The Gentleman from Everywhere (2024)

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Title: The Gentleman from Everywhere

Author: James Henry Foss

Release date: April 1, 2004 [eBook #12193]
Most recently updated: December 14, 2020

Language: English

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GENTLEMAN FROM EVERYWHERE ***

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BY

JAMES HENRY FOSS

ILLUSTRATED

1903

TO

MY BELOVED, ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN,
THIS BOOK IS
MOST AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
IN THE EARNEST HOPE THAT
BY ITS PERUSAL

Many sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Forlorn and shipwrecked brothers, may take heart again.

Contents

CHAPTER

I. Launching of My Life Boat
II. My First Voyage
III. Near to Nature's Heart
IV. Joys and Sorrows of School-Days
V. Career of a Dominie-Pedagogue
VI. Dreams of My Youth
VII. A Disenchanted Collegian-Preacher
VIII. In Shadow Land
IX. Sunlight and Darkness in Palace and Cottage
XI. Adventures in Mosquito Land
XI. In Arcadie
XII. From Philistine to Benedict and a Honeymoon
XIII. The Angels of Life and Death
XIV. Tribulations of a Widower
XV. Faith Sees a Star
XVI. On the Political Stump
XVII. That Eddyfying Christian Science
XVIII. In the Land of Flowers
XIX. Sunbeam, The Seminole
XX. A Founder of Towns and Clubs
XXI. A Million Dollar Business with a One Dollar Capital
XXII. Pendulum 'twixt Smiles and Tears
XXIII. Monarch of all He Surveyed: Then Deposed,
XXIV. Foregleams of Immortality
XXV. A Practical Socialist and Colonizer
XXVI. Hand in Hand with Angels
XXVII. Among the Law-Sharks
XXVIII. Campaigning in Wonderland
XXIX. Among the Clouds
XXX. Disenchanted: Home Again
XXXI. The Florida Crackers
XXXII. Looking Forward

[Illustration: [cursive] Your friend, the Author
James H. Foss]

CHAPTER I.

LAUNCHING OF MY LIFE-BOAT.

Wild was the night, yet a wilder night
Hung around o'er the mother's pillow;
In her bosom there waged a fiercer fight
Than the fight on the wrathful billow.

Already there were more children than potatoes in her hut of logs, andyet, another unwelcome guest was coming, to whom fate had ordainedthat it would have been money in his pocket had he never been born.

A sympathizing neighbor held over the suffering woman an umbrella toshield her from the rain which poured through the dilapidated roof,and when the dreary light of that Sunday morning dawned, my frail barkwas launched on the stormy, sullen sea of life.

My father, a good man, but a ne'er-do-well financially, had loaned hisbest clothes, watch and pocketbook to a friend to enable him to callon his best girl in captivating style, and said friend expressed hisgratitude by eloping with the girl and all the borrowed finery.

That same night the boom broke, and allowed all the savings of ourfamily invested in logs, cut by my father and his lumbermen, to floatdown the river and be lost in the sea.

Thus storm, flood, calamity and sorrow, far in advance heralded thefuture of myself, the fourth son of a fourth son who, on that Sunday,in the dog-days of 1841, reluctantly came into this world.

The howling of the wolves in the surrounding wild-woods, the screamingof the catamounts in the near-by tree-tops, the sterile dog-stardrying up the crops, the marching of my father to fight in thethreatened Aroostook war, all conspired for months before this fatefulnight to awaken a restlessness, discontent, and gloomy forebodings inthe lonely mother's heart which prenatal influences impressed upon themind of the baby yet unborn.

All through that wretched summer, scorching drought alternatingwith cloud-bursts vied with each other in blasting the hopes of thefarmers, and premature frost destroyed the few remaining stalks ofcorn, so that when the winter snows came, gaunt famine stared ourfamily fiercely in the face.

My father and three brothers faced the withering storms bravely,unpacking their internal stores of sunshine, as the camel in thedesert draws refreshment from his inner tank when outward water fails.

We were isolated from human companionship, except when occasionallythe doctor came on the tops of the fences and branches of thepine-trees to soothe the pains of my sickly mother. At this time thesnow was so deep that a tunnel was cut to the neighboring hovel whereshivered our ancient horse and cow.

My father and brothers tramped with snare and gun on snow-shoesthrough the woods, securing occasionally a partridge or squirrel, andsemi-occasionally a deer, or pickerel from the lake. On one of theseoccasions, two of my brothers and the dog met with an adventure whichnearly gave them deliverance from all earthly sorrows. As they facedthe terrible cold of a January morning, the wailing of the winds inthe tree-tops, and the few flying snowflakes foreboded a storm whichburst upon them in great fury while about two miles from home.Bewildered and benumbed, they dug a hole in the snow down to theearth, and were soon buried many feet deep, thus affording them somerelief from the cold; but they nearly famished with hunger and gavethemselves up for lost. Suddenly, the dog, who was huddled with themfor warmth, jumped away whining and scratching in great excitement.He refused to obey their orders to be still and die in peace, but,digging for some minutes, his claws struck a tree, then, rushing overthe boys and back again to the trees repeatedly, he roused them fromtheir lethargy to follow him; but nothing was visible but a hole in atree through which the dog jumped and barked furiously.

Cutting the hole larger with their axe, they found the interior to bedry punk, which at once suggested the exhilarating thought of a fire,and soon a delightful heat from the burning drywood permeated theirsnow cave, the smoke being more endurable than the previous cold. Allat once they heard a strange snorting and scratching above in thetree with whines which drove the dog wild with excitement, then,with burning embers and suffocating smoke, down came a huge animal,well-nigh breaking the necks of frantic dog and "rubbering" boys.

After this came the tug of war. Teeth, axe, gun, fire, dog, bear, andboys all mixed up in a fight to the finish. Finally, as bruin was notfully recovered from the comatose state of his winter hibernating,after many scratches and thumps, cuts and shots, came the survival ofthe fittest.

Not even imperial Caesar, with the world at his feet, could have beenprouder than were boys and dog when they looked at their prostratefoe, and reflected that this conquest meant the physical salvationof our entire family. Soon the chips flew from the tree, and over acheerful fire they roasted and devoured bear steaks to repletion.

Digging to the surface, they found that the storm had subsided, andrigging a temporary sled from the boughs of the tree, they draggedhome this "meat in due season."

All through the hours of the following night the wolves, attracted bythe scent of blood, howled and scratched frantically around the hut,calling for their share in that "chain of destruction," by which thelaws of the universe have ordained that all creatures shall subsist.The infant, of course, joined lustily in the chorus until the boysalmost wished themselves back in their shroud of snow.

So, with alternate feasting and fasting we passed the long weeks ofthat Arctic winter until the frogs in the neighboring swamp crying:"Knee deep, knee deep," and "better go round, better go round,"proclaimed the season of freshets when the vast plain below us wastraversible only in boats. Then the birds returned from the far South,but brought no seed-time or harvest, for that was the ever to beremembered "Year without a summer," and but for the wild ducks andgeese shot on the lake, and the wary and uncertain fish caught withthe hook, all human lives in that region would have returned to theinvisible from whence they came.

It seemed as if chaos and dark night had come back to those wildwoods. The migratory fever seized upon us all, and my parentsdetermined to seek some unknown far away, to sail to the beautifulland of somewhere, for they felt sure that—

Somewhere the sun is shining,
Elsewhere the song-birds dwell;
And they hushed their sad repining
In the faith that somewhere all is well.

Somewhere the load is lifted
Close by an open gate;
Out there the clouds are rifted,
Somewhere the angels wait.

CHAPTER II.

MY FIRST VOYAGE.

My father and brothers constructed a "prairie schooner" from ourscanty belongings, and one forlorn morning in early autumn, with theskeleton horse and cow harnessed tandem for motive power, we all setsail for far-off Massachusetts.

We slept beneath our canopy of canvas and blankets; those of ournumber able to do so worked occasionally for any who would hire,but employers were few, as this was one of the crazy seasons in thehistory of our Republic when the people voted for semi-free trade, andthe mill wheels were nearly all silent for the benefit of the mills offoreign nations. They shot squirrels and partridges when ammunitioncould be obtained, forded rivers, narrowly escaping drowning in theswift currents, and suffered from chills and fever.

One dark night some gypsies stole our antediluvian horse and cow. Thebarking of the faithful dog awakened father and brothers who rushedto the rescue, leaving mother half dead with fear; but at length themarauders were overtaken, shots were exchanged, heads were broken, andafter a fierce struggle and long wandering, lost in the woods, ourfiery steeds were once more chained to our chariot wheels.

The next day we came to a wide river which it was impossible to ford,but mercy, which sometimes "tempers the blast to the shorn lamb," sentus relief in the shape of an antiquated gundalow floating on the tide.Like Noah and family of old, we managed to embark on this ancient ark,and paddled to the further shore.

There we miraculously escaped the scalping knife and tomahawk. Whilepainfully making our way through the primeval forest, we were suddenlysaluted by the ferocious war-whoop, and a dozen Indians barred ourway, flourishing their primitive implements of warfare. A shot fromfather's double-barreled gun sent them flying to cover, our steedsrushed forward with a speed hitherto unknown, the prairie schoonerrocked like a boat in a cyclone, the mother shrieked, the enfantterrible howled like a bull of Bashan, and just as the "Red devils"were closing in from the rear, the mouth of a cave loomed up in thehillside into which dashed "pegasus and mooly cow" pell-mell.

Our red admirers halted almost at the muzzle of the gun and the bladesof my brothers' axes. Luckily the Indians had neither firearms norbows and arrows. They made rushes occasionally, but the shotgunwounded several, the axes intimidated, and they seemed about to settledown to a siege when, with a tremendous shouting and singing of"Tippecanoe and Tyler too," a band of picturesquely arrayed white mencame marching along the trail. The enemy took to their heels, and welearned that our rescuers had been to a William Henry Harrison paradeand barbecue, for this was the time of the famous "hard cider"campaign.

The Indians had been there too and, filling up with "fire water,"their former war-path proclivities had returned to their "empty,swept, and garnished" minds, to the extent that they yearned todecorate their belts with our scalps.

Our preservers scattered to their homes, and the would-be scalperswere seen no more, leaving the world to darkness and to us in thewoods. The woods, where Adam and Eve lived and loved, where Panpiped, and Satyrs danced, the opera house of birds; the woods, green,imparadisaical, mystic, tranquillizing—to the poet perhaps when allis well—but to us, they seemed haunted by spirits of evil, the yellsof the demons seemed to echo and reecho; but an indefinable somethingseemed to sympathize with the infinite pathos of our lives, and atlast sleep, "the brother of death," folded us in his arms, and thecurtain fell.

"There is a place called Pillow-land,
Where gales can never sweep
Across the pebbles on the strand
That girds the Sea of Sleep.

'Tis here where grief lets loose the rein,
And age forgets to weep,
For all are children once again,
Who cross the Sea of Sleep.

The gates are ope'd at daylight close,
When weary ones may creep,
Lulled in the arms of sweet repose,
Across the Sea of Sleep.

Oh weary heart, and toil-worn hand,
At eve comes rest to thee,
When ply the boats to Pillow-land,
Across the Sleepy sea.

Thank God for this sweet Pillow-land,
Where weary ones may creep,
And breathe the perfume on the strand
That girds the Sea of Sleep."

It is pleasant in this sunset of life, to recall the testimony of mybrothers that through all those troublous scenes, father and motherwere soothed and consoled by an unfaltering faith in the ultimatetriumph of the good and true, that their faces were often illumined asthey repeated to each other those priceless words of the sweet singer,

"Drifting over a sunless sea, cold dreary mists encircling me,
Toiling over a dusty road with foes within and foes abroad,
Weary, I cast my soul on Thee, mighty to save even me,
Jesus Thou Son of God."

At last the "perils by land and perils by sea, and perils from falsebrethren," this long, long journey ended and we reached the promisedland. We halted in old Byfield, in the state of Massachusetts, withworldly goods consisting of a bushel of barberries, threadbaretoilets, and the ancient equipage dilapidated as aforesaid.

After much tribulation, father took a farm "on shares," which wasfound to result in endless toil to us, and the lion's share of thecrops going to the owners, who toiled not, neither did they spin, butreaped with gusto where we had sown.

After a few years of this profitless drudgery, my father bought an oldrun-down farm with dilapidated buildings in the neighboring town ofR——, mortgaging all, and our souls and bodies besides, for itspayment. We hoped we had rounded the cape of storms which sooner orlater looms up before every ship which sails the sea of life, for wehad fully realized the truth of the poem—

We may steer our boats by the compass,
Or may follow the northern star;
We may carry a chart on shipboard
As we sail o'er the seas afar;
But, whether by star or by compass
We may guide our boats on our way,
The grim cape of storms is before us,
And we'll see it ahead some day.

How the prow may point is no matter,
Nor of what the cargo may be,
If we sail on the northern ocean,
Or away on the southern sea;
It matters not who is the pilot,
To what guidance our course conforms;
No vessel sails o'er the sea of life
But must pass the cape of storms.

Sometimes we can first sight the headland
On the distant horizon's rim;
We enter the dangerous waters
With our vessels taut and trim;
But often the cape in its grimness
Will before us suddenly rise,
Because of the clouds that have hid it
Or the blinding sun in our eyes.

Our souls will be caught in the waters
That are hurled at the storm cape's face;
Our pleasures and joys, our hopes and fears,
Will join in the maddening race.
Our prayers, desires, our penitent griefs,
Our longings and passionate pain,
Be dashed to spray on the stormy cape
And fly in our faces like rain.

But there's always hope for the sailor,
There is ever a passage through;
No life goes down at the cape of storms,
If the life and the heart lie true.
If in purpose the soul is steadfast,
If faithful in mind and in will,
The boat will glide to the other side,
Where the ocean of life is still.

[Illustration: "It was a Fair Scene of Tranquillity."]

CHAPTER III.

NEAR TO NATURE'S HEART.

It seems but yesterday, although more than a half century ago, that I,a puny boy, stood on the hilltop and looked for the first time uponthis, the earliest home of which I have any vivid recollection. Itwas a fair scene of rustic tranquillity, where a contented mind mightdelight to spend a lifetime mid hum of bees and low of kine.

Along the eastern horizon's rim loomed the blue sea beyond the sandydunes of old Plum Island; the lazy river born in babbling brooks andbubbling springs flowing languidly mid wooded islands, and picturesquestacks of salt hay, representing the arduous toil of farmers anddry-as-dust fodder for reluctant cows. Nearer, the two church spiresof the little village, striving to lift the sordid minds of thenatives from earthly clods to the clouds, and where beckoning handsstrove vainly to inspire them with heavenly hopes; around them,glistening in the sunlight, the marble slabs where sleep the rudeforefathers of the hamlet, some mute inglorious Miltons who came fromEngland in the early sixties, whose tombstones are pierced by riflebullets fired at the maraudering red skins. These are the cities ofthe dead, far more populous than the town of the living.

Nearer, the willowy brook that turns the mill; to the south the densepine woods, peopled in our imaginations, with fairy elves, owls, andhobgoblins—now, alas, owing to the rapacity of the sawmills, naughtbut a howling wilderness of stumps and underbrush.

Directly below me, stands our half-century old house with its eavessloping to the ground, down which generations of boys had ruined theirpants in hilarious coasting; near by, the ancient well-swipe, and theold oaken bucket which rose from the well; beyond this, of course,as usual, the piggery and hennery to contaminate the water and breedtyphoid fever, and in the house cellar, the usual dampness from thehillside to supply us all with rheumatism and chills.

There existed apparently in the early dawn of the nineteenth century,an unwritten law which required the farmers to violate all the laws ofsanitation, and then to ascribe all ills the flesh is heir to, to themysterious will of an inscrutable Providence whose desire it was tomake the heart better by the sorrows of the countenance, and to savethe soul from hell by the punishment of the body. Vegetables wereallowed to rot in the cellars, and to make everybody sick withtheir noxious odors so that we might not be too much wedded to thistransitory existence. Pork, beans, and cabbage must be devoured inenormous quantities just before going to bed for the purpose ofinspiring midnight groans and prayers to be delivered from the pangsof the civil war in the inner man.

This moralizing is inspired by the pessimism of disenchanted age; buton that beautiful morning of the long ago, naught occurred to mesave the wedlock of earth and heaven: I was near to nature's heart,listening to the ecstatic songs of the robins, the orioles andsweetest of all the bobolink.

"Oh, winged rapture, feathered soul of spring:
Blithe voice of woods, fields, waters, all in one,
Pipe blown through by the warm, mild breath of June,
Shepherding her white flocks of woolly clouds,
The bobolink has come, and climbs the wind
With rippling wings that quiver not for flight
But only joy, or yielding to its will
Runs down, a brook of laughter through the air."

After the charm of the novelty of the scene had vanished, I descendedfrom my perch to explore this sleepy hollow: the barn door hungsuspended on a single hinge, like a bird with but one unbroken wing tosoar upon. The swallows twittered their love-songs under the eaves;chipmunks scolded my intrusion and threw nuts at my head from thebeams; a lone, lorn hen proclaimed her triumph over a new laid egg,and then, with fiery eyes, assaulted me with profanity as I filledmy hat with her choicest treasures. A litter of pigs scampered away,wedging themselves into a hole in the wall, and hung there kicking andsquealing, while their indignant mother chased me up a ladder whereshe hurled at me the vilest imprecations; a solitary Phoebe birdwailed out her plaintive "pee wee, pee wee, pee whi itt," and anewly-married pair of sandpipers chanted their song of the sea on theedge of a mud puddle in the yard.

At last the infuriated sow went to liberate her wedged-in offspring,leaving me to flee to the house where I cooked my eggs and someancient potatoes in the ashes of a fire smoldering in the wide oldfireplace. I have since eaten royal dinners in palatial hotels, butnothing has ever tasted half as good as this extemporized lunch of myboyhood.

Here the rest of the family found me later when they came bringingtheir household goods; here I might have laid, broad and deep, thefoundations of a useful life, had I possessed even a modicum of thestick-to-itiveness so essential to success.

A limited amount of discontent is a powerful stimulus to morestrenuous endeavor; but when you have intensity without continuity ofmental action, beware of imitating my example of progressing along thelines of the least resistance; for if you do you will never attainto that persistency of effort which can come only from overcomingobstacles.

When my father gave me a moderate task of weeding onions, I soonbecame tired of crawling on hands and knees under a scorching sun,inundating the earth with perspiration and tears, so I substituted ahoe for fingers, tearing up onions with the weeds that I might thesooner secure unlimited rheumatism by bathing in the brook. Hadmy father given me what he earnestly desired, and what I richlydeserved,—a sound spanking, and more weeding to do,—I might havedeveloped much needed perseverance, but spanking was never allowed bymy fond mother, and I became a shirk.

I was set to picking berries to replenish the family larder; butthis soon became monotonous, and I appropriated the old grain-sieve,placing it beside the bushes, and pounding the huckleberries into itwith a stick; the result was a heterogeneous conglomeration of worms,leaves, bugs, and crushed berries; but I succeeded in eliminating therefuse by throwing the whole mass into a tub of water, and skimmingoff the risings. I would then descant to buyers upon the freshnessof the berries wet with the dews of heaven, but my ruse was soondiscovered, and people refused to purchase such mucilaginous pulp.

Our widowed hired woman was possessed of a baby, and I was assignedthe task of rocking the cradle; but I soon sighed for the appleblossoms and songs of birds,—we had no English sparrows then—so Idrove a nail into the cradle, tied to it the clothes-line, and wentout of doors and began pulling at the cord. Soon agonizing screamswere heard, and baby was found on the floor with the cradle poundingon top of him.

I was sent to drive home the cows from pasture, but left the task tothe dog, who chased them over the wall into the corn-field where theydevastated the crop, and ruined the milk by devouring green apples,while I, skylarking in a neighbor's pasture, was treed by an angrybull, who kept me in the branches until I caught a violent cold andbecame for weeks a family burden.

I was set to milking the cows, but I tied their tails to the beams,applied a lemon-squeezer to their udders until everybody was arousedby the bellowings of the infuriated beasts, and the milk and myselfwere found carpeting the dirty floor.

At last all patience was exhausted, and as I was born on Sunday, andwas good for nothing else my parents, good, pious church-members,concluded I must become a minister, consequently they sent me toschool. School! What memories come back to us over the arid wastes oflife at the very mention of this magic word! There is the place whereimmortal minds are filled with loathing at the very sight of books,or where the torch of learning is kindled, which burns on withever-increasing brightness forever more, and when I think of some ofthe teachers of my youth I am reminded of what the wise pastor said toa "stupid lunk-head" who had conceived the preposterous idea that hewas called to be a preacher. "What, you be a minister?"

"Yes," said the dunce, "are we not commanded in the holy book topreach the gospel to every critter?"

"Verily," was the reply; "but every critter is not commanded to preachthe gospel."

So long as percentages obtained after "cramming" for examinations arethe criterions which decide the accepting or rejecting of candidatesfor teaching positions, we must expect "critters" for the schoolguides of our children, who, like some of my own tutors, will

"Ram it in, cram it in—
Children's heads are hollow;
Rap it in, tap it in—
Bang it in, slam it in
Ancient archaeology,
Aryan philology,
Prosody, zoology,
Physics, climatology,
Calculus and mathematics,
Rhetoric and hydrostatics.
Stuff the school children, fill up the heads of them,
Send them all lesson-full home to the beds of them;
When they are through with the labor and show of it,
What do they care for it, what do they know of it?"

CHAPTER IV.

JOYS AND SORROWS OF SCHOOL-DAYS.

It was the custom in R——, and is now to quite an extent elsewhere,to elect as school committee those especially noted for theirignorance and unfitness for the duties, perhaps to keep them out ofthe almshouse, or to educate them by the absorption process whilehearing pupils recite. These men were paid two dollars for each callthey made at schools, consequently they "called" early and often,especially when the school ma'ams were young and pretty.

Here, as elsewhere, there was always a great fight at town-meetingsfor these school board positions, especially when the school-bookagents became numerous, for these committees could secure from saidagents unlimited free books, and get high prices for all theirspavined horses, dried up cows, and sick pigs in return for voting forrival text-books.

As the committees were often unequal to the task of making out acourse of study, pupils selected what studies they pleased, assuicidal a policy as it would be if, when you were sick and wentto the physician for relief, he should point to a lot of differentmedicines, and tell you to pay your money, and take your choice.

As there was a cramming machine close by called an academy, whose soleobject was to push students into Harvard College, of course the commonschools must be "crammers" for the academy, and the result was, thatwe had no educational institutions whatever, and mental dyspepsiawas well-nigh universal, a smattering of everything, a knowledge ofnothing. As well might we pour food into the mouth by the peck, poundit down with a ramrod, and expect healthful physical growth.

Hundreds of poor parents are working themselves to death to send theirchildren to such schools with a view to elevating them to "higherpositions" than they themselves occupy, and soon we will have none todo the honest physical labor of life, but the world will be full ofkid-gloved hangers on for soft jobs, who regard working with the handsto be a disgrace.

Well do I remember going to a neighbor, whose farm was mortgaged forall it was worth to buy finery and pay tuition bills in said academy,and begging for the services of the daughter to help my sick mother. Iwas refused with insult and scorn. "Do you think," shrieked the iratevirago, "that I will allow my daughter who is studying French, Latin,Greek, and German to wash your dirty dishes?" I was driven from thehouse at the point of the boot. That daughter is to-day shaking andtwitching with St. Vitus's dance, a physical and mental wreck fromoverstudy, causing nervous exhaustion and despair.

Hundreds of girls throughout our country who might have been goodhousekeepers, are to-day useless invalids, made so by what is called"higher education." Hundreds of boys, who might have become successfulfarmers and mechanics, are now dissipating in beer shops while waitingin vain for lily-fingered positions as bookkeepers or teachers. Inscores of New England towns, one man, employed to fill the heads of areluctant few with the dead languages, receives more salary than allthe other teachers combined.

It seems to require a surgical operation to get the fact through ourthick heads, that our school system demands radical reform from top tobottom to the end that hands as well as heads may receive technicalbread-and-butter, practical education.

I was a victim of this elective-study craze, and with the usualstupidity displayed by a child when left to decide what he shall do,I chose Latin as my principal study in this common district school,because I fancied it smacked of erudition.

The teacher, knowing no more than myself of the language, set me tocommitting to memory the whole of Andrews' Latin Grammar. I gainedthe important information that "sto, fido, confido, assuesco, andpreditus" govern the ablative, and other valuable lore; but when Iasked the teacher where the Latin vernacular came in, she replied thatthat would come to me later—that I must "open my mouth and shut myeyes while she gave me something to make me wise." A solemn awe notunmixed with envy pervaded the schoolroom as I, parrot-like, rattledoff this valueless jargon of a people dead for hundreds of years.

As this study possessed no interest for me, I naturally dropped intomischief, and being caught one day with a distorted picture of theteacher on my slate with the following suggestive poem lines beneathit:—"Savage by name and savage by nature, I hope the Lord will takeyour breath before you lick us all to death,"—I was chased about theroom by the angry pedagoguess until I leaped through the back window,and the hole made in the bank by my head is pointed out to this day asa warning to recalcitrant pupils.

[Illustration: "Floating 'Neath the Trees of Mill River."]

I refused to return to this temple of wisdom, and digging a hole intothe haymow, secreted myself therein, pulling the hole in after me.Here I would remain during school hours, watching through a crevicecut in the side of the barn, my father who made the air resoundwith threats of what he would do if I did not at once return to myeducation mill. Here I was often joined by a congenial spirit, andwe played cards which were regarded as the emissaries of Satan by myreligious parents; then we would sally forth with masked faces andwooden guns, and inspired by dime novels, overthrow the walls ofchildren's playhouses, throw rocks against the schoolhouse, bully thesmall boys almost into fits, hook the neighbors' eggs, corn, melonsand apples, which we devoured at leisure in a hidden hut in the woods.

When the spirit moved, we would "swipe" a neighbor's skiff and gofloating and paddling beneath the overarching trees of Mill River,lazily watching the muskrats sliding down the banks and sportingin the water or building their huts of mud, sticks and leaves; thefish-hawk, plunging beneath the surface and emerging with a strugglingvictim in his talons which he bore away to a tree-top to tear and eat;then a timid wood duck casting suspicious glances as it glided acrossa cove, secreting her little ones in the swamp; then a crane standingon one long leg motionless as a statue, watching with half-closed eyesfor a mud-eel for its dinner.

Then we would imitate those animal murderers, by catching somefish which we broiled to satisfy our carnivorous appetites. It wasdelightful to float in that tiny boat, gazing through the green canopyof leaves at the great white clouds sailing over like ships uponthe sea, listening to the ecstatic trilling of the orioles, and theflute-like melodies of the mockingbird of the north.

We would watch the delicate traceries of the water gardens throughwhich the mild-eyed stickle-backs sailed serenely, having implicitconfidence in the protection of their sharp spinacles, presenting toall enemies an impervious array of bayonets; the shark-like pickerelendeavoring to swallow every living thing; the lazy barvel,everlastingly sucking his sustenance from the animalculae around him;the turtles, snapping at everything in sight with impunity relyingupon the impregnable defense of their coats-of-mail.

On one of these occasions we were aroused from our Arcadian dream bya frightful roar, and the destruction of all things seemed at hand. Ayoung cyclone had struck the fire over which we had cooked our fish,fanning it into a furious conflagration. We climbed a tall oak, andsoon, as far as the eye could reach, all the hills and woodlandsseemed wrapped in flames. Frantic farmers were seen flagellating theexcited oxen and horses, who, with tails in air, were dragging theploughs, making furrows around the houses and barns, which were nearlyall located in pastures rendered dry as tinder by that extraordinarysummer's heat.

The cause of this disturbance was traced to us, and we barely escapedcoats of tar and feathers at the hands of the infuriated neighbors,by the pleadings of our ever-loving mothers who promised we should goevery day to the academy and sin no more.

We were thoroughly sobered by our dangers, and commenced our careersat this ancient institution founded by the first Lieutenant-Governorof Massachusetts. Here reigned supreme a fiery autocrat, a ferventadmirer of Greek and Latin, a cordial hater of mathematics—my weakestpoint—a D.D., LL.D., who was determined to drive everybody intocollege. He had heard of my escapades, and was fully prepared to layupon my devoted head all the pranks of a restless fun-loving crowd ofstudents.

On the first day of my initiation, while the professor was invokingthe Divine blessing, the sight of a big dinner pail belonging to thefat boy in front of me, proved too much of a temptation, and I hurledit down the aisle, scattering pork, pickles, doughnuts, and so forthin its wake, and ending with a loud bang against the platform. Ofcourse I was the suspect, and cutting off prayer abruptly, down herushed, and banged my head till I saw more stars than ever shone inheaven.

My academy "alma mater" has graduated but few who have—

"Climbed fame's ladder so high
From the round at the top they have stepped to the sky,"

and it is sad to recall that many of the most gifted, acquiredin college secret societies the alcohol habit, and now sleep indrunkards' graves.

Brilliant Charlie, my chum, who mastered languages and sciences aseasy as "rolling off a log." I saw him last summer, a wreck—wine andbad women did it. The idolized son of pious parents, whose youth wassurrounded at home with the halo of Bible and prayer; but like Esau,he "sold his birthright for a mess of pottage" and afterwards "foundno space for repentance, though he sought it earnestly and with manytears."

It seems but yesterday that he and I were enjoying a game of"pickknife," lacerating the top of a new desk, when in rushed the"D.D." with his feet encased in the thinnest of slippers and withwhich he gave me a kick which broke his toe, then clasping it in hishand, danced on one leg, whooping unconsciously cuss word ejacul*tionstill we shrieked with laughter; then he bumped our heads togetheruntil my big brother shook the dominie-pedagogue as a dog would a rat,and threatened that if he ever struck my head again he would drown himin the horsepond.

Dear, good brother, he always was, and is now my guardian angel,although now he comes from heaven to shield me, for I am the last onearth of my father's family.

Alas, how many of those academy classmates, each of whom was then thesoul of honor and the heart of truth, drowned their intellects in theflowing bowl. Eheu, Eheu, fugaces anni labuntur! But surely it wasonly this morning oh, beautiful, star-eyed Harry, that you and I,wearied with the frantic vain attempts of the unmathematical professorto elucidate by appalling triangles and hieroglyphics on theblackboard the perplexities of cube root, ousted each other from theseat, sprawling upon the floor, and were chased by the LL.D. out ofdoors, never to return until we apologized and promised "to do so nomore."

Although I had been as "prone to mischief" as the sparks to flyupward—ringing the academy bell at midnight by means of a string tiedto the tongue, bringing the professor in his night shirt from his bedto chase me, covering his chimney with a board till he was well-nighsuffocated with smoke, hitching his horse to a boat in Mill River,pillaging his coop and scattering his hens to the four winds ofheaven, crawling under his bed at night and nearly frightening him todeath with unearthly groans, catching him by the legs as he jumped outand leaving him kicking on the floor as I leaped through the windowamid applauding students—I was appointed assistant teacher at thebeginning of my senior year.

Then at once great dignity was assumed by me which, being resented bymy former cronies, I secured order by licking them at recess one byone, though I suffered from many "nasal hemorrhages" while engagedin fistic rough and tumbles to assert my authority; I conquered, butsecured many black eyes and bedewed the campus with much "claret" forthe good of the order.

At length we were declared sufficiently crammed to enter college,and on graduation day I discoursed in stentorian tones upon "TrueHeroism," amid the applause of the fair sex, and convulsed theaudience with laughter by prancing, in my enthusiastic eloquence, uponthe sore toe of one of the reverend trustees on the stage who fairlyyelled with pain: "Sic transit gloria mundi."

Among the sins of my youth, which I confess with "shame and confusionof face" were the pranks played by me and some fellow-sinners upon ournearest neighbors. These worthies consisted of an old man and whatappeared to be his much older daughter, the two most unaccountablecranks that dame nature ever presented to my notice.

The father was possessed of the insane hallucination that he was thegreatest poet that ever lived. Often I have seen him drop his hoe inthe potato field, and run for the house so that you could hardly seehis heels for dust, looking for all the world like an animated pair oftongs. As he expressed it, "an idee had struck him," and all mankindwould die of intellectual starvation unless he at once embodied said"idee" in a poem.

His greatest delight was to gather about him of an evening a crowdof young folks and read to us his preposterous "lines." On suchoccasions, some of us would quietly steal away up into his garret, androll down over the stairs, with a thunderous uproar, a huge gildedball which had decorated a post outside a tavern where he formerlydispensed much "fire water," to the impoverishment of his customersand to the enrichment of himself.

Then our host, with much profanity, would rush to the rescue armedwith an ancient bayonet and a fish trumpet which, like the bugle-hornof Roderic Dhu, summoned all the neighbors to his assistance; but somesympathizing friend would always upset the table holding the candle sothat they could never decide who were the guilty absentees.

At other times while the great poet was singing his sweetest songs, wewould seize his ancient roosters by their tails, and while they weremaking night hideous with their lamentations, the angry couple wouldbombard the hen-roosts with shovels, hoes and other weapons in thehope of slaughtering the marauders. These pleasantries made much funfor us, and varied the monotony of the lives of our entertainers.

The ancient daughter firmly believed that she possessed the fatal giftof beauty, although her elongated face was of the thickness and colorof sole leather, and one eye was hideously closed, while the other wasof spotless green. It was wonderful to see her cork-screw curls andlanguishing smirks when the young men took turns in pretending tocourt her, while an admiring crowd gazed at their amours through thewindow.

I can recall but two of the greatest of the poems of this man whodelighted in the full belief that Shakespeare could not "hold a candleto him." These I take pleasure in handing down through the ages.

No. 1.

"A youth of parts, a witty blade
To college went and progress made
Sounding round his logick;
The prince of hell wide spread his net,
And caught him by one lucky hit
And dragged him down to tophet."

No. 2.

"In the year 1801
I, Enoch B——, was born
Without any shirt on."

CHAPTER V.

CAREER OF A DOMINIE-PEDAGOGUE.

Dear old fathers and mothers! Of all the people in this world, theylook through the rubbish of our imperfections, and see in us thedivine ideal of our natures, love in us not perhaps the men we are,but the angels we may be in the evolution of the "sweet by and by,"like the mother of St. Augustine, who, even while he was wild andreckless, beheld him standing clothed in white a ministering priest atthe right hand of God.

They see through us as Michel Angelo saw through the block of marble,declaring that an angel was imprisoned within it. They are soulartists. They can never acknowledge our faults, only our divinepossibilities; so, when I left the academy, my parents, with strongyearning and with tears, entreated me to become a minister. I hadnot the heart to disappoint them and as one hypnotized, on a Sabbathmorning during that summer, the clergyman immersed me in the river,while a wondering crowd watched from the shore. The very waters seemedto protest, for as I gasped for breath at the cold backward plunge,I imbibed copious draughts of the briny deep, and was well-nighstrangled. I survived the ordeal, and that afternoon preached in thechurch to nearly the entire population of the town on the "Final stateof the impenitent dead."

