The Project Gutenberg eBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, July, 1893

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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, July, 1893

Author: Various

Release date: September 20, 2010 [eBook #33771]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

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McClure’s Magazine

July, 1893.

Vol. I. No. 2

Copyright, 1893, by S. S. McClure, Limited. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents


An Afternoon with Oliver Wendell Holmes. By Edward E. Hale. 99
In the Name of the Law! By Stanley J. Weyman. 110
“Human Documents.” 119
Wild Beasts. By Raymond Blathwayt. 126
John Horseleigh, Knyght. By Thomas Hardy. 136
The Race to the North Pole. By Hugh Robert Mill, D.Sc. 147
Lieutenant Peary’s Expedition. By Cleveland Moffett. 156
An Expedition to the North Magnetic Pole. By W. H. Gilder. 159
The Merchantmen. By Rudyard Kipling. 163
Monsieur de Blowitz. By W. Morton Fullerton. 166
On the Track of the Reviewer. By Doctor William Wright. 174
Romantic Stories from the Family History of the Brontës. 181
A Strange Story: The Lost Years. By Lizzie Hyer Neff. 182



Oliver Wendell Holmes 99
O. W. Holmes’s Birth-Place at Cambridge, Mass. 100
Garden Door of the Cambridge House. 100
House in Rue Monsieur le Prince. 101
Residence in Beacon Street, Boston. 102
The Bay Window in Doctor Holmes’s Study. 103
A Corner in Doctor Holmes’s Study. 103
Dorothy Q. 104
Dorothy Q’s House in Quincy, Mass. 105
Holmes Delivering His Farewell Address, Harvard. 105
Summer Residence at Beverly Farms. 107
O. W. Holmes and E. E. Hale. 108
O. W. Holmes in His Favorite Seat at Beverly. 109
Edward Everett Hale. 120
M. de Blowitz. 122
Thomas Alva Edison. 124
Karl Hagenbeck. 127
Fridtjof Nansen. 151
Robert E. Peary. 156
Colonel W. H. Gilder. 159
General A. W. Greely. 160
Professor T. C. Mendenhall. 160
Diagram of the North Magnetic Pole Region. 161
Professor C. A. Schott. 162
The Dining-Room in M. De Blowitz’s Paris Home. 167
M. De Blowitz in His Study. 169
The Lampottes; The Country House of M. De Blowitz. 171
Charlotte Brontë. 180


By Edward E. Hale.

My first recollection of Doctor Holmes is seeing him standing on a bench at a college dinner when I was a boy, in the year 1836. He was full of life and fun, and was delivering—I do not say reading—one of his little college poems. He always writes them with joy, and recites them—if that is the word—with a spirit not to be described. For he is a born orator, with what people call a sympathetic voice, wholly under his own command, and entirely free from any of the tricks of elocution. It seems to me that no one really knows his poems to the very best, who has not had the good fortune to hear him read some of them.

But I had known all about him before that. As little boys, we had by heart, in those days, the song which saved “Old Ironsides” from destruction. That was the pet name of the frigate “Constitution,” which was a pet Boston ship, because she had been built at a Boston shipyard, had been sailed with Yankee crews, and, more than once, had brought her prizes into Boston Harbor.

We used to spout at school:

“Nail to the mast her holy flag,

Spread every threadbare sail,

And give her to the god of storms,

The lightning and the gale!”

Ah me! There had been a Phi Beta anniversary not long before, where Holmes had delivered a poem. You may read “Poetry, a Metrical Essay,” in the volumes now. But you will look in vain for the covert allusions to Julia and Susan and Elizabeth and the rest, which, to those who knew, meant the choicest belles of our little company. Have the queens of to-day any such honors?

Nobody is more accessible than Doctor Holmes. I doubt if any doorbell in Boston is more rung than his. And nowhere is the visitor made more kindly at home. His own work-room takes in all the width of a large house in Beacon Street; a wide window commands the sweep of the mouth of Charles River; in summer the gulls are hovering above it, in winter you may see them chaffing together on bits of floating ice, which is on its way to the sea. Across that water, by stealthy rowing, the boats of the English squadron carried the men who were to die 100 at Concord the next day, at Concord Bridge. Beyond is Bunker Hill Monument; and just this side of the monument Paul Revere crossed the same river to say that that English army was coming.


For me, I had to deliver on Emerson’s ninetieth birthday an address on my memories of him and his life. Holmes used to meet him, from college days down, in a thousand ways, and has written a charming memoir of his life. I went round there one day, therefore, to ask some questions, which might put my own memories of Emerson in better light, and afterwards I obtained his leave to make this sketch of the talk of half an hour. When we think of it here, if we ever fall to talking about such things, every one would say that Holmes is the best talker we have or know. But when you are with him, you do not think whether he is or is not. You are under the spell of his kindness and genius. Still no minute passes in which you do not say to yourself: “I hope I shall remember those very words always.”


Thinking of it after I come home, I am reminded of the flow and fun of the Autocrat. But you never say so to yourself when you are sitting in his room.

I had arranged with my friend Mr. Sample that he should carry his camera to the house, and it was in gaps in this very conversation that the picture of both of us was taken. I told Doctor 101 Holmes how pleased I was at this chance of going to posterity under his escort.

I told him of the paper on Emerson which I had in hand, and thanked him, as well as I could, in a few words, for his really marvellous study of Emerson in the series of American authors. I said I really wanted to bring him my paper to read. What I was trying to do, was to show that the great idealist was always in touch with his time, and eager to know what, at the moment, were the real facts of American life.

I. I remember where Emerson stopped me on State Street once, to cross-question me about some details of Irish emigration.

Holmes. Yes, he was eager for all practical information. I used to meet him very often on Saturday evenings at the Saturday Club; and I can see him now, as he bent forward eagerly at the table, if any one were making an interesting observation, with his face like a hawk as he took in what was said. You felt how the hawk would be flying overhead and looking down on your thought at the next minute. I remember that I once spoke of “the three great prefaces,” and quick as light Emerson said, “What are the three great prefaces?” and I had to tell him.

I. I am sure I do not know what they are. What are they?

Holmes. They are Calvin’s to his “Institutes,” Thuanus’s to his history, and Polybius’s to his.

I. And I have never read one of them!


Holmes. And I had then never read but one of them. It was a mere piece of encyclopædia learning of mine.

I. What I shall try to do in my address is to show that Emerson would not have touched all sorts of people as he did, but for this matter-of-fact interest in his daily surroundings—if he had not gone to town-meetings, for instance. Was it you or Lowell who called him the Yankee Plato?

Holmes. Not I. It was probably Lowell, in the “Fable for Critics.” I called him “a wingèd Franklin,” and I stand by that. Matthew Arnold quoted that afterwards, and I was glad I had said it.

I. I do not remember where you said it. How was it?

Doctor Holmes at once rose, went to the turning book-stand, and took down volume three of his own poems, and read me with great spirit the passage. I do not know how I had forgotten it.

“Where in the realm of thought, whose air is song,

Does he, the Buddha of the West, belong?

He seems a wingèd Franklin, sweetly wise,

Born to unlock the secrets of the skies;

And which the nobler calling,—if ’tis fair

Terrestrial with celestial to compare,—

To guide the storm-cloud’s elemental flame,

Or walk the chambers whence the lightning came,

Amidst the sources of its subtile fire,

And steal their effluence for his lips and lyre?”

Here he said, with great fun, “One great good of writing poetry is to furnish you with your own quotations.” And afterwards, when I had made him 102 read to me some other verses from his own poems, he said, “Oh, yes, as a reservoir of the best quotations in the language, there is nothing like a book of your own poems.”


I said that there was no greater nonsense than the talk of Emerson’s time, that he introduced German philosophy here, and I asked Holmes if he thought that Emerson had borrowed anything in the philosophical line from the German. He agreed with me that his philosophy was thoroughly home-bred, and wrought out in the experience of his own home-life. He said that he was disposed to believe that that would be true of Emerson which he knew was true of himself. He knew Emerson went over a great many books, but he did not really believe that he often really read a book through. I remember one of his phrases was, that he thought that Emerson “tasted books;” and he cited a bright lady from Philadelphia, whom he had met the day before, who had said that she thought men of genius did not rely much upon their reading, and had complimented him by asking if he did so. Holmes said:

“I told her—I had to tell her—that in reading my mind is always active. I do not follow the author steadily or implicitly, but my thought runs off to right and left. It runs off in every direction, and I find I am not so much taking his book as I am thinking my own thoughts upon his subject.”

I. I want to thank you for your contrast between Emerson and Carlyle: “The hatred of unreality was uppermost in Carlyle; the love of what is real and genuine, with Emerson.” Is it not perhaps possible that Carlyle would not have been Carlyle but for Emerson? Emerson found him discouraged, and as he supposed alone, and at the very beginning led him out of his darkest places.

I think it was on this that Doctor Holmes spoke with a good deal of feeling about the value of appreciation. He was ready to go back to tell of the pleasure he had received from persons who had written to him, even though he did not know them, to say of how much use some particular line of his had been. Among others he said that Lothrop Motley had told him that, when he was all worn out in his work in a country where he had not many friends, and among stupid old manuscript archives, two lines of Holmes’s braced him up and helped him through:

“Stick to your aim: the mongrel’s hold will slip,

But only crowbars loose the bulldog’s grip.”

He was very funny about flattery. “That is the trouble of having so many 103 friends, everybody flatters you. I do not mean to let them hurt me if I can help it, and flattery is not necessarily untrue. But you have to be on your guard when everybody is as kind to you as everybody is to me.”


He said, in passing, that Emerson once quoted two lines of his, and quoted them horribly. They are from the poem called “The Steamboat:”

“The beating of her restless heart,

Still sounding through the storm.”

Emerson quoted them thus:

“The pulses of her iron heart

Go beating through the storm.”


I was curious to know about Doctor Holmes’s experience of country life, he knows all nature’s processes so well. So he told me how it happened that he went to Pittsfield. It seems that, a century and a half ago, his ancestor, Jacob Wendell, had a royal grant for the whole township there, with some small exception, perhaps. The place was at first called Pontoosoc, then Wendelltown, and only afterward got the name of Pittsfield from William Pitt. One part of the Wendell property descended to Doctor Holmes’s mother. When he had once seen it he was struck with its beauty and fitness 104 for a country home, and asked her that he might have it for his own. It was there that he built a house in which he lived for eight or nine years. He said that the Housatonic winds backwards and forwards through it, so that to go from one end of his estate to the other in a straight line required the crossing it seven times. Here his children grew up, and he and they were enlivened anew every year by long summer days there.

He was most interesting and animated as he spoke of the vigor of life and work and poetical composition which come from being in the open air and living in the country. He wrote, at the request of the neighborhood, his poem of “The Ploughman,” to be read at a cattle-show in Pittsfield. “And when I came to read it afterwards I said, ‘Here it is! Here is open air life, here is what breathing the mountain air and living in the midst of nature does for a man!’ And I want to read you now a piece of that poem, because it contained a prophecy.” And while he was looking for the verses, he said, in the vein of the Autocrat, “Nobody knows but a man’s self how many good things he has done.”

So we found the first volume of the poems, and there is “The Ploughman,” written, observe, as early as 1849.

“O gracious Mother, whose benignant breast

Wakes us to life, and lulls us all to rest,

How thy sweet features, kind to every clime,

Mock with their smile the wrinkled front of time!

We stain thy flowers,—they blossom o’er the dead;

We rend thy bosom, and it gives us bread;

O’er the red field that trampling strife has torn,

Waves the green plumage of thy tasselled corn;

Our maddening conflicts sear thy fairest plain,

Still thy soft answer is the growing grain.

Yet, O our Mother, while uncounted charms

Steal round our hearts in thine embracing arms,

Let not our virtues in thy love decay,

And thy fond sweetness waste our strength away.

No! by these hills, whose banners now displayed

In blazing cohorts Autumn has arrayed;

By yon twin summits, on whose splintery crests

The tossing hemlocks hold the eagles’ nests;

By these fair plains the mountain circle screens,

And feeds with streamlets from its dark ravines,—

True to their home, these faithful arms shall toil

To crown with peace their own untainted soil;

And, true to God, to freedom, to mankind,

If her chained bandogs Faction shall unbind,

These stately forms, that bending even now

Bowed their strong manhood to the humble plough,

Shall rise erect, the guardians of the land,

The same stern iron in the same right hand,

Till o’er the hills the shouts of triumph run,

The sword has rescued what the ploughshare won!”

Now, in 1849, I, who remember, can tell you, every-day people did not much think that Faction was going to unbind her bandogs and set the country at war; and it was only a prophet-poet who saw that there was a chance that men might forge their ploughshares into swords again. But you see from the poem that Holmes was such a prophet-poet, and now, forty-four years after, it was a pleasure to hear him read these lines.


I asked him of his reminiscences of Emerson’s famous Phi Beta Kappa oration at Cambridge, which he has described, as so many others have, as the era of independence in American literature. We both talked of the day, which we remembered, and of the Phi Beta dinner which followed it, when Mr. Everett presided, and bore touching tribute to Charles Emerson, who had just died. Holmes said: “You cannot make the people of this generation understand the effect of Everett’s oratory. I have never felt the fascination of speech as I did in hearing him. Did it ever occur to you,—did I say to you the other day,—that when a man has such a voice as he had, our slight nasal resonance is an advantage and not a disadvantage?”

I was fresher than he from his own book on Emerson, and remembered 105 that he had said there somewhat the same thing. His words are: “It is with delight that one who remembers Everett in his robes of rhetorical splendor; who recalls his full-blown, high-colored, double-flowered periods; the rich, resonant, grave, far-reaching music of his speech, with just enough of nasal vibration to give the vocal sounding-board its proper value in the harmonies of utterance,—it is with delight that such a one recalls the glowing words of Emerson whenever he refers to Edward Everett. It is enough if he himself caught enthusiasm from those eloquent lips. But many a listener has had his youthful enthusiasm fired by that great master of academic oratory.” I knew, when I read this, that Holmes referred to himself as the “youthful listener,” and was glad that within twenty-four hours he should say so to me.


So we fell to talking of his own Phi Beta poem. A good Phi Beta poem is an impossibility; but it is the business of genius to work the miracles, and Holmes’s is one of the few successful Phi Beta poems in the dreary catalogue of more than a century. The custom of having “the poem,” as people used to say, as if it were always the same, is now almost abandoned.


Fortunately for us both, a tap was heard at the door, and Mr. John Holmes appeared, his brother. Mr. John Holmes has not chosen to publish the bright things which he has undoubtedly written, but in all circles where he favors people with his presence he is known as one of the most agreeable of men. Everybody is glad to set him on the lines of reminiscences. The two brothers, with great good humor, began telling of a dinner party which Doctor Holmes had given, within a few days, to a number of gentlemen whose average ages, according to them, exceeded eighty. One has to make allowance for the exaggeration of their fun, but I think, from the facts which they dropped, that the average must have been maintained. One would have given a good deal to be old enough to 106 be permitted to be at that dinner. This led to talk of the Harvard class of 1829, for whose meetings Holmes has written so many of his charming poems. He said that they are now to have a dinner within a few days, and named the gentlemen who were to be there. Among them, of course, is Doctor Samuel F. Smith, the author of “America.” I noticed that Doctor Holmes always called him “My country ’tis of thee,” and so did all of us. And then these two critics began analyzing that magnificent song. “It will not do to laugh at it. People show that they do not know what they are talking about when they speak lightly of it. Did you ever think how much is gained by making the first verse begin with the singular number? Not our country, but ‘My country,’ ‘I sing of thee’? There is not an American citizen but can make it his own, and does make it his own, as he sings it. And it rises to a Psalm-like grandeur at the end.” “It is a magnificent hold to have upon fame to have sixty million people sing the verses that you have written.” John Holmes said: “How good ‘templed hills’ is, and that is not alone in the poem.” Both John Holmes and I plead to be permitted to come to the class dinner, but Doctor Holmes was very funny. He pooh-poohed us both; we were only children, and we were not to be present at so rare a solemnity. For me, I already felt that I had been wicked in wasting so much of his time. But he has the gift of making you think that you are the only person in the world, and that he is only living for your pleasure. Still I knew, as a matter of 107 fact, that this was not so, and very unwillingly I took myself away.

As I walked home I meditated on the fate of a first-rate book in our time. Holmes had expressed unaffected surprise that I spoke with the gratitude which I felt about his “Life of Emerson.” The book must have cost him the hard work of a year. It is as remarkable a study as one poet ever made of another. Yet I think he said to me that no one had seemed to understand the care and effort which he had given to it.

Here is the position in the United States now about the criticism of such work. At about the time that the “North American Review” ceased to review books, there came, as if by general consent, an end to all elaborate criticism of new books here.

I think myself that this is a thing very much to be regretted. In old times, whoever wrote a good book was tolerably sure that at least one competent person would study it and write down what he thought about it; and, from at least one point of view, an author had a prospect of knowing how his book struck other people. Now we have nothing but the hasty sketches, sometimes very good, which are written for the daily or weekly press.


So it happens that I, for one, have never seen any fit recognition of the gift which Doctor Holmes made to our time and to the next generation when he made his study of Emerson’s life for the “American Men of Letters” series. Apparently he had not. Just think of it! Here is a poet, the head of our “Academy,” so far as there is any such Academy, who is willing to devote a year of his life to telling you and me what Emerson was, from his own personal recollections of a near friend, whom he met as often as once a week, and talked with perhaps for hours at a time, and with whom he talked on literary and philosophical subjects. More than this, this poet has been willing to go through Emerson’s books again, to re-read them as he had originally read them when they came out, and to make for you and me a careful analysis of all these books. He is one of five people in the country who are competent to tell what effect these books produced on the country as they appeared from time to time. And, being competent, he makes the time to tell us this thing. That is a sort of good fortune which, so far as I remember, has happened to nobody excepting Emerson. When John Milton died, there was nobody left who could have done such a thing; certainly nobody did do it, or tried to do it. I must say, I think it is rather hard that when such a gift as that has been given to the people of any country, that people, while boasting of its seventy millions of numbers, and its thousands of billions of acres, should not 108 have one critical journal of which it is the business to say at length, and in detail, whether Doctor Holmes has done his duty well by the prophet, or whether, indeed, he has done it at all.


When we left Doctor Holmes, he and his household were looking forward to the annual escape to Beverly. Somebody once wrote him a letter dated from “Manchester-by-the-Sea,” and Holmes wrote his reply under the date “Beverly-by-the-Depot.” And here let me stop to tell one of those jokes for which the English language and Doctor Holmes were made. A few years ago, in a fit of economy, our famous Massachusetts Historical Society screwed up its library and other offices by some fifteen feet, built in the space underneath, and rented it to the city of Boston. This was all very well for the treasurer; but for those of us who had passed sixty years, and had to climb up some twenty more iron stairs whenever we wanted to look at an old pamphlet in the library, it was not so great a benefaction. When Holmes went up, for the first time, to see the new quarters of the Society, he left his card with the words, “O. W. Holmes. High-story-call Society.” We understood then why the councils of the Society had been over-ruled by the powers which manage this world, to take this flight towards heaven.

I ought to have given a hint above of his connection and mine with the society of “People who Think we are Going to Know More about Some Things By and By.” This society was really formed by my mother, who for some time, I think, was the only member. But one day Doctor Holmes and I met in the “Old Corner Bookstore,” when the Corner had been moved to the corner of Hamilton Place, and he was telling me one of the extraordinary 109 coincidences which he collects with such zeal. I ventured to trump his story with another; and, in the language of the ungodly, I thought I went one better than he. This led to a talk about coincidences, and I said that my mother had long since said that she meant to have a society of the people who believed that sometime we should know more about such curious coincidences. Doctor Holmes was delighted with the idea, and we “organized” the society then and there; he was to be president, I was to be secretary, and my mother was to be treasurer. There were to be no other members, no entrance fees, no constitution, and no assessments. We seldom meet now that we do not authorize a meeting of this society and challenge each other to produce the remarkable coincidences which have passed since we met before.

There is an awful story of his about the last time a glove was thrown down in an English court-room. It is a story in which Holmes is all mixed up with a marvellous series of impossibilities, such as would make Mr. Clemens’s hair grow gray, and add a new chapter to his studies of telepathy. I will not enter on it now, with the detail of the book that fell from the ninth shelf of a book-case, and opened at the exact passage where the challenge story was to be described. No, I will not tell another word of it; for if I am started upon it, it will take up the whole of this number of Mr. McClure’s Magazine. But sometime, when Mr. McClure wants to make the whole magazine thrill with excitement, he will write to Doctor Holmes, and ask him for that story of the “challenge of battle.”


As for the story of his hearing Doctor Phinney at Rome, and the other story of Mr. Emerson’s hearing Doctor Phinney at Rome, I never tell that excepting to confidential friends who know that I cannot tell a lie. For if I tell it to any one else, he looks at me with a quizzical air, as much as to say, “This is as bad as the story of the ‘Man Without a Country;’ and I do not know how much to believe, and how much to disbelieve.”


Also called the Peter Butler house. Sewall in his diary speaks of it as Mr. Quincy’s new house (1680-85). There Dorothy was born and married.



By Stanley J. Weyman.

On the moorland above the old gray village of Carbaix, in Finistére—Finistére, the most westerly province of Brittany—stands a cottage, built, as all the cottages in that country are, of rough-hewn stones. It is a poor, rude place to-day, but it wore an aspect far more rude and primitive a hundred years ago—say on an August day in the year 1793, when a man issued from the doorway, and, shading his eyes from the noonday sun, gazed long and fixedly in the direction of a narrow rift which a few score paces away breaks the monotony of the upland level. This man was tall and thin and unkempt, his features expressing a mixture of cunning and simplicity. He gazed a while in silence, but at length uttered a grunt of satisfaction as the figure of a woman rose gradually into sight. She came on slowly, in a stooping posture, dragging behind her a great load of straw, which completely hid the little sledge on which it rested, and which was attached to her waist by a rope of twisted hay.

The figure of a woman—rather of a girl. As she drew nearer it could be seen that her cheeks, though brown and sunburned, were as smooth as a child’s. She looked scarcely eighteen. Her head was bare, and her short petticoats, of some coarse stuff, left visible bare feet thrust into wooden shoes. She advanced with her head bent and her shoulders strained forward, her face dull and patient. Once, and once only, when the man’s eyes left her for a moment, she shot at him a look of scared apprehension; and later, when she came abreast of him, her breath coming and going with her exertions, he might have seen, had he looked closely, that her strong brown limbs were trembling under her.

But the man noticed nothing in his impatience, and only chid her for her slowness. “Where have you been dawdling, lazy-bones?” he cried.

She murmured, without halting, that the sun was hot.

“Sun hot!” he retorted. “Jeanne is lazy, I think! Mon Dieu, that I should have married a wife who is tired by noon! I had better have left you to that never-do-well Pierre Bounat. But I have news for you, my girl.”

He lounged after her as he spoke, his low, cunning face—the face of the worst kind of French peasant—flickering with cruel pleasure, as he saw how she started at his words. She made no answer, however. Instead, she drew her load with increased vehemence towards one of the two doors which led into the building. “Well, well, I will tell you presently,” he called after her. “Be quick and come to dinner.”

He entered himself by the other door. The house was divided into two chambers by a breast-high partition of wood. The one room served for kitchen; the other, now half full of straw, was barn and granary, fowl-house and dove-cote, in one. “Be quick!” he called to her. Standing in the house-room, he could see her head as she stooped to unload the straw.

In a moment she came in, her shoes clattering on the floor. The perspiration stood in great beads on her forehead, and showed how little she had deserved his reproach. She sat down silently, avoiding his eyes; but he thought nothing of this. It was no new thing. It pleased him, if anything.


“Well, my Jeanne,” he said, in his gibing tone, “are you longing for my news?”

The hand she stretched out towards the pitcher of cider, which, with black bread and onions, formed their meal, shook, but she answered simply: “If you please, Michel.”

“Well, the Girondins have been beaten, my girl, and are flying all over the country. That is the news. Master Pierre is among them, I do not doubt, if he has not been killed already. I wish he would come this way.”

“Why?” she asked, suddenly looking up at last, a flash of light in her gray eyes.

“Why?” he repeated, grinning across the table at her, “because he would be worth five crowns to me. There is five crowns, I am told, on the head of every Girondin who has been in arms, my girl.”

