The Table of Contents for this issue is found at the end of the text.
EDITED BY PAUL M. PEARSON
PEARSON BROTHERS PHILADELPHIA
Volume II. DECEMBER, 1906. No. 1.
[Sidenote: The Will]
In teaching public speaking the final purpose must be to train the will. Without this faculty in control all else comes to nothing. Exercises may be given for articulation, but without a determined purpose to speak distinctly little good will result. The teacher may spend himself in an effort to inspire and enthuse the student, but this is futile unless the student comes to a resolution to attain those excellencies of which the teacher has spoken. That a student may become self-reliant is the chief business of the teacher. To suggest such vital things in a way that the student will feel impelled to work them out for himself, this is the art in all teaching. To tell a student all there is to know about a subject, or to present what is said in such a way that the student thinks there is nothing more to be said, is to dwarf and stultify the mind. The inclination of most students is to depend upon the teacher with a helplessness that is as enervating as it is pitiable. Too many teachers, flattered by this attitude or possessed of a sentimental sympathy, encourage it. Thought, discretion, and courage are required to put a student on his own resources and compel him to stay there until he has acquired self-mastery.
Public speaking cannot be exchanged for so much time or money. It cannot be bought or sold; it comes, if it comes at all, as the result of a wisely-directed determination. The teacher's part is to exalt, enthuse, stimulate. He must criticise, certainly, but this is generally overdone. Like some teachers of English who can never overlook a misplaced comma, whose idea of English seems to be to spell and to punctuate correctly, there are teachers of public speaking whose critical eye never sees farther than gesture, articulation, and emphasis. With this attitude toward their work, they become fault-finders rather than teachers. They nag, harrass, and suppress. The business of the teacher is to make the student see visions of beauty, truth and love, to open up to him these mighty fields that he may go in and possess them. To implant a yearning, an unquenchable, all-consuming desire to comprehend and to express the emotions of which his teacher enables him to get glimpses.
[Sidenote: The Teacher]
Exercises? Yes, all the student can stand without becoming a drone. Criticism? Yes, but no quibbling, no nagging. Criticism is something more than fault-finding. The teacher exalts his profession, ennobles his art, and begets consideration for himself when he maintains the highest standards for himself and for his students.
Learning to speak well is, like forming character, a matter of self-discipline and self-culture. A good voice is a good habit; distinct articulation is a good habit; graceful and effective gestures are a good habit. Like all good habits, these are formed by a constant exercise of the will. The teacher's part is to get the students to hear his own voice, to observe his own gestures, and listen to his own articulation. These things cannot be accomplished over night, and if attempted all at once may make the student too self-conscious; certainly this condition will result if his faults are continually insisted upon. The teacher's great opportunity is to enable the student to know himself, and to see that he is determined to develop his best self.
* * * * *
Sincerity in art! One sometimes doubts whether it exists. Take the special field of art with which the readers of this magazine are especially concerned. How many depend upon tricks to get their effects! How many struggle mightily to gain a laugh or "a hand," neglecting the theme, the message, the spirit of that which they are professing to interpret. If that which we read is worth while, if it has anything vital in it, the effect will be stronger if the skill and personality of the speaker are kept in the background, and the audience is brought face to face with the spirit of that which has been embodied in the lines. As some readers go through their lines they seem to be saying, Listen to my voice, observe my graceful gestures; isn't this a pretty gown I have? I'll win you with my smile. Most audiences are good-natured, and enjoy to the full such small vanities; moreover, we all like to see winning smiles, beautiful gowns, and graceful gestures; but it is a pitiable misnomer to call such exhibitions reading. But the more subtle forms of insincerity in this art are even more prevalent. To exaggerate some form of emphasis, to exaggerate a gesture or facial expression, to wrest a passage from its meaning, these, and many other devices for forcing immediate approval from an audience, are grossly insincere. There is still a broader plan on which our sincerity must be judged. To present this effectively I quote at length from Bliss Carmen's recent book, "The Poetry of Life." The essay sets a high standard, but by no other can enduring work be done. The fact that a reader has many engagements, or that a teacher has many pupils is no assurance of sincerity or the high grade of his work. "Munsey's Magazine" has a larger circulation than "The Atlantic Monthly"; the one, "hack stuff," to be suffered only a few minutes while waiting for a train; the other is literature. But, to quote from Bliss Carmen. He is discussing the poetry of life, but the same general principles apply to all art:
[Sidenote: Quoting Bliss Carmen]
"As for sincerity, the poetry of life need not always be solemn, any more than life itself need not always be sober. It may be gay, witty, humorous, satirical, disbelieving, farcical, even broad and reckless, since life is all these; but it must never be insincere. Insincerity, which is not always one of the greatest sins of the moral universe, becomes in the world of art an offence of the first magnitude. Insincerity in life may be mean, despicable, and indicate a petty nature; but in art insincerity is death. A strong man may lie upon occasion, and make restitution and be forgiven, but for the artist who lies there is hardly any reparation possible, and his forgiveness is much more difficult. Art, being the embodiment of the artist's ideal, is truly the corporeal substance of his spiritual self; and that there should be any falsehood in it, any deliberate failure to present him faithfully, it is as monstrous and unnatural as it would be for a man to disavow his own flesh and bones. Here we are every one of us going through life committed and attached to our bodies; for all that we do we are held responsible; if we misbehave, the world will take it out of our hide. But here is our friend, the artist, committing his spiritual energy to his art, to an embodiment outside himself, and escaping down a by-path from all the consequences—what shall be said of him? The insincere artist is as much beyond the pale of human sympathy as the murderer. Morally he is a felon.
"There is no excuse for him, either. There was no call for him to make a liar of himself, other than the most sordid of reasons, the little gain, the jingling reward of gold. For no man would ever be insincere in his art, except for pay, except to cater to some other taste than his own, and to win approval and favor by sycophancy. If he were assured of his competency in the world, and placed beyond the reach of necessitous want, how would it ever occur to him to create an insincere art? Art is so simple, so spontaneous, so dependent on the disingenuous emotion, that it can never be insincere, unless violence is done to all laws of nature and of spirit. Since art arises from the sacramental blending of the inward spirit with the outward form, any touch of insincerity in it assumes the nature of a horrible crime, a pitiable revolt against the order and eternity of the universe.
[Sidenote: Sincerity in Humor]
"It is not necessary, as I say, for art to be solemn and wholly serious-minded in order to be sincere. Comedy is quite sincere. Yet it is easy to usurp her name and play the fool for pennies, with never a ray of appreciation of her true character. Sincerity, then, is not the least averse to fun; it only requires that the fun shall be genuine and come from the heart, as it requires that every note of whatever sort shall be genuine and spring from the real personality of the writer."
BY JOHN MILTON.
Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race, Call on thy lazy, leaden-stepping hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is false and vain, And merely mortal dross; So little is our loss, So little is thy gain. For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd, And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd, Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss With an individual kiss; And Joy shall overtake us as a flood; When everything that is sincerely good And perfectly divine, With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine About the supreme Throne Of Him, t' whose happy-making sight alone, When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall climb, Then all this earthly grossness quit, Attir'd with stars, we shall forever sit, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time.
The Knight in the Wood
BY E. LEICESTER WARREN.
(Lord de Tabley.)
The thing itself was rough and crudely done, Cut in coarse stone, spitefully placed aside As merest lumber, where the light was worst On a back staircase. Overlooked it lay In a great Roman palace crammed with art. It had no number in the list of gems Weeded away, long since pushed out and banished, Before insipid Guidos over-sweet And Dolce's rose sensationalities, And curly chirping angels, spruce as birds. And yet the motive of this thing ill-hewn And hardly seen did touch me. O, indeed, The skill-less hand that carved it had belonged To a most yearning and bewildered brain: There was such desolation in the work; And through its utter failure the thing spoke With more of human message, heart to heart, Than all these faultless, smirking, skin-deep saints, In artificial troubles picturesque, And martyred sweetly, not one curl awry.— Listen; a clumsy knight, who rode alone Upon a stumbling jade in a great wood Belated. The poor beast, with head low-bowed Snuffing the ground. The rider leant Forward to sound the marish with his lance. The wretched rider and the hide-bound steed, You saw the place was deadly; that doomed pair, Feared to advance, feared to return.—That's all.
"A Little Feminine Casabianca"[A]
BY GEORGE MADDEN MARTIN.
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
[By permission of the publishers and the author we reprint two cuttings from stories in "Emmy Lou." There are ten stories in the book, all of them excellent readings. McClure, Phillips & Co., New York.]