Oh, the terrors of this my first sermon, horrors to preacher as wellas to "preachees." As I sat in the pulpit beside our pastor, listeningto the tremulous tones of the organ which followed the prayer, andgazing at the sea of upturned faces, they seemed taunting me with allthe wild pranks of my boyhood, and crying "Oh fool and hypocrite."

All my schoolmates were there shaking with ill-concealed merriment.Every pore poured forth perspiration, and my hair seemed to stand onend like quills upon the back of the fretful porcupine. I thought ofthe experience of the first sermon by a theological student which Ihad recently read in a comic paper, and I trembled lest history was torepeat itself.

This theologue, like many of his cloth, was possessed of the insaneimpression that he was gifted with the sublime inspiration ofeloquence, and being invited to preach on his return to the old homefor vacation, he selected the somewhat startling text "and the dumbass opened his mouth and spake." On this elevating theme he wrote asensational sermon and committed it to memory in order that he mightelectrify his audience with eye power as well as by verbal flow ofsoul. The awful day arrived, but when the young apostle arose topreach, stage fright banished from his mind all but the thrillingtext.

"My friends," said he, "we are informed by the holy book that thisdumb ass opened his mouth and spake." Then pulling his hair indesperation, he repeated the text several times, when he wasinterrupted by the disgusted pastor, who jumped to his feet andshouted:

"Well, friends, as the dumb ass has nothing to say, let us pray."

This awful example well nigh converted me into another specimen ofthis historic animal, but at last the pent up cave of the winds wasopened, and a gust of sound came forth which so stunned the listeningears of my hearers that they dazedly mistook it for eloquence.

I painted to them the picture of the incorrigible sinner "on flames ofburning brimstone tossed, forever, oh forever lost." I did not intendto be a hypocrite; but drifted with the revival tide.

I discoursed often that summer to audiences that crowded the churchto the doors. I was but fifteen years of age, and was called: "Thewonderful boy preacher."

One Sunday the village crank came to hear me, honoring the occasionby wearing a new stove-pipe hat of prodigious proportions, which hedeposited on the seat as he arose during prayer. When the amen waspronounced, perhaps paralyzed by the fervor, he sat down upon saidstove-pipe, crushing it to a pie, then leaped from the wreck utteringa blasphemous yell which convulsed the crowd with laughter, and thusbroke up the meeting without the benediction and passing of thecontribution-box, much to the delight of all who "steal theirpreaching" on all possible occasions.

I soon found that however anxious people were to save their souls,they were unwilling to part with their "filthy lucre" to buy throughtickets to the celestial city, consequently, that winter beingimpecunious, I was constrained to accept the offer of my cousin, the"prudential committee," to teach the district school in Barrington,N.H., for the generous stipend of $14 per month and what board I couldsecure by going from house to house of my pupils.

On arriving there I was ushered into the imposing presence of theFree-will Baptist minister for examination; then I was made aware thatalthough I had plenty of Greek and Latin, I was woefully uninstructedin the rudiments of our mother tongue, and was saved only by the factthat my cousin was the largest contributor to the dominie's salary.

The reverend superintendent had prepared an appalling array of"posers" in accordance with the laws of the state, but my cousin atmy urgent request, assured him that I was an alumnus of one of thegreatest institutions in the world, that I was a clergyman of his owndenomination, that it was a waste of time to examine so distinguisheda scholar, that dinner was ready, and the hungry dominie was seducedto the table where he partook of so much solid and liquid good cheer,that he quite forgot his official duty, and gave me the requiredcertificate: thus I was saved from utter destruction.

In this isolated country town the coming of the schoolmaster in histour of boarding around, was the great social event of the year toeach family in this Barrington, so called from the numerous childrenwhich the mothers bear. The fatted pig was invariably killed in hishonor, and he was regaled with fried pork, roast pig, broiled hog,sausages, and doughnuts reeking with swine fat ad nauseam, galore.The teacher was thus made bilious, dyspeptic and so ugly, that hetried to get even with his carnivorous tormentors by making it "ashot" as possible for their offspring.

At the opening of the school, this long and lank fifteen year oldpedagogue faced sixty pupils from the "a, b, c, tot" to the brawnytwenty-one-year-older, spoiling for a fight. When I assayed to take aseat, the half-sawed-off hind legs of the chair gave way, and I fellheels in air upon the dirty floor amid the yells and cat-calls of thistumultuous army; then the stalwart ringleader came forward to throw meinto the snow bank, where my predecessor was nearly smothered with hishead under the snow and his feet uplifted to heaven.

I quickly pulled a concealed ruler, and with a blow on the head,knocked the young giant sprawling, then utilizing all my athletictraining, I tripped and banged his followers till they fled pell-mellto their benches. Finally, I hypnotized my audience with greateloquence, stating that I would give them teaching or clubbing as theymight prefer. My sweet sixteen, black-eyed girl cousin gave efficientaid, winning the girls to my side; they secured the alliance of theirsweethearts, and the victory was complete.

I soon found that some of the bright country lads and lasses knewmore than myself about the "three R's," but by getting a key to thearithmetic, and trimming the midnight candle I managed to keep aheadof the game.

In this strictly agricultural town, I found every type of the genuineunadulterated yankee stock. When I called on Mrs. Jones to furnish hershare of the perambulating schoolmaster's provisions, she remarked, "Ican eat you, but I can't sleep you, because I have no spare bedroom."With feigned terror, I said that I feared I would not be a verytoothsome subject for a cannibal, thereupon she gave me the gladhand, "come right in, my poor thing, and we will fat you up for ourThanksgiving dinner." I entered, and ate my hog and doughnuts withgladness of heart, for she was the most buxom, joyous, and hospitableBetsy imaginable.

It was she who cheered the house and the hearth more than all theChristmas fires, an old-fashioned, thoroughly good woman, entirelyhappy without the aid of diamonds, finery, or long-tailed gownsto trail through the mud and sweep the streets. It was extremelyrefreshing to see this really sensible, natural human being, as rarein this age as an oasis in the desert.

Her husband came in smiling, a veritable brother Jonathan, hale andhearty, though tired, for he had arisen from bed at three o'clockthat morning, milked a dozen cows, done chores enough to kill a dozendapper city clerks, and then tramped beside his oxen through the deepsnow, taking a load of wood to sell in Dover nearly twenty miles away.

This load he had labored hard for two days to cut on the mountainside,and it brought him the munificent sum of three dollars, yet he washappier than any multi-millionaire I ever saw. There were stumps hehad dug out, and rocks he had picked on his farm, enough to fence hishundred acres almost sky-high; but even then he said he had to shoothis corn and potatoes out of a gun to get them through the stones intothe ground.

This family was the life of every husking-bee, where each red ear ofcorn led to rollicking fun, resounding smacks on rosy cheeks, and ofparing-bees when even numbered apple-seeds were the match-makers forbachelors and maids. They often took prizes in my spelling-matches,when the bashful swains were allowed to clasp hands with theirsweethearts, which led to many lifelong hand and heart clasps in thisgood old-fashioned town where there were no despairing old maids norlone, lorn, grouty unmated men.

They went every Sunday to whittle sticks, swap jack-knives andhorses, and to listen to the white-haired parson who led them by theresistless rhetoric of a blameless life, as well as by his heartfeltprayers and exhortations in those "ways which are ways of pleasantnessand those paths which are paths of peace."

"One hot summer's day," the farmer told me, "the elder was preachingto a very drowsy crowd after a hard week's work in the hayfield, whensuddenly he stopped and shouted: 'Fire! Fire!' at the top of hislungs. 'Where? where?' cried some ex-snorers jumping to their feet.'In hell,' cried the indignant parson, 'for those who sleep under thesound of the gospel.'"

This model minister was dear to every heart, for it was he who hadblessed them when they first saw the light of day, had baptized themwhen first his kindly teachings had awakened their aspirations to walkin the straight and narrow way. It was he who married them when theyfound each the alter ego, to whom they could say:

"Thou art all to me love for which my heart did pine
A green isle in the sea love, a fountain and a shrine."

It was he who had lifted their souls on the breath of prayer, whentheir loved ones had "fallen asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep, fromwhich none ever wake to weep."

They loved him though they gave him from their scanty earnings but$400 a year, and half the fish he could catch, yet they liberallysupplied his larder with their sweetest butter, freshest eggs, and thechoicest cuts from their flocks. When a city minister once said tohim: "You have a poor salary, brother," he at once replied: "Ah, but Igive them mighty poor preaching, you know."

Grand old man, he followed closely in the footsteps of his Master, andaccomplished much more good than many famous ones who wander far fromthe precepts of the lowly Nazarene, and deliver featureless sermonsto unresponsive, gaily-attired Dives under the arches of greatcathedrals.

But the trail of the serpent is everywhere found, even in thissequestered spot. There was, in the outskirts of the town, theinevitable rumshop, fed, it was said, by an illicit still in thewoods, and there as usual Satan held high carnival among familiesdead in trespasses and sins. There we assayed to hold temperanceprayer-meetings, but they loved darkness rather than light, and wecast our pearls before swine, who turned and rent us.

On one occasion we tried to hold services in the little old desertedschoolhouse, and found it, much to our surprise, packed with theinhabitants of Sodom; a more villainous looking crowd I never saw noteven in darkest New York. Beetle-browed, mop-haired men, whose faces,if tapped, would apparently give forth as much fire-water as a rumbarrel.

For a short time they listened to the singing: but when the agedminister attempted with earnest words to inspire to a better life itseemed as if all the fiends from heaven that fell, had pealed thebanner cry of hell. Then a decayed cabbage struck him full in theface, ancient and unfragrant turnips and potatoes filled the air, ourlittle band crowded around to shield him, but unmercifully assailed,we were obliged to wield the chairs vigorously over their heads tofight our way to the door.

One of our number left to guard the sleigh, luckily had it ready, inwe jumped and drove for our lives, pursued by invectives too horribleto mention.

This attack was inspired by the keeper of the den of iniquity as hefeared he would be deprived of his evil gains, and that night herewarded them with unlimited free drinks until they drowned theirconsciences in a prolonged debauch.

One of my patrons became my implacable enemy because I gave hischip-of-the-old-block son some much merited discipline. This man,Sampson by name, was the most malignant fellow I ever saw. One nightwhen with my pupils I was enjoying a skating party, he appeared withsome "sodomites" threatening to chuck me under the ice, and they mighthave succeeded but for two of my friends who, when the enemy wereclose upon my heels, suddenly stretched a rope across their path whichtripped them up, nearly breaking their heads in the concussion withthe ice.

On another occasion, several of us crawled into a long hole to explorea cave in the woods. While laboriously making our way on all fours,carrying torches, we were suddenly horrified by fiendish hisses.Visions of snakes danced before our minds, the girls shrieked, thetorches fell in our frantic scramble and we were left in Stygiandarkness. A mocking, demoniacal laugh was heard, winged creaturesdashed against our faces scratching and lacerating.

After much confusion and terror, we succeeded in relighting ourtorches, and found ourselves in a wizard-like cave. The bats, for suchwere our assailants, fled away like lost spirits, grotesque shapeswere seen formed from the rocks by dripping waters during long ages,fantastic icicles like the stalactites and stalagmites of the famousMammoth Cave hung suspended from the arching roof, but a resistlesslonging to reach the air of heaven urged us on, and we crawled tothe opening through which we entered. I was in the advance, and onreaching the entrance was horrified to find it nearly closed by alarge rock, and behind it appeared the malignant face of Sampson, whodanced in Satanic glee, laughing and shouting.

"I've got you rats in a hole, and there you'll stay till you die!" heshouted.

We knew our enemy too well to expect any mercy, and painfully made ourway backwards to the main cavern. None had ever explored it further.I at last saw a glimmer of light, and drawing nearer I discovered anopening to the upper world through which, with great exertions, wedragged ourselves back to the sweet air of heaven. The delight of thereaction was exquisite like that of escaping from paradise lost toparadise regained.

When the ferocious Sampson heard of our deliverance, he fled, and wasnever heard of again, yet this demon in human form had a twin brotherwho was one of the best men in the town.

"From the same cradle's side, from the same mother's knee,
One to long darkness and the frozen tide, and one to the peaceful sea."

CHAPTER VI.

DREAMS OF MY YOUTH.

In the early spring came the close of school term, and teacher, pupilsand parents parted with mutual regrets. My pecuniary reward was small;but I shall always remember with pleasure the kind assurances receivedthat I left the intellectual status of that town much higher than Ifound it. I have visited the place only once since, but my old friendshad all passed on to the higher life, and my young ones were scatteredto the four winds of heaven in search of that happiness and wealthwhich is seldom found beneath the stars.

I reached the old home under the hill, delighted to see once more theeyes which looked love to eyes that spoke again, to hear the familiarspring chorus from the river, the first robins and bluebirds rejoicingover the resurrection of nature, to explore each sheltered nook forthe early cowslips, violets, puss*-willows, dandelions, and crocuses;to gossip with my old friends the chipmunks, the muskrats, and thewoodchucks; to revisit each mossy hollow and sequestered retreat in mymuch loved pine woods; to whittle again the willow whistles, to caressthe opening buds and tiny green growing blades of grass; to float oncemore in my little boat under the embracing arms of my chums, the oaks,birches, and hemlocks I loved so well; to watch the first flight ofPsyche, the butterfly, so emblematic of the soaring of the immortalsoul from the body dead. The wood duck seemed to smile upon me as ofold as she sailed gracefully into the little coves in my river,the woodpeckers beat their drums in my honor, and the heron, the"Shu-Shugah"—screamed welcome oh, my lover.

The rapture of the returning life to nature thrilled my inmost being.Blue waves are tossing, white wings are crossing, the earth springsforth in the beauty of green, and the soul of the beautiful chanted toall, the sweet refrain:

Come to me, come to me, oh my God, oh, come to me everywhere,
Let the earth mean Thee, and the mountain sod, the ocean and the air,
For Thou art so far that I sometimes fear,
As on every side I stare
Searching within, and looking without, if Thou art anywhere.

My mother brought out all her choicest treasures for her "long lostbaby"; my father and brothers "killed the fatted calf" for the"prodigal returned," the wide old fireplace sent forth its cheeringwarmth, the neighbors gathered round to swap stories, and theapples, walnuts and home-brewed juice of the fruit contributed theirinspiration to the hearty good cheer.

Within and without the genial spirit of springtime cheered the heartof man and the heart of nature, and all things animate and inanimatesang the words of the poet.

"Doves on the sunny eaves are cooing,
The chip-bird trills from the apple-tree;
Blossoms are bursting and leaves renewing,
And the crocus darts up the spring to see.
Spring has come with a smile of blessing,
Kissing the earth with her soft warm breath,
Till it blushes in flowers at her gentle caressing,
And wakes from the winter's dream of death."

That summer my services were frequently utilized as substitutepreacher by our good pastor, who was much afflicted with what Mrs.Partington calls "brown creeturs." He had harped on one string of hisvocal apparatus so long that like Jeshuran of old "it waxed fat andkicked." Exceedingly monotonous and soporific was his voice, and itwas necessary to strain every nerve to tell whether he was preaching,praying or reading, the words were much the same in each case.

The long cramming of Hebrew, Greek, Latin and all things dead haddriven out all the vim and enthusiasm of his youth; the dry-as-dustdrill of the theological institution had filled his mind witharguments for the destruction of all other denominations to the entireexclusion of all common sense. He forcibly reminded me of the Scotchdominie who stopped at the stove to shake off the water one rainymorning, and to rebuke the sexton for not having a fire. "Niver mind,yer Riverince," replied the indignant serving man, "ye'll be dryenough soon as ye begin praiching."

One hot Sunday when our clergyman was droning away as usual, awell-to-do fat brother, who once said he had such entire confidence inour clergyman's orthodoxy that he didn't feel obliged to keep awaketo watch him, commenced to snore like a fog horn, nearly drowning thespeaker's voice. The reverend stopped, and thinking innocently, thatsome animal was making the disturbance, said: "Will the sexton pleaseput that dog out." This aroused fatty, who left the church in a rage,and his subscription was lost forever.

Our pious pastor was a fair sample of the "wooden men" turned out bythe educational mills of the day; to an assembly of whom Edwin Boothis reported to have said: "The difference between the theatre and thechurch is this, you preach the gospel as if it were fiction, whilewe speak fiction as if it were the gospel truth. When you give lessattention to dry theological disquisitions and much more to the gracesof elocution, you may expect to do some good in the world."

His pastoral calls were appalling; arm extended like a pump handle toshake hands, one up and down motion, a "how do you do?"—"fine day,"then a solemn pause, generally followed by his one story; "The day mywife and I were married it rained, but it cleared off pleasant soonafter, and it has been pleasant ever since," then suspended animation,finally, "let us pray," and when the same old prayer with fewvariations was ended, once more the pump-handle operation and hedeparted, wearing the same hopeless face. He was not a two-faced man,for had he another face, he would surely have worn it.

This sad-eyed man was much tormented by a brother minister in thepews, who seemed to have a strong desire to secure our pastor's poorlittle salary for his own private use and behoof. His plan evidentlywas to throw the stigma of heresy upon the incumbent, and to this end,when our preacher was one day laboring hard to show us exactly whereforeordination ends and free moral agency begins, the ex-ministerarose, excitedly declaring such talk to be rank Arminianism, anddenounced it as misleading sinners to the belief that they could besaved even if they were not so predestinated in the eternal mind of anall-wise, all-loving Jehovah, who had foredoomed some to heaven andothers to hell. The regular speaker was dumbfounded. An argumentativeduett followed, much to the scandal of the saints and thehilariousness of the sinners, until the pitying organist struck upwith great force: "From whence doth this union arise?" when thedisgruntled disturber left the church vowing he would never payanother cent for such heretical sermons.

Later, a heated discussion arose among the church members as towhether fermented wine should be used at the Sacrament of the Lord'sSupper, and when a vote was taken in favor of the unfermented, thesenior deacon withdrew in disgust and joined the "Pedo Baptist" churchwhere he could have alcohol in his.

All this of course made the judicious grieve, and the cause ofreligion to languish. This was the time, famous in church history,when a great reaction set in against Cotton Mather theology, whoproclaimed that the pleasure of the elect would be greatly enhancedby looking down from the sublime heights of heaven upon the non-electwrithing in hell.

Unitarianism grew apace, and Henry Ward Beecher immortalized himselfby saying: "Many preachers act like the foolish angler who goes to thetrout brook with a big pole, ugly line and naked hook, thrashes thewaters into a foam, shouting, bite or be damned, bite or be damned!Result; they are not what their great Master commanded them tobe—successful fishers of men."

Our pastor was a good man despite his peculiarities, and led ablameless though colorless life; but his "hard shell" theology, hislong years of monkish seclusion in the training schools, engenderinggloomy views as to the final misery of the majority of human beings,his poverty and lack of adaptation, banished all cheerfulness from hisdemeanor, and when I recall his sad, solemn face, made so largely byhis views in regard to the horrors awaiting the most of us in the nextworld, I find myself repeating the words of Harriet Beecher Stowe inthe "Minister's Wooing," when she was thinking of that hell depictedby the old theology; "Oh my wedding day, why did they rejoice? Bridesshould wear mourning, every family is built over this awful pit ofdespair, and only one in a thousand escapes."

When I semi-occasionally peruse one of the sermons I preached in thosedays of my youth, I am strongly inclined to crawl into a den and pullthe hole in after me. I can fully believe the orator who said that astupid speech once saved his life.

"I went back home," he said, "last year to spend Thanksgiving with theold folks. While waiting for the turkey to cook, I went into the woodsgunning—it would amuse me, and wouldn't hurt the game, for I couldn'thit the broadside of a barn at ten paces. While promenading, itcommenced to rain, and not wishing to wet my best Sunday-go-to-meetings,I crawled into a hollow log for shelter; at last the clouds rolled byand I attempted to pull out, but to my horror, the log had contracted sothat I was stuck fast in the hole, and I gave myself up for lost. Iremembered all the sins of my youth, and conscience assured me that Irichly deserved my fate; finally, I thought of a certain unspeakablyasinine speech which I once inflicted upon a suffering audience, and Ifelt so small that I rattled round in that old log like a white bean ina washtub, and slipped like an eel out of the little pipe-stem end ofthat old tree. I was saved; but the audience had been ruined for life."

Thus often in this cruel world do the innocent suffer, while theguilty go unscathed to torture a confiding public with what the greatapostle calls the "foolishness of preaching."

This summer brought our family few smiles but many tears, and thedeath-angel passed close to our doors. My eldest brother, whileat work in the hayfield, was smitten by the sun, causing a mentalaberration which made him a wanderer upon the face of the earth, andfinally led him to cut the thread of life with his own hand; my secondbrother was pulled by his coat entangled in a wheel, beneath a heavyload which crushed his thigh. This left the rest of us to struggle asbest we could with multitudinous weeds striving to choke the crops,and the many trials incidental to wresting sustenance from thereluctant bosom of mother earth.

My brother Mark, about this time took upon himself the joys andsorrows of a family and home of his own, while I assumed the care of afamily of forty school children in the neighboring town of I——.

I was but "unsweetened sixteen," and lack of tact and strength broughtme many trials in my endeavors to "teach the young ideas how to shootcorrectly." The usual tacks were placed in my chair, causing thewar-dances incidental to such occasions; the customary pranks wereresorted to by young America to settle the oft mooted question as towho is master; the inevitable interference of parents followed, who asusual, regarded their children as cherubs whose wings they seemed tothink would soon appear were it not for the tyrannical spanks of theunworthy teacher.

I survived the fiery ordeal after a fashion, and that winter entered acollege in the state of Maine. The same old unrest came to me there,wearied with the dry-as-dust lectures by the faculty of superannuatedministers, but I graduated after a two weeks' course, and vainlyendeavored for three weeks to catch the divine afflatus at theTheological Institution, which was supposed to be necessary to enableme to rescue the perishing as a preacher of the gospel. Then atthe suggestion of the president, who quickly discovered my mentaldeficiencies, I was matriculated as a student at another universityfounded by the brethren of the same "Hard-shell Persuasion." I was buta dreamer, in the middle of my teens, dazed by conflicting opinions,but anxious to walk "quo dews vocat."

"Here I stood with reluctant feet,
Where the brook and the river meet,
Manhood and childhood sweet.

"I saw shadows sailing by,
As the dove, with startled eye,
Sees the falcon downward fly.

"To me, a child of many prayers,
Life had quicksands, and many snares,
Foes, and tempters came unawares.

"Oh, let me bear through wrong and ruth,
In my heart the dew of youth,
On my lips the smile of truth."

With this prayer of the poet upon our lips, many of us entered these"classic halls," hoping to find there in communion with the good andgreat of the past and the present, that mental and spiritual "manna"from heaven which would inspire us to lead ourselves and others to thesublime heights of heroic endeavor.

CHAPTER VII.

A DISENCHANTED COLLEGIAN-PREACHER.

Previous to my arrival at this ancient seat of learning, founded andendowed for the perpetuation and propagation of the doctrines of ourdenomination, I had never entertained the faintest shadow of doubt asto the infallibility of our creed; but now all faith in it vanishedlike the baseless fabric of a dream. Here at the fountain head ofwisdom, from which streams were supposed to flow for the healing ofthe nations, my faith in the beliefs of my ancestors fled, nevermoreto return; here, where lived the great high priests of the sect, I hadexpected to find the whole air roseate with divine love and grace, allsouls lifted to sublime heights on the breath of unceasing prayer andpraise.

The disenchantment was appalling; my brothers in Christ, the grave andreverend professors, were cold as icebergs, evidently caring nothingfor the souls or bodies of their Christian or pagan students; thepreacher at the college church was an ecclesiastical icicle, who,in his manner at least, continually cried: "Procul, procul, oh,Profani!"

The prayer meetings were dead and formal, no enthusiasm; it was likebeing in a spiritual refrigerator—with perhaps one exception, when,through the cracks in the floor from the room of a frugal freshman whoboarded himself, came the overwhelming stench of cooking onions, and awag brother who was quoting scripture to the Lord in prayer, suddenlyopened his eyes, and sniffing the unctuous odors, shouted: "Brethren,let us now sing 'From whence doth this onion (union) arise?'" androars of laughter would put an end to the solemn farce.

Within the dismal college dormitories were herded a few hundredyouths, entirely free from all moral and social restraints, abandonedto all orgies into which many characters in the formative state aremost likely to drift. I frequently saw a professing Christian teachertorture with biting sarcasm his brother church-member, who had donehis best, though he failed to grasp some intricate mathematicalproblem, until the poor fellow abandoned the college in despair.

Is it strange that I and many others lost all faith in a religion thatbrought forth such bitter fruit? When I strayed from the lifelessdulness of the college church into the light and warmth of the"liberal sanctuary," where the old man eloquently discoursed ofthe ascent instead of the descent of man, and pictured the sublimedevelopment of the race by heroic endeavor from the animal to thearchangel; when this good man welcomed us warmly as brothers to hishearth and home and loaned me his silken surplice to cover my seedyclothes when I delivered my orations at the class exhibitions, isit strange that I embrace his Darwinian theory instead of themythological story of the fall of man tempted by a snake in the gardenof Eden?

I usually preached on Sundays, during my four years' course, inthe pulpits of the surrounding towns, but it was not of the totaldepravity nor flaming brimstone; far grander themes engrossed mythoughts and speech; the true heroism of keeping ourselves unspottedfrom the world, the sublime possibilities of our natures if we wouldwalk in the footsteps of the only perfect One ever seen on earth.

By trimming the midnight lamp and ruining my eyes, I won a scholarshipwhich paid my tuition fees and room rent, so that I was released fromthe necessity of drawing on the hard-earned savings of my father. Theusual college pranks were played, tubs of water were poured fromupper windows upon the heads of freshmen who insisted upon wearingstove-pipe hats and the forbidden canes; we tore each others' clothesto the verge of nakedness, and broke each others' heads in franticfootball rushes; we indulged in ghost-like sheet and pillow-caseparades, during which we fought the police and made night hideous withyells and scrimmages with the "townies"; we burned unsightly shanties,and thus improved the appearance of the city.

We tripped up unpopular professors with ropes in the night, on theicy, steep sidewalk of college street, sending them bumping down thelong hill, hatless and with badly torn pants till they brought up withdull thuds against the barber shop on South Main Street; we of coursestole the college bell so there was nothing to call us to prayers orrecitations; we howled for hours under their respective windows:

"Here's to old Harkness, for he is an imp of darkness!
Here's to old Cax., for his nose is made of wax!
Here's to old Prex—for he likes his double x!"

until some of us were thrust by the police into the nauseating dens ofthe stationhouse.

Thus, like pendulums, we swung twixt studies and pranks till the boomof the rebel cannon bombarding Fort Sumpter thundered upon our ears.Suddenly our books were forgotten: the university cadets unanimouslytendered their services to the government; were at once accepted,and it was the proudest day of my life when, as an officer in ourbattalion, I marched with the rest to the drill camp on the historictraining ground.

The citizens turned out en masse to do us honor, and franticallycheered us on our way to do or die; every house was gay with oldglory; our best girls, inspired with patriotic fervor, applauded whilethey bedewed the streets with their tears; the air resounded withmartial music and the boom of saluting cannon; the young war governor,who went up like a rocket and down like a stick, led the way ona prancing charger; the people vied with each other in tenderinghospitalities, and every corner afforded its liquid refreshments. Wethought it lemonade, but it "had a stick in it" and, presto!—we wereno longer seedy theologues, but young heroes all, resplendent withbrilliant uniforms and flashing bayonets, marching to defend our greatand glorious republic.

We, unsuspecting, imbibed freely the seductive fluids, and soon ourheads were in a whirl. We wildly sang the war songs and gave thecollege yells. It is but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous.That night, Jupiter Pluvius burst upon our frail tents in all hisfury, and I awoke the next morning half covered with water, and in araging fever. I was taken to the hospital, and as I was a minor myfather took me from the service.

For weeks I was a wreck, and all my dreams of martial glory vanished,alas,—like the many which have bloomed in the summer of my heart.Before I regained the little strength I ever had, the war was over,but I had done my best to serve my country, and the rapture ofpursuing is the prize the vanquished know. The few remaining studentsplodded along through the curriculum; but our hearts were far away onthe battle-fields, from the glory of which, cruel fate debarred us.

In my senior year I was forced by the necessity for securing lucre topay the increasing graduation expenses, to teach the high school inBristol, Conn., and returned to the university to "cram" for the finalexaminations. For days and nights the merciless grind went on until,as by a miracle, I escaped the lunatic asylum. I knew but littleof the higher mathematics, but the "Green" professor was a strongsectarian if not an humble Christian, and when the hour for my privateexamination arrived, I contrived to waste the most of it telling himabout the Bristol Church. It was near his dinner hour, and he yearnedfor its delights to such an extent, that he did not detect me incopying the "Pons Asinorum" onto the blackboard from a paper hiddenin my bosom, and as he glanced at the figures on the board, he said:"That's right, I suppose you know the rest," passed me, and hasted tohis walnuts and his wine.

The good president, of blessed memory, had another pressingengagement, as I well knew, when I called for his examination, heasked for but little, was too preoccupied to hear whether my answerswere correct, passed me, and my "A.B." was won.

We spoke our pieces on graduation day, rejoiced in the applause of our"mulierculae," took our sheepskins, and went forth from "alma mater"conquering and to conquer the unsympathizing world. I had acquiredhere but a modicum of that learning which was supposed to flow fromthis "Pierian Spring," but I rejoiced in the fact that I had cast awayforever my belief in the "total depravity" of the human race, thatin "Adam's fall we sin-ned all, that in Cain's murder, we sin-nedfurder," and could now look hopefully upon my fellow-men in the fullassurance that

There lies in the centre of each man's heart
A longing and love for the good and pure,
And if but an atom, or larger part,
I know that this shall forever endure.
After the body has gone to decay—
Yes, after the world has passed away.

The longer I live and the more I see
Of the struggles of souls towards heights above,
The stronger this truth comes home to me,
That the universe rests on the shoulders of love—
A love so limitless, deep and broad
That men have renamed it, and called it God.

CHAPTER VIII.

IN SHADOW LAND.

I had cherished the delusive hope that my university diploma would bethe open sesame to any exalted position to which I might aspire; butI found there was a multitude of competitors for every professionalemolument, and that a "pull" with the powers that be was essential tosecure any prize. My change in religious sentiments debarred me fromthe pulpit, and I had no friends influential enough to give me aprofitable position as a teacher in New England.

After making many applications, and enduring many hopes deferred whichmake the heart sick, I struck out for New York one dark, rainy night,with only $10 in my pocket to seek my fortune in that so-called"Modern Sodom and Gomorrah." I knew no one in that great city, and onmy arrival before daylight in a dismal drenching storm, I entered thenearest hotel to obtain some much needed sleep.

A villainous looking servitor showed me to a cold barn-like room whereI found no way of locking the door, so I barricaded the entrance withthe bureau, placing the chair on top as a burglar alarm. The scantbedclothes were so short that one extremity or the other must freeze,so I compromised by protecting the "midway plaisance," and in mycramped quarters, thought with envy of Dr. Root of Byfield, who wassaid to stretch his long legs out the window to secure plenty of roomfor himself, and a roost on his pedal extremities for his favoriteturkeys.

I was on the point of falling into the arms of Morpheus in the land ofNod, when a stealthy attempt to open the door sent the chair with acrash to the floor. Yelling at the top of my voice, "Get out of that,or I'll put a bullet through you!" I heard a form tumble down thesteep stairs, and muffled curses which reminded me of the lines in theHohenlinden poem: "It is Iser (I sir) rolling rapidly."

At the first dawn of a dismal day I crept down the dirty stairs, andout of the door of what I learned to be one of the most dangeroushouses in that sin-cursed city.

The days immediately following while seeking for employment wereforlorn and miserable; I was the fifth wheel of a coach which no onewanted. Finally, when I had spent my last cent for a beggarly meal, Isaw an advertisem*nt for a teacher in the reform school, and called ona Mr. Atterbury, the trustee. He regarded me with a pitying eye; toldme two teachers had recently been driven from the prison by the kicksand cuffs of the toughest boys that ever went unhung; but if I wishedto try it, he would pass me to that "den of thieves." I grasped atthe chance like a drowning man at a straw, and that very night foundmyself facing nearly 1,000 hard looking specimens from the slums ofall nations. The schoolroom was a huge hall, in which, at a tap of thebell, great doors were rolled on iron tracks to subdivide it into manysmall class sections, each in charge of a lady assistant. The organpealed out the notes for the opening song which was given fairly well;but when I attempted to read the Master's beginning of the responsiveritual, a stalwart young giant hurled a book at my head, and bedlambroke loose. I jumped from the platform, seized the ringleader by thehair and collar, and with a strength hitherto undreamed of by me,dragged him before he could collect his thoughts to a closet door,hurled him headlong and turned the key. The boys said afterwards thatfire flashed from my eyes, and they thought the devil had come.

I grasped a heavy stick, used for raising the windows, and told themin stentorian tones of a desperate man, that I would break the headsof all who were not instantly in their seats. The schoolma'amsquivered with fear, but the boys slunk to their places and I haranguedthem to the effect, that they could have peace or war; if peace, theywould be treated kindly and be taught to become successful men; ifwar, they alone would suffer, for I had come there to stay.

I tried to inspire these poor vicious boys, conceived in sin and bornin iniquity, with the thought that knowledge is power; that manyof the greatest and best of earth had risen from their ranks bypersistent endeavor into the light and liberty of the children of God;that they could become happy and successful by being and doing good;that if they would set their faces resolutely towards the better life,I would gladly help to the utmost of my ability.

One by one their eyes kindled with the light that is never seen onsea or shore. One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. They hadnever been appealed to in that way before, and the spark of goodnesslying dormant in even the most depraved natures, responded to thebreath of kindly words.

I touched the bell, the great subdividing doors were rolled, and myassistants quietly proceeded to the work of instruction, confidentthat the war was over.

When I had marched my regiment to their cells that night, and retiredto my room, I reflected that every human existence has its moments offate, when the apples of the Hesperides hang ready upon the bough,but, alas! how few are wise enough to pluck them. The decision ofan hour may open to us the gates of the enchanted garden where areflowers and sunshine, or it may condemn us, Tantalus-like, to reachevermore after some far-off and unattainable good. I dreamed that theclock of fate had struck the hour for me, that I had found my missionon earth, and that henceforth the "Peace be still" of the Master wouldcalm life's troubled sea.

In reconnoitring the island the next day, I found much to admire.The great domes of the massive buildings towered aloft above theencircling walls, like aerial sentinels warning us to lift ourthoughts to the blessings that come from on high. The great ships wentsailing by to lands beyond the sea; in front was a veritable bower ofparadise, apple and peach-trees fruited deep, green lawns, ripplingwaters, fair as the garden of the Lord. Every prospect pleases andnaught but man is vile.

