McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 6, October, 1908 by cc012218-84b0-48ee-8da8-4d4f76f99f81, Various
[Illustration: _From the painting by F. Brangwyn_
"THEIR LANTERN JUST BROUGHT OUT THE GHOSTLINESS OF GRAVESTONES LEANING BETWEEN THE COLUMNS OF THE CYPRESSES"
_See "The Valley of Mills," page 659_]
VOL. XXXI OCTOBER, 1908 No. 6
FAMILIAR LETTERS OF AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS
EDITED BY ROSE STANDISH NICHOLS
ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS
_Copyright, 1908, by The S. S. McClure Co. All rights reserved_
These familiar letters from Augustus Saint-Gaudens show the artist as his intimate friends knew him. They were written at odd moments, often in haste, and never with a shadow of self-consciousness. They are interesting, not as literary productions, but as the simple record of a critical period in his career.
"Le Coeur au Métier," the motto which he wished to place in his studio, will be seen to express the spirit of his life. Other keen interests he had, but they were never allowed to interfere with his work, and he seldom felt the need of any recreation apart from it. One of his friends used to complain that in the midst of their merrymaking an abstracted look would come into his eyes and his mind would hark back to sculpture. Although he was extremely modest and was given to underrating his powers in other directions, from his childhood he confidently expected to be a great artist. As a little school-boy, sent from his father's shop to do errands, he would sit in the omnibus and look about at his well-dressed fellow-passengers, and wonder what they would think if they realized what he was going to be some day. But even as a child he never dreamed of achieving his ambition without years of ceaseless struggle.
When the boy left school, at the age of thirteen, this struggle began. In 1848 his father, a Frenchman, had brought his Irish wife and his baby, Augustus, to New York, where he worked as a shoemaker. He was poor, and was anxious that his eldest son should become self-supporting as soon as possible; so at thirteen the boy was apprenticed to a cameo-cutter, whose trade he mastered with surprising readiness, at the same time studying drawing at the Cooper Institute in the evenings. In a little while he was not only earning his own living by cameo-cutting, but excelled all his fellow-pupils at the night-school in talent and perseverance.
[Illustration: AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS FROM A PHOTOGRAPH IN THE COLLECTION OF MRS. ROSE NICHOLS]
Saint-Gaudens' artistic education was completed in Europe, where he went at the age of eighteen and stayed almost continuously for nearly fourteen years. His father sent him first to Paris. There his progress in the art schools was marked, although he continued to support himself by his trade, and could give only half his time to sculpture. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War he reluctantly refrained from enlisting in the French army and left for Italy. It was in Rome that he first found sculpture remunerative, and finally was able to drop cameo-cutting. The years from 1866 to 1880, which he spent in Rome and Paris, with only occasional visits to America, were singularly happy ones, characterized by a capacity for continuous work at a high pitch of excellence.
The letters from Saint-Gaudens printed here were written eighteen years later, when the sculptor had come into full possession of his genius. They cover a most critical period in his career, and record his greatest artistic triumph--his recognition in France as one of the foremost of modern sculptors. After he returned to the United States in 1880 he lived and worked in New York, and by 1897 had built up a national reputation. His work was progressing under the most favorable conditions, with the encouragement of an ever-increasing circle of friends and admirers. On the other hand, in France, his father's country, where he himself had been educated, his work was practically unknown. A few of his former comrades at the Beaux-Arts, judging his sculpture from photographs, did not hesitate to tell Saint-Gaudens that it had been over-praised in America and would obtain no such appreciation in France. The sculptor felt that, in order to learn his own deficiencies and to find out where he really stood among his contemporaries, he must return to Paris, exhibit at the Salon, and run the gauntlet of the best critics. All his friends on both sides of the water discouraged him from taking this step, and he himself dreaded it; but he believed that, in justice to himself and to his work, he must make this venture.
After his decision was made, however, his departure had to be postponed until various duties were fulfilled. The Shaw and Logan monuments had first to be completed and unveiled, and a number of smaller commissions had to be executed. From the beginning of his work upon the Shaw memorial there had been bitter opposition upon the part of his friends to the symbolical figure hovering above Colonel Shaw and his men, but the sculptor clung to his original conception with great tenacity. Saint-Gaudens' best friend, Bion, a Parisian sculptor and critic, whose opinion he valued highly, had never liked the idea of this figure. Just before Bion's death he received a photograph of the monument as finished in the clay, and he wrote a long letter to Saint-Gaudens, complaining that the angel was as superfluous as a figure of Simplicity would be, floating in the air above the bent figures in Millet's "Gleaners," and concluding: "I had no need of your 'nom de Dieu' allegory on the ceiling. Your negroes marching in step and your Colonel leading them told me enough. Your priestess merely bores me as she tries to impress upon me the beauty of their action."
[Illustration: CARYATID FOR THE VANDERBILT HOUSE]
Concerning this letter of Bion's, Saint-Gaudens wrote:
"The Players, New York, Jan. 26th, 1897
"I meant to write you at length tonight but I started with a letter to Bion which has kept me busy till now, 11 P.M. It is in reply to the one from him that I enclose, in which at the end he says a word of you.
"I am not disturbed by his dislike of my figure. It is because it does not look well in the photograph. If the figure in itself looked well, he would have liked it, I know, and notwithstanding his admirable comparison with the Millet I still think that a figure, if well done in that relation to the rest of the scheme, is a fine thing to do. The Greeks and Romans did it finely in their sculpture. After all it's the way the thing's done that makes it right or wrong, that's about the only creed I have in art. However his letter is interesting, although very sad, dear old boy.
[Illustration: DETAIL FROM THE SHAW MEMORIAL, SHOWING THE ALLEGORICAL FIGURE FULL FACE, AS IN THE FIRST DESIGN]
[Illustration: _Copley print, copyrighted by Curtis and Cameron_
DETAIL FROM THE SHAW MEMORIAL, SHOWING THE ALLEGORICAL FIGURE WITH THE HEAD TURNED MORE IN PROFILE, AS IN THE FINAL EXECUTION]
"All of the Shaw is out of the studio. They cast the Logan on Monday and I am working like the devil on the Sherman. I've found precisely the model I wished, just his size, the same pose of the head and the same thinness; a Milanese peasant who poses like a rock. Next week I commence the nude of the Victory from a South Carolinian girl with a figure like a goddess.
"Affectionately yours A. ST.-G."
Bion died shortly after writing his objections to the allegorical figure, and if anything could have changed Saint-Gaudens' decision regarding his composition of the Shaw monument, his friend's letter would certainly have done so. Although Saint-Gaudens and Bion had studied sculpture together at the Beaux-Arts in their youth, it was not until years afterward that, through a constant interchange of letters, their relation became a close one. Bion gave up sculpture as a profession, and devoted himself to friendship and philosophy. He dropped into the studios of a few intimates every day, frequented art exhibitions, and attended lectures upon philosophy and psychology at the Sorbonne or the Collège de France; but the long letters which he used to write Saint-Gaudens every week became more and more the chief business of his life. He kept his friend informed as to what was going on in Paris; of the doings of their little circle of acquaintances; and wrote him detailed descriptions of all important events in the world of art, besides giving him a great deal of disinterested advice upon every conceivable subject, including his work and the conduct of his life. Saint-Gaudens used to reply at great length, but his letters were destroyed, according to directions left in his friend's will. When the news of Bion's death reached Saint-Gaudens, he wrote:
"148 W. 36th St., Feb. 17th, 1897
"Of course the one thing on my mind, the terrible spectre that looms up, is poor Bion's death; night and day, at all moments, it comes over me like a wave that overwhelms me, and it takes away all heart that I may have in anything. Today, however, I have had a kind of sad feeling of companionship with him, that seems to bring him to me, in working over the head of the flying figure of the Shaw. The bronze founders are not ready for it yet. I have had a stamp made of the figure and have helped it a great deal, I am sure you will think. You know that Thayer told me he thought an idea I once had of turning the head more profile, was a better one than that I had evolved, and I've always wished to do it. It is done, and it's the feeling of death and mystery and love in the making of it that brought my friend back to me so much today.... But the young, thank Heaven, do not feel these blows so profoundly as do older people. In one of my blue fits the other day I felt the end of all things, and reasoning from one thing to the other and about the hopelessness of trying to fathom what it all means, I reached this: that we know nothing, (of course) but a deep conviction came over me like a flash that at the bottom of it all, whatever it is, the mystery must be beneficent. It does not seem as if the bottom of all were something malevolent; and the thought was a great comfort.
[Illustration: _Copley print, copyrighted by Curtis and Cameron_
MONUMENT TO COLONEL ROBERT GOULD SHAW, ERECTED AT BOSTON]
"I shall be all the week at the figure. I've made an olive branch instead of the palm,--it looks less 'Christian martyr'-like,--and I have lightened and simplified the drapery a great deal. I had not seen it for two or three months and I had a fresh impression.
"At 27th Street I've finished the nude of the Sherman and next week I begin to put his clothes on him. I had another day with the model for the Victory last Sunday, and that, too, is progressing rapidly. Zorn, the Swedish artist, was with me all day Sunday making an etching of me while the model rested; it is an admirable thing and I will send you a copy of it.
"The studio is once more in a fearful condition with the casting of the Logan, and the getting of the Puritan ready to photograph and cast for the Boston Museum and to send abroad to have the reductions made....
"This letter is no good, but it must go; the clatter of seven moulders and sculptors does not help to the expression or the development of thought, confusion only----
"Affectionately A. ST.-G."
"May 15th or 16th, 1897
"The Shaw goes to Boston on Thursday or Friday. I've done little else lately but run around about it until I am frantic. On the other hand, while waiting for some workmen yesterday, I had a great walk in the Babylonian East Side here. It was a beautiful day and one of great impressions.
"I have not commenced the Howells medallion yet, as I expected to be absent. I believe I told you I had a nice note from him.
[Illustration: MURAL PLAQUE ERECTED IN MEMORY OF DR. JAMES McCOSH]
The Shaw memorial was unveiled in Boston, in the latter part of May, 1897. The erection of the monument had been so long delayed that Saint-Gaudens feared that the public had lost interest in the work, or would expect too much and be disappointed. On the contrary, its success was immediate, and made him very happy. Its appeal was to men of every condition, laymen as well as artists, and nothing ever pleased the sculptor more than the way it arrested the attention of almost every passer-by. In June, scarcely a month after the unveiling of the Shaw, another soldier's monument, the equestrian statue of General Logan, was unveiled at Chicago, and Saint-Gaudens went there to be present at the ceremony.
[Illustration: STATUE OF PETER COOPER, NEW YORK]
"1142 The Rookery, Chicago, June 23, 1897
"I am again at the top of this big building here, and I will give you some description of the last 24 hours. At one o'clock yesterday Mrs. Deering, Mrs. French, Mr. French (brother and sister-in-law of Dan French) and I were placed in one carriage, Mr. Deering, Mrs. St. G. and the editor of the 'Chicago Tribune' in another, and in the wake of a lot of other carriages and followed by a procession of them, we drove to the big stand. A great day; with a high wind and glorious sun. I was put in one of the seats in the Holy of Holies alongside of Mrs. Logan, if you please, and the president of the ceremonies. A lot of speeches, one of which was very good, and at the right moment the complicated arrangement of flags dropped, the cannon fired, the band played, Mrs. Logan wept, and I posed for a thousand snap photographs, 'a gleam of triumph passed over my face,' think of that! (vide 'Chicago Tribune').
[Illustration: THE LOGAN MONUMENT, ERECTED AT CHICAGO]
"However, the monument looks impressive as I see it this morning for the first time with much of the disfiguring scaffolding gone. I stay here until Sunday, when I take the 5.30 P.M. train and shall get to New York Monday at 6 or 7. Last night we went to a great golf place where high merriment prevailed. This afternoon to Fort Sheridan. Tonight a reception at the Art Institute; tomorrow a lawn party at Burnham's and Sunday a visit to the great dredging canal; on Monday the cars and rest."
After the sculptor's return from Chicago, he continued his preparations for departure in New York.
"The Players, August 7, 1897
"Brander Matthews has just come and interrupted this with a long and interesting talk on the conventional in art and an article he has written and sent to Scribner's on it. You have often wondered what I think about things--I wonder myself; I think anything and everything. This seeing a subject so that I can side with either side with equal sympathy and equal convictions I sometimes think a weakness. Then again I'm thinking it a strength.
"Last night I dined with X---- and Y---- and passed a delightful evening with them. X---- cracked his constructed jokes and manufactured his silversmith puns, and cackled over them. We talked literature, English, French, and Taine's great work on English literature. We afterward went to the open air concert at the Madison Square Garden, and when we were not talking of anything else we talked on that subject of eternal interest and mystery 'les femmes.'"
Finally, in the autumn of 1897, after both the Shaw and Logan monuments had been unveiled, and various minor obstacles to his departure had been removed, Saint-Gaudens was ready to leave America. Opposition to his plan still came from every side. Many of his friends in New York seemed to feel that he was casting a certain reproach upon his country by his desire to profit by foreign criticism and to measure his work by European standards. They prophesied that his work would deteriorate under French influence. His few friends in Paris were equally discouraging. They did not hesitate to warn him that if he persisted in coming there he must be prepared to face indifference and failure. Even Bion, when Saint-Gaudens had asked him to get the opinions of a few French artists upon photographs of the Shaw memorial, had refused to do so, saying: "I shan't show your photographs to anyone. Shiff, MacMonnies, and Proctor have seen them, my poor old friend, and the others do not know you. They are quite indifferent about what goes on outside their own little show."
Saint-Gaudens himself feared that he might be making a serious mistake. The ocean voyage in itself was an ordeal to him, and before leaving he wrote: "I continue fencing and am preparing for the voyage as one prepares for a fight. I go to the theatre and that tides over the blue hours which lie between dinner and bed-time." But he felt that he must make the venture, whatever lay before him, and that he could never be satisfied until he had stood the test of a comparison with his chief contemporaries and until his work had been passed upon by the most sophisticated and penetrating critics of art. At the end of September, 1897, accompanied by his wife and his son, Homer, he sailed for England. After crossing to France, he thus described his first impressions:
"Hotel Normandy, Paris, Nov. 7th, 1897
"The beauty of the scenery and of the English homes and villages on the railroad from Southampton to London recalled the delightful impression of the last trip, when I was so light-hearted. The sense of order and thrift appealed to me strongly in comparison with the shiftlessness of America. Then London with its extraordinary impression of power and also of order. Homer and I went to see Hamlet. Read it, R----. As I grow older, the greatness of Shakspeare looms higher and higher; every line, every word is so deep, so true, 'never offending the modesty of nature withal,' as Hamlet himself advises the players.
"From London we came on the following day to Paris. The country between Calais and Dover seemed very grand; great rolling lands with immense fields being ploughed in the waning day. The peace, simplicity, and calm of it all was profoundly impressive. Just a ploughman and a boy, alone in the country on a hillside, following the horses and the plough along the deep, straight furrows; no fences, a clear sky with the half moon, and only a small clump or two of trees--all so orderly and grand."
For the first few weeks in Paris Saint-Gaudens was miserable. His studio, on the Rue de Bagneux, in the Latin Quarter, was large and cheerful, with comfortable quarters adjoining for his assistants, and he was extremely interested in his work upon the equestrian statue of General Sherman. But he missed his old friends and haunts in New York, the weather was gloomy and depressing, and he felt enervated and homesick. Almost none of the friends of his student days were there to welcome him back to Paris, and he was not in the mood to make new ones. Dr. Shiff, a retired physician with a philosophic turn of mind, and many years the sculptor's senior, was the only man he could count upon for regular companionship, though occasionally an old friend like Henry Adams, John Alexander, or Garnier would drop into the studio. John Sargent was another warm friend who helped to keep up his spirits and whom he admired intensely both as a man and as an artist. With Helleu, the etcher, they enjoyed spending a day or two at Chartres and Rheims. In the following letter he describes his first meeting with Whistler:
"Paris, Nov. 16th, 1897
"Mac and I made a short call on Whistler, whom I found much more human than I imagined him to be, and today I went to the Court of Appeals where a trial of his was to come off--it didn't,--but I had a delightful chat with him. He is a very attractive man with very queer clothes, a kind of 1830 coat with an enormous collar greater even than those of that period; a monocle, a strong jaw, very frizzly hair with a white mesh in it, and an extraordinary hat."
The brightest spot in Saint-Gaudens' winter was his visit to the south of France and to Italy, in the company of his friend Garnier, who, like Bion, had been a fellow-student of his at the École des Beaux-Arts years before. They left Paris in December, and went almost directly to Aspet and Salies du Salat, Gascon villages where Saint-Gaudens' father was born and where he worked at his trade as a young man. This was the first time that Augustus Saint-Gaudens had visited that country on the Spanish frontier where his paternal ancestors had lived for centuries and where many of their name still survived.
"Aspet, December, 1897
"I write this in the village where my father was born and today has been one of the most delightful days of my life. I have invited my old friend Garnier (a dear friend and the most delightful of companions) to travel with me. We left Paris yesterday morning and slept at Toulouse last night. We left there this morning before dawn and saw the sun rise over the Pyrenees on our way to Salies du Salat, a most picturesque and dirty village at the foot of the beautiful mountains. I inquired at the station if any Saint-Gaudens lived there. 'Yes, opposite the mairie.' We walked up a narrow Spanish-looking street and there was a little shoe-store and on it the sign 'Saint-Gaudens.' I woke my cousin up. His is the very house where father passed his childhood. We three walked over the town up to the cradle of the 'Comminges' just back of father's house, and we went around on the sward and on the old moat where the children now play and where his father and my father played when children. I cannot describe to you how I was moved by it all.
"After a characteristic déjeuner with the cousin, a typical French peasant, and his typical wife, we hired a wagon with two horses and drove three hours into the mountains through a wonderfully beautiful country, very Spanish in character, to this delightful village. Here father was born, and baptized in the little church right at hand from where I write. There are delightful fountains at every corner and an air of thrift, order, and cleanliness that you cannot imagine. We are in a nice hotel, a homelike place, and tomorrow, after seeing Market Day, we walk to Saint-Gaudens, about 12 miles from here. It is a most romantic spot; all the country and the people here have a good deal of the Spanish dignity. We are 30 miles from the frontier of Spain. I must stop now because my third cousin (his grandfather and mine were brothers) is coming. He is the postman of the village and the surrounding country, a handsome young fellow who carries the mail around on horseback, and who between times makes shoes."
Leaving this out-of-the-way corner of Gascony, under the shadow of the Pyrenees, Saint-Gaudens and Garnier traveled by Toulouse to Marseilles. From this port the sculptor had sailed twenty-seven or eight years before, when he first went to study in Rome. Now, with his old friend, he again climbed up to where the church of Notre-Dame de la Garde overlooks the Mediterranean, and was amused to remember the three days he had spent upon that hill-top, with little to eat but figs and chocolate, while awaiting the departure of his ship for Italy.
The two artists went by train from Marseilles to Nice and Ventimiglia, and then walked along the superb Cornice road to San Remo, conscious that every step brought them nearer to their beloved Italy. The hills, covered with palms and orange-trees, the sacred-looking groves of gray-green olives detached against the deep blue of the sea, recalled to Saint-Gaudens a story by Anatole France describing some early Christians in an olive grove overlooking the Mediterranean.
In Italy they stopped first at Pisa, and did not reach Rome much before midnight. Regardless of fatigue, Saint-Gaudens insisted upon starting out that night to revisit the favorite haunts of his student days, taking the reluctant Garnier with him. At a late hour they ended their excursion at the Café Greco, where the sculptor talked with a waiter who had served him with coffee in 1871. The next morning they spent in the gardens and the Bosco of the Villa Medici. Nothing seemed to them much changed, and their happiness was as great as if they had found their youth again in the land where they had left it. Saint-Gaudens afterward said that on the night of that arrival in Rome he felt as if he were slaking a great thirst. Before their return they also visited the Bay of Naples. Vivid memories of Italy were present with the sculptor until the end of his life, and during his last illness he said that one thing he wished to live for was to take again the drive from Salerno to Amalfi: the vineyards clinging to the hillsides, the cliffs with the blue waves breaking at their base, haunted him as a vision of exquisite beauty.
Late in the winter Saint-Gaudens returned to Paris, and when spring and the pleasant weather came on he was working again with great enthusiasm, preparing for the Salon. His exhibit at the Champs de Mars attracted much attention and elicited unexpected praise from the severest French critics.
"3, rue de Bagneux, Paris, May 16th, 1898
... "I must be brief today for Dr. Shiff is coming in to talk, and help me with his consoling philosophy as Bion did; and I must work, for the model leaves shortly, and I must use him every hour I can; so I will tell you briefly of what has happened.
"This Paris experience, as far as my art goes, has been a great thing for me. I never felt sure of myself before, I groped ahead. All blindness seems to have been washed away. I see my place clearly now, I know, or think I know, just where I stand. A great self-confidence has come over me and a tremendous desire and will to achieve high things, with a confidence that I shall, has taken possession of me. I exhibited at the Champs de Mars and the papers have spoken well and it seems as if I were having what they call a 'success' here. I send you some of the extracts from several of the principal artistic papers here, the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts,' 'Art et Décoration,' and from the 'Dictionaire Encyclopédique Larousse'; four of these have asked permission to reproduce my work. The Director of the Luxembourg tells me he wishes something of mine, and other friends have asked that I be given the Legion of Honour. Of this latter you must say nothing, and I only speak of it to give you a true idea of what impressions I am undergoing.
"For four months it rained incessantly, but the great interest of preparing for the Salon has interested me. The sunshine has been a blessing, and Paris, with her smiles and green dress and the blue skies overhead captivates like a beautiful woman.
"There is something in the air here which pushes one to do beautiful things; it seems something actually atmospheric, something soft and gentle in the air.... Later Sargent came in very good spirits. We dined and went to the theatre together last night. He wished me to tell him when I go to London, as the fellows there wish to give me a great 'blow off.' And so it all goes; the sun is now pouring into the studio, and it all seems like a great dream."
The article in _Art et Décoration_ to which Saint-Gaudens refers was written by Paul Leprieur. After attacking with great severity Rodin's "Balzac," the critic said:
"The more completely to forget this sinister vision, one may well linger before the work of a great sculptor, almost unknown among us, who reveals himself to us, so to speak, for the first time, with an altogether remarkable collection of monumental sculpture and photographs of monuments previously executed. We refer to M. Saint-Gaudens, an Irishman by birth, who has worked mainly for America, and who was, if I mistake not, the teacher of Mr. MacMonnies--a teacher far superior to his pupil. His exhibit is one of the surprises and delights of the Champs de Mars.
"Had we only the photographs which he shows us--whether of his Peter Cooper, his President Lincoln, the noble and serious allegorical figure for a tomb, called the Peace of God, or the charming caryatid for the Vanderbilt house--we could already perceive the grasp of composition, the decision of the contours, the depth of the sentiment expressed without any splurge or noise. This sculpture, in its acceptance, or ingenious re-shaping, of traditions from ancient sources, as well as in its modern inventiveness, imparts a savor of intimate charm, of dignity without parade, which are rare indeed in our day.
"The actual work exhibited simply confirms the impression of the photographs. To say nothing of the placques and medallions, models of a fine funeral bas-relief, and the highly entertaining and picturesque statue of a Puritan, the large high-relief dedicated to the memory of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw may well be esteemed as a model of intelligent decoration.
"The idea of representing, not the death scene itself, but the moment preceding it, and of showing the army of blacks, led by the white officer, filing by as if in a march to death, grave of mien, solemn, and heroic, is as novel as it is boldly treated. While presenting prodigies of skill (absolutely without triviality or pettiness in matters of detail), and modeled with a great freedom and understanding of how to arrange the various groups of lines in perspective,--which all men of his profession will admire,--everything is kept subordinate to the ensemble and to the predetermined unity of motion. Upon each of the faces one feels more or less the reflection of the motto of self-sacrifice and enthusiastic faith inscribed on a flat surface in the background (Omnia relinquit servare rem publicam), and the superb figure of a woman with flying drapery, symbolical of glory or of death, comparable to the loveliest creations in this style by Watts or Gustave Moreau, succeeds in giving to this very sculpturesque composition a distinguished moral significance."
Two months later the critic Léonce Benedite, in his article on the salons of 1898, wrote, in the _Gazette des Beaux-Arts_:
"It is a foreign sculptor, an American artist whose name alone had previously reached us, M. Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who affords us an example of a commemorative monument composed of modern elements and broadly executed in the simplest and purest sculptural spirit. Half French, not only by descent, but by his whole education, trained in our school,--which he honors today,--the illustrious chief of the future American school of sculpture has produced numerous beautiful works in his own country. Photographic reproductions of these accompany his exhibited works and demonstrate their rare dignity and grandeur of style. His beautiful mortuary statues, one of which is on exhibition at the Salon, together with the caryatid of the Vanderbilt house--long and slender, with beautiful, severe draperies--are figures of distinguished elegance, of austere grace.
"But above all, the statues of President Lincoln and Peter Cooper, the mural tablets of Dr. McCosh and Dr. Bellows, show us with how exalted an appreciation of his art the American master has succeeded in making the most of the complete modernity of his subjects. To be sure, he has not misrepresented the characteristic local physiognomy of his models, or the unique effect of the accessories of costume and furniture; far from it. But with what elegance and vigor he makes them all speak to one, from the skirt of the coat to the slightest fold of the trousers!
"We find ourselves face to face with a powerful and self-restrained master, who is able to comprehend and to express emotion, who speaks a simple but expressive language, and who has the power to convince and to fascinate. The monument to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, erected at Boston, and exhibited in plaster at the Salon, affords us a striking proof of this. It is a large high-relief, set in a graceful and exceedingly simple architectural frame. In the center a young officer, mounted, sword in hand, is leading a company of black soldiers who are marching by his side, musket on shoulder, with a drummer at their head. In the upper field floats a grave and melancholy figure, flying horizontally; it is Duty, and with a sweeping and eloquently mournful gesture she points out to them the road leading to glory and to death. The measured march of the men, the expression of resigned and submissive gravity on the faces of those colored troops, contrasting with the proud, absorbed energy of the young white man who leads them, his beautiful young steed nervous and quivering, emphasizes yet more the restrained enthusiasm and patient determination of the commander. All this, and even the sculptural comprehension of all this paraphernalia of war, impresses one simply yet powerfully, and holds one enthralled by its genuine epic grandeur."
"June 14th, Paris
"I am going to stay alone in Paris and on Sundays go and see Brush and Garnier and the Proctors and go to St. Moritz for a week or ten days; further than that I have no plans.... I see Shiff every other night and dine with him then; occasionally I see F----, whom I rather like. I'm working hard but slowly. I want a little rest, so in two days I go to London to see the exhibit there; besides, Sargent gives me a dinner on the 20th. Paris is really a wonderfully attractive city and the 'cut' atmosphere, to use a very unpleasant phrase, is clearly a great thing. There can never be more than a few big men that one respects, but there are so many people deeply interested in art, literature and music, so many that are working hard, that you feel a great deal of intelligence around you in the direction in which you are working, beside the unusual amount of general intelligence which surrounds one."
Toward the end of June Saint-Gaudens and his family went to England. In London, Sargent, always hospitable, gave a dinner to introduce Saint-Gaudens to many distinguished sculptors and painters. Burne-Jones, unfortunately, had died a few days before. Saint-Gaudens had always admired his work greatly, and treasured photographs of his pictures.
After two days at Broadway with Edwin Abbey, the family separated. Saint-Gaudens and his son Homer then returned to Paris for the summer, while Mrs. Saint-Gaudens went to take a cure at Vichy and St. Moritz. During that summer in Paris Saint-Gaudens saw as much as possible of George De Forest Brush and his family, who were then living near Fontainebleau. His intimacy with the Brushes dated back to his student days in Paris, and had been kept up in America. The two families had often been neighbors at Cornish, New Hampshire. Indeed, the Brushes had spent their first summer there encamped in an Indian "tepee," which was pitched on the edge of a field in front of the Saint-Gaudens' house. Their life always impressed every one as singularly beautiful and happy, and their presence so near Paris helped Saint-Gaudens to get through the long, dull weeks of the summer.
"Paris, July 10th or 11th
"Lately I have had a great time with X----, driving and lunching with him and sometimes with the ladies, going to Versailles and the museums. Next Sunday we go to Chantilly, another day to Dampierre where Rude's great statue of Louis (XIII, I think) is. We go to the Cluny, to the Louvre, and sit sipping in front of cafés, X---- telling me how much the woman question from one point of view troubles him and I doing the same from another, and the big world turns round, and we all suffer, and men fight, and women mourn. Courage and love is what we all need, isn't it?
"Yesterday I went with Homer to Fontainebleau to see Brush and Proctor who live near there at 'Marlotte Montigny.' The day was fine, and I enjoyed it greatly, particularly the walk with Brush and his two lovely eldest children. How remarkable Brush is! All the children are so beautiful and nice-mannered. He has commenced another picture of his wife, this time with all the children and himself, and it is already a stimulating thing, the composition is so fine and what there is of it that is drawn, is so splendidly drawn."
"Paris, July 14th
"It is the third or fourth really fine day that we have had since coming to France eight months ago. The whole city is alive with sunshine, a sky with white floating clouds, and every place brilliant with flags, and there is an unusual feeling of peace in this big studio as I sit alone in it and write to you.
"I have your letter with the enclosure from the _Transcript_. 'That's the way things is,' as Bryant said to me. I send you some more Hosannahs in my honour by this mail, and there is going to be more still in the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts,' as I judge from the way Ary Renan talked to me the other night. He is son of the great Renan and is one of the editors of the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts' and wished to meet me so much that Pallier, another critic, asked us to dine with him night before last. Pallier is the one who wrote the long article in the Liberté about me.
"You speak of Browning--I shall read the 'Ring and the Book,' but unless a man's style is clear I am too lazy and I have too little time to devote to digging gold out of the rocks, fine as it may be. On the other hand I got the Schopenhauer that Shiff spoke about with the intention of sending it to you, but it is so deadly in its pessimism, judging from the ten or eleven lines that I read, that I flung it away. It was so terribly true from his point of view, but what's the use of taking that point of view? We can't remedy matters by weeping and gnashing our teeth over the misery of things. 'That's the way things is' again, and although I have been told all my life it's best to put on a brave face and bear all cheerfully, it's only lately that it is really coming into my philosophy.
"It seems as if we are all in one open boat on the ocean, abandoned and drifting no one knows where, and while doing all we can to get somewhere, it is better to be cheerful than to be melancholy; the latter does not help the situation, and the former cheers up one's comrades.
"Michel, a friend of mine, had a beautiful nude marble bought for the Luxembourg, a pure noble chaste figure. There was a remarkable statuette by Gerôme, two or three other good things in sculpture and the same among the objets d'art, and one swell thing in painting, the Puvis de Chavannes. _That_ appealed to me, but of course there were a lot of other very fine things, by Aman Jean, Henri Martin, Besnard and others. I send you some publications with the good things marked. I think if the Champs-Elysées were sifted there would be more good work found in it or as much as at the Champs de Mars. It is remarkable how much good work is done in Paris, but the first impression is bad, as the good is concealed in such a mountain of trash; but it's like gold in a mountain."
"Paris, July 24th
"Last night I dined with an old 'camarade d'atelier' at his home in the Cité Boileau at Passy and it was a great pleasure to be with him, one of the nicest kind of Frenchmen, a sculptor who is doing admirable work, a man of calm manners and large views, intensely interested in his work. His wife and three children are by the seaside, and on their return, if Homer does not go to America and I remain too, I'm looking forward to Homer's meeting his children. His boy, who is seventeen, is going to work in his atelier with him. It was delightful, as he took one through the rooms of his three children, to see the photographs of admirable works of art they had selected to hang on the walls. He has a house with a garden and we dined outside. (His name is) Lenoir and he is the son of a distinguished architect and grandson of a Lenoir whose bust is erected in the Cour des Beaux-Arts, a man of great distinction here on account of his love of art and his efforts to prevent the Revolutionists in 1795 from destroying the public monuments."
Early in August, while his wife was still away, Saint-Gaudens took his son Homer to Holland, where they had a delightful trip, extending to the quaint dead cities of the north. Ten days or so after their return to Paris they made another successful expedition together to join some friends at the sea-shore.
"3 rue de Bagneux, Paris, Aug. 26.
"It was intensely hot in Paris. I discovered that the Brushes were at Boulogne as well as the Proctors, so off we packed and we have had a great time, what with bathing and lolling all day on the cliffs, which I adore doing. The two Mears sisters followed us down there, and we, the Brushes, Proctors, Mears, babies, and all started off in the mornings, and, with the luncheon mixed up with the babies in the carriage, passed most delightful days, either on the cliffs or by the shore."
Saint-Gaudens, however, could never be happy long away from his work, and he was soon writing from his studio again.
"Paris, Sept. 2d
"A Russian professor at one of the Universities here has sent me his translation of Tolstoi's last work 'What is Art?' and has asked me (with highly eulogistic terms about what I have done, in an inscription on the fly leaf) to give him my opinion, which he wishes to publish with those of other men of note. So I am in for reading it. You read it too, please, and tell me what you think of it, then I'll sign it and send it as my opinion! For I have no opinion, or so many that trying to put them into shape would result in driving me into the mad-house sooner than I am naturally destined to be there. Yes, 5000 different points of view that are possible. After all, we are like lots of microscopical microbes on this infinitesimal ball in space, and all these discussions seem humourous at times. I suppose that every earnest effort toward great sincerity or honesty or beauty in one's production is a drop added to the ocean of evolution, to the Something higher that I suppose we are rising slowly (d----d slowly) to, and all the other discussions upon the subject seem simply one way of helping the seriousness of it all.
"Shiff's letter that I enclose is in reply to one asking whether the professor's request was all right and whether I should bother about it. In answer he wrote that the Russian was a very serious man who had done admirable work. I once told Shiff that at times I thought that 'beauty must mean at least some goodness'--that explains part of his letter to me."
TO BE CONCLUDED IN NOVEMBER
BY PERCEVAL LANDON
Three years ago I was on my way out to the East, and as an extra day in London was of some importance, I took the Friday evening mail train to Brindisi instead of the usual Thursday morning Marseilles express. Many people shrink from the long forty-eight-hour train journey through Europe, and the subsequent rush across the Mediterranean on the nineteen-knot _Isis_ or the _Osiris_; but there is really very little discomfort on either the train or the mail-boat, and unless there is actually nothing for me to do, I always like to save the extra day and a half in London before I say good-bye to her for one of my longer tramps. This time--it was early, I remember, in the shipping season, probably about the beginning of September--there were few passengers, and I had a compartment in the P. and O. Indian express to myself all the way from Calais. All Sunday I watched the blue waves dimpling the Adriatic, and the pale rosemary along the cuttings; the plain white towns, with their flat roofs and their bold "duomos," and the gray-green gnarled olive orchards of Apulia. The journey was just like any other. We ate in the dining-car as often and as long as we decently could. We slept after luncheon; we dawdled the afternoon away with yellow-backed novels; sometimes we exchanged platitudes in the smoking-room, and it was there that I met Alistair Colvin.
Colvin was a man of middle height, with a resolute, well-cut jaw; his hair was turning gray; his mustache was sun-whitened, otherwise he was clean-shaven--obviously a gentleman, and obviously also a preoccupied man. He had no great wit. When spoken to, he made the usual remarks in the right way, and I dare say he refrained from banalities only because he spoke less than the rest of us; most of the time he buried himself in the Wagonlit Company's Time-table, but seemed unable to concentrate his attention on any one page of it. He found that I had been over the Siberian railway, and for a quarter of an hour he discussed it with me. Then he lost interest in it, and rose to go to his compartment. But he came back again very soon, and seemed glad to pick up the conversation again.
Of course this did not seem to me to be of any importance. Most travelers by train become a trifle infirm of purpose after thirty-six hours' rattling. But Colvin's restless way I noticed in somewhat marked contrast with the man's personal importance and dignity; especially ill suited was it to his finely made large hand with strong, broad, regular nails and its few lines. As I looked at his hand I noticed a long, deep, and recent scar of ragged shape. However, it is absurd to pretend that I thought anything was unusual. I went off at five o'clock on Sunday afternoon to sleep away the hour or two that had still to be got through before we arrived at Brindisi.
Once there, we few passengers transhipped our hand baggage, verified our berths--there were only a score of us in all--and then, after an aimless ramble of half an hour in Brindisi, we returned to dinner at the Hôtel International, not wholly surprised that the town had been the death of Virgil. If I remember rightly, there is a gaily painted hall at the International--I do not wish to advertise anything, but there is no other place in Brindisi at which to await the coming of the mails--and after dinner I was looking with awe at a trellis overgrown with blue vines, when Colvin moved across the room to my table. He picked up _Il Secolo_, but almost immediately gave up the pretense of reading it. He turned squarely to me and said:
"Would you do me a favor?"
One doesn't do favors to stray acquaintances on Continental expresses without knowing something more of them than I knew of Colvin. But I smiled in a noncommittal way, and asked him what he wanted. I wasn't wrong in part of my estimate of him; he said bluntly:
"Will you let me sleep in your cabin on the _Osiris_?" And he colored a little as he said it.
Now, there is nothing more tiresome than having to put up with a stable-companion at sea, and I asked him rather pointedly:
"Surely there is room for all of us?" I thought that perhaps he had been partnered off with some mangy Levantine, and wanted to escape from him at all hazards.
Colvin, still somewhat confused, said: "Yes; I am in a cabin by myself. But you would do me the greatest favor if you would allow me to share yours."
This was all very well, but, besides the fact that I always sleep better when alone, there had been some recent thefts on board these boats, and I hesitated, frank and honest and self-conscious as Colvin was. Just then the mail-train came in with a clatter and a rush of escaping steam, and I asked him to see me again about it on the boat when we started. He answered me curtly--I suppose he saw the mistrust in my manner--"I am a member of White's and the Beefsteak." I smiled to myself as he said it, but I remembered in a moment that the man--if he were really what he claimed to be, and I make no doubt that he was--must have been sorely put to it before he urged the fact as a guarantee of his respectability to a total stranger at a Brindisi hotel.
That evening, as we cleared the red and green harbor-lights of Brindisi, Colvin explained. This is his story in his own words:
"When I was traveling in India some years ago, I made the acquaintance of a youngish man in the Woods and Forests. We camped out together for a week, and I found him a pleasant companion. John Broughton was a light-hearted soul when off duty, but a steady and capable man in any of the small emergencies that continually arise in that department. He was liked and trusted by the natives, and his future was well assured in Government service, when a fair-sized estate was unexpectedly left to him, and he joyfully shook the dust of the Indian plains from his feet and returned to England. For five years he drifted about London. I saw him now and then. We dined together about every eighteen months, and I could trace pretty exactly the gradual sickening of Broughton with a merely idle life. He then set out on a couple of long voyages, returned as restless as before, and at last told me that he had decided to marry and settle down at his place, Thurnley Abbey, which had long been empty. He spoke about looking after the property and standing for his constituency in the usual way. He was quite happy and full of information about his future.
"Among other things, I asked him about Thurnley Abbey. He confessed that he hardly knew the place. The last tenant, a man called Clarke, had lived in one wing for fifteen years and seen no one. He had been a miser and a hermit. It was the rarest thing for a light to be seen at the Abbey after dark. Only the barest necessities of life were ordered, and the tenant himself received them at the side-door. His one half-caste man-servant, after a month's stay in the house, had abruptly left without warning, and had returned to the Southern States. One thing Broughton complained bitterly about: Clarke had wilfully spread the rumor among the villagers that the Abbey was haunted, and had even condescended to play childish tricks with spirit-lamps and salt in order to scare trespassers away at night. He had been detected in the act of this tomfoolery, but the story spread, and no one, said Broughton, would venture near the house except in broad daylight. The hauntedness of Thurnley Abbey was now, he said with a grin, part of the gospel of the countryside, but he and his young wife were going to change all that. Would I propose myself any time I liked? I, of course, said I would, and equally, of course, intended to do nothing of the sort without a definite invitation.
"The house was put in thorough repair, though not a stick of the old furniture and tapestry were removed. Floors and ceilings were relaid; the roof was made watertight again, and the dust of half a century was scoured out. He showed me some photographs of the place. It was called an Abbey, though as a matter of fact it had been only the infirmary of the long-vanished Abbey of Closter some five miles away. The larger part of this building remained as it had been in pre-Reformation days, but a wing had been added in Jacobean times, and that part of the house had been kept in something like repair by Mr. Clarke. He had in both the ground and the first floors set a heavy timber door, strongly barred with iron, in the passage between the earlier and the Jacobean parts of the house, and had entirely neglected the former. So there had been a good deal of work to be done.
"Broughton, whom I saw in London two or three times about this time, made a deal of fun over the positive refusal of the workmen to remain after sundown. Even after the electric light had been put into every room, nothing would induce them to remain, though, as Broughton observed, electric light was death on ghosts. The legend of the Abbey's ghosts had gone far and wide, and the men would take no risks. On the whole, though nothing of any sort or kind had been conjured up even by their heated imaginations during their five months' work upon the Abbey, the belief in the ghosts was rather strengthened than otherwise in Thurnley because of the men's confessed nervousness, and local tradition declared itself in favor of the ghost of an immured nun.
"'Good old nun!' said Broughton.
