The Project Gutenberg EBook of Wisconsin in Story and Song;, by Various

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Title: Wisconsin in Story and Song;
       Selections from the Prose and Poetry of Badger State Writers

Author: Various

Editor: Charles R. Rounds
        Henry Sherman Hippensteel

Release Date: November 11, 2012 [EBook #41344]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Wisconsin in Story and Song












To the authors of today and of former days, whose genius and co-operation have made this book possible, and to the young people who may, by reading these pages, be inspired to carry the banner of our state still farther into the realm of literature,


is affectionately dedicated.


General Wisconsin Writers. 
Haying Time, Among the Corn Rows, Ploughing, Ladrone, The Toil of the Trail, The Blue Jay, Pom Pom Pull Away, The Old-Fashioned Threshing in Green's Coolly.
Ray's Ride for Life (from "Marion's Faith"), The Final Blow.
Snow Banners.
The Two Glasses, The Kingdom of Love, The Tendril's Fate, Three Friends, Ambitions' Trail, Morning Prayer, I Am, Which Are You?
Through the Air, Marconi and His Great Achievements—New Experiments in Wireless Telegraphy, The Roping at Pasco's.
An Argument with a Millionaire.
Why?, The Holy Place, Friendship Village.
Watering Plants, Tea Roses for Beds, The Old Village Choir, The Two Singers, The Unfruitful Tree, A Day in June, Silver Threads Among the Gold, When Silver Threads Are Gold Again.
Selections from his Reminiscences, The True Americanism.
The Forbidden North, A Story of a Great Dane Puppy.
Steeped In German.
The Battle of Gray's Pasture.
Old Times on the Upper Mississippi.
John G. Whittier.
The Story of Agriculture in the United States.
On a Moraine.
The Impractical Man.
Nuggets from a Welsh Mine.
Mother's Wolf Story.
The University Group.
The Future of Man in America.
Bjarne Herjulfson, 986.
The Discovery of Wisconsin.
The Significance of the Frontier in American History.
The New Education of China.
Astrology in Life and Literature.
Byron in Our Day.
The Conflict of Oriental and Western Cultures in China.
A Lad's Recollections of His Boyhood Haunts and Experiences in the Earlier Days.
The Glory of the Morning, Love Afar, The Image of Delight, A Dedication.
In Hospital.
The Buoy-Bell.
Sometimes, The Pioneers, A Little Book of Local Verse.
Sweet Bye and Bye.
Writers of Local Distinction.
Other Wisconsin Writers and Their Works.
Wisconsin Humorists.
"BILL" NYE291-294




In preparing this book the editors have had two main purposes in view. Their first purpose has been to furnish some definite knowledge concerning literary productions of Wisconsin people. They have been surprised, and they feel that their readers will be surprised, to find how many authors of national repute have been intimately associated with Wisconsin life; and further, to find that many writers who have not as yet gained fame outside the state have written things that are beyond doubt highly creditable.

The second purpose has been to kindle the surprise just mentioned into wholesome effort, particularly among our young people, to appreciate what literature is and how it is produced, and to encourage these readers to study the life round about them with a view to expressing their observations in literary language. In other words, they hope that this book may stimulate Wisconsin authors to still greater literary activity.

The difficulties in the preparation of such a compilation as this may be readily imagined. First, there is the problem of selection or rejection on account of geographical eligibility. The editors have not drawn the line at nativity or at present residence, but have rather defined it thus: Anyone who, in his mature life, has become identified with Wisconsin, both through residence and through literary, educational, or other activity, is geographically eligible.

Literary eligibility is still more difficult to determine. In general, the editors have been guided in their decisions by the judgment of the reading public, which is, after all, in many ways one of the best critics. There is, however, the problem of early writers who had considerable vogue in their day; and likewise that of young authors whose works are just now beginning to appear. They can scarcely hope to have done exact justice in either one of these two fields. New writers of promise are arising. Perhaps some that have held the center of the stage will soon have to give place. Literary estimates are inherently[12] a changing quantity. Absolutely just criticism of today will be warped judgment tomorrow.

Further, it is possible that there may be serious oversight in this collection. For any such error the editors wish beforehand to make due apology. It has not been their intention to discriminate against any person or group or section. They will be placed under obligation by any persons who will, upon reading the selections here noted, write them with respect to other authors whose works, they feel, should have been represented.

While this book, it is hoped, will have a general interest for all Wisconsin readers, it is believed that it may prove of particular use as supplementary reading in the seventh and eighth grades and the early years of the high school. To the end that the selections may prove available for this use, brief biographical and critical explanations have been given with nearly every selection.

The editors acknowledge with gratitude the ready co-operation of both authors and publishers in permitting the use of copyrighted material, specific credit being given in each case in the proper connection. Particular mention should also be made of the "Bibliography of Wisconsin Authors," prepared in 1893 for the Wisconsin Historical Society by Emma A. Hawley, under direction of Reuben Gold Thwaites; and of "The So-called School of Wisconsin Authors," Miss Zona Gale's thesis, under the same date.

C. R. R.
H. S. H.





Hamlin Garland was born in the beautiful La Crosse valley, September 16, 1860, and lived there until he was eight years old. Twenty-three years ago he purchased the old homestead near West Salem, La Crosse County, and to this he delights to return each year for part of his summer. As one reads his description of the trip to West Salem over the Northwestern Line in his story, "Up the Cooley," he is compelled to see how much Mr. Garland loves the scenes of Wisconsin.

Among the other states which may share in the right to claim Hamlin Garland are Iowa, Massachusetts, Illinois, and South Dakota. In Iowa he learned what the rural school, the academy, and the farm could teach him. It was in the Boston Public Library that he formed much of his literary style and determined that the material for his future literary work should be the western life that he knew so well. In Illinois he began his work as a teacher and a lecturer. Here he met the girl who was to become his wife, Miss Zulima Taft, sister of the artist, Lorado Taft. Chicago is his present home. Mr. Garland visited his parents in South Dakota in 1883 and took up a claim there. Here he got material which he incorporated into some of his stories, among which the Moccassin Ranch is the most notable.

The experience in these several states gave Hamlin Garland an excellent opportunity to understand all phases of country life. He has expressed his observations in description of boys' games, the labor on the farm, the work of the rural school, and the varied activities of the rural community. He knew that the work of the farm in an early day furnished as much opportunity for the display of resistance and the determination to use the last bit of strength to win as does the game of the present. The work of binding the wheat after a reaper became a game requiring honesty as well as skill and rapidity. Perhaps no boy of today shoots a basket, makes a touch-down, or hits out a home run with more pride than did the youth of this pioneer life retire from the harvest field at noon or night with the consciousness that he had bound all his "tricks" without being caught once by the machine as it made its successive rounds of the field.

Hamlin Garland knew the joys of these contests on the pioneer farm, and he also knew the sordid side of the narrow and cramped life of the early settler. He describes both with equal vividness and sympathy. Wisconsin owes him much for the work he has done in preserving pictures of her early pioneer life. His hero and heroine are those ancestors who travelled[14] forth into the new regions in covered wagons, and by the use of axe and plow conquered a seemingly unconquerable forest or a stubborn prairie sod. In his book of short stories, "Main Travelled Roads," he makes the dedication of it to his heroic parents in these words:

"To my father and mother, whose half-century pilgrimage on the main travelled road of life has brought them only toil and deprivation, this book of stories is dedicated by a son to whom every day brings a deepening sense of his parents' silent heroism."

To illustrate Mr. Garland's ability to picture the joyous and the irksome in the life of the pioneer two selections are given at this place. The first sets forth the joy of farm activity, the second, the disheartening influence of abject toil.




From "BOY LIFE ON THE PRAIRIE." Published by permission of Harper Bros.

Haying was the one season of farm work which the boys thoroughly enjoyed. It usually began on the tame meadows about the twenty-fifth of June, and lasted a week or so. It had always appealed to Lincoln,[1] in a distinctly beautiful and poetic sense, which was not true of the main business of farming. Most of the duties through which he passed needed the lapse of years to seem beautiful in his eyes, but haying had a charm and significance quite out of the common.

At this time the summer was at its most exuberant stage of vitality, and it was not strange that even the faculties of toiling old men, dulled and deadened with never ending drudgery, caught something of exultation from the superabundant glow and throb of Nature's life.


The corn fields, dark green and sweet-smelling, rippled like a sea with a multitudinous stir and sheen and swirl. Waves of dusk and green and yellow circled across the level fields, while long leaves upthrust[16] at intervals like spears or shook like guidons. The trees were in heavy leaf, insect life was at its height, and the air was filled [17]with buzzing, dancing forms and with the sheen of innumerable gauzy wings.

The air was shaken by most ecstatic voices. The bobolinks sailed and sang in the sensuous air, now sinking, now rising, their exquisite notes ringing, filling the air like the chimes of tiny silver bells. The kingbird, ever alert and aggressive, cried out sharply as he launched from the top of a poplar tree upon some buzzing insect, and the plover made the prairie sad with his wailing call. Vast purple-and-white clouds moved like bellying sails before the lazy wind, dark with rain, which they dropped momentarily like trailing garments upon the earth, and so passed on in stately measure with a roll of thunder.

The grasshoppers moved in clouds with snap and buzz, and out of the luxurious stagnant marshes came the ever thickening chorus of the toads and the frogs, while above them the kildees and the snipe shuttled to and fro in sounding flight, and the blackbirds on the cattails and willows swayed with lifted throats, uttering their subtle liquid notes, made mad with delight of the sun and their own music. And over all and through all moved the slow, soft west wind, laden with the breath of the far-off prairie lands of the west, soothing and hushing and filling the world with a slumbrous haze.

The weather in haying time was glorious, with only occasional showers to accentuate the splendid sunlight. There were no old men and no women in these fields. The men were young and vigorous, and their action was swift and supple. Sometimes it was hot to the danger point, especially on the windless side of the stack (no one had haybarns in those days) and sometimes the pitcher complained of cold chills running up his back. Sometimes Jack flung a pail full of water over his head and shoulders[18] before beginning to unload, and seemed the better for it. Mr. Stewart kept plenty of "switchel" (which is composed of ginger and water) for his hands to drink. He had a notion that it was less injurious than water or beer, and no sun strokes occurred among his men.

Once, one hot afternoon, the air took on an oppressive density, the wind died away almost to a calm, blowing fitfully from the south, while in the far west a vast dome of inky clouds, silent and portentous, uplifted, filling the horizon, swelling like a great bubble, yet seeming to have the weight of a mountain range in its mass. The birds, bees, and all insects, hitherto vocal, suddenly sank into silence, as if awed by the first deep mutter of the storm. The mercury is touching one hundred degrees in the shade.

All hands hasten to get the hay in order, that it may shed rain. They hurry without haste, as only adept workmen can. They roll up the windrows by getting fork and shoulder under one end, tumbling it over and over endwise, till it is large enough; then go back for the scatterings, which are placed, with a deft turn of the fork, on the top to cap the pile. The boys laugh and shout as they race across the field. Every man is wet to the skin with sweat; hats are flung aside; Lincoln, on the rake, puts his horse to the trot. The feeling of the struggle, of racing with the thunder, exalts him.

Nearer and nearer comes the storm, silent no longer. The clouds are breaking up. The boys stop to listen. Far away is heard the low, steady, crescendo, grim roar; intermixed with crashing thunderbolts, the rain streams aslant, but there is not yet a breath of air from the west; the storm wind is still far away; the toads in the marsh, and the fearless king-bird, alone cry out in the ominous gloom cast by the rolling clouds of the tempest.[19]

"Look out! here it comes!" calls the boss. The black cloud melts to form the gray veil of the falling rain, which blots out the plain as it sweeps on. Now it strikes the corn-field, sending a tidal wave rushing across it. Now it reaches the wind-break, and the spire-like poplars bow humbly to it. Now it touches the hay-field, and the caps of the cocks go flying; the long grass streams in the wind like a woman's hair. In an instant the day's work is undone and the hay is opened to the drenching rain.

As all hands rush for the house, the roaring tempest rides upon them like a regiment of demon cavalry. The lightning breaks forth from the blinding gray clouds of rain. As Lincoln looks up he sees the streams of fire go rushing across the sky like the branching of great red trees. A moment more, and the solid sheets of water fall upon the landscape, shutting it from view, and the thunder crashes out, sharp and splitting, in the near distance, to go deepening and bellowing off down the illimitable spaces of the sky and plain, enlarging, as it goes, like the rumor of war.

In the east is still to be seen a faint crescent of the sunny sky, rapidly being closed in as the rain sweeps eastward; but as that diminishes to a gleam, a similar window, faint, watery, and gray, appears in the west, as the clouds break away. It widens, grows yellow, and then red; and at last blazes out into an inexpressible glory of purple and crimson and gold, as the storm moves swiftly over. The thunder grows deeper, dies to a retreating mutter, and is lost. The clouds' dark presence passes away. The trees flame with light, the robins take up their songs again, the air is deliciously cool. The corn stands bent, as if still acknowledging the majesty of the wind. Everything is new-washed, clean of dust, and a faint, moist odor of green things fills the air.[20]

Lincoln seizes the opportunity to take Owen's place in bringing the cattle, and mounting his horse gallops away. The road is wet and muddy, but the prairie is firm, and the pony is full of power. In full flower, fragrant with green grass and radiant with wild roses, sweet-williams, lilies, pinks, and pea-vines, the sward lies new washed by the rain, while over it runs a strong, cool wind from the west. The boy's heart swells with unutterable joy of life. The world is exaltingly beautiful. It is good to be alone, good to be a boy, and to be mounted on a swift horse.


From "MAIN TRAVELLED ROADS." Printed by permission of Harper Bros.

A corn-field in July is a sultry place. The soil is hot and dry; the wind comes across the lazily murmuring leaves laden with a warm, sickening smell drawn from the rapidly growing, broad-flung banners of the corn. The sun, nearly vertical, drops a flood of dazzling light upon the field over which the cool shadows run, only to make the heat seem the more intense.

Julia Peterson, faint with hunger, was toiling back and forth between the corn-rows, holding the handles of the double-shovel corn plow, while her little brother Otto rode the steaming horse. Her heart was full of bitterness, her face flushed with heat, and her muscles aching with fatigue. The heat grew terrible. The corn came to her shoulders, and not a breath seemed to reach her, while the sun, nearing the noon mark, lay pitilessly upon her shoulders, protected only by a calico dress. The dust rose under her feet, and as she was wet with perspiration it soiled her till with a woman's instinctive cleanliness, she shuddered. Her head throbbed dangerously. What matter[21] to her that the king bird flitted jovially from the maple to catch a wandering blue bottle fly, that the robin was feeding her young, that the bobolink was singing. All these things, if she saw them, only threw her bondage to labor into greater relief.

Across the field, in another patch of corn, she could see her father—a big, gruff-voiced, wide-bearded Norwegian—at work also with a plow. The corn must be plowed, and so she toiled on, the tears dropping from the shadow of the ugly sun-bonnet she wore. Her shoes, coarse and square-toed, chafed her feet; her hands, large and strong, were browned, or, more properly, burnt, on the backs by the sun. The horse's harness "creak-cracked" as he swung steadily and patiently forward, the moisture pouring from his hide, his nostrils distended.

The field bordered on a road, and on the other side of the road ran a river—a broad, clear, shallow expanse at that point—and the eyes of the girl gazed longingly at the pond and the cool shadow each time that she turned at the fence.

This same contrast is expressed by Hamlin Garland in two poems presented here. The first, "Ploughing," sets forth the irksome toll to which the undeveloped boy was subjected. The second, "Ladrone," portrays the joy which the youth in the country acquires from association with the animals of the farm. These poems and all the following selections are taken from "Boy Life on the Prairie," and are here published by permission of the Macmillan Company.


A lonely task it is to plough!
All day the black and clinging soil
Rolls like a ribbon from the mould-board's
Glistening curve. All day the horses toil
Battling with the flies—and strain
Their creaking collars. All day
[22] The crickets jeer from wind-blown shocks of grain.
October brings the frosty dawn,
The still, warm noon, the cold, clear night,
When torpid insects make no sound,
And wild-fowl in their southward flight
Go by in hosts—and still the boy
And tired team gnaw round by round,
At weather-beaten stubble, band by band,
Until at last, to their great joy,
The winter's snow seals up the unploughed land.


And, "What of Ladrone"—do you ask?
Oh! friend. I am sad at the name.
My splendid fleet roan!—The task
You require is a hard one at best.
Swift as the spectral coyote, as tame
To my voice as a sweetheart, an eye
Like a pool in the woodland asleep,
Brown, clear, and calm, with color down deep,
Where his brave, proud soul seemed to lie—
Ladrone! There's a spell in the word.
The city walls fade on my eye—the roar
Of its traffic grows dim
As the sound of the wind in a dream.
My spirit takes wing like a bird.
Once more I'm asleep on the plain,
The summer wind sings in my hair;
Once again I hear the wild crane
Crying out of the steaming air;
White clouds are adrift on the breeze,
The flowers nod under my feet,
And under my thighs, 'twixt my knees,
Again as of old I can feel
The roll of Ladrone's firm muscles, the reel
Of his chest—see the thrust of fore-limb
And hear the dull trample of heel.
We thunder behind the mad herd.
My singing whip swirls like a snake.
[23] Hurrah! We swoop on like a bird.
With my pony's proud record at stake—
For the shaggy, swift leader has stride
Like the last of a long kingly line;
Her eyes flash fire through her hair;
She tosses her head in disdain;
Her mane streams wide on the air—
She leads the swift herd of the plain
As a wolf-leader leads his gaunt pack,
On the slot of the desperate deer—
Their exultant eyes savagely shine.
But down on her broad shining back
Stings my lash like a rill of red flame—
Huzzah, my wild beauty! Your best;
Will you teach my Ladrone a new pace?
Will you break his proud heart in a shame
By spurning the dust in his face?
The herd falls behind and is lost,
As we race neck and neck, stride and stride.
Again the long lash hisses hot
Along the gray mare's glassy hide—
Aha, she is lost! she does not respond.
Now I lean to the ear of my roan
And shout—letting fall the light rein.
Like a hound from the leash, my Ladrone
Swoops ahead.
We're alone on the plain!
Ah! how the thought at wild living comes back!
Alone on the wide, solemn prairie
I ride with my rifle in hand,
My eyes on the watch for the wary
And beautiful antelope band.
Or sleeping at night in the grasses, I hear
Ladrone grazing near in the gloom.
His listening head on the sky
I see etched complete to the ear.
From the river below comes the boom
Of the bittern, the thrill and the cry
Of frogs in the pool, and the shrill cricket's chime,
[24] Making ceaseless and marvelous rhyme.
But what of his fate? Did he die
When the terrible tempest was done?
When he staggered with you to the light,
And your fight with the Norther was won,
Did he live a guest evermore?
No, friend, not so. I sold him—outright.
What! sold your preserver, your mate, he who
Through wind and wild snow and deep night
Brought you safe to a shelter at last?
Did you, when the danger had end,
Forget your dumb hero—your friend?
Forget! no, nor can I. Why, man,
It's little you know of such love
As I felt for him! You think that you feel
The same deep regard for your span,
Blanketed, shining, and clipped to the heel,
But my horse was companion and guard—
My playmate, my ship on the sea
Of dun grasses—in all kinds of weather,
Unhorsed and hungry and sometimes, he
Served me for love and needed no tether.
No, I do not forget; but who
Is the master of fortune and fate?
Who does as he wishes and not as he must?
When I sold my preserver, my mate,
My faithfulest friend—man, I wept.
Yes, I own it. His faithful eyes
Seemed to ask what it meant.
And he kept them fixed on me in startled surprise,
As another hand led him away.
And the last that I heard of my roan,
Was the sound of his shrill, pleading neigh!
Oh magic west wind of the mountain,
Oh steed with the stinging main,
In sleep I draw rein at the fountain,
And wake with a shiver of pain;
[25] For the heart and the heat of the city
Are walls and prison's chain.
Lost my Ladrone—gone the wild living—
I dream, but my dreaming is vain.

Hamlin Garland's parents were of Scotch Presbyterian descent and were strict in their management of their children, but their lives were most wholesome and they were withal companionable. Their sacrifice and toil have been rewarded by the response their son has made to the opportunities they could offer him.

Besides the rural school training at Burr Oak, Iowa, Mr. Garland received additional education at Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage, where he attended school during the winter seasons. He graduated from this school in 1881 and then for a year travelled through the eastern states. His people later settled in Brown county, Dakota, and he visited them there in 1883.

In 1884 he went to Boston, where he came under the influence of Professor Moses True Brown of the Boston School of Oratory, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Dean Howells, Edward Everett Hale, and Edwin Booth.

Mr. Garland began his career as an author with the publication of his poem, "Lost in a Norther," in Harper's Weekly. For this poem he received twenty-five dollars. His work has been unusually remunerative. He has been a popular contributor to the Century Magazine, the Youth's Companion, the Arena, and other magazines. His first book was published in 1890. Mr. Garland enjoys social life and outdoor sports very much. He was the founder and is still the president of the Cliff Dwellers' Club in Chicago. He is especially fond of the outdoor sports of swimming, skating, and riding the trail on the plains and the mountains. The joy in this last is expressed in a poem which is given later.

Mr. Garland's publications include short stories, novels, essays, and poems. These book publications began with the short stories, Main Travelled Roads, in 1890. Since then have appeared Jason Edwards, 1891; A Member of the Third House, an exposure of political corruption, 1892; A Spoil of Office, 1892; Prairie Folks, Prairie Songs and Crumbling Idols, a series of critical essays, 1893; Rose of Dutcher's Coolly, a novel, 1895; Wayside Courtships, 1897; a Biography of Ulysses S. Grant, 1898; the Trail of the Gold Seekers and Boy Life on the Prairie, 1899; the Eagle's Heart, 1900; Her Mountain Lover, a novel, 1901; The Captain of the Gray Horse Troop, another novel, 1902; Hesper, 1903; The Tyranny of the Dark, a study in psychic research, 1905; The Long Trail, 1907; the Shadow World, another study in the psychic field, 1908; The Moccassin Ranch, 1909; Cavanagh, Forest Ranger, a study in forest preservation, 1911; Victor Olnee's Discipline, 1911; The Forest Daughter, 1913; and They of the High Trails, 1916.



What have I gained by the toil of the trail?
I know and know well.
I have found once again the lore I had lost
In the loud cities' hell.
I have broadened my hand to the cinch and the axe,
I have laid my flesh to the rain;
I was hunter and trailer and guide;
I have touched the most primitive wildness again.
I have threaded the wild with the stealth of the deer,
No eagle is freer than I;
No mountain can thwart me, no torrent appall.
I defy the stern sky.
So long as I live these joys will remain,
I have touched the most primitive wildness again.


His eyes are bright as burnished steel,
His note a quick, defiant cry;
Harsh as a hinge his grating squeal
Sounds from the keen wind sweeping by.
Rains never dim his smooth blue coat,
The cold winds never trouble him,
No fog puts hoarseness in his throat,
Or makes his merry eyes grow dim.
His call at dawning is a shout,
His wing is subject to his heart;
Of fear he knows not—doubt
Did not draw his sailing-chart.
He is an universal emigre,
His foot is set in every land;
He greets me by gray Casco Bay
And laughs across the Texas sand.
In heat or cold, in storm and sun,
He lives undauntedly; and when he dies,
He folds his feet up one by one
[27] And turns his last look on the skies.
He is the true American. He fears
No journey and no wood or wall—
And in the desert, toiling voyagers
Take heart or courage from his jocund call.


Out on the snow the boys are springing,
Shouting blithely at their play;
Through the night their voices ringing,
Sound the cry "Pom, pull-away!"
Up the sky the round moon stealing,
Trails a robe of shimmering white:
While the Great Bear slowly wheeling
Marks the pole-star's steady light.
The air with frost is keen and stinging,
Spite of cap and muffler gay;
Big boys whistle, girls are singing—
Loud rings out, "Pom, pull-away!"
Oh, the phrase has magic in it,
Sounding through the moon-lit air!
And in 'bout a half-a-minute
I am part and parcel there.
'Cross the pond I once more scurry
Through the thickest of the fray,
Sleeve ripped off by Andy Murray—
"Let her rip—Pom, pull-away!"
Mother'll mend it in the morning
(Dear old patient, smiling face!)
One more darn my sleeve adorning—
"Whoop her up!"—is no disgrace.
Moonbeams on the snow a-splinter,
Air that stirred the blood like wine—
What cared we for cold of winter?
What for maiden's soft eyes' shine?
Give us but a score of skaters
And the cry, "Pom, pull-away!"
We were always girl beraters—
[28] Forgot them wholly, sooth to say!
O voices through the night air ringing!
O, thoughtless, happy, boist'rous play!
O silver clouds the keen wind winging;
At the cry, "Pom, pull-away!"
I pause and dream with keenest longing
For the starlit magic night,
For my noisy playmates thronging,
And the slow moon's trailing light.


From "BOY LIFE ON THE PRAIRIE." Published by permission of Harper Bros.

Life on a Wisconsin farm, even for the older lads, had its compensations. There were times when the daily routine of lonely and monotonous life gave place to an agreeable bustle for a few days, and human intercourse lightened toil. In the midst of the dull, slow progress of the fall's ploughing, the gathering of the threshing crew was a most dramatic event.

There had been great changes in the methods of threshing since Mr. Stewart had begun to farm, but it had not yet reached the point where steam displaced the horse-power; and the grain, after being stacked round the barn ready to be threshed, was allowed to remain until late in the fall before calling in a machine.

Of course, some farmers got at it earlier, for all could not thresh at the same time, and a good part of the fall's labor consisted in "changing works" with the neighbors, thus laying up a stock of unpaid labor ready for the home job. Day after day, therefore, Mr. Stewart and the hired man shouldered their forks in the crisp and early dawn and went to help their neighbors, while the boys ploughed the stubble-land.[29]

All through the months of October and November, the ceaseless ringing hum and the bow-ouw, ouw-woo booee-oom of the great balance wheel of the threshing-machine, and the deep bass hum of the whirling cylinder, as its motion rose and fell, could be heard on every side like the singing of some sullen and gigantic autumnal insect.

For weeks Lincoln had looked forward to the coming of the threshers with the greatest eagerness, and during the whole of the day appointed, Owen and he hung on the gate and gazed down the road to see if the machine was coming. It did not come during the afternoon—still they could not give it up, and at the falling of dusk still hoped to hear the rattle of its machinery.

It was not uncommon for the men who attended to these machines to work all day at one place and move to another setting at night. In that way, they might not arrive until 9 o'clock at night, or they might come at 4 o'clock in the morning, and the children were about starting to "climb the wooden hill" when they heard the peculiar rattle of the cylinder and the voices of the McTurgs, singing.

"There they are," said Mr. Stewart, getting the old square lantern and lighting the candle within. The air was sharp, and the boys, having taken off their boots, could only stand at the window and watch the father as he went out to show the men where to set the "power," the dim light throwing fantastic shadows here and there, lighting up a face now and then, and bringing out the thresher, which seemed a silent monster to the children, who flattened their noses against the window-panes to be sure that nothing should escape them. The men's voices sounded cheerfully in the still night, and the roused turkeys in the oaks peered about on their perches, black silhouettes[30] against the sky. The children would gladly have stayed up to greet the threshers, who were captains of industry in their eyes, but they were ordered off to bed by Mrs. Stewart, who said, "You must go to sleep in order to be up early in the morning." As they lay there in their beds under the sloping rafter roof, they heard the[2] hand riding furiously away to tell some of the neighbors that the threshers had come. They could hear the cackle of the hens as Mr. Stewart assaulted them and wrung their innocent necks. The crash of the "sweeps" being unloaded sounded loud and clear in the night, and so watching the dance of the lights and shadows cast by the lantern on the plastered wall, they fell asleep.

They were awakened next morning by the ringing beat of the iron sledge as the men drove stakes to hold the "power" to the ground. The rattle of chains, the clang of iron bars, intermixed with laughter and snatches of song, came sharply through the frosty air. The smell of sausages being fried in the kitchen, the rapid tread of their busy mother as she hurried the breakfast forward, warned the boys that it was time to get up, although it was not yet dawn in the east, and they had a sense of being awakened to a strange, new world. When they got down to breakfast, the men had finished their coffee and were out in the stock-yard completing preparations.

This morning experience was superb. Though shivery and cold in the faint frosty light of the day, the children enjoyed every moment of it. The frost lay white on every surface, the frozen ground rang like iron under the steel-shod feet of the horses, the breath of the men rose up in little white puffs while they sparred playfully or rolled each other on the ground in jovial clinches of legs and arms.


The young men were anxiously waiting the first sound which should rouse the countryside and proclaim that theirs was the first machine to be at work. The older men stood in groups, talking politics or speculating on the price of wheat, pausing occasionally to slap their hands about their breasts.

Finally, just as the east began to bloom and long streamers of red began to unroll along the vast gray dome of sky, Joe Gilman—"Shouting Joe," as he was called—mounted one of the stacks, and throwing down the cap-sheaf, lifted his voice in a "Chippewa warwhoop." On a still morning like this his voice could be heard three miles. Long drawn and musical, it sped away over the fields, announcing to all the world that the McTurgs were ready for the race. Answers came back faintly from the frosty fields, where the dim figures of laggard hands could be seen hurrying over the ploughland; then David called "All right," and the machine began to hum.

In those days the machine was a J. I. Case or a "Buffalo Pits" separator, and was moved by five pairs of horses attached to a power staked to the ground, round which they travelled to the left, pulling at the ends of long levers or sweeps. The power was planted some rods away from the machine, to which the force was carried by means of "tumbling rods," with "knuckle joints." The driver stood upon a platform above the huge, savage, cog-wheels round which the horses moved, and he was a great figure in the eyes of the boys.

Driving looked like an easy job, but it was not. It was very tiresome to stand on that small platform all through the long day of the early fall, and on cold November mornings when the cutting wind roared over the plain, sweeping the dust and leaves along the road. It was far pleasanter to sit on the south side of the stack, as Tommy[32] did, and watch the horses go round. It was necessary also for the driver to be a man of good judgment, for the power must be kept just to the right speed, and he should be able to gauge the motion of the cylinder by the pitch of its deep bass hum. There were always three men who went with the machine and were properly "the threshers." One acted as driver; the others were respectively "feeder" and "tender"; one of them fed the grain into the rolling cylinder, while the other, oil-can in hand, "tended" the separator. The feeder's position was the high place to which all boys aspired, and they used to stand in silent admiration watching the easy, powerful swing of David McTurg as he caught the bundles in the crook of his arm, and spread them out into a broad, smooth band upon which the cylinder caught and tore like some insatiate monster, and David was the ideal man in Lincoln's eyes, and to be able to feed a threshing machine, the highest honor in the world. The boy who was chosen to cut bands went to his post like a soldier to dangerous picket duty.

Sometimes David would take one of the small boys upon his stand, where he could see the cylinder whiz while flying wheat stung his face. Sometimes the driver would invite Tommy on the power to watch the horses go round, and when he became dizzy often took the youngster in his arms and running out along the moving sweep, threw him with a shout into David's arms.

The boys who were just old enough to hold sacks for the measurer, did not enjoy threshing so well, but to Lincoln and his mates it was the keenest joy. They wished it would never end.

The wind blew cold and the clouds were flying across the bright blue sky, the straw glistened in the sun, the machine howled, the dust flew, the whip cracked, and[33] the men worked like beavers to get the sheaves to the feeder, and to keep the straw and wheat away from the tail-end of the machine. These fellows, wallowing to their waists in the chaff, did so for the amusement of the boys, and for no other reason.

They were always amused by the man who stood in the midst of the thick dust and the flying chaff at the head of the stacker, who took and threw away the endless cataract of straw as if it were all play. His teeth shown like those of a negro out of his dust blackened face, and his shirt was wet with sweat, but he motioned for more straw, and the feeder, accepting the challenge, motioned for more speed, and so the driver swung his lash and yelled at the straining horses, the pitchers buckled to, the sleepy growl of the cylinder rose to a howl, the wheat rushed out in a stream as "big as a stove-pipe," and the carriers were forced to trot back and forth from the granary like mad, and to generally "hump themselves" in order to keep the grain from piling up around the measurer where Ellis stood disconsolately holding sacks for old man Smith.

When the children got tired of wallowing in the straw, and with turning somersaults therein, they went down to help Rover catch the rats which were uncovered by the pitchers when they reached the stack bottom. It was all play to Lincoln, just as it had once been to the others. The horses, with their straining, outstretched necks, the loud and cheery shouts, the whistling of the driver, the roar and hum of the machinery, the flourishing of the forks, the supple movements of the brawny arms, the shouts of the threshers to one another, all blended with the wild sound of the wind overhead in the creaking branches of the oaks, formed a splendid drama for his recording brain.[34]

But for the boy who was forced to stand with old Daddy Smith in the flying dust beside the machine, it was a bad play. He was a part of the machine—of the crew. His liberty to come and go was gone. When Daddy was grinning at him out of the gray dust and the swirling chaff, the wheat beards were crawling down his back, scratching and rasping. His ears were stunned by the noise of the cylinder and the howl of the balance-wheel, and it did not help him any to have the old man say in a rasping voice, "Never mind the chaff, sonny—it ain't pizen."

Whirr—bang! Something had gone into the cylinder, making the feeder dodge to escape the flying teeth, and the men seized the horses to stop the machine. The men then hailed such accidents with delight, for it afforded them a few minutes' rest while the crew put some new teeth in the "concave." They had time to unbutton their shirts and get some of the beards out of their necks, to take a drink of water, and to let the deafness go out of their ears.

At such times also some of the young fellows were sure to have a wrestling or a lifting match, and all kinds of jokes flew about. The man at the straw-stack leaned indolently on his fork and asked the feeder sarcastically if that was the best he could do, and remarked, "It's gettin' chilly up here. Guess I'll have to go home and get my kid gloves."

To this David laughingly responded, "I'll warm your carcass with a rope if you don't shut up," all of which gave the boys infinite delight.

But the work began again, and Ellis was forced to take his place as regularly as the other men. As the sun neared the zenith, he looked often up to it—so often in fact that Daddy, observing it, cackled in great amusement,[35] "Think you c'n hurry it along, sonny? The watched pot never boils, remember!"—which made the boy so angry he nearly kicked the old man on the shin.

But at last the call for dinner sounded, the driver began to shout, "Whoa there, boys," to the teams and to hold his long whip before their eyes in order to convince them that he really meant "Whoa." The pitchers stuck their forks down in the stack and leaped to the ground; Billy, the band-cutter, drew from his wrist the string of his big knife; the men slid down from the straw-pile and a race began among the teamsters to see who should be first unhitched and at the watering trough and at the table.

It was always a splendid and dramatic moment to the boys as the men crowded round the well to wash, shouting, joking, cuffing each other, sloshing themselves with water, and accusing each other of having blackened the towel by using it to wash with rather than to wipe with.

Mrs. Stewart and the hired girl, and generally some of the neighbors' wives (who changed "works" also) stood ready to bring on the food as soon as the men were seated. The table had been lengthened to its utmost and pieced out with the kitchen table, which usually was not of the same height, and planks had been laid for seats on stout kitchen chairs at each side. The men came in with noisy rush and took seats wherever they could find them, and their attack on "biled taters and chicken" should have been appalling to the women, but it was not. They smiled to see them eat. A single slash at a boiled potato, followed by two motions, and it disappeared. Grimy fingers lifted a leg of chicken to a wide mouth, and two snaps laid it bare as a slate pencil. To the children standing in the corner waiting, it seemed that every smitch of the dinner was going and that nothing would[36] be left when the men got through, but there was, for food was plentiful.

At last even the "gantest" of them filled up. Even Len had his limits, and something remained for the children and the women, who sat down at the second table, while David and William and Len returned to the machine to put everything in order, to sew the belts, or take a bent tooth out of the "concave." Len, however, managed to return two or three times in order to have his jokes with the hired girl, who enjoyed it quite as much as he did.

In the short days of October only a brief nooning was possible, and as soon as the horses had finished their oats, the roar and hum of the machine began again and continued steadily all afternoon. Owen and Rover continued their campaign upon the rats which inhabited the bottom of the stacks and great was their excitement as the men reached the last dozen sheaves. Rover barked and Owen screamed half in fear and half from a boy's savage delight in killing things, and very few rats escaped their combined efforts.

To Ellis the afternoon seemed endless. His arms grew tired with holding the sacks against the lip of the half bushel, and his fingers grew sore with the rasp of the rough canvas out of which the sacks were made. When he thought of the number of times he must repeat these actions, his heart was numb with weariness.

All things have an end! By and by the sun grew big and red, night began to fall and the wind to die down. Through the falling gloom the machine boomed steadily with a new sound, a sort of solemn roar, rising at intervals to a rattling yell as the cylinder ran empty. The men were working silently, sullenly, moving dim and strange; the pitchers on the stack, the feeder on the platform,[37] and especially the workers on the high straw-pile, seemed afar off to Lincoln's eyes. The gray dust covered the faces of those near by, changing them into something mysterious and sad. At last he heard the welcome cry, "Turn out!" The men raised glad answer and threw aside their forks.

Again came the gradual slowing down of the motion, while the driver called in a gentle, soothing voice: "Whoa, lads! Steady, boys, Whoa, now!" But the horses had been going on so long and so steadily that they checked their speed with difficulty. The men slid from the stacks, and seizing the ends of the sweeps, held them; but even after the power was still, the cylinder went on, until David, calling for a last sheaf, threw it in its open maw, choking it into silence.

Then came the sound of dropping chains and iron rods, and the thud of the hoofs as the horses walked with laggard gait and down-falling heads to the barn. The men were more subdued than at dinner, washing with greater care, brushing the dust from their beards and clothes. The air was still and cool, the wind was gone, the sky deep, cloudless blue.

The evening meal was more attractive to the boys than dinner. The table was lighted with a kerosene lamp, and the clean white linen, the fragrant dishes, the women flying about with steaming platters, all seemed very dramatic, very cheering to Lincoln as well as to the men who came into the light and warmth with aching muscles and empty stomach.

There was always a good deal of talk at supper, but it was gentler than at the dinner hour. The younger fellows had their jokes, of course, and watched the hired girl attentively, while the old fellows discussed the day's yield of grain and the matters of the township. Ellis was[38] now allowed a place at the first table like a first-class hand.

The pie and the doughnuts and the coffee disappeared as fast as they could be brought, which seemed to please Mrs. Stewart, who said, "Goodness sakes, yes; eat all you want. They was made to eat."

The men were all, or nearly all, neighbors, or hands hired by the month, and some were like members of the family. Mrs. Stewart treated them all like visitors and not like hired help. No one feared a genuine rudeness from the other.

After they had eaten their supper it was a great pleasure to the boys to go out to the barn and shed (all wonderfully changed now to their minds by the great new stack of straw), there to listen to the stories or jolly remarks of the men as they curried their tired horses munching busily at their hay, too weary to move a muscle otherwise, but enjoying the rubbing down which the men gave them with wisps of straws held in each hand.

The light from the kitchen was very welcome, and how bright and warm it was with the mother's merry voice and smiling face where the women were moving to and fro, and talking even more busily than they worked.

Sometimes in these old-fashioned days, after the supper table was cleared out of the way, and the men returned to the house, an hour or two of delicious merry making ended the day. Perhaps two or three of the sisters of the young men had dropped in, and the boys themselves were in no hurry to get home.

Around the fire the older men sat to tell stories while the girls trudged in and out, finishing up the dishes and getting the materials ready for breakfast. With speechless content Lincoln sat to listen to stories of bears and Indians and logging on the Wisconsin, and other tales of[39] frontier life, and then at last, after beseeching, David opened the violin box and played. Strange how those giant hands became supple to the strings and bow. All day they had been handling the fierce straw or were covered with the grease and dirt of the machine, yet now they drew from the violin the wildest, weirdest strains, thrilling Norse folk songs, Swedish dances and love ballads, mournful, sensuous, and seductive.

Lincoln could not understand why those tunes had that sad, sweet quality, but he could sit and listen to them all night long.

Oh, those rare days and rarer nights! How fine they were then—and how mellow they are growing now as the slow-paced years drop a golden mist upon them. From this distance they seem so near that my heart aches to relive them, but they are so wholesome and so carefree that the world is poorer for the change.



General Charles King is no doubt Wisconsin's most voluminous writer. He was born in Albany, New York, in 1844; was graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1866: was made captain of a company of cavalry engaged in Indian warfare in 1879, and was retired on account of wounds in June of that year. He came to Wisconsin in 1882 as inspector and instructor of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Besides serving in Indian warfare, he has also seen action in the Philippine Islands. His military life has been active enough to consume the energies of most men, but not so with this soldier. He is the author of more than fifty books, most of which deal with exciting and dramatic episodes, which come from his pen with the conviction and clarity that result only from actual knowledge and observation.

Perhaps the best known of all his many books are "The Colonel's Daughter" and its sequel, "Marion's Faith." The first selection here given is one frequently quoted from the latter book, but the second is from one of his more recent volumes, entitled, "The Real Ulysses S. Grant," and it is characterized by crisp, clear statement and by a feeling of intense sincerity and conviction.

General King is a familiar figure both on the streets of Milwaukee and in every town in Wisconsin that boasts a company in the National Guard. His erect carriage and his whole bearing indicate youth and strength. He is a delightful lecturer, and a talk with him is an experience that one does not readily forget. He practically never mentions his own exploits, though they were many; but his accurate memory and his excellent powers of description are brought into play when the deeds of others are concerned.






From "MARION'S FAITH." Chap. 14. By Gen. Charles King,
U.S.A. Copyright, 1887, by J. B. Lippincott Co.

Darkness has settled down in the shadowy Wyoming valley. By the light of a tiny fire under the bank some twenty forms can be seen stretched upon the sand,—they are wounded soldiers. A little distance away are nine [43]others, shrouded in blankets: they are the dead. Huddled in confused and cowering group are a few score horses, many of them sprawled upon the sand motionless; others occasionally struggle to rise or plunge about in their misery. Crouching among the timber, vigilant but weary, dispersed in a big, irregular circle around the beleaguered bivouac, some sixty soldiers are still on the active list. All around them, vigilant and vengeful, lurk the Cheyennes. Every now and then the bark as of a coyote is heard,—a yelping, querulous cry,—and it is answered far across the valley or down the stream. There is no moon; the darkness is intense, though the starlight is clear, and the air so still that the galloping hoofs of the Cheyenne ponies far out on the prairie sound close at hand.

"That's what makes it hard," says Ray, who is bending over the prostrate form of Captain Wayne. "If it were storming or blowing, or something to deaden the hoof-beats, I could make it easier; but it's the only chance."

The only chance of what?

When the sun went down upon Wayne's timber citadel, and the final account of stock was taken for the day, it was found that with one-fourth of the command, men and horses, killed and wounded, there were left not more than three hundred cartridges, all told, to enable some sixty men to hold out until relief could come against an enemy who encircled them on every side, and who had only to send over to the neighboring reservation—forty miles away—and get all the cartridges they wanted. Mr. —— would let their friends have them to kill "buffalo," though Mr. —— knew there wasn't a buffalo left within four hundred miles.

They could cut through, of course, and race up the valley to find the —th, but they would have to leave the[44] wounded and the dismounted behind,—to death by torture,—so that ended the matter. Only one thing remained. In some way—by some means—word must be carried to the regiment. The chances were ten to one against the couriers slipping out. Up and down the valley, out on the prairie on both sides of the stream, the Cheyennes kept vigilant watch. They had their hated enemies in a death-grip, and only waited the coming of other warriors and more ammunition to finish them—as the Sioux had finished Custer. They knew, though the besieged did not, that, the very evening before, the —th had marched away westward, and were far from their comrades. All they had to do was to prevent any one's escaping to give warning of the condition of things in Wayne's command. All, therefore, were on the alert, and of this there was constant indication. The man or men who made the attempt would have to run the gauntlet. The one remaining scout who had been employed for such work refused the attempt as simply madness. He had lived too long among the Indians to dare it, yet Wayne and Ray and Dana and Hunter, and the whole command, for that matter, knew that some one must try it. Who was it to be?

There was no long discussion. Wayne called the sulking scout a damned coward, which consoled him somewhat, but didn't help matters. Ray had been around the rifle-pits taking observations. Presently he returned, leading Dandy up near the fire,—the one sheltered light that was permitted.

"Looks fine as silk, don't he?" he said, smoothing his pet's glossy neck and shoulder, for Ray's groom had no article of religion which took precedence over the duty he owed the lieutenant's horse, and no sooner was the sun down than he had been grooming him as though still in[45] garrison. "Give him all the oats you can steal, Hogan; some of the men must have a hatful left."

Wayne looked up startled.

"Ray, I can't let you go!"

"There's no helping it. Some one must go, and who can you send?"

Even there the captain noted the grammatical eccentricity. What was surprising was that even there he made no comment thereon. He was silent. Ray had spoken truth. There was no one whom he could order to risk death in breaking his way out since the scout had said 'twas useless. There were brave men there who would gladly try it had they any skill in such matters, but that was lacking. "If any man in the company could 'make it,' that man was Ray." He was cool, daring, keen; he was their best and lightest rider, and no one so well knew the country or better knew the Cheyennes. Wayne even wished that Ray might volunteer. There was only this about it,—the men would lose much of their grit with him away. They swore by him, and felt safe when he was there to lead or encourage. But the matter was settled by Ray himself. He was already stripping for the race.

"Get those shoes off," he said to the farrier, who came at his bidding, and Dandy wonderingly looked up from the gunny-sack of oats in which he had buried his nozzle. "What on earth could that blacksmith mean by tugging out his shoe-nails?" was his reflection, though, like the philosopher he was, he gave more thought to his oats,—an unaccustomed luxury just then.

There seemed nothing to be said by anybody. Wayne rose painfully to his feet. Hunter stood in silence by, and a few men grouped themselves around the little knot of officers. Ray had taken off his belt and was poking out the carbine cartridges from the loops,—there were[46] not over ten. Then he drew the revolver, carefully examined the chambers to see that all were filled; motioned with his hand to those on the ground, saying, quietly, "Pick those up. Y'all may need every one of 'em." The Blue Grass dialect seemed cropping out the stronger for his preoccupation. "Got any spare Colts?" he continued, turning to Wayne. "I only want another round." These he stowed as he got them in the smaller loops on the right side of his belt. Then he bent forward to examine Dandy's hoofs again.

"Smooth them off as well as you can. Get me a little of that sticky mud there, one of you men. There! ram that into every hole and smooth off the surface. Make it look just as much like a pony's as you know how. They can't tell Dandy's tracks from their own then, don't you see?"

