The Project Gutenberg eBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 5, October 1893

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 5, October 1893

Author: Various

Release date: July 28, 2011 [eBook #36886]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Katherine Ward, Juliet Sutherland, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


McClure’s Magazine

October, 1893.

Vol. I. No. 5

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

Table of Contents


Thomas B. Reed, of Maine. By Robert P. Porter. 375
“Human Documents.” 387
The Joneses’ Telephone. By Annie Howells Fréchette. 394
The Psychological Laboratory at Harvard. By Herbert Nichols. 399
The Spire of St. Stephen’s. By Emma W. Demeritt. 410
Mountaineering Adventure. By Francis Gribble. 417
The Smoke. By George MacDonald. 428
The Earl of Dunraven. By C. Kinloch Cooke. 429
At a Dance. By Augusta de Gruchy. 439
Dulces Amaryllidis Iræ. By Augusta de Gruchy. 439
A Splendid Time—Ahead. By Walter Besant. 440
An Old Song. 450
Stranger Than Fiction. By Dr. William Wright. 451



Thomas B. Reed, Portland Me, 17 July 1893. 375
Mr. Reed’s Home in Portland. 377
View From the Roof of Mr. Reed’s House. 378
Mr. Reed in His Library. 380
A Corner of the Library. 381
Mr. Reed’s Birthplace in Portland. 382
The Members of the Pentagon Club of Bowdoin College. 383
Mr. Reed’s Portland Law Office. 386
Thomas B. Reed. 388
Frances E. Willard. 390
Edgar Wilson Nye. 391
George W. Cable. 392
The Joneses’ Telephone 394
Studying the Effects of Sound and of Attention on Colors. 400
Studying the Effects of Colors on Judgments of Time. 401
Revolving Chair for Studying Localizations of Sounds. 402
Measuring the Time Required for Various Mental Acts. 404
Wax Specimens in the Museum. 406
Gustave Theodore Fechner. 406
Professor Wilhelm Wundt, of Leipsic (1878). 407
President G. Stanley Hall, Founder of 1st Psychological Lab. 407
Professor William James, Harvard University. 407
Professor Hugo Münsterberg, Harvard University. 408
The Mauvais Pas, Mont Blanc. 418
The Needle of the Giants and Mont Blanc. 419
The Matterhorn. 421
The Dent Blanche. 422
The Rhone Glacier. 424
Passage of a Crevasse, Mont Blanc. 425
Pyramids of the Morteratsch. 426
Passage of a Crevasse, Mont Blanc. 428
Lord Dunraven. 429
Lady Dunraven. 430
Dunraven Castle. 431
Captain William Cranfield of the “Valkyrie.” 431
G. T. Watson, Designer of the “Valkyrie.” 432
The “Valkyrie.” 433
The Kenry Gateway. 434
Adare Manor House. 435
Adare Gallery. 436
Ruins of Desmond Castle. 437

By Robert P. Porter.

It was at a dinner in Washington that I had the good fortune to find myself seated next to Thomas B. Reed, of Maine. It was a brilliant occasion, for around the table sat well-known statesmen, scientists, jurists, economists, and literary men, besides two or three who had gained eminence in the medical profession. Mr. Reed was at his best, “better than the best champagne.” His conversation, sparkling with good-nature, was not only exhilarating to his immediate neighbors, but at times to the entire table. Being among friends, among the sort of men he really liked, he let himself out as it were.

Before the conversation had gone beyond the serious point I remember asking the ex-Speaker how he felt at the time when the entire Democratic press of the country had pounced upon him; when he was being held up as “The Czar”—a man whose iron heels were crushing out American popular government. “Oh,” he promptly replied, “you mean what were my feelings while the uproar about the rules of the Fifty-first Congress was going on, and while the question was in doubt? Well, I had no feeling except that of entire serenity, and the reason was simple. I knew just what I was going to do if the House did not sustain me;” and raising his eyes, with a typical twist of his mouth which those who have seen it don’t easily forget, he added, “when a man has decided upon a plan of action for either contingency there is no need for him to be disturbed, you know.”

“And may I ask what you determined to do if the House decided adversely?”

“I should simply have left the Chair, resigning the Speakership, and left the House, resigning my seat in Congress. There were things that could be done, you know, outside of political life, and for my own part I had made up my mind that if political life consisted in sitting helplessly in the Speaker’s chair, and seeing the majority powerless to pass legislation, I had had enough of it, and was ready to step down and out.”

After a moment’s pause he turned, and, looking me full in the face with a half smile, continued: “Did it ever occur to you that it is a very soothing thing to know exactly what you are going to do, if things do not go your way? You have then made yourself equal to the worst, and have only to wait and find out what was ordained before the foundation of the world.”

“You never had a doubt in your own mind that the position taken was 376 in perfect accordance with justice and common sense?” I ventured.

“Never for a moment. Men, you see, being creatures of use and wont, are naturally bound up in old traditions. While every court which had ever considered the question had decided one way, we had been used to the other. Fortunately for the country, there was no wavering in our ranks.”

“But how did you feel,” said I, “when the uproar was at its worst, when the members of the minority were raging on the floor together?”

“Just as you would feel,” was the reply, “if a big creature were jumping at you, and you knew the exact length and strength of his chain, and were quite sure of the weapon you had in your hands.”

This conversation gives a clear insight into the character of Thomas B. Reed. It shows his chief characteristics: manly aggressiveness, an iron will—qualities which friend and foe alike have recognized in him—with a certain serenity of temper, a broadness, a bigness of horizon which only the men who have been brought into personal contact with him fully appreciate.

Standing, as he does, in the foremost rank of public men, one of the leaders of his party, the public has certainly a right to know something of the man. First of all, one thing about him has to be emphasized; he lacks one of the traits that popular leaders too often possess. He cannot be all things to all men. He is bound to be true to his personal convictions, and he is not the man to vote for a measure he detests, because his constituents clamor for it. Every one knows how public men have at times voted against their earnest convictions, and then gone into the cloak room and apologized for it; but it would be difficult to imagine a man of Mr. Reed’s composition in this rôle.

To judge a man well, to know his best side, it is necessary to see him at home, and I cull from notes made several weeks ago, during a visit to Mr. Reed in Portland.

I found Mr. Reed in a three-story corner brick house, on one of the most sightly spots in town. Over the western walls of that modern, substantial New England home there clambers a mass of Japanese ivy, which, relieving the straightness of the architectural lines, gives a pleasing something, an artistic touch, to the ensemble. Its owner having shown his pride in that beautiful ivy, straightway took me to the roof of the house, to admire the superb view of Casco Bay and the picturesque expanse of country around Portland.

The stamp of the man’s character is plain everywhere in that house. The rooms are large, airy, and unpretentiously furnished, yet with solidity and that certain winning grace of domestic appointments in old New England. Much of Mr. Reed’s work is done at his desk in a wee bit of a room on the second floor, where crowded book-shelves reach to the ceiling. His library long ago overflowed the confines of his den, and books are scattered through the rooms on every floor; books, bought not for binding nor editions, but for the contents, ranging from miscellaneous novels to the dryest historical treatises, from poetry to philosophy.

The library,[1] on the ground floor, where callers are usually received, has among the inevitable book-shelves a few photographs of masterpieces. Over the mantelpiece a painting of Weeks’s shows that the sympathies of the owner extend beyond that sphere to which the great public is inclined to confine him.


The picture which forms the frontispiece of the Magazine represents him in this room, at his favorite seat by the window.

Of the favorite haunts of Mr. Reed, the place of all to study his social side is at his club, The Cumberland.

“You see,” said Mr. Reed, “a club of this kind is only possible in a conservative town like Portland, a staid, old place which grows slowly, at the rate of about five or six hundred a year, where the one hundred club members, while belonging to opposite political parties, unite to a man in celebrating the victory of any of their fellow-members. Most of them, friends from boyhood, have gone to school together, and are known to one another but by 377 their Christian names.” There the ex-Czar is always called “Tom,” or “Thomas, old boy,” and there reigns supreme a fine spirit of equality, or unpretentious “give and take” sort of intercourse, which is really the ideal object of a club.

“Indeed, there is no place like it,” said Reed. “It is the most home-like club one can imagine; too small to have coteries, and with lots of bright, sensible boys, quick at repartee. People talk of my wit, but, I tell you, it’s hard work to hold my own there; and then no one can try to pose among us, or attempt to make a fool of himself, but he is properly sat upon. Intercourse with your fellow-men in such a milieu is the best discipline I know of for a man—except that of political life,” he added, with his droll smile.

Of course Mr. Reed is interested in the welfare of Portland, and he cherishes the idea that some day the city of his birth will become one of the great cities of the continent. “Portland harbor is one of the finest on the Atlantic coast. It is at least two days nearer Europe than New York, and one day nearer Europe than Boston. The annexation of Canada to the United States, or the union of the two countries, one of which is bound to come in the course of time, will surely bring to Portland the great prosperity that should be hers by reason of her admirable harbor and her geographical position. And,” he added, “while I like the life in Washington, especially when the session is active and there is plenty of work to do, it has never yet been the case that I have left Portland without regret, or gone back to it without pleasure.”


The frame house in which he was born still stands, shaded by two elms of obvious age. Henry W. Longfellow was born just around the corner from it, in a dwelling that marks the spot where, in 1632, one George Cleeve built the first white man’s habitation ever erected in the territory now included in Portland’s boundaries. The settlement was called, in tender remembrance of an English field, “Stogumnor,” and its founder’s life was one of almost ceaseless conflict, now with the redskins and now with the white neighbors of other settlements, so that Cleeve left behind him the impress of a bold, vigorous fellow. His daughter married Michael Mitten, whose two daughters in turn married two brothers named Brackett. One of the Brackett 378 daughters married a fisherman named Reed, whose descendant, Thomas Brackett Reed, has exhibited, in a different way and under vastly different circumstances, much of the nerve and daring that animated his stern old fighting settler-ancestor, George Cleeve.


At nine Mr. Reed entered the grammar school, at eleven the high school. He was sixteen years old when he completed his course in the latter. His boyhood friends say he was fond of fun, though the amount of knowledge he absorbed would indicate that he was also fond of books; yet Mr. Reed himself confesses that literature in general, and old romances in particular, attracted him more than text-books. He still remembers his first schoolmaster, a spare young man, “the best disciplinarian I ever knew,” who had the art of holding a turbulent school by finding out what was the particular spring he could touch to control every one of his lawless boys.

“He had the pull on me,” says Mr. Reed, “by simply holding over me in critical moments the penalty of dismissal. You know, I had a sort of inborn idea that the school was a great thing for me, and I knew that my parents were too poor to afford to send me anywhere else, so I kept straight along, doing my duty. It was the master’s custom to allow each boy who had no demerits to ring his bell before leaving the class, and once for three days in succession I did not ring that bell. I can see now the master coming to me, and saying: ‘Tom, is it an inadvertence?’ ‘No, sir.’ ‘Did you break the rules?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because they were too hard.’ ‘Well, boy, you know what you can do if the rules are too hard; you can leave school.’ I hung my head, and he went away, after a few moments of, to me, terrible silence, saying: ‘Never let me hear of this again, Tom.’ And I replied: ‘No, sir.’ And meant it.”

On entering Bowdoin College in 1856, young Reed had a half-formed desire of becoming a minister, which he relinquished, however, long before his graduation. His life struggle began in earnest with that first year at college, 379 for he had to earn enough to pay his way as he went along. His attendance at class recitations during the first term of his freshman year was regular, but he found it necessary to drop out the next two terms and earn some money by teaching. He kept up his studies, however, without an instructor. All through the first part of his college course young Reed devoted a great deal of time to literature, to the neglect of his studies. While in the high school, a garret in the house of one of his mother’s relations had become his Mecca. It was packed full of books, especially novels, and there he was wont to journey twice a week, loading himself with volumes, over which he spent his days and the best part of his nights. Mr. Reed says that it was mostly trashy, imaginative stuff, but that it also was full of delight, and in some ways full of information for him. To that omnivorous reading he attributes in large part his knowledge of words, and it was also, no doubt, an apprenticeship from which he naturally stepped into higher literature.

Graduation was but little more than a year off, when, the contents of the garret being exhausted, the young man realized to his consternation that his class standing was very low. His place at the end of the college course depended on his average class standing all through. He had received none of the sixteen junior parts which were given out during the junior year, and to his dismay the English orations, corresponding to the junior parts at the end of the course, were reduced to twelve. There was but one course open to the ambitious, spirited boy—to offset the low average of his earlier terms by an exceptionally high average during his last. Romances and poems were laid aside, and from that time forward until Commencement he was up at five in the morning, and by nine o’clock every night he was in bed, and tired enough to drop asleep at once. Mr. Reed says very frankly that he did not relish this regimen, for by nature he is indolent. Apropos of this, it was a common saying among his comrades that Reed would be somebody some day, if he were not so lazy.

The consequences of his three years of novel-reading were such a serious matter to him that he was afraid to go and hear the result of the final examinations but remained in his room until a friend came to tell him that he was one of the first five in his class in his average for the entire course. This is the other side of Reed, “the lazy.”

Besides this success, his oration on “The Fear of Death” won the first prize for English composition. It was in delivering it that Mr. Reed felt the first emotions of the orator, when every eye in the audience was riveted upon him, and when the profound silence that prevailed told the deep interest which his words aroused. Of the year’s work which won for him the privilege of delivering it on that Commencement Day, thirty-three years ago, Mr. Reed says that it was the hardest of his life, and the only time he has forced himself up to his full limit for so long a period.

Graduation from college was not by any means the end of the struggle for the young man. Money was still lacking, and to get it he engaged in school-teaching, an occupation which he had already followed during two terms, and in vacation times. He taught at first for twenty dollars a month, “boarding round,” and the highest pay he ever received as a teacher was forty-five dollars a month. His old comrades delight in telling an incident of his school-teaching days. He once found it necessary to chastise a boy who was about his own age, although he had been cautioned against whipping, by the members of the committee of the district, unless he first referred the case to them. But Reed was Reed even in those days. The committee having failed to sustain him in the past, in this instance he decided that some one must be master at school, and that he would be that some one. Accordingly, the refractory young man was thrashed, after an exciting quarter of an hour—a close victory, which one pound more avoirdupois might have decided against the teacher.

Mr. Reed soon gave up school-teaching, 380 and, thinking that a young man would have a better chance out West, he went to California. Judge Wallace, afterwards Chief Justice of California, examined Reed for admission to the bar. It was in ’63, during the civil war, when the Legal Tender Act was much discussed in California, where a gold basis was still maintained, that Wallace, whose office adjoined the one where Reed was studying, happened in one day and said, “Mr. Reed, I understand you want to be admitted to the bar. Have you studied law?” “Yes, sir, I studied law in Maine while teaching.” “Well,” said Wallace, “I have one question to ask. Is the Legal Tender Act constitutional?” “Yes,” said Reed. “You shall be admitted to the bar,” said Wallace. “Tom Bodley [a deputy sheriff, who had legal aspirations] was asked the same question, and he said ‘no.’ We will admit you both, for anybody who can answer off-hand a question like that ought to practise law in this country.”


Reed’s sojourn on the Pacific coast was short. In ’64 he was made Assistant Paymaster in the United States Navy, and served in that capacity until his honorable discharge a year or so after. His admission to practise before the Supreme Court of the State of Maine followed on his return to the East. Cases came to the young lawyer slowly. The first ones were in the minor municipal courts. Gradually he secured a certain run of commercial and admiralty cases which began to yield something tangible in the shape of fees. Yet the goal of success seemed a long way off, when it happened that in one of those minor cases he cross-examined a refractory witness in such a manner as to completely overturn the testimony given, and 381 thereby won the case for his client. The unexpected result was that the witness who had been upset by the young lawyer’s skill conceived a great admiration for him, and became influential in sending him many cases.

That he made his mark in his modest position is shown by the fact that after two years, in 1867, Mr. Reed was nominated for the State Legislature. Judge Nathan Webb, then County Attorney, who had known Reed simply as his opponent in a number of cases, had proposed his name, and, after six ballots, had succeeded in nominating him. The first thing Reed knew about it was when reading the papers the next morning, and his first impulse was to decline. When Webb came in he urged him to accept, saying that a winter’s legislative experience would broaden and be in every respect valuable to him. Mr. Reed accepted, and after serving two terms in the House he was elected to the State Senate. Then he was made Attorney-General and afterwards City Solicitor of Portland, and in 1876 he was for the first time nominated to represent his district in the House of Representatives in Washington.


At the very moment when Reed, escorted by one of his colleagues, took a seat at the first convenient desk, on the day when he began his life as a congressman, Mr. Reed’s massive figure, suggestive of physical strength; the easy and yet not offensive assurance with which he took his seat and glanced with quizzical eye about the chamber; the unaffected way with which he accepted congratulations from the New England members who knew him, and the reputation he had already won as a master of wit and the possessor of a tongue which could be eloquent with sarcasm, all of these things so impressed Mr. S. S. Cox that he turned to Mr. William T. Frye, then a member for Maine, and said: “Well, Frye, I see your State has sent another intellectual and physical giant who is a youngster here.” “Whom do you mean?” asked Frye. “This man Reed, who must be even now cracking a joke, for I see they are all laughing about him.”

But to maintain the reputation which his State had secured for committing its interests to master men, Mr. Reed had a hard task before him. Blaine, who had just passed from the House to the Senate, had made Maine of preëminent influence by reason of his formidable canvass for the presidential nomination. Eugene Hale and Mr. William T. Frye represented in part the State in the House. Hannibal Hamlin was a member of the Senate, and the tradition of the remarkable intellectual achievements of William Pitt Fessenden, so long a senator from Maine, was still so fresh in the minds of many members of Congress that it was common to hear Mr. Fessenden spoken of as perhaps the ablest senator since the days of Webster, Clay, and Calhoun. But, unlike the stories that are 382 told of the débuts of many statesmen, Mr. Reed’s first speech was not a failure. On the contrary, it was a success. A success all the more brilliant because won under trying circumstances.

A bill was under consideration to pay the College of William and Mary, in Virginia, damages for the occupancy of its buildings by United States troops during the war. It was one of an almost innumerable class of similar claims in the South, and its payment would have established a precedent that would at that time have opened the door to the appropriation of millions of dollars. It had been put forward as being the most meritorious of these southern war claims, in the hope that the sympathy which could be aroused in behalf of the venerable institution of learning making the claim (it dating back to Washington’s time, and being of a religious and eleemosynary as well as educational character) would stir up a sentimental feeling by means of which the other claims could be slipped through the House.


Doctor Loring, a Republican member from Massachusetts, one of the most polished and eloquent speakers in the House, had made a strong and touching appeal, full of pathos and sentiment, in favor of the bill. At the conclusion of his speech spontaneous applause burst from all sides; Republicans and Democrats thronged to the desk of the orator to congratulate and shake him by the hand. The scene was a memorable one. Cries of “Vote,” “Vote,” rose from all parts of the House, and it seemed inevitable that the bill would pass by an almost unanimous vote.

At this juncture Mr. Reed arose. He has told that he would at that moment have sold his opportunity to speak for a very insignificant sum. He stood motionless for ten minutes, unable to utter a word. Knowing that his only chance was to dominate the 383 turmoil, he at last raised his voice, and, after five minutes, he felt that he would have a hearing. Slowly the excitement and noise quieted down, and for forty minutes he was given the closest attention. The speech was so clear, forcible, and convincing that, in spite of some break in the Republican ranks, it recalled members of both parties from their temporary emotional lapse and turned the tide against these dangerous claims.


In ’77 he was made a member of what was known as “The Potter Committee,” appointed to investigate the operations of the returning boards in the South. Committee work was essentially congenial to Mr. Reed. He delighted in cross-examinations, and his power of sarcasm and of insinuating inquiry furnished the committee and the public with the most dramatic scenes which occurred at any of its sessions. In cross-examining a clever scoundrel, one Anderson, for instance, for two whole days, he at last compelled him to admit that he was a forger. “Who is this man Reed,” every one began to ask, and the young congressman found himself, perhaps more in his legal capacity than as a legislator, famous.

It is not the purpose of this article to describe Mr. Reed’s public career, further than to say that there came a day when, upon the departure of Mr. Frye from the House to the Senate, and the election of General Garfield to the presidency, Mr. Reed passed, by common agreement and without questioning, to the leadership of his party in the House, and that, in the logical course of events, he was naturally indicated as the candidate for the Speakership, when, in 1889, after six years of minority, his party became a majority. What a magnificent combination of assaults and eulogies his career as Speaker brought forth is too vividly impressed upon the popular mind to need more than mention.

During his public career Mr. Reed has manifested in a score or more of verbal hand-to-hand conflicts his ability to meet an emergency to the best advantage of his side. Always upon his feet when he scents danger, he is as quick to scent it as any politician who ever occupied a seat upon that floor. He is at all times as truly the master of all his resources as ever Mr. Blaine was in that same tempestuous arena of the House.

From the first he has shown himself 384 that rara avis, a born debater—aggressive and cautious, able to strike the nail right on the head at critical moments, to condense a whole argument with epigrammatic brevity. He has shown, to my judgment, better than any parliamentarian living, how the turbulent battlings of great legislative bodies, so chaotic in appearance, are not chaos at all to one who has the capacity to think with clearness and precision upon his feet. Such a man assimilates the substance of every speech and judges its relative bearing upon the question. At the beginning it is hard to tell where a discussion will hinge, but gradually, as the debate goes on, the two or three points which are the key of the situation become clear to the true debater. As I understand the art of the debater, it is as if logs were heaped in confusion before him, and the thing to do was to single out the one log which, when removed, starts all the others flying down stream—an easier thing to conceive than to accomplish, and which demands an alliance of widely diverse qualities. I remember telling Mr. Reed once that it seemed to me as if there must be in the temperament of the debater something of the artist’s nature—a little of the same instinct to inspire and guide him. And I added: “Don’t you, like the artist, draw for material everywhere, from friend and foe alike, from things bearing directly upon your subject as well as from things that are apparently more removed from it? Don’t you have something akin to inspiration?”

“Well, perhaps so,” Mr. Reed answered, “and an anecdote occurs to my mind which you may think fits your theory. An obscure chap got up once and went for me in what was evidently a six months’ laboriously prepared invective. I hardly realized what he was about, except that I had an impression of the man using words in the same frantic fashion a windmill uses its arms in a blow. All the same, when he had finished pitching into me, I could not but get up and return the compliment. I had no more idea of what I was going to say than he had, when, by a hazard, my eye caught in the sea of heads before me the face of another representative from his State—a man who was one of the leaders of his party—and instantly the answer flashed in my mind. I had begun with something like ‘This is only another echo of the minority of the Fifty-first Congress, whose echoes are dying, not musically, but dying. Gentlemen,’ I continued, ‘it is too much glory for a State to furnish us with two such eminent representatives, the one to lead the House, the other to bring up the rear.’

“But I want to tell you, while we are on this subject of the artist and the orator,” Mr. Reed continued, “that I believe there is as much of a rhythm in prose as there is in poetry, and if a man has not the intuitive feeling of that subtile thing, rhythm, he can never amount to anything as an orator. Certain books of George William Curtis—‘Prue and I,’ especially—have helped me as much as anything to realize how delightful a quality rhythm is.”

There is a side to Mr. Reed which few people suspect. He is a lover of good novels, especially such novels as those of Balzac and Thackeray, which present human nature in a rugged, truthful manner. I should think that Mr. Reed would have about as much respect for a namby-pamby novel as he has for a wishy-washy politician.

Of the English novelists he likes Thackeray by far the best. “Pendennis,” “The Adventures of Philip,” and “The Virginians” he esteems as his most interesting works, though Thackeray reached high-water mark, in Mr. Reed’s opinion, in “Vanity Fair.” Charles Reade, too, has found in him an assiduous reader. He thinks “The Cloister and the Hearth” the finest and truest picture that has been made of life in the fifteenth century, and that Charles Reade is the best story-teller that ever wrote English.

