The Project Gutenberg eBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, February 1896

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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, February 1896

Author: Various

Release date: October 18, 2004 [eBook #13788]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

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Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.

McClure's Magazine

February, 1896.

Vol. VI. No. 3



ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By Ida M. Tarbell. 213

Lincoln's Life at New Salem from 1832 to 1836. 213

Looking for Work. 213

Decides to Buy a Store. 213

He Begins to Study Law. 221

Berry and Lincoln Get a Tavern License. 226

The Firm Hires a Clerk. 227

Lincoln Appointed Postmaster. 228

A New Opening. 228

Surveying with a Grapevine. 230

Business Reverses. 230

The Kindness Shown Lincoln in New Salem. 232

Lincoln's Acquaintance in Sangamon County Is Extended. 232

He Finally Decides on a Legal Career. 233

Lincoln Enters the Illinois Assembly. 234

The Story of Ann Rutledge. 236

Abraham Lincoln at Twenty-six Years of Age. 238





Garfield's Administration. 274

The Garfields in the White House. 277

Last Interview with President Garfield. 278


Chapter II. 288

CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. 293

THE TOUCHSTONE. By Robert Louis Stevenson. 300


Mrs. Humphry Ward—Dr. Jowett. 304

Three Hundred Thousand. 304

Our Own Printing Establishment. 304

Anthony Hope's New Novel. 304

The Life of Lincoln. 304

The Early Life of Lincoln. 304

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. 304

"The Sabine Women"—A Correction. 304



































































[pg 213]


By Ida M. Tarbell.



Embodying special studies in Lincoln's life at New Salem by J. McCan Davis.


Letter I

T was in August, 1832, that Lincoln made his unsuccessful canvass for the Illinois Assembly. The election over, he began to look for work. One of his friends, an admirer of his physical strength, advised him to become a blacksmith, but it was a trade which would afford little leisure for study, and for meeting and talking with men; and he had already resolved, it is evident, that books and men were essential to him. The only employment to be had in New Salem which seemed to offer both support and the opportunities he sought, was clerking in a store; and he applied for a place successively at all of the stores then doing business in New Salem. But they were in greater need of customers than of clerks. The business had been greatly overdone. In the fall of 1832 there were at least four stores in New Salem. The most pretentious was that of Hill and McNeill, which carried a large line of dry goods. The three others, owned by the Herndon Brothers, Reuben Radford, and James Rutledge, were groceries.


Failing to secure employment at any of these establishments, Lincoln, though without money enough to pay a week's board in advance, resolved to buy a store. He was not long in finding an opportunity to purchase. James Herndon had already sold out his half interest in Herndon Brothers' store to William F. Berry; and Rowan Herndon, not getting along well with Berry, was only too glad to find a purchaser of his half in the person of "Abe" Lincoln. Berry was as poor as Lincoln; but that was not a serious obstacle, for their notes were accepted for the Herndon stock of goods. They had barely hung out their sign when something happened which threw another store into their hands. Reuben Radford had made himself obnoxious to the Clary's Grove Boys, and one night they broke in his doors and windows, and overturned his counters and sugar barrels. It was too much for Radford, and he sold out next day to William G. Green for a four-hundred-dollar note signed by Green. At the latter's request, Lincoln made an inventory of the stock, and offered him six hundred and fifty dollars for it—a proposition which was cheerfully accepted. Berry and Lincoln, being unable to pay cash, assumed the four-hundred-dollar note payable to Radford, and gave Green their joint note for two hundred and fifty dollars. The little grocery owned by James Rutledge was the next to succumb. Berry and Lincoln bought it at a bargain, their joint note taking the place of cash. The three stocks were consolidated. Their aggregate cost must have been not less than fifteen hundred dollars. Berry and Lincoln had secured a monopoly of the grocery business in New Salem. Within a few weeks two penniless men had become the proprietors of three stores, and had stopped buying only because there were no more to purchase.

[pg 214]

From a daguerreotype in the possession of the Hon. Robert T. Lincoln, taken before Lincoln was forty, and first published in the McCLURE'S Life of Lincoln. Of the sixty or more portraits of Lincoln which will be published in this series of articles, thirty, at least, will be absolutely new to our readers; and of these thirty none is more important than this early portrait. It is generally believed that Lincoln was not over thirty-five years old when this daguerreotype was taken, and it is certainly true that it is the face of Lincoln as a young man. "About thirty would be the general verdict," says Mr. Murat Halstead in an editorial in the Brooklyn "Standard-Union," "if it were not that the daguerreotype was unknown when Lincoln was of that age. It does not seem, however, that he could have been more than thirty-five, and for that age the youthfulness of the portrait is wonderful. This is a new Lincoln, and far more attractive, in a sense, than anything the public has possessed. This is the portrait of a remarkably handsome man.... The head is magnificent, the eyes deep and generous, the mouth sensitive, the whole expression something delicate, tender, pathetic, poetic. This was the young man with whom the phantoms of romance dallied, the young man who recited poems and was fanciful and speculative, and in love and despair, but upon whose brow there already gleamed the illumination of intellect, the inspiration of patriotism. There were vast possibilities in this young man's face. He could have gone anywhere and done anything. He might have been a military chieftain, a novelist, a poet, a philosopher, ah! a hero, a martyr—and, yes, this young man might have been—he even was Abraham Lincoln! This was he with the world before him. It is good fortune to have the magical revelation of the youth of the man the world venerates. This look into his eyes, into his soul—not before he knew sorrow, but long before the world knew him—and to feel that it is worthy to be what it is, and that we are better acquainted with him and love him the more, is something beyond price."

[pg 215]

From a photograph in the collection of H.W. Fay, De Kalb, Illinois. The original was made by S.M. Fassett, of Chicago; the negative was destroyed in the Chicago fire. This picture was made at the solicitation of D.B. Cook, who says that Mrs. Lincoln pronounced it the best likeness she had ever seen of her husband. Rajon used the Fassett picture as the original of his etching, and Kruell has made a fine engraving of it.

[pg 216]

From a copy (made by E.A. Bromley of the Minneapolis "Journal" staff) of a photograph owned by Mrs. Cyrus Aldrich, whose husband, now dead, was a congressman from Minnesota. In the summer of 1860 Mr. M.C. Tuttle, a photographer of St. Paul, wrote to Mr. Lincoln requesting that he have a negative taken and sent to him for local use in the campaign. The request was granted, but the negative was broken in transit. On learning of the accident, Mr. Lincoln sat again, and with the second negative he sent a jocular note wherein he referred to the fact, disclosed by the picture, that in the interval he had "got a new coat." A few copies of the picture were made by Mr. Tuttle, and distributed among the Republican editors of the State. It has never before been reproduced. Mrs. Aldrich's copy was presented to her by William H. Seward, when he was entertained at the Aldrich homestead (now the Minneapolis City Hospital) in September, 1860. A fine copy of this same photograph is in the possession of Mr. Ward Monroe, of Jersey City, N.J.

William F. Berry, the partner of Lincoln, was the son of a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. John Berry, who lived on Rock Creek, five miles from New Salem. The son had strayed from the footsteps of the father, for he was a hard drinker, a gambler, a fighter, and "a very wicked young man." Lincoln cannot in truth be said to have chosen such a partner, but rather to have accepted him from the force of circumstances. It required only a little time to make it plain that the partnership was wholly uncongenial. Lincoln displayed little business capacity. He trusted largely to Berry; and Berry rapidly squandered the profits of the business in riotous living. Lincoln loved books as Berry loved liquor, and hour after hour he was stretched out on the counter of the store or under a shade tree, reading Shakespeare or Burns.

[pg 217]

From a photograph in the collection of H.W. Fay of De Kalb, Illinois, taken probably in Springfield early in 1861. It is supposed to have been the first, or at least one of the first, portraits made of Mr. Lincoln after he began to wear a beard. As is well known, his face was smooth until about the end of 1860; and when he first allowed his beard to grow, it became a topic of newspaper comment, and even of caricature. A pretty story relating to Lincoln's adoption of a beard is more or less familiar. A letter written to the editor of the present Life, under date of December 6, 1895, by Mrs. Grace Bedell Billings, tells this story, of which she herself as a little girl was the heroine, in a most charming way. The letter will be found printed in full at the end of this article, on page 240.

His thorough acquaintance with the works of these two writers dates from this period. In New Salem there was one of those curious individuals sometimes found in frontier settlements, half poet, half loafer, incapable of earning a living in any steady employment, yet familiar with good literature and capable of enjoying it—Jack Kelso. He repeated passages from Shakespeare and Burns incessantly over the odd jobs he undertook or as he idled by the streams—for he was a famous fisherman—and Lincoln soon became one of his constant companions. The taste he formed in company with Kelso he retained through life. William D. Kelley tells an incident which shows that Lincoln had a really intimate knowledge of Shakespeare. Mr. Kelley had taken McDonough, an actor, to call at the White House; and Lincoln began the conversation by saying:

[pg 218]

From a photograph loaned by Mr. Frank A. Brown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This beautiful photograph was taken, probably early in 1861, by Alexander Hesler of Chicago. It was used by Leonard W. Volk, the sculptor, in his studies of Lincoln, and closely resembles the fine etching by T. Johnson.

"'I am very glad to meet you, Mr. McDonough, and am grateful to Kelley for bringing you in so early, for I want you to tell me something about Shakespeare's plays as they are constructed for the stage. You can imagine that I do not get much time to study such matters, but I recently had a couple of talks with Hackett—Baron Hackett, as they call him—who is famous as Jack Falstaff, but from whom I elicited few satisfactory replies, though I probed him with a good many questions.'

[pg 219]

Vandalia was the State capital of Illinois for twenty years, and three different State-houses were built and occupied there. The first, a two-story frame structure, was burned down December 9, 1823. The second was a brick building, and was erected at a cost of $12,381.50, of which the citizens of Vandalia contributed $3,000. The agitation for the removal of the capital to Springfield began in 1833, and in the summer of 1836 the people of Vandalia, becoming alarmed at the prospect of their little city's losing its prestige as the seat of the State government, tore down the old capitol (much complaint being made about its condition), and put up a new one at a cost of $16,000. The tide was too great to be checked; but after the "Long Nine" had secured the passage of the bill taking the capital to Springfield, the money which the Vandalia people had expended was refunded. The State-house shown in this picture was the third and last one. In it Lincoln served as a legislator. Ceasing to be the capitol July 4, 1839, it was converted into a court-house for Fayette County, and is still so used.—J. McCan Davis.


After Lincoln gave up surveying, he sold his instruments to John B. Gum, afterward county surveyor of Menard County. Mr. Gum kept them until a few years ago, when he presented the instruments to the Lincoln Monument Association, and they are now on exhibition at the monument in Springfield, Ill.

[pg 220]

The only tavern in New Salem in 1833 was that kept by James Rutledge—a two-story log-structure of five rooms, standing just across the street from Berry and Lincoln's store. Here Lincoln boarded. It seems entirely probable that he may have had an ambition to get into the tavern business, and that he and Berry obtained a license with that end in view, possibly hoping to make satisfactory terms for the purchase of the Rutledge hostelry. The tavern of sixty years ago, besides answering the purposes of the modern hotel, was the dramshop of the frontier. The business was one which, in Illinois, the law strictly regulated. Tavern-keepers were required to pay a license fee, and to give bonds to insure their good behavior. Minors were not to be harbored, nor did the law permit liquor to be sold to them; and the sale to slaves of any liquors "or strong drink, mixed or unmixed, either within or without doors," was likewise forbidden. Nor could the poor Indian get any "fire-water" at the tavern or the grocery. If a tavern-keeper violated the law, two-thirds of the fine assessed against him went to the poor people of the county. The Rutledge tavern was the only one at New Salem of which we have any authentic account. It was kept by others besides Mr. Rutledge; for a time by Henry Onstott the cooper, and then by Nelson Alley, and possibly there were other landlords; but nothing can be more certain than that Lincoln was not one of them. The few surviving inhabitants of the vanished village, and of the country round about, have a clear recollection of Berry and Lincoln's store—of how it looked, and of what things were sold in it; but not one has been found with the faintest remembrance of a tavern kept by Lincoln, or by Berry, or by both. Stage passengers jolting into New Salem sixty-two years ago must, if Lincoln was an inn-keeper, have partaken of his hospitality by the score; but if they did, they all died many, many years ago, or have all maintained an unaccountable and most perplexing silence.—J. McCan Davis.

"'Your last suggestion,' said Mr. Lincoln, 'carries with it greater weight than anything Mr. Hackett suggested, but the first is no reason at all;' and after reading another passage, he said, 'This is not withheld, and where it passes current there can be no reason for withholding the other.'... And, as if feeling the impropriety of preferring the player to the parson, [there was a clergyman in the room] he turned to the chaplain and said: 'From your calling it is probable that you do not know that the acting plays which people crowd to hear are not always those planned by their reputed authors. Thus, take the stage edition of "Richard III." It opens with a passage from "Henry VI.," after which come portions of "Richard III.," then another scene from "Henry VI.," and the finest soliloquy in the play, if we may judge from the many quotations it furnishes, and the frequency with which it is heard in amateur exhibitions, was never seen by Shakespeare, but was written—was it not, Mr. McDonough?—after his death, by Colley Cibber."

"Having disposed, for the present, of questions relating to the stage editions of the plays, he recurred to his standard copy, and, to the evident surprise of Mr. McDonough, read or repeated from memory extracts from several of the plays, some of which embraced a number of lines.

"It must not be supposed that Mr. Lincoln's poetical studies had been confined to his plays. He interspersed his remarks with extracts striking from their similarity to, or contrast with, something of Shakespeare's, [pg 221] from Byron, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and other English poets."1


From a recent photograph by C.S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois. The little frame store-building occupied by Berry and Lincoln at New Salem is now standing at Petersburg, Illinois, in the rear of L.W. Bishop's gun-shop. Its history after 1834 is somewhat obscure, but there is no reason for doubting its identity. According to tradition it was bought by Robert Bishop, the father of the present owner, about 1835, from Mr. Lincoln himself; but it is difficult to reconcile this legend with the sale of the store to the Trent brothers, unless, upon the flight of the latter from the country and the closing of the store, the building, through the leniency of creditors, was allowed to revert to Mr. Lincoln, in which event he no doubt sold it at the first opportunity and applied the proceeds to the payment of the debts of the firm. When Mr. Bishop bought the store building, he removed it to Petersburg. It is said that the removal was made in part by Lincoln himself; that the job was first undertaken by one of the Bales, but that, encountering some difficulty, he called upon Lincoln to assist him, which Lincoln did. The structure was first set up adjacent to Mr. Bishop's house, and converted into a gun-shop. Later it was removed to a place on the public square; and soon after the breaking out of the late war, Mr. Bishop, erecting a new building, pushed Lincoln's store into the back-yard, and there it still stands. Soon after the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, the front door was presented to some one in Springfield, and has long since been lost sight of. It is remembered by Mr. Bishop that in this door there was an opening for the reception of letters—a circumstance of importance as tending to establish the genuineness of the building, when it is remembered that Lincoln was postmaster while he kept the store. The structure, as it stands to-day, is about eighteen feet long, twelve feet in width, and ten feet in height. The back room, however, has disappeared, so that the building as it stood when occupied by Berry and Lincoln was somewhat longer. Of the original building there only remain the frame-work, the black-walnut weather-boarding on the front end and the ceiling of sycamore boards. One entire side has been torn away by relic-hunters. In recent years the building has been used as a sort of store-room. Just after a big fire in Petersburg some time ago, the city council condemned the Lincoln store building and ordered it demolished. Under this order a portion of one side was torn down, when Mr. Bishop persuaded the city authorities to desist, upon giving a guarantee that if Lincoln's store ever caught fire he would be responsible for any loss which might ensue.—J. McCan Davis.


It was not only Burns and Shakespeare that interfered with the grocery-keeping: Lincoln had begun seriously to read law. His first acquaintance with the subject had been made when he was a mere lad in Indiana, and a copy of the "Revised Statutes of Indiana" had fallen into his hands. The very copy he used is still in existence and, fortunately, in hands where it is safe. The book was owned by Mr. David Turnham, of Gentryville, and was given in 1865 by him to Mr. Herndon, who placed it in the Lincoln Memorial collection of Chicago. In December, 1894, this collection was sold in Philadelphia, and the "Statutes of Indiana" was bought by Mr. William Hoffman Winters, Librarian of the New York Law Institute, and through his courtesy I have been allowed to examine it. The book is worn, the title page is gone and a few leaves from the end are missing. The title page of a duplicate volume which Mr. Winters kindly showed me reads: "The Revised Laws of Indiana adopted and enacted by the General Assembly at their eighth session. To which are prefixed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Indiana, and sundry other documents connected with the Political History of the Territory and State of Indiana. Arranged and published by authority of the General Assembly. Corydon, Printed by Carpenter and Douglass, 1824."

[pg 222]

From a recent photograph. Mr. Burner was Berry and Lincoln's clerk. He lived at New Salem from 1829 to 1834. Lincoln for many months lodged with his father, Isaac Burner, and he and Lincoln slept in the same bed. He now lives on a farm near Galesburg, Illinois, past eighty.


From a photograph in the possession of the Hon. W.J. Orendorff, of Canton, Illinois. John M. Cameron, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, and a devout, sincere, and courageous man, was held in the highest esteem by his neighbors. Yet, according to Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lincoln's clerk—and the fact is mentioned merely as illustrating a universal custom among the pioneers—"John Cameron always kept a barrel of whiskey in the house." He was a powerful man physically, and a typical frontiersman. He was born in Kentucky in 1791, and, with his wife, moved to Illinois in 1815. He settled in Sangamon County in 1818, and in 1829 took up his abode in a cabin on a hill overlooking the Sangamon River, and, with James Rutledge, founded the town of New Salem.

According to tradition, Lincoln, for a time, lived with the Camerons. In the early thirties they moved to Fulton County, Illinois; then, in 1841 or 1842, to Iowa; and finally, in 1849, to California. In California they lived to a ripe old age—Mrs. Cameron dying in 1875, and her husband following her three years later. They had twelve children, eleven of whom were girls. In 1886 there were living nine of these children, fifty grandchildren, and one hundred and one great-grandchildren. Mr. Cameron is said to have officiated at the funeral of Ann Rutledge in 1835.—J. McCan Davis.


From a photograph taken at Jacksonville, Illinois, about thirty years ago. James Short lived on Sand Ridge, a few miles north of New Salem, and Lincoln was a frequent visitor at his house. When Lincoln's horse and surveying instruments were levied upon by a creditor and sold, Mr. Short bought them in, and made Lincoln a present of them. Lincoln, when President, made his old friend an Indian agent in California. Mr. Short, in the course of his life, was happily married five times. He died in Iowa many years ago. His acquaintance with Lincoln began in rather an interesting way. His sister, who lived in New Salem, had made Lincoln a pair of jeans trousers. The material supplied by Lincoln was scant, and the trousers came out conspicuously short in the legs. One day when James Short was visiting with his sister, he pointed to a man walking down the street, and asked, "Who is that man in the short breeches." "That is Lincoln," the sister replied; and Mr. Short went out and introduced himself to Lincoln.—J. McCan Davis.

[pg 223]

Coleman Smoot was born in Virginia, February 13, 1794; removed to Kentucky when a child; married Rebecca Wright March 17, 1817; came to Illinois in 1831, and lived on a farm across the Sangamon River from New Salem until his death, March 21, 1876. He accumulated an immense fortune. Lincoln met him for the first time in Offutt's store in 1831. "Smoot," said Lincoln, "I am disappointed in you; I expected to see a man as ugly as old Probst," referring to a man reputed to be the homeliest in the county. "And I am disappointed," replied Smoot; "I had expected to see a good-looking man when I saw you." From that moment they were warm friends. After Lincoln's election to the legislature in 1834, he called on Smoot, and said, "I want to buy some clothes and fix up a little, so that I can make a decent appearance in the legislature; and I want you to loan me $200." The loan was cheerfully made, and of course was subsequently repaid.—J. McCan Davis.


From an old daguerreotype. Samuel Hill was among the earliest inhabitants of New Salem. He opened a general store there in partnership with John McNeill,—the John McNeill who became betrothed to Ann Rutledge, and whose real name was afterwards discovered to be John McNamar. When McNeill left New Salem and went East, Mr. Hill became sole proprietor of the store. He also owned the carding machine at New Salem. Lincoln, after going out of the grocery business, made his headquarters at Samuel Hill's store. There he kept the post-office, entertained the loungers, and on busy days helped Mr. Hill wait on customers. Mr. Hill is said to have once courted Ann Rutledge himself, but he did not receive the encouragement which was bestowed upon his partner, McNeill. In 1839 he moved his store to Petersburg, and died there in 1857. In 1835 he married Miss Parthenia W. Nance, who still lives at Petersburg.—J. McCan Davis.


From an old tintype. Mary Ann Rutledge was the wife of James Rutledge and the mother of Ann. She was born October 21, 1787, and reared in Kentucky. She lived to be ninety-one years of age, dying in Iowa December 26, 1878. The Rutledges left New Salem in 1833 or 1834, moving to a farm a few miles northward. On this farm Ann Rutledge died August 25, 1835; and here also, three months later (December 3, 1835), died her father, broken-hearted, no doubt, by the bereavement. In the following year the family moved to Fulton County, Illinois, and some three years later to Birmingham, Iowa. Of James Rutledge there is no portrait in existence. He was born in South Carolina, May 11, 1781. He and his sons, John and David, served in the Black Hawk War.—J. McCan Davis.

[pg 224]

From a steel engraving in the possession of R.W. Diller, Springfield, Illinois. John Calhoun was born in Boston, Massachusetts, October 14, 1806; removed to the Mohawk Valley, New York, in 1821; was educated at Canajoharie Academy, and studied law. In 1830 he removed to Springfield, Illinois, and after serving in the Black Hawk War was appointed Surveyor of Sangamon County. He was married there December 29, 1831, to Miss Sarah Cutter. He was a Democratic Representative in 1838; Clerk of the House in 1840; circuit clerk in 1842; Democratic presidential elector in 1844; candidate for Governor before the Democratic State convention in 1846; Mayor of Springfield in 1849, 1850, and 1851; a candidate for Congress in 1852, and in the same year again a Democratic presidential elector. In 1854, President Pierce appointed him Surveyor-General of Kansas, and he became conspicuous in Kansas politics. He was president of the Lecompton Convention. He died at St. Joseph, Missouri, October 25, 1859. Mr. Frederick Hawn, who was his boyhood friend, and afterward married a sister of Calhoun's wife, is now living at Leavenworth, Kansas, at the age of eighty-five years. In an interesting letter to the writer, he says: "It has been related that Calhoun induced Lincoln to study surveying in order to become his deputy. Presuming that he was ready to graduate and receive his commission, he called on Calhoun, then living with his father-in-law, Seth R. Cutter, on Upper Lick Creek. After the interview was concluded, Mr. Lincoln, about to depart, remarked: 'Calhoun, I am entirely unable to repay you for your generosity at present. All that I have you see on me, except a quarter of a dollar in my pocket.' This is a family tradition. However, my wife, then a miss of sixteen, says, while I am writing this sketch, that she distinctly remembers this interview. After Lincoln was gone she says she and her sister, Mrs. Calhoun, commenced making jocular remarks about his uncanny appearance, in the presence of Calhoun, to which in substance he made this rejoinder: 'For all that, he is no common man.' My wife believes these were the exact words."—J. McCan Davis.

We know from Dennis Hanks, from Mr. Turnham, to whom the book belonged, and from other associates of Lincoln's at the time, that he read this book intently and discussed its contents intelligently. It was a remarkable volume for a thoughtful lad whose mind had been fired already by the history of Washington; for it opened with that wonderful document, the Declaration of Independence, a document which became, as Mr. John G. Nicolay says, "his political chart and inspiration." Following the Declaration of Independence was the Constitution of the United States, the Act of Virginia passed in 1783 by which the "Territory North Westward of the river Ohio" was conveyed to the United States, and the Ordinance of 1787 for governing this territory, containing that clause on which Lincoln in the future based many an argument on the slavery question. This article, No. 6 of the Ordinance, reads: "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted: provided always, that any person escaping into the same, from whom labour or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed, and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labour or service, as aforesaid."


These saddle-bags, now in the Lincoln Monument at Springfield, are said to have been used by Lincoln while he was a surveyor.

[pg 225]

Following this was the Constitution and the Revised Laws of Indiana, three hundred and seventy-five pages of five hundred words each of statutes—enough law, if thoroughly digested, to make a respectable lawyer. When Lincoln finished this book, as he had probably before he was eighteen, we have reason to believe that he understood the principles on which the nation was founded, how the State of Indiana came into being, and how it was governed. His understanding of the subject was clear and practical, and he applied it in his reading, thinking, and discussion.


Photographed for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE from the original, now on file in the County Clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. The survey here reported was made in pursuance of an order of the County Commissioners' Court, September 1, 1834, in which Lincoln was designated as the surveyor.

It was after he had read the Laws of Indiana that Lincoln had free access to the library of his admirer, Judge John Pitcher of Rockport, Indiana, where undoubtedly he examined many law-books. But from the time he left Indiana in 1830 he had no legal reading until one day soon after the grocery was started, when there happened one of those trivial incidents which so often turn the current of a life. It is best told in Mr. Lincoln's own words.2 "One day a man who was migrating to the West drove up in front of my store with a wagon which contained his family and household plunder. He asked me if I would buy an old barrel, for which he had no room in his wagon, and which he said contained nothing of special value. I did not want it, but to oblige him I bought it, and paid him, I think, half a dollar for it. Without further examination, I put it away in the store, and forgot all about it. Some time after, in overhauling things, I came upon the barrel, and emptying it upon the floor to see what it contained, I found at the bottom of the rubbish a complete edition of Blackstone's Commentaries. I began to read those famous works, and I had plenty of time; for, during the long summer days, when the farmers were busy with their crops, my customers were few and far between. The more I read"—this he said with unusual emphasis—"the more intensely interested I became. Never in my whole life was my mind so thoroughly absorbed. I read until I devoured them."

[pg 226]

Photographed from the original for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE. This map, which, as here reproduced, is about one-half the size of the original, accompanied Lincoln's report of the survey of a part of the road between Athens and Sangamon town. For making this map, Lincoln received fifty cents. The road evidently was located "on good ground," and was "necessary and proper," as the report says, for it is still the main travelled highway leading into the country south of Athens, Menard County.


But all this was fatal to business, and by spring it was evident that something must be done to stimulate the grocery sales.

On the 6th of March, 1833, the County Commissioners' Court of Sangamon County granted the firm of Berry and Lincoln a license to keep a tavern at New Salem. A copy of this license is here given:

Ordered that William F. Berry, in the name of Berry and Lincoln, have a license to keep a tavern in New Salem to continue 12 months from this date, and that they pay one dollar in addition to the six dollars heretofore paid as per Treasurer's receipt, and that they be allowed the following rates (viz.):

French Brandy per 1/2 pt.  25
Peach  "       "    "   .  18-3/4
Apple  "       "    "   .  12
Holland Gin    "    "   .  18-3/4
Domestic       "    "   .  12-1/2
Wine           "    "   .  25
Rum            "    "   .  18-3/4
Whisky         "    "   .  12-1/2
Breakfast, din'r or supper 25
Lodging per night........  12-1/2
Horse per night..........  25
Single feed..............  12-1/2
Breakfast, dinner or supper
for Stage Passengers.....  37-1/2

who gave bond as required by law.

It is probable that the license was procured to enable the firm to retail the liquors which they had in stock, and not for keeping a tavern. In a community in which liquor-drinking was practically universal, at a time when whiskey was as legitimate an article of merchandise as coffee or calico, when no family was without a jug, when the minister of the gospel could [pg 227] take his "dram" without any breach of propriety, it is not surprising that a reputable young man should have been found selling whiskey. Liquor was sold at all groceries, but it could not be lawfully sold in a smaller quantity than one quart. The law, however, was not always rigidly observed, and it was the custom of store-keepers to "set up" the drinks to their patrons. Each of the three groceries which Berry and Lincoln acquired had the usual supply of liquors, and the combined stock must have amounted almost to a superabundance. It was only good business that they should seek a way to dispose of the surplus quickly and profitably—an end which could be best accomplished by selling it over the counter by the glass. Lawfully to do this required a tavern license; and it is a warrantable conclusion that such was the chief aim of Berry and Lincoln in procuring a franchise of this character. We are fortified in this conclusion by the coincidence that three other grocers of New Salem—William Clary, Henry Sincoe, and George Warberton—were among those who took out tavern licenses. To secure the lawful privilege of selling whiskey by the "dram" was no doubt their purpose; for their "taverns" were as mythical as the inn of Berry and Lincoln.

At the granting of a tavern license, the applicants therefor were required by law to file a bond. The bond given in the case of Berry and Lincoln was as follows:

Know all men by these presents, we, William F. Berry, Abraham Lincoln and John Bowling Green, are held and firmly bound unto the County Commissioners of Sangamon County in the full sum of three hundred dollars to which payment well and truly to be made we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators firmly by these presents, sealed with our seal and dated this 6th day of March A.D. 1833. Now the condition of this obligation is such that Whereas the said Berry & Lincoln has obtained a license from the County Commissioners Court to keep a tavern in the Town of New Salem to continue one year. Now if the said Berry & Lincoln shall be of good behavior and observe all the laws of this State relative to tavern keepers—then this obligation to be void or otherwise remain in full force.


WM. F. BERRY [Seal]


This bond appears to have been written by the clerk of the Commissioners' Court; and Lincoln's name was signed by some one other than himself, very likely by his partner Berry.



The license seems to have stimulated the business, for the firm concluded to hire a clerk. The young man who secured this position was Daniel Green Burner, son of Isaac Burner, at whose house Lincoln for a time boarded. He is still living on a farm near Galesburg, Illinois, and is in the eighty-second year of his age. "The store building of Berry and Lincoln," says Mr. Burner, "was a frame building, not very large, one story in height, and contained two rooms. In the little back room Lincoln had a fireplace and a bed. There is where we slept. I clerked in the store through the winter of 1834, up to the 1st of March. While I was there they had nothing for sale but liquors. They may have had some groceries before that, but I am certain they had none then. I used to sell whiskey over their counter at six cents a glass—and charged it, too. N.A. Garland started a store, and Lincoln wanted Berry to ask his father for a loan, so they could buy out Garland; but Berry refused, saying this was one of the last things he would think of doing."