"I asked him whether in general he believed in the possibility of ghosts, and, rather to my surprise, he said that he couldn't say he entirely disbelieved in them. A man in India had told him one morning in camp that he believed that his mother was dead in England, as her vision had come to his tent the night before. He had not been alarmed, but had said nothing, and the figure vanished again. As a matter of fact, the next possible dak-walla brought on a telegram announcing the mother's death. 'There the thing was,' said Broughton.
"'My own idea,' said he, 'is that if a ghost ever does come in one's way, one ought to speak to it.'
"I agreed. Little as I knew of the ghost world and its conventions, I had already remembered that a spook was in honor bound to wait to be spoken to. It didn't seem much to do, and I felt that the sound of one's own voice would at any rate reassure oneself as to one's wakefulness. But there are few ghosts outside Europe--few, that is, that a white man can see--and I had never been troubled with any. However, as I have said, I told Broughton that I agreed.
"So the wedding took place and I went to it in a tall hat which I bought for the occasion, and the new Mrs. Broughton smiled very nicely at me afterwards. As it had to happen, I took the Orient Express that evening and was not in England again for nearly six months. Just before I came back I got a letter from Broughton. He asked if I could see him in London or come to Thurnley, as he thought I should be better able to help him than any one else he knew. His wife sent a nice message to me at the end, so I was reassured about at least one thing. I wrote from Budapest that I would come and see him at Thurnley two days after my arrival in London, and as I sauntered out of the Pannonia into the Kerepesi Ut to post my letters, I wondered of what earthly service I could be to Broughton. I had been out with him after tiger on foot, and I could imagine few men better able at a pinch to manage their own business. However, I had nothing to do, so after dealing with some small accumulations of business during my absence, I packed a kit-bag and departed to Euston.
"I was met by a trap at Thurnley Road station, and after a drive of nearly seven miles we echoed through the sleepy streets of Thurnley village, into which the main gates of the park thrust themselves, splendid with pillars and spread-eagles and tom-cats rampant atop of them. From the gates a quadruple avenue of beech-trees led inwards for a quarter of a mile. Beneath them a neat strip of fine turf edged the road and ran back until the poison of the dead beech-leaves had killed it under the trees. There were many wheel-tracks on the road, and a comfortable little pony trap jogged past me laden with a country parson and his wife and daughter. Evidently there was some garden party going on at the Abbey. The road dropped away to the right at the end of the avenue, and I could see the Abbey across a wide pasturage and a broad lawn thickly dotted with guests.
"The end of the building was plain. It must have been almost mercilessly austere when it was first built, but time had crumbled the edges and toned the stone down to an orange-lichened gray wherever it showed behind its curtain of magnolia, jasmine, and ivy. Farther on was the three-storied Jacobean house, plain and handsome. There had not been the slightest attempt to adapt the one to the other, but the kindly ivy had glossed over the touching-point. There was a tall flèche in the middle of the building, surmounting a small bell tower. Behind the house there rose the mountainous verdure of Spanish chestnuts all the way up the hill.
"Broughton had seen me coming from afar, and walked across from his other guests to welcome me before turning me over to the butler's care. This man was sandy-haired and rather inclined to be talkative. He could, however, answer hardly any questions about the house: he had, he said, only been there three weeks. Mindful of what Broughton had told me, I made no inquiries about ghosts, though the room into which I was shown might have justified anything. It was a very large low room with oak beams projecting from the white ceiling. Every inch of the walls, including the doors, was covered with tapestry, and a remarkably fine Italian fourpost bedstead, heavily draped, added to the darkness and dignity of the place. All the furniture was old, well made, and dark. Underfoot there was a plain green pile carpet, the only new thing about the room except the electric light fittings and the jugs and basins. Even the looking-glass on the dressing-table was an old pyramidal Venetian glass set in heavy repoussé frame of tarnished silver.
"After a few minutes cleaning up, I went downstairs and out upon the lawn, where I greeted my hostess. The people gathered there were of the usual country type, all anxious to be pleased and roundly curious as to the new master of the Abbey. Rather to my surprise, and quite to my pleasure, I rediscovered Glenham, whom I had known well in old days in Barotseland: he lived quite close, as, he remarked with a grin, I ought to have known. 'But,' he added, 'I don't live in a place like this.' He swept his hand to the long, low lines of the Abbey in obvious admiration, and then, to my intense interest, muttered beneath his breath, 'Thank God!' He saw that I had overheard him, and turning to me said decidedly, 'Yes, thank God I said, and I meant I wouldn't live at the Abbey for all Broughton's money.'
"'But surely,' I demurred, 'you know that old Clarke was discovered in the very act of setting light to his bug-a-boos?'
"Glenham shrugged his shoulders. 'Yes, I know about that. But there is something wrong with the place still. All I can say is that Broughton is a different man since he has lived here. I don't believe that he will remain much longer. But--you're staying here?--Well, you'll hear all about it to-night. There's a big dinner, I understand.' The conversation turned off to old reminiscences, and Glenham soon after had to go.
"Before I went to dress that evening I had twenty minutes' talk with Broughton in his library. There was no doubt that the man was altered, gravely altered. He was nervous and fidgety, and I found him looking at me only when my eye was off him. I naturally asked him what he wanted of me. I told him I would do anything I could, but that I couldn't conceive what he lacked that I could provide. He said with a lustreless smile that there was, however, something, and that he would tell me the following morning. It struck me that he was somehow ashamed of himself, and perhaps ashamed of the part he was asking me to play. However, I dismissed the subject from my mind and went up to dress in my palatial room. As I shut the door a draught blew out the Queen of Sheba from the wall, and I noticed that the tapestries were not fastened to the wall at the bottom. I have always held very practical views about spooks, and it has often seemed to me that the slow waving in firelight of loose tapestry upon a wall would account for ninety-nine per cent of the stories one hears, and certainly the dignified undulation of this lady with her attendants and huntsmen--one of whom was untidily cutting the throat of a fallow deer upon the very steps on which King Solomon, a gray-faced Flemish nobleman with the order of the Golden Fleece, awaited his fair visitor--gave color to my hypothesis.
"Nothing much happened at dinner. The people were very much like those of the garden party. After the ladies had gone, I found myself talking to the rural dean. He was a thin, earnest man, who at once turned the conversation to old Clarke's buffooneries. But, he said, Mr. Broughton had introduced such a new and cheerful spirit, not only into the Abbey, but, he might say, into the whole neighborhood, that he had great hopes that the ignorant superstitions of the past were from henceforth destined to oblivion. Thereupon his other neighbor, a portly gentleman of independent means and position, audibly remarked 'Amen,' which damped the rural dean, and we talked of partridges past, partridges present, and pheasants to come. At the other end of the table Broughton sat with a couple of his friends, red-faced hunting men. Once I noticed that they were discussing me, but I paid no attention to it at the time. I remembered it a few hours later.
"By eleven all the guests were gone, and Broughton, his wife, and I were alone together under the fine plaster ceiling of the Jacobean drawing-room. Mrs. Broughton talked about one or two of the neighbors, and then, with a smile, said that she knew I would excuse her, shook hands with me, and went off to bed. I am not very good at analyzing things, but I felt that she talked a little uncomfortably and with a suspicion of effort, smiled rather conventionally, and was obviously glad to go. These things seem trifling enough to repeat, but I had throughout the faint feeling that everything was not square. Under the circumstances, this was enough to set me wondering what on earth the service could be that I was to render--wondering also whether the whole business were not some ill-advised jest in order to make me come down from London for a mere shooting party.
"Broughton said little after she had gone. But he was evidently laboring to bring the conversation round to the so-called haunting of the Abbey. As soon as I saw this, of course I asked him directly about it. He then seemed at once to lose interest in the matter. There was no doubt about it: Broughton was somehow a changed man, and to my mind he had changed in no way for the better. Mrs. Broughton seemed no sufficient cause. He was clearly very fond of her, and she of him. I reminded him that he was going to tell me what I could do for him in the morning, pleaded my journey, lighted a candle, and went upstairs with him. At the end of the passage leading into the old house he grinned weakly and said, 'Mind, if you see a ghost, do talk to it; you said you would,' He stood irresolutely a moment and then turned away. At the door of his dressing-room he paused a moment: 'I'm here,' he called out, 'if you should want anything. Good-night,' and he shut his door.
"I went along the passage to my room, undressed, switched on a lamp beside my bed, read a few pages of the _Jungle Book_, and then, more than ready for sleep, switched the light off and went fast asleep.
* * * * *
"Three hours later I woke up. There was not a breath of wind outside. It was so silent that my ears found employment in listening for the throbbing of the blood within them. There was not even a flicker of light from the fireplace. As I lay there, an ash tinkled slightly as it cooled, but there was hardly a gleam of the dullest red in the grate. An owl cried among the silent Spanish chestnuts on the slope outside. I idly reviewed the events of the day, hoping that I should fall off to sleep again before I reached dinner. But at the end I seemed as wakeful as ever. There was no help for it. I must read my _Jungle Book_ again till I felt ready to go off, so I fumbled for the pear at the end of the cord that hung down inside the bed, and I switched on the bedside lamp. The sudden glory dazzled me for a moment. I felt under my pillow for my book with half-shut eyes. Then, growing used to the light, I happened to look down to the foot of my bed.
* * * * *
"I can never tell you really what happened then. Nothing I could ever confess in the most abject words could even faintly picture to you what I felt. I know that my heart stopped dead, and my throat shut automatically. In one instinctive movement I crouched back up against the head-boards of the bed, staring at the horror. The movement set my heart going again, and the sweat dripped from every pore. I am not a particularly religious man, but I had always believed that God would never allow any supernatural appearance to present itself to man in such a guise and in such circumstances that harm, either bodily or mental, could result to him. I can only tell you that at that moment both my life and my reason rocked unsteadily on their seats."
The other _Osiris_ passengers had gone to bed. Only he and I remained leaning over the starboard railing, which rattled uneasily now and then under the fierce vibration of the over-engined mail-boat. Far over, there were the lights of a few fishing-smacks riding out the night, and a great rush of white combing and seething water fell out and away from us overside.
At last Colvin went on:
"Leaning over the foot of my bed, looking at me, was a figure swathed in a rotten and tattered veiling. This shroud passed over the head, but left both eyes and the right side of the face bare. It then followed the line of the arm down to where the hand grasped the bed-end. The face was not that entirely of a skull, though the eyes and the flesh of the face were totally gone, There was a thin, dry skin drawn tightly over the features, and there was some skin left on the hand. One wisp of hair crossed the forehead. It was perfectly still. I looked at it, and it looked at me, and my brains turned dry and hot in my head. I had still got the pear of the electric lamp in my hand, and I played idly with it; only I dared not turn the light out again. I shut my eyes, only to open them in a hideous terror the same second. The thing had not moved. My heart was thumping, and the sweat cooled me as it evaporated. Another cinder tinkled in the grate, and a panel creaked in the wall.
"My reason failed me. For twenty minutes, or twenty seconds, I was able to think of nothing else but this awful figure, till there came, hurtling through the empty channels of my senses, the remembrance that Broughton and his friends had discussed me furtively at dinner. The dim possibility of it being a hoax stole gratefully into my unhappy mind, and once there, one's pluck came creeping back along a thousand tiny veins. My first sensation was one of blind unreasoning thankfulness that my brain was going to stand the trial. I am not a timid man, but the best of us needs some human handle to steady him in time of extremity, and in this faint but growing hope that after all it might be only a brutal hoax, I found the fulcrum that I needed. At last I moved.
"How I managed to do it, I cannot tell you, but with one spring towards the foot of the bed I got within arm's length and struck out one fearful blow with my fist at the thing. It crumbled under it, and my hand was cut to the bone. With the sickening revulsion after my terror, I dropped half-fainting across the end of the bed. So it was merely a foul trick after all. No doubt the trick had been played many a time before: no doubt Broughton and his friends had had some bet among themselves as to what I should do when I discovered the gruesome thing. From my state of abject terror I found myself transported into an insensate anger. I shouted curses upon Broughton. I dived rather than climbed over the bed-end on to the sofa. I tore at the robed skeleton--how well the whole thing had been carried out, I thought--I broke the skull against the floor, and stamped upon its dry bones. I flung the head away under the bed, and rent the brittle bones of the trunk in pieces. I snapped the thin thigh-bones across my knee, and flung them in different directions. The shin-bones I set up against a stool and broke with my heel. I raged like a Berserker against the loathly thing, and stripped the ribs from the backbone and slung the breastbone against the cupboard. My fury increased as the work of destruction went on. I tore the frail rotten veil into twenty pieces, and the dust went up over everything, over the clean blotting-paper and the silver inkstand. At last my work was done. There was but a raffle of broken bones and strips of parchment and crumbling wool. Then, picking up a piece of the skull--it was the cheek and temple bone of the right side, I remember--I opened the door and went down the passage to Broughton's dressing-room. I remember still how my sweat-dripping pajamas clung to me as I walked. At the door I kicked and entered.
"Broughton was in bed. He had already turned the light on and seemed shrunken and horrified. For a moment he could hardly pull himself together. Then I spoke. I don't know what I said. Only I know that from a heart full and over-full with hatred and contempt, spurred on by shame of my own recent cowardice, I let my tongue run on. He answered nothing. I was amazed at my own fluency. My hair still clung lankily to my wet temples, my hand was bleeding profusely, and I must have looked a strange sight. Broughton huddled himself up at the head of the bed just as I had. Still he made no answer, no defence. He seemed preoccupied with something besides my reproaches, and once or twice moistened his lips with his tongue. But he could say nothing, though he moved his hands now and then, just as a baby who cannot speak moves his hands.
"At last the door into Mrs. Broughton's room opened and she came in, white and terrified. 'What is it? What is it? Oh, in God's name! what is it?' she cried again and again, and then she went up to her husband and sat on the bed; and the two faced me in speechless terror. I told her what the matter was. I spared her husband not a word for her presence there. Yet he seemed hardly to understand. I told the pair that I had spoiled their cowardly joke for them. Broughton looked up.
"'I have smashed the foul thing into a hundred pieces,' I said. Broughton licked his lips again and his mouth worked. 'By God!' I shouted, 'it would serve you right if I thrashed you within an inch of your life. I will take care that not a decent man or woman of my acquaintance ever speaks to you again. And there,' I added, throwing the broken piece of the skull upon the floor beside his bed, 'there is a souvenir for you, of your damned work to-night!'
"Broughton saw the bone, and in a moment it was his turn to frighten me. He squealed like a hare caught in a trap. He screamed and screamed till Mrs. Broughton, almost as terrified as I, held on to him and coaxed him like a child to be quiet. But Broughton--and as he moved I thought that ten minutes ago I perhaps looked as terribly ill as he did--thrust her from him, and scrambled out of the bed on to the floor, and still screaming put out his hand to the bone. It had blood on it from my hand. He paid no attention to me whatever. In truth I said nothing. This was a new turn indeed to the horrors of the evening. He rose from the floor with the bone in his hand, and stood silent. He seemed to be listening. 'Time, time, perhaps,' he muttered, and almost at the same moment fell at full length on the carpet, cutting his head against the fender. The bone flew from his hand and came to rest near the door. I picked Broughton up, haggard and broken, with blood over his face. He whispered hoarsely and quickly, 'Listen, listen!' We listened.
"After ten seconds' utter quiet, I seemed to hear something. I could not be sure, but at last there was no doubt. There was a quiet sound as of one moving along the passage. Little regular steps came towards us over the hard oak flooring. Broughton moved to where his wife sat, white and speechless, on the bed, and pressed her face into his shoulder.
"Then the last thing that I could see as he turned the light out, he fell forward with his own head pressed into the pillow of the bed. Something in their company, something in their cowardice, helped me, and I faced the open doorway of the room, which was outlined fairly clearly against the dimly lighted passage. I put out one hand and touched Mrs. Broughton's shoulder in the darkness. But at the last moment I too failed. I sank on my knees and put my face in the bed. Only, we all heard. The footsteps came to the door, and there they stopped. The piece of bone was lying a yard inside the door. There was a rustle of moving stuff, and the thing was in the room. Mrs. Broughton was silent: I could hear Broughton's voice praying, muffled in the pillow: I was cursing my own cowardice. Then the steps moved out again on the oak boards of the passage, and I heard the sounds dying away. In a flash of remorse I went to the door and looked out. There at the end of the corridor was a small bowed figure in a gray veil--I knew it only too well. But this time there was a pathos in the drooped head that left me standing with my forehead bowed in shame against the jamb of the door.
"'You can turn the light on,' I said, and there was an answering flare. There was no bone at my feet. Mrs. Broughton had fainted. Broughton was almost useless, and it took me ten minutes to bring her to. Broughton only said one thing worth remembering. For the most part he went on muttering prayers. But I was glad afterwards to recollect that he had said that thing. He said in a colorless voice, half as a question, half as a reproach, 'You didn't speak to her.'
"We spent the remainder of the night together. Mrs. Broughton actually fell off into a kind of sleep before dawn, but she suffered so horribly in her dreams that I shook her into consciousness again. Never was dawn so long in coming. Three or four times Broughton spoke to himself. Mrs. Broughton would then just tighten her hold on his arm, but she could say nothing. As for me, I can honestly say that I grew worse as the hours passed and the light strengthened. The two violent reactions had battered down my steadiness of view, and I felt that the foundations of my life had been built upon the sand. I said nothing, and after binding up my hand with a towel, I did not move. It was better so. They helped me and I helped them, and we all three knew that our reason had gone very near to ruin that night. At last, when the light came in pretty strongly, and the birds outside were chattering and singing, we felt that we must do something. Yet we never moved. You might have thought that we should particularly dislike being found as we were by the servants: yet nothing of the kind mattered a straw, and an overpowering listlessness bound us as we sat, until Chapman, Broughton's man, actually knocked and opened the door. None of us moved. Broughton, speaking hardly and stiffly, said: 'Chapman, you can come back in five minutes.' Chapman was a discreet man, but it would have made no difference if he had carried his news to the 'room' at once.
"We looked at each other and I said I must go back. I meant to wait outside till Chapman returned. I simply dared not re-enter my bedroom alone. Broughton roused himself and said that he would come with me. Mrs. Broughton agreed to remain in her own room for five minutes if the blinds were drawn up and all the doors left open.
"So Broughton and I, leaning stiffly one against the other, went down to my room. By the morning light that filtered past the blinds we could see our way, and I released the blinds. There was nothing wrong in the room from end to end, except smears of my own blood on the bed, on the sofa, and on the carpet where I had torn the thing to pieces."
Colvin had finished his story. There was nothing to say. Seven bells stuttered out from the fo'c'sle, and the answering cry wailed through the darkness. I took him downstairs.
"Of course I am much better now, but it is a kindness of you to let me sleep in your cabin."
BY A. E. THOMAS
ILLUSTRATIONS BY HERMAN C. WALL
It was a gray and bitter morning in January when Tim first saw The Vale. For weeks winter had lain heavy upon the sunny South. A cold rain had swept the countryside; then came zero weather for days, till the ice lay inch-thick on all the broad pikes of Lexington County, and only the firs were green.
Tim and his mother had left the little cabin they called home at the first crack of dawn and together had tramped the five miles that spelled the road to The Vale. All the way they spoke scarce a word, for they knew that parting was near and that it had to be. Colonel Darnton was to take the boy and make a jockey of him, if he could, and the stables of The Vale were to be his home thereafter.
The negroes were feeding the stallions when the boy and his mother trudged up to the big barn. They sat on a feed-box until the Colonel had finished his breakfast and come out from the big house under the trees.
"Morning to you, Mrs. Doolin," said the Colonel. "And so you've brought the boy, eh?"
"I have that," responded Mrs. Doolin, in her odd mixture of brogue and Southern drawl. "An' I beg ye t' be good tew him. Since Pete died, he's all I hov, an' it's the good lad he's been to me, an' phwat it is I'll be doin' widout him whin he's gawn, I dinnaw. Will ye be afther lettin' him come down t' see me wanst a fortnight, sor?"
"Of course I will," smiled the Colonel, and then he turned to Tim, standing there, so pale and little.
"And you, boy," he said, taking the lad's chin in his big hand and turning the blue eyes up to his gaze, "how about you--strong for the hosses, eh?"
Tim's lip quivered. He was only twelve. But he looked the Colonel bravely in the face.
"I reck'n," he said.
"Well, well, we'll see," said the Colonel, mercifully releasing the boy's chin. "'Twould be odd if you weren't. Your father was mighty handy with 'em all--mighty handy."
"Savin' yer prisince, Colonel, I'd hov jist wan wurrud wid th' boy," said the woman, and she drew Tim aside.
"Lookee yew here, yew Tim Doolin," she said, when she had him by himself, "don't yew niver fergit thet yew're up here tew The Vale tew larn hosses. Raymimber thet." The boy drew one ragged sleeve across his blue eyes.
"All right, maw," he quavered.
"An' raymimber this, too," she went on. "There niver yit was wan Doolin thet wasn't on the square. Hoss racin' ain't prayin', an' all them as races hosses ain't like the Colonel. But there niver was wan Doolin yit thet wasn't on the level. Mind yew ain't the fust crook in the clan, er else yew needn't niver come home t' the Blue Grass ter look yewr maw in the face."
Thin and gaunt and gray-haired, she stood in the biting wind that fought to tear her shawl from her bony shoulders. For a moment she stared, stern and dry-eyed, at the boy. Somehow he had never seemed so tiny before.
"Will yew raymimber thet?" she demanded at last. Tim dropped his eyes in boyish embarrassment.
"I reck'n," he said.
His mother drew her shawl tightly about her shoulders and departed without more ado.
The life of a stable-boy on a great breeding-farm is not all beer and skittles, whatever that may be. His principal business is to look sharp and do as he is told and never forget. It's always early to rise, before dawn in the winter time, and often late to bed, if some of the priceless thoroughbreds are ailing. Moreover, the tongues of stable foremen are sharp, and their hands are heavy.
Tim made his mistakes. Once, after they came to trust him at The Vale, on a sharp morning when he was giving King Faraway, the head of the stud, his morning gallop on the pike, he fell to dreaming. A little brook ran under a wooden bridge built for carriage use. But to one side there was a ford through which people drove in summer to give their horses drink. The brook was solid ice that morning, but Tim, not thinking, turned King Faraway into the ford. The great horse slipped and fell.
Tim sprang up from the far side of the brook with the blood gushing from a nasty cut on his forehead. But he didn't think of that. Was King Faraway hurt?
He walked the three miles back to The Vale, the stallion limping behind him, and at the stable he told the truth and got a thrashing.
King Faraway was on three legs for a month. But he recovered. Every night of that month the boy slept on a heap of straw in the stallion's box stall, waking up half a dozen times a night to rub the injured stifle; and in the end the great horse was as good as new.
Again, one chilly November night Tim left one of his yearlings out in the South Paddock. Late that night a cold, driving storm came up. In the morning they found the yearling shivering by the paddock gate. The Colonel himself worked his fingers off over that yearling colt, for he was bred in the purple. The youngster had pneumonia, but they saved him, and the Colonel said that Tim's nursing was what pulled him through.
On an April morning something over two years after the day Tim came to The Vale, he started with the season's two-year-olds for the big tracks at New York. He had helped break the youngsters to the saddle and to the track on the half-mile race-course on the farm, and he knew every one of the lot as if he had been its mother. So when they rounded them up to take them to the special box-cars that were waiting in the freight yards, the Colonel took the lad aside.
"Really want to be a jockey, Tim?" he asked.
"Sure," said Tim.
"Want to leave us, then, eh?" The boy looked away, and the Colonel spared him.
"All right," he said with a laugh. "To the races you go. You can come back if you don't like it."
All the broad acres of The Vale and the costly stallions and the brood mares belonged to David Holland, a captain of finance. He was too busy manipulating the ticker to pay much attention to the stock-farm itself. He knew nothing whatever about the breeding of horses and was clever enough to admit it. He paid the bills and got his fun out of "seeing 'em run."
The Holland stable was already quartered at Sheepshead Bay when the Colonel and Tim arrived with the two-year-olds. Pat Faulkner, the trainer, was there to meet them. He and the Colonel drew aside and left the boy to himself. The hours for morning gallops were long since over, and when Tim climbed the white rail fence that enclosed the back-stretch, the big and beautiful track was absolutely deserted.
"Well," said Faulkner, "what sort of a grist have you brought me this trip? I've been bitin' me nails off to find out, but not a word would you write."
They had out the chestnut colt with the one white foot, and the black with the white blaze, and the bay filly by Checkers-Flighty, and a few other individuals, while the trainer felt them over and looked them up and down and round about, and had them walked and trotted and cantered through the stable yard.
When it was all over, and he knew that here was material that would make his rivals sit up, Faulkner's eyes fell upon a slim shape sitting on the white rail fence.
"What's the kid?" he demanded.
"That?" said the Colonel, with a smile, "why, that's Tim Doolin, a champion jockey I've brought you." The trainer grunted.
"How old?" he asked.
"Going on fifteen, weighs seventy-three pounds, is kind and clever, knows the hosses, and they'll do for him. Try him out at exercise work, and if he makes good, give him a chance to ride."
That same night the Colonel departed.
After that Tim's work was cut out for him. There were twenty-six two-year-olds in the Holland stables, twelve three-year-olds, and six or eight thoroughbreds in the aged division. Faulkner kept a big staff of grooms and exercise boys, but there was always a day's work for each of them. Aside from the routine exercise for every horse in training, the feeding, the grooming, and so on, all the youngsters had to be broken to the starting barrier. Some trainers didn't pay much attention to that.
"Let 'em come to it in their races," said they. Not so, Faulkner. He drilled every last one of his two-year-olds till the starting gate was no more to them than so much steel and wood and webbing.
Tim was not long in winning the trainer's confidence. The job of breaking to the barrier was turned over to the stable foreman, under whose eyes the grooms and exercise boys worked. But one afternoon Faulkner himself came out to see how things were going. He noticed that the three two-year-olds that were Tim's especial care were already barrier-broken. He cross-examined the lad. Tim was reticent.
"I--I--jest get 'em used to it," he faltered.
"How?" demanded the trainer.
"I--I jest lead 'em up to it, first along, an' let 'em smell of it and look at it. Then I git one of the boys to spring it while I'm a-standin' by at their heads. They git used to it pretty soon. Then I ride 'em up to it."
"Humph!" grunted the trainer; but later he said to the foreman: "That kid's got sense."
It wasn't long before Tim was exercising three-year-olds, and one gray morning when he turned out of the loft where he slept, the foreman shouted:
"Hurry up, you Tim, an' git yer breakfast."
The boy wondered and obeyed. He gulped down the last of his oatmeal, shot out of the training kitchen, and ran up to the stables, where a negro groom was holding a big bay horse, about which Faulkner himself was busily working. The trainer arose as the boy ran up.
"Up you go, kid," he said and tossed Tim into the saddle.
And Tim knew that he was to exercise Lear! And everybody knew that the Holland stable was pointing Lear for the Brooklyn Handicap! It was a proud moment for Tim. But his honors didn't sit too heavily on his small shoulders, for Faulkner was a hard task-master.
"Jog him to the mile post and send him the last half in .55 an' keep yer eye on the flag," the trainer would order.
Then the boy would canter away through the gray light, and the trainer, handkerchief in one hand and stop-watch in the other, would mount the fence. If the clock said .57 for that last half mile, or anything between that and .55, there was a slap on the back and a "Good kid," for Tim, but woe to him if the clicking hand cut it down to .53.
Mistakes he made, and many of them, but they grew fewer and fewer. Good hands he had (for they are born with a boy, if he's ever to have them) and an intuitive knowledge of the temper of a horse. A good seat they had taught him at The Vale. And gradually, little by little and bit by bit, he came to be what only one jockey in fifty ever grows into--an unerring judge of pace.
Just what it is that tells a boy whether the muscles of steel that he bestrides are shooting him rhythmically over a furlong of dull brown earth or black and slimy mud in .12-1/2 or .13-1/4, some person may perhaps be able to tell, but certain it is that no person ever has told it. Long after Tim had learned the secret as few boys have ever known it, I asked him.
"Why," said he, "yew know your hoss, an' after thet, why, yew jest feel it."
It was not until the autumn meeting at Gravesend that Tim first wore the colors. It was in an overnight selling race for two-year-olds, for which Faulkner had in despair named Gracious.
Gracious was a merry little short-bodied filly, who was bred as well as any of the Holland lot, but who hadn't done well. Out of six starts she had never shown anything, and Faulkner had determined to start her once more and then weed her out. The weight, eighty-seven pounds, was so light that the stable jockey couldn't make it. Then Faulkner remembered the Colonel's words: "Give him a chance, if he makes good."
"I'll do it," he said, and told Tim.
Tim didn't sleep well that night, and with wide eyes he welcomed the first light of the great day. At last he was to wear the colors!
"Just get her off well and take your time," said Faulkner, as he put the boy up. "Rate her along to the stretch and then drive her."
Tim did all that. Coming into the stretch, there were four horses ahead of him on the rail. But two of them were weakening. Then Tim called on the filly. She answered and went up. But the colt next her was staggering. He swerved, and Tim had to pull out. He got Gracious going again and landed her third, only a head behind the second horse. Faulkner was radiant as Tim dismounted.
"Good kid," he said. He had backed the filly a bit to run third. But Tim was almost weeping.
"I could have won," he moaned, "if thet there Blinger hed kep' straight."
The boy rode half a dozen races in the next month, all of them for two-year-olds. He won once and was second twice. Among the other apprentice riders he was already a personage, although, of course, he scarcely dared speak to the full-fledged jockeys.
And then the Terror came.
It was Gracious that brought it. There were eight two-years-olds in the seven-furlong sprint on the main track at Morris Park. The filly had gone slightly off her feed the night before the race, but she seemed perfectly fit otherwise, and Faulkner determined to start her.
"She won't finish as strong as she would a week ago," he told the boy, as the saddling bugle blew. "So you send her along a bit at the start and get the rail. Keep her goin' an' let her die in front."
"I reck'n," said Tim confidently, and they swung him into the saddle.
Gracious, under Tim's riding, was a quick breaker. She leaped away the instant the barrier rose, and from the middle of the track the boy took her to the rail before the run up the back-stretch was over. She held her lead till the field had rounded into the stretch, and then he felt her falter. In an instant he began to ride, first with hands, then with hands and feet, then with hands and feet and whip. But it was not in the filly to answer. At the six-furlong pole she had gone stale--gone stale between two jumps. But the boy kept at her with might and main.
[Illustration: "TIM AND HIS MOTHER HAD LEFT THEIR LITTLE CABIN AT THE FIRST CRACK OF DAWN"]
It was useless. In six strides a brown muzzle crept up to his saddle girth. In two jumps more it reached the filly's shoulder. In three more strides the two were head and head; and then the brown muzzle was in front.
Suddenly the brown muzzle drooped, and the colt faltered. Tim took heart again. Perhaps, perhaps he might still nurse the filly home in front. He gripped her withers a bit tighter with his knees and spoke to her, softly and pleadingly, as was his wont, through his clenched teeth:
"Come on, yew gal--come on, yew baby--come jes' once mo'--jes' once--we's mos' home now--come--come. Come, yew gal!"
Back to the boy's stirrup came the saddle girth of the brown colt, as his stride shortened under the staggering drive. Tim's heart leaped in his bosom, for there was the wire not ten jumps away and--he was going to win.
"Come--come, yew baby," he whispered almost into the filly's ear, as he leaned far over her nodding head. The ecstasy of victory thrilled his small body to his very toes.
At that instant the brown colt swerved against him. The pungent odor of sweating horseflesh smote his nostrils--the roar of a horrified crowd filled his ears--the track rose up to meet him. A flash of red enveloped his brain--then came darkness and oblivion.
When he came to himself, the first faint light of dawn was sifting in through a window somewhere. "Time I was up fer exercisin'," he thought, and he struggled to rise. A flash of pain in his left arm turned him faint and sick. As he wondered over this, he became aware of a dull, steady roar that filled the room.
Again he opened his eyes. Dimly he made out the form of a white-capped woman standing over him. Then he knew that he was not lying in the loft at Sheepshead Bay.
"Are you awake, little boy?" said a soft voice.
"I--I reck'n," said Tim faintly.
There came the rattle of a heavy vehicle pounding over pavements, the shrill shriek of a whistle, the roar of horses' hoofs.
Then he remembered it all and turned his face to the wall.
That same evening Faulkner came in to see him.
"Well, Tim," he said, "'twas a bad tumble, hey? How d'you feel? better?"
"Sure," said the boy feebly.
"That's fine, that's fine," cried the trainer heartily. "'Twa'n't your fault. You done fine. You'd 'a' won, sure, 'f that chump Reilly had kep' his colt straight. But don't you care. We'll have you out in a few days, the Doc says. I telegraphed the Colonel you was all to the good, an' he'll tell yer ma, so don't you worry about that, kid." He leaned over, smiled kindly, and put a huge hand on the boy's head.
It smelled horribly of sweaty horseflesh. With a shudder Tim turned his head away.
"You musn't mind a little thing like a tumble," said the trainer anxiously. "They all get 'em. Why, I remember when I was ridin' a hoss named ----"
And the kindly horseman blundered on in an attempt to cheer the helpless lad. It seemed to Tim that he simply must cry out to him to stop, when the nurse came swiftly up and warned the trainer not to stay any longer.
"Well, so long, kid," was Faulkner's parting word. "Oh, 'course yer busted arm won't let yer ride again this fall, but the season's most over anyway. Only two more days o' Morris Park, and y' know we ain't got any cheap ones to start at Aqueduct. Anythin' I kin do f' you?" Tim opened his eyes again.
"Filly hurted?" he asked faintly.
The trainer laughed.
"Nothin' to hurt," he said. "Skinned her knees a bit, but I was goin' to put her out o' trainin' anyhow. She's O.K."
To Tim's unspeakable relief he lumbered away.
With his arm in a sling, Tim was out again at the end of a week. Much against the boy's will, Faulkner took him one day to the meeting at Aqueduct. There the trainer was soon surrounded by professional colleagues, and Tim fled to a seat in the highest row of the grandstand. Thence he looked down upon the first stages of a six-furlong sprint, but when three horses labored home in a tight-fit finish he buried his face in his hands that he might not see them.
When he lifted his face again, he glanced furtively about, thankful, oh, so thankful, that nobody had noticed him.
Then self-scorn descended upon him. If he could only go away somewhere and die! Furtively, he wept, wiping the tears away with one pudgy, brown fist. For some minutes he stared, heavy-eyed and broken, at his feet.
The bugle spoke, calling the handicap horses to the post.
Tim started up and edged toward the aisle. His racing feet carried him in panic half way down to the lawn. One idea possessed him--to get away--to hide himself, he didn't care where--anywhere where he couldn't see the horses run.
A hand seized him by the shoulder and spun him around.
"Hey, kid," said a voice, "how you feelin'? All to the mustard, hey?"
It was Bud Noble, star jockey of the Holland stable, radiant with all the prestige that comes with twenty thousand a year and the adulation of the racing public.
"I reck'n," said Tim, and fled again.
He had no notion of flight. His feet bore him along unsentiently. Suddenly they stopped. And then he knew that he couldn't run away. He must see that race. Something within him that would not be denied commanded it. Slowly he retraced his steps, muttering unconsciously: "I gotter do it. I gotter do it."
Presently he found himself back in the top row of the grandstand. As in a dream, he watched the parade of brilliant colors to the post. As in a dream, he saw the barrier flash up. The old-time roar "They're off!" came faint and faraway to his ears. Dreamlike, the field drifted up the back stretch, rounded the turn, and straightened out for home. He dug the fingers of his one good hand into the hard wooden bench and held his eyes upon the horses.
"I gotter do it. I gotter do it," he muttered still.
They were years in reaching the wire. No mortal thoroughbreds ever ran so slowly before since time began. But at last, at the end of the world, they finished. And up on the highest bench of the grandstand a little boy, with white face and wide eyes, sat back, limp and still.
Tim's arm was still in a sling when he got back to Lexington, and it was January before he could use it to any effect. The intervening weeks he spent at home, helping his mother as best he could in the round of her hard life, running her errands and bearing to and fro the various washings by which she lived. For the first time in his life it worried him to see her work so hard.
[Illustration: "A NEGRO GROOM WAS HOLDING A BIG BAY HORSE, ABOUT WHICH FALKNER WAS BUSILY WORKING"]
"Nivver mind, Tim," she would say, lifting her bent back from the tub in the corner of the kitchen, "soon you'll be the famous jockey wid thousands a year. Thin it's your ould mother that'll be wearin' the fine duds and wurruk no more."
And then the boy, sick with shame and fear, would steal from the house--anywhere to be out of the sight of her and the sound of her voice.
Sometimes the Terror would grip him in his sleep, in the middle of the winter night, when the wind shrieked under the shingles on the cabin roof or the cold rain drove against the window-pane. More than once he started up, broad awake, with the smell of sweating horseflesh sharp and agonizing in his nostrils. Once it was the sound of his own voice that woke him, and he was crying out:
"Come on, yew baby, come, come, yew gal!"
Then he sat on the edge of his cot, with the blanket over his shoulders, until daybreak, with such thoughts as a boy may know.
But on a sunny morning in February, it was Tim who stood in the great doorway of the stallion stable at The Vale, saying to the Colonel:
"Thought mebbe I could help yew with the two-year-olds."
Day by day he strove with himself. Little by little he fought the Terror down. The very smell of the stables turned him faint for a week. He used to creep into King Faraway's box-stall when the big horse stood, wet under his blanket, after his morning gallop, and bury his face in the stallion's mane and rub his nose along the giant withers, till at last the horrible smell of sweating horseflesh had power to terrify him no more. It was weeks before he could mount without trembling, but at last he came to do it and--to hope.
At last came April, and one evening, as Tim was helping with the feeding, he heard the Colonel's voice calling him. He trembled a little, for he knew what was coming.
"I've a letter from Faulkner," said the Colonel, "and he's asking for you, Tim. Shall I tell him you'll be up with the new batch of youngsters?" It was the cast of the die.
"I reck'n," said Tim stoutly.
But it wasn't quite the same old Sheepshead Bay that Tim went back to. He did his work as faithfully and skilfully as ever. His hand was just as light and sure; he had not lost his sense of pace. But the first pale light of day did not send him out to the stables with every nerve in his lithe body tingling for very joy of the work that was coming. And once, when he saw a stable-boy thrown--the Terror rose at him again; not with the old terrible leap, to be sure, but he saw Its face for an instant.
He will never forget his first race that spring. Again he rode a two-year-old, and he won without difficulty, nobody guessed at what expense. As the season went on, he rode again and again, and sometimes he won, and oftener not.
But Faulkner saw and shook his head. If Tim's horse won, it was because its own speed and the judgment of its rider did it. Nobody ever saw Tim take a chance. Other boys might leave him space to squeeze through if they liked. He never did it. It was the longest way 'round and plain sailing for Tim. No mad, brilliant rush for the rail. No fine finishes from unlucky beginnings.
And Faulkner watched and saw it all. Once the boy caught the trainer looking at him, thoughtful and puzzled. A big lump rose in his throat and strangled him, and he stumbled away with his grief. It seemed to him that he could not live on any longer. He grew even more grave and silent as the days went on, shunned the other stable-boys, and kept stolidly to himself.
It had to end sometime, somehow, and the ending of it was notable--because Tim was Tim, I suppose.
For the Suburban Handicap, with the Brooklyn the greatest of the classic races for the older horses, the Holland stable had two candidates. The first was the five-year-old Gladstone, son of Juniper and winner of fifteen races, one of them a Metropolitan. The second was Kate Greenaway, a three-year-old filly by King Faraway, whose only claim to distinction was that she had won third place in the Futurity of the preceding year. But, though Gladstone was the stable's main reliance, the filly's work had been dazzling, and the shrewd Faulkner had hopes of her.
Bud Noble, as stable jockey, was to ride Gladstone, while the trainer relied on the light-weight Ban Johnson, on whom the stable had second call, to handle Kate Greenaway. Tim knew the filly as no one else knew her or could know her. Down at The Vale, before ever he came to the races, he had been the first to put halter and bridle on her; his small legs were the first to bestride her; he had broken her to the barrier until she seemed actually to like the thing, and in her work she had been his especial charge. But he had never ridden her in a race.
The running of a big handicap at a Metropolitan track is an impressive event, even to the man who knows nothing of horses. To him who loves the thoroughbred it is inspiring. To Tim it was something more than that--a thing to make you tremble.
All morning the boy hung uneasily about the stable. He ate scarcely any dinner and roved restlessly about until it was time to take the filly to the paddock. He got her there just as the horses were going to the post for the third race. The Suburban was the fourth. Up and down under the great shed he walked his charge, blanketed and hooded, in the wake of towering, black Gladstone. Soon a shouting from the grandstand announced that the third race was over.
Then came a rush of hundreds to see the Suburban horses saddled. One by one, the candidates filed out to the track for their warming-up gallops--Boston, top-weight, favorite and winner of the Metropolitan, and second in the Brooklyn; Carley, winner of the Advance the season before; Catchall, the speedy Hastings mare; and all the rest--all save Kate Greenaway. Once, in a warming-up gallop, she had run away, and Faulkner would never take chances with her after that. So Tim walked her up and down by herself, thankful, yet ashamed, that somebody else was to ride her.
Suddenly the stable foreman ran up.
"Hi, you Tim," he shouted, "hustle over to the dressin' room an' git on yer duds. Skin along, now, no time to lose."
Tim stood gaping.
"Git a move on--git a move! My Gawd! You ain't got no time to lose. Ban's fell down an' sprained his ankle."