In poetry his preference is for Tennyson, but he is a constant reader of Browning, Holmes, Longfellow, and Whittier also. “Would you mind,” said Mr. Reed, while talking of poets, “if I descend from the great names and say that I have a great liking for the rhymes of a Kansas lawyer, Eugene F. Ware, who writes over the nom-de-plume of ‘Ironquill’? They are so 385 direct; they present a moral in so few and so strikingly well chosen words; and then they have just enough of that quality of language which is always attractive because it is language in the making. How do you like this example of Mr. Ware’s sturdy popular muse?

“‘Once a Kansas zephyr strayed

Where a brass-eyed bull-pup played;

And that foolish canine bayed

At that zephyr in a gay,

Semi-idiotic way.

Then that zephyr in about

Half a jiffy took that pup,

Tipped him over wrong side up;

Then it turned him wrong side out.

And it calmly journeyed thence

With a barn and string of fence.


When communities turn loose

Social forces that produce

The disorders of a gale,

Act upon a well-known law,

Face the breeze, but close your jaw;

It’s a rule that will not fail.

If you bay it in a gay,

Self-sufficient sort of way,

It will land you, without doubt,

Upside down and wrong side out.’”

Mr. Reed, who learned French after he was forty years old, enjoys the masterpieces of French fiction and French verse in the original. He reads and rereads Horace, or, rather, certain parts of Horace which appeal strongly to him. But his one great admiration is Balzac. “Yes, I like to read Balzac,” Mr. Reed often says. “His closeness to nature and life hold you in spite of yourself. There is hardly a book of his which is not sad beyond tears. ‘Eugénie Grandet’ is a most powerful delineation of the absorbing grasp which love of money has on a strong man, and the power which love has over an untutored spirit, but sadness permeates everything. That wonderful love story of the ‘Duchess de Langais’ is like no other love story ever written. Could anything be more sad than her life at the convent, and her lover’s long search for her hiding-place? unless it be that lover’s discovery, when he scaled the convent walls, that death had been stronger than love, and that, after a life of wasted devotion, nothing could be said of her beautiful form as it sank into the ocean except the mournful words, ‘She was a woman; now she is nothing.’ And what an extraordinary picture that is in the ‘Peau de Chagrin’ of the controlling power of society over a fashionable woman! And again, in ‘Père Goriot.’ How sad they all are, and the sadness of a life that toils not nor spins! Verily, to be happy we must take no note of the flying hours, and live outside of ourselves. Is not the condition of joyous life to forget that we are living? Here most of the characters are so entirely selfish that one sometimes thinks there is not one single friendly heart in the entire story. All are so conscious of living—even those in the higher sphere—and so anxious to appear other than they are, that their entire lives are only ignoble struggles, with nothing of serene repose. When the strife is not for gold or position it is for love, which is thus degraded!”

I was talking the other day to that brilliant orator, Benjamin Butterworth, of Ohio, and the conversation turned to Tom Reed, as Butterworth affectionately called him. Said Butterworth: “The way Reed’s constituents have stood by him is one of the most gratifying things to me in American politics. During one of his campaigns, in which I spoke for him, I met some Democrats in his district. I said, ‘Gentlemen, I do not know anything about your politics, but you have a man of sterling qualities to represent you.’ ‘Yes,’ they replied, ‘he is an intense Republican and has peculiarities, but we like him because he represents the best thought of the district, and we vote for him on the sly.’”

That plain-speaking man, whose chief characteristic is to be true to his own convictions, is a pretty good specimen of the Puritan. Had he been in Cromwell’s army he either would not have prayed at all or he would have prayed just as long as Cromwell did. In either case he would have fought for what he believed to be the right, all the time, and given no quarter.

Apropos of what might be called his blunt frankness, I recall an incident 386 told me by a member who had charge of what was known as the Whiskey Bill. Mr. Reed had baffled the attempts of the whiskey men to get it up, but in his temporary absence, through the inadvertence or incapacity of a member, the bill was forced on the House. Reed ran down to the fellow, and vented his feelings in the remark, “You are too big a fool to lead, and haven’t got sense enough to follow.”


If his bits of speeches flung about in the heat of debate, either in retort or in attack, were gathered, they would make a mighty interesting book. No other man has like him the power to condense a whole argument in a few striking words. His epigrams are worthy of the literary artist in that they are perfect in form. Though struck out on the spur of the moment you cannot take a word from nor recast them. They have for solid basis a most profound knowledge of human nature, of life, and they exhibit to a luminous degree the possession in their author of that prime quality of a true man—horse sense. I remember this fragment of a speech of last session: “Gentlemen, everybody has an opinion about silver, except those who have talked so much about it that they have ceased to think.”

There are many people who believe that Mr. Reed himself disproves one of his epigrams, that “a statesman is a successful politician who is dead.” As for me, I venture to say that Mr. Reed is right, but he has there formulated a rule to which he is one of the rare exceptions.



Thomas Brackett Reed was born in Portland, Me., October 18, 1839. He graduated at Bowdoin College in 1860, and then commenced to study law. In 1864 he suspended his studies and joined the navy as Acting Assistant Paymaster, serving until his honorable discharge at the close of the war. Resuming his legal studies, he was admitted to the bar and began to practise in his native town. He soon took an active part in politics, and was a member of the Maine State Legislature from 1868 to 1869. In 1870 he sat in the State Senate. From that year until 1872 he was State Attorney-General, and in 1874-77 he served as solicitor for the city of Portland. He was sent to Congress in 1876 and has been continuously re-elected since. When the Republican party came into power in 1888, he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is a powerful debater, an energetic politician, and a leading authority upon parliamentary procedure.

Frances Elizabeth Willard was born in Churchville, N.Y., September 28, 1839. She graduated at Northwestern Female College, Evanston, Ill., in 1859. She became Professor of Natural Science there in 1862, and Principal of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in 1866. After two years of travel and study in Europe and the Holy Land, she became Professor of Esthetics in Northwestern University, and, as Dean of the Women’s College there, developed her system of self-government, now generally adopted. In 1874 Miss Willard identified herself with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. As secretary of the Union she organized the Home Protection movement, and in 1879 was elected president. She took a leading part in the establishment of the Prohibition party, and in 1887 was elected President of the Women’s Council of the United States. She also accepted the leadership of the White Cross movement, which has been successful in obtaining enactments in many States for the protection of women. Besides being a director of the Women’s Temperance Publishing House, Miss Willard is chief contributor to “The Union Signal” (Chicago) and associate editor of “Our Day” (Boston). Her chief literary works are “Nineteen Beautiful Years,” “Woman and Temperance,” “How to Win,” “Woman in the Pulpit,” and “Glimpses of Fifty Years.”

Edgar Wilson Nye, who has become famous as a humorist under the pen name of “Bill Nye,” was born in Shirley, Piscataqua County, Maine, August 25, 1850. His family removed to Wisconsin shortly afterwards, and the boy was educated at River Falls, in that State. Early in the seventies he went to Wyoming Territory; he there studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1876. While in Wyoming he served in several public capacities, as postmaster of Laramie and as a member of the legislature. He had early begun to furnish humorous sketches to the newspapers, and for some time was connected with the press as correspondent. He returned to Wisconsin in 1883. In 1886 he was connected with the New York “World,” and since then has been a weekly contributor to numerous papers. As a lecturer and reader from his own books Mr. Nye has been very successful. In 1891 he produced a play, “The Cadi,” at a New York theatre. His best-known books are “Bill Nye and the Boomerang,” “The Forty Liars,” “Baled Hay,” and “Remarks.” Mr. Nye has resided, for some time past, near Asheville, N.C.

George W. Cable was born in New Orleans in 1844. He obtained an ordinary public-school education. His early life was spent as a clerk in a commercial office, varied by successful contributions to “The New Orleans Picayune” under the signature of “Drop-Shot.” In 1863 he joined the Confederate Army, and served in the Fourth Regiment Mississippi Cavalry, until the end of the civil war. His first literary work to attract general attention was a short story, “Sieur George,” published in the old “Scribner’s Monthly.” To that periodical he contributed numerous other sketches of creole life, which were published in book form in 1879. Other stories and articles followed, and Mr. Cable, after working up to a leading position in the mercantile world, from that of an errand boy, devoted himself to literature as a profession. “The Grandissimes,” in 1880, “Madame Delphine,” 1881, “The Creoles of Louisiana” and “Dr. Sevier,” 1884, established him in a high place amongst modern authors. His knowledge of the South, and his studies among the creoles and negroes, made him an authority upon the questions relating to the past and future of the negro and the southern States, and involved him in numerous and heated discussions. “The Silent South,” 1885, and “The Negro Question,” 1890, are the most prominent of his works on this subject. As a lecturer and reader he is widely known.








AGE 20. 1859.

AGE 37. 1876.




AGE 20. 1870.

AGE 28. 1878.





AGE 9. 1853.


AGE 19. 1863.


AGE 24. 1868.


AGE 40. 1884. “BONAVENTURE.”

MR. CABLE IN 1892.


By Annie Howells Fréchette.


“Now, we won’t be selfish with our telephone, will we, dear? We will let a few friends use it occasionally—it will be such a pleasure and a convenience,” and Mrs. Jones stood off and looked admiringly at the new telephone.

“By all means. It is here and it may as well be doing some one a service as to stand idle—and I like to feel that a friend isn’t afraid to ask a favor of me now and then. Yes, I suppose that telephone will save us many a car-fare during the year. You can use it to do your marketing, instead of tiring yourself out and wasting half a day three or four times a week; and days when I forget things, think how easy it will be to telephone and remind me. Why, it will entirely do away with the need for strings to tie around my fingers.”

“Of course it will. I’m sure that what we’ll save on strings and car-fare will pay the rent of the instrument,” joyously responded Mrs. Jones, who had no great head for figures.

Thus hope and kindly intentions presided at the inauguration of the Joneses’ telephone.

Three months passed, and the great invention had carried much information—useful and otherwise—not only to its owners, but to the entire neighborhood as well. There were even days when the Joneses questioned whether they were not running a public telephone, so often did the bell ring. It is true, it had not quite paid for itself in the anticipated saving of car-fares and finger strings; still, it had certainly been a great comfort, and “Well, we’ll just face the music and call it a luxury,” said Jones, as he put away the receipt for his first quarter’s rent; “especially for our friends,” he added, with just a touch of bitterness.

Scarce twenty-four hours after this philosophical stand was taken, Mrs. Jones, who was rather a light sleeper, was aroused by a violent and prolonged ringing. It was six o’clock and Sunday morning—a day and hour usually dedicated to undisturbed slumber. After a brief debate in her own mind as to whether the house was on fire or the milkman was ringing, she realized that it was the telephone bell. She hastily donned slippers and gown and ran down-stairs. In reply to her interrogative “Yes?” (Mrs. Jones could never bring herself to say “Hello!”) came the following, in measured and clerical tones:

“It is Mr. Brown—Reverend Mr. Brown, speaking.”


“Oh, yes?” instinctively covering her half-clad feet in the folds of her gown.

“I believe you live near the Reverend Mr. Smith, and are a member of his church.”


“Will you be good enough to send to him, and ask if he can spare his curate to take Mr. Brown’s early service for him, as he is called away. I would be glad if you would send immediately, as I must have his answer within fifteen minutes. Thank you. Please call up 1001,” and snap went the telephone.

Mrs. Jones looked at her raiment and reflected that her one servant was at mass and would not be back for an hour. She went slowly up-stairs.

“Tom, Tom dear, wake up.”

“What is it?”

“The Reverend Brown has telephoned to know whether the Reverend Smith can send his curate to take his early service.”

“Well, what in the world have I got to do with the peddling out of early services?” snapped Jones, as he turned and shook up his pillows.

“He has to have an answer to his message within fifteen minutes.”

“Well, let Susan take it,” settling back comfortably.

“But Susan has gone to mass.”

“And I suppose that means that I am to be turned out of my bed at daybreak, and canter half a mile!” cried Jones, in a high and excited voice, as he bounced from his bed and began to grope sleepily for his clothes. His toilet was made amidst grumblings of “Confound their early services, why can’t they stay in bed like Christians, instead of prowling about, and sending men out in the chilly morning air,” etc., etc.

Jones’s temper was soured for the day, and that night, as he was winding his watch, he said severely, “Jane, I’m going to draw the line at delivering messages. Tom, Dick, and Harry can come here and bellow into the telephone until they are hoarse, but I’ll be switched if I’ll be messenger boy any longer.”

But messages continued to come and go, increasing rather than decreasing in frequency. People in the neighborhood fell into the habit of saying to friends in distant parts of the city, when leaving a question open: “Just telephone me when you make up your mind. I haven’t a telephone myself, but the Joneses have, and they are very obliging about letting me use it.”

So the fact that a telephone was owned by an obliging family circulated almost as rapidly as if it had been a lie.

There were times when Mrs. Jones hadn’t the face to ask Susan to stop her work and carry these messages, so she carried them herself—trying to keep up her self-respect by combining an errand of her own in the same direction. There were a few messages, however, which remained forever indignantly shut within the telephone; as, for instance, that of the little girl, which came in a shrill, piping voice:

“Mrs. Jones, will you send your servant over to Mrs. Graham’s to ask Milly where she got that perfectly delicious delight she gave me the other day, and tell her to be quick about it, please, for I’m waiting.”

And another which came in chuffy, distorted, conversational English—regular 396 “chappie” English, very hard to understand, but which she finally straightened out into: “I say there—aw—oh—is that you, Mrs. Jones? Sorry to trouble you, but would you be so awfully good as to send word to Mrs. Bruce—aw—that I’m awfully cut up about it, but I won’t be able to dine there to-night. Aw—I wouldn’t trouble you, but it’s so awfully hot I can’t go round to explain to her—you know. Thanks, awfully.” The telephone was closed, and the awfully-cut-up young man, whose sole claim on Mrs. Jones was that they had once met at a party, was left to be healed by time.

He had for company in his fate the enthusiastic tennis-player, who, in the midst of “a little summer shower,” summoned Mrs. Jones.

“I want to speak to Flannigan, the gardener.”

“This is not Flannigan’s telephone.”

“And who is speaking?”

“Mrs. Jones.”

“Oh, well, Mrs. Jones, I can give my message to you just as well. I want you to tell Flannigan to come and roll the tennis ground at once. He will understand. Tell him right away, please.”

“Flannigan does not live here.”

“Well, you can send him word, I suppose,” in a surprised and offended voice, “to oblige a lady. It is Miss Mortimer who is speaking,” and there was an impressive silence. Mrs. Jones remembered Miss Mortimer as a high-stepping young woman whom she had met at a friend’s house, and who had given her the impression of taking an inventory of her. So Mrs. Jones took pleasure in replying, “Miss Mortimer probably does not know that she is addressing a private telephone. Good day.”

But it was Jones, the luckless Jones, who seemed set aside for the cruel buffeting of the telephoning public. One night, which he will ever point to as the wildest and wettest night he has known, he had settled himself into his most comfortable chair, with a pile of new magazines beside him, when he was disturbed by a summons from the telephone. He responded with readiness, for he was rather expecting a call from his partner, and to his cheerful “Hello, old fellow, I’m here,” came, in a sputtering and wind-tossed voice, “Will you please tell Mrs. Goodson that as it is so stormy her daughter will not go home to-night?”

Jones turned and confronted his wife, and for a time words refused to come.

“Well, this is a little too much! Now think of an unknown voice barking at me to go out into a storm like this and tell the Goodsons that their daughter will not be at home to-night!”

The Goodsons lived just six squares away.

“And what will you do, dear? Why didn’t you say plainly that you would not and could not go out into a storm like this—that they must send a messenger?”

“They shut me off without giving me time to answer.”

“Well, call them up. Call them up at once.”

“Jane, please have some sense. How do I know where Miss Goodson has gadded off to? How do I know what number to call up?”

“Well, I just wouldn’t go.”

“Oh, I’ll have to. They are friends, and if they are expecting that girl of theirs home to-night and she doesn’t come Mrs. Goodson will go out of her mind.”

So Jones drove himself forth, clad in righteous indignation and a waterproof coat. The cold rain lashed him and the wind belabored his umbrella, and he was more than once obliged to pause under friendly porches to get his breath. At last the home of the Goodsons was reached, and spent and weary he staggered up the steps. Goodson himself opened the door.

“Hello, Jones, you’re no fair weather friend indeed. Come in, come in.”

“No, I’m too wet,” he answered, pointedly (and he felt like adding “and too mad”). “I only came to tell you that Miss Goodson won’t be at home to-night.”

“My daughter! She is at home. Don’t you hear her playing on the piano now? Come into the vestibule, anyway.”


Jones walked in, with the rain streaming from his coat.

“Katey!” called Mr. Goodson to his wife. “Here is Jones come to say that Julia won’t be home to-night.”

“What?” demanded Mrs. Goodson, appearing in the hall and regarding Jones as if he were a mild sort of lunatic; “Julia is at home.”

“Well, I don’t understand it,” said Jones, plaintively. “I was rung up half an hour ago, and asked to come and tell you that your daughter wouldn’t be at home on account of the storm.”

“And do you mean to say that you stand ready to turn out at all hours and deliver messages free of cost?” cried Goodson.

“It looks that way.”

“Well, you are an ass!”

“Don’t compliment me too freely, Goodson, I can’t take in much more; I’m soaked as it is.”

Mrs. Goodson stood thinking. “Who could have been meant? Oh, I’ve just thought! It must be that Mrs. Goodson who sews for Mrs. Jones and me. And she has a daughter—a typewriter down town—and she has friends living in the suburbs. She has doubtless gone there to dinner and concluded to stay all night. But she lives just around the corner from you.”

Goodson laughed loudly and brutally. “A bonny sort of a night for a respectable family man like you, Jones, to be skylarking around carrying messages for typewriting maidens!”

“Oh, come now, that’s a little too much!”

“Well, old man, I’ll show my gratitude for your friendly intentions toward me by going round to the telephone people the first thing in the morning, and complaining of you. You’ve no right to be running opposition to the public telephones in this way.”

If you only would!” and Jones wrung his friend’s hand while tears of thankfulness welled up to his eyes.

Once in the street, he longed for a contemptuous enemy to kick him briskly to the door of the Widow Goodson. The latter was evidently about to retire, as it was a long time before she responded to his ring. When, finally, she did come, she heard him calmly through and then answered languidly: “Yes, I didn’t much expect Bella home to-night, for she said if it come on to rain she thought she’d stay with her cousins. Good night. Quite drizzly, isn’t it?” peering out into the darkness.

Full of bitterness, Jones turned homeward. It seemed to him that his cup was full; and so it was, for it refused to hold more. As he entered his home, chilled without but hot within, he was greeted by an unfamiliar voice coming from the regions of the telephone.

“Give me Blair’s,” it said. “Is that Blair’s? Is that—Blair’s—B-l-a-i-r-’s, do you understand? Oh, yes, it is you, is it, Mrs. Blair? Well, say I want to speak to Miss McCrea—Oh—pshaw! you must know her—she’s the young lady that works for you. Oh, she’s out, is she? Well, when she comes in, tell her Miss Doolan told you to say that 398 Mr. Brennan has broke his leg—she’ll know, he drives Judson’s horses—and me and Mrs. Judson want to know whether he’s to go to the hospital or to his friends. You can send your answer to No. 999. They’ll let me know. Give Miss McCrea my love and tell her not to worry about Mr. Brennan. Good-by.”

Jones confronted a stately creature as she stepped into the hall.

“Look here, young woman, who are you?”

“I’m Miss Doolan, and I’m stopping at Judson’s—as housemaid,” she answered, so taken aback that for the moment her self-possession failed her.

“And to whom have you been telephoning?”

“To Blair’s—Judge Blair’s, over on the avenue—a friend of mine stops there.”

“And are you in the habit of calling up ladies in that fashion?”

“It’s a very good fashion, for all I can see,” she retorted impudently.

“And what business have you to order an answer sent here for me to carry on a night like this?”

“Mrs. Judson and me took you for a gentleman, sor, and we thought you wouldn’t mind obliging ladies.”

“Nor do I, but I don’t know either Mrs. Judson or you, and I don’t propose running errands for you.”

“Oh, then don’t bother yourself, sor—we can hire a boy,” she flung back with a scornful laugh as she bounced out.

“Now, Jane, I want you to distinctly understand that the last message has been carried from this house. I have probably to-night sown the seeds of pleurisy and pneumonia broadcast in my system; I have walked twelve squares to deliver a message to the wrong person; we have had a baggage here using our telephone as if it were her own, and we have been at the beck and call of the unpaying public for the last six months. Now, if the telephone people are not here by noon to-morrow, to threaten legal proceedings against me (Goodson has promised to complain of me) for undermining their business, I shall have that wretched instrument dragged away, body and soul, and we will try some other form of economy in the future.”


By Herbert Nichols, Ph.D.,

Instructor in Psychology, Harvard University.

Editor’s Note.—The illustrations of this article are from photographs, specially taken for the Harvard University Exhibit at the World’s Fair.

What do they do there?

What do they expect to come out of it?

The notion of a mental laboratory is still a mystery to most persons. They ask themselves the above questions, and many feel as they do so an uncanny shiver. They cannot realize that the study of the mind is already an established natural science, here, at sober Harvard, in all the leading universities, and free of spooks and mediums.

Yet a psychological laboratory looks much like any other modern laboratory. Around the rooms run glass-cases filled with fine instruments. Shelves line up, row after row, of specimen-jars and bottles. Charts cover the remainder of the walls. The tables and floors are crowded with working apparatus. Two large rooms and one small one are now occupied at Harvard. Four more rooms will be added to these this summer.

Also, the spirit that reigns in these rooms is the same that is found in other laboratories of exact science. This is the important thing. The minds of these workers are not wandering in dialectics and vagrant hypotheses. Reverence has opened her eyes. Hypotheses they have, and must have. Often they hold conflicting opinions. But the referee is always present—Nature herself. To experiment, to show the 400 fact, is always the method of debate. This is the great advantage of the modern way of studying psychology over the old.

The American public is so practical that I feel I can alone satisfy its “whats and wherefores” by explicitly describing some of the investigations being carried on here.


Here is a lantern throwing a steady light through a large tube. (See illustration below, the right hand group.) By transparent slides of colored glass or gelatine, the light may be made of any color. At the end of the tube is a box, like a camera. The operator covers his head with a cloth, and observes the color of the light as it shines from the tube through, or on, a tiny hole in the dark box. The size of the hole can be varied by moving slides, worked by micrometer screws so fine that they measure the dimensions of the hole to the four-hundredth of an inch.


The first step is to discover the “threshold” of each separate color. That means the smallest-sized hole through which each color can be distinguished. This varies for different colors. But now comes the interesting point. The size of the hole, for any given color seen, varies according to the nature of any sound heard at the same time. For instance, in order to distinguish a given red, the hole must be larger or smaller, in proportion as the pitch of a musical tone is lower or higher, fainter or stronger.



The above experiment is one in a system of investigations, intended to discover the laws by which the simplest sensations modify each other under the simplest conditions. These are laws as fixed as the laws of gravity, and, once determined, we may move on to study the combination of these elements into the higher thought processes.


Another experiment will further illustrate this method of study. An apparatus is so contrived that a colored disk can be made darker or brighter by the operator, and a measure of the change be recorded. (See illustration on opposite page, rear group.) The persons operated on do not know what change is made, or whether any will be made or not. They first look at the disk for ten seconds, taking good note of its color. Next, the operator changes the shade (or not) as he sees fit. Then for another ten seconds the subject judges the shade of color, but this time performs meanwhile a sum in addition as the operator calls to him simple numbers.

The experiment is to determine how the appearance of the color changes, by reason of dividing the attention between observing the disk and performing the addition. Do the colors of a rival’s bonnet really grow more glaring the harder they are looked at? To explain this is to touch on a social as well as an esthetic problem.