Among the other persons yet living who were residents with Lincoln of New Salem or its near neighborhood are Mrs. Parthenia [pg 228] W. Hill, aged seventy-nine years, widow of Samuel Hill, the New Salem merchant; James McGrady Rutledge, aged eighty-one years; John Potter, aged eighty-seven years; and Thomas Watkins, aged seventy-one years—all now living at Petersburg, Illinois. Mrs. Hill, a woman of more than ordinary intelligence, did not become a resident of New Salem until 1835, the year in which she was married. Lincoln had then gone out of business, but she knew much of his store. "Berry and Lincoln," she says, "did not keep any dry goods. They had a grocery, and I have always understood they sold whiskey." Mr. Rutledge, a nephew of James Rutledge the tavern-keeper, has a vivid recollection of the store. He says: "I have been in Berry and Lincoln's store many a time. The building was a frame—one of the few frame buildings in New Salem. There were two rooms, and in the small back room they kept their whiskey. They had pretty much everything, except dry goods—sugar, coffee, some crockery, a few pairs of shoes (not many), some farming implements, and the like. Whiskey, of course, was a necessary part of their stock. I remember one transaction in particular which I had with them. I sold the firm a load of wheat, which they turned over to the mill." Mr. Potter, who remembers the morning when Lincoln, then a stranger on his way to New Salem, stopped at his father's house and ate breakfast, knows less about the store, but says: "It was a grocery, and they sold whiskey, of course." Thomas Watkins says that the store contained "a little candy, tobacco, sugar, and coffee, and the like;" though Mr. Watkins, being then a small boy, and living a mile in the country, was not a frequent visitor at the store.


Business was not so brisk, however, in Berry and Lincoln's grocery, even after the license was granted, that the junior partner did not welcome an appointment as postmaster which he received in May, 1833. The appointment of a Whig by a Democratic administration seems to have been made without comment. "The office was too insignificant to make his politics an objection," say the autobiographical notes. The duties of the new office were not arduous, for letters were few, and their comings far between. At that date the mails were carried by four-horse post-coaches from city to city, and on horseback from central points into the country towns. The rates of postage were high. A single-sheet letter carried thirty miles or under cost six cents; thirty to eighty miles, ten cents; eighty to one hundred and fifty miles, twelve and one-half cents; one hundred and fifty to four hundred miles, eighteen and one-half cents; over four hundred miles, twenty-five cents. A copy of this magazine sent from New York to New Salem would have cost fully twenty-five cents. The mail was irregular in coming as well as light in its contents. Though supposed to arrive twice a week, it sometimes happened that a fortnight or more passed without any mail. Under these conditions the New Salem post-office was not a serious care.

A large number of the patrons of the office lived in the country—many of them miles away—but generally Lincoln delivered their letters at their doors. These letters he would carefully place in the crown of his hat, and distribute them from house to house. Thus it was in a measure true that he kept the New Salem post-office in his hat. The habit of carrying papers in his hat clung to Lincoln; for, many years later, when he was a practising lawyer in Springfield, he apologized for failing to answer a letter promptly, by explaining: "When I received your letter I put it in my old hat, and buying a new one the next day, the old one was set aside, and so the letter was lost sight of for a time."

But whether the mail was delivered by the postmaster himself, or the recipient came to the store to inquire, "Anything for me?" it was the habit "to stop and visit awhile." He who received a letter read it and told the contents; if he had a newspaper, usually the postmaster could tell him in advance what it contained, for one of the perquisites of the early post-office was the privilege of reading all printed matter before delivering it. Every day, then, Lincoln's acquaintance in New Salem, through his position as postmaster, became more intimate.


As the summer of 1833 went on, the condition of the store became more and more unsatisfactory. As the position of postmaster brought in only a small revenue, Lincoln was forced to take any odd work he could get. He helped in other stores in the town, split rails, and looked after the mill; but all this yielded only a scant and uncertain support, and when in the fall he [pg 229] had an opportunity to learn surveying, he accepted it eagerly.

The condition of affairs in Illinois in the thirties made a demand for the services of surveyors. The immigration had been phenomenal. There were thousands of farms to be surveyed and thousands of "corners" to be located. Speculators bought up large tracts, and mapped out cities on paper. It was years before the first railroad was built in Illinois, and as all inland travelling was on horseback or in the stage-coach, each year hundreds of miles of wagon road were opened through woods and swamps and prairies. As the county of Sangamon was large and eagerly sought by immigrants, the county surveyor in 1833, one John Calhoun, needed deputies; but in a country so new it was no easy matter to find men with the requisite capacity.


From a photograph by C.S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois. Concord cemetery lies seven miles northwest of the old town of New Salem, in a secluded place, surrounded by woods and pastures, away from the world. In this lonely spot Ann Rutledge was at first laid to rest. Thither Lincoln is said to have often come alone, and "sat in silence for hours at a time;" and it was to Ann Rutledge's grave here that he pointed and said: "There my heart lies buried." The old cemetery suffered the melancholy fate of New Salem. It became a neglected, deserted spot. The graves were lost in weeds, and a heavy growth of trees kept out the sun and filled the place with gloom. A dozen years ago this picture was taken. It was a blustery day in the autumn, and the weeds and trees were swaying before a furious gale. No other picture of the place, taken while Ann Rutledge was buried there, is known to be in existence. A picture of a cemetery, with the name of Ann Rutledge on a high, flat tombstone, has been published in two or three books; but it is not genuine, the "stone" being nothing more than a board improvised for the occasion. The grave of Ann Rutledge was never honored with a stone until the body was taken up in 1890 and removed to Oakland cemetery, a mile southwest of Petersburg.—J. McCan Davis.

With Lincoln, Calhoun had little, if any, personal acquaintance, for they lived twenty miles apart. Lincoln, however, had made himself known by his meteoric race for the legislature in 1832, and Calhoun had heard of him as an honest, intelligent, and trustworthy young man. One day he sent word to Lincoln by Pollard Simmons, who lived in the New Salem neighborhood, that he had decided to appoint him a deputy surveyor if he would accept the position.

Going into the woods, Simmons found Lincoln engaged in his old occupation of making rails. The two sat down together on a log, and Simmons told Lincoln what Calhoun had said. It was a surprise to Lincoln. Calhoun was a "Jackson man;" he was for Clay. What did he know about surveying, and why should a Democratic official offer him a position of any kind? He immediately went to Springfield, and had a talk with Calhoun. He would not accept the appointment, he said, unless he had the assurance that it involved no political obligation, and that he might continue to express his political opinions as freely and frequently as he chose. This assurance was given. The only difficulty then in the way was the fact that he knew absolutely nothing of surveying. But Calhoun, of course, understood this, and agreed that he should have time to learn.

[pg 230]

With the promptness of action with which he always undertook anything he had to do, he procured Flint and Gibson's treatise on surveying, and sought Mentor Graham for help. At a sacrifice of some time, the schoolmaster aided him to a partial mastery of the intricate subject. Lincoln worked literally day and night, sitting up night after night until the crowing of the cock warned him of the approaching dawn. So hard did he study that his friends were greatly concerned at his haggard face. But in six weeks he had mastered all the books within reach relating to the subject—a task which, under ordinary circumstances, would hardly have been achieved in as many months. Reporting to Calhoun for duty (greatly to the amazement of that gentleman), he was at once assigned to the territory in the northwest part of the county, and the first work he did of which there is any authentic record was in January, 1834. In that month he surveyed a piece of land for Russell Godby, dating the certificate January 14, 1834, and signing it "J. Calhoun, S.S.C., by A. Lincoln."

Lincoln was frequently employed in laying out public roads, being selected for that purpose by the County Commissioners' Court. So far as can be learned from the official records, the first road he surveyed was "from Musick's Ferry on Salt Creek, via New Salem, to the county line in the direction of Jacksonville." For this he was allowed fifteen dollars for five days' service, and two dollars and fifty cents for a plat of the new road. The next road he surveyed, according to the records, was that leading from Athens to Sangamon town. This was reported to the County Commissioners' Court November 4, 1834. But road surveying was only a small portion of his work. He was more frequently employed by private individuals.


According to tradition, when he first took up the business he was too poor to buy a chain, and, instead, used a long, straight grape-vine. Probably this is a myth, though surveyors who had experience in the early days say it may be true. The chains commonly used at that time were made of iron. Constant use wore away and weakened the links, and it was no unusual thing for a chain to lengthen six inches after a year's use. "And a good grape-vine," to use the words of a veteran surveyor, "would give quite as satisfactory results as one of those old-fashioned chains."

Lincoln's surveys had the extraordinary merit of being correct. Much of the government work had been rather indifferently done, or the government corners had been imperfectly preserved, and there were frequent disputes between adjacent land-owners about boundary lines. Frequently Lincoln was called upon in such cases to find the corner in controversy. His verdict was invariably the end of the dispute, so general was the confidence in his honesty and skill. Some of these old corners located by him are still in existence. The people of Petersburg proudly remember that they live in a town which was laid out by Lincoln. This he did in 1836, and it was the work of several weeks.

Lincoln's pay as a surveyor was three dollars a day, more than he had ever before earned. Compared with the compensation for like services nowadays it seems small enough; but at that time it was really princely. The Governor of the State received a salary of only one thousand dollars a year, the Secretary of State six hundred dollars, and good board and lodging could be obtained for one dollar a week. But even three dollars a day did not enable him to meet all his financial obligations. The heavy debts of the store hung over him. The long distances he had to travel in his new employment had made it necessary to buy a horse, and for it he had gone into debt.

"My father," says Thomas Watkins of Petersburg, who remembers the circumstances well, "sold Lincoln the horse, and my recollection is that Lincoln agreed to pay him fifty dollars for it. Lincoln was a little slow in making the payments, and after he had paid all but ten dollars, my father, who was a high-strung man, became impatient, and sued him for the balance. Lincoln, of course, did not deny the debt, and raised the money and paid it. I do not often tell this," Mr. Watkins adds, "because I have always thought there never was such a man as Lincoln, and I have always been sorry father sued him."


Between his duties as deputy surveyor and postmaster, Lincoln had little leisure for the store, and its management had passed into the hands of Berry. The stock of groceries was on the wane. The numerous obligations of the firm were maturing, with no money to meet them. Both members [pg 231] of the firm, in the face of such obstacles, lost courage; and when, early in 1834, Alexander and William Trent asked if the store was for sale, an affirmative answer was eagerly given. A price was agreed upon, and the sale was made. Now, neither Alexander Trent nor his brother had any money; but as Berry and Lincoln had bought without money, it seemed only fair that they should be willing to sell on the same terms. Accordingly the notes of the Trent brothers were accepted for the purchase price, and the store was turned over to the new owners. But about the time their notes fell due the Trent brothers disappeared. The few groceries in the store were seized by creditors, and the doors were closed, never to be opened again.

Misfortunes now crowded upon Lincoln. His late partner, Berry, soon reached the end of his wild career; and one morning a farmer from the Rock Creek neighborhood drove into New Salem with the news that he was dead.

The appalling debt which had accumulated was thrown upon Lincoln's shoulders. It was then too common a fashion among men who became deluged in debt to "clear out," in the expressive language of the pioneer, as the Trents had done; but this was not Lincoln's way. He quietly settled down among the men he owed, and promised to pay them. For fifteen years he carried this burden—a load which he cheerfully and manfully bore, but one so heavy that he habitually spoke of it as the "national debt." Talking once of it to a friend, Lincoln said: "That debt was the greatest obstacle I have ever met in life; I had no way of speculating, and could not earn money except by labor, and to earn by labor eleven hundred dollars, besides my living, seemed the work of a lifetime. There was, however, but one way. I went to the creditors, and told them that if they would let me alone, I would give them all I could earn over my living, as fast as I could earn it." As late as 1848, so we are informed by Mr. Herndon, Mr. Lincoln, then a member of Congress, sent home money saved from his salary to be applied on these obligations. All the notes, with interest at the high rates then prevailing, were at last paid.

With a single exception Lincoln's creditors seem to have been lenient. One of the notes given by him came into the hands of a Mr. Van Bergen, who, when it fell due, brought suit. The amount of the judgment was more than Lincoln could pay, and his personal effects were levied upon. These consisted of his horse, saddle and bridle, and surveying instruments. James Short, a well-to-do farmer living on Sand Ridge a few miles north of New Salem, heard of the trouble which had befallen his young friend. Without advising Lincoln of his plans he attended the sale, bought in the horse and surveying instruments for one hundred and twenty dollars, and turned them over to their former owner.


Lincoln's first meeting with Douglas occurred at the State capital, Vandalia, in the winter of 1834-35, when Lincoln was serving his first term in the legislature, and Douglas was an applicant for the office of State attorney for the first judicial district of Illinois.]

Lincoln never forgot a benefactor. He not only repaid the money with interest, but nearly thirty years later remembered the kindness in a most substantial way. After Lincoln left New Salem financial reverses came to James Short, and he removed to the far West to seek his fortune anew. Early in Lincoln's presidential term he heard that "Uncle Jimmy" was living [pg 232] in California. One day Mr. Short received a letter from Washington, D.C. Tearing it open, he read the gratifying announcement that he had been commissioned an Indian agent.


The kindness of Mr. Short was not exceptional in Lincoln's New Salem career. When the store had "winked out," as he put it, and the post-office had been left without headquarters, one of his neighbors, Samuel Hill, invited the homeless postmaster into his store. There was hardly a man or woman in the community who would not have been glad to do as much. It was a simple recognition on their part of Lincoln's friendliness to them. He was what they called "obliging"—a man who instinctively did the thing which he saw would help another, no matter how trivial or homely it was. In the home of Rowan Herndon, where he had boarded when he first came to the town, he had made himself loved by his care of the children. "He nearly always had one of them around with him," says Mr. Herndon. In the Rutledge tavern, where he afterwards lived, the landlord told with appreciation how, when his house was full, Lincoln gave up his bed, went to the store, and slept on the counter, his pillow a web of calico. If a traveller "stuck in the mud" in New Salem's one street, Lincoln was always the first to help pull out the wheel. The widows praised him because he "chopped their wood;" the overworked, because he was always ready to give them a lift. It was the spontaneous, unobtrusive helpfulness of the man's nature which endeared him to everybody and which inspired a general desire to do all possible in return. There are many tales told of homely service rendered him, even by the hard-working farmers' wives around New Salem. There was not one of them who did not gladly "put on a plate" for Abe Lincoln when he appeared, or would not darn or mend for him when she knew he needed it. Hannah Armstrong, the wife of the hero of Clary's Grove, made him one of her family. "Abe would come out to our house," she said, "drink milk, eat mush, cornbread and butter, bring the children candy, and rock the cradle while I got him something to eat.... Has stayed at our house two or three weeks at a time." Lincoln's pay for his first piece of surveying came in the shape of two buckskins, and it was Hannah who "foxed" them on his trousers.

His relations were equally friendly in the better homes of the community; even at the minister's, the Rev. John Cameron's, he was perfectly at home, and Mrs. Cameron was by him affectionately called "Aunt Polly." It was not only his kindly service which made Lincoln loved; it was his sympathetic comprehension of the lives and joys and sorrows and interests of the people. Whether it was Jack Armstrong and his wrestling, Hannah and her babies, Kelso and his fishing and poetry, the schoolmaster and his books—with one and all he was at home. He possessed in an extraordinary degree the power of entering into the interests of others, a power found only in reflective, unselfish natures endowed with a humorous sense of human foibles, coupled with great tenderness of heart. Men and women amused Lincoln, but so long as they were sincere he loved them and sympathized with them. He was human in the best sense of that fine word.


Now that the store was closed and his surveying increased, Lincoln had an excellent opportunity to extend his acquaintance, for he was travelling about the country. Everywhere he won friends. The surveyor naturally was respected for his calling's sake, but the new deputy surveyor was admired for his friendly ways, his willingness to lend a hand indoors as well as out, his learning, his ambition, his independence. Throughout the county he began to be regarded as "a right smart young man." Some of his associates appear even to have comprehended his peculiarly great character and dimly to have foreseen a splendid future. "Often," says Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lincoln's clerk in the grocery, "I have heard my brother-in-law, Dr. Duncan, say he would not be surprised if some day Abe Lincoln got to be Governor of Illinois. Lincoln," Mr. Burner adds, "was thought to know a little more than anybody else among the young people. He was a good debater, and liked it. He read much, and seemed never to forget anything."

Lincoln was fully conscious of his popularity, and it seemed to him in 1834 that he could safely venture to try again for the legislature. Accordingly he announced himself as a candidate, spending much of the summer of 1834 in electioneering. It [pg 233] was a repetition of what he had done in 1832, though on the larger scale made possible by wider acquaintance. In company with the other candidates, he rode up and down the county, making speeches in the public squares, in shady groves, now and then in a log school-house. In his speeches he soon distinguished himself by the amazing candor with which he dealt with all questions, and by his curious blending of audacity and humility. Wherever he saw a crowd of men he joined them, and he never failed to adapt himself to their point of view in asking for votes. If the degree of physical strength was their test for a candidate, he was ready to lift a weight or wrestle with the country-side champion; if the amount of grain a man could cradle would recommend him, he seized the cradle and showed the swath he could cut. The campaign was well conducted, for in August he was elected one of the four assemblymen from Sangamon. The vote at this election stood: Dawson, 1390; Lincoln, 1376; Carpenter, 1170; Stuart, 1164.3


Born in Kentucky in 1807. At twenty-one, on being admitted to the bar, he removed to Springfield, Illinois, and was soon prominent in his profession. He was a member of the legislature from 1832 to 1836. In 1838 he defeated Stephen A. Douglas for Congress, and served two terms—as a Whig. In 1863 and 1864 he served a third term—as a Democrat. He served also in the State Senate, and was a major in the Black Hawk War. He died in 1885.


The best thing which Lincoln did in the canvass of 1834 was not winning votes; it was coming to a determination to read law, not for pleasure but as a business. In his autobiographical notes he says: "During the canvass, in a private conversation Major John T. Stuart (one of his fellow-candidates) encouraged Abraham to study law. After the election he borrowed books of Stuart, took them home with him, and went at it in good earnest. He never studied with anybody." He seems to have thrown himself into the work with an almost impatient ardor. As he tramped back and forth from Springfield, twenty miles away, to get his law-books, he read sometimes forty pages or more on the way. Often he was seen wandering at random across the fields, repeating aloud the points in his last reading. The subject seemed never to be out of his mind. It was the great absorbing interest of his life. The rule he gave twenty years later to a young man who wanted to know how to become a lawyer, seems to have been the one he practised.4

Having secured a book of legal forms, he was soon able to write deeds, contracts, and all sorts of legal instruments; and he was frequently called upon by his neighbors to perform services of this kind. "In 1834," says Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lincoln's clerk, "my father, Isaac Burner, sold out to Henry Onstott, and he wanted a deed written. I knew how handy Lincoln was that way, and suggested that we get him. We found him sitting on a stump. 'All right,' said he, when informed what we wanted. 'If you will bring me a pen and ink and a piece of paper I will write it here.' I brought him these articles, and, picking up a shingle and putting it on his knee for a desk, he wrote out the deed." As there was no practising lawyer nearer than Springfield, Lincoln was often employed to act the part of advocate before the village squire, at [pg 234] that time Bowling Green. He realized that this experience was valuable, and never, so far as known, demanded or accepted a fee for his services in these petty cases.

Justice was sometimes administered in a summary way in Squire Green's court. Precedents and the venerable rules of law had little weight. The "Squire" took judicial notice of a great many facts, often going so far as to fill, simultaneously, the two functions of witness and court. But his decisions were generally just.

James McGrady Rutledge tells a story in which several of Lincoln's old friends figure and which illustrates the legal practices of New Salem. "Jack Kelso," says Mr. Rutledge, "owned or claimed to own a white hog. It was also claimed by John Ferguson. The hog had often wandered around Bowling Green's place, and he was somewhat acquainted with it. Ferguson sued Kelso, and the case was tried before 'Squire' Green. The plaintiff produced two witnesses who testified positively that the hog belonged to him. Kelso had nothing to offer, save his own unsupported claim.

"'Are there any more witnesses?' inquired the court.

"He was informed that there were no more.

"'Well,' said 'Squire' Green, 'the two witnesses we have heard have sworn to a —— lie. I know this shoat, and I know it belongs to Jack Kelso. I therefore decide this case in his favor.'"

An extract from the record of the County Commissioners' Court illustrates the nature of the cases that came before the justice of the peace in Lincoln's day. It also shows the price put upon the privilege of working on Sunday, in 1832:

JANUARY 29, 1832.—Alexander Gibson found guilty of Sabbath-breaking and fined 12½ cents. Fine paid into court.



The session of the ninth Assembly began December 1, 1834, and Lincoln went to the capital, then Vandalia, seventy-five miles southeast of New Salem, on the Kaskaskia River, in time for the opening. Vandalia was a town which had been called into existence in 1820 especially to give the State government an abiding-place. Its very name had been chosen, it is said, because it "sounded well" for a State capital. As the tradition goes, while the commissioners were debating what they should call the town they were making, a wag suggested that it be named Vandalia, in honor of the Vandals, a tribe of Indians which, said he, had once lived on the borders of the Kaskaskia; this, he argued, would conserve a local tradition while giving a euphonous title. The commissioners, pleased with so good a suggestion, adopted the name. When Lincoln first went to Vandalia it was a town of about eight hundred inhabitants; its noteworthy features, according to Peck's "Gazetteer" of Illinois for 1834, being a brick court-house, a two-story brick edifice "used by State officers," "a neat framed house of worship for the Presbyterian Society, with a cupola and bell," "a framed meeting-house for the Methodist Society," three taverns, several stores, five lawyers, four physicians, a land office, and two newspapers. It was a much larger town than Lincoln had ever lived in before, though he was familiar with Springfield, then twice as large as Vandalia, and he had seen the cities of the Mississippi.

The Assembly which he entered was composed of eighty-one members,—twenty-six senators, fifty-five representatives. As a rule, these men were of Kentucky, Tennessee, or Virginia origin, with here and there a Frenchman. There were but few Eastern men, for there was still a strong prejudice in the State against Yankees. The close bargains and superior airs of the emigrants from New England contrasted so unpleasantly with the open-handed hospitality and the easy ways of the Southerners and French, that a pioneer's prospects were blasted at the start if he acted like a Yankee. A history of Illinois in 1837, published evidently to "boom" the State, cautioned the emigrant that if he began his life in Illinois by "affecting superior intelligence and virtue, and catechizing the people for their habits of plainness and simplicity and their apparent want of those things which he imagines indispensable to comfort," he must expect to be forever marked as "a Yankee," and to have his prospects correspondingly defeated. A "hard-shell" Baptist preacher of about this date showed the feeling of the people when he said, in preaching of the richness of the grace of the Lord: "It tuks in the isles of the sea and the uttermust part of the yeth. It embraces the Esquimaux and the Hottentots, and some, my dear brethering, go so far as to suppose that it tuks in the poor benighted Yankees, but I don't go that fur." When it came to an election of legislators, many of the people "didn't go that fur" either.

[pg 235]

There was a preponderance of jean suits like Lincoln's in the Assembly, and there were coonskin caps and buckskin trousers. Nevertheless, more than one member showed a studied garb and a courtly manner. Some of the best blood of the South went into the making of Illinois, and it showed itself from the first in the Assembly. The surroundings of the legislators were quite as simple as the attire of the plainest of them. The court-house, in good old Colonial style, with square pillars and belfry, was finished with wooden desks and benches. The State furnished her law-makers no superfluities—three dollars a day, a cork inkstand, a certain number of quills, and a limited amount of stationery was all an Illinois legislator in 1834 got from his position. Scarcely more could be expected from a State whose revenues from December 1, 1834, to December 1, 1836, were only about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, with expenditures during the same period amounting to less than one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars.


Joseph Duncan, Governor of Illinois from 1834 to 1838, was born in Kentucky in 1794. The son of an officer of the regular army, he, at nineteen, became a soldier in the war of 1812, and did gallant service. He removed to Illinois in 1818, and soon became prominent in the State, serving as a major-general of militia, a State Senator, and, from 1826 to 1834, as a member of Congress, resigning from Congress to take the office of Governor. He was at first a Democrat, but afterwards became a Whig. He was a man of the highest character and public spirit. He died in 1844.

Lincoln thought little of these things, no doubt. To him the absorbing interest was the men he met. To get acquainted with them, measure them, compare himself with them, and discover wherein they were his superiors and what he could do to make good his deficiency—this was his chief occupation. The men he met were good subjects for such study. Among them were Wm. L.D. Ewing, Jesse K. Dubois, Stephen T. Logan, Theodore Ford, and Governor Duncan—men destined to play large parts in the history of the State. One whom he met that winter in Vandalia was destined to play a great part in the history of the nation—the Democratic candidate for the office of State attorney for the first judicial district of Illinois; a man four years younger than Lincoln—he was only twenty-one at the time; a new-comer, too, in the State, having arrived about a year before, under no very promising auspices either, for he had only thirty-seven cents in his pockets, and no position in view; but a man of metal, it was easy to see, for already he had risen so high in the district where he had settled, that he dared contest the office of State attorney with John J. Hardin, one of the most successful lawyers of the State. This young man was Stephen A. Douglas. He had come to Vandalia from Morgan County to conduct his campaign, and Lincoln met him first in the halls of the old court-house, where he and his friends carried on with success their contest against Hardin.

The ninth Assembly gathered in a more hopeful and ambitious mood than any of its predecessors. Illinois was feeling well. The State was free from debt. The Black Hawk War had stimulated the people greatly, for it had brought a large amount of money into circulation. In fact, the greater portion of the eight to ten million dollars the war had cost had been circulated among the Illinois volunteers. Immigration, too, was increasing at a bewildering rate. In 1835 the census showed a population of 269,974. Between 1830 and 1835 two-fifths of this number had come in. In the northeast Chicago had begun to rise. "Even for Western towns" its growth had been unusually rapid, declared Peck's "Gazetteer" of 1834; the harbor building there, the proposed Michigan and Illinois canal, the rise in town lots—all promised to the State a metropolis. To meet the rising tide of prosperity, the legislators of 1834 felt that they must devise some worthy scheme, so they chartered a new State bank with a capital of one million five hundred thousand dollars, and revived a bank which had broken twelve years before, granting it a charter of three hundred thousand dollars. [pg 236] There was no surplus money in the State to supply the capital; there were no trained bankers to guide the concern; there was no clear notion of how it was all to be done; but a banking capital of one million eight hundred thousand dollars would be a good thing in the State, they were sure; and if the East could be made to believe in Illinois as much as her legislators believed in her, the stocks would go, and so the banks were chartered.

But even more important to the State than banks was a highway. For thirteen years plans of the Illinois and Michigan canal had been constantly before the Assembly. Surveys had been ordered, estimates reported, the advantages extolled, but nothing had been done. Now, however, the Assembly, flushed by the first thrill of the coming "boom," decided to authorize a loan of a half-million on the credit of the State. Lincoln favored both these measures. He did not, however, do anything especially noteworthy for either of the bills, nor was the record he made in other directions at all remarkable. He was placed on the committee of public accounts and expenditures, and attended meetings with great fidelity. His first act as a member was to give notice that he would ask leave to introduce a bill limiting the jurisdiction of justices of the peace—a measure which he succeeded in carrying through. He followed this by a motion to change the rules, so that it should not be in order to offer amendments to any bill after the third reading, which was not agreed to; though the same rule, in effect, was adopted some years later, and is to this day in force in both branches of the Illinois Assembly. He next made a motion to take from the table a report which had been submitted by his committee, which met a like fate. His first resolution, relating to a State revenue to be derived from the sales of the public lands, was denied a reference, and laid upon the table. Neither as a speaker nor an organizer did he make any especial impression on the body.


In the spring of 1835 the young representative from Sangamon returned to New Salem to take up his duties as postmaster and deputy surveyor, and to resume his law studies. He exchanged his rather exalted position for the humbler one with a light heart. New Salem held all that was dearest in the world to him at that moment, and he went back to the poor little town with a hope, which he had once supposed honor forbade his acknowledging even to himself, glowing warmly in his heart. He loved a young girl of that town, and now for the first time, though he had known her since he first came to New Salem, was he free to tell his love.

One of the most prominent families of the settlement in 1831, when Lincoln first appeared there, was that of James Rutledge. The head of the house was one of the founders of New Salem, and at that time the keeper of the village tavern. He was a high-minded man, of a warm and generous nature, and had the universal respect of the community. He was a South Carolinian by birth, but had lived many years in Kentucky before coming to Illinois. Rutledge came of a distinguished family: one of his ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence; another was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by appointment of Washington, and another was a conspicuous leader in the American Congress.

The third of the nine children in the Rutledge household was a daughter, Ann Mayes, born in Kentucky, January 7, 1813. When Lincoln first met her she was nineteen years old, and as fresh as a flower. Many of those who knew her at that time have left tributes to her beauty and gentleness, and even to-day there are those living who talk of her with moistened eyes and softened tones. "She was a beautiful girl," says her cousin, James McGrady Rutledge, "and as bright as she was pretty. She was well educated for that early day, a good conversationalist, and always gentle and cheerful. A girl whose company people liked." So fair a maid was not, of course, without suitors. The most determined of those who sought her hand was one John McNeill, a young man who had arrived in New Salem from New York soon after the founding of the town. Nothing was known of his antecedents, and no questions were asked. He was understood to be merely one of the thousands who had come West in search of fortune. That he was intelligent, industrious, and frugal, with a good head for business, was at once apparent; for he and Samuel Hill opened a general store and they soon doubled their capital, and their business continued to grow marvellously. In four years from his first appearance in the settlement, besides having a half-interest in the store, he owned a large farm a few miles north of New Salem. His neighbors believed him to be worth about twelve thousand dollars.

[pg 237]

John McNeill was an unmarried man—at least so he represented himself to be—and very soon after becoming a resident of New Salem he formed the acquaintance of Ann Rutledge, then a girl of seventeen. It was a case of love at first sight, and the two soon became engaged, in spite of the rivalry of Samuel Hill, McNeill's partner. But Ann was as yet only a young girl; and it was thought very sensible in her and very gracious and considerate in her lover that both acquiesced in the wishes of Ann's parents that, for some time at least, the marriage be postponed.

Such was the situation when Lincoln appeared in New Salem. He naturally soon became acquainted with the girl. She was a pupil in Mentor Graham's school, where he frequently visited, and rumor says that he first met her there. However that may be, it is certain that in the latter part of 1832 he went to board at the Rutledge tavern and there was thrown daily into her company.

During the next year, 1833, John McNeill, in spite of his fair prospects, became restless and discontented. He wanted to see his people, he said, and before the end of the year he had decided to go East for a visit. To secure perfect freedom from his business while gone, he sold out his interest in his store. To Ann he said that he hoped to bring back his father and mother, and to place them on his farm. "This duty done," was his farewell word, "you and I will be married." In the spring of 1834 McNeill started East. The journey overland by foot and horse was in those days a trying one, and on the way McNeill fell ill with chills and fever. It was late in the summer before he reached his home, and wrote back to Ann, explaining his silence. The long wait had been a severe strain on the girl, and Lincoln had watched her anxiety with softened heart. It was to him, the New Salem postmaster, that she came to inquire for letters. It was to him she entrusted those she sent. In a way the postmaster must have become the girl's confidant; and his tender heart, which never could resist suffering, must have been deeply touched. After the long silence was broken, and McNeill's first letter of explanation came, the cause of anxiety seemed removed; but, strangely enough, other letters followed only at long intervals, and finally they ceased altogether. Then it was that the young girl told her friends a secret which McNeill had confided to her before leaving New Salem.

