment. Search him."

The letter bearing the imperial arms was bound in Michael's bosom; he had not had time to destroy it. It was handed to Ogareff.

"Your forehead to the ground!" exclaimed Ogareff.

"No!"

Two soldiers tried to make him bend, but were themselves laid on the ground by a blow from Michael's fist.

"Who is this prisoner?" asked the Emir.

"A Russian spy," answered Ogareff.

In asserting that Michael was a spy, he knew that the sentence would be terrible. The Emir made a sign, at which all bowed low their heads. Then he pointed to the Koran which was brought him. He opened the sacred book, and placing his finger on one of its pages, read in loud voice, a verse ending in these words: "And he shall no more see the things of this earth."

"Russian spy, you have come to see what is going on in the Tartar camp; then look while you may!"

Michael Strogoff's punishment was not death, but blindness. They drew a red-hot saber across his eyes, and the courier was blind! After the Emir's orders were executed, thinking they had robbed Michael Strogoff of all power to do further harm, the Emir retired with his train, and Michael was left alone. But his desire to reach the Grand Duke was not quenched by this terrible calamity. He understood that Ivan Ogareff, having obtained his seal and commission, would try to reach the Grand Duke before he, himself, could possibly get there, carrying a false message, which would betray all Siberia. Michael, after disheartening trials in finding a trusty companion, finally succeeded and pushed on towards Irkutsk, only hoping[Pg 413] he might reach the place before Ogareff should betray the city. At last, after a most painful fourteen days' journey, he is at the very gate of the Governor's palace. Entrance is easy, for confusion reigns everywhere. But Michael is in time. With his trusty companion he goes distractedly through the passages. No one heeds him. Michael opens one of the doors and enters a room flooded with light, and there he stands face to face with the one whose villainous hand would one instant later have betrayed all Siberia! "Ivan Ogareff!" he cries.

On hearing his name pronounced, the wretch starts. His real name known, all his plans will be frustrated. There is but one thing to be done; to kill the one who had just uttered it. Ogareff rises and sees the blind courier! Thinking he has an immense advantage over the blind man, he throws himself upon him. But with one hand Michael grasps the arm of his enemy and hurls him to the ground. Ogareff gathers himself together like a tiger about to spring, and utters not a word. The noise of his footsteps, his very breathing, he tries to conceal from the blind man. At last, with a spring, he drives his sword full blast at Michael's breast. An imperceptible movement of the blind man's knife turns aside the blow. Michael is not touched, and coolly waits a second attack. Cold drops stand on Ogareff's brow; he draws back a step and again leaps forward. But like the first, this attempt fails. Michael's knife has parried the blow from the traitor's useless sword. Mad with rage and terror, he gazes into the wide open eyes of the blind man. Those eyes which seemed to pierce to the bottom of his soul, and which did not, could not, see, exercise a sort of dreadful fascination over him.

Suddenly Ogareff utters a cry: "He sees! He sees!"

"Yes, I see. Thinking of my mother, the tears which sprang to my eyes saved my sight. I see the mark of the knout which I gave you, traitor and coward! I see the place where I am about to strike you! Defend your life! It is a duel I offer[Pg 414] you! My knife against your sword!" The tears, which his pride in vain endeavored to subdue, welling up from his heart, had gathered under his eyelids, and volatilized on the cornea, and the vapor formed by his tears interposing between the glowing saber and his eyeballs had been sufficient to annihilate the action of the heat and save his sight. Ogareff now feels that he is lost, but mustering up all his courage he springs forward. The two blades cross, but at a touch from Michael's knife the sword flies in splinters, and the wretch, stabbed to the heart, falls lifeless to the ground. The crash of the steel attracting the attention of the ducal train, the door is thrown open, and the Grand Duke, accompanied by some of his officers, enters. The Grand Duke advances. In the body lying on the ground he recognizes the man whom he believes to be the Czar's courier. Then in threatening voice, "Who killed this man."

"I," answered Michael.

"Thy name? I know him! He is the Czar's courier."

"That man, your highness, is not a courier of the Czar! He is Ivan Ogareff!"

"Ivan, the traitor?"

"Yes."

"But who are you, then?"

"Michael Strogoff."

"And you come?"

"For God, for the Czar, and for my native land!"


MRS. TREE[79]

Laura E. Richards

Mrs. Tree was over seventy, but apart from an amazing reticulation of wrinkles netted close and fine like a woven veil, she showed little sign of her great age. As she herself said, she[Pg 415] had her wits and her teeth, and she didn't see what any one wanted with more. In her afternoon gown of plum-colored satin she was a pleasing and picturesque figure. On this particular afternoon it was with very little ceremony that "Direxia Hawkes," her life-long servitor, burst into the room. Direxia had been to market and had brought all the news with her marketing.

"Ithuriel Butters is a singular man, Mis' Tree—he give me a turn just now, he did so. I says, 'How's Miss Butters now, Ithuriel?' I knew she'd been real poorly, but I hadn't heard for a considerable time.

"'I ain't no notion,' says he.

"'What do you mean, Ithuriel Butters?' I says.

"'Just what I say,' says he.

"'Why, where is she?' I says. I thought she might be visitin', you know. She has consid'able kin 'round here.

"'I ain't no idee,' says he. 'I lef her in the burying ground, that's all I know.'

"Mis' Tree, that woman has been dead a month and I never knew a single word about it. They're all singular people, them Butterses."

Just then there was a ring at the door bell and Direxia shuffled away to answer it; then a man's voice was heard asking some questions. Mrs. Tree sat alive and alert and called:

"Direxia!"

"Yes'm. Jest a minit. I'm seein' to something."

"Direxia Hawkes!"

"How you do pester me, Mis' Tree; there's a man at the door and I don't want to let him stay there alone."

"What does he look like?"

"I don't know, he's a tramp, if he's nothing worse. Most likely he's stealing the umbrellas while here I stand!"

"Show him in here!"

"What say?"

[Pg 416]"Show him in here and don't pretend to be deaf when you hear as well as I do."

"You don't want him in here, Mis' Tree—he's a tramp, I tell ye, and the toughest looking"—

"Will you show him in here or shall I come and fetch him?"

"Well! of all the cantankerous,—here! come in, you! She wants to see you," and a man appeared in the doorway—he was shabbily dressed, but it was noticeable that the threadbare clothes were clean. Mrs. Tree looked at him and then looked again.

"What do you want here?"

"I ask for food, I'm hungry."

"Are you a tramp?"

"Yes, Madam!"

"Anything else?"

Just here Direxia burst in with "That'll be enough—you come out in the kitchen and I'll give you something to eat in a paper bag and you can take it away with you."

"I shall be pleased to have you take supper with me, sir! Direxia, set a place for this gentleman."

"I—cannot, Madam!—I thank you, but you must excuse me."

"Why can't you?"

"You must excuse me! If your woman will give me a morsel to eat in the kitchen, or perhaps I had better go at once."

"Stop! Direxia, go and set another place for supper! Shut the door! Come here and sit down! No, not on that cheer. Take the ottoman with the bead puppy on it. There! I get crumpled up, sitting here alone. Some day I shall turn to wood. I like a new face and a new notion. I had a grandson who used to live with me, and I'm lonesome since he died. How do you like tramping, now?"

"Pretty well; it's all right in the summer, or when a man has his health."

[Pg 417]"See things, hey, new folks, new faces, get ideas, is that it?"

"That begins it, but after a while,—I really think I must go. Madam, you are very kind but I prefer to go."

"Cat's foot!"

The shabby man laughed helplessly and just then Direxia stuck her head in at the door and snapped out, "Supper's ready!"

The shabby man seemed in a kind of dream—half unconsciously he put the old lady into her chair—then at a sign from her he took the seat opposite—he laid the damask napkin across his knees and winced at the touch of it as at the touch of a long-forgotten hand. Mrs. Tree talked on easily, asking questions about the roads he traveled and the people he met. He answered briefly. Suddenly close at hand a voice spoke.

"Old friends!"

The man started to his feet, white as the napkin he held.

"It's only a parrot! Sit down again. There he is at your elbow. Jocko is his name. He does my swearing for me. My grandson and a friend of his taught him that, and I have taught him a few other things besides. Good Jocko! Speak up, boy!"

"Old friends to talk; old books to read; old wine to drink! Zooks! Hooray for Arthur and Will! they're the boys!"

"That was my grandson and his friend. What's the matter? Feel faint, hey?"

"Yes, I am—faint. I must get out into the air."

"Nothing of the sort! You'll come upstairs and lie down."

"No! no! not in this house. Never! never!"

"Cat's foot! Don't talk to me! Here! give me your arm! Do as I say! There!"

And as they passed up the stairway the parrot cried, "Old friends!" And Direxia said, "I'm going to loose the bulldog,[Pg 418] Mis' Tree, and Deacon Weight says he'll be over in two minutes."

"There isn't any dog in the house, and Deacon Weight is at Conference, and won't be back till the last of the week. That will do, Direxia; you mean well, but you are a ninny-hammer. This way! This is my grandson's room—he died here—what's the matter—feel faint—hey?"

"Yes!—I do—"

"Come, Willie—come lie down and rest on Arthur's bed—you are tired, boy."

"Mrs. Tree, if you would not be so kind it would not be so hard—I came—to—rob—you."

"Why, so I supposed, or thought it likely. You can have all you want, without that—there's plenty for you and me. Folks call me close, and I like to do what I like with my own money. There's plenty, I tell you, for you and me and the bird. Do you think he knew you, Willie? I believe he did."

"God knows! When—how did you know me, Mrs. Tree?"

"Get up, Willie Jaquith, and I'll tell you. Sit down; there's the chair you made together, when you were fifteen. Remember, hey? I knew your voice at the door, or I thought I did. Then when you wouldn't look at the bead puppy, I hadn't much doubt; and when I said 'Cat's foot!' and you laughed, I knew for sure. You've had a hard time, Willie, but you are the same boy."

"If you would not be kind, I think it would be easier. You ought to give me up, you know, and let me go to jail. I'm a drunkard and a vagrant, and worse—but—you won't—do that—you won't do that."

"No! I won't. Hark, there's some one at the door—it's 'Malviny Weight.' Now you lie down and rest—yes, you will—that press there is full of Arthur's clothes—then you come down and talk to me—You do as I tell you, Willie Jaquith, or I'll set the parrot on you; remember when he bit[Pg 419] you for stealing his apple,—there's the scar still on your cheek. Greatest wonder in the world he didn't put your eye out. Served you right if he had, too—Yes, Malviny, I'm coming!"

And as Mrs. Tree descended the stairs she was met by Mrs. Weight, who broke out saying:

"I've waited most an hour to see that tramp come out. Deacon's away, and I was scairt to death, but I'm a mother and I had to come. How I had the courage I don't know, when I thought you and Mis' Tree might meet my eyes both layin' dead in this entry. Where is he? Don't you help or harbor him now, Direxia Hawkes! I saw his evil eye as he stood on the doorstep, and I knew by the way he peeked and peered that he was after no good. Where is he? I know he didn't go out. Hush! Don't say a word! I'll slip out and round and get Hiram Sawyer. My boys is to singing-school, and it was a special ordering that I happened to look out at the window just that moment of time. Where did you say he—"

"Why, good evening, Malviny, what was it you were saying?"

"I'm sure, Mis' Tree, it's not on my own account I come. I'm the last to intrude, as any one in this village can tell you. But you are an ancient woman, and your neighbors are bound to protect you when need is. I see that tramp come in here with my own eyes, and he's here for no good."

"What tramp?"

"Good land, Mis' Tree, didn't you see him? He slipped right in past Direxia. I see him with these eyes."

"When?"

"'Most an hour ago. I've been watching ever since. Don't tell me you didn't know about him bein' here, Mis' Tree, now don't."

"I won't."

"He's hid away somewheres! Direxia Hawkes has hid him; he is an accomplish of hers. You've always trusted that woman, Mis' Tree, but I tell you I've had my eye on her these[Pg 420] ten years, and now I have found her out. She's hid him away somewheres, I tell you. There's cupboards and closets enough in this house to hide a whole gang of cutthroats in—and when you're abed and asleep they'll have your life, them two, and run off with your worldly goods that you thought so much of. Would have, that is, if I hadn't have had a special ordering to look out of the winder. Oh, how thankful should I be that I kept the use of my limbs, though I was scairt 'most to death, and am now."

"Yes, they might be useful to you, to get home with, for instance. There, that will do, Malvina Weight. There is no tramp here. Your eyesight is failing; there were always weak eyes in your family. There's no tramp here, and there has been none."

"Mis' Tree! I tell you I see him with these—"

"Bah! don't talk to me! There is no tramp here and there has been none—what you took for a tramp is a gentleman that's come to stay over night with me—he's upstairs now—did you lock your door, Malvina—There are tramps about and if Ephraim's away—well, good-night, Malvina, if you must go. [She goes out.] Now, Direxia, you shut that door and if that woman calls again to-night you set the parrot on her."

The next morning found Mrs. Tree an early riser and it was with eagerness she greeted her visitor.

"You are better this morning, Willie, yes, you are—now go on and tell me—after all your bad luck you took to drink. That wasn't very sensible, was it?"

"I didn't care," said William Jaquith. "It helped me to forget a bit at a time. I thought I could give it up any day, but I didn't. Then—I lost my place, of course, and started to come East, and had my pocket picked in Denver, of every cent I had. I tried for work there, but between sickness and drink I wasn't good for much. I started tramping. I thought I would tramp—it was last spring, and warm weather coming[Pg 421] on—till I'd got my health back, and then I'd steady down and get some work, and come back to mother when I was fit to look her in the face. Then—in some place, I forget—I came upon a King's County paper with mother's death in it."

"What!"

"O! I know I wasn't fit to see her—but I lost all hope then."

"Why don't you give up drink?"

"Where's the use? I would if there were any use, but mother is dead."

"Cat's foot—fiddlestick—folderol—fudge! She's no more dead than I am. Don't talk to me! Hold on to yourself now, Willie Jaquith, and don't make a scene; it is a thing I cannot abide. It was Maria Jaquith that died, over at East Corners. Small loss she was, too. None of that family was ever worth their salt. The fool who writes for the papers put her in 'Mary,' and gave out that she died here in Elmerton just because they brought her here to bury. They've always buried here in the family lot, as if they were of some account. I was afraid you might hear of it, Willie, and wrote to the last place I heard of you in, but of course it was of no use. Mary Jaquith is alive, I tell you. Now where are you going?"

"To mother!"

"Yes, I would! Sit down, Willie Jaquith; do as I tell you! There! feel pretty well, hey? Your mother is blind."

"Oh, mother! mother! I have left her alone all this time."

"Exactly! Now don't go into a caniption, because it won't do any good. Here comes Direxia with your breakfast—you eat it and then we'll go and see your mother."

Out of doors the morning was bright and clear. Mrs. Malvina Weight, sweeping her front chamber, with an anxious eye on the house opposite, saw the door open and Mrs. Tree come out, followed by a tall young man. The old lady wore the huge black velvet bonnet, surmounted by a bird of paradise, which[Pg 422] she had brought from Paris forty years before, and an India shawl which had pointed a moral to the pious of Elmerton for more than that length of time. Mrs. Weight's curiosity knew no bounds when she saw them turn into the old Jaquith place. She would have been more astounded if she could have heard Mrs. Tree begin at once with:

"Well, Mary Jaquith, here you sit!"

