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Table of Contents: Canadian Illustrated News
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Illustration: A Viennese Beauty
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Article: City Athletics (continued)
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Illustration: The Young Mother
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Illustration: Breakfast in Bed
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Illustration: Treaty of Peace Signed at Hué, at the French Legation, 25th August, 1883
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Illustration: Surrender of Thuan-an, 20th August, 1883
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Digitized image of page 402: Parting Words
We regret to have to announce that with the present impression, the publication of the Canadian Illustrated News will be discontinued. It was established thirteen years ago. A sufficient time has therefore elapsed thoroughly to try an experiment. The Illustrated News is discontinued for the simple reason that its issue is not renumerative to the Company who publish it. Every effort has been made to secure a different result; and there has been a very considerable expenditure on both the artistic and letter press departments as well as on the material parts of the paper and typography, which have certainly been equal to those of other illustrated journals on this continent.
The readers of the News are the natural and the best judges of the degree of success which has attended on the expenditure of both money and labour to which we have referred. And to those steadfast subscribers and readers who have during the years we have mentioned, promptly met their obligations, our best thanks are due. There has, however, unfortunately, been another class of subscribers;— those who have not met the obligations they had undertaken; and to them, in a very large measure, the announcement which we now make, is owing.
There is another view. It is quite possible that Canada has not yet obtained a sufficient population to enable a publication of an illustrated weekly journal to be made. It is certain that in the United States the population was five or six times as great as that of Canada, before an illustrated journal was a success there. There is an apparent exception to this argument afforded by the illustrated papers in Australia. But then it is to be observed, that the per capita wealth of the population in Australia is exceptional, with the additional feature that the settlements are compact.
Those of our subscribers who have paid in advance, will have the balances returned to them, so soon as the books are made up. Those who have not paid, but are in arrears, are, of course, expected now to pay; and will naturally understand payment will be insisted upon.
It only remains to say to all our readers that inevitable word "which must and hath been: Farewell!"
Digitized image of page 402: Happy New Year
Another year has passed away, and we are on the eve of twelve eventful months. We take the opportunity of wishing our readers and patrons all the compliments of the season. It is a time when we naturally gather our thoughts together, both for reminiscence and examination, to see what use has been made of the past and what should be our conduct in the future. It is also a time when the heart mellows, when attachments are renewed or strengthened, when animosities are forgotten, and we feel inclined toward that one touch of nature which makes the whole world kin. It is well that there should be a resting place of the sort, at least once a year, and in our case we eagerly employ it in once more wishing our friends the compliments of the season.
Digitized image of page 402: City Athletics
The natural conditions of rural life are the most favourable to health. But the artificial conditions are not always the best in the world. Even in our small towns the social organisation is too loose-jointed and spiritless to enter heartily into schemes for the thorough education of the body; and as to farm life there is a vast deal of balderdash talked about that Arcadian mode of existence. Bad food and ill-ordered work are the rule on our American farms. Salæratus bread, heavy pastry and fried meat do not form the best diet for an athelete. And whether he is ploughing, or hoeing, or digging, or pitching hay, the young farmer's labor is little better in kind than that of the drain-digger on our boulevards.
Careful consideration of these facts may convince the most fettered slave of childhood's fond delusion that the male dweller in the city need not be an absolute physical wreck. There is a saving muscular grace for the town man, and it is found in what is known as "amateur athletics". But even he who has some genuine light on the subject will be surprised to learn to what an extent and how successfully the young New Yorker seeks after this saving grace, and will receive with incredulity the statement that New York is in a fair way to become the amateur athletic capital of the world.
It does sound somewhat startling; but it is true. In the first place, Nature has given the child of Manhattan every possible facility for making his recreation literally a re-creation — a building up of new strength of body, controlled in its development by gymnastic skill. It seems almost as though the original plan of New York island and the surrounding region had been laid out with this end solely in view.
Look at the map. To the south of the long, high-backed island on which the city sits is a broad bay, at the confluence of two rivers. The bay opens, by a passage miscalled the "Narrows" to another still larger bay, and that has a wide doorway to the open sea. This spread of waters offers accommodations to all kinds and conditions of crafts, from a canoe to a Cunarder. Of the two rivers, the one has been described as "the largest of its size" in the world. It is a broad, deep, powerful stream, with enough volume of water in it to make an Ohio or a Rio Grande, if economized after the Western fashion. In New York it has to be crowded to make room for a few lakes which we have up in the north of the State.
The other river gives a broad stream to the requirements of down-town commerce, and then obligingly splits up and opens in one direction into a mighty sound, and in the other into a shallow, spreading creek, quite the ideal place for rowing.
Two good roads lead from the city proper to the suburbs north, where the new wards in Westchester offer fairly cheap sites for ball-grounds and race-tracks. Ground may be had, likewise, on Staten Island, to the south, or in Jersey, to the west, where are the best roads for bicycling this side of Boston. And the bold hunters of the anise-seed bag have all Long Island to themselves.
But does the young New Yorker take advantage of his opportunities? Let us see. In 1868 there was one athletic club in New York. The year before there was none. This large increase arose from the founding of the New York Athletic Club, and was thought much of at the time. To-day the score of 1867 is beaten by seven, the Staten Island Athletic Club being included. These are the athletic clubs pure and simple, those that encourage all manly sports. Of clubs that make a specialty of one form of exercise there is no end. There are rowing clubs, yachting clubs, bicycle clubs, lawn-tennis clubs, racket clubs, croquet clubs, archery clubs, walking clubs, lacrosse clubs, curling clubs, skating clubs, riding clubs, rifle clubs, gun clubs, base ball and cricket clubs, fishing clubs, bowling clubs, polo clubs — and Indian clubs for the "unattached".
The numbering and naming of these clubs would make a chapter like the generations of Enoch; and it would at the best be a misleading ing [sic] piece of work. For it is only a few of the greater associations which can give you documentary evidence of their membership and achievements; and these are, in a sense, the least interesting and important of all. Of course your great club is the standard, the criterion, the shining bright example, to a host of smaller ones; but muscle is made and health gained in the unpretentious little organizations whose names are never in the papers, whose "constitution and by-laws" are not printed in neat little books, whose members never "lower the record," or deck their broad breasts with gold badges.
In looking over the Herald, or, more likely, the News or the Journal, or some other distinctively "popular" paper, you will see a brief paragraph stating that the employés of the Smith Manufacturing Co. defeated the Jones, Brown and Robinson Brothers Club in a boat-race or game of base ball. Now you will never hear of those sturdy young toilers at the spring games or the annual meetings of the New York or the Manhattan Athletic Clubs; there is never a runner among them who will make Mr. Myers tremble for his laurels; the ghosts of the old original Atlantics could pitch and catch and bat them into oblivion at the national game; but they are, in fact, the truest athletes of all. They do not seek semi-professional celebrity; the applause of their friends — especially of their young female friends — and such a line as you have read in the journal they most affect, represents to them all that glory and fame can give. They work in modest retirement for strength and health, and they get it.
There are such clubs as these in most of the large mercantile and manufacturing establishments, and they compete with each other in a more or less friendly spirit. There is a certain social rivalry between different houses in the same trade, often between different divisions of one house. Compositors do battle with pressmen, weavers with dyers, the hands in the wholesale department with the hands in the retail store. Any morning you may read in the Sun or the Star that a certain valiant lithographer, for instance, offers to row or to wrestle with any other lithographer for the championship of the lithographers. Sometimes you will learn in this way of strange and mysterious callings, undreamed of by the general public. You will read, mayhap, of a "double-wadder" who desires to be known as the strong man of all the double-wadders in New York, and who will put his prowess to the test with any other double-wadder, be he never so mighty of muscle, who will meet him on the peaceful field where double-wadders are wont to "put the shot" or "throw the hammer." The peaceful field is generally a small Schützen Park or picnic "woods" upon the Harlem, or over the river in Jersey.