He had told her what she had never even suspected before, that John McNeill was not his real name, but that it was John McNamar. Shortly before he came to New Salem, he explained, his father had suffered a disastrous failure in business. He was the oldest son; and in the hope of retrieving the lost fortune, he resolved to go West, expecting to return in a few years and share his riches with the rest of the family. Anticipating parental opposition, he ran away from home; and, being sure that he could never accumulate anything with so numerous a family to support, he endeavored to lose himself by a change of name. All this Ann had believed and not repeated; but now, worn out by waiting, she took the story to her friends.

With few exceptions they pronounced the story a fabrication and McNamar an impostor. Why had he worn this mask? His excuse seemed flimsy. At best, they declared, he was a mere adventurer; and was it not more probable that he was a fugitive from justice—a thief, a swindler, or a murderer? And who knew how many wives he might have? With all New Salem declaring John McNamar false, Ann Rutledge could hardly be blamed for imagining that he was either dead or had transferred his affections.

It was not until McNeill, or McNamar, had been gone many months, and gossip had become offensive, that Lincoln ventured to show his love for Ann, and then it was a long time before the girl would listen to his suit. Convinced at last, however, that her former lover had deserted her, she yielded to Lincoln's wishes and promised, in the spring of 1835, soon after Lincoln's return from Vandalia, to become his wife. But Lincoln had nothing on which to support a family—indeed, he found it no trifling task to support himself. As for Ann, she was anxious to go to school another year. It was decided that in the autumn she should go with her brother to Jacksonville and spend the winter there in an academy. Lincoln was to devote himself to his law studies; and the next spring, when she returned from school and he was a member of the bar, they were to be married.

A happy spring and summer followed. New Salem took a cordial interest in the two lovers and presaged a happy life for them, and all would undoubtedly have gone well if the young girl could have dismissed the haunting memory of her old lover. The possibility that she had wronged him, that he might reappear, that he loved her still, [pg 238] though she now loved another, that perhaps she had done wrong—a torturing conflict of memory, love, conscience, doubt, and morbidness lay like a shadow across her happiness, and wore upon her until she fell ill. Gradually her condition became hopeless; and Lincoln, who had been shut from her, was sent for. The lovers passed an hour alone in an anguished parting, and soon after, on August 25, 1835, Ann died.

The death of Ann Rutledge plunged Lincoln into the deepest gloom. That abiding melancholy, that painful sense of the incompleteness of life which had been his mother's dowry to him, asserted itself. It filled and darkened his mind and his imagination, tortured him with its black pictures. One stormy night Lincoln was sitting beside William Greene, his head bowed on his hand, while tears trickled through his fingers; his friend begged him to control his sorrow, to try to forget. "I cannot," moaned Lincoln; "the thought of the snow and rain on her grave fills me with indescribable grief."

He was seen walking alone by the river and through the woods, muttering strange things to himself. He seemed to his friends to be in the shadow of madness. They kept a close watch over him; and at last Bowling Green, one of the most devoted friends Lincoln then had, took him home to his little log cabin, half a mile north of New Salem, under the brow of a big bluff. Here, under the loving care of Green and his good wife Nancy, Lincoln remained until he was once more master of himself.

But though he had regained self-control, his grief was deep and bitter. Ann Rutledge was buried in Concord cemetery, a country burying-ground seven miles northwest of New Salem. To this lonely spot Lincoln frequently journeyed to weep over her grave. "My heart is buried there," he said to one of his friends.

When McNamar returned (for McNamar's story was true, and two months after Ann Rutledge died he drove into New Salem with his widowed mother and his brothers and sisters in the "prairie schooner" beside him) and learned of Ann's death, he "saw Lincoln at the post-office," as he afterward said, and "he seemed desolate and sorely distressed."

McNamar's strange conduct toward Ann Rutledge is to this day a mystery. Her death apparently produced upon him no deep impression. He certainly experienced no such sorrow as Lincoln felt, for within a year he married another woman.

Many years ago a sister of Ann Rutledge, Mrs. Jeane Berry, told what she knew of Ann's love affairs; and her statement has been preserved in a diary kept by the Rev. R.D. Miller, now Superintendent of Schools of Menard County, with whom she had the conversation. She declared that Ann's "whole soul seemed wrapped up in Lincoln," and that they "would have been married in the fall or early winter" if Ann had lived. "After Ann died," said Mrs. Berry, "I remember that it was common talk about how sad Lincoln was; and I remember myself how sad he looked. They told me that every time he was in the neighborhood after she died, he would go alone to her grave and sit there in silence for hours."

In later life, when his sorrow had become a memory, he told a friend who questioned him: "I really and truly loved the girl and think often of her now." There was a pause, and then the President added:

"And I have loved the name of Rutledge to this day."


When the death of Ann Rutledge came upon Lincoln, for a time threatening to destroy his ambition and blast his life, he was in a most encouraging position. Master of a profession in which he had an abundance of work and earned fair wages, hopeful of being admitted in a few months to the bar, a member of the State Assembly with every reason to believe that, if he desired it, his constituency would return him—few men are as far advanced at twenty-six as was Abraham Lincoln.

Intellectually he was far better equipped than he believed himself to be, better than he has ordinarily been credited with being. True, he had had no conventional college training, but he had by his own efforts attained the chief result of all preparatory study, the ability to take hold of a subject and assimilate it. The fact that in six weeks he had acquired enough of the science of surveying to enable him to serve as deputy surveyor shows how well-trained his mind was. The power to grasp a large subject quickly and fully is never an accident. The nights Lincoln spent in Gentryville lying on the floor in front of the fire figuring on the fire-shovel, the hours he passed in poring over the Statutes of Indiana, the days he wrestled with Kirkham's Grammar, alone made the mastery of Flint and Gibson possible. His struggle with Flint and Gibson [pg 239] made easier the volumes he borrowed from Major Stuart's law library.


From a photograph made for McCLURE'S MAGAZINE by C.S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois, in September, 1895. On the 15th of May, 1890, the remains of Ann Rutledge were removed from the long-neglected grave in the Concord grave-yard to a new and picturesque burying-ground a mile southwest of Petersburg, called Oakland cemetery. The old grave, though marked by no stone, was easily identified from the fact that Ann was buried by the side of her younger brother, David, who died in 1842, upon the threshold of what promised to be a brilliant career as a lawyer. The removal was made by Samuel Montgomery, a prominent business man of Petersburg. He was accompanied to the grave by James McGrady Rutledge and a few others, who located the grave beyond doubt. In the new cemetery, the grave occupies a place somewhat apart from others. A young maple tree is growing beside it, and it is marked by an unpolished granite stone bearing the simple inscription "Ann Rutledge."—J. McCan Davis.

Lincoln had a mental trait which explains his rapid growth in mastering subjects—seeing clearly was essential to him. He was unable to put a question aside until he understood it. It pursued him, irritated him until solved. Even in his Gentryville days his comrades noted that he was constantly searching for reasons and that he "explained so clearly." This characteristic became stronger with years. He was unwilling to pronounce himself on any subject until he understood it, and he could not let it alone until he had reached a conclusion which satisfied him.

This seeing clearly became a splendid force in Lincoln; because when he once had reached a conclusion he had the honesty of soul to suit his actions to it. No consideration could induce him to abandon the course his reason told him was logical. Not that he was obstinate and having taken a position, would not change it if he saw on further study that he was wrong. In his first circular to the people of Sangamon County is this characteristic passage: "Upon the subjects I have treated, I have spoken as I thought. I may be wrong in any or all of them; but, holding it a sound maxim that it is better only sometimes to be right than at all times to be wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them."

Joined to these strong mental and moral qualities was that power of immediate action which so often explains why one man succeeds in life while another of equal intelligence and uprightness fails. As soon as Lincoln saw a thing to do he did it. He wants to know; here is a book—it may be a biography, a volume of dry statutes, a collection of verse; no matter, he reads and ponders it until he has absorbed all it has for him. He is eager to see the world; [pg 240] a man offers him a position as a "hand" on a Mississippi flatboat; he takes it without a moment's hesitation over the toil and exposure it demands. John Calhoun is willing to make him a deputy surveyor; he knows nothing of the science; in six weeks he has learned enough to begin his labors. Sangamon County must have representatives, why not he? and his circular goes out. Ambition alone will not explain this power of instantaneous action. It comes largely from that active imagination which, when a new relation or position opens, seizes on all its possibilities and from them creates a situation so real that one enters with confidence upon what seems to the unimaginative the rashest undertaking. Lincoln saw the possibilities in things and immediately appropriated them.

But the position he filled in Sangamon County in 1835 was not all due to these qualities; much was due to his personal charm. By all accounts he was big, awkward, ill-clad, shy—yet his sterling honor, his unselfish nature, his heart of the true gentleman, inspired respect and confidence. Men might laugh at his first appearance, but they were not long in recognizing the real superiority of his nature.

Such was Abraham Lincoln at twenty-six, when the tragic death of Ann Rutledge made all that he had attained, all that he had planned, seem fruitless and empty. He was too sincere and just, too brave a man, to allow a great sorrow permanently to interfere with his activities. He rallied his forces, and returned to his law, his surveying, his politics. He brought to his work a new power, that insight and patience which only a great sorrow can give.

(Begun in the November number 1895; to be continued.)


DELPHOS, KANSAS, December 6, 1895.


In reply to your letter of recent date inquiring about the incident of my childhood and connected with Mr. Lincoln, I would say that at the time of his first nomination to the Presidency I was a child of eleven years, living with my parents in Chautauqua County, N.Y.

My father was an ardent Republican, and possessed of a profound admiration for the character of the grand man who was the choice of his party. We younger children accepted his opinions with unquestioning faith, and listened with great delight to the anecdotes of his life current at that time, and were particularly interested in reading of the difficulties he encountered in getting an education; so much did it appeal to our childish imaginations that we were firmly persuaded that if we could only study our lessons prone before the glow and cheer of an open fire in a great fireplace, we too might rise to heights which now we could never attain. My father brought to us, one day, a large poster, and my mind still holds a recollection of its crude, coarse work and glaring colors. About the edges were grouped in unadorned and exaggerated ugliness the pictures of our former Presidents, and in the midst of them were the faces of "Lincoln and Hamlin," surrounded by way of a frame with a rail fence. We are all familiar with the strong and rugged face of Mr. Lincoln, the deep lines about the mouth, and the eyes have much the same sorrowful expression in all the pictures I have seen of him. I think I must have felt a certain disappointment, for I said to my mother that he would look much nicer if he wore whiskers, and straightway gave him the benefit of my opinion in a letter, describing the poster and hinting, rather broadly, that his appearance might be improved if he would let his whiskers grow. Not wishing to wound his feelings, I added that the rail fence around his picture looked real pretty! I also asked him if he had any little girl, and if so, and he was too busy to write and tell me what he thought about it, if he would not let her do so; and ended by assuring him I meant to try my best to induce two erring brothers of the Democratic faith to cast their votes for him. I think the circumstance would have speedily passed from my mind but for the fact that I confided to an elder sister that I had written to Mr. Lincoln, and had she not expressed a doubt as to whether I had addressed him properly. To prove that I had, and was not as ignorant as she thought me, I re-wrote the address for her inspection: "Hon. Abraham Lincoln Esquire."

My mortification at the laughter and ridicule excited was somewhat relieved by my mother's remarking that "there should be no mistake as to whom the letter belonged." The reply to my poor little letter came in due time, and the following is a copy of the original, which is still in my possession.


"SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, October 19, 1860.


"My Dear little Miss:—Your very agreeable letter of the 15th inst. is received. I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughter. I have three sons; one seventeen, one nine, and one seven years of age. They, with their mother, constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin wearing them now? Your very sincere well-wisher,


Probably the frankness of the child appealed to the humorous side of his nature, for the suggestion was acted upon. After the election, and on his journey from Springfield to Washington, he inquired of Hon. G.W. Patterson, who was one of the party who accompanied him on that memorable trip, and who was a resident of our town, if he knew of a family bearing the name of Bedell. Mr. Patterson replying in the affirmative, Mr. Lincoln said he "had received a letter from a little girl called Grace Bedell, advising me to wear whiskers, as she thought it would improve my looks." He said the character of the "letter was so unique and so different from the many self-seeking and threatening ones he was daily receiving that it came to him as a relief and a pleasure." When the train reached Westfield, Mr. Lincoln made a short speech from the platform of the car, and in conclusion said he had a correspondent there, relating the circumstance and giving my name, and if she were present he would like to see her. I was present, but in the crowd had neither seen nor heard the speaker; but a gentleman helped me forward, and Mr. Lincoln stepped down to the platform where I stood, shook my hand, kissed me, and said: "You see I let these whiskers grow for you, Grace." The crowd cheered, Mr. Lincoln reentered the car, and I ran quickly home, looking at and speaking to no one, with a much dilapidated bunch of roses in my hand, which I had hoped might be passed up to Mr. Lincoln with some other flowers which were to be presented, but which in my confusion I had forgotten. Gentle and genial, simple and warm-hearted, how full of anxiety must have been his life in the days which followed. These words seem to fitly describe him: "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."

Very sincerely,


Footnote 1: (return)

William D. Kelley, in "Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln." Edited by Allen Thorndike Rice, 1886.

Footnote 2: (return)

This incident was told by Lincoln to Mr. A.J. Conant, the artist, who in 1860 painted his portrait ini Springfield. Mr. Conant, in order to keep Mr. Lincoln's pleasant expression, had engaged him in conversation, and had questioned him about his early life; and it was in the course of their conversation that this incident came out. It is to be found in a delightful and suggestive article entitled, "My Acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln," contributed by Mr. Conant to the "Liber Scriptorum," and by his permission quoted here.

Footnote 3: (return)

With one exception the biographers of Lincoln have given him the first place on the ticket in 1834. He really stood second in order, Herndon gives the correct vote, although he is in error in saying that the chief authority he quotes—a document owned by Dr. A.W. French of Springfield, Ill.—is an "official return." It is a copy of the official return made out in Lincoln's writing and certified to by the county clerk. The official return is on file in the Springfield court-house.

Footnote 4: (return)

"Get books and read and study them carefully. Begin with Blackstone's Commentaries, and after reading carefully through, say twice, take up Chitty's Pleadings, Greenleaf's Evidence, and Story's Equity in succession. Work, work, work, is the main thing."

[pg 241]


By Ian Maclaren,

Author of "Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush," etc.

Letter N

EVER had I met any man so methodical in his habits, so neat in his dress, so accurate in speech, so precise in manner as my fellow-lodger. When he took his bath in the morning I knew it was half-past seven, and when he rang for hot water, that it was a quarter to eight. Until a quarter-past he moved about the room in his slow, careful dressing, and then everything was quiet next door till half-past eight, when the low murmur of the Lord's Prayer concluded his devotions. Two minutes later he went downstairs—if he met a servant one could hear him say "Good morning"—and read his newspaper—he seldom had letters—till nine, when he rang for breakfast. Twenty-past nine he went upstairs and changed his coat, and he spent five minutes in the lobby selecting a pair of gloves, brushing his hat, and making a last survey for a speck of dust. One glove he put on opposite the hat-stand, and the second on the door-step; and when he touched the pavement you might have set your watch by nine-thirty. Once he was in the lobby at five-and-twenty minutes to ten, distressed and flurried.

"I cut my chin slightly when shaving," he explained, "and the wound persists in bleeding. It has an untidy appearance, and a drop of blood might fall on a letter."

The walk that morning was quite broken; and before reaching the corner, he had twice examined his chin with a handkerchief, and shaken his head as one whose position in life was now uncertain.

"It is nothing in itself," he said afterwards, with an apologetic allusion to his anxiety, "and might not matter to another man. But any little misadventure—a yesterday's collar or a razor-cut, or even an inky finger—would render me helpless in dealing with people. They would simply look at the weak spot, and one would lose all authority. Some of the juniors smile when I impress on them to be very careful about their dress—quiet, of course, as becomes their situation, but unobjectionable. With more responsibility they will see the necessity of such details. I will remember your transparent sticking-plaster—a most valuable suggestion."

His name was Frederick Augustus Perkins—so ran the card he left on my table a week after I settled in the next rooms; and the problem of his calling gradually became a standing vexation. It fell under the class of conundrums, and one remembered from childhood that it is mean to be told the answer; so I could not say to Mister Perkins—for it was characteristic of the prim little man that no properly constituted person could have said Perkins—"By the way, what is your line of things?" or any more decorous rendering of my curiosity.

Mrs. Holmes—who was as a mother to Mr. Perkins and myself, as well as to two younger men of literary pursuits and irregular habits—had a gift of charming irrelevance, and was able to combine allusions to Mr. Perkins's orderly life and the amatory tendencies of a new cook in a mosaic of enthralling interest.

"No, Betsy Jane has 'ad her notice, and goes this day week; not that her cookin's bad, but her brothers don't know when to leave. One was 'ere no later than last night, though if he was her born brother, 'e 'ad a different father and mother, or my name ain't 'Olmes. 'Your brother, Betsy Jane,' says I, 'ought not to talk in a strange 'ouse on family affairs till eleven o'clock.'

"''E left at 'alf-past ten punctual,' says she, lookin' as hinnocent as a child, 'for I 'eard Mr. Perkins go up to 'is room as I was lettin' Jim out.'

"'Betsy Jane,' I says, quite calm, 'where do you expeck to go to as doesn't know wot truth is?'—for Mr. Perkins leaves 'is room has the 'all clock starts on eleven, and 'e's in 'is bedroom at the last stroke. If she 'adn't brought in Mr. Perkins, she might 'ave deceived me—gettin' old and not bein' so quick in my 'earin' as I was; but that settled her.

"'Alf-past," went on Mrs. Holmes, [pg 242] scornfully; "and 'im never varied two minutes the last ten years, except one night 'e fell asleep in 'is chair, being bad with hinfluenza.

"For a regular single gentleman as rises in the morning and goes out, and comes in and takes 'is dinner, and goes to bed like the Medes and Persians, I've never seen 'is equal; an' it's five-and-twenty years since 'Olmes died, 'avin' a bad liver through takin' gin for rheumatics; an' Lizbeth Peevey says to me, 'Take lodgers, Jemima; not that they pays for the trouble, but it 'ill keep an 'ouse'....

"Mr. Perkins' business?"—it was shabby, but the temptation came as a way of escape from the flow of Mrs. Holmes's autobiography—"now that I couldn't put a name on, for why, 'e never speaks about 'is affairs; just 'Good evening, Mrs. 'Olmes; I'll take fish for breakfast to-morrow;' more than that, or another blanket on 'is bed on the first of November, for it's by days, not cold, 'e goes...."

It was evident that I must solve the problem for myself.


Mr. Perkins could not be a city man, for in the hottest June he never wore a white waistcoat, nor had he the swelling gait of one who made an occasional coup in mines, and it went without saying that he did not write—a man who went to bed at eleven, and whose hair made no claim to distinction. One's mind fell back on the idea of law—conveyancing seemed probable—but his face lacked sharpness, and the alternative of confidential clerk to a firm of dry-salters was contradicted by an air of authority that raised observations on the weather to the level of a state document. The truth came upon me—a flash of inspiration—as I saw Mr. Perkins coming home one evening. The black frock-coat and waistcoat, dark gray trousers, spotless linen, high, old-fashioned collar, and stiff stock, were a symbol, and could only mean one profession.

"By the way, Mr. Perkins," for this was all one now required to know, "are you Income Tax or Stamps?"

"Neither, although my duty makes me familiar with every department in the Civil Service. I have the honor to be," and he cleared his throat with dignity, "a first-class clerk in the Schedule Office.

"Our work," he explained to me, "is very important, and in fact, vital to the administration of affairs. The efficiency of practical government depends on the accuracy of the forms issued, and every one is composed in our office.

"No, that is a common mistake," in reply to my shallow remark; "the departments do not draw up their own forms, and, in fact, they are not fit for such work. They send us a memorandum of what their officials wish to ask, and we put it into shape.

"It requires long experience and, I may say, some—ability, to compose a really creditable schedule, one that will bring out every point clearly and exhaustively; in fact, I have ventured to call it a science"—here Mr. Perkins allowed himself to smile—"and it might be defined Schedulology.

"Yes, to see a double sheet of foolscap divided up into some twenty-four compartments, each with a question and a blank space for the answer, is pleasing to the eye—very pleasing indeed.

[pg 243]

"What annoys one," and Mr. Perkins became quite irritable, "is to examine a schedule after it has been filled and to discover how it has been misused—simply mangled.

"It is not the public simply who are to blame; they are, of course, quite hopeless, and have an insane desire to write their names all over the paper, with family details; but members of the Civil Service abuse the most admirable forms that ever came out of our office.

"Numerous? Yes, naturally so; and as governmental machinery turns on schedules, they will increase every year. Could you guess, now, the number of different schedules under our charge?"

"Several hundred, perhaps."

Mr. Perkins smiled with much complacency. "Sixteen thousand four hundred and four, besides temporary ones that are only used in emergencies. One department has now reached twelve hundred and two; it has been admirably organized, and its secretary could tell you the subject of every form.

"Well, it does not become me to boast, but I have had the honor of contributing two hundred and twenty myself, and have composed forty-two more that have not yet been accepted.

"Well, yes," he admitted, with much modesty, "I have kept copies of the original drafts;" and he showed me a bound volume of his works.

"An author? It is very good of you to say so;" and Mr. Perkins seemed much pleased with the idea, twice smiling to himself during the evening, and saying as we parted, "It's my good fortune to have a large and permanent circulation."

All November Mr. Perkins was engaged with what he hoped would be one of his greatest successes.

"It's a sanitation schedule for the Education Department, and is, I dare to say, nearly perfect. It has eighty-three questions, on every point from temperature to drains, and will present a complete view of the physical condition of primary schools.

"You have no idea," he continued, "what a fight I have had with our Head to get it through—eight drafts, each one costing three days' labor—but now he has passed it.

"'Perkins,' he said, 'this is the most exhaustive schedule you have ever drawn up, and I'm proud it's come through the hands of the drafting sub-department. Whether I can approve it as Head of the publishing sub-department is very doubtful.'"

"Do you mean that the same man would approve your paper in one department to-day, and—"

"Quite so. It's a little difficult for an outsider to appreciate the perfect order, perhaps I might say symmetry, of the Civil Service;" and Mr. Perkins spoke with a tone of condescension as to a little child. "The Head goes himself to the one sub-department in the morning and to the other in the afternoon, and he acts with absolute impartiality.

"Why, sir"—Mr. Perkins began to warm and grow enthusiastic—"I have received a letter from the other sub-department, severely criticising a draft he had highly commended in ours two days before, and I saw his hand in the letter—distinctly; an able review, too, very able indeed.

"'Very well put, Perkins,' he said to me himself; 'they've found the weak points; we must send an amended draft;' and so we did, and got a very satisfactory reply. It was a schedule about swine fever, 972 in the Department of Agriculture. I have had the pleasure of reading it in public circulation when on my holidays."

"Does your Head sign the letters addressed to himself?"

"Certainly; letters between departments are always signed by the chief officer." Mr. Perkins seemed to have found another illustration of public ignorance, and recognized his duty as a missionary of officialism. "It would afford me much pleasure to give you any information regarding our excellent system, which has been slowly built up and will repay study; but you will excuse me this evening, as I am indisposed—a tendency to shiver, which annoyed me in the office to-day."

Next morning I rose half an hour late, as Mr. Perkins did not take his bath, and was not surprised when Mrs. Holmes came to my room, overflowing with concern and disconnected speech.

"'E's that regular in 'is ways, that when 'Annah Mariar says 'is water's at 'is door at eight o'clock, I went up that 'urried that I couldn't speak; and I 'ears 'im speakin' to 'isself, which is not what you would expect of 'im, 'e bein' the quietest gentleman as ever—"

"Is Mr. Perkins ill, do you mean?" for Mrs. Holmes seemed now in fair breath, and was always given to comparative reviews.

"So I knocks and says, 'Mr. Perkins, 'ow are you feelin'?' and all I could 'ear [pg 244] was 'temperance;' it's little as 'e needs of that, for excepting a glass of wine at his dinner, and it might be somethin' 'ot before goin' to bed in winter—

"So I goes in," resumed Mrs. Holmes, "an' there 'e was sittin' up in 'is bed, with 'is face as red as fire, an' not knowin' me from Adam. If it wasn't for 'is 'abits an' a catchin' of 'is breath you wud 'ave said drink, for 'e says, 'How often have the drains been sluiced last year?'" After which I went up to Mr. Perkins's room without ceremony.

He was explaining, with much cogency, as it seemed to me, that unless the statistics of temperature embraced the whole year, they would afford no reliable conclusions regarding the sanitary condition of Board Schools; but when I addressed him by name with emphasis, he came to himself with a start.

"Excuse me, sir, I must apologize—I really did not hear—in fact—" And then, as he realized his situation, Mr. Perkins was greatly embarrassed.

"Did I forget myself so far as—to send for you?—I was not feeling well. I have a slight difficulty in breathing, but I am quite able to go to the office—in a cab.

"You are most kind and obliging, but the schedule I am—it just comes and goes—thank you, no more water—is important and—intricate; no one—can complete it—except myself.

"With your permission I will rise—in a few minutes. Ten o'clock, dear me!—this is most unfortunate—not get down till eleven!—I must really insist—" But the doctor had come, and Mr. Perkins obeyed on one condition.

"Yes, doctor, I prefer, if you please, to know; you see I am not a young person—nor nervous—thank you very much—quite so; pneumonia is serious—and double pneumonia dangerous, I understand.—No, it is not that—one is not alarmed at my age, but—yes, I'll lie down—letter must go to office—dictate it to my friend—certain form—leave of absence, in fact—trouble you too much—medical certificate."

He was greatly relieved after this letter was sent by special messenger with the key of his desk, and quite refreshed when a clerk came up with the chief's condolences.

"My compliments to Mr. Lighthead—an excellent young official, very promising indeed—and would he step upstairs for a minute—will excuse this undress in circumstances—really I will not speak any more.

"Those notes, Mr. Lighthead, will make my idea quite plain—and I hope to revise final draft—if God will—my dutiful respect to the Board, and kind regards to the chief clerk. It was kind of you to come—most thoughtful."

This young gentleman came into my room to learn the state of the case, and was much impressed.

"Really this kind of thing—Perkins gasping in bed and talking in his old-fashioned way—knocks one out of time, don't you know? If he had gone on much longer I should have bolted.

"Like him in the office? I should think so. You should have seen the young fellows to-day when they heard he was so ill. Of course we laugh a bit at him—Schedule Perkins he's called—because he's so dry and formal; but that's nothing.

"With all his little cranks, he knows his business better than any man in the department; and then he's a gentleman, d'y see? could not say a rude word or do a mean thing to save his life—not made that way, in fact.

"Let me just give you one instance—show you his sort. Every one knew that he ought to have been chief clerk, and that Rodway's appointment was sheer influence. The staff was mad, and some one said Rodway need not expect to have a particularly good time.

"Perkins overheard him, and chipped in at once. 'Mr. Rodway'—you know his dry manner, wagging his eyeglass all the time—'is our superior officer, and we are bound to render him every assistance in our power, or,' and then he was splendid, 'resign our commissions.' Rodway, they say, has retired, but the worst of it is that as Perkins has been once passed over he'll not succeed.

"Perhaps it won't matter, poor chap. I say," said Lighthead, hurriedly, turning his back and examining a pipe on the mantelpiece, "do you think he is going to—I mean, has he a chance?"

"Just a chance, I believe. Have you been long with him?"

"That's not it—it's what he's done for a—for fellows. Strangers don't know Perkins. You might talk to him for a year, and never hear anything but shop. Then one day you get into a hole, and you would find out another Perkins.

"Stand by you?" and he wheeled round. "Rather, and no palaver either; with money and with time and with—other things, that do a fellow more good than the whole concern, and no airs. There's [pg 245] more than one man in our office has cause to—bless Schedule Perkins.

"Let me tell you how he got—one chap out of the biggest scrape he'll ever fall into. Do you mind me smoking?" And then he made himself busy with matches and a pipe that was ever going out for the rest of the story.

"Well, you see, this man, clerk in our office, had not been long up from the country, and he was young. Wasn't quite bad, but he couldn't hold his own with older fellows.

"He got among a set that had suppers in their rooms, and gambled a bit, and he lost and borrowed, and—in fact, was stone broke.

"It's not very pleasant for a fellow to sit in his room a week before Christmas, and know that he may be cashiered before the holidays, and all through his own fault.

"If it were only himself, why, he might take his licking and go to the Colonies, but it was hard—on his mother—it's always going, out, this pipe!—when he was her only son, and she rather—believed in him.

"Didn't sleep much that night—told me himself afterwards—and he concluded that the best way out was to buy opium in the city next day, and take it—pretty stiff dose, you know—next night.

"Cowardly rather, of course, but it might be easier for the mater down in Devon—his mother, I mean—did I say he was Devon?—same county as myself—affair would be hushed up, and she would have—his memory clean.

"As it happened, though, he didn't buy any opium next day—didn't get the chance; for Perkins came round to his desk, and asked this young chap to have a bit of dinner with him—aye, and made him come.


"He had the jolliest little dinner ready you ever saw, and he insisted, on the fellow smoking, though Perkins hates the very smell of 'baccy, and—well, he got the whole trouble out of him, except the opium.

"D'y think he lectured and scolded? Not a bit—that's not Perkins—he left the fool to do his own lecturing, and he did it stiff. I'll tell you what he said: 'Your health must have been much tried by this anxiety, so you must go down and spend Christmas with your mother, and I would venture to suggest that you take her a suitable gift.

"'With regard to your debt, you will allow me,' and Perkins spoke as if he had been explaining a schedule, 'to take it over, on two conditions—that you repay me by installments every quarter, and dine with me every Saturday evening for six months.'

"See what he was after? Wanted to keep—the fellow straight, and cheer him up; and you've no idea how Perkins came [pg 246] out those Saturdays—capital stories as ever you heard—and he declared that it was a pleasure to him.

"'I am rather lonely,' he used to say, 'and it is most kind of a young man to sit with me.' Kind!"

"What was the upshot with your friend? Did he turn over a new leaf?"

"He'll never be the man that Perkins expects; but he's doing his level best, and—is rising in the office. Perkins swears by him, and that's made a man of the fellow.

"He's paid up the cash now, but—he can never pay up the kindness—confound those wax matches, they never strike—he told his mother last summer the whole story.

"She wrote to Perkins—of course I don't know what was in the letter—but Perkins had the fellow into his room. 'You ought to have regarded our transaction as confidential. I am grieved you mentioned my name;' and then as I—I mean, as the fellow—was going out, 'I'll keep that letter beside my commission,' said Perkins.