"Mrs. Tree! Is this you?" asked Mrs. Jaquith; "my dear soul, what brings you out so early in the morning? Come in! come in! who is with you?"

"I didn't say any one was with me! Don't you go to setting double-action ears like mine, Mary, because you are not old enough to. How are you? Obstinate as ever?"

"Take this chair, it's the one you always like. How am I obstinate, dear Mrs. Tree?"

"If I've asked you once to come and live with me, I've asked you fifty times," grumbled the old lady, sitting down with a good deal of flutter and rustle. "There I must stay, left alone at my age, with nobody but that old goose of a Direxia Hawkes to look after me. And all because you like to be independent. Set you up! Well, I shan't ask you again, and so I've come to tell you, Mary Jaquith."

"Dear old friend, you forgive me, I know. You never can have thought for a moment, seriously, that I could be a burden on your kind hands. There surely is some one with you, Mrs. Tree! Is it Direxia? Please be seated, whoever it is."

There was a slight sound, as of a sob checked in the outbreak. Mrs. Tree shook her head fiercely. The blind woman rose from her seat, very pale.

"Who is it? Be kind, please, and tell me."

"I'm going to tell you," said Mrs. Tree, "if you will have patience for two minutes, and not drive every idea out of my head with your talk. I had a visitor last night, Mary—some one came to see me—an old acquaintance—some one who[Pg 423] had seen Willie lately. Now Mary Jaquith, if you don't sit down,—well, of all the unreasonable women I ever saw!"

The blind woman had stretched out her arms with a heavenly gesture of appeal,—of welcome, of love unutterable,—and in a moment more her son's arms were about her and he was crying over and over again, "Mother, mother, mother!" as if he could not have enough of that word.

FOOTNOTE:

[79] An adaptation by Grace Arlington Owen.


THE PORTRAIT

Robert Bulwer Lytton

Midnight past! Not a sound of aught
Through the silent house, but the wind at his prayers.
I sat by the dying fire, and thought
Of the dear dead woman upstairs.
A night of tears! for the gusty rain
Had ceased, but the eaves were dripping yet;
And the moon looked forth, as though in pain,
With her face all white and wet:
Nobody with me, my watch to keep,
But the friend of my bosom, the man I love:
And grief had sent him fast to sleep
In the chamber up above.
Nobody else, in the country place
All round, that knew of my loss beside,
But the good young priest with the Raphael-face,
Who confessed her when she died.
The good young priest is of gentle nerve,
And my grief had moved him beyond control;[Pg 424]
For his lips grew white, as I could observe,
When he speeded her parting soul.
I sat by the dreary hearth alone;
I thought of the pleasant days of yore.
I said, "The staff of my life is gone;
The woman I loved is no more.
"On her cold, dead bosom my portrait lies
Which next to her heart she used to wear,—
Haunting it o'er with her tender eyes
When my own face was not there.
"It is set all round with rubies red,
And pearls which a Peri might have kept;
For each ruby there my heart hath bled;
For each pearl my eyes have wept."
And I said, "The thing is precious to me,
They will bury her soon in the church-yard clay;
It lies on her heart, and lost must be,
If I do not take it away."
I lighted my lamp at the dying flame,
And crept up the stairs that creaked from fright,
Till into the chamber of death I came,
Where she lay all in white.
The moon shone over her winding-sheet.
There, stark she lay on her carven bed;
Seven burning tapers about her feet,
And seven about her head.
As I stretched my hand, I held my breath;
I turned as I drew the curtains apart;[Pg 425]
I dared not look on the face of death,
I knew where to find her heart.
I thought, at first, as my touch fell there,
It had warmed that heart to life, with love;
For the thing I touched was warm, I swear,
And I could feel it move.
'Twas the hand of a man, that was moving slow
O'er the heart of the dead,—from the other side;
And at once the sweat broke over my brow,
"Who is robbing the corpse?" I cried.
Opposite me, by the tapers' light,
The friend of my bosom, the man I loved,
Stood over the corpse, and all as white,
And neither of us moved.
"What do you here, my friend?" ... The man
Looked first at me, and then at the dead.
"There is a portrait here," he began;
"There is. It is mine," I said.
Said the friend of my bosom, "Yours, no doubt,
The portrait was, till a month ago,
When this suffering angel took that out,
And placed mine there, I know."
"This woman, she loved me well," said I.
"A month ago," said my friend to me;
"And in your throat," I groaned, "you lie!"
He answered ... "Let us see."
"Enough!" I returned, "let the dead decide:
And whosesoever the portrait prove,[Pg 426]
His shall it be, when the cause is tried,
Where Death is arraigned by Love."
We found the portrait there in its place;
We opened it, by the tapers' shine;
The gems were all unchanged; the face
Was—neither his nor mine.
"One nail drives out another, at least!
The face of the portrait there," I cried,
"Is our friend's, the Raphael-faced young priest,
Who confessed her when she died."
The setting is all of rubies red,
And pearls which a Peri might have kept;
For each ruby there my heart hath bled;
For each pearl my eyes have wept.

THE TELL-TALE HEART

A MURDERER'S CONFESSION

Edgar Allan Poe

True!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily—how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object, there was none. Passion, there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture—a pale-blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I[Pg 427] made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid my life of him forever.

Now, this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded—with what caution—with what foresight—with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it—oh, so gently! and then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly—very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon the bed. Ha!—would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously—oh, so cautiously—cautiously (for the hinges creaked) I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his evil eye.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back—but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

[Pg 428]I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in the bed crying out—"Who's there?"

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down.

Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief—oh, no!—it was the low, stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not.

When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little—a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it—you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily—until at length a single dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.

It was open—wide, wide open—and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness—all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person; for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the spot.

Now, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed; I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of[Pg 429] the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous; so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst.

And now a new anxiety seized me—the sound could be heard by a neighbor! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once—once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gayly to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.

If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse.

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye—not even his—could have detected anything wrong.

When I had made an end of these labors it was four o'clock—still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart—for what had I now to fear? Then entered three men who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as[Pg 430] officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and the officers had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled—for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search—search well. I led them at length to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. But ere long I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct; it continued and gained definitiveness—until at length I found that the noise was not within my ears.

No doubt I grew very pale; but I talked more fluently and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased—and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound—much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath—and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly—more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men—but the noise steadily increased. O God! what could I do? I foamed—I raved—I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder—louder—louder. And still the men chatted pleasantly and smiled. Was it possible they heard not?

[Pg 431]They heard!—they suspected!—they knew!—they were making a mockery of my horror! this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die!—and now—again!—hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed—tear up the planks! here! here! it is the beating of his hideous heart!"


THE UNCLE

H. G. Bell

I had an uncle once—a man
Of threescore years and three,
And when my reason's dawn began,
He'd take me on his knee,
And often talk, whole winter nights,
Things that seemed strange to me.
He was a man of gloomy mood,
And few his converse sought;
But, it was said, in solitude
His conscience with him wrought;
And then, before his mental eye,
Some hideous vision brought.
There was not one in all the house
Who did not fear his frown,
Save I, a little, careless child,
Who gamboled up and down,
And often peeped into his room,
And plucked him by his gown.[Pg 432]
I was an orphan and alone—
My father was his brother,
And all their lives I knew that they
Had fondly loved each other;
And in my uncle's room there hung
The picture of my mother.
There was a curtain over it—
'Twas in a darkened place,
And few or none had ever looked
Upon my mother's face;
Or seen her pale, expressive smile
Of melancholy grace.
One night—I do remember well,
The wind was howling high,
And through the ancient corridors
It sounded drearily;
I sat and read in that old hall;
My uncle sat close by.
I read—but little understood
The words upon the book,
For with a sidelong glance I marked
My uncle's fearful look,
And saw how all his quivering frame
In strong convulsions shook.
A silent terror o'er me stole,
A strange, unusual dread;
His lips were white as bone—his eyes
Sunk far down in his head;
He gazed on me, but 'twas the gaze
Of the unconscious dead.[Pg 433]
Then suddenly he turned him round,
And drew aside the veil
That hung before my mother's face;
Perchance my eyes might fail,
But ne'er before that face to me
Had seemed so ghastly pale.
"Come hither, boy!" my uncle said—
I started at the sound;
'Twas choked and stifled, in his throat,
And hardly utterance found;
"Come hither, boy!" then fearfully
He cast his eyes around.
"That lady was thy mother once—
Thou wert her only child;
O God! I've seen her when she held
Thee in her arms and smiled—
She smiled upon thy father, boy,
'Twas that which drove me wild!
"He was my brother, but his form
Was fairer far than mine;
I grudged not that;—he was the prop
Of our ancestral line,
And manly beauty was of him
A token and a sign.
"Boy! I had loved her too—nay, more,
'Twas I who loved her first;
For months—for years—the golden thought
Within my soul was nursed;
He came—he conquered—they were wed—
My air-blown bubble burst![Pg 434]
"Then on my mind a shadow fell,
And evil hopes grew rife;
The damning thought stuck in my heart,
And cut me like a knife,
That she, whom all my days I loved,
Should be another's wife!
"I left my home—I left the land—
I crossed the raging sea;
In vain—in vain—where'er I turned,
My memory went with me;
My whole existence, night and day,
In memory seemed to be.
"I came again, I found them here—
Thou'rt like thy father, boy—
He doted on that pale face there,
I've seen them kiss and toy—
I've seen him locked in her fond arms,
Wrapped in delirious joy!
"By Heaven! it was a fearful thing,
To see my brother now,
And mark the placid calm that sat
Forever on his brow,
That seemed in bitter scorn to say,
I am more loved than thou!
"He disappeared—draw nearer, child!—
He died—no one knew how;
The murdered body ne'er was found,
The tale is hushed up now;
But there was one who rightly guessed
The hand that struck the blow.[Pg 435]
"It drove her mad—yet not his death—
No—not his death alone;
For she had clung to hope, when all
Knew well that there was none;
No, boy! it was a sight she saw
That froze her into stone!
"I am thy uncle, child—why stare
So frightfully aghast?—
The arras waves, but know'st thou not
'Tis nothing but the blast?
I, too, have had my fears like these,
But such vain fears are past.
"I'll show thee what thy mother saw—
I feel 'twill ease my breast,
And this wild tempest-laden night
Suits with the purpose best.
Come hither—thou hast often sought
To open this old chest.
"It has a secret spring; the touch
Is known to me alone;
Slowly I raise the lid, and now—
What see you, that you groan
So heavily? That thing is but
A bare-ribbed skeleton."
A sudden crash—the lid fell down—
Three strides he backward gave,
"Oh, God! it is my brother's self
Returning from the grave!
His grasp of lead is on my throat—
Will no one help or save?"[Pg 436]
That night they laid him on his bed,
In raving madness tossed;
He gnashed his teeth, and with wild oaths
Blasphemed the Holy Ghost;
And, ere the light of morning broke,
A sinner's soul was lost.

[Pg 437]

VI

SCENES FROM THE DRAMA

The selections in this division are cut, condensed, and adapted for practical use as dramas or monologues. In some cases lines of the text as well as explanations are written in to connect the scenes for clearer unity. For scenes from Shakespeare and readings from the Bible, already universally printed and accessible, see the indexes and directions as to the omissions of lines in various cuttings in Fulton and Trueblood's "Choice Readings," published by Messrs. Ginn & Company.


THE BELLS

Henry L. Williams

ACT III, SCENE I

CHARACTERS: Hans Matthis, keeper of "the Merry Andrew"; Dr. Frantz, the magnetizer; the Judge.

SCENE: Alsatia, in a hamlet at the foot of the mountains; Christmas, 1868; a room in an inn. Matthis, a prosperous burgomaster, recalls with friends the murder of a Polish Jew, fifteen years before. He wonders that the murderer has never been apprehended. The sound of sleigh bells is heard and the apparition of the Jew appears. Matthis is prostrated by the incident and consults a mesmerist, Dr. Frantz, who assures him that he has power to compel a criminal to divulge his secret thought. Matthis isolates himself and sleeps alone to avoid eavesdropping. On the night of his daughter's wedding he makes payment of her dowry, and as the money is laid on the table a sleigh bell falls from among the gold coins. He seeks his own room, falls asleep and dreams that he is before the court and that Dr. Frantz is mesmerizing him.

Enter Matthis

Mat. Happy fellow! happy fellows all of them! A man may play against fate if he only prepares his cards—I hold none but good ones in my hand. Ha, ha! They have their[Pg 438] skins full of my best wine, and go home happy as kings. Ha, ha! there'll be some funny flounderings in the snow before they reach home. It's singular what magic is melted into wine—one draught, and all the clouds are sunshine. It's dark! it's very dark—and, though the wind has fallen, the fine snow sweeps down the road like a train of phantoms. All is well! You may shake hands with yourself, Hans Matthis! you have triumphed over both the world and Heaven! I am so sleepy! If I rest here a—a moment? Ah! One is always drowsy in cold weather. No one can hear me if I speak—in a dream—no one—the Jew!—dreams, nonsense! [Sleeps.]

Enter Dr. Frantz and the Judge

Dr. F. My lord, it is the will of this tribunal which leads me here, not mine.

Judge. Can you place that man in the mesmeric sleep?

Dr. F. I can. But he is strong-willed, and the task may be hard.

Mat. No, no! I have no fear. [Shudders; aside.] Matthis, if you fall asleep you will be lost!

Dr. F. [to Matthis]. I will that you should sleep! [Makes magnetic passes while looking at Matthis.]

Mat. No, no!

Dr. F. It is my will. He sleeps. What must I ask?

Judge. What he did on Christmas Eve, fifteen years ago.

Dr. F. I command you to be on the night of December the four-and-twentieth, year 1853.

Mat. [softly]. Yes.

Dr. F. What is the hour?

Mat. It is half-past eleven o'clock.

Dr. F. Speak! It is my will!