It is natural that men who make their living by manual labor, end [sic] earn their bread literally in the sweat of their brows, should be athletes. Likewise the athletic clubs of the militia regiments may be taken as a matter of course. And with the apparent inseparableness of a collegiate from an athletic education we are all familiar — too, too sadly familiar, perhaps. But it is surprising to see how the mania for forming associations for physical exercise has spread through all the classes of a great city. The young men of a certain neighborhood gather together and get up a loosely organized little club to play base-ball or cricket; the establishment of a good bowling alley is the signal for the appearance of half a dozen new bowling clubs, each one of which has its evening, when it holds exclusive possession of the floor; and on Murray Hill, where base-ball and ten-pins are in no great favor, the young men and women of each little "set" get ease and grace and strength to dance the nightly German by practicing at lawn-tennis in the armories or in public halls, which are to be had cheaply for use in the daytime; and there they acquire the semi-professional skill shown in their championship matches at Newport.
Seeing that these gatherings of muscle-seekers have no yearnings after public notice, and that their incorporate existence rarely passes the limit of two or three years — for young men grow up and marry, bowling-alleys are crowded out by local growth and appreciation of real estate, and society friendships faint and fail in a season's space — it is not always easy to have ocular evidence of the existence of these very private clubs. But if you want to see the West Ninety-sixth Street Base-ball Nine at work, go over any Saturday afternoon to the waste places of Jersey, between Hoboken and Guttenburg, and you will see a party of young men, whose uniformity of attire goes no further than a general tendency to shirt sleeves, playing the game with a vast deal of unprofessional noise. They do not wear red stockings and conspicuously initialed flannel shirts; but they are a club, and they hold the dignity dear. They have a captain, and a treasurer who is also a secretary, and who collects the fines. Indeed they are a club, and next season they will go far into "Jersey" to meet the South Orange Junction Oriole Stockings, and play their first game in a regular inclosure. And there mayhap, their crack pitcher will distinguish himself, or somebody will do a little neat fielding, and you may see that man, a year or two hence, playing up at the Polo Grounds in a gorgeous uniform, with applauding thousands around.
The bowling-alley, is, as a rule, an adjunct of what is known as a beer garden. The name is somewhat strange. The "beer" part of it is well applied; but the "garden" covers only a tiny square of ground with "two dyspeptic aloes" — from which it appears that good beer does in truth need some sort of bush. Beyond this little space — "a square of clay, unused to vegetation" — lies the alley too, often constructed of green wood, which warps with the rolling years and splinters under the rolling bowls. Here the little coterie of friends is to be found on the evening set apart for it. The club has its own score-board, with the names of the members painted thereon. The proprietor generally furnishes some small solid refreshment, and each member pays for the liquids he consumes — a moderate score it is, too, for exercise is the sworn foe of intemperance — and at the end of the evening the expenses of the meeting, consisting of hall rent and the hire of the attendant boys, are divided up among those present. The tax may be fifty cents a head or thereabouts.
The Germans are the great bowlers of the city, and they have made the pastime popular; but they have ruined the fine old American system of playing, by the introduction of mighty balls, such as Thor might love to roll in Walhalla, pierced with two holes, side by side, into one of which the player inserts his thumb, slipping two fingers into the other. This reduces the difficulties of the game to a minimum, and makes it largely a matter of brute strength. Any obese giant who can lift one of these great spheres and start it straight in the centre of the alley may trust to its size and the momentum it must acquire to sweep down most of the pins. Oh, for the old balls, hardly larger than a croquet ball, and the round hand bowling of our fathers' days! Strikes and spares were less common then; but when a man cleaned the board he had something to be proud of. Let it be said for our German friends, however, that their own game is more complicated than ours, and that an ordinary club meeting with them means a prolonged tourney, lasting sometimes four or five hours, much more scientifically arranged than our simple contests.
But the shrinking and sensitive club is the tennis club. This is not because of any modesty; it probably calls itself the "True Knickerbocker Tennis Club," or the "Original Mayflower Racketeer." The fact is, it has been for a year or two quietly and unobstrusively "squatting" in one of the militia armories, and it well knows that the State government looks with stern disapproval upon such frivolous tenantry. Nay, so very decided are the powers at Albany that the fine floors and heigh [sic] ceilings of the regimental drill-rooms are now practically delights of the past to the tennis player, and he must needs hire a hall wherein to spread his harmless net.
Now there are not very many halls suitable for tennis-playing in New York, and when a good one is secured it is the part of wisdom for the "True Knickerbockers" to say nothing about their find, lest the "Autediluvian Aristocrats" outbid them, and secure the prize themselves. So the tennis club of "sassiety" hides itself, as it were, in the tender twilight of well-bred retirement, and has a good time all by itself, slipping down in its monogrammed coupés to Avenue A to chase the standard ball over the waxed floors of Klumpenheimer Hall, where in the evening the belles of the Bowery will dance to the music of two fiddles and a piano, at the annual ball of McGeoghegan Coterie No. 2.
It is rather surprising that more use is not made of the smaller halls, meeting-rooms, ball-rooms, and lecture-rooms that are plentiful enough all over the city. They will not do for tennis; but they serve well enough for the practice of light gymnastics, fencing, broadsword, and single-stick exercise, and wrestling and boxing matches. They may be had, in the daytime, for a dollar or two an hour, sometimes even less. There is always a janitor, who will for a small fee take care of the implements of war, so that the parties may meet at stated times without having to make themselves painfully conspicuous in the public eye by marching through the streets loaded down with boxing gloves or broadswords. Of course the lessees of the hall may close the doors and enjoy the strictest privacy.
Senac is New York's great professor of fence, but there are many teachers of less renown. As to the gentlemen whose lives are devoted to spreading a knowledge of the manly art, they are beyond all counting. No man who wishes to learn to box will have the slightest difficulty in finding somebody's "Mouse," or a "Chicken" from somewhere, who will be happy to impart instructions at low rates, and likewise to sell his pupil a pair of gloves at about twenty-five per cent. more than he would have to pay for them at a sporting-goods shop. But let the young disciple beware of those teachers who are known as "sluggers." A knowledge of the Briton's beloved science may be acquired without the loss of one's front teeth and self-respect. It is unwise to rely too fondly upon the instructor's guarantee of "gentlemanly treatment." There are many youths now walking about this city who have been "treated" to black eyes and broken noses by the gentlemanly Mice and Chickens whose patron saint is the Marquis of Queensberry. Decent and competent teachers may, however, be found who will show a man how to use his fists in from a dozen to two dozen lessons, at one or two dollars a lesson.
But if the young cit is really "going in" for athletics, the best thing he can do is to make sure of his enthusiasm lasting by putting it into a joint-stock company. Lonely exercise grows a wearisome thing in the end; it becomes mere work, and distasteful work at that. But the member of a club, be it large or small, has the pleasure of companionship, the stimulus of rivalry; gets advice, encouragement, assistance, and in consequence finds a pleasure in all that he does and bears, in all the sweating and shivering he must go through to come first under or get furtherest over the line. Nor is it strange if the glimmer of a gold medal or a silver cup increases his desire to touch the goal.
Digitized image of page 403: City Athletics (continued)
Of course there is a prejudice, confined for the most part to overfond mothers and timorous maiden aunts, against the athletic club as a physical educator. Mr. Wilkie Collins's Man and Wife, with its shocking picture of the breaking down of Mr. Geoffrey Delamayne, has frightened many excellent old ladies, and they are likewise troubled with visions of brutal trainers and unmannerly associates — "strange gentleman" like those who disturbed the peace of the Countess, née Kilmansegg, and who were
"in the fancy line;
And they fancied spirits instead of wine;
And they called her lap-dog Wenus."
