McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2, January, 1896 by Various
Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.
Vol. VI, JANUARY, 1896, NO. 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ILLUSTRATIONS ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Edited by Ida M. Tarbell. Lincoln's First Experiences in Illinois. In Charge of Denton Offutt's Store. The Clary's Grove Boys. Lincoln Studies Grammar. A Candidate for the General Assembly. The Black Hawk War. Lincoln a Captain. The Black Hawk Campaign. Electioneering for the General Assembly. EUGENE FIELD AND HIS CHILD FRIENDS. By Cleveland Moffett. POEMS OF CHILDHOOD, By Eugene Field. With Trumpet and Drum. The Delectable Ballad of the Waller Lot. The Rock-a-by Lady. "Booh!" The Duel. The Ride to Bumpville. So, So, Rock-a-by so! Seein' Things. A CENTURY OF PAINTING. By Will H. Low. THE DEFEAT OF BLAINE FOR THE PRESIDENCY. By Murat Halstead. THE SILENT WITNESS. By Herbert D. Ward THE SUN'S LIGHT. By Sir Robert Ball, CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Life in Andover before the War. THE WAGER OF THE MARQUIS DE MÉROSAILLES. By Anthony Hope, MISS TARBELL'S LIFE OF LINCOLN.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1861. THE KIRKHAM'S GRAMMAR USED BY LINCOLN AT NEW SALEM. A CLARY'S GROVE LOG CABIN. NANCY GREEN. DUTCH OVEN. LINCOLN IN 1858. JOHN POTTER. JOHN A. CLARY. SITE OF DENTON OFFUTT'S STORE. ZACHARY TAYLOR. BOWLING GREEN'S HOUSE. THE BLACK HAWK. WHIRLING THUNDER. WHITE CLOUD, THE PROPHET. BLACK HAWK. LINCOLN IN 1860. BLACK HAWK WAR RELICS. MAJOR ROBERT ANDERSON. MONUMENT AT KELLOGG'S GROVE. JOHN REYNOLDS, GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS 1831-1834. ELIJAH ILES. A DISCHARGE FROM SERVICE IN BLACK HAWK WAR SIGNED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN. MAP OF ILLINOIS IN 1832. A FACSIMILE OF AN ELECTION RETURN WRITTEN BY LINCOLN. VIEW OF THE SANGAMON RIVER NEAR NEW SALEM. EUGENE FIELD TELLING A STORY. THE LAST PORTRAIT OF EUGENE FIELD. LUCY ALEXANDER KNOTT. JAMES BRECKINRIDGE WALLER, JR. KENDALL EVANS. WILLIAM AND KENT CLOW. ROSWELL FRANCIS FIELD, EUGENE FIELD'S YOUNGEST SON. ELIZABETH WINSLOW, IRVING WAY, JR.. KATHERINE KOHLSAAT. PARK YENOWINE, THE SABINE WOMEN. JACQUES LOUIS DAVID AS A YOUNG MAN. MICHEL GÉRARD AND HIS FAMILY. POPE PIUS VII. JUSTICE AND DIVINE VENGEANCE PURSUING CRIME. THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN. HECTOR AND ANDROMACHE. PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN. PRUD'HON. THE PRINCESS VISCONTI. THE COUNTESS REGNAULT DE SAINT-JEAN-D'ANGELY. THE ARRIVAL OF A DILIGENCE. BRUTUS CONDEMNING HIS SONS TO DEATH. THE BURIAL OF ATALA. MADAME LEBRUN AND HER DAUGHTER. FRANCIS I., KING OF FRANCE, AND CHARLES V., EMPEROR OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. JAMES G. BLAINE. MR. BLAINE IN 1891. MR. BLAINE AT HIS DESK IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT. FACSIMILE OF THE LETTER WRITTEN BY MR. BLAINE TO MR. HALSTEAD. BLAINE'S GRAVE AT WASHINGTON, D.C.. STATUE OF WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. ANNA SYMMES HARRISON, THE SILENT WITNESS. "MOVE ON, WILL YER!" "AM--I--IMPRISONED BECAUSE I AM FRIENDLESS AND POOR?" "OH, MY GOD!" HE SOBBED. "MY GOD! MY GOD!" THE SUN'S CORONA. ERUPTIVE PROMINENCE AT 10.34 A.M. ERUPTIVE PROMINENCE AT 10.40 A.M. ERUPTIVE PROMINENCE AT 10.58 A.M. THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY BUILDINGS, ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS. PROFESSOR AUSTIN PHELPS'S STUDY. VIEW LOOKING FROM THE FRONT OF ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS'S HOME. DR. EDWARDS A. PARK. THE PHYSICIAN RECEIVING THE PRINCESS IN THE MARQUIS'S SICKROOM. SHE STOLE UP AND SAW MONSIEUR DE MÉROSAILLES SITTING ON THE GROUND. LINCOLN IN 1863. LINCOLN IN 1854. LINCOLN IN FEBRUARY, 1860.
[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1861.--NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.
From a photograph owned by Allen Jasper Conant, to whose courtesy we owe the right to reproduce it here. This photograph was taken in Springfield in the spring of 1861, by C.S. German.]
VOL. VI. JANUARY, 1896. NO. 2.
EDITED BY IDA M. TARBELL.
LINCOLN AS STOREKEEPER AND SOLDIER IN THE BLACK HAWK WAR.
_This article embodies special studies of Lincoln's life in New Salem made for this Magazine by J. McCan Davis_.
LINCOLN'S FIRST EXPERIENCES IN ILLINOIS.
It was in March, 1830, when Abraham Lincoln was twenty-one years of age, that he moved from Indiana to Macon County, Illinois. He spent his first spring in the new country helping his father settle. In the summer of that year he started out for himself, doing various kinds of rough farm work in the neighborhood until March of 1831, when he went to Sangamon town, near Springfield, to build a flatboat. In April he started on this flatboat for New Orleans, which he reached in May. After a month in that city, he returned, in June, to Illinois, where he made a short visit at his parents' home, now in Coles County, and in July went to New Salem, to take charge of a store and mill owned by Denton Offutt, who had employed him on the flatboat.[A] The goods for the new store had not arrived when Lincoln reached New Salem. Obliged to turn his hand to something, he piloted down the Sangamon and Illinois rivers, as far as Beardstown, a flatboat bearing the family and goods of a pioneer bound for Texas. At Beardstown he found Offutt's goods waiting to be taken to New Salem. As he footed his way home he met two men with a wagon and ox-team going for the goods. Offutt had expected Lincoln to wait at Beardstown until the ox-team arrived, and the teamsters, not having any credentials, asked Lincoln to give them an order for the goods. This, sitting down by the roadside, he wrote out; and one of the men used to relate that it contained a misspelled word, which he corrected.
IN CHARGE OF DENTON OFFUTT'S STORE.
The precise date of the opening of Denton Offutt's store is not known. We only know that on July 8, 1831, the County Commissioners' Court of Sangamon County granted Offutt a license to retail merchandise at New Salem; for which he paid five dollars, a fee which supposed him to have one thousand dollars' worth of goods in stock. When the oxen and their drivers returned with the goods, the store was opened in a little log house on the brink of the hill, almost over the river.
[Illustration: THE KIRKHAM'S GRAMMAR USED BY LINCOLN AT NEW SALEM.--NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.]
The copy of Kirkham's Grammar studied by Lincoln belonged to a man named Vaner. Some of the biographers say Lincoln borrowed [it,] but it appears that he became the owner of the book, either by purchase or through the generosity of Vaner, for it was never returned to the latter. It is said that Lincoln learned this grammar practically by heart. "Sometimes," says Herndon, "he would stretch out at full length on the counter, his head propped up on a stack of calico prints, studying it; or he would steal away to the shade of some inviting tree, and there spend hours at a time in a determined effort to fix in his mind the arbitrary rule that 'adverbs qualify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.'" He presented the book to Ann Rutledge [the story of Ann Rutledge will appear in a future number of the Magazine], and it has since been one of the treasures of the Rutledge family. After the death of Ann it was studied by her brother, Robert, and is now owned by his widow, who resides at Casselton, North Dakota. The title page of the book appears above. The words, "Ann M. Rutledge is now learning grammar," were written by Lincoln. The order on James Rutledge to pay David P. Nelson thirty dollars and signed "A. Lincoln, for D. Offutt," which is shown above, was pasted upon the front cover of the book by Robert Rutledge. From a photograph made especially for MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE.--_J. McCan Davis_.]
The frontier store filled a unique place. Usually it was a "general store," and on its shelves were found most of the articles needed in a community of pioneers. But to be a place for the sale of dry goods and groceries was not its only function; it was a kind of intellectual and social centre. It was the common meeting-place of the farmers, the happy refuge of the village loungers. No subject was unknown there. The _habitués_ of the place were equally at home in talking politics, religion, or sport. Stories were told, jokes were cracked and laughed at, and the news contained in the latest newspaper finding its way into the wilderness was discussed. Such a store was that of Denton Offutt. Lincoln could hardly have chosen surroundings more favorable to the highest development of the art of story-telling, and he had not been there long before his reputation for drollery was established.
THE CLARY'S GROVE BOYS.
But he gained popularity and respect in other ways. There was near the village a settlement called Clary's Grove. The most conspicuous part of the population was an organization known as the "Clary's Grove Boys." They exercised a veritable terror over the neighborhood, and yet they were not a bad set of fellows. Mr. Herndon, who had a cousin living in New Salem at the time, and who knew personally many of the "boys," says:
"They were friendly and good-natured; they could trench a pond, dig a bog, build a house; they could pray and fight, make a village or create a state. They would do almost anything for sport or fun, love or necessity. Though rude and rough, though life's forces ran over the edge of the bowl, foaming and sparkling in pure deviltry for deviltry's sake, yet place before them a poor man who needed their aid, a lame or sick man, a defenceless woman, a widow, or an orphaned child, they melted into sympathy and charity at once. They gave all they had, and willingly toiled or played cards for more. Though there never was under the sun a more generous parcel of rowdies, a stranger's introduction was likely to be the most unpleasant part of his acquaintance with them."
[Illustration: A CLARY'S GROVE LOG CABIN,--NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.
From a water-color by Miss Etta Ackermann, Springfield, Illinois. "Clary's Grove" was the name of a settlement five miles southwest of New Salem, deriving its name from a grove on the land of the Clarys. It was the headquarters of a daring and reckless set of young men living in the neighborhood and known as the "Clary's Grove Boys." This cabin was the residence of George Davis, one of the "Clary's Grove Boys," and grandfather of Miss Ackermann. It was built seventy-one years ago--in 1824--and is the only one left of the cluster of cabins which constituted the little community.]
Denton Offutt, Lincoln's employer, was just the man to love to boast before such a crowd. He seemed to feel that Lincoln's physical prowess shed glory on himself, and he declared the country over that his clerk could lift more, throw farther, run faster, jump higher, and wrestle better than any man in Sangamon County. The Clary's Grove Boys, of course, felt in honor bound to prove this false, and they appointed their best man, one Jack Armstrong, to "throw Abe." Jack Armstrong was, according to the testimony of all who remember him, a "powerful twister," "square built and strong as an ox," "the best-made man that ever lived;" and everybody knew the contest would be close. Lincoln did not like to "tussle and scuffle," he objected to "woolling and pulling;" but Offutt had gone so far that it became necessary to yield. The match was held on the ground near the grocery. Clary's Grove and New Salem turned out generally to witness the bout, and betting on the result ran high, the community as a whole staking their jack-knives, tobacco plugs, and "treats" on Armstrong. The two men had scarcely taken hold of each other before it was evident that the Clary's Grove champion had met a match. The two men wrestled long and hard, but both kept their feet. Neither could throw the other, and Armstrong, convinced of this, tried a "foul." Lincoln no sooner realized the game of his antagonist than, furious with indignation, he caught him by the throat, and holding him out at arm's length, he "shook him like a child." Armstrong's friends rushed to his aid, and for a moment it looked as if Lincoln would be routed by sheer force of numbers; but he held his own so bravely that the "boys," in spite of their sympathies, were filled with admiration. What bid fair to be a general fight ended in a general hand-shake, even Jack Armstrong declaring that Lincoln was the "best fellow who ever broke into the camp." From that day, at the cock-fights and horse-races, which were their common sports, he became the chosen umpire; and when the entertainment broke up in a row--a not uncommon occurrence--he acted the peacemaker without suffering the peacemaker's usual fate. Such was his reputation with the "Clary's Grove Boys," after three months in New Salem, that when the fall muster came off he was elected captain.
[Illustration: NANCY GREEN.
Nancy Green was the wife of "Squire" Bowling Green. Her maiden name was Nancy Potter. She was born in North Carolina in 1797, and married Bowling Green in 1818. She removed with him to New Salem in 1820, and lived in that vicinity until her death in 1864. Lincoln was a constant visitor in Nancy Green's home.]
Lincoln showed soon that if he was unwilling to indulge in "woolling and pulling" for amusement, he did not object to it in a case of honor. A man came into the store one day who used profane language in the presence of ladies. Lincoln asked him to stop; but the man persisted, swearing that nobody should prevent his saying what he wanted to. The women gone, the man began to abuse Lincoln so hotly that the latter finally said, coolly: "Well, if you must be whipped, I suppose I might as well whip you as any other man;" and going outdoors with the fellow, he threw him on the ground, and rubbed smartweed in his eyes until he bellowed for mercy. New Salem's sense of chivalry was touched, and enthusiasm over Lincoln increased.
[Illustration: DUTCH OVEN
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
Owned by Mrs. Ott, of Petersburg, Illinois. These Dutch ovens were in many cases the only cooking utensils used by the early settlers. The meat, vegetable, or bread was put into the pot, which was then placed in a bed of coals, and coals heaped on the lid.]
His honesty excited no less admiration. Two incidents seem to have particularly impressed the community. Having discovered on one occasion that he had taken six and one-quarter cents too much from a customer, he walked three miles that evening, after his store was closed, to return the money. Again, he weighed out a half-pound of tea, as he supposed. It was night, and this was the last thing he did before closing up. On entering in the morning he discovered a four-ounce weight on the scales. He saw his mistake, and closing up shop, hurried off to deliver the remainder of the tea.
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1858.
After a photograph owned by Mrs. Harriet Chapman of Charleston, Illinois. Mrs. Chapman is a grand-daughter of Sarah Bush Lincoln, Lincoln's step-mother. Her son, Mr. R.N. Chapman of Charleston, Illinois, writes us: "In 1858 Lincoln and Douglas had a series of joint debates in this State, and this city was one place of meeting. Mr. Lincoln's step-mother was making her home with my father and mother at that time. Mr. Lincoln stopped at our house, and as he was going away my mother said to him: 'Uncle Abe, I want a picture of you.' He replied, 'Well, Harriet, when I get home I will have one taken for you and send it to you.' Soon after, mother received the photograph she still has, already framed, from Springfield, Illinois, with a letter from Mr. Lincoln, in which he said, 'This is not a very good-looking picture, but it's the best that could be produced from the poor subject.' He also said that he had it taken solely for my mother. The photograph is still in its original frame, and I am sure is the most perfect and best picture of Lincoln in existence. We suppose it must have been taken in Springfield, Illinois."]
[Illustration: JOHN POTTER.
From a recent photograph. John Potter, born November 10, 1808, was a few months older than Lincoln. He is now living at Petersburg, Illinois. He settled in the country one and one-half miles from New Salem in 1820. Mr. Potter remembers Lincoln's first appearance in New Salem in July, 1831. He corroborates the stories told of his store, and of his popularity in the community, and of the general impression that he was an unusually promising young man.]
LINCOLN STUDIES GRAMMAR.
As soon as the store was fairly under way Lincoln began to look about for books. Since leaving Indiana, in March, 1830, he had had, in his drifting life, little leisure or opportunity for study--though he had had a great deal for observation. Nevertheless his desire to learn had increased, and his ambition to be somebody had been encouraged. In that time he had found that he really was superior to many of those who were called the "great" men of the country. Soon after entering Macon County, in March, 1830, when he was only twenty-one years old, he had found he could make a better speech than at least one man who was before the public. A candidate had come along where John Hanks and he were at work, and, as John Hanks tells the story, the man made a speech. "It was a bad one, and I said Abe could beat it. I turned down a box, and Abe made his speech. The other man was a candidate--Abe wasn't. Abe beat him to death, his subject being the navigation of the Sangamon River. The man, after Abe's speech was through, took him aside, and asked him where he had learned so much and how he could do so well. Abe replied, stating his manner and method of reading, what he had read. The man encouraged him to persevere."
He had found that people listened to him, that they quoted his opinions, and that his friends were already saying that he was able to fill any position. Offutt even declared the country over that "Abe knew more than any man in the United States," and "some day he would be President."
[Illustration: JOHN A. CLARY.
John A. Clary was one of the "Clary's Grove Boys." He was a son of John Clary, the head of the numerous Clary family which settled in the vicinity of New Salem in 1818. He was born in Tennessee in 1815 and died in 1880. He was an intimate associate of Lincoln during the latter's New Salem days.]
Under this stimulus Lincoln's ambition increased. "I have talked with great men," he told his fellow-clerk and friend, Greene, "and I do not see how they differ from others." He made up his mind to put himself before the public, and talked of his plans to his friends. In order to keep in practice in speaking he walked seven or eight miles to debating clubs. "Practising polemics" was what he called the exercise. He seems now for the first time to have begun to study subjects. Grammar was what he chose. He sought Mentor Graham, the schoolmaster, and asked his advice. "If you are going before the public," Mr. Graham told him, "you ought to do it." But where could he get a grammar? There was but one, said Mr. Graham, in the neighborhood, and that was six miles away. Without waiting further information the young man rose from the breakfast-table, walked immediately to the place, borrowed this rare copy of Kirkham's Grammar, and before night was deep into its mysteries. From that time on for weeks he gave every moment of his leisure to mastering the contents of the book. Frequently he asked his friend Greene to "hold the book" while he recited, and, when puzzled by a point, he would consult Mr. Graham.
Lincoln's eagerness to learn was such that the whole neighborhood became interested. The Greenes lent him books, the schoolmaster kept him in mind and helped him as he could, and even the village cooper let him come into his shop and keep up a fire of shavings sufficiently bright to read by at night. It was not long before the grammar was mastered. "Well," Lincoln said to his fellow-clerk, Greene, "if that's what they call a science, I think I'll go at another." He had made another discovery--that he could conquer subjects.
[Illustration: SITE OF DENTON OFFUTT'S STORE.
From a photograph taken for this Magazine.
The building in which Lincoln clerked for Denton Offutt was standing as late as 1836, and presumably stood until it rotted down. A slight depression in the earth, evidently once a cellar, is all that remains of Offutt's store. Out of this hole in the ground have grown three trees, a locust, an elm, and a sycamore, seeming to spring from the same roots, and curiously twined together; and high up on the sycamore some genius has chiselled the face of Lincoln.]
Before the winter was ended he had become the most popular man in New Salem. Although in February, 1832, he was but twenty-two years of age, had never been at school an entire year in his life, had never made a speech except in debating clubs and by the roadside, had read only the books he could pick up, and known only the men who made up the poor, out-of-the-way towns in which he had lived, "encouraged by his great popularity among his immediate neighbors," as he says himself, he decided to announce himself, in March, 1832, as a candidate for the General Assembly of the State.
[Illustration: ZACHARY TAYLOR.
At the breaking out of the Black Hawk war, Zachary Taylor, afterwards general in the Mexican War, and finally President of the United States, was colonel of the First Infantry. He joined Atkinson at the beginning of the war, and was in active service until the end of the campaign.]
A CANDIDATE FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
The only preliminary expected of a candidate for the legislature of Illinois at that date was an announcement stating his "sentiments with regard to local affairs." The circular in which Lincoln complied with this custom was a document of about two thousand words, in which he plunged at once into the subject he believed most interesting to his constituents--"the public utility of internal improvements."
[Illustration: BOWLING GREEN'S HOUSE.
From a photograph taken for this Magazine.
Bowling Green's log cabin, half a mile north of New Salem, just under the bluff, still stands, but long since ceased to be a dwelling-house, and is now a tumble-down old stable. Here Lincoln was a frequent boarder, especially during the period of his closest application to the study of the law. Stretched out on the cellar door of his cabin, reading a book, he met for the first time "Dick" Yates, then a college student at Jacksonville, and destined to become the great "War Governor" of the State. Yates had come home with William G. Greene to spend his vacation, and Greene took him around to Bowling Green's house to introduce him to "his friend, Abe Lincoln." Unhappily there is nowhere in existence a picture of the original occupant of this humble cabin. Bowling Green was one of the leading citizens of the county. He was County Commissioner from 1826 to 1828; he was for many years a justice of the peace; he was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and a very active and uncompromising Whig. The friendship between him and Lincoln, beginning at a very early day, continued until his death in 1842.--_J. McCan Davis_.]
At that time the State of Illinois--as, indeed, the whole United States--was convinced that the future of the country depended on the opening of canals and railroads, and the clearing out of the rivers. In the Sangamon country the population felt that a quick way of getting to Beardstown on the Illinois River, to which point the steamer came from the Mississippi, was, as Lincoln puts it in his circular, "indispensably necessary." Of course a railroad was the dream of the settlers; but when it was considered seriously there was always, as Lincoln says, "a heart-appalling shock accompanying the amount of its cost, which forces us to shrink from our pleasing anticipations." Improvement of the Sangamon River he declared the most feasible plan. That it was possible, he argued from his experience on the river in April of the year before (1831), when he made his flatboat trip, and from his observations as manager of Offutt's saw-mill. He could not have advocated a measure more popular. At that moment the whole population of Sangamon was in a state of wild expectation. Some six weeks before Lincoln's circular appeared, a citizen of Springfield had advertised that as soon as the ice went off the river he would bring up a steamer, the "Talisman," from Cincinnati, and prove the Sangamon navigable. The announcement had aroused the entire country, speeches were made, and subscriptions taken. The merchants announced goods direct per steamship "Talisman" the country over, and every village from Beardstown to Springfield was laid off in town lots. When the circular appeared the excitement was at its height.
[Illustration: THE BLACK HAWK.
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
After a portrait by George Catlin, in the National Museum at Washington, D.C., and here reproduced by the courtesy of the director, Mr. G. Brown Goode. Makataimeshekiakiak, the Black Hawk Sparrow, was born in 1767 on the Rock River. He was not a chief by birth, but through the valor of his deeds became the leader of his village. He was imaginative and discontented, and bred endless trouble in the Northwest by his complaints and his visionary schemes. He was completely under the influence of the British agents, and in 1812 joined Tecumseh in the war against the United States. After the close of that war, the Hawk was peaceable until driven to resistance by the encroachments of the squatters. After the battle of Bad Axe he escaped, and was not captured until betrayed by two Winnebagoes. He was taken to Fort Armstrong, where he signed a treaty of peace, and then was transferred as a prisoner of war to Jefferson Barracks, now St. Louis, where Catlin painted him. Catlin, in his "Eight Years," says: "When I painted this chief, he was dressed in a plain suit of buckskin, with a string of wampum in his ears and on his neck, and held in his hand his medicine-bag, which was the skin of a black hawk, from which he had taken his name, and the tail of which made him a fan, which he was almost constantly using." In April, 1833, Black Hawk and the other prisoners of war were transferred to Fortress Monroe. They were released in June, and made a trip through the Atlantic cities before returning West. Black Hawk settled in Iowa, where he and his followers were given a small reservation in Davis County. He died in 1838.]
[Illustration: WHIRLING THUNDER.
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
After a painting by R.M. Sully in the collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and here reproduced through the courtesy of the secretary, Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites. Black Hawk had two sons; the elder was the Whirling Thunder, the younger the Roaring Thunder; both were in the war, and both were taken prisoners with their father, and were with him at Jefferson Barracks and at Fortress Monroe and on the trip through the Atlantic cities. At Jefferson Barracks Catlin painted them, and the pictures are in the National Museum. While at Fortress Monroe the above picture of Whirling Thunder was painted. A pretty anecdote is told of the Whirling Thunder. While on their tour through the East the Indians were invited to various gatherings and much done for their entertainment. On one of these occasions a young lady sang a ballad. Whirling Thunder listened intently, and when she ended he plucked an eagle's feather from his head-dress, and giving it to a white friend, said: "Take that to your mocking-bird squaw." Black Hawk's sons remained with him until his death in 1838, and then removed with the Sacs and Foxes to Kansas.]
Lincoln's comments in his circular on two other subjects on which all candidates of the day expressed themselves are amusing in their simplicity. The practice of loaning money at exorbitant rates was then a great evil in the West. Lincoln proposed a law fixing the limits of usury, and he closed his paragraph on the subject with these words, which sound strange enough from a man who in later life showed so profound a reverence for law:
"In cases of extreme necessity, there could always be means found to cheat the law; while in all other cases it would have its intended effect. I would favor the passage of a law on this subject which might not be very easily evaded. Let it be such that the labor and difficulty of evading it could only be justified in cases of greatest necessity."
A change in the laws of the State was also a topic which he felt required a word. "Considering the great probability," he said, "that the framers of those laws were wiser than myself, I should prefer not meddling with them, unless they were attacked by others; in which case I should feel it both a privilege and a duty to take that stand which, in my view, might tend most to the advancement of justice."
[Illustration: WHITE CLOUD, THE PROPHET.
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
After a painting in the collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and here reproduced through the courtesy of the secretary, Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites. The chief of an Indian village on the Rock River, White Cloud was half Winnebago, half Sac. He was false and crafty, and it was largely his counsels which induced Black Hawk to recross the Mississippi in 1832. He was captured with Black Hawk, was a prisoner at both Jefferson Barracks and Fortress Monroe, and made the tour of the Atlantic cities with his friends. The above portrait was made at Fortress Monroe by R.M. Sully. Catlin also painted White Cloud at Jefferson Barracks in 1832. He describes him as about forty years old at that time, "nearly six feet high, stout and athletic." He said he let his hair grow out to please the whites. Catlin's picture shows him with a very heavy head of hair. The prophet, after his return from the East, remained among his people until his death in 1840 or 1841.]
[Illustration: BLACK HAWK.
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
After an improved replica of the original portrait painted by R.M. Sully at Fortress Monroe in 1833, and now in the museum of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, at Madison. It is reproduced through the courtesy of the secretary of the society, Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites.]
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1860
From a photograph loaned by H.W. Fay of DeKalb, Illinois. After Lincoln's nomination for the presidency, Alex Hesler of Chicago published a portrait he had made of Lincoln in 1857. (See McCLURE'S MAGAZINE for December, p. 13.) At the same time he put out a portrait of Douglas. The contrast was so great between the two, and in the opinion of the politicians so much in Douglas's favor, that they told Hesler he must suppress Lincoln's picture; accordingly the photographer wrote to Springfield requesting Lincoln to call and sit again. Lincoln replied that his friends had decided that he remain in Springfield during the canvass, but that if Hesler would come to Springfield he would be "dressed up" and give him all the time he wanted. Hesler went to Springfield and made at least four negatives, three of which are supposed to have been destroyed in the Chicago fire. The fourth is owned by Mr. George Ayers of Philadelphia. The above photograph is a print from one of the lost negatives.]
The audacity of a young man in his position presenting himself as a candidate for the legislature is fully equalled by the humility of the closing paragraphs of his announcement:
"But, fellow-citizens, I shall conclude. Considering the great degree of modesty which should always attend youth, it is probable I have already been more presuming than becomes me. However, upon the subjects of which I have treated, I have spoken as I have thought. I may be wrong in regard to any or all of them; but, holding it a sound maxim that it is better only sometimes to be right than at all times to be wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.
"Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed. I am young, and unknown to many of you. I was born, and have ever remained, in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations or friends to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of the county; and, if elected, they will have conferred a favor upon me for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. But, if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined."
[Illustration: BLACK HAWK WAR RELICS.
Tomahawk. Indian Pipe. Powder-horn. Flintlock Rifle. Indian Flute. Indian Knife.
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
This group of relics of the Black Hawk War was selected for us from the collection in the museum of the Wisconsin Historical Society by the Secretary, Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites. The coat and chapeau belonged to General Dodge, an important leader in the war. The Indian relics are a tomahawk, a Winnebago pipe, a Winnebago flute, and a knife. The powder-horn and the flintlock rifle are the only volunteer articles. One of the survivors of the war, Mr. Elijah Herring of Stockton, Illinois, says of the flintlock rifles used by the Illinois volunteers: "They were constructed like the old-fashioned rifle, only in place of a nipple for a cap they had a pan in which was fixed an oil flint which the hammer struck when it came down, instead of the modern cap. The pan was filled with powder grains, enough to catch the spark and communicate it to the load in the gun. These guns were all right, and rarely missed fire on a dry, clear day; but unless they were covered well, the dews of evening would dampen the powder, and very often we were compelled to withdraw the charge and load them over again. We had a gunsmith with us, whose business it was to look after the guns for the whole regiment; and when a gun was found to be damp, it was his duty to get his tools and 'draw' the load. At that time the Cramer lock and triggers had just been put on the market, and my rifle was equipped with these improvements, a fact of which I was very proud. Instead of one trigger my rifle had two, one set behind the other--the hind one to cock the gun, and the front one to shoot it. The man Cramer sold his lock and triggers in St. Louis, and I was one of the first to use them."]
Very soon after Lincoln had distributed his handbills, enthusiasm on the subject of the opening of the Sangamon rose to a fever. The "Talisman" actually came up the river; scores of men went to Beardstown to meet her, among them Lincoln, of course; and to him was given the honor of piloting her--an honor which made him remembered by many a man who saw him that day for the first time. The trip was made with all the wild demonstrations which always attended the first steamboat. On either bank a long procession of men and boys on foot or horse accompanied the boat. Cannons and volleys of musketry were fired as settlements were passed. At every stop speeches were made, congratulations offered, toasts drunk, flowers presented. It was one long hurrah from Beardstown to Springfield, and foremost in the jubilation was Lincoln, the pilot. The "Talisman" went as near Springfield as the river did, and there tied up for a week. When she went back Lincoln again had a conspicuous position as pilot. The notoriety this gave him was quite as valuable politically, probably, as was the forty dollars he received for his service financially.
[Illustration: MAJOR ROBERT ANDERSON.
From a photograph in the war collection of Robert A. Coster.
Born in Kentucky in 1805. In 1825 graduated at West Point. Anderson was on duty at the St. Louis Arsenal when the Black Hawk war broke out. He asked permission to join General Atkinson, who commanded the expedition against the Indians; was placed on his staff as Assistant Inspector General, and was with him until the end of the war. Anderson twice mustered Lincoln out of the service and in again. When General Scott was sent to take Atkinson's place, Anderson was ordered to report to the former for duty, and was sent by him to take charge of the Indians captured at Bad Axe. It was Anderson who conducted Black Hawk to Jefferson Barracks. His adjutant in this task was Lieutenant Jefferson Davis. From 1835-37 Anderson was an instructor at West Point. He served in the Florida War in 1837-38, and was wounded at Molino del Rey in the Mexican War. In 1857 he was appointed Major of the First Artillery. On November 20, 1860, Anderson assumed command of the troops in Charleston Harbor. On April 14 he surrendered Fort Sumter, marching out with the honors of war. He was made brigadier-general by Lincoln for his service. On account of failing health he was relieved from duty in October, 1861. In 1865 he was brevetted major-general. He died in France in 1871.]