Three or four pairs of hands worked assiduously to do his bidding. Still, there was no talking. No one had anything he felt like saying just then.

"Who's got the time?" he asked.

Wayne looked at his watch, bending down over the fire.

"Just nine fifteen."

"All right. I must be off in ten minutes. The moon will be up at eleven."

Dandy had finished the last of his oats by this time, and was gazing contentedly about him. Ever since quite early in the day he had been in hiding down there under the bank. He had received only one trifling clip, though for half an hour at least he had been springing around where the bullets flew thickest. He was even pining for his customary gallop over the springy turf, and wondering why it had been denied him that day.

"Only a blanket and surcingle," said Ray, to his[47] orderly, who was coming up with the heavy saddle and bags. "We're riding to win tonight, Dandy and I, and must travel light."

He flung aside his scouting hat, knotted the silk handkerchief he took from his throat so as to confine the dark hair that came tumbling almost into his eyes, buckled the holster-belt tightly round his waist, looked doubtfully an instant at his spurs, but decided to keep them on. Then he turned to Wayne.

"A word with you, captain."

The others fell back a short distance, and for a moment the two stood alone speaking in low tones. All else was silent except the feverish moan of some poor fellow lying sorely wounded in the hollow, or the occasional pawing and stir among the horses. In the dim light of the little fire the others stood watching them. They saw that Wayne was talking earnestly, and presently extended his hand, and they heard Ray, somewhat impatiently, say, "Never mind that now," and noted that at first he did not take the hand; but finally they came back to the group and Ray spoke:

"Now, fellows, just listen a minute. I've got to break out on the south side. I know it better. Of course there are no end of Indians out there, but most of the crowd are in the timber above and below. There will be plenty on the watch, and it isn't possible that I can gallop out through them without being heard. Dandy and I have got to sneak for it until we're spotted, or clear of them, then away we go. I hope to work well out towards the bluffs before they catch a glimpse of me, then lie flat and go for all I'm worth to where we left the regiment. Then you bet it won't be long before the old crowd will be coming down just a humping. I'll have 'em here by six o'clock, if, indeed, I don't find them coming ahead tonight.[48] Just keep up your grit, and we'll do our level best, Dandy and I; won't we, old boy? Now, I want to see Dana a minute and the other wounded fellows," and he went and bent down over them, saying a cheery word to each; and rough, suffering men held out feeble hands to take a parting grip, and looked up into his brave young eyes. He had long known how the rank and file regarded him, but had been disposed to laugh it off. Tonight as he stopped to say a cheering word to the wounded, and looked down at some pale, bearded face that had stood at his shoulder in more than one tight place in the old Apache days in Arizona, and caught the same look of faith and trust in him, something like a quiver hovered for a minute about his lips, and his own brave eyes grew moist. They knew he was daring death to save them, but that was a view of the case that did not seem to occur to him at all. At last he came to Dana lying there a little apart. The news that Ray was going to "ride for them" had been whispered all through the bivouac by this time, and Dana turned and took Ray's hand in both his own.

"God speed you, old boy! If you make it all safe, get word to mother that I didn't do so badly in my first square tussle, will you?"

"If I make it, you'll be writing it yourself this time tomorrow night. Even if I don't make it, don't you worry, lad. The Colonel and Stannard ain't the fellows to let us shift for ourselves with the country full of Cheyennes. They'll be down here in two days, anyhow. Good-by, Dana; keep your grip and we'll larrup 'em yet."

Then he turned back to Wayne, Hunter, and the doctor.

"One thing occurs to me, Hunter. You and six or eight men take your carbines and go up-stream with a dozen horses until you come to the rifle-pits. Be all ready.[49] If I get clear through you won't hear any row, but if they sight or hear me before I get through, then, of course, there will be the biggest kind of an excitement, and you'll hear the shooting. The moment it begins, give a yell; fire your guns, go whooping up the stream with the horses as though the whole crowd were trying to cut out that way, but get right back. The excitement will distract them and help me. Now, good-by, and good luck to you, crowd."

"Ray, will you have a nip before you try it? You must be nearly used up after this day's work." And he held out his flask to him.

"No. I had some hot coffee just ten minutes ago, and I feel like a four-year-old. I'm riding new colors; didn't you know it? By jove!" he added, suddenly, "this is my first run under the Preakness blue." Even then and there he thought too quickly to speak her name. "Now then, some of you crawl out to the south edge of the timber with me, and lie flat in the prairie and keep me in sight as long as you can." He took one more look at his revolver. "I'm drawing to a bob-tail. If I fail, I'll bluff; if I fill, I'll knock spots out of any threes in the Cheyenne outfit."

Three minutes more and the watchers at the edge of the timber have seen him, leading Dandy by the bridle, slowly, stealthily, creeping out into the darkness; a moment the forms of man and horse are outlined against the stars: then are swallowed up in the night. Hunter and the sergeants with him grasp their carbines and lie prone upon the turf, watching, waiting.

In the bivouac is the stillness of death. Ten soldiers—carbines in hand—mounted on their unsaddled steeds are waiting in the darkness at the upper rifle-pits for Hunter's signal. If he shouts, every man is to yell and break for the front. Otherwise, all are to remain quiet.[50] Back at the watch-fire under the bank Wayne is squatting, watch in one hand, pistol in the other. Near by lie the wounded, still as their comrades just beyond,—the dead. All around among the trees and in the sand pits up- and down-stream, fourscore men are listening to the beating of their own hearts. In the distance, once in a while, is heard the yelp of coyote or the neigh of Indian pony. In the distance, too, are the gleams of Indian fires, but they are beyond the positions occupied by the besieging warriors. Darkness shrouds them. Far aloft the stars are twinkling through the cool and breezeless air. With wind, or storm, or tempest, the gallant fellow whom all hearts are following would have something to favor, something to aid; but in this almost cruel stillness nothing under God can help him,—nothing but darkness and his own brave spirit.

"If I get through this scrape in safety," mutters Wayne between his set teeth, "the —th shall never hear the last of this work of Ray's."

"If I get through this night," mutters Ray to himself, far out on the prairie now, where he can hear tramping hoofs and guttural voices, "it will be the best run ever made for the Sanford blue, though I do make it."

Nearly five minutes have passed, and the silence has been unbroken by shot or shout. The suspense is becoming unbearable in the bivouac, where every man is listening, hardly daring to draw breath. At last Hunter, rising to his knees, which are all a-tremble with excitement, mutters to Sergeant Roach, who is still crouching beside him,—

"By Heaven! I believe he'll slip through without being seen."

Hardly had he spoken when far, far out to the southwest[51] two bright flashes leap through the darkness. Before the report can reach them there comes another, not so brilliant. Then, the ringing bang, bang of two rifles, the answering crack of a revolver.

"Quick, men. Go!" yells Hunter, and darts headlong through the timber back to the stream. There is a sudden burst of shots and yells and soldier cheers; a mighty crash and sputter and thunder of hoofs up the stream-bed; a few of the men at the west end, yelling like demons, dash in support of the mounted charge in the bed of the stream. For a minute or two the welkin rings with shouts, shots (mainly those of the startled Indians), then there is as sudden a rush back to cover, without a man or horse hurt or missing. In the excitement and darkness the Cheyennes could only fire wild, but now the night air resounds with taunts and yells and triumphant war-whoops. For full five minutes there is a jubilee over the belief that they have penned in the white soldiers after their dash for liberty. Then, little by little, the yells and taunts subside. Something has happened to create discussion in the Cheyenne camps, for the crouching soldiers can hear the liveliest kind of a pow-wow far up-stream. What does it mean? Has Ray slipped through, or—have they caught him?

Despite pain and weakness, Wayne hobbles out to where Sergeant Roach is still watching and asks for tidings.

"I can't be sure, captain; one thing's certain, the lieutenant rode like a gale. I could follow the shots a full half-mile up the valley, where they seemed to grow thicker, and then stop all of a sudden in the midst of the row that was made down here. They've either given it up and have a big party out in chase, or else they've got him. God knows which. If they've got him, there'll be[52] a scalp-dance over there in a few minutes, curse them!" And the sergeant choked.

Wayne watched some ten minutes without avail. Nothing further was seen or heard that night to indicate what had happened to Ray except once. Far up the valley he saw a couple of flashes among the bluffs; so did Roach, and that gave him hope that Dandy had carried his master in safety that far at least.

He crept back to the bank and cheered the wounded with the news of what he had seen. Then another word came in ere long. An old sergeant had crawled out to the front, and could hear something of the shouting and talking of the Indians. He could understand a few words only, though he had lived among the Cheyennes nearly five years. They can barely understand one another in the dark, and use incessant gesticulation to interpret their own speech; but the sergeant gathered that they were upbraiding somebody for not guarding a coulee, and inferred that someone had slipped past their pickets or they wouldn't be making such a row.

That the Cheyennes did not propose to let the besieged derive much comfort from their hopes was soon apparent. Out from the timber up the stream came sonorous voices shouting taunt and challenge, intermingled with the vilest expletives they had picked up from their cowboy neighbors, and all the frontier slang in the Cheyenne vocabulary.

"Hullo! sogers; come out some more times. We no shoot. Stay there: we come plenty quick. Hullo! white chief, come fight fair; soger heap 'fraid! Come, have scalp-dance plenty quick. Catch white soldier; eat him heart bime by."

"Ah, go to your grandmother, the ould witch in hell, ye musthard-sthriped convict!" sings out some irrepressible[53] Paddy in reply, and Wayne, who is disposed to serious thoughts, would order silence, but it occurs to him that Mulligan's crude sallies have a tendency to keep the men lively.

"I can't believe they've got him," he whispers to the doctor. "If they had they would soon recognize him as an officer and come bawling out their triumph at bagging a chief. His watch, his shoes, his spurs, his underclothing, would all betray that he was an officer, though he hasn't a vestige of uniform. Pray God he is safe!"

Will you follow Ray and see? Curiosity is what lures the fleetest deer to death, and a more dangerous path than that which Ray has taken one rarely follows. Will you try it, reader—just you and I? Come on, then. We'll see what our Kentucky boy "got in the draw," as he would put it.

Ray's footfall is soft as a kitten's as he creeps out upon the prairie; Dandy stepping gingerly after him, wondering but obedient. For over a hundred yards he goes, until both up- and down-stream he can almost see the faint fires of the Indians in the timber. Farther out he can hear hoof-beats and voices, so he edges along westward until he comes suddenly to a depression, a little winding "cooley" across the prairie, through which in the early spring the snows are carried off from some ravine among the bluffs. Into this he noiselessly feels his way and Dandy follows. He creeps along to his left and finds that its general course is from the southwest. He knows well that the best way to watch for objects in the darkness is to lie flat on low ground so that everything approaching may be thrown against the sky. His plain-craft tells him that by keeping in the water-course he will be less apt to be seen, but will surely come across some lurking Indians. That he expects. The thing is to get as far through them[54] as possible before being seen or heard, then mount and away. After another two minutes' creeping he peers over the western bank. Now the fires up-stream can be seen in the timber, and dim, shadowy forms pass and repass. Then close at hand come voices and hoof-beats. Dandy pricks up his ears and wants to neigh, but Ray grips his nostrils like a vise, and Dandy desists. At rapid lope, within twenty yards, a party of half a dozen warriors go bounding past on their way down the valley, and no sooner have they crossed the gulley than he rises and rapidly pushes on up the dry sandy bed. Thank heaven! there are no stones. A minute more and right in front of him, not a stone's throw away, he hears the deep tones of Indian voices in conversation. Whoever they may be they are in the "cooley" and watching the prairie. They can see nothing of him, nor he of them. Pass them in the ten-foot-wide ravine he cannot. He must go back a short distance, make a sweep to the east so as not to go between those watchers and the guiding fires, then trust to luck. Turning stealthily he brings Dandy around, leads back down the ravine for some thirty yards, then turns to his horse, pats him gently one minute; "Do your prettiest for your colors, my boy," he whispers; springs lightly, noiselessly to his back, and at cautious walk comes up on the level prairie, with the timber behind him three hundred yards away. Southward he can see the dim outline of the bluffs. Westward—once that little arroyo is crossed—he knows the prairie to be level and unimpeded, fit for a race; but he needs to make a detour to pass the Indians guarding it, get away beyond them, cross it to the west far behind them, and then look out for stray parties. Dandy ambles lightly along, eager for fun and little appreciating the danger. Ray bends down on his neck, intent with eye and ear. He feels that he has got well[55] out east of the Indian picket unchallenged, when suddenly voices and hoofs come bounding up the valley from below. He must cross their front, reach the ravine before them, and strike the prairie beyond. "Go, Dandy!" he mutters with gentle pressure of leg, and the sorrel bounds lightly away, circling southwestward under the guiding rein. Another minute and he is at the arroyo and cautiously descending, then scrambling up the west bank, and then from the darkness comes savage challenge, a sputter of pony hoofs. Ray bends low and gives Dandy one vigorous prod with the spur, and with muttered prayer and clinched teeth and fists he leaps into the wildest race for his life.

Bang! bang! go two shots close behind him. Crack! goes his pistol at a dusky form closing in on his right. Then come yells, shots, the uproar of hoofs, the distant cheer and charge at camp, a breathless dash for and close along under the bluffs where his form is best concealed, a whirl to the left into the first ravine that shows itself, and despite shots and shouts and nimble ponies and vengeful foes, the Sanford colors are riding far to the front, and all the racers of the reservations cannot overhaul them.


From "THE TRUE ULYSSES S. GRANT." Chapter XXXVIII. Copyright, 1914, by J. B. Lippincott Co.

Long months before the melancholy failure of that ill-omened bank, the General had told Badeau of the fabulous profits the firm was realizing, and Badeau went to their old comrade of the war and White House days—to Horace Porter—and asked that reticent but experienced soldier-citizen his opinion, and Porter solemnly shook his head. Such profits, he said, were impossible in a business honestly[56] conducted. But Grant saw on every side men by the dozen who had started with less than his modest capital and had gathered fortunes in Wall Street. He was so confident in the sagacity and judgment of Ulysses, Jr., that he invested his every dollar with the firm and reinvested every penny of the profits which he did not lavish on his loved ones or on his followers and friends. Like Thackeray's most lovable hero, Colonel Newcome, he thought to share his good fortune with many of his kith and kin and urged their sending their savings to be invested for them by brilliant young "Buck" and his sagacious partner—that wonderful wizard of finance, Mr. Ward. Aside from the chagrin of seeing some of his recommendations disregarded, and certain of his opponents regarded first by Mr. Garfield and later by Mr. Arthur, General Grant was living in those years a life of ease, luxury, and freedom from care as never before he had enjoyed. Julia Dent was as ever first and foremost in his world, but the children were the source of pride and joy unmistakable. Devoted, dutiful, and loyal they unquestionably were, but Grant believed of his first born that he was destined to become renowned as a general, and of "Buck" and Jesse that they were born financiers and business men. As for Princess Nellie, the father's love and yearning for that one daughter of his house and name was beyond all measure. No man ever loved home, wife, and children more tenderly, more absorbingly.

Although widely scattered at the time, this heart-united household had been anticipating a blithe and merry Christmas at the close of the year 1883. When he was alighting from his carriage just before midnight, with the welcoming chimes pealing on the frosty air, the General's foot slipped on the icy pavement, he fell heavily, a muscle snapped in the thigh, possibly one of those injured twenty[57] years earlier, the day of that fateful stumble at Carrollton, and he was carried into the house, never thereafter to leave it in health or strength.

Crutches again, and later a cane, long were necessary. In March, they took him to Fortress Monroe so that he could hobble about in the soft air and sunshine. In April he was back again in Gotham, able to drive his favorite team, but not to walk. On Sunday, the 4th day of May, the wizard partner, Ward, came into their home and quite casually announced that the Marine Bank of New York, in which Grant & Ward had large deposits, needed perhaps one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to tide them over a temporary difficulty. If General Grant could borrow that much over Monday, Grant & Ward would not have to lose a cent; otherwise they stood to lose perhaps fifty or sixty thousand. Of course the lender would lose nothing, said Ward, as there was a million, at least, of securities in the vaults.

The world knows the rest—how unsuspiciously our General called on his friend and fellow horseman, Mr. William H. Vanderbilt, said that he needed one hundred and fifty thousand for a day or so, and came away with a cheque for that amount. For no other man probably would Mr. Vanderbilt have parted unsecured with such a sum. The cheque was promptly endorsed and turned over to Mr. Ward, who took it unconcernedly and then his leave.

Tuesday morning, May 6th, believing himself a millionaire and the brief indebtedness to Vanderbilt already cancelled, Grant alighted at the Wall Street office to find an ominous gathering. "Father, you had better go home—the bank has failed," said Ulysses, Jr., with misery in his eyes, but Grant stayed to investigate. Badeau, the faithful, hastening in at noon, found the old chief seated[58] in the rear office, calm in the midst of stress and storm. "We are all ruined here," he simply said. Ward had vanished, the key of the vaults with him, and when they were finally opened, the boasted "securities" were found to be but shadows. The ruin was complete.

Everything they had—all the beautiful gifts, trophies, souvenirs, even the little houses owned by Mrs. Grant in Washington, and the repurchased Dent property about St. Louis—had to be sold. Grant insisted, though it left them, for the time at least, absolutely penniless. It had dragged down others with them; it involved his honored name in a whirlpool of censure, criticism, and calumny that well-nigh crushed him. Fallen from such supremely high estate, the insults and indignities that beset him now far outweighed the slights and sneers that had been his portion in the days of his earlier humiliation. Over the depths of the misery that had come to him in his old and recently honored age let us draw the curtain. No man on earth could know the suffering it cost him. Only one woman could faintly see. Helping hands there were outstretched to him instanter, and money to meet the immediate need. Then, as the storm subsided and the extent of Ward's villainy and Grant's innocence became known, new measures were taken to provide against absolute want. A trust fund had already been raised. A measure was speedily set on foot to restore to Grant the rank and pay which he had surrendered on assuming the presidency, and a modest competence would thus be insured him and those he loved. There was a home in which to live. They could even spend the summers at the seashore. There were offers of congenial occupation that might have proved mildly lucrative. There was measurable return to hope and possible health. There had never been complaint or repining. To all about him he had been gentleness,[59] consideration, kindliness itself. There was just one cause of new, yet slight anxiety:

All through that summer of '84, while at Long Branch, his throat had been giving him pain, and a Philadelphia physician, examining it for the first time late in September, advised, even urged, says Badeau, his consulting a specialist on returning to town. For a time he took no heed. He was writing now, long hours each day, but at last he called, as further urged by his own physician, upon that distinguished expert, Dr. J. H. Douglas, and that evening calmly admitted that the trouble in his throat was cancerous in tendency. And that this was true, the fact that he suddenly dropped the luxury of all the days that had followed Donelson—his cigar—and the sufferings that followed in November and December proved beyond possibility of doubt....

And meanwhile a nation stood with bated breath and watched and prayed. Crowds gathered about the house and importuned the physicians for tidings. Congress had passed amid scenes of emphatic popular approval a bill restoring him again to the generalship of old—almost the last act signed by Mr. Arthur before leaving, as it was almost the first commission signed by Mr. Cleveland after entering, the White House.

Then presently, for quiet and for better air, as all remember, they bore him to the Drexel cottage at Mount McGregor, near Saratoga Springs, and here, his voice utterly gone, compelled to make his wishes known by signs, compelled to complete the pages of his Memoirs with pad and pencil, our stricken soldier indomitably held to his self-appointed task, once more "fighting it out on this line if it took all summer." Never even at Shiloh, in front of Vicksburg, or in the fire-flashing Wilderness was he more tenacious, determined, heroic, for now intense[60] suffering accompanied almost every move and moment. Physicians were constantly at hand; Fred, the devoted son, ever at his side. Here there came to see him and to sympathize old comrades—even old enemies—of the war days, all thought of rancor buried now. Here, just as thirty years earlier he had hastened to offer aid, came Buckner (and this time unprotesting) in unconditional surrender; for beneath the shadow of that hovering wing the last vestige of sectional pride gave way to fond memories of the old and firm friendship. Here, almost as the twilight deepened into the gloom of night eternal, they bore him the tribute of honor and respect from men whom he had vehemently opposed—foeman-in-chief to the Union, Jefferson Davis, and soldier-candidate and political foe, Winfield S. Hancock. Here they read him letters, telegrams, editorials from every corner of the Union he had striven to weld and secure, every line telling of worldwide sympathy, honor, and affection. Here, almost at the last, he penciled those farewell pages of those fruitful volumes, which, whatever his earlier defects in style, have been declared classic in modern literature. Here, ere the light went out forever, he wrote the pathetic missive, his final words of love, longing, and devotion to the wife whom he held peerless among women, to the children whom he loved with infinite tenderness, and for whose future comfort, even in the face of such persistent torment and impending death, he had labored to the very last.

And then, as he completed the final paragraph—the story of his soldier-life and services—and with faltering hand signed the final letter, he closed his wearied eyes upon the group that hovered ever about him, eager to garner every look and whisper, and so the long fight ended, even as it had begun, almost without a sigh. Apparently without consciousness of pain, certainly without[61] struggle or suffering, surrounded by that devoted household—wife, sons, and only daughter—the greatest of our warriors passed onward into the valley of shadows, and to immortality.

Thirty years have passed since that which struck from our muster rolls the name of our first and foremost general—thirty years, as these pages are given to the light, since that summer day on which, with the highest honors and the greatest retinue ever accorded to American citizen or soldier, the flag-enshrouded casket was borne almost the length of all Manhattan; Hancock, the superb on many a battlefield, heading the league-long procession of soldiery, the world-garnered dignitaries from every state and clime. Amidst the solemn thunder of the guns of the warships moored along the Hudson, the farewell volleys of the troops aligned along the heights, in the presence of the President and cabinet, the supreme court and the diplomatic corps, the governors of nearly every commonwealth, eminent soldiers, sailors, veterans of the Civil War, the gray mingling with the blue, and all engulfed in a vast multitude of mourners, the final prayers were said, the last benediction spoken, and under the shadow of the beloved flag he had served with such fidelity and to such eminent purpose, they laid to rest the honored soldier whose valiant service had secured to them and to their posterity the blessings of union, progress, and tranquility, and whose crowning message to the nation he had restored was the simple admonition, "Let us have peace."

And in those thirty years the people of our land have had abundant time to study and to reflect. Each succeeding year adds to their reverence for their greatest friend, leader, and statesman, Abraham Lincoln. Each succeeding year seems to increase their appreciation of their greatest soldier, Ulysses Grant, and yet it sometimes seems[62] as though in the magnitude of the obstacles overcome, the immensity of the military problems solved, the supreme soldiership of the man has blinded us for the time to the other virtues, less heroic, perhaps, yet not less marked and true, virtues as son, as husband, father, and friend, not often equalled in other men, if ever excelled....

And was not his a marvelous career? Cradled in the cottage, he spoke for years from the seat of the mightiest. Chosen and trained for his country's wars, he loved best the arts of peace. Schooled as a regular, he to the fullest extent and from the very first believed in the volunteer. Ignored by book and bureau soldiers at the start, despite the fine record of the Mexican campaigns, indebted to a Western governor for the opportunity refused him by the War Department, he held his modest way, uncomplaining, asking only to be made of use. One year had raised him from the twilight of a Western town to the triumph of Donelson; two years made him the victor of Vicksburg, the head of the armies of the West; three had set him in supreme command, deferred to even by those who late as '62 had sought to down him; four and the sword of the chivalric Lee was his to do with as he would—the rebellion crushed, the war ended—and then, with our martyred Lincoln lying in the grave ever watered by a nation's tears, small wonder was it that twice the people held Grant long years at their head, and when he had returned, from that globe-circling triumphal progress, in large numbers would again have called him to the White House, an uncrowned monarch, the chosen of sovereign citizens. Was he greater then than in the chain of ills that followed? Tricked by those he trusted, himself unskilled in guile, ruined financially by those he had been taught to hold infallible, and finally confronted by the dread conviction that, though barely beyond the prime of life, his[63] days were numbered—was he ever amid the thunder of saluting cannon and the cheers of countless multitudes so great as when, with the grim destroyer clutching at his throat, he fought for life that through those matchless Memoirs he might earn the means to wipe out every possible obligation and provide in modest comfort, at least, for those he loved and must soon leave to mourn him? In those last heroic days at Mt. McGregor he stood revealed in his silent suffering, the ideal of devotion, endurance, and determination, until, his great work done, his toil and trials ended, his sword long since sheathed, his pen now dropping from the wearied, nerveless hand, he could turn to the Peace Ineffable and sink to rest—our greatest soldier—our honored President—our foremost citizen. Aye, soldier, statesman, loyal citizen he was; and yet more, for in purity of life, in love of home and wife and children, in integrity unchallenged, in truth and honor unblemished, in manner simplicity itself—though ever coupled with that quiet dignity that made him peer among the princes of the earth—in speech so clean that oath or execration never soiled his lips, unswerving in his faith, a martyr to his friendships, merciful to the fallen, magnanimous to the foe, magnificent in self-discipline, was he not also, and in all that the grand old name implies, Grant—the gentleman?



John Muir was born at Dunbar, Scotland, April 21, 1838, and died at Los Angeles, California, December 24, 1914. He attended school before he had completed his third year of age, but even before this time his grandfather had taught him the letters of the alphabet upon the signs in the vicinity. He remained in the Scotch schools until he was eleven and made most valuable use of his time, as may be judged by his progress, especially in Latin. At the age of eleven he had to leave school to accompany his father to the new home in the forests of Wisconsin.

Upon their arrival in America after a voyage which was to John and his brother one constant round of happy experiences, there was no further opportunity for elementary schooling. His education became that of the toiler and he stored his mind with knowledge acquired from the observation of the plants and animals of the woods and lakes and from the association and study of the animals of the farm. He found opportunity to read the few books which came into his possession, but the strict regulation of the home made him read largely by snatches. His fertile brain was employed almost constantly in the matter of inventions. His duties on the farm comprised all activities from that of cultivating the fields to the building of houses and barns and the digging of wells. In his recent book "The Story of My Boyhood and Youth," he has graphically described his work of digging a well by chiselling for nearly eighty feet through the solid granite.

Muir remained on the farm until he had attained his majority. He then went to the capitol of the state to exhibit some of his wonderful inventions at the State Fair. This experience led to his employment in a shop in Prairie du Chien, where he worked part of the year. He then went to the University, where he earned his way during the four years of his course. He completed his course of study there with the class of 1864, and then, according to his own statement, he plunged immediately into the work of geologist, explorer, and naturalist. His work was quite largely in the Yosemite region of California and among the glaciers of the Sierras and Alaska. In the latter region during the year of 1881 he explored the glacier named after him. It was, however, his description of the Yosemite Valley that first brought him into prominence. He made an extended search for the De Long Arctic exploring party, which was lost in its effort to reach the far North. Later he travelled, part of the time in company with John Burroughs, through[65] Hawaii, Russia, Siberia, Manchuria, India, Australasia, and South America.

No place, however, furnished him with such rich material about which to tell his thoughts as did his adopted home, California, and the newer Alaska. In the later years of his life his residence was at Martinez, California. He was married to Louise Strenzel in 1880. To them was born a daughter, Helen, who still lives in California and who was with her father at the time of his death.

While John Muir's experience as a pioneer in the forests of Wisconsin, reveals the severe hardships of that life, it reveals many of the joys as well, and shows that his active brain was open to all the avenues of self education. Field, forest, and lake were full of opportunities for him to observe and study, and as a result John and his brother, David, were fine naturalists, irrespective of books upon the subject. John's home life was rich in the companionship of brothers and sisters, and his mother was most sympathetic and helpful to him in his aspirations to know and to become the scholar.

The Scotch schools had given him such training as enabled him to use books as tools throughout his life. The necessities of the farm and home drove him to inventing means for getting things done. The result was that he soon became known as a genius, and this inventive work finally opened the way for his entrance into the University. So keen was John's desire to know and to invent that it became necessary for his father to drive him to bed too frequently, so he told the boy that if he wished to study, he should get up in the morning. John took his father at his word and managed to rise at two o'clock morning after morning to work upon his inventions. As a result of such efforts there was made a model of self-setting saw mill, a thermometer, clocks, an apparatus to get him up at the time desired, and later at the University a machine to make visible the growth of plants and the action of sunlight, a barometer, and a desk which automatically threw up, from a rack underneath, each book in the order of his studies during the day and withdrew it again when the time allotted for this study had expired. To accompany this wonderful invention, he furnished his bed with an adjustment that set him on his feet at the morning rising hour and at the same instant lighted his lamp. These seemingly incredible inventions are fully explained in "The Story of My Boyhood and Youth," Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913. So eagerly did he pursue knowledge for its own sake while he was in the University that the old janitor was proud to point out Muir's room to visitors many years after his departure.

So valuable has been the work of this investigating mind that Wisconsin, Harvard, and Yale Universities have deemed it a pleasure to confer upon John Muir honorary degrees. With his entire life devoted to research, he may truthfully be said to[66] have been one of America's best educated men.

He contributed extensively to the organization of scientific clubs and to scientific magazines. He was much interested in forest reservation and did much towards the plans which the government now employs. His work in connection with government regulated parks has been invaluable.

As a writer Muir is one of the most interestingly instructive we have had. His language is clear and lucid and he has a message which he carries directly to the heart and mind of his reader. Besides his many magazine articles he has written the "Mountains of California," 1894; "Our National Parks," 1901; "Stickeen, the Story of a Dog," 1909; "My First Summer in the Sierra," 1911; "The Yosemite," 1912, and the "Story of My Boyhood and Youth," 1913. This last is one of the most interesting and inspiring books for young people that we have today.

The Muir homestead is twelve miles from Portage, Wisconsin. There were two farms, the Spring Fountain farm and the Hickory Hill farm. It is upon the latter that is found the well 90 feet deep, eighty feet of which John chiselled through solid granite.

To illustrate Muir's interesting manner of presenting his observations we are adding the following selections from "The Mountains of California," published by the Century Co.


Copyrighted by the Century Co., 1894.


The most magnificent storm phenomenon I ever saw, surpassing in showy grandeur the most imposing effects of clouds, floods, or avalanches, was the peaks of the High Sierra, back of Yosemite Valley, decorated with snow-banners. Many of the starry snow-flowers, out of which these banners are made, fall before they are ripe, while most of those that do attain perfect development as six-rayed crystals glint and chafe against one another in their fall through the frosty air, and are broken into fragments. This dry, fragmentary snow is still further prepared for the formation of banners by the action of the wind. For, instead of finding rest at once, like the snow which falls into the tranquil depths of the forests, it is rolled over and over, beaten against rock-ridges, and swirled in pits and hollows, like boulders, pebbles, and sand in the pot-holes of a river, until finally the delicate angles of the crystals are worn off, and the whole mass is reduced to dust. And whenever storm-winds find this prepared snow-dust in a loose condition on exposed slopes, where there is a free upward sweep to leeward, it is tossed back into the sky, and borne onward from peak to peak in the form of banners or cloudy drifts, according to the velocity of the wind and the conformation of the slopes up or around which it is driven. While thus flying through the air, a small portion makes good its escape, and remains in the sky again as vapor. But far the greater part, after being driven into the sky again and again, is at length locked fast in bossy drifts, or in the wombs of glaciers, some of it to remain silent and rigid for centuries before it is finally melted and sent singing down the mountainsides to the sea.


Yet, notwithstanding the abundance of winter snow-dust in the mountains, and the frequency of high winds, and the length of time the dust remains loose and exposed to their action, the occurrence of well-formed banners is, for causes we shall hereafter note, comparatively rare. I have seen only one display of this kind that seemed in every way perfect. This was in the winter of 1873, when the snow-laden summits were swept by a wild "norther." I happened at the time to be wintering in Yosemite Valley, that sublime Sierra temple where every day one may see the grandest sights. Yet even here the wild gala-day of the north seemed surpassingly glorious. I was awakened in the morning by the rocking of my cabin and the beating of pine-burs on the roof. Detached torrents and avalanches from the main wind-flood overhead were rushing wildly down the narrow side canyons, and over the precipitous walls, with loud resounding roar, rousing the pines to enthusiastic action, and making the whole valley vibrate as though it were an instrument being played.[69]


But afar on the lofty exposed peaks of the range standing so high in the sky, the storm was expressing itself in still grander characters, which I was soon to see in all their glory. I had long been anxious to study some points in the structure of the ice-cone that is formed every winter at the foot of the upper Yosemite fall, but blinding spray by which it is invested had hitherto prevented me from making a sufficiently near approach. This morning the entire body of the fall was torn into gauzy shreds, and blown horizontally along the face of the cliff, leaving the cone dry; and while making my way to the top of an overlooking ledge to seize so favorable an opportunity to examine the interior of the cone, the peaks of the Merced group came in sight over the shoulder of the South Dome, each waving a resplendent banner against the blue sky, as regular in form, and as firm in texture, as if woven of fine silk. So rare and splendid a phenomenon, of course, overbore all other considerations, and I at once let the ice-cone go, and began to force my way out of the valley to some dome or ridge sufficiently lofty to command a general view of the main summits, feeling assured that I should find them bannered still more gloriously; nor was I in the least disappointed. Indian Canon, through which I climbed, was choked with snow that had been shot down in avalanches from the high cliffs on either side, rendering the ascent difficult; but inspired by the roaring storm, the tedious wallowing brought no fatigue, and in four hours I gained the top of a ridge above the valley, 8,000 feet high. And there in bold relief, like a clear painting, appeared a most imposing scene. Innumerable peaks, black and sharp, rose grandly into the dark blue sky, their bases set in solid white, their sides streaked and splashed with snow, like ocean rocks with foam; and from every summit, all free and unconfused, was streaming a beautiful, silky, silvery banner, from half a mile to a mile in length, slender at the point of attachment, then widening gradually as it extended from the peak until it was about 1,000 or 1,500 feet in breadth, as near as I could estimate. The cluster of peaks called the "Crown of the Sierra," at the head of the Merced and Tuolumne rivers,—Mounts Dana, Gibbs, Conness, Lyell, Maclure, Ritter, with their nameless compeers,—each had its own refulgent banner, waving with a clearly visible motion in the sun glow, and there was not a single cloud in the sky to mar their simple grandeur. Fancy yourself standing on this Yosemite ridge looking eastward. You notice a strange garish glitter in the air. The gale drives wildly overhead with a fierce, tempestuous roar, but its violence is not felt, for you are looking through a sheltered opening in the woods as through a window. There, in the immediate foreground of your picture, rises a majestic forest of silver fir blooming in eternal freshness, the foliage yellow-green, and the snow beneath the trees strewn with their beautiful plumes, plucked off by the wind. Beyond, and extending over all the middle ground, are somber swaths of pine, interrupted by huge swelling ridges and domes; and just beyond the dark forest you see the monarchs of the High Sierra waving their magnificent banners. They are twenty miles away, but you would not wish them nearer, for every feature is distinct, and the whole glorious show is seen in its right proportions. After this general view, mark how sharply the dark, snowless ribs and buttresses and summits of the peaks are defined, excepting the portions veiled by the banners, and how delicately their sides are streaked with snow, where it has come to rest in narrow flutings and gorges. Mark, too, how grandly the banners wave as the wind is deflected against their sides, and how trimly each is attached to the very summit of its peak, like a streamer at a masthead; how smooth and silky they are in texture, and how finely their fading fringes are penciled on the azure sky. See how dense and opaque they are at the point of attachment, and how filmy and translucent toward the end, so that the peaks back of them are seen dimly, as though you were looking through ground glass. Yet again, observe how some of the longest, belonging to the loftiest summits, stream perfectly free all the way across intervening notches and passes from peak to peak, while others overlap and partly hide each other. And consider how keenly every particle of this wondrous cloth of snow is flashing out jets of light. These are the main features of the beautiful and terrible picture as seen from the forest window; and it would still be surpassingly glorious were the fore and middle grounds obliterated altogether, leaving only the black peaks, the white banners and the blue sky.


Glancing now in a general way at the formation of snow-banners, we find that the main causes of the wondrous beauty and perfection of those we have been contemplating were the favorable direction and great force of the wind, the abundance of snow-dust, and the peculiar conformation of the slopes of the peaks. It is essential not only that the wind should move with great velocity and steadiness to supply a sufficiently copious and continuous stream of snow dust, but that it should come from the north. No perfect banner is ever hung on the Sierra peaks by a south wind. Had the gale that day blown from the south, leaving other conditions unchanged, only a dull, confused, fog-like drift would have been produced; for the snow, instead of being spouted up over the tops of the peaks in concentrated currents to be drawn out as streamers, would have been shed off around the sides, and piled down into glacier wombs. The cause of the concentrated action of the north wind is found in the peculiar form of the north sides of the peaks, where the amphitheaters of the residual glaciers are. In general, the south sides are convex and irregular, while the north sides are concave both in their vertical and horizontal sections; the wind in ascending these curves converges toward the summits, carrying the snow in concentrating currents with it, shooting it almost straight up into the air above the peaks, from which it is then carried away in a horizontal direction.

This difference in form between the north and south sides of the peaks was almost wholly produced by the difference in the kind and quantity of the glaciation to which they have been subjected, the north sides having been hollowed by residual shadow-glaciers of a form that never existed on the sun-beaten sides.

It appears, therefore, that shadows in a great part determine not only the forms of lofty icy mountains, but also those of the snow-banners that the wild winds hang on them.



"If you haven't what you like, try to like what you have."

In this quotation is found the philosophy of life during many severe trials of one whose girlhood and early career as a writer were spent entirely within the confines of Wisconsin. Ella Wheeler was born at Johnstown Center, Wisconsin, sometime in the '50's, and the family moved to a farm near Madison when she was a year old. The discussion of her life given here is derived quite largely from her own statements in an article, "My Autobiography," published in the Cosmopolitan magazine for August, 1901.

Mrs. Wheeler, Ella's mother, was a woman of some literary inclinations and was very fond of reading. She loved not only the good society of books, but she longed also for the pleasures of the social life of a cultured community such as she had known in her Vermont home. Pioneer life was especially irksome to her, and she found herself unable to meet patiently the many hardships that the change of fortune had brought her, and her attitude in the home was not always buoyant.

Some time after the home was established in Wisconsin, there was born to these parents their fourth child, Ella, the future [73] poetess. It may not be too much to say, since Mrs. Wilcox seems to think it herself, that from the struggles of the father to meet the hardships that his new life brought him, may have sprung that bit of wholesome philosophy which stands at the head of this discussion. It is evident that she found many opportunities to test it to the utmost. From the suppressed literary desires of the mother may have come the intense longing of the daughter to achieve helpfulness through writing.[74]

From the standpoint of language training this home was far from limited, and Ella had opportunities here accorded to the minority of children even at the present time. She says: "My mother was a great reader of whatever came in her way, and was possessed of a wonderful memory. The elder children were excellent scholars, and a grammatical error was treated as a cardinal sin in the household." That Ella profited from this inheritance and training may be seen from the following statements. At school she found the composition exercises the most delightful of all her school duties. As early as eight she was excelling in the expression of her thoughts in essay form. By the age of fourteen she had become the neighborhood celebrity because of her stories and her poetry. Naturally these pioneer people would criticise the mother for allowing Ella to scribble so much when she might have been doing household or [75] farm tasks; but their criticism was silenced, and they learned to praise her efforts when they found that there was a market with the magazines and papers for Ella's "scribblings."

At the age of fourteen Ella Wheeler's education, "excellent in grammar, spelling and reading, but wretched in mathematics," was completed so far as the rural school was concerned. Sometime later, through great sacrifice on the part of her people, she was placed for one term in the University of Wisconsin. Of this experience she says: "I was not at all happy there; first, because I knew the strain it put upon the home purse; second, because I felt the gulf between myself and the town girls, whose gowns and privileges revealed to me for the first time, the different classes in American social life; and third, because I wanted to write and did not want to study." Thus her school work ended and her acquisition of knowledge necessary to furnish details for her emotional poems has been made through her individual study since the University experience.

Ella Wheeler's struggle to become a writer is one of the most inspiring stories among Wisconsin writers. A weekly paper came to the home and besides this there was an old red chest in their upstairs wherein there was kept the often-read copies of Arabian Nights, Gulliver's Travels, John Gilpin's Ride, and a few of Shakespeare's plays. In addition to these, friends had sent the family the New York Ledger and the New York Mercury. The serial stories of these papers furnished not only pleasing reading, but models of plots and of forms of expression which became the guide to her in the art of story writing.

When Ella was thirteen years old the Mercury ceased to come to her home, and she regretted the loss of the stories so much that she determined to write something for the paper with the hope that the publisher would pay for her article through subscription. After some delay this brought the much coveted subscription and she says: "Perhaps the most triumphant and dramatic hour of my life was when I set forth and announced to the family that my literary work had procured the coveted Mercury for our united enjoyment."

This experience led her to write extensively for the magazines and papers, a list of which a University friend had sent her. The articles which they accepted soon enabled her to supply the home with many periodicals and books and other articles of home use. She was not content with writing essays very long, but soon undertook the production of verse. Her first poem was rejected by the Mercury with some degree of scorn, but she soon offered it to other papers and so continued until she found a publisher. Very frequently some of her articles would be returned as many as nine times before she found a publisher.

The Wheeler family were enthusiastic advocates of total[76] abstinence, and Ella used her pen to advance this cause. Her first collection of poems into book form was entitled "Drops of Water." A poem with temperance as its theme is given as the first illustration of her efforts in the collection published here.

Ella Wheeler's training tended to make her the lyric rather than the narrative poetess. She wrote largely of the emotion that played through her passing experiences. "Everything in life," she says, "was material for my own emotions, the remarks or experiences of my comrades and associates, sentences from books I read, and some phases of Nature." In general three things may be said to characterize these short poems and her own life as revealed by them, for her life itself is a poem. First, she is convinced that the supreme thing in life is love. In one poem she asserts that love is the need of the world. In another, "The Kingdom of Love," which is given later, she truthfully proclaims that love is the very essence of the home.

The second characteristic is her spirit of buoyancy which has enabled her to surmount the many crushing deprivations and disappointments in her life. She was born with an unquenchable hope and an unfaltering trust in God and guardian spirits. "I often wept myself to sleep after a day of disappointment and worries," she says, "but woke in the morning singing aloud with the joy of life." It was such experiences as these that enabled her to say:

"Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep and you weep alone."

Her faith in the better things to be is well expressed in the little poem, "The Tendril's Fate." Trials to her are frequently the means by which the soul's true worth is tested. This thought is expressed in the poem, "Three Friends." She bears trials not merely for her own sake, but for the sake of those about her. We are illustrating this quality with the poem "Ambition's Trail." Her faith that life has still much that is better than the present may be illustrated by her Morning Prayer.

The third characteristic manifest in her poetry is that of the spirit of helpfulness that manifests itself in every new phase of life that she assumes. This attitude is illustrated with respect to mankind in general and also with respect to her own sex. The poems used are "I Am" and "Which Are You?"

With love and helpfulness as the bond which unite mankind, Mrs. Wilcox feels there is no place for strife and warfare. She assails war and expresses her conviction that womankind shall have much to do with the final disarmament of nations. She believes implicitly in the mutual helpfulness of man and woman in solving the great problems of the world. Her own home life is one of constant happiness and of constant useful activity. When asked to express what life means to her[77] she wrote an article for the Cosmopolitan which began thus: "Exhilaration, anticipation, realization, usefulness, growth—these things life has always meant and is meaning to me. I expected much of life; it has given, in all ways, more than I expected. Love has been more loyal and lasting, friendship sweeter and more comprehensive, work more enjoyable, and fame, because of its aid to usefulness, more satisfying than early imagination pictured." Of one whose ideals of life are so high the state should be justly proud and its people should delight to hear her sing:

"I know we are building our heaven
As we journey along by the way;
Each thought is a nail that is driven
In structures that cannot decay,
And the mansion at last shall be given
To us as we build it today."

It was not until after her return from the University that Ella Wheeler discovered that her poems had a money value. She sent Frank Leslie's Publishing House three little poems written in one day. These were accepted and a check sent her for ten dollars. She now bent every effort towards making her literary efforts return substantial aid to herself and her family. It was all her own effort and the worth of her productions that brought her success, for she had no one to aid her in securing publication. She sent her poems to various magazines,—a practise she still continues. During the years 1912 and 1913, she had poems and prose productions listed in the following periodicals: Current Literature, Everybody's, Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, Collier's Magazine, New England Magazine, The Bookman, Lippincott's, Forum, Cosmopolitan, Musician, Current Opinion, and Hearst's magazine.

Mrs. Wilcox has attempted only one long narrative poem, "Maurine." In this she endeavors to set forth the doctrine of what she regards as the highest type of friendship. Her collections of poems bear the following titles: Drops of Water, Shells, Poems of Passion, Three Women, An Ambitious Man, Everyday, Thought in Prose and Verse, Poems of Pleasure, Kingdom of Love and Other Poems, An Erring Woman's Love, Men, Women and Emotions, The Beautiful Land of Nod, Poems of Power, The Heart of the New Thought, Sonnets of Abelard and Heloise, Poems of Experience, Yesterday, Poems of Progress, Maurine, and Poems of Problems.

Some time after a brief venture in editorial work, she was married, 1884, to Robert M. Wilcox, a business man of New York City. Their home life in the city and by the seashore at Granite Bay, Short Beach, Connecticut, has been most delightful to them. They have been able to travel extensively and in this manner to realize many of Mrs. Wilcox's early dreams. The following poems are from "The Kingdom of Love" and "Poems of Power."





The following poems of Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox are reprinted here by permission of the publishers from her copyrighted books, of which W. B. Conkey Co., Chicago, are the exclusive American publishers.

There sat two glasses filled to the brim,
On a rich man's table, rim to rim.
One was ruddy and red as blood,
And one was clear as the crystal flood.
Said the glass of wine to his paler brother:
"Let us tell tales of the past to each other.
I can tell of a banquet, and revel, and mirth,
Where I was king, for I ruled in might;
For the proudest and grandest souls on earth
Fell under my touch, as though struck with blight.
From the heads of kings I have torn the crown;
From the heights of fame I have hurled men down.
I have blasted many an honored name;
I have taken virtue and given shame;
I have tempted the youth with a sip, a taste,
That has made his future a barren waste.
Far greater than any king am I
Or than any army beneath the sky.
I have made the arm of the driver fail,
And sent the train from the iron rail.
I have made good ships go down at sea,
And the shrieks of the lost were sweet to me.
Fame, strength, wealth, genius before me fall;
And my might and power are over all!
Ho, ho! pale brother," said the wine,
"Can you boast of deeds as great as mine?"
Said the water glass; "I can not boast
Of a king dethroned, or a murdered host,
But I can tell of hearts that were sad
By my crystal drops made bright and glad;
Of thirst I have quenched, and brows I have laved;
Of hands I have cooled, and souls I have saved.
I have leaped through the valley, and dashed down the mountain,
Slept in the sunshine and dripped from the fountain.
[79] I have burst my cloud-fetters, and dropped from the sky,
And everywhere gladdened the prospects and eye;
I have eased the hot forehead of fever and pain;
I have made the parched meadows grow fertile with grain.
I can tell of the powerful wheel of the mill,
That ground out the flour, and turned at my will,
I can tell of manhood debased by you,
That I have uplifted and crowned anew.
I cheer, I help, I strengthen and aid;
I gladden the hearts of man and maid;
I set the wine-chained captive free,
And all are better for knowing me."
These are the tales they told each other,
The glass of wine and its paler brother,
As they sat together, filled to the brim,
On a rich man's table rim to rim.