Mat. The customers have left the inn. Catherine and little Annette have gone to bed. Kaspar comes in and says—the[Pg 439] fire in the lime-kiln is drawing well. I answer: "Very good. Go to bed. I'll go have a look at it." He goes up stairs. I am alone with the Polish Jew, who is warming himself at the stove. All are asleep in the village. All I heard was the sleigh-bell jingling on the Polander's horse in the shed. There was two feet of snow on the ground. I thought of my want of money. If I did not have three thousand francs by the end of the month, the inn would be taken from me. I thought—no one is on the road—'tis night, and the Polander will be all alone in the snow. He is well-built, and strong. [As if he saw the man before him.] I warrant he will hold out stoutly if any one touches him. Ah! he looks at me with his little gray eyes. I must do my work! Yes. I shall risk it! I go out. It is black as ink, except for the falling snow. There would be no footsteps in the road. I search his sledge—he might have had pistols! but there are none. I will do it! Hark! no—not a sound, save a child crying—a goat bleating—and the tramp overhead of the Polander in his chamber. I went in. He comes down, and puts six francs on the table. I give him change. He looks a long look at me, and asks how far to Mootzig? Four short leagues, say I—and wish him a merry journey! He answers: "God bless you!" [Pause.] Ho, ho! the belt! the money-belt! He goes—he has gone! [Matthis stooping, goes a few steps as if following a trail.] The axe—where is the axe? Ah! here—behind the door! How cold it is! Still falls the snow, and far above, I see the shooting stars. Haste, Matthis, for the prize—the money-belt! I follow—out of the village—to the open—how cold it is! [Shivers.] Yonder looms up the big bridge—there ripples the rivulet out of sight under the snow. How the dogs bayed, on Daniel's farm! and the blacksmith's forge glowed red on the hill-side like a setting sun. Matthis, slay not the man! You are mad! You will be rich, and your wife and child will want for nothing! The Polander had no business to flaunt his money-belt in your[Pg 440] face, when you owe money! The bridge! I am already at the bridge! And no one! how still it is! how cold! though I am warm—Hark! one o'clock by the village church! and the moon is rising! Oh! the Jew has passed, and I am right glad of it! No! what do I hear? the bell! the sleigh-bell. I shall be rich, I shall be rich, rich, rich! [The bell tinkles.] Down! I have you, dog of a Jew! He has his score settled! Not a finger stirs. All is over! Ah! Away rushes the horse with the sledge! but silently—the bell has been shaken off! Hark, hark—a step! No! only the wind and a fall of snow. Quick, quick, the money-belt! 'tis full! it bursts with my eager clutch! ah! the coins have fallen! here, here and there! And now for home! no, no—the body—it must not tell its story! [Rolls up the mantle and puts it on his shoulder.] Hush! the kiln, the lime-kiln. It is heavy! Into the fire. Jew! fire and flames for the Jew! Oh! what eyes! with what eyes does he regard me! Be a man, Matthis, look! look boldly! not even his bones are left! Now, away with the belt—pocket the gold—that's right! No one will ever know. The proofs are gone forever!

Dr. F. What more shall he be asked?

Judge. No more. Wake him and let him see himself. [Matthis sits in the chair as at first.]

Dr. F. Awake! I will it.

Mat. Where am I? Ah, yes—what have I done? Wretch! I have confessed it all! I am a lost man!

Judge. You stand self-condemned! Inasmuch as Hans Matthis, on the morning of the 25th of December, 1853, between the hours of midnight and one o'clock, committed the crime of murder and highway robbery upon the person of Baruch Koweski, with malice prepense, we condemn him to be hanged by the neck till death shall ensue. And may Heaven have mercy on his soul! Usher, let the executioner appear and take charge of the condemned.

[Curtain.


[Pg 441]

THE LADY OF LYONS

Robert Bulwer Lytton

ACT II, SCENE I

Characters: Pauline Deschappelles, the beautiful daughter and heiress of an aspiring merchant of Lyons, France; Claude Melnotte, the gardener's son, madly in love with Pauline.

Pauline aspires to an alliance with some prince or nobleman. Melnotte in the hope of winning her uses his small inheritance in educating himself and becomes an accomplished scholar, a skillful musician, a poet, and an artist. He pours forth his worship in a poem, but his suit is rejected and he is subjected to violent insult. Stung to remorse he enters into a plot to personate a prince, woo her in that guise, and take her as a bride to his mother's cottage on their wedding night. And, in the faint hope of winning her as a prince and keeping her love as an untitled man after he has revealed his identity, Melnotte enters into a binding compact.

Scene: The garden of M. Deschappelles' house at Lyons.

Enter Melnotte as the Prince of Como, leading Pauline

Mel. You can be proud of your connection with one who owes his position to merit—not birth.

Pauline. Why, yes; but still—

Mel. Still what, Pauline?

Pauline. There is something glorious in the heritage of command. A man who has ancestors is like a representative of the past.

Mel. True; but, like other representatives, nine times out of ten he is a silent member. Ah, Pauline! not to the past, but to the future, looks true nobility, and finds its blazon in posterity.

Pauline. You say this to please me, who have no ancestors; but you, prince, must be proud of so illustrious a race!

Mel. No, no! I would not, were I fifty times a prince, be a pensioner on the dead! I honor birth and ancestry when they are regarded as the incentives to exertion, not the title-deeds to sloth! I honor the laurels that overshadow the graves of our[Pg 442] fathers—it is our fathers I emulate, when I desire that beneath the evergreen I myself have planted my own ashes may repose! Dearest! couldst thou but see with my eyes!

Pauline. I cannot forego pride when I look on thee, and think that thou lovest me. Sweet Prince, tell me again of thy palace by the lake of Como; it is so pleasant to hear of thy splendors since thou didst swear to me that they would be desolate without Pauline; and when thou describest them, it is with a mocking lip and a noble scorn, as if custom had made thee disdain greatness.

Mel.
Nay, dearest, nay, if thou wouldst have me paint
The home to which, could love fulfill its prayers,
This hand would lead thee, listen! A deep vale
Shut out by Alpine hills from the rude world;
Near a clear lake, margin'd by fruits of gold
And whispering myrtles; glassing softest skies,
As cloudless, save with rare and roseate shadows,
As I would have thy fate!
Pauline.
My own dear love!
Mel.
A palace lifting to eternal summer
Its marble walls, from out a glossy bower
Of coolest foliage, musical with birds,
Whose songs should syllable thy name! At noon
We'd sit beneath the arching vines, and wonder
Why Earth could be unhappy, while the Heavens
Still left us youth and love! We'd have no friends
That were not lovers; no ambition, save
To excel them all in love; we'd read no books
That were not tales of love—that we might smile
To think how poorly eloquence of words
Translates the poetry of hearts like ours!
And when night came, amidst the breathless Heavens
We'd guess what star should be our home when love
Becomes immortal; while the perfumed light[Pg 443]
Stole through the mist of alabaster lamps,
And every air was heavy with the sighs
Of orange groves and music from sweet lutes,
And murmurs of low fountains that gush forth
I' the midst of roses!—Dost thou like the picture?
Pauline.
Oh, as the bee upon the flower, I hang
Upon the honey of thy eloquent tongue!
Am I not blest? And if I love too wildly,
Who would not love thee like Pauline?
Mel.
Oh, false one!
It is the prince thou lovest, not the man;
If in the stead of luxury, pomp, and power,
I had painted poverty, and toil, and care,
Thou hadst found no honey on my tongue; Pauline,
That is not love.
Pauline.
Thou wrong'st me, cruel Prince!
At first, in truth, I might not have been won,
Save through the weakness of a flatter'd pride;
But now—oh! trust me—couldst thou fall from power
And sink—
Mel.
As low as that poor gardener's son
Who dared to lift his eyes to thee?
Pauline.
Even then,
Methinks thou wouldst be only made more dear
By the sweet thought that I could prove how deep
Is woman's love! We are like the insects, caught
By the poor glittering of a garish flame;
But, oh, the wings once scorch'd, the brightest star
Lures us no more; and by the fatal light
We cling till death!
Mel.
Angel! [Aside.] O conscience! conscience!
It must not be—her love hath grown a torture
Worse than her hate. I will at once to Beauseant,[Pg 444]
And—ha! he comes. Sweet love, one moment leave me.
I have business with these gentlemen—I—I
Will forthwith join you.
Pauline.
I obey, sweet Prince.
[Exit separately.

ACT III, SCENE II

Characters: Pauline, Claude, and the Widow Melnotte, the mother of Claude.

Scene: Melnotte's cottage, widow bustling about, a table spread for supper.

Widow. So, I think that looks very neat. He sent me a line, so blotted that I can scarcely read it, to say he would be here almost immediately. She must have loved him well indeed to have forgotten his birth; for though he was introduced to her in disguise, he is too honorable not to have revealed to her the artifice; which her love only could forgive. Well, I do not wonder at it; for though my son is not a prince, he ought to be one, and that's almost as good. [Knock at door.] Ah! here they are.

Enter Melnotte and Pauline

Widow. Oh, my boy—the pride of my heart!—welcome, welcome. I beg pardon, ma'am, but I do love him so!

Pauline. Good woman, I really—why, Prince, what is this?—does the old lady know you? Oh, I guess you have done her some service. Another proof of your kind heart; is it not?

Mel. Of my kind heart, ay!

Pauline. So you know the Prince?

Widow. Know him, madam? Ah, I begin to fear it is you who know him not!

Pauline. Can we stay here, my lord? I think there's something very wild about her.

Mel. Madam, I—no, I cannot tell her; what a coward is[Pg 445] a man who has lost his honor! Speak to her—speak to her—[to his mother] tell her that—O Heaven, that I were dead!

Pauline. How confused he looks!—this strange place!—this woman—what can it mean?—I half suspect—who are you, madam?—who are you? can't you speak? are you struck dumb?

Widow. Claude, you have not deceived her? Ah, shame upon you! I thought that, before you went to the altar, she was to have known all.

Pauline. All! what! My blood freezes in my veins!

Widow. Poor lady—dare I tell her, Claude? Know you not, then, madam, that this young man is of poor though honest parents? Know you not that you are wedded to my son, Claude Melnotte?

Pauline. Your son! hold—hold! do not speak to me. [Approaches Melnotte.] Is this a jest? is it? I know it is, only speak—one word—one look—one smile. I cannot believe—I who loved thee so—I cannot believe that thou art such a—no, I will not wrong thee by a harsh word! Speak.

Mel. Leave us. [To Widow.] Have pity on her, on me; leave us!

Widow. Oh, Claude, that I should live to see thee bowed by shame! thee of whom I was so proud!

[Exit.

Pauline. Her son—her son!

Mel.
Now, lady, hear me.
Pauline.
Hear thee!
Ay, speak—her son! have fiends a parent? speak,
That thou mayst silence curses—speak!
Mel.
No, curse me;
Thy curse would blast me less than thy forgiveness.
Pauline [laughing wildly].
This is thy palace, where "the perfumed light
Steals through the mist of alabaster lamps,[Pg 446]
And every air is heavy with the sighs
Of orange groves and music from sweet lutes,
And murmurs of low fountains that gush forth
I' the midst of roses!—Dost thou like the picture?"
This is my bridal home, and thou my bridegroom!
O fool—O dupe—O wretch! I see it all.
The by-word and the jeer of every tongue
In Lyons. Hast thou in thy heart one touch
Of human kindness? if thou hast, why kill me,
And save thy wife from madness. No, it cannot—
It cannot be; this is some horrid dream;
I shall wake soon. [Touching him.] Art flesh? art man? or but
The shadows seen in sleep? It is too real.
What have I done to thee? how sinn'd against thee,
That thou shouldst crush me thus?
Mel.
Pauline, by pride
Angels have fallen ere thy time; by pride—
That sole alloy of thy most lovely mold—
The evil spirit of a bitter love,
And a revengeful heart, had power upon thee.
From my first years my soul was fill'd with thee;
I saw thee midst the flow'rs the lowly boy
Tended, unmark'd by thee—a spirit of bloom,
And joy, and freshness, as if Spring itself
Were made a living thing, and wore thy shape!
I saw thee, and the passionate heart of man
Enter'd the breast of the wild-dreaming boy.
And from that hour I grew—what to the last
I shall be—thine adorer! Well, this love,
Vain, frantic, guilty, if thou wilt, became
A fountain of ambition and bright hope;
I thought of tales that by the winter hearth
Old gossips tell—how maidens, sprung from kings,[Pg 447]
Have stoop'd from their high sphere; how love, like death,
Levels all ranks, and lays the shepherd's crook
Beside the scepter.
My father died; and I, the peasant born,
Was my own lord. Then did I seek to rise
Out of the prison of my mean estate;
And, with such jewels as the exploring mind
Brings from the caves of knowledge, buy my ransom
From those twin jailers of the daring heart—
Low birth and iron fortune. For thee I grew
A midnight student o'er the dreams of sages.
For thee I sought to borrow from each grace,
And every muse, such attributes as lend
Ideal charms to love. I thought of thee,
And passion taught me poesy—of thee,
And on the painter's canvas grew the life
Of beauty! Art became the shadow
Of the dear starlight of thy haunting eyes!
Men call'd me vain—some mad—I heeded not;
But still toil'd on—hoped on—for it was sweet,
If not to win, to feel more worthy thee.
Pauline.
Why do I cease to hate him!
Mel.
At last, in one mad hour, I dared to pour
The thoughts that burst their channels into song,
And set them to thee—such a tribute, lady,
As beauty rarely scorns, even from the meanest.
The name—appended by the burning heart
That long'd to show its idol what bright things
It had created—yea, the enthusiast's name,
That should have been thy triumph, was thy scorn;
That very hour—when passion, turn'd to wrath,
Resembled hatred most—when thy disdain
Made my whole soul a chaos—in that hour[Pg 448]
The tempters, found me a revengeful tool
For their revenge! Thou hadst trampled on the worm—
It turned and stung thee!
Pauline.
Love, sir, hath no sting.
What was the slight of a poor powerless girl
To the deep wrong of this most vile revenge?
Oh, how I loved this man!—a serf—a slave!
Mel.
Hold, lady! No, not a slave! Despair is free.
I will not tell thee of the throes—the struggles—
The anguish—the remorse. No, let it pass!
And let me come to such most poor atonement
Yet in my power. Pauline!—
Pauline.
No, touch me not!
I know my fate. You are, by law, my tyrant;
And I—O Heaven!—a peasant's wife! I'll work—
Toil—drudge—do what thou wilt—but touch me not!
Let my wrongs make me sacred!
Mel.
Do not fear me.
Thou dost not know me, madam; at the altar
My vengeance ceased—my guilty oath expired!
Henceforth, no image of some marble saint,
Niched in cathedral aisles, is hallowed more
From the rude hand of sacrilegious wrong.
I am thy husband—nay, thou need'st not shudder!—
Here, at thy feet, I lay a husband's rights.
A marriage thus unholy—unfulfill'd—
A bond of fraud—is, by the laws of France,
Made void and null. To-night sleep—sleep in peace.
To-morrow, pure and virgin as this morn
I bore thee, bathed in blushes, from the shrine,
Thy father's arms shall take thee to thy home.
The law shall do thee justice, and restore
Thy right to bless another with thy love.[Pg 449]
And when them art happy, and hast half forgot
Him who so loved—so wrong'd thee, think at least
Heaven left some remnant of the angel still
In that poor peasant's nature! Ho! my mother!

Enter Widow

Conduct this lady (she is not my wife;
She is our guest—our honor'd guest, my mother)
To the poor chamber, where the sleep of virtue
Never, beneath my father's honest roof,
E'en villains dared to mar! Now, lady, now
I think thou wilt believe me.
Go, my mother!
Widow.
She is not thy wife!
Mel.
Hush, hush! for mercy's sake!
Speak not, but go.

[Exit Widow. Pauline follows, weeping—turns to look back.

All angels bless and guard her!

RIP VAN WINKLE[80]

Washington Irving

ACT I, SCENE I

Characters: Rip Van Winkle; Derrick Von Beekman, the villain of the play, who endeavors to get Rip drunk, in order to have him sign away his property; Nick Vedder, the village innkeeper.

Scene: The village inn; present, Von Beekman, alone.