The Primer Class according to the degree of its precocity was divided in three sections. Emmy Lou belonged to the third section. It was the last section, and she was the last one in it, though she had no idea what a section meant nor why she was in it; and Emmy Lou went on wondering what it was all about, which never would have been the case had there been a mother among the elders of the house, for mothers have a way of understanding these things. But to Emmy Lou "mother" had come to mean but a memory which faded as it came, a vague consciousness of encircling arms, of a brooding tender face, of yearning eyes; and it was only because they told her that Emmy Lou remembered how mother had gone away South, one winter, to get well. That they afterward told her it was heaven, in nowise confused Emmy Lou, because, for aught she knew, South and heaven and much else might be included in these points of the compass. Ever since then Emmy Lou had lived with three aunties and an uncle; and papa had been coming a hundred miles once a month to see her.
But somehow the Primer year wore away; and the close of the first week of Emmy Lou's second year at a certain large public school found her round, chubby self, like a pink-cheeked period, ending the long line of intermingled little boys and girls making what was known, twenty-five years ago, as the First Reader Class.
Her heart grew still within her at the slow, awful enunciation of the Large Lady in black bombazine who reigned over the department of the First Reader, pointing her morals with a heavy forefinger, before which Emmy Lou's eyes lowered with every aspect of conscious guilt. Nor did Emmy Lou dream that the Large Lady, whose black bombazine was the visible sign of a loss by death that had made it necessary for her to enter the school-room to earn a living, was finding the duties incident to the First Reader almost as strange and perplexing as Emmy Lou herself.
Emmy Lou from the first day found herself descending steadily to the foot of the class; and there she remained until the awful day, at the close of the first week, when the Large Lady, realizing perhaps that she could no longer ignore such adherence to that lowly position, made discovery that while to Emmy Lou "d-o-g" might spell "dog" and "f-r-o-g" might spell "frog," Emmy Lou could not find either on a printed page, and further, could not tell wherein they differed when found for her; that, also, Emmy Lou made her figure 8's by adding one uncertain little o to the top of another uncertain little o; and that while Emmy Lou might copy, in smeary columns, certain cabalistic signs off the blackboard, she could not point them off in tens, hundreds, thousands, or read their numerical values, to save her little life. The Large Lady, sorely perplexed within herself as to the proper course to be pursued, in the sight of the fifty-nine other First Readers pointed a condemning forefinger at the miserable little object standing in front of her platform; and said, "You will stay after school, Emma Louise, that I may examine further into your qualifications for this grade."
Now Emmy Lou had no idea what it meant—"examine further into your qualifications for this grade." It might be the form of punishment in vogue for the chastisement of the members of the First Reader. But "stay after school" she did understand, and her heart sank, and her little breast heaved.
It was past the noon recess. At last the bell for dismissal had rung. The Large Lady, arms folded across her bombazine bosom, had faced the class, and with awesome solemnity had already enunciated, "Attention," and sixty little people had sat up straight, when the door opened, and a teacher from the floor above came in.
At her whispered confidence, the Large Lady left the room hastily, while the strange teacher with a hurried "one-two-three, march out quietly, children," turned, and followed her. And Emmy Lou, left sitting at her desk, saw through gathering tears the line of First Readers wind around the room and file out the door, the sound of their departing footsteps along the bare corridors and down the echoing stairway coming back like a knell to her sinking heart. Then class after class from above marched past the door and on its clattering way, while voices from outside, shrill with the joy of the release, came up through the open windows in talk, in laughter, together with the patter of feet on the bricks. Then as these familiar sounds grew fewer, fainter, farther away, some belated footsteps went echoing through the building, a door slammed somewhere—then—silence.
Emmy Lou waited. She wondered how long it would be. There was watermelon at home for dinner; she had seen it borne in, a great, striped promise of ripe juicy lusciousness, on the marketman's shoulder before she came to school. And here a tear, long gathering, splashed down the pink cheek.
Still that awesome personage presiding over the fortunes of the First Reader failed to return. Perhaps this was "the examination into—into—" Emmy Lou could not remember what—to be left in this big, bare room with the flies droning and humming in lazy circles up near the ceiling. The forsaken desks, with a forgotten book or slate left here and there upon them, the pegs around the wall empty of hats and bonnets, the unoccupied chair upon the platform—Emmy Lou gazed at these with a sinking sensation of desolation, while tear followed tear down her chubby face. And listening to the flies and the silence, Emmy Lou began to long for even the Bombazine Presence, and dropping her quivering countenance upon her arms folded upon the desk she sobbed aloud. But the time was long, and the day was warm, and the sobs grew slower, and the breath began to come in long-drawn, quivering sighs, and the next Emmy Lou knew she was sitting upright, trembling in every limb, and some one coming up the stairs—she could hear the slow, heavy footfalls, and a moment after she saw the Man, the Recess Man, the low, black-bearded, black-browed, scowling Man, with the broom across his shoulder, reach the hallway, and make toward the open doorway of the First Reader room. Emmy Lou held her breath, stiffened her little body, and—waited. But the Man pausing to light his pipe, Emmy Lou, in the sudden respite thus afforded slid in a trembling heap beneath the desk, and on hands and knees went crawling across the floor. And as Uncle Michael came in, a moment after, broom, pan, and feather-duster in hand, the last fluttering edge of a little pink dress was disappearing into the depths of the big, empty coal-box, and its sloping lid was lowering upon a flaxen head and cowering little figure crouched within. Uncle Michael having put the room to rights, sweeping and dusting, with many a rheumatic groan in accompaniment, closed the windows, and going out, drew the door after him, and, as was his custom, locked it.
Meanwhile, at Emmy Lou's home the elders wondered. But Emmy Lou did not come. And by half-past two Aunt Louise, the youngest auntie, started out to find her. But after searching the neighborhood in vain, returned home in despair. Then Aunt Cordelia sent the house boy down-town for Uncle Charlie. Just as Uncle Charlie arrived—and it was past five o'clock by then—some of the children of the neighborhood, having found a small boy living some squares off who confessed to being in the First Reader with Emmy Lou, arrived also, with the small boy in tow.
"She didn't know 'dog' from 'frog' when she saw 'em," stated the small boy, with derision of superior ability, "an' teacher, she told her to stay after school. She was settin' there in her desk when school let out, Emmy Lou was."
But a big girl of the neighborhood objected. "Her teacher went home the minute school was out," she declared. "Isn't the new lady, Mrs. Samuels, your teacher?" "Well, her daughter, Lettie, she's in my room, and she was sick, and her mother came up to our room and took her home. Our teacher she went down and dismissed the First Readers."
"I don't care if she did," retorted the small boy. "I reckon I saw Emmy Lou settin' there when we come away."
The three aunts grew pale and tearful, and wrung their hands in despair. The small boy from the First Reader, legs apart, hands in knickerbocker pockets, gazed at the crowd of irresolute elders with scornful wonder. "What you wanter do is find Uncle Michael; he keeps the keys. He went past my house a while ago, going home. He lives in Rose Lane Alley. 'Taint much outer my way, I'll take you there." And meekly they followed in his footsteps.
It was dark when a motley throng of uncles, aunties, visiting lady, neighbors and children went climbing the cavernous, echoing stairway of the dark school building behind the toiling figure of the skeptical Uncle Michael, lantern in hand.
"Ain't I swept over every inch of this here schoolhouse myself and carried the trash outten a dust-pan?" grumbled Uncle Michael, with what inference nobody just then stopped to inquire. Then with the air of a mistreated, aggrieved person who feels himself a victim, he paused before a certain door on the second floor, and fitted a key in its lock. "Here it is then, No. 9, to satisfy the lady," and he flung open the door. The light of Uncle Michael's lantern fell full upon the wide-eyed, terror-smitten person of Emmy Lou, in her desk, awaiting, her miserable little heart knew not what horror.
"She—she told me to stay," sobbed Emmy Lou in Aunt Cordelia's arms, "and I stayed; and the Man came, and I hid in the coal-box!"
[A] Copyright, 1901, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.
What He Got Out of It
BY S. E. KISER.
(From the Chicago Record-Herald.)
He never took a day of rest, He couldn't afford it; He never had his trousers pressed, He couldn't afford it; He never went away, care-free, To visit distant lands, to see How fair a place this world might be— He couldn't afford it.
He never went to see a play, He couldn't afford it; His love for art he put away, He couldn't afford it. He died and left his heirs a lot, But no tall shaft proclaims the spot In which he lies—his children thought They couldn't afford it.
The Play's the Thing[B]
BY GEORGE MADDEN MARTIN.
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
It was the day of the exhibition. Miss Carrie, teacher of the Third Reader Class, talked in deep tones—gestures meant sweeps and circles. Since the coming of Miss Carrie, the Third Reader Class lived, as it were, in the public eye, for on Fridays books were put away and the attention given to recitations and company. No other class had these recitations, and the Third Reader was envied. Its members were pointed out and gazed upon, until one realized one was standing in the garish light of fame. The other readers, it seemed, longed for fame and craved publicity, and so it came about that the school was to have an exhibition with Miss Carrie's genius to plan and engineer the whole. For general material Miss Carrie drew from the whole school, but the play was for her own class alone.