In the dawn of the day when the sea and the earth
Reflected the sun-rise above,
I set forth with a heart full of courage and mirth
To seek for the Kingdom of Love.
I asked of a poet I met on the way
Which cross-road would lead me aright.
And he said: "Follow me, and ere long you shall see
Its glittering turrets of light."
And soon in the distance the city shone fair.
"Look yonder," he said; "how it gleams!"
But alas! for the hopes that were doomed to despair,
It was only the "Kingdom of Dreams."
Then the next man I asked was a gay cavalier,
And he said: "Follow me, follow me;"
And with laughter and song we went speeding along
By the shores of Life's beautiful sea.
Then we came to a valley more tropical far
Than the wonderful vale of Cashmere,
And I saw from a bower a face like a flower
[80] Smile out on the gay cavalier.
And he said: "We have come to humanity's goal:
Here love and delight are intense."
But alas and alas! for the hopes of my soul—
It was only the "Kingdom of Sense."
As I journeyed more slowly I met on the road
A coach with retainers behind.
And they said: "Follow me, for our lady's abode
Belongs in that realm, you will find."
'Twas a grand dame of fashion, a newly-made bride,
I followed encouraged and bold;
But my hopes died away like the last gleams of day,
For we came to the "Kingdom of Gold."
At the door of a cottage I asked a fair maid.
"I have heard of that realm," she replied;
"But my feet never roam from the 'Kingdom of Home,'
So I know not the way," and she sighed.
I looked on the cottage; how restful it seemed!
And the maid was as fair as a dove.
Great light glorified my soul as I cried:
"Why, home is the 'Kingdom of Love.'"


Under the snow in the dark and the cold,
A pale little sprout was humming;
Sweetly it sang, 'neath the frozen mold,
Of the beautiful days that were coming.
"How foolish your songs," said a lump of clay,
"What is there," it asked, "to prove them?"
"Just look at the walls between you and the day,
Now have you the strength to move them?"
But under the ice and under the snow,
The pale little sprout kept singing,
"I cannot tell how, but I know, I know,
[81] I know what the days are bringing.
"Birds and blossoms and buzzing bees,
Blue, blue skies above me,
Bloom on the meadows and buds on the trees,
And the great glad sun to love me."
A pebble spoke next. "You are quite absurd,"
It said, "with your songs' insistence;
For I never saw a tree or a bird,
So of course there are none in existence."
"But I know, I know," the tendril cried
In beautiful sweet unreason;
Till lo! from its prison, glorified,
It burst in the glad spring season.


Of all the blessings which my life has known,
I value most, and most praise God for three:
Want, Loneliness, and Pain, those comrades true,
Who masqueraded in the garb of foes
For many a year, and filled my heart with dread.
Yet fickle joy, like false, pretentious friends,
Has proved less worthy than this trio. First,
Want taught me labor, led me up the steep
And toilsome paths to hills of pure delight,
Trod only by the feet that know fatigue,
And yet press on until the heights appear.
Then Loneliness and hunger of the heart
Sent me upreaching to the realms of space,
Till all the silences grew eloquent,
And all their loving forces hailed me friend.
Last, Pain taught prayer! placed in my hand the staff
Of close communion with the over-soul,
That I might lean upon it to the end,
[82] And find myself made strong for any strife.
And then these three who had pursued my steps
Like stern, relentless foes, year after year,
Unmasked, and turned their faces full on me.
And lo! they were divinely beautiful,
For through them shown the lustrous eyes of Love.


If all the end of this continuous striving
Were simply to attain,
How poor would seem the planning and contriving,
The endless urging and the hurried driving
Of body, heart and brain!
But ever in the wake of true achieving,
There shines this glowing trail—
Some other soul will be spurred on, conceiving
New strength and hope, in its own power believing,
Because thou didst not fail.
Not thine alone the glory, nor the sorrow,
If thou dost miss the goal;
Undreamed of lives in many a far to-morrow
From thee their weakness or their force shall borrow—
On, on! ambitious soul.


Let me today do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world's vast store,
And may I be so favored as to make
Of joy's too scanty sum a little more.
Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.
However meagre be my worldly wealth
Let me give something that shall aid my kind,
A word of courage, or a thought of help,
[83] Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.
Let me tonight look back across the span
'Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say
Because of some good act to beast or man—
"The world is better that I lived today."


I know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go;
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and murk
Another truth shines plain:
It is my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.
I know that the earth exists,
It is none of my business why;
I cannot find out what it's all about,
I would but waste time to try.
My life is a brief, brief thing,
I am here for a little space,
And while I stay I should like, if I may,
To brighten and better the place.
The trouble, I think, with us all
Is the lack of a high conceit.
If each man thought he was sent to this spot
To make it a bit more sweet,
How soon we could gladden the world,
How easily right all wrong,
If nobody shirked, and each one worked
To help his fellows along.
Cease wondering why you came—
Stop looking for faults and flaws,
Rise up today in your pride and say,
"I am a part of the First Great Cause!
However full the world,
There is room for an earnest man.
It had need of me or I would not be—
I am here to strengthen the plan."


There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the sinner and saint, for 'tis well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
No; the kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses
Are always divided in just these two classes.
And, oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.
In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?



(David Grayson.)

Ray Stannard Baker was born in 1870 at Lansing, Michigan, and came to St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, with his parents at the age of five. Here he spent his boyhood and youth. He returned to the Agricultural College of his native state for study, and received his degree from that institution, afterwards attending the University for a short time. He then went into business with his father at St. Croix Falls, but the desire to write was strong upon him, and he began his career of authorship. During recent years his residence has been in Amherst, Massachusetts, but he visits Wisconsin every summer. He is one of the state's most voluminous writers. He has the habit of keen and sympathetic observation, and this quality, when combined, as it has been in his case, with extensive and judicious travel and reading, usually results in a considerable literary output. Those of us who have read Mr. Baker's magazine articles and books feel that the writer has seen a great many things,—that he has seen them with his own eyes, and that he has seen them intelligently. Aside from the fact that nearly all of his works grow rather from observation of men and things than from a study of philosophy or metaphysics, Mr. Baker's range of interest has been exceedingly wide. Perhaps he is best known as a writer on social, political, and economic subjects, but the selections given here from "The Boys' Book of Inventions," (I and II), indicate a field of interest that is entirely apart from politics.

The editors feel bound, in justice to Mr. Baker, to say that he feared that our readers would think that we had erred in choosing the accounts of inventions which have progressed so immeasurably since his articles were written. The editors, on the other hand, desired to do precisely the thing that Mr. Baker feared to have them do. They desire to show what a keen, well-trained observer saw in these inventions, which now play so vital a part in our lives, when the inventions were new. Further, it is our desire that the name of Professor Langley, of Washington, D. C., should be properly honored in connection with the advance of the science of aviation. Indeed, but recently, when tried by an experienced aviator, his machine flew successfully. Professor Langley died as an indirect result of his untiring, unselfish, and heroic efforts in this then new[86] cause. In spite of ridicule and contempt, in spite of lack of support, he went courageously ahead; and it is right that the boys of Wisconsin should know that a young man of their state has given due credit in his book to this heroic soul.




From "THE BOYS' BOOK OF INVENTIONS," Chapter IX, by Ray Stannard Baker.
Copyright, 1899, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

Probably no American inventor of flying machines is better known or has been more successful in his experiments than Professor S. P. Langley, the distinguished secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. Professor Langley has built a machine with wings, driven by a steam-engine, and wholly without gas or other lifting power beyond its own internal energy. And this machine, to which has been given the name Aerodrome (air-runner), actually flies for considerable distances. So successful were Professor Langley's early tests, that the United States Government recently made a considerable appropriation to enable him to carry forward his experiments in the hope of finally securing a practical flying machine. His work is, therefore, the most significant and important of any now before the public (1899).[87]

The invention of the aerodrome was the result of long years of persevering and exacting labor, with so many disappointments and set-backs that one cannot help admiring the astonishing patience which kept hope alive to the end. Early in his experiments, Professor Langley had proved positively, by mathematical calculations, that a machine could be made to fly, provided its structure were light enough and the actuating power great enough. Therefore, he was not in pursuit of a mere will-o'-the-wisp. It was a mechanical difficulty which he had to surmount, and he surmounted it.[88]

[89] Professor Langley made his first experiments more than twelve years ago at Allegheny, Pennsylvania.... Professor Langley formed the general conclusion that by simply moving any given weight in plate form fast enough in a horizontal path through the air it was possible to sustain it with very little power. It was proved that, if horizontal flight without friction could be insured, 200 pounds of plates could be moved through the air and sustained upon it at the speed of an express train, with the expenditure of only one horse-power, and that, of course, without using any gas to lighten the weight.

Every boy who has skated knows that when the ice is very thin he must skate rapidly, else he may break through. In the same way, a stone may be skipped over the water for considerable distances. If it stops in any one place it sinks instantly. In exactly the same way, the plate of brass, if left in any one place in the air, would instantly drop to the earth; but if driven swiftly forward in a horizontal direction it rests only an instant in any particular place, and the air under it at any single moment does not have time to give way, so to speak, before it has passed over a new area of air. In fact, Professor Langley came to the conclusion that flight was theoretically possible with engines he could then build, since he was satisfied that engines could be constructed to weigh less than twenty pounds to the horse-power, and that one horse-power would support two hundred pounds if the flight was horizontal.

That was the beginning of the aerodrome. Professor Langley had worked out its theory, and now came the much more difficult task of building a machine in which theory should take form in fact. In the first place, there was the vast problem of getting an engine light enough[90] to do the work. A few years ago an engine that developed one horse-power weighed nearly as much as an actual horse. Professor Langley wished to make one weighing only twenty pounds, a feat never before accomplished. And then, having made his engine, how was he to apply the power to obtain horizontal speed? Should it be by flapping wings like a bird, or by a screw propeller like a ship? This question led him into a close study of the bird compared with the man. He found how wonderfully the two were alike in bony formation, how curiously the skeleton of a bird's wing was like a man's arm, and yet he finally decided that flapping wings would not make the best propeller for his machine. Men have not adopted machinery legs for swift locomotion, although legs are nature's models, but they have, rather, constructed wheels—contrivances which practically do not exist in nature. Therefore, while Professor Langley admits that successful flying machines may one day be made with flapping wings, he began his experiments with the screw propeller.

There were three great problems in building the flying machine. First, an engine and boilers light enough and at the same time of sufficient power. Second, a structure which should be rigid and very light. Third, the enormously difficult problem of properly balancing the machine, which, Professor Langley says, took years to solve....

Professor Langley established an experimental station in the Potomac River, some miles below Washington. An old scow was obtained, and a platform about twenty feet high was built on top of it. To this spot, in 1893, the machine was taken, and here failure followed failure; the machine would not fly properly, and yet every failure,[91] costly as it might be in time and money, brought some additional experience. Professor Langley found out that the aerodrome must begin to fly against the wind, just in the opposite way from a ship. He found that he must get up full speed in his engine before the machine was allowed to go, in the same way that a soaring bird must make an initial run on the ground before it can mount into the air, and this was, for various reasons, a difficult problem. And then there was the balancing.

"If the reader will look at the hawk or any soaring bird," says Professor Langley, "he will see that as it sails through the air without flapping the wing, there are hardly two consecutive seconds of its flight in which it is not swaying a little from side to side, lifting one wing or the other, or turning in a way that suggests an acrobat on a tight-rope, only that the bird uses its widely outstretched wings in place of the pole."

It must be remembered that air currents, unlike the Gulf Stream, do not flow steadily in one direction. They are forever changing and shifting, now fast, now slow, with something of the commotion and restlessness of the rapids below Niagara.

All of these things Professor Langley had to meet as a part of the difficult balancing problem, and it is hardly surprising that nearly three years passed before the machine was actually made to fly—on March 6, 1896.

"I had journeyed, perhaps for the twentieth time," says Professor Langley, "to the distant river station, and recommenced the weary routine of another launch, with very moderate expectation indeed; and when, on that, to me, memorable afternoon the signal was given and the aerodrome sprang into the air, I watched it from the shore with hardly a hope that the long series of accidents[92] had come to a close. And yet it had, and for the first time the aerodrome swept continuously through the air like a living thing, and as second after second passed on the face of the stop-watch, until a minute had gone by, and it still flew on, and as I heard the cheering of the few spectators, I felt that something had been accomplished at last; for never in any part of the world, or in any period, had any machine of man's construction sustained itself in the air before for even half of this brief time. Still the aerodrome went on in a rising course until, at the end of a minute and a half (for which time only it was provided with fuel and water), it had accomplished a little over half a mile, and now it settled, rather than fell, into the river, with a gentle descent. It was immediately taken out and flown again with equal success, nor was there anything to indicate that it might not have flown indefinitely, except for the limit put upon it."


From "SECOND BOOK OF INVENTIONS," Chapter VII, by Ray Stannard Baker.
Copyright, 1903, by Doubleday, Page & Co.

At noon on Thursday (December 12, 1901), Marconi sat waiting, a telephone receiver at his ear, in a room of the old barracks on Signal Hill. To him it must have been a moment of painful stress and expectation. Arranged on the table before him, all its parts within easy reach of his hand, was the delicate receiving instrument, the supreme product of years of the inventor's life, now to be submitted to a decisive test. A wire ran out through the window, thence to a pole, thence upward to the kite which could be seen swaying high overhead. It was a bluff, raw day; at the base of the cliff 300 feet below[93] thundered a cold sea; oceanward through the mist rose dimly the rude outlines of Cape Spear, the easternmost reach of the North American Continent. Beyond that rolled the unbroken ocean, nearly 2,000 miles to the coast of the British Isles. Across the harbor the city of St. John's lay on its hillside wrapped in fog; no one had taken enough interest in the experiments to come up here through the snow to Signal Hill. Even the ubiquitous reporter was absent. In Cabot Tower, near at hand, the old signalman stood looking out to sea, watching for ships, and little dreaming of the mysterious messages coming that way from England. Standing on that bleak hill and gazing out over the waste of water to the eastward, one finds it difficult indeed to realize that this wonder could have become a reality. The faith of the inventor in his creation, in the kite-wire, and in the instruments which had grown under his hand, was unshaken.

"I believed from the first," he told me, "that I would be successful in getting signals across the Atlantic."

Only two persons were present that Thursday afternoon in the room where the instruments were set up—Mr. Marconi and Mr. Kemp. Everything had been done that could be done. The receiving apparatus was of unusual sensitiveness, so that it would catch even the faintest evidence of the signals. A telephone receiver, which is no part of the ordinary instrument, had been supplied, so that the slightest clicking of the dots might be conveyed to the inventor's ear. For nearly half an hour not a sound broke the silence of the room. Then quite suddenly Mr. Kemp heard the sharp click of the tapper as it struck against the coherer; this, of course, was not the signal, yet it was an indication that something[94] was coming. The inventor's face showed no evidence of excitement. Presently he said:

"See if you can hear anything, Kemp."

Mr. Kemp took the receiver, and a moment later, faintly and yet distinctly and unmistakably, came three little clicks—the dots of the letter S, tapped out an instant before in England. At ten minutes past one, more signals came, and both Mr. Marconi and Mr. Kemp assured themselves again and again that there could be no mistake. During this time the kite gyrated so wildly in the air that the receiving wire was not maintained at the same height, as it should have been; but again, at twenty minutes after two, other repetitions of the signal were received. Thus the problem was solved. One of the great wonders of science had been wrought.


By Ray Stannard Baker, McClure's Magazine, VOL XIX. p. 152.
Copyright, 1902, by S. S. McClure Company.

... Little groups of people were drifting by to the grand stand. Here and there, from the corner of his eye, as he bent to adjust the saddle-cinches, Turk McGlory caught the glint of a white skirt or of a flowing ribbon. Sometimes the girls stopped to discuss the contestants; he heard them talking of Bud Oliver, and Mason, and Buster Graham. Suddenly, as he tightened a latigo strap, a saucy, smiling face looked up at him. Her sister was evidently trying to pull her away, but she said, half teasingly:

"I'm wearing your colors, Mr. Texas. You must win."

He saw nothing but deep black eyes, and he felt the blood in his face. He couldn't have spoken if he had[95] known that it was to save his life, and he knew that he was smiling foolishly....

"We're betting on you, Bud Oliver," came other shouts. The Texas men were not over-popular in Arizona, and yet it was a sportsmanlike crowd.

The babel of voices ceased sharply. A wiry little steer, red and white, shot into the field as if catapulted. Turk McGlory observed how like an antelope it ran—long-legged and as easily as the wind blows. The flag fell, and Bud was off; the judges riding after him were blurred in his dust. There was no roper like Bud. He waited long before raising his rope, bending close to his saddle and riding hard; then in what curious, loose, slow coils he swung it! Would he ride clean over his steer? There! he had reached out as if to catch the steer by the tail, and the rope had gone over his head like a hoop, horns and all. Now he was paying out to trip up the steer. How they were running! Turk McGlory rose suddenly in his saddle.

"Look out for the fence," he roared.

But Bud had seen it, too, and the little roan squatted like a rabbit. The steer, reaching the rope's end, doubled up and fell—but fell against the fence. There had not been quite room enough. Bud was off saddle, and the little roan, knowing well what was going on, walked away like a man, pulling hard on the rope to keep the steer down. If it had been a larger steer or a fatter one, there would have been no trouble; but this one fought like a cat, now on its knees, now on its feet. Bud seized it by the tail, and with a single fierce toss he laid it flat, then he tied—and arms up. Turk McGlory waited with hands clenched to hear the time.[96]

"Fifty seconds."

So Bud was beaten by a second, and beaten because he didn't have a fair field. How the crowd howled for the Arizona champion. Bud came up smiling and unconcerned.

"Now, McGlory," he said, "you must make a showing for Texas."

"What am I offered on Turk McGlory against the field?" shouted the pool-seller. "Now's your last chance."

"Hurrah for the kid from Texas!" shouted other voices.

Turk McGlory was at the line, astonished to find himself coiling his rope with so much ease. He felt that he wasn't doing it himself, but that some one else was working in him. The sun blazed hot on the field, but everything seemed dim and indistinct. To him all the voices kept shouting:

"Turk McGlory, Turk McGlory, Turk McGlory."

"Hurrah for Texas and the calico horse," came a shout from the grand stand.

"Wait till they see you run, Pinto," Turk said between his teeth, and the pinto stirred nervously under him.

"Ready," called Turk McGlory, though not in Turk McGlory's voice. He gave one glance behind him. The grand stand was a picture of a girl in blue and white; she was the picture, all the rest was frame.

There was a clatter at the pen, and the steer shot past him. Instantly he saw all its points—horns, legs, tail—and they spoke to him with the meaning of familiarity. So might the old knight have looked for the points of his adversary's armour. Now that he was off, Turk's[97] head cleared to his work. The steer ran with hind feet swinging sideways, hog-like. He remembered a steer in the Lazy A outfit that had the same habit, and a bad one it was, too. How strange that he should think of such things at such a time! The steer was swerving swiftly to the left. The pinto, nose forward and dilating, instantly slackened pace, swerving in the same direction and cutting off distance. It was much to have a horse, pinto though he be, that knew his business. Turk's rope began to swing, but he was wholly unconscious of it. He seemed now to see only the legless body of a steer swimming on a billow of dust. The fence! He saw it with a throb, and he was yet too far off to throw. And there was the grand stand above it, the men rising, half in terror, and a color of women. The steer had swung almost round. It was a low rail fence, and between it and the grand stand lay the racing track. Dimly McGlory heard shouts of warning. Would the steer plunge into the stand? Dimly, too, glancing back, he saw the other cow-men charging after him to the rescue. There was a crash; the steer had gone through the fence as if it were pasteboard, and the pinto was now close behind. There was all too little room here in the track. The steer would evidently plunge full into the crowd. Turk McGlory's arm shot forward and the rope sped. The pinto sat sharply back, throwing McGlory well over the pommel. To those in the grand stand it seemed as if the steer, all horns and eyes, was plucked out of their faces. When they looked again, McGlory was tying, and the judges and the other punchers were swarming through the gap in the fence. Hands up; and the pinto easing away on the rope! It was all lost, McGlory felt. The fence had been in the way. Why couldn't they provide an open[98] field, as in Texas? These Arizona men couldn't conduct a contest. The timer lifted his hand, and the shouting stopped.

"Thirty-six seconds," he announced.

"What a fool of a timer," thought Turk McGlory. "It can't be so."

Then he saw Bud Oliver stride up with outstretched hand, and a lump came in his throat.

"Good boy!" said Bud. "You've saved the day for Texas."

And then the crowd pounced on him and hooted and shouted, "McGlory! McGlory!" until he was dizzy with it all. It was not as he thought it would be. Two hundred dollars won! And he, Turk McGlory!

And then a saucy, flushed face looking up at him.

"I knew you would do it, Mr. Texas," she said.

And with that she pinned a blue and white ribbon on his vest, and he looked off over her head, and trembled.



Surprised as many of our readers will no doubt be to find how wide has been the field of interest covered by Mr. Baker under his own name, the surprise of most of them will be still keener when they know that the delightful pastoral sketches in prose which have appeared in our magazines from time to time under the name of "David Grayson," are all written by this same young son of Wisconsin. Who would have thought that the author of "Adventures in Contentment," "Adventures in Friendship," "The Friendly Road," and the novel called "Hempfield," was the same as the frequently truculent writer of social and political exposures?

One likes Mr. Baker better knowing this fact. One sees that his interests and ideals are wide, tolerant, and kindly. The editors of this book are proud to be among the first to introduce David Grayson and Ray Stannard Baker publicly as one and the same man. Mr. Baker has also written under the pen name of Sturgis B. Rand.


From "ADVENTURES IN CONTENTMENT," Chapter VII, by David Grayson. Doubleday, Page & Co.

An Argument With a Millionaire.

"Let the mighty and great
Roll in splendour and state,
I envy them not, I declare it.
I eat my own lamb,
My own chicken and ham,
I shear my own sheep and wear it.
I have lawns, I have bowers,
I have fruits, I have flowers,
The lark is my morning charmer;
So you jolly dogs now,
Here's God bless the plow—
Long life and content to the farmer."

—Rhyme on an old pitcher of English pottery.


I have been hearing of John Starkweather ever since I came here. He is a most important personage in this community. He is rich. Horace especially loves to talk about him. Give Horace half a chance, whether the subject be pigs or churches, and he will break in somewhere with the remark: "As I was saying to Mr. Starkweather—" or, "Mr. Starkweather says to me—" How we love to shine by reflected glory! Even Harriet has not gone by unscathed; she, too, has been affected by the bacillus of admiration. She has wanted to know several times if I saw John Starkweather drive by: "The finest span of horses in this country," she says, and "did you see his daughter?" Much other information concerning the Starkweather household, culinary and otherwise, is current among our hills. We know accurately the number of Mr. Starkweather's bedrooms, we can tell how much coal he uses in winter and how many tons of ice in summer, and upon such important premises we argue his riches.

Several times I have passed John Starkweather's home. It lies between my farm and the town, though not on the direct road, and it is really beautiful with the groomed and guided beauty possible to wealth. A stately old house with a huge end chimney of red bricks stands with dignity well back from the road; round about lie pleasant lawns that once were cornfields; and there are drives and walks and exotic shrubs. At first, loving my own hills so well, I was puzzled to understand why I should also enjoy Starkweather's groomed surroundings. But it came to me that after all, much as we may love wildness, we are not wild, nor our works. What more artificial than a house, or a barn, or a fence? And the greater and more formal the house, the more formal indeed[101] must be the nearer natural environments. Perhaps the hand of man might well have been less evident in developing the surroundings of the Starkweather home—for art, dealing with nature, is so often too accomplished!

But I enjoy the Starkweather place and as I look in from the road, I sometimes think to myself with satisfaction: "Here is this rich man who has paid his thousands to make the beauty which I pass and take for nothing—and having taken, leave as much behind." And I wonder sometimes whether he, inside his fences, gets more joy of it than I, who walk the roads outside. Anyway, I am grateful to him for using his riches so much to my advantage.

On fine mornings John Starkweather sometimes comes out in his slippers, bare-headed, his white vest gleaming in the sunshine, and walks slowly around his garden. Charles Baxter says that on these occasions he is asking his gardener the names of the vegetables. However that may be, he has seemed to our community the very incarnation of contentment and prosperity—his position the acme of desirability.

What was my astonishment, then, the other morning to see John Starkweather coming down the pasture lane through my farm. I knew him afar off, though I had never met him. May I express the inexpressible when I say he had a rich look; he walked rich, there was richness in the confident crook of his elbow, and in the positive twitch of the stick he carried: a man accustomed to having doors opened before he knocked. I stood there a moment and looked up the hill at him, and I felt that profound curiosity which every one of us feels every day of his life to know something of the inner impulses which stir his nearest neighbor. I should have liked to know John[102] Starkweather; but I thought to myself as I have thought so many times how surely one comes finally to imitate his surroundings. A farmer grows to be a part of his farm; the sawdust on his coat is not the most distinctive insignia of the carpenter; the poet writes his truest lines upon his own countenance. People passing in my road take me to be a part of this natural scene. I suppose I seem to them as a partridge squatting among dry grasses and leaves, so like the grass and leaves as to be invisible. We all come to be marked upon by nature and dismissed—how carelessly!—as genera or species. And is it not the primal struggle of man to escape classification, to form new differentiations?

Sometimes—I confess it—when I see one passing in my road, I feel like hailing him and saying:

"Friend, I am not all farmer. I, too, am a person, I am different and curious. I am full of red blood, I like people, all sorts of people; if you are not interested in me, at least I am intensely interested in you. Come over now and let's talk!"

So we are all of us calling and calling across the incalculable gulfs which separate us even from our nearest friends!

Once or twice this feeling has been so real to me that I've been near to the point of hailing utter strangers—only to be instantly overcome with a sense of the humorous absurdity of such an enterprise. So I laugh it off and I say to myself:

"Steady now: the man is going to town to sell a pig; he is coming back with ten pounds of sugar, five of salt pork, a can of coffee and some new blades for his mowing machine. He hasn't time for talk"—and so I come down[103] with a bump to my digging, or hoeing, or chopping, or whatever it is.

Here I've left John Starkweather in my pasture while I remark to the extent of a page or two that I didn't expect him to see me when he went by.

I assumed that he was out for a walk, perhaps to enliven a worn appetite (do you know, confidentially, I've had some pleasure in times past in reflecting upon the jaded appetites of millionaires!), and that he would pass out by my lane to the country road; but, instead of that, what should he do but climb the yard fence and walk over toward the barn where I was at work.

Perhaps I was not consumed with excitement: here was fresh adventure!

"A farmer," I said to myself with exultation, "has only to wait long enough and all the world comes his way."

I had just begun to grease my farm wagon and was experiencing some difficulty in lifting and steadying the heavy rear axle while I took off the wheel. I kept busily at work, pretending (such is the perversity of the human mind) that I did not see Mr. Starkweather. He stood for a moment watching me; then he said:

"Good morning, sir."

I looked up and said: "Oh, good morning!"

"Nice little farm you have here."

"It's enough for me," I replied. I did not especially like the "little." One is human.

Then I had an absurd inspiration: he stood there so trim and jaunty and prosperous. So rich! I had a good look at him. He was dressed in a woolen jacket coat, knee-trousers and leggings; on his head he wore a jaunty, cocky little Scotch cap; a man, I should judge, about[104] fifty years old, well-fed and hearty in appearance, with grayish hair and a good-humored eye. I acted on my inspiration:

"You've arrived," I said, "at the psychological moment."

"How's that?"

"Take hold here and help me lift this axle and steady it. I'm having a hard time of it."

The look of astonishment in his countenance was beautiful to see.

For a moment failure stared me in the face. His expression said with emphasis: "Perhaps you don't know who I am." But I looked at him with the greatest good feeling and my expression said, or I meant it to say: "To be sure I don't: and what difference does it make, anyway!"

"You take hold here," I said, without waiting for him to catch his breath, "and I'll get hold here. Together we can easily get the wheel off."

Without a word he set his cane against the barn and bent his back; up came the axle and I propped it with a board.

"Now," I said, "you hang on there and steady it while I get the wheel off"—though, indeed, it didn't really need much steadying.

As I straightened up, whom should I see but Harriet standing stock still in the pathway half way down to the barn, transfixed with horror. She had recognized John Starkweather and had heard at least part of what I said to him, and the vision of that important man bending his back to help lift the axle of my old wagon was too terrible! She caught my eye and pointed and mouthed.[105] When I smiled and nodded, John Starkweather straightened up and looked around.

"Don't, on your life," I warned, "let go of that axle."

He held on and Harriet turned and retreated ingloriously. John Starkweather's face was a study!

"Did you ever grease a wagon?" I asked him genially.

"Never," he said.

"There's more of an art in it than you think," I said, and, as I worked, I talked to him of the lore of axle-grease and showed him exactly how to put it on—neither too much nor too little, and so that it would distribute itself evenly when the wheel was replaced.

"There's a right way of doing everything," I observed.

"That's so," said John Starkweather, "if I could only get workmen that believed it."

By that time I could see that he was beginning to be interested. I put back the wheel, gave it a light turn and screwed on the nut. He helped me with the other end of the axle with all good humor.

"Perhaps," I said, as engagingly as I knew how, "you'd like to try the art yourself? You take the grease this time and I'll steady the wagon."

"All right," he said, laughing, "I'm in for anything."

He took the grease box and the paddle—less gingerly than I thought he would.

"Is that right?" he demanded, and so he put on the grease. And oh, it was good to see Harriet in the doorway![106]

"Steady there," I said, "not so much at the end; now put the box down on the reach."

And so together we greased the wagon, talking all the time in the friendliest way. I actually believe that he was having a pretty good time. At least it had the virtue of unexpectedness. He wasn't bored!

When he had finished, we both straightened our backs and looked at each other. There was a twinkle in his eye; then we both laughed. "He's all right," I said to myself. I held up my hands, then he held up his; it was hardly necessary to prove that wagon-greasing was not a delicate operation.

"It's a good, wholesome sign," I said, "but it'll come off. Do you happen to remember a story of Tolstoi's called, 'Ivan the Fool?'"

("What is a farmer doing quoting Tolstoi!" remarked his countenance—though he said not a word.)

"In the kingdom of Ivan, you remember," I said, "it was the rule that whoever had hard places on his hands came to table, but whoever had not must eat what the others left."

Thus I led him up the back steps and poured him a basin of hot water—which I brought myself from the kitchen, Harriet having marvelously and completely disappeared. We both washed our hands, talking with great good humor.

When we had finished I said: "Sit down, friend, if you've time, and let's talk."

So he sat down on one of the logs of my woodpile: a solid sort of man, rather warm after his recent activities. He looked me over with some interest and, I thought, friendliness.

"Why does a man like you," he asked finally, "waste[107] himself on a little farm back here in the country?"

For a single instant I came nearer to being angry than I have been for a long time. Waste myself! So we are judged without knowledge. I had a sudden impulse to demolish him (if I could) with the nearest sarcasms I could lay hand to. He was so sure of himself! "Oh, well," I thought, with vainglorious superiority, "he doesn't know." So I said:

"What would you have me be—a millionaire?"

He smiled, but with a sort of sincerity.

"You might be," he said; "who can tell!"

I laughed outright; the humor of it struck me as delicious. Here I had been, ever since I first heard of John Starkweather, rather gloating over him as a poor suffering millionaire (of course millionaires are unhappy), and there he sat, ruddy of face and hearty of body, pitying me for a poor unfortunate farmer back here in the country! Curious, this human nature of ours, isn't it? But how infinitely beguiling!

So I sat down beside Mr. Starkweather on the log and crossed my legs. I felt as though I had set foot in a new country.

"Would you really advise me," I asked, "to start in to be a millionaire?"

He chuckled: "Well, that's one way of putting it. Hitch your wagon to a star; but begin by making a few dollars more a year than you spend. When I began—"

He stopped short with an amused smile, remembering that I did not know who he was.

"Of course," I said, "I understand that."

"A man must begin small"—he was on pleasant ground—"and anywhere he likes, a few dollars here, a few there. He must work hard, he must save, he must be[108] both bold and cautious. I know a man who began when he was about your age with total assets of ten dollars and a good digestion. He's now considered a fairly wealthy man. He has a home in the city, a place in the country, and he goes to Europe when he likes. He has so arranged his affairs that young men do most of the work and he draws the dividends—and all in a little more than twenty years. I made every single cent—but, as I said, it's a penny business to start with. The point is, I like to see young men ambitious."

"Ambitious," I asked, "for what?"

"Why, to rise in the world; to get ahead."

"I know you'll pardon me," I said, "for appearing to cross-examine you, but I'm tremendously interested in these things. What do you mean by rising? And who am I to get ahead of?"

He looked at me in astonishment, and with evident impatience at my consummate stupidity.

"I am serious," I said. "I really want to make the best I can of my life. It's the only one I've got."

"See here," he said, "let us say you clear up five hundred a year from this farm—"

"You exaggerate—" I interrupted.

"Do I?" he laughed; "that makes my case all the better. Now, isn't it possible to rise from that? Couldn't you make a thousand or five thousand or even fifty thousand a year?"

It seems an unanswerable argument: fifty thousand dollars!

"I suppose I might," I said, "but do you think I'd be any better off or happier with fifty thousand a year than I am now? You see, I like all these surroundings better than any other place I ever knew. That old green[109] hill over there with the oak on it is an intimate friend of mine. I have a good corn-field in which every year I work miracles. I've a cow and a horse and a few pigs. I have a comfortable home. My appetite is perfect, and I have plenty of food to gratify it. I sleep every night like a boy, for I haven't a trouble in this world to disturb me. I enjoy the mornings here in the country; and the evenings are pleasant. Some of my neighbors have come to be my good friends. I like them and I am pretty sure they like me. Inside the house there I have the best books ever written and I have time in the evenings to read them—I mean really read them. Now the question is, would I be any better off, or any happier, if I had fifty thousand a year?"

John Starkweather laughed.

"Well, sir," he said, "I see I've made the acquaintance of a philosopher."

"Let us say," I continued, "that you are willing to invest twenty years of your life in a million dollars." ("Merely an illustration," said John Starkweather.) "You have it where you can put it in the bank and take it out again, or you can give it form in houses, yachts, and other things. Now twenty years of my life—to me—is worth more than a million dollars. I simply can't afford to sell it for that. I prefer to invest it, as somebody or other has said, unearned in life. I've always had a liking for intangible properties."

"See here," said John Starkweather, "you are taking a narrow view of life. You are making your own pleasure the only standard. Shouldn't a man make the most of the talents given him? Hasn't he a duty to society?"

"Now you are shifting your ground," I said, "from the question of personal satisfaction to that of duty.[110] That concerns me, too. Let me ask you: Isn't it important to society that this piece of earth be plowed and cultivated?"

"Yes, but—"

"Isn't it honest and useful work?"

"Of course."

"Isn't it important that it shall not only be done, but well done?"


"It takes all there is in a good man," I said, "to be a good farmer."

"But the point is," he argued, "might not the same faculties applied to other things yield better and bigger results?"

"That is a problem, of course," I said. "I tried money-making once—in a city—and I was unsuccessful and unhappy; here I am both successful and happy. I suppose I was one of the young men who did the work while some millionaire drew the dividends." (I was cutting close, and I didn't venture to look at him.) "No doubt he had his houses and yachts and went to Europe when he liked. I know I lived upstairs—back—where there wasn't a tree to be seen, or a spear of green grass, or a hill, or a brook; only smoke and chimneys and littered roofs. Lord be thanked for my escape! Sometimes I think that Success has formed a silent conspiracy against Youth. Success holds up a single glittering apple and bids Youth strip and run for it; and Youth runs and Success still holds the apple."

John Starkweather said nothing.

"Yes," I said, "there are duties. We realize, we farmers, that we must produce more than we ourselves[111] can eat or wear or burn. We realize that we are the foundation; we connect human life with the earth. We dig and plant and produce, and, having eaten at the first table ourselves, we pass what is left to the bakers and millionaires. Did you ever think, stranger, that most of the wars of the world have been fought for the control of this farmer's second table? Have you thought that the surplus of wheat and corn and cotton is what the railroads are struggling to carry? Upon our surplus run all the factories and mills; a little of it gathered in cash makes a millionaire. But we farmers, we sit back comfortably after dinner, and joke with our wives and play with our babies, and let the rest of you fight for the crumbs that fall from our abundant tables. If once we really cared and got up and shook ourselves, and said to the maid: 'Here, child, don't waste the crusts; gather 'em up and tomorrow we'll have a cottage pudding,' where in the world would all the millionaires be?"

Oh, I tell you, I waxed eloquent. I couldn't let John Starkweather, or any other man, get away with the conviction that a millionaire is better than a farmer. "Moreover," I said, "think of the position of the millionaire. He spends his time playing not with life, but with the symbols of life, whether cash or houses. Any day the symbols may change; a little war may happen along, there may be a defective flue or a western breeze, or even a panic because the farmers aren't scattering as many crumbs as usual (they call it crop failure, but I've noticed that the farmers still continue to have plenty to eat) and then what happens to your millionaire? Not knowing how to produce anything himself, he would starve to death if there were not always, somewhere, a farmer to take him up to the table."[112]

"You're making a strong case," laughed John Starkweather.

"Strong!" I said. "It is simply wonderful what a leverage upon society a few acres of land, a cow, a pig or two, and a span of horses gives a man. I'm ridiculously independent. I'd be the hardest sort of a man to dislodge or crush. I tell you, my friend, a farmer is like an oak, his roots strike deep in the soil, he draws a sufficiency of food from the earth itself, he breathes the free air around him, his thirst is quenched by heaven itself—and there's no tax on sunshine."

I paused for very lack of breath. John Starkweather was laughing.

"When you commiserate me, therefore" ("I'm sure I shall never do it again," said John Starkweather), "when you commiserate me, therefore, and advise me to rise, you must give me really good reasons for changing my occupation and becoming a millionaire. You must prove to me that I can be more independent, more honest, more useful as a millionaire, and that I shall have better and truer friends!"

John Starkweather looked around at me (I knew I had been absurdly eager and I was rather ashamed of myself) and put his hand on my knee (he has a wonderfully fine eye!).

"I don't believe," he said, "you'd have any truer friends."

"Anyway," I said repentantly, "I'll admit that millionaires have their place—at present I wouldn't do entirely away with them, though I do think they'd enjoy farming better. And if I were to select a millionaire for all the best things I know, I should certainly choose you, Mr. Starkweather."[113]

He jumped up.

"You know who I am?" he asked.

I nodded.

"And you knew all the time?"

I nodded.

"Well, you're a good one!"

We both laughed and fell to talking with the greatest friendliness. I led him down my garden to show him my prize pie-plant, of which I am enormously proud, and I pulled for him some of the finest stalks I could find.

"Take it home," I said, "it makes the best pies of any pie-plant in this country."

He took it under his arm.

"I want you to come over and see me the first chance you get," he said. "I'm going to prove to you by physical demonstration that it's better sport to be a millionaire than a farmer—not that I am a millionaire; I'm only accepting the reputation you give me."

So I walked with him down to the lane.

"Let me know when you grease up again," he said, "and I'll come over."

So we shook hands; and he set off sturdily down the road with the pie-plant leaves waving cheerfully over his shoulder.



Among the various types of literature, the short story has become very popular in recent years. Numerous writers are fond of the principles involved in its construction, and are developing this form beyond many others. The short story is not new, for it has been developed in many lands throughout the past centuries. However, there has been a marked revival in its production recently and Wisconsin writers have been interested in developing this type. Among these we have already noticed Hamlin Garland. There will be several others mentioned in these selections, among whom the subject of this sketch is one of the most notable.[115]

Zona Gale, who has made her imaginative "Friendship Village" one of the real places in Wisconsin life, was born at Portage, Wisconsin, August 26, 1874. This city continues to be her home; and the study of its home life, its school life, its social, industrial, and religious life has afforded her the basis for generalizing upon what is true of the life of our time. Her characters are not necessarily Portage people, for they are Wisconsin people and people of other states as well. However, Portage and its life has furnished her many interesting starting points for her comments upon life in general. She has attempted to repay her community for this material furnished her by becoming an integral part of its community life. In its civic improvements, in its home life, in its schools and in its churches, she has had her work and has aspired to do her best towards making her home city beautiful and wholesome.

Zona Gale remembers much of the play life and the school life in her home town during the eighties and early nineties of the last century. She has recently set forth her idealized remembrance of these early experiences in her book entitled "When I Was a Little Girl." One of these is chosen as an illustration of her work.[116]

Besides the school training afforded her by Portage, Zona Gale attended Wayland Academy at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and later she entered the University of Wisconsin, from which institution she received the Bachelor of Literature degree in 1895, and four years later the Master's degree.

After graduation Miss Gale was employed for a time on staffs of Milwaukee and New York papers. Since 1904 she has devoted herself to writing for magazines. She spends some time in New York and the East, but most of her work is done [117] at her beautiful home, which overlooks the Wisconsin river at Portage.

Miss Gale writes an occasional poem for some magazine. We give "The Holy Place," published in the Bookman some years ago, as an illustration of her poetry. However, it is not as a poet, but rather as a short story writer that we are remembering Zona Gale.

Miss Gale's stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Appleton's, the Cosmopolitan, Everybody's, the Outlook, the Bookman, and other magazines. Her first arrangement of stories in book form, "Romance Island," appeared in 1906. A year later she published "The Loves of Pelleas and Etarre." The two characters mentioned are an old couple of seventy or more, who, under the protecting care of an old servant, Nichola, live a sort of child life. Their pranks, if such they may be called, are the kindly deeds of making others happy. The stories purport to be told by Etarre, who would have us believe that there is quite as much romance in the lives of two old people busily engaged in breaking the rules of the crabbed old nurse as there is in the lives of much younger people. They are constantly on the alert for the romance in the lives of those about them, and it would seem that no love match in their neighborhood could be a success without their assistance. The spirit that pervades the book is that of thoughtful helpfulness.

We are sure to lay aside these stories with the wish that the kindly spirit and the rich enjoyment of Pelleas and Etarre might be true for all old people. We wish every aged couple might stand at the window at Christmas time and send such telegrams of bequest as these which they send to the world:

"And from my spirit to yours I bequeath the hard-won knowledge that you must be true from the beginning. But if by any chance you have not been so, then you must be true from the moment you know."

To this sentiment of Pelleas shall Etarre reply: "From my spirit to your spirit, I bequeath some understanding of the preciousness of love, and the need to keep it true."

Stories must happen somewhere, and the capital of Zona Gale's character world is "Friendship Village." Here occur the loves of her youthful romances, the gossips of the older worldly wise. Here her clubs originate and accomplish their tasks. In this village occur the struggles for social and industrial reform in which Zona Gale is so much interested, and here, too, takes place all that great conflict for civic righteousness which brings "Friendship Village" slowly nearer the goal of perfection as she understands it. "Friendship Village" is probably located nowhere, but still Miss Gale has been so successful in writing about it that we are most sure it is our town, and some one has suggested that another good name for this place would be "Our Home Town."

Two of Miss Gale's books derive their titles from this village[118] of hers. They are "Friendship Village" and "Friendship Village Love Stories." A short description of her "Friendship Village" will follow later. Another book based upon the village life deals with the lesson of Christmas time. It shows how the older people who have come to feel that they could not afford the expense of Christmas are brought to realize the real significance of Christmas giving.

Another series of stories is linked into book form through the narrator, Calliope Marsh. It is entitled "Mothers to Men," and is an account of life at "Friendship Village."

Miss Gale writes beautiful stories of how to make the better community; but what is more, she does with her own hands many things which bring about the realization of her plans. Women's club of her own city and of many other cities enjoy her aid in their plans for better conditions. Civic federations of statewide influence have her help as member and officer. Further, her own county fair has enjoyed her presence and her efforts to advance civic improvement through her friendly counsel to those who pause to talk with her.

Her writing is here illustrated in part from her recent book, "When I Was a Little Girl." Two of the little girls of the neighborhood had been shut up in their rooms one fine summer day as punishment for the infraction of some home regulation, whereupon a discussion among the free playmates arose as to the reason for punishment. As the discussion waxed perplexing, the little girls happened upon Grandmother Beers, who took up the discussion and enlightened the children. What she had heard of their conversation caused her to break in with the statement, "Wicked? I didn't know you knew such a word." The following discussion then takes place:




From "WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL." Copyright, 1913, by the Macmillan Co.

"It's a word you learn at Sunday School," I explained importantly.

"Come over here and tell me about it," she invited, and led the way to the Eating Apple tree. And she sat down in the swing! Of course, whatever difference of condition exists between your grandmother and yourself vanishes when she sits down casually in your swing.

Well, Grandmother Beers was one who knew how to play with us, and I was always half expecting her to[119] propose a new game. But that day, as she sat in the swing, her eyes were not twinkling at the corners.

"What does it mean?" she asked us. "What does wicked mean?"

"It's what you aren't to be."

I took the brunt of the reply, because I was the relative of the questioner.

"Why not?" asked grandmother.

"Why not?" Oh, we all knew that. We responded instantly, and out came the results of the training of all the families.

"Because your Mother and your Father say you can't," said Betty Rodman.

"Because it makes your mother feel bad," said Calista.

"Because God don't want us to," said I.

"Delie says," Betty added, "it's because, if you are, when you grow up people won't think anything of you."

Grandmother Beers held her sweet-peas to her face.

"If," she said, after a moment, "you wanted to do something wicked more than you ever wanted to do anything in the world—as much as you'd want a drink tomorrow if you hadn't had one to-day—and if nobody ever knew—would any of those reasons keep you from doing it?"

We consulted one another's look, and shifted. We knew how thirsty that would be. Already we were thirsty, in thinking about it.