The signal was given from the Harlem shore for the institution's boat.I jumped on board, and the strong arms of the uniformed boys of ourboat's crew propelled us across the river, where two policemen stoodon the pier guarding a girl about eighteen years of age. Quick as aflash she pushed one of them into the water, his head stuck in themud, his legs kicking in the air; then she shrieked with laughter andran like a deer up the street. The other policeman and myselfjumped into an express wagon, seized the reins from the astonished,protesting black driver, plied the whip to his horse and gave chase.

"What for you dune dar?" cried the darky.

"Shut up!" was the only reply, and away we went, Gilpin-like, with thehorse on the run. We headed off the girl, and after a rough-and-tumblescrimmage threw her into the wagon, kicking, screaming, and scratchinglike a wild-cat. We took her by main force to the girls' wing of theprison and put her into a cell.

Scarcely was I seated at the table when the alarm-bell rang, and,being officer of the day I ran over to inquire the cause, and foundthe powerful young virago, our prisoner, enjoying herself hugely. Whenthe matron had been handing her some food through a hole in the cell,the girl shot out her arm, grabbed her by the hair and with the otherhand was now pulling out the hairs by the roots, sometimes a few ata time, sometimes by the handful, then she would bang the official'snose against the wall, then knockout blows on the face. The matron wasin awful agony and faint from loss of blood. Entreaty availed nothing,so I seized a dipper of hot water and dashed it on the girl's nakedarm; the matron fell heels over head on one side, and the prisonerexecuted a somersault in the opposite direction, then jumped to herfeet, shook her fist at me and swore like a pirate.

This young Amazon had been arrested in a vile den kept on a house-boatin the harbor, and long made life a burden for our women officials.

A careful study of the five hundred girls in this reform school ascompared with the one thousand boys, proved clearly that women, thereas elsewhere, are either the best or the worst of the human race. Whena girl cuts loose from the angel she was intended to be, she usuallydescends to the lowest possible pit of degradation; as soon as thisgirl in question found there was nothing to be gained by her fiendishoutbursts of fury, she cunningly changed her tactics with her piousteacher, and pretended to "be born again." She ostensibly chose theBible for her favorite reading, prayed fervently, and became socirc*mspect in her deportment that she was promoted to the position ofassistant cook in the good girls division.

Here she contrived to bake into a cake a letter which she gave to avisitor, who took it to one of her former companions in sin, and oneday, while walking with her confiding teacher in the garden, a boatappeared rowed by four men. Into this the young hypocrite jumped, andlike a "sow that was washed, returned to wallowing in the mire."

In contrast to her ungrateful depravity, the boy I had chucked intothe closet on my first night here became my firm friend, and thestroke oar of my private boat crew.

One day I was taking a boat ride in the harbor with two of my ladyassistants and six stalwart boy oarsmen, when a boat shot out at usfrom Blackwell's Island with four villainous men and two degradedwomen. Coming alongside, one of the women said to the boys: "Throwthat officer overboard, and come with us; we will get you $400 a pieceas bounty, then you can desert from the army, and have a jolly goodtime." My teachers fainted with fear; my crew rested on their oars,wild with desire to escape; it was a crisis. I looked them steadily inthe eyes.

"Boys," I said, quietly, "when sinners entice thee, consent thounot—row."

"We won't hurt you," said my leader; "you have been good to us; let usget into that boat."

"Never," said I. "You shall not go to hell, pull!" The men grabbed atme, my boys pounded them off with their oars, and one of the menfired two shots which whistled close to my head, but the boys pulledvigorously, and we sailed away amid the jeers and curses of ourenemies.

"Sherman," said I, to my stroke oarsman, as we landed on our island,"why didn't you throw me overboard?"

"You have been kind to us," he replied, "and we never go back on ourfriends."

I had the pleasure before I left this school, to secure good positionsfor all my crew, and they became useful men. I was soon after thispromoted to the vice-principalship of the institution, and anex-minister was appointed my first assistant, a good man, but quiteabsent-minded. He recalled to my memory the story of a man who camehome in a pouring rain, put his wet umbrella into bed with his wife,and stood himself up behind the door where he remained all night.

One day, when I was off duty, I went sailing with two ladies through"Little Hell Gate," which rushes with great fury by our island, to thesea. All at once the alarm bell rang. In my haste to get ashore, Iran the boat onto a partially submerged rock, and it would have beencapsized, had I not jumped out onto the rock and pushed it off. DownI went under the rushing tide. When I came to the surface I saw thewhite belly of a shark, as he turned to seize me in his jaws. I couldalmost feel his sharp teeth. My head struck the side of the boat, justas the ladies, with great presence of mind, grabbed me by the hair,and pulled me on board. We landed and I rushed, puffing and drippinglike a porpoise, to the wall gate, unlocked it and entered.

A frightful scene was before me. Williams, my assistant, was on theground, covered with blood, and around him was a crowd of the worstboys in the prison, pounding, kicking, and trying to snatch his keysso as to escape by unlocking the gate. Luckily my bat with which I hadplayed baseball with the boys stood in the corner, and grabbing thisI struck out with all my strength, knocking down the boys right andleft. Just then the guard came up on the run, the wounded man wascarried to the hospital, and his assailants locked up.

Williams, it appeared, had, in his absent-mindedness, unlocked thejail instead of the wall gates, and let out upon him this horde ofruffians who had been put in there for safe-keeping. He finallyrecovered, but left the island through fear of his life.

The discipline of the school was much benefited by forming a schoolregiment, and drilling them to the music of a brass band composed ofthe boys themselves. They were as proud of their uniforms, shoulderstraps and accoutrements, as were the old guard of Napoleon, and theirambition was stimulated by merited promotions from the ranks.

For more than a year I thoroughly enjoyed the work of upliftingthose waifs on our sea of life; they responded appreciatively to theinfluence of kindly words and acts, even as the Aeolian harp yieldsits sweetest music to the caresses of the airs of heaven. It was aninspiration to watch the blossoming of purer thoughts and higheraspirations, and to feel that we were cooperating with the invisiblespirits in developing the hidden angels in this youthful army.

All at once the shadows fell, the baneful greed of that organizedappetite called "Tammany Hall," reached out its devil-fish tentaculae,which neither fear God, nor have any mercy on men, to seek our blood.Evil looking Shylock-faced trustees began to supplant those noble menwho had made this refuge a veritable gate of heaven to so many moresinned against than sinning,—children of the vile. These avaricious,beastly emissaries of "Tammany," soon snarled at us poor teachers thatwe must divide our small salaries with them or give place to thosethat would. Not a school book, or a shin-bone for soup, could bebought unless these leeches had a commission from it; they broughtenormous baskets and filled them with fruit practically stolen fromour children, and carted them home for their own cubs.

Our superintendent and chaplain were strong sectarians, but veryweak Christians, and they readily made friends of the "Mammon ofunrighteousness." One hot Sunday, when I was in command at chapel, thesomnolent tones of the chaplain, who, as usual, was pouring forth astream of mere words—words almost devoid of thought, lulled a largenumber of my fifteen hundred boys and girls into the land of dreams.

As soon as the services were over and I had surrendered my flock tothe yard master, I was summoned before the superintendent where thepious chaplain accused me of insulting him by not keeping the childrenawake. I quietly asked him how this could be done. "Go among them witha rattan," said he. I told him I thought the preacher deserved therattan much more than the children, that they would listen gladly ifhe would give them anything worth hearing. From that moment he was mymalicious foe.

One day while returning from a row in the harbor, I treated myboat's crew to apples and pears from our orchard; just then thesuperintendent's whistle sounded, and I was called before the trusteesthen in session.

"Are you aware," said he, savagely, "that the rules direct that allfruit shall be gathered by the head gardener, and by him alone?"

"Yes," was my reply.

"Well, then, you were stealing, just now."

"I was simply imitating your example, sir; it takes a thief to catch athief." The trustees roared with laughter. The president of the boardthen asked if I had seen others stealing the fruit.

"Yes, sir, the chaplain, superintendent, and nearly all the trustees."

"Well," said he, "this is a den of thieves."

"All except the convicts, sir," I replied.

These incidents did not add to my popularity among the sneaks whosepetty slings and arrows were so annoying, and so minimized my powerfor good that I reluctantly resigned, to accept a more lucrativeposition as teacher in an aristocratic boarding-school located in theromantic county of Berkshire, much nearer, geographically, to thestars.

Among our responsibilities at the reform school, were many "wharfrats"—so called, because having had no homes or visible parents, likeTopsy, they had simply "growed," and slept under the wharves of thecity, swarming out at intervals to steal or beg for something toassuage the pangs of hunger. They were vicious to a degree, and atfirst seemed to prefer a raw shin-bone that they had stolen to anabundant meal obtained honestly. They would rather fight than eat, andprized a penny obtained by lies more than dollars secured by tellingthe truth. Some were stupid as donkeys; but others possessed minds ofsurprising acuteness. I once asked one of these why he was sent to thereform school.

"Oh," was the reply, "I stole a sawmill, and when I went back afterthe water dam the copper scooped me in."

Another quizzed his teacher unmercifully, when, in trying to teach himthe alphabet, she drew a figure on the board and told him it was A, hecalled out: "How do you know that is A?"

"Why, when I went to school my teacher told me it was A."

"Well," said the little imp, "how do ye know but what that fellerlied?"

At one of our public meetings, the superintendent introduced as aspeaker, a man by the name of Holmes, and wishing to impress theboys favorably, he announced him as Professor Holmes. The orator wasannoyed at being called professor, and trying to be "funny," commencedby saying: "I am not Professor Holmes, nor his man-servant, nor hismaid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass—" At this point, quick as aflash, up jumped one of our wharf rats, and shouted: "Well, if youain't Professor Holmes' ass, whose ass be ye?"

Then the little barbarian, evidently maddened by the sneeringpomposity of our eloquent guest, strutted across the floor in perfectimitation of Holmes' affected grandiloquence; then he launched intothe coon song:—

"De bigger dat you see de smoke
De less de fire will be,
And de leastest kind ob possum
Climbs de biggest kind ob tree.

"De nigg*r at de camp-groun'
Dat kin loudest sing an' shout,
Am gwine ter rob some hen-roos'
Befo' de week am out."

Thus, often, from a bud seemingly withered and dead, wouldunexpectedly blossom out an unknown flower of startling brilliancy andunprecedented attractiveness.

CHAPTER IX.

SUNLIGHT AND DARKNESS IN PALACE AND COTTAGE.

My pupils at the reform school were from the dens and hovels of theBowery, while those at S—— were from the palaces of Fifth Avenue;but to my utter astonishment, the children of the slums were morallyand perhaps intellectually superior to those of the plutocrats. Iwas occasionally the guest of both the poverty-stricken and themillionaire parents of my scholars, and I verily believe that I saw asmuch depravity and misery in the abodes of the rich as in those of thepoor.

On my arrival in Berkshire County, I found both of my employers wereoff on a spree, and that I was ordered to do the work of receiving andorganizing. One day, a princely equipage with liveried coachman andoutrider halted at the schoolroom door, a "bloated bondholder" and hiswife, arrayed in purple, fine linen, and diamonds, pulled a flashilyappareled, humpbacked boy up to me, every lineament of whose faceshowed depravity and cunning. "There," said the father, "is my d——d son, he drinks, swears, and breaks all the commandments every day.Take him, and send the bill to me." He handed me his card and awaythey went.

This was not an isolated case. I did my best for them; but they weresatiated with luxury, hated books, and seemed to care for nothingbut debauchery. The very next day several of these scamps obtainedpermission to visit the cave in "Bear Mountain," where ice could befound throughout the year. As they did not return on time, I wentin search and found them all drunk. They had no appreciation of thesun-kissed mountains, waving forests, or verdure-clad valleys; thegrand scenery awakened no responsive smiles, no ennobling aspirations;they were intent upon nothing but drowning their ignoble souls in thenoxious fumes of tobacco and alcohol. I tumbled them into the wagon,drove them to their dormitory and put them to bed, lower than thebeasts they seemed to be in their depravity; not all to be sure, forthere were a few choice spirits like Julian Hawthorn, who followed tosome extent the example of his illustrious father, and has won hisspurs in literature.

I found to my disgust that bad eggs would ruin the good ones; but thatmany good ones could not take the rottenness from even one of the bad.It seemed a hopeless task to endeavor to inspire such impoverishedsouls, and I retired in despair, to accept the principalship of theancient academy in the village.

Here I met the children of the so-called middle class, the very boneand sinew of the Republic; here I was monarch of all I surveyed, anduntrammeled by the cramming regulations of the public schools, Ipursued the delightful avocation of a true educator. E and duco is theetymology of the word, to lead out, to develop the latent energies ofthe mind. I had chemical and philosophical apparatus with which toperform experiments in illustrative teaching of the sciences, and allwere intent upon acquiring thorough, practical education.

When I saw their enthusiasm lagging from want of physical exercise, atthe tap of the bell, we would all rush out upon the beautiful campusand kick football, or run races until, with glowing faces andinvigorated energies, they would follow me back to our studies,sometimes into the cheerful academy hall, sometimes under the shade ofthe noble oaks, where we would study botany close to nature's heartamid the songs of birds and the sublime chanting of the tree-tops.

We gave musical and dramatic entertainments, securing ample funds todecorate the walls of our hall with works of art; we went on ridestogether in barges, drank in long draughts of inspiration from theglorious scenery, and studied geology, practically, like, if not equalto Hugh Miller, among the rocks and boulders. I was doing good, andhere I should have remained; but the old unrest came back to me, and Iunwisely accepted a much larger salary in teaching in my native countyof Essex.

As soon as I took command of my two hundred boys and girls in B——,I realized how vast is the contrast between free and unrestrictededucating, and the grind of cramming according to the ironclad rule ofthe public school system.

Many children are so crammed with everything that they reallyknow nothing. In proof of this, read these veritable specimens ofdefinitions, written by public school children that very year inanother school of this town.

"Stability is the taking care of a stable."

"A mosquito is the child of black and white parents."

"Monastery is the place for monsters."

"Tocsin is something to do with getting drunk."

"Expostulation is to have the smallpox."

"Cannible is two brothers who killed each other in the
Bible."

"Anatomy is the human body, which consists of three parts, the head, the chist and the stummick. The head contains the eyes and brains, if any; the chist contains the lungs and a piece of the liver. The stummick is devoted to the bowels, of which there are five, a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w, and y."

Every teacher was rated according to his ability to secure from hispupils a high percentage in examinations for promotion.

I grew restless under the restraints imposed by a committee ofincompetents; besides, the minister who was chairman of the Board,considered a Unitarian to be an infidel, demoralizing the religiouslife of the young. I grew tired of his malicious peccadillos, andaccepted a "louder" call from that quaint town where the historicLloyd Ireson "with his hord horrt was torrd and futhered und Korrid ina Kort by the wimmun o' Marrble ed."

Here I had one hundred boys in one room, many of whom went fishing insummer to get up muscle to lick the schoolmaster in winter. They hadbeen quite successful in this latter industry for several years in myschool, and at once proceeded to try the same tactics with me. On thefirst morning, I was saluted with a volley of iced snow balls as hardas brickbats, and I at once reciprocated these favors by knockingdown the leader, dragging him into the house, and giving him a soundcowhiding, and when the vinegar-faced committee came in later I wasbusily engaged in teaching their sons to dance to this same usefulinstrument.

These owl-like worthies sat solemnly on the platform for awhile,saying no more than the ugly fowls they so much resembled, and thenstalked out, leaving me to my fate. A young Hercules fisherman at oncesuggested, that the first business in order was to throw me out thewindow as they had so many of my predecessors. To this I stoutlyobjected, and seizing a big hickory stick window-elevator, I swung itfiercely close to their heads. This was more than they had bargainedfor, and the uproar pro tem subsided.

This was the winter famed in the history of Massachusetts, asproducing the severest snowstorm ever known, and for a week I wassnow-bound in my boarding-house, where my bright-eyed, sweet-facedcousins were most agreeable substitutes for my plug-ugly pupils.

One day, this same week, the giant ringleader of my assailants whohad moved to baptize me by immersion in the icy waters of the harbor,himself, while fishing, fell through a hole in the ice and wasdrowned. The loss of their mighty general somewhat demoralized hisfollowers, and vi et armis, I managed to survive the fourteen weeks'term. At the close of the first session of the last day, I threw afootball to my enemies, who, not suspecting my trick, rushed off,kicking it down the street, and when they returned in the afternoon totake vengeance upon me for my unprecedented rule over them, I was inthe "hub of the universe." I afterwards learned that my discretionwas the better part of valor, for my ferocious pupils had thedetermination and the necessary force to send me unshriven to DavyJones' locker.

I had never believed in the doctrine of reincarnation until I met inthe city, the veritable Judas Iscariot, ready and anxious to sellanybody and everything for thirty pieces of silver, nickel, copper,or any old thing he could pick up. This Jew pretended to wish to sellone-half interest in his commercial school for $2,000. I had somenegotiations with him, but found out, by careful investigation, thathe had already sold several confiding teachers, who ascertained toolate to save their money, that this fraud was collector and treasurerof all funds of the company, that he required his partner to do allthe drudgery, and that his report always claimed that all collectionshad been paid out for expenses.

He reminded me of the legend, that when the devil took Christ to thetop of a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the earth, andsaid: "All these things will I give you to fall down and worshipme." Suddenly, the face of a Shylock appeared, saying: "Shentlemen,peeshness ish peeshness, and if you can't trade, I will take datoffer."

I mention this little incident hoping it may prove a warning to theunwary who, like myself, may fall among the sharpers of the ModernAthens. Disgusted with this business experience, and wishing to dogood and get good, I advertised, offering $50 for an acceptableposition as teacher, and I at once received many responses fromthrifty committeemen, and retiring teachers.

I interviewed a clergyman who wanted the reward in advance; but whenthe time came for him to deliver the goods, he had suddenly decampedin the night to avoid a coat of tar and feathers from indignantparents whose children's morals had been basely ruined by this wolfin sheep's clothing. Others extended itching palms for the money, butfailed to secure for me the "sine qua non."

At last, an impecunious teacher in W——, who was retiring to accepta "louder" call in Boston, introduced me to his Board as a particularfriend whom he had known for many years, (he had never seen mebefore), and vouched for me as one of the greatest of livinginstructors.

When the three doctors, constituting the school board, were about togive me a searching examination, which doubtless would have flooredme, prearranged calls summoned them to see pretended patients, and onthe mercenary pedagogue's assurance that I was a university graduate,they hastily signed my commission and I was saved.

I shall always remember my two years' experience in this beautifultown, with much pleasure and pride. On the opening of the school Ifound myself looking upon over one hundred of the finest appearingboys and girls I had ever beheld, seated in a noble new hall wellequipped with organ and all the apparatus which wealth could procure.

Soon after the opening exercises, the usual trial of the new mastercommenced, and a stifling, choking odor threw all into convulsionsof coughing, almost to strangulation. Some one had thrown a largequantity of cayenne pepper down the register. I quietly opened thewindows, and when the noxious fumes had passed away, the new principalsaid:

"I feel sure that the pleasant outward appearance of my family here isan expression of the inward goodness and honor of you all, and I amconfident that the perpetrator of this disagreeable mischief will takepride in removing suspicion from his companions by rising in his seatand apologizing for his thoughtless rudeness."

A fine, manly looking boy at once arose. "Come up here, my friend, andlet us talk it over," I said, and he came and stood by my side. "Weare all brothers and sisters here, and I have no doubt you, Arthur,will now express your regrets for what you have done." He did so, theaudience applauded, and the incident was closed.

The new master's manner was such a decided contrast to that of his"knock down and drag out" predecessor, that it captivated hisprotégés at the start, and this was the only unpleasant episode in mydelightful intercourse with these charming children.

I established a society called the "Class of Honor," which sooncomprised my entire family. Every pupil who had no marks against himor her for failures in scholarship or deportment, was decorated witha blue ribbon, and when he had earned and worn this for one month, hewas presented with a handsome diamond shaped pin on which was engravedthe words "class of honor." They were prouder of this decoration thanever were the imperial guard of Napoleon of the Cross of the Legion.

If a pupil failed on some point in recitation, he could retrievehimself by reciting it correctly later with extra information on thepoint, gathered from the reference books, and thus he was savedfrom humiliation and discouragement, and at the same time, he wasstimulated to making independent researches in the school and publiclibraries. Each class of honor pupil could whisper, go out, or go tothe blackboards to draw or cipher without asking permission. Thehigh sense of honor was thus developed which is so essential to asuccessful career.

We had a system of light gymnastics which, with military drill, gavegrace and erectness to the carriage, and every Friday afternoon,the large hall was crowded with the parents to enjoy the singing,declamations, gymnastics, dramatics, and drawing exercises, and allwent merry as a marriage bell.

My salary was raised voluntarily every six months; I enjoyed theirgames with them in our ample playgrounds. We often, on holidays,roamed the woods and seashore together; I often dined with them intheir homes, and at picnics; on all public occasions I was one of theprincipal speakers, and my life was an ideal one in all respects saveone. For some cause the air of the valley, too often impregnatedwith moisture from the sluggish Abajona, kept my throat in an almostchronic state of irritation, and too frequently for days at a time,I could hardly speak above a whisper. Had it not been for this oneserious handicap, I think I would gladly have remained there for life.

I kept a saddle horse, and often cantered twenty miles to my father'shouse, and my boat on the lake furnished many a pleasant sail formyself and pupils.

One incident shows the appreciation of my pupils and neighbors for myefforts in their behalf. During the first campaign of General Grantfor the presidency, many of my pupils and I joined the W—Battalion ofuniformed and torch bearing "Tanners." We marched to the city as anescort for speakers at a Republican rally. When the hoodlums smashedour lanterns with rocks, our captain, the son of a distinguishedstatesman, retreated; but I lost my head and charged the rioters,using my torch handle vigorously; I was cut off from my company ofwhich I was lieutenant, and captured by the Democrats. As soon as mymen realized this, they rushed upon my captors en masse; manyheads were broken, but I was rescued and carried to the train on theshoulders of my heroic defenders.

If my foresight had been half so good as my hindsight, I would neverhave left W——, but the tempter came in the form of an offer of amuch larger salary from N——, and I foolishly accepted.

The change from W—to N——, was like that from breezy, sunny greenfields, where wild birds sang their free, joyous songs, and where wildflowers bloomed free as air exhaling their sweet perfumes, to thesuffocating air of a hothouse where the birds drooped in cages andwhere the few flowers were forced into existence by steam heat andunsavory fertilizers. In the former the people were social, naturaland free from the trammels of tyrannical fashions; in the latter theywere cold, distant, and valued you according to the size of your bankaccount and the number of your horses and servants. In the one theteachers were educators, free to develop superior methods along theirown original lines; in the other they were mere machines to carry outthe ironclad rules of the opinionated precedent-hunting school board.

In the former all seemed like one great family sympathizing andloving; in the latter the newly-rich set the pace of ignoble luxuryand display; while the others aped their ways which led many tobankruptcy, poverty, and misery. In the one you were free from allsocial ostracism if you worshipped according to the dictates of yourown conscience; in the other you were ignored and disliked unless youattended and contributed liberally for the support of the palatialorthodox church.

I was early told that I would fail if I persisted in attending thelittle Unitarian church; but I preferred failure to hypocrisy, andwould not sell my birthright of conscience for a mess of pottage.Two of my ancient, sour-faced assistants were bigoted members of thefashionable church, and at once set me down as a corruptor of youthbecause I was an advocate of the liberal faith. The venomous spite ofone of these forcibly suggested the spirit of the inquisition, and oneday she found her blackboard decorated with the following truthfulpoem, suggested by her spirit and the first syllable of her name:

"Old Aunt Dunk
Is a mean old skunk."

She flew into a furious rage, declared that some Unitarian must haveperpetrated this insult, and that I must find the culprit.

She never forgave me because I failed to do so, and at her urgentsolicitation the minister, after great exertion, secured a fewsignatures to a petition for my discharge on the plea that I chewedtobacco and expectorated on the floor in the presence of my class.As I easily proved that I never chewed tobacco, and as my patronspresented an overwhelming protest, the prayer of the petitioners wasunanimously refused by the school board.

It would have been laughable had it not been so serious and pitiful,to see the frantic attempts of the poor in this town to keep upappearances, and counterfeit the style of those who had grown rich bycheating widows and orphans in bucket shops and stock gambling. Thelittle minnows put on all the snobbish airs of the whales who hadgrown so large by devouring all the small fish in their business seas.

One pillar of the church, who was a cashier, ruined his bank bystealing money to enable him, for a while, to live in an elegant houseand support servants, equipages, silks and diamonds galore. For a timehe was the idol of the town, while he gave costly dinners and showeredhis ill-gotten gains to embellish his favorite temple, and to build atower upon it to look down in contempt upon all the lesser shrines.

He barely escaped the sheriff at night-time, and fled beyond the seas,leaving his showy family to poverty and the ill-concealed derision ofthose who worshipped them while they were supposed to be rich.

Such as these made life very uncomfortable for me, and at the end ofmy year, I left in disgust; never again to resume the profession inwhich I had spent so many years of my somewhat checkered existence.My life seemed a failure; I reflected long upon the question of thePsalmist, "What is man?" and here are the answers which I culled frommany thoughtful poets, whose names are appended to their severalreplies.

In this grand wheel, the world, we're spokes made all;— (Brome.)

He who climbs high, endangers many a fall;—(Chaucer.)

A passing gleam called life is o'er us thrown,—(Story.)

It glimmers, like a meteor, and is gone.—(Rogers.)

To-morrow's sun to thee may never rise—(Congreve.)

The flower that smiles to-day, to-morrow dies—(Shelly.)

And what do we, by all our bustle gain?—(Pomfret.)

A drop of pleasure in a sea of pain.—(Tupper.)

Tired of beliefs, we dread to live without;—(Holmes.)

Yet who knows most, the more he knows to doubt.—(Daniel.)

Princes and lords are but the breath of kings.—(Burns.)

And trifles make the sum of human things.—(More.)

If troubles overtake thee, do not wail;—(Herbert.)

Our thoughts are boundless, though our frames are frail.—(Percival.)

The fiercest agonies have shortest reign;—(Bryant.)

Great sorrows have no leisure to complain.—(Gaffe.)

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,—(Shakespeare.)

For we the same are that our sires have been;—(Knox.)

Nor is a true soul ever born for naught,—(Lowell.)

Yet millions never think a noble thought.—(Bailey.)

Good actions crown themselves with lasting bays,—(Heath.)

And God fulfils Himself in many ways.—(Tennyson.)

The world's a wood in which all lose their way—(Buckingham.)

A fair where thousands meet, but none can stay;—(Fawkes.)

To sport their season, and be seen no more,—(Cowper.)

Till tired they sleep, and life's poor play is o'er.—(Pope.)

CHAPTER X.

ADVENTURES IN MOSQUITO-LAND.

At the close of the school in July, 1870, a friend of mine, Doctor
B——, of Boston, and I, attracted by the alluring prospectus of a
new town near Plymouth, North Carolina, visited that place via the
Merchant's and Miner's steamship line.

I wrote an account of this pleasure excursion, which was widely copiedby northern newspapers in which I figured as the professor and he asthe doctor, while both of us combined were called the "Shoo-FlyClub." I quote some extracts from the description of this remarkableexcursion.

"On the early morning after our arrival in the Southland, doctor andprofessor, after a brief sojourn in the arms of Morpheus, awoke to acontest which was enough to daunt the stoutest heart.

"Mosquitoes to the right of them, mosquitoes to the left of them,black flies above them, black flies beneath them, buzzed and stabbedwith a vengeance. We lay under our netting appalled at the profanityand ferocity of our foes, caught in a trap from which there seemedto be no escape. The breakfast-bell rang and rang, but we dared notventure out among our bloodthirsty foes, for an array of bristlingbayonets was thrust through the bars long enough to hang our clotheson, and fierce enough to suck every drop of blood from our tremblinglimbs, and our only consolation was that our invariable diet of 'hogand hominy' had so reduced the vital fluid, that our tormentors wouldstarve though we were slain.

"At length a brilliant thought flashed across the mind of the doctor.'The shoo-fly—the shoo-fly,' said he; 'why didn't we think of that?and out he went for his carpetbag, pulled out some suspicious lookingbottles labeled with the mystic words, and made for the bed, entirelycovered with a ferocious cloud of the aforesaid 'skeeters' and fliesstabbing him for dear life. We then proceeded to anoint our bodieswith this preparation, which the doctor declared to be a panacea forall human ills; then completely clad in our armor, we sallied forthto the crusade. Down came the fiends; they cared not for 'shoo-fly,'cared not for blows, and our visions of fortunes to be realized fromour new discovery vanished away, but not so our tormentors.

"Regardless of Mrs. Grundy, regardless of everything save life, theprofessor fled, down over the stairs he fled, pants and unmentionablesflying in the air, to the astonishment of the contraband servantgirls, for the bath-house—here at length plunged beneath the flood hefound relief. After copious ablutions the professor went back for hisfriend, but the valiant doctor had retreated behind the bars, resolvedthere to starve rather than again to face his foes.

"After much parleying the doctor's desire for hog and hominy overcameall his fears, and the club marched to breakfast. Here two servantgirls armed with long fans, fought a cloud of the famished varmints,while the club swallowed hoe cake covered with a copious lather of theflies of the season. At length our appetites or rather we ourselves,were conquered, and retired in disgust, leaving our foes to bury theirdead and divide the spoils of war.

"Our host, who is a true gentleman from Pennsylvania, then ordered thedarkies to harness the span. After the inevitable delays which alwaysattend everything that the fifteenth amendments have undertaken to do,we rode out to view the country; and we now congratulated ourselvesthat our troubles were at an end, but they had but just commenced.Our host had a lame hand, and the professor volunteered to drive;our friends, the varmints, now confined their kind attentions almostexclusively to the horses, which they butchered unmercifully. Oh, suchroads! Boys of New England, if you sigh for 'sunny' North Carolina,go; go by all means, and you will return satisfied that oldMassachusetts, with all its east winds is a paradise compared withwhat we saw in the 'old North State,' or in the 'Old Dominion.'

"But to our journey. The horses floundered through quagmires coveredin some places with logs, which toss and tumble you till every boneaches, floundered and swam through streams reeking with scum fromthe cypress swamps; the roads are about six inches wider than yourcarriage, and the professor found himself obliged to avoid the sharpcorners of fences, on either side the deep ditches on whose very edgeran the wheels; to urge his horses over stumps and fallen trees; towhip them over long snouts of prostrate pigs who refused to budge aninch; to jump them over chasms running dark and deep across his pathand to spur them down sharp, perpendicular pitches which threatened tobreak every bone in his body.

"Here and there we saw a few logs piled up together, flanked by mudand sticks, and dignified by the name of house; the naked piccaninniesrolled in the dust, and the poor-white scowled as he lifted his hat,while we worried our miserable way along.

"Now, by the departure of our friend to look after his business, thedoctor and the professor were thrown upon their own resources forenjoyment. After shooting at the wild pigs for a while, finding therewas great danger of their being melted down into their boots, theythrew off their clothes, and regardless of moccasins, regardless ofspiders and the whole race of poisonous vermin, they plunged to theirnecks into the ditch by the roadside. For long weary hours we wallowedtill the welcome form of our host appeared, and we recommenced thepitching and stumbling of the dangerous return voyage of this, ourpleasure trip.

"For miles the tall, slender pine and cypress-trees festooned withmoss and enormous Scuppernong grape-vines, were unbroken by a singleclearing or a single shanty. The Scuppernong grapes, by the way, are agreat luxury; from these are made a wine equal to anything that can befound (we believe) in the world. One vine is found on Roanoke Island,which is two miles in length, covers several acres of land, and wasplanted by Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition, centuries ago. For milesthat afternoon, we wandered up and down the country seeking for waterfit to drink and finding none; looking at the droves of rollickingdarkies, making collections of souvenirs, gazing at the good-lookingcrops of corn, cotton, sweet potatoes, and still fighting theaborigines, the flies.

"We have seen some toothsome things in the South, some beautifulscenes, but at this season of the year, at least, the flies andmosquitoes ruined all as thoroughly as the harpies of olden timesdefiled the feast of the wandering Trojans.

"The great gala-day of Jamesville has dawned, to-day the great Norfolksteamer honors the town with its presence; everybody (and some more)comes down to the wharf to see the wonderful sight. Here are groups of'F.F.'s' puffing their long pipes and talking the everlasting 'd—nnigg*r'; there are crowds of 'fifteenth amendments' laughingand frolicking like children, and here, too, the flea-bitten,mosquito-stabbed, black-fly tortured Doctor B. and Professor F.,looking northward as the pilgrim to his loved and far-off Mecca. Ascream, a hurrah, a waving of handkerchiefs, and away we go out of thehowling wilderness, all that is left of us, and but little indeed thatis.

"The Astoria, is but a wretched tub, and we crawl along at the rateof four or five miles per hour, halting here and there to avoid thewrecks of the war, panting for breath, longing, 'as the heart pantethfor the water-brook,' to see once more the shores of our beloved NewEngland. Never will this excruciating sail be forgotten. All day—allnight, for long, long, weary hours, the wretched little steamergroaned and screamed its melancholy way over the yellow, nastyRoanoke.

"Hour after hour we sat gazing at the tall cypress-trees and the longtrailing mosses, looking like the pale sickly shrouds enveloping adead and ruined world. Here and there we saw huge nests of thesize and shape of a barrel, and near, on the ruined branch of alightning-struck tree, perched on its topmost bough, the great baldeagle of the South, keeping his sleepless watch and ward, while thewife-bird tended the household gods below. Deadly moccasins andhuge turtles lay listless in the sun, and hundreds of bushels ofblackberries were wasting their sweetness on the desert air. Now andthen there came to us like an inspiration from heaven the ecstaticmusic of the mockingbird, carrying shame and despair to the breasts ofall the other warblers of the aerial choir.

"Nothing could be more inspiring than the notes of this charmingsinger, as we listened to them here amid these melancholy swampsexhaling the sickly miasma beneath this blighting sun, with not abreath of air to lift the blood red banners of the trumpet creepers,or to cool the fevered brow. Melancholy waitings are heard from theswamps, and the waves in parting, look like fields of fire. The windscome to us, but with them no refreshing, for they came over mile aftermile of suffocating, reeking lagoons, stifling with the hot breath ofthe miasma.

"Every now and then the Rip Van Winkle machinery breaks down, and forhours we are motionless, listening per force to the terrific cursingand pounding in the Vulcanic realms below. At length the sun, not likethe rosy-fingered Aurora, daughter of the dawn, but like a huge redmonster intent on devouring the world, shoots at us his blighting,withering lances of scorching heat. We touch once more at Plymouth,which greets us with its usual entertainment of murderous fleas,death-dealing watermelons and chain-lightning whiskey. Our ten minutetouch here lengthened into three horrid sweltering hours owing tothe fact, that the intelligent contrabands were paid by the hour for'toting' the cargo; but off we are at last, thank heaven, and atlength we enter the great canal leading to the North River of Norfolk.

