The Project Gutenberg EBook of Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary
Schools, by Various

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Title: Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary Schools
       Edited With Notes, Study Helps, And Reading Lists

Author: Various

Editor: Margaret Ashmun

Release Date: November 26, 2005 [EBook #17160]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by The Online Distributed Proofreading Team at






Formerly Instructor in English in the University of Wisconsin

Editor of Prose Literature for Secondary Schools

The Riverside Press Cambridge


All selections in this book are used by special permission of, and
arrangement with, the owners of the copyrights.

The Riverside Press

Transcribers Note: Minor typos have been corrected.

[Pg iii]


It is pleasant to note, among teachers of literature in the high school, a growing (or perhaps one should say an established) conviction that the pupil's enjoyment of what he reads ought to be the chief consideration in the work. From such enjoyment, it is conceded, come the knowledge and the power that are the end of study. All profitable literature work in the secondary grades must be based upon the unforced attention and activity of the student.

An inevitable phase of this liberal attitude is a readiness to promote the study of modern authors. It is now the generally accepted view that many pieces of recent literature are more suitable for young people's reading than the old and conventionally approved classics. This is not to say that the really readable classics should be discarded, since they have their own place and their own value. Yet it is everywhere admitted that modern literature should be given its opportunity to appeal to high school students, and that at some stage in their course it should receive its due share of recognition. The mere fact that modern writers are, in point of material and style, less remote than the classic authors from the immediate interests of the students is sufficient to recommend them. Then, too, since young people are, in the nature of things, constantly brought into contact with some form of modern literature, they need to be provided with a standard of criticism and choice.

[Pg iv]The present volume is an attempt to assemble, in a convenient manner, a number of selections from recent literature, such as high school students of average taste and ability may understand and enjoy. These selections are not all equally difficult. Some need to be read rapidly for their intrinsic interest; others deserve more analysis of form and content; still others demand careful intensive study. This diversity of method is almost a necessity in a full year's course in reading, in which rigidity and monotony ought above all things to be avoided.

Although convinced that the larger part of the reading work in the high school years should be devoted to the study of prose, the editor has here included what she believes to be a just proportion of poetry. The poems have been chosen with a view to the fact that they are varied in form and sentiment; and that they exhibit in no small degree the tendencies of modern poetic thought, with its love of nature and its humanitarian impulses.

An attempt has been made to present examples of the most usual and readable forms of prose composition—narration, the account of travel, the personal essay, and serious exposition. The authors of these selections possess without exception that distinction of style which entitles them to a high rank in literature and makes them inspiring models for the unskilled writer.

A word may be said as to the intention of the study helps and lists of readings. The object of this equipment is to conserve the energies of the teacher and direct the activities of the student. It is by no means expected that any one class will be able to make use of all the material provided; yet it is hoped that a [Pg v]considerable amount may prove available to every group that has access to the text.

The study questions serve to concentrate the reading of the students, in order to prevent that aimless wandering of eye and mind, which with many pupils passes for study. Doubtless something would in most instances be gained if these questions were supplemented by specific directions from the teacher.

Lists of theme subjects accompany the selections, so that the work in composition may be to a large extent correlated with that in literature.[1] The plan of utilizing the newly stimulated interests of the pupils for training in composition is not a new one; its value has been proved. Modern Prose and Poetry aims to make the most of such correlation, at the same time drawing upon the personal experience of the students, to the elimination of all that is perfunctory and formal. Typical outlines (suggestions for theme writing) are provided; these, however, cannot serve in all cases, and the teacher must help the pupils in planning their themes, or give them such training as will enable them to make outlines for themselves.

It will be noted that some suggestions are presented for the dramatization of simple passages of narration, and for original composition of dramatic fragments. In an age when the trend of popular interest is unquestionably toward the drama, such suggestions need no defense. The study of dramatic composition may be granted as much or as little attention as the teacher thinks wise. In any event, it will afford an opportunity for a discussion of the drama and will serve, in an elementary way, to train the pupil's judgment as to the difference [Pg vi]between good and bad plays. Especially can this end be accomplished if some of the plays mentioned in the lists be read by the class or by individual students.

A few simple exercises in the writing of poetry have been inserted, in order to give the pupils encouragement and assistance in trying their skill in verse. It is not intended that this work shall be done for the excellence of its results, but rather for the development of the pupil's ingenuity and the increasing of his respect for the poet and the poetic art.

The collateral readings are appended for the use of those teachers who wish to carry on a course of outside reading in connection with the regular work of the class. These lists have been made somewhat extensive and varied, in order that they may fit the tastes and opportunities of many teachers and pupils. In some cases, the collateral work may be presented by the teacher, to elaborate a subject in which the class has become interested; or individual pupils may prepare themselves and speak to the class about what they have read; or all the pupils may read for pleasure alone, merely reporting the extent of their reading, for the teacher's approval. The outside reading should, it is needless to say, be treated as a privilege and not as a mechanical task. The possibilities of this work will be increased if the teacher familiarizes herself with the material in the collateral lists, so that she can adapt the home readings to the tastes of the class and of specific pupils. The miscellaneous lists given at the close of the book are intended to supplement the lists accompanying the selections, and to offer some assistance in the choice of books for a high school library.


New York, February, 1914.

[Pg vii]


A Day at Laguerre'sF. Hopkinson Smith1
Quite SoThomas Bailey Aldrich21
  (In Marjorie Daw, and Other Stories)
Pan in Wall StreetEdmund Clarence Stedman42
The Hand of LincolnEdmund Clarence Stedman48
Jean ValjeanAugusta Stevenson52
  (In A Dramatic Reader, Book Five)
A Combat on the SandsMary Johnston65
  (From To Have and to Hold, Chapters XXI and XXII)
The GrasshopperEdith M. Thomas80
MolyEdith M. Thomas83
The Promised LandMary Antin85
  (From Chapter IX of The Promised Land)
Warble for Lilac-TimeWalt Whitman113
When I Heard the Learn'd AstronomerWalt Whitman115
Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One NightWalt Whitman116
Odysseus in Phaeacia Translated by George Herbert Palmer120
OdysseusGeorge Cabot Lodge139
A Romance of Real LifeWilliam Dean Howells141
The Wild RideLouise Imogen Guiney161
Christmas in the WoodsDallas Lore Sharp164
  (In The Lay of the Land)
Gloucester MoorsWilliam Vaughn Moody179
Road-Hymn for the StartWilliam Vaughn Moody184
On A Soldier Fallen in the PhillipinesWilliam Vaughn Moody187
The Coon DogSarah Orne Jewett189
  (In The Queen's Twin, and Other Stories)
On the Life-Mask of Abraham Lincoln Richard Watson Gilder210
A Fire among the GiantsJohn Muir212
  (From Our National Parks)
WaitingJohn Burroughs221
The Pont du GardHenry James223
  (Chapter XXVI of A Little Tour in France)
The Youngest Son of his Father's House Anna Hempstead Branch231
Tennessee's PartnerBret Harte235
The Course of American HistoryWoodrow Wilson252
  (In Mere Literature)
What I Know about GardeningCharles Dudley Warner268
  (From My Summer in a Garden)
The Singing ManJosephine Preston Peabody280
The Dance of the Bon-OdoriLafcadio Hearn291
  (From Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Volume I, Chapter VI)
Thomas Bailey Aldrich to William Dean Howells305
  (From The Life of Thomas Bailey Aldrich by Ferris Greenslet)
Thomas Bailey Aldrich to E.S. Morse305
  (By permission of Professor Morse)
William Vaughn Moody to Josephine Preston Peabody306
  (From Some Letters of William Vaughn Moody)
Bret Harte to his Wife307
  (From The Life of Bret Harte by Henry C. Merwin)
Lafcadio Hearn to Basil Hall Chamberlain309
  (From Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn)
Charles Eliot Norton to William Dean Howells311
  (From Letters of Charles Eliot Norton)
Exercises in Dramatic Composition316
Modern Books for Home Reading319


[Pg 1]



It is the most delightful of French inns, in the quaintest of French settlements. As you rush by in one of the innumerable trains that pass it daily, you may catch glimpses of tall trees trailing their branches in the still stream,—hardly a dozen yards wide,—of flocks of white ducks paddling together, and of queer punts drawn up on the shelving shore or tied to soggy, patched-up landing-stairs.

If the sun shines, you can see, now and then, between the trees, a figure kneeling at the water's edge, bending over a pile of clothes, washing,—her head bound with a red handkerchief.

If you are quick, the miniature river will open just before you round the curve, disclosing in the distance groups of willows, and a rickety foot-bridge perched up on poles to keep it dry. All this you see in a flash.

But you must stop at the old-fashioned station, within ten minutes of the Harlem River, cross the road, skirt an old garden bound with a fence and bursting with flowers, and so pass on through a bare field to the water's edge, before you catch sight of the cosy little houses lining the banks, with garden fences [Pg 2]cutting into the water, the arbors covered with tangled vines, and the boats crossing back and forth.

I have a love for the out-of-the-way places of the earth when they bristle all over with the quaint and the old and the odd, and are mouldy with the picturesque. But here is an in-the-way place, all sunshine and shimmer, with never a fringe of mould upon it, and yet you lose your heart at a glance. It is as charming in its boat life as an old Holland canal; it is as delightful in its shore life as the Seine; and it is as picturesque and entrancing in its sylvan beauty as the most exquisite of English streams.

The thousands of workaday souls who pass this spot daily in their whirl out and in the great city may catch all these glimpses of shade and sunlight over the edges of their journals, and any one of them living near the city's centre, with a stout pair of legs in his knickerbockers and the breath of the morning in his heart, can reach it afoot any day before breakfast; and yet not one in a hundred knows that this ideal nook exists.

Even this small percentage would be apt to tell of the delights of Devonshire and of the charm of the upper Thames, with its tall rushes and low-thatched houses and quaint bridges, as if the picturesque ended there; forgetting that right here at home there wanders many a stream with its breast all silver that the trees courtesy to as it sings through meadows waist-high in lush grass,—as exquisite a picture as can be found this beautiful land over.

So, this being an old tramping-ground of mine, I have left the station with its noise and dust behind me this lovely morning in June, have stopped long enough to twist a bunch of sweet peas through the [Pg 3]garden fence, and am standing on the bank waiting for some sign of life at Madame Laguerre's. I discover that there is no boat on my side of the stream. But that is of no moment. On the other side, within a biscuit's toss, so narrow is it, there are two boats; and on the landing-wharf, which is only a few planks wide, supporting a tumble-down flight of steps leading to a vine-covered terrace above, rest the oars.

I lay my traps down on the bank and begin at the top of my voice:—

"Madame Laguerre! Madame Laguerre! Send Lucette with the boat."

For a long time there is no response. A young girl drawing water a short distance below, hearing my cries, says she will come; and some children above, who know me, begin paddling over. I decline them all. Experience tells me it is better to wait for madame.

In a few minutes she pushes aside the leaves, peers through, and calls out:—

"Ah! it is that horrible painter. Go away! I have nothing for you. You are hungry again that you come?"

"Very, madame. Where is Lucette?"

"Lucette! Lucette! It is always Lucette. Lu-c-e-t-t-e!" This in a shrill key. "It is the painter. Come quick."

I have known Lucette for years, even when she was a barefooted little tangle-hair, peeping at me with her great brown eyes from beneath her ragged straw hat. She wears high-heeled slippers now, and sometimes on Sundays dainty silk stockings, and her hair is braided down her back, little French Marguérite that she is, and her hat is never ragged any more, nor her hair [Pg 4]tangled. Her eyes, though, are still the same velvety, half-drooping eyes, always opening and shutting and never still.

As she springs into the boat and pulls towards me I note how round and trim she is, and before we have landed at Madame Laguerre's feet I have counted up Lucette's birthdays,—those that I know myself,—and find to my surprise that she must be eighteen. We have always been the best of friends, Lucette and I, ever since she looked over my shoulder years ago and watched me dot in the outlines of her boat, with her dog Mustif sitting demurely in the bow.

Madame, her mother, begins again:—

"Do you know that it is Saturday that you come again to bother? Now it will be a filet, of course, with mushrooms and tomato salad; and there are no mushrooms, and no tomatoes, and nothing. You are horrible. Then, when I get it ready, you say you will come at three. 'Yes, madame; at three,'—mimicking me,—'sure, very sure.' But it is four, five, o'clock—and then everything is burned up waiting. Ah! I know you."

This goes on always, and has for years. Presently she softens, for she is the most tender-hearted of women, and would do anything in the world to please me.

"But, then, you will be tired, and of course you must have something. I remember now there is a chicken. How will the chicken do? Oh, the chicken it is lovely, charmant. And some pease—fresh. Monsieur picked them himself this morning. And some Roquefort, with an olive. Ah! You leave it to me; but at three—no later—not one minute. Sacré! Vous êtes le diable!"

[Pg 5]As we walk under the arbor and by the great trees, towards the cottage, Lucette following with the oars, I inquire after monsieur, and find that he is in the city, and very well and very busy, and will return at sundown. He has a shop of his own in the upper part where he makes passe-partouts. Here, at his home, madame maintains a simple restaurant for tramps like me.

These delightful people are old friends of mine, François Laguerre and his wife and their only child Lucette. They have lived here for nearly a quarter of a century. He is a straight, silver-haired old Frenchman of sixty, who left Paris, between two suns, nearly forty years ago, with a gendarme close at his heels, a red cockade under his coat, and an intense hatred in his heart for that "little nobody," Napoleon III.

If you met him on the boulevard you would look for the decoration on his lapel, remarking to yourself, "Some retired officer on half pay." If you met him at the railway station opposite, you would say, "A French professor returning to his school." Both of these surmises are partly wrong, and both partly right. Monsieur Laguerre has had a history. One can see by the deep lines in his forehead and by the firm set of his eyes and mouth that it has been an eventful one.

His wife is a few years his junior, short and stout, and thoroughly French down to the very toes of her felt slippers. She is devoted to François and Lucette, the best of cooks, and, in spite of her scoldings, good-nature itself. As soon as she hears me calling, there arise before her the visions of many delightful dinners prepared for me by her own hand and ready to the [Pg 6]minute—all spoiled by my belated sketches. So she begins to scold before I am out of the boat or in it, for that matter.

Across the fence next to Laguerre's lives a confrère, a brother exile, Monsieur Marmosette, who also has a shop in the city, where he carves fine ivories. Monsieur Marmosette has only one son. He too is named François, after his father's old friend. Farther down on both sides of the narrow stream front the cottages of other friends, all Frenchmen; and near the propped-up bridge an Italian who knew Garibaldi burrows in a low, slanting cabin, which is covered with vines. I remember a dish of spaghetti under those vines, and a flask of Chianti from its cellar, all cobwebs and plaited straw, that left a taste of Venice in my mouth for days.

As there is only the great bridge above, which helps the country road across the little stream, and the little foot-bridge below, and as there is no path or road,—all the houses fronting the water,—the Bronx here is really the only highway, and so everybody must needs keep a boat. This is why the stream is crowded in the warm afternoons with all sorts of water craft loaded with whole families, even to the babies, taking the air, or crossing from bank to bank in their daily pursuits.

There is a quality which one never sees in Nature until she has been rough-handled by man and has outlived the usage. It is the picturesque. In the deep recesses of the primeval forest, along the mountain-slope, and away up the tumbling brook, Nature may be majestic, beautiful, and even sublime; but she is never picturesque. This quality comes only after the axe and the saw have let the sunlight into the dense [Pg 7]tangle and have scattered the falling timber, or the round of the water-wheel has divided the rush of the brook. It is so here. Some hundred years ago, along this quiet, silvery stream were encamped the troops of the struggling colonies, and, later, the great estates of the survivors stretched on each side for miles. The willows that now fringe these banks were saplings then; and they and the great butternuts were only spared because their arching limbs shaded the cattle knee-deep along the shelving banks.

Then came the long interval that succeeds that deadly conversion of the once sweet farming lands, redolent with clover, into that barren waste—suburban property. The conflict that had lasted since the days when the pioneer's axe first rang through the stillness of the forest was nearly over; Nature saw her chance, took courage, and began that regeneration which is exclusively her own. The weeds ran riot; tall grasses shot up into the sunlight, concealing the once well-trimmed banks; and great tangles of underbrush and alders made lusty efforts to hide the traces of man's unceasing cruelty. Lastly came this little group of poor people from the Seine and the Marne and lent a helping hand, bringing with them something of their old life at home,—their boats, rude landings, patched-up water-stairs, fences, arbors, and vine-covered cottages,—unconsciously completing the picture and adding the one thing needful—a human touch. So Nature, having outlived the wrongs of a hundred years, has here with busy fingers so woven a web of weed, moss, trailing vine, and low-branching tree that there is seen a newer and more entrancing quality in her beauty, which, for want of a better term, we call the picturesque.

[Pg 8]But madame is calling that the big boat must be bailed out; that if I am ever coming back to dinner it is absolutely necessary that I should go away. This boat is not of extraordinary size. It is called the big boat from the fact that it has one more seat than the one in which Lucette rowed me over; and not being much in use except on Sunday, is generally half full of water. Lucette insists on doing the bailing. She has very often performed this service, and I have always considered it as included in the curious scrawl of a bill which madame gravely presents at the end of each of my days here, beginning in small printed type with "François Laguerre, Restaurant Français," and ending with "Coffee 10 cents."

But this time I resist, remarking that she will hurt her hands and soil her shoes, and that it is all right as it is.

To this François the younger, who is leaning over the fence, agrees, telling Lucette to wait until he gets a pail.

Lucette catches his eye, colors a little, and says she will fetch it.

There is a break in the palings through which they both disappear, but I am half-way out on the stream, with my traps and umbrella on the seat in front and my coat and waistcoat tucked under the bow, before they return.

For half a mile down-stream there is barely a current. Then comes a break of a dozen yards just below the perched-up bridge, and the stream divides, one part rushing like a mill-race, and the other spreading itself softly around the roots of leaning willows, oozing through beds of water-plants, and creeping under masses of wild grapes and underbrush. Below this is [Pg 9]a broad pasture fringed with another and larger growth of willows. Here the weeds are breast-high, and in early autumn they burst into purple asters, and white immortelles, and goldenrod, and flaming sumac.

If a painter had a lifetime to spare, and loved this sort of material,—the willows, hillsides, and winding stream,—he would grow old and weary before he could paint it all; and yet no two of his compositions need be alike. I have tied my boat under these same willows for ten years back, and I have not yet exhausted one corner of this neglected pasture.

There may be those who go a-fishing and enjoy it. The arranging and selecting of flies, the joining of rods, the prospective comfort in high water-boots, the creel with the leather strap,—every crease in it a reminder of some day without care or fret,—all this may bring the flush to the cheek and the eager kindling of the eye, and a certain sort of rest and happiness may come with it; but—they have never gone a-sketching! Hauled up on the wet bank in the long grass is your boat, with the frayed end of the painter tied around some willow that offers a helping root. Within a stone's throw, under a great branching of gnarled trees, is a nook where the curious sun, peeping at you through the interlaced leaves, will stencil Japanese shadows on your white umbrella. Then the trap is unstrapped, the stool opened, the easel put up, and you set your palette. The critical eye with which you look over your brush-case and the care with which you try each feather point upon your thumb-nail are but an index of your enjoyment.

Now you are ready. You loosen your cravat, hang your coat to some rustic peg in the creviced bark of the tree behind you, seize a bit of charcoal from your [Pg 10]bag, sweep your eye around, and dash in a few guiding strokes. Above is a turquoise sky filled with soft white clouds; behind you the great trunks of the many-branched willows; and away off, under the hot sun, the yellow-green of the wasted pasture, dotted with patches of rock and weeds, and hemmed in by the low hills that slope to the curving stream.

It is high noon. There is a stillness in the air that impresses you, broken only by the low murmur of the brook behind and the ceaseless song of the grasshopper among the weeds in front. A tired bumblebee hums past, rolls lazily over a clover blossom at your feet, and has his midday luncheon. Under the maples near the river's bend stands a group of horses, their heads touching. In the brook below are the patient cattle, with patches of sunlight gilding and bronzing their backs and sides. Every now and then a breath of cool air starts out from some shaded retreat, plays around your forehead, and passes on. All nature rests. It is her noontime.

But you work on: an enthusiasm has taken possession of you; the paints mix too slowly; you use your thumb, smearing and blending with a bit of rag—anything for the effect. One moment you are glued to your seat, your eye riveted on your canvas, the next, you are up and backing away, taking it in as a whole, then pouncing down upon it quickly, belaboring it with your brush. Soon the trees take shape; the sky forms become definite; the meadow lies flat and loses itself in the fringe of willows.

When all of this begins to grow upon your once blank canvas, and some lucky pat matches the exact tone of blue-gray haze or shimmer of leaf, or some accidental blending of color delights you with its truth, a tingling [Pg 11]goes down your backbone, and a rush surges through your veins that stirs you as nothing else in your whole life will ever do. The reaction comes the next day when, in the cold light of your studio, you see how far short you have come and how crude and false is your best touch compared with the glory of the landscape in your mind and heart. But the thrill that it gave you will linger forever.

But I hear a voice behind me calling out:—

"Monsieur, mamma says that dinner will be ready in half an hour. Please do not be late."

It is Lucette. She and François have come down in the other boat—the one with the little seat. They have moved so noiselessly that I have not even heard them. The sketch is nearly finished; and so, remembering the good madame, and the Roquefort, and the olives, and the many times I have kept her waiting, I wash my brushes at once, throw my traps into the boat, and pull back through the winding turn, François taking the mill-race, and in the swiftest part springing to the bank and towing Lucette, who sits in the stern, her white skirts tucked around her dainty feet.

"Sacré! He is here. C'est merveilleux! Why did you come?"

"Because you sent for me, madame, and I am hungry."

"Mon Dieu! He is hungry, and no chicken!"

It is true. The chicken was served that morning to another tramp for breakfast, and madame had forgotten all about it, and had ransacked the settlement for its mate. She was too honest a cook to chase another into the frying-pan.

But there was a filet with mushrooms, and a most [Pg 12]surprising salad of chicory fresh from the garden, and the pease were certain, and the Roquefort and the olives beyond question. All this she tells me as I walk past the table covered with a snow-white cloth and spread under the grape-vines overlooking the stream, with the trees standing against the sky, their long shadows wrinkling down into the water.

I enter the summer kitchen built out into the garden, which also covers the old well, let down the bucket, and then, taking the clean crash towel from its hook, place the basin on the bench in the sunlight, and plunge my head into the cool water. Madame regards me curiously, her arms akimbo, re-hangs the towel, and asks:—

"Well, what about the wine? The same?"

"Yes; but I will get it myself."

The cellar is underneath the larger house. Outside is an old-fashioned, sloping double door. These doors are always open, and a cool smell of damp straw flavored with vinegar greets you from a leaky keg as you descend into its recesses. On the hard earthen floor rest eight or ten great casks. The walls are lined with bottles large and small, loaded on shelves to which little white cards are tacked giving the vintage and brand. In one corner, under the small window, you will find dozens of boxes of French delicacies—truffles, pease, mushrooms, pâté de foie gras, mustard, and the like, and behind them rows of olive oil and olives. I carefully draw out a bottle from the row on the last shelf nearest the corner, mount the steps, and place it on the table. Madame examines the cork, and puts down the bottle, remarking sententiously:—

"Château Lamonte, '62! Monsieur has told you."

There may be ways of dining more delicious than [Pg 13]out in the open air under the vines in the cool of the afternoon, with Lucette, in her whitest of aprons, flitting about, and madame garnishing the dishes each in turn, and there may be better bottles of honest red wine to be found up and down this world of care than "Château Lamonte, '62," but I have not yet discovered them.

Lucette serves the coffee in a little cup, and leaves the Roquefort and the cigarettes on the table just as the sun is sinking behind the hill skirting the railroad. While I am blowing rings through the grape leaves over my head a quick noise is heard across the stream. Lucette runs past me through the garden, picking up her oars as she goes.

"Oui, mon père. I am coming."

It is monsieur from his day's work in the city.

"Who is here?" I hear him say as he mounts the terrace steps. "Oh, the painter—good!"

"Ah, mon ami. So you must see the willows once more. Have you not tired of them yet?" Then, seating himself, "I hope madame has taken good care of you. What, the '62? Ah, I remember I told you."

When it is quite dark he joins me under the leaves, bringing a second bottle a little better corked he thinks, and the talk drifts into his early life.

"What year was that, monsieur?" I asked.

"In 1849. I was a young fellow just grown. I had learned my trade in Rheims, and I had come down to Paris to make my bread. Two years later came the little affair of December 2. That 'nobody,' Louis, had dissolved the National Assembly and the Council of State, and had issued his address to the army. Paris was in a ferment. By the help of his soldiers and police he had silenced every voice in Paris except his own. He had suppressed all the journals, and locked [Pg 14]up everybody who had opposed him. Victor Hugo was in exile, Louis Blanc in London, Changarnier and Cavaignac in prison. At the moment I was working in a little shop near the Porte St. Martin decorating lacquerwork. We workmen all belonged to a secret society which met nightly in a back room over a wine-shop near the Rue Royale. We had but one thought—how to upset the little devil at the Élysée. Among my comrades was a big fellow from my own city, one Cambier. He was the leader. On the ground floor of the shop was built a huge oven where the lacquer was baked. At night this was made hot with charcoal and allowed to cool off in the morning ready for the finished work of the previous day. It was Cambier's duty to attend to this oven.

"One night just after all but he and two others had left the shop a strange man was discovered in a closet where the men kept their working clothes. He was seized, brought to the light, and instantly recognized as a member of the secret police.

"At daylight the next morning I was aroused from my bed, and, looking up, saw Chapot, an inspector of police, standing over me. He had known me from a boy, and was a friend of my father's.

"'François, there is trouble at the shop. A police agent has been murdered. His body was found in the oven. Cambier is under arrest. I know what you have been doing, but I also know that in this you have had no hand. Here are one hundred francs. Leave Paris in an hour.'

"I put the money in my pocket, tied my clothes in a bundle, and that night was on my way to Havre, and the next week set sail for here."

"And what became of Cambier?" I asked.

[Pg 15]"I have never heard from that day to this, so I think they must have snuffed him out."

Then he drifted into his early life here—the weary tramping of the streets day after day, the half-starving result, the language and people unknown. Suddenly, somewhere in the lower part of the city, he espied a card tacked outside of a window bearing this inscription, "Decorator wanted." A man inside was painting one of the old-fashioned iron tea-trays common in those days. Monsieur took off his hat, pointed to the card, then to himself, seized the brush, and before the man could protest had covered the bottom with morning-glories so pink and fresh that his troubles ended on the spot. The first week he earned six dollars; but then this was to be paid at the end of it. For these six days he subsisted on one meal a day. This he ate at a restaurant where at night he washed dishes and blacked the head waiter's boots. When Saturday came, and the money was counted out in his hand, he thrust it into his pocket, left the shop, and sat down on a doorstep outside to think.

"And, mon ami, what did I do first?"

"Got something to eat?"

"Never. I paid for a bath, had my hair cut and my face shaved, bought a shirt and collar, and then went back to the restaurant where I had washed dishes the night before, and the head waiter served me. After that it was easy; the next week it was ten dollars; then in a few years I had a place of my own; then came madame and Lucette—and here we are."

The twilight had faded into a velvet blue, sprinkled with stars. The lantern which madame had hung against the arbor shed a yellow light, throwing into [Pg 16]clear relief the sharply cut features of monsieur. Up and down the silent stream drifted here and there a phantom boat, the gleam of its light following like a firefly. From some came no sound but the muffled plash of the oars. From others floated stray bits of song and laughter. Far up the stream I heard the distant whistle of the down train.

"It is mine, monsieur. Will you cross with me, and bring back the boat?"

Monsieur unhooked the lantern, and I followed through the garden and down the terrace steps.

At the water's edge was a bench holding two figures.

Monsieur turned his lantern, and the light fell upon the face of young François.

When the bow grated on the opposite bank I shook his hand, and said, in parting, pointing to the lovers,—

"The same old story, Monsieur?"

"Yes; and always new. You must come to the church."


Harlem River:—Note that this river is in New York City, not in France as one might suppose from the name of the selection.

Devonshire:—A very attractive county of southwestern England.

filet:—A thick slice of meat or fish.

charmant:—The French word for charming.

Roquefort:—A kind of cheese.

Sacré! Vous êtes le diable:—Curses! You are the very deuce.

passe-partouts:—Engraved ornamental borders for pictures.

gendarme:—A policeman of France.

Napoleon III:—Emperor of the French, 1852-1870. He was elected president of the Republic in 1848; he seized full power [Pg 17]in 1851; in 1852, he was proclaimed emperor. He was a nephew of the great Napoleon.

confrère:—A close associate.

Garibaldi:—Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian patriot (1807-1882).

Chianti:—A kind of Italian wine.

Bronx:—A small river in the northern part of New York City.

Restaurant Français:—French restaurant.

the painter:—A rope at the bow of a boat.

C'est merveilleux:—It's wonderful.

Mon Dieu:—Good heavens!

pâté de fois gras:—A delicacy made of fat goose livers.

Château Lamonte, '62:—A kind of wine; the date refers to the year in which it was bottled.

Oui, mon père:—Yes, father.

mon ami:—My friend.

the little affair of December 2:—On December 2, 1851, Louis Napoleon overawed the French legislature and assumed absolute power. Just a year later he had himself proclaimed Emperor.

Louis:—Napoleon III.

Victor Hugo:—French poet and novelist (1802-1885).

Louis Blanc:—French author and politician (1812-1882).

Changarnier:—Pronounced shan gär nyā'; Nicholas Changarnier, a French general (1793-1877).

Cavaignac:—Pronounced ka vay nyak'; Louis Eugene Cavaignac, a French general (1803-1857). He ran for the Presidency against Louis Napoleon.

Porte St. Martin:—The beginning of the Boulevard St. Martin, in Paris.

Rue Royale:—Rue is the French word for street.

Élysée:—A palace in Paris used as a residence by Napoleon III.

one hundred francs:—About twenty dollars.


What does the title suggest to you? At what point do you change your idea as to the location of Laguerre's? Do you know of any picturesque places that are somewhat like the one [Pg 18]described here? Could you describe one of them for the class? Why do people usually not appreciate the scenery near at hand? What do you think of the plan of "seeing America first"? What is meant here by "my traps"? Why is it better to wait for Madame? Why does Madame talk so crossly? What sort of person is she? See if you can tell accurately, from what follows in later pages, why Monsieur left Paris so hastily. How does the author give you an idea of François Laguerre's appearance? Why does the author stop to give us the two paragraphs beginning, "There is a quality," and "Then came a long interval"? How does he get back to his subject? Why does he not let Lucette bail the boat? Who does bail it at last? Why? Do you think that every artist enjoys his work as the writer seems to enjoy his? How does he make you feel the pleasure of it? Why is there more enjoyment in eating out of doors than in eating in the house? Why does the author sprinkle little French phrases through the piece? Is it a good plan to use foreign phrases in this way? What kind of man is Monsieur Laguerre? Review his story carefully. Why was the police agent murdered? Who killed him? Why has Monsieur Laguerre never found out what became of Cambier?

This selection deals with a number of different subjects: Why does it not seem "choppy"? How does the author manage to link the different parts together? How would you describe this piece to some one who had not read it? Mr. Smith is an artist who paints in water-colors: do you see how his painting influences his writing?


Madame Laguerre
Old-fashioned Garden
The Ferry
An Old Pasture
The Stream
Good Places to Sketch
Learning to Paint
An Old Man with a History
An Incident in French History
Getting Dinner under Difficulties
A Scene in the Kitchen
Washing at the Pump
The Flight of the Suspect
Crossing the Ocean
The Foreigner
Looking for Work
A Dinner out of Doors
The French Family at Home[Pg 19]
The Cellar
Some Pictures that I Like
A Restaurant
A Country Inn
What my Foreign Neighbors Eat
The Artist


The Stream:—Plan a description of some stream that you know well. Imagine yourself taking a trip up the stream in a boat. Tell something of the weather and the time of day. Speak briefly of the boat and its occupants. Describe the first picturesque spot: the trees and flowers; the buildings, if there are any; the reflections in the water; the people that you see. Go on from point to point, describing the particularly interesting places. Do not try to do too much. Vary your account by telling of the boats you meet. Perhaps there will be some brief dialogues that you can report, or some little adventures that you can relate. Close your theme by telling of your arrival at your destination, or of your turning about to go back down the stream.

An Old Man with a History:—Perhaps you can take this from real life; or perhaps you know some interesting old man whose early adventures you can imagine. Tell briefly how you happened to know the old man. Describe him. Speak of his manners, his way of speaking; his character as it appeared when you knew him. How did you learn his story? Imagine him relating it. Where was he when he told it? How did he act? Was he willing to tell the story, or did he have to be persuaded? Tell the story simply and directly, in his words, breaking it now and then by a comment or a question from the listener (or listeners). It might be well to explain occasionally how the old man seemed to feel, what expressions his face assumed, and what gestures he made. Go on thus to the end of the story. Is it necessary for you to make any remarks at the last, after the man has finished?

A Country Inn:—See the outline for a similar subject on page 229.

[Pg 20]


A Day at Laguerre's and Other DaysF. Hopkinson Smith
Gondola Days"         "         "
The Under Dog"         "         "
Caleb West, Master Diver"         "         "
Tom Grogan"         "         "
The Other Fellow"         "         "
Colonel Carter of Cartersville"         "         "
Colonel Carter's Christmas"         "         "
The Fortunes of Oliver Horn"         "         "
Forty Minutes Late"         "         "
At Close Range"         "         "
A White Umbrella in Mexico"         "         "
A Gentleman Vagabond"         "         "
    (Note especially in this, Along the Bronx.)
Fisherman's LuckHenry van Dyke
A Lazy Idle Brook (in Fisherman's Luck)"         "         "
Little Rivers"         "         "
The Friendly RoadDavid Grayson
Adventures in Contentment"         "         "

For information concerning Mr. Smith, consult:—

A History of Southern Literature, p. 375., Carl Holliday
American Authors and their Homes, pp. 187-194 F.W. Halsey

Bookman, 17:16 (Portrait); 24:9, September, 1906 (Portrait); 28:9, September, 1908 (Portrait). Arena, 38:678, December, 1907. Outlook, 93:689, November 27, 1909. Bookbuyer, 25:17-20, August, 1902.

[Pg 21]



(In Marjorie Daw, and Other Stories)


Of course that was not his name. Even in the State of Maine, where it is still a custom to maim a child for life by christening him Arioch or Shadrach or Ephraim, nobody would dream of calling a boy "Quite So." It was merely a nickname which we gave him in camp; but it stuck to him with such bur-like tenacity, and is so inseparable from my memory of him, that I do not think I could write definitely of John Bladburn if I were to call him anything but "Quite So."

It was one night shortly after the first battle of Bull Run. The Army of the Potomac, shattered, stunned, and forlorn, was back in its old quarters behind the earth-works. The melancholy line of ambulances bearing our wounded to Washington was not done creeping over Long Bridge; the blue smocks and the gray still lay in windrows on the field of Manassas; and the gloom that weighed down our hearts was like the fog that stretched along the bosom of the Potomac, and infolded the valley of the Shenandoah. A drizzling rain had set in at twilight, and, growing bolder with the darkness, was beating a dismal tattoo on the tent,—the tent of Mess 6, Company A, —th Regiment, N.Y. Volunteers. Our mess, consisting originally of eight men, was reduced to four. Little Billy, as one of the boys grimly remarked, had concluded to remain at[Pg 22] Manassas; Corporal Steele we had to leave at Fairfax Court-House, shot through the hip; Hunter and Suydam we had said good-by to that afternoon. "Tell Johnny Reb," says Hunter, lifting up the leather sidepiece of the ambulance, "that I'll be back again as soon as I get a new leg." But Suydam said nothing; he only unclosed his eyes languidly and smiled farewell to us.

The four of us who were left alive and unhurt that shameful July day sat gloomily smoking our brier-wood pipes, thinking our thoughts, and listening to the rain pattering against the canvas. That, and the occasional whine of a hungry cur, foraging on the outskirts of the camp for a stray bone, alone broke the silence, save when a vicious drop of rain detached itself meditatively from the ridge-pole of the tent, and fell upon the wick of our tallow candle, making it "cuss," as Ned Strong described it. The candle was in the midst of one of its most profane fits when Blakely, knocking the ashes from his pipe and addressing no one in particular, but giving breath, unconsciously as it were, to the result of his cogitations, observed that "it was considerable of a fizzle."

"The 'on to Richmond' business?"


"I wonder what they'll do about it over yonder," said Curtis, pointing over his right shoulder. By "over yonder" he meant the North in general and Massachusetts especially. Curtis was a Boston boy, and his sense of locality was so strong that, during all his wanderings in Virginia, I do not believe there was a moment, day or night, when he could not have made a bee-line for Faneuil Hall.

"Do about it?" cried Strong. "They'll make [Pg 23]about two hundred thousand blue flannel trousers and send them along, each pair with a man in it,—all the short men in the long trousers, and all the tall men in the short ones," he added, ruefully contemplating his own leg-gear, which scarcely reached to his ankles.

"That's so," said Blakely. "Just now, when I was tackling the commissary for an extra candle, I saw a crowd of new fellows drawing blankets."

"I say there, drop that!" cried Strong. "All right, sir, didn't know it was you," he added hastily, seeing it was Lieutenant Haines who had thrown back the flap of the tent, and let in a gust of wind and rain that threatened the most serious bronchial consequences to our discontented tallow dip.

"You're to bunk in here," said the lieutenant, speaking to some one outside. The some one stepped in, and Haines vanished in the darkness.

When Strong had succeeded in restoring the candle to consciousness, the light fell upon a tall, shy-looking man of about thirty-five, with long, hay-colored beard and mustache, upon which the rain-drops stood in clusters, like the night-dew on patches of cobweb in a meadow. It was an honest face, with unworldly sort of blue eyes, that looked out from under the broad visor of the infantry cap. With a deferential glance towards us, the new-comer unstrapped his knapsack, spread his blanket over it, and sat down unobtrusively.

"Rather damp night out," remarked Blakely, whose strong hand was supposed to be conversation.

"Quite so," replied the stranger, not curtly, but pleasantly, and with an air as if he had said all there was to be said about it.[Pg 24]

"Come from the North recently?" inquired Blakely, after a pause.


"From any place in particular?"


"People considerably stirred up down there?" continued Blakely, determined not to give up.

"Quite so."

Blakely threw a puzzled look over the tent, and seeing Ned Strong on the broad grin, frowned severely. Strong instantly assumed an abstracted air, and began humming softly,

"I wish I was in Dixie."

"The State of Maine," observed Blakely, with a certain defiance of manner not at all necessary in discussing a geographical question, "is a pleasant State."

"In summer," suggested the stranger.

"In summer, I mean," returned Blakely with animation, thinking he had broken the ice. "Cold as blazes in winter, though,—isn't it?"

The new recruit merely nodded.

Blakely eyed the man homicidally for a moment, and then, smiling one of those smiles of simulated gayety which the novelists inform us are more tragic than tears, turned upon him with withering irony.

"Trust you left the old folks pretty comfortable?"


"The old folks dead!"

"Quite so."

Blakely made a sudden dive for his blanket, tucked it around him with painful precision, and was heard no more.[Pg 25]

Just then the bugle sounded "lights out,"—bugle answering bugle in far-off camps. When our not elaborate night-toilets were complete, Strong threw somebody else's old boot at the candle with infallible aim, and darkness took possession of the tent. Ned, who lay on my left, presently reached over to me, and whispered, "I say, our friend 'quite so' is a garrulous old boy! He'll talk himself to death some of these odd times, if he isn't careful. How he did run on!"

The next morning, when I opened my eyes, the new member of Mess 6 was sitting on his knapsack, combing his blond beard with a horn comb. He nodded pleasantly to me, and to each of the boys as they woke up, one by one. Blakely did not appear disposed to renew the animated conversation of the previous night; but while he was gone to make a requisition for what was in pure sarcasm called coffee, Curtis ventured to ask the man his name.

"Bladburn, John," was the reply.

"That's rather an unwieldy name for everyday use," put in Strong. "If it wouldn't hurt your feelings, I'd like to call you Quite So,—for short. Don't say no, if you don't like it. Is it agreeable?"

Bladburn gave a little laugh, all to himself, seemingly, and was about to say, "Quite so," when he caught at the words, blushed like a girl, and nodded a sunny assent to Strong. From that day until the end, the sobriquet clung to him.

The disaster at Bull Run was followed, as the reader knows, by a long period of masterly inactivity, so far as the Army of the Potomac was concerned. McDowell, a good soldier but unlucky, retired to Arlington Heights, and McClellan, who had distinguished [Pg 26]himself in Western Virginia, took command of the forces in front of Washington, and bent his energies to reorganizing the demoralized troops. It was a dreary time to the people of the North, who looked fatuously from week to week for "the fall of Richmond"; and it was a dreary time to the denizens of that vast city of tents and forts which stretched in a semicircle before the beleaguered Capitol,—so tedious and soul-wearing a time that the hardships of forced marches and the horrors of battle became desirable things to them.

Roll-call morning and evening, guard-duty, dress-parades, an occasional reconnaissance, dominoes, wrestling-matches, and such rude games as could be carried on in camp made up the sum of our lives. The arrival of the mail with letters and papers from home was the event of the day. We noticed that Bladburn neither wrote nor received any letters. When the rest of the boys were scribbling away for dear life, with drumheads and knapsacks and cracker-boxes for writing-desks, he would sit serenely smoking his pipe, but looking out on us through rings of smoke with a face expressive of the tenderest interest.

"Look here, Quite So," Strong would say, "the mail-bag closes in half an hour. Ain't you going to write?"

"I believe not to-day," Bladburn would reply, as if he had written yesterday, or would write to-morrow: but he never wrote.

He had become a great favorite with us, and with all the officers of the regiment. He talked less than any man I ever knew, but there was nothing sinister or sullen in his reticence. It was sunshine,—warmth and brightness, but no voice. Unassuming and modest [Pg 27]to the verge of shyness, he impressed every one as a man of singular pluck and nerve.

"Do you know," said Curtis to me one day, "that that fellow Quite So is clear grit, and when we come to close quarters with our Palmetto brethren over yonder, he'll do something devilish?"

"What makes you think so?"

"Well, nothing quite explainable; the exasperating coolness of the man, as much as anything. This morning the boys were teasing Muffin Fan" [a small mulatto girl who used to bring muffins into camp three times a week,—at the peril of her life!] "and Jemmy Blunt of Company K—you know him—was rather rough on the girl, when Quite So, who had been reading under a tree, shut one finger in his book, walked over to where the boys were skylarking, and with the smile of a juvenile angel on his face lifted Jemmy out of that and set him down gently in front of his own tent. There Blunt sat speechless, staring at Quite So, who was back again under the tree, pegging away at his little Latin grammar."

That Latin grammar! He always had it about him, reading it or turning over its dog's-eared pages at odd intervals and in out-of-the-way places. Half a dozen times a day he would draw it out from the bosom of his blouse, which had taken the shape of the book just over the left breast, look at it as if to assure himself it was all right, and then put the thing back. At night the volume lay beneath his pillow. The first thing in the morning, before he was well awake, his hand would go groping instinctively under his knapsack in search of it.

A devastating curiosity seized upon us boys concerning that Latin grammar, for we had discovered [Pg 28]the nature of the book. Strong wanted to steal it one night, but concluded not to. "In the first place," reflected Strong, "I haven't the heart to do it, and in the next place I haven't the moral courage. Quite So would placidly break every bone in my body." And I believe Strong was not far out of the way.

Sometimes I was vexed with myself for allowing this tall, simple-hearted country fellow to puzzle me so much. And yet, was he a simple-hearted country fellow? City bred he certainly was not; but his manner, in spite of his awkwardness, had an indescribable air of refinement. Now and then, too, he dropped a word or a phrase that showed his familiarity with unexpected lines of reading. "The other day," said Curtis, with the slightest elevation of eyebrow, "he had the cheek to correct my Latin for me." In short, Quite So was a daily problem to the members of Mess 6. Whenever he was absent, and Blakely and Curtis and Strong and I got together in the tent, we discussed him, evolving various theories to explain why he never wrote to anybody and why nobody ever wrote to him. Had the man committed some terrible crime, and fled to the army to hide his guilt? Blakely suggested that he must have murdered "the old folks." What did he mean by eternally conning that tattered Latin grammar? And was his name Bladburn, anyhow? Even his imperturbable amiability became suspicious. And then his frightful reticence! If he was the victim of any deep grief or crushing calamity, why didn't he seem unhappy? What business had he to be cheerful?

"It's my opinion," said Strong, "that he's a rival Wandering Jew; the original Jacobs, you know, was a dark fellow."[Pg 29]

Blakely inferred from something Bladburn had said, or something he had not said,—which was more likely,—that he had been a schoolmaster at some period of his life.

"Schoolmaster be hanged!" was Strong's comment. "Can you fancy a schoolmaster going about conjugating baby verbs out of a dratted little spelling-book? No, Quite So has evidently been a—a—Blest if I can imagine what he's been!"

Whatever John Bladburn had been, he was a lonely man. Whenever I want a type of perfect human isolation, I shall think of him, as he was in those days, moving remote, self-contained, and alone in the midst of two hundred thousand men.


The Indian summer, with its infinite beauty and tenderness, came like a reproach that year to Virginia. The foliage, touched here and there with prismatic tints, drooped motionless in the golden haze. The delicate Virginia creeper was almost minded to put forth its scarlet buds again. No wonder the lovely phantom—this dusky Southern sister of the pale Northern June—lingered not long with us, but, filling the once peaceful glens and valleys with her pathos, stole away rebukefully before the savage enginery of man.

The preparations that had been going on for months in arsenals and foundries at the North were nearly completed. For weeks past the air had been filled with rumors of an advance; but the rumor of to-day refuted the rumor of yesterday, and the Grand Army did not move. Heintzelman's corps was constantly folding its tents, like the Arabs, and as silently stealing away; but somehow it was always in the same place the next [Pg 30]morning. One day, at length, orders came down for our brigade to move.

"We're going to Richmond, boys!" shouted Strong, thrusting his head in at the tent; and we all cheered and waved our caps like mad. You see, Big Bethel and Bull Run and Ball's Bluff (the Bloody B's, as we used to call them,) hadn't taught us any better sense.

Rising abruptly from the plateau, to the left of our encampment, was a tall hill covered with a stunted growth of red-oak, persimmon, and chestnut. The night before we struck tents I climbed up to the crest to take a parting look at a spectacle which custom had not been able to rob of its enchantment. There, at my feet, and extending miles and miles away, lay the camps of the Grand Army, with its camp-fires reflected luridly against the sky. Thousands of lights were twinkling in every direction, some nestling in the valley, some like fire-flies beating their wings and palpitating among the trees, and others stretching in parallel lines and curves, like the street-lamps of a city. Somewhere, far off, a band was playing, at intervals it seemed; and now and then, nearer to, a silvery strain from a bugle shot sharply up through the night, and seemed to lose itself like a rocket among the stars,—the patient, untroubled stars. Suddenly a hand was laid upon my arm.

"I'd like to say a word to you," said Bladburn.

With a little start of surprise, I made room for him on the fallen tree where I was seated.

"I mayn't get another chance," he said. "You and the boys have been very kind to me, kinder than I deserve; but sometimes I've fancied that my not saying anything about myself had given you the idea that all [Pg 31]was not right in my past. I want to say that I came down to Virginia with a clean record."

"We never really doubted it, Bladburn."

"If I didn't write home," he continued, "it was because I hadn't any home, neither kith nor kin. When I said the old folks were dead, I said it. Am I boring you? If I thought I was—"

"No, Bladburn. I have often wanted you to talk to me about yourself, not from idle curiosity, I trust, but because I liked you that rainy night when you came to camp, and have gone on liking you ever since. This isn't too much to say, when Heaven only knows how soon I may be past saying it or you listening to it."

"That's it," said Bladburn, hurriedly, "that's why I want to talk with you. I've a fancy that I shan't come out of our first battle."

The words gave me a queer start, for I had been trying several days to throw off a similar presentiment concerning him,—a foolish presentiment that grew out of a dream.

"In case anything of that kind turns up," he continued, "I'd like you to have my Latin grammar here,—you've seen me reading it. You might stick it away in a bookcase, for the sake of old times. It goes against me to think of it falling into rough hands or being kicked about camp and trampled under foot."

He was drumming softly with his fingers on the volume in the bosom of his blouse.

"I didn't intend to speak of this to a living soul," he went on, motioning me not to answer him; "but something took hold of me to-night and made me follow you up here. Perhaps, if I told you all, you would be the more willing to look after the little book in case it goes ill with me. When the war broke out I was [Pg 32]teaching school down in Maine, in the same village where my father was schoolmaster before me. The old man when he died left me quite alone. I lived pretty much by myself, having no interests outside of the district school, which seemed in a manner my personal property. Eight years ago last spring a new pupil was brought to the school, a slight slip of a girl, with a sad kind of face and quiet ways. Perhaps it was because she wasn't very strong, and perhaps because she wasn't used over well by those who had charge of her, or perhaps it was because my life was lonely, that my heart warmed to the child. It all seems like a dream now, since that April morning when little Mary stood in front of my desk with her pretty eyes looking down bashfully and her soft hair falling over her face. One day I look up, and six years have gone by,—as they go by in dreams,—and among the scholars is a tall girl of sixteen, with serious, womanly eyes which I cannot trust myself to look upon. The old life has come to an end. The child has become a woman and can teach the master now. So help me Heaven, I didn't know that I loved her until that day!

"Long after the children had gone home I sat in the schoolroom with my face resting on my hands. There was her desk, the afternoon shadows falling across it. It never looked empty and cheerless before. I went and stood by the low chair, as I had stood hundreds of times. On the desk was a pile of books, ready to be taken away, and among the rest a small Latin grammar which we had studied together. What little despairs and triumphs and happy hours were associated with it! I took it up curiously, as if it were some gentle dead thing, and turned over the pages, and could hardly see them. Turning the pages, idly so, I came [Pg 33]to a leaf on which something was written with ink, in the familiar girlish hand. It was only the words 'Dear John,' through which she had drawn two hasty pencil lines—I wish she hadn't drawn those lines!" added Bladburn, under his breath.

He was silent for a minute or two, looking off towards the camps, where the lights were fading out one by one.

"I had no right to go and love Mary. I was twice her age, an awkward, unsocial man, that would have blighted her youth. I was as wrong as wrong can be. But I never meant to tell her. I locked the grammar in my desk and the secret in my heart for a year. I couldn't bear to meet her in the village, and kept away from every place where she was likely to be. Then she came to me, and sat down at my feet penitently, just as she used to do when she was a child, and asked what she had done to anger me; and then, Heaven forgive me! I told her all, and asked her if she could say with her lips the words she had written, and she nestled in my arms all a-trembling like a bird, and said them over and over again.

"When Mary's family heard of our engagement, there was trouble. They looked higher for Mary than a middle-aged schoolmaster. No blame to them. They forbade me the house, her uncles; but we met in the village and at the neighbors' houses, and I was happy, knowing she loved me. Matters were in this state when the war came on. I had a strong call to look after the old flag, and I hung my head that day when the company raised in our village marched by the schoolhouse to the railroad station; but I couldn't tear myself away. About this time the minister's son, who had been away to college, came to the village. He met Mary here [Pg 34]and there, and they became great friends. He was a likely fellow, near her own age, and it was natural they should like one another. Sometimes I winced at seeing him made free of the home from which I was shut out; then I would open the grammar at the leaf where 'Dear John' was written up in the corner, and my trouble was gone. Mary was sorrowful and pale these days, and I think her people were worrying her.

"It was one evening two or three days before we got the news of Bull Run. I had gone down to the burying-ground to trim the spruce hedge set round the old man's lot, and was just stepping into the enclosure, when I heard voices from the opposite side. One was Mary's, and the other I knew to be young Marston's, the minister's son. I didn't mean to listen, but what Mary was saying struck me dumb. We must never meet again, she was saying in a wild way. We must say good-by here, forever,—good-by, good-by! And I could hear her sobbing. Then, presently, she said, hurriedly, No, no; my hand, not my lips! Then it seemed he kissed her hands, and the two parted, one going towards the parsonage, and the other out by the gate near where I stood.

"I don't know how long I stood there, but the night-dews had wet me to the bone when I stole out of the graveyard and across the road to the schoolhouse. I unlocked the door, and took the Latin grammar from the desk and hid it in my bosom. There was not a sound or a light anywhere as I walked out of the village. And now," said Bladburn, rising suddenly from the tree-trunk, "if the little book ever falls in your way, won't you see that it comes to no harm, for my sake, and for the sake of the little woman who was [Pg 35]true to me and didn't love me? Wherever she is to-night, God bless her!"

As we descended to camp with our arms resting on each other's shoulder, the watch-fires were burning low in the valleys and along the hillsides, and as far as the eye could reach, the silent tents lay bleaching in the moonlight.


We imagined that the throwing forward of our brigade was the initial movement of a general advance of the army: but that, as the reader will remember, did not take place until the following March. The Confederates had fallen back to Centreville without firing a shot, and the National troops were in possession of Lewinsville, Vienna, and Fairfax Court-House. Our new position was nearly identical with that which we had occupied on the night previous to the battle of Bull Run,—on the old turnpike road to Manassas, where the enemy was supposed to be in great force. With a field-glass we could see the Rebel pickets moving in a belt of woodland on our right, and morning and evening we heard the spiteful roll of their snare-drums.