The French Revolution, it will be understood, was at its height. The more moderate and constitutional Republicans—the Girondins, as they were called—worsted in Paris by the Jacobins and the mob, had lately tried to raise the provinces against the capital, and to this end had drawn together at Caen, near the border of Brittany. They had been defeated, however, and the Jacobins, in this month of August, were preparing to take a fearful vengeance at once on them and the Royalists. The Reign of Terror had begun. Even to such a boor as this, sitting over his black bread, the Revolution had come home, and, in common with many a thousand others, he wondered what he could make of it.

The girl did not answer, even by the look of contempt to which he had become accustomed, and for which he hated her; and he repeated, “Five crowns! Ah, it is money, that is! Mon Dieu!” Then, with a sudden exclamation, he sprang up. “What is that?” he cried.

He had been sitting with his back to the barn, but he turned now so as to face it. Something had startled him—a rustling in the straw behind him. “What is that?” he said again, his hand on the table, his face lowering and watchful.

The girl had risen also; and, as the last word passed his lips, sprang by him with a low cry, and aimed a frantic blow with her stool at something he could not see.

“What is it?” he asked, recoiling.

“A rat!” she answered, breathless. And she aimed another blow at it.

“Where?” he asked, fretfully. “Where is it?” He snatched his stool, too, and at that moment a rat darted out of the straw, ran nimbly between his legs, and plunged into a hole by the door. He flung the wooden stool after it; but, of course, in vain. “It was a rat!” he said, as if before he had doubted it.


“Thank God!” she muttered. She was shaking all over.

He stared at her in stupid wonder. What did she mean? What had come to her? “Have you had a sunstroke, my girl?” he said, suspiciously.

Her nut-brown face was a shade less brown than usual, but she met his eyes boldly, and said: “No,” adding an explanation which for the moment satisfied him. But he did not sit down again. When she went out he went out also. And though, as she retired slowly to the rye fields and work, she repeatedly looked back at him, it was always to find his eyes upon her. When this had happened half a dozen times, a thought struck him. “How now?” he muttered. “The rat ran out of the straw!”

Nevertheless he still stood gazing after her, with a cunning look upon his features, until she disappeared over the edge of the rift, and then he crept back to the door of the barn, and stole in out of the sunlight into the cool darkness of the raftered building, across which a dozen rays of light were shooting, laden with dancing motes. Inside he stood stock still until he had regained the use of his eyes, and then he began to peer round him. In a moment he found what he sought. Half upon, and half hidden by, the straw, lay a young man, in the deep sleep of utter exhaustion. His face, which bore traces of more than common beauty, was now white and pinched; his hair hung dank about his forehead. His clothes were in rags; and his feet, bound up in pieces torn at random from his blouse, were raw and bleeding. For a short while Michel Tellier bent over him, remarking these things with glistening eyes. Then the peasant stole out again. “It is five crowns!” he muttered, blinking in the sunlight. “Ha, ha! Five crowns!”

He looked round cautiously, but could see no sign of his wife; and after hesitating and pondering a minute or two, he took the path for Carbaix, his native astuteness leading him to saunter slowly along in his ordinary fashion. After that the moorland about the cottage lay seemingly deserted. Thrice, at intervals, the girl dragged home her load of straw, but each time she seemed to linger in the barn no longer than was necessary. Michel’s absence, though it was unlooked-for, raised no suspicion in her breast, for he would frequently go down to the village to spend the afternoon. The sun sank lower, and the shadow of the great monolith, which, standing on the highest point of the moor, about a mile away, rose gaunt and black against a roseate sky, grew longer and longer; and then, as twilight fell, the two coming home met a few paces from the cottage. He asked some questions about the work she had been doing, and she answered briefly. Then, silent and uncommunicative, they went in together. 113 The girl set the bread and cider on the table, and going to the great black pot which had been simmering all day upon the fire, poured some broth into two pitchers. It did not escape Michel’s frugal eye that there was still a little broth left in the bottom of the pot, and this induced a new feeling in him—anger. When his wife hailed him by a sign to the meal, he went instead to the door, and fastened it. Thence he went to the corner and picked up the wood-chopper, and armed with this came back to his seat.

The girl watched his movements first with surprise, and then with secret terror. The twilight was come, and the cottage was almost dark, and she was alone with him; or, if not alone, yet with no one near who could help her. Yet she met his grin of triumph bravely. “What is this?” she said. “Why do you want that?”

“For the rat,” he answered grimly, his eyes on hers.

“Why not use your stool?” she strove to murmur, her heart sinking.

“Not for this rat,” he answered. “It might not do, my girl. Oh, I know all about it,” he continued. “I have been down to the village, and seen the mayor, and he is coming up to fetch him.” He nodded towards the partition, and she knew that her secret was known.

“It is Pierre,” she said, trembling violently, and turning first crimson and then white.

“I know it, Jeanne. It was excellent of you! Excellent! It is long since you have done such a day’s work.”

“You will not give him up?”

“My faith, I shall!” he answered, affecting, and perhaps really feeling, wonder at her simplicity. “He is five crowns, girl! You do not understand. He is worth five crowns, and the risk nothing at all.”

If he had been angry, or shown anything of the fury of the suspicious husband; if he had been about to do this out of jealousy or revenge, she would have quailed before him, though she had done him no wrong, save the wrong of mercy and pity. But his spirit was too mean for the great passions; he felt only the sordid ones, which to a woman are the most hateful. And instead of quailing, she looked at him with flashing eyes. “I shall warn him,” she said.

“It will not help him,” he answered, sitting still, and feeling the edge of the hatchet with his fingers.

“It will help him,” she retorted. “He shall go. He shall escape before they come.”


“I have locked the doors!”

“Give me the key!” she panted. “Give me the key, I say!” She had risen and was standing before him, her figure drawn to its full height. He rose hastily and retreated behind the table, still retaining the hatchet in his grasp.

“Stand back!” he said, sullenly. “You may awaken him, if you please, my girl. It will not avail him. Do you not understand, fool, that he is worth five crowns? And listen! It is too late now. They are here!”

A blow fell on the door as he spoke, and he stepped towards it. But at that despair moved her, and she threw herself upon him, and for a moment wrestled with him. At last, with an effort he flung her off, and, brandishing his weapon in her face, kept her at bay. “You vixen!” he cried, savagely, retreating to the door, with a pale cheek and his eyes still on her, for he was an arrant coward. “You deserve to go to prison with him, you jade! I will have you in the stocks for this!”

She leaned against the wall where she had fallen, her white, despairing face seeming almost to shine in the darkness of the wretched room. Meanwhile the continuous murmur of men’s voices outside could now be heard, mingled with the ring of weapons; and the summons for admission was again and again repeated, as if those without had no mind to be kept waiting.

“Patience! patience! I am opening!” he cried. Still keeping his face to her, he unlocked the door and called on the men to enter. “He is in the straw, M. le Mayor!” he cried in a tone of triumph, his eyes still on his wife. “He will give you no trouble, I will answer for it! But first give me my five crowns, mayor. My five crowns!”

He still felt so much fear of his wife that he did not turn to see the men enter, and was taken by surprise when a voice at his elbow—a strange voice—said, “Five crowns, my friend? For what, may I ask?”

In his eagerness and excitement he suspected nothing, but thought only that the mayor had sent a deputy. “For what? For the Girondin!” he answered, rapidly. Then at last he turned and found that half-a-dozen men had entered, and that more were entering. To his astonishment, they were all strangers to him—men with stern, gloomy faces, and armed to the teeth. There was something so formidable in their appearance that his voice faltered as he added: “But where is the mayor, gentlemen? I do not see him.”

No one answered, but in silence the last of the men—there were eleven in all—entered and bolted the door behind him. Michel Tellier peered at them in the gloom with growing alarm. In return the tallest of the strangers, who had entered first and seemed to be in command, looked round keenly. At length this man spoke. “So you have a Girondin here, have you?” he said, 115 his voice curiously sweet and sonorous.

“I was to have five crowns for him,” Michel muttered dubiously.

“Oh! Pétion,” continued the spokesman to one of his companions, “can you kindle a light? It strikes me that we have hit upon a dark place.”

The man addressed took something from his pouch. For a moment there was silence, broken only by the sharp sound of the flint striking the steel. Then a sudden glare lit up the dark interior, and disclosed the group of cloaked strangers standing about the door, the light gleaming back from their muskets and cutlasses. Michel trembled. He had never seen such men as these before. True, they were wet and travel-stained, and had the air of those who spend their nights in ditches and under haystacks. But their pale, stern faces were set in indomitable resolve. Their eyes glowed with a steady fire, and they trod as kings tread. Their leader was a man of majestic height and beauty, and in his eyes alone there seemed to lurk a spark of some lighter fire, as if his spirit still rose above the task which had sobered his companions. Michel noted all this in fear and bewilderment; noted the white head and yet vigorous bearing of the man who had struck the light; noted even the manner in which the light died away in the dim recesses of the barn.

“And this Girondin—is he in hiding here?” said the tall man.

“That is so,” Michel answered. “But I had nothing to do with hiding him, citizen. It was my wife hid him in the straw there.”

“And you gave notice of his presence to the authorities?” continued the stranger, raising his hand to repress some movement among his followers.

“Certainly, or you would not have been here,” replied Michel, better satisfied with himself.

The answer struck him down with an awful terror. “That does not follow,” said the tall man, coolly, “for we are Girondins!”

“You are?”

“Without doubt,” the other answered, with majestic simplicity; “or there are no such persons. This is Pétion, and this Citizen Buzot. Have you heard of Louvet? There he stands. For me, I am Barbaroux.”

Michel’s tongue seemed glued to the roof of his mouth. He could not utter a word. But another could. On the far side of the barrier a sudden rustling was heard, and while all turned to look—but with what different feelings—the pale face of the youth over whom Michel had bent in the afternoon appeared above the partition. A smile of joyful recognition effaced for the time the lines of exhaustion. The young man, clinging for support to the planks, uttered a cry of thankfulness. “It is you! It is really you! You are safe!” he exclaimed.

“We are safe, all of us, Pierre,” Barbaroux answered. “And now”—and he turned to Michel Tellier with sudden thunder in his voice—“this man whom you would have betrayed is our guide, let me tell you, whom we lost last night. Speak, man, in your defence, if you can. Say what you have to say why justice shall not be done upon you, miserable caitiff, who would have sold a man’s life for a few pieces of silver!”

The wretched peasant’s knees trembled, and the perspiration stood upon his brow. He heard the voice as the voice of a judge. He looked in the stern eyes of the Girondins, and read only anger and vengeance. Then he caught in the silence the sound of his wife weeping, for at Pierre’s appearance she had broken into wild sobbing, and he spoke out of the base instincts of his heart.


“He was her lover,” he muttered. “I swear it, citizens.”

“He lies!” cried the man at the barrier, his face transfigured with rage. “I loved her, it is true, but it was before her old father sold her to this Judas. For what he would have you believe now, my friends, it is false. I, too, swear it.”

A murmur of execration broke from the group of Girondins. Barbaroux repressed it by a gesture. “What do you say of this man?” he asked, turning to them, his voice deep and solemn.

“He is not fit to live!” they answered in chorus.

The poor coward screamed as he heard the words, and, flinging himself on the ground, he embraced Barbaroux’s knees in a paroxysm of terror. But the judge did not look at him. Barbaroux turned, instead, to Pierre Bounat. “What do you say of him?” he asked.

“He is not fit to live,” said the young man solemnly, his breath coming quick and fast.

“And you?” Barbaroux continued, turning and looking with his eyes of fire at the wife, his voice gentle, and yet more solemn.

A moment before she had ceased to weep, and had stood up listening and gazing, awe and wonder in her face. Barbaroux had to repeat his question before she answered. Then she said, “He is not fit to die.”

There was silence for a moment, broken only by the entreaties of the wretch on the floor. At last Barbaroux spoke. “She has said rightly,” he pronounced. “He shall live. They have put us out of the law and set a price on our heads; but we will keep the law. He shall live. But, hark you,” the great orator continued, in tones which Michel never forgot, “if a whisper escape you as to our presence here, or our names, or if you wrong your wife by word or deed, the life she has saved shall pay for it.

“Remember!” he added, shaking Michel to and fro with a finger, “the arm of Barbaroux is long, and though I be a hundred leagues away, I shall know and I shall punish. So, beware! Now rise, and live!”

The miserable man cowered back to the wall, frightened to the core of his heart. The Girondins conferred a while in whispers, two of their number assisting Pierre to cross the barrier. Suddenly there came—and Michel trembled anew as he heard it—a loud knocking at the door. All started and stood listening and waiting. A voice outside cried: “Open! open! in the name of the law!”

“We have lingered too long,” Barbaroux muttered. “I should have thought of this. It is the Mayor of Carbaix come to apprehend our friend.”

Again the Girondins conferred together. At last, seeming to arrive at a conclusion, they ranged themselves on either side of the door, and one of their number opened it. A short, stout man, girt with a tricolor sash, and wearing a huge sword, entered with an air of authority—being blinded by the light he saw nothing out of the common—and was 117 followed by four men armed with muskets.

Their appearance produced an extraordinary effect on Michel Tellier. As they one by one crossed the threshold, the peasant leaned forward, his face flushed, his eyes gleaming, and counted them. They were only five. And the others were twelve. He fell back, and from that moment his belief in the Girondins’ power was clinched.

“In the name of the law!” panted the mayor. “Why did you not—” Then he stopped abruptly, his mouth remaining open. He found himself surrounded by a group of grim, silent mutes, with arms in their hands, and in a twinkling it flashed into his mind that these were the eleven chiefs of the Girondins, whom he had been warned to keep watch for. He had come to catch a pigeon and had caught a crow. He turned pale and his eyes dropped. “Who are—who are these gentlemen?” he stammered, in a ludicrously altered tone.

“Some volunteers of Quumpen, returning home,” replied Barbaroux, with ironical smoothness.

“You have your papers, citizens?” the mayor asked, mechanically; and he took a step back towards the door, and looked over his shoulder.

“Here they are!” said Pétion rudely, thrusting a packet into his hands. “They are in order.”

The mayor took them, and longing only to see the outside of the door, pretended to look through them, his little heart going pit-a-pat within him. “They seem to be in order,” he assented, feebly. “I need not trouble you further, citizens. I came here under a misapprehension, I find, and I wish you a good journey.”

He knew, as he backed out, that he was cutting a poor figure. He would fain have made a more dignified retreat. But before these men, fugitives and outlaws as they were, he felt, though he was Mayor of Carbaix, almost as small a man as did Michel Tellier. These were the men of the Revolution. They had bearded nobles and pulled down kings. There was Barbaroux, who had grappled with Marat; and Pétion, the Mayor of the Bastille. The little Mayor of Carbaix knew greatness when he saw it. He turned tail, and hurried back 118 to his fireside, his body-guard not a whit behind him.

Five minutes later the men he feared and envied came out also, and went their way, passing in single file into the darkness which brooded over the great monolith; beginning, brave hearts, another of the few stages which still lay between them and the guillotine. Then in the cottage there remained only Michel and Jeanne. She sat by the dying embers, silent, and lost in thought. He leaned against the wall, his eyes roving ceaselessly, but always when his gaze met hers it fell. Barbaroux had conquered him. It was not until Jeanne had risen to close the door, and he was alone, that he wrung his hands, and muttered: “Five crowns! Five crowns gone and wasted!”



Facing this pastel, in an opposite corner of the room, another little thing full of sadness catches my eye, despite the deepening twilight. It is a yellow-stained photograph hung on the wall in a simple, wooden frame. It is the young Prince Imperial, who was killed in Africa a dozen years ago, but is shown here as a mere child in knee breeches. An odd, but touching, fancy it was of the Empress Eugenie to place this souvenir of her son, the last of the Napoleons, in the very room where that other one was born, the giant who shook the earth....

How strange and startling it will be a century or two hence for our descendants to turn over the photographs of their ancestors!... The portraits left by our forefathers, expressive though they may be, whether painted or engraved, can never produce in us an impression equally vivid; but photographs are the very reflections of living beings, fixing their precise attitudes, their gestures, their most fleeting expressions. What a curious thing it will be, what an awe-inspiring thing for future generations to study our faces when we shall have fallen into the dead past!...—A fragment from Loti’s “Book of Pity and of Death.”


Edward Everett Hale, clergyman and author, born in Boston in 1822, was graduated at Harvard in 1839. While a clergyman, he is perhaps best known to the world as a philanthropist and an author. He has written short stories, novels, juvenile books, works of travel, essays, biography, and history, besides giving much time to his pastoral duties, to preaching, lecturing, and the organization of charities. He founded the magazine “Old and New,” afterward merged in “Scribner’s” (now “The Century”). Two of his short stories, “My Double, and How He Undid Me,” and “The Man Without a Country,” are classics.

Henri Adolphe Stephan Opper, known to the world as M. de Blowitz, born at Blowitz, Bohemia, on December 28, 1825, migrated to France in 1848, and became engaged as professor of the German language and literature at the Lycée of Tours. Here he remained till 1860, when he left to fill, successively, similar posts at Limoges, Poictiers, and Marseilles. He married the daughter of a paymaster of the French Marine. It was not till 1871 that he became a naturalized Frenchman, and, after the French defeat by the Germans, he was a confidant and emissary of both Gambetta and Thiers. His entrance into journalism was as the collaborateur of Lawrence Oliphant, the special correspondent of the “London Times” at Versailles. On Oliphant’s retirement, M. de Blowitz was promoted by the editor of the “Times,” to fill his place. The subsequent career of the great correspondent has been identified with some of the most striking episodes in modern politics and journalism.

Daniel Vierge Urrabieta, born in Madrid, 1852, became a student of the Fine Arts Academy of Madrid in 1865. In 1869 he went to Paris and began his career of illustrator. In 1881 he was stricken by an attack of paralysis, which it was feared would be fatal. But for the last four or five years he has been growing steadily better in health, and has been able to resume his brilliant work. Although but little known to the public at large, he ranks among the most original and striking of modern artists, and is without doubt at the head of the illustrators.

Thomas Alva Edison, born at Alva, Ohio, February 11, 1847, had no schooling except the attrition of life. At the age of fifteen, having been taught telegraphy, he graduated from the life of a train newsboy into that of an operator, and, during several years of wandering, acquired extraordinary skill. The study of theory ran æquo pede with executive work. He quickly invented the automatic repeater to transfer messages from one to another wire. It is needless to touch upon his further achievements which have made his name famous in the whole civilized world.




AGE 37. 1859.

AGE 39. 1861.


AGE 43. 1865.



AGE 48. 1870.

MR. HALE IN 1888.




1875. PARIS.





AGE 13. 1865.

AGE 17. 1869. MADRID.

AGE 19. 1871. PARIS.




AGE 3. 1850.

AGE 13. 1860.








Few of those people who go to a menagerie realize what an immense undertaking it is to transport wild beasts from the land of their birth and of their freedom to the land of their imprisonment, and, too frequently, of their death. I will ask my readers to picture for themselves an African desert blazing beneath a burning sun. Across the weary waste of sand a long column of men and animals is wending its slow way. As it draws nearer we see that it is a caravan of wild animals on their way from the interior to the seaboard. And as it passes us, the vast mass of living creatures, as in a chemical process, slowly dissolves itself into distinct particles and individualities. Let us regard them carefully. In the first place we notice a procession of fourteen stately giraffes, then come five elephants, a huge rhinoceros, four wild buffaloes bellowing sadly after the mates they have forever left behind. Then there go lumbering by a number of enormous carts or wagons, in which are safely confined thirty hyenas, five leopards, six lions, two chetahs, sixteen antelopes, two lynxes, one serval, one wardbob, twenty smaller carnivorous animals, four African ant-eaters, and forty-five monkeys. And then there come slowly prancing by, wary, restless, cunning, twenty-six ostriches. There are twenty boxes of birds, from which sounds of shrill screaming are constantly proceeding. There are upwards of a hundred Abyssinian goats scattered here and there in the procession. These are to give milk for the young animals, and to serve as food and meat for the old. The caravan is on its way through the desert to Suakim, which is the first shipping place for Europe. There are no less than a hundred and twenty 127 camels in it, which are required to carry the food for this caravan, and there are upwards of a hundred and sixty drivers in the procession. It takes the caravans upwards of thirty-six days to cover the distance which lies between Cassala in the interior of Nubia and the port of Suakim, for which they are bound. The same journey is usually performed by quick post camels in twelve days.

This is the exact account of a caravan which Karl Hagenbeck told me he brought across the desert in the year 1870. “It is tremendously anxious work,” said he, “the transportation of these animals across sea and land. The amount of water which we have to carry with us in goats’ hides upon camels’ backs is prodigious, for nothing would be more awful than to run short of water in the middle of the desert, and to be surrounded by a number of wild beasts, maddened with heat and unquenchable thirst. The principal food for the young elephants and rhinoceroses on the way home is a fruit called nabeck, that is, a kind of cherry of which they are very fond. Giraffes and antelopes and ostriches are provided with the doura corn that grows in the interior. All these bigger animals walk, and as they jog along my people feed them occasionally with hard ship biscuit, which appears to sustain them well through the journey. At four o’clock every morning the caravan strikes its tents and begins its march. They go plodding along till ten o’clock, when the day becomes too hot for further progress.”


“But do the animals never attempt to escape?” said I.

“Well, not often,” replied Karl Hagenbeck; “but,” he added, with a hearty laugh of recollection, “I remember that once, in that very year 1870, of which I have just been telling you, the whole of the ostriches, twenty-six in number, ran away just as we were getting them into the railway station at Suakim. Away they went, heading straight for the desert. I never was in such a dreadful fix in my life. At last it struck me that it would be a good plan to drive all the goats and camels towards them; we did so, and, when the ostriches saw them advancing, they formed themselves into a flock, and we drove the whole lot into the station. The birds were caught one by one and put into the cars. That was the last transport, by-the-by, that poor Casanova ever brought over. Indeed, he died at Alexandria in the very midst of the whole business, and we buried him on the evening of his death. It was a dreadful time, and everything appeared to be against us, for at the very moment of his death, just as we were getting the animals on board ship, a fearful earthquake shook the whole land. I thought there was something about to happen, for the animals were very uneasy, the birds were twittering, the monkeys were chattering and trembling, the lions were roaring constantly, the elephants were deafening with their long trumpetings. Suddenly I felt the steamer quivering from stem to stern. The sea was tossing, the sun was hidden behind a thick yellow mist. I looked toward the land where the minarets were toppling down, and where the greatest horror and confusion appeared to prevail, and all the while poor Casanova lay dead or dying below. I shall never forget that awful morning.

“We had had the greatest possible difficulty just before, too, for at Suakim the railway people had told us that we had too many wagons, and that they would not transport us any 128 farther. However, I soon settled that by going up to the directors of the railway and demanding from them an express train immediately; ‘for,’ said I, ‘these animals are for the Emperor of Austria,’ and to prove this I showed them a great document sealed by the emperor himself.”


“On another occasion I was journeying through Suez with a giraffe which for five months had been living in the German Consul’s garden. I was leading it to the station when it suddenly took fright and ran away. For four long, weary miles I hung on to the wretched beast, but at last I was obliged to drop the rope and let it go. A smart little Nubian boy then took up the chase; he got hold of the rope and eventually tied it round a tree, and after a while we led the animal quietly back to the station.

“But one of the most alarming adventures that ever overtook me whilst I was transporting animals was that which occurred once when twelve elephants broke away from me and rushed through the streets of Vienna. The whole twelve had been deposited in a dépôt, where they had to rest for two days. I was taking six of the elephants to lead them to the station, and when my back was turned and I was engaged with these six elephants, the other six stealthily and quietly pulled up the iron rings by which they were fastened to the ground, trumpeted loudly, and, before I knew what had happened, the twelve animals were rushing through the streets of Vienna. At last, after a long chase, I caught the biggest elephant, and led it to the station, the others following quietly enough. But my troubles were not over yet, for I hardly got the first four into a railway van when the others began to howl. The four elephants in the train plunged and kicked about, and at last they broke their ropes and ran out of the van, followed by all the others, and into the open streets. Then began another hunt up the big fashionable streets, down little courts and alleys, once after one which ran into a big shop, all over a big park, and this went on for three hours, until, at last, greatly to my relief, I got them safely into the station and packed into the vans for their journey.”


