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been traced upon the top sheet of paper, blank save for this significant line of dedication:

To her who loves me
best of all

There was no explanation vouchsafed as to who was in his mind when he wrote, not the faintest clue anywhere by which the identity of that unknown woman could be discovered. There was some little speculation about it among the critics for a time, some natural curiosity in the public mind at first; but the matter soon ceased to interest in the larger appeal to discussion made by the wonderful book itself, and the question dropped from the view of every one except five women. To them it became of vital moment indeed, for each one of the five loved him, and the question, "Is it I?" was at once of serious import so soon as it was formulated by five undecided jealous hearts.

It so happened that not one of them had seen the dedication until the book had been published, for the manuscript had been sent by his literary executors to the publisher without inspection or revision by any member of his family or by any of the others. In one way or another the book came into the hands of each one of them about the same time, and the five women faced the problem without reading the book, that was a secondary matter, -and strove to solve it at the same instant from the dedication alone.

THE first to consider it was an old, bowed, white-haired woman of threescore and ten years—a woman bereft of her only son, who sat alone waiting the end. She wondered, at first dully and then with awakening apprehension, if she had been in his thoughts as he had traced the words. What love is there that humanity may feel that equals a mother's love? She had borne him; in her bosom he had lain; she had carried him in her arms as a child; her knee had been his altar in infancy. Over him, around him, about him, her fostering care had been thrown. She had trained him, developed him. It was largely due to her labor and love that he was what he was.

There had been other children born to her. One by one they had gone. He only

had been left alive. To him only had she turned at last. Did he mean her? Had this great work that crowned his life been dedicated to her? Surely none had loved him as she. By right, then, she could claim it from all the world-from wife, from child, from friend, she thought with the quiet but exceeding bitter jealousy of the old.

"Evidenced by Service." She read the title over again. She had scarcely noted it before. What did that mean? Was it love that was evidenced? How stood she there? Had she loved him by that test? Had she served him in the end as in the beginning? Had her devotion wavered or faltered? Was there a taint of self in it? Her conscience smote her at the thoughts. He had been worried, harassed, straitened in many ways in these latter years. She had seen it, she had known it. Had she aggravated his trouble? Had she done what she could for him, had she given or demanded? There had been quarrels, causeless, foolish, jealous quarrels with his wife, dissensions between them on account of him. Had it been her fault? Had she shown the spirit of love, of comity, of selfsacrifice? Had she thought of him or herself first? Had she striven to make him happy? Was it she, after all? His look reproached her because there was only love and consideration for her in it- no reproof for his mother. She sat staring aimlessly before her in the silence, so old, so lonely, the book neglected in her lap. Was it she? O God, was it she?

WHAT of another woman? He had been fond of quoting to his wife, she now remembered, that little word of Scripture, "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country." And to-day that brokenhearted wife sat alone before his desk in the study on the top floor of their home, which she had so infrequently visited when he lived and worked there, but which now seemed the only room in that lonely house in which she could bear to abide, for there everything spoke to her of him. She lifted the book to her lips and confidently appropriated to herself the dedication. He had thought of her then. Thank God! Yes. In those closing hours, in that last night before he went to sleep to awake elsewhere, he had thought of her, of her. She kissed the page with a passionate in

tensity. No one had loved him as she. He must have known it.

But stop! Doubt came into her heart also. Did he, had he known it? Had she known it herself, until after? Ah, no. She must be honest with herself now, and if she had not, how could he have known? There had been quarrels, differences, dissensions, petty bickerings, ill tempers-her fault, her fault. She had not entered into his work, had not understood him, had not sympathized with him as she might. She had been captious, indifferent, exacting. Had she? Had he been first in her thoughts before all the rest? He was so tired, not himself, and she had not comprehended. He had died alone, over his book, pen in hand, like the knight in his harness. What had he said last to her? Or she to him? When had she kissed him last in life?

He had worked so hard, so faithfully, for her and her children. Had she worked for him? Had she kept from him all trouble, all annoyance, that she might have done? Or had she loaded these things upon his already burdened shoulders? Had she been a helpmate to him? "Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honor, and keep him?" Service? Had she evidenced aught by that supreme test? There was his mother-there were so many things. They crowded swiftly upon her.

Had she ever known him before? Ah, now she knew him. None knew him as she. He had been so kind to her, so gentle with her, so indulgent to her. How had she repaid him? She remembered again so many things he had said and donethings full of meaning to her now, different meaning, better meaning. The illumination of a great sorrow was upon her, the enlightenment of a great loss was poured into her soul. She knew him at last. She saw him as he was. She loved him now as none other could. She understood him as never before, and it was too late, too late! Could he have meant her when he wrote those last words? Could he have fathomed her heart in spite of herself? Or was there some other one? Who could it be?

She laid the book down on the desk, where his head had lain when he died, rested her head on her hands, and stared at it in a cold agony of jealous indecision, as one fascinated. Like the mother, she Like the mother, she

had no tears. She was praying, praying in vain for one word of assurance.