Those pickets soon became a nuisance to us. Hardly a night passed but they fired upon our outposts, so far with no harmful result; but after a while it grew to be a serious matter. The Rebels would crawl out on all-fours from the wood into a field covered with underbrush, and lie there in the dark for hours, waiting for a shot. Then our men took to the rifle-pits,—pits ten or twelve feet long by four or five feet deep, with the loose earth banked up a few inches high on the exposed sides. All the pits bore names, more or less felicitous, [Pg 36]by which they were known to their transient tenants. One was called "The Pepper-Box," another "Uncle Sam's Well," another "The Reb-Trap," and another, I am constrained to say, was named after a not to be mentioned tropical locality. Though this rude sort of nomenclature predominated, there was no lack of softer titles, such as "Fortress Matilda" and "Castle Mary," and one had, though unintentionally, a literary flavor to it, "Blair's Grave," which was not popularly considered as reflecting unpleasantly on Nat Blair, who had assisted in making the excavation.

Some of the regiment had discovered a field of late corn in the neighborhood, and used to boil a few ears every day, while it lasted, for the boys detailed on the night-picket. The corn-cobs were always scrupulously preserved and mounted on the parapets of the pits. Whenever a Rebel shot carried away one of these barbette guns, there was swearing in that particular trench. Strong, who was very sensitive to this kind of disaster, was complaining bitterly one morning, because he had lost three "pieces" the night before.

"There's Quite So, now," said Strong, "when a Minie-ball comes ping! and knocks one of his guns to flinders, he merely smiles, and doesn't at all see the degradation of the thing."

Poor Bladburn! As I watched him day by day going about his duties, in his shy, cheery way, with a smile for every one and not an extra word for anybody, it was hard to believe he was the same man who, that night before we broke camp by the Potomac, had poured out to me the story of his love and sorrow in words that burned in my memory.

While Strong was speaking, Blakely lifted aside the flap of the tent and looked in on us.[Pg 37]

"Boys, Quite So was hurt last night," he said, with a white tremor to his lip.


"Shot on picket."

"Why, he was in the pit next to mine," cried Strong.

"Badly hurt?"

"Badly hurt."

I knew he was; I need not have asked the question. He never meant to go back to New England!

Bladburn was lying on the stretcher in the hospital-tent. The surgeon had knelt down by him, and was carefully cutting away the bosom of his blouse. The Latin grammar, stained and torn, slipped, and fell to the floor. Bladburn gave me a quick glance. I picked up the book, and as I placed it in his hand, the icy fingers closed softly over mine. He was sinking fast. In a few minutes the surgeon finished his examination. When he rose to his feet there were tears on the weather-beaten cheeks. He was a rough outside, but a tender heart.

"My poor lad," he blurted out, "it's no use. If you've anything to say, say it now, for you've nearly done with this world."

Then Bladburn lifted his eyes slowly to the surgeon, and the old smile flitted over his face as he murmured,—

"Quite so."


the first battle of Bull Run:—Fought July 21, 1861; known in the South as Manassas.

Long Bridge:—A bridge over which the Union soldiers crossed in fleeing to Washington after the battle of Bull Run.[Pg 38]

Shenandoah:—A river and a valley in Virginia—the scene of many events in the Civil War.

Fairfax Court House:—Near Manassas Junction.

On to Richmond:—In 1861 the newspapers of the North were violently demanding an attack on Richmond.

Faneuil Hall:—An historic hall in Boston, in which important meetings were held before the Revolution.

McDowell:—Irving McDowell, who commanded the Union troops at Bull Run.

McClellan:—George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac.

Wandering Jew:—A legendary person said to have been condemned to wander over the earth, undying, till the Day of Judgment. The legend is probably founded on a passage in the Bible—John 21:20-23.

folding its tents:—A quotation from The Day is Done, by Longfellow. The lines are:—

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Big Bethel:—The Union troops were defeated here on June 10, 1861.

Ball's Bluff:—A place on the Potomac where the Union soldiers were beaten, October 21, 1861.

Centreville:—A small town, the Union base in the first Battle of Bull Run.

Lewinsville:—A small town, north of Centreville.

Vienna:—A village in the Bull Run district.

Blair's Grave:—Robert Blair, a Scotch writer, published (1743) a poem in blank verse called "The Grave."

barbette guns:—Guns elevated to fire over the top of a turret or parapet.

minie-ball:—A conical ball plugged with iron, named after its inventor, Captain Minié, of France.


Read the piece through without stopping, so that you can get the story. Then go back to the beginning and study with the help of the following questions:—[Pg 39]

Compare the first sentence with the first sentence of Tennessee's Partner. What do you think of the method? What is the use of the first paragraph in Quite So? Why the long paragraph giving the setting? Is this a good method in writing a story? What had become of "Little Billy"? Who was "Johnny Reb"? What do you think of bringing in humorous touches when one is dealing with things so serious as war and battles? What does "Drop that!" refer to? Why does Strong change his tone? Note what details the author has selected in order to give a clear picture of "Quite So" in a few words. How does the conversation reveal the stranger's character? What is shown by the fact that "Quite So" does not write any letters? What is the purpose of the episode of "Muffin Fan"? What devices does the author use, in order to bring out the mystery and the loneliness of "Quite So"? Note how the author emphasizes the passage of time. Why does Bladburn finally tell his story? How does it reveal his character? Was Mary right in what she did? Why are some sentences in the text printed in italics? Was Bladburn right in leaving his home village without explanation? Why did he do so? What do you get from the sentence, "He never meant to go back to New England"? What is the impression made by the last sentence? Do you like the story?


A Mysterious Person
The New Girl at School
The Schoolmaster's Romance
A Sudden Departure
A Camp Scene
The G.A.R. on Memorial Day
The Militia in our Town
An Old Soldier
A Story of the Civil War
Some Relics of the Civil War
Watching the Cadets Drill
My Uncle's Experiences in the War
A Sham Battle
A Visit to an Old Battlefield
On Picket Duty
A Daughter of the Confederacy
"Stonewall" Jackson
Modern Ways of Preventing War
The Soldiers' Home
An Escape from a Military Prison
The Women's Relief Corps
Women in the Civil War
[Pg 40]


An Old Soldier:—Tell how you happen to know this old soldier. Where does he live? Do you see him often? What is he doing when you see him? Describe him as vividly as you can:—his general appearance; his clothes; his way of walking. Speak particularly of his face and its expression. If possible, let us hear him talk. Perhaps you can tell some of his war stories—in his own words.

A Mysterious Person:—Imagine a mysterious person appearing in a little town where everybody knows everybody else. Tell how he (or she) arrives. How does he look? What does he do? Explain clearly why he is particularly hard to account for. What do people say about him? Try to make each person's remarks fit his individual character. How do people try to find out about the stranger? Does he notice their curiosity? Do they ask him questions? If so, give some bits of their conversations with him. You might go on and make a story of some length out of this. Show whether the stranger really has any reason for concealing his identity. Does he get into any trouble? Does an accident reveal who he is and why he is in the town? Does some one find out by spying upon him? Or does he tell all about himself, when the right time comes?

Perhaps you can put the story into the form of a series of brief conversations about the stranger or with him.

An Incident of the Civil War:—Select some historical incident, or one that you have heard from an old soldier, and tell it simply and vividly in your own words.


[Pg 41]

The Story of a Bad BoyThomas Bailey Aldrich
Marjorie Daw and Other People    "         "         "
The Stillwater Tragedy    "         "         "
Prudence Palfrey    "         "         "
From Ponkapog to Pesth    "         "         "
The Queen of Sheba    "         "         "
A Sea Turn and Other Matters    "         "         "
For Bravery on the Field of Battle
    (in Two Bites at a Cherry)    "         "         "
The Return of a Private
    (in Main-Travelled Roads)Hamlin Garland
On the Eve of the FourthHarold Frederic
Marse ChanThomas Nelson Page
Meh Lady    "         "         "
The Burial of the Guns    "         "         "
Red Rock    "         "         "
The Long RollMary Johnston
Cease Firing   "         "
The CrisisWinston Churchill
Where the Battle was FoughtMary N. Murfree
The Little Shepherd of Kingdom ComeJohn Fox, Jr.
Hospital SketchesLouisa M. Alcott
A Blockaded FamilyP.A. Hague
He Knew Lincoln[2]Ida Tarbell
The Perfect Tribute[3]M.R.S. Andrews
The Toy Shop[4]M.S. Gerry
Thomas Bailey AldrichFerris Greenslet
Park Street Papers, pp. 143-70Bliss Perry
American Writers of To-day, pp. 104-23H.C. Vedder
American Authors and their Homes, pp. 89-98F.W. Halsey
American Authors at Home, pp. 3-16J.L. and J.B. Gilder
Literary Pilgrimages in New England, pp. 89-97E.M. Bacon
Thomas Bailey Aldrich (poem)Henry van Dyke

For biographies and criticisms of Thomas B. Aldrich, see also: Outlook, 86:922, August 24, 1907; 84:735, November 24, 1906; 85:737, March 30, 1907. Bookman, 24:317, December, 1906 (Portrait); also 25:218 (Portrait). Current Literature, 42:49, January, 1907 (Portrait). Chautauquan, 65:168, January, 1912.

[Pg 42]


A.D. 1867


Just where the Treasury's marble front
Looks over Wall Street's mingled nations;
Where Jews and Gentiles most are wont
To throng for trade and last quotations;
Where, hour by hour, the rates of gold
Outrival, in the ears of people,
The quarter-chimes, serenely tolled
From Trinity's undaunted steeple,—
Even there I heard a strange, wild strain
Sound high above the modern clamor,
Above the cries of greed and gain,
The curbstone war, the auction's hammer;
And swift, on Music's misty ways,
It led, from all this strife for millions.
To ancient, sweet-do-nothing days
Among the kirtle-robed Sicilians.
And as it stilled the multitude,
And yet more joyous rose, and shriller,
I saw the minstrel where he stood
At ease against a Doric pillar:
One hand a droning organ played,
The other held a Pan's-pipe (fashioned
Like those of old) to lips that made
The reeds give out that strain impassioned.

[Pg 43]

'Twas Pan himself had wandered here
A-strolling through this sordid city,
And piping to the civic ear
The prelude of some pastoral ditty!
The demigod had crossed the seas,—
From haunts of shepherd, nymph, and satyr,
And Syracusan times,—to these
Far shores and twenty centuries later.
A ragged cap was on his head;
But—hidden thus—there was no doubting
That, all with crispy locks o'erspread,
His gnarlèd horns were somewhere sprouting;
His club-feet, cased in rusty shoes,
Were crossed, as on some frieze you see them,
And trousers, patched of divers hues,
Concealed his crooked shanks beneath them.
He filled the quivering reeds with sound,
And o'er his mouth their changes shifted,
And with his goat's-eyes looked around
Where'er the passing current drifted;
And soon, as on Trinacrian hills
The nymphs and herdsmen ran to hear him,
Even now the tradesmen from their tills,
With clerks and porters, crowded near him.
The bulls and bears together drew
From Jauncey Court and New Street Alley,
As erst, if pastorals be true,
Came beasts from every wooded valley;
And random passers stayed to list,—
A boxer Ægon, rough and merry,
A Broadway Daphnis, on his tryst
With Nais at the Brooklyn Ferry.

[Pg 44]

A one-eyed Cyclops halted long
In tattered cloak of army pattern,
And Galatea joined the throng,—
A blowsy apple-vending slattern;
While old Silenus staggered out
From some new-fangled lunch-house handy,
And bade the piper, with a shout,
To strike up Yankee Doodle Dandy!
A newsboy and a peanut-girl
Like little Fauns began to caper;
His hair was all in tangled curl,
Her tawny legs were bare and taper;
And still the gathering larger grew,
And gave its pence and crowded nigher,
While aye the shepherd-minstrel blew
His pipe, and struck the gamut higher.
O heart of Nature, beating still
With throbs her vernal passion taught her,—
Even here, as on the vine-clad hill,
Or by the Arethusan water!
New forms may fold the speech, new lands
Arise within these ocean-portals,
But Music waves eternal wands,—
Enchantress of the souls of mortals!
So thought I,—but among us trod
A man in blue, with legal baton,
And scoffed the vagrant demigod,
And pushed him from the step I sat on.
Doubting I mused upon the cry,
"Great Pan is dead!"—and all the people
Went on their ways:—and clear and high
The quarter sounded from the steeple.

[Pg 45]


Wall Street:—An old street in New York faced by the Stock Exchange and the offices of the wealthiest bankers and brokers.

the Treasury:—The Sub-Treasury Building.

last quotations:—The latest information on stock values given out before the Stock Exchange closes.

Trinity:—The famous old church that stands at the head of Wall Street.

curbstone war:—The clamorous quoting, auctioning, and bidding of stock out on the street curb, where the "curb brokers"—brokers who do not have seats on the Stock Exchange—do business.

sweet-do-nothing:—A translation of an Italian expression, dolce far niente.

Sicilians:—Theocritus (3rd century before Christ), the Greek pastoral poet, wrote of the happy life of the shepherds and shepherdesses in Sicily.

Doric pillar:—A heavy marble pillar, such as was used in the architecture of the Dorians in Greece.

Pan's pipe:—Pan was the Greek god of shepherds, and patron of fishing and hunting. He is represented as having the head and body of a man, with the legs, horns, and tail of a goat. It was said that he invented the shepherd's pipe or flute, which he made from reeds plucked on the bank of a stream.

pastoral ditty:—A poem about shepherds and the happy outdoor life. The word pastoral comes from the Latin pastor, shepherd.

Syracusan times:—Syracuse was an important city in Sicily. See the note on Sicilians, above.

Trinacrian hills:—Trinacria is an old name for Sicily.

bulls and bears:—A bull, on the Stock Exchange, is one who operates in expectation of a rise in stocks; a bear is a person who sells stocks in expectation of a fall in the market.

Jauncey Court:—The Jauncey family were prominent in the early New York days. This court was probably named after them.

Ægon:—Usually spelled Ægaeon; another name for Briareus, a monster with a hundred arms.[Pg 46]

Daphnis:—In Greek myth, a shepherd who loved music.

Nais:—In Greek myth, a happy young girl, a nymph.

Cyclops:—One of a race of giants having but one eye—in the middle of the forehead. These giants helped Vulcan at his forge under Aetna.

Galatea:—A sea-nymph beloved by the Cyclops Polyphemus.

Silenus:—The foster-father and companion of Bacchus, god of wine. In pictures and sculpture Silenus is usually represented as intoxicated.

Fauns:—Fabled beings, half goat and half man.

Arethusan water:—Arethusa, in Greek myth, was a wood-nymph, who was pursued by the river Alpheus. She was changed into a fountain, and ran under the sea to Sicily, where she rose near the city of Syracuse. Shelley has a poem on Arethusa.

baton:—A rod or wand; here, of course, a policeman's club.


The author sees an organ-grinder playing his gay tunes in Wall Street, New York, among the buildings where enormous financial transactions are carried on. He (the author) imagines this wandering minstrel to be Pan himself, assuming a modern form. Read the notes carefully for what is said about Pan. Notice, in the poem, how skillfully the author brings out the contrast between the easy-going days of ancient Greece and the busy, rushing times of modern America. Of what value is the word serenely in the first stanza? What is the "curbstone war"? Do you think the old-fashioned Pan's pipe is common now? Could a man play an organ and a pipe at the same time? Why is the city spoken of as "sordid"? What is the "civic ear"? In the description of the player, how is the idea of his being Pan emphasized? How was it that the bulls and bears drew together? In plain words who were the people whom the author describes under Greek names? Show how aptly the mythological characters are fitted to modern persons. Read carefully what is said about the power of music, in the stanza beginning "O heart of Nature." Who was the man in blue? Why did he interfere? Why is the organ-grinder called a "vagrant demigod"? What was it that the author doubted? What is meant [Pg 47]here by "Great Pan is dead"? Does the author mean more than the mere words seem to express? Do you think that people are any happier in these commercial times than they were in ancient Greece? After you have studied the poem and mastered all the references, read the poem through, thinking of its meaning and its lively measure.

Read Mrs. Browning's poem, A Musical Instrument, which is about Pan and his pipe of reeds.


Nooks and Corners of Old New YorkCharles Hemstreet
In Old New YorkThomas A. Janvier
The Greatest Street in the World: BroadwayStephen Jenkins
The God of Music (poem)Edith M. Thomas
A Musical InstrumentElizabeth Barrett Browning
Classic Myths (See Index)C.M. Gayley
The Age of FableThomas Bulfinch
A Butterfly in Wall Street
    (in Madrigals and Catches)Frank D. Sherman
Come Pan, and Pipe
    (in Madrigals and Catches)     "       "         "
Pan Learns Music (poem)Henry van Dyke
Peeps at Great Cities: New YorkHildegarde Hawthorne
Vignettes of ManhattanBrander Matthews
New York SocietyRalph Pulitzer
In the Cities (poem)R.W. Gilder
Up at a Villa—Down in the CityRobert Browning
The Faun in Wall Street[5](poem)John Myers O'Hara

[Pg 48]



Look on this cast, and know the hand
That bore a nation in its hold;
From this mute witness understand
What Lincoln was,—how large of mould
The man who sped the woodman's team,
And deepest sunk the ploughman's share,
And pushed the laden raft astream,
Of fate before him unaware.
This was the hand that knew to swing
The axe—since thus would Freedom train
Her son—and made the forest ring,
And drove the wedge, and toiled amain.
Firm hand, that loftier office took,
A conscious leader's will obeyed,
And, when men sought his word and look,
With steadfast might the gathering swayed.
No courtier's, toying with a sword,
Nor minstrel's, laid across a lute;
A chief's, uplifted to the Lord
When all the kings of earth were mute!
The hand of Anak, sinewed strong,
The fingers that on greatness clutch;
Yet, lo! the marks their lines along
Of one who strove and suffered much.

[Pg 49]

For here in knotted cord and vein
I trace the varying chart of years;
I know the troubled heart, the strain,
The weight of Atlas—and the tears.
Again I see the patient brow
That palm erewhile was wont to press;
And now 'tis furrowed deep, and now
Made smooth with hope and tenderness.
For something of a formless grace
This moulded outline plays about;
A pitying flame, beyond our trace,
Breathes like a spirit, in and out,—
The love that cast an aureole
Round one who, longer to endure,
Called mirth to ease his ceaseless dole,
Yet kept his nobler purpose sure.
Lo, as I gaze, the statured man,
Built up from yon large hand, appears;
A type that Nature wills to plan
But once in all a people's years.
What better than this voiceless cast
To tell of such a one as he,
Since through its living semblance passed
The thought that bade a race be free!


this cast:—A cast of Lincoln's hand was made by Leonard W. Volk, in 1860, on the Sunday following the nomination of Lincoln for the Presidency. The original, in bronze, can be seen [Pg 50]at the National Museum in Washington. Various copies have been made in plaster. An anecdote concerning one of these is told on page 107 of William Dean Howells's Literary Friends and Acquaintances; facing page 106 of the same book there is an interesting picture. In the Critic, volume 44, page 510, there is an article by Isabel Moore, entitled Hands that have Done Things; a picture of Lincoln's hand, in plaster, is given in the course of this article.

Anak:—The sons of Anak are spoken of in the Bible as a race of giants. See Numbers, 13:33; Deuteronomy, 9:2.

Atlas:—In Greek story, the giant who held the world on his shoulders.

the thought:—The Emancipation Proclamation.


Read the poem through from beginning to end. Then go back to the first and study it more carefully. Notice that there is no pause at the end of the first stanza. In the ninth line, mentally put in how after know. Explain what is said about Freedom's training her son. Loftier office: Loftier than what? Note that might is a noun. Mentally insert hand after courtier's. Can you tell from the hand of a person whether he has suffered or not? What does the author mean here by "the weight of Atlas"? What is a "formless grace"? Is the expression appropriate here? What characteristic of Lincoln is referred to in the line beginning "Called mirth"? Are great men so rare as the author seems to think? Why is the cast a good means of telling of "such a one as he"? Look carefully at one of Lincoln's portraits, and then read this poem aloud to yourself.

Compare this poem with the sonnet On the Life-Mask of Abraham Lincoln, page 210.


[Pg 51]

Abraham Lincoln: A Short LifeJohn G. Nicolay
The Boys' Life of LincolnHelen Nicolay
Personal Traits of Abraham Lincoln   "        "
Lincoln the LawyerF.T. Hill
Passages from the Speeches and Letters of Abraham LincolnR.W. Gilder (Ed.)
Lincoln's Own StoriesAnthony Gross
LincolnNorman Hapgood
Abraham Lincoln, the Boy and the ManJames Morgan
Father AbrahamIda Tarbell
He Knew Lincoln[6]    "        "
Life of Abraham Lincoln    "        "
Abraham LincolnRobert G. Ingersoll
Abraham LincolnNoah Brooks
Abraham Lincoln for Boys and GirlsC.W. Moores
The GraysonsEdward Eggleston
The Perfect Tribute[6]M.R.S. Andrews
The Toy Shop[6]M.S. Gerry
We Talked of Lincoln (poem)[7]E.W. Thomson
Lincoln and the Sleeping SentinelL.E. Chittenden
O Captain, my Captain!Walt Whitman
When Lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloomed    "          "
PoemsE.C. Stedman
An American Anthology  "  "          "
American Authors and their Homes, pp. 157-172F.W. Halsey
American Authors at Home, pp. 273-291J.L. and J.B. Gilder

For portraits of E.C. Stedman, see Bookman, 34:592; Current Literature, 42:49.

[Pg 52]



(Dramatized from Victor Hugo's Les Misérables)

Scene II

Time: Evening.

Place: Village of D——; dining room of the Bishop's house.

[The room is poorly furnished, but orderly. A door at the back opens on the street. At one side, a window overlooks the garden; at the other, curtains hang before an alcove. Mademoiselle, the Bishop's Sister, a sweet-faced lady, sits by the fire, knitting. Madame, his Housekeeper, is laying the table for supper.]

Mlle. Has the Bishop returned from the service?

Madame. Yes, Mademoiselle. He is in his room, reading. Shall I call him?

Mlle. No, do not disturb him—he will come in good time—when supper is ready.

Madame. Dear me—I forgot to get bread when I went out to-day.

Mlle. Go to the baker's, then; we will wait.

[Exit Madame. Pause.]

[Enter the Bishop. He is an old man, gentle and kindly.]

Bishop. I hope I have not kept you waiting, sister.

Mlle. No, brother, Madame has just gone out for bread. She forgot it this morning.

Bishop (having seated himself by the fire). The wind blows cold from the mountains to-night.[Pg 53]

Mlle. (nodding). All day it has been growing colder.

Bishop. 'Twill bring great suffering to the poor.

Mlle. Who suffer too much already.

Bishop. I would I could help them more than I do!

Mlle. You give all you have, my brother. You keep nothing for yourself—you have only bare necessities.

Bishop. Well, I have sent in a bill for carriage hire in making pastoral visits.

Mlle. Carriage hire! I did not know you ever rode. Now I am glad to hear that. A bishop should go in state sometimes. I venture to say your bill is small.

Bishop. Three thousand francs.

Mlle. Three thousand francs! Why, I cannot believe it!

Bishop. Here is the bill.

Mlle. (reading bill). What is this!

Expenses of Carriage
For furnishing soup to hospital1500 francs
For charitable society of D——500    "
For foundlings500    "
For orphans500    "
Total3000 francs

So! that is your carriage hire! Ha, ha! I might have known it!

[They laugh together.]

[Enter Madame, excited, with bread.]

Madame. Such news as I have heard! The whole town is talking about it! We should have locks put on our doors at once!

Mlle. What is it, Madame? What have you heard?[Pg 54]

Madame. They say there is a suspicious vagabond in the town. The inn-keeper refused to take him in. They say he is a released convict who once committed an awful crime.

[The Bishop is looking into the fire, paying no attention to Madame.]

Mlle. Do you hear what Madame is saying, brother?

Bishop. Only a little. Are we in danger, Madame?

Madame. There is a convict in town, your Reverence!

Bishop. Do you fear we shall be robbed?

Madame. I do, indeed!

Bishop. Of what?

Madame. There are the six silver plates and the silver soup-ladle and the two silver candlesticks.

Bishop. All of which we could do without.

Madame. Do without!

Mlle. 'Twould be a great loss, brother. We could not treat a guest as is our wont.

Bishop. Ah, there you have me, sister. I love to see the silver laid out for every guest who comes here. And I like the candles lighted, too; it makes a brighter welcome.

Mlle. A bishop's house should show some state.

Bishop. Aye—to every stranger! Henceforth, I should like every one of our six plates on the table whenever we have a guest here.

Mlle. All of them?

Madame. For one guest?

Bishop. Yes—we have no right to hide treasures. Each guest shall enjoy all that we have.

Madame. Then 'tis time we should look to the locks on the doors, if we would keep our silver. I'll go for the locksmith now—[Pg 55]

Bishop. Stay! This house shall not be locked against any man! Would you have me lock out my brothers?

[A loud knock is heard at street door.]

Come in!

[Enter Jean Valjean, with his knapsack and cudgel. The women are frightened.]

Jean (roughly). See here! My name is Jean Valjean. I am a convict from the galleys. I was set free four days ago, and I am looking for work. I hoped to find a lodging here, but no one will have me. It was the same way yesterday and the day before. To-night a good woman told me to knock at your door. I have knocked. Is this an inn?

Bishop. Madame, put on another plate.

Jean. Stop! You do not understand, I think. Here is my passport—see what it says: "Jean Valjean, discharged convict, has been nineteen years in the galleys; five years for theft; fourteen years for having attempted to escape. He is a very dangerous man." There! you know it all. I ask only for straw in your stable.

Bishop. Madame, you will put white sheets on the bed in the alcove.

[Exit Madame. The Bishop turns to Jean.]

We shall dine presently. Sit here by the fire, sir.

Jean. What! You will keep me? You call me "sir"! Oh! I am going to dine! I am to have a bed with sheets like the rest of the world—a bed! It is nineteen years since I have slept in a bed! I will pay anything you ask. You are a fine man. You are an innkeeper, are you not?

Bishop. I am a priest who lives here.

Jean. A priest! Ah, yes—I ask your pardon—I didn't notice your cap and gown.[Pg 56]

Bishop. Be seated near the fire, sir.

[Jean deposits his knapsack, repeating to himself with delight.]

Jean. He calls me sirsir. (Aloud.) You will require me to pay, will you not?

Bishop. No, keep your money. How much have you?

Jean. One hundred and nine francs.

Bishop. How long did it take you to earn it?

Jean. Nineteen years.

Bishop (sadly). Nineteen years—the best part of your life!

Jean. Aye, the best part—I am now forty-six. A beast of burden would have earned more.

Bishop. This lamp gives a very bad light, sister.

[Mlle. gets the two silver candlesticks from the mantel, lights them, and places them on the table.]

Jean. Ah, but you are good! You don't despise me. You light your candles for me,—you treat me as a guest,—and I've told you where I come from, who I am!

Bishop. This house does not demand of him who enters whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer—you are hungry—you are welcome.

Jean. I cannot understand it—

Bishop. This house is home to the man who needs a refuge. So, sir, this is your house now more than it is mine. Whatever is here is yours. What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me, I knew it.

Jean. What! You knew my name!

Bishop. Yes, your name is—Brother.[Pg 57]

Jean. Stop! I cannot bear it—you are so good—

[He buries his face in his hands.]

[Enter Madame with dishes for the table; she continues passing in and out, preparing supper.]

Bishop. You have suffered much, sir—

Jean (nodding). The red shirt, the ball on the ankle, a plank to sleep on, heat, cold, toil, the whip, the double chain for nothing, the cell for one word—even when sick in bed, still the chain! Dogs, dogs are happier! Nineteen years! and now the yellow passport!

Bishop. Yes, you have suffered.

Jean (with violence). I hate this world of laws and courts! I hate the men who rule it! For nineteen years my soul has had only thoughts of hate. For nineteen years I've planned revenge. Do you hear? Revenge—revenge!

Bishop. It is not strange that you should feel so. And if you continue to harbor those thoughts, you are only deserving of pity. But listen, my brother; if, in spite of all you have passed through, your thoughts could be of peace and love, you would be better than any one of us.

[Pause. Jean reflects.]

Jean (speaking violently). No, no! I do not belong to your world of men. I am apart—a different creature from you all. The galleys made me different. I'll have nothing to do with any of you!

Madame. The supper, your Reverence.

[The Bishop glances at the table.]

Bishop. It strikes me there is something missing from this table.

[Madame hesitates.]

Mlle. Madame, do you not understand?

[Madame steps to a cupboard, gets the remaining silver plates, and places them on the table.][Pg 58]

Bishop (gayly, turning to Jean). To table then, my friend! To table!

[Jean remains for a moment, standing doggedly apart; then he steps over to the chair awaiting him, jerks it back, and sinks into it, without looking up.]

Scene III

Time: Daybreak the next morning.

Place: The Bishop's dining room.

[The room is dark, except for a faint light that comes in through window curtains. Jean Valjean creeps in from the alcove. He carries his knapsack and cudgel in one hand; in the other, his shoes. He opens the window overlooking the garden; the room becomes lighter. Jean steps to the mantel and lifts a silver candlestick.]

Jean (whispering). Two hundred francs—double what I have earned in nineteen years!

[He puts it in his knapsack; takes up the other candlestick; shudders, and sets it down again.]

No, no, he is good—he called me "sir"—

[He stands still, staring before him, his hand still gripping the candlestick. Suddenly he straightens up; speaks bitterly.]

Why not? 'Tis easy to give a bed and food! Why doesn't he keep men from the galleys? Nineteen years for a loaf of bread!

[Pauses a moment, then resolutely puts both candlesticks into his bag; steps to the cupboard and takes out the silver plates and the ladle, and slips them into the bag.]

All solid—I should gain at least one thousand francs. 'Tis due me—due me for all these years!

[Closes the bag. Pause.][Pg 59]

No, not the candles—I owe him that much—

[He puts the candlesticks on mantel; takes up cudgel, knapsack, and shoes; jumps out window and disappears. Pause.]

[Enter Madame. She shivers; discovers the open window.]

Madame. Why is that window open? I closed it last night myself. Oh! Could it be possible?

[Crosses and looks at open cupboard.]

It is gone!

[Enter the Bishop from his room.]

Bishop. Good morning, Madame!

Madame. Your Reverence! The silver is gone! Where is that man?

Bishop. In the alcove sleeping, I suppose.

[Madame runs to curtains of alcove and looks in. Enter Mademoiselle. Madame turns.]

He is gone!

Mlle. Gone?

Madame. Aye, gone—gone! He has stolen our silver, the beautiful plates and the ladle! I'll inform the police at once!

[Starts off. The Bishop stops her.]

Bishop. Wait!—Let me ask you this—was that silver ours?

Madame. Why—why not?

Bishop. Because it has always belonged to the poor. I have withheld it wrongfully.

Mlle. Its loss makes no difference to Madame or me.

Madame. Oh, no! But what is your Reverence to eat from now?

Bishop. Are there no pewter plates?

Madame. Pewter has an odor.

Bishop. Iron ones, then.[Pg 60]

Madame. Iron has a taste.

Bishop. Well, then, wooden plates.

[A knock is heard at street door.]

Come in.

[Enter an Officer and two Soldiers, dragging in Jean Valjean.]

Officer. Your Reverence, we found your silver on this man.

Bishop. Why not? I gave it to him. I am glad to see you again, Jean. Why did you not take the candlesticks, too?

Jean (trembling). Your Reverence—

Bishop. I told you everything in this house was yours, my brother.

Officer. Ah, then what he said was true. But, of course, we did not believe him. We saw him creeping from your garden—

Bishop. It is all right, I assure you. This man is a friend of mine.

Officer. Then we can let him go?

Bishop. Certainly.

[Soldiers step back.]

Jean (trembling). I am free?

Officer. Yes! You can go. Do you not understand?

[Steps back.]

Bishop (to Jean). My friend, before you go away—here are your candlesticks (going to the mantel and bringing the candlesticks); take them.

[Jean takes the candlesticks, seeming not to know what he is doing.]

By the way, my friend, when you come again you need not come through the garden. The front door is closed only with a latch, day or night. (To the Officer and Soldiers.) Gentlemen, you may withdraw.

[Exit Officer and Soldiers.][Pg 61]

Jean (recoiling and holding out the candlesticks). No—no—I—I—

Bishop. Say no more; I understand. You felt that they were all owing to you from a world that had used you ill. Keep them, my friend, keep them. I would I had more to give you. It is small recompense for nineteen years.

[Jean stands bewildered, looking down at the candlesticks in his hands.]

They will add something to your hundred francs. But do not forget, never forget, that you have promised to use the money in becoming an honest man.

Jean. I—promised—?

Bishop (not heeding). Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I am buying for you: I withdraw it from thoughts of hatred and revenge—I give it to peace and hope and God.

[Jean stands as if stunned, staring at the Bishop, then turns and walks unsteadily from the room.]


Jean Valjean, as a young man, was sent to the galleys for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's hungry children. From time to time, when he tried to escape, his sentence was increased, so that he spent nineteen years as a convict. Scene I of Miss Stevenson's dramatization shows Jean Valjean being turned away from the inn because he has been in prison.

What does the stage setting tell of the Bishop and his sister? Notice, as you read, why each of the items in the stage setting is mentioned. Why is Madame made to leave the room—how does her absence help the action of the play? What is the purpose of the conversation about the weather? About the carriage hire? Why is the Bishop not more excited at Madame's news? What is gained by the talk about the silver? Notice the dramatic [Pg 62]value of the Bishop's speech beginning "Stay!" Why does Jean Valjean speak so roughly when he enters? Why does he not try to conceal the fact that he is a convict? Why does not the Bishop reply directly to Jean Valjean's question? What would be the action of Mademoiselle and Madame while Jean is speaking? What is Madame's action as she goes out? What is gained by the conversation between Jean and the Bishop? Why does the Bishop not reproach Jean for saying he will have revenge? Why is the silver mentioned so many times?

While you are reading the first part of Scene III, think how it should be played. Note how much the stage directions add to the clearness of the scene. How long should the pause be, before Madame enters? What is gained by the calmness of the Bishop? How can he say that the silver was not his? What does the Bishop mean when he says, "I gave it to him"? What are Mademoiselle and Madame doing while the conversation with the officers and Jean Valjean is going on? Is it a good plan to let them drop so completely out of the conversation? Why does the Bishop say that Jean has promised? Why does the scene close without Jean's replying to the Bishop? How do you think the Bishop's kindness has affected Jean Valjean's attitude toward life?

Note how the action and the conversation increase in intensity as the play proceeds: Is this a good method? Notice the use of contrast in speech and action. Note how the chief characters are emphasized. Can you discover the quality called "restraint," in this fragment of a play? How is it gained, and what is its value?


Select a short passage from some book that you like, and try to put it into dramatic form, using this selection as a kind of model. Do not attempt too much at once, but think out carefully the setting, the stage directions, and the dialogue for a brief fragment of a play.

Make a series of dramatic scenes from the same book, so that a connected story is worked out.

Read a part of some modern drama, such as The Piper, or The Blue Bird, or one of Mr. Howells's little farces, and notice [Pg 63]how it makes use of setting and stage directions; how the conversation is broken up; how the situation is brought out in the dialogue; how each person is made to speak in his own character.

After you have done the reading suggested above, make another attempt at dramatizing a scene from a book, and see what improvement you can make upon the sort of thing you did at first.

It might be interesting for two or three persons to work on a bit of dramatization together, and then give the fragment of a play in simple fashion before the class. Or the whole class may work on the play, and then select some of their number to perform it.


[Pg 64]

A Dramatic Reader: Book FiveAugusta Stevenson
Plays for the Home     "          "
Jean Valjean (translated and abridged from Victor Hugo's Les Misérables)S.E. Wiltse (Ed.)
The Little Men Play (adapted from Louisa Alcott's Little Men)E.L. Gould
The Little Women Play "  "        "
The St. Nicholas Book of PlaysCentury Company
The Silver Thread and Other Folk PlaysConstance Mackay
Patriotic Plays and Pageants    "          "
Fairy Tale Plays and How to Act ThemMrs. Hugh Bell
Festival PlaysMarguerite Merington
Short Plays from DickensH.B. Browne
The PiperJosephine Preston Peabody
The Blue BirdMaurice Maeterlinck
Riders to the SeaJ.M. Synge
She Stoops to ConquerOliver Goldsmith
The RivalsRichard Brinsley Sheridan
Prince OttoR.L. Stevenson
The Canterbury PilgrimsPercy Mackaye
The ElevatorWilliam Dean Howells
The Mouse Trap     "        "        "
The Sleeping Car     "        "        "
The Register     "        "        "
The Story of WaterlooHenry Irving
The Children's TheatreA. Minnie Herts
The Art of Play-writingAlfred Hennequin

[Pg 65]



(From To Have and to Hold, Chapters XXI and XXII)

A few minutes later saw me almost upon the party gathered about the grave. The grave had received that which it was to hold until the crack of doom, and was now being rapidly filled with sand. The crew of deep-dyed villains worked or stood or sat in silence, but all looked at the grave, and saw me not. As the last handful of sand made it level with the beach, I walked into their midst, and found myself face to face with the three candidates for the now vacant captaincy.

"Give you good-day, gentlemen," I cried. "Is it your captain that you bury or one of your crew, or is it only pezos and pieces of eight?

"The sun shining on so much bare steel hurts my eyes," I said. "Put up, gentlemen, put up! Cannot one rover attend the funeral of another without all this crowding and display of cutlery? If you will take the trouble to look around you, you will see that I have brought to the obsequies only myself."

One by one cutlass and sword were lowered, and those who had drawn them, falling somewhat back, spat and swore and laughed. The man in black and silver only smiled gently and sadly. "Did you drop from the blue?" he asked. "Or did you come up from the sea?"

"I came out of it," I said. "My ship went down in the storm yesterday. Your little cockboat yonder was more fortunate." I waved my hand toward that [Pg 66]ship of three hundred tons, then twirled my mustaches and stood at gaze.

"Was your ship so large, then?" demanded Paradise, while a murmur of admiration, larded with oaths, ran around the circle.

"She was a very great galleon," I replied, with a sigh for the good ship that was gone.

A moment's silence, during which they all looked at me. "A galleon," then said Paradise softly.

"They that sailed her yesterday are to-day at the bottom of the sea," I continued. "Alackaday! so are one hundred thousand pezos of gold, three thousand bars of silver, ten frails of pearls, jewels uncounted, cloth of gold and cloth of silver. She was a very rich prize."

The circle sucked in their breath. "All at the bottom of the sea?" queried Red Gil, with gloating eyes fixed upon the smiling water. "Not one pezo left, not one little, little pearl?"

I shook my head and heaved a prodigious sigh. "The treasure is gone," I said, "and the men with whom I took it are gone. I am a captain with neither ship nor crew. I take you, my friends, for a ship and crew without a captain. The inference is obvious."

The ring gaped with wonder, then strange oaths arose. Red Gil broke into a bellow of angry laughter, while the Spaniard glared like a catamount about to spring. "So you would be our captain?" said Paradise, picking up another shell, and poising it upon a hand as fine and small as a woman's.

"Faith, you might go farther and fare worse," I answered, and began to hum a tune. When I had finished it, "I am Kirby," I said, and waited to see if that shot should go wide or through the hull.[Pg 67]

For two minutes the dash of the surf and the cries of the wheeling sea fowl made the only sound in that part of the world; then from those half-clad rapscallions arose a shout of "Kirby!"—a shout in which the three leaders did not join. That one who looked a gentleman rose from the sand and made me a low bow. "Well met, noble captain," he cried in those his honey tones. "You will doubtless remember me who was with you that time at Maracaibo when you sunk the galleasses. Five years have passed since then, and yet I see you ten years younger and three inches taller."

"I touched once at the Lucayas, and found the spring de Leon sought," I said. "Sure the waters have a marvelous effect, and if they give not eternal youth at least renew that which we have lost."

"Truly a potent aqua vitæ," he remarked, still with thoughtful melancholy. "I see that it hath changed your eyes from black to gray."

"It hath that peculiar virtue," I said, "that it can make black seem white."

The man with the woman's mantle drawn about him now thrust himself from the rear to the front rank. "That's not Kirby!" he bawled. "He's no more Kirby than I am Kirby! Didn't I sail with Kirby from the Summer Isles to Cartagena and back again? He's a cheat, and I am a-going to cut his heart out!" He was making at me with a long knife, when I whipped out my rapier.

"Am I not Kirby, you dog?" I cried, and ran him through the shoulder.

He dropped, and his fellows surged forward with a yell. "Yet a little patience, my masters!" said Paradise in a raised voice and with genuine amusement in [Pg 68]his eyes. "It is true that that Kirby with whom I and our friend there on the ground sailed was somewhat short and as swart as a raven, besides having a cut across his face that had taken away part of his lip and the top of his ear, and that this gentleman who announces himself as Kirby hath none of Kirby's marks. But we are fair and generous and open to conviction"—

"He'll have to convince my cutlass!" roared Red Gil.

I turned upon him. "If I do convince it, what then?" I demanded. "If I convince your sword, you of Spain, and yours, Sir Black and Silver?"

The Spaniard stared. "I was the best sword in Lima," he said stiffly. "I and my Toledo will not change our minds."

"Let him try to convince Paradise; he's got no reputation as a swordsman!" cried out the grave-digger with the broken head.

A roar of laughter followed this suggestion, and I gathered from it and from the oaths and allusions to this or that time and place that Paradise was not without reputation.

I turned to him. "If I fight you three, one by one, and win, am I Kirby?"

He regarded the shell with which he was toying with a thoughtful smile, held it up that the light might strike through its rose and pearl, then crushed it to dust between his fingers.

"Ay," he said with an oath. "If you win against the cutlass of Red Gil, the best blade of Lima, and the sword of Paradise, you may call yourself the devil an you please, and we will all subscribe to it."

I lifted my hand. "I am to have fair play?"[Pg 69]

As one man that crew of desperate villains swore that the odds should be only three to one. By this the whole matter had presented itself to them as an entertainment more diverting than bullfight or bear-baiting. They that follow the sea, whether honest men or black-hearted knaves, have in their composition a certain childlikeness that makes them easily turned, easily led, and easily pleased. The wind of their passion shifts quickly from point to point, one moment blowing a hurricane, the next sinking to a happy-go-lucky summer breeze. I have seen a little thing convert a crew on the point of mutiny into a set of rollicking, good-natured souls who—until the wind veered again—would not hurt a fly. So with these. They spread themselves into a circle, squatting or kneeling or standing upon the white sand in the bright sunshine, their sinewy hands that should have been ingrained red clasped over their knees, or, arms akimbo, resting upon their hips, on their scoundrel faces a broad smile, and in their eyes that had looked on nameless horrors a pleasurable expectation as of spectators in a playhouse awaiting the entrance of the players.

"There is really no good reason why we should gratify your whim," said Paradise, still amused. "But it will serve to pass the time. We will fight you, one by one."

"And if I win?"

He laughed. "Then, on the honor of a gentleman, you are Kirby and our captain. If you lose, we will leave you where you stand for the gulls to bury."

"A bargain," I said, and drew my sword.

"I first!" roared Red Gil. "God's wounds! there will need no second!"[Pg 70]

As he spoke he swung his cutlass and made an arc of blue flame. The weapon became in his hands a flail, terrible to look upon, making lightnings and whistling in the air, but in reality not so deadly as it seemed. The fury of his onslaught would have beaten down the guard of any mere swordsman, but that I was not. A man, knowing his weakness and insufficiency in many and many a thing, may yet know his strength in one or two and his modesty take no hurt. I was ever master of my sword, and it did the thing I would have it do. Moreover, as I fought I saw her as I had last seen her, standing against the bank of sand, her dark hair, half braided, drawn over her bosom and hanging to her knees. Her eyes haunted me, and my lips yet felt the touch of her hand. I fought well,—how well the lapsing of oaths and laughter into breathless silence bore witness.

The ruffian against whom I was pitted began to draw his breath in gasps. He was a scoundrel not fit to die, less fit to live, unworthy of a gentleman's steel. I presently ran him through with as little compunction and as great a desire to be quit of a dirty job as if he had been a mad dog. He fell, and a little later, while I was engaged with the Spaniard, his soul went to that hell which had long gaped for it. To those his companions his death was as slight a thing as would theirs have been to him. In the eyes of the two remaining would-be leaders he was a stumbling-block removed, and to the squatting, open-mouthed commonalty his taking off weighed not a feather against the solid entertainment I was affording them. I was now a better man than Red Gil,—that was all.

The Spaniard was a more formidable antagonist. The best blade of Lima was by no means to be despised:[Pg 71] but Lima is a small place, and its blades can be numbered. The sword that for three years had been counted the best in all the Low Countries was its better. But I fought fasting and for the second time that morning, so maybe the odds were not so great. I wounded him slightly, and presently succeeded in disarming him. "Am I Kirby?" I demanded, with my point at his breast.

"Kirby, of course, señor," he answered with a sour smile, his eyes upon the gleaming blade.

I lowered my point and we bowed to each other, after which he sat down upon the sand and applied himself to stanching the bleeding from his wound. The pirate ring gave him no attention, but stared at me instead. I was now a better man than the Spaniard.

The man in black and silver rose and removed his doublet, folding it very carefully, inside out, that the sand might not injure the velvet, then drew his rapier, looked at it lovingly, made it bend until point and hilt well-nigh met, and faced me with a bow.

"You have fought twice, and must be weary," he said. "Will you not take breath before we engage, or will your long rest afterward suffice you?"

"I will rest aboard my ship," I made reply. "And as I am in a hurry to be gone we won't delay."

Our blades had no sooner crossed than I knew that in this last encounter I should need every whit of my skill, all my wit, audacity, and strength. I had met my equal, and he came to it fresh and I jaded. I clenched my teeth and prayed with all my heart; I set her face before me, and thought if I should fail her to what ghastly fate she might come, and I fought as I had never fought before. The sound of the surf became a roar in my ears, the sunshine an intolerable [Pg 72]blaze of light; the blue above and around seemed suddenly beneath my feet as well. We were fighting high in the air, and had fought thus for ages. I knew that he made no thrust I did not parry, no feint I could not interpret. I knew that my eye was more quick to see, my brain to conceive, and my hand to execute than ever before; but it was as though I held that knowledge of some other, and I myself was far away, at Weyanoke, in the minister's garden, in the haunted wood, anywhere save on that barren islet. I heard him swear under his breath, and in the face I had set before me the eyes brightened. As if she had loved me I fought for her with all my powers of body and mind. He swore again, and my heart laughed within me. The sea now roared less loudly, and I felt the good earth beneath my feet. Slowly but surely I wore him out. His breath came short, the sweat stood upon his forehead, and still I deferred my attack. He made the thrust of a boy of fifteen, and I smiled as I put it by.

"Why don't you end it?" he breathed. "Finish and be hanged to you!"

For answer I sent his sword flying over the nearest hillock of sand. "Am I Kirby?" I said. He fell back against the heaped-up sand and leaned there, panting, with his hand to his side. "Kirby or devil," he replied. "Have it your own way."

I turned to the now highly excited rabble. "Shove the boats off, half a dozen of you!" I ordered. "Some of you others take up that carrion there and throw it into the sea. The gold upon it is for your pains. You there with the wounded shoulder you have no great hurt. I'll salve it with ten pieces of eight from the captain's own share, the next prize we take."[Pg 73]

A shout of acclamation arose that scared the sea fowl. They who so short a time before had been ready to tear me limb from limb now with the greatest apparent delight hailed me as captain. How soon they might revert to their former mood was a question that I found not worth while to propound to myself.

By this the man in black and silver had recovered his breath and his equanimity. "Have you no commission with which to honor me, noble captain?" he asked in gently reproachful tones. "Have you forgot how often you were wont to employ me in those sweet days when your eyes were black?"

"By no means, Master Paradise," I said courteously. "I desire your company and that of the gentleman from Lima. You will go with me to bring up the rest of my party. The three gentlemen of the broken head, the bushy ruff, which I protest is vastly becoming, and the wounded shoulder will escort us."

"The rest of your party?" said Paradise softly.

"Ay," I answered nonchalantly. "They are down the beach and around the point warming themselves by a fire which this piled-up sand hides from you. Despite the sunshine it is a biting air. Let us be going! This island wearies me, and I am anxious to be on board ship and away."

"So small an escort scarce befits so great a captain," he said. "We will all attend you." One and all started forward.

I called to mind and gave utterance to all the oaths I had heard in the wars. "I entertain you for my subordinate whom I command, and not who commands me!" I cried, when my memory failed me. "As for you, you dogs, who would question your captain and [Pg 74]his doings, stay where you are, if you would not be lessoned in earnest!"

Sheer audacity is at times the surest steed a man can bestride. Now at least it did me good service. With oaths and grunts of admiration the pirates stayed where they were, and went about their business of launching the boats and stripping the body of Red Gil, while the man in black and silver, the Spaniard, the two gravediggers, the knave with the wounded shoulder, and myself walked briskly up the beach.

With these five at my heels I strode up to the dying fire and to those who had sprung to their feet at our approach. "Sparrow," I said easily, "luck being with us as usual, I have fallen in with a party of rovers. I have told them who I am,—that Kirby, to wit, whom an injurious world calls the blackest pirate unhanged,—and I have recounted to them how the great galleon which I took some months ago went down yesterday with all on board, you and I with these others being the sole survivors. By dint of a little persuasion they have elected me their captain, and we will go on board directly and set sail for the Indies, a hunting ground which we never should have left. You need not look so blank; you shall be my mate and right hand still." I turned to the five who formed my escort. "This, gentlemen, is my mate, Jeremy Sparrow by name, who hath a taste for divinity that in no wise interferes with his taste for a galleon or a guarda costa. This man, Diccon Demon by name, was of my crew. The gentleman without a sword is my prisoner, taken by me from the last ship I sunk. How he, an Englishman, came to be upon a Spanish bark I have not found leisure to inquire. The lady is my prisoner, also."[Pg 75]

"Sure by rights she should be gaoler and hold all men's hearts in ward," said Paradise, with a low bow to my unfortunate captive.

While he spoke a most remarkable transformation was going on. The minister's grave, rugged, and deeply lined face smoothed itself and shed ten years at least; in the eyes that I had seen wet with noble tears a laughing devil now lurked, while his strong mouth became a loose-lipped, devil-may-care one. His head with its aureole of bushy, grizzled hair set itself jauntily upon one side, and from it and from his face and his whole great frame breathed a wicked jollity quite indescribable.

"Odsbodikins, captain!" he cried. "Kirby's luck!—'twill pass into a saw! Adzooks! and so you're captain once more, and I'm mate once more, and we've a ship once more, and we're off once more

To sail the Spanish Main,
And give the Spaniard pain,
Heave ho, bully boy, heave ho!

By 'r lakin! I'm too dry to sing. It will take all the wine of Xeres in the next galleon to unparch my tongue!"


the grave:—This refers to the latter part of chapter 21 of To Have and to Hold; the hero, Ralph Percy, who has been shipwrecked with his companions, discovers a group of pirates burying their dead captain.

pezos and pieces of eight:—peso is the Spanish word for dollar; pieces of eight are dollars also, each dollar containing eight reals.

the man in black and silver:—Paradise, an Englishman.

frails:—Baskets made of rushes.

Kirby:—A renowned pirate mentioned in chapter 21.[Pg 76]

Maracaibo:—The city or the gulf of that name in Venezuela.

galleasses:—Heavy, low-built vessels having sails as well as oars.

Lucayas:—An old name for the Bahama Islands.

de Leon:—Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513; he searched long for a fountain which would restore youth.

aqua vitæ:—Latin for water of life.

Summer Isles:—Another name for the Bermuda Islands.

Cartagena:—A city in Spain.

Lima:—A city in Peru.

Toledo:—A "Toledo blade"—a sword of the very finest temper, made in Toledo, Spain.

the Low Countries:—Holland and Belgium.

señor:—The Spanish word for sir.

Weyanoke:—The home of the hero, near Jamestown, Virginia.

Sparrow:—A minister, one of the hero's companions; see chapter 3 of To Have and to Hold.

guarda costa:—Coast guard.

Diccon:—Ralph Percy's servant.

the gentleman without a sword:—Lord Carnal, an enemy of Percy.

the lady:—She is really Percy's wife.

Odsbodikins; Adzooks:—Oaths much used two centuries ago.

By 'r lakin:—By our ladykin (little lady); an oath by the Virgin Mary.

Xeres:—The Spanish town after which sherry wine is named.


This selection is easily understood. Ralph Percy, his wife, and several others (see notes) are cast on a desert shore after the sinking of their boat. Percy leaves his companions for a time and falls among pirates; he pretends to be a "sea-rover" himself. Why does he allude to the pirate ship as a "cockboat"? Why are the pirates impressed by his remarks? Why does Percy emphasize the riches of the sunken ship? Is what he says true? (See chapter 19 of To Have and to Hold.) If not, [Pg 77]is he justified in telling a falsehood? Is he really Kirby? Is he fortunate in his assertion that he is? How does he explain his lack of resemblance to Kirby? What kind of person is the hero? Why does he wish to become the leader of the pirates? Is it possible that the pirate crew should change their attitude so suddenly? Is it a good plan in a story to make a hero tell of his own successes? Characterize the man in black and silver. How does the author make us feel the action and peril of the struggle? How does she make us feel the long duration of the fight with Paradise? Do you like the hero's behavior with the defeated pirates? Why is he so careful to repeat to the minister what he has told the pirates? Why does the minister appear to change his character?