So far as the athletic-club system of New York is concerned, this is a groundless prejudice indeed. Now and then, perhaps, vaulting ambition gets a fall, or a sprain, or a strain; but a young man is likelier to be a sound young man, morally and physically, in a club than he is out of it. Physical training is, in a negative way, moral exercise. The man who is in training must needs keep early hours, be wary of the flowing bowl, and generally lead a sober and temperate life. He is under the charge of a professional trainer, who will see that he does not overwork himself. The collective eye of the club is on him. It watches him to note his special capacity, to find out what he can do best. Then he is encouraged to judicious endeavor. If he undertakes to represent his club at the general games, it is of importance to every member that he shall be in the best condition to sustain its honor. His associates are young men of from eighteen to twenty-five, with a few old veterans, who give a leaven of solid wisdom to the crude mass of youthful enthusiasm. These young men are clerks, lawyers, and the like; the majority of them Americans; the others principally Germans and Irish of the better sort.
No, the young men need come to no harm in this company; and he may choose for himself among what class or clan of amateur athletics he will take his chosen form of exercise. The list is large enough.
At the top should stand, by right of seniority, the New York Athletic Club. Organized in 1868, it is now a gray-headed Nestor among the younger generation of clubs. It has laid down its laurels on the banks of Harlem Creek, and leaves its juniors to fight for medals, cups, and championships. There is an atmosphere of quiet and exclusive respectability about its neat, well-arranged club-house and spacious grounds on the Mott Haven side of the Harlem. It seems altogether too comfortable and conservative a club ever to have been the radical pioneer of amateur athletics, with traditions of poor little games, ill attended, and wholly despised and neglected by conservative and slothful New-Yorkers. But Mr. W. B. Curtis and Mr. H. E. Buermeyer, the founders of the club, are on hand to-day to tell the tale of the old days in the little patch of ground on this side of the river, still active members of the club, and familiar figures at all athletic meetings.
The N.Y.A.C. originates most of the laws which bind the National Association of Amateur Athletes of America, a mighty league which holds its legislative and executive sessions at the spring games, on the first Wednesday in May. It will cost the young man who is properly introduced ten dollars for an admission fee and twenty-five dollars for yearly dues to become a member of this club, and for this he will soon be able to invite his friends to the handsomest club-house and one of the best gymnasiums in the country; these, moreover, are to be within the city limits.
The New York represents Sybaris among the clubs of the city, and the Manhattan may be called Sparta. The Manhattan Club pits an active present against an honored past. It was organized in November, 1877, and got to work early in the following year with just a score of members. It has now about 175, and the number increases with a healthy growth.
The Manhattan holds the championship emblem, and it does more than any other organization to keep the Athletic ball rolling. It has two "grounds" — one place at Fifty-sixth Street and Eighth Avenue, and another on the same thoroughfare, exactly one mile and a half to the north, at Eighty sixth [sic] Street. The latter is, or will be when it is finished, the largest and best of its sort. It covers a whole block, has space for base-ball, foot-ball, lacrosse, and lawn tennis, a quarter-mile track for running and bicycling, and a shady, airy grand stand, where the lasses may sit at the games and watch their favored lads in the red-diamond-decked suits of white. If you are seeking luxury and recreation only, you should join the New York. If you want exercise for health's sake, or fame as runner, a vaulter, or a heaver of heavy weights, the Manhattan is your club, for the Manhattans are an ambitious lot. They have heaped up a majority score of individual championships, and their native land is too small to contain their ambition. They send teams to try the muscles of the hardy Kanucks, and they sent the famous Myers to England to drown the roar of the British lion in the whoop of the American eagle. To cover the expenses of this patriotic venture they got up a series of games at the Madison Square Garden, where Charles Rowell gave for their benefit an exhibition of the style of running which gave him for years the title of "the unconquered."
And by-the-way, Alcides Urban, if you think that a huge frame is necessary to a good athlete, it were well for you to look at those two men. Mr. L. E. Myers's weight varies from one hundred and ten to one hundred and twenty pounds, and the "great" Rowell is a little fellow of Napoleonic build, with nothing big about him save his legs.
" 'Ow much do you think my chest measures?" he asked of me.
"About forty inches, I suppose, when you are in training."
"Thirty-five inches," said the champion. He was the champion then.
And as to Myers, the champion "sprint," or short distance runner, he is a walking — nay, a running — plea for amateur athletics, and he will deliver a little sermon on the subject if you choose to seek him, lounging of a summer evening about the vast grounds at Eighty-sixth Street and Eighth Avenue.
Oh no, Alcides, this isn't at all what your dear aunt Cassandra thinks of when she hears the word "athlete" — the prize-fighting, race-selling, bullying, swaggering "professional." This is a good-looking, gentlemanly young skeleton of twenty five [sic]. His eyes, his teeth, his smile, are bright; his skin — the costume gives great opportunities for observation — is bright and brown. Finger and thumb of a "7 cadet's" glove would girt his slender angle; but you notice that all his bones are light; that his hand is small, his instep high; that he carries himself gracefully; that his muscles play supple, clean, and quick under his thin skin. This is fine stock, not feeble. This is your ameteur [sic] athlete.
"Yes," he says, with a smile, "it's very exasperating. There are people who will persist in classing amateur athletes with professionals. They ask me if I can outrun Rowell!"
If Mr. Myers were to run one hundred yards in a public race with Mr. Rowell, Mr. Myers might put himself out of amateurdom forever.
"They can't understand that money makes all the difference between the two classes. These professionals make a business of sport. But there is nothing mercenary in an amateur's ambition. He values his medals and cups not for the gold or silver in them, but for the achievements which they represent. We try to make our clubs fit for gentlemen, and I think we succeed. We are thoroughly democratic; we don't care for a man's wealth or social position, but we oxact [sic] of him decent and courteous behavior and unquestionable character. Why, we have all sorts of people in this club — mostly clerks and young business men, but everybody else, too — lawyers, doctors, journalists, brokers — I don't know. They all seem to get along well together."
"All great athletes? Oh no. Many join the club only for their health — to get a bit of exercise. Awkward for them coming among trained men? No, indeed. Why, the old hands encourage them — help them on — give them advice. We want to make everything pleasant here, naturally."
"Yes, I was always fond of sport, and as a child I danced a good deal. That, I think, limbered up my legs. Besides, I've got these; they are muscles, and they help me to run."
And he exhibits a pair of abnormal trunk handles, one on each hip, bulging out his running breeches.
"No, sir, no one else has 'em. That's the only pair in the world. Well, when I began as an amateur, I was in very bad health, apparently in the first stages of consumption. No one thought I would live. I was broken down, sickly, weak. But I had made up my mind that there was only one way to get back health — through exercise. So I ran and jumped and parred and put the shot, though for a while the least exertion made me very sick, and — well, here I am. Pretty sound for a man who was at death's door a few years ago, eh? Not much consumption here?"
And he inflates a healthy chest, small, but sound.
"Exercise now! Well, fifteen minutes a day would cover all the time I spend in active exercise. I just come up here, on pleasant summer evenings, and amuse myself running or throwing weights with the rest of the boys, and when I am tired I stop."
"Training? I never trained but twice, and both times disagreed with me. I eat and drink just as any reasonable man should, avoiding simply what is unwholesome — what one knows to be bad for him. I don't deny myself anything good, so long as it doesn't hurt me. But I don't smoke and you oughtn't to either."
