Project Gutenberg's Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885, by Various

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Title: Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885

Author: Various

Release Date: August 4, 2008 [EBook #26185]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Annie McGuire and the Online
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Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and the footnote moved to the end of the magazine. A Table of Contents has been created for the HTML version.

[Pg 429]

Lippincott's Magazine.


Copyright, 1885, by J. B. Lippincott Company.





What with Mrs. Stiles's ankle and the law's delays, the case was not tried until September. But at the September term Stiles vs. The Railway Company was reached, and stood at the head of the list.

On the morning of the fated day Mrs. Tarbell could have proceeded to the court-room in state, for not only did the entire Stiles family present itself at her office three-quarters of an hour before the time, but Mr. Mecutchen, the tobacconist, also dropped in, with an air of always being early at trials.

"I couldn't keep ma at home, Mrs. Tarbell," said Miss Stiles briefly, but with some little shame. "She would come. She thought it would take an hour and a half to get here from Pulaski Street; didn't you, ma?"

Mrs. Stiles gave an agitated groan and looked about helplessly for a chair. She was walking with a cane, and had on a miraculous black silk, the seams of which were like the ridges of a ploughed field. Miss Georgiana Stiles, the younger daughter, was almost invisible under a straw hat with feathers waving from its pinnacled crown. Miss Celandine, by no means a bad-looking young lady, wore her best black jersey, buttoned at the throat, over her cambric body, her best piqué skirt, trimmed with torchon lace, her white silk mitts, and her blue-and-white bonnet. After settling Mrs. Stiles in a corner with Georgiana, Tecumseh Sherman, and Augustus, Celandine and Mr. Mecutchen disappeared, to go and stand on the door-step. Mrs. Tarbell guessed where they were going, and would have liked to hint that the door-step was not a dignified place for her client, but, if the truth must be told, she was afraid to do so. For Miss Stiles had by this time utterly and completely subjugated her, and Mrs. Tarbell hardly knew which of them was the attorney of record in Stiles vs. The Railway Company. There can be no doubt that Miss Celandine was an admirable young lady. She was paying the expenses of the case out of her own savings,—savings which had been the secret result of secret labors with the pen and type-writer. As soon as the accident happened she quitted the High School, put aside her books, and divided her time between nursing her mother and keeping the books of a successful but illiterate milliner, who offered her a place; and she gave so many other evidences of good sense and determination that Mrs. Tarbell felt it would be hopeless to try to[Pg 430] resist her. Her decision did not seem to have altered in the least, nor was she at all discouraged by Mrs. Tarbell's warnings; and Mrs. Tarbell found that in every conversation which took place on the subject Mrs. Tarbell began as a philosopher and ended as a disputant. All that could be done was to give Miss Stiles her own way and try to improve her taste in dress if possible. It was practically understood between them, though Mrs. Tarbell had as yet refused to commit herself, that as soon as the trial was over and the damages had been pocketed, Miss Celandine should be duly installed, enrolled, and accredited as a student in the office of Juddson and Tarbell. In the mean time, Augustus had been made an office-boy through Mr. Juddson's interest.

The Stileses having been sent on before, Mrs. Tarbell, attended by the office-boy bearing a bag full of books and papers, slipped quietly over to court, whither Mr. Juddson said he would follow her in a few moments. The room was crowded. Judge Measy had not yet appeared.

Mrs. Tarbell looked about her. It was the first day of the autumn term, and, for one reason or another, the bar was very fully represented. There was ex-Judge Dingley, with his frills and his snuff-box; Mr. Moddison, with his shaggy eyebrows and square jaw; Mr. Brileson, almost as long and thin as his nose; Mr. Eakins, looking as much like Oily Gammon as ever; and, besides the leaders of the bar, any number of the rank and file, especially of the junior members of the profession; and with some of these young gentlemen's elder brothers Mrs. Tarbell had danced, once on a time. There was a stir as Mrs. Tarbell came in; the lawyers made way for her, and the jurors, witnesses, and spectators craned their necks to get a look at her. Among the spectators, of course, were Mrs. Pegley and the Pegleyites. Mrs. Tarbell knew that they were there, but did not look at them. Mr. Pope rose magnificent and shook hands with her; several persons shook hands with her. Mrs. Tarbell felt that she was going to acquit herself commendably. She had gone over the case three or four times with Alexander, she had rehearsed her speech until she knew it by heart, she had joked about the case with her friends (not her Pegley friends) at Cape May until she was no longer afraid of it, if she ever had been, and she was quite able to feel that Pope was insignificant. She had at first been filled with an apprehension that he would become very intimate with her on the strength of their mutual antagonism; but when several days passed by, and he had done nothing more than bow courteously, she reflected that, after all, it was not a very uncommon occurrence for him to have a jury case; and when he privately came and offered to compromise she wondered what there had ever been to frighten her in the man. She refused the compromise, of course: if her case had been only half as strong she would have refused it.

Rap! rap! Silence, please. His honor appeared, wiping his learned brow, for it was an oppressively hot day, and the clerk proclaimed that all persons might draw near and be heard by the honorable court. The jurors answered to their names. Mr. Juddson, seated by his sister's elbow, pushed the jury-list towards her, with a slight nod of encouragement. Mrs. Tarbell did not need encouragement: she knew the names of the objectionable jurors by heart, and she was quite ready.

The court-room settled down into a hush of subdued expectation, and Stiles vs. The Railway Company was called. Mr. Pope and Mrs. Tarbell rose, bowed to each other and to the court: they were ready to go on.

Mr. Pope drew first blood. Eight jurors were already in the box, and the clerk called out, "John Ewing." John Ewing took his seat; there was no cross against his name, and Mrs. Tarbell had no challenge to make, when, before another name could be called, he leaned forward and called out, in an easy voice, "Mrs. Tarbell, ef I have to swear in this case I mout as well tell you that I used to work for the railway company."[Pg 431]

"Ah!" said Mrs. Tarbell calmly, after a moment's hesitation. "Take your seat, Mr. Ewing. I have entire confidence in your impartiality." She waved her hand as if to include the whole of the jury, so far as completed,—nay, the whole of the panel,—in the compliment, and the jurors appeared to be suitably impressed.

But Mr. Pope rose. "Wait one minute, Mr. Ewing," he said, in a voice which breathed rugged honesty and uncompromising determination. "I shall have to ask you to withdraw." He shook his head sternly. "I cannot, whatever may be the generous toleration of my learned opponent, I cannot knowingly allow anybody who has any connection with my client to go on the jury."

"That makes four challenges for him," whispered Mr. Juddson. Mrs. Tarbell shook her head impatiently, and as Mr. Ewing left the box he smiled a faint yet unmistakable smile at somebody in the crowd, and Mrs. Tarbell became instantly convinced that the whole affair, even to the drawing of Mr. Ewing's name by the court clerk, was a neatly-arranged plot of Mr. Pope's, and, in her resentment, she challenged the next juror out of hand, though he had an eye so humid and sympathetic that he looked good for not only sentimental damages, but punitive damages of the most revengeful description.

But she opened her case admirably. There was a slight hum as she rose; her attitude was dignified, and she might have been called handsome. Though every one else was stifling with the heat, she looked cool and self-possessed, and her first sentences won her the respect of the bar; for she made the matter-of-course explanation in a fairly novel manner.

"Gentlemen of the jury," said she, "you know without my telling you that when my client, the plaintiff, Mrs. Stiles, comes here and says that she has suffered at the hands of the railway company damages to the amount of ten thousand dollars, she is not exaggerating her sufferings for the sake of enlisting your sympathy. It is not that she comes to you with feminine weakness, displaying her injuries, and, with feminine resentment, overstating them and their effects, to rouse your pity. You know, and I only remind you of it, that the rule of law forbids you to give her more than she asks for: so I, on her behalf, take care that she shall not ask for less than you might give her."

This was very well, and the jury probably understood as much.

Mrs. Tarbell paused a moment, and then proceeded in an impressive voice: "But Mrs. Stiles's injuries, gentlemen, are not slight; she does not ask you for a mere nominal sum in compensation of them, nor, in view of the facts, will any sum that you do give her seem excessive. I shall show you, gentlemen, that Mrs. Stiles, a widow, left almost penniless by her husband, who has by her own efforts brought up and educated four children, two of whom are still entirely dependent upon her, was, on the ninth day of April last, through the negligence of the defendant, injured in such a way as to give her seven weeks of the most painful suffering and to render her unable for the rest of her life to do the work upon which she has hitherto mainly depended for the support of herself and her family. I shall show you that Mrs. Stiles attempted to get on one of the defendant's cars; that while she was so doing the car was started and she thrown off; that she sustained a sprain of the right ankle and a fracture of the fibula; that the accident has resulted in laming her for life and incapacitating her for the use of a sewing-machine; and that it was by her sewing-machine that she supported herself. Mrs. Stiles will now tell you her own story."

With this Mrs. Tarbell sat down. She had not the keen penetration which years of practice give to a finished advocate, but she had feminine instinct, which served her in quite as good stead; and, short as was the time she had been addressing that jury, she felt that she could answer for it as certainly as fifteen years before she could have answered for one of her admirers. If[Pg 432] Mr. Juddson had only been another woman she could have told him this, but a glance would have been wasted on him: so she kept her triumph to herself. She looked at the bullet-headed young juror, at the benignant old juror, at the fat-faced and dropsical juror, at the preternaturally-solemn negro juror, at the lantern-jawed foreman with the black moustache; she was on a perfectly good understanding with them, and knew what to say to each one of them. She felt that she could have afforded to be a little less brief. However, Mrs. Stiles would not— By the way, where was Mrs. Stiles?

"Mrs. Stiles!" cried Mrs. Tarbell, half rising. "Mrs. Stiles, will you please take the stand?"

Mrs. Stiles rose from her seat against the railing, and, after confiding her second daughter to the care of Miss Celandine,—a ceremony which was performed by her with evident anxiety,—hobbled to the witness-stand on the arm of Mr. Mecutchen, who had been sitting beside her.

Mrs. Stiles on the witness-stand was a very different person, apparently, from Mrs. Stiles in an every-day situation. It may have been the effect of the crowd or the effect on her system of her long and painful illness, but she was agitated and nervous to the last degree. She looked steadily at Mrs. Tarbell, except when, every now and then, she looked uneasily about the room, and she gave her answers in so low a voice that the judge two or three times asked her to repeat them. But otherwise all went well enough. Mrs. Stiles knew who she was, where she lived, and what she had been doing on the day of the accident. When the critical moment came, Mrs. Tarbell caught her breath, but Mrs. Stiles avoided the difficulty in safety.

"I held up my umbereller for that there car to stop," she said; "and it stopped. And I went to git on; and then the first thing I knew I was falling."

This was highly satisfactory. For the rest, Mrs. Stiles described the manner in which the doctors had vainly endeavored to cure her injured ankle, told how she had passed sleepless night after night in spite of the morphia and sweet spirits of nitre, how she had been confined to her bed for three weeks and had only got up to be moved to a chair, how she suffered tortures and lost her appetite, how it was months before she could walk without crutches, and how every step she took gave her the most excruciating agony, and so forth, and so forth. She also, at Mrs. Tarbell's request, gave to the jury several interesting details concerning, first, her sewing-machine; second, the income she had been used to make by it; third, the effect of the accident upon her power to propel the aforesaid engine.

(Bill shown to witness.)

"This is my doctor—Dr. Laycock's bill: it is not paid yet."

(Offered in evidence. Another bill shown to witness.)

"This is the apothecary's bill. It has not been paid."

(Offered in evidence.)

"Cross-examine," said Mrs. Tarbell; and Mrs. Stiles slowly turned and began to hobble away from the witness-stand.

"Mrs. Stiles!" cried Mrs. Tarbell; and Mrs. Stiles turned round aghast.

"Come back, my dear madam," said the Honorable Pope blandly. "We are not quite through with you yet,—not for a moment or two."

Mrs. Stiles looked more overcome than ever. "My goodness! I forgot," she stammered, and clutched desperately at the front of the witness-box.

Mr. Pope ran his hand through his flowing locks and smiled at her reassuringly. After asking her one or two sympathetic questions about her ankle,—she was quite sure she had obeyed all the doctor's orders? she was certain she had not begun to walk too soon, or injured herself by any carelessness of her own?—he suddenly opened upon her.

"Now, madam," he said, "is it not a fact that that car was in motion when you tried to get on it?"

"I—I—how do you mean, sir?" faltered Mrs. Stiles.[Pg 433]

"Was not that car moving when you got on it?"


"Yes, madam! Moving!"

"Why, ye—yes," said Mrs. Stiles. "So far's I remember, it was."

"Ah, I thought so," said Mr. Pope, with a peculiar intonation; and after that he proceeded with great suavity to cross-examine her into a state of utter bewilderment. As to what had happened after the accident she contradicted herself six or seven times over, eagerly accepting any suggestion which he held out to her; and Mr. Pope glanced triumphantly at the jury,—neglecting, however, to remind them that Mrs. Stiles had fainted as soon as her ankle was fractured, and that she was now only expressing an opinion that his suggestions were probably correct.

Miss Stiles and Mr. Mecutchen plainly betrayed their agitation, but Mrs. Tarbell preserved her equanimity. When Mr. Pope had finished his cross-examination, she addressed her client again. Mrs. Stiles, pale, agitated, trembling with fright, was leaning against her railing, almost bending double over it; but at the sound of her lawyer's voice she appeared to take courage.

"You said just now, Mrs. Stiles," said Mrs. Tarbell, "that the car was in motion while you were getting on—"

"I beg your pardon," said the Honorable Pope, interrupting her.

"I think it is so," said Mrs. Tarbell, turning upon him with a very haughty air. "I don't think Mrs. Stiles ever said that she tried to get on while the car was in motion. Pray look at your notes, Mr. Pope."

"You are right," said Mr. Pope, sinking back into his chair. "I remember now. It is quite the same thing," he continued, waving his hand carelessly. "It makes no difference whatever."

"If you think so," said Mrs. Tarbell loftily; and she reiterated her question to Mrs. Stiles.

Mrs. Stiles fumbled with the lilac-silk tie about her neck, and said,—Mrs. Tarbell hung upon her words,—"That car—"


"That car had stopped before I went to git on,—I know that. And I went to git on; and after that I don't remember."

And when Mrs. Stiles finally hobbled back to her seat, a more woe-begone and wretched-looking object it would have been hard to find anywhere.

"Why, ma, what's the matter with you?" cried Miss Celandine, as Mr. Mecutchen went to take the stand. "Don't you see it's all right?"

Mrs. Stiles shook her head and rubbed her damp brow with her handkerchief. "I don't feel no certainty about it, Celandine," she said. "I wisht Mrs. Tarbell had let me accep' that compr'mise."

"Mamma!" cried Miss Celandine, in warning tones.

"Well—I think I would have been better satisfied. Because—because mebbe I was the one to blame, you know."

"Ssh, ma! After you have come into court! It's ridiculous! Plenty of people saw you. Listen to Mr. Mecutchen, if you want to know what happened to you."

"I wisht," said Mrs. Stiles, "I wisht Mrs. Tarbell would say something to the jury about how the railroad offered to compromise. That would show 'em 'twas true about my accident."

"Mamma! Be careful! If they hear you talking about that compromise they'll stop the trial right here and turn us right out of court."

"Well, but they did, Celandine: they offered me six hu—"

"Ma, will you hush?" said Celandine; and when her daughter spoke in that tone of voice, Mrs. Stiles knew that she must obey. She relapsed into silence again, helpless and despairing.

Mecutchen testified, Vickers testified, Parthenheimer testified,—Stethson had gone to Baton Rouge, according to Mecutchen,—and all were as strong as could be. Dr. Laycock identified his bill, swore that his treatment of Mrs. Stiles was in accordance with the most recent discoveries in medical science, that Mrs.[Pg 434] Stiles had suffered unheard-of agonies, and that she had obeyed all his directions to the letter.

Miss Celandine also swore to her mother's agonies, and described the condition to which the household had been brought by Mrs. Stiles's accident.

Then Mrs. Tarbell bowed to the judge, and said, "That is my case, your honor."

"And a very good case, too," she thought, as she sat down.

Pope's cross-examination had effected nothing, and the judge was against him. Alexander, with his thumbs in his waistcoat, looked entirely satisfied; Judge Measy, fanning himself and gasping under the heat, appeared to be anxious for Mr. Pope to get through his flimsy defence as quickly as possible.

Mr. Pope rose, flung back his hair, paused a moment, and then began. He thanked his learned opponent for kindly putting the jury on the track of a suggestion which he himself might have been delicate about making to them. He would have been unwilling to dwell upon the—hem—peculiar status of his opponent; but she herself had seen fit to take it for granted that he intended to advance a certain class of arguments, and he consequently considered it only fair to her to do so. He should not, however, call them arguments: they were rather considerations which would serve to explain the arguments which Mrs. Tarbell herself had used. "My learned opponent," said Mr. Pope, "told you that you mustn't think of her client as a woman who comes here and asks for your sympathy; you mustn't, she says, suppose that there is any feminine weakness or resentment about Mrs. Stiles, nor, for a stronger reason,—such is the unexpressed conclusion,—is there any feminine weakness about Mrs. Stiles's eloquent counsel. Well, gentlemen, if Mrs. Stiles is not a woman, what is she? Is she a white elephant? Is she a female suffragist? which, I have heard, is neither man nor woman." (Immense laughter in court, indignation in the cheeks of Mrs. Tarbell, a lofty and contemptuous frown on the forehead of Mrs. Pegley.) "Gentlemen, with the greatest possible respect for Mrs. Stiles, whose painful sufferings I greatly deplore, and to whom I wish to tender my entire sympathies; with, too, the greatest respect for my friend Mrs. Tarbell, in admiration for whose talents and determination I yield to nobody, I feel it my duty to say to you that this accident having happened through the negligence, excusable perhaps, but still the negligence,—carelessness, haste, if you will,—of Mrs. Stiles,—and that this was the case I shall show you in a moment,—Mrs. Stiles and her counsel, neither of them being for a single instant anything but a woman, took the—what shall I say?—the romantic view of the matter immediately. Romance, gentlemen, breathes its tender and refining influence about the domestic fireside, chastens and sanctifies the atmosphere of home, leads us, we all know, gentlemen, to holier and purer views of life, and nerves us for the bitter struggle of the world. But romance outside of the home-circle cuts but a sorry figure; it is very dangerous for it to stray out of doors into the rough arena of life,—into the street, gentlemen,—where there are street-cars. We must look at the evils of life from the strictly legal point of view when they come into court, gentlemen; and when his honor shall have laid down to you the doctrine of contributory negligence, the bearings of which on this case you have already thought of, I don't doubt,—when you come to apply that rule to this case, you will make short work, I am afraid, of romance."

Mr. Pope then proceeded to say that the case was in a nutshell. The plaintiff had called a car; the driver of the car had pulled up his horses; it was a wet day, the wheels would not stop quickly, and Mrs. Stiles was in a hurry to get on; she tried to board the car while it was in motion, and was thrown off. Was there any law to make a railway company responsible for such accidents as this? or any railway company that would not go out of business immediately if it were to be held so responsible?[Pg 435]

Then Mr. Pope called his witnesses. He was a very short time examining them; he bit his lips when he heard their answers. Mrs. Tarbell's cross-examination was also short. Alexander whispered to her to cut it short,—that the testimony was almost an admission of her case by itself. But to Mrs. Stiles all these things were terribly significant of victory for Mr. Pope; and the very fact that Mrs. Tarbell offered no rebutting testimony was somehow twisted into another evidence of approaching disaster by her poor stupid old mind. She hardly heard a word of Mrs. Tarbell's speech to the jury. She was looking forward in agony to what Mr. Pope would say. For she knew he was right. She knew that Mrs. Tarbell had been carried away by her sympathies; she was sure of it. Oh, why had she not gone to a gentleman lawyer? He would have advised her not to bring suit; at least he would have allowed her to accept that compromise. She was all alone. Celandine and Mr. Mecutchen had gone away somewhere,—gone to get some ice-cream: they would be back. Should she go and fling herself at Mr. Pope's feet and confess everything?

When Mrs. Tarbell sat down there was a hum of applause, and the judge stopped waving his fan for a moment to give Mrs. Tarbell a scarcely-perceptible nod of approval.

"If I know anything, it'll be a two-thousand-dollar werdick," mumbled one of the tipstaves.

Then Mr. Pope got on his legs. He passed his hand over his face, and there was a countenance for you!—luminous, inspired, magical; a face one moment like to a running brook for poetry and liquid sentiment, the lines and wrinkles on it shifting about and rippling sweetly down into his chin, where they cascaded off, so to speak; the next moment like a mighty and rugged rock, a stronghold of security and protection, on which he presently smote, Moses-like, and the brook of which I spoke gushed out again.

"You know already, gentlemen," said he, "my view of this case. I think that by this time it must be yours also."

Mrs. Stiles moaned. Then Mr. Pope proved to the jury that it was utter nonsense for Mrs. Stiles's witnesses to pretend that they had seen the accident, because the ordinary pedestrian looks at his nose when he is walking, and not at the car-track. The jury smiled, the room grew hotter and hotter, and the judge whiter and whiter.

"Mr. Mecutchen?" cried Mr. Pope. "Mr. Mecutchen never laid eyes on Mrs. Stiles until he saw her lying in the middle of the street. I don't say he is intentionally prevaricating. Of course he thinks he saw all that he says he did. I grew up in the firm conviction that I had known Judas Iscariot. I was ten years old before I could be persuaded that it was only a sweet delusion,—a dazzling dream of childhood, too bright to last."

The jury roared.

Then Mr. Pope talked of his own witnesses, and the virtues with which he didn't invest those remarkable beings may exist in heaven, but are certainly not to be found on earth, nor even in any of the intermediate planetary paradises known to the Spiritualists.

And then—then he descended on Mrs. Stiles herself.

"What," he cried, suddenly, turning with an outburst of indignant impatience from the petty arguments into which his love for the exhibition of the whole truth in all its details had led him, "what are you told by the most respectable and conscientious witness who has appeared here to-day? What is the testimony of the one person who ought to know everything about this case? What does Mrs. Stiles say? Nothing. She says nothing. She doesn't know what happened. If this were a strong case, she would describe to you with minute particularity the manner in which she put her hand upon the rail of the car, stepped on, was jolted, tried to save herself, was thrown off. But not a word of this have you heard from her. All that she remembers, as she confesses, is that the car was in motion when she got on it."[Pg 436]

Oh, where was Celandine? Had she gone out only to get ice-cream, or because Georgiana was so hot that she couldn't stand it any longer? Mrs. Stiles could not remember. Maybe it was Mr. Mecutchen that had spoken of the ice-cream, and Celandine was going to put Georgiana in the cars and send her home. It would have been better to send Augustus home with her. And where were Augustus and Tecumseh Sherman?

Mrs. Stiles looked about the room. She saw no friendly faces, nobody to encourage her, nobody whom she could apply to in her distress. How hot it was! Could she not go over to the window and get a breath of air? The room was very crowded. Mrs. Stiles hesitated, half rose, hesitated again, and then got up and limped outside of the railings. People made way for her, and when she reached the window a dark-faced man gave her a place, and she went through a sort of parody of putting her head out into the air.

The dark man looked at her thoughtfully. "Shan't I get you a glass of water?" said he. Mrs. Stiles accepted his kindness with immense gratitude. The dark man went and brought the water, and watched her with a pair of very keen eyes while she was drinking it.

"Mr. Pope is making a good speech," he said presently.

Mrs. Stiles groaned. "Do you think he'll win?" she asked.

"Win?" said the dark man, with a pleasant smile. "Well, I should think so. Just listen to him."

"But I'm not saying anything to Mrs. Tarbell's discredit," said the Honorable Pope. "Not a bit of it. Not a bit of it. Her feelings do her infinite honor. In her appearance on our wordy and contentious stage I see the commencement of a new era of things. Let her be guided by her feelings. Let her still preserve that beautiful sympathy which is one of the chiefest ornaments of the female sex. It will bring to her a thousand cases of injustice and oppression which we hardened lawyers of the other sex have lost—if we ever had it—the instinct to detect. It will lead her and her sisters to find justice and consolation for innumerable victims of wrong-doing, whose hopes of obtaining redress might have seemed poor and empty to us less inspired practitioners. No one, no man, however jealous and crabbed in temper, will be sorry to see the law vivified by a spark of that genius, that inexplicable instinct by which women know what is right and make right to be done, where men fail and fail again." Here Mr. Pope paused, and his features were those of an angel. Then his expression changed to one of the most remarkable sagacity and wariness. "But no one, gentlemen, will fail to recognize the danger, easily avoided, which accompanies the lubricating, so to speak, of our legal machinery by this sometimes superabundant sympathy. Even genius errs, even instinct may be mistaken. Take the present case. My learned opponent would be acting strictly within her duty by bringing this case before you to ask for your decision. A man would do that. A casehardened lawyer like myself would do that. But a man would take it for granted his client was wrong, if he were beaten. Perhaps my learned opponent will do the same thing. But if she does I shall be mistaken. In all her subsequent career, which will be marked by more generosity, charity, and enthusiasm than can now be boasted of by any man at the bar, she never will believe that the verdict which I am asking you to give was just to Mrs. Stiles. But she will be wrong. Right in a hundred other cases, perhaps,—let that stand for the proportion, if you will,—but wrong in this. And nothing but her misapplied sympathy and tenderness of heart could have lent her the vigor and earnestness which she has displayed to-day.

"Now, gentlemen, one thing more."

"That'll fetch 'em," said the dark man decidedly.

"Oh," moaned Mrs. Stiles, half aloud, "why didn't Mrs. Tarbell let me accept that there compromise?"[Pg 437]

"Compromise?" said the dark man quickly. "Why, are you Mrs. Stiles?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Stiles, drawing back in great alarm.

"And you say you were offered a compromise by the railway company which your lawyer didn't let you accept?" said the dark man, in lower tones.

"Why, yes," said Mrs. Stiles hesitatingly.

The dark man struck his hand against the window-seat. "Well, upon my word!" said he.

"Do you think I ought to have took it?" said poor Mrs. Stiles, in a stifled voice.

The dark man eyed her pityingly. "You've lost your chance now," said he.

There was a sudden cry, a great bustle in the court-room, a rush toward the judge's bench. Mr. Pope stopped short in his speech, looked up, and hastened to follow the court clerk, who had sprung over the desk, though Mr. Pope went round by the side-bar. The judge had swooned in his chair, falling forward upon his desk. The heat had at last got the upper hand of him, after a severe fight of two or three hours. Jurymen, witnesses, spectators, all stood aghast. The judge was brought to and assisted to his room, and the court clerk, presently returning to the disturbed and excited forum, announced that, his honor being unwell, all parties would be dismissed until to-morrow morning at ten o'clock,—and there was a general rush for the door.

So it happened that when Miss Stiles and Mr. Mecutchen came back to the court-room they found it closed, and neither Mrs. Stiles nor Mrs. Tarbell anywhere to be seen.

The next morning, at ten o'clock, Mrs. Tarbell was wondering what had become of the Stileses. She had missed Mrs. Stiles the day before, after the sudden adjournment of the court, but she had been detained by Pegley and friends, and thought it not unnatural that her client should have decided not to wait for her. She was rather glad the accident had happened,—that is, she was not sorry on her own account,—for the delay had given her time to prepare one or two witticisms in answer to Mr. Pope. She greeted Mr. Pope with a pleasant smile as he came into court, but Mr. Pope seemed rather surprised to find her in such a serene frame of mind.

"I assure you, my dear madam," said he, coming up to her instantly, and speaking in his most earnest tones, "I assure you that I had nothing to do with it whatever. I had no idea that anything of the sort was going on; I knew absolutely nothing of it until they sent word to me from the railway-office in the afternoon, and I really most sincerely regret that I am forced to take advantage of my client's—and your client's—improper action."

"What—what do you mean?" said Mrs. Tarbell, very much perplexed.

"What? Haven't you heard?" cried Mr. Pope.

"Heard? What should I hear?"

From the depths of his green bag Mr. Pope extracted a stiff pasteboard envelope, bursting with papers and confined by an india-rubber band. From this envelope he drew out a folded document, which he handed to Mrs. Tarbell; and when Mrs. Tarbell clapped eyes on the document's contents her face wore an expression before which Pope ought to have blushed for shame. The document was a release, given by Mrs. Stiles to the railway company,—a printed form, with blanks to be filled in as the individual case should demand; a devilish engine of cozen and covin, constructed in cold blood by the railway company, and supplied to them (as a small line of print at the bottom of the paper showed) by Detweiler, the Blank-Book Mfr., Irving Ave. and Prime St. Mrs. Stiles had sold herself. For one hundred and twenty-five dollars she had released to the railway company all the claims she might have, or could have, upon it at any time, past, present, or future, on account of her accident. There was Mrs. Stiles's hand, there was her seal; the date was yesterday. Mrs. Tarbell read the release,[Pg 438] and then looked at Mr. Pope. But he did not blench.

"I regret this extremely, Mrs. Tarbell," he said. "It places me in a very unenviable position. It was done," he continued, with a brazen front, "it was done without my knowledge. My advice was not asked: the company acted on their own responsibility and of their own motion. It is, at best, a poor compliment to me as an officer of the road."

"Pray, how did Mrs. Stiles happen to go to the company's office?" asked Mrs. Tarbell.

"I have not had a very clear account of it myself," said Mr. Pope, clearing his throat and putting one foot up on a chair in front of him. "It seems, however, that Mrs. Stiles was—hem—very much frightened by my speech, and in some way got into conversation with an agent of the company, a sort of bailiff to the corporation, in fact,—a man who serves their subpœnas, and looks up their witnesses, and so on, in addition to other work. This man is a sharp fellow, and, finding out which way the cat was jumping, he decided, I suppose, that he would try to make it jump as far as possible. Mrs. Stiles herself spoke of the compromise, and said she regretted she had not signed it. That was enough for my man; and when Judge Measy fainted he suggested to her to take advantage of the delay by going round to the railway company's office with him, where, he said, of course, he would see what he could do for her, as he had friends in the office. At the company's office he represented that he was acting under orders from me, the fact of the matter being that the rogue knew that the case was going against us, and Mrs. Stiles was virtually allowed to name her own sum. She took it, and signed the release. The ingenious bailiff is in disgrace, but the company think they have a good thing in the release, and I, as their servant, can't refuse to obey them. You understand that, of course, my dear madam. But I must repeat that I'm sorry, and sorry for my own sake, that this has happened, for I should be very unwilling to have anything occur to interrupt or cloud the very pleasant professional relations in which I have had the good fortune to find myself standing toward you. But clients are queer cattle, as you'll soon discover. I can assure you I have been treated much worse in my day."

Mrs. Tarbell tapped the slender paper against her open palm. Her lips were compressed. Mr. Pope gazed at her with a queer look in his eyes. The court-room was beginning to fill up; the jurymen were taking their places in the box; the public interest in Stiles vs. The Railway Company had not in the least diminished.

"Your bailiff seems to be a person of extraordinary acuteness," said Mrs. Tarbell, at length.

"He used to be a sheriff's officer," said Mr. Pope blandly. "If you like," he continued, "if you choose to attack this release on the ground of fraud, I won't say a word. I think you're entitled to try it. Possibly you might prove that the company took an unfair advantage of your client, that misrepresentations were made to her. Still, I am free to say that she seems to have signed it with her eyes open."

Mrs. Tarbell, her lips still compressed, raised her head and looked about the room. As she did so she caught sight of Celandine standing by the railing. Miss Stiles's face was anxious and downcast: she gave Mrs. Tarbell an appealing glance.

"Excuse me one moment," said Mrs. Tarbell. She walked over to Miss Celandine with a rapid step. "Did your mother know what she was doing when she signed this?" said Mrs. Tarbell.

"Mrs. Tarbell," cried Miss Stiles, "I don't know what I can say to you. I don't know how I'm ever going to beg your pardon. Ma she's in a dreadful state; and I'm sure she ought to be, the way I've been talking to her. She didn't dare to come here this morning; she was ashamed to have you see her. And, if anything, I'm more ashamed than she, for I really feel it more. I[Pg 439] wonder you have the patience to listen to me."

Here Mrs. Tarbell interrupted. "Never mind that," she said. "Did Mrs. Stiles do this of her own free will, or was she tricked into it?"

"That's the worst of it, Mrs. Tarbell, that's the worst of it. I can't get her to say anything but that it was her own fault. To every question I ask her, she says, 'No; it was my own fault. I just went and did it.' I cannot understand it. Is there no way out of it? It's really, if you don't mind my saying so, it's on your account I ask. I haven't slept a wink all night. Ma was taken remorseful before she'd got two steps with the money. And, do you know, she was late for tea. We were in an awful state about her; she never came home to dinner. We hunted high and low for her. She went to Everett Square, and sat down on a bench there, just—just—penitent. Oh, I wish you could see her! Indeed, if it wasn't so right down dishonest it would be funny. But is there nothing to be done? Do you know how it all happened? Do you know that a man in the company's employ—I'm sure he was—got hold of ma and just twisted her round? Couldn't you show that? And I know Mr. Pope got that man to talk to her; I'm sure he did. Ma ain't fit to be trusted alone, that's the amount of it."

"But can you get your mother to say that she was imposed upon?" said Mrs. Tarbell, a faint gleam of hope asserting itself.

Celandine shook her head sadly. "After all," she said, "it ain't so much that she was imposed upon, but that she imposed upon herself. They took advantage of her, true enough, that's certain; but she let them do it. Why, Georgiana—you couldn't make her give more than five cents' worth of lemon taffy for five cents if you talked to her all day; but any three-year-old baby on Pulaski Street can persuade ma that she's giving short weight. I do feel so bad about it, Mrs. Tarbell. And ma lost three buttons off her black silk yesterday, and won't have them sewed on. You might think she was a Catholic, doing penance."

Mrs. Tarbell turned away without saying a word.

"Mrs. Tarbell! Mrs. Tarbell!" cried Celandine.

Mrs. Tarbell turned back. A few minutes later she was walking away again, leaving Celandine very red in the face and beginning to cry. Mrs. Tarbell had refused to accept the hundred and twenty-five dollars, or any part of it, in payment of her fee.

As Mrs. Tarbell was coming out of the court-room—a juryman had in the mean time told her that he hoped she had got a good round sum by her compromise: "You would have had, say, eighteen hundred from us," he said,—as Mrs. Tarbell was going down-stairs, having just told Mrs. Pegley that she—Mrs. Tarbell—did not think it necessary to communicate all her private affairs to her friends, there was Celandine waiting for her in the passage.

"Mrs. Tarbell," said Celandine hesitatingly, her eyes still red,—"Mrs. Tarbell—"

"Well?" said Mrs. Tarbell.

"About my studying law, please, ma'am. I just wanted to say that—that—"

Unpropitious moment. The storm gathered on Mrs. Tarbell's brow.

"I just wanted to tell you that I shall have to give it up, ma'am," said Celandine hurriedly. "I'm going to marry Mr. Mecutchen."

"I wish you joy," Mrs. Tarbell said, and went on down-stairs.

Thomas Wharton.
[Pg 440]


"If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces."

Merchant of Venice, Act i., Scene ii.

Of all the recognized styles of domestic architecture the position of modern Queen Anne, or so-called Free Classic, is perhaps the most difficult to determine. The nomenclature will assist us but little in investigating its art-history and constructive laws,—the term Queen Anne being as much too narrow as Free Classic is too broad. If we ask the professors of architecture and the more learned practitioners of the art for information on the subject, we shall get vague and unsatisfactory replies. Many of the younger and more enthusiastic architects, and the devotees of spinning-wheels, blue India teapots, and green crown glass will, on the contrary, unhesitatingly tell us that Queen Anne, is "high art;" forgetting that art had reached its lowest ebb in England when William and Mary ascended the throne left vacant by the Stuarts.

With such diversity of sentiment and reasoning, how shall we elucidate the truth? When did Queen Anne architecture originate, who were its great masters, under what influence did it spring up, what causes led to its decline, and to what source may we trace its sudden and aggressive renaissance? To the student who looks beneath the surface of fashionable art-culture the Queen Anne and Georgian periods seem almost like a mirage, where he sees dimly reflected vistas of city streets lined with tall houses built of red brick, with tiled roofs, long and narrow sash-windows painted white, and outside shutters painted green. If he goes to the academies for information, he will be told that early Queen Anne was a feeble application of Palladian rules designed for palatial works in marble to smaller edifices built of brick, and that late Queen Anne is simply a craze that must run its course and then sink into obscurity, as did its prototype.

This lack of historical data is the more remarkable when we consider that the style now known as that of Queen Anne is but of yesterday. We can follow the gradual development of styles and systems of construction and their transitions into other and later styles, from the Egyptian, Syrian, Grecian, Roman, and Byzantine, and the wondrous science of the Middle Ages, to the wealth of Continental Renaissance, but of the style of Queen Anne we can find little more than the name. England gradually remodelled her feudal castles into the noble and picturesque manor-houses of the Tudor kings, and her architects during the reign of Elizabeth carried this somewhat fanciful, but at the same time dignified, system of construction to its utmost development. All this will be clearly and logically explained by the professors of the academies. They will further add that after the accession of the Stuarts the building art gradually declined, with only a few flashes of brilliant light in the works of Inigo Jones and Wren. The Commonwealth was prudish in art as in manners, and the Restoration was a reign of revel and wild license. The social worlds of William and Mary and of Queen Anne, stiff, starched, and formal, left their impress upon the buildings of their day, which were mostly of a domestic character. The Free Classic of the Georgian reigns followed,—more refined in sentiment, delicate but severe in outline, aristocratic, but lacking strength and boldness in composition. With the advent of the Victorian Gothicists the worn-out and debased Free Classic passed into obscurity, there to remain until the passage by Parliament of the Elementary Education Act in 1870 brought it once more into prominence.

So much for the teachings of the academies, hampered by conservatism[Pg 441] and constructive traditions. They see little that is good in architecture which cannot be traced through a long line of precedents, gradually developing, as did the Gothic from the slender lancets and bold buttressing of the earlier examples to the delicate tracery and wondrous carving of Lincoln and of York. But, for all this, Queen Anne has a history, architectural as well as political. Her short reign witnessed the erection of a class of manor-houses and city dwellings which, gradually improved under the two succeeding monarchs, have formed the basis for a revival of a remarkable character. The sudden renaissance of Queen Anne or Free Classic architecture is the growth of but fourteen years, and yet all classes of society have been alike filled with aspirations for Queen An-tic houses, and for domestic appliances, and even dresses and garniture, associated with that period. The extremely low art of the last decade of the seventeenth century has become the "high art" of to-day, and bids fair, after outgrowing the eccentricities of plan and detail with which many designers have loaded it down, to develop into an honest, home-like, and thoroughly domestic style, in consonance with the requirements of nineteenth-century culture and refinement. England and America alike have felt the pulse-beat of the reformers, ready and longing for a change that will be radical and honest in its workings. Let us, then, attempt to define the position of Queen Anne architecture, historically, constructively, and æsthetically. Let us endeavor to penetrate beyond the superficial investigations of the "high-art" amateur and see what may be the real value of the Queen Anne revival as a basis for the architecture of to-day, and wherein lies the germ which may be utilized as a stepping-stone to greater excellence.


Perhaps the best way to illustrate the different phases of Free Classic will be to group the reigns of William and Anne in one period of a quarter of a century, half in the seventeenth and half in the eighteenth, following the Stuart, or Jacobean, and preceding the Georgian. At first sight there appears to be little promise of finding any genuine art in English works of this period. The Mediæval Ecclesiastical style had died out nearly two hundred years before, and during the interval the revival of classic architecture had steadily advanced from small and rude beginnings to a respectable position, with an academic system, so to speak, which, although it never attained in England the appreciation which led to its luxurious development on the Continent, found expression in many works of dignity and excellence. During the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. a domestic style for manor-houses had sprung up, based upon Gothic traditions of the Tudor type, with an admixture of the Renaissance of that day. This transitional manner struggled through the Commonwealth comparatively undisturbed, losing by degrees all traces of its mediæval origin. It maintained, however, partly perhaps by the intention of its designers, but chiefly through accident, a character of picturesqueness and homeliness.