“Perhaps the most difficult part of transportation, notwithstanding all the adventures I have had on land, is the getting the big animals on board ship. Take elephants for instance. They are placed in barges and then they are slung up in big slings on to the steamer. This is very difficult and very anxious work, for very often they are killed by the breaking of their necks or their legs. And then again, once they are on board ship, it is very difficult to bring elephants alive to Europe. They suffer dreadfully from sea-sickness, and cannot eat. Some of them are put between decks, and some of them have stables fitted up for them on deck.

“I remember once that Casanova left Africa with a cargo of forty elephants, thirteen only of which reached Trieste alive, and only twelve came here to me in Hamburg. On one occasion, in 1881 I think it was, I was bringing over a large cargo of forty-two ostriches 129 from the Somali country. We were going through the Red Sea, when suddenly a violent storm broke upon us. It was pitch dark on deck, but I went below to look at my birds, and by the dim light of the lantern, and the flash of lightning that every now and again lit up the whole of the ship, I saw that the poor creatures were swaying to and fro, and that they were in the greatest possible discomfort. That night more than thirty of them broke their legs, and the next day we had to throw their bodies into the sea, and out of the forty-two I brought only nine home to Europe. But perhaps one of the most dangerous adventures that I ever had in transporting wild beasts was in 1871. I was taking a rhinoceros from the East India Docks to the Zoölogical Gardens in London. To do this I had to take it and lead it through the docks on a flat trolly. At last we got the beast hoisted on a wagon, and fastened by all four legs. Suddenly an engine drove by. The animal became hideously frightened, his eyes rolled white, then red. He then planted his horn under the seat upon which the man who was driving the wagon was seated. Away went the man, away went the seat, clean over the three horses. They in their turn became dreadfully frightened, too, and bolted. I hit the beast as hard as ever I could with a rope. We managed to tie another rope round his neck and fastened it down, and at last we got him safely down the Commercial Road, and then settled in some stables. I had a big box made for him, and at last conveyed him safely to his destination; but I wouldn’t go through that experience again for a million of money.

“I was once bringing home a full-grown alligator,” continued Mr. Hagenbeck, smiling at the thought of the adventure of which he was about to tell me, “and I was travelling on a passenger ship. One morning a most amusing incident occurred, but one which all the same might have been attended with serious consequences. I had paid my usual morning visit to my travelling companion, and had seen to his supply of food and water, and having assured myself that he was quite comfortable and well looked after, I retired to my cabin to lie down, the day being very hot. Suddenly I heard a great tramping overhead and the screaming of women and children. I could not think what was the matter, so I ran up on deck; as I went I passed a number of people rushing down the companion way. The male passengers were on the captain’s deck; the sailors were climbing the rigging as fast as they could. The deck was perfectly clear. In the midst of the empty deck stood my alligator, the innocent cause of this sudden commotion, with gently smiling jaws, looking wonderingly on. After a good long time and much difficulty I got the beast into his own habitation.”


It is told of the mad King of Bavaria, that he used frequently to command great theatrical entertainments at which he himself was the only spectator. A similar experience befell myself when I was visiting Hamburg. 130 For Mr. Karl Hagenbeck, at my special request, and with great good nature, gave two full performances in my honor, at which, like the mad Bavarian monarch, I was the only spectator. In the first performance only very young animals took part, but as they had been working since last January year, they were pretty well up to all the little tricks they had been taught. My readers will imagine a great circle carefully railed off from the outside world by iron bars. Round this circle, upon a number of little stands, sat the performing animals, waiting to take their respective “turns,” as they say in the music halls; in the midst of the circle sat myself, with a beautiful little baby lion on my knee, which amused itself by playing with my watch chain and handkerchief. Two little tigers which got tired of sitting still suddenly jumped down from their perches and ran up to play with me and the baby lion. A young lion on another perch yawned so loud that we all, animals and men, looked up to see what was the matter. Mr. Hagenbeck walked round the circle, stroking the animals, most of which affectionately kissed him as he passed.


At this moment Mr. Mellermann, who is one of the finest wild beast trainers in the world, entered the circle with his whip in his hand, which, as he entered, he cracked smartly, causing the animals to spring sharply to attention upon their little seats. Karl Hagenbeck introduced me to Mr. Mellermann, who is indeed his own brother-in-law as well as being his trainer.

“What is your rule of training, Mr. Mellermann?” said I.

“Kindness and coolness and firmness,” he replied, “as you will see in this performance. Come on, pussies,” he continued, “show this gentleman how you can run round the circle.”

The pussies, as he called them, fairly big tigers as I should have considered them, unwillingly crept off their seats, growling not a little. Mr. Mellermann cracked his whip smartly, but did not hit them. The animals then began to run very prettily round and round the circle. So well did they do their little tricks that Mr. Mellermann said: “Now you shall have some sugar, you have been very good.” He placed in my hand a few lumps of sugar which I myself gave to them, greatly to their pleasure. Then a pyramid was formed by some young tigers, some lions, a couple of ponies, and four young goats. The pyramid itself consisted of a small double ladder upon the steps of which the animals somewhat nervously took their places, and upon which they stood gazing quietly down upon us, until they were told that they might go back to their places. After a while, when school was over, the goats and ponies left the arena, and then the door of a big cage, which gave upon the circle, was thrown wide open. It was pretty to see the little lions and tigers running home, for all the world like an infant school dismissed to play. The pretty creatures gambolled about for a short while in their cage, and then lay down to rest.


“And now,” said Mr. Hagenbeck, “the older animals are coming in to do their performance.”


Several attendants entered the building as he spoke; for to handle a large number of fully grown wild animals is no light matter. The first animals to come rushing into the arena were a number of huge German boar-hounds—great affectionate beasts they were, too. I patted one of them as he passed me, and he reared himself on his hind legs, threw his forepaws round my neck, and delightedly covered my face with kisses. Each boar-hound on entering the circle went to his own allotted place with all the sense of a human being. A few moments afterwards a door was thrown open, and in walked the lions and tigers. Splendid big beasts these last were. Some looked very good-tempered, although it is to be acknowledged that one tiger had evidently got out of bed the wrong side, whilst a lion that had arrived comparatively recently from Nubia 132 evinced now and again a strong disposition to rebel against the novel circumstances in which he found himself placed. Three bears then walked in—a polar bear, a sloth bear, and a black bear, the latter causing much amusement by quietly entering on its hind legs. Then came a couple of elephants, a camel, four ponies, several goats, and last of all a big, sleepy sheep, which seemed to be on particularly intimate terms with one of the lions.

One of the most remarkable things that I noticed in Karl Hagenbeck’s menagerie is the marvellous unity and loving-kindness which is brought to pass amongst his animals. They are fondling and playing with each other the whole day long. Like the younger animals, they took their seats upon the rickety pedestals which are provided for them. It was a wonder to me how such huge beasts were able to balance themselves so easily and comfortably as they did upon such small and slender supports. One of them, however, came to grief in a most amusing manner. The human beings were standing talking together in the middle of the circle, when suddenly a loud crash and an indignant howl was heard. We all turned to see what was the matter, as did also the wild beasts themselves; one of the lions had suddenly tumbled down off his perch, or rather the perch had fallen with him, and there he lay, more startled than hurt, wondering what on earth had happened. It was partly his own fault, poor dear fellow, for he had fallen asleep whilst waiting for the performance to begin, and so lost his balance. But his look of indignant surprise was so ludicrously human that none of us could help laughing. However, both he and his pedestal were speedily reinstated in their former position, and a lump of sugar soon restored him to his usual tranquillity of spirit.

“And will the animals be arranged round the Chicago circus like this, Mr. Hagenbeck?” said I.

“Everything will be exactly as you see it to-day,” he replied. “Perhaps, if anything, on a bigger scale.”

At this moment the band struck up a stirring tune, on hearing which the animals delightedly pricked their ears, and all became life and animation at once!

“My animals love music,” said Mr. Hagenbeck, “and they perform twice as well with a band as they do without.”

The first thing that took place was the riding round the circus on a pony by a full-grown lion. Round and round they went. The pony spiritedly enough; the lion, it must be confessed, looking, as wild beasts generally do when engaged in such performances, rather a fool.

“The ponies and dogs were at first dreadfully afraid of the lions and tigers,” explained Mr. Hagenbeck, “but 133 they soon got over it. These two animals were the rage of all Paris when I was performing there a year or two ago. Four ponies refused altogether, but at last we managed to persuade this one to accomplish the trick.”

“Has your brother-in-law never been hurt by any of these animals?”

“Only once,” said he, “when he tried to separate a dog and a tiger which were fighting, and the dog bit him. The dogs are frequently very plucky, and sometimes attack the lions.”

The next feature in the programme was that a tiger should ride round the circus on a tricycle. A man rolled in the tricycle, the tiger was called by name to come down from his perch, which he did slowly and unwillingly enough. “For,” said Mr. Hagenbeck, “he always hates this ride of his.” Then the tiger sullenly mounted the tricycle exactly as is shown in the picture, growling frequently the whole time; two of the boar-hounds walked behind as footmen, the band struck up a slow tune, the tiger set the tricycle in motion, and slowly and solemnly enough the little procession passed round the circus. “Now,” said the chief trainer, “I’ll show you how a tiger can roll a ball along, standing upon it the whole time.” Some trestles were brought in, placed at equal distances from each other, and a long plank was laid across them, and then there was placed upon it a huge wooden ball. “Come on, Cæsar,” cried Mr. Mellermann, “it’s your turn now.” To our surprise a beautiful lion jumped down from his pedestal and ran gayly up to Mr. Mellermann. “No, no, no, you dear old stupid,” said the trainer, leading him back to his perch; “I want Cæsar, not you.” But all our persuasion couldn’t get Cæsar the tiger to come down, so Mr. Mellermann went boldly up to him and gently flicked him with his whip. Cæsar got slowly down, snarling and growling the whole time. “Come on, then, there’s a good fellow,” said Mr. Mellermann, and after a while Cæsar was persuaded to balance himself on the ball which he rolled slowly along the plank. Having done it once or twice forwards and backwards, he was allowed to return to his seat, which he did with great joy and satisfaction. Mr. Mellermann then went up to him, told him he had been a good fellow, and gave him a special bit of meat all to himself. “I always do that,” said he, coming back to where I was standing, “when an animal has shown any unwillingness to perform his tricks, for there is nothing that encourages them like kindness.”

“Which animals show the most intelligence?” said I.

“Well,” replied Mr. Mellermann, “I don’t think there is much difference between them. Lions and tigers, males and females, are equally clever; and,” continued Mr. Mellermann, “I think it is all rubbish to say that tigers are not as affectionate or as easily tamed as lions. Why, look here,” he continued, going up to a splendid Royal Bengal tiger which greeted him with a most extravagant affection as he threw his arms round the creature’s neck and drew the great head down on a level with his own, “you couldn’t get a more affectionate beast than this is, I am sure.”

On this particular morning the animals 134 seemed to be a little flighty, which Karl Hagenbeck explained to me was owing to the fact that the young animals were so close by, and the old ones wanted to play with them. Next, one of the bears was led forth to walk on the tight rope, this appliance really being a long narrow plank. Very cleverly he balanced himself on his hind legs, and walked, first forwards and then backwards, with wonderful skill and ease. The trainer walked beside him, encouraging him now and again with the words, “Steady, John, steady,” treating him, indeed, exactly as he would treat a boy at school. In the middle of his performance a loud snarling and growling was suddenly heard; a tiger and a leopard had begun quarrelling, and, as the leopard had been behaving very badly the whole morning, and distracting the attention of the school, he was sent back to his den in disgrace. Meanwhile the bear retired to his pedestal and sat down upon it with a graceful and self-satisfied air. “That bear very much pleased the Emperor of Austria and the King of Bavaria when they came here some years ago,” said Mr. Hagenbeck, and then he took a beautiful silver cigar-case out of his pocket, from which he offered me a very fine weed. This cigar-case, he told me, had been given him on that memorable occasion by the King of Bavaria himself.

Then a see-saw was constructed in the middle of the circus, upon one end of which stood a lion, and upon the other end of which stood a tiger. A bear standing in the middle preserved the peace between them. Two leopards stood on guard on either side, and then the bear set the see-saw in motion by walking alternately from one side to the other.

Then took place a curious and amusing performance. Four lions and tigers were arranged in a row at an equal distance from one another. Some of the German boar-hounds were let loose, and one after another they gayly started a game of leap-frog with the wild beasts, who seemed to enjoy it to the full as much as they did. After they had finished their performance, some enormous double ladders were brought in. The great Polar bear was persuaded to take his place at the very top; next to him on either side, on the next rung of the ladder, was a beautiful boar-hound; then came two royal Bengal tigers, and then a couple of the finest lions I ever saw. Round about the base of the pyramid were grouped, in picturesque profusion, lions, tigers, leopards, and dogs. There they stood perfectly still, and uttering not a single sound, until, 135 very suddenly, Mr. Mellermann cracked his whip, when the animals joyfully quitted their strained positions and retired to their seats. “Ah!” said Mr. Hagenbeck, as he turned to me, “no living human being can imagine what it means to get those animals to do that. It makes a man old and sick and nervous before his time. I’ll never do it again after the Chicago Exhibition. Life is too short for such a strain. I wouldn’t take any money for those animals now that they are trained, although I was offered only the other day upwards of sixty thousand dollars for them.”

And now came the pièce de résistance of the whole affair. A large Roman chariot was rolled into the circus; two huge tigers were led forth, and, growling much, they were harnessed to it; and then there was ushered into the chariot, with no little state, a noble and stately lion. A robe of royal crimson was fastened round his neck, a gleaming crown was placed upon his head, the reins were thrown upon his shoulders, two boar-hounds took their position as footmen in the rear of the chariot, Mr. Mellermann cracked his whip, and the royal chariot drawn by the tigers rolled solemnly round the circus. After this a curious thing occurred. The entertainment was at an end, the band quitted the building, and the animals were allowed to play about, all jumbled up together. They seemed perfectly happy, gambolling with pure pleasure round Mr. Mellermann and his assistants, between whom and the animals the strongest affection most evidently exists. After they had played about for a few minutes, the order was given that they should retire to their cells, which they did by devious ways and by-paths, the last glimpse I caught of them being that of a tiger playfully sparring with a tawny African lion.



By Thomas Hardy.

Illustrated by Mr. Harry C. Edwards.

In the earliest and mustiest volume of the Havenpool marriage registers (said the thin-faced gentleman) this entry may still be read by anyone curious enough to decipher the crabbed handwriting of the date. I took a copy of it when I was last there; and it runs thus (he had opened his pocket-book, and now read aloud the extract; afterwards handing round the book to us, wherein we saw transcribed the following):

Mastr John Horseleigh, Knyght, of the p’ysshe of Clyffton was maryd to Edith the wyffe late off John Stocker, m’chawnte of Havenpool the xiiij daie of December be p’vylegge gevyn by our sup’me hedd of the chyrche of Ingelonde Kynge Henry the viiith 1539.

Now, if you turn to the long and elaborate pedigree of the ancient family of the Horseleighs of Clyfton Horseleigh, you will find no mention whatever of this alliance, notwithstanding the privilege given by the sovereign and head of the Church; the said Sir John being therein chronicled as marrying, at a date apparently earlier than the above, the daughter and heiress of Richard Phelipson of Montislope, in Nether Wessex, a lady who outlived him, of which marriage there were issue two daughters and a son, who succeeded him in his estates. How are we to account for these, as it would seem, contemporaneous wives? A strange local tradition only can help us, and this can be briefly told.

One evening in the autumn of the year 1540 or 1541, a young sailor, whose Christian name was Roger, but whose surname is not known, landed at his native place of Havenpool, on the South Wessex coast, after a voyage in the Newfoundland trade, then newly sprung into existence. He returned in the ship “Primrose” with a cargo of “trayne oyle brought home from the New Founde Lande,” to quote from the town records of the date. During his absence of two summers and a winter, which made up the term of a Newfoundland “spell,” many unlooked-for changes had occurred within the quiet little seaport, some of which closely affected Roger the sailor. At the time of his departure his only sister Edith had become the bride of one Stocker, a respectable townsman, and part owner of the brig in which Roger had sailed; and it was to the house of this couple, his only relatives, that the young man directed his steps. On trying the door in Quay Street he found it locked, and then observed that the windows were boarded up. Inquiring of a bystander, he learned for the first time of the death of his brother-in-law, though that event had taken place nearly eighteen months before.

“And my sister Edith?” asked Roger.

“She’s married again—as they do say, and hath been so these twelve 137 months. I don’t vouch for the truth o’t, though if she isn’t she ought to be.”

Roger’s face grew dark. He was a man with a considerable reserve of strong passion, and he asked his informant what he meant by speaking thus.

The man explained that shortly after the young woman’s bereavement a stranger had come to the port. He had seen her moping on the quay, had been attracted by her youth and loneliness, and in an extraordinarily brief wooing had completely fascinated her—had carried her off, and, as was reported, had married her. Though he had come by water, he was supposed to live no very great distance off by land. They were last heard of at Oozewood, in Upper Wessex, at the house of one Wall, a timber-merchant, where, he believed, she still had a lodging, though her husband, if he were lawfully that much, was but an occasional visitor to the place.

“The stranger?” asked Roger. “Did you see him? What manner of man was he?”

“I liked him not,” said the other. “He seemed of that kind that hath something to conceal, and as he walked with her he ever and anon turned his head and gazed behind him, as if he much feared an unwelcome pursuer. But, faith,” continued he, “it may have been the man’s anxiety only. Yet did I not like him.”

“Was he older than my sister?” Roger asked.

“Ay, much older; from a dozen to a score of years older. A man of some position, may be, playing an amorous game for the pleasure of the hour. Who knoweth but that he have a wife already? Many have done the thing hereabouts of late.”

Having paid a visit to the graves of his relatives, the sailor next day went along the straight road which, then a 138 lane, now a highway, conducted to the curious little inland town named by the Havenpool man. It is unnecessary to describe Oozewood on the South-Avon. It has a railway at the present day, but thirty years of steam traffic past its precincts have hardly modified its original features. Surrounded by a sort of fresh-water lagoon, dividing it from meadows and coppice, its ancient thatch and timber houses have barely made way even in the front street for the ubiquitous modern brick and slate. It neither increases nor diminishes in size; it is difficult to say what the inhabitants find to do, for, though trades in wood-ware are still carried on, there cannot be enough of this class of work now-a-days to maintain all the house-holders, the forests around having been so greatly thinned and curtailed. At the time of this tradition the forests were dense, artificers in wood abounded, and the timber trade was brisk. Every house in the town, without exception, was of oak framework, filled in with plaster, and covered with thatch, the chimney being the only brick portion of the structure. Inquiry soon brought Roger the sailor to the door of Wall, the timber-dealer referred to, but it was some time before he was able to gain admission to the lodging of his sister, the people having plainly received directions not to welcome strangers.

She was sitting in an upper room, on one of the lath-backed, willow-bottomed “shepherd’s” chairs, made on the spot then as to this day, and as they were probably made there in the days of the Heptarchy. In her lap was an infant, which she had been suckling, though now it had fallen asleep; so had the young mother herself for a few minutes, under the drowsing effects of solitude. Hearing footsteps on the stairs, she awoke, started up with a glad cry, and ran to the door, opening which she met her brother on the threshold.

“Oh, this is merry! I didn’t expect ’ee!” she said. “Ah, Roger—I thought it was John.” Her tones fell to disappointment.

The sailor kissed her, looked at her sternly for a few moments, and pointing to the infant, said: “You mean the father of this?”

“Yes, my husband,” said Edith.

“I hope so,” he answered.

“Why, Roger, I’m married—of a truth am I!” she cried.

“Shame upon ’ee, if true! If not true, worse. Master Stocker was an honest man, and ye should have respected his memory longer. Where is thy husband?”

“He comes often. I thought it was he now. Our marriage has to be kept secret for a while; it was done privily for certain reasons, but we were married at church like honest folk—afore God we were, Roger—six months after poor Stocker’s death.”

“’Twas too soon,” said Roger.

“I was living in a house alone; I had nowhere to go to. You were far 139 over sea in the New Found Land, and John took me and brought me here.”

“How often doth he come?” says Roger again.

“Once or twice weekly,” says she.

“I wish th’ ’dst waited till I returned, dear Edy,” he said. “It mid be you are a wife—I hope so. But, if so, why this mystery? Why this mean and cramped lodging in this lonely copse-circled town? Of what standing is your husband, and of where?”

“He is of gentle breeding; his name is John. I am not free to tell his family name. He is said to be of London, for safety’ sake; but he really lives in the county next adjoining this.”

“Where in the next county?”

“I do not know. He has preferred not to tell me, that I may not have the secret forced from me, to his and my hurt, by bringing the marriage to the ears of his kinsfolk and friends.”

Her brother’s face flushed. “Our people have been honest townsmen, well-reputed for long; why should you readily take such humbling from a sojourner of whom th’ ’st know nothing?”

They remained in constrained converse till her quick ear caught a sound, for which she might have been waiting—a horse’s footfall. “It is John!” said she. “This is his night—Saturday.”

“Don’t be frightened lest he should find me here,” said Roger. “I am on the point of leaving. I wish not to be a third party. Say nothing at all about my visit, if it will incommode you so to do. I will see thee before I go afloat again.”

Speaking thus he left the room, and descending the staircase let himself out by the front door, thinking he might obtain a glimpse of the approaching horseman. But that traveller had in the meantime gone stealthily round to the back of the homestead, and peering along the pinion-end of the house Roger discerned him unbridling and haltering his horse with his own hands in the shed there.

Roger retired to the neighboring inn called the Black Lamb, and meditated. This mysterious method of approach determined him, after all, not to leave the place till he had ascertained more definite facts of his sister’s position—whether she were the deluded victim of the stranger or the wife she obviously believed herself to be. Having eaten some supper, he left the inn, it being now about eleven o’clock. He first looked into the shed, and, finding the horse still standing there, waited irresolutely near the door of his sister’s lodging. Half an hour elapsed, and, while thinking he would climb into a loft hard by for a night’s rest, there seemed to be a movement within the shutters of the sitting-room that his sister occupied. Roger hid himself behind a fagot-stack near the back door, rightly divining that his sister’s visitor would emerge by the way he had entered. The door opened, and the candle she held in her hand lighted for a moment the stranger’s form, showing it to be that of a tall and handsome personage, about forty years of age, and apparently of a superior position in life. Edith was assisting him to cloak himself, which being done he took leave of her with a kiss and left the house. From the door she watched him bridle and saddle his horse, and having mounted and waved an adieu to her as she stood, candle in hand, he turned out of the yard and rode away.

The horse which bore him was, or seemed to be, a little lame, and Roger fancied from this that the rider’s journey was not likely to be a long one. Being light of foot he followed apace, 140 having no great difficulty on such a still night in keeping within earshot some few miles, the horseman pausing more than once. In this pursuit Roger discovered the rider to choose bridle-tracks and open commons in preference to any high road. The distance soon began to prove a more trying one than he had bargained for; and when out of breath and in some despair of being able to ascertain the man’s identity, he perceived an ass standing in the star-light under a hayrick, from which the animal was helping itself to periodic mouthfuls.

The story goes that Roger caught the ass, mounted, and again resumed the trail of the unconscious horseman, which feat may have been possible to a nautical young fellow, though one can hardly understand how a sailor would ride such an animal without bridle or saddle, and strange to his hands, unless the creature was extraordinarily docile. This question, however, is immaterial. Suffice it to say, that at dawn the following morning Roger beheld his sister’s lover or husband entering the gates of a large and well-timbered park on the south-western 141 verge of the White Hart Forest (as it was then called), now known to everybody as the Vale of Blackmoor. Thereupon the sailor discarded his steed, and finding for himself an obscurer entrance to the same park a little farther on, he crossed the grass to reconnoitre.

He presently perceived amid the trees before him a mansion which, new to himself, was one of the best known in the county at that time. Of this fine manorial residence hardly a trace now remains; but a manuscript, dated some years later than the events we are regarding, describes it in terms from which the imagination may construct a singularly clear and vivid picture. This record presents it as consisting of “a faire yellow freestone building, partly two and partly three storeys; a faire halle and parlour, both waynscotted; a faire dyning roome and withdrawing roome, and many good lodgings; a kitchen adjoyninge backwarde to one end of the dwelling-house, with a faire passage from it into the halle, parlour, and dyninge roome, and sellars adjoyninge.