Can you make this piece into a little play?


The Real Pirates
Spanish Gold
A Fight for Life
A Famous Duel
Buried Treasure
Playing Pirates
Sea Stories that I Like
Captain Kidd
Ponce de Leon
The Search for Gold
Story-book Heroes
Along the Sea Shore
A Barren Island
The Rivals
Land Pirates
The Pirates in Peter Pan
A Struggle for Leadership
Our High School Play


Try to make a fragment of a play out of this selection. In this process, all the class may work together under the direction of the teacher, or each pupil may make his own attempt to dramatize the piece.

In writing the drama, tell first what the setting is. In doing so, you had better look up some modern play and see how the setting is explained to the reader or the actors. Now show the pirates at work, and give a few lines of their conversation; then have the hero come upon the scene. Indicate the speech of each person, and put in all necessary stage directions. Perhaps you will want to add more dialogue than there is here. Some of the [Pg 78]onlookers may have something to say. Perhaps you will wish to leave something out. It might be well, while the fighting is going on, to bring in remarks from the combatants and the other pirates. You might look up the duel scene in Hamlet for this point. You can end your play with the departure of the group; or you can write a second scene, in which the hero's companions appear, including the lady. Considerable dialogue could be invented here, and a new episode added—a quarrel, a plan for organization, or a merry-making.

When your play is finished, you may possibly wish to have it acted before the class. A few turbans, sashes, and weapons will be sufficient to give an air of piracy to the group of players. Some grim black mustaches would complete the effect.

A Pirate Story:—Tell an old-fashioned "yarn" of adventure, in which a modest hero relates his own experiences. Give your imagination a good deal of liberty. Do not waste much time in getting started, but plunge very soon into the actual story. Let your hero tell how he fell among the pirates. Then go on with the conversation that ensued—the threats, the boasting, and the bravado. Make the hero report his struggles, or the tricks that he resorted to in order to outwit the sea-rovers. Perhaps he failed at first and got into still greater dangers. Follow out his adventures to the moment of his escape. Make your descriptions short and vivid; put in as much direct conversation as possible; keep the action brisk and spirited. Try to write a lively tale that would interest a group of younger boys.


[Pg 79]

To Have and to HoldMary Johnston
Prisoners of Hope    "        "
The Long Roll    "        "
Cease Firing    "        "
Audrey    "        "
The VirginiansW.M. Thackeray
White ApronsMaude Wilder Goodwin
The Gold BugEdgar Allan Poe
Treasure IslandR.L. Stevenson
Kidnapped    "        "
Ebb Tide    "        "
Buccaneers and Pirates of our CoastFrank R. Stockton
Kate Bonnett    "        "
DrakeJulian Corbett
Drake and his YeomenJames Barnes
Drake, the Sea-king of DevonG.M. Towle
Raleigh    "        "
Red RoverJ.F. Cooper
The PirateWalter Scott
Robinson CrusoeDaniel Defoe
Two Years before the MastR.H. Dana
Tales of a Traveller (Part IV)Washington Irving
Nonsense Novels (chapter 8)Stephen Leacock
The Duel (in The Master of Ballantrae, chapter 4)R.L. Stevenson
The Lost Galleon (poem)Bret Harte
Stolen TreasureHoward Pyle
Jack Ballister's Fortunes    "        "
Buried TreasureR.B. Paine
The Last Buccaneer (poem)Charles Kingsley
The Book of the OceanErnest Ingersoll
Ocean Life in the Old Sailing-Ship DaysJ.D. Whidden

For Portraits of Miss Johnston, see Bookman, 20:402; 28:193.[Pg 80]



Shuttle of the sunburnt grass,
Fifer in the dun cuirass,
Fifing shrilly in the morn,
Shrilly still at eve unworn;
Now to rear, now in the van,
Gayest of the elfin clan:
Though I watch their rustling flight,
I can never guess aright
Where their lodging-places are;
'Mid some daisy's golden star,
Or beneath a roofing leaf,
Or in fringes of a sheaf,
Tenanted as soon as bound!
Loud thy reveille doth sound,
When the earth is laid asleep,
And her dreams are passing deep,
On mid-August afternoons;
And through all the harvest moons,
Nights brimmed up with honeyed peace,
Thy gainsaying doth not cease.
When the frost comes, thou art dead;
We along the stubble tread,
On blue, frozen morns, and note
No least murmur is afloat:
Wondrous still our fields are then,
Fifer of the elfin men!

[Pg 81]


Why is the grasshopper called a "shuttle"? What does the word still mean here? Who are the "elfin clan"? By whom is the sheaf tenanted? What is a reveille? Does the grasshopper chirp at night? Why is its cry called "gainsaying"?

See how simple the meter (measure) is in this little poem. Ask your teacher to explain how it is represented by these characters:


Note which signs indicate the accented syllables. See whether or not the accent comes at the end of the line. The rhyme-scheme is called a couplet, because of the way in which two lines are linked together. This kind of rhyme is represented by aa, bb, cc, etc.


Find some other poem that has the same meter and rhyme that this one has. Try to write a short poem of five or six couplets, using this meter and rhyme. You do not need to choose a highly poetic subject: Try something very simple.

Perhaps you can "get a start" from one of the lines given below:—

1. Glowing, darting dragon-fly.
2. Voyager on dusty wings (A Moth).
3. Buzzing through the fragrant air (A Bee).
4. Trembling lurker in the gloom (A Mouse).
5. Gay red-throated epicure (A humming-bird).
6. Stealthy vagrant of the night (An Owl).
7. Flashing through your crystal room (A Gold-fish).
8. Fairyland is all awake.
9. Once when all the woods were green.
10. In the forest is a pool.


[Pg 82]

On the Grasshopper and CricketJohn Keats
To the Grasshopper and the CricketLeigh Hunt
Little Brother of the GroundEdwin Markham
The Humble BeeR.W. Emerson
The CricketPercy Mackaye
The Katydid    "        "
A Glow Worm (in Little Folk Lyrics)F.D. Sherman
Bees                   "      "    "        "  "       "

[Pg 83]



The root is hard to loose
From hold of earth by mortals, but Gods' power
Can all things do. 'Tis black, but bears a flower
As white as milk. (Chapman's Homer.)
Traveller, pluck a stem of moly,
If thou touch at Circe's isle,—
Hermes' moly, growing solely
To undo enchanter's wile.
When she proffers thee her chalice,—
Wine and spices mixed with malice,—
When she smites thee with her staff
To transform thee, do thou laugh!
Safe thou art if thou but bear
The least leaf of moly rare.
Close it grows beside her portal,
Springing from a stock immortal,—
Yes, and often has the Witch
Sought to tear it from its niche;
But to thwart her cruel will
The wise God renews it still.
Though it grows in soil perverse,
Heaven hath been its jealous nurse,
And a flower of snowy mark
Springs from root and sheathing dark;
Kingly safeguard, only herb
That can brutish passion curb!
Some do think its name should be
Shield-heart, White Integrity.

[Pg 84]

Traveller, pluck a stem of moly,
If thou touch at Circe's isle,—
Hermes' moly, growing solely
To undo enchanter's wile!


Chapman's Homer:—George Chapman (1559?-1634) was an English poet. He translated Homer from the Greek into English verse.

moly:—An herb with a black root and a white flower, which Hermes gave to Odysseus in order to help him withstand the spell of the witch Circe.

Circe:—A witch who charmed her victims with a drink that she prepared for them, and then changed them into the animals they in character most resembled.

Hermes:—The messenger of the other Greek gods; he was crafty and eloquent.

The wise God:—Hermes, or Mercury.


Before you try to study this poem carefully, find out something of the story of Ulysses and Circe: when you have this information, the poem will become clear. Notice how the author applies the old Greek tale to the experiences of everyday life. This would be a good poem to memorize.


On First Looking into Chapman's HomerJohn Keats
The Strayed RevellerMatthew Arnold
The Wine of CirceDante Gabriel Rossetti
Tanglewood Tales (Circe's Palace)Nathaniel Hawthorne
Greek Story and Song, pp. 214-225A.J. Church
The Odyssey, pp. 151-164 (School Ed.)G.H. Palmer (Trans.)
Classic Myths, chapter 24C.M. Gayley
The Age of Fable, p. 295Thomas Bulfinch
The Prayer of the Swine to CirceAustin Dobson


The Wine of CirceSir Edward Burne-Jones
Circe and the Companions of UlyssesBriton Rivière

[Pg 85]



(From Chapter IX of The Promised Land)

During his three years of probation, my father had made a number of false starts in business. His history for that period is the history of thousands who come to America, like him, with pockets empty, hands untrained to the use of tools, minds cramped by centuries of repression in their native land. Dozens of these men pass under your eyes every day, my American friend, too absorbed in their honest affairs to notice the looks of suspicion which you cast at them, the repugnance with which you shrink from their touch. You see them shuffle from door to door with a basket of spools and buttons, or bending over the sizzling irons in a basement tailor shop, or rummaging in your ash can, or moving a pushcart from curb to curb, at the command of the burly policeman. "The Jew peddler!" you say, and dismiss him from your premises and from your thoughts, never dreaming that the sordid drama of his days may have a moral that concerns you. What if the creature with the untidy beard carries in his bosom his citizenship papers? What if the cross-legged tailor is supporting a boy in college who is one day going to mend your state constitution for you? What if the ragpicker's daughters are hastening over the ocean to teach your children in the public schools? Think, every time you pass the greasy alien on the street, that he was born thousands of years before the oldest native American; and he may have something [Pg 86]to communicate to you, when you two shall have learned a common language. Remember that his very physiognomy is a cipher the key to which it behooves you to search for most diligently.

By the time we joined my father, he had surveyed many avenues of approach toward the coveted citadel of fortune. One of these, heretofore untried, he now proposed to essay, armed with new courage, and cheered on by the presence of his family. In partnership with an energetic little man who had an English chapter in his history, he prepared to set up a refreshment booth on Crescent Beach. But while he was completing arrangements at the beach, we remained in town, where we enjoyed the educational advantages of a thickly populated neighborhood; namely, Wall Street, in the West End of Boston.

Anybody who knows Boston knows that the West and North Ends are the wrong ends of that city. They form the tenement district, or, in the newer phrase, the slums of Boston. Anybody who is acquainted with the slums of any American metropolis knows that that is the quarter where poor immigrants foregather, to live, for the most part, as unkempt, half-washed, toiling, unaspiring foreigners; pitiful in the eyes of social missionaries, the despair of boards of health, the hope of ward politicians, the touchstone of American democracy. The well-versed metropolitan knows the slums as a sort of house of detention for poor aliens, where they live on probation till they can show a certificate of good citizenship.

He may know all this and yet not guess how Wall Street, in the West End, appears in the eyes of a little immigrant from Polotzk. What would the sophisticated [Pg 87]sight-seer say about Union Place, off Wall Street, where my new home waited for me? He would say that it is no place at all, but a short box of an alley. Two rows of three-story tenements are its sides, a stingy strip of sky is its lid, a littered pavement is the floor, and a narrow mouth its exit.

But I saw a very different picture on my introduction to Union Place. I saw two imposing rows of brick buildings, loftier than any dwelling I had ever lived in. Brick was even on the ground for me to tread on, instead of common earth or boards. Many friendly windows stood open, filled with uncovered heads of women and children. I thought the people were interested in us, which was very neighborly. I looked up to the topmost row of windows, and my eyes were filled with the May blue of an American sky!

In our days of affluence in Russia we had been accustomed to upholstered parlors, embroidered linen, silver spoons and candlesticks, goblets of gold, kitchen shelves shining with copper and brass. We had feather-beds heaped halfway to the ceiling; we had clothes presses dusky with velvet and silk and fine woolen. The three small rooms into which my father now ushered us, up one flight of stairs, contained only the necessary beds, with lean mattresses; a few wooden chairs; a table or two; a mysterious iron structure, which later turned out to be a stove; a couple of unornamental kerosene lamps; and a scanty array of cooking-utensils and crockery. And yet we were all impressed with our new home and its furniture. It was not only because we had just passed through our seven lean years, cooking in earthern vessels, eating black bread on holidays and wearing cotton; it was chiefly because these wooden chairs and tin pans were[Pg 88] American chairs and pans that they shone glorious in our eyes. And if there was anything lacking for comfort or decoration we expected it to be presently supplied—at least, we children did. Perhaps my mother alone, of us newcomers, appreciated the shabbiness of the little apartment, and realized that for her there was as yet no laying down of the burden of poverty.

Our initiation into American ways began with the first step on the new soil. My father found occasion to instruct or correct us even on the way from the pier to Wall Street, which journey we made crowded together in a rickety cab. He told us not to lean out of the windows, not to point, and explained the word "greenhorn." We did not want to be "greenhorns," and gave the strictest attention to my father's instructions. I do not know when my parents found opportunity to review together the history of Polotzk in the three years past, for we children had no patience with the subject; my mother's narrative was constantly interrupted by irrelevant questions, interjections, and explanations.

The first meal was an object lesson of much variety. My father produced several kinds of food, ready to eat, without any cooking, from little tin cans that had printing all over them. He attempted to introduce us to a queer, slippery kind of fruit, which he called "banana," but had to give it up for the time being. After the meal, he had better luck with a curious piece of furniture on runners, which he called "rocking-chair." There were five of us newcomers, and we found five different ways of getting into the American machine of perpetual motion, and as many ways of getting out of it. One born and bred to the use of a rocking-chair cannot imagine how ludicrous people [Pg 89]can make themselves when attempting to use it for the first time. We laughed immoderately over our various experiments with the novelty, which was a wholesome way of letting off steam after the unusual excitement of the day.

In our flat we did not think of such a thing as storing the coal in the bathtub. There was no bathtub. So in the evening of the first day my father conducted us to the public baths. As we moved along in a little procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So many lamps, and they burned until morning, my father said, and so people did not need to carry lanterns. In America, then, everything was free, as we had heard in Russia. Light was free; the streets were as bright as a synagogue on a holy day. Music was free; we had been serenaded, to our gaping delight, by a brass band of many pieces, soon after our installation on Union Place.

Education was free. That subject my father had written about repeatedly, as comprising his chief hope for us children, the essence of American opportunity, the treasure that no thief could touch, not even misfortune or poverty. It was the one thing that he was able to promise us when he sent for us; surer, safer than bread or shelter. On our second day I was thrilled with the realization of what this freedom of education meant. A little girl from across the alley came and offered to conduct us to school. My father was out, but we five between us had a few words of English by this time. We knew the word school. We understood. This child, who had never seen us till yesterday, who could not pronounce our names, who was not much better dressed than we, was able to offer us the freedom of the schools of Boston! No application made, [Pg 90]no questions asked, no examinations, rulings, exclusions; no machinations, no fees. The doors stood open for every one of us. The smallest child could show us the way.

This incident impressed me more than anything I had heard in advance of the freedom of education in America. It was a concrete proof—almost the thing itself. One had to experience it to understand it.

It was a great disappointment to be told by my father that we were not to enter upon our school career at once. It was too near the end of the term, he said, and we were going to move to Crescent Beach in a week or so. We had to wait until the opening of the schools in September. What a loss of precious time—from May till September!

Not that the time was really lost. Even the interval on Union Place was crowded with lessons and experiences. We had to visit the stores and be dressed from head to foot in American clothing; we had to learn the mysteries of the iron stove, the washboard, and the speaking-tube; we had to learn to trade with the fruit peddler through the window, and not to be afraid of the policeman; and, above all, we had to learn English.

The kind people who assisted us in these important matters form a group by themselves in the gallery of my friends. If I had never seen them from those early days till now, I should still have remembered them with gratitude. When I enumerate the long list of American teachers, I must begin with those who came to us on Wall Street and taught us our first steps. To my mother, in her perplexity over the cookstove, the woman who showed her how to make the fire was an angel of deliverance. A fairy godmother to us children [Pg 91]was she who led us to a wonderful country called "uptown," where in a dazzlingly beautiful palace called a "department store," we exchanged our hateful homemade European costumes, which pointed us out as "greenhorns" to the children on the street, for real American machine-made garments, and issued forth glorified in each other's eyes.

With our despised immigrant clothing we shed also our impossible Hebrew names. A committee of our friends, several years ahead of us in American experience, put their heads together and concocted American names for us all. Those of our real names that had no pleasing American equivalents they ruthlessly discarded, content if they retained the initials. My mother, possessing a name that was not easily translatable, was punished with the undignified nickname of Annie. Fetchke, Joseph, and Deborah issued as Frieda, Joseph, and Dora, respectively. As for poor me, I was simply cheated. The name they gave me was hardly new. My Hebrew name being Maryashe in full, Mashke for short, Russianized into Marya (Mar-ya) my friends said that it would hold good in English as Mary; which was very disappointing, as I longed to possess a strange-sounding American name like the others.

I am forgetting the consolation I had, in this matter of names, from the use of my surname, which I have had no occasion to mention until now. I found on my arrival that my father was "Mr. Antin" on the slightest provocation, and not, as in Polotzk, on state occasions alone. And so I was "Mary Antin," and I felt very important to answer to such a dignified title. It was just like America that even plain people should wear their surnames on week days.[Pg 92]

As a family we were so diligent under instruction, so adaptable, and so clever in hiding our deficiencies, that when we made the journey to Crescent Beach, in the wake of our small wagon-load of household goods, my father had very little occasion to admonish us on the way, and I am sure he was not ashamed of us. So much we had achieved toward our Americanization during the two weeks since our landing.

Crescent Beach is a name that is printed in very small type on the maps of the environs of Boston, but a life-size strip of sand curves from Winthrop to Lynn; and that is historic ground in the annals of my family. The place is now a popular resort for holiday crowds, and is famous under the name of Revere Beach. When the reunited Antins made their stand there, however, there were no boulevards, no stately bath-houses, no hotels, no gaudy amusement places, no illuminations, no showmen, no tawdry rabble. There was only the bright clean sweep of sand, the summer sea, and the summer sky. At high tide the whole Atlantic rushed in, tossing the seaweeds in his mane; at low tide he rushed out, growling and gnashing his granite teeth. Between tides a baby might play on the beach, digging with pebbles and shells, till it lay asleep on the sand. The whole sun shone by day, troops of stars by night, and the great moon in its season.

Into this grand cycle of the seaside day I came to live and learn and play. A few people came with me, as I have already intimated; but the main thing was that I came to live on the edge of the sea—I, who had spent my life inland, believing that the great waters of the world were spread out before me in the Dvina. My idea of the human world had grown [Pg 93]enormously during the long journey; my idea of the earth had expanded with every day at sea, my idea of the world outside the earth now budded and swelled during my prolonged experience of the wide and unobstructed heavens.

Not that I got any inkling of the conception of a multiple world. I had had no lessons in cosmogony, and I had no spontaneous revelation of the true position of the earth in the universe. For me, as for my fathers, the sun set and rose, and I did not feel the earth rushing through space. But I lay stretched out in the sun, my eyes level with the sea, till I seemed to be absorbed bodily by the very materials of the world around me; till I could not feel my hand as separate from the warm sand in which it was buried. Or I crouched on the beach at full moon, wondering, wondering, between the two splendors of the sky and the sea. Or I ran out to meet the incoming storm, my face full in the wind, my being a-tingle with an awesome delight to the tips of my fog-matted locks flying behind; and stood clinging to some stake or upturned boat, shaken by the roar and rumble of the waves. So clinging, I pretended that I was in danger, and was deliciously frightened; I held on with both hands, and shook my head, exulting in the tumult around me, equally ready to laugh or sob. Or else I sat, on the stillest days, with my back to the sea, not looking at all, but just listening to the rustle of the waves on the sand; not thinking at all, but just breathing with the sea.

Thus courting the influence of sea and sky and variable weather, I was bound to have dreams, hints, imaginings. It was no more than this, perhaps: that the world as I knew it was not large enough to contain [Pg 94]all that I saw and felt; that the thoughts that flashed through my mind, not half understood, unrelated to my utterable thoughts, concerned something for which I had as yet no name. Every imaginative growing child has these flashes of intuition, especially one that becomes intimate with some one aspect of nature. With me it was the growing time, that idle summer by the sea, and I grew all the faster because I had been so cramped before. My mind, too, had so recently been worked upon by the impressive experience of a change of country that I was more than commonly alive to impressions, which are the seeds of ideas.

Let no one suppose that I spent my time entirely, or even chiefly, in inspired solitude. By far the best part of my day was spent in play—frank, hearty, boisterous play, such as comes natural to American children. In Polotzk I had already begun to be considered too old for play, excepting set games or organized frolics. Here I found myself included with children who still played, and I willingly returned to childhood. There were plenty of playfellows. My father's energetic little partner had a little wife and a large family. He kept them in the little cottage next to ours; and that the shanty survived the tumultuous presence of that brood is a wonder to me to-day. The young Wilners included an assortment of boys, girls, and twins, of every possible variety of age, size, disposition, and sex. They swarmed in and out of the cottage all day long, wearing the door-sill hollow, and trampling the ground to powder. They swung out of windows like monkeys, slid up the roof like flies, and shot out of trees like fowls. Even a small person like me couldn't go anywhere without being run over by a[Pg 95] Wilner; and I could never tell which Wilner it was because none of them ever stood still long enough to be identified; and also because I suspected that they were in the habit of interchanging conspicuous articles of clothing, which was very confusing.

You would suppose that the little mother must have been utterly lost, bewildered, trodden down in this horde of urchins; but you are mistaken. Mrs. Wilner was a positively majestic little person. She ruled her brood with the utmost coolness and strictness. She had even the biggest boy under her thumb, frequently under her palm. If they enjoyed the wildest freedom outdoors, indoors the young Wilners lived by the clock. And so at five o'clock in the evening, on seven days in the week, my father's partner's children could be seen in two long rows around the supper table. You could tell them apart on this occasion, because they all had their faces washed. And this is the time to count them: there are twelve little Wilners at table.

I managed to retain my identity in this multitude somehow, and while I was very much impressed with their numbers, I even dared to pick and choose my friends among the Wilners. One or two of the smaller boys I liked best of all, for a game of hide-and-seek or a frolic on the beach. We played in the water like ducks, never taking the trouble to get dry. One day I waded out with one of the boys, to see which of us dared go farthest. The tide was extremely low, and we had not wet our knees when we began to look back to see if familiar objects were still in sight. I thought we had been wading for hours, and still the water was so shallow and quiet. My companion was marching straight ahead, so I did the same. Suddenly a swell lifted us almost off our feet, and we clutched at each [Pg 96]other simultaneously. There was a lesser swell, and little waves began to run, and a sigh went up from the sea. The tide was turning—perhaps a storm was on the way—and we were miles, dreadful miles from dry land.

Boy and girl turned without a word, four determined bare legs ploughing through the water, four scared eyes straining toward the land. Through an eternity of toil and fear they kept dumbly on, death at their heels, pride still in their hearts. At last they reach high-water mark—six hours before full tide.

Each has seen the other afraid, and each rejoices in the knowledge. But only the boy is sure of his tongue.

"You was scared, warn't you?" he taunts.

The girl understands so much, and is able to reply:

"You can schwimmen, I not."

"Betcher life I can schwimmen," the other mocks.

And the girl walks off, angry and hurt.

"An' I can walk on my hands," the tormentor calls after her. "Say, you greenhorn, why don'tcher look?"

The girl keeps straight on, vowing that she would never walk with that rude boy again, neither by land nor sea, not even though the waters should part at his bidding.

I am forgetting the more serious business which had brought us to Crescent Beach. While we children disported ourselves like mermaids and mermen in the surf, our respective fathers dispensed cold lemonade, hot peanuts, and pink popcorn, and piled up our respective fortunes, nickel by nickel, penny by penny. I was very proud of my connection with the public life of the beach. I admired greatly our shining soda fountain, the rows of sparkling glasses, the pyramids of oranges, the sausage chains, the neat white counter, [Pg 97]and the bright array of tin spoons. It seemed to me that none of the other refreshment stands on the beach—there were a few—were half so attractive as ours. I thought my father looked very well in a long white apron and shirt sleeves. He dished out ice cream with enthusiasm, so I supposed he was getting rich. It never occurred to me to compare his present occupation with the position for which he had been originally destined; or if I thought about it, I was just as well content, for by this time I had by heart my father's saying, "America is not Polotzk." All occupations were respectable, all men were equal, in America.

If I admired the soda fountain and the sausage chains, I almost worshipped the partner, Mr. Wilner. I was content to stand for an hour at a time watching him make potato chips. In his cook's cap and apron, with a ladle in his hand and a smile on his face, he moved about with the greatest agility, whisking his raw materials out of nowhere, dipping into his bubbling kettle with a flourish, and bringing forth the finished product with a caper. Such potato chips were not to be had anywhere else on Crescent Beach. Thin as tissue paper, crisp as dry snow, and salt as the sea—such thirst-producing, lemonade-selling, nickel-bringing potato chips only Mr. Wilner could make. On holidays, when dozens of family parties came out by every train from town, he could hardly keep up with the demand for his potato chips. And with a waiting crowd around him our partner was at his best. He was as voluble as he was skilful, and as witty as he was voluble; at least so I guessed from the laughter that frequently drowned his voice. I could not understand his jokes, but if I could get near enough to [Pg 98]watch his lips and his smile and his merry eyes, I was happy. That any one could talk so fast, and in English, was marvel enough, but that this prodigy should belong to our establishment was a fact to thrill me. I had never seen anything like Mr. Wilner, except a wedding jester; but then he spoke common Yiddish. So proud was I of the talent and good taste displayed at our stand that if my father beckoned to me in the crowd and sent me on an errand, I hoped the people noticed that I, too, was connected with the establishment.

And all this splendor and glory and distinction came to a sudden end. There was some trouble about a license—some fee or fine—there was a storm in the night that damaged the soda fountain and other fixtures—there was talk and consultation between the houses of Antin and Wilner—and the promising partnership was dissolved. No more would the merry partner gather the crowd on the beach; no more would the twelve young Wilners gambol like mermen and mermaids in the surf. And the less numerous tribe of Antin must also say farewell to the jolly seaside life; for men in such humble business as my father's carry their families, along with their other earthly goods, wherever they go, after the manner of the gypsies. We had driven a feeble stake into the sand. The jealous Atlantic, in conspiracy with the Sunday law, had torn it out. We must seek our luck elsewhere.

In Polotzk we had supposed that "America" was practically synonymous with "Boston." When we landed in Boston, the horizon was pushed back, and we annexed Crescent Beach. And now, espying other lands of promise, we took possession of the province of Chelsea, in the name of our necessity.

[Pg 99]In Chelsea, as in Boston, we made our stand in the wrong end of the town. Arlington Street was inhabited by poor Jews, poor Negroes, and a sprinkling of poor Irish. The side streets leading from it were occupied by more poor Jews and Negroes. It was a proper locality for a man without capital to do business. My father rented a tenement with a store in the basement. He put in a few barrels of flour and of sugar, a few boxes of crackers, a few gallons of kerosene, an assortment of soap of the "save the coupon" brands; in the cellar a few barrels of potatoes, and a pyramid of kindling-wood; in the showcase, an alluring display of penny candy. He put out his sign, with a gilt-lettered warning of "Strictly Cash," and proceeded to give credit indiscriminately. That was the regular way to do business on Arlington Street. My father, in his three years' apprenticeship, had learned the tricks of many trades. He knew when and how to "bluff." The legend of "Strictly Cash" was a protection against notoriously irresponsible customers; while none of the "good" customers, who had a record for paying regularly on Saturday, hesitated to enter the store with empty purses.

If my father knew the tricks of the trade, my mother could be counted on to throw all her talent and tact into the business. Of course she had no English yet, but as she could perform the acts of weighing, measuring, and mental computation of fractions mechanically, she was able to give her whole attention to the dark mysteries of the language, as intercourse with her customers gave her opportunity. In this she made such rapid progress that she soon lost all sense of disadvantage, and conducted herself behind the counter very much as if she were back in [Pg 100]her old store in Polotzk. It was far more cozy than Polotzk—at least, so it seemed to me; for behind the store was the kitchen, where, in the intervals of slack trade, she did her cooking and washing. Arlington Street customers were used to waiting while the storekeeper salted the soup or rescued a loaf from the oven.

Once more Fortune favored my family with a thin little smile, and my father, in reply to a friendly inquiry, would say, "One makes a living," with a shrug of the shoulders that added "but nothing to boast of." It was characteristic of my attitude toward bread-and-butter matters that this contented me, and I felt free to devote myself to the conquest of my new world. Looking back to those critical first years, I see myself always behaving like a child let loose in a garden to play and dig and chase the butterflies. Occasionally, indeed, I was stung by the wasp of family trouble; but I knew a healing ointment—my faith in America. My father had come to America to make a living. America, which was free and fair and kind, must presently yield him what he sought. I had come to America to see a new world, and I followed my own ends with the utmost assiduity; only, as I ran out to explore, I would look back to see if my house were in order behind me—if my family still kept its head above water.

In after years, when I passed as an American among Americans, if I was suddenly made aware of the past that lay forgotten,—if a letter from Russia, or a paragraph in the newspaper, or a conversation overheard in the street-car, suddenly reminded me of what I might have been,—I thought it miracle enough that I, Mashke, the granddaughter of Raphael the Russian, born to a humble destiny, should be at [Pg 101]home in an American metropolis, be free to fashion my own life, and should dream my dreams in English phrases. But in the beginning my admiration was spent on more concrete embodiments of the splendors of America; such as fine houses, gay shops, electric engines and apparatus, public buildings, illuminations, and parades. My early letters to my Russian friends were filled with boastful descriptions of these glories of my new country. No native citizen of Chelsea took such pride and delight in its institutions as I did. It required no fife and drum corps, no Fourth of July procession, to set me tingling with patriotism. Even the common agents and instruments of municipal life, such as the letter carrier and the fire engines, I regarded with a measure of respect. I know what I thought of people who said that Chelsea was a very small, dull, unaspiring town, with no discernible excuse for a separate name or existence.

The apex of my civic pride and personal contentment was reached on the bright September morning when I entered the public school. That day I must always remember, even if I live to be so old that I cannot tell my name. To most people their first day at school is a memorable occasion. In my case the importance of the day was a hundred times magnified, on account of the years I had waited, the road I had come, and the conscious ambitions I entertained.

I am wearily aware that I am speaking in extreme figures, in superlatives. I wish I knew some other way to render the mental life of the immigrant child of reasoning age. I may have been ever so much an exception in acuteness of observation, powers of comparison, and abnormal self-consciousness; none the less were my thoughts and conduct typical of the attitude [Pg 102]of the intelligent immigrant child toward American institutions. And what the child thinks and feels is a reflection of the hopes, desires, purposes of the parent who brought him overseas, no matter how precocious and independent the child may be. Your immigrant inspectors will tell you what poverty the foreigner brings in his baggage, what want in his pockets. Let the overgrown boy of twelve, reverently drawing his letters in the baby class, testify to the noble dreams and high ideals that may be hidden beneath the greasy caftan of the immigrant. Speaking for the Jews, at least, I know I am safe in inviting such an investigation.

Who were my companions on my first day at school? Whose hand was in mine, as I stood, overcome with awe, by the teacher's desk, and whispered my name as my father prompted? Was it Frieda's steady, capable hand? Was it her loyal heart that throbbed, beat for beat with mine, as it had done through all our childish adventures? Frieda's heart did throb that day, but not with my emotions. My heart pulsed with joy and pride and ambition; in her heart longing fought with abnegation. For I was led to the schoolroom, with its sunshine and its singing and the teacher's cheery smile; while she was led to the workshop, with its foul air, care-lined faces, and the foreman's stern command. Our going to school was the fulfilment of my father's best promises to us, and Frieda's share in it was to fashion and fit the calico frocks in which the baby sister and I made our first appearance in a public schoolroom.

I remember to this day the gray pattern of the calico, so affectionately did I regard it as it hung upon the wall—my consecration robe awaiting the beatific day.[Pg 103] And Frieda, I am sure, remembers it, too, so longingly did she regard it as the crisp, starchy breadths of it slid between her fingers. But whatever were her longings, she said nothing of them; she bent over the sewing-machine humming an Old-World melody. In every straight, smooth seam, perhaps, she tucked away some lingering impulse of childhood; but she matched the scrolls and flowers with the utmost care. If a sudden shock of rebellion made her straighten up for an instant, the next instant she was bending to adjust a ruffle to the best advantage. And when the momentous day arrived, and the little sister and I stood up to be arrayed, it was Frieda herself who patted and smoothed my stiff new calico; who made me turn round and round, to see that I was perfect; who stooped to pull out a disfiguring basting-thread. If there was anything in her heart besides sisterly love and pride and good-will, as we parted that morning, it was a sense of loss and a woman's acquiescence in her fate; for we had been close friends, and now our ways would lie apart. Longing she felt, but no envy. She did not grudge me what she was denied. Until that morning we had been children together, but now, at the fiat of her destiny she became a woman, with all a woman's cares; whilst I, so little younger than she, was bidden to dance at the May festival of untroubled childhood.

I wish, for my comfort, that I could say that I had some notion of the difference in our lots, some sense of the injustice to her, of the indulgence to me. I wish I could even say that I gave serious thought to the matter. There had always been a distinction between us rather out of proportion to the difference in our years. Her good health and domestic instincts had made it natural for her to become my mother's right [Pg 104]hand, in the years preceding the emigration, when there were no more servants or dependents. Then there was the family tradition that Mary was the quicker, the brighter of the two, and that hers could be no common lot. Frieda was relied upon for help, and her sister for glory. And when I failed as a milliner's apprentice, while Frieda made excellent progress at the dressmaker's, our fates, indeed, were sealed. It was understood, even before we reached Boston, that she would go to work and I to school. In view of the family prejudices, it was the inevitable course. No injustice was intended. My father sent us hand in hand to school, before he had ever thought of America. If, in America, he had been able to support his family unaided, it would have been the culmination of his best hopes to see all his children at school, with equal advantages at home. But when he had done his best, and was still unable to provide even bread and shelter for us all, he was compelled to make us children self-supporting as fast as it was practicable. There was no choosing possible; Frieda was the oldest, the strongest, the best prepared, and the only one who was of legal age to be put to work.

My father has nothing to answer for. He divided the world between his children in accordance with the laws of the country and the compulsion of his circumstances. I have no need of defending him. It is myself that I would like to defend, and I cannot. I remember that I accepted the arrangements made for my sister and me without much reflection, and everything that was planned for my advantage I took as a matter of course. I was no heartless monster, but a decidedly self-centered child. If my sister had seemed unhappy it would have troubled me; but I am ashamed [Pg 105]to recall that I did not consider how little it was that contented her. I was so preoccupied with my own happiness that I did not half perceive the splendid devotion of her attitude towards me, the sweetness of her joy in my good luck. She not only stood by approvingly when I was helped to everything; she cheerfully waited on me herself. And I took everything from her hand as if it were my due.

The two of us stood a moment in the doorway of the tenement house on Arlington Street, that wonderful September morning when I first went to school. It was I that ran away, on winged feet of joy and expectation; it was she whose feet were bound in the tread-mill of daily toil. And I was so blind that I did not see that the glory lay on her, and not on me.

Father himself conducted us to school. He would not have delegated that mission to the President of the United States. He had awaited the day with impatience equal to mine, and the visions he saw as he hurried us over the sun-flecked pavements transcended all my dreams. Almost his first act on landing on American soil, three years before, had been his application for naturalization. He had taken the remaining steps in the process with eager promptness, and at the earliest moment allowed by the law, he became a citizen of the United States. It is true that he had left home in search of bread for his hungry family, but he went blessing the necessity that drove him to America. The boasted freedom of the New World meant to him far more than the right to reside, travel, and work wherever he pleased; it meant the freedom to speak his thoughts, to throw off the shackles of superstition, to test his own fate, unhindered by political or religious [Pg 106]tyranny. He was only a young man when he landed—thirty-two; and most of his life he had been held in leading-strings. He was hungry for his untasted manhood.

Three years passed in sordid struggle and disappointment. He was not prepared to make a living even in America, where the day laborer eats wheat instead of rye. Apparently the American flag could not protect him against the pursuing Nemesis of his limitations; he must expiate the sins of his fathers who slept across the seas. He had been endowed at birth with a poor constitution, a nervous, restless temperament, and an abundance of hindering prejudices. In his boyhood his body was starved, that his mind might be stuffed with useless learning. In his youth this dearly gotten learning was sold, and the price was the bread and salt which he had not been trained to earn for himself. Under the wedding canopy he was bound for life to a girl whose features were still strange to him; and he was bidden to multiply himself, that sacred learning might be perpetuated in his sons, to the glory of the God of his fathers. All this while he had been led about as a creature without a will, a chattel, an instrument. In his maturity he awoke, and found himself poor in health, poor in purse, poor in useful knowledge, and hampered on all sides. At the first nod of opportunity he broke away from his prison, and strove to atone for his wasted youth by a life of useful labor; while at the same time he sought to lighten the gloom of his narrow scholarship by freely partaking of modern ideas. But his utmost endeavor still left him far from his goal. In business nothing prospered with him. Some fault of hand or mind or temperament led him to failure where other men found success. Wherever [Pg 107]the blame for his disabilities be placed, he reaped their bitter fruit. "Give me bread!" he cried to America. "What will you do to earn it?" the challenge came back. And he found that he was master of no art, of no trade; that even his precious learning was of no avail, because he had only the most antiquated methods of communicating it.

So in his primary quest he had failed. There was left him the compensation of intellectual freedom. That he sought to realize in every possible way. He had very little opportunity to prosecute his education, which, in truth, had never been begun. His struggle for a bare living left him no time to take advantage of the public evening school; but he lost nothing of what was to be learned through reading, through attendance at public meetings, through exercising the rights of citizenship. Even here he was hindered by a natural inability to acquire the English language. In time, indeed, he learned to read, to follow a conversation or lecture; but he never learned to write correctly, and his pronunciation remains extremely foreign to this day.

If education, culture, the higher life were shining things to be worshipped from afar, he had still a means left whereby he could draw one step nearer to them. He could send his children to school, to learn all those things that he knew by fame to be desirable. The common school, at least, perhaps high school; for one or two, perhaps even college! His children should be students, should fill his house with books and intellectual company; and thus he would walk by proxy in the Elysian Fields of liberal learning. As for the children themselves, he knew no surer way to their advancement and happiness.

[Pg 108]So it was with a heart full of longing and hope that my father led us to school on that first day. He took long strides in his eagerness, the rest of us running and hopping to keep up.

At last the four of us stood around the teacher's desk; and my father, in his impossible English, gave us over in her charge, with some broken word of his hopes for us that his swelling heart could no longer contain. I venture to say that Miss Nixon was struck by something uncommon in the group we made, something outside of Semitic features and the abashed manner of the alien. My little sister was as pretty as a doll, with her clear pink-and-white face, short golden curls, and eyes like blue violets when you caught them looking up. My brother might have been a girl, too, with his cherubic contours of face, rich red color, glossy black hair, and fine eyebrows. Whatever secret fears were in his heart, remembering his former teachers, who had taught with the rod, he stood up straight and uncringing before the American teacher, his cap respectfully doffed. Next to him stood a starved-looking girl with eyes ready to pop out, and short dark curls that would not have made much of a wig for a Jewish bride.

All three children carried themselves rather better than the common run of "green" pupils that were brought to Miss Nixon. But the figure that challenged attention to the group was the tall, straight father, with his earnest face and fine forehead, nervous hands eloquent in gesture, and a voice full of feeling. This foreigner, who brought his children to school as if it were an act of consecration, who regarded the teacher of the primer class with reverence, who spoke of visions, like a man inspired, in a common schoolroom, [Pg 109]was not like other aliens, who brought their children in dull obedience to the law; was not like the native fathers, who brought their unmanageable boys, glad to be relieved of their care. I think Miss Nixon guessed what my father's best English could not convey. I think she divined that by the simple act of delivering our school certificates to her he took possession of America.


The Promised Land:—The land of freedom and peace which the Jews have hoped to attain. See Exodus, 3:8; 6:8; Genesis, 12:5-7; Deuteronomy, 8:7-10; Hebrews, 11:9.

his three years of probation:—Mary Antin's father had spent three years in America before sending back to Russia for his family.

Polotzk:—Pronounced Pō'lotsk; a town in Russia on the Dwina River.

seven lean years:—A reference to the famine in Egypt predicted by Joseph, Pharaoh's Hebrew favorite. See Genesis, 40.

Dvina:—The Düna or Dwina River, in Russia.

originally destined:—Mr. Antin's parents had intended him to be a scholar and teacher.

Yiddish:—From the German word jüdisch, meaning Jewish; a mixed language made up of German, Hebrew, and Russian words. It is generally spoken by Jews.

Chelsea:—A suburb of Boston.

Nemesis:—In Greek mythology, a goddess of vengeance or punishment for sins and errors.

the sins of his fathers:—See Exodus, 20:5; Numbers, 14:18; Deuteronomy, 5:9.

Elysian fields:—In Greek thought, the home of the happy dead.

Semitic:—Jewish; from the name of Shem, the son of Noah.


This selection gives the experience of a Jewish girl who came from Polotzk, Russia, to Boston. Read rather slowly, with the [Pg 110]help of these questions: What is meant by "centuries of repression"? Is there no such repression in America? How is it true that the Jew peddler "was born thousands of years before the oldest native American"? What are the educational advantages of a thickly populated neighborhood? What is your idea of the slums? Why did the children expect every comfort to be supplied? How much is really free in America? Is education free? How does one secure an education in Russia? How are American machine-made garments superior to those made by hand in Russia? Was it a good thing to change the children's names? What effect does the sea have upon those who live near it? What effect has a great change of environment on a growing young person? What kind of person was Mrs. Wilner? What does Mr. Antin mean when he says, "America is not Polotzk"? Are all men equal in America? Read carefully the description of Mr. Wilner: How does the author make it vivid and lively? Why was Mary Antin's first day in school so important to her? Was it fair that Frieda should not go to school? Should an older child be sacrificed for a younger? Should a slow child always give way to a bright one? What do you think of the way in which Mary accepted the situation when Frieda had to go to work? Read carefully what Mary says about it. Is it easy to make a living in America? Why did Mr. Antin not succeed in business? What is meant by "the compensation of intellectual freedom"? What did Mr. Antin gain from his life in America? What sort of man was he? In reading the selection, what idea do you get of the Russian immigrant? Of what America means to the poor foreigner?


The Foreigners in our Town
The "Greenhorn"
The Immigrant Family
The Peddler
Ellis Island
What America Means to the Foreigner
The Statue of Liberty
A Russian Woman
The New Girl at School
The Basement Store
A Large Family
Learning to Speak a New Language
What the Public School can Do
A Russian Brass Shop
The Factory Girl
My Childish Sports
[Pg 111] The Refreshment Stand
On the Sea Shore
The Popcorn Man
A Home in the Tenements
Earning a Living
More about Mary Antin[9]
How Children Amuse Themselves
A Fragment of My Autobiography
An Autobiography that I Have Read


The Immigrant Family:—Have you ever seen a family that have just arrived in America from a foreign land? Tell where you saw them. How many persons were there? What were they doing? Describe each person, noting especially anything odd or picturesque in looks, dress, or behavior. Were they carrying anything? What expressions did they have on their faces? Did they seem pleased with their new surroundings? Was anyone trying to help them? Could they speak English? If possible, report a few fragments of their conversation. Did you have a chance to find out what they thought of America? Do you know what has become of them, and how they are getting along?

A Fragment of my Autobiography:—Did you, as a child, move into a strange town, or make a visit in a place entirely new to you? Tell rather briefly why you went and what preparations were made. Then give an account of your arrival. What was the first thing that impressed you? What did you do or say? What did the grown people say? Was there anything unusual about the food, or the furniture, or the dress of the people? Go on and relate your experiences, telling any incidents that you remember. Try to make your reader share the bewilderment and excitement you felt. Did anyone laugh at you, or make fun of you, or hurt your feelings? Were you glad or sorry that you had come? Finish your story by telling of your departure from the place, or of your gradually getting used to your new surroundings.

Try to recall some other experiences of your childhood. Write them out quite fully, giving space to your feelings as well as to the events. [Pg 112]


The Promised LandMary Antin
They Who Knock at Our Gates    "        "
The Lie    "        "
    (Atlantic Monthly, August, 1913)
Children of the TenementsJacob A. Riis
The Making of an American    "        "
On the Trail of the ImmigrantE.A. Steiner
Against the Current    "        "
The Immigrant Tide    "        "
The Man Farthest DownBooker T. Washington
Up from Slavery    "        "        "
The Woman who ToilsMarie and Mrs. John Van Vorst
The Long DayAnonymous
Old Homes of New AmericansF.E. Clark
AutobiographyS.S. McClure
AutobiographyTheodore Roosevelt
A Buckeye BoyhoodW.H. Venable
A Tuscan ChildhoodLisa Cipriani
An Indian BoyhoodCharles Eastman
When I Was YoungYoshio Markino
When I Was a Boy in JapanSakae Shioya
The Story of my ChildhoodClara Barton
The Story of my Boyhood and YouthJohn Muir
The Biography of a Prairie GirlEleanor Gates
Autobiography of a TomboyJeanette Gilder
The One I Knew Best of AllFrances Hodgson Burnett
The Story of my LifeHelen Keller
The Story of a ChildPierre Loti
A New England GirlhoodLucy Larcom
AutobiographyJoseph Jefferson
Dream DaysKenneth Grahame
The Golden Age    "        "
The Would-be-GoodsE. Nesbit
In the Morning GlowRoy Rolfe Gilson
Chapters from a LifeElizabeth Stuart Phelps-Ward

Mary Antin: Outlook, 102:482, November 2, 1912; 104:473, June 28, 1913 (Portrait). Bookman, 35:419-421, June 1912.

[Pg 113]



Warble me now for joy of lilac-time (returning in reminiscence),
Sort me, O tongue and lips for Nature's sake, souvenirs of earliest summer,
Gather the welcome signs (as children with pebbles or stringing shells),
Put in April and May, the hylas croaking in the ponds, the elastic air,
Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes,
Blue-bird and darting swallow, nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings,
The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke, the vapor,
Shimmer of waters with fish in them, the cerulean above,
All that is jocund and sparkling, the brooks running,
The maple woods, the crisp February days, and the sugar-making,
The robin where he hops, bright-eyed, brown-breasted,
With musical clear call at sunrise and again at sunset,
Or flitting among the trees of the apple-orchard, building the nest of his mate,
The melted snow of March, the willow sending forth its yellow-green sprouts,
For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it?
Thou, soul, unloosen'd—the restlessness after I know not what;
Come, let us lag here no longer, let us be up and away!
O if one could but fly like a bird!
[Pg 114] O to escape, to sail forth as in a ship!
To glide with thee, O soul, o'er all, in all, as a ship o'er the waters;
Gathering these hints, the preludes, the blue sky, the grass, the morning drops of dew,
The lilac-scent, the bushes with dark-green heart-shaped leaves,
Wood-violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence,
Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere,
To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds,
A warble for joy of lilac-time, returning in reminiscence.


What is the meaning of "sort me"? Why jumble all these signs of summer together? Does one naturally think in an orderly way when recalling the details of spring or summer? Can you think of any important points that the author has left out? Is samples a poetic word? What is meant by the line "not for themselves alone," etc.? Note the sound-words in the poem: What is their value here? Read the lines slowly to yourself, or have some one read them aloud, and see how many of them suggest little pictures. Note the punctuation: Do you approve? Is this your idea of poetry? What is poetry? Would this be better if it were in the full form of verse? Can you see why the critics have disagreed over Whitman's poetry?

[Pg 115]



When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.


Why did the listener become tired of the lecturer who spoke with much applause? What did he learn from the stars when he was alone out of doors? Does he not think the study of astronomy worth while? What would be his feeling toward other scientific studies? What do you get out of this poem? What do you think of the way in which it is written?

[Pg 116]



Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return'd with a look
I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine, O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body, son of responding kisses (never again on earth responding),
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade—not a tear, not a word,

[Pg 117]

Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your death, I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we shall surely meet again,)
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear'd,
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form,
Folded the blanket well, tucked it carefully over head and carefully under feet,
And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited,
Ending my strange vigil with that, vigil of night and battlefield dim,
Vigil for boy of responding kisses (never again on earth responding),
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten'd,
I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket,
And buried him where he fell.


What is a vigil? Was Whitman ever in battle? Does he mean himself speaking? Was the boy really his son? Is the man's calmness a sign that he does not care? Why does he call the vigil "wondrous" and "sweet"? What does he think about the next life? Read the poem over slowly and thoughtfully to yourself, or aloud to some one: How does it make you feel?

Can you see any reason for calling Whitman a great poet?[Pg 118] Has he broadened your idea of what poetry may be? Read, if possible, in John Burroughs's book on Whitman, pages 48-53.


Re-read the Warble for Lilac-Time. Can you write of the signs of fall, in somewhat the same way? Choose the most beautiful and the most important characteristics that you can think of. Try to use color-words and sound-words so that they make your composition vivid and musical. Compare the Warble for Lilac-Time with the first lines of Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. With Lowell's How Spring Came in New England.


A Walk in the Woods
A Spring Day
My Flower Garden
The Garden in Lilac Time
The Orchard in Spring
On a Farm in Early Summer
A Walk on a Summer Night
Waiting for Morning
The Stars
Walt Whitman and his Poetry


[Pg 119]

Poems by Whitman suitable for class reading:—
    On the Beach at Night
    Bivouac on a Mountain Side
    To a Locomotive in Winter
    A Farm Picture
    The Runner
    I Hear It was Charged against Me
    A Sight in Camp
    By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame
    Song of the Broad-Axe
    A Child said What is the grass? (from A Song of Myself)
The Rolling Earth (Selections from Whitman)W.R. Browne (Ed.)
The Life of Walt WhitmanH.B. Binns
Walt WhitmanJohn Burroughs
A Visit to Walt Whitman (Portraits)John Johnston
Walt Whitman the Man (Portraits)Thomas Donaldson
Walt WhitmanG.R. Carpenter
Walt Whitman (Portraits)I.H. Platt
WhitmanBliss Perry
Early May in New England (poem)Percy Mackaye
Knee-deep in JuneJ.W. Riley
SpringHenry Timrod
Spring SongBliss Carman

[Pg 120]



Thus long-tried royal Odysseus slumbered here, heavy with sleep and toil; but Athene went to the land and town of the Phaeacians. This people once in ancient times lived in the open highlands, near that rude folk the Cyclops, who often plundered them, being in strength more powerful than they. Moving them thence, godlike Nausithoüs, their leader, established them at Scheria, far from toiling men. He ran a wall around the town, built houses there, made temples for the gods, and laid out farms; but Nausithoüs had met his doom and gone to the house of Hades, and Alcinoüs now was reigning, trained in wisdom by the gods. To this man's dwelling came the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, planning a safe return for brave Odysseus. She hastened to a chamber, richly wrought, in which a maid was sleeping, of form and beauty like the immortals, Nausicaä, daughter of generous Alcinoüs. Near by two damsels, dowered with beauty by the Graces, slept by the threshold, one on either hand. The shining doors were shut; but Athene, like a breath of air, moved to the maid's couch, stood by her head, and thus addressed her,—taking the likeness of the daughter of Dymas, the famous seaman, a maiden just Nausicaä's age, dear to her heart. Taking her guise, thus spoke clear-eyed Athene:—

"Nausicaä, how did your mother bear a child so heedless? Your gay clothes lie uncared for, though the wedding time is near, when you must wear fine [Pg 121]clothes yourself and furnish them to those that may attend you. From things like these a good repute arises, and father and honored mother are made glad. Then let us go a-washing at the dawn of day, and I will go to help, that you may soon be ready; for really not much longer will you be a maid. Already you have for suitors the chief ones of the land throughout Phaeacia, where you too were born. Come, then, beg your good father early in the morning to harness the mules and cart, so as to carry the men's clothes, gowns, and bright-hued rugs. Yes, and for you yourself it is more decent so than setting forth on foot; the pools are far from the town."

Saying this, clear-eyed Athene passed away, off to Olympus, where they say the dwelling of the gods stands fast forever. Never with winds is it disturbed, nor by the rain made wet, nor does the snow come near; but everywhere the upper air spreads cloudless, and a bright radiance plays over all; and there the blessed gods are happy all their days. Thither now came the clear-eyed one, when she had spoken with the maid.

Soon bright-throned morning came, and waked fair-robed Nausicaä. She marveled at the dream, and hastened through the house to tell it to her parents, her dear father and her mother. She found them still in-doors: her mother sat by the hearth among the waiting-women, spinning sea-purple yarn; she met her father at the door, just going forth to join the famous princes at the council, to which the high Phaeacians summoned him. So standing close beside him, she said to her dear father:—

"Papa dear, could you not have the wagon harnessed for me,—the high one, with good wheels,—to [Pg 122]take my nice clothes to the river to be washed, which now are lying dirty? Surely for you yourself it is but proper, when you are with the first men holding councils, that you should wear clean clothing. Five good sons too are here at home,—two married, and three merry young men still,—and they are always wanting to go to the dance wearing fresh clothes. And this is all a trouble on my mind."