The great fire of 1666 desolated two-thirds of London, destroying thirteen thousand two hundred houses and eighty-nine churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. Down to this time the architecture of London had been mostly of the timber, brick, and plaster type of the Tudors. The houses were crowded closely together, covering every available piece of ground, and overhanging story above story until in many cases the daylight was almost excluded from the narrow courts and crooked alleys. Many of these houses were built of slight materials, covered on the exterior with painted planks and on the interior with plaster. During the reign of James I. it was enacted that the fronts of city houses should be of brick or stone. In many cases, however, a compromise was made in favor of heavy timber fronts, which were often richly carved and moulded, the panels filled with bricks and plastered, the sides away from the street being still built of wood. In[Pg 442] these houses we find numerous instances of the picturesque oriels and windows adopted by the designers of the modern Queen Anne school.

The fire wrought a complete change in building-construction and in the health of the city. The plague, until then a constant visitor, disappeared. The streets and courts were widened and much improved, and an entirely new class of buildings arose above the ruins of ancient London. Immediately after the fire a proclamation was issued by the king, giving instructions for certain reforms in building-construction. This may be called the birth of the movement which later on developed into the Queen Anne or Free Classic style of the early eighteenth century. In this proclamation the king commands as follows: "In the first place, the woful experience in this late heavy visitation hath sufficiently convinced all men of the pernicious consequences which have attended the building with timber, and even with stone itself, and the notable benefit of brick, which in so many places hath resisted and even extinguished the fire; and we do hereby declare that no man whatsoever shall presume to erect any house or building, great or small, but of brick or stone; and if any man shall do the contrary, the next magistrate shall forthwith cause it to be pulled down and such further course taken for his punishment as he deserves; and we suppose that the notable benefit many men have received from those cellars which have been well and strongly arched will persuade most men who build good houses to practise that good husbandry by arching all convenient places." By an act of the Common Council, passed on the 29th of April, 1667, in furtherance of the king's proclamation, it is ordered, among other details, that the purveyors "do encourage and give directions to all builders, for ornament sake, that the ornaments and projections of the front of buildings be of rubbed bricks, and that all the naked parts of the walls be done of rough bricks neatly wrought, or all rubbed, at the discretion of the builder." Permission was at the same time given to enrich buildings by variety in the forms of roofs, balconies, etc.

The urgent demand for new edifices to replace those destroyed by fire, and the necessity for observing strict economy in their erection, precluded picturesque grouping and well-studied designs. The quaint but dangerous architecture of 1666 was rapidly replaced by rows of plain, monotonous brick buildings, devoid of artistic merit. In Cheapside and some of the more important thoroughfares the houses erected during this period were of a somewhat better character, taller, and more elegant in design.

While improvement in the character of domestic architecture was thus hampered by economic considerations and an intricate system of land-tenures, public and ecclesiastical architecture was greatly improved. The rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral and fifty city churches by Sir Christopher Wren marks an epoch in the history of the English Church which should not be overlooked. For the first time since the Reformation the planning and general features of church edifices were made to conform to the exigencies of the Protestant faith and a simplified ritual. Rarely has such an opportunity for distinction been vouchsafed to any architect as that which fell to the lot of Wren; and he proved himself equal to the task. Fergusson is my authority for the statement that during the last forty years of the seventeenth century no building of importance was erected of which he was not the architect. Had his design for a complete rebuilding of the burnt district been carried out, London would have risen from its ashes one of the most convenient and beautiful cities in the world. The edifices erected by Wren are models of their kind. A thorough constructor, he was not less an artist in his feelings, and boldly adapted the systems of the Renaissance to the requirements of the times, modifying his details to meet the exigencies which arose. The "Free Classic" of Wren was certainly very different in conception and execution from the stiff and formal expression which we note in the works[Pg 443] of his immediate successors, several of whom were, however, men of marked ability. It was, moreover, immeasurably superior to the classic attempts of the architects of the middle Georgian period, who, carried away by the enthusiasm awakened by the perusal of the newly-published "Antiquities" of Stuart and Revett, attempted to adapt Doric porticos, hexastyle, octostyle, etc., to modern domestic architecture.

With the accession of William and Mary, England and the Continent became more closely united. French, Spanish, and Florentine styles of dress became the fashion, and furniture designed in the Flemish and Dutch workshops succeeded to the heavier examples of the preceding reigns. The opening of the China trade and the importation of Delft porcelain exerted a marked influence upon the tastes of society. An affected admiration for Dutch topiary also became a fashion. It flourished for a time, and reached its utmost limit of quaint absurdity in the reign of Queen Anne.

Architecture also felt the influence of the Dutch school: brick was by law and custom the vernacular building-material of London, as it was of the Netherlands, and high-stepped gables with wavy lines became frequent. Broken pediments with volute terminals were placed over doors and windows; while a slight admixture of wrought and moulded bricks was often added to give some degree of elegance and richness to the façades. This use of moulded brick had played a prominent part in the old Tudor works; but Parliament had placed heavy and almost prohibitory taxes upon its manufacture and that of glass, thus vitiating the taste of the designer by the necessity for studying strict economy in construction. The manor-houses erected during the reigns of William and Anne are of a different type: they are bold and massive, picturesque in outline, and semi-classic in detail.

Through the Georgian reigns and that of William IV. the taste for Free Classic continued, gradually becoming more debased, with a few feeble attempts at a revival of mediæval work, as shown by Walpole at Strawberry Hill; while in the cities the schools of Nash and Wyatt were stuccoing the honest brick-work of their street-fronts into bad imitations of Roman palaces. This called forth such epigrams as,—

Augustus of old was for building renowned,—
For of marble he left what of brick he had found;
But is not our Nash a still greater master?
He found London brick, and will leave it plaster.

The earlier years of Victoria's reign were marked by aspirations for a better state of things, and discussions between the rival schools of Classicists and Mediævalists. The latter carried the day, and, after an heroic struggle and many failures, England awoke from her long lethargy, to find herself the possessor of a noble architecture, a true exponent of ecclesiastical art and tradition, although confessedly far from perfect when applied to domestic buildings. For these latter edifices the old manor-houses, with their many mullioned windows and Tudor arcuation, formed the basis for design, and machicoli, turrets, and open timber roofs became the fashion for country-houses; but the city dwellings were erected in a style that was a compromise between the Georgian and the semi-Gothic, the most difficult problem being to reconcile the double hung sash with the pointed arches of mediæval precedent.

English architecture was in this uncertain and transitory state when, in 1870, Parliament passed the Elementary Education Act. This was an opportunity long waited for, and the architects seized upon it with avidity. The natural desire was to give to the school-buildings a character distinctively their own, simple in plan and construction, with but little architectural display, and built of the vernacular constructive material of English cities,—red brick. Moulded brick could now be procured in abundance, the tax having been removed by Parliament in 1850. Such was the beginning of modern Queen Anne architecture. From small beginnings[Pg 444] it has developed into an harmonious and well-defined system of domestic building, very different in its better phases from the stiff and starched appearance of its prototypes, being marked by breadth and freedom of treatment, and in many cases by great richness of detail.

The architects of the United States soon caught the enthusiasm of their English brethren, and the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 served to intensify the feeling of patriotism. If Queen Anne architecture is dear to Englishmen, it should be doubly so to us. In England the history of building may be traced back for centuries, style following style in regular sequence, one growing out of and interwoven with another. With us the case is different. The early colonists landed in America when Jacobean architecture was at its best, but they could give little thought to style or detail. Protection from the elements and savage foes was their first requirement. Later, when they could give more attention to architecture as an art, Queen Anne ruled the popular taste, and our colonial mansions were built and decorated under the influence which surrounded the thought and literature of the time. Queen Anne or early Georgian is, therefore, our starting-point in architectural history. It is well to revive a taste for its quaint and home-like character, not merely for its own sake, but as a stepping-stone to something better and more enduring in the future.

Let us now briefly glance at the various constructive systems embraced in what is to-day known as Queen Anne architecture.


In the sudden renaissance of Palladian detail and Dutch planning, known under the generic title of Queen Anne, we can distinctly trace the influence of three systems of construction. First in dignity, as in age, stands the cottage or old English style, claiming descent from the heavy Tudor mansions of rude stone, rough hewn timber, and white concrete filling, usually termed "magpie work," from the startling contrast between their white panels and tarred timbers. Of these old mansions numerous examples still remain: they were, for the most part, erected during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but in a few instances a much earlier date may be assigned. Their construction is of the most substantial character, and consists in great part of oak frame-work of large scantling, tenoned and pinned together, the spaces between the timbers being filled in on both sides with a composition of well-beaten clay, straw, and chalk, which has become almost as hard as stone. Embedded in this composition are stout oak laths, held in position by cross-sticks, to which they are bound by hazel withes, no nail being used in any part of the work. Second, Queen Anne proper, founded on the domestic architecture of the Netherlands,—a thoroughly appropriate system of construction for a country where brick is the vernacular building-material, and one which perhaps of all others is the most easily adapted to the requirements of city streets, narrow fronts, and lofty façades with but little projection to interrupt light and the various needs of traffic. Third, the style without a name, which during the last decade has gathered to itself a heterogeneous mass of details, both English and Continental, combined with picturesque groupings of parts to form a well-defined and pleasing whole. This system may certainly be called "free," but, as it appears to be simply a stepping-stone to something better and more in consonance with the rapid development of art and the sciences applied to domestic life, it might perhaps be well termed the Victorian Transition.

The originators of modern Queen Anne were men trained in the Gothic school, and their watchword was "true construction." This term seems to be the most elastic and enduring of all the "short and easily-applied rules" of the profession of architecture. It is, however, applied more exclusively to the works of revivalists, and is frequently used in advocacy of new methods and[Pg 445] in condemnation of the old. The architects of the Victorian School had had it impressed upon their minds by Pugin, Eastlake, and others, that true construction did not exist after the Middle Ages,—the period of massive timber framing, heavy tables, mantel-trees, and settles, put together with wooden pins and disdaining all curves and wavy lines. For a time these professors of artistic truth were implicitly believed, and architects came to look upon stucco, plastering, glue, veneers, broken pediments, and applied ornamentation as monstrous emanations from diseased brains, bewildered and carried off their balance by the great upheaval of the Renaissance.

The rapidity with which a change of sentiment was achieved is one of the most remarkable phenomena in architectural history. The worshippers of "truth" and the rest of the "Seven Lamps," the plaster-ornament-breakers of 1860, became ten years later the loyal subjects of Queen Anne, accepting without question the tenets of Stuart and Revett, the Adams, and even of Nash and Wyatt, who carried the use of stucco and applied ornamentation to the extremity of extravagance.

In studying the constructive features of the Queen Anne renaissance, we find many examples of richly-ornamented façades, combined with affected picturesqueness and quaintness unthought of two hundred years ago. How are we to account for this change in favor of greater richness and profusion of detail in a professed revival of the pure and simple forms of the past, and for the well-established fact, easily recognized by the student of architecture, that the Queen Anne brick-work of to-day owes much of its effectiveness, constructively and æsthetically, to the teaching of an earlier school,—that of the Tudors?

Decorative brick-work, as we find it used in English architecture, is not simply the outgrowth of the Dutch school, introduced at the accession of William of Orange. For centuries it had been employed with success, particularly in Norfolk and other brick-districts. Under the Tudor sovereigns, moulded and carved brick-work attained a high standard of excellence. The buildings erected during this period were frequently enriched with delicately wrought string-moulds, gable-ends, and cornices, sharp in outline, crisp and spirited in detail. Even under the Stuarts, Inigo Jones and his great successor Wren executed some noble works in this material. Unfortunately for art, Parliament in 1625 established the rectangular dimensions of bricks, which thenceforward were moulded on one dreary model,—a block of clay nine by four by two and one-half inches. In 1784 Parliament again interfered, and levied heavy taxes upon all bricks modelled, whether such bricks were spoiled in the baking or not. This tax was in its action almost prohibitory of any attempt at establishing a higher grade of workmanship. In the long interval between 1625 and the repeal of the tax in 1850, workmen in clay forgot their cunning, and all desire for improvement in design had come to a stand-still.

The Victorian architects made strenuous efforts to reform so discreditable a state of things, and, after struggling against the ignorance of labor and the conservatism of brick-masters, attained their end, and when, in 1870, the School Board Act went into operation it found them ready, with well-trained mechanics at their command. In 1850 the revival and expansion of semi-classic architecture wrought in brick would have been impossible; in 1870 the building world was ripe for the change. The architects themselves, after receiving their early education under the leaders of the stucco and plaster school of the later Georgian reigns, had had their ideas purified and refined by the art-teachings of the Victorian Gothicists. The result was a spontaneous movement to develop a new system of construction, with lintelled openings and square fenestration,—Queen Anne modified and elevated by mediæval teachings and traditions. A traditional manner, but a sensible one; a sudden fashion, if you will; a craze, but a craze upon[Pg 446] which the architects of the future will probably look back with satisfaction, as a bold and successful step toward the solution of the vexed problem of domestic architecture,—how to make every man's house his proper dwelling, how to combine Sir Henry Wotton's three conditions of the art of well building,—"Commodity, Firmness, and Delight."

Leaving England, with its highly-developed and well-understood systems of construction as they existed in the seventeenth century, let us turn to the colonial work of the early settlers of America, keeping in mind the difficulties which surrounded them, and which not only influenced, but determined by absolute necessities, many of the constructive peculiarities which we note in their domestic buildings.

In the English colonies of North America we find, between the first settlement and the opening of the Revolution, three distinct periods or types of domestic building following each other in regular and clearly-defined sequence, from rude and massive structures of stone and timber to carefully-constructed and artistically-designed mansions.

The first period of colonial architecture embraces the greater part of the seventeenth century. Numerous edifices of this period may still be seen in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, as well as in the western portions of the State. In Newport County I may instance the Governor Henry Bull house, built in 1639, the Sueton Grant house, built about 1650, the Governor Coddington house, erected in 1647, and the "Captain Kid" house, so called, on Conanicut Island. These houses show all the peculiarities of the constructive science of their day, which aimed simply to attain solidity and protection from the elements. The chimneys and end-walls were generally built of stone, laid up as random rubble, with mortar composed of shell lime, sand, and gravel, and flakes of broken slate pounded fine. The sides of these buildings, and the ends above the line of roof-plate, were of frame construction, made of heavy oak timber, rudely squared, put together with treenails and boarded with oak, usually at an angle of forty-five degrees, thus making of every board a separate brace. This boarding was sometimes covered with coarse stucco, as on the Bull house, or with split shingles, as on the Governor Coddington house, put on with wrought nails.

"Whitehall," the home of Bishop Berkeley, and a group of old houses on Thames Street at Newport, may be said to represent the second period of our colonial architecture,—i.e., the first quarter of the eighteenth century. They are entirely of frame construction, covered over the boarding with thick clap-boards, with beaded edges, put on with wrought nails, and the roofs covered with split shingles of a better class than those previously used. In houses of this period brick began to take the place of stone for chimneys, and the gambrel roof—a form of construction whose history so far has eluded the researches of the student—seems to have originated in the colonies: it continued in favor for a hundred years or more, and gradually developed into a well-proportioned architectural structure, with richly-moulded cornice and well-designed dormers. It had many advantages: the framing was simple and strong, and the attic rooms possessed all the height and floor-space obtainable in the modern French roof, so called, while avoiding the disagreeable box-like appearance of the latter. The window-frames of these early eighteenth-century houses were made of plank, mortised and pinned together, the sills and caps being often moulded and a bead run around the inner edge of the frames. The sashes were heavy and glazed, with small squares of very inferior glass set in wide muntins.

In one of these old houses we find an attempt to modify the gambrel into the hipped roof, a type which became highly developed in the latter half of the eighteenth century. In the earlier examples this roof, instead of being truncated and hipped in all around, with a railing above the crown moulding, was simply hipped in on the lower part, being turned up at the ends, forming[Pg 447] small gables. The dwellings of this class form a connecting-link between the second and third periods, which may be said to have commenced about 1730, when the growing commercial importance of the seaport towns and the rapid accumulation of wealth induced a more lavish and elegant style of living.

Prominent among the buildings of this period may be noted in Newport the Hazard house on Queen Street, now Washington Square, the Vernon house (Rochambeau's headquarters), the Ayrault house on Thames Street, the old Hazard house on Broad Street, and the Gibbs house on Mill Street. But these are only a few representative buildings taken from the many of the same class to be found scattered through the seaboard States. The interior arrangements were extremely simple, but the architectural details and ornamentation are often rich and marked by great delicacy and refinement in treatment, the motif being based upon the Free Classic of the Queen Anne and Georgian reigns. The framing of these buildings is more systematically put together than in the earlier examples. The great beams crossing the ceilings, and the supporting-posts and hanging knees, are surfaced and beaded, instead of being rough-hewn with an axe. The fireplaces are often surrounded with Dutch tiles held in place by brass bands. The locks and door-trimmings are of brass. The window-glass is larger and clearer, and is set in well-made sashes with light muntins carefully wrought by hand. The truncated roof is fully developed, with moulded cornices of good section, the modillions being frequently carved with acanthus-leaves. The entrance door-ways became the central architectural features, and are often richly carved and moulded, with pilasters surmounted with Corinthian capitals, and pediments wrought with a wealth of Palladian detail, cut with much feeling, the muntins in the headlights being often carved into quaint and fantastic interfacings. In a number of instances I have found that when glass panels were required in doors the glass was set as a panel and the doors framed and built around it, the moulding being wrought on the stiles and rails. Fortunately, the old crown glass of the period was of the toughest description, and much of it still remains. The crystal sheets of the present day would not be equal to such rough usage and the cross-strains of warping wood-work, even if they did not break in the putting together. The old Hazard house shows one of the best examples of a moulded and panelled chimney with which I am familiar. The roof is of a most peculiar section when viewed from the gable-end, and the cornice is heavily coved with stucco still in good preservation.

The public buildings of the colonial period were mostly erected during the era of commercial prosperity between 1730 and the passage of the Stamp Act and the Boston Port Bill. Well-known examples are the Newport City Hall, the Redwood Library, and the Jewish Synagogue, all designed by Harrison; the State-House, by Munday; Trinity Church, the oldest of all, built in 1724-25, and the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, built in 1729. These buildings bear the stamp of the best English work of the time, and evince the cultivated taste of their projectors and the skill and professional knowledge of their architects. With the exception of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church, they are still in good condition. The lines in some places have become curved where they were originally straight, roofs have become hollowed, and floors have settled; but the white-oak frames bid fair to outlive several generations of the more ambitious but more slightly constructed edifices of to-day.

The colonial buildings of Providence, like those of Newport, Salem, and other New-England towns, are mostly of frame construction and of one general character. A few edifices of brick, showing the details of Free-Classicism, may occasionally be met with, but the latter material seems never to have become popular or to have been generally used in ordinary street-architecture. Among[Pg 448] the more characteristic buildings of Providence and its vicinity may be enumerated, as belonging to the first period, the Cæsar house and Green's stone castle,—the latter, at East Greenwich, having been erected in 1660. In the Cæsar house the peculiar section of the roof recalls the Hazard house at Newport, although the latter clearly belongs to the intermediate stage between the second and third periods. The Witch house at Salem, 1690, recalls the Sueton Grant house at Newport, notably in the overhanging of the front at the line of the second floor. The Baptist Church at Providence, erected in 1774, and the Congregational Church, erected in 1816, are of the third period. The latter edifice is post-colonial in date, but, like many other buildings of its class, shows the conservative methods of the early builders and their immediate followers trained under their instruction and example.

With the early domestic edifices of Providence I am not familiar enough to allude to them by name. Many of these houses are extremely rich in semi-classic detail both exterior and interior. The old John Brown house, built of brick in 1786, and now owned by Professor Gammell, is a fine specimen of the dignified and aristocratic type of the Georgian school. The panelling, mantel-pieces, carvings, etc., are of the richest colonial character, and are wrought with much feeling, and the doors are crowned with pediments, a feature not generally adopted in the colonies, although frequently met with in contemporary English work.

We should naturally look to New York for representative works of the Dutch William and Queen Anne schools, but the march of improvement and demolition has been so universal in that city that few examples remain of the domestic architecture of New Amsterdam. Philadelphia will, however, supply us with much valuable material to reward our investigations. In the latter city the Dutch-English school became firmly established. Many of the old buildings of the colonial period still remain, and our attention is frequently drawn to some interesting example while strolling through that portion of the city lying to the east of Tenth Street. These edifices, both public and domestic, are generally of brick construction, showing all the marked peculiarities of English work of the period. The bricks are in nearly every instance laid up with the Flemish bond. The gable-ends are stepped, as in the Netherlands; string-moulds and base-courses made of moulded bricks of good section are often met with; while the whole character and aspect of their façades are in unison with the conservatism and early training of the mechanics who erected them. This conservatism and respect for the ways of their predecessors still exert a powerful influence upon the building-industries of Philadelphia. The masons of that city still cling with reverence to the Flemish system of bonding,—the strongest known to the bricklayer. The planning of the dwelling-houses is different, so far as I am conversant with them, from the system in vogue in any other American city. The varied levels of floors in the "front" and "back" buildings has been tenaciously adhered to by the designers of each generation. This variety in levels gives a rambling, homely effect which is very pleasing, and which is capable of being developed into the highest expression of domestic convenience and artistic elegance of which our modern Queen Anne is capable.

Of the public buildings, Christ Church, St. Peter's Church, Independence Hall, Carpenters' Hall, and some others, represent, I think, the best type of Queen Anne or Georgian architecture to be met with in colonial work. Their designers seem to have been thoroughly in earnest, and the details are marked by conscientious adherence to the established precedents of the time. It was this thorough knowledge of precedent as applied to mass and detail which enabled their designers to grasp boldly the problems before them, and, while not departing from the academic system in which they had been trained, to infuse into each separate building which they erected a dignity and an individuality of its own.[Pg 449]


Having thus followed Queen Anne architecture through the various phases of its development, it remains only to refer to its claim to artistic excellence, and answer, if possible, the question frequently asked: Is Queen Anne "high art"?

As a basis for the discussion of so intricate a subject, I will first endeavor to establish the underlying principles of good architecture, using the word style in its broadest sense, expressive of elegance, fitness, and artistic truth,—style proper and style as defined by the antiquarian being two distinct things. It has been argued, and with some show of reason, that the origin of all beauty is in utility; but in architecture, which has other objects besides the gratification of the eye, or even of the understanding, it must be conceded that art holds the second place.

Two thousand years ago, Vitruvius laid down the basis of good architecture: First, order, method, and regularity; second, fitness of arrangement, general disposition, and contrivances adapted to locality and other circumstances; third, uniformity; fourth, proportion,—being the relation of parts or quantities by which harmony and grace are obtained; fifth, character,—which dictates the special aspect of the work according to its purpose; sixth, analogy,—consisting in those resemblances and ideal significances which assimilate the works of man to those of nature; seventh, economy,—not merely the vulgar economy of the purse, but that which combines utility with beauty, admitting nothing superfluous and allowing nothing to be overlooked. Sir Henry Wotton tells us, in the quaint old English of his day, that in architecture, as in all operative arts, "the end is to build well." Other writers have alluded to architecture as the "politeness of building," and as "the art of building with expression." The fundamental law which should govern the preparation of an architectural design is thus happily expressed by Roscoe: "Utility and beauty are bound together in an indissoluble chain; and what the great Author of nature has joined together let no man put asunder."

Will the "Free Classic" of the Queen Anne reformers bear the test of a critical comparison with the "seven lamps" of Vitruvius or the dictum of Roscoe? are such designs true exponents of "high art," and do they meet the requirements of the complex and artificial life of to-day? I propose to confine my investigations to the style of domestic buildings, ecclesiastical and municipal edifices being usually and by general consent designed in a broader and more masculine manner, their motifs being deduced from mediæval sources or from the rich and dignified Renaissance of Continental Europe.

We have seen that America received her colonial methods of building directly from England; but here the connection ceases, except in sentiment; and a careful comparison of a number of English and American designs for country-houses will, I think, sustain the assertion that in reviving a taste for Queen Anne composition the architects of the two centuries have adopted different ideals as to the logical present and future development of their eclectic system. In short, the situation may be summed up in the query, How "Free" may our Classic become and not offend good taste and common sense?

The Englishman, naturally conservative, clings rigidly to the old systems of domestic planning, and, although varied and often enriched in detail, the exterior of his Queen Anne houses is, in the generality of cases, simply a reflection of earlier works designed for the School Board of London. The planning of these houses is irregular in the extreme, symmetry and balance of parts are ignored, and the communication between the various apartments is complicated and often tortuous. Their long and narrow corridors, and the infrequent use of the furnace or steam-coil as a means for procuring an equitable diffusion of heat, necessitate the screening of doors by placing them in out-of-the-way angles and around corners, to prevent draughts.[Pg 450] The humid climate of England renders the veranda objectionable, and the windows, rarely fitted for blinds, are grouped together and divided by light and graceful mullions,—a relic of Tudor practice.

The American architect starts upon his revival with less precedent and conservatism either to assist or to hinder him. He can therefore adopt any system he pleases, or, by combining several styles, compose a thoroughly eclectic design; and he is apt to take full advantage of his opportunities, for his "Free Classic" is free indeed.

No style of domestic architecture can be good or partake of "high-art" qualities that cannot be claimed as a true exponent of the family and social life of the period to which it owes its birth and development. A whimsical fashion in dress, in equipages, or in the etiquette of society may be tolerated without injury to the national advancement. Such fashions are transitory, springing suddenly into notice and as rapidly passing into oblivion. With architecture it is different: here follies are wrought into durable form. We see an ultra Queen Anne house of to-day, and its quaintness and odd conceits attract our fancy. We put up with its manifest incongruities and inconveniences, and for a time all goes well. But when we tire of four-by-four-inch fenestration, glazed with rough cathedral-glass, the lines of the tower several inches off the vertical and bulged in the centre to give the effect of age, the rough and massive walls—of lath and plaster—glittering with broken glass, the ceilings so low that we are unable to have chandeliers to light our rooms, rendered gloomy by artificially-darkened walls and panelling, what are we to do? If the house is well built, it should be in better heart and condition one hundred years hence than the colonial mansions erected prior to 1760 are to-day. These colonial mansions, planned and built for the wealthy merchants of the seaboard towns, may well command our admiration and careful study, but, as a rule, they are entirely unsuited to the domestic life of to-day, and their construction is faulty and badly conceived when viewed in the light of modern practice. They should be respected and studied, because they are true exponents of art-building, in that they show in every line and moulding good common sense,—the use of materials according to the best ability and knowledge possessed by the artisans who erected them, and a sturdy manhood which wrought by main strength artistic works out of crude materials with slender mechanical appliances. A study of these old buildings seems to bring before us something of the mental strength of the men who erected them,—men who were fully up to and even ahead of their time, who aimed to do their best, and what they did was good. Such being the case, are we to suppose that had the colonial architects and builders continued in practice down to our own time they would have gone on in the old way, or, rather, behind their own best period of construction to the time when beams were hewn out with an axe and left as large as possible, to reduce the labor to a minimum? No; they were too advanced in sentiment for such weakness, and would no doubt ere this have developed a sensible and correct national style of domestic building, founded upon colonial precedent, but taking into consideration all the advances in science and art and, above all, machinery, which, although decried by the "high-art" amateur, has done much to improve the art and science of American building.

The advanced Queen Anne designer takes a different view of the case. He tells us in all seriousness and with much enthusiasm that the domestic building of the colonists was far in advance of modern work, both in its picturesque aspects and its home-like comfort. He points to the huge beams and hanging knees which support the floors, their rudely-chamfered edges dubbed into shape with an axe, as evidence of the thought and skilful manipulation of the artificer, the sashes with muntins an inch and a half in width, glazed with coarse and greenish glass, and the mouldings, all hand-made, showing the wavy lines and irregular sections inseparable[Pg 451] from rude hand-work, and then triumphantly asks, "Can your boasted machinery turn out such work as that?" I answer emphatically, No, it cannot; and for this we should be thankful. The colonial mechanics well understood the spirit of Sir Henry Wotton's apt saying, "In architecture, as in all other operative arts, the end is to build well." Would such men have spent their time in hewing out beams of oak ten or twelve inches square by main strength and patience if they had possessed the circular saw driven by steam-power? The weight of these huge beams, of badly-proportioned section, forced to support an overplus of width with comparatively small depth, wrought serious injury to their buildings,—settling floors, irregularly hollowing roofs and ridge-lines, and doing far more than time in rendering these old mansions picturesque and quaint "suggestions" for a revival of "high art." It seems probable that the workmen of the past would have been the first to welcome the advent of machinery and make use of its wide adaptations. At all events, they would never have stooped to the level of the ultra Queen Anne revivalists, who, in striving after the picturesque, have often set well-studied construction at defiance.

In this search after quaintness and picturesque effects roofs and ridge-lines are hollowed out with great labor, walls are made to bulge by nailing on furrings beneath the boarding, clear sheet-glass, easily procured of any dimensions, is voted "so inartistic," and the green crown glass and bull's-eyes are taken from some venerable farm-house, where they fitly belonged, to fill the irregular fenestration of a modern parlor.

What is the logical sequence of so anomalous a state of domestic architecture? Shall we sand our floors, and design chairs with high backs to break off the draughts from our rattling sashes, from which we have removed the cords and weights? abandon the equable temperature throughout our dwellings for individual fires unassisted by the furnace or steam-coil? revert to the moderator or carcel lamp, casting a dim light over a radius of a few feet and entirely below the level of the eye, and place on our outer doors the old brass knockers to awaken the denizens of a whole square with their noisy reverberations?

I think I may safely assert that such designs and architectural fashions are not the exponent of "high art;" and, while they may please for a time a people always alive to novelty, they will ultimately be set aside, on the ground of their unworthiness when measured by the standard of common sense. It has been said of common sense applied to building that "when and wherever architecture has been practised as a living art, as an outgrowth of the wants of the people who practise it, especially in those periods which are generally reckoned by the educated as the purest, this quality is everywhere recognized. From the rock-hewn cave and rude hut to the stateliest edifice, this principle will be found to exist; and, though a common-sense building may have no artistic beauty, a building which sets common sense at defiance will fail to please the intelligent observer."

Something there is more needful than expense,
And something previous e'en to taste,—'tis sense,
Good sense, which only is the gift of heaven,
And, though no science, fairly worth the seven.

Critical writers, in reviewing architectural publications, have frequently remarked that the authors of such works, particularly those which profess to deal with the æsthetical side of the profession, while severely censuring the prevailing taste for what they term "debased art," and denouncing all methods adopted since the birth of the Renaissance, rarely offer us any formulas by following which we may advance the tone and sentiment of architecture. When they do offer any advice, it is too often in vague terms, scarcely to be understood by the general reader. Thus, one tells us that to follow taste alone is a delusion, and that architecture, to be worthy of its name, should be a logical development of the constructive sciences based upon man's necessities and the requirements of social life. In[Pg 452] short, instead of offering a grammar of architecture suited to the wants of the general and unprofessional reader, these authors offer theoretical reasoning of an advanced order; instead of art-instruction, severe censures upon existing forms. The system by which architectural students are educated and prepared for the duties of professional life has much to do with their lack of readiness in formulating in after-years practical theories for the improvement of their art.

But the establishment of architectural schools at the Boston Institute of Technology, at Columbia College, and at Champagne, Illinois, with well-trained and enthusiastic professors at the head of each, and carefully-selected corps of assistants, is already doing much toward an improvement in students themselves, and in raising the standard of American architecture as a profession in the eyes of society. This student-system must in time create a body of men, well educated, enthusiastic, and bound together by an esprit de corps hitherto almost unknown among the great body of practising architects. The dictum passed by such a body upon the art and science of building will be received with respect by the laymen who employ them, and American architecture, in its better phases, will receive an impetus and a nervous strength in construction and composition which at present we find exemplified only in the scattered works of a few highly-trained practitioners. So far we have had in this country no fixed standard by which the educated architect may be tried and his professional position established. Unlike the practice of law and medicine, the field is free to all, and previous training is not required. In France, where the educational probation is long and severe and the rewards of success certain, the graduates of the schools are few in number compared with the lists of new names constantly appearing in the columns of our city directories with the designation of "architect." In America, young men, ambitious and anxious to succeed, after a few months spent in study and in copying drawings in some prominent office, set up for themselves. They naturally drift into the ranks of the Queen Anne designers, for the reason that their art is "free," and they can jumble together

A patchwork of Japan,
And queer bits of Queen Anne,
All mixed upon the plan
Of as you like or as you can.

One of the most zealous of the English Queen Anne revivalists has made the candid confession of the real weakness under the apparent strength of the movement, in stating that "it is a bad style for students to cut their teeth upon." If it is a bad foundation for the education of students, certainly it must be bad for the stability and beauty of their future works.

Nothing that I have seen so cleverly portrays the young and "high art" architectural aspirant as the delineation of a character in a novel published in England under the title of "The Ambassador Extraordinary," and said to have been written by an eminent architect. With unsparing pen the author sketches a character, Georgius Oldhausen by name, F.S.A., professor of architecture of a very advanced order. The work is well executed, and we can almost see before us the architect who, disdaining such insignificant matters as good planning, stability of construction, and convenient disposition of parts, claims to be an artist pure and simple, and, leaving practical matters entirely out of the question, goes in heavily for the picturesque and pure mediæval, Queen Anne, or Jacobean, as the case may be. Let us follow him as he conducts a friend over a church and conventual establishment in course of construction.

"Your rooms," says Monsignore, "seem to me to be made almost as uncomfortable as they possibly can be."

"Why, of course!" exclaims the astonished artist, fixing his glass somewhat indignantly in his eye. "What you call uncomfortable I call quaint."

"Very possibly I should call it the same; but, my dear sir, cui bono?"

"Cui bono!" answers the architect[Pg 453] contemptuously. "That's what all modern people say; that's the horrible mistake of the whole modern world. We shall never recover the tone of the old men till we get rid of such jargon. Now, just for an instant, imagine the fathers of this abbey of ours going in for wash-hand-basins!"

He drops his eye-glass in sheer dismay at such an idea. They next visit the refectory. Master Georgius here excels himself. "I'm going in for doing it inside in red brick, and vaulting it in red brick too, with black diaper-patterns all over, you know."

"How pretty!"

"I hope not," (dropping his glass.) "The diapers will be quite irregular, and full of what you would very likely call mistakes."

"A sort of intentional accidents, George."

"Yes; not a bad term. And then the joints will be all raked out roughly, and the brick-work smeared, you know. I have quite a new idea about that. I mean to go in for letting the workmen have the use of all the rooms, with liberty to smudge them as much as they like; and so at the end we shall have a sort of antique effect, you know."

"They will be dirty."

"You may call it dirt," says Georgius, refixing his eye-glass. "I call it art. And there will be marks here and there where the fellows have lighted fires, you know."

"And caricatures on the walls, I suppose."

"Of course. I shall go in for that very much. I shall offer a prize for the quaintest. I'll have them done with a brush of paint, you know, or scratch them with a screw-driver, and so on. I call that real art."

"So it is, George."

"And smudges of candle-smoke everywhere, and grease, and all that sort of thing. Well, here's the dormitory; that's in yellow brick, with white ones, and red ones, and so on, intermixed at random. Magnificent!"

The tower he proposes to treat in an equally artistic manner. "I shall go in for building it quite rough on purpose, and have it washed over with something—that's a matter of detail, you know—to produce fungus, or moss, or lichens, or whatever you choose to call it; and I shall plant things in the crevices as we go up,—wall-flowers, and houseleek, and ferns, and couch-grass, and all that kind of thing, you know."

"But what is all that for?"

"What is it all for?" says Master Georgius, dropping his glass. "Why, what could it be for? To give authenticity to the tower, of course."

With all this so-called æstheticism and crude speculation upon the proper development of architecture as a fine art, I believe the reformers of the Queen Anne school have honestly attempted to improve and elevate the standard of our domestic buildings. At all events, they have brought into the ranks of the profession life and nerve, elements absolutely necessary to an honest development of art-methods. The sentiment for art pure and simple will gradually expand into a greater veneration for the scientific elements of their professional career, and the necessity of clearly demonstrating to the uneducated comprehension of mechanics the practicability of their designs will induce those habits of thought and investigation which, if honestly pursued, will elevate the standard of professional attainments. As a natural result, their designs when executed will give us edifices artistic in conception and detail, well planned, and built by the best-known methods of construction.

The Queen Anne revival, viewed apart from the incongruities which have been engrafted upon it, is a movement of great interest to the architectural fraternity. Although a worn-out and debased art was the foundation of this renaissance, the movement has given to us, in the works of its best masters, much that is beautiful and honest in theory and in real domestic comfort. It may be said to be the picturesque art of a hitherto unpicturesque time and people. Let us, then, cultivate the principles of Free-Classicism honestly and logically,[Pg 454] striving to secure the best results from our studies and the works of our predecessors; but do not let us be carried away by our love for archæology and attempt to make our Queen Anne houses of to-day simply a reflex of those of the early eighteenth century. If we attempt such purism we must fail signally as constructors and as artists. Architecture, to be a living art, must press forward and keep pace with the advance of civilization, combining and utilizing all the varied resources at its command, and aiming to meet all the public and domestic requirements of a complex and artificial state of civilization. To Americans, Queen Anne or early Georgian is the starting-point of architectural history. Let us, then, take it as our standard, the Alpha of our profession, and aim to emulate the old masters in their endeavors to do their best with the small means at their command. Let us so design our modern buildings as to obtain the best results from diversified industries, almost human machinery, and the refined taste and superior cultivation of our clients, and we shall be carrying out the Queen Anne revival more logically and with more common sense than by aiming simply to attain the quaint and picturesque aspects of earlier work, forgetting the necessities which compelled the builders of the eighteenth century to stop short in their aspirations for a better and truer art. Let us build strongly, honestly, and conveniently,—eclectically if we will,—and our modified and beautified Queen Anne will become the logical expression of American domestic architecture. It contains the germ of greatness and artistic truth: let us endeavor to secure that germ, and our dwellings, enriched and beautified, will realize the idea of Skelton, who tells us of the early masters who, centuries before the advent of Queen Anne or Free Classic architecture, were

Building royally
Their mansions curiously,
With turrets and with toures,
With halls and with boures,
Stretching to the starres;
With glass windows and barres;
Hanging about the walls,
Clothes of golde and palles,
Arras of rich arraye,
Freshe as flowers in Maye.

George C. Mason, Jr.


I woke and heard the thrushes sing at dawn,—
A strangely blissful burst of melody,
A chant of rare, exultant certainty,
Fragrant, as springtime breaths, of wood and lawn.
Night's eastern curtains still were closely drawn;
No roseate flush predicted pomps to be,
Or spoke of morning loveliness to me.
But for those happy birds the night was gone!
Darkling they sang, nor guessed what care consumes
Man's questioning spirit; heedless of decay,
They sang of joy and dew-embalméd blooms.
My doubts grew still, doubts seemed so poor while they,
Sweet worshippers of light, from leafy glooms
Poured forth transporting prophecies of Day.

Florence Earle Coates.
[Pg 455]


They have been many and of a widely various character. We tried them in England, in France, in Italy; we tried them likewise in Germany, Sweden, and Spain, but the result of that trying was, in these last-named countries, far more trying to our digestions and tempers than rich in such recollections as would add to the interest of this paper.

Our first European pension was, naturally, a London one. It was one of the innumerable host in the pale realms of Bloomsbury. Like others of its kind in that region, it prided itself upon its "connexion,"—or, less euphemistically, its custom,—and made a specialty of an Australian "connexion," as the next number upon the right made a specialty of Germans, the one upon the left of South Americans and Spaniards, the one opposite of Russians, and uncounted ones all over London of our countrymen. Although our house was largely frequented by Australians, it did by no means confine its privileges to them. Like every other London boarding-house, it was a perfect caravansary of foreigners of almost every nation and every shade of color. At one time, with a Danish landlord and an Irish landlady, we were Norwegians, Swedes, Russians, Spaniards, Germans, Italians, and East Indians. Also we were several Americans, as was proved one notable day. That day we heard the arrival of new-comers in the hall below. We saw not their hue, but we recognized their cry as that of our countrypeople. We are not madly enamoured of our countryman in foreign climes. There his least adorable qualities—his bumptiousness, his provincialism, his strident tones and "costume de Yank"—are always more strikingly conspicuous than the chivalry toward women and the self-respecting manliness we always recognize so emphatically in him when we return to our own land after a prolonged absence. Hence we panted not for the dinner-hour, that should show us the faces whose voices we recognized as to our own manner born. That hour came, however, as all hours come to those who know how to wait. We descended to the showy table, with its floral decorations of paper, muslin, and gay paint, the ladies in the evening dress of flowers, trains, and décolletée bodices which is the absurd custom of pretentious London pensions. We glanced along the table to note the new-comers. They were there, neatly and stylishly dressed in walking-costumes. They were three quiet gentlemanly and lady-like persons, but their faces were Medusa-like to almost every American who gazed upon them. The foreigners looked intensely amused at this collapse of the American contingent,—all save our Danish landlord, who stared with amazement. Next day our new-comers disappeared.