Diversion of attention changes the appearance of distances as well as of colors. A large frame covered with black cloth stands vertical. Two tiny white disks are held in place on the cloth by invisible threads manipulated behind the frame by the operator. When the disks are set a given distance apart they rest close upon the smooth black ground. The eye sees but two white spots in a free field, and may judge the distance between them without complication. This is done for ten seconds, as with the color disks. Then the spots are covered, and their distance apart slightly changed (or not) by the operator. Again they are shown, and now judged for ten seconds while adding figures. The mental process of addition changes the judgment of the distance.


You will say it is a familiar experience that the road seems longer or shorter as the mind is busy or not. But it is not a familiar thing to determine the law of such lengthening and shortening for definite distances, and under precise mental condition, as in the above experiment.


Every woman knows that color has an effect on the apparent size of objects; that of her dress on her figure.[2] It is not as well known that color affects our judgments of time. Our next experiment examines this matter.


In the diagram on the preceding page the white squares show plainly larger than the black squares.


Upon a cylinder, slowly revolving by fine clockwork, strips of different colored cardboard are fastened, and observed through a hole in a screen. (See illustration on the preceding page.) The time of each rotation is measured precisely. By observation it is found that the period of rotation seems to vary with the colors on the cylinder. By combining colors differently through a long and tedious series of investigations on many people, it is being determined what part this sort of influence plays in mental processes. “When things look gay, time seems short.” Psychology seeks the laws of such happenings.


They are the most familiar things which in our science become the strangest. Not to know where you are when seasick, still less where your mind is, is common enough. Our next experiment will trace our power to know where sounds are to the same origin as seasickness.

Seasickness starts in the ear. In its cavity are three small tubes, each bent in a circle, and filled with fluid. The three sit at right angles to each other, like the three sides at the corner of a room or a box. Consequently, in whatever direction the head is moved, the fluid in some one of the tubes is given 403 a circular motion. Hanging out into the tubes, from their sides, are hairs or cilia, which connect with nerve cells and fibres that branch off from the auditory nerve. When the head moves the fluid moves, the hairs move, the cells are “fired off,” a nervous current is sent up to the brain, and a feeling of the head’s peculiar motion is consequent.

As for seasickness: this nerve current, on its way to the brain, at one point runs beside the spot or “centre” where the nerve governing the stomach has its origin. When the rocking of the head is abnormally violent and prolonged, the stimulus is so great that the current leaks over into this adjoining “centre,” and so excites the nerve running to the stomach as to cause wretchedness and retching. Deaf mutes, whose ear “canals” are affected, are never seasick.

But normally the amount of ear-feeling which we get by reason of moving our head in a particular direction comes in a curious way to be a measure of the direction of sound. The feelings we get from our skin and muscles in turning the head play a similar rôle. We turn our ear to catch a sound. We do this so frequently for every point, that in time we learn to judge the direction of the sound by the way we would have to turn the head in order to hear the sound best. Thereafter we do not have to turn the head to get the direction, for we now remember the proper feeling and know it. This memory of the old feeling is our idea of the present direction. If we never moved our heads we never could have any such notion of the location of sounds as at present—perhaps none whatever.


Number! surely there can be nothing mysterious here; no “law” to be discovered about one, two, three? Well, the next time you shake hands, ask the man what he feels. A hand. Then ask further and he will feel five fingers. Now ask rightly and he will feel any number of distinct spots of pressure. But the real pressures were practically the same all through. Why, then, did he feel first one, then five, then eight, ten, or a dozen? So with the objects we become acquainted with through any of our senses! Why does the same bit of nature now stand before us “one tree,” and now a myriad of leaves and branches? Why do the same outer groupings fall into such different inner groupings? Why does not the result of each little nerve of the millions continually played on in eye, ear, and skin stand out by itself, and we have so many million feelings?

To explain this: the first time a child opens his eyes he sees, as Professor James says, but “one big, blooming, buzzing confusion.” Not till some “whole” (knife) be broken up into parts (blade, handle) and each part be mentally perceived in immediate succession the one after the other can the idea of “twoness” ever be possible to that child. The “twoness” is a feeling of distinct nature apart from the two terms (blade, handle). It rises from the “shock of succession.” It is one of the “modified states” wrought by one element on another, which we studied in our first experiment. Once lodged in the mind, the feeling may be remembered and reawakened, like any other. Thereafter the two parts or terms may come before the mind, awaken this feeling of twoness, and now stand side by side, simultaneously and numerically separate.

These are the primary laws of number perception. Our experiments illustrate and prove them. Though the nerves lying under a needle point are really several in number, the pressure on them is commonly felt as “one prick.” The area is so small that usually, through life, all the nerves have been pressed together. They have not been split up and pressed enough times in succession among themselves for a memory of “twoness” to have been developed among them. But, by proper manipulation, not unlike some of the processes of hypnotism, yet perfectly normal, the “twoness” of some other group of nerves can be yoked to the feeling resulting from the pressure of a particular needle point. Thereupon the one needle 404 will feel like two, as distinctly and clearly as any real two.



By similar manipulations the simple needle may be made to feel like three or like four; now standing in a line, now in a triangle, and again in the corners of a square. But, since there is but one needle, what about the apparent distance between these several points that are clearly felt? This is the most curious thing of all, and from the light it throws on the formation of our “ideas” both of number and of space, is the most important.

To explain this: our notion of distance results out of “series” of sensations, in the same way as our notions of number. To have any idea of “distance” aroused between any two points of skin, the line of nerves lying between those points must, some time during life, have been previously stimulated in a line of succession, such as would result from a pencil drawn along between them. A card edge would give no idea of “distance” until such a series had some time been previously experienced. The memory of the “series” is the idea of the distance.

Within small areas of the skin, so few “series” have been experienced that no “distance memories” have been developed. Consequently pin-point areas commonly awaken no notion of distance. For some regions of the body these “limit areas” are larger than for others; at some places are quite large. On the back, spaces three inches apart may fail to give any idea of number or of distance. Every region has such a limit distance.

Now it is this limit distance, the smallest 405 distance for which a “series” memory has been developed for a given region, that always shoves itself in, as the apparent distance between the several fictitious points felt from the single needle in our experiment. On the back the one needle feels like two set three inches apart; on the forehead like two half an inch apart; on the tongue one-sixteenth of an inch; and so on.

The upshot, then, of this matter is to show that our whole mind—our notions of space, number, time, and all else—is but a bundle of lawful habits, formed in relation with the things and occurrences around us. Ordinarily we have right ideas, because on the whole our mind has formed right habits. We have the right idea of an inch of skin, because the proper idea of an “inch long” has become habitually joined to each inch of skin, or in so far as this has been done. When a wrong idea gets joined, then we have an illusion; that is, the stretch of skin, or, as well, the pin-point of skin, seems a fraction of an inch in length; or, again, like three inches.


A sketch like this would be incomplete without a word about time reactions—a subject that historically was almost the first in the field, and has occupied more workers than any other. A generation ago “as quick as thought” was our extreme limit of expression. It outran “quicker than lightning.” The great physiologist, Johannes Müller, wrote, in 1844:

“We shall probably never secure the means of ascertaining the speed of nerve activities, because we lack the comparative distances from which the speed of a movement, in this respect analogous to light, could be calculated.”

We now know that sensory processes travel along the nerves on an average only about one hundred and ten feet per second, and often less than twenty-six feet. While you are performing the commonest judgment, electricity or light would have shot from continent to continent. The time-measurement of different mental processes is now one of the chief means which the psychologist uses for getting at mental laws. When certain measures are once determined, he uses these as the chemist does his familiar reagents, to dissolve the unfamiliar and more complicated combinations.

The following table shows in decimals of a second about the average length of time which our commonest judgments occupy:


To recognize the direction of a ray of light.011
To recognize a color when one of two, as red and blue, and expected to be seen.012
To recognize the direction of ordinary sounds.015
To localize mentally, when blindfolded, any place on our body, touched by another person.021
Mentally to judge a distance when seen.022
To recognize the direction of loud sounds.062
To recognize capital letters.180
To recognize short English words.214
To recognize pictures of objects.163
To add single figures.170
Given a month, to name its season.164 to .354
To answer such questions as “Who wrote Hamlet?”.900 and over.

Such then, are a few out of the many problems which have been experimented upon in the Harvard Laboratory during the last year—problems in perception, association, attention, “reaction times,” psycho-physic law, kinesthetics, esthetics, memory, will, and so on, covering nearly the whole range of mental phenomena. I have selected these few for presentation here, not for their importance over others, but because they could be simply described in these pages. The general aim of all the work is, however, very simple. As in the other sciences, it seeks to establish fact after fact, in orderly manner, along the whole line of mental nature; and by unifying these to work ever to a larger knowledge of the whole.



But the university laboratory is for teaching as well as for discovering. It is equipped for the undergraduate, as well as for the advanced investigator. The elementary or demonstrational courses are designed to impress upon the student the facts, the methods, and the spirit of his science. There is now furnished for these, at Harvard, nearly every kind of apparatus commonly used in physical and physiological laboratories, for the study of neurology, optics, acoustics, kinesthetics, esthetics, anthropology, and so on. The electrical department is a miniature laboratory in itself. And the various models in wax, wire, and plaster—of eyes, ears, brains, fishes, reptiles, monkeys, children, adults, idiots, insane people, and people of genius—is a veritable museum.[3]


How interesting these things are to a thoughtful man may be told to the readers of McClure’s Magazine in an anecdote which they have a peculiar right to hear. Its founder, a few months ago, stood before a shelf full of the very pedagogic images which his illustrations now present to you. I pointed out a series of dainty models, showing, comparatively, the various evolutionary stages of brain development in the animal kingdom. His eyes fastened on them and—there they stayed.

The same part of each brain was tinted in the same color. I showed him the olfactory lobes; in man, two little insignificant yellow streaks; in the shark, two big bulbs larger than all the rest of the brain together. I thus made visible to him how small a sphere “smell” plays in our mental life, while pretty nearly the whole life of the shark must be a world of smells. I showed him the optic lobes in the brain of a blind mole, and then in that of a carrier pigeon, which sees its way over dizzy leagues to familiar places. I showed him the cerebellum of the rabbit that hops, the fish that swims, and the alligator that crawls. I say, he stood still, almost. I could get him to look at nothing else. He seemed to see, projecting down future volumes of McClure’s Magazine, pages after pages of comparative mental menageries—pink infundibula swimming in blue Gulf Streams; green cerebra flying through gorgeous sunsets; oceans of terrific shark-smells diagrammatically printed in blood red; and Kipling poems of adventure sent to press in surprising variegations of color, the more scientifically to express their psychological emotions. He stood till he murmured, “We must have an article on this,” and rushed to the train or to the telegraph office, and secured, I suspect, from Professor Drummond, his now famous article, “Where Man Got His Ears.”—H. N.


The laboratory workshop is provided with the common implements and facilities required for working in wood, glass, and metal. Both for original research and for demonstration, this laboratory is the most unique, the richest, and the most complete in any country; and in witness of the fame and genius of its present director, and of the rapidly spreading interest in experimental psychology, particularly in America, there are already gathered here, under Professor Münsterberg’s administration, a larger number of students specially devoted to mental science than ever previously studied together in any one place.


So much for the place and what is done there. Now, what is expected to come from this new psychology? “Do you fellows expect to invent patent ways of thinking?” was once asked me. Who can tell? Who, before Galileo, would have prophesied that man should weigh the stars or know their chemistry? Yet there is much ground for comparison between the position of physical science then and that of mental science now. The popular opinion of to-day is perhaps even less awake to the fact that the world of mental phenomena is a world of laws, susceptible to scientific experimentation, than was the day of Galileo to the similar conception regarding physical phenomena. Have the physical sciences changed aught for man since the sixteenth century? Then we must not forget how slow was the growth, and how long it took to arrive at the laws of gravity and of conservation, 407 not to mention those of evolution. Experimental psychology, as a systematic science, is almost younger than its youngest students. The mental laws are as fixed and as determinable as the laws of physics. Who then shall say what man shall come to know of mental composition, of the great mental universe, and of ourselves, its wandering planets, since minds may be known as well as stars!


But psychology will not have to wait till its greater laws shall be wholly established before she becomes of practical influence in common affairs. He who reads most thoughtfully to-day will most appreciate this truth. He who reads at all, reads of “individualism” as opposed to “socialism.” The Pope of Rome has declared that the “preoccupying” problem for active Christianity must now be the industrial problem. Every important treatise on the subject, appearing at present, admits that the crucial question of the industrial problem is an ethical problem, and every ethical treatise, that every ethical problem is a psychological problem. Two years ago the Roman Catholic Church established a psychological laboratory in its leading American college.

The Presbyterians the coming year will follow with a laboratory at Princeton. Psychology is no longer feared by religion, but is accepted, though in places yet too timidly, as a source of its further and unending revelation.


But psychology is coming close to affairs of church and state in more than one way. One of the greatest crimes of modern society is its conception of criminal jurisprudence. Between the fœtal period and adult life man passes through, in abridged series, all the degrees of evolution that have led up through the lower animal stages to his own. In early infancy, and even in childhood, he is not yet wholly man; not yet safely over the brute period of his lineal development. If the domestic calf and chicken spend their first days wild in the woods, this pre-domestic environment will seize upon and develop their pre-domestic traits; and these once set, no amount of domestic training will, thereafter, make calf or chicken anything else than a wild, untamable creature. The early instinctive periods of man’s progeny are more prolonged, more delicate, and more susceptible than those of lower animals, yet are of the same nature. If left to evil environment in early years the latent brute within him will surely lay hold of its own, and ripen the yet innocent child to a creature bearing the same relation to the moral and civilized man that the wild wolf does to the house-dog.

On the other hand, the wolf whose first lair is the hunter’s hearth, grows to share it lovingly with the hunter’s children. The government that ignores the hordes of children which crowd to-day the criminal quarters of its great cities, and abandons them to ripen their pre-civilized propensities under such evil influences, becomes itself the foster-father of its own crimes; nurses its own children to fill its poorhouses, and raises its own youths to fill its prisons. Psychology, if on mere ground of financial economy alone, will yet force criminal jurisprudence to begin its work before, rather than after, this early period of “unalterable penalty.”


The benefits of a psychological training to the medical man are now so obvious as to make a knowledge of psychology imperative for every first-class 408 physician. The nervous activities are the regulating activities of every part of the body; and the brain embodies an ever-meddling three-fourths of the body’s whole neural energy. The mind is a play-house wherein the skilful physician now looks to observe the condition of the general system, and with growing precision even to read the working of such specific organs as the heart, the stomach, the bladder, and the liver.

The relation of our science to modern education has long passed from novelty to a recognized principle. A chair of psychology and a chair of pedagogy, side by side and hand in hand, is now the requisite of every institution of advanced learning. “To get up more ‘fads’? More patent methods?” It is only the ignorant now who ask these questions. Galton has shown that some men do their thinking in visual pictures—in memories of what they see; others, in memories of what they hear; others, in the memories of their own speaking. There is reason to suspect that the lightning-calculator’s speed is largely due to peculiar “image processes” used in his thinking, and that these could be taught if science could but catch his unconscious secrets. This in time will be done, and is but an instance of innumerable things that are sure to be accomplished. In the face of all present pedagogical fads and blunders we may yet say with confidence, of the mind, the instincts, the emotions, the conduct of man, individual and social, all is lawful; and the laws may be discovered. They are difficult—more difficult than all the physical laws achieved from Ptolemy to Darwin. But they can be scientifically determined and mastered, and modern methods, swift with gathering impetus, shall make of this no lingering matter.



The psychological laboratory sprang first from no single mind; not wholly from science nor yet from philosophy, but from an age. In 1860 Gustave Theodore Fechner, the godfather of experimental psychology, published his famous Law. Fechner was as much a mystic as a scientist. His Law was, perhaps, the first great impetus to active psycho-physical experimentation. The prospects now are, however, that this Law will stand, a halfway truth, beside Newton’s erroneous theory of 409 light, rather than, as was at first claimed for it, beside the Law of Gravity, a great primary law of nature.

The spirit of Fechner, of evolution, and of our times joined to fall upon Wilhelm Wundt, who founded at Leipsic, in 1878, the first laboratory in the world for regular scientific mental experimentation. Professor Wundt is the greatest psychologist now living in Europe, and a majority of the noted psychological experts, both of Germany and of America, have been his pupils.

One of these pupils, G. Stanley Hall, now President of Clark University, opened the first American laboratory at Johns Hopkins in 1883, and the larger laboratory at Worcester in 1889. To him must be credited the founding of experimental psychology in this country, and an eminent share of its present successful growth.

A foremost figure in modern psychology is Professor William James, of Harvard, whose great text-book, the product of twelve years of labor, appeared in 1890. In 1891 he opened the present Harvard Laboratory, or, at least, expanded a previously slow growth to important dimensions.

In 1892 Harvard established a new chair of Experimental Psychology, and elected to the same, and to direct its new laboratory, Professor Hugo Münsterberg, previously Professor of Philosophy at Freyburg, Germany. Professor Münsterberg was at one time a pupil of Wundt, but is much more a man of original inspiration; and in his genius the hopes and destiny of experimental psychology at Harvard are now centred.

Some twenty laboratories are now actively at work in America, and about half that number in Europe. The twentieth century will be to mental what the sixteenth century was to physical science, and the central field of its development is likely to be America.

Harvard University, July, 1893.


By Emma W. Demeritt.

“It needs but a steady head and a clear conscience and the thing is done.” Those were old Jacob’s words.

“The clear conscience is not lacking, thank God! but all these weeks of watching by a sick bed, and the scanty meals, have made the head anything but steady. If it were but three months ago, my courage would not fail me, but now——”

The boy broke off abruptly, and, stepping back several feet, stood looking up at the stately spire that towered above him. Fair and shapely it rose, with gradually receding buttress and arch, until it terminated at a point over four hundred feet from the pavement.

All day long little groups of men had straggled across the Platz and gathered in front of the great cathedral, elbowing one another, and stretching upon tiptoe to read the notice nailed to the massive door. Many were the jests passed around.

“Does the old sexton think men are flies, to creep along yonder dizzy height?” asked one.

“The prize is indeed worth winning,” said another, “but”—he turned away with an expressive shrug of the shoulder—“life is sweet.”

“When I try to reach heaven ’twill be by some less steep and dangerous way,” laughed a third, with an upward glance at the spire.

“It makes a strong man feel a bit queer to go up inside as far as the great bell and look up at the network of crossing ladders; but to stand outside and wave a flag!—why, the mere thought of it is enough to make one’s head swim,” said the first speaker.

“Jacob Wirtig is the only man in all Vienna who has the nerve for such a part.”

“But he served a good apprenticeship! He learned the knack of keeping a steady head during his early days of chamois-hunting in the Tyrol. But why does he seek to draw others into danger? For so much gold many a man would risk his life.”

“I can understand it, Caspar. Twice before, on some grand occasion, has old Jacob stood on the spire and waved a flag as the emperor passed in the streets below. And now, after all the fighting and the victory, when there is to be a triumphal entry into the city and a grand review, and such rejoicing as was never known before, he feels in honor bound to supply the customary salute from the cathedral. And since this miserable fever, which has stricken down so many in the city, has left him too weak to attempt it, he is trying, as you see by this notice, to get some one to take his place. He offers all the money which the emperor never fails to send as a reward, to say nothing of the glory. I’ll wager a florin that he’ll offer in vain! But come, let us be going. There’s too much work to be done, to be loitering here.”

Twice before on that day, once in the early morning, and again at noon, had the boy stood as if spellbound, with his eyes riveted on the beautiful spire. And now the setting of the sun had found him a third time at his post. The Platz was deserted, but the streets beyond were thronged with people hurrying to their homes. Was it fear, or the chill of the night air, that sent a shiver over the slender figure of the boy as he stood, letting his eyes slowly wander from the top of the spire to the base of the tower beneath, as if measuring the frightful distance? But as he 411 turned away with a little gesture of despair, there rose before him the vision of a wan and weary face, as white as the pillow against which it rested, and he heard the physician’s voice as he gently replaced the wasted hand on the coverlet: “The fever has gone, my boy, and all that your mother needs now to make her well and strong is good care and plenty of nourishing food.” The money offered by old Jacob would do all that, and much more. It would mean comfort for two or three years for both mother and son, with their simple way of living.

When the lad again faced the cathedral it was with an involuntary straightening of the shrinking figure. “With God’s help I will try,” he said aloud, with a determined ring to his voice, “and I must go at once to let Master Wirtig know. Now that I have finally decided, it is strange how the fear has flown. It is the hesitating that takes the courage out of one. After all”—he paced back, back, back, until he was far enough from the cathedral to get a good view of the noble structure—“who knows? It may look more difficult than it really is. ’Tis but a foothold of a few inches, but ’tis enough. If it were near the ground I should feel as safe as if I were on the floor of the great hall in the Stadt Haus. Why, then, should I fear up yonder?”

The flush in the western sky suddenly deepened to a vivid crimson. The clouds above the horizon, which a moment before had shone like waves of gold, became a sea of flame. The ruddy glow illumined the old cathedral, touching rich carving and lace-like tracery with a new splendor, while far over sculptured dome and stately tower rose the lofty spire, bathed from finial to base in the radiant light.

The boy made a step forward, and, slipping back the little cap from his locks, stretched out his clasped hands toward the sky. “O Mary, tender mother!” he cried, “plead thou for me in my time of need to-morrow! O Jesu! be near to help and save!”

He replaced the cap, and hurried across the Platz to the crowded thoroughfare beyond. At the end of three blocks he turned into a narrow street, and stopped in front of a high house with steep, tiled roof. The lamp in the swinging iron bracket above the door gave such a feeble light that he was obliged to grope his way through the hall to the stairs.

At the second landing he paused for a moment, fancying that he heard a light footfall behind him, but all was still, and he hastened on to the next floor. Again he stopped, thinking that he caught the sound of a stealthy, cat-like tread on the steps below. “Who’s there?” he called out boldly, but the lingering 412 echo of his own voice was the only answer.

“How foolish I am!” he exclaimed. “It is but the clatter of my shoes on the stone stairs.” Up another flight and down the long, narrow entry he went, and still he could not shake off the feeling that he was being followed.

At that moment a door opened and a woman peered out, holding a candle high above her head. “Is that you, Franz?” she said. “My brother has been expecting you this half hour.” By the flickering light of the candle Franz could see that there was no one in the entry. He turned, impelled by a strong desire to search the tall cupboard near the stairs and see if any one had concealed himself within, but the dread of being laughed at kept him back, and he followed the woman into a room where a gray-haired man sat, leaning wearily against the back of his chair.

“You may go now, Katrina,” said the man, motioning to an adjoining room; and when the door closed he turned to Franz, trembling with eagerness. “Well, have you decided?”

“I will try, Master Wirtig.”

The old sexton wrung his thin hands nervously. “But if you should fail?”

“In God is my trust,” answered the boy, calmly. “But one ‘if’ is as good as another. Why not say, if you succeed? It sounds more cheery.”

“God grant it!” answered the man, sinking back in his chair. “I had thought that it would be some hardy young sprig who should accept my offer—some sailor or stone-mason, whose calling had taught him to carry a steady head. I never dreamed that it would be a mere lad like thyself, and worn out, too, with the care of thy sick mother! Even now I feel I do thee a grievous wrong to listen to thy entreaties.”

“Think not of me, Master Wirtig; think rather of my mother. Shall we let her die, when a few moments on yonder spire would furnish the means to make her well? The kind physician who would have helped me was smitten with the fever yesterday, and there is no one to whom I can go.”

“Had I been as prudent as I ought, I could have aided thee. But this lingering illness has used up what I had put aside. Here is a little for thy present need—some broth for thy mother, and a bite for thyself, for thy cheeks look as pinched as if thou hadst not eaten a good meal for a fortnight.” He pulled out a covered basket from under the table, and continued: “I shall arrange with Nicholas—for he has worked with me so long that he is as familiar with the ladders as myself—to go with thee up to the little sliding window, and pass out the flag. Thou must let thyself down outside the window until thy toes touch the ledge below. Then thou must creep cautiously around to the opposite side of the spire, and wave the flag. Look always straight before thee or up at the sky. Thy safety lies in not glancing below. I believe in my heart thou wilt succeed. How I wish that this graceless Nicholas, this unruly nephew of mine, were such an one as thou! Then should I have some comfort. But with his evil companions and bad ways, he brings me naught but sorrow. Listen, Franz; if all goes well, thou shalt have his place in helping me with the care of the cathedral. There is no longer any dependence to be placed on him.”