“In the front of the house a square greene court, and a curious gatehouse with lodgings in it, standing with the front of the house to the south; in a large outer court three stables, a coach-house, a large barne, and a stable for oxen and kyne, and all houses necessary.

“Without the gatehouse, paled in, a large square greene, in which standeth a faire chappell; of the south-east side of the greene court, towards the river, a large garden.

“Of the south-west side of the greene court is a large bowling greene, with fower mounted walks about it, all walled about with a batteled wall, and sett with all sorts of fruit; and out of it into the feildes there are large walks under many tall elmes orderly planted.”

Then follows a description of the orchards and gardens; the servants’ offices, brewhouse, bakehouse, dairy, pigeon-houses, and corn-mill; the river and its abundance of fish; the warren, the coppices, the walks; ending thus—

“And all the country north of the house, open champaign, sandy feildes, very dry and pleasant for all kindes of recreation, huntinge, and hawkinge, and profitable for tillage.... The house hath a large prospect east, south, and west, over a very large and pleasant vale ... is seated from the good markett towns of Sherton Abbas three miles, and Ivel a mile, that plentifully yield all manner of provision; and within twelve miles of the south sea.”

It was on the grass before this seductive and picturesque structure that the sailor stood at gaze under the elms in the dim dawn of Sunday morning, and saw to his surprise his sister’s lover and horse vanish within the court of the building.

Perplexed and weary, Roger slowly retreated, more than ever convinced that something was wrong in his sister’s position. He crossed the bowling green to the avenue of elms, and, bent on further research, was about to climb into one of these, when, looking below, he saw a hole large enough to allow a man to creep to the hollow interior. Here Roger ensconced himself, and having eaten a crust of bread which he had hastily thrust into his pocket at the inn, he fell asleep upon the stratum of broken touchwood that formed the floor of the hollow.

He slept soundly and long, and was awakened by the sound of a bell. On peering from the hole he found the time had advanced to full day; the sun was shining brightly. The bell was that of the “faire chappell” on 142 the green outside the gatehouse, and it was calling to matins. Presently the priest crossed the green to a little side-door in the chancel, and then from the gateway of the mansion emerged the household, the tall man whom Roger had seen with his sister on the previous night, on his arm being a portly dame, and, running beside the pair, two little girls and a boy. These all entered the chapel, and the bell having ceased and the environs become clear, the sailor crept out from his hiding.

He sauntered towards the chapel, the opening words of the service being audible within. While standing by the porch he saw a belated servitor approaching from the kitchen-court to attend the service also. Roger carelessly accosted him, and asked, as an idle wanderer, the name of the family he had just seen cross over from the mansion.

“Od zounds! if ye modden be a stranger here in very truth, goodman. That war Sir John and his dame, and his children Elizabeth, Mary, and John.”

“I be from foreign parts. Sir John what d’ye call’n?”

“Master John Horseleigh, Knight, who had a’most as much lond by inheritance of his mother as a had by his father, and likewise some by his wife. Why, baint his arms dree goolden horses’ heads, and idden his lady the daughter of Master Richard Phelipson of Montislope, in Nether Wessex, known to us all?”

“It mid be so, and yet it mid not. However, th’ ’lt miss thy prayers for such an honest knight’s welfare, and I have to traipse seaward many miles.”

He went onward, and, as he walked, continued saying to himself, “Now to that poor wronged fool Edy. The fond thing! I thought it; ’twas too quick—she was ever amorous. What’s to become of her? God wot! How be I going to face her with the news, and how be I to hold it from her? To bring this disgrace on my father’s honored name, a double-tongued knave!” He turned and shook his fist at the chapel and all in it, and resumed his way.

Perhaps it was owing to the perplexity of his mind that, instead of returning by the direct road towards his sister’s obscure lodging in the next county, he followed the highway to Casterbridge, some fifteen miles off, where he remained drinking hard all that afternoon and evening, and where he lay that and two or three succeeding nights, wandering thence along the Anglebury road to some village that way, and lying the Friday night after at his native place of Havenpool. The sight of the familiar objects there seems to have stirred him anew to action, and the next morning he was observed pursuing the way to Oozewood that he had followed on the Saturday previous, reckoning, no doubt, that Saturday night would, as before, be a time for finding Sir John with his sister again.

He delayed to reach the place till just before sunset. His sister was walking in the meadows at the foot of the garden, with a nursemaid who carried 143 the baby, and she looked up pensively when he approached. Anxiety as to her position had already told upon her once rosy cheeks and lucid eyes. But concern for herself and child was displaced for the moment by her regard of Roger’s worn and haggard face.

“Why, you are sick, Roger! You are tired! Where have you been these many days? Why not keep me company a bit? My husband is much away. And we have hardly spoke at all of dear father and of your voyage to the New Land. Why did you go away so suddenly? There is a spare chamber at my lodging.”

“Come indoors,” he said. “We’ll talk now—talk a good deal. As for him (nodding to the child), better heave him into the river; better for him and you!”

She forced a laugh, as if she tried to see a good joke in the remark, and they went silently indoors.

“A miserable hole!” said Roger, looking around the room.

“Nay, but ’tis very pretty!”

“Not after what I’ve seen. Did he marry ’ee at church in orderly fashion?”

“He did sure—at our church at Havenpool.”

“But in a privy way?”

“Ay, because of his friends—it was at night time.”

“Ede, ye fond one, for all that he’s not thy husband! Th’ ’rt not his wife, and the child is a bastard. He hath a wife and children of his own rank, and bearing his name; and that’s Sir John Horseleigh of Clyfton Horseleigh, and not plain Jack, as you think him, and your lawful husband. The sacrament of marriage is no safeguard now-a-days. The king’s new-made headship of the Church hath led men to practise these tricks lightly.”

She had turned white. “That’s not true, Roger!” she said. “You are in liquor, my brother, and you know not what you say. Your seafaring years have taught ’ee bad things.”

“Edith—I’ve seen them; wife and family—all. How canst——”

They were sitting in the gathered darkness, and at that moment steps were heard without. “Go out this way,” she said. “It is my husband. He must not see thee in this mood. Get away till to-morrow, Roger, as you care for me.”

She pushed her brother through a door leading to the back stairs, and almost as soon as it was closed her visitor entered. Roger, however, did not retreat down the stairs; he stood and looked through the bobbin-hole. If the visitor turned out to be Sir John, he had determined to confront him.

It was the knight. She had struck a light on his entry, and he kissed the child, and took Edith tenderly by the shoulders, looking into her face.

“Something’s gone awry wi’ my dear,” he said. “What is it? What’s the matter?”

“Oh, Jack!” she cried. “I have heard such a fearsome rumor—what doth it mean? He who told me is my best friend. He must be deceived! But who deceived him, and why? Jack, I was just told that you had a wife living when you married me, and have her still!”


“A wife? H’m.”

“Yes, and children. Say no, say no!”

“My God! I have no lawful wife but you; and as for children, many or few, they are all bastards, save this one alone!”

“And that you be Sir John Horseleigh of Clyfton?”

“I mid be. I have never said so to ’ee.”

“But Sir John is known to have a lady, and issue of her!”

The knight looked down. “How did thy mind get filled with such as this?” he asked.

“One of my kindred came.”

“A traitor! Why should he mar our life? Ah! you said you had a brother at sea—where is he now?”

Here!” said a stern voice behind him. And, flinging open the door, Roger faced the intruder. “Liar,” he said, “to call thyself her husband!”

Sir John fired up, and made a rush at the sailor, who seized him by the collar, and in the wrestle they both fell, Roger under. But in a few seconds he contrived to extricate his right arm, and drawing from his belt a knife which he wore attached to a cord round his neck, he opened it with his teeth, and struck it into the breast of Sir John stretched above him. Edith had during these moments run into the next room to place the child in safety, and when she came back the knight was relaxing his hold on Roger’s throat. He rolled over upon his back and groaned.

The only witness of the scene, save the three concerned, was the nursemaid, who had brought in the child on its father’s arrival. She stated afterwards that nobody suspected Sir John had received his death wound; yet it was so, though he did not die for a long while, meaning thereby an hour or two; that Mistress Edith continually endeavored to staunch the blood, calling her brother Roger a wretch, and ordering him to get himself gone; on which order he acted, after a gloomy pause, by opening the window, and letting himself down by the sill to the ground.

It was then that Sir John, in difficult accents, made his dying declaration to the nurse and Edith, and, later, the apothecary, which was to this purport: that the Dame Horseleigh who passed as his wife at Clyfton, and who had borne him three children, was in truth and deed, though unconsciously, the 145 wife of another man. Sir John had married her several years before, in the face of the whole county, as the widow of one Decimus Strong, who had disappeared shortly after her union with him, having adventured to the North to join the revolt of the Nobles, and on that revolt being quelled retreated across the sea. Two years ago, having discovered the man to be still living in France, and not wishing to disturb the mind and happiness of her who believed herself his wife, yet wishing for legitimate issue, Sir John had informed the king of the facts, who had encouraged him to wed honestly, though secretly, the young merchant’s widow at Havenpool; she being, therefore, his lawful wife, and she only. That to avoid all scandal and hubbub he had purposed to let things remain as they were till fair opportunity should arise of making the true case known with least pain to all parties concerned; but that, having been thus suspected and attacked by his own brother-in-law, his zest for such schemes and for all things had died out in him, and he only wished to commend his soul to God.

That night, while the owls were hooting from the forest that encircled the sleeping townlet, and the South-Avon was gurgling through the wooden piles of the bridge, Sir John died there in the arms of his wife. She concealed nothing of the cause of her husband’s death save the subject of the quarrel, which she felt it would be premature to announce just then, and until proof of her status should be forthcoming. But before a month had passed, it happened, to her inexpressible sorrow, that the child of this clandestine union fell sick and died. From that hour all interest in the name and fame of the Horseleighs forsook the younger of the twain who called themselves wives of Sir John, and, being careless about her own fame, she took no steps to assert her claims, her legal position having, indeed, grown hateful to her in her horror at the tragedy. And Sir William Byrt, the curate who had married her to her husband, being an old man and feeble, was not disinclined to leave the embers unstirred of such a fiery matter as this, and to assist her in letting established things stand. Therefore, Edith retired with the nurse, her only companion and 146 friend, to her native town, where she lived in absolute obscurity till her death at no great age. Her brother was never seen again in England.

A strangely corroborative sequel to the story remains to be told. Shortly after the death of Sir John Horseleigh, a soldier of fortune returned from the Continent, called on Dame Horseleigh the fictitious, living in widowed state at Clyfton Horseleigh, and, after a singularly brief courtship, married her. The tradition at Havenpool and elsewhere has ever been that this man was already her husband, Decimus Strong, who re-married her for appearance’s sake only.

The illegitimate son of this lady by Sir John succeeded to the estates and honors, and his son after him, there being nobody alert to investigate their pretensions. Little difference would it have made to the present generation, however, had there been such a one, for the family in all its branches, lawful and unlawful, has been extinct these many score years, the last representative but one being killed at the siege of Sherton Castle, while attacking in the service of the Parliament, and the other being outlawed later in the same century for a debt of ten pounds, and dying in the county jail. The mansion house and its appurtenances were, as I have previously stated, destroyed, excepting one small wing which now forms part of a farmhouse, and is visible as you pass along the railway from Casterbridge to Ivel. The outline of the old bowling-green is also distinctly to be seen.

This, then, is the reason why the only lawful marriage of Sir John, as recorded in the obscure register at Havenpool, does not appear in the pedigree of the house of Horseleigh.





By Hugh Robert Mill, D.Sc.,
Author of “The Realm of Nature.”


Arctic enthusiasm is an intermittent fever, returning in almost epidemic form after intervals of normal indifference. Twelve years ago there was a wide-spread outbreak, but for the last ten years the symptoms have never been so severe as to result in a great expedition. If all goes well this summer there will be a renewed paroxysm; no less than three new ventures northward being sent out by different routes to converge on the pole.

It is refreshing, in this prosaic time, to recognize the power of pure sentiment in the quest for glory. Polar research is a survival, or rather an evolution, of knight-errantry, and our Childe Rolands challenge the “Dark Tower of the North” as dauntlessly as ever their forbears wound slug-horn at gate of enchanted castle. The “woe of years” invests the quest with elements which redeem failure from disgrace; but whoever succeeds in overcoming the difficulties that have baffled all the “lost adventurers” will make the world ring with his fame as it never rang before. We commonplace human beings are as quick to see and prompt to appreciate heroic daring, perseverance, and valor as ever were the dames of mythic Camelot; and the race for the pole will be watched by the world with generous sympathy.

Incidentally the fresh Arctic journeys must secure much scientific information, but that aspect of them appeals to the few. It is as a display of the grandest powers of man in conflict with the tyranny of his surroundings that Arctic travel appeals directly to the heart. Since McClure, in 1850, forced the north-west passage from Bering Strait to Baffin Bay, and Nordenskjold, in 1878, squeezed the “Vega” through, between ice and land, from the North Cape to the Pacific, the futility of the golden dreams of the greedy old merchants who tried to reach the wealth of the Orient by short cuts through the ice has been demonstrated. Although no money is likely to be made out of the Arctic, we want information thence which it is almost impossible to get; and the almost impossible is dear to every valiant heart.

We know a good deal about the state of matters near the poles, but yet not enough to let us understand all the phenomena of our own lands. In this respect, however, the South Pole is the most promising field, for its surroundings probably conceal the mainspring of the great system of winds which do the work of the air on every land and sea. Dr. Nansen has promised to go there after returning from the North, and solving its simpler problems. The chilly distinction of being the coldest part of the earth is probably due to the northern parts of Eastern Siberia, and not to the North Pole. The “magnetic pole,” where the needle hangs vertically, has been found in the Arctic archipelago north of America, and in many ways scientific observations there are worth more than at the North Pole itself.

We know that, if attained, the North Pole would probably be like any other part of the Arctic regions, presenting a landscape of ice and snow, perhaps with black rock showing here and there, containing fossils of a former age of heat, perhaps broken by pools or lanes of open water. The pole has no physical mark any more than the top of a 148 spinning coin has, and the pole is not even a fixed point; like the end of the axis of the spinning coin, it moves a little to and fro on the circumference. If the geographical point were reached, the pole-star would be seen shining almost vertically overhead, describing a tiny circle around the actual zenith; and all the other stars of the northern half of the sky would appear slowly wheeling in horizontal circles, never rising, never setting, and each completing its circuit in the space of twenty-three hours and fifty-six minutes. In summer the sun would appear similarly, never far above the horizon, but circling for more than half the year in a spiral, winding upward until about 25° above the horizon, and winding downward again until lost to view. The periods of daylight and darkness at the poles do not last exactly six months each, as little geography books are prone to assert. Such little books ignore the atmosphere for the sake of simplicity, but the air-shell that shuts in our globe bends the rays of light, so that the sun appears before his theoretical rising, and remains in sight after his theoretical setting. At the pole, in fact, the single “half-yearly day” is a week longer than the one “half-yearly night.”


(click for larger image)

At the North Pole there is only one direction—south. One could go south in as many ways as there are points on the compass card, but every one of these ways is south; east and west have vanished. The hour of the day at the pole is a paradoxical conception, for that point is the meeting place of every meridian, and the time of all holds good, so that it is always any hour one cares to mention. Unpunctuality is hence impossible—but the question grows complex, and its practical solution concerns few.

No one needs to go to the pole to discover all that makes that point different from any other point of the surface. But the whole polar regions are full of unknown things, which every Arctic explorer of the right stamp looks forward to finding. And the reward he looks forward to most is the approval of the few who understand and love knowledge for its own sake, rather than the noisy applause of the crowd who would cheer him, after all, much as they cheer a winning prize-fighter, or race-horse, or political candidate.

The difficulties that make the quest of the pole so arduous have been discovered by slow degrees. It is marvellous how soon nearly the full limits of northward attainment were reached. In 1596 Barents discovered Spitzbergen in about 78° north; in 1770 Hudson reached 80°; in 1827 Parry, by sledging on the ice when his ship became fast, succeeded in touching 82° 45´. Since then all the enormous resources of modern science—steam, electricity, preserved foods and the experience of centuries—have only enabled forty miles of additional poleward advance to be made.

The accompanying map gives a fair idea of the form of the Arctic regions, and remembering that the circle marked 80° is distant seven hundred miles from the pole, the reader can realize the distances involved. The Arctic Basin, occupied by the Arctic Sea, is ringed in by land; the northern coasts of America, Europe, and Asia, forming a roughly circular boundary broken by three well-marked channels communicating with the ocean. Bering Strait between America and Asia is the narrowest, Baffin Bay between America and Greenland is wider, branching into a number of ice-blocked sounds to the westward, and tapering off into Smith Sound in the north-east. The widest channel of the three lies between Greenland and Europe, and this is bisected just south of 80° North by the island group of Spitzbergen.

The whole region is one of severe cold, and the sea is frozen for the greater part of the year, land and water becoming almost indistinguishable, but for the incessant movement and drift of the sea-ice. In summer the sea-ice breaks up into floes which may drift away southward and melt, or be driven by the wind against the shores of continents or islands, leaving lanes of open water which a shift of wind may change and close in an hour. Icebergs launched from the glaciers of the land also drift with tide, current, and wind through the more or less open water. Possibly at some times the pack may open and a clear waterway run through to the pole, and old whalers tell of many a year when they believed that a few days’ steaming would carry them to the end of the world, if they could have seized the opportunity. At other times, routes traversed in safety time after time may be effectively closed for years, and all advance barred. Food in the form of seals or walrus in the open water, reindeer, musk ox, polar bears or birds on the land, may often be procured, but these sources cannot be relied upon. Advance northward may be made by water in a ship, or by dog-sledge, or on foot, over the frozen snow or ice. Each method has grave drawbacks. Advance by sea is stopped when the young ice forms in autumn, and land advance is hampered by the long Arctic night which enforces months of inaction, more trying to health and spirits than the severest exertion.

Smith Sound has been the channel by which most recent Arctic explorers have pushed north. Thus Markham reached latitude 83° 20´ North, in 1876, and in 1882 Lockwood got four miles farther north, coming nearer the pole than any other man. From his farthest point an express train could cover the intervening distance in ten hours, but the best ice traveller would require months, even if the way were smooth. This route has been by common consent 150 abandoned, at least for advance by water. No high latitude has been reached from Bering Strait nor along the east coast of Greenland. For ships the most open way to the north lies to the west of Spitzbergen, as Parry found two generations ago. Neither of the two projected expeditions from Europe is, however, intended to take this route. Mr. Jackson means to advance over the ice in sledges, trusting that Franz-Josef Land stretches northward to the immediate neighborhood of the pole. Doctor Nansen also founds his plan on a theory, but his is so novel, and involves a plan of action so different from all previously attempted, that it must be considered in detail.


Fridtjof Nansen, who planned and will lead the Norwegian expedition starting in June, is a naturalist, thirty-two years of age. He is singularly adapted physically for deeds of daring and endurance, perfectly equipped intellectually for command and research. His lithe, erect figure testifies to athletic training, while his expansive forehead and firm chin equally betoken thoughtfulness and determination. He is a typical Norseman, fair in complexion and hair, simple and rather reserved in manner, and modest almost to a fault. No one can see him without becoming his friend. He speaks English fluently, and a quiet, half-repressed humor lights up his conversation. Never overstepping the truth, he does not seem to feel the temptation of spinning imaginative yarns so over-powering for the undisciplined traveller. He knows his own strength, and measuring himself against the difficulties he proposes to meet, he feels confident of victory, and inspires others with his own faith. There is no turning back when once his mind is fully made up.

Nansen’s whole life has been a training for the exploit he now engages in. After graduating at the University of Christiania, he was appointed curator of the Museum at Bergen, and carried out several important biological researches, of which that on the anatomy of whales is perhaps the best known. He was a diligent student of the great Norwegian naturalist Sars, and on his return from Greenland he entered into a closer relation by marrying the professor’s daughter. Mrs. Nansen is said to be the most accomplished lady ski-runner in Norway, as her husband is the champion of his sex; their portraits in the costume of this national sport are extremely characteristic. She had originally planned to accompany Doctor Nansen on the Arctic voyage, but has reluctantly relinquished the intention. She stays behind with her little girl only a few months old. For the last three years Doctor Nansen has devoted himself entirely to the study of various branches of science likely to be of service to him in the accomplishment of his great ambition, and in organizing every detail of his expedition.

The chief circumstance in which Nansen differs from all his predecessors is, that he prepares no line of retreat. To the common question, “But how are you to come back?” his reply in word and deed has always been, “I will never come back. I shall go through to the other side.” Thus, in crossing Greenland in 1888, he started from the uninhabited east coast, so that he and his companions had to go forward—retreat meant destruction. Such determination is only redeemed from obstinacy by the forethought which inspires it. Before setting out to cross Greenland, Nansen crossed the mountains of Norway from Bergen to Christiania in winter, thus proving his mastery of the ski or Norwegian snow-shoes, and testing his power of withstanding cold and fatigue. Just as the crossing of the Norwegian mountains proved his competence for the splendid feat of crossing Greenland, that journey by its success establishes his ability for enduring the severest privations which his new expedition may be called upon to undergo.



A careful study of all the known phenomena of the Arctic Basin, and the records of all the exploring, whaling, and sealing voyages in these waters which were accessible, impressed two facts upon him—one, that the currents of the Polar Basin were more regular and more powerful agents than had been previously supposed; the other, that the failure of the great expeditions to the north was in most cases due to the great number of men carried, and the labor involved in keeping open a line of retreat. The moral of this is simple enough: to sail as far as possible with the currents, to take as few men as possible, and these in thorough training for Arctic work, and to make no provision for retreat. For the valor and heroic efforts of the earlier Arctic explorers there can never be anything but praise; those men fought against the most terrific odds, and stood their ground without flinching, and their opinion on all matters connected with Arctic travel carries the utmost weight. Nansen breaks away from all tradition; he goes right against every cherished principle of all the older Arctic men. He will secure no line of retreat, he will carry only eleven men with him, every one of whom is inured to hardship and expert in ice-travel. He is bound by no orders, but has perfect freedom to alter his plans should circumstances seem to demand it. His plan is to drift with the currents, and the evidence for the currents moving in the direction he wishes to go is as follows:

The great drift of polar water southward along the east coasts of Labrador 152 and of Greenland has been known from the beginning of Atlantic navigation, and the icebergs and floes carried along are serious obstacles to the shipping of the North Atlantic. It is estimated that between Greenland and Spitzbergen about eighty or ninety cubic miles of water pour southward every day. The current, like that down Smith Sound, flows from the north, but the water cannot originate there. There is a very slight northward extension of the Gulf Stream drift along the west coasts of Spitzbergen and Greenland, but the main drift of North Atlantic water from the southward sets round the North Cape of Norway, keeping the sea free from ice all the year round. It is felt in the Kara Sea, and as a north-easterly stream along the coast of Novaya Zemlya. It is difficult to estimate the volume of this drift, but from certain observations made by the Norwegian Government it seems to be about sixty cubic miles per day. There is a current running on the whole northward from the Pacific through Bering Strait with a volume of perhaps fifteen cubic miles a day, and in addition there is the volume of perhaps two cubic miles daily poured out during summer by the great American and Siberian rivers. This water is fresh and warm, and accumulating near shore in autumn it gives rise to the ice-free border which let the “Vega” slip round the north of Asia. Even where the sea is covered with floating ice, there are perceptible currents, and the ice-pack is never at rest.

Since the vast body of water north of 80° between Franz-Josef Land and Greenland is streaming from the north, and since it must be derived somehow from water which comes from the south, it is evident that north-flowing currents of considerable power must exist in the Arctic Basin. Parry in his splendid voyage of 1827 spent months in sledging northward on a vast ice-floe which all the while was drifting south faster than the dogs could drag the sledges northward.