Such were her words, for she was shy of naming the glad marriage to her father; but he understood it all, and answered thus:

"I do not grudge the mules, my child, nor anything beside. Go! Quickly shall the servants harness the wagon for you, the high one, with good wheels, fitted with rack above."

Saying this, he called to the servants, who gave heed. Out in the court they made the easy mule-cart ready; they brought the mules and yoked them to the wagon. The maid took from her room her pretty clothing, and stowed it in the polished wagon; her mother put in a chest food the maid liked, of every kind, put dainties in, and poured some wine into a goat-skin bottle,—the maid, meanwhile, had got into the wagon,—and gave her in a golden flask some liquid oil, that she might bathe and anoint herself, she and the waiting-women. Nausicaä took the whip and the bright reins, and cracked the whip to start. There was a clatter of the mules, and steadily they pulled, drawing the clothing and the maid,—yet not alone; beside her went the waiting-women too.

When now they came to the fair river's current, where the pools were always full,—for in abundance clear water bubbles from beneath to cleanse the foulest stains,—they turned the mules loose from the [Pg 123]wagon, and let them stray along the eddying stream, to crop the honeyed pasturage. Then from the wagon they took the clothing in their arms, carried it into the dark water, and stamped it in the pits with rivalry in speed. And after they had washed and cleansed it of all stains, they spread it carefully along the shore, just where the waves washed up the pebbles on the beach. Then bathing and anointing with the oil, they presently took dinner on the river bank and waited for the clothes to dry in the sunshine. And when they were refreshed with food, the maids and she, they then began to play at ball, throwing their wimples off. White-armed Nausicaä led their sport; and as the huntress Artemis goes down a mountain, down long Taÿgetus or Erymanthus, exulting in the boars and the swift deer, while round her sport the woodland nymphs, daughters of ægis-bearing Zeus, and glad is Leto's heart, for all the rest her child o'ertops by head and brow, and easily marked is she, though all are fair; so did this virgin pure excel her women.

But when Nausicaä thought to turn toward home once more, to yoke the mules and fold up the clean clothes, then a new plan the goddess formed, clear-eyed Athene; for she would have Odysseus wake and see the bright-eyed maid, who might to the Phaeacian city show the way. Just then the princess tossed the ball to one of her women, and missing her it fell in the deep eddy. Thereat they screamed aloud. Royal Odysseus woke, and sitting up debated in his mind and heart:—

"Alas! To what men's land am I come now? Lawless and savage are they, with no regard for right, or are they kind to strangers and reverent toward the [Pg 124]gods? It was as if there came to me the delicate voice of maids—nymphs, it may be, who haunt the craggy peaks of hills, the springs of streams and grassy marshes; or am I now, perhaps, near men of human speech? Suppose I make a trial for myself, and see."

So saying, royal Odysseus crept from the thicket, but with his strong hand broke a spray of leaves from the close wood, to be a covering round his body for his nakedness. He set off like a lion that is bred among the hills and trusts its strength; onward it goes, beaten with rain and wind; its two eyes glare; and now in search of oxen or of sheep it moves, or tracking the wild deer; its belly bids it make trial of the flocks, even by entering the guarded folds; so was Odysseus about to meet those fair-haired maids, for need constrained him. To them he seemed a loathsome sight, befouled with brine. They hurried off, one here, one there, over the stretching sands. Only the daughter of Alcinoüs stayed, for in her breast Athene had put courage and from her limbs took fear. Steadfast she stood to meet him. And now Odysseus doubted whether to make his suit by clasping the knees of the bright-eyed maid, or where he stood, aloof, in winning words to make that suit, and try if she would show the town and give him clothing. Reflecting thus, it seemed the better way to make his suit in winning words, aloof; for fear if he should clasp her knees, the maid might be offended. Forthwith he spoke, a winning and shrewd speech:—

"I am your suppliant, princess. Are you some god or mortal? If one of the gods who hold the open sky, to Artemis, daughter of mighty Zeus, in beauty, height, and bearing I find you likest. But if you are a mortal, living on the earth, most happy are your [Pg 125]father and your honored mother, most happy your brothers also. Surely their hearts ever grow warm with pleasure over you, when watching such a blossom moving in the dance. And then exceeding happy he, beyond all others, who shall with gifts prevail and lead you home. For I never before saw such a being with these eyes—no man, no woman. I am amazed to see. At Delos once, by Apollo's altar, something like you I noticed, a young palm shoot springing up; for thither too I came, and a great troop was with me, upon a journey where I was to meet with bitter trials. And just as when I looked on that I marveled long within, since never before sprang such a stalk from earth; so, lady, I admire and marvel now at you, and greatly fear to touch your knees. Yet grievous woe is on me. Yesterday, after twenty days, I escaped from the wine-dark sea, and all that time the waves and boisterous winds bore me away from the island of Ogygia. Now some god cast me here, that probably here also I may meet with trouble; for I do not think trouble will cease, but much the gods will first accomplish. Then, princess, have compassion, for it is you to whom through many grievous toils I first am come; none else I know of all who own this city and this land. Show me the town, and give me a rag to throw around me, if you had perhaps on coming here some wrapper for your linen. And may the gods grant all that in your thoughts you long for: husband and home and true accord may they bestow; for a better and higher gift than this there cannot be, when with accordant aims man and wife have a home. Great grief it is to foes and joy to friends; but they themselves best know its meaning."

Then answered him white-armed Nausicaä: "Stranger, [Pg 126]because you do not seem a common, senseless person,—and Olympian Zeus himself distributes fortune to mankind and gives to high and low even as he wills to each; and this he gave to you, and you must bear it therefore,—now you have reached our city and our land, you shall not lack for clothes nor anything besides which it is fit a hard-pressed suppliant should find. I will point out the town and tell its people's name. The Phaeacians own this city and this land, and I am the daughter of generous Alcinoüs, on whom the might and power of the Phaeacians rests."

She spoke, and called her fair-haired waiting-women: "My women, stay! Why do you run because you saw a man? You surely do not think him evil-minded, The man is not alive, and never will be born, who can come and offer harm to the Phaeacian land: for we are very dear to the immortals; and then we live apart, far on the surging sea, no other tribe of men has dealings with us. But this poor man has come here having lost his way, and we should give him aid; for in the charge of Zeus all strangers and beggars stand, and a small gift is welcome. Then give, my women, to the stranger food and drink, and let him bathe in the river where there is shelter from the breeze."

She spoke; the others stopped and called to one another, and down they brought Odysseus to the place of shelter, even as Nausicaä, daughter of generous Alcinoüs, had ordered. They placed a robe and tunic there for clothing, they gave him in the golden flask the liquid oil, and bade him bathe in the stream's currents.

The women went away.... And now, with water from the stream, royal Odysseus washed his skin clean [Pg 127]of the salt which clung about his back and his broad shoulders, and wiped from his head the foam brought by the barren sea; and when he had thoroughly bathed and oiled himself and had put on the clothing which the chaste maiden gave, Athene, the daughter of Zeus, made him taller than before and stouter to behold, and she made the curling locks to fall around his head as on the hyacinth flower. As when a man lays gold on silver,—some skillful man whom Hephaestus and Pallas Athene have trained in every art, and he fashions graceful work; so did she cast a grace upon his head and shoulders. He walked apart along the shore, and there sat down, beaming with grace and beauty. The maid observed; then to her fair-haired waiting-women said:—

"Hearken, my white-armed women, while I speak. Not without purpose on the part of all the gods that hold Olympus is this man's meeting with the godlike Phaeacians. A while ago, he really seemed to me ill-looking, but now he is like the gods who hold the open sky. Ah, might a man like this be called my husband, having his home here, and content to stay! But give, my women, to the stranger food and drink."

She spoke, and very willingly they heeded and obeyed, and set beside Odysseus food and drink. Then long-tried Odysseus eagerly drank and ate, for he had long been fasting.

And now to other matters white-armed Nausicaä turned her thoughts. She folded the clothes and laid them in the beautiful wagon, she yoked the stout-hoofed mules, mounted herself, and calling to Odysseus thus she spoke and said:—

"Arise now, stranger, and hasten to the town, that I may set you on the road to my wise father's house, [Pg 128]where you shall see, I promise you, the best of all Phaeacia. Only do this,—you seem to me not to lack understanding: while we are passing through the fields and farms, here with my women, behind the mules and cart, walk rapidly along, and I will lead the way. But as we near the town,—round which is a lofty rampart, a beautiful harbor on each side and a narrow road between,—there curved ships line the way; for every man has his own mooring-place. Beyond is the assembly near the beautiful grounds of Poseidon, constructed out of blocks of stone deeply imbedded. Further along, they make the black ships' tackling, cables and canvas, and shape out the oars; for the Phaeacians do not care for bow and quiver, only for masts and oars of ships and the trim ships themselves, with which it is their joy to cross the foaming sea. Now the rude talk of such as these I would avoid, that no one afterwards may give me blame. For very forward persons are about the place, and some coarse man might say, if he should meet us: 'What tall and handsome stranger is following Nausicaä? Where did she find him? A husband he will be, her very own. Some castaway, perhaps, she rescued from his vessel, some foreigner; for we have no neighbors here. Or at her prayer some long-entreated god has come straight down from heaven, and he will keep her his forever. So much the better, if she has gone herself and found a husband elsewhere! The people of our own land here, Phaeacians, she disdains, though she has many high-born suitors.' So they will talk, and for me it would prove a scandal. I should myself censure a girl who acted so, who, heedless of friends, while father and mother were alive, mingled with men before her public wedding. And, stranger, listen now to what I [Pg 129]say, that you may soon obtain assistance and safe conduct from my father. Near our road you will see a stately grove of poplar trees, belonging to Athene; in it a fountain flows, and round it is a meadow. That is my father's park, his fruitful vineyard, as far from the town as one can call. There sit and wait a while, until we come to the town and reach my father's palace. But when you think we have already reached the palace, enter the city of the Phaeacians, and ask for the palace of my father, generous Alcinoüs. Easily is it known; a child, though young, could show the way; for the Phaeacians do not build their houses like the dwelling of Alcinoüs their prince. But when his house and court receive you, pass quickly through the hall until you find my mother. She sits in the firelight by the hearth, spinning sea-purple yarn, a marvel to behold, and resting against a pillar. Her handmaids sit behind her. Here too my father's seat rests on the self-same pillar, and here he sits and sips his wine like an immortal. Passing him by, stretch out your hands to our mother's knees, if you would see the day of your return in gladness and with speed, although you come from far. If she regards you kindly in her heart, then there is hope that you may see your friends and reach your stately house and native land."

Saying this, with her bright whip she struck the mules, and fast they left the river's streams; and well they trotted, well they plied their feet, and skillfully she reined them that those on foot might follow,—the waiting-women and Odysseus,—and moderately she used the lash. The sun was setting when they reached the famous grove, Athene's sacred ground where royal Odysseus sat him down. And thereupon he prayed to the daughter of mighty Zeus:—

[Pg 130]"Hearken, thou child of ægis-bearing Zeus, unwearied one! O hear me now, although before thou didst not hear me, when I was wrecked, what time the great Land-shaker wrecked me. Grant that I come among the Phaeacians welcomed and pitied by them."

So spoke he in his prayer, and Pallas Athene heard, but did not yet appear to him in open presence; for she regarded still her father's brother, who stoutly strove with godlike Odysseus until he reached his land.

Here, then, long-tried royal Odysseus made his prayer; but to the town the strong mules bore the maid. And when she reached her father's famous palace, she stopped before the door-way, and round her stood her brothers, men like immortals, who from the cart unyoked the mules and carried the clothing in. The maid went to her chamber, where a fire was kindled for her by an old Apeirean woman, the chamber-servant Eurymedousa, whom long ago curved ships brought from Apeira; her they had chosen from the rest to be the gift of honor for Alcinoüs, because he was the lord of all Phaeacians, and people listened to his voice as if he were a god. She was the nurse of white-armed Nausicaä at the palace, and she it was who kindled her the fire and in her room prepared her supper.

And now Odysseus rose to go to the city; but Athene kindly drew thick clouds around Odysseus, for fear some bold Phaeacian meeting him might trouble him with talk and ask him who he was. And just as he was entering the pleasant town, the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, came to meet him, disguised as a young girl who bore a water-jar. She paused as she drew near, and royal Odysseus asked:—

[Pg 131]"My child, could you not guide me to the house of one Alcinoüs, who is ruler of this people? For I am a toil-worn stranger come from far, out of a distant land. Therefore I know not one among the men who own this city and this land."

Then said to him the goddess, clear-eyed Athene: "Yes, good old stranger, I will show the house for which you ask, for it stands near my gentle father's. But follow in silence: I will lead the way. Cast not a glance at any man and ask no questions, for our people do not well endure a stranger, nor courteously receive a man who comes from elsewhere. Yet they themselves trust in swift ships and traverse the great deep, for the Earth-shaker permits them. Swift are their ships as wing or thought."

Saying this, Pallas Athene led the way in haste, and he walked after in the footsteps of the goddess. So the Phaeacians, famed for shipping, did not observe him walking through the town among them, because Athene, the fair-haired powerful goddess, did not allow it, but in the kindness of her heart drew a marvelous mist around him. And now Odysseus admired the harbors, the trim ships, the meeting-places of the lords themselves, and the long walls that were so high, fitted with palisades, a marvel to behold. Then as they neared the famous palace of the king, the goddess, clear-eyed Athene, thus began:—

"Here, good old stranger, is the house you bade me show. You will see heaven-descended kings sitting at table here. But enter, and have no misgivings in your heart; for the courageous man in all affairs better attains his end, come he from where he may. First you shall find the Queen within the hall. Arete is her name.... Alcinoüs took Arete for his wife, and he [Pg 132]has honored her as no one else on earth is honored among the women who to-day keep houses for their husbands. Thus has she had a heartfelt honor, and she has it still, from her own children, from Alcinoüs himself, and from the people also, who gaze on her as on a god and greet her with welcomes when she walks about the town. For of sound judgment, woman as she is, she has no lack; and those whom she regards, though men, find troubles clear away. If she regards you kindly in her heart, then there is hope that you may see your friends and reach your high-roofed house and native land."

Saying this, clear-eyed Athene passed away, over the barren sea. She turned from pleasant Scheria, and came to Marathon and wide-wayed Athens and entered there the strong house of Erechtheus. Meanwhile Odysseus neared the lordly palace of Alcinoüs, and his heart was deeply stirred so that he paused before he crossed the brazen threshold; for a sheen as of the sun or moon played through the high-roofed house of generous Alcinoüs. On either hand ran walls of bronze from threshold to recess, and round about the ceiling was a cornice of dark metal. Doors made of gold closed in the solid building. The door-posts were of silver and stood on a bronze threshold, silver the lintel overhead, and gold the handle. On the two sides were gold and silver dogs; these had Hephaestus wrought with subtle craft to guard the house of generous Alcinoüs, creatures immortal, young forever. Within were seats planted against the wall on this side and on that, from threshold to recess, in long array; and over these were strewn light fine-spun robes, the work of women. Here the Phaeacian leaders used to sit, drinking and eating, holding constant cheer. And [Pg 133]golden youths on massive pedestals stood and held flaming torches in their hands to light by night the palace for the feasters.

In the King's house are fifty serving maids, some grinding at the mill the yellow corn, some plying looms or twisting yarn, who as they sit are like the leaves of a tall poplar; and from the close-spun linen drops the liquid oil. And as Phaeacian men are skilled beyond all others in speeding a swift ship along the sea, so are their women practiced at the loom; for Athene has given them in large measure skill in fair works and noble minds.

Without the court and close beside its gate is a large garden, covering four acres; around it runs a hedge on either side. Here grow tall thrifty trees—pears, pomegranates, apples with shining fruit, sweet figs and thrifty olives. On them fruit never fails; it is not gone in winter or in summer, but lasts throughout the year; for constantly the west wind's breath brings some to bud and mellows others. Pear ripens upon pear, apple on apple, cluster on cluster, fig on fig. Here too the teeming vineyard has been planted, one part of which, the drying place, lying on level ground, is heating in the sun; elsewhere men gather grapes; and elsewhere still they tread them. In front, the grapes are green and shed their flower, but a second row are now just turning dark. And here trim garden-beds, along the outer line, spring up in every kind and all the year are gay. Near by, two fountains rise, one scattering its streams throughout the garden, one bounding by another course beneath the courtyard gate toward the high house; from this the towns-folk draw their water. Such at the palace of Alcinoüs were the gods' splendid gifts.

[Pg 134]Here long-tried royal Odysseus stood and gazed. Then after he had gazed his heart's fill on all, he quickly crossed the threshold and came within the house.


Phaeacia:—The land of the Phaeacians, on the Island of Scheria, or Corcyra, the modern Corfu.

Athene:—Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, skill, and science. She was interested in war, and protected warlike heroes.

Cyclops:—One of a race of uncouth giants, each of whom had but a single eye, which was in the middle of the forehead.

Nausithoüs:—The king of the Phaeacians at the time they entered Scheria.

Hades:—The realm of souls; not necessarily a place of punishment.

Artemis:—Another name for Diana, goddess of the moon.

Taÿgetus and Erymanthus:—Mountains in Greece.

Leto:—The mother of Artemis.

Delos:—An island in the Aegean Sea.

Ogygia:—The island of the goddess Calypso, who held Odysseus captive for seven years.

Hephaestus:—Another name for Vulcan, the god of the under-world. He was a skilled worker in metal.

Poseidon:—Neptune, god of the ocean.


Marathon:—A plain eighteen miles from Athens. It was here that the Greeks defeated the Persians in 490 b.c.

Erectheus:—The mythical founder of Attica; he was half man and half serpent.


[Transcriber's note: [+x) denotes a letter that has a dot above a macron above it.]

Al cin' o us (ăl sïn' [+o] ŭs)
Ap ei' ra (åp ī' ra)
Ap ei re' an (ăp ī rē' ăn)
A re' te (å rē' tē)
Ar' te mis (är' t[+e] mĭs)
A the' ne (å thē' nē)
Ca lyp' so (ka lĭp' sō)
Cir' ce (sûr' sē)
Cy' clops (sī' clŏps)
De' los (dē' lŏs)
[Pg 135] Dy' mas (dī' mås)
E rech' theus ([+e] rĕk' thūs)
E ry man' thus (ār ĭ măn' thūs)
Eu rym e dou' sa (ū rĭm [+e] d[=oo]' så)
He phaes' tus (h[+e] fās' tŭs)
Le' to (lē' tō)
Mar' a thon (măr' å thŏn)
Nau sic' a ä (nô sĭk' [+a] å)
Nau sith' o us (nô sĭth' [+o] ŭs)
O dys' seus ([+o] dĭs' ūs)
O gyg' i a ([+o] jĭj' å)
Phae a' cia (f[+e] ā' shå)
Po sei' don (p[+o] sī' dŏn)
Scher' i a (skē' rĭ å)
Ta ÿg' e tus (tā ĭj' [+e] tŭs)


Odysseus (Ulysses) has been cast ashore after a long battle with the sea, following his attempt to escape on a raft from Calypso's island. He has been saved by the intervention of the goddess Athene, who often protects distressed heroes. When Book VI opens, he is sleeping in a secluded nook under an olive tree. (For Odysseus's adventures on the sea, consult Book V of the Odyssey.) Is Athene's visit to Nausicaä an unusual sort of thing in Greek story? Does it appear that it was customary for princesses to do their own washing? Note here that I refers to the daughter of Dymas, since Athene is not speaking in her own character. From Nausicaä's conversation with her father and her preparations for departure, what can you judge of Greek family life? How does the author make us see vividly the activities of Nausicaä and her maids? Does the out-door scene appear true to life? This virgin pure refers to Nausicaä, who is being compared to Artemis (Diana), the goddess of the hunt. What plan has Athene for assisting Odysseus? From the hero's speech, what can you tell of his character? Can you find out what adjectives are usually applied to Odysseus in the Iliad and the Odyssey? Why does he here call Nausicaä "Princess"? What effect is his speech likely to have? What can you tell of Nausicaä from her reply? Give her reasons for not taking Odysseus with her to the town. Does she fail in hospitality? What do her reasons show of the life of Greek women? What do you judge of the prosperity of the Phaeacians? Why does Nausicaä tell Odysseus to seek the favor of her mother? Her father's brother means Neptune (the Sea)—brother of Zeus, Athene's father; Neptune is enraged at Odysseus and wishes to destroy him. Here then: At this point Book VII begins. From what is said of Arete, what can you tell of the influence of the[Pg 136] Greek women? How does the author make you feel the richness of Alcinoüs's palace? How does it differ from modern houses? Corn means grain, not Indian corn, which, of course, had not yet been brought from the New World. Note the vivid description of the garden. How do you think Odysseus is received at the house of Alcinoüs? You can find out by reading the rest of Book VII of the Odyssey.


One of Ulysses's Adventures
An Escape from the Sea
A Picnic on the Shore
The Character of Nausicaä
My Idea of a Princess
The Life of a Greek Woman
A Group of Girls
The Character of Odysseus
A Beautiful Building
Along the Shore
Among Strangers
A Garden
A Story from the Odyssey
Odysseus at the House of Alcinoüs
The Lady of the House
The Greek Warrior
The Stranger
Why I Wish to Study Greek


A Story from the Odyssey:—Read, in a translation of the Odyssey, a story of Odysseus, and tell it in your own words. The following stories are appropriate: The Departure from Calypso's Island, Book V; The Cyclops Polyphemus, Book IX; The Palace of Circe, Book X; The Land of the Dead, Book XI; Scylla and Charybdis, Book XII; The Swineherd, Book XIV; The Trial of the Bow, Book XXI; The Slaughter of the Suitors, Book XXII.

After you have chosen a story, read it through several times, to fix the details in your mind. Lay the book aside, and write the story simply, but as vividly as possible.

The Stranger:—Explain the circumstances under which the stranger appears. Are people startled at seeing him (or her)? Describe him. Is he bewildered? Does he ask directions? Does he ask help? Quote his words directly. How are his remarks received? Are people afraid of him? or do they [Pg 137]make sport of him? or do they receive him kindly? Who aids him? Tell what he does and what becomes of him. Quote what is said of him after he is gone.

Perhaps you will like to tell the story of Ulysses's arrival among the Phaeacians, giving it a modern setting, and using modern names.

Odysseus at the House of Alcinoüs:—Without reading Book VII of the Odyssey, write what you imagine to be the conversation between Alcinoüs (or Arete) and Odysseus, when the shipwrecked hero enters the palace.


The OdysseyGeorge Herbert Palmer (Trans.)
The Odyssey of Homer (prose translation)Butcher and Lang
The Iliad of HomerLang, Leaf, and Myers
The Odyssey (translation in verse)William Cullen Bryant
The Odyssey for Boys and GirlsA.J. Church
The Story of the Odyssey" "        "
Greek Song and Story" "        "
The Adventures of OdysseusMarvin, Mayor, and Stawell
Tanglewood TalesNathaniel Hawthorne
Home Life of the Ancient GreeksH. Blümner (trans, by A. Zimmerman)
Classic Myths (chapter 27)C.M. Gayley
The Age of Fable (chapters 22 and 23)Thomas Bulfinch
The Story of the Greek PeopleEva March Tappan
Greece and the Aegean IslesPhilip S. Marden
Greek Lands and LettersF.G. and A.C.E. Allinson
Old Greek Folk StoriesJ.P. Peabody
Men of Old GreeceJennie Hall
The Lotos-eatersAlfred Tennyson
Ulysses   "        "
The Strayed RevellerMatthew Arnold
A Song of PhaeaciaAndrew Lang
The Voyagers (in The Fields of Dawn)Lloyd Mifflin
Alice Freeman PalmerGeorge Herbert Palmer

[Pg 138]

See the references for Moly on p. 84, and for Odysseus on p. 140.

[Pg 139]



He strove with Gods and men in equal mood
Of great endurance: Not alone his hands
Wrought in wild seas and labored in strange lands,
And not alone his patient strength withstood
The clashing cliffs and Circe's perilous sands:
Eager of some imperishable good
He drave new pathways thro' the trackless flood
Foreguarded, fearless, free from Fate's commands.
How shall our faith discern the truth he sought?
We too must watch and wander till our eyes,
Turned skyward from the topmost tower of thought,
Haply shall find the star that marked his goal,
The watch-fire of transcendent liberties
Lighting the endless spaces of the soul.


Read the poem through. How did Ulysses strive with gods and men? Why can it be said that he did not labor alone? Look up the story of Circe and her palace.[10] What was the imperishable good that Ulysses sought? What does his experience have to do with our lives? What sort of freedom does the author speak of in the last few lines?

This verse-form is called the sonnet. How many lines has it? Make out a scheme of the rhymes: a b b a, etc. Notice the change of thought at the ninth line. Do all sonnets show this change? [Pg 140]


Read several other sonnets; for instance, the poem On the Life-Mask of Abraham Lincoln, on page 210, or On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, by John Keats, or The Grasshopper and the Cricket, by Leigh Hunt.

Notice how these other sonnets are constructed. Why are they considered good?

If possible, read part of what is said about the sonnet in English Verse, by R.M. Alden or in Forms of English Poetry, by C.F. Johnson, or in Melodies of English Verse, by Lewis Kennedy Morse; notice some of the examples given.

Look in the good magazines for examples of the sonnet.


To the Grasshopper and the CricketLeigh Hunt
The Fish Answers (or, The Fish to the Man)[11]Leigh Hunt
On the Grasshopper and CricketJohn Keats
On First Looking into Chapman's HomerJohn Keats
OzymandiasP.B. Shelley
The SonnetR.W. Gilder
The Odyssey (sonnet)Andrew Lang
The Wine of Circe (sonnet)Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Automobile[12] (sonnet)Percy Mackaye
The SonnetWilliam Wordsworth

See also references for the Odyssey, p. 137, and for Moly, p. 84.

[Pg 141]



(In Suburban Sketches)

It was long past the twilight hour, which has been already mentioned as so oppressive in suburban places, and it was even too late for visitors, when a resident, whom I shall briefly describe as a contributor to the magazines, was startled by a ring at his door. As any thoughtful person would have done upon the like occasion, he ran over his acquaintance in his mind, speculating whether it were such or such a one, and dismissing the whole list of improbabilities, before he laid down the book he was reading and answered the bell. When at last he did this, he was rewarded by the apparition of an utter stranger on his threshold,—a gaunt figure of forlorn and curious smartness towering far above him, that jerked him a nod of the head, and asked if Mr. Hapford lived there. The face which the lamplight revealed was remarkable for a harsh two days' growth of beard, and a single bloodshot eye; yet it was not otherwise a sinister countenance, and there was something in the strange presence that appealed and touched. The contributor, revolving the facts vaguely in his mind, was not sure, after all, that it was not the man's clothes rather than his expression that softened him toward the rugged visage: they were so tragically cheap; and the misery of helpless needle-women, and the poverty and ignorance of the purchaser, were so apparent in their shabby newness, of which they appeared still conscious enough to have [Pg 142]led the way to the very window, in the Semitic quarter of the city, where they had lain ticketed, "This nobby suit for $15."

But the stranger's manner put both his face and his clothes out of mind, and claimed a deeper interest when, being answered that the person for whom he asked did not live there, he set his bristling lips hard together, and sighed heavily.

"They told me," he said, in a hopeless way, "that he lived on this street, and I've been to every other house. I'm very anxious to find him, Cap'n,"—the contributor, of course, had no claim to the title with which he was thus decorated,—"for I've a daughter living with him, and I want to see her; I've just got home from a two years' voyage, and"—there was a struggle of the Adam's-apple in the man's gaunt throat—"I find she's about all there is left of my family."

How complex is every human motive! This contributor had been lately thinking, whenever he turned the pages of some foolish traveller,—some empty prattler of Southern or Eastern lands, where all sensation was long ago exhausted, and the oxygen has perished from every sentiment, so has it been breathed and breathed again,—that nowadays the wise adventurer sat down beside his own register and waited for incidents to seek him out. It seemed to him that the cultivation of a patient and receptive spirit was the sole condition needed to insure the occurrence of all manner of surprising facts within the range of one's own personal knowledge; that not only the Greeks were at our doors, but the fairies and the genii, and all the people of romance, who had but to be hospitably treated in order to develop the deepest interest of [Pg 143]fiction, and to become the characters of plots so ingenious that the most cunning invention were poor beside them. I myself am not so confident of this, and would rather trust Mr. Charles Reade, say, for my amusement than any chance combination of events. But I should be afraid to say how much his pride in the character of the stranger's sorrows, as proof of the correctness of his theory, prevailed with the contributor to ask him to come in and sit down; though I hope that some abstract impulse of humanity, some compassionate and unselfish care for the man's misfortunes as misfortunes, was not wholly wanting. Indeed, the helpless simplicity with which he had confided his case might have touched a harder heart. "Thank you," said the poor fellow, after a moment's hesitation. "I believe I will come in. I've been on foot all day, and after such a long voyage it makes a man dreadfully sore to walk about so much. Perhaps you can think of a Mr. Hapford living somewhere in the neighborhood."

He sat down, and, after a pondering silence, in which he had remained with his head fallen upon his breast, "My name is Jonathan Tinker," he said, with the unaffected air which had already impressed the contributor, and as if he felt that some form of introduction was necessary, "and the girl that I want to find is Julia Tinker." Then he added, resuming the eventful personal history which the listener exulted, while he regretted, to hear: "You see, I shipped first to Liverpool, and there I heard from my family; and then I shipped again for Hong-Kong, and after that I never heard a word: I seemed to miss the letters everywhere. This morning, at four o'clock, I left my ship as soon as she had hauled into the dock, and [Pg 144]hurried up home. The house was shut, and not a soul in it; and I didn't know what to do, and I sat down on the doorstep to wait till the neighbors woke up, to ask them what had become of my family. And the first one come out he told me my wife had been dead a year and a half, and the baby I'd never seen, with her; and one of my boys was dead; and he didn't know where the rest of the children was, but he'd heard two of the little ones was with a family in the city."

The man mentioned these things with the half-apologetical air observable in a certain kind of Americans when some accident obliges them to confess the infirmity of the natural feelings. They do not ask your sympathy, and you offer it quite at your own risk, with a chance of having it thrown back upon your hands. The contributor assumed the risk so far as to say, "Pretty rough!" when the stranger paused; and perhaps these homely words were best suited to reach the homely heart. The man's quivering lips closed hard again, a kind of spasm passed over his dark face, and then two very small drops of brine shone upon his weather-worn cheeks. This demonstration, into which he had been surprised, seemed to stand for the passion of tears into which the emotional races fall at such times. He opened his lips with a kind of dry click, and went on:—

"I hunted about the whole forenoon in the city, and at last I found the children. I'd been gone so long they didn't know me, and somehow I thought the people they were with weren't over-glad I'd turned up. Finally the oldest child told me that Julia was living with a Mr. Hapford on this street, and I started out here to-night to look her up. If I can find [Pg 145]her, I'm all right. I can get the family together, then, and start new."

"It seems rather odd," mused the listener aloud, "that the neighbors let them break up so, and that they should all scatter as they did."

"Well, it ain't so curious as it seems, Cap'n. There was money for them at the owners', all the time; I'd left part of my wages when I sailed; but they didn't know how to get at it, and what could a parcel of children do? Julia's a good girl, and when I find her I'm all right."

The writer could only repeat that there was no Mr. Hapford living on that street, and never had been, so far as he knew. Yet there might be such a person in the neighborhood: and they would go out together and ask at some of the houses about. But the stranger must first take a glass of wine; for he looked used up.

The sailor awkwardly but civilly enough protested that he did not want to give so much trouble, but took the glass, and, as he put it to his lips, said formally, as if it were a toast or a kind of grace, "I hope I may have the opportunity of returning the compliment." The contributor thanked him; though, as he thought of all the circumstances of the case, and considered the cost at which the stranger had come to enjoy his politeness, he felt little eagerness to secure the return of the compliment at the same price, and added, with the consequence of another set phrase, "Not at all." But the thought had made him the more anxious to befriend the luckless soul fortune had cast in his way; and so the two sallied out together, and rang doorbells wherever lights were still seen burning in the windows, and asked the astonished [Pg 146]people who answered their summons whether any Mr. Hapford were known to live in the neighborhood.

And although the search for this gentleman proved vain, the contributor could not feel that an expedition which set familiar objects in such novel lights was altogether a failure. He entered so intimately into the cares and anxieties of his protégé that at times he felt himself in some inexplicable sort a shipmate of Jonathan Tinker, and almost personally a partner of his calamities. The estrangement of all things which takes place, within doors and without, about midnight may have helped to cast this doubt upon his identity;—he seemed to be visiting now for the first time the streets and neighborhoods nearest his own, and his feet stumbled over the accustomed walks. In his quality of houseless wanderer, and—so far as appeared to others—possibly worthless vagabond, he also got a new and instructive effect upon the faces which, in his real character, he knew so well by their looks of neighborly greeting; and it is his belief that the first hospitable prompting of the human heart is to shut the door in the eyes of homeless strangers who present themselves after eleven o'clock. By that time the servants are all abed, and the gentleman of the house answers the bell, and looks out with a loath and bewildered face, which gradually changes to one of suspicion, and of wonder as to what those fellows can possibly want of him, till at last the prevailing expression is one of contrite desire to atone for the first reluctance by any sort of service. The contributor professes to have observed these changing phases in the visages of those whom he that night called from their dreams, or arrested in the act of going to bed; and he drew the conclusion—very proper for his imaginable [Pg 147]connection with the garroting and other adventurous brotherhoods—that the most flattering moment for knocking on the head people who answer a late ring at night is either in their first selfish bewilderment, or their final self-abandonment to their better impulses. It does not seem to have occurred to him that he would himself have been a much more favorable subject for the predatory arts than any of his neighbors, if his shipmate, the unknown companion of his researches for Mr. Hapford, had been at all so minded. But the faith of the gaunt giant upon which he reposed was good, and the contributor continued to wander about with him in perfect safety. Not a soul among those they asked had ever heard of a Mr. Hapford,—far less of a Julia Tinker living with him. But they all listened to the contributor's explanation with interest and eventual sympathy; and in truth,—briefly told, with a word now and then thrown in by Jonathan Tinker, who kept at the bottom of the steps, showing like a gloomy spectre in the night, or, in his grotesque length and gauntness, like the other's shadow cast there by the lamplight,—it was a story which could hardly fail to awaken pity.

At last, after ringing several bells where there were no lights, in the mere wantonness of good-will, and going away before they could be answered (it would be entertaining to know what dreams they caused the sleepers within), there seemed to be nothing for it but to give up the search till morning, and go to the main street and wait for the last horse-car to the city.

There, seated upon the curbstone, Jonathan Tinker, being plied with a few leading questions, told in hints and scraps the story of his hard life, which was at present that of a second mate, and had been that of [Pg 148]a cabin-boy and of a seaman before the mast. The second mate's place he held to be the hardest aboard ship. You got only a few dollars more than the men, and you did not rank with the officers; you took your meals alone, and in everything you belonged by yourself. The men did not respect you, and sometimes the captain abused you awfully before the passengers. The hardest captain that Jonathan Tinker ever sailed with was Captain Gooding of the Cape. It had got to be so that no man could ship second mate under Captain Gooding; and Jonathan Tinker was with him only one voyage. When he had been home awhile, he saw an advertisement for a second mate, and he went round to the owners'. They had kept it secret who the captain was; but there was Captain Gooding in the owners' office. "Why, here's the man, now, that I want for a second mate," said he, when Jonathan Tinker entered; "he knows me."—"Captain Gooding, I know you 'most too well to want to sail under you," answered Jonathan. "I might go if I hadn't been with you one voyage too many already."

"And then the men!" said Jonathan, "the men coming aboard drunk, and having to be pounded sober! And the hardest of the fight falls on the second mate! Why, there isn't an inch of me that hasn't been cut over or smashed into a jell. I've had three ribs broken; I've got a scar from a knife on my cheek; and I've been stabbed bad enough, half a dozen times, to lay me up."

Here he gave a sort of desperate laugh, as if the notion of so much misery and such various mutilation were too grotesque not to be amusing. "Well, what can you do?" he went on. "If you don't strike, the men think you're afraid of them; and so you have to [Pg 149]begin hard and go on hard. I always tell a man, 'Now, my man, I always begin with a man the way I mean to keep on. You do your duty and you're all right. But if you don't'—Well, the men ain't Americans any more,—Dutch, Spaniards, Chinese, Portuguee, and it ain't like abusing a white man."

Jonathan Tinker was plainly part of the horrible tyranny which we all know exists on shipboard; and his listener respected him the more that, though he had heart enough to be ashamed of it, he was too honest not to own it.

Why did he still follow the sea? Because he did not know what else to do. When he was younger, he used to love it, but now he hated it. Yet there was not a prettier life in the world if you got to be captain. He used to hope for that once, but not now; though he thought he could navigate a ship. Only let him get his family together again, and he would—yes, he would—try to do something ashore.

No car had yet come in sight, and so the contributor suggested that they should walk to the car-office, and look in the "Directory," which is kept there, for the name of Hapford, in search of whom it had already been arranged that they should renew their acquaintance on the morrow. Jonathan Tinker, when they had reached the office, heard with constitutional phlegm that the name of the Hapford for whom he inquired was not in the "Directory." "Never mind," said the other; "come round to my house in the morning. We'll find him yet." So they parted with a shake of the hand, the second mate saying that he believed he should go down to the vessel and sleep aboard,—if he could sleep,—and murmuring at the last moment the hope of returning the compliment, [Pg 150]while the other walked homeward, weary as to the flesh, but, in spite of his sympathy for Jonathan Tinker, very elate in spirit. The truth is,—and however disgraceful to human nature, let the truth still be told,—he had recurred to his primal satisfaction in the man as calamity capable of being used for such and such literary ends, and, while he pitied him, rejoiced in him as an episode of real life quite as striking and complete as anything in fiction. It was literature made to his hand. Nothing could be better, he mused; and once more he passed the details of the story in review, and beheld all those pictures which the poor fellow's artless words had so vividly conjured up: he saw him leaping ashore in the gray summer dawn as soon as the ship hauled into the dock, and making his way, with his vague sea-legs unaccustomed to the pavements, up through the silent and empty city streets; he imagined the tumult of fear and hope which the sight of the man's home must have caused in him, and the benumbing shock of finding it blind and deaf to all his appeals; he saw him sitting down upon what had been his own threshold, and waiting in a sort of bewildered patience till the neighbors should be awake, while the noises of the streets gradually arose, and the wheels began to rattle over the stones, and the milk-man and the ice-man came and went, and the waiting figure began to be stared at, and to challenge the curiosity of the passing policeman; he fancied the opening of the neighbor's door, and the slow, cold understanding of the case; the manner, whatever it was, in which the sailor was told that one year before his wife had died, with her babe, and that his children were scattered, none knew where. As the contributor dwelt pityingly upon these [Pg 151]things, but at the same time estimated their aesthetic value one by one, he drew near the head of his street, and found himself a few paces behind a boy slouching onward through the night, to whom he called out, adventurously, and with no real hope of information,—

"Do you happen to know anybody on this street by the name of Hapford?"

"Why, no, not in this town," said the boy; but he added that there was a street of the same name in a neighboring suburb, and that there was a Hapford living on it.

"By Jove!" thought the contributor, "this is more like literature than ever"; and he hardly knew whether to be more provoked at his own stupidity in not thinking of a street of the same name in the next village, or delighted at the element of fatality which the fact introduced into the story; for Tinker, according to his own account, must have landed from the cars a few rods from the very door he was seeking, and so walked farther and farther from it every moment. He thought the case so curious, that he laid it briefly before the boy, who, however he might have been inwardly affected, was sufficiently true to the national traditions not to make the smallest conceivable outward sign of concern in it.

At home, however, the contributor related his adventures and the story of Tinker's life, adding the fact that he had just found out where Mr. Hapford lived. "It was the only touch wanting," said he; "the whole thing is now perfect."

"It's too perfect," was answered from a sad enthusiasm. "Don't speak of it! I can't take it in."

"But the question is," said the contributor, penitently taking himself to task for forgetting the hero [Pg 152]of these excellent misfortunes in his delight at their perfection, "how am I to sleep to-night, thinking of that poor soul's suspense and uncertainty? Never mind,—I'll be up early, and run over and make sure that it is Tinker's Hapford, before he gets out here, and have a pleasant surprise for him. Would it not be a justifiable coup de théâtre to fetch his daughter here, and let her answer his ring at the door when he comes in the morning?"

This plan was discouraged. "No, no; let them meet in their own way. Just take him to Hapford's house and leave him."

"Very well. But he's too good a character to lose sight of. He's got to come back here and tell us what he intends to do."

The birds, next morning, not having had the second mate on their minds either as an unhappy man or a most fortunate episode, but having slept long and soundly, were singing in a very sprightly way in the wayside trees; and the sweetness of their notes made the contributor's heart light as he climbed the hill and rang at Mr. Hapford's door.

The door was opened by a young girl of fifteen or sixteen, whom he knew at a glance for the second mate's daughter, but of whom, for form's sake, he asked if there were a girl named Julia Tinker living there.

"My name's Julia Tinker," answered the maid, who had rather a disappointing face.

"Well," said the contributor, "your father's got back from his Hong-Kong voyage."

"Hong-Kong voyage?" echoed the girl, with a stare of helpless inquiry, but no other visible emotion.

"Yes. He had never heard of your mother's death.[Pg 153] He came home yesterday morning, and was looking for you all day."

Julia Tinker remained open-mouthed but mute; and the other was puzzled at the want of feeling shown, which he could not account for even as a national trait. "Perhaps there's some mistake," he said.

"There must be," answered Julia: "my father hasn't been to sea for a good many years. My father," she added, with a diffidence indescribably mingled with a sense of distinction,—"my father 's in State's Prison. What kind of looking man was this?"

The contributor mechanically described him.

Julia Tinker broke into a loud, hoarse laugh. "Yes, it's him, sure enough." And then, as if the joke were too good to keep: "Mis' Hapford, Mis' Hapford, father's got out. Do come here!" she called into a back room.

When Mrs. Hapford appeared, Julia fell back, and, having deftly caught a fly on the doorpost, occupied herself in plucking it to pieces, while she listened to the conversation of the others.

"It's all true enough," said Mrs. Hapford, when the writer had recounted the moving story of Jonathan Tinker, "so far as the death of his wife and baby goes. But he hasn't been to sea for a good many years, and he must have just come out of State's Prison, where he was put for bigamy. There's always two sides to a story, you know; but they say it broke his first wife's heart, and she died. His friends don't want him to find his children, and this girl especially."

"He's found his children in the city," said the contributor [Pg 154]gloomily, being at a loss what to do or say, in view of the wreck of his romance.

"Oh, he's found 'em, has he?" cried Julia, with heightened amusement. "Then he'll have me next, if I don't pack and go."

"I'm very, very sorry," said the contributor, secretly resolved never to do another good deed, no matter how temptingly the opportunity presented itself. "But you may depend he won't find out from me where you are. Of course I had no earthly reason for supposing his story was not true."

"Of course," said kind-hearted Mrs. Hapford, mingling a drop of honey with the gall in the contributor's soul, "you only did your duty."

And indeed, as he turned away, he did not feel altogether without compensation. However Jonathan Tinker had fallen in his esteem as a man, he had even risen as literature. The episode which had appeared so perfect in its pathetic phases did not seem less finished as a farce; and this person, to whom all things of every-day life presented themselves in periods more or less rounded, and capable of use as facts or illustrations, could not but rejoice in these new incidents, as dramatically fashioned as the rest. It occurred to him that, wrought into a story, even better use might be made of the facts now than before, for they had developed questions of character and of human nature which could not fail to interest. The more he pondered upon his acquaintance with Jonathan Tinker, the more fascinating the erring mariner became, in his complex truth and falsehood, his delicately blended shades of artifice and naïveté. He must, it was felt, have believed to a certain point in his own inventions: nay, starting with that groundwork of truth,—the fact [Pg 155]that his wife was really dead, and that he had not seen his family for two years,—why should he not place implicit faith in all the fictions reared upon it? It was probable that he felt a real sorrow for her loss, and that he found a fantastic consolation in depicting the circumstances of her death so that they should look like his inevitable misfortunes rather than his faults. He might well have repented his offence during those two years of prison; and why should he not now cast their dreariness and shame out of his memory, and replace them with the freedom and adventure of a two years' voyage to China,—so probable, in all respects, that the fact should appear an impossible nightmare? In the experiences of his life he had abundant material to furnish forth the facts of such a voyage, and in the weariness and lassitude that should follow a day's walking equally after a two years' voyage and two years' imprisonment, he had as much physical proof in favor of one hypothesis as the other. It was doubtless true, also, as he said, that he had gone to his house at dawn, and sat down on the threshold of his ruined home; and perhaps he felt the desire he had expressed to see his daughter, with a purpose of beginning life anew; and it may have cost him a veritable pang when he found that his little ones did not know him. All the sentiments of the situation were such as might persuade a lively fancy of the truth of its own inventions; and as he heard these continually repeated by the contributor in their search for Mr. Hapford, they must have acquired an objective force and repute scarcely to be resisted. At the same time, there were touches of nature throughout Jonathan Tinker's narrative which could not fail to take the faith of another. The contributor, in reviewing it, [Pg 156]thought it particularly charming that his mariner had not overdrawn himself, or attempted to paint his character otherwise than as it probably was; that he had shown his ideas and practices of life to be those of a second mate, nor more nor less, without the gloss of regret or the pretences to refinement that might be pleasing to the supposed philanthropist with whom he had fallen in. Captain Gooding was of course a true portrait; and there was nothing in Jonathan Tinker's statement of the relations of a second mate to his superiors and his inferiors which did not agree perfectly with what the contributor had just read in "Two Years before the Mast,"—a book which had possibly cast its glamour upon the adventure. He admired also the just and perfectly characteristic air of grief in the bereaved husband and father,—those occasional escapes from the sense of loss into a brief hilarity and forgetfulness, and those relapses into the hovering gloom, which every one has observed in this poor, crazy human nature when oppressed by sorrow, and which it would have been hard to simulate. But, above all, he exulted in that supreme stroke of the imagination given by the second mate when, at parting, he said he believed he would go down and sleep on board the vessel. In view of this, the State's Prison theory almost appeared a malign and foolish scandal.

Yet even if this theory were correct, was the second mate wholly answerable for beginning his life again with the imposture he had practised? The contributor had either so fallen in love with the literary advantages of his forlorn deceiver that he would see no moral obliquity in him, or he had touched a subtler verity at last in pondering the affair. It seemed now no longer a farce, but had a pathos which, though [Pg 157]very different from that of its first aspect, was hardly less tragical. Knowing with what coldness, or at the best, uncandor, he (representing Society in its attitude toward convicted Error) would have met the fact had it been owned to him at first, he had not virtue enough to condemn the illusory stranger, who must have been helpless to make at once evident any repentance he felt or good purpose he cherished. Was it not one of the saddest consequences of the man's past,—a dark necessity of misdoing,—that, even with the best will in the world to retrieve himself, his first endeavor must involve a wrong? Might he not, indeed, be considered a martyr, in some sort, to his own admirable impulses? I can see clearly enough where the contributor was astray in this reasoning, but I can also understand how one accustomed to value realities only as they resembled fables should be won with such pensive sophistry; and I can certainly sympathize with his feeling that the mariner's failure to reappear according to appointment added its final and most agreeable charm to the whole affair, and completed the mystery from which the man emerged and which swallowed him up again.


Mr. Charles Reade:—An English novelist (1814-1884).

protégé (French):—A person under the care of another. The form given here is masculine; the feminine is protégée.

coup de théâtre:—(French) A very striking scene, such as might appear on the stage.

Two Years before the Mast:—A sea story written by R.H. Dana, about 1840.


What is a romance? The phrase already mentioned refers to earlier parts of the book Suburban Sketches, from which this [Pg 158]story is taken. What effect does the author gain by the ring at the door-bell? How does he give you a quick and vivid idea of the visitor? What significance do the man's clothes have in the story? By means of what devices does the author interest you in the stranger? Do adventures really happen in everyday life? Why does the author speak of one's own "register"? Mr. Howells has written a number of novels in which he pictures ordinary people, and shows the romance of commonplace events. Why does the listener "exult"? How does the man's story affect you? What is gained by having it told in his own words? Is Jonathan Tinker's toast a happy one? What does the contributor mean by saying that he would have been a good subject for "the predatory arts"? The last horse-car: To Boston; the scene is probably laid in Cambridge where Mr. Howells lived for some years. In what way does the sailor's language emphasize the pathetic quality of his story? How was the man "literature made to the author's hand"? What are the "national traditions" mentioned in connection with the boy? Why was the story regarded as "too perfect" when it was related at home? In what way was Julia Tinker's face "disappointing"? How does the author feel when he hears the facts in the case? Why does he resolve never to do a good deed again? The author gives two reasons why Jonathan Tinker did not tell the truth: what seems to you the real reason? Characterize Tinker in your own words. Is the ending of the selection satisfactory? Did you think that Tinker would come back? Can you make a little drama of this story?


An Old Sailor
People who do not Tell the Truth
The Forsaken House
Asking Directions
A Tramp
The Lost Address
An Evening at Home
A Sketch of Julia Tinker
The Surprise
A Long-lost Relative
What Becomes of the Ex-Convicts?
The Jail
A Stranger in Town
A Late Visitor
What I Think of Jonathan Tinker
The Disadvantages of a Lively Imagination
If Jonathan Tinker had Told the Truth
[Pg 159] The Lie
A Call at a Stranger's House
An Unfortunate Man
A Walk in Dark Streets
The Sea Captain
Watching the Sailors


A Late Visitor:—Try to write this in the form of a dialogue or little play. The host is reading or conversing in the family sitting-room, when the doorbell rings. There is a conversation at the door, and then the caller is brought in. Perhaps the stranger has some evil design. Perhaps he (or she) is lost, or in great need. Perhaps he turns out to be in some way connected with the family. Think out the plan of the dialogue pretty thoroughly before you begin to write. It is possible that you will want to add a second act in which the results of the first are shown. Plan your stage directions with the help of some other drama, as, for instance, that given on page 52.

The Lie:[13]—This also may be written in the form of a slight dramatic composition. There might be a few brief scenes, according to the following plan:—

Scene 1: The lie is told.
Scene 2: It makes trouble.
Scene 3: It is found out.
Scene 4: Complications are untangled, and the lie is atoned for.
(Perhaps this scene can be combined with the preceding.)

A Long-lost Relative:—This may be taken from a real or an imaginary circumstance. Tell of the first news that the relative is coming. Where has he (or she) been during the past years? Speak of the period before the relative arrives: the conjectures as to his appearance; the preparations made; the conversation regarding him. Tell of his arrival. Is his appearance such as has been expected? Describe him rather fully. What does he say and do? Does he make himself agreeable? Are his ideas in any way peculiar? Do the neighbors like him? Give some of the incidents of his visit. Tell about his departure. Are the family glad or sorry to have him go? What is said about him after he has gone? What has been heard of him since? [Pg 160]


Suburban SketchesWilliam Dean Howells
A Boy's Town   "        "        "
The Rise of Silas Lapham   "        "        "
The Minister's Charge   "        "        "
Their Wedding Journey   "        "        "
The Lady of the Aroostook   "        "        "
Venetian Life   "        "        "
Italian Journeys   "        "        "
The Mouse Trap (a play)   "        "        "
Evening Dress (a play)   "        "        "
The Register (a play)   "        "        "
The Elevator (a play)   "        "        "
Unexpected Guests (a play)   "        "        "
The Albany Depot (a play)   "        "        "
Literary Friends and Acquaintances   "        "        "
Their California UncleBret Harte
A Lodging for the NightR.L. Stevenson
Kidnapped   "        "
Ebb Tide   "        "
Enoch ArdenAlfred Tennyson
Rip Van WinkleWashington Irving
WakefieldNathaniel Hawthorne
Two Years before the MastR.H. Dana
Out of GloucesterJ.B. Connolly
Jean Valjean (from Les Misérables)Victor Hugo (Ed. S.E. Wiltse)
Historic Towns of New England (Cambridge)L.P. Powell (Ed.)
Old CambridgeT.W. Higginson
American Authors at Home, pp. 193-211J.L. and J.B. Gilder
American Authors and their Homes, pp. 99-110F.W. Halsey
American Writers of To-day, pp. 43-68H.C. Vedder

Bookman, 17:342 (Portrait); 35:114, April, 1912; Current Literature, 42:49, January, 1907 (Portrait).[Pg 161]



I hear in my heart, I hear in its ominous pulses
All day, on the road, the hoofs of invisible horses,
All night, from their stalls, the importunate pawing and neighing.
Let cowards and laggards fall back! but alert to the saddle,
Weather-worn and abreast, go men of our galloping legion,
With a stirrup-cup each to the lily of women that loves him.
The trail is through dolour and dread, over crags and morasses;
There are shapes by the way, there are things that appal or entice us:
What odds? We are Knights of the Grail, we are vowed to the riding.
Thought's self is a vanishing wing, and joy is a cobweb,
And friendship a flower in the dust, and glory a sun-beam:
Not here is our prize, nor, alas! after these our pursuing.
A dipping of plumes, a tear, a shake of the bridle,
A passing salute to this world and her pitiful beauty:

[Pg 162]

We hurry with never a word in the track of our fathers.
(I hear in my heart, I hear in its ominous pulses
All day, on the road, the hoofs of invisible horses,
All night, from their stalls, the importunate pawing and neighing.)
We spur to a land of no name, out-racing the storm-wind;
We leap to the infinite dark like sparks from the anvil.
Thou leadest, O God! All's well with Thy troopers that follow.