Enter Rip, shaking off the children, who cling about him

Rip [to the children]. Say! hullo, dere, yu Yacob Stein! Let that dog Schneider alone, will you? Dere, I tole you dat all de time, if you don'd let him alone he's goin' to bide you! Why, hullo, Derrick! How you was? Ach, my! Did you[Pg 450] hear dem liddle fellers just now? Dey most plague me crazy. Ha, ha, ha! I like to laugh my outsides in every time I tink about it. Just now, as we was comin' along togedder, Schneider and me—I don'd know if you know Schneider myself? Well, he's my dog. Well, dem liddle fellers, dey took Schneider, und—ha, ha, ha!—dey—ha, ha, ha!—dey tied a tin kettle mit his tail! Ha, ha, ha! My gracious! Of you had seen dat dog run! My, how scared he was! Vell, he was a-runnin' an' de kettle was a-bangin' an'—ha, ha, ha! you believe it, dat dog, he run right betwixt me an' my legs! Ha, ha, ha! He spill me und all dem leddle fellers down in de mud togedder. Ha, ha, ha!

Von B. Ah, yes, that's all right, Rip, very funny, very funny; but what do you say to a glass of liquor, Rip?

Rip. Well, now, Derrick, what do I generally say to a glass? I generally say it's a good ting, don'd I? Und I generally say a good deal more to what is in it, dan to de glass.

Von B. Certainly, certainly! Say, hallo, there! Nick Vedder, bring out a bottle of your best!

Rip. Dat's right—fill 'em up. You wouldn't believe, Derrick, but dat is de first one I have had to-day. I guess maybe de reason is, I couldn't got it before. Ah, Derrick, my score is too big! Well, here is your good health und your family's—may dey all live long and prosper. [They drink.] Ach! you may well smack your lips, und go ah, ah! over dat liquor. You don'd give me such liquor like dat every day, Nick Vedder. Well, come on, fill 'em up again. Git out mit dat water, Nick Vedder, I don'd want no water in my liquor. Good liquor und water, Nick Vedder, is just like man and wife, dey don'd agree well togedder—dat's me und my wife, any way. Well, come on again. Here is your good health und your family's, und may dey all live long und prosper!

Nick Vedder. That's right, Rip; drink away, and "drown your sorrows in the flowing bowl."

[Pg 451]Rip. Drown my sorrows? Ya, dat's all very well, but she don'd drown. My wife is my sorrow und you can't drown her; she tried it once, but she couldn't do it. What, didn't you hear about dat, de day what Gretchen she like to got drownded? Ach, my; dat's de funniest ting in de world. I'll tell you all about it. It was de same day what we got married. I bet I don'd forget dat day so long what I live. You know dat Hudson River what dey git dem boats over—well, dat's de same place. Well, you know dat boat what Gretchen she was a-goin' to come over in, dat got upsetted—ya, just went righd by der boddom. But she wasn't in de boat. Oh, no; if she had been in de boat, well, den, maybe she might have got drownded. You can't tell anyting at all about a ting like dat!

Von B. Ah, no; but I'm sure, Rip, if Gretchen were to fall into the water now, you would risk your life to save her.

Rip. Would I? Well, I am not so sure about dat myself. When we was first got married? Oh, ya; I know I would have done it den, but I don'd know how it would be now. But it would be a good deal more my duty now as it was den. Don'd you know, Derrick, when a man gits married a long time—mit his wife, he gits a good deal attached mit her, und it would be a good deal more my duty now as it was den. But I don'd know, Derrick. I am afraid if Gretchen should fall in de water now und should say, "Rip, Rip! help me oud"—I should say, "Mrs. Van Winkle, I will just go home and tink about it." Oh, no, Derrick; if Gretchen fall in de water now she's got to swim, I told you dat—ha, ha, ha, ha! Hullo! dat's her a-comin' now; I guess it's bedder I go oud!

[Exit RIP.

ACT II, SCENE I

Characters: Rip Van Winkle; Gretchen, his wife; Meenie, their little daughter.

Scene: The dimly lighted kitchen of Rip's cottage. Shortly after his conversation with Von Beekman, Rip's wife catches him carousing and dancing upon the village green. She drives him away in no [Pg 452]very gentle fashion, and he runs away from her only to carouse the more. Returning home after nightfall in a decidedly muddled condition, he puts his head through the open window at the rear, not observing his irate wife, who stands in ambush behind the clothes-bars with her ever-ready broomstick, to give him a warm reception, but seeing only his little daughter Meenie, of whom he is very fond, and who also loves him very tenderly.

Rip. Meenie! Meenie, my darlin'!

Meenie. Hush-sh-h. [Shaking finger, to indicate the presence of her mother.]

Rip. Eh! what's de matter? I don'd see not'ing, my darlin'.

Meenie. 'Sh-sh-sh!

Rip. Eh! what? Say, Meenie, is de ole wild cat home? [Gretchen catches him quickly by the hair.] Oh, oh! say, is dat you, Gretchen? Say, dere, my darlin', my angel, don'd do dat. Let go my head, won'd you? Well, den, hold on to it so long what you like. [Gretchen releases him.] Dere, now, look at dat, see what you done—you gone pull out a whole handful of hair. What you want to do a ting like dat for? You must want a bald-headed husband, don'd you?

Gretchen. Who was that you called a wild cat?

Rip. Who was dat I called a wild cat? Well, now, let me see, who was dat I called a wild cat? Dat must 'a' been de same time I come in de winder dere, wasn't it? Yes, I know, it was de same time. Well, now, let me see. [Suddenly.] It was de dog Schneider dat I call it.

Gretchen. The dog Schneider? That's a likely story.

Rip. Why, of course it is a likely story—ain't he my dog? Well, den, I call him a wild cat just so much what I like, so dere now. [Gretchen begins to weep.] Oh, well; dere, now, don'd you cry, don'd you cry, Gretchen; you hear what I said? Lisden now. If you don'd cry, I nefer drink anoder drop of liquor in my life.

Gretchen [crying]. Oh, Rip! you have said so many, many times, and you never kept your word yet.

Rip. Well, I say it dis time, and I mean it.

[Pg 453]Gretchen. Oh, Rip! if I could only trust you.

Rip. You mustn't suspect me. Can't you see repentance in my eye?

Gretchen. Rip, if you will only keep your word, I shall be the happiest woman in the world.

Rip. You can believe it. I nefer drink anoder drop so long what I live, if you don'd cry.

Gretchen. Oh, Rip, how happy we shall be! And you'll get back all the village, Rip, just as you used to have it; and you'll fix up our little house so nicely; and you and I, and our little darling Meenie, here—how happy we shall be!

Rip. Dere, now! you can be just so happy what you like. Go in de odder room, go along mit you; I come in dere pooty quick. [Exit Gretchen and Meenie.] My! I swore off from drinkin' so many, many times, and I never kept my word yet. [Taking out bottle.] I don'd believe dere is more as one good drink in dat bottle, anyway. It's a pity to waste it! You goin' to drink dat? Well, now, if you do, it is de last one, remember dat, old feller. Well, here is your goot held, und—

Enter Gretchen, suddenly, who snatches the bottle from him.

Gretchen. Oh, you brute! you paltry thief!

Rip. Hold on dere, my dear, you will spill de liquor.

Gretchen. Yes, I will spill it, you drunken scoundrel. [Throwing away the bottle.] That's the last drop you ever drink under this roof.

Rip [slowly, after a moment's silence, as if stunned by her severity]. Eh! what?

Gretchen. Out, I say! you drink no more here.

Rip. What? Gretchen, are you goin' to drive me away?

Gretchen. Yes! Acre by acre, foot by foot, you have sold everything that ever belonged to you for liquor. Thank Heaven, this house is mine, and you can't sell it.

Rip [rapidly sobering, as he begins to realize the gravity of the situation].[Pg 454] Yours? Yours? Ya, you are right—it is yours; I have got no home. [In broken tones, almost sobbing.] But where will I go?

Gretchen. Anywhere! out into the storm, to the mountains. There's the door—never let your face darken it again.

Rip. What, Gretchen! are you goin' to drive me away like a dog on a night like dis?

Gretchen. Yes; out with you! You have no longer a share in me or mine. [Breaking down and sobbing with the intensity of her passion.]

Rip [very slowly and quietly, but with great intensity]. Well, den, I will go; you have drive me away like a dog, Gretchen, and I will go. But remember, Gretchen, after what you have told me here to-night, I can never come back. You have open de door for me to go; you will never open it for me to return. But, Gretchen, you tell me dat I have no longer a chare here. [Points at the child, who kneels crying at his feet.] Good-by [with much emotion], my darlin'. God bless you! Don'd you nefer forgit your fader. Gretchen (with a great sob), I wipe de disgrace from your door. Good-by, good-by!

[Exit Rip into the storm.

FOOTNOTE:

[80] Adapted by Mr. A. P. Burbank.


THE RIVALS

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

ACT I, SCENE II

Characters: Mrs. Malaprop, with her bad grammar and ludicrous diction; Lydia Languish, in love with Beverley; Sir Anthony Absolute, choleric, but kind-hearted.

Scene: A dressing room in Mrs. Malaprop's lodgings.

Enter Mrs. Malaprop, Lydia, and Sir Anthony

Mrs. Malaprop. There, Sir Anthony, there stands the deliberate simpleton, who wants to disgrace her family and lavish herself on a fellow not worth a shilling.

[Pg 455]Lydia. Madam, I thought you once—

Mrs. M. You thought, miss! I don't know any business you have to think at all: thought does not become a young woman. But the point we would request of you is, that you will promise to forget this fellow—to illiterate him, I say, from your memory.

Lyd. Ah, madam! our memories are independent of our wills. It is not so easy to forget.

Mrs. M. But I say it is, miss! there is nothing on earth so easy as to forget, if a person chooses to set about it. I'm sure I have as much forgot your poor dear uncle, as if he had never existed; and I thought it my duty so to do; and let me tell you, Lydia, these violent memories don't become a young woman.

Lyd. What crime, madam, have I committed, to be treated thus?

Mrs. M. Now don't attempt to extirpate yourself from the matter; you know I have proof controvertible of it. But tell me, will you promise me to do as you are bid? Will you take a husband of your friend's choosing?

Lyd. Madam, I must tell you plainly, that, had I no preference for any one else, the choice you have made would be my aversion.

Mrs. M. What business have you, miss, with preference and aversion? They don't become a young woman. But, suppose we were going to give you another choice, will you promise us to give up this Beverley?

Lyd. Could I belie my thoughts so far as to give that promise, my actions would certainly as far belie my words.

Mrs. M. Take yourself to your room! You are fit company for nothing but your own ill humors.

Lyd. Willingly, ma'am; I cannot change for the worse.

Mrs. M. There's a little intricate hussy for you! [Exit.

Sir A. It is not to be wondered at, ma'am; all that is the natural consequence of teaching girls to read. On my way[Pg 456] hither, Mrs. Malaprop, I observed your niece's maid coming forth from a circulating library: from that moment, I guessed how full of duty I should see her mistress!

Mrs. M. Those are vile places, indeed!

Sir A. Madam, a circulating library in a town is as an evergreen tree of diabolical knowledge!

Mrs. M. Fie, fie, Sir Anthony! you surely speak laconically.

Sir A. Why, Mrs. Malaprop, in moderation, now, what would you have a woman know?

Mrs. M. Observe me, Sir Anthony—I would by no means wish a daughter of mine to be a progeny of learning; I don't think so much learning becomes a young woman; for instance, I would never let her meddle with Greek, or Hebrew, or Algebra, or Simony, or Fluxions, or Paradoxes, or such inflammatory branches of learning; nor will it be necessary for her to handle any of your mathematical, astronomical, diabolical instruments; but, Sir Anthony, I would send her, at nine years old, to a boarding-school, in order to learn a little ingenuity and artifice. Then, sir, she should have a supercilious knowledge in accounts; and, as she grew up, I would have her instructed in geometry, that she might know something of the contagious countries; above all, she would be taught orthodoxy. This, Sir Anthony, is what I would have a woman know; and I don't think there is a superstitious article in it.

Sir A. Well, well, Mrs. Malaprop, I will dispute the point no further with you; though I must confess, that you are a truly moderate and polite arguer, for almost every third word you say is on my side of the question.—But to the more important point in debate—you say you have no objection to my proposal?

Mrs. M. None, I assure you. We have never seen your son, Sir Anthony; but I hope no objection on his side.

Sir A. Objection!—let him object, if he dare!—No, no, Mrs. Malaprop; Jack knows that the least demur puts[Pg 457] me in a frenzy directly. My process was always very simple—in his younger days, 'twas "Jack, do this,"—if he demurred, I knocked him down; and, if he grumbled at that, I always sent him out of the room.

Mrs. M. Aye, and the properest way, o' my conscience!—Nothing is so conciliating to young people as severity. Well, Sir Anthony, I shall give Mr. Acres his discharge, and prepare Lydia to receive your son's invocations; and I hope you will represent her to the Captain as an object not altogether illegible.

Sir A. Madam, I will handle the subject prudently. I must leave you; and let me beg you, Mrs. Malaprop, to enforce this matter roundly to the girl—take my advice, keep a tight hand—if she rejects this proposal, clap her under lock and key; and if you were just to let the servants forget to bring her dinner for three or four days, you can't conceive how she'd come about.

Mrs. M. Well, at any rate, I shall be glad to get her from under my jurisprudence.

[Exit.

ACT II, SCENE I

Characters: Sir Anthony Absolute; Captain Absolute, his son.

Scene: Captain Absolute's lodgings.

Enter Sir Anthony and Captain Absolute

Captain Absolute. Sir, I am delighted to see you here, and looking so well! Your sudden arrival at Bath made me apprehensive for your health.

Sir Anthony. Very apprehensive, I dare say, Jack. What, you are recruiting here, hey?

Capt. A. Yes, sir; I am on duty.

Sir A. Well, Jack, I am glad to see you, though I did not expect it; for I was going to write to you on a little matter of business. Jack, I have been considering that I grow old and infirm, and shall probably not trouble you long.

[Pg 458]Capt. A. Pardon me, sir, I never saw you look more strong and hearty; and I pray fervently that you may continue so.

Sir A. I hope your prayers may be heard, with all my heart. Well, then, Jack, I have been considering that I am so strong and hearty, I may continue to plague you a long time. Now, Jack, I am sensible that the income of your commission, and what I have hitherto allowed you, is but a small pittance for a lad of your spirit.

Capt. A. Sir, you are very good.

Sir A. And it is my wish, while yet I live, to have my boy make some figure in the world. I have resolved, therefore, to fix you at once in a noble independence.

Capt. A. Sir, your kindness overpowers me. Such generosity makes the gratitude of reason more lively than the sensations even of filial affection.

Sir A. I am glad you are so sensible of my attention; and you shall be master of a large estate in a few weeks.

Capt. A. Let my future life, sir, speak my gratitude. I cannot express the sense I have of your munificence. Yet, sir, I presume you would not wish me to quit the army.

Sir A. Oh, that shall be as your wife chooses.

Capt. A. My wife, sir!

Sir A. Aye, aye, settle that between you—settle that between you.

Capt. A. A wife, sir, did you say?

Sir A. Aye, a wife—why, did not I mention her before?