Mr. H. G. Crickmore is the great "Krik" of the sporting world. "I know more about horses than about humans," he said to me the other day; "but I have watched those boys. I think they would do well to go in for easy, steady, long-distant running rather than for sprinting and that sort of violent exercise. But they are doing a great work, as all men are who try to build up the body, to increase their physical strength, and to raise the general standard of health. It is a work that will show in their children and in their grandchildren — in a race of healthier and stronger men and women."
And your choice lies not only between two athletic clubs. There are four small and active associations in this city, which exist at present mainly to produce good runners and walkers for the championship games, but which may, with accessions to their membership, increase the scope of their efforts. The American Athletic Club is a homeless group of athletic nomads, who hire the grounds of other clubs for practice and for exhibition, until such time as their treasury may warrant the lease of suitable lots and the erection of the necessary buildings. The A.A.C. is generally regarded as an offshoot of the Young Men's Christian Association Gymnasium, and is principally remarkable as having brought to the front young G. D. Baird, a walker who gives promise of great things, if he doesn't walk his short legs off within the next two or three years.
The Pastime A. C. has cool grounds at Sixty-sixth Strtet [sic] and the East River. Among its members are Lambrecht, the champion heaver of the heavy hammer and putter of the ponderous weight; Conolly, the champion heavy-weight boxer; and Mr. Nason, to whom his colleagues proudly point as the "champion sack-racer of the world."
The Gramercy is practically a running club, and its chief glory is in its fine runner, Golden. This club has no grounds. It scarcely needs them. The whole, the boundless continent is its. In winter the members take easy runs up along the Hudson River — to Peekskill, for instance.
The hero and president of the West Side Athletic Club is William Meek, champion long distance walker. The club has the grounds of the old Scottish-American Club on Fifty-fourth Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues. The initiation fee, dues, and assessments in these four clubs are very light indeed. It must be a lean pocket that cannot meet them.
But there are many who are good New-Yorkers at heart, but for whom New York is only a base of financial supplies. These live in the suburbs of the great city, whose boundary line ought to be drawn from, say Yonkers, through Westchester, County, sweeping around through Long Island to Coney Island, around again, embracing Staten Island, through New Jersey to its starting-place. That is really New York, and these her suburban residents are not shut out from the athletic advantages of those who dwell within the walls. Do you live in Yonkers? at Fordham? at New Rochelle? at Mount Vernon? The New York Club's grounds and all the boat-houses of the Harlem are within your reach.
Do you inhabit that fair island that lies like the dot below the crooked exclamation-point of Manhattan, far to the south? Well, you have the Staten Island Athletic Club, with some two hundred and fifty apostles of the knee-breeched cultus. They have a boat-house — and boats in it, too — at New Brighton, and track and base-ball grounds at West Brighton. They have swallowed up the old Hesper and Neptune rowing clubs and they yearn for aquatic renown.
Long Island, if you in Brooklyn or Williamsburg, can give you the privileges of the W.A.C. — a most promising and plucky organization, six years old with more than two hundred members. They have a commodious camping-ground at the corner of Wythe Avenue and Penn Street, Brooklyn, E.D. They have an originally constructed track, tipped outside up, like a railroad curve. They also have a gymnasium and a "crack" trainer, Jack McMasters, and their games are getting to be considered great "events."
If Fate has sent you to New Jersey, you may join the Elizabeth A. C., which is one year younger than the Williamsburg, and has about the same number of active members, who rejoice in a club-house with billiard-tables and bowling-alleys, in a good track and grand stand, and in being also members of the American Athletic Base-ball Association.
But it may be, Alcides Urban, that you prefer to cultivate the one little muscular talent which nature has allotted you, caring naught for sports in general. Well, you can do it without going out of the suburbs.
Do you row? And are you unwilling or unable to pay $100 or $120 for a shell wherein to paddle in selfish solitude? You can join, for twenty-five dollars admission fee and twenty dollars annual dues, the New York Rowing Club, where there are more than a hundred other young men just of your way of thinking, who have the freedom of a well-fitted-up boat-house just above the elevated railroad bridge on the Harlem. This is a veteran club that nowadays feels more inclined for play than for work; but there were days when its name was great among the racers, and the young oarsmen of to-day find that some of the old "New-Yorkers" are the best "coaches" to be had.
If this does not suit you, you may take your choice between the Nassau and the Atalanta. If you are in bondage to learning at Columbia, you will join the college boat club; If you are a budding broker on Broad Street, you may sit on the sliding seats of the Stock Exchange Rowing Club's shells. Or you may be a Metropolitan or a Dauntless; if you live near Bergen Point, an Argonaut; if near Yonkers, one of the Palisades; if on Staten Island, a member of the S.I.R.C.
Perhaps a great yearning has seized upon you to enlarge your biceps after some other fashion. The Scottish-American will teach you to put the shot and to throw the hammer.
Perhaps you have read "The Canoe and the Flying Proa," and wish to test for yourself the relative virtues of the "Rob Roy," the "Shadow," the "Nautilus," and the "Herald." There is a New York Canoe Club at Staten Island, and a Knickerbocker Canoe Club at Eighty-sixth Street and the North River, and another club at Bayonne, "over in Jersey;" and likewise there is the Flushing C.C., of Long Island, and you will be afforded every possible opportunity for accustoming yourself to the sudden dampness that succeeds a capsizing fit before you go on your summer vacation trip, canoeing it all the way to Lake George and back.
Roughly, a canoe costs $100, and it is a good and, except for predestined idiots, a safe investment. It is faster than a row-boat, and less cranky, the seat being below the surface of the water. It tempts to exercise and travel in watery paths of pleasantness and peace. The American Canoe Association is enthusiastic enough to support a handsome little monthly, published by Brentano Brothers, New York, and called The American Canoeist. From its pages he who would canoe may learn how to go about to accomplish his end.
Mr. J. R. Flannery is the good genius of lacrosse in this region, and he is well seconded by Messrs. Erastus Wiman and Hermann Oelrichs; but lacrosse has had in New York a spasmodic sort of career, living, dying, and being resuscitated over and over again for the last fifteen years. It requires grounds that can not be had within the city lines. Yet it is a fine game — a sort of shinney raised to the nth, or what we used to call, when we were boys, "gool," I suppose we meant goal, or golf. In '82 six clubs fought for the U.S.N.A.LC. Association Cup, given by Mr. Oelrichs. These were the New York, the Princeton, the Harvard, the Yale, the New York University, and the Bloomfield, New Jersey. There are but two clubs now in the city, the N.Y., and the N.Y.U.C.; and one in Brooklyn, the Adelphic. Lacrosse is earnestly recommended to the unattached athlete.
Tennis perchance suits your errant fancy. It is, indeed, a pretty game, but leads to a lax taste in the way of bats. Well, if you can buy a flannel shirt, a pair of rubber-soled shoes, and a racket, and are able to pay some ridiculously low dues and assessments, you may readily gratify your whim. Tennis is the cuckoo of games. It is ever squatting in some alien nest. It has a building all to itself at 212 West Forty-first Street, where the pioneers and the strictly feminine bonnets rouges play; and yet it confiscates the militia armories and the assembly halls; and you may find it hanging on the skirts of archery, base-ball, cricket, and general athletic clubs all through the suburbs. The new Manhattan grounds are to have some wonderful courts. The St. George's Cricket Club, of New York, has twenty grass courts on its grounds at Hoboken, the Staten Island C. and B-B.C. has twelve, and there are some more in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. There are nine well-established tennis clubs in New Jersey (some of them adjuncts of base-ball, cricket, or archery clubs), two in Brooklyn, one on Staten Island, and one at Hastings — particular Hastings-upon-Hudson, which is ever truly British. Old clubs die and new ones are formed all the time, yet it would be fairly safe to hazard the estimate of fifteen hundred club players in New York and her tributary towns. The champion tennis-players are Mr. R. D. Sears and Dr. James Dwight, both of Bolton.