"How in the world did you congédier them?" somebody asked.

"I told them my Americans admire enough coppery Turks, South Americans, Japanese, and East Indians, but they turn to stone at sight of niggers," answered Mr. Nodskou.

The line was certainly not drawn at color, for our Parsees were dusky enough, goodness knows, and them our maidens found very captivating. Several of them spoke no English, and it was the fascinating pastime of our English, Australian, and American girls to teach them our common language. But the result was, alas, not a little confusing to our Parsees.

"Don't fancy you are learning English from those Americans," warned Britannia. "Their accent is horrible: they say the weather is 'fair' when they mean 'fine,' they call their luggage 'baggage,' and when they speak of their travelling-boxes talk of their 'trunks,' like elephants!"[Pg 456]

"Don't be fooled by English English," advised Columbia: "the accent is like a mouthful of pudding, and when they mean to say the weather is bad they say it is 'nawsty;' they call their rubbers 'galoshes,' their dépôts 'stations,' and when they start on a journey they get their 'boxes' together, like sweet-biscuit-peddlers."

"Don't mind what either of them say," quoth Miss Melbourne. "Both are wrong. It is only we Australians, living between the two branches of the language, as it were, who select the best and gobble it."

"What must it to say when I have such a fear, such a fear, that I speak not?" asked one of the Parsees.

"Say you're dickey on your pins," laughed Australia.

"Say you feel all of a goneness," spoke up Columbia.

"No; that is Americanese," flouted Britannia: "say you're in a beastly funk!"

That our Parsees improved under such tuition was somewhat remarkable. The lingual advance of one of them was quite startling. Our young ladies had striven to teach him "good-by." One day, therefore, as the ladies were departing from the dining-room, leaving the gentlemen to their wine, our Parsee opened the door with grave, Oriental courtesy, and, bowing to the rustling covey, said solemnly, "By god, ladies, by god!"

During a political discussion in which English and Australians took chief parts, a Melbourne girl exclaimed excitedly, "Thank goodness, I'm not English!"

"Not Engleesh!" exclaimed her neighboring Parsee. "What are you but the small little brat of the mother-country?"

Not until we laughed did our grave Oriental remember that "brat" and "child" are not strictly synonymous.

Said one of our English girls afterward to me, with tact and taste pre-eminently British, "She glad she is not English! Really, I'd almost as soon be American as Australian."

Our Parsees were not our only peculiar people. We Americans found quite as much food for sly laughter in the queerness of our English habitués as they did in ours. Our English contingent was largely feminine, therefore, as goes without saying, very High-Church, very dévote, and excessively Tory, worshipping the English aristocracy vastly more than that of celestial courts. Everybody knows the two diseases that virulently assail young Englishwomen,—"scarlet fever" and "black vomit,"—maladies provoked by association with red-coated officers and black-coated curates.

One of our fair Britons had the darker malady. She fasted regularly on Fridays and Tuesdays. We always recognized her jours maigres by the quantity of cakes and pastry we saw carried to her room just before dinner, to which dinner she came in nun-like gray silk, saintly coiffure, with ascetic pallor on cheeks wont to bloom with roses de Ninon, to dine, à la Sainte Catherine or Sainte Something else, on a few lentils or a lettuce-leaf.

One Sunday somebody asked this fair devotee to give us a certain popular but profane piano-arrangement. She was shocked beyond measure. A few moments' temptation, however, brought her to a compromise.

"I think there will be no harm if I play it slowly and make it as solemn as possible."

We smiled at the æsthetic piety of our Saint Catherine. But she did more than smile at our national practicality when, one evening, from the gay drawing-room we heard the clamor of a feminine arrival below:

"I won't see any rooms till I know your price. I won't stir a peg till I know what's to pay. I've come from Chicago, where folks know what's what, and I'm going to do Yoorup on the cheap!"

Saint Catherine worshipped her country's aristocracy. One day Jonathan happened to be putting on his coat in the hall, when somebody knocked at the front door. Forgetting that the act, so natural to an American, is ungentlemanly[Pg 457] and menial in England, he opened the door himself. A couple of young swells inquired for Saint Catherine.

"I just saw her go out," answered Jonathan.

"Tell her that the brothers of Lord Verisopht called," said the spokesman.

"I'll tell her," spoke Jonathan; "but, good heavens, young man, don't lords' brothers have any names of their own in this country?"

Another day came a gorgeous individual with a bouquet to the door.

"What skion of the British nobility is that?" asked Jonathan.

"That is Lord Blank's footman," replied Saint Catherine.

"My! Well, whose footman is that?" continued her interlocutor, pointing to a less gorgeous person holding the reins.

"That is Lord Blank," answered Saint Catherine loftily.

"Sakes alive! Does that goose of a lord think he will stand any chance with the girls when he takes such a howling swell as that around with him?" asked simple Jonathan.

To this question Saint Catherine deigned no reply, having, perhaps, remarked the wicked twinkle of Jonathan's eye.

One of our pensionnaires objected very much to the American language. "It is principally slang," she said. This lady, no longer young, had been three times upon the eve of marriage, had had three bridal dresses, had countermanded three wedding-feasts. She was heiress at that time to the fifty thousand pounds she has since inherited, and the persistent failure of her matrimonial endeavors surprised us all.

"It is because Monsieur mon Père is perfectly addled on the matter of settlements, and rowed with every one of my fiancés," she explained.

She said one day, "The gov'nor has done me out of a guinea of my allowance this week. He's a first-class Do!"

Another time, "The mater and I prefer to live in our own house, but the gov'nor won't hear to it. He prefers 'diggin's' where he can always have his whist."

Some time after our sojourn in Bloomsbury "diggin's" we found ourselves in a Continental pension, the very reverse of this in every respect. It was a Parisian pension bourgeoise, but one entirely away from every haunt of foreigners as well as from foreign influences,—a pension as French as French could be, where we were not merely the only foreigners present, but the only ones who had ever penetrated there.

It was a large white house, standing in its own grounds, not far from the Bois de Vincennes, pre-eminently a pension bourgeoise, and without pretensions higher than the widows of shopkeepers and the relicts of small government employees that formed its support. Not counting ourselves, there were twenty Relicts and one Maiden, all with handsome incomes and diamonds, but with the habit of running far and wide upon the open boulevard in caps, loose sacques, and list slippers, and of boasting of the cheap bargains they made in stockings and gowns. Their toilets were always tout ce qu'il y a de plus bourgeois, their conversation ran upon public scandals, private gossip, and fluctuations of trade (almost all of them had kept shop with their departed consorts), their reading was Paul de Kock's novels and the feuilletons of "Le Petit Journal." The youngest widow was fifty, the Maiden ninety-and-nine. The latter was daughter of a man who had been concierge of the Tuileries during the reign of Charles X. She was dusky and shrivelled as any daughter of the Pharaohs, but her faculties were marvellously preserved and her memory rich with interesting personal gossip of a former period. We Americans should have delighted to draw upon that memory, but one thing hindered us: that was the insatiable, indomitable, unparalleled coquetry of our ancient Maiden. She would never talk with any woman when any man was in the room. She descended to the stuffy little salon only in the evening, when the Relicts were gathered to their gambling for sous and the atmosphere was an imitation of the Black Hole of Calcutta. She descended en grande tenue,[Pg 458] the grandest ever seen there, frizzled, jewelled, and muffled to the throat in fleecy clouds of white wool. She came all quirks and quivers, all flutters and smiles, for there she met our only Monsieur,—Monsieur Boulanger, our landlord. She invariably took her seat beside him, and devoted quirks and quivers exclusively to him, tapping him with her fan, calling him "Méchant! méchant!" "farceur," or "quel diable d'homme!" twittering and carolling in her old broken voice, like a senile canary dreaming of its far-off youth. M. Boulanger was of peasant origin and appearance, gray-bearded and gray-haired, and clumping always in sabots over the stone floors, except in the salon in the evening. But her eyes were only for him; and the only occasion on which any of her own uninteresting sex had her attention was when Madame Boulanger pouted and pretended to be jealous, or some Relict showed pique that our only Monsieur was monopolized by our only Maiden. Then she smiled archly, cooed sweetly, and arched her ancient neck with visible triumph.

Before we left the pension bourgeoise our front door was hung with heavy black curtains, and our Maiden passed forth into the broad day for the first time in ten years. She went out unsmiling, uncooing, without flutter or quirk, and no date upon her pine coffin, for with her last breath she had forbidden it.

"Nobody need know that I have lived more than fifty years," she murmured; "and don't let Monsieur Boulanger look at me when I am dead."

One of our widows—Madame Notte—was almost stone-deaf. She was a dwarfish creature, passionately fond of cards, waxing into terrible tempers over them, and with only one interest in life,—worshipful love of her only son, a not too beautiful citoyen of fifty. This son fell ill and died. Poor Madame Notte knew of his illness, but not of its danger and final end. It was thought best to keep from her the knowledge that she was childless, lest the shock should be too great for her frail strength. She was told he had gone to Italy for his health; and when his widow and daughters came twice each week to visit her, they left their weeds at home, came in a close carriage in their gayest attire, and laughed and talked to her blithely with heavy hearts. All about the poor old mother we talked openly and freely of her loss and our pity, and she sat as unwitting as stone of it all. But when we put our mouths to her ear and asked for her son, a beautiful change always dawned upon the leaden countenance. "He has gone away," she invariably smiled,—"gone to a better country, where it is always summer. When I see him again he will be well, quite well." She, too, passed under the heavy black curtains that winter; and from our hearts we prayed that all was well with them in that better country where it is always summer.

One of our Relicts prided herself upon her English, and criticised ours. "They speak English fairly well: I can understand them," I once heard her say of us to a group of Relicts in the garden; "but of course they speak only a patois: they are Americans."

"Why say you always to your infant, 'Hurry, my darling'?" she asked one day. "The pure Englishes says always, ''Urry, me darlink.'" Madame had acquired her English from her defunct lord, a commercial traveller from Lancashire.

One day, glancing at an envelope I had just addressed, she remarked, "Eh bien! you Americans are very like English, after all. In England the last name of almost every monsieur is 'Esq.'!"

Another day she sweetly remarked, "This knife has very bad bladders."

As knives in our country are not generally endowed with that physical possession, I could only stare my astonishment.

"Eh, I see! It is an English word, and you do not understand it. It means lame."

By which I discovered that had she spoken our transatlantic patois she would have said "blades."[Pg 459]

Every one of our Relicts had her private sitting-room attached to her bed-room, the house having been built expressly to suit the demands of bourgeois widows with fortunes. Thus our salon was of very little account until after dinner, when our widows, instead of returning to their own rooms, the garden, or the boulevard, where they spent the day, herded together around card-tables almost as closely as sheep in a pen. The salon was not intended for daytime use; in the bitterest weather it had no fire until evening, and it had but a single window, which looked out upon the pavement of a well-like court arched over, three stories above, by a handkerchief bit of sky. Very little light or air ever entered the box-like place; during the day its atmosphere was stale and heavy, at night almost fetid. Whenever we ventured to pass an hour there our struggle was always against fate. Slyly we would leave the one door an inch ajar, or surreptitiously unclose the window a fraction as much. Scarcely, however, had we begun to congratulate ourselves upon success when half a score of antique roses flaunted and flared, and the death-knell of sly hopes sounded with echoed and re-echoed cry: "Mon Dieu! I smell air!" "Mon Dieu! Smell you not air?" "Mon Dieu! Smell we not air?" "Mon Dieu! Smells she not air?" "Mon Dieu! Smell they not air?"

Almost all our veuves had children and grandchildren in Paris, and we were continually surprised to see the mundane elegance of these younger branches of our withered old trees. It showed the usual history, however, of bourgeois parents who had worked steadily, lived humbly and economically, to gather dots for their daughters and open careers for their sons, to see them thus rise to positions in life far above their parents. Every day some of these younger branches came to our house in handsome carriages and toilets; and indeed on some days the number of elegant visitors who rang at our door gave the impression of a gay reception à la mode rather than of the ordinary visitors of a pension bourgeoise at Saint-Maudé.

One of our Relicts was decidedly less bourgeoise and more paysanne than any of the rest. She was round as a ball, seventy years of age, and dressed always in short gray petticoats, black short-gown, and close white cap. Madame Boulanger kept close watch upon her, and tried to confine her to the sunny, high-walled garden set with a number of round little iron tables, where our Relicts took their after-déjeûner café on sunny days. But Madame Boulanger was not Argus-eyed, and thus we often saw Madame Leroy escape through the front door and roll like a huge balloon along the boulevard, bent on what she called "collecting her rents." The way she did it was to enter every open door and accost every grown person she saw with the stern reproach that he was behind-hand with his rent, and if he did not pay up by to-morrow she would send the huissier to sell him out. The poor creature was so well known in the neighborhood that she never received rough treatment, and was generally so thoroughly tired out by her rent-collecting as to be quite ready to return without resistance whenever one of our servants sought her. When she did not escape, and mingled with the conglomerate widowhood of the garden (she was never permitted in the salon, and went to bed with the chickens), her time was spent, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, going from Relict to Relict, telling always the same story,—always the same, and always a true one:

"Are you in trade? I am. My husband and I came to Paris from Normandy fifty years ago, on foot, with one hundred francs. We kept a green-grocery on Rue des Saints-Pères. When my husband died he left me one hundred thousand francs. I go to collect my rents: will you go? Are you in trade? I am. My husband and I came to Paris on foot," etc., etc., etc.

One of the most elegant of all our visitors was to this poor old Madame Leroy. She always came in an elegant[Pg 460] landau, with liveried coachman and footman. Her toilets were of incomparable luxury, but likewise of restrained and cultured taste, being usually of black velvet, duchess-like laces, and queenly furs. She always went directly to this old peasant-woman's handsomely-furnished rooms, and we never saw her except as she descended from her carriage before the windows at which we sat. She was a tall, finely-formed, aristocratic-looking brunette of thirty-five or forty, artistically gotten up as to complexion and hair, and always smiling affectionately at the tea-kettle old figure waiting at the door to greet her. This aristocratic lady was known in the house as Madame la Princesse, and was the daughter of our ancient paysanne and green-grocer, whom a Slav noble had taken from a café chantant in Constantinople to endow with his name and fortune.

Another of our veuves filled her private salon with cats. There were seven of them, and the odor of her premises was ancient and cat-like. Three of these cats were sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything, and had lived with their mistress in these very rooms years before, when booming shells sped hot over the house, and fell sometimes close beside it, during the siege of Paris.

"How did you manage to feed them?" we asked.

"I bought slices of cat in the market and stewed them in wine," answered Madame Pognon. "Wine and rice were the only things we were not stinted in. Thus I could always make a ragout for Pierre, Jean, and Jacques, and they throve on it. But I had to keep them shut up, or they would have made ragouts instead of eaten them."

A characteristic of our Relicthood en bloc was its idleness. I never saw one of them with a piece of knitting or any other work in her hands during all the weeks we were there. In fine weather they loitered and basked in the garden, gossiping or amusing themselves with novelettes cut from the penny papers and passed from one to the other in turn. The front door stood almost always open, and the suburban neighborhood about it was during pleasant days largely flecked by the grave gowns and white caps belonging to our pension. Nearly all were Bonapartists (for was not trade good during the Empire?) and found the present times sadly out of joint. Nearly all had stood behind counters or at cashiers' desks, and had thus never learned more strictly feminine employments, and now, retired upon their rentes, they found time heavy upon their hands. None were conspicuously dévote: they had never been so in their younger days, and they were not of natures to be spiritualized by long familiarity with life. Death could not be far off from most of them, but they never spoke of it, never seemed to think of it; and, although life was dull, they clung to it as by monotonous habit that is but knows not why.

Still another of our well-remembered pensions was on the bright Vesuvian Bay. The flaming mountain overlooked us, Naples floated beyond us like a dream-city, before us the Mediterranean shimmered and shone like a sultana's satin tunic. We could drop a stone from our windows into the sea; we ran dripping from our sea-baths up long stairs, across tiled balconies, into our vast rooms; all day and all night the swish and lisp of the soft tides mingled with our voices and dreams.

As somebody said of us that summer, we were a "cosmopolitan mess," a hotch-potch of nationalities, such as is always found in so general a rendezvous as Italy. We were rather less of a hotch-potch, however, than in London, but somehow it seemed to us that our peculiarities were more salient than they could ever appear in proper and conventional Bloomsbury. We were largely German, as the travelling population of Italy is. In Bloomsbury our medium of expression was the English language, and English was the language at table, no matter how foreign our company. But in this Italian pensione, where the faces were continually changing, the languages changed as often. One day[Pg 461] only English was the rule, and those who could not unite with the majority remained mute. Another day, with a tremendous incursion of Teutons, who always seem to travel in hordes, only German gutturals held the table, and we who had no facility with them muttered meek French or sullen English to our neighbors. The next day French would be the rule, and Teuton must mumble in it and Anglo-Saxon stammer or hold its peace. Curiously enough, although we were in Italy, Italian was rarely, almost never, spoken among us, our only use of it being in orders to the servants. Our landlady was English, with an Italian husband, but they both held only upper menial places in the establishment, and never dreamed of sitting at table with us or of meeting us upon any terms of equality. This want of familiarity with Italian proves how little mere travellers and haunters of pensioni ever know of the middle-class inhabitants of the country. The Italians themselves stir from home very seldom; they almost never admit foreigners into their own houses, and when forced abroad seek cheap Italian inns rather than the innumerable boarding-houses infested by the outer barbarian. Italian peasant life is open to all foreigners, but not that of the middle classes.

Our landlord had a daughter whose cheek was pale and whose garments hung loosely upon her. When first we remarked this and her heavy eye, everybody laughed.

"The usual story,—loves and rides away," was remarked in various languages.

It was heartless to laugh, but we could not help it. For wan and drooping landlords' daughters had become so familiar to us in Italian pensioni that we needed only to glance at the set of each one's gown and the tint of her cheek to know if HE were still present and wooing or had faithlessly ridden away. The race, however, was not always to the rider.

One evening under our window, when the air swooned with languid scent of lemon- and orange-blossoms, we heard a sobbing and a sighing that reminded us of the Mock Turtle in "Alice in Wonderland." Glancing out, by the soft light of the summer moon, enhanced by the shimmering water, we saw two persons who seemed to be weeping in each other's arms under a shuddering ilex. The stouter one—he was not the taller—we recognized as a young Teuton for whose sake we had seen a gown very loose and a cheek very wan afar off among the Alban Hills only a month before.

"I love you, Tita, I love you. I have thought I loved a dozen times before, but I was mistaken. I never loved any girl before," he boohooed.

"Dio mio!" laughed the girl. "All the Tedeschi say that who come here. I wonder they are not tired of the old tune. I—I am fiancé to a bel Espagnol who rode away a month ago, and who ought to have been back before now."

We found our Teuton fellow-pensionnaires to have tastes more unnatural than for landlords' daughters. One of them we had remarked for his extreme beauty, not entirely of feature and rich olive hue, but of pathetic, dreamy expression,—as we said, like an ideal St. John. At first we never spoke of him except as "St. John." We gradually ceased to call him so, however, when we had seen him several times at table, and we grew finally so coarsely irreverent as to call him "Mange-tout."

Our meat was brought from distant Naples, making the journey without ice, under a broiling Italian sun. Often it came to table so shorn of its pristine freshness that not the hungriest of us could condone its odor. One sultry night everybody's plate went away untouched, save two or three. Flesh and fowl were "high,"—yea, "twice high," as the British gourmet prefers his game. St. John's plate was not sent away. That ideal being was served three times, after which he rose and helped himself from the side-table, remarking half apologetically as he did so, "The cook has really surpassed himself to-day!"

"Ja! ja!" echoed our Teutons.

We saw our St. John next morning sucking raw eggs before his coffee.[Pg 462]

"Because the nourriture is poor. I do it to strengthen me," he explained.

"When I am well I eat all I can hold," he confidentially imparted to the table-d'hôte. "When I am ill I eat more than I do when I am well."

One of our pensionnaires was a swarthy Brazilian, living upon a colossal and mysteriously-begotten fortune and spending what remained to him of life upon the Mediterranean shores. He knew every pensione of the whole wide region, and in strident, barbaric tones—continually reminding us of the savage aboriginal blood betrayed by narrow eyes and high cheek-bones—flooded our table-d'hôte with the gossip of pensioni at Capri, Castellamare, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Salerno,—the giddiness of all the widows, the cunning of the young girls, the wickedness of the wives, and the barefaced or clever intriguing of husband-hunting mammas. All that year, as we quietly slipped from one Mediterranean pensione to another, we met and recognized the heroes and heroines of our Brazilian's chroniques scandaleuses, and we breathed many a thanksgiving that we were slipping east while he slipped west and thus were not known of name and evil fame in advance of our coming.

Our Brazilian was a devout Catholic, which led to his giving great offence at our table. Nobody could endure to pass him anything or to take anything from him, and the hideous bird-of-prey-like rattling of his right hand at any service turned many a delicate appetite away and made our Brazilian of almost Gorgon-like effect upon all new-comers. The finger-nails of his right hand were vowed to the Virgin: for two years they had been uncut, and now, like fiendish claws, extended two inches beyond the withered and dusky fingers.

"Why am I not liked by ces belles dames?" he asked one day. "They never ask me to their excursions; they seem to shrink from taking my hand."

"Because of your talons," somebody ventured to explain.

"Oh, no! the Blessed Virgin would never allow that," he asserted confidently.

Before the end of the summer, however, he seemed to lose confidence in the Virgin's tampering with natural law for his sake. One day we saw that the talons were sacrificed, and were told that the Mother of God had announced to our Brazilian in a dream that she would accept a vow never to cut his hair in place of the devoted nails.

A few days later our divoto came upon the loggia, where sat a bevy of ladies of many nations, in a screeching aboriginal rage.

"I sacrificed my vow to you belles dames, although I refused it to Madame la Duchesse de B——," he screamed, "and yet you avoid me. Am I not an homme fait" (certainly our sixty-year-old Brazilian had never read "Pendennis"), "and better than any of these boys you admire? Do you imagine the Blessed Virgin will not pay you off for this? Do you think she will go back on a man like me,—of whom Victor Emanuel himself was jealous when I rode on the Pincian with Madame la Princesse della Gr——?"

We thus found many peculiar people in the varied experiences of nos pensions. We found often learning and often culture, but more vulgarity than we did refinement, more splendor than delicacy of habit, more blatant ignorance than culture, more sans gêne than dignity of manners and character. It is always thus in any mere "cosmopolitan mess," any "hotch-potch of nationalities." For the eccentric and obnoxious types are always and everywhere those most largely en évidence, while the gentle and refined nestles closest to the cool, still, mossy ground, leaving sunny flaunting to wider blooms and stronger perfumes.[Pg 463]


An existence, if even a dull one, in a large and busy city full of life, when contrasted in the mind of a romantic young lady of eighteen summers with an enforced captivity in an isolated cottage by the sea-shore, grows to possess charms and an excitement which, until so considered, may have remained totally unappreciated.

Could anything be more depressing than the knowledge that this latter condition must be endured with no other companion than a hypochondriacal papa, whose ailings so monopolized his time and attention that a daughter's happiness sunk into insignificance? Little wonder that she should melt into tears at so undesirable a prospect, that she should pity herself and her luckless fate, and that, when fully realizing the depths of loneliness into which she was to be precipitated for five long, weary months, she should jump at the dismal conclusion that her doll was stuffed with the most inferior variety of saw-dust and wish with lachrymose sincerity that she were dead and buried and out of this world of sorrow. Papa might then wish that he had been more considerate. Perhaps; but at that particular moment he was contemplatively assimilating his fish, and that process admitted of no consideration whatever beyond that of the fish itself. So when his daughter raised her tearful eyes to his saffron countenance across the board she found no signs in it of the sympathy she felt so much need of. What could she expect, anyway? Dr. Nevercure had been consulted, and this time felt that something desperate must be done. His patient had persistently refused to pronounce himself in any degree benefited by the long course of physic which he had prescribed, and in fact had become an elephant upon his professional hands; and thus, as a last resort, he had recommended an entire change of air and perfect quiet, with a periodical harmless dose for the sake of appearances. Nevercure must be obeyed; the patient himself, since it seemed to be his delight to fancy himself an invalid, must naturally be supposed to find a pleasure in the remedies for his sufferings, and therefore evinced no regret whatever at the leaden prospects, but, on the contrary, made a most exasperating exhibition of saintly resignation, very galling to the young lady, who considered herself the only one really injured.

"And when must we go?" she asked, continuing a series of questions which her sudden burst of tears had interrupted.

"Friday morning," replied Mr. Moreley curtly.

"Friday morning! And this is Tuesday night! Why, papa, I—"

"Mabel, I said Friday morning. My arrangements are made, and I will not hear another word about it."

And he didn't. Mabel left the table as soon as decorum would permit, and betook herself up-stairs to her own sanctum to nurse her grief in solitude.

She sat long by the open window, pondering over her hapless lot, her chin upon her hand, her dark eyes far away in thought,—sad thought, judging from their expression,—the wind playing in her light, wavy hair, her full red lips parted slightly, showing the interest which her theme awakened, and the fresh bloom upon her cheeks now going, now coming, following in some subtile way the quick movements of her mind. An hour slid by, and then she started from her revery with a sudden thought. The sadness in her eyes gave way to mirth and a twinkle of fun; the color came faster, the lips broke into a most roguish smile.

"I'll do it!" she whispered. "I will!" she added, with convincing emphasis and a countenance brimming over with mischief.

It was a foolish project,—a most insane[Pg 464] and inexcusable one. It had, however, the spice of romance, and it might afford her some amusement and a little excitement during the coming months of misery. It was suggested by some demon of mischief, and was all the more attractive coming from such a source. It came about naturally enough, too. On the morning of that same day her particular intimate, Anna Desbrough, and she had fallen upon the college catalogue which Anna's brother Tom had sent for to guide him in his preparatory studies. The names of the students had proved interesting reading-matter, and the two girls had speculated as to the probable appearance of this one and that, and had even gone so far as to select the one whom they thought they would prefer among those mentioned. They had indulged in a vast deal of imaginative nonsense, and had finally thrown the book aside and returned to more rational topics; but the recollection of the morning's pastime had not quite faded from Mabel's mind. The name was still fresh in her memory,—Mortimer Granville Dudley: how grand! how musical!

"I will!" she had exclaimed, with determination; and, being a young lady of her word, she hastily collected pen, ink, and paper to carry out her threat.

"My dear Mr. Dudley," she wrote (she had hesitated long between "Mr. Dudley" and plain "Mort," with the result shown), "how long ago it seems since those days when we were playmates together! I hardly think it probable, though, that you can have forgotten me. My position would certainly be a very awkward one if you had. But, remembering as I do so well those happy times, and particularly your juvenile vows of constancy at the moment of our parting, I cannot believe that I am mistaken in trusting in their sincerity and truth.

"By a mere accident I heard the other day of your whereabouts, and, as I for one still feel the same interest in my playmate that I used to, I resolved, I think I may say courageously, to discover whether he still gave promise of fulfilling all the hopes I then entertained for him.

"I wonder if some of our early experiences are still as fresh in your mind as they are in mine! Do you remember that day you made me stand guard while you 'blew' old Jones's eggs in retaliation for his having turned informer against you? I think it was the time he told about your having promoted a fight between two dogs. And do you remember the day on the skating-pond when you broke through the ice and frightened me into fits by disappearing three times below the surface, while all the time you were standing, as you afterward confessed, on solid bottom? I thought then I should never forgive you for causing me in that unguarded moment to betray my feelings. And then the telegraph scheme by which we communicated that time I had the measles. It all seems to have occurred in some other world, looking back at it now; and yet what happy times those were! I believe I could go on forever with these reminiscences; but perhaps they are not as sweet to you as they are to me; perhaps I am only boring you with them. It would be a great disappointment to me, though, to know that you never looked back with a sigh to those days and never gave a thought to your once so devoted playmate.

"I am going to a place called Stillton this summer. I dare say you never heard of it: it is in Maine; and I must confess I anticipate a very stupid time there. Perhaps I shall have nothing else to do but reflect upon the days of my early youth. Am I quite forgotten?

"Your playmate of old,

"Jane Jennings.

"Boston, June 10, 188-."

The nom de plume was borrowed from Mabel's faithful servant,—nurse in earlier days, a description of maid now,—and was a safe one, as old Jane proper was never known to receive letters, and, moreover, could not have deciphered her own name on the envelope had one arrived for her.[Pg 465]

The conflict on the following morning as to whether it should be sent or destroyed, the tremble of the little hand that finally dropped it irrevocably into the iron post-box, the vain reproaches and unanswered longings for its return, the subsequent prayers that it might by some providential interference be intercepted or miscarry, all followed in due course, as well as later a revulsion of feeling and an anxious watching for the mails, hope deferred, and sickness of heart.

Friday came. The journey, miserable as was its object, was accomplished, and Stillton, in all its tomb-like silence and drowsy do-nothingness, with its few glaring white houses and its one dusty road, offering no apology or explanation whatever for its purposeless existence, at last was reached, and Farmer Galusha Krinklebottom, in accordance with Dr. Nevercure's arrangements, met the jaded travellers at the station in his rickety shay, prepared to take them over to the cottage.

"'Tain't more'n three mile," he said consolingly. "The roads ain't none too good this season, an' Kittie—that's her" (pointing to his mare)—"don't feel over-skittish; she's nigh onter fourteen year, an' right smart, too, fur her age, but sorter broken-winded latterly; but I guess we'll make it afore dark.—Go 'long, Kittie!"

The ancient mare started off. Her fore-legs were stiff and jointless, her hip-bones painfully prominent, her ribs sadly bare, and her nose hung dejectedly toward the ground; but she still possessed some mechanical power of locomotion, and the "shay" began to squeak and rattle in her wake. Galusha was proud of his native hamlet. "That there's our meetin'-house," he said, but its whitewash and green blinds did not seem to excite the travellers' admiration. "An' that longish house yonder's Pincus's."

"Pincus's?" asked Mabel, with a yawn.

"Pincus Sass's, mum. 'Tis the hotel, mum. That's him in the door. Hulloa, Pincus!" he shouted, shooting a line of tobacco-juice over the dash-board.

"Haow, Galusha!" came in nasal accents from the door-way. "Who ye got in the phayton?"

"The folks as has took the cottage yonder!" called back Galusha.

"Humph! I'll be dummed!" was Pincus's audible comment as the shay rattled on.

"Yonder's the store," presently added Galusha, pointing with his two feet of whip-stock to a place placarded with patent-medicine advertisements, and apparently the rendezvous for all the tobacco-chewers of the neighborhood.

"And the post-office?" asked Mabel timidly.

"In the store, mum. Barton Bump's our pos'master. Some'at of a man, Barton is. He was 'p'inted by the Pres'dent 'imself. Barton fit in the war, yer see, an' I 'spect Gen'ral Grant took a powerful shine to him. He made him pos'master fust thing."

The greatness of Barton Bump did not seem to impress the party as much as Galusha anticipated. "Git 'long, Kittie!" he said, retiring into himself and seeking solace in a fresh mouthful of tobacco. He couldn't contain himself long, though. He soon exclaimed, "So you's the folks as has took the cottage yonder. Well, I want t' know!" He paused again to chew awhile, and then continued, "Yer ain't bin much hereabouts, I reckon?" Another reflective cud. "Well, 'tain't so durned 'citin' here, maybe, as 't might be up to Bosting, but we 'casion'lly gets up reels an' sich for the young folks an' 'joys erselves.—Go 'long, Kittie!—You heard tell, I reckon, on Farmer Manton, lives down 'longside this here cottage of yourn. No? Well, I want t' know. He's 'sider'ble of a man in these parts, Manton is. His gals is great on's on flare-ups, an' powerful smart gals they be, too.—Go 'long, Kittie Krinklebottom!—But durn me if he ain't got the cussedest boy as ever stepped! He don't do nothin' but mope about an' ac' silly. He didn't never do no chores about the yard nor nothin', an' one fine day he come to Manton an' says, 'Dad,' says he, 'I want to go to[Pg 466] college,' says he. Well, the old man was that cumflusticated an' took aback that says he, 'John,' says he, 'yer ain't no durned use on the farm,' says he, 'an', if yer got the notion, go, an' God bless yer!' An' John went,—that's nigh onter four year ago,—an' he ain't got ter be perfessor nor nothin' yet. I guess as he's cracked; an' one day says I, kinder kind-like, 'Farmer Manton,' says I, 'John's not right,' says I. 'Galusha,' says he, kinder hot, 'you mind yer own business,' says he. 'I ain't father to no idjots.' An' I ain't said no more sence."

Galusha laughed long and heartily over this reminiscence, while Kittie jogged on along the road to the sea. Presently they turned a sharp bend in the road; a pretty little Queen-Anne cottage came in sight, backing upon a thick wood and overlooking the ocean, and Galusha, reining in the mare, just as though she would not have come to a halt unassisted, exclaimed, "Here yer be!"

It required, of course, three or four days for Mabel to become accustomed to her new surroundings. There was the prettily-furnished house to make acquaintance with, while she wondered all the time what ever induced its owner to plant it so utterly out of the world; there was the little forest of pines to explore, and its most romantic nooks to be discovered; and there was the sea, a thing of never-failing beauty, to gaze upon from the rocky cliffs, as it dashed itself in fine spray against their base, or from the broad crescent beach beyond, as it rolled its crested billows up the sandy slope. Yes, all these things were very pleasant,—far more delightful than she had anticipated. She thought during those first few days that she would like to live on there forever, until the novelty wore off and her father's ailings crushed out the new life which the change had given birth to and kept him locked in his own den with his miseries; and even then nature began to pall as a constant and sole companion, and her mind turned with ever-increasing anxiety to the one event which could possibly break this spell of monotony. Had her letter in fact miscarried? or could it be that the favored recipient had treated it with cold contempt, ruthlessly destroyed it or cast it into the wastepaper-basket? Many were the painful, blush-provoking thoughts that each terrible possibility suggested. She had long since decided that she had been a little fool, and that of course Seniors in college had better things to do than to answer silly girls' more silly letters, when one day on her regular visit to Barton Bump's store she overheard the following:

"It's bin a-kickin' round this here store three days, an' I ain't goin' ter be bothered no longer. Hiram, jes' you stick the dratted thing in one o' them 'ficial en-vellups, an' 'dress it to Wash'ton, D.C."

"Ain't ye goin' to advertise it, dad?"

"'Tain't no good advertisin' it, Hiram. There ain't nobody as calls herself Jennings in the hull county, an' I know it."

But Mabel interrupted him. "Miss Jane Jennings, is it? Why, that letter is for me!" she exclaimed eagerly.

"Fur you, miss?" asked Barton, glancing at her suspiciously over his spectacles. "Ain't your name Moreley?"

"Yes," she answered, in some embarrassment, "but—but Jane Jennings is our servant, you know. Give me the letter. I will take it to her."

Barton hesitated. He hadn't had any communication with the government for some time, and liked to remind them in the capital now and then of his existence. "Well," he said finally, and with reluctance, "ef you're sartin', why, here ye be." And Mabel took it, and bore it away with a palpitating heart, quite forgetting to purchase the supplies which the cook had commissioned her to bring home for dinner.

In the most secluded spot in the dark pine wood she broke the seal and read as follows:

"My long-lost Jennie,—Remember my charming little playmate? Remember[Pg 467] the one object that makes my childhood a bright picture to look back upon? Of course I do, with all the pleasure in the recollection that her presence used to inspire in those happy days. Remember the diabolical exploit with Jones's eggs? Distinctly. And the telegraph system? I believe I could go through the alphabet now. And I remember, too, that day on the skating-pond, with contrition, however, and a prayer that my heartlessness may be forgiven. How can I ever have been unkind to my faithful Jennie? Nor have I forgotten—how could I?—our tender parting. You said that you could never forget me, and now your letter proves that you were sincere; and I hope my answer may convince you that when I told you of my never-failing constancy I spoke the truth.

"It is a delightful surprise to me to have heard from you at last. The years that I have been thinking and dreaming of you and wishing for news of you are over, and now I have at last found the idol of my boyish admiration.

"But you must have changed as well as I in all this time. I should like very much to have a likeness of you as you are now, to compare with that which is indelibly stamped on my memory. Won't you send me one?

"It surprises me that in recalling those experiences of ours you should have omitted the one that is most vivid and most delightful to me. Can it be that you have forgotten the little house we built under the old chestnut-tree, where you prepared the supper on your best doll's china for the weary hunter who used to return laden with green apples, currants, strawberries, and other wild beasts, the spoils of his chase? How generous and self-sacrificing you used to be with the slender provisions, and anxious lest the foot-sore huntsman should not get enough to sustain his toilsome existence! What an example you were of domesticity! and I cannot believe that you are anything else to-day but the same good pattern for womanhood.

"Do let me hear from you soon again. Although I have existed so long in ignorance even as to whether you were still alive, the knowledge now that you are so, and that you have still a corner in your memory, if not in your heart, for me, has revived all my old feelings and keeps me in constant hope of further news of you.

"As ever, your affectionate playmate,


Notwithstanding all the hopes and fears of the past few days, there was the reply, after all, and Mabel, after reading it through three times, concluded that "Mort" must be "splendid," and that this sort of sport was far ahead of anything she had yet attempted. It combined, so she argued, all the spice of a heavy flirtation with the advantage of a strict incognito, and, with judicious management, she thought that it might be carried on in perfect safety for some time to come.

Mr. Moreley was worse than usual that evening; dinner, without the articles which Mabel should have brought from the village, was not a success, and such a catastrophe always aggravated his disease. Having learned who was to blame for it, it was many days before he could forgive or forget his daughter's inhuman treatment of her much-suffering papa, so that she was left even more than usual to her own devices, and spent a deal of her time either with novels or her writing-case in the romantic corners of the pine wood or on the rocks and along the beach by the sea.

Dudley's letter had been answered one afternoon, when the late sun was throwing long shadows and touching the distant sails upon the ocean with a shade of delicate pink, when a gentle breeze was only rippling the surface of the water and the waves were only murmuring soft music upon the sand; and if but half of the tender emotion which these surroundings gave birth to were transferred to her paper, Dudley, if his heart were at all as he had represented it, must have found in her reply an ample reward for his strange constancy. Circumstances, at any rate, went[Pg 468] to show that it had been very welcome and pleasing to its recipient, for it was scarcely three days later that a second missive for Miss Jane Jennings reached the Stillton office and was duly claimed by Mabel before any possible accident could throw it into other hands. She had perused it with marked pleasure; it had contained many fresh allusions to "childhood's happy hour," many additional and very original accounts of doings in their fancied youth, several frank compliments, and a reiterated and very urgent request for a photograph. She had allowed several days to pass in considering what notice to take of this somewhat impudent demand. At one time she almost concluded to let Mr. Dudley drop altogether. What right had he to call upon her for her likeness? At another she was quite as firmly resolved to send him one. The whispered vanity which told her that he would not be disappointed in it was not easily resisted. At last, however, a simple middle course—an easy way out of the difficulty—suggested itself, and, as it promised, too, to throw another puzzling veil of mystery over her identity, she seized it eagerly, and that very afternoon put it into execution. Seated on the rocks that overlooked the sea, gathering thoughts in long gazes toward the distant horizon, and allowing imagination to roam as freely as could her eyes over the unbounded ocean, she wrote her answer. After touching upon the episodes of their earlier days which his last letter had brought to light, and adding the details of a few more experiences which her fertile mind suggested, she turned to the subject of the photograph. "I wish it were better," she wrote. "It is a shockingly poor likeness, I know, but may serve as a reminder of your little playmate, if not as a perfect representation of her." She sealed the envelope, enclosing the picture, and, seeing Galusha Krinklebottom drive by just at the moment, hailed him, and sent photograph, letter, and all in his care to the mails.