"If Perkins dies"—young men don't do that kind of thing, or else one would have thought—"it'll be—a beastly shame," which was a terrible collapse, and Mr. Geoffrey Lighthead of the Schedule Department left the house without further remark or even shaking hands.

That was Wednesday, and on Friday morning he appeared, flourishing a large blue envelope, sealed with an imposing device, marked "On Her Majesty's Service," and addressed to

"Frederick Augustus Perkins, Esq.,

First Class Clerk in the Schedule Department,

Somerset House,


an envelope any man might be proud to receive, and try to live up to for a week.

"Rodway has retired," he shouted, "and we can't be sure in the office, but the betting is four to one—I'm ten myself—that the Board has appointed Perkins Chief Clerk;" and Lighthead did some steps of a triumphal character.

"The Secretary appeared this morning after the Board had met. 'There's a letter their Honors wish taken at once to Mr. Perkins. Can any of you deliver it at his residence?' Then the other men looked at me, because—well, Perkins has been friendly with me; and that hansom came very creditably indeed.

"Very low, eh? Doctors afraid not last over the night—that's hard lines—but I say, they did not reckon on this letter. Could not you read it to him? You see this was his one ambition. He could never be Secretary, not able enough, but he was made for Chief Clerk. Now he's got it, or I would not have been sent out skimming with this letter. Read it to him, and the dear old chap will be on his legs in a week."

It seemed good advice; and this was what I read, while Perkins lay very still and did his best to breathe:—


"I have the pleasure to inform you that the Board have appointed you Chief Clerk in the Schedule Department in succession to Gustavus Rodway, Esq., who retires, and their Honors desire me further to express their appreciation of your long and valuable service, and to express their earnest hope that you may be speedily restored to health.

"I am,

"Your obedient servant,



For a little time it was too much for Mr. Perkins, and then he whispered:

"The one thing on earth I wished, and—more than I deserved—not usual, personal references in Board letters—perhaps hardly regular—but most gratifying—and—strengthening.

"I feel better already—some words I would like to hear again—thank you, where I can reach it—nurse will be so good as to read it."

Mr. Perkins revived from that hour, having his tonic administered at intervals, and astonished the doctors. On Christmas Eve he had made such progress that Lighthead was allowed to see him for five minutes.

"Heard about your calling three times a day—far too kind with all your work—and the messages from the staff—touched me to heart.—Never thought had so many friends—wished been more friendly myself.

"My promotion, too—hope may be fit for duty—can't speak much, but think I'll be spared—Almighty very good to me—Chief Clerk of Schedule Department—would you mind saying Lord's Prayer together—it sums up everything."

So we knelt one on each side of Perkins's bed, and I led with "Our Father"—the other two being once or twice quite audible. The choir of a neighboring church were singing a Christmas carol in the street, and the Christ came into our hearts as a little child.

[pg 247]



By Harry Perry Robinson,

Editor of "The Railway Age" and one of the official time-keepers on the train.


WHEN, on August 22d last, a train was run over what is known as the West Coast line (of the London and Northwestern and the Caledonian Railways) from London to Aberdeen, a distance of 540 miles, at an average speed, while running, of 63.93 miles an hour, the English press hailed with a jubilation which was almost clamorous the fact that the world's record for long distance speed rested once more with Great Britain. From the tone which the English newspapers adopted, it appeared that they believed that the record then made was one which could not be beaten in this country, but that the former records of the New York Central represented the maximum speed obtainable on an American railway with American engines.

Undoubtedly the West Coast run was a remarkable one. But English judges were mistaken as to the permanence of the record. It was left unchallenged for just twenty days—or until September 11th, when the cable carried to England the unpleasant news that the New York Central had covered the 436.32 miles from New York to East Buffalo at an average speed, when running, of 64.26 miles an hour—or about one-third of a mile an hour faster than the English run.

There was still left to the Englishmen, however, a loophole for escape from confession of defeat. It will be noticed that the distance from New York to Buffalo is rather more than 100 miles shorter than that from London to Aberdeen. It was yet possible for the Englishmen to say: "We are talking only of long distance speeds. We do not consider anything under 500 miles a long distance." The record, in fact, for a distance of over 500 miles was still with England.

There are not many railways in the United States on which a sustained high speed for a distance of over 500 miles would be possible. In England the run is made, as already stated, over the connecting lines of two companies. In this country, while not a few roads have over 500 miles of first-class track in excellent condition, there is usually at some point in that distance an obstacle (either steep grades to cross a mountain range, or bad curves, or a river to be ferried) sufficient to prevent the making of a record. On the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, from Chicago to Buffalo, there exists no such impediment, and between the outskirts of the two cities the distance is 510.1 miles. It was in an informal conversation between certain officers of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway that the idea of attempting to beat the record on this piece of track was first suggested.

In making comparison of different runs there are other matters to be taken into consideration besides the mere distance covered and the speed attained. It is not possible to exactly equalize all conditions—as, for instance, those of wind and weather, or of the physical character of the track in the matter of grades and curves. Entire equality in all particulars could only be attained in the same way that it is attained in horse-racing, viz., by having trains run side by side on parallel tracks.

Certain conditions there are, however, which are more important and which can be equalized. One of these is the weight of the train hauled. The English load was a light one—67 tons (English) or 147,400 [pg 248] pounds. This was little more than one-quarter of the load hauled by the New York Central engine on its magnificent run, when the weight of the cars making the train was 565,000 pounds. With the types of locomotive used on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern it was not possible to haul at record-breaking speed any such load as this. It was enough if the load should be about double that of the English train. This was attained by putting together two heavy Wagner parlor cars of 92,500 pounds each and Dr. Webb's private car "Elsmere," which alone weighs 119,500 pounds—or more than three-fourths of the weight of the entire English train. The total weight of the three Lake Shore and Michigan Southern cars was 304,500 pounds.


From a photograph by Max Platz, Chicago. President Newell died August 24, l894, and is said to have fairly sacrificed his life to giving the Lake Shore the best railway track in America. The proud record made, in this speed run, is largely the fruit of his labor.

The last important condition to be taken into consideration is the number of stops made. It should be explained that when speed is reckoned "when running" or "exclusive of stops" (the phrases mean the same thing), the time consumed in stops is deducted—the time, that is, when the wheels are actually at rest. No deduction however, is made for the loss of time in slowing up to a stop or in getting under way again. On the run of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, for instance, an irregular or unexpected stop was made when the train was running at a speed of about 71 miles an hour. The train was actually at rest for 2 minutes and 5 seconds. That allowance, therefore, was made for the stop. It is unnecessary to say that the secondary loss of time in bringing the train to a standstill and in regaining speed was much greater; but for these (aggregating probably five or six minutes) there was no allowance. It is evident, therefore, that the number of times that a train has to slow down and get under way again is an important factor in the average speed of a long run. In the English run two stops were made. The schedule for the Lake Shore run provided for four stops. A fifth stop, as has already been stated, was made, which was not on the programme.

These, then, were the conditions under which the now famous run of October 24, 1895, was accomplished: A train weighing twice as much as the English train was to be hauled for a distance of over 500 miles, making four stops en route, at a speed, when running, greater than 63.93 miles an hour. Incidentally it was hoped also that the New York Central's speed of 64.26 miles an hour would be beaten.

No public announcement was made of the undertaking in advance, for the sufficient reason that the gentlemen in charge were well aware of the difficulty of the task in which they were engaged and the many chances of failure. They had no desire to have such a failure made unnecessarily public. No one was informed of what was in hand except the officials and employees of the Lake Shore road, whose coöperation was necessary, one daily newspaper (the Chicago "Tribune"), the Associated Press, and two gentlemen who were invited to attend as official time-keepers, Messrs. H.P. Robinson and Willard A. Smith—the former being the editor of "The Railway Age," and the latter the ex-chief of the Transportation Department at the Chicago World's Fair. General Superintendent Canniff of the Lake Shore was in charge of the train in person.

[pg 249]
[pg 250]

It was at two o'clock of the morning of October 24th that the train, which had been waiting since early in the evening on a side track in the Lake Shore station at Chicago, slipped unostentatiously away behind a switch engine which was to haul it as far as One Hundredth Street, where the start was to be made. Here there was a wait of nearly an hour until the time fixed for starting—half-past three. There was plenty to be done at the last moment to occupy the time of waiting, however. There were last messages to be sent back to Chicago; last orders to be sent on ahead; telegrams containing weather bulletins, which promised fair weather all the way to Buffalo, to be read; and, finally, the preparations to be made for time-taking.

One of the time-keepers, taking two stop-watches in his hand, started the split-second-hands of both with one movement of his muscles, exactly together. To one or other of these timepieces all the watches on the train were set.

In one of the parlor cars, as nearly as might be in the middle of the length of the train, two tables were set, one on either side of the aisle. The time-keepers had agreed to relieve each other at each stop at the end of a division, one being always on duty, and the other close at hand to verify any record on which a question might arise. The time-keeper on duty sat at one of the tables, watch in hand. Opposite to him was a representative of the railway company, with no power to originate a record, but to check each stop in case an error should occur. Across the aisle sat the official recorder, a representative of the Wagner Palace Car Company, and opposite to him a representative of the daily press.

For two minutes before the time for starting, silence settled down upon the car. The shades were pulled down over every window. Inside, the car was brilliantly lighted with Pintsch gas; and the eyes of every man were on the face of the watch which each held in his hand, and his finger was ready to press the stop which splits the second-hand. The two minutes passed slowly, and the silence was almost painful as the watches showed that the moment was close at hand. Suddenly the smallest perceptible jerk told that the wheels had moved, and on the instant the split-hand of every watch in the car had recorded the fact. "Three—twenty-nine—twenty-seven!" announced the time-keeper.

"Three—twenty-nine—twenty-seven!" echoed the representative of the railway company.

"Three—twenty-nine—twenty-seven!" called the recorder as he entered the figures on the sheet before him.

"Three—twenty-nine—twenty-seven!" said the member of the press.

The start had been made thirty-three seconds ahead of time, and each member of the party settled himself down to the work ahead.

Over each division of the road the superintendent of that division rode as "caller-off" of the stations as they were passed. It was necessary, during the first hours of darkness especially, that some one should do this who was familiar with every foot of the track—some one who would not have to rely on eyesight alone, but to whose accustomed senses every sway of the car as a curve was passed, and every sound of the wheels on bridge or culvert, would be familiar.

The first station, Whiting, is only three and one-half miles from the starting-point. The night outside was intensely black, and it was doubtful whether even the practised eye and ear of Superintendent Newell would be able to catch the little station as it went by. With one eye on our watches, therefore, we all had also one anxious eye on him where he sat with his head hidden under the shade that was drawn behind him, a blanket held over the crevices to shut out every ray of light, and his face pressed close against the glass. The minutes passed slowly—one, two, three, four, five! Whiting must be very near, and—but just as we began to fear that he had missed the station, the word came:

"Ready for Whiting!" and the response,

"Ready for Whiting!"

A few short seconds of silence, and then:


Instantly the muscles of the waiting fingers throbbed on the split-stop; but no quicker than the roar told that the car was already passing the station.

"Three—thirty-four—forty-five!" called the time-keeper.




It was an immense relief to find that the system "worked."

When the warning "Ready for Pine "—the next station, six miles further on—came [pg 251] from behind the envelope of window-shade and blanket, we were at our ease, and the record, "Three—forty-one—three," was called and echoed and tossed across the car with confidence.


By the time that Miller's—fifteen miles from the start—was passed, the train was moving at a speed of over a mile a minute, and at every mile the velocity increased. At La Porte, forty-five miles from the start, the speed was 66 miles an hour; and fourteen miles further on, at Terre Coupee, it reached to 70. It was fast running—while it lasted; but it did not last long. The next station showed that the speed was down to 67 miles an hour, and at the next it was barely over sixty. A speed of a mile a minute, however, is high enough when passing through the heart of a city like South Bend, Indiana. South Bend is understood to have a city ordinance forbidding trains to run within the city limits at a speed exceeding 15 miles an hour. But if any good citizen of South Bend was shocked that morning at being waked from his sleep by the roar of the flying train, it is to be hoped that he forgot his resentment before evening. Then he knew that he had been waked in a good cause, and that if the city ordinance had been broken it was broken in good company—the world's record suffered with it.

To those inside the cars nothing but their watches told them of the rate of speed. Of the party on board every man was familiar with railway affairs; but there was not one who was not surprised at the smoothness of the track and the complete absence of uncomfortable motion. Only by lifting a window shade and straining the eyes into the blackness of the night, to see the red sparks streaming by or the dim outlines of house and tree loom up and disappear, was it possible to appreciate the velocity at which the train was moving.

Fifteen miles from South Bend the first stop was made, at Elkhart, and one-sixth of the run was over—87.4 miles in 85.4 minutes, or a speed of 61.38 miles an hour.

That was good work; but it was not breaking records. It had not been expected, however, that the best speed would be made on this first stretch; and if there was any disappointment among those on the train, it did not yet amount to discouragement. It had been dark (and breaking records in the dark is not as easy as in daylight), there had been curves and grades to surmount, and, above all, it was now discovered that a heavy frost lay on the rails.

At Elkhart there was a change of engines, two minutes and eleven seconds being consumed in the process, and at three minutes before five o'clock (4 hours, 57 minutes, 4 seconds) the wheels were moving again.

The frost that was on the rails was felt inside the cars. It was not an occasion when an engineer would have steam to spare for heating cars; and the group that were huddled in the glare of the gaslight were muffled in blankets and heavy overcoats. [pg 252] Outside, the dawn was coming up from the east to meet us—as lovely a dawn as ever broke in rose-color and flame. As the daylight grew, we were able to see how complete the arrangements were for the safety of the run. At every crossing, whether of railway, highway, or farm road, a man was posted—1,300 men in all, it is said, along the 510 miles of line. Apart from these solitary figures, no one was yet astir to see the wonderful sight of the brilliantly lighted train—for the shades were lifted now—rushing through the dawn.

Mark Floyd; D.M. Luce; James A. Lathrop.








At Kendallville, 42 miles from Elkhart, the speed, in spite of an adverse grade, was 67 miles an hour. Here—the highest point on the line above the sea—the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad crosses the Lake Shore track at right angles, and a train was standing waiting for us to pass—the engine shrieking its good wishes to us as we flew by. At Waterloo, twelve miles further on, a clump of early pedestrians stood in the street to gaze, and two women—wives, doubtless, of railway hands who had learned what was in progress—were out on the porch of a cottage to see us pass. And it must have been a sight worth seeing, for we were running at 70 miles an hour now, with 60 miles of tangent ahead of us. At Butler, seven miles beyond, we passed a Wabash train on a parallel track, which made great show of travelling fast. Perhaps it was doing so—moving, perchance, at 40 miles an hour. But we were running at 72, and the Wabash train slid backwards from us at the rate of half a mile a minute; and still our pace quickened to 75 miles an hour, and 78, and 79, and at last to 80. But that speed could not be held for long.

The sun was above the horizon now, and the long straight column of smoke that we left behind us glowed rosy-red; and all the autumn foliage of the woods was ablaze with color and light. But as the sunlight struck the rails the frost began to melt; and a wet rail is fatal to the highest speeds. The 80-mile-an-hour mark, touched only for a few seconds, was not to be reached again on this division. During the next 47 miles, to Toledo, 64, 65, and 66 miles were reached at times; and when for the second time the train came to a standstill it was one minute after seven, and the 133.4 miles from Elkhart had been made in 124.5 minutes—or at 64.24 miles an hour. This was better than the run to Elkhart—and good enough in itself to beat the English figures. But it was not what had been expected of the "air line division," with its 69 miles of tangent and favorable grades; and, taking the two divisions together, 220 miles of the 510 were gone, and we were as yet, thanks to the frost, below the record which we had to beat.

The time spent in changing engines at Toledo was 2 minutes and 28 seconds, and at 7.04.07 the train was sliding out of the yards again. Coming out of Toledo the railway runs over a drawbridge; and boats on the river below have right of way. But not on such an occasion as this; for there, [pg 253] waiting patiently, lay a tug tied up to a pier of the bridge, with her tow swinging on the stream behind her.

If the record was to be beaten for the first half of the run, the speed for the next thirty miles would have to be nearly 70 miles an hour. Each individual mile was anxiously timed, and at 12 miles from Toledo the speed was already 66 miles an hour. Nor did it stop there, but 10 miles further on a stretch of 3½ miles showed a rate of 73.80 miles an hour, and the next 5½ miles were covered at the rate of 71.40.

It would not take much of such running to put us safely ahead of the record at the half-way point; but even as hope grew, there was a sudden jar and grinding of the wheels which told of brakes suddenly applied. What was the matter? It takes some little time to bring a train to a standstill when it is running at over 70 miles an hour; and there was still good headway on when we slid past a man who yet held a red flag in his hand. Evidently he had signalled the engineer to stop. But why? Windows were thrown up, and before the train had stopped, heads were thrust out. The engineer climbed down from his cab. From the rear platform the passengers poured out, until only the time-keepers were left on the train, sitting watch in hand to catch the exact record of the stop and the start. And already, before his voice could be heard, the man with the flag was brandishing his arms in the signal to "go ahead;" and no one cared to stop to question him.

The stop was short—only a few seconds over two minutes, but the good headway of 70 miles an hour was lost; and as the wheels moved again, it was a sullen and dispirited party on the train. Just as the hope of winning our uphill fight had begun to grow strong, precious minutes had been lost; and for what reason none could guess. The common belief on the train was that the man, in excess of enthusiasm at the speed which the train was making, had lost his head, and waved his red flag in token of encouragement. It subsequently transpired that he was justified, an injury to a rail having been discovered which might have made the passage at great speed dangerous; but, until that fact was known, the poor trackman at Port Clinton was sufficiently abused.

On the 70 miles that remained of this division there was no possibility that such a speed could be made as would put the total for the first half of the run above the record. Once it was necessary to slow down to take water from the track, and once again for safety in rounding the curve at Berea. Between these points there were occasional bursts of speed when 68 and 70 miles an hour were reached; and after Berea was passed, there remained only 13 miles to Cleveland. But in those 13 miles was done the fastest running that had been made that day; for 7 miles to Rockport were covered at the rate of 83.4 miles an hour, and at Rockport itself the train must have been running nearly a mile and a half in a minute.

It was a gallant effort; and, but for "the man at Port Clinton," there is no doubt that by that time the success of the run would have been reasonably assured. As it was, Cleveland was reached at ten minutes to nine (8.50.13), the 107 miles from Toledo having been covered in 109 minutes—from which two minutes and five seconds were to be deducted for the time in which the train was at rest at Port Clinton. In all, so far, 328½ miles [pg 254] had been run at a speed of 62.16 miles an hour.

"It may be done yet," people told each other, but there was little confidence in the voices which said it.

The stop at Cleveland was a good omen, for the change of engines was made in a minute and forty-five seconds, and it was soon evident that Jacob Garner, the new engineer, understood that he had a desperate case in hand. Before ten miles were covered the train was travelling more than a mile in a minute. Twenty-eight miles from the start, in spite of an adverse grade, six miles were covered at the rate of 74.40 miles an hour; and from there on mile after mile flew past, and station after station, and still the speed showed 70 miles and upwards. Through Ashtabula, haunted with the memory of railway disaster, we burst, and on to Conneaut and Springfield; and, even against hope, hope grew again. Twelve miles from Springfield is the little town of Swanville, and here the high-water mark of 83.4 miles at the end of the last division was beaten; for the 6.2 miles from there to Dock Junction were made in 4.4 minutes—or at the speed of 84.54 miles an hour.

As has been said, it was hoping only against hope. But to despair was impossible in the face of such running; and when Erie, 8½ miles beyond Dock Junction, was reached, the 95½ miles from Cleveland had been done in 85½ minutes, at an average speed of 67.01 miles an hour. The average speed for the whole distance from Chicago was now 63.18 miles an hour, which was crawling close up to the record. But 424 miles had been covered, and only 86 miles remained. If the record was to be beaten, the speed for those 86 miles would have to average over 70 miles an hour.

Was it possible to do such a thing? It never had been done, of course, in all the world; but the essence and the object of the whole day's run were that it should defy all precedent. There were few people, however, of those on board who in their hearts dared harbor any hope; especially as the engine which was to be tried at this crucial moment was a doubtful quantity.

All the engines used upon this run were built by the Brooks Locomotive Works, of Dunkirk, N.Y., after designs by Mr. George W. Stevens, of the Lake Shore road. The first four engines, which had hauled the train as far as Erie, were of what is known as the American type—eight-wheelers, comparatively light, but built for fast speeds. These locomotives weighed only 52 tons, with 17 by 24-inch cylinders and 72-inch driving-wheels. They had been doing admirable work in service, having been built to haul the famous "Exposition Flyer" in 1893; and that they were capable of very high speeds, for short distances at least, even with a fairly heavy train, had been shown in the earlier stages of this run, when all had reached a speed of 70 miles an hour, and two had touched and held a speed of well over 80.

The last engine was of a different type, and a type which among experts has not been considered best adapted to extremely high speeds. Somewhat heavier than its predecessors (weighing 56½ tons in working order), this engine was a ten-wheeler, with three pairs of coupled drivers and a four-wheeled swivelling truck. It had the same small cylinders (17 by 24 inches), and driving-wheels of only 68 inches diameter. It was a bold experiment to put such an engine to do such work; and nothing could well be devised for fast speeds more unlike the magnificent engine "No. 999," which was built in the New York Central Railroad shops at West Albany, and is the glory of the New York Central road, or than the London and Northwestern compound engine with its 88-inch driving-wheels, or the Caledonian locomotive (which did the best running in the English races) with its 78-inch drivers and cylinders 18 by 26 inches.

It was now after ten o'clock in the morning; and at Erie crowds had assembled at the station to see the train go out, for news of what was being done had by this time gone abroad. The platforms, too, at every station from Erie to Buffalo were thronged with people as we went roaring by. In Dunkirk (through which we burst at 75 miles an hour) crowds stood on the sidewalks and at every corner. To describe the run for those 86 miles in detail would be impossible, or to put into words the tension of the suppressed excitement among those on board the train as miles flew by and we knew that we were travelling as men had never travelled before.

For those who had misgivings as to the possibilities of the type of engine there was a surprise as soon as she picked up the train. She must have reached a speed of a mile a minute within five miles from the first movement of the wheels. The first eight miles were finished in 8 minutes, 49 seconds. From there on there was never an instant of slackening pace. From 60 miles an hour the velocity rose to 70; from [pg 255] 70 to 80; from 80, past the previous high-water marks, to 85 and 90, and at last to over 92.

Trains have been timed for individual miles at speeds of over 90 miles before. There is even said to be on record an instance of a single mile run at 112 miles an hour. But never before has an engine done what the ten-wheeler did that day, when it reached 80 miles an hour and held the speed for half an hour; reached 85 miles an hour and held that for nearly ten minutes; reached 90 miles and held that for three or four consecutive miles. A speed of 75 miles an hour (a mile and a quarter a minute) was maintained for the whole hour, and the 75 miles were actually covered in the 60 minutes. The entire 86 miles were done in 70 minutes 46 seconds,—an average speed of 72.91 miles an hour. In the English run, a speed of 68.40 miles was maintained for an even hour, 69 miles being done in 60.5 minutes; and 141 miles were run at an average speed of 67.20 miles an hour.

To word it otherwise, the American train covered 7 miles more in its fastest hour than did the English train. The speed which the English engines held for 141 miles the American engines held for over 200—181 miles being made at 69.67 miles an hour.

The most remarkable figures in the American run are given in the following table:

A distance of 510.1 miles made at 65.07 miles an hour.
"     "     " 289.3   "    "   "  66.68   "    "  "
"     "     " 181.5   "    "   "  69.67   "    "  "
"     "     "  85     "    "   "  72.92   "    "  "
"     "     "  71     "    "   "  75.06   "    "  "
"     "     "  59     "    "   "  76.08   "    "  "
"     "     "  52     "    "   "  78.00   "    "  "
"     "     "  42     "    "   "  79.04   "    "  "
"     "     "  33     "    "   "  80.07   "    "  "
"     "     "   8     "    "   "  85.44   "    "  "

A single mile was also timed (unofficially) at the speed of 92.3 miles an hour.

Here is the schedule of the last division:

                                           Dis-         Time of
                                           tance.       leaving.
Erie (leave).............................—              10-19-48
Harbor Creek............................. 8 miles       10-28-37
Moorhead................................. 3   "         10-31-06
North East............................... 4   "         10-34-22
State Line............................... 5   "         10-38-15
Ripley................................... 3   "         10-40-22
Westfield................................ 8   "         10-45-56
Brocton.................................. 8   "         10-52-06
Van Buren...........,.................... 5   "         10-55-39
Dunkirk.................................. 4   "         10-58-54
Silver Creek............................. 9   "         11-06-05
Fairhaven................................ 5   "         11-10-33
Angola .................................. 5   "         11-14-14
Lake View................................ 7   "         11-20-11
Athol Springs............................ 4   "         11-24-39
Buffalo Creek............................ 8   "         11-30-34
                                         --             --------
Total distance Erie to Buffalo
    Creek................................86   "
Total time for the 86 miles....                          1-10-46

Average speed over division..............72.91 miles per hour.

So remarkable are these figures, considering the type of engine used, that an English technical journal has, since the run was made, scientifically demonstrated to its own satisfaction that it was an impossibility. Well, it is the impossible which sometimes happens.

Through all the running at these wonderful speeds the train moved with singular smoothness. Moments there were of some anxiety, when the cars swung round a curve or dashed through the streets of a town. At such times there were those among the passengers who would perhaps gladly have sacrificed a few seconds of the record. Except for those occasions, however, there was nothing to tell of the extraordinary speed—nothing unless one stood on the rear platform of the last car and saw the swirling cloud of dust and leaves and bits of paper, even of sticks and stones, that were sucked up into the vacuum behind, and almost shut out the view of the rapidly receding track. It may be (it certainly will be) that the average of 65.07 miles an hour for a distance of 510 miles will be beaten before long. It is almost certain that the same engines on the same road could beat it in another trial—taking a slightly lighter train, running by daylight and over a dry rail. It will be long, however, before such another run is made as that over the last 86 miles by the ten-wheeler, with William Tunkey in charge. Railway men alone, perhaps, understand the qualities which are necessary in an engineer to enable him to make such a run; and the name of Tunkey is one (however unheroic it may sound) which railway men will remember for many years to come. An analysis of the figures given above will show that it was not until within 20 miles of the end of the run that there was any confidence that the record was broken; and not until the run was actually finished and the watches stopped for the last time, at 34 seconds after half-past eleven, that confidence was changed to certainty.

In addition to the mere speed, everything combined to make the run supremely dramatic—the disappointment over the first divisions—the growing hopes dashed by the unexpected flag—the increase of hope again on the run to Erie—the misgivings as to the type of engine—all culminating in the last tremendous burst of speed and the triumphant rush into Buffalo station.

And having left Chicago at half-past three in the morning, at half past-ten that night I sat and watched Mr. John Drew on the stage of a New York theatre.

[pg 256]



By Will H. Low.

AT the period when in France David and his followers had resuscitated a dead and gone art, and by dint of governmental patronage had infused into it a semblance of life, across the Channel, in a provincial town of England, a little group of painters were quietly doing work which, if it did not in itself change the face of modern art, was at least indicative of the change soon to be accomplished by the advent of Constable.

The leader of this group, which has been of late years in the hands of zealous amateurs and dealers elevated to the rank of "school," was John Crome, born at Norwich, December 22, 1768. The son of a publican, he was first an errand boy to a local physician and afterwards apprenticed to a sign painter. Without instruction, hampered by an early marriage, he forsook his occupation, and sought to paint landscapes; meanwhile finding in the houses of the neighboring gentry pupils in drawing. The lessons gave him a living; and in the houses where he taught were many Dutch pictures which he carefully studied, so that he is in a sense a follower of the Holland school. But his greatest and best teacher was the quiet Norfolk country; and the environs of Norwich, from which he seldom strayed, found in him an earnest student.


In 1805, in conjunction with his son (the younger Crome) and Cotman, Stark, and Vincent, Crome founded at Norwich an artists' club, where the members exhibited their pictures and had a large studio in common. Some of the members of the Norwich "school," a title to which none of them in their own time pretended, left their native town, and went to London; but its founder remained true to the city of his birth, where he died April 22, 1821. Late in life he visited Paris, where the Louvre still held the treasures of Europe, garnered after every campaign by Napoleon; and his enthusiasm for the great Dutch painters found fresh nourishment.

It is by this link in the great chain of art that Crome gained his first consideration in the world's esteem; but more important to us of to-day is the fact that he was the first of his century to return to nature. No evil that the frivolous eighteenth century had wrought, or that the classicism of the early years of the nineteenth had perpetuated in art, was so great as the substitution of a conventional type of picture instead of that directly inspired by nature; and this artificial standard, which diverted figure painting from its legitimate field, bore even more heavily on the art of landscape painting.

Crome, by his isolation at Norwich, escaped this tendency. The Norwich painters, however, were, to a certain degree, an accident. In the London of their time, the almost total cessation of intercourse with continental Europe, due to the war with France, had not prevented the academical standard from penetrating and taking root. The independence of Hogarth in the preceding century had been without result; and Sir Joshua Reynolds, in principle if not always in practice, had preached the doctrine [pg 257] of submission to accepted formulas. Benjamin West, who had succeeded him as president of the Royal Academy, was little but an academic formula himself; and landscape (whose greatest representative had been, until his death in 1782, Richard Wilson, a painter of merit, who had united to a charming sense of color an adherence to the strictest classical influence) was wallowing in the mire of conventionality.


This portrait, from an unknown model, gives Romney with all his charm and more than his usual sincerity.

To the London of 1800, however, were to be given two landscape painters who may fairly claim the honor of placing their art on a higher pinnacle than it had ever before reached. One of them, John Constable, remains to-day the direct source from which all representation of the free open air is derived, be the painter Saxon, Gallic, or Teuton. The other, Joseph Mallord William Turner, may be said to reach greater heights than his contemporary; but, unlike him, his art is so based on qualities peculiar to himself that he stands alone, though having many imitators who have never achieved more than a superficial resemblance to his work.

Constable, founding his work on nature with close observance of natural laws, was able to exert an influence by which all painters have since profited. When he came to London, at the age of twenty-three, to study in the school of the Royal Academy, he attracted the attention of Sir George Beaumont, an amateur painter who, by his taste and social position, was all-powerful in the artistic circles of the metropolis. It was he who asked the young painter the famous question, "Where do you place your brown tree?" this freak of vegetation being one of the essential component parts of the properly constructed academical landscape of the period. For a year or two the youth placed brown trees, submissively enough, in landscapes painfully precise in detail and deficient in atmosphere. Then he did that which to a common, sensible mind would seem the most obvious thing for a landscape painter to do, but which had been [pg 258] done so rarely that the simple act was the boldest of innovations. He took his colors out of doors, and painted from nature.