In his excitement old Jacob’s voice rang through the room. “What is it?” he asked, as he saw Franz start and look toward the door.


“I thought I heard a rattling of the latch—as if some one were outside.”

“It’s nothing but the wind drawing through the entry.”

Franz took up his basket and bade the old sexton good-night. After he had passed into the street a figure crept out from the cupboard, and stole softly down stairs. The light by the door showed a boy about seventeen years old, with an evil scowl on his face. “And so thou art to take my place, Franz Halle,” he sneered. “That is nothing new. Twice this year has our master, the goldsmith, preferred thy work to mine, and has set thee over me. Truly, I wish thou mayst fall to-morrow and break thy neck.”

When Franz reached home the kind neighbor who was watching by his mother’s bed motioned for him to be quiet. “The sick one is sleeping well,” she said. “If I had but some good broth to give her when she wakes.” Franz pointed to the basket, and the delighted woman began the preparations for the evening meal. When the invalid awoke they gave her a few spoonfuls of the broth, and had the satisfaction of seeing a faint color come into the white cheeks as she sank into a peaceful slumber.

“Do thou go to bed, Franz! I will stay with thy mother to-night, and to-morrow too, for that matter, so that thou canst have the whole day to thyself. Thou needest it after all thy care and watching. I like not these parades and these marches of triumph. They remind me too much of my boy, whose young life helped to purchase the victory,” and the good frau wiped away a tear.

The morning dawned with a bright blue sky and a crisp breeze, which shook out the folds of the triumphal banners floating from every tower and turret. The city was one blaze of color. The gorgeous festoons on column and arch and façade were matched by the rich tints of the splendid costumes in the streets below. On every side the black eagles of Austria stood out distinctly from their gleaming orange background. The procession was due at the cathedral by the middle of the afternoon, but owing to some delay it was nearly sunset when the salute from the “Fort” told of the approach of the troops. To Franz, the hours had dragged wearily on, and he sprang up joyfully when Nicholas finally appeared in the little room in the tower, with the furled flag under his arm. “Come,” he said gruffly, “you have just time to climb up and take your stand on the spire.” Up the boys went, as far as the great bell, Franz close behind Nicholas. Thus far the ascent had been easy, but from this point the steps dwindled to long, frail ladders terminating in small platforms, and steadied by iron bars.

Still they toiled upward, more slowly and cautiously now, for the danger increased with every turn. At last they halted, side by side, on the little platform under the sliding window. To Nicholas’s surprise Franz stood there, surveying it all without flinching. The younger boy turned to his burly companion: “Somehow, we’ve never been very good friends. I don’t think the fault was all on my side, because you wouldn’t let me be your friend. And we have had a good many quarrels. Won’t you shake hands with me now and wish me good luck? If—if”—and there was just the suspicion of a tremor in the winning voice—“I should never see you again, I should like to feel that we were friends at the last. You’re very good to come up here with me.”


To his dying day Nicholas never forgot the slight, almost girlish, figure, standing there, with the wistful little smile, and the pleading tenderness shining in the blue eyes. He touched the slender outstretched hand with his own, but dropped it suddenly, as if he had received an electric shock. He tried to say “Good luck,” but his tongue seemed glued to the roof of his mouth.

“Look you, Franz,” he murmured hoarsely, “when you are safe outside I’ll hand out the flag. I’ll wait till you reach the opposite side of the spire and call out, ‘All’s well,’ and then I’ll go down and leave you to make your way back. And glad I shall be to leave this miserable trap in mid air.”

Franz’s face was deathly pale, but his eyes shone like two stars. He climbed up nimbly through the opening, let himself carefully down to the stone ledge outside, and reached up for the flag. A few moments passed, which seemed like ages to the waiting Nicholas. Then a cheery “All’s well” rang out, without a quiver in the steady voice. The older boy’s face grew black with rage. “What nerve the pale, sickly little thing has!” he muttered between his set teeth. “I believe he’ll do it after all! And so this baby gets not only the prizes at the goldsmith’s, but the money and the glory of this thing, to say nothing of his taking my place in the cathedral.”

He raised his hand to the window, and stood in front of it for a moment. Then he began the descent as if some demon were after him. The frail ladders vibrated and swayed with the dangerous strain, but down he went, with reckless haste, until he reached the second platform, when he raised his hands with an agonized gesture to his ears as if he was trying to shut out the voice of conscience, that kept calling to him, “Back! back! before it is too late! Stain not thy young soul with such a crime!”

Still he hurried down with flying step to the landing near the great bell, where he paused, and stood leaning breathless against one of the cross-beams of the tower. Into the fierce, turbulent passions of the troubled face stole a softened expression, lighting up the swarthy lineaments like a gleam of sunshine. “I will go back and undo the horrid deed,” he cried, as if in answer to the good angel pleading within his breast. “I am coming, Franz! God forgive me!”


He had turned to make the ascent, and his hand was stretched out to grasp the side of the ladder, when his toe caught in a coil of rope on the platform, and, missing his hold, he plunged down, down, into the space beneath.

In the meantime Franz had made his way safely around the spire, and stood quietly, with the end of the flagstaff on the ledge beneath, waiting for the signal. It came in a few moments; the thunder of the great gun on the Platz, and, bracing his feet firmly, he unfurled the flag and slowly waved it back and forth. From the answering roar of artillery, and the cheer upon cheer that floated up through the air, he knew that his salute had been seen.

With a light heart he began to retrace his steps, edging himself cautiously, inch by inch, to the window. To his surprise, the sliding wooden panel was closed! With one hand he grasped the iron ring fastened to the wall beneath the window, and with the other pushed, first gently, and then with all his might, but the panel remained fast. He tried to batter it with the flagstaff, but soon found that, in his cramped position, it only increased his danger. Again and again he endeavored to force it open, breaking his nails and bruising his finger-tips in his frenzy, but to no purpose. Suddenly the conviction dawned upon him that the window was bolted from the inside. With a despairing sob he tottered backward, but his grasp on the ring held, and with a supreme effort he pulled himself up close to the wall, and tried to collect his scattered wits.

“It is no use to shout,” he said aloud. “It is more than folly to attempt to make myself heard from this height, I might as well save my strength. All that remains for me to do is to wait patiently. Some one will be sure to miss me and come to my relief. In God is my trust!” and his courage rose with the words.

The troops disbanded, and the people hurried off to the brilliantly lighted cafés and theatres, all unconscious of the pale, silent boy clinging with desperate grip to the spire, with but a narrow shelf of stone between him and a horrible death.

The sunset faded into the twilight, and with a sudden wave darkness drifted over the earth. The noise in the streets grew fainter and fainter. The minutes lengthened into hours, and still the boy stood there, as the night wore on, occasionally shifting his position to ease his cramped and aching limbs. The night wind pierced his thin clothing, and his hands were benumbed with the cold. One by one the bright constellations rose and glittered and dipped in the sky, and the boy still managed to keep his foothold, as rigid as the stone statues on the dome below.

“Two, three, four,” pealed the bells in their hoarse, deep tones, and when the first glimmer of dawn tinged the eastern horizon with pale yellow, the haggard face lighted with expectancy, and from the ashen lips, which had been moving all night in prayer, came the words, “In God is my trust.”

“What is the meaning of yonder crowd?” asked one of two artisans, who had met while hurrying across the Platz to their work.

“What! have you not heard? All Vienna is ringing with the news! It was young Franz, the goldsmith’s apprentice, who climbed out on the spire 416 yesterday and waved the flag. In some way, the little window near the top was fastened on the inside, and the poor boy was forced to stay out all night clinging to the spire. It is only a short time ago that he was discovered and brought fainting down the ladders. After working over him a little while he seemed all right, and was carried to his home. And there’s another strange thing. Nicholas, old Jacob Wirtig’s nephew, was picked up, mangled and bleeding, at the foot of the tower stairs this morning. He has just been taken to the hospital.”

The next day Franz received a summons from the emperor. As he followed the officer who had been sent to conduct him to the palace, to his surprise the marble steps and the corridor beyond were lined on either sides with the soldiers of the Imperial Guard, and as the slender, boyish figure, with its crown of golden hair, passed between the files, each mailed and bearded warrior reverently saluted.

On he went, through another chamber, and into a spacious hall with marble floors and hangings of rich tapestry. On both sides were rows of courtiers and officers, the rich costumes and nodding plumes and splendid uniforms, with their jewelled orders, contrasting strangely with the lad’s plain, homespun garments. “It is the emperor,” whispered the guide as they drew near a canopied throne, and Franz dropped on one knee.

He felt the hand which was placed on his bowed head tremble, and a kind voice said, “Rise, my boy! kneel not to me! It is I, thy emperor, who should rather kneel to do thee homage for thy filial piety. My brave lad, I know thy story well! Ask of me a place near my person, aid for thy sick mother, what thou wilt, and it is granted thee! And remember that as long as the Emperor of Austria shall live he will feel himself honored in being known as thy friend!”

In a short time another summons came, this time from the hospital. At the end of a long row of beds lay Nicholas, with his arm bandaged and strips of plaster covering the gashes on his forehead.

“Oh, Franz!” he groaned, “if God has forgiven me, why cannot you? And you will believe that I speak the truth when I tell you that I was sorry for what I had done, and I had turned to go back and unbolt the door when I tripped and fell.”

Franz bent over him with a bright smile. “I forgive you everything, Nicholas,” he said, sweetly, “so please let us say no more about it. It wasn’t a bad exchange. I lost an enemy but I gained a friend,” and the hands of the two boys met in a firm, loving grasp.


By Francis Gribble.

This is the season when the mountaineer once more takes down his Norfolk jacket, his nailed boots, and his ice-axe, and prepares to face the perils that may lurk for him above the snowline.

Strictly speaking—from the point of view of the expert who knows and does everything that an expert ought to know and do—mountaineering has two dangers only. There is the danger of bad weather, and there is the danger of the falling stone. But every climber is not an expert, and even of experts it may be said that nemo horis omnibus sapit. So that there are all sorts of dangers to be reckoned with, and foremost among them is the avalanche.

Everybody knows—vaguely, if not precisely—what an avalanche is. Masses of snow accumulate in winter on the mountain slopes. In spring the warmth loosens their coherence, and they fall into the valleys, sweeping away or burying everything in their track. It is bad for the mountaineer, if he happens to be in the way of one.

Says the editor of the volume devoted to mountaineering, in the Badminton Library: “The simple rule with regard to all forms of avalanche is to avoid their track, and all that is necessary in the majority of instances is to recognize the marks on the snow surfaces that denote their cause, and to steer clear of them.”


Undoubtedly an admirable rule, if only it could be always carried out. But mistakes, unhappily, may be made even by experts, as witness this story of a thrilling adventure which befell F. F. Tuckett, twenty-two years ago.

The season had been exceptionally cold and wet. Snow lay thickly everywhere, even on the Faulhorn, the Scheinige Platte, and the Wengern Alp. But in the early days of July an improvement began to show itself, and Mr. Tuckett, who for a whole month had been able to make no big expedition, resolved to make an attempt upon the Eiger.

The members of the party were Mr. Tuckett, Mr. Whitwell, J. H. Fox, and the guides, Christian and Ulrich Lauener. They got off between 3 and 4 A.M., and presently started to ascend the Eiger glacier. The surface of it was entirely concealed with snow, but, for some reason, they neglected to put on the rope. High up in front of them were the disordered pillars and buttresses of the ice-fall, and above the ice-fall rested an enormous weight of freshly fallen snow.

Instead of ascending the centre of the glacier, the party, fortunately for themselves, were keeping to the left, towards the rocks of the Rothstock. Of a sudden, a sort of crack was heard high up above their heads, and every eye was turned upon the hanging ice-cliff from which it came. A large mass of “sérac” was seen to break away, mingled with a still larger contingent of snow from the slopes above; and the whole mass slid down like a cataract, filling the “couloir” to its brim, and dashing in clouds of frozen spray over the rocky ridges in its path, towards the travellers.



For a moment they did not realize that they were in its track. But then 419 the knowledge flashed upon them all, and they shouted to each other, “Run for your lives,” and struggled desperately through the deep, soft snow to reach the rocks of the Rothstock, yet with their faces turned to watch the swift oncoming of the foe.

Let Mr. Tuckett himself describe that thrilling race for life.

“I remember,” he writes, “being struck with the idea that it seemed as though, sure of its prey, it wished to play with us for a while, at one moment letting us imagine that we had gained upon it, and were getting beyond the line of its fire, and the next, with mere wantonness of vindictive power, suddenly rolling out on its right a vast volume of grinding blocks and whirling snow, as though to show that it could outflank us at any moment if it chose.

“Nearer and nearer it came, its front like a mighty wave about to break. Now it has traversed the whole width of the glacier above us, taking a somewhat diagonal direction; and now—run, oh! run, if ever you did, for here it comes straight at us, swift, deadly, and implacable! The next instant we saw no more; a wild confusion of whirling snow and fragments of ice—a frozen cloud—swept over us, entirely concealing us from one another, and still we were untouched—at least I knew that I was—and still we ran. Another half-second and the mist had passed, and there lay the body of the monster, whose head was still careering away at lightning speed far below us, motionless, rigid, and harmless.”

The danger was over, and the party examined the avalanche at their leisure. It had a length of three thousand three hundred feet, an average breadth of a thousand feet, and an average depth of five feet. This is to say, its bulk was six hundred and eleven thousand cubic yards, and its weight, on a moderate computation, about four hundred and fifty thousand tons.

Accidents of this sort, happily, are very rare, and the climber who is carried away by the avalanche has, as a rule, deliberately faced the risk out of bravado, and the desire to go home and boast that he had done hard things. But there is another sort of avalanche which is a much more frequent source of danger. It consists of a stratum of snow loosely adherent to a slope of névé or ice. The snow breaks away under the weight of the party, and carries them down with it, sometimes to a place of safety, sometimes to a crevasse.


Experience, of course, has laid down many rules for determining whether snow of this sort is safe, but the best men—guides as well as amateurs—may sometimes be misled. Professor Tyndall, for instance, was always a cautious as well as a brilliant mountaineer; yet there was a day when the professor’s snow craft failed him, and he came very near to paying for his blunder with his life.

The place was the Piz Morteratsch, in the Engadine, and the time the month of July, 1864. Professor Tyndall’s companions were Mr. Hutchinson and Lee Warner, and the guides Jenni and Walter. Jenni was at that time the dictator of Pontresina, and he seems to have set out with the deliberate intention of showing his Herren how great and brave a man he was.

The ascent was accomplished without any incident of note. On the way down the party reached a broad couloir, or gully, filled with snow, which had been melted and refrozen, so as to expose a steeply sloping wall of ice. The question arose whether it would be better to descend this wall of ice, or to keep to the steep rocks by the side of it. Professor Tyndall preferred the rocks; Jenni inclined towards the slope, and started to lead the way upon it.


There was a remonstrance from the professor:

“Jenni,” he said, “do you know where you are going? The slope is pure ice.”

“I know it,” the guide replied, “but the ice is quite bare for a few rods only. Across this exposed portion I will cut steps, and then the snow which covers the ice will give us a footing.”


So they started, roped together, Jenni in front, Mr. Tyndall next, followed by Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Lee Warner, the one inexperienced member of the party, and, last of all, the guide Walter, ready to check on the instant any false step that Mr. Lee Warner might make.

After a few steps Jenni began to see that the slope was less safe than he had supposed. He stopped and turned round to speak a word of warning to the three men above him.

“Keep carefully in the steps, gentlemen,” he said; “a false step here might start an avalanche.”

And, even as he spoke, the false step was made. There was a sound of a fall and a rush, and Professor Tyndall saw his friends and their guide, all apparently entangled, whirled past him. He planted himself to resist the shock, but it was irresistible; he, too, was torn from his foothold, and Jenni followed him, and all five found themselves riding downwards, with uncontrollable speed, on the back of an avalanche, which a single slip had started.

“Turn on your face, and grind the point of your axe or baton through the moving snow into the ice”—that is the golden rule for cases of the kind, the only way in which the faller can do anything to arrest his speed. But it seldom avails much, and in this instance it availed nothing.

“No time,” writes Professor Tyndall, “was allowed for the break’s action; for I had held it firmly thus for a few seconds only, when I came into collision with some obstacle and was rudely tossed through the air, Jenni at the same time being shot down upon me. Both of us here lost our batons. We had been carried over a crevasse, had hit its lower edge, and, instead of dropping into it, were pitched by our great velocity beyond it. I was quite bewildered for a moment, but immediately righted myself, and could see the men 421 in front of me, half-buried in the snow, and jolted from side to side by the ruts among which we were passing.”

Presently a second crevasse was reached. Jenni knew that it was there, and did a brave thing. He deliberately threw himself into the chasm, thinking that the strain thus put upon the rope would stop the motion. But, though he was over a hundred and eighty pounds in weight, he was violently jerked out of the fissure, and almost squeezed to death by the pressure of the rope.

And so they continued to slide on. Below them was a long slope, leading directly downwards to a brow where the glacier fell precipitously; and at the base of the declivity the ice was cut by a series of profound chasms, where they must fall, and where the tail of the avalanche would cover them up forever.

The three foremost men rode upon the forehead of the avalanche, and were at times almost wholly hidden by the snow; but behind, the sliding layer was not so thick, and Jenni strove with desperate energy to arrest his progress.

“Halt! Herr Jesus! halt!” he shouted, as again and again he drove his heels into the firmer surface underneath.


And now let Professor Tyndall tell the rest:

“Looking in advance, I noticed that the slope, for a short distance, became less steep, and then fell as before. Now or never we must be brought to rest. The speed visibly slackened, and I thought we were saved. But the momentum had been too great; the avalanche crossed the brow and in part regained its motion. Here Hutchinson threw his arm round his friend, all hope being extinguished, while I grasped my belt and struggled to free myself. Finding this difficult, from the tossing, I sullenly resumed the strain upon the rope. Destiny had so related the downward impetus to Jenni’s pull as to give the latter a slight advantage, and the whole question was whether the opposing force would have sufficient time to act. This was also arranged in our favor, for we came to rest so near the brow that two or three seconds of our average motion of descent must have carried us over. Had this occurred, we should have fallen into the chasms and been covered up by the tail of the avalanche. Hutchinson emerged from the snow with his forehead bleeding, but the wound was superficial; Jenni had a bit of flesh removed from his hand by collision against a stone; the pressure 422 of the rope had left black welts on my arms, and we all experienced a tingling sensation over the hands, like that produced by incipient frost-bite, which continued for several days. This was all. I found a portion of my watch-chain hanging round my neck, another portion in my pocket; the watch was gone.”

Very similar in many respects was the famous accident of the Haut de Cry, in which J. J. Bennen perished in February, 1864. So sure of foot was Bennen that it used to be said of him, as it was said of Johann Lauener, who died upon the Jungfrau, that nothing could bring him to grief but an avalanche. And the hour came when the snowfield which he was crossing with his Herren split suddenly and the ground on which they stood began to move, and Bennen solemnly called out the words, “Wir sind alle verloren,” and never spoke again.


The avalanche was deeper than the one which swept Professor Tyndall down the glacier of the Piz Morteratsch. “Before long,” writes Mr. Gossett, one of the survivors of the accident, “I was covered up with snow and in utter darkness. I was suffocating, when, with a jerk, I suddenly came to the surface again. To prevent myself sinking again I made use of my arms much in the same way as when swimming in a standing position. At last I noticed that I was moving slower; then I saw the pieces of snow in front of me stop at some yards distance; then the snow straight before me stopped, and I heard on a large scale the same creaking sound that is produced when a heavy cart passes over hard, frozen snow in winter.”

But the snow behind pressed on and buried Mr. Gossett. So intense was the pressure that he could not move, 423 and he began to fear that it would be impossible to extricate himself. Then, while trying vainly to move his arms, he suddenly became aware that his hands, as far as the wrist, had the faculty of motion. The cheering conclusion was that they must be above the snow. So Mr. Gossett struggled on. At last he saw a faint glimmer of light. The crust above his head was getting thinner, and let a little air pass; but he could no longer reach it with his hands. The idea struck him that he might pierce it with his breath. He tried, and after several efforts he succeeded. Then he shouted for help, and one of his guides, who had escaped uninjured, came and extricated him. The snow had to be cut with the axe down to his feet before he could be pulled out. Then he found that his travelling companion, M. Boissonnet, was dead, and that no trace of Bennen could be seen. His body, however, was afterwards recovered. The story is told in a letter from Mr. Gossett to Professor Tyndall.

“Bennen’s body,” he writes, “was found with great difficulty the day after Boissonnet was found. The cord end had been covered up with snow. The Curé d’Ardon informed me that poor Bennen was found eight feet under the snow, in a horizontal position, the head facing the valley of the Luzerne. His watch had been wrenched from the chain, probably when the cord broke; the chain, however, remained attached to his waist-coat. This reminds me of your fall on the Morteratsch glacier.”

It may be said that the principal danger of climbing rock-mountains is the danger of falling off them. For the art consists largely in traversing the faces of precipices by means of narrow and imperfect ledges, which afford more facilities for falling off than will readily be believed by any one who has not tried to stand on them. The climbers, of course, are always securely roped together in such places, and the theory is that two of them shall always be so firmly anchored that they can instantly check any slip that the third may make. But that is not always feasible. It is not feasible, for instance, at the difficult corner on the Dent Blanche, where Mr. Gabbett and the two Lochmatters came to grief.

As all three climbers were killed on that occasion, no details of the accident are known. But the elder Lochmatter was known to be an exceptionally heavy man, and the presumption is that it was he who fell, and dragged the rest of the party after him. How he came to fall may be understood from the following description of the “Mauvais Pas,” given by a traveller who traversed it a little afterwards:

“Here,” he writes, “we must get round past a perpendicular ledge by creeping out on an overhanging rock, and then turning sharp round, with head and arms on one side of the rock, while the legs are still on the other; then we must at once cling to a hardly visible fissure, and draw round the rest of the body, gently, cautiously, little by little, and hang there by the points of our fingers until our toes find their way to a second fissure lower down. I made this passage,” he adds, “like a bale of goods at the end of a rope, without being conscious of the danger, and I really do not know how I escaped in safety.”

The description gives some idea of what stiff rock-climbing is really like; and it should be remembered that in the Dolomites more awkward places even than the Lochmatters’ corner have often to be passed, and that when, as often happens, the rocks are glazed with ice, the danger of climbing them is more than doubled.

It is always assumed that the Dent Blanche is inaccessible in such a case. Yet the story is told of an inexperienced climber who managed to get to the summit in spite of the ice.

He was on his first visit to Switzerland; and as soon as he got to Zermatt he engaged the best available guide.

“What are considered the hardest mountains here?” he asked.

The guide told him: “The Dent Blanche, the Weisshorn, and the Ober Gabelhorn.”

“Very well,” said the novice; “we’ll begin with the Dent Blanche.”

The guide protested. Did not his 424 Herr think it would be better to begin with something easier—with the Rothhorn, for instance, or the Strahlhorn, or the Unter Gabelhorn?

“No,” was the reply; “you’ve got to take me up the Dent Blanche. I’ve climbed in Wales, and I’ll undertake to climb any rock you show me.”

So the guide yielded, and the two started, with a porter, and for a certain distance got on very well. But at last they came to a point where all the hand-holds within reach were frozen up; the nearest practicable hand-hold could only just be found by stretching out the ice-axe. The guide explained the situation, and insisted that they must turn back. But his employer had been roused to such a pitch of excitement that he would not hear of it.