It is strange how, even after bitter experience, many of us persist in putting the cart before the horse,—doing the deed before taking the proper consideration of its consequences. When the letter had gone, and not before, Mabel fully realized that she had done something positively wicked and unpardonable. Her terrible sin kept her awake all that night and preyed upon her mind for days afterward. "I hardly know the girl," she pleaded in self-excuse to her injured conscience. "What of that?" exclaimed the voice sternly. "I don't like her, anyhow," she added, almost in tears. "What of that?" persisted the voice angrily. Oh, well, it was done and could not be undone now. It was mean, perhaps, to send him another girl's picture, but, considering that the whole world acknowledged that Mabel Moreley was far the better-looking of the two, did not this sacrifice of vanity palliate the offence? It seemed, after all, a very remote possibility that any harm could come to the other girl through this freak of hers. She could not, of course, have sent her own picture, and this was the only one in her collection that had seemed at all passable: so, eventually, the iniquity of the proceeding faded before these convincing arguments, and she soon found herself much more interested in looking forward to the receipt of the likeness which he could not fail to send in return than with reproaches over a hasty piece of folly.

The reply arrived in due course, and with it the photograph of a handsome face, with fine, bold eyes, a prominent nose, an expressive mouth, and a moustache in the springtime of its existence. It was captivating, but, after her own deception, she was naturally in doubt as to who the true owner of that very attractive physiognomy might be. If indeed it were Dudley, her random shot had hit the mark. To her imagination he had always been handsome; whether he were so in reality had never before seemed at all a matter of importance; but now, with a picture before her from which a lasting impression might be derived, it became necessary either to accept it or reject it. Should this face, then, be[Pg 469] hereafter regarded as that of her playmate in his maturer years? After careful scrutiny she decided that it should, and from that time, when it was not in her hands undergoing admiration, it lay in secure repose among the treasured notes, faded flowers, and sweet-smelling rose-leaves in her writing-case. Not many days later she felt impelled to acknowledge its receipt, and, taking her materials in this precious box to a shaded corner of the pine wood, spread them out before her and was soon deep in her pleasant task. She was necessarily obliged to draw heavily upon imagination in tracing the points in the photograph which she asserted recalled vividly his youthful countenance, and, when at last she had finished, lay back exhausted by the effort, and soon fell into a condition of dreaminess bordering closely on sleep. Suddenly, however, the sound of approaching footsteps aroused her, and before she had time to gather together all her sacred belongings, the figure of a tall man, in a slouch hat and with an unprepossessingly cadaverous cast of features, appeared from behind the rocks, which until then had hidden them from each other's view. He stopped short on discovering her, raised his hat in some confusion, muttered something in apology for his intrusion, and was just planning a hasty retreat, when she asked, with some nervousness, "Do you wish to see my father?"

"No," he answered, with equal embarrassment. "I—I was going down to the beach. I forgot for the moment that—that this place was occupied: this is a short cut for me. I hope you will excuse my trespassing. I live just back of here," he went on, in an explanatory way, as she made no reply. "My name is Manton."

"Oh!" Mabel exclaimed, remembering Galusha Krinklebottom's story of the young man who was "not right," and concluding that this must be he. "I am sure there can be no objection to your taking this way to the beach, Mr. Manton," she answered, smiling sweetly, in the hope of averting a possible outbreak of lunacy.

He thanked her with a grave, formal bow, and started to pass on, when his eye fell upon the recently-arrived photograph as it lay on a rock by her side. He stopped, and looked quickly from it to her face and then back at the picture.

Mabel's face grew scarlet. Could it be that he recognized it? Was her secret discovered? Or was this merely a madman's strange idiosyncrasy?

"We have a mutual friend, I think," he said, rather bluntly, though in a gentle tone.

"Indeed?" asked Mabel nervously.

"That must be Mort Dudley," he went on, half to himself, and still gazing at the photograph.

("Then it must be his own likeness!" inwardly exclaimed Mabel.)

"I beg your pardon if I am mistaken," Manton added apologetically; "the picture caught my eye and reminded me very strongly of a college classmate of mine."

"Then you know Mr. Dudley?" she asked, deeply interested, and forgetful now of the stranger's reputed mental unsoundness.

"Yes, indeed," he replied, looking at the photograph more closely. "This is his class-picture. I have one like it. It is an excellent likeness of him; don't you think so?"

Mabel said that she thought it was, and blushed again as she said it.

Manton concluded from this that there must be something thicker than mere friendship between Dudley and his new acquaintance, and an awkward silence ensued.

"Yes," continued Manton presently, "Dudley was the warmest friend I had at college. I hadn't many," he added, in a tone that struck Mabel as being somewhat sad. "I hadn't time to make many friends, or even acquaintances. The work was rather harder for me than for most of the men, I think; but Dudley, from the very first, helped me when he could, and I think was the only cheering influence I met with during the entire course. He was always so full of life and so jolly, and at the same time sympathetic, and never depressed and in[Pg 470] the blues, as I frequently was. I never could understand why he was so good a friend to me, unless perhaps because there may be a force of attraction between two extremes."

"Yes; I should not fancy you at all like him," Mabel said, trying to impress him with her intimate knowledge of Dudley's nature.

"No, not at all. In the first place, he has been so differently brought up: he has travelled, seen a great deal of the world, and profited by this experience, and I don't believe has ever had to take a thought of dollars and cents: thus he is naturally liberal both in his ideas and with his money. I am not,—not because I don't wish to be, but because I cannot be. Secondly, he is another animal physically,—an athlete born; while I have never engaged in any sport, know nothing of such matters, nor could I learn them. And then there is such a vast difference mentally between us: his mind is as quick and nimble as his muscles, while mine is much like a muddy stream, I'm afraid,—opaque and sluggish. Yes, I have often wondered over his friendship for me."

"I think you are detracting from your own virtues in order to flatter his," said Mabel, smiling, but rejoicing inwardly over the happy selection she had made in the college catalogue.

Manton protested that he had said no more than the truth, and continued to sound the praises of his friend until the hour for Mabel's luncheon arrived, when he departed for his solitary stroll upon the beach, delighted, though by no means as much so as Mabel was, at having found a friend of Dudley's.

After this it happened, if not by actual design, at any rate with suspicious frequency, that Manton took the short cut to the beach and that Mabel read her books and wrote her letters in the pine wood. One day when they met thus, and after their acquaintance had grown to be some three weeks old, Manton found the young lady (whom he had never regarded in any other light than that of Dudley's betrothed) very abstracted and apparently little inclined to lend the customary willing ear to his tales of their mutual friend. This troubled him sorely. That there had been some lovers' quarrel he could not doubt, and it pained him to think that any cloud should have arisen to darken the brightness of his friend's existence.

"Have you heard from Mort to-day?" he asked suddenly, in his blunt fashion.

After a moment's hesitation, Mabel acknowledged that she had, but further than that she vouchsafed him no information, and he soon concluded to continue his journey to the beach, his presence seeming only to add to Miss Moreley's nervousness and evident irritation.

What was she to do? How could she save herself now? Why indeed had she done this foolish thing? She took the letter from her pocket to read it once more, hoping that some suggestion might spring from it, some possible means for her escape be brought to light.

"Miraculous as it may appear to you," he wrote, dating his letter from Newport, "I have met the image of my early playmate! It was at a garden-party, yesterday. At first it seemed impossible that two such faces could exist. I was on the point of rushing to her, clasping her in my arms, and hailing her with all the warmth that would only be natural upon discovering my long-lost Jennie, but some prudent voice suggested asking for an introduction first. I did so. To my astonishment, the name was not Jennings at all, but Bathersea, and her acknowledgement of my impressive bow and more expressive smile was as chilly as a winter morning. I took occasion to introduce my name into the conversation, fearing that she might have misunderstood it. No light of intelligence beamed from her lovely eyes. I referred to my college days (and I suspect she took me for a Freshman), I hinted at Stillton, I even suggested that we had met as babies; but she only said that her recollection did not extend to that early period, and left me—for what? it is humiliating, but I will acknowledge[Pg 471] it—for another fellow. This at last convinced me that she could not be my Jennie. Her resemblance to the photograph, however, was perfect,—really startling. In justice I must add that she was lovely. It is the face that has captivated me, not the girl; she rather snubbed me,—but that face! I never saw half so much beauty in one face before."

It was bad enough that he should have actually met the girl whose picture she had been cowardly enough to send in place of her own, but what followed literally chilled the blood in her veins. He was coming! Coming to Stillton! Coming to find her! Was actually on the way at that moment to claim her acquaintance,—perhaps to show her letters and reveal all her deceit to that inexorable papa of hers should she disclaim all knowledge of him, or to make matters even more difficult to explain should she confess the truth of their relations. "Heavens!" she exclaimed, in fright. "What shall I do? what shall I do?" Her time for action was fast growing short. The afternoon was rapidly advancing. Ah, might not Manton be her saviour? But how explain to Manton her deceit toward him during all this time of their acquaintance? No, she could not tell him: he would not understand. Could she not boldly confront him, implore him to forgive and forget her thoughtless foolishness, beg him to spare her, to leave her before this terrible secret should reach her father's ears and bring everlasting woe and disgrace upon her? This seemed to call for even more courage than was required to face the awful alternative. Should she, then, confess all to the father whose ire she so greatly feared?—go to him now with tears of repentance and cast herself at his feet, praying for mercy and for protection? There was the cliff, with its terrifying height and its sharp, ugly crags: she would almost rather throw herself into the swashing, roaring waves at its base than tell the tale of her folly. Yet—oh, what was she to do? Quick! Time was flying on its swiftest wings. He might be there at any moment. Oh, would no one save her?

While she was still hoping and praying and despairing, no conclusion reached, no aiding hand outstretched for her deliverance, the day advanced toward its end; the sun sank lower and still lower upon the ridge of those long, darkly-wooded hills to the westward, shed its last red rays upon the ocean, reflected its dying brilliancy upon the fleecy clouds above, and soon left nothing but a fading twilight to show men their way about the world. To a man seeking unknown objects in a hitherto unexplored vicinity this condition of affairs is unpropitious; but Dudley, having tied his hired steed to a neighboring fence, concluded nevertheless not to be daunted, and proceeded on foot in search of the "new-fangled, sorter yaller-and-red, p'inted-roofed house," where the village postmaster had told him the lady whom he sought resided. It was not difficult to find: it was the only thing for miles around that laid any claims to "new-fangledness," and he recognized it at a glance. From behind the hedge that bordered the place he scrutinized each window. No smiling face appeared to welcome him. He scanned the lawn, the shrubbery, the dark shade beneath the trees: no girlish figure could be seen to answer to the one he carried in his mind.

"Perhaps my letter hasn't reached her," was his disappointed soliloquy. Then followed a few moments of silent thought. Suddenly he pulled himself together, put on a bold front, stalked manfully up to the porch, and rang the bell determinedly. When a man in brass buttons appeared to answer his summons, Dudley felt decidedly more reassured, and his previous fears of being greeted with a countryman's heavy boot were agreeably dispelled.

"Is Miss Jennings in?" he asked, feeling for his card-case.

James stared. "Beg pardon, sir?"

"Miss Jennings,—Miss Jane Jennings," he repeated, with emphasis.

James surveyed the visitor from his jaunty straw hat to his neat patent-leathers,[Pg 472] cast a queer look at the crocodile card-case, replied, "Humph! I'll see," and shut the door in his face.

"Infernal impudence, by Jove!" exclaimed Dudley, in wrath. "Does the dolt take me for a tramp?" There was nothing for it, however, but to wait where he was, which he did with bad grace enough until he heard a hand upon the inner knob and saw the door slowly open, to disclose the generous proportions of Mabel's maid.

"The old woman, by the gods!" he whispered, in dismay.

"I called—" he began.

"Yes, sir," replied Jane, in a flutter of excitement.

"I called—er—I have the pleasure of addressing Mrs. Jennings, I presume?"

"Miss Jennings,—Jane Jennings," she corrected, and blushing at the title.

Dudley stared open-mouthed. "Miss Jennings! Jane Jennings!" he repeated, in astonishment. Then a terrible possibility dawned upon him. A cold perspiration broke out all over him. Oh, god of love, was this his precious Jennie? Had he made an irrevocable ass of himself over this lump of ancient human flesh? A hue of brilliant scarlet suffused his countenance. Oh, what an imbecile, a simple, drivelling idiot, he had been!

"Was it me that you wished to see, sir?" she asked, wondering at his strange manner.

"No!" he answered fiercely. "I think there must be some mistake," he added more calmly, struggling to repress his feelings. "Very sorry to have—er—Good-day." He turned suddenly, and, without another glance at his long-lost Jennie, quickly gained the road and the welcome cover of the hedge.

His uppermost feeling was undoubtedly that of anger mixed with mortification, and he swore with sublime eloquence at his own folly as soon as he was out of ear-shot of the house; but the ludicrous side of his situation could not but strike him before he had gone many steps, and he laughed grimly in spite of himself while repeating the undeniable assertion that he had been a lamentable fool.

As he swung himself into his saddle prepared to shake the dust of Stillton that very night from his feet, a voice came to him through the semi-obscurity:

"Hold on, there! Hold on, I say!"

He gave his nag a good kick in the flank and urged him to the top of his speed.

"Hold on there! Dudley! Hold on!"

He was recognized—caught! That cursed photograph of his! "Go on, you brute, go on!" he cried to his sorry beast. There was not much speed in him, however, and a minute later footsteps were quickly overtaking him.

"I say, Dudley! Don't you know me?" panted his pursuer.

He turned for an instant in his saddle. Why! Could he believe his eyes? Surely it was Manton! He reined in.

"Why, Manton, old boy, what—"

"Dudley, what on earth brings you here?" gasped Manton.

"That's just what I've been trying to find out, Manton. Take my oath I don't know."

"Humph!" ejaculated Manton, fixing his eyes curiously upon his friend.

"I don't," reiterated Dudley.

"No girl in the case?" suggested Manton significantly.

"Girl!" He laughed uneasily. Could Manton be in the joke? "No," he answered, "I can safely say that there is not," the figure of the old nurse clearly in his mind.

"Come, now, Dudley," said Manton; "perhaps I know more about your affairs than you think I do. She was frightfully cut up this morning, and I think your letter did it."

"Cut up, was she? Ha! ha! Cut up! She appeared to be in one pretty substantial piece just now, notwithstanding."

"Look here, Dudley; get off that horse and come over to the farm for supper. There's something wrong. I want to have a talk with you. Now, there has been some misunderstanding, hasn't there?"[Pg 473]

"Well, I confess I was rather taken in."

"Taken in! Nonsense! Do you imagine she would take you in?"

"It struck me that she might, boots and all," replied Dudley, with a sad grin.

"Do talk sense, Dudley. It's a pity that this should have occurred."

"A d—d shame, I call it."

"I would swear that she loves you, Dud."

"Really, I suppose I ought to feel flattered; but, somehow, Manton, I can't get up much enthusiasm over her. She's not exactly my style."

"You're very fastidious, then. Here, come this way through the wood: it's a short cut. I confess my experience has been very much more limited than yours, but I never saw a girl more—"

"A what?" asked Dudley, with a sneer.

"A young lady, then,—more charming, more lovely in every respect, than Miss Moreley."

"Miss who? Moreley? (I believe he has got one of those wandering fits, poor fellow!) Well, Manton, old boy, I won't dispute that for a moment, because—"

"Yet you say that she is not 'your style.'"

"Oh, I must get him home immediately," sighed Dudley inwardly, commiserating his friend.

"She talks of you incessantly, Dud, and only seems happy when I am answering her thousand and one questions about you."

(A young lady hidden among the rocks and pines blushes crimson as this speech is wafted to her on the still evening air, and stamps her little foot in vexatious indignation.)

"Her manner to-day," continued Manton, "showed plainly that your letter this morning hurt her exceedingly."

"Miss Moreley! Letter this morning! My letter! Come, now. By Jove! Stop a moment. I believe— Tell me, did you ever chance to see her handwriting?"

"Yes: I've mailed several of her letters to you."

"You don't say so! Is that her writing?"


Dudley muttered something incoherent about "little wretch!" "Jane Jennings!" and, pointing excitedly to the scene of his recent discomfiture, asked, "Lives there, doesn't she?"

Manton, too astonished at his friend's remarkable conduct to speak, nodded assent, and Dudley hastened away toward the house, shouting back, "I'll see you later, old fellow!"

"Oh, don't! don't! don't!" came a shrill voice from among the rocks.

Both turned. "Why, here she is now!" cried Manton.

There was an awkward pause. The blush upon her face detracted nothing from her beauty. Dudley felt drawn toward her as a needle is drawn by the North Star. He walked quickly toward her, hesitated as she drew back, stopped as she cast her eyes upon the ground, and presently said, "Life would be a very sad thing, would it not, if we had no pleasant memories of the past? I believe the thoughts of those happy days of our childhood are the sweetest I have ever had. It brings them back to me very vividly to find you now after so many years. Won't you even shake hands with your old playmate?"

She put out her hand shyly and reluctantly, and he took it in both of his.

"I'll walk on, Dud, and put this horse of yours in the barn," said Manton. "I'll come back presently." And he left them, feeling that perhaps the reconciliation which he was looking forward to between them would be more complete if they were left alone.

"Are you angry with me for coming?" asked Dudley softly, when he had gone.

"You should not have done it," she answered.

"Were we never to meet?"


"Then I am glad I took matters into my own hands," said he, laughing.

"But you must go to-night—now."


The subject gave rise to considerable[Pg 474] argument, at the end of which, however, Dudley remained as determined as before, and, as a matter of fact, he did stay, accepting Farmer Manton's hospitable invitation to make his house his home. He would stay a week, he said; he had no immediate pressing engagements, and his delight at being with his old friend Manton once more was too great to admit of his leaving immediately upon finding him.

The week proved to be a delightful one. Farmer Manton's buxom daughters got up one of their celebrated "flare-ups" in his honor, and all the female population of Stillton was set by its ears. Mabel was not present, of course,—fortunately, too, perhaps, for her state of heart and mind was strangely and unnaturably irritable at that time, and his promiscuous attentions to the various country belles might have provoked a feeling of which she would afterward have been very much ashamed.

The week was over, yet he lingered. The sea-breezes, he declared, were just the sort of tonic he needed, and the quiet country-life the very thing he had been longing for for years.

One day, after an introduction by Farmer Manton to Mr. Moreley, he enlarged so eloquently upon the benefits of such an atmosphere, and spoke so feelingly about the ailments to which the latter considered himself a martyr, that the old gentleman's heart actually warmed toward him, and he violated all the laws of his monotonous existence and one of Dr. Nevercure's most specific instructions by inviting him to dinner.

"How did you do it?" asked Mabel, with an incredulous smile, when he told her down on the beach that afternoon of his unexpected success with the much-feared parent.

"Oh, it's my fatal fascination, I suppose," he answered exasperatingly.

The weeks that followed were passed much as all of us have passed some happy weeks of our own lives, and the rest of their story is but the old one once more repeated.

Dudley persistently maintains to this day that there is much more in a name than is generally conceded, but his young wife ridicules such nonsense, saying that it was nothing but a random shot that chanced to hit the mark. A significant fact is that the boy has been named plain John, after their never-to-be-forgotten friend John Manton.

C. W. Wilmerding.


In respect to her facility and opportunities for advancing the cause of scientific knowledge, Harvard University certainly stands pre-eminent. She has a splendid astronomical observatory, and laboratories for chemistry and physics unexcelled elsewhere. Her botanical garden is the only one for instruction of any consequence in the Union, and its director, Asa Gray, is the chief of American botanists. In the Museum of Comparative Zoology, founded by Louis Agassiz and sustained by his son, Alexander Agassiz, Cambridge possesses the most productive, and in some respects the completest, museum of animal life in the United States, while it offers to the laboratory student of natural history advantages which he can find equalled nowhere else in the whole world. Last, and most modern, it has a museum of anthropology which in point of material is rivalled only by the National Museum[Pg 475] at Washington, and in point of instructiveness is probably in advance of anything yet attained in the United States, despite its youth and small resources. This school and storehouse is the Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology, whose merits deserve a wider recognition than they have yet received.

When, in 1866, George Peabody, of philanthropic fame, was distributing his bequests among the educational institutions of the Eastern States, he was desirous of giving to Harvard a certain sum of money, but was puzzled as to its proper application. It was suggested to him to endow a department of archæological research, and his proposition to that effect was considered by several friends of the university. The institution had peculiar needs at that time. Its finances generally were weak. The library and the zoological museum especially needed money, and the idea of a special department of prehistoric science was entirely new. It was decided, however, not to attempt to influence Mr. Peabody away from his own plan. President Walker saw that European minds were eagerly turning toward studies of primitive man, that the interest in the subject would grow from year to year, and that, as the first museum in the country devoted to this branch, it would have the best chance for securing collections rapidly going to destruction or distributed through private cabinets. More than all, the fittest man to take charge of it was at hand, in the person of Professor Jeffries Wyman. On the 3d of November, 1866, therefore, the arrangements were completed, and Mr. Peabody delivered to a board of trustees one hundred and fifty thousand dollars as an endowment. On the first of the following month Dr. Wyman began his curatorship.

As yet, of course, there was no museum. As a nucleus, Professor Wyman contributed some Indian implements and crania, the nooks and corners of the college were ransacked for stray skulls, stone axes and arrow-heads, pottery that had been ploughed up in the suburbs, and relics of colonial days, all of which, when brought together, served to fill a few empty cases in a room of Boylston Hall. Soon afterward, printed circulars were issued, and gifts began to flow in from the neighborhood, illustrating the life of the native races at and just before the time of the Pilgrims' landing. Several societies in Boston made permanent deposits of ethnological accumulations in the infant establishment; Mr. E. G. Squier, the Peruvian explorer, sent a Peruvian mummy of great value, with seventy-five crania, and promised larger gifts; the Smithsonian Institution gave a lot of duplicates, many of which were gathered by the great Wilkes Exploring Expedition; the Honorable Caleb Cushing forwarded antiquities gathered by his command during the Mexican war; and several famous collections were bought in Europe, illustrating the stone and bronze ages. Thus public interest was stimulated, and even at the end of the first year a very presentable sketch of a picture of the aboriginal people of the world was to be seen in that small room in Boylston Hall. It was accessible to any interested visitors, and began to receive attention from the scientific world, particularly after the first annual report appeared in January, 1868, containing an original essay by the curator and a full statement of the growing importance of the museum.

From this beginning the work went steadily on. Contributions from private and public sources came without stint. The fund of the museum available for explorations and the purchase of collections was judiciously expended year by year, and each annual report contained news of great interest to savants. The amount of material gathered speedily outgrew its original quarters, and a new story was added to Boylston Hall for the reception of the museum. At the end of seven years the catalogue showed over eight thousand entries, one entry in many cases covering a series of objects. Then a great calamity happened: Jeffries Wyman died.[Pg 476]

Wyman had been the soul of the whole enterprise. At the founding of the museum he gave up those studies in anatomy and natural history which had made him famous and furnished him so sure a foundation as an anthropologist, in order to devote himself entirely to the new enterprise. His death occurred in September, 1874, closely following that of his great associate in Cambridge, Louis Agassiz.

Dr. Wyman had found an eager companion in his studies and excursions, during several years preceding his death, in Frederick W. Putnam, who was almost the only man in the neighborhood of Boston having either interest or capability (not to speak of opportunity) for such pursuits. A Salem lad, he was one of that group of students whom the elder Agassiz gathered round him when he began teaching at Harvard,—a group comprising Alpheus Hyatt, A. E. Verrill, J. A. Allen, Edward S. Morse, N. S. Shaler, A. S. Packard, Jr., and others now of worldwide reputation. Putnam was an all-round zoologist, but his specialty was fishes. Accident, nearly thirty years ago, turned his attention to the shell-heaps and the primitive implements of his home-neighborhood. The only man to whom he could go for guidance in studying these was Dr. Jeffries Wyman, at that time his instructor in comparative anatomy. Thus the two men were drawn more and more together, and when Wyman organized the new museum Putnam found much time for helping him, although at that time he was in charge of the Salem Museum, an editor of "The American Naturalist," a publisher, and the permanent secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a position which he still retains. It happened, consequently, that upon Dr. Wyman's decease Mr. Putnam was the only man suitable and available to become his successor, and he was quickly appointed to fill the vacancy.

Sixty thousand dollars of the original fund had been set aside by Peabody as a building-fund, but he decreed that this sum should be allowed to grow until it amounted to at least a hundred thousand dollars. This limit was attained in ten years, and in 1876 a building was begun for the accommodation of the museum. The college gave the ground,—a lot on Divinity Avenue, nearly opposite the old Divinity School, and close to the great structure occupied by the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Surrounded by green lawns and avenues of old trees, it is the pleasantest spot in all that charming city. The building was completed and entered in 1878. It is of brick, four stories in height, thoroughly fire-proof, simple in design, and tasteful in ornamentation. The present structure is only a fifth of what the whole building is designed ultimately to be. Two rooms yet remain to be opened to the public, but their fitting will not long be delayed. Its spacious doors open on Divinity Avenue, and there let us enter and glance at its treasures.

The entrance-hall is a square well in the centre of the building, accommodating the broad stairways and galleries, and affording room for many large objects, such as carved figures of stone and the models of the ruined houses and present pueblos of the village Indians of the Southwest. The walls are of finished brick.

On the left a large room is devoted to the office, to the reception of new specimens, and to the library, which is intended to include only works pertaining to this special study. On the right opens the room where naturally and properly begins our survey of the museum. Like the other apartments, it occupies the whole of one side of the building, and is about thirty-five by forty feet in dimensions. Its ceiling is twenty-two feet in height, but a broad gallery runs around all four sides, which adds almost as much exhibition-space as would a second story, without spoiling the open and well-lighted effect of a lofty room. Glass cases cover the walls above and below; upon the floor stand combined upright and table cases, resting upon long cabinets of interchangeable drawers, and the gallery-rail supports[Pg 477] a line of narrow, flat cases. In each room is a fireplace, while all are well heated in winter and comfortably ventilated in summer, so that they are attractive to visitors.

This first room holds what is regarded by the curator as the most important series of objects ever brought together illustrative of that ancient people who built the mounds and the singular stone graves of the southern and central portions of the United States. The contents of each mound and grave are arranged by themselves, so that as one passes from case to case a picture of the human life of the past is presented as nearly perfect as can be constructed out of that part of the handiwork of the people which has escaped decay. Here can be seen and studied the many singular results of the potter's art, simple and complex in form and varied in style of ornament; carvings in stone, shell, and bone; implements and ornaments of stone, shell, bone, mica, clay, copper, and other substances; fragments of cloth and twine twisted from vegetable fibres, which have been preserved through charring. One case in this room is devoted to a collection of objects from caves in Kentucky and Tennessee, and contains many interesting fabrics, including a large piece of cloth woven from bark-fibre, shoes formed by braiding leaves of the cat-tail rush, and many other things kept for us in the dry air of the caves through uncounted centuries. In the gallery are grouped several collections from Mexico and Central America, which are especially rich in pottery.

In the room, on the second floor, over this one are stored the most ancient—most primitive—evidences of man's presence yet discovered in the Atlantic States,—evidences in the shape not only of chipped stones of his fashioning, but relics of his very frame, which incontestably extend the period of human occupation along our Atlantic coast back at least to the glacial era. I refer to the palæolithic remains exhumed by Dr. C. C. Abbott from the terraces of river-drift in the valley of the Delaware at Trenton, New Jersey. These deposits of pebbles and sand owe their origin to the continental glacier, whose front reached in solid mass almost to that locality; through them was worn the bed of the present river, and whatever is contained in their undisturbed mass can belong to no more recent date than the later days of the glacial period.

In these gravels near his home, when cut through by railway-building and the wearing of the river-bank, Dr. Abbott found his palæoliths under such circumstances as left no doubt that they were quite as old as the formation of the bed itself. If you are inexperienced, and take in your hand one of these specimens by itself, it may seem to you simply a small, broken boulder or a fragment from some ledge; but the trained eye sees (what observation and experiment confirm) that fractures like those on these specimens are not such as are made by accident; and when a hundred specimens are displayed before you, all doubt as to their origin vanishes at a glance.

Some of these relics are deeply eroded by the weather, others much less so; some are pebbles that have required only a slight chipping to adapt them to their owner's need, others sharp-edged, elaborately flaked, "turtle-backed" weapons, similar in shape to much of the more modern and finished work in flint. With few exceptions, however, these are made of argillite, and in many cases they have lost the fineness of edge and angle by weathering and by attrition against the gravel in which they were rolled under glacial floods. They bear about the same relation in their roughness and shapelessness to the carefully-worked relics of the red Indian found on the surface, or in the accumulation of soil resulting from the decay of countless generations of forest and herbage which everywhere covers the old gravels, as the matchlock of the Pilgrim Fathers bears to our target-rifle. But they are of human origin, and assert the presence of humanity on the Atlantic coast of America at the close of the glacial period just as logically as the teeth in the green-sand[Pg 478] argue sharks in the Cretaceous sea.

In these gravels are entombed scattered bones of the mastodon and other extinct mammals, but it was long before there appeared any relic of a human frame concerning which there could be no misapprehension. At last, quite recently, Dr. Abbott exhumed a tooth, worn and washed and sunken deep in the undisturbed drift,—a tooth of a contemporary of the mastodon and of one of the makers of the argillite implements that presupposed him; a man who never got beyond the palæolithic stage,—the earliest rudiments of a culture far beneath any savagery of historic times in the Atlantic States. This silent witness of man's antiquity in America is among the treasures of this museum which are unique and priceless.

Who were these earliest men? and what has the museum to show similar to this from other parts of the world? are questions that naturally present themselves.

The only attempt at an answer to the first, with which I am acquainted, is suggested by Dr. Abbott in chapter xxxii. of his "Primitive Industry." After showing that during the last glacial epoch there were no climatic conditions southward of the actual ice-cap which would preclude the existence of men, since they would gradually become used to the slow change (as did so many surviving forms of animal and vegetable life), Dr. Abbott further clears the way by demonstrating that a strong line of demarcation exists between the remains of these people and the earliest traces of the "red Indian" race which Europeans found in possession of the body of the continent; this gap is not one of stratification, or, perhaps, of time, but is shown by a strong distinctness in the character of the worked stones forming the weapons and implements of each people in respect to both material and degree of perfection. Considering further the probability (from known evidence) that the Innuit (Eskimos) once occupied all the interior of the continent, together with the ascertained fact that on the Atlantic coast this people quite recently extended as far south as Cape Cod, and comparing the drift-implements with the exceeding rudeness of the stone implements possessed by the Eskimos when first seen by the whites, Dr. Abbott concludes that in the palæolithic men we have the ancestors of the Innuit, who were driven to Arctic fastnesses by a new and more powerful race of invaders, who retained possession of the great mass of the continent, and whose descendants remain among us yet.

Now, to examine what the Old World has to show, if anything, similar to these rudiments of civilization, we must go to the opposite gallery, where we shall find, in the collections from the river-drift of England and Southern France, implements equally rude and old-looking, but made of flint instead of the inferior argillite with which the American autochthones contented themselves. Next, a little better on the whole than these, we shall see the relics of stone and bone—the latter not only whittled and broken, but often ornamentally carved—which came from caves in England and Southern Europe: some have been dug from beneath thick layers of stalagmite.

In Europe, then, palæolithic man is separately considered as the River-drift man and the Cave man, the former believed to be much the older people, and known by the series of simplest patterns of stone implements found in the late Pleistocene river-beds. This River-drift man wandered over the greater part of Europe and Asia, leading a nomadic, feral life,—a hunter of very low order, like the modern Australian. The Cave man, on the contrary, seems to have been restricted in his range, which of itself is considered indicative of different age and race, and he was far in advance of the River-drift man in the variety and workmanship of his weapons and implements. Between both, or rather between the era of the latter and that of the men who made implements of polished stone and chipped flint, there is just such a broad[Pg 479] distinction as obtains in the United States between the traces of palæolithic and those of neolithic man.

The exact parallelism of the palæolithic ages in the Eastern and Western hemispheres is still more or less disputed by anthropologists, but the general opinion seems to be this: If not two peoples, the River-drift men and the Cave men were certainly distinct sections of the same race which found their way into Europe at widely-separated times, the former having far the higher antiquity. It is believed by Dr. Boyd Dawkins (from whose celebrated cave-explorations in Great Britain has been derived a representative series of specimens for the museum) "that the River-drift man is as completely extinct at the present time as the woolly rhinoceros or the cave bear" which he fed upon; but all authors identify the men of the caves with the Eskimos, who there, as well as here, were forced to retreat by the pressure of a race of new-comers, superior in prowess and cultivation, whose traces we call neolithic.

In America, however (where the Atlantic coast, at least, does not afford caverns like those of Western Europe), the evidence all goes to show that palæolithic men were in continuous possession of the region from the time when they first appeared until driven northward by the Indians, perhaps close upon the retreat of the great glacier. Returning to the Abbott collection, we shall find that it contains a large quantity of rude arrow-points, scrapers, and other forms of stone implements, some of which are much better than any of the "turtle-backs" or other palæoliths from the lower gravels. These are found in the upper part of the drift, resting upon them and buried in the humus above: in the latter position they are, of course, more or less intermixed with the jasper and quartz relics of the modern Indian; but these are always made of argillite, are ruder, are much weather-worn, and never occur in the "open-air workshops" of the Indians, where quantities of flint-flakes and unfinished implements of jasper and quartz and of superior pattern are found lying together within a limited space. These argillite points and scrapers seem to belong to the palæolithic man toward the end of his "age," manifesting a higher stage of culture reached by gradual improvement. It thus appears that while in Europe the rude-stone age was divided into two eras,—the River-drift and the Cave,—in Eastern America the aboriginal Eskimos held sway without interruption, and slowly bettered themselves through unnumbered centuries, until at last they were driven into icy exile by merciless conquerors, where, no doubt, they lost much of the advancement they had gained under more gracious conditions.

It will be observed that we were obliged to go to another part of the building in order to see what remains came from palæolithic Europe and make our comparisons. This is in accordance with the plan of the museum, which arranges its treasures according to locality, and not according to shape, utility, relative age, degree of finish, or any other style of classification. All the objects found in a particular spot—taken from one grave or a single shell-heap, or, in wider range, belonging to the same geographical region—are kept together, no matter how dissimilar the associated articles may be. Arrangement on any other plan must necessarily become to a greater or less extent the exponent of the views of the one man or clique that controls the matter,—must involve a theory, and hence prove an obstacle to the student who seeks an unbiassed interpretation of the truth. If it does nothing more, it destroys the proper perspective. For example, one of the cases in this museum contains the contents of graves opened in an Indian cemetery on Santa Catalina Island, California, comprising native work, mortars and pots of stone,—for no native pottery occurs in the Californian graves,—beads, flint arrow-heads, etc., together with Spanish swords, stirrups, glass, and other articles of European manufacture. Separate these associated articles,—put the arrow-heads and stone pots with a vast number of other arrow-heads and[Pg 480] stone pots,—and there would have been nothing to show, except at the expense of long study, that their date of use was no older than the Spanish invasion of California, or, in the case of the iron-ware, that it had belonged to Indians who yet clung to many of their native customs and manufactures. Shown together as they were collected, one perceives at a glance, and the brain appreciates in true perspective, the picture of life on Santa Catalina Island when those graves were dug, perhaps three centuries ago. The importance and value of this plan become more and more apparent as the student advances. In the publications of the museum, and elsewhere, the curator draws such conclusions as seem to him just from the materials he possesses; but he regards it as due to the public that the specimens themselves shall be exhibited as found, for the verification of his explanations and the investigation of those who come afterward. The first and foremost object of this museum—as it should be of every such institution—is the preservation of historical evidence; the second, the making it accessible in its original aspect for study. Ornamental display, when in the least degree inconsistent with scientific uses, has no place in any of the rooms. Nothing is put up because it is pretty; and if the history of any specimen is at all doubtful, it is kept out of sight, or else its label contains the proper cautions and queries.

Having scanned the relics of that far-away time which seems to have preceded the coming even of the red men into the United States, let us now see what the museum has to show of the arts and industries and amusements of those "Indians" who were found in possession when Europeans came to the New World.

The whole continent was inhabited by what was substantially the same race of men, divided into many language-stocks, subdivided into a still greater number of more or less cohesive tribes, and segregated into innumerable bands or villages. As they varied in dialect, organization, and environment, so were they greatly diversified in mental accomplishments and in outward customs and belongings. In subordinate points the characteristics of some divisions contrasted most pointedly with those of others; yet in certain cardinal aspects the whole population known in historic times from Tierra del Fuego to Eskimo-land was a unit. All were red-skinned Americans, "tarred with the same stick."[1] Moreover, it has been supposed that no race other than these red men has ever permanently occupied any portion of the United States between the departure of the palæolithic Eskimos and the advent of Europeans,—the "Mound-Builders" not excepted.

To the prehistoric relics and the modern manufactures of these natives of America the Peabody Museum is chiefly devoted. The material preserved was obtained by its original collectors in a variety of ways. Much of it was gathered in farm-fields, where it had been turned up under the plough one piece at a time. All parts of the United States are represented, but some regions more plentifully than others, not only because one district may contain more persons interested in the matter, but because of the comparative scarcity of relics in some parts. One of the most densely populated districts in the whole Union in Indian life was the Atlantic slope of the Alleghanies; and the valleys of the fishing-rivers[Pg 481] draining this slope have yielded an enormous quantity of examples of primitive wares, in the shape of architecture, pottery, weapons, tools, and ornaments of stone, shell, horn, and metal.

No one point, probably, has yielded more than the farm and immediate neighborhood of Dr. C. C. Abbott (heretofore referred to), at Trenton, New Jersey. This farm occupies a bluff and wide meadows facing the Delaware River. It was a location unexcelled in advantages for the mild-mannered, sunshine-loving Leni-Lenapé. On the dry high ground they could build their lodges underneath great trees and find themselves upon the highway of travel, while the rich bottom-lands gave them never-exhausted planting-ground for their fields of maize. Better than all, they could overlook not only these fields, but far away down the river, and scan the approach of strangers, or watch the approach of the returning parties of hunters and fishermen, whose canoes came up the creeks to moorings at the very foot of the bluff. That this spot was long tenanted by an Indian village there seems ample proof. Almost every species of Indian handiwork, in stone, bone, and clay, known to the Atlantic coast has been found in and about this farm during the past ten years, and the total yield of a square mile in that locality has been nearly twenty-five thousand specimens. The great majority of these are now in the Peabody Museum, and they have furnished Dr. Abbott with the material for our most valuable book on the stone age in North America, entitled "Primitive Industry" (George A. Bates, Salem, 1881). They consist of varied series of axes, celts, hammers, bolas, knives, drills, scrapers, mortars and pestles, food-vessels and agricultural tools, fishing- and hunting-implements, spear- and arrow-points, club-heads, daggers, and other weapons, pipes and gaming-stones, ceremonial and ornamental objects,—all of stone,—besides a deal of pottery (chiefly in fragments), bone-work, and implements of copper, probably procured from other tribes.

Then there is another source of supply,—the shell-heaps. It was the custom of all the aborigines who lived anywhere near the sea to go to the shore in summer—the whole band or a group of families together—and camp there for weeks or months. Certain spots were resorted to annually, just as we go year after year to our favorite sea-side hotel. The time there was spent chiefly in catching and eating salt-water food, and, most of all, oysters and clams. Our "clam-bake" is a survival of their feasts on the beach. Of course under such circumstances extended heaps of castaway shells and fish-bones would accumulate, and become of dimensions which seem extraordinary only when we forget the lapse of time since they were begun. Many objects, some castaway, some lost, would become intermixed with the loose surface shells and be rapidly buried beyond further disturbance. Thus an exploration of these heaps of refuse might be expected to disclose, and really does show, a great variety of indestructible indications of the people around whose summer-lodges they were formed,—how they lived, what they fed upon, and the degree of skill and culture to which they had attained. Scores of these shell-heaps from Maine to Texas have been excavated by private persons or by the agency of the museum, and the yield of each, however miscellaneous, is accessible to us. We may make out from the bones a list of the animals upon which the makers fed, we may tell from the stone implements how the men hunted and fished, from the awls, needles, skin-dressers, etc., of bone and horn with what skill the women worked, and largely what materials they used, while the bits of baked clay mark their position in the ceramic scale,—a well-accepted standard of progress. Nor are these things mixed and confused when deposited in the museum. All from each shell-heap are kept together, and specimens may thus be compared with one another all along the coast-line; or the visitor may go to another room, where the great Rose collection from Denmark is displayed, and compare them with the[Pg 482] relics from the shell-heaps (Kjoëkken-mœdings) and village-sites of Jutland, where a parallel life was lived and the monuments of savage homesteads line the Baltic beaches.