And this was the day of the exhibition.
Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou stood at the gate of the school. They had spent the morning in rehearsing. At noon they had been sent home with instructions to return at half-past two. The exhibition would begin at three.
"Of course," Miss Carrie had said, "you will not fail to be on time." And Miss Carrie had used her deepest tones.
It was not two o'clock, and the three stood at the gate, the first to return. They were in the same piece. It was "The Play." In a play one did more than suit the part.
In the play Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou found themselves the orphaned children of a soldier who had failed to return from the war. It was a very sad piece. Sadie had to weep, and more than once Emmy Lou had found tears in her eyes, watching her.
Miss Carrie said Sadie showed histrionic talent. Emmy Lou asked Hattie about it, who said it meant tears, and Emmy Lou remembered then how tears came naturally to Sadie.
When Aunt Cordelia heard they must dress to suit the part she came to see Miss Carrie, and so did the mamma of Sadie and the mamma of Hattie.
"Dress them in a kind of mild mourning," Miss Carrie explained, "not too deep, or it will seem too real, and, as three little sisters, suppose we dress them alike."
And now Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou stood at the gate ready for the play. Stiffly immaculate white dresses with beltings of black sashes, flared jauntily out above spotless white stockings and sober little slippers, while black-bound Leghorn hats shaded three anxious little countenances. By the exact center, each held a little handkerchief, black-bordered.
Hattie and Sadie and Emmy Lou wore each an anxious seriousness of countenance, but it was a variant seriousness; for as the hour approached, the solemn importance of the occasion was stealing brain-ward, and Emmy Lou even began to feel glad she was a part of The Exhibition, for to have been left out would have been worse even than the moment of mounting the platform.
"My grown-up brother's coming," said Hattie, "an' my mamma an' gran'ma an' the rest."
"My Aunt Cordelia has invited the visiting lady next door," said Emmy Lou.
But it was Sadie's hour. "Our minister's coming," said Sadie.
Emmy Lou's part was to weep when Sadie wept, and to point a chubby forefinger skyward when Hattie mentioned the departure from earth of the soldier parent, and to lower that forefinger footward at Sadie's tearful allusion to an untimely grave.
Emmy Lou had but one utterance, and it was brief. She was to advance one foot, stretch forth a hand and say, in the character of orphan for whom no asylum was offered, "We know not where we go." All day, Emmy Lou had been saying it at intervals of half minutes, for fear she might forget.
Meanwhile, it yet lacking a moment or so of two o'clock, the orphaned heroes continued to linger at the gate, awaiting the hour.
"Listen," said Hattie, "I hear music."
There was a church across the street. It was a large church with high steps and a pillared portico, and its doors were open.
"It's a band, and marching," said Hattie.
The orphaned children hurried to the curb. A procession was turning the corner and coming toward them. On either sidewalk crowds of men and boys accompanied it.
"It's a funeral," said Sadie.
Hattie turned with a face of conviction. "I know. It's that big general's funeral; they're bringing him home to bury him with the soldiers."
"We'll never see a thing for the crowd," despaired Sadie.
Emmy Lou was gazing. "They've got plumes in their hats," she said.
"Let's go over on the church steps and see it go by," said Hattie, "it's early."
The orphaned children hurried across the street. They climbed the steps. At the top they turned. There were plumes and more, there were flags and swords, and a band led. But at the church, with unexpected abruptness, the band halted, turned; it fell apart, and the procession came through; it came right on through and up the steps, a line of uniforms and swords on either side from curb to pillar, and halted.
Aghast, between two glittering files, the orphaned children shrank into the shadow behind a pillar, while upstreamed from the carriages below an unending line—bare-headed men and ladies bearing flowers. Behind, below, about, closing in on every side, crowded people, a sea of people.
The orphaned children found themselves swept from their hiding by the crowd and unwillingly jostled forward into prominence.
A frowning man, with a sword in his hand, seemed to be threatening everybody; his face was red and his voice was big, and he glittered with many buttons. All at once he caught sight of the orphaned children and threatened them vehemently.
"Here," said the frowning man, "right in here," and he placed them in line. The orphaned children were appalled, and even in the face of the man cried out in protest. But the man of the sword did not hear, for the reason that he did not listen. Instead he was addressing a large and stout lady immediately behind them.
"Separated from the family in the confusion, the grandchildren evidently—just see them in, please."
And suddenly the orphaned children found themselves a part of the procession as grandchildren. The nature of a procession is to proceed. And the grandchildren proceeded with it. They could not help themselves. There was no time for protest, for, pushed by the crowd, which closed and swayed above their heads, and piloted by the stout lady close behind, they were swept into the church and up the aisle, and when they came again to themselves were in the inner corner of a pew near the front.
The church was decked with flags. So was the Third Reader room. It was hung with flags for The Exhibition.
Hattie in the corner nudged Sadie. Sadie urged Emmy Lou, who, next to the stout lady, touched her timidly. "We have to get out; we've got to say our parts."
"Not now," said the lady, reassuringly; "the program is at the cemetery."
Emmy Lou did not understand, and she tried to tell the lady.
"S-h-," said the person, engaged with the spectacle and the crowd; "sh-h-" Abashed, Emmy Lou sat, sh-h-ed.
Hattie arose. It was terrible to rise in church, and at a funeral, and the church was filled, the aisles were crowded, but Hattie rose. Hattie was a St. George, and a Dragon stood between her and The Exhibition. She pushed by Sadie, and past Emmy Lou. Hattie was slim as she was strenuous, but not even so slim a little girl as Hattie could push by the stout lady, for she filled the space.
At Hattie's touch she turned. Although she looked good-natured, the size and ponderance of the lady were intimidating. She stared at Hattie; people were looking; it was in church; Hattie's face was red.
"You can't get to the family," said the lady; "you couldn't move in the crowd. Besides I promised to see to you. Now be quiet," she added crossly, when Hattie would have spoken. She turned away. Hattie crept back vanquished by this Dragon.
"So suitably dressed," the stout lady was saying to a lady beyond; "grandchildren, you know. Even their little handkerchiefs have black borders." The service began, and there fell on the unwilling grandchildren the submission of awe. The stout lady cried, she also punched Emmy Lou with her elbow whenever that little person moved, but finally she found courage to turn her head so she could see Sadie. Sadie was weeping into her black-bordered handkerchief, nor were they tears of histrionic talent. They were real tears. People all about were looking at her sympathetically. Such grief in a grandchild was very moving. It may have been minutes; it seemed to Emmy Lou hours, before there came a general uprising. Hattie stood up. So did Sadie and Emmy Lou. Their skirts no longer stood out jauntily; they were quite crushed and subdued. There was a wild, hunted look in Hattie's eyes. "Watch the chance!" she whispered, "and run."
But it did not come. As the pews emptied, the stout lady passed Emmy Lou on, addressing some one beyond. "Hold to this one," she said, "and I'll take the other two, or they'll get tramped in the crowd."
Slowly the crowd moved, and being a part of it, however unwillingly, Emmy Lou moved, too, out of the church and down the steps. Then came the crashing of the band and the roll of the carriages, and she found herself in the front row on the curb.
The man with the brandishing sword was threatening violently. "One more carriage is here for the family," called the man with the sword. His glance in search for the family suddenly fell on Emmy Lou. She felt it fall.
The problem solved itself for the man with the sword, and his brow cleared.
"Grandchildren next," roared the threatening man. "Keep an eye on them—separated from the family," he was explaining, and in spite of their protests, a moment later the three little girls were lifted into the carriage, and as the door banged, their carriage moved with the rest up the street.
"Now," said Hattie, and Hattie sprang to the farther door. It would not open. Through the carriage windows the school, with its arched doorways and windows, gazed frowningly, reproachfully. A gentleman entered the gate and went in the doorway.
"It's our minister," said Sadie, weeping afresh. Then Hattie wept and so did Emmy Lou. What would The Exhibition do without them?
Late that afternoon a carriage stopped at a corner upon which a school building stood. Since his charges were infantile affairs, the colored gentleman on the box thought to expedite matters and drop them at the corner nearest their homes. Descending, he flung open the door, and three little girls crept forth, three crushed little girls, three limp little girls, three little girls in a mild kind of mourning. They came forth timidly. They looked around. They hoped they might reach their homes unobserved.
There was a crowd up the street. A gathering of people—many people. It seemed to be at Emmy Lou's gate. Hattie and Sadie lived farther on.
"It must be a fire," said Hattie.