This poem is somewhat like the Road-Hymn for the Start, on page 184. It is about those people who go forward eagerly into the work of the world, without fearing, and without shrinking from difficulties. Read it through completely, trying to get its meaning. Regard the lines in italic as a kind of chorus, and study the meaning of the other stanzas first. Who are the galloping legions? A stirrup-cup was a draught of wine, taken just before a rider began his journey; it was usually drunk to some one's health. Is dolour a common word? Is it good here? Try to put into your own words the ideas in the "land of no name," and "the infinite dark," remembering what is said above about the general meaning of the poem. What picture and what idea do you get from "like sparks from the anvil"? Now go back to the lines in italic, and look for their meaning.

What do you notice about the length of the words in this poem? Why has the author used this kind of words? Notice carefully how the sound and the sense are made harmonious. Look for the rhyme. How does the poem differ from most short poems?

Bead the verses aloud, trying to make your reading suggest "the hoofs of invisible horses."[Pg 163]


A Troop of the GuardHermann Hagedorn
How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to AixRobert Browning
Through the Metidja to Abd-el-Kadr    "        "
ReveilleBret Harte
A Song of the RoadRichard Watson Gilder
The House and the RoadJ.P. Peabody
The MysticCale Young Rice
    (In The Little Book of Modern Verse, Ed. by J.B. Rittenhouse.)
A Winter RideAmy Lowell
    (In The Little Book of Modern Verse.)
The RideClinton Scollard
    (In Songs of Sunrise Lands.)

[Pg 164]



(In The Lay of the Land)

On the night before this particular Christmas every creature of the woods that could stir was up and stirring; for over the old snow was falling swiftly, silently, a soft, fresh covering that might mean a hungry Christmas unless the dinner were had before morning.

But when the morning dawned, a cheery Christmas sun broke across the great gum swamp, lighting the snowy boles and soft-piled limbs of the giant trees with indescribable glory, and pouring, a golden flood, into the deep spongy bottoms below. It would be a perfect Christmas in the woods, clear, mild, stirless, with silent footing for me, and everywhere the telltale snow.

And everywhere the Christmas spirit, too. As I paused among the pointed cedars of the pasture, looking down into the cripple at the head of the swamp, a clear wild whistle rang in the thicket, followed by a flash through the alders like a tongue of fire, as a cardinal grosbeak shot down to the tangle of greenbrier and magnolia under the slope. It was a fleck of flaming summer. As warm as summer, too, the staghorn sumac burned on the crest of the ridge against the group of holly trees,—trees as fresh as April, and all aglow with berries. The woods were decorated for the holy day. The gentleness of the soft new snow touched everything; cheer and good-will lighted the [Pg 165]unclouded sky and warmed the thick depths of the evergreens, and blazed in the crimson-berried bushes of the ilex and alder. The Christmas woods were glad.

Nor was the gladness all show, mere decoration. There was real cheer in abundance; for I was back in the old home woods, back along the Cohansey, back where you can pick persimmons off the trees at Christmas. There are persons who say the Lord might have made a better berry than the strawberry, but He didn't. Perhaps He didn't make the strawberry at all. But He did make the Cohansey Creek persimmon, and He made it as good as He could. Nowhere else under the sun can you find such persimmons as these along the creek, such richness of flavor, such gummy, candied quality, woodsy, wild, crude,—especially the fruit of two particular trees on the west bank, near Lupton's Pond. But they never come to this perfection, never quite lose their pucker, until midwinter,—as if they had been intended for the Christmas table of the woods.

It had been nearly twenty years since I crossed this pasture of the cedars on my way to the persimmon trees. The cows had been crossing every year, yet not a single new crook had they worn in the old paths. But I was half afraid as I came to the fence where I could look down upon the pond and over to the persimmon trees. Not one of the Luptons, who owned pasture and pond and trees, had ever been a boy, so far as I could remember, or had ever eaten of those persimmons. Would they have left the trees through all these years?

I pushed through the hedge of cedars and stopped for an instant, confused. The very pond was gone! and the trees! No, there was the pond,—but how [Pg 166]small the patch of water! and the two persimmon trees? The bush and undergrowth had grown these twenty years. Which way—Ah, there they stand, only their leafless tops showing; but see the hard angular limbs, how closely globed with fruit! how softly etched upon the sky!

I hurried around to the trees and climbed the one with the two broken branches, up, clear up to the top, into the thick of the persimmons.

Did I say it had been twenty years? That could not be. Twenty years would have made me a man, and this sweet, real taste in my mouth only a boy could know. But there was college, and marriage, a Massachusetts farm, four boys of my own, and—no matter! it could not have been years—twenty years—since. It was only yesterday that I last climbed this tree and ate the rich rimy fruit frosted with a Christmas snow.

And yet, could it have been yesterday? It was storming, and I clung here in the swirling snow and heard the wild ducks go over in their hurry toward the bay. Yesterday, and all this change in the vast treetop world, this huddled pond, those narrowed meadows, that shrunken creek! I should have eaten the persimmons and climbed straight down, not stopped to gaze out upon the pond, and away over the dark ditches to the creek. But reaching out quickly I gathered another handful,—and all was yesterday again.

I filled both pockets of my coat and climbed down. I kept those persimmons and am tasting them to-night. Lupton's Pond may fill to a puddle, the meadows may shrivel, the creek dry up and disappear, and old Time may even try his wiles on me. But I shall foil him to the end; for I am carrying still in my pocket some of [Pg 167]yesterday's persimmons,—persimmons that ripened in the rime of a winter when I was a boy.

High and alone in a bare persimmon tree for one's dinner hardly sounds like a merry Christmas. But I was not alone. I had noted the fresh tracks beneath the tree before I climbed up, and now I saw that the snow had been partly brushed from several of the large limbs as the 'possum had moved about in the tree for his Christmas dinner. We were guests at the same festive board, and both of us at Nature's invitation. It mattered not that the 'possum had eaten and gone this hour or more. Such is good form in the woods. He was expecting me, so he came early, out of modesty; and, that I too might be entirely at my ease, he departed early, leaving his greetings for me in the snow.

Thus I was not alone; here was good company and plenty of it. I never lack a companion in the woods when I can pick up a trail. The 'possum and I ate together. And this was just the fellowship I needed, this sharing the persimmons with the 'possum. I had broken bread, not with the 'possum only, but with all the out-of-doors. I was now fit to enter the woods, for I was filled with good-will and persimmons, as full as the 'possum; and putting myself under his gentle guidance, I got down upon the ground, took up his clumsy trail, and descended toward the swamp. Such an entry is one of the particular joys of the winter. To go in with a fox, a mink, or a 'possum through the door of the woods is to find yourself at home. Any one can get inside the out-of-doors, as the grocery boy or the census man gets inside our houses. You can bolt in at any time on business. A trail, however, is Nature's invitation. There may be other, better beaten paths [Pg 168]for mere feet. But go softly with the 'possum, and at the threshold you are met by the spirit of the wood, you are made the guest of the open, silent, secret out-of-doors.

I went down with the 'possum. He had traveled home in leisurely fashion and without fear, as his tracks plainly showed. He was full of persimmons. A good happy world this, where such fare could be had for the picking! What need to hurry home, except one were in danger of falling asleep by the way? So I thought, too, as I followed his winding path; and if I was tracking him to his den, it was only to wake him for a moment with the compliments of the season. But it was not even a momentary disturbance; for when I finally found him in his hollow gum, he was sound asleep, and only half realized that some one was poking him gently in the ribs and wishing him a merry Christmas.

The 'possum had led me to the center of the empty, hollow swamp, where the great-boled gums lifted their branches like a timbered, unshingled roof between me and the wide sky. Far away through the spaces of the rafters I saw a pair of wheeling buzzards and, under them, in lesser circles, a broad-winged hawk. Here, at the feet of the tall, clean trees, looking up through the leafless limbs, I had something of a measure for the flight of the birds. The majesty and the mystery of the distant buoyant wings were singularly impressive.

I have seen the turkey-buzzard sailing the skies on the bitterest winter days. To-day, however, could hardly be called winter. Indeed, nothing yet had felt the pinch of the cold. There was no hunger yet in the swamp, though this new snow had scared the raccoons out, and their half-human tracks along the margin [Pg 169]of the swamp stream showed that, if not hungry, they at least feared that they might be.

For a coon hates snow. He will invariably sleep off the first light snowfalls, and even in the late winter he will not venture forth in fresh snow unless driven by hunger or some other dire need. Perhaps, like a cat or a hen, he dislikes the wetting of his feet. Or it may be that the soft snow makes bad hunting—for him. The truth is, T believe, that such a snow makes too good hunting for the dogs and the gunner. The new snow tells too clear a story. His home is no inaccessible den among the ledges; only a hollow in some ancient oak or tupelo. Once within, he is safe from the dogs; but the long fierce fight for life taught him generations ago that the nest-tree is a fatal trap when behind the dogs come the axe and the gun. So he has grown wary and enduring. He waits until the snow grows crusty, when, without sign, and almost without scent, he can slip forth among the long shadows and prowl to the edge of dawn.

Skirting the stream out toward the higher back woods, I chanced to spy a bunch of snow in one of the great sour gums, that I thought was an old nest. A second look showed me tiny green leaves, then white berries, then mistletoe.

It was not a surprise, for I had found it here before,—a long, long time before. It was back in my school-boy days, back beyond those twenty years, that I first stood here under the mistletoe and had my first romance. There was no chandelier, no pretty girl, in that romance,—only a boy, the mistletoe, the giant trees, and the somber, silent swamp. Then there was his discovery, the thrill of deep delight, and the wonder of his knowledge of the strange unnatural plant![Pg 170] All plants had been plants to him until, one day, he read the life of the mistletoe. But that was English mistletoe; so the boy's wonder world of plant life was still as far away as Mars, when, rambling alone through the swamp along the creek, he stopped under a big curious bunch of green, high up in one of the gums, and—made his first discovery.

So the boy climbed up again this Christmas Day at the peril of his precious neck, and brought down a bit of that old romance.

I followed the stream along through the swamp to the open meadows, and then on under the steep wooded hillside that ran up to the higher land of corn and melon fields. Here at the foot of the slope the winter sun lay warm, and here in the sheltered briery border I came upon the Christmas birds.

There was a great variety of them, feeding and preening and chirping in the vines. The tangle was a-twitter with their quiet, cheery talk. Such a medley of notes you could not hear at any other season outside a city bird store. How far the different species understood one another I should like to know, and whether the hum of voices meant sociability to them, as it certainly meant to me. Doubtless the first cause of their flocking here was the sheltered warmth and the great numbers of berry-laden bushes, for there was no lack either of abundance or variety on the Christmas table.

In sight from where I stood hung bunches of withering chicken or frost grapes, plump clusters of blue-black berries of the greenbrier, and limbs of the smooth winterberry bending with their flaming fruit. There were bushes of crimson ilex, too, trees of fruiting dogwood and holly, cedars in berry, dwarf sumac [Pg 171]and seedy sedges, while patches on the wood slopes uncovered by the sun were spread with trailing partridge berry and the coral-fruited wintergreen. I had eaten part of my dinner with the 'possum; I picked a quantity of these wintergreen berries, and continued my meal with the birds. And they also had enough and to spare.

Among the birds in the tangle was a large flock of northern fox sparrows, whose vigorous and continuous scratching in the bared spots made a most lively and cheery commotion. Many of them were splashing about in tiny pools of snow-water, melted partly by the sun and partly by the warmth of their bodies as they bathed. One would hop to a softening bit of snow at the base of a tussock keel over and begin to flop, soon sending up a shower of sparkling drops from his rather chilly tub. A winter snow-water bath seemed a necessity, a luxury indeed; for they all indulged, splashing with the same purpose and zest that they put into their scratching among the leaves.

A much bigger splashing drew me quietly through the bushes to find a marsh hawk giving himself a Christmas souse. The scratching, washing, and talking of the birds; the masses of green in the cedars, holly, and laurels; the glowing colors of the berries against the snow; the blue of the sky, and the golden warmth of the light made Christmas in the heart of the noon that the very swamp seemed to feel.

Three months later there was to be scant picking here, for this was the beginning of the severest winter I ever knew. From this very ridge, in February, I had reports of berries gone, of birds starving, of whole coveys of quail frozen dead in the snow; but neither the birds nor I dreamed to-day of any such hunger and [Pg 172]death. A flock of robins whirled into the cedars above me; a pair of cardinals whistled back and forth; tree sparrows, juncos, nuthatches, chickadees, and cedar-birds cheeped among the trees and bushes; and from the farm lands at the top of the slope rang the calls of meadowlarks.

Halfway up the hill I stopped under a blackjack oak where, in the thin snow, there were signs of something like a Christmas revel. The ground was sprinkled with acorn shells and trampled over with feet of several kinds and sizes,—quail, jay, and partridge feet; rabbit, squirrel, and mice feet, all over the snow as the feast of acorns had gone on. Hundreds of the acorns were lying about, gnawed away at the cup end, where the shell was thinnest, many of them further broken and cleaned out by the birds.

As I sat studying the signs in the snow, my eye caught a tiny trail leading out from the others straight away toward a broken pile of cord wood. The tracks were planted one after the other, so directly in line as to seem like the prints of a single foot. "That's a weasel's trail," I said, "the death's-head at this feast," and followed it slowly to the wood. A shiver crept over me as I felt, even sooner than I saw, a pair of small sinister eyes fixed upon mine. The evil pointed head, heavy but alert, and with a suggestion of fierce strength out of all relation to the slender body, was watching me from between the sticks of cordwood. And so he had been watching the mice and birds and rabbits feasting under the tree!

I packed a ball of snow round and hard, slipped forward upon my knees, and hurled it. "Spat!" it struck the end of a stick within an inch of the ugly head, filling the crevice with snow. Instantly the head [Pg 173]appeared at another crack, and another ball struck viciously beside it. Now it was back where it first appeared, and did not flinch for the next, or the next ball. The third went true, striking with a "chug" and packing the crack. But the black, hating eyes were still watching me a foot lower down.

It is not all peace and good-will in the Christmas woods. But there is more of peace and good-will than of any other spirit. The weasels are few. More friendly and timid eyes were watching me than bold and murderous. It was foolish to want to kill—even the weasel. For one's woods are what one makes them; and so I let the man with the gun, who chanced along, think that I had turned boy again, and was snowballing the woodpile, just for the fun of trying to hit the end of the biggest stick.

I was glad he had come. As he strode off with his stained bag, I felt kindlier toward the weasel. There were worse in the woods than he,—worse, because all of their killing was pastime. The weasel must kill to live, and if he gloated over the kill, why, what fault of his? But the other weasel, the one with the blood-stained bag, he killed for the love of killing. I was glad he was gone.

The crows were winging over toward their great roost in the pines when I turned toward the town. They, too, had had good picking along the creek flats and ditches of the meadows. Their powerful wing-beats and constant play told of full crops and no fear for the night, already softly gray across the white silent fields. The air was crisper; the snow began to crackle under foot; the twigs creaked and rattled as I brushed along; a brown beech leaf wavered down and skated with a thin scratch over the crust; and pure as [Pg 174]the snow-wrapped crystal world, and sweet as the soft gray twilight, came the call of a quail.

The voices, colors, odors, and forms of summer were gone. The very face of things had changed; all had been reduced, made plain, simple, single, pure! There was less for the senses, but how much keener now their joy! The wide landscape, the frosty air, the tinkle of tiny icicles, and, out of the quiet of the falling twilight, the voice of the quail!

There is no day but is beautiful in the woods; and none more beautiful than one like this Christmas Day,—warm and still and wrapped, to the round red berries of the holly, in the magic of the snow.


cripple:—A dense thicket in swampy land.

good-will:—See the Bible, Luke 2:13, 14.

Cohansey:—A creek in southern New Jersey.


Read the selection through once without stopping. Afterward, go through it with these questions:—

Why might the snow mean a "hungry Christmas"? Note the color words in paragraph three: Of what value are they? Why does the pond seem small to the visitor? Does the author mean anything more than persimmons in the last part of the paragraph beginning "I filled both pockets"? What sort of man do you think he is? What is the meaning of "broken bread"? What is meant by entering the woods "at Nature's invitation"? What do you understand by "the long fierce fight for life"? What was it that the coon learned "generations ago"? What does the author mean here? Do you know anything of the Darwinian theory of life? What has it to do with what is said here about the coon? How does the author make you feel the variety and liveliness of the bird life which he observes? What shows his keenness of sight? What do you know about weasels? Is it, [Pg 175]true that "one's woods are what one makes them"? Do you think the author judges the hunter too harshly? How does the author make you feel the charm of the late afternoon? Go through the selection and see how many different subjects are discussed! How is the unity of the piece preserved? Notice the pictures in the piece. What feeling prevails in the selection? How can you tell whether the author really loves nature? Could you write a sketch somewhat like this, telling what you saw during a walk in the woods?


A Walk in the Winter Woods
An Outdoor Christmas Tree
A Lumber Camp at Christmas
The Winter Birds
Tracking a Rabbit
Hunting Deer in Winter
A Winter Landscape
Home Decorations from the Winter Fields
Wild Apples
Fishing through the Ice
A Winter Camp
A Strange Christmas
Playing Santa Claus
A Snow Picnic
Making Christmas Gifts
Feeding the Birds
The Christmas Guest
Turkey and Plum Pudding
The Children's Christmas Party
Christmas on the Farm
The Christmas Tree at the Schoolhouse
What he Found in his Stocking
Bringing Home the Christmas Tree
Christmas in the South
Christmas away from Home
A "Sensible" Christmas
Christmas at our House


A Walk in the Winter Woods:—Tell of a real or imaginary stroll in the woods when the snow is on the ground. If possible, plan the theme some time before you write, and obtain your material through actual and recent observation. In everything you say, be careful and accurate. You might speak first of the time of day at which your walk was taken; the weather; the condition of the snow. Speak of the trees: the kinds; how they looked. Were any of the trees weighted with snow? Describe the bushes, and the berries and grasses; use color words, if possible, as Mr. Sharp does. What sounds did you hear in the woods? Did you see any tracks of animals? If [Pg 176]so, tell about these tracks, and show what they indicated. Describe the animals that you saw, and tell what they were doing. What did you gather regarding the way in which the animals live in winter? Speak in the same way of the birds. Re-read what Mr. Sharp says about the birds he saw, and try to make your own account clear and full of action. Did you see any signs of human inhabitants or visitors? If so, tell about them. Did you find anything to eat in the woods? Speak briefly of your return home. Had the weather changed since your entering the woods? Was there any alteration in the landscape? How did you feel after your walk?

The Winter Birds:—For several days before writing this theme, prepare material for it by observation and reading. Watch the birds, and see what they are doing and how they live. Use a field glass if you can get one, and take careful notes on what you see. Make especial use of any interesting incidents that come under your observation.

When you write, take up each kind of bird separately, and tell what you have found out about its winter life: how it looks; where you have seen it; what it was doing. Speak also of its food and shelter; the perils it endures; its intelligence; anecdotes about it. Make your theme simple and lively, as if you were talking to some one about the birds. Try to use good color words and sound words, and expressions that give a vivid idea of the activities and behavior of the birds.

When you have finished, lay the theme aside for a time; then read it again and see how you can touch it up to make it clearer and more straightforward.

Christmas at our House:—Write as if you were telling of some particular occasion, although you may perhaps be combining the events of several Christmas days. Tell of the preparations for Christmas: the planning; the cooking; the whispering of secrets. Make as much use of conversation as possible, and do not hesitate to use even very small details and little anecdotes. Perhaps you will wish to tell of the hanging of the stockings on Christmas Eve; if there are children in the family, tell what they did and said. Write as vividly as possible of Christmas morning, and the finding of the gifts; try to bring out the confusion and the happiness of opening the parcels and [Pg 177]displaying the presents. Quote some of the remarks directly, and speak of particularly pleasing or absurd gifts. Go on and tell of the sports and pleasures of the day. Speak of the guests, describing some of them, and telling what they said and did. Try to bring out contrasts here. Put as much emphasis as you wish upon the dinner, and the quantities of good things consumed. Try to quote the remarks of some of the people at the table. If your theme has become rather long, you might close it by a brief account of the dispersing of the family after dinner. You might, however, complete your account of the day by telling of the evening, with its enjoyments and its weariness.


[Pg 178]

Wild Life Near HomeD.L. Sharp
A Watcher in the Woods    "        "
The Lay of the Land    "        "
Winter    "        "
The Face of the Fields    "        "
The Fall of the Year    "        "
Roof and Meadow    "        "
Wild Life in the RockiesEnos A. Mills
Kindred of the WildC.G.D. Roberts
Watchers of the Trail    "        "
Haunters of the Silences    "        "
The Ways of Wood FolkW.J. Long
Eye SpyW.H. Gibson
Sharp Eyes    "        "
Birds in the BushBradford Torrey
Everyday Birds    "        "
Nature's Invitation    "        "
Bird Stories from Burroughs (selections)John Burroughs
Winter Sunshine    "        "
Pepacton    "        "
Riverby    "        "
Wake-Robin    "        "
Signs and Seasons    "        "
How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's BarBret Harte
Santa Claus's PartnerT.N. Page
The First Christmas TreeHenry Van Dyke
The Other Wise Man    "        "
The Old Peabody PewK.D. Wiggin
Miss Santa Claus of the PullmanAnnie F. Johnson
ChristmasZona Gale
A Christmas MysteryW.J. Locke
Christmas Eve on LonesomeJohn Fox, Jr.
By the Christmas FireS.M. Crothers
Colonel Carter's ChristmasF.H. Smith
Christmas Jenny (in A New England Nun)Mary E. Wilkins
A Christmas SermonR.L. Stevenson
The Boy who Brought ChristmasAlice Morgan
Christmas StoriesCharles Dickens
The Christmas GuestSelma Lagerlöf
The Legend of the Christmas Rose    "        "

[Pg 179]



A mile behind is Gloucester town
Where the fishing fleets put in,
A mile ahead the land dips down
And the woods and farms begin.
Here, where the moors stretch free
In the high blue afternoon,
Are the marching sun and talking sea,
And the racing winds that wheel and flee
On the flying heels of June.
Jill-o'er-the-ground is purple blue,
Blue is the quaker-maid,
The wild geranium holds its dew
Long in the boulder's shade.
Wax-red hangs the cup
From the huckleberry boughs,
In barberry bells the grey moths sup,
Or where the choke-cherry lifts high up
Sweet bowls for their carouse.
Over the shelf of the sandy cove
Beach-peas blossom late.
By copse and cliff the swallows rove
Each calling to his mate.
Seaward the sea-gulls go,
And the land birds all are here;
That green-gold flash was a vireo,

[Pg 180]

And yonder flame where the marsh-flags grow
Was a scarlet tanager.
This earth is not the steadfast place
We landsmen build upon;
From deep to deep she varies pace,
And while she comes is gone.
Beneath my feet I feel
Her smooth bulk heave and dip;
With velvet plunge and soft upreel
She swings and steadies to her keel
Like a gallant, gallant ship.
These summer clouds she sets for sail,
The sun is her masthead light,
She tows the moon like a pinnace frail
Where her phospher wake churns bright,
Now hid, now looming clear,
On the face of the dangerous blue
The star fleets tack and wheel and veer,
But on, but on does the old earth steer
As if her port she knew.
God, dear God! Does she know her port,
Though she goes so far about?
Or blind astray, does she make her sport
To brazen and chance it out?
I watched where her captains passed:
She were better captainless.
Men in the cabin, before the mast,
But some were reckless and some aghast,
And some sat gorged at mess.
By her battered hatch I leaned and caught
Sounds from the noisome hold,—

[Pg 181]

Cursing and sighing of souls distraught
And cries too sad to be told.
Then I strove to go down and see;
But they said, "Thou art not of us!"
I turned to those on the deck with me
And cried, "Give help!" But they said, "Let be:
Our ship sails faster thus."
Jill-o'er-the-ground is purple blue,
Blue is the quaker-maid,
The alder clump where the brook comes through
Breeds cresses in its shade.
To be out of the moiling street
With its swelter and its sin!
Who has given to me this sweet,
And given my brother dust to eat?
And when will his wage come in?
Scattering wide or blown in ranks,
Yellow and white and brown,
Boats and boats from the fishing banks
Come home to Gloucester town.
There is cash to purse and spend,
There are wives to be embraced,
Hearts to borrow and hearts to lend,
And hearts to take and keep to the end,—
O little sails, make haste!
But thou, vast outbound ship of souls,
What harbor town for thee?
What shapes, when thy arriving tolls,
Shall crowd the banks to see?
Shall all the happy shipmates then

[Pg 182]

Stand singing brotherly?
Or shall a haggard ruthless few
Warp her over and bring her to,
While the many broken souls of men
Fester down in the slaver's pen,
And nothing to say or do?


Gloucester town: Gloucester is a seaport town in Massachusetts, the chief seat of the cod and mackerel fisheries of the coast.

Jill-o'er-the-ground: Ground ivy; usually written Gill-over-the-ground.

Quaker-maid: Quaker ladies; small blue flowers growing low on the ground.

wax-red: The huckleberry blossom is red and waxy.


Read the poem slowly through to yourself, getting what you can out of it, without trying too hard. Note that after the third stanza the earth is compared to a ship. After you have read the poem through, go back and study it with the help of the following questions and suggestions:—

The author is out on the moors not far from the sea: What details does he select to make you feel the beauty of the afternoon? What words in the first stanza suggest movement and freedom? Why does the author stop to tell about the flowers, when he has so many important things to say? Note a change of tone at the beginning of the fourth stanza. What suggests to the author that the earth is like a ship? Why does he say that it is not a steadfast place? How does the fifth stanza remind you of The Ancient Mariner? Why does the author speak so passionately at the beginning of the sixth stanza? Here he wonders whether there is really any plan in the universe, or whether things all go by chance. Who are the captains of whom he speaks? What different types of people are represented in the last two lines of stanza six? What is the "noisome hold"[Pg 183] of the Earth ship? Who are those cursing and sighing? Who are they in the line, "But they said, 'Thou art not of us!'"? Who are they in the next line but one? Why does the author turn back to the flowers in the next few lines? What is omitted from the line beginning "To be out"? Explain the last three lines of stanza eight. How do the ships of Gloucester differ from the ship Earth? What is the "arriving" spoken of in the last stanza? What two possibilities does the author suggest as to the fate of the ship? Why does he end his poem with a question? What is the purpose of the poem? Why is it considered good? What do you think was the author's feeling about the way the poor and helpless are treated? Read the poem through aloud, thinking what each line means.

[Pg 184]



Leave the early bells at chime,
Leave the kindled hearth to blaze,
Leave the trellised panes where children linger out the waking-time,
Leave the forms of sons and fathers trudging through the misty ways,
Leave the sounds of mothers taking up their sweet laborious days.
Pass them by! even while our soul
Yearns to them with keen distress.
Unto them a part is given; we will strive to see the whole.
Dear shall be the banquet table where their singing spirits press;
Dearer be our sacred hunger, and our pilgrim loneliness.
We have felt the ancient swaying
Of the earth before the sun,
On the darkened marge of midnight heard sidereal rivers playing;
Rash it was to bathe our souls there, but we plunged and all was done.
That is lives and lives behind us—lo, our journey is begun!
Careless where our face is set,
[Pg 185] Let us take the open way.
What we are no tongue has told us: Errand-goers who forget?
Soldiers heedless of their harry? Pilgrim people gone astray?
We have heard a voice cry "Wander!" That was all we heard it say.
Ask no more: 'tis much, 'tis much!
Down the road the day-star calls;
Touched with change in the wide heavens, like a leaf the frost winds touch,
Flames the failing moon a moment, ere it shrivels white and falls;
Hid aloft, a wild throat holdeth sweet and sweeter intervals.
Leave him still to ease in song
Half his little heart's unrest:
Speech is his, but we may journey toward the life for which we long.
God, who gives the bird its anguish, maketh nothing manifest,
But upon our lifted foreheads pours the boon of endless quest.


Do not be alarmed if you find this a little hard to understand. It is expressed in rather figurative language, and one has to study it to get its meaning. The poem is about those people who look forward constantly to something better, and feel that they must always be pressing forward at any cost. Who is represented as speaking? What sort of life are the travelers leaving behind them? Why do they feel a keen distress? What is the[Pg 186] "whole" that they are striving to see? What is their "sacred hunger"? Why is it "dearer" than the feasting of those who stay at home? Notice how the third stanza reminds one of Gloucester Moors. Look up the word sidereal: Can you tell what it means here? "Lives and lives behind us" means a long time ago; you will perhaps have to ask your teacher for its deeper meaning. Do the travelers know where they are going? Why do they set forth? Note the description of the dawn in the fifth stanza. What is the boon of "endless quest"? Why is it spoken of as a gift (boon)? Compare the last line of this poem with the last line of The Wild Ride, on page 161. Perhaps you will be interested to compare the Road-Hymn with Whitman's The Song of the Open Road.

Do the meter and verse-form seem appropriate here? Is anything gained by the difference in the length of the lines?

[Pg 187]



Streets of the roaring town,
Hush for him, hush, be still!
He comes, who was stricken down
Doing the word of our will.
Hush! Let him have his state,
Give him his soldier's crown.
The grists of trade can wait
Their grinding at the mill,
But he cannot wait for his honor, now the trumpet has been blown;
Wreathe pride now for his granite brow, lay love on his breast of stone.
Toll! Let the great bells toll
Till the clashing air is dim.
Did we wrong this parted soul?
We will make it up to him.
Toll! Let him never guess
What work we set him to.
Laurel, laurel, yes;
He did what we bade him do.
Praise, and never a whispered hint but the fight he fought was good;
Never a word that the blood on his sword was his country's own heart's-blood.
A flag for the soldier's bier
[Pg 188] Who dies that his land may live;
O, banners, banners here,
That he doubt not nor misgive!
That he heed not from the tomb
The evil days draw near
When the nation, robed in gloom,
With its faithless past shall strive.
Let him never dream that his bullet's scream went wide of its island mark,
Home to the heart of his darling land where she stumbled and sinned in the dark.


What is "his state," in line five? How has the soldier been "wronged"? Does the author think that the fight in the Philippines has not been "good"? Why? What does he mean by the last line of stanza two? What "evil days" are those mentioned in stanza three? Have they come yet? What "faithless past" is meant? Do you think that the United States has treated the Philippines unfairly?[14]


Gloucester Moors and Other PoemsWilliam Vaughn Mood
Poems and Plays of William Vaughn
Moody (2 vols. Biographical introduction) John M. Manley (Ed.)
Letters of William Vaughn MoodyDaniel Mason (Ed.)
Out of GloucesterJ.B. Connolly

For biography, criticism, and portraits of William Vaughn Moody, consult: Atlantic Monthly, 98:326, September, 1906; World's Work, 13: 8258, December, 1906 (Portrait); Century, 73:431 (Portrait); Reader, 10:173; Bookman, 32:253 (Portrait.)

[Pg 189]



(In The Queen's Twin and Other Stories)


In the early dusk of a warm September evening the bats were flitting to and fro, as if it were still summer, under the great elm that overshadowed Isaac Brown's house, on the Dipford road. Isaac Brown himself, and his old friend and neighbor John York, were leaning against the fence.

"Frost keeps off late, don't it?" said John York. "I laughed when I first heard about the circus comin'; I thought 'twas so unusual late in the season. Turned out well, however. Everybody I noticed was returnin' with a palm-leaf fan. Guess they found 'em useful under the tent; 'twas a master hot day. I saw old lady Price with her hands full o' those free advertising fans, as if she was layin' in a stock against next summer. Well, I expect she'll live to enjoy 'em."

"I was right here where I'm standin' now, and I see her as she was goin' by this mornin'," said Isaac Brown, laughing, and settling himself comfortably against the fence as if they had chanced upon a welcome subject of conversation. "I hailed her, same's I gener'lly do. 'Where are you bound to-day, ma'am?' says I.

"'I'm goin' over as fur as Dipford Centre,' says she. 'I'm goin' to see my poor dear 'Liza Jane. I [Pg 190]want to 'suage her grief; her husband, Mr. 'Bijah Topliff, has passed away.'

"'So much the better,' says I.

"'No; I never l'arnt about it till yisterday,' says she;' an' she looked up at me real kind of pleasant, and begun to laugh.

"'I hear he's left property,' says she, tryin' to pull her face down solemn. I give her the fifty cents she wanted to borrow to make up her car-fare and other expenses, an' she stepped off like a girl down tow'ds the depot.

"This afternoon, as you know, I'd promised the boys that I'd take 'em over to see the menagerie, and nothin' wouldn't do none of us any good but we must see the circus too; an' when we'd just got posted on one o' the best high seats, mother she nudged me, and I looked right down front two, three rows, an' if there wa'n't Mis' Price, spectacles an' all, with her head right up in the air, havin' the best time you ever see. I laughed right out. She hadn't taken no time to see 'Liza Jane; she wa'n't 'suagin' no grief for nobody till she'd seen the circus. 'There,' says I, 'I do like to have anybody keep their young feelin's!'"

"Mis' Price come over to see our folks before breakfast," said John York. "Wife said she was inquirin' about the circus, but she wanted to know first if they couldn't oblige her with a few trinkets o' mournin', seein' as how she'd got to pay a mournin' visit. Wife thought't was a bosom-pin, or somethin' like that, but turned out she wanted the skirt of a dress; 'most anything would do, she said."

"I thought she looked extra well startin' off," said Isaac, with an indulgent smile. "The Lord provides [Pg 191]very handsome for such, I do declare! She ain't had no visible means o' support these ten or fifteen years back, but she don't freeze up in winter no more than we do."

"Nor dry up in summer," interrupted his friend; "I never did see such an able hand to talk."

"She's good company, and she's obliging an' useful when the women folks have their extra work progressin'," continued Isaac Brown kindly. "'Tain't much for a well-off neighborhood like this to support that old chirpin' cricket. My mother used to say she kind of helped the work along by 'livenin' of it. Here she comes now; must have taken the last train, after she had supper with 'Lizy Jane. You stay still; we're goin' to hear all about it."

The small, thin figure of Mrs. Price had to be hailed twice before she could be stopped.

"I wish you a good evenin', neighbors," she said. "I have been to the house of mournin'."

"Find 'Liza Jane in, after the circus?" asked Isaac Brown, with equal seriousness. "Excellent show, wasn't it, for so late in the season?"

"Oh, beautiful; it was beautiful, I declare," answered the pleased spectator readily. "Why, I didn't see you, nor Mis' Brown. Yes; I felt it best to refresh my mind an' wear a cheerful countenance. When I see 'Liza Jane I was able to divert her mind consid'able. She was glad I went. I told her I'd made an effort, knowin' 'twas so she had to lose the a'ternoon. 'Bijah left property, if he did die away from home on a foreign shore."

"You don't mean that 'Bijah Topliff's left anything!" exclaimed John York with interest, while Isaac Brown put both hands deep into his pockets, [Pg 192]and leaned back in a still more satisfactory position against the gatepost.

"He enjoyed poor health," answered Mrs. Price, after a moment of deliberation, as if she must take time to think. "'Bijah never was one that scattereth, nor yet increaseth. 'Liza Jane's got some memories o' the past that's a good deal better than others; but he died somewheres out in Connecticut, or so she heard, and he's left a very val'able coon dog,—one he set a great deal by. 'Liza Jane said, last time he was to home, he priced that dog at fifty dollars. 'There, now, 'Liza Jane,' says I, right to her, when she told me, 'if I could git fifty dollars for that dog, I certain' would. Perhaps some o' the circus folks would like to buy him; they've taken in a stream o' money this day.' But 'Liza Jane ain't never inclined to listen to advice. 'Tis a dreadful poor-spirited-lookin' creatur'. I don't want no right o' dower in him, myself."

"A good coon dog's worth somethin', certain," said John York handsomely.

"If he is a good coon dog," added Isaac Brown. "I wouldn't have parted with old Rover, here, for a good deal of money when he was right in his best days; but a dog like him's like one of the family. Stop an' have some supper, won't ye, Mis' Price?"—as the thin old creature was flitting off again. At that same moment this kind invitation was repeated from the door of the house; and Mrs. Price turned in, unprotesting and always sociably inclined, at the open gate.


It was a month later, and a whole autumn's length colder, when the two men were coming home from a long tramp through the woods. They had been making [Pg 193]a solemn inspection of a wood-lot that they owned together, and had now visited their landmarks and outer boundaries, and settled the great question of cutting or not cutting some large pines. When it was well decided that a few years' growth would be no disadvantage to the timber, they had eaten an excellent cold luncheon and rested from their labors.

"I don't feel a day older'n ever I did when I get out in the woods this way," announced John York, who was a prim, dusty-looking little man, a prudent person, who had been selectman of the town at least a dozen times.

"No more do I," agreed his companion, who was large and jovial and open-handed, more like a lucky sea-captain than a farmer. After pounding a slender walnut-tree with a heavy stone, he had succeeded in getting down a pocketful of late-hanging nuts which had escaped the squirrels, and was now snapping them back, one by one, to a venturesome chipmunk among some little frost-bitten beeches. Isaac Brown had a wonderfully pleasant way of getting on with all sorts of animals, even men. After a while they rose and went their way, these two companions, stopping here and there to look at a possible woodchuck's hole, or to strike a few hopeful blows at a hollow tree with the light axe which Isaac had carried to blaze new marks on some of the line-trees on the farther edge of their possessions. Sometimes they stopped to admire the size of an old hemlock, or to talk about thinning out the young pines. At last they were not very far from the entrance to the great tract of woodland. The yellow sunshine came slanting in much brighter against the tall trunks, spotting them with golden light high among the still branches.

[Pg 194]Presently they came to a great ledge, frost-split and cracked into mysterious crevices.

"Here's where we used to get all the coons," said John York. "I haven't seen a coon this great while, spite o' your courage knocking on the trees up back here. You know that night we got the four fat ones? We started 'em somewheres near here, so the dog could get after 'em when they come out at night to go foragin'."

"Hold on, John;" and Mr. Isaac Brown got up from the log where he had just sat down to rest, and went to the ledge, and looked carefully all about. When he came back he was much excited, and beckoned his friend away, speaking in a stage whisper.

"I guess you'll see a coon before you're much older," he proclaimed. "I've thought it looked lately as if there'd been one about my place, and there's plenty o' signs here, right in their old haunts. Couple o' hens' heads an' a lot o' feathers"—

"Might be a fox," interrupted John York.

"Might be a coon," answered Mr. Isaac Brown. "I'm goin' to have him, too. I've been lookin' at every old hollow tree I passed, but I never thought o' this place. We'll come right off to-morrow night, I guess, John, an' see if we can't get him. 'Tis an extra handy place for 'em to den; in old times the folks always called it a good place; they've been so sca'ce o' these late years that I've thought little about 'em. Nothin' I ever liked so well as a coon-hunt. Gorry! he must be a big old fellow, by his tracks! See here, in this smooth dirt; just like a baby's footmark."

"Trouble is, we lack a good dog," said John York anxiously, after he had made an eager inspection. "I don't know where in the world to get one, either.[Pg 195] There ain't no such a dog about as your Rover, but you've let him get spoilt; these days I don't see him leave the yard. You ought to keep the women folks from overfeedin' of him so. He ought to've lasted a good spell longer. He's no use for huntin' now, that's certain."

Isaac accepted the rebuke meekly. John York was a calm man, but he now grew very fierce under such a provocation. Nobody likes to be hindered in a coon-hunt.

"Oh, Rover's too old, anyway," explained the affectionate master regretfully. "I've been wishing all this afternoon I'd brought him; but I didn't think anything about him as we came away, I've got so used to seeing him layin' about the yard. 'Twould have been a real treat for old Rover, if he could have kept up. Used to be at my heels the whole time. He couldn't follow us, anyway, up here."

"I shouldn't wonder if he could," insisted John, with a humorous glance at his old friend, who was much too heavy and huge of girth for quick transit over rough ground. John York himself had grown lighter as he had grown older.

"I'll tell you one thing we could do," he hastened to suggest. "There's that dog of 'Bijah Topliff's. Don't you know the old lady told us, that day she went over to Dipford, how high he was valued? Most o' 'Bijah's important business was done in the fall, goin' out by night, gunning with fellows from the mills. He was just the kind of a worthless do-nothing that's sure to have an extra knowin' smart dog. I expect 'Liza Jane's got him now. Perhaps we could get him by to-morrow night. Let one o' my boys go over!"

[Pg 196]"Why, 'Liza Jane's come, bag an' baggage, to spend the winter with her mother," exclaimed Isaac Brown, springing to his feet like a boy. "I've had it in mind to tell you two or three times this afternoon, and then something else has flown it out of my head. I let my John Henry take the long-tailed wagon an' go down to the depot this mornin' to fetch her an' her goods up. The old lady come in early, while we were to breakfast, and to hear her lofty talk you'd thought 't would taken a couple o' four-horse teams to move her. I told John Henry he might take that wagon and fetch up what light stuff he could, and see how much else there was, an' then I'd make further arrangements. She said 'Liza Jane'd see me well satisfied, an' rode off, pleased to death. I see 'em returnin' about eight, after the train was in. They'd got 'Liza Jane with 'em, smaller'n ever; and there was a trunk tied up with a rope, and a small roll o' beddin' and braided mats, and a quilted rockin'-chair. The old lady was holdin' on tight to a bird-cage with nothin' in it. Yes; an' I see the dog, too, in behind. He appeared kind of timid. He's a yaller dog, but he ain't stump-tailed. They hauled up out front o' the house, and mother an' I went right out; Mis' Price always expects to have notice taken. She was in great sperits. Said 'Liza Jane concluded to sell off most of her stuff rather 'n have the care of it. She'd told the folks that Mis' Topliff had a beautiful sofa and a lot o' nice chairs, and two framed pictures that would fix up the house complete, and invited us all to come over and see 'em. There, she seemed just as pleased returnin' with the bird-cage. Disappointments don't appear to trouble her no more than a butterfly. I kind of like the old creator'; I don't mean to see her want."

[Pg 197]"They'll let us have the dog," said John York. "I don't know but I'll give a quarter for him, and we'll let 'em have a good piece o' the coon."

"You really comin' 'way up here by night, coon-huntin'?" asked Isaac Brown, looking reproachfully at his more agile comrade.

"I be," answered John York.

"I was dre'tful afraid you was only talking, and might back out," returned the cheerful heavy-weight, with a chuckle. "Now we've got things all fixed, I feel more like it than ever. I tell you there's just boy enough left inside of me. I'll clean up my old gun to-morrow mornin', and you look right after your'n. I dare say the boys have took good care of 'em for us, but they don't know what we do about huntin', and we'll bring 'em all along and show 'em a little fun."

"All right," said John York, as soberly as if they were going to look after a piece of business for the town; and they gathered up the axe and other light possessions, and started toward home.


The two friends, whether by accident or design, came out of the woods some distance from their own houses, but very near to the low-storied little gray dwelling of Mrs. Price. They crossed the pasture, and climbed over the toppling fence at the foot of her small sandy piece of land, and knocked at the door. There was a light already in the kitchen. Mrs. Price and Eliza Jane Topliff appeared at once, eagerly hospitable.

"Anybody sick?" asked Mrs. Price, with instant sympathy. "Nothin' happened, I hope?"

"Oh, no," said both the men.

[Pg 198]"We came to talk about hiring your dog to-morrow night," explained Isaac Brown, feeling for the moment amused at his eager errand. "We got on track of a coon just now, up in the woods, and we thought we'd give our boys a little treat. You shall have fifty cents, an' welcome, and a good piece o' the coon."

"Yes, Square Brown; we can let you have the dog as well as not," interrupted Mrs. Price, delighted to grant a favor. "Poor departed 'Bijah, he set everything by him as a coon dog. He always said a dog's capital was all in his reputation."

"You'll have to be dreadful careful an' not lose him," urged Mrs. Topliff "Yes, sir; he's a proper coon dog as ever walked the earth, but he's terrible weak-minded about followin' 'most anybody. 'Bijah used to travel off twelve or fourteen miles after him to git him back, when he wa'n't able. Somebody'd speak to him decent, or fling a whip-lash as they drove by, an' off he'd canter on three legs right after the wagon. But 'Bijah said he wouldn't trade him for no coon dog he ever was acquainted with. Trouble is, coons is awful sca'ce."

"I guess he ain't out o' practice," said John York amiably; "I guess he'll know when he strikes the coon. Come, Isaac, we must be gittin' along tow'ds home. I feel like eatin' a good supper. You tie him up to-morrow afternoon, so we shall be sure to have him," he turned to say to Mrs. Price, who stood smiling at the door.

"Land sakes, dear, he won't git away; you'll find him right there betwixt the wood-box and the stove, where he is now. Hold the light, 'Liza Jane; they can't see their way out to the road. I'll fetch him over [Pg 199]to ye in good season," she called out, by way of farewell; "'twill save ye third of a mile extra walk. No, 'Liza Jane; you'll let me do it, if you please. I've got a mother's heart. The gentlemen will excuse us for showin' feelin'. You're all the child I've got, an' your prosperity is the same as mine."


The great night of the coon-hunt was frosty and still, with only a dim light from the new moon. John York and his boys, and Isaac Brown, whose excitement was very great, set forth across the fields toward the dark woods. The men seemed younger and gayer than the boys. There was a burst of laughter when John Henry Brown and his little brother appeared with the coon dog of the late Mr. Abijah Topliff, which had promptly run away home again after Mrs. Price had coaxed him over in the afternoon. The captors had tied a string round his neck, at which they pulled vigorously from time to time to urge him forward. Perhaps he found the night too cold; at any rate, he stopped short in the frozen furrows every few minutes, lifting one foot and whining a little. Half a dozen times he came near to tripping up Mr. Isaac Brown and making him fall at full length.

"Poor Tiger! poor Tiger!" said the good-natured sportsman, when somebody said that the dog didn't act as if he were much used to being out by night. "He'll be all right when he once gets track of the coon." But when they were fairly in the woods, Tiger's distress was perfectly genuine. The long rays of light from the old-fashioned lanterns of pierced tin went wheeling round and round, making a tall ghost of every tree, and strange shadows went darting in and [Pg 200]out behind the pines. The woods were like an interminable pillared room where the darkness made a high ceiling. The clean frosty smell of the open fields was changed for a warmer air, damp with the heavy odor of moss and fallen leaves. There was something wild and delicious in the forest in that hour of night. The men and boys tramped on silently in single file, as if they followed the flickering light instead of carrying it. The dog fell back by instinct, as did his companions, into the easy familiarity of forest life. He ran beside them, and watched eagerly as they chose a safe place to leave a coat or two and a basket. He seemed to be an affectionate dog, now that he had made acquaintance with his masters.

"Seems to me he don't exactly know what he's about," said one of the York boys scornfully; "we must have struck that coon's track somewhere, comin' in."

"We'll get through talkin' an' heap up a little somethin' for a fire, if you'll turn to and help," said his father. "I've always noticed that nobody can give so much good advice about a piece o' work as a new hand. When you've treed as many coons as your Uncle Brown an' me, you won't feel so certain. Isaac, you be the one to take the dog up round the ledge, there. He'll scent the coon quick enough then. We'll tend to this part o' the business."

"You may come too, John Henry," said the indulgent father, and they set off together silently with the coon dog. He followed well enough now; his tail and ears were drooping even more than usual, but he whimpered along as bravely as he could, much excited, at John Henry's heels, like one of those great soldiers who are all unnerved until the battle is well begun.

[Pg 201]A minute later the father and son came hurrying back, breathless, and stumbling over roots and bushes. The fire was already lighted, and sending a great glow higher and higher among the trees.

"He's off! He's struck a track! He was off like a major!" wheezed Mr. Isaac Brown.

"Which way'd he go?" asked everybody.

"Right out toward the fields. Like's not the old fellow was just starting after more of our fowls. I'm glad we come early,—he can't have got far yet. We can't do nothin' but wait now, boys. I'll set right down here."

"Soon as the coon trees, you'll hear the dog sing, now I tell you!" said John York, with great enthusiasm. "That night your father an' me got those four busters we've told you about, they come right back here to the ledge. I don't know but they will now. 'Twas a dreadful cold night, I know. We didn't get home till past three o'clock in the mornin', either. You remember, don't you, Isaac?"

"I do," said Isaac. "How old Rover worked that night! Couldn't see out of his eyes, nor hardly wag his clever old tail, for two days; thorns in both his fore paws, and the last coon took a piece right out of his off shoulder."

"Why didn't you let Rover come to-night, father?" asked the younger boy. "I think he knew somethin' was up. He was jumpin' round at a great rate when I come out of the yard."

"I didn't know but he might make trouble for the other dog," answered Isaac, after a moment's silence. He felt almost disloyal to the faithful creature, and had been missing him all the way. "Sh! there's a bark!" And they all stopped to listen.

[Pg 202]The fire was leaping higher; they all sat near it, listening and talking by turns. There is apt to be a good deal of waiting in a coon-hunt.

"If Rover was young as he used to be, I'd resk him to tree any coon that ever run," said the regretful master. "This smart creature o' Topliff's can't beat him, I know. The poor old fellow's eyesight seems to be going. Two—three times he's run out at me right in broad day, an' barked when I come up the yard toward the house, and I did pity him dreadfully; he was so 'shamed when he found out what he'd done. Rover's a dog that's got an awful lot o' pride. He went right off out behind the long barn the last time, and wouldn't come in for nobody when they called him to supper till I went out myself and made it up with him. No; he can't see very well now, Rover can't."

"He's heavy, too; he's got too unwieldy to tackle a smart coon, I expect, even if he could do the tall runnin'" said John York, with sympathy. "They have to get a master grip with their teeth through a coon's thick pelt this time o' year. No; the young folks get all the good chances after a while;" and he looked round indulgently at the chubby faces of his boys, who fed the fire, and rejoiced in being promoted to the society of their elders on equal terms. "Ain't it time we heard from the dog?" And they all listened, while the fire snapped and the sap whistled in some green sticks.

"I hear him," said John Henry suddenly; and faint and far away there came the sound of a desperate bark. There is a bark that means attack, and there is a bark that means only foolish excitement.

[Pg 203]"They ain't far off!" said Isaac. "My gracious, he's right after him! I don't know's I expected that poor-looking dog to be so smart. You can't tell by their looks. Quick as he scented the game up here in the rocks, off he put. Perhaps it ain't any matter if they ain't stump-tailed, long's they're yaller dogs. He didn't look heavy enough to me. I tell you, he means business. Hear that bark!"

"They all bark alike after a coon." John York was as excited as anybody. "Git the guns laid out to hand, boys; I told you we'd ought to follow!" he commanded. "If it's the old fellow that belongs here, he may put in any minute." But there was again a long silence and state of suspense; the chase had turned another way. There were faint distant yaps. The fire burned low and fell together with a shower of sparks. The smaller boys began to grow chilly and sleepy, when there was a thud and rustle and snapping of twigs close at hand, then the gasp of a breathless dog. Two dim shapes rushed by; a shower of bark fell, and a dog began to sing at the foot of the great twisted pine not fifty feet away.

"Hooray for Tiger!" yelled the boys; but the dog's voice filled all the woods. It might have echoed to the mountain-tops. There was the old coon; they could all see him half-way up the tree, flat to the great limb. They heaped the fire with dry branches till it flared high. Now they lost him in a shadow as he twisted about the tree. John York fired, and Isaac Brown fired, and the boys took a turn at the guns, while John Henry started to climb a neighboring oak; but at last it was Isaac who brought the coon to ground with a lucky shot, and the dog stopped his deafening bark and frantic leaping in the underbrush, [Pg 204]and after an astonishing moment of silence crept out, a proud victor, to his prouder master's feet.

"Goodness alive, who's this? Good for you, old handsome! Why, I'll be hanged if it ain't old Rover, boys; it's old Rover!" But Isaac could not speak another word. They all crowded round the wistful, clumsy old dog, whose eyes shone bright, though his breath was all gone. Each man patted him, and praised him and said they ought to have mistrusted all the time that it could be nobody but he. It was some minutes before Isaac Brown could trust himself to do anything but pat the sleek old head that was always ready to his hand.

"He must have overheard us talkin'; I guess he'd have come if he'd dropped dead half-way," proclaimed John Henry, like a prince of the reigning house; and Rover wagged his tail as if in honest assent, as he lay at his master's side. They sat together, while the fire was brightened again to make a good light for the coon-hunt supper; and Rover had a good half of everything that found its way into his master's hand. It was toward midnight when the triumphal procession set forth toward home, with the two lanterns, across the fields.


The next morning was bright and warm after the hard frost of the night before. Old Rover was asleep on the doorstep in the sun, and his master stood in the yard, and saw neighbor Price come along the road in her best array, with a gay holiday air.

"Well, now," she said eagerly, "you wa'n't out very late last night, was you? I got up myself to let Tiger in. He come home, all beat out, about a quarter past nine. I expect you hadn't no kind o' trouble gittin'[Pg 205] the coon. The boys was tellin' me he weighed 'most thirty pounds."

"Oh, no kind o' trouble," said Isaac, keeping the great secret gallantly. "You got the things I sent over this mornin'?"

