Page images

HE day is done. Soft darkness fills all space The turmoil has ceased. The clatter of hoofs and the , whir of motors have died away. One late straggler shuffles past. All is quiet. The shadows hide from the white-faced moon.

I am tired of the toil of the day-weary of this fretful little earth, so full of things. My feet are hot with tramping the stolid street. My throat is choked with the dust of trivial traffic. The things of my labor have become irksome to me -mere toys that I have played with all day. I will lay them aside. What matter if I can not find them again? Valedico, peevish little earth, I am going out into the Universe to stroll on the Milky Way and bathe in the Ocean of Night.

O, great, good, beautiful Night, you are so calm, so pure. I gaze through the ripples of the night-wind down into your dark depths where the stars lie strewn about Are they the jewel-offerings some ill-fated lover cast in ruthless despair upon your bosom? Or are they the pebbles that sparkle in your depths? I wander down the Milky Way. I gather the Pleiades and make a necklace for my Love. I string them on a golden strand from the tresses of Andromeda. What matter if the sea-nymphs do rage? Perseus is near and he has slain the Draco. I scatter the star-gems before my feet on the path. Wait! Triumphant Orion is passing and his gaudy girdle flashes a challenge at mad Taurus.

Here are some of the flowers of Nokomis. I will gather a few and weave them into the necklace. What is that I hear? Why it's the chimes of Saint Francis striking the twelfth hour. Have I been dreaming? I can retire, now, and rest on my pillow. Ah, there are the things, toothe toys. Perhaps I shall play with them again tomorrow.-Hugh Robert Orr.

NCHANTED child, born into a world unchildlike; spoiled darling of nature, playmate of her elemental daughters; "pard-like spirit, beautiful and swift," laired amidst the burning fastnesses of his own fervid mind; bold foot

along the verges of precipitous dream, light leaper from crag to crag of inaccessible fancies; towering Genius, whose soul, rose like a ladder between heaven and earth with the angels of song ascending and descending it-he is shrunken into the little vessel of death, and sealed with the unshatterable seal of doom, and cast down deep below the rolling tides of Time. Mighty meat for little guests, when the heart of Shelley was laid in the cemetery of Caius Cestius! Beauty, music, sweetness, tears, the mouth of the worm has fed of them all. Into that sacred bridalgloom of death where he holds his nuptials with eternity let not our rash speculations follow him; let us hope, rather, that as, amidst material nature, where our dull eyes see only ruin, the finer art of science has discovered life in putridity and vigor in decay, seeing dissolution even and disintegration, which in the mouth of man symbolize disorder, to be in the works of God undeviating order, and the manner of our corruption to be no less wonderful than the manner of our health-so amidst the supernatural universe some tender undreamed surprise of life in doom awaited that wild nature, which, worn by warfare with itself, its Maker, and all the world, now

Sleeps, and never palates more the dug,
The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's.

"The Death of Shelley," by Francis Thompson se 50

IT is related by a peasant that he had

persuaded himself that beyond his fields there were no others, and when he happened to lose a cow and was compelled to go in search of her, he was astonished at the great number of fields beyond his own few acres. This must also be the case of many theorists who have persuaded themselves that beyond this field or little globe of earth there lie no other worlds-simply because he has not seen them.-Spinoza.

Let the farmer forevermore be honored in his calling; for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.

-Thomas Jefferson.