"If I were in your place," grandmother said, "I'm not sure those reasons would keep me. I rather think they wouldn't—always."

We stared at her. It was true that they didn't[120] always keep us. Were not two of us "in our rooms" even now?

Grandmother leaned forward—I know how the shadows of the apple leaves fell on her black lace cap and how the pink sweet-peas were reflected in her delicate face.

"Suppose," she said, "that instead of any of those reasons somebody gave you this reason: That the earth is a great flower—a flower that has never really blossomed yet. And that, when it blossoms, life is going to be more beautiful than we have ever dreamed, or than fairy stories have ever pretended. And suppose our doing one way, and not another, makes the flower come a little nearer to blossom. But our doing the other way puts back the time when it can blossom. Then which would you want to do?"

"Oh, make it grow, make it grow," we all cried; and I felt a secret relief: Grandmother was playing a game with us, after all.

"And suppose that everything made a difference to it," she went on, "every little thing—from telling a lie, on down to going to get a drink for somebody and drinking first yourself out in the kitchen. Suppose that everything made a difference, from hurting somebody on purpose, down to making up the bed and pulling the bedspread tight so that the wrinkles in the blanket won't show."

At this we looked at one another in some consternation. How did grandmother know?

"Until after awhile," she said, "you should find out that everything—loving, going to school, playing, working, bathing, sleeping, were all just to make this flower grow. Wouldn't it be fun to help?"[121]

"Yes. Oh, yes." We were all agreed about that. It would be great fun to help.

"Well, then suppose," said grandmother, "that as you helped, you found out something else: that in each of you, say, where your heart is, or where your breath is, there was a flower trying to blossom through! And that only as you help the earth flower to blossom could your flower blossom. And that your doing one way would make your flower droop its head and grow dark and shrivel up. But your doing the other way would make it grow, and turn beautiful colors—so that, bye and bye, every one of your bodies would be just a sheath for this flower. Which way then would you rather do?"

"Oh, make it grow, make it grow," we said again.

And Mary Elizabeth added longingly: "Wouldn't it be fun if it was true?"

"It is true," said Grandmother Beers.

She sat there, softly smiling over her pink sweet-peas. We looked at her silently. Then I remembered that her face had always seemed to me to be somehow light within. May be it was her flower showing through!

"Grandmother!" I cried, "is it true—is it true?"

"It is true," she repeated. "And whether the earth flower and other people's flowers and your flower are to bloom or not is what living is about. And everything makes a difference. Isn't that a good reason for not being wicked?"

We all looked up in her face, something in us leaping and answering to what she said. And I know that we understood.

"Oh," Mary Elizabeth whispered presently to Betty, "hurry home and tell Margaret Amelia. It'll make it so much easier when she comes out to her supper."[122]

That night, on the porch, alone with Mother and Father, I inquired into something that still was not clear.

"But how can you tell which things are wicked? And which ones are wrong and which things are right?"

Father put out his hand and touched my hand. He was looking at me with a look that I knew—and his smile for me is like no other smile that I have ever known.

"Something will tell you," he said, "always."

"Always?" I doubted.

"Always," he said. "There will be other voices. But if you listen, something will tell you always. And it is all you need."

I looked at Mother. And by her nod and her quiet look I perceived that all this had been known about for a long time.

"That is why Grandma Bard is coming to live with us," she said, "not just because we wanted her, but because—that said so."

In us all a flower—and something saying something! And the earth flower trying to blossom ... I looked down the street: at Mr. Branchett walking in his garden, at the light shining from windows, at the folk sauntering on the sidewalk, and toward town where the band was playing. We all knew about this together then. This was why everything was! And there were years and years to make it come through.

What if I, alone among them all, had never found out.


At silver of gray lines; at look of lace
About a woman's throat; at little feet,
Curled close in hand that clings; at stir of sweet
[123] Old gardens; at the flow and dip and grace
Of sweeping fabric; at the phantom race of shadow ripples in the tides of wheat,
Where great, still spirits murmur as they meet—
Souls see Their God as in a holy place.
What of the wrinkled face, the poor, coarse hands,
Dead leaves and ruined walls in fields that stand,
Rattling sharp husks? Of little feet that stray
From clinging hands, and never find the way?
He knows no holy place for whom the clod
Stands not an altar to the living God.


Published by Permission of The Macmillan Co., New York.

We are one long street, rambling from sun to sun, inheriting traits of the parent country road which we unite. And we are cross streets, members of the same family, properly imitative, proving our ancestorship in a primeval genius for trees, or bursting out in inexplicable weaknesses of Court-House, Engine-House, Town Hall, and Telephone Office. Ultimately our stock dwindled out in a slaughter-house and a few detached houses of milk men. The cemetery is delicately put behind them, under a hill. There is nothing mediaeval in all this, one would say. But then see how we wear our rue:

When one of us telephones, she will scrupulously ask for the number, for it says so at the top of every page. "Give me 1-1," she will put it, with an impersonality as fine as if she were calling for four figures. And central will answer:

"Well, I just saw Mis' Holcomb go 'crost the street. I'll call you, if you want, when she comes back."

Or, "I don't think you better ring the Helman's just now. They were awake 'most all night with one o' Mis' Helman's attacks."[124]

Or, "Doctor June's invited to Mis' Syke's for tea. Shall I give him to you there?"

The telephone is modern enough. But in our use of it, is there not a flavor as of an Elder Time, to be caught by Them of Many Years from Now? And already we may catch this flavor, as our Britain great-great-lady grandmothers, and more, may have been conscious of the old fashion of sitting in bowers. If only they were conscious like that! To be sure of it would be to touch their hands in the margin of the ballad books.

Or we telephone to the Livery Barn and Boarding Stable for the little blacks, celebrated for their self-control in encounters with the Proudfits' motor car. The stable-boy answers that the little blacks are at "the funeral." And after he has gone off to ask his employer, who in his unofficial moments is our neighbor, our church choir bass, our landlord even, comes and tells us that, after all, we may have the little blacks, and he himself brings them round at once—the same little blacks that we meant all along. And when, quite naturally, we wonder at the boy's version, we learn: "Oh, why, the blacks was standin' just acrost the street, waitin' at the church door, hitched to the hearse. I took 'em out an' put in the bays. I says to myself: 'The corpse won't care.'" Some way the Proudfits' car and the stable telephone must themselves have slipped from modernity to old fashioned before that incident shall quite come into its own.

So it is with certain of our domestic ways. For example, Mis' Postmaster Sykes—in Friendship Village every woman assumes for given name the employment of her husband—has some fine modern china and much solid silver in extremely good taste, so much, indeed, that she[125] is wont to confess to having cleaned forty, or sixty, or seventy-five pieces—"seventy-five pieces of solid silver have I cleaned this morning. You can say what you want to, nice things are a rill care." Yet, surely this is the proper conjunction, Mis' Sykes is currently reported to rise in the night preceding the day of her house cleaning, and to take her carpets out in the back yard, and there softly to sweep and sweep them so that, at their official cleaning next day, the neighbors may witness how little dirt is whipped out on the line. Ought she not to have old-fashioned silver and egg-shell china and drop-leaf mahogany to fit the practice instead of dazzling and wild-rose patterns in "solid and art curtains, and mission chairs and a white-enameled refrigerator, and a gas range?"

We have the latest funeral equipment—black broadcloth-covered supports, a coffin carriage for up-and-down the aisles, natural palms to order, and the pulleys to "Let them down slow"; and yet our individual funeral capacity has been such that we can tell what every woman who has died in Friendship for years has "done without": Mis' Grocer Stew, her of all folks, has done without new-style flat-irons; Mis' Worth had used the bread pan to wash dishes in; Mis' Jeweler Sprague—the first Mis' Sprague—had had only six bread and butter knives, her, that could get wholesale, too ... and we have little maid-servants who answer our bells in caps and trays, so to say; but this savour of jestership is authentic, for any one of them is likely to do as of late did Mis' Holcomb—that was Mame Bliss's maid—answer at dinner-with-guests, that there were no more mashed potatoes, "or else, there won't be any left to warm up for your breakfast."... And though we have our daily newspaper,[126] receiving Associated Press service, yet, as Mis' Amandy Toplady observed, it is "only very lately that they have mentioned in the Daily the birth of a child, or any thing that had anything of a tang to it."

We put new wine in old bottles, but also we use new bottles to hold our old wine. For, consider the name of our main street: is this Main or Clark or Cook or Grand Street, according to the register of the main streets of town? Instead, for its half-mile of village life, the Plank Road, macadamized and arc-lighted, is called Daphne Street. Daphne Street! I love to wonder why. Did our dear Doctor June's father name it when he set the five hundred elms and oaks which glorify us? Or did Daphne herself take this way on the day of her flight, so that when they came to draught the town, they recognized that it was Daphne Street, and so were spared the trouble of naming it? Or did the Future anonymously toss us back the suggestion, thinking of some day of her own when she might remember us and say, "Daphne Street!" Already some of us smile with a secret nod at something when we direct a stranger, "You will find the Telegraph and Cable Office two blocks down, on Daphne Street." "The Commercial Travelers' House, the Abigail Arnold Home Bakery, the Post Office and Armory are in the same block on Daphne Street." Or, "The Electric Light Office is at the corner of Dunn and Daphne." It is not wonderful that Daphne herself, at seeing these things, did not stay, but lifted her laurels somewhat nearer Tempe—although there are those of us who like to fancy that she is here all the time in our Daphne-Street magic: the fire bell, the tulip beds, and the twilight bonfires. For how else, in all reason, has the name persisted?

Of late a new doctor has appeared—one may say, has[127] abounded: a surgeon who, such is his zeal, will almost perform an operation over the telephone and, we have come somewhat cynically to believe, would prefer doing so to not operating at all.

Thus the New shoulders the Old, and our transition is still swift enough to be a spectacle, as was its earlier phase which gave our Middle West to cabins and plough horses, with a tendency away from wigwams and bob-whites. And in this local warfare between Old and New a chief figure is Calliope Marsh. She is a little rosy, wrinkled creature officially—though no other than officially—pertaining to sixty years; mender of lace, seller of extracts, and music teacher, but of the three she thinks of the last as her true vocation.

With us all the friendship idea prevails: we accept what Progress sends, but we regard it in our own fashion. Our improvements, like our entertainments, our funerals, our holidays, and our very loves, are but Friendship-Village exponents of the modern spirit. Perhaps, in a tenderer significance than she meant, Calliope characterized us when she said:

"This town is more like a back door than a front—or, givin' it full credit, anyhow—it's no more'n a side door, with no vines."



The subject of this sketch has lived in Wisconsin since the seventh year of his life. He was born at Johnsburgh, New York, on September 16, 1848. With his parents he removed to Wisconsin, where he came to love the products of the soil and the processes by which they might be made more and more beautiful. Not merely plant growth has been of interest to him; the development of Wisconsin institutions also, especially its schools, has been of the most vital concern to him. Few men have been more deeply interested in the schools of any community than has Mr. Rexford in the schools of his village, and few have more effectively encouraged the teaching of agricultural facts in the schools than he.[129]

Mr. Rexford's life has been spent quite largely at his country home near Shiocton, where he has found much of the material for the line of writing in which he has been especially interested. The country home has furnished him with opportunities for pleasurable development of which few have even dreamed. His career is worth studying, if for no other reason than to disprove the thought that rural life is a life of toil and hardship devoid of the privilege of acquiring that finer sense for the beautiful. Mr. Rexford's life has been rich in the companionship of people and of animals and plants. This last has given that training which makes him an authority along the line of floriculture.[130]

Mr. Rexford received his training beyond the rural schools at Lawrence College, Appleton, where he pursued the college course until his senior year. When he had gone thus far in his course, the care of his home demanded his attention; and, characteristic of the man, he sacrificed his own personal interests for the greater good he might do. The city of Appleton and its institutions, especially its college and its churches, still possess strong bonds of interest for him. The college, in turn, is justly proud of his attainments and conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Literature in 1908.

After his school career, Mr. Rexford took up his work at his country home near Shiocton, where he has been actively associated with all phases of the development of community life. Good roads found a strong advocate in him; the introduction and development of farm machinery and farm improvements have found him a leader. For school programs and for [131] church exercises he has contributed much in providing music, or in directing the musical part of the program.

Early in life Mr. Rexford conceived the notion of sharing his best thoughts with his fellows through expressing them for publication, and it is said that he has been a contributor to the press since the age of fourteen. He has written extensively for a large number of magazines. The Ladies' Home Journal and Outing have published more of his articles, perhaps, than any other magazines. These magazine contributions comprise poems and articles upon gardening, flower culture, and the making of the country home. While the articles show extensive scientific knowledge, they are so written as to be easily comprehended by the ordinary reader.

The various articles have been collected into book form and the following discussions upon the garden and its plants were listed in the 1912 catalogs: Flowers, How to Grow Them; Four Seasons in the Garden; Home Floriculture; Home Garden; Indoor Gardening. These discussions are made up largely of Mr. Rexford's own experience in doing the things he writes about. From among the flowers in his living room or the plants in his garden you can easily imagine him in his quiet, neighborly way telling you the things that will aid you in successfully raising flowers or vegetables. We are closely drawn to him, for there is no show about what he does, but that simple kindliness of one who desires to help.

While extracts from books of the type above listed would not generally form good selections for reading, yet so different is the style of composition of Mr. Rexford that we feel that a few illustrations here will be of great interest as showing the qualities above mentioned. The first two selections are taken from his "Home Floriculture," a book published by the Orange Judd Company, and will illustrate Mr. Rexford's intense interest in his plants as well as his simple style in telling us the things of help to us.




Printed by permission of Orange, Judd Co.

Some persons water their plants every day, without regard to the season, and give about the same quantity one day that they do another. The natural result is that in winter their plants are weak and spindling, with yellow leaves, and few, if any, flowers. The owner will tell you that she "don't see what ails her plants." She is sure she gives them all the water they need, and she "never[132] forgets to do this." If she were to forget to do this occasionally it would be a great deal better for the plants. In summer the evaporation of moisture from the soil is rapid, because of warmth and wind, but in winter this goes on slowly, and the amount of water given should be regulated by the ability of the soil to dispose of it. Where too much is given, as has been said in the chapter on planting, the soil is reduced to a condition of muddiness, unless good drainage has been provided, and those who give too much water generally neglect this item.

Another woman will give water in little driblets, "whenever she happens to think of it." The result is that her plants are chronic sufferers from the lack of moisture at the roots. The wonder is that they contrive to exist. Turn them out of their pots and you will generally find that the upper portion of the soil is moist, and in this what few roots there are have spread themselves, while below it, the soil is almost as dry as dust, and no root could live there. Plants grown under these conditions are almost always dwarf and sickly specimens, with but few leaves and most of these yellow ones. You will find that plants grown under either condition are much more subject to attacks of insects than healthy plants are.

There is only one rule to be governed in watering plants that I have a knowledge of and that is this: Never apply water to any plant until the surface of the soil looks dry. When you do give water, give enough of it to thoroughly saturate the soil. If some runs through at the bottom of the pot, you can be sure that the whole ball of earth is moist.

I follow this rule with good results. Of course, like all other rules, it has exceptions. For instance, a calla, being a sort of aquatic plant, requires very much more[133] water than a geranium. A cactus, being a native of hot, dry climates, requires but very little. The florist who is interested in his plants will study their habits, in order to understand the requirements of each, and will soon be able to treat them intelligently. He will soon be able to tell at a glance when a plant requires more water. He will know what kinds to give a good deal to, and what kinds to water sparingly. Until he has acquired this ability it is well for him to adhere to the rule given above, for if he follows it, he cannot go very far wrong in either direction. Let the water used be of about the same temperature as that of the room in which the plants are. I am often asked which is best, hard or soft water. I have tried both and see little difference.

Many persons fail to attain success with plants in baskets and window boxes. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the failure is due to lack of water. A basket is exposed to dry air on all sides, and is suspended near the ceiling, as a general thing, where the air is much warmer than below; consequently the evaporation takes place more rapidly than from the pot on the window sill. Because it is somewhat difficult to get at, water is not given as often as required, and then generally in smaller quantities than is needed. The first thing you know, your plants are turning yellow, and dropping their leaves, and soon they are in such a condition that you throw them away in disgust, and conclude that you haven't "the knack" of growing good basket plants. All the trouble comes from an insufficient water supply.

There are two methods by which you may make it easier to attend to the needs of the plants. One is, to have the baskets suspended by long cords running over pulleys, by which you can lower them into a tub of water,[134] where they can be left until they are thoroughly soaked through. The other is this: Take a tin can and punch a hole through the bottom of it. Let this hole be large enough to allow the water to escape, drop by drop. Set this on top of your basket and arrange the foliage to cover it.

If the hole is not so large as it ought to be, the soil will not be kept moist all through. In this case, make it larger. A little observation will enable you to regulate matters in such a manner as to secure just the flow of water needed. By the "tin-can method" of watering basket plants, the trouble of watering in the ordinary way will be done away with, and the results will be extremely satisfactory.

Plants can be grown nearly as well in the window box as in the open ground if enough water is given to keep the soil moist, all through, at all times. The "little-and-often" plan, spoken of in this chapter, will lead to dismal failure in the care of window boxes. Apply at least a pailful of water every day, in warm weather. If this is done, there need be no failure. If those who have failed heretofore will bear this in mind, and follow the advice given, they may have window boxes that will make their windows beautiful during the entire summer, with very little trouble.


No part of my garden affords me more pleasure than my bed of Tea Roses. I cut dozens of flowers from it nearly every day from June to the coming of cold weather, for buttonhole and corsage bouquets, and for use on the table, and in the parlor. One fine rose and a bit of foliage is a bouquet in itself. If I could have but one bed[135] of flowers, it should be a bed of Tea Roses—and yet, I should want a bed of Pansies to supplement the Roses; therefore, a bed of each would be a necessity.

If you want to give a friend a buttonhole nosegay that shall be "just as pretty as it can be," you must have a bed of these Roses to draw from. A half-blown flower of Meteor, with its velvety, crimson petals, and a bud of Perle des Jardins, just showing its golden heart, with a leaf or two of green to set off the flowers—what a lovely harmony of rich color! Or, if your taste inclines you to more delicate colors, take a bud of Luciole, and a Catherine Mermet when its petals are just falling apart. Nothing can be lovelier, you think, till you have put half open Perle des Jardins with a dark purple or azure-blue Pansy. When you have done that, you are charmed with the manner in which the two colors harmonize and intensify each other, and you are sure there was never anything finer for a flower-lover to feast his eyes on. Put a tawny Safrano or Sunset bud with a purple Pansy and see what a royal combination of colors you have in the simple arrangement. Be sure to have a bed of Tea Roses, and make combinations to suit yourself.

In order to make a success of your bed of Tea Roses—though perhaps I ought to say ever-bloomers, for probably your selection will include other varieties than the Tea—you must have a rich soil for them to grow in. When a branch has borne flowers, it must be cut back to some strong bud. This bud will, if your soil is rich enough to encourage vigorous growth, soon become a branch, and produce flowers. It is by constant cutting back that you secure new growth, if the soil is in a condition to help it along, and only by securing this steady production and development of new branches can you expect many[136] flowers. All depends on that. If proper treatment is given, you need not be without flowers, unless you cut them all, from June to October.

If I were to name all the desirable varieties, I might fill several pages with the list. Look over the catalogs of the florists and you will see that the variety is almost endless. If you do not care to invest money enough to secure the newer varieties, tell the dealer to whom you give your patronage what you want the plants for, and he will make a selection which will include some of the best kinds, and which will be sure to give you as good satisfaction as you would get from a selection of your own. Better, in most instances, for you make your selection from the description in the catalog, while he would select from his knowledge of the merits of the flower.

By all means have a bed of these most sweet and lovely Roses. If the season happens to be a hot and dry one, mulch your rose bed with grass clippings from the lawn. Spread them evenly about the plants, to a depth of two or three inches, in such a manner as to cover the entire bed. By so doing, you prevent rapid evaporation and the roots of the plant are kept much cooler than when strong sunshine is allowed to beat down upon the surface of the bed. When the mulch begins to decay, remove it, and apply fresh clippings. About the middle of the season give the soil a liberal dressing of fine bone meal, working it well about the roots of the plants; or, if you can get it, use old cow manure. Whatever you apply, be sure it gets where the roots can make use of it.

While the above illustrations show Mr. Rexford's interests in the affairs of home life and demonstrate his simple, direct way of saying what he wishes us to know, yet they do not manifest that finer literary sense of which he is possessed. They are scientific thought, clearly and directly expressed, but he has that sentiment of the heart and that keen appreciation of the[137] relation of sound to sense which marks him as the poet and song writer.

His first book publication of a poetic nature is a long narrative poem entitled "Brother and Lover." It is a story of Civil War times and is rich in the sentiment of friendship which, to his mind, endures not merely through this life, but abides throughout all time. The plot of this story is very simple, involving but three characters, a young woman, her brother, and her lover.

Mr. Rexford's last collection of poems appeared in 1911 under the title "Pansies and Rosemary." He explained this title in the following quotation: "Pansies—for thoughts, and Rosemary—that's for remembrance." Many of the thoughts in these poems seem to be such as come to us at eventide, for they reflect many sentiments concerning death. It would seem that Mr. Rexford has cherished those occasions which bring a community in humility and close sympathy, to point the significance of the great lesson of hope, in the most beautiful language that he commands.

In a few of these poems, dialect has been chosen as the form of expression. One of this type has been selected for this reading. It illustrates the fact that in these simple acts of community effort to do the constructive, there always comes more joy than can come from the polished product of practised art.

Naturally we expect one who loved the beauty of the landscape and the color of petal and the fragrance of flower to be more or less of a Nature poet. To him Nature is the great teacher of God's handiwork, and imparts to us solace and joy. Mr. Rexford has also chosen to disregard the life of the city for the life of the country village, where every individual to the youngest school child may know him and reverence him for his kindly helpfulness. He loves the humble worker in the common walks of life. "The Two Singers" given later will illustrate his theory of usefulness.

He does not conceal the presence of evil, nor does he condone it, but he does show the great strength which may be attained through resistance of it. The unfruitful tree illustrates this point.

Mr. Rexford has always been a great lover of music. He has led the village choir and he has played the organ at the church service for many years. He has written not merely the words that he sings, but he has also set many of his little lyrics to music. When the village school has needed a song for a special program, when the church service has been in special need, or when the Memorial Day program could be rendered more sacredly helpful by his music, Mr. Rexford has always been ready to assist. He has kindly consented to our publishing his famous song, "Silver Threads Among the Gold," and its sequel, "When Silver Threads are Gold Again."



All of these poems are reprinted with consent of the author and the J. B. Lippincott Publishing Co.

I have be'n in city churches where the way-up singers sing,
Till their thousand'-dollar voices make the very rafters ring.
Seems as if the sound kep' clim'in' till it got lost in the spire,
But I all the time was wishin' 'twas our dear ol' village choir.
Somehow, highfallutin' singin' never seemed to touch the spot
Like the ol' religious singin' o' the times I hain't forgot;
Jest the ol' hymns over'n over—nothin' city folks desire,
But some heart was in the singin' of that same ol' village choir.
Nothin' airy 'bout the singers—land; they never tho't o' style,
But they made you think o' Heaven an' of good things all the while,
Made you feel as ef the angels couldn't help a comin' nigher
Jest to lis'en to the music made by that ol' village choir.
When they sung ol' Coronation, w'y—it somehow seemed to grip
An' to take your heart up with it on a sort o' 'scursion trip
To the place where God stays! Of'en heart an' soul seemed all afire
With the glory that they sung of in the dear ol' village choir.
Then they'd have us all a-cryin' when they sung, at funril-time,
Soft, an' low, an' sweet, an' sollum hymns that told about the clime
Where there's never death or partin', an' the mourners never'd tire
Lis'nen' to the words o' comfort sung by the ol' village choir.
You c'n have your city singin' if you think it fills the bill;—
Give me the ol'-fashioned music of the ol' church on the hill.
Music with no style about it—nothin' fine folks would admire,
But it makes me homesick, thinkin' o' the dear ol' village choir.


I know two of this earth's singers; one longed to climb and stand
Upon the heights o'er looking the peaceful lower land,
"There where great souls have gathered, the few great souls of earth,
I'll sing my songs," he told us, "and they will own their worth.
"But if I sang them only to those who love the plain
They would not understand them, and I would sing in vain.
Oh, better far to sing them to earth's great souls, though few,
Than to sing them to the many who ne'er one great thought knew."
So he climbed the heights, and on them sang, and those who heard—
Earth's few great souls, ah, never they gave one longed-for word,
For the mighty thoughts within them filled each one's soul and brain,
And few among them listened to the music of his strain.
But the other singer sang to the toilers in the vale,
The patient, plodding many, who strive, and win, and fail.
His songs of faith and gladness, of hope and trust and cheer,
Were sweet with strength and comfort, and men were glad to hear.
Little this valley singer knew of the good he wrought;
He dreamed not of the courage that from his songs was caught—
Of the hearts that were made lighter, the hands that stronger grew,
As they listened to his singing to the many, not to few.
He who sang upon the mountains was forgotten long ago—
Not one song of his remembered as the swift years come and go.
But the dwellers in the valley sing the other's sweet songs o'er,
And as his grave grows greener they love them more and more.


There stood in a beautiful garden
A tall and stately tree.
Crowned with its shining leafage
It was wondrous fair to see.
But alas! it was always fruitless;
Never a blossom grew
To brighten its spreading branches
The whole long season through.
The lord of the garden saw it,
And he said, when the leaves were sere,
"Cut down this tree so worthless,
And plant another here.
My garden is not for beauty
Alone, but for fruit, as well,
And no barren tree must cumber
The place in which I dwell."
The gardener heard in sorrow,
For he loved the barren tree
As we love some things about us
That are only fair to see.
"Leave it one season longer,
Only one more, I pray,"
He plead, but the lord of the garden
Was firm, and answered, "Nay."
Then the gardener dug about it,
And cut its roots apart,
And the fear of the fate before it
Struck home to the poor tree's heart.
Faithful and true to his master,
Yet loving the tree as well,
The gardener toiled in sorrow
Till the stormy evening fell.
"Tomorrow," he said, "I will finish
The task that I have begun."
But the morrow was wild with tempest,
[141] And the work remained undone.
And through all the long, bleak winter
There stood the desolate tree,
With the cold white snow about it,—
A sorrowful thing to see.
At last, the sweet spring weather
Made glad the hearts of men,
And the trees in the lord's fair garden
Put forth their leaves again.
"I will finish my task tomorrow,"
The busy gardener said,
And thought, with a thrill of sorrow,
That the beautiful tree was dead.
The lord came into his garden
At an early hour next day,
And to the task unfinished
The gardener led the way.
And lo! all white with blossoms,
Fairer than ever to see,
In the promise of coming fruitage
Stood the sorely-chastened tree.
"It is well," said the lord of the garden.
And he and the gardener knew
That out of its loss and trial
Its promise of fruitfulness grew.
It is so with some lives that cumber
For a time the Lord's domain.
Out of trial and bitter sorrow
There cometh countless gain,
And fruit for the Master's harvest
Is borne of loss and pain.


I could write such a beautiful poem
About this summer day
If my pen could catch the beauty
Of every leaf and spray,
And the music all about me
[142] Of brooks, and winds, and birds,
But the greatest poet living
Cannot put them into words.
If I might, you would hear all through it
The whispering of the breeze,
Like a fine and far-off echo
Of the ocean's harmonies.
You would hear the song of the robin
A-swing in the appletree,
And the voice of the river going
On its search for the great gray sea.
You would breathe the fragrance of clover
In the words of every line,
And incense out of the censors
Of hillside larch and pine.
You would see through the words the roses
And deep in their hearts of gold
The sweets of a thousand summers,
But words are so weak, so cold!
If I only could write the color
Of the lilacs' tossing plume,
And make you feel in a sentence
The spell of its rare perfume:—
If my pen could catch the glory
Of the clouds and the sunset sky,
And the peace of the summer twilight
My poem would never die!


Copyright, 1915, by Estate of Hamilton S. Gordon.


Darling, I am growing old,—
Silver threads among the gold,
Shine upon my brow today;—
Life is fading fast away;
But, my darling, you will be
Always young and fair to me,
Yes! my darling, you will be—
Always young and fair to me.


When your hair is silver-white,—
And your cheeks no longer bright
With the roses of the May,—
I will kiss your lips, and say:
Oh! my darling, mine alone,
You have never older grown,
Yes, my darling, mine alone,—
You have never older grown.


Love can never-more grow old,
Locks may lose their brown and gold;
Cheeks may fade and hollow grow;
But the hearts that love, will know
Never, winter's frost and chill;
Summer warmth is in them still,
Never winter's frost and chill,
Summer warmth is in them still.


Love is always young and fair,—
What to us is silver hair,
Faded cheeks or steps grown slow,
To the hearts that beat below?
Since I kissed you, mine alone,
You have never older grown,
Since I kissed you, mine alone,
You have never older grown.
Chorus to last verse.
Darling, we are growing old,
Silver threads among the gold,
Shine upon my brow today;—
Life is fading fast away.


Words by Eben E. Rexford; music by H. P. Danks.
Copyright, 1915, by Estate of Hamilton S. Gordon.

You tell me we are growing old,
[144] And show the silver in your hair,
Whence time has stolen all the gold,
That made your youthful tresses fair;
But years can never steal away
The love that never can grow old.
So what care we for tresses gray,—
Since love will always keep its gold.
Oh, darling, I can read today,
The question in your thoughtful eyes;
You wonder if I long for May,—
Beneath the autumn's frosty skies.
Oh, love of mine, be sure of this:
For me no face could be so fair
As this one that I stoop to kiss
Beneath its crown of silver hair.
Oh, darling, though your step grows slow,
And time has furrowed well your brow,
And all June's roses hide in snow,
You never were so dear as now.
Oh, truest, tend'rest heart of all,
Lean on me when you weary grow,
As days, like leaves of autumn, fall
About the feet that falter so.
Oh, darling, with your hand in mine,
We'll journey all life's pathway through,
With happy tears your dear eyes shine
Like sweet blue blossoms in the dew.
The sorrows of the passing years
Have made us love each other more,
And every day that disappears
I count you dearer than before.
Oh, love, I tell you with a kiss,
If heav'n gives back the youth we miss
Your face will be no fairer then
When silver threads are gold again.



Carl Schurz was born at Liblar, Prussia, 1829. He was educated in the gymnasium of Cologne, and the University of Bonne. He entered the revolutionary army in 1848, and was likewise the editor of a revolutionary paper. He was obliged to flee to Switzerland, and his accounts of his narrow escapes in getting across the border, as given in his Reminiscences, are intensely thrilling. He came to America in 1852, and after three years' residence in Philadelphia, he settled in Watertown, in our own state. Though he was later a resident of Michigan, Missouri, and New York, and indeed represented the second-named state in the Senate of the United States, yet throughout his Reminiscences he frequently speaks of Wisconsin in a manner that shows he thought of it as his home.

His life as an American citizen was full of honor and responsibility. He was made Minister to Spain by President Lincoln, but soon resigned to come back home and serve in the Civil War. He was a brigadier-general of volunteers and took part in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Chattanooga. During all the rest of his life he was active in the service of his country, both in and out of office. He was strongly on the side of reconciliation with the South, and he hoped and worked for a re-united country. His addresses and his letters show his intense faith in Civil Service reform. His Reminiscences indicate how thoroughly American this man became, and how deeply he appreciated, and how jealously he wished to guard, the freedom which he had failed to find in his mother country, and which he had risked so much to obtain here.

The first selection here given is from Volume I of his Reminiscences. It relates the escape from the prison at Spandau of his dear friend, Professor Kinkel, in which Schurz played an important part. We see here how closely organized this band of revolutionists was, and the intensity of their love for each other, together with the sense of fun and adventure in all they did.

The second selection is characteristic of the oratory of Mr. Schurz during his later years. It shows an intense patriotism, and emphasizes the fact that though he was not born here, for him but one country had the slightest claim upon his devotion.



From Vol. I—1829-1852. Chapter X, p. 311. Copyright, 1907, by the McClure Co.

Shortly before midnight I stood, equipped as on the night before, well hidden in the dark recess of the house door opposite the penitentiary. The street corners right and left were, according to agreement, properly watched, but our friends kept themselves, as much as possible, concealed. A few minutes later the night watchman shuffled down the street, and, when immediately in front of me, swung his rattle and called the hour of twelve. Then he slouched quietly on and disappeared. What would I have given for a roaring storm and a splashing rain! But the night was perfectly still. My eye was riveted to the roof of the penitentiary building, the dormer windows of which I could scarcely distinguish. The street lights flared dimly. Suddenly there appeared a light above, by which I could observe the frame of one of the dormer windows; it moved three times up and down; that was the signal hoped for. With an eager glance I examined the street right and left. Nothing stirred. Then on my part I gave the signal agreed upon, striking sparks. A second later the light above disappeared and I perceived a dark object slowly moving across the edge of the wall. My heart beat violently and drops of perspiration stood upon my forehead. Then the thing I had apprehended actually happened: tiles and brick, loosened by the rubbing rope, rained down upon the pavement with a loud clatter. "Now, good heaven, help us!" At the same moment Hensel's carriage came rumbling over the cobblestones. The noise of the falling tiles and brick was no longer audible. But would they not strike Kinkel's head and benumb him? Now the[147] dark object had almost reached the ground. I jumped forward and touched him; it was indeed my friend and there he stood alive and on his feet.

"This is a bold deed," were the first words he said to me.

"Thank God," I answered. "Now off with the rope and away."

I labored in vain to untie the rope that was wound around his body.

"I cannot help you," Kinkel whispered, "for the rope has fearfully lacerated both my hands." I pulled out my dirk, and with great effort I succeeded in cutting the rope, the long end of which, as soon as it was free, was quickly pulled up. While I threw a cloak around Kinkel's shoulders and helped him get into the rubber shoes, he looked anxiously around. Hensel's carriage had turned and was coming slowly back.

"What carriage is that?" Kinkel asked.

"Our carriage."

Dark figures showed themselves at the street corners and approached us.

"For heaven's sake, what people are those?"

"Our friends."

At a little distance we heard male voices sing, "Here we sit gayly together."

"What is that?" asked Kinkel, while we hurried through a side street toward Kruger's hotel.

"Your jailers around a bowl of punch."

"Capital!" said Kinkel. We entered the hotel through a back door and soon found ourselves in a room in which Kinkel was to put on the clothes that we had bought for him—a black cloth suit, a big bear-skin overcoat, and a cap like those worn by Prussian forest officers.[148] From a room near by sounded the voices of the revelers. Kruger, who had stood a few minutes looking on while Kinkel was exchanging his convict's garb for an honest man's dress, suddenly went out with a peculiarly sly smile. When he returned carrying a few filled glasses, he said, "Herr Professor, in a room near by some of your jailers are sitting around a bowl of punch. I have just asked them whether they would not permit me to take some for a few friends of mine who have just arrived. They had no objection. Now, Herr Professor, let us drink your health first out of the bowl of your jailers." We found it difficult not to break out in loud laughter. Kinkel was now in his citizen's clothes, and his lacerated hands were washed and bandaged with handkerchiefs. He thanked his faithful friends with a few words which brought tears to their eyes. Then we jumped into Hensel's vehicle. The penitentiary officers were still singing and laughing around their punch bowl.


By Carl Schurz. From "MODERN ELOQUENCE." Vol. IX, p. 1025. Copyright, 1900, by The University Society.

(Address delivered in New York City at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, January 2, 1896, Mr. Schurz rising to second the resolutions embodied in a report to the Chamber by its Committee on Foreign Commerce and the Revenue Laws upon the then pending Venezuelan question).

... What is the rule of honor to be observed by a power so strongly and so advantageously situated as this Republic is? Of course I do not expect it meekly to pocket real insults if they should be offered to it. But, surely, it should not, as our boyish jingoes wish it to do, swagger about among the nations of the world, with a chip on its shoulder, shaking its fist in everybody's face. Of course, it should not tamely submit to real encroachments[149] upon its rights. But, surely, it should not, whenever its own notions of right or interest collide with the notions of others, fall into hysterics and act as if it really feared for its own security and its very independence. As a true gentleman, conscious of his strength and his dignity, it should be slow to take offense. In its dealings with other nations it should have scrupulous regard, not only for their rights, but also for their self-respect. With all its latent resources for war, it should be the great peace power of the world. It should never forget what a proud privilege and what an inestimable blessing it is not to need and not to have big armies or navies to support. It should seek to influence mankind, not by heavy artillery, but by good example and wise counsel. It should see its highest glory, not in battles won, but in wars prevented. It should be so invariably just and fair, so trustworthy, so good tempered, so conciliatory, that other nations would instinctively turn to it as their mutual friend and the natural adjuster of their differences, thus making it the greatest preserver of the world's peace.

This is not a mere idealistic fancy. It is the natural position of this great republic among the nations of the earth. It is its noblest vocation, and it will be a glorious day for the United States when the good sense and the self-respect of the American people see in this their "manifest destiny." It all rests upon peace. Is not this peace with honor? There has, of late, been much loose speech about "Americanism." Is not this good Americanism? It is surely today the Americanism of those who love their country most. And I fervently hope that it will be and ever remain the Americanism of our children and our children's children.



Mrs. Honoré McCue Willsie is a young woman who received her collegiate training in the writing of English at the University of Wisconsin, she being a graduate of that institution with the class of 1902. Since her graduation she has written many things that have claimed the attention of readers in all parts of our country. She has traveled widely. She writes intimately and understandingly of the Indians of our Southwest, as well as of society folk of New York. Many readers of this volume have, no doubt, read her story, "Still Jim," recently published in Everybody's Magazine. Aside from the story here published, perhaps the best-known work of Mrs. Willsie is "We Die, We Die—There is No Hope," a plea for the Indians of the Southwest.

The editors of this book are very proud to be permitted to publish "The Forbidden North." It impresses them as being one of the great dog stories of all time. No doubt Mrs. Willsie got some of her inspiration in writing it from a Great Dane puppy, Cedric, who was her constant companion during her upper classman years at the University of Wisconsin. Indeed, this pair—the tall, dark-haired girl and the great, dun-colored dog—were a familiar sight to the students of the University and the residents of Madison. The reader may be sure that all the love expressed for Saxe Gotha is genuine.






Reprinted, by permission, from the Youth's Companion.

One hot morning, a year or so ago, an Uncle Tom's Cabin Company arrived in a small Arizona town. On the platform of the blistered station the members of the company learned that the hall in which they were to play had just burned to the ground. That was the last straw for the company. They were without money; they stood, disconsolately staring at the train, which waited for half an hour while the tourists ate breakfast in the lunchroom of the station.[153]

The stage-manager held in leash three dogs—the dogs that the bill-posters displayed as ferocious bloodhounds, pursuing Eliza across the ice. As a matter of fact, Coburg and Hilda were two well-bred, well-trained Great Danes. The third dog, Saxe Gotha, a puppy of ten months, was their son.

A well-dressed tourist eyed the dogs intensely; finally, he came up and felt them over with the hand of the dog-fancier.

"Give me fifty dollars for the three of them!" said the manager suddenly.

The stranger stared at the manager suspiciously. Fifty dollars was a low price for such dogs. The stranger did not believe that so poor a company could have come by them honestly. However, he shrugged his shoulders and drew a roll of bills from his pocket.

"All right," he said. "Only I don't want the pup. He's bad with distemper. I haven't time to fuss with him."

The manager in turn shrugged his shoulders, took the fifty dollars, and, while the new owner led Coburg and Hilda toward the baggage-car of the train, the Uncle Tom's Cabin Company boarded the day coach.

Thus it happened that a thorough-bred Great Dane puppy, whose father and mother had been born in the soft green dusk of a German forest—a young boarhound—was left to fight for his sick life on the parching sands of an alien desert.

There had been no need to tie Saxe Gotha. When the puppy had started down the platform after his father and mother, the manager had given him a hasty kick and a "Get back, you!" Saxe Gotha sat down on his haunches, panting in the burning sun, and stared after[154] the receding train with the tragic look of understanding common to his kind. Yet, in his eyes there was less regret than fear. The Dane is a "one-man dog." If he is given freedom of choice, he chooses for master a man to whom he gives his heart. Other men may own him; no other man except this choice of his heart ever wins his love. Saxe Gotha had yet to find his man.

The station-master started toward the dog, but Saxe Gotha did not heed him. He rose and trotted toward the north, through the little town, quite as if he had business in that direction. The pup was not handsome at this period of his life. He was marked like a tiger with tawny and gray stripes. His feet and his head looked too large for him, and his long back seemed to sag with the weight of his stomach. But, even to the most ignorant observer, he gave promise of distinction, of superb size, and strength, and intelligence.

At the edge of the little town, Saxe Gotha buried his feverish head in the watering-trough at the Wrenn rancho, drank till his sides swelled visibly, then started on along the trail with his business-like puppy trot. When he got out into the open desert, which stretched thirty miles wide from the river range to the Hualpai, and one hundred miles long from the railway to the Colorado River, he found the northern trail with no apparent difficulty.... Saxe Gotha was headed for the north, for the cool, sweet depth of forest that was his natural home.

He took fairly good care of himself. At intervals he dropped in the shade of a joshua-tree, and, after struggling to bite the cholla thorns from his feet, he would doze for a few minutes, then start on again. His distemper was easier in the sun, although his fever and the[155] desert heat soon evaporated the moisture that he had absorbed at the Wrenn's.

About three o'clock he stopped, wrinkled his black muzzle, and raised his finely domed head. The trail now lay along the foot of the Hualpai. He turned abruptly to the right, off the main trail, and trotted into a little cañon. On the other side of a rock that hid it from the main trail was Jim Baldwin's tent. Jim came to the door, at the sound of Saxe Gotha drinking up his little spring. Jim was a lover of dogs. He did not know Saxe Gotha's breed, but he did recognize his promise of distinction.

"Howdy, old man!" said Jim. "Have a can of beef!"

Saxe Gotha responded to the greeting with a puppy gambol, and devoured the beef with gusto. Jim went into the tent for a rope. When he returned, the pup was a receding dot on the north trail.

About four o'clock, the tri-weekly stage from the Happy Luck camp met Saxe Gotha. Dick Furman, the driver, stopped the panting horses and invited the huge puppy to ride with him. Saxe Gotha wriggled, chased his tail round once with a bark like the booming of a town clock, and with this exchange of courtesies Dick drove on southward, and the pup continued on his way to the north.

As darkness came on, he slowed his pace, paused and sniffed, and again turned off the main trail to a rough path up the side of the mountain. Before a silent hut of adobe, he found a half-barrel of water. Saxe Gotha rose on his hind legs, thrust his nose into the barrel and drank lustily. Then he stood rigid, with uncropped ears[156] lifted and nose thrust upward, sniffing. After a minute he whined. The business to the north was pressing; the pup did not want to stop; yet he still stood, listening, sniffing. At last, he started back to the main trail; when he reached it, he stopped once more, and once more sniffed and listened and whined; then he deliberately turned back to the silent hut, and trotted along the narrow trail that led up behind it to the west.

A short distance up the mountain, clear in the light of the moon, a tiny spring bubbled out of the ground, forming a pool the size of a wash-basin. A man lay beside the pool. Saxe Gotha walked up to him, whining, and then walked round and round him, sniffing him from head to foot. He licked his face and pawed at his shoulder with his clumsy paw. But the man lay in the heavy slumber of utter exhaustion. He was a tall, lean, strong young fellow, in his early twenties. His empty canteen, his pick and bar beside him, with a sack of ore, showed that he was just back from a prospecting trip. He had evidently run short of water and, after a forced march to the spring, where he had relieved his thirst, had dropped asleep on the spot.

At last Saxe Gotha lay down with his nose on the young man's shoulder, and his brown eyes were alert in the moonlight. Saxe Gotha had found his man!

Saxe Gotha had found his man! A discovery as important as that, of course, delayed the journey toward the north. All through the desert night the Great Dane pup lay shivering beside his man. What he saw beyond the silent desert, what vision of giant tree trunks, gray-green against an age-old turf, lured his exiled heart we cannot know. To understand what sudden fealty to the[157] heedless form he guarded forbade him his north would solve the riddle of love itself.

Little by little the stars faded. At last dawn lighted the face of the sleeping man; he stirred, and suddenly sat up. Saxe Gotha bounded to his feet with a bark of joy. Startled, the young man jumped up, staggering with weakness, and scowled when he saw the big puppy chasing his tail. Hunger and a guilty conscience are richly productive of vicious moods. Saxe Gotha's man picked up a rock and hurled it at him.

"Git! You blamed hound, you!"

In utter astonishment, Saxe Gotha paused in his joyous barking, and stood staring at the young fellow's sullen face. It was unbelievable! The young man did not in the least realize that he had been found! And yet, despite the eyes inflamed by the glare of the desert, his face was an intelligent one, with good features. He glared at the pup, and then walked weakly down the trail to his hut. Saxe Gotha followed, and sat on his haunches before the door, waiting. After a long time, the young man came out, washed and shaved, and with fresh clothes. He picked up his sack of ore, and as he did so, a haunted look came into his gray eyes. Such a look on so young a face might have told Saxe Gotha that the desert is bad for youth. But Saxe Gotha would not have cared. He kept his distance warily and wagged his tail. When the young man's glance fell on the dog, he saw him as something living on which to vent his own sense of guilt. Again he threw a stone at Saxe Gotha.

"Get out! Go back where you belong!"

The pup dodged, and stood waiting. Strangely dense his man was! The young man did not look at him again, but fell to sorting samples of ore. Certain tiny pieces[158] he gloated over as he found them, and he put them in a sack that he hid behind the door.

Now, Saxe Gotha never meant to do it, but he was young, and his distemper made him very ill, and he had not slept all night. When he saw his man safely absorbed in his work, he curled up in the shade of a rock and went off into the heavy sleep of a sick dog.

When he awoke, his man was gone! Saxe Gotha ran round and round through the adobe. The house was thick with scents of him, but whither he had gone was not to be told, for desert sands hold no scents. On the door-step lay an old vest of the man's. The dog sat down on this, and lifted his voice in a howl of anguish. There was only one thing to do, of course—wait for the man's return.

All day Saxe Gotha waited. He drank deeply from the barrel of water, but he went without food, although the remains of the young man's breakfast lay on the table. It was not in Saxe Gotha's breed to steal. All day and all night he waited. Now and again, he lifted his great voice in grief. With his face to that north which he had forbidden himself to seek, even though he was but a dog, he might have been youth mourning its perennial discovery that duty and desire do not always go hand in hand. Saxe Gotha might have been all the courage, all the loneliness, all the grief of youth, disillusioned.