Capt. A. Not a word of her, sir.

Sir A. Upon my word, I mustn't forget her, though! Yes, Jack, the independence I was talking of is by a marriage,—the fortune is saddled with a wife; but I suppose that makes no difference?

Capt. A. Sir, sir, you amaze me!

Sir A. What's the matter? Just now you were all gratitude and duty.

[Pg 459]Capt. A. I was, sir; you talked to me of independence and a fortune, but not one word of a wife.

Sir A. Why, what difference does that make? Sir, if you have the estate, you must take it with the live stock on it, as it stands.

Capt. A. If my happiness is to be the price, I must beg leave to decline the purchase. Pray, sir, who is the lady?

Sir A. What's that to you, sir? Come, give me your promise to love, and to marry her directly.

Capt. A. Sure, sir, that's not very reasonable, to summon my affections for a lady I know nothing of!

Sir A. I am sure, sir, 'tis more unreasonable in you to object to a lady you know nothing of.

Capt. A. You must excuse me, sir, if I tell you, once for all, that on this point I cannot obey you.

Sir A. Hark you, Jack! I have heard you for some time with patience; I have been cool—quite cool; but take care; you know I am compliance itself, when I am not thwarted; no one more easily led—when I have my own way; but don't put me in a frenzy.

Capt. A. Sir, I must repeat it; in this I cannot obey you.

Sir A. Now, shoot me, if ever I call you Jack again while I live!

Capt. A. Nay, sir, but hear me.

Sir A. Sir, I won't hear a word—not a word!—not one word! So, give me your promise by a nod; and I'll tell you what, Jack,—I mean, you dog,—if you don't—

Capt. A. What, sir, promise to link myself to some mass of ugliness; to—

Sir A. Sir, the lady shall be as ugly as I choose; she shall have a lump on each shoulder; she shall be as crooked as the crescent; her one eye shall roll like the bull's in Cox's mu-se-um; she shall have a skin like a mummy, and the[Pg 460] beard of a Jew; she shall be all this, sir! yet I'll make you ogle her all day, and sit up all night to write sonnets on her beauty!

Capt. A. This is reason and moderation, indeed!

Sir A. None of your sneering, puppy!—no grinning, jackanapes!

Capt. A. Indeed, sir, I never was in a worse humor for mirth in my life.

Sir A. 'Tis false, sir! I know you are laughing in your sleeve; I know you'll grin when I am gone, sir!

Capt. A. Sir, I hope I know my duty better.

Sir A. None of your passion, sir! none of your violence, if you please! It won't do with me, I promise you.

Capt. A. Indeed, sir, I never was cooler in my life.

Sir A. I know you are in a passion in your heart; I know you are, you hypocritical young dog! But it won't do!

Capt. A. Nay, sir, upon my word—

Sir A. So, you will fly out? Can't you be cool, like me? What good can passion do? Passion is of no service, you impudent, insolent, overbearing reprobate! There, you sneer again! Don't provoke me! But you rely upon the mildness of my temper, you do, you dog! You play upon the meekness of my disposition! Yet take care; the patience of a saint may be overcome at last! But, mark! I give you six hours and a half to consider of this: if you then agree, without any condition, to do everything on earth that I choose, why, I may, in time, forgive you. If not, don't enter the same hemisphere with me; don't dare to breathe the same air, or use the same light, with me; but get an atmosphere and a sun of your own! I'll strip you of your commission; I'll lodge a five-and-threepence in the hands of trustees, and you shall live on the interest! I'll disown you, I'll disinherit you! I'll never call you Jack again! [Exit.

Capt. A. Mild, gentle, considerate father! I kiss your hand.

[Pg 461]

ACT III, SCENE I

Characters: Sir Anthony Absolute; Captain Absolute.

Scene: The North Parade. Captain Absolute has discovered that the lady whom his father so peremptorily commanded him to marry is none other than Lydia Languish with whom he, under the name of Beverley, was plotting an elopement.

Enter Captain Absolute

Capt. A. 'Tis just as Fag told me, indeed!—Whimsical enough, 'faith! My father wants to force me to marry the very girl I am plotting to run away with! He must not know of my connection with her yet awhile. He has too summary a method of proceeding in these matters; however, I'll read my recantation instantly. My conversion is something sudden, indeed; but I can assure him, it is very sincere.—So, so, here he comes. He looks plaguy gruff! [Steps aside.

Enter Sir Anthony

Sir A. No—I'll die sooner than forgive him! Die, did I say? I'll live these fifty years to plague him. At our last meeting, his impudence had almost put me out of temper—an obstinate, passionate, self-willed boy! This is my return for putting him, at twelve years old, into a marching regiment, and allowing him fifty pounds a year, besides his pay, ever since! But I have done with him—he's anybody's son for me—I never will see him more—never—never—never—never.

Capt. A. Now for a penitential face!

[Comes forward.

Sir A. Fellow, get out of my way!

Capt. A. Sir, you see a penitent before you.

Sir A. I see an impudent scoundrel before me.

Capt. A. A sincere penitent. I am come, sir, to acknowledge my error, and to submit entirely to your will.

Sir A. What's that?

Capt. A. I have been revolving, and reflecting, and con[Pg 462]sidering on your past goodness, and kindness, and condescension to me.

Sir A. Well, sir?

Capt. A. I have been likewise weighing and balancing, what you were pleased to mention concerning duty, and obedience, and authority.

Sir A. Why, now you talk sense, absolute sense; I never heard anything more sensible in my life. Confound you, you shall be Jack again!

Capt. A. I am happy in the appellation.

Sir A. Why then, Jack, my dear Jack, I will now inform you who the lady really is. Nothing but your passion and violence, you silly fellow, prevented me telling you at first. Prepare, Jack, for wonder and rapture—prepare! What think you of Miss Lydia Languish?

Capt. A. Languish! What, the Languishes of Worcestershire?

Sir A. Worcestershire! No! Did you never meet Mrs. Malaprop, and her niece, Miss Languish, who came into our country just before you were last ordered to your regiment?

Capt. A. Malaprop! Languish! I don't remember ever to have heard the name before. Yet, stay: I think I do recollect something. Languish, Languish! She squints, don't she? A little red-haired girl?

Sir A. Squints! A red-haired girl! Zounds, no!

Capt. A. Then I must have forgot; it can't be the same person.

Sir A. Jack, Jack! what think you of blooming, love-breathing seventeen?

Capt. A. As to that, sir, I am quite indifferent: if I can please you in the matter, 'tis all I desire.

Sir A. Nay, but, Jack, such eyes! such eyes! so innocently wild! so bashfully irresolute! Not a glance but speaks and[Pg 463] kindles some thought of love! Then, Jack, her cheeks! her cheeks, Jack! so deeply blushing at the insinuations of her tell-tale eyes! Then, Jack, her lips! Oh, Jack, lips, smiling at their own discretion! and, if not smiling, more sweetly pouting, more lovely in sullenness! Then, Jack, her neck! Oh! Jack! Jack!

Capt. A. And which is to be mine, sir; the niece, or the aunt?

Sir A. Why, you unfeeling, insensible puppy, I despise you! When I was of your age, such a description would have made me fly like a rocket! The aunt, indeed! Odds life! when I ran away with your mother, I would not have touched anything old or ugly to gain an empire.

Capt. A. Not to please your father, sir?

Sir A. To please my father—zounds! not to please—Oh! my father? Oddso! yes, yes! if my father, indeed, had desired—that's quite another matter. Though he wasn't the indulgent father that I am, Jack.

Capt. A. I dare say not, sir.

Sir A. But, Jack, you are not sorry to find your mistress is so beautiful?

Capt. A. Sir, I repeat it, if I please you in this affair, 'tis all I desire. Not that I think a woman the worse for being handsome; but, sir, if you please to recollect, you before hinted something about a hump or two, one eye, and a few more graces of that kind. Now, without being very nice, I own I should rather choose a wife of mine to have the usual number of limbs, and a limited quantity of back; and though one eye may be very agreeable, yet, as the prejudice has always run in favor of two, I would not wish to affect a singularity in that article.

Sir A. What a phlegmatic sot it is! Why, sirrah, you are an anchorite! a vile, insensible stock! You a soldier! you're a walking block, fit only to dust the company's regimentals on! Odds life, I've a great mind to marry the girl myself!

Capt. A. I am entirely at your disposal, sir; if you should[Pg 464] think of addressing Miss Languish yourself, I suppose you would have me marry the aunt; or if you should change your mind, and take the old lady, 'tis the same to me—I'll marry the niece.

Sir A. Upon my word, Jack, thou art either a very great hypocrite, or—but, come, I know your indifference on such a subject must be all a lie—I'm sure it must. Come, now, off with your demure face; come, confess, Jack, you have been lying, ha'nt you? You have been playing the hypocrite, hey? I'll never forgive you, if you ha'nt been lying and playing the hypocrite.

Capt. A. I am sorry, sir, that the respect and duty which I bear to you, should be so mistaken.

Sir A. Hang your respect and duty! But come along with me. I'll write a note to Mrs. Malaprop, and you shall visit the lady directly. Her eyes shall be the Promethean torch to you; come along, I'll never forgive you, if you don't come back stark mad with rapture and impatience; if you don't, 'egad, I'll marry the girl myself!

[Exeunt.

ACT IV, SCENE II

Characters: Mrs. Malaprop; Lydia; Captain Absolute known to Lydia as "Beverley"; Sir Anthony; Servant.

Enter Mrs. Malaprop and Lydia

Mrs M. Why, thou perverse one!—tell me what you can object to in him?—Isn't he a handsome man?—tell me that. A genteel man? a pretty figure of a man?

Lyd. She little thinks whom she is praising. [Aside.] So is Beverley, ma'am.

Mrs. M. No caparisons, miss, if you please. Caparisons don't become a young woman. No! Captain Absolute is indeed a fine gentleman.

Lyd. Ay, the Captain Absolute you have seen.         [Aside.

Mrs. M. Then he's so well bred;—so full of alacrity and adulation!—He has so much to say for himself, in such good[Pg 465] language, too. His physiognomy so grammatical; then his presence so noble! I protest, when I saw him, I thought of what Hamlet says in the play:—"Hesperian curls—the front of Job himself! an eye, like March, to threaten at command! a station, like Harry Mercury, new"—Something about kissing—on a hill—however, the similitude struck me directly.

Lyd. How enraged she'll be presently, when she discovers her mistake!         [Aside.

Enter Servant

Serv. Sir Anthony and Captain Absolute are below, ma'am.

Mrs. M. Show them up here. [Exit Servant.] Now, Lydia, I insist on your behaving as becomes a young woman. Show your good breeding, at least, though you have forgot your duty.

Lyd. Madam, I have told you my resolution; I shall not only give him no encouragement, but I won't even speak to, or look at him.

[Flings herself into a chair, with her face from the door.

Enter Sir Anthony and Captain Absolute

Sir A. Here we are, Mrs. Malaprop; come to mitigate the frowns of unrelenting beauty,—and difficulty enough I had to bring this fellow. I don't know what's the matter, but if I had not held him by force he'd have given me the slip.

Mrs. M. You have infinite trouble, Sir Anthony, in the affair. I am ashamed for the cause! Lydia, Lydia, rise, I beseech you!—pay your respects!

[Aside to her.

Sir A. I hope, madam, that Miss Languish has reflected on the worth of this gentleman, and the regard due to her aunt's choice, and my alliance. Now, Jack, speak to her.

[Aside to him.

Capt. A. What the devil shall I do? [Aside.]—You see, sir, she won't even look at me while you are here. I knew she[Pg 466] wouldn't!—I told you so.—Let me entreat you, sir, to leave us together!

Mrs. M. I am sorry to say, Sir Anthony, that my affluence over my niece is very small. Turn round, Lydia, I blush for you!

[Aside to her.

Sir A. Why don't you begin, Jack? Zounds! sirrah! why don't you speak?

[Aside to him.

Capt. A. Hem! hem! Madam—hem! [Captain Absolute attempts to speak, then returns to Sir Anthony.] 'Faith! sir, I am so confounded!—and so—so confused! I told you I should be so, sir,—I knew it. The—the tremor of my passion entirely takes away my presence of mind.

Sir A. But it don't take away your voice, does it? Go up, and speak to her directly!

Capt. A. [draws near Lydia]. [Aside.] Now heaven send she may be too sullen to look round! I must disguise my voice.—Will not Miss Languish lend an ear to the mild accents of true love? Will not—

Sir A. Why don't you speak out?—not stand croaking like a frog in a quinsey!

Capt. A. The—the—excess of my awe, and my—my modesty quite choke me!

Sir A. Ah! your modesty again! Mrs. Malaprop, I wish the lady would favor us with something more than a side-front.

[Mrs. Malaprop seems to chide Lydia.

Capt. A. So! all will out, I see! [Goes up to Lydia, speaks softly.] Be not surprised, my Lydia, suppress all surprise at present.

Lyd. [aside]. Heavens! 'tis Beverley's voice!—[Looks round by degrees, then starts up.] Is this possible!—my Beverley! how can this be?—my Beverley!

Capt. A. Ah! 'tis all over! [Aside.

Sir A. Beverley!—the devil—Beverley! What can the girl mean? This is my son, Jack Absolute.

[Pg 467]Mrs. M. For shame! for shame!—your head runs so on that fellow, that you have him always in your eyes! beg Captain Absolute's pardon, directly.

Lyd. I see no Captain Absolute, but my loved Beverley!

Sir A. Zounds, the girl's mad!—her brain's turned by reading!

Mrs. M. O' my conscience, I believe so!—what do you mean by Beverley?—you saw Captain Absolute before to-day, there he is: your husband that shall be.

Lyd. With all my soul, ma'am—when I refuse my Beverley—

Sir A. Oh! she's as mad as Bedlam!—or has this fellow been playing us a rogue's trick? Come here, sirrah, who the devil are you?

Capt. A. 'Faith, sir, I am not quite clear myself; but I'll endeavor to recollect.

Sir A. Are you my son, or not?—answer for your mother, you dog, if you won't for me.

Capt. A. Ye powers of impudence, befriend me!—[Aside.]—Sir Anthony, most assuredly I am your wife's son; Mrs. Malaprop, I am your most respectful admirer, and shall be proud to add affectionate nephew. I need not tell my Lydia that she sees her faithful Beverley, who, knowing the singular generosity of her temper, assumed that name, and a station, which has proved a test of the most disinterested love, which he now hopes to enjoy, in a more elevated character.

Lyd. So!—there will be no elopement after all!

Sir A. Upon my soul, Jack, thou art a very impudent fellow! To do you justice, I think I never saw a piece of more consummate assurance! Well, I am glad you are not the dull insensible varlet you pretend to be, however! I'm glad you have made a fool of your father, you dog—I am. So, this was your penitence, your duty, and obedience! Ah! you dissembling villain! Come, we must leave them[Pg 468] together, Mrs. Malaprop; they long to fly into each other's arms. I warrant! Come, Mrs. Malaprop, we'll not disturb their tenderness; theirs is the time of life for happiness! [Sings.] Youth's the season made for joy—hey! odds life! I'm in such spirits! Permit me, ma'am.