“Look here,” he said, “you’re a bachelor; I’m a married man with a family. If I can afford to risk my life you can afford to risk yours. You’ve got to go on up this mountain. Otherwise I’ll throw myself over the precipice, and as you’re roped to me you’ll have to come, too.”

The man was absolutely mad. There was no question that, in his excitement, he would do what he threatened if he were not obeyed. So the guide sullenly struck his ice-axe into the fissure, and climbed up it hand over hand, and took his lunatic up and down the Dent Blanche at a time when its ascent ought by all the laws of ice-craft to have been impossible.


To turn from rock to snow climbing. Accidents are constantly happening on glaciers; yet the observance of the most elementary precautions ought to make such accidents absolutely impossible.

An open glacier, of course, is safe enough under any circumstances. The one thing needful is to look where you are going and not try to make flying leaps across crevasses. But even when the crevasses are masked by snow all 425 danger may still quite easily be obviated. The simple rule is that the party crossing the glacier should never consist of less than three, and that the three should be roped together in such a way that, if one falls into a crevasse, the other two can pull him out. And this, of course, involves the further rule that the rope must always be kept taut, so that a fall may be checked before it has gained an impetus which would make it difficult to resist.


By experience it is possible to recognize a crevasse, with tolerable accuracy, in spite of its snow covering; and by sounding with the ice-axe before treading on it, one ought to be able to tell whether the snow bridge will bear one’s weight. But, now and again, it will happen that the most experienced man’s judgment is at fault. Relying upon their instinctive perception of such things, the Swiss peasantry constantly traverse glaciers alone in mid-winter. But accidents are very frequent, and when guides, tourists, or porters have attempted the same thing, accidents have constantly befallen them as well. As an illustration may be quoted the case of a reporter, who foolishly ventured to return alone over the Loetschen pass. A snow bridge broke and he fell into a crevasse, where only his knapsack saved him from breaking his neck. He lay on his back, wedged into the ice in such a way that he could not move, and it was by the merest accident that he was discovered in time, and rescued by a party journeying in the same direction.

So much, as Herodotus would say, for crevasses. Another serious Alpine danger is the danger of bad weather; and bad weather, as Leslie Stephen has pointed out, may make the Righi at one time as dangerous as the Matterhorn at another.

To a certain extent, of course, bad weather can be foreseen; but meteorology is not yet an exact science, and even the acquired instinct of the guides is sometimes at fault, so that grave mistakes, often followed by fatal consequences, are made almost every year.


Mont Blanc is probably the mountain in which bad weather makes the greatest difference. On a fine day, the ascent 426 of it is scarcely more dangerous than the ascent of Primrose Hill; but in a storm you will lose your way, and wander round and round, until you sink down exhausted, and freeze to death.

In September, 1870, a party of eleven persons, eight of whom were guides or porters, were lost in this way. When their bodies were recovered, a memorandum was found in the pocket of one of them, J. Beane, of the United States of America, finished apparently just before his death, and giving a brief summary of the circumstances of the calamity. This is how it read:

“Tuesday, September 6.—I have made the ascent of Mont Blanc, with ten persons; eight guides, Mr. Corkendal and Mr. Randall. We arrived at the summit at 2.30 o’clock. Immediately after leaving it, I was enveloped in clouds of snow. We passed the night in a grotto excavated out of snow, affording very uncomfortable shelter, and I was ill all night.

“September 7 (morning).—Intense cold; much snow falls uninterruptedly: guides restless.


“September 7 (evening).—We have been on Mont Blanc for two days in a terrible snow-storm: we have lost our way and are in a hole scooped out of the snow, at a height of fifteen thousand feet. I have no hope of descending. Perhaps this book may be found and forwarded. (Here follow some instructions on his private affairs.) We have no food; my feet are already frozen and I am exhausted; I have only strength to write a few words. I die in the faith of Jesus Christ, with affectionate thoughts of my family. My remembrance to all. I trust we may meet in heaven.”

Says Leslie Stephen, commenting on the incident in the “Alpine Journal:”

“The main facts are so simple that little explanation is needed. The one special danger of Mont Blanc is bad weather. The inexperienced travellers were probably ignorant of the fearful danger they were encountering, and had not the slightest conception of the risk to life and limb which accompanies even a successful ascent of the mountain under such circumstances. I once ascended Mont Blanc on a day so unusually fine that we could lie on the summit for an hour, light matches in the open air, and enjoy the temperature. 427 Yet, in two or three hours before sunrise, the guide of another party which ascended the same day was so severely frost-bitten as to lose his toes. Such things may happen in the finest weather, when proper precautions are neglected; but in bad weather it is simple madness to proceed. Why, one cannot help asking, did not the guides oppose the wishes of their employers?”


Among other dangers that the mountaineer has to reckon with are ice avalanches and cornices.

A cornice is a mass of snow projecting over the edge of a precipice, and resting upon empty space. Occasionally it will bear the weight of one, or even several, men; but more often it gives way when trodden on, carrying a whole party to destruction. This was the case in the famous accident on the Lyskamm—a mountain where the cornices are particularly treacherous—when Messrs. William Arnold Lewis and Noel H. Paterson, with the guides Niklaus, Johann, and Peter Joseph Knubel, met their deaths in the year 1877. “The cornice,” writes Mr. Hartley, who visited the scene of the accident immediately afterwards, “had broken away in two places, leaving some ten feet in the middle still adhering to the mountain. The length of the parts which broke away was, perhaps, forty feet on each side of the remaining portion. The distance of the fall we estimated at from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred feet. The bodies, from the nature of the injuries they had received, had evidently fallen upon their heads on the rocks, and then, in one great bound, had reached almost the spot where they were found.”

A typical instance of the ice-avalanche accident happened to, and has been recorded by, Mr. Whymper. Accompanied by A. W. Moore and the guides Croz and Almer, he was trying to discover a shorter route than those usually taken between Zinal and Zermatt. After spending the night in a châlet on the Arpitetta Alp, they started, and struck directly up the centre of the Moming glacier. The route proved impracticable, and it became necessary to cut steps across an ice-slope immediately below the great pillars and buttresses of the ice-fall, which were liable to break away and descend upon them at any moment.

“I am not ashamed to confess,” wrote Mr. Moore in his journal, “that during the whole time we were crossing the slope my heart was in my mouth, and I never felt so relieved from such a load of care as when, after, I suppose, a passage of about twenty minutes, we got on to the rocks and were in safety. I have never heard a positive oath come from Almer’s mouth, but the language in which he kept up a running commentary, more to himself than to me, as we went along, was stronger than I should have given him credit for using. His prominent feeling seemed to be one of indignation that we should be in such a position, and self-reproach at being a party to the proceeding; while the emphatic way in which, at intervals, he exclaimed, ‘Quick; be quick,’ sufficiently betokened his alarm.”

And now, let the rest of the story be told in Mr. Whymper’s graphic words. Croz, it should be remembered, was leading, and had advised the perilous route.

“It was not necessary,” Mr. Whymper says, “to admonish Croz to be quick. He was fully as alive to the risk as any of the others. He told me afterwards that the place was not only the most dangerous he had ever crossed, but that no consideration whatever would tempt him to cross it again. Manfully did he exert himself to escape from the impending destruction. His head, bent down to his work, never turned to the right or to the left. One, two, three, went his axe, and then he stepped on to the spot where he had been cutting. How painfully insecure should we have considered those steps at any other time! But now we thought of nothing but the rocks in front, and of the hideous ‘séracs’ lurching over above us, apparently in the very act of falling.”



At last they reached the rocks in safety, and, says Mr. Whymper, “If they had been doubly as difficult as they were, we should still have been well content. We sat down and refreshed the inner man; keeping our eyes on the towering pinnacles of ice which we had passed, but which now were almost beneath us. Without a preliminary warning sound, one of the largest—as high as the Monument, at London Bridge—fell upon the slope below. The stately mass heeled over as if upon a hinge (holding together until it bent thirty degrees forward), then it crushed out its base, and, rent into a thousand fragments, plunged vertically down upon the slope that we had crossed. Every atom of our track that was in its course was obliterated; all the new snow was swept away, and a broad sheet of smooth, glassy ice showed the resistless force with which it had fallen.”

From “Paul Faber, Surgeon.”
By George MacDonald.

Lord, I have laid my heart upon thy altar,

But cannot get the wood to burn:

It hardly flares ere it begins to falter,

And to the dark return.

Old sap, or night-fallen dew, has damped the fuel;

In vain my breath would flame provoke;

Yet see—at every poor attempt’s renewal,

To thee ascends the smoke.

’Tis all I have—smoke, failure, foiled endeavor

Coldness and doubt and palsied lack:

Such as I have I send thee. Perfect Giver

Send thou thy lightning back.


By C. Kinloch Cooke.

Wyndham Thos. Wyndhamquin, fourth Earl of Dunraven and Mount Earl, was born fifty-two years ago. His father, who was a convert to Roman Catholicism, devoted much time to scientific pursuits, and wrote a book on Irish architecture, which is generally recognized as the standard work on the subject. His mother was a Protestant, and a daughter of Sergeant Goold, the eminent Dublin lawyer, who, although past forty when called to the bar, made both a name and a fortune for himself in his profession. His grandfather on the paternal side supported the Union, but Sergeant Goold, like so many of the leading men in Dublin at that time, more especially barristers, opposed it. Here, then, we have a very fair example of the fact that the prominent men in the counties desired to see the fusion of the two countries, while the chief representatives of the cities held the opposite opinion.


Viscount Adare, the title belonging to the eldest son in the Dunraven family, was educated privately, and although fond of athletics, had few opportunities of joining in cricket, football, rackets, and similar public-school games. At an early age he was sent abroad with a tutor, and while still in his teens had visited and explored many of the principal cities of Europe. In compliance with his father’s wishes he stayed some time at Rome. But neither the influence of the priests nor the attractions of the Vatican were sufficient to induce him to become a Roman Catholic. Soon after he returned to England he went to Oxford and matriculated at Christ Church, where he spent the next three years of his life. At college, except holding a commission for a year in the ’Varsity volunteers, he did nothing to distinguish himself from the ordinary undergraduate, and, like many others of his set, came down without taking a degree. He then joined the First Life Guards, and spent much of his spare time steeplechasing. Pluck and nerve, combined with light weight, secured him many mounts from Captain Machell and others. He was christened “Fly” by his brother officers, a name by which he is still known among his most intimate friends.

So energetic a nature soon tired of the London soldier’s life, and when war broke out with Abyssinia he applied to the proprietors of the “Daily Telegraph” to be allowed to act as 430 their special correspondent. His offer being accepted, he resigned his commission and started for North Africa. Colonel Phayre, who was Quartermaster-General, attached him to his staff, and so he obtained the earliest and most authentic information. Mr. H. M. Stanley, who was doing similar duty for the “New York Herald,” shared a tent with the amateur journalist, and was much struck with the workmanlike character of the despatches which he sent off on every available opportunity. At the close of the campaign he returned to England and fell in love with Lord Charles Lennox Kerr’s daughter, whom he shortly afterwards married. In 1869 he started with his wife for a tour in the United States, where he remained for some time and made many friends.

In journalistic circles he was well received, and particularly so by the late Mr. Louis Jennings, then editor of the “New York Times,” Mr. Hurlbert, who at that time had charge of the “New York World,” and the late “Sam” Ward. At the outbreak of war between France and Germany he went to Berlin for the “Daily Telegraph,” and followed the campaign right through. As a matter of course he carried his life in his hand, but though he had some narrow escapes he met with no accident, until just before the capitulation of Paris, when he broke his arm and was invalided home, with the result that he missed the days of the Commune.

For twelve years or more he crossed the Atlantic annually and travelled in the States, Canada, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. He was the first private individual to investigate the Yellowstone region, and wrote a capital book on the expedition called “The Great Divide,” which met with a good reception both in America and England. He hunted and shot with Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack long before they ever went east of the Mississippi, and his name was well known among the Indians, who allowed him to travel about their territory without interruption. His articles in the “Nineteenth Century Review” on moose and caribou hunting, and his stories of animal life, drafted on the spot, were much appreciated in sporting circles. In Colorado he purchased a tract of land called Estes Park, which is about to be transferred to an English company. When the branch railway is made and the proposed irrigation works inaugurated, the estate should be a valuable property.


Lord Dunraven’s yachting may be said to date from his college days, since he generally spent the long vacation with his friend Lord Romney, voyaging in a small sloop he purchased from a Cardiff pilot. In this craft, with a man and boy for a crew, he used to cruise in all sorts of weather round the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Very funny indeed are some of the yarns about the dangers and difficulties which the “Cripple”—as the yacht was named—and those on board met with from time to time. In this way he picked up some knowledge of navigation, learned how to manage a boat, and became well acquainted with the discomforts of seafaring life. From the days of the “Cripple” until 1887 Lord Dunraven took but little interest in yachting or yacht racing. But in August of that year he chanced to be at Cowes, and went for a sail in the “Irex.” As usual with Mr. Jameson, the conversation turned on yacht building. In a very short time Lord Dunraven was persuaded to return to his old love, and before a month was over Mr. Richardson, of Liverpool, 431 who designed the “Irex,” had received instructions to build him a cutter. The result was the “Petronilla,” but, in spite of several alterations, the yacht was a failure, although she was steered by Gomes, who during the last two seasons has had charge of “Meteor” (née “Thistle”) for the German Emperor.

Disheartened, but not defeated, he gave a commission to Mr. Watson, of Glasgow, who designed the first “Valkyrie.” She was a signal success, and was sailed by Thomas Diaper, better known as Tommy Dutch, and afterwards by William Cranfield, who had been so fortunate with the “Yarana,” now the “Maid Marian,” for Mr. Ralli. Like the present ship, she was built for the express purpose of racing for the America Cup. The challenge sent by the Royal Yacht Squadron was accepted by the New York Yacht Club. But as conditions, considered distasteful by the Squadron, were imposed as to the future holding of the cup, and the New York Yacht Club declined to yield in any way, the match was reluctantly abandoned. The following year the Watson cutter came out again and did as well as before. In the winter of 1891-92 Lord Dunraven took her to the Mediterranean, where, after winning every race she sailed in, she was sold to the Archduke Carl Stephan, and delivered at Pola.


The next order was given to Mr. Alfred Payne, of Southampton, who was bidden to design a yacht which should serve the twofold purpose of a fast cruiser and a reliable, seaworthy fishing boat. “L’Esperance” was built with that object in view, and fully realized the expectations of her owner, though, of course, she was not fast enough to hold her own with the first-class racers. During the two seasons the yacht was afloat she carried off several prizes in handicap matches.

Last year Lord Dunraven determined to have a second try to bring off a race for the America Cup, and gave an order to Mr. Watson to build him another cutter. The success of the Clyde designer’s last venture was probably the reason for calling the new vessel “Valkyrie.” The Royal Yacht Squadron again challenged in Lord Dunraven’s behalf, and the challenge was duly accepted. Fortunately, no difficulties arose on this occasion, and the 5th of October is fixed for the first match.


The new ship was built by Messrs. Henderson, of Glasgow, side by side with the “Britannia,” the Prince of Wales’s yacht. It is a mistake, however, to suppose, as some do, that the 432 two vessels are copies, one of the other. The “Valkyrie” was designed first, and her building begun, before Mr. Watson considered with Mr. Jameson the lines of the “Britannia.” “Valkyrie’s” registered tonnage is 106.55, and her length on the load water line 86.82 feet, which is 1.82 feet above the length of the load water line given in the challenge, but doubtless she will be altered to meet the conditions governing the race. Her length from the fore part of stem under the bowsprit to the aft side of the head of the stern-post is 97.75 feet, and her length over all 116.25. Her racing rating is 148, and her sail area 10,200 square feet, being 3,500 square feet more than the first “Valkyrie.” She carries a crew of thirty hands all told, and her cabins are prettily fitted up in cedar and cretonne.


The second “Valkyrie” has been tried in all weathers and in various waters with the “Britannia,” the “Satanita,” the “Calluna,” and the “Iverna.” Therefore her capabilities against British yachts of her own class are pretty well known. Up to the time of writing, namely, the eve of the Royal Yacht Squadron regatta at Cowes—the regatta in which the schooner yacht “America” won the cup which Lord Dunraven hopes to bring back to England—the “Valkyrie” has sailed in twenty matches and won fourteen flags, eleven first and three second, representing a total value of £930. Her first match was in the Thames on May 25, when she had bad luck and only came in third, “Britannia” being first and “Iverna” second. In the middle of the race she broke her bowsprit off short in the stem, and in a few minutes was, for all sailing purposes, practically a wreck. In the second Royal Thames match it was doubtful whether “Britannia” or “Valkyrie” won. The Prince of Wales’s yacht was first in, but according to some watches she only won by seven seconds, whereas the official timekeeper made it seventeen seconds, thus covering “Valkyrie’s” time allowance. In the Royal Cinque Ports regatta several vessels collided, with the result that the “Britannia” did not race at all, and Lord Dunraven’s yacht was detained at the start twelve and a half minutes, and so was not placed. During the Royal Ulster match one of “Valkyrie’s” men fell overboard, and the time lost in picking up the man could not be recovered. It is, however, but fair to say that when “Valkyrie” won the second 433 Royal Western match, “Britannia” came to grief, while in the second race on the Clyde the prince’s yacht was disqualified.


It now remains to see how she acquits herself in contest with the American vessels which have been built to meet her. The long notice required gives a distinct advantage to the other side; although only one boat can sail against the challenger, there is nothing to prevent any number of boats being designed by the party challenged. The Americans have built four cutters to select from, hence the chances against the “Valkyrie” may be roughly calculated at four to one.

There is no doubt that Lord Dunraven’s ship is a great improvement on anything hitherto built in England, and, given her time allowance, is the fastest vessel afloat on British waters. She has gone much better since she had her top-mast clipped and topsails cut. Her strong point is going to windward, and her best chance is in light weather. She leaves England on or about August 20, in charge of William Cranfield, than whom it would be difficult to find a more experienced skipper on either side of the Atlantic. He has sailed her all through her trial matches and will steer her in the races for the cup.

But it must not be supposed that Lord Dunraven is always racing in large yachts. On the contrary, he is perhaps even more interested in small boat sailing, and has, since 1889, built four “fives,” all of which have given a very good account of themselves. This year he brought out a twenty-rater, but so far she has not proved a success, and has succumbed to “Dragon” on almost every occasion. He is commodore of the Castle Yacht Club, a sporting little racing club on the South Coast, where races take place every Saturday and often twice a week. The commodore generally enters his boat for these matches, and always steers himself. Besides belonging to the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Castle Yacht Club, Lord Dunraven is a member of the Austrian Imperial Yacht Squadron; the Royal Cork, London, Southern, Southampton, Clyde, Western, and Victoria; the New Thames, Bristol Channel, Portsmouth, Corinthian and many other yachting clubs.

The same year that he returned to yachting he took up racing again, and started a stable in partnership with Lord Randolph Churchill, having Mr. R. W. Sherwood as trainer, and “Morny” Cannon and Woodburn as jockeys. On the whole his horses have been fairly successful. L’Abbesse de Jouarre won the Oaks in 1889, and Inverness 434 has secured some good stakes. Strange to say, on the day the mare won at Epsom, Lord Randolph was in Norway, and Lord Dunraven was sailing in his five-rater at Calshot Castle. Under these circumstances it is quite permissible to draw the conclusion that he prefers yachting to horse racing. After four years of partnership racing, Lord Dunraven bought Lord Randolph’s share of the stud and now races entirely on his own account. He is a good fisherman, and as equally at home with his salmon rod as with a deep-sea line. He knows nearly every fishing ground round the coast, and, after the regattas are over, generally goes trawling. His favorite places are off Plymouth, the Scilly and the Channel Islands. Both with rifle and gun he is a first-rate shot, and although he always shoots in spectacles, seldom misses his game.


Lord Dunraven took his seat in the House of Lords as a supporter of Mr. Gladstone, who subsequently offered him a minor post in the government. But at that time the young traveler took but little part in politics, and so declined the flattering invitation. His real entry into public life, and, in fact, the foundation of his subsequent career as a politician, are due to an article which he wrote in the “New York World” on Mr. Gladstone’s famous attack on Lord Beaconsfield. The article obtained much attention at the time, and attracted the notice of the Conservative chief, who was much struck at the clever criticism of the young Liberal peer. An acquaintance sprang up between Lord Beaconsfield and the writer, which later on ripened into friendship, and probably had something to do with Lord Dunraven joining the Conservative party.

His early speeches were chiefly on foreign policy, and the intimate knowledge he showed respecting treaties of all kinds was an additional link between him and the leader of his new party. His favorite theme was Egypt, and he rarely missed an opportunity of condemning Mr. Gladstone’s policy in respect to that country. Later on he interested himself more especially in colonial affairs. Here his personal acquaintance with the North American colonies stood him in good stead, and gained him the ear of the House of Lords. Thus it was scarcely surprising that when Lord Salisbury came into office he chose him as Under Secretary of State for the colonies, a post he again filled on the return of the Conservatives to power in 1886.

Soon after he had taken office the second time, the Newfoundland Government passed an act prohibiting the French fishermen from purchasing bait 435 in the colony. This act the imperial government at first declined to ratify. Lord Dunraven sided with the local legislators, on the ground that Newfoundland was a self-governing colony. He pressed this view of the case at Downing Street, and, as the government declined to yield, resigned his Under Secretaryship. Some say he resigned merely to support his friend, Lord Randolph Churchill, who had just given up the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Commons, but, although the two resignations may have had some connection, the immediate cause of Lord Dunraven’s leaving the Colonial Office was as I have stated. Being out of office and out of favor with his chief, Lord Dunraven turned his attention to social questions, and, when Mr. Burnett’s report on the Sweating System at the East End of London was presented to Parliament, he moved the House of Lords for a select committee to inquire into the subject. The request was granted, and he was appointed chairman. For more than two years the committee sat, and during all that time Lord Dunraven worked most energetically, examining and cross-examining the various witnesses sent up from all parts of the United Kingdom, for he was not long in discovering that the system was practised quite as much in the provincial cities as in the East End of London, and quickly took steps to have the reference extended. With much care he drafted an exhaustive report, giving, as the chief causes of the existence of sweating, unrestricted foreign immigration and over-competition. Lord Derby and Lord Thring declined to accept this view, and Lord Dunraven, finding himself in a minority, retired from the chairmanship. Subsequent events have shown that Lord Dunraven was not so far out in his diagnosis as his colleagues supposed. The evil effects of foreign immigration upon the unskilled labor market so impressed him that, on his own initiative and at his own expense, he formed a society for the express purpose of making these effects known to the public, and of forcing them upon the attention of Parliament.


The working-man may have good 436 reason to thank Lord Dunraven, but it is doubtful whether the capitalist will regard his efforts in the same light. The Sweating Committee brought Mr. Alderman Ben Tillett to the front, and Mr. Alderman Ben Tillett, in conjunction with Mr. John Burns, M.P., were the promoters of the dock strike. The dock strike started “new unionism,” and new unionism gave an impetus to the eight-hour-day movement. Lord Dunraven and Lord Randolph Churchill were the first prominent politicians to openly advocate an eight-hour day for miners, and Lord Dunraven’s speech on the eight-hours’ case generally, before the members of the Chamber of Commerce at Liverpool, attracted much comment at the time. The Factories and Workshops act was really an extension of the very able bill which Lord Dunraven introduced into the House of Lords, in order to carry into force certain amendments in the law which he had suggested in his draft on the sweating inquiry. Together with Lord Sandhurst, the present Under Secretary for War, he championed the cause of the laundresses. Indeed, there is scarcely a question affecting the interests of the working classes in which he has not taken an active part, and when a separate state department for labor is established, as it must be eventually, Lord Dunraven, supposing the Conservatives to be in power, will probably be invited to act as its first minister.

There is scarcely a subject on which he is not well informed. His difficulty seems to be in making a choice. In matters of sport he has thrown his heart and soul into yachting, and, as a consequence, on that subject he is naturally considered the first authority. What he has done in yachting he must do in politics, if he is ever to reach the position to which his abilities entitle him.