Similarly the sites of villages, towns, and cities have contributed largely to this collection of native antiquities. This is especially true of the Southwest, of Central America, and the Andean region, where the Aztec, the Maya, the Quichuas, the Aymaras, and other highly-organized nations held sway over wide regions. The greatest remains of these people lie in their architecture, the ruins of which astonish the traveller in Mexico, Yucatan, and Peru. Beyond fragments of carving, this, of course, is unavailable to a museum; but beside the images and fragments of representative ornament engraved in stone that have been brought from these ruins hang pictures of the entire building or city, so that the visitor's memory is refreshed, and he is enabled to place the relics in their proper relation to the whole.

In regard to the remarkable remains of the ancient "cliff-dwellers," who inhabited the cañons along the south-western boundary of Colorado, and are considered the ancestors of the pueblo-building Indians whose terraced community-houses crown isolated buttes in the midst of the Arizona deserts and along the Rio Grande, a more effective mode of representation has been adopted. Upon several of the large hall-tables will be seen, under glass, models in plaster, colored with exactness, of those great houses and all their externals. These models were made by Messrs. Jackson and Holmes, of the United States Geological Survey, and are wonderfully truthful and instructive. A similar plan has been adopted in a few other cases to show savage architecture, and it has proved so effective and interesting that its use should be extended. The little model of a lacustrine village restored from the vestiges discovered in the Swiss lakes gives one a better notion of how the lake-dwellers really conducted their peaceful life and guarded themselves against their savage enemies of the forest and mountains than any amount of verbal description could do.

Beyond any one of these in importance as a source of mementos illustrating the life and art of the aborigines is the burial-place. Not only do well-recognized graves and cemeteries yield valuable material whenever explored, but a large part of that gathered in ploughed fields and on ancient town-sites was undoubtedly put there with the dead, or as a subsequent offering. Nothing is more fortunate for the science of archæology than that the primitive Americans held the notions they did respecting death and the hereafter; for through these theories and the practices to which they gave rise an enormous amount of material has been preserved to us which otherwise would have been lost. It is not too much to say, I feel sure, that were all other traces of prehistoric America obliterated from our knowledge and possession save that which has been and may be derived from burial-places, we might still reconstruct nearly as complete a picture as can now be outlined.

The modes of disposal of the dead were various among the native races of America, and most of them may be matched by customs obtaining in the Eastern hemisphere or the Polynesian islands. The commonest method was some form of inhumation in pits, graves, or holes in the ground, in stone graves or cysts, in mounds, beneath or in houses, or in caves. Embalmment, to a limited extent, was also practised, the corpse being wrapped in garments and made up into a bundle before being placed in the earth, a cave, charnel-house, or in a box mounted on a scaffold. Surface-burial was in use in some districts, the corpse being placed in a pen, a hollow tree or log, or simply covered with loose earth, or bark, or rocks forming cairns. In several regions, at various times, cremation was the rule, or at least a partial burning, the resulting bones and ashes being preserved by some tribes and scattered by others. Aerial sepulture is the name given to another method, where the[Pg 483] body was left in the cabin or wigwam, deposited on scaffolds or trees, in boxes or canoes, sometimes supported by posts, sometimes resting on the ground, placed in baskets perched on pinnacles of rock or hung to the branches of trees,—the last being the mode often adopted in the case of children. Lastly, some nations were accustomed to sink their dead beneath the water, or turn them adrift in canoes.

It is manifest that many of these practices could not be shown, from the nature of the case or the limits of space, except by pictures or models; but certain forms are represented in the great stocking-foot-shaped jars of coarse earthenware which served as coffins in the Nicaraguan region, in cinerary urns, in bones and skulls prepared to be kept as a sacred heirloom in the family, and in various descriptions of mummies, swathed and unswathed, chiefly from Peru and from caves in Mexico.

It has always been the habit of savage and semi-barbarous people, the world over, to bury with their dead or destroy at the grave more or less property which may or may not have belonged to the deceased persons. Among some of the American Indians this was carried to such an extent as utterly to impoverish all the relatives, who, in fact, seem to have accumulated wealth solely for the purpose of funereal display. By a few tribes, like the Natchez, human sacrifice—forcibly of slaves, voluntarily on the part of relatives—was enjoined whenever a prominent man died. In most nations, however, the sacrifices were limited to horses, dogs, and food-animals, ornaments and implements. It was believed that in the spirit-land to which the soul was going this property would be of service and these slaves and wives and various objects would be necessary in order that the dead man might be well fitted to pursue his immortal journey. Therefore, when a grave is opened or any form of burial-place is found by the archæologist, he is almost sure to obtain a quantity of imperishable property,—weapons and ornaments of stone, bone, or metal, clay food-dishes, and the like,—the history of which is identified with that of the deceased and tells his story.

Two classes of burial-places have been the subject of special exploration and study by this museum, generally under the personal supervision of Professor Putnam, or of Mr. Lucien Carr, his assistant. One of these are the strange stone cysts of Tennessee, which occur in thousands in the Cumberland valley. They were from two to four feet below the surface, and were made of large slabs of stone, placed edgewise to form the sides and ends, on which other flat stones rested, forming the top of the grave. The bottoms of these cysts were sometimes lined with small stones, oftener with large potsherds, while in some instances the lining was probably of bark. While most of the cysts contained only a single body, two, three, and even five skeletons were found together in a few instances. Each grave held a greater or less quantity and variety of articles of native manufacture. Stone implements were rarer than is customary elsewhere, but those present were unusually fine. One of the skeletons had a stone arrow-head embedded in the spine. The pottery was more abundant, and consisted for the most part of well-made water-bottles and food-dishes, ornamented by incised lines or designs in color. Implements and ornaments of bone, stone, and shell, beads of terra-cotta and shell, small mollusks perforated for stringing, a few carved pipes of pottery, stone, etc., were also gathered and brought to Cambridge.

While cemeteries of this character are known to have extended over wide areas of lowland, stone graves were also built into low pyramids by placing one tier on top of another until from four to six had been laid. Each tier as completed—probably each grave as added—would be covered with earth, so that the whole formed a burial-mound fifty feet or more in diameter and eight or ten feet high (the bottom tier of graves being sunken), containing perhaps two hundred bodies. Not only within the cysts, but on and around the stones throughout the mound,[Pg 484] were exhumed many relics, especially of pottery, showing that food and offerings had been laid upon the graves after they were closed. Nowhere was there the least indication of any contact with Europeans; and these cemeteries undoubtedly antedate the coming of the whites.

Among the most strikingly interesting discoveries made during the past few years is the burial-place in the Miami valley of Ohio, with its hundreds of singular pits dug in the hard clay below the leaf-mould in which the skeletons are found. This place was discovered by the members of the Madisonville Literary and Scientific Society, which, during three or four years, carried on an exploration under the personal direction of Dr. C. L. Metz. In 1880 the Peabody Museum was invited to join in the exploration, and Professor Putnam visited the locality soon afterward. The result of this co-operation is apparent in the large collections brought to the museum, where the contents of several of these strange pits are shown, as well as thousands of objects obtained from others or occurring with the skeletons in the leaf-mould. More than fifteen hundred pits and a thousand skeletons have now been uncovered and examined, several acres having been dug over, foot by foot, with painstaking completeness.

The pits, hollowed out of the underlying clay, are from two to seven feet in depth, and about four feet in diameter, hidden under a stratum of slowly-accumulated leaf-mould two feet thick. The majority of them, evidently, had been made previous to the burial of the bodies, though some were more recent than a few of the graves. The labor expended in digging them, and the peculiar character of their contents, render it not improbable that they were made in pursuance of some superstition or as part of a religious rite. This is an unsatisfactory generality, but more cannot yet be said with safety.

The average pit may be said to be filled with ashes in more or less well-defined layers. Near the top there may be a mixture of gravel, but underneath are found only fine gray ashes to the depth of one or two feet, in which often occur thin strata of charcoal or sand, while at the bottom burnt stones have often been found. Throughout the whole mass of ashes and sand, from top to bottom, are bones of fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The larger bones, such as those of the elk, deer, and bear, are broken; and all, apparently, are those of animals used for food. With the bones are always many shells of fresh-water mussels (Unionidæ), the more massive of which have a large circular piece cut out near the centre. Fragments of pottery (rarely a whole vessel) also abound in each pit, quantities of implements made of bones and antlers, some forms of which are unlike anything known elsewhere, implements of chipped and polished stone, pipes carved in various shapes from stone, and objects of copper. In some pits several bushels of charred corn, which had been covered with bark matting, lay underneath the ashes; and in three instances human skeletons, or parts of skeletons, have been found in the pits,—a fact which seems to have no special significance.

On the hill-side near this great cemetery is to be seen what doubtless is the site of the permanent village of the people who made the ash-pits. This site is indicated by several earth-circles, the explorations of which, prosecuted by means of trenches, revealed in the centre, upon the hard clay, beneath about two feet of accumulated leaf-mould, fireplaces made of large stones, enclosing beds of ashes mingled with potsherds, flint-flakes, burnt bones, and perforated shells like those in the pits. The few things disclosed within the circles, and the abundance of household-utensils and refuse found in the ashes in the pits, suggest the possibility that on special occasions all the articles in the house, with ornaments, weapons, and other personal property, were partly destroyed by fire, gathered up with the ashes, and deposited in a pit dug for the purpose, while the great number of broken bones of various animals indicates that at such times feasts were held. A custom[Pg 485] like this, which is quite consistent with the Indian character as manifested within the historic period, would account for the character of the contents of the pits, while their great number would indicate a long-continued occupation of the village.

Another phase of American archæology remains to be considered. It is represented in the museum by a unique and most interesting series of specimens illustrating every detail with the greatest particularity and exactness, so that future students need lose no essential feature of the picture that lay before the original explorers and describers. In the northeastern part of Anderson township, near the Little Miami River, a group of earth-works exist which are among the most remarkable of all the thousands scattered throughout the Ohio valley. The owner gave to the museum the exclusive right of exploration, and the locality was mapped and investigated with that scientific care which alone can give the results entire credibility and value. Several of the thirteen mounds within one of the encircling walls contained basins or "altars" of burned clay, on two of which were literally thousands of objects of interest, embracing forms unlike anything known before, and exhibiting an unsuspected degree of cultivation in their makers,—cultivation which, it is fair to suppose, could have been arrived at only after a long period of peaceful and prosperous life in the community. I have space to mention only a few of these articles.

One altar contained about two bushels of ornaments made of stone, mica, shells, pearls, and the teeth of bears and other animals. Pearls were so plentiful, indeed, that as many as sixty thousand are in the possession of the museum. They seem to have been derived mainly, if not wholly, from the fresh-water mussels, and are of all shapes and sizes, out of which might be selected hundreds of perfect spheres, from the size of bird-shot to that of a cherry. What splendid necklaces must the latter have made! But, alas for the mercenary collector, all are ruined by fire,—a fact advantageous to science. Like nearly all the other objects, every pearl is perforated for suspension.

Articles of copper are none too common anywhere, and the collection of relics hammered from that native metal (which must have been obtained, through barter, from the tribes that mined it on Lake Superior, showing how extensive were the tradings of those days) has not only thrown much light on this branch of ancient art and craftsmanship in America generally, but added some peculiar forms to the museum's stock, chiefly in the line of pendent ornaments. One of the forms procured, represented by many specimens, was a spool-shaped ear-ring: something like it had been seen heretofore, but its purpose had been a mystery. Several of the ornaments of copper were covered with native silver, which had been hammered out into thin sheets and folded over the copper. A few were similarly covered with gold; and this is the first time this metal has been found in the mounds.

This would show that beauty was highly appreciated by the natives of the Little Miami valley, say, a thousand years ago. That they had a real regard for art, in advance of what has usually been accorded to the red men of the Northern States, is evident from other contents of these two altar-mounds. One altar contained several sheets of mica and thin plates of copper out of which had been cut some designs in scroll-work which for symmetry and elegance of curve merit a high place; also heads of animals and a grotesque human profile, which are of less worth, but notable in the dearth heretofore of things of that sort among relicta from the mounds.

Far in advance of these, however, are the figurines of terra-cotta found on another altar. They had all been badly burnt, and many of them seemed to have been broken purposely before being placed upon the altar; but it has been found possible to unite many[Pg 486] pieces, and enough remains to show at a glance the great importance these small and graceful human images will have in the study of early American art. They are from four to six inches in height, partly nude, and carefully moulded in regard to anatomy. The method of wearing the hair, the use of the button-like or spool-shaped ear-rings, the expression of the features, etc., are all in the highest degree instructive, while the whole effect is pleasing and artistic. Associated with them were two remarkable dishes carved from stone, in the shape of animals, showing an unusual degree of skill and taste.

A discovery in the same mounds which interests scientific men even more than this, or than anything else has done for a long time, is the finding in these mounds of quantities of meteoric iron. It was said by Hildreth ("Archæologia Americana," i., 1820, page 163) that traces of iron-work had been found in a mound at Marietta, Ohio; but a re-examination of the specimens preserved at Worcester showed that they were of oxidized copper. The present discovery was therefore the first of its kind, and excited so much interest that chemists and mineralogists have been called into council with the archæologists on the subject. This is the only kind of crude iron that is malleable; and that the people who built the mounds, or any other of the native races of the United States, had any knowledge of working iron-ore, yet remains to be shown. Some of the iron was in its original shape,—unworked nodules; a part in solid bars, etc.; but much of it had been treated like silver,—that is, hammered into sheets and used in thin plates as an ornamental covering for ear-rings and pendants. The mixture of nickel in this meteoric iron has not only preserved it, but caused a polished surface to gleam white, as though plated with silver, while tarnishing less easily than that metal. No doubt it was among the most highly prized of all the treasures of those old days, and nothing more precious than this could have been offered as a sacrifice, when, with lavish hand, pearls and silver and gold, weapons and tools, household furniture and products of the chase and the farm, were heaped upon the funeral pyre or contributed to the sacrificial flame.

In materials illustrating the life and crafts of the Indians during the last century and at present, this museum is not yet so well supplied as some others,—that at Washington, for example, which has been constituted the depository for the collections of scores of government expeditions into the West and North. Nevertheless, some things of great value and completeness in this way are already owned. Thus, in the South American room may be seen a series of specimens illustrating the whole operation of pottery-making among the Caribs of British Guiana. This was obtained several years ago by Professor H. A. Ward, who bought the entire stock of materials of a woman of that tribe whom he found at work. These consisted of a mass of clay ready for the potter, a number of vessels ready for the fire, others which had been burned, and several ornamented in colors. The gourd scrapers of several shapes, with which she smoothed the vessels, small, smooth stones used in polishing the raw colors, and other appurtenances, are included, together with toy vessels which the woman hastily pinched into shape and gave to her children as playthings to amuse them while she worked, the forms of which help to explain many similar articles found in ancient graves.

With like completeness, when Dr. E. Palmer was exploring for the museum the nitre-caves in Northern Mexico, anciently occupied as places of human sepulture, he sent with the "mummies" extracted from them a full series of such natural products of the vicinity as would enable the museum to exhibit the leaves, fibres, and other vegetable productions from which the cloth, baskets, and so forth were constructed by the people who placed their dead in the caves. Dr. Palmer also sent a full set of the rude apparatus by which the present Indians of Mexico make their[Pg 487] cactus-cakes and syrup, from the thorn-tipped pole with which the prickly fruit is gathered to the great earthen colanders through which it is strained; also all the implements and utensils, the native still, etc., used in making pulque and in preparing and weaving the fibre of the agave.

To go with greater detail into the treasures of this remarkable collection, whose value is so great, not only historically, but in an educational aspect (since it is readily accessible throughout and instructively presented), is forbidden by the limits of space; but the temptation to transgress is strong. I have said nothing, for example, of the great series of crania, now many times larger than when Wyman printed his papers in the early reports. A portion of this collection has more recently been described by Mr. Lucien Carr, whose voluntary services as an assistant at the museum have been of inestimable advantage to it. I have alluded only incidentally to the department of ceramics, which contains what is unquestionably the most important lot of material ever brought together for the investigation of the history and progress of the potter's art on the Western continent, from the "cord-marked" potsherds of the shell-heaps to the fanciful creations of Mexico and Peru.

It will be seen, then, to summarize briefly what this essay has said, that the trustees of the Peabody Museum have secured to the public a fire-proof building containing nearly four hundred thousand specimens illustrating human progress in the "childhood of the world;" and these have been placed under proper care and arranged in accordance with the demands of modern anthropological science. An instructive and attractive museum has been formed in this way, where, from time to time, free descriptive lectures are given by the curator, and whither students may go for special investigations with the assurance that, so far as America is concerned, they have access to the most important collections that have been brought together, while material for comparison with the antiquities of other parts of the globe is not wanting.

Ernest Ingersoll.


Did the reader ever realize how important a part the ferry and the ford have played in human affairs? How differently would history read without its Cæsar crossing the Rubicon, its Xerxes crossing the Hellespont, and its Washington crossing the Delaware, its Paul Revere wherried across the Charles, and its Burr and Hamilton ferried over to Weehawken,—not to speak of the Hebrews going over Jordan, Jacob at the brook Jabbok, and John the Baptist at the fords of Bethabara! The ancients conceived of death under the figure of a ferry, and transmitted it to us with such vividness that we are still half pagan in our imagination. And I can easily believe that the battle of life may be essentially influenced by having a river to cross each day. The change from land to water, from narrow and stony streets to the wide, free outlook and uplook of a great river, the varied life of a crowded ferry-boat and of a busy harbor, the magnetic sympathies of a multitude let loose from toil and perforce at a stand-still for the time,—all this insures a transition of mind as well as transfer of body. I could appreciate the exclamation of an impulsive English girl while waiting one sultry day on a North-River pier, as she spread open her arms and rushed to the edge of the dock: "I feel as if I'd like to take a barth!" It was not the dirty scum under the piles that set her longing,[Pg 488] but the general sense of refreshment which the broad and breezy river suggested to her imagination. Why should not those tides wash out some of the lines which a day in the city has left to deepen on a man's mind and brow?—especially if he pushes on to "sweet fields beyond the swelling flood" and enters "that dear hut," his home, under a vine-wreathed porch and along a gravel walk through a grassy lawn, and not down "area steps," or even through the ponderous and marble jaws of some city "palace." Therefore it is that the suburban hath the promise, above his mewed-up fellow-citizen, that his days shall be long in the land which the Lord God giveth him. And hence even the narrow-neckedness of land which distinguishes New York and pushes most of its population over the sides may have its compensations.

The ferry makes itself felt long before one gets there. There is a sort of undertow in the city tides far up from the river-front. There is a greater tangle of travel as you approach the streets leading to the ferry. There is a perceptible assimilation of trade to the supposed demands of householders living out of town. The retail Mammon dethrones his proud wholesale rival. The sidewalk- or gutter-stand thrusts itself out in advance of the store. The peripatetic dealer in small wares, the newsboy, the apple-woman, the bootblack, and the mendicant marshal you the way. The whole vicinity acquires the look and stir of a bazaar. Baskets and paper parcels and travelling-bags are conspicuous and general. Perhaps you find yourself on the greasy edge of some huge market. The hacks accumulate like croton-bugs about a kitchen sink. You feel as if you were being sucked into some valve or vortex.

There is a test of character in the mode of going to the ferry. It is almost impossible not to be in a hurry, such is the swirl of the tide in which you find yourself. In my three years of almost daily transit I never ceased to revere the moral superiority of the admirable few who day after day could proceed with leisurely step and serene brow amid the heated, breathless, tugging, anxious multitude. It seemed to indicate a steadiness of nerve, a systematic habit, a wise and deliberate forecast, a self-control and self-confidence, and a belief in their watches, to which I never hope to attain this side of Old Charon's ferry itself. And yet somebody is nearly always late. Quite as likely, however, it is somebody who is too early,—because he really belongs to the next boat, and not to the one which is just leaving the dock as he tears into the ferry-house.

There is a good deal of condensed life and human nature to be found at a ferry by one who himself is in no hurry to cross. Take your stand just where you can see up the street and at the same time can command the whole interior. The waiting-room is deserted, except by some such lounger as yourself, or a passenger left by the last boat or "too previous" for the next. Well for you if you are sufficiently respectable to pass muster with the official whose duty it is to see that no one secures a day's lodging for two cents. There is a slow dribble of wayfarers, who seldom spend their time in the dismal and dingy waiting-room unless in very cold weather or to stand guard over their parcels which they have piled upon the seats. But all at once (especially if the next boat is to connect with some train on the other side) you observe a thickening of the living current far up the sidewalk, as when the gutters are swollen by the turning on of a hydrant. Down comes the hurrying mass, fretting at the manifold obstructions, its component parts struggling together and almost seeming to go over each other's heads. No time now for the small courtesies, or even charities, of life. The sturdy and malodorous beggar knows too well to run alongside with his "Help a poor boy; I'm a stranger in the city." And the man whose abridged and distorted legs are his stock in trade waits for the return-tide to enact his shrewd and pantomimic morality-play by a hurried shuffle up and down the pavement. The news-dealers—even the enterprising female[Pg 489] who summons mercy to the aid of commerce by her absurdly lugubrious visage—have the paper and the change all ready to thrust into their customer's hand. The scene at the crossing of the street baffles description. Talk of the day of miracles being past! One who can watch this scene of scare and scamper and hair-breadth escape and not believe in a particular Providence must be incorrigibly heterodox.

The tide reaches the outer gate in a state of lively congestion. The person in front of you as you pass the toll-taker's booth is quite sure to have forgotten his ticket, and has to set down his parcels while he fumbles through all his pockets for it. You are sure you hear the inner gate closing. You dash through the ferry-house in the most undignified manner and unphilosophic mood—to find that you have five minutes to spare! And you take your stand beside your double, who has been all this time enjoying the little woes and absurdities of others,—including yourself.

The current has hardly slackened when the long gate begins to roll to. The last passenger has to edge himself through sideways, at some peril of his packages if not of himself, and at the tender mercy of the gate-keeper. Not the last would-be passenger, however; for a frantic form is seen to dart through the narrow and tortuous pass from the street and fling itself upon the closed barrier, appealing in eloquent indignation to the inexorable Cerberus, and then gazing, with face against the lattice, in imbecile despair at the receding boat. Simultaneous with the thud of the shutting gate is the clank of chains and the rattle of clamps and clogs, as of the striking off of fetters and handcuffs, an asthmatic jingle of a bell somewhere in the body of the boat, a slight slush of revolving paddle-wheels, and the great brute, as steady as a spirit-level and as powerful as a battering-ram, separates itself from the dock like the opening blade of a penknife. You recall the good old days when there were no cruelly-humane gates, and when this stage of the proceeding was marked by a wild leap of belated forms across the widening chasm, with now and then the souse of a miscalculating passenger into the yeasty brine. The scene is less picturesque and exciting now, but it is decidedly more satisfactory.

If you have a wise regard for your sanitary well-being, you will remain on deck, alike to saturate your lungs with torrents of oxygen and to let your weary eye and mind disport themselves like sea-gulls on the broad waters of the bay. What so fresh and cool and clean and still and sparkling and in perfect contrast to the stern and stony and resounding streets! As you lean over the taffrail, looking down into the clear, gliding wave, you can readily conceive why the poor unfortunates to whom life has become a stern and stony street are so often tempted to bury their sorrows in that great calm grave.

I never grow tired of watching the wake of the vessel. It revives some of my earliest impressions,—all the more if it be upon the venerable Wiehawken, or James Rumsey, or some other veteran of the Hoboken line, that used to convey me across the Hudson in my childish days. A ferry-boat then meant to me a country boy's visit to the great city, or, a little later, a city boy's holiday-excursion to the Elysian Fields. The long vibrations of the laboring boat bring back the old thrill of excited expectation. Even the discordant clank of the dock-gear is musical in memory's ear. And at any time of life there is a real fascination in watching the smooth and soapy track unrolling behind us, with its sharp division-line in the centre and its upturned depths of glossy green.

Every harbor has its characteristic features. The harbor of New York gives, first of all, the impression of amplitude. This means not only plenty of "elbow-room" upon the water, but of shore-room. The dépôts of a continent could be conveniently clustered here, and its fleets perform their tactics. There was nothing mean in Nature's mood when she planned the harbor of New York. And, after all that mellow time and[Pg 490] consecrating tradition, the traveller's enthusiasm, the poet's fancy, and the painter's sleight have done for the beauties of the Bosphorus, the Bay of Naples, the harbor of Rhodes, and other "fine old ports" and "gems of the first water," I know of few more picturesque effects, whether of color or of grouping, than that which the North-River ferry-boat affords its passengers as midway in the stream they look up the broad palisaded river, or down the islanded bay, or across on either side at populous and steepled shores, on a golden October afternoon or in the breezy light of a winter morning. Here is, at least, none of the monotony of charm, like the stereotyped features of a placid and passionless beauty, which characterizes your standard harbor-scenes. New York may not be as classic or correct as her languishing rivals on the Hellespont or the blue waters of the Mediterranean, but she has the fascination arising from mobility of feature, endless variety of expression, and vivacity of mood. One who daily crosses the North River for a year will have seemed to belt the globe and voyaged through all zones. He will have danced upon the sparkling waves of the Ægean, groped through the fogs of Liverpool, sweltered in the sultry glare of Tunis, skirted the ice-clad shores of Scandinavia, sickened in the surges of the Channel, lain glassed in the watery mirror of the China Sea. And he will have observed striking features peculiar to this latitude of the Atlantic coast. I recall an atmospheric effect in springtime resembling a light pearl-colored mist, which had none of the qualities of a fog, but rather lent a weird transparency to the air. It gave the impression of sunlight faded or washed of its golden particles, or of a picture drawn on pearl. There was a statuesque stillness about the water, a near and yet a far look about the entire scene, which imparted a sense of unreality, almost of the supernatural.

I have spoken of fogs on the river. Their prevalence differs greatly in different years, also their density and darkness. The East River, from its narrowness, its crowded condition, and its rapid current, is far more obstructed by them; but the Bridge has changed all that. The fogs are to be charged to the serious discount of suburban life; still more the snow-storms, which are more deadening to sound and less capable of illumination. But the use of electric light and the vast capacities of the steam-whistle and fog-horn, not to speak of the more than Indian expertness to which a pilot's eye and ear can be trained, have reduced the inconvenience to a minimum. There is, however, to the imaginative traveller a compensating, albeit an awful, charm. It is like exploring some dim and echoing cave resounding with an organ-concert played by Titans on the very instruments of Æolus himself. The whole river makes one think of a vast shell, full of the boomings and sighings of an infinite sea.

But such experiences on the North River are rare, even in times of fog or snow. For the most part the climate of New York harbor is singularly clear, and its autumns are beginning to be recognized as a meteorological masterpiece. And its vast and varied commerce offers exhaustless entertainment for one who has an eye for the picturesque or a sympathetic imagination for the living freight.

As we look up and down the bay we realize how thoroughly steam has cleared the water of sails, sadly to the sacrifice of beauty. Here and there, however, there is a lingering sloop or schooner, engaged in river- or coasting-trade. Decidedly old-fashioned they look, like the white turban and neckerchief of our grandmothers. As they lie off there, nestling so confidingly in the arms of the great river-god, we seem to get a glimpse of a simpler and serener age, when life glided rather than pushed, waited on the heavenly influences and trusted not its own impulse. I know that the life of a deck-hand will not bear a very close examination for æsthetic purposes. But, as I watch these vessels drifting down through the golden afternoon, or cheerily beating up against the tide on a[Pg 491] breezy morning, the man at the wheel is a very model of unconscious grace and almost effortless ascendency; and his shipmates, grouped about him like floating lotos-eaters, have ever a touch of the fine old Ulyssean vagrancy. Now and then there stands out before the breeze and the sunlight a great canvassed ship, like some living thing fluttering and glowing and careering under their thrilling touch. And sometimes a fleet of sailing-yachts, more beautiful and swift than sea-gulls, will hover on the horizon.

It is with something of sadness, if not of regret, that we turn our eyes from these lovely and now almost phantom forms to the monstrosities of steam navigation. I think we are passing through a sort of saurian epoch in this age of steam. When we have outgrown this clumsy, noisy, perilous agent, and have adjusted ourselves to electricity or some still more subtile and commodious force, we may be able to restore somewhat of the graces of form and motion. And we shall then look back upon the hideous and awkward craft of this day very much as we now gaze upon a reproduction of the misshapen and unwieldy monsters of the palæozoic ages. The river swarms with ferry-boats. Was ever utility attained at so great a sacrifice of taste? Their model must have been a toad with a stick thrust through it (three of which, so impaled and hung up in the sun to dry, Luther recommended as the best cure for all manner of "pestilent humors"). At any rate, the difference between their aspect and that of the sail-boat is that of a beetle and a butterfly. The acme of ugliness is reached in the freight ferry-boats, floating fragments of railroad, whose cars look like the joints of a monstrous creeping worm.

No one, however, can complain of any want of variety in these steam-craft, whether in size or in shape, from the rather stately steamships to the little tug-boats that shoot to and fro like gnats upon the surface of a pool. I say rather stately, for the high and graceful hull of the steamer comes to a lame and impotent conclusion in its squat chimney, like a large-faced man with a mayhemed nose, and in its toy masts and rigging, like a stout woman with curl-papers or a thin wisp of ringlet. When two or three of these steamships are together down the harbor, their white volleys of smoke often present quite a lively picture of a naval engagement. The little puffing pilot-boats have a trick of getting in the way of us ferry-voyagers, like fussy custom-house officers among the newly-landed passengers from the ocean-ferries. There is generally a tug, perhaps with a slow convoy, to be waited for or circumnavigated ere the "slip" can be entered. And they run so close in-shore that the pilot has to be wary, and in some cases to emerge with a series of unearthly steam screeches, lest he step upon one of them with his great "horseshoe" of a ferry-boat. The steam-yacht is the most graceful as well as agile of the species, as certainly it ought to be when as much money is sometimes put into one as would buy a Raphael or build a Grecian temple. The steam-yacht has doubtless a thousand comforts for the owner above the sailing-yacht, but we, whose interest in them is an outside and æsthetic one, cannot help saying, "O Utility, what crimes are committed in thy name!"

There is no beauty, but a deal of attraction, in the great flotillas of linked barges and canal-boats which slowly pass like floating and vulgar Venices. If, as is often the case, they lie across the track, we shall have plenty of opportunity to observe at our leisure their still life. I have always thought that canal-life—by reason of its amphibiousness, its phenomenal slowness, its monotony amid endless change, its solitude amid busy and peopled scenes which it is always touching but never entering—must be a unique existence, a modus vivendi quite apart from other human experiences by land or sea. A distinct type of character and of habit cannot fail to be evolved, which it might be well for ingenious novelists at their wits' ends to study, even though it required a trial of patience and a tribulation of stomach and cuticle for a voyage or two.[Pg 492] Dickens saw its possibilities, and made it an episode in Little Nell's wanderings, and I am rather surprised that he did not work the vein farther.

The river-barge is freighted for me with pleasant memories. Like Cleopatra's,

From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense.

There are not many of them now that carry passengers, but in my boyhood they were a common vehicle of travel on the Hudson, several of these shapeless and unwieldy tubs being lashed to the sides or dragged at the stern of a tow-boat. They are identified with summer vacations in the country, than which a boy's memory holds no more honeyed recollections. The hours before "turning in" (the very fact of an abnormal night and bed was a joy to the juvenile mind, despite the incessant and unearthly noises of the live-stock on board) were spent in wandering among the mountains of "produce," inhaling the savor of Orange County butter and baled hay and meal-bags, and listening to the plaintive bleat of comfortless calves and desolate sheep. As night drew on, I would select some snug little nook, where I could lie and dream as we glided along the still and starlit river, through the Highlands, perhaps, or the Palisades. The charm was mainly, of course, in the spell of youthful fancy and expectancy, which touched and transfigured the homely scene, as the moonlight touched and transfigured the silent river. But I associate it all with the barges, and shall ever see in those uncouth craft

Argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales.

In summer the excursion-boats add picturesqueness and a festive air to the river, with their gay bunting and bands of music and salutes with bell or steam-whistle, and, above all, their eager throngs of Sunday-school children or the liberated denizens of foul and narrow streets. At times the shipping along the docks and over the bay will blossom with the flags and streamers of all nations, hung fore and aft and extending in fluttering lines down the rigging, imparting a gala aspect to the scene and perhaps thrilling one with patriotic or historic memories. Perhaps we are crossing at the moment when the great Sound-steamers are pushing out from their piers. We feel quite humiliated on our lonely ferry-boat as these leviathans of nautical architecture sweep past us with an imperious curve far out into the stream, and then move steadily and statelily down the middle of the river, like an "ugly duckling" of mammoth proportions. One never gets over the sensation of that sight, nor its impressions as a type of our century,—a vast floating hotel, carrying the population of a village and the luxurious appointments of a palace, gliding as smoothly and noiselessly as an Indian's canoe, and propelled by an internal force apparently as vital and secret as that which moves the Indian's arm.

Yonder comes an ocean-steamer, long, low, and black, with a tri-color flag at the stern, slowly and puffily tugged by a little pilot-boat. The decks literally swarm with figures in all sorts of outlandish garb,—gray and blue stuffs, long shaggy ulsters, Scotch caps and plaids, gay kerchiefs on the women's heads and necks. Some lounge, smoking or gibbering, over the taffrail, other groups sit picturesquely on their large rude boxes, but most of them are suggestively silent and statuesque. And well they may be, for it is the moment of fate to the poor emigrant as much as for Columbus when he approached the shore of a new world. A new world, indeed, in far more than the geographical sense; a new life, or at least a new attempt to live; old things passed away, and all things to be new—except himself. A great wave of homelessness in the wide world, and perhaps of sickness for the old home, sweeps over the poor exile's heart. All is so strange, and so sternly independent of their forlorn and insignificant selves. Perhaps they are being unladen from the ship, shunted down the gang-plank along with their chests, packed on a transfer-boat[Pg 493] like so many imported cattle, only not with the care or tenderness with which a drove of Holsteins or Jerseys would be handled. A squad of emigrants, just landed on the wharf and waiting to be transferred to the emigrant-train for another week's voyage by land to the ends of the continent, is one of the most pathetic sights in this world, especially if they are foreign to our speech and dress and modes of life. How wistful and helpless and strayed they look!—a bit of still and stranded life in the sweep and roar of a world that must seem to them as wild and as soulless as the ocean they have just left. How unconsciously they group themselves in picturesque attitudes, which no artistic eye could improve upon! Their staves, their dangling bundles of coarse canvas or of tied-up handkerchiefs of various colors, their quaint and often grotesque attire, their silent posture and vigilant eyes, their sheep-like dependence on their guides, combined with a watch-dog solicitude for their miserable traps, their household groupings and varied ages, from the baby born on shipboard to the old grandfather come to lay his rheumatic bones in the soil of a strange land,—I have stood and watched it all many and many a time, ere I hurried on to my day's business or to my happy home; and the work has seemed more significant, and the home more sweet, for that sight. Surely one need cut only a little way into life here in order to touch its profoundest mysteries and its most far-reaching suggestions.

One who has known New York for a generation or two cannot fail to be struck with its changed appearance as seen from the ferry-boat. It used to lie as low and flat as a whale's back, with perhaps a harpoon sticking out here and there,—to wit, a steeple. The steam elevator has proved quite an Aladdin's Lamp in its magical feats of architecture, by developing a vertical in place of a lateral growth of buildings. The best building-lots are now in the air, and to be had without ground-rent. Troy had to raise its successive Iliums, Ilioses, and Trojas, at intervals of ages, and tear or burn each one down before erecting the next. But we propose to save the Schliemanns of the future a world of trouble by building our various New Yorks simultaneously, one on top of the other. Accordingly, the city is becoming crowded with towering and clumsy structures, especially on the elevated ridge which runs along Broadway from the City Hall to the Battery, giving it the appearance of an uncouth acropolis. All over the town manufactories and public buildings of colossal size stand, like megatheria, knee-deep in a jungle of houses. The campaniles of modern industry rise slim and tall into the air. The great buttresses and towers of the Brooklyn Bridge loom above the house-tops. Grain-elevators, which "take the wind out of the sails" of Noah's Ark, lie stranded on the docks. The poetic and picturesque "forest of masts" has fallen before the march of progress and the axe of steam almost as thoroughly as the primeval woods. The low and open piers have been enclosed, some of them with considerable architectural effect, giving a trim and bandbox look to the river-side.

The transformation is even more marked on the adjacent shores. As I remember Jersey City and Hoboken in my boyhood, they were only small clusters of buildings, with a ferry-house at the water's edge. Now they have crept along from the Palisades to the Kill van Kull, overflowed the Bergen Hills, reared giant structures which rival New York's in monstrosity, and extended their railroad-wharves and steamship-piers over the Arcadian haunts of the Elysian Fields and the primitive meadows of Communipaw and Paulus Hook. And on the East River Brooklyn, joined to New York by its Siamese ligament of the Bridge, seems the bigger twin of the two. The contrast at night is still more striking. The river and the town are brilliant with electric lights, where formerly twinkling lamps or gas-lights made darkness visible. These have the effect of stars of the first magnitude; and the great Bridge, seen on a dark[Pg 494] night from the South Ferry, with its lights at regular intervals, suggests that Orion must have slipped his belt.

Crossing the ferry by night was always a favorite experience with me. In sultry weather one can nearly always get a whiff of freshened air, perhaps from the sea; and the quiet is not less reviving to the heated brain. Nowhere does the night seem more "stilly," or the sense of seclusion more profound, than in the middle of the broad bay on a midsummer night before or after the theatre-goers have crossed. The cities, veiled in moonlight or dim in the star-light, seem to be breathing peacefully in giant slumber. The prosaic features of the scene are hidden, the ragged outlines softened, and the smoke and din indistinguishable. It seems hardly possible that these dream-like masses, with their sparkling lights, like reversed heavens, are the rude, restless, discordant gehennas which they sometimes seem to us by day. And yet I realize the awfulness and vastness of these great living creatures far more than in the belittling and disillusionizing daylight. The anchored or passing vessels only add to the sense of seclusion,—the former with a solitary lantern at the stern, the latter perhaps a galaxy of many-colored lights. On a dark night it has the effect of a discharge of Roman candles arrested in mid-career. The other ferry-boats have a comical appearance as they whirl and whiz past us. If in the daytime they are deplorably like pumpkins with a stick thrust through them, at night they remind us of grotesque lanterns made out of those same pumpkins with illuminated slits and slashes.

I find no small entertainment and suggestion in watching the manœuvres of the skilful pilots. A novice might hastily conclude that it was a simple matter to steer a boat from one side of the river to another. But let him try, and see where he will bring up. The process is as nice a one and as scientific as a game of billiards. The exact stage of the tide and volume of the current, the velocity and direction of the wind, the ice on the river, the approaching or anchored vessels, and all of them in their mutual relations, have to be calculated with mathematical precision, especially in entering the narrow slip: so that the directest way is often the longest way around. Is there not here an object-lesson for those who would live wisely in this narrow transit which we call life? Keep your eye upon the one point to which you know the higher powers call you; but do not think that you are going to march straight there by force of will, or straight there at all. You are in a world full of cross-purposes and counter-currents and side-winds, of accumulated conservatisms and masses of mere inertia and oppositions which straddle or shoulder themselves across your path. You will probably wreck your undertakings, and will certainly waste your strength in needless collisions and shovings aside, unless you take all these things into account. The capacity to do this is wisdom, as distinct from knowledge or right intentions, in any sphere of life. Herein is practical statesmanship, effective reform, everything which has to do with human wills and the course of this world.