IN the privacy of her chamber sat his daughter. She was a girl of eighteen, with all the undimmed enthusiasm of her years. She had been proud of her father, passionately attached to him. Fond of her mother, yes, but the two stood on such different planes that there was no comparison. She took the book in her hand and bedewed the page with her tears-the easy tears of youth. She had been such a comfort to him in many ways, he had said sometimes. She had understood him less, but had worshiped him more. Had he meant her?

There was a childish jealousy in the query in her heart, jealousy of her mother, of her grandmother, of everybody. What was the test he himself had laid down? The highest test of love, service? Had she served him? Had she helped him as she might have done? Had she been a daughter indeed? Alas! there arose before her moments of folly, of petulance, of scenes that had tried him almost beyond endurance. If she only had not done it! If she only had always been what he fain would have made her, what she could so easily have been! It was not she, fond, foolish little child. Would God it might have been!

AWAY out West a woman who had lived unmarried all these years for love of him pressed the book to her heart, which cried out, in jealous pain she could not stifle, that he must have meant her, there could be no other. They had been boy and girl lovers together and were to have been married. She was young and foolish; they quarreled. It was her fault. He went away and married some one else. She had never seen him since then, and she had repented only once-that was all her life. When too late she discovered that she had loved him with a passion like that Francesca bore Paolo, or Petrarch held for Laura.

And he had loved her. If things had been different and they had been together, how her love would have uplifted him, ennobled him! She knew that she would have made him a better wife than any other; that she would have understood him, sympathized with him, helped him, aided him, as none other could. He must have felt it. The compulsion of her passion

must have been upon him. He must have known it. Her heart must have spoken to him in some ethereal hour. Sometimes the dying see visions. Had he seen at last and believed? And was she wrought within the fabric of his final dream?

Yet she, too, had failed him. She had robbed him of the treasure of her affection. When she might have been all to him she had elected to be nothing. Could that be explained or brushed aside? Service? She had given him none at all. She had loved him as none other. But had he understood? No, the book was not for her; she could not claim it by desert, however much her desire. He would never know it. He could never understand. Her heart might break with impotent passion, it could make no difference now.

OUT where they laid him on the slope of the hill fronting the east, a woman held the book in her trembling hand and looked down at the green mound stretching monotonously from her feet. There were withered flowers upon it, blossoms as evanescent as remembrance. She stood there unheeding the soft drip of the rain drenching the wretched garments enshrouding her figure, a ghastly, haggard woman, fallen as low as humanity could fall and yet be human.

Late one night years ago he had been walking along the deserted river front of the great city in search of local color for one of his novels, and he had pulled from the water at the risk of his life this wretched creature, sick with the hideous horror of her situation, and striving to end it all with one plunge into the icy flood. Nor had his services ceased there. He had provided for her, found a place of rest for her, helped her, in his strong and quiet way, to make something out of herself, put her in the way of becoming a good

woman once more.

No one had ever spoken to her as he.

She had never met one like him. Her heart had gone out to him. She had loved him with her whole soul. She had worshiped the ground he had walked upon. If he had known he might have meant her. If he had looked he might have recognized her devotion. The book might have been for her; she would appropriate it to herself anyway; by right of the truth it was hers, for she had loved him best of all.

Yet the love she bore him had not served to save her. The last state of the woman was worse than the first. She loved him, yet she had been weak. She had tried, -O God, how she had tried!-and if she had failed, it had not been his fault. Had he known of her failure it would have grieved him to the very heart, but she had gone away and left no word.

"He should have been mine; he was mine, if love gives a claim!" she cried, stretching out her hands to the cold gray clouds bending low above her head. "If I could have been his it might have been different. He did not know, but the book was for me. There is none other can feel as I. He was life to me, salvation to me!"

Stop! There had not been life enough in her love for him to draw her away from the body of death to which she was bound. Her love had not been strong enough to save her from shame. Whoever else there might be, whoever else might claim the words, she was the unworthiest of them all. The book was not for her. She hesitated even to read it, although to buy it had taken her last penny. She knelt down on the wet grass, her face in her hands, but could form no petition. She could not even think of God, for she thought of him.

YET in the book, all unconsciously it may be, he had solved the problem, and presently one woman of the five read and understood, a peace in her heart that to the others was denied.