Among these poisers of the airy racket I have not counted the members of the Racquet Club — a mighty organization, dwelling in a frowning castle on the corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Sixth Avenue; a bachelor palace within, well known to rich and luxurious young New Yorkers.
If you wish to be a bicycler, Alcides; if you are not afraid of being held on outcast from society beeause [sic] you put on neat knee-breeches and a polo cap, and straddle that wiry wheel which the "average citizen," not daring to mount, doth much deride and ridicule; if you wish to enjoy a ride where you have the combined joy in strength and speed of horse and rider; if you wish to spin over the fine roads of New Jersey, or up the smooth Boulevard to Yonkers, or along the Pelham road, passing on a spurt the truly British turn-outs of the Coaching Club; if you desire wiry legs; good digestion, and sound sleep o' nights — you may join the band of wheelmen, who are forbidden to travel in the mazy ways of Central Park because an occasional horse has shown an antipathy to knickerbockers and rubber tires. Horses, it is well known, never shy at locomotives, heaps of brick, circus posters, bands of music, or red parasols.
There is room in the world for the bicycle outside of Central Park, Alcides, and you may learn to ride to-day much more easily and peacefully than did the poor pioneers of the sport three years ago, when the wheel was a new thing in New York ways, and the dogs were set upon it, the while the populace jeered. In those days you had to learn for yourself, but nowadays you may go to Mr. Elliot Mason's school in Thirty-fourth Street, where one of the Masons, sticking closer than a brother, will hold you on to your machine until you are its master. Then you may hire a bicycle there, or at Fifty-ninth street and Fifth Avenue, and practice on the road till such time as you feel that you may wisely invest ninety or a hundred dollars in a "Special Columbia," or from twenty to fifty more in an imported "Humber," or a native "Expert." The English machines have held the top of the market until recently, but it is getting to be pretty well understood that the American bicycles are more durable and better adapted to our heavy country roads. And when you are the owner of a "bi," you may enroll your name on the list of the New York, the Manhattan, the Mercury, the Ixion, the Citizen's, or the Lenox club; or, if you are a Brooklynite, you have your choice between the Brooklyn Bicycle Club, or the King's County Wheelmen, of Williamsburg.
Do you yacht? — in the grammar of the day. There are the Brooklyn, the New York, the Seawanhaka, and the Larchmont yacht clubs.
Is cricket your delight, and do you long to hear the English tourist within the gates of the club ground cry, "Well played, sir!"? You may bat under the gonfalon of the St. George, at Hoboken, the Staten-Islanders, or the Manhattans, of Brooklyn. Then you will have opportunities of meeting the Young Americans of Philadelphia or the Thespians of everywhere.
Digitized image of page 406: City Athletics (continued)
Alcide Urban, my boy, fear not your maiden aunt Cassandra. What if she prophesy truly a few sprained fingers, a bruise or two, or a "barked" chin?
"Qui studet optatam cursu contingere
Multa tulit fecitque puer, sudavit et alsit."
The words are true to-day as when they were written. If you would reach the wished-for goal—sound health, self-reliant spirit, well-disciplined forces — much must you have done and borne, my boy, and sweated and shivered.
And remember that there are few places where you may reach the goal more surely or more swiftly than in this good city of New York. What she is, I have tried to sketch for you. Of what she will be, I have a vision only. I see "across the swirling Kills and gusty bay" the white sails of yachts that brave the broad ocean to salute the English crafts off the Isle of Wight. I see the long shells dart up and down her rivers, the steel wheels flash along her roads. I see a new generation of young athletes, who swim, who ride, who run, who box with the world's best brawn and muscle, whose breasts glitter with the cheap yet effective medal, whose shelves are loaded with cups wherefrom they drink only draughts of ambition, which, inspiring their strength and skill and pluck, will help them to make New York the athletic capital of the world.
Digitized image of page 406: Training the Memory
In an interview recently published Dr. Zukertort, the great chess player, gives some account of the mental training by which he has acquired the power to play sixteen games of chess at one time without seeing the boards. He says: "I have a way of photographing a board in my mind, and, the boards being numbered when one board is called the photograph of the positions of the men on that board comes instantly before my mind, while the last board disappears. I never see two boards before me for a single instant." This power of abstraction and memory has been cultivated to a wonderful pitch of perfection by other chess players, and though perhaps none of them have rivalled Dr. Zukertort, we are inclined to think that the faculty in itself is not a rare one. It is the same faculty which enables the accomplished military commander to keep in mind the position of troops and relative importance of movements, or the manager of railroad systems of great commercial enterprises to see clearly through the complications of business, keeping order and method throughout the whole line of battle against competition. Few men develop the power to the limit of their capacity, but few of average intelligence are without it in a considerable degree. Dr. Zukertort says he had a peculiar training. He never learned the moves on a chess board till he was eighteen years old. His godfather was a professor of mathematics, who had theories on training the memory. Under his teaching the future chess expert, while yet a small child, could demonstaate [sic] such a geometrical problem as the square of the hypothenuse entirely from memory. That is to say, he would draw the figure on paper, or on the black-board, place the letters at the various angles, and then, turning his back to the board, give the demonstration correctly. To many who have puzzled over the same theorem with the figure before them, this will seem like a pretty clever feat, yet there are few schoolboys who can demonstrate the theorem at all, who cannot easily learn to do it mentally. In the public schools in some parts of the country, where mental mathematics is something of a hobby, it is customary for classes to go through four books of geometry mentally; and in a class of twenty, not more than two or three will generally fail to keep along. Some will have much more difficulty than others, but it is found that the exercise becomes a kind of pastime to the majority. They become interested in seeing what they can do. They begin with the simplest figures, involving few positions to fix in memory, and by daily practice, go on easily to more complicated demonstrations. That the demonstration is not a mere learning by rote from the book, is shown at once by requiring the pupil to change the lettering on the figure or letting some one else place the letters. When intelligently taught, very few pupils are unable to master this exercise, and girls do it just as readily as boys. Of course the power to retain in memory the moves of a game of chess is carrying the same faculty to a far higher degree of excellence. In the one case the positions to be kept in mind remain fixed, and in the other they are constantly changing, but it is the same faculty in both cases. It is one which almost any one can develop to a very considerable degree.
Digitized image of page 406: A Severed Head Winks
Dr. de la Pommerais, says the Paris Figaro, was executed in June, 1864, for a murder of the Palmer type. On the night before his execution he was visited by Surgeon Velpeau, who, after a few preliminary remarks, informed him that he came in the interest of science, and that he hoped for Dr. de la Pommerais' co-operation. "You know," he said, "that one of the most interesting questions of physiology is as to whether any ray of memory, reflection, or real sensibility survives in the brain of a man after the fall of the head." At this point the condemned man looked somewhat startled, but the professional instincts at once resumed their sway, and the two physicians calmly discussed and arranged the details of an experiment for the next morning. "When the knife falls," said Velpeau, "I shall be standing at your side, and your head will at once pass from the executioner's hands into mine. I will then cry distinctly into your ear: "Couty de la Pommerais, can you at this moment thrice lower the lid of your right eye, while the left remains open?" The next day when the great surgeon reached the condemned cell, he found the condemned man practicing the sign agreed upon. A few minutes later the guillotine had done its work, the head was in Velpeau's hands, and the question put. Familiar as he was with the most shocking and ghastly scenes, he was almost frozen with terror as he saw the right lid fall, while the other eye looked fixedly at him. "Again!" he cried, frantically. The lids moved, but they did not part. It was all over.