NE raw morning in Spring

it will be eighty years the nineteenth day of this month -Hancock and Adams, the Moses and Aaron of that Great Deliverance, were both at Lexington; they also had "obstructed an officer" with brave words. British soldiers, a thousand strong, came to seize them and carry them over sea for trial, and so nip the bud of Freedom auspiciously opening in that early Spring. The town militia came together before daylight, "for training." A great, tall man, with a large head and a high, wide brow, their captain-one who had seen service "-marshaled them into line, numbering but seventy, and bade "every man load his piece with powder and ball. I will order the first man shot that runs away," said he, when some faltered. "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they want to have a war, let it begin here." Ꮽ Ꮽ


Gentlemen, you know what followed; those farmers and mechanics "fired the shot heard around the world." A little monument covers the bones of such as before had pledged their fortune and their sacred honor to the Freedom of America, and that day gave it also their lives. I was born in that little town, and bred up amid the memories of that day. When a boy I read the first monumental line I ever saw- Sacred to Liberty and the Rights of Mankind." Since then I have studied the memorial marbles of Greece and Rome, in many an ancient town; nay, on Egyptian obelisks have read what was written before the Eternal roused up Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt; but no chiseled stone has ever stirred me to such emotions as those rustic names of men who fell "In the Sacred Cause of God and their Country."-Theodore Parker.

It is no time to swap horses when you are crossing the stream.

—Abraham Lincoln.

It is conceivable that religion may be morally useful without being intellectually sustainable.-J. S. Mill.

HE Venice that you see in the sun

light of a summer's day-the Venice that bewilders with her glory when you land at her watergate; that delights with her color when you idle along the Riva; that intoxicates with her music as you lie in your gondola adrift on the bosom of some breathless lagoon-the Venice of mold-stained palace, quaint cafe and arching bridge; of fragrant incense, cool, dim-lighted church, and noiseless priest; of strong men and graceful womenthe Venice of light and life, of sea and sky, and melody-no pen can tell this story. The pencil and palette must lend their touch when one would picture the wide sweep of her piazzas, the abandon of her gardens, the charm of her canal and street life, the happy indolence of her people, the faded sumptuousness of her homes.

If I have given to Venice a prominent place among the cities of the earth, it is because in this selfish, materialistic, money-getting age it is a joy to live, if only for a day, where a song is more prized than a soldo; where the poorest pauper laughingly shares his scanty crust; where to be kind to a child is a habit, to be neglectful of old age a shame; a city the relics of whose past are the lessons of our future; whose every canvas, stone, and bronze bear witness to a grandeur, luxury, a taste that took a thousand years of energy to perfect, and will take a thousand years of neglect to destroy

To every one of my art-loving countrymen this city should be a Mecca; to know her thoroughly is to know all the beauty and romance of five centuries. -F. Hopkinson Smith.

Flower in the crannied wall,

I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower-but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

To believe in immortality is one thing, but it is first needful to believe in life.

-Robert Louis Stevenson.


every precious moment, and find an unspeakable facility in the performance of your respective duties. Begin and end the day with Him who is the Alpha and Omega, and if you really experience what it is to love God, you will redeem all the time you can for His more immediate service. I will tell you what rule I used to observe when I was in my father's house,

There by the window in the old house
Perched on the bluff, overlooking miles

of valley.

and had as little, if not less liberty than you have now. I used to allow myself as much time

My days of labor closed, sitting out life's for recreation as I


Day by day I look in my memory,

As one who gazes in an enchantress' crystal globe,

And I saw the figures of the past,

As if in a pageant glassed by a shining dream,

Move through the incredible sphere of

Y Dear Sammy-I hope that you retain the impressions of your education, nor have forgot that the vows of God are upon you. You know that the first fruits are Heaven's by an unalienable right, and that, as your parents devoted you to the service of the altar, so you yourself made it your choice when your father was offered another way of life for you. But have you duly considered what such a choice and such a dedication imports? Consider well what separation from the world, what purity, what devotion, what exemplary virtue, are required in those who are to guide others to glory! I say exemplary; for low, common degrees of piety are not sufficient for those of the sacred function. You must not think to live like the rest of the world; your light must so shine before men that they may see your good works, and thereby be led to glorify your Father which is in Heaven. For my part, I can not see with what face clergymen can reprove sinners, or exhort men to lead a good life, when they themselves indulge their own corrupt inclinations, and by their practice contradict their doctrine. If the Holy Jesus be indeed their Master, and they are really His ambassadors, surely it becomes them to live like His disciples; and if they do not, what a sad account they give of their stewardship.