"Bless your heart, yes! I'd a sight rather have all that good pork an' potatoes than any o' your wild meat," said Mrs. Price, smiling with prosperity. "You see, now, 'Liza Jane she's given in. She didn't re'lly know but 'twas all talk of 'Bijah 'bout that dog's bein' wuth fifty dollars. She says she can't cope with a huntin' dog same's he could, an' she's given me the money you an' John York sent over this mornin'; an' I didn't know but what you'd lend me another half a dollar, so I could both go to Dipford Centre an' return, an' see if I couldn't make a sale o' Tiger right over there where they all know about him. It's right in the coon season; now's my time, ain't it?"

"Well, gettin' a little late," said Isaac, shaking with laughter as he took the desired sum of money out of his pocket. "He seems to be a clever dog round the house."

"I don't know's I want to harbor him all winter," answered the excursionist frankly, striking into a good traveling gait as she started off toward the railroad station.


Dipford:—The New England town in which the scenes of some of Miss Jewett's stories are laid.

master hot:—In the New England dialect, master is used in the sense of very or extremely.

bosom-pin:—Mourning pins of jet or black enamel were much worn in times past.

'suage:—Assuage, meaning to soften or decrease.

[Pg 206]selectman:—One of a board chosen in New England towns to transact the business of the community.

scattereth nor yet increaseth:—See Proverbs, 11:24.

right o' dower:—The right to claim a part of a deceased husband's property.


The action takes place in a country district in New England. Judging by the remarks about the fans, what kind of person do you suppose Old Lady Price to be? Is there any particular meaning in the word to-day? How is 'Liza Jane related to Mrs. Price? What was the character of Mr. 'Bijah Topliff? Does the old lady feel grieved at his death? What does Isaac mean by such, in the last line, page 190? How does the old lady live? What is shown of her character when she is called "a chirpin' old cricket"? Does she feel ashamed of having gone to the circus? How does she explain her going? What can you tell of 'Bijah from what is said of 'Liza's "memories"? Would the circus people have cared to buy the dog? Notice how the author makes you feel the pleasantness of the walk in the woods. Do you know where coons have their dens? How does Isaac show his affection for old Rover? Is it true that "worthless do-nothings" usually have "smart" dogs? Why does the author stop to tell all about 'Liza Jane's arrival? What light is thrown on the old lady's character by Isaac's words beginning, "Disappointments don't appear to trouble her"? Are the men very anxious to "give the boys a treat"? Why does the old lady call Mr. York "dear"? What is meant by the last five lines of Part III? What sort of dog is Tiger? What is meant by "soon as the coon trees"? How does the author tell you of old Rover's defects? What person would you like to have shoot the coon at last? Why could Isaac Brown not "trust himself to speak"? Do you think old Rover "overheard them talking," as John Henry suggests? How does the author let you into the secret of Tiger's behavior? Why does Isaac not tell the old lady which dog treed the coon? What does he mean by saying that Tiger is "a clever dog round the house"? Do you think that Mrs. Price succeeded in getting fifty dollars for the dog? Why does the author not tell whether she does or not? Try to put into your own words a summing up of the old lady's character. Tell what [Pg 207]you think of the two old men. Do you like the use of dialect in this story? Would it have been better if the people had all spoken good English? Why, or why not?


Hunting for Squirrels
An Intelligent Dog
A Night in the Woods
An Old Man
Tracking Rabbits
The Circus
Old Lady Price
A Group of Odd Characters
The Tree-dwellers
Around the Fire
How to Make a Camp Fire
The Picnic Lunch
An Interesting Old Lady


Try to write a theme in which uneducated people talk as they do in real life; as far as possible, fit every person's speech to his character. Below are given some suggestions for this work:

Mrs. Wicks borrows Mrs. Hall's flat-irons.
Two or three country children quarrel over a hen's nest.
The family get ready to go to the Sunday School picnic.
Sammie tells his parents that he has been whipped at school.
Two old men talk about the crops.
One of the pigs gets out of the pen.
Two boys go hunting.
The farmer has just come back from town.
Mrs. Robbins describes the moving-picture show.

An Intelligent Dog:—Tell who owns the dog, and how much you have had opportunity to observe him. Describe him as vividly as possible. Give some incidents that show his intelligence.

Perhaps you can make a story out of this, giving the largest amount of space to an event in which the dog accomplished some notable thing, as protecting property, bringing help in time of danger, or saving his master's life. In this case, try to tell some of the story by means of conversation, as Miss Jewett does.

An Interesting Old Lady:—Tell where you saw the old lady; or, if you know her well, explain the nature of your acquaintance [Pg 208]with her. Describe her rather fully, telling how she looks and what she wears. How does she walk and talk? What is her chief occupation? If possible, quote some of her remarks in her own words. Tell some incidents in which she figures. Try to bring out her most interesting qualities, so that the reader can see them for himself.


Dogs and MenH.C. Merwin
Stickeen: The Story ofJohn Muir
Another Dog (in A Gentleman Vagabond)F.H. Smith
The Sporting DogJoseph A. Graham
DogtownMabel Osgood Wright
Bob, Son of BattleAlfred Ollivant
A Boy I Knew and Four DogsLaurence Hutton
A Boy I Knew and Some More Dogs    "        "
A Dog of FlandersLouise de la Ramée
The Call of the WildJack London
White Fang    "        "
My Dogs in the NorthlandE.R. Young
Dogs of all NationsC.J. Miller
Leo (poem)R.W. Gilder
Greyfriar's BobbyEleanor Atkinson
The Biography of a Silver FoxE.S. Thompson
Our Friend the Dog (trans.)Maurice Maeterlinck
Following the DeerW.J. Long
The Trail of the Sand-hill StagErnest Thompson Seton
Lives of the Hunted    "        "
The Wilderness HunterTheodore Roosevelt
A Watcher in the WoodsDallas Lore Sharp
Wild Life near Home    "        "
The Watchers of the TrailsC.G.D. Roberts
Kindred of the Wild    "        "
Little People of the Sycamore    "        "
The Haunters of the Silences    "        "
Squirrels and other Fur-bearersJohn Burroughs
My Woodland IntimatesE. Bignell

[Pg 209]

Stories of old people:—

Aged Folk (in Letters from my Mill)Alphonse Daudet
Green Island (chapter 8 of The Country of the Pointed Firs)Sarah Orne Jewett
Aunt Cynthy Dallett    "        "
The Failure of David Berry    "        "
A Church MouseMary E. Wilkins-Freeman
A White Heron and Other StoriesSarah Orne Jewett
Tales of New England    "        "
The Country of the Pointed Firs    "        "
A Country Doctor    "        "
Deephaven    "        "
The Queen's Twin and Other Stories    "        "
The King of Folly Island and Other People    "        "
A Marsh Island    "        "
The Tory Lover    "        "
A Native of Winby and Other Tales    "        "
Betty Leicester's Christmas    "        "
Betty Leicester    "        "
Country By-ways    "        "
Letters of Sarah Orne JewettMrs. James T. Fields (Ed.)

For Biographies and criticisms of Miss Jewett, see: Atlantic Monthly, 94:485; Critic, 39:292, October, 1901 (Portrait); New England Magazine, 22:737, August, 1900; Outlook, 69:423; Bookman, 34:221 (Portrait).

[Pg 210]



This bronze doth keep the very form and mold
Of our great martyr's face. Yes, this is he:
That brow all wisdom, all benignity;
That human, humorous mouth; those cheeks that hold
Like some harsh landscape all the summer's gold;
That spirit fit for sorrow, as the sea
For storms to beat on; the lone agony
Those silent, patient lips too well foretold.
Yes, this is he who ruled a world of men
As might some prophet of the elder day—
Brooding above the tempest and the fray
With deep-eyed thought and more than mortal ken.
A power was his beyond the touch of art
Or armèd strength—his pure and mighty heart.


the life-mask:—The life-mask of Abraham Lincoln was made by Leonard W. Volk, in Chicago, in April, 1860. A good picture of it is given as the frontispiece to Volume 4 of Nicolay and Hay's Abraham Lincoln, A History.

this bronze:—A life-mask is made of plaster first; then usually it is cast in bronze.


This is not difficult to understand. Read it over slowly, trying first to get the meaning of each sentence as if it were prose.[Pg 211] You may have to read it several times before you see the exact meaning of each part. When you have mastered it, read it through consecutively, thinking of what it tells about Lincoln.

This poem is, as you may know, a sonnet. Notice the number of lines, the meter, and the rhyme-scheme, referring to page 139 for a review of the sonnet form. Notice how the thought changes at the ninth line. Find a sonnet in one of the good current magazines. How can you recognize it? Read it carefully. If it is appropriate, bring it to class, and read and explain it to your classmates. Why has the sonnet form been used so much by poets?

If you can find it, read the sonnet on The Sonnet, by Richard Watson Gilder.


For references on Lincoln, see pages 50 and 51.

For portraits of Richard Watson Gilder, and biographical material, consult: Current Literature, 41:319 (Portrait); Review of Reviews, 34: 491 (Portrait); Nation, 89:519; Dial, 47:441; Harper's Weekly, 53:6; World's Work, 17:11293 (Portrait); Craftsman, 16:130, May, 1909 (Portrait); Outlook, 93:689 (Portrait).

For references to material on the sonnet, see page 140.

[Pg 212]



(From Our National Parks)

In the forest between the Middle and East forks of the Kaweah, I met a great fire, and as fire is the master scourge and controller of the distribution of trees, I stopped to watch it and learn what I could of its works and ways with the giants. It came racing up the steep chaparral-covered slopes of the East Fork cañon with passionate enthusiasm in a broad cataract of flames, now bending down low to feed on the green bushes, devouring acres of them at a breath, now towering high in the air as if looking abroad to choose a way, then stooping to feed again,—the lurid flapping surges and the smoke and terrible rushing and roaring hiding all that is gentle and orderly in the work. But as soon as the deep forest was reached, the ungovernable flood became calm like a torrent entering a lake, creeping and spreading beneath the trees where the ground was level or sloped gently, slowly nibbling the cake of compressed needles and scales with flames an inch high, rising here and there to a foot or two on dry twigs and clumps of small bushes and brome grass. Only at considerable intervals were fierce bonfires lighted, where heavy branches broken off by snow had accumulated, or around some venerable giant whose head had been stricken off by lightning.

I tethered Brownie on the edge of a little meadow beside a stream a good safe way off, and then cautiously [Pg 213]chose a camp for myself in a big stout hollow trunk not likely to be crushed by the fall of burning trees, and made a bed of ferns and boughs in it. The night, however, and the strange wild fireworks were too beautiful and exciting to allow much sleep. There was no danger of being chased and hemmed in; for in the main forest belt of the Sierra, even when swift winds are blowing, fires seldom or never sweep over the trees in broad all-embracing sheets as they do in the dense Rocky Mountain woods and in those of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington. Here they creep from tree to tree with tranquil deliberation, allowing close observation, though caution is required in venturing around the burning giants to avoid falling limbs and knots and fragments from dead shattered tops. Though the day was best for study, I sauntered about night after night, learning what I could, and admiring the wonderful show vividly displayed in the lonely darkness, the ground-fire advancing in long crooked lines gently grazing and smoking on the close-pressed leaves, springing up in thousands of little jets of pure flame on dry tassels and twigs, and tall spires and flat sheets with jagged flapping edges dancing here and there on grass tufts and bushes, big bonfires blazing in perfect storms of energy where heavy branches mixed with small ones lay smashed together in hundred cord piles, big red arches between spreading root-swells and trees growing close together, huge fire-mantled trunks on the hill slopes glowing like bars of hot iron, violet-colored fire running up the tall trees, tracing the furrows of the bark in quick quivering rills, and lighting magnificent torches on dry shattered tops, and ever and anon, with a tremendous roar and burst of light, [Pg 214]young trees clad in low-descending feathery branches vanishing in one flame two or three hundred feet high.

One of the most impressive and beautiful sights was made by the great fallen trunks lying on the hillsides all red and glowing like colossal iron bars fresh from a furnace, two hundred feet long some of them, and ten to twenty feet thick. After repeated burnings have consumed the bark and sapwood, the sound charred surface, being full of cracks and sprinkled with leaves, is quickly overspread with a pure, rich, furred, ruby glow almost flameless and smokeless, producing a marvelous effect in the night. Another grand and interesting sight are the fires on the tops of the largest living trees flaming above the green branches at a height of perhaps two hundred feet, entirely cut off from the ground-fires, and looking like signal beacons on watch towers. From one standpoint I sometimes saw a dozen or more, those in the distance looking like great stars above the forest roof. At first I could not imagine how these Sequoia lamps were lighted, but the very first night, strolling about waiting and watching, I saw the thing done again and again. The thick fibrous bark of old trees is divided by deep, nearly continuous furrows, the sides of which are bearded with the bristling ends of fibres broken by the growth swelling of the trunk, and when the fire comes creeping around the feet of the trees, it runs up these bristly furrows in lovely pale blue quivering, bickering rills of flame with a low, earnest whispering sound to the lightning-shattered top of the trunk, which, in the dry Indian summer, with perhaps leaves and twigs and squirrel-gnawed cone-scales and seed-wings lodged in it, is readily ignited.[Pg 215] These lamp-lighting rills, the most beautiful fire-streams I ever saw, last only a minute or two, but the big lamps burn with varying brightness for days and weeks, throwing off sparks like the spray of a fountain, while ever and anon a shower of red coals comes sifting down through the branches, followed at times with startling effect by a big burned-off chunk weighing perhaps half a ton.

The immense bonfires where fifty or a hundred cords of peeled, split, smashed wood has been piled around some old giant by a single stroke of lightning is another grand sight in the night. The light is so great I found I could read common print three hundred yards from them, and the illumination of the circle of onlooking trees is indescribably impressive. Other big fires, roaring and booming like waterfalls, were blazing on the upper sides of trees on hillslopes, against which limbs broken off by heavy snow had rolled, while branches high overhead, tossed and shaken by the ascending air current, seemed to be writhing in pain. Perhaps the most startling phenomenon of all was the quick death of childlike Sequoias only a century or two of age. In the midst of the other comparatively slow and steady fire work one of these tall, beautiful saplings, leafy and branchy, would be seen blazing up suddenly, all in one heaving, booming, passionate flame reaching from the ground to the top of the tree, and fifty to a hundred feet or more above it, with a smoke column bending forward and streaming away on the upper, free-flowing wind. To burn these green trees a strong fire of dry wood beneath them is required, to send up a current of air hot enough to distill inflammable gases from the leaves and sprays; then instead of the lower limbs [Pg 216]gradually catching fire and igniting the next and the next in succession, the whole tree seems to explode almost simultaneously, and with awful roaring and throbbing a round, tapering flame shoots up two or three hundred feet, and in a second or two is quenched, leaving the green spire a black, dead mast, bristled and roughened with down-curling boughs. Nearly all the trees that have been burned down are lying with their heads up hill, because they are burned far more deeply on the upper side, on account of broken limbs rolling down against them to make hot fires, while only leaves and twigs accumulate on the lower side and are quickly consumed without injury to the tree. But green, resinless Sequoia wood burns very slowly, and many successive fires are required to burn down a large tree. Fires can run only at intervals of several years, and when the ordinary amount of fire-wood that has rolled against the gigantic trunk is consumed, only a shallow scar is made, which is slowly deepened by recurring fires until far beyond the centre of gravity, and when at last the tree falls, it of course falls up hill. The healing folds of wood layers on some of the deeply burned trees show that centuries have elapsed since the last wounds were made.

When a great Sequoia falls, its head is smashed into fragments about as small as those made by lightning, which are mostly devoured by the first running, hunting fire that finds them, while the trunk is slowly wasted away by centuries of fire and weather. One of the most interesting fire-actions on the trunk is the boring of those great tunnel-like hollows through which horsemen may gallop. All of these famous hollows are burned out of the solid wood, for no Sequoia is ever hollowed by decay. When the tree falls, the brash [Pg 217]trunk is often broken straight across into sections as if sawed; into these joints the fire creeps, and, on account of the great size of the broken ends, burns for weeks or even months without being much influenced by the weather. After the great glowing ends fronting each other have burned so far apart that their rims cease to burn, the fire continues to work on in the centres, and the ends become deeply concave. Then heat being radiated from side to side, the burning goes on in each section of the trunk independent of the other, until the diameter of the bore is so great that the heat radiated across from side to side is not sufficient to keep them burning. It appears, therefore, that only very large trees can receive the fire-auger and have any shell-rim left.

Fire attacks the large trees only at the ground, consuming the fallen leaves and humus at their feet, doing them but little harm unless considerable quantities of fallen limbs happen to be piled about them, their thick mail of spongy, unpitchy, almost unburnable bark affording strong protection. Therefore the oldest and most perfect unscarred trees are found on ground that is nearly level, while those growing on hillsides, against which fallen branches roll, are always deeply scarred on the upper side, and as we have seen are sometimes burned down. The saddest thing of all was to see the hopeful seedlings, many of them crinkled and bent with the pressure of winter snow, yet bravely aspiring at the top, helplessly perishing, and young trees, perfect spires of verdure and naturally immortal, suddenly changed to dead masts. Yet the sun looked cheerily down the openings in the forest roof, turning the black smoke to a beautiful brown as if all was for the best.[Pg 218]


Kaweah:—A river in California, which runs through the Sequoia National Park.

Brownie:—A small donkey which Mr. Muir had brought along to carry his pack of blankets and provisions. (See pp. 285, 286 of Our National Parks.)

humus:—Vegetable mold.


In 1875, Mr. Muir spent some weeks in the Sequoia forests, learning what he could of the life and death of the giant trees. This selection is from his account of his experiences. How does the author make you feel the fierceness of the fire? Why does it become calmer when it enters the forest? Would most people care to linger in a burning forest? What is shown by Mr. Muir's willingness to stay? Note the vividness of the passage beginning "Though the day was best": How does the author manage to make it so clear? Might this passage be differently punctuated, with advantage? What is the value of the figure "like colossal iron bars"? Note the vivid words in the passage beginning "The thick" and ending with "half a ton." What do you think of the expressions onlooking trees, and childlike Sequoias? Explain why the burned trees fall up hill. Go through the selection and pick out the words that show action; color; sound. Try to state clearly the reasons why this selection is clear and picturesque.


The Forest Fire
A Group of Large Trees
Felling a Tree
A Fire in the Country
A Fire in the City
Alone in the Woods
The Woodsman
In the Woods
Camping Out for the Night
By-products of the Forest
A Tree Struck by Lightning
A Famous Student of Nature
Planting Trees
The Duties of a Forest Ranger
The Lumber Camp
A Fire at Night
Learning to Observe
The Conservation of the Forests
The Pine
Ravages of the Paper Mill
[Pg 219]


A Fire at Night:—If possible, found this theme on actual observation and experience. Tell of your first knowledge of the fire—the smoke and the flame, or the ringing of bells and the shouting. From what point of view did you see the fire? Tell how it looked when you first saw it. Use words of color and action, as Mr. Muir does. Perhaps you can make your description vivid by means of sound-words. Tell what people did and what they said. Did you hear anything said by the owners of the property that was burning? Go on and trace the progress of the fire, describing its change in volume and color. Try at all times to make your reader see the beauty and fierceness and destructiveness of the fire. You might close your theme with the putting out of the fire, or perhaps you will prefer to speak of the appearance of the ruins by daylight. When you have finished your theme, read it over, and see where you can touch it up to make it clearer and more impressive. Read again some of the most brilliant passages in Mr. Muir's description, and see how you can profit by the devices he uses.

In the Woods:—Give an account of a long or a short trip in the woods, and tell what you observed. It might be well to plan this theme a number of days before writing it, and in the interim to take a walk in the woods to get mental notes. In writing the theme, give your chief attention to the trees—their situation, appearance, height, manner of growth from the seedling up, peculiarities. Make clear the differences between the kinds of trees, especially between varieties of the same species. You can make good use of color-words in your descriptions of leaves, flowers, seed-receptacles (cones, keys, wings, etc.), and berries. Keep your work simple, almost as if you were talking to some one who wishes information about the forest trees.


[Pg 220]

Our National ParksJohn Muir
My First Summer in the Sierra    "        "
The Mountains of California    "        "
The Story of my Boyhood and Youth    "        "
Stickeen: The Story of a Dog    "        "
The Yosemite    "        "
The Giant Forest (chapter 18 of The Mountains)Stewart Edward White
The Pines (chapter 8 of The Mountains)    "        "
The Blazed Trail    "        "
The Forest    "        "
The Heart of the Ancient WoodC.G.D. Roberts
The Story of a Thousand-year Pine
    (in Wild Life on the Rockies)Enos A. Mills
The Lodge-pole Pine
    (in Wild Life on the Rockies)    "        "
Rocky Mountain Forests
    (in Wild Life on the Rockies)    "        "
The Spell of the Rockies    "        "
Under the Sky in CaliforniaC.F. Saunders
Field Days in CaliforniaBradford Torrey
The Snowing of the Pines (poem)T.W. Higginson
A Young Fir Wood (poem)D.G. Rossetti
The Spirit of the Pine (poem)Bayard Taylor
To a Pine TreeJ.R. Lowell
Silverado SquattersRobert Louis Stevenson
Travels with a Donkey    "        "
A Forest Fire (in The Old Pacific Capital)    "        "
The Two Matches (in Fables)    "        "
In the Maine WoodsHenry D. Thoreau
Yosemite TrailsJ.S. Chase
The Conservation of Natural ResourcesCharles R. Van Hise
Getting Acquainted with the TreesJ.H. McFarland
The Trees (poem)Josephine Preston Peabody

For biographical material relating to John Muir, consult: With John o' Birds and John o' Mountains, Century, 80:521 (Portraits); At Home with Muir, Overland Monthly (New Series), 52:125, August, 1908; Craftsman, 7:665 (page 637 for portrait), March, 1905; Craftsman, 23:324 (Portrait); Outlook, 80:303, January 3, 1905; Bookman, 26:593, February, 1908; World's Work, 17:11355, March, 1909; 19:12529, February, 1910.

[Pg 221]



Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.
I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.
Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray
Nor change the tide of destiny.
What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.
The law of love binds every heart
And knits it to its utmost kin,
Nor can our lives flow long apart
From souls our secret souls would win.
The stars come nightly to the sky,
The tidal wave comes to the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high
Can keep my own away from me.

[Pg 222]


This poem is so easy that it needs little explanation. It shows the calmness and confidence of one who feels that the universe is right, and that everything comes out well sooner or later. Read the poem through slowly. Its utmost kin means its most distant relations or connections. The tidal wave means the regular and usual flow of the tide. Nor time nor space:—Perhaps Mr. Burroughs was thinking of the Bible, Romans 8:38, 39.

Does the poem mean to encourage mere waiting, without action? Does it discourage effort? Just how much is it intended to convey? Is the theory expressed here a good one? Do you believe it to be true? Read the verses again, slowly and carefully, thinking what they mean. If you like them, take time to learn them.


For a list of Mr. Burrough's books, see page 177.

Song: The year's at the springRobert Browning
The Building of the ChimneyRichard Watson Gilder

With John o'Birds and John o'Mountains (Century Magazine, 80:521)

A Day at Slabsides (Outlook, 66:351) Washington Gladden

Century, 86:884, October, 1915 (Portrait); Outlook, 78:878, December 3, 1904.


Try writing a stanza or two in the meter and with the rhyme that Mr. Burroughs uses. Below are given lines that may prove suggestive:—

1. One night when all the sky was clear
2. The plum tree near the garden wall
3. I watched the children at their play
4. The wind swept down across the plain
5. The yellow leaves are drifting down
6. Along the dusty way we sped (In an Automobile)
7. I looked about my garden plot (In my Garden)
8. The sky was red with sudden flame
9. I walked among the forest trees
10. He runs to meet me every day (My Dog)
[Pg 223]



(Chapter xxvi of A Little Tour in France)

It was a pleasure to feel one's self in Provence again,—the land where the silver-gray earth is impregnated with the light of the sky. To celebrate the event, as soon as I arrived at Nîmes I engaged a calèche to convey me to the Pont du Gard. The day was yet young, and it was perfectly fair; it appeared well, for a longish drive, to take advantage, without delay, of such security. After I had left the town I became more intimate with that Provençal charm which I had already enjoyed from the window of the train, and which glowed in the sweet sunshine and the white rocks, and lurked in the smoke-puffs of the little olives. The olive-trees in Provence are half the landscape. They are neither so tall, so stout, nor so richly contorted as I have seen them beyond the Alps; but this mild colorless bloom seems the very texture of the country. The road from Nîmes, for a distance of fifteen miles, is superb; broad enough for an army, and as white and firm as a dinner-table. It stretches away over undulations which suggest a kind of harmony; and in the curves it makes through the wide, free country, where there is never a hedge or a wall, and the detail is always exquisite, there is something majestic, almost processional. Some twenty minutes before I reached the little inn that marks the termination of the drive, my vehicle met with an accident which just missed being serious, and which engaged the attention of a gentleman, who, followed [Pg 224]by his groom and mounted on a strikingly handsome horse, happened to ride up at the moment. This young man, who, with his good looks and charming manner, might have stepped out of a novel of Octave Feuillet, gave me some very intelligent advice in reference to one of my horses that had been injured, and was so good as to accompany me to the inn, with the resources of which he was acquainted, to see that his recommendations were carried out. The result of our interview was that he invited me to come and look at a small but ancient château in the neighborhood, which he had the happiness—not the greatest in the world, he intimated—to inhabit, and at which I engaged to present myself after I should have spent an hour at the Pont du Gard. For the moment, when we separated, I gave all my attention to that great structure. You are very near it before you see it; the ravine it spans suddenly opens and exhibits the picture. The scene at this point grows extremely beautiful. The ravine is the valley of the Gardon, which the road from Nîmes has followed some time without taking account of it, but which, exactly at the right distance from the aqueduct, deepens and expands, and puts on those characteristics which are best suited to give it effect. The gorge becomes romantic, still, and solitary, and, with its white rocks and wild shrubbery, hangs over the clear, colored river, in whose slow course there is here and there a deeper pool. Over the valley, from side to side, and ever so high in the air, stretch the three tiers of the tremendous bridge. They are unspeakably imposing, and nothing could well be more Roman. The hugeness, the solidity, the unexpectedness, the monumental rectitude of the whole thing leave you nothing to say—at the time—and make [Pg 225]you stand gazing. You simply feel that it is noble and perfect, that it has the quality of greatness. A road, branching from the highway, descends to the level of the river and passes under one of the arches. This road has a wide margin of grass and loose stones, which slopes upward into the bank of the ravine. You may sit here as long as you please, staring up at the light, strong piers; the spot is extremely natural, though two or three stone benches have been erected on it. I remained there an hour and got a complete impression; the place was perfectly soundless, and for the time, at least, lonely; the splendid afternoon had begun to fade, and there was a fascination in the object I had come to see. It came to pass that at the same time I discovered in it a certain stupidity, a vague brutality. That element is rarely absent from great Roman work, which is wanting in the nice adaptation of the means to the end. The means are always exaggerated; the end is so much more than attained. The Roman rigidity was apt to overshoot the mark, and I suppose a race which could do nothing small is as defective as a race that can do nothing great. Of this Roman rigidity the Pont du Gard is an admirable example. It would be a great injustice, however, not to insist upon its beauty,—a kind of manly beauty, that of an object constructed not to please but to serve, and impressive simply from the scale on which it carries out this intention. The number of arches in each tier is different; they are smaller and more numerous as they ascend. The preservation of the thing is extraordinary; nothing has crumbled or collapsed; every feature remains; and the huge blocks of stone, of a brownish-yellow (as if they had been baked by the Provençal sun for eighteen centuries), pile themselves, [Pg 226]without mortar or cement, as evenly as the day they were laid together. All this to carry the water of a couple of springs to a little provincial city! The conduit on the top has retained its shape and traces of the cement with which it was lined. When the vague twilight began to gather, the lonely valley seemed to fill itself with the shadow of the Roman name, as if the mighty empire were still as erect as the supports of the aqueduct; and it was open to a solitary tourist, sitting there sentimental, to believe that no people has ever been, or will ever be, as great as that, measured, as we measure the greatness of an individual, by the push they gave to what they undertook. The Pont du Gard is one of the three or four deepest impressions they have left; it speaks of them in a manner with which they might have been satisfied.

I feel as if it were scarcely discreet to indicate the whereabouts of the château of the obliging young man I had met on the way from Nîmes; I must content myself with saying that it nestled in an enchanting valley,—dans le fond, as they say in France,—and that I took my course thither on foot, after leaving the Pont du Gard. I find it noted in my journal as "an adorable little corner." The principal feature of the place is a couple of very ancient towers, brownish-yellow in hue, and mantled in scarlet Virginia-creeper. One of these towers, reputed to be of Saracenic origin, is isolated, and is only the more effective; the other is incorporated in the house, which is delightfully fragmentary and irregular. It had got to be late by this time, and the lonely castel looked crepuscular and mysterious. An old housekeeper was sent for, who showed me the rambling interior; and then the young man took me into a dim old drawing-room, which had no [Pg 227]less than four chimney-pieces, all unlighted, and gave me a refection of fruit and sweet wine. When I praised the wine and asked him what it was, he said simply, "C'est du vin de ma mère!" Throughout my little journey I had never yet felt myself so far from Paris; and this was a sensation I enjoyed more than my host, who was an involuntary exile, consoling himself with laying out a manège, which he showed me as I walked away. His civility was great, and I was greatly touched by it. On my way back to the little inn where I had left my vehicle, I passed the Pont du Gard, and took another look at it. Its great arches made windows for the evening sky, and the rocky ravine, with its dusky cedars and shining river, was lonelier than before. At the inn I swallowed, or tried to swallow, a glass of horrible wine with my coachman; after which, with my reconstructed team, I drove back to Nîmes in the moonlight. It only added a more solitary whiteness to the constant sheen of the Provençal landscape.


The Pont du Gard:—A famous aqueduct built by the Romans many years ago.

Provence:—One of the old provinces in southeast France.

Nîmes:—(Nēēm) A town in southeast France, noted for its Roman ruins.

calèche:—(ka lāsh') The French term for a light covered carriage with seats for four besides the driver.

Octave Feuillet:—A French writer, the author of The Romance of a Poor Young Man; Feuillet's heroes are young, dark, good-looking, and poetic.

château:—The country residence of a wealthy or titled person.

Gardon:—A river in France flowing into the Rhone.

nice:—Look up the meaning of this word.

dans le fond:—In the bottom.[Pg 228]

Saracenic:—The Saracen invaders of France were vanquished at Tours in 732 a.d.

castel:—A castle.

C'est, etc.:—It is some of my mother's wine.

manège:—A place where horses are kept and trained.


Can you find out anything about Provence and its history? By means of what details does Mr. James give you an idea of the country? What is meant by processional? Why is the episode of the young man particularly pleasing at the point at which it is related? How does the author show the character of the aqueduct? What does monumental rectitude mean? Why is it a good term? What is meant here by "a certain stupidity, a vague brutality"? Can you think of any great Roman works of which Mr. James's statement is true? What did the Romans most commonly build? Can you find out something of their style of building? Are there any reasons why the arches at the top should be smaller and lighter than those below? What does this great aqueduct show of the Roman people and the Roman government? Notice what Mr. James says of the way in which we measure greatness: Is this a good way? Why would the Romans like the way in which the Pont du Gard speaks of them? Why is it not "discreet" to tell where the young man's château is? Why does the traveler feel so far from Paris? Why does the young man treat the traveler with such unnecessary friendliness? See how the author closes his chapter by bringing the description round to the Pont du Gard again and ending with the note struck in the first lines. Is this a good method?


A Bridge
Country Roads
An Accident on the Road
A Remote Dwelling
The Stranger
At a Country Hotel
Roman Roads
A Moonlight Scene
A Picturesque Ravine
What I should Like to See in Europe
Traveling in Europe
Reading a Guide Book
The Baedeker
[Pg 229] A Ruin
The Character of the Romans
The Romans in France
Level Country
A Sunny Day
The Parlor


At a Country Hotel:—Tell how you happened to go to the hotel (this part may be true or merely imagined). Describe your approach, on foot or in some conveyance. Give your first general impression of the building and its surroundings. What persons were visible when you reached the entrance? What did they say and do? How did you feel? Describe the room that you entered, noting any striking or amusing things. Tell of any particularly interesting person, and what he (or she) said. Did you have something to eat? If so, describe the dining-room, and tell about the food. Perhaps you will have something to say about the waiter. How long did you stay at the hotel? What incident was connected with your departure? Were you glad or sorry to leave?

The Bridge:—Choose a large bridge that you have seen. Where is it, and what stream or ravine does it span? When was it built? Clearly indicate the point of view of your description. If you change the point of view, let the reader know of your doing so. Give a general idea of the size of the bridge: You need not give measurements; try rather to make the reader feel the size from the comparisons that you use. Describe the banks at each end of the bridge, and the effect of the water or the abyss between. How is the bridge supported? Try to make the reader feel its solidity and safety. Is it clumsy or graceful? Why? Give any interesting details in its appearance. What conveyances or persons are passing over it? How does the bridge make you feel?


[Pg 230]

A Little Tour in FranceHenry James
A Small Boy and Others    "        "
Portraits of Places    "        "
Travels with a DonkeyR.L. Stevenson
An Inland Voyage    "        "
Along French BywaysClifton Johnson
Seeing France with Uncle JohnAnne Warner
The Story of FranceMary Macgregor
The Reds of the MidiFelix Gras
A Wanderer in ParisE.V. Lucas
An American in Europe (poem)Henry Van Dyke
Home Thoughts from AbroadRobert Browning
In and Out of Three Normandy InnsAnna Bowman Dodd
Cathedral Days    "        "
From Ponkapog to PesthT.B. Aldrich
Our Hundred Days in EuropeO.W. Holmes
One Year AbroadBlanche Willis Howard
Well-worn RoadsF.H. Smith
Gondola Days    "        "
SaunteringsC.D. Warner
By Oak and ThornAlice Brown
Fresh FieldsJohn Burroughs
Our Old HomeNathaniel Hawthorne
Penelope's ProgressKate Douglas Wiggin
Penelope's Experiences    "        "
A Cathedral Courtship    "        "
Ten Days in SpainKate Fields
Russian RamblesIsabel F. Hapgood

For biography and criticism of Mr. James, see: American Writers of To-day, pp. 68-86, H.C. Vedder; American Prose Masters, pp. 337-400, W.C. Brownell; and (for the teacher), Century, 84:108 (Portrait) and 87:150 (Portrait); Scribners, 48:670 (Portrait); Chautauquan, 64:146 (Portrait).[Pg 231]



The eldest son of his father's house,
His was the right to have and hold;
He took the chair before the hearth,
And he was master of all the gold.
The second son of his father's house,
He took the wheatfields broad and fair,
He took the meadows beside the brook,
And the white flocks that pastured there.
"Pipe high—pipe low! Along the way
From dawn till eve I needs must sing!
Who has a song throughout the day,
He has no need of anything!"
The youngest son of his father's house
Had neither gold nor flocks for meed.
He went to the brook at break of day,
And made a pipe out of a reed.
"Pipe high—pipe low! Each wind that blows
Is comrade to my wandering.
Who has a song wherever he goes,
He has no need of anything!"
His brother's wife threw open the door.
"Piper, come in for a while," she said.
[Pg 232] "Thou shalt sit at my hearth since thou art so poor
And thou shalt give me a song instead!"
Pipe high—pipe low—all over the wold!
"Lad, wilt thou not come in?" asked she.
"Who has a song, he feels no cold!
My brother's hearth is mine own," quoth he.
"Pipe high—pipe low! For what care I
Though there be no hearth on the wide gray plain?
I have set my face to the open sky,
And have cloaked myself in the thick gray rain."
Over the hills where the white clouds are,
He piped to the sheep till they needs must come.
They fed in pastures strange and far,
But at fall of night he brought them home.
They followed him, bleating, wherever he led:
He called his brother out to see.
"I have brought thee my flocks for a gift," he said,
"For thou seest that they are mine," quoth he.
"Pipe high—pipe low! wherever I go
The wide grain presses to hear me sing.
Who has a song, though his state be low,
He has no need of anything."
"Ye have taken my house," he said, "and my sheep,
But ye had no heart to take me in.
I will give ye my right for your own to keep,
But ye be not my kin.
"To the kind fields my steps are led.
My people rush across the plain.
[Pg 233] My bare feet shall not fear to tread
With the cold white feet of the rain.
"My father's house is wherever I pass;
My brothers are each stock and stone;
My mother's bosom in the grass
Yields a sweet slumber to her son.
"Ye are rich in house and flocks," said he,
"Though ye have no heart to take me in.
There was only a reed that was left for me,
And ye be not my kin."
"Pipe high—pipe low! Though skies be gray,
Who has a song, he needs must roam!
Even though ye call all day, all day,
'Brother, wilt thou come home?'"
Over the meadows and over the wold,
Up to the hills where the skies begin,
The youngest son of his father's house
Went forth to find his kin.


The stanzas in italic are a kind of refrain; they represent the music of the youngest son.

Why does the piper not go into the house when his brother's wife invites him? What does he mean when he says, "My brother's hearth is mine own"? Why does he say that the sheep are his? What does he mean when he says, "I will give ye my right," etc.? Why are his brothers not his kin? Who are the people that "rush across the plain"? Explain the fourteenth stanza. Why did the piper go forth to find his kin? Whom would he claim as his kindred? Why? Does the poem have a deeper meaning than that which first appears? What kind of person is represented by the youngest son? What are meant by [Pg 234]his pipe and the music? Who are those who cast him out? Re-read the whole poem with the deeper meaning in mind.


The ProphetJosephine Preston Peabody
The Piper: Act I    "        "        "
The Shepherd of King AdmetusJames Russell Lowell
The Shoes that DancedAnna Hempstead Branch
The Heart of the Road and Other Poems    "        "        "
Rose of the Wind and Other Poems    "        "        "

[Pg 235]



I do not think that we ever knew his real name. Our ignorance of it certainly never gave us any social inconvenience, for at Sandy Bar in 1854 most men were christened anew. Sometimes these appellatives were derived from some distinctiveness of dress, as in the case of "Dungaree Jack"; or from some peculiarity of habit, as shown in "Saleratus Bill," so called from an undue proportion of that chemical in his daily bread; or from some unlucky slip, as exhibited in "The Iron Pirate," a mild, inoffensive man, who earned that baleful title by his unfortunate mispronunciation of the term "iron pyrites." Perhaps this may have been the beginning of a rude heraldry; but I am constrained to think that it was because a man's real name in that day rested solely upon his own unsupported statement. "Call yourself Clifford, do you?" said Boston, addressing a timid newcomer with infinite scorn; "hell is full of such Cliffords!" He then introduced the unfortunate man, whose name happened to be really Clifford, as "Jaybird Charley,"—an unhallowed inspiration of the moment that clung to him ever after.

But to return to Tennessee's Partner, whom we never knew by any other than this relative title. That he had ever existed as a separate and distinct individuality we only learned later. It seems that in 1853 he left Poker Flat to go to San Francisco, ostensibly to procure a wife. He never got any farther than Stockton. At that place he was attracted by a young [Pg 236]person who waited upon the table at the hotel where he took his meals. One morning he said something to her which caused her to smile not unkindly, to somewhat coquettishly break a plate of toast over his upturned, serious, simple face, and to retreat to the kitchen. He followed her, and emerged a few moments later, covered with more toast and victory. That day week they were married by a justice of the peace, and returned to Poker Flat. I am aware that something more might be made of this episode, but I prefer to tell it as it was current at Sandy Bar,—in the gulches and bar-rooms,—where all sentiment was modified by a strong sense of humor.

Of their married felicity but little is known, perhaps for the reason that Tennessee, then living with his partner, one day took occasion to say something to the bride on his own account, at which, it is said, she smiled not unkindly and chastely retreated,—this time as far as Marysville, where Tennessee followed her, and where they went to housekeeping without the aid of a justice of the peace. Tennessee's Partner took the loss of his wife simply and seriously, as was his fashion. But to everybody's surprise, when Tennessee one day returned from Marysville, without his partner's wife,—she having smiled and retreated with somebody else,—Tennessee's Partner was the first man to shake his hand and greet him with affection. The boys who had gathered in the cañon to see the shooting were naturally indignant. Their indignation might have found vent in sarcasm but for a certain look in Tennessee's Partner's eye that indicated a lack of humorous appreciation. In fact, he was a grave man, with a steady application to practical detail which was unpleasant in a difficulty.[Pg 237]

Meanwhile a popular feeling against Tennessee had grown up on the Bar. He was known to be a gambler; he was suspected to be a thief. In these suspicions Tennessee's Partner was equally compromised; his continued intimacy with Tennessee after the affair above quoted could only be accounted for on the hypothesis of a copartnership of crime. At last Tennessee's guilt became flagrant. One day he overtook a stranger on his way to Red Dog. The stranger afterward related that Tennessee beguiled the time with interesting anecdote and reminiscence, but illogically concluded the interview in the following words: "And now, young man, I'll trouble you for your knife, your pistols, and your money. You see your weppings might get you into trouble at Red Dog, and your money's a temptation to the evilly disposed. I think you said your address was San Francisco. I shall endeavor to call." It may be stated here that Tennessee had a fine flow of humor, which no business preoccupation could wholly subdue.

This exploit was his last. Red Dog and Sandy Bar made common cause against the highwayman. Tennessee was hunted in very much the same fashion as his prototype, the grizzly. As the toils closed around him, he made a desperate dash through the Bar, emptying his revolver at the crowd before the Arcade Saloon, and so on up Grizzly Cañon; but at its farther extremity he was stopped by a small man on a gray horse. The men looked at each other a moment in silence. Both were fearless, both self-possessed and independent, and both types of a civilization that in the seventeenth century would have been called heroic, but in the nineteenth simply "reckless."

"What have you got there?—I call," said Tennessee quietly.[Pg 238]

"Two bowers and an ace," said the stranger as quietly, showing two revolvers and a bowie-knife.

"That takes me," returned Tennessee; and, with this gambler's epigram, he threw away his useless pistol and rode back with his captor.

It was a warm night. The cool breeze which usually sprang up with the going down of the sun behind the chaparral-crested mountain was that evening withheld from Sandy Bar. The little cañon was stifling with heated resinous odors, and the decaying driftwood on the Bar sent forth faint sickening exhalations. The feverishness of day and its fierce passions still filled the camp. Lights moved restlessly along the bank of the river, striking no answering reflection from its tawny current. Against the blackness of the pines the windows of the old loft above the express-office stood out staringly bright; and through their curtainless panes the loungers below could see the forms of those who were even then deciding the fate of Tennessee. And above all this, etched on the dark firmament, rose the Sierra, remote and passionless, crowned with remoter passionless stars.

The trial of Tennessee was conducted as fairly as was consistent with a judge and jury who felt themselves to some extent obliged to justify, in their verdict, the previous irregularities of arrest and indictment. The law of Sandy Bar was implacable, but not vengeful. The excitement and personal feeling of the chase were over; with Tennessee safe in their hands, they were ready to listen patiently to any defense, which they were already satisfied was insufficient. There being no doubt in their own minds, they were willing to give the prisoner the benefit of any that might exist. Secure in the hypothesis that he [Pg 239]ought to be hanged on general principles, they indulged him with more latitude of defense than his reckless hardihood seemed to ask. The Judge appeared to be more anxious than the prisoner, who, otherwise unconcerned, evidently took a grim pleasure in the responsibility he had created. "I don't take any hand in this yer game," had been his invariable but good-humored reply to all questions. The Judge—who was also his captor—for a moment vaguely regretted that he had not shot him "on sight" that morning, but presently dismissed this human weakness as unworthy of the judicial mind. Nevertheless, when there was a tap at the door, and it was said that Tennessee's Partner was there on behalf of the prisoner, he was admitted at once without question. Perhaps the younger members of the jury, to whom the proceedings were becoming irksomely thoughtful, hailed him as a relief. For he was not, certainly, an imposing figure. Short and stout, with a square face, sunburned into a preternatural redness, clad in a loose duck "jumper" and trousers streaked and splashed with red soil, his aspect under any circumstances would have been quaint, and was now even ridiculous. As he stooped to deposit at his feet a heavy carpetbag he was carrying, it became obvious, from partially developed legends and inscriptions, that the material with which his trousers had been patched had been originally intended for a less ambitious covering. Yet he advanced with great gravity, and after shaking the hand of each person in the room with labored cordiality, he wiped his serious perplexed face on a red bandana handkerchief, a shade lighter than his complexion, laid his powerful hand upon the table to steady himself, and thus addressed the Judge:—[Pg 240]

"I was passin' by," he began, by way of apology, "and I thought I'd just step in and see how things was gittin' on with Tennessee thar,—my pardner. It's a hot night. I disremember any sich weather before on the Bar."

He paused a moment, but nobody volunteering any other meteorological recollection, he again had recourse to his pocket-handkerchief, and for some moments mopped his face diligently.

"Have you anything to say on behalf of the prisoner?" said the Judge finally.

"Thet's it," said Tennessee's Partner, in a tone of relief. "I come yar as Tennessee's pardner,—knowing him nigh on four year, off and on, wet and dry, in luck and, out o' luck. His ways ain't aller my ways, but thar ain't any p'ints in that young man, thar ain't any liveliness as he's been up to, as I don't know. And you sez to me, sez you,—confidential-like, and between man and man,—sez you, 'Do you know anything in his behalf?' and I sez to you, sez I,—confidential-like, as between man and man,—'What should a man know of his pardner?'"

"Is this all you have to say?" asked the Judge impatiently, feeling, perhaps, that a dangerous sympathy of humor was beginning to humanize the court.

"Thet's so," continued Tennessee's Partner. "It ain't for me to say anything agin' him. And now, what's the case? Here's Tennessee wants money, wants it bad, and doesn't like to ask it of his old pardner. Well, what does Tennessee do? He lays for a stranger, and he fetches that stranger; and you lays for him, and you fetches him; and the honors is easy. And I put it to you, bein' a fa'r-minded man, and to you, gentlemen all, as fa'r-minded men, ef this isn't so."[Pg 241]

"Prisoner," said the Judge, interrupting, "have you any questions to ask this man?"

"No! no!" continued Tennessee's Partner hastily. "I play this yer hand alone. To come down to the bed-rock, it's just this: Tennessee, thar, has played it pretty rough and expensive-like on a stranger, and on this yer camp. And now, what's the fair thing? Some would say more, some would say less. Here's seventeen hundred dollars in coarse gold and a watch,—it's about all my pile,—and call it square!" And before a hand could be raised to prevent him, he had emptied the contents of the carpetbag upon the table.

For a moment his life was in jeopardy. One or two men sprang to their feet, several hands groped for hidden weapons, and a suggestion to "throw him from the window" was only overridden by a gesture from the Judge. Tennessee laughed. And apparently oblivious of the excitement, Tennessee's Partner improved the opportunity to mop his face again with his handkerchief.

When order was restored, and the man was made to understand, by the use of forcible figures and rhetoric, that Tennessee's offense could not be condoned by money, his face took a more serious and sanguinary hue, and those who were nearest to him noticed that his rough hand trembled slightly on the table. He hesitated a moment as he slowly returned the gold to the carpetbag, as if he had not yet entirely caught the elevated sense of justice which swayed the tribunal, and was perplexed with the belief that he had not offered enough. Then he turned to the Judge, and saying, "This yer is a lone hand, played alone, and without my pardner," he bowed to the jury and was about to withdraw, when the Judge called him back:—[Pg 242]

"If you have anything to say to Tennessee, you had better say it now."

For the first time that evening the eyes of the prisoner and his strange advocate met. Tennessee smiled, showed his white teeth, and saying, "Euchred, old man!" held out his hand. Tennessee's Partner took it in his own, and saying, "I just dropped in as I was passin' to see how things was gettin' on," let the hand passively fall, and adding that "it was a warm night," again mopped his face with his handkerchief, and without another word withdrew.

The two men never again met each other alive. For the unparalleled insult of a bribe offered to Judge Lynch—who, whether bigoted, weak, or narrow, was at least incorruptible—firmly fixed in the mind of that mythical personage any wavering determination of Tennessee's fate; and at the break of day he was marched, closely guarded, to meet it at the top of Marley's Hill.

How he met it, how cool he was, how he refused to say anything, how perfect were the arrangements of the committee, were all duly reported, with the addition of a warning moral and example to all future evil-doers, in the "Red Dog Clarion," by its editor, who was present, and to whose vigorous English I cheerfully refer the reader. But the beauty of that midsummer morning, the blessed amity of earth and air and sky, the awakened life of the free woods and hills, the joyous renewal and promise of Nature, and above all, the infinite serenity that thrilled through each, was not reported, as not being a part of the social lesson. And yet, when the weak and foolish deed was done, and a life, with its possibilities and responsibilities, had passed out of the misshapen thing that [Pg 243]dangled between earth and sky, the birds sang, the flowers bloomed, the sun shone, as cheerily as before; and possibly the "Red Dog Clarion" was right.

Tennessee's Partner was not in the group that surrounded the ominous tree. But as they turned to disperse, attention was drawn to the singular appearance of a motionless donkey-cart halted at the side of the road. As they approached, they at once recognized the venerable "Jenny" and the two-wheeled cart as the property of Tennessee's Partner, used by him in carrying dirt from his claim; and a few paces distant the owner of the equipage himself, sitting under a buckeye-tree, wiping the perspiration from his glowing face. In answer to an inquiry, he said he had come for the body of the "diseased," "if it was all the same to the committee." He didn't wish to "hurry anything"; he could "wait." He was not working that day; and when the gentlemen were done with the "diseased," he would take him. "Ef thar is any present," he added, in his simple, serious way, "as would care to jine in the fun'l, they kin come." Perhaps it was from a sense of humor, which I have already intimated was a feature of Sandy Bar,—perhaps it was from something even better than that, but two thirds of the loungers accepted the invitation at once.

It was noon when the body of Tennessee was delivered into the hands of his partner. As the cart drew up to the fatal tree, we noticed that it contained a rough oblong box,—apparently made from a section of sluicing,—and half filled with bark and the tassels of pine. The cart was further decorated with slips of willow and made fragrant with buckeye-blossoms. When the body was deposited in the box, Tennessee's Partner's drew over it a piece of tarred canvas, and [Pg 244]gravely mounting the narrow seat in front, with his feet upon the shafts, urged the little donkey forward. The equipage moved slowly on, at that decorous pace which was habitual with Jenny even under less solemn circumstances. The men—half curiously, half jestingly, but all good-humoredly—strolled along beside the cart, some in advance, some a little in the rear of the homely catafalque. But whether from the narrowing of the road or some present sense of decorum, as the cart passed on, the company fell to the rear in couples, keeping step, and otherwise assuming the external show of a formal procession. Jack Folinsbee, who had at the outset played a funeral march in dumb show upon an imaginary trombone, desisted from a lack of sympathy and appreciation,—not having, perhaps, your true humorist's capacity to be content with the enjoyment of his own fun.

The way led through Grizzly Cañon, by this time clothed in funereal drapery and shadows. The redwoods, burying their moccasined feet in the red soil, stood in Indian file along the track, trailing an uncouth benediction from their bending boughs upon the passing bier. A hare, surprised into helpless inactivity, sat upright and pulsating in the ferns by the roadside as the cortège went by. Squirrels hastened to gain a secure outlook from higher boughs; and the blue-jays, spreading their wings, fluttered before them like outriders, until the outskirts of Sandy Bar were reached, and the solitary cabin of Tennessee's Partner.

Viewed under more favorable circumstances, it would not have been a cheerful place. The unpicturesque site, the rude and unlovely outlines, the unsavory details, which distinguish the nest-building of [Pg 245]the California miner, were all here with the dreariness of decay superadded. A few paces from the cabin there was a rough inclosure, which, in the brief days of Tennessee's Partner's matrimonial felicity, had been used as a garden, but was now overgrown with fern. As we approached it, we were surprised to find that what we had taken for a recent attempt at cultivation was the broken soil about an open grave.

The cart was halted before the inclosure, and rejecting the offers of assistance with the same air of simple self-reliance he had displayed throughout, Tennessee's Partner lifted the rough coffin on his back, and deposited it unaided within the shallow grave. He then nailed down the board which served as a lid, and mounting the little mound of earth beside it, took off his hat and slowly mopped his face with his handkerchief. This the crowd felt was a preliminary to speech, and they disposed themselves variously on stumps and boulders, and sat expectant.

"When a man," began Tennessee's Partner slowly, "has been running free all day, what's the natural thing for him to do? Why, to come home. And if he ain't in a condition to go home, what can his best friend do? Why, bring him home. And here's Tennessee has been running free, and we brings him home from his wandering." He paused and picked up a fragment of quartz, rubbed it thoughtfully on his sleeve, and went on: "It ain't the first time that I've packed him on my back, as you see'd me now. It ain't the first time that I brought him to this yer cabin when he couldn't help himself; it ain't the first time that I and Jinny have waited for him on yon hill, and picked him up and so fetched him home, when he couldn't speak and didn't know me. And now that [Pg 246]it's the last time, why"—he paused and rubbed the quartz gently on his sleeve—"you see it's sort of rough on his pardner. And now, gentlemen," he added abruptly, picking up his long-handled shovel, "the fun'l's over; and my thanks, and Tennessee's thanks, to you for your trouble."