While the country had been dreaming of wealth through the opening of the Sangamon, and Lincoln had been doing his best to prove that the dream was possible, the store in which he clerked was "petering out"--to use his own expression. The owner, Denton Offutt, had proved more ambitious than wise, and Lincoln saw that an early closing by the sheriff was probable. But before the store was fairly closed, and while the "Talisman" was yet exciting the country, an event occurred which interrupted all of Lincoln's plans.
THE BLACK HAWK WAR.
One morning in April a messenger from the governor of the State rode into New Salem scattering a circular. It was an address from Governor Reynolds to the militia of the northwest section of the State, announcing that the British band of Sacs and other hostile Indians, headed by Black Hawk, had invaded the Rock River country, to the great terror of the frontier inhabitants; and calling on the citizens who were willing to aid in repelling them, to rendezvous at Beardstown within a week.
[Illustration: MONUMENT AT KELLOGG'S GROVE.
On June 24, 1832, Black Hawk attacked Apple River Fort, fourteen miles east of Galena, Illinois, but was unable to drive out the inmates. The next day he attacked a spy battalion of one hundred and fifty men at Kellogg's Grove, sixteen miles further east. A detachment of volunteers relieved the battalion, and drove off the savages, about fifteen of whom were killed. The whites lost five men, who were buried at various points in the grove. During the summer of 1886 the remains of these men were collected and, with those of five or six other victims of the war, were placed together under the monument here represented.--See "The Black Hawk War," by Reuben G. Thwaites, Vol. XII. in Wisconsin Historical Collections. This account of the Black Hawk War is the most trustworthy, complete, and interesting which has been made.]
The name of Black Hawk was familiar to the people of Illinois. He was an old enemy of the settlers, and had been a tried friend of the British. The land his people had once owned in the northwest of the present State of Illinois had been sold in 1804 to the government of the United States, but with the provision that the Indians should hunt and raise corn there until it was surveyed and sold to settlers.
[Illustration: JOHN REYNOLDS, GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS 1831-1834.
After a steel engraving in the Governor's office, Springfield, Illinois. John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois from 1831 to 1834, was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1788. He was of Irish parentage. When he was six months old his parents moved to Tennessee. In 1800 they removed to Illinois. When twenty years old, John Reynolds went to Knoxville, Tennessee, to college, where he spent two years. He was admitted to the bar at Kaskaskia in 1812. In the war of 1812 he rendered distinguished service, earning the title of "the Old Ranger." He began the practice of law in the spring of 1814. In 1818 he was made an associate justice of the Supreme Court; in 1826 he was elected a member of the legislature; and in 1830, after a stirring campaign, he was chosen Governor of Illinois. The most important event of his administration was the Black Hawk War. He was prompt in calling out the militia to subdue the Black Hawk, and went upon the field in person. In November, 1834, just before the close of his term as Governor, he resigned to become a member of Congress. In 1837, aided by others, he built the first railroad in the State--a short line of six miles from his coal mine in the Mississippi bluff to the bank of the river opposite St. Louis. It was operated by horse power. He again became a member of the legislature in 1846 and 1852, during the latter term being Speaker of the House. In 1860, in his seventy-third year, he was an anti-Douglas delegate to the Charleston convention, and received the most distinguished attentions from the Southern delegates. After the October elections, when it became apparent that Lincoln would be elected, he issued an address advising the support of Douglas. His sympathies were with the South, though in 1832 he strongly supported President Jackson in the suppression of the South Carolina nullifiers. He died in Belleville in May, 1865. Governor Reynolds was a quaint and forceful character. He was a man of much learning; but in conversation (and he talked much) he rarely rose above the odd Western vernacular, of which he was so complete a master. He was the author of two books--one an autobiography, and the other "The Pioneer History of Illinois."]
Long before the land was surveyed, however, squatters had invaded the country, and tried to force the Indians west of the Mississippi. Particularly envious were these whites of the lands at the mouth of the Rock River, where the ancient village and burial place of the Sacs stood, and where they came each year to raise corn. Black Hawk had resisted their encroachments, and many violent acts had been committed on both sides.
Finally, however, the squatters, in spite of the fact that the line of settlement was still fifty miles away, succeeded in evading the real meaning of the treaty and in securing a survey of the desired land at the mouth of the river. Black Hawk, exasperated and broken-hearted at seeing his village violated, persuaded himself that the village had never been sold--indeed, that land could not be sold:
"My reason teaches me," he wrote, "that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon, and cultivate, as far as is necessary for their subsistence; and so long as they occupy and cultivate it, they have the right to the soil, but if they voluntarily leave it, then any other people have a right to settle upon it. Nothing can be sold but such things as can be carried away."
Supported by this theory, conscious that in some way he did not understand he had been wronged, and urged on by White Cloud, the prophet, who ruled a Winnebago village on the Rock River, Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi in 1831, determined to evict the settlers. A military demonstration drove him back, and he was persuaded to sign a treaty never to return east of the Mississippi. "I touched the goose quill to the treaty, and was determined to live in peace," he wrote afterward; but hardly had he "touched the goose quill" before his heart smote him. Longing for his home; resentment at the whites; obstinacy; brooding over the bad counsels of White Cloud and his disciple Neapope, an agitating Indian who had recently been East to visit the British and their Indian allies, and who assured Black Hawk that the Winnebagoes, Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawottomies would join him in a struggle for his land, and that the British would send him "guns, ammunition, provisions, and clothing early in the spring"--all persuaded the Hawk that he would be successful if he made an effort to drive out the whites. In spite of the persuasion of many of his friends and of the Indian agent in the country, he crossed the river on April 6, 1832, and with some five hundred braves, his squaws and children, marched to the Prophet's town, thirty-five miles up the Rock River.
As soon as they heard of Black Hawk's invasion, the settlers fled in a panic to the forts in the vicinity, and they rained petitions for protection on Governor Reynolds. General Atkinson, who commanded a company at Fort Armstrong, wrote the governor he must have help; and accordingly on the 16th of April Governor Reynolds sent out "influential messengers" with a sonorous summons. It was one of these messengers riding into New Salem who put an end to Lincoln's canvassing for the legislature, freed him from Offutt's expiring grocery, and led him to enlist.
[Illustration: ELIJAH ILES, CAPTAIN OF COMPANY IN WHICH LINCOLN SERVED AS PRIVATE IN BLACK HAWK WAR.
From a photograph made for this Magazine.
After a painting by the late Mrs. Obed Lewis, niece of Major Iles, and owned by Mr. Obed Lewis, Springfield, Illinois. Elijah Iles was born in Kentucky, March 28, 1796, and when young went to Missouri. There he heard marvellous stories about the Sangamon Valley, and he resolved to go thither. Springfield had just been staked out in the wilderness, and he reached the place in time to erect the first building--a rude hut in which he kept a store. This was in 1821. "In the early days in Illinois," he wrote in 1883, "it was hard to find good material for law-makers. I was elected a State Senator in 1826, and again for a second term. The Senate then comprised thirteen members, and the House twenty-five." In 1827 he was elected major in the command of Colonel T. McNeal, intending to fight the Winnebagoes, but no fighting occurred. In the Black Hawk War of 1832, after his term as a private in Captain Dawson's company had expired, he was elected captain of a new company of independent rangers. In this company Lincoln reenlisted as a private. Major Iles lived at Springfield all his life. He died September 4, 1883.]
There was no time to waste. The volunteers were ordered to be at Beardstown, nearly forty miles from New Salem, on April 22d. Horses, rifles, saddles, blankets were to be secured, a company formed. It was work of which the settlers were not ignorant. Under the laws of the State every able-bodied male inhabitant between eighteen and forty-five was obliged to drill twice a year or pay a fine of one dollar. "As a dollar was hard to raise," says one of the old settlers, "everybody drilled."
LINCOLN A CAPTAIN.
Preparations were quickly made, and by April 22d the men were at Beardstown. Here each company elected its own officers, and Lincoln became a candidate for the captaincy of the company from Sangamon to which he belonged.
His friend Greene gave another reason than ambition to explain his desire for the captaincy. One of the "odd jobs" which Lincoln had taken since coming into Illinois was working in a saw-mill for a man named Kirkpatrick. In hiring Lincoln, Kirkpatrick had promised to buy him a cant-hook to move heavy logs. Lincoln had proposed, if Kirkpatrick would give him two dollars, to move the logs with a common hand-spike. This the proprietor had agreed to, but when pay day came he refused to keep his word. When the Sangamon company of volunteers was formed, Kirkpatrick aspired to the captaincy; and Lincoln, knowing it, said to Greene: "Bill, I believe I can now pay Kirkpatrick for that two dollars he owes me on the cant-hook. I'll run against him for captain;" and he became a candidate. The vote was taken in a field, by directing the men at the command "march" to assemble around the man they wanted for captain. When the order was given, three-fourths of the men gathered around Lincoln.[B] In Lincoln's curious third-person autobiography he says he was elected "to his own surprise;" and adds, "He says he has not since had any success in life which gave him so much satisfaction."
[Illustration: A DISCHARGE FROM SERVICE IN BLACK HAWK WAR SIGNED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, AS CAPTAIN.]
The company was a motley crowd of men. Each had secured for his outfit what he could get, and no two were equipped alike. Buckskin breeches prevailed. There was a sprinkling of coon-skin caps, and the blankets were of the coarsest texture. Flintlock rifles were the usual arm, though here and there a man had a Cramer. Over the shoulder of each was slung a powder-horn. The men had, as a rule, as little regard for discipline as for appearances, and when the new captain gave an order were as likely to jeer at it as to obey it. To drive the Indians out was their mission, and any orders which did not bear directly on that point were little respected. Lincoln himself was not familiar with military tactics, and made many blunders of which he used to tell afterwards with relish. One of these was an early experience in drilling. He was marching with a front of over twenty men across a field, when he desired to pass through a gateway into the next inclosure.
"I could not for the life of me," said he, "remember the proper word of command for getting my company _endwise_, so that it could get through the gate; so, as we came near the gate, I shouted, 'This company is dismissed for two minutes, when it will fall in again on the other side of the gate!'"
Nor was it only his ignorance of the manual which caused him trouble. He was so unfamiliar with camp discipline that he once had his sword taken from him for shooting within limits. Another disgrace he suffered was on account of his disorderly company. The men, unknown to him, stole a quantity of liquor one night, and the next morning were too drunk to fall in when the order was given to march. For their lawlessness Lincoln wore a wooden sword two days.
But none of these small difficulties injured his standing with the company. Lincoln was tactful, and he joined his men in sports as well as duties. They soon grew so proud of his quick wit and great strength that they obeyed him because they admired him. No amount of military tactics could have secured from the volunteers the cheerful following he won by his personal qualities.
The men soon learned, too, that he meant what he said, and would permit no dishonorable performances. A helpless Indian took refuge in the camp one day; and the men, who were inspired by what Governor Reynolds calls _Indian ill-will_--that wanton mixture of selfishness, unreason, and cruelty which seems to seize a frontiersman as soon as he scents a red man--were determined to kill the refugee. He had a safe conduct from General Cass; but the men, having come out to kill Indians and not having succeeded, threatened to take revenge on the helpless savage. Lincoln boldly took the man's part, and though he risked his life in doing it, he cowed the company, and saved the Indian.
[Illustration: MAP OF ILLINOIS IN 1832, PREPARED SPECIALLY FOR MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE.
[Transcriber's note: The map includes the following legend: The black line indicates the route Lincoln is supposed to have followed with the army as far as Whitewater, where he was dismissed. When the army started from near Ottawa, after the 20th of June, to follow the Indians up Rock River, Lincoln's battalion was sent towards the northwest, and joined the main army near Lake Koshkonong early in July. Soon after he went to Whitewater, where, about the middle of the month, his battalion was disbanded, and he returned by foot and canoe to New Salem. The dotted line shows the route he is supposed to have taken. The towns named on the map are those with which Lincoln was connected either in his legal or his political life.]
THE BLACK HAWK CAMPAIGN.
It was on the 27th of April that the force of sixteen hundred men organized at Beardstown started out. The spring was cold, the roads heavy, the streams turbulent. The army marched first to Yellow Banks on the Mississippi, then to Dixon on the Rock River, which they reached on May 12th. None but hardened pioneers could have endured what Lincoln and his followers did in this march. They had insufficient supplies; they waded in black mud for miles; they swam rivers; they were almost never dry or warm; but, hardened as they were, they made the march gayly. At Dixon they camped, and near here occurred the first bloodshed of the war.
A body of about three hundred and forty rangers, not of the regular army, under Major Stillman, asked to go ahead as scouts, to look for a body of Indians under Black Hawk, rumored to be about twelve miles away. The permission was given, and on the night of the 14th of May Stillman and his men went into camp. Black Hawk heard of their presence. By this time the poor old chief had discovered that the promises of aid from the Indian tribes and the British were false, and, dismayed, he had resolved to recross the Mississippi. When he heard of the whites near he sent three braves with a white flag to ask for a parley and permission to descend the river. Behind them he sent five men to watch proceedings. Stillman's rangers were in camp when the bearers of the flag of truce appeared. The men were many of them half drunk, and when they saw the Indian truce-bearers, they rushed out in a wild mob, and ran them into camp. Then catching sight of the five spies, they started after them, killing two. The three who reached Black Hawk reported that the truce-bearers had been killed as well as their two companions. Furious at this violation of faith, Black Hawk "raised a yell," and declared to the forty braves, all he had with him, that they must have revenge. The Indians immediately sallied forth, and met Stillman's band of over three hundred men, who by this time were out in search of the Indians. Black Hawk, too maddened to think of the difference of numbers, attacked the whites. To his surprise the enemy turned, and fled in a wild riot. Nor did they stop at their camp, which from its position was almost impregnable; they fled in complete panic, _sauve qui peut_, through their camp, across prairie and rivers and swamps, to Dixon, twelve miles away, where by midnight they began to arrive. The first arrival reported that two thousand savages had swept down on Stillman's camp and slaughtered all but himself. Before the next night all but eleven of the band had arrived.
Stillman's defeat, as this disgraceful affair is called, put all notion of peace out of Black Hawk's mind, and he started out in earnest on the warpath. Governor Reynolds, excited by the reports of the first arrivals from the Stillman stampede, made out that night, "by candle-light," a call for more volunteers, and by the morning of the 15th had messengers out and his army in pursuit of Black Hawk. But it was like pursuing a shadow. The Indians purposely confused their trail. Sometimes it was a broad path, then it suddenly radiated to all points. The whites broke their bands, and pursued the savages here and there, never overtaking them, though now and then coming suddenly on some terrible evidences of their presence--a frontier home deserted and burned, slaughtered cattle, scalps suspended where the army could not fail to see them.
This fruitless warfare exasperated the volunteers; they threatened to leave, and their officers had great difficulty in making them obey orders. On reaching a point in the Rock River, beyond which lay the Indian country, a company under Colonel Zachary Taylor refused to cross, and held a public indignation meeting, urging that they had volunteered to defend the State, and had the right, as independent American citizens, to refuse to go out of its borders. Taylor heard them to the end, and then said: "I feel that all gentlemen here are my equals; in reality, I am persuaded that many of them will, in a few years, be my superiors, and perhaps, in the capacity of members of Congress, arbiters of the fortunes and reputation of humble servants of the republic, like myself. I expect then to obey them as interpreters of the will of the people; and the best proof that I will obey them is now to observe the orders of those whom the people have already put in the place of authority to which many gentlemen around me justly aspire. In plain English, gentlemen and fellow-citizens, the word has been passed on to me from Washington to follow Black Hawk and to take you with me as soldiers. I mean to do both. There are the flatboats drawn up on the shore, and here are Uncle Sam's men drawn up behind you on the prairie." The volunteers were quick-witted men, and knew true grit when they met it. They dissolved their meeting and crossed the river without Uncle Sam's men being called into action.
[Illustration: A FACSIMILE OF AN ELECTION RETURN WRITTEN BY LINCOLN AS CLERK IN 1832. NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.
From the original now on file in the County Clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. The first civil office Lincoln ever held was that of election clerk, and the return made by him, of which a facsimile is here presented, was his first official document. The New Salem election of September 20, 1832, has the added interest of having been held at "the house of John McNeil," the young merchant who was then already in love with Ann Rutledge, the young girl to whom Lincoln afterwards became engaged. All the men whose names appear on this election return are now dead except William McNeely, now residing at Petersburg. John Clary lived at Clary's Grove; John R. Herndon was "Row" Herndon, whose store Berry and Lincoln purchased, and at whose house Lincoln for a time boarded; Baxter Berry was a relative of Lincoln's partner in the grocery business, and Edmund Greer was a school-teacher, and afterward a justice of the peace and a surveyor. James Rutledge was the keeper of the Rutledge tavern and the father of Ann Rutledge; Hugh Armstrong was the head of the numerous Armstrong family; "Uncle Jimmy" White lived on a farm five miles from New Salem, and died about thirty years ago in the eightieth year of his age; William Green (spelled by the later members of the family with a final "e") was the father of William G. Greene, Lincoln's associate in Offutt's store; and as to Bowling Green, more is said elsewhere. In the following three or four years, very few elections were held at which Lincoln was not a clerk. It is a somewhat singular fact that Lincoln, though clerk of this election, is not recorded as voting.--_J. McCan Davis._]
The march in pursuit of the Indians led the army to Ottawa, where the volunteers became so dissatisfied that on May 27th and 28th Governor Reynolds mustered them out. But a force in the field was essential until a new levy was raised; and a few of the men were patriotic enough to offer their services, among them Lincoln, who on May 29th was mustered in at the mouth of the Fox River by a man in whom, thirty years later, he was to have a keen interest--General Robert Anderson, commander at Fort Sumter in 1861. Lincoln became a private in Captain Elijah Iles's company of Independent Rangers, not brigaded--a company made up, says Captain Iles in his "Footsteps and Wanderings," of "generals, colonels, captains, and distinguished men from the disbanded army." General Anderson says that at this muster Lincoln's arms were valued at forty dollars, his horse and equipment at one hundred and twenty dollars. The Independent Rangers were a favored body, used to carry messages and to spy on the enemy. They had no camp duties, and "drew rations as often as they pleased." So that as a private Lincoln was really better off than as a captain.[C]
With the exception of a scouting trip to Galena and back, fruitful of nothing more than Indian scares, Major Iles's company remained quietly in the neighborhood of the Rapids of the Illinois until June 16th, when Major Anderson mustered it out. Four days later, June 20th, at the same place, he mustered Lincoln in again as a member of an independent company under Captain Jacob M. Early. His arms were valued this time at only fifteen dollars, his horse and equipment at eighty-five dollars.[D] The army moved up Rock River soon after the middle of June. Black Hawk was overrunning the country, and scattering death wherever he went. The settlers were wild with fear, and most of the settlements were abandoned. At a sudden sound, at the merest rumor, men, women, and children fled. "I well remember these troublesome times," says one old Illinois woman. "We often left our bread dough unbaked to rush to the Indian fort near by." When Mr. John Bryant, a brother of William Cullen Bryant, visited the colony in Princeton in 1832, he found it nearly broken up on account of the war. Everywhere the crops were neglected, for the able-bodied men were volunteering. William Cullen Bryant, who travelled on horseback in June from Petersburg to near Pekin and back, wrote home: "Every few miles on our way we fell in with bodies of Illinois militia proceeding to the American camp, or saw where they had encamped for the night. They generally stationed themselves near a stream or a spring in the edge of a wood, and turned their horses to graze on the prairie. Their way was barked or girdled, and the roads through the uninhabited country were as much beaten and as dusty as the highways on New York Island. Some of the settlers complained that they made war upon the pigs and chickens. They were a hard-looking set of men, unkempt and unshaved, wearing shirts of dark calico and sometimes calico capotes."
Soon after the army moved up the Rock River, the independent spy company, of which Lincoln was a member, was sent with a brigade to the northwest, near Galena, in pursuit of the Hawk. The nearest Lincoln came to an actual engagement in the war was here. The skirmish of Kellogg's Grove took place on June 25th; Lincoln's company came up soon after it was over, and helped bury the five men killed. It was probably to this experience that he referred when he told a friend once of coming on a camp of white scouts one morning just as the sun was rising. The Indians had surprised the camp, and had killed and scalped every man.
"I remember just how those men looked," said Lincoln, "as we rode up the little hill where their camp was. The red light of the morning sun was streaming upon them as they lay heads towards us on the ground. And every man had a round red spot on the top of his head about as big as a dollar, where the redskins had taken his scalp. It was frightful, but it was grotesque; and the red sunlight seemed to paint everything all over." Lincoln paused, as if recalling the vivid picture, and added, somewhat irrelevantly, "I remember that one man had buckskin breeches on."[E]
By the end of the month the troops crossed into Michigan Territory--what is now Wisconsin--and July was spent in floundering through swamps and stumbling through forests, in pursuit of the now nearly exhausted Black Hawk. A few days before the last battle of the war, that of Bad Axe on August 2d, in which the whites finally massacred most of the Indian band, Lincoln's company was disbanded at Whitewater, Wisconsin, and he and his friends started for home. The volunteers in returning, in almost every case, suffered much from hunger. Mr. Durly, of Hennepin, Illinois, who walked home from Rock Island, says all he had to eat on the journey was meal and water baked in rolls of bark laid by the fire. Lincoln was little better off. The night before his company started from Whitewater he and one of his mess-mates had their horses stolen; and, excepting when their more fortunate companions gave them a lift, they walked as far as Peoria, Illinois, where they bought a canoe, and paddled down the Illinois River to Havana. Here they sold the canoe, and walked across the country to New Salem.
[Illustration: VIEW OF THE SANGAMON RIVER NEAR NEW SALEM.
The town lay along the ridge marked by the star.]
ELECTIONEERING FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Lincoln arrived only a few days before the election, and at once plunged into "electioneering." He ran as "an avowed Clay man," and the county was stiffly Democratic. However, in those days political contests were almost purely personal. If the candidate was liked he was voted for irrespective of principles. Around New Salem the population turned in and helped Lincoln almost to a man. "The Democrats of New Salem worked for Lincoln out of their personal regard for him," said Stephen T. Logan, a young lawyer of Springfield, who made Lincoln's acquaintance in the campaign. "He was as stiff as a man could be in his Whig doctrines. They did this for him simply because he was popular--because he was Lincoln."
It was the custom for the candidates to appear at every gathering which brought the people out, and, if they had a chance, to make speeches. Then, as now, the farmers gathered at the county-seat or at the largest town within their reach on Saturday afternoons, to dispose of produce, buy supplies, see their neighbors, and get the news. During "election times" candidates were always present, and a regular feature of the day was listening to their speeches. Public sales also were gatherings which they never missed, it being expected that after the "vandoo" the candidates would take the auctioneer's place.
Lincoln let none of these chances to be heard slip. Accompanied by his friends, generally including a few Clary's Grove Boys, he always was present. The first speech he made was after a sale at Pappsville. What he said there is not remembered; but an illustration of the kind of man he was, interpolated into his discourse, made a lasting impression. A fight broke out in his audience while he was on the stand, and observing that one of his friends was being worsted, he bounded into the group of contestants, seized the fellow who had his supporter down, threw him "ten or twelve feet," mounted the platform, and finished the speech. Sangamon County could appreciate such a performance; and the crowd that day at Pappsville never forgot Lincoln.
His appearance at Springfield at this time was of great importance to him. Springfield was not at that time a very attractive place. Bryant, visiting it in June, 1832, said that the houses were not as good as at Jacksonville, "a considerable proportion of them being log cabins, and the whole town having an appearance of dirt and discomfort." Nevertheless it was the largest town in the county, and among its inhabitants were many young men of education, birth, and energy. One of these men Lincoln had become well acquainted with in the Black Hawk War--Major John T. Stewart,[F] at that time a lawyer, and, like Lincoln, a candidate for the General Assembly. He met others at this time who were to be associated with him more or less closely in the future in both law and politics, such as Judge Logan and William Butler. With these men the manners which had won him the day at Pappsville were of no value; what impressed them was his "very sensible speech," and his decided individuality and originality.
The election came off on August 6th. The first civil office Lincoln ever held was that of clerk of this election. The report in his hand still exists; as far as we know, it is his first official document.
Lincoln was defeated. "This was the only time Abraham was ever defeated on a direct vote of the people," say his autobiographical notes. He had a consolation in his defeat, however, for in spite of the pronounced Democratic sentiments of his precinct, he received two hundred and seventy-seven votes out of three hundred cast.[G]
_(Begun in the November number, 1895; to be continued.)_
[Footnote A: The story of Lincoln's first seventeen months in Illinois, outlined in this paragraph, is told in MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE for December.]
[Footnote B: This story of Kirkpatrick's unfair treatment of Lincoln we owe to the courtesy of Colonel Clark E. Carr of Galesburg, Illinois, to whom it was told several times by Greene himself.]
[Footnote C: William Cullen Bryant, who was in Illinois in 1832 at the time of the Black Hawk War, used to tell of meeting in his travels in the State a company of Illinois volunteers, commanded by a "raw youth" of "quaint and pleasant" speech, and of learning afterwards that this captain was Abraham Lincoln. As Lincoln's captaincy ended on May 27th, and Mr. Bryant did not reach Jacksonville, Illinois, until June 12th, and as the nearest point he came to the army was Pleasant Grove, eight miles from Pekin on the Illinois River, and that was at a time when the body of Rangers to which Lincoln belonged was fifty miles away on the rapids of the Illinois, it is evident that the "raw youth" could not have been Lincoln, much as one would like to believe that it was. See "Life of William Cullen Bryant," by Parke Godwin, vol. i. page 283. Also Prose of William Cullen Bryant, edited by Parke Godwin, vol. ii. page 20.]
[Footnote D: See Wisconsin Historical Collections, vol. x., for Major Anderson's reminiscences of the Black Hawk War.]
[Footnote E: Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Noah Brooks.]
[Footnote F: There were many prominent Americans in the Black Hawk War, with some of whom Lincoln became acquainted. Among the best known were General Robert Anderson; Colonel Zachary Taylor; General Scott, afterwards candidate for President, and Lieut.-General; Henry Dodge, Governor of the Territory of Wisconsin and United States Senator; Hon. William L.D. Ewing and Hon. Sidney Breese, both United States Senators from Illinois; William S. Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton; Colonel Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone; Lieutenant Albert Sydney Johnston, afterwards a Confederate general. Jefferson Davis was not in the war, as has been so often stated.]
[Footnote G: In the New Salem precinct, at the August election of 1832, exactly three hundred votes were cast. Of these Lincoln received 277. The facts upon this point are here stated for the first time. The biographers as a rule have agreed that Lincoln received all of the votes cast in the New Salem precinct except three. Mr. Herndon places the total vote at 208; Nicolay and Hay, at 277; and Mr. Lincoln himself, in his autobiography, has said that he received all but seven of a total of 277 votes, basing his statement, no doubt, upon memory. An examination of the official poll-book in the County Clerk's office at Springfield shows that all of these figures are erroneous. The fact remains, however--and it is a fact which has been commented upon by several of the biographers as showing his phenomenal popularity--that the vote for Lincoln was far in excess of that given any other candidate. The twelve candidates, with the number of votes of each were: Abraham Lincoln, 277; John T. Stewart, 182; William Carpenter, 136; John Dawson, 105; E.D. Taylor, 88; Archer G. Herndon, 84; Peter Cartwright, 62; Achilles Morris, 27; Thomas M. Neal, 21; Edward Robeson, 15; Zachariah Peters, 4; Richard Dunston, 4.
Of the twenty-three who did not vote for Lincoln, ten refrained from voting for Representative at all, thus leaving only thirteen votes actually cast against Lincoln. Lincoln is not recorded as voting. The judges were Bowling Green, Pollard Simmons, and William Clary, and the clerks were John Ritter and Mentor Graham.--_J. McCan Davis._]
[Illustration: EUGENE FIELD TELLING A STORY TO "SISSY" KNOTT AND 'LISBETH AND MARTHA WINSLOW.]
EUGENE FIELD AND HIS CHILD FRIENDS.[H]
BY CLEVELAND MOFFETT.
The form of the expressions of regard and regret called out on all sides by the untimely death of Eugene Field, at his home in Chicago, on November 4, 1895, makes clear that the character in which the public at large knew and loved Mr. Field best was that of the poet of child life. What gives his child-poems their unequalled hold on the popular heart is their simplicity, warmth, and genuineness; and these qualities they owe to the fact that Field himself lived in the closest and fondest intimacy with children, had troops of them for his friends, and wrote his poems directly under their suggestion and inspiration. Mr. T.A. Van Laun of Chicago, who was one of Mr. Field's closest friends, has kindly given me many reminiscences, and helped me to much material, illustrating all sides of Mr. Field's life, among others this fine relation with the children. A characteristic incident occurred on Field's marriage day. The hour of the ceremony was all but at hand, and the bridal party was waiting at the church for the bridegroom to appear. But he did not come; and, after an anxious delay, some of his friends went in search of him. They found him a short distance away, engaged in settling a dispute that had arisen among some street gamins over a game of marbles. There he was, down on his knees in the mud, listening to the various accounts of the origin of the quarrel; and it was only on the arrival of his friends that he suddenly recollected his more pressing and more pleasant duties.
One day, as was often happening, Field received a letter written in the scrawling hand of a child, which told him how the writer, a little girl, had read most of his poems, spoke of the pleasure they had given her, and said that when she grew up she intended to be just such a writer as he was. Following his usual kindly custom, Field answered this letter, telling the child of the beauties of nature that surrounded him, of the twittering birds, and the lovely flowers he had in sight from his window, and concluding: "Now I must go out and shoot a buffalo for breakfast."
Dr. Gunsaulus of Chicago, who was one of Mr. Field's most intimate friends, tells a story of Field's first visit to his house that shows how quick the poet was to make himself at home with children. For years the little ones in the Doctor's household had heard of Eugene Field as a wonderful person; and when they were told that he had come to see them their delight knew no bounds, and they ran into the library to pay him homage. It was in the evening, and, presumably, Field had already dined; but he told the children with his first breath that he wanted to know where the cookery was. They, overjoyed at being asked a service they were able to render, trooped out into the kitchen with Field following. The store of eatables was duly exposed, and Field seized upon a turkey, or what remained of one from dinner, and carried it into the dining-room. There he seated himself at table, with the children on his knees and about him, and fell to with a good appetite, talking to the little ones all the time, telling them quaint stories, and making them listen with all their eyes and ears. Having thus become good friends and put them quite at their ease, he spent the rest of the evening singing lullabies to them, and reciting his verses. Naturally, before he went away the children had given him their whole hearts. And this was his way with all the children with whom he came in contact.
One day on the cars Mr. Field chanced to sit near a workingman who had with him his wife and baby. The father, it seemed, had heard Field lecture the night before, and had been deeply impressed. With great deference he brought his child up to Field, and said: "Now, little one, I want you to look at this gentleman. He is Mr. Field, and when you grow up you'll be glad to know that once upon a time he spoke to you." At this Field took the baby in his arms, and played with it for an hour, to the surprise and, of course, to the delight of the parents.