"With chat and jest we were worrying away the leaden-winged hours,when suddenly thug, splash, and like a huge turtle we were flounderingin the mud. 'No moving,' said the captain, 'till the tide comes up;'and so for three mortal hours we lay stuck in the mud at the edge ofthe great dismal swamp of Virginia. 'Ah,' said the mate, 'there is thescene of many a horror, there the nigg*r was torn limb from limb bythe bloodhounds, there the runaway slave chose to endure starvationand death amid deadly snakes and miasma rather than comfort inbondage; there I myself saw crowds of black men swinging from limb tolimb like monkeys over reeking sc*ms to their fever-haunted dens toescape the lash.'

"Thus was the story of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe verified by one ofVirginia's own sons. All the fearful word paintings of Dred floatedagain before our mental vision, and we thanked God that the old horrorof slavery is passed, and that the old flag now floats indeed 'o'erthe land of the free and the home of the brave.'

"But these hours of waiting, like all things earthly, at length hadtheir end, and just as the moon gilded the cypress-trees with goldenglory, the wheels began to move and we again worried our tortuous wayup the North River. 'Ah,' said the melancholy-looking man who hadbeen long gazing in silence at the sad waves below, 'alas, here I am,friendless and alone in this wretched country, peddling beeswaxand eggs for hog and hominy, chills and fever; but I was once aschoolmaster with $1,200 a year, down in Connecticut; wine and womendid it. But,' said he, 'I'll be rich yet—I've got it—I've discoveredperpetual motion, and the world will honor me yet.'

"'Wish you would apply it to this old tub at once,' said theprofessor; and the forlorn peddler went his way to cherish visionsof coming glory. Just then we were electrified by a cheer from thedoctor, as the lights of Norfolk flashed over this splendid harbor,yet to float the commerce of a great city.

"We bade farewell without a single regret to the old tub Astoria,and entered the narrow streets, reeking with the horrors of a thousandand one stenches, stumbling over the prostrate forms of sleepingnegroes to the hotel, where we indulged once more in the luxury of abath, which the nasty water of North Carolina had forbidden for manyweary days. Suddenly the city was aroused by the roll of drums and theshouts of hundreds, calling to a mass meeting in Court House Square.Thither we followed the crowd, listening for awhile to the blatantSouthern orators roaring about the future greatness of the 'Mother ofPresidents,' deploring the reign of carpet-baggers and calling for awhite man's government amidst the shouts of the great unwashed; whilethe sons of Ham looked silently and sullenly on.

"We gladly responded to the steamer's shrill call and sailed away toour home in the great and glorious North."

CHAPTER XI.

IN ARCADIE.

I gladly returned, like a tired child, to the kindly faces and heartygreetings of my loving and much loved father, mother, brothers, greenfields, and all the beautiful children of summer.

"Born where the night owl hooted to the stars,
Cradled where sunshine crept through leafy bars;
Reared where wild roses bloomed most fair,
And songs of meadow larks made glad the summer air,

"Each dainty zephyr whispers follow me,
Ten thousand leaflets beckon from each tree;
All say, 'why give a life to longings vain?
Leave fame and gold: come home: come home again.'

"I hear the forest murmuring 'he has come'
A feathered chorus' joyous welcome home;
Each flower that nods a greeting seems a part
Of nature's welcome back to nature's heart."

The old home was much changed, and for the better. With much patienttoil, the unsightly rocks and stumps had been removed from the fieldswhich sloped gracefully to the little river and were covered withtall, waving, luxuriant grasses, starred with buttercups, clover, anddaisies. The dilapidated house and barn had given place to modernbuildings; apple, pear, and peach-trees, covered with fragrantblossoms were substituted for their decayed and skeleton prototypes;the narrow, crooked, muddy lane, where horses and wagons had struggledthrough the knee-deep, and often hub-deep sticky clay, had become afirm and fairly straight highway.

My house in the tree on the hilltop, where I had often rehearsed myorations and sermons in such stentorian tones that the amazed cowslifted their tails on high and took to their heels, welcomed me backembowered in leafy new-grown branches.

My second brother, realizing that as "unto the bow the cord is, asunto the child the mother, so unto man the woman is—useless onewithout the other," had taken unto himself a good wife, the daughterof the deacon, our next neighbor. My mother thus had a much neededhelper, as their farms, like their owners, were joined in wedlock.

[Illustration: I Rehearsed My Orations with Startling Effect.]

The worthy deacon and my deeply religious father alternately led thefamily devotions, and peace and comfort prevailed. The mowing machine,horse-hoe, corn-planter and power-rake dispensed with the drudgery ofthe scythe and back-breaking hand tools. A protective tariff had setthe mill wheels rolling in the neighboring cities, thus furnishingexcellent markets for all the products of the farm. The sky-scrapingshoe manufactories, where men, like automatons, delved night and dayfor a few weeks and then leaving them to semi-starvation for the restof the year, had not yet arrived.

One of my brothers had, like most of the farmers of that day, hislittle shop where in winter he coined a few hundred dollarsmaking boots and shoes, and where I earned many precious pennies,blackballing the edges and occasionally pegging by hand, all of whichis now done by machinery.

We could now afford occasional holidays, when we all gaily sailed downthe river, dug clams, caught lobsters in nets, regaled ourselves withtoothsome chowders, broils and stews in the open air, and had manyrollicking good times swimming in the breakers, frolicking, old andyoung, like children. We pitched our tents on old Bar Island, slept onthe fragrant hay at night, played ball, and renewed our youth inhalingdeep draughts of the salty wind which bloweth in from the sea.

When sailing home one day with a wet sheet, a flowing main, and abreeze following far abaft, we espied a boat submerged to the gunwhalefloating out to sea. Throwing our yacht up into the wind, we took thecraft in tow to the landing, and were surprised and delighted beyondmeasure to find it nearly half full of fine large lobsters, heldthere by a wire netting. For weeks we and all the neighbors held highcarnival boiling and eating the luscious crustaceans.

We had much merriment one day on a fishing excursion at the expenseof a parsimonious member of our crew. At first he alone pulled in themuch prized tomcods and flounders. "Well," said he, "I think we bettergo in, each one for himself." "All right," was the reply, but soonstingy ceased to catch any, while the rest of us pulled in the fish asfast as we could throw the hooks. Mr. Greedy looked very solemn, andat last, unable to repress his selfishness longer, shouted: "I thinkwe better share all alike!" "Too late," was the chorus, and while hecarried home but a beggarly string, the rest rejoiced in our greatabundance.

These seem like little incidents, light as airy nothings, but theycome back to memory in the twilight of life when other and greaterevents are all forgotten.

When the crops were all harvested, and the winds and snows of wintershut me out from my woodland, river, and seashore haunts, I grew wearyof the monotony of the indoor country life, and once more went to thecity of Boston in the endless quest of the unattainable.

Restless as the sea, we are never satisfied this side the stars; butwe are all looking forward to that sweet by and by, "as the hartpanteth for the water brook."

I shall be satisfied, not here, not here
Not where the sparkling waters fade into mocking
sands as we draw near,
Where in the wilderness each footstep falters,
I shall be satisfied; but, oh, not here.

Not here, where every dream of bliss deceives us,
Where the worn spirit never finds its goal,
But haunted ever by thoughts that grieve us,
Across our souls floods of bitter memories roll.

Satisfied, satisfied, the soul's vague longing,
The aching void, which nothing earthly fills,
Oh, what desires upon my mind are thronging,
As my eyes turn upward to the heavenly hills!

Shall they be satisfied, the spirit's yearning,
For sweet communion with kindred minds?
The silent love that here meets no returning,
The inspiration, which no language finds?

There is a land, where every pulse is thrilling,
With rapture, earth's sojourners may not know,
Where heaven's repose the weary heart is stilling,
And peacefully earth's storm-tossed currents flow.

Far out of sight, while yet the flesh enfolds us,
Lies that fair country, where our hearts abide,
And, of its bliss, naught more wondrous is told us,
Than these few words, I shall be satisfied.

CHAPTER XII.

FROM PHILISTINE TO BENEDICT AND A HONEYMOON.

The fates, who lead the willing-and drive the unwilling, guided me tothe old time firm of B. & T. publishers. They were overwhelmed withapplications from the great army of the impecunious, and did not wishto pay any more salaries; but "mercy tempers the blast to the shornlamb," and they persuaded me, by a tender of large profits on theirWorcester's Dictionaries, to strike out on my own hook and endeavorto induce a reluctant public to buy these instead of the populardictionaries written by "Noah Webster who came over in the ark."

The special prices granted by the publishers enabled me to undersellthe wholesalers, and by securing their adoption as regular text-booksby school boards, I made more money than ever before in my life,sometimes from $25 to $100 per day, consequently the firm finding Iwas filling the markets and my own pockets so that they had no salesat regular prices, hired me at a liberal salary as representative ofall their publications.

In this business I won my "double stars," although the competition wasintense. I often found as many as twenty agents at the same time andin the same town, log-rolling with school committees for the adoptionof their books, the merits of the publications "cut but little ice."Nearly every school official "had his price," wanting to know whatthere was in his vote for him, and the agent who best concealed thebribery hook by dining and wining teachers and committeemen, fillingtheir libraries with complimentary books and their pockets with secretcommissions, "caught the most fish."

When among Romans, I was, much to my disgust, obliged to do asRomans did. I would often go to cities where my opponent's readers orarithmetics had been adopted the night before, point out the defectsof rival publications, give an unabridged dictionary to each official,offer a ten per cent. commission to the "king pin," take the board ina hack to their headquarters, secure a reconsideration, telegraph formy books, and the next day with express wagons and helpers, put ourreaders into every school in the town.

This was sharp practice, prices were cut, until finally, we gave newbooks in even exchange for old ones, trusting to future sales toreimburse us, but when they needed another supply, they would swapeven with another publisher, so that our bread cast upon the watersnever returned.

We often secured "louder calls" for influential teachers and clergymenin reciprocation for their votes, bought anything they had to sell attheir own prices until many publishers became bankrupt; the big fishswallowing the little ones, and then came the survival of the longestpurse.

One evening, after my day's work in the city of G—was ended, beinglonesome in my hotel, I thought of a family residing there who had asummer residence in R——, and concluded to renew my acquaintance withthe eldest daughter with whom I had enjoyed many rides and sails, andto whom I had quoted many romantic poems the previous season.

With fear and trembling, for I was always a bashful youth, I rang thedoor bell, and was ushered into the parlor where I caught my firstglimpse of a fair-haired, rosy-cheeked, graceful younger sister towhom, at a glance, I knew I was married in heaven.

Whence came that vital spark blending our souls in one? Had we livedand loved on some fairer shore? Who can tell? Had our spirits beenwandering through the universe millions of years seeking each theother, nor finding rest until we met? Only the angels know.

All we knew and all we seemed to care to know was that at last eachhad found the "alter ego" for which it pined. There were no otherson earth—father, mother, sister, brothers, came and went almostunheeded. Strange as it may seem, on this evening of our firstmeeting, we told each other the old, old story, first told in Eden,reiterated by millions since, and will continue to be rehearsed untilGabriel through his trumpet sounds the final love song to the world.

With favoring winds, o'er sunlit seas,
We sailed for the Hesperides,
The land where golden apples grow;
But that, ah that was long ago.

How far, since then, the ocean streams
Have swept us from that land of dreams,
That land of fiction and of truth,
The lost Atlantis of our youth.

Ultima Thule, utmost isle,
Here in thy harbors for a while,
We lower our sails; awhile we rest
From the unceasing, endless quest.

For a long time I had divided homes and a divided heart, one at theold home with the old folks, the other in the city by the sea.

In our new-born and first-born enthusiasm, we applied to Mary'sparents for an early union of hands as well as hearts; but they wiselyinsisted upon a year's interim, promising that, if at the end of thistrial time our ardor had not cooled, they and the minister would"bless you my children," and our hearts should beat as oneforevermore.

The course of true love never did run smooth, and when the claimingday arrived, Mary's mother told me that she had been credibly informedthat another girl had a prior claim to my promised hand. I protestedin vain, and, as the daughter was invisible, I left the house in arage.

A week, which seemed like a century, passed by on leaden wings inwhich I strove to drown my sorrows in the "flowing bowl" of hard work,and foolish declarations that "I didn't care"; then came a kind letterfrom Alderman B——, gracefully apologizing for his wife's mistakenassertions, stating that "Mary was giving them no peace day or night,"and inviting me to call at my earliest convenience.

The very next train took me to the old familiar trysting-place, oncemore the white-winged dove of peace brooded over the B—mansion,and we all, especially the parents, fully realized that in order toappreciate heaven we must have at least seven days of hell.

Shortly after, at the home of the bride's parents, we twain were madeone in the presence of numerous friends and presents; the old shoesand rice were duly showered, and we were off for a month's tour, and alifelong honeymoon.

During this wedding tour, at the request of my employers, I combinedbusiness with pleasure, the firm generously paying all our expenses,and continuing my salary.

We visited many cities, greatly enjoying their varied attractions; butthe business part of our journey, which was collecting large sums ofmoney due for books, was not particularly delightful, as the banks hadall suspended specie payments as a result of the "green back craze,"and I was often obliged to resort to legal measures and attachments ofproperty, to secure from reluctant book sellers the sums long overdue.

At one hotel we met with an adventure which well-nigh proved serious.I was awakened at night by the flash from a bull's eye lantern, asense of suffocation and a scream from my wife. A masked burglarwas before me, pressing to my face a handkerchief saturated withchloroform, and endeavoring to take from under the mattress a largesum of money which I had collected the day before.

"No noise," said he, "your money or your life."

"All right," said I quietly, "I'll get it for you." He stepped back apace, I quickly pulled from under the pillow my self-co*cking revolver,and fired in rapid succession.

His pistol exploded at nearly the same time, he dropped to the floor,his light vanished, and for a time all was darkness and suspense. Iexpected another bullet any moment, and seeing nothing to fire atmyself, feared to jump from the bed lest I be seized by invisiblehands of the desperate villain. Then came shouts and pounding uponthe door by neighbors aroused by the uproar. Encouraged by thereinforcements, I struck a light but the ruffian had escaped throughthe open window on to a piazza roof, thence by a pillar to the ground.

Then we were besieged by excited inquirers, and the rosy-fingeredAurora, daughter of the dawn, appeared before the calm which succeededthe storm.

Shortly after our return from this journey, a great light went out onearth to shine in heaven. My wife's father suddenly left the body,—hedid not die, for

There is no death, what seems so is transition,
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
Whose portal we call death.

Alderman B—— was a gentleman of the old school, a loving father, avery successful business man, managing marine railways, ship-buildingand repairing, as well as grain mills. We missed him sadly; but wereconsoled by the reflection that our great loss was his eternal gain.

My eldest brother, and two of my brother Mark's children, at aboutthis time crossed the same bright river and rested under the shade ofthe celestial trees.

Myself and wife had intended to live in G——, but as her father wasgone, and as she had formed a strong mutual attachment for my family,my wife the following summer took much pleasure in building a handsomecottage nearly opposite my father's house, and on a beautiful lot ofland given us by my brother. We formed a literary and musical club,which met weekly at our house, making it the social centre of theentire town.

I was elected chairman of the school committee, and proceededvigorously in a crusade against ignorance; but soon found thatthe life of a reformer is crowned with more thorns than roses, athousandfold! I removed incompetent teachers who, by their sillyquestion and answer methods, were producing parrots—not scholars.

On one occasion, when I substituted a trained normal school graduatefor a useless dancing doll who had made herself popular by flatteringparents and coddling their children, all pupils were withdrawn fromthe school. I told the new teacher to ring the bell, take in sewingif she wished, and draw her salary even if she was left alone in herglory; then I notified the parents that unless they at once sent theirchildren to the school, I should have the pupils arrested for truancy,and themselves fined for violating the laws of the state. Moralsuasion had failed; but the strong arm of the law prevailed, and theysoon acknowledged that the new instruction was the best they had everhad in the district.

Much time had hitherto been worse than wasted by cramming the mindswith the jaw-breaking names of unimportant rivers, mountains,descriptions of all the frog ponds in Ethiopia, and other uselesstrash in the so-called geographies; in memorizing the obsoleterules of duodecimals, compound proportion, etc., in the arithmetic;long-winded, unpractical rules for grammar, etc.

I issued a circular eliminating this trash from the course of study,substituting the practical short cuts of modern business principles,and in this, also, I met with opposition from the "moss-backs," whoinsisted that what they had learned in the year one was good enoughfor their children; they wanted no "new-fangled" notions.

They reminded me of the way-back-hard-shell preacher whose hymn bookhad been stuffed with profane poems by some lewd fellows of the basersort. He always opened at random and, trusting to divine guidance,read the first hymn that presented itself; he commenced: "We will singtogether the one thousand three hundred and forty 'leventh hime."

"'All around the cobbler's bench the monkey chased the weasel—'"

He was amazed; the congregation was dumbfounded. Taking off hisspectacles, wiping them carefully, he put them on his nose again,gazed at the book in consternation: "Well," said he, "I never seedthat hime in this yer hime-book before; but the Lord put it in, andwe'll sing it whir or no," and proceeded:

"'The preacher kissed the cobbler's wife, pop goes the weasel.'"

As I have said before, it requires a surgical operation to getprogressive ideas through our thick heads; but the knife was usedfreely by me, and I had the satisfaction as well as the odium ofinfusing much young blood into the worn out educational body during mytwo years' service as school superintendent in this town.

A few of us wasted our money in building a new church, dedicated tothe teaching of the advanced thoughts of the liberal faith; but thepeople were joined to their idols, and it is now deserted, though the"little leaven has largely leavened the whole lump" of the ancienthell fire theology.

It is very, very hard to endure the slings and arrows of the jealousand envious for whose good you are toiling; to be slandered andreviled by your neighbors whose feeble intellects fail to appreciateyour strenuous efforts to push forward the car of progress in theirmidst; but the consolations expressed in this poem bring balm to everywounded spirit.

"I know as my life grows older,
And mine eyes have clearer sight,
That under each rank wrong, somewhere,
There lies the root of right.
That each sorrow has its purpose
By the suffering oft unguessed;
But as sure as the sun brings morning,
Whatever is, is best.

"I know that each sinful action,
As sure as the night brings shade,
Is some time, somewhere punished,
Though the hour be long delayed.
I know that the soul is aided
Sometimes, by the heart's unrest,
And to grow, means often to suffer;
But whatever is, is best.

"I know there are no errors
In the great eternal plan,
And all things work together
For the final good of man.
And I know when my soul speeds onward
In the grand eternal quest,
I shall say, as I look earthward,
Whatever is, is best."

CHAPTER XIII.

THE ANGELS OF LIFE AND DEATH.

By and by unwonted silence and anxiety reigned in our house. Thefamily doctor remained all night, then a faint cry was heard, andlittle baby May came into this world of ours,

"The gates of heaven were left ajar;
With clasping hands and dreamy eyes,
Wandering out of paradise,
She saw this planet, like a star;
We felt we had a link between
This real world and that unseen."

These beautiful lines of one of the sweetest of earth's singers, cameto us like a new revelation at the advent of our first-born, as alsothose other immortal words—

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.
Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From heaven, which is our home."

Our little vocalist commenced rehearsing for her chosen profession thevery minute that she first saw the light, and she certainly continuedthe development of her lungs with marvelous persistency. Then hernumerous grandparents, uncles, and aunts all vied with each other inpetting and spoiling the one pet lamb of the several families, and shebasked in the sunshine of unlimited affection.

A few bright years sped by, all roseate with love, prosperity andcontentment in this happy valley. Then two little cherubs, just alikeas "two peas in a pod" came to us at dawn of day, like twin raysfrom the rising sun, their blue eyes beaming with smiles which havecontinued ever since.

We named them Ada and Ida: but were obliged to label them to tell"which was which," and said label is essential for distinguishment tothis very day, though twenty-four bright summers have passed since thesight of them first gladdened our hearts.

But almost with the sunbeams came the terrible cloud overspreading allour lives. The mother had scarcely welcomed the twin buds of promise,when she faded away like a flower and was

"Gone beyond the darksome river,
Only left us by the way;
Gone beyond the night forever,
Only gone to endless day;

Gone to meet the angel faces,
Where our lovely treasures are;
Gone awhile from our embraces,
Gone within the gates ajar."

There seemed to be no light left on earth; the sun was blotted outforever,

Oh glory of our youth that so suddenly decays!
Oh crimson flush of morning that darkens as we gaze!
Oh breath of summer blossoms that on the restless air
Scatters a moment's sweetness, and flies we know not where!

"A boat at midnight sent alone
To drift upon the moonless sea;
A lute whose leading chord is gone;
A wounded bird that hath but one
Imperfect wing to soar upon,
Are like me
Oh loved one, without thee;"

but the pitiful wailings of the twin girl babies called me back toearth again, and I took up the cares of existence, though they seemedgreater than I could bear.

The largest church in the village was filled to overflowing withsincere mourners, for the sweet face of the departed had broughtgood cheer into many darkened households in our town. All sectarianbarriers were for the time burned away by the flame of sympathy, andwonderful to tell, the Universalist clergyman who married us wasallowed to pronounce the eulogy in an orthodox Congregational church.

When the organ pealed the requiem and the choir chanted the ever dearwords of the hymn—

"Only waiting till the shadows are a little longer grown,"

and closing with the triumphant expression of a deathless faith; itrequired but a little imagination to see the light streaming throughthe open door of heaven, and to hear the responses of the angel choirfrom the great cathedral on high, and we wended our homeward waythinking not of "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," but of the disembodiedspirit to be our guardian angel forevermore.

"Faith sees a star, and listening love hears the rustle of a wing."Infinitely sad was the passing of our beloved, to those left in theearth-life; but soothingly comes to us the song chanted by the choirinvisible whenever a soul escapes the mortal coil:

"Passing out of the shadow,
Into a purer light;
Stepping behind the curtain,
Getting a clearer sight.

"Laying aside a burden,
This weary mortal coil;
Done with the world's vexations—
Done with its tears and toil.

"Tired of all earth's playthings,
Heartsick and ready to sleep—
Ready to bid our friends farewell,
Wondering why they weep.

"Passing out of the shadow
Into eternal day—
Why do we call it dying,
This sweet going away?"

CHAPTER XIV.

TRIBULATIONS OF A WIDOWER.

But we must descend from the sublime to the stern realities of thisworkaday world. Of all the people on this earth, a lone, lorn widowerwith three babies on his hands, is the most forlorn and miserable.Take care of them himself he cannot, and if he hires the ordinarywoman to do so, she immediately sets her cap for him, and leavesno stone unturned to secure him for a husband, especially if he ispossessed of some of this world's goods which she covets with all hermind and soul.

Words are inadequate to describe the annoyances I endured for twoweary years from this class of women, who seemed to be the onlyones who would come to a lonely country home to assume suchresponsibilities and endless labors. The world seemed full of theseanxious but not aimless women, who claimed to adore little children;but who really cared for nothing except to capture a "widower withmeans."

One nurse carelessly slipped on the stairs, and the twins went flyingfrom her arms through the air down the long passageway, apparentlyto their death; only a miracle saved them. I picked up the littlewingless cherubs, scarcely bigger than my fist, and their blue eyessmiled at me, as if they had really enjoyed their aerial flight.

They seemed to have a charmed and charming existence; they were theadmiration of all the people far and wide who flocked to our house tosee and fondle the really "heavenly twins." My business kept mefrom home nearly all the time; but my father, mother, brother, andsister-in-law kindly watched my caretakers with argus eyes, and theso-called triplets throve wonderfully day by day.

Whenever in my absence, my good childless brother and his wife foundone of my hired women unworthy, he would tell her to pack her trunk,then he would drive her to the depot, banish her from the townover which he long reigned as chairman of the selectmen and Staterepresentative, telegraph me to hunt up another one, and thus the roadto the station was nearly worn out, and the railroad receipts weregreatly augmented.

One of these women, while I was far away, greatly scandalized thewhole town by leaving the "light infantry" to their fate one Sunday,and indulging in the pious delights of shooting wood-chucks. Myindignant brother and his father-in-law deacon disarmed the jezabel,made her sleep in the barn that night, sent her off flying the nextmorning, and personally, tenderly as mothers, watched over thechildren until I arrived with another nurse.

One woman whipped little May secretly with a stick; but the victim'swonderful lungs aroused my mother who, reinforced by the entirefamily, overpowered the virago, and sent her off on the next train.It is evident from these thrilling recitals that I was not a goodmind-reader of woman character; but they were as sweet as angels whenI was at home, and evidently the unwonted self-restraint to thusappear reacted very forcibly when the widower was out of sight.

I vowed in my wrath that I would never again speak to a woman outsidemy own immediate family. I tried in vain to hire men nurses, and Isympathized with Paolo Orsini, who slipped a cord around the neckof Isabella di Medici, and strangled her; I almost envied Curzon ofSimopetra who had never seen a woman. But I soon found that thismisanthropy was unjust, that I misjudged the pure depths of life'sriver by a little dirty froth floating upon the surface.

Women can no more be lumped together in level community than men canbe. There is an ample variety of tenacious womanly characters betweenthe extremes marked by Miriam beating her timbrels, and Cleopatraapplying the asp; Cornelia, caring for nothing but her Roman jewels;Guyon, rapt in God; Lucrezia Borgia raging with bowl and dagger, andFlorence Nightingale sweetening the memory of the Crimean war withphilanthropic deeds.

What group of men can be brought together more distinct inindividuality, more contrasted in diversity of traits and destiny,than such women as Eve in the garden of Eden, Mary at the foot of thecross, Rebecca by the well, Semiramis on her throne, Ruth among thecorn, Jezabel in her chariot, Lais at a banquet, Joan of Arc inbattle, Tomyris striding over the field with the head of Cyrus ina bag of blood, Perpetua smiling on the lions in the amphitheatre,Martha cumbered with many cares, Pocahontas under the shadow of thewoods, Saint Theresa in the Convent, Madame Roland on the scaffold,Mother Agnes at Port Royal, exiled DeStael wielding her pen as asceptre, and Mrs. Fry lavishing her existence on outcasts?

CHAPTER XV.

FAITH SEES A STAR.

One day I was introduced by a friend to a very attractive ladyschool-teacher, who combined with superior domestic training,elocutionary and musical accomplishments. She was so sincere andsympathetic that I found myself almost unconsciously expressing thesame sentiments that I had spoken to another long ago in the city bythe sea.

The love which I supposed had passed on forever to the other world,seemed to be sent back to me through the opening clouds of evening bymy self-sacrificing spirit bride, to give to another who would loveand cherish the helpless little ones who so needed a mother's care.

I poured forth all my sorrows, troubles, perplexities and needs to acongenial, sympathetic spirit, and she consented to go to my home andtake up the burdens which the ascended mother had been required by theangel-world to lay down.

On the arrival of the new housekeeper, order was evolved out of chaos;the children received the best of care, and the horse a much neededrest after his arduous labors in carting to and from the depot thenumerous hired women who had been "weighed in the balance and foundwanting." In the following month of roses, Lillian concluded that my"first glance" attachment was reciprocated; we were married in herfather's house at Allston; we enjoyed a brief tour of the WhiteMountains, and then settled down in our cottage to our life work. Thepeace of God, which always comes, sooner or later to those who striveto do their duty, was ours, and the inspiration of Whittier's sweetpoem "My Psalm" brought infinite consolation to our blended lives.

"I mourn no more my vanished years;
Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,
My heart is young again.

"All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
Than all my prayers have told.

"All the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,
And all the angles of its strife
Slow rounding into calm.

"And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the sunbeams play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day."

CHAPTER XVI.

ON THE POLITICAL STUMP.

I had always been somewhat prominent in politics, being President ofthe Republican Club in our town, and that autumn I was hired byDr. George B. Loring to conduct his campaign for the position ofRepresentative in Congress; this I accomplished so successfully thatJudge Thayer, the chairman of the State Committee, hired me to stumpthe Commonwealth against General Butler and in favor of the Hon.George D. Robinson as candidate for Governor. This campaign will longbe remembered as being the most fiercely contested of any in thepolitical history of Massachusetts, and many incidents in my career asa public speaker are much pleasanter in the reminiscence than in theendurance. One will suffice by way of illustration.

Free speech was not tolerated by our frantic greenback opponents, andstale eggs with decayed cabbages hurled at the heads of Republicanorators were the strongest arguments used by the General's admirers tocombat our appeals for protective tariff and sound money. At a meetingof our state committee in Boston, Judge Thayer announced that GeneralHall of Maine, one of our most brilliant speakers, could not reachRockport, where he was billed to hold forth, before ten o'clock thatevening, and called for volunteers to hold the audience for two hours.Rockport was almost solid for Butler, and his friends had declaredthat no Republican should speak there, consequently no onevolunteered. At last, the Judge, in despair, said:

"Foss, will you go?"

"I shall obey orders," was my reply, amid cheers of the much-relievedshirkers, and I bolted for the train.

On arriving at my destination, I found the station crowded with ahowling mob, and the Republican town committee were franticallyshouting: "General Hall, General Hall!" "Here," said I, and only bythe vigorous aid of the clubs of the police was I hustled through theembattled hosts to a hack, which took me to the hall where I walked onthe shoulders of a friendly uniformed club to the platform, whichI finally reached with torn apparel and in a condition of almostphysical and mental collapse.

The "hail to the chief," by the band was drowned by the cat-calls:"Put him out!"—"Duck him!"—"Ride him on a rail!" etc., etc., Yellsof the Butlerites who had packed the hall. At last I got my "mad up,"and rising, I lighted a cigar, puffed vigorously, and smiled uponmy uproarious foes. This astonished the "great unwashed," and a bigIrishman jumped on the stage, shouting:

"Shut up, shut up, byes! Let's hear what the cuss has to say; he's acool un."

There was silence. Taking out my cigar, I laughed long and loud.

"What you laughing at?" howled the mob.

"This reminds me," said I, very slowly, "of a little story."

"Out with it," was the response.

"When I was a teacher in Marblehead," drawled I, "I had occasionto wallop a boy with a cowhide. I made him touch his toes with hisfingers and laid on the braid where it would do the most good; themore I whaled him the more he laughed. I laid on Macduff with a'damned be he who first cries hold, enough,' determination, and yethe laughed. 'What you laughing at?' cried I. 'Oh, ha, ha, ha, you'relicking the wrong boy,' giggled the unspeakable scamp. It's just thatway here. You gentlemen are licking the wrong boy; I am not GeneralHall, at all, I am Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant." The crowdroared: "He's a good un, let's hear him—ha, ha, ha, he's a good un,"and for two hours I had as good-natured an audience as you ever saw.

"You say you don't want a protective tariff; you don't want soundmoney. Well, you remind me of the man who killed his father, mother,brothers, sisters, and when condemned to death he begged the judge tohave mercy upon a poor orphan. You have killed the tariff twice, andnearly every mill wheel stopped, and you and I had to beg from door todoor or live on dry crackers and shin-bones. Do you want that kindof provender again? Butler says, 'give us greenbacks by the ton, andeverybody will be rich.' You tried that once and you carried yourmoney to market in a bushel basket, and brought back the dinner youbought with it in a gill dipper. Do you want any more such times?"

"Be Gorrah," cried my big Irish friend, "that's so: I rimimber itwell. I'd forgut it; the bye's right, he is."

"Yes," I yelled, "Butler says he'll leave the Republican party out inthe cold. It reminds me of the old farmer who rushed outdoors in hisbed-shirt, bareheaded and barefooted in winter, grabbed a barking dogwho was disturbing his rest, by the ears; his wife came down to hunthim up. 'What on airth, father, you doin'?' she cried, as she saw hisknees knocking together, and his teeth chattering with the cold. 'I'vegut the cuss,' he shouted, 'and I'll hold him here till he freezes todeath.'

"You'll hold your employers out in the cold, will you? Well, who'llfreeze to death first if you stop the factories? The owners who haveplenty of money, or you who are dependent upon the work they give youfor every cent you get? General Butler who lives in a palace, anddrives a kingly equipage tries to frighten you by painting thebugaboo; 'the rich growing richer, and the poor growing poorer,' thatsoon a half-dozen plutocrats will have all the money there is in theworld, and then the rest of the people will all starve. It reminds meof the old farmer who set up such an outrageous looking scarecrow inhis field that the crows not only let his present corn alone, but theyactually brought back in their terrible fright all the corn they hadstolen in the previous ten years. Are we craven crows to be scared bysuch windy effigies?"

Thus having caught their attention by light weight stories, I gavethem broadsides of facts and arguments until I won the greatestpolitical fight of my life. We won a famous victory; the workers,as usual, were soon forgotten; the elected exulted in their briefauthority; the defeated at once began log-rolling for the nextelection, and so the office hunting strife goes on forever. After thisI resumed the work of my crusade against ignorance and bad literature,having had my pockets well filled by those who are always eager totrade money for fame.

Our home was three miles from the railroad station, and the wintrywinds with deep snows made the frequent journeys to and fro overthe bleak, uncomfortable country roads, extremely cold and oftenhazardous.

I had endured for years these alternate freezing and roasting ridesfor the pleasure of living near the old folks; but now the numerouscolds and coughs resulting from the exposure drove me to move nearerto the depot, and we bought a large three-story house with barn andfourteen acres of land on High Street in the city of N——.

We rejuvenated our old castle with paint, new boiler and paper,letting loose upon our devoted heads numerous fevers and otherdiseases which generations had stored up on the walls, all eager fornew victims. Strange it is, that all bad things are so contagious andso long-lived to punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty.

Upon me, the descendant of a long line of farmers, fell theagricultural fever, and I broke my own back as well as that of thehired man, cultivating that sterile soil where my potatoes cost meabout a quarter of a dollar a piece, and each blade of grass, sicknessand much hard-earned cash. We made the old place to bud and blossomlike the rose, but the game as usual was not worth the candle, and anulcerated sore throat which some predecessor had breathed uponthe paper which we tore off, left me a walking skeleton, whenex-Congressman Loring, then United States Commissioner of Agriculture,came to my relief by appointing me his deputy for Florida at a goodsalary, to investigate and report upon the developed and undevelopedresources of that State, and its attractions for northern settlers. Igladly accepted this commission to serve my country, for—

Somewhere the sun is shining,
I thought as I toiled along
In the freezing cold of the winter,
Yes, somewhere the sun is shining
Though here I shiver and sigh,
Not a breath of warmth is stirring
Not a beam in the arctic sky.

Somewhere the thing we long for
Exists on earth's wide bound,
Somewhere the heat is cheering
While here winter nips the ground.
Somewhere the flowers are springing,
Somewhere the corn is brown,
And is ready unto the harvest
To feed the hungry town.

Somewhere the twilight gathers,
And weary men lay by
The burdens of the daytime,
And wrapped in slumber lie.

Somewhere the day is breaking,
And gloom and darkness flee;
Though storms our bark are tossing,
There's somewhere a placid sea.