And I saw a man arise from the soil like a fabled giant

And throw himself over a deathless destiny,

spent in private devotion; not that I always spent so much, but I gave myself leave to go so far but no farther. So in all

things else, ap

point so much time for sleep, eating, company, etc., but above all things, my dear Sammy, I command you, I beg, I beseech you, to be very strict in observing the

Master of great armies, head of the Lord's Day. In all republic,

(Concluded on next page)

I would advise you, as much as possible in your present circumstances, to throw your business into a certain method, by which means you will learn to improve

things endeavor to act on principle, and do not live like the rest of mankind, who pass through the world like straws upon a river, which are carried which way the stream or wind drives them. Often put this question to yourself: Why do I do this or that? Why do I pray, read, study, or use devotion, etc.? By which means you will come to such a steadiness and consistency in your words and actions as becomes a reasonable creature and a good Christian.

Your affectionate mother, Sus. Wesley. (Letter to Her Eldest Son, dated Epworth, October, 1709.)

Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.-Samuel Johnson.

England Byron above Wellington. A mighty dawn of ideas is peculiar to our age; and in this dawn England and Germany have their own magnificent flash. They are majestic because they think; the high level they bring to civilization is intrinsic to them; it comes from themselves, and not from an accident. Any aggrandizement the nineteenth century

HE Battle of Waterloo is an
enigma as obscure for those
who gained it as for him who
lost it. To Napoleon it is a
panic; Blucher sees nothing
in it but fire; Wellington does not under-
stand it at all. Look at the reports: the
bulletins are confused; the commentaries
are entangled; the latter stammer, the
former stutter.
Jomini divides the
battle of Water-
loo into four mo-
ments: Muffling
cuts it into three
acts; Charras, altho
we do not entirely
agree with him in
all his apprecia-
tions, has
has alone
caught with his
haughty eye the
characteristic of a child of Plutarch and Shakespeare.
O Lincoln, actor indeed, playing well your

Bringing together into a dithyramb of
recreative song

lineaments of this
catastrophe of hu-
man genius con-
tending with divine
chance. All the
other historians
suffer from a cer-
tain bedazzlement
in which they
grope about. It was
a flashing day, in
truth the over-
throw of the mili-

The epic hopes of a people:
At the some time Vulcan of sovereign fires,
Where imperishable shields and swords

were beaten out

From spirits tempered in heaven.
Look in the crystal! See how he hastens on
To the place where his path comes up to
the path

And Booth, who strode in a mimic play
within the play,

Often and often I saw you,

As the cawing crows winged their way to
the wood

Over my house-top at solemn sunsets,
There by my window,

"William H. Herndon," by Edgar Lee Masters

tary monarchy which, to the great stupor
of the kings, has dragged down all king-
doms, the downfall of strength and the
rout of war.

In this event, which bears the stamp of
superhuman necessity, men play but a
small part; but if we take Waterloo from
Wellington and Blucher, does that de-
prive England and Germany of any-
thing? No. Neither illustrious England
nor august Germany is in question in the
problem of Waterloo, for, thank heaven!
nations are great without the mournful
achievements of the sword. Neither
Germany, nor England, nor France is
held in a scabbard; at this day when
Waterloo is only a clash of sabers, Ger-
many has Goethe above Blucher, and

may have can not boast of Waterloo as its fountainhead for only barbarous denly after a vicnations grow sudtory-it is the transient vanity of torrents swollen by a storm. Civilized nations, especially at the present day, are not elevated or

debased by the good or evil fortune of a captain, and their specific weight in the human family results from something more than a battle. Their honor, dig

nity, enlightenment, and genius are not numbers which those gamblers, heroes, and conquerors can stake in the lottery of battles. Very often a battle lost is progress gained, and less of glory, more of liberty. The drummer is silent and reason speaks; it is the game of who loses wins. Let us, then, speak of Waterloo coldly from both sides, and render to chance the things that belong to chance, and to God what is God's. What is Waterloo-a victory? No; a quine in the lottery, won by Europe, and paid by France; it was hardly worth while erecting a lion for it.