The morning of the second day, a man rode up the trail. He was not Saxe Gotha's man. He dismounted, and called, "Hey, Evans!"

Saxe Gotha, a little unsteady on his legs, sat on his haunches and growled.[159]

"Where's your boss, pup?" asked the man. "I didn't know he had a dog."

Saxe Gotha growled.

"Humph!" said the man. "Off stealing ore again, I suppose."

The stranger prowled round the outside of the hut, and then came to the door.

"Get out of the way, dog! I'm going to find out where this rich claim is that he's finding free gold in. He's a thief, anyhow, not to report it to his company."

As he put his foot on the door-step, Saxe Gotha snapped at him. The stranger jumped back.

"You brute hound!" he cried. "What do you mean? If I had a gun, I'd shoot you!"

Saxe Gotha's anger gave him strength to rise. He stood lurching; his lips were drawn back over his fangs, his ears were flat to his head. The stranger walked back a few steps.

"He must weigh nearly a hundred pounds!" he muttered. "Come on, old pup. Here, have some of my snack! Here's a piece of corned beef! Come on, old fellow!"

Cajolery and threats were alike futile. Saxe Gotha was guarding for his man. After a while the dog's dumb fury maddened the stranger. He began to hurl rocks at the pup. At first the shots were harmless; then a jagged piece of ore caught the dog on the cheek and laid it open, and another slashed his back. With the snarl of a tiger, Saxe Gotha made a leap from the door at the stranger's throat. The man screamed, and jumped for his horse so hastily that Saxe Gotha caught only the shoulder of his coat and ripped the back out of the garment. Before the pup could gather his weakened body for another charge,[160] the stranger was mounted. He whipped his snorting horse down the trail, and disappeared.

Saxe Gotha feebly worried at the torn coat, then dragged himself back to the door and lay down on the vest, too weak to lick his wounds. The rest of the morning he lay quiet. At noon he suddenly opened his eyes. His ears pricked forward, and his tail beat feebly on the floor. His man rode up. He had a sack of fresh supplies thrown across his saddle. He turned his horse into the corral, then came toward the hut. The vicious mood seemed still to be with him.

"You still here?" he growled.

Then he caught sight of the piece of cloth, picked it up, and looked at the mauled and blood-stained muck on it. He stared at Saxe Gotha curiously.

"Johnson was here, eh? I'd know that check anywhere. The thief! What happened?"

As Evans came up, Saxe Gotha tried to give the old gambol of joy, but succeeded only in falling heavily. The young fellow strode into the hut, and walked slowly about. The sack of nuggets was still behind the door. The map that he had long ago prepared for the company for which he was investigating mines still lay covered with dust. On the table were the hunk of bacon, the fried potatoes, the dry bread. A number of jagged rocks were scattered on the floor. The dog was bloody.

Slowly young Evans turned his whole attention to Saxe Gotha, who lay watching him with passionate intentness. Evans took a handful of raw potato skins from the table and offered them to the pup. Saxe Gotha snatched at them and swallowed them as if frenzied with hunger. Evans looked at the food on the table, then at[161] the famished, emaciated dog. He stood gripping the edge of the table and staring out at the desert. A slow red came up from his neck and crossed his face; it seemed a magic red, for it wiped the vicious lines from his face and left it boyish and shamed. Suddenly his lips trembled. He dropped down in the doorway and ran his hand gently along the pup's sensitive back. His bloodshot eyes were blinded with tears.

"Old man," he whispered to Saxe Gotha, "I wasn't worth it!"

The dog looked up into the young man's face with an expression eager and questioning. And then, summoning all his feeble strength, he crowded his long, awkward body into the young man's lap....

After a moment he set Saxe Gotha on the floor and fed him a can of evaporated milk, carefully warmed, with bits of freshly fried bacon in it. He washed out the dog's cuts, then put him to bed in his own bunk. All that afternoon, while the dog slept, Evans paced the hut, fighting his fight. And, like all solitary desert-dwellers, he talked aloud....

"They promised to pay me regularly, to raise me, to give me a job in the home office after a year. It's been two years now. Yes, I know, I made some promises. I was to report all finds and turn in all valuable ore to them. But they haven't treated me right."

Then he turned to the sleeping dog, and his face softened.

"Wouldn't that beat you, his not eating the stuff on the table! Goodness knows I'd treated him badly enough! It seems as if even a dog might have a sense of honor; as if it didn't matter what I was, the fool pup had to keep straight with himself; as if—"[162]

Suddenly Evans stopped and gulped. Again came the slow, agonizing blush. For a long time he stood in silence. Finally, he squared his shoulders and moistened his lips.

"I can send the maps and what ore I have left by stage tomorrow. But it will take another year to get the whole thing straightened up, and get them paid back—another year of loneliness, and sand-storms, and sweltering. No snowy Christmas or green spring or the smell of burning leaves in the fall this year for me. I guess the pup will stay by me, though."

As if he realized that there was need of him, Saxe Gotha woke, and ambled over to the man's side. Evans sat down in the door, and the dog squatted beside him. Evans turned, took the dog's great head between his hands, and looked into the limpid eyes.

"I guess, old man, that there are more ways than one of making a success of yourself, and money-making is the least of them."

In Evans's eyes were the loneliness and grief of disappointed youth. But the rest of his face once more was clear and boyish with the wonderful courage of the young.

Saxe Gotha pawed Evans's knee wistfully. Perhaps across the stillness of the desert he caught the baying of the hunting pack in some distant, rain-drenched woodland. Yet he would not go. The dog leaned warmly against his man, who slid an arm across the tawny back. Then, with faces to their forbidden north, man and dog watched the desert night advance.



Among those who are striving for a permanent place among short story writers is Edna Ferber, a young woman who makes her stories interesting through her own keen observation of character traits revealed in the everyday life about her. Miss Ferber's work deserves mention among any group of Wisconsin writers quite as much from the promise of what may still come as from that already accomplished. Her ability to see the real in character and the truth in real life is the strong characteristic of her work. She has attempted to follow somewhat closely the language of the everyday life she portrays.

Edna Ferber's short stories, many of which have appeared in various magazines, have been collected into books published under the titles of "Buttered Side Down," "Dawn O'Hara," "Roast Beef Medium," and "Personality Plus." These stories are unified through the two characters portrayed, Dawn O'Hara and Mrs. Emma McChesney. It is probable that much of her own struggle and much of her aspiration for women is portrayed in these two characters. She hopes to show that women may make an undisputed place for themselves in the professional and business life.

The first of these characters is a young Irish woman who has devoted her energies to the mastering of the city newspaper reporter's work. Through the story of Dawn O'Hara's struggles, Edna Ferber has been able to give many interesting comments upon the toil and thrills of this nerve-racking work. At the same time she has been able to paint the struggle of the young writer to produce the first book, to picture German Milwaukee in a most interesting manner, and to make some interesting comments upon mutual helpfulness.

Emma McChesney is an example of the extraordinarily successful business woman. Despite the most discouraging conditions, she works her way from the beginning of a firm's least inviting employment to the complete management of its affairs. All the time she is inspired by the desire to give her son the best education and the best start in life and to assist him to the most manly character possible. The author rewards Emma McChesney with the full realization of her ambitions.

Edna Ferber was born in Appleton, Wisconsin. Her home was a humble one, but was able to provide her with the opportunity for high school education and a very little work in Lawrence College. After graduating from high school, she did work for the Appleton Crescent in the capacity of news collector and reporter. Through this work she began to realize her[164] powers and at the same time she trained herself to that keen observation of character which constitutes one of the greatest pleasures in her work. Appleton's stores, hotels, newspapers, and working life in general became her laboratory in which to study the characteristics, defects, and aspirations of human life as she finds it. As she has achieved greater success in her writing she has widened her sphere of acquaintanceship and of helpfulness. Her present home is Chicago.

The selection from her writings which we are permitted to give here is chosen because it illustrates her style and at the same time gives a vivid picture of one phase of the life of Wisconsin's metropolis. It is a chapter taken from her book, "Dawn O'Hara," and is entitled, "Steeped in German."


From "DAWN O'HARA." Copyright, 1911, by Frederick Stokes Publishing Co.

I am living in a little private hotel just across from the court house square with its scarlet geraniums and its pretty fountain. The house is filled with German civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and Herr Professors from the German academy. On Sunday mornings we have Pfannkuchen with currant jelly, and the Herr Professors come down to breakfast in fearful flappy German slippers. I'm the only creature in the place that isn't just over from Germany. Even the dog is a dachshund. It is so unbelievable that every day or two I go down to Wisconsin Street and gaze at the stars and stripes floating from the government building, in order to convince myself that this is America. It needs only a Kaiser or so, and a bit of Unter den Linden to be quite complete.

The little private hotel is kept by Herr and Frau Knapf. After one has seen them, one quite understands why the place is steeped in a German atmosphere up to the eyebrows.

I never would have found it myself. It was Doctor von Gerhard who had suggested Knapf's and who had paved the way for my coming here.[165]

"You will find it quite unlike anything you have ever tried before," he had warned me. "Very German it is, and very, very clean, and most inexpensive. Also I think you will find material there—how is it you call it?—copy, yes? Well, there should be copy in plenty; and types! But you shall see."

From the moment I rang the Knapf door-bell I saw. The dapper, cheerful Herr Knapf, wearing a disappointed Kaiser Wilhelm mustache, opened the door. I scarcely had begun to make my wishes known when he interrupted with a large wave of the hand, and an elaborate German bow.

"Ach, yes! You would be the lady of whom the Herr Doktor has spoken. Gewiss Frau Orme, not? But so a young lady I did not expect to see. A room we have saved for you—aber wunderhübsch. It makes me much pleasure to show. Folgen Sie mir, bitte."

"You—speak English?" I faltered with visions of my evenings spent in expressing myself in the sign language.

"English? But yes. Here in Milwaukee it gives aber mostly German. And then, too, I have been only twenty years in this country. And always in Milwaukee. Here is it gemütlich—and mostly it gives German."

I tried not to look frightened, and followed him up to the—"but wonderfully beautiful" room. To my joy I found it high-ceilinged, airy, and huge, with a vault of a clothes closet bristling with hooks, and boasting an unbelievable number of shelves. My trunk was swallowed up in it. Never in all my boarding-house experience have I seen such a room nor such a closet. The closet must have been built for a bride's trousseau in the days of hoop-skirts and scuttle bonnets. There was a separate and distinct hook for each and every one of my most[166] obscure garments. I tried to spread them out. I used two hooks to every petticoat, and three for my kimono, and when I had finished there were rows of hooks to spare. Tiers of shelves yawned for the hat-boxes which I possessed not. Bluebeard's wives could have held a family reunion in that closet and invited all of Solomon's spouses. Finally, in desperation, I gathered all my poor garments together and hung them in a social bunch on the hooks nearest the door. How I should have loved to show that closet to a select circle of New York boarding-house landladies!

After wrestling in vain with the forest of hooks, I turned my attention to my room. I yanked a towel thing off the center table and replaced it with a scarf that Peter had picked up in the Orient. I set up my typewriter in a corner near a window and dug a gay cushion or two and a chafing-dish out of my trunk. I distributed photographs of Norah and Max and the Spalpeens separately, in couples, and in groups. Then I bounced up and down in a huge yellow brocade chair and found it unbelievably comfortable. Of course, I reflected, after the big veranda, and the tree at Norah's, and the leather-cushioned comfort of her library, and the charming tones of her Oriental rugs and hangings—

"Oh, stop your carping, Dawn!" I told myself. "You can't expect charming tones and Oriental doo-dads and apple trees in a German boarding house. Anyhow there's running water in the room. For general utility purposes that's better than a pink prayer rug."

There was a time when I thought that it was the luxuries that made life worth living. That was in the old Bohemian days.

"Necessities!" I used to laugh, "Pooh! Who cares[167] about necessities. What if the dishpan does leak? It is the luxuries that count."

Bohemia and luxuries! Half a dozen lean, boarding-house years have steered me safely past that. After such a course in common sense you don't stand back and examine the pictures of a pink Moses in a nest of purple bull-rushes, or complain because the bureau does not harmonize with the wall paper. Neither do you criticize the blue and saffron roses that form the rug pattern. 'Deedy not! Instead you warily punch the mattress to see if it is rock-stuffed, and you snoop into the clothes closet; you inquire the distance to the nearest bath room, and whether the payments are weekly or monthly, and if there is a baby in the room next door. Oh, there's nothing like living in a boarding-house for cultivating the materialistic side.

But I was to find that here at Knapf's things were quite different. Not only was Ernest von Gerhard right in saying it was "very German, and very, very clean;" he recognized good copy when he saw it. Types! I never dreamed that such faces existed outside of the old German woodcuts that one sees illustrating time-yellowed books.

I had thought myself hardened to strange boarding-house dining rooms, with their batteries of cold, critical women's eyes. I had learned to walk unruffled in the face of the most carping, suspicious and the fishiest of these batteries. Therefore, on my first day at Knapf's, I went down to dinner in the evening, quite composed and secure in the knowledge that my collar was clean and that there was no flaw to find in the fit of my skirt in the back.

As I opened the door of my room I heard sounds as of a violent altercation in progress downstairs. I leaned[168] over the balusters and listened. The sounds rose and fell, swelled and boomed. They were German sounds that started in the throat, gutturally, and spluttered their way up. They were sounds such as I had not heard since the night I was sent to cover a Socialist meeting in New York. I tip-toed down stairs, although I might have fallen down and landed with a thud without being heard. The din came from the direction of the dining-room. Well, come what might, I would not falter. After all, it could not be worse than the awful time when I had helped cover the teamsters' strike. I peered into the dining-room.

The thunder of conversation went on as before. But there was no blood shed. Nothing but men and women sitting at small tables, eating and talking. When I say eating and talking, I do not mean that those acts were carried on separately. Not at all. The eating and talking went on simultaneously, neither interrupting the other. A fork full of food and a mouthful of ten-syllabled German words met, wrestled, and passed one another, unscathed. I stood in the doorway, fascinated until Herr Knapf spied me, took a nimble skip in my direction, twisted the discouraged mustaches into temporary sprightliness, and waved me toward a table in the center of the room.

Then a frightful thing happened. When I think of it now I turn cold. The battery was not that of women's eyes, but that of men's. And conversation ceased! The uproar and the booming of vowels was hushed. The silence was appalling. I looked up in horror to find that what seemed to be millions of staring blue eyes were fixed on me. The stillness was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. Such men! Immediately I dubbed[169] them the aborigines, and prayed that I might find adjectives with which to describe their foreheads.

It appeared that the aborigines were especially favored in that they were all placed at one long, untidy table at the head of the room. The rest of us sat at small tables. Later I learned that they were all engineers. At meals they discuss engineering problems in the most awe-inspiring German. After supper they smoke impossible German pipes and dozens of cigarettes. They have bulging, knobby foreheads and bristling pompadours, and some of the rawest of them wear wild-looking beards, and thick spectacles, and cravats and trousers that Lew Fields never even dreamed of. They are all graduates of high-sounding foreign universities and are horribly learned and brilliant, but they are the worst mannered lot I ever saw.

In the silence that followed my entrance a red-cheeked maid approached me and asked what I would have for supper. Supper? I asked. Was not dinner served in the evening? The aborigines nudged each other and sniggered like fiendish little school-boys.

The red-cheeked maid looked at me pityingly. Dinner was served in the middle of the day, natürlich. For supper there was Wienerschnitzel and kalter Aufschnitt, also Kartoffelsalat, and fresh Kaffeekuchen.

The room hung breathless on my decision. I wrestled with a horrible desire to shriek and run. Instead I managed to mumble an order. The aborigines turned to one another inquiringly.

"Was hat sie gesagt?" they asked. "What did she say?" Whereupon they fell to discussing my hair and teeth and eyes and complexion in German as crammed with adjectives as was the rye bread over which I was choking, with caraway. The entire table watched me[170] with wide-eyed, unabashed interest while I ate, and I advanced by quick stages from red-faced confusion to purple mirth. It appeared that my presence was the ground for a heavy German joke in connection with the youngest of the aborigines. He was a very plump and greasy looking aborigine with a doll-like rosiness of cheek and a scared and bristling pompadour and very small pig-eyes. The other aborigines clapped him on the back and roared:

"Ai Fritz! Jetzt brauchst du nicht zu weinen! Deine Lena war aber nicht so huebsch, eh?"

Later I learned that Fritz was the newest arrival and that since coming to this country he had been rather low in spirits in consequence of a certain flaxen-haired Lena whom he had left behind in the Fatherland.

An examination of the dining room and its other occupants served to keep my mind off the hateful long table. The dining room was a double one, the floor carpetless and clean. There was a little platform at one end with hardy-looking plants in pots near the windows. The wall was ornamented with very German pictures of very plump, bare-armed German girls being chucked under the chin by very dashing mustachioed German lieutenants. It was all very bare, and strange and foreign to my eyes and yet there was something bright and comfortable about it. I felt that I was going to like it, aborigines and all.

After my first letter home Norah wrote frantically, demanding to know if I was the only woman in the house. I calmed her fears by assuring her that, while the men were interesting and ugly with the fascinating ugliness of a bulldog, the women were crushed looking and uninteresting and wore hopeless hats. I have written Norah[171] and Max reams about this household, from the aborigines to Minna, who tidies my room and serves my meals, and admires my clothes. Minna is related to Frau Knapf, whom I have never seen. Minna is inordinately fond of dress, and her remarks anent my own garments are apt to be a trifle disconcerting, especially when she intersperses her recital of dinner dishes with admiring adjectives directed at my blouse or hat. Thus:

"Wir haben roast beef, und sparribs mit sauerkraut, und schicken—ach wie schoen, Frau Orme! Aber ganz pracchtvoll?" Her eyes and hands are raised toward heaven.

"What's prachtful?" I ask, startled. "The chicken?"

"Nein; your waist. Selbst gemacht?"

I am even becoming hardened to the manners of the aborigines. It used to fuss me to death to meet one of them in the halls. They always stopped short, brought heels together with a click, bent stiffly from the waist, and thundered: "Nabben', Fräulein!"

I have learned to take the salutation quite calmly, and even the wildest, most spectacled and knobby-browed aborigine cannot startle me. Nonchalantly I reply, "Nabben'," and wish Norah could but see me in the act.

When I told Ernst von Gerhard about them, he laughed a little and shrugged his shoulders and said:

"Na, you should not look so young, and so pretty, and so unmarried. In Germany a married woman brushes her hair quite smoothly back, and pins it in a hard knob. And she knows nothing of such bewildering collars and fluffy frilled things in the front of the blouse. How do you call them—jabots?"



Mr. George L. Teeple was born in Champaign, Illinois, in 1864, and at the age of nine came to Whitewater to live with his aunt and uncle. He was graduated from the old "Academic Department" of the Whitewater Normal, about which school he writes so charmingly in the sketch here given.

Mr. Teeple planned his collegiate career in preparation for the profession of engineering. He was graduated from Cornell University in 1889, and was engaged in active engineering work and instructural duties in this line until 1895. But at this time he felt the call to the field of English, and he gave special study to this subject for two years at Harvard. From 1897 to 1899 he was instructor in English in the State Normal School at Stevens Point, but at this time the demands of his health made it necessary that he resume active outdoor work, so, since the latter date, he has been more or less closely identified with his first-chosen profession. But in all these years he has never lost his interest in creative literary activities. He writes very slowly and carefully, with infinite pains and almost endless revision. His work, as represented in "The Battle of Gray's Pasture," fully repays his effort, for, though the phrases seem to have come easily and readily, they show the fitness and grace that are the result of no other thing than rigorous care.

His home is in Whitewater, which, as will be noted, has sheltered many Wisconsin writers, notably President Albert Salisbury and Dr. Rollin Salisbury, George Steele and Julius Birge. The selection here given is an account of a real football battle. But "Gray's Pasture" has now been transformed into a modern athletic field, and the "spreading oak" has been replaced by a concrete grandstand.


From the Century Magazine, September, 1903.

... You will find no such "Normalities" nowadays. The old breed is gone. The greenest I see look quite correct and starched and tailor-made. No originality of costume[173] now. No "high-water pants," such as refreshed the eye in the old days. No pitifully insufficient coat, stretching its seams across some great fellow's back, button struggling with buttonhole to hold in his expanding chest, showing by its very insufficiency what a Hercules he was. You will see none of these now. They have disappeared; the old sap and individuality quite, quite gone.

There is no such spirit in the school today. They have a football eleven, it is true, and it holds its head well up among its mates; a little above 'em, too, most of the time; the old school's the old school yet, I tell 'em; but, after all, it isn't the old game, nor the old spirit. I go out sometimes to watch them, and think: "Well, it's a queer game they play now, and call football!" They trot out in such astonishing toggery; padded and guarded from shin to crown—welted, belted, strapped, and buckled beyond recognition. And there's no independence in the play; every move has to be told 'em. It's as if they weren't big enough to run alone; and so they hire a big stepmother of a university "coach," who stands around in a red sweater, and yells, and berates them. Not a man answers back; he doesn't dare to. They don't dare eat plain, Christian food, but have a "training table," and diet like invalids. I've seen 'em at a game not dare to take a plain drink of water; when they got thirsty they sucked at a wet sponge, like babes at the bottle!

It was not so in our day. No apron strings of a university coach were tied to us. We were free-born men. When we wanted to play we got together and went down to the old pasture, to the big oak tree that stood near the middle of it; and there we would "choose up," and take off our coats and vests and neckgear, and pile them round[174] the oak, and walk out on the field and go at it—everybody—not a pitiful dozen or so, while the rest stood with their hands in their pockets and looked on—but everybody! And it was football: no playing half an hour without seeing the ball in the air once; we kicked it all the time—except when we missed it, and then we kicked the other fellow's shins! And when we got thirsty we went down to the spring and took an honest drink out of an honest tin cup.

And what a fine, free, open game it was—the old game! What art you could put into its punting, and running, and dodging, and creeping, and drop-kicking! And what a glorious tumult in the old-fashioned scrimmage, especially the scrimmages in the old ditch. It was a rather broad and shallow ditch, and into it the ball would often roll, a dozen excited fellows dashing after it; and there in the ditch bottom, in mad mêlee, frantic foot to foot, naked shin against sole leather, we would fight to drive the ball through the opposing mob. There might the rustic Normalite, with implacable cowhides, the bigger now the better, sweeten his humiliation with revenge, and well I remember the fearful devastation he sometimes wrought among our Academic shins!

But we were used to that. Indeed, we youngsters gloried in it. It was a spot upon your honor not to have a spot upon your shin. We compared them as soldiers brag of their wounds in battle, and he who could exhibit the largest and most lurid specimen was the best man. Those discolored patches were our "V. C.'s" and "Crosses of the Legion of Honor"; seals attesting our spirit, stamped with a stamp of good, stiff sole leather, painfully enough, it was true, but who cared for that? We were only sorry we could not exhibit them in public. To be[175] obliged to carry such decorations under your trouser leg was hard.

Football Night at the "Lincolnian Literary," and Laury Thompson's speech there I must tell about. If any of the old boys ever read this—and it is for them I am writing it—they will wonder if I leave that out. For it marked an epoch in the Normal preparation for the game. And coming from Laury Thompson it was so unexpected. He always looked so cheerful in his high-water pants. His clothes were such a harmonious misfit. And he got off his absurdities with such a grave, humorous-innocent face; only the veiled twinkling in the eyes to show that it was not the most solemn matter in the world.

He "wore his pants high-water a-purpose," he told us; "had 'em made so for hot weather; coolin', ye know; refreshin'; lets the air in; breeze of heaven playin' up and down your pant-leg." And when one of the boys cracked some joke on his big shoes, he gravely remonstrated, assuring us that he "had those shoes made sort of in memoriam; hide of a heifer calf of his'n that got killed by the cars: a rosebud of a little critter; he kind o' wanted something to remember her by; tarnation good leather, too." He had "writ a poem" on that calf, he said, but refused to recite it; "felt delikit about exposin' his feelin's."

The old Lincolnian Literary Society is dead now, and its room has been turned into a shop for the Manual Training Department. It is a long, narrow room on the third floor, and was crowded that night to the very door. The meeting, called "to rouse public spirit in the matter of the coming game," grew spirited and hilarious as the speaking proceeded, and when Thompson was called on,[176] and his tall, odd figure rose up in the midst, there was great thundering of boots along the floor.

"Boys," he began, "our Academic friends, raised, most of 'em, in this proud metropolis, seem to 'a' got the notion that because we haven't just stepped out of a fashion plate we can't play football. They tell us to 'thrash the hayseed out of our hair,' and to 'slack off on our galluses, and see if we can't get some o' that high-water out of our pants;' they've been 'tryin' to figure out our combined acreage o' boot leather,' they say, 'and had to give it up; Arabic notation wa'n't equal to it.'

"Well, let 'em laugh. I reckon we're duck-backed enough to shed whole showers o' that kind o' stuff; and when the game comes off they'll find that what wins a game o' football ain't pants, nor hair, nor shoe-leather, but what's in and under 'em. They'll find men's feet in those shoes, and men's legs in those trousers, and the brains o' men under that hair!

"For I tell you, we're goin' to win that game; and we're goin' to win it just because o' what gave us the hayseed an' the high-water and the boot-leather; because we've got on our side the men with muscle hardened on the old farm; men who've swung an axe from mornin' till night in the wood-lot, and cradled two acres of oats a day, and who'll go through 'em in a scrimmage like steers through standin' corn!

"Yes, boys, it's true; we're 'hayseeds' and 'country jakes.' All the better for that. Grass don't grow down, and go where you will, you'll find the hayseed at the top. Why, what was he?"—he turned and extended a long arm and forefinger toward a picture of Daniel Webster that[177] hung behind him on the wall of the room,—"what was he? A hayseed, and son of a hayseed!"

Yes, there's a hayseed in our hair;
Proud it's there!
And our boots are big an' square;
So they air!
And when you hear 'em thunderin'
On the Academic shin,
Back them cowhide boots to win!
Academs, beware!
Hooray then for hayseed hair!
It gits there!
And for cowhides big and square;
Every pair!
And when you hear 'em thunderin'
On the Academic shin,
Back them cowhide boots to win!
Academs, take care!

But the morning of the great day came with a broad, red sun rolling and tumbling in mist, which blew away with rising wind and let the sun in to dry the field.

And we were the heroes; the great observed of all observers. We trod the earth with a large, heroic tread. I, the smallest, last, and youngest of the company, walked with the lordiest stride of all. The season long I had fought for a "place on the team," and I had won, and Annie was there to see. Never mind who Annie was. I am telling now about a football team.

"Look at Banty, here," I heard a Normalite say, "captain o' the team, ain't he? Hull thing, an' dog under the wagon."

Even Annie smiled, and just then my cousin Teddy came up.[178]

"What are you lookin' so red an' savage about?" says Teddy.

"Achin' to jump into that Normal team," says I.

Under the big oak Rob Mackenzie and Tom Powell, with the big fellows around them, were settling the last preliminaries. The referee pitched the coin.

"Heads it is," called Tom quietly. "We'll take the north goal." The wind by this time was stiff out of the north, and the Normals had won the toss.

Now, too, we saw the meaning of the mysterious practice in Normal Hall. Along the lower edge of the pasture, and forming the eastern side-line, there ran a "tight board" fence, and next it, the entire length of the pasture, the shallow ditch I have already spoken of. In that ditch we used to fight half of our scrimmages, and in that ditch the Normals concentrated their strategy and strength. In massive formation, the ball in the midst, protected by the fence on one side and by a moving stockade of stout legs and sturdy shoulders on the other, down the ditch they would drive, sweeping away our lighter fellows like leaves as they went, on and on, to what seemed an inevitable goal.

But right there the weakness of the play developed. The goal posts stood, as in the modern game, midway the ends of the field. No "touch-downs" counted, only goals; and to make a goal they must leave their ditch and protecting fence and come out into the open. And there Rob Mackenzie gathered his heavy men for the defense. With Whitty, and Nic, and Jim Greening, and the others, he would ram the Normal formation until it broke; then unless someone had done it before him, he would go in himself, capture the ball, and with Whitty,[179] his team-mate, rush away with it toward the Normal goal.

The second half began, and the Normal pace grew faster. Those endurin' muscles, "hardened on the old farm," that "had cradled two acres of oats a day, day in day out, under the July sun," were beginning to tell. Like a sledge-hammer at a shaking door the Normal formation pounded at our defence. When the door should fall seemed but a matter of time. The Normalite roar along the side-line grew louder. Again and again, while the scrimmage thickened, with John Hicks and Scott and Simpson hurling into it, would burst out their thundering refrain:

Hooray for our hayseed hair;
It gits there!
An' our boots so big an' square;
Every pair!
And when you hear 'em thunderin'
On the Academic shin,
Back them cowhide boots to win!
Academs, beware!

And only for Rob Mackenzie we should again and again have gone down. How through our darkening fortunes shone the unconquerable spirit and energy of his play! Like that kind of ancient Bedouins who, "when Evil bared before them his hindmost teeth, flew gaily to meet him, in company or alone!" Again and again the Normal formation rolled along the ditch sweeping our out-fighters before it, and again and again, as it reached the critical point and swung out into the field to make the goal, would Rob hurl against it his heavy attack,—Whitty, and Rhodes, and Limp, and Jim Greening, and big Nic, and finally himself,—till the Normal mass went[180] into chaos; out of which, through some unguarded gap, the ball would come tumbling, Rob and Whitty behind it; then down the field together they would dart, the ball before them, we youngsters yelling madly in the rear, the battle-fire in us, which had flagged with fear, bursting up again in yells of exultation like a flame.

Yet not to score; again neither side could score. The second half approached its end, and it seemed as if the game would remain a tie. As the two sides suddenly realized this, there came, as if by common consent, a pause. The Babel-roar along the side-line dropped into a hum. Then a voice called out,—it was Tom Powell; you could hear him all over the field:

"How much more time?"

And the answer came clear and clean-cut through the dead silence:

"One minute and a half!"

The Academics yelled with joy; no hope now of winning, but in so short a time the Normals cannot score; we escape defeat; it will be a drawn battle. Then they stilled again, not so sure.

For the Normal "sledge-hammer" was uplifting for a last blow. One chance remained, and Tom Powell staked all on a final cast. He left only Van Lone to guard his goal. Every other man of his team he would build into the breaks of his formation in a last determined attack. Wave after wave he had hurled against us; now this last, "a ninth one, gathering all the deep," he would hurl.

The attack came on, and our out-fighters as usual went down before it. In practically perfect order, with Simpson and John Hicks in flank, and Tom Powell himself at the centre, it turned out of the ditch for the goal. Whitty[181] and Jim Greening went down; then big Nic. The Normal uproar gathered and swelled and burst, and swelled and burst again as they swept on. In front, Rob Mackenzie, with a last handful, stood yet. He spoke a few low, sharp words, and they went forward, not in mass, but in line.

The cooler heads looked and wondered. What did it mean? What could a thin line do against that massive-moving squad of men? but just wrap round it like a shred of twine, and like twine again, break, while the mass swept on.

So the line moved forward; but just as it was on point to strike, it stumbled apparently, the whole line together, and went down. The Normal yell rose again. But it rose too soon; the line was not down, but crouching there, a barricade across the Normal path. The stroke of strategy was too sudden to be met. Driven on by its very mass and the blind momentum of the men in the rear, the Normal formation struck our crouching line, toppled momentarily, as a wave topples over a wall of rock; then, self-destroying, its van tumbling over the Academic line, its rear plunging on over its broken front, it crumbled, broke, and stopped.

Then, while the Academics along the side-line went mad with exultation, the fallen chaos struggled to its feet, a wilder chaos than ever, a score of boots slamming for the ball at once, which bounded back and forth like a big leathern shuttlecock in the midst.

So, for a long-drawn moment, then it leaped out clear and free, and a player after it like a cannon-flash, down the field toward the Normal goal. Well may the Academics yell! It is Rob Mackenzie,—fastest man on the ground, and away now with a free field! Hard after him John Hicks, with every sinew at the stretch, and teeth grim-set,[182] and the whole Normal team streaming in a wild tail of pursuit behind. The side-line, which, until now, had held the surge of spectators, burst like a dam in flood, and poured a yelling torrent toward the Normal goal.

There stood big Van Lone, sole guardian bulldog at that gate; an honest bulldog, but terribly bewildered, all pandemonium storming in on him at once. He started forward, but what could he do against Rob Mackenzie? The ball rises over his head, hovers an instant at top flight, or seems to; then shoots forward between the goal posts. The game was won!

And who that was there will ever forget the celebration that followed? Rob Mackenzie tossed skyward on a hundred shoulders, with mighty shouts, till the old pasture rocked and swam; the great, ruddy face of John Hicks, shining through the press, undimmed by defeat, as he came to greet his victorious foe; the meeting and hand-grasp of the two heroes, amid tremendous tumult, all lesser yells upborne on the oceanic roar of Nic; the wild processional through the town, tramping tumultuous to the roar of John Brown's Body, with Rob in triumphal chariot, rolling on down Main Street toward the west, where the clouds of sunset flamed into bonfires and the firey sun itself seemed a huge cannon's mouth hurling a thunder salute in honor of the event.

Well, all that happened years ago. Those old days can never come back. Even the old pasture I cannot see as I saw it then. It was only the other day, drawn by old thoughts revived, that I walked out to see it, through the still summer afternoon, down the old familiar road, so well known but so strangely quiet now, with its few scattered old white oaks and maples, that seem to nod sleepily in a kind of old friendliness, till you come to the[183] turn by the burr oak grove where the pasture opens.

There they lay,—the long, tranquil slope, the green level that had been one field, the ditch along the fence,—under the quiet sunshine, in sleep and silence. Great, peaceful-looking white clouds, like great white cattle asleep, lay along the blue heaven overhead. The old oak where we were used to choose up stood motionless, as if it dreamed over the old days. Could this be indeed the old pasture, scene of our stormy uproar, this field asleep? I turned away with a half lonely feeling.

The old boys are gone, too, most of them, scattered I don't know where. Do they ever, I wonder, after the day's work is done, sit in the evening by the warm firelight, while the soft pipe-smoke wraps them in its tranquil cloud, and dream foolishly, as I do, over those old days? I like to think they do.



The editors of this volume have been struck many times with the element of grouping that seems to have asserted itself in Wisconsin literary efforts, as in those of America, or England, or perhaps any country. Centers seem to be formed from which radiate light and glow of literary activities. Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the great literary center of our country in the middle fifty years of the nineteenth century. The Lake Region was such a center for English production in the preceding fifty years. In Wisconsin, naturally enough, the University has been the fountain from which has flowed much that is most worth-while in the literature of our state. It should be noted that not only those who are formally grouped here with the University as their center may justly be thought to be vitally indebted to that institution for the impulse to write. Among the authors first mentioned in this book, John Muir, Zona Gale, Mrs. Willsie, and Professor Sanford all were students at the University, and no doubt were profoundly influenced by their Alma Mater.

The next most important source of inspiration to our authors seems to have been our rivers. The beautiful bluffs bordering the Mississippi; the charm and grace of the sweeping lines of Lake Pepin; the tumbling, rushing waters of the Wisconsin, with their thickly-wooded hills and their green slopes of prairie and their October sunsets, seen through crimson oak and maple leaves; or the numerous falls of the upper Fox,—all have stirred the hearts of the fortunate people privileged to live within their influence. Hence, at Stevens Point, La Crosse, Appleton, and a few other cities in the state with similar surroundings, we have a literature with charming local flavor.

Elsewhere we quote Mr. Howard M. Jones's "When Shall We Together," which faithfully depicts the "river feeling" of those who love the Father of Waters.

We desire to acquaint our readers, at this point, however, with a brief excerpt from what is perhaps the most careful and faithful depiction of the Mississippi itself,—Mr. Merrick's "Old Times on the Upper Mississippi." The author lived for many years amid the scenes that he depicts, and for nine years was a pilot on an upper Mississippi boat. The romance and adventure of that life helped more to rouse and challenge the imagination than any other single feature of early pioneer days, and Mr. Merrick, though now what many would consider "pretty[185] well along in years," is still young enough in the remembrance of those days. Like many another hard-working pioneer, he caught the spirit of his work, and he here has faithfully set down the most careful record of river annals in existence, from a historical standpoint, and at the same time one which grips the interest of the reader.


The recollections of a steamboat pilot from 1854 to 1863, by George Byron Merrick.
Copyright, 1909, by the author. From Chapter XXX, pp. 241-247.

I knew that I had not yet been weaned from the spokes, and doubted if I ever should be. I said that I would try, and I did. I filed an application for the first leave of absence I had ever asked for from the railroad company, and it was granted. I found a man to assist the "devil" in getting out my paper, he doing the editing for pure love of editing, if not from love of the editor. We set our house in order, packed our trunk and grips, and when the specified fortnight was ended, we (my wife, my daughter, and myself) were comfortably bestowed in adjoining staterooms in the ladies' cabin of the "Mary Morton," and I was fidgeting about the boat, watching men "do things" as I had been taught, or had seen others do, twenty years ago or more.

The big Irish mate bullied his crew of forty "niggers," driving them with familiar oaths, to redoubled efforts in getting in the "last" packages of freight, which never reached the last. Among the rest, in that half hour, I saw barrels of mess pork—a whole car load of it, which the "nigger" engine was striking down into the hold. Shades of Abraham! pork out of St. Paul! Twenty years before, I had checked out a whole barge load (three hundred barrels) through from Cincinnati, by way of Cairo. Cincinnati was the great porkopolis of the world, while Chicago was yet keeping its pigs in each back yard, and[186] every freeholder "made" his own winter's supply of pork for himself. The steward in charge of the baggage was always in the way with a big trunk on the gangway, just as of old. The engineers were trying their steam, and slowly turning the wheel over, with the waste cocks open, to clear the cylinders of water. The firemen were coaxing the beds of coal into the fiercer heats. The chief clerk compared the tickets which were presented by hurrying passengers with the reservation sheet, and assigned rooms, all "the best," to others who had no reservations. The "mud" clerk checked his barrels and boxes and scribbled his name fiercely and with many flourishes to the last receipts. The pilot on watch, Mr. Burns, sat on the window ledge in the pilot house, and waited. The captain stood by the big bell, and listened for the "All ready, Sir!" of the mate. As the words were spoken, the great bell boomed out one stroke, the lines slacked away and were thrown off the snubbing posts. A wave of the captain's hand, a pull at once of the knobs of the wheel-frame, the jingle of a bell far below, the shiver of the boat as the great wheel began its work, and the bow of the "Mary Morton" swung to the south; a couple of pulls at the bell-rope, and the wheel was revolving ahead; in a minute more the escape pipes told us that she was "hooked up," and with full steam ahead we were on our way to St. Louis. And I was again in the pilot house with my old chief, who bade me "show us what sort of an education you had when a youngster."

Despite my forty years I was a boy again, and Tom Burns was the critical chief, sitting back on the bench with his pipe alight, a comical smile oozing out of the corners of mouth and eyes, for all the world like the teacher of old.[187]

The very first minute I met the swing of the gangplank derrick (there is no jack staff on the modern steamboat, more's the pity), with two or three strokes when one would have been a plenty, yawing the boat around "like a toad in a hailstorm," as I was advised. I could feel the hot blood rushing to my cheeks, just as it did twenty years before under similar provocation, when the eye of the master was upon me. I turned around and found that Mr. Burns had taken it in, and we both laughed like boys—as I fancy both of us were for the time.

But I got used to it very soon, getting the "feel of it," and as the "Mary Morton" steered like a daisy I lined out a very respectable wake; though Tom tried to puzzle me a good deal with questions as to the landmarks, most of which I had forgotten save in a general way....

A mile or two below Hastings I saw the "break" on the surface of the water which marked the resting-place of the "Fanny Harris," on which I had spent so many months of hard work, but which, looked back upon through the haze of twenty years, now seemed to have been nothing but holiday excursions.

At Prescott I looked on the familiar water front, and into the attic windows where with my brother I had so often in the night watches studied the characteristics of boats landing at the levee. Going ashore I met many old-time friends, among whom was Charles Barnes, agent of the Diamond Jo Line, who had occupied the same office on the levee since 1858, and had met every steam boat touching the landing during all those years. He was the Nestor of the profession, and was one of the very few agents still doing business on the water front who had begun such work prior to 1860. Since then, within[188] a few years past, he also has gone, and that by an accident, while still in the performance of duties connected with the steamboat business.

Dropping rapidly down the river, we passed Diamond Bluff without stopping, but rounded to at Red Wing for passengers and freight, and afterward headed into a big sea on Lake Pepin, kicked up by the high south wind that was still blowing. We landed under the lee of the sandpit at Lake City, and after getting away spent the better part of an hour in picking up a barge load of wheat, that was anchored out in the lake....

I turned in at an early hour, and lay in the upper berth, listening to the cinders skating over the roof a couple of feet above my face, and translating the familiar sounds that reached me from the engine-room and roof—the call for the draw at the railroad bridge, below the landing; the signal for landing at Wabasha; the slow bell, the stopping-bell, the backing bell, and a dozen or twenty unclassified bells, before the landing was fully accomplished; the engineer trying the water in the boilers; the rattle of the slice-bars on the sides of the furnace doors as the firemen trimmed their fires; and one new and unfamiliar sound from the engine-room—the rapid exhaust of the little engine driving the electric generator, the only intruder among the otherwise familiar noises, all of which came to my sleepy senses as a lullaby.



Hattie Tyng was born in Boston in 1840, and came with her parents to Columbus, Wisconsin, in 1850, where, in course of time, she was married to Mr. Griswold, and it was in this delightful village that much of her work as an author was done. Here she died in 1909.

The books by which she is best-known are: "Apple Blossoms," "Waiting on Destiny," "Lucile and Her Friends," and "The Home Life of Great Authors." It is from the last named book that our selection is taken. As its title would indicate, the book aimed to give a more personal and intimate view of men and women well-known to fame than is to be found in most reference works. The young readers of this volume will know that mere dates and statistics do not enable them to know people; they like to have some personal details as to the habits and daily lives of the people about whom they read. Mrs. Griswold was so filled with the true teaching instinct that she realized this. She says in one of her works that since she had such a hard time when she was a little girl getting any picture in her mind of the great people about whom she read, that she determined to make it easier for other boys and girls to get these mental pictures; that is why she wrote "The Home Life of Great Authors."


From "HOME LIFE OF GREAT AUTHORS." Copyright, 1886, A. C. McClurg & Co.

The poet Whittier always calls to mind the prophet-bards of the olden time. There is much of the old Semetic fire about him, and ethical and religious subjects seem to occupy his entire mind. Like his own Tauler, he walks abroad, constantly

"Pondering the solemn Miracle of Life;
As one who, wandering in a starless night,
Feels momently the jar of unseen waves,
And hears the thunder of an unknown sea
Breaking along an unimagined shore."

His poems are so thoroughly imbued with this religious spirit that they seem to us almost like the sacred writings of the different times and nations of the world. They come to the lips upon all occasions of deep feeling almost as naturally as the Scriptures do. They are current coin with reformers the world over. They are the Alpha and Omega of deep, strong religious faith. Whoever would best express his entire confidence in the triumph of the right, and his reliance upon God's power against the devices of men, finds the words of Whittier upon his lips; and to those who mourn and seek for consolation, how naturally and involuntarily come back lines from his poems they have long treasured, but which perhaps never had a personal application until now! To the wronged, the down-trodden, and the suffering they appeal as strongly as the Psalms of David. He is the great High Priest of Literature. But few priests at any time have had such an audience and such influence as he. The moral and religious value of his work can scarcely be overstated. Who can ever estimate the power which his strong words have had throughout his whole career in freeing the minds of other millions from the shackles of unworthy old beliefs? His blows have been strong, steady, persistent. He has never had the fear of man before his eyes. No man has done more for freedom, fellowship and character in religion than he. Hypocrisy and falsehood and cant have been his dearest foes, and he has ridden at them early and late with his lance poised and his steed at full tilt. Indeed, for a Quaker, Mr. Whittier must be said to have a great deal of the martial spirit. The fiery, fighting zeal of the old reformers is in his blood. You can imagine him as upon occasion enjoying the imprecatory Psalms. In his anti-slavery[191] poems there is a depth of passionate earnestness which shows that he could have gone to the stake for his opinions had he lived in an earlier age than ours. That he did risk his life for them, even in our own day, is well known. During the intense heat of the anti-slavery conflict he was mobbed once and again by excited crowds; but he was not to be intimidated by all the powers of evil, and continued to speak his strong words and to sing his inspiring songs, whether men would hear or whether they would forbear. And those Voices of Freedom, whatever may be thought of them by mere critics and litterateurs, will outlast any poems of their day, and sound "down the ringing grooves of Time" when much that is now honored has been forgotten. He will be known as the Poet of a great Cause, the Bard of Freedom, as long as the great anti-slavery conflict is remembered. He is a part, and an important part, of the history of his country, a central figure in the battalions of the brave. Those wild, stirring bugle-calls of his cheered the little army, and held it together many a time when the cause was only a forlorn hope, and they came with their stern defiance into the camp of the enemy with such masterful power that some gallant enemies deserted to his side. They were afraid to be found fighting against God, as Whittier had convinced them they were doing. There is the roll of drums and the clash of spears in these stirring strains; there are echoes from Thermopylae and Marathon, and the breath of the old Greek heroes is in the air; there is a hint of the old Border battle-cries from Scotland's hills and tarns; from Jura's rocky wall we can catch the cheers of Tell; and the voice of Cromwell can often be distinguished in the strain.

There is also the sweep of the winds through the[192] pine woods, and the mountain blasts of New England, and the strong, fresh breath of the salt sea; all tonic influences, in short, which braced up the minds of the men of those days to a fixed and heroic purpose, from which they never receded until their end was achieved. It has become the fashion in these days of dilettanteism to say that earnestness and moral purpose have no place in poetry, and small critics have arisen who claim that Mr. Whittier has been spoiled as a poet by his moral teachings. To these critics it is only necessary to point to the estimation in which Mr. Whittier's poetry is held by the world, and to the daily widening of his popularity among scholars and men of letters, as well as among the people, to teach them that this ruined poetry is likely to live when all the merely pretty poetry they so much admire is forgotten forever. The small poets who are afraid of touching a moral question for fear of ruining their poems would do well to compare Poe, who is the leader of their school and its best exponent, with Mr. Whittier, and to ask themselves which is the more likely to survive the test of time. Let them also ponder the words of Principal Shairp, one of the finest critics of the day, when he says of the true mission of the poet, that "it is to awaken men to the divine side of things; to bear witness to the beauty that clothes the outer world, the nobility that lies hid, often obscured, in human souls; to call forth sympathy for neglected truths, for noble and oppressed persons, for down-trodden causes; and to make men feel that through all outward beauty and all pure inward affection God himself is addressing them." They would do well also to ponder the words of Ruskin, who believes that only in as far as it has a distinct moral purpose is a literary work of value to the world.