Of recent years Mr. Field rarely went to the office of the Chicago "News," the paper for which during the last ten years he had written a daily column under the title of "Sharps and Flats," but did most of his work at his home in Buena Park, which he called the Sabine Farm. Here he began his day about nine o'clock, by having breakfast served to him in bed, after which he glanced through the papers, and then settled himself to his writing, with feet high on the table, and his pages before him laid neatly on a piece of plate glass. He wrote with a fine-pointed pen, and had by him several different colored inks, with which he would illuminate his capitals and embellish his manuscript. The first thing he did was his "Sharps and Flats" column, which occupied three or four hours, the task being usually finished by one o'clock. His other work he did in the afternoons and evenings, writing at odd hours, sometimes in the garden if the weather was pleasant. He was much interrupted by friends dropping in to see him; but, however busy, he welcomed whoever came, and would turn aside good-naturedly from his manuscript to entertain a visitor or to hear a story of misfortune. After dinner he retired to his "den" to read; for he read constantly, whatever the distractions about him, and was much given to reading in bed.
And of all his visitors the most constant and appreciative were children. These he never sent away without some bright word, and he rarely sent them away at all. Nowhere could they find such an entertaining playmate as he--one who would tell them such wonderful stories and make up such funny rhymes for them on the spur of the moment, and romp with them like one of themselves. It was in the homely incidents of these visits, and the like intimacy with his own children, that he found the subjects for his poems. He could voice the feelings of a child, because he knew child life from always living it.
On his own children he bestowed pet names--"Pinney," "Daisy," "Googhy," "Posey," and "Trotty;" and they almost forgot that they had others. His eldest daughter, for instance, now a lovely girl of nineteen, has remained "Trotty" from her babyhood, and "Trotty" she will always be. At her christening Field had an argument with his wife about the name they should give her. Mrs. Field wished her to be called Frances, to which Field objected on the ground that it would be shortened into Frankie, which he disliked. Then other names were suggested, and, after listening to this one and that one, Field finally said: "You can christen her whatever you please, but I shall call her Trotty." "Pinney" was named from the comic opera "Pinafore," which was in vogue at the time he was born; and "Daisy" got his name from the song, popular when he was born: "Oh My! A'int He a Daisy?"
A devotion so unfailing in his relations with children would, naturally, show itself in other relations. His devotion to his wife, for example, was of the completest. In all the world she was the one woman he loved, and he never wished to be away from her. In one of his scrap-books, under her picture, are written these lines:
You are as fair and sweet and tender, Dear brown-eyed little sweetheart mine! As when, a callow youth and slender, I asked to be your valentine.
Often she accompanied him on his readings. Last summer it happened that they went together to St. Joe, Missouri, the home of Mrs. Field's girlhood. On their arrival, Mrs. Field's friends took possession of her and carried her off to a lunch-party, where it was arranged that Mr. Field should join her later. But he, left alone, was swept by his thoughts back to the time when, a youth of twenty-one, he had here paid court to the woman now his wife, then a girl of sixteen; and so affected was he by these memories that, instead of going to the lunch-party, he took a carriage, and all alone drove to the places which he and she had been wont to visit in the happy time of their love-making, especially to a certain lover's lane where they had taken many a walk together.
[Illustration: THE LAST PORTRAIT OF EUGENE FIELD.
From a copyrighted photograph by Place & Coover, Chicago; reproduced by permission of the Etching Publishing Co., Chicago.]
The day before Field's death the mail brought a hundred dollars in payment for a magazine article he had written. It was in small bills, and there was quite a quantity of them. As he lay in bed, Field spread them out on the covers, and then called Mrs. Field. As she came in she said: "Why, what are you doing with all that money?"
Field, laughing, snatched the bills up and tucked them under the pillow, saying: "You shan't have it, this is my money." After his death, the bills, all crumpled up, were found still under his pillow.
It was a common happening in the "News" office, while Mr. Field still did his work there, for some ragged, unwashed, woe-begone creature, too much abashed to take the elevator, to come toiling up the stairs and down the long passage into one of the editorial rooms, where he would blurt out fearfully, sometimes half defiantly, but always as if confident in the power of the name he spoke: "Is 'Gene Field here?" Sometimes an overzealous office-boy would try to drive one of these poor fellows away, and woe to that boy if Field found it out. "I knew 'Gene Field in Denver," or, "I worked with Field on the 'Kansas City Times,'"--these were sufficient pass-words, and never failed to call forth the cheery voice from Field's room: "That's all right, show him in here; he's a friend of mine." And then, after a grip of the hand and some talk over former experiences--which Field may or may not have remembered, but always pretended to--the inevitable half dollar or dollar was forthcoming, and another unfortunate went out into the world blessing the name of a man who, whether he was orthodox or not in his religious views, always acted up to the principle that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
[Footnote H: NOTE.--See a "Conversation" between Eugene Field and Hamlin Garland, in which Mr. Field tells the story of his literary life, McCLURE'S MAGAZINE for August, 1893. Also a series of portraits of Eugene Field in McCLURE'S MAGAZINE for September, 1893. Price fifteen cents.]
POEMS OF CHILDHOOD, BY EUGENE FIELD.
The choicest literary expression of Eugene Field's intimacy with the children is found in four volumes published by Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons--"A Little Book of Western Verse," "Second Book of Verse," "With Trumpet and Drum," and "Love-Songs of Childhood." It is only a few years since the earliest of these was published; but no books are better known, and they hold in the hearts of their readers the same fond place that their author held in the hearts of the children whose thoughts and adventures he so aptly and tenderly portrayed. By the kind permission of the publishers, we reproduce here a few of the best known of the poems, adding pictures of the particular child friends of Mr. Field who inspired them. The selections are from the last two volumes--"With Trumpet and Drum" and "Love-Songs of Childhood." The pictures are from Mr. Field's own collection, which chanced to be in New York at the time of his death; and the identifying phrases quoted under several of them were written on the backs of the photographs by Mr. Field's own hand.
WITH TRUMPET AND DRUM.
With big tin trumpet and little red drum, Marching like soldiers, the children come! It's this way and that way they circle and file-- My! but that music of theirs is fine! This way and that way, and after a while They march straight into this heart of mine! A sturdy old heart, but it has to succumb To the blare of that trumpet and beat of that drum!
Come on, little people, from cot and from hall-- This heart it hath welcome and room for you all! It will sing you its songs and warm you with love, As your dear little arms with my arms intertwine; It will rock you away to the dreamland above-- Oh, a jolly old heart is this old heart of mine, And jollier still is it bound to become When you blow that big trumpet and beat that red drum.
So come; though I see not _his_ dear little face And hear not _his_ voice in this jubilant place, I know he were happy to bid me enshrine His memory deep in my heart with your play-- Ah me! but a love that is sweeter than mine Holdeth my boy in its keeping to-day! And my heart it is lonely--so, little folk, come, March in and make merry with trumpet and drum!
THE DELECTABLE BALLAD OF THE WALLER LOT.
Up yonder in Buena Park There is a famous spot, In legend and in history Yelept the Waller Lot.
There children play in daytime And lovers stroll by dark, For 'tis the goodliest trysting-place In all Buena Park.
Once on a time that beauteous maid, Sweet little Sissy Knott, Took out her pretty doll to walk Within the Waller Lot.
While thus she fared, from Ravenswood Came Injuns o'er the plain, And seized upon that beauteous maid And rent her doll in twain.
Oh, 'twas a piteous thing to hear Her lamentations wild; She tore her golden curls and cried: "My child! My child! My child!"
Alas, what cared those Injun chiefs How bitterly wailed she? They never had been mothers, And they could not hope to be!
"Have done with tears," they rudely quoth, And then they bound her hands; For they proposed to take her off To distant border lands.
[Illustration: LUCY ALEXANDER KNOTT.--"HEROINE OF THE 'BALLAD OF THE WALLER LOT'" (NOTE BY EUGENE FIELD ON PHOTOGRAPH).
From a photograph by Max Platz, Chicago.]
But, joy! from Mr. Eddy's barn Doth Willie Clow behold The sight that makes his hair rise up And all his blood run cold.
He put his fingers in his mouth And whistled long and clear, And presently a goodly horde Of cowboys did appear.
Cried Willie Clow: "My comrades bold, Haste to the Waller Lot, And rescue from that Injun band Our charming Sissy Knott! "Spare neither Injun buck nor squaw, But smite them hide and hair! Spare neither sex nor age nor size, And no condition spare!"
Then sped that cowboy band away, Full of revengeful wrath, And Kendall Evans rode ahead Upon a hickory lath.
And next came gallant Dady Field And Willie's brother Kent, The Eddy boys and Robbie James, On murderous purpose bent.
For they were much beholden to That maid--in sooth, the lot Were very, very much in love With charming Sissy Knott.
[Illustration: JAMES BRECKINRIDGE WALLER, JR.--"A 'WALLER LOT' COWBOY OF RARE PROMISE" (NOTE BY EUGENE FIELD ON PHOTOGRAPH).
From a photograph by Gehrig & Windeatt, Chicago.]
What wonder? She was beauty's queen, And good beyond compare; Moreover, it was known she was Her wealthy father's heir!
Now when the Injuns saw that band They trembled with affright, And yet they thought the cheapest thing To do was stay and fight.
So sturdily they stood their ground, Nor would their prisoner yield, Despite the wrath of Willie Clow And gallant Dady Field.
Oh, never fiercer battle raged Upon the Waller Lot, And never blood more freely flowed Than flowed for Sissy Knott!
[Illustration: KENDALL EVANS.--"HE RODE A HICKORY LATH IN THE FAMOUS BATTLE OF 'THE WALLER LOT'" (NOTE BY EUGENE FIELD ON PHOTOGRAPH).
From a photograph by Coover, Chicago.]
An Injun chief of monstrous size Got Kendall Evans down, And Robbie James was soon o'erthrown By one of great renown.
And Dady Field was sorely done, And Willie Clow was hurt, And all that gallant cowboy band Lay wallowing in the dirt.
But still they strove with might and main Till all the Waller Lot Was strewn with hair and gouts of gore-- All, all for Sissy Knott!
Then cried the maiden in despair: "Alas, I sadly fear The battle and my hopes are lost, Unless some help appear!"
Lo, as she spoke, she saw afar The rescuer looming up-- The pride of all Buena Park, Clow's famous yellow pup!
[Illustration: WILLIAM AND KENT CLOW.--"TWO REDOUBTABLE HEROES OF 'THE WALLER LOT'" (NOTE BY EUGENE FIELD ON PHOTOGRAPH).
From a photograph by D.R. Coover, Chicago.]
"Now, sick 'em, Don," the maiden cried, "Now, sick 'em, Don!" cried she; Obedient Don at once complied-- As ordered, so did he.
He sicked 'em all so passing well That, overcome by fright, The Indian horde gave up the fray And safety sought in flight.
They ran and ran and ran and ran O'er valley, plain, and hill; And if they are not walking now, Why, then, they're running still.
The cowboys rose up from the dust With faces black and blue; "Remember, beauteous maid," said they, "We've bled and died for you!
"And though we suffer grievously, We gladly hail the lot That brings us toils and pains and wounds For charming Sissy Knott!"
But Sissy Knott still wailed and wept, And still her fate reviled; For who could patch her dolly up-- Who, who could mend her child?
Then out her doting mother came, And soothed her daughter then; "Grieve not, my darling, I will sew Your dolly up again!"
Joy soon succeeded unto grief, And tears were soon dried up, And dignities were heaped upon Clow's noble yellow pup.
Him all that goodly company Did as deliverer hail-- They tied a ribbon round his neck, Another round his tail.
And every anniversary day Upon the Waller Lot They celebrate the victory won For charming Sissy Knott.
And I, the poet of these folk, Am ordered to compile This truly famous history In good old ballad style.
Which having done as to have earned The sweet rewards of fame, In what same style I did begin I now shall end the same.
So let us sing: Long live the King, Long live the Queen and Jack, Long live the ten-spot and the ace, And also all the pack!
THE ROCK-A-BY LADY.
The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby Street Comes stealing; comes creeping; The poppies they hang from her head to her feet, And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet-- She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet, When she findeth you sleeping!
There is one little dream of a beautiful drum-- "Rub-a-dub!" it goeth; There is one little dream of a big sugar-plum, And lo! thick and fast the other dreams come Of popguns that bang, and tin tops that hum, And a trumpet that bloweth!
And dollies peep out of those wee little dreams With laughter and singing; And boats go a-floating on silvery streams, And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams, And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams, The fairies go winging!
[Illustration: ROSWELL FRANCIS FIELD, EUGENE FIELD'S YOUNGEST SON AND THE INSPIRER OF "THE ROCK-A-BY LADY," "BOOH," AND MANY OTHER POEMS IN THE VOLUME "LOVE-SONGS OF CHILDHOOD."
From a photograph by Stein, Chicago.]
Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet? They'll come to you sleeping; So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet, For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby Street, With poppies that hang from her head to her feet, Comes stealing; comes creeping.
On afternoons, when baby boy has had a splendid nap, And sits, like any monarch on his throne, in nurse's lap, In some such wise my handkerchief I hold before my face, And cautiously and quietly I move about the place; Then, with a cry, I suddenly expose my face to view, And you should hear him laugh and crow when I say "Booh!"
Sometimes the rascal tries to make believe that he is scared, And really, when I first began, he stared, and stared, and stared; And then his under lip came out and farther out it came, Till mamma and the nurse agreed it was a "cruel shame"-- But now what does that same wee, toddling, lisping baby do But laugh and kick his little heels when I say "Booh!"
He laughs and kicks his little heels in rapturous glee, and then In shrill, despotic treble bids me "do it all aden!" And I--of course I do it; for, as his progenitor, It is such pretty, pleasant play as this that I am for! And it is, oh, such fun! and I am sure that we shall rue The time when we are both too old to play the game of "Booh!"
The gingham dog and the calico cat Side by side on the table sat; 'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!) Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink! The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate Appeared to know as sure as fate There was going to be a terrible spat. _(I wasn't there; I simply state What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)_
The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!" The calico cat replied "mee-ow!" The air was littered, an hour or so, With bits of gingham and calico, While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place Up with its hands before its face, For it always dreaded a family row! _(Now mind: I'm only telling you What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)_
[Illustration: ELIZABETH WINSLOW, TO WHOM THE POEM OF "THE DUEL" IS DEDICATED.]
The Chinese plate looked very blue, And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!" But the gingham dog and the calico cat Wallowed this way and tumbled that, Employing every tooth and claw-- In the awfullest way you ever saw-- And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew! _(Don't fancy I exaggerate-- I got my news from the Chinese plate!)_
Next morning, where the two had sat They found no trace of dog or cat; And some folks think unto this day That burglars stole that pair away! But the truth about the cat and pup Is this: they ate each other up! Now what do you really think of that! _(The old Dutch clock it told me so, And that is how I came to know.)_
[Illustration: IRVING WAY, JR., TO WHOM THE POEM OF "THE RIDE TO BUMPVILLE" is DEDICATED.
From a photograph by Leonard, Topeka, Kansas.]
THE RIDE TO BUMPVILLE.
Play that my knee was a calico mare Saddled and bridled for Bumpville; Leap to the back of this steed, if you dare, And gallop away to Bumpville! I hope you'll be sure to sit fast in your seat, For this calico mare is prodigiously fleet, And many adventures you're likely to meet As you journey along to Bumpville.
This calico mare both gallops and trots While whisking you off to Bumpville; She paces, she shies, and she stumbles, in spots, In the tortuous road to Bumpville! And sometimes this strangely mercurial steed Will suddenly stop and refuse to proceed, Which, all will admit, is vexatious indeed, When one is en route to Bumpville!
She's scared of the cars when the engine goes "Toot!" Down by the crossing at Bumpville; You'd better look out for that treacherous brute Bearing you off to Bumpville! With a snort she rears up on her hindermost heels, And executes jigs and Virginia reels-- Words fail to explain how embarrassed one feels Dancing so wildly to Bumpville. It's bumpytybump and it's jiggytyjog, Journeying on to Bumpville; It's over the hilltop and down through the bog You ride on your way to Bumpville; It's rattletybang over boulder and stump, There are rivers to ford, there are fences to jump, And the corduroy road it goes bumpytybump, Mile after mile to Bumpville!
Perhaps you'll observe it's no easy thing Making the journey to Bumpville, So I think, on the whole, it were prudent to bring An end to this ride to Bumpville; For, though she has uttered no protest or plaint, The calico mare must be blowing and faint-- What's more to the point, I'm blowed if I ain't! So play we have got to Bumpville.
[Illustration: KATHERINE KOHLSAAT. "TO HER," WROTE MR. FIELD ON THE PHOTOGRAPH, "THE HUSH-A-BY SONG ENTITLED 'SO, SO, ROCK-A-BY SO,' IS DEDICATED."]
SO, SO, ROCK-A-BY SO!
So, so, rock-a-by so! Off to the garden where dreamikins grow; And here is a kiss on your winkyblink eyes, And here is a kiss on your dimpledown cheek, And here is a kiss for the treasure that lies In a beautiful garden way up in the skies Which you seek. Now mind these three kisses wherever you go-- So, so, rock-a-by so!
There's one little fumfay who lives there, I know, For he dances all night where the dreamikins grow; I send him this kiss on your droopydrop eyes. I send him this kiss on your rosyred cheek. And here is a kiss for the dream that shall rise When the fumfay shall dance in those far-away skies Which you seek. Be sure that you pay those three kisses you owe-- So, so, rock-a-by so!
And, by-low, as you rock-a-by go, Don't forget mother who loveth you so! And here is her kiss on your weepydeep eyes, And here is her kiss on your peachypink cheek, And here is her kiss for the dreamland that lies Like a babe on the breast of those far-away skies Which you seek-- The blinkywink garden where dreamikins grow-- So, so, rock-a-by so!
[Illustration: PARK YENOWINE, "THE YOUNG GENTLEMAN," WROTE MR. FIELD ON THE PHOTOGRAPH, "TO WHOM 'SEEIN' THINGS AT NIGHT' IS DEDICATED."
From a photograph by Stein, Milwaukee.]
I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice, An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice! I'm pretty brave, I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed, For when I'm tucked up warm an' snug an' when my prayers are said, Mother tells me "Happy dreams!" and takes away the light, An' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!
Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door, Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor; Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round So softly an' so creepy-like they never make a sound! Sometimes they are as black as ink, an' other times they're white-- But the color ain't no difference when you see things at night!
Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street, An' father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat, I woke up in the dark an' saw things standin' in a row, A-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me--so! Oh, my! I wuz so skeered that time I never slep' a mite-- It's almost alluz when I'm bad I see things at night!
Lucky thing I ain't a girl, or I'd be skeered to death! Bein' I'm a boy, I duck my head an' hold my breath; An' I am, oh! _so_ sorry I'm a naughty boy, an' then I promise to be better an' I say my prayers again! Gran'ma tells me that's the only way to make it right When a feller has been wicked an' sees things at night!
An' so, when other naughty boys would coax me into sin, I try to skwush the Tempter's voice 'at urges me within; An' when they's pie for supper, or cakes 'at 's big an' nice; I want to--but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice! No, ruther let Starvation wipe me slowly out o' sight Than I should keep a-livin' on an' seein' things at night!
[Illustration: THE SABINE WOMEN. FROM A PAINTING BY DAVID.
The legend of the Sabine women is familiar. In the early days of Rome, Romulus, the city's founder and first king, finding his subjects much lacking in wives, invited the Sabines, a neighboring people, into the city for a feast and games; and in the midst of the sport, he and his followers seized the Sabine mothers and daughters by force of arms, and married them out of hand. David's picture represents the seizure. Classical subjects were especially preferred by David and his school.]
A CENTURY OF PAINTING.
NOTES BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL.--THE ART OF FRANCE IN THE BEGINNING OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.--DAVID AND HIS FOLLOWERS.
BY WILL H. LOW.
When the potter's daughter of remote antiquity first drew the incised line around her lover's shadow cast upon the wall by the accomplice sun, art had its birth. Before that time primitive man had endeavored--with who knows what desire to leave behind him some trace of his passage upon earth--to make upon bones rude tracings of his surroundings. The proof of the universality of art is in these manifestations, of which the logical outcome was the complete and splendid art of Greece. Through the sequence of Byzantine art we come to Giotto, who, a shepherd's son under the skies of Italy, was reinspired at the source of nature, and became the first painter as we to-day know painting. From Giotto descends in direct line the great family of artists who, in the service of the spiritual and temporal sovereigns of the earth, shed illustration upon their craft and undying lustre on their names until the old order, changing, giving way to the new, enfranchised art in the great upheaval of the latter part of the eighteenth century.
It is well, in order to understand the position in which this great revolution left art, to briefly consider the conditions preceding it. Painting, up to the end of the seventeenth century, had been essentially the handmaiden of religion; and religion in its turn had been so closely allied to the state that, when declining faith let down the barriers, art took for the first time its place among the liberal professions whose first duty is to find in the necessities of mankind a reason for their existence. Small wonder, then, that, accustomed to be fostered and encouraged, to be held aloof from the material necessity of earning their daily bread, the artists of this period sought protection from the only class which in those days had the leisure to appreciate or the fortune to encourage them. The people, the "general public," as we say to-day, did not exist, except as a mass of patient workers in the first part, as a clamorous rabble demanding its rights in the latter part, of the century. Hence the patronage of art, its very existence, depended on the pleasure of the nobility, and naturally enough its themes were measured according to the tastes of its patrons. Much that was charming was produced, but never before did art portray its epoch with such great limitations. The persistent blindness to the signs and portents gathering thick about them which characterized the higher classes of the time, may be felt in its art; of the great outside world, of the hungry masses so soon to rise in rebellion, nothing is seen. One may walk through the palaces at Versailles, may search through the pictures of the epoch in the Louvre, or linger at Sans Souci in Potsdam--where Frederick filled his house with sculptured duchesses in classical costume playing at Diana, and covered his walls with Watteaus and his ceilings with decorations by Pesne, a less worthy Frenchman--and remain in complete ignorance of hungry Jacques, who, with pike-staff and guillotine, was so soon to change all that and usher in the period of the Revolution, Before the evil day dawned for the gilded gentry of France, however, the British colonies in America, influenced by the teachings of the precursors of the French Revolution, and aided by their isolation, were to establish their independence.
[Illustration: JACQUES LOUIS DAVID AS A YOUNG MAN. FROM A PAINTING BY HIMSELF.
The exact date of this picture is unknown; but it was, presumably, painted before 1775, when David, having received the Prix de Rome, went to Italy for the first time. It was given to the Louvre, where it now is, by the painter Eugene Isabey in 1852; David had presented it to the elder Isabey, also a painter.]
It was undoubtedly at this time, when revolt was in the air and man was preoccupied with his primal right to liberty of existence, that art was given the bad name of a luxury. Until its long prostitution throughout the seventeenth century, its mission had been noble; but now, coincident to the fall of the old _régime_, the people, from an ignorance which was more their misfortune than their fault, confounded art with luxuries more than questionable, in which their whilom superiors had indulged while they lacked bread. With the curious assumption of Spartan virtue which rings with an almost convincing sound of true metal through so many of the resolutions passed by the National Convention of France, in the days following the holocaust of the Reign of Terror, there was serious debate as to whether pictures and statues were to be permitted to exist or their production encouraged.
This debate must have fallen strangely on the ears of one of the members of the Convention, who had already made his power as an artist felt, and who was from that time for more than forty years to be the directing influence, not only of French art, but of painting on the Continent in general. This man, Jacques Louis David, in point of fact was soon practically to demonstrate to his colleagues that art had as its mission other aims than those followed by the painters of the preceding generations. It fell that Lepelletier, one of the members of the Convention, was assassinated, and David's brush portrayed him as he lay dead; and the picture, being brought into the legislative hall, moved the entire assembly to a conviction that the art of the painter struck a human chord which vibrated deep in the heart of man.
[Illustration: MICHEL GÉRARD AND HIS FAMILY. FROM A PAINTING BY DAVID.
Michel Gérard was a member of the National Assembly, the body which ruled France in the first years of the Revolution, from 1789 to 1791. The picture represents him in the midst of his family, attired with the simplicity affected by the Revolutionary leaders at that time.]
But a little later, when Marat, "the Friend of Man," was stricken down, a voice rose in the Convention, "Where art thou, David?" And again, responding to the call, he painted the picture of the dead demagogue lying in his bath, his pen in hand, a half-written screed on a rude table improvised by placing a board across the tub; and again the picture, more eloquent, more explanatory of character and of epoch than any written page of history, was a convincing argument that painting was not a plaything.
Born August 21, 1748, a man over fifty years of age when this century commenced, David may yet be considered entirely our own; for the ideas of his country, despite minor influences that have affected modern art, have prevailed in the art of all other countries, and these principles were largely formulated by him. France has been throughout this century the only country which has steadfastly encouraged art, with a system of education unsurpassed in any epoch, and by the maintenance of a standard which, however rebellious at times, every serious artist has been and is obliged to acknowledge. A cousin--or, as some authorities have it, a grand-nephew--of Boucher (the artist who best typifies the frivolity of the art of the eighteenth century, so that there is grim humor in the thought that this iconoclast was of his blood), David was twenty-seven years of age when, in 1775, he won the Prix de Rome, which enabled him to go to Italy for four years at the expense of the government. He was the pupil of Vien, a painter whose chief merit it was to have inspired his pupil with a hatred of the frivolous Pompadour art of the epoch; and David only obtained the coveted prize after competing five successive years. It is instructive to learn that of this first sojourn at Rome almost nothing remains in the way of painting; for the young artist, endowed with the patience which is, according to Goethe, synonomous with genius, devoted all his time to drawing from the antique.
It was here and during this time, doubtless, that he formed his conviction that painting of the highest type must conform to classical tradition--that all nature was to be remoulded in the form of antique sculpture. But it was also at this time, and owing to his stern apprenticeship to the study of form, that he acquired the mastery of drawing which served him so well when in the presence of nature; and with no other preoccupation than to reproduce his model, he painted the people of his time and produced his greatest works. For by a strange yet not unprecedented contradiction, David's fame to-day rests, not upon the great classical pictures which were the admiration of his time and by which he thought to be remembered, but on the portraits which, with his mastery of technical acquirement, he painted with surprising truth and reality.
The time was propitious, however, for David. France, the seeds of revolution germinating in its soil, looked upon the Republic of Rome as the type from which a system could be evolved that would usher in a new day of virtuous government; and when, after a second visit to Rome, David returned home with a picture representing the oath of the Horatii, Paris received him with open arms. The picture was exhibited, and viewed by crowds, burning, doubtless, in their turn to have weapons placed in their hands with which to conquer their liberties. This was in 1786; but years after, in the catalogue of the Salon of 1819, we read this note: "The Oath of the Horatii, the first masterpiece which restored to the French school of painting the purity of antique taste."
At the outbreak of the Revolution David abandoned painting; and on January 17, 1793, as a member of the Convention, voted for the execution of Louis XVI. It was during this period that were painted his pictures of Lepelletier and Marat, in which his cold, statuesque, and correct manner was revivified and warmed to life--paradoxically enough, to paint death. A friend of Robespierre, he was carried down at the overthrow of the "little lawyer from Arras," and imprisoned in the Luxembourg. His wife--who had left him at the outset of his political life, horrified at the excesses of the time--now rejoined him in his misfortune; and inspired by her devotion, David made the first sketch of the Sabine women.
Released from prison October 26, 1795, he returned to his art; and in 1800 the Sabines was exhibited in a room in the Louvre, where it remained for more than five years, during which time it constantly attracted visitors, and brought to the painter in entrance fees more than thirteen thousand dollars. Early in the career of Napoleon, David had attracted his attention; and he had vainly endeavored to induce the artist to accompany him on the Egyptian campaign. On the accession of Napoleon as Emperor, therefore, we find in the Salon catalogues, "Monsieur David, first painter to his Imperial Majesty," in place of plain "Citizen David" of the Revolutionary years.
Napoleon ordered from David four great paintings. The Coronation and the Distribution of Flags alone were painted when the overthrow of the Empire, and the loyalty of David to his imperial patron, caused him to be exiled in 1816. He went to Brussels, where, on December 29, 1825, he died. The Bourbons, masters of France, refused to allow his body to be brought back to his country; but Belgium gave him a public funeral, after which he was laid to rest in the Cathedral of Brussels.
[Illustration: POPE PIUS VII. FROM A PAINTING FROM LIFE BY DAVID, NOW IN THE LOUVRE.
Pius VII. was the Pope who, in 1804, consecrated Napoleon I. as Emperor of France. Later he opposed Napoleon's aggressions, and was imprisoned for it, first in Italy and afterwards in France. In 1814 he recovered his freedom and his dominions, temporal as well as spiritual. The above picture is, perhaps, the best example of what may be termed the official portrait (as the preceding picture is of the familiar portrait) of David. It was painted in 1805, in the apartment assigned to the Pope in the Tuileries.]
This dominant artistic influence of France in the first quarter of this century is not entirely extinguished to-day. The classical spirit has never been entirely absent from any intellectual manifestation of the French; but in David and his pupils it was carried to an extremity against which the painters of the next generation were to struggle almost hopelessly. Time, which sets all things right, has placed David in his proper place; and while to-day we may admire the immense knowledge of the man as manifested in the great classical pictures, like the Horatii, the Sabines, or the Leonidas at Thermopylæ, we remain cold before their array of painted statues. His portraits--Marat, the charming sketch of Madame Recamier, his own portrait as a young man, the group of Michel Gérard and his family, and the Pope Pius VII.--give the touch of nature which is needed to kindle the fire of humanity in this man of iron.
[Illustration: JUSTICE AND DIVINE VENGEANCE PURSUING CRIME. FROM A PAINTING BY PRUD'HON.
This picture was painted for the Criminal Court of the Palace of Justice in Paris. At the time of the Restoration in 1816 the picture was replaced by a crucifix, and removed to the Luxembourg gallery, where it remained until 1823, when it was placed in the Louvre. It is considered Prud'hon's masterpiece.]
It is as though nature had wished a contrast to this coldly intellectual type that there should have existed at the same time a painter who, seeking at the same inexhaustible fountain-head of classicism, found inspiration for an art almost morbid in excess of sentiment. Pierre Prud'hon was born at Cluny in Burgundy, April 4, 1758, the son of a poor mason who, dying soon after the boy's birth, left him to the care of the monks of the Abbey of Cluny. The pictures decorating the monastery visibly affecting the youth, the Bishop of Macon placed him under the tuition of one Desvoges, who directed the school of painting at Dijon. Here his progress was rapid, but at nineteen the too susceptible youth married a woman whose character and habits were such that his life was rendered unhappy thenceforward.
In 1780 Prud'hon went to Paris to prosecute his studies; and there, two years after, was awarded a prize, founded by his province, which enabled him to go to Rome. It is characteristic of the man that, in the competition for this prize, he was so touched by the despair of one of his comrades competing with him that he repainted completely his friend's picture--with such success that it was the friend to whom the prize was awarded, and who, but for a tardy awakening of conscience, would have gone to Rome in his place.
The judgment rectified, Prud'hon went to Rome, where he stayed seven years, studying Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and above all Correggio, whose influence is manifest in his work, and returned to Paris in 1789. Unknown, and timid by nature, he attracted little attention, and for some years gained his living by designing letter-heads, visiting cards, which were then of an ornate description, and the many trifles which constitute a present resource to the unsuccessful painter even to-day.
[Illustration: THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN. FROM A PAINTING BY PRUD'HON.