Reproduced, by the courtesy of W.H. Fuller, from "Memoirs of the Life of John Constable, Esq., R.A., Composed Chiefly of his Letters, by C.R. Leslie, R.A." Quarto, London, 1843. This noble memoir, which makes one love the man as one admires the painter, is unfortunately out of print.

Of the dreary waste of "historical" and arbitrarily composed landscapes, even in the simpler honest productions of the Dutch preceding this century, nearly all were painted from drawings; color had been applied according to recipe; the brown tree was rampant through all the seasons represented, from primavernal spring to golden autumn. At the most, only studies in colors were made out of doors—unrelated portions of pictures, stained rather than painted, with timid desire to enregister details. These were then transported to the studio, where they underwent a process of arrangement, of "cookery," as the typically just French expression puts it; from which the picture came out steeped in a "brown sauce," conventional, artificial, and monotonous, but pleasing to the Academy-ridden public of the time. The young "miller of Bergholt"—for it was there in the county of Suffolk that young Constable first saw the light, on June 11, 1776—determined in 1803 to have done with convention. He writes to a friend, one Dunthorne, who had had much influence on his early life and was his first teacher: "For the last two years I have been running after pictures and seeking truth at second hand;" adding that he would hereafter study nature alone, convinced that "there is [was] room enough for a natural painter."


This picture was given to the National Gallery by the painter's children. It is possibly one of three pictures on which Constable obtained the gold medal of the Paris Salon in 1822—the one which in the Salon catalogue is entitled "A Canal." The other two were "The Hay-Wain" (shown on the next page) and "Hampstead Heath," both now in the National Gallery.

This was henceforth the aim of his life; and from constant study out of doors he learned that natural objects exist to our sight not isolated, but in relation one to another; that the whole is more important than a part; and that the bark of a tree, a minutely defined plant, or a conscientiously geologically studied rock, may mar the effect of a whole picture, while the scene to be represented has a character of its own more subtle, more evanescent, but also infinitely more true than any single element of which it is composed. More than that, through living on such intimate terms with Mother Nature, he learned to value the smiles of her sunshine, and to cunningly adjust her cloud-veils when she frowned. His object was no longer that of the earlier painters, who—and along with others even faithful Crome—had aimed to paint a "view" for its topographical value, suppressing or altering, like mediocre portrait painters, any feature which was [pg 259] thought to be displeasing. Constable painted the moods of nature; the simplest subjects seen under ever-varying effects of light were his choice; and though his pictures bear the names of various places, and divers existing features of these places are portrayed, it is always the beauty of the scene, or that of the moment of the day or night, which affects the spectator.


This picture was first exhibited in the Royal Academy of 1821. It is also one of three exhibited by Constable in the Paris Salon the following year. It is one of Constable's best known pictures. The thoroughly English character of the scene, painted with truth and simplicity, makes it, after a lapse of seventy-five years, as modern as though it were painted yesterday.

By a public which was used to the conventional tones of the older painters, and which understood or was interested in Turner's daring variations on the theme of classical landscape, these fresh, simple pictures which to-day look so natural to us were regarded with distrust. Not even the shepherd, much less the warrior or the demigod, inhabited these quiet scenes. A picture which any rural gentleman could see from his front door, smacked too little of art for the modish town. Moreover, Constable, no doubt sighing for something lighter and more brilliant, was accustomed, in a vain effort to rival the clear light of out-of-doors, to use the lightest colors of his palette. On a varnishing day at the Royal Academy, the word was passed around among the astonished painters that in portions of his picture of the year Constable had actually used pure white!

In 1829, however, the world moving, Constable was elected to membership in the Royal Academy. The most notable triumph of his life, though, befell seven years earlier, in 1822, when he sent three pictures to be exhibited in the Salon in Paris. The Hay-Wain, and Hampstead Heath, both at present in the National Gallery, London, were of the three, and excited the greatest enthusiasm among the group of young painters who, with Delacroix at their head, were warring against the academic rule imposed by David. Constable's work thenceforward was the dominant influence in France, and from it can be directly traced the great group of landscape painters which we to-day miscall the "Barbizon" school.

It is pleasant to recall that official honor—the first which he received—came to Constable by the award of the great gold medal of the Salon at this time. For a number of years after this he sent his work to the successive Salons. Pecuniary success, such as fell to the lot of Turner, was [pg 260] never his; the first painter who looked at nature in the open air "through his temperament," as Zola aptly expresses it, was perforce contented to live a modest life at Hampstead, happy in his work, grateful to nature who disclosed so many of her secrets to him.


The "Fighting Téméraire" was a line-of-battle ship of ninety-eight guns which Lord Nelson captured from the French at the battle of the Nile, August 1, 1798. In the battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1805, she fought next to the "Victory"—the ship from which Nelson commanded the battle, and aboard which, in the course of it, he was killed. She was sold out of the service in 1838, and towed to Rotherhithe to be broken up. Turner's painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy of 1839. His picture touched the popular heart, and though no reproduction in black and white can approach the splendor of color in the original, the engraving renders faithfully the sentiment of the picture.

"I love," he said, "every stile and stump and lane in the village; as long as I am able to hold a brush, I shall never cease to paint them." He ceased to "hold a brush" on the 30th of March, 1837.

Turner, who was born a year before Constable, on April 23, 1775, was, unlike the miller's son of Bergholt, a child of the city. He was born in London, in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, where his father was a hair-dresser; and when only fourteen entered the Royal Academy schools as a student. The next year he exhibited a drawing of Lambeth Palace; and in 1799 was made an associate, and in 1802 a member, of the Royal Academy. His career was probably more successful than that of any other artist of modern times. Of his life the more that is said in charity the better; for as the sun rises oftentimes from a fog bank, so the luminous dreams of color by which we know Turner emanated from an apparently sour, prosaic cockney. A bachelor implicated in low intrigues, dying under the assumed name of "Puggy Booth" in a dreary lodging in Chelsea, after a long career of miserly observance and rapacious bickering—of his life naught became him like the leaving. He died December 19, 1851. His will directed that his pictures—three hundred and sixty paintings and nearly two thousand drawings—should become the property of the nation, the only condition attached being that two of the pictures should be placed between two paintings by Claude Lorraine in the National Gallery. Twenty thousand pounds were left to the Royal Academy for the benefit of superannuated artists; and one thousand pounds were appropriated for a monument in St. Paul's, where this curious old man knew the English people would be proud to lay him.

For many years Turner had refused to sell certain of his pictures; while for others, [pg 261] and for the published engravings after his work, he had exacted prices of a character and in a manner that smacked of dishonesty. But as in obscure and dingy lodgings his brain had evolved the splendor of sunset and mirage, so, undoubtedly, his imagination had foreshadowed the noble monument which the Turner room at the National Gallery has created to his memory.


This portrait, made many years ago, is a sketch from life, and realizes the crabbed, sturdy painter, Turner, as we may imagine him.

Turner's work, as has been said before, is peculiarly his own. It is true that in the earlier pictures the influence of Claude Lorraine is evident; but upon this root is engrafted an audacity in the conception of color, a research of luminosity in comparison with which nearly all painting is eclipsed. That this refulgence is tinged now and then with exaggeration, with a forcing of effect that destroys the sense of weight and solidity in depicted objects where this sense should prevail, is certain. But it is not the least of his merits that he was endowed with a sureness of taste which enabled him to avoid the rock on which all his imitators have split—his work is never spectacular. It is perhaps at its best when he has the simple elements of sea and sky as his theme. Here, with the intangible qualities of air and light, textureless and diaphanous, he is most at home. When it becomes a question of the representation of earth, buildings, or trees, one feels the lack of loving subservience to nature; the spirit against which the art of Constable is eloquent lurks here too much.


"The midnight torch gleamed o'er the steamer's side,

And merit's corse was yielded to the tide."

Fallacies of Hope.

The "Fallacies of Hope" was an imaginary poem from which Turner professed to quote whenever he wanted a line or a couplet to explain his pictures, the avowed quotation being really of his own composition. Sir David Wilkie, the distinguished painter, died at sea on his way home from the Orient, June 1, 1841. His body was consigned to the sea at midnight of that day. The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1842.

The stone-pines of Italy are seen through the distortion of convention, the palaces of Venice were never builded by the hand of man; and we lose by this the contrast which nature provides between solid earth and filmy cloud. The onlooker must indeed be devoid of imagination, however, if he can stand before those pictures of Turner where the limitless sky is reflected in the waters, without profound emotion. They may not seem natural in such sense as one finds works of more realistic aim; but one must at least agree with Turner, in the time-worn story of the lady who taxed him with violation of natural law, saying that she had never seen a sky like one in the picture before them. "Possibly," growled the unruffled painter; "but don't you wish you could?"

[pg 262]

This is believed to be a portrait of the painter's younger brother, William Opie.

Another phase of art—English, like that of Constable and Turner—rose to its greatest popularity at about the same time. It had an origin more easily traceable—the presence of Vandyke in England in the seventeenth century having given an impulsion to portrait painting which had been maintained by Reynolds and Gainsborough in the century preceding our own. George Romney, who was born at Dalton, in Lancashire, December 15, 1734, divided with these last two painters the patronage of the great and wealthy of his time. He was but eleven years younger than Reynolds, and seven years the junior of Gainsborough; but by the fact of his living until November 15, 1802, he may be considered in connection with the painters of this century. He possessed great facility of brush, which led him occasionally into careless drawing, and he lacked the refined grace of Reynolds and the simple charm of Gainsborough. Nevertheless, a superabundance of the qualities which go to make up a painter were his, and his art is less affected by influences foreign to his native soil than that of any painter of his time.

Romney was preëminently a painter of women, as were the majority of his followers—English art at that time being possessed of more sweetness than force. Lady Hamilton, the Circe who succeeded in ensnaring the English Ulysses, Nelson, was a frequent model for Romney, and the list of notable names of the fair women whose beauty he perpetuated would be a long one. His life offers one of the most curious examples of the engrossing nature of a painter's work, if we accept this as the explanation of his strange conduct. Having come to London from Kendal in 1762, leaving his wife and family behind him in Lancashire, [pg 263] he remained in the metropolis for thirty-seven years, making, during this time, but two visits to the place which he never ceased to consider his home. It does not appear that anything but absorption in work was the cause of this neglect. His wife and children remained all the time in their northern home. In 1799, three years before his death, the husband and father awoke to a realization of their existence, and returned to live with them.


John Opie, known as the "Cornish genius" when his first works, executed at the age of twenty, were exhibited in the Royal Academy, was a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds. He was born at Truro in May, 1761, the son of a carpenter. His precocity attracted the notice of Dr. Wolcot ("Peter Pindar"), who introduced him to Reynolds.

Opie is thoroughly English in his manner, having, however, more affiliation to Hogarth and the earlier painters of his century than to his master. A certain hardness and lack of color are his principal defects; but, on the other hand, his work is sincere to a degree which none of the other painters of his time show, preoccupied as were even the best of them by a somewhat conventional type of beauty. He was appointed professor of painting at the Royal Academy in 1805, but delivered only one course of lectures, dying, at the age of forty-six, April 9, 1807.


From the collection of George A. Hearn of New York, by whose courtesy it appears here. Quaint and charming as a picture, of great beauty of color in the original, this is an admirable example of this painter. The original painting is at present on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

During the last quarter of the eighteenth century and the first years of the nineteenth, the fashionable portrait painters of London were John Hoppner and Sir Thomas Lawrence. The latter, living twenty years longer than Hoppner, was able to generously say of him, in a letter written shortly after Hoppner's death: "You will believe that I sincerely feel the loss of a brother artist from whose works I have often gained instruction, and who has gone by my side in the race these eighteen years."

Born in Whitechapel, London, April 4, 1758, Hoppner's first vocation was that of chorister in the Chapel Royal. By lucky accident his first efforts at painting attracted the attention of the king, George III., who granted him a small allowance which enabled him to study in the Royal Academy, where, in 1782, he gained the medal for oil painting. He first exhibited in 1780, and for some years devoted himself to landscape. Gradually changing to portraiture, he was appointed portrait painter to the Prince of [pg 264] Wales in 1789, and in 1793 he was made an associate of the Academy, receiving full membership in 1795. For twenty years and until his death, January 23, 1810, he was extremely successful, and his productions, though less in number than those of Reynolds, or his contemporary, Lawrence, were numerous. In the course of thirty years he contributed one hundred and sixty-six works to the Academy exhibitions. These were chiefly portraits of women and children, and are marked by unaffected grace and appreciation of character.


This picture, in the National Gallery, London, has inscribed on the canvas: "Lady Giorgiana Fane; 1800. Æt 5." It shows Lawrence's method of treating a child's portrait, in the style dear to our ancestors, as a "fancy" portrait. It is also typical of his pronounced mannerism, which would lead one to believe that before the days of photography sitters were easily contented on the score of resemblance. The head in this picture, for instance, is almost identical with that of Napoleon's son in the "Roi de Rome," executed fifteen years later.

[pg 265]

The greatest of all English actresses, at least in tragic parts—is the common judgment on Mrs. Siddons. She was almost born and reared on the stage, her father, Roger Kemble, being the manager of a travelling company of actors, with one of whom, William Siddons, she had married when she was eighteen. She was born at Brecon, in Wales, July 5, 1755, and had already attained to some distinction as an actress in 1775, when she made her first appearance in London. From then until her retirement in 1812 her career was a succession of triumphs. She died in London, June 8, 1831. Naturally, she was a favorite subject with the portrait painters of her time. The sweet-faced girl shown in the above portrait has as little resemblance to the stately lady of Gainsborough, or the "Tragic Muse" of Sir Joshua Reynolds, as it has to our imagination of what a "tragic queen" should be. The picture is, nevertheless, a portrait of the Mrs. Siddons, and was presented to the National Gallery, London, where it now is, by her daughter, Mrs. Cecelia Combe, in 1868.

Time has enhanced the value of Hoppner's work somewhat at the expense of his great rival, Lawrence. While the latter remains, from youth to comparative old age, a most astonishing example of facile and brilliant execution, the less obtrusive, possibly more timid, attitude of Hoppner in the presence of nature gives him a greater claim to our sympathy to-day. He was apparently preoccupied above all in rendering the individual characteristics of his sitter; and there are many instances in his work where a painter can see that he has chosen to retain certain qualities of resemblance, rather than risk their loss by an exhibition of bravura painting. Sir Thomas Lawrence is one, on the contrary, before whose pictures it is felt that the principal question has been to make it first of all a typical example of his work.

[pg 266]

This portrait of the gifted and brilliant woman who, as Lady Blessington, and the intimate friend of Count d'Orsay, alternately shocked and ruled the literary London of Byron's time, is representative of Lawrence's extreme mannerism; but, despite its "keepsake" prettiness, has great charm. Besides her distinguished beauty, Lady Blessington offered much, in her life and surroundings, to inspire a painter. Born in Ireland in 1789, she was forced at fourteen into marrying one Captain Farmer. She could not live with him, and they separated after three months. Farmer was killed in 1817, and the next year she married the Earl of Blessington. Then began that brilliant social career by virtue of which her fame now most survives. Her house became the resort of the most distinguished people of the time; and she herself, by her remarkable grace, cleverness, and vivacity, ever kept pace with the best of her company. She derived a large estate from her husband at his death, in 1829; and besides, for nearly twenty years she had ten thousand dollars a year from her novels (for she was also an author); but she lived most profusely, and had finally, in company with Count d'Orsay, to flee from her creditors. She died in Paris, June 4, 1849.

Lawrence, born at Bristol, May 4, 1769, was the son of the landlord of the Black Bear Inn at Devizes; and the child was not yet in his teens when some chalk drawings of his father's customers gave him a local reputation. We are told that "at the age of ten he set up as a portrait painter in crayons at Oxford; and soon after took a house at Bath, the then fashionable watering-place, where he immediately met with much employment and extraordinary success." When seventeen, his success called him to London, where in 1791, though under the age required by the laws of the Academy, he was elected as associate when twenty-two. The year before, he had painted the portraits of the king and queen; in 1794 he was made Academician, in 1815 was knighted, in 1820 was unanimously elected President of the Royal Academy, and in 1825 was created chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France.

This list of official honors is but little in comparison with the success which he had socially. Of a charming personality, he was admitted to the intimacy of all that Europe boasted of aristocracy and royalty. In 1815 he went to the congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, where his facile brush portrayed the august features of the allied sovereigns assembled there. He contributed, from 1787 to 1830 inclusive, three hundred and eleven pictures to the exhibitions of the Royal Academy.

It goes without saying that production of this quantity cannot be in every instance of the first quality. But the average merit of Lawrence's work is nevertheless of a high order. Of feminine charm (like many of his time and many of his predecessors) he was a master; no one has ever succeeded better in giving a certain aristocratic bearing to his sitters than he. It can be accounted a fault that this becomes somewhat stereotyped—that we feel that, were it wanting in the person before him, the amiable Sir Thomas could easily supply it. The English race has not changed so much in the short period which has elapsed since his time that the demeasurably large and liquid eyes, the swan-like necks, and the sloping shoulders, which mark it as his own in Lawrence's work, should be to-day of more rare occurrence. With this great and important limitation, among the pictures of Lawrence can be found a certain number of canvases, not always the most typical, of exceeding merit. Few men have ever conveyed better the impression of the depth and living quality of an eye, nor have many painters succeeded in giving to every part of their canvas the same qualities of color and brilliancy of execution as he.

[pg 267]

This picture, owned by R.H. McCormick of Chicago, by whose courtesy it is here reproduced, represents Lawrence in his least mannered aspect. The simplicity of young girlhood is well expressed, the head is drawn and modelled with great subtlety, and we are fortunate to have so good an example of Lawrence's work in this country.

Lawrence died in his beautiful house on Russell Square in London, surrounded by rare works of art which he had collected, on January 7, 1830. Nine years later Sir William Beechey, born at Burford in Oxfordshire in 1753, died in London at the age of eighty-six. He had come to London in 1772; and in 1798, having acquired consideration and a lucrative practice as a portrait painter, and after having painted a picture, now at Hampton Court, representing the king, George III., the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York at a review, he was knighted. The same year saw his election to the Academy, of which he had been an associate since 1793.

One of Beechey's distinctions is to have outnumbered even Lawrence in his contributions to the Academy, as three hundred and sixty-two of his works appeared on its walls. Of hasty execution or too great dependence on a dangerous facility, there is, however, little trace in his work. He was occupied exclusively with painting; he [pg 268] lived more than twenty years longer than Lawrence, and was never diverted by the claims of society upon his time. With his healthy, English color, recalling Reynolds, a sober style not devoid of charm, he is fairly typical of his time; and may fitly close this brief review of the earlier English portraitists. Their task has never been taken up by their successors in art, English portraiture to-day having much the same qualities and defects which mark the contemporaneous painters of all nations.


The original painting is now in the museum of the Louvre, and is a picture charming in color—the warm white of the dress, and the rich surroundings, in the manner of Reynolds, making an admirable foil to the children's heads.

The exclusive choice of feminine portraits in this article has been dictated by a desire to show, in the space at command, the painting most typical of the time and people. While all these painters produced portraits of men, their work in this field was, as a rule, inferior to the art of France. Lawrence is perhaps an exception; as it would seem that occasionally in the presence of a masculine sitter he rose superior to his manner and, painting with all sincerity, gave his remarkable gifts full play. The lack, however, of serious training in drawing, the over-reliance on charm of color and sentiment, give to the English work a degree of weakness as compared with the thorough command of form and austere fidelity to resemblance that was preached to the French with "drawing is the probity of art" for a text.

[pg 269]

From a photograph by Handy, Washington.



By Murat Halstead.

JAMES A. GARFIELD, twentieth President of the United States, had the good fortune to be a boy long after he reached the years of manhood. This fact is the key to his character and the explanation of his career. His boyishness was not lack of manhood; it was a lingering youthfulness of spirit, a keen susceptibility of impression, an elasticity of mind, a hearty enjoyment of his strong life, a tenderness and freshness of heart, an openness to friend and foe, something of deference to others, and of diffidence, not without understanding of and confidence in his own powers. He was youthful with the noble youth of the fields and schools and churches, of the farms and villages of the West, when he became a member of the legislature of [pg 270] Ohio, from which he passed into the army, that was like a university to him. As a soldier he was typically a big, brave boy, powerful, ardent, amiable, rejoicing in his strength. In eastern Kentucky he led his regiment in its first fight. He found out where the enemy were, and pulling off his coat—the regulation country style of preparing for battle—headed a foot-race straight for "the rebs," and routed them. It was literally a case of "come on, boys." Those opposed, so to speak, thought the devil possessed the robust young man in his shirt-sleeves.


From a photograph by Handy, Washington.

When Garfield was President, he was asked whether he ever thought, before his nomination for the office, that he was likely to fill it, and his answer was curious and characteristic of his manner of expression. He said he supposed all American young men reflected on that subject, and he had done so—not with any serious concern, but as a remote possibility. And he added, "I have fancied the great public personified and looking with an immense, a rolling, intense eye, over the millions of the nation, to pick out future Presidents, and thought as it swept along the ranks the eye might give me a glance, and that perhaps the meaning of it was: I may want you—some time."

It was my theory, as the editor of an important journal in Ohio during the time General Garfield served in Congress, that he needed a good deal of admonition; that he had a tendency to sentimentalism in politics that called for correction; that he required paragraphs to brace him up in various affairs; that he lacked a little in worldly wisdom, and maybe had a dangerous tendency to giving and taking too much confidence; and that he was disposed to dwell upon a mountain, and would be the better off for an occasional taking-down with a shade of good-humored sarcasm. He was still boyish about some things, and the speculative men in public life sought to beguile him. He was growing all the time, though. He was a student, and was brainy and generous, and laughed at "able articles" even if they had stings in them.


From a photograph by Handy, Washington.

Cincinnati knew him best as the Christian orator—follower of Alexander Campbell—who preached with a big voice and great earnestness at the corner of Walnut and Eighth Streets. This was when he was a grand young man, sure enough. Some time after, Congress found it out. After a while the public knew Garfield as [pg 271] one of the half dozen strongest men in the country. Next to John Sherman he stood the most commanding figure in Ohio politics, and was elected Senator of the United States, his term commencing on the day on which, as it happened, he was inaugurated President. He was just realizing his ability, having had it measured for him in the House of Representatives, and knew he was a force in affairs. He enjoyed his dinners and dressed well, and was of imposing presence: a good-natured giant—no posing—no troublesome sense of grandeur—none of the pomp affected by public men too conscious of importance.


From a photograph by Handy, Washington.

He suffered under the petty charge that he had been influenced by a scrap of stock whose value might be affected by Congressional action; and those who knew him well were aware that his innocence of knowledge to do what he was charged with doing, was absurd and itself proof that he was sound. He was, by virtue of superior capacity, at the head of the Ohio delegation [pg 272] to the Republican National Convention of 1880, and was charged with the management of the candidacy of John Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury, for the Presidency—the most competent man in the country for the office.

It had been thought for a time that the combination of important men for a third term of General Grant would succeed, as the glory of the General was very great and those who wanted him for President again were able and resolute. Blaine had hesitated for a moment whether to take the field; but learning that Sherman would be in the race whether there was or was not any other man a candidate in opposition to Grant, he made the fight, and he and Sherman were the representative leaders against the third term.

Their feeling was that they were not making war upon General Grant, but upon those who sought to use his fame for their own purpose, and they meant particularly Senator Conkling. General Grant, at Galena, wrote a letter to Senator Cameron, and gave it to John Russell Young, who handed it to Mr. Cameron, and it disappeared. This letter was a frank and serious statement that he desired not to be considered a candidate, and no doubt his preference was the nomination of Mr. Conkling.

The interest of the great convention early centred in the two tall men on the floor, the undoubted champions of the contending forces, Conkling and Garfield; and the latter got the first decided advantage in breaking the third term line when Conkling demanded that the majority of the delegation of a State should cast the entire vote. This was the famous unit rule, the defeat of which was the first event of the convention. Garfield and Conkling were foremost in the fray because they were the most masterful men of the vast assembly—nearly twenty thousand people under the roof.

The advocates of the Old Commander for a third term were in heavy force, and knew exactly what they wanted; and whenever the convention met, as Senator Conkling usually walked in late, he had a tumultuous reception. The opposition saw it was necessary to counteract this personal demonstration, and managed to hold Garfield back so that he should be later than Conkling, and then they gave him salutations of unheard-of exuberance far resounding; and this was the beginning of the end. Garfield, because he was in person, position, and transcending talent a leader, was transformed into a colossus before the eyes of the convention, and was an appeal to the imagination. When the nominating addresses were made, none was heard by the whole multitude but those by Conkling and Garfield. They stood on tables of reporters, and their voices rang clear, through their splendid speeches, carrying every word to the remotest corners; and the rivalry between the two men became emphasized. Each had the sense to admire the effort of the other, Conkling saying to the delegate by his side: "It is bright in Garfield to speak from that place," and it was a good deal for him to say. More and more Garfield loomed as the man who stood against Grant.

There had been a good many persons meantime saying that neither Blaine nor Sherman could beat Grant, and that Garfield was the man to do it. All who are familiar with our political methods are aware of the frantic desire of the average office-seeker, or practical politician, no matter what he wants, to find out early all the possibilities of the next Presidency; and it is esteemed a superb achievement to be among the first to pick the man. The number of far-sighted citizens on the subject of the eligibility of Garfield, as the convention progressed, grew large. Governor Foster of Ohio did not conceal his impression that the nomination of Garfield was certain. In his opinion Sherman was not in the race, and perhaps his judgment to that effect assisted the formation of the current that finally flooded the convention. One man, a delegate from Pennsylvania, voted for Garfield on every ballot, and kept him before the people. I had telegrams from correspondents of the Cincinnati "Commercial," at Chicago, several days before the nomination, evidently reflecting Governor Foster's opinions, and frequently repeated, until the event justified them, saying Garfield would be the nominee. I was that time slow to understand the situation, and protested, against putting the "nonsense" on the wires, in telegrams that after the event were held to signify lack of sagacity about Garfield.

The first man who held decidedly Garfield would be nominated was Mr. Starin of New York, who travelled with Senator Conkling in a special car from the national capital to the convention, and said on the way the nomination of Grant was not to be, and that Blaine and Sherman could not carry off the prize, and that therefore Garfield was to be the man. He made this point to the Hon. Thomas L. James, the [pg 273] Postmaster-General in Garfield's cabinet, between Harrisburg and Chicago. Mr. Blaine regarded beating Grant at Chicago as no loss to the General and no reflection on him, but rather as the best thing for him; and that the true policy and purpose was to beat Conkling, who committed the error in strategy, however gallant the sentiment that inspired him, of committing himself irretrievably to Grant—and though the contested votes were all against him, he was unchangeable. "No angle-worm nomination will take place to-day"—meaning nothing feeble—was Mr. Conkling's oracular remark the morning of the day when the Presidential destiny of the occasion was determined.

The drift toward Garfield was in so many ways announced before the decisive hour that he could not be insensible of its existence, and he was greatly disturbed. He said he would "rather be shot with musketry than nominated" and have Sherman think he had been unfaithful to his obligations as leader of the forces for him. That Senator Sherman was offended is well known; but so far as he felt that Garfield had been to blame, it was due to the gossip, widely disseminated, that Garfield was personally concerned in working his own "boom." All that was well threshed out long ago, and there is nothing tangible in it to-day. The fact is, Garfield could not have worked a personal scheme. He must have been defeated if he had tried it. A movement on his part of that kind would have been fatal. On the other hand, if he had got up to decline to be a candidate, it would have been easy to say that he was making a nominating speech for himself. It was not particularly difficult to call Garfield a "traitor," and the temptation to do it was because he was so sensitive regarding that imputation in politics—whatever hurts goes. He had no idea of concealing anything, and told such queer stories as this:

The morning of his nomination—the fact that this was from Garfield himself is certain—one of his relatives from Michigan saw him and said: "Jim, you are going to be nominated to-day. I had a dream about you last night, and thought I was in the hall and there was something happening, I could not tell what, when suddenly on every side the standards of the States [names of the States on staffs locating the delegations] were pulled from their places, and men ran to where you were sitting, and waved them over your head." Garfield stated that this was certainly told him on the way to his breakfast; and after the nomination the dreamer reappeared and said: "What did I tell you, Jim? Why, the very thing I saw in my dream last night, I saw in the convention to-day."

The inside truth about the nomination was freely given by Mr. Blaine, who, as the convention progressed, was studying the proceedings with the surprisingly clear vision he possessed for the estimation of passing events. He soon made up his mind that his nomination could not happen, and that Sherman also was impossible. They could not unite forces without losses. Evidently there was a crisis at hand. There is something in a convention that always tells the competent observer, near or far, that decisive action is about to be taken. The evidence appears of an intolerant impatience. Mr. Conkling was relying upon the absolute solidity of his three hundred and five. Mr. Blaine was a wiser man about the force of a tempest in a convention, and would have preferred Sherman to Conkling. But Conkling was quite as bitter toward Sherman as regarding Blaine, even more so in his invective; and this grew out of the custom-house difficulty that ultimately so deeply affected General Arthur's fortunes. There had to be a break somewhere—to Grant from Sherman and Blaine, or from him to them, or a rush to Conkling, or to Garfield, whose conspicuity had constantly suggested it; and Blaine resolved that the chance to rout the third-termers was to sweep the convention by going for Garfield, and overwhelming him with the rest, thus winning a double victory over Conkling.

It is a fact, and the one that makes certain the proposition that Sherman could not have been nominated, that the majority of the Blaine men from New York, turned loose by breaking the unit rule—there were nineteen of them—preferred Grant to Sherman. If the break by Blaine from himself had been attempted, for Sherman, Grant would have been nominated if one ballot had been decisive. But Blaine was able to transfer every vote cast for him to Garfield, with the exception of that of a colored delegate from Virginia; and this movement was managed so as to overthrow all who strove to stand against it. Grant was in the lead for thirty-four ballots, but on the thirty-fourth there were seventeen votes for Garfield. On the thirty-fifth ballot Garfield had three hundred and ninety-nine votes, twenty-one majority over all. Blaine by telegraph had outgeneralled Conkling, present and commanding in person.

[pg 274]

The course of the proceedings of the convention from the first was a preparation for the final scenes, the putting of Garfield against Conkling and working up a rivalry between them having a marked effect; and this was not so much for Garfield as against Conkling. Garfield grieved to think Sherman would misunderstand him, and was apprehensive as to the feeling of the New York delegation. "How do your people feel about this?" Garfield asked a New Yorker, when he had returned to his hotel the nominee.

"Well, they feel badly and bitterly," was the reply.

"Yes," said Garfield, "I suppose they do. It is as Wellington said, 'next to the sadness of defeat, the saddest moment is that of victory.'" This remark was quite in Garfield's method and manner.

Mr. Sherman's failure was made inevitable in this, as in other conventions, by the strange absence, always observable in New York, of appreciation of the unparalleled services to the country of his public labors culminating in the resumption of specie payments. That is the real secret and chief fault of the convention.