But it wasn't. It was The Exhibition, the Principal, and Miss Carrie, and teachers and pupils, and mammas and aunties and Uncle Charlie.
"An' grand'ma," said Hattie. "And the visiting lady," said Emmy Lou. "And our minister," said Sadie.
The gathering of many people caught sight of them presently, and came to meet them, three little girls in mild mourning.
The parents and guardians led them home.
Emmy Lou was tired. At supper she nodded and mild mourning and all, suddenly she collapsed and fell asleep, her head against her chair.
Uncle Charlie woke her. He stood her up on the chair, and held out his arms. "Come," he said, "Come, suit the action to the word."
Emmy Lou woke suddenly, the words smiting her ears with ominous import. She thought the hour had come; it was The Exhibition. She stood stiffly, she advanced a cautious foot, her chubby hand described a careful half circle. Emmy Lou spoke her part.
"We know not where we go."
[B] Copyright, 1901, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.
The Dancing School and Dicky[C]
BY JOSEPHINE DODGE DASKAM.
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
[From "The Little God and Dicky."]
[We have debated long and earnestly which of the seven stories in "The Madness of Phillip and Other Tales of Childhood" is the best public reading. As yet we have no decision; certainly six of them are among the choicest readings of child-life which may be found in American literature, where we have the real child in books. With the permission of the author and the publishers, McClure, Phillips & Co., New York, we reprint cuttings from two of these stories.]
"Where are you going?" said somebody, as he slunk out toward the hat-rack.
"Well, see that you don't stay long. Remember what it is this afternoon."
He turned like a stag at bay.
"What is it this afternoon?" he demanded viciously.
"You know very well."
"See that you're here, that's all. You've got to get dressed."
"I will not go to that old dancing school again, and I tell you that I won't, and I won't. And I won't!"
"Now, Dick, don't begin that all over again. It's so silly of you. You've got to go."
"Because it's the thing to do."
"Because you must learn to dance."
"Every nice boy learns."
"That will do, Richard. Go and find your pumps. Now, get right up from the floor, and if you scratch the Morris chair I shall speak to your father. Ain't you ashamed of yourself? Get right up—you must expect to be hurt, if you pull so. Come, Richard! Now, stop crying—a great boy like you! I am sorry I hurt your elbow, but you know very well you aren't crying for that at all. Come along!"
His sister flitted by the door, her accordeon-plaited skirt held carefully from the floor, her hair in two glistening, blue-knotted pigtails.
"Hurry up, Dick, or we'll be late," she called back sweetly.
"Oh, you shut up, will you!" he snarled.
She looked meek, and listened to his deprivation of dessert for the rest of the week with an air of love for the sinner and hatred for the sin that deceived even her older sister who was dressing her.
A desperately patient monologue from the next room indicated the course of events there.
"Your necktie is on the bed. No, I don't know where the blue one is—it doesn't matter; that it just as good. Yes, it is. No, you cannot. You will have to wear one. Because no one ever goes without. I don't know why.
"Many a boy would be thankful and glad to have silk stockings. Nonsense, your legs are warm enough. I don't believe you. Now, Richard, how perfectly ridiculous! There is no left or right to stockings. You have no time to change. Shoes are a different thing. Well, hurry up, then. Because they are made so, I suppose. I don't know why.
"Brush it more on that side—no, you can't go to the barbers. You went last week. It looks perfectly well. I cut it? Why, I don't know how to trim hair. Anyway, there isn't time now. It will have to do. Stop your scowling for goodness' sake, Dick. Have you a handkerchief? It makes no difference, you must carry one. You ought to want to use it. Well, you should. Yes, they always do, whether they have colds or not. I don't know why.
"Your Golden Text! The idea! No, you cannot. You can learn that Sunday before church. This is not the time to learn Golden Texts. I never saw such a child. Now take your pumps and find the plush bag. Why not? Put them right with Ruth's. That's what the bag was made for. Well, how do you want to carry them? Why, I never heard of anything so silly! You will knot the strings. I don't care if they do carry skates that way—skates are not slippers. You'd lose them. Very well, then, only hurry up. I should think you'd be ashamed to have them dangling around your neck that way. Because people never do carry them so. I don't know why.
"Now, here's your coat. Well, I can't help it, you have no time to hunt for them. Put your hands in your pockets—it's not far. And mind, don't run for Ruth every time. You don't take any pains with her, and you hustle her about, Miss Dorothy says. Take another little girl. Yes, you must. I shall speak to your father if you answer me in that way, Richard. Men don't dance with their sisters. Because they don't. I don't know why."
He slammed the door till the piazza shook, and strode along beside his scandalized sister, the pumps flopping noisily on his shoulders. She tripped along contentedly—she liked to go. The personality capable of extracting pleasure from the hour before them baffled his comprehension, and he scowled fiercely at her, rubbing his silk stockings together at every step, to enjoy the strange smooth sensation thus produced. This gave him a bow-legged gait that distressed his sister beyond words.
"I think you might stop. Everybody's looking at you! Please stop, Dick Pendleton; you're a mean old thing. I should think you'd be ashamed to carry your slippers that way. If you jump in that wet place and spatter me I shall tell papa—you will care, when I tell him just the same! You're just as bad as you can be. I shan't speak with you to-day!"
She pursed up her lips and maintained a determined silence. He rubbed his legs together with renewed emphasis. Acquaintances met them and passed, unconscious of anything but the sweet picture of a sister and a brother and a plush bag going dutifully and daintily to dancing school.
He jumped over the threshold of the long room and aimed his cap at the head of a boy he knew, who was standing on one foot to put on a slipper. This destroyed his friend's balance, and a cheerful scuffle followed. Life assumed a more hopeful aspect.
A shrill whistle called them out in two crowded bunches to the polished floor.
Hoping against hope, he had clung to the beautiful thought that Miss Dorothy would be sick, that she had missed her train—but no! There she was, with her shiny high-heeled slippers, her pink skirt that puffed out like a fan, and her silver whistle on a chain. The little clicking castanets that rang out so sharply were in her hand beyond a doubt.
"Ready, children! Spread out. Take your lines. First position. Now!"
The large man at the piano, who always looked half asleep, thundered out the first bars of the latest waltz, and the business began.
Their eyes were fixed solemnly on Miss Dorothy's pointed shoes. They slipped and slid and crossed their legs and arched their pudgy insteps; the boys breathed hard over their gleaming collars. On the right side of the hall thirty hands held out their diminutive skirts at an alluring angle. On the left, neat black legs pattered diligently through mystic evolutions.
The chords rolled out slower, with dramatic pauses between; sharp clicks of the castanets rang through the hall; a line of toes rose gradually towards the horizontal, whirled more or less steadily about, crossed behind, bent low, bowed, and with a flutter of skirts resumed the first position.
A little breeze of laughing admiration circled the row of mothers and aunts.
"Isn't that too cunning! Just like a little ballet! Aren't they graceful, really, now!"
"One, two, three! One, two three! Slide, slide, cross; one, two, three!"
There are those who find pleasure in the aimless intricacies of the dance; self-respecting men even have been known voluntarily to frequent assemblies devoted to this nerve-racking attitudinizing futility. Among such, however, you shall seek in vain in future years for Richard Carr Pendleton.
"One, two, three! Reverse, two, three!"
The whistle shrilled.
"Ready for the two-step, children?"
A mild tolerance grew on him. If dancing must be, better the two-step than anything else. It is not an alluring dance, your two-step; it does not require temperament. Any one with a firm intention of keeping the time and a strong arm can drag a girl through it very acceptably.
Dicky skirted the row of mothers and aunts cautiously.
"Oh, look! Did you ever see anything so sweet?" said somebody. Involuntarily he turned. There in a corner, all by herself, a little girl was gravely performing a dance. He stared at her curiously.
She was ethereally slender, brown-eyed, brown-haired, brown-skinned. A little fluffy white dress spread fan-shaped over her knees; her ankles were bird-like. Her eyes were serious, her hair hung loose. She swayed lightly; one little gloved hand held out her skirt, the other marked the time. Her performance was an apotheosis of the two-step; that metronomic dance would not have recognized itself under her treatment.
Dicky admired. But the admiration of his sex is notoriously fatal to the art that attracts it. He advanced and bowed jerkily, grasped one of the loops of her sash in the back, stamped gently a moment to get the time, and the artist sank into the partner, the pirouette grew coarse to sympathize with clay.
"Don't they do it well, though! See those little things near the door!" he caught as they went by, and his heart swelled with pride.
"What's your name?" he asked abruptly after the dance.
"Thithelia," she lisped. She was very shy.
"Mine's Richard Carr Pendleton. My father's a lawyer. What's yours?"
"I—I don't know!"
"Pooh!" he said, grandly; "I guess you know. Don't you, really?"