Digitized image of page 406: Mashed at the Museum
The female orang-outang, whose lady-like behavior and fascinating smiles have for some time past been artractive [sic] features at the Dime Museum, has fallen captive to the wiles of Cupid and become the devoted sweetheart of a small but lively specimen of the canine race, known to the Museum attaches as "Nig." Nig's mashing propensities having been noticed in connection with several of the innocent young female monkeys connected with the museum's zoological department and with the office cat, it was resolved to test his lady-killing powers by introducing him to the haughty and aristrocratic Mrs. Orang-Outang, relict of the late Mr. Orang-Outang, of the Javanese Jungles. Accordingly, one afternoon, when the fair dame was dining off a bunch of bananas, Nig was put into her cage, and at once striking one of his most captivating attitudes gave his little tail a knowing wag, and barked out a complimentary remark in his gentlest and most seductive tones. Mrs. O. was at first apparently astonished, and then looked annoyed at the puppy's presumption in daring to woo one so much his superior, as she evidently considered herself. Unabashed, however, again he barked gently, and again he gave his coquettish little tail a flip or two. The effect was visibly in his favor, and five minutes later he had completely fascinated the gentle stranger from the tropical forests. Since that time the two have been inseparable, and Mrs. O. not only shares her meals with her devoted swain, but refuses to permit any one to remove him from her cage. Seeing the affectionate nature of the lady, the museum managers tried the experiment of providing a sweetheart for her son, the lively Master Orang-Outang, who occupies a separate cage, a gentle young cat being chosen as his mate. Instead of cooing soft nothings in Miss Tabby's ear, Master O. proceeded to use her as an Indian club to hammer down the walls of his box, and to save her nine lives she had to be rescued from his inhospitable grasp.
Digitized image of page 406: George Francis Train
Barnum has offered George Francis Train fifty thousand dollars to lecture one year in this country and Great Britain. The offer was declined. Train's mind may now be a little unbalanced, but he used to talk to the public in a very interesting way, and his lectures on the stage at one time created a sensation and were pecuniarily successful. We believe Train long ago made up what he is pleased to call his mind never more to speak to an adult. In pleasant weather he spends his days in Madison Park, playing with children in an affectionate but very innocent way. He daily carries candies, jumping-ropes and toys to the park, and amuses the children to their heart's content and his. Train lives at the Ashland House in Fourth Avenue, and spends much of his time in reading the newspapers and in scribbling. He sits in the southernmost corner window with his back to the street, and the left lappel [sic] of his coat always bears an immense bouquet of gorgeous fresh flowers. His hair is iron gray; his complexion dark brown, from exposure to the sun. His physique is finely formed, and he looks the very picture of health. Train takes no notice whatever of the passers-by, and seems to be very well satisfied with himself. We believe he has large means.
Digitized image of page 406: Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo is in excellent health, but suffers from ennui. His deafness, which he does not like to show or to confess isolates him. The receptions now last twenty minutes, and are still held after dinner. Strangers are not welcome visitors, though courteously received. It is necessary to say something to them, and so to betray the single infirmity from which the poet suffers. What he appears to enjoy most is seeing his friends at dinner. At the head of his table he can talk for himself and for those around him. He retires to his bedroom at nine o'clock, and walks up and down until about midnight, thinking about what he is to write next morning. In the afternoon he is taken out to drive in the Bois by a Russian princess, who is a poetess herself and one of his most enthusiastic votaries. She was brought up on the Steppes in the wildest way, and is the daughter of one of the richest subjects of the Czar. For the exclusive use of the venerable bard she has a lightly hung brougham drawn by a pair of Orloff horses. They are, when his end has come, to be kept in a stable and paddocks apart from all other animals of their race, and the carriage is to be placed in a private museum. The princess, though reared like Baby Blake, is one of the most accomplished woman that we know. She is married, and as she wants her daughters to treasure up the sayings of her illustrious friend, they nearly always in her drives occupy the front seat of the brougham.
Digitized image of page 406: Confederate Generals
The Boston Advertiser informs the world concerning the leaders of the late Southern rebellion. Of those who escaped death by sword or ball and afterward yielded to the great reaper, are Lee, Bragg, Pickett, Hardee and Taylor. The survivors are scattered over the land and are variously employed. Beauregard and Jubal Early are managers of a lottery in Louisiana. The names of these generals are most valuable to the lottery company, and costs it for each one $10,000 a year. Longstreet is United States marshal in Georgia. McLaws is postmaster at Savannah. Both are Republican in politics. Butler and Hampton represent South Carolina in the Senate. Major-Generals Cockrell, Maxey and Ransom are in the Senate. Cadmus Williams, who was a major-general of Lee's Second Corps, is a doorkeeper of the Senate. William H. Lee succeeded his father as President of Washington and Lee University. Fitzhugh Lee is a rich and comfortable farmer, owning one of the finest estates in Virginia. Buckner is in Kentucky, and came near being nominated for Governor over Proctor Knott. Johnston is an old man now, but is doing active service in the insurance business.
Digitized image of page 406: Boston Dudes
Mr. Fitz-Augustus Somerset-Ashburton, Boston's champion exquisite, has been missing from his accustomed haunts for some months, but turned up recently, and was at his usual post of duty in the lobby of one of our leading theatres in the afternoon. There he was met by an associate of the gilded fraternity that he adorns, who hailed him with enthusiasm and agitated with vigor the two languid digits which Mr. Somerset-Ashburton extended to him.
"Well, Fitz, old boy," exclaimed his friend; "glad to see you back again. All ready for the winter campaign, eh? And where have you been keeping yourself all summer?"
"Aw, so glad you're glad," responded the noble Somerset-Ashburton. "I've been staying abroad this summer, studying, and deucedly hard, too, I assure you."
"Studying!" exclaimed his friend, who had never heard of anybody in his distinguished coterie who thus employed himself. "And pray what have you been studying?"
"Art, me deah boy," returned Mr. Somerset-Ashburton. "I have visited all the famous galleries of Europe, making particular observations in the department of sculpture. Improving me attitudes, don't you know. I've long felt that the boys didn't give a proper amount of attention to such matters. Nothing like the antique for affairs of that sort, my boy."
And yawning profoundly in a way which at once suggested the pose of the Laocoon, he leaned up against the wall in the attitude of the Piping faun, and regarded the ladies as they passed in to the entertainment.
Digitized image of page 406: Foot Notes
THE PARISIANS still insist that the Prince of Wales will pay them a visit ere long. Many look forward to the presence of his Royal Highness in Paris as an agreeable social event. The possibility is that it will not be till spring time, and on his Royal Highness' way south.
BOUCICAULT'S youngest daughter, Miss Nina, made her first appearance on the stage recently, at Louisville, Ky., playing Moya in "The Shaughraun." Miss Nina, who is only sixteen, is said to strongly resemble her mother in face and figure, while her acting is so natural and unaffected as to merit warm applause. She is very pretty and bids fair to score a success.
THE new Church of the Oratory, at South Kensington, London, which promises to be one of the most splendid of the kind in England, fast approaches completion. The confessional has arrived from Belgium. It is finely sculptured in oak, having a figure of the pelican over the centre and two life-sized figures of angels on either side, one bearing the keys and another blotting out the penitents' sins, while on the panel of the door are carved the implements of the passion.
SAN MARINO, the oldest government in Europe and the oldest and smallest Republic in the world, is about to reply to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for the establishment of diplomatic relations with Great Britain. There are no personal or pecuniary interests to consider on either side, and should such relations ensue they can only be valuable in view of future contingencies. Situated in the midst of the Papal States, this little territory of but thirty miles in circumference has been recognized as an independent State since its refusal in the thirteenth century to pay certain taxes imposed by the Pope. The sovereignty up to the fourteenth century was originally exercised by the whole community.