Professor Albert H. Sanford, of the La Crosse State Normal School, is best known as an author of text books and pamphlets on history and related subjects. But he is, like all the other school men whose works are represented here, interested in other fields besides his specialty.

Born in the southwestern part of Wisconsin, he naturally became interested in farming, and in the development of agriculture in the agricultural section. From this interest and his natural bent toward anything historical grew his desire to picture briefly and attractively the development of this most important industry of our country from its early beginnings in colonial times to the present day. His book is filled with narratives and expositions which will hold the interest of any boy or girl who likes to read stories of adventure or trial, of hardship, and of final success.

The most noteworthy feature of Professor Sanford's style is clarity, coupled with logical sequence and organization. The brief selection here given illustrates these qualities, and represents very fairly the remainder of the book.


Copyright, 1916, by D. C. Heath & Co. From Chapter X.

When farms were scattered, life became lonely and monotonous; the people therefore took advantage of every possible occasion to have social gatherings. House raisings and log-rollings gave opportunity for such meetings. The women met in sewing and quilting bees and apple-parings; the men came for the evening meal and remained for the country dance. The husking-bee was the most exciting of these events. The long pile of corn was divided equally between two leaders, who first "chose sides" for the contest. Then the men fell to the work with a will, each side determined to finish its portion first.[194] Sometimes the rivalry ran into rough play and even fighting; but the spirit of good nature prevailed at the supper that had been prepared by the women in the meantime.

To these "frolics" were added, in later years, the spelling matches and singing schools, attended by both old and young. The coming of the backwoods "circuit rider" to hold a religious service in some log cabin or in the schoolhouse was an event of importance. The summer "camp meetings" were attended by hundreds of families, and here a chance was given for those who had forgotten the ways of civilized life in the midst of the rough frontier conditions to be "converted" and to return to better ways. The preaching, singing, and praying were all done by main strength, both of voice and of muscle.

The frontier farmer boy had no lack of occupation. He split the kindling and the wood for the fire-place and gathered the chips used for lighting the cabin when tallow dips were scarce. He fed and drove the cows, but let his sister do the milking. He took part in the work of washing and shearing the sheep. He helped in churning and soap-making, and ran the melted tallow into the tin candle-molds. He looked forward to butchering day as to a celebration. In the fall he chopped the sausage meat and the various ingredients of mince pies. On stormy days and winter evenings he might help his mother clean and card the wool, wind the yarn, and hetchel flax. Later she might call upon him for help in dyeing the homespun and bleaching the linen.

The boy was useful to his father when he searched the woods for good trees from which special articles were to be made, such as ax-helves and ox-yokes. From hickory saplings he could make splint brooms and cut out the splints used in making chair bottoms and baskets. He[195] guarded the corn fields from squirrels and crows and set traps for wolves. He went on horse-back to the grist mill, which was generally some miles away, and waited there for his turn to have his sack of corn ground into meal. Along with these duties were some pleasures, such as going nutting and berrying and hunting for grapes. Bee-hunting gave its rich reward in the hollow trunk full of honey. "Sugaring off" twice in the spring was a special time of delight, though it brought its tasks in the making of wooden spouts, the carrying of buckets of sap and water, and the tending of fires.



Charles D. Stewart was born at Zanesville, Ohio, in 1868, and came with his people to Wisconsin when but a young boy. He received his elementary education in the public schools of Milwaukee, after which he attended Wayland Academy at Beaver Dam. Like many others of our authors, Mr. Stewart has had considerable connection with newspapers, but it is as an author of stories, poems, and critical articles, both in magazines and in published volumes, that he is best known. Perhaps the readers of this book are already familiar with his "The Fugitive Blacksmith," "Partners of Providence," "Essays on the Spot," "The Wrong Woman," etc. He is now executive clerk in Governor Philipp's office.

Mr. Stewart is an author with whom the reader frequently finds himself in disagreement. This is particularly true of his critical work, which has itself received severe criticism at the hands of some other critics, while in the opinion of still others Mr. Stewart has made distinct contributions to the field of English criticism, particularly with respect to Shakespeare. His style is rich and at times diffuse. He has a wealth of illustrative material at hand, and one might be inclined to say that at times Mr. Stewart allows himself to stray too far from his main theme in drawing upon these resources. On the other hand, the reader is constantly interested and frequently challenged, so that his intelligence is always brought into play in reading this author's work; and it is well to remember, as Ruskin says, that if we never read anything with which we disagreed we should never grow. It is the author who makes us think who does us the greatest service.

The selection here given is from "On a Moraine." It illustrates all the points of which we have spoken. To the editors it appeals as a piece of useful, patriotic Wisconsin literature. The whole article will well repay reading for anyone who loves the Badger state and wishes to know it better. It shows a keen appreciation of the beautiful, and ready imagination in making comparisons where one least expects to find them, as in the suggestion of likeness between the freshly exposed surfaces of a newly split rock, on the one hand, and the wings of a moth on the other.

The article also well illustrates the treatment of a somewhat technical and supposedly dry subject in a delightful and imaginative manner.



Upon the shoulder of a terminal moraine was a barley-field whose fence was to furnish me with stone; and I prospected its beauties with a six-pound sledge. "Hardheads" many of them [the stones] were called, and they let fly enough sparks that summer to light the fire for a thousand years. They were igneous rocks, and they responded in terms of fire.

Such rocks! Rag-carpets woven in garnet and topaz; petrified Oriental rugs; granites in endless designs of Scotch mixture, as if each bowlder were wearing the plaid of its clan; big, uncouth, scabiose, ignorant-looking hardheads that opened with a heart of rose,—each one a separate album opening to a sample from a different quarry. I have seen cloven field-stone that deserved a hinge and a gold clasp; I have one in sight now which is such a delicate contrast of faintest rose and mere spiritual green that it is like the first blush of dawn. Imagine smiting a rock until the fragments sting you in the face, and then seeing it calmly unfold the two wings of a moth! I have broken into a rock which pleased me so well that I held it in mind in order to match it; but though I had the pick of a hundred and sixty loads that summer I never found another. There is "individuality" for you.

Some of them are "niggerheads." These are the hardest rock known to practical experience. There are those that have refused to succumb to the strongest hitters in the country. Some of them will break and others will not; the only way is to try. Fortunately I had had some early training as a blacksmith; but this was as if the smith were trying to break his anvil. I have seen the steel face of a hammer chip off without making a mark on one. And yet the glaciers wore them off to make[198] soil and left them rounded like big pebbles! I never realized what ground is, till I became acquainted with the stones that did the grinding.

My fence was eight to ten feet in thickness and shoulder high; and similar windrows of rock ran over the moraine in all directions, like a range upon a range. It is, of course, valuable land that warrants a wall like that. The barley-field might easily have defied a siege-gun on all four sides, for it had had so many bowlders on it that they had been built up into more of a rampart than a windrow. On a near-by field from which the timber had been removed, but which, notwithstanding, was far from "cleared," it looked as if it had hailed bowlders. You could have forded your way across it without putting a foot to ground. I have seen places where the glaciers had deposited rocks in surprising uniformity of size, and as thick as the heads of an audience (a comparison that means no harm, I trust).

Because of my encounters with "niggerheads," and other layerless or massive rock, I had difficulty in getting a handle which would not give out. Not that I broke them with mislicks, but the sudden bounce of the steel jolts the grain of the wood apart, and then a split begins to work its way up the handle. After this happens a man will not try to crack many bowlders, for the split hickory vibrates in a way that hurts. That sudden sting and numbing of the arm is the only sensation I ever came across that resembles the sting of a Texas scorpion; and that is an injection of liquid lighting that suffuses the membranes from hand to shoulder, and dwells a while and fades away. I might say here that the sting of the dreaded scorpion is harmless, like that of the tarantula, as any one with a few experiences knows. A wrong-headed[199] bowlder that has kept itself intact for ages and spits fire at you, and then takes measures to protect itself, is far more dangerous. One of them shot off a piece with such force that it went through my clothing and made a respectable wound. This, however, is just what is needed to rouse you up and make you hit back; and when you have had success with this one you are sure to pass on to another.

There is an enticement in their secret, locked-up beauty that lures you on from rock to rock till nightfall. Thus you are kept at it, till some day you find you have become a slave of the exercise habit; you are addicted to sunshine and sweat and cool spring water; your nose, so long a disadvantage to you, comes to life and discovers so many varieties of fresh air that every breath has a different flavor to it. As for myself, I rather prefer to take wild plum or clover in my atmosphere—or a good whiff of must off the barley-field. Along in July it is excellent to work somewhere in the jurisdiction of a basswood tree. Compare this with the office-building or the street-car, where the only obtainable breath is second-hand. Nobody could now coax you back to where people have eyes that see not, tongues that taste not, and noses that smell not unless they have to. I have experienced smells in a city that would make a baby cry....

And this reminds me to conclude—where possibly I should have begun—with the remarkable pedigree of the state itself. Stretching across Canada, north of the St. Lawrence, and ending in the regions about the source of the Mississippi, is a range of low granite hills called the Laurentian Highlands. These hills are really mountains that are almost worn out, for they are the oldest land in America, and, according to Agassiz, the oldest in the[200] world. In the days when there was nothing but water on the face of the globe, these mountains came up—a long island of primitive rock with universal ocean chafing against its shores. None of the other continents had put in their appearance at the time America was thus looking up. The United States began to come to light by the gradual uplifting of this land to the north and the appearance of the tops of the Alleghanies, which were the next in order. Later, the Rockies started up. The United States grew southward from Wisconsin and westward from Blue Ridge. An early view of the country would have shown a large island which is now northern Wisconsin, and a long, thin tongue of this primitive rock sticking down from Canada into Minnesota, and these two growing states looking out over the waters at the mere beginnings of mountain-ranges east and west. They were waiting for the rest of the United States to appear.

As the heated interior of the earth continued to cool and contract, and the water-covered crust sank in some places, and kept bulging up higher in others, the island of northern Wisconsin continued to grow, and the Alleghanies came up with quite a strip of territory at their base. The western mountains made no progress whatever; it was as if they had some doubt about the matter. A view at another stage of progress would have shown Wisconsin and Minnesota entirely out, and pulling up with them the edges of adjoining states, and a strip along the Atlantic about half as wide as New York or Pennsylvania. Still no United States. There was water between these two sections and some islands scattered about in the south. The western mountains had not been progressing at all; they lagged behind for aeons. These two sections, beginning with Wisconsin and Minnesota[201] in the west and the Alleghanies in the east, kept reaching out till they made continuous land; and thus Ohio and all those states between are some ages younger. But they are much older than the west; for at a time when the whole eastern half of the continent had long appeared, the Gulf Stream was flowing across the west, and the waters were depositing the small sea-shells which make the calcareous matter under Kansas loam. All that country is much younger, and the western mountains are as big as they are simply because they have not had time to become worn down. As to Florida, it was a mere afterthought, an addition built on by coral insects.

The whole story of those east-central and southern states—how Pennsylvania and Ohio and Illinois got their coal, and Michigan her salt—would make a lengthy narrative; I have mentioned just enough to show the age of Wisconsin and the still greater age of some of that glacial matter that came down from the direction of the Laurentian Highlands. It is the oldest land in the world; and the other states, I am sure, will not resent my taking out the state's pedigree and showing it. Wisconsin took part with the east in what geologists call the Appalachian Revolution,—is a veritable Daughter of the Revolution. I mention it merely because I think it greatly to the credit of a dairy state that, at a time so early in the world's morning, she was up and doing.



Elliott Flower is another of Wisconsin's writers who came into the field of literature through newspaper work. He was born at Madison in 1863, and after receiving a common school education there, he went to Phillips Academy at Massachusetts. He was editor of the Rambler in 1885 and 1886, and after that he was for some years engaged in editorial work on Chicago papers. Since 1899, however, most of his work has been of a purely literary nature, and his residence has been in Madison for some time. He is the author of "Policeman Flynn," "The Spoilsman," "Nurse Norah," "Delightful Dog," and other books.

The story from which we quote is "The Impractical Man." It is fairly representative of a considerable portion of his work. It shows a keen sense of humor, a skillful handling of conversation, and considerable knowledge of human nature. Our selection embraces the first and last portions of the story. Between these selections many experiences fall to the lot of the "impractical man." There is an adventure in the woods, in which the men are lost, and there are many laughable experiences in a canoe. In this story, as is frequently the case in Mr. Flower's work, the unexpected happens, and the character whom the reader has been inclined to pity because of his inability to take care of himself suddenly proves to be shrewd enough to outwit those with whom he is dealing.


From the Century Magazine, Vol. 64, p. 549.

"I am sorry to inform you," said Shackelford, the lawyer, "that you have been to some trouble and expense to secure a bit of worthless paper. This—" and he held up the document he had been examining—"is about as valuable as a copy of last week's newspaper."

It is possible that Shackelford really regretted the necessity of conveying this unpleasant information to Peter J. Connorton, Cyrus Talbot, and Samuel D. Peyton;[203] but, if so, his looks belied him, for he smiled very much as if he found something gratifying in the situation.

Connorton was the first to recover from the shock.

"Then it's a swindle!" he declared hotly. "We'll get that fellow Hartley! He's a crook! We'll make him—"

"Oh, no," interrupted Shackelford, quietly, "it's no swindle. According to your own story, you prepared the paper yourself and paid him for his signature to it."

"We paid him twenty-five thousand dollars for his patent," asserted Connorton.

"But you didn't get the patent," returned Shackelford. "He has assigned to you, for a consideration of twenty-five thousand dollars, all his rights, title, and interest in something or other, but the assignment doesn't clearly show what. There are a thousand things that it might be, but nothing that it definitely and positively is. Very likely he doesn't know this, but very likely somebody will tell him. Anyhow, you've got to clear an unquestioned title before you can do anything with the patent without danger of unpleasant consequences."

Deeper gloom settled upon the faces of the three, and especially upon the face of Connorton, who was primarily responsible for their present predicament.

"What would you advise?" asked Connorton at last.

"Well," returned the lawyer, after a moment of thought, "you'd better find him. As near as I can make out, he had no thought of tricking you."

"Oh, no, I don't believe he had," confessed Connorton. "I spoke hastily when I charged that. He's too impractical for anything of the sort."

"Much too impractical, I should say," added Talbot, and Peyton nodded approval.

"In that case," pursued the lawyer, "you can still[204] clinch the deal easily and quickly—if you get to him first. I see nothing particularly disturbing in the situation, except the possibility that somebody who is practical may get hold of him before you do, or that he may learn in some other way of the value of his invention. Do you know where he is?"

"No," answered Connorton. "That's the trouble."

"Not so troublesome as it might be," returned the lawyer. "He is not trying to hide, if we are correct in our surmise, and his eccentricities of dress and deportment would attract attention to him anywhere. I have a young man here in the office who will get track of him in no time, if you have nothing better to suggest."

They had nothing better to suggest, so Byron Paulson was called in, given a description of Ira Hartley, together with such information as to his associates and haunts as it was possible to give, and sent in quest of news of him.

"Meanwhile," observed the lawyer, "I'll prepare something for his signature, when we find him, that will have no loopholes in it."

Connorton and Paulson had no difficulty in securing permission to talk with Hartley, and they approached with considerable confidence the cell in which he was detained. It had occurred to them, upon reflection, that they were now in a most advantageous position in the matter of their business relations with the inventor. He was friendless in a strange city. He was believed to be of unsound mind, and his actions had been erratic enough to give color to that belief. He could hardly hope to secure his release without their help, and if so, they could[205] impose their own terms before extending that help.

To their surprise, they found him quite cheerful and apparently indifferent or blind to the seriousness of his predicament.

"Hullo, Connorton!" he cried, when he saw them approaching. "Any other proposition to make now?"

"Why, no, certainly not," replied Connorton. "We came to see about you."

"Awfully good of you," laughed Hartley. "How you do love me, Connorton!"

Connorton's face reddened, but he ignored the thrust. "You've got yourself in a nice fix, Hartley," he remarked.

"Oh, it's of no consequence," exclaimed Paulson.

"Not to me," asserted Hartley. "It may be to you, of course."

The impractical man appeared to be able to take a very practical view of some matters, and Connorton was the more perturbed and uneasy in consequence.

"They say you're crazy," suggested Connorton.

"And I guess they can prove it, too," rejoined Hartley, cheerfully. "You've said the same thing yourself, and I know you wouldn't lie about a mere trifle like that. Then, the conductor, the engineer, and the fireman of the train we came down on will swear to it ... not to mention the cooper, the hotel clerk, a few bell-boys, and the policeman who arrested me. Yes, I guess I'm crazy, Connorton. Too bad, isn't it?"

"It's likely to be bad for you," said Connorton.

"Oh, no," returned Hartley, easily, "I'm not violent, you know, just mentally defective; unable to transact business, as you might say. They'll find that out and let[206] me go; but there will be the taint, the suspicion, the doubt. Very likely a conservator will be appointed when I get back home—some shrewd, sharp fellow, with a practical mind."

Such a very impractical man was the inventor, and so very troublesome in his impracticality! Connorton could only begin at the beginning again, and go slow.

"Suppose we get you out," he ventured, "what would you be willing to do?"

"What would you be willing to do?" retorted Hartley.

"What do you mean by that?" demanded Connorton.

"I'm sure I don't know," replied Hartley, with an air of the utmost frankness. "I seldom mean anything, of course, and it is such a lot of trouble to find out what I do mean when I mean anything that I usually give it up. But you are so deeply interested in me—so much more interested in me than I am in myself—that I thought you might want to keep me sane; that you might not like to feel that you had driven me crazy."

Paulson was about to interrupt, but Connorton motioned to him to be silent. Connorton was in the habit of handling his own business matters, and he wanted his lawyer to speak only when a legal proposition was put directly up to him. It may be admitted that he was sorely perplexed now; but he found nothing in the inventor's face but a bland smile, and he did not think Paulson could help him to interpret that.

"Hartley," he said at last, "I'll get you out of here and add five thousand to what you've already had the moment that patent is properly transferred to me."

"Connorton," returned the inventor, "I believe I'm crazy. When I think of the events of the last few days—of[207] your more than brotherly interest in me, which I have pleasurably exploited during our delightful association—I believe I am crazy enough to say, come again!"

Connorton drew a long breath and conceded another point. "Hartley," he proposed, "you may keep the money I have already given you—"

"Thank you," said Hartley; "I shall."

"—and you may also have a quarter interest in the patent," concluded Connorton.

"It's all mine now," suggested Hartley.

"If so," argued Connorton, who well knew that much of the money had been spent, "you owe me twenty-five thousand dollars."

"If so," returned Hartley, the impractical man, "I infer from your anxiety and extraordinary generosity that I can sell it for enough to pay you and make a little margin for myself. Besides, you can't collect from a crazy man, Connorton; and I'm getting crazier every minute. Business always goes to my head, Connorton. You must have noticed that up in the woods. I'm really becoming alarmed about myself. But perhaps, you'd rather do business with a conservator, Connorton."

"A half interest," urged Connorton, desperately, as he mentally reviewed the weakness of his own position in view of the unsuspected perspicacity of the inventor. "Consider that I have paid you twenty-five thousand dollars for a half interest, and the other half is yours. I'll defray whatever expense is incurred in marketing the invention, too."

Hartley reflected, seeming in doubt. "Connorton," he said at last, "I think I am still getting the worst of it somewhere, but an impractical fellow like me deserves to get the worst of it. Go ahead! Have that agreement[208] put in legal form, and then you may get me out while there is yet time to save my reason."

Connorton had finished his appeal for the release of Hartley. "Of course," he was told, "if you and Mr. Paulson will assume the responsibility and will immediately take him away, we shall be glad to let you have him; but he is undoubtedly demented."

"Demented!" snorted Connorton. "Say! you try to do business with him, and you'll think he's the sanest man that ever lived!"



Jenkin Lloyd Jones is one of the best-known Wisconsin ministers. We say "Wisconsin," for, though he is now a resident of Chicago, his parents moved from South Wales to Wisconsin in 1843 when Jenkin Lloyd Jones was an infant. During his boyhood he worked on the home farm; then in 1862 he enlisted, and served for three years in the Sixth Wisconsin Battery in the Civil War. He is a graduate of the Meadville, Pennsylvania, theological seminary of the class of 1870. He holds an honorary degree of LL. D. granted by the University of Wisconsin in 1909. He was pastor of All Souls Church, Janesville, from 1871 to 1880. He established, with others, "Unity," a weekly paper, now organ of the Congress of Religion, and has been its editor since 1879. He organized All Souls Church in Chicago, and has been its pastor since 1882. He is the author of almost countless pamphlets and several books, among the latter being "Love and Loyalty," "What Does Christmas Really Mean," "On the Firing Line in the Battle for Sobriety," and his creative instinct has shown itself in the organization of many societies and institutions for the uplift of mankind.


Copyrighted by Olive E. Weston, 1902.

THE HOME (Page 14).

Love is the only safe and justifiable basis for a home. All Bibles, as well as all stories, all philosophy and all experience assert this.

Go to housekeeping, and, if possible, to house-building. Do not be outdone by the beaver. Do not sink lower than the bird, who builds its own nest, making it strong without and beautiful within.

That home alone is home where love generates generous impulses, noble purposes. True love will breed[210] heavenly plans, nurse world-redeeming schemes, and enlist all the forces of earth in the interests of heaven.

There is no home where there is no common toil.

The world is the larger home. The child must early learn to feel its dependence on and its obligation to this larger home circle if it is to grow noble.

There are no furnishings to a house that really convert it into a home, which have not won their places, one by one, in the heart and brain of the housewife.

Civilization rests, not primarily on the court-house, or the college, or the public school building, or the post-office, or the railway station, or yet in the club, but in the home.

The trouble with our young people is not that they are too poor in material things to make for themselves a home, but that they are too poor in spiritual things to confess the poverty which might enable them to lay the foundations of a home, humble but altogether holy....

The beautiful heron, mad with a maternal love, blind to all dangers from without, bent only on protecting her brood, giving her life to her little ones, was killed by the woman who wears the graceful aigrette—that marvel of Nature's embroidery woven for a nuptial robe to the gracious bird. She, and none other, is responsible for that life, for it was for her sake that the bloody deed was done.

THE SCHOOL (Page 29).

The highest task that life holds for men and women is the choosing of an ideal to grow toward. It should be[211] sufficiently far away to require a whole lifetime to pursue it.

It has taken a hundred years of agony and study to prove even in advanced America a man's right to his own body; a woman's right to her old soul; and the child's right to the development of his mind as of his muscle.

I plead for the true perspective in the training of your children. I believe, of course, in good bodies, comfortable and beautiful clothing, generous houses, and all the learning of the schools; I believe in intellectual joy and all the powers of thought, but only when they are subordinated to high affections and strong wills.

There is a power at work in the world that estimates gifts, not by the amount, but by the purpose that dictated them.

The kindergarten contains the seed of the gospel for children in its terminology when it seeks to develop the child by its "occupations."...

WORK (Page 111).

There can be no development, mental, spiritual, or physical, except by exercise.

Through labor we became creators, co-workers with God. Labor can be transfigured into a habit.

In the scales of the universe, a day's work will always weigh more than the dollar that pays for that day's work.

The tradesman who strives to know all about his own[212] business and cares but little about any other, will not have much business of his own to absorb his attention after a while.

Blessed word is that,—"occupation." The new education is bound up in it. The health of the child is contained in it. The safety of the saint is represented by it, and the progress of humanity is dependent upon it.

When labor becomes the pride of the laborer, then he becomes fit object for the envy of kings.

The most disordered explosions of pent-up passions and unreleased power follow in the wake of enforced idleness.

There is no release from toil, and the only escape from the burdens of labor must come, not by its cessation, but by its glorification.

There is an overwork that is killing, but the danger from work, any work, all work, is trifling compared to the greater dangers of indolence.

There is always a large physical element in distances. It is always farther from the breakfast table to the field than it is from the field to the dinner table.

When the wheels of life bear me down for the last time, I ask for no higher compliment, I seek no truer statement of the work I have tried to do, than that which the white-headed old negress gave the beardless boy on the hot Corinth cornfield in 1862. Then, if I deserve it, let some one who loves me say, "Here is a Linkum soldier who has done got run over," one who, like his leader, tried to "pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever a flower would grow."




By Everett McNeil, for many years a resident of Stoughton, Wis., now living in New York.
Taken from St. Nicholas, Vol. XXX, p. 387. Copyright by The Century Co.

(For many years a resident of Stoughton; now living in New York. Author of The Cave of Gold, In Texas with Davy Crockett, The Totem of Black Hawk, Fighting with Fremont, The Boy Forty-Niners, etc.)

When I was a boy there was one story which my sisters and brothers and I were never tired of hearing mother tell; for our own mother was its heroine and the scene of the thrilling chase was not more than a mile and a half from our own door. Indeed, we often went coasting on the very hill down which she took her fearful ride, and skated on the pond which was the scene of her adventure. I can still distinctly remember how, when the long winter evenings came and the snow lay deep on the ground and the wind whistled stormily without, we children would gather around the great sheet-iron stove in the sitting-room of the old farm-house and beg mother to tell us stories of the perils and hardships of her pioneer days; and how, invariably, before the evening was over some one of us would ask: "Now, mother, please do tell us, just once more, how you escaped from the wolves, when a girl, by coasting down Peek's Hill."

Mother would pause in her knitting, and, with a smile, declare that she had already told us the story "forty-eleven times"; but, just to please so attentive an audience, she would tell it even once more. Then, while we children crowded closer around her chair, she would resume her knitting and begin:[214]

"When your grandfather settled in this part of Wisconsin I was a little girl thirteen years old. We moved into the log house father had prepared for us early in the spring, and by fall we had things fixed quite comfortable. The winter which followed was one of unusual severity. The snow fell, early in November, to the depth of three feet on the level; and the greater part of it remained on the ground all winter. This, of course, made grand coasting. Father made for me a sled with strong, hard, smooth hickory runners, and big enough for two to ride on. I declare, I don't believe there ever was such another sled for speed"; and mother's eyes would sparkle at the memories the thought of her faithful sled recalled.

"At this time the country was very thinly populated. Our nearest neighbor was Abner Jones, who lived some three miles away, over on the other side of Peek's Hill. Abner Jones had a little girl, named Amanda, about my own age, and we two children soon became great chums. After a big snow-storm, Amanda and I would go coasting on Peek's Hill whenever we could gain the permission of our parents. She would come over to my house, or I would go over to her house, and together we would go to the hill. Amanda had no sled; but we could both ride down on my sled, and then take turns pulling it up the hill.

"The first week in January there was a two-days' thaw, followed by a sharp freeze. This caused a thick, icy crust to form on top of the remaining snow, which, by the next day, became so hard and strong that it would bear the weight of a man. The water from the melted snow ran into the hollow at the foot of Peek's Hill, and made a large, deep pond, which was soon covered over with a sheet of gleaming ice. So, you see, Peek's Hill had become an ideal coasting-place; for we could slide down[215] its steep side at lightning speed, and out upon the ice, and even clear across the pond, a good three-quarters of a mile from the top of the hill.

"On one Saturday afternoon following a thaw and a freeze-up, I secured the permission of my parents to go over to Amanda's and get her to come sliding with me down the hill. Father cautioned me to be sure and be home early, because the wolves, which at that time infested all this section of the country, were said to be getting very bold and fierce, especially at night time; and they had been known, when driven by hunger, to run down and kill horses and cattle and even human beings. Doubtless the cold and the deep snow had forced many southward from the great woods in the northern part of the State. But the caution fell on idle ears. I considered all wolves cowards; besides, I was not going to hunt wolves; I was bent upon coasting down-hill; and I did not believe any wolf would be foolish enough to take the trouble to run down a little girl when there were plenty of chickens and cattle to be had.

"I bundled up warmly, and, drawing my sled behind me, started 'cross lots over Peek's Hill to Amanda's house. Peek's Hill stood about half-way between our two homes. I left the heavy sled at the top of the hill to wait our return. When I reached the house I found Amanda laid up with a bad cold, and of course her mother would not allow her to go coasting; so I took off my things to stay in the house and play with her. Amanda had two rubber dolls, and we had such a jolly time playing with them that I did not notice how fast the time was passing until Mrs. Jones said, 'Come, my dear; it is time you were going!' Then she helped to bundle me up, gave me a doughnut hot from the kettle, and saw me safely started on my way home.[216]

"The sun was nearing the western horizon. I glanced at it and hurried on. The first part of my way lay through heavy woods; then came an opening, in the midst of which rose Peek's Hill. The brow of the hill was perhaps forty rods from the edge of the woods, the steep incline down which we coasted being on the opposite side. There was no road, only a path worn through the snow by our neighborly feet.

"I had passed about half-way through the woods, when suddenly a great shaggy wolf bounded out into the path in front of me. The wolf stopped and glared hungrily at me for a moment, then dashed away into the brush. A moment after, I heard him howling a few rods in the rear. To my inexpressible horror, the howl was quickly answered by another, and then another, and still another, until to my terrified ears the woods seemed full of the ferocious beasts.

"There was no need of telling me what this meant. I was old enough and familiar enough with wolf-nature to know that the first wolf was calling to his mates to come and help him run down and kill his quarry.

"For a moment I stood still in my tracks, listening in trembling horror to the hideous howlings; then I gathered myself together and ran. Fear lent me wings. My feet seemed hardly to touch the snow. And yet it was but a minute before I heard the rapid pit-pat of the feet of the wolves on the hard crust of the snow behind me, and knew that they were drawing near. I reached the edge of the woods; and, as I dashed into the opening, I cast a hurried glance to the rear. Several great, gaunt wolves, running neck and neck, were not five rods behind me. They ran with their heads outstretched, making great bounds over the hard snow.

"At that time I was tall for my age, and could run[217] like a deer. The sight of the wolves, so close behind me, caused me to redouble my efforts; but, in spite of my speed, as I reached the brow of the hill, I could hear their panting breaths, so near had they come. With a quick movement of my hands I threw off my heavy cloth cape and woolen hood. At the same instant my eyes caught sight of the sled, which I had left at the top of the hill. Fortunately it was standing facing the steep incline. If I could reach it before the wolves caught me, possibly I might yet escape! My hood and cape delayed the animals for an instant; but they were again upon me just as I, without slacking my speed in the least, caught the sled up into my hands and threw myself upon it.

"I think the sudden change in my position, just as they were about to spring on me, must have disconcerted the wolves for an instant; and before they recovered I was sliding down the hill. The wolves came tumbling and leaping after me, howling and snarling. At the start, the hill was very steep, and the frozen snow was as smooth and as slippery as ice. The sled kept going faster and faster, and soon I had the inexpressible delight of seeing that I was beginning to leave the wolves behind. Far below I saw the gleaming ice on the pond. About half-way down the hill the incline was considerably less steep, becoming nearly level just before reaching the pond. When I came to this part of the hill I again glanced behind, and, to my horror, saw that the wolves had begun to gain on me, and were now not more than two rods away. Evidently the sled was slowing up. There was nothing I could do to quicken its motion. My fate seemed certain. At last the sled reached the pond, and, while still but a few feet from the bank, I suddenly felt the ice bend and crack beneath me; but either my speed was too rapid or my weight too light, or both, for[218] I did not break through, but sped swiftly on to stronger ice and to safety. For a moment the slippery ice delayed the wolves, then they came on swifter than ever, their sharp claws scratching the ice like knives. Finally I heard a crash, and glancing back, I saw a struggling jumble of heads and paws, and I knew in a moment that the combined weight of the wolves had broken through the ice at the weak place that had cracked as I passed over it.

"I left the sled at the margin of the pond, and hurried home, where, girl-like, I fell fainting into my mother's arms.

"There, children; that is how your mother escaped from the wolves by coasting down Peek's Hill; and that great wolfskin robe in the corner is one of the very hides that father took from the six bodies after he had dragged them out of the pond the next morning"; and mother, with a flush on her dear face, would point to the familiar wolfskin robe.

Then we children would bring the great robe from its place, spread it out on the floor before the fire, and, seating ourselves upon it, talk in low voices of the terrible ride our dear mother took down Peek's Hill when she was a girl and was chased by the wolves.



The selections here placed together under the head, "The University Group," are taken from the works of authors who have taught or who are now teaching in the University of Wisconsin, and who may, therefore, be said both to have influenced it in its ideals and to have been influenced by it. The work of the editors in this section of the volume has been at once peculiarly pleasant and difficult. It has been pleasant because, under the shadow of Wisconsin's greatest institution of learning, there has come into birth a large body of interesting, instructive, and thoroughly worth-while literary material. The task has been difficult because the line between technical and special material treated in a literary way, and what may be styled pure literature, is very hard to draw. The editors realize thoroughly their fallibility in the making of these selections. So many books have been written, and so many contributions to both popular and technical magazines have been made by teachers in the University, that it is a physical impossibility even to scan them with any sure result of fairness or equity in the selection of real literature from the great mass that has been produced. The most that is claimed for the present selections is that at least they are thoroughly worth-while. No doubt a search covering sufficient time and dealing with a sufficiently large portion of the output of the University would reveal other works and other men worthy of representation in this volume.

There is another consideration that should be mentioned as rendering the task of the present editors peculiarly difficult: All but one of the men whose works are mentioned here are now living. Aside from the impossibility of wholly pleasing any man by a selection from or a criticism of his work, there is the inevitable fact that since most of these men are young, their actual relative standing as producers of literature is constantly and rapidly changing. As one reads the selections in the following pages, he is impressed most of all by the spirit of buoyancy and youth that pervades them. Scarcely a single selection here, even those by the older men, bears the imprint of satiety or completion. All are pulsing with life, hopefulness, buoyancy, and promise.

Again, in a book of this nature, selections must necessarily[220] be brief. It is not possible to give really adequate representation to any one of these men, since the laws of space are inexorable.

Perhaps the one thing common to all sections in this group—the thing which will most readily and profoundly impress even the youngest reader—is a feeling of breadth of experience, wide observation, earnest, keen, and insatiable desire for truth,—in fact, all the opposites of narrowness, prejudice, provincialism. One feels at once that the writers here have read widely and well, that they have a fund of facts gained both from books and at first hand through travel and observation, and that their emotions and their judgments spring from this well of truth as they see it.


Charles Richard Van Hise needs no introduction to Wisconsin readers, nor indeed to readers in any part of America. He is a man whom our state may proudly call her own. He was born in Fulton in 1857, took his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at his own State University in 1879 and his Ph. D. there in 1892, and throughout his whole life, since receiving his first degree, he has been in the faculty of his own Alma Mater. In 1903 he was made its president, which position he now holds.

He is recognized by all as the peer of any man in our country as an authority on geology. His face, through photographs appearing from time to time in public prints, is familiar to us all: while in Madison, and indeed in most cities of the state, his slightly bent figure, with the face peering forward as though seeking some new truth, would be readily recognized by any schoolboy.

When at Madison one of his favorite diversions is riding horseback, and no doubt in many of his geological trips horses have been his most dependable friends.

Needless to say, his interests are wide and varied. Nothing that affects the welfare of his country and its people is outside the field of his attention. Through his membership in many learned societies and his connection with various educational bodies and institutions he wields an influence for the spirit of truth and enlightenment second to almost none in the United States.

We quote here a brief passage from his writings to indicate something of the range of interests the mind and heart of Wisconsin's most active citizen find time in which to interest themselves. While President Van Hise's interests are not primarily literary, any man of fine sensibilities and intelligence, placed as he is, at the center of momentous events, is bound to have a message of vital import; and any such message, clearly and suitably delivered, is literature.



By Charles R. Van Hise, published in the World's Work, Vol. XVIII, p. 11718.

... It is clear that the problem of the conservation of our natural resources is an interlocking one. If the forests are conserved in the rough lands and mountains, the streams will have an even flow, their navigability will be easily maintained, they will give a uniform water-power; the erosion of the soil will be lessened; the bottom lands along the stream will not be flooded. If the water-powers are developed, the consumption of coal will be lessened. If the elements which are changed from ore to metals are carefully saved—not being allowed to rust or to be lost—and thus utilized again and again, it will not be necessary to take from the mines so large an amount of ore, and thus less coal and power will be required for their extraction. The conservation of one resource assists in the conservation of all others. We should work with the agents of the earth rather than reverse their work, as we have been doing since American settlement began.

Intimately connected with the conservation of the natural resources is the conservation of humanity itself. Just as we have been reckless in the use of our natural resources, so as a nation have we been reckless of human life. We now know enough in reference to the prevention and cure of communicable diseases, we know enough in reference to improving the conditions under which the industries are carried on, so that, according to Professor Irving Fisher, the average human life might be lengthened by a third.

So far as we permit human beings to be created, it is plainly our duty to conserve them and, so far as possible,[222] produce a happy environment for them. This great problem of the conservation of humanity is mentioned merely to put it in relation with the problems of the conservation of our natural resources, rather than to discuss it.

How long shall this nation endure? Or, more exactly, how long shall human beings occupy this land? It is only within the past two centuries that the lands of the country have been subject to agriculture upon an extensive scale, and the main drafts upon the soil of this country have been within the last century. We should think, not of a hundred years, or of a thousand years, but of hundreds of thousands, or of millions of years of development of the human race. There is no reason, from a geological point of view, why human beings may not live upon this earth for millions of years to come, perhaps many millions of years, and, so far as we are concerned, such periods are practically infinite.

These considerations impose upon us as our most fundamental duty the transmission of the heritage of our natural resources to our descendants as nearly intact as possible. This is an individual responsibility, as well as a state and a national responsibility. There's a strongly developed opinion at the present time that the owners of great wealth, and especially those who control great natural resources, should act as trustees for the nation. This is easy to see; but every man who owns a farm is equally a trustee to the nation for his small property. If at the end of his life the farm goes to his son depleted in richness, he is as truly faithless to his trust as are the great interests, some of which think only of present gain, and wastefully exploit the natural resources of the country. Each in proportion to his own responsibility is a traitor to the nation. At the present time, fortunately, this sense[223] of stewardship is gaining possession of those who control some of the great resources of the nation. As yet, there is scarcely a glimmering of responsibility in the case of the smaller holder of natural resources. But the future of the nation is safe only when small and large holder alike, from the man who owns forty acres of land to the groups of men who control the anthracite of the nation, shall administer their trust primarily for the benefit of the people now living and for succeeding generations rather than for themselves.

I do not hesitate to assert that, from the point of view of our descendants, this question of conservation of our natural resources is more important than any political or social question, indeed, more important than all political or social questions upon the solution of which we are now engaged. Not only is it more important, but it is more pressing, for already our unnecessary losses are irremediable, and the situation is growing steadily worse.

It is necessary that a great campaign of education be inaugurated at once with reference to the conservation of the soil, just as there has been a campaign of education with reference to the conservation of the forests. The task is an enormous one, indeed vastly greater than that carried on with reference to our other resources, because of the fact that the land holdings are so subdivided; but the campaign of education must be carried on, and, as a part of it, the laws must be developed, until we reach the situation where no man dares so to handle his land as to decrease its fertility. If present methods are allowed to continue, it is certain that in the not distant future this country will be able to support only a relatively sparse population. Only by the conservation of our soil, undiminished in its fertility, can we hope to be[224] able to provide for the hundreds of millions of people who, in the near future in the United States, will be demanding food and clothing. The conservation of the soil is the conservation of the basal asset of the nation.

Similarly, the campaign of education in reference to the forests must be continued, and that with reference to the coal and mineral resources inaugurated; for only second in importance to the conservation of the soil is the economic mining and use of coal, the conservation of the forests, and the use of metals with the minimum waste.


Edward Asahel Birge was born in Troy, New York, in 1851. He received his collegiate training at Williams and Harvard and was made instructor in natural history at the University of Wisconsin in 1875, professor in 1879, and Dean of the College of Letters and Science in 1891, which position he has held down to the present time, except for three years when he served as Acting President.

No one among all the professors is better known to the students of the University of Wisconsin than Dean Birge. His active figure, his firm step, his (now) white hair, which, when the writer went to school, was but iron-gray, his keen eye, have all come to be institutional and fundamental at the University of Wisconsin. No undergraduate who has gone tremblingly before Dean Birge to get his excuse for being late to his first class after the Christmas holidays will need a description of Dean Birge's eye. No one ever thinks of trying to deceive the Dean.

But withal, nothing could be more unfair than to give the notion that keenness is the only quality in that eye. Kindness is there, too, and above all, justice. We who were undergraduates at Madison, always think of Dean Birge as a scholar in his chosen line and as a school administrator. It will be a surprise to many to know of his keen interest in literature. The writer ventures to say that one will look some time before he finds, from the pen of the best-trained specialist in English, a fairer estimate of Milton than the one here given by this biologist.



Introductory remarks at the celebration of the tercentenary anniversary of Milton's birth, held at the University of Wisconsin, December 9, 1908.

Perhaps I am wrong in permitting myself to say anything beyond the formal words which belong to my office tonight. I am sure that I have no right to join in the tribute which today the world offers to Milton, beyond that which belongs to every one who did not need to knock the dust from his copy of the poems when this tercentenary anniversary approached. Yet if I had the power to praise, I should attempt the task.

"If my inferior hand or voice could hint
Inimitable things"

I would add my words to those of more discriminating praise. But if I speak at all, it must be as one of Milton's readers, not as his critic, still less as his judge; not even as his eulogist. Perhaps I may speak also as a descendant of the men and women who made up that Puritan commonwealth from which he was born and to which at bottom he belonged; as a descendant of men and women, stern, god-fearing, theology-loving, yet very human; mostly commonplace people; not sensitive to art or caring much about it, yet capable of being profoundly moved by the greatest poetry. I may speak in the name of those who for generations kept Milton second only to the Bible in their knowledge and as belonging to a generation which today finds Milton next beyond the Bible in its ignorance. I may represent in some sort that public which long cherished him but which today leaves him to the few lovers of poetry on the one side, and on the other, must have converted him to a post-mortem belief in purgatory by condemning him to a place among the authors assigned for "intensive study" in secondary schools.

I cannot find it in my heart to blame my fellows[226] severely for their present neglect of Milton. When we read the introductory lines of the Aeneid—for our small Latin extends so far as this—and the triumphant final words: "atque altae moenia Romae" "burst out into sudden blaze," then in that quick vision of the walls of lofty Rome we catch some hint of that spirit which made the poem the bible of the Roman state. And when we find the introduction to Paradise Lost closing with the promise that the author will "justify the ways of God to man," we feel that temper in the poem which made it at once the holier bible of the Puritan and prevented it from becoming the bible of the English speaking race for all time.

But we of the stock from which Milton came have not all deserted the poet. Some of us still read his verse, though not for the poem so much as for the poetry, which in his hands became the

"golden key
That opes the palace of eternity."

We do not find our Milton in his earlier poems; for, charming as they are, they lack that note of strong personality and endless power which our ear first catches in Lycidas:

"Ay me! Whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou, perhaps, under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded Mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold—"

Here is the true music of Milton's verse; a deep, long-drawn note, a solemn cadence; far from the "wanton heed and giddy cunning" of the music which untwists the[227] chains of harmony, and equally distant from heaven's calm serenity of choral symphonies and "undisturbed song of pure content." This music sounds in the Paradise Lost, less emotional perhaps, but purer and higher; appealing to ear and soul in complex and interwoven harmonies of thought and verse. We hear it still in the Samson; austere, intellectualized; the scheme of music rather than music itself; still resonant though not resounding. We have no skill to compare this music with that of other poets; but this we know, that while its harmonies linger in our ears all other verse rings poor and thin. We hear no voice but Milton's which can bear the praise of his own words: "praesentem sonat vox ipsa Deum"—its very note proclaims the present God.

Nor is this all. Milton's verse moves us as does that of no other poet. I do not mean that it moves us to laughter or even to tears. I mean rather that it moves our souls bodily, if such a thing may be. As we read it, we find ourselves committed to a power not so much buoyant as illimitable. The verse bears us aloft and carries us forward; not swiftly, slowly rather; advancing, to our increased happiness, not directly, but with many a pause and turn; yet steadily and powerfully pressing on toward a goal certain and far-seen. We know not whether Milton's poetry accomplished

"Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme";

but at least we must confess for ourselves that it illumines our darkness and raises and supports us as does no other verse.

And so we, who in some far off sense belong to Milton's people, join tonight with you who have the right to praise his name. Yet it may be that in so doing we are thinking rather of ourselves than of any tribute that[228] you or we can bring to him. We know that your commemorative words will renew our knowledge and quicken our hearts. We hope that, hearing them, we may feel the presence of those

"immortal shades
Of bright aerial spirits"

who ever attend Milton's verse; perhaps we even hope that our clearer vision may catch some new glimpse of Milton himself—our poet—wearing "the crown that Vertue gives" and sitting

"Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats."


"Rasmus B. Anderson" is a name that has been familiar to all University of Wisconsin students and to all people of Scandinavian parentage throughout the Northwest for at least two score years. This fine old man is a true son of Wisconsin. He was born in Albion, Wisconsin, of Norwegian parents, in 1846. He received an honorary A. B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1885, and the title of L. L. D. from the same institution in 1888. He was professor of Scandinavian languages and literature here from 1875 to 1883, when he resigned to serve as minister to Denmark. He has translated scores of selections from Scandinavian languages into English, and is the editor of almost countless articles of an historical, linguistic, literary, and philosophical nature. Now, at the age of seventy, his friends know him as a kindly, busy man with an active and keen interest in all about him. He is at present serving in an editorial capacity on the boards of different journals and encyclopedias.

The selection here given was one of the earliest that he published. It breathes the spirit of enthusiasm and love for the land of his fathers, but at the same time shows his careful citation of evidence to support his every assertion.


From "AMERICA, NOT DISCOVERED BY COLUMBUS." Chapter X. By Rasmus B. Anderson.
Copyright, 1883, by S. C. Griggs & Co.

In the year 986, the same year that he returned from Greenland, the above-named Erik the Red moved from[229] Iceland to Greenland, and among his numerous friends, who accompanied him, was an Icelander by name Herjulf.