This polar current is the exit by which Doctor Nansen intends to leave the Polar Basin. It is a current which strews the coast of Greenland with Siberian and North American driftwood, all coming from the north, perhaps across the pole itself. Mud containing microscopic shells which only occur in Siberia has been collected on some of these southward-bound ice-floes. On one occasion a throwing-stick of a form used exclusively by the Eskimo of Alaska to cast their harpoons was picked up on the west coast of Greenland, having obviously been drifted round Cape Farewell, as the boats of many a whaler shipwrecked in the polar current have been drifted before. But perhaps the most interesting argument is that derived from the drift of the “Jeannette.” The “Jeannette” (once a British gunboat, and afterward employed as the “Pandora” in attempting to repeat the north-west passage) was sent out by the proprietor of the “New York Herald,” under the command of De Long, to push north to the pole, through Bering Strait, in 1879. In September of that year she got fast in the ice, and drifted on the whole north-westward for nearly two years. At last she was crushed in the ice on June 13, 1881, to the north of the New Siberian Islands. The drift of the “Jeannette” was becoming faster as she got farther west; indeed, it was possibly the more rapid movement of the current that set the floes in motion and led to the crushing of the vessel. Three years after she sank, an ice-floe was found on the south coast of Greenland at Julianehaab, on which were a number of articles, including documents relating to the stores and boats of the “Jeannette,” bearing De Long’s signature. The relics had a romantic history, and have given rise to controversy; but before their authenticity had been seriously questioned they were sacrificed to the sense of order of a Copenhagen housewife. Nansen is certain that the relics did come from the “Jeannette,” and he believes they were drifted like the wood and Siberian mud upon an ice-raft across the pole or in its immediate vicinity.

His resolve was made accordingly “to take a ticket with the ice,” as he phrases it, and so drift across. The 153 point where it would be best to join the current, Nansen decided to be off the New Siberian Islands, although Captain Wiggins recommends the most northerly point of continental land, Cape Chelyuskin, as a more likely starting place. At first Nansen proposed to follow the “Jeannette” through Bering Sea, but he has now decided to take the nearer route round the North Cape, through the Kara Sea, and along the coast of Asia, as the “Vega” went, striking northward off the Lena Delta. It will require extremely skilful navigation even to reach the starting point, and it may even be impossible to do so in one year, but, having reached and run into the ice, another question comes to the front. The vessel in which the drift of several years is to be made must not share the fate of the “Jeannette,” if human ingenuity can avoid it. And ingenuity has been taxed to produce a ship of the most perfect kind.

Nansen’s little vessel, launched at Laurvik last October, suits his venture and himself as well as the famous “long serpents” of his ancestors suited them and their voyages of conquest and discovery a thousand years ago. She is built of wood, but is of a strength never hitherto aimed at. The frame timbers, Nansen modestly says, “may be said to be well-seasoned,” for though cut from the gnarled oaks of Italy they have been stored in a Norwegian dockyard during the whole lifetime of the explorer. These timbers—the ribs of the ship—are a foot thick, and are placed only two inches apart, the intervening spaces being filled with a special composition, so that even the skeleton of the ship would be water-tight should the planks be stripped off. Inside, the walls are lined with pitch-pine planks alternately four inches and eight inches thick, with cross-beams and supports to resist pressure in every direction, as shown in the accompanying section. Outside, there is a three-inch skin of oak, carefully calked and made water-tight, then covered by another skin of oak four inches thick, which in turn is encased in a still thicker layer of the hard and slippery greenheart. Bow and stern are heavily plated with iron to cut through thin ice. Finally, to render her fit for living in during the coldest weather, the water-tight compartment set apart for this purpose (one of three) is lined, walls and ceiling, with layers of non-conducting material. Tarred canvas, cork, wood, several inches of felt enclosed by painted canvas, and finally a wooden wainscot, promise to effectually keep out the cold. In the roof, a layer of two inches of reindeer’s hair has also been introduced.

The form of the vessel is as original as her material. She measures one hundred and twenty-eight feet in extreme length, thirty-six in beam, and is seventeen feet deep. With a full cargo she will draw fifteen feet, and have a freeboard of little more than three feet. She is pointed fore and aft, the stern being so formed that the propeller and rudder are deeply immersed to escape floating ice, and both these vital fittings are placed in wells, through which they may be brought on board in case of need, or readily replaced if damaged. The hull is rounded so that even the keel does not project materially. The form is designed so that when the ice begins to press, it will not crush but lift the ship, as one might lift an egg from a table by sliding two hands under it. Her rig, as shown in the illustration, is simply that of a three-masted fore and aft schooner, with a very tall mainmast, designed to carry the crow’s nest for the look-out. This will stand one hundred and five feet above the water, thus affording the wide view indispensable in ice navigation. A captive balloon would have been used as well, but the necessary fittings were too heavy to carry. The engine is not of great power, as no particular reason exists for high speed, and with a coal capacity of only three hundred tons economy of fuel is of the first importance.

The ship is prophetically named the “Fram,” or “Forward,” and for her the viking explorer is determined there will be no turning back.

It is possible that in spite of all precautions the “Fram” may be nipped in the ice-floe which will carry her along, or stranded on some unknown 154 northern land. This contingency is provided for by two large decked boats, twenty-nine feet long, either of which could accommodate the whole crew. These would be placed on the ice to serve as houses, and in the end could be used for the return voyage. Many smaller boats are carried, and light sledges with dog teams, in case it becomes necessary to travel over the ice. The invaluable “ski” would of course be used in such an emergency, and plenty of tarred canvas would be carried, by means of which the sledges could be converted into boats. Provisions for five years, at least, are stowed away on board; also books for study and recreation, and a complete equipment of scientific instruments for observations and collecting of every kind. The ship carries no alcoholic drink; alcohol is taken only as a fuel for use when the coal runs out, or if the ship has to be left. Nansen does not smoke, and very likely he may regulate the smoking of his followers, for his views on hygiene are clear, and his determination to enforce them strong. The eleven men chosen for the enterprise have the fullest faith in their leader, and that respect for his splendid qualities as a man which is essential to good order being maintained. For in the hardships of Arctic travel there is no sentimental deference to a leader unless he is the best man of the party, and Arctic hardships quickly reduce things and men to their real worth. Nansen and his crew will prove, we are confident, as firmly knit together as the timbers of the “Fram” herself. Captain Sverdrup, who accompanied him across Greenland, goes as navigating officer of the “Fram.”

Perhaps the most original of the many original fittings of this little polar cruiser is the dynamo which will for the first time in the history of exploration supply abundant light during the whole Arctic night. When there is wind a windmill will work it; but in the calm weather the men, in watches, will take their necessary exercise in tramping round a capstan to the strains of a musical box of long Arctic experience—it was in the “Jeannette,”—and thus at least eight hours of perfect light will be secured every day.

Everything that foresight can suggest and money can buy has been secured to make the voyage a success; but even in the most sanguine mind the risk must appear great, and the time of suspense will be long. The drift across the polar area cannot occupy less than two years, and provisions are carried for five. But we need not dwell on dangers; the personality of Nansen rises above them all—the motto he carries with him in a little volume of condensed poetry, as powerful meat for the soul as any of his cunningly concocted extracts are for the body, is the wish of all his friends—

“Greet the Unseen with a cheer,

Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,

‘Strive and thrive!’ cry ‘Speed—fight on, fare ever

There as here!’”

The Norwegian expedition goes out under the command of a hero full of experience, ripe in knowledge, certain to do all that a strong and trained man can accomplish, backed by large grants of money from his own government, and smaller gifts from people and societies in many lands.


The British expedition which has been projected is not a national effort. It is purely private, planned and equipped by private enterprise and private money, in order to follow up the line in which private exertions have already done more for polar exploration than many government expeditions have achieved. Its leader, Mr. Frederick G. Jackson, is a business man, possessed of leisure and sufficient means, and experienced in travel in all parts of the world. Of the same age as Doctor Nansen, and, like him, married, he is as typical an Englishman as the latter is a Norseman. Pluck and “go” are his in very large measure; experience in serious ice-work he cannot lay claim to, but he knows more about the Arctic regions than many famous explorers did on their first setting 155 out. Mr. Jackson has made a summer cruise to the far north, and, under the tuition of a canny Peterhead whaler, he has picked up many wrinkles which will help him in time of need. He is a keen sportsman rather than a man of science, but his ten companions will be chosen for their ability to make all necessary scientific observations and collections. If his plans fall out as he hopes, Jackson will be the most eager in the race to the pole, and it will not be his fault if the Union Jack is not the first flag planted on that much coveted site. He intends to leave England about the middle of July, or perhaps as late as the beginning of August.

His plan of attack is that which is most approved by the Arctic admirals of the British navy. It is to approach by Franz-Josef Land, which may in favorable years be comparatively easily reached. On landing, a depot will be formed and stores laid up as a base for retreat; and then, by sledging northward along the land-ice, the coast would be delineated and mapped as far as it extends, other depots established, and if the surface proves suitable, and if Franz-Josef Land proves, as is probable, not to have a great northerly extent, an advance may be made on the sea-ice, carrying boats for crossing open water.

It seems very probable that in this way the highest latitudes of earlier explorers may be passed, and in Franz-Josef Land life is more tolerable than in perhaps any other place at the same latitude. Mr. Leigh Smith, the most successful Arctic yachtsman, spent the winter of 1881-82 in a hut built on an island in the south of Franz-Josef Land, after his ship was wrecked, and without winter clothing, and he found bears and walrus plentiful enough to keep himself and his party supplied with fresh meat. The country however is very desolate, in spite of its comparatively genial conditions. Mr. Jackson intends to hire or purchase a steam whaler to convey him to Franz-Josef Land, and for navigation he has secured the services of Mr. Crowther, Leigh Smith’s ice-master. After establishing winter quarters, he will make some preliminary trips to test his sledges and complete the survey of the southern part of the land, reserving the great northward march for the spring of 1894. He is pushing forward his preparations quietly and quickly, and, as he does not ask for public money, he does not feel it necessary to publish any of the details of his intended mode of life. It is difficult to forecast the result of his expedition. From the little we know about Franz-Josef Land, it appears certain that with a favorable season much good work could be done, and there is more satisfaction in contemplating an expedition in which pluck and endurance count than the mere passive submission to the laws of physical geography, on which Nansen depends. In two years he hopes to prove that Franz-Josef Land is or is not a practicable road to the pole.

We have no data to make a comparison between the two brave men, nor any wish to do so. But Nansen is Nansen, and Jackson has yet to win his spurs; to him therefore would be the greater glory if success attend him.

For our part, we heartily desire that Nansen, Peary, and Jackson may meet simultaneously at the pole, and return betimes to tell their story and share the honors. The aggravating thing is, that the expeditions may never reach their proper starting point. Many a good ship has knocked about for a whole season in the Kara Sea without getting a lead through the ice; the effort to reach Franz-Josef Land has not been often made, and it is a sinister omen that the “Tegetthof,” which discovered that region, arrived there after eighteen months of drifting fast in the floes. But we shall see.



By Cleveland Moffett.

Before the end of June, Civil Engineer Robert E. Peary of the United States Navy will have sailed on another expedition for the Arctic regions. The party will go by the way of Newfoundland, Baffin’s Bay, and Whale Sound, to Inglefield Gulf, which lies just southeast of Smith Sound and south of the promontory containing the great Humboldt glacier. The winter camp will be established at the head of Bowdoin Bay, some forty miles to the east of Redcliffe House, where Lieutenant Peary passed the winter of ’91, ’92.


The programme of the expedition may be briefly summarized as follows:

The party will be absent about two years and a half, a three years’ leave of absence having been accorded Lieutenant Peary by the Navy Department. They expect to be in camp, as indicated, by the last week in July, when the staunch “Falcon,” a sealing steamer which carries them, will land the expedition and return to Newfoundland. The months of August and September, all they will have before the Arctic night sets in, will be utilized in three ways: a party will be sent inland over the ice-cap with a large store of provisions, which will be stored as far to the north as possible, to await the expedition of the ensuing spring; another party, under Lieutenant Peary himself, will make a careful survey of Inglefield Gulf, which is of rare scientific interest on account of the tremendous glaciers which discharge into it; and a third party will busy itself hunting reindeer and other game to supply the expedition with fresh meat.

By November 1, 1893, they will go into winter quarters, all occupying a single house, which will be made as comfortable as possible. During the five or six months of darkness, scientific work will be carried on, including a thorough study of Esquimo habits and institutions. Clothing will be made of reindeer skins, and, in general, preparations be completed for the advance over the ice-cap. Lieutenant Peary hopes to start the sledges northward early in March, thus gaining two months on the start made in ’92. The season of ’94 will be spent in advancing as rapidly as possible to the northern extremity of Greenland, to Independence Bay, discovered by Lieutenant Peary in his recent expedition. At this point the party will divide, several men being detailed to explore the northeastern coast of Greenland as far to the south as Cape Bismarck, while Lieutenant Peary with two picked men will push across the fjord separating Greenland from the land beyond, and will advance thence still farther to the north, as circumstances may direct. It is probable that Lieutenant Peary will spend the winter of ’94 to ’95 somewhere in the neighborhood of northernmost Greenland, very probably in the most extreme northern latitude in which any white man has wintered. In the spring of ’95, or as soon as the season will permit, he will make a further and final advance, leaving time enough for the party to return to Inglefield Gulf before the fall. There a relief ship will be in waiting to carry the expedition 157 back to New York with the results of their explorations.

So much for Lieutenant Peary’s time-table; now for what he hopes to accomplish.

To begin with, the party expect to attain the highest north ever reached by any Arctic expedition. The present record is held by the Greely expedition, two members of which reached 83° 24´ north latitude. The farthest north reached by Lieutenant Peary in his last expedition was 82° north latitude, which is some eighty-four geographical miles south of the point reached by Lieutenant Lockwood of the Greely party. Then, as already mentioned, a complete survey will be made of Inglefield Gulf, and also of the entirely unknown stretch of land on the northeastern coast of Greenland, between Independence Bay and Cape Bismarck.

In addition to this, the main object of the expedition is to make a complete map of the land lying to the north of Greenland, or, rather, the Archipelago, for it is believed that this region is occupied by an extensive group of islands. Unfortunately there is reason for thinking that the lofty ice-cap which will allow the explorers to reach the northernmost point of Greenland by sledging over the inland ice does not continue in the same way over the islands to the north of Greenland. Both Lieutenant Peary in his observations on the east, and Lieutenant Lockwood on the west, remarked that the land stretching away to the north was in many places bare of ice and snow, and rugged in its character. One reason for this absence of an inland ice-cap here is the fact that these islands to the north lie low in the ocean compared with mountainous Greenland. Hence, in the summer, which is the only season when an advance would be possible, the ice and snow melt to a great extent and leave the land bare. Now in case Lieutenant Peary finds that there is no continuous ice on this northern land, he will skirt around the shore on the ice of the open sea, for this is present winter and summer alike. It is likely that such an advance over the ice-pack will be attended by very serious difficulties, the ice being heaped up in broken and uneven surfaces, with mountains and chasms to baffle the party. There may also be spaces of open water where boats or rafts will have to be used instead of sledges. At any rate, the advance will be made as far as possible, and the land to the north of Greenland studied and mapped as far as may be.

It is not the purpose of the expedition to seek the North Pole itself. They may and very probably will get nearer to the Pole than anyone has hitherto done. Lieutenant Peary is confident that he will make the farthest north, and General Greely is inclined to admit this, and told me some days ago in Washington that he should not be surprised if Lieutenant Peary reached 85° north latitude. In any event, an approach to the North Pole will be an incident in the expedition, and not its main object.

Several important considerations make it probable that Lieutenant Peary’s present expedition will attain a considerable measure of success. In the first place, in starting from Bowdoin Bay instead of from Redcliffe House, there will be a gain of forty miles rough hauling, which meant in the recent expedition two weeks’ valuable time. From Bowdoin Bay, the party will be able to climb to the inland ice-cap by the shortest and easiest possible route. The fact that an abundant supply of provisions will be sent ahead during the present summer will be a great advantage, and will do away with the necessity of a supporting party such as was employed on the last expedition. To save the carrying of a ton or so of provisions for even a hundred miles is a matter of great importance. Lieutenant Peary expects to make a further saving in time by choosing a course midway between the one taken on his last journey to Independence Bay and the one taken on his return journey. These two courses, it will be remembered, were unsatisfactory, because in the advance to Independence Bay he went too far to the west and was caught in immense fissures and depressions leading to the glaciers, while on the return journey he 158 went so far to the east that the great elevation above the sea level, often eight thousand feet or more, made it difficult to find the way or take observations on account of perpetual fogs. Now he proposes to avoid the two extremes, and to search for an easier course in a happy medium. A still greater gain in time will be made by starting the expedition early in March, 1894, instead of waiting until May, as was the case before.

A novel feature of the expedition, and one that will be of great service, it is believed, in hauling the loads, will be the use of pack horses in addition to the dog teams. Lieutenant Peary, during his recent western trip, secured a number of hardy burros in Colorado, which he believes will be able to endure the Arctic winter. At any rate, they will be very valuable in carrying the advance provisions this present season, and on a pinch they can be turned into steaks. It has been found possible to fit snow shoes to the hoofs of these pack horses, so as to allow them to advance as rapidly as the dogs. An experiment similar to this has been tried in Norway, where ponies have been used successfully on snow, and also in Alaska.

As to the size of the exploring party, it will be small, comprising not more than ten men in all, and several of these will be left behind at the winter quarters. Lieutenant Peary fully realizes that an exploring party is no stronger than the weakest of its members, and will take along with him only men whose endurance and loyalty have been fully demonstrated. From the winter camp the line of advance will be Independence Bay, where the party will divide, Lieutenant Peary pushing on to the north, and his other men exploring southward to Cape Bismarck. From that point the latter party will be instructed to return to the winter camp directly across Greenland. There is no human way of knowing how Lieutenant Peary will return.

One question which will occur to anxious friends of the explorer is, how Lieutenant Peary and his two companions will live during the winter of ’94 and ’95, at the northernmost point of Greenland, where the foot of man has never trod, and where no supplies could reach them. The answer to this question is, that the party will take with them a very large supply of dried meat and other necessaries, and that they count on finding musk oxen in the region where they will camp. In his previous expedition, Lieutenant Peary killed five of these musk oxen near Independence Bay, and he saw many others. With such a supply of fresh meat, and with abundant means of protecting themselves against the cold, there is no reason why the party may not live through the winter without serious danger or even extraordinary discomfort. Leigh Smith was able to pass a winter on Franz-Josef Land under much less favorable conditions.

In a general way it may be said, in conclusion, that the present Peary expedition starts out with bright prospects. Advantage has been taken of errors and oversights made by others in the past. Dangers and difficulties have been foreseen, and will be guarded against. A sensible, and to a great extent feasible, plan of advance has been adopted. In a word, everything would seem to have been done to prevent the recurrence of one of those wretched tragedies which have stained and saddened the records of Arctic exploration.

Editor’s Note.—The expedition of Lieutenant Peary is undertaken at his own expense, with the aid of voluntary subscriptions.

Contributions from one dollar up may be sent to Professor Angelo Heilprin, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



By W. H. Gilder.
Author of “Schwatka’s Search,” “Ice Pack and Tundra,” etc.

On the Fourth of July, 1879, after a long and tedious journey over territory never before crossed by man, I stood with Lieutenant Schwatka on Cape Felix, the most northern point of King William’s Land.

Looking in the direction of the Isthmus of Boothia, not more than twenty miles to the eastward, across the frozen surface of McClintock Channel, we could see the snow-covered hills of Cape Adelaide, radiant with all the tints of the rainbow, in the light of the midnight sun. It was there that, nearly half a century before, Sir James Ross had located the North Magnetic Pole. The place is invested with deep interest to all explorers, but, with us, the pleasure was mitigated by the knowledge that we were entirely devoid of instruments with which to improve the opportunity of either verifying the work already done or continuing it upon the same line of research.

Ever since that time I have been strongly imbued with the desire to return to that field of labor with a party of observers properly equipped to make an exhaustive search through that storehouse of hidden knowledge.

About three years ago I brought the subject uppermost in my mind to the attention of Professor T. C. Mendenhall, Superintendent of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, in Washington, and to that of his assistant, Professor Charles A. Schott, in charge of the computing division of that bureau. From the first both of these gentlemen have been strong advocates of such an expedition.


“The importance of a redetermination of the geographical position of the North Magnetic Pole,” said Professor Mendenhall, in a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury written at that time, “has long been recognized by all interested in the theory of the earth’s magnetism or its application. The point as determined by Ross in the early part of this century was not located with that degree of accuracy which modern science demands and permits, and, besides, it is altogether likely that its position is not a fixed one. Our knowledge of the secular variation of the magnetic needle would be greatly increased by better information concerning this Magnetic Pole, and, in my judgment, it would be the duty of the Government to offer all possible encouragement to any suitably organized exploring expedition which might undertake to seek for this information.”

Acting upon a further recommendation 160 in this letter, the Secretary of the Treasury requested the President of the National Academy of Sciences to appoint a committee of its members, or others familiar with the difficult problems involved, “to formulate a plan or scheme for carrying out a systematic search for the North Magnetic Pole, and kindred work,” and such a committee was subsequently appointed, with Professor S. P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as chairman.


The work proposed by this expedition has attracted the attention and held the interest of scientists everywhere, and material aid from several scientific bodies has already been pledged toward the securing of the necessary funds for transporting the party to the field of its labors, and its maintenance while at work there.

The observers will be selected from among the officers of the United States Navy attached to the Coast Survey, who have had special training in magnetic field work. That bureau will also provide the necessary instruments, but, in the absence of any appropriation that could be applied to the transportation and maintenance of the party in the field, the funds for that purpose have to be obtained by the voluntary contribution of those with means and inclination to aid so important an enterprise.

Said the late Professor Trowbridge of Columbia College, in a lecture upon the data to be obtained by this expedition for subsequent expert discussion, “We are living in an epoch in the world’s history when man is struggling for a higher and more perfect life, not only against the degrading tendencies of his inherited nature, but to make the forces of nature subservient to his advancement and well being. Among these forces there are none which seem to affect or control the conditions of animal life on the earth more than heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, all, perhaps, the manifestations of one cosmical agent. As the variations of the magnetic force appear to follow lesser and greater cycles, it is not impossible that nearly all terrestrial phenomena, which depend on causes allied to magnetism, follow similar cycles. We can now predict the course of storms; may we not hope to determine their origin and predict their recurrence, as far as they depend upon the forces which have been mentioned? A knowledge of the laws of the cycles through which these forces pass is the first and only step in this direction to be taken, and this step must be made by patient, long-continued observations.”


An immediate practical use of the observations to be made is their application 161 to the correction of compass errors. Every one can see that such work as tends to render the mariner’s compass a more reliable instrument must be of immediate and direct benefit, not only to the sailor, but to the surveyor on land.

Admitting that the observations of such an expedition as that to the North Magnetic Pole will be of scientific and general value, it remains to explain something of the personnel of the party, how the work is to be conducted, and by what route it will reach the field of its labor.

Besides the two observers of terrestrial magnetism to be supplied by the Coast Survey, there will be a physician fitted by education and habits of study to take charge of some scientific portion of the work, in which he will be specially instructed by the Superintendent of the Coast Survey or his assistant. There will also be three sailors selected from the whaling fleet, who will have charge of the three whale boats belonging to the outfit, and act as assistants to the several observers. The writer of this article, by reason of his experience in Arctic travel, will have charge of the expedition in all except the scientific work, the reports on which will be turned over directly to the officers of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey for reduction and discussion upon the return of the party from the field.

The scheme of work has already been prepared by Professor Charles A. Schott, who is looked upon as probably the best informed on all the details of terrestrial magnetism of all men in this or any other country. In the course of his exhaustive report upon this subject he says: “The magnetic observations proper will comprise the measure of the three elements, the declination, the dip, and the intensity, which fully define the magnetic force at a place. The measures will be partly absolute and partly differential, and will be considered under two heads; those to be taken while travelling, and those to be attended to at winter quarters.” Detailed instructions for this work are given which are too technical to be interesting except to the specialist. He recommends that a single cocoon thread carrying a sewing needle shall be used to observe the declination where by proximity to the Magnetic Pole the horizontal force is weak. For it must be borne in mind that the Magnetic Pole is the point where the vertical force, called “dip,” is greatest—represented by 90°—while the horizontal force, called “declination,” is 0°.