Digitized image of page 406: Going Home
The sun, fast sinking behind the hill-tops,
Touches the clouds with a purple sheen,
The leaves in glory of gold and crimson
Sift down where the gnarled bows lean.
Bare lie the wheat-fields, where late the reaper
Garnered, rejoicing, the ripened grain;
Now, labor ended, with lagging footsteps
He follows behind the deep-laden wain.
The soft air chills and the twilight deepens,
In distant windows the home-lights glow,
The reaper urges with cheery whistle
His plodding cattle, patient and slow.
The piled up sheaves grow dim in the darkness,
The stars come out in the dusky sky,
The lumb'ring wagon, its wheels complaining,
Rolls heavily in at the barn-door high.
From chimney corner the ruddy firelight
Flashes a welcome and gay good cheer;
Clustered around it, familiar faces
Expectant smiles as a step draws near;
The great logs snap and the lights grow brighter,
The house rejoices from door-stone to eaves,
When in the cool, crisp breath of the gloaming
The reaper goes home with his heavy sheaves.
Slowly around me life's shadows lengthen,
My sun slips fast down the fading sky,
One by one in the gathering darkness,
Ghost-like the days of my years go by;
Stripped are the fields that were white for harvest,
Round me are falling the dying leaves;
I, too, go home with the weary reapers,
Rejoicing to lay down my gathered sheaves.
Alice Cora Hammond.
Digitized image of page 406: Varieties
WONDERFUL accounts are given of the linguistic aptitude and achievements of the Crown Prince of Portugal, who is only a few weeks over twenty years of age. He has already acquired a private library of some forty thousand volumes, containing many rare and precious editions of the leading authors of the world. But he promises, in addition, to develop into the Mezzofanti of his age, for he not only speaks English with competent facility after no more two years' study, but converses in no fewer than fourteen languages, so that he is the master approximately of all the languages of Europe.
IF the Jersey Lily has knocked Freddie silly, the American people are not without their revenge. A young Englishman of fortune — a masher, a poet, and an athlete — is gone on Mary Anderson. Every night he dresses himself as a bard, and with his little flute plays a melancholy, cow-choked-with-a-cob kind of air as the divine Kentuckienne passes from the stage-door to her carriage, he kneeling the while. He is compelled to thus silently pay his adorations to the beauty who has so charmed his soul, because she declined to receive either him or a valuable bouquet from him. Mary is not so kind as Lily.
THE historical church doors upon which Luther nailed his famous ninety-five theses at Wittenberg, in 1517 are now to be seen at the chief entrance to the Church of St. Bartholomew at Berlin. Wittenberg was bombarded during the Seven Years' War, and the church being almost levelled with the ground, the doors were badly damaged. They were, however, repaired and restored to their places when the church was rebuilt; but as they suffered a good deal from the effects of the weather, they were in time removed for safety to the Berlin Museum, where they remained until King Frederick William V. presented them to the Church of St. Bartholomew upon its completion. For the original doors, which are popularly known in Germany as the "Gates of the Reformation," new ones of bronze engraved with Luther's theses have been substituted at Wittenberg. These were given to the castle church in 1858 by King Frederick William IV., and are the finest things of their kind in Europe.
DON'T LEND YOUR CIGAR. — The Pittsburg Dispatch says that a man of letters was smoking and chatting with a physician on a Hudson River ferryboat when a stranger stopped up and asked for a light. "Let me give you a match," replied the man of letters, adding, after his petitioner had withdrawn: "I don't know how you feel about it, doctor, but for my part I very much dislike to put the end of my cigar back into my mouth after it has been fingered by Tom, Dick and Harry. I always carry matches with me, and make it a point to offer one of them instead." "And quite right you are," said the doctor. "I believe that some of the worst diseases can be conveyed by one man to another through the contact of his fingers with a borrowed cigar. I personally know of a case where varioloid was transmitted by means of a two dollar bill, and I firmly believe that varioloid and things much worse can pass from a man's fingers into a cigar and thence into the smoker of it."
Digitized image of page 407: At the Door of the Year
The corridors of Time
Are full of doors—the portals of closed years;
Wo [sic] enter them no more, though bitter years
Beat hard against them, and we hear the chime
Of lost dreams, dirge-like, in behind them ring,
At memory's opening.
But one door stands ajar—
The New Year's; while a golden chain of days
Holds it half shut. The eager foot delays
That presses to its threshold's mighty bar;
And fears that shrink, and hopes that shout aloud
Around it wait and crowd.
It shuts back the unknown,
And dare we truly welcome one more year,
Who down the past a mocking laughter here
From idle aims like wandering breezes blown?
We whose large aspirations dimmed and shrank
'Till the year's scroll was blank?
We pause beside the door,
Thy year, O God, how shall we enter in?
How shall we thence Thy hidden treasures win?
Shall we return to beggary, as before,
When thou art near at hand, with infinite wealth,
Wisdom and heavenly health?
The footsteps of a Child
Sound close behind us! Listen! He will speak,
His birthday bells have hardly rung a week.
Yet He trod the world's press undefiled,
"Come to me!" hear Him through His smiling say,
"Behold, I am the way!"
Against the door His face
Shines as the sun. His touch is a command;
The years unfold before His baby hand!
The beauty of his presence fills all space.
"Enter through Me," He saith, "nor wander more,
For lo! I am the Door."
And all doors openeth He,
The new-born Christ, the Lord of the New Year,
The threshold of our locked hearts standeth near;
And while He gives us back love's rusted key,
Our future on us with His eyes has smiled,
Even as a little child.
Digitized image of page 407: Housekeepers' Measures
A great deal of poor food, especially cakes and other "recipe" preparations, is due to inaccuracy in measuring. "A pinch" of salt or pepper or other condiment may mean four times as much in hand as in another — quite enough to entirely change the quality and flavor. Teaspoons, teacups and coffee cups now vary greatly. The old standard teacup held just half a pint, or four to the quart, and the coffee cup three-quarters of a pint, or two and two-thirds cups to a quart; but on testing several cups now in use we find that of one pattern of teacups three fill a quart; of another it takes five, and of another six; while of coffee cups, two of one set fill a quart, and of another it takes nearly four. It would be a simple matter, and a great convenience, for any housekeeper to keep always at hand accurate measuring cups of earthenware or tin. Let a teacupful or tumblerful always mean exactly half a pint, and keep a cup of that size. Or use a small tin cup — one with a side handle being preferable. Spoon measuring is more important, especially in giving medicines. The top is so broad and it is so difficult to know when a spoon is evenly full that a "teaspoonful dose" of any medicine, or of a flavoring extract in cooking, may be double what is prescribed. The standard teaspoon, evenly full, holds an eighth of a fluid ounce, or 128 to a pint, and a standard tablespoon just three times as much, or forty-two to the pint. Sixty drops of water equal one teaspoonful, but drops of different liquids vary in size. Every family should have a "minim glass" (minim means a drop). This is a little tube or cup having a broad base and a lip for pouring out the liquid. There are marks on the sides, and figures 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, for so many drops — the figures 60 making just a standard teaspoonful. With this at hand one is always able to measure off exact teaspoonfuls of anything. In giving medicine such regularity of doses may mean recovery of health. These glasses can be bought at most druggists' for fifteen to thirty cents each.