This picture was ordered by the Emperor Napoleon for the chapel of the Tuileries. It was exhibited in the Salon of 1819, and, after the Revolution of 1848, was removed from the Tuileries to the Louvre, where it has since remained.]
It was not until 1796 that some of the charming drawings which he had made commenced to attract attention. A series of designs illustrating Daphnis and Chloe, for the publishing house of Didot _ainé_, were particularly noticeable; and through this work he made the acquaintance of M. Frochot, by whose influence he received a commission for a decoration for the palace of St. Cloud, which is now placed in the Louvre.
[Illustration: HECTOR AND ANDROMACHE. FROM A DRAWING BY PRUD'HON.
This charming drawing, which forms part of the collection in the Louvre, is a study for a projected painting, and is, by its grace of line and composition, peculiarly typical of the painter. Hector, about to depart for his combat with Ajax, and having bidden farewell to Andromache, his wife, desires to embrace his son. But the child, frightened at the emotion of which he is witness, takes refuge in his mother's arms.]
Life now became somewhat easier, and in 1803--having long been separated from his wife--a talented young woman, Mlle. Mayer, became his pupil, and relations of a more tender character were established. The pictures of Mlle. Mayer are influenced by her master to a degree that makes them minor productions of his own; and her unselfish, though unconsecrated, devotion to him makes up the sum of the little happiness which he may have had.
In 1808 Prud'hon's picture of Justice and Divine Vengeance pursuing Crime was ordered for the Palace of Justice, and was shown at the Salon of that year, where the presence of David's Sabines and its influence as shown in many of the productions of his pupils were not enough to rob Prud'hon of a legitimate success, and the cross of the Legion of Honor was accorded him. The Assumption of the Virgin was exhibited in 1819; but before that Prud'hon had been made a member of the Institute, and (it passed for a distinction) drawing-master to the Empress Marie Louise.
Many pictures, all characterized by a subtile charm, were produced during this happy period; but in 1821 Mlle. Mayer, preyed upon by her false position, committed suicide, and Prud'hon lingered in continual sorrow until February 16, 1823, when he died. The work of Prud'hon covers a wide range, of which not the least important are the drawings which he made with a lavish hand. As has been observed, he was a true child of his time, and the classic influence is strongly felt in his work; but translated through his temperament, it is no longer lifeless and cold. It is eloquent of the early ages of the world, when life was young and maturity and age bore the impress of a simple life, little perplexed by intricate problems of existence. Throughout his work, in the recreation of the myths of antiquity or in the rarer representation of Christian legend, his style is sober and dignified--as truly classic as that of David; but permeating it all is the indescribable essence of beauty and youth, the reflection, undoubtedly, of a man who, rarely fortunate, capable of grave mistakes, has nevertheless left much testimony to the love and esteem in which he was held.
François Gérard, one of the many faithful followers of David, was born May 4, 1770, at Rome, where his father had gone in the service of the ambassador of France. He went to France in his twelfth year, and at sixteen was enrolled in the school of David. As a docile pupil he entered the competition for the Roman prize in 1789; but Girodet having obtained the first place, a second prize was awarded, and the next year the death of his father prevented him from finishing his competition picture; so that he is one of the exceptions amongst David's pupils, inasmuch as he did not obtain the Prix de Rome. In 1790, however, he accompanied his mother, who was an Italian, to her native country. But his sojourn there was short, as in 1793 he solicited the influence of David to save him from the general conscription; which was done by naming him a member of the Revolutionary tribunal. By taking refuge in his studio and feigning illness, he avoided the exercise of his judicial functions; and the storm passing away, he exhibited in 1795 a picture of Belisarius which attracted attention.
[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN. FROM A PAINTING BY PRUD'HON, IN THE LOUVRE.]
In 1806 Napoleon made him the official portrait painter attached to his court, and ordered the picture of the battle of Austerlitz, finished in 1810. This and indeed all of Gérard's pictures are marked by all the defects of David's methods, and lack the virile quality of his master. His portraits, however, have many qualities of grace and good taste, and his success in France was somewhat analogous to that of Lawrence in England. Under the Restoration his vogue continued; in 1819 he was given the title of baron; and, dying in Paris on January 11, 1837, he left as his legacy to the art of his time no less than twenty-eight historical pictures, many of great dimensions, eighty-seven full-length portraits, and over two hundred smaller portraits, representing the principal men and women of his time. The portraits of the Countess Regnault de Saint-Jean-d'Angely and of the Princess Visconti are both excellent specimens of the work of this estimable painter.
[Illustration: PRUD'HON. FROM A PEN DRAWING BY HIMSELF.]
Of the pictures which testify to the industry and talent of Louis-Léopold Boilly, who was born at La Bassée, near Lille, on July 5, 1761, the Louvre possesses but one specimen; namely, the Arrival of a Diligence before the coach-office in Paris. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that with the preoccupation of the public mind with the events of the time, and the prevailing taste for great historical pictures, Boilly's art, so sincere and so intimate in character, was underestimated. It is certainly not due to any lack of industry on the part of the painter. Even at the age of eleven years he undertook to paint, for a religious fraternity of his native town, two pictures representing the miracles of St. Roch. These still exist, and they are said to be meritorious. His facility in seizing the resemblance of his sitter was evidently native, for when only thirteen years of age, without instruction of any kind, he left his parents, and established himself as a portrait painter first at Douai and afterwards at Arras. In 1786 he went to Paris, where he lived until his death. Here he painted a great number of pictures of small size, representing familiar scenes of the streets and of the homes of Paris, and an incredible number of portraits.
[Illustration: THE PRINCESS VISCONTI. FROM A PAINTING BY FRANÇOIS-PASCAL-SIMON (BARON) GÉRARD.
The picture gives an interesting study of the costume of the First Empire, and is a work conceived in the style of the time when the recent publication of "Corinne" by Madame de Staël had influenced the popular taste. The original painting is now in the Louvre.]
A valiant craftsman, happy in his work, following no school but that of nature, careless of official honor (which came to him only when, late in life, on the demand of the Academy, the government accorded him the cross of the Legion of Honor in 1833), his life was uneventful. But his little pictures pleased the people who saw themselves so truthfully depicted, and to-day they are more highly esteemed than are the works of many of his at-the-time esteemed contemporaries. He painted for seventy-two years, produced more than five thousand portraits, an incredible number of pictures and drawings, and died, his brush in hand, on January 5, 1845. The little picture of the Arrival of a Diligence presents, with exquisite truthfulness, a Paris unlike the brilliant city of our day, the Paris where Arthur Young in his travels in 1812 notes the absence of sidewalks; a city inhabited by slim ladies dressed _à la Grecque_, and by high-stocked gentlemen content to travel by post. It is a canvas of more value than the pretentious and tiresome historical compositions of the time, and suggests the reflection that many of the David pupils might have been better employed in putting their scientific accuracy of drawing to the service of rendering the life which they saw about them, instead of producing the arid stretches of academy models posing as Hector or Romulus.
Guillaume-Guillon Lethière, a painter in whose veins there was an admixture of negro blood, would hardly have echoed the sentiments of this last paragraph, as he lived and worked in the factitious companionship of the Greeks and Romans. So clearly, however, does the temperament of a painter inspire the character of his work that we may be glad that this was the case; for, of his school, Lethière alone infuses into his classicism something of the turbulent life which marked his own character.
[Illustration: THE COUNTESS REGNAULT DE SAINT-JEAN-D'ANGELY. FROM A PAINTING BY BARON GÉRARD, IN THE LOUVRE.]
Born in Guadeloupe January 10, 1760, coming to Paris when very young, he took the second prize of Rome in 1784, with a picture of such merit that the regulation was infringed and he was given leave to go to Rome at the same time as the winner of the first prize. His first picture was exhibited in the form of a sketch in the Salon of 1801; and not until eleven years after was the great canvas of Brutus Condemning his Sons to Death shown at the Salon of 1812. The other picture by which he is best known, the Death of Virginia, is, like the preceding, in the Louvre; and though the sketch of this was exhibited in 1795, the picture only took definite form in 1828.
[Illustration: THE ARRIVAL OF A DILIGENCE. FROM A PAINTING BY LOUIS-LÉOPOLD BOILLY.
This picture, now in the Louvre, is the only example of this artist's work shown there, and is particularly interesting as showing the Paris of 1803, when the streets had no sidewalks. The scene is laid at the place of arrival and departure of the coaches which from Paris penetrated into all parts of France, and were the only means of transport or communication.]
Meanwhile Lethière had travelled much in England and Spain, and had been for ten years director of the French School of Fine Arts in Rome. His life was adventurous, and it is told of him that he was often involved in quarrels, and fought a number of duels with military officers because, humble civilian that he was, he yet dared to wear the mustache! In 1822 he returned definitely to Paris, where he was made a member of the Institute and professor in the School of Fine Arts, and where he died April 21, 1832. The quality of his work is well characterized by Charles Blanc, who writes of it "as producing the effect of a tragedy sombre and pathetic."
The picture of the Burial of Atala, from Châteaubriand's well-known story, is interesting as showing the methods of the David school applied to subjects of less heroic mould than the master and his disciples were wont to treat. Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy Trioson, born at Montargis January 3, 1767, was one of the most convinced adherents of his master David; and while competing for the Prize of Rome, which he won in 1789, was accustomed each morning before beginning his work to station himself in front of David's picture of the Horatii as before a shrine, invoking its happy influence. Such devotion received its official reward, and after five years spent in Rome his great (and tiresome) picture of the Deluge met with the greatest favor, and in 1810 was awarded the medal for the best historical picture produced in the preceding decade. The Burial of Atala, painted in 1808, is, however, a work of charm in composition and sentiment; and though in color it is dry and uninteresting, is not unworthy of the popularity which it has enjoyed from the vantage ground of the Louvre for more than four-score years. Girodet died in Paris, December 9, 1824, after having received all the official honors which France can award to a painter.
The charming face of Marie-Anne-Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun, who, with the arms of her daughter encircling her, smiles on us here, was undoubtedly not painted in this century, as the painter was born in Paris April 16, 1755, and it is as a young mother that she has represented herself. But as its author lived until March 30, 1842, she should undoubtedly figure among the painters of this century. From early girlhood until old age,
"_Lebrun, de la beauté le peintre et le modèle._"
as Laharpe sang, was, though largely self-taught, a formidable concurrent to painters of the sterner sex. Married when very young to Lebrun, a dealer in pictures and critic of art, a pure marriage of convention, she left France shortly before the Revolution, and went to Italy. Before her departure she was high in favor at the court, and painted no less than twenty portraits of Marie Antoinette.
[Illustration: BRUTUS CONDEMNING HIS SONS TO DEATH. FROM A PAINTING BY LETHIÈRE.
Brutus led in overthrowing the tyranny of Tarquin the Proud and establishing a republic in Rome. He was then elected one of the two consuls. His two sons were detected in a conspiracy to restore Tarquin, and he, as consul, himself condemned them to death.]
[Illustration: THE BURIAL OF ATALA. FROM A PAINTING BY GIRODET, IN THE LOUVRE.
Atala, the heroine of a romance by Châteaubriand, was the daughter of a North American Indian chief, passionately in love with the chief of another tribe, with whom she fled into the desert. But having been religiously vowed to virginity by her mother, she remains faithful to the vow, and finally in despair poisons herself.]
[Illustration: MADAME LEBRUN AND HER DAUGHTER. FROM A PAINTING BY MADAME LEBRUN HERSELF.
This picture, painted for a private patron, passed, at the period of the French Revolution, into the possession of the French nation, and is now in the Louvre. There is in the Louvre also another by Madame Lebrun, representing herself and her daughter, one which the artist bequeathed to the Louvre at her death, in 1842. Of the two, while both are charming, the one here printed represents the painter at her best.]
Fortune favored her in Italy, whence she went to Vienna, Prague, Dresden, and Berlin. In each and every capital the same success, due to her talent, beauty, and amiability, followed her; and at last arriving in St. Petersburg, she remained there until 1801, when she returned to Paris. Some time after, she visited England, where she remained three years, and then returned by way of Holland to France in 1809. The Academy of France and the academies of all other European countries admitted her to membership.
Indefatigable as a worker during her long career, she produced an immense number of portraits; and while she painted comparatively few subject pictures, she arranged her models in so picturesque a fashion that, as in the example here given, her portraits have great charm of composition. With a virile grasp of form, tempered though it be with grace, Madame Lebrun offers an interesting example of woman's work in art; and, while she has nothing to concede to the painters of her time, is no less interesting as showing that by force of native talent the woman of the early part of the century had in her power the conquest of nearly all the desired rights of the New Woman. She has left extremely interesting memoirs of her life, written in her old age, and there are many anecdotes bearing testimony to her wit. One of these goes back to the time when Louis XVIII., then a youth, enlivened the sittings for his portrait by singing, quite out of tune. "How do you think I sing?" inquired he. "Like a prince," responded the amiable artist.
With Antoine Jean Gros we come to the last and the greatest of the pupils of David. Born in Paris March 16, 1771, he competed but once, in 1792, for the Prix de Rome, was unsuccessful, but undertook the voyage thither on his own slender resources the next year. Italy was in a troubled state--he who troubled all Europe in the early years of the century being there at the head of his army; and in 1796, at Genoa, Gros attracted the attention of Madame Bonaparte. It was she who proposed that Gros should paint Napoleon; and Gros consequently went to Milan, and after the battle of Arcole painted the hero carrying the tricolor across the bridge at the head of his grenadiers. The picture pleased Bonaparte, who had it engraved, and gave Gros a commission to collect for the Louvre the chief artistic treasures of Italy. These functions occupied him until 1801, during which period, however, he executed a number of successful portraits.
Returning to Paris after nine years, he painted the Hospital at Jaffa, representing Napoleon visiting the fever-stricken soldiers. The success of this picture, exhibited in 1804, was very great; and it remains Gros's best title to remembrance. In it is something of the reality poetized and seen through the eyes of an artist which characterizes the work of Eugene Delacroix.
The force of David, however, was too great for Gros; at fifty years of age we find him demanding counsel of the master, who sternly bids him leave his "futile subjects," and devote his time to great historical epochs of the past. When David was sent into exile in 1816, it was to Gros that he confided the direction of his school; and this task, and the production of immense canvases like the Battle of the Pyramids, filled his life. The picture here reproduced, the Visit of Charles the Fifth and Francis the First to the Tombs of the Kings in the Cathedral of St. Denis, was painted in 1812.
[Illustration: FRANCIS I., KING OF FRANCE, AND CHARLES V., EMPEROR OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, VISITING THE TOMBS OF THE FRENCH KINGS AT ST. DENIS. FROM A PAINTING BY BARON GROS, IN THE LOUVRE.
Between 1520 and 1545 all Europe was kept in distress and turmoil by a quarrel between Francis I. and Charles V., the chief subject of contention being the duchy of Milan, which Charles held and Francis claimed. Four separate wars were waged by Francis against Charles, all of them unsuccessful. But their majesties had intervals of outward friendship, and in one of these Francis invited Charles, then setting out from Spain for the Low Countries, to pass through France and visit him. The visit was duly paid, was one of great state and ceremony, and from it is derived the incident portrayed in the above picture. Francis is the figure in the centre; Charles, suited in black, standing at his right.]
The revolt which was already making itself felt in French art was a thorn in the flesh of the sensitive Gros. In vain were all the artistic honors showered upon him. In 1824 he was made a baron; since 1816 he had been a member of the Institute; and the crosses of most of the orders of Europe, and the medals of all the exhibitions were his. Nevertheless, about him younger painters revolted. In his secret soul, doubtless, he felt sympathy with their methods. But the commands of the terrible old exile of Brussels were still in his ears.
Finally a portrait of King Charles X., the decorations in the Museum of Sovereigns, and a picture exhibited in the Salon of 1835 were in turn harshly criticized by the press, which looked with favor on the younger men; and Gros, full of years, and of honors which had brought fortune in their train, was found drowned in a little arm of the Seine near Meudon, June 26, 1835. In despair he had taken his own life. With him died David's greatest pupil and a part of David's influence. But that portion of the teachings of the master most consonant with French character is not without effect to-day. Less strong than in the generation following David, absolutely extinct if we are to believe the extremists among the men of to-day, it yet remains a leaven to the fermenting mass of modern production. Perhaps its healthy influence is the best monument to the man who "restored to France the purity of antique taste."
[Illustration: JAMES G. BLAINE.
From a photograph by Handy, Washington.]
THE DEFEAT OF BLAINE FOR THE PRESIDENCY.
BY MURAT HALSTEAD.
The fame of Blaine does not decline, but increases and will endure. It was not his destiny to fill the greater office created by our Constitution, but with a distinction exceeding that of the majority of Presidents, he is enrolled, with Clay, Webster, and Seward, among the illustrious Secretaries of State. The defeat of James G. Blaine for the Presidency in 1884 will rank among the memorable disappointments and misfortunes of the people with that of Henry Clay, forty years before.
Late in the week before the meeting of the Chicago National Republican Convention in 1884, I received in Cincinnati a telegram from Mr. Blaine requesting me to call on him in Washington, where he lived on the opposite side of Lafayette Square from that of the celebrated old house where he spent his last days. He was engaged on his "Twenty Years in Congress." I called on him the day after his despatch reached me, making haste, for I was about to go to Chicago; and he first said he feared he had sent for me on an insufficient errand, and after a moment's pause began to speak of the approaching convention, and quickly used the expression--"I am alarmed."
[Illustration: MR. BLAINE IN 1891.
This is accounted one of the best portraits of Mr. Blaine in existence. It is from a photograph taken at Bar Harbor in the autumn of 1891 by Mr. A. von Mumm Schwartzenstein, then _Charge d'Affaires_ of the German Empire at Washington, and is here reproduced by the kind permission of Mr. W.E. Curtis.]
"Concerning what are you frightened?" I inquired; and added: "You surely are not afraid you are not going to be nominated?"
He responded with a flash of his eyes and a smile: "Oh, no; I am afraid I shall be nominated, and have sent for you for that reason, and want you to assist in preventing my nomination." I shook my head, and Mr. Blaine asked: "Why not?"
I said I had not been so long in his confidence and known by his friends to be of them, to venture upon such an enterprise as working in opposition. If I should appear actively against him, no matter how I presented the matter, the easy answer to any argument of mine would be that I had relapsed into personal antagonism to him. I then said: "I have not heard of this;" and asked: "Are there many who know that you are against your candidacy?" He said he had talked freely to that effect, and mentioned William Walter Phelps as one who was fully acquainted with his views, and also Colonel Parsons, of the Natural Bridge, Virginia, then in the house. I said: "Mr. Blaine, I think it is too late. I have looked over the field, and your nomination is almost certain--the drift is your way. Why precisely do you object, and what exactly do you think should happen?" He replied in his rapid way with much feeling, and I believe his very words were: "The objection to my nomination is that I cannot be elected. With the South solid against us we cannot succeed without New York, and I cannot carry that State. There are factions there and influences before voting and after voting, such that the party cannot count upon success with me. I am sure of it--I have thought it all over, and my deliberate judgment is as I tell you. I know, too, where I am strong as well as where I am weak--and we might, if we should get into the campaign with my name at the head of the ticket, think we were going to win. We would get to believing it, perhaps, but we should miss it in the end, if not by a great deal, just a little. With everything depending on New York," he continued, "it would be a mistake to nominate me. This is not new to me--I have weighed all the chances. Besides"--and here he kindled--"why should we let the country go into the hands of Democrats when we can name a ticket that is certain to be elected--one that would sweep every Northern State?"
"What is it?" I asked.
The answer came with vivid animation: "William T. Sherman and Robert T. Lincoln." This idea was instantly amplified. "The names of Sherman and Lincoln put together would be irresistible. That ticket would elect itself. We should have a campaign of marching and song. We need the inspiration, and 'Marching Through Georgia' and 'We Are Coming, Father Abraham,' would give it. We must not lose this campaign, and I am alarmed by the prospect of losing it in my name."
"But," I interposed, "it is the report and the public opinion that General Sherman would not consent to be a candidate; that he would throw the party down that would nominate him. Why not try the other Sherman?"
Mr. Blaine's response was that John Sherman would have the like difficulty in carrying New York that he would have himself. The element of military heroism was wanting. He had written to General Sherman on the subject, and of course the General thought he could not consent to be President--for that was what it amounted to--but his reasoning was fallacious. If General Sherman had the question put to him--whether to be President himself or turn the office over to the Democratic party, with the Solid South dominant--he would see his duty and do it, though his reluctance was real.
I said General Sherman could not consent to appear in competition with his brother John at Chicago, though he had a funny way of looking on John in West Point style as a "politician," and that was an insuperable difficulty; and that, Mr. Blaine did not seem to have thought of as a serious element in the case, but he realized the force of it. I was anxious to hear more about the correspondence between Blaine and General Sherman; but was only told that the letter to the General was a call to consider that circumstances might arise, and should do so, in which the General's sense of duty could be appealed to, and be as strong as that to take up arms had been when the Union demanded defenders.
[Illustration: MR. BLAINE AT HIS DESK IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT.
From a photograph by Miss F.B. Johnston.]
Arrived at Chicago, I soon ascertained that Mr. Blaine had been doing a good deal of talking of the same kind I had heard, but he had not been able to impress the more robust of those favorable to his nomination with the view that he should be heeded. They insisted that he was not wise, but timid; that he did not like war and would do too much for peace; that he especially miscalculated when he said he could not carry New York, for he was the very man who could carry it; that his personal force was far beyond his own estimation; that his intuitions were like those of a woman, but were not infallible; that his singing the campaign was a fancy; that "Marching Through Georgia" would wear out, and was of the stuff of dreams. Mr. Blaine's accredited friends felt that things had gone too far to permit a change to be contemplated. They were half mad at Blaine for his Sherman and Lincoln proposal, which was confidentially in the air, regarding it as not favorable to themselves. They said they could carry the country more certainly with Blaine than Sherman, for Sherman was an uncertain political quantity, and might turn out to be almost the devil himself. Some of them said he would proclaim martial law and annihilate the Constitution! They were sure the force of the celebrity of General Sherman in a campaign had been overestimated by Blaine, who had the caprice and high color in his imagination that produce schemes too fine for success. In a word, Sherman and Lincoln were not practical politicians. Blaine's idea was not politics, but poetry. What they wanted was the magnetism and magic of Blaine. The country was at any rate safely in the hands of the Republican party. They had nearly lost the election because they had not nominated Blaine eight years before, and won with Garfield because he was a Blaine man. The wisdom of the Republican politicians was thus against Blaine's ticket so far as it was known; and those favorable to President Arthur, John Sherman, John A. Logan, and George F. Edmunds did not give the least credit to the statement that Blaine did not want the nomination. His rumored objection to making the race--of course the real reasons were not known--was regarded as a mere "play" in politics, if not altogether fantastic; and they pursued their own courses heedless of the real conditions. There was a singular complication of errors of judgment in the Blaine opposition. The friends of Arthur took the complimentary resolutions from a majority of the States to mean his nomination. In truth, the significance of that unanimity was quite otherwise. Ohio was not solid for Sherman. It is a State that has been very hard to manage in national conventions--was so in the time when Chase was the Republican leader--divided in '60, nominating Lincoln, and rarely presented a front without a flaw for a national candidate. The energy of Logan's friends was not sufficiently supported to give confidence. The reformers by profession and of prominence were for Edmunds; and they were a body of men who had force, if judiciously applied, to have carried the convention, provided they divested themselves of the peculiarities of extreme elevation that prevent efficiency. While they assumed to have soared above practical politics and to abhor the ways of the "toughs" in championing candidates, they subordinated their own usefulness to a sentiment that was limited to a senator--Mr. Edmunds. It was clear at an early hour that the nomination of Mr. Edmunds was impossible. He was put into the combat by Governor Long with a splendid speech, and the mellow eloquence of George William Curtis was for him, and Carl Schurz was a counsellor who upheld the banner of the lawyer statesman of Vermont. The conclusion was to stick to Edmunds; and they stuck until the last, and frittered away their influence. They were in such shape they might, by going in force, at a well-selected time and in a dramatic way, have carried the convention with them. They could not, however, get their own consent to go for Logan, or Arthur, or either of the Shermans; and so Blaine was overruled and nominated.
He did a wonderful work in the campaign, and was himself apparently satisfied at last that his apprehensions as to New York had been unwarranted. Still his words came back to me often during the heat of the summer and the fierce contest. "I cannot carry New York; we shall lose it, perhaps by just a little--but we shall lose it;" and so we did. As the vote was counted the plurality of Mr. Cleveland over Mr. Blaine in the decisive State was one thousand and forty-seven. Gail Hamilton says, in her "Life of Blaine," of the New York election, that there was a plurality claimed on election day for Cleveland of fifty thousand, and "the next day the figures came down to seventeen thousand; then to twelve thousand; the next day to five thousand, and at length dwindled to four hundred and fifty-six." The election was on the 4th, and it was nearly two weeks before a decision was announced. General Butler "openly proclaimed that the New York vote for himself was counted to Cleveland." The "just a little" by which Blaine was beaten was on the face of the returns one thousand and forty-seven, and John Y. McKane was ten years afterward convicted of frauds that were perpetrated as he willed, that amounted to thousands. There was a fraud capacity in the machines of many times the plurality by which Blaine was defeated, and there never was a rational doubt that it was exerted. A change of six hundred votes would have given the Plumed Knight the Presidency, and outside the Solid South he had a popular majority, "leaving out the protested vote of New York and Brooklyn, of nearly half a million." Mr. Blaine, when it became known that the New York vote was held to be against him, and civil war was threatened if the returns were rectified, telegraphed to friends asking their opinion of the New York situation; and I had the honor to be one consulted. My reply was that the New York influences that had prevailed to cause the declaration of a plurality for Cleveland would be sufficient to maintain that determination. Then came the opportunity of those unkindly toward Mr. Blaine to charge him with forcing himself on the Republican party and ruining it with his reckless candidacies, and I thought the facts within my knowledge should be given the public, and wrote to General Sherman, asking him to allow me to publish the correspondence between himself and Blaine, proving that the nomination, instead of being forced by Blaine for himself, was forced upon him; and I wrote to Blaine also, to the same effect. I received from the General the remarkable letters following:
GENERAL SHERMAN TO MR. HALSTEAD.
912 GARRISON AVENUE,
ST. LOUIS, MO., _November 17, 1884._
DEAR HALSTEAD:--After my former letter, when I went to put the newspaper slip into my scrap-book, I discovered my mistake in attributing the article to the "Louisville" instead of the "London Times." My opinion is nevertheless not to contest the matter, as the real truth will manifest itself.[I]
I think Arthur could have carried the Republicans past the last election[J]--but no man can tell what issues would have been made in case of his nomination. So the wisest conclusion is to accept gracefully the actual result, and to profit by the mistakes and accidents sure to attend the new administration, handicapped as it will surely be by the hot heads of the South. Truly yours,
912 GARRISON AVENUE,
ST. LOUIS, MO., _November 21, 1884._
DEAR HALSTEAD:--I have yours of the 19th. The letter of Blaine to me was meant as absolutely confidential, and of course I would not allow any person to see it without his consent. I am not sure that I would, even with his consent, because I believe the true policy is to look ahead and not behind. Blaine's letter without any answer would be incomplete, and surely I will not have my letter published, as it contained certain points purely personal which the public has no right to. New questions will arise, and these will give you plenty of occupation without raking up the past.
Wishing you always all honor and fame, I am,
The letters that passed between Blaine and Sherman have appeared in Gail Hamilton's "Biography of Blaine," but have not commanded attention according to their interest, because they have not been framed by the relation of the circumstances that gave them significance and that are supplied in this article.
MR. BLAINE TO GENERAL SHERMAN.
Strictly and absolutely so.
WASHINGTON, D.C., _May 25, 1884._
MY DEAR GENERAL:--This letter requires no answer. After reading it carefully, file it away in your most secret drawer, or give it to the flames.
At the approaching convention in Chicago it is more than possible--it is indeed not improbable--that you may be nominated for the Presidency. If so you must stand your hand, accept the responsibility, and assume the duties of the place to which you will surely be chosen if a candidate. You must not look upon it as the work of the politicians. If it comes to you, it will come as the ground-swell of popular demand; and you can no more refuse than you could have refused to obey an order when you were a lieutenant in the army. If it comes to you at all, it will come as a call of patriotism. It would, in such an event, injure your great fame as much to decline it as it would for you to seek it. Your historic record, full as it is, would be rendered still more glorious by such an administration as you would be able to give the country. Do not say a word in advance of the convention, no matter who may ask you. You are with your friends, who will jealously guard your honor.
Do not answer this.
JAMES G. BLAINE.
GENERAL SHERMAN TO MR. BLAINE.
ST. LOUIS, _May 28, 1884._
HON. J.G. BLAINE.
MY DEAR FRIEND:--I have received your letter of the 25th; shall construe it as absolutely confidential, not intimating even to any member of my family that I have heard from you; and though you may not expect an answer, I hope you will not construe one as unwarranted. I have had a great many letters from all points of the compass to a similar effect, one or two of which I have answered frankly; but the great mass are unanswered. I ought not to subject myself to the cheap ridicule of declining what is not offered; but it is only fair to the many really able men who rightfully aspire to the high honor of being President of the United States to let them know that I am not, and must not be construed as, a rival. In every man's life there occurs an epoch when he must choose his own career, and when he may not throw the responsibility, or tamely place his destiny in the hands of friends. Mine occurred in Louisiana when, in 1861, alone in the midst of a people blinded by supposed wrongs, I resolved to stand by the Union as long as a fragment of it survived to which to cling. Since then, through faction, tempest, war, and peace, my career has been all my family and friends could ask. We are now in a good home of our choice, with reasonable provision for old age, surrounded by kind and admiring friends, in a community where Catholicism is held in respect and veneration, and where my children will naturally grow up in contact with an industrious and frugal people. You have known and appreciated Mrs. Sherman from childhood, have also known each and all the members of my family, and can understand, without an explanation from me, how their thoughts and feelings should and ought to influence my action; but I will not even throw off on them the responsibility. I will not, in any event, entertain or accept a nomination as a candidate for President by the Chicago Republican convention, or any other convention, for reasons personal to myself. I claim that the Civil War, in which I simply did a man's fair share of work, so perfectly accomplished peace, that military men have an absolute right to rest, and to demand that the men who have been schooled in the arts and practice of peace shall now do their work equally well. Any senator can step from his chair at the Capitol into the White House, and fulfil the office of President with more skill and success than a Grant, Sherman or Sheridan, who were soldiers by education and nature, who filled well their office when the country was in danger, but were not schooled in the practices by which civil communities are, and should be, governed. I claim that our experience since 1865 demonstrates the truth of this my proposition. Therefore I say that "patriotism" does not demand of me what I construe as a sacrifice of judgment, of inclination, and of self-interest. I have my personal affairs in a state of absolute safety and comfort. I owe no man a cent, have no expensive habits or tastes, envy no man his wealth or power, [have] no complications or indirect liabilities, and would account myself a fool, a madman, an ass, to embark anew, at sixty-five years of age, in a career that may, at any moment, [become] tempest-tossed by the perfidy, the defalcation, the dishonesty, or neglect of any one of a hundred thousand subordinates utterly unknown to the President of the United States, not to say the eternal worriment by a vast host of impecunious friends and old military subordinates. Even as it is, I am tortured by the charitable appeals of poor distressed pensioners; but as President, these would be multiplied beyond human endurance. I remember well the experience of Generals Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Grant, Hayes and Garfield, all elected because of their military services, and am warned, not encouraged, by their sad experiences. No--count me out. The civilians of the United States should, and must, buffet with this thankless office, and leave us old soldiers to enjoy the peace we fought for, and think we earned.