[Gives his hand to Mrs. Malaprop. Exit singing, and handing her off. Exit Captain Absolute with Lydia in the opposite direction.


BEAU BRUMMELL

Blanchard Jerrold

ACT I, SCENE I

Characters: Beau Brummell, a fastidious aristocrat with luxurious tastes and a depleted fortune; Isidore, his valet; Mr. Fotherby, his aspiring young protégé.

Scene: A handsome apartment in Brummell's house, Calais, France. Isidore discovered, in chair, looking over his master's toilette table.

Isidore. Twenty shirts a week, twenty-four pocket-handkerchiefs, to say nothing of thirty cravats and twelve waistcoats—indeed, for people that cannot pay their servants! Well, he owes me just six thousand three hundred and thirty-seven francs, ten sous. [Picks up paper.] Ah, I see, I'm in the list. It costs something to have the honor of serving Mr. Brummell—to be chamberlain to His Majesty, the King of Calais! But he is a wonderful man! People almost thank him for condescending to be in their debt; still, much as I esteem the honor, I can't afford it any longer, nor can the laundress, nor can the hairdresser. Eight hundred francs a year for washing! Three clean shirts a day, three cravats! Boots blacked, soles and all, and with such varnish! But then he has such exquisite taste! why, he blackballed a friend of his who wanted to enter his club, because the candidate's boots were polished with bad blacking. I wonder whether the king will do anything[Pg 469] for him? It is Mr. Brummell's dressing hour, and here he comes.

[Enter Brummell, letter in hand. Isidore busies himself piling cravats upon the side of dressing table, and wheels chair to the mirror. Brummell throws himself in the chair before the glass, examines the cravats and throws two or three of them away.

Brummell. Isidore, take those dusters away; the chambermaid has forgotten them. [Re-reads the letter.] Strange girl this; the only thing I know against her is that she takes soup twice. It's the old story. Her father wants her to marry a fellow who can keep her, and she wants to have a young fellow who can't. Well, the young fellow who can't is the more interesting of the two. I must ask the father to dinner I suppose—it's a deuced bore; but it will put him under a heavy obligation. I must make excuses to Ballarat and Gill. Isidore, when I'm dressed take my compliments to Mr. Davis, and tell him I shall be happy to see him at dinner to-day.

Isid. Very well, sir. [Aside.] To Davis, a retired fellow from the city! This is a tumble!—I am sorry to trouble you, sir, but——

Brum. I can't talk to you to-day, Isidore. Give me a cravat.

Isid. [handing one]. I am a poor man, and six thousand francs——

Brum. I understand, Isidore. We'll see—we'll see; don't disturb me. Zounds! man, haven't you been long enough with me to know that these are not moments when I can speak or listen? [Bell rings.] If that be Mr. Fotherby, show him in. [Exit Isidore.] I intend to form that young fellow—there's stuff in him. I've noticed that he uses my blacking. [Enter Fotherby followed by Isidore.] How d'e do, Fotherby?

Fotherby. This admittance is an honor, indeed, sir![Pg 470]

Brum. My dear fellow, why, what do you call those things upon your feet?

Fother. Things on my feet! Shoes, to be sure!

Brum. Shoes! I thought they were slippers!

Fother. You prefer boots then, sir, doubtless?

Brum. Well, let me see. Humph! Isidore, which do I prefer, boots or shoes?

Isid. The Hessian was always your favorite, sir, in London.

Brum. Right, Isidore—so it was. By-the-bye, I have asked Davis here to-day. It was a great sacrifice; but as you and the young lady want to have the old gentleman melted, I resigned myself. I hope he'll keep his knife out of his mouth.

Fother. We shall be eternally grateful to you, sir. He wanted Helen to become old Armand's wife next week.

Brum. I think he's right; and but for one circumstance, I should be on Armand's side of the question.

Fother. And this circumstance?

Brum. The brute has a toothpick in his waistcoat pocket, or in the thing that serves him for a waistcoat—an instrument that, he says, has been in his family the last fifty years. Conceive, my dear Fotherby, an hereditary toothpick! No, Mr. Davis does not deserve that fate. And now let me give you a bit of advice. Never wear perfumes, but fine linen, plenty of it, and country washing. Look at you now, my good fellow, you are dressed in execrable taste—all black and white, like a magpie. Still, never be remarkable. The severest mortification a gentleman can incur, is to attract observation in the street by his dress. Everything should fit without a fault. You can't tell what this has cost me—but then it is a coat—while that thing you wear—I really don't know what we can call it.

Fother. Still, sir, under your guidance I shall improve. By the way, my mother asked me to invite you to take tea with us in our humble way.

[Pg 471]Brum. Really, my good young friend, you surprise me. Don't you know that you take medicine—you take a walk—you take a liberty—but you drink tea! My dear Fotherby, never be bearer of such a dreadful message again. Isidore! has my Paris wig arrived? Any card or letter?

Isid. No cards, sir. The wig arrived by the diligence.

Brun. Is the wig fit to put on?

Isid. I have been examining it, and, as the times go, I think it will do. There is one of the side locks not quite to my taste.

Brum. Ah! a mat, no doubt—a door-mat! [Exit Isidore. To Fotherby.] You see what a gentleman may be reduced to! It's the most fortunate thing in the world that I never fell in love!

Fother. But were you never in love?—never engaged?

Brum. Engaged?—why, yes, something of the kind; but I discovered that the lady positively ate cabbage, and so I broke it off.

Fother. And so, sir, you will persuade the old gentleman to postpone Helen's marriage with Armand—while I——

Brum. My dear young friend, I will tell the old gentleman to do so—you must see that I could not possibly think of persuading a person who grows onions in his garden——

Fother. We shall be eternally grateful——

Brum. For three weeks exactly—from which time you, at all events, will begin to wish that I had confined my attention to my own particular affairs. But the world is ungrateful. I once waved my hand to a saddler's son from White's window. Well, sir, I owed him five hundred pounds, and he had afterwards the assurance to ask me for it.

Fother. You astonish me!

Brum. Positive fact. So be cautious, young man, and in your way through life—if you wave your hand to such a fellow, let it be over a stamped receipt.

Fother. I shall follow your counsel most scrupulously.[Pg 472]

Brum. There, sir, never let me see you again in those gloves! These, sir, [showing his] are the only gloves for a gentleman. Pray leave me—I can't bear the sight of them. Meantime, tell your betrothed that I shall do everything in my power to secure your unhappiness. I have already spoken to Lord Ballarat about you. I told him you were the laziest fellow and the best dresser in the town—in fact, cut out by nature to serve the government. Good-bye—I shall ask you to dine with me some of these days—but not yet awhile—you must work up to that. And now, Fotherby, to show you how deep an interest I take in your welfare, you shall give me your arm to the ramparts.

[Exeunt.

ACT II, SCENE III

Characters: Brummell; Isidore; Fotherby; Nurse; another Old Woman; Landlord; Waiter.

Scene: Brummell's lodgings in a miserable apartment house at Caen, France. Eight years have elapsed. With no means of livelihood and pursued by creditors, Brummell is now reduced to abject poverty, broken health, and a deranged mind. He is thrown among people of low rank and is subjected to many indignities; but to the last he clings to his fastidious tastes and is a gentleman among imaginary aristocrats.

Old Nurse. in high Norman cap, discovered seated in arm chair, mending stockings; another Woman near her.

Nurse. Yes, my dear, clean out of his mind—that's what he's gone.

Old Woman. Deary me!

Nurse. Aye, and there be folks as says he was once as neat and tidy as a new sixpence. Now he's as dirty as a George the First halfpenny!

Old W. Deary me!

Nurse. Aye, child, and he knew lords and dooks—and such like—now it's anybody as'll give him a dinner. It's time they did something with him—for put up with his going's[Pg 473] on any longer, I cannot! A nuss's is a horrid life, ain't it, child?

Old W. 'Orrid—deary me! So this very afternoon that's comin', he's to go?

Nurse. Aye, child—the landlord's goin' to offer to take him for a walk, which'll please him—and then take him off to see if the nuns'll have charity upon him—if not, there's nothing but the street. He wouldn't go if he know'd it—still he hasn't a copper coin—he's as cunning as any fox. Have a little drop of somethin' comfortable, child!

Old W. Deary me!—at this time of day—but I do feel a sinking!

Nurse. It'll do you a world of good. [Getting bottlea knock.] Lawk! what an awkward hour for people to call! [Knock again.]

Old W. Deary me! Perhaps it's Mr. Brummell.

Nurse. Not it! It's more than he dare do, to knock twice like that. It's his old man-servant, come to take off that there dirty screen. [Opens door.]

Enter Brummellmuddysupported by Isidore

Brum. Isidore, give me my dressing gown!

Isid. Dressing gown! that's good—why I never put my own on nowadays!

Brum. [talking to himself]. That screen mustn't go—nor the duchess's armchair. [Turning to Nurse.] Mind that, nurse, whatever happens to me, this chair and the screen remain. Ha! ha! what would Ballarat say, if——

Nurse. There, never mind them folks. Pull your coat off, and put your dressing gown on, do!

Brum. Dear me! I hope the ices will be better—the punch I've seen to! The duchess shall sit here.

Nurse [to Old Woman]. That's how he goes on nearly every day. The high folks he knew have turned his head.[Pg 474] Sometimes he makes one of the waiters announce a lot of folks, as never come, while he, like an old fool, bows to nobody, and hands nothing to that old chair.

Old W. What work it must give you.

Nurse [to Brummell]. There, take that muddy coat off, nobody's coming to-day.

Brum. Leave the room and see that everything is ready.

Nurse. Drat it. [Rings the bell.] I must have the waiter up. He'll soon manage him.

Brum. [rising, totters forward, and arranges his shabby dress]. Well, now I'm ready! Hark! I think I hear the first carriage. Sir Harry, no doubt.

Enter Waiter

Nurse. Just see to this old man—make him change his coat, for I can't.

Waiter. Well, this is the last of it. Master says he may sleep in the streets, but he doesn't stay here another night if he knows it. They won't have him at the asylum without money, and he hasn't a rap.

Nurse. Nor a stick; for there's little enough left to pay my poor wages.

Waiter [to Brummell]. Come, off with the coat!

Brum. My good fellow, leave it me to-night. I've a few friends coming. Hush! there's the first arrival. Pray, my good sir, see to my guests.

Waiter. Well, let's humor the old blade once more—he'll be in the streets to-morrow.

Nurse [to Old Woman]. Just notice this tomfoolery, child.

Old W. Deary me! it almost frightens me. See how pleased he is.

Waiter. Sir Harry Gill!

Brum. [advancing ceremoniously, and holding out his hand, and coming down, as though talking to somebody at his side].[Pg 475] My dear Harry, I'm delighted to see you. Were you at the opera last night?

Nurse [to Old Woman]. Did you ever hear the like of it?

Waiter. Here goes again! [Goes as before to door, and throws it open.] Lord Ballarat!

Brum. [advancing as before, and receiving imaginary visitor]. My good fellow, I'm sorry I missed you at the club the other night; but I went into the duchess's box, and——

Waiter. I must stop this. The duchess always comes last, and then he's satisfied. [Throwing open the door, and calling pompously.] Her Highness the Duchess of Canterbury.

Brum. [totters to door, bowing very profoundly, and handing the imaginary duchess to his armchair—leans over the chair, and bows frequently as he talks]. Your highness is too good! This is indeed an honor. Permit me the satisfaction of handing you to your seat. And is the duke well? And little Nutmeg—is his ear better? Poor little fellow! I hope you will allow me to give him a charming little collar I have for him.

Waiter. There, that'll do! [To Brummell.] Come, now, they're all gone—take your coat off.

Brum. [starting, and falling into chair]. Yes, gone—gone—true—they're gone! [Waiter helps him to take his coat off.] Give me my cap! [Nurse puts his old velvet cap on.]

Waiter. [going]. Call me up again, nurse, if he won't mind you. Do you hear what I say, Mr. Brummell?

Brum. Yes—yes—I'll be very good, nurse—I'll be very good.

Waiter. Well, it will be a lucky day when we get rid of this business!

[Exit.

Old W. But think of the poor creature turned into the streets! He'd die upon the nighest door-step!

Nurse. Can't be helped—out he goes to-night and no mistake! I'll nuss him no longer—and the landlord wants the[Pg 476] room. The men are comin' to whitewash it at sunrise to-morrow.

Old W. Deary me! Well—good-day!

Nurse. Good-day, child. You'll find me at home to-morrow. Good-bye!

[Exit Old Woman.

Brum. [tottering to an old bureau, sits before it]. Dinner at four. Nurse, nurse! my glass and razors—come!

Nurse. Drat the old man! [Gives him glass, etc.]

Enter Landlord, followed by Waiter

Now he's completely done up!

Brum. [politely to Landlord]. Good morning, monsieur, delighted to see——

Landlord. Hang your compliments—I want no more of them.

Brum. My good sir, you surprise me!

Land. [to Waiter]. Get his rubbish together—for out he goes, and no mistake. [To Brummell.] Now, Mr. Brummell, can you pay me—or can't you—or won't you?

Brum. Dear, dear me! We'll talk about it.

Land. No, we won't. I'll have it—or out you bundle this minute.

Brum. [rising]. Sir, I am a gentleman—a poor one, it is true; and this hand, fleshless as it is—is strong enough to chastise a man who forgets it! [Brummell falls back in chair exhausted.]

Land. [to Waiter]. Now for it—out with him! [Landlord and Waiter rush forward, and are about to seize Brummell.]

Enter Fotherby

Fother. [pushing back Landlord and Waiter]. Put your hands on the old man at your peril.

Land. Do you know that you are in my house, sir?—stand back![Pg 477]

Fother. Do you know that you are in my rooms, sir? [Throws paper to him.] I think you will find that regular. Leave the room.

Nurse [aside]. Wonders'll never cease. But the old fool'll spile all again—you'll see.

Land. [aside to Waiter]. He's paid missus the rent—there's luck!

[Exit.

Waiter. A pretty bit of business I've done for myself. Not a sou for the waiter, I'll bet.

[Exit.

Fother. [advancing to Brummell]. My dear Mr. Brummell.

Brum. Really, you have the advantage of me.

Fother. You surely remember me, Mr. Brummell. [To Nurse.] The good sisters will take care of him for the rest of his days. I must take him to them. Is he always so, my good woman?

Nurse. Poor dear, good, kind old gentleman, not allays. He takes on so at times.

Brum. Don't know you in the least. [Imagines he sees Ballarat.] Ballarat! dear old boy! Tut! tut! Ballarat! Well, this is kind. But I can't be seen in this state.

Fother. No. Here you are among friends, my good sir. [Leading him out.] This way, Mr. Brummell, I come from Lord Ballarat.

Brum. Well—be it so. Ballarat—mind—when you return to England let them know that, even in this squalor—to his last hour in the world—Brummell—poor Brummell was a gentleman still. I am ready—I am ready.

[Exit Fotherby, leading Brummell, the Nurse following.[Pg 478]


THE SET OF TURQUOISE

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

ACT I, SCENE I

Characters: Count of Lara, a poor nobleman; Beatrice, his wife Miriam, a maid, who personates a page.