The observations for dip, naturally the most important of the survey, will be made with a Kew Dip Circle employing two needles; the usual reversals of circle, face, and polarity should be attended to at each station, to place the instrument in the plane of the magnetic meridian. The usual method of finding the plane of the meridian will probably not answer in that part of the world for want of sufficient accuracy; the direction of the magnetic 162 meridian should, therefore, be taken as indicated by the delicately suspended needle of the declination instrument, and, where this method fails, dip observations should be made in any two planes 90° apart, of which the first plane is preferably that of the meridian as guessed at.

It is proposed to charter a steam whaler to take the party from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to the northern part of Repulse Bay, which, being directly connected with Hudson’s Bay, is the nearest point to the pole-containing area that is accessible any year. There a permanent station is to be erected where regular observations will be continued all the time and from which each spring a field party (perhaps two) will start to locate the geographical position of the pole.


It may be well to repeat that the Magnetic Pole is that point where the needle of the dip circle is absolutely vertical—where it stands at exactly 90° to the plane of the horizon.

To find this unknown spot the observer follows as nearly as possible the direction indicated by the delicately poised needle of the declinometer. The magnetic meridian is not always a straight line, and may therefore indicate a very circuitous route, but by a system something like the regular approaches to a besieged fort one may be certain of arriving there eventually.

For instance, when the needle indicates a dip of 89° the stations should be nearer together—say not farther apart than twenty miles, if possible, and these intervals should be less as the dip increases.

Suppose the observer to have reached a point where the dip is found to be 89° 30´, and at the next station he has 89° 35´, at the next 89° 40´. At the next he may find only 89° 37´; he then returns to where he found the greatest dip and starts off at right angles, one way or the other, to that course. As long as the dip continues to increase, he knows he is travelling in the right direction. When it again decreases he returns to the point of his last greatest dip and travels at right angles to his last course as long as the dip increases. In this way he will eventually see the absolute verticity of the suspended needle marked and know he has reached the North Magnetic Pole at last. Sir James Ross did not succeed so well, the needle marking only 89° 59´ of verticity. But as this would indicate that he was within one and a quarter to two miles of the point sought, he was justified in feeling elated at his success.

It is believed, however, that with the improved instruments of the present day, and in the light of our increased knowledge of terrestrial magnetism, absolute accuracy is now demanded. These observations will have to be repeated from time to time until at last we shall know with certainty whether or not the North Magnetic Pole is a fixed or movable point, and if it is found to move, the direction and rate of that motion shall be positively determined.



By Rudyard Kipling.

King Solomon drew merchantmen

Because of his desire

For peacocks, apes, and ivory

From Tarshish unto Tyre:

And Drake he sacked La Guayra,

So stout of heart was he;

But we be only sailormen

That use upon the sea.

Coastwise—cross-seas—round the world and back again,

Where the flaw shall head us or the full trade suits!

Plain-sail—storm-sail—lay your board and tack again—

And that’s the way we pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!

Now we have come to youward

To walk beneath the trees,

And see the folk that live on land

And ride in carriages.

Oh, sure they must be silly gulls

That do with pains desire

To build a house that cannot move

Of stones and sticks and mire.

We bring no store of ingots,

Of gold or precious stones,

But that we have we gathered

With sweat and aching bones:

In flame beneath the tropics,

In frost upon the floe,

And jeopardy of every wind

That does between them go.

And some we got by purchase,

And some we had by trade,

And some we took by courtesy

Of pike and carronade,

At midnight, ’mid sea meetings

For charity to keep,

And light the rolling homeward bound

That rode a foot too deep.


By sport of bitter weather

We’re walty, strained, and scarred

From the kentledge of the kelson

To the slings upon the yard.

Six oceans had their will of us

To carry all away—

Our galley’s in the Baltic,

And our boom’s in Mossel Bay!

We’ve floundered off the Texel,

Awash with sodden deals,

We’ve slipped from Valparaiso

With the Norther at our heels:

We’ve ratched beyond the Crossets

That tusk the Southern Pole,

And dipped our gunnels under

To the dread Agulhas’ roll.

Beyond all outer chartings

We sailed where none have sailed,

And saw the land-lights burning

On islands none have hailed.

Our hair stood up for wonder,

But when the night was done

There rolled the deep to windward

Blue-empty ’neath the sun!

Strange consorts rode beside us

And brought us evil luck;

The witch-fire climbed our channels,

And danced on vane and truck:

Till, through the red tornado,

That lashed us nigh to blind,

We saw The Dutchman plunging,

Full canvas, head to wind!

We’ve heard the Midnight Leadsman

That calls the black deeps down—

Ay, thrice we heard The Swimmer,

The soul that may not drown.

On frozen bunt and gasket

The sleet-cloud drave her hosts,

When, manned by more than signed with us,

We passed the Isle o’ Ghosts!


And north, among the hummocks,

A biscuit-toss below,

We met the silent shallop

That frighted whalers know;

For down a bitter ice-lane,

That opened as he sped,

We saw dead Henry Hudson

Steer, North by West, his dead.

So dealt God’s waters with us

Beneath the roaring skies,

So walked His signs and marvels

All naked to our eyes:

But we were heading homeward

With trade to lose or make—

Good Lord, they slipped behind us

In the tailing of our wake!

Let go, let go the anchors;

Now shamed at heart are we

To bring so poor a cargo home

That had for gift the sea!

Let go—let go the anchors—

Ah, fools were we and blind—

The worst we saved with bitter toil,

The best we left behind!

Coastwise—cross-seas—round the world and back again,

Where the flaw shall fail us or the trades drive down:

Plain-sail—storm-sail—lay your board and tack again—

And all to bring a cargo into London Town!



By W. Morton Fullerton.

When Taine died, people whom his books had interested felt a sudden longing to say all that they had been thinking about his famous theory of the “milieu.” Taine had been, with Renan, the chief literary medium of thought in France; but while Renan was altogether useful, caring as he did more for his method than for its results, Taine, with his imperative and beautiful consistency, imposed on the younger generation a habit of applying the principle of environment which was somewhat lacking in criticism. No one but an artist of his surprising agility and perceptions could have made such a method so universal. The French wilfully attain clearness by defect of vision, but this is the same thing as saying that they attain plausibility at the expense of truth. Taine died, and the thing we lacked courage to say to his face we have all been saying now that he is safe and irresponsible, as well as unresponsive, in the earth.

An inevitable way, undoubtedly, to be assured of the insufficiency of Taine’s method is to read Taine’s books; and the first book of all, the “Essay on La Fontaine,” is, I may insert the observation, as conclusive as the last in this respect. But in order to obtain the conviction that what the critic can get to know of the environing conditions of any product, human or other, does not explain that product, one needs not go to Taine’s books; one has only to apply it to the things and people one knows best. The result will be unsatisfactory. The critic will find a thousand elements in that particular product’s individuality thus left unexplained; in a word, the theory is one natural, no doubt, to the Olympians, who see all things; but impracticable for men who, even at their best, see only very little. Apply it to yourself; apply it to your friends. Apply it to the person of whom I am going to speak, to M. de Blowitz, the Paris correspondent of an English newspaper, the “Times.” The act will result in a failure, a scientific failure, whatever the artistic success. Yet M. de Blowitz is a very remarkable human fact; and that a philosophic or critical method cannot be applied to him with triumph, for both him and the method—is this not of itself a consideration extraordinary enough to vitiate the whole method? A much more important thing to know than what determined this or that product, whether it be the Book of Judges, or the Panama trial, or M. Taine, or M. de Blowitz, is what they themselves determined; what followed, because of their existence; and though this be reasoning in a dizzy circle, I cling to the remark as 167 a not unapt way to introduce my subject. A chief reason why M. de Blowitz is worth considering is, that he is and always has been a producer himself, a fact pregnant with a thousand others, rather than the resultant of many vague facts that have gone before. Most of us must be content with being, comparatively speaking, only results. M. de Blowitz, prodigious result as he is, is even more striking as initiator, as himself the creator of a special environment, as himself in his own way a “final cause.”


Cosmopolite in a world becoming rapidly no larger than the tiniest of the asteroids, M. de Blowitz is one of those who have most contributed to this planetary shrinkage. His career is a continual and entertaining illustration of the truth that tact can render even tolerance successful. For he is the most amiable, the most tolerant of men, and yet he has blazed a wide path through the woodland of warring interests in which every man who seeks to succeed runs risk, not only of losing his way, but of setting all the other denizens of the forest against him. Ordinarily, success implies that a man is a man of only one idea. What Frenchman said: “Truth is a wedge that makes its way only by being struck”? I have forgotten. At all events, isn’t the remark nine times out of ten true? But M. de Blowitz could apply for the honor of being the proverbial exception. His workshop is full of wedges, and a more impatient man would have used up all of them long ago, after having hammered the battered tops into a condition of splay disfigurement. M. de Blowitz does not do this. He knew and knows a better way. He can afford to wait. He likes to wait. He has the good and amiable heart of a man who, like Odysseus, has seen many men and countries, and knows that all things—I include even people who are “bores”—have a point of view that may be rendered interesting. Himself one of the most individualized of contemporary institutions, his own career is a 168 standing argument against the sacredness of the idea of institutions. Yet, though he has inevitably learned how relative things in general are, he himself appeals to his friends as unusually self-contained and absolute. Diplomatist among diplomatists, he is more powerful than any of them, because he works in the interest of the whole rather than in that of a part. Loyal absolutely to the “Times,” which, to its accidental honor, has entangled him, the “Times” is, at its best, only the accidental projection, a kind of chronic double, of himself. His letters are kind attentions which have the air of a continual favor. Though better recompensed than favors sometimes are, and though, whatever their contents, they will be read by everybody, this is not only because what the author writes is important, but because he does not write when he has nothing to say.


This reticence is superb, and one of its practical results has been the remarkable physical vigor of this man who is after all no longer young. One should see him in his country home. M. de Blowitz went up and down the north coast of France, hunting for an eyry. He found it on the wooded top of one of the side slopes of the thousand and one ravines in which fishermen along that coast had fixed their cabins, at the small hamlet of Les Petites Dalles. Like Alphonse Karr at Etretat, he made the fame of this spot. Your guide-book will tell you the fact. “M. de Blowitz, correspondent of the English newspaper the ‘Times,’ has a villa here.” I defy you to find any other distinction special to this place. The high Normandy coast is always charming, but it is equally so at a hundred other points. And of what charm there is here simply as village, M. Blowitz’s presence would seem to threaten the partial extinction. For this very presence is rendering the spot famous and crowded. Sit in the afternoon listening to the three violins that provide the music, and, taking your absinthe on one of those hard benches within the narrow limits of the space there called Casino, you will run the risk of overhearing a conversation like this:

“This is your first summer here?”

“Yes, came last night. I am tired of Pau, and thought I could bury myself here. But there’s too much world.”

“Yes, but what a world it is!”

“Oh, I don’t mind that! They say there’s enough society in the villas. Since de Blowitz built the Lampottes and has brought his friends down, there are some people très bien de la meilleure société on the cliffs. That’s the place up there, the house with the flag above all the others. I walked up there this morning. He has a tennis court. Looking up the gravel walk, I saw him sitting on the veranda. That’s M. Ernest Daudet’s place just under him in the trees—mais voilà; there he is.”

Towards three o’clock in the afternoon, indeed, almost daily, M. de Blowitz has an amiable habit. He walks down with members of his family, and the guests who are staying with him, to the pretty bathing-cabins, in front of which stretches an improvised awning, and, picturesque in his colored flannels, he sits himself down with a cigar to watch the bathers. He, the most distinguished of European critics, is here and now the object of many curious and admiring observations. He holds here a little court on the shingle beach. Brightly dressed women gather to him from every point of the compass; while he who has his emissaries in every quarter of the world, and whose subtle influence is felt at each episode of the European movement, gives himself up with pardonable indulgence—under the ample umbrella—to the pretty trifles of glib women’s charm and chatter. Before he has enjoyed enough, and obedient to one of those harmless devices in which well-taught men of the world often indulge, he retires from this charmed and, as I can affirm, charming circle, and climbs to the great villa on the cliff. There are letters to be written and telegrams to be sent to Paris, and perhaps an article meditated during the afternoon.



The doors of the Lampottes are wide open upon the great veranda, and the winds of the channel enter there, warmed from blowing over the upland grass. The life within is the ideally tranquil existence of an English country gentleman. Where did this cosmopolite, who really has no English roots, learn the system? For the hospitality of England can scarcely be translated with full flavor into any other idiom. The schloss of Germany or of the Tyrol, the chateau of France, have never, within my experience of lazy summers, afforded just the same delightful background as the country house of England. Yet to the Lampottes the peculiar air has somehow been conjured. All the country round about this house is Norman, and therefore English—that is, dense, rich, familiar—so that the English illusion is complete. But no reader of M. de Blowitz’s correspondence 170 in the “Times” would ever have thought of placing the author in these surroundings. The raconteur of the reminiscences in “Harper’s Magazine” must appeal to the American reader as a sort of bustling incarnation of the ubiquitous telegraph, unwearied, and knowing not even in his dreams the first soothing tremor of the sound of the word “rest.” On the contrary, M. de Blowitz rests frequently and smiles quietly. Large himself, he likes large air, large rooms, large landscapes, large and general ideas. And what contributes to all this more than rest, which gives time to think? It is a generous and natural temper, and that is why the great doors from the veranda are open to the channel winds.

Although M. de Blowitz wears in his buttonhole, in bright contrast to the famous flowing tie, the rosette of the French Legion of Honor, he is not in race a Frenchman; yet he is sufficiently French in two conspicuous characteristics. The French strike me as being, with the Americans, the most naturally intelligent people on the western part of the planet. But the Frenchman is also bon enfant, and for the moment I do not stop to consider that he always remains enfant. To be intelligent and bon enfant at once is to promise all kinds of successes in life, and to be both is to make success charming. M. de Blowitz is both. He has been, therefore, a charming success. The nature of this success defies analysis, but as a result can be described.


It is now more than twenty years since a young man appeared before the enthusiast, Laurence Oliphant, then correspondent of the English “Times,” and rendered himself so indispensable to Oliphant that the latter, with the quixotic temper peculiar to him, felt it, I believe, a moral duty to abdicate. This young man had already so distinguished himself at Marseilles, during Communal riots there, as to attract the attention and merit the gratitude of Thiers. Justly rating his powers as a diplomatist, and knowing himself to be an indefatigable worker, he conceived the notion of becoming a sort of general self-accredited representative to every European Court, and of inducing the “Times” to afford him an organ of communication with his diplomatic rivals everywhere. The “Times” is the secluded pool into which England loves to gaze when it plays the rôle of Narcissus. And when Narcissus-England admires itself therein, that is, once a day the year round, it not only sees the healthy, beaming, determined visage of John Bull, but notes with approval his quiet expression of patience and caution, his willingness to wait. The “Times” kept M. de Blowitz waiting for some time before it found him as relatively indispensable as he really was, and always has been since; but finally the moment came when M. de Blowitz, seated before his desk, could feel himself more than the equal of his diplomatist confrères. Statesman he was not, nor ambassador; for these words imply limitations, a condition of responsibility to this or that state. But diplomatist he was, and in this entire class of men he was the most powerful of all; for he found himself in the position of critic, unattached, of the European movement, owing allegiance to no country, although sought out by the representatives of all. What position save that of the Pope afforded a more enviable outlook? The chances were undoubtedly all on the side of his playing the great rôle which the happy coincidence of an unusually exciting time in Europe, and his own activity, tact and perception, combined to create for him. He has himself lately been telling us in an American magazine some of the episodes in which he played his part. I will not dilute the flavor of the original by any individual essence of my own. The reminiscences are accessible and are not to be imitated. But to the reader of them one fact above all others will be evident: M. de Blowitz was and is a diplomatist of the first order. Seek to explain the eternal hatred felt towards him by a Prince Bismarck on any other ground. The attempt is impossible.



Whatever M. de Blowitz’s loyalty to the “Times,” he has been loyal above all to his own ideal. This ideal has always been to get at the most political truth possible as a condition of exerting an individual influence on European states in the interest of European peace. To me, individually, this ideal seems rather too generous. Everybody now-a-days wants to take a part in affairs, when only to look on is surely the one wise part to take. But generous M. de Blowitz is, and he is demonstrating now, in a series of “recollections,” that his ideal can be carried out in a striking way. I do not deny for a moment that the point is proven. I doubt very much, however, if any other similar series of facts will ever be marshalled to the same end. But all the more reason for being belongs, just for this cause, to the “Blowitziana.”


The “Blowitziana”! This, however, is just what some of us feel more inspired, than at liberty, to give. I recall here, over this paper, too many things at once; and all the impressions, seeing M. de Blowitz as I do continually, fortunately lack perspective. But to note this and that about him seems in a way as much a duty as a pleasure, for I remember well that my original notion of this remarkable man was widely different from that which began to form in my mind once I knew him. I don’t think that people who hear about him, people who read his name in the newspapers, the average citizen of the world who doesn’t know him personally, have quite the right idea about him. During the last twenty years he has obtained a reputation for being the most persistent ferreter of news in existence; but in many minds there is distrust whenever, over his signature, some unexpected revelation comes to change the key in the European concert. Perhaps an unlooked-for document 172 is published, interrupting the plans of European statesmen, bringing to nothing all their most elaborate scheming; and on the morrow, by some official source, comes a denial that any such document was ever dreamed of. It is obviously impracticable for M. de Blowitz to give his proofs, and this or that unthinking reader, used to a thousand irresponsible writers who care only for what is sensational, and who never verify their information, hurriedly relegates the disclosure of the “Times” correspondent to the same category. This is natural enough, of course. But let there be no mistake. The revelation was worthy of the name; of this you may be sure. M. de Blowitz has done all that he intended to do. He has nipped in the bud this or that diplomatic scheme; he has anticipated some subsequent further revelation; or it may be he has laid the net for some other and less wary diplomatist. The diplomatists themselves are not so incredulous. They listen to what M. de Blowitz is saying with a more respectful attention, and, thinking discretion the better part of valor, they usually end in bringing their mite to his universal diplomatic bureau. Upon his discretion they know they can count.

Here is a fact in point. Breakfasting once in Paris with an amiable lady and a very distinguished diplomatist who was also a poet, the conversation fell on the subject of M. de Blowitz and Count Munster who had recently been the object of a long-resounding letter in the “Times.” The diplomatist who sat opposite me spoke freely of the Munster episode, which was then entertaining the whole of Europe, save the person most concerned.

“M. de Blowitz,” said he, “is our only peer. But there should be honor even among thieves. He has ‘cooked Count Munster’s goose.’”

“Yes,” I replied, “but with fuel of Count Munster’s own providing.”

“Quite so,” he continued; “but of course we are paid to deny just such things as this. And I have heard of licensed jesters, but the world has come to a pretty pass if we are to be at the mercy of licensed truth-tellers. What will become, this side of the Orient, of our profession?”

“I agree with you,” interrupted our host; “but what does it matter so only diplomacy may be the bay-leaves of poets, and you may have time to take the world into your confidence in verse?”

This estimate, implied in the ambassador’s somewhat cynical words, has always been shared by all M. de Blowitz’s confrères. It would be more than amusing, it would be curiously instructive, to corroborate this anecdote by comparison with the hundred others that tremble in the ink of my pen. But fortunately it is many years before “Blowitziana” will be written, while now there are Hawaii and Panama and the Papal ambassador to the United States to occupy our attention. Yet because of the existence of just this assurance in the foreign offices of all the European powers, it seems necessary to set the average reader on his guard against a natural error. What it all comes to is this—M. Jules Simon has said it—“Newspapers are better served than kings and peoples.”

Everybody has been recently talking of an extraordinary scheme of M. de Blowitz for the reformation of journalism. That article, crackling with anathema against the ignorance and irresponsibility of most modern journalism, and warm with generous and high notions of what constitutes the duty and privilege of the journalist, had about it a surprising flavor of detachment and idealism which recalled the famous Utopian schemes familiar in the pedantic idiom of scholars. It was a dream, a warning—a vision of a kind of journalistic “City of God.” But the air of that city is, after all, the air of the world in which M. de Blowitz, the most surprisingly unprofessional of men, seems eternally to live.

Not that he is always an idealist. He was not, for instance, when, jumping the wall at Versailles after a dinner to the Shah of Persia, he outwitted every journalist in the palace garden, and, as he says, “made five enemies in a single well-employed evening.” No, even the most ubiquitous of American reporters would admit that he may be practical 173 enough when need be. But after all, and above all, he is an idealist, marked by a distinguished imagination and an amiable and generous sympathy. No journalistic tag is on him. He is simply a gentleman with the widest interests and uncommon capacities who succeeded in convincing the “Times” (this, of itself, is surely by way of being a vrai coup de maître), and then every other intelligent observer, of his power and usefulness. He has his own philanthropic ends, for the propagation of which it pleases him to have so esteemed a medium as the “Times.”


The people who come to see him—the deputies, the ministers, the ambassadors, the writers, the artists, the simple gens du monde—come more often not to his office, but to his warm and hospitable home. Here, in one of the streets that wind about the Star Arch at the head of the Champs Élysées, he receives all the world, rather as the charming gentleman than the historic journalist de Blowitz. The centre—I must add the admired centre—of a devoted family circle, he discourses at his dinner-table of the serious events of the day, volubly, picturesquely, and with conviction. Yet he is always ready to listen, and even to alter his opinions at a moment’s notice, though that notice must be good. While he himself makes the coffee, the talk becomes less exacting and more general. Often he tells you of his pictures, and points out to you the panels set into the wall of the room, works of his friends, great canvases by M. Clairin or Mme. Sarah Bernhardt; and one, a sunny view of the Norman house on the cliff, by M. Duphot. After dinner in the private study, with its high walls covered with paintings and souvenirs and autograph photographs of the greatest names of France, you smoke in the arms of your easy-chair, the wood fire burning brightly in an ample chimney; while your host, propped by divan cushions, and with one leg curled under him, drops grandly into pleasant reminiscences. One has visions of Bagdad. After an hour like this, you wonder when M. de Blowitz works. But he has been working all the time. He has been thinking in one half of a very capacious brain and talking from another. The chances are that he will have planned a column article for the “Times” newspaper, left you for a half hour to rummage in his books while he dictates the article, telephoned for his carriage to await him at nine o’clock in the court below, and asked you to accompany him to the opera—all before he has finished his cigar. But then the cigar is a remarkably good one, and knows not, as is the case with ambassadorial nicotine, the protective customs of France.

Life means to M. de Blowitz a mental activity and alertness that never sleep. Yet he is always amiable, tolerating everything except stupidity. He is a journalist by “natural selection.” But that, in the Europe of his time, and given the accidents of his fortune, made him the diplomatist that he has been and is. He can keep a secret as well as tell one. I repeat, he disproves that masterly theory of Taine, who drove facts like wild horses into a corral in order, having lassoed them, to tame them to his own uses; for, like Taine himself, he has made his own milieu, created his own series of facts, far more truly even than he is himself the striking and delightful resultant of others that have gone before.




By Doctor William Wright.

The Brontë novels were first read and admired in the Ballynaskeagh manse. This statement I am able to make with fulness of knowledge. “Jane Eyre” was read, cried over, laughed over, argued over, condemned, exalted, by the Reverend David McKee, his brilliant children and numerous pupils, before the author was known publicly in England, or a single review of the work had appeared.

The Reverend W. J. McCracken, an old pupil of the Ballynaskeagh manse, writes me on this point:

“You have no doubt heard Mr. McKee’s[2] opinion as to the source of Charlotte’s genius. When Charlotte Brontë published one of her books, there was always an early copy sent to the uncles and aunts in Ballynaskeagh. As they had little taste for such literature, the book was sent straight over to our dear old friend Mr. McKee. If it pleased him, the Brontës would be in raptures with their niece, and triumphantly say to their neighbors, ‘Mr. McKee thinks her very cliver.’

“I well remember Mr. McKee reading one of Charlotte’s novels, and, in his own inimitable way, making the remark: ‘She is just her Uncle Jamie over the world. Just Jamie’s strong, powerful, direct way of putting a thing.’”

Mrs. McKee, now living in New Zealand, writes me: “My husband had early copies of the novels from the Brontës, and he pronounced them to be Brontë in warp and woof, before ‘Currer Bell’ was publicly known to be Charlotte Brontë. He held that the stories not only showed the Brontë genius and style, but that the facts were largely reminiscences of the Brontë family. He recognized many of the characters as founded largely on old Hugh’s yarns, polished into literature. When ‘Jane Eyre’ came into the hands of the uncles they were troubled as to its character, but they were very grateful to my husband for his good opinion of its ability. He pronounced it a remarkable and brilliant work, before any of the reviews appeared.”