And thus, I thought, 'tis always
In this mysterious life,
There's always gladness somewhere
In spite of its pain and strife;
And somewhere the sin and sorrow
Of earth are known no more;
Somewhere our weary spirits
Shall find a peaceful shore.

CHAPTER XVII.

THAT EDDYFYING CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.

This season there broke out in our community, as elsewhere, what hasalways appeared to me, to be a distemper, misnamed by its craftycreator, "Christian Science." Unchristian scienceless would be a moreappropriate name, as the so-called divine revelation was made to itsEddyfying high priestess about 1800 years after the sublime careerof Christ was ended, and its preposterous claims antagonize everyprinciple of modern science.

This craze seized certain discontented young women who studied"Science and Health" under the tutorage of its author, and they soonbecame too transcendental to perform the useful duties of life,posing as teachers of the "utterly utter." It monopolized the feebleintellects of some farmers' boys, who at once began to try to get alazy living by sitting beside sick women with their hands over theireyes, ostensibly engaged in prayer, but really endeavoring to preyupon the weak minded.

Some superstitious people who had been long under the care of aregular physician, and who were just at the turning point of receivingbenefit therefrom, took an "Eddy sitting" and jumped to the conclusionthat said mummery affected a miraculous cure.

As a drowning man clutching at a straw, I confess that I acceptedthe offer of treatments, made by a pleasant lady "Christian science"doctor. I found it tolerably agreeable to sit by her side, holding hersoft hand while she assumed an attitude of supplication, but my maladywas in nowise benefited thereby. This amiable lady finally loaned me acopy of their sacred book called "Science and Health," expressing theopinion that a careful reading thereof would renew my youth and makeme a believer in their modern Eleusinian mysteries forever.

I read this preposterous book with all the earnestness andprayerfulness of which I was capable; but found it to be aheterogeneous conglomeration of words—mere words, a hodge podge ofall the exploded philosophical, religious, and scientific heresies ofthe past ages, so cunningly jumbled that the gullible, unable tofind any meaning to it, conclude that it is too profound for theircomprehension, and unwilling to acknowledge the fact for fear of beingcalled ignorant, solemnly pronounce it to be great.

One quotation will reveal the utter nothingness of this book, from thesale of which "Pope Eddy" is said to have realized, a half-milliondollars. Says this modern goddess: "The word Adam is from the HebrewAdamah, signifying the red color of the ground, dust, nothingness.Divide the name Adam into two syllables, and it reads a dam orobstruction. This suggests the thought of something fluid, of mortalmind in solution."

Like all the other humbugs of superstition, this new doctrine seemsto me to contain but a single drop of truth submerged in an ocean offolly. Mary Baker G. Eddy, the great high priestess, claims to possessthe power to heal the sick and raise the dead; yet she has retiredwith much lucre to her palatial residence, lives like a queen, rollingin luxury, refusing to exercise her pretended healing power upon thethousands writhing in agony and whom she claims to be able to cure.Surely her "Key to the Scriptures" should thunder in her ears theanathema, "To him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him itis a sin."

I, too, claim a great discovery, a new "sacred book," which I havebeen inspired to write, and if people will give it the implicit faithrequired to benefit by "Christian Science," I will guarantee to cureall mental ills, and to bring eternal peace on earth. I herewith givemy revelation to all, without money and without price, in strongcontrast to the mercenary methods of the Eddy healers. My "science andhealth" is multum in parvo. Here it is:

Columbus discovered the new world; but his wife discovered the oldworld. The name of his wife, of course, was Columba, which in Latin,means a dove. Columba, the dove, flew forth from the ark, and sodiscovered the Eastern Continent. Columbus sailed from G—noa;but Columba sailed from Noah, and when the gods saw her with theolive-branch, they said "blessed be the dove, for whosoever shallreceive her by faith into his heart, the same shall be free fromunrest and from war forevermore."

Faith can remove mountains, and faith is all there is to "ChristianScience," so far as we have been able to ascertain. We concede to itsmany devotees an almost unlimited amount of this saving grace; butsincerely claim that our "Columba science" will be equally efficientfor good if received in the same spirit which has greeted the newgospel promulgated by Saint Mary Baker G. Eddy. Selah.

[Illustration: We Steamed up the Lordly St. John's River of Florida.]

CHAPTER XVIII.

IN THE LAND OF FLOWERS.

After these scientific investigations, my wife and I left New Englandcovered with snow and swept by fierce, freezing winds to find thisfar-famed peninsular basking in delicious sunshine, the air full ofthe exquisite perfume of orange blossoms and the songs of rejoicingbirds. It was an enchanted land, the balsamic odors from the beautifulevergreen pine forests starred by the fragrant magnolia blossoms ofspotless white, exorcised the ulceratic demons from throat and lungs.

We feasted upon the delicious fruits and vegetables fresh from thetrees and earth, and the returning healthy appetite was refreshed bytender venison, wild turkeys and quails from the woods, nutritious andabundant fish and ducks from the lakes and rivers. It was a new heavenand a new earth, full of gladness and semi-tropical luxuries.

As soon as the hospitable people learned that I represented ourbeloved Uncle Sam, I was overwhelmed with free passes and free hotels,anywhere and everywhere.

The Count De Barry, who had amassed a vast fortune as the Americanrepresentative of "Mum's Extra Dry," and who had received numerousvaluable seeds and shrubs from our generous department, took us on hispalatial steamer for hundreds of miles up the lordly St. John's River,where we feasted our eyes upon acres of wild ducks, pelicans, cranesand many huge, lazy alligators floating on the waves, rejoicing in thelife-giving beams of the sun.

The stately trees along the banks, old when Adam was a baby, werecovered with flowering vines of wondrous beauty and fragrance; thenvast orange groves appeared covered with blossoms, small and ripefruit all at the same time; numerous herds of cattle standing kneedeep in the water, leisurely browsing upon the river plants both onthe surface and under the shallow river.

We would anchor, and throwing a clasp-net which spread out on thebottom and then closed like a purse, we pulled in excellent fish bythe hundreds; sitting on the canopied deck we shot ducks which thenegroes captured in small boats, and soon served cooked for ourdelectation; pineapples and berries were brought from the shore, infact, it was a lotus-eater's dream of paradise, and seemed to be aland and a river "flowing with milk and honey."

The words from Willis' confessional came floating to our minds.

"On ocean many a gladsome night,
When heaved the long and sullen sea,
With only waves and stars in sight,
We stole along by isles of balm;
We furled before the coming gale,
We slept amid the breathless calm,
We flew beneath the straining sail.

Oh, softly on these banks of haze
Her rosy face the summer lays,
Becalmed along the azure sky
The argosies of cloudland lie;
The holy silence is God's voice
We look, and listen, and rejoice."

When the night fell, and one by one, in the infinite meadows ofheaven, blossomed out the beautiful stars, the forget-me-nots of theangels, they seemed so near that you almost expected to touch themwith the hand, and the silver moon arising, set the clouds on firewith gladness and "left upon the level water one long track and trailof splendor, down whose stream we sailed into the purple vapors, tothe islands of the blessed, to the kingdom of Ponemah to the land ofthe hereafter."

While thus we dreamed, the balmy zephyr brings from the forecastle toour delighted hearing, the tinkling music of the banjo and guitar, themelody of the singing voices and dancing feet of our freedmen boat'screw. The lines of Whittier were resurrected in our thoughts.

"Dear, the black man holds his gifts
Of music and of song,
The gold that kindly nature sifts
Among his sands of wrong,
The power to make his toiling days
And poor home comforts please;
The quaint relief of mirth that plays
With sorrow's minor keys."

For they sang among others the identical words of the poet'sexpressive song,

"Ole massa on he trabbels gone,
He leaf de land behind:
De Lord's breff blow him furder on,
Like corn-shuck in de wind:
We own de hoe, we own de plow,
We own de hans dat hold,
We sell de pig, we sell de cow,
But nebber chile be sold.

De norf wind tell it to de pines,
De wild-duck to de sea,
We tink it when de church-bell ring,
We dream it in de dream,
De rice-bird mean it when he sing,
De eagle when he scream,
De yam will grow, de cotton blow,
We'll hab de rice and corn;
Nebber you fear, if nebber you hear
De driber blow his horn."

And so all too quickly passed that ideal night, without thought ofsleep, till the rising sun shot his radiant beams over the greatriver, when we steamed slowly up to the long pier, and walked underan arch of stately palms to our host's beautiful home, embowered inorange trees and luxuriant trumpet creepers in this summer land ofperpetual bloom.

Close by the Count's residence was a lake of sulphur water, gushingfrom deep down in the earth. Into this we plunged and swam until weseemed to be born again into immortal youth, then on the broad piazzawe enjoyed a feast which would have delighted Jupiter and all hisgods, every course of which was taken from the adjoining trees,grounds and waters.

We then inspected the great plantation, where was found growing inprofusion, everything essential to the wants of the most fastidiousof mortals, while the surrounding woods and river teemed with a greatvariety of fish and game.

I roam as in a waking dream
The garden of the Hesperides,
And see the golden fruitage gleam
Amid the stately orange-trees.

Unfading green is on the hill,
The vales are decked with countless flowers,
While hums the bee, the song birds trill
Sweet music through the sunny hours.

The moss is waving in the gale
From live oak, hickory, and pine,
And draping like a bridal-veil
The beauteous yellow jessamine.

Through countless vistas in the wood
I see the windows of the morn
Ope to the world a glowing flood
Of glory when the day is born.

And when, with robes of Tyrian dye,
The evening comes when day is done,
I see around the radiant sky
A hundred sunsets blent in one.

We parted from our genial entertainer with much reluctance when thesuperintendent of the railroad claimed us as his guests, and withhim, we inspected the famous orange groves along his line, resting onSunday at a palatial hotel where the St. John's River broadens intothe great Lake Munroe.

While at church we were much entertained by the lively, frolicsomemanoeuvres of the numerous beautiful chameleons of rapidly changingcolors, who greatly distracted the attention of the congregation fromthe service by their pranks on the walls and decorations.

Directly in front of us was a sleepy, bald-headed man upon whoseshining, nodding, snoring pate several flies were resting in quietenjoyment of the sermon. All at once, this toothsome collectionattracted the attention of a very large bright-eyed chameleon admirerwho launched himself through the air upon said bald head in pursuit ofhis dinner. With a yell of fear, the sleeper struck the animal withhis huge hand, sending the long tailed frolicsome creature heelsover head directly upon the clergyman's manuscript, and the alarmedpreacher, in turn, with a smothered imprecation and a sweeping blow,hurled the sprawling legs and elongated tail down upon some frightenedchildren who screamed and tumbled over each other upon the floor in astruggling heap.

This was too much for the pent-up risibilities of the audience wholaughed long and loud, greatly to the disturbance of the solemnity ofthe occasion. The witty minister remarked that this addition to hisflock, like some church members, seemed to care more for the carnalthan the spiritual, and proceeded to the thirteenthly division of hisdiscourse.

From here we traveled for hundreds of miles over the flat, monotonous,arid sands of south Florida, where green grass and fresh gardenvegetables were unknown, frequently remarking that if we owned theselocalities and hades, we would give away the former and live in thelatter place. But when we retraced our steps, and reached the richhighlands of the northern counties of Marion, Bradford, and Clay,found the earth covered with green grass in winter, the treesbeautiful with blossoms and luscious oranges, the air fragrant withrare flowers, and resonant with songs of birds, saw the plantersshipping thousands of crates of fruit and vegetables, and finallyarrived at the far-famed Silver Springs, it seemed as if we had foundPonce de Leon's fountain of immortal youth.

The crystal clear waters of this wonderful spring, or more properlycalled lake, gush in immense volumes seemingly from the very centre ofthe earth, spreading out until wide and deep enough to float a greatnavy, and are so transparent that multitudes of fishes are seendisporting among marine plants and shells plainly discernible hundredsof feet below.

Here we embarked on a comfortable steamer, and sailed nearlytwenty-four hours down the incomparable Ocklawaha River, throughscenes that are indescribably picturesque; under arches of gigantictrees covered with sombrely beautiful Spanish mosses and trumpetcreeper vines, where all day long are heard the ecstatic songs ofmockingbirds, and where flutter the plumages of all the colors of therainbow.

[Illustration: The Indiscribably Picturesque Ocklawaha River of
Florida.]

Swiftly the golden hours fly, as we float over this marvelous river;softly the dusky boatmen chant their love songs, the fires from their"fatwood" cauldron on the upper deck illuminates the stately trees,and the strains of the poet, Butterworth, come plaintively to ourmental hearing.

"We have passed funereal glooms,
Cypress caverns, haunted rooms,
Halls of gray moss starred with blooms—
Slowly, slowly, in these straits,
Drifting towards the cypress gates
Of the Ocklawaha.

"In the towers of green o'erhead
Watch the vultures for the dead,
And below the egrets red
Eye the mossy pools like fates,
In the shadowy cypress gates
Of the Ocklawaha.

"Clouds of palm crowns lie behind,
Clouds of gray moss in the wind,
Crumbling oaks with jessamines twined,
Where the ring-doves meet their mates,
Cooing in the cypress gates
Of the Ocklawaha.

"High the silver ibis flies—
Silver wings in silver skies;
In the sun the Saurian lies:
Comes the mockingbird and prates
To the boatman at the gates
Of the Ocklawaha.

"Now the broader waters gleam—
Seems my voyage upon the stream
Like a semblance of a dream,
And the dream my Soul elates;
Life flows through the cypress gates
Of the Ocklawaha.

"Ibis, thou wilt fly again,
Ring-dove, thou wilt sigh again,
Jessamines bloom in golden rain;
And a loving song-bird waits
Me beyond the cypress gates
Of the Ocklawaha."

CHAPTER XIX.

SUNBEAM, THE SEMINOLE.

When I had concluded the recitation of the poem which closes thepreceding chapter, a fine-looking gentleman sitting near us arose, andlifting his hat very gracefully, said:

"Pardon me. As a native Floridian, I have much enjoyed hearing yourepeat that poem relating to my State."

This led to a pleasant conversation, during which he introduced us tohis wife as being one of the aborigines. We expressed much interest inthis statement, and finally persuaded him to give us an account ofhis courtship, which, with some amplifications, was substantially asfollows:

It is midnight in the vast everglades of Florida. The mammoth foresttrees seem to support the arch of heaven as the pillars uphold thegreat dome of the nation's capitol. Here and there the century-oldorange trees are resplendent with the golden globes of the lusciousfruit, and millions of flowering vines beautify even the dead monarchsof the woods.

All these tropical splendors are illumined by the rays of the fullhunter's moon, which transforms the trailing streamers of dewy Spanishmoss into long-drawn chains of sparkling silver. From swamp andfoliage the voices of the night fill the balmy air with quaveringwailings, punctured by the occasional screams of wild-cats andhootings of the melancholy owls. Here in this forest primeval, midthe murmuring pines and star-eyed magnolias, nature rules supreme,uncontaminated by the trammels of civilization.

But what is that? Surely human forms swinging noiselessly from limbto limb over dark pools where the deadly moccasins and ferociousalligators slumber, over stagnant lagoons beautified by great lilies,and densely populated with rainbow colored fishes, and gaily decoratedby water-fowl now all motionless in the embrace of sleep, the brotherof death.

The moonbeams reveal a band of broad-shouldered, copper-coloredaborigines, who once ruled over the whole of this fair peninsular.They are returning, with packs of supplies strapped upon their backs,from a trading journey to the city of Kissimmee, where they haveexchanged the fruits of their hunting for many-colored calicos,ammunition, and alas for the once-noble red men! fire-water. They hadleft their canoes when they could no longer be floated, and are nowreturning in this, the only possible manner, to their fertile oasis,protected from the white men by many miles of bogs into which all foottravelers would sink to unknown slimy depths and death.

On they come in single file, hand over hand from tree to tree, theirlong legs dangling in the air, led by Tiger-tail, the chief of thesurvivors of the most intelligent and powerful of all the Indiantribes. Suddenly the leader stops, gives the low cry of the Ring-dove,which halts his followers, and suspended in air, gazes at the sleepingform of a young white man, reclining, with his rifle beside him, ona hammock which rises dry and grass-covered above the surroundingmorasses.

Motioning his band to follow, the chief drops noiselessly beside thesleeper, stealthily seizes the gun, revolver, and bowie-knife of thehelpless victim, hands them to others, and shouts "Humph, wake up!"The pale-face reaches for his weapons, and finding them gone, jumps tohis feet, gazing without flinching at his stalwart captors.

"Who you be?" grunted the chief. "What for you here?"

"I am Henry Lee of Lawtey," was the calm reply, "and I am hunting."

"Humph, you white man hunt Seminole from earth. You no right here. Youmy prisoner; follow me, my slave."

As resistance was useless, the youth silently obeys, climbing hourafter hour until his arms seemed about to be wrenched from theirsockets. At last, just as the rising sun shot his lances of lightthrough the forest's gloom, the chief drops to solid earth, followedby all.

A romantically beautiful scene lies before them. No longer thestyx-like waters; the funereal realms of Pluto have vanished, and anelevated plateau appears, partially cleared. Here and there gracefulpalms, tall, slender cocoanut and orange trees laden with fruit;sparkling springs; abundant harvests of varied crops; picturesquewigwams and huts, fair as the garden of the Lord. A pack of dogsstarted to yelp, but at once slunk away at a word from the chieftain,who points to a hut, quietly saying: "Go in there till I call you."

Henry obeyed, and exhausted with his journey, sank quickly to sleepupon the straw-covered floor. At length, when the sun was high in theheavens, he was awakened by a black man, who placed before him somevenison and corn bread, then silently withdrew. After satisfying hishunger, he went out to explore.

It was an ideal scene of tropical luxuriance; cattle and sheep werefeeding upon the abundant grasses; but they suddenly took to theirheels, with uplifted tails and terrified eyes, at the sight of hiswhite face, a spectacle never before seen on this oasis, peopledhitherto exclusively by "Copperheads." Swarms of children wereshooting their arrows at deer-skin targets; groups of braves,fantastically attired, lounged under the shade of the wide-spreadingumbrella trees, smoking fragrant tobacco in long-stemmed pipes, butthey did not deign to give the visitor even an inquiring glance.

Henry interviewed a number of negroes hoeing corn and sweet potatoes,who informed him in broken English that they were the slaves of theIndians; that they had never heard of the civil war, nor of AbrahamLincoln. They claimed to be well treated, and were contented, havingplenty to eat and no very severe labor. They cast anxious glancestowards the village, and seemed glad when he walked away, sayingthey had never before seen a white man and thought he must be "bigmedicine."

The birds were singing gaily, all nature smiled complacently, and hestrolled over the flower-bedecked fields into the recesses of theforest, where he seated himself under a blossom-covered magnoliaaround which twined the fragrant jessamine. He gave himself up today-dreams. All at once a light, moccasined footfall is heard, andthere stepped from the woods an Indian girl, graceful as a fawn, withher head crowned with flowers, and softly singing a strange, sweetsong in an unknown tongue. When the stranger was seen she started toflee, but with a smile he beckoned her to stop, which she did, asthough hypnotized.

"Oh," she whispered, "you are the pale-face my father has captured;but if Tiger-tail should see me speaking to you, he would kill usboth. Such is the law of the Seminoles. No Indian maiden must speak toa white man; but I never saw such as you before."

"But, how happens it," said he, in astonishment, "that you speak mylanguage?"

"My father taught me," was the reply, "he is a scholar; we all speaksome American."

"May I know your name?" asked our hero.

"I am Sunbeam, daughter of the Seminole chief."

"And mine is Henry Lee," he replied to her inquiring look. "Youare well named," he continued. "I have seen many daughters of thepale-faces; but none so fair and bright as you. Sunbeam, at this myfirst glance, I love you; can you sometime love me?"

"I do love you now," replied the artless girl; "the Great Spirit tellsme to do so; but we must not be seen together; they will kill us, wemust part at once."

"Dearest," cried Henry, "when can we meet again?"

"To-morrow at noon," came the impulsive reply. "In my cave there backof that cypress; no one is allowed to enter but me; there I say myprayers, and my father says it is sacred to me alone. Good-bye,Henry," and she sped like a deer into the shades of the forest.

The youth was sincere, for it had flashed upon him like an inspirationwhen their eyes first met, that she was born for him, and he for her.They were married in heaven, ages ago. It came like a word from theInfinite to these kindred souls. A sudden rent in the veil of darknesswhich surrounds us manifests things unseen. Such visions sometimeseffect a transformation in those whom they visit, converting a poorcamel driver into a Mohammed, a peasant girl tending goats, into aJoan of Arc.

This love-flash from the invisible blent these two hitherto widelyseparated souls into one, even as the positive electricity leapsthrough the spaces to find the negative, and when met, dissolves theseparateness into a harmonious oneness which can never be sundered.The unsophisticated Indian maiden went her way, thrilling with thethought that her heart is in his bosom, and his in hers, useless onewithout the other.

The white youth was suddenly changed from an idle, wandering,purposeless dreamer, into a fearless lover, ready to face death itselfto secure the object of his worship, and he sauntered back to his hutwith no flinching from the many dangers which surrounded him.

There a black slave met him, bearing an abundant feast. "Eat," saidthe negro, "and then go to the lodge of Tiger-tail, the largest in thevillage, with the skin of a tiger stretched on the door."

As soon as Henry had assuaged his hunger, he hastened to obey thesummons. As before, no human being noticed him, and he walked tothe wigwam, knocked on the door-post, and answering the "come" fromwithin, entered. To his astonishment, the giant leader was evidentlytrying to read a newspaper, but took no notice of his entrance forsome minutes, when he suddenly said:

"What is this?" pointing to a line of what Henry saw was the messageto Congress of the President of the United States. The chief watchedclosely as his captive slowly read:

"The Seminole Indians have been driven by our troops to theirfastnesses in the swamps of the Everglades, and it is for Congress todecide whether they shall be further punished for their outbreak."

The chief slowly rose to his frill height, and walked in silence for along time, when he turned to our hero, and fastened upon him his eagleeyes. "Humph," at length he muttered, "the pale-face rob Seminole ofeverything else, now he follow us here:—no, the great father mustknow the truth, you teach me to write him, no white man ever come hereand go away to tell, you stay here always; you no speak to any onehere but me, you set down, teach me."

For a long time Henry labored hard to show this remarkable savage howto read and write. No teacher ever had a more attentive pupil; but itwas very difficult for his untutored mind to master these, to him,puzzling hieroglyphics. At length, Tiger-tail arose, and saying in anexasperated tone:

"Humph! Damn! Me kill something, me mad! You come here every day whenI send for you," and seizing his rifle, and pointing the youth to go,he strode savagely away into the woods.

The youth returned to his hut, and wearied with his unusual labors,was soon asleep, dreaming all night of the loved Sunbeam, whom hehoped would soon irradiate the darkness of his life. The hours of thenext day dragged away on leaden wings, and the trysting hour drewnear; but to his utter disgust, just as he was on the point of goingto his beloved, the negro appeared summoning him once more to thechief, and his heart sank with fear that their secret was discovered.

Tiger-tail betrayed no emotion, and for a long time teacher and pupilstruggled with their tasks as before, until the Indian, unable torestrain his pent-up restlessness longer, strode away to seek reliefin the chase, leaving Henry to wend his way with many watchful glancesto the shrine of his worship.

While walking slowly and circuitously to avoid suspicion, and closelyscrutinizing the trunks and tops of trees for any spy who might bewatching, he noticed a slight movement of the tall grass around afallen cypress, and rushing to reconnoitre, a warrior leaped to hisfeet and dashed into the underbrush. Then the youth realized thatsuspicious eyes were following him, and that he was risking his lifeto meet the daughter of the chief.

He dared not enter the mouth of the cave; but walked through the thickbushes above it much depressed in spirit, when suddenly he heard hisname softly called, and looking downward, saw an opening into theearth large enough to admit his body. "Drop down this way," waswhispered, and after assuring himself that no spy was in sight, heobeyed, falling into the arms of the waiting girl.

"Henry," said she, "I was followed; but no one knows of this entrancebut myself; close it with this shrub. We are watched, and must nevermeet here again."

"But, dearest," sobbed the youth, "life is not worth living withoutyou; we must escape together this very night."

"I will go with you to the ends of the earth," was the reply. "I lovedyou long before you came here; I have the gift of second sight. Monthsago I saw you coming to me. I have explored the way to the greatriver. At midnight, meet me under the great cypress, throw thisperfume to the dogs and they will not bark;" she handed him a smallvial. "I must go; you follow when you hear the King-dove coo; go toyour hut." She embraced him, and was gone.

Soon, he heard the signal, and he cautiously raised himself to theupper air, returned to his wigwam, and was soon enjoying rapturousdreams with his head resting where he knew the rays of the moon wouldshine into his face to awaken him at the appointed time for flight.When he peered anxiously through the entrance of his wigwam at alittle before midnight, he was appalled at the sight. A multitude ofdogs surrounded the hut, ready, evidently by their yelpings, to bringdown upon him the whole tribe of Indians, should he try to escape.

"Alas," thought he, "there are battles with fate which can never bewon," and for a moment he seemed paralyzed at his doom. Then cameto mind a recollection of the perfume given him by his thoughtfulSunbeam, and he resolved to do or die.

Noiselessly as a shadow, he stepped out, hoping to escape theattention of his canine guards; but in a moment, every cur was on hisfeet and were about to make the welkin ring, when he threw at theleader the contents of his vial. Instantly, all fawned at his feet,and he hastened to his rendezvous.

Not a sound was heard save an occasional snore from some sleeper, andsoon he found his faithful sweetheart in the shadow of the century-oldcypress. She quickly slung his rifle across his back, fastened abouthim the revolver and bowie-knife, bound over her own shoulder a bag ofprovisions; "follow me," she whispered, and away they sped into thevast primeval forest.

For hours they hastened in silence, then the maiden halted at the edgeof a dark morass, and whispered: "Here we leave the earth; I knowthe way," and they launched themselves into the limbs of the trees,clambered hand over hand for a long, long time; when well-nighexhausted, they dropped down into a little brook, carefully avoidingany contact with the tell-tale earth.

"Quick," said Sunbeam; "we must hasten up this stream which willconceal our footsteps, to the great river, where we can hide and restin a great hollow tree which I found there," and on they went withtheir feeble remnant of strength.

At last, just as the rising sun was dispersing the vapors of night,our elopers swung themselves from the brook into the branches of anoverarching hollow tree, helped each other to the bottom of this housenot made with hands, and soon slept the slumber of utter exhaustion.It was many hours before tired nature's sweet restorer released thesetwo loving children from its embraces, and then it seemed as if allthe fiends from heaven that fell had pealed the banner-cry of hell.

The howls of dogs, and the savage war-whoops announced that theirenemies were upon them; but undismayed by the terrible dangers, theyresolved to die together rather than endure separation.

"My father never loved me," whispered Sunbeam, "because I am a girl,while he hoped for a warrior child; if they find us, kill me; I cannotlive without you."

"We will go to the Great Spirit together, beloved," was the calmreply.

Soon they heard the voice of Tiger-tail close to them, talking to hisbraves. "They no cross river," he said; "all canoes here, dogs no getscent, all back to swamp, we find um there, you, War-Eagle, watchcanoes." Again the air resounds with the yells of dogs and warriors,then all was silent.

"War-Eagle hate me," whispered the maiden, "cos I no be his squaw; butwe must go before they return." Slowly the lovers pulled themselvesupward by the ingrown stumps of limbs, and, concealed in the thickbranches, looked around; no one was in sight except the Indian leftto guard the canoes, and he was reclining on the bank of the river,evidently exhausted.

Noiselessly they lowered themselves to the ground and approached therecumbent brave, when a loud snore showed that their enemy was in theland of nod. "Take my revolver," said Henry, "and shoot—if we must,"then, making a slip-noose of the stout thongs which had bound theprovision bag, he deftly slipped it around the arms of the Indian, andwith a quick jerk he was firmly bound.

The savage tried to grasp his gun, but, unable, was about to give thewhoop of alarm, when the youth clapped his hand over the vast mouth;the red man subsided, was quickly gagged and tied to a tree.

"Now, darling, to our boat," and into it they jumped, and Henry bentto his oars with all his might. On they sped in their light canoe,these two hearts beating as one, towards liberty and the loved oneswaiting to welcome them in the white man's home. "Dearest Sunbeam,"said Henry, resting for a moment on his oars, "soon you will be thefairest flower in my garden of home."

"Oh, Henry," was the faint reply, "I am but a simple Indian girl, and
I know so little."

"But it will be our delight to live and learn together," said Henry,"for—

"'Thou art all to me, love, for which my heart did pine,
A green isle in the sea, love, a fountain and a shrine.'"

On they glided, out of that paradise of nature, where every prospectpleases, and naught but man is vile. Sunbeam left the place of hernativity without a lingering glance behind, for there she had beennothing but an unwelcome girl.

In a pretty cottage in Lawtey, you may now see Sunbeam, the Seminole,wife of a successful planter, Henry Lee, beloved by all who know her,surrounded by orange groves and fragrant flowers in that land ofperpetual bloom.

CHAPTER XX.

A FOUNDER OF TOWNS AND CLUBS.

My ship of life was laden to the water's edge with labors ofvarying utility. We founded the Apollo Club, a musical and literaryorganization including in its membership the most prominent men andwomen of the city; we gave entertainments with our orchestra, singingsociety, and costumed dramatic stars, which gave us ample funds topay for numerous delightful steamboat excursions, sleigh-rides andpicnics, while developing our latent talents, and greatly enhancingthe social life of our community.

I refer to this with much pleasure, as it led to the formation ofsimilar societies in many surrounding towns, much to the benefit ofall concerned. I made an elaborate report of my Florida observationswhich was printed entire by the United States Department ofa*griculture, widely distributed, and stimulated many to benefit theircondition by securing comfortable homes in that land of fruits,flowers and delightful climate.

That year the angel world sent us our bright-eyed, smiling littleElizabeth, thus making our trio of sweet singers a quartette to shareour joys and lessen our sorrows, coming like the dews from that heavento which we all return when our mission to refresh and inspire theearth life is ended. It is interesting to note the varying definitionsof the word, baby, which have floated down to us in the literature ofall nations. Here are some of them which I have culled from variousauthors:

"A tiny feather from the wing of love, dropped into the sacred lap
of motherhood."

"The bachelor's horror, the mother's treasure, and the despotic
tyrant of the most republican household."

"A human flower untouched by the finger of care."

"The morning caller, noonday crawler, midnight brawler."

"The magic spell by which the gods transform a house into a home."

"A bursting bud on the tree of life."

"A bold asserter of the rights of free speech."

"A tiny, useless mortal, but without which the world would soon be at a standstill."

"A native of all countries who speaks the language of none."

"A mite of a thing that requires a mighty lot of attention."

"A daylight charmer and a midnight alarmer."

"A wee little specimen of humanity, whose winsome smile makes a good man think of the angels."

"A curious bud of uncertain blossom."

"The most extensive employer of female labor."

"That which increases the mother's toil, decreases the father's cash, and serves as an alarm clock to the neighbors."

"It's a sweet and tiny treasure."

"A torment and a tease,"

"It's an autocrat and anarchist,"

"Two awful things to please."

"It's a rest and peace disturber,"

"With little laughing ways,"

"It's a wailing human night alarm,"

"A terror of your days."

And this final definition which exactly describes each of ourquartette,

"The sweetest thing God ever made
And forgot to give wings to."

To crown the honors which this year were thrust upon me, my politicalparty tendered me the nomination for mayor of the city; but when Iascertained the fact that I would be obliged to bribe the 300 roosterson the fence who held the balance of power, and who must be paid twodollars each to persuade them to come off their perch and vote, Ipreferred the $600 to the empty honor, and declined.

It is said that dame fortune knocks once at every man's door, butthe old woman sent to mine later, her ugly-faced unmarried daughter,mis-fortune. At the request of some of the Boston newspapers, I wrotean account for the press of my Florida journey and observations, whichattracted much attention and many callers, among whom were the F——brothers, of Boston, who painted the attractions of a town of OrangeCounty in such glowing colors, that I was induced to visit said placein summer accompanied by my friend, lawyer S—— of Newburyport.

We found even the summer climate very agreeable the location veryattractive, and the general prospects for a northern colony therequite promising. We wandered through the woods far and wide, shootingquail, an occasional wild turkey, caught fish from the numerousbeautiful lakes, sleeping sometimes under the pines, then in houses,whose owners were away visiting with no thought of locking their doorsin this land where thieving was unknown. We led a real Bohemian lifein Arcady, quietly bonding hundreds of acres of land, and havinglocated a hotel and townsite between two charming lakes, leaving aMr. G—— W—— a friend of the F—— brothers, as superintendent, tosecure more lands and to cut avenues, we went home, where we formed asyndicate stock company of which I was elected general manager, withfull powers to sell $50,000 of stock with which to pay for the bondedlands and the building of a hotel.

I sold the stock at $100 per share, giving one acre of land with eachshare of said stock. This would have been a very successfulenterprise had it not been for the cunning duplicity and greed of oursuperintendent, who proceeded diligently to "feather his own nest"at our expense. I accomplished my task of raising funds verysuccessfully, and the next winter moved with my family to A——,taking with us a competent engineer, a Mr. H——, to survey and stakethe lands.

Here I unearthed the rascality of the superintendent, who, besidetaking our salary and commission for buying lands, had extorted largecommissions and bonuses from the sellers, which came out of our fundsin increasing the prices for which the lands were charged to ourcompany. In addition to this he had hired a large force of negroesat high wages, on which he drew a secret commission, opened a store,selling so called canned peaches,—which really contained much whiskeyand few peaches—to his workmen, and thus getting all their wages.

I at once discharged all the superfluous negroes, built a fine hotelwhich was soon filled with a superior class of people from the north,set out orange groves for non-resident stockholders, and all wouldhave been well, had it not been for the extraordinary action at theannual meeting of the stockholders.

While I was engrossed with my many duties, the superintendentcunningly went north and secured proxies in his name, and returning,beat me by two votes, secured for himself my position as generalmanager, and then proceeded to wreck the whole enterprise, much tohis own pecuniary benefit, while my friends who had invested on myrepresentations, blamed me for their losses though I was entirelyinnocent of any wrong whatever.

To cap the climax, this superintendent refused to make an accountingfor several thousand dollars with which I had entrusted him to makepurchases of lands on my personal account. I secured a warrant for hisarrest, chased him half over the county with a sheriff, and broughthim to the city for trial. On our way to the hotel, I was set upon bya crowd of roughs who had been dined and wined by said W——, and whothreatened to lynch me. I backed up into a corner of the hotel piazza,laid my hand on an imaginary revolver, threatening to shoot, and wasdefending myself with a whirling chair, when the sheriff's posserushed to my deliverance in the nick of time, and W—— was forced tohand over my money.