She shook her head. Suddenly a light dawned in her eyes.
"Maybe I know," she murmured. "I gueth I know. He—he'th a really thtate!"
"A really state? That isn't anything—nothing at all. A really state?" He frowned at her. Her lip quivered. She turned and ran away.
"Here, come back!" he called; but she was gone.
"That will do for to-day," said Miss Dorothy, presently, and they surged into the dressing-rooms, to be buttoned up and pulled out of draughts and trundled home.
She was swathed carefully in a wadded silk jacket, and then enveloped in a hooded cloak; she looked like an angelic brownie. Dicky ran to her as a woman led her out to a coupe at the curb, and tugged at the ribbon of her cloak.
"Where do you live? Say, where do you?" he demanded.
"I—I don't know." The woman laughed.
"Why, yes, you do, Cissy. Tell him directly, now."
She put one tiny finger in her mouth.
"I—I gueth I live on Chethnut Thtreet," he called as the door slammed and shut her in.
His sister amicably offered him half the plush bag to carry, and opened a running criticism of the afternoon.
"Did you ever see anybody act like that Fannie Leach? She's awfully rough. Miss Dorothy spoke to her twice—wasn't that dreadful? What made you dance all the time with Cissy Weston? She's an awful baby—a regular fraid-cat! We girls tease her just as easy—do you like her?"
"She's the prettiest one there!"
"Why, Dick Pendleton, she is not! She's so little—she's not half so pretty as Agnes, or—or lots of the girls. She's such a baby. She puts her finger in her mouth if anybody says anything at all. If you ask her a single thing she does like this: 'I don't know, I don't know!'"
He smiled scornfully. Did he not know how she did it?
"And she can't talk plain! She lisps—truly she does!"
Was ever a girl so thick-headed as that sister of his!
"She puts her finger in her mouth! She can't talk plain!" Alas, my sisters, it was Helen's finger that toppled over Troy, and Diane de Poitiers stammered!
For two long months the little girl led him along the primrose way. The poor fellow thought it was the main road; he had yet to learn it was but a by-path. But the Little God was not through with him. That very night he reached the top of the wave.
He came down to breakfast rapt and quiet. He salted his oatmeal by mistake, and never knew the difference. His sister laughed derisively, and explained his folly to him as he swallowed the last spoonful, but he only smiled kindly at her. After his egg he spoke.
"I dreamed that it was dancing school. And I went. And I was the only fellow there. And what do you think? All the little girls were Cecilia!"
"You don't suppose he'll be a poet, do you? Or a genius, or anything?" his mother inquired anxiously.
"No!" his father returned. "I should say he was more likely to be a Mormon!"
[C] Copyright, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.
"A Model Story in the Kindergarten"[D]
BY JOSEPHINE DODGE DASKAM.
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
[From "The Madness of Philip." McClure, Phillips & Company.]
It was evident that something was wrong that morning with the children of the kindergarten. Two perplexed teachers were quieting the latest outbreak and marshaling a wavering line of very little people when the youngest assistant appeared on the scene.
"Miss Hunt wants to know why you're so late with them," she inquired. "She hopes nothing's wrong. Mrs. R. B. M. Smith is here to-day to visit the primary schools and kindergartens, and—"
"Oh, goodness," exclaimed a teacher, abruptly, ceasing her attempted consolation of Marantha Judd. "I can't bear that woman! She's always read Stanley Hall's last article that proves that what he said before was wrong! Come along, Marantha, don't be a foolish little girl any longer. We shall be late for the morning exercise."
Upstairs a large circle was forming under the critical scrutiny of a short, stout woman with crinkly, gray hair. This was Mrs. R. B. M. Smith, who, when the opening exercises were finished, signified her willingness to relate to the children a model story, calling the teacher's attention in advance to the almost incredible certainty that would characterize the children's anticipation of the events judiciously and psychologically selected.
The arm-chairs shortly to contain so much accurate anticipation were at last arranged and the children sat decorously attentive, their faces turned curiously toward the strange lady with the fascinating plumes in her bonnet.
"Nothing like animals to bring out the protective instinct—feebler dependent on the stronger," she said rapidly to the teachers, and then addressed the objects of these theories.
"Now, children, I'm going to tell you a nice story—you all like stories, I'm sure."
At just this moment little Richard Willetts sneezed loudly and unexpectedly to all, himself included, with the result that his ever-ready suspicion fixed upon his neighbor, Andrew Halloran, as the direct cause of the convulsion. Andrew's well-meant efforts to detach from Richard's vest the pocket-handkerchief securely fastened thereto by a large black safety-pin strengthened the latter's conviction of intended assault and battery, and he squirmed out of the circle and made a dash for the hall—the first stage in an evident homeward expedition.
This broke in upon the story, and even when it got under way again there was an atmosphere of excitement quite unexplained by the tale itself.
"Yesterday, children, as I came out of my yard, what do you think I saw?" The elaborately concealed surprise in store was so obvious that Marantha rose to the occasion and suggested:
"Why, no! Why should I see an elephant in my yard? It wasn't nearly so big as that—it was a little thing!"
"A fish?" ventured Eddy Brown, whose eye fell upon the aquarium in the corner. The raconteuse smiled patiently.
"Why, no! How could a fish, a live fish, get in my front yard?"
"A dead fish?" persisted Eddy, who was never known to relinquish voluntarily an idea.
"It was a little kitten," said the story-teller, decidedly. "A little white kitten. She was standing right near a great big puddle of water. And what else do you think I saw?"
"Another kitten?" suggested Marantha, conservatively.
"No, a big Newfoundland dog. He saw the little kitten near the water. Now cats don't like the water, do they? They don't like a wet place. What do they like?"
"Mice," said Joseph Zukoffsky, abruptly.
"Well, yes, they do; but there were no mice in my yard. I'm sure you know what I mean. If they don't like water, what do they like?"
"They like a dry place," said Mrs. R. B. M. Smith.
"Now what do you suppose the dog did?"
It may be that successive failures had disheartened the listeners; it may be that the very range presented alive to the dog and them for choice dazzled their imaginations. At any rate, they made no answer.
"Nobody knows what the dog did?" repeated the story-teller, encouragingly. "What would you do if you saw a little white kitten like that?"
Again a silence. Then Philip remarked gloomily, "I'd pull its tail."
"And what do the rest of you think?" inquired Mrs. R. B. M. Smith, pathetically. "I hope you are not so cruel as that little boy."
But fully half the children had seen the youngest assistant giggle at "that little boy's" answer, and with one accord came the quick response, "I'd pull it too."
[D] Copyright, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.
(From the New Orleans Times-Democrat.)
Settin' on a log An' fishin' An' watchin' the cork, An' wishin'.
Jus' settin' round home An' sighin', Jus' settin' round home— An' lyin'.
"Ardelia in Arcady"[E]
(Arranged by Maude Herndon and Grace Kellam.)
[From "The Madness of Philip," by Josephine Dodge Daskam. McClure, Phillips & Co.]
When first the young lady from the College Settlement dragged Ardelia from her degradation, she was sitting on a dirty pavement and throwing assorted refuse at an unconscious policeman.
"Come here, little girl," said the young lady, invitingly. "Wouldn't you like to come with me and have a nice, cool bath?"
"Naw," said Ardelia, in tones rivaling the bath in coolness.
"You wouldn't? Well, wouldn't you like some bread and butter and jam?"
"Why, it's—er—marmalade. All sweet, you know."
"I thought you might like to go on a picnic," said the young lady, helplessly. "I thought all little girls liked—"
"Picnic? When?" cried Ardelia, moved instantly to interest. "I'm goin'! Is it the Dago picnic?"
The young lady shuddered, and seizing the hand which she imagined to have had the least to do with the refuse, she led Ardelia away—the first stage of her journey to Arcady.
Later arrayed in starched and creaking garments which had been made for a slightly smaller child, Ardelia was transported to the station, and for the first time introduced to a railroad car. She sat stiffly on the red plush seat while the young lady talked reassuringly of daisies and cows and green grass. As Ardelia had never seen any of these things, it is hardly surprising that she was somewhat unenthusiastic.
"You can roll in the daisies, my dear, and pick all you want—all!" she urged eagerly.
"Aw right," she answered, guardedly.
The swelteringly hot day, and the rapid unaccustomed motion combined to afflict her with a strange internal anticipation of future woe. Once last summer, when she ate the liquid dregs of the ice-cream man's great tin, and fell asleep in the room where her mother was frying onions, she had experienced this same foreboding, and the climax of that dreadful day lingered yet in her memory.
At last they stopped. The young lady seized her hand, and led her through the narrow aisle, down the steep steps, across the little country station platform, and Ardelia was in Arcady.