Waterloo, by the way, is the strangest encounter recorded in history; Napoleon and Wellington are not enemies, but contraries. Never did God, who delights in antitheses, produce a more striking contrast or a more extraordinary con


frontation. On one side precision, foresight, geometry, prudence, a retreat assured, reserves prepared, an obstinate coolness,an imperturbable method, strategy profiting by the ground, tactics balancing battalions, carnage measured by a plumb-line, war regulated, watch in hand, nothing left voluntarily to accident, old classic courage and absolute correctness. On the other side we have intuition, divination, military strangeness, superhuman instinct, a flashing glance; something that gazes like the eagle and strikes like lightning, all the mysteries of a profound mind, association with destiny; the river, the plain, the forest, and the hill summoned, and, to some extent, compelled to obey, the despot going so far as even to tyrannize over the battlefield; faith in a star, blended with strategic science, heightening, but troubling it. Wellington was the Bareme of war, Napoleon was its Michelangelo, and this true genius was conquered by calculation. On both sides somebody was expected; and it was the exact calculator who succeeded. Napoleon waited for Grouchy, who did not come; Wellington waited for Blucher, and he came. Wellington is the classical war taking its revenge; Bonaparte, in his dawn, had met it in Italy, and superbly defeated it -the old owl fled before the young vulture. The old tactics had been not only overthrown, but scandalized. Who was this Corsican of six-and-twenty years of age? What meant this splendid ignoramus, who, having everything against him, nothing for him, without provisions, ammunition, guns, shoes, almost without an army, with a handful of men against masses, dashed at allied Europe, and absurdly gained impossible victories? Who was this new comet of war who possessed the effrontery of a planet? The academic military school excommunicated him, while bolting, and hence arose an implacable rancor of the old Cæsarism against the new, of the old saber against the flashing sword, and of the chessboard against genius. On June 18th, 1815, this rancor got the best; and beneath Lodi, Montebello, Montenotte, Mantua, Marengo,and Arcola, it wrote

Waterloo. It was a triumph of mediocrity, sweet to majorities, and destiny consented to this irony. In his decline, Napoleon found a young Suvarov before him-in fact, it is only necessary to blanch Wellington's hair in order to have a Suvarov. Waterloo is a battle of the first class, gained by a captain of the second s

[ocr errors]

What must be admired in the battle of Waterloois England, the English firmness, the English resolution, the English blood, and what England had really superb in it, is (without offense) herself; it is not her captain, but her army. Wellington, strangely ungrateful, declares in his dispatch to Lord Bathurst that his army, the one which fought on June 18th, 1815, was a detestable army." What does the gloomy pile of bones buried in the trenches of Waterloo think of this? England has been too modest to herself in her treatment of Wellington, for making him so great is making herself small. Wellington is merely a hero, like any other man. The Scotch Grays, the Life Guards, Maitland and Mitchell's regiments, Pack and Kempt's infantry, Ponsonby and Somerset's cavalry, the Highlanders playing the bagpipes under the shower of canister. Ryland's battalions, the fresh recruits who could hardly manage a musket, and yet held their ground against the old bands of Essling and Rivoli-all this is grand. Wellington was tenacious; that was his merit, and we do not deny it to him, but the lowest of his privates and his troopers was quite as solid as he, and the iron soldier is as good as the iron duke. For our part, all our glorification is offered to the English soldier; the English army, the English nation; and if there must be a trophy, it is to England that this trophy is owing. The Waterloo column would be more just, if, instead of the figure of a man, it raised to the clouds the statue of a people.

But this great England will beirritated by what we are writing here; for she still has feudal illusions, after her 1688 and the French 1789. This people believes in inheritance and hierarchy, and while no other excels it in power and glory,

« PreviousContinue »