He then made life unbearable by sending negroes at night in my absenceto annoy my family, who escaped injury only by the vigorous use of arevolver by my wife who defended the little ones by numerous shotswhich sent the tormentors flying to the woods. This unscrupuloussuperintendent secured by his cunning a large amount of our funds; butit was a curse to him for he squandered it in riotous living.

When he married he chartered a large steamer and brass band, took onboard a crowd of guests, champagne flowed like water, every luxury wasfurnished liberally, and the excursion was a prolonged debauch.

To-day this fellow is a fugitive from justice, forsaken by wife andfair weather friends, and thus really, if not literally, is fulfilledthe prophecy of the poet,

"Her dark wing shall the raven flap
O'er the false-hearted,
His warm blood the wolf shall lap
E'er life be parted,
Shame and dishonor sit
O'er his grave ever,
Blessing shall hallow it
Never, no never."

CHAPTER XXI.

A MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS WITH A ONE DOLLAR CAPITAL.

Soon after my encounter at S—— with the unspeakable W——, I metMajor St. A——, who gave a cordial invitation to myself and family tobecome his guests in his new town of T——, with a view to securingour cooperation in the development of his multitudinous schemes. Thisinvitation we accepted, and very early one beautiful morning in March,my wife, four children and myself, with driver and guide, embarked ona "prairie schooner," drawn by three horses, for the promised land.

It was an ideal drive through many miles of fragrant, towering pinetrees, fording beautiful lakes, catching fish, shooting game, campingfor refreshment on the banks of crystal clear brooks. The oldest girlswould ride on the horses' backs, chase quails, pluck the waysideflowers, occasionally watching the flight of paroquettes flashing likediamonds through the air, listening to the mockingbirds filling thewoods with their exquisite songs, and inhaling as it were the ether ofthe immortal Gods, the matchless, perfumed, life-giving Florida air.

All at once, with little warning, as is usual in semi-tropical lands,the night fell, and our learned guide suddenly found that he had lostthe trail. The owls hooted, the wild-cats screamed, likewise the"kids," with overpowering fear. We plunged ahead at random, when wesuddenly found the water pouring through the bottom of our "schooner."The horses reared and plunged, snorting in terror probably at the nearapproach of some water snake or alligator.

We might have been all drowned, had we not discovered a lantern hungin a tree by our expectant friends, towards which we steered ourcourse to dry land. By the aid of the light we found the trail, and atlength reached the Major's hotel, hungry and tired. Here we found ourembarrassed host haggling and swearing with a bearer of provisions whor*fused to leave the goods until he received his payment therefor.

Our landlord appeared to be "dead broke," but finally persuaded thereluctant provision-dealer to go away with his pockets filled with"I.O.U.'s" instead of cash, and about midnight on the verge ofstarvation we fully appreciated an abundant feast. We soon found thatour, enthusiastic friend was trying to do a million dollar businesson a one dollar capital. He was building two railroads, running asteamboat line, a hotel, a sawmill, building a town and a fiftythousand dollar opera house for a one hundred population town, withnot a dollar in his pocket.

[Illustration: Flight of the Governor and Staff.]

The next day we sailed on his steamer to meet the governor of thestate, and his staff who were invited to attend a ball in his honor.The crew was mutinous on account of receiving no pay, the antiquatedmachinery broke down every few minutes, and the Major had a fiercequarrel with a negro minister who had paid first-class fare andrefused to take second-class quarters, to which all colored folks wereforced at the muzzle of the revolver, and a bloody race battle wasonly avoided by the fact that the negroes were entirely unarmed.

At length, loading the deck with wild ducks, and fish that fairlyjumped into the little boat to avoid their enemies, the ferociousgar-fish, we took the governor and staff on board, and floundered backat a snail's pace to T——. At the landing, we boarded a dilapidatedstreet car drawn by mules, for the hotel.

Soon—crash! bang, a rail gave way, sending the dignifiedgovernor,—stove-pipe hat flying in the air, coat-tails covering hishead,—into a ditch, his long legs kicking frantically to extricatehis head from the mud. We rescued him and staff with difficulty fromthe filth, looking like a bedraggled pack of half-drowned rats.

Finally we reached the hotel, when the colored orchestra fromJacksonville rushed upon our host demanding their pay in advance,with furious oaths and unclassical imprecations. In some way, theembarrassed diplomat silenced their clamors; then the colored waitersstruck for their pay, and "razors were flying in the air." The furiouslandlord at last quieted their clamor with a shotgun, and at aboutmidnight the grand march was sounded, and a nearly famished crowd madedesperate efforts to look cheerful and "trip the light fantastic toe."All earthly horrors have an end, and in the wee small hours a starvingmultitude was treated to a barbacue by our half-crazed host.

Almost every white man in this town sold chain-lightning whiskey, andin our short walk from dance hall to hotel we were obliged to jumpover the prostrate forms of drunken darkies.

As in the lowlands, bordering upon large bodies of water, in alltropical and semi-tropical countries, we found, to our horror anddismay, the mosquitoes in ferocious, bloodthirsty swarms whichrendered life not worth the living; so, as soon as we could, withoutseriously offending our host, we took our flight, at least what littlethere was left of us, to the delightful highlands of Marion County.

Here, free from the horrors of mosquitoes, we recruited our attenuatedbodies at the elegant Ocala House, thence by rail to Jacksonvillewhere we took the steamer for home. Off Hatteras we encountered a wildstorm which sent our great boat well-nigh to the stars, then with analmost perpendicular plunge, almost to Davy Jones' locker, until, withthe nauseating sea-sickness, we were afraid, first that we should dieand later we only feared lest we should not die.

At last the young cyclone subsided, and we sailed over a tranquilsea into Boston harbor, thence by rail to our Bay state home. AtJacksonville, by the way, we had an experience quite characteristic ofthose ante-free-delivery days of old. I went to the post-office forour mail, having but a few minutes to spare before the departure ofthe north-bound train. To my disgust, I found a line of negroes nearlyhalf a mile in length waiting their turns for calling for letters. Onewould step to the window and in an exasperatingly in-no-hurry way,say: "Anything for Andrew Jackson, sah?" After a long delay—"no!"

"Do yer 'spect dere may be soon, sah?"

"Did you expect any?" came the reply.

"No sah, but sumbudy might write, sah."

"Gwan, next!" Then some white man in a hurry would step up tonext—"here's a quarter for your place, git aout!" The darky wouldpocket his money with a broad grin, and but for his ears, the top ofhis head would be an island.

I could not wait, and would not bribe, so went to the door of theoffice, and kicked and banged furiously. "G'way fum de doo'! What dehell you do on de doo'?" came from the inside.

"I'm a government officer from Washington," I shouted. "Open the dooror I'll knock it down." Out popped the "cullud pusson" profuse inapologies. I grabbed my mail and rushed for the train in the very nickof time.

CHAPTER XXII.

PENDULUM 'TWIXT SMILES AND TEARS.

In many particulars this year of our Lord, 1883, was a sad one for usall. The pecuniary loss, resultant upon the town-building disaster,was severe; but the revelation which came to me of the innate meannessof human nature in matters of money, was the more depressing by far.

It was amazing to hear wealthy people, who had bought of me a fewhundred dollars' worth of stock, and who really felt the loss of itmuch less than they would suffer from a fly bite, whine as if this hadreduced them to the direst poverty, and insinuate that I, who had lostmanifold more than they, should refund, though the loss was entirelythe result of their own stupidity in failing to send me the proxies Ihad asked for by mail.

We consoled ourselves, as usual, with the knowledge that we had actedhonestly and conscientiously towards all, and that the miseries ofthis short life are "not worthy to be compared with the glory whichshall be revealed in us in the near future of the life eternal."

The blue arch above us, ever changing like the sea, has alwayspossessed a peculiar fascination for me, and I never let slip aconvenient opportunity to feast my eyes upon it. I was pursuing thisfavorite occupation one day this year, when an unusually beautifulcloud attracted my attention, and as I watched its rapidly changingforms, there was slowly evolved from it the kindly loving face of mymother. It was no fancy, no distorted figment of a dream. The dearface smiled upon me with angelic sweetness, glanced upward, and wasgone; then I knew that I had another guardian angel in heaven.

In a short time, news came from R—— that she who had gladly devotedher life to self-sacrifice for her children, had been relieved fromthe always weak and suffering body.

Dear, good mother! Her highest and only ambition was to do good; nota selfish thought ever even flitted across her horizon. Frank as theday, constant as the sun, pure as the dew; like our Lord himself, shesacrificed herself for the good of others. Her sons, Richard and Mark,welcomed her at the gates ajar, and she was at rest.

What is death but a journey home?
A perfect rest when the work is done,
A gentle sleep for earth-weary eyes,
And the soul ascends to the azure skies.

We in the earth life went on as best we could. My only brother Joshuasold the old homestead with its burdens, too heavy for him to bearalone, bought our former home for one-half it had cost us, which wasmuch more than any other would pay for it; while we sold our castleand farm which had become a mountain on our shoulders, and went tolive with my wife's parents in Boston, where I continued my work ofintroducing the school text-books which had been sold, and myself withthem, to a New York publishing firm.

When the winter winds and snows began to blow, I longed for the balmyzephyrs of fair Florida, and like the summer birds, I once morejourneyed southward; there, after a long search for the bestthroughout the land of flowers, journeying in steam yachts, row-boats,on horseback, and sometimes hand over hand on the branches of trees,over tracks inaccessible in any other manner, I formed another stockcompany consisting of several financiers who had spent all their livesin Florida, and secured many thousands of acres of excellent landsin the highlands of Marion County, hoping to do good and get good byinducing the surplus population of our cities to go back to the bosomof Mother Earth, where a moderate amount of labor will give them anindependent livelihood free from the snow and cold which infest thewintry north, free from the heart-breaking demoralization ofbegging for work in our overcrowded cities where scores of thepoverty-stricken are tumbling over each other in the frantic grabbingfor every job of work and every crumb of charity.

Were a mere modicum of the vast sums now worse than wasted inpauperizing the unemployed; a tithe of the money squandered onbuilding palaces for our numberless, ever-begging colleges, devoted tosettling the poor upon the unimproved lands in Florida, the dangerousflood of ever-increasing crime, and physical and mental sufferingwhich now threatens the very existence of our republic, would soonvanish from our cities, and thousands of the dangerous classes wouldbecome self-supporting, self-respecting, independent men and women.

Were a tithe of the vast sums lavished by our millionaires upon thepictured walls, gorgeously embellished ceilings, overcrowded bookshelves of our numerous libraries, and upon the unchristlike towersof unfrequented cathedrals, be even loaned to those who would gladlycultivate the thousands of acres of untilled soil in fair Florida,all the suffering hangers-on for jobs would become successfulagriculturists, owning their own farms, buying their own books, andsufficiently educating their own children.

If the money spent every winter in pauperizing the unemployed bygiving them free soup, could be devoted to settling colonies upon ouruncultivated lands, the vexing problems and contests between labor andcapital would be easily solved and obliterated; the unskilled poorwould be at once enabled to respond to the call of the poet—

"Come back to your mother, ye children, for shame,
Who have wandered like truants for riches or fame!
With a smile on her face, and a sprig in her cap,
She calls you to feast from her beautiful lap.

Come out from your alleys, your courts and your lanes,
And breathe like your eagles, the air of our plains!
Take a whiff from our fields, and your excellent wives
Will declare it all nonsense insuring your lives."

CHAPTER XXIII.

MONARCH OF ALL HE SURVEYED: THEN DEPOSED.

Here on elevated lands around a pretty clearwater lake, directly onthe Florida Central and Peninsula Railroad, and near a famous grottoextending deep into the earth, at the bottom of which, like a well,was an abundance of water containing peculiar fish, near the notedEichelburger cave, and vast forests of gigantic trees with slopinghills around, we founded the town of B——.

I was elected general manager, and went north to sell the $100,000 ofcapital stock, convertible at the option of the holder into our landsat schedule price, leaving a Mr. B—— as superintendent to cutavenues, build a hotel, and conduct the general affairs in my absence.

For several years I devoted all my energies very successfully toselling the stock and organizing colonies of settlers. I paid ten percent. dividend on the stock while I was manager, besides furnishingthousands of dollars to defray expenses of building a handsome railwaystation, a fine commodious schoolhouse and town hall, a good hotel,and providing good roads.

I went to Tallahassee, and log rolled through the state legislature abill enabling us to form a city government, and statutory prohibitionof all liquor selling in our new town by incorporating saidprohibition into all our deeds. After securing these funds and manysettlers, also Ex-Governor Chamberlain of Maine as president of ourboard of directors, I moved to the new town with my family, there toreside permanently.

Here our duties were in many respects agreeable, because useful, forquite a long time. My wife was mother of the town, going from house tohouse ministering to the wants of the newcomers who had become sickby their carelessness in exposing themselves by night and day whileintoxicated with the delights of this incomparable climate. She formeda union church, sang in the choir, and sometimes played the organ. Iwas the father of the town in many senses of the word, being the onlyperson having any legal authority, and was expected to settle alldisputes whether between man and man or between man and wife.

Our town was overrun by hungry clergymen of many denominations andfrom nearly every state, all clamoring for the lucre to be obtained bypreaching in our union church. I might have obtained the friendship ofone by appointing him as pastor; but I made malicious enemies of allby insisting upon each one officiating in turn and taking therefor thecontents of the contribution box on his day.

The air resounded with the prayer-meeting shouts of theseecclesiastics who all secretly worked against me, because I would notallow them to found as many churches as there were inhabitants.

Many of the impecunious newcomers schemed against me because I couldnot furnish them all with light work and heavy pay. Some would persistin drinking surface water, ignoring all sanitary laws, became unwelland then cursed the climate and my so-called misrepresentations;others would ignore all instructions as to the agricultural methodsessential to success in this climate, and then denounce me on the slybecause their crops were not satisfactory.

Many wished to act as real estate agents on commission, and whenone succeeded, the rest, fired with jealousy, would accuse me offavoritism because their own incompetency did not secure for themthese prizes. Our house was besieged by day and night, so that wehad to cut a hole in the outside door to talk with them when we wereseeking a little sleep.

We formed a temperance, literary and musical club which every one inthe town attended, and at this, at least, we spent many pleasant anduseful hours. I was president of this club, and performed all thedrudgery necessary to its success. I established a general store atwhich goods were sold at about cost, but many complained because theycould not have unlimited credit.

One oasis in this fault-finding desert, was the outside colony offreedmen. I employed many of them to do the heavy work of clearingavenues, and the air resounded with their cheerful songs, and I hadthe pleasure, with much labor, to save from the rapacious whiterobbers, the farms which these colored men had received from generousUncle Sam. One case will illustrate the many instances in which Iappeared as umpire.

Uncle and Aunty Peter Gooden owned a fertile farm, and made a goodliving and more by diligent labor thereon. A white "cracker" covetedthis property, and told the ignorant aunty that he would let her have$300 on mortgage at two per cent. per week, so that she could buya new yellow wagon, silver-mounted harness and prancing mules, agorgeous red silk dress with much finery, with which she couldoutshine all her neighbors. These unsophisticated, honest "coons,"thinking it meant that they would have to pay only two cents per week,accepted the offer, affixed their X marks to his unknown papers, andnot even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like this simple couple.

In a short time they came to me broken-hearted, sobbing, and wailing,telling me that the "cracker shylock" had foreclosed, ordering themout of their house and home. I at once notified the avaricious sharkthat he was guilty of violating the laws of the state by defraudingand by false pretenses, tendered him the principal with legalinterest, and threatened punishment by law if he did not accept. Hesaid, like the fabled raccoon in the tree, "Don't shoot, I'll comedown." I paid the money for which, in due time, Uncle Peter reimbursedme.

I secured the hatred of the "crackers," but the undying gratitudeof the negroes, who vied with each other in bringing us game inprofusion, the first fruits of their crops, and shedding tears ifwe offered payment therefor, begging to be allowed to show theirthankfulness by these free gifts. If one of them heard a threatagainst us he would guard our house all night with a shotgun, andwould shadow me as I went about in the night, ready to spring upon anyof my assailants.

[Illustration: Ups and Downs in the Wild Woods.]

I provided a school and church for these loving, dusky children,and it was pathetic and cheering to see them all, from the tinypickaninnies to the tottering gray heads, going regularly with theirprimers and Bibles, trying to learn to read and write.

Many pleasant evenings in midwinter we sat on our vine-clad piazza,enjoying the balmy breezes, perfumed with the delicious orangeblossoms, looking at the stately pines glorified by moonlight andstarlight; listening to the songs of these dark-faced but white-souledserenaders, the whites of whose eyes and perfect teeth could be seenbeaming upon us through the dusky shades of the forest.

On the evening of the day when news arrived of the first election ofGrover Cleveland to the Presidency, we were sitting as usual on ourpiazza, when, suddenly, I saw a flash of fire in the woods, followedby the report of a rifle, then others in quick succession. Rushing tothe scene I found a few Southern whites armed with repeating rifles,facing a large band of negroes carrying a motley array of pitchforks,scythes, razors, clubs, and a few ancient shotguns. Yelling: "Holdup!" I sprang between the embattled hosts, and demanded to know whatwas the row.

"Get out of the way, you damned Yankee," shrieked the crackers, "orwe'll riddle you with bullets." Then they gave the far-reaching,fiendish, rebel yell.

"Shoot," I replied, "if you want to be hung."

—"Boys," I said, turning to the darkies, "what's the matter?"

"Oh, boss, massa Linkum's dead, de Dimikrat am Presidunt, und we poo'nigg*rs be slabes agin. We fight, we die, but we won't be slabes agin,neber."

Again came the roar of rifles behind me and the minnie balls wentshrieking over our heads. "Boys," I shouted, "you are mistaken. Amillion Northern soldiers will march down here if necessary to preventthat; go at once to your homes; I will take care of you." Slowly thecolored men, who trusted me implicitly, melted away in the darkness.Again the rebel yell, again the rifle shots high in the air."Gentlemen," said I, to the menacing whites, "come with me to theHall, I want to talk with you."

"To hell with you!" they yelled, but followed me into the building.

When they had sullenly taken seats, with guns threateningly at theready, they glared at me like tigers ready to spring. Soon a man, Ihad, on my way, sent to the store, arrived with a box of good Floridacigars, and I quietly passed them around to my "lions couchant,"took a seat on the platform facing them, lit up, and commenced theenjoyment of a silent smoke, they following suit.

The tender of a cigar in the South is a recognition of comradeshipwhich is a most potent mollifier. At last they brought their gunsto the ground arms, parade rest, and the leader, an ex-Confederateofficer, drawled out, "Wall, Yank, what do you want of we uns?"

"Just as you please, gentlemen, peace or war?"

"We are smoking the pipe, or cigar, of peace, Yank."

"So mote it be, brothers," said I, knowing that they were all membersof the mystic tie. "We meet on the level, let us part on the square."

"So mote it be," was the response in a regular lodge room chorus.

A few quick signs were exchanged between chair and settees, the icewas broken, the "lodge was opened in due form;" there was no longerany restraint, for we were all members of the most ancient fraternalorder on earth, of which the wisest man who ever lived was founder.They had not known this before. The white dove descended, and theypromised on the sacred oath which makes all men brothers, to molestthe negroes no more. We had a jolly good time, gave each other theGrand Masonic grip and departed to our homes.

As I walked, I saw several dark figures dodging from tree to tree,and all that night my dusky-hued friends kept vigilant watch and wardabout our cottage. The next morning many valiant war-men in time ofpeace, but peace-men in time of war, told me what brave fighting theywould have done for my protection had I but called upon them to do so.

I stocked the lake with excellent food fish obtained from the NationalFish Commissioner, built good sidewalks, arched by beautiful shadetrees; and many prominent men bought lands in our town. We passed anordinance forbidding the use of our public thoroughfares to cattleand hogs, and for a while the air quivered with the squealings ofinfuriated razor backs.

Our valiant city marshal would pounce upon each one of theselong-snouted swine; then came the tug-of-war, amid clouds of dust;down went marshal and razor-back, the nose as long and sharp as aploughshare cleaving the earth near the sidewalks lined with laughingpeople. Our great Floridian always triumphed, and his pig-ship wasincarcerated in the town "pound" until owner paid charges and pennedhis property outside city limits.

Once I saw a terrific contest between one of these long-legged,long-nosed porkers and the lone, pet alligator of our lake. Hispig-ship was enjoying a drink when Mr. 'Gator seized him by the snout,the porcine braced and yelled; the 'gator let go in amazement; the pigturned to run; 'gator seized him by the leg, then Greek met Greek,teeth met teeth, till' the saurian struck him with his mighty tail,and all was over; the alligator and the porker lay down in peacetogether with the pig inside the 'gator.

One day, one of our fishermen brought in a string of trout which farovershadowed the miraculous draught of fishes in the Sea of Galilee.On being questioned as to how he did it, he said he got one bite andpulled for three hours. The fish kept catching hold of each others'tails in their eagerness to be caught, until he had landed fourbarrels of the toothsome fat trout.

Our champion brought from a few hours' hunt, enough quail for theentire town; and when asked how he did it, he replied: "Oh, I sawthree thousand quail roosting on the limb of a tree. I had only myrifle with one ball; I shot at the limb, cracked it, their legs fellthrough the crack which closed when the bullet went through, andchained them all hard and fast. All I had to do was to cut off thelimb with my jack-knife and bag the whole lot."

One day this mighty Nimrod brought home three bears and four deer."How did you do it?" asked the envious multitude. "I was asleep in mywigwam, was waked up by a rumpus outside, rushed out with my gun, andchased the crowd around the hut till I was dead beat, then I bent myrifle across my knee into the exact circumference shape of my house,and fired. The bullet whistled by me for half an hour, chasing thevarmints who were chasing each other; bum by, the bullet caught up,went through the whole crowd, and by gum; that 'ere bullet is chasinground that wigwam naouw."

On another occasion, this same man brought in a lot of wild turkeysall ready for the table. As usual we expressed our wonderment. "Wall,by gum," said he, "'twas the beatemest thing you ever heered on. Iwas waked up by these critters squawkin' over my haouse; I fired upchimbly, and daown tumbled the whole gang; the fire burnt off thefeathers and roasted um up braown afore I could get at um."

"But how about the stuffing?"

"Oh, that's nothin'; they'd stuffed themselves afore I shot um."

We had often congratulated ourselves upon our immunity from snakes,never having seen even one in our Bailiwick; but our sweet dreams ofpeace were rudely disturbed by this Baron Munchausen who horrified ourladies one day, by saying that he went into our church to make somerepairs, and there met a rattle-snake which swallowed him whole at onefull swoop; at once he recalled the Sunday-school lesson of Jonah inthe whale's belly, took courage, struck a match, made a bonfire of hishat, and by its light cut his way out with his hatchet, ran to hishouse, got his gun and shot the snake, which was so large that he hadnot noticed the man's cutting, nor his escape, but was vastly enjoyinghis after dinner nap. This man long bore the honors of being thechampion liar and champion hunter of the universe.

Thus, rapidly, sped away our days replete with alternating smiles andtears until arrived the time for our annual stockholders' election. Onour way to Ocala to attend this important event, I conversed at lengthwith the Rev. W——, upon whom I had conferred many and profitablefavors. This ostentatiously pious individual expressed much gratitudefor my kindness to him, assured me that my administration of affairshad been a grand success, that I had gained the merited respect andconfidence of all the people in the town and that he would urge myreelection as general manager, with all his strength.

The conference progressed very harmoniously for awhile, when I wascalled out to see a man on some important business, and on reenteringthe room, I noticed some excitement among the members, when GeneralChamberlain, the president, called me to his chair and frankly toldme, in the hearing of all, that the Rev. W—— had, as soon as I left,denounced me fiercely as a fraud and a liar, stating that I had therespect of no one in B——; that the town would be ruined were Ireelected; that he himself would take my position without any salary,relying solely upon commission from land sales, as compensation, andthat he made this statement at the unanimous request of the citizensof the town.

All eyes were turned to me for an explanation. I looked for awhileat the hypocritical clergyman very steadily, until he cringed like aviper, and turned pale as a ghost. I then narrated the statements madeto me scarcely an hour before, called upon him for some proof of hisaccusations, and closed by saying that I would not accept a reelectionunless it came to me unanimously. The craven reverend left the roomwithout a word; I was reelected without a dissenting vote, and thusclosed one of the most revolting revelations of depravity that I everwitnessed.

This "wolf in sheep's clothing," after an extraordinary career inendeavoring to "fleece" others, finally lost every dollar of hisproperty, fled from the town with his family, and I have never beenable to hear from him since. I wish for the sake of faith in humannature that this had been the only case of "fall from grace," butalas, there were others!

But let the curtain fall. Moral—have no confidence in the man whowears his religion on his coat sleeve or necktie; but try the spiritswhether they are of Christ.

At this time, a party of prominent people arrived at B——, fromthe North, to consider the feasibility of investing quite largelysomewhere in Florida. As they wished to visit the southern part of thestate before deciding, I procured free passes for all, and escortedthem via steamer, down the entire Gulf coast, touching at allattractive points, exploring coral islands where myriads of sea birdsnested, encircling us with wild screams till the clouds of themwell-nigh shut out the sun; then we collected rare shells and flotsamand jetsam from far away lands; one hour, floating over the calm Gulfof Mexico, as smooth as a mirror, then tossed by a sudden tempestfar towards the stars, and tumbling down to Davy Jones' locker; nowenjoying the lotos-eaters' paradise, then, as we reached the lowlands,well-nigh devoured by millions of mosquitoes and sand flies.

Then we crossed the peninsular, traveling under hammock-woods andcentury-old wild-orange trees, whose "twilight dim hallowed thenoonday," regaled with unlimited fish and game to the far-famed IndianRiver,—delightful recreation-spots for a few weeks in winter, but toohot, damp, and mosquitoey for colonies. Then we were guests of themillionaires' club at Cape Canaveral, where were acres of wild ducks,droves of screaming catamounts, and huge-billed, fish-devouringpelicans. We drove over many miles of hard, firm sea-beaches—delightfulbrief winter homes for the rich, then back to our fertile piny woodshighlands, convinced that the "backbone" of the peninsular was the onlydesirable locality for permanent settlers who must get a living from thebosom of mother earth.

Soon after, leaving Mr. B——, the superintendent, in charge of thecompany's interests in our new town, which now contained over onehundred houses, and had elected a Mayor and Alderman, I returned withmy family to Boston, devoting my time to lecturing on Florida ingeneral, and B—— in particular, in nearly all the cities of NewEngland, distributing illustrated books which I had prepared, andwhich were approved as true, by many prominent people who had livedfor many years among the scenes which were therein described.

My labors were very successful, and a great success for our enterpriseseemed assured, when I received a letter from our directors, statingthat a Dr. K—— had offered to accept my position as general manager,without salary; pay his own expenses, relying on his commissions onland sales, and that as I had declined to serve on this basis theyhad felt compelled to accept his services. As I was obliged to havea regular income for the support of my family, I acquiesced in thedirectors' decision, and soon, under the new incompetent management,the company failed; so another of my business enterprises, on the veryverge of a grand success, became a defeat, and again the innocent wereblamed for the acts of the guilty. I converted my stock in the M.L.&I.Co., into lands of the company at a great loss to me, as I took thelands at company's schedule values instead of at the cost prices,while the stock cost me—the full price of $100 per share. Blessed ishe who expecteth nothing, for he alone shall not be disappointed.

Our varying days pass on and on,
Our hopes fade unfulfilled away,
And things which seem the life of life
Are taken from us day by day.

Our little dramas all may fail,
And naught may issue as we planned,
Our costliest ships refuse to sail,
Our firmest castles fall to sand.

But God lives on, and with our woe
Weaves golden threads of joy and peace,
And somewhere we will surely know
From sorrow and pain the glad release.

CHAPTER XXIV.

FOREGLEAMS OF IMMORTALITY.

This year of our Lord, 1886, brought an infinitely greater sorrowthan the mere financial losses which pressed so hardly upon us inconnection with our Florida endeavors. On Christmas morning, whilealone in my room, I distinctly heard my father's voice whisper:"James, James, good-bye," and an hour later the telegraph flashed thenews that he passed away at the exact time when I heard him bidding mefarewell.

My father was an honest man, the noblest work of God; he had gainednone of what the world calls the great prizes of life, but he had whatwas better far, a conscience void of offense towards God and man. Inthe words of Thoreau—"If a man does not keep pace with his fellows,perhaps it is because he hears a different drum beat; he should stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away." This myfather always did, though the music of his life-march came not fromearth, but from the sky, and without a shadow of fear, sustained by adeathless faith, he passed within the gateway of eternal life.

The winter at last retreated sullenly and reluctantly to his arctichome, and when the first harbingers of spring appeared, singing thememorial songs of the Resurrection, the old country fever, inheritedfrom many generations of farmer ancestors, seized me, and we bought asmall plantation for $4,200, in N——, Mass., to which we moved April28, 1887. Here, as usual, much money was expended on improvements andfor horse, carriages, cow, pigs, hens, also for scanty harvests ofvegetables, and our only returns therefor consisted of large cropsof backaches, nasal hemorrhages, and rheumatism incurred in franticattempts to coax from the reluctant soil, some slight compensation forexcessive labor.

Here, as usual, I was busied with many cares, lecturing in variousplaces on the subject of Florida and selling our private lands in thatstate. Like Mr. Pickwick, I was founder of many societies, notably theN—— club, which, with a fine orchestra and much dramatic talentsoon became the social and literary attraction of the town; also theRepublican club, which conducted a vigorous campaign for protectivetariff and sound money, attracting large audiences by politicaldebates. I was president of both these flourishing organizations, waschairman of the parish committee of the Unitarian Church, leadingto its enlargement and extended usefulness, was a member of thecongressional committee of the district which wrested a congressmanfrom the Democrats, electing, after a desperate struggle, John W.Candler, to the National Legislature in place of Russell, "thesheepless Shepherd."

On the 16th of June of this year, Rebecca, the wife of my onlysurviving brother, left her body, and was welcomed to the evergreenshores of the summer-land, by her father, mother, our father, mother,my spirit-bride and her father, mother, and my two brothers who hadlong gone before. She was a good, honest woman, a veritable help-meetto my brother, and we all gratefully cherish the memory, which is thebest attained by any life, that she left the world better than shefound it.

One by one, we miss the voices which we loved so well to hear,
One by one their kindly faces in the darkness disappear.

On the evening of the 16th of August in this year, an experiencecame into our lives which changed the whole current of our religiousthought, and forever banished from our minds all fear of the so-calleddeath, and all doubt as to the eternal continuity of existence.

My brother, my wife, four children and myself were recreating for aweek in the woods and waters of Onset Bay, and while walking in thegloaming through the grove, listening to the music of the band, we sawa notice posted on a tree stating that the B—— sisters would givea materializing seance in their cottage at this hour. We were allskeptics of the most pronounced type, having seen much of thecontemptible trickery and fraud of so-called mediums; but we yieldedto the temptation to enter the seance room through mere curiosity.Here we found in the "dim religious light," about a score ofintelligent looking ladies and gentlemen intently watching white-robedfigures which occasionally glided from a cabinet on a slightlyelevated stage and embraced people from the audience who were calledto meet them.

This ghostly procession interested us but slightly, until a formwhose features seemed strangely familiar, advanced to the edge of theplatform and beckoned my wife to come to her. On responding to theinvitation, she was at once encircled by the arms of the visitor,kisses were exchanged, she was called distinctly "my dear sister,"informed that the lady in white was Mary, my spirit-wife, who inloving tones expressed her thanks for the kindly care that Lillian hadexercised over her three children, saying that she was always with herto help. Suddenly, the form called for me, and I went to her as onedazed.

"James," she said, "I am Mary, your wife." She embraced me with manykisses as in the long ago, and continued: "I am so glad to see youand Lillian, who has so lovingly taken my place; bless her for hergoodness to our children; my time here is so short." Then turning;"Jot," she whispered to my brother, "come here;" she kissed him, said:"Rebecca, father and mother are here in the cabinet, but too weakto come out. We give you all our love and blessing; good-bye," anddisappeared through the floor at our feet.

There was no possible shadow of doubt about this visitation from theunseen world. We had "felt the touch of the vanished hand, we hadheard the sound of the voice that is still," and henceforth we knewthat we walked hand in hand with angels. We realized unmistakably thetruth of the words of the poet Longfellow:

"The forms of the departed enter at the open door,
The beloved, the true hearted come to visit us once more,
And with them the being beauteous, who unto my youth was given
More than all things else to love me, and is now a saint in Heaven.
Oh, though oft depressed and lonely, all my fears are laid aside,
If I but remember only such as these have lived and died."

The pages of the Bible, the testimony of all the sweet singers of allthe ages, confirm indisputably our certain knowledge of spirit return,and we know the truth of what the saints and sages of all time havedreamed, and by faith have believed, all religions have taught, it isnow demonstrated beyond all doubt and we can say most joyfully—

"Oh land, oh land
For all the broken-hearted,
The mildest herald by our fate allotted
Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand
To lead us with a gentle hand
Into the land of the great departed,
Into the silent land."

We turned to our duties, inspired by the knowledge that we were guidedand assisted by the loved ones gone before. After living on theflat-as-pan-cake plain of N—— for three years, again was Idisenchanted; all the poetic illusions of farm life vanished, all theoxygen seemed to be exhausted from the air, the romance of raisingpotatoes at a cost of five dollars a peck disappeared, the old farmhung like a millstone round my neck, we sold it and hired a prettycottage in the lucre-worshipping town of B——, on the 29th of March,1890, where we led uneventful lives for one year, until my ficklefancy was captivated by a fine new house on the hilltop overlookingthe sea, in the town of W——, Mass. This we bought and entered on the14th of May, 1891.

Here at last we thought we had found the Mecca towards which, all ourlives we had been drifting. Once more came the passion for beautifyingour own, and we made our lawns to bud and blossom like the roses;worshipping at the shrine of the majestic ocean,

"Its waves were kneeling on the strand,
As kneels the human knee,
Their white locks bowing to the sand
The priesthood of the sea."

Here we passed four very pleasant and useful years; consciously nearto us, though unseen, were all our loved ones of the spirit world.Almost every night our angel friends communicated with us unmistakablythrough the ouija, and planchette; they would draw caricature picturesof us all, and give us conundrums and jokes that we had never knownbefore. One evening in particular, Mary wrote us to give her childrenthe best possible musical instruction, stating that May would become agreat singer and flute player, and that Ada would be a fine organistand pianist, as well as singer; that Ida would do well with violin andvoice.

We were incredulous, as they had inherited no musical talent, neitherhad they manifested any inclination in these directions; but Mary wasso persistent and strenuous in her appeals, that we heeded the advice,gave the girls good teachers along these lines, and soon, theirspirit-mother's predictions were fulfilled to the very letter, and theso-called "Foss triplets" became a veritable inspiration to thousandsof delighted listeners to their rendition of instrumental and vocalstrains of music.