A bare-legged boy in blue overalls and a wide straw hat then drove them many miles along a hot, dusty road, that wound endlessly through the parched country fields. Finally they turned into a driveway, and drew up before a gray wooden house. A spare, dark-eyed woman in a checked apron advanced to meet them.
"Terrible hot to-day, ain't it?" she sighed. "I'm real glad to see you, Miss Forsythe. Won't you cool off a little before you go on? This is the little girl, I s'pose. I guess it's pretty cool to what she's accustomed to, ain't it, Delia?"
"No, I thank you, Mrs. Slater. I'll go right on to the house. Now, Ardelia, here you are in the country. I'm staying with my friend in a big white house about a quarter of a mile farther on. You can't see it from here, but if you want anything you can just walk over. Day after to-morrow is the picnic I told you of. You'll see me then, anyway. Now run right out in the grass and pick all the daisies you want. Don't be afraid; no one will drive you off this grass!"
The force of this was lost on Ardelia, who had never been driven off any grass whatever, but she gathered that she was expected to walk out into the thick rank growth of the unmowed side yard, and strode downward obediently.
"Now pick them! Pick the daisies!" cried Miss Forsythe, excitedly. "I want to see you."
Ardelia looked blank.
"Huh?" she said.
"Gather them. Get a bunch. Oh, you poor child! Mrs. Slater, she doesn't know how!" Miss Forsythe was deeply moved and illustrated by picking imaginary daisies on the porch. Ardelia's quick eye followed her gestures, and stooping, she scooped the heads from three daisies and started back with them. Miss Forsythe gasped.
"No, no, dear! Pull them up! Take the stem, too," she explained. "Pick the whole flower."
Ardelia bent over again, tugged at a thick-stemmed clover, brought it up by the roots, and laid it awkwardly on the young lady's lap.
"Thank you, dear," she said, politely, "but I meant them for you. I meant you to have a bunch. Don't you want them?"
"Naw," said Ardelia, decidedly.
Miss Forsythe's eyes brightened suddenly.
"I know what you want," she cried, "you're thirsty! Mrs. Slater, won't you get us some of your good, creamy milk? Don't you want a drink, Ardelia?"
Ardelia nodded. When Mrs. Slater appeared with the foaming yellow glasses she wound her nervous little hands about the stem of the goblet and drank a deep draught.
"There!" cried the young lady. "Now, how do you like real milk, Ardelia? I declare you look like another child already! You can have all you want every day—why, what's the matter?"
For Ardelia was growing ghastly pale before them; her eyes turned inward, her lips tightened. A blinding horror surged from her toes upward, and the memory of the liquid ice-cream and the frying onions faded before the awful reality of her present agony.
Later, as she lay limp and white on the slippery haircloth sofa in Mrs. Slater's musty parlor she heard them discussing her situation.
"There was a lot of Fresh-Air children over at Mis' Simms's," her hostess explained, "and they 'most all of 'em said the milk was too strong—did you ever! Two or three of 'em was sick, like this one, but they got to love it in a little while. She will, too."
Ardelia shook her head feebly. In a few minutes she was asleep. When she awoke all was dusk and shadow. She felt scared and lonely. Now that her stomach was filled and her nerves refreshed by her long sleep, she was in a condition to realize that aside from all bodily discomfort she was sad—very sad. A new, unknown depression weighed her down. It grew steadily, something was happening, something constant and mournful—what? Suddenly she knew. It was a steady, recurrent noise, a buzzing, monotonous click. Now it rose, now it fell, accentuating the silence dense about it.
"Zig-a-zig! Zig-a-zig!" then a rest.
"Wha's 'at?" she said.
"That? Oh, those are katydids. I s'pose you never heard 'em, that's a fact. Kind o' cozy, I think. Don't you like 'em?"
Another long silence intervened. Mr. Slater snored, William smoked, and the monotonous clamor was uninterrupted.
"Zig-a-zig! Zig-zig! Zig-a-zig-a-zig!"
Slowly, against the background of this machine-like clicking, there grew other sounds, weird, unhappy, far away.
"Wheep, wheep, wheep!"
This was a high, thin crying.
"Burrom! Burrom! Brown!"
This was low and resonant and solemn. Ardelia scowled.
"Wha's 'at?" she asked again.
"That's the frogs. Bull-frogs and peepers. Never heard them, either, did ye? Well, that's what they are."
William took his pipe out of his mouth.
"Come here, sissy, 'n I'll tell y' a story," he said, lazily.
Ardelia obeyed, and glancing timorously at the shadows, slipped around to his side.
"Onc't they was an' ol' feller comin' 'long crosslots, late at night, an' he come to a pond, an' he kinder stopped up an' says to himself, 'Wonder how deep the ol' pond is, anyhow?' He was just a leetle—well, he'd had a drop too much, y' see—"
"Had a what?" interrupted Ardelia.
"He was sort o' rollin' 'round—he didn't know just what he was doin'—"
"Oh! Jagged!" said Ardelia, comprehendingly.
"I guess so. An' he heard a voice singin' out, 'Knee deep! Knee deep! Knee deep.'"
William gave a startling imitation of the peepers; his voice was a high, shrill wail.
"'Oh, well,' s' he, ''f it's just knee deep, I'll wade through,' an' he starts in.
"Just then he hears a big feller singin' out, 'Better go rrround! Better gorrround! Better gorrround!'
"'Lord,' says he, 'is it s' deep 's that? Well, I'll go round then.' 'N' off he starts to walk around.
"'Knee deep! Knee deep! Knee deep!' says the peepers.
"An' there it was. Soon's he'd start to do one thing they'd tell him another. Make up his mind he couldn't, so he stands there still, they do say, askin' 'em every night which he better do."
"Oh, I d' know. Out in the swamp, mebbe."
Again he smoked. Time passed by.
Suddenly Mr. Slater coughed and arose. "Well, guess I'll be gettin' to bed," he said. "Come on, boys. Hello, little girl! Come to visit us, hey? Mind you don't pick poison vine."
Mrs. Slater led Ardelia upstairs into a little hot room, and told her to get into bed quick, for the lamp drew the mosquitoes.
Ardelia kicked off her shoes and approached the bed distrustfully. It sank down with her weight and smelled hot and queer. Rolling off she stretched herself on the floor, and lay there disconsolately. At home the hurdy-gurdy was playing, the women were gossiping on every step, the lights were everywhere—the blessed fearless gas lights—and the little girls were dancing in the breeze that drew in from East River.
In the morning Miss Forsythe came over to inquire after her charge's health, accompanied by another young lady.
"Why, Ethel, she isn't barefoot!" she cried. "Come here, Ardelia, and take off your shoes and stockings directly. Shoes and stockings in the country! Now, you'll know what comfort is."
To patter about bare-legged on the clear, safe pavement, was one thing; to venture unprotected into that waving, tripping tangle was another. Ardelia stepped cautiously upon the short grass near the house, and with jaw set felt her way into the higher growth. Suddenly she stopped; she shrieked:
"Oh, gee! Oh, gee!"
"What is it, Ardelia; what is it? A snake?" Mrs. Slater rushed out, seized Ardelia, half rigid with fear, and carried her to the porch. They elicited from her as she sat with feet tucked under her that something had rustled by her "down at the bottom"—that it was slippery, that she had stepped on it, and wanted to go home.
"Toad," explained Mrs. Slater, briefly. "Only a little hop-toad, Delia, that wouldn't harm a baby, let alone a big girl nine years old, like you."
"She's a queer child," Mrs. Slater confided to the young ladies. "Not a drop of anything will she drink but cold tea. It don't seem reasonable to give it to her all day, and I won't do it, so she has to wait till meals. She makes a face if I say milk, and the water tastes slippery, she says, and salty-like. She won't touch it. I tell her it's good well-water, but she just shakes her head. She's stubborn 's a bronze mule, that child. Just mopes around. 'S morning she asked me when did the parades go by. I told her there wa'n't any, but the circus, an' that had been already. I tried to cheer her up, sort of, with that Fresh-Air picnic of yours to-morrow, Miss Forsythe, an s'she, 'Oh, the Dago picnic,' s'she, 'will they have Tong's band?'"
"She don't seem to take any int'rest in th' farm, like those Fresh-Air children, either. I showed her the hens an' the eggs, an' she said it was a lie about the hens layin' 'em. 'What d' you take me for?' s'she. The idea! Then Henry milked the cow, to show her—she wouldn't believe that, either—and with the milk streamin' down before her, what do you s'pose she said? 'You put it in!' s'she. I never should a' believed that, Miss Forsythe, if I hadn't heard it."
"Oh, she'll get over it; just wait a few days. Good-bye, Ardelia. Eat a good supper."