In addition to the five hundred pounds that Smith, Elder & Co. paid Charlotte Brontë for the copyright of each of her novels, they sent half a dozen copies direct to herself. The book was published on October 16th, and ten days later Charlotte thus acknowledged receipt of the copies:

October 26, 1847.

Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co.:

Gentlemen: The six copies of ‘Jane Eyre’ reached me this morning. You have given the work every advantage which good paper, clear type and a seemly outside can supply; if it fails, the fault will lie with the author—you are exempt. I now await the judgment of the press and the public. I am, gentlemen,

“Yours respectfully,

C. Bell.

Charlotte Brontë’s friends were not numerous, and she was most anxious that none of the few should find out that she was the author. In the distribution of even her six copies, she would most likely send one to her friends in Ireland. When the volumes 175 arrived in Ireland, there was no room for doubt as to the authorship of “Jane Eyre.” The Brontës had no other friend in England to send them books. They themselves neither wrote nor read romances. They lived them.

It was well known to the family that the clever brother in England had very clever daughters. Patrick was a constant correspondent with the home circle, and a not infrequent visitor. Their habits of study, their wonderful compositions, their education in Brussels, were steps in the ascending gradation of the girls, minutely communicated by the vicar to his only relatives, and fairly well understood in Ballynaskeagh. Something was expected.

That something caused blank disappointment. C(urrer) B(ell) was a thin disguise for C(harlotte) B(rontë), but it did not deceive the relatives. Why concealment if there was nothing discreditable to conceal? A very little reading convinced the uncles and aunts that concealment was necessary.

The book was not good like Willison’s “Balm of Gilead,” or like Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” It was neither history like Goldsmith, nor biography like Johnson, nor philosophy like Locke, nor theology like Edwards; but “a parcel of lies, the fruit of living among foreigners.”

The Irish Brontës had never before seen a book like “Jane Eyre”—three volumes of babble that would take a whole winter to read. They laid the work down in despair; but after a little, Hugh resolved to show it to Mr. McKee, the one man in the district whom he could trust.

The reputation of his nieces in England was dearer to Hugh Brontë than his own.

He tied up the three volumes in a red handkerchief, and called with them at the manse. Contrary to his usual custom, he asked if he could see Mr. McKee alone. The interview, of which my information comes from an eye-witness, took place in a large parlor, which contained a bed, and a central table on which Mr. McKee’s tea was spread.

Hugh Brontë began in a mysterious whisper to unfold his sad tale to Mr. McKee, as if his niece had been guilty of some serious indiscretion. Mr. McKee comforted him by suggesting that the book might not have been written by his niece at all. At this point Hugh Brontë was prevailed upon to draw up to the table to partake of the abundant tea that had been prepared for Mr. McKee, while the latter proceeded to examine the book. Brontë settled down in the most self-denying manner to dispose of the heap of bread and butter, and the pot of tea, while McKee went galloping over the pages of the first volume of “Jane Eyre,” oblivious to all but the fascinating story.

The afternoon wore on; Brontë sat at the table, watching the features of the reader as they changed from somber to gay, and from flinty fierceness to melting pathos.

When the servant went in to remove the tea things and light the candles, both men were sitting silent in the gloaming. McKee, roused from his state of abstraction, observed Brontë sitting at the débris and empty plates.

“Hughey,” he said, breaking the silence, “the book bears the Brontë stamp on every sentence and idea, and it is the grandest novel that has been produced in my time;” and then he added: “The child ‘Jane Eyre’ is your father in petticoats, and Mrs. Reed is the wicked uncle by the Boyne.”

The cloud passed from Hugh Brontë’s brow, and the apologetic tone from his voice. He started up as if he had received new life, wrung Mr. McKee’s hand, and hurried away comforted, to comfort others. Mr. McKee had said the novel was “gran” and that was enough for the Irish Brontës.

There was joy in the Brontë house when Hugh returned and reported to his brothers and sisters what Mr. McKee had said. They needed no further commendation, for they knew no higher court on such a matter. They had all been alarmed lest Charlotte had done something to be ashamed of; but on Mr. McKee’s approval, pride and elation of spirit succeeded depression and sinking of heart.

Mr. McKee’s opinion did not long 176 remain unconfirmed. Reviews from the English magazines were quoted in the Newry paper, probably by Mr. McKee, and found their way quickly into the uncles’ and aunts’ hands.

The publication of the book created a profound impression generally. It was felt in literary circles that a strong nature had broken through conventional restraints, that a fresh voice had delivered a new message. Men and women paused in the perusal of the pretty, the artificial, the inane, to listen to the wild story that had come to them with the breeze of the moorland and the bloom of the heather. And so exquisite was the gift of thought blended with the art of artless expression, that only the facts appeared in the transparent narrative.

“The Times” declared: “Freshness and originality, truth and passion, singular felicity in the description of natural scenery, and in the analyzation of human thought, enable this tale to stand boldly out from the mass.”

“The Edinburgh Review” said: “For many years there has been no work of such power, piquancy, and originality.”

“Blackwood’s Magazine” spoke thus: “‘Jane Eyre’ is an episode in this work-a-day world; most interesting, and touched at once by a daring and delicate hand.”

In “Frazer’s Magazine” Mr. G. H. Lewes said: “Reality—deep, significant reality—is the characteristic of the book. It is autobiography, not perhaps in the naked facts and circumstances, but in the actual suffering and experience.”

“Tait’s Magazine,” “The Examiner,” the “Athenæum,” and the “Literary Gazette,” followed in the same strain; while the “Daily News” spoke with qualified praise, and only the “Spectator,” according to Charlotte, was “flat.”

The club coteries paused, the literary log-rollers were nonplussed, and Thackeray sat reading instead of writing.

The interest in the story was intensified, inasmuch as no one knew whence had come the voice that had stirred all hearts. Nor did the interest diminish when the mystery was dispelled. On the contrary, it was much increased when it became known that the author was a little, shy, bright-eyed Yorkshire maiden, of Irish origin, who could scarcely reach up to great Thackeray’s arm, or reply unmoved to his simplest remark.

The Irish Brontës read the reviews of their niece’s book with intense delight. To them the pæans of praise were successive whiffs of pure incense. They had never doubted that they themselves were superior to their neighbors, and they felt quite sure that their niece Charlotte was superior to every other writer.

But the Brontës were not content to enjoy silently their niece’s triumph and fame. Their hearts were full, and overflowed from the lips. They had reached the period of decadence, and were often heard boasting of the illustrious Charlotte. Sometimes even they would read to uninterested and unappreciative listeners scraps of praise cut from the Newry papers, or supplied to them from English sources by Mr. McKee. The whole heaven of Brontë fame was bright and cloudless; suddenly the proverbial bolt fell from the blue.

“The Quarterly”[3] onslaught on “Jane Eyre” appeared, and all the good things that had been said were forgotten. The news travelled fast, and reached Ballynaskeagh. The neighbors, who cared little for what “The Times,” “Frazer,” “Blackwood,” and such periodicals said, had got hold of the “Quarterly” verdict in a very direct and simple form. The report went round the district like wild-fire that the “Quarterly Review” had said Charlotte Brontë, the vicar’s daughter, was a bad woman, and an outcast from her kind. The neighbors of the Brontës had very vague ideas as to what “The Quarterly” 177 might be, but I am afraid the one bad review gave them more piquant pleasure than all the good ones put together. In the changed atmosphere the uncles and aunts assumed their old unsocial and taciturn ways. When their acquaintances came, with simpering smiles, to sympathize with them, their gossip was cut short by the Brontës, who judged rightly that the sense of humiliation pressed lightly on their comforters.

In their sore distress they went to Mr. McKee. He was able to show them the “Review” itself. The reviewer had been speculating on the sex of Currer Bell, and, for effect, assumed that the author was a man, but he added:

“Whoever it be, it is a person who, with great mental power, combines a total ignorance of the habits of society, a great coarseness of taste, a heathenish doctrine of religion. For if we ascribe the work to a woman at all, we have no alternative but to ascribe it to one who has, from some sufficient reason, long forfeited the society of her sex.”

Mr. McKee’s reading of the review and words of comment gave no comfort to the Brontës. I am afraid his indignation at the cowardly attack only served to fan the flames of their wrath. The sun of his sympathy, however, touched their hearts, and their pent-up passion flowed down like a torrent of lava.

The uncles of Charlotte Brontë always expressed themselves, when roused, in language which combined simplicity of diction with depth of significance. Hugh was the spokesman. White with passion, the words hissing from his lips, he vowed to take vengeance on the traducer of his niece. The language of malediction rushed from him, hot and pestiferous, as if it had come from the bottomless pit, reeking with sulphur and brimstone.

Mr. McKee did not attempt to stem the wrathful torrent. He hoped that the storm would exhaust itself by its own fury. But in the case of Hugh Brontë the anger was not a mere thing of the passing storm. The scoundrel who had spoken of his niece as if she were a strumpet must die. Hugh’s oath was pledged, and he meant to perform it. The brothers recognized the work of vengeance as a family duty. Hugh had simply taken in hand its execution.

He set about his preparation with the calm deliberation befitting such a tremendous enterprise. Like Thothmes the Great, his first concern was with regard to his arms. Irishmen at that time had one national weapon. What the blood mare is to the Bedawi, or his sling was to King David, that was the shillelagh to Hugh Brontë as avenger. Irishmen have proved their superiority as marksmen, with long-range rifles; they have always had a reputation for expertness at “the long bow;” but the blackthorn cudgel has always been the beloved hereditary weapon.

The shillelagh was not a mere stick picked up for a few pence, or cut casually out of the common hedge. Like the Arab mare, it grew to maturity under the fostering care of its owner.

The shillelagh, like the poet, is born, not made. Like the poet, too, it is a choice plant, and its growth is slow. Among ten thousand blackthorn shoots, perhaps not more than one is destined to become famous, but one of the ten thousand appears of singular fitness. As soon as discovered, it is marked, and dedicated for future service. Everything that might hinder its development is removed, and any off-shoot of the main stem is skilfully cut off. With constant care it grows thick and strong, upon a bulbous root that can be shaped into a handle.

Hugh had for many years been watching over the growth of a young blackthorn sapling. It had arrived at maturity about the time the diabolical article appeared in “The Quarterly.” The supreme moment of his life came just when the weapon on which he depended was ready.

Returning from the manse, his whole heart and soul set on avenging his niece, his first act was to dig up the blackthorn so carefully that he might have enough of the thick root to form a lethal club. Having pruned it roughly, he placed the butt end in warm ashes, night after night, to season. Then when it had become sapless and hard, he cut it to shape, then “put it 178 to pickle,” as the saying goes. After a sufficient time in the salt water, he took it out and rubbed it with chamois and train-oil for hours. Then he shot a magpie, drained its blood into a cup, and with it polished the blackthorn till it became a glossy black with a mahogany tint.

The shillelagh was then a beautiful, tough, formidable weapon, and when tipped with an iron ferrule was quite ready for action. It became Hugh’s trusty companion. No Sir Galahad ever cherished his shield or trusted his spear as Hugh Brontë cherished and loved his shillelagh.

When the shillelagh was ready, other preparations were quickly completed. Hugh made his will by the aid of a local school-master, leaving all he possessed to his maligned niece, and then, decked out in a new suit of broadcloth, in which he felt stiff and awkward, he departed on his mission of vengeance.

He set sail from Warrenpoint for Liverpool by a vessel called the “Sea Nymph,” and walked from Liverpool to Haworth. His brother James had been over the route a short time previously, and from him he had received all necessary directions as to the way. He reached the vicarage on a Sunday, when all, except Martha the old servant, were at church. At first she looked upon him as a tramp, and refused to admit him into the house; but when he turned to go to the church, road-stained as he was, she saw that the honor of the house was involved, and agreed to let him remain till the family returned. Under the conditions of the truce he was able to satisfy Martha as to his identity, and then she rated him soundly for journeying on the Sabbath day.

Hugh’s reception at the vicarage was at first chilling, but soon the girls gathered round him and inquired about the Glen, the Knock Hill, Emdale Fort, and the Mourne Mountains, but especially with reference to the local ghosts and haunted houses.

Hugh was greatly disappointed to find his niece so small and frail. His pride in the Brontë superiority had rested mainly on the thews and comeliness of the family, and he found it difficult to associate mental greatness with physical littleness. On his return home he spoke of the vicar’s family to Mr. McKee as “a poor frachther” a term applied to a brood of young chickens. From his brother Jamie, Hugh had heard that Branwell had something of the spunk he had expected from the family on English soil; but he was too small, fantastic, and a chatterer, and could not drink more than two glasses of whiskey at the Black Bull without making a fool of himself. In fact, Jamie, during a visit, had to carry Branwell home, more than once, from that refuge of the thirsty, and as he had to lie in the same bed with his nephew he found him a most exasperating bed-fellow. He would toss about and rave and spout poetry in such a way as to make sleep impossible.

The declaration of Hugh’s mission of revenge was received by Charlotte with incredulous astonishment, but gentle Anne sympathized with him, and wished him success; but for her, Hugh would have returned straight home from Haworth in disgust.

Patrick, as befitted a clergyman, condemned the undertaking, and did what he could to amuse Hughy. Careful that Hugh’s entertainments should be to his taste, he took him to see a prize fight. His object was to show him “a battle that would take the conceit out of him.” It had the contrary effect. Hugh thought that the combatants were too fat and lazy to fight, and he always asserted that he could have “licked them both.”

The vicar also took him to Sir John Armitage’s, where he saw a collection of arms, some of which were exceedingly unwieldy. Hugh was greatly impressed with the heaviness of the armor, and especially with Robin Hood’s helmet, which he was allowed to place on his head. Hugh admitted that he could not have worn the helmet or wielded the sword, but he maintained at the same time that he “could have eaten half a dozen of the men he saw in England”—in fact, taken them like a dish of whitebait.

When Hugh Brontë had exhausted the wonders of Yorkshire, to which the vicar looked for moral effect, he 179 started on his mission to London. A full and complete account of his search for the reviewer would be most interesting, though somewhat ludicrous, but the reader must be content with the scrappy information at my disposal.

Through an introduction from a friend of Branwell’s he found cheap lodgings with a working family from Haworth. As soon as Hugh had got fairly settled, he went direct to John Murray’s publishing house and asked to see the reviewer. He declared himself an uncle of Currer Bell, and said he wished to give the reviewer some specific information.

He had a short interview at Murray’s with a man who said he was the editor of “The Quarterly,” and who may have been Lockhart, but Hugh told him that he could only communicate to the reviewer his secret message.

He continued to visit Murray’s under a promise of seeing the reviewer, but he always saw the same man who at first had said that he was editor, but afterwards assured him he was the reviewer, and pressed him greatly to say who Currer Bell was.

Hugh declined to make any statement except into the ear of the reviewer; but as the truculent character of the avenger was probably very apparent, his direct and bold move did not succeed, and at last they ceased to admit him at Murray’s.

Having failed there, he went to the publishers of “Jane Eyre,” and told them plainly he was the author’s uncle, and that he had come to London to chastise the “Quarterly Review” critic. They treated him civilly without furthering his quest, but he got from them, I believe, an introduction to the reading-room of the British Museum, and to some other reading-rooms.

In the reading-room he was greatly disgusted to find how little interest was taken in the matter that absorbed his whole attention. He met, however, one kind old gentleman in the British Museum who thoroughly sympathized with him, and took him home with him several times. On one occasion he invited a number of people to meet him at dinner. The house had signs of wealth such as he had never before seen or dreamt of. Everybody was kind to him. After dinner he was called on for a speech, and when he sat down they cheered him and drank his health.

They all examined his shillelagh, and, before parting, promised to do their best to aid him in discovering the reviewer; but his friend afterwards told him, at the Museum, that all had failed, and considered Hugh’s undertaking hopeless.

He tried other plans of getting on the reviewer’s track. He would step into a book-shop, and buy a sheet of paper on which to write home, or some other trifling object. While paying for his small purchase he would lift “The Quarterly Review,” and casually ask the book-seller who wrote the attack on “Jane Eyre.”

He always found the book-sellers communicative, if not well informed. Many told him that “Jane Eyre” was a well-known mistress of Thackeray’s. None of them seemed able to bear the thought of appearing ignorant of anything. It was quite well known, others assured him, that Thackeray had written the review—“in fact, he admitted that he was the author of the review.” Some declared that Mr. George Henry Lewes was the author, others said it was Harriet Martineau, and some ventured to say that Bulwer Lytton or Dickens was the critic. These names were given with confidence, and with details of circumstances which seemed to create a probability; but his friend, whom he met daily at the Museum, assured him that they were only wild and absurd guesses. Thus ended one of the strangest adventures within the whole range of literary adventure.

Hugh Brontë failed to find the reviewer of his niece’s novel, but explored London thoroughly. He saw the queen, but was better pleased to see her horses and talk with her grooms.

He saw reviews of troops, and public demonstrations, and cattle shows, and the Houses of Parliament, and ships of many nations that lay near his lodging; and he visited the Crystal Palace and the Tower, and other objects of interest; and when his patience 180 was exhausted and his money spent, he returned to Haworth on his homeward journey.


His stay at the vicarage was brief. During his absence, consumption had been rapidly sapping the life of the youngest girl, yet the gentle Anne received him with the warmest welcome, and talked of accompanying him to Ireland, which she spoke of as “home.” At parting she threw her long, slender arms round his neck, and called him her noble uncle. Charlotte took him for a walk on the moor, asked a thousand questions, told him about Emily and Branwell, and, slipping a few sovereigns into his hand, advised him to hasten home. On the following day he parted forever from the family that he would have given his life to befriend.

No welcome awaited him at home, because he had failed in his mission. He gave to Mr. McKee a detailed account of his adventures in England, but I do not think anyone else ever heard from him a single word regarding the sad home at Haworth. But as long as he lived he regretted his helplessness to avenge the slight put upon his niece, and seemed to look on the miscarriage of his plans as the great failure of his life.

Since the foregoing article was put in type Doctor Wright has written to the editor of this magazine announcing that he has discovered the author of the “Quarterly” review. He says:

“Assuming the editor’s responsibility for the incriminated interpolations, who wrote the article itself? Secrets have a bad time of it in our day, and the authorship of the article is no longer a secret. As has been generally suspected, the writer was a woman, and that woman was Miss Rigby, the daughter of a Norwich doctor, and was better known as Lady Eastlake.

“The well-kept secret has been brought to light by Doctor Robertson Nicoll in the ‘Bookman’ of September, 1892. Doctor Nicoll found the key to the mystery in a letter written on March 31, 1849, by Sara Coleridge to Edward Quillman, and published in the ‘Memoirs and Letters of Sara Coleridge.’ The following is the passage referred to:

“‘Miss Rigby’s article on “Vanity Fair” was brilliant, as all her productions are. But I could not agree to the concluding remark about governesses. How could it benefit that uneasy class to reduce the number of their employers, which, if high salaries were considered in all cases indispensable, must necessarily be the result of such a state of opinion?’

“The ‘Quarterly’ article on ‘Vanity Fair’ dealt also with ‘Jane Eyre,’ and with the ‘Report of the Governesses’ Benevolent Institution for 1847,’ and it is without doubt the article referred to by Sara Coleridge.

“On this matter Sara Coleridge was not likely to be under any mistake. Miss Rigby was her intimate friend, and not likely to conceal from her so important a literary event as the production of a ‘Quarterly’ review.

“I am also informed that Mr. George Smith, the publisher of ‘Jane Eyre,’ declares without hesitation or doubt that he had always known that Lady Eastlake was the author of the ‘Quarterly’ article, and that he had declined to meet her at dinner on account of it.

“The fact that the brilliant Miss Rigby was the writer of the review greatly strengthens my interpolation theory. To me it seems beyond the range of things probable, that the pharisaic part of the article could have come from the same source as ‘Livonian Tales’ and the ‘Letters from the Shores of the Baltic.’

“The article is therefore of a composite character. It was written by Miss Rigby the year before her marriage with Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, and heavily edited during the reign of Lockhart. I know it will be said that the genial Lockhart would not have added the objectionable fustian to the superior material supplied by Miss Rigby; but I must repeat that it was his duty, as a mere matter of business, and a purely editorial affair, to maintain the traditional tone of the ‘Review.’”


The Reverend David McKee of Ballynaskeagh, a very successful school teacher, who prepared hundreds of boys for college. Among them was Captain Mayne Reid, who afterwards dedicated his book, “The White Chief,” to Mr. McKee. Ballynaskeagh, was the centre of mental activity for the country round about. Its master was the friend and neighbor of the Irish Brontës. He himself wrote several books, one of which led to the beginning of a temperance movement in Ireland. The writer of this article was his pupil at the time of the publication of “Jane Eyre,” and tells whereof he knows personally, as well as some things of which he was informed by Mr. McKee.


The December number of the “Quarterly Review” of 1848 is perhaps the most famous of the entire series. Its fame rests on a mystery which has baffled literary curiosity for close on half a century. “Who wrote the review of ‘Jane Eyre’?” is a question that has been asked by every contributor to English literature since the critique appeared. But thus far the question has been asked in vain.

The descendant and namesake of the eminent projector and proprietor of “The Quarterly” does not feel at liberty to solve the mystery by revealing the writer. I admire the loyalty of John Murray to a servant whose work has attained an evil pre-eminence. It is interesting to know, in these prying and babbling times, that in the house of Murray the secret of even a supposed ruffian is safe to the third generation.




The August and succeeding issues of McClure’s Magazine will contain a series of papers giving the dramatic and hitherto unknown history of the Brontës in Ireland. They will throw a vivid light upon the origin of the Brontë novels, and upon the ancestors of the Brontës. As Doctor Wright says:

“Hugh Brontë, the father of Patrick, and grandfather of the famous novelists, first makes his appearance as if he had stepped out of a Brontë novel. His early experiences qualified him to take a permanent place beside the child ‘Jane Eyre’ at Mrs. Reed’s. The treatment that embittered his childhood is never referred to by the grand-daughters in their correspondence, but it is quite evident that the knowledge of his hardships dominated their minds, and gave a bent to their imaginations, when depicting the misery of young lives dependent on charity.”

All the existing biographies of the Brontë sisters are confined to the Brontës in England. There were but two people competent to give the story of the Brontë ancestors: one, Captain Mayne Reid; and the other, Doctor William Wright, who has spent many years preparing this history.

Doctor Wright had exceptional advantages for his labor of love. In his childhood his nurse told him the traditions of the Brontës; his tutor was full of recollections of the father, uncles, and grandfather of the novelists. As a student he wrote screeds of the Brontë novels in place of essays, having first been told the incidents and events by his tutor. His recollections, extending back to the early part of this century, have been strengthened by years of patient investigation. During different years Doctor Wright has spent several months at a time in Ireland, following up obscure traces of the family, hunting down traditions connected with the Brontës, or carefully verifying minute points derived from his own recollections or the reports of others. The result of these painstaking researches, which have extended over a lifetime, is an authentic narrative of great human interest.

The unadorned history of the family reads like a Brontë novel. The adventures, the hairbreadth escapes, the struggles, the kidnapping, the abuse, which figure in these chapters are stranger than fiction. The courtship, elopement, and marriage of Hugh Brontë with Alice McGlory form one of the most extraordinary narratives of love and adventure that has ever been penned.

The half-humorous, half-pathetic, but always intensely interesting, descriptions of the ancestors of the Brontë sisters, their peculiarities, the superstition with which some of them were regarded as masters of the black art, the respect that they commanded as fighters and singers and workmen, the side-lights thrown upon the early and bitter contest over tenant rights, the exposition of strange religious beliefs—all of this, and more that cannot here even be hinted at, serve to present a curious and vivid picture of everyday life in a corner of Ireland one hundred years ago.

These articles bring out the hereditary and surrounding influences which helped to shape the genius of Charlotte Brontë. Aside from the value which they have because they furnish a remarkable commentary on the work of the great novelist, they are pages of real life of fascination and remarkable interest.

The first article will give a glimpse of the early Brontës and the singular weird story of that dark foundling who brought ruin to his benefactors, and whose machinations resulted in the absolute separation of Hugh Brontë, the grandfather of the novelists, from his parents—a separation so complete that he was never able to learn in what part of Ireland his father’s family lived. Hugh Brontë was kidnapped when he was six years old. The strange narrative of his abduction will be given in the August number of McClure’s Magazine.