The dews of heaven descend upon all the flowers of the field, someopen their petals, welcome the refreshment and are blessed thereby;while others close their buds, refusing the blessing, and as a result,wither and die. Even so come to all souls the spirits of the departed,and they inspire or fail in their mission of love according to whetherwe open or close to them the doors of our inner sanctuaries.

The departed, the departed,
They visit us in dreams,
They glide above our memories
Like sunlight over streams.

The melody of summer waves,
The thrilling notes of birds
Can never be so dear to me
As their softly-whispered words.

CHAPTER XXV.

A PRACTICAL SOCIALIST AND COLONIZER.

We found in this town of W——, a moribund Unitarian Church, withscarcely a handful of attendants, listening once a week to a lifelessminister and an asthmatic harmonium accompanied by a few feeble,inharmonious voices.

Our sympathies were aroused for this expiring infant, and we resolvedto rescue it if possible from its open grave. My wife and I,accompanied by the "Triplets," on the front seat of our carriageas drivers, canvassed the entire town, asking all we met to lay uptreasures in heaven by "rescuing the perishing," and we soon securedmoney to buy a fine toned organ and to hire a wideawake pastor. Adaplayed the new organ; May formed a quartette with herself as soprano,Ida often accompanying with her violin; my wife teaching in theSunday-school, myself serving as chairman of the Parish Committee, andsoon our church was filled with attentive and much edified listenersand helpers. I organized the Channing Club, which soon included in itsmembership all the leading musical and dramatic talent of the town. Wemet weekly in the church vestry which was soon decorated by handsomepictures, scenery and bric-a-brac, the gifts of our members, making avery spacious and attractive resort.

This club over which I presided, developed to a remarkable degree thelatent talents of many who had never before thought themselves capableof entertaining and instructing the public. We had an orchestra ofstringed and brass instruments, in which May played the flute, Adathe piano and organ, Ida second violin, while all our four girls sangsolos, duets, trios, and quartettes. Many elderly people paid generousfees for honorary membership, while the large, active membership,responded regularly when called upon with musical, literary, ordramatic renditions individually or in combination as they mightprefer. It was a delightful and instructive symposium which ought tobe found in every town.

The Channing Club soon became famous, and gave first-classentertainments to very large audiences at high admission fees in ourown and surrounding towns as well as in Boston, thus replenishing thechurch treasury and greatly promoting sociability and friendship byregular dances and suppers which made hundreds seem like one largefamily, bound together by many friendly ties, each one readilyresponding to the call of the president to render his or her fullshare of entertainment and good cheer for the good of all.

It was an ideal socialistic order, and we truly "sat together inheavenly places." All gladly contributed to the needs of the pooror the sick; we chartered steamers and went on picnic excursions toattractive island resorts in our beautiful harbor; class distinctionswere banished, envy and jealousy disappeared like snow before the sun,and good fellowship reigned supreme. Our rich and poor met together asbrothers and sisters.

Such an organization in churches would soon banish class hatreds, anddo much to make this world a paradise like to that above.

The winter of 1892 was a red-letter season in the history of us all.We rented our house in W——, to a friend, and lived in Florida,our four girls attending Rollins College at Winter Park, where theyenjoyed life immensely in the incomparable climate which, with theirstudies in this excellent school, was of great benefit to them,physically and mentally. I was favored with free passes all over thestate, and devoted my time to a careful examination of large tractsof land in various counties, but found none to my liking until onour return trip, we spent several weeks at Lawtey, in the county ofBradford.

Florida, within its vast area, contains a great variety of land andclimates, and the person who has traversed only the beaten trackof the tourist knows nothing of the fertile tracts and delightfultemperatures of these green-grassed and Piny-woods Highlands. Here, asnowhere else in the world, nature has provided all the essentials toagricultural success; there was but one mortgaged homestead in theentire township; it is the greatest strawberry mart in the world; theabundance of nutritious wild grasses render cattle and sheep raisingthroughout the year a source of great revenue, and the maximum of cropreturns is secured with a minimum of labor.

At last, after years of search throughout the state, we found ourideal location for a colony, and I bonded over 6,000 acres of fertile,well-wooded lands, returned home, formed a syndicate, and paid for ourtract, to which we gave the appropriate suggestive name of "Woodlawn."I successfully pursued my avocation of advertising and selling ourlands, having an office in Boston and cooperating agents in severalstates.

On June 11th, 1894, my brother Joshua, the last of my father's familyexcept myself, was suddenly called to join our many loved ones in thespirit world. All our lives we had been as David and Jonathan, and nota cloud had swept across the azure of our sky of mutual affection,until the advent of his second wife. He was one of the best men thatever lived, and nearly everyone in his town had been benefited by hiswell-known generosity and self-sacrifice, and he found awaiting him,many treasures in the grand bank of heaven.

"I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead—he is just away,
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there;
We think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of there as the love of here,
Think of him still as the same, I say,
He is not dead—he is just away."

Soon after the departure of my brother to the better land, ourspirit-band informed us very plainly through "Ouija," that it was ourduty to remove to Boston in order that our children might have bettereducational facilities, and be admitted to the "musical swim" of the"Hub of the Universe." We obeyed their mandate, and the predictions ofour angel friends were fully verified. In our new home the older girlsmet those to whom they were married in Heaven, and to whom theygave their hands and hearts. I now look back over a half century ofexistence on this earth, and my muse inspires me to record that:

I have ships that went to sea
More than fifty years ago.
None have yet come back to me,
But keep sailing to and fro,
Plunging through the shoreless deep,
With tattered sails and battered hulls
While around them scream the gulls.

I have wondered why they stayed
From me, sailing round the world
And I've said, "I'm half afraid
That their sails will ne'er be furled."
Great the treasures that they hold,
Silks, and plumes, and bars of gold,
While the spices which they bear
Fill with fragrance all the air.

I have waited on the piers
Gazing for them down the bay,
Days and nights, for many years,
Till I turned heart-sick away.
But the pilots, when they land,
Kindly take me by the hand,
Saying, "Surely they will come to thee,
Thy proud vessels from the sea."

So I never quite despair,
Nor let hope or courage fail,
And some day, when skies are fair,
Up the bay my ships will sail.

CHAPTER XXVI.

HAND IN HAND WITH ANGELS.

In our Boston home, there came to us one of the most wonderful andinspiring experiences ever vouchsafed to mortals beneath the stars;an experience which solved forever for us the problem of immortality,which all the religious teachings of all the ages had been powerlessto accomplish. It confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt, our knowledgeof the future life obtained previously at Onset Bay, as the followingnamed events transpired in our own house in the presence of witnessesunder test circ*mstances which precluded all possibility of deception.

Mrs. B——, of Boston, came to our house alone, gratuitously, on herown volition, sat within a few feet of our entire family and two ofour neighbors, having no cabinet or any paraphernalia which are alwaysrequired by those charlatans who have associated the fair name ofspiritualism with fraud and chicanery. In about one hour thereappeared in our parlor, in full view of us all, more than thirtyforms; some tall as were ever seen on earth, others little children,the forms of our offspring who were "still born"; my brother Joshua,who had been in spirit life a little over one year came fullymaterialized and was clearly recognized by my entire family.

He gave me, while I was standing within two feet of the medium, thefirm grip of a Master Mason; his hand was like that of a living humanbeing; he whispered a few intelligible words, saying that we shouldhave no fear if trouble came, that all would turn out for our ultimategood, and disappeared at my feet; then a tall, finely-formed young manwith dark moustache came, beating his breast with his hand. "You see,I am all here," he said; "I am John Mansfield, formerly of New Jersey.I was attracted to your house by the music. I am guardian of yourgirls; I am going to try to help in your father and mother." Hevanished; then returned, trying to bring the half-materialized butrecognizable forms as he had promised; but they were weak, and seenbut dimly.

Then came the clearly defined form of the children's aunt, and thegirls, who were somewhat timid, recognized her at once. She kissedeach one several times in rapid succession just as she used to do whenshe met them in the long ago; called them and my wife by name, anddisappeared, apparently through the floor. Then appeared Mary, myspirit-wife, and many others whom we could not recognize.

Little Blue Bell, one of the medium's cabinet spirits, them came,pointing to the door, saying: "See that little fat snoozer?" we lookedaround and saw the wondering eyes of our Bessie, who we supposed was"snoozing" in bed; she had come down in her night-dress. Finally,Nellie, our hired girl, who, being a Catholic, had been warned by thepriest never to countenance spiritualism, and had locked herself inher room, came into the parlor, wild-eyed and with her hair streamingover her shoulders, saying she was compelled to come in. At once theform of a young Irish girl clad in peasant costume, with hair to herwaist, appeared, and clasped Nellie in her arms; they talked a fewminutes, and the form vanished in air. Nellie told us that it was aschoolmate of hers who died in Ireland fifteen years before, that theyhad been great friends, and vied with each other in growing the longerhair.

These facts may seem incredible to those who have never receivedvisitations from the other world; but we know that we saw and felt theforms of our spirit friends on that occasion, as surely as we knowthat we ever saw them when they were with us daily in the body onearth.

When alone that night, I "dropped into poetry," and here is what myspirit-guided hand wrote, February 4th, 1895.

Out of the darkness cometh a light,
Out of the silence cometh a voice,
The pathway of life grows suddenly bright,
And as never before we all rejoice.

The dearly beloved who have gone before
Come back to bless from the beautiful shore;
They speak to us words of lofty cheer,
That banish the clouds of darksome fear.

How sweet to know that there is no death,
That the soul outlives the fleeting breath;
That guardian angels surround us ever
With a deathless love no power can sever.

We mourn no more the vanished youth,
We are nearing the heaven of eternal truth;
We lament no more the earthly ills,
For their power will cease on the heavenly hills.

We grieve no more for the wrinkled brow,
Nor for withering locks as white as snow,
For soon will we greet what is unseen now,
Soon to the sunlit heights will we go.

For many years doubt's saddening shade
On our hearts its pall has laid:
But a gleam comes from the bright forever,
And gloom and fear shall haunt us never.

We have felt the touch of the vanished hand,
We have heard the sound of the voice that is still;
They have come to us from the better land,
Their cheering words our spirits thrill.

"We will know the loved who have gone before,
And joyfully sweet will the meeting be
When over the river, the beautiful river,
The angel of death shall carry me."

CHAPTER XXVII.

AMONG THE LAW-SHARKS.

It seems to be an unwritten law of human life that every great joyshall be quickly followed by a great sorrow. The materialized formsof our spirit loved-ones had scarcely vanished from sight, when thetrouble of which my brother had forewarned us fell like a thunderboltfrom a cloudless sky.

We had, without a thought of deception, and at prices which thenprevailed, sold to many persons, lands in Florida, some forsettlement, some as investments. Phosphate had been discovered inthe immediate vicinity of some of our tracts, and this fact had ledspeculators to buy our lands, hoping that these deposits might greatlyenhance values; but the usual competition to sell this valuablefertilizer had for the time reduced prices to a non-paying basis;then, too, an unprecedented freeze, which once in about a hundredyears visits all semi-tropical countries, had destroyed many orangegroves in the State, and so frightened short-sighted, timid people,that Florida lands were at a great discount, and, as when a panicsweeps over Wall Street, many frantically hastened to sell, and therewere but few buyers.

This led several of my customers to conspire to frighten me intopaying them large sums as hush money, pretending that I had securedtheir purchases under false pretenses; but the Yankee spirit ofour fathers, "millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,"prompted me to defy their infamous demands.

Under the lead of a fiendishly "smart" lawyer, they declared that Itold them their lands were full of phosphate, and within city limits,although my published circulars and maps stated nothing of the kind.They denounced me as a fraud in the newspapers, brought lawsuitsagainst me, attached property, and proceeded in a most brutal mannerto compel payment of their unjust claims.

My word for half a century had everywhere been as good as my bond,and my bond as good as gold. I had never before had a lawsuit or anytrouble with any one, and so in my inexperience I employed a lawyerfriend, who was no match for my enemies' human tiger. They testifiedunfairly in court, and after many crushing annoyances from the law'sdelays, my lawyer, putting in no defense, in order, as he said,to save his ammunition for use in the Superior Court, to which heappealed, they secured judgment.

All these slanders broke my never firm health; I was soon on the vergeof nervous prostration, and was ordered by my physician to at oncesecure a change of climate to save my life. My innocent lawyersupposed that a court of justice would postpone my trial until myreturn; but we have now some "courts of injustice."

Some lawyers are worse than highway robbers; they make the laws aslegislators to suit their own iniquitous, selfish purposes, so wordedthat they are susceptible of almost any interpretation, thusleading to endless litigations by which these cannibal devourers ofreputations are robbing the public of their possessions. They employspies to stir up strife, and some lawyers and judges seem to be bandedtogether to fleece the confiding lambs of the public. The judge notonly refused to postpone the trial until I was able to attend, butrefused to have the jury informed that I was absent on account ofserious sickness.

We are bound hand and foot, the slaves of these law-sharks, and itseems as if nothing but revolution and the banishing of these tyrants,will ever deliver the public from the worse than African slavery towhich some lawyers subject us. We have seen innocent, modest ladywitnesses subjected to bull-dozing and abuse by barbarous lawyers,until they suffered tortures to which those of the Spanish Inquisitionwere merciful.

As I was obliged to go or die, I accepted the offer of my wife'sbrother, a member of the publishing firm of Webster's Dictionaries,and went to California to fight their battles against the new StandardDictionary which was rapidly driving the Webster books out of themarkets of the entire Pacific slope.

The trial took place during my enforced absence; my enemies' craftyattorney told the jury that my failure to appear was a sure evidenceof guilt; my doctor's affidavit that he sent me away to save my lifewas not allowed to be presented in court; each plaintiff claimed tohave heard the statements imputed to have been made by me to theothers, one of them making love to, and afterwards marrying one of mymost important witnesses, and so the verdict was against me.

But curses often "come home to roost," and my enemies were ultimatelynot benefited at all, as the lawyer-sharks devoured all they receivedfrom me.

In the meanwhile, during their worrying and falsifying, I was speedingaway in a palace-car, confident that my spirit brother's declarationwould prove true that truth is mighty and will prevail, if not in thebrief here, yet surely in the eternal hereafter. It is very saddeningto see how many, who claim to be your friends while you areprosperous, are the first to assail with poisoned arrows when you areattacked in the courts or in the public prints; but my conscience isclear, and

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide or sea.
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For soon my own shall come to me.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave into the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

CAMPAIGNING IN WONDERLAND.

This delightful journey was a wonderful revelation of the greatness,power, and grandeur of this glorious republic in which we live. Igazed with amazement for many hours as we flew over the marvelouslyfertile and beautiful prairies of Kansas; here miles upon miles ofwheat, corn, and alfalfa waving like vast seas, irrigated by means ofnumberless windmills; there, herds of cattle, numerous as the leavesof autumn; here, long lines of steam plows breaking thousands of acresof virgin soil; there mammoth steam reapers devouring vast areas ofgold mines of grain; the food of the nations pouring into bags at oneend, while the stalks were bound midway ready for the fattening ofcattle. The chaff flew in clouds, and quickly, from these machines,millions of bushels of wheat were soon on their way to the markets ofthe world. What wonder that our country now has in Washington overfive hundred millions of gold dollars; the richest treasury ever knownon earth?

Now we catch glimpses of vast mines of coal and salt; then of greatcities which have sprung up as by magic; and soon my eyes were greetedwith a vision of heavenly splendor in Colorado. Three hundred milesof the Rocky Mountains, Pike's Peak towering 14,000 feet towards thestars; great clouds of snow blowing from the summit into the valleys;there cascades of mighty rivers flowing to irrigate lovely valleys;here the great city of Denver, having 125,000 population, and one milehigher up in the air than Boston.

In this city I met my former college professor, now themulti-millionaire United States senator, burdened with many crushingcares, knowing about as much peace and quietness as a toad under atwo-forty-gait harrow.

Then on went the mighty train; here a glimpse at Manitou of the"Garden of the Gods," with cathedral spires of old red sandstonetowering hundreds of feet towards the clouds which capped theirsummits with halos; on through the grand canyon of the Arkansas River,in places two miles nearer heaven than Boston; here we see giganticnatural castles with battlements, bastions and fortresses whoseleveled cannon you almost instinctively dodge to escape theirimaginary bomb-shells. Now we climb almost perpendicular heights,thousands of feet; now we slide down into chasms barely escaping therushing waters; then we shoot through a tunnel two miles long under1,500 feet of solid rock; now we rush over vast plateaus 10,000 feetabove the sea; then we catch glimpses of herds of cattle, now of greatcaves, lone trees with not a bit of earth visible about their roots;now we rush into Leadville, a mining camp of 10,000 people. Atmidnight a huge stone rolled down the mountainside onto the track,delaying us for two hours. Had it fallen a minute later we would havebeen crushed into nothingness.

In the morning I awoke in Utah, rode all the forenoon over aridplains; gaunt, hungry wolves scud away, cayotes ran yelping, and jackrabbits hopped out of sight for dear life; then we arrive at Salt LakeCity, which the Mormons have transformed from a howling wildernessinto a fine city, with a surrounding country budding and blossomingwith bounteous harvests. The peak towers aloft where the United StatesRegulars halted after their terrible march over the mountains, nearwhere the famous Nauvoo Legion of the Mormons surrendered, after theirrebellion to make Brigham Young their king, though he said that by awave of his hand he could hurl back the balls of the national cannonto annihilate the soldiers of the republic.

I drank in with delight the music of the grand organ and the fourhundred trained singers of the Mormon choir in the vast tabernacle.

Then on thundered the train by the great Salt Lake, one hundred mileslong and forty miles wide, so salt that it buoys you up on its surfacelike a feather; then on over the sage-brush desert to Reno, Nevada,where is the world-renowned Comstock mine, from which over one hundredmillions of dollars' worth of silver has already been taken.

Then we climbed the Sierra Nevada Mountains, around and around in acircle, shot through a snow shed forty miles long; then lumber chutesappear many miles in length, through which enormous logs are shot downby water power from the mountain lake. Four billion feet of lumber arecut here in a year.

Then on we go past Lake Tahoe, twenty-two miles long, surrounded bymountains two miles in height; then past Cape Horn, along precipicesdown which I threw a stone which fell 2,500 feet into the AmericanRiver.

We slide down the mountains to Auburn, California, and find fruittrees in blossom, grass green, and crops several inches high. A suddenchange in a few minutes from deep snow and severe cold to blossoms androses. On we go to Sacramento, surrounded by great ranches with vastherds of cattle and sheep feeding on the wild grasses; then on to SanFrancisco, the Golden Gate, and the unpacified Pacific.

The principal occupation of the street cars in 'Frisco, is climbingalmost perpendicular heights, and then sliding down hill. All verypleasant except when the cogs in the cable slip, and you become partand parcel of a promiscuous mix-up, all passengers tumbling over andon to each other into the front end of the car, and if you are at thebottom of the struggling heap, with your nose banged against the door,and suffocating fat parties wedged on top of you, this rapid transitslide is not quite so delightful as when you ride on the top of thecrowd.

Here you can get a good meal with a bottle of wine thrown in for"two bits" (twenty-five cents), you can buy three different kinds ofnewspapers for the same price as one, as they have no coins smallerthan a nickel. For a nickel you can ride for miles to the Cliff Housewhich is at the Golden Gate, where are acres of giant flowers of everyconceivable variety, all beautiful, but odorless; you watch the sealions nearly the size of oxen, and who roar and fight on the boulders.Then we enter a bath-house, acres in extent, covered with glass, whereyou can swim in sea water warmed by steam-pipes, listen to the band,examine the multitude of wild animals and curiosities collected fromall parts of the world.

[Illustration: The Golden Gate of the Unpacified Pacific.]

Then we visit the city park of twelve hundred acres, once nothing butflying sand. At first they planted on these dunes, grass roots fromSouth America; these fastened themselves to the sand and formed alittle soil; then were planted shrubs to stop the sand storms, thentrees, and now the real estate is not all in the air.

This little nickel will take you to a mountaintop overlooking city andocean, where you can sit under the Eucalyptus trees which shedtheir bark instead of their leaves, and enjoy the music and the notovermodest dramas, without extra charge.

The saloons, stores and theatres are open seven days and nights inthe week, and multitudes of all nationalities, clad in their peculiarcostumes, hobnob with each other in the most free and easy mannerimaginable, without waiting for introductions, in this the mostcosmopolitan city on earth.

Sometimes you will see the harbor literally covered with the mostdelicious fruits and vegetables, dumped into the water, because thetransportation charges to market would more than eat up the proceedsof their sale. I visited at San Jose, the large flourishing fruitorchard of a college classmate who had spent years of hard labor andthe earnings of a lifetime, to bring his trees into bearing; but Ifound he had deserted his ranch because he could not make a livingthereon, and had gone to preach for a little church far away, at fivehundred dollars per annum.

I saw at Riverside large crops of oranges frozen upon the trees;but the real estate sharks never allow these facts to be published,because they fatten on the profits made by selling lands to thegullible "tender feet" from the east, who, when they have bought thesefarms at enormous prices, find to their utter discouragement, thatthey must also buy water for irrigation from monopolists, at ruinousrates, else the soil is worthless. Here as nowhere else is illustratedthe truth of the Scriptural adage: "To him that hath shall be given,but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which hehath."

When you go to a place scarcely thirty miles distant, which, in NewEngland, you would reach in an hour, you are obliged to travel allnight, as you must climb cloud-touching mountains, going many miles tocover what would be only one mile in a straight line; now you glidealong close to the long, lazy waves of the great Pacific Ocean, wherethe grass kisses the salt lips of the sea; now from the tops of theSanta Cruz mountains, you survey the world at your feet; now you rushthrough the red-wood primeval forests, giants touching the clouds withtheir tops, while in the hollow trunk of one of these trees a familyof twelve can live quite comfortably; then on to Los Angeles,—"Cityof the angels," they call it—a beautiful city for those possessed ofmeans or who are dispossessed of bodies which must be clothed and fed.

[Illustration: The Dome of Mount Shasta Gleams like "the Great White
Throne."]

Some have "struck oil" here, and the stench and grime from thespouting wells have ruined the houses of hundreds who have reaped noprofit from the petroleum, because they did not own the adjoining lotswhere it was found; then on we go to lovely Passadena on a table-landsurrounded by snow-capped mountains; but the winds from the coldsummits come suddenly when you are melting with the heat, bringingplenty of catarrh for all; then on to San Diego on the hill by thesea, where the fog is sometimes so thick you can cut it into blockswith an axe; then on to the far-famed Coronado Hotel, close by thesea.

In the boom-time, this was claimed to be the veritable "Garden ofEden," and soil was considered worth its weight in gold, but now myguide offered me six house lots which cost him three thousand dollars,for two hundred dollars; the bubble had burst, a few had become rich,while hundreds of speculators had lost their all.

I swam in the spacious warmed-water sea-baths, communed with the wildducks, cormorants and pelicans, looked with amazement at the giantostriches, and sympathized with their seeming wonderment as to why wewere all sent into this sad, bewildering maze of life.

At National City the refluent wave of the boom had left many of thehouses and business blocks dilapidated and unoccupied save by bats,spiders and flies. You could occupy free of rent many buildings withnone to molest or make you afraid.

Thence on dashes the train to the celebrated Hotel Delmonte, atMonterey, the show place of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which, byits extortionate transportation charges, has ruined many strugglingfruit raisers in this state where monopoly holds such mighty sway.

There are many hotels in Florida which far surpass this as far asthe buildings are concerned; but the grounds are extensive and verybeautiful, and the wide piazzas are embowered in a profusion ofall kinds of climbing vines covered with the loveliest blossoms.Stretching away until earth and sky meet, is an imperial domain,covered with noble trees which were giants when Adam was a baby, manyfestooned with English ivy and flowering trumpet creepers almost tothe stars. Then we walked under long Gothic arches, cool and fragrant.

Here is every arrangement conceivable for entertainment; on one sidethe Pacific ocean; on the other the Coast Range Mountains, a verypleasant resort for the very rich; but we found there at this timemore servants than guests.

The town of Monterey is interesting only for its ruins of ancientmonasteries and convents, where a few lazy half-breeds alone remainto tell the tale of multitudes over whom the Catholic priests reignedsupreme, reducing their dupes to beggary by their extortions. Oncethese mountains were covered with vast flocks of sheep, but thefoolish reduction of the tariff on wool by the Wilson bill, destroyedall profits, and the flocks disappeared into the hungry mouths of thepeople.

Thence the iron horse took us back to 'Frisco, and we sailed all dayand all night to Sacramento. The scenery was grand, but the coldweather chilled us to the very bones. Islands of old red sandstoneloom like sentinels along the coast, covered with lighthouses to warnthe mariners. The twin peaks of Montepueblo covered with perpetualsnow, seemed to support the heavens as do the pillars the dome of thecapitol.

Swarms of screaming sea gulls fill the air, some of which, benumbed bycold alighted on the steamer's deck. Lonely ranches are seen, hemmedin by the everlasting hills.

Our great, lazy boat, propelled by a stern wheel as big as a barn,paddled slowly over the muddy waters of the great Sacramento River,made yellow by the turbid waters sent to it from scores of hydraulicmines on the mountains. On one island is an immense smelting furnace,the tall chimneys of which send forth volumes of poisonous smoke,dangerous to breathe, and covering everything with a coating black assoot. Inhaling this, some of the operators die of lead poisoning. Manyislands are here scarcely above the water's edge, having little housesbuilt on stilts occupied by the salmon fishers who are seen pullingtheir nets, and around whose heads whirl and scream flocks of fishhawks, ravenous for their prey.

After a successful book fight at the capital city, I went to Red Bluffwhere I was broiled and roasted in a day and night temperature of ahundred and twelve degrees in the shade. I survived only by keepingmy head wrapped in ice water; I could neither eat nor sleep, and likeDickens, I longed to "take off my flesh, and sit in my bones." It wasa veritable hell on earth.

The county superintendent of schools here, told me he sold his prunecrop that year for five thousand dollars, and went away leaving thepurchaser to pick the fruit. On his return, he found that the redspiders had anticipated the pickers, and destroyed the entire crop, sothat his work of years came to naught, as the buyers of course refusedto pay to feed the spiders.

Thence I went to San Luis Obispo, and on the way we struck the CoastRange Mountains. The tortuous upclimbing and downsliding of the traindisclosed scenery imposing and grand. You looked down the precipitousrock-ribbed sides thousands of feet to the narrow, beautiful valleys,made productive by the irrigation from many foaming waterfalls. Wecircle the mountains many times before reaching the valleys, travelingmany hours to gain a straight-line mile.

These valleys are lovely to look down upon; but the fogs much of thetime hang over them like a pall, and catarrh and rheumatism renderlife one of misery to many of the people.

[Illustration: Above the Clouds.]

CHAPTER XXIX.

AMONG THE CLOUDS.

In the following May, 1896, I took a sky-scraping journey to the greatstates of Washington and Oregon. The climbing of Mt. Shasta and theSiskyo range by train presented sublime views that no language caneven feebly describe. At the summits we were at least two miles inthe air higher than the dome of the Massachusetts State House. Aswe climbed, I could see from the window of the palace car, the twoengines of our train puffing for all they were worth around thecurves, far ahead.

We looked down from the narrow rim of the railroad, thousands of feetperpendicular upon foaming rivers dashing themselves into rainbowsand cataracts against the everlasting boulders in their courses.Here cascades, miles in length, came rushing down the mountainsides,shooting hundreds of feet into the air as they struck the giant rocks,and at one place we stopped for half an hour to drink from the sodasprings pure, delicious soda water, huge geysers of it effervescing,scintillating, silvery in the sunbeams, caught in a rocky basin fromwhich it is sent all over the world.

Above, the mighty Sacramento River has its source in a little spring,almost touching the stars—so emblematical of our human life, whichbegins in the infinite on high; is enveloped in a dust of earth;expands in its evolution into the angel back into the eternity fromwhence it came; for science reveals that the springs come from theclouds as dew and rain, run their courses, and by evaporation aretaken back into their first home in the vapors of the heavens.

There are enormous log-shoots seeming like Jacob's ladder to reachfrom earth to heaven, and in which, the giants of the vast mountainforests are carried by water with almost lightning speed to the millson the river; there the splendid snow-covered dome of Shasta gleamsabove the clouds like the great white throne described by St. John inRevelation.

Now come glimpses of little green valleys; here and there, a few smallhouses and flocks of sheep show that these cases are peopled "far fromthe maddening crowd's ignoble strife."

These vast solitudes of forests are very impressive and solemn asthe day of judgment; giant fir-trees, pines and spruces, beautifullyclothed in perpetual green even to the lower dead limbs which naturehas covered with a verdure of moss—like our dead hopes, blastedby the fires of adversity but made radiant by the fore-gleams ofimmortality. There the bright mistletoe is suspended from deadtree-tops, like beauteous crowns adorning the heads of those who havedied rather than surrender to the low and base; there deep canyons,brilliant with the diamonds made by the sun from the scintillatingdrops from dashing torrents—so from the unseen heights come the dewsof heaven to refresh those who walk by faith and not by sight "lookingnot at the things seen which are temporal, but at the things not seenwhich are eternal."

Here comes a dense white cloud of snow through the air, covering ourtrain with a pearly shroud, through the rifts of which, far below, wehave glimpses of lovely vales and white ranch-houses, smiling up atus, above the clouds.

Dearly beloved—all seems to say it becometh us, not to sorrow for thedead hopes, broken promises, and bitter disappointments of this mortallife, remembering that this is not our home, that we tarry here fora few fleeting days, that our true home is with the good beyond theinfinite azure of the heavens, where dear ones are Waiting to welcomeus to the endless rest and peace awaiting all who fight the goodfight, and who keep themselves unspotted from the world.

At times, while the train was dashing along over the seeminglyinterminable plains, green and productive during the rainy season, butnow parched and arid by the terrible heat, we were almost suffocatedby the dense dust clouds, and well-nigh withered by the winds whichseem to come from the very jaws of Dante's Inferno; then the shiftingyoung cyclone would suddenly envelop us with chilling snows fromShasta, and so we oscillated like pendulums 'twixt torrid heats andarctic colds.

At last, almost dazed by the unspeakable, lightning-like, climatictransformations, the great iron steeds brought us to Portland, themetropolis of the great state of Oregon. Here, as in many places onthe Pacific coast, people should be web-footed during the rainy seasonto escape the drowning, and iron clad during the dry season to escapethe merciless peltings of the clouds of shot-like dust. The dampnessin this valley, hemmed in by the now dripping, then brook coveredmountains, is far from pleasant, and covers many of the buildingswith unsightly mosses. In Washington and Oregon those who survive theclimatic trials are a strong, energetic race, rapidly building uppowerful empires in the great aggregation of states of our grandestnation the world has ever known.

The broad-minded, generous-hearted people of this great far west, makeno distinctions as to sex in apportioning their salaries forschool work, and this, coupled with their numerous co-educationaluniversities and normal schools, has given them an army of ladyteachers and superintendents unequaled elsewhere in the world.

The county superintendents of schools are elected by the popular vote,and the women take to the stump-speaking and the usual kissing ofvoters' babies as naturally as ducks take to the water. Result,—theladies secure the political plums, and the men are rapidly beingdriven to manual labor, their natural sphere of action, thoughnot without vigorous kicking against the inevitable. Theseex-men-superintendents buttonhole you at every turn, reciting theoutrages perpetrated upon them by their successful women competitors.

At an election in a California town, one of these men sufferers,mistaking me for a voter, took me by a button of my coat, and pouredforth a tale of woe so long that, unable to endure it longer, I cutoff the button and fled. He did not notice my departure, and two hourslater, there he was holding on to the button, all alone, gesticulatingfrantically, and beseeching me to vote for him to save his wife andten children from starvation. For aught I know, he has not missed meto this day; but is still sounding forth his wild appeals.

Should I describe fully all the wonderful scenes beheld by me in thiswonderland, I should exhaust time and trench upon eternity. Suffice itto state that I returned to 'Frisco, fought a successful dictionarybattle there, formed the acquaintance of many distinguished men, amongthem the great Irving Scott, who built the famous battleship Oregon.He was president of the city school-board, head of the vast Union IronWorks, and besides performing many herculean labors, was stumping thestate nightly in favor of the election of William McKinley to thepresidency of the United States.

I was fairly driven from this city by the ferocious fleas, whichseemed to render life almost unendurable in hovel and palace. I couldget no rest day or night in many parts of the state, on account of thesavage attacks of these unspeakable, insatiate biters, more terriblethan an army with Gatling guns.

Crossing the beautiful bay in the floating palace ferry-boat, I wasfor a time enchanted with Highland Park, Oakland. In front, through avista of Eucalyptus, oak and elm trees, appear the glistening watersof the famed inland sea; on the right are seen the domes and spiresof Oakland, Alameda, and San Francisco; across the valley loom themountains, in the rainy season green to their summits, on which restthe serene blue of the heavens, except when, the frequent fogs buryeverything from sight. On one side of the house, at the same time,the trade winds from the Pacific chill you to your very bones, on theother side the burning heat is unbearable. Afar off the humble home ofJoaquin Miller, poet of the Sierras, clearly appears.

There are many beautiful homes on this lofty hilltop, but they wereall for sale at bargains, for their occupants have grown weary of thecloud bursts of the long dreary rainy season, then of the parchingheats of the equally dreary dry season, when a pickaxe and crowbar arerequired to dig a potato unless you keep water running from the hoseday and night. These people long to return to their old homes in NewEngland where the varying seasons are not so monotonous.

I was invited to accompany a religious society on a week's camp ina romantic canyon; but I was glad I did not when they returned in acouple of days, narrating an adventure which daunted the stoutesthearts. On the second night of their camping, the men were arousedfrom sleep by the frightful screams from the women's tent; rushingout, they saw in the light of the great fire kept burning to frightenthe wild-cats and mountain lions, a circle of venomous rattle-snakes,hissing like fiends and coiled for springing. The men foughtdesperately all night with shotguns and clubs. Life is scarcely worththe living with these demons, and their natural attendants, thehorrible tarantulas.

CHAPTER XXX.

DISENCHANTED.—HOME AGAIN.

I had secured the adoption of our dictionaries in every county visitedby me, and now the publishers desired me to remain on the Pacificcoast permanently, without salary, relying on commissions on sales oftheir books made by me and my sub-agents by canvassing, from house tohouse. This financial proposition was far from being alluring, for thelaws enacted by a national democratic rule of four years had ruinedmany of the principal industries of this section, and the largercities required a license fee of twenty dollars per week from allcanvassing agents. Many houses displayed large signs, "No book agentsallowed here," and they kept ferocious dogs to enforce the rule. Themajority of the people were poor; the rich were already supplied withdictionaries; and the schools would have no funds available with whichto buy reference books for nearly a year. Competing agents had visitedevery house before my arrival on the coast, and I therefore resignedmy worthless position, and took the Eastern agency for a Tonic Portwhich had, by its wonderful efficacy, delivered many from the horrorsof nervous prostration, anaemia, and kindred diseases which afflict somany of the human race.