With profound respect, your friend,
[Illustration: FACSIMILE OF THE LETTER WRITTEN BY MR. BLAINE TO MR. HALSTEAD JUST AFTER MR. BLAINE'S DEFEAT FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN 1884, AND NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED--THE SAME LETTER THAT IS EMBODIED IN THE TEXT OF THIS ARTICLE ON PAGE 169.]
[Illustration: CONTINUATION OF FACSIMILE OF LETTER.]
[Illustration: CONTINUATION OF FACSIMILE OF LETTER.]
There is intrinsic evidence that these letters were not written with a thought of possible publication. That which General Sherman says about Catholicism could only have been told to a close and sympathetic friend. Mrs. Sherman and Mr. Blaine were cousins, and their mothers were Catholics. Mrs. Sherman was one whose devotion to the Church was intense; and General Sherman could not endure the thought that her religion should be subjected to such discussions as were certain to arise in a Presidential campaign. She was a very noble and gifted woman, and the happiness of herself and husband in their domestic life was beautiful and elevated.
James G. Blaine was nearer the Presidency than any other man who did not reach the office. It was by a very narrow margin that he missed the nomination in Cincinnati in 1876; and the opposition he encountered there from Republican editors was regretted by all of them, because they believed when the storm ceased that he had been accused excessively, sensationally, and maliciously, and condemned--by those who did not appreciate his vindication--on evidence that was indicated but not presented--on letters supposed to have been taken from the original package, and that were not produced because they never existed. The investigations were largely instigated and carried on to continue agitation with the purpose to strike down a brilliant man whose genius gave him almost incredible promotion, and to assail him because he was lofty and aspiring. The personal fight that he made in Congress when cruelly set upon was one of the most effective that ever took place in a public body. A competent observer, who was a spectator of the scene in the House when the Mulligan letters were read, said as Blaine came down the aisle, the letters in his hand, and called upon all the millions of his countrymen to be witnesses: "I thought his fist was going right up through the dome." Unhappily, his exciting experiences in the course of these fierce controversies, with the conduct of his Cincinnati campaign, and the sultry weather, caused his prostration, attended with hours of unconsciousness, just at the critical time when the delegates were assembling in national convention. The local influences; the Republican editorial antagonism; the enthusiastic efforts for Bristow; the strenuous perseverance of Morton of Indiana; the prestige of Conkling, backed with the high favor of Grant; the solidity of Ohio for Hayes--all would have been overwhelmed but for the incident of the fall of Blaine in a swoon at the door of the church which he was in the habit of attending and that he was about to enter with his wife. It is reasonable to believe, if he had been the candidate that year, he could have carried the election unequivocally, and that his administration would have vastly strengthened the Republican party. It is due President Hayes, however, to say that his administration of the great office was an era of good for the country, and that he was succeeded by a Republican; but the fact of a disputed Presidency had a far-reaching evil influence, and prevented showing fair play in New York in 1884. Blaine lost in his illness coincident with the Cincinnati convention the confidence of the country in his firm health and strength, and that handicapped him to his grave. Perhaps it is even more important that he lost faith in himself as a strong man, and had almost a superstition that if he became President it would be for him personally a fatality. And yet he was intellectually a growing man for fifteen years after his Cincinnati defeat. His greater works, his most influential ideas, the full fruition of his gifts, were after that catastrophe.
Mr. Blaine was so strong and so weak, so delicate and so tenacious, that he was as constant a puzzle to those who loved him as to his enemies, to the best-informed as to the most ill-informed. Those very near to him took the liberty of laughing at him about his two overcoats, and his going to bed and sending for a doctor in the afternoon, and getting off with gayety to the opera in the evening; about an alleged indigestion followed by eating a confection that would have tested the hardihood of a young candy-eater. One who studied him with affection wrote of him that he had an association of qualities giving at once sensitiveness and endurance, and we were indebted to this for the faculties, the capacities, that made up the man whose influence had been so remarkable and his popularity a phenomenon. He was of fine sensibilities, and there was nothing on earth or in the air that did not tell him something. He was like an instrument of music that a breath would move to melody, and that was ever in tune for any wind that blew, and yet had patient strength, and wore like steel. He had a rare make-up of refinement and power, and life was sweeter and brighter and more costly far to him than to the ordinary man.
It was after his first and, as it turned out, final defeat for the Presidency, in his earliest effort for the office, that his fame grew splendid. His campaigning was fascinating, and his speeches, as the years passed, took greater variety. In his tour when a candidate in 1884, his addresses were marvellous in aptitude and in a thousand felicities. There was much said of the fact that he was not a lawyer, and an affected superiority to him by gentlemen whose profession permitted "fees," and there was a system of deprecation to the effect that he only harangued, that he had neither originality nor grace. But after Garfield's death and the retirement of the Secretary from the Cabinet, he turned to writing history "as a resource," and his great work is of permanent value to the country, while his Garfield oration is one of the masterpieces of the highest rank; and there came straight from his brain two far-flashing ideas--that of the union of American nations, and to protect the policy of protection with reciprocity--and in the two there is the manifestation of that crowning glory of public life which enters the luminous atmosphere of immortality--statesmanship. That he had not the opportunity of the execution of these policies--of guiding and shaping their triumph--was not his fault but his fate. Their time may be coming but slowly, yet it surely will come. His zeal in behalf of making the protective principle irresistible by associating it intimately with reciprocity, was so strong that he grew impatient when others were tedious in comprehension; and there was a story of his concluding a sharp admonition to the laborers on the tariff schedules by "smashing his new silk hat on a steam-heater in the committee-room." He was asked by a friend who rode out with him to see the statue that he thought the most accurate and impressive of all the likenesses of Lincoln and was fond of driving to see, located in a park east of the Capitol--that by Story--whether he had "smashed a new silk hat" on a steam-heater on behalf of reciprocity; and he softly responded, "It was not a new hat."
That Mr. Blaine was keenly disappointed when defeated for the Presidency at Cincinnati, there is no doubt; and that he began then to see that it was not his destiny to be President, is certain.
There is a great contrast in his favor in his manner of bearing this disappointment with that of Clay and Webster under somewhat similar circumstances. Clay was furious at the nomination of General William Henry Harrison, and greeted with unmeasured denunciation those responsible for that judicious act; and Webster was bitter when Taylor and Scott were nominated in the first instance, but came, after a time, grandly out of the clouds. It is an interesting coincidence that Webster when Secretary of State was a candidate for the Presidential nomination against his chief, President Fillmore, and died, on the 24th of October, 1852, a few months after Scott's triumph at Baltimore and a few days before the popular election of Pierce. The enduring memory of Mr. Blaine appeared in the last October he lived, in the precise remark, when something was said of the death of Webster, "Ah! day after to-morrow it will be forty years since Webster died." The news of the nomination of Hayes, Blaine received serenely, and before the vote was declared in the convention sent the nominee a cordial telegram of congratulation. When he knew at Augusta in 1884 that he was beaten, he said: "Personally I care less than my nearest friends would believe, but for the cause and for many friends I profoundly deplore the result." And that was the entire truth. He felt that he had not been fairly beaten, but he gave utterance only to the public wrong done in the unfairness, and left that expression as a warning to the country. He did not, as we have seen, follow the example of Clay, who persistently favored his own candidacy. On the contrary, Blaine did not covet the Presidency, and tried to avoid the personal strife of 1884, and not for any of the apprehensive motives attributed to him by those who acted upon the feeling in his case that the spirit of justice was malevolent.
I feel that I should not now deal fairly with the public if I did not give here the letter from Blaine in my possession, that more completely than any published gives expression to his personal bearing when defeated.
LETTER FROM MR. BLAINE TO MR. HALSTEAD.
AUGUSTA, MAINE, _16th Nov., '84._
DEAR MR. HALSTEAD:--I think there would be no harm to the public and no personal injustice if you should insert the three enclosed items in your editorial columns.
I feel quite serene over the result. As the Lord sent upon us an ass in the shape of a preacher, and a rainstorm, to lessen our vote in New York, I am disposed to feel resigned to the dispensation of defeat, which flowed directly from these agencies.
In missing a great honor I escaped a great and oppressive responsibility. You know--perhaps better than any one--how _much I didn't want_ the nomination; but perhaps, in view of all things, I have not made a loss by the canvass. At least I try to think not. The other candidate would have fared hard in Maine, and would have been utterly broken in Ohio.
JAMES G. BLAINE.
Of course all this is private.
_P.S._--This note was written before receipt of yours. Pray publish nothing of the kind you intimate unless you first permit me to see the proof. Don't be afraid of the enclosed items. They are rock-ribbed for truth and for a good rendering of public opinion.
Mr. Blaine refers in the closing paragraph to the proposition I made to him to publish the true story of his candidacy--substantially the same pressed upon the attention of General Sherman. Between them they suppressed me, but it is due them that this chapter of history should be known now that they are gone.
I had the privilege of walking with Mr. Blaine in the beautiful and fragrant parks at Homburg, in Southern Germany, in the summer of 1887, and discussing with him the question whether he should be a candidate for the Republican nomination the next spring. He then seemed to be very well, but exertion speedily fatigued him. He was on sight a very striking personage, and always instantly regarded with interest by strangers. His personal appearance was of the utmost refinement and of irreproachable dignity. His absolute cleanliness was something dainty, his dress simple but fitting perfectly and of the best material. His face was very pale, but his sparkling eyes contradicted the pallor.
His form was erect, and his figure that of youth. His hair and beard were exquisitely white. His mouth had the purity of a child's, and he never had tasted tobacco or used spirituous liquors, save when his physician had recommended a little whiskey, and then not enough to color a glass. He drank sparingly of claret and champagne, caring only for the flavor. He was gentle, kindly, genial, and in a manly sense beautiful. There are many distinguished English people at Homburg in the season, and they were gratified to meet Mr. Blaine, and charmed with him. It required no ceremony to announce him as a personage--a man who had made events--and he never posed or gave the slightest hint, in his movements, of conscious celebrity. I never saw him bothered by being aware of himself but once, and that was when, across the street from the Fifth Avenue Hotel, in the dusk of an evening, he shaded his face with his hand, and looked curiously at ten thousand people who were gazing at the house, and shouting madly for him, expecting that he would appear at a window and make acknowledgment of their enthusiasm. Suddenly he saw in the glance of one beside him that he was curiously yet doubtfully regarded, and hastened away in fear of his friends, who in their delight at discovering him would have become a mob.
In Homburg he seemed to care for others' opinions about the proper course for him to take; and the substance of that which I had to say--and he seemed to think me in a way representative--was that he alone must decide for himself, as he only knew all the circumstances and elements that must be considered in a decision. Once we walked the main street of the town in the night--and it is then a very lonely place, for it is the fashion to get up in the morning at six o'clock, and take the waters and the music--and that time I was impressed, and the impression abided, that the inner conviction of Mr. Blaine was he had not the vitality to safely take the Presidency if he held it in his hand; that he believed the office would wear him out--that it was a place of dealing with persons who would worry away his existence; that he felt he could not endure the wear and tear and pressure of the first position, and preferred the Secretaryship of State, with the hope of going on with his South American policy, which he had developed in Garfield's time, brief as that was; and I conjectured that all this had been in his mind when he wanted Sherman and Lincoln to be the ticket in 1884. And it occurred to me with so much force as the logic of many things he said, that I accepted it as true, and was reminded of his weary exclamation once of a good friend whose moods were changeable: "Now that he is right, stay with him. He takes the health out of me with his uncertainties."
The Secretaryship of State he cared for; in that office the world was all before him, and he was fully himself, and was not fretted by a perpetual procession of favor-seekers. The argument his urgent admirers used with him was that it would be easier to make up his mind than to convince a President, and that as the Chief of State he could throw the work on the Cabinet; but he was not satisfied. The Florence letter to me seemed familiar, for it was a reminder of Homburg, and its sincerity was in all the lines and between the lines; and it was addressed to a friend in Pittsburg, that it might not be suppressed in New York. He had very close and influential friends who did not divine his true attitude, or would not admit that they had, and insisted that he was really well and strong and tough, better than he had been, and that he should not be humored in his fancy that he was an invalid. This feeling continued even to 1892, though he had been meantime painfully broken by a protracted illness. It will be remembered that in the correspondence between General Harrison as President-elect and Mr. Blaine, when the Secretaryship of State was offered and accepted, there appeared harmony of views concerning Pan-Americanism; that Mr. Blaine enjoyed the office and that his official labors during the Harrison Administration were of the highest distinction, showing his happiest characteristics. The difference as to duties that arose between the President and the Secretary was forgotten, and their mutual sympathies abounded, when there came upon them, in their households, the gravest, tenderest sorrows.
[Illustration: BLAINE'S GRAVE AT WASHINGTON, D.C. THE TREE AT THE LEFT MARKS THE HEAD OF THE GRAVE, AND THE FIRST OF THE THREE LOW STONES IN THE FOREGROUND, NUMBERING FROM THE LEFT, MARKS THE FOOT.
From a photograph by Miss F.B. Johnston.]
When Mr. Blaine was for the last time in New York on his way to Washington, stopping as was his habit at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, he asked me to walk with him to his room, fronting on Twenty-third Street, on the parlor floor; and he slowly, as if it were a task, unlocked the door. There was a sparkle of autumnal crispness in the air, and he had a fire, that glittered and threw shadows about fitfully. There was not much to say. It was plain at last that Mr. Blaine was fading, that he had within a few weeks failed fast. His great, bright eyes were greater than ever, but not so bright. His face was awfully white; not that brainy pallor that was familiar--something else! He seated himself in the light of the fire, on an easy-chair. There was a knock at his door, and a servant handed him a card, and he said: "No;" and we were alone. I could not think of a word of consolation; and in a moment he appeared to have forgotten me, and stared in a fixed, rapt dream at the flickering flame in the grate. It occurred to me to get up and go away quietly, as conversation was impossible--for there was too much to say. It came to me that I ought not to leave him alone. Something in him reminded me of the mystical phrases of the transcendent paragraph of his oration on Garfield, picturing the death of the second martyred President, by the ocean, while far off white ships touched the sea and sky, and the fevered face of the dying man felt "the breath of the eternal morning."
Some weeks earlier Mr. Blaine and I had had a deep talk about men and things, and he was very kind, and his boundless generosity of nature never revealed itself with a greater or sadder charm. He now remembered that conversation--as a word disclosed--and said: "I could have endured all things if my boys had not died." The door opened, and his secretary walked in--and I took Mr. Blaine's hand for the last time, saying, "Good-night," and he said, with a look that meant farewell--"Good-by."
His grave is on a slope that when I saw it was goldenly sunny, and the turf was strewn by his wife's hand with lilies--for it was Easter morning! Close at his left was a steep, grassy bank, radiantly blue with violets, and there was in the shining air the murmurous hum of bees, making a slumbrous, restful music. Blaine's monument is a hickory tree whose broken top speaks of storms, and at his feet is a stone white as new snow, and on it only--and they are enough--the initials "J.G.B.," that were the battle-cry of millions, and are and shall be always to memory dear.
[Footnote I: This related to a matter General Sherman had mentioned in another letter, and did not refer to the subject I was trying to get him to consider.]
[Footnote J: General Sherman differed in this judgment with Blaine and many Republicans who were not unfriendly to Arthur.]
THE NEW STATUE OF WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.
BY FRANK B. GESSNER.
The erection of an equestrian statue of General William Henry Harrison, in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a fitting but also a tardy commemoration of a man who rendered his State and the nation most distinguished services. For fifty years there has been talk of doing him honor in some such fashion, and even the statue which as this Magazine goes to press is being formally dedicated in Cincinnati (in the presence of a grandson of the subject who is himself an ex-President), has been completed for some years, and has been stowed away in dust and darkness because there was not public interest enough in the matter to meet the cost of setting it up.
Although now almost a forgotten figure, General Harrison was one of the ablest and worthiest of our public men. Born in Berkeley, Virginia, February 9, 1773, he grew to manhood with the close of the Revolution and the establishment of the national government. His father was the friend of Washington, and when the son went into the Western wilds he held a commission as ensign signed by the first of the Presidents. At the age of thirty he was a delegate in Congress from the Northwest Territory. For a succeeding decade he was governor of that wide stretch of country which in time he saw carved into States all owing much to his genius as warrior and statesman. In the second war with Great Britain he commanded the Western armies, and won the notable victories of Tippecanoe and the Thames. The first gave him a name which became the slogan of the Whigs in the memorable campaign of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." At the battle of the Thames fell Tecumseh, whose death broke the Indian power east of the Mississippi. After the war of 1812 General Harrison was successively Congressman, Senator of the United States, and Minister to Colombia.
[Illustration: STATUE OF WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, MADE FOR THE CITY OF CINCINNATI BY MR. L.T. REBISSO.
From a photograph by Landy, Cincinnati.]
Returning in 1830 to his home at North Bend, on the line between Indiana and Ohio, he lived more or less in retirement until 1836, when he was made the Whig candidate for President. He was defeated; but in 1840 he was again the nominee, and, after the greatest campaign of the century, was elected, defeating Martin Van Buren. The campaign of 1840 was called the "log-cabin and hard-cider" campaign, though the reputed log-cabin home of the Whig candidate was in reality a spacious mansion. General Harrison was inaugurated March 4, 1841, and on April 4, a month later, he died in the White House, a victim of exposure and the wearing importunities of office-seeking constituents. Something of the character of the man is disclosed in his last words, spoken four hours before his death. To whom he thought himself speaking can only be conjectured--Vice-President Tyler, some authorities claim; but he was heard by his physician to say: "Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more."
Physically, General Harrison has been described as "about six feet high," straight and rather slender, and of "a firm, elastic gait," even in his last years. He had "a keen, penetrating eye," a "high, broad and prominent" forehead, and "rather thin and compressed lips."
[Illustration: ANNA SYMMES HARRISON, WIFE OF PRESIDENT WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, AND GRANDMOTHER OF PRESIDENT BENJAMIN HARRISON.
From a painting in possession of the Harrison family.]
Mrs. Harrison was not with her husband at his death, and never became an inmate of the White House. For that reason there hangs on its walls no portrait of her, among those of the various ladies of the mansion. She was the daughter of John Cleves Symmes, a scion of the Colonial aristocracy. She loved better than the excitement of social life in Washington the domestic peace of her North Bend home and the society of her thirteen children, growing up in usefulness and honor. In her youth she had been a great belle, and she remained a beautiful woman even in her declining years. She was educated in that first fashionable school for young women in America founded by Isabella Graham in the city of New York. A sister, Polly Symmes, was also a famous beauty. They went together to share their father's fortunes in the unsettled West, and both found their fates in the hand of the Miamis. Polly married Peyton Short, who became a millionaire.
Mrs. Harrison had been detained by illness from going with her husband to witness the proudest event of his life, his inauguration; and she had purposed following him to Washington later in the spring, when the weather should be more favorable for the long, wearisome journey by stage-coach. But, alas! before the spring fully opened, instead of following him to Washington she was following his body to its silent, stone-walled tomb, overlooking the wide sweep of the Ohio southward. This noble woman lived to be eighty-nine and to see her grandson, Benjamin Harrison, now ex-President, a general in the Union army. She retained to the last much of her beauty and that sweetness of disposition which has endeared her memory to those of her blood who knew her best. She sleeps by the side of her husband in the old vault at North Bend.
The Cincinnati statue of General Harrison is the work of L.T. Rebisso, who made the statue of General McPherson which stands in one of the circular parks in Washington, and the equestrian statue of General Grant for the city of Chicago. Its cost, which, exclusive of the pedestal, is twenty-seven thousand dollars, is paid by the city. Mr. Rebisso has given a portrayal of Harrison unlike any of the more familiar pictures. These usually present a decrepit old man, from whose eye have vanished that fire of youth and flash of soul which made Harrison a leader of men. The Rebisso statue, as will be seen by the reproduction of it given herewith, presents a soldier in the full flower of vigorous manhood. And this conception is no mere ideal of fancy, but is taken from a portrait painted in 1812, which now hangs in the house of a grandchild of General Harrison near the old North Bend homestead.
[Illustration: THE SILENT WITNESS.]
THE SILENT WITNESS
BY HERBERT D. WARD
There are many hamlets in New Hampshire, five, ten miles or even more from the railroad station. To the chance summer visitor the seclusion and the rest seem entrancing. The glamour of mountain scenery and trout effectually obliterates the brave signs of poverty and struggle from before the irresponsive eyes of the man of city leisure. He carelessly gives the urchin, mutely pleading in front of the unpainted farm-house, a few cents for his corrugated cake of maple-sugar, and asks the name of a distant peak. If he should notice, how would he know the meaning of the scant crops of hay and potatoes, or of the empty stall? Sealed to him is the pathos in the history of the owners of the stone farm. His thoughts scarcely glance at the piteous wife plaiting straw hats; the only son, whose rare happiness consists in a barn dance in the village three miles below, and whose large eyes contract with increasing age, and lose all expression except that of anxiety.
There was a time perhaps when the backbone of the New World used to be straightened by men of a mountain birth. The question whether the hills of Vermont and New Hampshire produce giants of trade or law to-day as they did fifty years ago, is an open one. So the grand old stock is run out of the soil? And is it replaced by the sons and grandsons of those sturdy farmers themselves, who buy back the rickety homesteads, and remodel them into summer cottages?
Michael Angelo said that "men are worth more than money," and if what was an axiom then is true in these fallen days of purse worship, Mrs. Abraham Masters was the richest woman under the range of Mount Kearsarge. For her son Isaac was the tallest, the strongest, the tenderest, and truest boy in the county; but her farm of a hundred acres, the only inheritance from a dead husband, was about the poorest, most unprofitable, and most inaccessible collection of boulders in the mountains.
It was situated upon the cold shoulder of a hill, sixteen miles from the nearest station. The three-mile trail which led from the village would have been easier to travel could it have boasted a corduroy road. What a site for a hotel! Yet the hotel did not materialize, and the "view" neither fed nor warmed nor clothed the patient proprietors of the desolate spot.
"Never mind, I reckon we'll pull through," Isaac used to comfort his mother.
"You're a good boy, Ikey. If the Lord is willin', I guess I am," she answered with quaint devoutness.
But the Lord did not seem to be willing, and one spring He caused a late frost in June to kill most of the seed, and a drouth in July and August to wither what was left, and starvation stared in the faces of the widow and her son. At this time, Isaac began to "keep company," and to talk of getting married in the next decade. He was twenty-two, and had a faithful, saving disposition, when there was anything to save. And whether he became engaged because there was nothing but love to harvest, or whether, woman-like, Abbie Faxon loved him better than she did her other suitors because of his poverty and misery, and was willing to tell him so, I cannot pretend to decide. At any rate, Isaac brought Abbie one afternoon from the village, three miles below, and the two women kissed and wept, and Isaac went out and stood alone facing the view; the apple in his throat rose and fell, and great tears blinded his sight.
We can make no hero of Isaac, for he was none. His heart was as simple and as clean as a pebble in a brook. Country vices had not smirched him. He had a mind only for his mother, and the farm, and earning a living--and a heart for Abbie. Great thoughts did not invade his head. But this afternoon, as he stood there on the gray rock, his heart bursting with his happiness, which was made perfect by his mother's blessing, an apprehension for the future--bitter, breathless, began to arouse him. The promise of the horizon suddenly became revealed to him. The distant line of green, now bold, now sinuous, now uncertain, had never asked him questions before, had never exasperated him with a meaning.
But now he saw the tips of spires flecking the verdure of the far-off valleys. He saw the hurrying smoke of a locomotive. He saw with awakening vision, starting from that dead farm of his, the region of trade and life. A film had fallen from his eyes. The energetic arrow of love had touched his ambition, and his round, rosy face became indented with lines of resolve. He turned and walked with a new tread into the house.
"Mother! Abbie!" he blurted out, "I'm going away. I'm going to Boston." He stopped and stammered as he saw the horror-stricken faces before him.
"Ikey! Air you teched?"
"No," he resumed stoutly, "I be'ant. There's Dan Prentiss--he went--see what he done; and Uncle Bill, he--"
"We hain't heard nothing from your Uncle Bill since he sot out. That was twelve years ago, the spring your father built them three feet on the shed." Mrs. Masters spoke firmly.
"Never mind, mother, I'm going to Boston, and I will come back. I'm going to earn my livin'. I'm strong and willin', and as able as Dan Prentiss. Ye needn't be scared, I ain't going yet. I'll finish up the fall work fust. I'm going for the winter anyway, and Abbie'll come an' live with you, mother--won't you, Abbie, dear? She's the only mother you've got now. Your folks can spare you."
Here Abbie announced bravely, "I will, Ikey, if you must go."
She blushed deeply as she said it, and the sight of her pretty color so moved the young man that, having the bashfulness of his native crops, he rushed out into the glory of the sunset, and sat upon the granite boulder watching until the gray, the purple, and then the black had washed out the white steeples from the distant valley.
Isaac Masters was of the boulder type. How many decades was the smooth, worn rock in front of his house riding on the crest of a glacier until it reached its halt? But now it would need a double charge of dynamite to shake it from its base. It generally took the mountain lad days, perhaps weeks, to make up his mind, even upon such a simple problem as the quantity of grain his horse should have at a feed when the spring planting began; but when once his intention was fixed it withstood all opposition. But this time he was astonished at his own temerity of mind, as his mother and sweetheart were; and the more profoundly he pondered over the gravest decision of his life, the more did it seem to him an inspiration, perhaps from the Deity himself.
But Isaac was formed in too simple and honest a mould to delude the two women or himself with iridescent dreams of success. He had worked on the ragged farm bitterly, incessantly. He had fought the rocks, and the weeds, and the soil, the frost and the drouth, as one fights for his life, and never had a thought of food or of comfort visited him unaccompanied by the necessity for labor.
"I can work fourteen hours a day, mother, and live upon pork and beans, as well as the next man." He stood to his full height, displaying to the pale woman the outlines of massive muscular development. His hands were huge and callous, their grip the terror of his mates after a husking bee. He had measured his great strength but once; that was in the dead of winter, with the snow drifted five feet deep between the barn and the house. A heifer, well grown, had been taken sick, and needed warmth for recovery. Isaac swung the sick beast over his shoulders, holding its legs two in each hand before his head, and strode through the storm, subduing the battling snow with as much ease as he did the bellowing calf. His mother met him at the woodshed door. Behind the gladiator rose the forbidding background of a stark mountain range; but to her astonished and unfocussed sight, her son seemed greater than the mountain, and more compelling than its peaks. From that hour his whisper was her law; and from that day--for how could the adoring mother help telling her quarterly caller all about the heifer?--Isaac had no more wrestling matches in the valley.
August burned into September, and September, triumphant in her procession of royal colors, marched into October, the month of months. Mrs. Masters had already completed her pathetic preparations for her son's departure. There, in the family carpet-bag, which his father had carried with him on his annual trip to Portland, were stowed a half dozen pairs of well-darned woollen stockings, the few decent shirts that Isaac had left, his winter flannels, which had already served six years, his comb and brush, a hand mirror that had been one of his mother's wedding presents, likewise a couple of towels that had formed a part of her self-made trousseau; and we must not forget the neckties that Abbie had sewed from remnants of her dresses, and which Isaac naïvely considered masterpieces of the haberdasher's art.
At the mouth of the deep bag Mrs. Masters tucked a Bible which fifty years ago had been presented to her husband by his Sunday-school teacher as a prize for regular attendance. This inscription was written in a wavering hand upon the blank page:
"_In the eighth year of the reign of Josiah, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father_.-- 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3."
"For," said Mrs. Masters softly to Abbie, after she had read the inscription aloud, and had patted the book affectionately, "this is the first prize my Josiah ever had, an' the Lord knows he thought more on it than he did of Lucy, his mare. An' if there should happen any accident to Isaac, they'd find by opening of his bag that ef he was alone in a far country he was a Christian, nor ashamed of it, neither."
Isaac had only money enough saved up to take him as far as Boston, and to board him in the cheapest way for several days.
"If I can't work," he said proudly, straightening to his full height, "no one can!"
It is just such country lads as this--strong, self-reliant, religious--who, when poverty has projected them out of her granite mountains upon granite pavements, each as hard and bleak as the other, by massive determination have conquered a predestined success.
Too soon, for those who were to be left behind, the day of separation came. Mrs. Masters's haggard face and Abbie's red eyes told of unuttered misery.
But Isaac did not notice these signs of distress. He was absorbed in his future. The last bustle was over, the last breakfast gulped down amid forced smiles and ready tears, the last button sewed on at the last moment; and now Mrs. Masters's lunch of mince pie, apples, and doughnuts was tenderly tucked into the jaws of the carpet-bag; thereby disturbing a love letter that Abbie had hidden there. A young neighbor had volunteered to drive Isaac down the mountain to the station.
[Illustration: "MOVE ON, WILL YER!"]
"All aboard! Hurry up, Ike!" cried this young person, consulting his silver watch, and casting a look of mingled commiseration and envy upon the giant, locked in the arms of the two women, who hardly reached to the second button of his coat. Isaac caught the glance, and started to tear himself away. But his mother laid her gnarled hand gently upon his arm, and led him into the unused parlor.
"Just a minute, Abbie dear, I want to be alone with my boy," she waved the girl back. "Then you can have him last. It's my right an' your'n!"
She closed the door, and led him under the crayon portrait of his father, framed in immortelles. She raised her arms, and he stooped that they might clasp about his neck.
"Isaac," she said hoarsely, "I ain't no longer young nor very strong. Remember 'fore you go away from the farm that you're the son of an honest man, an' a pious woman, and"--dropping with great solemnity into scriptural language--"I beseech you, my son, not to disgrace your godly name."
With partings like this the primitive Christians must have sent their sons into the whirlwind of the world.
Then Isaac broke down for the first time, and with the tears streaming, he lifted his mother bodily in his arms, and promised her, and kissed her. "Mother trusts you, Ikey," was all she could say. But his time had come. There was a crunching of wheels.
"Now go to Abbie. Leave me here! Good-by; you have always been a good boy, dear." Mrs. Masters's voice sank into a whisper; the strong man, moved as he was, could not comprehend her exhaustion.
Abbie was waiting for him at the door, and he went to her. The impatient wagon had gone down the road. They were to cut through the pasture, and meet it at the brook. There they were to part.
They clasped hands. Isaac turned. A gaunt, gray face, broken, helpless, hopeless, peered out beneath the green paper shade of the parlor window. If he had known--a doubt crossed his brain, but the girl twitched his hand, and the cloud scattered. Down the hill they ran, down, until the brook was reached. There they stood, panting, breathless, listening. There were only a few minutes left, and they hid behind an oak tree and clasped.