Resisting any proffers of assistance, he began to fill in the grave, turning his back upon the crowd, that after a few moments' hesitation gradually withdrew. As they crossed the little ridge that hid Sandy Bar from view, some, looking back, thought they could see Tennessee's Partner, his work done, sitting upon the grave, his shovel between his knees, and his face buried in his red bandana handkerchief. But it was argued by others that you couldn't tell his face from his handkerchief at that distance, and this point remained undecided.

In the reaction that followed the feverish excitement of that day, Tennessee's Partner was not forgotten. A secret investigation had cleared him of any complicity in Tennessee's guilt, and left only a suspicion of his general sanity. Sandy Bar made a point of calling on him, and proffering various uncouth but well-meant kindnesses. But from that day his rude health and great strength seemed visibly to decline; and when the rainy season fairly set in, and the tiny grass-blades were beginning to peep from the rocky mound above Tennessee's grave, he took to his bed.

One night, when the pines beside the cabin were swaying in the storm and trailing their slender fingers over the roof, and the roar and rush of the swollen river were heard below, Tennessee's Partner lifted his head from the pillow, saying, "It is time to go for Tennessee; I must put Jinny in the cart"; and would [Pg 247]have risen from his bed but for the restraint of his attendant. Struggling, he still pursued his singular fancy: "There, now, steady, Jinny,—steady, old girl. How dark it is! Look out for the ruts,—and look out for him, too, old gal. Sometimes, you know, when he's blind drunk, he drops down right in the trail. Keep on straight up to the pine on the top of the hill. Thar! I told you so!—thar he is,—coming this way, too,—all by himself, sober, and his face a-shining. Tennessee! Pardner!"

And so they met.


Sandy Bar:—The imaginary mining-camp in which Bret Harte laid the scenes of many of his stories.

dungaree:—A coarse kind of unbleached cotton cloth.

I call:—An expression used in the game of euchre.

bowers:—Bower is from the German word bauer, meaning a peasant,—so called from the jack or knave; the right bower, in the game of euchre, is the jack of trumps, and the left bower is the other jack of the same color.

chaparral:—A thicket of scrub-oaks or thorny shrubs.

euchred:—Defeated, as in the game of euchre.

Judge Lynch:—A name used for the hurried judging and executing of a suspected person, by private citizens, without due process of law. A Virginian named Lynch is said to have been connected with the origin of the expression.

"diseased":—Tennessee's Partner means deceased.

sluicing:—A trough for water, fitted with gates and valves; it is used in washing out gold from the soil.


Why is the first sentence a good introduction? Compare it with the first sentence of Quite So, page 21. In this selection, why does the author say so much about names? Of what value is the first paragraph? Why is it necessary to tell about Tennessee's Partner's earlier experiences? Who were "the boys"[Pg 248] who gathered to see the shooting? Why did they think there would be shooting? Why was there not? Why does the author not give us a fuller picture of Tennessee? What is the proof that he had "a fine flow of humor"? Try in a few words to sum up his character. Read carefully the paragraph beginning "It was a warm night": How does the author give us a good picture of Sandy Bar? Tell in your own words the feelings of the judge, the prisoner, and the jury, as explained in the paragraph beginning "The trial of Tennessee." What does the author gain by such expressions as "a less ambitious covering," "meteorological recollection"? What does Tennessee's Partner mean when he says "What should a man know of his pardner"? Why did the judge think that humor would be dangerous? Why are the people angry when Tennessee's Partner offers his seventeen hundred dollars for Tennessee's release? Why does Tennessee's Partner take its rejection so calmly? What effect does his offer have on the jury? What does the author mean by "the weak and foolish deed"? Does he approve the hanging? Why does Tennessee's Partner not show any grief? What do you think of Jack Folinsbee? What is gained by the long passage of description? What does Tennessee's Partner's speech show about the friendship of the two men? About friendship in general? Do men often care so much for each other? Is it possible that Tennessee's Partner died of grief? Is the conclusion good? Comment on the kind of men who figure in the story. Are there any such men now? Why is this called a very good story?

Some time after you have read the story, run through it and see how many different sections or scenes there are in it. How are these sections linked together? Look carefully at the beginning of each paragraph and see how the connection is made with the paragraph before.


Two Friends
A Miner's Cabin
The Thief
The Road through the Woods
The Trial
A Scene in the Court Room
Early Days in our County
Bret Harte's Best Stories
The Escaped Convict
The Highwayman
A Lumber Camp
Roughing It
[Pg 249] The Judge
The Robbers' Rendezvous
An Odd Character
Early Days in the West
A Mining Town
Underground with the Miners
Capturing the Thieves
The Sheriff


Two Friends:—Tell where these two friends lived and how long they had known each other. Describe each one, explaining his peculiarities; perhaps you can make his character clear by telling some incident concerning him. What seemed to be the attraction between the two friends? Were they much together? What did people say of them? What did they do for each other? Did they talk to others about their friendship? Did either make a sacrifice for the other? If so, tell about it rather fully. Was there any talk about it? What was the result of the sacrifice? Was the friendship ever broken?

Early Days in our County:—Perhaps you can get material for this from some old settlers, or from a county history. Tell of the first settlement: Who was first on the ground, and why did he choose this particular region? What kind of shelter was erected? How fast did the settlement grow? Tell some incidents of the early days. You might speak also of the processes of clearing the land and of building; of primitive methods of living, and the difficulty of getting supplies. Were there any dangers? Speak of several prominent persons, and tell what they did. Go on and tell of development of the settlements and the surrounding country. Were there any strikingly good methods of making money? Was there any excitement over land, or gold, or high prices of products? Were there any misfortunes, such as floods, or droughts, or fires, or cyclones? When did the railroad reach the region? What differences did it make? What particular influences have brought about recent conditions?

The Sheriff:—Describe the sheriff—his physique, his features, his clothes, his manner. Does he look the part? Do you know, or can you imagine, one of his adventures? Perhaps you will wish to tell his story in his own words. Think carefully whether it would be better to do this, or to tell the story in the [Pg 250]third person. Make the tale as lively and stirring as possible. Remember that when you are reporting the talk of the persons involved, it is better to quote their words directly. See that everything you say helps in making the situation clear or in actually telling the story. Close the story rather quickly after its outcome has been made quite clear.


How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's BarBret Harte
The Outcasts of Poker Flat"        "
The Luck of Roaring Camp"        "
Baby Sylvester"        "
A Waif of the Plains"        "
How I Went to the Mines"        "
M'liss"        "
Frontier Stories"        "
Tales of the Argonauts"        "
A Sappho of Green Springs and Other Stories"        "
Pony TracksFrederic Remington
Crooked Trails"        "
Cœur d'AlèneMary Hallock Foote
The Led-Horse Claim"        "
Wolfville DaysAlfred Henry Lewis
Wolfville Nights"        "
The Sunset Trail"        "
Pathfinders of the WestAgnes C. Laut
The Old Santa Fé TrailH. Inman
Stories of the Great WestTheodore Roosevelt
California and the CaliforniansD.S. Jordan
Our ItalyC.D. Warner
CaliforniaJosiah Royce
The West from a Car WindowR.H. Davis
The Story of the RailroadCy Warman
Roughing ItS.L. Clemens
PoemsJoaquin Miller
Appropriate poems by Bret Harte:—
    John Burns of Gettysburg
    In the Tunnel[Pg 251]
    The Lost Galleon
    Battle Bunny
    The Wind in the Chimney
    Plain Language from Truthful James (The Heathen Chinee)
Highways and Byways in the Rocky MountainsClifton Johnson
Trails of the PathfindersG.B. Grinnell
Stories of CaliforniaE.M. Sexton
Glimpses of CaliforniaHelen Hunt Jackson
California: Its History and RomanceJ.S. McGroarty
Heroes of CaliforniaG.W. James
Recollections of an Old PioneerP.H. Bennett
The Mountains of CaliforniaJohn Muir
Romantic CaliforniaE.C. Peixotto
Silverado SquattersR.L. Stevenson
Jimville: A Bret Harte Town (in Atlantic Monthly, November, 1902)Mary Austin
The Prospector (poem)Robert W. Service
The Rover"        "
The Life of Bret HarteH.C. Merwin
Bret HarteHenry W. Boynton
Bret HarteT.E. Pemberton
American Writers of To-day, pp. 212-229H.C. Vedder
Bookman, 15:312 (see also map on page 313).

For stories of famous friendships, look up:—

Damon and Pythias (any good encyclopedia).
Patroclus and Achilles (the Iliad).
David and Jonathan (the Bible: 1st Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7; chapter 20, entire; 23:16-18; chapter 31, entire; 2d Samuel, chapter 1, entire).
The Substitute (Le Remplaçant) François Coppée
(In Modern Short-stories edited by M. Ashmun.)

[Pg 252]



(In Mere Literature)

Our national history has been written for the most part by New England men. All honor to them! Their scholarship and their characters alike have given them an honorable enrollment amongst the great names of our literary history; and no just man would say aught to detract, were it never so little, from their well-earned fame. They have written our history, nevertheless, from but a single point of view. From where they sit, the whole of the great development looks like an Expansion of New England. Other elements but play along the sides of the great process by which the Puritan has worked out the development of nation and polity. It is he who has gone out and possessed the land: the man of destiny, the type and impersonation of a chosen people. To the Southern writer, too, the story looks much the same, if it be but followed to its culmination,—to its final storm and stress and tragedy in the great war. It is the history of the Suppression of the South. Spite of all her splendid contributions to the steadfast accomplishment of the great task of building the nation; spite of the long leadership of her statesmen in the national counsels; spite of her joint achievements in the conquest and occupation of the West, the South was at last turned upon on every hand, rebuked, proscribed, defeated. The history of the United States, we have learned, was, from the settlement at Jamestown to [Pg 253]the surrender at Appomattox, a long-drawn contest for mastery between New England and the South,—and the end of the contest we know. All along the parallels of latitude ran the rivalry, in those heroical days of toil and adventure during which population crossed the continent, like an army advancing its encampments, Up and down the great river of the continent, too, and beyond, up the slow incline of the vast steppes that lift themselves toward the crowning towers of the Rockies,—beyond that, again, in the gold-fields and upon the green plains of California, the race for ascendency struggled on,—till at length there was a final coming face to face, and the masterful folk who had come from the loins of New England won their consummate victory.

It is a very dramatic form for the story. One almost wishes it were true. How fine a unity it would give our epic! But perhaps, after all, the real truth is more interesting. The life of the nation cannot be reduced to these so simple terms. These two great forces, of the North and of the South, unquestionably existed,—were unquestionably projected in their operation out upon the great plane of the continent, there to combine or repel, as circumstances might determine. But the people that went out from the North were not an unmixed people; they came from the great Middle States as well as from New England. Their transplantation into the West was no more a reproduction of New England or New York or Pennsylvania or New Jersey than Massachusetts was a reproduction of old England, or New Netherland a reproduction of Holland. The Southern people, too, whom they met by the western rivers and upon the open prairies, were transformed, as they them[Pg 254]selves were, by the rough fortunes of the frontier. A mixture of peoples, a modification of mind and habit, a new round of experiment and adjustment amidst the novel life of the baked and untilled plain, and the far valleys with the virgin forests still thick upon them: a new temper, a new spirit of adventure, a new impatience of restraint, a new license of life,—these are the characteristic notes and measures of the time when the nation spread itself at large upon the continent, and was transformed from a group of colonies into a family of States.

The passes of these eastern mountains were the arteries of the nation's life. The real breath of our growth and manhood came into our nostrils when first, like Governor Spotswood and that gallant company of Virginian gentlemen that rode with him in the far year 1716, the Knights of the Order of the Golden Horseshoe, our pioneers stood upon the ridges of the eastern hills and looked down upon those reaches of the continent where lay the untrodden paths of the westward migration. There, upon the courses of the distant rivers that gleamed before them in the sun, down the farther slopes of the hills beyond, out upon the broad fields that lay upon the fertile banks of the "Father of Waters," up the long tilt of the continent to the vast hills that looked out upon the Pacific—there were the regions in which, joining with people from every race and clime under the sun, they were to make the great compounded nation whose liberty and mighty works of peace were to cause all the world to stand at gaze. Thither were to come Frenchmen, Scandinavians, Celts, Dutch, Slavs,—men of the Latin races and of the races of the Orient, as well as men, a great host, of the first stock of the settlements: English, Scots, Scots-Irish,—like New England men, but [Pg 255]touched with the salt of humor, hard, and yet neighborly too. For this great process of growth by grafting, of modification no less than of expansion, the colonies,—the original thirteen States,—were only preliminary studies and first experiments. But the experiments that most resembled the great methods by which we peopled the continent from side to side and knit a single polity across all its length and breadth, were surely the experiments made from the very first in the Middle States of our Atlantic seaboard.

Here from the first were mixture of population, variety of element, combination of type, as if of the nation itself in small. Here was never a simple body, a people of but a single blood and extraction, a polity and a practice brought straight from one motherland. The life of these States was from the beginning like the life of the country: they have always shown the national pattern. In New England and the South it was very different. There some of the great elements of the national life were long in preparation: but separately and with an individual distinction; without mixture,—for long almost without movement. That the elements thus separately prepared were of the greatest importance, and run everywhere like chief threads of the pattern through all our subsequent life, who can doubt? They give color and tone to every part of the figure. The very fact that they are so distinct and separately evident throughout, the very emphasis of individuality they carry with them, but proves their distinct origin. The other elements of our life, various though they be, and of the very fibre, giving toughness and consistency to the fabric, are merged in its texture, united, confused, almost indistinguishable, so thoroughly are they mixed, intertwined, interwoven, [Pg 256]like the essential strands of the stuff itself: but these of the Puritan and the Southerner, though they run everywhere with the rest and seem upon a superficial view themselves the body of the cloth, in fact modify rather than make it.

What in fact has been the course of American history? How is it to be distinguished from European history? What features has it of its own, which give it its distinctive plan and movement? We have suffered, it is to be feared, a very serious limitation of view until recent years by having all our history written in the East. It has smacked strongly of a local flavor. It has concerned itself too exclusively with the origins and Old-World derivations of our story. Our historians have made their march from the sea with their heads over shoulder, their gaze always backward upon the landing-places and homes of the first settlers. In spite of the steady immigration, with its persistent tide of foreign blood, they have chosen to speak often and to think always of our people as sprung after all from a common stock, bearing a family likeness in every branch, and following all the while old, familiar, family ways. The view is the more misleading because it is so large a part of the truth without being all of it. The common British stock did first make the country, and has always set the pace. There were common institutions up and down the coast; and these had formed and hardened for a persistent growth before the great westward migration began which was to re-shape and modify every element of our life. The national government itself was set up and made strong by success while yet we lingered for the most part upon the eastern coast and feared a too distant frontier.

But, the beginnings once safely made, change set [Pg 257]in apace. Not only so: there had been slow change from the first. We have no frontier now, we are told,—except a broken fragment, it may be, here and there in some barren corner of the western lands, where some inhospitable mountain still shoulders us out, or where men are still lacking to break the baked surface of the plains and occupy them in the very teeth of hostile nature. But at first it was all frontier,—a mere strip of settlements stretched precariously upon the sea-edge of the wilds: an untouched continent in front of them, and behind them an unfrequented sea that almost never showed so much as the momentary gleam of a sail. Every step in the slow process of settlement was but a step of the same kind as the first, an advance to a new frontier like the old. For long we lacked, it is true, that new breed of frontiersmen born in after years beyond the mountains. Those first frontiersmen had still a touch of the timidity of the Old World in their blood: they lacked the frontier heart. They were "Pilgrims" in very fact,—exiled, not at home. Fine courage they had: and a steadfastness in their bold design which it does a faint-hearted age good to look back upon. There was no thought of drawing back. Steadily, almost calmly, they extended their seats. They built homes, and deemed it certain their children would live there after them. But they did not love the rough, uneasy life for its own sake. How long did they keep, if they could, within sight of the sea! The wilderness was their refuge; but how long before it became their joy and hope! Here was their destiny cast; but their hearts lingered and held back. It was only as generations passed and the work widened about them that their thought also changed, and a new thrill sped along their blood. Their life had been new [Pg 258]and strange from their first landing in the wilderness. Their houses, their food, their clothing, their neighborhood dealings were all such as only the frontier brings. Insensibly they were themselves changed. The strange life became familiar; their adjustment to it was at length unconscious and without effort; they had no plans which were not inseparably a part and a product of it. But, until they had turned their backs once for all upon the sea; until they saw their western borders cleared of the French; until the mountain passes had grown familiar, and the lands beyond the central and constant theme of their hope, the goal and dream of their young men, they did not become an American people.

When they did, the great determining movement of our history began. The very visages of the people changed. That alert movement of the eye, that openness to every thought of enterprise or adventure, that nomadic habit which knows no fixed home and has plans ready to be carried any whither,—all the marks of the authentic type of the "American" as we know him came into our life. The crack of the whip and the song of the teamster, the heaving chorus of boatmen poling their heavy rafts upon the rivers, the laughter of the camp, the sound of bodies of men in the still forests, became the characteristic notes in our air. A roughened race, embrowned in the sun, hardened in manner by a coarse life of change and danger, loving the rude woods and the crack of the rifle, living to begin something new every day, striking with the broad and open hand, delicate in nothing but the touch of the trigger, leaving cities in its track as if by accident rather than design, settling again to the steady ways of a fixed life only when it must: such [Pg 259]was the American people whose achievement it was to be to take possession of their continent from end to end ere their national government was a single century old. The picture is a very singular one! Settled life and wild side by side: civilization frayed at the edges,—taken forward in rough and ready fashion, with a song and a swagger,—not by statesmen, but by woodsmen and drovers, with axes and whips and rifles in their hands, clad in buckskin, like huntsmen.

It has been said that we have here repeated some of the first processes of history; that the life and methods of our frontiersmen take us back to the fortunes and hopes of the men who crossed Europe when her forests, too, were still thick upon her. But the difference is really very fundamental, and much more worthy of remark than the likeness. Those shadowy masses of men whom we see moving upon the face of the earth in the far-away, questionable days when states were forming: even those stalwart figures we see so well as they emerge from the deep forests of Germany, to displace the Roman in all his western provinces and set up the states we know and marvel upon at this day, show us men working their new work at their own level. They do not turn back a long cycle of years from the old and settled states, the ordered cities, the tilled fields, and the elaborated governments of an ancient civilization, to begin as it were once more at the beginning. They carry alike their homes and their states with them in the camp and upon the ordered march of the host. They are men of the forest, or else men hardened always to take the sea in open boats. They live no more roughly in the new lands than in the old. The world has been frontier for them from the first. They may go forward [Pg 260]with their life in these new seats from where they left off in the old. How different the circumstances of our first settlement and the building of new states on this side the sea! Englishmen, bred in law and ordered government ever since the Norman lawyers were followed a long five hundred years ago across the narrow seas by those masterful administrators of the strong Plantagenet race, leave an ancient realm and come into a wilderness where states have never been; leave a land of art and letters, which saw but yesterday "the spacious times of great Elizabeth," where Shakespeare still lives in the gracious leisure of his closing days at Stratford, where cities teem with trade and men go bravely dight in cloth of gold, and turn back six centuries,—nay, a thousand years and more,—to the first work of building states in a wilderness! They bring the steadied habits and sobered thoughts of an ancient realm into the wild air of an untouched continent. The weary stretches of a vast sea lie, like a full thousand years of time, between them and the life in which till now all their thought was bred. Here they stand, as it were, with all their tools left behind, centuries struck out of their reckoning, driven back upon the long dormant instincts and forgotten craft of their race, not used this long age. Look how singular a thing: the work of a primitive race, the thought of a civilized! Hence the strange, almost grotesque groupings of thought and affairs in that first day of our history. Subtle politicians speak the phrases and practice the arts of intricate diplomacy from council chambers placed within log huts within a clearing. Men in ruffs and lace and polished shoe-buckles thread the lonely glades of primeval forests. The microscopical distinctions of the schools, [Pg 261]the thin notes of a metaphysical theology are woven in and out through the labyrinths of grave sermons that run hours long upon the still air of the wilderness. Belief in dim refinements of dogma is made the test for man or woman who seeks admission to a company of pioneers. When went there by an age since the great flood when so singular a thing was seen as this: thousands of civilized men suddenly rusticated and bade do the work of primitive peoples,—Europe frontiered!

Of course there was a deep change wrought, if not in these men, at any rate in their children; and every generation saw the change deepen. It must seem to every thoughtful man a notable thing how, while the change was wrought, the simples of things complex were revealed in the clear air of the New World: how all accidentals seemed to fall away from the structure of government, and the simple first principles were laid bare that abide always; how social distinctions were stripped off, shown to be the mere cloaks and masks they were, and every man brought once again to a clear realization of his actual relations to his fellows! It was as if trained and sophisticated men had been rid of a sudden of their sophistication and of all the theory of their life, and left with nothing but their discipline of faculty, a schooled and sobered instinct. And the fact that we kept always, for close upon three hundred years, a like element in our life, a frontier people always in our van, is, so far, the central and determining fact of our national history. "East" and "West," an ever-changing line, but an unvarying experience and a constant leaven of change working always within the body of our folk. Our political, our economic, our social life has felt this potent influence [Pg 262]from the wild border all our history through. The "West" is the great word of our history. The "Westerner" has been the type and master of our American life. Now at length, as I have said, we have lost our frontier; our front lies almost unbroken along all the great coast line of the western sea. The Westerner, in some day soon to come, will pass out of our life, as he so long ago passed out of the life of the Old World. Then a new epoch will open for us. Perhaps it has opened already. Slowly we shall grow old, compact our people, study the delicate adjustments of an intricate society, and ponder the niceties, as we have hitherto pondered the bulks and structural framework, of government. Have we not, indeed, already come to these things? But the past we know. We can "see it steady and see it whole"; and its central movement and motive are gross and obvious to the eye.

Till the first century of the Constitution is rounded out we stand all the while in the presence of that stupendous westward movement which has filled the continent: so vast, so various, at times so tragical, so swept by passion. Through all the long time there has been a line of rude settlements along our front wherein the same tests of power and of institutions were still being made that were made first upon the sloping banks of the rivers of old Virginia and within the long sweep of the Bay of Massachusetts. The new life of the West has reacted all the while—who shall say how powerfully?—upon the older life of the East; and yet the East has moulded the West as if she sent forward to it through every decade of the long process the chosen impulses and suggestions of history. The West has taken strength, thought, training, selected aptitudes out of the old treasures of the East,—as if [Pg 263]out of a new Orient; while the East has itself been kept fresh, vital, alert, originative by the West, her blood quickened all the while, her youth through every age renewed. Who can say in a word, in a sentence, in a volume, what destinies have been variously wrought, with what new examples of growth and energy, while, upon this unexampled scale, community has passed beyond community across the vast reaches of this great continent!


Jamestown:—A town in Virginia, the site of the first English settlement in America (1607).

Appomattox:—In 1865 Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.

epic:—A long narrative poem recounting in a stirring way some great series of events.

Governor Spotswood:—Governor of Virginia in the early part of the eighteenth century.

Knights of the Golden Horseshoe:—In 1716 an exploring expedition under Governor Spotswood made a journey across the Blue Ridge. The Governor gave each member of the party a gold horseshoe, as a souvenir.

Celts:—One of the early Aryan races of southwestern Europe; the Welsh and the Highland Scotch are descended from the Celts.

Slavs:—The race of people inhabiting Russia, Poland, Bohemia, and Servia.

Latin races:—The French, Spanish, and Italian people, whose languages are derived chiefly from the Latin.

Orient:—The far East—India, China, Japan, etc.

Norman:—The Norman-French from northern France had been in possession of England for the greater part of a century (1066-1154) when Henry, son of a Saxon princess and a French duke (Geoffrey of Anjou) came to England as Henry II, the first of the Plantagenet line of English kings.

Stratford:—A small town on the Avon River in England; the birthplace of Shakespeare.

dight:—Clothed. (What does an unabridged dictionary say [Pg 264]about this word? Is it commonly used nowadays? Was it used in Shakespeare's time? Why does the author use it here?)

see it steady and see it whole:—A quotation from the works of Matthew Arnold, an English poet and critic.


What has been the disadvantage of having our history written by New England men? Do you know what particular New England men have written of American history? What state is President Wilson from? What is meant by the "Suppression of the South"? Why does the author put in the phrase "we have learned"? Does he believe what he is saying? Show where he makes his own view clear. What "story" is it that one "almost wishes" were true? Went out from the North: Where? How are the Northerners and the Southerners changed after they have gone West? What "new temper" do they have? How do they show their "impatience of restraint"? What eastern mountains are meant here? How did our nation gain new life when the pioneers looked westward from the eastern ridges? Why are we spoken of as a "great compounded nation"? What are our "mighty works of peace"? The author now shows how the Middle Seaboard States were a type of the later form of the nation, because they had a mixed population. What does he think about the influence of the Puritan and the Southerner? Note the questions that he asks regarding the course of American history. See how he answers them in the pages that follow. Why does he say that the first frontiersmen were "timid"? When, according to the author, did the "great determining movement" of our history begin? Why does he call the picture that he draws a "singular" one? What is meant by "civilization frayed at the edges"? How do the primitive conditions of our nation differ from the earliest beginnings of the European nations? (See the long passage beginning "How different.") What is meant by "Europe frontiered"? Look carefully on page 261, to see what the author says is "the central and determining fact of our national history." What is the "great word" of our history? Has the author answered the questions he set for himself on page 256? What is happening to us as a nation now that we have lost our frontier? What is the relation between the East and the West? Perhaps you will like [Pg 265]to go on and read some more of this essay, from which we have here only a selection. Do you like what the author has said? What do you think of the way in which he has said it?


Life in the Wilderness
The Log Cabin
La Salle
My Friend from the West
My Friend from the East
Crossing the Mountains
Early Days in our State
An Encounter with the Indians
The Coming of the Railroad
Daniel Boone
A Home on the Prairies
Cutting down the Forest
The Homesteader
A Frontier Town
Life on a Western Ranch
The Old Settler
Some Stories of the Early Days
Moving West
Lewis and Clark
The Pioneer
The Old Settlers' Picnic
"Home-coming Day" in our Town
An Explorer
My Trip through the West (or the East)
The President


La Salle:—Look up, in Parkman's La Salle or elsewhere, the facts of La Salle's life. Make very brief mention of his life in France. Contrast it with his experiences in America. What were his reasons for becoming an explorer? Give an account of one of his expeditions: his plans; his preparations; his companions; his hardships; his struggles to establish a fort; his return to Canada for help; his failure or success. Perhaps you will want to write of his last expedition, and its unfortunate ending. Speak of his character as a man and an explorer. Show briefly the results of his endeavors.

Daniel Boone:—Look up the adventures of Daniel Boone, and tell some of them in a lively way. Perhaps you can imagine his telling them in his own words to a settler or a companion. In that case, try to put in the questions and the comments of the other person. This will make a kind of dramatic conversation.

Early Days in our State:—With a few changes, you can use the outline given on page 249 for "Early Days in our County."

[Pg 266]An Encounter with the Indians:—Tell a story that you have heard or imagined, about some one's escape from the Indians. How did the hero happen to get into such a perilous situation? Briefly describe his surroundings. Tell of his first knowledge that the Indians were about to attack him. What did he do? How did he feel? Describe the Indians. Tell what efforts the hero made to get away or to protect himself. Make the account of his action brief and lively. Try to keep him before the reader all the time. Now and then explain what was going on in his mind. This is often a good way to secure suspense. Tell very clearly how the hero succeeded in escaping, and what his difficulties were in getting away from the spot. Condense the account of what took place after his actual escape. Where did he take refuge? Was he much the worse for his adventure?


[Pg 267]

The Course of American History (in Mere Literature)Woodrow Wilson
The Life of George Washington    "        "
The Winning of the WestTheodore Roosevelt
Stories of the Great West    "        "
Hero Tales from American HistoryRoosevelt and Lodge
The Great Salt Lake TrailInman and Cody
The Old Santa Fé TrailH. Inman
Rocky Mountain ExplorationReuben G. Thwaites
Daniel Boone    "        "
How George Rogers Clark Won the Northwest    "        "
Daniel Boone and the Wilderness RoadH.A. Bruce
The CrossingWinston Churchill
The Conquest of Arid AmericaW.E. Smythe
The Last American FrontierF.L. Paxon
Northwestern Fights and FightersCyrus Townsend Brady
Western Frontier StoriesThe Century Company
The Story of TontyMary Hartwell Catherwood
Heroes of the Middle West    "        "
Pony TracksFrederic Remington
The Different WestA.E. Bostwick
The Expedition of Lewis and ClarkJ.K. Hosmer
The Trail of Lewis and ClarkO.D. Wheeler
The Discovery of the Old NorthwestJames Baldwin
Boots and SaddlesElizabeth Custer
La Salle and the Discovery of the Great WestFrancis Parkman
The Oregon Trail    "        "
Samuel HoustonHenry Bruce
The Story of the RailroadCy Warman
The PioneersWalt Whitman
The Story of the CowboyEmerson Hough
Woodrow WilsonW.B. Hale
Recollections of Thirteen PresidentsJohn S. Wise
Presidential ProblemsGrover Cleveland
The Story of the White HouseEsther Singleton

[Pg 268]



(From My Summer in a Garden)


I am more and more impressed with the moral qualities of vegetables, and contemplate forming a science which shall rank with comparative anatomy and comparative philology,—the science of comparative vegetable morality. We live in an age of protoplasm. And, if life-matter is essentially the same in all forms of life, I purpose to begin early, and ascertain the nature of the plants for which I am responsible. I will not associate with any vegetable which is disreputable, or has not some quality that can contribute to my moral growth. I do not care to be seen much with the squashes or the dead-beets....

This matter of vegetable rank has not been at all studied as it should be. Why do we respect some vegetables, and despise others, when all of them come to an equal honor or ignominy on the table? The bean is a graceful, confiding, engaging vine; but you never can put beans into poetry, nor into the highest sort of prose. There is no dignity in the bean. Corn, which in my garden grows alongside the bean, and, so far as I can see, with no affectation of superiority, is, however, the child of song. It waves in all literature. But mix it with beans, and its high tone is gone. Succotash is vulgar. It is the bean in it. The bean is a vulgar vegetable, without culture, or any flavor of high society among vegetables. Then there is the cool [Pg 269]cucumber, like so many people,—good for nothing when it is ripe and the wildness has gone out of it. How inferior in quality it is to the melon, which grows upon a similar vine, is of a like watery consistency, but is not half so valuable! The cucumber is a sort of low comedian in a company where the melon is a minor gentleman. I might also contrast the celery with the potato. The associations are as opposite as the dining-room of the duchess and the cabin of the peasant. I admire the potato, both in vine and blossom; but it is not aristocratic. I began digging my potatoes, by the way, about the 4th of July; and I fancy I have discovered the right way to do it. I treat the potato just as I would a cow. I do not pull them up, and shake them out, and destroy them; but I dig carefully at the side of the hill, remove the fruit which is grown, leaving the vine undisturbed: and my theory is that it will go on bearing, and submitting to my exactions, until the frost cuts it down. It is a game that one would not undertake with a vegetable of tone.

The lettuce is to me a most interesting study. Lettuce is like conversation: it must be fresh and crisp, so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it. Lettuce, like most talkers, is, however, apt to run rapidly to seed. Blessed is that sort which comes to a head, and so remains, like a few people I know; growing more solid and satisfactory and tender at the same time, and whiter at the centre, and crisp in their maturity. Lettuce, like conversation, requires a good deal of oil, to avoid friction, and keep the company smooth; a pinch of attic salt; a dash of pepper; a quantity of mustard and vinegar, by all means, but so mixed that you will notice no sharp contrasts; and a trifle of sugar. You can put anything, and the more [Pg 270]things the better, into salad, as into a conversation; but everything depends upon the skill of mixing. I feel that I am in the best society when I am with lettuce. It is in the select circle of vegetables. The tomato appears well on the table; but you do not want to ask its origin. It is a most agreeable parvenu. Of course, I have said nothing about the berries. They live in another and more ideal region: except, perhaps, the currant. Here we see that, even among berries, there are degrees of breeding. The currant is well enough, clear as truth, and exquisite in color; but I ask you to notice how far it is from the exclusive hauteur of the aristocratic strawberry, and the native refinement of the quietly elegant raspberry.

I do not know that chemistry, searching for protoplasm, is able to discover the tendency of vegetables. It can only be found out by outward observation. I confess that I am suspicious of the bean, for instance. There are signs in it of an unregulated life. I put up the most attractive sort of poles for my Limas. They stand high and straight, like church-spires, in my theological garden,—lifted up; and some of them have even budded, like Aaron's rod. No church-steeple in a New England village was ever better fitted to draw to it the rising generation on Sunday than those poles to lift up my beans towards heaven. Some of them did run up the sticks seven feet, and then straggled off into the air in a wanton manner; but more than half of them went galivanting off to the neighboring grape-trellis, and wound their tendrils with the tendrils of the grape, with a disregard of the proprieties of life which is a satire upon human nature. And the grape is morally no better. I think the ancients, who were not troubled [Pg 271]with the recondite mystery of protoplasm, were right in the mythic union of Bacchus and Venus.

Talk about the Darwinian theory of development and the principle of natural selection! I should like to see a garden let to run in accordance with it. If I had left my vegetables and weeds to a free fight, in which the strongest specimens only should come to maturity, and the weaker go to the wall, I can clearly see that I should have had a pretty mess of it. It would have been a scene of passion and license and brutality. The "pusley" would have strangled the strawberry; the upright corn, which has now ears to hear the guilty beating of the hearts of the children who steal the raspberries, would have been dragged to the earth by the wandering bean; the snake-grass would have left the place for the potatoes under ground; and the tomatoes would have been swamped by the lusty weeds. With a firm hand, I have had to make my own "natural selection." Nothing will so well bear watching as a garden except a family of children next door. Their power of selection beats mine. If they could read half as well as they can steal a while away, I should put up a notice, "Children, beware! There is Protoplasm here." But I suppose it would have no effect. I believe they would eat protoplasm as quick as anything else, ripe or green. I wonder if this is going to be a cholera-year. Considerable cholera is the only thing that would let my apples and pears ripen. Of course I do not care for the fruit; but I do not want to take the responsibility of letting so much "life-matter," full of crude and even wicked vegetable-human tendencies, pass into the composition of the neighbors' children, some of whom may be as immortal as snake-grass.

[Pg 272]There ought to be a public meeting about this, and resolutions, and perhaps a clambake. At least, it ought to be put into the catechism, and put in strong.


I think I have discovered the way to keep peas from the birds. I tried the scarecrow plan, in a way which I thought would outwit the shrewdest bird. The brain of the bird is not large; but it is all concentrated on one object, and that is the attempt to elude the devices of modern civilization which injure his chances of food. I knew that, if I put up a complete stuffed man, the bird would detect the imitation at once; the perfection of the thing would show him that it was a trick. People always overdo the matter when they attempt deception. I therefore hung some loose garments, of a bright color, upon a rake-head, and set them up among the vines. The supposition was, that the bird would think there was an effort to trap him, that there was a man behind, holding up these garments, and would sing, as he kept at a distance, "You can't catch me with any such double device." The bird would know, or think he knew, that I would not hang up such a scare, in the expectation that it would pass for a man, and deceive a bird; and he would therefore look for a deeper plot. I expected to outwit the bird by a duplicity that was simplicity itself. I may have over-calculated the sagacity and reasoning power of the bird. At any rate, I did over-calculate the amount of peas I should gather.

But my game was only half played. In another part of the garden were other peas, growing and blowing. To these I took good care not to attract the attention [Pg 273]of the bird by any scarecrow whatever! I left the old scarecrow conspicuously flaunting above the old vines; and by this means I hope to keep the attention of the birds confined to that side of the garden. I am convinced that this is the true use of a scarecrow: it is a lure, and not a warning. If you wish to save men from any particular vice, set up a tremendous cry of warning about some other, and they will all give their special efforts to the one to which attention is called. This profound truth is about the only thing I have yet realized out of my pea-vines.

However, the garden does begin to yield. I know of nothing that makes one feel more complacent, in these July days, than to have his vegetables from his own garden. What an effect it has on the market-man and the butcher! It is a kind of declaration of independence. The market-man shows me his peas and beets and tomatoes, and supposes he shall send me out some with the meat. "No, I thank you," I say carelessly: "I am raising my own this year." Whereas I have been wont to remark, "Your vegetables look a little wilted this weather," I now say, "What a fine lot of vegetables you've got!" When a man is not going to buy, he can afford to be generous. To raise his own vegetables makes a person feel, somehow, more liberal. I think the butcher is touched by the influence, and cuts off a better roast for me. The butcher is my friend when he sees that I am not wholly dependent on him.

It is at home, however, that the effect is most marked, though sometimes in a way that I had not expected. I have never read of any Roman supper that seemed to me equal to a dinner of my own vegetables, when everything on the table is the product of my own labor, [Pg 274]except the clams, which I have not been able to raise yet, and the chickens, which have withdrawn from the garden just when they were most attractive. It is strange what a taste you suddenly have for things you never liked before. The squash has always been to me a dish of contempt; but I eat it now as if it were my best friend. I never cared for the beet or the bean; but I fancy now that I could eat them all, tops and all, so completely have they been transformed by the soil in which they grew. I think the squash is less squashy, and the beet has a deeper hue of rose, for my care of them.

I had begun to nurse a good deal of pride in presiding over a table whereon was the fruit of my honest industry. But woman!—John Stuart Mill is right when he says that we do not know anything about women. Six thousand years is as one day with them. I thought I had something to do with those vegetables.

But when I saw Polly seated at her side of the table, presiding over the new and susceptible vegetables, flanked by the squash and the beans, and smiling upon the green corn and the new potatoes, as cool as the cucumbers which lay sliced in ice before her, and when she began to dispense the fresh dishes, I saw at once that the day of my destiny was over. You would have thought that she owned all the vegetables, and had raised them all from their earliest years. Such quiet, vegetable airs! Such gracious appropriation!

At length I said,—

"Polly, do you know who planted that squash, or those squashes?"

"James, I suppose."

"Well, yes, perhaps James did plant them to a certain extent. But who hoed them?"

[Pg 275]"We did."

"We did!" I said in the most sarcastic manner. "And I suppose we put on the sackcloth and ashes, when the striped bug came at four o'clock, a.m., and we watched the tender leaves, and watered night and morning the feeble plants. I tell you, Polly," said I, uncorking the Bordeaux raspberry vinegar, "there is not a pea here that does not represent a drop of moisture wrung from my brow, not a beet that does not stand for a backache, not a squash that has not caused me untold anxiety, and I did hope—but I will say no more."

Observation.—In this sort of family discussion, "I will say no more" is the most effective thing you can close up with.

I am not an alarmist. I hope I am as cool as anybody this hot summer. But I am quite ready to say to Polly or any other woman, "You can have the ballot; only leave me the vegetables, or, what is more important, the consciousness of power in vegetables." I see how it is. Woman is now supreme in the house. She already stretches out her hand to grasp the garden. She will gradually control everything. Woman is one of the ablest and most cunning creatures who have ever mingled in human affairs. I understand those women who say they don't want the ballot. They purpose to hold the real power while we go through the mockery of making laws. They want the power without the responsibility. (Suppose my squash had not come up, or my beans—as they threatened at one time—had gone the wrong way: where would I have been?) We are to be held to all the responsibilities. Woman takes the lead in all the departments, leaving us politics only. And what is politics? Let me raise [Pg 276]the vegetables of a nation, says Polly, and I care not who makes its politics. Here I sat at the table, armed with the ballot, but really powerless among my own vegetables. While we are being amused by the ballot, woman is quietly taking things into her own hands.


comparative philology:—The comparison of words from different languages, for the purpose of seeing what relationships can be found.

protoplasm:—"The physical basis of life"; the substance which passes life on from one vegetable or animal to another.

attic salt:—The delicate wit of the Athenians, who lived in the state of Attica, in Greece.

parvenu:—A French word meaning an upstart who tries to force himself into good society.

Aaron's rod:—See Numbers, 17:1-10.

Bacchus and Venus:—Bacchus was the Greek god of wine; Venus was the Greek goddess of love.

Darwinian theory:—Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) was a great English scientist who proved that the higher forms of life have developed from the lower.

natural selection:—One of Darwin's theories, to the effect that nature weeds out the weak and unfit, leaving the others to continue the species; the result is called "the survival of the fittest."

steal a while away:—A quotation from a well known hymn beginning,—

I love to steal a while away
From every cumbering care.

It was written in 1829, by Deodatus Dutton.

Roman supper:—The Romans were noted for the extravagance of their evening meals, at which all sorts of delicacies were served.

John Stuart Mill:—An English philosopher (1806-1873). He wrote about theories of government.

Polly:—The author's wife.

the day of my destiny:—A quotation from Lord Byron's poem, Stanzas to Augusta [his sister]. The lines run:—

[Pg 277] Though the day of my destiny's over,
And the star of my fate hath declined,
Thy soft heart refused to discover
The faults that so many could find.

sack-cloth and ashes:—In old Jewish times, a sign of grief or mourning. See Esther, 4:1; Isaiah, 58:5.

Bordeaux:—A province in France noted for its wine.


The author is writing of the ninth and tenth weeks of his work; he now has time to stop and moralize about his garden. Do not take what he says too seriously; look for the fun in it. Is he in earnest about the moral qualities of vegetables? Why cannot the bean figure in poetry and romance? Can you name any prose or verse in which corn does? Explain what is said about the resemblance of some people to cucumbers. Why is celery more aristocratic than potato? Is "them" the right word in the sentence: "I do not pull them up"? Explain what is meant by the paragraph on salads. Why is the tomato a "parvenu"? Does the author wish to cast a slur on the Darwinian theory? Is it true that moral character is influenced by what one eats? What is the catechism? What do you think of the author's theories about scarecrows? About "saving men from any particular vice"? Why does raising one's own vegetables make one feel generous? How does the author pass from vegetables to woman suffrage? Is he in earnest in what he says? What does one get out of a selection like this?


My Summer on a Farm
A Garden on the Roof
The Truck Garden
My First Attempt at Gardening
Planting Time
The Watermelon Patch
Weeding the Garden
Visiting in the Country
Getting Rid of the Insects
School Gardens
A Window-box Garden
Some Weeds of our Vicinity
The Scarecrow
Going to Market
"Votes for Women"
How Women Rule
A Suffrage Meeting
Why I Believe [or do not Believe] in Woman's Suffrage
The "Militants"
[Pg 278]


My First Attempt at Gardening:—Tell how you came to make the garden. Was there any talk about it before it was begun? What were your plans concerning it? Did you spend any time in consulting seed catalogues? Tell about buying (or otherwise securing) the seeds. If you got them from some more experienced gardener than yourself, report the talk about them. Tell how you made the ground ready; how you planted the seeds. Take the reader into your confidence as to your hopes and uncertainties when the sprouts began to appear. Did the garden suffer any misfortunes from the frost, or the drought, or the depredations of the hens? Can you remember any conversation about it? Tell about the weeding, and what was said when it became necessary. Trace the progress of the garden; tell of its success or failure as time went on. What did you do with the products? Did any one praise or make fun of you? How did you feel? Did you want to have another garden?

The Scarecrow:—You might speak first about the garden—its prosperity and beauty, and the fruit or vegetables that it was producing. Then speak about the birds, and tell how they acted and what they did. Did you try driving them away? What was said about them? Now tell about the plans for the scarecrow. Give an account of how it was set up, and what clothes were put on it. How did it look? What was said about it? Give one or two incidents (real or imaginary) in which it was concerned. Was it of any use? How long did it remain in its place?

Votes for Women:—There are several ways in which you could deal with this subject:—

(a) If you have seen a suffrage parade, you might describe it and tell how it impressed you. (b) Perhaps you could write of some particular person who was interested in votes for women: How did she [or he] look, and what did she say? (c) Report a lecture on suffrage. (d) Give two or three arguments for or against woman's suffrage; do not try to take up too many, but deal with each rather completely. (e) Imagine two people talking together about suffrage—for instance, two old men; a man [Pg 279]and a woman; a young woman and an old one; a child and a grown person; two children. (f) Imagine the author of the selection and his wife Polly talking about suffrage at the dinner table.


My Summer in a GardenCharles Dudley Warner
Being a Boy    "        "        "
In the Wilderness    "        "        "
My Winter on the Nile    "        "        "
On Horseback    "        "        "
Back-log Studies    "        "        "
A Journey to NatureA.C. Wheeler
The Making of a Country Home    "        "
A Self-supporting HomeKate V. St. Maur
Folks back HomeEugene Wood
Adventures in ContentmentDavid Grayson
Adventures in Friendship    "        "
The Friendly Road    "        "
New Lives for OldWilliam Carleton
A Living without a BossAnonymous
The Fat of the LandJ.W. Streeter
The Jonathan PapersElizabeth Woodbridge
Adopting an Abandoned FarmKate Sanborn
Out-door StudiesT.W. Higginson
The Women of AmericaElizabeth McCracken
The Country HomeE.P. Powell
Blessing the Cornfields (in Hiawatha)H.W. Longfellow
The Corn Song (in The Huskers)J.G. Whittier
Charles Dudley Warner (in American Writers of To-day, pp. 89-103)H.C. Vedder

[Pg 280]




He sang above the vineyards of the world.
And after him the vines with woven hands
Clambered and clung, and everywhere unfurled
Triumphing green above the barren lands;
Till high as gardens grow, he climbed, he stood,
Sun-crowned with life and strength, and singing toil,
And looked upon his work; and it was good:
The corn, the wine, the oil.
He sang above the noon. The topmost cleft
That grudged him footing on the mountain scars
He planted and despaired not; till he left
His vines soft breathing to the host of stars.
He wrought, he tilled; and even as he sang,
The creatures of his planting laughed to scorn
The ancient threat of deserts where there sprang
The wine, the oil, the corn!
He sang not for abundance.—Over-lords
Took of his tilth. Yet was there still to reap,
The portion of his labor; dear rewards
Of sunlit day, and bread, and human sleep.
He sang for strength; for glory of the light.
He dreamed above the furrows, 'They are mine!'
When all he wrought stood fair before his sight
With corn, and oil, and wine.
Truly, the light is sweet
[Pg 281] Yea, and a pleasant thing
It is to see the Sun.
And that a man should eat
His bread that he hath won;—
(So is it sung and said),
That he should take and keep,
After his laboring,
The portion of his labor in his bread,
His bread that he hath won;
Yea, and in quiet sleep,
When all is done.
He sang; above the burden and the heat,
Above all seasons with their fitful grace;
Above the chance and change that led his feet
To this last ambush of the Market-place.
'Enough for him,' they said—and still they say—
'A crust, with air to breathe, and sun to shine;
He asks no more!'—Before they took away
The corn, the oil, the wine.
He sang. No more he sings now, anywhere.
Light was enough, before he was undone.
They knew it well, who took away the air,
—Who took away the sun;
Who took, to serve their soul-devouring greed,
Himself, his breath, his bread—the goad of toil;—
Who have and hold, before the eyes of Need,
The corn, the wine,—the oil!
Truly, one thing is sweet
Of things beneath the Sun;
[Pg 282] This, that a man should earn his bread and eat,
Rejoicing in his work which he hath done.
What shall be sung or said
Of desolate deceit,
When others take his bread;
His and his children's bread?
And the laborer hath none.
This, for his portion now, of all that he hath done.
He earns; and others eat.
He starves;—they sit at meat
Who have taken away the Sun.


Seek him now, that singing Man.
Look for him,
Look for him
In the mills,
In the mines;
Where the very daylight pines,—
He, who once did walk the hills!
You shall find him, if you scan
Shapes all unbefitting Man,
Bodies warped, and faces dim.
In the mines; in the mills
Where the ceaseless thunder fills
Spaces of the human brain
Till all thought is turned to pain.
Where the skirl of wheel on wheel,
Grinding him who is their tool,
Makes the shattered senses reel
To the numbness of the fool.
Perisht thought, and halting tongue—
(Once it spoke;—once it sung!)
[Pg 283] Live to hunger, dead to song.
Only heart-beats loud with wrong
Hammer on,—How long?
... How long?How long?
Search for him;
Search for him;
Where the crazy atoms swim
Up the fiery furnace-blast.
You shall find him, at the last,—
He whose forehead braved the sun,—
Wreckt and tortured and undone.
Where no breath across the heat
Whispers him that life was sweet;
But the sparkles mock and flare,
Scattering up the crooked air.
(Blackened with that bitter mirk,—
Would God know His handiwork?)
Thought is not for such as he;
Naught but strength, and misery;
Since, for just the bite and sup,
Life must needs be swallowed up.
Only, reeling up the sky,
Hurtling flames that hurry by,
Gasp and flare, with WhyWhy,
... Why?...
Why the human mind of him
Shrinks, and falters and is dim
When he tries to make it out:
What the torture is about.—
Why he breathes, a fugitive
Whom the World forbids to live.
[Pg 284] Why he earned for his abode,
Habitation of the toad!
Why his fevered day by day
Will not serve to drive away
Horror that must always haunt:—
... Want ... Want!
Nightmare shot with waking pangs;—
Tightening coil, and certain fangs,
Close and closer, always nigh ...
... Why?... Why?
Why he labors under ban
That denies him for a man.
Why his utmost drop of blood
Buys for him no human good;
Why his utmost urge of strength
Only lets Them starve at length;—
Will not let him starve alone;
He must watch, and see his own
Fade and fail, and starve, and die.
. . . . . . .
... Why?... Why?
. . . . . . .
Heart-beats, in a hammering song,
Heavy as an ox may plod,
Goaded—goaded—faint with wrong,
Cry unto some ghost of God
... How long?... How long?
... How long?


Seek him yet. Search for him!
You shall find him, spent and grim;
[Pg 285] In the prisons, where we pen
These unsightly shards of men.
Sheltered fast;
Housed at length;
Clothed and fed, no matter how!—
Where the householders, aghast,
Measure in his broken strength
Nought but power for evil, now.
Beast-of-burden drudgeries
Could not earn him what was his:
He who heard the world applaud
Glories seized by force and fraud,
He must break,—he must take!—
Both for hate and hunger's sake.
He must seize by fraud and force;
He must strike, without remorse!
Seize he might; but never keep.
Strike, his once!—Behold him here.
(Human life we buy so cheap,
Who should know we held it dear?)
No denial,—no defence
From a brain bereft of sense,
Any more than penitence.
But the heart-beats now, that plod
Goaded—goaded—dumb with wrong,
Ask not even a ghost of God
... How long?
When the Sea gives up its dead,
Prison caverns, yield instead
This, rejected and despised;
This, the Soiled and Sacrificed!
[Pg 286] Without form or comeliness;
Shamed for us that did transgress
Bruised, for our iniquities,
With the stripes that are all his!
Face that wreckage, you who can.
It was once the Singing Man.


Must it be?—Must we then
Render back to God again
This His broken work, this thing,
For His man that once did sing?
Will not all our wonders do?
Gifts we stored the ages through,
(Trusting that He had forgot)—
Gifts the Lord requirèd not?
Would the all-but-human serve!
Monsters made of stone and nerve;
Towers to threaten and defy
Curse or blessing of the sky;
Shafts that blot the stars with smoke;
Lightnings harnessed under yoke;
Sea-things, air-things, wrought with steel,
That may smite, and fly, and feel!
Oceans calling each to each;
Hostile hearts, with kindred speech.
Every work that Titans can;
Every marvel: save a man,
Who might rule without a sword.—
Is a man more precious, Lord?
Can it be?—Must we then
Render back to Thee again
[Pg 287] Million, million wasted men?
Men, of flickering human breath,
Only made for life and death?
Ah, but see the sovereign Few,
Highly favored, that remain!
These, the glorious residue,
Of the cherished race of Cain.
These, the magnates of the age,
High above the human wage,
Who have numbered and possesst
All the portion of the rest!
What are all despairs and shames,
What the mean, forgotten names
Of the thousand more or less,
For one surfeit of success?
For those dullest lives we spent,
Take these Few magnificent!
For that host of blotted ones,
Take these glittering central suns.
Few;—but how their lustre thrives
On the million broken lives!
Splendid, over dark and doubt,
For a million souls gone out!
These, the holders of our hoard,—
Wilt thou not accept them, Lord?


Oh in the wakening thunders of the heart,
—The small lost Eden, troubled through the night,
[Pg 288] Sounds there not now,—forboded and apart,
Some voice and sword of light?
Some voice and portent of a dawn to break?—
Searching like God, the ruinous human shard
Of that lost Brother-man Himself did make,
And Man himself hath marred?
It sounds!—And may the anguish of that birth
Seize on the world; and may all shelters fail,
Till we behold new Heaven and new Earth
Through the rent Temple-vail!
When the high-tides that threaten near and far
To sweep away our guilt before the sky,—
Flooding the waste of this dishonored Star,
Cleanse, and o'ewhelm, and cry!
Cry, from the deep of world-accusing waves,
With longing more than all since Light began,
Above the nations,—underneath the graves,—
'Give back the Singing Man!'


and it was good:—Genesis, 1:31: "And God saw all that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

the ancient threat of deserts:—Isaiah, 35:1-2: "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."

after his laboring:—Luke, 10:7, and 1st Timothy, 5:18: "The laborer is worthy of his hire."

portion of his labor:—Ecclesiastes, 2:10: "For my heart rejoiced in my labor; and this was my portion of all my labor."

the light is sweet:—Ecclesiastes, 11:7: "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."