Tim trudged over to the jockey's house, his eyes on the ground. Over in the paddock, Faulkner listened stubbornly to the foreman.
"I tell you," the latter was saying, "the kid's lost his nerve. Ain't you seen it all along? He ain't took a chance sence his tumble. Why dontcher give the mount to Tyson or Biff Barry? They ain't neither of 'em got a mount."
"Nothin' doin'," rejoined the trainer. "The kid knows the filly--brought her up, almost. He can ride, too, if he don't get in a tight place, an' that ain't likely. Tyson can't make the weight. B'sides, I told the Colonel I'd give the kid a chance. An'," he concluded, "this is it."
"All right," said the foreman, "but you'll see. He's lost his nerve. Why, he got white eraoun' the gills when I tol' him."
[Illustration: "HE SAT ON THE EDGE OF HIS COT, WITH THE BLANKET OVER HIS SHOULDERS, UNTIL DAYBREAK"]
Tim had grown like a weed since he first saw Sheepshead Bay, but it was a slender, fragile figure that the trainer tossed into the chestnut filly's saddle when the bugle blew.
"Now, kid," said Faulkner quietly, throwing one arm over the crupper, "you're third from the rail. You know the filly as well as I do. She's fit to the minute. She'll run in 2.03, if she ain't rushed in the first half. Hold yer place an' let the sprinters do their sprintin'. They'll come back. Keep her goin' her pace for a mile, an' if you have to ride her the last quarter, make her sweat for it. She's game fer a drive. They don't make 'em no gamer."
The lad heard scarcely a word. He wasn't frightened. He was sullen, rebellious against--against everything. It was one more race to him--commonplace, perfunctory, tiresome. He was going to get through with it in the easiest way he could. He thought with relief of the wide spaces and easy turns of the great track.
"Keep up yer nerve, kid," said Bud Noble, turning in his saddle and looking back at Tim as the field filed through the paddock gate.
Tim grinned scornfully. What a notion! Why should anybody need nerve to gallop a horse around a track? He had only one idea--to keep out of trouble. So, perfectly calm and very much bored, he danced to the starting-gate on the chestnut filly. He paid little attention to the fretful doings there. He was haunted by no fear that he might be left. It was a nuisance to have to keep an eye on the vicious heels of Baldy, the swayback gelding at his left--that was all.
But Kate Greenaway had no intention of being left. She kept her dainty nose on the webbing from the instant she got it there, for hadn't Tim taught her that? And when, at last, all the fussing and fuming was over, and the whips of the starter's assistants had ceased their hissing, and the pleadings and threats of the starter himself were done, and the gate swished up before the fourteen racers, the filly's first bound beat the gate by half a length.
Tim was a trifle disgusted. "Blast the filly, anyhow!" he thought. It was no part of his plan to lead that roaring field. He took a double wrap on the reins, and his mount came back till two lithe, lean forms slid up abreast her on the rail, and a third on the outside. That was better, thought Tim, and the sprinters drew out ahead of him. Contentedly he fell in on the rail behind them.
A storm of dirt clods smote the filly in the face. Another pelted Tim on the forehead. He took a tighter hold on Kate Greenaway, and the sprinters drew away another length. It would have been an easy thing for him to choke her back still further, but somehow a surge of generous feeling for the game creature beat down his sullen selfishness, and he hadn't the heart to strangle her.
[Illustration: "IN HIS EARS WAS THE ROAR FROM THIRTY THOUSAND THROATS IN THE GRANDSTAND"]
The leaders had by this time swung around the first turn, and as they passed the half-mile mark two noses intruded themselves on Tim's vision on the outside.
"Hello," he thought, "old long-distance Boston is movin' up. An' Carley, to keep him from gettin' lonesome." But the track was wide, they ran straight and true and kept their distance.
Suddenly the sprinters began to come back. In five seconds Tim would have to pull up behind them. This was disgusting! If only he were on the outside! A clod of earth struck his breast. Instinctively he let out a wrap on the reins.
The filly went up to the sprinters in ten jumps. As he ranged alongside, Tim took another hold on her. No more front positions for him. He was outside, and he meant to stay there and be derned to 'em!
Then one of the sprinters fell back, beaten already, and as Boston somehow sifted into the vacant place Tim noted with a gasp that here was the far turn already, and he was with the leaders. This surprised him so much that the last turn leaped past before he realised that there were only two horses between him and the rail. One of them was black Boston, top-weight at one hundred and twenty-nine; the other was Carley.
He was getting a bit interested in spite of himself. The boys on the older horses began to urge them a bit, and as they swung around the turn and into the stretch they drew away a couple of lengths. Tim sat still. He was in that delightful outside place, with acres of room. He even glanced over at the in-field where the patrol judge stood with his glasses to his eyes. He remembered afterward that that official's weird whiskers amused him. Then something happened.
Kate Greenaway became mistress of herself. As she swung round the turn, a wide space confronted her, left by the leaders between themselves and the rail. Kate Greenaway had been taught to hunt that rail as a homing pigeon its cote. She sought it now so sharply that Tim all but lost his seat.
Instantly the boy awoke. He remembered the prize he was riding for--the Suburban! the Suburban! Straight before him for a quarter of a mile gleamed the track, yellow in the June sunlight. Nothing to do but ride--straight--straight to the wire.
All the slumbering life in his body awoke from its sullen sleep. He blessed the splendid filly racing so true and so strong beneath him, and he sat down for the first time to help her with every ounce of his power and every trace of his skill.
He knew she could win. He knew she had been going well within herself, and still she was where she could strike. Now was the time to ride, and he rode as he had never ridden before, standing in the stirrups, crouched over the gallant filly's neck, rising and falling in perfect rhythm with her every stride. And, bless her! that stride had not begun to shorten yet.
Steadily she crept up on the older horses fighting their duel before her. Tim could see from the tail of his eye that both their riders were working for dear life--and he had only just begun to ride. His heart bounded again beneath his brilliant jacket, and again he urged the filly.
But what was that? Surely, surely his path was growing narrower. In six strides more he was sure of it. Carley, on the outside, was boring in under the drive, and Boston was pulling in to keep from fouling.
There's no time to pick daisies in the last furlong of the Suburban. All the months of Tim's purgatory called to him to pull up before they squeezed him against that deadly rail. He tried to do it, but his wrists had gone limp. The next instant the bay and the black were running stride for stride half a length before the filly--and closing in.
Then rose the Terror and gripped Tim by the throat. The moment had come. They had pinned him on the rail.
Under the gruelling drive Carley staggered again. He bumped Boston. Tim felt the big horse graze his boot as he wavered. Instantly that pungent smell of sweating horseflesh stung his nostrils, and with it flashed the memory of that awful day to smite him helpless.
Again he tried to pull up, and again he failed. His wrists were palsied. Why didn't he fall! Oh, why didn't he fall!
Under his quaking knees the withers of the gallant filly still rose and fell, mightily, rhythmically; her lean, beautiful neck stretched out as if to meet the goal, her nostrils wide and blood-red, through which the air came and went, roaring, like the escape of steam from a mighty valve, her eyeballs starting from their sockets.
Then sickening shame smote him on his quivering lips. He seemed to realise for the first time that the filly was waging her terrible fight alone.
The Terror dropped from the boy like a bad dream when one awakes. A frenzy of pride and love for the filly swept over him. He had no hope. The next instant he would hear that terrified roar of the crowd, the track would leap up to meet him, that flash of red would smite him, and blackness would fold him about. But the beautiful filly should not go down with a coward astride her! He found himself talking to her as of old, crouching low till his lips all but brushed her fine, straight ears:
"Come on, yew gal! Katie--yew Katie! Come on! Almos' home! Almos'! Come--come, yew darlin'!"
Closer pressed the driven Boston, till his rider's stirrup locked Tim's. And then the boy knew that the last moment had come. It was fall or win and instantly. In his ears was the creak and protest of the straining saddles and girths, the roar from thirty thousand throats in the grandstand, the whistle of the breath of three great horses locked in a desperate struggle, the thunder of the flying hoofs behind him. He had the right of way--let them unbar it, or crash to destruction--all three!
Gripping the reins with his right hand, he raised his whip in his left and let it fall, once--twice--three times. Somewhere in her straining, breathless, driven body the filly had one ounce more left. Gallantly, instantly, she gave it. The rail grazed the boy's left boot. His right was driven up to the filly's loins.
She faltered--but she was through--through that strangling pocket, reeling, staggering, half-blind and splendid, and the Suburban was hers by a nod.
They lifted Tim in the famous floral horse-shoe, and they cheered and cheered him again. "Grandest finish I ever see," said Faulkner, and "My Gawd! what a drive!" said the stable foreman, gaping.
But to little Tim it meant only one thing--the greatest, most beautiful thing that could be--the Terror was gone forever. He took a deep breath and looked about him on a new world.
JAPAN'S STRENGTH IN WAR
BY GENERAL KUROPATKIN
TRANSLATED BY GEORGE KENNAN
ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS
Although the trial of war through which our country and our army passed in 1904-5 is now a subject for history, the material thus far collected is not sufficiently abundant to enable the historian to estimate fairly the events that preceded the war, nor to give a detailed explanation of the defeats that we sustained in the course of it. It is urgently necessary, however, that we should make immediate use of our recent experience, because by ascertaining the nature of our mistakes and the weaknesses of our troops we may learn what means should be adopted to increase, hereafter, the material and spiritual strength of our military force.
In times past, when wars were carried on by small standing armies, defeats did not affect the every-day interests of the whole nation so profoundly as they affect them now, when the obligation to render military service is general, and when, in time of war, most of our soldiers are drawn from the great body of the people. If a war is to be successful, in these days, it must be carried on, not by an army, but by an armed nation, and in such a contest all sides of the national life are more seriously affected and all defeats are more acutely felt than they were in times past.
When the national pride has been humiliated by failure in war, attempts are usually made to ascertain what brought about the failure and who was responsible for it. Some persons attribute it to general causes, others to special causes. Some censure the system, or the régime, while others throw the blame on particular individuals. I have been so closely connected with immensely important events in the Far East, and have been responsible to such an extent for the failure of our military operations there, that I can hardly hope to take an absolutely dispassionate and objective view of the persons and matters that I shall deal with in the present work; but my object is not so much to justify myself by replying to the charges that have been brought against me personally as to furnish material that will make it easier for the future historian to state fairly the reasons for our defeat, and thus render possible the adoption of measures that will prevent such defeats hereafter. The army that Russia put into the field in 1904-5 was unable, in the time allowed, to conquer the Japanese; and yet Japan, only a short time before the war began, had no regular army and was regarded by us as a second-class Power. How was she able to win a complete victory over Russia at sea, and to defeat a powerful Russian army on land? Many writers will study this question and, in time, they will give us a comprehensive answer to it; but I shall confine myself, in the present work, to an enumeration of the most broad and general reasons for Japanese success. Among the most important of such reasons is the following:--we did not fully appreciate the material and moral strength of Japan and did not regard a conflict with her seriously enough.[A]
_The Secret Growth of Japan's Army_
The Japanese first became our neighbors when, in the reign of Peter the Great, we acquired the peninsula of Kamchatka. In 1860, by virtue of the Treaty of Peking, we took peaceful possession of the extensive Usuri territory; moved down to the boundary of Korea; and obtained an outlet on the Sea of Japan. This sea, which is almost completely enclosed by Korea and the Japanese islands, was immensely important to the whole adjacent coast of the main land; but as the straits that connected it with the ocean were in the hands of the Japanese, we might easily be prevented by them from getting free access to the Pacific. When we acquired the island of Sakhalin, we obtained an outlet through the Tartar Strait; but that was all we had, and during a large part of the time it was frozen over.
For a long time, Japan lived a life that was wholly apart from ours and did not particularly attract our attention. We knew the Japanese as extremely skilful and patient artisans; we were fond of the things that they made; and we were charmed with the delicacy and bright coloring of their artistic products; but, from a military point of view, we took no interest in them and regarded them as a weak nation. Our sailors always spoke with sympathetic appreciation of the country and its inhabitants, and were delighted to stay in Japanese ports--especially Nagasaki, where they were liked and favorably remembered; but our travellers, diplomats, and naval officers entirely overlooked the awakening of an energetic, independent people.
In 1867, the army of Japan consisted of nine battalions of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and eight batteries, and numbered only 10,000 men. This force, which formed the _cadre_ of the present army, had French teachers and adopted from the latter the French uniform. After the Franco-German war of 1870-71, German officers took the places of the French instructors; military service was made a national obligation; and Japanese officers were sent to Europe, every year, for the purpose of study. At the time of her war with China, Japan had an army consisting of seven infantry divisions; but finding herself unable, at the end of that war, to retain the fruits of her victory, on account of her weakness both on land and at sea, she made every possible effort to create an army and a fleet that would be strong enough to protect her interests. On the 19th of March, 1896, the Mikado issued a decree providing for such a reorganization of the army as would double its strength in the course of seven years. This reorganization was completed in 1903. Our military and naval authorities did not overlook the creation and development in Japan of a strong army and fleet; but they confined themselves to the collection and tabulation of statistics. We kept an account of every ship built and every division of troops organized; but we did not estimate highly enough these beginnings of Japan, and did not admit the possibility of measuring her fighting-power by European standards. The latest information that we had with regard to her military strength, prior to the late war, was compiled by our General Staff from the reports of Colonel Vannofski and other Russian military agents in Tokio. It showed that her army, on a peace footing, numbered 8,116 officers and 133,457 men (not including the troops in Formosa); and on a war footing, 10,735 officers (not including reserve officers) and 348,074 men, with perhaps 50,000 untrained reserve recruits. There was no mention of additional reserve forces.
_Russian Generals Pigeonhole Reports of Japan's Fighting Strength_
In 1903 Colonel Adabash, who had just visited Japan, gave to General Zhilinski, of our General Staff, very important information with regard to new reserves which the Japanese were organizing for service in case of war. Inasmuch, however, as this information did not agree at all with that previously furnished by Colonel Vannofski, General Zhilinski did not give it credence. A few months later, Captain Rusine, a very talented officer who was acting as naval observer in Japan, made a similar report upon Japanese reserves to his superiors, and extracts from it were furnished to General Sakharoff, Chief of Staff of the army. Although the information contained in this report ultimately proved to be perfectly accurate, the report was pigeonholed, simply because Generals Zhilinski and Sakharoff did not believe it; and in our compendium of data with regard to the military strength of Japan in 1903-4, no reference whatever was made to additional reserve forces. According to the figures of our General Staff, therefore, the total number of available men in the standing army, the territorial army, and the regular reserve of Japan, was a little more than 400,000.[B]
[Illustration: _Stereograph copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood_
SCHOOL CHILDREN BEING DRILLED IN MILITARY TACTICS NEAR TOKIO, JAPAN]
Recently published official reports of General Kipke, Chief Medical Inspector of the Japanese army, show that the loss of the Japanese in killed and wounded, in the course of the war, was as follows:
Killed 47,387 Wounded 173,425
Their loss in killed, wounded, and sick was 554,885--a number considerably greater than the whole force which, according to the figures of our General Staff, they could put into the field. They sent 320,000 sick and wounded back from Manchuria to Japan.
[Illustration: VISCOUNT KATSURA
PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN DURING THE RUSSIAN-JAPANESE WAR]
Other available information is to the effect that the bodies of 60,624 killed were buried in the cemetery of honor in Tokio, and that, in addition to these, 75,545 men died from wounds or disease. The Japanese thus admit the loss of 135,000 men by death.[C]
Their Chief Medical Inspector says that their killed and wounded amounted to 14.58 per cent of their entire force, from which it would appear that they put into the field against us troops of various categories to the number of 1,500,000--or more than three times the estimate of our General Staff. In view of these facts, it is evident that our information with regard to their fighting strength was insufficient. At the time when they had hundreds of avowed and secret agents in the Far East, studying the strength of our land and naval forces, we entrusted the collection of data with regard to their military strength and resources to a single officer of the General Staff, and, unfortunately, our military observers were not always well selected. One of these experts in Japanese affairs said, in Vladivostok, before hostilities began, that, in the event of war, we might count on one Russian soldier as equal to three Japanese. After the first engagements he moderated his tone and admitted that it might be necessary to put one Russian against every Japanese. At the end of another month he declared that, in order to win victories, we must meet every Japanese soldier in the field with three Russians. Another of our military agents, who had been in Japan, predicted authoritatively that Port Arthur would fall in a very short time, and that immediately thereafter the same fate would overtake Vladivostok. I sharply reprimanded the faint-hearted babbler and threatened to dismiss him from the army if he continued to make such injurious and inopportune remarks.
_Moral Superiority of the Japanese_
But it was not only with regard to Japan's material strength that our information was insufficient. We underestimated, or entirely overlooked, her moral strength. According to that great leader Napoleon, three fourths of an army's success in war is due to the moral character of its soldiers. This relation of moral character to material success still exists, although the conditions of battle, in these days, are more trying than they were in the Napoleonic wars. And now, more than ever before, the moral strength of the army depends upon the temper of the nation. Armies are now so organized that, in case of war, soldiers are drawn, for the most part, from the reserves. A successful war, therefore, must be a popular war, and victory must be attained by the hearty coöperation of the whole people with its Government. The recent contest in Manchuria was a popular war for the Japanese, but not for us. The Korean question, and the question of naval supremacy on the waters of the Pacific, involved vital Japanese interests, and the immense importance of these interests was so clearly understood and so fully appreciated by the Japanese people that the war for their protection was a national war. Japan spent ten years in preparing for it, and then the whole nation carried it on. Japanese soldiers, deeply conscious of the bearing that their exploits might have on the future of the country, fought with a self-sacrificing devotion and a stubbornness that we had never seen in any war in which we had previously been engaged. Sometimes, in villages that we had taken by assault, a handful of Japanese soldiers would barricade themselves in native houses and die there rather than retreat or surrender. Japanese officers who fell into our hands--even wounded officers--generally committed suicide.
It is quite possible that when we have a true history of the war based on Japanese sources of information, our pride may receive another blow. We already know that in many cases we outnumbered the enemy, and still we were not victorious. The explanation of this, however, is very simple. The Japanese, in these cases, were inferior to us materially, but they were stronger than we morally.[D] To this aspect of the struggle we should give particular attention, because military history shows that, in all wars, the antagonist who is strongest morally wins the victory. The only exceptions are such contests as that between the English and the Boers in South Africa and that between the North and the South in America. The English were weaker than the Boers morally, but they put into the field an overwhelming force, and, in spite of many defeats, they finally conquered. In the American war, the army of the South was in the same position that the Boer army was, and the Northerners had to put a superior force into the field in order to overcome it.
[Illustration: GENERAL TERAUCHI
JAPANESE MINISTER OF WAR]
_Extraordinary Popularity of the War in Japan_
Among the sources of moral strength that failed to attract our attention in Japan were the following: The training of her citizens had long been patriotic and warlike in tendency; her educational system had inculcated an ardent love of country; and even in her primary schools children were prepared, from their earliest years, to be soldiers. The people regarded the army with profound respect and trust, and young men served in it with pride. All these things we failed to see, and we overlooked also the iron discipline enforced in the army and the rôle played in it by the samurai officers. We wholly failed to appreciate, moreover, the vital importance of the Korean question to Japan, and the strength of the hostile feeling that was raised against us when the Japanese were deprived of the fruits of their victory after their war with China. The party of Young Japan had long insisted upon war with Russia and had been restrained only by a prudent Government.
When the war began, we recovered our powers of perception, but it was then too late. And at that time, when the war was not only unpopular in Russia but incomprehensible to the Russian people, the Japanese, with a great outburst of enthusiastic patriotism, were responding, like a single man, to the call to arms. In some cases Japanese mothers even killed themselves, when their sons, on account of weakness or ill health, were denied admission to the army. Hundreds of men volunteered to undertake the most desperate enterprises, in the face of certain death; and many officers and soldiers, before going to the front, had funeral ceremonies performed over their bodies, in order to show that they intended to die for their native land. The youth of the Empire crowded into the army, and the heads of the most distinguished families sought to serve their country by enlisting themselves, by sending their sons to the front, or by helping to pay the expenses of the war. Some Japanese regiments, in attacking our positions, threw themselves with the cry of "Banzai!" upon our obstructions, struggled over or through them, filled our ditches with the bodies of their dead, and then, rushing across upon the corpses of their comrades, forced their way into our entrenchments. The army and the whole people appreciated the importance of the war, understood the significance of the events that were taking place, and were ready to make sacrifices in order to achieve success.
[Illustration: _Copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood_
CHIEF STAFF OFFICER OF THE JAPANESE ARMY IN MANCHURIA]
_Military Training of Japanese Children_
After the Japanese-Chinese war, of which I made a most careful and detailed study, I myself was inspired with a feeling of respect for the Japanese army and watched its growth with anxiety. Then, in 1900, the part played by the Japanese troops that coöperated with ours in the province of Pechili confirmed me in the belief that they were excellent soldiers. During my short stay in Japan, I was unable to acquaint myself thoroughly with the country and its military forces, but what I did learn was enough to convince me that the results attained by the Japanese in the course of twenty-five or thirty years were astounding. I saw a beautiful country, with a large and industrious population. Intense activity prevailed everywhere, and I was impressed by the people's joy in life, their love of country, and their faith in their future. In their military school, where I saw a Spartan system of education, the exercises of the cadets with pikes, rifles, and broadswords were not approached by anything of the kind that I had witnessed in Europe,--it was fighting of the fiercest character. At the end of the struggle there was a hand-to-hand combat, which lasted until the victors stood triumphant over the bodies of the vanquished and tore off their masks. In these exercises, which were very severe, the cadets struck one another fiercely and with wild cries; but the moment a prearranged signal was given, or the fight came to an end, the combatants drew themselves up in a line and their faces assumed an expression of wooden composure.
[Illustration: _Stereograph copyrighted by the H. C. White Co._
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN MANCHURIA OF THE JAPANESE ARMY DURING THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR]
In all the public schools prominence was given to military exercises, and the pupils took part in them with enthusiasm. Even in their walks they practised running, flanking, and sudden, unexpected attacks of one party on another. The history of Japan was everywhere made a means of strengthening the pupils' patriotism and their belief in Japan's invincibility. Particular stress was laid upon the country's successful wars, the heroes of them were extolled, and the children were taught that none of Japan's military enterprises had ever failed.
_Japan's Material Resources_
In the manufactories of arms I saw the turning out of rifles in immense numbers, and the work was being done swiftly, accurately, and cheaply. In Kobe and Nagasaki I inspected attentively the ship-building yards, where they were constructing not only torpedo boats but armored cruisers, and where all the work was being done by their own mechanics and foremen under the direction of their own engineers. At the great national exposition in Osaka there was a splendid and instructive display of the country's manufactures, including textiles, products of cottage industry, complicated instruments, grand pianos, and guns of the largest caliber--all made in Japan, by Japanese workmen, and out of Japanese materials. I saw nothing of foreign origin except raw cotton and iron, which were imported from China and Europe. And the products displayed at this exposition were not more worthy of attention than the observant, courteous, and always dignified throng of Japanese visitors.
In the agriculture of Japan many of the methods were ancient, but the culture was unquestionably high. The fields were carefully worked, and the effort to make every foot of land yield all that it could, the struggle to raise crops even on the mountain sides, and the insufficiency of the country's food products despite this intensive culture, showed that the people were becoming overcrowded on their islands, and that the Korean question was for them a question of vital importance. I lived ten days among the fishermen, and saw something of the reverse side of Japan's rapid development under European conditions. Many complaints were made to me of heavy taxes, which had increased greatly in later years, and of the high cost of the necessaries of life.
I witnessed reviews of the Japanese troops, including the division of Guards, two regiments of the First Division, two regiments of cavalry, and many batteries. The marching was admirable, and the common soldiers appeared like our younkers. The officers and leaders of the Japanese army whom I saw and met made upon me a very favorable impression. The culture and knowledge of military affairs that many of them possessed would have given them places of honor in any army. With General Terauchi, the Japanese Minister of War, I had had friendly relations ever since 1886, when we met in France at the great manoeuvers directed by General Levalle. Among others whose acquaintance I made were Generals Yamagata, Oyama, Kodama, Fukushima, Nodzu, Hasegawa, and Murata, and the Imperial princes, Fushimi and Kanin. In spite of a terrible war, which has separated by a barrier nations that were apparently created for union and friendship, I still cherish a sympathetic feeling for my Tokio acquaintances. Especially do I remember with respect their ardent love of country and their devotion to their Emperor--feelings that they have since made manifest in deeds. I met also in Tokio many leaders in fields other than that of war, among whom were Ito, Katsura, and Komura. In the report that I made to the Emperor, after my return from Japan, I placed the military power of the Japanese on a level with that of European nations. I regarded one of our battalions as equal to two battalions of Japanese in defence, but I estimated that in attack we should have two battalions to their one. The test of war has shown that my conclusions were correct. There were lamentable cases, of course, in which the Japanese, with a smaller number of battalions, drove our forces from the positions that they occupied; but these results were due either to mistakes in the direction of our troops, or to numerical inferiority in the fighting strength of our battalions. In the last days of the battle of Mukden, some of our brigades consisted of hardly more than a thousand bayonets. It is evident that the Japanese had to put into the field only two or three battalions in order to deal successfully with a brigade of such depleted strength.
All that I saw and learned of Japan, or her military strength, and of the nature of her problems in the Far East, convinced me that it would be necessary for us to come to a peaceable understanding with her, and that we should have to make great concessions--concessions that, at first sight, might seem humiliating to our national pride--in order to avoid war with her. As I have already said, I did not hesitate even to propose the return of Port Arthur and Kwang-tung to China and the sale of the southern branch of the Eastern Chinese Railway. I foresaw that the threatened war would be extremely unpopular in Russia; that there would be no manifestation of patriotic spirit, on account of the people's ignorance of the objects of the war; and that the leaders of the anti-Government party would avail themselves of the opportunity to increase domestic discontent and disorder. I did not, however, anticipate that the Japanese would display so much energy, activity, courage, and lofty patriotism, and I therefore erred in my estimate of the time that the struggle would require. In view of the insufficiency of our railroad transportation, we should have allowed three years for the war, instead of the year and a half that I thought would be enough.
With all their strong points, the Japanese manifested weaknesses that may be shown again in future wars. I shall not enumerate them, but I will say that, in many cases, the outcome of the fight was in doubt, and that in other cases we escaped defeat only through the errors of the Japanese commanders. There is a saying that "the victor is not judged." I may add that to the victor is rendered homage, and this is true of the Japanese. The general tone of the whole press was favorable to them, and even their practical and well-balanced heads might well have been turned by the praise that they received. No one went further in this direction than Count Leo Tolstoi. In an article published in a foreign journal,[E] our gifted author and philosopher expressed the conviction that the Japanese defeated us because, owing to their warlike patriotism and the power of their ruling authorities, they are the mightiest nation on earth, and are not to be conquered by any one, either at sea or on land.
[Illustration: _Stereograph copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood_
JAPANESE ARMY TRANSPORTATION CORPS MOVING ONE OF THE GREAT SIEGE GUNS WHICH WERE USED IN THE DESTRUCTION OF PORT ARTHUR]
The strength of Japan was in the complete union of her people, army, and government, and it was this union that gave her the victory. We carried on the contest with our army alone, and even the army was weakened by the unfavorable disposition of the people toward all things military. Our aims in the Far East were not understood by our officers and soldiers, and, furthermore, the general feeling of discontent which already prevailed in all classes of our population made the war so hateful that it aroused no patriotism whatever. Many good officers hastened to offer their services--a fact that is easily explained--but all ranks of society remained indifferent. A few hundreds of the common people volunteered, but no eagerness to enter the army was shown by the sons of our high dignitaries, of our merchants, or of our scientific men. Out of the tens of thousands of students who were then living in idleness,[F] many of them at the expense of the Empire, only a handful volunteered,[G] while at that very time, in Japan, sons of the most distinguished citizens--even boys fourteen and fifteen years of age--were striving for places in the ranks. Japanese mothers, as I have already said, killed themselves through shame, when their sons were found to be physically unfit for military service.
_Russian Discipline Undermined by the Revolutionists_
The indifference of Russia to the bloody struggle which her sons were carrying on--for little understood objects and in a foreign land--could not fail to discourage even the best soldiers. Men are not inspired to deeds of heroism by such an attitude toward them on the part of their country. But Russia was not merely indifferent. Leaders of the revolutionary party strove, with extraordinary energy, to multiply our chances of failure, hoping thus to facilitate the attainment of their own dark objects. There appeared a whole literature of clandestine publications, intended to lessen the confidence of officers in their superiors, to shake the trust of soldiers in their officers, and to undermine the faith of the whole army in the Government. In an "Address to the Officers of the Russian Army," published and widely circulated by the Social Revolutionists, the main idea was expressed as follows:
"The worst and most dangerous enemy of the Russian people--in fact, its only enemy--is the present Government. It is this Government that is carrying on the war with Japan, and you are fighting under its banners in an unjust cause. Every victory that you win threatens Russia with the calamity involved in the maintenance of what the Government calls 'order,' and every defeat that you suffer brings nearer the hour of deliverance. Is it surprising, therefore, that Russians rejoice when your adversary is victorious?"
But persons who had nothing in common with the Social Revolutionary party, and who sincerely loved their country, gave aid to Russia's enemies by expressing the opinion, in the press, that the war was irrational, and by criticizing the mistakes of the Government that had failed to prevent it. In a brochure entitled "Thoughts Suggested by Recent Military Operations," M. Gorbatoff referred to such persons as follows:
"But it is a still more grievous fact that while our heroic soldiers are carrying on a life-and-death struggle, these so-called friends of the people whisper to them: 'Gentlemen, you are heroes, but you are facing death without reason. You will die to pay for Russia's mistaken policy, and not to defend Russia's vital interests.' What can be more terrible than the part played by these so-called friends of the people when they undermine in this way the intellectual faith of heroic men who are going to their death? One can easily imagine the state of mind of an officer or soldier who goes into battle after reading, in newspapers or magazines, articles referring in this way to the irrationality and uselessness of the war. It is from these self-styled friends of the people that the revolutionary party gets support in its effort to break down the discipline of our troops."
Soldiers of the reserves, when called into active service, were furnished by the anti-Government party with proclamations intended to prejudice them against their officers, and similar proclamations were sent to the army in Manchuria. Troops in the field received letters apprising them of popular disorders in Russia, and men sick in hospitals, as well as men on duty in our advanced positions, read in the newspapers articles that undermined their faith in their commanders and their leaders. The work of breaking down the discipline of the army was carried on energetically, and, of course, it was not altogether fruitless. The leaders of the movement, in striving to attain their well defined objects, took for their motto: "The worse things are, the better"; and the ideal at which they aimed was the state of affairs brought about by the mutinous sailors on the armor-clad warship "Potemkin." These enemies of the army and the country were aided by certain other persons who were simply foolish and unreasonable. One can imagine the indignation that the Menchikoffs, the Kirilloffs and the Kuprins would feel, if they were told that they played the same part in the army that was played by the persons who incited the insubordination on the "Potemkin"; yet such was the case. It would be difficult, indeed, to imagine anything that could have been said to the sailors of the armor-clad for the purpose of exciting them against their officers that would have been worse than the language of Menchikoff, when, in writing of our army officers, he referred to their "blunted conscience, their drunkenness, their moral looseness, and their inveterate laziness." Firm in spirit though Russians might be, the indifference of one class of the population, and the seditious incitement of another, could hardly fail to have upon many of them an influence that was not favorable to the successful prosecution of war.
_Attacks of the Russian Press_
[Illustration: _Copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood_
SCENE IN SHIBA PARK, TOKIO, WHERE TOGO'S NAVAL VICTORY WAS CELEBRATED WITH WILD ENTHUSIASM]
The party opposed to the Government distributed among our troops, especially in the West, hundreds of thousands of seditious proclamations exhorting the soldiers to work for defeat rather than for victory. Writers for newspapers and magazines, even though they did not belong to the anti-Government party, contributed to its success by lavishing abuse upon the army and its representatives. War correspondents, who knew little about our operations and still less about those of the Japanese, and who based their statements, not upon what they had seen, but upon what they had heard from untrustworthy sources, increased the disaffection of the people by exaggerating the seriousness of our failures. Even army officers, writing from the theatre of war, or after returning to Russia for reasons that were not always creditable to them, sought to gain reputation by means of hasty criticism which was often erroneous in its statements of fact and generally discouraging or complaining in tone. On the fighting line, heroic men without number faced and fought the enemy courageously for months, without ever losing their faith in ultimate victory; but from that part of the field little trustworthy news came. Brave soldiers, modest junior officers, and the commanders of regiments, companies, squadrons, and batteries in our advanced positions, did not write and had no time to write of their own labors and exploits, and few of the correspondents were willing to share their perils for the sake of being able to observe and describe their heroic deeds. There were among the correspondents some brave men who sincerely wished to be of use; but their lack of even elementary training in military science made it impossible for them to understand the complicated problems of war, and their work therefore was comparatively unproductive. The persons best qualified to see and judge, and to give information to the reading public, were the foreign military observers, who were attached to our armies in the field and who, in many cases, were extremely fortunate selections. These officers felt a brotherly affection for the soldiers whose perils and hardships they shared, and were regarded by the latter with love and esteem. Their reports, however, are very long in coming to us.
[Illustration: _Stereograph copyrighted by the H. C. White Co._
JAPANESE ARTILLERY TRANSPORTING A 7-1/2 C. M. MOUNTAIN GUN ACROSS THE HILLS]
Some of our correspondents, who lived in the rear of the army and saw the seamy side of the war, wrote descriptions of drunkenness, revelry, and profligacy (at Kharbin, for example) which distressed our reading public and gave a one-sided view of army life. Our press might have made our first defeats a means of rousing the spirit of patriotism and self-sacrifice; it might have exhorted the people to redouble their efforts as the difficulties of the war increased; it might have helped the Government to fill the gaps in our thinned ranks; it might have encouraged the faint-hearted, called forth the country's noblest sons, and opened to the army new sources of material and spiritual strength. But instead of doing any of these things, it played more or less into the hands of our foreign and domestic enemies; made the war hateful to the great mass of the population; depressed the spirits of soldiers going to the front, and undermined, in every way, the latter's faith in their officers and their rulers. This course of procedure did not rouse in the nation a determination to increase its efforts and to win victory at last, in spite of all difficulties. Quite the contrary! The soldiers who went to the front to fill up or reinforce our army carried with them seditious proclamations and the seeds of future defeats. Commanding officers in the Siberian military districts reported, as early as February, that detachments of supernumerary troops and reservists had plundered several railway stations, and at a later time regular troops, on their way to the front, were guilty of similar bad conduct. The drifting to the rear of large numbers of soldiers--especially the older reservists--while battles were in progress, was due not so much to cowardice as to the unsettling of the men's minds and to a disinclination on their part to continue the war. I may add that the opening of peace negotiations in Portsmouth, at a time when we were preparing for decisive operations, affected unfavorably the morale of the army's strongest elements.
_The Russian Army Cut Off from the Nation_
Mr. E. Martinoff, in an article entitled "Spirit and Temper of the Two Armies," points out that "even in time of peace, the Japanese people were so educated as to develop in them a patriotic and martial spirit. The very idea of war with Russia was generally popular, and throughout the contest the army was supported by the sympathy of the nation. In Russia, the reverse was true. Patriotism was shaken by the dissemination of ideas of cosmopolitanism and disarmament, and in the midst of a difficult campaign the attitude of the country toward the army was one of indifference, if not of actual hostility."
This judgment is accurate, and it is evident, of course, that with such a relation between Russian society and the Manchurian army, it was impossible to expect from the latter any patriotic spirit, or any readiness to sacrifice life for the sake of the fatherland. In an admirable article entitled "The Feeling of Duty and the Love of Country," published in the "Russian Invalid" in 1906, Mr. A. Bilderling expressed certain profoundly true ideas as follows:
"Our lack of success may have been due, in part, to various and complicated causes; to the misconduct of particular persons, to bad generalship, to lack of preparation in the army and the navy, to inadequacy of material resources, and to misappropriations in the departments of equipment and supply; but the principal reason for our defeat lies deeper, and is to be found in lack of patriotism, and in the absence of a feeling of duty toward and love for the fatherland. In a conflict between two peoples, the things of most importance are not material resources, but moral strength, exaltation of spirit, and patriotism. Victory is most likely to be achieved by the nation in which these qualities are most highly developed. Japan had long been preparing for war with us; all of her people desired it; and a feeling of lofty patriotism pervaded the whole country. In her army and her fleet, therefore, every man, from the commander-in-chief to the last soldier, not only knew what he was fighting for and what he might have to die for, but understood clearly that upon success in the struggle depended the fate of Japan, her political importance, and her future in the history of the world. Every soldier knew also that the whole nation stood behind him. With us, on the other hand, the war was unpopular from the very beginning. We neither desired it nor anticipated it, and, consequently, we were not prepared for it. Soldiers were hastily put into railway trains, and when, after a journey that lasted a month, they alighted in Manchuria, they did not know in what country they were, nor whom they were to fight, nor what the war was about. Even our higher commanders went to the front unwillingly and from a mere sense of duty. The whole army, moreover, felt that it was regarded by the country with indifference; that its life was not shared by the people; and that it was a mere fragment, cut off from the nation, thrown to a distance of nine thousand versts, and there abandoned to the caprice of fate. Before decisive fighting began, therefore, one of the contending armies advanced with the full expectation and confident belief that it would be victorious, while the other went forward with a demoralizing doubt of its own success."
Generally speaking, the man who conquers in war is the man who is least afraid of death. We were unprepared in previous wars, as well as in this, and in previous wars we made mistakes; but when the preponderance of moral strength was on our side, as in the wars with the Swedes, the French, the Turks, the Caucasian mountaineers and the natives of Central Asia, we were victorious. In the late war, for reasons that are extremely complicated, our moral strength was less than that of the Japanese; and it was this inferiority, rather than mistakes in generalship, that caused our defeats, and that forced us to make tremendous efforts in order to succeed at all. Our lack of moral strength--as compared with the Japanese--affected all ranks of our army, from the highest to the lowest, and greatly reduced our fighting power. In a war waged under different conditions--a war in which the army had the confidence and encouragement of the country--the same officers and the same troops would have accomplished far more than they accomplished in Manchuria. The lack of martial spirit, of moral exaltation, and of heroic impulse, affected particularly our stubbornness in battle. In many cases we did not have dogged resolution enough to conquer such antagonists as the Japanese. Instead of holding, with unshakable tenacity, the positions assigned them, our troops often retreated, and, in such cases, our commanding officers of all ranks, without exception, lacked the power or the means to set things right. Instead of making renewed and extraordinary efforts to wrest victory from the enemy, they either permitted the retreat of the troops under their command, or themselves ordered such retreat. The army, however, never lost its strong sense of duty; and it was this that enabled many divisions, regiments, and battalions to increase their power of resistance with every battle. This peculiarity of the late war, together with our final acquirement of numerical preponderance and a noticeable decline of Japanese ardor, gave us reason to regard the future with confidence, and left no room for doubt as to our ultimate victory.
_The Failure of the Russian Fleet_
Among other reasons for the success of the Japanese, I may mention the following.
The leading part in the war was to have been taken by our fleet. In the General Staff of the navy, as well as in that of the army, a detailed account was kept of all Japan's ships of war; but the directors of naval affairs in the Far East reckoned only tonnage, guns, and calibers, and when, in 1903, they found that the arithmetical totals of our Far Eastern fleet exceeded those of the entire Japanese fleet, they adopted, as a basis for our plan of operations, the following conclusions:
1. "The relation that the strength of the Japanese fleet bears to the strength of our fleet is such that the possibility of the defeat of the latter is inadmissible."
2. "The landing of the Japanese at Yinkow, or in Korea Bay, is not to be regarded as practicable."
The strength of the land force that a war with Japan would require depended upon three things: (1) the strength of the army that the Japanese could put into Manchuria, or across our boundary; (2) the strength of our fleet; and (3) the transporting capacity of the railway upon which our troops would have to depend in concentration. If our fleet could defeat the fleet of the Japanese, military operations on the main land would be unnecessary. And even if the Japanese were not defeated in a general naval engagement, they would either have to obtain complete mastery of the sea, or leave a considerable part of their army at home for the protection of their own coast. Without command of the sea, moreover, they could not risk a landing on the Liao-tung peninsula, but would have to march through Korea, and that would give us time for concentration. By their desperate night attack upon our fleet at Port Arthur, before the declaration of war,[H] they obtained a temporary superiority in armored vessels, and made great use of it in getting command of the sea. Our fleet--especially after the death of Admiral Makaroff at the most critical moment in the execution of the Japanese plan of campaign--offered no resistance to the enemy whatever. Even when they landed in the immediate vicinity of Port Arthur, we did not make so much as an attempt to interfere with them. The results of this inaction were very damaging to our army. The Japanese, instead of finding it impossible to land troops in Korea Bay, as our naval authorities anticipated, were able to threaten us with a descent along the whole coast of the Liao-tung peninsula, beginning at Kwang-tung. Notwithstanding our weakness on land, Admiral Alexeieff thought it necessary to authorize a wide scattering of our troops, so we prepared to meet the Japanese on the Yalu, at Yinkow, and in the province of Kwang-tung. He had also permitted a dispersal of our naval forces, so that we were weak everywhere.