* * * * *
It was long after dark when the train came to its halt in its vaulted terminus. It was due at seven, but an excursion on the road delayed it until after nine. However, this did not disconcert Isaac Masters. He hurried out to the front of the station, where the row of herdics greeted him savagely. Carrying his father's old carpet-bag, he looked from his faded hat to his broad toes the ideal country bumpkin; yet his head was not turned by the rumbling of the pavements, the whiz of the electrics, the blaze of the arc lights, nor by the hectic inhalations that seem to comprehend all the human restlessness of a city just before it retires to sleep. His breath came faster, and his great chest rose and fell; these were the only indications of acclimation. Isaac had started from home absolutely without any "pull" or introduction but his own willingness to work. Utterly ignorant of the city, and knowing no one in it, on the way down in the train he had marked out a line of conduct from which he determined not to be swerved.
To the mountain mind the policeman becomes the embodiment of a righteously executed law. At home, their only constable was one of the most respected men in the community. Isaac argued from experience--and how else should he? This was his syllogism:
A policeman is the most respectable of men in my town.
This man before me is a policeman.
Therefore he must be the most upright man in the city. I will go to him for advice.
The city casuist might have smiled at the major premise--and laughed at the ingenuous conclusion. Yet if brass buttons, a cork hat and a "billy" are the emblems of guardianship and probity, the country boy has the right argument on his side, and the casuist none at all.
It never occurred to Isaac that the policeman could either make a mistake of judgment, or meditate one. Therefore he approached the guardian of the peace confidently.
This gentleman, who had noticed the traveller as soon as he had emerged from the depot, awaited his approach with becoming dignity. The patronage and disdain that the metropolis feels for the hamlet were in his air.
"Excuse me, sir--I want to ask you--" began Isaac, after a proper obeisance.
"Move on, will yer!"
"But I wanted to ask you--"
"Phwat are ye blockin' up the road fur, young man?"
"I want you to help me!"
"The ---- you do!" He looked about ferociously. "Look here, sonny, if ye don't move along, an' have plenty of shtyle about it, I'll help ye to the lock-up--so help me--!"
Isaac looked down upon the man, whom he could have crushed with one swoop of his hands. The consternation of his first broken ideal possessed his heart. With a deadly pallor upon his face, he hurried up the clanging street, and the coarse laughter of brutes tingled in his ears. He swallowed this rough inhospitality, which is the hemlock that poisons country faith. Take from the pavement enough dust to cover the point of a penknife, and insert it in the arm of a child, and in a week it will be dead with tetanus. After this first encounter with the protectors of the people, Isaac felt as if his soul had been bedaubed with mud. He experienced a contracting tetanus of the heart. Had he not planned all the lonesome day to cast himself upon the kindness of the first policeman whom he saw? What other guide or protector was there left for him in the strange city? The rebuff which he had received half annihilated his intelligence.
[Illustration: "AM--I--IMPRISONED BECAUSE I AM FRIENDLESS AND POOR? IS THIS YOUR LAW?"]
Isaac could no more put up at the great hotel he saw on his right than the majority of us can take a trip to Japan. Isaac hurried on. Why did he leave home? The fear of a great city is more teasing than the terror of a wilderness or of a desert. There the trees or the rocks or the sand befriends you. But in the city the penniless stranger has no part in people or home or doorsteps. Every one's heart is against him. It is the anguish of hunger amid plenty, the rattling of thirst amid rivers of wine, the serration of loneliness amid humanity thicker than barnacles upon a wharf pile. Such a terror--not of cowardice, but of friendlessness--seized Isaac Masters, and a foreboding that he might possibly fail after all made his spine tingle. Still he drove on. He had passed through the main street--or across it--he did not know--until the electric lights cast dim shadows, until stately banks had given way to unkempt brick fronts, until the glittering bar-rooms had been exchanged for vulgar saloons--until--
Masters came to a sudden halt, and dropping his bag, uttered a loud cry. The curtained door of a grog-shop opened upon him. A hatless man dashed out, swearing horribly, and all but fell into Isaac's arms. With a cry of terror the runner dodged the pedestrian, and bolted down the street. Not twenty feet behind him bounded his pursuer.
By this time the country boy had slipped into the shadow of the building, where he could see without being seen. In that moment Isaac caught sight of a dazed group of men within, and the profile of the pursuer against the hot light of the saloon. He saw a brute holding a pistol in his out-stretched hand. Before Isaac understood the situation, the weapon shot out two flames and two staccato reports. These were followed by the intense silence which is like the darkness upon the heels of lightning.
Isaac's eyes were now strained upon the creature who was shot. He saw the man stagger, throw up his hands, and fall. He heard a groan. At that time the murderer with the smoking revolver was not more than ten paces away. As he fired, he had stopped. When he saw his victim fall, he gave a hoarse laugh.
By this time the lights in the saloon were put out, and its occupants had fled. The rustle of human buzzards flocking to the tragedy had begun. A motion that the murderer made to escape aroused the New Hampshire boy to a fierce sense of justice. A few bounds brought him by the side of the ruffian, who looked upon him with astonishment, and then with inflamed fear. Isaac furiously struck the pointed pistol to the pavement, and grasped the fellow's waist. Then he knew that he had almost met his match. Isaac held his opponent's left arm by the wrist, and tightened the vise. The murderer held the boy around his neck with a contracting grip such as only a prize-fighter understands. Neither spoke a word. It was power--power against skill.
There was a crash and a cry and a fall. But not until Isaac knew that the man under him was helpless did he utter a sound. Then he called: "Police! Police!"
The answer was a blinding blow upon the crown of his head. Then, before his head swam away into unconsciousness, he felt a strange thing happen to his wrists.
* * * * *
The first lieutenant, the captain, and the superintendent are different beings from the officer of the street, who has no gilt stripes upon his sleeves. The one, having passed through all grades, is supposed to have been chosen not only because of his fidelity and bravery, but because of his discriminating gentleness or gentlemanliness. The other, a private of the force, often a foreigner, with foreign instincts, and eager for promotion (that is, he means to make as many arrests as possible), confuses the difference between rudeness and authority, brutality and law. By the time he is a sergeant sense has been schooled into him, and he ought to know better.
The superintendent looked at Isaac steadily and not unkindly, while he listened to the officer's story.
"Off with those bracelets!" he said, sternly.
Isaac Masters regarded the superintendent gratefully. For the first time since he had been rebuffed by the station policeman, his natural expression of trust returned to his face.
"I'll forgive him," said the boy of a simple, Christian education. "It was dark--and he made a mistake." Isaac wiped the clotted blood from his cheeks. "Can I go now?"
Even a less experienced man than the white-haired superintendent would have known that the young man before him could no more have committed a crime or told an untruth than an oak. The policeman who had clubbed him, perhaps with the best intentions in the world, hung his head.
"Let me hear your story first." The superior officer spoke in his most fatherly tones. He really pitied the country lad.
"What is your name? Where do you come from? How did you get there? Tell me all about it. Here, sergeant, get him a glass of water, first."
"Perhaps a little whiskey would do him good," suggested a night-hawk who had just opened the door of the reporters' room. Blood acts terribly upon even the most stolid imagination. Beneath that red-streaked mask it needed all the experience of the superintendent to recognize the innocence of a juvenile heart. As Isaac in indignant refusal turned his disfigured head upon the youthful representative of an aged paper, he seemed to the thoughtless reporter the incarnation of a wounded beast. The young fellow opened the door, and beckoned his mates in to see the new show that was enacting before them. It is only fair to say that it is due to the modern insanity of the press for prying into private affairs that the worst phase of the tragedy I am relating came to pass.
Isaac Masters told his story eagerly and simply.
"I have done nothing to be arrested for," he ended, looking at the superintendent with his round, honest eyes. "I only did my duty as anybody else would. Now let me go. Tell me, Mr. Officer, where I can get a decent night's lodging, for I am going home to-morrow. I've had enough of this city. I want to go home!"
Something like a sob sounded in the throat of the huge boy as he came to this pathetic end. Every man in the station, from the most hardened observer of crime to the youngest reporter of misery, was moved. Isaac himself, still dizzy from the effects of the blow, nauseated by the prison smell, the indescribable odor of crime which no disinfectants can overcome, confounded by the surroundings into which he had been cast, and trembling with the nameless apprehension that all honest people feel when drawn into the arms of the law, swayed and swooned again.
The sergeant and the reporters (for they were not without kind hearts) busied themselves with bringing him to. From an opposite bench the murderer lowered, between scowls of pain, upon the man who had crushed him. There had been revealed to him a simplicity of soul residing in a body of iron. He saw that the country lad had fainted, not from physical weakness, but because of mental anguish. Such an apparent disparity between mind and body had not been brought to the saloon-keeper's experience before.
"He is the only witness, you say, officer?" inquired the chief. "Are you sure?"
"We'll have to hold him, then. It's a great pity. I don't suppose he could get a ten-dollar bail." The superintendent shook his gray head thoughtfully. His subordinates did the same, with an exaggerated air of distress.
"Where am I? Oh!" What horror in that exhalation, as Isaac realized the place he was in! He staggered to his feet.
"Give me my bag, quick!" he exclaimed. "I will go."
"I'm afraid you can't go yet." The superintendent spoke as if he hated to do his duty.
"Not go? Why not? You have no right to hold an innocent man!"
"In cases of assault and murder, the witnesses must be held until they can furnish bail. That is the law." The white-haired man hurried his explanation, as if he were ashamed of it.
"I will come back."
The officer shook his head.
"I give you my word I will." Isaac clasped the rail pleadingly.
"I'll have to lock you up to-night; the judge will settle the amount of your bail to-morrow."
"Lock me up? I tell you I have no friends here! How can I get bail? Where will you put me?"
"Show him his cell," replied the chief to his sergeant.
"Come along," said the policeman kindly. "All witnesses are treated that way. We'll give you the most comfortable quarters we've got."
He took Isaac by the arm after the professional manner. The young man flung off the touch. For an instant his eyes swept the station menacingly. What if he should exert his strength! There were two--three--four officers in the room. He might even overpower these, and dash for liberty. He saw the livid reflection of electric lights through the windows. Unconsciously he contracted his sinews, and tightened his muscles until they were rigid. Then the hopelessness of his position burst upon him like a red strontian fire. He felt blasted by his disgrace.
"What are you doing to me?" he cried out. "Put me in prison? My God! This will kill my mother!"
The next morning at ten o'clock Tom Muldoon was released on ten thousand dollars bail. The surety was promptly furnished by the alderman of the--th Ward. Muldoon was to present himself before the grand jury, which met the first Monday in each month. As this was the beginning of the month, his appearance could not be required for three weeks at least, and by mutual agreement of the district attorney and the counsel for the defendant, action might be put off for one or even for two months more, pending the recovery or eventual death of the assaulted. This would give the saloon-keeper plenty of time for the two ribs that Isaac Masters had crushed, to mend!
There are sensitive men and women who would go insane after spending an innocent night in a cell. In the dryest, the largest, the best of them there is everything to debase the manhood and nauseate the soul. The tin cup on the grated window-sill, half-filled with soup which the last occupant left; the cot to the right of the hopeless door, made of two boards and one straw mattress; and that necessity which is the nameless horror of such a narrow incarceration--that which suffocates and poisons; then the flickering jet up the concrete corridor, casting such fitful shadows by the prisoner's side that he starts from his cot in terror to touch the phantoms lest they be real; the alternate waves of choking heat and harrowing cold; the hammering of the steam-pipes; the curses, the groans, and the eruptive breathing of the sleeping and the drunken; the thoughts of home, and friends, and irreparable disgrace; the feeble hope that, after all, the family will not hear of this so far away; and the despair because they will--mad visions of suicide; blasphemy, repentant tears and prayers, each chasing the other amid the persistent thought that all things are impotent but freedom. Oh, what a night! What a night!
There are souls that have existed five, ten years under the courtine of Catharine in the Petropavlovskaya Fortress--drugged, tortured, at last killed like rats in a hole. All the while the maledict banner of the Romanoffs writhes above them. What has been the power to keep alive thousands of prisoners in those bastions, beyond the natural endurance of the flesh? The glory of principle.
No wonder that a ghastly face and haggard eyes and wavering steps followed the keeper to the American court-room the next morning; for nothing could be tortured into a principle to stimulate Isaac's courage. It is easy to die for right, but not for wrong.
There were three short flights of iron that led past tiers of cells, through the tombs, into the prisoner's dock. Isaac dully remembered the huge coils of steam-pipe that curled up the side of the wall. He thought of pythons. As he passed by, the prisoners awaiting sentence held the rods of their doors in their hands, like monkeys, and swore, and laughed, and shot questions at the keeper as he passed along.
"Have you no friends in the city?" proceeded the judge, after he had examined the witness.
Isaac shook his head disconsolately. "I have about five dollars; that is all, and my bag--and, sir, my character."
"Then I am afraid I shall have to hold you over in default of bail until the trial." The judge nodded to the sheriff to bring on the next case.
"Where are you taking me?"
"To the City Jail," answered the sheriff curtly. "Come along!" With a mighty effort Isaac wrenched himself loose, and strode to the bar.
"Judge!" he cried. "Judge, you wouldn't do that! Let me go! I will come back on the trial. Look at me, Judge! What have I done? Why should I be sent to prison? I am an honest man!"
But the judge was used to such scenes, and he turned his head wearily away.
"The law requires the government to hold the witness in default of bail, in cases of capital crime." The judge was a kind man, and he tried to do a kind act by explaining the subtle process of the law again to the lad. When he had done this, he nodded. And now the men approached Isaac to remove him, by force if necessary. But the New Hampshire boy stood before the bar of justice stolidly. His eyes wandered aimlessly, and his lips muttered. Paralysis swept near him at that instant.
"Am--I--imprisoned because I am friendless and poor? Is this your law?"
The judge shrugged his shoulders, but many in the court-room felt uncomfortable.
"Then," spoke Isaac Masters, rising to his greatest height, and uplifting his hand as if to call God to witness, "if this is law--damn your law!" It was his first and last oath. Every man in the room started to his feet at the utterance of that supreme legal blasphemy. But the judge was silent. What sentence might he not inflict for such contempt of court? What sentence could he? The witness had no money, wherewith to be fined, and he was going to prison at any rate. The judge was great enough to put himself in Isaac's place. He stroked his beard meditatively.
"Remove the witness," he said. This was sentence enough. Although two officers advanced cautiously, as if prepared for a tussle, a babe might have led the giant unto the confines of Hades by the pressure of its little finger. For Isaac wept.
[Illustration: "OH, MY GOD!" HE SOBBED. "MY GOD! MY GOD!"]
* * * * *
There were two other witnesses in the white-washed cell to which Isaac was assigned. It was on the south side, and large, and sunny, and often the door was left unlocked; but the cell looked out into a crumbling grave-yard. One of these witnesses was a boy of about eighteen, pale to the suggestion of a mortal disease. It did not take Isaac long to find out that this complexion did not indicate consumption, but was only prison pallor. The other prisoner was less pathetic as to color, but he was listless and discouraged. The only amusement of these men consisted in chewing tobacco in enormous quantities, playing surreptitious games of high-low-jack, in reading the daily paper, a single magazine, and waiting for the sun to enter the barred window, and watching it in the afternoon as it slipped away. These two men tried to cheer the new comer in a rude, hearty way; but when the country lad learned that they had been in detention for six months already, held by the government as main witnesses against the first mate of their brig, their words were as dust. They only choked him.
"What did you do," Isaac asked, "to get you in such a scrape?"
"We saw the mate shoot the cook; that's all."
"If I'd known," said the pale boy, with, a look out of the window, "how Uncle Sam keeps us so long--I wished I hadn't said nothing. But we get a dollar a day; that's something." And with a sigh that he meant to engulf with his philosophy, the boy turned his face away, so that Isaac should not suspect the tears that salted the flavor of the coarse tobacco.
The dark outlook, the blind future, the hopeless cell, the disordered table, the lazy life that deadened all activity but that of the imagination, the lack of vigorous air, the lounging companionship, but, above all things, the thought of his mother and Abbie, and the brooding over what he dared to call an outrage perpetrated, in the name of the law, upon himself--these things made a turmoil of Isaac's brain. There was a daily conflict between the Christian and the criminal way of looking at his irreparable misfortune which he was surprised to find that even the possession of his father's Bible could not control.
There were times when it needed all his intelligence to keep him from springing on the keeper, and running amuck in the ward-room, simply for the sake of uttering a violent, brutal protest. Then there were hours when he was too exhausted to leave his cot. At such a time he wrote a letter, his first letter to his mother, and he made the keeper promise to have it mailed so that no one could possibly suspect that it started from a prison.
"DEAR MOTHER"--it ran--"I have not written to you for three weeks since I have been here, because I have been sick. I am now in a very safe place, and am doing pretty well. I clear my food and board and seventy-five cents a day. I have not been paid yet. I think you had better not write to me until I can give you a permanent address. I read my Bible every day and love you more dearly than ever. I have tried to do my duty as you would have me. Give my love to Abbie. I will write soon again.
"Ever your affectionate son,
The simpleton! Could he not suspect that country papers copy from city columns all that is of special local interest, and more? And did he not know that it is one of the disgraces of modern journalism that no department is so copiously edited, annotated, and illustrated as that of criminal intelligence?
Could he not surmise that on the Saturday following his incarceration the very mountains rang with the news? That it should be mangled and turned topsy-turvy, and that in the eyes of his simple-minded neighbors he should be thought of as the murderer, by reason of his great strength? For how could it come into the intelligence of law-abiding citizens and law-respecting people, that a man should be shut up in prison, no matter what the newspapers said, unless he had _done_ something to deserve it? What did the mountaineers know about the laws of bail, and habeas corpus? And could such news, gossiped by one neighbor, repeated by another, confirmed by a third, fail to reach the desolate farm-house in which a woman, feeble, old and faint of heart, lay trembling between life and death?
The grand jury meets on the first Monday of each month to indict those for trial against whom reasonable proofs of guilt are obtained. The saloon loafer had been shot in the groin, and pending his injuries indictment was waived. In proportion as the wound proved serious and the recovery prolonged, trial was postponed.
Isaac Masters had now been locked up six weeks. He had not yet heard from home, and had only written once. About noon, one day, the keeper came to tell him that a woman wished to see him. Isaac thought that it was his mother, and the shame of meeting her in the guard-room surrounded by tiers upon tiers of murderers and thieves and petty criminals overcame him. The man of strength sat down on his cot, and putting his hands over his white face, trembled violently. The guard, who knew that Isaac was an innocent man, spoke to him kindly.
"Go! go!" said the prisoner in a voice of agony, "and tell my mother that I will be right there."
"Mother!" ejaculated the guard. "She's the youngest mother for a man of your size I ever see." He winked at the sailor, and went.
Then Isaac knew that it was Abbie, who had come alone, and he tightened his teeth and lips together, and went down.
Isaac slowly came down the perforated iron stairs that were attached to his prison wing like an inside fire-escape. On the bench in the middle of the guard-room sat Abbie--a little, helpless thing she seemed to him--facing the entrance, as if she feared to remove her eyes from the door that led to freedom.
Abbie was greatly changed. She was dressed in black. If Isaac had been a free man, this fact would have startled him. As it was, he was so spent with suffering that his dulled mind could not understand it. At first Abbie did not recognize her hearty lover. His huge frame was gaunt and wasted. His ruddy face was white, and his cheeks hung in folds like moulded putty. His country clothes dropped about him aimlessly. From crown to foot he had been devastated by unmerited disgrace. Grief may glorify; but the other ravages.
This meeting between the lovers was singularly undramatic. Each shrank a little from the other. They shook hands quietly. His was burning; her's like a swamp in October dew. He sat down beside her on the bench awkwardly, while the deputy looked at them with careless curiosity. He was used to nothing but tragedy and crime, and to his experienced mind the two had become long ago confused.
"Mother?" asked Isaac, nervously moving his feet. "Didn't she get my letter?"
The girl nodded gravely, tried to meet his eyes, and then looked away. Tears fell unresisted down her cheeks. She made no attempt to wipe them off. It was as if she were too well acquainted with them to check their flow.
Then the truth began to filter through Isaac's bewebbed intellect. He spread his knees apart, rested his arms upon them, and bent his head to his hands. His great figure shook.
"Oh, my God!" he sobbed. "My God! My God!"
"Oh, don't, Isaac, don't!" Abbie put her hand upon his head as if he had been her boy. "Your mother was as happy as could be. She was happy to die. We buried her yesterday!"
How could she tell him that his mother had died of grief--too sorely smitten to bear it--for his sake?
But Isaac's head rose and fell--rose and fell rhythmically between his hands. His breath came in low groans, like that of an animal smitten dead by a criminally heavy load.
"She sent her love before she passed away. She wanted you to come back to the farm as soon as you could. She believed in you, Ikey, even if you were in prison. She said Paul was in prison, and that it was a terrible mistake. She knew your father's son would not depart from his God!"
As Abbie uttered this simple confession of country faith, the pitiful man lifted up his eyes from the tiled floor and looked at her gratefully. His dry lips moved, and he tried to speak.
"Yes," was all he said, with fierce humility. Then the lack of breath choked him.
"She made me promise not to give you up, and to come and see you. Of course you are innocent, Ikey?" Abbie did not look at him.
"Yes," he answered mechanically.
"I know," she said softly.
Of what use were more words? They would only beat like waves against the granite of his broken heart. The two sat silent for a time. Then Abbie said, "I must go." She edged a little towards him, and touched his coat.
"When will you come out? I will explain it all to the minister and the neighbors. We will be married as soon as you come home. She wanted us to! Oh, Ikey! Oh, Ikey! My poor--poor boy!"
Isaac arose unsteadily. It was time for her to go, for the turnkey had nodded to him.
A fierce, mad indignation at his fate and what it had wrought upon his mother and upon his honorable name blinded him. He did not even say good-by, but left the girl standing in the middle of the guard-room alone. At any cost he must get back to his cell. Supposing his mind should give way before he got there? He staggered to the stairway. He threw his hands up, and groped on the railing. A blindness struck him before he had mounted two steps. He did not hear a woman's shriek, nor the rushing of feet, nor the sound of his own fall.
When he awaked, he was alone in the witness cell; and when he put his white hands to his hair, he felt that his head was shaven. The chipper prison doctor told him that he was getting nicely over a brain fever.
* * * * *
It was three months after this before the case of Tom Muldoon came upon the docket. The man whom the saloon-keeper had shot had but just been declared out of clanger and on the road to recovery.
When the case was called, the district attorney arose from his desk under the bench, and represented to the court that as for some unforeseen reason the said Frank Stevens, who had been maliciously and wilfully assaulted and shot by the said Tom Muldoon, had refused to prosecute, the prosecution rested upon the government, which would rely upon the direct evidence of one witness to sustain the case.
The district attorney, who was an unbought man, and whose future election depended upon the number of convictions he secured for the State, now opened his case with such decision, vigor, and masterful certainty that the policemen and other friends of the defendant began to quake for the boss of the--th Ward.
"And now, your honor, I will call to the witness-stand a young man of stainless life, whom the government has held as a witness since the brutal assault was committed. He is in the custody of the sheriff of the county, Isaac Masters!"
All eyes turned to the door at the left of the bench. There was a bustle of expectancy, and a pallor upon the face of Tom Muldoon.
"Isaac Masters!" repeated the attorney impatiently. "Will the court officer produce the witness?"
The judge rapped his pencil on the desk in a nervous tattoo. Above all things he detested delay.
"I hope Your Honor will grant me a few moments," said the attorney, annoyed. "The witness must surely be here directly."
"It can go over--" began the judge indulgently, when he was interrupted by the entrance of the sheriff of the county himself. This man beckoned to the district attorney, and the two whispered together with the appearance of great excitement.
"Well?" said the judge, yawning. "Produce your witness."
But the attorney for the government came back to his place slowly, with head bent. He was very pale, and evidently much shaken. The saloon-keeper's face expanded with hope, as he leaned aside and whispered to a friendly wardman.
What was the evidence? Where was the witness? Silent? Why? The question flashed from face to face in the court-room. Had he escaped? Or been spirited away? Such things had been known to happen. Or had he become insane during his incarceration? Such things had been known to happen, too. Gentlemen of the law! Gentlemen of the jury! Sheriff of the county! Judge of the Superior Court! Where is the witness? We demand him on penalty of contempt. Contempt of your Honorable Court? Contempt of court!
What? Is he not here? After all this cost to the State, and to the man? Why has he not met his enforced appointment? If not here, why was the innocent witness suffocated behind bars and walls, while the murderer was free to dispense rum?
"Your Honor," began the attorney, with white lips, "a most unfortunate occurrence has happened, one that the government truly deplores. The witness has been suddenly called away. In fact, Your Honor--hem!--in short, I have been informed by the sheriff that the witness cannot answer to the summons of the court. He is disqualified from subpoena. In fact, Your Honor, the witness died this morning."
The lawyer took out his handkerchief ostentatiously. He then bent to his papers with shaking hands. He looked them over carefully while the court held its breath.
"As the government is not in possession of any evidence against Muldoon, I move to nolle prosequi the case."
"It is granted," said the judge, with a keen glance at the bloated prisoner, whom wardmen and officers of the law were already congratulating profusely.
"Order!" continued the judge. "Prisoner, stand up! You are allowed to go upon your own recognizance in the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars."
The next case was called, a new crowd entered the vitiated room, and the court proceeded with its routine as if nothing unusual had happened.
And the silent witness has passed out of every memory but mine, and that of one poor girl mourning in the New Hampshire hills.
[Illustration: THE SUN'S LIGHT]
THE SUN'S LIGHT
BY SIR ROBERT BALL,
LOWNDEAN PROFESSOR OF ASTRONOMY AND GEOMETRY AT CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND; FORMERLY ROYAL ASTRONOMER OF IRELAND.
The light of the great orb of day emanates solely from a closely fitting robe of surpassing brightness. The great bulk of the sun which lies within that brilliant mantle is comparatively obscure, and might at first seem to play but an unimportant part so far as the dispensing of light and heat is concerned. It may indeed be likened to the coal-cellar from whence are drawn the supplies that produce the warmth and brightness of the domestic hearth; while the brilliant robe where the sun develops its heat corresponds to the grate in which the coal is consumed. With regard to the thickness of the robe, we might liken this brilliant exterior to the rind of an orange, while the gloomy interior regions would correspond to the edible portion of the fruit. Generally speaking, the rind of the orange is rather too coarse for the purpose of this illustration. It might be nearer the truth to affirm that the luminous part of the sun may be compared to the delicate filmy skin of the peach. There can be no doubt that if this glorious veil were unhappily stripped from the sun, the great luminary would forthwith lose its powers of shedding forth light and heat. The spots which we see so frequently to fleck the dazzling surface, are merely rents in the brilliant mantle through which we are permitted to obtain glimpses of the comparatively non-luminous interior.
As the ability of the sun to warm and light this earth arises from the peculiar properties of the thin glowing shell which surrounds it, a problem of the greatest interest is presented in an inquiry as to the material composition of this particular layer of solar substance. We want, in fact, to ascertain what that special stuff can be which enables the sun to be so useful to us dwellers on the earth. This great problem has been solved, and the result is extremely interesting and instructive; it has been discovered that the material which confers on the sun its beneficent power is also a material which is found in the greatest abundance on the earth, where it fulfils purposes of the very highest importance. Let us see, in the first place, what is the most patent fact with regard to the structure of this solar mantle possessed of a glory so indescribable. It is perfectly plain that it is not composed of any continuous solid material. It has a granular character which is sometimes perceptible when viewed through a powerful telescope, but which can be seen more frequently and studied more satisfactorily on a photographic plate. These granules have an obvious resemblance to clouds; and clouds, indeed, we may call them. There is, however, a very wide difference between the solar clouds and those clouds which float in our own atmosphere. The clouds which we know so well are, of course, merely vast collections of globules of water suspended in the air. No doubt the mighty solar clouds do also consist of incalculable myriads of globules of some particular substance floating in the solar atmosphere. The material of which these solar clouds are composed is, however, I need hardly say, not water, nor is it anything in the remotest degree resembling water. Some years ago any attempt to ascertain the particular substance out of which the solar clouds were formed would at once have been regarded as futile; inasmuch as such a problem would then have been thought to lie outside the possibilities of human knowledge. The advance of discovery has, however, shed a flood of light on the subject, and has revealed the nature of that material to whose presence we are indebted for the solar beneficence. The detection of the particular element to which all living creatures are so much indebted is due to that distinguished physicist, Dr. G. Johnstone Stoney.
In the whole range of science, one of the most remarkable discoveries ever made is that which has taught us that the elementary bodies of which the sun and the stars are constructed are essentially the same as those of which the earth has been built. This discovery was indeed as unexpected as it is interesting. Could we ever have anticipated that a body ninety-three millions of miles away, as the sun is, or a hundred million of millions of miles distant, as a star may be, should actually prove to have been formed from the same materials as those which compose this earth of ours and all which it contains, whether animate or inanimate? Yet such is indeed the fact. We are thus, in a measure, prepared to find that the material which forms the great solar clouds may turn out to be a substance not quite unknown to the terrestrial chemist. Nay, further, its very abundance in the sun might seem to suggest that this particular material might perhaps prove to be one which was very abundant on the earth.
[Illustration: THE SUN'S CORONA.
From a photograph taken by Professor Schaeberle, at Mina Bronces, Chili, in April, 1893, and kindly loaned by Professor E.S. Holden, director of the Lick Observatory.]
I had occasion to make use of the word carbon in a lecture which I gave a short time ago, and I thought when I did so that I was of course merely using a term with whose meaning all my audience must be well acquainted. But I found out afterwards that in this matter I had been mistaken. I was told that my introduction of the word carbon had quite puzzled some of those who were listening to me. I learned that a few of those who were unfamiliar with this word went to a gentleman of their acquaintance who they thought would be likely to know, and begged from him an explanation of this mysterious term; whereupon he told them that he was not quite sure himself, but believed that carbon was something which was made out of nitro-glycerine! Even at the risk of telling what every schoolboy ought to know, I will say that carbon is one of the commonest as well as one of the most remarkable substances in nature. A lump of coke only differs from a piece of carbon by the ash which the coke leaves behind when burned. As charcoal is almost entirely carbon, so wood is largely composed of this same element. Carbon is indeed present everywhere. In various forms carbon is in the earth beneath our feet, and in the air which we breath. This substance courses with the blood through our veins; it is by carbon that the heat of the body is sustained; and the same element is intimately associated with life in every phase. Nor is the presence of carbon merely confined to this earth. We know it abounds on other bodies in space. It has been shown to be eminently characteristic of the composition of comets. Carbon is not only intimately associated with articles of daily utility, and of plenteous abundance, but with the most exquisite gems of "purest ray serene." More precious than gold, more precious than rubies, the diamond itself is no more than the same element in crystalline form. But the greatest of all the functions of carbon in the universe has yet to be mentioned. This same wonderful element has been shown to be in all probability the material which constitutes those glowing solar clouds to whose kindly radiation our very life owes its origin.
[Illustration: At 10.34 A.M. The height of the eruption at this stage was 135,200 miles.]
[Illustration: At 10.40 A.M. Height, 161,500 miles.]
[Illustration: At 10.58 A.M. Height, 280,800 miles.
THREE VIEWS OF AN ERUPTIVE PROMINENCE OF THE SUN.
From photographs taken at Kenwood Observatory, Chicago, March 25, 1895, and kindly loaned by Professor George E. Hale, of the Chicago University.]