Herjulf had a son by name Bjarne, who was a man of enterprise and fond of going abroad, and who possessed a merchant-ship, with which he gathered wealth and reputation. He used to be by turns a year abroad and a year at home with his father. He chanced to be away in Norway when his father moved over to Greenland, and on returning to Iceland he was so much disappointed on hearing of his father's departure with Erik, that he would not unload his ship, but resolved to follow his old custom and take up his abode with his father. "Who will go with me to Greenland?" he said to his men. "We will all go with you," replied the men. "But we have none of us ever been on the Greenland Sea before," said Bjarne. "We mind not that," said the men,—so away they sailed for three days and lost sight of Iceland. Then the wind failed. After that a north wind and fog set in, and they knew not where they were sailing to. This lasted many days, until the sun at length appeared again, so that they could determine the quarters of the sky, and lo! in the horizon they saw, like a blue cloud, the outlines of an unknown land. They approached it. They saw that it was without mountains, was covered with wood, and that there were small hills inland. Bjarne saw that this did not answer to the description of Greenland; he knew he was too far south; so he left the land on the larboard side and sailed northward two days, when they got sight of land again. The men asked Bjarne if this was Greenland; but he said it was not, "For in Greenland," he said, "there are great, snowy mountains; but this land is flat and covered with trees." They did not go ashore, but turning the bow from the land, they kept the sea with[230] a fine breeze from the southwest for three days, when a third land was seen. Still Bjarne would not go ashore, for it was not like what had been reported of Greenland. So they sailed on, driven by a violent southwest wind, and after four days they reached a land which suited the description of Greenland. Bjarne was not deceived, for it was Greenland, and he happened to land close to the place where his father had settled.

It cannot be determined with certainty what parts of the American coast Bjarne saw; but from the circumstances of the voyage, the course of the winds, the direction of the currents, and the presumed distance between each sight of land, there is reason to believe that the first land that Bjarne saw in the year 986 was the present Nantucket, one degree south of Boston; the second Nova Scotia, and the third Newfoundland. Thus Bjarne Herjulfson was the first European whose eyes beheld any part of the present New England.


Reuben Gold Thwaites was born in Massachusetts in 1853. When twenty-three years of age he came to Madison, Wisconsin, to act as editor of the Wisconsin State Journal. Just ten years later he was made secretary and superintendent of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, in which capacity he served until his death in 1913.

All students of history in the University of Wisconsin knew Mr. Thwaites, for no doubt partly through his influence, instructors in history impressed upon the young men and women in their classes the conception of history as being always in the making. To many a student who had always thought of history as being something written in books this new conception came as a great awakening. He urged upon all with whom he came in contact the importance of recording local events, and he had an extraordinarily keen sense of tendencies and activities in his state that were really vital and significant.

The State Historical Library at Madison contains thousands[231] of newspaper clippings, little pamphlets, letters by obscure people, apparently unimportant legal or official documents that were gathered by Reuben Gold Thwaites, and that now form the priceless sources of the history of the state. The services of such a man to his community cannot be reckoned commercially. The state knows itself better, understands its ideals more thoroughly, and furnishes to its students a fund of incontrovertible facts on which to base their study, because it possessed a citizen like Reuben Gold Thwaites.


From "STORIES OF THE BADGER STATE," pp. 27-32. By Reuben Gold Thwaites. Copyright, 1900, by the author.

Among the many queer stories brought [to Quebec] by these fierce, painted barbarians [the Indians] was one which told of a certain "Tribe of the Sea" dwelling far away on the western banks of the "upper waters," a people who had come out of the West, no man knew whence. In those early days, Europeans still clung to the notion which Columbus had always held, that America was but an eastern projection of Asia. This is the reason that our savages were called Indians, for the discoverers of America thought they had merely reached an outlying portion of India; they had no idea that this was a great and new continent. Governor Champlain, and after him Governor Frontenac, and the great explorer La Salle, all supposed that they could reach India and China, already known to travelers to the east, by persistently going westward. When, therefore, Champlain heard of these strange Men of the Sea, he at once declared they must be the long-sought Chinese. He engaged Nicolet, in whom he had great confidence, to go out and find them, wherever they were, making a treaty of peace with them, and secure their trade.

Upon the first day of July, 1634, Nicolet left Quebec, a passenger in the second of two fleets of canoes containing Indians from the Ottawa valley, who had come[232] down to the white settlements to trade. Among his fellow passengers were three adventurous Jesuit missionaries, who were on their way to the country of the Huron tribe, east of Lake Huron. Leaving the priests at Allumettes Island, he continued up the Ottawa, then crossed over to Lake Nipissing, visited old friends among the Indians there, and descended French Creek, which flows from Lake Nipissing into Georgian Bay, a northeastern arm of Lake Huron. On the shores of the great lake, he engaged seven Hurons to paddle his long birch-bark canoe and guide him to the mysterious "Tribe of the Sea."

Slowly they felt their way along the northern shores of Lake Huron, where the pine forests sweep majestically down to the water's edge, or crown the bold cliffs, while southward the green waters of the inland sea stretch away to the horizon. Storms too severe for their frail craft frequently detained them on the shore, and daily they sought food in the forest. The savage crew, tiring of exercise, and overcome by superstitious fears, would fain have abandoned the voyage; but the strong, energetic master bore down all opposition. At last they reached the outlet of Lake Superior, the forest-girt Strait of St. Mary, and paddled up as far as the falls, the Sault Ste. Marie, as it came to be called by the Jesuit missionaries. Here there was a large village of Algonkins, where the explorer tarried, refreshing his crew and gathering information concerning the "Tribe of the Sea." The explorers do not appear to have visited Lake Superior; but, bolder than before, they set forth to the southwest, and passing gayly through the island-dotted Straits of Mackinac, now one of the world's greatest highways, were soon upon the broad waters of Lake Michigan, of which Nicolet was probably the first white discoverer.[233]

Clinging still to the northern shore, camping in the dense woods at night or when threatened by storm, Nicolet rounded far-fetching Point Detour and landed upon the shores of Bay de Noquet, a northern arm of Green Bay. Another Algonkin tribe dwelt here, with whom the persistent explorer smoked the pipe of peace, and they gave him further news of the people he sought. Next he stopped at the mouth of the Menominee River, now the northeast boundary between Wisconsin and Michigan, where the Menominee tribe lived. Another council was held, more tobacco was smoked, and one of Nicolet's Huron companions was sent forward to notify the Winnebagoes at the mouth of the Fox River that the great white chief was approaching; for the uncouth Winnebagoes were the far-famed "Tribe of the Sea" whom Nicolet had traveled so far to find....

By this time, Nicolet had his doubts about meeting Chinese at Green Bay. As, however, he had brought with him "a grand robe of China damask, all strewn with flowers, and birds of many colors," such as Chinese mandarins are supposed to wear, he put it on; and when he landed on the shore of Fox River, where is now the city of Green Bay, strode forward into the group of waiting, skin-clad savages, discharging the pistols which he held in either hand. Women and children fled in terror to the wigwams; and the warriors fell down and worshipped this Manitou (or spirit) who carried with him thunder and lightning.

"The news of his coming," says the old Jesuit chronicler, "quickly spread to the places round about, and there assembled four or five thousand men. Each of the Chief men made a feast for him, and at one of these banquets they served at least six-score Beavers."...[234]

For various reasons, it was nearly thirty years before another visit was made by white men to Wisconsin. Nicolet himself soon settled down at the new town of Three Rivers, on the shores of the St. Lawrence, between Quebec and Montreal, as the agent and interpreter there of the great fur trade company. He was a very useful man both to the company and to the missionaries; for he had great influence over the Indians, who loved him sincerely, and he always exercised this influence for the good of the colony and of religion. He was drowned in the month of October, 1642, while on his way to release a poor savage prisoner who was being maltreated by Indians in the neighborhood.


Born in Portage, Wisconsin, in 1861, Frederick J. Turner was graduated from the State University in 1884, and six years later he received his Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins. Meantime he had spent some of the years in teaching in his Alma Mater. He was made full professor of history in 1892, which position he held until 1910, when Harvard University called him.

Few men on "The Hill" were more beloved by the students than "Freddie" Turner. His courses were crowded, and his lectures were exceedingly popular. Perhaps if his students had known that from 1885 to 1888 he served as tutor in rhetoric and oratory at Wisconsin, they would not have wondered so much at the eloquence of his lectures.

But eloquence was not the main feature of his lectures, nor yet the quality he most desired in the recitations of his students. Woe betide the young man who had spent too little time upon the "constitutional period," and who tried to give this argus-eyed instructor the impression of deep and careful study. The bubble was sure to be pricked, and the discomfiture of the ambitious one was, while frequently laughable, always unmistakable. One never knew when he was going to be "quizzed" in "Freddie's" class. But one thing was certain: that was that he would be asked a question, and when that question came it was best, from every point of view, to be able to do good, clear, straight thinking, based on a fund of religiously acquired information. One quality that Professor[235] Turner exacted of himself and others was that assertions must be backed up by evidence. Perhaps that is not the least important reason why the article from which a selection is here made created as profound a change in the general attitude toward American history as any single word on that subject that has ever been spoken.


By Professor Frederick J. Turner, then of the University of Wisconsin.

In a recent bulletin of the Superintendent of the Census for 1890 appear these significant words: "Up to and including 1880, the country had a frontier of settlement, but at present the unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of settlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line. In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc., it cannot, therefore, any longer have a place in the census reports." This brief official statement marks the closing of a great historic movement. Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development.

Behind institutions, behind constitutional forms and modifications, lie the vital forces that call these organs into life and shape them to meet changing conditions. The peculiarity of American institutions is the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the changes of an expanding people—to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, and in developing at each area of this progress out of the primitive economical and political conditions of the frontier into the complexity of city life. Said Calhoun in 1817,[236] "We are great, and rapidly—I was about to say fearfully—growing!" So saying, he touched the distinguishing feature of American life. All peoples show development; the germ theory of politics has been sufficiently emphasized. In the case of most nations, however, the development has occurred in a limited area; and if the nation has expanded, it has met other growing peoples whom it has conquered. But in the case of the United States we have a different phenomenon. Limiting our attention to the Atlantic Coast, we have the familiar phenomenon of the evolution of institutions in a limited area, such as the rise of representative government; the differentiation of simple colonial governments into complex organs; the progress from primitive industrial society, without division of labor, up to manufacturing civilization. But we have in addition to this a recurrence of the process of evolution in each western area reached in the process of expansion. Thus American development has exhibited not merely advance along a single line, but a return to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line, and a new development for that area. American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, has furnished the forces dominating American character. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic Coast, it is the Great West. Even the slavery struggle, which is made so exclusive an object of attention by writers like Professor von Holst, occupies its important place in American history because of its relation to westward expansion.

In this advance, the frontier is the outer edge of the[237] wave—the meeting point between savagery and civilization. Much has been written about the frontier from the point of view of border warfare and the chase, but as a field for the serious study of the economist and the historian it has been neglected.

The American frontier is sharply distinguished from the European frontier—a fortified boundary line running through dense populations. The most significant thing about the American frontier is, that it lies at the hither edge of free land. In the census reports it is treated as the margin of that settlement which has a density of two or more to the square mile. The term is an elastic one, and for our purposes does not need sharp definition. We shall consider the whole frontier belt, including the Indian country and outer margin of the "settled area," of the census reports. This paper will make no attempt to treat the subject exhaustively; its aim is simply to call attention to the frontier as a fertile field for investigation, and to suggest some of the problems which arise in connection with it....

The stubborn American environment is there with its imperious summons to accept its conditions; the inherited ways of doing things are also there; and yet, in spite of environment, and in spite of custom, each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity, a gate of escape from the bondage of the past; and freshness, and confidence, and scorn of older society, impatience of its restraints and its ideas, and indifference to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier. What the Mediterranean Sea was to the Greeks, breaking the bond of custom, offering new experiences, calling out new institutions and activities, that, and more, the ever retreating frontier has been to the United States directly, and to the nations[238] of Europe more remotely. And now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first period of American history.


Professor Reinsch was born in Milwaukee in 1869. He received his A. B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1892 and his doctorate in 1898. He had the advantage of studying at the University of Berlin and at Rome and Paris. He was assistant professor of political science at his Alma Mater from 1899 to 1901, and full professor from 1901 to 1913, except for two years, 1911 and 1912, when he held the Roosevelt professorship at the Universities of Berlin and Leipzig. Since 1913, he has been Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to China. His present address is the American Legation, Peking, China.

Few men have had the advantages both in study and experience that have come to Dr. Reinsch, and few have met these advantages with keener love for truth and desire for knowledge. He is a member of several learned societies of law and political science, and is the author of many books on these and related subjects. Some of these books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, and German. The selection given here is taken from "Intellectual Currents in the Far East," and well illustrates the fact that deep learning and perfect clearness of expression may well go together in a literary production.


Copyright, 1911, by the author.

... The zeal of the older teachers in trying to catch up with the foreign-trained men is at times almost pathetic. In most towns a "teachers' discussion class" has been organized. These classes were established by[239] the initiative of the teachers themselves, in order that they might acquire the knowledge necessary for elementary instruction in the new branches. With great eagerness these men, varying in age from thirty-five to fifty-five years, will follow the instruction given by some youngster in the early twenties who has been fortunate enough to have had a course in Japan or the West. While the necessary superficiality of such a system must be deplored, the mere fact of this instruction being so eagerly sought by the teachers is the best proof that the old order, recognizing its inevitable fate, has abandoned the hope of regaining its former supremacy and is hurrying to adapt itself to the new conditions.

This enthusiasm also finds expression in great individual sacrifices, and even in martyrdom. Private gifts are made in large numbers, even without the solicitation of officials or the hope of rewards. Within the last few years, it has frequently happened that some person desirous of founding a school, and lacking the means to do so, has in truly Oriental fashion appealed to his or her townsmen by committing suicide, after writing out a touching request for aid in the new cause. A Tartar lady at Hankow who had founded a school for girls was unable to secure sufficient money for carrying on the work of the institution. In order to secure her object, she determined to commit suicide. In her farewell letter, she stated that she felt the need of the school so much that she would sacrifice her own life and thus impress the need upon those who were able to give money. Her act had the result desired, as after her death money came flowing in from many sources. In most cases, fortunately, the appeals for assistance are successful without going to such extremes. Thus, the wife of a district magistrate[240] in Honan, having decided to establish a school for girls, wrote a circular setting forth that a girl, if uneducated, brings six kinds of injury to herself and three kinds to her children. The subtlety of her arguments fascinated the city folk, and sufficient funds for her purpose were soon provided.

The introduction of female education, which militates against the most deep-seated prejudices of the Chinese race, has called for greater personal sacrifices than any other part of educational reform. Some powerful patrons have indeed arisen. H. E. Tuan Fang urged the importance of this reform upon the Empress herself, with the result that, before her death, the great lady established a school for female education in the capital. Educated women are making a strong plea for the education of their sisters. Doctor King Ya-mei, herself educated in the West, points out that those who lament the superficial nature of the present reforms forget that "half the nation, whose special function it is to put into practice the ideas governing the world in which she lives, has not yet been touched; that the strong impressions of childhood are the lasting ones, and that man is but an embodiment of the ideas of the mother." But in the case of female education, it is not primarily the provision of funds that causes difficulties. The desire of women to share in the advantages of education is of itself looked upon by the majority of the Chinese as scandalous and not at all to be encouraged. Many heartrending tragedies have been brought about by insoluble conflicts of duty toward the old and the new. A short time ago, in an interior village in Kiang Su, a woman, ambitious to become educated, killed herself after bad treatment from her husband's relatives. Her farewell letter was everywhere[241] copied by the Chinese press. It has become a national document, and almost a charter of the new movement. In it occur the following sentences: "I am about to die today because my husband's parents, having found great fault with me for having unbound my feet, and declaring that I have been diffusing such an evil influence as to have injured the reputations of my ancestors, have determined to put me to death. Maintaining that they will be severely censured by their relatives, once I enter a school and receive instruction, they have been trying hard to deprive me of life, in order, as they say, to stop beforehand all the troubles that I may cause. At first they intended to starve me, but now they compel me to commit suicide by taking poison. I do not fear death at all, but how can I part from my children who are so young? Indeed, there should be no sympathy for me, but the mere thought of the destruction of my ideals and of my young children, who will without doubt be compelled to live in the old way, makes my heart almost break."

The blood of such martyrs is beginning to make its impression upon the Chinese people, and is turning them to favor more liberal popular customs. A nation in which a spirit of such ruthless self-sacrifice is still so common may bring forth things that will astonish the world. It has been said that "China contains materials for a revolution, if she should start one, to which the horrors of the French revolution would be a mere squib;" but if turned into different channels, this spirit of self-sacrifice may, as it did in the case of Japan, bring about a quick regeneration of national life and national prestige, through the establishment of new institutions, that correspond to the currents of life thus striving to assert themselves.



Professor George C. Comstock was born in Madison in 1855, and after an education obtained at various colleges and universities, including the institutions of Ann Arbor and Madison, and after considerable and varied experience in engineering and astronomical work, he became professor of astronomy in our own University in 1887, and Director of Washburn Observatory two years later. Since 1906 he has been Director of the Graduate School. He is the member of many learned societies, and has been highly honored in numerous ways by institutions of learning. The stories that are told, and truly told, of his mathematical prowess, such as memorizing tables of logarithms, have excited wonder in the heart of many a student at Madison. His lectures, even on the most abstruse subjects, are notably clear. His illustrations are timely, and his English is of the very purest. He is a representative of the regular classical education that is now comparatively rarely elected by university undergraduates.


... The modern philosopher and historian alike deride and marvel at astrology as the most persistent disease with which the minds of men have ever been afflicted but from which they are now happily freed by the advance of science. I must confess my inability to share this view as to the patent folly of the art. The careful student of astrology cannot fail to be impressed with the logical coherence of its doctrines and their necessary relation to the fundamental postulates from which they spring. While these postulates can no longer be maintained they seem in no way inappropriate as stages in the development of human knowledge and their wide spread acceptance is sufficient evidence of their seeming reasonableness to nascent society. Indeed it is only the upper strata of European civilization that has now outgrown the beliefs above considered. Asia still teems with[243] them, from Seoul to Bagdad, and even in the heart of Europe astrological calendars are current and find enormous circulation among the lower classes. The practicing astrologer who seeks business through advertising in the daily press is with us in America, and to judge by the persistence of his advertisements they bring response. I find upon the shelves of the principal scientific library of Chicago a manual of applied astrology whose dirty and dog's eared leaves, together with recent date upon its title page, are additional testimony that American cultivation of the occult is not limited to Boston. Even nearer home we all know people who will plant or sow, or cut their hair only at the right phase of the moon or who have an abiding faith that the planetary weather predictions of Mr. Hicks are sound, in theory at least. I venture to assert that within range of the reader's acquaintance there is a considerable number of persons who firmly believe that in case of premature birth a seven months baby has a better chance of life than one of eight months—an ancient doctrine, for which excellent reasons were adduced by the Greek astrologers but which seems to find little support in current medical theory.

But assuredly our best memorial of the part astrology has played in human affairs lies not in such paltry superstitions but in its incorporation into the great literatures of Europe. Casual illustrations of this fossilized relationship have been given in this essay, but far more impressive than these instances are those cases in which astrologic doctrine permeates and dominates the whole structure of a great work. Chaucer's treatise on the Astrolabe was avowedly written as an exposition of the astrologic art, and in Dante's Divine Comedy the whole moral structure of the Paradiso, with its successive heavens allotted[244] to beatitudes of varying degrees, finds its key in the astrology that Dante knew and followed. The sequence of these heavens accords with that of the spheres allotted by astrologic doctrine to the several planets, arranged in the order of their increasing distance from the earth, the order of their altitude as Dante would have said. The lowest heaven, that of the moon, is allotted by the poet to virgins because forsooth they best typify those qualities of cold and moist with which astrologic doctrine endows the moon. They who have fought with fire and sword in defence of the Church militant are placed in a higher heaven than are those saints and theologians whose service has been intellectual in its nature; an impropriety in our eyes and doubtless little congenial to Dante's mode of thought. But astrologically it must be so, for Mars, who typified the warrior, is higher, i. e., more distant from the earth, than is the sun whose light and warmth are alike the symbol and the source of intellect and spirituality. But ancient and modern ideas are equally satisfied when the poet placed God and the Redeemer in the empyrean, the region of the fixed stars, alike the most exalted and by reason of its distance, the purest part of the universe.

Although far from extinct, the old faith in the influence of the heavens is waning and it is hard to believe that any mutations of human thought can ever restore it to a status comparable with that it enjoyed in classical and mediaeval times. As a factor in the conduct of life among enlightened people its power is gone, but the marks of its old time influence are dyed in the social fabric, imprinted alike upon language and literature and so long as that literature abides, astrology cannot sink below the horizon of man's intellectual interests.



Professor Pyre is another teacher whom Wisconsin can claim as wholly her own. He was born in 1871 in Rock County, and graduated at our University in 1892. While teaching English in his Alma Mater, he continued his graduate study, and was given his Ph. D. in 1897. He continued to serve his University, though for a brief space of time pursuing his study elsewhere, and became associate professor in 1909, which position he now holds.

No former student of the University reading this volume will be content with this sketch of Mr. Pyre without reference to his undergraduate football days, and to the nickname "Sunny," which will cling to him as long as he lives. Furthermore, no one who has sat in his classes and been inspired by his reading and his interpretation, and felt the optimism of his philosophy will need to have it explained to him how Mr. Pyre acquired his nickname.

The outstanding feature of his literary criticism, whether in the form of magazine article, or lecture, or informal talk, is clarity. In his class you could always understand what he was getting at. The reader of this brief selection from "Byron in Our Day," will sense that quality readily. The sentences are crisp and well formed. Their structure is not involved. The plan and organization are evident. At the same time there is dignity and distinction in every paragraph.


By J. F. A. Pyre. From the Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XCIX, p. 547.

And with Byron passion was not merely a gift; it was a doctrine. In one of his letters to Miss Milbanke, there is an observation which comes very near to expressing the central principle of his existence. "The great object of life is sensation—to feel that we exist—even though in pain." To him, one of the chief curses of society was its ennui, the futility of its conventional pursuits, which all recognize, but most endure. He was for fanning the coal of life into a blaze. The vitality of his emotions demanded this. Hence, when friendship stagnated, when love lapsed into the inevitable mediocrity and torpor, he fretted or fled. In ordinary terms, he was fundamentally and abnormally impatient of being bored.[246]

A being thus constituted, and cherishing so dangerous a doctrine, naturally found no peace in this life, but was goaded on from pleasure to pleasure, or from one violence to another. Passionate friendships, savage quarrels, gaming, carousing, travel and adventure, hard reading, hard riding, flirtations, and intrigues of varying intensity and duration, playing the social and literary lion, parliament, marriage, occupied but did not satisfy him. Avid of sensation, avid of power, he threw himself impetuously into his pursuits, lavished his life with the reckless waste of a cataract, and seemed as inexhaustible. He was too clear-sighted not to perceive the triviality of many of his occupations, and though too willful to change his ways, or employ his ample will power in self-restraint, he was not sordid enough to be happy so. Hence, he became a malcontent. Love soothed him, nature appeased him for a time; and in the presence of either, he soared into realms of serene delight and contemplation. But "he could not keep his spirit at that height;" say, perhaps, he was not a dreamer; his passion called for outlet in action, in enterprise; and he became—a writer!


Edward Alsworth Ross is nationally one of the best-known men here represented. He was born at Virden, Illinois, in 1866; was graduated from Coe College, Iowa, in 1886; and then continued his education in Berlin and Johns Hopkins. He has been professor of economy, sociology, and kindred subjects at many universities, including Indiana University, Cornell, Leland Stanford, Junior, the University of Nebraska, and, since 1906, the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of many books and magazine articles, among the most noteworthy of the former, perhaps, being "Sin and Society," "Social Psychology," "Latter Day Sinners and Saints," and "The Changing Chinese."

The selection here chosen is from the last named book. The style is like the man, forceful, trenchant, and abounding in[247] life. Mr. Ross's tall, rugged, muscular figure and forceful gestures are familiar to the lovers of lectures in Wisconsin, and all who have been fortunate enough to hear him, whether in regular classes at the University, or in extension or other lecture work, will recall his striking appearance as they read the clear, clean-cut statements in this selection.


From "THE CHANGING CHINESE." Chapter I. Copyright, 1911, by the Century Co.

China is the European Middle Ages made visible. All the cities are walled and the walls and gates have been kept in repair with an eye to their effectiveness. The mandarin has his headquarters only in a walled fortress-city and to its shelter he retires when a sudden tempest of rebellion vexes the peace of his district.

The streets of the cities are narrow, crooked, poorly-paved, filthy, and malodorous. In North China they admit the circulation of the heavy springless carts by which alone passengers are carried; but, wherever rice is cultivated, the mule is eliminated and the streets are adapted only to the circulation of wheel-barrows and pedestrians. There is little or no assertion of the public interest in the highway, and hence private interests close in upon the street and well-nigh block it. The shopkeeper builds his counter in front of his lot line; the stalls line the streets with their crates and baskets; the artisans overflow into it with their workbenches, and the final result is that the traffic filters painfully through a six-foot passage which would yet be more encroached on but for the fact that the officials insist on there being room left for their sedan chairs to pass each other.

The straightened streets are always crowded and give[248] the traveler the impression of a high density and an enormous population. But the buildings are chiefly one story in height, and, with the exception of Peking, Chinese cities cover no very great area. For literary effect their population has been recklessly exaggerated, and, in the absence of reliable statistics, every traveler has felt at liberty to adopt the highest guess.

Until recently there was no force in the cities to maintain public order. Now, khaki-clad policemen, club in hand, patrol the streets, but their efficiency in time of tumult is by no means vindicated. A slouching, bare-foot, mild-faced gendarme such as you see in Canton is by no means an awe-inspiring embodiment of the majesty of the law.

There is no common supply of water. When a city lies by a river the raw river water is borne about to the house by regular water-carriers, and the livelong day the river-stairs are wet from the drip of buckets. When the water is too thick it is partially clarified by stirring it with a perforated joint of bamboo containing some piece of alum.

There is no public lighting, and after nightfall the streets are dark, forbidding, and little frequented. Until kerosene began to penetrate the Empire the common source of light was a candle in a paper lantern or cotton wick lighted in an open cup of peanut oil. Owing to the lack of a good illuminant the bulk of the people retire with the fowls and rise with the sun. By making the evening of some account for reading or for family intercourse, kerosene has been a great boon to domestic life.

Fuel is scarce and is sold in neat bundles of kindling size. Down the West River ply innumerable boats corded high with firewood floating down to Canton and Hong[249] Kong. Higher and higher the tree destruction extends, and farther and farther does the axman work his way from the waterways. Chaff and straw, twigs and leaves and litter are burned in the big brick bedsteads that warm the sleepers on winter nights, and under the big, shallow copper vessels set in the low brick or mud stoves. Fuel is economized and household economy simplified among the poor by the custom of relying largely on the food cooked and vended in the street. The portable restaurant is in high favor, for our prejudice against food cooked outside the home is a luxury the common people cannot afford to indulge in.

Proper chimneys are wanting and wherever cooking goes on the walls are black with the smoke that is left to escape as it will. Chinese interiors are apt to be dark for, in the absence of window glass, the only means of letting in light without weather is by pasting paper on lattice. The floors are dirt, brick, or tile, the roof tile or thatch. To the passer-by private ease and luxury are little in evidence. If a man has house and grounds of beauty, a high wall hides them from the gaze of the public. Open lawns and gardens are never seen, and there is no greenery accessible to the public unless it be the grove of an occasional temple.

In the houses of the wealthy, although there is much beauty to be seen, the standard of neatness is not ours. Cobwebs, dust, or incipient dilapidation do not excite the servant or mortify the proprietor. While a mansion may contain priceless porcelains and display embroideries and furniture that would be pronounced beautiful the world over, in general, the interiors wrought by the Chinese artisan do not compare in finish with those of his Western confrere....[250]

No memory of China is more haunting than that of the everlasting blue cotton garments. The common people wear coarse, deep-blue "nankeen." The gala dress is a cotton gown of a delicate bird's-egg blue or a silk jacket of rich hue. In cold weather the poor wear quilted cotton, while the well-to-do keep themselves warm with fur-lined garments of silk. A general adoption of Western dress would bring on an economic crisis, for the Chinese are not ready to rear sheep on a great scale and it will be long before they can supply themselves with wool. The Chinese jacket is fortunate in opening at the side instead of at the front. When the winter winds of Peking gnaw at you with Siberian teeth, you realize how stupid is our Western way of cutting a notch in front right down through overcoat, coat and vest, apparently in order that the cold may do its worst to the tender throat and chest. On seeing the sensible Chinaman bring his coat squarely across his front and fasten it on his shoulder, you feel like an exposed totem-worshipper.

Wherever stone is to be had, along or spanning the main roads are to be seen the memorial arches known as pailows erected by imperial permission to commemorate some deed or life of extraordinary merit. It is significant that when they proclaim achievement, it is that of the scholar, not of the warrior. They enclose a central gateway, flanked by two, and sometimes by four, smaller gateways, and conform closely to a few standard types, all of real beauty. As a well-built pailow lasts for centuries, and as the erection of such a memorial is one of the first forms of outlay that occur to a philanthropic Chinaman, they accumulate, and sometimes the road near cities is lined with those structures until one wearies of so much repetition of the same thing, however beautiful.



Professor Showerman is another author-teacher whom Wisconsin may claim as her own. He was born at Brookfield in 1870, was graduated from the University in 1896, and took his doctorate in 1900. He had the advantage of two years' study at Rome, where he was Fellow of the Archaeological Institute of America in the American School of Classical Studies. Since returning, he has been Professor of Latin Literature at his Alma Mater. He is member of many learned societies, and is the author of "With the Professor" and "The Indian Stream Republic and Luther Parker," besides many articles which are familiar to readers of the Atlantic Monthly and other leading periodicals.

His style will be noted at once by the careful reader as being different from that of most other prose writers whose works we quote here. It is more leisurely. He brings to the common things about us in Nature the kindly, alert intelligence of one who has seen many things in many lands, but who has the memory to re-create truthfully the days of youth.


"IN OCTOBER." From the Sewanee Review.

... On a late October Saturday morning, after a week in school at the village, you take your gun and a favorite play, whistle to already eager Billy, and follow the path to the Brush. You traverse its quiet length by the winding road that is always mysterious and full of charm, however often you tread it, you cross the stubbled barley-field that borders Lovers' Lane, and cross the lane itself and enter the Woods. You feel the friendly book in your pocket, and pat the friendly dog at your side, restfully conscious that you will spend neither profitless nor companionless hours. To be sure, you have in the back of your mind a thought or two about fox squirrels, or even red squirrels, and of a stew-pie—the savor of it is in your sensitive nostrils; but these thoughts are only vague.[252] Your eyes are not greedily watchful—only moderately so; you have already begun to outgrow the barbarous boyhood delight of mere killing. Good will reigns in your breast.

You advance cautiously, the breech-loader resting in the bend of your left arm, every step causing pleasant murmurs among the autumn leaves. When you pause, the sound of your heart-beats is audible. The genial golden tone of Indian Summer pervades the air.

When you have penetrated to the heart of the Woods, you sit down on a familiar log, the gun caressingly across your knees, and drink in the fine wine of woodland enjoyment! Ah, the silence of the Woods! How deep and how full of mystery! And how deeper whenever some note of life emphasizes the stillness—the knocking of a woodpecker, the cry of a sapsucker, the scream of a jay, the caw of a crow aloft on some decayed topmost branch in the distance!

A distant barking note makes you start. There is a fox squirrel over yonder somewhere, beyond the ruins of the old arch. You strain your attention toward the sound. Billy sits bolt upright, with round eyes, questioning ears, and suspended breath.

But just as you are thinking of getting up, a nut drops with a thump on the log beside you and bounds lightly into the leaves at your feet. You know what that means! You look up instantly and catch just a glimpse of a sweeping foxy tail as it vanishes along a big branch and around the thick stem of a tree. He goes up forty or fifty feet, and then, far out on the big oak branch, lies close to the bark, out of sight.

Billy whines uneasily; he shivers with excitement. You say: "Sit still, Billy!"[253]

There is only the least bit of the foxy tail visible. You tread softly to one side and another, slowly circle the tree, and all the while the owner of the tail subtly shifts his position so that you always just fail to get a shot.

Finally, you resort to stratagem; you pick up a nut and throw it with all your might to the other side of the tree. He hears it fall, and, suddenly suspicious, shifts to your side of the branch. But you are not quick enough; by the time you have raised the gun, he has become satisfied that you are the greater danger of the two, and has shifted back to safety.

And now you resort to more elaborate stratagem. You say: "Sit down, Billy!" and Billy obeys, keeping his eye on you, and dropping his ears from time to time, as he catches your glance, in token of good-will. You circle the big tree again, and as you go the tail shifts constantly.

Finally, when you are opposite Billy, you raise the gun with careful calculation. You call out quietly but sharply to your ally: "Speak, Billy, quick!"

Billy is tense with excitement at sight of the raised gun. He speaks out sharply, at the same time giving a couple of little leaps. The squirrel shifts again to your side, suddenly.

And now comes your opportunity! As he sits there a moment, his attention divided between you and the new alarm, the breech-loader belches its charge. A brownish-red body with waving tail comes headlong to the ground with a crash among the leaves, which rustle and crackle for a moment or two at your feet as you watch the blind kicks of the death struggle. You pick him up, with no very great eagerness, and go on your way—regretfully, for you are enjoying the life of the Woods, and are enough of a philosopher and sentimentalist to wonder what, after[254] all, is your superior right to the enjoyment, and whether the contribution to the sum total of happiness in the universe through you is enough to compensate it for the loss through the squirrel.

You ask Billy about it and get no help. He simply says that whatever you think best is bound to be all right, and leads the way toward the old arch.


William Ellery Leonard was born in New Jersey in 1876. He has been a professor of English in the University of Wisconsin only since 1909, so he is not, as yet, so closely connected with the state in the thought of the alumni of the University as are most of the men whose works have just been discussed and illustrated. But if what he has produced may fairly be taken as an earnest of his future work, his name will be one which all lovers of our University will be proud to associate with that institution. One needs read scarcely more than a paragraph at almost any point in his published works to realize that Mr. Leonard is a man of keen and kindly interest in all things that he hears and sees, and that he has traveled and studied and lived widely and wisely. He has published several volumes, both of poems and prose,—notable among them being "Sonnets and Poems," "The Poet of Galilee," "Aesop and Hyssop," "The Vaunt of Man and Other Poems," and "Glory of the Morning." The selections given are taken from the last two volumes mentioned.

One acquainted with modern English poetry may sense a marked likeness between Mr. Leonard's poems and those of Swinburne, though the former says he is not conscious of any such resemblance. There is a warmth of passion, a fluid quality in the rhythm, markedly like those elements in the great English poet. The selection from "Glory of the Morning" here given begins at that point in the play where Half Moon, the Chevalier, the white trapper, comes back to his Indian wife to bid her farewell and to take their two children with him to his home in France. The reader will feel, even in this brief extract, the sweep toward a climax of emotion, and will be impelled to read the whole play at his first opportunity.

(One of the most interesting features of the editorial work of this volume has been the adjustment of the choice of selections respectively of the editors and authors. The editors'[255] choice of the poems from Mr. Leonard's volume, "The Vaunt of Man," was "Love Afar"; the author, on the other hand, tells us that he thought so little of this poem that he even considered omitting it from the volume. His preference is "A Dedication." What does the reader say?)


Copyright, 1912, by the author.

The Chevalier: I will take care of the children. They are both young. They can learn.

Glory of the Morning: They can learn?

The Chevalier: Oak Leaf is already more than half a white girl; and Red Wing is half white in blood, if not in manners—ca ira.

Glory of the Morning (Beginning to realize): No, no. They are mine!

The Chevalier (Reaching out his arms to take them): No.

Glory of the Morning: They are mine! They are mine!

The Chevalier: The Great King will give them presents.

Glory of the Morning: No, no!

The Chevalier: He will lay his hands on their heads.

Glory of the Morning: He shall not, he shall not!

The Chevalier: I have said that I will tell him you were their mother.

Glory of the Morning: I am their mother—I am their mother.

The Chevalier: And he will praise Glory of the Morning.

Glory of the Morning: They are mine, they are mine!

The Chevalier: I have come to take them back with me over the Big Sea Water.[256]

Glory of the Morning (The buckskin shirt falls from her hands as she spreads her arms and steps between him and her children): No, no, no! They are not yours! They are mine! The long pains were mine! Their food at the breast was mine! Year after year while you were away so long, long, long, I clothed them, I watched them, I taught them to speak the tongue of my people. All that they are is mine, mine, mine!

The Chevalier (Drawing Oak Leaf to him and holding up her bare arm): Is that an Indian's skin? Where did that color come from? I'm giving you the white man's law.

Glory of the Morning (Struggling with the Chevalier): I do not know the white man's law. And I do not know how their skin borrowed the white man's color. But I know that their little bodies came out of my own body—my own body. They must be mine, they shall be mine, they are mine! (The Chevalier throws her aside so that she falls.)

The Chevalier: Glory of the Morning, the Great Spirit said long before you were born that a man has a right to his own children. The Great Spirit made woman so that she should bring him children. Black Wolf, is it not so?

Black Wolf: It is so.

The Chevalier (To Glory of the Morning, standing apart): Black Wolf is the wise man of your people.

Black Wolf: And knows the Great Spirit better than the white men.

The Chevalier: Indeed, I think so.

Black Wolf: And the Great Spirit made the man so that he should stay with the squaw who brought him the children,—except when off hunting meat for the wigwam or on the warpath for the tribe.[257]

Glory of the Morning (With some spirit and dignity): The white man Half Moon has said that he believes Black Wolf.

The Chevalier: The white man has not come to argue with the Red Skin, but to take the white man's children.

Black Wolf (In his role of practical wisdom): The Half Moon will listen to Black Wolf.

The Chevalier (With conciliation): If the Black Wolf speaks wisely....

Black Wolf: Neither Oak Leaf nor Red Wing is a mere papoose to be snatched from the mother's back.

The Chevalier: The Half Moon shares Black Wolf's pride in the Half Moon's children.

Black Wolf (Pointing to the discarded cradle-board): The mother long since loosened the thongs that bound them to the cradle-board, propped against the wigwam.

The Chevalier: And when she unbound the thongs of the cradle-board they learned to run toward their father.

Black Wolf: But invisible thongs may now bind them round, which even the Half Moon might not break, without rending the flesh from their bones and preparing sorrows and cares for his head.

The Chevalier: Let us have done, Black Wolf.

Black Wolf: Thongs which none could break, unless Oak Leaf and Red Wing themselves should first unbind them. (To the children.) Will Oak Leaf, will Red Wing unbind the mystic thongs of clan and home? Let the children decide.

The Chevalier: Black Wolf is wise. My children are babes no longer. They can think and speak.

Black Wolf: Let them speak....

Glory of the Morning: Yes. Let the children decide.[258]

Black Wolf: Oak Leaf, do you want to leave Black Wolf and Glory of the Morning to go with Half Moon over the Big Sea Water?

Oak Leaf (Looking up at her mother): O do I, mother?

Glory of the Morning: I cannot tell. I love you, Oak Leaf.

Oak Leaf (Withdrawing toward her father): Mother, make father Half Moon take you with us too.

Glory of the Morning: The Half Moon has told you that he no longer needs Glory of the Morning.

The Chevalier (Taking Oak Leaf's hand caressingly): Oak Leaf, you are too beautiful to wither and wrinkle here digging and grinding and stitching, though the handsomest brave of the Winnebago bought you for his squaw. Beyond the Big Sea Water you won't have to dig and grind and stitch. And sometime a noble brave of my nation will come in a blue suit with gold braid to the chateau and say: "I love Oak Leaf; will you give Oak Leaf to me?"

Oak Leaf (Gladly): And you'll give me to him, father! ... (Oak Leaf leans against her father, with a half frightened glance at Glory of the Morning.)

The Chevalier: You see, Glory of the Morning.

Glory of the Morning (With restraint): I will say good-bye to Oak Leaf.

Black Wolf: Red Wing, are you going with your sister and with Half Moon over the Big Sea Water?

Red Wing: Sister, are you really going?—You are always making believe.

Oak Leaf: O, father,—tell him.

The Chevalier: She is going, Red Wing.[259]

Red Wing: There is nothing for me beyond the Big Sea Water.

The Chevalier: Over there your father is a famous chief, and you might wear a sword and fight beside the Great King.

Red Wing: I shall not fight beside the Great King; and I shall not wear the white man's sword.

The Chevalier (Takes his arm, coaxingly): Little chief, why not? Why not, my son?

Glory of the Morning (Coldly and firmly): Because he is my son.

Red Wing (Standing off; to the Chevalier with boyish pride): Because I am a Winnebago.


From "THE VAUNT OF MAN AND OTHER POEMS," p. 75. Copyright, 1912, by B. W. Huebsch.

I dare not look, O Love, on thy dear grace,
On thine immortal eyes, nor hear thy song,
For O too sore I need thee and too long,
Too weak as yet to meet thee face to face.
Thy light would blind—for dark my dwelling place—
Thy voice would wake old thoughts of right and wrong,
And hopes which sleep, once beautiful and strong,
That would unman me with a dread disgrace:
Therefore, O Love, be as the evening star,
With amber light of land and sea between,
A high and gentle influence from afar,
Persuading from the common and the mean,
Still as the moon when full tides cross the bar
In the wide splendor of a night serene.


O how came I that loved stars, moon, and flame,
An unimaginable wind and sea,
[260] All inner shrines and temples of the free,
Legends and hopes and golden books of fame;
I that upon the mountain carved my name
With cliffs and clouds and eagles over me,
O how came I to stoop to loving thee—
I that had never stooped before to shame?
O 'twas not Thee! Too eager of a white,
Far beauty and a voice to answer mine,
Myself I built an image of delight,
Which all one purple day I deemed divine—
And when it vanished in the fiery night,
I lost not thee, nor any shape of thine.


(For a privately printed collection of verse.)

Ye gave me life for life to crave:
Desires for mighty suns, or high, or low,
For moons mysterious over cliffs of snow,
For the wild foam upon the midsea wave;
Swift joy in freeman, swift contempt for slave;
Thought which would bind and name the stars and know;
Passion that chastened in mine overthrow;
And speech, to justify my life, ye gave.
Life of my life, this late return of song
I give to you before the close of day;
Life of your life! which everlasting wrong
Shall have no power to baffle or betray,
O father, mother!—for ye watched so long,
Ye loved so long, and I was far away.


Thomas Herbert Dickinson was born in Virginia in 1877, and after a wide and thorough scholastic preparation was made associate professor of English in the University of Wisconsin in 1909. Mr. Dickinson is known to thousands of the citizens of Wisconsin as a friend of the drama. He believes that the drama is one of the most legitimate and natural means for[261] the expression of the sentiments, tendencies, activities, and ideals of any people. No doubt he has done much to raise the standard of dramatic judgment and criticism among the citizens of Wisconsin. However, he would not want it said that he is trying primarily "to raise people's dramatic ideals." His mission rather has been to encourage communities to express themselves legitimately and wholesomely through their own dramatic productions. He has won much distinction both as an editor and an author of plays, but perhaps his greatest service to Wisconsin in this direction is his work in editing the little volume, "Wisconsin Plays," containing one play each by Zona Gale, Professor Leonard, and himself.

The following selection is taken from his play, "In Hospital," in the volume just mentioned. It depicts just such a scene as takes place in our hospitals every day of the year. The wife is about to undergo a serious operation. The husband is trying to keep cheerful in anticipation of the ordeal. That is the sort of scene which, Mr. Dickinson wants us to realize, can be wholesomely and pleasantly represented by the drama.


Copyright, 1909, by the author.

A Wife.
A Husband.
A Surgeon.
An Interne.
A Nurse.

Wife: Tell me about the children.

Husband: Oh, they are getting on—so, so.

Wife: I know they will.

Husband: But you should see them! (Turning toward her. She nods without speaking.) They're trying hard to be good, but it's a stiff pull for the little rascals. Well, I don't blame them. Freddie put me in quite a hole the other day. "What's the use of being good when mother's away?" he asked. (She smiles.) For the life of me I couldn't think of an answer. What would you say?

Wife: I'd be as bad off as you were.

Husband: But Robert wasn't. He had an answer.[262] "So mother will be happy when she comes back," he said. Wasn't that good?

Wife: Just like Robert.

Husband: I don't know what we should have done without Robert. He serves at the table. He answers the door and the telephone. He ties the baby's bib. How he thinks of everything I don't know. I—I'm so helpless. Why didn't you ever teach me to take charge of the house?

Wife: Fancy teaching you anything you didn't want to learn.

Husband (After a moment's deep silence): All the kiddies send you their love.

Wife: Even Freddie?

Husband: Oh, Freddie, to be sure. Guess you know about what he's doing. Upstairs and downstairs. Outdoors and in.

Wife: I hope he won't get hurt.

Husband: Trust him for that. But how do you keep him in aprons? They're all dirty already. Yesterday he got all scratched up trying to put Kitty to bed and make him say his prayers. He has fallen in the flour bin, put the telephone out of commission, pulled the table-cloth and dishes off the table. There isn't anything he hasn't done. Freddie will welcome you back with a dish-pan band, when you come home.

Wife (Closing her eyes): Yes—

Husband (Pretending not to notice, though it is clear that he does): Did I tell you about night before last?

Wife: No.

Husband: Well, that night he slept over at Cousin, Ruthie's house. All his nightgowns were dirty so Aunt Ella made him wear one of Ruthie's. But she had the[263] hardest time making him wear it. The next morning he said to me, "I'm glad I ain't a woman, ain't you, Paw?" "Yes, I suppose so," said I. "Why?" "Oh, they're all right, I guess," he said, "but before I'll wear another of those women's nightgowns, I'll go to bed raw."

Wife (Smiling): Little man. Does he ask for me much?

Husband: Just this morning he said, "Pop, you tell mamma to come back quick or I'll elope with the ice man."... Well, they're good children. I don't think any one ever had better. And that's something, isn't it?

Wife: That's everything. They make me very happy.... You know, dear, I have been doing a good deal of thinking since I came here. I've seen things very clearly, clearer than even at home. I think I've been able to tell why I've been so happy. You find out what's really worth while in a time like this, don't you? (Husband nods.)

Wife: I won't say anything about you. You know. But the children. (She smiles.) Yes, I know why I've been happy.


Iowa and Illinois may rightly contest the claim of Wisconsin for a proprietary interest in Mr. William Jonathan Neidig. He was born in the first-named state, and is at present living in Chicago, where he is engaged in business, though he still finds time for an occasional story or poem. He was a member of the faculty in the English Department of the University of Wisconsin from 1905 to 1911, and it was during approximately this period of his life that his literary activity was greatest. "The First Wardens," which was nominated for the Nobel prize in idealistic literature, was published in 1905, and several critical works that attracted wide attention came from his pen during his Wisconsin residence.