But it is not always practicable, even to the most stalwart and seasoned passenger, to spend his time on the open deck. To stand out on the front (one can hardly call it a prow, where the periphery is that of an average wash-tub) or at the stern is to be drowned by rain or sawn asunder by icy winds or broiled like an oyster, and to cower under the upper deck is to get a lively sense of the Cave of the Winds. One with a healthy sense of smell and an instinct for oxygen may well shrink from entering the cabin, and prefer the perils and discomforts of too much atmosphere to those of a depleted and poisoned one. David may have been wise in choosing to be punished for his sins by pestilence rather than by famine or the sword, but he put it on very doubtful ground when he thought he was thereby falling into "the hand of the Lord" in some special manner. For I am confident that bad air is the devil, and that it is this "power[Pg 495] of the air" of which he is "prince." And he has no more impregnable stronghold than the cabin of a ferry-boat in winter. In the cars one can brave public opinion and elude the brakeman's eye so as to open something in his "Black Hole." But the cabin windows are hermetically sealed and the doors jealously guarded by an unsleeping dragon. On some of these boats they have an ingenious method of intensifying the sickening odor by anointing the floors with a rancid oil, which affords the tender stomach all the advantages of the famous crossing of the English Channel.

The entire code of the cabin is still to be rescued from the civilization of the cave-dwellers. The essence of politeness has been shown to be self-sacrifice in small things. The average American is naturally as unselfish a being as dwells upon the planet, but he often appears to disadvantage beside far meaner races by reason of an insane haste which tramples politeness under its feet. "After you, sir,"—a phrase which contains in a nutshell the very kernel of all courtesy,—puts the thing in a shape which is almost a physical impossibility to the American temperament. Our fellow-citizen will go ahead of you with the utmost gallantry, though it be to storm a Malakoff or grapple with a mad dog; but to stand aside and let you get on or off a ferry-boat before him is a strain upon his manners enough to dislocate their every limb. Well, remembering that the passive mood comes after the active in grammatical sequence, we will not despair of a development of the passive virtues even in the "go-ahead" American. And then the law of the cabin will no longer be mob-law, nor its motto, "Every man for himself, and —— take the ladies."

It is really ridiculous to see the uneasiness and prematureness of most persons as the boat begins to approach the shore. Though conscious that it will not bring the boat and the dock any nearer together, there is a hunger of the eye to seize the latter from afar. Sometimes the movement of an asphyxiated passenger for the door, or the momentary stoppage of the boat in mid-stream, will bring half the cabin to its feet. It is the same impulse which leads passengers, when waiting in the ferry-house, to glue their faces to the gate for five minutes before the boat arrives, which throngs the platforms and aisles of a car long before the dépôt is entered, which in church varies the closing hymn with an overcoat drill and causes the benediction to be pronounced amid a rattling discharge of hymn-books into the book-racks.

Having entered the cabin, it is always an interesting question on which side we shall sit,—not to say at which end of the boat. I think that temperament has much to do with the decision of these questions. And it might be well for some psychologist and sociologist to investigate why it is that certain persons will instinctively select the rear of the cabin and others advance to the front; also why some will invariably take their seats on the outer and others on the inner side of the cabin. This being with myself not a matter of instinct but of reason, perhaps my experience is of little value, but I freely and confidentially offer it in the interests of science. I choose the inner row of seats for the following reasons: first, they are warmer in winter by reason of the steam-pipes which run underneath them, and cooler in summer by being more directly in the draught from the open doors; secondly, because the boat is steadier there, and one can read one's paper, if so inclined, with less painful adjustment of the eyes to the shaking type; but chiefly because in that position one has before one the panorama of the river, which is the next best thing to being out on deck. One of the mysteries of human nature is that so large a proportion of ferry-passengers appear to take no more notice of the glorious scenes through which they pass twice a day than if it were a tunnel. They will hurry into the cabin in all weathers, seat themselves with their backs to the river, and spend the voyage buried in the newspaper or gazing into vacancy. They do not seem even to appreciate the study of life afforded by their fellow-passengers.[Pg 496] I am sure Dickens would have revelled in the opportunity and found no end of Quilps and Chadbands, Swivellers and Turveydrops, Little Nells and Mrs. Nicklebys, Pickwicks and Artful Dodgers. I have found splendid models for almost every type of civilization and not a few types of barbarism. And the eccentricities of dress are hardly less noteworthy.

One learns to enter heartily into the joys and sorrows of the groups, and even of the individuals, whom he thus watches perhaps from day to day. He comes to be a mind-reader, and works out many a little life-story, as did the ingenious Silas Wegg concerning the people who passed his corner or lived in the houses of the neighborhood. Among the more familiar types are college-students cramming for the day's recitation, giggling school-girls, dapper clerks, pert messenger-boys improving the time by reading a blood-and-thunder story-paper in the very smallest of type, business-men, all nerve in the morning, and in the afternoon chatting affably or half asleep, ladies keen for a shopping-"meet" on Fourteenth Street, housewives with market-baskets, and workingmen with tin pails. Each hour of the day develops its own tide and type of travel, beginning with the lowest class of laborer and ending with the belated reveller. There is a still hour in the morning, awhile before noon, when the idlers and the dissipated begin to dribble into or out of the city, and studies of the odd and the sad alike abound for the Hogarthian pencil and imagination.

The "basket brigade" constitutes a large and regular detachment of the trans-Hudson army. Pleasant it is (I can hear the parody-fiend murmur), when things are green and price of meat is low, to move amid the market-scene, where gourmands stout and housewives lean with baskets come and go. Tempting too, alike to the dainty and the thrifty. Like Robinet in the "Evenings at Home," it adds much to the relish of one's little supper to have selected it one's self out of a whole marketful and to inhale its imaginary savors all the way home. Then, it is so nice to surprise the wife with the earliest of the season, or to pour out upon the table a dozen golden oranges, or to bring a little light into the invalid's eye by a basket of grapes or a fragrant bunch of flowers, or to delight Tiny Tim with a trinket, or to let little Jacob "know what oysters is." Especially on Saturday afternoons does the basket brigade come out in force, and many a homely little idyl may be conjured out of the family groups or the purveying parents who throng and cumber the boat at such times. The capacities of the market-basket, as then and there revealed, are prodigious, rivalling those of the trunk of travel; and yet out of the cover will still protrude the legs of unadjustable "broilers" and the green fringes of garden-stuff, and all this not counting in the oyster-pail, or the great watermelon which has to be carried separately by its wooden handle. The epicurean prospect of the Sunday dinner reflected in the restful face as well as materialized in the basket can hardly fail to elicit a gentle thought from the sternest Sabbatarian's heart.

With the excursion-season comes another phase of our little idyllic studies, as we watch the groups and couples intent upon a picnic at the sea-side or among the Jersey villages. Here is a representative family party which I followed with my eyes, and still farther with my imagination, on their way to Coney Island on a fine, fresh summer morning. There was the grandma, a bright-eyed, beaming old lady, beginning to bend somewhat with years, but as pleased with the day's outing as any of them. There was the mother, sharing her responsibility with the neat and pretty young-lady daughter. There was a youth, somewhat of the Abel Garland type, who might have been the young lady's brother, but who was a happy man even if he was not. There was a small boy; and who need be told what a day that was for him? Lastly, there were two charming little ringleted girls, who walked hand in hand in the prettiest way, with eyes that fairly[Pg 497] danced and feet that could hardly help doing so. There was no baby to utter a discordant note or to hang as a Damocles' sword of apprehension over the heads of the group. But in so affectionate and well-regulated a family I am not sure that its presence would not have constituted a new source of happiness. And by and by, as the afternoon waned, I could imagine the father meeting them at the beach, with perhaps the real brother (or would it be the real not-brother?), and coming home with them in the cool evening and the sweet moonlight.

On Saturdays there is an earlier current of home-going working-people; and it is easy to detect a quite different air about them from what they wear on other days. There is no shadow of next morning impending over them. One realizes anew the Sabbath as made for man,—the man who works,—and blesses the Son of Man who is "Lord also of the Sabbath." This is the evening when they carry home their reading for the week, as well as their Sunday dinner. I wish more could be said for the general quality, intellectual or moral, of this literature. But most of it is better than mental vacancy, and a great advance on the illiteracy in which these classes were sunk not so very long ago. And it must be borne in mind that the transient and sensational reading which so many of us carry in cars and cabins, or buy at news-stands, or take out of libraries, would misrepresent us if supposed to be all we had or loved to read. There is in more of these homes than perhaps we suspect a shelf with its well-thumbed "Pilgrim's Progress," its "Robinson Crusoe" with one cover gone, its odd volume of Waverley or Dickens, its copy of Burns or Longfellow, its row of school histories and science, and its pile of magazines.

At certain hours, when the trains are due, the basket brigade is reinforced by the carpet-bag battalion; and a crowd of home-coming or out-going travellers is a never-ending source of sympathetic and imaginative study to the leisurely looker-on. What an anachronism that word "carpet-bag" has become, by the way! I saw not long ago on the ferry-boat a genuine and literal specimen, which carried back my thoughts for a generation to the day when bags were really made of carpet and the most fastidious social Bourbon did not disdain to carry them. They flourished in the age of shawls, and came in not long after the epoch of "gum" shoes. They were of every conceivable pattern, from the sober symphony in brown to a gorgeous wealth of color that might vie with the most audacious wall-paper of an æsthetic age. This "belated traveller" of a carpet-bag had all the appearance of a faded and bedraggled gentility,—was, in fact, a veritable tramp among luggage. It sagged down as it stood on the floor. It ran here and there into strings, as of shoes untied and coat fastened together by twine in lieu of buttons. And it was trampy with mouldy discoloration and travel-stains. It was of vast dimensions, and, as was always the way with carpet-bags, bulging in all directions with its contents. I was not surprised to discover, through its orifice, that it had long ceased to be a receptacle for clothing and was filled with honest workman's tools. Burglars, the police-reports tell us, affect the carpet-bag for their jimmies and the like, but in such case it may be depended on to be as reputable in appearance and as close-mouthed as the last defaulting treasurer or trustee. The modern luggage is a type of advanced thought, if not civilization, whether we consider the Saratoga trunk, the Russia-leather satchel, the school-boy's knapsack, or the commercial traveller's double-locked valise. There is "nothing like leather:" men live now in their trunks, and America's proudest contribution to the world is the railway-check.

But my boat bumps on the shore, and I must pass out, to the marching music of the rattling chains and the swashing tide, to my business,—perhaps a "better" one to be "about" than writing these idle observations on a North-River Ferry.

F. N. Zabriskie.
[Pg 498]


Statistics as to the number of men and women of good standing in the world who cannot read might have a certain interest. There are probably more persons laboring under that disability than is usually supposed, and this with no reference to unfortunates who in early life have missed the opportunity of learning their A B C, but thinking only of those who have never found the way to utilize a knowledge of letters,—of persons, in short, who do not know what to do with a book. Trustworthy statistics, however, would not be easily obtained: there is too strong a prejudice in favor of books for any one to be very forward in confessing a distaste for them. Now and then such an admission is made, but, for the most part, people like to think that under auspicious conditions—if they had time, or quiet, or health, or what not—they should be great readers. It is a point on which it is quite possible to deceive one's self and almost impossible to deceive others.

You are acquainted, perhaps, with some lady on whose table lies the book that every one is talking about: it is not a novel, we will suppose. "Ah, you have that!" you say to her. Yes, and she expects to enjoy it immensely. She lifts the cover and casts a caressing glance upon its pages, for all the world as if she could not wait to be at it. You know the feeling, and sympathize with her. The next time you are there, seeing the book again reminds you to ask how she liked it. "Why, positively," she says, "I haven't had a single minute in which I could take it up!" But she still cherishes the same agreeable anticipations as before with regard to it. After a considerable lapse of time, on the occasion of another call you may notice a mark protruding in the region of the first chapter, and if mischief or malice or any other inborn propensity to evil prompts you to allude to the subject once more and inquire if the book pleases her, on the whole, she will probably say that it does as far as she has read, only there is an unconscious plaintiveness about this statement which betrays that enthusiasm has waned: the fact is, everybody is talking of another book now, and she has the uncomfortable feeling of being behind-hand. But all the same she may be just as intimately persuaded that it is only a concatenation of adverse circumstances which has prevented her finishing the book long ago, as you are that she will never finish it.

However, as already said, there may sometimes be found among non-readers a clear apprehension of the state of their case. Thus, a lady once avowed, when a conversation had turned upon the profit and pleasure of reading, that she had not the least liking for books and never had had. She regretted it extremely; she felt when she saw any one absorbed in reading that she had missed something; there were times when if she could forget herself in a book she should be very glad, but she could not; she had never been taught to care for reading when she was a child, and it was too late to learn now. Still, on being persuaded to think that she might at least try, she expressed an ambition to enjoy Thackeray, and asked to have his best novel recommended. "Vanity Fair" was accordingly suggested as most likely to please her, and, it being procured, she announced on the following evening that she had read thirty pages that day, and meant to continue at the same rate. Her admiration, alas! was plainly more for her own achievement than for that of her author; nevertheless, the literary adviser talked encouragingly, as the medical adviser often must, in spite of bad signs, and for a few nights the number of pages kept pretty well up to the mark, then steadily declined, and, after an hiatus or two, "Vanity Fair"[Pg 499] was mentioned no more. It was, as the lady herself had thought, too late. But on another point also she may have been right,—namely, in the implied belief that childhood was the time when she might have learned to like reading.

There is certainly a wide-spread impression that children ought to display some taste for literature, so that to say a child does not care for his book is rather a damaging statement: it is made with reluctance: one is "afraid Charlie does not like to read;" one always adds, if possible, that "he likes to be read to, however," and in any case the obliging by-stander hastens to say, "Oh, well, perhaps he will take to reading as he grows older," which remark, on the principle that one never knows what may happen, is incontrovertible as far as it goes. No one would wish to assert dogmatically that Charlie will not ripen into a reader, but at the same time no one very seriously supposes that he will. "As the twig is bent the tree's inclined" is felt to be peculiarly applicable in his case.

And still one ought not to be fatalistic about the twig: for the tree, indeed, it is too late, but that means nothing, if not that for the twig it is yet time. In certain ways this idea is recognized and acted upon, as, for instance, when a taste for music is to be cultivated children are held to practise daily on the piano, even though they hate it; if dancing is necessary to secure a graceful carriage, they must learn to dance, notwithstanding that they might prefer to swarm up and down the sidewalk on roller-skates. And so, when a relish for books is to be awakened, why should it not follow that children must read? Why content one's self with anything short of that? To read to a child, otherwise than occasionally and with the occult purpose of giving a lesson in ease of utterance, is evidently pernicious. It may sound well to say that Charlie likes to be read to, but the real sense of the statement is that he considers reading laborious, and that we are doing our best to strengthen him in that opinion. To be sure he is right,—reading is more or less laborious at the outset; but then the obvious deduction from this would seem to be that the more seriously he applies himself to it the better.

To some persons such an axiom will have a brain-feverish sound: children are heard of who are devoted to books to the injury of their health, and so it is assumed that to incite any child to read may be a tempting of Providence. This is a groundless supposition. Even in the few authentic cases of precocious development efficient parents may easily take measures to check the ravages of intellect, while in the far greater number of instances where the mental and physical qualities are pretty evenly balanced, parental efficiency would be well displayed in cherishing rather than in repressing a love for literature. If one thinks what a companion a book may be in hours of loneliness, what a comforter in weary illness or in sorrow, and, above all, what a blessing in the temporary escape it offers from the every-day trials of existence, which tend to take on huge proportions if one settles down among them, but will look of a very reasonable size to one who comes back to them with sight refreshed after a judicious absence,—if one thinks of all this, the art of playing on the piano or of dancing sinks greatly in importance as compared with the art of reading. Even considering only the respective duration of advantage, one would have to decide for reading if a choice must be made, for girls generally give up music when they marry, and at some not quite so definitely fixed period dancing is renounced by both sexes, while books remain appropriate to every age and condition of life.

Happily, however, there is no need to choose: reading may be cultivated side by side with more florid accomplishments. To provide an interesting book and appoint an hour for its perusal may just as easily be done as to set apart an hour for the piano,—indeed, in some cases more easily, since there would be no bills coming in for the reading-lessons. And who will say that a child might not learn to like reading, might[Pg 500] not insensibly get into the spirit of the art, by this simple method when duly insisted on? Perhaps it would fail sometimes; there may be persons absolutely incapable of the prolonged attention required for reading; but one cannot help thinking that in most minds this power of attention could be aroused and fostered, and that, therefore, if a child does not like books at the start, that need not be accounted a fatal sign. People who have detested their music-lessons at first have been known to come finally to the enjoyment of music through those very means.

When children should begin to read, and how they should learn, are questions which lie rather outside the scope of this paper and concern those who "take to reading" as well as those who "like to be read to;" but, stating the case broadly, one might say that they can begin at any time and learn anyhow. It has been seriously advocated that children be not taught to read until they are ten years old; and certainly it would be quite possible to prevent their reading before then. On the other hand, as an actual fact, they do read at seven and eight years of age, and used to read at five or even earlier. Regarded by the light of modern theory, what they used to do was, of course, deplorable; still, the fact remains, and is mitigated by circumstances, for the children were not considered prodigies at that time, and a due proportion of them lived to grow up, and may be seen to-day, as men and women, walking about the world in tolerable health and spirits.

With respect to methods of learning to read, the difference must appear even greater to one who has ever seen or who dimly remembers an old-fashioned primer. There was the alphabet to begin with, then some syllables and little words neatly arranged in columns, and directly upon that the reading-lesson, introduced, it may be, by the picture of a child in long pantalettes contemplating a shrub which, figuratively speaking, lent color to a few conventional remarks upon the rose,—as that it is red and smells sweet. Such was the whole system. We are aware now that to storm the citadel of letters in that fashion was absurd; that, on the contrary, it should be scientifically approached in the taking of outworks; and nevertheless here also is the fact to be reckoned with that children did learn by the old system, and that they learned with what looks in these days like marvellous celerity is a mitigating circumstance which has even yet a certain charm for some minds. There was a precision, too, about acquirements under the ancient method which is not always found under the new. At present the very mother of a child of eight years may not be quite clear as to her daughter's attainments; she can read, but still, "you know, they teach them now to write first," and it appears eventually that Nellie writes so well and reads so ill as to be obliged to copy off her lessons for the advantage of learning them from her own handwriting.

But all this is simply in support of the proposition that children can learn to read anyhow, and, assuming thus much to be demonstrated, we may pass to something else. What is a weightier consideration in the matter of reading than either how or when. As a question, it would be differently answered in different ages of the world. We know that Dr. Johnson once took a little girl on his knee and put her directly down again because she had not read "Pilgrim's Progress." The great lexicographer might take up and put down a good many children nowadays before he found the right one; and we need not think the worse of them on that account. We feel that even a child who had the advantage of Dr. Johnson's acquaintance ought not to be required to comprehend the Immortal Allegory. It is true he may have expected her to enjoy it without comprehending it, and that gives the case a different aspect. Considering how few books the little maid had of her own, and especially if it was an illustrated edition of Bunyan's works which, lying on the table, prompted the good doctor's question, one is half inclined to agree with him that the[Pg 501] demons in the Valley of the Shadow of Death and the angelic forms which meet the Pilgrim as Two Men of the Land of Beulah ought to have enticed her imagination into reading, whether she understood or not.

Certain it is, at all events, that comprehension is not necessary to the appreciation of masterpieces. In an age less remote than Dr. Johnson's, although still antediluvian with respect to the now prevailing flood of juvenile literature, children often read and liked what they did not understand. There were fairy-tales, to be sure, even then, and tales popular and moral, also a few such books as "Amy Herbert" and "Laneton Parsonage," but children who were fond of reading soon had those by heart, and would then browse, perchance, in their elders' pastures, by which means it happened that one child used to derive no little satisfaction from the "True Account of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal to Mrs. Barlow." Told as it is with Defoe's inimitable circumstantiality, she was so far from understanding it as to rather more than half believe it. She knew well that ghosts at night-time, robed in white, were fabulous and never to be thought of, especially when one was alone in the dark; but a ghost that paid visits in broad daylight, dressed in bonnet and shawl like anybody else, and whose proceedings were gravely chronicled for grown persons and labelled true,—what were you to think of that? It may be remembered that when Mrs. Barlow asks Mrs. Veal any question the answering of which would seem to be inconsistent with her ghostly state, Defoe says, "However, she waived that;" and, waive not being at that time in the vocabulary of the young reader, she always imagined Mrs. Veal putting the question away from her, as it were, with a motion of her hand, and gazing the while in stony silence at Mrs. Barlow. This dramatic situation was calculated to have a certain effect upon the nerves, and in fact it was then that the profound silence of the room, accentuated by the ticking of the clock, used to seem fraught with the possibility of a ghost abroad with her visiting-list, who might presently be waiving such courtesies as even an unwilling hostess would feel constrained to offer.

Rather unhealthy reading, one would say, but yet not so bad as it sounds; for the book was no sooner shut than the whole impression dissolved, though it might be renewed at will, as it often was. It was in the same family that all the children at an early age took possession of "Oliver Twist" as a juvenile book. They wept over little Dick's farewell to Oliver, and shuddered when Nancy saw coffins, enjoying it all extremely, and taking in so little of it that it has appeared to them since as not one of the least of Dickens's glories that he could write a book about the scum of London which children may read and re-read well into their young girlhood without receiving even the shadow of an impression of any evil beyond pocket-picking and house-breaking and general hard-heartedness.

And so it might not be far from the truth to say that children can read anything. They can, and do, even now when they have a literature of their own; for persons who would be shocked at the idea of turning a child loose in an adult library, where things unsuitable might pass harmlessly over its head, think nothing of taking a book off a counter and presenting it to their little ones, they themselves knowing no more than the man in the moon what it contains, although certain that the contents, whatever they may be, will be readily assimilated by the youthful mind. Suppose simply that such a book is full of slang and bad grammar, the antediluvians had an advantage there: if you want that sort of thing to amuse children with, the language of thieves is peculiarly suitable, in so far that if ever the young people who devoured "Oliver Twist" had over among themselves any of the Dodger's and Charley Bates's racy expressions it was with a wholesome sense of its being highly improper; whereas one cannot imagine the little folk of to-day seeing any impropriety in an equally[Pg 502] debased decoction of English—albeit somewhat more mildly drawn—when put into the mouths of children like themselves. Then, again, the ancient young people used to read Scott's and Cooper's novels, and found there much that was entirely beyond them, which they knew was only for grown persons, and therefore, though they read of love, courtship, and marriage, they remained as unsophisticated as before. But how is a child to be unsophisticated nowadays, when all these topics are manipulated for its especial benefit?—when there is a devoted boy in the story, and, in due course of time, proposal, engagement, and the wedding? In the same way one can affirm without fear of contradiction that the lads who formerly enjoyed pirates and Red Rovers from their parents' book-shelves had a healthier mental food than those who at present are provided with Rovers of their own, carefully adapted to their mental capacity, in the shape of small boys who meet the world single-handed and make their way to fame and fortune. Then, finally, were not the kings and courtiers, the Crusaders and Saracens, the Indians and pioneers of former days better training for the imagination than descriptions of picnics, skating-parties, and children's balls, enlivened with such small squabbles or adventures as are incident thereto? Realism has invaded even the children's department, and to that extent that there seems to be nothing left for fancy but to go off on a tangent in frantic imitation of Jules Verne or feeble copies of "Alice in Wonderland."

Of course this is not to deny that there are gems in children's literature which they may be thankful to possess and we may be glad to share with them: indeed, the foregoing observations should be taken simply to the effect that there is room for a choice among juvenile books, and very little choosing. We started out with the happy idea that reading-lessons cost nothing, and are come round to the conviction that it is a pity they are not expensive, that there is not some one who, for a consideration, would take the children in hand,—not only those who are expected to read by and by, but also the born readers,—and, through a judicious selection of what is within their range, gradually educate them up to a correct literary taste. For there is something sadder even than being totally unable to read, and that is reading a great deal and never anything worth while. What is worth while includes, naturally, much besides novels; but, then, a person who appreciates a good novel usually reads other good things; and, at all events, children must begin with fiction, and, even were they to end there, that this should be excellent of its kind is a step in the right direction. It would not be a bad aim to have in view that they should come by degrees to a just appreciation of Thackeray and his compeers. And where parents are unwilling—or, by reason of being themselves no readers, unable—to plan a course of reading to that effect, why, in all seriousness, should they not place the matter in the hands of some sound-minded family counsellor, who would thenceforward look after the children's literary taste, as the dentist looks after their teeth?

That would put an end to the singular anomaly by which parents, who doubtless mean to guard their sons and daughters from evil society as they would from the plague, know, as a matter of fact, nothing at all of their inmost companions. When the novel-devouring period is reached, this is especially remarkable: a mother may then look at her young daughter sitting apart, silent, entranced, drinking in what she takes for the true philosophy of life from some romance of modern society which has been recommended to her as "splendid" by the girls at school, and find no more appropriate reflection to make upon this spectacle than that "Mary is never so happy as when she is buried in a book." But one imagines the family counsellor, under similar circumstances, interesting himself or herself to discover what sort of a book it is that Mary is buried in, and, if it should prove to be a tissue of false sentiment, false pathos,[Pg 503] and even false morals from beginning to end, directing her attention to that fact, and giving her as an antidote something which, whether grave or gay, amusing or affecting, should be written in good English and in sound taste.

Grace H. Peirce.


What comes with sound of stately trumpets pealing,
With flash of torches, flaring out the stars?
What majesty, what splendor slow revealing,
What mystery through the night's unfolding bars,
In gloom, cloud-multiform, delaying long,
Bursts into flower of flame and shower of song?

What march of multitudes in rhythmic motion,
What thunder of innumerable feet,
What mighty diapasons like the ocean,
Reverberating turbulently sweet
Through far dissolving silences, are blown
Worldward upon the winds' low monotone?

The mountains hear the warning and awaken,
In hushed processional issuing from the night,
Like Druid priests with mystic white robes shaken,
Communing in some immemorial rite:
Round their old brows burns what pale augury,
What benison, what ancient prophecy?

The sea has heard; through all its caverns under
Whither its giant broods have fled dismayed,
There goes a voice of wailing and of wonder:
"He comes, with gleaming spears and ranks arrayed,
And clang of chariot-wheels, and fire of spray:
We hear, we fear, we tremble and obey."

The earth has heard it, and, arising breathless,
Sets wide her doors and leans with beckoning palms
Over the quickening east: "Resistless, deathless
Father of worlds and lord of storms and calms,
Thou at whose will the seasons bloom and fail,
Dispenser and destroyer, hail, all hail!"

What are these prophecies and preludes golden,
Legends of light, and clarions that blow?
What is this secret of the skies, long holden
In star-girt solitudes, disclosing now?
'Tis manifest—'tis here; the doubt is done:
The day-heart leaps and throbs—behold the sun!

Charles L. Hildreth.
[Pg 504]


The light of the just-risen moon shone upon the black letters of the guide-post which said that it was one mile to Clear Lake Settlement, and illuminated as lonely a region as could be found in the whole world. On one side of the snowy road a deep pine wood rose tall and dark against the evening sky. On the other were stretches of field and marsh-land, which, even when warm and green with summer, had a desolate aspect, with their background of low, monotonous hills, and both before and behind were more lonesome hills, more dreary fields, and black masses of woodland. Not one homely roof was visible in the hard, white moonlight, nor the glimmer of a lamp, nor a waft of chimney-smoke; not even the tinkle of a sleigh-bell or a foot-step was to be heard. The silence seemed whispering to the hills. One star glimmered in the orange after-glow of sunset.

It had been an unusually warm day for late December, and the faint, delicate scent of melting snow was still in the air, though it was growing crisp and cold and icicles were forming on the branches of the trees.

Two paths which diverged widely as they trailed through the woods came almost together as they reached the road, and presently from one of these paths emerged the dark figure of a man carrying a lighted lantern. Stepping into the road, he paused for a moment at the opening of the other path, and, hearing footsteps and a slow, grave voice humming an old love-song, leaned against the creaking guide-post and waited for the singer to approach. He was young, apparently not over twenty-eight or nine years, was dressed like a lumberman, and was of somewhat broad and clumsy build. But in his face, which was clearly revealed by the flickering flame of the lantern, though he stood in deep shadow, there was no coarse rusticity. The full but finely-formed features had a most gentle and amiable cast, resembling those of one of Raphael's cherubs in their halo of yellow hair. A grave smile lingered in his sea-blue eyes.

As he listened to the voice, however, a look, half amusement, half annoyance, crossed his mild countenance, and his smiling eyes became steel-colored and flashed with something like anger; but it was only for an instant.

"Halloo! that you out o' the woods, John Barker?" he called, in a smooth, pleasant tone.

"'Pears tew be; 'n' yeou, Reube Wetherbee,—it seems yeou're eout er the woods, tew."

"Of course I am; but then I don't hev ter travel twelve or fifteen miles ter git ter the settlement. How about the dance to-morrow night? Your camp goin' ter turn out?"

"Some o' the hands catilate ter go, I b'lieve."

"But a sober feller like you don't care for such kind er jollifications much, I reckon."

"I was thinkin' o' goin'."

"Ah! 'n' that accounts for your journey to the settlement to-night. Goin' to the tavern, of course. I say, man, we're bound there on the same arrand. What's goin' to be done about it?"

"What do you mean, Reube Wetherbee?" exclaimed Barker, with a deep frown upon his rugged features, which looked almost grotesque in the delicate moonlight.

"Oh, you know what I mean, well enough, John, and you may as well take it calmly. When two men take a farncy to the same woman there's likely to be some sarse between 'em; but that's no use. Now, we're both got to the same point on our way ter ask Drusy to go ter the dance. Your legs may be a little longer'n mine, 'n' if we should try[Pg 505] a race you might reach the tavern a minute before me, 'n' you might not, for I'm pretty nimble 'n' all-fired long-winded. So I say, let's have things fair 'n' square. I've got a pack of cards in my pocket, 'n' I'm fur goin' into Jones's old camp—it's only a few steps beyond here, in the edge of the woods, you know—'n' playin' it out."

"I guess I kin resk it 'n' take my chances as they come," said Barker, in a voice which sounded husky and strange. And he took great strides along the crisp white road.

"Your chances! Why, you know, man, if I should get there first you wouldn't have the ghost of a chance, 'n' if we should get there at the same time do you s'pose she'd say yes to you 'n' no to me? To speak up frank, she don't seem to set great store by neither of us, but she favors me full as much as she does any other feller, that's certain. I doubt whether she'd go to the dance even with me, though. There's something the matter. Hang it if I don't sometimes think she's got another feller down-river where she come from. Still, she's been to Jones's pritty near a year now, 'n' he ain't put in an appearance, 'n' she never gets a letter from anybody, Mrs. Jones says."

"What is it to yeou, enyhow?" blazed Barker. "Keep yer suspicionin', as well as yer blarsted consate, ter yerself. I don't want ter hear yeou talk about her. Where's Henrietty Blaisdell? What right hev yeou ter take a farncy ter another woman, when yeou've been a-keepin' company with her for a year 'n' more? 'N' yeou pryin' raound ter see if Drusy gits letters—"

"Nonsense, John! As I said before, sarse won't set things straight, 'n' I've just as good a right as you or any other man ter make up to Drusy. I ain't bound to Henrietta."

"Rights seem diffrunt to diffrunt folks, I catilate. Enyhow, I hain't a-goin' ter listen ter eny more ov your tongue. I'm a-goin' along, 'n' you kin go ahead or foller as it suits you."

"Well, now, it seems ter me that we're in a kind ov embarrassin' fix, 'n' the cards would be a consolin' way to git out of it. If—"

"Come along, then, but quit chinnin' about Drusy."

And the two men turned back into the woods, in whose weird darkness the light of Reube's lantern was no more than that of a firefly. The moonlight stole into little openings, outlined the trees upon the glittering sward, and hovered like a ghost on the path before them. The camp was a somewhat ruinous affair, but had lately been occupied by a party of surveyors. With the blaze of a great fire its interior might have been cheerful, but, as it was, it seemed a ghostly, haunted place, filled with mysterious sounds and shadows. One feeble moon-ray struggled through the foliage of a tall pine-tree, and, reaching down the wide smoke-hole overhead, searched the ashes on the hearthstone with a pallid finger. The wind rustled among some dead vines which reached through the chinks between the logs, and made a creeping sound like footfalls over the snow-covered plank floor.

Wetherbee placed his lantern upon the creaking old shelf which served for a table, and, seating themselves upon a bench, the two men commenced their game with deep earnestness. Barker's features were white and set; his strong arm trembled as he handled the cards, and his breath came quick and hard.

It was as if he were staking his life upon the play, as if his whole fate were to be decided by it.

"Great Jupiter, man! don't look like that," said Wetherbee, regarding him for the first time as the game proceeded.

"I've been feelin' as if 'twas a case of life 'n' death myself, 'n', by George, it's no wonder, this place is so all-fired uncanny. They used ter say the camp was haunted; 'n' I b'lieve it."

A great gray owl, which had flown from his abiding-place in a hollow tree near by and perched upon the roof just on the edge of the smoke-hole, gave utterance to something which sounded like a mocking peal of laughter.

Both men started violently.[Pg 506]

"Blarst the owl!" said Wetherbee angrily, throwing a piece of wood through the hole to frighten it away.

Then the play proceeded silently until finally Wetherbee, who had been steadily winning from the first, made the last deal and threw upon the table the lucky cards which decided him to be the victor.

"I knowed how 'twould be from the fust," said Barker; "but p'r'aps 'twon't make no great diff'rence, after all."

And the men left the camp and walked silently together to the settlement.

Jones's Tavern, as it was called, a large white house with a piazza in front and a long, low ell, stood in the midst of the primitive little settlement, and was a favorite retreat of the lumbermen whenever they had the good fortune to get out of the woods, as well as the stopping-place of the overseers and the men with supply-teams on their way to and from the camps.

"Here's two more fellers for the darnse," said the landlord, who was pouring out a glass of spiced cider for a sturdy young backwoodsman who had evidently just arrived. "A darnse is about equil to Fourth o' July, 'n' brings the boys out thicker 'n bees in a berry-pastur'. Haul up ter the fire 'n' hev somethin' warmin'. Soft weather fur lumberin', hain't it?"

With a nod and regretful glance at a handsome young woman who was wiping teacups at the other end of the room, which was extremely long and had a fireplace at one end and a cooking-stove at the other, Barker accepted the invitation. But Wetherbee, after exchanging greetings with the landlord and his companion, went over to speak to the young woman, and remained talking with her in an undertone for some time.

"The kitchen eend seems ter be the most 'tractable ter the fellers, in spite of hot cider," remarked the landlord, with a laugh. "'N' what's the mahter with yaou, John? Yaou 'pear ter be kinder daown 't the maouth 'n' absent-minded. Must ha' been pickin' up a gal. Well, a feller that's courtin' hain't no stranger tew affliction, thet's a fact. I wuz a bachelder once myself."

A deep crimson overspread Barker's honest countenance, but he did not open his mouth.

"Git eout, square!" said the other lumberman, roaring. "I b'lieve yeou was born a-jokin'."

The handsome young woman disappeared into the pantry. Wetherbee strode toward the group by the fireplace with an air of forced unconcern.

"Well, good-night, folks: I'm off," said he. "I'm a-goin' to help trim up the hall fur the dance, 'n' have got ter step pretty lively." And he made signs to Barker to follow him out of doors.

"She won't go with me, John," he said, as soon as they were alone. "As I said before, there's something the matter. But I ruther guess I shan't be obliged to go without company, anyhow."

Barker's face lighted up with a look of relief, and as he watched Wetherbee's retreating figure a little gleam of hope awoke in his breast. He stopped out under the stars a few moments for reflection, and the hope soon vanished.

"No; 'tain't no use," he said to himself. "She likes Reube better'n she does me, 'n' she wouldn't go with him. It stan's ter reason she should like him better. He's boss o' the gang, looks as smooth 'n' slick 's a parson, 'n' he's been a schoolmaster, tew. Then he's got sich kinder silky ways 'n' smiles. Not that I b'lieve in 'em much, but the wimmen-folks do. Still, 'twon't do no harm ter ask her, 'n' I reckon I'll do it, whuther er no."

When he entered the house again, the object of these reflections was still in the pantry, mixing bread which was to be set to rise for breakfast. She was a tall, rather slender young woman. A heavy mass of jet-black hair crowned her small, well-set head. Her eyes, to quote one of her backwoods admirers, were "jest the color o' swamp blue-berries, and hed the same sort o' shiny mist in them." Her skin was dark, almost swarthy, but a perpetual fire burned on her smooth, oval cheeks,[Pg 507] deepening and fading according to her moods. She wore the usual every-day attire of the women of the region,—mistresses as well as "hired girls,"—a dark-print gown, but, like Ophelia's rue, "it was worn with a difference," fitting her lithe, graceful figure to perfection, and set off by a dainty band of white and knot of ribbon at the throat.

Barker entered the pantry, and stood watching her at her work with bashful admiration.

"Well, what is it, John?" said she, after an interval, looking up with a smile which disclosed unexpected dimples about her mouth.

"Drusy," said he, coloring to the roots of his stiff, reddish hair, "I don't s'pose it's of no use ter ask ye ter go ter the dance 'long o' me, seein' as you've refused Reube, that is so much likelier lookin' 'n' appearin' than I be; but I've footed it twelve mild out er the woods ter ask fur yer company, 'n' neow I hain't goin' back without hearin' yeour say abeout it, et least. I—"

"Oh, no, John; 'tain't the least use," said she, laughing and shaking her head, "I ain't going with any man. As I told Reube, I engaged more'n a week ago to be a beau for Mrs. Jones. The squire won't go, 'n' Tom ain't old enough to be much protection, you know, though he's going to drive down with us. P'r'aps, if I dance at all, I'll give you a dance when we get there."

"I hain't no gre't fist at dancin', 'n' I hain't sure o' goin' ef you won't go 'long o' me. Drusy, 'tain't none o' my business, 'n' I don't want ter meddle, but it 'pears as some folks have been a-sayin' thet you hev got a—a feller down-river. 'N' you're a-doin' jest right. Don't go back on him, Drusy, fur no man that you ever liked could stan' that,—never in the world. I don't catilate 'tis so 'coz you won't go 'long o' me, but—"

"What right have folks to say or think any such thing?" she asked indignantly, a painful crimson overspreading her whole face, her throat, and the tips of her small ears.

But the man's face was so white, so expressive of pain, that the look of anger melted into one of surprised pity.

"Drusy, we've got to git dinner fur twenty-five to-morrow. I'm afeard we shan't be very nimble fur the dance," said Mrs. Jones, appearing at that moment.

Barker disappeared, and a few moments later was walking swiftly back again to the camp, twelve miles through the lonely woods.

Contrary to prediction, the next morning was fair and bright, flushed with pink and warmed with sunshine to its golden heart. It was acknowledged to be the "beatinest" winter weather that ever was known,—a thaw that was not enough of a thaw to make the roads impassable, and without rain. The rude little settlement was alive long before the sun was up. Candles and lanterns flitted to and fro. The people were all eager and alert. Even the dogs and roosters seemed to feel the unusual excitement in the air, and gave vent to their most prolonged and jubilant utterances. The storekeeper opened his establishment at six o'clock, and found customers already waiting on the steps. Sledges and sleighs came tinkling in from the woods and remote clearings. One young girl, wearing moccasins and a jaunty bear-skin jacket, had walked five miles to borrow a white petticoat to wear to the dance. Another travelled ten, by way of an ox-team, to obtain a pair of open-work stockings from a friend who was asthmatic and could not go. Even dresses were lent for the occasion; and during his ten years' sojourn at the settlement the storekeeper had never reaped such a harvest as he did on that day.

Toward night the air grew crisper and colder, as it had done on the day before. The sledge-runners crunched over the snow, and there was a little frosty tinkle to the bells, which woke every wood-track with its cheery melody, floated down the ice-bound river, echoed across the lake and along the well-trodden main road. The hall at the Forks where the dance was to be held—a bare, unfinished apartment, built for the use[Pg 508] of, but not yet taken possession of by, the town—was decorated in the most elaborate manner, but chiefly with small flags and strips of cloth in red, white, and blue, as if for some patriotic occasion. A stuffed eagle nestled in a bower of evergreen, holding a banner emblazoned with the stars and stripes in his huge bill. The clock was encircled in a wreath of paper roses, as was also the picture of Daniel Webster, which, having an oval frame, caused the great statesman to look as if he were masquerading for a May queen.