The rough-and-tumble work of the House of Commons would have been a far better school for him than the Upper House of Parliament, and had he not been a peer he would probably by this time have reached a far higher rung on the political ladder than he has done. Although nervous, he is a good speaker, and never misses his points. He seldom addresses the House without a thorough knowledge of his subject, and as a consequence is generally listened to and considered. Naturally quick, he soon masters his facts. He has great power of concentration, but, like most Irishmen, lacks application. Unlike his race, however, he is not impulsive, and seldom speaks without thinking. He has more the memory of a barrister than that of a permanent official, and should he forget the details, always remembers the line of argument. With a little more patience he would make a good judge, as he knows well how to sift evidence, and is just in dealing with the opinions of others. Thorough himself, he expects thoroughness in those about him. Cant and hypocrisy he will have none of. Nor does he believe in employing second-rate intellect. The best man and the best price is Lord Dunraven’s motto. There is no niggardliness 437 about him, yet at the same time he intends to get his money’s worth. Mistakes are not overlooked, but forgiven. As a result he is much liked by all who have any dealings with him.

The principal family estates are in Ireland and Wales. Adare Manor, the Irish home where the present peer was born, is situated in one of the prettiest parts of County Limerick. The house, which had fallen into decay during the last century, was entirely rebuilt by Lord Dunraven’s grandfather. It is of gray stone and in the style of the Tudor period. The most imposing apartment is the gallery, which is panelled in old oak and has a beautifully carved ceiling. This room is approached from the hall by means of a stone stair-case let into the wall, and is entered through richly carved double doors brought from an old church at Antwerp. It is one hundred and thirty-two feet long and twenty-one feet wide. Along the sides hang the family pictures, and a few choice paintings by old masters. The hall is lofty, and lighted by colored windows, which, together with the organ, hidden away in a recess, gives the place more the appearance of a cathedral than the entrance to a private house. The river Maigne flows past the manor on the south side, and, when at home, the subject of our sketch may often be seen fishing for a salmon or shooting a weir in his canoe, after the manner of Canadian log men down the rapids. Not far from the manor house, on the banks of the river, are the ruins of a Franciscan abbey, built in 1464 for the Observant Brothers by a former Earl of Kildare, while adjoining lie the ruins of Desmond Castle, so celebrated in Irish history.


Lord Dunraven is much attached to Ireland and the Irish. He devotes large sums of money annually towards improving and keeping up Adare, and spends all the income derived from the estate in giving employment to the people of the district. This fact alone, seeing that he has only a life interest in the place, shows his large-mindedness. His property is probably the only one in the south of Ireland on which no outrage has ever been committed, and it speaks well for his popularity that when he came amongst his own tenants a few months ago to deliver a speech against Mr. Gladstone’s Home Rule bill, not only was he listened to, but, for the time, received the support of many Home Rulers in the district. At Adare, Lord Dunraven entertained Lord Spencer and 438 the vice-regal court in state, and subsequently received Lord Londonderry and Lord Houghton.

Dunraven Castle, in Glamorganshire, is built on the edge of a cliff, and overlooks the Bristol Channel. The coast is very dangerous, and many a ship has struck and gone to pieces on the treacherous rocks in sight of the castle. There is no safe anchorage anywhere near, so Lord Dunraven is in the peculiar position of having a home by the sea, but is unable to approach it in his yacht. Lately the castle has been enlarged, and a new wing and courtyard added. During the last few years, owing probably to the unsettled state of Ireland, Lord and Lady Dunraven have done most of their entertaining here. Not long ago the Duke and Duchess of Teck and the Princess May (Duchess of York) made a long stay at the castle. The gardens are well kept, but the want of shelter prevents the shrubs and coverts from growing, and gives the more exposed part of the estate rather a barren appearance. The shooting is fairly good, and the park well stocked with deer.

Kenry House, in the vale of Putney, was until recently used as the town residence, but when Lord Dunraven’s daughters grew up it was necessary to take a house in London. Still Kenry is a favorite Saturday to Monday resort of Lord Dunraven during the parliamentary session.

Few men in like position have led so varied a life as the owner of “Valkyrie,” and as a consequence he has come into contact with most men and women worth knowing. In social circles he is very popular, and no smart entertainment is complete without him. In clubland he is always welcome, and is as equally at home at the Beefsteak or the Savage as at the Marlborough or the Turf. While Parliament is sitting he is often found at the Carlton, discussing with his party the latest move on the political chess-board, or talking science and literature with his friends at the Athenæum. His energy is boundless. He will work all the morning, legislate in the afternoon, dine out, and then spend the evening in amusement. Travelling to him is nothing. He never tires. He is an early riser, and no matter what time he goes to bed is always up and attending to his correspondence at the usual hour the next morning. In this way he gets through a great amount of work, and is able to find time for the same amount of pleasure. He is very generous, and as a result is often imposed upon. Not only is he called upon to give money toward the charities in his own neighborhoods, but people write to him from all parts of the United Kingdom to help them in their distress. Often he yields, and many a home has been made happy by a gift of money or money’s worth. Scarcely a church or chapel on his Welsh estate is self-supporting. All expect, and many get, grants from Lord Dunraven. In Ireland, too, he is equally liberal; and Father Flanagan, the priest at Adare, could tell many a tale of want relieved and assistance given to the Catholics on the estate.

London, England.



My queen is tired and craves surcease

Of twanging string and clamorous brass;

I lean against the mantelpiece,

And watch her in the glass.

One whom I see not where I stand

Fans her, and talks in whispers low;

Her loose locks flutter as his hand

Moves lightly to and fro.

He begs a flower; her finger tips

Stray round a rose half veiled in lace;

She grants the boon with smiling lips,

Her clear eyes read his face.

I cannot look—my sight grows dim—

While Fate allots, unequally,

The living woman’s self to him,

The mirrored form to me.


I told my love a truth she liked not well;

She spoke no word. I raised my eyes to watch

Her cheek’s red flush, her bosom’s angry swell;

She rose to go; her hand was on the latch;

When some swift thought—of my fond love, maybe,

Or ill-requited patience—bowed her head:

She faltered, paused with foot half raised to flee,

Then turned, and stole into my arms instead.

Reproduced, by special arrangement, from “Under the Hawthorn, and Other Verse,” by Augusta de Gruchy.

London: Edwin Matthews and John Lane, 1893.


By Walter Besant.


It was Sunday evening in July—an evening aglow with warmth and splendor; an evening when even the streets of London were glorious with the light of the splendid west; an evening when, if you are young (as I sincerely hope you are), only to wander hand-in-hand over the grass and under the trees with your sweetheart should be happiness enough. One ought to be ashamed to ask for more. Nay, a great many do not ask for more.

They are engaged. Some time, but not just yet, they will marry. They work separately all the week, but on the Sunday they are free to go about together. Of all the days that make the week they dearly love but one day—namely the day that lies between the Saturday and Monday. Now that the voice of the Sabbatarian has sunk to a whisper or a whine; now that we have learned to recognize the beauty, the priceless boon, the true holiness of the Sunday, which not only rests body and brain, but may be so used as to fill the mind with memories of lovely scenes, of sweet and confidential talk, of love-making and of happiness, we ought to determine that of all the things which make up the British liberties, there is nothing for which the working man should more fiercely fight or more jealously watch than the full freedom of his Sunday—freedom uncontrolled 441 to wander where he will, to make his recreation as he chooses.

If the church doors are open wide, let the doors of the public galleries and the museums and the libraries be opened wide as well. Let him, if he choose, step from church to library. But if he is wise, when the grass is long and the bramble is in blossom, and the foliage is thick and heavy on the elms, he will, after dinner, repair to the country, if it is only to breathe the air of the fields, and lie on his back watching the slow westering of the sun and listening to the note of the blackbird in the wood.

Two by two they stroll or sit about Hempstead Heath on such an evening. If you were to listen (a pleasant thing to do, but wrong) to the talk of these couples you would find that they are mostly silent, except that they only occasionally exchange a word or two. Why should they talk? They know each other’s cares and prospects; they know the burden that each has to bear—the evil temper of the boss, the uncertainties of employment, the difficulties in the way of an improved screw, and the family troubles—there are always family troubles, due to some inconsiderate member or other. I declare that we have been teaching morality and the proper conduct of life on quite a wrong principle—namely, the selfish principle.

We say, “Be good, my child, and you will go to heaven.” The proposition is no doubt perfectly true. But it proposes a selfish motive for action. I would rather say to that child, “Be good, my dear, or else you will become an intolerable nuisance to other people.” Now, no child likes to consider himself an intolerable nuisance.

These lovers, therefore, wander about the Heath, sometimes up to their knees in bracken, sometimes sitting under the trees, not talking much, but, as the old phrase has it, “enjoying themselves” very much indeed. At the end of the Spaniards’ Road—that high causeway whence one can see, in clear weather, the steeple of Harrow Church on one side and the dome of St. Paul’s on the other—there is a famous clump of firs, which have been represented by painters over and over again. Benches have been placed under these trees, where one can sit and have a very fine view indeed, with the Hendon Lake in the middle distance, and a range of hills beyond, and fields and rills between.

On one of these benches were sitting this evening two—Adam and Eve, boy and girl—newly entered into paradise. Others were sitting there as well—an ancient gentleman whose thoughts were seventy years back, a working man with a child of three on his knee, and beside him his wife, carrying the baby. But these lovers paid no heed to their neighbors. They sat at the end of the bench. The boy was holding the girl’s hand, and he was talking eagerly.

“Lily,” he said, “you must come some evening to our debating society when we begin again and hear me speak. No one speaks better. That is acknowledged. There is to be a debate on the House of Lords in October. I mean to come out grand. When I’m done there will be mighty little left of the Lords.” He was a handsome lad, tall and well set up, straight featured and bright eyed. The girl looked at him proudly. He was her own lad—this handsome chap. Not that she was bad-looking either. Many an honest fellow has to put up with a girl not nearly so good-looking, if you were to compare.

He was a clerk in the city. She was in the post-office. He attended at his office daily from half-past nine to six, doing such work as was set before him for the salary of a pound a week. She stood all day long at the counter, serving out postal orders, selling stamps, weighing letters, and receiving telegrams. When I add that she was civil to everybody you will understand that she was quite a superior clerk—one of the queen’s lucky bargains. It is not delicate to talk about a young lady’s salary, therefore I shall not say for how much she gave her services to the British Empire.

He was a clever boy, who read and thought. That is to say, he thought that he thought—which is more than most do. As he took his facts from the newspapers, and nothing else, and 442 as he was profoundly ignorant of English history, English law, the British Constitution, the duties of a citizen, and the British Empire generally, his opinions, after he had done thinking, were not of so much value to the country, it is believed. But still a clever fellow, and able to spout in a frothy way which carried his hearers along, if it never convinced or defeated an opponent.

To this kind of clever boy there are always two or three dangers. One is that he should be led on to think more and more of froth and less of fact; another, that he should grow conceited over his eloquence and neglect his business. A third temptation which peculiarly besets this kind is that he should take to drink. Oratory is thirsty work, and places where young men orate are often in immediate proximity to bars. As yet, however, Charley was only twenty. He was still at the first stage of everything—oratory, business, and love; and he was still at the stage when everything appears possible—the total abolition of injustice, privilege, class, capital, power, oppression, greed, sweating, poverty, suffering—by the simple process of tinkering the constitution.

“Oh,” he cried, “we shall have the most glorious, the most splendid time, Lily! The power of the people is only just beginning; it hasn’t begun yet. We shall see the most magnificent things....” He enumerated them as above indicated. Well, it is very good that young men should have such dreams and see such visions. I never heard of any girl being thus carried out of herself. The thing belongs exclusively to male man in youth, and it is very good for him. When he is older he will understand that over and above the law and the constitution there is something else more important still—namely, that every individual man should be honest, temperate, and industrious. In brief, he will understand the force of the admonition: “Be good, my child, or else you will become an intolerable nuisance to everybody.”

The sun sank behind Harrow-on-the-Hill. The red light of the west flamed in the boy’s bright eyes. Presently the girl rose.

“Yes, Charley,” she said, less sympathetic than might have been expected; “yes, and it will be a very fine time, if it comes. But I don’t know. People will always want to get rich, won’t they? I think this beautiful time will have to come after us. Perhaps we had better be looking after our own nest first.”

“Oh, it will come—it will come!”

“I like to hear you talk about it, Charley. But if we are ever to marry—if I am to give up the post-office, you must make a bigger screw. Remember what you promised. The shorthand and the French class. Put them before your speechifying.”

“All right, Lily dear, and then we will get married, and we will have the most splendid time. Oh, there’s the most splendid time for us—ahead!”


It is six months later and mid-winter, and the time is again the evening. The day has been gloomy, with a fog heavy enough to cause the offices to be lit with gas, so that the eyes of all London are red and the heads of all London are heavy.

Lily stepped outside the post-office, work done. She was going home.

At the door stood her sweetheart, waiting for her. She tossed her head and made as if she would pass him without speaking. But he stepped after and walked beside her.

“No, Lily,” he said, “I will speak to you; even if you don’t answer my letters you shall hear me speak.”

“You have disgraced yourself,” she said.

“Yes, I know. But you will forgive me. It is the first time. I swear it is the first time.”

Well, it was truly the first time that she had seen him in such a state.

“Oh, to be a drunkard!” she replied. “Oh, could I ever believe that I should see you rolling about the street?”

“It was the first time, Lily, and it shall be the last. Forgive me and 443 take me on again. If you give me up I shall go to the devil!”

“Charley”—her voice broke into a sob—“you have made me miserable—I was so proud of you. No other girl, I thought, had such a clever sweetheart; and last Tuesday—oh! it’s dreadful to think of.”

“Yes, Lily, I know. There’s only one excuse. I spoke for more than an hour, and I was exhausted. So what I took went to my head. Another time I should not have felt it a bit. And when I found myself staggering I was going home as fast as possible, and as bad luck would have it, I must needs meet you.”

“Good luck, I call it. Else I might never have found it out till too late.”

“Lily, make it up. Give me another chance. I’ll swear off. I’ll take the pledge.”

He caught her hand and held it.

“Oh, Charley,” she said, “if I can only trust you.”

“You can, you must, Lily. For your sake I will take the pledge. I will do whatever you ask me to do.”

She gave way, but not without conditions.

“Well,” she said, “I will try to think no more about it. But, Charley, remember, I could never, never, never marry a man who drinks.”

“You never shall, dear,” he replied, earnestly.

“And then, another thing, Charley. This speaking work—oh! I know it is clever and that—but it doesn’t help us forward. How long is it since you determined to learn shorthand, because it would advance you so much? And French, because a clerk who can write French is worth double? Where are your fine resolutions?”

“I will begin again—I will practise hard; see now, Lily, I will do all you want. I will promise anything to please you—and do it, too. See if I won’t. Only not quite to give up the speaking. Think how people are beginning to look up to me. Why, when we get a 444 reformed House, and the members are paid, they will send me to Parliament—me! I shall be a member for Camden Town. Then I shall be made Home Secretary, or Attorney General, or something. You will be proud, Lily, of your husband when he is a distinguished man. There’s a splendid time for us—ahead!”

“Yes, dear. But first you know you have got to get a salary that we can live on.”

He left her at her door with a kiss and a laugh, and turned to go home. In the next street he passed a public-house. He stopped, he hesitated, he felt in his pocket, he went in and had a go, just a single go—Lily would never find out—of Scotch, cold. Then he went home and played at practising shorthand for an hour. He had promised his Lily. She should see how well he could keep his promise.


“It is good of you to come, my dear. Of course, I understand that it is all over now. It must be. It is not in nature that you should keep him on any longer. But I thought you would see my poor boy once more.”

It was Charley’s mother who spoke. He was the only son of a widow.

“Oh, yes, I came—I came,” Lily replied, tearfully. “But what is the good? He will promise everything again. How many times has he repented and promised—and promised?”

“My poor boy! And we were so proud of him, weren’t we, dear?” said the mother, wiping away a tear. “He was going to do such great things with his cleverness and his speaking. And now—I have seen it coming on, my dear, for a year and more, but I durstn’t speak to you. When he came home night after night with a glassy eye and a husky voice, when he reeled across the room, at first I pretended not to notice it. A man mustn’t be nagged or shamed, must he? Then I spoke in the morning, and he promised to pull himself up.”

“He will promise—ah! yes—he will promise.”

“If you could only forgive him he might keep his promise.”

Lily shook her head doubtfully.

“I went to the office this morning, my dear. They have been expecting it for weeks. The head clerk warned him. It was known that he had fallen into bad company—in the city they don’t like spouters. And when he came back after his dinner he was so tipsy that he fell along. They just turned him out on the spot.”

“Mother,” said Lily, “it’s like this. I can’t help forgiving him. We two must forgive him, whatever he does. We love him, you see, that’s what it is.”

“Yes, dear, yes.”

“It isn’t the poor, tipsy boy we love, but the real boy—the clever boy behind. We must forgive him. But”—her lips quivered—“I cannot marry him. Do not ask me to do that unless—what will never happen—he reforms altogether.”

“If you would, dear, I think he might keep straight. If you were always with him to watch him.”

“I could not be always with him. 445 And besides, mother, think what might happen as well. Would you have me bring into the world children whose lives would make me wretched by a drunken father? And how should we live? Because, you see, if I marry I must give up my place.”

The mother sighed. “Charley is in his own room,” she said, “I will send him to you.”

Lily sat down and buried her face in her hands. Alas! to this had her engagement come. But she loved him. When he came into the room and stood before her and she looked up, seeing him shamefaced and with hanging head, she was filled with pity as well as love—pity and shame, and sorrow for the boy. She took his hand and pressed it between her own and burst into tears. “Oh, Charley, Charley!” she cried.

“I am a brute and a wretch,” he said. “I don’t deserve anything. But don’t throw me over—don’t, Lily!”

He fell on his knees before her, crying like a little school-boy. A tendency to weep readily sometimes accompanies the consumption of strong drink.

Then he made confession, such confession as one makes who puts things as prettily as their ugliness allows. He had given way once or twice; he had never intended to get drunk; he had been overtaken yesterday. The day was close, he had a headache in the morning. To cure his headache he took a single glass of beer. When he went back to the office he felt giddy. They said he was drunk. They bundled him out on the spot without even the opportunity of explaining.

Lily sighed. What could she say or answer? The weakness of the man’s nature only came out the more clearly by his confession. What could she say? To reason with him was useless. To make him promise was useless.

“Charley,” she said at length, “if my forgiveness will do any good take it and welcome. But we cannot undo the past. You have lost your place and your character. As for the future——”

“You have forgiven me, Lily,” he said; “oh, I can face the future. I can get another place easily. I shall very soon retrieve my character. Why, all they can say is that I seemed to have taken too much. Nothing—that is nothing!”


“What will you do? Have you got any money?”

“No. I must go and look for another place. Until I get one I suppose there will be short commons. I deserve it, Lily. You shall not hear me grumble.”

She took out her purse. “I can spare two pounds,” she said. “Take the money, Charley. Nay—you must—you shall. You must not go about looking half starved.”

He hesitated and changed color, but he took the money.

Half an hour later he was laughing, as they all three sat at their simple supper, as light-hearted as if there had never been such a scene. When a man is forgiven he may as well behave accordingly. Only, when he lifted his glass of water to his lips he gasped—it was a craving for something stronger than water which tightened his throat like hydrophobia. But it passed; he drank the water and set down the glass with a nod.

“Good water, that,” he said. “Nothing like water. Mean to stick to water in future—water and tea. Lily, I’ve made up my mind. For the next six months I shall give up speaking, though it’s against my interests. Shorthand and French in the evening. By that time I shall get a post worth a hundred—ay, a hundred and twenty—pounds a year, if I’m lucky, and we’ll get married and all live together and be as happy as the day is long. You shall never repent your wedding-day, my dear. I shall keep you like a lady. Oh, we will have a splendid time.”

At ten o’clock Lily rose to go home. He sprang to his feet and took his hat and went.

“No, no,” he said. “Let you go alone? Not if I know it.”

She laid her hand on his arm once more, and tried to believe that his promise would be kept this time. He led her home, head in air, gallant and brave. At the door he kissed her. “Good-night, my dear,” he said. “You know you can trust me. Haven’t I promised?”

On the way home he passed a public-house. The craving came back to him, and the tightness of his throat and the yearning of his heart; his footsteps were drawn and dragged toward the door.

At eleven o’clock his mother, who was waiting up for him, heard him bumping and tumbling about the stairs on his way up. He came in—his eyes fishy, his voice thick. “Saw her home,” he said. “Good girl, Lily. Made—(hic)—faithful promise—we are going to have—splendid time!”


The two women stood outside the prison doors. At eight o’clock their man would be released; the son of one, the lover of the other. The elder woman looked frail and bowed, her face was full of trouble—the kind of 447 trouble that nothing can remove. The younger woman stood beside her on the pavement; she was thinner, and her cheeks were pale; in her eyes, too, you could read abiding trouble.

“We will take him home between us,” said the girl. “Not a word of reproach. He has sinned and suffered. We must forgive. Oh, we cannot choose but forgive!”

Alas! the noble boy—the clever boy she loved—was further off than ever. He who loses a place and his character with it never gets another berth. This is a rule in the city. We talk of retrieving character and getting back to work. Neither the one nor the other event ever comes off. The wretch who is in this hapless plight begins the weary search for employment in hope. How it ends varies with his temperament or with the position of his friends. All day long he climbs stairs, puts his head into offices, and asks if a clerk is wanted.

No clerk is wanted. Then he comes down the stairs and climbs others, and asks the same question and gets the same reply. If ever a clerk is wanted a character is wanted with him; and when the character includes the qualification of drink, as well as of zeal and ability, the owner is told that he may move on.

I am told there is a never-ending procession of clerks out of work up and down the London stairs. What becomes of them is never known. It is, however, rumored that short commons, long tramps, and hope deferred bring most of them to the hospitals, where it is tenderly called pneumonia.

Charley began his tramp. After a little—a very little while—his money, the money that Lily lent him, was all gone. He was ashamed to borrow more, because he would have to confess how that money was chiefly spent.

Then he pawned his watch.

Then he borrowed another pound of Lily.

Every evening he came home drunk. His mother knew it, and told Lily. They could do nothing. They said nothing. They left off hoping.

Then his mother perceived that things began to disappear. He stole the clock on the mantel-shelf first, and pawned it.

Then he stole other things. At last he took the furniture, bit by bit, and pawned it, until his mother was left with nothing but a mattress and a pair of blankets. He could not take her money, because all she had was an annuity of fifteen shillings a week, otherwise he would have had that too. He then borrowed Lily’s watch and pawned it, and her little trinkets and pawned them; he took from her all the money she would give him.

Both women half starved themselves to find him in drink and to save him from crime. Yes, to save him from crime. They did not use these words—they understood. For now he had become mad for drink. There was no longer any pretence; he even left off lying; he was drunk every day; if he could not get drunk he sat on the bare floor and cried. Neither his mother nor Lily reproached him.

An end—a semicolon, if not a full stop—comes to such a course. Unfortunately not always the end which is most to be desired—the only effectual end.

The end or semicolon which came to this young man was that, having nothing more of his mother’s that he could pawn, one day he slipped into the ground floor lodger’s room and made up quite a valuable little parcel for his friend the pawnbroker. It contained a Waterbury watch, a seven and sixpenny clock, a mug—electro-plate, won at a spelling competition—a bound volume of “Tit Bits,” and a Bible.

When the lodger came home and found out his loss he proved to be of an irascible, suspicious, and revengeful disposition. He immediately, for instance, suspected the drunken young man of the first floor. He caused secret inquiry to be made, and—but why go on? Alas! the conclusion of the affair was eight months’ hard.

“Here he comes,” said Lily. “Look up, mother; we must meet him with a smile. He will come out sober, at any rate.”

He was looking much better for his period of seclusion. He walked home 448 between them, subdued, but ready, on encouragement, for their old confidence.