Ex-Governor Dennison of Ohio appeared at the headquarters of the New York delegation after the Garfield nomination, and Senator Conkling greeted him cordially. There Dennison said, so that the whole delegation heard, that he was the bearer of a message from the delegation of Ohio, that they would give a solid vote for any man New York would be pleased to name for Vice-President. "Even," said Senator Conkling promptly, in his finest cynical way, "if that man should be Chester A. Arthur?"

Dennison's answer was, after a moment, "Yes;" and Conkling put the question of supporting Arthur to a vote, making a motion that he was the choice of the delegation for the Vice-Presidency, and it was carried immediately. This was understood to be pretty hard on the Ohio people, including especially Sherman and Garfield. Of course, under the lead of New York and Ohio, the convention ratified the motion of Conkling, and the ticket was Garfield and Arthur. And so ample preparation was made for the bitterness of the coming time—for the troubled administration of Garfield and its tragic close.


There have been limitations upon the candor of all persons who have undertaken to write the story of the tragedy of the administration of Garfield, and partisanism in personalities has had too much attention. Mr. Conkling seemed to be the storm centre, and it was difficult to deal with him and not to offend him. It is well remembered that in his speech placing Grant in nomination he quoted Miles O'Reilly:

If asked what State he hails from,

Our sole reply shall be—

He comes from Appomattox

And the famous apple tree.

On the way home, Governor Foster of Ohio, called out at Fort Wayne, paraphrased the Senator thus:

If asked what State he hails from,

Our sole reply shall be—

He comes from old Ohio

And his name is General G.

This was not startling in any way, but Mr. Conkling had the reputation of being very much offended by the parody.

It happens often in war, and sometimes in peace, that newspaper correspondents send the real news privately to the editor in charge, and give things as they ought to be in "copy" for the printers. There are before me private letters written by one well informed of that which was going on in the capital city of Ohio immediately after the nomination of Garfield, and a few extracts will turn the light on the inside of the affairs of the Republicans of the nominee's State at that time—the news then being too strong for newspapers.

"July 10.—The plan to have Garfield go through New York to Saratoga with Logan, Foster, and others has been given up.... Logan and Cameron are all right, but Conkling refuses to be pacified or conciliated, unless Garfield will make promises; and that he refuses to do. Conkling said he'd 'rather had to support Blaine.' Conkling never called upon Garfield, or returned Garfield's call, or answered Garfield's note. Sherman has been in cordial consultation with the committee, and promised to do all he can honorably in his position [Secretary of the Treasury]. Garfield appears well under fire, and is a more manly character than ever before. He says no man could be in a better position for defeat, if he has to get it. His behavior has won the respect of the workers since the convention."

"July 11.—They all stand around and watch Conkling as little dogs watch their [pg 275] master when he is in a bad mood—waiting for him to graciously smile, and they will jump about with effusive joy. A strong letter was written urging Conkling, in the most flattering way, and appealing to him in the most humble manner, to come to Ohio and deliver a speech in the Cincinnati Music Hall, and promising no end of thousands of people and bands and guns and things, till you couldn't rest. I opposed sending such a missive, advocating such a simple and cordial invitation as it is customary to extend to a leader and honest, earnest party man. But they looked upon me (probably rightly, too) as a fool who would rush in where angels fear to tread. And now Jewell writes that he has not dared to give the letter to Conkling yet, as he has not 'deemed any moment yet as opportune.' Meanwhile Conkling and Arthur have gone off on a two or three weeks' fishing trip. Dorsey humbly and piously hopes Conkling can be induced to make a speech in Vermont, and if the Almighty happens to take the right course with him, he may condescend to come to Ohio."

This is a true picture of the way the campaign opened. Mr. Sherman said something in an interview that was less cordial than was expected and caused some temper, but the fault found was not that he was accusative but reserved. Colonel Dick Thompson made a ringing speech pledging the Hayes administration without reserve; and that gave encouragement, and was said to be for a time the only inspiration the Republicans got to go for Garfield with good will and confidence.

It was arranged to have General Garfield appear in New York City, and it was expected that he would there meet Mr. Conkling. There was to be a consultation of Republicans, and the plan of the campaign perfected. The question of special exertion in the Southern States was up. The conference came off, and Mr. Conkling did not attend it. Mr. Arthur seemed very much grieved about that. Mr. Logan was unwilling to speak in the presence of reporters, and Mr. Blaine said he would be very much disappointed if his speech was not reported. Thurlow Weed made the speech of the occasion. The real object of the meeting was to bring Garfield and Conkling together without making the fact too obvious; and the disturbance of the candidate was manifest in his references to the absent Senator as "my Lord Roscoe."

"I have," said Garfield next day, "an invitation to make a trip to Coney Island, and it means that I may there have a pocket interview with my Lord Roscoe; but if the Presidency is to turn on that, I do not want the office badly enough to go;" and he did not go. The words are precisely Garfield's; and the next thing was the journey over the Erie line, and speeches by Garfield, accompanied by General Harrison and Governor Kirkwood, at every important place from Paterson to Jamestown. That the General was capable of warm resentment, this letter testifies:

MENTOR, OHIO, September 20, 1880.

I notice —— is parading through the country devoting himself to personal assaults upon me. Why do not our people republish his letter, which a few years ago drove him in disgrace from the stump, and compelled the Democracy to recall every appointment then pending? Of all the black sheep that have been driven from our flock, I know of none blacker than he, and less entitled to assail any other man's character.

Very truly yours,


The speaking on the line of the Erie road by Garfield, Harrison, and Kirkwood was of a very high and effective character. The man who did more to make peace than any other was General Grant. Conkling had a genuine affection for him, and consented to go with him to Mentor; and yet there was some trifle always in the way of a complete understanding with the old guard of the Third-Term Crusaders.

Garfield was very sensible of and grateful for the work done by Grant and Conkling, and did not stint expression of his feeling. The State of New York was carried by the Republicans, and Garfield indisputably elected President of the United States. There was a vast amount of worry in making up the cabinet, and Mr. Conkling's hand appeared, but not with a gesture of conciliation. He and Garfield were of incompatible temper. Each had mannerisms that irritated the other; and when they seemed to try to agree, the effort was not a success.

As soon as the administration was moving the President was under two fires: one in respect to the attempted reforms in the postal service, and the other about the New York appointments. Mr. Conkling did not seem able to understand that anything could be done that was not according to his pleasure, without personal offence toward himself. He was a giant, and that was his weakness. It was Garfield's ardent desire to be friendly with the senior New York Senator; but one [pg 276] position he avowedly maintained. It was that he was not to blame for being President of the United States; that he had taken the oath of office, and was the man responsible to the people for the administration, and he could not, dare not, shift that obligation; and, more than that, he must give the "recognition" due friends to the men who had aided him in breaking down Mr. Conkling's policy at Chicago. If that was a crime he was a criminal. He was President, and he would be true to his friends; and surely he should not be expected to serve another man's purpose by humiliating himself.

Conkling had taken part in the campaign at last, but that was his duty at first. It is needless to refer to questions of veracity—to what practical politicians call "promises." A polite phrase is twisted, by the many seized with fury to be officers, to mean what is desired, though it may be but a mere civility—the more marked probably because the President knows he has only good words to give! There are always such issues when there is patronage to be distributed, for, of course, there is dissatisfaction. Everybody cannot be made happy, with or without civil service reform; and it is no effort, when the President says "Good morning," and seems to be obliging, and says he will take a recommendation into consideration and if possible read the papers, and adds, "I shall be glad to see you again," to say, when he appoints another to the coveted place, that he has falsified.

Mr. Conkling's friends relate that he was about to go to the White House and hold a consultation in which Mr. Arthur and Mr. Platt were to participate, when he received a telegram in cipher from Governor Cornell which, when translated, turned out to be an urgent request that the Senator should vote to confirm Robertson; and that this was regarded as insulting, and Mr. Conkling refused to go to the White House, with a burst of scorn about the dispensation of offices! This is not consistent with the accusations that Garfield was influenced to be perfidious. There are those who think there would have been peace if it had not been for that Cornell telegram; but they are of the manner of mind of the peacemakers of 1861, who thought another conference would heal all wounded susceptibilities. The source of discordance was not near the surface; it was in the system of "patronage" and "recognition," and deep in the characteristics of the individuals.

It is not true that Mr. Blaine was fierce for war upon Conkling; he thought a fight was inevitable, and that the time for the President to assert himself was at the beginning; and said so. "Fight now if at all," said Blaine then to Garfield, "for your administration tapers!" As to his personal wishes, he was often overruled in the cabinet, and took it complacently. But he was warlike on the point that the President was entitled to be friendly with his friends, and must not be personally oppressed.

One day Mr. Conkling in the Senate had one of the New York appointments pleasing to him taken up and confirmed, leaving half a dozen others, about evenly divided between his own and the President's favorites. Then came a crisis; and it was represented to the President that he should pull those appointments out of the Senate at once, before Conkling's power was further exhibited; and that if he did not, the bootblacks at Willard's would know that the Senator, and not the President, was first in affairs. The appointments were withdrawn, and it was perfectly understood that this withdrawal signified that the President would not allow men to be discriminated against because they were opposed to Conkling at Chicago. A letter came from General Grant in Mexico, addressed to Senator Jones of Nevada, and was published, reflecting upon Garfield's course; and at once the President wrote to the Old Commander defending his administration. This was done as a matter of personal respect. General Grosvenor of Ohio happened to be in the President's room when he mailed a copy of his letter to General Grant, and read the duplicate that was reserved. It was a very respectful and decisive statement. This letter was personal to General Grant, and the rush of events caused it to be reserved and finally forgotten, except by the few who knew enough of it to value it as an historical document.

There were but a few days of the four months between the inauguration of President Garfield and his assassination that he could be said to have had any enjoyment out of the great office. It brought him only bitter cares, venomous criticisms, lurking malice, covert threats ambushed in demands that were unreasonable if not irrational. He felt keenly the accusation that he had been nominated when his duty was due another; and he was aware that friends had given color to accusation by a zeal that was unseemly. He was pathetic [pg 277] in his anxiety to be very right; and only the assurance that Conkling was implacable took the sting out of the haughty presumption he encountered in that severe gentleman, whose egotism was so lofty it was ever imposing, when it would have been absurd in any one else.

During the summer and autumn of the campaign and the winter following, President Garfield was subject to attacks of acute indigestion that were distressing; and it was remembered with concern that he had at Atlantic City suffered from a sunstroke while bathing, and fallen into an insensible condition for a quarter of an hour. The question whether his physical condition might not be one of frailty was serious. Then Mrs. Garfield became ill, and the situation was gloomy.


There was one evening at the White House—just when Mrs. Garfield's indisposition was at first manifested, and then was only apparent in a slight chill, that caused a rather unseasonable wood fire to be lighted—that none of those present can have forgotten; for there were not many bright hours in the midst of the dismal shadowing of the drama hastening to the tragic close. Mrs. Garfield was, with the privilege of an invalid, whose chilly sensation was supposed to be trivial, seated before the fire, the warmth of which was to her pleasant; and she was pale but animated, surrounded by a group among whom were several very dear to her. General Sherman arrived, and was—as always when his vivacity was kindly, and it was never otherwise with ladies—fascinating. The scene was brilliant, and had a charming domestic character. The President was detained for half an hour beyond the time when he was expected, and came in with a quick step and hearty manner, and there was soon a flush of pleasure upon his face, that had been touched with the lines of fatigue, as he saw how agreeable the company were. A lady, who had never before seen him, voiced the sentiment of all present, saying in a whisper: "Why, he is the ideal President! How grand he is! How can they speak about him so? What a magnificent gentleman he is! Talk about your canal boys!" He was well dressed, of splendid figure, his coat buttoned over his massive chest, his dome-like head erect, adequately supported by immense shoulders, and he looked the President indeed, and an embodiment of power. He was feeling that the dark days were behind him, that he was equal to his high fortune, that the world was wide and fair before him. It was a supreme hour—and only an hour—for the occasion was informal, and there was a feeling that the lady of the White House should not be detained from her rest; and the good-night words were trustful that she would be well next morning; but then she was in a fever, and after some weeks was taken to Long Branch, and returned to her husband, called, to find him stricken unto death.

It happened on the last day of June, 1881, that I stopped in Washington on the way to New York; and in the evening—it was Thursday—walked from the Arlington to the White House, and sent my card to the President, who was out. Then I strolled, passing through Lafayette Square and sitting awhile there, thoughtful over the President's troubles, and recalling the long letters I had written to him at Mentor, urging that Levi P. Morton should be Secretary of the Treasury, wondering whether things would have been better if that had been done; for a good deal of the tempest that broke over Garfield was because he sustained Thomas L. James in postal reforms. The testimony taken during the trial of Guiteau shows that he was that night in that square; and, knowing the President had left the White House, was on the look-out, with intent to murder him. The incarnate sneak was lying in wait, a horrible burlesque, to take his revenge because he thought he had been slighted, and was so malignant a fool he believed public opinion might applaud the deed. One of the dusky figures on the benches was probably his.

At the Arlington, a few minutes after ten o'clock, I met Postmaster-General James; and when told that I was going to New York in the morning, he asked: "Have you seen the President?"

I had not, and General James said quite earnestly: "Go over and see him now;" and he added: "The President, you know, is going to Williams College the day after to-morrow, and I know he is not going to bed early, and is not very busy, and will be glad to see you. He and I have been out dining with Secretary Hunt; and the President left me here a few minutes ago. Go over and see him. He has had a good deal of disagreeable business this afternoon relating to my department, and I am sure he would be glad to talk with you, and have something very interesting to say."

[pg 278]


Returning to the White House, arriving there about a quarter before eleven, after I had waited a few minutes in one of the small parlors, the President came down the stairs rapidly, and I took note that his movements were very alert. I had not seen him since the night when Mrs. Garfield had notice of the illness that had become alarming, and from which she was now convalescent, and said first: "Mrs. Garfield is much better?"

"Yes, much better," said the President, "and getting health out of the sea air. She has enjoyed it intensely, and will be able to join me day after to-morrow at Jersey City, on the way to Williams College—the sweetest old place in the world. Come and go with us; several of the cabinet are going, and we shall have a rare time; come and go with us. Have you ever seen the lovely country there?"

I answered, "No, I have not seen it; and, thanking you for the invitation, shall not go; have too much to do. You will have a vacation?"

"Yes," the President said, "and I am feeling like a schoolboy about it. You should go. You were along with Harrison, Kirkwood, and me to Chautauqua, you know. That was a great day's ride. Do you remember those watermelons? They would have been first-rate if they had been on ice a few hours."

"You had a hard day of it," I said; "forty speeches, weren't there? And you will have another lot of speeches to make."

He said he did not mind the speeches.

"And how is your health," I asked; "any more indigestion? Ever try Billy Florence's remedy, Valentine's meat juice, made in Richmond, Virginia—great reputation abroad, little at home?"

He said he had never tried it, had forgotten it. Then, turning with an air half comic, but with something of earnestness, he said, naming me by way of start: "You have been holding a sort of autopsy over me ever since I tumbled over at Atlantic City. I exposed myself there too long both in the water and in the sun, but it was not so bad as you think."

I said he might pardon a degree of solicitude, under all the circumstances, and he said he did not want any premature autopsies held over him; and I put it that they had much better be premature. Then the President said, with the greatest earnestness: "I am in better health—indeed, quite well. It is curious, isn't it? My wife's sickness cured me. I got so anxious about her I ceased to think about myself. Both ends of the house were full of trouble. My wife's illness was alarming, and I thought no more of the pit of my stomach and the base of my brain and the top of my head; and when she was out of danger, and my little troubles occurred to me—why, they were gone, and I have not noticed them since. And so," said the President, uttering the short words with deliberation, and picking them with care, "and so, if one could, so to say, unself one's self, what a cure all that would be!"

"The other end of the White House is better, is it not?" I asked.

"Not so much change there," said the President; "but one becomes accustomed to heavy weather."

"Lord Roscoe is feeling happier, I hope," said I.

The President answered, dropping the "Lord Roscoe" comicality, and speaking rapidly and seriously, with a flush of excitement: "Conkling, after ten years of absolute despotism in New York—for Grant did everything for him, and Hayes tried to comfort him—got the elephantiasis of conceit. We read that gentlemen in Oriental countries, having that disease in its advanced stage, need a wheelbarrow or small wagon to aid their locomotion when they go out to walk—and the population think there is something divine in it. Conkling thought if he should go on parade in New York, and place the developments of his vanity fully on exhibition, the whole people would fall down and worship the phenomenon. But he was mistaken, for they soon saw it was a plain, old-fashioned case of sore-head."

Then the President, having exhausted the elephantiasis as a divine manifestation, expressed regrets that there had been such contentions among those who should be friends of the administration; and repeated his view of that which was due to the actual trust the people had placed in him, and of which he could not honorably divest himself. He thought the people already understood the case fairly well and would be more and more of the opinion that he had tried to do the things that were right, "with malice toward none and charity for all." We talked until midnight. It was a Friday morning, and the President was doomed to be shot the next day. The assassin had been on his path that night. The President had gone out dining for the last time.

[pg 279]

"And you will not go to Williams College with me?" he said.

I said: "Mr. President, you have forgotten you were assailed for being in my company to Chautauqua; and I have been so fortunate since as to gather a fresh crop of enemies, and do not want them to jump on to you on my account—for there are enough upon you already."

That, the President said, was "curious and interesting," and he laughed about my "fresh crop," and said something about cutting hay; and I told him I had been invited to meet him Saturday night at Cyrus W. Field's country place, where a dinner party was appointed; and jumping up, hurried away. The light in the hall shone down on the President's pale, high forehead, as he walked toward the stairway leading to his apartments, and I saw him no more.

Something familiar struck me in the appearance of the watchman at the door of the White House, and stopping, I said: "Did you hold this position here in Lincoln's time?"

"Yes," said he, "I did."

"And did you not look after his safety sometimes?"

"I did, indeed," was the answer; "many a time I kept myself between him and the trees there," pointing to them, "as we walked over to the War Department to get the news from the armies. I did not know who might be hidden in the trees, and I would not let him go alone."

"Did it ever occur to you," I asked, "that it would be worth while to have a care that no harm happened here?"

"What, now?"

"Yes, now."

"Oh, it is different now—no war now."

"No," said I, "no war, but people are about who are queer; and there are ugly excitements; think of it."

Of course, this conversation at the door of the White House the midnight morning of the day before the President was shot, is accounted for by the sensibility that there was a half-suppressed public uneasiness that could mean some fashion of mischief, and it might be of a deadly sort to the President, because he was so formidably conspicuous. Nearly a year afterward, walking by General Sherman's residence, I saw him sitting under a strong light, with his back to the street, writing—doors and windows all open. I walked in, saying: "General, I wouldn't sit with my back to an open window late at night, under a light like this, if I were you. Some fool will come along with a bull-dog pistol and the idea that death loves a shining mark."

"Pooh!" said the old soldier. "Nobody interested in killing me. They will let me well alone with their bull-dog pistols."

The White House shone like marble in the green trees as I drove from the Arlington to the Potomac depot, July 1st, to take the train corresponding to the one that had the President's car attached on the following morning, when he meant to have a holiday of which he had the most delightful anticipation, as one throwing off a brood of nightmares. He was going back the President to the scene of his struggles in early manhood for an education, going to what he called the "sweetest place in the world," having reached the summit of ambition, confident in himself, assured of the public good will, happy to meet his wife restored to health, himself robust and to be, he thought, hag-ridden no more; rejoicing to meet the dearest of old friends, kindling with the realization of his superb and commanding position, glowing with his just pride of place; no heart beating higher, no imagination that exalted this mighty country more than his, no brain that conceived with greater splendor the glory of the nation than his, no American patriotism more true, brighter, broader, deeper, more abounding than his; and all was shattered at a stroke by a creature like a crawling serpent with a deadly sting.

All over the land the flags flew at half mast, and the woful news was told: "The President is shot!" The man had fallen who, when Lincoln was murdered, spoke the memorable words from the Treasury building, on the spot where Washington was inaugurated: "The President is dead—but God reigns and the Republic lives." There were nearly three months of torture reserved for the second martyred President, and he bore them with marvellous fortitude; and then, on a September night, the throbbing of the bells from Scotland to California told, that the dark curtain of death had fallen on the tragic drama of the Presidency of Garfield.

[pg 280]




Author of "The Prisoner of Zenda," "The Dolly Dialogues," etc.

Letter K

ING RUDOLF, being in the worst of humors, had declared in the presence of all the court that women were born to plague men and for no other purpose whatsoever under heaven. Hearing this discourteous speech, the Princess Osra rose, and said that, for her part, she would go walking alone by the river outside the city gates, where she would at least be assailed by no more reproaches. For since she was irrevocably determined to live and die unmarried, of what use or benefit was it to trouble her with embassies, courtings, or proposals, either from the Grand Duke of Mittenheim or anybody else? She was utterly weary of this matter of love—and her mood would be unchanged, though this new suitor were as exalted as the King of France, as rich as Croesus himself, and as handsome as the god Apollo. She did not desire a husband, and there was an end of it. Thus she went out, while the queen sighed, and the king fumed, and the courtiers and ladies said to one another that these dissensions made life very uncomfortable at Strelsau, the ladies further adding that he would be a bold man who married Osra, although doubtless she was not ill-looking.

To the banks of the river outside the walls then Osra went; and as she went she seemed to be thinking of nothing at all in the world, least of all of whom she might chance to meet there on the banks of the river, where in those busy hours of the day few came. Yet there was a strange new light in her eyes, and there seemed a new understanding in her mind; and when a young peasant-wife came by, her baby in her arms, Osra stopped her, and kissed the child and gave money, and then ran on in unexplained confusion, laughing and blushing as though she had done something which she did not wish to be seen. Then, without reason, her eyes filled with tears; but she dashed them away, and burst suddenly into singing. And she was still singing when, from the long grass by the river's edge, a young man sprang up, and, with a very low bow, drew aside to let her pass. He had a book in his hand, for he was a student at the University, and came there to pursue his learning in peace. His plain brown clothes spoke of no wealth or station, though certainly they set off a stalwart straight shape, and seemed to match well with his bright brown hair and hazel eyes. Very low this young man bowed, and Osra bent her head. The pace of her walk slackened, grew quicker, slackened again; she was past him, and with a great sigh he lay down again. She turned, he sprang up; she spoke coldly, yet kindly.

"Sir," said she, "I cannot but notice that you lie every day here by the river, with your book, and that you sigh. Tell me your trouble, and if I can I will relieve it."

"I am reading, madam," he answered, "of Helen of Troy, and I am sighing because she is dead."

"It is an old grief by now," said Osra, smiling. "Will no one serve you but Helen of Troy?"

"If I were a prince," said he, "I need not mourn."

"No, sir?"

"No, madam," he said, with another bow.

"Farewell, sir."

"Madam, farewell."

So she went on her way, and saw him no more till the next day, nor after that till the next day following; and then came an interval when she saw him not, and the interval was no less than twenty-four hours; yet still he read of Helen of Troy, and still sighed that she was dead and he no prince. At last he tempted the longed-for question from her shy, smiling lips.

"Why would you not mourn, sir, if you were a prince?" said she. "For princes and princesses have their share of sighs." And with a very plaintive sigh Osra looked at the rapid-running river, as she waited for the answer.

"Because I would then go to Strelsau, and so forget her."

[pg 281]
[pg 282]

"But you are at Strelsau now!" she cried with wonderful surprise.

"Ah, but I am no prince, madam!" said he.

"Can princes alone—forget in Strelsau?"

"How should a poor student dare to—forget in Strelsau?" And as he spoke he made bold to step near her, and stood close, looking down into her face. Without a word she turned and left him, going with a step that seemed to dance through the meadow and yet led her to her own chamber, where she could weep in quiet.

"I know it now, I know it now!" she whispered softly that night to the tree that rose by her window. "Heigh-ho, what am I to do? I cannot live; no, and now I cannot die. Ah me! what am I to do? I wish I were a peasant-girl—but then perhaps he would not—Ah yes, but he would!" And her low, long laugh rippled in triumph through the night, and blended with the rustling of the leaves under a summer breeze, and she stretched her white arms to heaven, imploring the kind God with prayers that she dared not speak even to His pitiful ear.

"Love knows no princesses, my princess." It was that she heard as she fled from him next day. She should have rebuked him. But for that she must have stayed, and to stay she had not dared. Yet she must rebuke him. She must see him again in order to rebuke him. Yet all this while she must be pestered with the court of the Grand Duke of Mittenheim! And when she would not name a day on which the embassy should come, the king flew into a passion, and declared that he would himself set a date for it. Was his sister mad, he asked, that she would do nothing but walk every day by the river's bank?

"Surely I must be mad," thought Osra, "for no sane being could be at once so joyful and so piteously unhappy."

Did he know what it was he asked? He seemed to know nothing of it. He did not speak any more now of princesses, only of his princess; nor of queens, save of his heart's queen; and when his eyes asked love, they asked as though none would refuse and there could be no cause for refusal. He would have wooed his neighbor's daughter thus, and thus he wooed the sister of King Rudolf. "Will you love me?" was his question—not, "Though you love, yet dare you own you love?" He seemed to shut the whole world from her, leaving nothing but her and him; and in a world that held none but her and him she could love unblamed, untroubled, and with no trembling.

"You forget who I am," she faltered once.

"You are the beauty of the world," he answered smiling, and he kissed her hand—a matter about which she could make no great ado, for it was not the first time that he had kissed it.

But the embassy from the Grand Duke was to come in a week, and to be received with great pomp. The ambassador was already on the way, carrying proposals and gifts. Therefore Osra went pale and sad down to the river bank that day, having declared again to the king that she would live and die unmarried. But the king had laughed again. Surely she needed kindness and consolation that sad day; but Fate had kept by her a crowning sorrow, for she found him also almost sad. At least, she could not tell whether he were sad or not; for he smiled and yet seemed ill at ease, like a man who ventures a fall with fortune, hoping and fearing. And he said to her:

"Madam, in a week I return to my own country."

She looked at him in silence with lips just parted. For her life she could not speak; but the sun grew dark, and the river changed its merry tune to mournful dirges.

"So the dream ends," said he. "So comes the awakening. But if life were all a dream!" And his eyes sought hers.

"Yes," she whispered, "if life were all a dream, sir?"

"Then I should dream of two dreamers whose dream was one, and in that dream I should see them ride together at break of day from Strelsau."

"Whither?" she murmured.

"To Paradise," said he. "But the dream ends. If it did not end—" He paused.

"If it did not end?" a breathless longing whisper echoed.

"If it did not end now, it should not end even with death," said he.

"You see them in your dream? You see them riding—"

"Aye, swiftly, side by side, they two alone, through the morning. None is near, none knows."

He seemed to be searching her face for something that yet he scarcely hoped to find.

"And their dream," said he, "brings them at last to a small cottage, and there they live—"

"They live?"

[pg 283]

"And work," he added. "For she keeps his home while he works."

"What does she do?" asked Osra, with smiling, wondering eyes.

"She gets his food for him when he comes home weary in the evening, and makes a bright fire, and—"

"Ah, and she runs to meet him at the door—oh, further than the door!"

"But she has worked hard and is weary."

"No, she is not weary," cried Osra. "It is for him!"

"The wise say this is silly talk," said he.

"The wise are fools, then!" cried Osra.

"So the dream would please you, madam?" he asked.

She had come not to know how she left him. Somehow, while he still spoke, she would suddenly escape by flight. He did not pursue, but let her go. So now she returned to the city, her eyes filled with that golden dream, and she entered her home as though it had been some strange palace decked with new magnificence, and she an alien in it. For her true home seemed now rather in the cottage of the dream, and she moved unfamiliarly through the pomp that had been hers from birth. Her soul was gone from it, while her body rested there; and life stopped for her till she saw him again by the banks of the river.

"In five days now I go," said he; and he smiled at her. She hid her face in her hands. Still he smiled; but suddenly he sprang forward, for she had sobbed. The summons had sounded, he was there; and who could sob again when he was there and his sheltering arm warded away all grief? She looked up at him with shining eyes, whispering:

"Do you go alone?"

A great joy blazed confidently in his eyes as he whispered in answer:

"I think I shall not go alone."

"But how, how?"

"I have two horses."

"You! You have two horses?"

"Yes. Is it not riches? But we will sell them when we get to the cottage."

"To the cottage! Two horses!"

"I would I had but one for both of us."


"But we should not go quick enough."


He took his hand from her waist, and stood away from her.

[pg 284]

"You will not come?" he said.

"If you doubt of my coming, I will not come. Ah, do not doubt of my coming! For there is a great horde of fears and black thoughts beating at the door, and you must not open it."

"And what can keep it shut, my princess?"

"I think your arm, my prince," said she; and she flew to him.

That evening King Rudolf swore that if a man were only firm enough, and kept his temper (which, by the way, the king had not done, though none dared say no), he could bring any foolish girl to reason in good time. For in the softest voice, and with the strangest smile flitting to her face, the Princess Osra was pleased to bid the embassy come on the fifth day from then.

"And they shall have their answer then," said she, flushing and smiling.

"It is as much as any lady could say," the court declared; and it was reported through all Strelsau that the match was as good as made, and that Osra was to be Grand Duchess of Mittenheim.

"She is a sensible girl, after all," cried Rudolf, all his anger gone.

The dream began, then, before they came to the cottage. Those days she lived in its golden mists that shut out all the cold world from her, moving through space that held but one form, and time that stood still waiting for one divine unending moment. And the embassy drew near to Strelsau.

It was night, the dead of night, and all was still in the palace. But the sentinel by the little gate was at his post, and the gate-warden stood by the western gate of the city. Each was now alone, but to each, an hour ago, a man had come, stealthily and silently through the darkness, and each was richer by a bag of gold than he had been before. The gold was Osra's—how should a poor student, whose whole fortune was two horses, scatter bags of gold? And other gold Osra had, aye, five hundred crowns. Would not that be a brave surprise for the poor student? And she, alone of all awake, stood looking round her room, entranced with the last aspect of it. Over the city also she looked, but in the selfishness of her joy did no more than kiss a hasty farewell to the good city folk who loved her. Once she thought that maybe some day he and she would steal together back to Strelsau, and, sheltered by some disguise, watch the king ride in splendor through the streets. But if not—why, what was Strelsau and the people and the rest? Ah, how long the hours were before those two horses stood by the little gate, and the sentry and the gate-warden earned their bags of gold! So she passed the hours—the last long lingering hours.

There was a little tavern buried in the narrowest, oldest street of the city. Here the poor student had lodged; here in the back room a man sat at a table, and two others stood before him. These two seemed gentlemen, and their air spoke of military training. They stroked long mustaches, and smiled with an amusement that deference could not hide. Both were booted and wore spurs, and the man sitting at the table gave them orders.