_Advantages Secured by Japan's Naval Victory_
Instead of making a landing in Korea only,--as was anticipated in the plan worked out at Port Arthur,--the Japanese, with their immense fleet of transports, landed three armies on the Liao-tung peninsula and a fourth in Korea. Then, leaving one army in front of Port Arthur, they pushed the other three forward toward our forces, Which were slowly concentrating on the Haicheng-Liaoyang line in southern Manchuria. Thus, having taken the initiative at sea, they obtained the same advantage on land. Their command of the sea enabled them to disregard the defence of their own coast and move against us with their entire strength. In this way--contrary to our anticipations--they were able, in the first stage of the war, to put into the field a force that was superior to ours. Command of the sea, moreover, made it possible for them to supply their armies quickly with all necessary munitions, and to transport to the field, in a few days, masses of heavy supplies, which we, with our feeble railroad, were hardly able to get in months. But command of the sea, and the almost complete inactivity of our fleet, gave them another advantage, not less important, and that was the possibility of bringing safely to their ports and arsenals quantities of commissary and military stores, weapons, horses, and cattle, which had been ordered in Europe and America. Their line of communications, furthermore, was short and secure, while we were at a distance of eight thousand versts from our base of supplies and were connected with our country only by one weak line of railway. The advantage that they had over us in this respect was immense. The slow concentration of our army, which had to be brought eight thousand versts over a single-track railroad, gave them time, after the war began, to form new bodies of troops, in considerable numbers, and send them to the front. They had time enough, also, to supply their army with innumerable machine guns, after they had observed, in the early stages of the war, the importance of machine-gun fire.
The field of military operations in Manchuria had been familiar to the Japanese ever since their war with China. Its heat, its heavy rains, its mountains and its kiaoliang, were well known to them, because they had seen them all in their own country. In the mountains, especially, they felt perfectly at home, while a mountainous environment, to our troops, was oppressive. The Japanese, moreover, in their ten years of preparation for war with us, had not only studied Manchuria, but had secured there their own agents, who were of the greatest use to their army. The Chinese, I may add, assisted the Japanese, notwithstanding the severity and even cruelty with which the latter treated them.
The Japanese had a considerable advantage over us, also, in their high-powered ammunition, their machine guns, their innumerable mountain guns, their abundant supply of explosives, and their means of attack and defence in the shape of wire, mines, and hand grenades. Their organization, equipment, and transport carts were all better adapted to the field of operations than ours were, and their bodies of sappers were more numerous than ours.
The Japanese soldiers had been so trained as to develop self-reliance and ability to take the lead, and they were credited by foreign military observers with "intelligence, initiative, and quickness," In the fighting instructions that were given them, very material changes were made after the war began. At the outset, for example, night attacks were not recommended; but they soon satisfied themselves that night attacks were profitable and they afterward made great use of them. Major von Luwitz, of the German army, in a brochure entitled "The Japanese Attack in the War in Eastern Asia in 1904-05" says that while the Japanese did not neglect any means of making attacks effective, the secret of their success lay in their determination to get close to the enemy, regardless of consequences.
_The Intellectual Superiority of the Japanese Soldier_
The non-commissioned officers in the Japanese army were much superior to ours, on account of the better education and greater intellectual development of the Japanese common people. Many of them might have discharged the duties of commissioned officers with perfect success. The defects of our soldiers--both regulars and reservists--were the defects of the population as a whole. The peasants were imperfectly developed intellectually, and they made soldiers who had the same failing. The intellectual backwardness of our soldiers was a great disadvantage to us, because war now requires far more intelligence and initiative, on the part of the individual soldier, than ever before. Our men fought heroically in compact masses, or in fairly close formation, but if deprived of their officers they were more likely to fall back than to advance. In the mass we had immense strength; but few of our soldiers were capable of fighting intelligently as individuals. In this respect the Japanese were much superior to us. Their non-commissioned officers were far better developed, intellectually, than ours, and among such officers, as well as among many of the common soldiers, whom we took as prisoners, we found diaries which showed not only good education but knowledge of what was happening and intelligent comprehension of the military problems to be solved. Many of them could draw maps skilfully, and one common soldier was able to show accurately, by means of a plan sketched in the sand, the relative positions of the Japanese forces and ours.
But the qualities that contributed most to the triumph of the Japanese were their high moral spirit, and the stubborn determination with which the struggle for success was carried on by every man in their army, from the common soldier to the commander-in-chief. In many cases, their situation was so distressing that it required extraordinary power of will on their part to stand fast or to advance. But the officers seemed to have resolution enough to call on their men for impossible efforts--not even hesitating to shoot those that fell back--and the soldiers, rallying their last physical and spiritual strength, often wrested the victory away from us. One thing is certain: if the whole Japanese army had not been inspired with an ardent patriotism; if it had not been sympathetically supported by the whole nation; and if all its officers and soldiers had not appreciated the immense importance of the struggle, even such resolution as that of the Japanese leaders would have failed to achieve such results.
[A] General Kuropatkin makes frequent use of the expression "moral strength," or "moral character," and often employs the English word "moral" instead of the corresponding Russian word. He evidently intends that the adjective shall be understood in its broadest signification, as a term covering patriotism, the sense of duty, capacity for self-sacrifice, and all the qualities that go to make up character as distinct from mere intellectual ability.--G. K.
[B] Considerations of space have forced me to omit the greater part of General Kuropatkin's detailed and somewhat technical statement with regard to Japan's military strength and the extent to which it was underestimated by the Russian General Staff.--G. K.
[C] According to information contained in Immanuel's work, "The Russo-Japanese War," the Japanese lost 218,000 men in battle.
[D] General Kuropatkin uses the English words "materially" and "morally."--G. K.
[E] _Fortnightly Review._
[F] On account of student disorders that had led to the closing of the universities.--G. K.
[G] Medical students excepted.
[H] General Kuropatkin, it will be noticed, calls this night attack "desperate," but does not characterize it as treacherous or unfair. At the time when it occurred, however, the Russian Government denounced it as a dishonorable violation of civilized usage, if not of international law, while the loyal Russian press held Japan up to the scorn of the world as a tricky and treacherous antagonist. It is an interesting but little known fact that the Tsar himself had ordered Admiral Alexeieff to attack the Japanese in the same way, without notice and before any declaration of war had been made. In the historically important series of official dispatches from the archives of Port Arthur, published in the liberal Russian review "Osvobozhdenie" at Stuttgart in 1905 appears the following telegram sent by the Tsar to the Viceroy just after the Japanese had broken off diplomatic relations.
ST. PETERSBURG, JANUARY 26, 1904, O. S.
It is desirable that the Japanese, and not we, should begin military operations. If, therefore, they do not attack us, you must not oppose their landing in southern Korea, or on the eastern coast as far north as Gensan, inclusive. But if their fleet makes a descent upon the western coast, or, without making a descent, goes north of the 38th parallel, you are authorized to attack them, without waiting for the first shot from their side. I rely on you. May God assist you.
(Signature in the Tsar's own hand)
It thus appears that Russia intended to attack Japan without notice and without a declaration of war, but Alexeieff was not quick enough--G. K.
THE DEATH OF HENRY IRVING
BY ELLEN TERRY
ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS
_Copyright, 1908, by Ellen Terry (Mrs. Carew)_
I have now nearly finished the history of my fifty years upon the stage.
A good deal has been left out through want of skill in selection. Some things have been included which perhaps it would have been wiser to omit. I have tried my best to tell "all things faithfully," and it is possible that I have given offence where offence was not dreamed of; that some people will think that I should not have said this, while others, approving of "this," will be quite certain that I ought not to have said "that."
"One said it thundered ... another that an angel spake----"
It's the point of view.
During my struggles with my refractory, fragmentary, and unsatisfactory memories, I have realised that life itself is a point of view. So if any one said to me: "And is this, then, what you call your life?" I should not resent the question one little bit.
"We have heard," continues my imaginary and disappointed interlocutor, "a great deal about your life in the theatre. You have told us of plays and parts and rehearsals, of actors good and bad, of critics and of playwrights, of success and failure, but after all your whole life has not been lived in the theatre. Have you nothing to tell us about your different homes, your family life, your social diversions, your friends and acquaintances? During your long life there have been great changes in manners and customs; political parties have altered; a great Queen has died; your country has been engaged in two or three serious wars. Did all these things make no impression on you? Can you tell us nothing of your life in the world?"
And I have to answer that I have lived very little in the world. After all, the life of an actress belongs to the theatre, as the life of a politician to the State.
* * * * *
The recognition of my fifty years of stage life by the public and by my profession was quite unexpected. Henry Irving said to me not long before his death in 1905 that he believed that they (the theatrical profession) "intended to celebrate our Jubilee." (If he had lived, he would have completed his fifty years on the stage in the autumn of 1906.) He said that there would be a monster performance at Drury Lane, and that already the profession were discussing what form it was to take.
After his death, I thought no more of the matter. Indeed, I did not want to think about it, for any recognition of my Jubilee which did not include his seemed to me very unnecessary.
[Illustration: SIR HENRY IRVING
FROM A PHOTOGRAPH IN THE POSSESSION OF MISS EVELYN SMALLEY]
[Illustration: _From the collection of Miss Evelyn Smalley_
DRAWN BY SIR EDWIN HENRY FOR MISS HENRY'S JUBILEE PROGRAMME]
Of course, I was pleased that others thought it necessary. I enjoyed all the celebrations. Even the speeches that I had to make did not spoil my enjoyment. The difficulty was to thank people as they deserved.
I can never forget that London's youngest newspaper first conceived the idea of celebrating my stage Jubilee. Of course, the old-established journals didn't like it, but I suppose no scheme of this kind is ever organized without some people not liking something!
The matinée given in my honour at Drury Lane by the theatrical profession was a wonderful sight. The two things about it which touched me most deeply were my visit the night before to the crowd who were waiting to get into the gallery, and the presence of Eleonora Duse, who came all the way from Florence just to honour me. I appreciated very much, too, the kindness of Signor Caruso in singing for me. I did not know him at all, and the gift of his service was essentially the impersonal desire of an artist to honour another artist.
When the details of my Jubilee performance at Drury Lane were being arranged, the committee decided to ask certain distinguished artists to contribute to the programme. They were all delighted about it, and such busy men as Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Mr. Abbey, Mr. Byam Shaw, Mr. Walter Crane, Mr. Bernard Partridge, Mr. James Pryde, Mr. Orpen, and Mr. William Nicholson all gave some of their work to me. Mr. Sargent was asked if he would allow the first Lady Macbeth sketch to be reproduced. He found that it would not reproduce well, so in the height of the season and of his work with fashionable sitters, he did an entirely new sketch, in black and white, of the same subject! This act of kind friendship I could never forget, even if the picture were not in front of me at this minute to remind me of it! "You must think of me as one of the people bowing down to you in the picture," he wrote to me when he sent the new version for the programme. Nothing during my Jubilee celebrations touched me more than this wonderful kindness of Mr. Sargent's.
Burne-Jones would have done something for my Jubilee programme too, I think, had he lived. He was one of my kindest friends, and his letters--he was a heaven-born letter-writer--were like no one else's, full of charm and humour and feeling. Once, when I sent him a trifle for some charity, he wrote me this particularly charming letter:
"This morning came the delightful crinkly paper that always means you! If anybody else ever used it, I think I should assault them! I certainly wouldn't read their letter or answer it.
"And I know the cheque will be very useful. If I thought much about those wretched homes, or saw them often, I should do no more work, I know. There is but one thing to do--to help with a little money if you can manage it, and then try hard to forget. Yes, I am certain that I should never paint again if I saw much of those hopeless lives that have no remedy....
"You would always have been lovely and made some beauty about you if you had been born there--but I should have got drunk and beaten my family and been altogether horrible! When everything goes just as I like, and painting prospers a bit, and the air is warm, and friends well, and everything perfectly comfortable, I can just manage to behave decently, and a spoilt fool I am--that's the truth. But wherever you were, some garden would grow.
"Yes, I know Winchelsea and Rye and Lynn and Hythe--all bonny places, and Hythe has a church it may be proud of. Under the sea is another Winchelsea, a poor drowned city--about a mile out at sea, I think, always marked in old maps as 'Winchelsea Dround.' If ever the sea goes back on that changing coast, there may be great fun when the spires and towers come up again. It's a pretty land to drive in.
"I am growing downright stupid--I can't work at all, nor think of anything. Will my wits ever come back to me?
[Illustration: _From the collection of Miss Evelyn Smalley_
_Copyright by Window & Grove_
ELLEN TERRY AS HERMIONE IN "THE WINTER'S TALE"
THE PART PLAYED BY MISS TERRY AT HIS MAJESTY'S THEATRE IN 1906]
"And when are you coming back--when will the Lyceum be in its rightful hands again? I refuse to go there till you come back...."
* * * * *
One of those little things almost too good to be true happened at the close of the Drury Lane matinée. A four-wheeler was hailed for me by the stage-door keeper, and my daughter and I drove off to Lady Bancroft's in Berkeley Square to leave some flowers. Outside the house, the cabman told my daughter that in old days he had often driven Charles Kean from the Princess Theatre, and that sometimes the little Miss Terrys were put inside the cab too and given a lift! My daughter thought it such an extraordinary coincidence that the old man should have come to the stage door of Drury Lane by a mere chance on my Jubilee day, that she took his address, and I was to send him a photograph and remuneration. But I promptly lost the address, and was never able to trace the old man.
[Illustration: 150 GRAFTON STREET
THE HOUSE WHERE HENRY IRVING LIVED DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS LYCEUM MANAGEMENT]
I was often asked during these Jubilee days, "how I felt about it all," and I never could answer sensibly. The strange thing is that I don't know even now what was in my heart. Perhaps it was one of my chief joys that I had not to say good-bye at any of the celebrations. I could still speak to my profession as a fellow-comrade on the active list and to the public as one still in their service.
All the time I knew perfectly well that the great show of honour and "friending" was not for me alone. Never for one instant did I forget this, nor that the light of the great man by whose side I had worked for a quarter of a century was still shining on me from his grave.
* * * * *
It is commonly known, I think, that Henry Irving's health first began to fail in 1896.
He went home to Grafton Street after the first night of the revival of "Richard III." and slipped on the stairs, injuring his knee. With characteristic fortitude, he struggled to his feet unassisted and walked to his room. This made the consequences of the accident far more serious, and he was not able to act for weeks.
It was a bad year at the Lyceum.
In 1898, when we were on tour, he caught a chill. Inflammation of the lungs, bronchitis, pneumonia followed. His heart was affected. He was never really well again.
When I think of his work during the next seven years, I could weep! Never was there a more admirable, extraordinary worker; never was any one more splendid-couraged and patient.
The seriousness of his illness in 1898 was never really known. He nearly died.
"I am still fearfully anxious about H," I wrote to my daughter at the time. "It will be a long time at the best before he gains strength.... But now I do hope for the best. I'm fairly well so far. All he wants is for me to keep my health, not my head. He knows I'm doing that! Last night I did three acts of Sans-Gêne and Nance Oldfield thrown in! That is a bit too much--awful work--and I can't risk it again.
"A telegram just came: 'Steadily improving.' ... You should have seen Norman[I] as Shylock! It was not a bare 'get-through.' It was--the first night--an admirable performance, as well as a plucky one.... H. is more seriously ill than anyone dreams.... His look! Like the last act of Louis XI."
[Illustration: HENRY IRVING AS BECKET
THE PART IN WHICH IRVING MADE HIS LAST APPEARANCE ON OCTOBER 13, 1905, THE NIGHT OF HIS DEATH]
In 1902, on the last provincial tour that we ever went together, he was ill again, but he did not give in. One night when his cough was rending him, and he could hardly stand up for weakness, he acted so brilliantly and strongly that it was easy to believe in Christian Science "treatment." Strange to say, a newspaper man noticed the splendid power of his performance that night and wrote of it with uncommon discernment--a _provincial_ critic, by the way.
In London, at the time, they were always urging Henry Irving to produce new plays by new playwrights! But in the face of the failure of most of the new work, and of his departing strength--and of the extraordinary support given him in the old plays (during this 1902 tour we took £4,000 at Glasgow in one week!)--Henry took the wiser course in doing nothing but the old plays to the end of the chapter.
I realised how near, not only the end of the chapter, but the end of the book was when he was taken ill at Wolverhampton in the spring of 1905.
We had not acted together for more than two years then, and times were changed indeed.
I went down to Wolverhampton when the news of his illness reached London. I arrived late and went to an hotel. It was not a good hotel, nor could I find a very good florist when I got up early the next day and went out with the intention of buying Henry some flowers. I wanted some bright-coloured ones for him--he had always liked bright flowers--and this florist dealt chiefly in white flowers--_funeral_ flowers.
At last I found some daffodils--my favourite flower. I bought a bunch, and the kind florist, whose heart was in the right place if his flowers were not, found me a nice simple glass to put it in. I knew the sort of vase that I should find at Henry's hotel.
I remembered, on my way to the doctor's--for I had decided to see the doctor first--that in 1892, when my dear mother died, and I did not act for a few nights, when I came back, I found my room at the Lyceum filled with daffodils. "To make it look like sunshine," Henry said.
The doctor talked to me quite frankly.
"His heart is dangerously weak," he said.
"Have you told him?" I asked.
"I had to, because, the heart being in that condition, he must be careful."
"Did he understand _really_?"
"Oh, yes. He said he quite understood."
(Yet, a few minutes later when I saw Henry, and begged him to remember what the doctor had said about his heart, he exclaimed: "Fiddle! It's not my heart at all! It's my _breath_!" Oh, the ignorance of great men!)
"I also told him," the Wolverhampton doctor went on, "that he must not work so hard in future."
I said; "He will, though,--and he's stronger than any one."
Then I went round to the hotel.
I found him sitting up in bed, drinking his coffee.
He looked like some beautiful gray tree that I have seen in Savannah. His old dressing-gown hung about his frail yet majestic figure like some mysterious gray drapery.
We were both very much moved and said little.
"I'm glad you've come. Two Queens have been kind to me this morning. Queen Alexandra telegraphed to say how sorry she was I was ill, and now you----"
He showed me the Queen's gracious message.
I told him he looked thin and ill, but _rested_.
"Rested! I should think so. I have plenty of time to rest. They tell me I shall be here eight weeks. Of course I shan't, but still--It was that rug in front of the door. I tripped over it. A commercial traveller picked me up--a kind fellow, but damn him, he wouldn't leave me afterwards--wanted to talk to me all night."
I remembered his having said this, when I was told by his servant, Walter Collinson, that on the night of his death at Bradford he stumbled over the rug when he walked into the hotel corridor.
We fell to talking about work. He said he hoped that I had a good manager ... agreed very heartily with me about Frohman, saying he was always so fair--more than fair.
"What a wonderful life you've had, haven't you?" I exclaimed, thinking of it all in a flash.
"Oh, yes," he said quietly, ... "a wonderful life--of work."
[Illustration: _Copyright by the London Stereoscopic Co._
HENRY IRVING AS MATTHIAS IN "THE BELLS"
IRVING GAVE HIS LAST PERFORMANCE OF "THE BELLS" AT BRADFORD, ON OCTOBER 12, 1905, THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS DEATH ]
[Illustration: _Copyright by the Topical Press Agency_
IRVING'S DEATH MASK]
"And there's nothing better, after all, is there?"
"What have you got out of it all?... You and I are 'getting on,' as they say. Do you ever think, as I do sometimes, what you have got out of life?"
"What have I got out of it?" said Henry, stroking his chin and smiling slightly. "Let me see.... Well, a good cigar, a good glass of wine--good friends--" Here he kissed my hand with courtesy. Always he was so courteous--always his actions, like this little one of kissing my hand, were so beautifully timed. They came just before the spoken words, and gave them peculiar value.
"That's not a bad summing up of it all," I said. "And the end.... How would you like that to come?"
"How would I like that to come?" He repeated my question, lightly, yet meditatively too. Then he was silent for some thirty seconds before he snapped his fingers--the action again before the words.
I thought of the definition of inspiration--"A calculation quickly made." Perhaps he had never thought of the manner of his death before. Now he had an inspiration as to how it would come.
We were silent a long time, I thinking how like some splendid Doge of Venice he looked, sitting up in bed, his beautiful mobile hand stroking his chin.
I agreed, when I could speak, that to be snuffed out like a candle would save a lot of trouble.
After Henry Irving's death in October of the same year, some of his friends protested against the statement that it was the kind of death he desired--that they knew, on the contrary, that he thought sudden death inexpressibly sad.
I can only say what he told me.
I stayed with him about three hours at Wolverhampton. Before I left, I went back to see the doctor again--a very nice man, by the way, and clever. He told me that Henry ought never to play "The Bells" again, even if he acted again, which he said ought not to be.
It was clever of the doctor to see what a terrible emotional strain "The Bells" put upon Henry--how he never could play the part of Matthias "on his head," as he could Louis XI., for example.
Every time he heard the sound of the bells, the throbbing of his heart must have nearly killed him. He used always to turn quite white--there was no trick about it. It was imagination acting physically on the body.
[Illustration: _From the collection of Miss Evelyn Smalley_
IRVING'S TOMB IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY]
His death as Matthias--the death of a strong, robust man--was different from all his other stage deaths. He did really almost die--he imagined death with such horrible intensity. His eyes would disappear upwards, his face grow gray, his limbs cold.
No wonder, then, that the first time that the Wolverhampton doctor's warning was disregarded, and Henry played "The Bells" at Bradford, his heart could not stand the strain. Within twenty-four hours of his last death as Matthias, he was dead.
What a heroic thing was that last performance of Becket which came between! I am told by those who were in the company at the time that he was obviously suffering and dazed this last night of life. But he went through it all as usual. All that he had done for years, he did faithfully for the last time.
Yes, I know it seems sad to the ordinary mind that he should have died in the entrance to an hotel in a country town, with no friend, no relation near him; only his faithful and devoted servant, Walter Collinson, whom--as was not his usual custom--he had asked to drive back to the hotel with him that night, was there. Do I not feel the tragedy of the beautiful body, for so many years the house of a thousand souls, being laid out in death by hands faithful and devoted enough, but not the hands of his kindred either in blood or in sympathy?...
I do feel it, yet I know it was more appropriate to such a man than the deathbed where friends and relations weep. Henry Irving belonged to England, not to a family. England showed that she knew it when she buried him in Westminster Abbey.
Years before I had discussed, half in joke, the possibility of this honour. I remember his saying to me with great simplicity, when I asked him what he expected of the public after his death: "I should like them to do their duty by me. And they will--they will!"
There was not a touch of arrogance in this, just as I hope there was no touch of heartlessness in me because my chief thought during the funeral in Westminster Abbey was: "How Henry would have liked it!" The right note was struck, as I think was not the case at Tennyson's funeral thirteen years earlier.
"Tennyson is buried to-day in Westminster Abbey," I wrote in my diary October 12th, 1892. "His majestic life and death spoke of him better than the service.... The music was poor and dull and weak while he was _strong_. The triumphant should have been the sentiment expressed. Faces one knew everywhere. Lord Salisbury looked fine. His massive head and sad eyes were remarkable. No face there, however, looked anything by the side of Henry's.... He looked very pale and slim and wonderful!"
How terribly I missed that face at Henry's own funeral! I kept on expecting to see it, for indeed it seemed to me that he was directing the whole most moving and impressive ceremony.... I could almost hear him saying "Get on! get on!" in the parts of the service that dragged. When the sun, such a splendid tawny sun, burst across the solemn misty gray of the Abbey, at the very moment when the coffin, under its superb pall of laurel leaves, was carried up to the choir, I felt that it was an effect which he would have loved.
I can understand any one who was present at Henry Irving's funeral thinking that this was his best memorial, and that any attempt to honour him afterwards would be superfluous and inadequate. But after all it was Henry Irving's commanding genius and his devotion of it to high objects, his personal influence on the English people, which secured him burial among England's great dead. The petition for the burial, presented to the Dean of the Chapter, and signed on the initiative of Henry Irving's leading fellow-actors by representative personages of influence, succeeded only because of Henry's unique position.
"We worked very hard to get it done," I heard said more than once. And I often longed to answer: "Yes, you worked for it between Henry's death and his funeral. He worked for it all his life!"
I have always desired some other memorial to Henry Irving than his honoured grave; not so much for his sake as for the sake of those who loved him, and would gladly welcome the opportunity of some great test of their devotion.
[I] Mr. Norman Forbes-Robertson.
THE VALLEY OF MILLS
BY H. G. DWIGHT
WITH A PAINTING BY F. BRANGWYN
_The American Dragoman narrates to the Second Secretary_
I shall never forget the night I got there. The train went no farther than Nicomedia in those days, and it took so long that you nearly died of old age on the way. But when the three red lights on the tail of it dwindled into the dark, I had the queerest sense of having been dropped into another world. It was the more so because one couldn't see an earthly thing--not a star, not even the Gulf which we were to cross. I only heard the lapping of it, close by, when the rumble of the train died out of the stillness. That and the crunch of steps on the sand were all there was to hear, and an occasional word I didn't catch. The men could hardly have been more silent if our lives had depended on it. I had no idea how many of them there were, or what they looked like--much less where they were taking me. They simply hoisted a sail and put off into the night. I would have sworn, too, that there was no wind. The sail filled, however: I could see the swaying pallor of it, and hear the ripple under the bow. And as my eyes got used to the darkness, I discovered an irregular silhouette in front of us, and a floating will-o'-the-wisp of a light. The silhouette grew taller and blacker till the boat grounded under it. Then, by the light of the will-o'-the-wisp, which was a sputtering oil lantern on shore, I made out some immense cypresses. You have no idea how eerie that landing was, in a waterside cemetery that was for all the world like Böcklin's Island of Death. The men moved like shadows about their Flying Dutchman of a boat, and their lantern just brought out the ghostliness of gravestones leaning between the columns of the cypresses. And I suddenly became aware of the strangest sound. I had no idea what it was or where it came from, but it was a sort of low moaning that fairly went into your bones. It grew louder when we started on again. We climbed an invisible trail where branches slashed at us in the dark, and all kinds of sharp and sweet and queer smells came put of it in waves. And nightingales began to sing like mad around us, and off in the distance somewhere jackals were barking, and under it all that low moaning went on and on and on. And at last we came out into an open space on top of the hill, where a bonfire made a hole in the black, and a couple of naked figures stood redly out in the penumbra of it, with a ring of faces flickering around them....
I found out afterwards that the bonfire business was nothing but a wrestling match--they had them almost every night on the _meidan_--and the moaning came from the mill-wheels in the valley. But I never quite got over that first impression--that sense of walking through all kinds of things without seeing them. No sooner would I begin to feel a bit at home than something would bring me up with a jerk and remind me that I was a stranger in a strange land. I suppose it was natural enough, considering that I had only just come out then. The place was nothing but a snarl of muddy lanes and mud shanties, tossed into a filbert valley where water tumbled down to the Gulf. It was only about fifty miles away from here, but it might have been five thousand and fifty. There was none of the contrast with Europe that is always bothering you here--though perhaps it really sets things off. The people were all Turks, and their village was Asia pure and simple. That extraordinary juxtaposition of care and neglect, of the exquisite and the nauseating, which begins to strike you in Italy, and which strikes you so much more here, simply went to the top notch there. It was under your eyes--and nose--every minute. There were rugs and tiles and brasses that you couldn't keep your hands off of, in houses plastered with cow-dung. And the people used the gutters for drains, and their principal business was making attar of rose. You should have seen what gardens there were, hidden away behind mud-walls!
What struck me most, though, was a something in it all which I never could lay my finger on. It seemed incredible that a country inhabited so long should show so few signs of it. The people might have camped in a clearing over night, and the woods were just waiting to cover up their tracks. But the wildness was not the good blank, unconscious wildness we have at home. There was a melancholy about it. The silence that hung over the place was really a little uncanny. The mills only cried it out, in that monotonous minor of theirs. They were picturesque old wooden things, all green with moss and maidenhair fern, that went grinding and groaning on forever, and making you wonder what on earth it was all about. I can't say that I ever found out, either. But I certainly got grist enough for my own mill.
For that matter, I don't imagine that I was precisely an open book myself. In this part of the world they haven't got our passion for poking around where we don't belong: perhaps they've had more time to find out how little there is in it. And for a mysterious individual from lands beyond the sea, whose servant can't be prevented from bragging of the splendor in which he lives at Constantinople, to bury himself in a wild country village, must mean something queer. Does one give up a _konak_ on the Bosphorus for a _khan_ in the Marmora? And are there no teachers of Turkish in Stamboul? I believe it didn't take long for the _Moutessarif_ of Nicomedia to find out I was there, and for him to ascertain in ways best known to himself what I was up to. I have often wondered what his version of it was. At all events it didn't prevent the great men of the village from smoking cigarettes of peace with me in a little vine-shaded coffee-house at the top of the hill. There was the _Mudir_, a plump and harmless _effendi_ of a governor; and the _Naïb_, who was some kind of country justice; and a charming old _Imam_ in a green turban and a white beard and a rose-colored robe; and a _Tchaouche_, an officer of police, all done up in yellow braid and brass whistles; and various other personages. And I couldn't imagine where in the world they had all picked up their courtliness and conversation. The _Mudir_ was from town, and one or two of the others had been there; but if such things were to be had for a visit to town they'd be a little more common at home. Of course, I was asked a good many questions, and some of them were pretty personal. That is a part of Oriental etiquette, you will find. It was marvelous, though, what a _savoir faire_ they had, to say nothing of a sense of life and a few other things. I couldn't make them out--taken with their vile village and their half-tamed fields. The thing used to bother me half to death, too. I thought all I had to do was to sit down and look pleasant and turn them inside out at my leisure. Whereas more than once I had a vague feeling, after it was over, of having been turned inside out myself. Altogether it makes me grin when I remember what an idiotic young ostrich I was. I have been at the business quite a while now, and to this day I am never sure of my man--how that Asiatic head of his will work in any given case. I can only console myself by remembering that I'm not the only one. In the last two generations I presume there must have been as many as four Anglo-Saxons--and three of those, Englishmen--who didn't more or less make jackasses of themselves when they ran up against Asia. And I fancy it took them rather more than a year to arrive at even that negative degree of comprehension.
However, various things went into my hopper first and last, to the tune of the mill-wheels in the valley--particularly last.... It was lucky for me that the wireless telegraphy I sometimes felt about me allowed the _Mudir_ to cultivate his natural inclinations. He was bored enough in his exile, and I think he was genuinely glad that his advices from headquarters made him free of my company. I certainly am. I have never come into just such relations with any of the officials here. He was a grave, mild, suave personage who might have made an excellent _Cadi_ of tradition if he had never heard of Paris. As it was, I'm afraid he took less thought for his peasants' troubles than of the extent to which they could be made to repay him for his own. He liked to practise his French on me as much as I liked to practise my Turkish on him, and on such occasions as I had the honor of squatting at his little round board, his knowledge of the Occident would manifest itself in an incredible profusion of spoons. I also discovered that he was by no means averse to sampling my modest cellar. He didn't care so much about being found out, though. They are tremendous prohibitionists, you know, and while the pashas have accepted champagne with their tight trousers, they're not so public about it. Just watch when you go to your first court dinner.
A person of whom I thought more than the _Mudir_, and who interested me more as a type, was the _Imam_. A more kindly, honest, simple, delightful old man it has seldom been my luck to meet. He was a Turk of the old school, without an atom of Europe in his composition. I wish they were not getting so confoundedly rare. They are worth a million times more than these Johnnies who pick up the Roman alphabet and a few half-baked ideas about what we are pleased to call progress. I took daily lessons from him. He was a mighty theologian--made me read the Koran, and all that, and was much interested in what I had to tell him of our own beliefs. He used to make me ashamed of knowing so little about them. Before he got through with me, he taught me rather more than was in the bond, I fancy. I had always cherished a notion that because a Turk could have four wives, and didn't think much of my chances for the world to come, and was somewhat free in the use of antidotes to human life, his morality wasn't worth talking about. But I got something of an eye-opener on that point.
Altogether, I managed to have a very decent time of it. My pill of learning the most of the language in the least possible time was so ingeniously sugared that the business was one prolonged picnic. In fact, living in a _khan_, as I did at first, is nothing but camping. They're all about the same, you know. You can see the model any day over in Stamboul--a rambling stack of galleries round a court of cattle and wheels, and big bare rooms where twenty people could live. They often do, too. You spread your own bedding on the wooden divan surrounding two or three sides of the room, and your servant cooks for you in a series of little charcoal pits under the huge chimney. It's rather amusing for a while, if you're not too fussy about smells and crawling things. I suppose I must have been, for the _Mudir_ eventually persuaded me to rent a house from an absentee rose-growing pasha. It was about the only wooden one in the place--a huge rattlety-bang old affair that stood on the edge of the bluff, a little apart from the town. It leaked so villainously that I had to sit under an umbrella every time there was a shower, but the view and the garden made up for it. I used to prowl around the country a good deal, though. Everything was so strange to me--the faces, the costumes, the curious implements, the hairy black buffaloes, the fat-tailed sheep with their dabs of red dye, the solid-wheeled carts that lamented more loudly, if less continuously, than the water-wheels, the piratish-looking caravels strutting up and down the Gulf under a balloon of a mainsail. I took them by the day, sometimes, to go fishing or exploring. All of which must have been highly incomprehensible to my astonished neighbors. I believe my man had to invent some legend of a doctor and a cure to account for so eccentric a master. It was only when I came more and more to spend my days among the cypresses on the edge of the beach that I became less an object of suspicion; for while a Turk is little of a sportsman and less of mere aimless sight-seer, he likes nothing better than sitting philosophically under the greenwood tree.
My greenwood was, as I have said, a cemetery. Heaven knows how long it had been there. The cypresses were enormously tall and thick and dark. And the stones under them--with their carved turbans and arabesques, and their holes and rain-hollows for restless or thirsty ghosts--were all gray and lichened with time, and pitched every which way between the coiling roots. You may think it a queer kind of place to sit around in, but it took my fancy enormously. I don't know--there was something so still and old about it, and the spring had such a look between the black trees. It wasn't quite still, either, for that strange, low minor of the water-wheels was always in your ears. It ran on and on, like the sound of the quiet and the sunshine and the cypresses and the ancient stones. And it made all sorts of things go through your head. I presume that first impression had something to do with it. You wondered whether the trees would have lived so long if so many dead people had not lain among their roots. You wondered--I don't know what you didn't wonder.
As hot weather came on, I used to pack a hammock and reading and writing and cooking things on a donkey nearly every day, and drop down through the filberts to my cypresses. There was fairly decent bathing there, over an outrageous bottom of stones and sea-urchins. What I liked best, though, was simply to lie around and watch the world go by. Not that much of it does go by the Gulf of Nicomedia. If it hadn't been for a sail every now and then, you would have supposed that people had forgotten all about that little blue pocket of a firth leading nowhere between its antique hills. Then there were two or three trains a day, whose black you could just make out, crawling through the green of the opposite shore. And there was a steamer a day each way that it was as much as your life was worth to put your foot into. You wouldn't think so, though, to see the people who packed the decks. Sometimes I used to go down to the landing for the pleasure of the contrast they made, solemnly huddled up in their picturesque rags, with the noisy modern steamer. It was a miracle where so many of them came from and went to. That's the wildest part of the Marmora, you know, for all their railroad on the north shore. Some day, I suppose, when German expresses go thundering through to the Persian Gulf, it'll be all factory chimneys and summer hotels, like the rest of the world. But now there's nothing worse than vineyards and tobacco plantations. On the south coast there's hardly that. The hills stand up pretty straight out of the water, and they're wooded down to the rocks. You might think it virgin forest if you didn't know the Nicene Creed came out of it--to say nothing of invisible villages, and eyes looking out at you without your knowing. It all gave one such an idea of the extraordinary wreckage that has been left on the shores of that old Greek Sea. Only you don't get it as you do here, where races and creeds march past you on the Bridge while you stand by and admire. There's something more secret and ancient about it--more like Homer and the Bible and the Arabian Nights.
The caravans gave the most telling touch. You don't often see camels up here any longer, but they're still common enough in the interior. I could hardly believe my eyes the first time a procession of them appeared on my beach. First came a man on horseback, with a couple of Persian saddle-bags to make your mouth water, and then the long string of camels roped together like barges in a tow. What an air they had--the fantastic tawny line of them swinging against the blue of the Gulf! And how softly they padded along the shingle, with the picturesque ruffians in charge of them throned high among their mysterious bales! They passed without so much as a turn of the eye, my Wise Men of the East, and disappeared behind the point as silently as they came. It gave me the strangest sensation. I had felt something of the same before. I could scarcely help it, looking out between those tragic trees at the white strip of beach and the blue strip of sea and the green strip of hills that were so much like other hills and seas and beaches and yet so different. But there had never come to me before quite such a sense of the strangeness of this world where so many things had been buried from the time of Jason and the Argo--of this world of which I knew nothing and to which I was nothing.
You may believe that I was delighted when I went back to the village that night and found it full of camels. The air was sizzling with bonfires and _kebabs_--you know those bits of lamb they broil on a long wooden spit?--and strange faces were at every corner. They filled the coffee-house, too, when I finally got there. By that time it was too dark to stare as hard as I would have liked. But perhaps the scene was all the more picturesque for the shadowy figures scattered under the vine in the dusk, and the bubble of nargilehs filling the intervals of talk. A feature would come saliently out here and there in the red of a cigarette--a shining eye, a hawk nose, a bronzed cheek-bone. And out on the _meidan_ were groups around fires, with their little pipes that have all the trouble of the East in them, and their little tomtoms of such inimitable rhythms.
I found my friends established as usual in the seat of honor--an old sofa in the corner of the café--and as usual they made place for me amongst them. When the ceremony of their welcome subsided, the _Mudir_ took occasion to whisper to me that the leader of the caravan, an excellent fellow who had stopped there before, was telling stories. I then recognized, in the light of the _cafedij's_ lamp, the man I had seen that afternoon on horseback. He sat on a stool in front of the divan of honor, and behind him were crowded all the other stools and mats in the place. Although he had not deigned, before, to turn his head toward me, he now testified by the depth of his salaam to the honor he felt in such an addition to his circle. He was a curiously handsome chap, burnt and bearded, with the high-hung jaw of his people, the arched brow, the almost Roman nose. And, shaky as I still was in the language, he didn't leave me long to wonder why he was the center of the circle. He was a born _raconteur_--one of those story-tellers who in the East still carry on the tradition of the troubadours. Not that he sang to us, or recited poetry--although the _Imam_ told me with pride that the man was a dictionary of the Persian poets. But he went on with a story he had begun before my entrance. It was one of those endless old eastern tales that are such a charming mixture of serpent wisdom and childish _naïveté_. And he told it with a vividness of gesture and inflection that you never get from print.
Well, you can imagine! I always had a fancy for that sort of thing, but it's so deuced hard to get at--at least, for people like us. And after that queer turn the first sight of the caravan gave me, down by the water, it made me feel as if I were really beginning to lay my hand on things at last. So I was disappointed enough when at the end of the story the party began to break up. Upon my signifying as much to my neighbor, the _Mudir_, however, he said that nothing would be easier than to summon the man to a private session. If I would do him the honor to come to the _konak_--I was tickled enough to take up with the idea, provided the meeting should take place at my house instead. I knew there would be bakshish, which I didn't like to put the _Mudir_ in for, after all he had done. Moreover, I had a whim to get the camel-driver under my own roof--by way of nailing the East, so to speak!
So the upshot of the business was that we made a night of it. Oh, I don't mean any of your wild and woolly ones. To be sure, we did wet things down a trifle more than is the custom of the country. There happened to be a decanter on the table, which the camel-driver looked at as if he wouldn't mind knowing what it contained; and being a bit awkward at first, I knew no better than to trot it out. The _Mudir_, to whom of course I offered it first, wouldn't have any. I suppose he had his reputation to keep up before an inferior. I was rather surprised, all the same, for it was plain enough that the camel-driver was by no means the kind of man the name implies, and a little Greek wine wouldn't hurt a baby. Moreover, I had heard of this _raki_ of theirs, which is so much fire-water, and I didn't take their temperance very seriously. As for the camel-driver, he was rather amusing.
"You tempt me to my death!" he laughed, taking the glass I poured out for him. "Do you know that my men would kill me if they saw me now? These country people have not the ideas of the _effendi_ and myself. They follow blindly the Prophet, not realizing how many rooms there are in the house of a wise man. They found out that I had been affording opportunity for the forgiveness of God, and they took it quite seriously. They threatened to kill me if I did not make a public confession. And I had to do it, to please them. On the next Friday I made a solemn confession of my sins in mosque, and swore never to smell another drop."
At this I didn't know just what to do. I looked at the _Mudir_, and the _Mudir_ looked at the camel-driver. The latter, however, waved his hand with a smile of goodfellowship.
"There is no harm now," he said. "We break caravan to-morrow at Nicomedia. Moreover, I do not drink saying it is right. I should blaspheme God, who has commanded me not to drink. But I acknowledge that I sin. Great be the name of God!" With which he tipped the glass into his mouth. "My soul!" he exclaimed, "That is better than a cucumber in August!"