Scene: Count of Lara's villa. A balcony overlooking the garden.

Lara.
The third moon of our marriage, Beatrice!
It hangs in the still twilight, large and full,
Like a ripe orange.
Beatrice.
Like an orange? yes,
But not so red, Count. Then it has no stem.
Now, as 'tis hidden by those drifts of cloud,
With one thin edge just glimmering through the dark,
'Tis like some strange, rich jewel of the east,
In the cleft side of a mountain.
And that reminds me—speaking of jewels—love,
There is a set of turquoise at Malan's,
Ear-drops and bracelets and a necklace—ah!
If they were mine.
Lara.
And so they should be, dear,
Were I Aladdin, and had slaves o' the lamp
To fetch me ingots. Why, then, Beatrice,
All Persia's turquoise-quarries should be yours,
Although your hand is heavy now with gems
That tear my lips when I would kiss its whiteness.
Oh! so you pout! Why make that full-blown rose
Into a bud again?
Beatrice.
You love me not.
Lara.
A coquette's song.
Beatrice.
I sing it.
Lara.
A poor song.
Beatrice.
You love me not, or love me over-much,
Which makes you jealous of the gems I wear!
[Pg 479]
You do not deck me as becomes our state,
For fear my grandeur should besiege the eyes
Of Monte, Clari, Marcus, and the rest—
A precious set! You're jealous, sir!
Lara.
Not I.
I love you.
Beatrice.
Why, that is as easy said
As any three short words; takes no more breath
To say, "I hate you." What, sir, have I lived
Three times four weeks your wedded loyal wife,
And do not know your follies? I will wager
(If I could trap his countship into this!)
The rarest kisses I know how to give
Against the turquoise, that within a month
You'll grow so jealous—and without a cause,
Or with a reason thin as window glass—
That you will ache to kill me!
Lara.
Will you so?
And I—let us clasp hands and kiss on it.
Beatrice.
Clasp hands, Sir Trustful; but not kiss—nay, nay!
I will not pay my forfeit till I lose.
Lara.
And I'll not lose the forfeit.
Beatrice.
We shall see.
[Exit Beatrice.
Lara.
She has as many fancies as the wind
[Pg 480]
Which now, like slumber, lies 'mong spicy isles,
Then suddenly blows white furrows in the sea!
Lovely and dangerous is my leopardess.
To-day, low-lying at my feet; to-morrow,
With great eyes flashing, threatening doleful death—
With strokes like velvet! She's no common clay,
But fire and dew and marble. I'll not throw
So rare a wonder in the lap o' the world!
Jealous? I am not jealous—though they say
Some sorts of love breed jealousy. And yet,
I would I had not wagered; it implies
Doubt. If I doubted? Pshaw! I'll walk awhile
And let the cool air fan me. 'Twas not wise.
'Tis only Folly with its cap and bells
Can jest with sad things. She seemed earnest, too.
What if, to pique me, she should overstep
The pale of modesty, and give bold eyes
(I could not bear that, nay, not even that!)
To Marc or Claudian? Why, such things have been
And no sin dreamed of. I will watch her close.
There, now, I wrong her.
Yet if she,
To win the turquoise of me, if she should—
O cursèd jewels! Would that they were hung
About the glistening neck of some mermaid
A thousand fathoms underneath the sea!
[A Page crosses the garden.
That page again! 'Tis twice within the week
The supple-waisted, pretty-ankled knave
Has crossed my garden at this self-same hour,
Trolling a canzonetta with an air
As if he owned the villa. Why, the fop!
He might have doffed his bonnet as he passed.
I'll teach him better if he comes again.
What does he at the villa? O! perchance
He comes in the evening when his master's out,
To lisp soft romance in the ready ear
Of Beatrice's dressing-maid; but then
She has one lover. Now I think she's two:
This gaudy popinjay would make the third,
And that's too many for an honest girl!
I'll ask the Countess—no, I'll not do that;
She'd laugh at me; and vow by the Madonna[Pg 481]
This varlet was some noble in disguise,
Seeking her favor. Then I'd let the light
Of heaven through his doublet—I would—yes,
That is, I would, were I a jealous man:
But then I'm not.
When he comes out again
I'll stop him, question him, and know the truth.
I cannot sit in the garden of a night
But he glides by me in his jaunty dress,
Like a fantastic phantom!—never looks
To the right nor left, but passes gayly on,
As if I were a statue. Soft, he comes!
I'll make him speak, or kill him; then, indeed,
It were unreasonable to ask it. Soh!
I'll speak him gently at the first, and then—
The Page enters by a gate in the villa-garden, and walks past the
Count.
Ho! pretty page, who owns you?
Page.
No one now.
Once Signor Juan, but I am his no more.
Lara.
What, then, you stole from him?
Page.
O! no, sir, no.
He had so many intrigues on his hands,
There was no sleep for me nor night nor day.
Such carrying of love-favors and pink notes!
He's gone abroad now, to break other hearts
And so I left him.
Lara.
A frank knave.
Page.
To-night
I've done his latest bidding—
Lara.
As you should—
Page.
A duty wed with pleasure—'twas to take
A message to a countess all forlorn,
In yonder villa.[Pg 482]
Lara. [aside].
Why! that villa's mine!
A message to a countess all forlorn?
In yonder villa?
Page.
Ay, sir. You can see
The portico among the mulberries,
Just to the left, there.
Lara.
Ay, I see, I see.
A pretty villa. And the lady's name?
Page.
The lady's name, sir?
Lara.
Ay, the lady's name.
Page.
O! that's a secret which I cannot tell.
Lara.
No? but you shall, though, or I'll strangle you!
In my strong hands your slender neck would snap
Like a fragile pipe-stem.
Page.
You are choking me!
O! loose your grasp, sir!
Lara.
Then the name! the name!
Page.
Countess of Lara.
Lara.
Not her dressing-maid?
Page.
No, no, I said the mistress, not the maid.
Lara.
And then you lied. I never saw two eyes
So wide and frank but they'd a pliant tongue
To shape a lie for them. Say you are false!
Tell me you lie, and I will make you rich,
I'll stuff your cap with ducats twice a year.
Page.
Well, then—I lie.
Lara.
Ay, now you lie, indeed!
I see it in the cunning of your eyes;
Night cannot hide the Satan leering there.
Only a little lingering fear of heaven
Holds me from dirking you between the ribs!
Page.
What would you have? I will say nothing, then.
Lara.
Say everything, and end it! Here is gold.
You brought a billet to the Countess—well?
What said the billet?[Pg 483]
Page.
Take away your hand.
And, by St. Mary, I will tell you all.
There, now, I breathe. You will not harm me, sir?
Stand six yards off, or I will not a word.
It seems the Countess promised Signor Juan
A set of turquoise—
Lara.
Turquoise? Ha! that's well.
Page.
Just so—wherewith my master was to pay
Some gaming debts; but yester-night the cards
Tumbled a golden mountain at his feet;
And ere he sailed, this morning, Signor Juan
Gave me a perfumed, amber-tinted note,
For Countess Lara, which, with some adieus,
Craved her remembrance morning, noon, and night;
Her prayers while gone, her smiles when he returned;
Then told his sudden fortune with the cards,
And bade her keep the jewels. That is all.
Lara.
All? Is that all? 'T has only cracked my heart!
A heart, I know, of little, little worth—
An ill-cut ruby, scarred and scratched before,
But now quite broken! I have no heart, then;
Men should not have, when they are wronged like this.
Out of my sight, thou demon of bad news!
[Exit Lara.
Page.
I did not think 't would work on him like that.
How pale he grew! Alack! I fear some ill
Will come of this. I'll to the Countess now,
And warn her of his madness.
[Exit Page.

ACT I, SCENE II

Scene: Beatrice's chamber. Beatrice sits on a fauteuil in the attitude of listening.

Beatrice.
Hist! that's his step. Miriam, place the lights
Farther away; keep you behind the screen,[Pg 484]
Breathing no louder than a lily does;
For if you stir or laugh 'twill ruin all.
Miriam.
Laugh! I am faint with terror.
Beatrice.
Then be still.
Move not for worlds until I touch the bell,
Then do the thing I told you. Hush! his step
Sounds in the corridor, and I'm asleep!
Lara enters. He approaches within a few yards of Beatrice, pauses, and looks at her.
Lara.
Asleep!—and guilt can slumber! Guilt can lie
Down-lidded and soft-breathed like innocence!
Hath dreams as sweet as childhood's—who can tell?
Were I an artist, and did wish to paint
A devil to perfection, I'd not limn
A hornèd monster, with a leprous skin,
Red-hot from Pandemonium—not I.
But with my delicatest tints, I'd paint
A woman in the glamour of her youth,
All garmented with loveliness and mystery!
How fair she is! Her beauty glides between
Me and my purpose, like a pleading angel.
[Beatrice sighs.
Her dream's broke, like a bubble, in a sigh.
She'll waken soon, and that—that must not be!
I could not kill her if she looked at me.
I loved her, loved her, by the saints, I did—
I trust she prayed before she fell asleep!
Beatrice [springing up].
So, you are come—your dagger in your hand?
Your lips compressed and blanchèd, and your hair
Tumbled wildly all about your eyes,
Like a river-god's? O love, you frighten me!
And you are trembling. Tell me what this means.
Lara.
Oh! nothing, nothing—I did think to write[Pg 485]
A note to Juan, to Signor Juan, my friend
(Your cousin and my honorable friend);
But finding neither ink nor paper here,
I thought to scratch it with my dagger's point
Upon your bosom, Madam! That is all.
Beatrice.
You've lost your senses!
Lara.
Madam, no, I've found 'em!
Beatrice.
Then lose them quickly, and be what you were.
Lara.
I was a fool, a dupe—a happy dupe.
You should have kept me in my ignorance;
For wisdom makes us wretched, king and clown.
Countess of Lara, you are false to me!
Beatrice.
Now, by the saints—
Lara.
Now, by the saints, you are!
Beatrice.
Upon my honor—
Lara.
On your honor? fie!
Swear by the ocean's feathery froth, for that
Is not so light a substance.
Beatrice.
Hear me, love!
Lara.
Lie to that marble Io! I am sick
To the heart with lying.
Beatrice.
You've the ear-ache, sir,
Got with too much believing.
Lara.
Beatrice,
I came to kill you.
Beatrice.
Kiss me, Count, you mean!
Lara.
If killing you be kissing you, why yes.
Beatrice. Ho! come not near me with such threatening looks,
Stand back there, if you love me, or have loved!
[As Lara advances, Beatrice retreats to the table and rings a small hand-bell. Miriam, in the dress of a page, enters from behind the screen and steps between them.
Lara [starting back].
The Page? now, curse him! What? no! Miriam?[Pg 486]
Hold! 'twas at twilight, in the villa-garden,
At dusk, too, on the road to Mantua;
But here the light falls on you, man or maid!
Stop now; my brain's bewildered. Stand you there,
And let me touch you with incredulous hands!
Wait till I come, nor vanish like a ghost.
If this be Juan's page, why, where is Miriam?
If this be Miriam, where's—by all the saints,
I have been tricked!
Miriam [laughing].
By two saints, with your leave!
Lara.
The happiest fool in Italy, for my age!
And all the damning tales you fed me with,
You Sprite of Twilight, Imp of the old Moon!—
Miriam [bowing].
Were arrant lies as ever woman told;
And though not mine, I claim the price for them—
This cap stuffed full of ducats twice a year!
Lara.
A trap! a trap that only caught a fool!
So thin a plot, I might have seen through it.
I've lost my reason!
Miriam.
And your ducats!
Beatrice.
And
A certain set of turquoise at Malan's!

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER

Oliver Goldsmith

ACT II, SCENE I

Characters: Hardcastle, hospitable and urbane, with a touch of humor in his nature; Marlow and Hastings who come from London to visit the Hardcastles; servants.

Scene: Hardcastle's house. Young Marlow and Hastings have journeyed from London to the home of Mr. Hardcastle, an old family friend whom they have never seen. They are deceived into believing they are many miles from their destination when they really have arrived. They are told that Mr. Hardcastle's house is a public inn. This leads to much confusion. The genial Hardcastle is drilling his servants.

[Pg 487]

Enter Hardcastle, followed by Diggory and three or four awkward Servants

Mr. H. Well, I hope you're perfect in the table exercise I have been teaching you these three days. You all know your posts and your places, and can show that you have been used to good company, without stirring from home?

All. Ay! ay!

Mr. H. When company comes, you are not to pop out and stare, and then run in again, like frightened rabbits in a warren.

All. No! no!

Mr. H. You, Diggory, whom I have taken from the barn, are to make a show at the side table; and you, Roger, whom I have advanced from the plough, are to place yourself behind my chair. But you're not to stand so, with your hands in your pockets. Take your hands from your pockets, Roger; and from your head, you blockhead you! See how Diggory carries his hands. They're a little too stiff, indeed, but that's no great matter.

Diggory. Ay, mind how I hold them. I learned to hold my hands this way, when I was upon drill for the militia. And so being upon drill——

Mr. H. You must not be so talkative, Diggory; you must be all attention to the guests. You must hear us talk, and not think of talking; you must see us drink, and not think of drinking; you must see us eat, and not think of eating.

Dig. By the laws, your worship, that's perfectly unpossible.

[Exeunt.

Enter Servants, showing in Marlow and Hastings

Serv. Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome. This way.

Hast. After the disappointments of the day, welcome once more, Charles, to the comforts of a clean room, and a good fire. Upon my word, a very well-looking house; antique, but creditable.

[Pg 488]Mar. The usual fate of a large mansion. Having first ruined the master by good housekeeping, it at last comes to levy contributions as an inn.

Hast. As you say, we passengers are to be taxed to pay all these fineries. I have often seen a good side-board, or a marble chimney-piece, though not actually put in the bill, inflame the bill confoundedly.

Mar. Travelers, George, must pay in all places. The only difference is, that in good inns you pay dearly for luxuries; in bad inns you are fleeced and starved.

Enter Hardcastle

Mr. H. Gentlemen, once more you are heartily welcome. Which is Mr. Marlow? Sir, you're heartily welcome. It's not my way, you see, to receive my friends with my back to the fire. I like to give them a hearty reception in the old style at my gate. I like to see their horses and trunks taken care of.

Mar. [aside]. He has got our names from the servants already. [To Hardcastle.] We approve your caution and hospitality. [To Hastings.] I have been thinking, George, of changing our traveling dresses in the morning, I am grown confoundedly ashamed of mine.

Mr. H. [putting chairs and tables in order in background]. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you'll use no ceremony in this house.

Hast. I fancy, George, you're right; the first blow is half the battle. I intend opening the campaign with the white and gold.

Mr. H. Mr. Marlow—Mr. Hastings—gentlemen—pray be under no restraint in this house. This is Liberty Hall, gentlemen. You may do just as you please here.

Mar. Yet, George, if we open the campaign too fiercely at first, we may want ammunition before it is over. I think to reserve the embroidery to secure a retreat.

[Pg 489]Mr. H. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Marlow, puts me in mind of the Duke of Marlborough, when he went to besiege Denain. He first summoned the garrison—

Mar. Aye, and we'll summon your garrison, old boy.

Mr. H. He first summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men—

Hast. What a strange fellow is this!