In the ordinary incandescent electric lamp, the brilliant light is produced by a glowing filament of carbon. The powerful current of electricity experiences so much resistance as it flows through this badly conducting substance, that it raises the temperature of the carbon wire so as to make it dazzlingly white-hot. Indeed the carbon is thus elevated to a temperature far in excess of that which could be obtained in any other way. The reason why carbon is employed in the electric lamp, in preference to any other substance, may be easily understood. Suppose we tried to employ an iron wire as the glowing filament within the well-known glass globe. Then when the current was turned on that iron would of course become red-hot and white-hot; but ere a sufficient temperature had been attained to produce the requisite illumination, the iron wire would have been fused into drops of liquid, the current would have been broken, and the lamp would have been destroyed. Nor would the attempt to make an incandescent lamp have proved much more successful had the filament been made of any other metal. The least fusible of metals is the costly element platinum, but even a wire of platinum, though it would stand much more heat than a wire of iron or of steel, would not have retained the solid form by the time it had been raised to the temperature necessary for an incandescent lamp.
There is no known metal, and perhaps no substance whatever, which demands so high a temperature to fuse it as does the element carbon. A filament of carbon, and a filament of carbon alone, will remain unfused and unbroken when heated by the electric current to the dazzling brilliance necessary for effective illumination. This is the reason why this particular element is so indispensable for our incandescent electric lamps. Modern research has now taught us that, just as the electrician has to employ carbon as the immediate agent in producing the brightest of artificial lights down here, so the sun in heaven uses precisely the same element as the immediate agent in the production of its transcendent light and heat. Owing to the extraordinary fervor which prevails in the interior parts of the sun, all substances there present, no matter how difficult we may find their fusion, would have to submit to be melted, nay, even to be driven off into vapor. If submitted to the heat of this appalling solar furnace, an iron poker, for instance, would vanish into invisible vapor. In the presence of the intense heat of the inner parts of the sun, even carbon itself is unable to remain solid. It would seem that it must assume a gaseous form under such circumstances, just as the copper and the iron and all the other substances do which yield more readily than it to the fierce heat of their surroundings.
The buoyancy of carbon vapor is one of its most remarkable characteristics. Accordingly immense volumes of the carbon steam in the sun soar at a higher level than do the vapors of the other elements. Thus carbon becomes a very large and important constituent of the more elevated regions of the solar atmosphere. We can understand what happens to these carbon vapors by the analogous case of the familiar clouds in our own skies. It is true, no doubt, that our terrestrial clouds are composed of a material totally different from that which constitutes the solar clouds. The sun evaporates the water from the great oceans which cover so large a proportion of our earth. The vapor thus produced ascends in the form of invisible gas through our atmosphere, until it reaches an altitude thousands of feet above the surface of the earth. The chill that the watery vapor experiences up there is so great that the vapor collects into little liquid beads, and it is, of course, these liquid beads, associated in countless myriads, which form the clouds we know so well.
We can now understand what happens as the buoyant carbon vapors soar upwards through the sun's atmosphere. They attain at last to an elevation where the fearful intensity of the solar heat has so far abated that, though nearly all other elements may still remain entirely gaseous, yet the exceptionally refractory carbon begins to return to the liquid state. At the first stage in this return, the carbon vapor conducts itself just as does the ascending watery vapor from the earth when about to be transformed into a visible cloud. Under the influence of a chill the carbon vapor collects into a myriad host of little beads of liquid. Each of these drops of liquid carbon in the glorious solar clouds has a temperature and a corresponding radiance vastly exceeding that with which the filament glows in the incandescent electric lamp. When we remember further that the entire surface of our luminary is coated with these clouds, every particle of which is thus intensely luminous, we need no longer wonder at that dazzling brilliance which, even across the awful gulf of ninety-three millions of miles, produces for us the indescribable glory of daylight.
_Sir Robert Ball will contribute a series of articles on "The Marvels of the Universe." Six or eight of these articles may be expected during the coming year_.
[Illustration: THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY BUILDINGS, ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS.]
CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE.
BY ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS,
AUTHOR OF "THE GATES AJAR," "THE MADONNA OF THE TUBS," ETC.
LIFE IN ANDOVER BEFORE THE WAR.
Andover is--or Andover was--like the lady to whom Steele gave immortality in the finest and most famous epigram ever offered to woman.
To have loved Andover; to have been born in Andover--I am brought up short, in these notes, by the sudden recollection that I was _not_ born in Andover. It has always been so difficult to believe it, that I am liable any day to forget it; but the facts compel me to infer that I was born within a mile of the State House. I must have become a citizen of Andover at the age of three, when my father resigned his Boston pulpit for the professorship of Rhetoric in Andover Seminary. I remember distinctly our arrival at the white mansion with the large, handsome grounds, the distant and mysterious grove, the rotund horse-chestnut trees, venerable and solemn, nearly a century old--to this day a horse-chestnut always seems to me like a theological trustee--and the sweep of playground so vast, so soft, so green, so fragrant, so clean, that the baby cockney ran imperiously to her father and demanded that he go build her a brick sidewalk to play upon.
What, I wonder, may be the earliest act of memory on record? Mine is not at all unusual--dating only to two and a half years; at which time I clearly remember being knocked down by my dog, in my father's area in Boston, and being crowed over by a rooster of abnormal proportions who towered between me and the sky, a dragon in size and capabilities.
My father always maintained that he distinctly remembered hearing the death of Napoleon announced in his presence when he was one year and a half old.
Is the humiliating difference between the instinctive selection of Napoleon and that of the rooster, one of temperament or sex? In either case, it is significant enough to lead one to drop the subject.
Next to having been born in a university town, comes the advantage--if it be an advantage--of having spent one's youth there. Mr. Howells says that he must be a dull fellow who does not, at some time or other, hate his native village; and I must confess that I have not, at all stages of my life, held my present opinion of Andover. There have been times when her gentle indifference to the preoccupations of the world has stung me, as all serenity stings restlessness. There have been times when the inevitable limitations of her horizon have seemed as familiar as the coffin-lid to the dead.
[Illustration: PROFESSOR AUSTIN PHELPS'S STUDY.
Drawn from a photograph taken after Professor Phelps's death, when the study had been somewhat dismantled.]
There was an epoch when her theology--But, nevertheless, I certainly look back upon Andover Hill with a very gentle pleasure and heartfelt sense of debt.
It has been particularly asked of me to give some form to my recollections of a phase of local life which is now so obviously passing away that it has a certain historical interest.
That Andover remains upon the map of Massachusetts yet, one does not dispute; but the Andover of New England theology--the Andover of a peculiar people, the Andover that held herself apart from the world and all that was therein--will soon become an interesting wraith.
The life of a professor's daughter in a university town is always a little different from the lives of other girls; but the difference seems to me--unless she be by nature entirely alien to it--in favor of the girl. Were I to sum in one word my impressions of the influences of Andover life upon a robust young mind and heart, I should call them _gentle_.
As soon as we began to think, we saw a community engaged in studying thought. As soon as we began to feel, we were aware of a neighborhood that did not feel superficially; at least, in certain higher directions. When we began to ask the "questions of life," which all intelligent young people ask sooner or later, we found ourselves in a village of three institutions and their dependencies committed to the pursuit of an ideal of education for which no amount of later, or what we call broader, training ever gives us any better word than Christian.
Such things tell. Andover girls did not waltz, or suffer summer engagements at Bar Harbor, a new one every year; neither did they read Ibsen, or yellow novels; nor did they handle the French stories that are hidden from parents; though they were excellent French scholars in their day.
I do not even know that one can call them more "serious" than their city sisters--for we were a merry lot; at least, _my_ lot were. But they were, I believe, especially open-hearted, gentle-minded girls.
If they were "out of the world" to a certain extent, they were, to another, out of the evil of it. As I look back upon the little drama between twelve and twenty--I might rather say, between two and twenty--Andover young people seem to me to have been as truly and naturally innocent as one may meet anywhere in the world. Some of these private records of girl-history were so white, so clear, so sweet, that to read them would be like watching a morning-glory open. The world is full, thank Heaven, of lovely girls; but though other forms or phases of gentle society claim their full quota, I never saw a lovelier than those I knew on Andover Hill.
One terrible tragedy, indeed, befell our little "set;" for we had our sets in Andover, as well as they of Newport or New York.
A high-bred girl of exceptional beauty was furtively kissed one evening by a daring boy (not a native of Andover, I hasten to explain), and the furore which followed this unprecedented enormity it would be impossible to describe to a member of more complicated circles of society. Fancy the reception given such a commonplace at any of our fashionable summer resorts to-day!
On Andover Hill the event was a moral cataclysm. Andover girls were country girls, but not of rustic (any more than of metropolitan) social training. Which of them would have suffered an Academy boy, walking home with her from a lecture or a prayer-meeting, any little privilege which he might not have taken in her father's house, and with her mother's knowledge? I never knew one. The case of which I speak was historic, and as far as I ever knew, unique, and was that of a victim, not an offender.
The little beauty to whom this atrocity happened cried all night and all the next day; she was reported not to have stopped crying for twenty-six hours. Her pretty face grew wan and haggard. She was too ill to go to her lessons.
The teachers--to whom she had promptly related the circumstance--condoled with her; the entire school vowed to avenge her; we were a score of as disturbed and indignant girls as ever wept over woman's wrongs, or scorned a man's depravity.
Yet, for aught I know to the contrary, this abandoned young man may have grown up to become a virtuous member of society; possibly even an exemplary husband and father. I have never been able to trace his history; probably the moral repulsion was too great.
Yet they were no prigs, for their innocence! Andover girls, in the best and brightest sense of the word, led a gay life.
The preponderance of young men on the Hill gave more than ample opportunity for well-mannered good times; and we made the most of them.
[Illustration: VIEW LOOKING FROM THE FRONT OF ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS'S HOME IN ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS.]
Legends of the feminine triumphs of past generations were handed breathlessly down to us, and cherished with awe. A lady of the village, said to have been once very handsome, was credibly reported to have refused nineteen offers of marriage. Another, still plainly beautiful, was known to have received and declined the suits of nine theologues in one winter. Neither of these ladies married. We watched their whitening hairs and serene faces with a certain pride of sex, not easily to be understood by a man. When we began to think how many times they _might_ have married, the subject assumed sensational proportions. In fact, the maiden ladies of Andover always, I fancied, regarded each other with a peculiar sense of peace. Each knew--and knew that the rest knew--that it was (to use the Andover phraseology) not of predestination or foreordination, but of free will absolute, that an Andover girl passed through life alone. This little social fact, which is undoubtedly true of most, if not all, university towns, had mingled effects upon impressionable girls. For the proportion of masculine society was almost Western in its munificence.
Perhaps it is my duty to say just here that, if honestly put to the question, I should admit that this proportion was almost too munificent for the methods of education then--and still to an extent now--in vogue.
A large Academy for boys, and a flourishing Seminary for young men, set across the village streets from two lively girls' schools, gave to one observer of this little scholastic world her first argument for co-education.
I am confident that if the boys who serenaded (right manfully) under the windows of Abbott Academy or of "The Nunnery," or who tied their lady's colors to the bouquets that they tossed on balconies of professors' houses, had been put, class to class, in competition with us, they would have wasted less time upon us; and I could not deny that if the girls who cut little holes in their fans through which one could look, undetected and unreproved, at one's favorite Academy boy, on some public occasion, had been preparing to meet or pass that boy at Euclid or Xenophon recitation next morning, he would have occupied less of their fancy. Intellectual competition is simpler, severer, and more wholesome than the unmitigated social plane; and a mingling of the two may be found calculated to produce the happiest results.
"Poor souls!" said a Boston lady once to me, upon my alluding to a certain literary club which was at that time occupying the enthusiasm of the Hill. "Poor souls! I suppose they are so starved for society!" We can fancy the amusement with which this comment would have been received if it had been repeated--but it never was repeated till this moment--in Andover.
For Andover had her social life, and knew no better, for the most part, than to enjoy it. It is true that many of her diversions took on that religious or academic character natural to the place. Of village parish life we knew nothing, for our chapel was, like others of its kind, rather an exclusive little place of worship. We were ignorant of pastoral visits, deacons, parochial gossip, church fairs, and what Professor Park used to call "the doughnut business;" and, though we cultivated a weekly prayer-meeting in the lecture-room, I think its chief influence was as a training-school for theological students whose early efforts at public exhortation (poor fellows!) quaveringly besought their Professors to grow in grace, and admonished the families of the Faculty circle to repent.
But we had our lectures and our concerts--quite distinct, as orthodox circles will understand, from those missionary festivals which went, I never discovered why, by the name of Monthly Concerts--and our Porter Rhets. I believe this cipher stood for Porter Rhetorical; and research, if pushed far enough, would develop the fact that Porter indicated a dead professor who once founded a chair and a debating society for young men. Then we had our anniversaries and our exhibitions, when we got ourselves into our organdie muslins or best coats, and listened to the boys spouting Greek and Latin orations in the old, red brick Academy, and heard the theological students--but here this reporter is forced to pause. I suppose I ought to be ashamed of it, but the fact is, that I never attended an anniversary exercise of the Seminary in my life. It would be difficult to say why. I think my reluctance consisted in an abnormal objection to Trustees. So far as I know, they were an innocent set of men, of good reputations and quite harmless. But I certainly acquired, at a very early age, an antipathy to this class of Americans from which I have never recovered.
Our anniversaries occurred, according to the barbaric custom of the times, in the hottest heat of August; and if there be a hotter place in Massachusetts than Andover was, I have yet to simmer in it. Our houses were, of course, thrown open, and crowded to the shingles.
I remember once sharing my tiny room with a little guest who would not have the window open, though the thermometer had stood above ninety, day and night, for a week; and because she was a trustee's daughter, I must not complain. Perhaps this experience emphasized a natural lack of sympathy with her father.
At all events, I cherished a hidden antagonism to these excellent and useful men, of which I make this late and public confession. It seemed to me that everybody in Andover was afraid of them. I "took it out" in the cordial defiance of a born rebel.
Then we had our tea-parties--theological, of course--when the students came to tea in alphabetical order; and the Professor told his best stories; and the ladies of the family were expected to keep more or less quiet while the gentlemen talked. But this, I should say, was of the earlier time.
And, of course, we had the occasional supply; and as for the clerical guest, in some shape he was always with us.
I remember the shocked expression on the face of a not very eminent minister, because I joined in the conversation when, in the absence of my father's wife, the new mother, it fell to me to take the head of the table. It was truly a stimulating conversation, intellectual, and, like all clerical conversations, vivaciously amusing; and it swept me in, unconsciously. I think this occurred after I had written "The Gates Ajar."
This good man has since become an earnest anti-suffragist and opposer of the movement for the higher education of women. I can only hope he does not owe his dismal convictions to the moral jar received on that occasion; and I regret to learn that his daughter has been forbidden to go to college.
[Illustration: DR. EDWARDS A. PARK, FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY IN ANDOVER SEMINARY.
From a photograph taken in 1862 by J.W. Black, Boston.]
We had, too, our levees--that was the word; by it one meant what is now called a reception. I have been told that my mother, who was a woman of marked social tastes and gifts, oppressed by the lack of variety in Andover life, originated this innocent form of dissipation.
These festivities, like others in academic towns, were democratic to a degree amusing or inspiring, according to the temperament of the spectator.
The professors' brilliantly-lighted drawing-rooms were thrown open to the students and families of the Hill. Distinguished men jostled the Academy boy who built the furnace fire to pay for his education, and who might be found on the faculty some day, in his turn, or might himself acquire an enviable and well-earned celebrity.
Eminent guests from out of town stood elbow to elbow with poor theologues destined to the missionary field, and pathetically observing the Andover levee as one of the last occasions of civilized gayety in which it might be theirs to share. Ladies from Beacon Street or from New York might be seen chatting with some gentle figure in black, one of those widowed and brave women whose struggles to sustain life and educate their children by boarding students form so large a part of the pathos of academic towns.
One such I knew who met on one of these occasions a member of the club for which she provided. The lady was charming, well-dressed, well-mannered.
The young man, innocent of linen, had appeared at the levee in a gray flannel shirt. Introductions passed. The lady bowed.
"I am happy," stammered the poor fellow, "I am happy to meet the woman who cooks our victuals."
If it be asked, Why educate a man like that for the Christian ministry?--but it was _not_ asked. Like all monstrosities, he grew without permission.
Let us hasten to call him the exception that he was to what, on the whole, was (in those days) a fair, wholesome rule of theological selection. The Professor's eyes flashed when he heard the story.
"I have never approved," I think he said, "of the Special Course."
For the Professor believed in no short-cut to the pulpit; but pleaded for all the education, all the opportunity, all the culture, all the gifts, all the graces, possible to a man's privilege or energy, whereby to fit him to preach the Christian religion. But, like other professors, he could not always have his way.
It ought to be said, perhaps, that, beside the self-made or self-making man, there always sat upon the old benches in the lecture-room a certain proportion of gentlemen born and bred to ease and affluence, who had chosen their life's work from motives which were, at least, as much to be respected as the struggles of the converted newsboy or the penitent expressman.
Take her at her dullest, I think we were very fond of Andover; and though we dutifully improved our opportunities to present ourselves in other circles of society, yet, like fisher-folk or mountain-folk, we were always uneasy away from home. I remember on my first visit to New York or Boston--and this although my father was with me--quietly crying my eyes out behind the tall, embroidered screen which the hostess moved before the grate, because the fire-light made me so homesick. Who forgets his first attack of nostalgia? Alas! so far as this recorder is concerned, the first was too far from the last. For I am cursed (or blessed) with a love of home so inevitable and so passionate as to be nothing less than ridiculous to my day and generation--a day of rovers, a generation of shawl-straps and valises.
"Do you never want to _stay_?" I once asked a distinguished author whose domestic uprootings were so frequent as to cause remark even in America.
"I am the most homesick man who ever lived," he responded sadly. "If I only pass a night in a sleeping-car, I hate to leave my berth."
"You must have cultivated society in Andover," an eminent Cambridge writer once said to me, with more sincerity of tone than was to be expected of the Cambridge accent as addressed to the Andover fact. I was young then, and I remember to have answered, honestly enough, but with what must have struck this superior man as unpardonable flippancy:
"Oh, but one gets tired of seeing only cultivated people!"
I have thought of it sometimes since, when, in other surroundings, the memory of that peaceful, scholarly life has returned poignantly to me.
When one can "run in" any day to homes like those on that quiet and conscientious Hill, one may not do it; but when one cannot, one appreciates their high and gentle influence.
One of the historic figures of my day in Andover was Professor Park. Equally eminent both as a preacher and as a theologian, his fame was great in Zion; and "the world" itself had knowledge of him, and did him honor.
He was a striking figure in the days which were the best of Andover. He was unquestionably a genius; the fact that it was a kind of genius for which the temper of our times is soon likely to find declining uses gives some especial interest to his name.
The appearances are that he will be the last of his type, once so powerful and still so venerable in New England history. He wears (for he is yet living) the dignity of a closing cycle; there is something sad and grand about his individualism, as there is about the last great chief of a tribe, or the last king of a dynasty.
In his youth he was the progressive of Evangelical theology. In his age he stands the proud and reticent conservative, the now silent representative of a departed glory, a departed severity--and, we must admit, of a departed strength--from which the theology of our times has melted away. Like other men in such positions, he has had battles to fight, and he has fought them; enemies to make, and he has made them. How can he keep them? He is growing old so gently and so kindly! Ardent friends and worshipping admirers he has always had, and kept, and deserved.
A lady well known among the writers of our day, herself a professor's daughter from a New England college town, happened once to be talking with me in a lonely hour and in a mood of confidence.
"Oh," she cried, "it seems some of these desolate nights as if I _must_ go home and sit watching for my father to come back from faculty meeting!"
But the tears smote her face, and she turned away. I knew that she had been her dead father's idol, and he hers.
To her listener what a panorama in those two words: "Faculty meeting!"
Every professor's daughter, every woman from a university family, can see it all. The whole scholastic and domestic, studious and tender life comes back. Faculty meeting! We wait for the tired professor who had the latest difference to settle with his colleagues, or the newest breach to soothe, or the favorite move to push; how late he is! He comes in softly, haggard and spent, closing the door so quietly that no one shall be wakened by this midnight dissipation. The woman who loves him most anxiously--be it wife or be it daughter--is waiting for him. Perhaps there is a little whispered sympathy for the trouble in the faculty which he does not tell. Perhaps there is a little expedition to the pantry for a midnight lunch.
My first recollections of Professor Park give me his tall, gaunt, but well-proportioned figure striding up and down the gravel walks in front of the house, two hours before time for faculty meeting, in solemn conclave with my father. The two were friends--barring those interludes common to all faculties, when professional differences are in the foreground--and the pacing of their united feet might have worn Andover Hill through to the central fires. For years I cultivated an objection to Professor Park as being the chief visible reason why we had to wait for supper.
I remember his celebrated sermons quite well. The chapel was always thronged, and--as there were no particular fire-laws in those days on Andover Hill--the aisles brimmed over when it was known that Professor Park or Professor Phelps was to preach. I think I usually began with a little jealous counting of the audience, lest it should prove bigger than my father's; but even a child could not long listen to Professor Park and not forget her small affairs, and all affairs except the eloquence of the man.
Great, I believe it was. Certain distinguished sermons had their popular names, as "The Judas Sermon," or "The Peter Sermon," and drew their admirers accordingly. He was a man of marked emotional nature, which he often found it hard to control. A skeptical critic might have wondered whether the tears welled, or the face broke, or the voice trembled, always just at the right moment, from pure spontaneity. But those who knew the preacher personally never doubted the genuineness of the feeling that swept and carried orator and hearers down. We do not hear such sermons now.
Professor Park has always been a man of social ease and wit. The last time I saw him, at the age of eighty-five, in his house in Andover, I thought, one need not say, "has been;" and to recall his brilliant talk that day gives me hesitation over the past tense of this reminiscence. On the whole, with the exception of Doctor Holmes, I think I should call Professor Park the best converser--at least among eminent _men_--whom I have ever met.
He has always been a man very sensitive to the intellectual values of life, and fully inclined perhaps to approach the spiritual through those. It is easy to misunderstand a religious teacher of this temperament, and his admiring students may have sometimes done so.
One in particular I remember to have heard of who neglected the lecture-room to cultivate upon his own responsibility the misson work of what was known as Abbott Village. To the Christian socialism of our day, the misery of factory life might seem as important for the future clergyman as the system of theology regnant in his particular seminary--but that was not the fashion of the time; at all events, the man was a student under the Professor's orders, and the orders were: keep to the curriculum; and I can but think that the Professor was right when he caustically said:
"That ---- is wasting his seminary course in what _he calls doing good_!"
Sometimes, too, the students used to beg off to go on book-agencies, or to prosecute other forms of money-making; and of one such Professor Park was heard to say that he "sacrificed his education to get the means of paying for it."
I am indebted to Professor Park for this: "Professor Stuart and myself were reluctant to release them from their studies. Professor Stuart remarked of one student that he got excused _every_ Saturday for the purpose of going home for a _week_, and always stayed a _fortnight_."
The last time that I saw Professor Park he told me a good story. It concerned the days of his prime, when he had been preaching somewhere--in Boston or New York, I think--and after the audience was dismissed a man lingered and approached him.
"Sir," said the stranger, "I am under great obligations to you. Your discourse has moved me greatly. I can truly say that I believe I shall owe the salvation of my soul to you. I wish to offer, sir, to the seminary with which you are connected, a slight tribute of my admiration for and indebtedness to you." The gentleman drew out his purse.
"I waited, breathless," said Professor Park, with his own tremendous solemnity of manner; "I awaited the tribute of that grateful man. At what price did he value his soul? I anticipated a contribution for the seminary which it would be a privilege to offer. At what rate did my converted hearer price his soul?--Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? With indescribable dignity the man handed to me--a five-dollar bill!"
THE WAGER OF THE MARQUIS DE MÉROSAILLES.
BY ANTHONY HOPE,
AUTHOR OF "THE PRISONER OF ZENDA," "THE DOLLY DIALOGUES," ETC.
In the year 1634, as spring came, there arrived at Strelsau a French nobleman, of high rank and great possessions, and endowed with many accomplishments. He came to visit Prince Rudolf, whose acquaintance he had made while the prince was at Paris in the course of his travels. King Henry received Monsieur de Mérosailles--for such was his name--most graciously, and sent a guard of honor to conduct him to the Castle of Zenda, where the prince was then staying in company with his sister Osra. There the marquis on his arrival was greeted with much joy by Prince Rudolf, who found his sojourn in the country somewhat irksome, and was glad of the society of a friend with whom he could talk and sport and play at cards. All these things he did with Monsieur de Mérosailles, and a great friendship arose between the young men, so that they spoke very freely to one another at all times, and most of all when they had drunk their wine and sat together in the evening in Prince Rudolf's chamber that looked across the moat toward the gardens; for the new chateau that now stands on the site of these gardens was not then built. And one night Monsieur de Mérosailles made bold to ask the prince how it fell out that his sister the princess, a lady of such great beauty, seemed sad, and showed no pleasure in the society of any gentleman, but treated all alike with coldness and disdain. Prince Rudolf, laughing, answered that girls were strange creatures, and that he had ceased to trouble his head about them--of his heart he said nothing--and he finished by exclaiming, "On my honor, I doubt if she so much as knows you are here, for she has not looked at you once since your arrival!" And he smiled maliciously, for he knew that the marquis was not accustomed to be neglected by ladies, and would take it ill that even a princess should be unconscious of his presence. In this he calculated rightly, for Monsieur de Mérosailles was greatly vexed, and, twisting his glass in his fingers, he said:
"If she were not a princess, and your sister, sir, I would engage to make her look at me."
"I am not hurt by her looking at you," rejoined the prince; for that evening he was very merry. "A look is no great thing."
And the marquis being also very merry, and knowing that Rudolf had less regard for his dignity than a prince should have, threw out carelessly:
"A kiss is more, sir."
"It is a great deal more," laughed the prince, tugging his mustache.
"Are you ready for a wager, sir?" asked Monsieur de Mérosailles, leaning across the table toward him.
"I'll lay you a thousand crowns to a hundred that you do not gain a kiss, using what means you will, save force."
"I'll take the wager, sir," cried the marquis; "but it shall be three, not one."
"Have a care," said the prince. "Don't go too near the flame, my lord. There are some wings in Strelsau singed at that candle."
"Indeed, the light is very bright," assented the marquis, courteously. "That risk I must run, though, if I am to win my wager. It is to be three, then, and by what means I will, save force?"
"Even so," said Rudolf, and he laughed again. For he thought the wager harmless, since by no means could Monsieur de Mérosailles win so much as one kiss from the Princess Osra, and the wager stood at three. But he did not think how he wronged his sister by using her name lightly, being in all such matters a man of careless mind.
But the marquis, having made his wager, set himself steadily to win it; for he brought forth the choicest clothes from his wardrobe, and ornaments and perfumes; and he laid fine presents at the princess's feet; and he waylaid her wherever she went, and was profuse of glances, sighs, and hints; and he wrote sonnets, as fine gentlemen used in those days, and lyrics and pastorals, wherein she figured under charming names. These he bribed the princess's waiting-women to leave in their mistress's chamber. Moreover, he looked now sorrowful, now passionate, and he ate nothing at dinner, but drank his wine in wild gulps as though he sought to banish sadness. So that, in a word, there was no device in Cupid's armory that the Marquis de Mérosailles did not practise in the endeavor to win a look from the Princess Osra. But no look came, and he got nothing from her but cold civility. Yet she had looked at him when he looked not--for princesses are much like other maidens--and thought him a very pretty gentleman, and was highly amused by his extravagance. Yet she did not believe it to witness any true devotion to her, but thought it mere gallantry.
[Illustration: THE PHYSICIAN RECEIVING THE PRINCESS IN THE MARQUIS'S SICKROOM.]
Then one day Monsieur de Mérosailles, having tried all else that he could think of, took to his bed. He sent for a physician, and paid him a high fee to find the seeds of a rapid and fatal disease in him; and he made his body-servant whiten his face and darken the room; and he groaned very pitifully, saying that he was sick, and that he was glad of it, for death would be better far than the continued disdain of the Princess Osra. And all this, being told by the marquis's servants to the princess's waiting-women, reached Osra's ears, and caused her much perturbation. For she now perceived that the passion, of the marquis was real and deep, and she became very sorry for him; and the longer the face of the rascally physician grew, the more sad the princess became; and she walked up and down, bewailing the terrible effects of her beauty, wishing that she were not so fair, and mourning very tenderly for the sad plight of the unhappy marquis. Through all Prince Rudolf looked on, but was bound by his wager not to undeceive her; moreover, he found much entertainment in the matter, and swore that it was worth three times a thousand crowns.
At last the marquis sent, by the mouth of the physician, a very humble and pitiful message to the princess, in which he spoke of himself as near to death, hinted at the cruel cause of his condition, and prayed her of her compassion to visit him in his chamber and speak a word of comfort, or at least let him look on her face; for the brightness of her eyes, he said, might cure even what it had caused.
Deceived by this appeal, Princess Osra agreed to go. Moved by some strange impulse, she put on her loveliest gown, dressed her hair most splendidly, and came into his chamber looking like a goddess. There lay the marquis, white as a ghost and languid, on his pillows; and they were left, as they thought, alone. Then Osra sat down, and began to talk very gently and kindly to him, glancing only at the madness which brought him to his sad state, and imploring him to summon his resolution and conquer his sickness for his friends' sake at home in France, and for the sake of her brother, who loved him.
"There is nobody who loves me," said the marquis, petulantly; and when Osra cried out at this, he went on: "For the love of those whom I do not love is nothing to me, and the only soul alive I love--" There he stopped, but his eyes, fixed on Osra's face, ended the sentence for him. And she blushed, and looked away. Then, thinking the moment had come, he burst suddenly into a flood of protestations and self-reproach, cursing himself for a fool and a presumptuous madman, pitifully craving her pardon, and declaring that he did not deserve her kindness, and yet that he could not live without it, and that anyhow he would be dead soon and thus cease to trouble her. But she, being thus passionately assailed, showed such sweet tenderness and compassion and pity that Monsieur de Mérosailles came very near to forgetting that he was playing a comedy, and threw himself into his part with eagerness, redoubling his vehemence, and feeling now full half of what he said. For the princess was to his eyes far more beautiful in her softer mood. Yet he remembered his wager, and at last, when she was nearly in tears, and ready, as it seemed, to do anything to give him comfort, he cried desperately:
"Ah, leave me, leave me! Leave me to die alone! Yet for pity's sake, before you go, and before I die, give me your forgiveness, and let your lips touch my forehead in token of it! And then I shall die in peace."
At that the princess blushed still more, and her eyes were dim and shone; for she was very deeply touched at his misery and at the sad prospect of the death of so gallant a gentleman for love. Thus she could scarcely speak for emotion; and the marquis, seeing her emotion, was himself much affected; and she rose from her chair and bent over him, and whispered comfort to him. Then she leant down, and very lightly touched his forehead with her lips; and he felt her eyelashes, that were wet with her tears, brush the skin of his forehead; and then she sobbed, and covered her face with her hands. Indeed, his state seemed to her most pitiful.