These people are democratic, you know, to a degree of which we haven't an idea--for all our declaration of independence. Yet there are certain invisible lines which are sure to trip a foreigner up and which made me mighty uncertain what to do with the governor of a _mudirlik_ and the leader of a caravan. But the latter proceeded to look out for that. Such a jolly good fellow you never saw in your life, with his stories, and the way he had with him, and the things he had been up to. It turned out that he knew western Asia a good deal better than I know western Europe. Tabriz, Tashkend, Samarkand, Cabul, to say nothing of Mecca and Cairo and Tripoli--such names dropped from him as Liverpool and Marseilles might from me. Where camel goes he had been, and for him Asia Minor was no more than a sort of ironic tongue stuck out at Europe by the huge continent behind. It gave me my first inkling of how this empire is tied up. It seems to hang so loosely together, without the rails and wires that put Sitka and St. Augustine in easier reach of each other than Constantinople and Bagdad. I began to learn then that wires and rails are not everything--that there are stronger nets than those. Altogether it was a momentous occasion. To sit there in that queer old house, in a wild hill village of the Marmora, and speak familiarly with that camel-driver who carried the secrets of Asia in his pocket--it brought me nearer than I had ever dreamed to that life which was always so tantalizing me by my inability to get at it.
When the man finally withdrew, and the _Mudir_ after him, I was in no mood to go to bed. They had opened to me their ancient world, with all its poetry and mystery, and I did not want to lose it again. I could see it stretching dimly beyond the windows where the water-wheels went moaning under the moon. I went out into it. The night was--you have no idea what those nights could be. They had such a way of swallowing up the squalidness of things, and bringing out all their melancholy magic. The rose season was at its height, and the air was one perfume from the hidden gardens. Then the nightingales were at that heart-breaking music of theirs. And the moon! It wasn't one of those glaring round things, like a coachman's button or a butcher's boy with the mumps, by which young ladies are commonly put into spasms; but it was an old wasted one, with such a light!
It was all the more extraordinary because not a creature was about--except a man who lay asleep on the ground, not far from the door. Apparently they dropped off wherever they happened to be, down there, and I used to envy them for it. I stood still for a while, in the shadow of the house, taking it all in. Don't you know, it happens once in a while that you have a mood, and that your surroundings come up to it? It doesn't happen very often, either--at least, to workaday people like us. So I stood there, looking and listening and breathing. And when I saw the edge of the shadow of the house crumble up at one place, without any visible cause, and creep out into the moonlight, I--I only looked at it. Nothing had any visible cause in that strange world of mine, and I watched the slowly lengthening finger of shadow with the passivity of a man who has seen too many wonders to wonder any more. But then I made out a darker darkness winding back toward the house. And--I don't know--I thought of the man on the ground. I looked at him.
It was my camel-driver, dead as Darius, with the blood running out of a hole in his back like water out of a spout. For the moment I was still too far away from every day to be startled, or even very much surprised. It was only a part of that mysterious world, with its mysterious people and mysterious ways that I never could understand. What was he doing there dead, who had been so full of life a little while before? Was it one of his jokes? The night was the most enchanting you could imagine, the air was heady with the breath of rose-gardens, the nightingales were singing in the trees (down in the valley I heard, low, low, the weary water-wheels), and here was the prince of story-tellers with his tongue stopped forever, and the blood of him making a snaky black trail across the moonlight....
* * * * *
What happened next? My dear fellow, you remind me of these kids who will never let you finish their story! Nothing happened next. That was the beauty of it. I guess I got one pretty good case of the jim-jams after a while, and when I got through wondering whether I was going to be elected next, I began to wonder whether they wouldn't think I'd done it. Of course, I had done it, as a matter of fact, and that didn't tend to composure of mind. Neither did my speculations as to what the _Mudir_ might or might not have noticed when he left me that evening. But, if you will believe it, nobody ever lifted a finger. The next morning the caravan was gone and apparently everything was the same as before. If anything, they were more decent than before. That was the worst of it. I don't believe I'd have minded so much if they'd stoned me and ridden me out on a rail and set the Government after me and raised the devil generally. I should at least have felt less at sea. As it was--hello, there's Carmignani! Let's take him over to Tokatlian's.
FRAGMENTS OF A LOST MEMORY
BY FLORENCE WILKINSON
Where have they gone, the unremembered things, The hours, the faces, The trumpet-call, the wild boughs of white spring? Would I might pluck you from forbidden spaces, All ye, the vanished tenants of my places!
Stay but one moment, speak that I may hear, Swift passer-by! The wind of your strange garments in my ear Catches the heart like a belovèd cry From lips, alas, forgotten utterly.
An odour haunts, a colour in the mesh, A step that mounts the stair; Come to me, I would touch your living flesh-- Look how they disappear, ah, where, ah, where? Because I name them not, deaf to my prayer.
If I could only call them as I used, Each by his name! That violin--what ancient voice that mused! Yon is the hill, I see the beacon flame. My feet have found the road where once I came. Quick--but again the dark, darkness and shame.
THE BATTLE AGAINST THE SHERMAN LAW
HOW CAPITAL AND LABOR COMBINE TO SAFEGUARD THE TRUST AND LEGALIZE THE BOYCOTT
BY BURTON J. HENDRICK
ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS
Under the existing laws of the United States, it is a crime to organize a combination of individuals or corporations into a business aggregation in restraint of trade. It is likewise a crime for labor men or labor unions in different States to combine for the prosecution of certain aggressive enterprises popularly described as boycotts. Any person convicted of engaging in either of these prohibited acts may be fined not more than $5,000 for each offense, or imprisoned for one year at hard labor, or both.
According to reliable estimates, there are in the neighborhood of five hundred large trusts or combinations that daily violate this law. There are many thousands of smaller corporations and business firms that indulge in secret practices for which their officers may at any time be lodged in jail. As for the national prohibition of boycotts, labor organizations openly exist for the express purpose of conducting them. The constitution of the most powerful labor organization in this country, the Federation of Labor, specifically provides for engaging in this form of industrial warfare.
The statute that outlaws these combinations of both capital and labor is the famous Sherman Anti-trust Law. It is one of the briefest, most pointed, and most comprehensive measures ever passed by Congress. It contains only about seven hundred words and would fill less than a page of this magazine. In its first three lines, without any modifications or circumlocutions, it declares illegal "every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States or with foreign nations." The next few lines provide the punishment, cited above, for breaking the law. The Sherman Act does not say that "some combinations" are illegal and criminal, but that "every" one is. It does not provide that certain offenders may be punished, but that "every" one "shall be." It leaves absolutely no discretion to prosecuting officers or to the courts. Within its comprehensive folds are gathered, on the one hand, the most commanding captains of industry and the greatest railroad magnates; and, on the other, the most insignificant puddlers in their furnaces and stokers on their trains.
The Sherman Act has thus established a community of interest between labor and capital which has had important practical results. Both capital and labor are openly evading the law. Both have many times been haled into court, convicted of infringing this statute, and enjoined from continuing in their illegal combinations. Both consequently find it an irksome impediment to their present plans and ambitions. In their active opposition to the law the two previously warring elements now meet on common ground.
The platform of the Republican party calls for amendments which, to all practical purposes, will seriously weaken the law, so far as its application to corporate combinations is concerned. The Democratic platform demands such changes as will exempt labor unions from its operation,--which is virtually the same thing as demanding the legalization of the boycott. At the last session of Congress the spectacle was presented of important labor unions and great corporation lawyers working hand in hand to this common end. Though this agitation failed for the time being, it may safely be asserted that the repeal or modification of the Sherman Act will continue to be a fixed article of the policy both of large aggregations of wealth and of large aggregations of labor. This fact makes important a study of its history and of its practical effects upon corporate and labor organizations.
_The Sherman Law Not Rushed Through Congress_
Hardly any important legislation has been so imperfectly understood or more persistently misrepresented. Although the law was passed only eighteen years ago, a large number of legends have already grown up about it. According to popular belief, the Sherman Anti-trust Act is an imperfect piece of legislation; a measure which was drawn up hastily, without thorough study or knowledge of the economic and social problems which it was intended to solve. The corporations declare that it was never intended to meet industrial conditions as they exist now: labor leaders have repeatedly asserted that the framers of the measure never intended that it should affect organizations of labor.
A study of the congressional debates which preceded the passage of the Sherman Act dissipates these misconceptions. The law was not rushed through Congress. It was seriously proposed as a carefully thought-out attempt to check great and clearly comprehended evils. In essence those evils did not differ from the ones which confront the American people today. In 1890 the trust, or the industrial combination, had almost reached its present state of development. Large aggregations of capital had already secured a monopoly of many of the necessaries of life. The Standard Oil Trust was then, as it is now, the most conspicuous of these combinations, and had already attained an unpopularity almost as great as it enjoys today; the Sugar Trust controlled practically the whole output of refined sugar. The Steel Trust, it is true, did not exist; but many combinations in steel products had already been formed. Combinations on steel rails dictated prices; nails, barbed fence wire, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, cordage, cottonseed oil,--all these products had already been brought largely under trust control. The Salt Trust and the Whiskey Trust had been organized. Combinations of railroads, for the purpose of fixing charges for transportation, had existed for twenty-five years. In 1875 Commodore Vanderbilt called the first great meeting of railroad trunk lines at Saratoga; and this conference adopted a "pooling" arrangement. The accumulated railroad abuses of a generation, especially this practice of "pooling" earnings, had led to the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887--three years before the enactment of the Sherman Law.
Other combinations, which disdained the name of trusts, but which had already developed certain points in common with them, also flourished. The labor union, for example, was in full flower. The Knights of Labor, under Powderly, had passed through many triumphant years; the Federation of Labor was firmly entrenched, and Samuel Gompers was its President then as he is today. The unions existed then, as they do now, to secure higher wages and greater advantages of employment for their members; and one of their weapons then, as it is at present, was the boycott. Organizations of farmers, which existed for a similar purpose--the Farmers' Alliance, the National League--had also reached a high state of development.
_Statesmen who Framed the Sherman Law_
Nor were the framers of this law inexperienced legislators who hastily scrambled together a measure to meet certain political exigencies. The men chiefly responsible for the anti-trust law were John Sherman of Ohio, George F. Edmunds of Vermont, George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, George Gray of Delaware, and James Z. George of Mississippi. Senator Spooner recently declared that no greater body of lawyers ever sat in Congress; no one would venture to contend that there is any similar group of five men in Washington today. John Sherman had served almost continuously in Congress since 1854; he had represented Ohio in the Senate throughout the Civil War and the reconstruction period, displaying especial talent in dealing with questions of national finance; and, as Secretary of the Treasury in President Hayes' cabinet, had carried through with masterly success the resumption of specie payments. George F. Edmunds was generally regarded as the greatest lawyer then in the Senate. Starting his career in that body in 1866, when Congress had to handle the intricate constitutional problems involved in the readmission of the Southern States, he immediately became one of an influential group of which the other members were Sumner, Fessenden, Trumbull, and Wade, and took an important part in framing the legislation of the reconstruction period. George F. Hoar had, by 1890, represented Massachusetts in the Senate for thirteen years; his great learning, his comprehensive knowledge of public questions, his independence, his genuine devotion to the best public interests had made him one of the most commanding figures in that body. George Gray of Delaware, at present a judge of the United States Circuit Court, and for many years one of the most conservative forces in the Democratic party--the same George Gray upon whom many of Mr. Bryan's opponents hoped to unite a few months ago as the Democratic presidential nominee--was also recognized as one of the Senate's greatest authorities on the Constitution. Senator George had served for many years as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi, and was the author and compiler of many works on law which are still widely used.
Over the question of federal control of large combinations these five men and their colleagues debated for nearly two years. Senator Sherman introduced his first anti-trust act August 14, 1888; the present statute finally became a law on July 21, 1890. During this period six separate trust bills, all modifications of that originally introduced by Mr. Sherman, were laid before the Senate. They were considered by two committees--the Finance and the Judiciary--and debated at great length in the committee of the whole. The discussions occupy one hundred and fifty pages of the Congressional Record.
A striking illustration of the general ignorance of the circumstances under which the Sherman Act was passed is furnished by the present Republican platform. This declares that "the Republican party passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act over Democratic opposition." The records of Congress, however, show no indications of any opposition at all, Democratic or other. Of the five men most conspicuous in framing the law, three were Republicans and two were Democrats. In the Senate only one senator voted against the passage; in the House two hundred and forty-two votes were cast in favor of the act, and not a single one was cast against it. The whole debate was notable for its seriousness and its dignity; one or two Democrats did suggest that a revision of the tariff might help to curb the trusts; but that was the only partisan note struck. Congress keenly appreciated the issues raised by the trust problem and the necessity of taking action that would be beneficial and permanent. Everybody realized, also, the inherent difficulties of the situation. The debates in the Senate on this issue, far from indicating a scrappy investigation, furnish material for a liberal education in the constitutional questions involved in dealing with monopolies. Senator Hoar, in preparation for the work, studied the history of legislation concerning monopolies from the time of Zeno. One of the sections in the bill--that providing that a successful litigant against a trust can recover three times the damages suffered from it--Mr. Hoar incorporated from a statute on monopolies passed in the reign of James I.
[Illustration: SAMUEL GOMPERS, FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATION OF LABOR. MR. GOMPERS DEMANDS AN AMENDMENT OF THE SHERMAN ANTI-TRUST ACT THAT WOULD MAKE LEGAL THE INTERSTATE BOYCOTT]
_Sherman Act Intended to Apply to Labor Unions_
Of all the legends which have grown up about this law, perhaps the most absurd is that it was never intended to apply to workingmen. "As a matter of fact," said Samuel Gompers before the Judiciary Committee of the House last winter, "every man who now lives and is familiar with the legislation of the day knows that the Sherman Anti-trust Law was never intended to include organizations of labor," Chief Justice Fuller, in a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court, flatly contradicts Mr. Gompers' statement. "The records of Congress show," says Justice Fuller, "that several efforts were made to exempt, by legislation, organizations of farmers and laborers from the operation of the act and that all these efforts failed," In fact, the question of the relation of labor unions and the law occupied a conspicuous place in the debates; it was almost as constantly in the minds of the Senators as the question of capitalistic combinations themselves. To meet this situation, Senator Sherman introduced an amendment specifically excepting labor unions and agricultural associations from the operation of his statute. Mr. Gompers, according to his remarks before the Judiciary Committee last winter, was partly responsible for the introduction of this amendment. Senator Edmunds opposed it on the ground that it granted rights to labor which it withheld from capital, and he insisted that both sides should be treated upon an exact equality. In the following words he disposed for all time of Senator Sherman's plea for preferential treatment of laboring men:
The fact is that this matter of capital, as it is called, of business, and of labor, is an equation, and you cannot disturb one side of the equation without disturbing the other. If it costs for labor 50 per cent. more to produce a ton of iron, that 50 per cent. more goes into what that iron must sell for, or some part of it. I take it everybody will agree to that.
Very well. Now, if you say to one side of that equation, "You may make the value or the price of this iron by your combination for wages in the whole Republic or on the continent, but the man for whom you have made the iron shall not arrange with his neighbors as to the price they will sell it for, so as not to destroy each other," the whole business will certainly break, because the connection between the plant, as I will call it for short, and the labor that works that plant, is one that no legislation and no force in the world--and there is only one outside of the world that can do it--can possibly separate. They cannot be divorced. Neither speeches nor laws nor judgments of courts nor anything else can change it, and therefore I say that to provide on one side of that equation that there may be combination and on the other side that there shall not, is contrary to the very inherent principle upon which such business must depend. If we are to have equality, as we ought to have, if the combination on the one side is to be prohibited, the combination on the other side must be prohibited, or there will be certain destruction in the end....
On the one side you say that it is a crime and on the other side you say it is a valuable and proper under-taking. That will not do, Mr. President. You can not get on in that way. It is impossible to separate them; and the principle of it therefore is that if one side, no matter which it is, is authorized to combine, the other side must be authorized to combine, or the thing will break and there will be universal bankruptcy. That is what it will come to.
[Illustration: SENATOR GEORGE F. EDMUNDS, GENERALLY REGARDED AS ONE OF THE GREATEST CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYERS OF HIS TIME. THE SHERMAN ACT, AS IT STANDS AT PRESENT, IS VERY LARGELY HIS WORK]
Senator Edmunds' logic absolutely killed any attempt to place capital and labor upon different footings, Instead of adopting this proposed amendment, the Senate referred the whole question of trust legislation to the Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Edmunds was chairman. Mr. Edmunds and his colleagues threw into the waste basket all the pending trust bills and their amendments and struck out on new lines. As a consequence, Senator Edmunds became the chief author of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. His most active associates, were Senator Hoar and Senator George. The one man who had practically nothing to do with the statute as it stands to-day was Senator Sherman himself. He played an important part in the preliminary discussion and in framing the measures which served as a basis for this discussion; but the bill as it was finally adopted by Congress bore little resemblance to his. The amendment upon which he laid especial stress--that of exempting laboring and agricultural organizations from the operation of the Anti-trust Law--was absolutely ignored.
As finally adopted, the act did not prohibit labor unions per se or combinations of labor unions formed to accomplish lawful ends; it did, however, strike at certain labor union practices. That this was the clear intention of the Senate is evident from a statement made by Senator Edmunds in a newspaper interview as far back as 1892. "The Sherman Law," said Mr. Edmunds, "is intended to cover and I think will cover every form of combination that seeks in any way to interfere with or restrain free competition, whether it be capital in the form of trusts, combinations, railroad pools, or agreements, or labor through the form of boycotting organizations that say a man shall not earn his bread unless he joins this or that society. Both are wrong; both are crimes and indictable under the Anti-trust Law."
_Unsuccessful Efforts to Destroy the Law_
For eighteen years the anti-trust statute has represented American policy and American law in federal regulation of combinations in restraint of trade. In that period the act has been repeatedly assailed from many legal standpoints. It has been passed upon more than two hundred and fifty times by the federal courts, and has been considered fifty-five times by the United States Supreme Court. The greatest constitutional lawyers of this generation--such men as Edward J. Phelps, James C. Carter, John F. Dillon, and Francis Lynde Stetson--have attempted to destroy it and have not succeeded. The greatest railroads and corporations, on the one hand, and the largest and most influential labor unions, on the other, have both failed in their attempts to secure exemption from its operation.
[Illustration: JUDGE GEORGE GRAY OF DELAWARE, WHO, AS UNITED STATES SENATOR, IN 1890, TOOK AN IMPORTANT PART IN FRAMING THE SHERMAN LAW]
The history of the Sherman Act has absolutely justified the wisdom and integrity of the Supreme Court. Scores of times the lower courts have decided against the government; and the most important decisions have been those in which the Supreme Court has reversed the inferior tribunals. The record of federal prosecutions under this law affords an interesting insight into the attitude of the several administrations toward trust regulation. President Harrison, under whose administration the law was passed, accomplished little. His attorney-general brought seven actions--four bills in equity and three criminal indictments. Under the equity proceedings, he obtained three injunctions; the criminal proceedings all ended in failure. One of the cases instituted by President Harrison, however,--that against the Trans-Missouri Freight Association,--was afterward taken to the Supreme Court by President Cleveland's attorney-general, and resulted in securing one of the most important decisions in the history of the law.
President Cleveland showed considerably more activity than his predecessor. Though only eight proceedings stand to his credit, several of them were of the greatest importance. He used the Sherman Law in fighting the Debs cases growing out of the Pullman strike; and in the well-known Addyston Pipe & Steel Company case he dissolved a combination, formed by several manufacturers of gas and sewer pipe, to monopolize the trade of most large American municipalities. President McKinley apparently had little interest in the Sherman Law; throughout his four and a half years only three cases were prosecuted, none of which were of much consequence. With the administration of President Roosevelt, however, the situation changed. Against the seven cases instituted by Harrison, the eight by Cleveland, the three by McKinley, stand thirty-seven started by Roosevelt. That is, he has instituted twice as many cases as all his predecessors combined, and many of the Roosevelt prosecutions have proved successful. Nineteen of these thirty-seven cases have already been decided; the government has won seventeen and lost only two.
As a result of these many proceedings and interpretations, the Sherman Anti-trust Law is now fairly well understood. There has recently been much complaint that the law is not sufficiently "specific"; that business men and labor leaders are groping very much in the dark; that it is impossible to say what this statute prohibits and what it permits. From the judicial literature which has accumulated in the last eighteen years, however, a fairly clear idea of its bearings upon large enterprises, both of labor and capital, can be obtained. Senator Hoar declared, when the bill came up for final passage, that it enunciated no new principle of law. It made illegal "restraints of trade" and "monopolies," but these had been for centuries unlawful in all Anglo-Saxon countries. As far back as the reign of Henry VI. in England, in 1436, a law was passed declaring that "all agreements in restraint of trade are illegal and voide." This principle has ever since been part of the law of England, and is at present part of the common law of many States in the Union.
[Illustration: FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON, CHIEF COUNSEL FOR THE UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION AND OTHER MORGAN ORGANIZATIONS. MR. STETSON WAS ONE OF THE DRAFTERS OF LAST WINTER'S TRUST BILL. IF IT HAD BECOME A LAW, THIS MEASURE WOULD HAVE MADE THE UNITED STATES STEEL COMPANY PRACTICALLY IMMUNE FROM FEDERAL PROSECUTION]
In the United States itself, however,--that is, in the federal courts--there is no common law; everything must be fixed and regulated by statute. What the Sherman Act did was to make this common law on the subjects of restraints and monopolies the statute law of the United States. Under the common law of practically every State, monopolies and restraining combinations were illegal; Congress made these illegal when they involved inter-State trade. Under the common law boycotts were illegal also; Congress made illegal the inter-State boycott. Congressional action on this subject was demanded, because the larger number of these unlawful combinations could be reached only by federal action, inasmuch as they usually involved more than one State.
Under the rulings of the Supreme Court, combinations and conspiracies which restrain trade and develop monopolies are those which, broadly speaking, deprive the public of the benefits of free competition. This act recognizes the competitive system as the one industrial ideal, and outlaws anything that interferes with a free, unobstructed flow of trade. A trust that gets control of the larger part of a particular product and manipulates the output so as to prevent trade from flowing in its natural course--that is an illegal restraint. Labor unions that combine to divert artificially this same course of trade--as they unquestionably do when they persuade the public not to have business relations with particular persons or corporations against which they have declared a boycott--also engage in an illegal restraint. The Sherman Law aims only to protect the public against these unnatural influences; to restore business to normal conditions. With corporations, the final test as to whether they restrain trade or not is whether their effect is to increase prices. If they do not increase prices, then they do not restrain trade and consequently do not violate the Sherman Act. The Supreme Court has insisted upon one important modification of this principle. The effect upon prices must be immediate and not remote. An arbitrary agreement that definitely fixes the prices of a product is clearly illegal; an agreement which, in the last analysis, might tend to influence prices, would not necessarily be so.
[Illustration: SETH LOW, EX-MAYOR OF NEW YORK, WHO, AS PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL CIVIC FEDERATION, ADVOCATES THE AMENDMENT OF THE SHERMAN LAW]
_Railroads Stopped from Making Rate Agreements_
In the first ten years after the passing of the Sherman Act, the government attacked most successfully, not the great solidified aggregations of capital popularly known as trusts, but the more or less loosely organized federations of corporations, formed chiefly for the purpose of regulating and establishing prices. Trade agreements, not monopolistic corporations, became its chief quarry. In proscribing these agreements as illegal, the Sherman Act was found to be extremely effective. The very first case under this law was directed against a combination of coal-mining companies in Kentucky and Tennessee, which existed for the express purpose of regulating output and fixing prices. The courts promptly decided that this agreement violated the Sherman Act. In 1892 eighteen railroads, nearly all operating west of the Missouri River, organized what they called the Trans-Missouri Freight Association. This association included many of the great Western roads, companies of the magnitude of the Santa Fé, the Missouri Pacific, and the Rock Island. Its object, as clearly stated in the articles of association, was "mutual protection by establishing and maintaining reasonable rates, rules, and regulations, in all freight traffic, both through and local." In other words, it proposed to fix arbitrarily the price of transportation throughout the enormous territory covered by the eighteen railroads in question. The old "pooling" agreements, which had existed for many years, had been prohibited by the Interstate Commerce Law passed in 1887; and this Traffic Association was an attempt to accomplish the same end--that is, stop competition among the railroads and maintain rates--in a different way. The Supreme Court, by a vote of five to four, decided that this agreement was prohibited by the Sherman Anti-trust Act, because, as an attempt to fix prices, it restrained trade. The famous Trans-Missouri decision, which settled this case, made the Sherman Law an insurmountable bulwark against all railroad combinations of this kind. Until this decision was finally given in 1897, this act had not been seriously regarded; after the Supreme Court had spoken, however, capitalists suddenly awoke to its significance. The decision settled many important points, which will be referred to subsequently in this article, and it changed as well the whole policy of railroad management.
The Sherman Act has stopped, not only railroad combinations, but similar agreements existing among manufacturers for the regulation of prices. The case of the Addyston Pipe & Steel Company is the most celebrated of this kind. In 1894 a large number of manufacturers of sewer and gas pipe, the Addyston Company being one, formed a combination to monopolize business and fix prices in thirty-six States and Territories. All companies which were parties to the agreement reserved the right to compete with each other outside of these thirty-six States as fiercely as before. They significantly called the section in which there was to be no competition "pay territory"; and the States outside of this section were known as "free territory." These manufacturers dealt chiefly with municipalities, which usually let contracts for sewer and gas pipe by public bidding. Whenever such a contract was offered, the Addyston combination would meet secretly, decide upon the price they would charge, and then arrange a program of fictitious bids. They then divided the profits among themselves. In this way they forced practically all purchasers in the sections in which they traded to pay exorbitant prices. Indeed, the subsequent history of this combination beautifully illustrates the practical effect upon the public of agreements of this kind. The Addyston and its associate members sold certain pipe in "pay territory," where the combination was enforced, at twenty-four dollars a ton; in "free territory," where they competed with each other, they frequently sold identically the same product at fourteen dollars. The Supreme Court decided that this agreement violated the Sherman Act--that it was a combination or a conspiracy in restraint of trade. William H. Taft, then United States Circuit Judge, wrote an opinion discussing the merits of this dispute which has since become a legal classic. Mr. Taft spent six months in studying the questions involved.
Nearly all such cases, however, involved merely what may be called trade agreements. In each case there were actual attempts to fix prices by compact, and these agreements were the only things in common among the different corporations that became parties to them. The several corporations preserved their independent existence; they were not trusts in the sense in which the Standard Oil Company, the American Sugar Refining Company, the United States Steel Company, are trusts--that is, single corporations, producing and distributing the greater part of some particular product. Until President Roosevelt's administration, these trusts had, for the larger part, escaped prosecution under the Sherman Law, the few attempts that had been made to assail them; having ingloriously failed.
[Illustration: JOHN SHERMAN, A STATESMAN WHO SERVED THE GOVERNMENT FOR MORE THAN FORTY YEARS, AS SENATOR, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AND SECRETARY OF STATE. BETWEEN 1888 AND 1890 HE INTRODUCED SIX SEPARATE BILLS FOR THE REGULATION OF TRUSTS, AND OUT OF THESE GREW THE MEASURE WHICH NOW BEARS HIS NAME]
Meanwhile, in the first twelve years after the passage of the Anti-trust Act, and in the teeth of it, some of the largest monopolistic corporations were formed. Many persons have maintained that the Sherman Law, far from forestalling these corporations, has actually precipitated them. Their point is that, since this act clearly outlawed trade agreements among independent corporations, these corporations, in order to get control of the situation, have been compelled to amalgamate themselves under one ownership. The Sherman Act made illegal, for example, rate agreements among railroads; as a consequence, in order to control railroad policy, the owners of the great trunk lines have purchased large blocks of stock in each other's property--on what is popularly known as the "community of interest" idea.
President Roosevelt, however, has succeeded in applying the Sherman Act to the trusts, as that word is popularly understood. The famous Northern Securities case is his greatest victory along that line. In this instance, Mr. J. J. Hill and J. Pierpont Morgan formed a new corporation, the Northern Securities Company, which acquired the actual stock ownership of nine-tenths of the stock of the Northern Pacific Railroad and three-fourths of that of the Great Northern. The Northern Securities Company thus obtained a virtual monopoly of railroad transportation from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean in the northern section of the United States. The Roosevelt administration, relying solely upon the Sherman Act, destroyed this corporation. The administration has followed up this victory by instituting suits against the Standard Oil Company, the American Tobacco Company, and other powerful monopolies.
[Illustration: GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM 1877 TO 1904, AND ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE SHERMAN ANTI-TRUST ACT]
_Labor Unions, as Such, Not Prohibited_
Meanwhile, the same law has proved an effective weapon in opposing that other form of combination and restraint against which it was framed,--the labor trust. Under it a new code of federal laws affecting labor unions has developed; and to a large extent it has strengthened the cause of legitimate labor organization. No intelligent person now disputes the right of workingmen to organize. A few labor leaders have publicly declared their apprehension that the Sherman Law prohibits peaceable labor organizations; no man, however, has thus far had the hardihood to raise this question legally; and, in the present state of public opinion as to the rights of labor, no one is likely to. The United States Courts, in decisions defining the scope of the Sherman Act, have specifically stated that it does not prohibit the ordinary peaceful activities of labor unions. Justice White, in a decision of the Supreme Court, has declared that an agreement among "locomotive engineers, firemen, or trainmen engaged in the service of an inter-State railroad not to work for less than a certain named compensation" would not be illegal. William H. Taft, in one of the most important decisions affecting the rights of workmen under the Sherman Act, has defined the situation in words which are now widely accepted as a clear statement of what is not only good law but sound public policy:
The employees of the receiver had the right to organize into or join a labor union which would take action as to the terms of their employment. It is a benefit to them and to the public that laborers should unite for their common interest and for lawful purposes. They have labor to sell. If they stand together, they are often able, all of them, to obtain better prices for their labor than dealing singly with rich employers, because the necessities of the single employee may compel him to accept any price that is offered. The accumulation of a fund for those who feel that the wages offered are below the legitimate market value of such labor is desirable. They have the right to appoint officers, who shall advise them as to the course to be taken in relations with their employers. They may unite with other unions. The officers they appoint, or any other person they choose to listen to, may advise them as to the proper course to be taken in regard to their common employment; or if they choose to appoint any one, he may order them on pain of expulsion from the union peaceably to leave the employ of their employer because any of the terms of the employment are unsatisfactory.
It is clearly indicated, therefore, what labor leaders, under the Sherman Act, can do. They have the right to organize, to combine--that is, to form unions; they have the right to refuse to work for wages or terms of employment unsatisfactory to themselves--that is, to strike. Under the Sherman Act, indeed, mere organizations of laboring men are regarded as no more outlawed than ordinary social clubs or college fraternities.
_How the Chicago Strike of 1894 Restrained Trade_
On the other hand, labor leaders know what, under the Sherman Act, they can not do. They cannot enter into combinations that restrain trade. This vital point has been settled in several important proceedings--those involving the Chicago disturbances in 1894, and, more recently the decision just handed down in the matter of the Danbury Hatters. These cases so clearly show the bearing of the Sherman Act upon illegal labor practices, that they may profitably be reviewed here.
[Illustration: _Copyrighted by C. R. Buck_
CONGRESSMAN CHARLES E. LITTLEFIELD OF MAINE, WHOSE KEEN ANALYSIS OF LAST WINTER'S CIVIC FEDERATION TRUST BILL WAS LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS DEFEAT]
In 1894 the employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company of Chicago struck for higher wages. These employees were not railway men; they were workmen engaged in the manufacture of railway cars. In spite of this, about four thousand had been admitted to membership in the American Railway Union, an organization of railroad operatives, which, under the vigorous management of Eugene V. Debs, had acquired a membership of 250,000, and a correspondingly great power in the field of railroad labor. In order to help the Pullman workmen in their struggle with the Pullman Company, the American Railway Union declared what was in effect a boycott upon all railroads using Pullman cars. Nearly all the larger American railroads had entered into contracts with the Pullman Company, by which parlor and sleeping cars were to be used on their trains. Debs now demanded that these railroads should break their contracts, and thereby, of course, become responsible for heavy damages to the Pullman Company. In other words, he demanded that all American railroads cease patronizing the Pullman Company because of its "unfair" attitude toward union labor; that is, he started a boycott against the Pullman Company. When the railroad companies refused to meet his demand, he ordered out all American Railway Union men employed on these lines. He even declared war upon several of the Vanderbilt roads, which had no Pullman sleepers, operating instead the Wagner cars. In effect, in order that several thousand workmen in Chicago might profitably settle their private grievances with their employers, Debs proposed, practically to end railroad communication in the larger part of the United States.
"The gigantic character of the conspiracy," said William H. Taft in a well-known decision resulting from these proceedings, "staggers the imagination. The railroads have become as necessary to the life and health and comfort of the people of this country as are the arteries to the human body." The larger part of our food supply, for example, is furnished by means of the railway; the interruption of railroad transportation for any considerable period would, among other calamities, bring famine upon large sections of the country. In Chicago, in Cincinnati, and in other large cities, Debs despatched his lieutenants with orders to tie up all railroads using Pullman cars. He gave particular instructions to interfere with freight trains, since freight was the main source of railroad revenue. In many places riots followed; in Chicago, strikers began wrecking trains, blowing up bridges, burning freight yards, tearing up tracks--indeed, nearly all the twenty-three railroads centering in that city ceased operations. The fundamental principles of the constitution, guaranteeing the safety of life and property, had apparently given way to lawlessness and anarchy. In the opinion of Grover Cleveland, then President of the United States, these proceedings constituted a "conspiracy in restraint of trade" among the States, and as such were prohibited by the Sherman Act. That the purpose and effect of Debs' proceedings was to restrain trade is sufficiently clear; indeed, no more complete restraint than the cessation of railroad communication could be imagined. Trade in this case was not only restrained; it was entirely stopped. That the means by which this was to be accomplished had all the essential elements of the inter-State boycott has also been shown. In several cities, acting under the President's instructions, United States district attorneys obtained injunctions on the ground that the strike leaders were violating the Sherman Act, and also interfering with the carriage of United States mails. In Chicago Eugene V. Debs was enjoined, and, when he disobeyed the injunction, was arrested and afterward sentenced to six months' imprisonment. In Cincinnati his associate, Frank W. Phelan, was likewise enjoined and likewise imprisoned for contempt. It was his act as judge in sending Phelan to prison for violating the Sherman Law that first made William H. Taft a national figure. The circuit courts[J] decided, in several cases, that the combination formed by Debs against nearly all the trunk lines was a boycott, "a conspiracy in restraint of trade," and punished the leaders, under the Sherman Act. William H. Taft declared that "the combination is in the teeth of the act of July 2, 1890."
_The Danbury Hatters Attempt to "Restrain Trade"_
This boycott involved violence as an incident; the Supreme Court, however, has recently taken still more advanced ground, and decided that a peaceable boycott also violates the Sherman Act. In the last fifteen years a terrific warfare has raged between the American Federation of Labor and nearly all American manufacturers of hats. The American Federation has a membership variously estimated at from 1,500,000 to 2,000,000, including workmen in practically every State and Territory. It is, as its name implies, a central association organized for the purpose of bringing into one effective machine all the local labor organizations scattered throughout the country. It is an association of associations, and, as indicating its national scope, has its headquarters in Washington. It keeps constantly in touch with its membership through its monthly publication, the American Federationist, as well as through the many journals of the unions with which it is affiliated. It regularly employs nearly one thousand agents who continually push the interests of its members in the larger part of the United States and Canada. Mr. Samuel Gompers constantly uses this organization for the prosecution of inter-State boycotts. In his petition to intervene in the Danbury Hatters case, Mr. Gompers stated, over his own signature, that "the constitution of said American Federation of Labor makes special provision for the prosecution of boycotts, so-called, when instituted by a constituent or affiliated organization." In a public speech on May 1, 1908, Mr. Gompers declared that the Supreme Court might "as well dissolve and destroy the organization of labor as to enforce these decisions"--that is, the decisions against boycotts. Obviously, the Federation of Labor has an advantageous organization for work of this kind. A local union, with membership extending not beyond the limits of a town or State, could make little headway against a manufacturer against whose goods it had declared a boycott, inasmuch as his trade usually extends over a large area. The American Federation of Labor, however, by embracing the local unions' cause can make the boycott effective in practically every part of the country. In the last twelve years, Mr. Gompers' organization has declared four hundred and eight boycotts.
In particular, it has prosecuted with considerable success boycotts against the manufacturers of fur hats. About ten years ago, Mr. Gompers, working with the United Hatters of North America, inaugurated an elaborate program to compel all such manufacturers to unionize their shops. By using their well-known methods, they have brought to terms seventy out of the eighty-two manufacturers in this country. The firm of D. L. Loewe & Co. of Danbury, Connecticut, however, had persistently refused to comply with these demands. Mr. Loewe was not a large manufacturer; he had, however, built up a prosperous business, and, though he had never shown any hostility to union labor, had insisted on maintaining an open shop. In 1901 the United Hatters' Union practically ordered him to discharge his non-union men and unionize his factory. Mr. Loewe again refused to do this, and a strike immediately followed. Mr. Loewe, however, promptly engaged new non-union men, and soon his factory was running as busily and as profitably as before.
Mr. Gompers then brought the whole machinery of his organization to bear upon this recalcitrant hatter. On July 25, 1902, the Federation of Labor and the United Hatters declared a boycott against his products. They denounced this concern in their several publications as "unfair," and notified nearly all the wholesale and retail hat dealers throughout the United States that they must not handle the Loewe goods, under pain of being boycotted themselves. It is said that their agents kept espionage, in Danbury, over all freight consignments from the Loewe factory, and thus obtained a fairly complete list of their customers; committees of labor men in many cities waited upon these customers, and, in several instances, persuaded them to drop the Loewe hats. Some firms who refused to obey this dictation were themselves boycotted; and, in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Richmond, the boycott was pursued with particular virulence. The Federation went so far as to grant a special dispensation to its members to purchase hats made by other non-union labor, rather than patronize the Loewe brand. Mr. Loewe, though he suffered enormous loss as a result of these proceedings, pluckily kept up the fight. Under the Sherman Law, an aggrieved citizen is authorized to bring private suit against persons engaged in a conspiracy to restrain his trade, and, if he successfully maintains his case, may recover three-fold damages. Mr. Loewe quietly went to work and had made an inventory of all property-holders actively engaged in boycotting his goods. He then brought suits for $340,000 damages against a large number of labor men, filing in the District Court 240 separate attachments. The Supreme Court of the United States made short work of this case. Chief Justice Fuller, who wrote the decision, declared that "the combination described in the declaration is a combination 'in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States' in the sense in which these words are used in the act, and the action can be maintained accordingly." An interesting feature of the case is that the decision of the Supreme Court was unanimous. In nearly all the other proceedings involving the Sherman Law--the Trans-Missouri case, the Northern Securities--the government has won by a bare majority; every member of the Supreme bench, however, at once concluded that Mr. Gompers' activities against the firm of D. L. Loewe & Co. restrained inter-State trade, and thus violated the Sherman Law.
Thus, in eighteen years, the Sherman Act has proved an effective weapon against the two forms of trust and conspiracy with which the public is most familiar--combinations of capitalists to restrain inter-State trade and arbitrarily fix prices, and combinations of labor unions organized for the prosecution of inter-State boycotts. It strikes impartially the Northern Securities Company and the American Federation of Labor; it does not discriminate between the activities of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan and of Mr. Samuel Gompers. At the last session of Congress, the two forces which it opposes bent all their energies to destroy this law; in all probability they will renew and redouble their efforts this winter.
_National Civic Federation Attempts to Amend the Law_
For many years the National Civic Federation has been collecting data bearing upon the trust and labor problem. In 1899 it held a trust conference; and again, in October, 1907, it called a large meeting at Chicago for the consideration of the trust situation. Delegates appointed by the governors of forty-two States and representatives of more than ninety commercial, agricultural, and labor organizations contributed to these discussions. Referring to these Chicago proceedings, Mr. Theodore Marburg, one of the participants, said before the Judiciary Committee in Washington last winter: "Mr. Nicholas Murray Butler sounded the note of attack upon the Sherman Anti-trust Law.... I take it that the gentlemen will agree with me that it was a dominant note of that conference." As a result, a bill radically amending the Sherman Anti-trust Act was introduced in Congress at the last session. Its most active sponsors in Washington were Seth Low, president of the National Civic Federation, Professor Jeremiah W. Jenks of Cornell, and Samuel Gompers, president of the Federation of Labor. Well-known men who had participated in the conference that preceded the framing of the bill were E. H. Gary, chairman of the Board of the United States Steel Corporation, Henry L. Higginson, Isaac N. Seligman, and James Speyer and August Belmont, bankers. Francis Lynde Stetson, chief counsel for the United States Steel Corporation and other Morgan corporations, and Victor Morawetz, counsel for the Santa Fé Railroad, wrote the drafts. This latter fact was publicly stated by Mr. Low and Mr. Jenks in the course of the hearings before the Judiciary Committee. The authorship of the bill was early brought out in the following colloquy between Congressman Charles E. Littlefield and Mr. Low:
MR. LITTLEFIELD: Right there, Mr. Low, if there is no objection, who are the people that actually participated in the preparation of the bill? Who are the men who actually drew it?
MR. LOW: We conferred with Judge Gary, of the United States Steel Corporation.
MR. LITTLEFIELD: E. H. Gary, president of their board of directors?
MR. LOW: E. H. Gary. The lawyers actually engaged in the drafting of the bill were Mr. Stetson----
MR. LITTLEFIELD: That is, Francis Lynde Stetson?
MR. LOW: Francis Lynde Stetson; and Mr. Morawetz.
MR. LITTLEFIELD: Victor Morawetz?
MR. LOW: Victor Morawetz.