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T is interesting to note that in the same summer when is begun the celebration of a world-influencing act of empire, there have also been two very notable personal celebrations, neither being of men connected with governments or exercising power through legislation or warlike conflict. They were of men whose conquests and whose empire were of the spirit. The two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Wesley, whose avowed followers are numbered by millions and are scattered over the entire globe, was naturally more widely extended than the one-hundredth celebration of the birth of Emerson, the subtile poet, essayist, and lecturer, who formulated no system and founded not the smallest organization. For the very reason, however, that the Emerson celebration was that of a quiet scholar, and not of a popular orator and leader, its significance is peculiar and gratifying; for it shows, to any who need the demonstration, that the physical, the sordid, the external do not entirely dominate these times of rush and strain, of vulgar distractions and unsavory


In a recent number (THE CENTURY for May, 1903) we endeavored to point out "Our Inheritance in Emerson." The Wesley bicentennial brings home to us here in America certain considerations which are vividly timely. Professor Winchester's able and unprejudiced summary of Wesley's life and influence, in the July and August numbers of THE CENTURY, presents a character and career worthy of closer attention than has been given to them by our generation. When one reads of Wesley and the " Methodist" movement of his time, one goes back to the old wonder-what would have happened if Catholicism could have included within itself the spiritual fires of the German Reformation;


what would have happened if Catholic France had kept the Huguenots at home, instead of sending out into all the world such a frightful proportion of its most valuable citizenship; what would have. happened if the Church of England had been wise and skilful enough to have itself adopted the great religious reform of the eighteenth century, and used it as a new and tremendous instrument for righteousness?

As to Wesley's character and individual traits, they seem the more interesting, the more fortunate, the better they are understood. Merely as a writer-though without many traits that give charm to literature - he has delighted some of those who care most for verbal expression. Wesley says a thing and lets it vibrate, not in his own added language, but in the mind of the reader. Said Fitzgerald, speaking of Wesley's "Journal": "It is remarkable to read pure, unaffected, undying English, while Addison and Johnson are tainted with a style which all the world imitated."

The seed of Wesley's religious propaganda was his own soul-experience, and that of his associates and followers. Then, as a practical force, was added his sense of the power of combination to effect large results. Both the secret experience and the wise reliance upon combination were matters that came to him through others, and not by means of mere lonely and unaided cogitation; for his truly scholarly spirit eagerly drank in instruction, advice, and inspiration from every quarter. This great schoolmaster was always at school.

Wesley owed the lasting character of his work to his power of energizing combination. To a deep inward experience and conviction add this belief of his in associated effort, a "genius for government which Macaulay said was not inferior to that of Richelieu," his logic and power of clear-cut statement, his liberality as to opin


ion, his coolness, and absence of fanaticism, his longevity, and his unbounded and phenomenal moral and physical energy, and you have a movement which not only changed the English people and deeply affected America in his own time, but which in less than two centuries has achieved a following of something like twenty-five millions of human beings.

A very timely consideration concerning Wesley's career has to do with the effect of his movement upon what may be called the public morals of the English people. A remarkable passage in Professor Winchester's July article describes the wholesome effect of Wesleyanism upon the morals of England in the eighteenth century. He declares that Wesleyanism, by penetrating to the masses at the bottom of society, helped to make impossible any "rabid revolt against all established things, such as disgraced the worst period of the French Revolution." Notice, also, Wesley's influence in abating smuggling, and his denunciation of bribery at elections. It is evident that the religion that Wesley preached purified the state by uplifting the individual, and that it very distinctly included the civic virtues.

Is it not evident that if Wesley were alive to-day, and passing in our country from place to place in his wonderful ministry to the masses, his voice would be heard denouncing the civic corruption appallingly rampant in our communities; in deploring the horrible lynching mania which has swept over so many States of the Union; and in attacking the ignoble view of the marriage relation which seems to be gaining ground among us?

Is it not evident that some sort of widespread ethical revival is needed in this country to-day? Who will be the men and women, what will be the agencies, that shall effect this revival?

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which, happily, the government is thoroughly committed by the administrations of Presidents Harrison, Cleveland, and McKinley, and now by that of President Roosevelt. Most of the forest reservations have been established at the close of the Presidential term, giving rise to the jest that when a retiring President looks over certain weak places in his record he endeavors to propitiate the future by making a lot of forest reservations, as though to enlist Ceres to intercede with Clio for his fame. The pleasantry serves to remind one of the enlightened stand for the public welfare which Mr. Roosevelt's three predecessors took in this matter, and of our consequent debt of honor to them. It also, however, reminds us that the present chief magistrate is not going to await the close of his incumbency to throw the full force of his influence in favor of the new policy (now, be it remembered, less than fifteen years old) by which a stop was put to the ruinous waste of the great national forests.

If current rumor is to be credited, possibly before these lines shall be published another large and much-needed reservation in the northern Sierra will be proclaimed, extending from the Yosemite National Park to Oregon, and thus completing an almost unbroken chain of mountain reservations from Mexico to British Columbia. Californians need not be told of the enormous benefit to them of the conservation of the water-supply which will be secured by this act: they have long been converts to the reservation system. The region in question had already temporarily been withdrawn from settlement -largely fraudulent settlement-before the President's visit to Yosemite, and if it is to be made a permanent reserve, the fortunate decision will doubtless have been due to his personal observation of conditions in the Sierra. If his trip had resulted in no other public benefit, this alone would have justified it.

But it has had also the benefit of an educational effect upon the people as well as upon the President. His exhortations to them to respect the forests and to cherish them and protect them against destructive invasion have given a new impulse to public sentiment, and will hasten the time when, the upper watersheds of all the great streams being protected by "reservations on paper," the administration will take up

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