Whether or not to relate the history that I now commence has been to me a seriously debated question.

But after due reflection I decide that, being the only witness to the events that have lately been so startling to at least one community, it is my duty to state as clearly and exactly as possible, while yet fresh in my memory, the occurrences that came under my observation. I am satisfied in so doing that the contingencies which might arise from my silence would be much more serious in their effect upon my friends than their aversion to the publicity to which they may be subjected; but, of course, when completed, my statement will be subject to their wish in its disposal.

Regarding myself, it is only necessary to state that last winter—I think it was the last week of January—my health became so alarming as to induce me to accept my son’s urgent invitation to visit him in a far Western territory, hoping that the brighter sky and milder air would more than compensate for the long and lonely journey to one who is neither young nor adventurous.

And the effect of the change was almost magical. My son is a civil and mining engineer, and, being unmarried, boards at the largest of the three hotels in the busy mining town upon the Southern Pacific road, which I shall call Brownville.

I reached the place on the afternoon of a bright, balmy day—a May day it seemed to me—but being an unaccustomed traveller, the motion of the cars and the strangeness of the transition gave everything such a dreamlike unreality that I cannot recall the impressions of the first few days with as much distinctness as later ones. I was continually expecting my son to vanish, and myself to wake up in my room at home. This soon wore off, however. I think it was on the second day after my arrival, as we were starting down stairs to dinner, my son suddenly drew me back into my room as if to avoid some one who was passing.


“I was afraid you might be startled,” he exclaimed. “I was at first, and I am neither sick nor a lady. Mother, there is a young man here who will seem like one risen from the dead to you at first sight. He looks enough like Chester Mansfield to be his twin brother. I think I never saw so striking a resemblance before, but after you are acquainted with him the impression will wear away, because he is so different in every other way.” Then we went down stairs, and meeting the young man at the dining-room door, my son introduced him as “Mr. Reynolds;” and thus began my acquaintance with him. Of course, after my son’s cautionary remark, I noticed him closely, but I should have done so anyhow, I am sure, for the resemblance to the dead was so strong as to give me a very strange feeling, for Chester Mansfield had been only less dear to me than my own son. But as Howard had said, the resemblance seemed to wear away somewhat as I talked with him, and I began to wonder that I had felt it so much. This young man was older, stouter—and many shades darker in complexion than my friend. His manner, speech, and style of dress were wholly unlike those of the dead Chester, although his voice, while deeper, was very similar. He was attached to the hotel in some capacity, and went out with us to dinner after a moment’s talk, and I found him to be a pleasant talker, with a ready fund of the slang which seems to be the evolving language of the Far West, and a very witty use of it; but he did not seem to be well informed on any subject that I could mention, a strong contrast to the scholarship of the dead man whose face he bore.

Yet he had an unmistakable air of good breeding, and even of intelligence, although it was impossible to draw him into a connected conversation. He seemed to be very popular in the house.

Howard was closely engaged in his work, which sometimes kept him away for a week at a time, and I had neither the strength nor courage to go very far from the house alone, through that odd, rushing, foreign-looking town, so I had much time to myself. I was the only woman at the house except the proprietor’s wife and one Irish chambermaid. This, perhaps, would account for my interest in the young man, for I must confess that he occupied my thoughts a good deal during those first weeks. One Sabbath afternoon I saw him going away with a party of friends—stylishly dressed, hard-looking men, and I turned and spoke to Howard of the idea that I had formed of him.

“I have thought of the same thing myself, mother,” he replied. “That fellow is of Eastern origin, and he is well brought up, in spite of his efforts to conceal it. And you can’t get a word out of him about his past. I’ve tried a dozen times. I’m positive that he puts on ignorance a good many times, just as a blind. There’s a good deal of that here—men who have forgotten all about the East, you understand, and who have new names, and who don’t write home by every mail. Now, weren’t there other Mansfield boys besides Chester? His mother was a second wife, wasn’t she, and there was another family who lived with their grandmother?”

“Why, certainly there was!” I exclaimed, catching at the idea. “Three boys, and two of them went out to Denver, or somewhere in that region. Now I have it—that’s just who he is. I wonder what crime he has committed—robbery, or perhaps murder—who knows?”

“Oh, no! Take care, not quite so fast, mother. But I have a little clue that nobody else has had the interest to notice. It is more than mere coincidence. Of course Doctor Mansfield’s sons would be brought up in the deepest piety, and when this fellow gets drunk—you’ll hear him some night—he’s terribly pious; prays and sings half the night to himself—old church hymns that were never heard in this place. And the thing that I notice is this: he prays like one who was brought up to it; not like some reprobate who has been scared into piety. I’ve heard them a few times, too, and I know the difference.

“Now, that means a little, and when 184 you put it with the company he keeps, especially Crouch, his chum, that black-looking fellow who was shooting at the target out there this morning, don’t you see it grows quite interesting?”

“I should think it does. Why, it is perfectly certain that he is a desperate sort of person. I wonder what he has done? It couldn’t be the Cleveland fur robbery, I suppose,” I said.

Howard got up and shook himself and then laughed uproariously.

“No, but he might be the Rahway murderer. You’d better lock the door fast and tight at night.” (This was a stab at my well-known cowardice.)

“And, little mother, if you think you have got hold of a delightful, bloody mystery, for the love of heaven keep still about it. A little talk will set a cyclone going if you’re not particular.”

I resented this caution as quite unnecessary, but Howard laughed and shook his finger at me. I think he is at the age when a young man feels his physical and political superiority over his mother very fully. After he had gone out I sat thinking over his new idea. I had a faint suspicion that Howard was amusing himself at my interest in the matter, and was starting me in pursuit of something that he knew perfectly well beforehand; yet every word that he had said was fastened in my memory, and many little unnoticed things now came up to strengthen my suspicions.

In Crouch, the evil-looking fellow, I had no interest, for he was not mysterious. He was a rascal at the first glance, and could not be anything else. And he was the sort of rascal that one is content not to investigate, but observe at the greatest possible distance.

What, then, was young Reynolds’ interest in him? I intended to write home the next day to ask about the Mansfield brothers, but Howard carried me off to the mines to camp for a few days, and my thoughts were turned in a new direction.

The day after my return I went out for a walk through the town. I crossed the plaza and started down one of the diverging streets, when I suddenly found myself in a most unsavory neighborhood, and suspected that I must have crossed the “dead line,” beyond which I had been told no white woman ever ventured. I turned to beat a hasty retreat, when I heard my name, and looking up saw Charlie Reynolds, apparently very drunk, issuing from the door of a dance saloon. One or two of his friends were smoking in the doorway. “Good evening, Mish Spencer,” he said, with an aggravated bow. “Thish bad place for lady. See you home, Mish Spencer?”

“No,” I said, “you can’t see me home, but I will see you home. You walk on before me, and I will follow.”

To my surprise he obeyed, and across the plaza and down the street of adobe houses I steered my drunken companion, until I saw him safe within the doors of the Eldorado House, where I was assured that he would be put to bed.

That night my son was detained at the mines, and I sat at my window alone in the marvellous moonlight so clear, so brilliant in that rarefied atmosphere, that I could see the round blue lines of the mountains in Mexico, sixty miles away. Sounds from different parts of the town came up with startling distinctness. I could distinguish every word of sentences spoken two 185 squares away, and the barking of coyotes out in the mesquit brush that surrounded the town seemed to come from under my window. I seemed to be far from the rest of the earth, on some desolate peak that stood in vast solitude, for the stars were so large and bright, and the great glowing moon seemed to hang just overhead.

There were no trees on the great blue mountains, no grass in the stony valleys, and I realized in their absence how much we owe to the mission of the green and growing. There was no sense of companionship in the babel of sounds and languages that came up from the wicked little town. I am afraid that a few homesick tears came to my eyes.

Suddenly one of the grand old hymns of my church struck the intense air. A clear, strong, manly voice. How familiar it sounded, ringing out alone! I sat spellbound, for it was, as my son had said, not the effort of a tyro, but the cultivated voice of a cultivated man. Coming just at this moment in the grandly solemn night, its effect upon me was indescribable, and a new thought flashed into my mind, which I am ashamed to confess was not there before. Why cannot this young man, whatever he may have done, be saved through this early training? I could not sleep for this thought, and waited impatiently for the morning, resolved to undertake some missionary work in behalf of Charlie Reynolds.


The Chester Mansfield to whom I have referred was the young minister of my church, and also the son of my dearest friend. Mrs. Mansfield had been my playmate and schoolmate in childhood, my confidante in girlhood, and when we were matrons and neighbors our early affection had settled into the deep, enduring friendship of later life. She had married our minister and was an exemplary wife and mother. Our children were schoolmates also, and her only son Chester was a boy of unusual promise. He distinguished himself in school and college, and, finishing his course just before his father’s death, was unanimously called to fill the vacant pulpit. Here his eloquence and spirituality fully justified the promise of his youth, and he became almost the idol of his congregation. He married a lovely girl, and life seemed to hold for him the highest blessings that man can dream of.

The sorrow, then, of his sudden and peculiarly sad death cannot be described. Not only his family and church, but the whole town, mourned as if for a brother, and the church could not hold the concourse that followed his body to the grave.

The mothers and sisters and the frail young wife were almost crushed by the blow, and even after the lapse of nearly five years it was fresh enough in my heart to make Charlie 186 Reynolds’ face bring back those days of mourning with sad reality. I formed then the hope, foolish, perhaps, that if this young man should be found to be a relative of the dead man and reclaimed, he might in some measure atone to those bereaved ones for their loss. With this idea, I improved every opportunity to cultivate Charlie Reynolds’ acquaintance and win his good opinion, although I was much embarrassed by the laughing eyes that Howard never failed to turn upon me in my efforts at conversation.

They were efforts, indeed; for if I had come from a foreign land, and spoken an unknown language, I could hardly have had more difficulty in finding a topic of common interest or in making myself intelligible, for old-fashioned English seemed to be less understood than any others of the numerous tongues I heard.

I could hear from my window, Mexicans, Chinamen, Indians, Frenchmen, and Spaniards chatting in the plaza, until I could almost guess what they said, but the vernacular of the American miner and rancher is beyond comprehension.

There are about four topics discussed at the Eldorado tables, chief of all, the mines, and to this day I cannot talk coherently about drifts and leads and dumps, and the like.

Then there were the games, the most absorbing of all, who had lost and won, and as I don’t know one card nor one game from another, I am not interested in that subject. There was, it seemed to me, a fresh murder or robbery or Indian fight to discuss every morning at breakfast; and the ranch talk, in which my most intelligent questions always provoked a shout of laughter. When I quoted Talmage one morning, a young man looked at me pityingly, and said, “Oh, he’s dead a year ago! He had one of the finest saloons in Las Vegas; he was a smart man, poor fellow!” My attempts to interest my table companions in a description of the Chautauqua and its purpose, and the mission of the W. C. T. U., and their painful efforts to be politely interested, almost sent my son into convulsions in consequence of laughing into his coffee-cup; and the intense earnestness with which the man they called Bunco Brown asked, “And didn’t they sell no booze there?” and then, “Well, then, how in thunder do they get it if they’re too pious to steal?” might have seemed amusing to one who was not struck by the horror of the fact that the man could not conceive of life for any person without drink.

So, owing to the missionary’s usual difficulty in making himself understood, I had to wait to learn a means of communication with my subject. I even ventured to the door of the billiard room and tried to manifest an interest in the science of the game, but here, 187 also, I was too hopelessly old-fashioned to be able to comprehend the beauty of the angles, and beat an ignominious retreat. I heard Charlie remark as I went up-stairs: “Game, for such a pious old lady, isn’t she?” I took it as a compliment.

But my opportunity finally came through the humble instrumentality of an onion. It was about the size of a dinner-plate, and lay on the newel-post as I came down stairs one morning. Charlie was standing in the front door, with his back to me, peeling an orange. He turned around at my exclamation of surprise and asked, “Why, don’t they grow like that where you live?”

“In New England? Oh dear, no!” I cried; and then he asked me a number of questions, and seemed very much interested in my account of vegetables and fruit and trees and flowers in the East. I was delighted to tell him, although I had a lurking suspicion that such a remarkable ignorance of that country was feigned. And yet his eyes, so wonderfully like Chester Mansfield’s, except in expression, had a certain vacant honesty—for which, I presume, an accustomed story-teller could find a better expression—that I was obliged to believe genuine. As soon as he found that I was curious about the flora and fauna of the locality, he took great pains in bringing me specimens, and on two occasions took me out for a walk to see something that could not be brought. In this closer acquaintance I found so much that was kind and pleasant, and so many peculiar little resemblances to my dead friend—a backward toss of the head when he laughed, a frown when listening, an odd little gesture with the left hand in explaining anything—that he puzzled me more and more. Among the few books that I could find to read in the town was the “Woman in White,” which I read with compunction, not having been addicted to works of fiction, and the curious resemblance between the two women made a deep impression upon me, and seemed to have a strange significance just at this time. Although I had as yet not succeeded in drawing any confidence from Charlie—who, indeed, seldom spoke of himself, and never related any past experience—a very suspicious trait I thought, I felt sure that time would unravel the dark mystery that enveloped him.

Just as I was feeling that I had now Charlie’s friendship, the man Crouch seemed to become jealous of my influence, and became so attentive to him that my acquaintance with him was virtually suspended for a time. One day, a bright, hot day in March, a Mexican wagon train arrived in town, laden with beans, hides, and “Chili Colorade,” and a crowd of rancheros from another direction swarmed into the 188 plaza. The town was full of excitement and whiskey; the tinkle of the dance saloons came up from all quarters; the rancheros, with their red shirts and broad hats, galloped their tough mustangs madly through the streets, firing at random, and lassoing the unlucky curs and pigs that happened to be in the way. While there were street brawls at every corner, I hardly dared to leave my room, and I could not venture to sit by my window. It was a great relief that Howard came in very early. All through the evening I listened to the confused sounds that came up through the resonant air, and could distinguish the soft voice of the pretty Mexican girl in the saloon opposite my window, accompanied by her castanet. It was another of those still, white nights, when the town seemed to hang in mid-air. I felt the premonition of impending disaster so common to nervous women, and made Howard sit in my room as long as I could think of a pretext for keeping him. When I was alone, I lay wakeful through the noisy hours, waiting for daylight. At perhaps three o’clock, or a little later, I fell into a semi-conscious doze, from which I was aroused by the footsteps and low voices of men in the hall. The slowness of the steps, and the hushed tone in which they spoke, gave me a thrill of terror. Something had happened. Yes, they were talking about it, and carrying something—some one—by. “Right this way, lay him on the bed.” “What, doctor?” “Pretty near dead.” “Small chance,” and so on. Then with strained nerves I listened for the doctor, heard him come, heard his quick directions, heard the running to and fro to get what he required, and then arose and dressed myself with trembling hands, unable to bear the tension any longer, and thinking that I might be of assistance. I went to Howard’s door, aroused him, and sent him to learn what was the matter. He went a little reluctantly, but returned wide awake.

“Why, it’s Charlie Reynolds, poor 189 fellow! I guess he’s about killed—some row, I suppose; didn’t wait to find out. The doctor is attending to him now.”

A little later, in the gray, solemn dawn, the doctor came out of the room in which Charlie had been laid, and I went to learn the worst. I knew now that I had grown very fond of the young man, and I could see that Howard liked him, too.


The doctor looked at me curiously. “He is pretty badly hurt, but I think he will pull through. I don’t suppose it makes any particular difference to him or anybody else, whether he does or not!” he said, brushing his hat with his coat-sleeve.

“Why not?” I demanded.

“Why, because he will only pull through this to get killed in some other scrape, and before he can get into anything else he will have to answer for this one. You know how he was hurt?”

“No, I don’t know anything about it.”

“He robbed a fellow in the night, and the man chased him and shot him, and finding that he still ran, knocked him down with the butt end of his pistol, threw it at him; that is the worst hurt he had. And he is an old customer, for this blow opened an old place; it isn’t the first time he has been caught. I’ve just trepanned it—quite a serious operation under the circumstances.”

“And the pistol wounds?”

“Nothing but scratches; they won’t hurt.”

“Well, he is a human creature, with an immortal soul, and I shall take care of him, anyhow. There is nobody else to do it, so I intend to,” I said as calmly as I could, after all this terrible information, which had shaken me none the less for the doctor’s indifferent tone and manner.

“Very well, ma’am, I wish you success. There’s nothing to do now but keep him quiet until I come back after breakfast.”

I walked in alone and looked at the still, white face under the bandages. He was evidently under the influence of a heavy opiate, for there was no sign of life, except the faint breathing.

I could not help feeling a great pity for the young man, so friendless and so indifferently regarded, and with such a future to look forward to in his recovery. No clue could be found to his past or his family, if he had any.

I took it as more than mere accident that he had fallen thus helpless and suffering into my hands, and resolved to use to the utmost my skill and influence for the best.

He lay for a good many days—I cannot tell just how many—in a comatose condition, and I did not for a moment relax my watch, except to take a little rest now and then. At length there began to be signs of returning consciousness. The dull eyes would open and gaze vacantly around the room.

He could utter a few incoherent words, and the hands groped in a troubled way among the bed-clothes. And day by day, as the bronze tint of the skin disappeared, and the features grew clearer and thinner, that marvellous likeness grew stronger, until, looking at him, I rubbed my eyes sometimes, 190 and believed myself the victim of an hallucination.

One morning, at length, he opened his eyes, and looked at me with a new intelligence, an attentiveness that I had never seen in him before.

As he lay there with bright open eyes the likeness was simply intolerable, as I thought of the career that he represented. I busied myself in bringing the basin of water and sponge to bathe his face and hands. He was evidently trying to recall the circumstances of his injury and account for his presence there, for he looked in turn at me and the room, and then at the bed in which he lay.

“Mrs. Spencer, I cannot think how you come to be here. Was I much hurt?”

“Yes, you were pretty badly hurt, but you will soon be all right now if you keep quiet. Don’t move your head. I will wash your hands now.”

He closed his eyes as if weary with even the effort he had made, and soon fell asleep, as naturally as a child.

Later in the day he awoke and seemed strange. He looked at me with the same puzzled expression. I was heating some drink for him over a spirit lamp when he spoke in a strangely familiar voice, although very weak.

“Mrs. Spencer, has anything happened at home that you have come to me, and not mother? I had a letter from mother yesterday, and all were well. Was the accident very fatal?”

I dropped the cup I was holding; my heart seemed to stop beating. For the white, serious face on the pillow was not that of Charlie Reynolds, but Chester Mansfield! I ran out of the room, down the hall, and into my own room. I had no motive in doing so, because I was too much startled and I think terrified for thought.

My first collected idea was, that I had dwelt upon the subject so much during lonely days and nights of vigil that I was now a victim of subjective vision—I was for the moment insane upon that subject. I sent for the doctor immediately, and after bathing my face and trying to steady my quivering nerves, returned to my patient whom I was afraid I might have shocked by my sudden exit. He looked surprised, and watched me curiously.

“I think you had better not talk any more. The doctor says you must be kept quiet.” And I busied my hands in smoothing down the bed-clothes.

“I will be quiet; but you must tell me one or two things. Are they all well at home—Lucia, and mother and 191 the girls? and how many were hurt in the accident?”

“They are all well at home. I am visiting here,” I managed to answer, and he turned away his head, apparently satisfied. I paced up and down the hall until the doctor came, and drew him into a vacant room to tell him the situation. He looked at me incredulously when I had finished my excited narrative, reached for my wrist, and shook his head. “You have been working too hard over that fellow,” he said. “You will be the next patient.”

“But he asked for his wife and called her by name. Come and see which is the lunatic,” and I led the way to the sick-room.

“Ah!” he said in a cheery tone, going to the bedside. “I see we are getting along bravely, and look as smart as folks that have a whole skull.”

The patient (I didn’t know what name to call him) smiled, but without a trace of recognition.

“I suppose you are my physician, and I am probably indebted to you for my life,” he said feebly.

The doctor looked puzzled. “You don’t seem to recall my face.”

“No, I suppose I was knocked senseless. The last thing I can remember is going down the embankment. I tried to jump, but my foot caught, and I struck my head against something. There was a young woman in the opposite berth—was she killed, I wonder? She had two little children. I suppose I have been unconscious for sometime. It must have happened yesterday, didn’t it?”

“It was several days ago,” said the doctor, soothingly. “You had better rest a while, and then you can tell us more, and about yourself.”

“This lady can tell you all about me. She has known me all my life,” and he closed his eyes wearily.

The doctor looked at me significantly, and I followed him into the hall.

“What in the world does this mean? That young man is no more Charlie Reynolds than I am. I can only account for the case in one way, and that is a very unusual one. The operation I performed last week restored his skull to its normal shape. There was quite a deep indenture and a consequent pressure upon the brain, which undoubtedly affected, probably suspended, his memory. Now this young man—minister, did you say?——”

“Yes,” I interrupted. “But this is the awful part of it. He is dead—buried—five years ago. I saw him buried, have gone to his grave many times, and now he lies there and talks to me. And Charlie Reynolds, drunkard and robber. Oh, no! no!”

“You say your friend was killed in a railroad accident on his vacation trip? How was the body identified? Who saw it after it was sent home?”

“None of his family saw the remains, he was so badly burned. I see. It must have been the wrong body.”

“And the railroad, of course, had him cared for until he was well. And then he couldn’t tell who he was, and drifted about until he fell into bad company. He has been a cat’s paw for this gang, no doubt. Well, you’ve got a pretty little sensation upon your hands. I’d like to see you get back and tell your story.”

I wondered how he could talk and smile so carelessly, but in that country nobody is surprised at anything. I went back to my patient, after dispatching a messenger for Howard, who was working in the “San Jacinto,” twenty miles away.

Chester, as I could safely call him now, was extremely anxious about his fellow passengers, and thought they must be in the hotel at this time. I was familiar with the shocking details of the disaster at the time, but could not recall them with sufficient accuracy to satisfy him. The five years intervening were apparently entirely lost. He could scarcely believe us when we told him that he had lain unconscious for more than a week.

Howard came in the evening, and was amazed beyond his power of expression. He thought over the complex situation a long time before he made any effort to communicate with the family of the patient. Chester could not understand why we had not telegraphed before, and we could not explain. We called a council of three and debated. Chester Mansfield, the 192 gifted, irreproachable minister of our large church, was held to be tried for robbery and assault as soon as he was able to appear. We could not take him away. What word could we send to the young wife, about whom he continually asked, and the old mother? We finally left it to Howard, who telegraphed to the wife that her husband had been found alive, though recovering from serious illness; that he was in our care, but wished her to join him as soon as possible; and that the body sent home as his must have been that of another man.

When we told Chester that she had been sent for he exclaimed, “How can she leave her baby? She would have been with me but for that three months old baby.” The baby was now a tall boy of five in kilts. Although the complications arising from this strange case were countless, we managed to keep the real story from Chester until he was sufficiently recovered to bear it, and indeed we did not then tell him of the serious misdeeds of his other self.

But when the young wife came after her long journey, and we led her, for the first time without her mourning dress, up to his room, he knew that to her he was in truth one risen from the dead. I opened the door for her, and when I heard her cry of joy as she sprang forward, satisfied at last of his identity, and his low, “My love, my love!” I closed the door and went away to weep a few tears to myself, but not of sorrow.

My story is told. We secured bail for Charles Reynolds and took him home, to await the fall term of court, where he expects to have no difficulty in proving his innocence in his present person. To himself his case presents some metaphysical and moral studies quite at variance with his own belief. He cannot yet comprehend the silence of his conscience at this time of need. The sensation created by our return, and all subsequent events, are well known to those who will read this statement, so that I need tell no more.

My only object in writing so minute an account, and detailing such conversations as I could remember, is to protect him forever, as far as my word will avail, from any insinuation of intentional or conscious wrong doing in those five lost years, knowing as I do the conditions of life exacted of a clergyman and fearing some future recrimination.

Transcriber Notes

The Table of Contents and the List of Illustrations were added by the transcriber.
Quotation marks changed to standardize usage.
All other original punctuation and archaic spelling (i.e. chetahs, serval, wardbob, and Bagdad) preserved as written.