In fact, it broke out, after an excellent breakfast.

“I have made up my mind,” he said, “while I was thinking—oh! I had plenty to think about and plenty of time to do my thinking in. Well, I have made up my mind. Mother, this is no country for me any longer. After what has happened I must go. You two go on living together, just for company, but I shall go—I shall go to America. There’s always an opening, I am told, in America, for fellows who are not afraid of work. Cleverness tells there. A man isn’t kept down because he’s had a misfortune. What is there against me, after all? Character gone, eh? Well, if you come to that, I don’t deny that appearances were against me. I could explain, however.

“But there nobody cares about character nor what you’ve done here”—(this remarkable belief is widely spread concerning the colonies, as well as the United States)—“it’s what can you do? not, what have you done? Very well. I mean to go to America, mother. I shall polish up the shorthand and pick up the French grammar again. I mean to get rich now. Oh, I’ve sown my wild oats! Then you’ll both come out to me, and then we’ll be married; and, Lily, we’ll have a most splendid time!”


Five years later Lily sat one Sunday morning in the same lodgings. The poor old mother was gone, praying her with her last breath not to desert the boy. But of Charley not a word 449 had come to her—no news of any kind.

She was quite alone—in those days she was generally alone; she had kept her place at the post-office, but everybody knew of her trouble, and somehow it made a kind of barrier between herself and her sister clerks. The sorrows of love are sacred, but when they are mixed up with a criminal and a prison there is a feeling—a kind of a feeling—as if, well, one doesn’t like somehow to be mixed up with it. Lily was greatly to be pitied, no doubt; her lover had turned out shameful; but she ought to have given up the man long before he got so bad.

She was alone. The church bells were beginning to ring. She thought she would go to church. While she considered this point, she heard a woman’s step on the stairs, and there was a knock at the door.

It was a nurse or probationer, dressed in the now familiar garb—a young nurse.

“You are Lily Chesters?” she asked. “There is a patient just brought in to the London Hospital who wants to see you. He is named Charley, he says, and will give no other name. He wrote your address on paper. ‘Tell her,’ he said, ‘that it is Charley.’”

Lily rose quietly. “I will go to him.”

“He is your brother?”

“He is my lover. Is he ill?”

“He is very ill. He came in all in rags, dirty and penniless—he is very ill indeed. Prepare yourself. He is dying of pneumonia.”

I told you before what they call it.

Lily sat at the bedside of the dying man.

“It is all over,” he whispered. “I have reformed, Lily. I have quite turned over a new leaf. I have now resolved to taking the pledge. Kiss me, dear, and tell me that you forgive me.”

“Yes, yes, Charley. God knows that I forgive you. Why, you will come back to yourself in a very little while. Thank God for it, dear! Your own true self. You will be my dear old boy again—the boy that I have always loved; not the drinking, bad boy—the clever, bright boy. Oh, my dear, my dear! you will see mother again very soon, and she will welcome her boy, returned to himself again.”

“Yes,” he said, “that’s it. A serious reform this time. Lily, I dare say I shall be up and well again in a day or two. Then we will see what to do next. I am going out to Australia, where everybody has a chance—America is a fraud. I shall get rich there, and then you and mother will come to me, and we shall get married, and—oh! Lily, Lily, after all that we have suffered, we shall have—I see that we shall have”—he paused, and his voice grew faint—“we shall have—the most splendid time!”

“He is gone,” said the nurse.


Author Unknown.

As, t’other day, o’er the green meadow I pass’d,

A swain overtook me, and held my hand fast;

Then cried, “My dear Lucy, thou cause of my care,

How long must thy faithful young Thyrsis despair?

To grant my petition, no longer be shy;”

But, frowning, I answer’d, “O, fie, shepherd, fie!”

He told me his fondness like time should endure;

That beauty which kindled his flame ’twould secure;

That all my sweet charms were for homage design’d,

And youth was the season to love and be kind.

Lord, what could I say? I could hardly deny,

And faintly I uttered, “O, fie, shepherd, fie!”

He swore—with a kiss—that he could not refrain;

I told him ’twas rude, but he kissed me again.

My conduct, ye fair ones, in question ne’er call,

Nor think I did wrong—I did nothing at all!

Resolved to resist, yet inclined to comply,

I leave it for you to say, “Fie, shepherd, fie!”



Stories of the Brontë Family in Ireland.
By Dr. William Wright.


After a brief honeymoon, spent at Warrenpoint, Alice Brontë returned, on her brother’s invitation, to her old home, and Hugh went back to complete his term of service in Loughorne. It soon became desirable that his wife should have a home of her own, and he took a cottage in Emdale, in the parish of Drumballyroney, with which Drumgooland was united at the time.

The house stands near crossroads leading to important towns. In a direct line it is about three and three-quarters statute miles from Rathfriland, seven and three-quarters from Newry, twelve from Warrenpoint, and five and a quarter from Banbridge. The exact position of the house, is on the north-west side of the old road, leading, in Hugh Brontë’s day, to Newry and Warrenpoint. Almost opposite, on the other side of the road, there was a blacksmith’s shop, which still continues to be a blacksmith’s shop. The Brontë house remains, though partially in ruins.

The house is now used as a byre, but its dimensions are exactly the same as when it became the home of Hugh Brontë and his bride. The rent then would be about sixpence per week, and would, in accordance with the general custom, be paid by one day’s work in the week, with board, the work being given in the busy season.

The house consisted of two rooms. That over which the roof still stands was without chimney, and was used as bedroom and parlor, and the outer room, from which the roof has fallen, was used as a corn-kiln, and also as kitchen and reception-room.

A farmer’s wife, whose ancestors lived close to the Brontë house long before the Brontës were heard of in County Down, pointing to a spot in the corner of the byre opposite to the window, said: “There is the very spot where the Reverend Patrick Brontë was born.” Then she added, “Numbers of great folk have asked me about his birthplace, but och! how could I tell them that any dacent man was ever born in such a place!” This feeling on the part of the neighbors will probably account for the fact that everything written thus far regarding Patrick Brontë’s birthplace is wrong, neither the townland, nor even the parish of his birth, being correctly given.

In the lowly cottage in Emdale, now known as “The Kiln,” and used as a cowhouse, Patrick Brontë was born, on the 17th of March, 1777. Men have risen to fame from a lowly origin, but few men have ever emerged from humbler circumstances than Patrick Brontë.

Many a reader of Mrs. Gaskell’s life of Charlotte Brontë has been saddened by the picture of the vicar’s daughters amid their narrow and grim surroundings, but the gray vicarage of Haworth was a palace compared with the hovel in which the vicar himself was born and reared.


Besides, the Haworth vicarage was never really as sombre as Mrs. Gaskell painted it, for Miss Ellen Nussey was a constant visitor, and she assures me that the girls were bright and happy in their home, always engaged on some project of absorbing interest, and always enjoying life in their own sober and thoughtful way.

The Brontë cottage in Emdale was very poor, but it was brightened with the perennial sunshine of love. It was love in a cottage, in which the bare walls and narrow board were golden in the light of Alice Brontë’s smile. It was said in the neighborhood that Mrs. Brontë’s smile “would have tamed a mad bull,” and on her deathbed she thanked God that her husband had never looked upon her with a frown.

In their wedded love they were very poor, but very happy. Hugh’s constant, steady work provided for the daily wants of an ever-increasing family, but it made no provision for the strain of adverse circumstances. In fact, the Emdale Brontës lived like birds, and as happy as birds.

Hugh Brontë was one of the industrious poor. The salt of his life was honest, manly toil. He had forgotten the luxury of his childhood’s home, and he did not feel any degradation in his lowly lot.

In our artificial civilization we have come to place too much store on the accident of wealth. Our Blessed Saviour, whom all the rich and luxurious call “Lord,” was born in as lowly a condition of comfortless poverty as Patrick Brontë. Cows are now housed in Brontë’s birthplace, but our Lord was born among the animals in the caravansérai. And yet, in our social code, we have reduced the Decalogue to this one commandment, “Thou shalt not be poor.”

Hugh Brontë did not choose poverty as his lot, but, being a working man, like the carpenter of Nazareth, he did the daily work that came to his hand, and then, side by side with Alice, he found the fulness of each day sufficient for all its wants.

The happy home was soon crowded with children, and the family removed to a larger and better house, in the townland of Lisnacreevy. The parish register of Drumballyroney Church, to which the Brontës belonged, unfortunately goes no farther back than 1779, two years after the birth of Patrick. The register, which is now kept in the parish church of Drumgooland, belonged to the united parishes of Drumballyroney and Drumgooland, in which, when united, the Reverend Mr. Tighe was vicar for forty-two years. When Patrick Brontë was two years old, less one day, his brother William was baptized, and about every two succeeding years either a brother or a sister was added until the family numbered ten.


Hugh Brontë and his wife could not live wholly on love in a cottage, and Hugh had to bestir himself. He was an unskilled laborer, but he understood the art of burning lime. There was no limestone, however, in that part of County Down to burn, and as he could not have a lime-kiln, he resolved to have a corn-kiln.

At the beginning of this century a corn-kiln in such a district in Ireland was a very simple affair. A floor of earthenware tiles, pierced nearly through from the underside, was arranged on a kind of platform or loft. Beneath there was a furnace, which was heated by burning the rough, dry seeds, or outer shelling, ground off the oats. In front of the furnace there was a hollow, called “the logie-hole,” in which the kiln man sat, with the shelling or seeds heaped up within arm’s length around him, and with his right hand he beeked the kiln, by throwing, every few seconds, a sprinkling of seeds on the flame. In this way he kept up a warm glow under the corn till it was sufficiently dried for the mill.

Such was the simple character of the ordinary corn-kiln in County Down at the beginning of the century. But I have been assured by the old men of the neighborhood that Hugh Brontë’s kiln was of a still more primitive structure. 453 The platform, or corn-floor, was constructed by laying iron bars across unhewn stones set up on end. On these bars straw matting was spread, and on the matting the corn was placed to dry. Such a structure was the immediate precursor of the pottery floored kiln. The design was the same in both, but the matting was always liable to catch fire, and required careful attention.

The kiln was erected in the part of the Brontë cottage now roofless, and, like the cottage itself, must have been a very humble affair. It has been suggested that the kiln may have stood elsewhere, but it is now established beyond all doubt, on the unanimous testimony of the inhabitants, that the Brontë kiln stood in the ruined room of the Brontë cottage, and, in fact, it is known by the name of “the Brontës’ kiln.”

Within those walls, now roofless, the grandfather of Charlotte Brontë began in 1776 to earn the daily bread of himself and his bride, by roasting his neighbors’ oats. His wage was known by the name of “muther,” and consisted of so many pounds of fresh oats taken from every hundredweight brought to him to be kiln-dried. The miller, too, was paid in kind, but his muther was taken by measure, after the shelling, or seeds, had been ground off the grain.

When Hugh Brontë had accumulated a sackful of muther he dried it on his kiln, took it to the mill, and paid his muther in turn to the miller, to have it ground into meal.

The meal, when taken home, was stored in a barrel, and with the produce of the rood of potatoes which Hugh had sod on his brother-in-law’s farm, became the food of himself and family. As the Brontës could not consume all the muther themselves, the surplus would be sold to provide clothing and other necessaries, and though there remains no trace of pig-stye or fowl-house, there can be little doubt that Mrs. Brontë would have both pigs and fowl to eke out her husband’s earnings.

Mrs. Brontë was a famous spinner, and she handed down the art to her daughters. She had always a couple of sheep grazing on her brother’s land. She carded and span the wool, her spinning-wheel singing all day beside her husband, as he beeked the kiln. Then, during the long, dark evenings, when they had no light but the red eye of the kiln, she knitted the yarn into hose and vest and shirt, and even head-gear, so that Hugh Brontë, like his sons in after years, was almost wholly clad in “homespun.”

This, probably, had something to do with the general impression, which still remains in the neighborhood, of the stately and shapely forms of the Brontë men and women. The knitted woollen garments fitted close, unlike the fantastic and shapeless habiliments that came from the hands of local tailors in those days.

Alice Brontë also span nearly all the garments which she wore, and her tall and comely daughters after her were dressed in clothes which their own hands had taken from the fleece.

On principle, as well as from necessity, the Brontës wore woollen garments, and the vicar carried the same taste with him to England, where his dislike of everything made of cotton was attributed by his biographer to dread of fire. The absurd servants’ gossip as to his cutting up his wife’s silk gown had possibly a grain of truth in it, owing to his preference for woollen garments; but the atrocity spun out of the gossip by Mrs. Gaskell was probably an exaggeration of an innocent act. At any rate, the old man characterized the statement, I believe truly, by a small but ugly word.

All the Brontës, father, mother, sons, and daughters, to the number of twelve, were clad in wool, and they were the healthiest, handsomest, strongest, heartiest family in the whole country. They were a standing proof of the excellency of the woollen theory, and it is interesting to note how Hugh Brontë’s theory and practice have received approval in our own day. For a time the Brontës had to look to others to weave their yarn into the blankets and friezes that they required, but Patrick was taught to weave as soon as he was able to throw the shuttle and roll the beam, and then his father’s house manufactured 454 for themselves everything they wore, from the raw staple to the gracefully fitting corset.

Even the scarlet mantle for which “Ayles” Brontë is still remembered in Ballynaskeagh was carded, spun, knitted, and dyed by Mrs. Brontë’s own hands. The spirit of independence manifested by the Brontës in England was a survival of a still sturdier spirit that had had its origin in one of the humblest cabins in County Down.

As time passed Hugh Brontë became a famous ditcher. There is a very old man called Hugh Norton, living in Ballynaskeagh, who remembers him making fences and philosophizing at the same time. It is very probable that the introduction of corn-kilns constructed of burnt pottery may have left him without custom for his straw-mat kiln, just as the introduction of machinery at a later period left the country hand-looms idle.

In Hugh Brontë’s time more careful attention began to be given to the land. Bogs were drained, fields fenced, roads constructed, bridges made, houses built, with greater energy than had ever been known before, and, although the landlord generally raised the rent on every improvement effected by the tenant, the wave of prosperity and improvement continued. Hugh Brontë was a good, steady workman, and found constant employment, and at that time wages rose from sixpence per day to eightpence and tenpence. The sod fences made by him still stand as a monument of honest work, and there are few country districts where huntsmen would find greater difficulty with the fences than in Emdale and Ballynaskeagh.

As Hugh Brontë advanced in life he continued to prosper. He removed from the Emdale cottage to a larger house in Lisnacreevy, and from thence he and his family went home to live with Red Paddy, Mrs. Brontë’s brother. On the Ballynaskeagh farm the children found full scope for their energies, and they continued to prosper and purchase surrounding farms until they were in very comfortable circumstances. The Brontës were greatly advanced in their prosperity by a discovery made by one of their countrymen. John Loudon Macadam was a County Down surveyor. He wrote several treatises on road-making of a revolutionary character. His proposal was to make roads by laying down layers of broken stones, which he said would become hardened into a solid mass by the traffic passing over them.

For a time he was the subject of much ridicule, but he persevered, and proved his theory in a practical fashion. The importance of the invention was acknowledged by a grant from the government of ten thousand pounds, which he accepted, and by the offer of a baronetcy, which he declined. He lived to see the world’s highways improved by his discovery, and the English language enriched by his name.

The old, unscientific road-makers were too conservative to engage in the construction of macadamized roads, but the Brontës were shrewd enough to see the value of the new method, and they tendered for county contracts, and their tenders were accepted. Then the way to fortune lay open before them. They opened quarries on their own land, where they found an inexhaustible supply of stone, easily broken to the required size. With suitable stone ready to their hands they had a great advantage over all rivals, and for a generation the macadamizing of the roads in the neighborhood was practically a monopoly in the Brontë family.

I remember the excellent carts and horses employed by the Brontës on the road, and I also distinctly recollect that the names painted on the carts were spelled “Brontë,” the pronunciation being “Brontë,” never “Prunty,” as has been alleged.

With the lucrative monopoly of road-making added to their farm profits the Brontës grew in wealth. They raised on their farm the oats and fodder required by the horses, and, as the brothers did a large amount of the work themselves and had nothing to purchase, the money received for road-making was nearly all profit.

In those days the Brontës added field to field, until they farmed a considerable 455 tract of land, which they held from a model landlord called Sharman Crawford. That was the period at which a two-storied house was built, and there were houses occupied by the Brontës, from the two-storied house down to the thatched cottage. In fact, the house of Red Paddy McClory, in which Alice was born and reared, stood about half-way between the two-storied house and the cabin. The foundations of the house in which Charlotte Brontë’s Irish grandmother was born are still visible.

Shortly after the death of old Hugh, and in the time of the Brontë prosperity, one of the brothers, called Welsh, opened a public-house in the thatched cabin referred to, and from that moment, as far as I have been able to make out, the tide of the Brontë prosperity turned.

Everything the Brontës did was genuine. Their whiskey was as good in quality as their roads, and I fear it must be added that they were among the heartiest customers for their own commodities. They ceased to work on the roads, their hard-earned money slipped through their fingers, and the public-house became the meeting-place for the fast and wild youth of the locality.

Then another brother, called William, but known as Billy, opened on the Knock Hill another public-house, which also became a centre of demoralization to the young men of the district, and a source of degradation to the keeper. I remember both these pests in full force. They were much frequented by Orangemen, who, when tired playing “The Protestant Boys,” used to slake their thirst and fire their hatred of the Papishes by drinking Brontë’s whiskey.

I am bound to say distinctly that I do not believe any of Charlotte Brontë’s Irish uncles ever became confirmed drunkards. They took to the drink business too late in life to be wholly overmastered by the passion for alcohol. Besides, their father’s example, and the industrious habits of their youth and early manhood, had combined to give moral fibre to the stubborn Brontë character, which saved them from precipitate descent on the down grade.

I never saw any of the Brontës drunk, and I believe the occasional drinking of the family was limited to the two brothers who sold drink, and who would always feel bound in honor “to taste a drop” with their customers. The other brothers would drink like other people, in fairs and markets, where every transaction was ratified by a glass of grog, but I do not believe they often drank to excess.

In those days everybody drank. At births, at baptisms, at weddings, at wakes, at funerals, and in all the other leading incidents of life, intoxicating liquors were considered indispensable. If a man was too hot he drank, and if he was too cold he drank. He drank if he was in sorrow, and he drank when in joy. When his gains were great he drank, and he drank also when crushed by losses. The symbol of universal hospitality was the black bottle.

Ministers of the Gospel used to visit their people quarterly. On these visitations the minister was accompanied by one of his deacons. Into whatever house they entered they were immediately met by the hospitable bottle and two glasses, and they were always expected to fortify themselves with spirituous draughts before beginning their spiritual duties. As the visitors called at from twelve to twenty houses on their rounds, they must have been “unco fou” by the close of the day.

It is interesting to remember that when the drinking habits of the country were at their height the temperance reformation was begun in Great Britain, by the best friend the Brontës had, the Reverend David McKee. It is of still greater interest, in our present investigation, to know that Mr. McKee was moved to the action which has resulted in the great temperance reform by the Brontë public-houses at his door, and by the demoralization they were creating.

The little incident which has led to such momentous results came about in this way: the Reverend David McKee of Ballynaskeagh was the minister of the Presbyterian Church of Anaghlone. He had built his church, and he was 456 largely independent of his congregation. One Sunday he thought fit to preach on The Rechabites. In the sermon he ridiculed and denounced the drinking habits of the time. The sermon fell on the congregation like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky. Blank amazement in the audience was succeeded by hot indignation.

On the following morning an angry deputation from the congregation waited on Mr. McKee. He listened to them with patient courtesy while they urged that the sermon should be immediately burnt, and that an apology should be tendered to the congregation on the following Sunday.

When the deputation had exhausted themselves and their subject, Mr. McKee began quietly to draw attention to the happy homes which had been desolated by whiskey, the brilliant young men whom it had ruined, the amiable neighbors whom it had hurried into drunkards’ graves, and then he pointed to the Brontës as an example of the baneful influence of the trade on the sellers of the stuff themselves.

The deputation, some of them Orangemen, were in no mood to listen to radical doctrines, subversive of their time-honored customs, and they began to threaten.

Mr. McKee, who was six feet six inches high, and of great muscular power, drew himself up to his full stature, and calling to his servant, then at breakfast in the kitchen, told him to saddle his best mare, as he wished to ride in haste to Newry, to publish his sermon in time for circulation on the following Sunday. Then, turning to the deputation, he thanked them for their early visit, which he hoped would bear fruit, and bowed them out of his parlor.

He rode the best horse in the whole district, and he never drew rein till he reached the printing-office in Newry, and he had the sermon ready for circulation on the following Sunday, and handed it to his people as they retired.

In 1798 Mr. McKee, then a youth, watched from a hill in his father’s land the battle of Ballynahinch. He had in his arms at the time a little nephew who had been left in his charge. The little nephew became the great Doctor Edgar of Belfast, who used to boast playfully that he was “up in arms” at the battle of Ballynahinch.

Mr. McKee sent a copy of The Rechabites to his eloquent nephew. Doctor Edgar read the sermon, and then, rising from his seat, proceeded swiftly to carry all the whiskey he had in the house into the street, and empty it into the gutter. With that drink offering Doctor Edgar inaugurated the great temperance reform. From Ireland he passed to Scotland, and from Scotland to England. The whole kingdom was mightily stirred, and the temperance cause has ever since continued to flourish. The little seed, stimulated at first by the Brontë public-houses, has become a great tree, the branches of which extend to all lands.

We have now seen the Brontës in the daily round of their common pursuits. In the next chapter we hope to see old Hugh in the light of his Brontë genius.


The Hakkawāti is the oriental story-teller, the man who beyond all others relieves the tedium and wearisomeness of oriental life. I have often watched the oriental Hakkawāti, seated in the centre of a large crowd, weaving stories with subtile plots and startling surprises, using pathos and passion and pungent wit, and always interspersing his narratives with familiar incidents, and laying on local color, to give an appearance of vraisemblance, or reality, to the wildest fancies.

The Arabian Hakkawāti generally tells his stories at night, when the weird and wonderful are most effective. He has always a fire so arranged as to light up his countenance with a ruddy glow, so that the movements and contortions of a mobile face may add support to the narrative. He sometimes proceeds slowly, stumbling and correcting himself, like D’Israeli, as if his one great desire was to stick to the literal truth.


Without any apparent effort to please, the Hakkawāti keeps his finger on the pulse of his audience. Should they show signs of weariness, he makes them smile by some pleasantry, and as the Arab holds that “smiles and tears are in the same khury,” or wallet, he brings something of great seriousness on the heels of the fun, and works himself into a white heat of passion over it, the veins rising like cords on his forehead, and his whole frame convulsed and throbbing, the rapt audience following, in full sympathy with every mood.

I have seen the Arabs shivering and pale with terror, as the Hakkawāti narrated the fearful deeds of some imaginary jinn, and I have seen them feeling for their daggers, and ready to spring to their feet, to avenge some dastard act of imaginary cruelty; and a few seconds after I have seen them melted to tears at the recital of some imaginary tale of woe. I never wearied in listening to the Hakkawāti, or in watching the artlessness of his consummate art; and I have always looked on him as the most interesting of all orientals, a positive benefactor to his illiterate countrymen.

Hugh Brontë was an Irish Hakkawāti, the last of an extinct race. I knew several men who had heard him when he was at his best. He would sit long winter nights in the logie-hole of his corn-kiln, in the Emdale cottage, telling stories to an audience of rapt listeners who thronged around him. Mrs. Brontë plied her knitting in the outer darkness of the kitchen, for there was no light except the glow from the furnace of the kiln, which lighted up old Hugh’s face as he beeked the kiln, and told his yarns.

The Reverend William McAllister, from whom I got most details as to Brontë’s story-telling, had heard his father say that he spent a night in Brontë’s kiln either in the winter of 1779 or 1780. Brontë’s fame was then new. The place was crowded to suffocation. At that time he reserved a place near the fire for Mrs. Brontë, and Patrick, then a baby, was lying on the heap of seeds from which the fire was fed, with his eyes fixed on his father, and listening, like the rest, in breathless silence.