But this Ardelia did not do. Mr. Slater ate in voracious silence. William never spoke, and Mrs. Slater filled their plates without comment. Ardelia had never in her life eaten in silence. Through the open door the buzz of the katydids was beginning tentatively. In the intervals of William's gulps a faint bass note warned them from the swamp.
"Better gorrround! Better gorrround!"
Ardelia's nerves strained and snapped. Her eyes grew wild.
"Fer Gawd's sake, talk!" she cried, sharply. "Are youse dumbies?"
* * * * *
The morning dawned fresh and fair; the homely barnyard noises brought a smile to Miss Forsythe's sympathetic face, as she waited for Ardelia to join her in a drive to the station. But Ardelia did not smile.
At the station Miss Forsythe shook her limp little hand.
"Good-bye, dear. I'll bring the other little children back with me. You'll enjoy that. Good-bye."
"I'm comin', too," said Ardelia.
"Why—no, dear—you wait for us. You'd only turn around and come right back, you know."
"Come, back nothin'. I'm goin' home."
"Why—why, Ardelia! Don't you really like it?"
"Naw, it's too hot."
Miss Forsythe stared.
"But Ardelia, you don't want to go back to that horribly smelly street? Not truly?"
"Betcher life I do!"
"It's so lonely and quiet," pleaded the young lady. Ardelia shuddered. Again she seemed to hear that fiendish, mournful wailing:
"Knee deep! Knee deep! Knee deep!"
They rode in silence. But the jar and jolt of the engine made music in Ardelia's ears; the familiar jargon of the newsboy:
"N' Yawk evening paypers! Woyld! Joynal!" was a breath from home to her little cockney heart.
They pushed through the great station, they climbed the steps of the elevated track, they jingled on a cross-town car. And at a familiar corner Ardelia slipped loose her hand, uttered a grunt of joy, and Miss Forsythe looked after her in vain. She was gone.
But late in the evening, when the great city turned out to breathe, and sat with opened shirt and loosened bodice on the dirty steps; when the hurdy-gurdy executed brassy scales and the lights flared in endless sparkling rows; when the trolley gongs at the corner pierced the air, and feet tapped cheerfully down the cool stone steps of the beer-shop, Ardelia, bare-footed and abandoned, nibbling at a section of bologna sausage, cake-walked insolently with a band of little girls behind a severe policeman, mocking his stolid gait, to the delight of Old Dutchy, who beamed approvingly at her prancing.
"Ja, ja, you trow out your feet good. Some day we pay to see you, no? You like to get back already!"
"Ja, danky slum, Dutchy," she said airily, as she sank upon her cool step, stretched her toes and sighed:
"Gee! N' Yawk's the place!"
[E] Copyright, 1902, by McClure, Phillips & Co.
BY MARGARET HOUSTON.
(From Ainslee's Magazine.)
"Let go my hand!" (A start of quick surprise.) "How could you dare?" (A flash of angry eyes.) And yet her hand in mine all passive lies.
"How rude you are!" (The rose-blush fully blown.) "I trusted you!" ('Twould melt a heart of stone.) And yet the little hand rests in mine own!
Oh, dainty Meriel—little April day! However warmly pouting lips cry Nay, That little hand shall rest in mine—alway!
The Old Man and "Shep"
(A true story.)
BY JOHN G. SCORER.
It was on the morning of the second day of the new year. The mercury hovered a few degrees above zero. The winds that swept down from the North were keen and biting, and the mist-like snow fell fitfully. An old man, his once tall form bent by the burdens and sorrows of sixty odd years, his step slow and shuffling, his clothes unkempt and tattered, his long beard flowing down upon his breast, his eye still bright and in his face lingering traces of refinement, made his way along the deserted street. He was accompanied by a dog, whose long, shaggy hair indicated a blooded ancestry. So emaciated was his form that even through his shaggy coat could be seen the outline of his bony frame.
The two, master and dog, hobbled into the city's out-door relief department. The dog at once curled himself up on a rug near a radiator and was soon asleep, dreaming, perchance, of other and more prosperous days, with "a virtuous kennel and plenty of food." The old man stood for a time warming his benumbed fingers at the radiator. Presently one of the clerks approached and asked him who he was and what he wanted.
"I am John Owens," he replied; "and I want to go to the infirmary. I am ill, homeless and penniless."
"All right, my man," said the clerk, and at once wrote out a permit.
The old man took the permit, read it over carefully, and said: "It says nothing about the dog. I want one for the dog, too."
"We can't give you one for the dog; we have no place out there for him. You'll have to leave him behind."
"Leave my dog behind? No, sir," said the old fellow, straightening up his bent form. "He's the only friend I have in this world. Why old 'Shep' has been my only friend for the last eight years. I had money, friends and influence when he was a pup, and he had a better bed and better food then than I have had for many a year. I had my carriages once, and a man to drive them, too. I know it sounds strange, now. Sometimes it seems like a dream. But never mind. When I woke up from that dream I had only my wife Martha, my son George, and 'Shep.' Every one else turned from me.
"My wife was a good, brave soul, but our reverses broke her down, and on one spring day we laid her away beneath the daisies and the myrtle. Soon after that my son George was taken from me by that stern monster, death, leaving me alone—alone, with no friend but 'Shep.'
"Where do I sleep? Why, my boy, anywhere. You don't know how many warm stairways there are. 'Shep' and I do, though, and we curl up together in them when the officer on the beat isn't looking. Yes, poor fellow, he's lame; had his leg broken. He got that trying to keep me out of the way of a coal wagon two years ago, when I slipped on the icy street.
"Here's your permit, mister. I won't go out there unless 'Shep' goes with me. He can't? Well, good-bye, good-bye, sir. Come on, 'Shep.' You can't stay there all day. Just as much obliged," and the two passed out into the cold again.
The Lily lifts to mine her nunlike face, But my wild heart is beating for the Rose; How can I pause to behold the Lily's grace? Shall I repent me by and by? Who knows?
—Louise Chandler Moulton.
BY BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.
(Adapted from the speech delivered at the opening of the Atlanta Exposition.)
One-third of the population of the South is of the negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success. I but convey to you, Mr. President and directors, the sentiment of the masses of my race when I say that in no way have the value and manhood of the American negro been more fittingly and generously recognized than by the managers of this magnificent Exposition at every stage of its progress. It is a recognition that will do more to cement the friendship of the two races than any occurrence since the dawn of our freedom.
Not only this, but the opportunity here afforded will awaken among us a new era of industrial progress. Ignorant and inexperienced, it is not strange that in the first years of our new life we began at the top instead of at the bottom; that a seat in Congress or a State legislature was more sought than real estate or industrial skill; that the political convention or stump speaking had more attractions than starting a dairy farm or truck garden.
A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, "Water, water; we die of thirst!" The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, "Cast down your bucket where you are." A second time the signal, "Water, water; send us water!" ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, "Cast down your bucket where you are." And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, "Cast down your bucket where you are." The captain of the distressed vessel at last, heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. To those of my race who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man, who is their next-door neighbor, I would say: "Cast down your bucket where you are." Cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.
Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the negro is given a man's chance in the commercial world, and in nothing is this Exposition more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance. Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life; shall prosper in proportion as we learn to draw the line between the superficial and the substantial, the ornamental gewgaws of life and the useful. No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.
To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongues and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my own race, "Cast down your bucket where you are." Cast it down among the eight millions of negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides. Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without strikes and labor wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasure from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting down your buckets among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to education of head, hand, and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories. While doing this you can be sure in the future as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding and unresentful people that the world has seen. As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sick-bed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to the graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach, ready to lay down our lives, if need be, in defence of yours, interlacing our industrial, commercial, civil and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races one. In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
There is no defence or security for any of us except in the highest intelligence and development of all. If anywhere there are efforts tending to curtail the fullest growth of the negro, let these efforts be turned into stimulating, encouraging, and making him the most useful and intelligent citizen. Efforts or means so invested will pay a thousand per cent. interest. These efforts will be twice blessed—"blessing him that gives and him that takes."
Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load upward, or they will pull against you the load downward. We shall constitute one-third and more of the ignorance and crime of the South, or one-third of its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or we shall prove a veritable body of death, stagnating, repressing, retarding every effort to advance the body politic.
The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized. It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges. The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera-house.
Here bending, as it were, over the altar that represents the struggles of your race and mine, both starting practically empty-handed three decades ago, I pledge that in your effort to work out the great and intricate problem which God has laid at the doors of the South, you shall have at all times the patient, sympathetic help of my race; only let this be constantly in mind, that, while from representations in these buildings of the product of field, of forest, of mine, of factory, letters and art, much good will come, yet far above and beyond material benefits will be that higher good, that, let us pray God, will come, in a blotting out of sectional differences and racial animosities and suspicions, in a determination to administer absolute justice, in a willing obedience among all classes to the mandates of the law. This, this, coupled with our material prosperity, will bring into our beloved South a new heaven and a new earth.