Thus Monsieur de Mérosailles had won one of his three kisses; yet, strange to tell, there was no triumph in him, but he now perceived the baseness of his device; and the sweet kindness of the princess, working together with the great beauty of her softened manner, so affected him that he thought no more of his wager, and could not endure to carry on his deception. And nothing would serve his turn but to confess to the princess what he had done, and humble himself in the dust before her, and entreat her to pardon him and let him find forgiveness. Therefore, impelled by these feelings, after he had lain still a few moments listening to the princess's weeping, he leapt suddenly out of the bed, showing himself fully clothed under the bedgown which he now eagerly tore off, and he rubbed all the white he could from his cheeks; and then he fell on his knees before the princess, crying to her that he had played the meanest trick on her, and that he was a scoundrel and no gentleman, and yet that, unless she forgave him, he should in very truth die. Nay, he would not consent to live, unless he could win from her pardon for his deceit. And in all this he was now most absolutely in earnest, wondering only how he had not been as passionately enamoured of her from the first as he had feigned himself to be. For a man in love can never conceive himself out of it; nor he that is out of it, in it: for, if he can, he is halfway to the one or the other, however little he may know it.
At first the princess sat as though she were turned to stone. But when he had finished his confession, and she understood the trick that had been played upon her, and how not only her kiss but also her tears had been won from her by fraud; and when she thought, as she did, that the marquis was playing another trick upon her, and that there was no more truth nor honesty in his present protestations than in those which went before--she fell into great shame and into a great rage; and her eyes flashed like the eyes of her father himself, as she rose to her feet and looked down on Monsieur de Mérosailles as he knelt imploring her. Now her face turned pale from red, and she set her lips, and she drew her gown close round her lest his touch should defile it (so the unhappy gentleman understood the gesture), and she daintily picked her steps round him lest by chance she should happen to come in contact with so foul a thing. Thus she walked toward the door, and, having reached it, she turned and said to him:
"Your death may blot out the insult--nothing less;" and with her head held high, and her whole air full of scorn, she swept out of the room, leaving the marquis on his knees. Then he started up to follow her, but dared not; and he flung himself on the bed in a paroxysm of shame and vexation, and now of love, and he cried out loud:
"Then my death shall blot it out, since nothing else will serve!"
For he was in a very desperate mood. For a long while he lay there, and then, having risen, dressed himself in a sombre suit of black, and buckled his sword by his side, and put on his riding-boots, and, summoning his servant, bade him saddle his horse. "For," said he to himself, "I will ride into the forest, and there kill myself; and perhaps when I am dead, the princess will forgive, and will believe in my love, and grieve a little for me."
Now, as he went from his chamber to cross the moat by the drawbridge, he encountered Prince Rudolf returning from hawking. They met full in the centre of the bridge, and the prince, seeing Monsieur de Mérosailles dressed all in black from the feather in his cap to his boots, called out mockingly, "Who is to be buried to-day, my lord, and whither do you ride to the funeral? It cannot be yourself, for I see that you are marvellously recovered of your sickness."
"But it is myself," answered the marquis, coming near and speaking low that the servants and the falconers might not overhear. "And I ride, sir, to my own funeral."
"The jest is still afoot, then?" asked the prince. "Yet I do not see my sister at the window to watch you go, and I warrant you have made no way with your wager yet."
"A thousand curses on my wager!" cried the marquis. "Yes, I have made way with the accursed thing, and that is why I now go to my death."
"What, has she kissed you?" cried the prince, with a merry, astonished laugh.
"Yes, sir, she has kissed me once, and therefore I go to die."
"I have heard many a better reason, then," answered the prince.
By now the prince had dismounted, and he stood by Monsieur de Mérosailles in the middle of the bridge, and heard from him how the trick had prospered. At this he was much tickled; and, alas! he was even more diverted when the penitence of the marquis was revealed to him, and was most of all moved to merriment when it appeared that the marquis, having gone too near the candle, had been caught by its flame, and was so terribly singed and scorched that he could not bear to live. And while they talked on the bridge, the princess looked out on them from a lofty narrow window, but neither of them saw her. Now, when the prince had done laughing, he put his arm through his friend's, and bade him not be a fool, but come in and toast the princess's kiss in a draught of wine. "For," he said, "though you will never get the other two, yet it is a brave exploit to have got one."
But the marquis shook his head, and his air was so resolute and so full of sorrow that not only was Rudolf alarmed for his reason, but Princess Osra also, at the window, wondered what ailed him and why he wore such a long face; and she now noticed, that he was dressed all in black, and that his horse waited for him across the bridge.
"Not," said she, "that I care what becomes of the impudent rogue!" Yet she did not leave the window, but watched very intently to see what Monsieur de Mérosailles would do.
For a long while he talked with Rudolf on the bridge, Rudolf seeming more serious than he was wont to be; and at last the marquis bent to kiss the prince's hand, and the prince raised him and kissed him on either cheek; and then the marquis went and mounted his horse and rode off, slowly and unattended, into the glades of the forest of Zenda. But the prince, with a shrug of his shoulders and a frown on his brow, entered under the portcullis, and disappeared from his sister's view.
Upon this the princess, assuming an air of great carelessness, walked down from the room where she was, and found her brother, sitting still in his boots, and drinking wine; and she said:
"Monsieur de Mérosailles has taken his leave, then?"
"Even so, madam," rejoined Rudolf.
Then she broke into a fierce attack on the marquis, and on her brother also; for a man, said she, is known by his friends, and what a man must Rudolf be to have a friend like the Marquis de Mérosailles!
"Most brothers," she said, in fiery temper, "would make him answer for what he has done with his life. But you laugh--nay, I dare say you had a hand in it."
As to this last charge the prince had the discretion to say nothing; he chose rather to answer the first part of what she said, and, shrugging his shoulders again, rejoined, "The fool saves me the trouble, for he has gone off to kill himself."
"To kill himself?" she said, half-incredulous, but also half-believing, because of the marquis's gloomy looks and black clothes.
"To kill himself," repeated Rudolf. "For, in the first place, you are angry, so he cannot live; and in the second, he has behaved like a rogue, so he cannot live; and in the third place, you are so lovely, sister, that he cannot live; and in the first, second, and third places, he is a fool, so he cannot live." And the prince finished his flagon of wine with every sign of ill-humor in his manner.
"He is well dead," she cried.
"Oh, as you please!" said he. "He is not the first brave man who has died on your account;" and he rose and strode out of the room very surlily, for he had a great friendship for Monsieur de Mérosailles, and had no patience with men who let love make dead bones of them.
The Princess Osra, being thus left alone, sat for a little while in deep thought. There rose before her mind the picture of Monsieur de Mérosailles riding mournfully through the gloom of the forest to his death; and although his conduct had been all, and more than all, that she had called it, yet it seemed hard that he should die for it. Moreover, if he now in truth felt what he had before feigned, the present truth was an atonement for the past treachery; and she said to herself that she could not sleep quietly that night if the marquis killed himself in the forest. Presently she wandered slowly up to her chamber, and looked in the mirror, and murmured low, "Poor fellow!" And then with sudden speed she attired herself for riding, and commanded her horse to be saddled, and darted down the stairs and across the bridge, and mounted, and, forbidding any one to accompany her, rode away into the forest, following the tracks of the hoofs of Monsieur de Mérosailles's horse. It was then late afternoon, and the slanting rays of the sun, striking through the tree-trunks, reddened her face as she rode along, spurring her horse and following hard on the track of the forlorn gentleman. But what she intended to do if she came up with him, she did not think.
When she had ridden an hour or more, she saw his horse tethered to a trunk; and there was a ring of trees and bushes near, encircling an open grassy spot. Herself dismounting and fastening her horse by the marquis's horse, she stole up, and saw Monsieur de Mérosailles sitting on the ground, his drawn sword lying beside him; and his back was towards her. She held her breath, and waited for a few moments. Then he took up the sword, and felt the point and also the edge of it, and sighed deeply; and the princess thought that this sorrowful mood became him better than any she had seen him in before. Then he rose to his feet, and took his sword by the blade beneath the hilt, and turned the point of it towards his heart. And Osra, fearing that the deed would be done immediately, called out eagerly, "My lord, my lord!" and Monsieur de Mérosailles turned round with a great start. When he saw her, he stood in astonishment, his hand still holding the blade of the sword. And, standing just on the other side of the trees, she said:
"Is your offence against me to be cured by adding an offence against Heaven and the Church?" And she looked on him with great severity; yet her cheek was flushed, and after a while she did not meet his glance.
"How came you here, madam?" he asked in wonder.
"I heard," she said, "that you meditated this great sin, and I rode after you to forbid it."
"Can you forbid what you cause?" he asked.
"I am not the cause of it," she said, "but your own trickery."
"It is true. I am not worthy to live," cried the marquis, smiting the hilt of his sword to the ground. "I pray you, madam, leave me alone to die, for I cannot tear myself from the world so long as I see your face." And as he spoke he knelt on one knee, as though he were doing homage to her.
The princess caught at a bough of the tree under which she stood, and pulled the bough down so that its leaves half hid her face, and the marquis saw little more than her eyes from among the foliage. And, thus being better able to speak to him, she said, softly:
"And dare you die, unforgiven?"
"I had prayed for forgiveness before you found me, madam," said he.
"Of Heaven, my lord?"
"Of Heaven, madam. For of Heaven I dare to ask it."
[Illustration: SHE STOLE UP AND SAW MONSIEUR DE MÉROSAILLES SITTING ON THE GROUND.]
The bough swayed up and down; and now Osra's gleaming hair, and now her cheek, and always her eyes, were seen through the leaves. And presently the marquis heard a voice asking:
"Does Heaven forgive unasked?"
"Indeed, no," said he, wondering.
"And," said she, "are we poor mortals kinder than Heaven?"
The marquis rose, and took a step or two towards where the bough swayed up and down, and then knelt again.
"A great sinner," said he, "cannot believe himself forgiven."
"Then he wrongs the power of whom he seeks forgiveness; for forgiveness is divine."
"Then I will ask it, and, if I obtain it, I shall die happy."
Again the bough swayed, and Osra said:
"Nay, if you will die, you may die unforgiven."
Monsieur de Mérosailles, hearing these words, sprang to his feet, and came towards the bough until he was so close that he touched the green leaves; and through them the eyes of Osra gleamed; and the sun's rays struck on her eyes, and they danced in the sun, and her cheeks were reddened by the same or some other cause. And the evening was very still, and there seemed no sounds in the forest.
"I cannot believe that you forgive. The crime is so great," said he.
"It was great; yet I forgive."
"I cannot believe it," said he again, and he looked at the point of his sword, and then he looked through the leaves at the princess.
"I can do no more than say that if you will live, I will forgive. And we will forget."
"By Heaven, no!" he whispered. "If I must forget to be forgiven, then I will remember and be unforgiven."
The faintest laugh reached him from among the foliage.
"Then I will forget, and you shall be forgiven," said she.
The marquis put up his hand and held a leaf aside, and he said again:
"I cannot believe myself forgiven. Is there no other token of forgiveness?"
"Pray, my lord, do not put the leaves aside."
"I still must die, unless I have sure warrant of forgiveness."
"Ah, you try to make me think that!"
"By Heavens, it is true!" and again he pointed his sword at his heart, and he swore on his honor that unless she gave him a token he would still kill himself.
"Oh," said the princess, with great petulance, "I wish I had not come!"
"Then I should have been dead by now--dead, unforgiven!"
"But you will still die!"
"Yes, I must still die, unless--"
"Sheath your sword, my lord. The sun strikes it, and it dazzles my eyes."
"That cannot be; for your eyes are brighter than sun and sword together."
"Then I must shade them with the leaves."
"Yes, shade them with the leaves," he whispered. "Madam, is there no token of forgiveness?"
An absolute silence followed for a little while. Then Osra said:
"Why did you swear on your honor?"
"Because it is an oath that I cannot break."
"Indeed, I wish that I had not come," sighed Princess Osra.
Again came silence. The bough was pressed down for an instant; then it swayed swiftly up again; and its leaves brushed the cheek of Monsieur de Mérosailles. And he laughed loud and joyfully.
"Something touched my cheek," said he.
"It must have been a leaf," said Princess Osra.
"Ah, a leaf!"
"I think so," said Princess Osra.
"Then it was a leaf of the Tree of Life," said Monsieur de Mérosailles.
"I wish some one would set me on my horse," said Osra.
"That you may ride back to the castle--alone?"
"Yes, unless you would relieve my brother's anxiety."
"It would be courteous to do that much," said the Marquis.
So they mounted, and rode back through the forest. In an hour the Princess had come, and in the space of something over two hours they returned; yet during all this time they spoke hardly a word; and although the sun was now set, yet the glow remained on the face and in the eyes of Princess Osra; while Monsieur de Mérosailles, being forgiven, rode with a smile on his lips.
But when they came to the castle, Prince Rudolf ran out to meet them, and he cried almost before he reached them.
"Hasten, hasten! There is not a moment, to lose, if the marquis values life or liberty!" And when he came to them, he told them that a waiting-woman had been false to Monsieur de Mérosailles, and, after taking his money, had hid herself in his chamber, and seen the first kiss that the princess gave him, and having made some pretext to gain a holiday, had gone to the king, who was hunting near, and betrayed the whole matter to him.
"And one of my gentlemen," he continued, "has ridden here to tell me. In an hour the guards will be here, and if the king catches you, my lord, you will hang, as sure as I live."
The princess turned very pale, but Monsieur de Mérosailles said, haughtily, "I ask your pardon, sir, but the king dares not hang me, for I am a gentleman and a subject of the king of France."
"Man, man!" cried Rudolf. "The Lion will hang you first and think of all that afterward! Come, now, it is dusk. You shall dress yourself as my groom, and I will ride to the frontier, and you shall ride behind me, and thus you may get safe away. I cannot have you hanged over such a trifle."
"I would have given my life willingly for what you call a trifle, sir," said the marquis, with a bow to Osra.
"Then have the trifle and life, too," said Rudolf, decisively. "Come in with me, and I will give you your livery."
When the prince and Monsieur de Mérosailles came out again on the drawbridge, the evening had fallen, and it was dark; and their horses stood at the end of the bridge, and by the horses stood the princess.
"Quick!" said she. "For a peasant who came in, bringing a load of wood, saw a troop of men coming over the crown of the hill, and he says they are the king's guard."
"Mount, man!" cried the prince to Monsieur de Mérosailles, who was now dressed as a groom. "Perhaps we can get clear, or perhaps they will not dare to stop me."
But the marquis hesitated a little, for he did not like to run away; and the princess ran a little way forward, and, shading her eyes with her hand, cried, "See there; I see the gleam of steel in the dark. They have reached the top of the hill, and are riding down."
Then Prince Rudolf sprang on his horse, calling again to Monsieur de Mérosailles: "Quick! quick! Your life hangs on it!"
Then at last the marquis, though he was most reluctant to depart, was about to spring on his horse, when the princess turned and glided back swiftly to them. And--let it be remembered that evening had fallen thick and black--she came to her brother, and put out her hand, and grasped his hand, and said:
"My lord, I forgive your wrong, and I thank you for your courtesy, and I wish you farewell."
Prince Rudolf, astonished, gazed at her without speaking. But she, moving very quickly in spite of the darkness, ran to where Monsieur de Mérosailles was about to spring on his horse, and she flung one arm lightly about his neck, and she said:
"Farewell, dear brother--God preserve you! See that no harm comes to my good friend Monsieur de Mérosailles." And she kissed him lightly on the cheek. Then she suddenly gave a loud cry of dismay, exclaiming, "Alas, what have I done? Ah, what have I done?" And she hid her face in her two hands.
Prince Rudolf burst into a loud, short laugh, yet he said nothing to his sister, but again urged the marquis to mount his horse. And the marquis, who was in a sad tumult of triumph and of woe, leaped up, and they rode out, and, turning their faces towards the forest, set spurs to their horses, and vanished at breakneck speed into the glades. And no sooner were they gone than the troopers of the king's guard clattered at a canter up to the end of the bridge, where the Princess Osra stood. But when their captain saw the princess, he drew rein.
"What is your errand, sir?" she asked, most coldly and haughtily.
"Madam," said the captain, "we are ordered to bring the Marquis de Mérosailles alive or dead into the king's presence, and we have information that he is in the castle, unless indeed he were one of the horsemen who rode away just now."
"The horsemen you saw were my brother the prince and his groom," said Osra. "But if you think that Monsieur de Mérosailles is in the castle, pray search the castle from keep to cellar; and if you find him, carry him to my father, according to your orders."
Then the troopers dismounted in great haste, and ransacked the castle from keep to cellar; and they found the clothes of the marquis and the white powder with which he had whitened his face, but the marquis they did not find. And the captain came again to the princess, who still stood at the end of the bridge, and said:
"Madam, he is not in the castle."
"Is he not?" said she, and she turned away and, walking to the middle of the bridge, looked down into the water of the moat.
"Was it in truth the prince's groom who rode with him, madam?" asked the captain, following her.
"In truth, sir, it was so dark," answered the princess, "that I could not myself clearly distinguish the man's face."
"One was the prince, for I saw you embrace him, madam."
"You do well to conclude that that was my brother," said Osra, smiling a little.
"And to the other, madam, you gave your hand."
"And now I give it to you," said she, with haughty insolence. "And if to my father's servant, why not to my brother's?"
And she held out her hand that he might kiss it, and turned away from him, and looked down into the water again.
"But we found Monsieur de Mérosailles's clothes in the castle!" persisted the captain.
"He may well have left something of his in the castle," said the princess.
"I will ride after them!" cried the captain.
"I doubt if you will catch them," smiled the princess; for by now the pair had been gone half an hour, and the frontier was but ten miles from the castle, and they could not be overtaken. Yet the captain rode off with his men, and pursued till he met Prince Rudolf returning alone, having seen Monsieur de Mérosailles safe on his way. And Rudolf had paid the sum of a thousand crowns to the marquis, so that the fugitive was well provided for his journey, and, travelling with many relays of horses, made good his escape from the clutches of King Henry.
But the Princess Osra stayed a long time looking down at the water in the moat. And sometimes she sighed, and then again she frowned, and, although nobody was there, and it was very dark into the bargain, more than once she blushed. And at last she turned to go in to the castle. And, as she went, she murmured softly to herself:
"Why I kissed him the first time I know--it was in pity; and why I kissed him the second time I know--it was in forgiveness. But why I kissed him the third time, or what that kiss meant," said Osra, "Heaven knows."
And she went in with a smile on her lips.
MISS TARBELL'S LIFE OF LINCOLN.
The response to our New Life of Lincoln is so extraordinary as to demand something more than mere acknowledgment from us.
Within ten days of the publication of the magazine no less than forty thousand new buyers were added to our list, and at this writing (November 25th) the increase has reached one hundred thousand, making a clear increase of one hundred thousand in three months, and bringing the total edition for the present number up to a quarter of a million.
But even more gratifying have been the strong expressions of approval from many whose intimate knowledge of Lincoln's life enables them to distinguish what is _new_ in this life.
As Mr. Medill says in an editorial in the Chicago "Tribune," "It is not only full of new things, but is so distinct and clear in local color that an interest attaches to it which is not found in other biographies."
And Mr. R.W. Diller, of Springfield, Illinois, who knew Mr. Lincoln intimately for nearly twenty years before his election to the Presidency, writes to us about Miss Tarbell's article: "As far as read she goes to rock-bottom evidence and will beat her Napoleon out of sight."
There are certainly few men more familiar with all that has been written about Lincoln than William H. Lambert, Esq., of Philadelphia, whose collection includes practically every book, pamphlet, or printed document about Lincoln, and who has one of the finest collections of Lincolniana in the world. He writes:
"I have read your first article with intense interest, and I am confident that you will make a most important addition to our knowledge of Lincoln."
But perhaps it is better to print some of the letters we have received commenting on the first article and on the early portrait and other portraits and illustrations.
John T. Morse, Jr., author of the lives of Abraham Lincoln, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin, published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. in their "American Statesmen Series," and editor of this series, writes as follows about the early portrait:
6 FAIRCHILD STREET, BOSTON,
_November 2, 1895._
S.S. MCCLURE, ESQ.--_Dear Sir_: I thank you very much for the artist's proof of the engraving of the earliest picture of Abraham Lincoln.
I have studied this portrait with very great interest. All the portraits with which we are familiar show us the man _as made_; this shows us the man _in the_ _making_; and I think every one will admit that the making of Abraham Lincoln presents a more singular, puzzling, interesting study than the making of any other man known in human history.
I have shown it to several persons, without telling them who it was. Some say, a poet; others, a philosopher, a thinker, like Emerson. These comments also are interesting, for Lincoln had the raw material of both these characters very largely in his composition, though political and practical problems so over-laid them that they show only faintly in his later portraits. This picture, therefore, is valuable evidence as to his natural traits.
Was it not taken at an earlier date than you indicate as probable in your letter? I should think that it must have been.
I am very sincerely yours,
JOHN T. MORSE, JR.
Dr. Hale also draws attention to the resemblance of the early portrait to Emerson:
_October 28, 1895._
_My dear Mr. McClure_:--I think you will be interested to know that in showing the early portrait of Lincoln to two young people of intelligence, each of them asked if it were not a portrait of Waldo Emerson. If you will compare the likeness with that of Emerson in Appleton's "Cyclopedia of Biography," I think you will like to print copies of the two likenesses side by side.
EDWARD E. HALE.
Mr. T.H. Bartlett, the eminent sculptor, who has for many years collected portraits of Lincoln, and has made a scientific study of Lincoln's physiognomy, contributes this:
The first interest of the early portrait to me is that it shows Lincoln, even at that age, as a _new man_. It may to many suggest certain other heads, but a short study of it establishes its distinctive originality in every respect. It's priceless, every way, and copies of it ought to be in the gladsome possession of every lover of Lincoln. Handsome is not enough--it's great--not only of a great man, but the first picture representing the only new physiognomy of which we have any correct knowledge contributed by the New World to the ethnographic consideration of mankind.
An eminent member of the Illinois bar, one who has been closely identified with the legal history of Illinois for nearly sixty years, and who is perhaps the best living authority on the history of the State, writes:
That portion of the biography of Mr. Lincoln that appears in the November number of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE I have read with very great interest. It contains much that has not been printed in any other life of Lincoln. Especially interesting is the account given of pioneer life of that people among whom Mr. Lincoln had his birth and his early education. It was a strange and singular people, and their history abounds in much that is akin to romance and peculiar to a life in the wilderness. It was a life that had a wonderful attractiveness for all that loved an adventurous life. The story of their lives in the wilderness has a charm that nothing else in Western history possesses. It is to be regretted that there are writers that represent the early pioneers of the West to have been an ignorant and rude people. Nothing can be further from the truth. Undoubtedly there were some dull persons among them. There are in all communities. But a vast majority of the early pioneers of the West were of average intelligence with the people they left back in the States from which they emigrated. And why should they not have been? They were educated among them, and had all the advantages of those by whom they were surrounded. But in some respects they were much above the average of those among whom they dwelt in the older communities east of the Alleghany Mountains. The country into which they were about to go was known to be crowded with dangers. It was a wilderness, full of savage beasts and inhabited by still more savage men--the Indians. It is evident that but few other than the brave and most daring, would venture upon a life in such a wilderness. The timid and less resolute remained in the security of an older civilization.
The lives of these early pioneers abounded in brave deeds, and were often full of startling adventures. The women of that period were as brave and heroic as were the men--if not more so. It is doubtless true Mr. Lincoln's mother was one of that splendid type of heroic pioneer women. He was brave and good because his mother was brave and good. She has since become distinguished among American women because her child, born in a lowly cabin in the midst of a wild Western forest, has since been recognized as the greatest man of the century--if not of all centuries. It was fortunate for our common country that Mr. Lincoln was born among that pioneer people and had his early education among them. It was a simple school, and the course of studies limited; but the lessons he learned in that school in the forest were grand and good. Everything around and about him was just as it came from the hands of the Creator. It was good, and it was beautiful. It developed both the head and the heart. It produced the best type of manhood--both physical and mental. It was in that school he learned lessons of heroism, courage, and of daring for the right. It was there he learned lessons of patriotism in its highest and best sense; and it was there he learned to love his fellow-man. It was in the practice of those lessons his life became such a benediction to the American nation.
The story of that people among whom Mr. Lincoln spent his early life will always have a fascination for the American people; and it is a matter of congratulation so much of it has been gathered up and put into form to be preserved.
The portraits the work contains give a very good idea of that pioneer race of men and women. The one given of Mr. Lincoln's step-mother is a splendid type of a pioneer woman. A touching contribution are the brief lines of which a facsimile is printed:
"Abraham Lincoln his hand and pen he will be good but God knows When."
These words--simple as they are--will touch the heart of the American people through all the years of our national history. It was "his hand and pen" that wrote many beautiful thoughts. It was his "hand and pen" that wrote those kindest of all words, "With malice towards none, with charity for all." It was his "hand and pen" that traced the lines of that wonderful Gettysburg speech; and it was his "hand and pen" that wrote the famous proclamation that gave liberty to a race of slaves. It was then God knew he was "good."
If the remainder of the work shall be of the same character as that now printed, it will be both an instructive and valuable contribution to American biography.
There is so much in Mr. Medill's editorial in the Chicago "Tribune," and he is entitled to speak with such authority, that we print it complete herewith.
Mr. Medill says:
THE NEW LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
It is apparent at the very outset that the new "Life of Abraham Lincoln," edited by Miss Ida M. Tarbell, the first installment of which appears in McCLURE'S MAGAZINE for the current month, will be one of the most important and interesting contributions yet made to Lincoln literature, as it will contain much matter hitherto unpublished, and will be enriched with a large number of new illustrations. It will be a study of Abraham Lincoln as a man, and thus will naturally commend itself to the people.
The first installment covers about the first twenty-one years of Lincoln's life, which were spent in Kentucky and Indiana. The story is told very briefly, in simple, easy style, and abounds with reminiscences secured from his contemporaries. It is not only full of new things, but it is so distinct and clear in local color that an interest attaches to it which is not found in other biographies. A large part of this credit must be awarded not alone to the text and to its careful editing, but also to the numerous pictures which upon every page illustrate the context and give the scenes of the story. It is particularly rich in portraits. Among these are portraits from an ambrotype taken at Macomb, Illinois, in 1858, during his debate with Douglas, the dress being the same as that in which Lincoln made his famous canvass for the Senate; a second from a photograph taken at Hannibal, Missouri, in 1858; a third from an ambrotype taken at Urbana, Illinois, in 1857; and a fourth from an ambrotype taken in a linen coat at Beardstown, Illinois.
The picture, however, which will attract the greatest interest is the frontispiece, from a daguerreotype which his son, Robert Lincoln, thinks was taken when his father was about forty years old. In this picture, which bears little resemblance to any other known portraits, he is dressed with scrupulous care. His hair is combed and brushed down with something like youthful vanity, and he has a smooth, bright, rather handsome face, and without sunken cheeks, strikingly resembling in contour and the shape of the head some of the early portraits of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It looks, however, as if it had been taken at an earlier age than forty. As the only portrait of Lincoln with a comparatively young face it will be treasured by all his admirers, and his son has conferred a distinct benefit by his courtesy in allowing it to be reproduced.
There are numerous other portraits, among them those of the Rev. Jesse Head, who married Lincoln's father and mother; of Austin Gollaher, who was a boy friend of Lincoln in Kentucky, and the only one now living; of his step-mother, Sarah Bush Lincoln; of Josiah Crawford, whom Lincoln served in Indiana as "hired boy;" of the well-known Dennis Hanks, cousin of Lincoln's mother; of John Hanks, also a cousin; of Judge John Pitcher, who assisted Lincoln in his earliest studies; and of Joseph Gentry, the only boy associate of Lincoln in Indiana now living. These portraits, in addition to the numerous views of scenes connected with Lincoln's boyhood, add greatly to the interest of the text. Mr. McClure, the proprietor of the magazine, is certainly to be congratulated upon the successful manner in which he has launched the opening chapters of the new "Life of Lincoln." The remaining ones, running a whole year, will be awaited with keen interest. It is said that Miss Tarbell has found and obtained a shorthand report of his unpublished but famous speech delivered at Bloomington, May 29, 1856, before the first Republican State convention ever held in Illinois. This is a great find and a very important addition to his published speeches. Many of those who heard it have always claimed that it was the most eloquent speech he ever made.
In an editorial in the "Standard-Union" of Brooklyn, Mr. Murat Halstead expresses the general feeling of all who knew Lincoln:
The magazine gives an admirable engraving of this portrait as the frontispiece, as "The earliest portrait of Abraham Lincoln, from a daguerreotype taken when Lincoln was about forty; owned by his son, the Hon. Robert T. Lincoln, through whose courtesy it is here reproduced for the first time." This is a very modest statement, considering the priceless discovery it announces. The portrait does not show a man "about forty" years old in appearance. "About" thirty would be the general verdict, if it were not that the daguerreotype was unknown when Lincoln was of that age. It does not seem, however, that he could have been more than thirty-five, and for that age the youthfulness of the portrait is wonderful. This is a new Lincoln, and far more attractive, in a sense, than anything the public has possessed. This is the portrait of a remarkably handsome man.... The head is magnificent, the eyes deep and generous, the mouth sensitive, the whole expression something delicate, tender, pathetic, poetic. This was the young man with whom the phantoms of romance dallied, the young man who recited poems and was fanciful and speculative, and in love and despair, but upon whose brow there already gleamed the illumination of intellect, the inspiration of patriotism. There were vast possibilities in this young man's face. He could have gone anywhere and done anything. He might have been a military chieftain, a novelist, a poet, a philosopher, ah! a hero, a martyr--and, yes, this young man might have been--he even was Abraham Lincoln! This was he with the world before him. It is good fortune to have the magical revelation of the youth of the man the world venerates. This look into his eyes, into his soul--not before he knew sorrow, but long before the world knew him--and to feel that it is worthy to be what it is, and that we are better acquainted with him and love him the more, is something beyond price.
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1863.
From a photograph by Brady, taken in Washington.]
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN 1854--HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED.
From a photograph owned by Mr. George Schneider of Chicago, Illinois, former editor of the "Staats Zeitung," the most influential anti-slavery German newspaper of the West. Mr. Schneider first met Mr. Lincoln in 1853, in Springfield. "He was already a man necessary to know," says Mr. Schneider. In 1854 Mr. Lincoln was in Chicago, and Mr. Isaac N. Arnold, a prominent lawyer and politician of Illinois, invited Mr. Schneider to dine with Mr. Lincoln. After dinner, as the gentlemen were going down town, they stopped at an itinerant photograph gallery, and Mr. Lincoln had the above picture taken for Mr. Schneider. The newspaper he holds in his hands is the "Press and Tribune." The picture has never before been reproduced.]
[Illustration: LINCOLN IN FEBRUARY, 1860, AT THE TIME OF THE COOPER INSTITUTE SPEECH.
From a photograph by Brady. The debate with Douglas in 1858 had given Lincoln a national reputation, and the following year he received many invitations to lecture. One came from a young men's Republican club in New York,--for one in a series of lectures designed for an audience of men and women of the class apt to neglect ordinary political meetings. Lincoln consented, and in February, 1860 (about three months before his nomination for the Presidency), delivered what is known from the hall in which it was delivered, as the "Cooper Institute speech"--a speech which more than confirmed his reputation. While in New York he was taken by the committee of entertainment to Brady's gallery, and sat for the portrait reproduced above. It was a frequent remark with Lincoln that this portrait and the Cooper Institute speech made him President.]