Barker arrived at the festive scene just in time to assist Mrs. Jones and Drusy from their sleigh. Dancing had already commenced, though it was not yet eight o'clock. And what a motley crowd it was which moved to the lively measures of "Money Musk"! Several of the ladies as well as the men were tripping the "light fantastic toe" in moccasins. Girls in calico gowns wore wreaths of artificial flowers upon their heads. Henrietta Blaisdell, a fat, shapeless girl with a freckled face, whose father owned more pine timber than any other man in the county, wore black silk, and was regarded with something like awe by the less fortunate ones in calico and homespun. Drusy was handsomer than ever, in a soft woollen gown of dull blue, with a red rose in the masses of her black hair and another at her throat. The schoolmistress, a pretty blonde, who was also a belle, wore white muslin, with a gay ribbon about her waist. Nearly all the men wore red shirts, but the tie of their cravats betokened careful study. Barker sported a gorgeous waistcoat, ornamented with brilliant flowers of all the colors in the rainbow, which he had purchased for the occasion from the cook at the camp, who had inherited it from an uncle that had died twenty years before. And from this same youth, who was too bashful to go to the dance himself, he obtained the loan of a pair of embroidered slippers which had been sent to him by a sister in the Far West. Wetherbee wore an ordinary cloth suit, made by a city tailor, and was by far the best-dressed and most gentlemanly-looking man in the room.

When Drusy appeared upon the scene he was dancing the first dance with Henrietta Blaisdell. He tossed her one of his pleasant smiles as he whirled breathlessly past, and her eyes followed him with a look which poor Barker would have given worlds to interpret as he stood sad and humble in all his unwonted magnificence by her side. The fiddler, who was a tin-peddler and a poet and the teacher of a "cipherin'-school," as well as a musician, played with great gusto, and was continually calling upon the dancers to "warm up 'n' shake their heels more lively."

"Here, you Joe, you're quick enough at figgers, but you don't handle them moggersons o' yourn in no kind er time," he shouted to a clumsy lumberman, whose partner, a stout, energetic young woman, was scarlet in the face with her exertions to drag him about to the fierce time of the music.

Drusy laughed. "I don't care about that kind of dancing," said she. "It's a reg'lar whirlwind."

"I was a-goin' ter ask ye ter dance 'long o' me, Drusy, only I was 'most afeard tew, fur I knowed I shouldn't keep step," said Barker timidly. "Reube seems ter be a-keepin' his balance fust-rate, but I hain't built so genteel es he is, nor hed the experiunce, neither." And he sighed deeply.

"I ain't going to dance at all, John. I'd much rather look on. I think it's real fun to see 'em scramble about."

He brightened at this, but soon became a prey to melancholy again, for as soon as the dance was over a crowd of men pressed to Drusy's side. Not even Henrietta Blaisdell or the pretty schoolmistress received half as much attention. The fact of her being a "hired girl" at the "tahvern" rather added to than detracted from her social importance, and there was a charm about her gay, gracious manner and bright beauty which was irresistible.

"Reube seems ter be tryin' tew make up with Henrietty ag'in," whispered one of the lumbermen to his sweetheart.[Pg 509] "He's been kinder strayin' off in the direction of the tahvern lately; but pine timber's more takin' then good looks tew some folks."

"Likely ez not Drusy won't hev nothin' tew say tew him," said the girl. "That gawky-lookin' John Barker 'pears tew be hangin' raound her consid'able. 'Twould be kind er funny ef she should like him better." And she laughed scornfully.

Barker overheard this, and the girl's words, and, above all, her laughter, stung him to the quick. He leaned against the patriotic wall and meditated bitterly.

Reube came over and stood by Drusy's side, and they talked in a low, interested tone. She never talked to him in that way, never listened to what he had to say with such half-shy, half-coquettish attention. But she would not dance, even with Reube.

The sleigh-bells of some late-comers came tinkling up to the door.

"Why, Sam, what's kept ye so? It's 'most nine o'clock," exclaimed one of the lumbermen to a red-shirted comrade who came hurrying into their midst.

"Sick man at the camp. The doctor from the Mills hez jest been ter see him, but said he couldn't do nothin' fur him; reckoned he'd be a goner before mornin'."

"Sho! Who is it?"

"A feller by the name o' Seth Hardin'; boss in some lumber-consarn daown-river; stopped ter the camp over-night on his way up ter Grand Falls, 'n' was took with fever 'n' ravin' like a muskeeter 'fore mornin'."

Drusy's face, which was rosy and smiling as she stood watching the movements of a contra-dance, suddenly blanched, and she grasped a wooden pillar as if for support. Her very lips were white.

"What's the matter, Drusy?" said Wetherbee, in a tone of gentle solicitude.

She beckoned him aside.

"Reube," said she, the color surging into her cheeks again, "I must go out to Fernald's camp. I must go at once. Oh, Reube! could you take me there? Tom's gone over to the Point after his aunt Harriet with our team, and there's no knowing when he'll get back. I can't wait! I must go, this moment!" She clasped her hands tightly together and looked pleadingly up into his face. "Don't hesitate, Reube. That dying man is my husband."

"Your husband!" he exclaimed, with a strange flash in his mild blue eyes, and with a pallor which almost equalled her own overspreading his face for an instant. "I don't think you'd better set out for Fernald's camp to-night, Drusy, 'Tis fifteen miles at the shortest, over the worst road in the county. But if you think you must" (he glanced at Henrietta Blaisdell, who was looking reproachfully at him, in all her bravery of black silk), "I—I might find somebody to take you. Maybe the boy over to Scott's stable, he'd know the way."

Drusy gave him a look which he did not soon forget. Was there not more in it than baffled endeavor, than disappointed trust? Poor John Barker saw it, and it lingered in his mind also. It was continually flashing before his vision for years.

"Drusy," said John, "I hadn't no notion o' spyin' on yeou, but I was a-standin' where I couldn't help overhearin' what yeou said. Yeou looked kinder faint, 'n'— Lemme take yeou ter Fernald's camp. I hain't got nothin' to stop here fur, 'n' I kin git my hoss harnessed in a jiffy. Some o' the fellers from eour camp rid in weth me, but they kin git a chance on other teams,—'n' if not, they kin walk. I hain't got nothin' but a hoss-sled to offer ye, but I guess I kin make it comfortable."

"Don't speak of that, John: I shan't forget your kindness in a hurry," said Drusy, with trembling lip.

The dance went on with jocund carelessness. Wetherbee disappeared with a flushed and frowning countenance.

The horse-sled glided swiftly along over the crisp white road. The hills were showing their barren beauty to the last look of the moon, which was sinking slowly out of sight. Sudden gleams of[Pg 510] silver by the wayside betrayed the abiding-place of frozen streams. A tall maple-tree lifted its bare branches to the sky, like skeleton fingers clutching a star.

Drusy sat silent and motionless in the bottom of the sled, while Barker stood, tall and grim, beside her, holding the reins with a careful hand. It was necessary for him to stand, that he might be able to see the cradle-holes and humps in the road ahead of them, he said. The moon had disappeared when they entered the woods, and the dense darkness was only broken by an occasional star-gleam overhead and the red light of the lantern which hung on one of the stakes of the sled.

"Drusy, did you care fur thet man thet's sick out ter the camp—your—husban'?" said Barker, breaking the silence in a hesitating tone.

"Oh, I did once, John, but he treated me badly; he—" Her voice broke in a great sob; and after that neither spoke until they reached the camp, though it was nearly an hour later.

The way was long and rough, and the night was growing intensely cold. Once or twice he bent down and tucked the robes more closely about her. But she did not heed the cold: she was lost in her own thoughts.

The camp, which they reached just before midnight, made a bright spot in the darkness of the woods. The fire-light shone through every chink in its dark logs, making red bars upon the snow.

The sick man was sleeping, and by his side sat the cook, who was acting as nurse, an old man who had been a sailor and wore gold rings in his ears. He was sleeping also, and from two bunks on the opposite side of the camp came the audible evidence that others were in a like condition.

"Oh, he can't be so very bad: he can't be dying," said Drusy, seating herself on the deacon-seat at the foot of the sick man's bed and peering anxiously into his pinched and pallid face, which was illuminated by the rays of the great fire.

"'Pears ter be more comfortable; the fever's kind er left him; but the doctor says he's goin' fast. Sleeps 'most all the time now, but he's mostly out of his head yit, pore feller! I hain't seen him ser quiet's he is now fur days," said the old man drowsily.

Barker, having put up his horse, seated himself beside the cook, who speedily relapsed into slumber again, his grizzly head drooping upon his breast. Drusy crept on to the edge of the bunk and softly wiped away the heavy moisture from the dying man's brow. He tossed uneasily upon his bed of hemlock boughs, but did not waken: his breathing was a perpetual moan, his fingers picked restlessly at the bedclothing.

The wind rose and stirred about the camp like the rustle of mysterious garments, and blew fitfully the varied pipes in the pine boughs. The great logs on the fire were dropping to scarlet coals, but Barker hastened to pile on more fuel, though there was still sufficient warmth from the huge pile. And so the night wore on. Toward morning the sick man opened his eyes and fixed them steadily upon Drusy's face.

"Do you know me, Seth?" she asked, taking his hand within her own.

"Drusy, I ain't treated you well,—but you'll forgive me?" He spoke slowly and painfully, making the most of his feeble breath. "It's all over now, 'n' there's a little property left fur you. Squire Carter, down home, 'll tell you about it. It's in his hands."

"Oh, Seth," sobbed Drusy, "I have been wrong too. I wasn't half so patient 'n' forbearing as I ought to have been. I laid up things against you that I ought to have forgot. Forgive me."

He smiled, holding her hand with a faint pressure, then closed his eyes wearily and seemed to be sleeping.

Drusy choked down her sobs and watched him almost breathlessly. His breath grew fainter and fainter; he was quiet now, and seemed at peace.

The wind died away. The dawn marched, like some still procession, carrying flickering torches, into the woods. Tiny shafts of flame shot through the[Pg 511] dark pine branches. There was a bustle and rustle as of light, hurrying feet. The clear clarion of the cocks sounded from distant clearings. And with the first rays of the sun the soul of the sick man departed into the Unknown.

"Ain't there nothin' I kin do fur ye 'baout the funeril, Drusy, or kerryin' news tew the mourners?" said Barker, as he was about to leave her at the door of the "tahvern," toward noon of the same day.

"No, thank ye, John; you're as kind as a brother; but his folks will attend to all these things. The doctor's notified them already. His father and two brothers are living down to Greenbush."

"Then I'll bid you good-by. I don't know when I shell see ye ag'in, Drusy."

Hastening back to his own camp, he told the overseer that he must find another man to take his place in the gang; and, another being at hand who was ready to take it, he started the very next morning on his way down the frozen Penobscot.

"I must put a good many more'n fifteen miles between us, or I can't stan' it," he said to himself. "She'll merry Reube in a year er tew, 'n' I won't never see her face ag'in. I warn't never superstitioned afore, but when we was a-playin' them cards in that blarsted old camp I felt how 'twas all a-goin' tew turn eout; as plain as A B C."

Four years passed away. Lake and river were unlocked by the spring rains and sunshine, and then locked again by the winter frosts. Axes rang in the pine woods, great logs went floating down the stream. Life at the settlement jogged on in the same old fashion. The lumbermen came out of the woods and flirted and frolicked with the girls and sat about the "tahvern" fire in the long evenings. The few festivals were carried on with the same old zest.

It was a bright afternoon. Drusy, who was still the hired girl at the tavern, in spite of the "little property" her husband had left her, was all alone in the kitchen, sitting pensively before the glowing stove. She was little changed, save for a shade more of sadness in her eyes and a somewhat fainter and more flickering fire upon her cheek.

Lost in thought, she did not heed the sleigh-bells which came tinkling up to the door, and a tall man, very much muffled in furs, had entered the house unawares and stood beside her chair.

"Oh, John, how glad I am that you have come!" she exclaimed, meeting his honest, ugly smile. And she sprang from her seat with both hands outstretched toward him, a glad light overspreading her whole face. "Where have you been all this time?"

"Daown-river, keepin' store. 'N' I shouldn't never 'a' come back, Drusy, only I heard haow you wouldn't hev Reube, 'n' he'd gone back 'n' merried Henrietty. When I heard that I says tew myself, 'Naow I'll go up 'n' try my hand, though 'tain't likely she'll hev enything favorable tew say tew a gre't, rough, hulkin' feller like me.' Tell me, Drusy, could yeou ever think o' hevin' me?"

"Could I ever? Why, I would have had you before, John, if you'd taken the trouble to come up 'n' ask me."

"Great Jupiter! tew hear yeou say thet!" he exclaimed, throwing his arms about her in a perfect rapture of joy.

And just then whom should fate send upon the scene but Reube Wetherbee! He came in unobserved by the absorbed lovers, and stood gazing upon them with a white face and flashing eyes.

"Reube, four years ago, as p'r'aps you'll remember, I played a game, 'n' lost. Now I've been a-tryin' my hand ag'in, 'n' won," said John, who turned suddenly and saw him there.

"So I should suppose," said Reube, with a great effort to be hearty and friendly as well as unconcerned. "And I reckon 'twill be a wedding this time instead of a dance."

Susan Hartley Swett.
[Pg 512]


He was the evolution of a military horse-trade,—one of those periodical swappings required of his dragoons by Uncle Sam on those rare occasions when a regiment that has been dry-rotting half a decade in Arizona is at last relieved by one from the Plains. How it happened that we of the Fifth should have kept him from the clutches of those sharp horse-fanciers of the Sixth is more than I know. Regimental tradition had it that we got him from the Third Cavalry when it came our turn to go into exile in 1871. He was the victim of some temporary malady at the time,—one of those multitudinous ills to which horse-flesh is heir,—or he never would have come to us. It was simply impossible that anybody who knew anything about horses should trade off such a promising young racer so long as there remained an unpledged pay-account in the officers' mess. Possibly the arid climate of Arizona had disagreed with him and he had gone amiss, as would the mechanism of some of the best watches in the regiment, unable to stand the strain of anything so hot and high and dry. Possibly the Third was so overjoyed at getting out of Arizona on any terms that they would gladly have left their eye-teeth in pawn. Whatever may have been the cause, the transfer was an accomplished fact, and Van was one of some seven hundred quadrupeds, of greater or less value, which became the property of the Fifth Regiment of Cavalry, U.S.A., in lawful exchange for a like number of chargers left in the stables along the recently-built Union Pacific to await the coming of their new riders from the distant West.

We had never met in those days, Van and I. "Compadres" and chums as we were destined to become, we were utterly unknown and indifferent to each other; but in point of regimental reputation at the time, Van had decidedly the best of it. He was a celebrity at head-quarters, I a subaltern at an isolated post. He had apparently become acclimated, and was rapidly winning respect for himself and dollars for his backers; I was winning neither for anybody, and doubtless losing both,—they go together, somehow. Van was living on metaphorical clover down near Tucson; I was roughing it out on the rocks of the Mogollon. Each after his own fashion served out his time in the grim old Territory, and at last "came marching home again;" and early in the summer of the Centennial year, and just in the midst of the great Sioux war of 1876, Van and I made each other's acquaintance.

What I liked about him was the air of thoroughbred ease with which he adapted himself to his surroundings. He was in swell society on the occasion of our first meeting, being bestridden by the colonel of the regiment. He was dressed and caparisoned in the height of martial fashion; his clear eyes, glistening coat, and joyous bearing spoke of the perfection of health; his every glance and movement told of elastic vigor and dauntless spirit. He was a horse with a pedigree,—let alone any self-made reputation,—and he knew it; more than that, he knew that I was charmed at the first greeting; probably he liked it, possibly he liked me. What he saw in me I never discovered. Van, though demonstrative eventually, was reticent and little given to verbal flattery. It was long indeed before any degree of intimacy was established between us: perhaps it might never have come but for the strange and eventful campaign on which we were so speedily launched. Probably we might have continued on our original status of dignified and distant acquaintance. As a member of the colonel's household he could have nothing in common with me or mine, and his acknowledgment of the introduction of my own charger—the cavalryman's[Pg 513] better half—was of that airy yet perfunctory politeness which is of the club clubby. Forager, my gray, had sought acquaintance in his impulsive frontier fashion when summoned to the presence of the regimental commander, and, ranging alongside to permit the shake of the hand with which the colonel had honored his rider, he himself had with equine confidence addressed Van, and Van had simply continued his dreamy stare over the springy prairie and taken no earthly notice of him. Forager and I had just joined regimental head-quarters for the first time, as was evident, and we were both "fresh." It was not until the colonel good-naturedly stroked the glossy brown neck of his pet and said, "Van, old boy, this is Forager, of 'K' troop," that Van considered it the proper thing to admit my fellow to the outer edge of his circle of acquaintance. My gray thought him a supercilious snob, no doubt, and hated him. He hated him more before the day was half over, for the colonel decided to gallop down the valley to look at some new horses that had just come, and invited me to go. Colonels' invitations are commands, and we went, Forager and I, though it was weariness and vexation of spirit to both. Van and his rider flew easily along, bounding over the springy turf with long, elastic stride, horse and rider taking the rapid motion as an every-day matter, in a cool, imperturbable, this-is-the-way-we-always-do-it style, while my poor old troop-horse, in answer to pressing knee and pricking spur, strove with panting breath and jealously bursting heart to keep alongside. The foam flew from his fevered jaws and flecked the smooth flank of his apparently unconscious rival; and when at last we returned to camp, while Van, without a turned hair or an abnormal heave, coolly nodded off to his stable, poor Forager, blown, sweating, and utterly used up, gazed revengefully after him an instant and then reproachfully at me. He had done his best, and all to no purpose. That confounded clean-cut, supercilious beast had worn him out and never tried a spurt.

It was then that I began to make inquiries about that airy fellow Van, and I soon found he had a history. Like other histories, it may have been a mere codification of lies; but the men of the Fifth were ready to answer for its authenticity, and Van fully looked the character they gave him. He was now in his prime. He had passed the age of tell-tale teeth and was going on between eight and nine, said the knowing ones, but he looked younger and felt younger. He was at heart as full of fun and frolic as any colt, but the responsibilities of his position weighed upon him at times and lent to his elastic step the grave dignity that should mark the movements of the first horse of the regiment.

And then Van was a born aristocrat. He was not impressive in point of size; he was rather small, in fact; but there was that in his bearing and demeanor that attracted instant attention. He was beautifully built,—lithe, sinewy, muscular, with powerful shoulders and solid haunches; his legs were what Oscar Wilde might have called poems, and with better reason than when he applied the epithet to those of Henry Irving: they were straight, slender, and destitute of those heterodox developments at the joints that render equine legs as hideous deformities as knee-sprung trousers of the present mode. His feet and pasterns were shapely and dainty as those of the señoritas (only for pastern read ankle) who so admired him on festa days at Tucson, and who won such stores of dulces from the scowling gallants who had with genuine Mexican pluck backed the Sonora horses at the races. His color was a deep, dark chocolate-brown; a most unusual tint, but Van was proud of its oddity, and his long, lean head, his pretty little pointed ears, his bright, flashing eye and sensitive nostril, one and all spoke of spirit and intelligence. A glance at that horse would tell the veriest greenhorn that speed, bottom, and pluck were all to be found right there; and he had not been in the regiment a month before the knowing ones were hanging about the Mexican sports and looking[Pg 514] out for a chance for a match; and Mexicans, like Indians, are consummate horse-racers.

Not with the "greasers" alone had tact and diplomacy to be brought into play. Van, though invoiced as a troop-horse sick, had attracted the attention of the colonel from the very start, and the colonel had speedily caused him to be transferred to his own stable, where, carefully tended, fed, groomed, and regularly exercised, he speedily gave evidence of the good there was in him. The colonel rarely rode in those days, and cavalry-duties in garrison were few. The regiment was in the mountains most of the time, hunting Apaches, but Van had to be exercised every day; and exercised he was. "Jeff," the colonel's orderly, would lead him sedately forth from his paddock every morning about nine, and ride demurely off toward the quartermaster's stables in rear of the garrison. Keen eyes used to note that Van had a way of sidling along at such times as though his heels were too impatient to keep at their appropriate distance behind the head, and "Jeff's" hand on the bit was very firm, light as it was.

"Bet you what you like those 'L' Company fellows are getting Van in training for a race," said the quartermaster to the adjutant one bright morning, and the chuckle with which the latter received the remark was an indication that the news was no news to him.

"If old Coach don't find it out too soon, some of these swaggering caballeros around here are going to lose their last winnings," was his answer. And, true to their cavalry instincts, neither of the staff-officers saw fit to follow Van and his rider beyond the gate to the corrals.

Once there, however, Jeff would bound off quick as a cat, Van would be speedily taken in charge by a squad of old dragoon sergeants, his cavalry bridle and saddle exchanged for a light racing-rig, and Master Mickey Lanigan, son and heir of the regimental saddle-sergeant, would be hoisted into his throne, and then Van would be led off, all plunging impatience now, to an improvised race-track across the arroyo, where he would run against his previous record, and where old horses from the troop-stables would be spurred into occasional spurts with the champion, while all the time vigilant non-coms would be thrown out as pickets far and near, to warn off prying Mexican eyes and give notice of the coming of officers. The colonel was always busy in his office at that hour, and interruptions never came. But the race did, and more than one race, too, occurring on Sundays, as Mexican races will, and well-nigh wrecking the hopes of the garrison on one occasion because of the colonel's sudden freak of holding a long mounted inspection on that day. Had he ridden Van for two hours under his heavy weight and housings that morning, all would have been lost. There was terror at Tucson when the cavalry trumpets blew the call for mounted inspection, full dress, that placid Sunday morning, and the sporting sergeants were well-nigh crazed. Not an instant was to be lost. Jeff rushed to the stable, and in five minutes had Van's near fore foot enveloped in a huge poultice, much to Van's amaze and disgust, and when the colonel came down,

Booted and spurred and prepared for a ride,

there stood Jeff in martial solemnity, holding the colonel's other horse, and looking, as did the horse, the picture of dejection.

"What'd you bring me that infernal old hearse-horse for?" said the colonel. "Where's Van?"

"In the stable, dead lame, general," said Jeff, with face of woe, but with diplomatic use of the brevet. "Can't put his nigh fore foot to the ground, sir. I've got it poulticed, sir, and he'll be all right in a day or two—"

"Sure it ain't a nail?" broke in the colonel, to whom nails in the foot were sources of perennial dread.

"Perfectly sure, general," gasped Jeff. "D—d sure!" he added, in a tone of infinite relief, as the colonel rode out on the broad parade. "'Twould[Pg 515] 'a' been nails in the coffins of half the Fifth Cavalry if it had been."

But that afternoon, while the colonel was taking his siesta, half the populace of the good old Spanish town of Tucson was making the air blue with carambas when Van came galloping under the string an easy winner over half a score of Mexican steeds. The "dark horse" became a notoriety, and for once in its history head-quarters of the Fifth Cavalry felt the forthcoming visit of the paymaster to be an object of indifference.

Van won other races in Arizona. No more betting could be got against him around Tucson; but the colonel went off on leave, and he was borrowed down at Camp Bowie awhile, and then transferred to Crittenden,—only temporarily, of course, for no one at head-quarters would part with him for good. Then, when the regiment made its homeward march across the continent in 1875, Van somehow turned up at the festa races at Albuquerque and Santa Fé, though the latter was off the line of march by many miles. Then he distinguished himself at Pueblo by winning a handicap sweepstakes where the odds were heavy against him. And so it was that when I met Van at Fort Hays in May, 1876, he was a celebrity. Even then they were talking of getting him down to Dodge City to run against some horses on the Arkansaw; but other and graver matters turned up. Van had run his last race.

Early that spring, or rather late in the winter, a powerful expedition had been sent to the north of Fort Fetterman in search of the hostile bands led by that dare-devil Sioux chieftain Crazy Horse. On "Patrick's Day in the morning," with the thermometer indicating 30° below, and in the face of a biting wind from the north and a blazing glare from the sheen of the untrodden snow, the cavalry came in sight of the Indian encampment down in the valley of Powder River. The fight came off then and there, and, all things considered, Crazy Horse got the best of it. He and his people drew away farther north to join other roving bands. The troops fell back to Fetterman to get a fresh start; and when spring fairly opened, old "Gray Fox," as the Indians called General Crook, marched a strong command up to the Big Horn Mountains, determined to have it out with Crazy Horse and settle the question of supremacy before the end of the season. Then all the unoccupied Indians in the North decided to take a hand. All or most of them were bound by treaty obligations to keep the peace with the government that for years past had fed, clothed, and protected them. Nine-tenths of those who rushed to the rescue of Crazy Horse and his people had not the faintest excuse for their breach of faith; but it requires neither eloquence nor excuse to persuade the average Indian to take the war-path. The reservations were beset by vehement old strifemongers preaching a crusade against the whites, and by early June there must have been five thousand eager young warriors, under such leaders as Crazy Horse, Gall, Little Big Man, and all manner of Wolves, Bears, and Bulls, and prominent among the latter that head-devil, scheming, lying, wire-pulling, big-talker-but-no-fighter, Sitting Bull,—"Tatanka-e-Yotanka,"—five thousand fierce and eager Indians, young and old, swarming through the glorious upland between the Big Horn and the Yellowstone, and more a-coming.

Crook had reached the head-waters of Tongue River with perhaps twelve hundred cavalry and infantry, and found that something must be done to shut off the rush of reinforcements from the southeast. Then it was that we of the Fifth, far away in Kansas, were hurried by rail through Denver to Cheyenne, marched thence to the Black Hills to cut the trails from the great reservations of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail to the disputed ground of the Northwest; and here we had our own little personal tussle with the Cheyennes, and induced them to postpone their further progress toward Sitting Bull and to lead us back to the reservation. It was here, too, we heard how Crazy Horse had pounced on[Pg 516] Crook's columns on the bluffs of the Rosebud that sultry morning of the 17th of June and showed the Gray Fox that he and his people were too weak in numbers to cope with them. It was here, too, worse luck, we got the tidings of the dread disaster of the Sunday one week later, and listened in awed silence to the story of Custer's mad attack on ten times his weight in foes—and the natural result. Then came our orders to hasten to the support of Crook, and so it happened that July found us marching for the storied range of the Big Horn, and the first week in August landed us, blistered and burned with sun-glare and stifling alkali-dust, in the welcoming camp of Crook.

Then followed the memorable campaign of 1876. I do not mean to tell its story here. We set out with ten days' rations on a chase that lasted ten weeks. We roamed some eighteen hundred miles over range and prairie, over "bad lands" and worse waters. We wore out some Indians, a good many soldiers, and a great many horses. We sometimes caught the Indians, and sometimes they caught us. It was hot, dry summer weather when we left our wagons, tents, and extra clothing; it was sharp and freezing before we saw them again; and meantime, without a rag of canvas or any covering to our backs except what summer-clothing we had when we started, we had tramped through the valleys of the Rosebud, Tongue, and Powder Rivers, had loosened the teeth of some men with scurvy before we struck the Yellowstone, had weeded out the wounded and ineffective there and sent them to the East by river, had taken a fresh start and gone rapidly on in pursuit of the scattering bands, had forded the Little Missouri near where the Northern Pacific now spans the stream, run out of rations entirely at the head of Heart River, and still stuck to the trail and the chase, headed southward over rolling, treeless prairies, and for eleven days and nights of pelting, pitiless rain dragged our way through the bad-lands, meeting and fighting the Sioux two lively days among the rocks of Slim Buttes, subsisting meantime partly on what game we could pick up, but mainly upon our poor, famished, worn-out, staggering horses. It is hard truth for cavalryman to tell, but the choice lay between them and our boots; and most of us had no boots left by the time we sighted the Black Hills. Once there, we found provisions and plenty; but never, I venture to say, never was civilized army in such a plight as was the command of General George Crook when his brigade of regulars halted on the north bank of the Belle Fourche in September, 1876. Officers and men were ragged, haggard, half starved, worn down to mere skin and bone; and the horses—ah, well, only half of them were left: hundreds had dropped starved and exhausted on the line of march, and dozens had been killed and eaten. We had set out blithe and merry, riding jauntily down the wild valley of the Tongue. We straggled in toward the Hills, towing our tottering horses behind us: they had long since grown too weak to carry a rider.

Then came a leisurely saunter through the Hills. Crook bought up all the provisions to be had in Deadwood and other little mining towns, turned over the command to General Merritt, and hastened to the forts to organize a new force, leaving to his successor instructions to come in slowly, giving horses and men time to build up. Men began "building up" fast enough; we did nothing but eat, sleep, and hunt grass for our horses for whole weeks at a time; but our horses,—ah, that was different. There was no grain to be had for them. They had been starving for a month, for the Indians had burned the grass before us wherever we went, and here in the pine-covered hills what grass could be found was scant and wiry,—not the rich, juicy, strength-giving bunch-grass of the open country. Of my two horses, neither was in condition to do military duty when we got to Whitewood. I was adjutant of the regiment, and had to be bustling around a good deal; and so it happened that[Pg 517] one day the colonel said to me, "Well, here's Van. He can't carry my weight any longer. Suppose you take him and see if he won't pick up." And that beautiful October day found the racer of the regiment, though the ghost of his former self, transferred to my keeping.

All through the campaign we had been getting better acquainted, Van and I. The colonel seldom rode him, but had him led along with the head-quarters party in the endeavor to save his strength. A big, raw-boned colt, whom he had named "Chunka Witko," in honor of the Sioux "Crazy Horse," the hero of the summer, had the honor of transporting the colonel over most of those weary miles, and Van spent the long days on the muddy trail in wondering when and where the next race was to come off, and whether at this rate he would be fit for a finish. One day on the Yellowstone I had come suddenly upon a quartermaster who had a peck of oats on his boat. Oats were worth their weight in greenbacks, but so was plug tobacco. He gave me half a sack for all the tobacco in my saddle-bags, and, filling my old campaign hat with the precious grain, I sat me down on a big log by the flowing Yellowstone and told poor old "Donnybrook" to pitch in. "Donnybrook" was a "spare horse" when we started on the campaign, and had been handed over to me after the fight on the War Bonnet, where Merritt turned their own tactics on the Cheyennes. He was sparer still by this time; and later, when we got to the muddy banks of the "Heecha Wapka," there was nothing to spare of him. The head-quarters party had dined on him the previous day, and only groaned when that Mark Tapley of a surgeon remarked that if this was Donnybrook Fare it was tougher than all the stories ever told of it. Poor old Donnybrook! He had recked not of the coming woe that blissful hour by the side of the rippling Yellowstone. His head was deep in my lap, his muzzle buried in oats; he took no thought for the morrow,—he would eat, drink, and be merry, and ask no questions as to what was to happen; and so absorbed were we in our occupation—he in his happiness, I in the contemplation thereof—that neither of us noticed the rapid approach of a third party until a whinny of astonishment sounded close beside us, and Van, trailing his lariat and picket-pin after him, came trotting up, took in the situation at a glance, and, unhesitatingly ranging alongside his comrade of coarser mould and thrusting his velvet muzzle into my lap, looked wistfully into my face with his great soft brown eyes and plead for his share. Another minute, and, despite the churlish snappings and threatening heels of Donnybrook, Van was supplied with a portion as big as little Benjamin's, and, stretching myself beside him on the sandy shore, I lay and watched his enjoyment. From that hour he seemed to take me into his confidence, and his was a friendship worth having. Time and again on the march to the Little Missouri and southward to the Hills he indulged me with some slight but unmistakable proof that he held me in esteem and grateful remembrance. It may have been only a bid for more oats, but he kept it up long after he knew there was not an oat in Dakota,—that part of it, at least. But Van was awfully pulled down by the time we reached the pine-barrens up near Deadwood. The scanty supply of forage there obtained (at starvation price) would not begin to give each surviving horse in the three regiments a mouthful. And so by short stages we plodded along through the picturesque beauty of the wild Black Hills, and halted at last in the deep valley of French Creek. Here there was grass for the horses and rest for the men.

For a week now Van had been my undivided property, and was the object of tender solicitude on the part of my German orderly, "Preuss," and myself. The colonel had chosen for his house the foot of a big pine-tree up a little ravine, and I was billeted alongside a fallen ditto a few yards away. Down the ravine, in a little clump of trees, the head-quarters stables were established, and here were gathered at nightfall the chargers of the colonel and his staff.[Pg 518] Custer City, an almost deserted village, lay but a few miles off to the west, and thither I had gone the moment I could get leave, and my mission was oats. Three stores were still open, and, now that the troops had come swarming down, were doing a thriving business. Whiskey, tobacco, bottled beer, canned lobster, canned anything, could be had in profusion, but not a grain of oats, barley, or corn. I went over to a miners' wagon-train and offered ten dollars for a sack of oats. The boss teamster said he would not sell oats for a cent apiece if he had them, and so sent me back down the valley sore at heart, for I knew Van's eyes, those great soft brown eyes, would be pleading the moment I came in sight; and I knew more,—that somewhere the colonel had "made a raise," that he had one sack, for Preuss had seen it, and Chunka Witko had had a peck of oats the night before and another that very morning. Sure enough, Van was waiting, and the moment he saw me coming up the ravine he quit his munching at the scanty herbage, and, with ears erect and eager eyes, came quickly toward me, whinnying welcome and inquiry at the same instant. Sugar and hard-tack, delicacies he often fancied in prosperous times, he took from my hand even now; he was too truly a gentleman at heart to refuse them when he saw they were all I had to give; but he could not understand why the big colt should have his oats and he, Van, the racer and the hero of two months ago, should starve, and I could not explain it.

That night Preuss came up and stood attention before my fire, where I sat jotting down some memoranda in a note-book:

"Lieutenant, I kent shtaendt ut no longer yet. Dot scheneral's horse he git oats ag'in diesen abent, unt Ven he git noddings, unt he look, unt look. He ot dot golt unt den ot me look, unt I couldn't shtaendt ut, lieutenant—"

And Preuss stopped short and winked hard and drew his ragged shirt-sleeve across his eyes.

Neither could I "shtaendt ut." I jumped up and went to the colonel and begged a hatful of his precious oats, not for my sake, but for Van's. "Self-preservation is the first law of nature," and your own horse before that of all the world is the cavalryman's creed. It was a heap to ask, but Van's claim prevailed, and down the dark ravine "in the gloaming" Preuss and I hastened with eager steps and two hats full of oats; and that rascal Van heard us laugh, and answered with impatient neigh. He knew we had not come empty-handed this time.

Next morning, when every sprig and leaf was glistening in the brilliant sunshine with its frosty dew, Preuss led Van away up the ravine to picket him on a little patch of grass he had discovered the day before, and as he passed the colonel's fire a keen-eyed old veteran of the cavalry service, who had stopped to have a chat with our chief, dropped the stick on which he was whittling and stared hard at our attenuated racer.

"Whose horse is that, orderly?" he asked.

"De etschudant's, colonel," said Preuss, in his labored dialect.

"The adjutant's! Where did he get him? Why, that horse is a runner!" said Black Bill appreciatively.

And pretty soon Preuss came back to me, chuckling. He had not smiled for six weeks.

"Ven he veels pully dis morning," he explained. "Dot Colonel Royle he shpeak mit him unt pet him, unt Ven he laeff unt gick up mit his hint lecks. He git vell bretty gwick yet."

Two days afterward we broke up our bivouac on French Creek, for every blade of grass was eaten off, and pushed over the hills to its near neighbor, Amphibious Creek, an eccentric stream, whose habit of diving into the bowels of the earth at unexpected turns and disappearing from sight entirely, only to come up surging and boiling some miles farther down the valley, had suggested its singular name. "It was half land, half water," explained the topographer of the first expedition that had located and named the streams in these jealously-guarded[Pg 519] haunts of the red men. Over on Amphibious Creek we were joined by a motley gang of recruits just enlisted in the distant cities of the East and sent out to help us fight Indians. One out of ten might know how to load a gun, but as frontier soldiers not one in fifty was worth having. But they brought with them capital horses, strong, fat, grain-fed, and these we campaigners levied on at once. Merritt led the old soldiers and the new horses down into the valley of the Cheyenne on a chase after some scattering Indian bands, while "Black Bill" was left to hammer the recruits into shape and teach them how to care for invalid horses. Two handsome young sorrels had come to me as my share of the plunder, and with these for alternate mounts I rode the Cheyenne raid, leaving Van to the fostering care of the gallant old cavalryman who had been so struck with his points the week previous.

One week more, and the reunited forces of the expedition, Van and all, trotted in to "round up" the semi-belligerent warriors at the Red Cloud agency on White River, and, as the war-ponies and rifles of the scowling braves were distributed among the loyal scouts and dethroned Machpealota (old Red Cloud) turned over the government of the great Sioux nation, Ogallallas and all, to his more reliable rival, Sintegaliska,—Spotted Tail,—Van surveyed the ceremony of abdication from between my legs, and had the honor of receiving an especial pat and an admiring "Washtay" from the new chieftain and lord of the loyal Sioux. His highness Spotted Tail was pleased to say that he wouldn't mind swapping four of his ponies for Van, and made some further remarks which my limited knowledge of the Brulé Dakota tongue did not enable me to appreciate as they deserved. The fact that the venerable chieftain had hinted that he might be induced to throw in a spare squaw "to boot" was therefore lost, and Van was saved. Early November found us, after an all-summer march of some three thousand miles, once more within sight and sound of civilization. Van and I had taken station at Fort D. A. Russell, and the bustling prairie city of Cheyenne lay only three miles away. Here it was that Van became my pet and pride. Here he lived his life of ease and triumph, and here, gallant fellow, he met his knightly fate.

Once settled at Russell, all the officers of the regiment who were blessed with wives and children were speedily occupied in getting their quarters ready for their reception; and late in November my own little household arrived and were presented to Van. He was then domesticated in a rude but comfortable stable in rear of my little army-house, and there he slept, was groomed and fed, but never confined. He had the run of our yard, and, after critical inspection of the wood-shed, the coal-hole, and the kitchen, Van seemed to decide upon the last-named as his favorite resort. He looked with curious and speculative eyes upon our darky cook on the arrival of that domestic functionary, and seemed for once in his life to be a trifle taken aback by the sight of her woolly pate and Ethiopian complexion. Hannah, however, was duly instructed by her mistress to treat Van on all occasions with great consideration, and this to Hannah's darkened intellect meant unlimited loaf-sugar. The adjutant could not fail to note that Van was almost always to be seen standing at the kitchen door, and on those rare occasions when he himself was permitted to invade those premises he was never surprised to find Van's shapely head peering in at the window, or head, neck, and shoulders bulging in at the wood-shed beyond.

Yet the ex-champion and racer did not live an idle existence. He had his hours of duty, and keenly relished them. Office-work over at orderly-call at high noon it was the adjutant's custom to return to his quarters and speedily to appear in riding-dress on the front piazza. At about the same moment Van, duly caparisoned, would be led forth from his paddock, and in another moment he and his rider would be flying off across the breezy level of the prairie. Cheyenne,[Pg 520] as has been said, lay just three miles away, and thither Van would speed with long, elastic strides, as though glorying in his powers. It was at once his exercise and his enjoyment, and to his rider it was the best hour of the day. He rode alone, for no horse at Russell could keep alongside. He rode at full speed, for in all the twenty-four that hour from twelve to one was the only one he could call his own for recreation and for healthful exercise. He rode to Cheyenne that he might be present at the event of the day,—the arrival of the trans-continental train from the East. He sometimes rode beyond, that he might meet the train when it was belated and race it back to town; and this—this was Van's glory. The rolling prairie lay open and free on each side of the iron track, and Van soon learned to take his post upon a little mound whence the coming of the "express" could be marked, and, as it flared into sight from the darkness of the distant snow-shed, Van, all a-tremble with excitement, would begin to leap and plunge and tug at the bit and beg for the word to go. Another moment, and, carefully held until just as the puffing engine came well alongside, Van would leap like arrow from the string, and away we would speed, skimming along the springy turf. Sometimes the engineer would curb his iron horse and hold him back against the "down-grade" impetus of the heavy Pullmans far in rear; sometimes he would open his throttle and give her full head, and the long train would seem to leap into space, whirling clouds of dust from under the whirring wheels, and then Van would almost tear his heart out to keep alongside.