Hugh Brontë seems to have had the rare faculty of believing his own stories, even when they were purely imaginary, and he would sometimes conjure up scenes so unearthly and awful that both he and his hearers were afraid to part company for the night. Frequently his neighbors could not face the darkness alone after one of Hugh’s gruesome stories, and lay upon the shelling seeds till day dawned.

The farmers’ sons of the whole neighborhood used to gather round Brontë at night to hear his narratives, and he continued to manufacture stories of all descriptions as long as he lived.

I have always understood that Hugh Brontë’s stories, though sometimes rough in texture and interspersed with emphatic expletives, after the manner of the time, had always a healthy moral bearing. As a genuine Irishman he never used an immodest word, or by gesture, phrase, or innuendo suggested an impure thought. On this point all my informants were unanimous. He neither used unchaste words himself, nor permitted any one to do so in his house. Tyranny and cruelty of every kind he denounced fiercely. Faithlessness and deceit always met condign punishment in his romances, and in cases where girls had been betrayed, either the ghost of the injured woman, or the devil himself, in some awful form, wreaked unutterable vengeance on the betrayer.

Hugh Brontë was a great moral teacher and a power for good, as far as his influence extended. There are still some old men living in his neighborhood who never understood him, and who are disposed to think he was in league with the devil.

It is always at his peril that any man dares to live before his time, or to leave the beaten track of the commonplace. The reformers have all, without exception, been mad, or worse, in the eyes of dull conservatism. Brontë dared to teach his neighbors by allowing them to see as well as hear, and those who were too stupid to understand were clever enough to denounce.


By a very great effort Hugh Brontë learned to read, late in life. He began at Mount Pleasant, with no higher aim than that of being able to write letters to Alice McClory, when he could no longer visit her. He made rapid strides in learning under the tutelage of his master’s children, when he lived in Loughorne, and when he went to live in Emdale he knew the sweetness and solace of good books, and he had always a book on his knee, which he read by the light of the kiln fire, when he was alone. He knew the Bible, Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and Burns’s poems, well. Those were bookless days. The newspaper had not yet found its way to the people, and in a neighborhood of mental stagnation it was something to have one man who could hold the mirror up to nature, and lead his illiterate visitors into enchanted ground.

Many of Hugh’s stories were far removed from the region of romance, but he had the literary art of giving an artistic touch to everything he said, which added a charm to the narration, independent of the facts which he narrated.

The story of his early life, which I have tried to reduce to simple prose, was delivered in the rhapsodic style of the ancient bards, but simple enough to be understood by the most unlettered peasant. None of Brontë’s stories were so acceptable as the simple record of his early hardships.

Mingled with all his stories, shrewd maxims for life and conduct were interwoven; but in his oration on tenant-right he broke new ground, and showed that under different circumstances he might have been a great statesman, and saved his country from unutterable woe.

Hugh Brontë was superstitious, but while his superstitious character descended to all his children, the faculty of story-telling was inherited, as far as I have been able to ascertain, by Patrick alone. All the sons and daughters talked with a dash of genius—as one of their old acquaintances said, “They were very cliver with their tongues”—but I have never heard of any of them except Patrick trying to tell a story.

Patrick, at the age of two or three, used to lie on the warm shelling seeds and listen to his father’s entrancing stories, and he seems to have caught something of his father’s gift and power. Miss Nussey, Charlotte’s friend, “Miss E.,” has often told me of Patrick’s power to rivet the attention of his children, and awe them with realistic descriptions of simple scenes. All the girls used to sit in breathless silence, their prominent eyes starting out of their heads, while their father unfolded lurid scene after scene; but the greatest effect was produced on Emily, who seemed to be unconscious of everything else except her father’s story, and sometimes the descriptions became so vivid, intense, and terrible that they had to implore him to desist.

Miss Nussey had opportunities for observing the Brontë girls that no other person had. She became Charlotte’s friend at school, when both were homesick and needed friends. She continued to be her fast friend through life. Gentle Anne Brontë died in her arms, and she was Charlotte’s true consoler when the heroic Emily passed swiftly away. She early discovered the ring of genius in Charlotte’s letters, and preserved every scrap of them, and it is chiefly through those letters that the Brontës are known in England. She was Charlotte’s confidante in all private transactions and love matters, and she might have been a nearer friend still had Charlotte not refused an offer of marriage from her brother—an incident in the novelist’s life here for the first time made public.

Miss Nussey was not only Charlotte’s devoted friend, but she was a constant visitor at Haworth, and a keen observer. She had a great power of discernment in literary matters, and a very considerable literary gift herself. She had not to wait till “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” were published to learn that Charlotte and Emily Brontë were endowed with genius. We owe it to her penetrating sagacity that we know so much of the vicar’s daughters. She watched their growth of intellect and everything that ministered to it, and she believes firmly that the girls caught their inspiration 459 from their father, and that Emily got not only her inspiration but most of her facts from her father’s narratives.[4]


Swinburne, in his “Note on Charlotte Brontë,” has alone had the poetic insight and artistic instinct to discern this fact. He is right when he says, “Charlotte evidently never worked so well as when painting more or less directly from nature.... In most cases, probably, the designs begun by means of the camera were transferred for completion to the canvas.”

Swinburne, however, falls short in discernment, when, in contrasting Charlotte with her sister, he says: “Emily Brontë, like William Blake, would probably have said, or at least presumably have felt, that such study after the model was to her impossible—an attempt but too certain to diminish her imaginative insight and disable her creative hand.”

Surely the highest imaginative insight and deftest creative hand work from the model, nature, but the result is not a mere portrait of the model.

“The dirty, ragged, black-haired child,” brought home by Mr. Earnshaw from Liverpool, is none other than the real dirty, naked, black-haired foundling, discovered on the boat between Liverpool and Drogheda, and taken home by Charlotte’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother to the banks of the Boyne. The artist, however, is not a mere copyist, and hence, while the story starts from existing facts, and follows the general outline of the real, it is not the very image of the real, and makes deviations from the original facts to meet the exigencies of art.

There is no difficulty, however, in recognizing the original of the incarnate fiend Heathcliff in the man Welsh, who tormented Hugh Brontë, Patrick’s father, in the old family home near Drogheda. Had Welsh never played the demon among the Brontës, Emily Brontë had never placed on the canvas Heathcliff, “child neither of lascar nor gypsy, but a man’s shape animated by demon life—a ghoul, an afrit.” Nelly Dean, the benevolent but irresolute medium of romance and tragedy, is Hugh’s Aunt Mary, clear-eyed as to right and duty, but ever slipping down before the force of circumstances. And old Gallagher, on the banks of the Boyne, with “the Blessed Virgin and all the saints” on his side, is none other than the original of the old hypocrite, Joe. Gallagher is Joe speaking the Yorkshire dialect.

And Edgar Linton is the gentle and forgiving brother of Alice, our friend Red Paddy McClory, who took his sister home after her runaway marriage with a Protestant, and finally took the whole Brontë family under his roof, and gave them all he possessed. Even Catherine Linton’s flight and marriage has solid foundation in fact, either in Alice Brontë’s romantic elopement with Hugh, or in the more tragic circumstances of Mary Brontë’s marriage with Welsh.

It is not credible that Patrick Brontë, in his story-telling moods, never narrated to his listening daughters the romance of their grandfather and grandmother. It is true Miss Nussey never heard any reference to the story, nor did the Brontës ever in her presence refer to their Irish home or friends or history, though, at the very time she was visiting Haworth, they were in constant communication with their Irish relatives, and, as we shall see, one of the uncles actually visited them, as Charlotte’s champion, and one of them had visited Haworth at an earlier date.

They were too proud to talk even to their most intimate friends of their Irish home, much less to expose the foibles of their immediate ancestors to phlegmatic English ears; but Patrick Brontë would not omit to tell his story-loving daughters the thrilling adventures of their ancestors, and the girls, having brooded over the incidents, reproduced them in variant forms, and in the sombre setting of their own surroundings.

The originals lived and died, acted and were acted upon, in Louth and Down; but on the steeps of “Wuthering Heights” they strut again, speaking the Yorkshire dialect, and braced by the tonic air of the northern downs.

None of the stories betray their origin so clearly as “Wuthering Heights,” just as none of the novelists were so fascinated with their father’s tales as Emily. But the stories are all Brontë stories, an echo of the thrilling narratives related by old Hugh, and retold, I believe, a hundred times by Patrick. Of course, all the stories are made to live again under new forms, each writer giving the stamp of her own character to the new creations. Artists of the Brontë stamp are not portrait painters, nor mere reproducers.


They never were content to be mere lackeys of nature. They were above nature, and everything without and within themselves they placed under contribution.

Even the rough and rugged characters that have come from the hand of Emily show the work of the artist. She added to the repulsive Heathcliff qualities of her own. She is perfectly serious when she says: “Possibly some people might suspect him [Heathcliff] of a degree of under-bred pride. I have a sympathetic chord within me that tells me it is nothing of the sort. I know by instinct his reserve springs from an aversion to showy display of feeling, to manifestations of mutual kindliness. He’ll love and hate equally under cover, and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved or hated again. No! I’m running on too fast. I bestow my own attributes over-liberally on him.”

Knowing the model from which Emily Brontë worked, there are few passages which throw more light on the artist than this. Catherine Linton was modelled on the lovely Alice McClory, who bequeathed to her clever granddaughters all the personal attractions they possessed; but here again Emily bestows attributes of herself and sisters on her stately and lily-like grandmother.

“She [Catherine] was slender, and apparently scarcely past girlhood. An admirable form, and the most exquisite little face I had ever had the pleasure of beholding; small features, very fair; flaxen ringlets, or rather golden, hanging loose on her delicate neck; and eyes, had they been agreeable in expression, that would have been irresistible.”

The picture is neither that of a Brontë of the Haworth vicarage nor is it a portraiture of the flower plucked in Ballynaskeagh by Hugh Brontë, but it is Alice McClory diluted with a dash of the Penzance Branwells, and the effect is a perfect and beautiful picture, more pleasing, indeed, than a life-like portrait, with all the radiant beauty of the charming Alice, when she rode off to Magherally Church with the dashing Hugh Brontë.


Hugh Brontë worked up to his tenant-right doctrines by a series of assertions, negative and positive, on religious, political, and economic questions. His address, in which he set forth his views on such matters, approximated to the form of a lecture more nearly than any of his other talks, which were generally in the narrative form. The following are the chief points of the discourse, as given to me by my old tutor and friend, and the propositions were never varied, except in the mere wording, although the statement had never been formally written out.

Hugh Brontë always began with a little black Bible in his hand, or on his knee, and his first negative assertion was:

I. “The church is not Christ’s.”

Laying his hand on the little book he would declare that he found grace in the Bible, but in the church only greed. Once and only once he had appealed to a parson. He was hungry, naked, and bleeding, but the great double-chinned, red-faced man had looked on him as if he were a rat, and, without hearing his story, had him driven off by a grand-looking servant, who cracked a whip over his head and swore at him.

In Hugh Brontë’s eyes the parsons got their livings for political services, and not for learning or goodness. Enormous sums were paid them to do work that they did not do. They rarely visited their parishes, and their duties were performed by hungry and ill-paid curates. When they did return occasionally to their livings they were heard of at banquets, where they ate and drank too freely, and at other resorts, where they gambled recklessly. They were seen riding over the country after foxes and hounds, and sitting in judgment on the men whose grain they had trampled down, and sending them to penal servitude for trapping hares in their own gardens. They were said to be ignorant, but they were known to be irreligious, immoral, arrogant, 461 and cruel. They acted as the ministers of the gentry, before whom they were very humble, and they utterly despised the people who paid for their luxuries, and supported their own priests besides.

They gave the sanction of the church to violence, craft, and crime in high places, and they were as far removed as men could be, in origin, position, and practices, from the apostles of the New Testament. And yet, he added, they claimed, in the most haughty manner, that they and they alone were the successors of the apostles, although they showed no signs of apostolic spirituality or apostolic service.

Hugh Brontë declared that he could not submit to the Protestant parson, who despised him because he was poor, and could not aid in his promotion, nor could he yield obedience to the Catholic priest, who demanded utter subjection and prostration of both body and mind, and enforced his church’s claims by a stout stick. With these views it is not to be wondered at that Hugh Brontë did not belong to any church.

To us, now, his statements appear exaggerated and too sweeping, but it must be remembered that he spoke of the Irish clergy in the closing decades of the last century. He expressed himself fiercely regarding the parsons, and in return they dubbed him “atheist.”

His second negative assertion was:

II. “The world is not God’s.”

He knew from the Bible that God had made all things very good, and that he loved the world, but he held that a number of people had got in between God and his world, and made it very bad and hateful. They were known as kings and emperors, and they had seized on the world by fraud and force. They lived on the best of everything that the land produced, and when they disagreed among themselves they sent their people to kill each other on their account, while they sat at home in peace and luxury.

These usurpers not only held sway over the possessions and lives of men, but they decreed the exact thoughts men were to entertain concerning God, and the exact words they were to speak concerning God; and when men presumed to obey God rather than men they were tied to stakes and burned to death as blasphemers. For such sentiments as these Hugh Brontë was denounced as a socialist—a very bad and dangerous name at the beginning of the present century.

His third negative proposition was:

III. “Ireland is not the king’s.”

He understood that King George III. was not a wise man, but that he was a humane man. Ireland was not governed by King George III., but by a gang of rapacious brigands. They constantly invoked the king’s name, but only to serve more fully their own selfish ends. By the king’s authority they carried out their policy of systematic outrage, until he hated the very name of the king whom he always wished to love.

The chief business of the king’s representatives was to plunder his majesty’s poorer subjects. For this purpose the country was parcelled out and divided among a number of base and greedy adventurers, in return for odious services. Each of these adventurers became king, or landlord, in his own district, and lived on the wretched natives. Every meskin of butter made on the farm, every pig reared in the cabin, every egg laid by the hens that roosted in the kitchen, went to support the land-king.

The cottages were mud hovels. The land was bog and barren waste. The men and women were in rags. The children were hungry, pinched, and bare-footed. But the landlord carried off everything, except the potato crop, which was barely sufficient to sustain life.

The landlord was a very great man. He lived in London, near the king, in more than royal splendor. Or he passed his time in some of the great cities of Europe, spending as much on gay women as would have clothed and fed all the starving children on his estate. In English society his pleasantries were said to be most entertaining, regarding the poverty, misery, and squalor of his tenants, whom he fleeced; but he took 462 care never to come near them, lest his fine sensibilities should be shocked at their condition. His serious occupation was the making of laws to increase his own power for rapacity, and to take away from the people every vestige of rights that they might have inherited.

“The landlord takes everything and gives nothing,” was Hugh Brontë’s simple form of the fine modern phrase regarding landlords’ privileges and duties.

Hugh Brontë maintained that the landlord was a courteous gentleman, graced with polished manners, and that if he had lived among his people he might in time have developed a heart. At least, he could hardly have kept up a gentlemanly indifference, in the presence of squalor and misery. But he kept quite out of sight of his tenantry, or he would not have made so much merriment about the pig, which was being brought up among the children, to pay for his degrading extravagances. The landlord’s place among the people was taken by an agent, an attorney, and a sub-agent. The agent was a local potentate, whose will was law. The attorney’s business was to make the law square with the agent’s acts. And the under agent was employed to do mean and vile and inhuman acts, that neither the agent nor attorney could conveniently do.

The duty of the three was to find out, by public inspection and by private espionage, the uttermost farthing the tenants could pay, and extract it from them legally. In getting the rent for the landlord each got as much as he could for himself. The key of the situation was the word “eviction.”

Then Hugh told the story of his ancestors’ farm. The Brontës had occupied a piece of forfeited land, with well-defined obligations to a chief, or landlord. Soon the landlord succeeded in removing all legal restraints which in any way interfered with his absolute control of the place. Remonstrance and entreaty were alike unavailing. The alterations in title were made by the authority of “George III., by the grace of God King of England!”

Hugh’s great-grandfather drained the bog and improved the land, at enormous expense. Every improvement was followed by a rise in the rent. His grandfather built a fine house on the land, by money made in dealing, and again the rent was raised, on the increased value given to the place by the tenant’s industry. Then, the vilest creature in human form having ingratiated himself with the agent, by vile services, the place was handed over to him, without one farthing of compensation to the heirs of the man whose labor had made the place of value. All these things were done in the name of George III., though the king had no more to do with the nefarious transactions than the child unborn.

From this conclusion Hugh Brontë proceeded to his fourth negative proposition:

IV. “Irish law is not justice.”

He expressed regret that he was unable to respect the laws of the country. According to his views, the laws were made by an assembly of landlords, purely and solely to serve their own rapacious desires, and not in accordance with any dictates of right or wrong. As soon might the lambs respect the laws of the wolves as the people of Ireland respect the laws of the landlords.

From this point he naturally arrived at his fifth negative proposition:

V. “Obedience to law is not a duty.”

He said it might be prudent to obey a bad law, cruelly administered, because disobedience might entail inconvenient consequences; but there was no moral obligation impelling a man to obey a law which outraged decency, and against which every righteous and generous instinct revolted. Human laws should be the reflection of divine laws; but the landlord-made laws of Ireland had neither the approval of honest men nor the sanction of divine justice.

Hugh’s sixth and last negative proposition was:

VI. “Patriotism is not a virtue.”

He held that every man should love his country, and that every Irishman did; but he could not do violence to the most sacred instincts of his nature, 463 by any zeal to uphold a system of government which dealt with Ireland as the legitimate prey of plunderers.

In other lands men were patriotic because they loved their country. He loved his country too well to be a patriot. Love of country more than any other passion had prompted to the purest patriotism; but who would do heroic acts to maintain a swarm of harpies to pollute and lacerate his country? Who would have his zeal aglow to maintain the desolators of his native land?

Hugh Brontë gave out his views with a warmth that betrayed animus arising from personal injury. He was therefore declared to be disloyal, and that at a time when there was danger in disloyalty. About the time Hugh Brontë was enunciating these sentiments the rising of the United Irishmen took place, and the pitched battle of Ballynahinch was fought, in 1798. It has always seemed to me strange that he should have passed through those times in peace, for the “Welsh horse” devastated the country far and wide after the battle, and hundreds of innocent people were shot down like dogs. Besides, William, his second son, was a United Irishman, and present at the battle of Ballynahinch. After the battle he was pursued by cavalry, who fired at him repeatedly, but he led them into a bog and escaped.

Hugh Brontë lived in a secluded glen; but the “Welsh horse” visited his house, and after a short parley with his wife, in which neither understood the other, one of the soldiers struck a light into the thatch. Hugh suddenly appeared and spoke to the Welsh soldiers in Irish, which it was supposed they understood, as being akin to their own language, and they joined heartily with him in extinguishing the flames. They joined still more heartily with Hugh in disposing of his stock of whiskey. The inability of Hugh’s neighbors to communicate with the Welsh may account for the fact that a man well known for such advanced and disloyal views passed safely through those troublous times.

Having completed his negative assertions, or paradoxes, Hugh Brontë proceeded to state his theories, or positive conclusions. He laid it down as an axiom that justice must be at the root of all good government, and he declared emphatically what O’Connell and Agent Townsend have since maintained, that the Irish were the most justice-loving people in the world. He also held that unjust laws were the fruitful source of all the turbulence and crime in Ireland.

Justice, he said, was nothing very grand. It meant simply that every man should have his own by legal right. This definition brought him to his tenant-right theory. In illustration he returned to the story of his ancestral home and the wrongs of his ancestors. He maintained that when his forefathers drained the bog and improved the land they were entitled to every ounce of improvement they had made. The landlord had done nothing for the land. He never went near it, and had never spent one farthing upon it, and he should not have been entitled to confiscate to his own profit the additional value given to it by the labor of another.

He further declared that a just and wise legislature should secure to every man, high and low, the fruits of his own labor, and he maintained that such simple, natural justice would produce confidence in Ireland, and that confidence would beget content and industry, and that a contented and industrious people would soon learn to love both king and country, and make Ireland happy and England strong. Just laws would silence the agitator and the blunderbuss, and range the people on the side of the rulers.

Hugh Brontë preached his revolutionary doctrines of simple justice in the cheerless east wind, but a little seed, carried I know not how, took root in genial soil, and the revolutionary doctrine of “Every man his own,” at which the political parsons used to cry “Anathema,” and the short-sighted politicians used to shout “confiscation,” has become one of the commonplaces of the modern reformation programme of fair play. The doctrine of common honesty enunciated by Hugh Brontë has lately received the approval of 464 Liberal and Conservative governments in what is known as “Tenant-Right,” or “The Ulster Custom.”

And here it is interesting to note that Hugh Brontë was a tenant on the estate of Sharman Crawford, a landlord who first took up the cause of Irish tenant-right, and after spending a long life in its advocacy, bequeathed its defence to his sons and daughters.

Whether Hugh Brontë’s doctrines on the relation of landlord and tenant ever came to the ears of the Crawford family, I know not. I think it is exceedingly probable that they heard of the remarkable man on their estate, and of his stories and theories. The Crawfords were never absentee landlords, and, as men of high Christian character, they always took a personal interest in their tenants, and would not, I believe, have failed to note any special intellectual activity among them. It is certain, however, that the Sharman Crawfords, father and son in succession, spent their lives largely in the propagation of Hugh Brontë’s views, both in the House of Commons and throughout the country, and it seems to me not only probable and possible, but almost certain, that Brontë’s eloquent and passionate arguments, dropped into the justice-loving minds of the Crawfords,[5] may have been the primary seeds of the great agrarian harvest which, with the full sanction of the legislature, is now being reaped by the farmers in Ireland.


In 1833 W. Sharman Crawford published a pamphlet embodying Hugh Brontë’s doctrines, and making suggestions for the good government of Ireland. The pamphlet was republished by Doctor W. H. Dodd, Q. C., in 1892. Councillor Dodd is an old pupil of the Ballynaskeagh school. He received his early education from Mr. McKee, the friend of the Brontës, and he was acquainted, as a student, with Charlotte Brontë’s uncles. The following is his summary of the political portion of the pamphlet:

“Mr. Crawford anticipates, as the probable result of refusing self government to Ireland, the growth of secret societies, the influence of agitation, and the necessity of resorting to force in the government of the country. He touches upon the question of private bill legislation, of a reform of the grand jury system, of county government. He points out that the creation of county councils, without having a central body to control them, is not desirable. And he suggests the creation of a local legislature for Irish affairs, combined with representation in the Imperial Parliament, as the true method of preserving the Union, as the surest bond of the connection between the two countries, and as essentially necessary to tranquillity in Ireland.

“He refers, among other measures, to the disestablishment of the Irish Church, and the reform of the relations between landlord and tenant, as being pressing.

“The arguments against his views are met and answered. One would think he had read some of the speeches lately delivered, so apt is his reply.

“It is curious to note the length of time Ireland has had to wait for the reforms he thought urgent, and it is sad to reflect how much suffering has been endured and how much blood has been shed because the men of his time would not listen to his words.”

Should my surmise be correct, and I have never doubted for forty years that it is so, great results have flowed from the inhuman treatment of a child. Had little Brontë been left in the luxury of his father’s home, it is not likely he would ever have been shaken up to original and independent thought; but the iron of cruel wrong had entered into his soul, and he felt that all was not well. He owed no gratitude to the existing order of things, and had no compunction in denouncing it; and having thought out and formulated a new theory, he proclaimed it with the strong conviction of an apostle who sees salvation in his gospel alone.

The daring character of Hugh Brontë’s speculations in their paradoxical form, combined with the fierce energy of his manner in making them known, secured for him an audience and an amount of consideration to which, as an uneducated working man, he could have had no claim. Indeed, Hugh Brontë’s revolutionary doctrines were known far beyond his own immediate neighborhood, and while many said he was mad, some declared that he only saw a little clearer than his contemporaries.