"You will meet the embassy," he said to one, "about ten o'clock. Bring it to the place I have appointed, and wait there. Do not fail."

The officer addressed bowed and retired. A minute later his horse's hoofs clattered through the streets. Perhaps he also had a bag of gold, for the gate-warden opened the western gate for him, and he rode at a gallop along the river banks, till he reached the great woods that stretch to within ten miles of Strelsau.

"An hour after we are gone," said the man at the table to the other officer, "go warily, find one of the king's servants, and give him the letter. Give no account of how you came by it, and say nothing of who you are. All that is necessary is in the letter. When you have given it, return here, and remain in close hiding till you hear from me again."

The second officer bowed. The man at the table rose, and went out into the street. He took his way to where the palace rose, and then skirted along the wall of its gardens till he came to the little gate. Here stood two horses and at their heads a man.

"It is well. You can go," said the student; and he was left alone with the horses. They were good horses for a student to possess. The thought perhaps crossed their owner's mind, for he laughed softly as he looked at them. Then he also fell to thinking that the hours were long; and a fear came suddenly upon him that she would not come. It was in these last hours that doubts crept in, and she was not there to drive them away. Would the great trial fail? Would she shrink at the last? But he would not think it of her, and he was smiling again, when the clock of the cathedral struck two, and told him that no more than one hour now parted her from him. For she would come; the princess [pg 285] would come to him, the student, led by the vision of that cottage in the dream.

Would she come? She would come; she had risen from her knees, and moved to and fro, in cautious silence, making her last preparations. She had written a word of farewell for the brother she loved—for some day, of course, Rudolf would forgive her—and she had ready all that she took with her—the five hundred crowns, one ring that she would give her lover, some clothes to serve till his loving labor furnished more. That night she had wept, and she had laughed; but now she neither wept nor laughed, but there was a great pride in her face and gait. And she opened the door of her room, and walked down the great staircase, under the eyes of crowned kings who hung framed upon the walls. And as she went she seemed indeed their daughter. For her head was erect and her eye set firm in haughty dignity. Who dared to say that she did anything that a king's daughter should not do? Should not a woman love? Love should be her diadem. And so with this proud step she came through the gardens of the palace, looking neither to right nor left nor behind, but with her face set straight for the little gate, and she walked as she had been accustomed to walk when all Strelsau looked on her and hailed her as its glory and its darling.

The sentry slept, or seemed to sleep. Her face was not even veiled when she opened the little gate. She would not veil her proud face. It was his to look on now when he would; and thus she stood for an instant in the gateway, while he sprang to her, and, kneeling, carried her hand to his lips.

"You are come?" he cried; for though he had believed, yet he wondered.

"I am come," she smiled. "Is not the word of a princess sure? Ah, how could I not come?"

"See, love," said he, rising, "day dawns in royal purple for you, and golden love for me."

"The purple is for my king, and the love for me," she whispered, as he led her to her horse. "Your fortune!" said she, pointing to them. "But I also have brought a dowry—fancy, five hundred crowns!" and her mirth and happiness burst out in a laugh. It was so deliciously little, five hundred crowns!

She was mounted now, and he stood by her.

"Will you turn back?" he said.

"You shall not make me angry," said she. "Come, mount."

"Aye, I must mount," said he. "For if we were found here the king would kill me."

For the first time the peril of their enterprise seemed to strike, into her mind, and turned her cheek pale.

"Ah, I forgot! In my happiness I forgot. Mount, mount! Oh, if he found you!"

He mounted. Once they clasped hands; then they rode swiftly for the western gate.

"Veil your face," he said; and since he bade her, she obeyed, saying:

"But I can see you through the veil."

The gate stood open, and the gate-warden was not there. They were out of the city; the morning air blew cold and pure from the meadows along the river. The horses stretched into an eager gallop. And Osra tore her veil from her face, and turned on him eyes of radiant triumph.

"It is done," she cried; "it is done!"

"Yes, it is done, my princess," said he.

"And—and it is begun, my prince," said she.

"Yes, and it is begun," said he.

She laughed aloud in absolute joy, and for a moment he also laughed.

But then his face grew grave, and he said:

"I pray you may never grieve for it."

She looked at him with eyes wide in wonder; for an instant she seemed puzzled, but then she fell again to laughing.

"Grieve for it!" said she between her merry laughs.

King Rudolf was a man who lay late in the morning; and he was not well pleased to be roused when the clock had but just struck four. Yet he sat up in his bed readily enough, for he imagined that the embassy from the Grand Duke of Mittenheim must be nearer than he had thought, and, sooner than fail in any courtesy towards the prince whose alliance he ardently desired, he was ready to submit to much inconvenience. But his astonishment was great when, instead of any tidings from the embassy, one of his gentlemen handed him a letter, saying that a servant had received it from a stranger with instructions to carry it at once to the king. When asked if any answer were desired from his majesty, the stranger had answered, "Not through me," and at once turned away, and quickly disappeared. The king, with a peevish oath at having been roused for such a trifle, broke the seal and fastenings of the letter, and opened it; and he read:

[pg 286]

"Sire—Your sister does not wait for the embassy, but chooses her own lover. She has met a student of the University every day for the last three weeks by the river bank." (The king started.) "This morning she has fled with him on horseback along the western road. If you desire a student for a brother-in-law, sleep again. If not, up and ride. Do not doubt these tidings."

There was no signature to the letter; yet the king, knowing his sister, cried:

"See whether the princess is in the palace. And in the meanwhile saddle my horse, and let a dozen of the guard be at the gate."

The princess was not in the palace; but her woman found the letter that she had left, and brought it to the king. And the king read: "Brother, whom I love best of all men in the world save one, I have left you to go with that one. You will not forgive me now, but some day forgive me. Nay, it is not I who have done it, but my love which is braver than I. He is the sweetest gentleman alive, brother, and therefore he must be my lord. Let me go, but still love me—Osra."

"It is true," said the king. "And the embassy will be here to-day." And for a moment he seemed dazed. Yet he spoke nothing to anybody of what the letters contained, but sent word to the queen's apartments that he went riding for pleasure. And he took his sword and his pistols; for he swore that by his own hand, and that of no other man, this sweetest gentleman alive should meet his death. But all, knowing that the princess was not in the palace, guessed that the king's sudden haste concerned her; and great wonder and speculation rose in the palace, and presently, as the morning advanced, spread from the palace to its environs, and from the environs to the rest of the city. For it was reported that a sentinel that had stood guard that night was missing, and that the gate-warden of the western gate was nowhere to be found, and that a mysterious letter had come by an unknown hand to the king, and lastly, that Princess Osra—their princess—was gone; whether by her own will or by some bold plot of seizure and kidnapping, none knew. Thus a great stir grew in all Strelsau, and men stood about the street gossiping when they should have gone to work, while women chattered in lieu of sweeping their houses and dressing their children. So that when the king rode out of the courtyard of the palace at a gallop, with twelve of the guard behind, he could hardly make his way through the streets for the people who crowded round him, imploring him to tell them where the princess was. When the king saw that the matter had thus become public, his wrath was greater still, and he swore again that the student of the University should pay the price of life for his morning ride with the princess. And when he darted through the gate, and set his horse straight along the western road, many of the people, neglecting all their business, as folk will for excitement's sake, followed him as they best could, agog to see the thing to its end.

"The horses are weary," said the student to the princess, "we must let them rest; we are now in the shelter of the wood."

"But my brother may pursue you," she urged; "and if he came up with you—ah, heaven forbid!"

[pg 287]

"He will not know you have gone for another three hours," smiled he. "And here is a green bank where we can rest."

So he aided her to dismount; then, saying he would tether the horses, he led them away some distance, so that she could not see where he had posted them; and he returned to her, smiling still. Then he took from his pocket some bread, and, breaking the loaf in two, gave her one-half, saying:

"There is a spring just here; so we shall have a good breakfast."

"Is this your breakfast?" she asked, with a wondering laugh. Then she began to eat, and cried directly, "How delicious this bread is! I would have nothing else for breakfast;" and at this the student laughed.

Yet Osra ate little of the bread she liked so well; and presently she leaned against her lover's shoulder, and he put his arm round her; and they sat for a little while in silence, listening to the soft sounds that filled the waking woods as day grew to fulness and the sun beat warm through the sheltering foliage.

"Don't you hear the trees?" Osra whispered to her lover. "Don't you hear them? They are whispering for me what I dare not whisper."

"What is it they whisper, sweet?" he asked; and he himself did no more than whisper.

"The trees whisper, 'Love, love, love.' And the wind—don't you hear the wind murmuring, 'Love, love, love'? And the birds sing, 'Love, love, love.' Aye, all the world to-day is softly whispering, 'Love, love, love!' What else should the great world whisper but my love? For my love is greater than the world." And she suddenly hid her face in her hands; and he could kiss no more than her hands, though her eyes gleamed at him from between slim white fingers.

But suddenly her hands dropped, and she leaned forward as though she listened.

"What is that sound?" she asked, apprehension dawning in her eyes.

"It is but another whisper, love!" said he.

"Nay, but it sounds to me like—ah, like the noise of horses galloping."

"It is but the stream, beating over stones."

"Listen, listen, listen!" she cried, springing to her feet. "They are horses' hoofs. Ah, merciful God, it is the king!" And she caught him by the hand, and pulled him to his feet, looking at him with a face pale and alarmed.

"Not the king," said he; "he would not know yet. It is some one else. Hide your face, dear lady, and all will be well."

"It is the king," she cried. "Hark how they gallop on the road! It is my brother. Love, he will kill you; love, he will kill you!"

"If it is the king," said he, "I have been betrayed."

"The horses, the horses!" she cried. "By your love for me, the horses!"

He nodded his head, and, turning, disappeared among the trees. She stood with clasped hands, heaving breast, and fearful eyes, awaiting his return. Minutes passed, and he came not. She flung herself on her knees, beseeching heaven for his life. At last he came along alone, and he bent over her, taking her hand.

"My love," said he, "the horses are gone."

"Gone!" she cried, gripping his hand.

"Aye. This love, my love, is a wonderful thing. For I forgot to tie them, and they are gone. Yet what matter? For the king—yes, sweet, I think now it is the king—will not be here for some minutes yet, and those minutes I have still for love and life."

"He will kill you!" she said.

"Yes," said he.

She looked long in his eyes; then she threw her arms about his neck, and, for the first time unasked, covered his face with kisses.

"Kiss me, kiss me," said she; and he kissed her. Then she drew back a little, but took his arm and set it round her waist. And she drew a little knife from her girdle, and showed it him.

"If the king will not pardon us and let us love one another, I also will die," said she; and her voice was quiet and happy. "Indeed, my love, I should not grieve. Ah, do not tell me to live without you!"

"Would you obey?" he asked.

"Not in that," said she.

And thus they stood silent, while the sound of the hoofs drew very near. But she looked up at him, and he looked at her; then she looked at the point of the little dagger, and she whispered:

"Keep your arm round me till I die."

He bent his head, and kissed her once again, saying:

"My princess, it is enough."

And she, though she did not know why he smiled, yet smiled back at him. For although life was sweet that day, yet such a death, with him and to prove her love for him, seemed well-nigh as sweet. And thus they awaited the coming of the king.

[pg 288]


King Rudolf and his guards far out-stripped the people who pursued them from the city; and when they came to the skirts of the wood, they divided themselves into four parties, since, if they went all together, they might easily miss the fugitives whom they sought. Of these four parties, one found nothing; another found the two horses which the student himself, who had hidden them, failed to find; the third party had not gone far before they caught sight of the lovers, though the lovers did not see them; and two of them remained to watch and, if need be, to intercept any attempted flight, while the third rode off to find the king and bring him where Osra and the student were, as he had commanded.

But the fourth party, with which the king was, though it did not find the fugitives, found the embassy from the Grand Duke of Mittenheim; and the ambassador, with all his train, was resting by the roadside, seeming in no haste at all to reach Strelsau. When the king suddenly rode up at great speed and came upon the embassy, an officer that stood by the ambassador—whose name was Count Sergius of Antheim—stooped down and whispered in his excellency's ear, upon which he rose and advanced towards the king, uncovering his head and bowing profoundly. For he chose to assume that the king had ridden to meet him out of excessive graciousness and courtesy towards the Grand Duke; so that he began, to the impatient king's infinite annoyance, to make a very long and stately speech, assuring his majesty of the great hope and joy with which his master awaited the result of the embassy; for, said he, since the king was so zealous in his cause, his master could not bring himself to doubt of success, and therefore most confidently looked to win for his bride the most exalted and lovely lady in the world, the peerless Princess Osra, the glory of the court of Strelsau, and the brightest jewel in the crown of the king, her brother. And having brought this period to a prosperous conclusion, Count Sergius took breath, and began another that promised to be fully as magnificent and not a whit less long. So that, before it was well started, the king smote his hand on his thigh and roared:

"Heavens, man, while you're making speeches, that rascal is carrying off my sister!"

Count Sergius, who was an elderly man of handsome presence and great dignity, being thus rudely and strangely interrupted, showed great astonishment and offence; but the officer by him covered his mouth with his hand to hide a smile. For the moment that the king had spoken these impetuous words he was himself overwhelmed with confusion; for the last thing that he wished the Grand Duke's ambassador to know was that the princess whom his master courted had run away that morning with a student of the University of Strelsau. Accordingly he began, very hastily, and with more regard for prudence than for truth, to tell Count Sergius how a noted and bold criminal had that morning swooped down on the princess as she rode unattended outside the city, and carried her off—which seemed to the ambassador a very strange story. But the king told it with great fervor, and he besought the count to scatter his attendants all through the wood, and seek the robber. Yet he charged them not to kill the man themselves, but to keep him till he came. "For I have sworn to kill him with my own hand," he cried.

Now Count Sergius, however much astonished he might be, could do nothing but accede to the king's request, and he sent off all his men to scour the woods, and, mounting his horse, himself set off with them, showing great zeal in the king's service, but still thinking the king's story a very strange one. Thus the king was left alone with his two guards and with the officer who had smiled.

"Will you not go also, sir?" asked the king.

But at this moment a man galloped up at furious speed, crying:

"We have found them, sire, we have found them!"

"Then he hasn't five minutes to live!" cried the king in fierce joy; and he lugged out his sword, adding: "The moment I set my eyes on him, I will kill him. There is no need for words between me and him."

At this speech the face of the officer grew suddenly grave and alarmed; and he put spurs to his horse, and hastened after the king, who had at once dashed away in the direction in which the man had pointed. But the king had got a start and kept it; so that the officer seemed terribly frightened, and muttered to himself:

"Heaven send that he does not kill him before he knows!" And he added some very impatient words concerning the follies of princes, and, above all, of princes in love.

Thus, while the ambassador and his men [pg 289] searched high and low for the noted robber, and the king's men hunted for the student of the University, the king, followed by two of his guard at a distance of about fifty yards (for his horse was better than theirs), came straight to where Osra and her lover stood together. And a few yards behind the guards came the officer; and he also had by now drawn his sword. But he rode so eagerly that he overtook and passed the king's guards, and got within thirty yards of the king by the time that the king was within twenty of the lovers. But the king let him get no nearer, for he dug his spurs again into his horse's side, and the horse bounded forward, while the king cried furiously to his sister, "Stand away from him!" The princess did not heed, but stood in front of her lover (for the student was wholly unarmed), holding up the little dagger in her hand. The king laughed scornfully and angrily, thinking that Osra menaced him with the weapon, and not supposing that it was herself for whom she destined it. And, having reached them, the king leaped from his horse and ran at them, with his sword raised to strike. Osra gave a cry of terror. "Mercy!" she cried. "Mercy!" But the king had no thought of mercy, and he would certainly then and there have killed her lover had not the officer, gaining a moment's time by the king's dismounting, at this very instant come galloping up; and, there being no time for any explanation, he leaned from his saddle as he dashed by, and, putting out his hand, snatched the king's sword away from him, just as the king was about to thrust it through his sister's lover.

But the officer's horse was going so furiously that he could not stop it for hard on forty yards, and he narrowly escaped splitting his head against a great bough that hung low across the grassy path; and he dropped first his own sword and then the king's; but at last he brought the horse to a standstill, and, leaping down, ran back towards where the swords lay. But at the moment the king also ran towards them; for the fury that he had been in before was as nothing to that which now possessed him. After his sword was snatched from him he stood in speechless anger for a full minute, but then had turned to pursue the man who had dared to treat him with such insult. And now, in his desire to be at the officer, he had come very near to forgetting the student. Just as the officer came to where the king's sword lay, and picked it up, the king, in his turn, reached the officer's sword and picked up that. The king came with a rush at the officer, who, seeing that the king was likely to kill him, or he the king, if he stood his ground, turned tail and sped away at the top of his speed through the forest. But as he went, thinking that the time had come for plain speaking, he looked back over his shoulder and shouted:

"Sire, it's the Grand Duke himself!"

The king stopped short in sudden amazement.

"Is the man mad?" he asked. "Who is the Grand Duke?"

"It's the Grand Duke, sir, who is with the princess. And you would have killed him if I had not snatched your sword," said the officer; and he also came to a halt, but he kept a very wary eye on King Rudolf.

"I should certainly have killed him, let him be who he will," said the king. "But why do you call him the Grand Duke?"

The officer very cautiously approached the king, and, seeing that the king made no threatening motion, he at last trusted himself so close that he could speak to the king in a very low voice; and what he said seemed to astonish, please, and amuse the king immensely. For he clapped the officer on the back, laughed heartily, and cried:

"A pretty trick! On my life, a pretty trick!"

Now Osra and her lover had not heard what the officer had shouted to the king, and when Osra saw her brother returning from among the trees alone and with his sword, she still supposed that her lover must die; and she turned and flung her arms round his neck, and clung to him for a moment, kissing him. Then she faced the king, with a smile on her face and the little dagger in her hand. But the king came up, wearing a scornful smile, and he asked her:

"What is the dagger for, my wilful sister?"

"For me, if you kill him," said she.

"You would kill yourself, then, if I killed him?"

"I would not live a moment after he was dead."

"Faith, it is wonderful!" said the king with a shrug. "Then plainly, if you cannot live without him, you must live with him. He is to be your husband, not mine. Therefore, take him, if you will."

When Osra heard this, which indeed for joy and wonder she could hardly believe, she dropped her knife, and, running forward, [pg 290] fell on her knees before her brother, and, catching his hand, she covered it with kisses, and her tears mingled with her kisses. But the king let her go on, and stood over her, laughing and looking at the student. Presently the student began to laugh also, and he had just advanced a step towards King Rudolf, when Count Sergius of Antheim, the Grand Duke's ambassador, came out from among the trees, riding hotly and with great zeal after the noted robber. But no sooner did the count see the student than he stopped his horse, leaped down with a cry of wonder, and, running up to the student, bowed very low and kissed his hand. So that when Osra looked round from her kissing of her brother's hand, she beheld the Grand Duke's ambassador kissing the hand of her lover. She sprang to her feet in wonder.

"Who are you?" she cried to the student, running in between him and the ambassador.

"Your lover and servant," said he.

"And besides?" she said.

"Why, in a month, your husband," laughed the king, taking her lover by the hand.

He clasped the king's hand, but turned at once to her, and said humbly:

"Alas, I have no cottage!"

"Who are you?" she whispered to him.

"The man for whom you were ready to die, my princess. Is it not enough?"

"Yes, it is enough," said she; and she did not repeat her question. But the king, with a short laugh, turned on his heel, and took Count Sergius by the arm and walked off with him; and presently they met the officer and learned fully how the Grand Duke had come to Strelsau, and how he had contrived to woo and win the Princess Osra, and finally to carry her off from the palace.

It was an hour later when the whole of the two companies, that of the king and that of the ambassador, were all gathered together again, and had heard the story; so that when the king went to where Osra and the Grand Duke walked together among the trees, and, taking each by a hand, led them out, they were greeted with a great cheer; and they mounted their horses, which the Grand Duke now found without any difficulty—although when the need of them seemed far greater the student could not contrive to come upon them—and the whole company rode together out of the wood and along the road towards Strelsau, the king being full of jokes and hugely delighted with a trick that suited his merry fancy. But before they had ridden far, they met the great crowd which had come out from Strelsau to learn what had happened to the Princess Osra. And the king cried out that the Grand Duke was to marry the princess, while his guards who had been with him and the ambassador's people spread themselves among the crowd and told the story. And when they heard it, the Strelsau folk were nearly beside themselves with amusement and delight, and thronged round Osra, kissing her hands and blessing her. But the king drew back, and let her and the Grand Duke ride alone together, while he followed with Count Sergius. Thus, moving at a very slow pace, they came in the forenoon to Strelsau; but some one had galloped on ahead with the news, and the cathedral bells had been set ringing, the streets were full, and the whole city given over to excitement and rejoicing. All the men were that day in love with Princess Osra; and, what is more, they told their sweethearts so, and these found no other revenge than to blow kisses and fling flowers at the Grand Duke as he rode past with Osra by his side. Thus they came back to the palace whence they had fled in the early gleams of that morning's light.

It was evening, and the moon rose, fair and clear, over Strelsau. In the streets there were sounds of merriment and rejoicing; for every house was bright with light, and the king had sent out meat and wine for every soul in the city, that none might be sad or hungry or thirsty in all the city that night; so that there was no small uproar. The king himself sat in his armchair, toasting the bride and bride-groom in company with Count Sergius of Antheim, whose dignity, somewhat wounded by the trick his master had played upon him, was healing quickly under the balm of King Rudolf's graciousness. And the king said to Count Sergius:

"My lord, were you ever in love?"

"I was, sire," said the count.

"So was I," said the king. "Was it with the countess, my lord?"

Count Sergius's eyes twinkled demurely; but he answered:

"I take it, sire, that it must have been with the countess."

"And I take it," said the king, "that it must have been with the queen."

Then they both laughed, and then they both sighed; and the king, touching the count's elbow, pointed out to the terrace of the palace, on to which the room where they were opened. For Princess Osra and [pg 291] her lover were walking up and down together on this terrace. And the two shrugged their shoulders, smiling.


"With him," remarked the king, "it will have been with—"

"The countess, sire," discreetly interrupted Count Sergius of Antheim.

"Why, yes, the countess," said the king; and, with a laugh, they turned bank to their wine.

But the two on the terrace also talked.

"I do not yet understand it," said Princess Osra. "For on the first day I loved you, and on the second I loved you, and on the third, and the fourth, and every day I loved you. Yet the first day was not like the second, nor the second like the third, nor any day like any other. And to-day, again, is unlike them all. Is love so various and full of changes?"

"Is it not?" he asked with a smile. "For while you were with the queen, talking of I know not what—"

"Nor I, indeed," said Osra hastily.

"I was with the king, and he, saying that forewarned was forearmed, told me very strange and pretty stories. Of some a report had reached me before—"

"And yet you came to Strelsau?"

"While of others, I had not heard."

"Or you would not have come to Strelsau?"

The Grand Duke, not heeding these questions, proceeded to his conclusion:

"Love, therefore," said he, "is very various. For M. de Mérosailles—"

"These are old stories," cried Osra, pretending to stop her ears.

"Loved in one way, and Stephen the Smith in another, and—the Miller of Hofbau in a third."

"I think," said Osra, "that I have forgotten the Miller of Hofbau. But can one heart love in many different ways? I know that different men love differently."

"But cannot one heart love in different ways?" he smiled.

"May be," said Osra thoughtfully, "one heart can have loved." But then she suddenly looked up at him with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. "No, no," she cried; "it was not love. It was—"

"What was it?"

"The courtiers entertained me till the king came," she said with a blushing laugh. And looking up at him again, she whispered: "Yet I am glad that you lingered for a little."

At this moment she saw the king come out on to the terrace, and with him was the Bishop of Modenstein; and after the bishop had been presented to the Grand [pg 292] Duke, the king began to talk with the Grand Duke, while the bishop kissed Osra's hand and wished her joy.

"Madam," said he, "once you asked me if I could make you understand what love was. I take it you have no need for my lessons now. Your teacher has come."

"Yes, he has come," she said gently, looking on the bishop with great friendliness. "But tell me, will he always love me?"

"Surely he will," answered the bishop.

"And tell me," said Osra, "shall I always love him?"

"Surely," said the bishop again, most courteously. "Yet, indeed, madam," he continued, "it would seem almost enough to ask of Heaven to love now and now to be loved. For the years roll on, and youth goes, and even the most incomparable beauty will yield its blossoms when the season wanes; yet that sweet memory may ever be fresh and young, a thing a man can carry to his grave and raise as her best monument on his lady's tomb."

"Ah, you speak well of love," said she. "I marvel that you speak so well of love. For it is as you say; and to-day in the wood it seemed to me that I had lived enough, and that even Death was but Love's servant as Life is, both purposed solely for his better ornament."

"Men have died because they loved you, madam, and some yet live who love you," said the bishop.

"And shall I grieve for both, my lord—or for which?"

"For neither, madam; for the dead have gained peace, and they who live have escaped forgetfulness."

"But would they not be happier for forgetting?"

"I do not think so," said the bishop; and, bowing low to her again, he stood back, for he saw the king approaching with the Grand Duke; and the king took him by the arm, and walked on with him; but Osra's face lost the brief pensiveness that had come upon it as she talked with the bishop, and, turning to her lover, she stretched out her hands to him, saying:

"I wish there was a cottage, and that you worked for bread, while I made ready for you at the cottage, and then ran far, far, far, down the road to watch and wait for your coming."

"Since a cottage was not too small, a palace will not be too large," said he, catching her in his arms.

Thus the heart of Princess Osra found its haven and its rest; for a month later she was married to the Grand Duke of Mittenheim in the cathedral of Strelsau, having utterly refused to take any other place for her wedding. And again she and he rode forth together through the western gate; and the king rode with them on their way till they came to the woods. Here he paused, and all the crowd that accompanied him stopped also; and they all waited till the sombre depths of the glades hid Osra and her lover from their sight. Then, leaving them thus riding together to their happiness, the people returned home, sad for the loss of their darling princess. But, for consolation, and that their minds might less feel her loss, they had her name often on their lips; and the poets and story-tellers composed many stories about her, not always grounded on fact, but the fabric of idle imaginings, wrought to please the fancy of lovers or to wake the memories of older folk. So that, if a stranger goes now to Strelsau, he may be pardoned if it seem to him that all mankind was in love with Princess Osra. Nay, and those stories so pass all fair bounds that, if you listened to them, you would come near to believing that the princess also had found some love for all the men who had given her their love. Thus to many she is less a woman that once lived and breathed than some sweet image under whose name they fondly group all the virtues and the charms of her whom they love best, each man fashioning for himself from his own chosen model her whom he calls his princess. Yet it may be that for some of them who so truly loved her, her heart had a moment's tenderness. Who shall tell all the short-lived dreams that come and go, the promptings and stirrings of a vagrant inclination? And who would pry too closely into these secret matters? May we not more properly give thanks to heaven that the thing is as it is? For surely it makes greatly for the increase of joy and entertainment in the world, and of courtesy and true tenderness, that the heart of Princess Osra—or of what lady you may choose, sir, to call by her name—should flutter in pretty hesitation here and there and to and fro a little, before it flies on a straight swift wing to its destined and desired home. And if you be not the prince for your princess, why, sir, your case is a sad one.

[pg 293]


By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps,

Author of "The Gates Ajar," "The Madonna of the Tubs," etc.


Letter P

ERHAPS no one has ever denied, or more definitely, has ever wished to deny, that Andover society consisted largely of people with obvious religious convictions; and that her visitors were chiefly of the Orthodox Congregational turn of mind. I do not remember that we ever saw any reason for regret in this "feature" of the Hill. It is true, however, that a dash of the world's people made their way among us.

I remember certain appearances of Ralph Waldo Emerson. If I am correct about it, he had been persuaded by some emancipated and daring mind to give us several lectures.

He was my father's guest on one of these occasions, and I met him for the first time then. Emerson was—not to speak disrespectfully—in a much muddled state of his distinguished mind, on Andover Hill. His blazing seer's gaze took us all in, politely; it burned straight on, with its own philosophic fire; but it wore, at moments, a puzzled softness.

His clear-cut, sarcastic lips sought to assume the well-bred curves of conformity to the environment of entertainers who valued him so far as to demand a series of his own lectures; but the cynic of his temperamental revolt from us, or, to be exact, from the thing which he supposed us to be, lurked in every line of his memorable face.

By the way, what a look of the eagle it had!


The poet—I was about to say the pagan poet—quickly recognized, to a degree, that he was not among a group of barbarians; and I remember the marked respect with which he observed my father's noble head and countenance, and the attention with which he listened to the low, perfectly modulated voice of his host. But Mr. Emerson was accustomed to do the talking himself; this occasion proved no exception; and here his social divination or experience failed him a little. Quite promptly, I remember, he set adrift upon the sea of Alcott.

Now, we had heard of Mr. Alcott in Andover, it is true, but we did not look upon him exactly through Mr. Emerson's marine-glass; and, though the Professor did his hospitable best to sustain his end of the conversation, it swayed off gracefully into monologue. We listened deferentially while the philosopher pronounced Bronson Alcott the greatest mind of our day—I think he said the greatest since Plato. He was capable of it, in moments of his own exaltation. I thought I detected a twinkle in my father's blue eye; but the fine curve of his lips remained politely closed; and our distinguished guest spoke on.

There was something noble about this ardent way of appreciating his friends, and Emerson was distinguished for it, among those who knew him well.

Publishers understood that his literary judgment was touchingly warped by his [pg 294] personal admirations. He would offer some impossible MS. as the work of dawning genius; it would be politely received, and filed in the rejected pigeon-holes. Who knows what the great man thought when his friend's poem failed to see the light of the market?

On this particular occasion, the conversation changed to Browning. Now, the Professor, although as familiar as he thought it necessary to be with the latest poetic idol, was not a member of a Browning class; and here, again, his attitude towards the subject was one of well-mannered respect, rather than of abandoned enthusiasm. (Had it only been Wordsworth!) A lady was present, young, and of the Browningesque temperament. Mr. Emerson expressed himself finely to the effect that there was something outside of ourselves about Browning—that we might not always grasp him—that he seemed, at times, to require an extra sense.

"Is it not because he touches our extra moods?" asked the lady. The poet's face turned towards her quickly; he had not noticed her before; a subtle change touched his expression, as if he would have liked to say: For the first time since this subject was introduced in this Calvinistic drawing-room, I find myself understood.

It chanced that we had a Chaucer Club in Andover at that time; a small company, severely selected, not to flirt or to chat, but to work. We had studied hard for a year, and most of us had gone Chaucer mad. This present writer was the unfortunate exception to that idolatrous enthusiasm, and—meeting Mr. Emerson at another time—took modest occasion in answer to a remark of his to say something of the sort.

"Chaucer interests me, certainly, but I cannot make myself feel as the others do. He does not take hold of my nature. He is too far back. I am afraid I am too much of a modern. It is a pity, I know."