How long:—Revelation, 6:10: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"[Pg 289]

when the sea:—Revelation, 20:13: "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it."

rejected and despised:—For this and the remainder of the stanza, see Isaiah, 53.

Titans:—In Greek mythology, powerful and troublesome giants.

Cain:—See the story of Cain, Genesis, 4:2-16.

searching like God:—Genesis, 4:9: "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not! Am I my brother's keeper?"

Temple-vail:—At the death of Christ, the vail of the temple was rent; see Matthew, 27:51.


Read the poem slowly and thoughtfully. The "singing man" is the laborer who, in days gone by, was happy in his work. People were not crowded into great cities, and there was more simple out-door labor than there is now, and less strife for wealth.

Above the vineyards: In Europe, vineyards are often planted on the slopes of hills and mountains. What ancient country do you think of in connection with "the corn [grain], the oil, the wine"? Were the laborers happy in that country? What were the "creatures" of man's planting (second stanza)? What was the "ancient threat" of deserts? Of what kind of deserts, as described here? Of what deserts would this be true after the rainy season? Laughed to scorn: Does this mean "outdid"? Mentally insert the word something after still in the second line of the third stanza. If the laborer in times gone by did not sing for abundance, what did he sing for (stanza three)? The verses in italics are a kind of refrain, as if the laborer were singing to himself. So is it said and sung refers to the fact that these lines are adapted from passages in the Bible. This last ambush: What does the author mean here by suggesting that the laborer has been entrapped? Who are "they" in the line "'Enough for him,' they said"? How did they take away "the corn, the oil, the wine"? How did they take away "the air and the sun"?[Pg 290] Who now has the product of the workman's toil? What are "the eyes of Need"? Is it true that one may work hard and still be in need? If it is true, who is to blame? What are "dim" faces? Why does the author begin the word Man with a capital? What effect does too much hard work have upon the laborer? What is "the crooked air"? Who is represented as saying Why? How does the world forbid the laborer to live? Why are there dotted lines before and after Why and What and How long? Who are meant by Them in the line beginning "Only lets"? Why does the author say that the prisons are filled with ill-used laborers? What does she mean by saying that the prisoners are "bruised for our iniquities"? What is gained here by using the language of the Bible? The all-but-human means "almost intelligent"—referring to machinery. Does the author mean to praise the "sovereign Few"? Who are these "Few magnificent"? Are they really to blame for the sufferings of the poor? Himself in the line beginning "Of that lost," refers to God. What is meant here by "a new Heaven and a new Earth"? What is "this dishonored Star"? What conditions does the author think will bring back the singing man? Are they possible conditions?

Re-read the poem, thinking of the author's protest against the sufferings of the poor and the selfishness of the rich. What do you think of the poem?


The Singing Man and Other PoemsJosephine Preston Peabody
The Piper    "        "        "
The Singing Leaves    "        "        "
Fortune and Men's Eyes    "        "        "
The Wolf of Gubbio    "        "        "
The Man with the HoeEdwin Markham

[Pg 291]



(From Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Volume I, Chapter VI)


At last, from the verge of an enormous ridge, the roadway suddenly slopes down into a vista of high peaked roofs of thatch and green-mossed eaves—into a village like a colored print out of old Hiroshige's picture-books, a village with all its tints and colors precisely like the tints and colors of the landscape in which it lies. This is Kami-Ichi, in the land of Hoki.

We halt before a quiet, dingy little inn, whose host, a very aged man, comes forth to salute me; while a silent, gentle crowd of villagers, mostly children and women, gather about the kuruma to see the stranger, to wonder at him, even to touch his clothes with timid smiling curiosity. One glance at the face of the old inn-keeper decides me to accept his invitation. I must remain here until to-morrow: my runners are too wearied to go farther to-night.

Weather-worn as the little inn seemed without, it is delightful within. Its polished stairway and balconies are speckless, reflecting like mirror-surfaces the bare feet of the maid-servants; its luminous rooms are fresh and sweet-smelling as when their soft mattings were first laid down. The carven pillars of the alcove (toko) in my chamber, leaves and flowers chiseled in some black rich wood, are wonders; and the kakemono or scroll-picture hanging there is an idyl, Hotei, God of Happiness, drifting in a bark down [Pg 292]some shadowy stream into evening mysteries of vapory purple. Far as this hamlet is from all art-centres, there is no object visible in the house which does not reveal the Japanese sense of beauty in form. The old gold-flowered lacquer-ware, the astonishing box in which sweetmeats (kwashi) are kept, the diaphanous porcelain wine-cups dashed with a single tiny gold figure of a leaping shrimp, the tea-cup holders which are curled lotus-leaves of bronze, even the iron kettle with its figurings of dragons and clouds, and the brazen hibachi whose handles are heads of Buddhist lions, delight the eye and surprise the fancy. Indeed, wherever to-day in Japan one sees something totally uninteresting in porcelain or metal, something commonplace and ugly, one may be almost sure that detestable something has been shaped under foreign influence. But here I am in ancient Japan; probably no European eyes ever looked upon these things before.

A window shaped like a heart peeps out upon the garden, a wonderful little garden with a tiny pond and miniature bridges and dwarf trees, like the landscape of a tea-cup; also some shapely stones of course, and some graceful stone lanterns, or tōrō, such as are placed in the courts of temples. And beyond these, through the warm dusk, I see lights, colored lights, the lanterns of the Bonku, suspended before each home to welcome the coming of beloved ghosts; for by the antique calendar, according to which in this antique place the reckoning of time is still made, this is the first night of the Festival of the Dead.

As in all other little country villages where I have been stopping, I find the people here kind to me with a kindness and a courtesy unimaginable, indescribable, unknown in any other country, and even in Japan [Pg 293]itself only in the interior. Their simple politeness is not an art; their goodness is absolutely unconscious goodness; both come straight from the heart. And before I have been two hours among these people, their treatment of me, coupled with the sense of my utter inability to repay such kindness, causes a wicked wish to come into my mind. I wish these charming folk would do me some unexpected wrong, something surprisingly evil, something atrociously unkind, so that I should not be obliged to regret them, which I feel sure I must begin to do as soon as I go away.

While the aged landlord conducts me to the bath, the wife prepares for us a charming little repast of rice, eggs, vegetables, and sweetmeats. She is painfully in doubt about her ability to please me, even after I have eaten enough for two men, and apologizes too much for not being able to offer me more.

"There is no fish," she says, "for to-day is the first day of the Bonku, the Festival of the Dead; being the thirteenth day of the month. On the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of the month nobody may eat fish. But on the morning of the sixteenth day, the fishermen go out to catch fish; and everybody who has both parents living may eat of it. But if one has lost one's father or mother then one must not eat fish, even upon the sixteenth day."

While the good soul is thus explaining I become aware of a strange remote sound from without, a sound I recognize through memory of tropical dances, a measured clapping of hands. But this clapping is very soft and at long intervals. And at still longer intervals there comes to us a heavy muffled booming, the tap of a great drum, a temple drum.

"Oh! we must go to see it," cries Akira; "it is the[Pg 294] Bon-odori, the Dance of the Festival of the Dead. And you will see the Bon-odori danced here as it is never danced in cities—the Bon-odori of ancient days. For customs have not changed here; but in the cities all is changed."

So I hasten out, wearing only, like the people about me, one of those light wide-sleeved summer robes—yukata—which are furnished to male guests at all Japanese hotels; but the air is so warm that even thus lightly clad, I find myself slightly perspiring. And the night is divine,—still, clear, vaster than the nights of Europe, with a big white moon flinging down queer shadows of tilted eaves and horned gables, and delightful silhouettes of robed Japanese. A little boy, the grandson of our host, leads the way with a crimson paper lantern; and the sonorous echoing of geta, the koro-koro of wooden sandals, fills all the street, for many are going whither we are going, to see the dance.

A little while we proceed along the main street; then, traversing a narrow passage between two houses, we find ourselves in a great open space flooded by moonlight. This is the dancing-place; but the dance has ceased for a time. Looking about me, I perceive that we are in the court of an ancient Buddhist temple. The temple building itself remains intact, a low, long peaked silhouette against the starlight; but it is void and dark and unhallowed now; it has been turned, they tell me, into a schoolhouse. The priests are gone; the great bell is gone; the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas have vanished, all save one,—a broken-handed Jizo of stone, smiling with eyelids closed, under the moon.

In the centre of the court is a framework of bamboo [Pg 295]supporting a great drum; and about it benches have been arranged, benches from the schoolhouse, on which the villagers are resting. There is a hum of voices, voices of people speaking very low, as if expecting something solemn; and cries of children betimes, and soft laughter of girls. And far behind the court, beyond a low hedge of sombre evergreen shrubs, I see soft white lights and a host of tall gray shapes throwing long shadows; and I know that the lights are the white lanterns of the dead (those hung in cemeteries only), and that the gray shapes are the shapes of tombs.

Suddenly a girl rises from her seat, and taps the huge drum once. It is the signal for the Dance of Souls.


Out of the shadow of the temple a professional line of dancers files into the moonlight and as suddenly halts,—all young women or girls, clad in their choicest attire; the tallest leads; her comrades follow in order of stature. Little maids of ten or twelve years compose the end of the procession. Figures lightly poised as birds,—figures that somehow recall the dreams of shapes circling about certain antique vases; those charming Japanese robes, close-clinging about the knees, might seem, but for the great fantastic drooping sleeves, and the curious broad girdles confining them, designed after the drawing of some Greek or Etruscan artist. And, at another tap of the drum, there begins a performance impossible to picture in words, something unimaginable, phantasmal,—a dance, an astonishment.

All together glide the right foot forward one pace, without lifting the sandal from the ground, and extend [Pg 296]both hands to the right, with a strange floating motion and a smiling, mysterious obeisance. Then the right foot is drawn back, with a repetition of the waving of hands and the mysterious bow. Then all advance the left foot and repeat the previous movements, half-turning to the left. Then all take two gliding paces forward, with a single simultaneous soft clap of the hands, and the first performance is reiterated, alternately to the right and left; all the sandaled feet gliding together, all the supple hands waving together, all the pliant bodies bowing and swaying together. And so slowly, weirdly, the processional movement changes into a great round, circling about the moon-lit court and around the voiceless crowd of spectators.

And always the white hands sinuously wave together, as if weaving spells, alternately without and within the round, now with palms upward, now with palms downward; and all the elfish sleeves hover duskily together, with a shadowing as of wings; and all the feet poise together with such a rhythm of complex motion, that, in watching it, one feels a sensation of hypnotism—as while striving to watch a flowing and shimmering of water.

And this soporous allurement is intensified by a dead hush. No one speaks, not even a spectator. And, in the long intervals between the soft clapping of hands, one hears only the shrilling of the crickets in the trees, and the shu-shu of sandals, lightly stirring the dust. Unto what, I ask myself, may this be likened? Unto nothing; yet it suggests some fancy of somnambulism,—dreamers, who dream themselves flying, dreaming upon their feet.

And there comes to me the thought that I am looking at something immemorially old, something belonging [Pg 297]to the unrecorded beginning of this Oriental life, perhaps to the crepuscular Kamiyo itself, to the magical Age of the Gods; a symbolism of motion whereof the meaning has been forgotten for innumerable years. Yet more and more unreal the spectacle appears, with silent smilings, with its silent bowings, as if obeisance to watchers invisible; and I find myself wondering whether, were I to utter but a whisper, all would not vanish forever, save the gray mouldering court and the desolate temple, and the broken statue of Jizo, smiling always the same mysterious smile I see upon the faces of the dancers.

Under the wheeling moon, in the midst of the round, I feel as one within the circle of a charm. And verily, this is enchantment; I am bewitched, by the ghostly weaving of hands, by the rhythmic gliding of feet, above all by the flittering of the marvellous sleeves—apparitional, soundless, velvety as a flitting of great tropical bats. No; nothing I ever dreamed of could be likened to this. And with the consciousness of the ancient hakaba behind me, and the weird invitation of its lanterns, and the ghostly beliefs of the hour and the place, there creeps upon me a nameless, tingling sense of being haunted. But no! these gracious, silent, waving, weaving shapes are not of the Shadowy Folk, for whose coming the white fires were kindled: a strain of song, full of sweet, clear quavering, like the call of a bird, gushes from some girlish mouth, and fifty soft voices join the chant:—

Sorota soroimashita odorikoga sorota,
Soroikita, kita hare yukata.

"Uniform to view [as ears of young rice ripening in the field] all clad alike in summer festal robes, the company of dancers have assembled."

[Pg 298]Again only the shrilling of the crickets, the shu-shu of feet, the gentle clapping; and the wavering hovering measure proceeds in silence, with mesmeric lentor,—with a strange grace, which by its very naïveté, seems as old as the encircling hills.

Those who sleep the sleep of centuries out there, under the gray stones where the white lanterns are, and their fathers, and the fathers of their fathers' fathers, and the unknown generations behind them, buried in cemeteries of which the place has been forgotten for a thousand years, doubtless looked upon a scene like this. Nay! the dust stirred by those young feet was human life, and so smiled and so sang under this self-same moon, "with woven paces and with waving hands."

Suddenly a deep male chant breaks the hush. Two giants have joined the round, and now lead it, two superb young mountain peasants nearly nude, towering head and shoulders above the whole of the assembly. Their kimono are rolled about their waists like girdles, leaving their bronzed limbs and torsos naked to the warm air; they wear nothing else save their immense straw hats, and white tabi, donned expressly for the festival. Never before among these people saw I such men, such thews; but their smiling beardless faces are comely and kindly as those of Japanese boys. They seem brothers, so like in frame, in movement, in the timbre of their voices, as they intone the same song:—

No demo yama demo ko wa umiokeyo,
Sen ryo kura yori ko ga takara.

"Whether brought forth upon the mountain or in the field, it matters nothing: more than a treasure of one thousand ryo, a baby precious is."

[Pg 299]And Jizo, the lover of children's ghosts, smiles across the silence.

Souls close to nature's Soul are these; artless and touching their thought, like the worship of that Kishibojin to whom wives pray. And after the silence, the sweet thin voices of the women answer:—

Oomu otoko ni sowa sanu oya wa,
Oyade gozaranu ko no kataki.

"The parents who will not allow their girl to be united with her lover; they are not the parents, but the enemies of their child."

And song follows song; and the round ever becomes larger; and the hours pass unfelt, unheard, while the moon wheels slowly down the blue steeps of the night.

A deep low boom rolls suddenly across the court, the rich tone of some temple bell telling the twelfth hour. Instantly the witchcraft ends, like the wonder of some dream broken by a sound; the chanting ceases; the round dissolves in an outburst of happy laughter, and chatting, and softly-voweled callings of flower-names which are names of girls, and farewell cries of "Sayonara!" as dancers and spectators alike betake themselves homeward, with a great koro-koro of getas.

And I, moving with the throng, in the bewildered manner of one suddenly roused from sleep, know myself ungrateful. These silvery-laughing folk who now toddle along beside me upon their noisy little clogs, stepping very fast to get a peep at my foreign face, these but a moment ago were visions of archaic grace, illusions of necromancy, delightful phantoms; and I feel a vague resentment against them for thus materializing into simple country-girls.[Pg 300]


Lafcadio Hearn, the author of this selection, took a four days' journey in a jinrikisha to the remote country district which he describes. He is almost the only foreigner who has ever entered the village.

Bon-odori:—The dance in honor of the dead.

Hiroshige:—A Japanese landscape painter of an early date.

kuruma:—A jinrikisha; a two-wheeled cart drawn by a man.

hibachi:—(hi bä' chi) A brazier.

Bonku:—The Festival of the Dead.

The memory of tropical dances:—Lafcadio Hearn had previously spent some years in the West Indies.

Akira:—The name of the guide who has drawn the kuruma in which the foreigner has come to the village. (See page 18 of Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.)

yukata:—Pronounced yu kä' ta.

geta:—Pronounced gēē' ta, not jēē' ta; high noisy wooden clogs. (See page 10 of Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.)

Buddhist:—One who believes in the doctrines of Gautama Siddartha, a religious teacher of the sixth century before Christ.

Buddha:—A statue representing the Buddha Siddartha in a very calm position, usually sitting cross-legged.

Bodhisattvas:—Pronounced bō di säht' vas; gods who have almost attained the perfection of Buddha (Gautama Siddartha).

Jizo:—A Japanese God. See page 297.

Etruscan:—Relating to Etruria, a division of ancient Italy. Etruscan vases have graceful figures upon them.

soporous:—Drowsy; sleep-producing.

crepuscular:—Relating to twilight.

Kamiyo:—The Age of the Gods in Japan.



"with woven paces," etc. See Tennyson's Idylls of the King: "With woven paces and with waving arms."

tabi:—White stockings with a division for the great toe.

ryo:—About fifty cents.

Kishibojin:—Pronounced ki shi bō' jin. (See page 96 of Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.)

Sayonara:—Good-bye.[Pg 301]


Read the selection through rather slowly. Do not be alarmed at the Japanese names: they are usually pronounced as they are spelled. Perhaps your teacher will be able to show you a Japanese print; at least you can see on a Japanese fan quaint villages such as are here described. What sort of face has the host? How does this Japanese inn differ from the American hotel? Does there seem to be much furniture? If the Americans had the same sense of beauty that the Japanese have, what changes would be made in most houses? Why does the foreign influence make the Japanese manufactures "uninteresting" and "detestable"? If you have been in a shop where Japanese wares are sold, tell what seemed most striking about the objects and their decoration. What is meant by "the landscape of a tea-cup"? Why does the author say so much about the remoteness of the village? See how the author uses picture-words and sound-words to make his description vivid. Note his use of contrasts. Why does he preface his account of the dance by the remark that it cannot be described in words? Is this a good method? How does the author make you feel the swing and rhythm of the dance? Do not try to pronounce the Japanese verses: Notice that they are translated. Why are the Japanese lines put in at all? Why does the author say that he is ungrateful at the last? Try to tell in a few sentences what are the good qualities of this selection. Make a little list of the devices that the author has used in order to make his descriptions vivid and his narration lively. Can you apply some of his methods to a short description of your own?


A Flower Festival
A Pageant
The May Fête
Dancing out of Doors
A Lawn Social
The Old Settlers' Picnic
The Russian Dancers
A Moonlight Picnic
Children's Games in the Yard
Some Japanese People that I have Seen
Japanese Students in our Schools
Japanese Furniture
An Oriental Store in our Town
My Idea of Japan
Japanese Pictures
[Pg 302] A Street Carnival
An Old-fashioned Square Dance
The Revival of Folk-Dancing
The Girls' Drill
A Walk in the Village at Night
Why We have Ugly Things in our Houses
Do we have too much Furniture in our Houses?
What we can Learn from the Japanese


An Evening Walk in the Village:—Imagine yourself taking a walk through the village at nightfall. Tell of the time of day, the season, and the weather. Make your reader feel the approach of darkness, and the heat, or the coolness, or the chill of the air. What signs do you see about you, of the close of day? Can you make the reader feel the contrast of the lights and the surrounding darkness? As you walk along, what sounds do you hear? What activities are going on? Can you catch any glimpses, through the windows, of the family life inside the houses? Do you see people eating or drinking? Do you see any children? Are the scenes about you quiet and restful, or are they confused and irritating? Make use of any incidents that you can to complete your description of the village as you see it in your walk. Perhaps you will wish to close your theme with your entering a house, or your advance into the dark open country beyond the village.

My Idea of Japan:—Suppose that you were suddenly transported to a small town in Japan: What would be your first impression? Tell what you would expect to see. Speak of the houses, the gardens, and the temples. Tell about the shops, and booths, and the wares that are for sale. Describe the dress and appearance of the Japanese men; of the women; the children. Speak of the coolies, or working-people; the foreigners. Perhaps you can imagine yourself taking a ride in a jinrikisha. Tell of the amusing or extraordinary things that you see, and make use of incidents and conversation. Bring out the contrasts between Japan and your own country.

A Dance or Drill:—Think of some drill or dance or complicated game that you have seen, which lends itself to the kind of description in the selection. In your work, try to emphasize the [Pg 303]contrast between the background and the moving figures; the effects of light and darkness; the sound of music and voices; the sway and rhythm of the action. Re-read parts of The Dance of the Bon-odori, to see what devices the author has used in order to bring out effects of sound and rhythm.


[Pg 304]

Glimpses of Unfamiliar JapanLafcadio Hearn
Out of the East    "        "
Kokoro    "        "
Kwaidan    "        "
A Japanese Miscellany    "        "
Two Years in the French West Indies    "        "
Japanese Life in Town and CountryG.W. Knox
Our Neighbors the JapaneseJ.K. Goodrich
When I Was YoungYoshio Markino
Miss John Bull    "        "
When I Was a Boy in JapanSakae Shioya
Japanese Girls and WomenAlice M. Bacon
A Japanese Interior    "        "
JaponicaSir Edwin Arnold
JapanW.E. Griffis
Human BulletsTadayoshy Sukurai
The Story of JapanR. Van Bergen
A Boy in Old Japan    "        "
Letters from JapanMrs. Hugh Frazer
Unbeaten Tracks in JapanIsabella Bird (Bishop)
The Lady of the DecorationFrances Little
Little Sister Snow    "        "
Japan in PicturesDouglas Sladen
Old and New Japan (good illustrations in color)Clive Holland
NogiStanley Washburn
Japan, the Eastern WonderlandD.C. Angus
Peeps at Many Lands: JapanJohn Finnemore
Japan Described by Great WritersEsther Singleton
The Flower of Old Japan [verse]Alfred Noyes
Dancing and Dancers of To-dayCaroline and Chas. H. Coffin
The Healthful Art of DancingL.H. Gulick
The Festival BookJ.E.C. Lincoln
Folk DancesCaroline Crawford
Lafcadio HearnNina H. Kennard
Lafcadio Hearn (Portrait)Edward Thomas
The Life and Letters of Lafcadio HearnElizabeth Bisland
The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn    "        "
Lafcadio Hearn in JapanYone Noguchi
Lafcadio Hearn (Portraits)Current Literature 42:50

[Pg 305]



Ponkapog, Mass., Dec. 13, 1875.

Dear Howells,—We had so charming a visit at your house that I have about made up my mind to reside with you permanently. I am tired of writing. I would like to settle down in just such a comfortable home as yours, with a man who can work regularly four or five hours a day, thereby relieving one of all painful apprehensions in respect to clothes and pocket-money. I am easy to get along with. I have few unreasonable wants and never complain when they are constantly supplied. I think I could depend on you.

Ever yours,

P.S.—I should want to bring my two mothers, my two boys (I seem to have everything in twos), my wife, and her sister.


Dear Mr. Morse:

It was very pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it. I don't think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and the signature (at which I guessed).[Pg 306]

There's a singular and perpetual charm in a letter of yours—it never grows old; it never loses its novelty. One can say to one's self every morning: "There's that letter of Morse's. I haven't read it yet. I think I'll take another shy at it to-day, and maybe I shall be able in the course of a few days to make out what he means by those t's that look like w's, and those i's that haven't any eyebrows."

Other letters are read, and thrown away, and forgotten; but yours are kept forever—unread. One of them will last a reasonable man a lifetime.

Admiringly yours,
T.B. Aldrich.


The Quadrangle Club,
Chicago, September 30, '99.

Your generous praise makes me rather shamefaced: you ought to keep it for something that counts. At least other people ought: you would find a bright ringing word, and the proportion of things would be kept. As for me, I am doing my best to keep the proportion of things, in the midst of no-standards and a dreary dingy fog-expanse of darkened counsel. Bah! here I am whining in my third sentence, and the purpose of this note was not to whine, but to thank you for heart new-taken. I take the friendly words (for I need them cruelly) and forget the inadequate occasion of them. I am looking forward with almost feverish pleasure to the new year, when I shall be among friendships which time and absence and half-estrangements have only made to shine with a more inward light; and when, [Pg 307]so accompanied, I can make shift to think and live a little. Do not wait till then to say Welcome.



Lawrence, Kansas,
October 24, 1873.

My dear Anna,—

I left Topeka—which sounds like a name Franky might have invented—early yesterday morning, but did not reach Atchison, only sixty miles distant, until seven o'clock at night—an hour before the lecture. The engine as usual had broken down, and left me at four o'clock fifteen miles from Atchison, on the edge of a bleak prairie with only one house in sight. But I got a saddle-horse—there was no vehicle to be had—and strapping my lecture and blanket to my back I gave my valise to a little yellow boy—who looked like a dirty terra-cotta figure—with orders to follow me on another horse, and so tore off towards Atchison. I got there in time; the boy reached there two hours after.

I make no comment; you can imagine the half-sick, utterly disgusted man who glared at that audience over his desk that night.... And yet it was a good audience, thoroughly refined and appreciative, and very glad to see me. I was very anxious about this lecture, for it was a venture of my own, and I had been told that Atchison was a rough place—energetic but coarse. I think I wrote you from St. Louis that I had found there were only three actual engagements in Kansas, and that my list which gave Kansas City twice was a mistake. So I decided to take Atchison. I made a [Pg 308]hundred dollars by the lecture, and it is yours, for yourself, Nan, to buy "Minxes" with, if you want, for it is over and above the amount Eliza and I footed up on my lecture list. I shall send it to you as soon as the bulk of the pressing claims are settled.

Everything thus far has gone well; besides my lecture of to-night I have one more to close Kansas, and then I go on to St. Joseph. I've been greatly touched with the very honest and sincere liking which these Western people seem to have for me. They seem to have read everything I have written—and appear to appreciate the best. Think of a rough fellow in a bearskin coat and blue shirt repeating to me Concepcion de Arguello! Their strange good taste and refinement under that rough exterior—even their tact—are wonderful to me. They are "Kentucks" and "Dick Bullens" with twice the refinement and tenderness of their California brethren....

I've seen but one [woman] that interested me—an old negro wench. She was talking and laughing outside my door the other evening, but her laugh was so sweet and unctuous and musical—so full of breadth and goodness that I went outside and talked to her while she was scrubbing the stones. She laughed as a canary bird sings—because she couldn't help it. It did me a world of good, for it was before the lecture, at twilight, when I am very blue and low-toned. She had been a slave.

I expected to have heard from you here. I've nothing from you or Eliza since last Friday, when I got yours of the 12th. I shall direct this to Eliza's care, as I do not even know where you are.

Your affectionate

[Pg 309]


[Kumamoto, Japan]
January 17, 1893.

Dear Chamberlain,—

I'm writing just because I feel lonesome; isn't that selfish? However, if I can amuse you at all, you will forgive me. You have been away a whole year,—so perhaps you would like to hear some impressions of mine during that time. Here goes.

The illusions are forever over; but the memory of many pleasant things remains. I know much more about the Japanese than I did a year ago; and still I am far from understanding them well. Even my own little wife is somewhat mysterious still to me, though always in a lovable way. Of course a man and woman know each other's hearts; but outside of personal knowledge, there are race tendencies difficult to understand. Let me tell one. In Oki we fell in love with a little Samurai boy, who was having a hard time of it, and we took him with us. He is now like an adopted son,—goes to school and all that. Well, I wished at first to pet him a little, but I found that was not in accordance with custom, and that even the boy did not understand it. At home, I therefore scarcely spoke to him at all; he remained under the control of the women of the house. They treated him kindly,—though I thought coldly. The relationship I could not quite understand. He was never praised and rarely scolded. A perfect code of etiquette was established between him and all the other persons in the house, according to degree and rank. He seemed extremely cold-mannered, and perhaps not even grateful, that was, so far [Pg 310]as I could see. Nothing seemed to move his young placidity,—whether happy or unhappy his mien was exactly that of a stone Jizo. One day he let fall a little cup and broke it. According to custom, no one noticed the mistake, for fear of giving him pain. Suddenly I saw tears streaming down his face. The muscles of the face remained quite smilingly placid as usual, but even the will could not control tears. They came freely. Then everybody laughed, and said kind things to him, till he began to laugh too. Yet that delicate sensitiveness no one like me could have guessed the existence of.

But what followed surprised me more. As I said, he had been (in my idea) distantly treated. One day he did not return from school for three hours after the usual time. Then to my great surprise, the women began to cry,—to cry passionately. I had never been able to imagine alarm for the boy could have affected them so. And the servants ran over town in real, not pretended, anxiety to find him. He had been taken to a teacher's house for something relating to school matters. As soon as his voice was heard at the door, everything was quiet, cold, and amiably polite again. And I marvelled exceedingly.

Sensitiveness exists in the Japanese to an extent never supposed by the foreigners who treat them harshly at the open ports.... The Japanese master is never brutal or cruel. How Japanese can serve a certain class of foreigners at all, I can't understand....

This Orient knows not our deeper pains, nor can it even rise to our larger joys; but it has its pains. Its life is not so sunny as might be fancied from its happy aspect. Under the smile of its toiling millions there [Pg 311]is suffering bravely hidden and unselfishly borne; and a lower intellectual range is counterbalanced by a childish sensitiveness to make the suffering balance evenly in the eternal order of things.

Therefore I love the people very much, more and more, the more I know them....

And with this, I say good-night.

Ever most truly,
Lafcadio Hearn.


Shady Hill, 2 May, 1902.

"The Kentons" have been a great comfort to me. I have been in my chamber, with a slight attack of illness, for two or three weeks, and I received them one morning. I could not have had kinder or more entertaining visitors, and I was sorry when, after two or three days, I had to say Good-bye to them. They are very "natural" people, "just Western." I am grateful to you for making me acquainted with them.

"Just Western" is the acme of praise. I think I once told you what pleasure it gave me as a compliment. Several years ago at the end of one of our Christmas Eve receptions, a young fellow from the West, taking my hand and bidding me Good-night, said with great cordiality, "Mr. Norton, I've had a delightful time; it's been just Western"!

"The Kentons" is really, my dear Howells, an admirable study of life, and as it was read to me my chief pleasure in listening was in your sympathetic, creative imagination, your insight, your humour, and [Pg 312]all your other gifts, which make your stories, I believe, the most faithful representations of actual life that were ever written. Other stories seem unreal after them, and so when we had finished "The Kentons," nothing would do for entertainment but another of your books: so now we are almost at the end of "Silas Lapham," which I find as good as I found it fifteen or sixteen years ago. As Gray's idea of pleasure was to lie on a sofa and have an endless succession of stories by Crébillon,—mine is to have no end of Howells!...


Letter from William Vaughn Moody:—

darkened counsel:—See Job, 38:2. Moody seems to be referring here to the uncertainty of his plans for the future.

Letter from Bret Harte:—

Franky:—Francis King Harte, Bret Harte's second son, who was eight years old at this time.

Concepcion de Arguello:—One of Bret Harte's longer poems.

Kentuck:—A rough but kindly character in Harte's The Luck of Roaring Camp.

Dick Bullen:—The chief character in How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar.

Frank:—Bret Harte's name was Francis Brett Hart(e), and his family usually called him Frank.

Letter from Lafcadio Hearn:·—

Chamberlain:—Professor Chamberlain had lived for some years in Japan, when Hearn, in 1890, wrote to him, asking assistance in securing a position as teacher in the Japanese Government Schools. The friendship between the two men continued until Hearn's death.[Pg 313]

Samurai:—Pronounced sä' mŏŏ rī; a member of the lesser nobility of Japan.

Jizo:—A Japanese god, said to be the playmate of the ghosts of children. Stone images of Jizo are common in Japan. (See page 19 of The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn.)


You are planning a camping trip with several of your friends; write to a friend who lives in another town, asking him or her to join the camping party.

Write to a friend asking him, or her, to come to your house for dinner and to go with you afterward to see the moving pictures.

Write a letter to accompany a borrowed book, which you are returning. Speak of the contents of the book, and the parts that you have particularly enjoyed. Express your thanks for the use of the volume.

Write a letter to an intimate friend, telling of the occurrences of the last week. Do not hesitate to recount trifling events; but make your letter as varied and lively and interesting as possible.

Write to a friend about the new house or apartment that your family has lately moved into.

Write to a friend or a relative who is visiting in a large city, asking him or her to purchase some especial article that you cannot get in your home town. Explain exactly what you want and tell how much you are willing to pay. Speak of enclosing the money, and do not fail to express the gratitude that you will feel if your friend will make the purchase for you.

You have been invited to spend the week-end in a town not far from your home. Write explaining why you cannot accept the invitation. Make your letter personal and pleasant.

Write to some member of your family explaining how you have altered your room to make it more to your taste than it has been. If you have not really changed the room, imagine that you have done so, and that it is now exactly as you want it to be.

You have heard of a family that is in great need. Write to one of your friends, telling the circumstances and asking her to help you in providing food and clothing for the children in the family.[Pg 314]

You have just heard some startling news about an old friend whom you have not seen for some time. Write to another friend who you know will be interested, and relate the news that you have heard.

Write to one of your teachers explaining why you are late in handing in a piece of work.

Your uncle has made you a present of a sum of money. Thank him for the money and tell him what you think you will do with it.

A schoolmate is kept at home by illness. Write, offering your sympathy and services, and telling the school news.

You have had an argument with a friend on a subject of interest to you both. Since seeing this friend, you have run across an article in a magazine, which supports your view of the question. Write to your friend and tell him about the substance of the article.

Your mother has hurt her hand and cannot write; she has asked you to write to a friend of hers about some business connected with the Woman's Club.

You have arrived at home after a week's visit with a friend. Write your friend's mother, expressing the pleasure that the visit has given you. Speak particularly of the incidents of the visit, and show a lively appreciation of the kindness of your friends.

A friend whom you have invited to visit you has written saying that she (or he) is unable to accept your invitation. Write expressing your regret. You might speak of the plans you had made in anticipation of the visit; you might also make a more or less definite suggestion regarding a later date for the arrival of your friend.

You are trying to secure a position. Write to some one for whom you have worked, or some one who knows you well, asking for a recommendation that you can use in applying for a position.

Write to your brother (or some other near relative), telling about a trip that you have recently taken.

Write to one of your friends who is away at school, telling of the athletic situation in the high school you are attending. Assume that your friend is acquainted with many of the students in the high school.

You are sending some kodak films to be developed by a professional photographer. Explain to him what you are sending [Pg 315]and what you want done. Speak of the price that he asks for his work, and the money that you are enclosing.

Write a letter applying for a position. If possible, tell how you have heard of the vacancy. State your qualifications, especially the education and training that you have had; if you have had any experience, tell definitely what it has been. Mention the recommendations that you are enclosing, or give references to several persons who will write concerning your character and ability. Do not urge your qualifications, or make any promises, but tell about yourself as simply and impersonally as possible. Close your letter without any elaborate expressions of "hoping" or "trusting" or "thanking." "Very truly yours," or "Very respectfully yours," will be sufficient.

You have secured the position for which you applied. Write expressing your pleasure in obtaining the situation. Ask for information as to the date on which you are to begin work.

Write to a friend or a relative, telling about your new position: how you secured it; what your work will be; what you hope will come of it.

Write a brief respectful letter asking for money that is owed you.

Write to a friend considerably older than yourself, asking for advice as to the appropriate college or training school for you to enter when you have finished the high school course.


Letters and Letter-writingCharity Dye
Success in Letter-writingSherwin Cody
How to do Business by Letter    "        "
Charm and Courtesy in Letter-writingFrances B. Callaway
Studies for Letters    "        "
The Gentlest ArtE.V. Lucas
The Second Post    "        "
The Friendly CraftF.D. Hanscom
Life and Letters of Miss AlcottE.D. Cheney (Ed.)
Vailima LettersR.L. Stevenson
Letters of William Vaughn MoodyDaniel Mason (Ed.)
Letters from Colonial ChildrenEva March Tappan
Woman as Letter-writersA.M. Ingpen.
The Etiquette of CorrespondenceHelen E. Gavit

[Pg 316]


I. Write a conversation suggested by one of the following situations. Wherever it seems desirable to do so, give, in parentheses, directions for the action, and indicate the gestures and the facial expressions of the speakers.

1. Tom has had trouble at school; he is questioned at home about the matter.

2. Two girls discuss a party that has taken place the night before.

3. A child and his mother are talking about Christmas.

4. Clayton Wells is running for the presidency of the Senior class in the high school; he talks with some of his schoolmates, and is talked about.

5. There has been a fire at the factory; some of the men talk about its origin.

6. A girl borrows her sister's pearl pin and loses it.

7. Unexpected guests have arrived; while they are removing their wraps in the hall, a conversation takes place in the kitchen.

8. Anna wishes to go on a boating expedition, but her father and mother object.

9. The crops in a certain district have failed; two young farmers talk over the situation.

10. Two girls are getting dinner; their mother is away, and they are obliged to plan and do everything themselves.

11. A boy has won a prize, and two or three other boys are talking with him.

12. The prize-winning student has gone, and the other boys are talking about him.

13. The furnace fire has gone out; various members of the family express their annoyance, and the person who is to blame defends himself.

14. Grandfather has lost his spectacles.

15. Laura has seen a beautiful hat in a shop window, and talks with her mother about it.[Pg 317]

16. Two men talk of the coming election of city officers.

17. A boy has been removed from the football team on account of his low standings; members of the team discuss the situation.

18. Sylvia asks her younger brother to go on an errand for her; he does not wish to go; the conversation becomes spirited.

19. Grandmother entertains another old lady at afternoon tea.

20. A working man is accused of stealing a dollar bill from the cook in the house where he is temporarily employed.

21. Mary Sturgis talks with her mother about going away to college.

22. A young man talks with his sister about woman's suffrage; they become somewhat excited.

23. A middle-aged couple talk about adopting a child.

24. There is a strike at the mills; some of the employees discuss it; the employers discuss it among themselves.

25. An aunt in the city has written asking Louise to visit her; Louise talks with several members of her family about going.

26. Two boys talk about the ways in which they earn money, and what they do with it.

27. Albert Gleason has had a run-away; his neighbors talk about it.

28. Two brothers quarrel over a horse.

29. Ruth's new dress does not satisfy her.

30. The storekeeper discusses neighborhood news with some of his customers.

31. Will has had a present of a five-dollar gold-piece; his sisters tell him what he ought to do with it; his ideas on the subject are not the same as theirs.

32. An old house, in which a well-to-do family have lived for many years, is to be torn down; a group of neighbors talk about the house and the family.

33. A young man talks with a business man about a position.

34. Harold buys a canoe; he converses with the boy who sells it to him, and also with some of the members of his own family.

35. Two old men talk about the pranks they played when they were boys.

36. Several young men talk about a recent baseball game.

37. Several young men talk about a coming League game.

38. Breakfast is late.

39. A mysterious stranger has appeared in the village; a group of people talk about him.

40. Herbert Elliott takes out his father's automobile without permission, and damages it seriously; he tries to explain.

41. Jerome Connor has just "made" the high school football team.

42. Two boys plan a camping trip.[Pg 318]

43. Several boys are camping, and one of the number does not seem willing to do his share of the work.

44. Several young people consider what they are going to do when they have finished school.

45. Two women talk about the spring fashions.

II. Choose some familiar fairy-tale or well known children's story, and put it into the form of a little play for children. Find a story that is rather short, and that has a good deal of dialogue in it. In writing the play, try to make the conversation simple and lively.

III. In a story book for children, find a short story and put it into dialogue form. It will be wise to select a story that already contains a large proportion of conversation.

IV. From a magazine or a book of short stories (not for children), select a very brief piece of narration, and put it into dramatic form. After you have finished, write out directions for the setting of the stage, if you have not already done so, and give your idea of what the costuming ought to be.[Pg 319]


Not included in the lists of Collateral Readings


Two Gentlemen of KentuckyJames Lane Allen
Standish of StandishJane G. Austin
D'ri and IIrving Bacheller
Eben Holden    "        "
The HalfbackR.H. Barbour
For King or CountryJames Barnes
A Loyal Traitor    "        "
A Bow of Orange RibbonAmelia E. Barr
Jan Vedder's Wife    "        "
Remember the Alamo    "        "
The Little MinisterJ.M. Barrie
The Little White Bird    "        "
Sentimental Tommy    "        "
Wee MacGregorJ.J. Bell.
Looking BackwardEdward Bellamy
Master SkylarkJohn Bennett
A Princess of ThuleWilliam Black
Lorne DooneR.D. Blackmore
Mary CaryK.L. Bosher
Miss Gibbie Gault    "        "
Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë
Villette    "        "
Meadow GrassAlice Brown
Tiverton Tales    "        "
The Story of a PloughboyJames Bryce
My RobinF.H. Burnett
The Secret Garden    "        "
T. Tembarom    "        "
The Jackknife ManEllis Parker Butler
The Begum's DaughterE.L. Bynner
BonaventureG.W. Cable
Dr. Sevier    "        "
The Golden Rule DolliversMargaret Cameron
The Lady of Fort St. JohnMary Hartwell Catherwood
Lazarre    "        "
Old Kaskaskia    "        "
The Romance of Dollard    "        "
The Story of Tonty    "        "
The White Islander    "        "
Richard CarvelWinston Churchill
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtSamuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
Pudd'nhead Wilson    "        "
The Prince and the Pauper    "        "
Tom Sawyer    "        "
John Halifax, GentlemanD.M. Craik (Miss Mulock)
The Red Badge of CourageStephen Crane
Whilomville Stories    "        "
A Roman SingerF.M. Crawford
Saracinesca    "        "
Zoroaster    "        "
The Lilac SunbonnetS.R. Crockett
The Stickit Minister    "        "
Smith College StoriesJ.D. Daskam [Bacon]
GallegherR.H. Davis
The Princess Aline    "        "
Soldiers of Fortune    "        "
Old Chester TalesMargaret Deland
The Story of a Child    "        "
Hugh GwyethB.M. Dix
Soldier Rigdale    "        "
Rebecca MaryAnnie Hamilton Donnell
The Very Small Person    "        "
The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesA. Conan Doyle
Micah Clarke    "        "
The Refugees    "        "
Uncle Bernac    "        "
The Black TulipAlexander Dumas
The Three Musketeers    "        "
Doctor Luke of the LabradorNorman Duncan
The Story of Sonny SahibSara J. Duncan
The Hoosier SchoolboyEdward Eggleston
The Hoosier Schoolmaster    "        "
The Honorable Peter StirlingP.L. Ford
Janice Meredith    "        "
In the ValleyHarold Frederic
A New England NunM.E. Wilkins Freeman
The Portion of Labor    "        "
Six Trees    "        "
Friendship VillageZona Gale
Boy Life on the PrairieHamlin Garland
Prairie Folks    "        "
Toby: The Story of a DogElizabeth Goldsmith
College GirlsAbby Carter Goodloe
Glengarry School DaysCharles W. Gordon (Ralph Connor)
The Man from Glengarry    "        "
The Prospector    "        "
The Sky Pilot    "        "
The Man Without a CountryE.E. Hale
Nights with Uncle RemusJ.C. Harris
The Log of a Sea AnglerC.F. Holder
PhrosoAnthony Hope [Hawkins]
The Prisoner of Zenda    "        "
Rupert of Hentzau    "        "
One SummerB.W. Howard
The Flight of Pony BakerW.D. Howells
Tom Brown at OxfordThomas Hughes
Tom Brown's School Days    "        "
The Lady of the BargeW.W. Jacobs
Odd Craft    "        "
RamonaH.H. Jackson
Little CitizensMyra Kelly
Wards of Liberty    "        "
Horseshoe RobinsonJ.P. Kennedy
The Brushwood BoyRudyard Kipling
Captains Courageous    "        "
The Jungle Book    "        "
Kim    "        "
Puck of Pook's Hill    "        "
Tales of the Fish PatrolJack London
The SlowcoachE.V. Lucas
Beside the Bonnie Brier BushIan Maclaren (John Watson)
A Doctor of the Old School    "        "
Peg o' my HeartJ.H. Manners
Emmy LouG.M. Martin
Tilly: A Mennonite MaidH.R. Martin
Jim DavisJohn Masefield
Four FeathersA.E.W. Mason
The Adventures of FrançoisS.W. Mitchell
Hugh Wynne    "        "
Anne of AvonleaL.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables    "        "
The Chronicles of Avonlea    "        "
Down the RavineMary N. Murfree (Charles Egbert Craddock)
In the Tennessee MountainsMary N. Murfree
The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain    "        "
The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains    "        "
The House of a Thousand CandlesMeredith Nicholson
MotherKathleen Norris
PeanutA.B. Paine
Judgments of the SeaRalph D. Paine
The Man with the Iron HandJohn C. Parish
Pierre and his PeopleGilbert Parker
Seats of the Mighty    "        "
When Valmond Came to Pontiac    "        "
A Madonna of the TubsE.S. Phelps [Ward]
A Singular LifeE.S. Phelps [Ward]
FrecklesG.S. Porter
EzekielLucy Pratt
Ezekiel Expands    "        "
November JoeHesketh Prichard
Men of IronHoward Pyle
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood    "        "
The Splendid SpurA.T. Quiller-Couch
Lovey MaryAlice Hegan Rice
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch    "        "
Sandy    "        "
The Feet of the FurtiveC.G.D. Roberts
The Heart of an Ancient WoodC.G.D. Roberts
The Wreck of the GrosvenorW.C. Russell
Two Girls of Old New JerseyAgnes C. Sage
Little JarvisMolly Elliot Seawell
A Virginia Cavalier    "        "
The Quest of the Fish-Dog SkinJ.W. Schultz
The Black ArrowRobert Louis Stevenson
David Balfour    "        "
The Master of Ballantrae    "        "
St. Ives    "        "
The Fugitive BlacksmithC.D. Stewart
The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. AleshineFrank R. Stockton
The Dusantes    "        "
The Lady or the Tiger    "        "
The Merry Chanter    "        "
Rudder Grange    "        "
Napoleon JacksonRuth McE. Stuart
Sonny    "        "
Monsieur BeaucaireBooth Tarkington
ExpiationOctave Thanet (Alice French)
Stories of a Western Town    "        "
The Golden Book of VeniceF.L. Turnbull
W.A.G.'s TaleMargaret Turnbull
Ben HurLew Wallace
A Fair God    "        "
My Rag PickerMary E. Waller
The Wood Carver of 'Lympus    "        "
The Story of AbStanley Waterloo
Daddy Long-LegsJean Webster
A Gentleman of FranceStanley J. Weyman
Under the Red Robe    "        "
The Blazed TrailStewart Edward White
The Conjuror's House    "        "
The Silent Places    "        "
The Westerners    "        "
A Certain Rich ManWilliam Allen White
The Court of Boyville    "        "
Stratagems and Spoils    "        "
The GayworthysA.D.T. Whitney
Mother Carey's ChickensK.D. Wiggin [Riggs]
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm    "        "
The Chronicles of Rebecca    "        "
The Story of Waitstill Baxter    "        "
Princeton StoriesJ.L. Williams
Philosophy FourOwen Wister
The Virginian    "        "
Bootles' BabyJohn Strange Winter (H.E. Stannard)
The Widow O'Callaghan's BoysGulielma Zollinger (W.Z. Gladwin)


The Klondike StampedeE.T. Adney
The Land of Little RainMary Austin
Camps in the RockiesW.A. Baillie-Grohman
The Boys' Book of InventionsR.S. Baker
A Second Book of Inventions    "        "
My Book of Little DogsF.T. Barton
The Lighter Side of Irish LifeG.A. Birmingham (J.O. Hannay)
Wonderful Escapes by AmericansW.S. Booth
The Training of Wild AnimalsFrank Bostock
Confederate PortraitsGamaliel Bradford
American Fights and FightersCyrus T. Brady
Commodore Paul Jones    "        "
The Conquest of the Southwest    "        "
The Every-Day Life of Abraham LincolnF.F. Browne
The Boyhood and Youth of NapoleonOscar Browning
The New NorthAgnes Cameron
The Boys' Book of Modern MarvelsC.L.J. Clarke
The Boys' Book of Airships    "        "
Personal Recollections of Joan of ArcSamuel L. Clemens
The Wireless ManF.A. Collins
Old Boston Days and WaysM.C. Crawford
Romantic Days in Old Boston    "        "
Harriet Beecher StoweM.F. Crowe
Wild Animals and the CameraW.P. Dando
FootballP.H. Davis
Stories of InventorsRussell Doubleday
Navigating the AirDoubleday Page and Co.
Mr. Dooley's OpinionsF.P. Dunne
Mr. Dooley's Philosophy    "        "
Edison: His Life and InventionsDyer and Martin
Child Life in Colonial DaysAlice Morse Earle
Colonial Days in Old New York    "        "
Stage Coach and Tavern Days    "        "
Two Centuries of Costume in America    "        "
Old Indian DaysCharles Eastman
The Life of the FlyJ.H. Fabre
The Life of the Spider    "        "
The Wonders of the HeavensCamille Flammarion
Boys and Girls: A Book of VerseJ.W. Foley
Following the Sun FlagJohn Fox, Jr.
Four Months Afoot in SpainHarry A. Franck
A Vagabond Journey around the World    "        "
Zone Policeman 88    "        "
The Trail of the Gold SeekerHamlin Garland
In Eastern Wonder LandsC.E. Gibson
The Hearth of Youth: Poems for Young PeopleJeannette Gilder (Ed.)
Heroes of the Elizabethan AgoEdward Gilliat
Camping on Western TrailsE.R. Gregor
Camping in the Winter Woods    "        "
American Big GameG.B. Grinnell (Ed.)
Trail and Camp FireGrinnell and Roosevelt (Ed.)
Life at West PointH.I. Hancock
Camp Kits and Camp LifeC.S. Hanks
The Boys' ParkmanL.S. Hasbrouck (Ed.)
Historic AdventuresR.S. Holland
Camp Fires in the Canadian RockiesW.T. Hornaday
Our Vanishing Wild Life    "        "
Taxidermy and Zoölogical Collecting    "        "
Two Years in the Jungle    "        "
My Mark TwainW.D. Howells
A Woman's Way through Unknown LabradorMrs. Leonidas Hubbard
Animal CompetitorsErnest Ingersoll
My Lady of the Chimney CornerAlexander Irvine
The Indians of the Painted Desert RegionG.W. James
The Boys' Book of ExplorationsTudor Jenks
Through the South Sea with Jack LondonMartin Johnson
A Wayfarer in ChinaElizabeth Kendall
The Tragedy of PeleeGeorge Kennan
Recollections of a Drummer BoyH.M. Kieffer
The Story of the TrapperA.C. Laut
Animals of the PastF.A. Lucas
Marjorie FlemingL. Macbean (Ed.)
From Sail to SteamA.T. Mahan
Æegean Days and Other SojournsJ. Irving Manatt
The Story of a Piece of CoalE.A. Martin
The Friendly StarsMartha E. Martin
The Boys' Life of EdisonW.H. Meadowcroft
Serving the RepublicNelson A. Miles
In Beaver WorldEnos A. Mills
Mosquito LifeE.G. Mitchell
The Childhood of AnimalsP.C. Mitchell
The Youth of WashingtonS.W. Mitchell
Lewis CarrollBelle Moses
Charles Dickens    "        "
Louisa M. Alcott    "        "
The Country of Sir Walter ScottC.S. Olcott
Storytelling PoemsF.J. Olcott (Ed.)
Mark Twain: A BiographyA.B. Paine
The Man with the Iron HandJohn C. Parish
Nearest the PoleRobert E. Peary
A Book of Famous VerseAgnes Repplier (Ed.)
Florence NightingaleLaura E. Richards
Children of the TenementsJacob A. Riis
The Wilderness HunterTheodore Roosevelt
American Big Game HuntingRoosevelt and Grinnell (Ed.)
Hunting in Many Lands    "        "
My Air ShipsAlberto Santos-Dumont
Paul JonesMolly Elliott Seawell
With the Indians in the RockiesJ.W. Schultz
Curiosities of the SkyGarrett P. Serviss
Where Rolls the OregonDallas Lore Sharp
Nature in a City YardC.M. Skinner
The Wild White WoodsRussell D. Smith
The Story of the New England WhalersJ.R. Spears
Camping on the Great LakesR.S. Spears
My Life with the EskimosVilhjalmar Stefansson
With Kitchener to KhartumG.W. Stevens
Across the PlainsR.L. Stevenson
Letters of a Woman HomesteaderElinore P. Stewart
Hunting the Elephant in AfricaC.H. Stigand
The Black BearW.H. Wright
The Grizzly Bear    "        "
George WashingtonWoodrow Wilson
The Workers: The EastW.A. Wyckoff
The Workers: The West    "        "


[1] See Bleyer, W.G.: Introduction to Prose Literature for Secondary Schools.

[2] See also American Magazine, 63:339.

[3] See Scribner's Magazine, 40:17.

[4] See Harper's Monthly Magazine, 116:3.

[5] In: The Little Book of Modern Verse, edited by J.B. Rittenhouse.

[6] See page 41 for magazine reference.

[7] See Collier's Magazine, 42:11.

[8] Additional suggestions for dramatic work are given on page 316.

[9] If a copy of The Promised Land is available, some of the students might look up material on this subject.

[10] See references for Moly, on p. 84.

[11] In Alden's English Verse.

[12] In The Little Book of Modern Verse, edited by J.B. Rittenhouse.

[13] If this is thought too difficult, some of the exercises on pages 316-318 may be used.

[14] Note: The teacher might read aloud a part of the Ode in Time of Hesitation, by Moody. In its entirety it is almost too difficult for the pupils to get much out of; but it has some vigorous things to say about the war in the Philippines.

[15] To the Teacher: It will probably be better for the pupils to study this poem in class than to begin it by themselves.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary
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