Another disenchantment,—another Eden becomes a Sahara. I had reachedthe Pacific coast just when the departing rainy season had left allnature fair as a poet's dream of love, and, vainly dreaming that thiswas perpetual, it seemed as if I would sigh for no other heaven. Butthe scorching heat and Siroccoes from the Mohave Desert followed closeupon the rear-guard of the retreating, life-giving rain-clouds, andsoon the lovely flowers died; the enchanting green grass withered; thesoul of the beautiful vanished, and the suffocating dust storms buriedthe earth in a ghostly shroud, save where wealth was sufficient tobring the mountain streams for irrigation.

I had for a time reveled in the dreams which fleetingly haunt allmortals, that there I had found the lost Arcadia, where balmy zephyrsfan the brow into ecstasy forever; but, alas! After a brief respiteI had, in that land which the real estate sharks called "Paradise,"suffered more from alternating chilling winds and withering heat thanever before; one day sweltering in the thinnest of seersuckers, andperhaps the very next shivering in all the woolens I could command.

Without a shadow of regret or even a backward look, I bade farewell tothe Pacific and returned to the Atlantic of my youth, until the daydawns and the shadows flee away.

I sojourned for some months in the cities of Richmond, Baltimore,Providence, and Philadelphia, endeavoring to impress upon the minds ofthe physicians the importance of prescribing my remedy, but with noglittering financial success, lingering for weeks in the last namedcity, on the very verge of the grave to which I was brought by thefilthy water of that grotesquely misnamed "City of Brotherly Love."

I had been, in former years, the champion school-book agent of NewEngland, and publishers had often told me that if I ever returned tothis vocation, they would gladly employ me. I applied to one of thesefor a position, requesting a man who owed his success in businessentirely to my friendly aid and instructions, to speak a good word forme, but he at once showed his gratitude by securing the appointmentfor himself, being aided and abetted by an influential bald-headedman who hated me, simply because I had sent to him a friend whor*presented a hair restorer. Said bald-headed man had many reasonsto, and had often claimed to be, a friend of mine; but was foolishlysensitive about his lack of hirsute adornment, and said I insulted himby referring to his billiard-ball caput. Truly, gratitude is a lostart, and some friends immediately become enemies when they can securefrom you no more plunder.

It is exceedingly difficult for a man who has passed the "death line"of the half century, to find a place where he can do good and getgood; the hustling crowd of younger and stronger competitors pushhim to the wall or trample him beneath their feet, in the terrificscramble for the bare necessities of life. He drifts into thedepressing occupation of book or life insurance agency, and at onceevery so-called friend, who pretended to worship him when he wasprosperous, gives him the cold shoulder, and "poor devil" is the mostcomplimentary epithet with which he is greeted.

Analogous with that wonderful Gulf Stream, once a myth, still amystery, the strange current of human existence bears each and allof us with a strong, steady sweep from the tropic lands of sunnychildhood, enameled with verdure and gaudy with bloom, through thetemperate regions of manhood and womanhood, fruitful or fruitless asthe case may be; on to the often frigid, lonely shores of old age,snow-crowned and ice-veined; and individual destinies seem to resemblethe tangled drift on those broad gulf billows, strewn on barrenbeaches, stranded upon icebergs, some to be scorched under equatorialheats, some to perish by polar perils; a few to take root andflourish, building imperishable landmarks; and many to stagnate in thelong inglorious rest of the Sargasso Sea.

But really to the faithful soul nothing is lost; though the greatprizes of earth are denied us, every heroic endeavor, every struggleto benefit the world sends treasures on high to our credit in thegrand bank of heaven.

There are the thoughts that one by one died 'ere we gave them birth,
The songs we tried in vain to sing, too sweet, too beautiful for earth.
No endeavor is in vain;
Its reward is in the doing,
And the rapture of pursuing,
Is the prize the vanquished gain.

We are all conscious of these songs we have tried in vain to sing, andwe are confident we will yet sing them when the bodily impediments areswept away, and, as the earthly shadows lengthen, as the chill windsof old age strengthen, we more and more appreciate the wonderfulexpression of this thought, in that sweetest of all poems of the minorkey, called "The voiceless."

"We count the broken lyres that rest
Where the sweet wailing singers slumber;
But o'er the silent brother's breast,
The wild flowers who will stoop to number.

"A few can touch the magic string,
And noisy fame is proud to win them;
Alas for those who never sing,
But die with all their music in them.

"Not where Leucadian breezes sweep
O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow;
But where the glistening night dews weep
O'er nameless sorrow's churchyard pillow.

"If singing breath or echoing chord
To every hidden pang were given,
What endless melodies were poured,
As sad as earth, as sweet as heaven."

We have done our best according to the light that has been given; wewill continue to do so until the end, and we are soothed and sustainedby the inspiring thought so sweetly expressed by one of our greatestpoets.

"I know not where God's islands lift
Their fronded palms in air,
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.

"And so beside the silent sea,
I wait the muffled oar:
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore."

Only waiting till the angels
Open wide the mystic gate,
At whose feet I long have lingered,
Weary, sad, and desolate;
Even now I hear their footsteps,
And their voices far away—
When they call me, I am waiting,
Only waiting to obey.

AFTERMATH

CHAPTER XXXI.

THE FLORIDA CRACKERS.

When the previous thirty chapters were in press, the conviction wasforced upon me that any book which touched upon Florida without adescription of its poor whites called "Crackers," would be like theplay of "Hamlet" with the Prince of Denmark left out, and I gladly paythis tribute of grateful remembrance to the most unique, and the onlytruly contented people that I have ever met on earth.

So far forth as history enlightens us, the ancestors of these peculiarspecimens of the human race were never born anywhere in particular,but like Topsy, they "simply growed."

Why these usually long, lean, lank, saffron-hued, erst-whileclay-eaters have received such an unromantic name has been variouslyaccounted for. Some say the name was suggested by the fact that whennot otherwise employed, they are constantly cracking the lice whichswarm in their never-combed hair; others ascribe it to the frequentcracking of their rifles and long whip-lashes as they pursue theirgame or drive their cattle. An ex-slave of one of them tells me thatthey are called "Crackers," because they are all "cracked as to theircocoanuts."

Although the faces of many of these children of nature are usually asexpressionless as a cast-iron cook-stove, they are far from being asstupid as they look; for even General Jackson, "the man of bloodand iron," would have won but few, if any, laurels in his campaignsagainst the Seminoles, had it not been for his advanced guard of thewarlike "Crackers."

"Out there in history" we see him and his army, while recklesslyrushing the redskins, become lost and bewildered in the vast primevalforest. Day after day, they marched, but always in a circle; andeach nightfall found them near where they broke camp in the morning.Provisions failed, and hunger and thirst drove the soldiers frantic.Every night they were pelted by bullets from unseen foes; stabbed andstung by innumerable insects; death for all stared them in the face;myriads of buzzards whirled above them, anxious for their prey.

While Jackson and his men, prostrated by heat, fruitless marching anddiscouragement, were praying for succor, suddenly the air seemed tobe filled with human forms, which to their dazed minds appeared to beangels sent in answer to their fervent petitions. Grotesque lookingangels were these, swinging from limb to limb of the forest trees; butheavenly in their beneficence were the solemn-faced "Crackers," ashundreds of them dropped to the ground and fed the exhausted warriorswith "hog, hominy," and water from packs strapped with their rifles totheir dirty, sturdy shoulders—"'nough sight better work for angelsto do than loafin' around the throne." While the feasting was infull swing, suddenly the haggard and careworn face of "Old Hickory"appeared in their midst. "Boys," said he, in his quick, incisivetones, "don't eat any more, 'twill make you sick, stow it away in yourhaversacks." Then, turning to the Floridians, he quietly remarked,"Gentlemen, you saved our lives; many thanks! Now we will do asmuch for you. Where are the Injuns?" All the tree-climbers aroserespectfully, saluted, and a tall, cadaverous-looking, long-haired,coon-skin-capped leader advanced, took the general by the hand, andslowly drawled,—

"Ginrul, the red nigg*rs air skulkin' yender to the river, waitin' tochaw up you uns tonight.

"Colonel Tompkins," came the quick command, "climb your forces tothe river, pour a volley into the red-skins at sundown, yell for allyou're worth, we'll do the rest."

"All right, Ginrul, we uns will be thar," and away went the "flyingCrackers," facing unspeakable dangers as calmly as a child looks intothe loving eyes of its mother.

Sometimes they glided noiselessly as the autumn leaves cleave theair over the pine-needle carpet of the forest, and when this wasimpossible on account of the bogs and morasses, which would swallowthem down to unknown depths, they swung through the tops of thesighing pines until they had flanked their unsuspecting foes; then,just as the sun was setting, they struck terror to the hearts of theSeminoles by an unexpected volley from their rifles and by frightfulyells,

"As if all the fiends from heaven that fell,
Had pealed the banner-cry of hell."

The red-men fled in panic along the narrow isthmus between the swampsand river straight upon the ambushed army of Jackson, who mowed themdown with bullets as falls the grass before the scythes. The spiritsof the Indians were crushed, and the remnant of a once powerful tribefled into the vast, to the whites, inaccessible everglades, wheretheir descendants now live on their fertile oasis, which is cultivatedby their negro slaves, who never heard of Abraham Lincoln, or hisproclamation of emancipation. "Old Hickory" and his gallant soldiershave all the glory; but their heroic allies returned quietly to theirhuts, their "hog and hominy," as unconcernedly as if they had donenothing more important than catching a trout or shooting a quail.

The stolidity and patience of the "Cracker" is equalled only by thatof "their cousins, the Indians"; I have seen one of them sit fortwelve hours continuously in one place fishing without beingencouraged by even a little nibble; his face was as placid as that ofa mummy which he closely resembles; then suddenly he would pull inscores of trout, but with the same imperturbable composure as before.

Although almost invariably poor so far as money is concerned, owingto their love of ease, these children of nature are proverbiallyhospitable, and you are welcome as his guest until you eat his lastbit of food unless you offer him compensation therefor; if you do thathis wrath knows no bounds, as I once found to my sorrow.

I had been wandering with three other horseback riders for a day andnight lost in the woods; we were hungry and tired to the verge ofcollapse, when suddenly up went the heads and tails of our quadrupedfriends, who neighed with delight, and dashed pell mell toward a hugebuilding or rather connected aggregation of buildings which loomedup on a hill in the pines. We made the welkin ring with our salutingshouts, but there was no response, the settlement was deserted; westabled and fed our horses in the near-by barn, and led by a Floridianfriend entered the largest house. Had manna fallen to us from heavenour surprise could not have been greater; a huge table was before uscovered with enormous quantities of roasted meats,—venison, quail,wild turkey, hoe-cakes and fruits galore. We fell upon the provisionslike famished wolves, and when at last our "aching voids" were filled,we were appalled at the havoc we had wrought; still no hosts appearedto welcome or rebuke.

On the wide mantel was a quantity of homemade cigars from which thoseof us who were "slaves to the filthy weed" made selections, and on thebroad piazza were illustrating the wise man's definition of a cigar,"a roll of nausea with fire on one end and a fool on the other," whenthe air resounded with loud reports like pistol-shots and shouts of"whoa, whe, gee," rebel yells and barking of dogs; then a multitudeof cattle dashed into view urged on by a cavalcade of men, women andchildren. The drivers gave us only casual glances until the round-upwas completed and the enclosing gates shut, when the rollicking crowdcame trooping toward us, and our guilty consciences made us fearfulof dire punishment for our peculations. Then a tall, long-hairedpatriarch saluted us with "Howdy, strangers, howdy," shook hands withus heartily, and with a wave of his hand, "my wife and children,gents," glanced at the impoverished table, when he shouted "glad youhad good appetites, strangers, mother, guess you'll have to tune upsome more cooking."

The whole crowd gave us a marching salute, and made the water fly ina big tub where they performed much-needed ablutions, and soon,hoe-cakes were smoking, pork and sausages sizzling, doughnutsswelling, manipulated by the many willing hands: then the whole army"fell to" the abundant feast. It was wonderful and laughable to seethat crowd of sons, daughters, grand-sons, grand-daughters—fifty innumber—all one family, "stow away the prog."

Each one reminded you of the Irishman's pig who was said to devour ahalf-bushel of boiled potatoes, and when he was outside of all that,he, himself, would not fill a two quart measure. What a clatter ofdishes as the buxom girls helped mother "clear up"! Then we had fun atthe milking; it required a dozen strong men to hold one kicking cowwhile a woman, squeezed out a little milk from the reluctant udders,though she gave down freely later when the ravenous calf took hold. Ifthe men relaxed for a minute, up goes the irate cow's heels, away goesthe pail "dowsing" the maid with the foaming milk from head to foot,anon the wild-eyed brute would down horns and charge, the milkeresstakes to her heels, then a flight of lassoos, over goes the franticanimal onto her back, the ropes tighten until she was conquered andforced to "give down some of her juice." One dose of this medicinewas usually sufficient for any wild cow, and forever after she would"stand and deliver in peace."

Shall we ever forget the feeding of the pigs? Oh, the wild charge theymade when they saw the feed troughs filled! "Everyone for himself, andthe devil take the hindermost;" one huge razor-back stretches himselfat full length on the "dough" in his generous attempt to prevent therest from "making hogs of themselves"; an indignant young Crackerlassoos the hind legs, and by a dextrous pull sends his swine-shipwhirling and rending high heaven with his lamentations.

At last all are stuffed as full as our "grandmother's sassingers," andthen reclining in the sun, they express by their contented grunts andsnores, ecstatic rapture as they pile on flesh for the stuffing oftheir carniverous owners. Then we watched a giant Crackeress feedingwhat she called her "feathered hogs." With frenzied eyes, whirringwings and waring beaks, all rushed to cheat the others and to securethe whole earth, each for himself, very like many "two-legged hogswithout feathers"; a hen seizes a hoe-cake of her own size andfrantically rushes away in the vain hope of devouring it in peace insome sequestered nook; but argus, envious eyes are watching, and heruncles and her aunts pursue, striking with beaks and claws to rob herof her big all. It was a minature Wall Street and stock-exchange,where human hogs and foul birds of prey fight to the death to plundertheir own brothers.

And now gently the night stole o'er us—

"Night, so holy and so calm,
That the moonbeams hushed the spirit,
Like the voice of prayer or psalm"

and until the "wee sma hours," while three generations listenedintently, we swapped stories with our generous "Crackers."

Our patriarch host had been a captain in the rebel army until he hadhis "belly full of fight," as he quaintly termed it. His wife hadblest him with an even score of boys and girls, all now living in thisdelightful climate, where he said, "no one ever died; they simplydried up and blowed away into the happy hunting-grounds beyond thestars." When a baby was born or a child married, this chief of thetribe "hitched on" another house, until now the one-story dwellingscovered an acre of his vast lands.

He and his tribe raised on his great farm here in Bradford Countyeverything he needed to eat, drink, or to wear: his wife and daughtersspun and wove their clothing from the cotton grown and ginned on hisown fields; the delicious syrup and sugar which adorned and sweetenedthe mountains of rye pancakes and floods of home-raised coffee, wasmade from the cane which was grown, and ground on his own soil.He grew his own tobacco, tea, peanuts, oranges, figs, pineapples,bananas; he fattened his cattle and hogs on his own cassava and theabundant wild grasses; his flocks of sheep "cut their own fodder," andthe wool and mutton was all clear profit. This "Cracker" family wasthe happiest and most independent I ever saw on earth.

All around this plantation are millions of uncultivated acres wherethe wretches of our city slums could be equally happy if our Carnegiesand Rockefellers would only loan the funds to colonize them there.The millions of dollars, now worse than wasted by our selfishmillionaires? could thus soon make this earth a paradise like to thatabove. After enjoying this free delightful life for several days, andwe were on the point of departing, I said to our host, "Captain, wehave enjoyed your hospitality immensely, and I hope you will allow meto reciprocate," holding toward him a bank-note.

Instantly his eyes flashed angry fire, he shot out his fist to strikeme, when a neighbor said, "Don't hit him Cap, he don't know no better,he's a Yank." "Wall Yank," drawled this six feet of fighting man,"seein' ye don't know no better, I'll let ye off this time; but Idon't keep no tarvern, and when me and my family come yure way, we'llall stop with yew, that'll even it up." As I looked at the fiftyyawning caverns of chewing mouths, and reflected upon the cost offeeding them in Boston for even one day, I thanked God that I had notgiven him my card, and we rode away amid ear-splitting cheers andwaving of hands, each one of which resembled in size the tail-board ofa coal-cart.

On another occasion while scouring the Florida country for lands forcolonizing purposes in company with a native, the night caught us inthe dense forest; our horses stumbled over immense fallen trees, theowls hooted, the wild cats screamed, the thunder roared, occasionallya pine fell splintered by the lightning, the rain fell in torrents,and we seemed destined to shiver all the long black hours supperlessand comfortless, when our eyes were greeted by the cheerful lightshining through the open door of a log hut; a dozen curs gave tongueand went for our legs till a sharp yell from within sent them yelpingaway. A genuine Cracker appeared, and seeing our dripping forms in theelectric flash, he quietly said, "Lite strangers, lite, jest in time,plenty of hog and hominy." He led our tired steeds into the leanto,fed them, and ushered us into his one-room shanty, where his lank wifeand a dozen children silently made room for us around a rough boardtable. "Mother," said the master, "more hoe-cake, more bacon," andthe obedient woman "slapped" a lot of corn dough on to the blade ofa common hoe which a girl held over the "fat-wood" fire until itbrowned; another tossed some smoked hog into an suspicious lookingskillet, and soon, in spite of the slovenly cooking, we "fell to" ina desperate attempt to smother the gnawing pangs of a long-sufferingappetite. Then we told all the stories we could recall or invent tosatisfy the starving intellects of these lonesome denizens of thewild wood. "Come, chilluns, to bed," said our host, and they were allstacked one over the other on the one corn-shuck couch where a chorusof snores proved they were in the land of dreams.

Our host relapsed into silence and seemed to be pondering someprofound problem in his mind; but suddenly blurted out, "Strangers,reckon ye haint gut any of the rale critter, have ye? no corn juicepison nor nuthin'? reckon I was born dry!" My guide in reply produceda long flat bottle of about his own size, and passed it with "try thatKunnel." There was a sound of mighty gurgling long drawn out,but finally the huge demijohn was reluctantly withdrawn from hiscavernlike mouth with a joyous "Ah, that's the rale stuff, have somemother? The woman removed the snuff rag from her gums long enough todrain the dregs, and presto! they beamed upon us like twin suns.

"Strangers," ejacul*ted this typical Cracker, "this is the dog-gondestplace ter git er drink yer ever seed. Aour caounty went dry last'lection, and tother day er went to the spensary ter git sumfire-water er thinkin we mought be sick er sunthin, ther wouldn'tlet me hev it 'thout Doc's 'scripshun—went to Doc, wouldn't give me'scripshun 'thout snake-bite er sunthin—went ter only snake er knowedon fer a bite, und the dog-goned critter sed all his bites wuz spokefor three weeks ahed. Dunno what ud er dun if you uns hedn't cumerlong. Naouw, strangers, you take aour bed, we sleep on floo."

Then he took the "kids" one by one, and set them up with their backsto the side of the shanty, and we, not daring to beard the lion in hisden by declining, obeyed. The next morning we found ourselves set upalongside the children on the floor, while the old man and his wifewere snoring on the bed. Verily, "For ways that are dark and tricksthat are vain, the heathen 'Cracker' is peculiar."

CHAPTER XXXII.

LOOKING FORWARD.

When I was writing the last words of the preceding chapter of thisbook, and was about to

"Heed my tired pen's entreaty,
And say, oh, friends, valete,"

I seemed to be trying to awake from a trance in which I had been theunwilling instrument, compelled by an intelligence extraneous tomyself to expose to an incredulous public the most sacred scenes andthoughts of a lifetime.

I had decided to relieve the patience of my readers with thethirty-first chapter; but when the retrospective kaleidoscope closed,a vision rose before me so vivid, so real, that I am constrained todescribe it in the hope that the warning may prevent the tragic partof the dream from becoming a reality.

It is Christmas day in the year of our Lord, 1910; the thunder-cloud,which for many years had been increasing in blackness, now surchargedwith pent-up lightnings, and overspreading our entire nationalhorizon, bursts with the fury of a cyclone.

The great masses of the people had for a long time watched withever-increasing rage the seeming conspiracy of the employing andprofessional classes to bind to their chariot-wheels those who laboredwith their hands. Gigantic trusts had "cornered" all the necessariesof life, and a few lily-fingered plutocrats in their marble palacesdictated to the horny-handed sons of toil the amount of their beggarlywages, and the prices they must pay for every needed article, untilevery job of work and every bone of charity was fought for bymultitudes who mercilessly stabbed each other in their mad fury toassuage the pangs of hunger.

When the people rallied at the polls, and elected to the high officesmembers of their own unions, the millionaires bribed these officialsto obey their every command, and these mercenary law-makers, as oftenas chosen, joined the ever-growing ranks of the oppressors.

Even the almost innumerable colleges throughout the Republic, whosetreasuries had absorbed countless millions of dollars, had proveda measureless curse, as they had become mere cramming machines andnurseries of lawlessness and brutality. The great universities hadlong idolized plug-ugly football kickers and baseball sluggers tothe utter ignoring of scholarship, until the hordes of eleemosinaryprize-fighters among the so-called students created a reign of terrorwhere they were located, and far surpassed in ferocity even thegladiators of ancient Rome. The annual "athletic contest" between thetwo greatest universities was fought out with almost inconceivablefury on "Soldiers' Field."

Irresistible bodies met the immovable, cheered on by yelling legions,each phalanx would conquer or die, and die they did by scores; theykicked and slugged like maniacs until separated by the combinedpolice-forces of the surrounding cities, and more were killed andwounded than in the entire Spanish War. When night fell, thousands ofcollegians invaded the capitol of the State, and with savage yells andwedge-rushes drove all citizens from the streets; they closed everytheatre, pelting the actors with whiskey bottles stolen from thesaloons in which they had smashed thousands of dollars' worth ofcostly furniture; they stole every sign from stores, which caughttheir fancy; no woman was respected, until their orgies were stoppedby the bayonets of the national guard.

Such "scholars" as these had for many years been ground through theseeducational mills by thousands, crowding the ranks of the professionalclasses to suffocation. Legions of unscrupulous lawyers, moreheartless than pirates or brigands in Bulgaria, infested every cityand town, busy as demons stirring up strife, drilling witnesses toperjury, bull-dozing the innocent even unto death with the fullconnivance of the plunder-sharing judges, until the jails were crowdedwith victims who could not pay their outrageous fees.

These lawyer-sharks packed caucuses, stuffed ballot-boxes, and therebyelected themselves to legislatures where they enacted unjust laws tosubserve their own iniquitous depredations.

But this nefarious pillaging was not confined to the courts alone:armies of patientless doctors must be fed at the expense of thelong-suffering public, and as all the people were not naturally sickall the time for the benefit of the quacks, these so-called doctorsprevailed upon their legislative college-chums to pass laws compellingall to be innoculated with virus, ostensibly to render them immune tovarious contagions, but really to furnish unlimited plunder to their"family physicians."

Even the women caught the craze for "higher education" to fitthemselves for "kid-glove" professional emoluments; they, too, toreeach other's hair, scratched each other's faces in frantic footballrushes, tumbling over each other in the wild scrimmage for fees,leaving the kitchens to the ignorant foreigners, who ruined digestionswith preposterous cookery, which would have killed a nation ofostriches.

The great Republic might have survived even such horrors as these hadit not been for the out-breaking of another craze more terrible farthan an army with gattling guns, I refer to the most destructive ofall scourges, the mania for stock-gambling. The crafty, unscrupulousmanagers of bucket-shops, stock-exchanges, and brokerages filled thecolumns of the press with manufactured accounts of vast fortunesmade in an hour by imaginary investors of small sums, and at oncemultitudes of farmers, mechanics, and even teachers abandoned theirhonest pursuits to squander their hard earnings in the vain attemptsto "buck the tiger," and "beard the lion in his den."

The inevitable result followed: the lion and the lamb lay downtogether, with the lamb inside the lion, thousands of formerlywell-to-do people were pauperized. Thousands of farms were abandoned,hundreds of factories were deserted, while the fiendish, cheatingboss-gambler sharks were gorged to repletion with their infamousplunder; then followed a frenzy of hatred on the part of the massesagainst the classes: city treasuries were depleted to feed thestarving with free soup, the cities were crowded with the desperate,hungry multitudes who had lost their all, and bloody riots capped theclimax of a hell on earth.

From the cupola of the State House in Boston, a little group ofcitizens gazed upon a scene which would daunt the stoutest heart;these five men standing motionless and speechless under the gildeddome are of widely differing stations in life, as far apart as thepoles in culture, education, and creed, but their faces wore the sameexpressions of profound sadness mingled with stern determination.

The tall man on the right is the Governor of the State ofMassachusetts, a millionaire, a classic face showing his aristocraticlineage in every feature, a scholarly, furrowed brow, dressed withscrupulous care, and looking at the frightful scenes with thedauntless eye of an eagle. He is the chosen leader of the Republicanparty which for many years has controlled the destinies of the "OldBay State." Next stands a man in every way in strong contrast to hisrefined companion, a short, stout, ruddy-faced son of Ireland, butnow Mayor of the city of Boston, a Democrat of Democrats, carelesslydressed, a political boss, who under ordinary circ*mstances wouldnever have affiliated with his lordly neighbor.

Next in the line is a smooth-faced portly man, clad in finebroadcloth, unmistakably a Catholic Priest; next is a man of soldierlybearing whose uniform and shoulder-straps proclaim him to be thecommander of the national guard of the State; close beside theguardsman is the stalwart superintendent of the city police. For a fewminutes only, these men were spell-bound by the terrible scenes beforethem. A mob of ragged wild-eyed men and women are straggling along thestreet, some wearing the red caps of Anarchy, firing revolvers at thewindows of the houses and at every well-dressed person in sight, somewaved strange banners labelled "Bread or blood," "Down with the rich,""Shoot the soldiers"; many blood-red flags are waved with demoniacalyells.

Directly in front of this howling mob is massed the First Corps ofCadets, and the 9th Regiment of Irish militia; soldiers are seenfalling in the ranks, and blood crimsoned the snow, alarm bells areclanging, flames are bursting from the elegant buildings, tremendousexplosions are heard which seemed to shake the foundations of thecity. Ferocious men and women are seen looting the stores, drinkingplundered liquors; the off-scouring of all nations are pillaging,burning, murdering; the spirit of hell seems in full control on thisnatal day of the Prince of Peace. Still the national guard did notfire.

"Father," cried the Governor, "will the 9th Regiment kill their ownbrothers if ordered to shoot?"

"My children will obey orders, sir," quietly replied the priest.

"Then in heaven's name, General, Marconi the order; if we wait longereverything is ruined."

The Mayor's eyes flashed fire; he seemed about to countermand—thepriest lifted his hand, "Brother, we must," he said—the Mayorhesitated; he saw many of his own constituents among the rioters; hisface was like that of a corpse, then, "Order," he gasped.

The General touched the keys before him, the Colonel of the 9thflinched as if struck by a bullet, then a quick command, the clearnotes of the bugle sounded, the Irish soldiers hesitated, glanced atthe cupola; the priest with outstretched arms confirmed the mandate;the repeating rifles were levelled, and crash upon crash went thevolleys of bullets into the bosoms of the mob. Again pealed the buglenote, and quick as a flash forward rushed the dandy Cadets and theIrish soldiers, shoulder to shoulder in a wild bayonet charge.

Screams, groans and curses rend the air, scores of the rioters areweltering in their gore, the rest broke, fled, leaving the streetsstrewn with the dead and wounded.

"Marconi the hospitals," said the Governor; and in a trice theambulances are bearing away the sufferers to be tenderly cared for, asif they were the best, instead of the worst of the human race.

"Brothers," said the Governor, "shall we order the troops and policein every city to fire? It will be merciful to end this horriblesuspense." "Amen," came the response from the bowed heads of hiscompanions; instantly the command was Marconied to every place whichwas in a state of anarchy.

Suddenly came the crash of musketry from many parts of the city,accompanied by the grumbling bass of the gattling guns, then thedefiant yells ceased, and all was quiet.

"Your Excellency," calmly spoke the General, "here are Marconis fromevery city that the fight is over, the mobs have dispersed.

"Thank God," came the chorus from each in this remarkable quintettewho had co-operated in the carefully-considered plans which had soquickly brought peace to the distracted city and State.

"Brothers," said the Governor, "we must feed the hungry, and givework to the people of our overcrowded cities: there is but one way toaccomplish this, we must colonize the unemployed upon the Southern andWestern lands, the people must go back to the bosom of mother earthwhere they can have independent homes of their own; there are nopublic funds for this purpose, and the rich must furnish the necessarymoney for transportation, or the Republic is dead. I will personallyguarantee the funds necessary to furnish homes for all who will gofrom Massachusetts to cultivate the unimproved lands in Florida andColorado, which, with others, I purchased years ago to provide forthis crisis which many prophesied was sure to come. I will at oncetelegraph to secure the co-operation of the Governors of all theStates in our Union; the evening papers will announce our plans to theworld."

In a few minutes the lightnings were flashing full accounts of this,the most important meeting ever held, throughout the length andbreadth of the nation; the responses were the most enthusiastic andthrilling ever known in the history of mankind. Money in vast sums waswired by the rich to every Governor, for the purpose of transformingthe poverty-stricken of the slums into self-supporting self-respectingfarmers; railroad presidents tendered free transportation; one touchof nature made the whole world kin.

In an uncompleted tunnel under the harbor of Boston was gathered avast crowd of wild-eyed Anarchists, and desperate hungry wretches fromthe vilest dens, who had just sworn with unspeakable oaths to burn andplunder the city that very night, to murder all the rich, to commitoutrages no fiend had ever dared to dream before. When they were aboutto rush out and let loose the dogs of carnage and unspeakable horrors,suddenly in the glare of their torches appeared the priest who an hourbefore, had played such an important part in the State House cupolaconference. A hush fell upon the rabble as they recognized theirspiritual adviser; with a voice of almost super-human power, heshouted,

"Brothers, there is no excuse for murder, no cause for lawlessness,money is flowing in like water to furnish homes for us all away fromthese stifling factories out in God's pure air of the prairies andfields of the great West and the sunny South. For the sake of yourwives and children do no violence; assemble all to-morrow morning inthe amphitheatre, where you will find food in abundance, until we arelocated upon our own portion of God's green earth."

The effect of these sympathetic words was wonderful; malice and frenzywere driven from the minds of these children of the slums, even as thedevils were exorcised from the Magdalen of old, and inspired with newhopes and holier aspirations they vanished into the shades of evening.

All night long the Salvation Army, the Volunteers of America, hundredsof every nationality and creed, labored strenuously in makingpreparations to feed the hungry, clothe the shivering, and care forthe sick. When the morning dawned fair and balmy beyond all precedentfor this season of the year, the scene in the vast amphitheatrebaffled description, over which the heavenly host rejoiced as neverbefore. The united bands of the city discoursed sweet music from thebalcony, from steaming cauldrons the multitudes were fed to repletionwith nourishing delicious food; the sick, the weak, the women andchildren were abundantly supplied in their homes, all seemed like onegreat family, the rich and the poor clasped hands like brothers, andthe spirit of peace on earth good will toward men reigned supreme.When all had been refreshed, while the bands played "Hail to theChief," the Governor, with a great number of the most prominent inchurch, state, and philanthropy, filed in upon the rostrum, welcomedby enthusiastic cheers. As the applause died away His Excellency said,

"In the city hives are clustered far too many human bees, we mustswarm out into the country where there is honey enough and to spare,

"'Go back to your mother, ye children, for shame,
Who have wandered like truants, for riches and fame!
With a smile on her face, and a sprig in her cap,
She calls you to feast from her bountiful lap.

Come out from your alleys, your courts, and your lanes,
And breathe, like your eagles, the air of our plains;
Take a whiff from our fields, and your excellent wives
Will declare it all nonsense insuring your lives.'

"You, who are strong, and who delight in buffetting the cold and snows,should go to the deserted New England farms or to the broad prairiesof the West, the graneries of the world; but you who shrivel in thewintry blasts, and who are subject to rheumatism and coughs, should goto the sunny southlands where you can work and rejoice in a climate ofperpetual summer.

"We have funds in abundance to secure lands for all, build houses,furnish essentials for tilling the soil, and provisions, until cropscan be raised; this money you can repay in easy installments to beused to equip future applicants. All wishing to secure these homeswithout money and without price can apply at the State Houseto-morrow."

A glad shout which reached the stars and gladdened the angelic hostswas the immediate response to these tidings, and poverty was banishedforever from the Great Republic.

The scene changes—from stygian darkness, desolation and gloom ofdingy, malodorous factories and streets, where ragged, hopelessbeggars-for-work delve and curse, to the glorious sunlight and balmyair of the "Land of Flowers." Here we see pretty vine-clad cottagesembowered in orange groves, and surrounded by luxuriant harvests ofeverything to make life worth the living. Here we see the murderousvillains of the Boston Christmas-day mobs, no longer blood-thirsty,but smiling and happy as they listen to the songs of birds, thebleating of their own flocks, the laughter of their delightedchildren, while the prosperous fathers "tickle the bosom of their ownmother earth with the hoe to make it laugh with abundant crops for manand beast." The grateful citizens have named their towns in honor oftheir generous benefactors, thus establishing for Carneiges, Morgansand Rockefellers monuments to their memories which will endureforever.

Thus was removed for all time the antagonism between labor andcapital; thus were envy and class hatreds banished from society, andthus was our glorious Republic secured upon firm foundations, whichwill endure "until the final day breaks and all earthly shadows fleeaway."

Thus at last the prophetic vision of the poet seemed to be realized in"the land of the free and the home of the brave."

"One dream through all the ages
Has led the world along:
The wise words of the sages,
The poet in his song,
The prophet in his vision,—
All these have caught the gleam,
Have caught the light elysian,
Have told the haunting dream.

This dream is that the story
The ages have unrolled
Shall blossom in the glory
Of one long age of gold;
That every man and woman
Shall find life glad and free,
That in whate'er is human
Is hid Divinity.

The rod of old oppression
One day shall broken be;
Those held in night's possession
The light of hope shall see;
For tears there shall be laughing,
And peace shall be for strife,
And thirsty lips be quaffing
The wine of glorious life.

The rage and noise of battle
Shall sink, and fall to peace,
The lowing of the cattle,
The fruit and corn increase;
No more the wide sky under
The rattle of the drum,
No more the cannon's thunder,—
God's kingdom shall have come.

Some day, dearest, where skies are bright,
We'll dwell in the beauty of love and light;
And sorrow will seem
Like a far-off dream,
And life shall be morning, that knows no night!

Some day, dearest—that perfect day
For which we knelt in the dark to pray
We'll reap the rest
That God deems best—
In the beautiful vales of the far-away!"

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