"It is a pity," observed Mr. Emerson sarcastically. "What would you read? The 'Morning Advertiser'?" The Chaucer Club glared at me in what, I must say, I felt to be unholy triumph.

Not a glance of sympathy reached me, where I sat, demolished before the rebuke of the great man. I distinctly heard a chuckle from a feminine member. Yet, what had the dissenter done, or tried to do? To be quite honest, only, in a little matter where affectation would have been the flowery way; and I must say that I have never loved the Father of English Poetry any better for this episode.

The point, however, at which I am coming is the effect wrought upon Mr. Emerson's mind by the history of that club. It seemed to us disproportionate to the occasion that he should feel and manifest so much surprise at our existence. This he did, more than once, and with a genuineness not to be mistaken.

That an organization for the study of Chaucer could subsist on Andover Hill, he could not understand. What he thought us, or thought about us, who can say? He seemed as much taken aback as if he had found a tribe of Cherokees studying onomatopoeia in English verse.

"A Chaucer club! In Andover?" he repeated. The seer was perplexed.

Of course, whenever we found ourselves in forms of society not in harmony with our religious views, we were accustomed, in various ways, to meet with a similar predisposition. As a psychological study this has always interested me, just as one is interested in the attitude of mind exhibited by the Old School physician towards the Homoeopathist with whom he graduated at the Harvard Medical School. Possibly that graduate may have distinguished himself with the honors of the school; but as soon as he prescribes on the principles of Hahnemann, he is not to be adjudged capable of setting a collar-bone. By virtue of his therapeutic views he has become disqualified for professional recognition. So, by virtue of one's religious views, the man or woman of orthodox convictions, whatever one's proportion of personal culture, is regarded with a gentle superiority, as being of a class still enslaved in superstition, and therefore per se barbaric.

Put in undecorated language, this is about the sum and substance of a state of feeling which all intelligent evangelical Christians recognize perfectly in those who have preempted for themselves the claims belonging to what are called the liberal faiths.

On the other hand, one who is regarded as a little of a heretic from the sterner sects, may make the warmest friendships of a lifetime among "the world's people"—whom far be it from me to seem to dispossess of any of their manifold charms.

This brings me closely to a question which I am so often asked, either directly or indirectly, that I cannot easily pass this Andover chapter by without some recognition of it.

What was, in very truth, the effect of [pg 295] such a religious training as Andover gave her children?

Curious impressions used to be afloat about us among people of easier faiths; often, I think, we were supposed to spend our youth paddling about in a lake of blue fire, or in committing the genealogies to memory, or in gasping beneath the agonies of religious revivals.

To be quite honest, I should say that I have not retained all the beliefs which I was taught—who does? But I have retained the profoundest respect for the way in which I was taught them; and I would rather have been taught what I was, as I was, and run whatever risks were involved in the process, than to have been taught much less, little, or nothing.

An excess of religious education may have its unfortunate aspects. But a deficiency of it has worse.

It is true that, for little people, our little souls were a good deal agitated on the question of eternal salvation. We were taught that heaven and hell followed life and death; that the one place was "a desirable location," and the other too dreadful to be mentioned in ears polite; and that what Matthew Arnold calls "conduct" was the deciding thing. Not that we heard much, until we grew old enough to read for ourselves, about Matthew Arnold; but we did hear a great deal about plain behaviour—unselfishness, integrity, honor, sweet temper—the simple good morals of childhood.

We were taught, too, to respect prayer and the Christian Bible. In this last particular we never had at all an oppressive education.

My Sunday-school reminiscences are few and comfortable, and left me, chiefly, with the impression that Sunday-schools always studied Acts; for I do not recall any lessons given me by strolling theologues in any other—certainly none in any severer—portions of the Bible.

It was all very easy and pleasant, if not feverishly stimulating; and I am quite willing to match my Andover Sunday-school experiences with that of a Boston free-thinker's little daughter who came home and complained to her mother:

"There is a dreadful girl put into our Sunday-school. I think, mamma, she is bad society for me. She says the Bible is exaggerated, and then she tickles my legs!"

I have said that we were taught to think something about our own "salvation;" and so we were, but not in a manner calculated to burden the good spirits of any but a very sensitive or introspective child. Personally, I may have dwelt on the idea, at times, more than was good for my happiness; but certainly no more than was good for my character. The idea of character was at the basis of everything we did, or dreamed, or learned.

There is a scarecrow which "liberal" beliefs put together, hang in the field of public terror or ridicule, and call it Orthodoxy. Of this misshapen creature we knew nothing in Andover.

Of hell we heard sometimes, it is true, for Andover Seminary believed in it—though, be it said, much more comfortably in the days before this iron doctrine became the bridge of contention in the recent serious, theological battle which has devastated Andover. In my own case, I do not remember to have been shocked or threatened by this woful doctrine. I knew that my father believed in the everlasting misery of wicked people who could be good if they wanted to, but would not; and I was, of course, accustomed to accept the beliefs of a parent who represented everything that was tender, unselfish, pure, and noble, to my mind—in fact, who sustained to me the ideal of a fatherhood which gave me the best conception I shall ever get, in this world, of the Fatherhood of God. My father presented the interesting anomaly of a man holding, in one dark particular, a severe faith, but displaying in his private character rare tenderness and sweetness of heart. He would go out of his way to save a crawling thing from death, or any sentient thing from pain. He took more trouble to give comfort or to prevent distress to every breathing creature that came within his reach, than any other person whom I have ever known. He had not the heart to witness heartache. It was impossible for him to endure the sight of a child's suffering. His sympathy was an extra sense, finer than eyesight, more exquisite than touch.

Yet, he did believe that absolute perversion of moral character went to its "own place," and bore the consequence of its own choice.

Once I told a lie (I was seven years old), and my father was a broken-hearted man. He told me then that liars went to hell. I do not remember to have heard any such personal application of the doctrine of eternal punishment before or since; and the fact made a life-long impression, to which I largely owe a personal preference for veracity. Yet, to analyze the scene [pg 296] strictly, I must say that it was not fear of torment which so moved me; it was the sight of that broken face. For my father wept—only when death visited the household did I ever see him cry again—and I stood melted and miserable before his anguish and his love. The devil and all his angels could not have punished into me the noble shame of that moment.


From a photograph by Warren, Boston.

I have often been aware of being pitied by outsiders for the theological discipline which I was supposed to have received in Andover; but I must truthfully say that I have never been conscious of needing compassion in this respect. I was taught that God is Love, and Christ His Son is our Saviour; that the important thing in life was to be that kind of woman for which there is really, I find, no better word than Christian, and that the only road to this end was to be trodden by way of character. The ancient Persians (as we all know) were taught to hurl a javelin, ride a horse, and speak the truth.

I was taught that I should speak the truth, say my prayers, and consider other people; it was a wholesome, right-minded, invigorating training that we had, born of tenderness, educated conscience, and good sense, and I have lived to bless it in many troubled years.

What if we did lend a little too much romance now and then to our religious "experience"? It was better for us than some other kinds of romance to which we were quite as liable. What if I did "join the church" (entirely of my own urgent will, not of my father's preference or guiding) at the age of twelve, when the great dogmas to which I was expected to subscribe could not possibly have any rational meaning for me? I remember how my father took me apart, and gently explained to me beforehand the clauses of the rather simple and truly beautiful chapel creed which he himself, I believe, had written to modernize and clarify the old one—I wonder if it were done at that very time? [pg 297] And I remember that it all seemed to me very easy and happy—signifying chiefly, that one meant to be a good girl, if possible. What if one did conduct a voluminous religious correspondence with the other Professor's daughter, who put notes under the fence which divided our homes? We were none the worse girls for that. And we outgrew it, when the time came.


Professor M. Stuart Phelps died in 1883, at the age of 34. He was professor of philosophy in Smith College, was called by those entitled to judge, the most promising young psychologist in this country, and a brilliant future was prophesied for him. The above portrait is from a photograph by Pach Brothers, New York.

One thing, supremely, I may say that I learned from the Andover life, or, at least, from the Andover home. That was an everlasting scorn of worldliness—I do not mean in the religious sense of the word. That tendency to seek the lower motive, to do the secondary thing, to confuse sounds or appearances with values, which is covered by the word as we commonly use it, very early came to seem to me a way of looking at life for which I know no other term than underbred.

There is no better training for a young person than to live in the atmosphere of a study—we did not call it a library, in my father's home. People of leisure who read might have libraries. People who worked among their books had studies.

The life of a student, with its gracious peace, its beauty, its dignity, seemed to me, as the life of social preoccupation or success may seem to children born to that penumbra, the inevitable thing.

As one grew to think out life for one's self, one came to perceive a width and sanctity in the choice of work—whether rhetoric or art, theology or sculpture, hydraulics or manufacture—but to work, to work hard, to see work steadily, and see it whole, was the way to be reputable. I think I always respected a good blacksmith more than a lady of leisure.

I know it took me a while to recover from a very youthful and amusing disinclination to rich people, which was surely never trained into me, but grew like the fruit of the horse-chestnut trees, ruggedly, of nature, and of Andover Hill; and which dropped away when its time came—just about as useless as the big brown nuts which we cut into baskets and carved into Trustees' faces for a mild November day, and then threw away.

When I came in due time to observe that property and a hardened character were not identical, and that families of ease in which one might happen to visit were not deficient in education because their incomes were large—I think it was at first with a certain sense of surprise. It is impossible to convey to one differently reared the delicious naïveté of this state of mind.

[pg 298]

Whatever the "personal peculiarities" of our youthful conceptions of life, as acquired at Andover, one thing is sure—that we grew into love of reality as naturally as the Seminary elms shook out their long, green plumes in May, and shed their delicate, yellow leaves in October.

I can remember no time when we did not instinctively despise a sham, and honor a genuine person, thing, or claim. In mere social pretension not built upon character, intelligence, education, or gentle birth, we felt no interest. I do not remember having been taught this, in so many words. It came without teaching.

My father taught me most things without text-books or lessons. By far the most important portion of what one calls education, I owe to him; yet he never preached, or prosed, or played the pedagogue. He talked a great deal, not to us, but with us; we began to have conversation while we were still playing marbles and dolls. I remember hours of discussion with him on some subject so large that the littleness of his interlocutor must have tried him sorely. Time and eternity, theology and science, literature and art, invention and discovery came each in its turn; and, while I was still making burr baskets, or walking fences, or coasting (standing up) on what I was proud to claim as the biggest sled in town, down the longest hills, and on the fastest local record—I was fascinated with the wealth and variety which seem to have been the conditions of thought with him. I have never been more interested by anything in later life than I was in my father's conversation.

I never attended a public school of any kind—unless we except the Sunday-school that studied Acts—and when it came time for me to pass from the small to the large private schools of Andover, the same paternal comradeship continued to keep step with me. There was no college diploma for girls of my kind in my day; but we came as near to it as we could.

There was a private school in Andover, of wide reputation in its time, known to the irreverent as the "Nunnery," but bearing in professional circles the more stately name of Mrs. Edwards's School for Young Ladies. Two day-scholars, as a marked favor to their parents, were admitted with the boarders elect; and of these two I was one. If I remember correctly, Professor Park and my father were among the advisers whose opinions had weight with the selection of our course of study, and I often wonder how, with their rather feudal views of women, these two wise men of Andover managed to approve so broad a curriculum.

Possibly the quiet and modest learned lady, our principal, had ideas of her own which no one could have suspected her of obtruding against the current of her times and environment; like other strong and gentle women she may have had her "way" when nobody thought so. At all events, we were taught wisely and well, in directions to which the fashionable girls' schools of the day did not lift an eye-lash.

I was an out-of-door girl, always into every little mischief of snow or rainfall, flower, field, or woods or ice; but in spite of skates and sleds and tramps and all the west winds from Wachusett that blew through me, soul and body, I was not strong; and my father found it necessary to oversee my methods of studying. Incidentally, I think, he influenced the choice of some of our text-books, and I remember that, with the exception of Greek and trigonometry—thought, in those days, to be beyond the scope of the feminine intellect—we pursued the same curriculum that our brothers did at college. In some cases we had teachers who were then, or afterwards, college professors in their specialties; in all departments I think we were faithfully taught, and that our tastes and abilities were electively recognized.

I was not allowed, I remember, to inflict my musical talents upon the piano for more than one hour a day; my father taking the ground that, as there was only so much of a girl, if she had not unusual musical gift and had less than usual physical vigor, she had better give the best of herself to her studies. I have often blessed him for this daring individualism; for, while the school "practice" went on about me, in the ordinary way, so many precious hours out of a day that was all too short for better things—I was learning my lessons quite comfortably, and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise between whiles.

I hasten to say that I was not at all a remarkable scholar. I cherished a taste for standing near the top of the class, somewhere, and always preferred rather to answer a question than to miss it; but this, I think, was pure pride, rather than an absorbing, intellectual passion. It was a wholesome pride, however, and served me a good turn.

At one epoch of history, so far back that I cannot date it, I remember to have been a scholar at Abbott Academy long enough to learn how to spell. Perhaps one ought [pg 299] to give the honor of this achievement where honor is due. When I observe the manner in which the superior sex is often turned out by masculine diplomas upon the world with the life-long need of a vest-pocket dictionary or a spelling-book, I cherish a respect for the method in which I was compelled to spell the English language. It was severe, no doubt. We stood in a class of forty, and lost our places for the misfit of a syllable, a letter, a definition, or even a stumble in elocution. I remember once losing the head of the class for saying: L-u-ux—Lux. It was a terrible blow, and I think of it yet with burning mortification on my cheeks.

In the "Nunnery" we were supposed to have learned how to spell. We studied what we called Mental Philosophy, to my unmitigated delight; and Butler's Analogy, which I considered a luxury; and Shakespeare, whom I distantly but never intimately adored; Latin, to which dead language we gave seven years apiece, out of our live girlhood; Picciola and Undine we dreamed over, in the grove and the orchard; English literature is associated with the summer-house and the grape arbor, with flecks of shade and glints of light, and a sense of unmistakable privilege. There was physiology, which was scarcely work, and astronomy, which I found so exhilarating that I fell ill over it. Alas, truth compels me to add that Mathematics, with a big M and stretching on through the books of Euclid, darkened my young horizon with dull despair; and that chemistry—but the facts are too humiliating to relate. My father used to say that all he ever got out of the pursuit of this useful science in his college days—and he was facile valedictorian—was the impression that there was a sub-acetate of something dissolved in a powder at the bottom.

All that I am able to recall of the study of "my brother's text-books," in this department, is that there was once a frightful odor in the laboratory for which Professor Hitchcock and a glass jar and a chemical were responsible, and that I said, "At least, the name of this will remain with me to my dying hour." But what was the name of it? "Ask me no more."

In the department of history I can claim no results more calculated to reflect credit upon the little student who hated a poor recitation much, but facts and figures more. To the best of my belief, I can be said to have retained but two out of the long list of historic dates with which my quivering memory was duly and properly crowded.

I do know when America was discovered; because the year is inscribed over a spring in the seaside town where I have spent twenty summers, and I have driven past it on an average once a day, for that period of time. And I can tell when Queen Elizabeth left this world, because Macaulay wrote a stately sentence:

"In 1603 the Great Queen died."

It must have been the year when my father read De Quincey and Wordsworth to me on winter evenings that I happened for myself on Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The first little event opened for me, as distinctly as if I had never heard of it before, the world of letters as a Paradise from which no flaming sword could ever exile me; but the second revealed to me my own nature.

The Andover sunsets blazed behind Wachusett, and between the one window of my little room and the fine head of the mountain nothing intervened. The Andover elms held above lifted eyes arch upon arch of exquisite tracery, through which the far sky looked down like some noble thing that one could spend all one's life in trying to reach, and be happy just because it existed, whether one reached it or not. The paths in my father's great gardens burned white in the summer moonlights, and their shape was the shape of a mighty cross. The June lilies, yellow and sweet, lighted their soft lamps beside the cross—I was sixteen, and I read Aurora Leigh.

A grown person may smile—but, no; no gentle-minded man or woman smiles at the dream of a girl. What has life to offer that is nobler in enthusiasm, more delicate, more ardent, more true to the unseen and the unsaid realities which govern our souls, or leave us sadder forever because they do not? There may be greater poems in our language than Aurora Leigh, but it was many years before it was possible for me to suppose it; and none that ever saw the hospitality of fame could have done for that girl what that poem did at that time. I had never a good memory—but I think I could have repeated a large portion of it; and know that I often stood the test of hap-hazard examinations on the poem from half-scoffing friends, sometimes of the masculine persuasion. Each to his own; and what Shakespeare or the Latin Fathers might have done for some other impressionable girl, Mrs. Browning—forever bless her strong and gentle name!—did for me.

I owe to her, distinctly, the first visible [pg 300] aspiration (ambition is too low a word) to do some honest, hard work of my own, in the World Beautiful, and for it.

It is April, and it is the year 1861. It is a dull morning at school. The sky is gray. The girls are not in spirits—no one knows just why. The morning mail is late, and the Boston papers are tardily distributed. The older girls get them, and are reading the head-lines lazily, as girls do; not, in truth, caring much about a newspaper, but aware that one must be well-informed.

Suddenly, in the recitation room, where I am refreshing my accomplishments in some threatening lesson, I hear low murmurs and exclamations. Then a girl, very young and very pretty, catches the paper and whirls it overhead. With a laugh which tinkles through my ears to this day, she dances through the room and cries:

"War's begun! War's begun!"

An older girl utters a cry of horror, and puts her hand upon the little creature's thoughtless lips.

"Oh, how can you?" so I hear the older girl. "Hush, hush, hush!"


By Robert Louis Stevenson.

THE King was a man that stood well before the world; his smile was sweet as clover, but his soul withinsides was as little as a pea. He had two sons; and the younger son was a boy after his heart, but the elder was one whom he feared. It befell one morning that the drum sounded in the dun before it was yet day; and the King rode with his two sons, and a brave army behind them. They rode two hours, and came to the foot of a brown mountain that was very steep.

"Where do we ride?" said the elder son.

"Across this brown mountain," said the King, and smiled to himself.

"My father knows what he is doing," said the younger son.

And they rode two hours more, and came to the sides of a black river that was wondrous deep.

"And where do we ride?" asked the elder son.

"Over this black river," said the King, and smiled to himself.

"My father knows what he is doing," said the younger son.

And they rode all that day, and about the time of the sun-setting came to the side of a lake, where was a great dun.

"It is here we ride," said the King; "to a King's house, and a priest's, and a house where you will learn much."

At the gates of the dun, the King who was a priest met them, and he was a grave man, and beside him stood his daughter, and she was as fair as the morn, and one that smiled and looked down.

"These are my two sons," said the first King.

"And here is my daughter," said the King who was a priest.

"She is a wonderful fine maid," said the first King, "and I like her manner of smiling."

"They are wonderful well-grown lads," said the second, "and I like their gravity."

And then the two Kings looked at each other, and said, "The thing may come about."

And in the meanwhile the two lads looked upon the maid, and the one grew pale and the other red; and the maid looked upon the ground smiling.

"Here is the maid that I shall marry," said the elder. "For I think she smiled upon me."

But the younger plucked his father by the sleeve. "Father," said he, "a word in your ear. If I find favor in your sight, might not I wed this maid, for I think she smiles upon me?"

"A word in yours," said the King his father. "Waiting is good hunting, and when the teeth are shut the tongue is at home."

[pg 301]

Now they were come into the dun, and feasted; and this was a great house, so that the lads were astonished; and the King that was a priest sat at the end of the board and was silent, so that the lads were filled with reverence; and the maid served them, smiling, with downcast eyes, so that their hearts were enlarged.

Before it was day, the elder son arose, and he found the maid at her weaving, for she was a diligent girl. "Maid," quoth he, "I would fain marry you."

"You must speak with my father," said she, and she looked upon the ground smiling, and became like the rose.

"Her heart is with me," said the elder son, and he went down to the lake and sang.

A little after came the younger son. "Maid," quoth he, "if our fathers were agreed, I would like well to marry you."

"You can speak to my father," said she, and looked upon the ground and smiled and grew like the rose.

"She is a dutiful daughter," said the younger son, "she will make an obedient wife." And then he thought, "What shall I do?" and he remembered the King her father was a priest, so he went into the temple and sacrificed a weasel and a hare.

Presently the news got about; and the two lads and the first King were called into the presence of the King who was a priest, where he sat upon the high seat.

"Little I reck of gear," said the King who was a priest, "and little of power. For we live here among the shadows of things, and the heart is sick of seeing them. And we stay here in the wind like raiment drying, and the heart is weary of the wind. But one thing I love, and that is truth; and for one thing will I give my daughter, and that is the trial stone. For in the light of that stone the seeming goes, and the being shows, and all things besides are worthless. Therefore, lads, if ye would wed my daughter, out foot, and bring me the stone of touch, for that is the price of her."

"A word in your ear," said the younger son to his father. "I think we do very well without this stone."

"A word in yours," said his father. "I am of your way of thinking; but when the teeth are shut the tongue is at home." And he smiled to the King that was a priest.


But the elder son got to his feet, and called the King that was a priest by the name of father. "For whether I marry the maid or no, I will call you by that word for the love of your wisdom; and even now I will ride forth and search the world for the stone of touch." So he said farewell and rode into the world.

"I think I will go, too," said the younger son, "if I can have your leave. For my heart goes out to the maid."

"You will ride home with me," said his father.

So they rode home, and when they came to the dun, the King had his son into his treasury. "Here," said he, "is the touchstone which shows truth; for there is no truth but plain truth; and if you will look in this, you will see yourself as you are."

And the younger son looked in it, and saw his face as it were the face of a beardless youth, and he was well enough pleased; for the thing was a piece of a mirror.

"Here is no such great thing to make a work about," said he; "but if it will get me the maid, I shall never complain. But what a fool is my brother to ride into the world, and the thing all the while at home."

So they rode back to the other dun, and showed the mirror to the King that was a priest; and when he had looked in it, and seen himself like a King, and his house like a King's house, and all things like themselves, he cried out and blessed God. "For now I know," said he, "there is no truth but the plain truth; and I am a King indeed, although my heart misgave me." And [pg 302] he pulled down his temple and built a new one; and then the younger son was married to the maid.

In the meantime the elder son rode into the world to find the touchstone of the trial of truth; and whenever he came to a place of habitation, he would ask the men if they had heard of it. And in every place the men answered: "Not only have we heard of it, but we alone of all men possess the thing itself, and it hangs in the side of our chimney to this day." Then would the elder son be glad, and beg for a sight of it. And sometimes it would be a piece of mirror, that showed the seeming of things, and then he would say: "This can never be, for there should be more than seeming." And sometimes it would be a lump of coal, which showed nothing; and then he would say: "This can never be, for at least there is the seeming." And sometimes it would be a touchstone indeed, beautiful in hue, adorned with polishing, the light inhabiting its sides; and when he found this, he would beg the thing, and the persons of that place would give it him, for all men were very generous of that gift; so that at the last he had his wallet full of them, and they chinked together when he rode; and when he halted by the side of the way, he would take them out and try them, till his head turned like the sails upon a windmill.

"A murrain upon this business!" said the elder son, "for I perceive no end to it. Here I have the red, and here the blue and the green; and to me they seem all excellent, and yet shame each other. A murrain on the trade! If it were not for the King that is a priest, and whom I have called my father, and if it were not for the fair maid of the dun that makes my mouth to sing and my heart enlarge, I would even tumble them all into the salt sea, and go home and be a King like other folk."

But he was like the hunter that has seen a stag upon a mountain, so that the night may fall, and the fire be kindled, and the lights shine in his house, but desire of that stag is single in his bosom.

Now after many years the elder son came upon the sides of the salt sea; and it was night, and a savage place, and the clamor of the sea was loud. There he was aware of a house, and a man that sat there by the light of a candle, for he had no fire. Now the elder son came in to him, and the man gave him water to drink, for he had no bread; and wagged his head when he was spoken to, for he had no words.

"Have you the touchstone of truth?" asked the elder son; and when the man had wagged his head, "I might have known that," cried the elder son; "I have here a wallet full of them!" And with that he laughed, although his heart was weary.

And with that the man laughed too, and with the fuff of his laughter the candle went out.

"Sleep," said the man, "for now I think you have come far enough; and your quest is ended, and my candle is out."

Now, when the morning came, the man gave him a clear pebble in his hand, and it had no beauty and no color, and the elder son looked upon it scornfully and shook his head, and he went away, for it seemed a small affair to him.

All that day he rode, and his mind was quiet, and the desire of the chase allayed. "How if this poor pebble be the touchstone, after all?" said he; and he got down from his horse, and emptied forth his wallet by the side of the way. Now, in the light of each other, all the touchstones lost their hue and fire, and withered like stars at morning; but in the light of the pebble, their beauty remained, only the pebble was the most bright. And the elder son smote upon his brow. "How if this be the truth," he cried, "that all are a little true?" And he took the pebble, and turned its light upon the heavens, and they deepened above him like the pit; and he turned it on the hills, and the hills were cold and rugged, but life ran in their sides so that his own life bounded; and he turned it on the dust, and he beheld the dust with joy and terror; and he turned it on himself, and kneeled down and prayed.

"Now thanks be to God," said the elder son, "I have found the touchstone; and now I may turn my reins, and ride home to the King and to the maid of the dun that makes my mouth to sing and my heart enlarge."

Now, when he came to the dun, he saw children playing by the gate where the King had met him in the old days, and this stayed his pleasure; for he thought in his heart, "It is here my children should be playing." And when he came into the hall, there was his brother on the high seat, and the maid beside him; and at that his anger rose, for he thought in his heart, "It is I that should be sitting there, and the maid beside me."

"Who are you?" said his brother. "And what make you in the dun?"

"I am your elder brother," he replied. "And I am come to marry the maid, for I have brought the touchstone of truth."

[pg 303]

Then the younger brother laughed aloud. "Why," said he, "I have found the touchstone years ago, and married the maid, and there are our children playing at the gate."

Now at this the elder brother grew as gray as the dawn. "I pray you have dealt justly," said he, "for I perceive my life is lost."

"Justly?" quoth the younger brother. "It becomes you ill, that are a restless man and a runagate, to doubt my justice or the King my father's, that are sedentary folk and known in the land."

"Nay," said the elder brother; "you have all else, have patience also, and suffer me to say the world is full of touchstones, and it appears not easily which is true."

"I have no shame of mine," said the younger brother. "There it is, and look in it."

So the elder brother looked in the mirror, and he was sore amazed; for he was an old man, and his hair was white upon his head; and he sat down in the hall and wept aloud.

"Now," said the younger brother, "see what a fool's part you have played, that ran over all the world to seek what was lying in our father's treasury, and came back an old carle for the dogs to bark at, and without chick or child. And I that was dutiful and wise sit here crowned with virtues and pleasures, and happy in the light of my hearth."

"Methinks you have a cruel tongue," said the elder brother; and he pulled out the clear pebble, and turned its light on his brother; and behold, the man was lying; his soul was shrunk into the smallness of a pea, and his heart was a bag of little fears like scorpions, and love was dead in his bosom. And at that the elder brother cried out aloud, and turned the light of the pebble on the maid, and lo! she was but a mask of a woman, and withinsides she was quite dead, and she smiled as a clock ticks, and knew not wherefore.

"Oh, well," said the elder brother, "I perceive there is both good and bad. So fare ye all as well as ye may in the dun; but I will go forth into the world with my pebble in my pocket."

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The late Dr. Jowett is reported to have once said to Mrs. Humphry Ward: "We shall come in the future to teach almost entirely by biography. We shall begin with the life that is most familiar to us, 'The Life of Christ,' and we shall more and more put before our children the great examples of persons' lives so that they shall have from the beginning heroes and friends in their thoughts."

The editors of this magazine thoroughly agree with Dr. Jowett. It has been, for a long time, their great desire to publish in these pages a "Life of Christ" which shall be, to quote Mr. Hall Caine's words in the December MCCLURE'S, "as vivid and as personal from the standpoint of belief as Renan's was from the standpoint of unbelief."


It is hard to realize the meaning of these figures, which represent the present circulation of MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE. Three years ago five magazines—"The Century," "Harper's," "Scribner's," "The Cosmopolitan," and "Munsey's"—apparently occupied the whole magazine field. But their total circulation was not over five hundred thousand copies. The circulation of MCCLURE'S is now equal to three-fifths of the combined circulation of all its rivals at the time it started.

"Harper's Magazine" and "The Century" for many years supplied the need of the American people for great illustrated monthlies. One imagines that every intelligent family in the United States takes one or the other, or both, of these magazines. "Harper's" is over half a century old, and "The Century" has just completed twenty-five years of splendid life.

MCCLURE'S has a circulation equal to both these giants of the magazine world.

We mention these facts, not for the mere sake of comparison, but simply to enable our friends to understand what a circulation of three hundred thousand means.

And while we are speaking about ourselves we might mention that for three months—October, November, and December—we had, month by month, more paid advertising than any other magazine, while our December number had more pages of paid advertising than any other magazine at any time in the history of the world.

Another interesting fact is that during the two months of November and December, MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE made greater strides in permanent circulation than any other magazine ever made.


We have been compelled by the large circulation of the MAGAZINE to purchase a complete printing and binding plant. This we hope to install before the first of March. The capacity of the plant will be not less than five hundred thousand copies a month, and, under pressure, we can print six hundred thousand copies.

We have secured the best and most modern presses, and, with proper pressmen, shall be able to print as beautiful a magazine as can be made anywhere.


begins in our April number. It is a spirited story of adventure. It is his first novel since "The Prisoner of Zenda," and has even more action than that splendid story.


will increase in interest as the history comes nearer our own time. Every chapter will contain much that is new, and every number of the magazine will have several portraits of Lincoln.


We have collected the first four Lincoln articles, added new matter both in text and pictures, and shall, in a few days, issue a volume with the above title. It will contain twenty portraits of Lincoln, and over one hundred other pictures, and will deal with the first twenty-six years of Lincoln's life.


in the next two numbers tells about the writing of "The Gates Ajar." She was then only twenty years old. The effect of the book on the public, the correspondence it brought her, and the acquaintances it secured her, will be amply dwelt upon. These are two remarkable papers in literary autobiography.


Ellsworth's death at Alexandria—"the first conspicuous victim of the war"—although he was only twenty-four, was the dramatic end of a most romantic and picturesque career; and no one knows its details so well as Colonel Hay. Ellsworth "was one of the dearest of the friends of my youth," says Colonel Hay. Moreover, he was a particular favorite and protégé of President Lincoln's when Colonel Hay was Lincoln's private secretary. Colonel Hay's paper, therefore, is one of quite extraordinary interest. There will be published with it some very interesting pictures.


Changes made in Mr. Low's article in the January number at the very moment of going to press, occasioned a mistake which should be corrected, though, no doubt, most of our readers have detected it for themselves. In the note to David's picture of "The Sabine Women," the picture was described as portraying the seizure of the Sabine women by the Romans, whereas it portrays the interposition of the women in a battle following the seizure.