At another time, Mr. Low described Mr. Stetson and Mr. Morawetz as "the drafters" of the bill. Herbert Knox Smith, commissioner of corporations, also had a hand in framing the measure. President Roosevelt openly indorsed it and sent in an emergency message urging, among other things, its passage. Extensive hearings, extending through several months, were held before the Judiciary Committee. Many representatives of capital and labor appeared in favor of the measure. Although Congressman Littlefield, who presided over these hearings, many times expressed his wish to examine Mr. Stetson and Mr. Morawetz, these gentlemen never appeared. Although Mr. Low promised that they would submit a brief, explaining several disputed legal points, they never did so. The burden of discussing the many intricate legal points that constantly arose rested entirely upon the shoulders of Mr. Low and Professor Jenks, neither of whom had had any legal training. Through the efforts of Congressman Littlefield, James A. Emery, counsel for the National Association for Industrial Defense, and Daniel Davenport, counsel for the Anti-Boycott Association, the proposed law was defeated, but the proceedings are of great interest and importance as illustrating the changes desired by both labor and capital in the present anti-trust law.
_Gompers Asks that the Boycott be Legalized_
Mr. Gompers' demands were entirely simple and direct. He wished labor unions entirely exempted from the operations of the Sherman Act. That law, if properly respected and enforced, would practically put an end to Mr. Gompers' occupation. Referring lately in a public speech to the effect of a recent court decision against inter-State boycotts, Mr. Gompers quoted, as applicable to his own organization, Shylock's speech in "The Merchant of Venice," "You might as well take from me my life as take from me the means whereby I live." Mr. Gompers' chief interest in the Civic Federation bill, therefore, was a clause which specifically declared that the Anti-trust Act should not be so interpreted "as to interfere with or restrict any right of employees to strike for any cause or to combine or to contract with each other or with employers for the purpose of peaceably obtaining from employers satisfactory terms of their labor or satisfactory conditions of employment." Mr. Low and Mr. Jenks denied that this language legalized the boycott; Congressman Littlefield, however, and many other opponents of the measure, emphatically asserted that it did. Such sweeping concessions as "_to strike for any cause_" and "_to combine or to contract with each other or with employers for the purpose of peaceably obtaining from employers satisfactory terms_," it was maintained, clearly authorized such boycotts as that prosecuted against the Danbury Hatters. That proceeding, it was pointed out, was entirely peaceable--there was no law-breaking, no rioting, no bloodshed. It would also legalize, it was said, many of those arrangements between labor unions and employers--by which employers' associations contract to employ only members of certain labor unions, the latter, on their part, contracting to work only for certain employers--which were brought to such perfection by the late Sam Parks. Mr. Gompers demanded that, if the clause in question did not authorize boycotts, another should be substituted which did; to make the case sure, therefore, he proposed an amendment which did so in no uncertain tone. The following extract from the record clearly defines Mr. Gompers' position:
MR. LITTLEFIELD: Now, Mr. Gompers, a word. Would this amendment you suggest, if it became a law, authorize the prosecution of such a boycott as was attempted in the Danbury Hatters' case, which was in violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Law? Is that the purpose?
MR. GOMPERS: One of the purposes; yes, sir. That case was brought under the Sherman Anti-trust Law.
MR. LITTLEFIELD: Yes. And the purpose of the amendment you have offered is to relieve you from the operation of the Sherman Anti-trust Law as construed by the court in that case?
MR. GOMPERS: Yes, sir.
MR. LITTLEFIELD: And to authorize that kind of an inter-State boycott?
MR. GOMPERS: Yes, sir.
MR. LITTLEFIELD: Do you, as the representative of organized labor, favor the boycott, both as an inter-State and a local proposition?
MR. GOMPERS: I do, sir.
MR. LITTLEFIELD: And your organization stands for that?
MR. GOMPERS: It does, sir.[K]
_Government to Discriminate Between Good and Bad Trusts_
As to monopolistic corporations, the proposed act placed them entirely under the supervision of the executive branch of the government. If you wished to form a trust, or enter into a restraining contract, and, at the same time, to escape the prohibition of the Sherman Act, you would first, under the provision of this bill, submit the proposed arrangement to the Commissioner of Corporations and answer such questions as he saw fit to ask. If he gave approval, you could go ahead and carry out the deal, practically secure against further interference. If he disapproved, you would be liable to attack under the Sherman Act. In fact, the administration was to be given arbitrary power to discriminate between good and bad trusts, to separate the corporation sheep from the corporation goats. "You are all right," it could say to one combination; "you are all wrong," it could say to another. The federal government, in other words, was to rule absolutely the business activities of nearly 80,000,000 of people; merely by a word it could authorize a gigantic combination like the United States Steel Company, and prohibit another like the Standard Oil.
_"Reasonable" and "Unreasonable" Combinations_
The above statement gives the effect and not precisely the form of the proposed legislation. What its authors really hoped to accomplish was executive discrimination between those combinations and those restraints of trade which were reasonable and those which were unreasonable. They based their measure upon the theory that certain combinations, even many whose tendency is to restrain trade and increase prices to the consumer, may still work for the public interest. The word "reasonable" has played an important part in the history of the Sherman Act. In several cases the corporations, in contesting the law, have made the claim that this act did not prohibit all combinations in restraint of trade, but only those which were "unreasonable." They set up this defense most strongly in the famous Trans-Missouri case, already described. Eighteen railroads, it may be repeated, had formed an association for the purpose of fixing freight rates. James C. Carter, who argued the case, strongly asserted that such an agreement was beneficial both to the railroads and to the public; the history of railroads having conclusively proved that cut-throat competition inevitably led to bankruptcy and demoralization in railroad service. He therefore claimed that the proposed restraint in trade was "reasonable" and consequently not prohibited by the Sherman Act. The Supreme Court, by a majority of five to four, rejected this theory. The Sherman Act, it pointed out, in express language made illegal "_every_ contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade"; and made "_every_ person" who was a party to such contract a criminal. It left absolutely no leeway--it did not discriminate in the remotest degree between those which were reasonable and those which were not. Since then all demands for the modification of the act have hinged upon this one point.
_Andrew Carnegie on Combinations_
This demand, of course, has precipitated a very nice problem in definition. What is a reasonable combination? What is an unreasonable one? What is a good trust? What is a bad one? Upon this all-important question the many weary hearings extending through four months before the Judiciary Committee last winter shed practically no light. The Civic Federation bill was based upon this fundamental distinction; and a large number of distinguished citizens appeared in favor of it. Congressman Littlefield, as each speaker appeared before the Committee, asked him to give a concrete illustration of a combination, forbidden by the Sherman Act, which really promoted the public interest and was therefore "reasonable." Mr. Seth Low frankly admitted that he could name no concrete case of the kind. He caused some amusement, however, when he read a letter from Andrew Carnegie touching upon this very subject. "One point seems to me essential," wrote Mr. Carnegie, "without it, little general progress can be made; namely, when new combinations are proposed, the first question must always be 'what is the object sought?' _In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, it will undoubtedly be to rob the community of its right to the benefits of free competition, disguise it as one may_; therefore the Commissioner's duty is to obtain satisfactory proof that the application is to cover an exceptional case. The conditions must be peculiar, as those of common carriers and steel-rail agreements are." Mr. Carnegie's statement that ninety-nine per cent of trade agreements are made for the purpose of "robbing the community" and his implication that the exceptional one per cent are the agreements involving the manufacturers of steel rails, naturally provoked much hilarity.
Only two other illustrations were furnished of benevolent combinations. Mr. Herbert Knox Smith, commissioner of corporations, instanced a proposed agreement among lumber men to cut only a certain amount of timber each year, the ostensible purpose being to prevent the wanton destruction of the forests. It appeared, however, that the real purpose of such an agreement was not to preserve the forests, but to restrict the output, and increase prices, and consequently the profits of the lumber men. Another illustration offered was the combination of patent medicine dealers to fix prices and prohibit price cutting--the object, it was said, being to prevent the unfair competition of large department stores with retail druggists. But this, in the last analysis, was generally believed to be a concerted attempt to destroy competition and enhance the profits of patent medicine makers. Congressman Littlefield insisted, throughout the entire proceedings, that the fundamental purpose of forbidden combinations was to control the product and thereby increase the price to the consumer. If there were any combinations that did not have that purpose or result, then the Sherman Act, according to Mr. Littlefield's analysis, did not prohibit them. Thus in all attempts to define practically reasonableness and unreasonableness, as applied to trade agreements, the statement was repeatedly made that the large part of the business of this country was done in violation of law; that business men lived constantly in a state of terror from the fear of its enforcement; that its presence on the statute books largely explained existing business depression. When it came to defining precisely what they wished to do, however, none of those who favored the bill became specific. The thing finally simmered down to a statement by Mr. Low that the law was "a very important element in the psychological condition of business men to-day."
_Indulgences to be Granted to Corporations_
This particular power of defining reasonableness and unreasonableness, however, the proposed law centered in the President, acting through the Commissioner of Corporations. It provided a limited system of federal registration for corporations, and, in a modified form, for federal license and publicity--the two circumstances which probably led President Roosevelt to support the measure. In effect it granted indulgences to corporations to combine, provided they would do certain things. The Sherman Law, as it stands to-day, was not specifically to be repealed; it was simply to be waived in favor of those combinations and trusts which paid the price of these indulgences. In order to obtain absolution, the offending corporation must do two things: register with the Bureau of Corporations and answer such questions as might be propounded to it. The bill authorized the President to determine precisely what information should be exacted, and also to change from time to time the requirements regarding data. That is, for registered corporations, it gave the executive branch of the government absolute inquisitorial power. Registered corporations had the right to file with the Bureau any agreement or contract or combination to which it became a party--the precise kind of transactions made illegal by the Sherman Act. The Commissioner had thirty days in which to examine such contracts; if, within that period, he declared them in reasonable restraint of trade, then they became practically legal.[L] If not, then they could be proceeded against under the Sherman Law. The chief point of criticism in this arrangement was the stipulation for a thirty-day period during which the Commissioner must pass upon these contracts. This, it was asserted, was the loop-hole by which the corporations were to secure immunity. The Commissioner must declare these contracts reasonable or unreasonable within thirty days; if he failed to act upon them in that time, they became reasonable, precisely as if he had declared them to be so. How, it has been asked, could the Bureau possibly act intelligently within that period upon many of the exceedingly intricate questions which would come up for judgment? Whether a contract is reasonable, of course, largely depends upon the way it affects prices. An examination would therefore frequently involve an economic study of the particular trade, as well as the organization of the particular corporation involved. It would be necessary to go deeply into capitalization, values behind this capitalization, cost of production, wages, transportation charges and so on. There are said to be more than 200,000 corporations in existence. Supposing half or a quarter should register,--how could the Bureau possible examine them within thirty days? Would it be possible to investigate the United States Steel Corporation within that period? Under the suggested law, however, unless the Commissioner passed judgment within this time, all these contracts and combinations would automatically receive a certificate of good character. In their interest, the Sherman Act would practically be repealed.
In the main, this provision referred to contracts made and combinations to be formed in the future; another section practically extended immunity to all contracts and combinations now in existence. Nearly all trusts organized in the last forty years, and all restraining agreements, were to become valid. The government was to have a year in which to institute proceedings against such corporations as declined to register. If it failed to do so within this time, then these combinations could never be attacked on any ground whatever, and became regularly fixed institutions. As there are about five hundred corporations popularly known as trusts and myriads of trade agreements now forbidden, the law department, it was suggested, would have its hands full if it attempted to bring suit against them all within twelve months. Moreover, after the passage of the proposed act, the government could not proceed against any combination except on one ground--that it was an unreasonable restraint of trade. Under the Sherman Act, it will be remembered, it can prosecute without any reference to the question as to whether the restraint is reasonable or not. If the act had passed, in other words, the position of the government would have been this: within a year it could have assailed the trusts only on the grounds of unreasonableness; after the expiration of a year it could assail them on no ground whatever. A saving clause, however, provided that the government could prosecute all actions already begun. That is, it could follow up to the end the pending cases against the Standard Oil, the American Tobacco Company and other corporations against which it has already started suit. It could not prosecute, however, the United States Steel Corporation, for it has instituted no proceeding in that direction. It was the Attorney of the United States Steel Corporation, Mr. Francis Lynde Stetson, who had a large hand in framing the bill.
These facts have led many observers to believe that the bill in question represented an underhanded attempt, by large corporations, especially the United States Steel, practically to remove the Sherman Anti-trust Law from the statute book. Mr. E. H. Gary and Mr. George W. Perkins spent many days in Congress while the bill was under discussion, though they did not once openly appear before the committee. No criticism affecting the good faith of Mr. Low and Professor Jenks, the most active open advocates of the bill, was put forth. The discussion disclosed the fact, however, that the Sherman Act, as it stands at present, has many friends. Organizations interested in curbing the unlawful activities of labor unions insisted that that law, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, is practically the only protection American industry has against the boycott. Repeal or seriously modify it, they declared, and a régime of labor union terrorism far surpassing any hitherto known in any country, would at once begin. The plan of Mr. Gompers and his associates to shelve this law, they insisted, was merely part of their general scheme to remove all legal restraints from the operations of labor unions. Opinions did not seem quite so unanimous as to the wisdom of the Sherman Act in its bearings upon corporations. Though many declared that this measure is too sweeping and drastic, and should be amended, no one has yet suggested any practical way of framing a new law. No one who has studied the problem of trust regulation, it is believed, has thus far hit upon a plan that, while it gives greater leeway to the corporations, protects the public from arbitrarily high prices and other exactions. There is thus a growing conviction that the act passed by the great constitutional lawyers of 1890 represents the best attainable result in this direction. It has not stopped the growth of trusts, it is true; but whether that is because it does not furnish the means or because it has not been sufficiently enforced, is the disputed question. "What is needed," recently said ex-Senator Edmunds, the man who was the real author of the Sherman Act, "is not so much more legislation as competent and earnest administration of the laws that exist."
[J] In the Debs case the Circuit Court based its decision almost entirely upon the Sherman Law. The Supreme Court of the United States, in affirming this decision, rested mainly on the broader question of the interference with the United States mails. Justice Brewer, however, who wrote the decision, specifically said that this fact did not mean that the Supreme Court dissented from the grounds on which the lower tribunal had decided the case.
[K] In Justice to Mr. Low and Mr Jenks it should be said that they disclaimed any intention of indorsing a bill which authorized the boycott. They afterward amended the clause in question by authorizing employees "to strike for any cause not unlawful at common law," which modification leads into many legal fogs which it is hardly worth while to enter in this place.
[L] The bill provided, it is true, that the contracts might still be assailed on the ground of unreasonableness. The practical effect, however, it was generally conceded--virtually admitted by Herbert Knox Smith--would be to give them immunity for all time.
THE ETERNAL FEMININE
BY TEMPLE BAILEY
If it had been any one but Anne Beaumont!
"I don't like turning conventionalities topsy-turvy, Sophie," she said, as we went downstairs; "I don't believe I can ever ask a man to dance with me."
"Other women do," I murmured.
"My husband would never have agreed to such a thing," Anne stated.
That is where Anne always had the advantage of me. Although she had been a widow for five years, she still quoted the authoritative masculine point of view, while I, having in my teens chosen a career instead of a husband, and never having rectified my mistake, was forced to fall back on the unsupported feminine.
"Perhaps you'd rather sit out the dances," was my somewhat malicious way of putting it.
Anne, poised like a white butterfly on the landing, turned on me a reproachful glance.
"No woman would rather be a wallflower," she affirmed.
"Of course not," I returned promptly, "and I don't believe it is going to be very bad after the first plunge."
Anne leaned over the stair rail and surveyed the formidable group of men in the lower hall. "It's dreadful," she said. Then, gathering about her a scarf of silver tissue, she commanded, "You go first, Sophie," and we descended together.
At the foot of the stairs, Charlemagne Dabney met us.
"Charlie, boy," Anne said plaintively, "ask me to dance with you. I simply can't get used to the leap-year idea----"
And I, having prepared to blunder into a formal, "May I have the pleasure?" was so illumined by her method that I employed it with success--for though I lacked Anne's appealing coquetry, I challenged old friends, and my card was soon filled.
But Anne did not depend on old friends. She danced with the count from Hungary, the multi-millionaire from the West, the Senator from Kentucky, and to fill up spaces she fell back on Charlemagne Dabney.
"I think it was lovely of you," she told him at supper, "to open the house for the week-end and the dance. Only, it's too bad that you insist on the leap-year idea for the whole time."
Across the table Elizabeth Ames sparkled radiantly. "I like it. I didn't dance with a single bore, and before I go home I am going to ask all of the men to marry me!"
Anne's face wore its most gracious expression, but I knew how she felt. Elizabeth is eighteen and pretty. Anne is twice eighteen and pretty. And there's a difference.
Anne opened her eyes very wide and said to Charlemagne, "You see what you've done? Elizabeth is going to ask you to marry her."
Charlemagne smiled at Elizabeth. "No such good luck. There are too many young fellows who will accept her before she gives me the chance."
Elizabeth laughed back, "Don't be too sure that you'll escape."
Anne's delicate eyebrows were raised. "Of course she is joking; no woman would really ask a man----"
Charlemagne sighed. "I wish one woman would."
Anne's lashes fluttered. "Why don't you ask her?" she challenged.
He shrugged his shoulders. "I feel weak in the knees when I think of it," he said, "for fear she might say 'no'."
"Faint heart," I murmured, but no one paid any attention to me.
It seemed to me, after that, as if some of the brightness had gone out of Elizabeth's face. But Anne fairly scintillated. And she was exceedingly amiable to Elizabeth.
"Ask the count first," I heard her say, "he's simply charming."
Elizabeth flung up her head in a quick way. She was all in sheer pale yellow, bordered with daffodils, and there was a twist of gold ribbon in her fair hair. Only extreme youth could have worn it, and, as she flashed her answer back to Anne, I had never seen her more beautiful.
"The count wouldn't have me as a precious gift," she said. "I'm too crude. He likes a more finished product--like you, dear Mrs. Beaumont."
"Now, what do you suppose she meant by that?" said Anne that night, when we were in our kimonos and were comforting our complexions with cold cream. "Do you think she meant it for a compliment, or was it a reflection on my age?"
"No one can reflect on your age," I told her. "Nobody knows it but Charlemagne and me, and we won't tell."
"That's the advantage of living on the other side and coming back to meet the younger generation," said Anne; "they haven't kept tab on the years."
She got up and moved restlessly about the room. With the cream on her face and with her hair down, she looked old, and I had a vision of Elizabeth in the yellow gown.
Perhaps something of my thought showed, for Anne stopped suddenly and gazed into a long mirror set in the door. "Oh, youth, youth, Sophie," she cried.
"Anne," I said, "come away from that mirror. No one can be beautiful with her face full of cold cream."
She laughed and dropped down on the rug in front of me, and after a while she said, "Did you hear what he said to-night?"
"About wishing a certain woman would ask him?"
"Yes. He will never ask me, Sophie. He thinks I am still mourning my husband--he thinks I don't care----"
There wasn't much to be said after that. But before I left her, I whispered, "Why don't you tell him, Anne?"
Anne's shocked eyes condemned me. "Oh, Sophie, as if a woman _could_!"
I passed Elizabeth Ames' room on my way to my own, and she called to me, "Come in, Miss Sophie."
"It's so late," I protested, standing on the threshold.
But she was insistent. "Please come," she begged.
"You ought to be in bed," I scolded, "getting your beauty sleep."
But even as I said it, I knew she didn't need it, for she was as daintily fresh as a rose. Her fair hair hung down in two heavy braids over her white gown. She looked like a lovely child.
"Miss Sophie," she said abruptly, when she had put me into a big chair in front of the fire, "tell me about Anne Beaumont and Mr. Dabney----"
"What about them?" I asked innocently.
"Were they in love with each other--years ago--before she married Mr. Beaumont?"
I nodded. "They were engaged, and Anne was very young. She had never seen much of other men, and when Mr. Beaumont came along, with his air of foreign distinction, she was fascinated and broke off her engagement. But she never really cared for Mr. Beaumont----"
"And you think Mr. Dabney has--has stayed single for her sake?"
"I think so. Yes."
"And you think he loves her still----?"
"You heard what he said to-night?"
"I don't call that love," she cried. "If he cared, he'd tell her. He couldn't help it. It would just come--if he really loved her----"
"He thinks that she has never cared--and he isn't an impetuous boy----"
"I know--but he's a _man_." She was all aglow. "And if he cared, his heart would say, 'I love you, I love you, I love you,' and then his lips would say it----"
"You believe, then, that he doesn't care for her?"
"His allegiance is a memory--an old dream--of the girl she was, not of the woman she is. Isn't she older than he, Miss Sophie?"
"She is younger," I said gravely.
"She seems older--and--it's spoiling his life. He--he won't look at another woman--because in a way he feels bound to her. Some day I'm going to tell him."
I stared at her. "Tell him what, Elizabeth?"
"That he is throwing away his happiness--that there are other women."
She had risen and stood in front of me with her hand on her heart. Her eyes were like stars, and the radiance of youth shone from within and round about her. If Charlemagne should see her in such a mood----
I thought of Anne, dear Anne.
"Elizabeth," I said sharply, "if you should tell him that, he would think--that you--cared."
She swept out her arms in a charming gesture of surrender.
"Well, if he did," she cried, defiantly, "what then?"
* * * * *
All that night Elizabeth and Anne contended in my dreams, and in the morning, worn to a frazzle, I went down to breakfast, to find that Elizabeth had gone for a ride with Charlemagne, and that Anne was still in bed.
I drifted into the library and found there a circle of somewhat fagged-out feminines. The men were riding or on the links.
From the light bits of conversation that were wafted to me as I sat and read in the window-seat, I gathered that most of the women took Charlemagne's leap-year idea as a joke, but I knew that to Elizabeth and Anne the question presented itself seriously, and that each would settle it in her own way, and according to the tradition of her own time.
For that education and environment had made the difference, I did not doubt. Had Elizabeth been born eighteen years earlier, when women were taught the mysteries of advance and retreat, that coquetry was their best weapon, and that man must always be the wooer, she might have felt all of Anne's shrinking from a revelation of herself; whereas had Anne been brought up in the later days when boys and girls mingle in close comradeship, when plays and books subtly analyze the state of woman as the pursuer and man as the pursued, she might have been as frank about her feelings as Elizabeth.
Hence, I argued, they were both of them what their generation had made them, and I, who loved Anne, and adored her for her womanliness, was yet forced to admit the potency of Elizabeth's youth, and the charm of her complete surrender.
After a time the men began to drift in, and I heard the multi-millionaire from the West inquiring for Elizabeth. He was a big, broad-shouldered fellow, sure of himself, but not unpleasantly so, and when he couldn't find the girl he wanted, he came over and talked to me.
"Say," he began at once, "it's all tommyrot about this leap-year business. When I want a girl to do anything, I want to ask her. It makes me feel foolish to have to wait for her to come to me. I wish Dabney would cut it out."
"But think what an opportunity for a girl to get what _she_ wants," I said.
"They don't know what they want," he stated dogmatically. "The way to win a woman is to pick her up and put her on a horse and run away with her----"
"Suppose she doesn't care to be run away with?" I asked.
"Oh, she'd settle down to it," he said securely; "and besides that, I can't really imagine a nice girl asking a man to marry her."
I thought of Elizabeth as she had stood with her hand on her heart and had hurled defiance at conventions.
"Girls are hard to understand," I murmured.
"Oh, I don't know," he contended. "If a man gets right down to primitive principles and keeps after her, he'll get her--and it makes me hot to think I am wasting valuable time trying to stick to Dabney's old rules, when I have to go back West again on Monday."
I wanted to be sure, so I murmured, "Of course it's Elizabeth Ames?"
"Who else?" he demanded. "Oh, I'm going to jump over the traces, Miss Sophie, and let her know I mean business. This thing of sitting around and letting her go off with another man--you know she's riding with Dabney this morning?"
"He's twice her age, and she _thinks_ she likes him. Girls get romantic streaks, and Dabney's the kind they put up on a pedestal, but he isn't any more suited to her than--a bunch of beets----"
"I suppose not," was all the response I dared venture in the face of such an outpouring of eloquence.
"They are coming now," he said, and through the window I saw them--Elizabeth, looking like a little girl in her three-cornered hat, with her hair tied with a broad black ribbon, and Charlemagne sitting his horse like a centaur.
The Westerner deserted me at once, and, the rest of the guests following, I was left alone in the library.
I curled up in the window-seat, drew the curtains to shield me from the gaze of those who might step within, and tried to take forty winks to make up for the four hundred I had missed the night before.
But I couldn't sleep. Elizabeth and Anne--Anne and Elizabeth! I couldn't get their affairs out of my mind. Would Elizabeth propose, would Anne, would Charlemagne, would the multi-millionaire? Again and again I tried to fit together their widely different theories, until in despair I wished that Charlemagne and his leap-year week-end had not tempted me from my maidenly apartment in town, where the worries of lovers were confined to my manuscripts.
And even as I pondered, I heard Elizabeth's voice saying, as she came in from the porch, "I suppose you think I am awfully forward to make you spend all your morning with me----"
As he followed her into the library, Charlemagne laughed. "I might feel flattered," he said, "if I didn't know you were doing it to make McChesney furious."
McChesney was the multi-millionaire.
"McChesney?" Elizabeth's tone was startled.
"Don't hedge," Charlemagne teased. "He's bound to win out, Elizabeth. No woman can escape a man when he goes for her like that. You might as well give in."
"I shall never give in."
"He's a nice fellow."
"He's not my ideal----" there was a pathetic note of appeal in her young voice.
"Ah--ideals----" Charlemagne had dropped his banter. "Don't spoil your happiness looking for the ideal man--he's like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow--something we hear of, but have never seen."
There was a heavy silence. Then Elizabeth said, catching her breath, "But--but I have found my ideal, Mr. Dabney."
"You have? And it's not McChesney?"
I peeped at them through the curtain. They were in big wicker chairs in front of the door that led to the porch. Elizabeth had taken off her coat, showing her thin white blouse with its crisp frills. Her cheeks were as pink as the rose which she picked to pieces with nervous fingers.
"No," she said tremulously, "it's--it's not Mr. McChesney."
I held my breath. Would she dare?
"It's--it's a man much older than I am," she went on, "and--and I don't know that he has ever thought of me--in that way--perhaps if he had, he might like me--a little----"
I am sure that Charlemagne felt the charm of her youth, as she made her little confession, and I am just as sure that he was absolutely innocent that he was the object of it.
"He would undoubtedly love you more than a little," he said heartily. "Look here, Elizabeth, you won't mind telling me who he is--will you----?"
Here was an opportunity holding out open arms, and did Elizabeth embrace it as beseemed an advocate of woman's right to woo?
Not she! She simply gasped in a panic-stricken way and stood up.
"Oh, _no_," she whispered, with her cheeks flaming, "I couldn't--I couldn't tell any one."
Before Charlemagne could answer, McChesney blundered in.
"Say----" he stopped dead still on the threshold, "I think this is a case of monopoly. I'm tired of hanging around waiting for the girl I want. I am going to break the rules, Dabney, and ask Miss Ames to take me for a walk in the rose garden."
And Elizabeth actually turned to him with an air of relief.
"Oh, yes," she said breathlessly, "I'd love it!"
And away they went. And Charlemagne, turning back into the library, met Anne Beaumont coming in at the other door.
She wore a thin, trailing white gown, and there were dark shadows under her eyes. She looked tired and fragile and every day of her thirty-six years.
"Anne!" Charlemagne said, as if for him all the morning stars sang together.
Anne dropped into the chair where Elizabeth had been.
"I'm afraid I'm awfully late getting down," she faltered, "but--but my head ached."
Charlemagne stood behind her chair, and there was a look on his face that, for the first time, made me ashamed of my eavesdropping. The other had been comedy, but this was real.
"Poor little Anne," he said.
Anne propped her chin on her hand and gazed out through the open door with wide eyes.
"Yes," she said slowly, "poor little Anne."
He came around and took the other chair. "I wish--I knew how I might comfort you," he said.
For a moment Anne looked at him with that wide stare, then, like a flash, it came. "Oh, Charlie, Charlie boy," she cried, "why don't you ask me to marry you--I can't ask you, you know----"
Before she had finished, he was on his knees beside her, and then I shut my eyes and put my fingers in my ears, for the time had come when I had no right to hear or see.
But as for theories--Oh, who knows _what_ a woman will do? There was Elizabeth and there was Anne----
But I never would have believed it of Anne!
THE MOTHER OF ANGELA ANN
BY CLARA E. LAUGHLIN
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALICE BARBER STEPHENS
Henry Street, drowned in November murk, was black as Tartarus and a shade more dreadful, as a heavily built man stumbled along its unfamiliar bumps and intermittent stretches of sidewalk, stopping now and then to peer vainly at doors for a number. Presently he encountered a wisp of a girl with a jacket thrown about her head and shoulders.
"Where's twenty-one?" he asked.
She pointed. "Who d'ye want?"
"In the rear--I'll show ye," and she led the way to a precipitous flight of steps. "Ye go down, an' 'long 's far 's ye kin, thin turn t' th' right an' knock," she said, and disappeared in the mist.
Groping his way, the man reached the end of a long passage between two tenements and knocked at a rear door. A woman opened it.
"Th' ditictive," she murmured, and let him in.
The kitchen was stifling close; a fire raged to the brim of the big, heavily nickeled stove which had cost the Caseys so dear in instalments and in worry. Casey had been working for two weeks, and the bin outside the kitchen door had a ton of soft coal in it. In a bracket above the sink was a lamp whose tin reflector, instead of diffusing the light rays, seemed to concentrate them, like a feeble searchlight, so that the corners of the kitchen were all in gloom, and half-lost in gloom were the forms of the Caseys, whose pallid faces showed sharply against the dusk.
"Had any word?" said the detective, addressing Mrs. Casey. To the relief of the parents and the bitter disappointment of the children, he was a plain-clothes man.
"Niver a worrd."
The detective consulted a memorandum.
"You say she left home Monday morning, just as usual, to go to work?"
"Yissir; she wint down th' alley here hummin' a chune an' as gay as a burrd."
"And you don't think she intended to stay away?"
Mary Casey's eyes flashed. "If I t'ought a gyurl o' mine could walk out an' l'ave me, intintional, wid a chune on her lyin' lips, I'd not ask ye t' be findin' her," she said.
"Did she have a beau?"
"None thot I iver see. She used t' be after talkin', sometoimes, 'bout gran' fellies she'd see downtown, an' I always sez to her, 'You mark me worrds an' l'ave gran' fellies be. They don't mane no good t' th' loikes o' you,' I sez. 'Thim fellies spinds ivry cint they git on their gold watches an' swallie-tails, an' whin they marry they got t' marry a gyurl wid money t' support thim. Whin yer old enough t' take up wid anny wan,' I sez, 'yer pa or yer Uncle Tim'll introjuce ye t' some nice young lab'rin' man wid a good trade an' ambition t' git on, an' you work fer him whoile he works fer you.' 'Ah, ye don' know nothin' 'bout it,' she'd say t' me, an' 'Don't you belave thot,' I'd say t' her, 'I'm nothin' t' look at, an' I ain't got mooch style about me, but I got some knowlidge o' min,' I sez, 'an' they're a bad lot, aven th' bist o' thim. An' you git it out o' yer hid,' I sez, 'thot anny gran' felly's goin' t' marry you, or th' loikes o' you. Ye may rade such foolishness in yer story paapers er see it at yer theayters, but ye kin mark me worrds thot love is fer tony folks thot kin afford it, an' not fer th' loikes o' you an' me.'"
Up to this time Casey had been conspicuously quiet. He had had his own experiences with the Chicago police, who more than once had ordered him to keep away from his abused family or go to the Bridewell. This was buried deep in the voluminous records of the desk sergeant; but Casey had not the comfort of knowing that there were a thousand kindred cases piled a-top of his, so he kept discreetly in the shadow until the detective asked, "Was she gay at all?" and Mrs. Casey replied:
"She be a little granehorn, wid no sinse yet. I'm after taalkin' t' her th' whole, blissed toime 'bout kapin' straight, an' not l'avin' her go by dances er stay out nights, but I dunno--ye can't kape thim in yer pocket, an' whin a gyurl have her livin' t' earn anny place she kin foind it, 't ain't her mother thot know fer sure wheer she is or what she be."
At this Casey sat suddenly forward in his chair, and the streak of light fell full across his face, swollen with tears and streaked with the grime of three awful days. Despite the grime, however, despite the stubble of reddish beard, the unkempt hair and untidy clothes, there was something singularly pathetic about him, with his great, Irish-blue eyes and youthful, innocent-looking face. He had not been drinking for some weeks, and he wore no air of sottishness, nor of vagrancy, nor of any of his other crimes against self and family and society.
"I dunno what I ever done," he had moaned for three days, rocking back and forth in his misery, the tears raining down his unwashed cheeks and splashing from his stubbly chin, "I dunno what I ever done that this thing should 'a' happened t' me! My gyurl! My Ang'la Ann!"
"She were a good gyurl," he said to the detective, sitting suddenly forward.
"So far 's we know, she were," his wife amended, "but she had no sinse yet, bein' so young, an' th' young niver belaves th' old. I don' see how a gyurl o' mine could go wrong, an' me hatin' it th' way I do. But she have more o' him in her nor o' me, down t' thim same shifty blue eyes thot kin look so swate, an' God knows what divilment's behint thim!"
Casey smiled in wan coquetry at this charge against his fascinations, but reiterated in defense of his daughter:
"She were a good gyurl. I seen a piece o' this world, of'cer, an' I kin till--min like us, we kin till gyurls that's merely flightsome from thim that's gon' t' th' bad. If she's bad, I don' want ye t' find her. Jes' show me th' felly thot lied t' her, an' I'll kill him--but I don' want ye t' find her; I don' niver want t' set eyes on her ag'in, if she've brought disgrace on me."
"Ye won't lit it git in th' paapers, will ye?" Mary Casey pleaded for the twentieth time in her brief communications with the police. "Yell kape thim aff av her, won't ye--fer th' love o' Hiven? I'm after tellin' th' childern I'll kill th' first wan o' thim thot breathes t' a soul we don' know wheer Ang'la Ann is. Ag'in' she be all right an' come home some day, it'd go hard wid her if these Sheenies 'round here knew she was gon'--people do belave th' worst of a gyurl, always. I dunno what t' think o' my Ang'la Ann, but I don' want it to go haard wid her if she don' desarve it."
The detective promised about the papers and went his way. A missing girl, with no probable complications of a horrible murder, excited only the feeblest interest at Maxwell Street, and this visit would comprehend the whole of the police activity expended in the case unless Angela Ann should happen to turn up under their incurious noses.
The facts of the case were these: Angela Ann Casey, a slim, under-sized, pretty young thing just under eighteen, had left home on Monday morning, November 7th, apparently to go to work, and had not been seen since by her family or any one they knew. She was an unskilled worker, a bit of flotsam in the industrial whirlpool so cruel to her kind. In the summer she had worked for a few weeks in a cannery, pasting labels on fruit cans. When the cannery shut down, she answered an "ad" for extra help in the rush season of a cap factory, which laid her off when work slackened. And after a fortnight's idleness she was taken on as a bundle-wrapper in a cheap department store, where she met a girl who told her of a place needing more girls for the manufacture of cheap finery for the "levee" trade. Angela Ann applied, and was given work at a knife-pleating machine, at four dollars and a half a week. She was in this job, to the best of her mother's belief, when she disappeared; but a visit to the place on Tuesday laid bare the startling fact that she had "give notice" on Saturday night.
Angela Ann had few intimates; her associates changed with her changes of occupation, and these were so many that she took root nowhere. A girl on Blue Island Avenue, to whose house Angela Ann sometimes went, called at Henry Street Tuesday evening and was told that Angela was out.
"She's tellin' me she have a gran' fella," said the girl questioningly.
"She have," lied Mary promptly, "did she iver tell ye his name?"
No, she hadn't; so Mary said maybe Angela Ann wouldn't want her to tell it either.
Mary's sister, Maggie O'Connor, who was married to a "will-t'-do" blacksmith and lived but a few blocks away, had also heard of a stylish young man who could not be asked to the back cellar on Henry Street, or even allowed to suspect it. In family council Mrs. O'Connor testified that she had offered her own "parlie" for the courting.
"'Bring him here an' l'ave us have a look at him,' I sez to her. 'Ye kin have th' parlie anny toime ye want it,' I sez, 'an' if yer 'shamed o' yer Uncle Tim's brogue, he kin stay in th' shop, an' I'll talk t' him mesilf,' I sez."
But Angela Ann had not accepted this handsome offer, nor had she confided the name of the young man to Mrs. O'Connor, who only knew that Angela Ann had assured her he was a gentleman beyond a doubt, for he had a gold watch and chain.
Fired by this information, which he considered an important clue, Casey was for carrying it at once to the police so that they might investigate all young men wearing gold watches and thereby in due process find the one who knew Angela Ann. But before he could get away to furnish the detectives with this important information, Mrs. O'Connor had made some further suggestions. The chief of these was touching the advisability of consulting a fortune-teller.
"Thim coppers," she opined, "is no good. Tim's after radin' a lot about thim in th' paapers, an' he sez they niver ketch nothin' 't all. He sint ye a dollar wid me and sez he, 'You till thim t' stop foolin' wid coppers an' go t' th' forchune-teller,' sez he."
"I belave it have more t' do wid what th' forchune-teller know than wid what thim coppers kin foind out," reflected Mary Casey. It was the morning after the detective's visit, and Mrs. O'Connor had come over to ask the news. "Theer's somet'ing I didn't till th' ditictive," Mary confessed, "not knowin' how he'd take it--but the day befoore Ang'la Ann wint, a quare, wan-eyed cat kem here. Ivrywheer I wint thot day she traipsed at me heels, an' all Monday noight whin I was up watchin' fer Ang'la, th' cat was on th' windie-sill, howlin' what sounded joost like Aan-gla, Aan-gla, Aan-gla. Now what d'ye make o' thot?"
Mrs. O'Connor had been fumbling in her plush wrist-bag during this recital. "Say," she said presently, holding out a very dirty card, "th' las' noight Ang'la Ann was t' our house she was after l'avin' th' baby play wid her purse, an' th' baby spilt all th' t'ings out av it. We picked thim up, an' I t'ought we got thim all, but whin I was clanein' yiste'day, I foun' this card. It mus' be hers, fer Tim say he niver see it, an' no more did I."
The card read:
[Illustration: O. HALBERG,
_Dramatic Agent--West Madison Street_.]
"That's him, I bet ye!" cried Casey excitedly, "that's th' felly wid th' gol' watch an' chain!"
"Wait a minute!" commanded Mrs. O'Connor impatiently, "Tim sez thot have somet'ing t' do wid a theayter."
"Sure," said Mary Casey, "Ang'la Ann wouldn't be so grane as t' ixpict no theayter guy t' marry her! She'd ought t' know thim niver marries; or if they do, they have a woife in ivery town, loike soldiers an' travelin'-min! I niver bin to no theayter in my loife, but I know that mooch!"
Casey, who had lost his job by default, and had sat apathetically by the stove ever since gray morning dawned after the frantic vigil of Monday night, was struggling with the lacings of his shoes preparatory to setting forth to demolish O. Halberg if he proved his guilt by wearing a gold watch and chain.
"Ye kin spend yer dollar on yer wan-eyed cat," he said indulgently, "but as fer me, I got t' foind thot felly thot lied t' me gyurl."
So the inaction of the past three days was over, temporarily at least. Casey was bound for O. Halberg's and Mrs. Casey and Mrs. O'Connor were going to approach some fortune-teller with the dollar and the tale of the cat. But first of all Mary must go to the school and take Johnny out to mind Dewey and the baby in her absence.
"Now you be keerful," she adjured Casey as he made ready to go, "an' don' kill nobody be mistaake. Th' bist way is t' kill nobody at all," she continued cautiously.
In spite of this caution, however, there would have been danger in prospect if Casey had owned a gun or if he had taken a few drinks. As it was, he was not a formidable figure when he presented himself at the number on West Madison Street, a few doors from Halsted.
There was a pawnshop on the first floor, and beside it a narrow door, which opened upon a long flight of wooden stairs rising steeply to a dark hall, where, by the light of a two-foot gas burner, Casey could make out the name "O. Halberg" on one of the dozen doors. The name was painted on a black tin plate tacked to a rear door. Casey knocked.
"Come in," said a guttural voice.
Entering, Casey saw a man sitting with his feet on a battered desk; he was reading the morning paper and smoking a vile cigar. The walls, calcimined a kind of ultramarine blue, but grimed and fouled unspeakably, were hung with theatrical lithographs depicting thrilling scenes from plays on the blood-and-thunder circuit. For the rest, the furnishings were two wooden chairs, a giant cuspidor, and the desk, which looked as if it had never been new.
"Have I," said Casey in his grandest manner, "th' honor t' addriss Mr. O. Halberg?"
O. Halberg grunted that he had. Then Casey advanced a step further into the room and looked about for a sight or trace of Angela Ann. Nothing could have been more damning than O. Halberg's gold chain, but in no likelihood would Angela Ann, by any stretch of courtesy, have called him young; he was probably fifty, and not prepossessing from any possible point of view.
"Me name is Casey," ventured the visitor, "me gyurl is lost, an' I'm lookin' fer her. We found this," proffering the dirty card, "an' we t'ought mebbe you'd know wheer she is."