Month after month through the sharp mountain winter, so long as the snow was not whirling through the air in clouds too dense to penetrate, Van and his master had their joyous gallops. Then came the spring, slow, shy, and reluctant as the springtide sets in on that high plateau in mid-continent, and Van had become even more thoroughly domesticated. He now looked upon himself as one of the family, and he knew the dining-room window, and there, thrice each day and sometimes at odd hours between, he would take his station while the household was at table and plead with those great soft brown eyes for sugar. Commissary-bills ran high that winter, and cut loaf-sugar was an item of untold expenditure. He had found a new ally and friend,—a little girl with eyes as deep and dark as and browner than his own, a winsome little maid of three, whose golden, sunshiny hair floated about her bonny head and sweet serious face like a halo of light from another world. Van "took to her" from the very first. He courted the caress of her little hand, and won her love and trust by the discretion of his movements when she was near. As soon as the days grew warm enough, she was always out on the front piazza when Van and I came home from our daily gallop, and then she would trot out to meet us and be lifted to her perch on the pommel; and then, with mincing gait, like lady's palfrey, stepping as though he might tread on eggs and yet not crush them, Van would take the little one on her own share of the ride. And so it was that the loyal friendship grew and strengthened. The one trick he had was never ventured upon when she was on his back, even after she became accustomed to riding at rapid gait and enjoying the springy canter over the prairie before Van went back to his stable. It was a strange trick: it proved a fatal one.

No other horse I ever rode had one just like it. Running at full speed, his hoofs fairly flashing through the air and never seeming to touch the ground, he would suddenly, as it were, "change step" and gallop "disunited," as we cavalrymen would say. At first I thought it must be that he struck some rolling stone, but soon I found that when bounding over the soft turf it was just the same; and the men who knew him in the days of his prime in Arizona had noted it there. Of course there was nothing to do for it but make[Pg 521] him change back as quick as possible on the run, for Van was deaf to remonstrance and proof against the rebuke of spur. Perhaps he could not control the fault; at all events he did not, and the effect was not pleasant. The rider felt a sudden jar, as though the horse had come down stiff-legged from a hurdle-leap; and sometimes it would be so sharp as to shake loose the forage-cap upon his rider's head. He sometimes did it when going at easy lope, but never when his little girl-friend was on his back: then he went on springs of air.

One bright May morning all the different "troops," as the cavalry-companies are termed, were out at drill on the broad prairie. The colonel was away, the officer of the day was out drilling his own company, the adjutant was seated in his office hard at work over regimental papers, when in came the sergeant of the guard, breathless and excited.

"Lieutenant," he cried, "six general prisoners have escaped from the guard-house. They have got away down the creek toward town."

In hurried question and answer the facts were speedily brought out. Six hard customers, awaiting sentence after trial for larceny, burglary, assault with intent to kill, and finally desertion, had been cooped up together in an inner room of the ramshackle old wooden building that served for a prison, had sawed their way through to open air, and, timing their essay by the sound of the trumpets that told them the whole garrison would be out at morning drill, had slipped through the gap at the right moment, slid down the hill into the creek-bottom, and then scurried off townward. A sentinel down near the stables had caught sight of them, but they were out of view long before his shouts had summoned the corporal of the guard.

No time was to be lost. They were malefactors and vagabonds of the worst character. Two of their number had escaped before and had made it their boast that they could break away from the Russell guard at any time. Directing the sergeant to return to his guard, and hurriedly scribbling a note to the officer of the day, who had his whole troop with him in the saddle out on the prairie, and sending it by the hand of the sergeant-major, the adjutant hurried to his own quarters and called for Van. The news had reached there already. News of any kind travels like wild-fire in a garrison, and Van was saddled and bridled before the adjutant reached the gate.

"Bring me my revolver and belt,—quick," he said to the servant, as he swung into saddle. The man darted into the house and came back with the belt and holster.

"I was cleaning your Colt, sir," he said, "but here's the Smith & Wesson," handing up the burnished nickel-plated weapon then in use experimentally on the frontier. Looking only to see that fresh cartridges were in each chamber and that the hammer was on the safety-notch, the adjutant thrust it into the holster, and in an instant he and Van flew through the east gate in rapid pursuit.

Oh, how gloriously Van ran that day! Out on the prairie, the gay guidons of the troops were fluttering in the brilliant sunshine; here, there, everywhere, the skirmish-lines and reserves were dotting the plain; the air was ringing with the merry trumpet-calls and the stirring words of command. Yet men forgot their drill and reined up on the line to watch Van as he flashed by, wondering, too, what could take the adjutant off at such an hour and at such a pace.

"What's the row?" shouted the commanding officer of one company.

"Prisoners loose," was the answer shouted back, but only indistinctly heard. On went Van like one inspired, and as we cleared the drill-ground and got well out on the open plain in long sweeping curve, we changed our course, aiming more to the right, so as to strike the valley west of the town. It was possible to get there first and head them off. Then suddenly I became aware of something jolting up and down behind[Pg 522] me. My hand went back in search: there was no time to look: the prairie just here was cut up with little gopher-holes and criss-crossed by tiny canals from the main acequia, or irrigating ditch. It was that wretched Smith & Wesson bobbing up and down in the holster. The Colt revolver of the day was a trifle longer, and my man in changing pistols had not thought to change holsters. This one, made for the Colt, was too long and loose by half an inch, and the pistol was pounding up and down with every stride. Just ahead of us came the flash of the sparkling water in one of the little ditches. Van cleared it in his stride with no effort whatever. Then, just beyond,—oh, fatal trick!—seemingly when in mid-air he changed step, striking the ground with a sudden shock that jarred us both and flung the downward-pointed pistol up against the closely-buttoned holster-flap. There was a sharp report, and my heart stood still an instant. I knew—oh, well I knew it was the death-note of my gallant pet. On he went, never swaying, never swerving, never slackening his racing speed; but, turning in the saddle and glancing back, I saw, just back of the cantle, just to the right of the spine in the glossy brown back, that one tiny, grimy, powder-stained hole. I knew the deadly bullet had ranged downward through his very vitals. I knew that Van had run his last race, was even now rushing toward a goal he would never reach. Fast as he might fly, he could not leave Death behind.

The chase was over. Looking back, I could see the troopers already hastening in pursuit, but we were out of the race. Gently, firmly I drew the rein. Both hands were needed, for Van had never stopped here, and some strange power urged him on now. Full three hundred yards he ran before he would consent to halt. Then I sprang from the saddle and ran to his head. His eyes met mine. Soft and brown, and larger than ever, they gazed imploringly. Pain and bewilderment, strange, wistful pleading, but all the old love and trust, were there as I threw my arms about his neck and bowed his head upon my breast. I could not bear to meet his eyes. I could not look into them and read there the deadly pain and faintness that were rapidly robbing them of their lustre, but that could not shake their faith in his friend and master. No wonder mine grew sightless as his own through swimming tears. I who had killed him could not face his last conscious gaze.

One moment more, and, swaying, tottering first from side to side, poor Van fell with heavy thud upon the turf. Kneeling, I took his head in my arms and strove to call back one sign of recognition; but all that was gone. Van's spirit was ebbing away in some fierce, wild dream: his glazing eyes were fixed on vacancy; his breath came in quick, convulsive gasps; great tremors shook his frame, growing every instant more violent. Suddenly a fiery light shot into his dying eyes. The old high mettle leaped to vivid life, and then, as though the flag had dropped, the starting drum had tapped, Van's fleeting spirit whirled into his dying race. Lying on his side, his hoofs flew through the air, his powerful limbs worked back and forth swifter than ever in their swiftest gallop, his eyes were aflame, his nostrils wide distended, his chest heaving, and his magnificent machinery running like lightning. Only for a minute, though,—only for one short, painful minute. It was only a half-mile dash,—poor old fellow!—only a hopeless struggle against a rival that never knew defeat. Suddenly all ceased as suddenly as all began. One stiffening quiver, one long sigh, and my pet and pride was gone. Old friends were near him even then. "I was with him when he won his first race at Tucson," said old Sergeant Donnelly, who had ridden to our aid, "and I knowed then he would die racing."

Charles King, U.S.A.
[Pg 523]


Pale Grief with tender Joy is at strife,
And Joy is wounded and nigh to death.
Their quarrel is old,—as old as life,—
"And Grief is right," the sad world saith.
But, hark! from yonder wood
The blackbird singeth gay,
"Joy is in the right of it,
And Grief is in the wrong of it,
Whatever the world may say."

Dull Age with radiant Youth is at strife,
And Youth draws harder and harder breath.
Their quarrel is old,—as old as life,—
"And Age is right," the gray world saith.
But, hark! from yonder wood
The throstle singeth gay,
"Youth is in the right of it,
And Age is in the wrong of it,
Whatever the world may say."

Ah, dearest, Doubt and Love are at strife,
And Love breathes hard and is nigh to death.
Their quarrel is old: shall it spoil our life?
Or shall we heed what the cold world saith?
Come forth into the wood,
And let us sing and say.
"Love is in the right of it,
And Doubt is in the wrong of it,
And the world may go its way."

Robertson Trowbridge.


Dothegirls Hall.

Such was our name for it. But such was only our American name for an establishment which in reality bore a much more imposing title. St. John's Priory was the name we were known by in the guide-books and to all the country round about. A noble Priory we were at our front, with heavy stone walls veiled in centuries-old ivy, and gables and finials outlined against the sky; and it was only at the rear, where were our dank court-yard, our wheezing pump, a dark vista into our dirty kitchen, and where often were strident Miss Betsy and Miss Sally, that we looked our deserving the name "Dothegirls Hall."

It was in lovely Warwickshire, where green meadows sweep to the gentle Avon, which glides only a few miles away through Stratford and past Shakespeare's home. Many of our countrypeople[Pg 524] drove past the stately front of our Priory every day, visiting, as all good Americans do, Kenilworth Castle, with Amy Robsart's story in their hands, and Coventry, with Lady Godiva on their tongues and silk book-markers on their minds.

Our brother and sister Yankees always gazed with admiration, not unmingled with awe, upon our Priory, and gushed over it to each other. For not only is it one of the most picturesque objects of a famously picturesque Elizabethan town, but it has an added interest to Americans in having been mentioned in Hawthorne's "Our Old Home."

Our countrypeople gazed upon us with admiration, little dreaming the dark secrets we had discovered concerning that impressive pile, whose peaked roofs and soaring gables sheltered monk and prior before yet our own country had a name, and in whose cavernous cellars only the bravest of the servants dared to go, lest gowned and hooded spectres should ask what her business was.

Of course to profane and worldly eyes these ghosts assumed the mean guise of empty boxes, decaying barrels and timbers, old kitchen-refuse, and such-like ghostly fowl. But there were spirits in mortal form among us imaginative enough to penetrate this sordid masquerade and to know that subterraneanly we were haunted by goblins damned, if ever a priory was since goblins and priories were invented. Our servants could not disbelieve in our delightful ghosts, we would not: hence we found our Priory as stimulative to the historic, poetic, and supernatural imagination as it was shocking to our moral sense and inflammatory to our tempers.

But these last two effects resulted from a rear knowledge of St. John's; our front view was always worthy of picture and poem, having wide portals, over which was the date of their last repair in 1622, humped Tudor gables, and mullioned windows set with diamond panes.

St. John's belongs to a noble earl, whose castle overhangs the Avon only a stone's throw away. As is so often the case in England, it has been occupied by the same family for more than a hundred years, the family never owning stick or stone of it, but paying regular rent, as if here to-day and gone to-morrow, like the tenants of a city flat. The grandfather of the present occupants brought his bride here and here raised a numerous family. Of that family no representatives now live save two grand-daughters, the shrill and strident spinsters who made us so often forego our more impressive title to call ourselves after the flourishing institution made immortal by the deathless Squeers.

It is confidently asserted in England, and by those who really think they know whereof they speak, that although such torture-houses as Dotheboys Hall certainly did exist, even so lately as Dickens wrote, the publication of "Nicholas Nickleby," by turning attention upon the abuse, effectually swept it out of English civilization. We "smile bitterly," as romance people do, whenever we hear this assertion. For were we not ourselves inmates of Dothegirls Hall not very long ago, and do we not positively know, without perhaps or peradventure, that it lives and thrives and tortures yet, at the very instant of this writing?

Miss Sally kept a boarding-school and Miss Betsy took lodgers in the wide chambers of St. John's. We were among the lodgers, and our dining-room overlooked the gorse-golden meadows and the Avon, one side-window, however, commanding the court-yard of the house. Our way out of doors from our rooms led past the "dormitory" of the school and down-stairs through the "refectory." Thus we had ample opportunity for observation and to embitter our souls with knowledge of the interior life of English Dothegirls Halls.

The "school" occupied four rooms,—dining-room, school-room, and two bedrooms, the boys' dormitory and the girls'. The interior of the boys' room we never saw, but the girls' we have surreptitiously stolen into, and a more wretched, dingy, comfortless place it[Pg 525] would be difficult to imagine. All the girls—and there were ten or twelve of them—slept in this limited space; they made their toilets, with one single towel for the whole school, at the groaning pump beneath our window, and they looked miserable and forlorn wherever we saw them, whether waiting upon us as servants at our table or staring up anxiously from the court below waiting the shaking of our table-cloth and the possible crusts that might fall therefrom.

The school-room also chanced to be just beneath, and all through school-hours of the long summer days we heard the shrill scoldings and vicious threats with which Miss Sally fulfilled her mission.

"What ever is a noun?" came floating into our ivied windows a dozen times a day.

"A noun's a-a-a—a noun's a-a-a—"

"Go to the dormitory, you good-for-nothing, and find out on dry bread that a noun's a name of anything, like helefunt, hantelope, heagle, 'and, 'eart, ighway."

Miss Sally, with furtive eyes and sly movements, always reminded us by her speech of the ci-devant butcher we once saw in London, who assured us he was "heducated at Hoxford."

The refectory had a sunken stone floor, and bare walls enclosing space enough to feed a hundred monks. It was principally used for drying clothes in wet weather and for storage of trunks and rough objects. At one end, where were fewest signs of volcanic upheaval or the passing of centuries of busy feet, stood always the table at which the pupils took their scanty fare. No white cloth ever covered this banqueting-board. In the daytime it was draped in a coarse green baize spotted with ink and grease. The pupils feasted upon this cloth, each with coarse mug and plate; at night it was removed to serve as cover for one of the beds! Once upon a time came an unexpected cold snap in the very heart of the soft Warwickshire summer. The sheets and blankets upon our beds, as also the silver and linen of our private table, were all marked with the pupils' names,—the school prospectus announcing that both linen and silver must come with each pupil. The supply of blankets, however, proved insufficient for such unseasonable weather, and, like Oliver Twist, we asked for "more."

"More" came.

And what, think you, was that "more"?

Nothing more nor less than that self-same inky and buttery baize, which we indignantly rejected, equally for our own sake as for the sake of those hapless girls shivering in their defrauded bed that we might be warm.

At Dothegirls Hall pupils were "taken in and done for," fed, lodged, taught, for twenty pounds—or one hundred dollars—a year. The luxury of bare comfort could scarcely be expected for that price. Yet Miss Sally must have made profit out of her starvelings, or Dothegirls Hall would not have existed. We always observed that a certain punishment was the usual one for every offence that children are likely to commit. Almost never a day that we did not hear low moanings from one or both of the dormitories, and thus knew that one, sometimes two or three, were incarcerated there "on dry bread" for twenty-four hours.

Once we questioned a victim, our interrogation-points assuming the shape of huge wedges of bread and jam.

"We are sent here on dry bread for missing our lessons, for having our shoes untied, for saying 'Yes' instead of 'Yes, Miss Sally,' for everything we do. I am sometimes three days of the week on dry bread."

"Why don't you write to your papa?" blurted a young American of wrathful turkey-cock aspect.

"Oh, I never had any papa," answered the poor child simply, "and I don't know where mamma lives."

Alas! this innocent remark expressed volumes. We knew that most of the poor creatures "had no papa and didn't know where mamma lived," that they were mere jetsam and flotsam thrown up on this quiet shore from the waves of[Pg 526] the great ocean of London and forgotten by all the world save those whose business it was to pay and to receive the twenty pounds a year which was their sole importance.

Of course the best of St. John's belonged to the lodgers, and the best was delightful to tastes that prefer picturesqueness with moderate comfort to smug and dapper luxury. Miss Betsy did our cooking, the school-girls waited upon our table, the boys blacked our boots, "Mam'zel," the French governess from Kilkenny, made our beds when there was no servant, as often happened, birds nested in the ivy of our latticed windows, bees floated up from the fragrant meadows below to hum us to our afternoon naps, and our table-cloth we shook every day ourselves, having a deep purpose in refusing to allow it to be shaken by other hands.

It somehow always happened that the children's recess coincided with that white fluttering from our diamonded window.

One day, when we first came to St. John's, we heard two quiet whispers at the ivy's roots:

"Sometimes um shakes out bread-'n'-butter."

"'N' sometimes um shakes out tart!"

"O-o-o!" answered the first whisper. "Tart? Truly tart?"

"Bet yer heye! One day I hadn't had nothink to heat all day, an' I was a-'idin' 'ere, 'cos Miss Sally howed me a trouncin'. I were just a-starvin'; an' I said to myself, 'Good Lord, don't I jest wish I had a-somethin' to heat!' Jest then, bang came a great piece o' goose-berry tart right on to my 'ead!"

"Tart!" murmured the first whisper, in utter amazement. "Tart! Do ye s'pose we could get some more?"

"Let's see."

Then we conspirators above heard thick-toned mumble among the leaves,—

"Wishy, wishy, wishy wee,
Wishy send some tart to me."

Fat little American legs flashed to the pantry.

Fat little American legs flashed back again.

Next instant came delighted cackle from among the ivy-roots:

"Blazes! Ef 'tain't Tart an' CAKE!"

M. W. B.

The Art of Modern Novel-Writing.


"Do you always choose such an early hour as this for your daily rambles?" he asked.

"Not always," she said, "but very often."

"And is it because the freshness of the morning tempts you out, or because you like to be alone?"

"I rather think it is because I like to be alone."

"Then for once you have failed of your object. But let me at least plead that I have sinned in ignorance." And he held out his hand, with a laugh.


He watched her for a moment in silence, wondering curiously whether the faint increase of color in her face was due to his unexpected appearance. When he spoke at last, there was a certain constraint in voice and manner, as though back of his apparent cordiality there lurked sundry misgivings as to the wisdom of his present course, and a sense of irritation at the failure of his own nature to grasp completely the subtile organization of his companion. "Do you always choose such an early hour as this for your daily rambles?" he asked, studying with a half-tender scrutiny the irregular, sensitive face before him.

The girl faltered, and raised her eyes to meet his glance. They were strange, light eyes,—not beautiful, but very rare in their peculiar tint of green-gray glass. They looked straight before them, brilliant and baffling. "Not always," she said, with lingering emphasis, "but very often."

Her voice was clear and sweet, though it lacked the cultivated modulations of other tones he knew and loved. There was something in its cadences that recalled to him the flute-notes of the English[Pg 527] white-throat, a melody that attracts only to disappoint. He smiled softly at her transparent reticence, and followed up his question. "Is it because the freshness of the morning tempts you out?" he said. "Or"—dropping his voice with sudden meaning—"is it because you like to be alone?"

She hesitated, as though seeking some form of words that would negatively express what was passing in her mind, yet not give her thoughts too clear a reading. There was a touch both of defiance and of expectation in the quick turn of her head and the gleam of her half-shut eyes. "I rather think it is because I like to be alone," she said, at length.

He bowed slightly, and his face, accustomed to alter its expression with facile ease, assumed a look of well-bred regret, tempered with the faintest tinge of amusement. "Then for once you have failed of your object," he whispered apologetically. "But let me at least plead"—here the amused expression deepened, and a gleam of malice brightened his keen eyes—"let me at least plead that I have sinned in ignorance."

A. R.


"Two Years in the Jungle. The Experiences of a Hunter and Naturalist in India, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, and Borneo." By William T. Hornaday. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

The author of this book, who is now chief taxidermist of the National Museum, was sent out in 1876 to the countries enumerated on the title-page as collector for Professor Ward's "Natural Science Establishment" at Rochester. His skill and deftness in preparing skins and skeletons for mounting were, as we are led to suppose, what specially qualified him for this mission; but if he had not possessed, in addition, many characteristics less common, perhaps, but more generally attractive, he could hardly have executed it with the same facility and completeness, still less have found in it matter for this thoroughly entertaining narrative. His ardor as a sportsman and a naturalist seems to have sprung from a stronger, independent love of "wild life," an instinctive preference for the haunts and habits of uncivilized races, apart from the pursuits for which they give scope. This may be thought to argue ignoble tastes; but the reverse conclusion would be more correct. Mr. Hornaday is a believer in the "gentle savage." The Dyak seems to him "the model man," not on account of his defects, which are few, but of his virtues, which are many. He is manly, truthful, honest, chaste, and even when drunk—which happens only on rare festive occasions and is a result of his intercourse with "the rascally Chinaman"—is perfectly decorous, and, as our author was assured, would never "dream of violating the laws of decency and good temper." For the Hindu, on the other hand, as an entirely conventional and artificial creature, obsequious, hypocritical, inhospitable, disdainful of the race on whom he fawns and before whom he trembles as "unclean," Mr. Hornaday has no other feeling than aversion and contempt. He gives an amusing account of his indignation on finding that a vessel from which he had drunk was regarded by a "ghee-seller" as "defiled." "I was strongly tempted," he writes, "to knock his ghee-pots about his ears, take thirty rupees' worth of satisfaction out of his royal highness, and then go up to court and pay my fine." It will be seen that Mr. Hornaday is a true-born American, and not disposed to stand any nonsense that conflicts with the great law of human equality. But though this trait makes him appear somewhat uncharitable toward prejudices that have survived the Declaration of Independence, it shows itself in its most amiable light[Pg 528] in his own free and sociable disposition, his readiness to be on terms of good-fellowship with men of all sorts and conditions, and his heartiness in responding to any show of friendship in act or demeanor. Hence, on one occasion, even a Hindu, a fellow-traveller in a railway-carriage, roused his kindliest sentiments by offering him a handful of cooked "dal" after plastering it over a little pile of "chapatties." "I was completely taken aback for an instant, for the old gentleman's hands were as grimy as my own; but I accepted the food with my politest bow and ate it down with every appearance of gratitude. I would have eaten it had it been ten times as dirty as it undoubtedly was. It was an act as friendly as any man could perform, and I was pleased to find such a feeling of pure charity and benevolence in a native." Nor does his nationality prevent him from doing justice to the English character as it came under his observation in the East. He recognizes the benevolence of the English rule in India, and considers Sarawak under Rajah Brooke "the model of a good government." With individual Englishmen—who, he considers, are seen to the best advantage out of their own country—he found no difficulty in forming the most cordial relations. We have no doubt that his own qualities, his good humor, frankness, intelligence, and vivacity, coupled with his enthusiasm for pursuits in which almost all Englishmen take a strong interest, rendered him a very attractive and agreeable companion, and caused the "Britishers" with whom he came in contact to set him down at once for what he evidently is, an uncommonly good specimen of the Yankee.

Mr. Hornaday has the good sense to spare us the tedium of reading any fresh descriptions of regions and places sufficiently well known or only casually visited in the course of his travels. The few and slight exceptions prove, indeed, that he would hardly be a safe guide when off his own ground. His criticism of the Taj Mahal, than which "no other structure in the world has been so greatly overpraised," may be accepted as an instance of an independent impression and an offset to the extravagance of some of its admirers, but will scarcely testify to his competency to pass judgment on works of art in the tone of a recognized authority. Nor does his notion that Cairo was the capital of ancient Egypt, that "we may take pleasure in thinking that the city is to-day very like what it was when the Pyramids were new," (!) and "believe that these are the same cramped and crooked streets, the same latticed windows and overhanging upper stories, the same bazaars and workshops and wells, that were here when the brethren of Joseph came down, as envoys extraordinary, to practise the arts of diplomacy in the court of Pharaoh," suggest any profound acquaintance with the history of the country and the mutations it has undergone. But it would be very unfair to dwell on such points as these. In general, as has been intimated, Mr. Hornaday sticks to his last with a rare and commendable closeness. The sights which he finds most attractive in famous seaports are the fish-markets and the natural-history museums. The themes on which he loves to dilate are the habits of the crocodile, the elephant, and the orang-utan, the modes of hunting and killing them, and, above all, the process of skinning and dissecting them. But he does not delight in slaughter for the sake of sport, nor regard the forest or the river as simply the habitat of uncouth monsters, nor make the account of his journeys the record of a mere business enterprise. He has a keen love of adventure, a strong sense of the humorous aspect of his experiences, and an inexhaustible flow of spirits. He writes in an animated but unpretentious style, and without any attempt at elaborate description contrives to leave clear impressions of his achievements and surroundings. His ardor and good spirits are infectious, and the reader is as little wearied as he himself appears to have been by his long and devious tramps over the hills, through the swamps, and amid the tangled undergrowth of the jungle.

Books on Artists.

"Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré". Compiled from Material supplied by Doré's Relations and Friends and from Personal Recollection. With many Original Unpublished Sketches and Selections from Doré's best Published Illustrations. By Blanche Roosevelt. New York: Cassell & Co.

"Eugène Delacroix, par lui-même." Paris: J. Ronam.

"J. F. Millet." Par Charles Yriarte. "Hans Holbein." Par Jean Rousseau. (Bibliothèque d'Art Moderne.) Paris: Jules Ronam.

Mrs. Roosevelt's volume is an engaging jumble of fact and fancy, a medley of impressions, hasty generalizations,[Pg 529] souvenirs, reminiscences, all jotted down apparently in such breathless haste that we can only wonder that the result is a coherent and tolerably serious study of Gustave Doré, his life and his works. The author's methods are, indeed, those of the great designer himself, who obtained brilliant results regardless of careful processes. A genuine biography of Doré is yet to be written; but here we have a rather fascinating book of five hundred pages, full of personal and intimate narrations by the artist's family and friends, profuse, naïf, tender, overflowing with French sentiment and an intense sympathy and camaraderie. Interspersed with this biographical matter are innumerable pen-and-ink sketches, caricatures, designs, and finished pictures, illustrating the natural evolution of Doré's marvellous talent, the first instances of which show what he could do at the age of five. In fact, long before he could read the child showed clear signs of possessing a distinctively artistic organization. His practice with pen and pencil was pursued, however, without any sympathy or encouragement from his family, and his father, at least, was strongly averse to his taking up the career of an artist. In 1847, when Gustave was in his fifteenth year, his parents, who resided at Strasbourg, took him for a fortnight to Paris. The delights of the capital made a strong impression on the mind of the stripling, and he ardently wished to remain there. The thought occurred to him of offering some of his work to publishers, and, dashing off a few caricatures, he took advantage of the momentary absence of his parents to show them to Philipon, who had just founded his "Journal pour Rire." The result was that the publisher instantly engaged Gustave as one of the regular artists for his paper, and the boy remained in Paris, supporting himself and paying for his tuition at the Lycée Charlemagne, where he had Taine and About for fellow-collegians. This early success, combined with the most untiring industry and steady, almost passionate, devotion to his work, is one of the most remarkable biographical facts on record. A year later the elder Doré died, and his widow came to Paris to reside with her two sons, the chief expenses of the ménage being supported by Gustave, then little more than sixteen years of age. Between the years 1850 and 1870 he is said to have made by his pencil seven millions of francs,—almost a million and a half of dollars. Besides this enormous activity, a supreme and jealous ambition induced him to undertake not only every piece of work offered, from Bible-illustrations to a comic almanac, but whatever his brain or his fancy could conceive as possible for artist to achieve. Inspiration seized him at each new idea, bold and striking images, fantastic fancies, all the splendors of a magnificent or grotesque ideal. His work was a delirium; in a single morning he has been known to throw off twenty blocks which brought him ten thousand francs. He was, however, perpetually discontented, disgusted with his vocation, and envious of successful painters. He had almost a convulsion one day on hearing that Meissonier had received two hundred thousand francs for a single painting. "What!" he exclaimed; "a thing like that? Now, look at me. I can paint; I know I could paint better than Meissonier, at any rate. Have I ever been paid two hundred thousand francs for anything? No; and I never shall be. The fact is that no one understands me. I shall live and die misunderstood, or never comprehended at all,—which is worse." Fired by emulation, he shut himself up to create masterpieces which should surpass Meissonier and paralyze the world; and in a short time he showed his friend Lacroix twelve colossal canvases on which he had painted revolting realistic pictures which he called the "Abominations of Paris." "What do you think of Meissonier now?" he asked.

He longed ardently to be a painter, and was never at peace with critical Paris while it refused him the name of painter and called him only a designer. London was dearer to his heart from the fact that there were enshrined in the Doré Gallery and made one of the sights of the town his stupendous canvases imaging forth his conceptions of Scripture subjects. What he might have done as a painter had he studied at any early age under good masters must be left to conjecture, although his paintings carry with them a clear confession that naturally he did not possess a good eye for color. He was always impatient of criticism which made him feel that there was any lack of technique in his works. "He has it all in him, but lacks 'school,'" was the verdict of the critics. Undoubtedly, wishing to do all that man has done, Doré would have liked to focus his powers on marvels of refinement and exactness, like Meissonier's; but he was proud of[Pg 530] his distinctive characteristics, and wanted the least block he touched to show something Doréish.

"Now you will give us some Velasquezes," a lady said to him during his journey in Spain.

"No, madame," he replied; "I shall give you some more 'Dorés.'"

What he enjoyed was an audacious and gigantic experiment, a subject which allowed him free and bold handling and a mystic, half-grotesque attitude toward what he found in it of poetry or strength. The feverish and hurried character of his work is sadly evident in many of his most ambitious designs. His illustrations of Milton, Dante, and the Wandering Jew may be said to show his powers at their best,—and perhaps we ought to include his Bible-pictures. Too often he uses without apparent motive feeble allegory and fantasy; and many of his later works must be considered by his most charitable critics not only obscure, but almost insane.

To turn from Doré to Delacroix is to take up the very different career of one of those "immortals" among whose works the great designer was eager to see his own unlucky paintings enrolled. Opposite as these two artists were, they had nevertheless certain things in common: their work was their life,—all personal gratification was subordinated to art,—each denied himself marriage, and yet enjoyed the untiring devotion of some sort of womankind. Doré had both his mother and his nurse to humor and spoil him. Delacroix endured the affectionate tyranny of his housekeeper, who watched over him as a lioness over her young. Delacroix, who was frail, sensitive, feverishly carried away by his work, needed just the careful intervention which this woman imposed to save him from the depressing influences of every-day life. She kept all uncongenial visitors from him. He was fastidious to a degree,—could not use a spoiled palette, and Jenny learned to prepare his palette, colors, and brushes with the nicest care. Delacroix began with a masterpiece. He was only twenty-three when he produced his "Dante and Virgil," which put him at the head of the so-called "romantic school." His clear intellect, his strength as a draughtsman, his abundance of invention, his wonderful color, made themselves felt at once. He had a long career in which to develop, and he was tireless in reinforcing his own great powers by profound and careful study of great authors, besides working perpetually to discover the secrets of the splendid paintings of Raphael, Velasquez, Veronese, and, above all, Rubens. It was his habit to spend whole days at the Jardin des Plantes, watching the animals, observing their postures and movements, aiming to pluck the heart out of the mystery of each organization. In 1828 he went to England, and, although he disliked the country, its architecture, the ill-made shoes and soiled stockings of the women, he carried back with him powerful impressions from Constable and from Kean's impersonations of Shakespeare which animated all his later work. His picture of "Hamlet," although it was not completed until 1843, owes its conception to this period. His lithographs of "Faust" elicited from Goethe the remark, "He has surpassed the pictures I had made for myself of the scenes written by myself."

The carefully-prepared monographs on Millet and Holbein, accompanied by excellent designs after their works, are full of suggestive criticism, and show how well the modern practice of popularizing art is carried on in Paris. Millet was born some sixteen years after Delacroix, and came to Paris in 1837, when that great master had produced some of his best pictures, which of all contemporary art were what aroused Millet's admiration and homage. "Grands par les gestes," he called them, "grands par l'invention et la richesse du coloris." Millet himself, however, was to found a separate school from that of the brilliant Delacroix. The fac-similes in this brochure from his original designs in crayon or pastel give much of the sentiment and meaning of his work. As the author says, they might well be the illustrations of a mighty poem called "The Earth." Night and morning, sunrise, noon, and sunset, the succession of seasons, the patient industries of the workers who toil like nature's own forces, simply, sternly, and with silent strength, all tell their story here. Millet had passed his youth in the fields, and, the son of a peasant, he must himself have been the central figure in many such scenes as those with which he has charmed the world. His picture of "The Haricot-Gatherer" represents the paternal cottage, and the figure of the woman in the garden is that of his mother herself. When he enshrined personal memories like these, no wonder we find in Millet's work the interpretation of so much that is deepest and most intimate in the history of man.[Pg 531]

The gallery of the portraits of Hans Holbein the younger is well chosen, and gives some excellent instances of the artist's unsurpassed manner. There is inevitably something in any picture of Holbein's which holds the attention by its absolute reality: it is not only natural, but true, the reflection of an actual personality. An interest attaches to the portrait of Anne of Cleves, although one hardly finds in it the beauty which misled Henry VIII. and altered the history of England a little.

Five Novels.

"A Wheel of Fire." By Arlo Bates. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

"As it was Written: A Jewish Musician's Story." By Sidney Luska. New York: Cassell & Co.

"Love—or a Name." By Julian Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor & Co.

"A Social Experiment." By E. A. P. Searing. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

"For Lilias." By Rosa Nouchette Carey. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company.

Mr. Arlo Bates's novel "A Wheel of Fire" shows such skilful construction, is so nicely balanced in its parts, while its literary execution is so far above the common, that we can only wish the author had expended such faithful and conscientious work upon a plot less hopelessly dreary than one must be which hinges upon the problem of hereditary insanity. Every other human infirmity may be rounded off, merged into a lofty ideal of acceptance, renunciation, and expiation. But under no imaginable conditions can madness be regarded as something from which the heart and soul of man does not shudderingly recoil. Accordingly, a heroine who is haunted, beset, and finally driven crazy by the dread of the fatal inheritance being in her blood seems set apart from the fluctuations and hesitations of maidenly passion. There is something unhealthy, eerie, in the story Mr. Bates has made and in the situation he has chosen.

Damaris Wainwright's mother has died insane, her brother is a hopeless lunatic,—in fact, he commits suicide in the early part of the story,—and she has accepted the conditions fate seems to have imposed, and has renounced all idea of marriage, when the nephew of her family lawyer falls in love with her and shows an indomitable resolution to win her for his wife. The old story of "femme qui écoute" follows. Damaris is swayed partly by his influence, partly by her own impulses, and in great measure by the freely-expressed opinion of the specialist who has had charge of her insane brother, that she is in no danger of inheriting her mother's malady. Unluckily for her, she half consents to engage herself to the lawyer. Had she wholly consented or wholly refused, her doom might perhaps have been averted. We frankly consider her lover quite unequal to the situation. He imposed upon her long and lonely musings, sleepless nights and melancholy days, when he should have given her the support of the strong will and powerful intellect which the author lays claim to for his hero. Agonizing over painful doubts is not good for people whose intellects hover on the border-lands of nervous fantasy. Lincoln, if resolved to marry the unfortunate girl, should have shown more Lochinvar-like haste. Instead, during the long interval of waiting, Damaris is allowed to run the whole gamut of painful experiences, and, naturally, at the climax of the story, her "fate cries out." Of course this is the author's intention; but we cannot help feeling that Miss Wainwright had hardly a fair chance. As an offset to the gloom and melancholy of their tragedy, there is a lively love-affair between two young people who snatch a fearful joy in the midst of as dreary an environment as can easily be imagined. Both Miss Dimmont and Dr. Chauncey Wilson are life-like, although not engaging, characters, and the doctor, in particular, although we do not think highly of his science, is a vigorous and consistent creation.

Although the plot of "As it was Written" turns on the murder of the heroine, the book is yet a considerably livelier one than Mr. Bates's, and imposes no such burden of hopeless misery on the reader. A startling and mysterious crime is dear to the human imagination, and here we are confronted with one hideous in its cruelty and inexplicable in its circumstances. The story is told by the passionate lover of the murdered Veronika, and there is much youthful eloquence and pathos in the description of his meeting with the lovely young Jewess, their sympathy in art,—for both are musicians,—their ardent hopes and beliefs for each other. They are to be married in a fortnight, when the frightful act is interposed which transforms the whole aspect of the world for the[Pg 532] young man. The reader must discover for himself the key to the tragedy. The book is one of those which the phenomenal success of "Called Back" summoned into existence. That clearly proved that the public loved a mystery and a sensational dénouement, and ever since the annals of crime have been rummaged for horrors. But "As it was Written" has an advantage over other works of its class in a certain charm and freshness, not only from its Jewish setting, but from the fervid youthful feeling which gives a pleasing and natural touch to the narrative.

Warren Bell, the hero of Mr. Julian Hawthorne's "Love—or a Name," finds himself, at first presentation, on his way to offer marriage to Miss Nell Anthony, who has just been left motherless, and to whom he feels that he owes this manly tribute. He acquits his conscience of this duty, but performs it nevertheless in such a jerky, unlover-like fashion that few young women, certainly not one of Miss Anthony's force of character, could have been imposed upon. "I thought you l-loved me," said he. Which surely is not the way to win a fair lady. Much to his comfort, as well as to his ingenuous surprise, he is refused, and goes back to New York, having renounced "Love" and decided to care only for a "Name." Mr. Hawthorne seems to have made an effort to work into the story of his hero a faithful account of New York "ring"-management and official corruption. Warren Bell finds a patron in Mr. Drayton, who has all sorts of ambitious schemes to further, and offers his committees and his confederates a "big game" in the way of "water-works" stocks, and the like. These pictures of corrupt judges and dishonest corporations have some probability: they show us many clearly-developed sensual and mercenary scoundrels; they are all, very possibly, portraits from life; but they are all excessively crude in their likenesses and inexpressibly wearisome. It is a distasteful and unsavory world to which the author introduces us: if he wishes to show us consummate rascals we insist that he should wrap them in some veil of decency, if not of art, and not fill his pages with incidents and talk which properly belong to the police-court. Mr. Hawthorne finally rescues his hero from the ignoble set from whom he has luckily escaped winning a very bad name, and makes him seek his happiness instead in love, which Miss Anthony obligingly consents to give him. The other characters mostly expiate their crimes and misdemeanors in a succession of tragic and unpleasant incidents, and one closes the book with annoyance that so raw, tentative, and unpleasant a story should have been forced upon one's attention by its bearing the signature of a writer who can do so much better.

"A Social Experiment" treats of the experiences of a pretty mill-girl, the daughter of a washerwoman, who becomes the protégée of a wealthy and capricious woman of the world, who educates her, introduces her to society, then finally drops her and permits her to seek her native obscurity, where she withers and dies of a broken heart. The story is very well told, but with a good deal of needless discussion as to the right or wrong of the experiment. The heroine has complicated matters by a secret marriage to a man in her own rank of life, which later becomes distasteful to her, and the duties of which she refuses to fulfil. Like the three preceding novels in our list, "A Social Experiment" is rather doleful, and seems to have been written for any other purpose rather than to cheer and stimulate the average reader who longs for pictures of life which rouse pleasant fancies and kindle tender sentiments. None of these books are in the least degree commonplace, but, by excluding what is chiefly dear and precious to the heart and mind of common humanity, they exclude many of the qualities which achieve success for a novel.

In "For Lilias," on the other hand, the author avails herself of all the agreeable traditions of English fiction: there are warm and well-lighted rooms, well-to-do people, regular meals, afternoon tea, plenty of bread-and-butter, and a gentle ripple of friendly, soft-voiced conversation. This may not be original or exciting, but, after a good deal of crude sensation through some thousand and odd pages, "ways of pleasantness and paths of peace" are refreshing to the critic, who believes that although the novelist should not sacrifice his meaning to the requisitions of mere agreeableness, out of regard for art and the taste of his readers, he should still have beauty in some degree or other as his chief end in view.


[1] So I had written, led to agree with the anthropologists who hold this view, by my own observations among the Indians of every State and Territory in our West: the more I have seen and read of the widely-spread native races belonging to various linguistic stocks, the more their similitude has been pressed upon my attention. Nevertheless, there is another opinion, as appears in a recent letter from Professor Putnam, to whom I had quoted the sentence above. "All had certain features in common," he says; "they were red-skinned Americans in the general sense of the term, although some were more olive than red, and others were darker-skinned than red. Mr. Carr, no doubt, would accept your statement that they were all 'tarred with one stick,' but he judges from history. For my part, I feel confident that there were several stocks of the great Mongolian race in America; and there is also some evidence (facts are accumulating) of a migration across the Atlantic. I should have to write a dozen pages to give you all my reasons for wishing you to modify your paragraph."

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