The one poem which we quote here shows an evenness of[264] power and an assurance of touch that mark real poetry. It also would be generally recognized, the editors feel, as having been written by a University man.


From "THE FIRST WARDENS." Copyright, 1905, The Macmillan Co.

Bell! Bell!
Bell that rideth the breakers' crest,
Bell of the shallows, tell, O tell:
The swell and fall of foam on the sand,
Storm in the face from sea to land,
Roar of gray tempest: these, O bell,
What say these of the West?
Tell! O tell!
Bell! Bell!
Crowding the night with cries, O tell:
What of the moorings in the silt?
What of the blooms that drift and wilt?
What of the sea-chest wrenched wide?
Is it safe harbor by thy side?
Bell that rideth the breakers' crest,
What say these of the West?
Tell! O tell!
Bell! Bell!
It is a dirge the bell is tolling,
A dirge for the silent dead,—
With the cold sea rolling, rolling, rolling,
Rolling each restless head.
Bell that rideth the breakers' crest,
O, when will they lie all quietly,
Untossed by the slow sea-swell:
Nor breakers brave on the great sea-beach,
Nor ceaseless crash of the cresting sea,
Nor booming headland's sullen knell,
Nor bell, for elegy?
When is the last tide out of the West,
And the last restless dream for each?
[265] Tell! O tell!
Toll! toll! toll!
Toll for the ebbing tide:
Toll for the lives that outward ride:
Toll for the deep-delved cold sea-seat:
Night in the West at every beat!
Toll! toll!


In this group of young writers, the editors present what seems to them to be the best work done by students or young graduates of the University while unquestionably under her influence. They wish there were work by more such writers to present. Possibly there is more that has not yet been brought to their attention.

Berton Brayley has written extensively for newspapers. He has facility in rhyme and the knack of "hitting off" a verse that well fits an occasion. One has the feeling, however, that there is a power and seriousness to the man that have not yet found adequate expression. Perhaps in the next ten years the qualities of ease, leisureliness, and reflection will assert themselves more in his poetry. But from the first there has been a wholesome tone about his work.

Horatio Winslow, son of Chief Justice J. B. Winslow, showed marked ability while an undergraduate. He was a collaborator in the writing of a play which was presented by University students. As with Mr. Brayley, we would say of him that his best work has not yet been published. There is power and strength and grace latent in him that have not yet found expression, but that are unmistakably foretold in the things he has already produced.

Howard Mumford Jones is the youngest of these three men, and comes from the spirit-haunted region of the Mississippi. While his poems have not yet attained absolute surety of touch and evenness of movement, yet of those presented in this group they probably evince the most grace and music, together with the highest and warmest poetic feeling. "When Shall We Together" has real sweep and atmosphere and glow. It is the production of a poet who loved the subject he was writing about.


Sometimes I long for a lazy isle,
Ten thousand miles from home,
Where the warm sun shines and the blue skies smile
[266] And the milk-white breakers foam—
A coral island, bravely set
In the midst of the Southern sea,
Away from the hurry and noise and fret
Forever surrounding me!
For I tire of labor and care and fight,
And I weary of plan and scheme,
And ever and ever my thoughts take flight
To the island of my dream;
And I fancy drowsing the whole day long
In a hammock that gently swings—
Away from the clamorous, toiling throng,
Away from the swirl of things!
And yet I know, in a little while,
When the first glad hours were spent,
I'd sicken and tire of my lazy isle
And cease to be content!
I'd hear the call of the world's great game—
And battle with gold and men—
And I'd sail once more, with a heart of flame,
Back to the game again!

—Berton Braley.
Saturday Evening Post, January 15, 1916.


Current Opinion. Volume LIV. Page 497. (First published in The Coming Nation.)

We're the men that always march a bit before
Tho we cannot tell the reason for the same;
We're the fools that pick the lock that holds the door—
Play and lose and pay the candle for the game.
There's no blaze nor trail nor roadway where we go;
There's no painted post to point the right-of-way,
But we swing our sweat-grained helves, and we chop a path ourselves
[267] To Tomorrow from the land of Yesterday.
It's infrequent that we're popular at home,
(Like King David we're not built for tending sheep,)
And we scoff at living a la metronome,
And quite commonly we're cynical and cheap.
True—we cannot hold a job to save our lives;
We're a dreamy lot and steady work's a bore—
'Til the luring of the Quest routs us out from sleep and rest
And we rope and tie the world and call for more.
Well, they try to hold us back by foolish words—
But we go ahead and do the thing we've planned;
Then they drive us out to shelter with the birds—
And the ravens bring our breakfast to our hand.
So they jail us and we lecture to the guards;
They beat us—we make sermons of their whips;
They feed us melted lead and behold the Word is said.
That shall burn upon a million living lips.
Are we fighters?......By our fellows we are fanged.
Are we workers?......Paid with blows we never earned.
Are we doctors?......Other doctors see us hanged.
Are we teachers?......Brother teachers have us burned.
But through all a Something somehow holds us fast
'Spite of every beast-hung brake and steaming fen;
And we keep the torch on high till a comrade presses by
When we pass it on and die—and live again!


Author of "The Masque of Marsh and River."
Copyright, 1915, by the Author. Pages 13-14.

When shall we together
Tramp beneath the sky,
Thrusting through the weather
As swimmers strive together,
[268] You and I?
How we ranged the valleys,
Panted up the road,
Sang in sudden sallies
Of mirth that woke the valleys
Where we strode!
Glad and free as birds are,
Laughter in your eyes,
Wild as poets' words are,
You were as the birds are,
Very wise.
Not for you the prison
Of the stupid town;
When the winds were risen,
You went forth from prison,
You went down,
Down along the river
Dimpling in the rain,
Where the poplars shiver
By the dancing river,
And again
Climbed the hills behind you
When the rains were done;
Only God could find you
With the town behind you
In the sun!
Don't you hear them calling,
Blackbirds in the grain,
Silver raindrops falling
Where the larks are calling
You in vain?
Comrade, when together
Shall we tramp again
In the summer weather,
You and I together,
Now as then?



No one who reads this book is unfamiliar with "The Sweet Bye and Bye." But how many of us, as we sang that song, realized that both its words and music were written by a Wisconsin man,—Joseph P. Webster?

He was born in New Hampshire in 1819, but he lived most of his life at Elkhorn, where he died in 1875. He was a member of many musical societies, and was the composer of many other songs, the best known of the latter being "Lorena."


Composed by Joseph Philbrick Webster, February, 1868.


There's a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar,
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling place there.


In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.


We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blest,
And our spirits shall sorrow no more—
Not a sigh for the blessings of rest.


To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer the tribute of praise,
For the glorious gifts of His love,
And the blessings that hallow our days.



The greatest difficulty confronting the compilers of any anthology is involved in the necessary exclusion, through lack of space, or else, in some instances, through lack of unmistakable manifestation of literary merit, of some authors and selections that would no doubt be welcomed by many readers of the volume. In the present work it has been the main purpose to set forth in due prominence the works of those writers of our state who have displayed unmistakable literary merit, and who have, beyond doubt, possessed both a message and a marked facility in giving it to the world. We now come to those who, usually despite the rigorous exactions of hurried and anxious frontier lives, have sensed the essential elements of poetry or story in their workaday lives, and have had the courage and optimism necessary to write and publish.

To show just what courage it took and just what spirit impelled these writers, let us quote from the preface to



... "When Ed. Coe, of Whitewater, Wisconsin, began some twelve years ago publishing Cold Spring items, signed by 'Greenhorn,' he published the first lines I ever wrote, at which time some spirit (or some unseen thing) seemed to be always whispering in my ear that I must write a book.

"Never could I drive from me these thoughts, and situated as I was, with plenty of farm work to do, no education at all, no knowledge of such business, no friends to help me, but lots to kick me down, I can tell you I was pretty well discouraged, and if I had not had lots of courage, the contents of this book would not have been written.[271]

"This work is the only kind of work that I can get interested in, and should I pass to the mysterious beyond without gaining any name in this way, I would declare with my last breath that my life, as far as myself was concerned, had been a failure."


Something of the same impulse is found in this dedication of the volume "Dew Drops," by Leda Bond (Mrs. Feldsmith).

"This little book is fondly dedicated to Raymond and Leotta, my two beloved children, who, when the shades of sorrow closed around me, stretched forth their baby fingers, and parting the curtains of gloom, revealed once more the gladsome light of a happier day."

We feel that the names of some of these courageous and happy pioneers should be given in this volume, together with brief selections from some of their works. Some of the verses here given will show sure sense of rhyme and pleasing balance and reserve. Some have, it is true, little to commend them but the evident longing to express the song that was in the soul rather than on the lips. But who can say how much the more successful ones, who have won deserved fame and plaudits, owe to the more obscure who sought, with more meagre measure of success, to show that there is poetry and song and story in Wisconsin?


A Collection of Fugitive Poems Written Among the Cares and Labors of Daily Journalism.
(Then Editor of the Sentinel), Milwaukee, 1873.


Bow down thy head, O Commonwealth,
'Tis fitting now for thee to weep;
Thy hopes lie buried in the grave,
[272] In which our chieftain is asleep.
The flags at half mast sadly droop,
The bells toll out a solemn wail,
As on the southern breeze there comes,
With lightning speed, the sick'ning tale!
O, dreadful night! O, fatal step!
O, rushing river's angry tide!
Was there no quick, omniscient arm
To save a life so true and tried?
Breathe, lofty Pines, his requiem;
Sing paeans in thy forest gloom;
And ye, ye Prairies, that he loved,
Bring Flora's gems to deck his tomb.
O, State, bereft of him you loved,
O, Mother, from thy loving breast,
Our friend and brother, statesman, chief,
At noon, sinks calmly to his rest!
We cannot hide these scalding tears,
But kiss in trust this chast'ning rod;
Though reason sleeps, faith is not blind,
But sees in all the hand of God.


By J. H. WHITNEY, Baraboo, Wisconsin.


When treason, veiled in fair disguise,
And clad in robes of state,
Invoked the sword to cut the ties
That made a nation great,
Wisconsin sounded the alarm,
And beat the battle-drum:
Men heard from office, mill and farm,
[273] And answered, "Lo! we come."
Down from the rugged northern pines,
Up from the eastern coast;
From riverside and southern mines,
Comes forth the loyal host.
From Gainesville thru the wilderness
They march with fearless tread,
And leave behind, as on they press,
An army of the dead.

Beneath the blue—above the green,
Mid flowers of fairest hue,
We honor now with reverent mien,
The men who wore the blue.
The story of the rolls is told.
The records, worn and gray,
Like veterans, are growing old,
And soon shall pass away.
But deeds of valor for a cause
So just, shall ever shine,
And loyalty to righteous laws
Shall live, because divine.


(Appleton, Wisconsin. Copyright, 1902, by the Author.)


Never a cloud to darken the blue,
Never a flower to lose its hue,
Never a friend to prove untrue
In the beautiful land of fancy.
Never a joy to turn to pain,
[274] Never a hope to die or wane,
Never a boon we may not gain
In the beautiful land of fancy.
Never a heart turns false or cold,
Never a face grows gray or old,
Never a love we may not hold
In the beautiful land of fancy.
All of life that we crave or miss,
(The world denies us half its bliss),
Free, untrammelled, we have in this—
In the beautiful land of fancy.


By J. R. HENDERSON, Riley, Wisconsin.

Copyright, 1896, by the Author.

We give here a selection of "Neighborhood Verse," such as may achieve much local fame and really may make life more worth living.


Neighbors and friends, we have met today,
At the home of Jimmie Clow,
To see his daughter Mary give her hand away,
And take the marriage vow.
To see Willie Goodwin get a wife,
And start on the matrimonial sea.
Long life, health and happiness to him and his,
Is the wish of this whole company.
Now, Willie, lad, here's a pipe for you,
It's a present from old Joe;
And when you take your evening smoke
You'll remember him, I know.
And, Mary, lass, here's a gift for you—
Ah, you'll need it yet; you'll see.
Take it now, and hide it away
From this laughing company.



Copyright, 1901, by the Author (wife of Charles Kendall Adams, then President of the University of Wisconsin).


Sound her praise! our noble State,
All her strength to deeds translate,
Prove her shield when danger's nigh,
Read her banner in the sky,
Tell of her in song and story,
All her past with love illume,
Show her present robed in glory,
Promise of a larger bloom.
Morning maid! whose day began
With the nobler life in man,
Sun-crowned souls reveal thy fame,
Sacred hopes thy laws proclaim.
O Father! hear for her our prayer,
Bid her voice Thine own decree,
Let all her growth Thyself declare,
Guard the light supplied by Thee!


You ask of mine the poem I love best,
And promise it shall have the larger light;
Alas, alas! far, far beyond the rest
I love the poem that I mean to write!



Copyright, by Pres. Samuel Plantz and reprinted by permission of The Methodist Book Concern.

This poem was written to her mother on her seventy-seventh birthday.

The spring is fair; it has its flowers,
Its happy time of sun and showers;
Then summer cometh as a queen,
[276] With roses on her robe of green;
But autumn brings the crimson leaves
And wealth of golden, garnered sheaves,
And grapes that purple on the vine,
With spring and summer in their wine.
The morning comes with rosy light
That dims the candles of the night,
And wakes the nestling birds to song,
And sends to toil the brave and strong.
Mid-day and afternoon are spent
In search of gold or heart-content;
Then comes the sunset's glow and rest,
And this of all the days is best.
The baby comes with Paradise
Still shining in his smiling eyes,
And childhood passes like a dream,
As lilies float upon a stream.
Then youth comes with its restless heat,
And manhood, womanhood, replete
With care and pleasure, joy and strife,
Lead to the richest part of life.
And it has reached these, mother dear,
The sunny, mellow time of year;
Though with a climate of thine own,
In constant sun thy soul has grown.
Time counts not helpful, happy years—
He only numbers sighs and tears;
So rich in blessings, strong in truth,
Thou hast not age, but richer youth.


(Mrs. M. H. Chamberlain.)


A spell is on my spirit
And I cannot, cannot write,
All the teeming thoughts of glory
[277] That crowd my soul tonight.
They come in quick succession,
Like the phantoms in a dream;
And they surge in shadowy billows,
Like the mist upon a stream.
Oh! had I but the language,
I would give these visions birth;
I would shadow their glorious meaning,
And their untold, hidden worth.
They were raised by wild thanksgiving,
For a blessed answered prayer;
And their fleeting, changing beauty,
Held my spirit breathless there.
I had pleaded, oh, how earnest
For one precious, precious boon;
For one gift to cheer this bosom,
That was desolate so soon.
Now I know my prayer is answered,
And my soul would fain adore,
Him whose promise is forever,
And is faithful evermore.


Published by West and Co., Milwaukee, 1875.


There's a certain class of people
In this sublunary sphere—
(And if I'm not mistaken,
You'll find them even here),
Who think the rare old precept
To the old Athenians given,
And esteemed so full of wisdom
[278] That they deemed it came from Heaven,—
In this glorious age of progress
Has become quite obsolete;
So they choose another motto,
For these latter times more meet.
It is "know thyself" no longer—
So they say, and who can doubt them—
But "Mortal, know thy neighbors,
And everything about them!"
To attain this worthy object,
All other cares forego;
To gain this glorious knowledge,
You cannot stoop too low.
Heed not the ancient croakers,
Who ask, with solemn phiz—
"Is it anybody's business
What another's business is?"
No! we'd join the glorious party,
That to giant size has grown,
To mind our neighbor's business,
And "Know nothing" of our own,
Hurrah! for the Rights of Meddlers!
For the freedom of our day!
For the glorious Age of Progress!
And for Young America!


Published by Review Print, Flint, Mich., in 1903.


He loves to make another laugh
And laugh himself as well,
Nor any one around one-half
[279] So good a joke can tell.
The less of pain a man can give,
The more of joy he scatters;
The more excuse for him to live—
Apart from weightier matters.
Then emulate the men who laugh,
Good health and mirth are catching,
The wine of joy is ours to quaff,
Life's duties while despatching.


And other Verses.
Copyright, 1887, by the Author.


But one of a thousand voices,
Oh, how can one voice be heard,
When ninety and nine and nine hundred
Are chanting the same old word?
But one of a thousand singers,
What song can I sing, oh pray,
That is not sung over and over,
And over again today?


By PROFESSOR J. J. BLAISDELL, (1827-1896), Beloit College.
Copyright, 1897. J. A. Blaisdell.


One cannot be a good citizen of Wisconsin without being a good citizen of America. One cannot be a good citizen of America without being a good citizen of the Commonwealth of all nations. One cannot be a good citizen of the world Commonwealth without being a good citizen of the Universal Kingdom of God's moral order. Wisconsin citizenship, magnificent lesson to be learned![280]


Complied by SYDNEY T. PRATT, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1901, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, by Sydney T. Pratt.


There is something in the approach of autumn, the border land of summer, that is depressing, just as if the shadow of death were brooding over the future. There are dark clouds in the sky which cut off the sunshine; there is a gloom in the heart which darkens hope and makes life "scarcely worth living." The wind has a mournful cadence, and the trees saw as if the motion were a sigh of sorrow. Everything seems to harmonize with the prevailing spirit of sadness, and animate nature moans forth a dirge. Dew drops seem like tears, and the evening breeze is a sigh. The moon itself seems to wear a garb of grief and floats among the clouds, a tear-stained Diana. It is a season for men to grow mad, for anguish to gnaw at the heart, and for melancholy to usurp the throne of reason. The retina only receives dark impressions, the tympanum transmits none but doleful sounds. One is feasted on dismal thoughts on every hand until it becomes a regular symposium of sorrow. Those imps, the Blues, that feed one on dejection, are in their heyday, implacable as a Nemesis, persistent as a Devil. They revel in gloom and drag one down to the Slough of Despond. Work is performed mechanically, and what in its nature is amusement, is now a bore. One "sucks melancholy from a song as a weasel sucks eggs," and longs for night that he may seek forgetfulness in sleep—the twin-sister of Death. A miserable world this, when the year is falling "into the sear and yellow leaf;" and there is a lingering wish that the shadows which come from the[281] West would bring that icy breath that gives forgetfulness and rest.


Copyright, 1913, by the Author.


Maze of antinomies and miracles!
Bewildered, purblind we are led along
This rock-strewn, flower-decked, mystic, wondrous way.
Whence came? What are we? Whither are we led?
Wherefore journey we? Why such fickle path?
And Nature's myriad answers, voiced in the storm's
Wild tumult, fringed on the gentian's azure cup,
Or limned on human brow, we would descry,—
And some we darkly guess, and some we almost know.




(The following verses express no grievance of my own. I could not ask for more considerate neighbors. But all gardeners are not so fortunate, and it is for their sake and at the suggestions of one of them that these lines were written.)

Sometimes I say "The Dickens!
There are my neighbor's chickens!"
My neighbor I like well
But—let me grievance tell—
I do not like his chickens;—
Save when he bids me to a roast
And plays the part of kindly host.
My garden is most dear to me
From carrot bed to apple tree,
And so my patience sickens
When I behold the chickens
[282] In it and scratching merrily.
Dark gloom grows darker, thickens,
In looking at those chickens.
A certain scientific man
Once called the hen "A feeble bird."
It is, I'm sure, on no such plan
My neighbor's hens are built; the word
"Feeble" to them does not apply.
I wish Professor would stand by
And see those hens make mulching fly.
Or let him watch them as they eat
My cauliflower choice and sweet,
Or gorge themselves on berries fine;
The way they always do with mine.
They run on their destructive feet
From stalk to stalk, from vine to vine,
Or scratch as if they dug a mine.
And so, my neighbor, won't you please,
My cares dispel, my troubles ease,
By keeping all your hens at home?
Soon, soon the very earth will freeze
And then the fowls at large may roam.
So I'll not need the pen of Dickens
To tell my horror of your chickens!


Shall I do dear Sam a wrong
If I write no little song
Telling how he pleases Grace,
Brings the light to Tompie's face,
Shares their play or runs a race,
Merry all about the place?
No: I'd do the duck no wrong
If I failed to make the song.
He'll not care for verse or rhyme.
[283] But this pleasant summer-time
I have seen my little neighbors,
Happy in their kindly labors
Making Sam and others glad,
So I say, "God bless the lad;
Bless the lassie"; and I know
That the love to Sam they show
Makes their own hearts richer, truer;
Makes the sky seem brighter, bluer;
Makes them to us all a joy
(I mean duck, and girl, and boy).
So I'd surely do a wrong
If I did not say in song
To loved Tompie and Miss Grace
(Merry all about the place)
That their duck's important, quite,
With his new-grown feathers white;
But the more important thing
Is their love; of this I sing!


Copyright, 1900, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

FROM CHAPTER II, pp. 37-38.

Such was Neoshone, as the Indians who frequently camped there called it when the first white man stood on the bank of the river and watched the rushing waters flow swiftly by. They had borne the red man in his canoe, and around this very spot the Winnebago hunter had secured fine strings of ducks, and for generations had trapped for mink and gathered in abundance the fish that swarmed in every eddy and pool.

The hill at the north was crowned with a beautiful grove of young oak trees, and, standing on its slope, the early pioneer beheld before his eyes a magnificent panorama.[284] In the distance the everlasting hills seemed to stand guard round and about it as did the walls of the Jewish capitol encircle its sacred precincts.

Valley, hillside, prairie, and plain, stretched away from the spectator's feet in varying lines and curves, while down the center rolled the grand old river. It seemed like a second Canaan, waiting for the coming of the chosen people, its soil ready to be waked by the share of the settler's plow, when crops would come forth as if touched by the magician's wand.


Read before the Phantom Club, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin,
April 15, 1913.

... Growing old has many stages. You can remember the time when, in reading your favorite author, you were disgusted to find that he had made his hero forty years old, and you wondered how he could be guilty of imputing romance to such an unconscionable age. By and by, even though you found forty years to be the old age of youth, you were solaced by the thought that it was the youth of old age, and still later you will wonder where youth ends and old age begins.

In many assemblages you once found yourself the youngest man, or among the youngest. But with swift-flying years, you finally found yourself equal in age to most of those in all assemblies; but the time comes when only younger men are crowding around you. And when you try to evade the thought that you are growing old, along comes some kindly friend with the greeting, "How young you are looking."[285]

You grow to regard as babes, wild, young blades of forty or fifty. You may comfort yourself with the thought expressed by Holmes. He says that he could feel fairly immune from death as long as older men whom he knew, still remained, especially if they were of a much greater age than himself. They were farther out on the skirmish line, and must be taken first.


By CORA KELLEY WHEELER, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Copyright, 1896, The Editor Publishing Company.

FROM "MY LADY ELEANOR," pp. 119-20.

I was wounded at Acre. My strong right arm will never strike another blow for the glory of the Cross. I started sadly out, in spite of our victory, for my western home.

I thought to look in Eleanor's face once more, and see if the years had brought any tender thoughts of me into her heart. If not, I should never trouble her with any claim of mine. I knew she passed her time in works of charity, and that the house of Savoy had never held the love and reverence of the people before as it held it today, under the rule of my Lady Eleanor.

We reached Savoy. In the old days I carried to the lady of my heart a reprieve from death; but to me she brought now a reprieve that took all the grief and sorrow out of my life, as she laid her sweet face on my breast and whispered, "I have loved you ever since the night you brought me home; why did you ever leave me?" With the love of the Duchess of Savoy began a new life; but to me she will ever be, as when I loved her first, "My Lady Eleanor."



ALBERTINE W. MOORE, Echoes from Mistland, Norway Music Album.


ELLA A. GILES, Maiden Rachael, Out from the Shadows, Bachelor Ben, Flowers of the Spirit.




CHARLOTTA PERRY, (pseud.) Carlotta Perry's Poems, 1888.

JOHN GOADBY GREGORY, A Beauty of Thebes and Other Verses.

FLORENCE C. REID, Jack's Afire, Survival of the Fittest.

KENT KENNAN, Sketches.

MYRON E. BAKER, Vacation Thoughts.

JOSEPH V. COLLINS, of Stevens Point, Sketches.

MYRA EMMONS, of Stevens Point, Short Stories.

JULIA M. TASCHER, of Stevens Point, Arbutus and Dandelions, a Novel.

ADA F. MOORE, (Mrs. John Phillips, of Stevens Point), Under the Pines.

MRS. E. M. TASCHER, (Mother of Julia M. Tascher), The Story of Stevens Point.

JOHN HICKS, of Oshkosh, lately Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to Peru, The Man from Oshkosh.

JULIUS TAYLOR CLARK, formerly of Madison, The Ojibue Conquest.

GEORGE GRIMM, of Milwaukee, Pluck, a Story of a Little Immigrant Boy.

GENESSEE RICHARDSON, of Oconomowoc, My Castle In the Air.

CHESTER L. SAXBY, of Superior, A Captain of the King.

MISS L. J. DICKINSON, of Superior, John O'Dreams.

GEORGE STEELE, of Whitewater, Deidre.

JULIUS C. BIRGE, (the first white child born in Whitewater.) The Awakening of the Desert.

JOSEPH P. DYSART, Milwaukee, Grace Porter, a Jewel Lost and Found.

MARGARET ASHMUN, Poems and Short Stories.



Among the many purposes authors have for producing literature is that of pure fun or humor. If the writer attempts to reform by laughing at his people, we designate his work as satire. With this type of literature we have nothing to do here, but much literature has been produced within the state that has for its purpose the laughing with the readers. It attempts to amuse through affording a pleasing surprise. The unexpected which engenders this surprise may be that of situation, of ignorance, or of the mingling of sense and nonsense in a perplexing manner.

This last means of engendering surprise and the resulting humor grew up quite largely among writers of the Middle West during and since the Civil War. It is often spoken of as American humor. It may be illustrated by a short selection from Edgar Wilson Nye's Comic History of the United States, which will show the point of mingling real historical facts with statements quite ridiculous in many instances. Let the reader attempt to determine which statements are historical sense and which are smart or even pure nonsense.

"On December 16, 1773, occurred the tea-party at Boston, which must have been a good deal livelier than those of today. The historian regrets that he was not there; he would have tried to be the life of the party.

"England had finally so arranged the price of tea that, including the tax, it was cheaper in America than in the old country. This exasperated the patriots, who claimed that they were confronted by a theory and not a condition. At Charleston this tea was stored in damp cellars, where it spoiled. New York and Philadelphia returned their ship, but the British would not allow any shenanagin, as George III. so tersely termed it, in Boston.

"Therefore a large party met in Faneuil Hall and decided that the tea should not be landed. A party made up as Indians and, going on board, threw the tea overboard. Boston Harbor, as far out as the Bug Light, even today, is said to be carpeted with tea-grounds."

Wisconsin writers have attempted this type of humor. Two of these whose lives have been more or less connected with the history of River Falls, are mentioned here. The first of these labored quite as earnestly to cultivate the serious side of literature as he did the humorous. As a result his little volume entitled "Lute Taylor's Chip Basket," is filled with even more of the quite serious of life's lessons expressed in poems and essays than of the ludicrous. He mingled both in his book as[288] a real manifestation of his philosophy of life. This is the way he puts it: "Fun is cousin to Common Sense. They live pleasantly together, and none but fools try to divorce them."

Lute A. Taylor was born at Norfolk, New York, September 14, 1863. He came to River Falls, Wisconsin, in 1856, where he became editor of the River Falls Journal in June, 1857. He removed his paper to Prescott in 1861 and called it the Prescott Journal. In 1869 he became one of the publishers and editor-in-chief of the La Crosse Morning Leader. In addition to his newspaper work he held the appointive offices of assistant assessor of internal revenues, assessor of the sixth congressional district of Wisconsin, and surveyor of the port of entry at La Crosse. He died at the latter place November 11, 1875.

When Lute was eight years old his father died, and the boy was thrown upon his own resources quite largely from this early age. The resulting struggle limited his opportunities for school and academy somewhat, but it revealed to him the blessings of persistent effort and gave him a sympathy for the sufferings of mankind. His genial disposition and keen wit made him see the joyous in life, so that between trial and joy he may be said to have been a veritable "vibration between a smile and a tear."

Since so much of his effort in a literary way was serious, it is thought best to illustrate this as well as his humor. Two selections are chosen, both from the Chip Basket, which in its turn is a selection from his newspaper articles. He had not only the ability to write the extended article, but also the much more rare ability of boiling down into concentrated comparisons some of his richest observations. Out of twenty such quotations just these two are given as illustrations:

"There is a thread in our thought as there is a pulse in our heart; he who can hold the one knows how to think; and he who can move the other, knows how to feel."

"A man may be successful as a loafer, and invest less capital and brains than are required to succeed in any other line."

To illustrate a bit of his humor due to the mingling of nonsense and facts a few paragraphs from a letter to the St. Paul Pioneer concerning the city of Chicago are given.



I like Chicago. Chicago is a large city. I have noticed there are always many people in a large city. A city doesn't do well without them. Some of your readers may not have been to Chicago. Shall I tell them about it?[289]

There are many groceries here, where they sell tea, cod-fish, whiskey, flour, molasses, saleratus and such things, and other groceries where they sell cloth, women's clothes, and fancy 'fixin's' generally. Field, Leiter and Co. have one of the latter. It is in cube form—a block long, a block high, and a block thick. It is bigger than a barn, and tall as a light-house. There are more than forty clerks in it.

There are lots of ships here, and horse-cars, but the horses don't ride in them, though, and the water-works. I must tell you about the water-works. They are a big thing. Much water is used in Chicago. Fastidious people sometimes wash in it. Chicago has first-class water now, and plenty of it. She has built a tunnel two miles long, and tapped Lake Michigan that distance from the shore. The water runs down to the home station, and is then lifted up high by steam engines and distributed over the city. The hoisting of it is a good deal like work. I like to see these engines work. Any body would. Clean, polished, shining monsters, they seem to take a conscious pride in their performance, and the tireless movement of their mighty arms seems almost as resistless as the will of God. But they cost scrips, these piles of polished machinery and throbbing life do; and with that regard for economy which has always characterized me, I think I have discovered a plan by which this work can be done at nearly nominal expense. I only wonder that Chicago, with her accredited 'git' and 'gumption,' has not accepted my plan before. My plan is this: At the shore end of the tunnel build a large tank or reservoir, put two first-class whales in it, and let them spout the water up. Simple, isn't it? And feasible too, and cheap. You see the whales would furnish their own clothes and lodging, and[290] all the oil they would need for lighting to work nights by, and the city would really be out nothing but their board. Whales have always been in the water elevating business, so this would be right in their line. They would work and think it was fun—just as a boy sometimes, but not most always, does—and there is no good reason why their sporting instinct should not be turned to practical.

I am confident of the final success of my plan, but the prejudices of people against innovations may retard its operation for some time yet.

Speaking of water makes me think that Chicago, like St. Paul, has a river, only not so much so. Rivers most always run by large cities, they seem to like to, some way. But this is a brigandish sort of river, black, foul, and murky, and in the dark night it steals sullenly through the city like a prowling fiend.

Two paragraphs will serve to illustrate Lute Taylor's ability to meditate upon the common-place and draw therefrom the wholesome lesson. We are choosing his comments upon a "nickname," where he says:

The man who has won a nickname and wears it gracefully, has the elements of popularity about him. The same instinct which leads a mother to apply diminutive phrases of endearment to her little ones is a universal instinct, one which we never outgrow, and which continually manifests itself in our form of addressing or speaking of those we love, trust or admire.

The man who is known in his neighborhood as "Uncle" is never a cold, crabbed or selfish character. He is sure to have a generous heart, and wear a cheerful smile—there is integrity in him which men trust, and warmth around him which little children love to gather, and the term is a title of honor—more to be desired than that of honorable.[291]


Edgar Wilson Nye, known to his readers as "Bill Nye," was born in Shirley, Maine, August 25, 1850. He removed with his parents to Wisconsin in 1854. As a mere school boy, he loved to say those things which afforded amusement to his associates and his family. In an article in Collier's for April 10, 1915,[3] his mother tells the following anecdote concerning him when a boy working on the Wisconsin farm:

The two boys, Edgar (Bill) and his brother Frank had been working in the field, but were separated on their return to the house at noon time. They met again at the pump, when the following conversation ensued:

"Edgar looked at Frank as if surprised, and inquired: 'Your name Nye?'

'Yes,' replied Frank, with perfect gravity in order to lead his brother on.

'That's funny; my name's Nye, too,' observed Edgar. 'Where were you born?'

'In Maine,' answered Frank.

'I was born in Maine myself,' said Edgar. 'I wouldn't doubt at all if we were some relation. Got any brothers?'

'Yes, I have two brothers.'

'Well, well, this is growing interesting. I've got two brothers myself. I'll bet if the thing were all traced out, there would be some family relationship found. Are your brothers older or younger than you?'

'I have one brother older and one younger,' replied Frank.

'Oh, well, then we can't be any relation after all,' declared Edgar with a look of disappointment; 'my brothers are both older.'"

While a young man he went to the then territory of Wyoming, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He later returned to River Falls, Wisconsin, where he engaged in newspaper work. Some years later he traveled with James Whitcomb Riley and gave entertainments in which mirth was the essential feature. He later removed from Wisconsin and made his home in New York City. He died at Asheville, N. C., Feb. 22, 1896.

His writings appeared under the following titles:

Bill Nye and Boomerang, in 1881; Forty Liars, in 1883; Remarks, in 1886; Baled Hay and Fun, Wit and Humor, with J. W. Riley, in 1889; Comic History of the United States, in 1894; Comic History of England, in 1896.

To illustrate his humor due to the mingling of fact and nonsense, we reproduce here a portion of his chapter upon Franklin as published in his Comic History of the United States.



It is considered advisable by the historian at this time to say a word regarding Dr. Franklin, our fellow-townsman, and a journalist who was the Charles A. Dana of his time. Franklin's memory will remain green when the names of millionaires of to-day are forgotten.

But let us proceed to more fully work out the life and labors of this remarkable man.

Benjamin Franklin, formerly of Boston, came very near being an only child. If seventeen children had not come to bless the home of Benjamin's parents, they would have been childless. Think of getting up in the morning and picking out your shoes and stockings from among seventeen pairs of them!

And yet Benjamin Franklin never murmured or repined. He decided to go to sea, and to avoid this he was apprenticed to his brother James, who was a printer.

His paper was called the New England Courant. It was edited jointly by James and Benjamin Franklin, and was started to supply a long-felt want.

Benjamin edited it a part of the time, and James a part of the time. The idea of having two editors was not for the purpose of giving volume to the editorial page, but it was necessary for one to run the paper while the other was in jail.

In those days you could not sass the king, and then, when the king came in the office the next day and stopped his paper and took out his ad, put it off on 'our informant' and go right along with the paper. You had to go to jail, while your subscribers wondered why their paper did not come, and the paste soured in the tin dippers in the sanctum, and the circus passed by on the other side.

How many of us today, fellow-journalists, would be[293] willing to stay in jail while the lawn festival and the kangaroo came and went? Who of all our company would go to a prison-cell for the cause of freedom while a double-column ad of sixteen aggregated circuses, and eleven congresses of ferocious beasts, fierce and fragrant from their native lair, went by us?

At the age of seventeen Ben got disgusted with his brother, and went to Philadelphia and New York, where he got a chance to 'sub' for a few weeks and then got a regular job.

Franklin was a good printer and finally got to be a foreman. He made an excellent foreman. He knew just how to conduct himself as a foreman so that strangers would think he owned the paper.

In 1730, at the age of twenty-four, Franklin married, and established the Pennsylvania Gazette. He was then regarded as a great man, and almost every one took his paper.

Franklin grew to be a great journalist, and spelled hard words with great fluency. He never tried to be a humorist in any of his newspaper work, and everybody respected him.

Along about 1746 he began to study the habits and construction of lightning, and inserted a local in his paper in which he said that he would be obliged to any of his readers who might notice any new odd specimens of lightning, if they would send them to the Gazette office for examination.

Every time there was a thunderstorm Frank would tell the foreman to edit the paper, and, armed with a string and an old doorkey, he would go out on the hills and get enough lightning for a mess.

In 1753 Franklin was made postmaster of the colonies.[294] He made a good Postmaster-General, and people say there were fewer mistakes in distributing their mail then than there have ever been since. If a man mailed a letter in those days, Ben Franklin saw that it went to where it was addressed.

Franklin frequently went over to England in those days, partly on business and partly to shock the king. He liked to go to the castle with his breeches tucked in his boots, figuratively speaking, and attract a great deal of attention. Franklin never put on any frills, but he was not afraid of crowned heads.

He did his best to prevent the Revolutionary War, but he couldn't do it. Patrick Henry had said that war was inevitable, and had given it permission to come, and it came.

He also went to Paris, and got acquainted with a few crowned heads there. They thought a good deal of him in Paris, and offered him a corner lot if he would build there and start a paper. They also offered him the county printing; but he said, no, he would have to go back to America or his wife might get uneasy about him. Franklin wrote 'Poor Richard's Almanac' in 1732 to 1757, and it was republished in England.

Dr. Franklin entered Philadelphia eating a loaf of bread and carrying a loaf under each arm, passing beneath the window of the girl whom he afterward gave his hand in marriage.


One section of this book might be devoted wholly to the work of newspaper men in furthering the progress of literature in the state. Several names would deserve mention in such connection,—among them E. D. Coe, of Whitewater; Colonel Robert M. Crawford, of Mineral Point; John Nagle, of[295] Manitowoc; Major Atkinson, of Eau Claire; Horace Rublee and A. M. Thomson, of the Milwaukee Sentinel; Bruce Pomeroy, of La Crosse; Amos P. Wilder, of the State Journal, Madison; E. P. Petherick, of Milwaukee; Colonel A. J. Watrous, of Milwaukee, and two former Governors of Wisconsin,—W. D. Hoard, of Fort Atkinson, and George W. Peck, of Milwaukee, besides Mr. Nye and Mr. Taylor, mentioned above.

Mr. Peck was born in New York in 1840, but he has lived in Wisconsin since 1843. He has been connected with newspapers at Whitewater, Jefferson, La Crosse, and Milwaukee. He founded the "Sun" at La Crosse in 1874, and later removed it to Milwaukee, where he called it "Peck's Sun." At one time he was unquestionably the best-known writer in Wisconsin, and the best-known Wisconsin writer throughout the country, which fame came to him through his "Peck's Bad Boy" sketches. He was also the author of "Peck's Compendium of Fun," "Peck's Sunshine," together with almost countless sketches which usually were in some way connected with the mischief-loving, mirth-provoking "Bad Boy." Neighbors of the Pecks in Whitewater tend, by their recollection of the former Governor, to confirm the suspicion that not all of "Peck's Bad Boy" was fiction, and that the author himself may have played a not inconsiderable part in the scenes therein depicted.

Mr. Peck's fellow-citizens in Milwaukee honored him with the mayoralty, and the citizens of the state made him Governor from 1891 to 1895. He is now, January, 1916, a familiar figure to Milwaukee citizens. He has a keen memory for his old friends, and citizens, both young and old, who can remind him of some of his old neighbors in Whitewater or Jefferson are always sure of a pleasant chat with him.


From "PECK'S BOSS BOOK," p. 42. Copyright, 1900, by W. B. Conkey Co.

A man came into the "Sun" office on Tuesday with a black eye, a strip of court plaster across his cheek, one arm in a sling, and as he leaned on a crutch and wiped the perspiration away from around a lump on his forehead, with a red cotton handkerchief, he asked if the editor was in. We noticed that there was quite a healthy smell of stock-yards about the visitor, but thinking that in his crippled condition we could probably whip him, if worst came to worst, we admitted that we were in.[296]

"Well, I want to stop my paper," said he, as he sat down on one edge of a chair, as though it might hurt. "Scratch my name right off. You are responsible for my condition."

Thinking the man might have been taking our advice to deaf men, to always walk on a railroad track if they could find one, we were preparing to scratch him off without any argument, believing that he was a man who knew when he had enough, when he spoke up as follows:

"The amount of it is this. I live out in Jefferson county, and I come in on the new Northwestern road, just to get recreation. I am a farmer, and keep cows. I recently read an article in your paper about a dairymen's convention, where one of the mottoes over the door was, 'Treat your cow as you would a lady,' and the article said it was contended by our best dairymen that a cow, treated in a polite, gentlemanly manner, as though she was a companion, would give twice as much milk. The plan seemed feasible to me. I had been a hard man with stock, and thought maybe that was one reason my cows always dried up when butter was forty cents a pound, and gave plenty of milk when butter was only worth fifteen cents a pound. I decided to adopt your plan, and treat a cow as I would a lady. I had a brindle cow that never had been very much mashed on me, and I decided to commence on her, and the next morning after I read your devilish paper, I put on my Sunday suit and a white plug hat that I bought the year Greeley ran for President, and went to the barn to milk. I noticed the old cow seemed to be bashful and frightened, but taking off my hat and bowing politely, I said, 'Madame, excuse the seeming impropriety of the request, but will you do me the favor to hoist?' At the same time I tapped her[297] gently on the flank with my plug hat, and putting the tin pail on the floor under her, I sat down on the milking stool."

"Did she hoist?" said we, rather anxious to know how the advice of President Smith, of Sheboygan, the great dairyman, had worked.

"Did she hoist? Well, look at me, and see if you think she hoisted. Say, I tell you now in confidence, and I don't want it repeated, but that cow raised right up and kicked me with all four feet, switched me with her tail, and hooked me with both horns, all at once; and when I got up out of the bedding in the stall, and dug my hat out of the manger, and the milking-stool out from under me, and began to maul that cow, I forgot all about the proper treatment of horned cattle. Why, she fairly galloped over me, and I never want to read your old paper again."

We tried to explain to him that the advice did not apply to brindle cows at all, but he hobbled out, the maddest man that ever asked a cow to hoist in diplomatic language.


William F. Kirk is no longer a resident of Milwaukee, he having been called to a larger sphere of work on New York papers. But for a period of some eight or ten years he endeared himself to the readers of the Milwaukee Sentinel by his daily column. In it he had many quips which reminded one of Eugene Field in his "Sharps and Flats." But perhaps the most popular type of his work appeared in his "Norsk Nightingale" sketches, of which one is here given.



Copyright, 1905, by Small, Maynard & Co. (Inc.).

Tal me not, yu knocking fallers,
Life ban only empty dream;
Dar ban planty fun, ay tal yu,
Ef yu try Yohn Yohnson's scheme.
Yohn ban yust a section foreman,
Vorking hard vay up on Soo;
He ban yust so glad in morning
As ven all his vork ban tru.
"Vork," says Yohn, "ban vat yu mak it,
Ef yu tenk das vork ban hard,
Yu skol having planty headaches,—
Yes, yu bet yure life, old pard;
But ay alvays yerk my coat off,
Grab my shovel and my pick,
And dis yob ant seem lak hard von
Ef ay du it purty qvick."
Yohn ban foreman over fallers.
He ant have to vork, yu see;
But, yu bet, he ant no loafer,
And he yust digs in, by yee!
"Listen, Olaf," he skol tal me,
"Making living ant no trick,
And the hardest yob ban easy
Ef you only du it qvick!"
Let us den be op and yumping,
Always glad to plow tru drift;
Ven our vork ban done, den let us
Give some oder faller lift.
Den, ay bet yu, old Saint Peter,
He skol tenk ve're purty slick;
Ve can go tru gates, ay bet yu,
Ef ve only du it qvick!



Adams, Mary M.275
Anderson, Rasmus B.228
Baer, Libbie C.273
Baker, Ray Stannard85-99
Birge, E. A.224
Blaisdell, J. A.279
Bond, Leda271
Brayley, Berton265
Brown, Neal284
Brown, S. W.283
Carlton, Carrie276
Centers of Literary Activity172, 184, 219
Chamberlain, Mrs.276
Chase, Wilfred E.281
Coe, E. D.270
Comstock, George C.242
Davidson, J. N.281
Thomas, Herbert Dickinson260
Ferber, Edna163
Flower, Elliott202
Gale, Zona114
Garland, Hamlin13
Grayson, David99
Griswold, Hattie T.189
Henderson, J. R.274
Hoard, W. D.295
Jones, Howard M.265
Jones, Jenkin Lloyd209
King, General Charles40
Kirk, William F.297
Lathrop, Harry278
Leonard, William E.254
Manville, Marion279
Merrick, George B.184
McNeil, Everett213
Moore, Ada F.277
Muir, John64
Nagle, John280
Neidig, William J.263
Newspaper Men294
Nye, Edgar W. (Bill)291
Peck, George W.294
Plantz, Myra G.275
Pyre, J. F. A.245
Reinsch, Paul S.238
Rexford, Eben E.128
Ross, Edward A.246
Salisbury, Albert and Rollin172
Sanford, Albert H.193
Schurz, Carl146
Sheriff, C. F.270
Showerman, Grant251
Stevens Point as a Center184
Stewart, Charles D.196
Taylor, Lute288
Teeple, George L.172
Thompson, A. M.271
Thwaites, Reuben Gold230
Turner, Frederick J.234
University as a Center, The184, 219
University Group, The219
Van Hise, Charles R.220
Webster, Joseph P.269
Wheeler, Cora K.285
Whitewater as a Center172, 295
Whitney, J. H.272
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler72
Willsie, Honoré150
Winslow, Horatio265
Writers of Local Distinction270
Writers not represented286


[1] The name of a boy in the story.

[2] The hired man.

[3] Reprinted through permission of J. B. Lippincott Co.

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious typographical errors were repaired. Otherwise, period spellings, grammatical uses and hyphenation inconsistencies were retained.

Formatting varied throughout the original. This was standardized.

Author portraits have been relocated between their biographical introductions and the beginning of their writings.

Some poetry stanza breaks were inconsistent in the original (for example, "In the Land of Fancy"); retained.

Old style ellipses (* * *) have been converted to standard ellipses.

P. 84, "Which Are You?" replaced ending period with question mark.

P. 156, "clear in the light of the moon"; original reads "noon."

P. 221, "p. 11718"; verified elsewhere and retained. Some sources reference "p. 117- 18."

P. 273, a shorter than normal thought break was in the original; retained.

P. 286, Under "Other Wisconsin Writers"; Both "Charlotta Perry" and "Carlotta Perry's" are present in the original; retained.

P. 291, "Bill" Nye; original had no footnote marker. The marker for footnote 3 was added by the transcriber.

P. 297, "Nightingale" sketches, of which one is here given," originally was placed between "eight or ten years he en-" and "deared himself to the readers." The misplaced line has been repositioned correctly.

P. 299, index; "Thomas, Herbert Dickinson," was listed in the "D"s in the original; retained.

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