Casey was proud of the neatness and despatch of his "ditictive" methods, but more than a little disappointed to find so soon that he was on the wrong trail entirely. Mr. Halberg was truly surprised to be approached with any such query. A great many little silly, stage-struck girls flocked to see him, of course, and no doubt some of them got hold of his cards "in the hope of using them to impress managers," but he had no recollection of any girl named Casey--none whatever. And he resumed the reading of his paper.
"I got th' coppers after her," murmured Casey apologetically, as he took his leave, "but thim coppers is no good. Ag'in' ye want ditictive work done, ye better do it yersilf."
O. Halberg did not deign to reply, but when Casey was safely outside he stepped to the door and locked it. In case the "coppers" came around, it would be just as well to be "out"--it would save the coppers some troublesome pretense.
In his descent of the steep stairs Casey met two girls coming up. They were about Angela Ann's age and were giggling nervously. One of them held between thumb and finger a quarter-inch "ad" from a morning paper, offering:
"High-salaried positions in good road companies to young ladies of pleasing appearance. O. Halberg, Dramatic Agent--West Madison Street."
"Ask him if this is the place," said the girl who appeared to be following the other's lead. Casey directed them to O. Halberg's door, then went on his way. A moment later, while he stood on the corner of Halsted Street waiting for a south-bound car, he saw the girls emerge from the door by the pawnshop. They passed him as they went to take an east-bound Madison Street car on the opposite corner.
"Did ye foind him?" Casey asked.
"No, he wasn't in."
"That's quare," he said, startled, "he was there wan minute before."
On his way home Casey dropped in at the Maxwell Street Station in a free-and-easy manner he would not have dreamed possible two days ago. He was so full of his "ditictive" experience that he felt he must have some one, if only a copper, to talk it over with. The detective who had called the night before wasn't in, so Casey related his recent daring exploit to no less a personage than the desk sergeant himself.
It was well poor Casey could not hear the desk sergeant's account of the call after the self-appointed sleuth had gone on his way.
Mrs. Casey was at home when her husband got there. Relating her adventures, after she had listened to his, she said that the fortune-teller, after accepting the dollar, had asked several searching questions about the one-eyed cat.
"'Ag'in' th' cat come back, yer gyurl 'll come home,' she sez t' me."
The days dragged by. There seemed to be a complete lapse of the stone-cutting industry, so Casey had nothing to take his mind from his "ditictive" operations, which were interesting and unexhausting, though expensive in car-fare and unproductive of results. Angela Ann's weekly wage, for many years the main dependence of the family, being lost to them, they were closer even than was their wont to starvation and eviction; and winter was beginning to snarl around their warped, ill-fitting doors.
As time wore on, the poignant horror of Angela Ann's absence grew mercifully less for all but Mary Casey. Night after night she wept the long hours through, until Casey complained of the depressing effect of her grief, and she felt constrained to hide it.
"If I could on'y know she were dacintly dead," was her heart's cry, as better hopes died in her, "Ag'in' a bye l'ave home, he kin knock around an' pick up a bite here an' a lodgin' theer, an' be none th' worse fer it. But a gyurl bees diff'runt! Theer's always thim watchin' 'round thot's riddy t' do her harm."
Meanwhile she lied bravely to the neighbors. "Angela Ann bees livin' out an' have th' graandes' plaace," she told them impressively; "th' lady she live wid 's after takin' her to Floridy fer to mind her little bye."
Mary's hope was strong that Christmas would see the wanderer's return, but the holidays passed in unrewarded waiting. Casey had perforce abandoned his search, and worked a day or two now and then. Though the traces of really terrible suffering were still in his weak, winsome face, he had long since forsaken all hope of Angela Ann's "safety with honor," and, when it had come to seem unlikely that she ever would do so, took comfort in vowing that she should never again darken the door of his outraged home.
Mary gave over pleading for her girl, in the interests of family peace, but, more and more like a specter as the weeks wore away, she haunted localities where Angela Ann had been or might be. Sometimes she had the baby in her arms, but oftener she left it with Dewey at their Aunt Maggie's, and roamed the streets unhampered in her never-ending quest.
Evenings she would say, "I'll be goin' t' yer aunt's a bit," and slip away into the engulfing dark, to reappear in the glare of light marking the entrance to some cheap West Side theater or dance hall. Gradually her excursions extended downtown, where she would take up her station at the door of some place of amusement and stand watching the pleasure-seekers pour in, then turn away and wander aimlessly up and down the streets for an hour or so before facing homeward. In some way she heard about stage doors, and took to haunting them. She saw many girls of Angela's type, and wondered sadly if their mothers knew where they were, but her own girl was not among them. In those nights on the flaming streets she learned more about vice than she had ever dreamed of in all her life, and the world came to seem to her a vast trap set by the bestial for the unwary.
Not hunger, nor cold, nor abuse, nor sickness, nor death, as it came to five of her children, had driven Mary Casey to anything like the poignancy of feeling that was hers now. Heretofore she had been patiently dumb under affliction; now her spirit cried out in a passion of pain that called straight upon Almighty God for an answer to its anguished questionings.
With the aid of Casey, who was a "scollard," and could "r'ade 'n' write joost as aisy," she pored over the sensational papers in search of stories about girls in trouble, and never a horror happened to an unidentified girl anywhere but Mary was sure it was Angela Ann.
Once there was an account of an unknown young woman found dead on the prairies near Dunning, the county institution. It was Johnnie who laboriously spelled out this story for her--Casey having gone to that club of congenial spirits, O'Shaughannessy's saloon--and at ten o'clock, when the children were all abed, her anxieties could brook no more delay. Throwing a shawl about her head and shoulders, she stole along the pitchy passageway, up the long flight of steps to the sidewalk, clutching the torn fragment of newspaper in the hand that held the shawl together beneath her chin.
It was Saturday night, and the avenue was still brightly lighted. One or two acquaintances greeted her, but she hurried by with only a nod and a word. At Harrison and Halsted and Blue Island Avenue, where three streams of ceaseless activity converge, there is always a whirlpool rapids of traffic and humanity, and here, in a brilliant drug store, Mary felt far enough from her own haunts and all who knew her and Angela Ann to venture on her errand.
"I want t' tillyphome," she whispered to the clerk, who pointed impatiently to the booth.
"I dunno how," said Mary imploringly. "I want ye t' do it fer me. R'ade that." She thrust the dirty, crumpled fragment of the evening's yellow journal into his hand.
The young man glanced at it, and then curiously at her. "I've read it," he said.
"Down here, somewheers," said Mary, pointing vaguely towards the last paragraph, "it till wheer she be, an' I want ye t' tillyphome that place an' ask thim have she a laarge brown mole on her lift side. If she have, I'm goin' out theer this night, fer 'tis my gyurl I t'ink she be."
This was not as startling an episode to the young man addressed as it might have been to one in a quieter locality. Nevertheless, it smacked of the dramatic sufficiently to interest him, and when Mary proffered her nickel he called up the Dunning morgue.
After what seemed an interminable wait, while the sleepy morgue attendant at the county poor-house was being summoned by repeated rings, and the brief colloquy was in progress, the clerk emerged from the booth.
"The girl has been identified this evening," he said.
Disappointment mingled with relief in Mary's countenance: she had reached that stage where it would have been not altogether unendurable to look at Angela Ann's dead face, even in a morgue.
As she retraced her way home, the chill of the sharp February night struck into her mercilessly. When she set forth, she had scarcely noticed in it her preoccupation; but now that another expectation, however tragic, had proved false, and the situation stretched ahead of her indefinitely dull and despairing again, the abrupt relaxation left her physically as well as mentally "let down," and she shivered violently as she hurried along.
"Mother o' God," she cried, the tears rolling swiftly down her shrunken cheeks, "wheer is my gyurl this noight? If I could on'y know she had a roof over her head an' a fire t' kape her warrm!"
Casey was still out when she got back, and she was thankful, for the sight of her tears made him ugly these days. "She've disgraaced us," he said of Angela Ann, "an' she be dead t' me, an' ought t' be t' you, if ye had proper shame."
Mary could give herself up to the luxury of grief, therefore, and she did, until she fell asleep. The next morning she was up betimes, meaning to go to early mass in the basement of the church before "drissy folks" were abroad in their Sunday finery. For more than one reason Mary avoided the later masses; her rags were small shame to her compared with the more than half-suspicious inquiries of acquaintances as to the whereabouts of Angela Ann.
"'Tis more lies I'm after tellin'," thought poor Mary, "than th' praste kin iver take aft o' me. 'N' ag'in' I do pinance enough t' kape me busy half me time, an' go t' git me holy c'munion, I'm not out o' th' prisence o' th' blissed Sacrament befoore I'm havin' t' lie ag'in t' save that poor, silly gyurl's name!"
This morning, however, in spite of her early rising and her efforts to get to seven o'clock mass, events conspired to thwart her intentions. Mollie woke up with a headache, and Johnnie had to be despatched on a vinegar-borrowing expedition, so that the time-honored application of brown paper soaked in vinegar might be made to the poor little head. The baby cried lustily, with a colicky cry, and Mary had to hasten the boiling of tea, that wee Annie might have a good, hot cup to soothe her. Casey, complaining profanely of broken slumbers, was in no mood to be left home with fretting children while Mary went to mass.
It was nine o'clock before she could get away; the last mass in the basement was at nine o'clock. But the Elevation of the Host had been celebrated before she got there, and she turned disappointedly to the stairs; she would have to wait for half-past nine mass in the main church. It seemed as if Providence were balking her, but on the stairway she learned the reason why.
"Ye mus' be sure t' say a spicial prayer on this mass," said one woman who passed her to another, "'tis the first mass this young praste have iver said, an' a blissin' go wid it t' thim thot prays wid him."
Saul on the Damascus road had no more overwhelming sense of arrest and redirection than Mary Casey had, as, trembling with excitement, she reached the top of the stairway.
"Think o' that now," she told herself, "an' if I had come t' th' airly mass I'd niver 'a' known it!"
Hardly would her knees uphold her until she could sink into an obscure pew, far back under the gallery. And there, at the tense moment when the silver-toned bell proclaimed commemoration of the great lifting-up in suffering, Mary raised her faith-full prayer: "A'mighty God, sind me gyurl back t' me! But if it don' be in yer heart t' do thot mooch, maake her a good gyurl wheeriver she be. Fer th' love av Christ, Amin."
Not often in any lifetime, perhaps, does it come to pass that one prays with such sublime assurance of crying straight into the listening ear of Omnipotence that will inevitably keep faith with poor flesh. For nigh on to forty years Mary Casey had listened to reiterations of the old and new Covenants, but they had fallen on sterile ground in her soul. It was the little chance remark about the new priest's first mass, dropping into harrowed and watered soil, that flowered in immediate faith.
* * * * *
The mass ended and the throngs of worshipers passed out, but Mary sat unheeded and unheeding in her dim corner, her simple mind grappling with the stupendous idea of its Covenant with Heaven.
Before she had any realizing sense of time, the church had filled again for high mass. Then the lighting of the great white altar fascinated her, and she felt an intense desire to live again through such a moment of assurance as she had lately experienced--to hear that bell ring again, to smell the incense, and to believe that in some wonderful, wonderful way it was all a part of that prayer of hers that Heaven was bound to answer.
So she stayed on, in her far-away pew, to the remotest corner of which she was crowded as the enormous church filled to its capacity. With the entrance of the preacher into the pulpit, though, she was conscious of a distinct "let-down." She had never liked sermons; they dealt with things so formally. Even when the priests made their greatest efforts to be plain-spoken and understandable, she seldom got any personal help from their discourse. They were prone to denunciations of adultery and drunkenness and other sins of which she was innocent, and to vague exhortations looking toward a hereafter on which her imagination had never taken any but the feeblest hold. But what was this priest saying? Something about a little household that the Lord had loved, and one of its two sisters had gone astray!
The woman sitting next to Mary nudged her other neighbor and glanced in the direction of Mary's face, thrust forward as if so as not to lose a syllable, the tears chasing each other unheeded down its furrows. In her lap Mary's gnarled hands were clasped in painful intensity.
Over and over, since she was a tiny child in Ireland, she had heard this Catholic rendering, of Mary of Bethany's story, but it had never meant anything to her. To-day it meant everything.
[Illustration: "MARY SAT UNHEEDED AND UNHEEDING IN HER DIM CORNER, HER MIND GRAPPLING WITH THE STUPENDOUS IDEA"]
"An' I said I niver wanted t' see her ag'in if she'd disgraaced me," she told herself, and was appalled at the remembrance.
That afternoon, toward the early dusk, she sat in the dark kitchen holding Annie in her lap; all the other children were out. Casey, who had not left the house all day, was huddled up to the stove, smoking his rank pipe; he was unshaven and unwashed, and wore a coarse undershirt of a peculiar mustard color which lent his pallid, grime-streaked face a ghastly hue. He had been talking about a "gran' job" of which a man had told him, and building large castles about moving to a better street and a better house and buying a "parlie suit be aisy paymints."
Mary listened believingly; twenty years of listening to these dreams which never came true had not killed her hopefulness. As she listened, though, her hopes outran Casey's, for she could conceive no possible felicity without Angela Ann. How to introduce the now-forbidden subject of Angela was a problem, but clearly the only way was to plunge in.
"Yis," she assented, "I t'ink we should have a parlie. It have always been my belafe thot if we'd had a parlie Ang'la wouldn't niver 'a' wint away. Ag'in' she come home, I'm goin' t' kape th' parlie noice fer her an' lave her have her beau ivry noight, an' no wan t' bother thim. An' I ain't goin' t' lave her go downtown t' work no more--theer's too manny bad min. She kin stay home an' moind th' house, an' I'll git scrubbin' t' do t' th' Imporium. Wid what you earn an' what I earn, we kin give her mebbe a dollar a wake fer spindin' money."
Mary waxed excited as her dream unfolded, but Casey was ironical.
"Whin d'ye _ixpict_ her?" he inquired, with pride in the sarcasm.
"I dunno," said Mary, undaunted, "but I know she'll come. An' whin she do, I'll not ask her anny quistions. I don' keer how she come t' me, so she come. No matter what she've done, theer mus' be dipths she haven't r'ached yit, an' all I ask now is t' save her from gittin' anny worse than she be. D'ye know what I prayed t' th' Mother o God befoore I lift th' church this mornin'? I prayed that our Ang'la Ann'd git in trouble--in tur'ble trouble 'n' disgraace so thot thim thot's lid her away'd t'row her out, 'n' no wan but God 'n' her mother'd take her in!"
In speechless astonishment Casey gazed at the vehement woman before him. Some instinct made him hold his peace while she told about the priest's first mass, about the sermon, about the answer she confidently expected to her prayer. While he listened, his easy Irish emotionalism caught the contagion of her belief, and his tears flowed unchecked as he alternately cursed the man that had led Angela away, and prophesied glowingly of the "parlie" that was to be.
It was pitchy dark in the kitchen now, and Mary got up to light the lamp. As she did so, a sound at the door caused her nearly to drop the lamp. Hurrying to the door, she threw it open, and with the light in one hand peered out into the black yard.
"Here, pussy, pussy," she called. Then, as her call was answered, "My God! what did I tell ye? Tis the wan-eyed cat!"
The next morning the postman brought a letter. Mary was not surprised to get it. Casey had gone to look for the "gran' job," and the older children were in school, so the letter could not be read, but she could make out the signature, written in the large, unformed hand where-with Angela had covered every available space in the days of her brief but laborious apprenticeship to the art of writing.
With trembling hand Mary tucked the letter in her bosom, hastily got ready herself and Dewey and the baby, and started for Maggie's. Maggie was younger and had enjoyed more educational advantages. She could "r'ade printin'" easily, and "writin"' fairly well if it hadn't too many flourishes.
"She says," spelled out Mrs. O'Connor, "'Dear Ma, I'm at ---- West Randolph Street I'm sick I'm afraid to go home count of Pa Your Loving daughter Angela Ann Casey.' I'll go wid ye," finished Mrs. O'Connor in the same breath.
Out of her small store of tawdry finery she lent several articles to make Mary "look more drissy," and while they got ready for their momentous journey, Mary related the events of the day before, and of Saturday night.
"Me an' Tim," said Maggie, when the tale had reached the stage of the "parlie" and Mary's earnings as a scrub-woman, "was figgerin' how we could help out a bit, ag'in' she come home, an' Tim have promised t' take me 'n' her to th' theayter quite frayquint of a Sat'day noight, an' together we're goin' t' give her half a dollar ivry wake t' spind on her clo'es."
The number they sought on West Randolph Street was not far from the fateful Haymarket Square. There was a store on the ground floor, with living rooms behind. And above, a long flight of oilcloth-covered stairs led to a "hotel."
They inquired first in the store, but no one there had ever heard of Angela Ann. Then, with fast-beating hearts, the women mounted to the office of the hotel, an inside room facing the head of the first flight of stairs. The door stood open, and they looked, before entering, into a gas-lighted room furnished with yellow-painted wooden arm-chairs ranged along the walls and flanked by a sparser row of cuspidors; a big sheet-iron stove on a square zinc plateau filled the middle of the room, and near the door, behind a small desk like a butcher-store cashier's, sat the "clerk," chewing vigorously and expectorating without accuracy.
"Yes, she has a room here," he answered to Mary's question, "hall room, rear, third floor."
"In a minute!" called Angela Ann's voice when Mary had knocked.
"My God, 'tis hersilf," sobbed Mary, and fell a-weeping violently.
"Ma!" cried Angela Ann, and threw open the door. She had been in bed when they knocked, and had not waited to put on her clothes when she heard her mother's voice. At the touch of her, the clinging clasp of her poor, thin, cold little arms, Mary grew hysterical.
"Don't, Ma, don't," begged Angela.
"She've grieved hersilf sick over ye," said Maggie, unable to forbear this much of a reprimand now that the sinner was found. "Iver since ye wint she've been loike wan crazy. Come, Mary; now ye've got her, brace up!"
"Sure, Ma," echoed the girl, "now ye've got me, brace up, I ain't never goin' t' lave ye no more, Ma--honest t' God, I ain't."
"Wheer ye been?" Mary raised her head, and drawing back from the girl peered anxiously into her face. "In God's name, Ang'la Ann, wheer you been? Tell me ye've kep' dacint, gyurl, tell me ye've kep' dacint!"
Angela sat down on the dingy, disordered bed and began to cry, hiding her face in her hands. For a long moment the silence, save for her soft sobbing, was profound. Then a low moan escaped Mary, a moan of anguish inexpressible, showing how deeply, notwithstanding her resolution of yesterday, she had cherished the hope of her daughter's safety.
[Illustration: IN GOD'S NAME, ANG'LA ANN, WHEER YOU BEEN?]
Angela raised her head. The pain in her mother's moan was beyond her comprehension, and she could only understand it as horror and condemnation.
"Are ye--are ye--goin' t' t'row me off?"' she asked.
"T'row ye off? Ah, me gyurl, if ye'll on'y stick t' me as long as I'll stick t' you, 'tis all I'll ask o' Hiven! Tis fer yer sake I was prayin' no harm had come t' ye--not fer mine. Whativer happen t' ye, ye're me Ang'la Ann thot I nursed from yer first brith. An' ye don' know all I'm fixin' t' do fer ye--me an' yer pa an' yer Aunt Maggie, here, and yer Uncle Tim----"
And there followed a glowing account of the feast prepared for the prodigal's return.
"Th' idare o' you bein' afraid o' yer pa," chided Mary, "an' him fixin' t' git a stiddy job an' not have ye go downtown no more."
Far shrewder than her mother, Angela Ann did not overestimate this excellent intention of her pa's, but she said nothing of the bitterness that was in her heart on account of his past crimes. It was a long-standing grievance with her that her mother could never, for more than a fleeting, irritated moment at a time, be made to see Casey as others saw him. Angela Ann had been working for him since she was eleven (child-labor laws were lax, then) and giving up her every penny to pay rent and buy insufficient mites of coal and food--just enough to keep them alive and no more--and it was starvation of many sorts that sent her at last into the clutches of them that prey. The girl was full of self-pity, and impatient with her mother because the older woman had forgotten how to rebel.
"Yer pa say, though," added Mary, "thot he won't promise not i' kill the felly thot lid ye away; he've got tur'ble wingeance on him--yer pa have."
Angela Ann smiled grimly. "I guess theer's quite a few pa's lookin' fer him," she said, "but they don't ever seem t' find him."
"Did he prom'se t' marry ye?" asked Mary anxiously.
"I should say not! He promised to make me a primmy donny."
"What's that?" fearfully.
"'Tis a kind of actress that wear tights an' sings," explained Angela. "I'm after r'adin' in books how gran' they be, an' in the papers it tell how the swell fellies do be runnin' after thim with diming necklusses, an' marryin' of 'em. 'Tis all a lie!" she cried shrilly.
"Ye see," Mary could not refrain from reminding her. "I tol' ye thim theayters was all wrong. We kind o' t'ought it might be thim thot got ye, an' yer pa wint t' see this here Halberg, whin we foun' the caard out o' yer pocke'-book. But he said he niver hear tell o' ye."
"Did pa go there?" questioned Angela eagerly. She was all interest to know how the search for her had been carried on, and "did th' p'lice know?" and "how did ye kape it out o' th' papers?"
Yes, it had been Halberg "all the time," she admitted. She had answered his advertisement, and after a week's drill he had sent her, true to his published word, in a "road company" that mitigated the gloom of coal miners' lives by singing and dancing--and carousing--in a circuit of saloons in the soft coal regions of Illinois. When she fell sick, the company abandoned her without the formality of paying her any salary, and a foul-tongued, soft-hearted landlady, whose own young daughter was God knew where, had let Angela stay in her wretched hotel until she was able by dishwashing and lampfilling chores to earn the few dollars to take her back to Chicago.
"But I couldn' get no stren'th back," the girl went on, "an' that woman at th' hotel, Mis' Schlogel, she sez t' me, 'You better go home t' yer ma, that's wheer you better go,' an' she bundled me off Friday mornin'. But I was scairt t' go home right t' wunst till I seen how youse was goin' t' be t' me, so I come here wheer I stayed whin I was studyin' wid O. Halberg, an' Friday night I got awful sick an' laid here all night awake an' burnin' up an' my head achin' t' beat th' band. An' all day Sat'day an' Sunday I wasn't able to go out fer nothin' t' eat, an' th' propri'ter wouldn't order me nothin' sent in fer fear I wouldn't be able t' pay. A woman in the nex' room light-house-keeps, an' she made me tea a couple o' times after she heard I was sick an' alone."
"Why in Hivin's name," Maggie broke in, "did ye niver drap yer ma a line t' say ye were aloive? Ye needn't 'a' tol' wheer ye was, but ye could 'a' said ye were in the land o' th' livin', surely?"
"I was 'shamed," whimpered Angela; "I fought ye wouldn't keer wheer I was if I wasn't doin' dacint."
"Think o' that, now!" cried Mary. "That's all a gyurl do know about her ma. Whin yer a ma yersilf ye'll know better, an' not till thin, I suppose."
Thus was Angela Ann made sure of her welcome home.
"An' not wan but yer own kin know ye've been missin'" said Mary, as she helped the girl to get ready for the return, "so ye kin hol' up yer hid an' look th' world in th' faace. An' may God fergive yer mother the loies she've tol' t' save yer name!"
BY GEORGE C. SHEDD
ILLUSTRATIONS BY WALTER BIGGS
One rainy afternoon I was sitting with my friend Carter, in his log house. Through the open door we could see the road, all cut up by wagon-tracks, running with water; lumps of mud thrust their black heads up in it everywhere; the bordering grass was wet and heavy. And down by the creek the fringe of trees made only a gray blur.
We had talked ourselves pretty near out when a rider splashed up to the door. His ragged beard stuck out stiff, full of rain-drops, and his slouch hat had an unpleasant tilt forward. To Carter's invitation to enter he shook his head, asked if such-and-such a person had passed within the hour, and, receiving an affirmative reply, pulled his hat down tighter and galloped away west. "Who is that?" I inquired.
"That! Why, that's Borden. It's easy to see you're new out here. His hand holds the river from Saint Joe to Omaha, and men think twice before trying to break his grip." He drew out his pipe and tobacco, stuffed the bowl thoughtfully, and struck a match. "If you want to hear about the first time I saw him at work, I'll tell you."
"Eh? Well, this was the way of it":
* * * * *
At the end of the war I settled here--that was five years ago. Borden lived a mile up the creek, and so, as times went, we were neighbors. By the people yonder in Kinton he was not liked, being grim, rough, savage, altogether unsociable and short of word. Besides, they remembered '57. In that year he appeared from no one knew where, took his claim, and proceeded to live after his own fashion. Then the high-handed Claim Club of the village went about it to drive him "in or over the river"--a bad night for them. They rode back to Kinton with three dead men laid across saddles. That was in the rough days of the Territory, the days when men in the Nebraska hills along the Missouri were a law unto themselves.
[Illustration: "THEY CROWDED HIS HORSE UNTIL IT HUNG BACK FROM THE OTHERS"]
Once he tied up on his own deck a steamboat captain who was drunk and bent on murder; single-handed he ran down two horse-thieves; and another time he choked the money out of a river-gambler who had robbed a boy. Oh, they knew Borden up and down the river in those days! Then he went to war as one of Thayer's sharpshooters, returning at the end of it to be appointed United States marshal. And he had been riding that saddle six months when I came.
One day he and another pulled rein at my door.
"Come with me," he said abruptly. "I want you to look after this fellow--you're my deputy till further notice." He did not waste time over oaths or official nonsense.
"Now, see here--" the man started to say. But Borden cut him off with a scowl.
"Who is he?" I asked.
"Him?--Fitch. You've heard of him, I guess."
Heard of him, of course, as everyone had; of his sly, petty legal tricks by which he grabbed land here and land there until his titles spotted the country about Nebraska City; of his rent-squeezing that smelled over the whole town; of these, and other things. He was a lean, dark, uneasy fellow, wearing a rumpled tile and a shiny coat, riding all crouched up, and pulling his horse away from everybody we met.
After we started, Borden told me that Fitch had brought him notice to serve on Dempster--old John Dempster, his friend. Now, that made a bad job for the Marshal. I saw it from the way he answered not a word to Fitch, who now and then pressed up--intent on the business--to make him talk. Once Borden pulled out his heavy wrinkled boot from the stirrup and kicked the other's horse in the belly until it reared on its haunches. For Borden was the law's officer, but no man's servant.
Our way ran three miles up from Kinton. There was no road, and we followed along the edge of the bluffs as best we were able, until finally we dipped down into a ravine and so came to our destination. It was a wooded flat on the bank of the river, made by a sudden retreat of the hills--a sort of pocket. The space was not large, a handful of acres, and it looked smaller than it really was. The bluffs curved around it on three sides in a yellow, crumbling wall; on the fourth flowed the muddy waters of the Missouri. The house was in the center of a small clearing, and when we came in sight of it Fitch pulled up behind a small thicket of scrub. Borden, as if he never saw the fellow halt, rode straight up to the door where John Dempster sat shaping an axe-haft.
"Jack," said Borden, swinging down from his saddle, "I've come to have a talk with you."
Dempster shaved the haft a minute, laid it aside, and gazed off toward the clump of scrub. The two men were something alike, though the man seated on the door-sill was the older, both past the prime, both spare of words, both come to the West in the same year. They had lain side by side behind a sleety log before Fort Donelson, and each in his three years of service had felt the touch of hot lead.
"How d'you come--friend or enemy?"
"The first, and always, I hope. It depends on you. Why did you kick him off of here yesterday, Jack? He's full of poison over it."
"Let him keep off then," was the gruff response.
Both looked again at the clump where Fitch could be seen through the thin screen of bushes. After a while Dempster took out his tobacco, cut off a piece, and passed the rest to us.
"You're in a dirty way of business when you're mixed up with him," he said slowly. "An' I 'spose you've come to run me out."
"What's at the bottom of this trouble?" returned Borden, evading the point. "'Tain't the land--what is it he's after?"
Dempster spat. "He's gettin' even. I knocked him down last spring when I was at Nebraska City, for lyin' about--never mind. That's all. So he sneaked around an' hunted out where I live an' filed on the land." A dull fire lighted up under his bushy eyebrows.
"Why didn't you file long ago?"
"Does the gover'ment take away a man's home when he's fought in the war?"
"You know how I feel about it," replied Borden, and he laid his hand on the other's shoulder. "But it's too late for you to try to keep it now. You'd better look up another place."
"No, I'm goin' to stay here, I guess, or nowhere."
Borden knew that the decision was inflexible. As he rose, put his foot in the stirrup, and raised himself into the saddle, he determined, however, to have another try.
"Come and settle up along the creek by me. There's an open claim just beyond mine, better than this piece."
[Illustration: "'YOU GOT THE BEST O' ME, DICK; I'LL GO'"]
Dempster shook his head; maybe he was thinking of the clearing back in Indiana and the boughs under which he had drawn his first breath, maybe this poor fringe of woods along the river was dearer to him than all the treeless prairie.
"We've lived here near ten years now," he said at last, "the old woman an' Joe--an' me, 'ceptin' when I was at war. I guess if we go, you'll have to use your gun."
"I'm sorry, Jack, but you've got to go. And I give you a week. It's not me that says so, it's the law."
"Law!" answered Dempster, with sudden rising fierceness. "Does the law drive a man off his own?"
It was the law, not justice, that was driving him. Without replying a word, Borden, and I by his side, rode away. When we reached the lean, eager face behind the scrub, the Marshal broke out, "You vulture, keep behind us! If you try to ride even, I'll sink your carcass in the river." And in that order, with him trailing us, we came back to Kinton.
Well, during the next week the more I turned the thing over on my tongue the less I liked the taste of it, but Borden was not one to consider dislikes--neither another man's nor his own--when he was riding the law's saddle. So I resolved to go through with it, and was ready Thursday morning. He came out from Nebraska City, accompanied by six deputies, men he had tried, who would not back off from the mouth of a gun, for he knew the door he must enter that day. Fitch was among them; oh, he was yellow over it! Borden had dragged him along to the whole end of the dirty business. The tale, too, was out among the deputies, and Fitch saw plainly what rope they would have swung him by. Grim looks were his every mile; when he pushed up among them, they crowded his horse to the withers until it hung back from the others; one cursed him fully and foully. They intended that he should earn that bit of ground before the day was done.
In the ravine at the edge of the flat we tied our horses. The men unslung their rifles, hitched their revolvers about, and waited, while Borden went down the hollow to reconnoiter. Perhaps half an hour had passed when he climbed down the bank above our heads and dropped into our midst.
"Quick! The boy's gone for water to the spring. Straight ahead there. No shooting till I give the word."
The men nodded, we filed down the ravine single-file, and the next minute were advancing noiselessly through the trees, spreading out gradually as we crossed the flat toward the clearing where stood the log house. The deputies went ahead, alert, silent, with an eye on Borden, who walked a little before them, each keeping a tree in line with the door.
Perhaps things were no different that morning than they were at any time; yet the little flat seemed possessed of a very great quiet, broken only by the slight swish of our boots through the dry grass. As we neared the cabin, we saw that its windows and door were shut. Fitch, who clung to me as though he found more comfort in my company, occasionally wiped drops of sweat from his yellow forehead, and removed his high hat to let the wind blow through his hair.
The other men went ahead unconcerned enough. One big fellow dropped his gun into the crook of his arm, pulled out a piece of tobacco, and carefully picked the lint off it. When he had had a bite, he tossed it to a comrade, who caught it handily, buried it for a moment under his mustache, and then held up the remnant to the other's sight, grinning. He tossed it back; neither had lost his place in the advancing line.
Fifty yards from the house Borden signaled a halt. Rifle-butts slipped to the ground, and the men leaned with backs against their trees--all except two, who handed their guns to others and veered off towards the bluffs, the direction Borden indicated, to the spring. A brown, grizzled fellow, sheltered behind an elm a few feet from me, turned his attention to Fitch, whom he examined curiously and at leisure, concluding his inspection by spitting his way. Then his look strayed south. After a little he began to sing softly:
The flat-boats 'r in an' the bull-boats 'r a-stoppin' An' licker runnin' free,--oh, hell is a-poppin'! Down on the river, down on----
He broke off suddenly, turning his head a little way towards where the two men had entered the bushes, listening. Directly he finished the lines:
Down on the river, down on the river, Down on the Misser-ee when the boats come in.
The man must have had ears like an Indian's. He folded his arms across the muzzle of his rifle and began watching the bushes that fringed the base of the hill; the other men also were looking that way. A minute passed. All at once a young fellow slipped out from nowhere, running and carrying a full bucket. He was bare-headed, his sleeves rolled to the elbows. He ran a few steps toward the house, quickly slanted off, and kept going, while turning his head this way and that. I saw the cause of his sudden change in direction, for there was one of the deputies running parallel with him, but between him and the door. The second came in sight a minute later, farther down, and from behind a thicket, abreast of the other two. They had the young fellow between them.
The rest of us were strung about before the house in a half-circle, the three runners being on the outside of the circle. Everything was quiet, for Borden's hounds don't hunt with their mouths open. Young Dempster carried his bucket of water with scarcely a slop or a splash; the inner deputy gradually moved out and behind him. Two men at the tail of the line fell away from their trees to meet him--and there he was in a ring. The man nearest me, still leaning on his rifle, gave a cluck of his tongue as if it were all over. But it was not. A shot cracked from the door, and the deputy who was on the outside flipped his hand in the air as if he had been stung. His fingers were all bloody. That was a pretty shot, I tell you; old Jack Dempster ticked the button on his son's shirt to make it, for the men were running breast and breast from the door.
The boy saw the trap he was in. Just as he came even with me, he whirled and took his chance through the line. It was quick--oh, quick as a cat! Three of us met him. But he was in moccasins and light-footed, jumping this way and that, and though my neighbor flung his rifle between his legs, he skipped it and was nearly through. He sprang to one side, leaped at Fitch--the water was splashing now--and swerved past him. Maybe it was the nasty look on his face that made Fitch shoot, anyway the fellow fired his revolver. It did not seem as if he could miss; Joe ran straight for the cabin. Half way there the bucket slipped from his hand; then he began to stagger a little. Near the door he went to his knees and, with a look over his shoulder at us while fumbling for his revolver, crawled behind the chopping-log.
"I got him before he got me," said Fitch, fairly green about the mouth, "He was going to kill me."
Borden took a step toward him, paused for the time of a single breath, whirled around, and was behind his tree. As for the other men, I never want to see such faces as they wore.
After that it seemed to me as if our business had come to a standstill. It was little shelter we had, just a tree apiece. We might as well have been tied to them with cords, for the old man was watching from his lair, and that with his boy's blood red in his eyes, ready to catch us either advancing or retiring. Nor was the young fellow so badly hurt but what he could pull a trigger. And Borden never retired that I ever heard of--that wasn't his way. Any instant I expected to hear a bullet snip the bark on my tree. I never felt so big before or since, big as a hill, and I drew myself together mighty small, I can tell you.
While I was wondering what would come next, Borden stepped out into the open. He walked toward the door, calm and steady, and without particular haste, his revolver in its holster. It all happened so quickly it took me by surprise; the Dempsters, man and boy, must have been struck by it, for not a shot was fired. But to advance that way, to clasp hands with death! Maybe you've heard soldiers tell about charging in the face of cannon, how they felt--I know I felt worse just to see him go straight toward the house. I got dizzy, dizzy sick. Then it had all fallen so still, the little wind in the trees and the leaves stirring over the ground. I looked at the other men, thinking they could somehow change it; the grizzled old chap was chewing his tobacco as fast as he could, and the man with the bloody fingers had finished tying them up in his handkerchief. First thing I knew I was half out from behind my tree, watching him.
"Keep back, Dick Borden," warned the man in the house--I swear his voice shook as he said it--"keep back, or, by God, I'll shoot!"
"I'm coming into that door, Jack Dempster," was Borden's reply.
He never flinched, never stopped. Then the rifle sounded, and, like an echo, the boy's revolver echoed it. Borden was hit--how could they fail at that distance and such a mark? But he managed to win the log where young Dempster lay. He stood there an instant, then slowly sat down upon it. A second time the young fellow lifted his weapon, and every man of us could see the Marshal looking into the muzzle. Orders or no orders, that was too much for even the deputies; the click of their rifle hammers ran along the trees. Borden heard it.
"Don't shoot, men!"
His voice was not loud, but harsh, and keyed high, as if his throat was dry. I think the next sound was a groan from the boy, and his revolver wavered and slipped in his fingers.
"It's the gun you gave me," he said, "an' I can't kill you with it."
Borden turned his head painfully from side to side, saw a stick, bent down laboriously, got it at last, and by its aid raised himself to his feet. That seemed to exhaust him. He stood for a moment, inert and useless, like an old man. Then he began to hoist himself forward step by step to the door. Iron will, just iron, it was. And it was terrible to see him--one shoulder and arm swinging low and limp, his knees lifting high as if knotted with stiffness, his head protruding in intense effort. The distance was short, but long, long for him.
"Keep back! keep back!" cried Dempster. He himself was half out of the door, gripping his gun with one hand, warding the relentless Marshal off with the other.
Borden answered nothing, another step.
"You've got to stop!" begged Dempster. "Don't make me kill you, an' I can't let you in. Go back, go back! We fought together, we marched together, we ate and slept together, Dick--for God's sake, don't come nearer!"
One step at a time, putting his stick forward bit by bit and dragging himself to it with his queer uplifting knees, Borden moved himself ahead. There was something stern and inhuman in this persistence. So it went to the last bitter inch. Then Borden's breast touched the rifle's muzzle. The two men stood looking into each other's eyes, measuring life and death.
That is a minute in my mind forever. The young fellow had dragged himself a little way from behind his log--half-following, fascinated, supporting himself by his two hands--and was staring at them. The empty bucket lay on its side in the sunshine. The wind whined and whined through the trees. And the wife's haggard face peered over Dempster's shoulder in the door.
"I arrest you!"
The stick dropped from his fingers, he clutched at the man's sleeve and fell across the door-sill. All I remember is that we were all crowding about the door, with the boy cursing from the ground behind us for someone to help him. Even Fitch had come, twisting and pushing among the rest.
Borden was white and still, but he came around directly and stared at us a little. We laid him on a blanket outside the door, along with Joe, who carried his lead just below the knee. The Marshal was pretty bad, having a bullet through his collar-bone and another through his side, this one a big ugly hole. There were plenty of us to help, some to cut and to strip their clothes, some to fetch water, some to wash the wounds, some to tear bandages. One had already started south for a doctor. Dempster was on his knees by his old comrade.
"You got the best o' me, Dick; I'll go."
Borden smiled a little. It was good to look at their two faces then.
Fitch, who was rubbing his hands evilly, put in, "Yes, you get off here within an hour. And I'll have the law on you, too, for the kicking you gave me."
One of the men struck him across the mouth.
"Tie him," said Borden, "and hang him."
Well, there was a noisy to-do, the fellow screeching that it was against the law, that he shot the boy for trying to kill him, that it was on his own land, and the like. He kept it up until his screech fell into a quaver, and terror came into his eyes. Borden smiled again at sight of him, this time with lips that made a straight white line.
"The law!" he said, at last. "I am the law."
He let the matter go as far as the rope around the wretch's neck; then it seemed as if Fitch was dead already. No, Borden didn't hang him; he had another idea, the claim. He waited until Fitch had his senses once more and told him he would be taken to Nebraska City and tried for attempted murder. Fitch began to beg, while Borden listened with grim satisfaction. He would let the claim go, he would start down the river, quit the country. The rope was thrown off and Borden ordered him away; and with a sudden fierce oath that made him gasp from pain, Borden swore he would shoot him with his own hand if he caught sight of him again.
Fitch knew that Borden meant what he said, and he wasn't seen again in Nebraska. Six months or so fetched Borden round, and let him into the saddle again. It must be lead in the heart or brain to kill men of his fiber--and Dempster had been shaky with his gun. Things got a little loose while the Marshal was on his back up there in the cabin, but he tightened them up again soon. We'll ride up there some day and see the spot. Yes, the Dempsters have the title to the place now.
THE GLOUCESTER MOTHER
BY SARAH ORNE JEWETT
DECORATION BY WLADYSLAW T. BENDA
When Autumn winds are high They wake and trouble me, With thoughts of people lost A-coming on the coast, And all the ships at sea.
How dark, how dark and cold. And fearful in the waves, Are tired folk who lie not still And quiet in their graves;-- In moving waters deep, That will not let men sleep As they may sleep on any hill; May sleep ashore till time is old, And all the earth is frosty cold.-- Under the flowers a thousand springs They sleep and dream of many things.
God bless them all who die at sea! If they must sleep in restless waves, God make them dream they are ashore, With grass above their graves.
ALCOHOL AND THE INDIVIDUAL
BY HENRY SMITH WILLIAMS, M.D., LL.D.
Some very puzzling differences of opinion about the use of alcoholic beverages find expression. This is natural enough, since alcohol is a very curious drug, and the human organism a very complex mechanism. The effects of this drug upon this mechanism are often very mystifying. Not many persons are competent to analyze these effects in their totality. Still fewer can examine any of them quite without prejudice. But in recent years a large number of scientific investigators have attempted to substitute knowledge for guesswork as to the effects of alcohol, through the institution of definitive experiments. Some have tested its effects on the digestive apparatus; others, its power over the heart and voluntary muscles; still others, its influence upon the brain. On the whole, the results of these experiments are singularly consistent. Undoubtedly they tend to upset a good many time-honored preconceptions. But they give better grounds for judgment as to what is the rational attitude toward alcohol than have hitherto been available.