BY VICTOR HUGO.
(This is a part of the speech in defense of his son, under the circumstances set forth in the oration.)
Gentlemen of the jury, if there is a culprit here, it is not my son,—it is I!—I, who for these twenty-five years have opposed capital punishment,—have contended for the inviolability of human life,—have committed this crime for which my son is now arraigned. Here I denounce my self, Mr. Advocate-General! I have committed it under all aggravated circumstances; deliberately, repeatedly, tenaciously. Yes, this old and absurd lex taliones—this law of blood for blood—I have combated all my life—all my life, gentlemen of the jury! And, while I have breath, I will continue to combat it, by all my efforts as a writer, by all my words and all my votes as a legislator! I declare it before the crucifix; before that Victim of the penalty of death, who sees and hears us; before that gibbet, in which, two thousand years ago, for the eternal instruction of the generations, the human law nailed the divine!
In all that my son has written on the subject of capital punishment and for writing and publishing which he is now on trial—in all that he has written, he has merely proclaimed the sentiments with which, from his infancy, I have inspired him. Gentlemen jurors, the right to criticise a law, and to criticise it severely—especially a penal law—is placed beside the duty of amelioration, like the torch beside the work under the artisan's hand. The right of the journalist is as sacred, as necessary, as imprescriptible, as the right of the legislator.
What are the circumstances? A man, a convict, a sentenced wretch, is dragged, on a certain morning, to one of our public squares. There he finds the scaffold! He shudders, he struggles, he refuses to die. He is young yet—only twenty-nine. Ah! I know what you will say,—"He is a murderer!" But hear me. Two officers seize him. His hands, his feet are tied. He throws off the two officers. A frightful struggle ensues. His feet, bound as they are, become entangled in the ladder. He uses the scaffold against the scaffold! The struggle is prolonged. Horror seizes the crowd! The officers,—sweat and shame on their brows,—pale, panting, terrified, despairing,—despairing with I know not what horrible despair,—shrinking under that public reprobation which ought to have visited the penalty, and spared the passive treatment, the executioner,—the officers strive savagely. The victim clings to the scaffold and shrieks for pardon. His clothes are torn,—his shoulders bloody,—still he resists. At length, after three-quarters of an hour of this monstrous effort, of this spectacle without a name, of this agony,—agony for all, be it understood,—agony for the assembled spectators as well as for the condemned man,—after this age of anguish, gentlemen of the jury, they take back the poor wretch to his prison.
The People breathe again. The People, naturally merciful, hope that the man will be spared. But no,—the guillotine, though vanquished, remains standing. There it frowns all day, in the midst of a sickened population. And at night the officers, re-enforced, drag forth the wretch again, so bound that he is but an inert weight,—they drag him forth, haggard, bloody, weeping, pleading, howling for life,—calling upon God, calling upon his father and mother,—for like a very child had this man become in the prospect of death,—they drag him forth to execution. He is hoisted on the scaffold and his head falls! And then through every conscience runs a shudder. Never had legal murder appeared with an aspect so indecent, so abominable. All feel jointly implicated in the deed. It is at this very moment that from a young man's breast escapes a cry, wrung from his very heart,—a cry of pity and anguish,—a cry of horror,—a cry of humanity. And this cry you would punish! And in the face of the appalling facts which I have narrated, you would say to the guillotine, "Thou art right!" and to Pity, saintly Pity, "Thou art wrong!" Gentlemen of the jury, it cannot be! Gentlemen, I have finished.
Robespierre's Last Speech
BY MAXIMILIAN MARIE ISIDORE DE ROBESPIERRE.
[Before his execution, Robespierre addressed the populace of Paris in part as follows:]
The enemies of the Republic call me tyrant! Were I such, they would grovel at my feet. I should gorge them with gold, I should grant them immunity for their crimes, and they would be grateful. Were I such, the kings we have vanquished, far from denouncing Robespierre, would lend me their guilty support; there would be a covenant between them and me. Tyranny must have tools. But the enemies of tyranny,—whither does their path tend? To the tomb, and to immortality! What tyrant is my protector? To what faction do I belong? Yourselves! What faction since the beginning of the Revolution, has crushed and annihilated so many detected traitors? You, the people, our principles, are that faction—a faction to which I am devoted, and against which all the scoundrelism of the day is banded!
The confirmation of the Republic has been my object; and I know that the Republic can be established only on the eternal basis of morality. Against me, and against those who hold kindred principles, the league is formed. My life? Oh! my life I abandon without a regret. I have seen the past; and I foresee the future. What friend of this country would wish to survive the moment when he could no longer serve it,—when he could no longer defend innocence against oppression? Wherefore should I continue in an order of things where intrigue eternally triumphs over truth; where justice is mocked; where passions the most abject, or fears the most absurd, over-ride the sacred interests of humanity? In witnessing the multitude of vices which the torrent of the Revolution has rolled in turbid communion with its civic virtues, I confess that I have sometimes feared that I should be sullied, in the eyes of posterity, by the impure neighborhood of unprincipled men, who had thrust themselves into association with the sincere friends of humanity; and I rejoice that these conspirators against my country have now, by their reckless rage, traced deep the line of demarcation between themselves and all true men.
Question history, and learn how all the defenders of liberty, in all times, have been overwhelmed by calumny. But their traducers died also. The good and the bad disappear alike from the earth; but in very different conditions. O Frenchmen! O my countrymen! Let not your enemies, with their desolating doctrines, degrade your souls and enervate your virtues! No, Chaumette, no! Death is not "an eternal sleep"! Citizens, efface from the tomb that motto, graven by sacrilegious hands, which spreads over all nature a funereal crape, takes from suppressed innocence its support, and affronts the beneficent dispensation of death! Inscribe rather thereon these words: "Death is the commencement of immortality!" I leave to the oppressors of the People a terrible testament, which I proclaim with the independence befitting one whose career is so nearly ended; it is the awful truth,—"Thou shalt die!"
BY ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.
[Delivered at the Georgia State Convention, January, 1861.]
Mr. President: This step of secession, once taken, can never be recalled, and all the baleful and withering consequences that must follow will rest on the convention for all coming time. When we and our posterity shall see our lovely South desolated by the demon of war, which this act of yours will inevitably invite and call forth; when our green fields of waving harvest shall be trodden down by the murderous soldiery and fiery car sweeping over our land; our temples of justice laid in ashes; all the horrors and desolation of war upon us; who but this convention will be held responsible for it? And who but him who shall have given his vote for this unwise and ill-timed measure, as I honestly think and believe, shall be held to strict account for this suicidal act by the present generation, and probably cursed and execrated by posterity for all coming time, for the wide and desolating ruin that will inevitably follow this act you now propose to perpetrate? Pause, I entreat you, and consider for a moment what reasons you can give that will even satisfy yourselves in calmer moments—what reasons you can give to your fellow-sufferers in the calamity that it will bring upon us. What reasons can you give to the nations of the earth to justify it? They will be calm and deliberate judges in the case; and what cause or one overt act can you name or point, on which to rest the plea of justification? What right has the North assailed? What interest of the South has been invaded? What justice has been denied? And what claim founded in justice and right has been withheld? Can either of you to-day name one governmental act of wrong, deliberately and purposely done by the government of Washington, of which the South has a right to complain? I challenge the answer. While, on the other hand, let me show the facts (and believe me, gentlemen, I am not here, the advocate of the North; but I am here the friend, the firm friend, and lover of the South and her institutions, and for this reason I speak thus plainly and faithfully, for yours, mine, and every other man's interest, the words of truth and soberness), of which I wish you to judge, and I will only state facts which are clear and undeniable, and which now stand as records authentic in the history of our country. When we of the South demanded the slave-trade, or the importation of Africans for the cultivation of our lands, did they not yield the right for twenty years? When we asked a three-fifths representation in Congress for our slaves, was it not granted? When we asked and demanded the return of any fugitive from justice, or the recovery of those persons owing labor or allegiance, was it not incorporated in the Constitution, and again ratified and strengthened by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850? But do you reply that in many instances they have violated this compact and have not been faithful to their engagements? As individuals and local communities they may have done so; but not by the sanction of government; for that has always been true to Southern interests. Again, gentlemen, look at another act; when we have asked that more territory should be added, that we might spread the institution of slavery, have they not yielded to our demands in giving us Louisiana, Florida and Texas, out of which four States have been carved, and ample territory for four more to be added in due time, if you, by this unwise and impolitic act, do not destroy this hope, and perhaps by it lose all, and have your last slave wrenched from you by stern military rule, as South American and Mexican were; or by the vindictive decree of a universal emancipation which may reasonably be expected to follow.