Mr. H. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling you, he summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men—

Mar. Well, but suppose—

Mr. H. Which might consist of about five thousand men, well appointed with stores, ammunition, and other implements of war. Now, says the Duke of Marlborough to George Brooks, that stood next to him—you must have heard of George Brooks—I'll pawn my dukedom, says he, but I take that garrison without spilling a drop of blood. So—

Mar. What, my good friend, if you give us a glass of punch in the meantime, it would help us to carry on the siege with vigor.

Mr. H. Punch, sir?

Mar. Yes, sir, punch. A glass of warm punch, after our journey, will be comfortable. This is Liberty Hall, you know.

Mr. H. Here's a cup, sir.

Mar. [aside]. So this fellow, in his Liberty Hall, will only let us have just what he pleases.

Mr. H. I hope you'll find it to your mind. I have prepared it with my own hands, and I believe you'll own the ingredients are tolerable. Will you be so good as to pledge me, sir? Here, Mr. Marlow, here is to our better acquaintance. [Drinks.]

Mar. [aside]. A very impudent fellow, this! but he's a character, and I'll humor him a little. [Aloud.] Sir, my service to you. [Drinks.]

Hast. [aside]. I see this fellow wants to give us his company, and forgets that he's an inn-keeper before he has learned to be a gentleman.

[Pg 490]Mar. From the excellence of your cup, my old friend, I suppose you have a good deal of business in this part of the country. Warm work, now and then, at elections, I suppose?

Mr. H. No, sir; I have long given that work over.

Hast. So, then, you have no turn for politics, I find?

Mr. H. Why, no, sir; there was a time, indeed, when I fretted myself about the mistakes of government, like other people; but finding myself every day grow more angry, and the government no better, I left it to mend itself. Sir, my service to you. [Drinks.]

Hast. So that, with eating above stairs, and drinking below, with receiving your friends within, amusing them without, you lead a good, pleasant, bustling life of it.

Mr. H. I do stir about a great deal, that's certain. Half the differences of the parish are adjusted in this very parlor.

Mar. And you have an argument in your cup, old gentleman, better than any in Westminster Hall.

Mr. H. Aye, young gentleman, that, and a little philosophy.

Mar. [aside]. Well, this is the first time I ever heard of an inn-keeper's philosophy.

Hast. So, then, like an experienced general, you attack them on every quarter. If you find their reason manageable you attack it with your philosophy; if you find they have no reason, you attack them with this. Here's your health, my philosopher.

Mr. H. Good, very good, thank you; ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in mind of Prince Eugene, when he fought the Turks at the battle of Belgrade. You shall hear.

Mar. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, I think it's almost time to talk about supper. What has your philosophy got in the house for supper?

Mr. H. For supper, sir? Was ever such a request made to a man in his own house?

Mar. Yes, sir, supper, sir; I begin to feel an appetite. I shall make devilish work to-night in the larder, I promise you.

[Pg 491]Mr. H. Such a brazen dog sure never my eyes beheld. Why, really, sir, as for supper, I can't well tell. My Dorothy and the cook-maid settle these things between them. I leave these kind of things entirely to them.

Mar. You do, do you?

Mr. H. Entirely. By-the-bye, I believe they are in actual consultation upon what's for supper this moment in the kitchen.

Mar. Then I beg they'll admit me as one of their privy council. It's a way I have got. When I travel, I always choose to regulate my own supper. Let the cook be called. No offense, I hope, sir.

Mr. H. O, no, sir, none in the least; yet I don't know how; our Bridget, the cook-maid, is not very communicative upon these occasions. Should we send for her she might scold us all out of the house.

Hast. Let's see the list of the larder, then. I ask it as a favor. I always match my appetite to my bill of fare.

Mar. Sir, he's very right, and it's my way too.

Mr. H. Sir, you have a right to command here. Here, Roger, bring us the bill of fare for to-night's supper—I believe it's drawn out. Your manner, Mr. Hastings, puts me in mind of my uncle, Colonel Gunthorp. It was a saying of his, that no man was sure of his supper till he had eaten it.

Enter Roger, with a bill of fare

Hast. [aside]. All upon the high ropes! His uncle a colonel—we shall soon hear of his mother being a justice of the peace. But let's hear the bill of fare. [Exit Roger.

Mar. What's here? For the first course, for the second course, for the dessert! The devil, sir! do you think we have brought down the whole joiner's company, or the corporation of Bedford? two or three little things, clean and comfortable, will do.

Hast. But let's hear it.

[Pg 492]Mar. "For the first course at the top, a pig's face and prune sauce."

Hast. Out with your pig, I say.

Mar. Out with your prune sauce, say I.

Mr. H. And yet, gentlemen, to men that are hungry, pig, with prune sauce, is very good eating. But, gentlemen, you are my guests, make what alterations you please. Is there anything else you wish to retrench or alter, gentlemen?

Mar. Why, really, sir, your bill of fare is so exquisite, that any one part of it is full as good as another. Send us what you please. So much for supper. And now to see that our beds are aired, and luggage properly taken care of.

Mr. H. I entreat you'll leave all that to me. You shall not stir a step.

Mar. Leave that to you? I protest, sir. You must excuse me, I always look to these things myself.

Mr. H. I must insist, sir, you'll make yourself easy on that head.

Mar. You see I'm resolved on it. [Aside.] A very troublesome fellow this as ever I met with.

Mr. H. Well, sir, I'm resolved at least to attend you.

[Exeunt Marlow and Hastings.

[Aside.] This may be modern modesty, but I never saw anything look so like old-fashioned impudence. What could my old friend Sir Charles Marlow mean by recommending his son as the modestest young man in town! To me he appears the most impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a tongue!

[Exit Hardcastle.


[Pg 493]

PYGMALION AND GALATEA

W. S. Gilbert

ACT I, SCENE I

Characters: Pygmalion, an Athenian sculptor; Cynisca, his wife; Galatea, an animated statue.

Scene: Pygmalion's studio; several classical statues are placed about the room; at the back a cabinet containing a statue of Galatea, before which curtains are drawn concealing the statue.

Pyg.
It all but breathes—therefore it talks aloud!
It all but moves—therefore it walks and runs!
It all but lives, and therefore it is life!
No, no, my love, the thing is cold, dull stone,
Shaped to a certain form, but still dull stone,
The lifeless, senseless mockery of life.
The gods make life, I can make only death!
Why, my Cynisca, though I stand so well,
The merest cut-throat, when he plies his trade,
Makes better death than I with all my skill!
Cyn.
Hush, my Pygmalion! the gods are good,
And they have made thee nearer unto them
Than other men; this is ingratitude!
Pyg.
Not so; has not a monarch's second son
More cause for anger that he lacks a throne
Than he whose lot is cast in slavery?
Cyn.
Not much more cause, perhaps, but more excuse.
Now I must go.
Pyg.
So soon, and for so long?
Cyn.
One day, 'twill quickly pass away!
Pyg.
With those who measure time, by almanacs, no doubt,
But not with him who knows no days save those
Born of the sunlight of Cynisca's eyes;
It will be night with me till she returns.[Pg 494]
Cyn.
Then sleep it through, Pygmalion! But stay,
Thou shalt not pass the weary hours alone;
Now mark thou this—while I'm away from thee,
There stands my only representative;
[Withdrawing curtains.
She is my proxy, and I charge you, sir,
Be faithful unto her as unto me!
Into her quietly attentive ear
Pour all thy treasures of hyperbole,
And give thy nimble tongue full license, lest
Disuse should rust its glib machinery;
[Advancing.
If thoughts of love should haply crowd on thee,
There stands my other self, tell them to her,
She'll listen well; nay, that's ungenerous,
For she is I, yet lovelier than I,
And hath no temper, sir, and hath no tongue;
Thou hast thy license—make good use of it.
Already I'm half jealous—there!
[Draws curtain concealing statue.
It's gone.
The thing is but a statue after all,
And I am safe in leaving thee with her;
Farewell, Pygmalion, till I return.
[Exit.
Pyg.
"The thing is but a statue after all!"
Cynisca little thought that in those words
She touched the key-note of my discontent.
True, I have powers denied to other men;
Give me a block of senseless marble—Well,
I'm a magician, and it rests with me
To say what kernel lies within its shell;
It shall contain a man, a woman, a child,
A dozen men and women if I will.
So far the gods and I run neck and neck,
Nay, so far I can beat them at their trade;
I am no bungler—all the men I make[Pg 495]
Are straight limbed fellows, each magnificent
In the perfection of his manly grace;
I make no crook-backs; all my men are gods,
My women, goddesses, in outward form.
But there's my tether—I can go so far,
And go no farther—at that point I stop,
To curse the bonds that hold me sternly back.
To curse the arrogance of those proud gods,
Who say, "Thou shalt be greatest among men,
And yet infinitesimally small!"
Galatea [from behind curtain].
Pygmalion!
Pyg.
Who called?
Gal.
Pygmalion!
[Pygmalion tears away curtain and, discovers Galatea alive.
Pyg.
Ye gods! It lives!
Gal.
Pygmalion!
Pyg.
It speaks!
I have my prayer! my Galatea breathes!
Gal.
Where am I? Let me speak, Pygmalion;
Give me thy hand—both hands—how soft and warm!
Whence came I?
[Descends.
Pyg.
Why, from yonder pedestal.
Gal.
That pedestal! Ah, yes, I recollect.
There was a time when it was part of me.
Pyg.
That time has passed forever, thou art now
A living, breathing woman, excellent
In every attribute of womankind.
Gal.
Where am I, then?
Pyg.
Why, born into the world
By miracle.
Gal.
Is this the world?
Pyg.
It is.
Gal.
This room?
Pyg.
This room is portion of a house;[Pg 496]
The house stands in a grove, the grove itself
Is one of many, many thousand groves
In Athens.
Gal.
And is Athens then the world?
Pyg.
To an Athenian—Yes—
Gal.
And I am one?
Pyg.
By birth and parentage, not by descent.
Gal.
But how came I to be?
Pyg.
Well—let me see.
Oh—you were quarried in Pentelicus;
I modeled you in clay—my artisans
Then roughed you out in marble—I, in turn,
Brought my artistic skill to bear on you,
And made you what you are—in all but life—
The gods completed what I had begun,
And gave the only gift I could not give.
Gal.
Then is this life?
Pyg.
It is.
Gal.
And not long since
I was a cold, dull stone. I recollect
That by some means I knew that I was stone,
That was the first dull gleam of conscience;
I became conscious of a chilly self,
A cold immovable identity,
I knew that I was stone, and knew no more;
Then, by an imperceptible advance,
Came the dim evidence of outer things,
Seen—darkly and imperfectly—yet seen—
The walls surrounded me, and I, alone,
That pedestal—that curtain—then a voice
That called on Galatea! At that word,
Which seemed to shake my marble to the core,
That which was dim before, came evident.
Sounds, that had hummed around me, indistinct,[Pg 497]
Vague, meaningless—seemed to resolve themselves
Into a language I could understand;
I felt my frame pervaded with a glow
That seemed to thaw my marble into flesh;
Its cold hard substance throbbed with active life,
My limbs grew supple, and I moved—I lived!
Lived in the ecstasy of new born life;
Lived in the love of him that fashioned me;
Lived in a thousand tangled thoughts of hope,
Love, gratitude, thoughts that resolved themselves
Into one word, that word, Pygmalion!
[Kneels.
Pyg.
I have no words to tell thee of my joy,
O woman—perfect in thy loveliness.
Gal.
What is that word? Am I a woman?
Pyg.
Yes.
Gal.
Art thou a woman?
Pyg.
No, I am a man.
Gal.
What is a man?
Pyg.
A being strongly framed,
To wait on woman, and protect her from
All ills that strength and courage can avert;
To work and toil for her, that she may rest;
To weep and mourn for her, that she may laugh;
To fight and die for her, that she might live!
Gal.
I'm glad I am a woman.
[He leads her down.
Pyg.
So am I.
Gal.
That I escape the pains thou hast to bear?
Pyg.
That I may undergo those pains for thee.
Gal.
With whom then wouldst thou fight?
Pyg.
With any man
Whose word or deed gave Galatea pain.
Gal.
Then there are other men in this strange world?
Pyg.
There are indeed.
Gal.
And other women?[Pg 498]
Pyg.
Yes;
Though for the moment I'd forgotten it;
Yes, other women.
Gal.
And for all of these
Men work, and toil, and mourn, and weep and fight?
Pyg.
It is man's duty, if he's called upon,
To fight for all; he works for those he loves.
Gal.
Then by thy works I know thou lovest me.
Pyg.
Indeed, I love thee!
Gal.
With what kind of love?
Pyg.
I love thee as a sculptor does his work!
[Aside.] There is diplomacy in that reply.
Gal.
My love is different in kind to thine;
I am no sculptor, and I've done no work,
Yet I do love thee; say—what love is mine?
Pyg.
Tell me its symptoms—then I'll answer thee.
Gal.
Its symptoms? Let me call them as they come.
A sense that I am made by thee for thee,
That I've no will that is not wholly thine,
That I've no thought, no hope, no enterprise,
That does not own thee as its sovereign;
That I have life, that I may live for thee,
That I am thine—that thou and I are one!
What kind of love is that?
Pyg.
A kind of love
That I shall run some risk in dealing with.
Gal.
And why, Pygmalion?
Pyg.
Such love as thine
A man may not receive, except indeed
From one who is, or is to be, his wife.
Gal.
Then I will be thy wife.
Pyg.
That may not be;
I have a wife—the gods allow but one.
Gal.
Why did the gods then send me here to thee?[Pg 499]
Pyg.
I cannot say—unless to punish me
For unreflecting and presumptuous prayer!
I prayed that thou shouldst live. I have my prayer,
And now I see the fearful consequence
That must attend it!
Gal.
Yet thou lovest me?
Pyg.
Who could look on that face and stifle love?
Gal.
Then I am beautiful?
Pyg.
Indeed thou art.
Gal.
I wish that I could look upon myself,
But that's impossible.
Pyg.
Not so indeed,
This mirror will reflect thy face. Behold!
Gal.
How beautiful! I am very glad to know
That both our tastes agree so perfectly;
Why, my Pygmalion, I did not think
That aught could be more beautiful than thou,
Till I behold myself. Believe me, love,
I could look in this mirror all day long.
So I'm a woman.
Pyg.
There's no doubt of that!
Gal.
Oh happy maid to be so passing fair!
And happier still Pygmalion, who can gaze,
At will, upon so beautiful a face.
Pyg.
Hush! Galatea—in thine innocence
Thou sayest things that others would reprove.
Gal.
Indeed, Pygmalion; then it is wrong
To think that one is exquisitely fair?
Pyg.
Well, Galatea, it's a sentiment
That every woman shares with thee;
They think it—but they keep it to themselves.
Gal.
And is thy wife as beautiful as I?
Pyg.
No, Galatea, for in forming thee
I took her features—lovely in themselves—
And in the marble made them lovelier still.[Pg 500]
Gal.
Oh! then I'm not original?
Pyg.
Well—no—
That is—thou hast indeed a prototype,
But though in stone thou didst resemble her,
In life, the difference is manifest.