The traditional rôle of alcohol is that of a stimulant. It has been supposed to stimulate digestion and assimilation; to stimulate the heart's action; to stimulate muscular activity and strength; to stimulate the mind. The new evidence seems to show that, in the final analysis, alcohol stimulates none of these activities; that its final effect is everywhere depressive and inhibitory (at any rate, as regards higher functions) rather than stimulative; that, in short, it is properly to be classed with the anesthetics and narcotics. The grounds for this view should be of interest to every user of alcohol; of interest, for that matter, to every citizen, considering that more than one thousand million gallons of alcoholic beverages are consumed in the United States each year.
I should like to present the new evidence far more fully than space will permit. I shall attempt, however, to describe some of the more significant observations and experiments in sufficient detail to enable the reader to draw his own conclusions. To make room for this, I must deal with other portions of the testimony in a very summary manner. As regards digestion, for example, I must be content to note that the experiments show that alcohol does indeed stimulate the flow of digestive fluids, but that it also tends to interfere with their normal action; so that ordinarily one effect neutralizes the other. As regards the action on the heart, I shall merely state that the ultimate effect of alcohol is to depress, in large doses to paralyze, that organ. These, after all, are matters that concern the physician rather than the general reader.
The effect of alcohol on muscular activity has a larger measure of popular interest; indeed, it is a question of the utmost practicality. The experiments show that alcohol does not increase the capacity to do muscular work, but distinctly decreases it. Doubtless this seems at variance with many a man's observation of himself; but the explanation is found in the fact that alcohol blurs the judgment. As Voit remarks, it gives, not strength, but, at most, the feeling of strength. A man may think he is working faster and better under the influence of alcohol than he would otherwise do; but rigidly conducted experiments do not confirm this opinion. "Both science and the experience of life," says Dr. John J. Abel, of Johns Hopkins University, "have exploded the pernicious theory that alcohol gives any persistent increase of muscular power. The disappearance of this universal error will greatly reduce the consumption of alcohol among laboring men. It is well understood by all who control large bodies of men engaged in physical labor, that alcohol and effective work are incompatible."
It is even questionable whether the energy derived from the oxidation of alcohol in the body can be directly used at all as a source of muscular energy. Such competent observers as Schumberg and Scheffer independently reached the conclusion that it cannot. Dr. Abel inclines to the same opinion. He suggests that "alcohol is not a food in the sense in which fats and carbohydrates are food; it should be defined as an easily oxidizable drug with numerous untoward effects which inevitably appear when a certain minimum dose is exceeded," He thinks that alcohol should be classed "with the more or less dangerous stimulants and narcotics, such as hasheesh, tobacco, etc., rather than with truly sustaining foodstuffs," Some of the grounds for this view will appear presently, as we now turn to examine the alleged stimulating effects of alcohol upon the mental processes.
_Alcohol as a Brain Stimulant_
The celebrated physicist Von Helmholtz, one of the foremost thinkers of the nineteenth century, declared that the very smallest quantity of alcohol served effectively, while its influence lasted, to banish from his mind all possibility of creative effort; all capacity to solve an abstruse problem. The result of recent experiments in the field of physiological psychology convince one that the same thing is true in some measure of every other mind capable of creative thinking. Certainly all the evidence goes to show that no mind is capable of its best efforts when influenced by even small quantities of alcohol. If any reader of these words is disposed to challenge this statement, on the strength of his own personal experience, I would ask him to reflect carefully as to whether what he has been disposed to regard as a stimulant effect may not be better explained along lines suggested by these words of Professor James: "The reason for craving alcohol is that it is an anesthetic even in moderate quantities. It obliterates a part of the field of consciousness and abolishes collateral trains of thought."
The experimental evidence that tends to establish the position of alcohol as an inhibitor and disturber rather than a promoter of mental activity has been gathered largely by German investigators. Many of their experiments are of a rather technical character, aiming to test the basal operations of the mind. Others, however, are eminently practical, as we shall see. The earliest experiments, made by Exner in Vienna so long ago as 1873, aimed to determine the effect of alcohol upon the so-called reaction-time. The subject of the experiment sits at a table, with his finger upon a telegraph key. At a given signal--say a flash of light--he releases the key. The time that elapses between signal and response--measured electrically in fractions of a second--is called the simple or direct reaction-time. This varies for different individuals, but is relatively constant, under given conditions, for the same individual. Exner found, however, that when an individual had imbibed a small quantity of alcohol, his reaction-time was lengthened, though the subject believed himself to be responding more promptly than before.
These highly suggestive experiments attracted no very great amount of attention at the time. Some years later, however, they were repeated by several investigators, including Dietl, Vintschgau, and in particular Kraepelin and his pupils. It was then discovered that, in the case of a robust young man, if the quantity of alcohol ingested was very small, and the tests were made immediately, the direct reaction-time was not lengthened, but appreciably shortened instead. If, however, the quantity of alcohol was increased, or if the experiments were made at a considerable interval of time after its ingestion, the reaction-time fell below the normal, as in Exner's experiments.
Subsequent experiments tested mental processes of a somewhat more complicated character. For example, the subject would place, each hand on a telegraph key, at right and left. The signals would then be varied, it being understood that one key or the other would be pressed promptly accordingly as a red or a white light, appeared. It became necessary, therefore, to recognize the color of the light, and to recall which hand was to be moved at that particular, signal: in other words, to make a choice not unlike that which a locomotive engineer is required to make when he encounters an unexpected signal light. The tests showed that after the ingestion of a small quantity of alcohol--say a glass of beer--there was a marked disturbance of the mental processes involved in this reaction. On the average, the keys were released more rapidly than before the alcohol was taken, but the wrong key was much more frequently released than under normal circumstances. Speed was attained at the cost of correct judgment. Thus, as Dr. Stier remarks, the experiment shows the elements of two of the most significant and persistent effects of alcohol, namely, the vitiating of mental processes and the increased tendency to hasty or incoördinate movements. Stated otherwise, a levelling down process is involved, whereby the higher function is dulled, the lower function accentuated.
Equally suggestive are the results of some experiments devised by Ach and Maljarewski to test the effects of alcohol upon the perception and comprehension of printed symbols. The subject was required to read aloud a continuous series of letters or meaningless syllables or short words, as viewed through a small slit in a revolving cylinder. It was found that after taking a small quantity of alcohol, the subject was noticeably less able to read correctly. His capacity to repeat, after a short interval, a number of letters correctly read, was also much impaired. He made more omissions than before, and tended to substitute words and syllables for those actually seen. It is especially noteworthy that the largest number of mistakes were made in the reading of meaningless syllables,--that is to say, in the part of the task calling for the highest or most complicated type of mental activity.
Another striking illustration of the tendency of alcohol to impair the higher mental processes was given by some experiments instituted by Kraepelin to test the association of ideas, In these experiments, a word is pronounced, and the subject is required to pronounce the first word that suggests itself in response. Some very interesting secrets of the subconscious personality are revealed thereby, as was shown, for example, in a series of experiments conducted last year at Zürich by Dr. Frederick Peterson of New York. But I cannot dwell on these here. Suffice it for our purpose that the possible responses are of two general types. The suggested word being, let us say, "book," the subject may (1) think of some word associated logically with the idea of a book, such as "read" or "leaves"; or he may (2) think of some word associated merely through similarity of sound, such as "cook" or "shook." In a large series of tests, any given individual tends to show a tolerably uniform proportion between the two types of association; and this ratio is in a sense explicative of his type of mind. Generally speaking, the higher the intelligence, the higher will be the ratio of logical to merely rhymed associations. Moreover, the same individual will exhibit more associations of the logical type when his mind is fresh than when it is exhausted, as after a hard day's work.
In Kraepelin's experiments it appeared that even the smallest quantity of alcohol had virtually the effect of fatiguing the mind of the subject, so that the number of his rhymed responses rose far above the normal. That is to say, the lower form of association of ideas was accentuated, at the expense of the higher. In effect, the particular mind experimented upon was always brought for the time being to a lower level by the alcohol.
_The Effect of a Bottle of Wine a Day_
When a single dose of alcohol is administered, its effects gradually disappear, as a matter of course. But they are far more persistent than might be supposed. Some experiments conducted by Fürer are illuminative as to this. He tested a person for several days, at a given hour, as to reaction-time, the association of ideas, the capacity to memorize, and facility in adding. The subject was then allowed to drink two litres of beer in the course of a day. No intoxicating effects whatever were to be discovered by ordinary methods. The psychological tests, however, showed marked disturbance of all the reactions, a diminished capacity to memorize, decreased facility in adding, etc., not merely on the day when the alcohol was taken, but on succeeding days as well. Not until the third day was there a gradual restoration to complete normality; although the subject himself--and this should be particularly noted--felt absolutely fresh and free from after-effects of alcohol on the day following that on which the beer was taken.
Similarly Rüdin found the effects of a single dose of alcohol to persist, as regards some forms of mental disturbance, for twelve hours, for other forms twenty-four hours, and for yet others thirty-six hours and more. But Rüdin's experiments bring out another aspect of the subject, which no one who considers the alcohol question in any of its phases should overlook: the fact, namely, that individuals differ greatly in their response to a given quantity of the drug. Thus, of four healthy young students who formed the subjects of Rüdin's experiment, two showed very marked disturbance of the mental functions for more than forty-eight hours, whereas the third was influenced for a shorter time, and the fourth was scarcely affected at all. The student who was least affected was not, as might be supposed, one who had been accustomed to take alcoholics habitually, but, on the contrary, one who for six years had been a total abstainer.
Noting thus that the effects of a single dose of alcohol may persist for two or three days, one is led to inquire what the result will be if the dose is repeated day after day. Will there then be a cumulative effect, or will the system become tolerant of the drug and hence unresponsive? Some experiments of Smith, and others of Kürz and Kraepelin have been directed toward the solution of this all-important question. The results of the experiments show a piling up of the disturbing effects of the alcohol. Kürz and Kraepelin estimate that after giving eighty grams per day to an individual for twelve successive days, the working capacity of that individual's mind was lessened by from twenty-five to forty per cent. Smith found an impairment of the power to add, after twelve days, amounting to forty per cent.; the power to memorize was reduced by about seventy per cent.
Forty to eighty grams of alcohol, the amounts used in producing these astounding results, is no more than the quantity contained in one to two litres of beer or in a half-bottle to a bottle of ordinary wine. Professor Aschaffenburg, commenting on these experiments, points the obvious moral that the so-called moderate drinker, who consumes his bottle of wine as a matter of course each day with his dinner--and who doubtless would declare that he is never under the influence of liquor--is in reality never actually sober from one week's end to another. Neither in bodily nor in mental activity is he ever up to what should be his normal level.
That this fair inference from laboratory experiments may be demonstrated in a thoroughly practical field, has been shown by Professor Aschaffenburg himself, through a series of tests made on four professional typesetters. The tests were made with all the rigor of the psychological laboratory (the experimenter is a former pupil of Kraepelin), but they were conducted in a printing office, where the subjects worked at their ordinary desks, and in precisely the ordinary way, except that the copy from which the type was set was always printed, to secure perfect uniformity. The author summarizes the results of the experiment as follows:
_A Loss of Ten Per Cent. in Working Efficiency_
"The experiment extended over four days. The first and third days were observed as normal days, no alcohol being given. On the second and fourth days each worker received thirty-five grams (a little more than one ounce) of alcohol, in the form of Greek wine. A comparison of the results of work on normal and on alcoholic days showed, in the case of one of the workers, no difference. But the remaining three showed greater or less retardation of work, amounting in the most pronounced case to almost fourteen per cent. As typesetting is paid for by measure, such a worker would actually earn ten per cent. less on days when he consumed even this small quantity of alcohol."
In the light of such observations, a glass of beer or even the cheapest bottle of wine is seen to be an expensive luxury. To forfeit ten per cent. of one's working efficiency is no trifling matter in these days of strenuous competition. Perhaps it should be noted that the subjects of the experiment were all men habituated to the use of liquor, one of them being accustomed to take four glasses of beer each week day, and eight or ten on Sundays. This heaviest drinker was the one whose work was most influenced in the experiment just related. The one whose work was least influenced was the only one of the four who did not habitually drink beer every day; and he drank regularly on Sundays. It goes without saying that all abstained from beer during the experiment. We may note, further, that all the men admitted that they habitually found it more difficult to work on Mondays, after the over-indulgence of Sunday, than on other days, and that they made more mistakes on that day. Aside from that, however, the men were by no means disposed to admit, before the experiment, that their habitual use of beer interfered with their work. That it really did so could not well be doubted after the experiment.
_The Effect of Beer-drinking on German School-children_
Some doubly significant observations as to the practical effects of beer and wine in dulling the faculties were made by Bayer, who investigated the habits of 591 children in a public school in Vienna. These pupils were ranked by their teachers into three groups, denoting progress as "good," "fair," or "poor" respectively. Bayer found, on investigation, that 134 of these pupils took no alcoholic drink; that 164 drank alcoholics very seldom; but that 219 drank beer or wine once daily; 71 drank it twice daily; and three drank it with every meal. Of the total abstainers, 42 per cent. ranked in the school as "good," 49 per cent. as "fair," and 9 per cent. as "poor." Of the occasional drinkers, 34 per cent. ranked as "good," 57 per cent. as "fair," and 9 per cent. as "poor." Of the daily drinkers, 28 per cent. ranked as "good," 58 per cent. as "fair," and 14 per cent. as "poor." Those who drank twice daily ranked 25 per cent. "good," 58% "fair," and 18 per cent. "poor," Of the three who drank thrice daily, one ranked as "fair," and the other two as "poor." Statistics of this sort are rather tiresome; but these will repay a moment's examination. As Aschaffenburg, from whom I quote them, remarks, detailed comment is superfluous: the figures speak for themselves.
Neither in England nor America, fortunately, would it be possible to gather statistics comparable to these as to the effects of alcohol on growing children; for the Anglo-Saxon does not believe in alcohol for the child, whatever his view as to its utility for adults. The effects of alcohol upon the growing organism have, however, been studied here with the aid of subjects drawn from lower orders of the animal kingdom. Professor C. F. Hodge, of Clark University, gave alcohol to two kittens, with very striking results. "In beginning the experiment," he says, "it was remarkable how quickly and completely all the higher psychic characteristics of both the kittens dropped out. Playfulness, purring, cleanliness and care of coat, interest in mice, fear of dogs, while normally developed before the experiment began, all disappeared so suddenly that it could hardly be explained otherwise than as a direct influence of the alcohol upon the higher centers of the brain. The kittens simply ate and slept, and could scarcely have been less active had the greater part of their cerebral hemisphere been removed by the knife."
_The Development of Fear in Alcoholized Dogs_
Professor Hodge's experiments extended also to dogs. He found that the alcoholized dogs in his kennel were lacking in spontaneous activity and in alertness in retrieving a ball. These defects must be in part explained by lack of cerebral energy, in part by weakening of the muscular system. Various other symptoms were presented that showed the lowered tone of the entire organism under the influence of alcohol; but perhaps the most interesting phenomenon was the development of extreme timidity on the part of all the alcoholized dogs. The least thing out of the ordinary caused them to exhibit fear, while their kennel companions exhibited only curiosity or interest. "Whistles and bells, in the distance, never ceased to throw them into a panic in which they howled and yelped while the normal dogs simply barked." One of the dogs even had "paroxysms of causeless fear with some evidence of hallucination. He would apparently start at some imaginary object, and go into fits of howling."
The characteristic timidity of the alcoholized dogs did not altogether disappear even when they no longer received alcohol in their diet. Timidity had become with them a "habit of life." As Professor Hodge suggests, we are here apparently dealing with "one of the profound physiological causes of fear, having wide application to its phenomena in man. Fear is commonly recognized as a characteristic feature in alcoholic insanity, and delirium tremens is the most terrible form of fear psychosis known," The development of the same psychosis, in a modified degree, through the continued use of small quantities of alcohol, emphasizes the causal relation between the use of alcohol and the genesis of timidity. It shows how pathetically mistaken is the popular notion that alcohol inspires courage; and, to anyone who clearly appreciates the share courage plays in the battle of life, it suggests yet another lamentable way in which alcohol handicaps its devotees.
_Is Alcohol A Poison?_
It is perhaps hardly necessary to cite further experiments directly showing the depressing effects of alcohol, even in small quantities, upon the mental activities, Whoever examines the evidence in its entirety will scarcely avoid the conclusion reached by Smith, as the result of his experiments already referred to, which Dr. Abel summarizes thus: "One half to one bottle of wine, or two to four glasses of beer a day, not only counteract the beneficial effects of 'practice' in any given occupation, but also depress every form of intellectual activity; therefore every man, who, according to his own notions, is only a moderate drinker places himself by this indulgence on a lower intellectual level and opposes the full and complete utilization of his intellectual powers." I content myself with repeating that, to the thoughtful man, the beer and the wine must seem dear at such a price.
To any one who may reply that he is willing to pay this price for the sake of the pleasurable emotions and passions that are sometimes permitted to hold sway in the absence of those higher faculties of reason which alcohol tends to banish, I would suggest that there is still another aspect of the account which we have not as yet examined. We have seen that alcohol may be a potent disturber of the functions of digestion, of muscular activity, and of mental energizing. But we have spoken all along of function and not of structure. We have not even raised a question as to what might be the tangible effects of this disturber of functions upon the physical organism through which these functions are manifested. We must complete our inquiry by asking whether alcohol, in disturbing digestion, may not leave its mark upon the digestive apparatus; whether in disturbing the circulation it may not put its stamp upon heart and blood vessels; whether in disturbing the mind it may not leave some indelible record on the tissues of the brain.
Stated otherwise, the question is this: Is alcohol a poison to the animal organism? A poison being, in the ordinary acceptance of the word, an agent that may injuriously affect the tissues of the body, and tend to shorten life.
Students of pathology answer this question with no uncertain voice. The matter is presented in a nutshell by the Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. William H. Welch, when he says: "Alcohol in sufficient quantities is a poison to all living organisms, both animal and vegetable." To that unequivocal pronouncement there is, I believe, no dissenting voice, except that a word-quibble was at one time raised over the claim that alcohol in exceedingly small doses might be harmless. The obvious answer is that the same thing is true of any and every poison whatsoever. Arsenic and strychnine, in appropriate doses, are recognized by all physicians as admirable tonics; but no one argues in consequence that they are not virulent poisons.
Open any work on the practice of medicine quite at random, and whether you chance to read of diseased stomach or heart or blood-vessels or liver or kidneys or muscles or connective tissues or nerves or brain--it is all one: in any case you will learn that alcohol may be an active factor in the causation, and a retarding factor in the cure, of some, at least, of the important diseases of the organ or set of organs about which you are reading. You will rise with the conviction that alcohol is not merely a poison, but the most subtle, the most far-reaching, and, judged by its ultimate effects, incomparably the most virulent of all poisons.
_Alcohol and Disease_
Here are a few corroborative facts, stated baldly, almost at random: Rauber found that a ten per cent. solution of alcohol "acted as a definite protoplasmic poison to all forms of cell life with which he experimented--including the hydra, tapeworms, earthworms, leeches, crayfish, various species of fish, Mexican axolotl, and mammals, including the human subject." Berkely found, in four rabbits out of five in which he had induced chronic alcohol poisoning, fatty degeneration of the heart muscle. This condition, he says, "seems to be present in all animals subject to a continual administration of alcohol in which sufficient time between the doses is not allowed for complete elimination." Cowan finds that alcoholic cases "bear acute diseases badly, failure of the heart always ensuing at an earlier period than one would anticipate." Bollinger found the beer-drinkers of Munich so subject to hypertrophied or dilated hearts as to justify Liebe in declaring that "one man in sixteen in Munich drinks himself to death."
Dr. Sims Woodhead, Professor of Pathology in the University of Cambridge, says of the effect of alcohol on the heart: "In addition to the fatty degeneration of the heart that is so frequently met with in chronic alcoholics, there appears in some cases to be an increase of fibrous tissue between the muscle fibers, accompanied by wasting of these tissues.... Heart failure, one of the most frequent causes of death in people of adult and advanced years, is often due to fatty degeneration, and a patient who suffers from alcoholic degeneration necessarily runs a much greater risk of heart failure during the course of acute fevers or from overwork, exhaustion, and an overloaded stomach, and the like, than does the man with a strong, healthy heart unaffected by alcohol or similar poisons."
It must be obvious that these words give a clue to the agency of alcohol in shortening the lives of tens of thousands of persons with whose decease the name of alcohol is never associated in the minds of their friends or in the death certificates.
Dr. Woodhead has this to say about the blood-vessels: "In chronic alcoholism in which the poison is acting continuously, over a long period, a peculiar fibrous condition of the vessels is met with; this, apparently, is the result of a slight irritation of the connective tissue of the walls of these vessels. The wall of the vessel may become thickened throughout its whole extent or irregularly, and the muscular coat may waste away as a new fibrous or scar-like tissue is formed. The wasting muscles may undergo fatty degeneration, and, in these, lime salts may be deposited; the rigid, brittle, so-called pipestem vessels are the result." Referring to these degenerated arteries, Dr. Welch says: "In this way alcoholic excess may stand in a causative relation to cerebral disorders, such as apoplexy and paralysis, and also the diseases of the heart and kidneys."
From our present standpoint it is particularly worthy of remark that Professor Woodhead states that this calcification of the blood-vessels is likely to occur in persons who have never been either habitual or occasional drunkards, but who have taken only "what they are pleased to call 'moderate' quantities of alcohol." Similarly, Dr. Welch declares that "alcoholic diseases are certainly not limited to persons recognized as drunkards. Instances have been recorded in increasing number in recent years of the occurrence of diseases of the circulatory, renal, and nervous systems, reasonably or positively attributable to the use of alcoholic liquors, in persons who never became really intoxicated and were regarded by themselves and by others as 'moderate drinkers.'"
"It is well established," adds Dr. Welch, "that the general mortality from diseases of the liver, kidney, heart, blood-vessels, and nervous system is much higher in those following occupations which expose them to the temptation of drinking than in others." Strumpell declares that chronic inflammation of the stomach and bowels is almost exclusively of alcoholic origin; and that when a man in the prime of life dies of certain chronic kidney affections, one may safely infer that he has been a lover of beer and other alcoholic drinks. Similarly, cirrhosis of the liver is universally recognized as being, nine times in ten, of alcoholic origin. The nervous affections of like origin are numerous and important, implicating both brain cells and peripheral fibres.
_How the Poison Works_
Without going into further details as to the precise changes that alcohol may effect in the various organs of the body, we may note that these pathological changes are everywhere of the same general type. There is an ever-present tendency to destroy the higher form of cells--those that are directly concerned with the vital processes--and to replace them with useless or harmful connective tissue. "Whether this scar tissue formation goes on in the heart, in the kidneys, in the liver, in the blood-vessels, or in the nerves," says Woodhead, "the process is essentially the same, and it must be associated with the accumulation of poisonous or waste products in the lymph spaces through which the nutrient fluids pass to the tissues. The contracting scar tissue of a wound has its exact homologue in the contracting scar tissue that is met with in the liver, in the kidney, and in the brain."
It is not altogether pleasant to think that one's bodily tissues--from the brain to the remotest nerve fibril, from the heart to the minutest arteriole--may perhaps be undergoing day by day such changes as these. Yet that is the possibility which every habitual drinker of alcoholic beverages--"moderate drinker" though he be--must face. This is an added toll that does not appear in the first price of the glass of beer or bottle of wine, but it is a toll that may refuse to be overlooked in the final accounting.
_Alcohol and Acute Infections_
In connection with experiments in rendering animals and men immune from certain contagious diseases through inoculation with specific serums, Deléarde, working in Calmette's laboratory in Lille, showed that alcoholized rabbits are not protected by inoculation, as normal ones are, against hydrophobia. Moreover, he reports the case of an intemperate man, bitten by a mad dog, who died notwithstanding anti-rabic treatment, whereas a boy of thirteen, much more severely bitten by the same dog on the same day, recovered under treatment. Deléarde strongly advises any one bitten by a mad dog to abstain from alcohol, not only during the anti-rabic treatment but for some months thereafter, lest the alcohol counteract the effects of the protective serum.
Similar laboratory experiments have been made by Laitenan, who became fully convinced that alcohol increases the susceptibility of animals to splenic fever, tuberculosis, and diphtheria. Dr. A. C. Abbott, of the University of Pennsylvania, made an elaborate series of experiments to test the susceptibility of rabbits to various micro-organisms causing pus-formation and blood poisoning. He found that the normal resistance of rabbits to infection from this source was in most cases "markedly diminished through the influence of alcohol when given daily to a stage of acute intoxication." "It is interesting to note," Dr. Abbott adds, "that the results of inoculation of the alcoholized rabbits with the erysipelas coccus correspond in a way with clinical observations on human beings addicted to the excessive use of alcohol when infected by this organism."
Additional confirmation of the deleterious effects of alcohol in this connection was furnished by the cats and dogs of Professor Hodge's experiments, already referred to. All of these showed peculiar susceptibility to infectious diseases, not only being attacked earlier than their normal companions, but also suffering more severely, This accords with numerous observations on the human subject; for example, with the claim made some years ago by McCleod and Milles that Europeans in Shanghai who used alcohol showed increased susceptibility to Asiatic cholera, and suffered from a more virulent type of the disease. Professor Woodhead points out that many of the foremost authorities now concede the justice of this view, and unreservedly condemn the giving of alcohol, even in medicinal doses, to patients suffering from cholera or from various other acute diseases and intoxications, including diphtheria, tetanus, snake-bite, and pneumonia, as being not merely useless but positively harmful. Even when the patient has advanced far toward recovery from an acute infectious disease, it is held still to be highly unwise to administer alcohol, since this may interfere with the beneficent action of the anti-toxins that have developed in the tissues of the body, and in virtue of which the disease has been overcome.
_The Ally of Tuberculosis_
Not many physicians, perhaps, will go so far as Dr. Muirhead of Edinburgh, who at one time claimed that he had scarcely known of a death in a case of pneumonia uncomplicated by alcoholism; but almost every physician will admit that he contemplates with increased solicitude every case of pneumonia thus complicated. Equally potent, seemingly, is alcohol in complicating that other ever-menacing lung disease, tuberculosis. Dr. Crothers long ago asserted that inebriety and tuberculosis are practically interconvertible conditions; a view that may be interpreted in the words of Dr. Dickinson's Baillie Lecture: "We may conclude, and that confidently, that alcohol promotes tubercle, not because it begets the bacilli, but because it impairs the tissues, and makes them ready to yield to the attacks of the parasites." Dr. Brouardel, at the Congress for the Study of Tuberculosis, in London, was equally emphatic as to the influence of alcohol in preparing the way for tuberculosis, and increasing its virulence; and this view has now become general--curiously reversing the popular impression, once held by the medical profession as well, that alcohol is antagonistic to consumption.
Corroborative evidence of the baleful alliance between alcohol and tuberculosis is furnished by the fact that in France the regions where tuberculosis is most prevalent correspond with those in which the consumption of alcohol is greatest. Where the average annual consumption was 12.5 litres per person, the death rate from consumption was found by Baudron to be 32.8 per thousand. Where alcoholic consumption rose to 35.4 litres, the death rate from consumption increased to 107.8 per thousand. Equally suggestive are facts put forward by Guttstadt in regard to the causes of death in the various callings in Prussia. He found that tuberculosis claimed 160 victims in every thousand deaths of persons over twenty-five years of age. But the number of deaths from this disease per thousand deaths among gymnasium teachers, physicians, and Protestant clergymen, for example, amounted respectively to 126, 113, and 76 only; whereas the numbers rose, for hotelkeepers, to 237, for brewers, to 344, and for waiters, to 556. No doubt several factors complicate the problem here, but one hazards little in suggesting that a difference of habit as to the use of alcohol was the chief determinant in running up the death rate due to tuberculosis from 76 per thousand at one end of the scale to 556 at the other.
Pneumonia and tuberculosis combined account for one-fifth of all deaths in the United States, year by year. In the light of what has just been shown, it would appear that alcohol here has a hand in the carrying off of other untold thousands with whose untimely demise its name is not officially associated. I may add that certain German authorities, including, for example, Dr. Liebe, present evidence--not as yet demonstrative--to show that cancer must also be added to the list of diseases to which alcohol predisposes the organism.
_Hereditary Effects of Alcohol_
If additional evidence of the all-pervading influence of alcohol is required, it may be found in the thought-compelling fact that the effects are not limited to the individual who imbibes the alcohol, but may be passed on to his descendants. The offspring of alcoholics show impaired vitality of the most deep-seated character. Sometimes this impaired vitality is manifested in the non-viability of the offspring; sometimes in deformity; very frequently in neuroses, which may take the severe forms of chorea, infantile convulsions, epilepsy, or idiocy. In examining into the history of 2554 idiotic, epileptic, hysterical, or weak-minded children in the institution at Bicêtre, France, Bourneville found that over 41 per cent. had alcoholic parents. In more than 9 per cent. of the cases, it was ascertained that one or both parents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of procreation,--a fact of positively terrifying significance, when we reflect how alcohol inflames the passions while subordinating the judgment and the ethical scruples by which these passions are normally held in check. Of similar import are the observations of Bezzola and of Hartmann that a large proportion of the idiots and the criminals in Switzerland were conceived during the season of the year when the customs of the country--"May-fests," etc.--lead to the disproportionate consumption of alcohol.
Experimental evidence of very striking character is furnished by the reproductive histories of Professor Hodge's alcoholized dogs. Of 23 whelps born in four litters to a pair of tipplers, 9 were born dead, 8 were deformed, and only 4 were viable and seemingly normal. Meantime, a pair of normal kennel-companions produced 45 whelps, of which 41 were viable and normal--a percentage of 90.2 against the 17.4 per cent. of viable alcoholics. Professor Hodge points out that these results are strikingly similar to the observations of Demme on the progeny of ten alcoholic as compared with ten normal families of human beings. The ten alcoholic families produced 57 children, of whom 10 were deformed, 6 idiotic, 6 choreic or epileptic, 25 non-viable, and only 10, or 17 per cent, of the whole were normal. The ten normal families produced 61 children, two of whom were deformed, 2 pronounced "backward," though not suffering from disease, and 3 non-viable, leaving 54, or 88.5 per cent., normal.
As I am writing this article, the latest report of the Craig Colony for Epileptics, at Sonyea, New York, chances to come to my desk. Glancing at the tables of statistics, I find that the superintendent, Dr. Spratling, reports a history of alcoholism in the parents of 313 out of 950 recent cases. More than 22 per cent. of these unfortunates are thus suffering from the mistakes of their parents. Nor does this by any means tell the whole story, for the report shows that 577 additional cases--more than 60 per cent, of the whole--suffer from "neuropathic heredity"; which means that their parents were themselves the victims of one or another of those neuroses that are peculiarly heritable, and that unquestionably tell, in a large number of cases, of alcoholic indulgence on the part of their progenitors. "Even to the third and fourth generation," said the wise Hebrew of old; and the laws of heredity have not changed since then.
I cite the data from this report of the Epileptic Colony, not because its record is in any way exceptional, but because it is absolutely typical. The mental image that it brings up is precisely comparable to that which would arise were we to examine the life histories of the inmates of any institution whatever where dependent or delinquent children are cared for, be it idiot asylum, orphanage, hospital, or reformatory. The same picture, with the same insistent moral, would be before us could we visit a clinic where nervous diseases are treated; or--turning to the other end of the social scale--could we sit in the office of a fashionable specialist in nervous diseases and behold the succession of neurotics, epileptics, paralytics, and degenerates that come day by day under his observation. It is this picture, along with others which the preceding pages may in some measure have suggested, that comes to mind and will not readily be banished when one hears advocated "on physiological grounds" the regular use of alcoholic drinks, "in moderation." A vast number of the misguided individuals who were responsible for all this misery never did use alcohol except in what they believed to be strict "moderation"; and of those that did use it to excess, there were few indeed who could not have restricted their use of alcohol to moderate quantities, or have abandoned its use altogether, had not the drug itself made them its slaves by depriving them of all power of choice. Few men indeed are voluntary inebriates.
_Alcohol and the "Moderate" Drinker_
It does not fall within the scope of my present purpose to dwell upon the familiar aspect of the effects of alcohol suggested by the last sentence. It requires no scientific experiments to prove that one of the subtlest effects of this many-sided drug is to produce a craving for itself, while weakening the will that could resist that craving. But beyond noting that this is precisely in line with what we have everywhere seen to be the typical effect of alcohol--the weakening of higher functions and faculties, with corresponding exaggeration of lower ones--I shall not comment here upon this all too familiar phase of the alcohol problem. Throughout this paper I have had in mind the hidden cumulative effects of relatively small quantities of alcohol rather than the patent effects of excessive indulgence, I have had in mind the voluntary "social" drinker, rather than the drunkard. I have wished to raise a question in the mind of each and every habitual user of alcohol in "moderation" who chances to read this article, as to whether he is acting wisely in using alcohol habitually in any quantity whatever.
If in reply the reader shall say: "There is some quantity of alcohol that constitutes actual moderation; some quantity that will give me pleasure and yet not menace me with these evils," I answer thus:
Conceivably that is true, though it is not proved. But in any event, no man can tell you what the safe quantity is--if safe quantity there be--in any individual case. We have seen how widely individuals differ in susceptibility. In the laboratory some animals are killed by doses that seem harmless to their companions. These are matters of temperament that as yet elude explanation. But this much I can predict with confidence: whatever the "safe" quantity of alcohol for you to take, you will unquestionably at times exceed it. In a tolerably wide experience of men of many nations, I have never known an habitual drinker who did not sometimes take more alcohol than even the most liberal scientific estimate could claim as harmless. Therefore I believe that you must do the same.
So I am bound to believe, on the evidence, that if you take alcohol habitually, in any quantity whatever, it is to some extent a menace to you. I am bound to believe, in the light of what science has revealed: (1) that you are tangibly threatening the physical structures of your stomach, your liver, your kidneys, your heart, your blood-vessels, your nerves, your brain; (2) that you are unequivocally decreasing your capacity for work in any field, be it physical, intellectual, or artistic; (3) that you are in some measure lowering the grade of your mind, dulling your higher esthetic sense, and taking the finer edge off your morals; (4) that you are distinctly lessening your chances of maintaining health and attaining longevity; and (5) that you may be entailing upon your descendants yet unborn a bond of incalculable misery.
Such, I am bound to believe, is the probable cost of your "moderate" indulgence in alcoholic beverages. Part of that cost you must pay in person; the balance will be the heritage of future generations. As a mere business proposition: Is your glass of beer, your bottle of wine, your high-ball, or your cocktail worth such a price?
THE PEASANT SALOON-KEEPER--RULER OF AMERICAN CITIES
The great wave of temperance which is now sweeping Europe and America has its chief impulse, no doubt, in ethical and religious sentiment. But a new force is operative--the force of an exact knowledge of the evil physical effects of alcohol. It would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of this new element in temperance reform.
The story of the modern series of scientific experiments with alcohol, begun about twenty-five years ago and still in progress, is given by Dr. Henry Smith Williams in this number of MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE. These investigations, largely conducted in Continental Europe, include experiments on the senses, upon the muscles, and upon the different human intellectual activities, from the simplest to the most complex. Without exception they show that every function of the normal human body is injured by the use of alcohol--even the moderate use; and that the injury is both serious and permanent.
This knowledge is of concern to all the world. But there is in America a particular and special concern over a condition which may be believed to be unparalleled in human history--certainly in modern civilization: the power of the saloon in American government, especially the government of cities.
The fact is notorious; yet the condition is not clearly understood. Sixty years ago, with the first flood of European immigration, the character of American city governments changed suddenly and entirely. A great proportion of the peasantry who arrived here from the farms of Europe stopped in our cities. They were isolated from the rest of the population; their one great social center was the saloon. And out of this social center came their political leaders and the manipulators of their votes. The European peasant saloon-keeper, for more than half a century, has been the ruler of a great proportion of American cities.
The case of Tammany Hall, for so many years the real governing body of New York, is most familiar. Its politicians for half a century have graduated into public affairs through the common school of the saloon. Its leaders at the present time are perfect examples of the European peasant saloon-keeper type, which has come to govern us. The same condition exists to a large extent in nearly every one of the larger cities in the country. An analysis of the member-ship of the boards of aldermen in these cities for the past few decades shows a percentage of saloon-keepers with foreign names which is astonishing.
A government necessarily takes the character of those conducting it. The business of saloon-keeping, which produced the present management of our cities, involves, from the conditions which surround it, a disregard for both law and proper moral ideals. Ordinary commercial motives urge the proprietors, as a class, to increase the sale of a commodity which the State everywhere endeavors to restrict; and a savage condition of competition drives them still further--till a great proportion break the provisions of the law in some way; while a considerable number ally themselves with the most degraded and dangerous forms of vice.
The government by this class has been exactly what might have been expected. A body of men--drawn from an ancestry which has never possessed any knowledge or traditions of free government; educated in a business whose financial successes are made through the disregard of law--are elevated to the control of the machinery of law and order in the great cities. Another type of citizen--men of force and enterprise unsurpassed in the history of the world--by adapting the discoveries of the most inventive century of the world to the uses of commerce, have massed together in the past half century a chain of great cities upon the face of a half savage continent, and left them to the government of such people as these. The commercial enterprise of these cities has been the marvel of the world; their government has reached a point of moral degradation and inefficiency scarcely less than Oriental.
The debauching of our city life by this kind of government has been frequently pictured in this magazine. A government by saloon-keepers, and by dealers in flagrant immorality, finds both its power and profit in the establishment of vice by its official position. The progress of such a government is shown in George Kennan's description of the former régime in San Francisco, published in MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE of September, 1907:
"Instead of protecting the public by enforcing the laws, it devoted itself mainly to making money by allowing gamblers, policy-sellers, brothel keepers, and prostitutes to break the laws. Its honest officers and men tried, at first, to do their duty; but the police commissioners, under the influence or direction of Ruef, interfered with their efforts to close illegal and immoral resorts; the police court judges, allowing themselves to be swayed by selfish political considerations, released the prisoners whom they arrested."
Conditions similar to this have been shown in this magazine to exist in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburg, and other great cities of America. The results have been a general disintegration in the moral fiber of cities. Life itself is much more unsafe than under the well-ordered governments of European cities. The murder rate in Chicago and New York is six or eight times as great as in London and Berlin. Even such a primary necessity of civilization as the safety of women is lost sight of. A leading Chicago newspaper said in 1906:
"It has ever been our proudest boast as a people that in this country woman is respected and protected as she is in no other. That boast is becoming an empty one in Chicago. Women have not only been annoyed and insulted in great numbers on the street within a very short time, but not a few have been murdered. In the year before the Hollister tragedy, there were seventeen murders of women in Chicago, which attracted the attention of the city."
The system of government which produces this result was well described some years ago by the late Bishop Potter, speaking of conditions in New York.
"A corrupt system," he said, "whose infamous details have been steadily uncovered, to our increasing horror and humiliation, was brazenly ignored by those who were fattening on its spoils, and the world was presented with the astounding spectacle of a great municipality, whose civic mechanism was largely employed in trading in the bodies and souls of the defenseless."
Aside from giving direct encouragement and propagation to the more terrible forms of vice, the European peasant saloon-keeper government of our cities furnishes a fitting field for so-called respectable men--but really criminals of the worst type--who help organize and perpetuate saloon government for the purpose of securing, by bribery, franchises for public utilities without paying therefor. Thus American cities have been robbed as well as badly governed.
There are signs of amelioration of these conditions in most of the great cities of the country. But every advance is made against the fierce antagonism of just such systems as Bishop Potter described; and those systems exist in every large American city to-day--either in direct control or ready to take control at the slightest sign of relaxation by the forces which are opposing them. And the foundation of this evil structure is the European peasant saloon-keeper.
MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE, in the next year, will consider the horrible influence of the saloon on American life. Dr. Williams will follow his article in the present number by studies of the influence of alcohol upon society at large, upon racial development, and upon the State. The author is especially equipped for his work. He is in the first place perhaps the greatest living popularizer of national science and history in America; and he has himself made life-long observations upon the influence of alcohol--both physical and social--first as a medical practitioner in the treatment of the insane at the great asylums at Bloomingdale and Randalls Island, and later by study and observation in the chief capitals of Europe, where he has lived the greater part of the last ten years. The sound judgment and impartial temper which have characterized his work in other fields will be found in his treatment of this great subject.
THE ELDER STATESMEN
Senators Sherman, Hoar, Edmunds, George, and Gray; these were the men who made the present Sherman Anti-trust Law. They were the men who made largely the financial and constitutional history of the United States for the three decades following the Civil War. They brought to the consideration of the trust problem an intimate knowledge of constitutional law, an open, unbiased attitude toward property rights, and a thorough devotion to the public interest. They gave long and careful attention to the question, spending two years on this bill. There was nothing hasty or ill-considered about their action. They sought to end special privilege and put all citizens on the same basis of free competition. Of all their great services to the nation none probably equals in importance this bill, which may be called the Magna Charta of industrial and commercial liberty.
The amendment of the Sherman Act may be an important public issue for some time to come. If it were possible to assemble for this work a body of men as able and as disinterested as the Elder Statesmen who framed the original act, the interests of the public would be safe.
Hyphenated words have been retained as in the original text.
Typographical errors have been silently corrected.
OE ligatures have been expanded.