Digitized image of page 407: Cats
The mystery of the cat's character is probably the cause of a vulgar antipathy, but this is due to ignorance. The cat is not bound to furnish understanding in order to avoid prejudice. It is too high minded to care. Many benevolent persons, fearful of the multiplication of the household cat, drown her kittens. So, from a limited trust in Providence, many suppress populating. Some elegant families take a bag of kittens and distribute them in their drives. If they would let the mother cat alone she would provide for them without such cruelty. A cat blessed with a large litter does not settle it on the family. At a proper time she will settle her kittens among the neighbors, showing great discernment by her choice of places, and they show great intelligence by remaining as placed.
A society mother does not practice more consideration in finding husbands for her nine daughters than a mother cat in finding situations for her nine kittens. She will return to play with each, and then leave it without any movement on its part to go back with her. The mystery and supernatural part of the cat are very interesting, but its visible domestic qualities are admirable. Its modesty is exceptional among animals. Its dignity, composure and courage are wonderful. It will repose on the sidewalk, where at any moment its enemy, the dog, may come along, serene in its confidence in its ability to take care of itself. Even little kittens do this.
The assumption is that the dog and cat are natural enemies. The cat is too high minded to be a natural enemy to any creature. Such animals as it hunts its hunt [sic] for food, in which it shares the nobility of man; but it is contented to have its food without this trouble. The puppy and kitten brought up together will eat out of the same dish and will make a very jolly family party. Taking thought of their prolific habit, not yet repressed by fashion, the inquiry naturally arises, what becomes of the cats, that they do not overrun. Judging by their character, it may be presumed that they go to the place provided for cats, where all is well with them.
Digitized image of page 407: The Selfsame Set
The unwritten history of Lord Coleridge's recent tour in this country would probably be far more interesting than the daily chronicles which were furnished by the press. The following is told in confidence and with bated breath by the inhabitants of a flourishing city in Western New York. The Chief-Justice was entertained at dinner one evening by a local magnate. A caterer well known in that part of the State furnished the refreshments and the china on which they were served, which, by the way, was a new and beautiful hand-painted set. During the course of the dinner it is related that Lord Coleridge said to his charming hostess: "You will excuse the comment, but I really must compliment you on the exquisite beauty of your china." My lady calmly appropriated the compliment, and gracefully replied: "Thank you, my lord. It is used for the first time in your Lordship's honor." Then the dinner moved on to a successful close. Judge of his Lordship's surprise when at a breakfast given next morning by a legal luminary he was confronted with the same beautiful set of china. But his surprise was augmented when on the following day the banquet in his honor given in a rival city, ninety miles away, was graced with the hand-painted china used for the first time in his Lordship's honor.
Digitized image of page 407: Echoes From Paris
PARIS, Dec. 1
THE Princess Dolgorouki has purchased one of the most charming villas at Nice, with lovely gardens, and will take up her residence there this winter.
A WELL-KNOWN member of the sporting and aristocratic world created such a lasting impression upon a beautiful woman, just deceased, that she has left him all her ready money, her jewels, and her corpse. This is an embarras des richesses.
THE hereditary Prince and Princess of Denmark are expected in Paris to make a short stay when they leave their palace at Widd; after that they will proceed to Sandringham.
MORE Grand Russians in Paris! The latest to arrive is Prince Sergus, the brother of the Emperor. All the Russian Imperials patronize the Continental; and, certainly, it is in every respect a splendid hotel — not even dear — though offering every comfort and luxury.
THE on dit at a Paris club, where people are well-informed as to high life doings, is that the Prince of Wales will certainly come to Paris shortly; but this visit seems hardly possible, if the dates of his Royal Highness's arrangements have all been correctly given.
THE Parisians view with astonishment the preparations for the departure of the Marquis Tseng from Paris, with all his belongings. This appears at last to bring before them, and cause the realization, of the exact position of things. It was thought to be a mere game of diplomatic brag. "And they are really going to fight France," say many, with ill-disguised surprise.
THE celebrated museum at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which is the chief curiosity of that thriving town near Paris, is next year to be adorned with a large decorative painting representing the Age of Iroo [sic], which will be exhibited at next year's Salon. The author of this fine work is M. Cormon, who has already gained a reputation through paintings of the same character.
THE news has reached us of the death in Switzerland of a young wife and distinguished member of the aristocratic circle of Paris — Madame de Boislaurent. She fell from an immense height, and died a few hours after, being in pursuit of her favorite flowers, edelweis [sic], and over-reaching herself. Wreaths of the blossoms were placed on her funeral bier at Vienna when she was interred. It seems a flower of evil, for the deaths that have been caused in pursuit of it have been innumerable.
NOTHING has turned up at Pompeii of late, but at last search has been rewarded by the discovery of a new house, almost less in ruins than many a "jerry" London construction, everything being as well preserved as if it had been treated with cosmetics for the eruption. The chambers are beautifully decorated — some with very curious paintings, which cannot be brought to the hammer of the auctioneer, as they are frescoes on the wall. Doubtless the announcement will be followed by a rush of British savants.
"THE height of "impudence" has been reached; indeed, a more severe word could be justly used, in the matter of palming off false pictures for originals, not forgetting to imitate the signatures. This has induced M. Jacques de Biez to hold a conference of his brethren of the brush, at which he made the singular proposition that each picture which an artist completes should be entered in a sort of stud book giving a photo and full partieulars [sic] of the dimensions of the work. "Thus," says M. de Biez "it will receive civil rights, like a citizen of France, and being inscribed become protected."
Digitized image of page 406: Miscellany
THE Duchess Dowager of Hamilton will winter in Paris.
THE veteran Earl Grey, son of the great Premier, and himself a distinguished ex-Cabinet Minister, in a recent number of the Nineteenth Century, says Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Bright and Mr. Chamberlain have contributed more than anything done by the Land League to encourage lawlessness in the Irish people.
GERMANY, like England, has obtained a revised edition of the Bible. Or, rather, we have not yet obtained it; Germany has obtained it. Recently the final emendations which scholarship has made in Luther's famous translation were presented to Emperor William. Perhaps, after all, this is the best Luther commemoration.
ABOUT twenty years ago the late Lord Overstone had printed, for his own use merely, a collection of extracts which he had made in the course of his reading in English literature. The collection was a large one, and was an evidence of wide and careful reading. It is an excellent idea to abstract all that one likes in books, so as to make one volume, which would henceforth be one's whole library.
AT the beginning of the year an interesting experiment will be made in journalism. A magazine will be published containing articles written exclusively by members of the upper classes. It will be edited by a member of the House of Peers, and it is to be entitled The Lords. The latest venture is to open with a feuilleton by the Earl of Desart.
A NEW tenor is likely soon to appear on English boards, and the more welcome because he is an Englishman. Most musical Londoners have heard him in sacred music. He is the son of Canon Wade, at whose church in Soho, Bach's Passion Music has for many successive seasons of late been so beautifully rendered. The tenor parts used to be taken by Mr. Arthur Wade, who has now for some years been studying in Italy. We have so few tenors now, and so very few who can sing sacred music, that Mr. Wade will be quite an acquisition to the stage.
THE anecdotes told of "the wise genteel economy," observed by the late Lord Overstone rival those of some of the professed economists of the early part of the century. A gentleman who was once invited to dinner at Overstone House relates that on the appearance of two partridges on the table the noble host had looked daggers at the butler, and on distributing the bird in economical portions between himself, the guest, and another visitor, and leaving the other untouched, he remarked to the trembling servant, "Did I not tell you this morning that one would be enough?"
SOME amusement has been occasioned lately by the erratic conduct of the "People's William." Mr. Gladstone conveyed his thanks to the Hackney Radical Club for their high approval of Lord Ripon's policy in India, but, on the following day, the Prime Minister abandoned the greater part of his lordship's policy in that country. The next morning the Political Council of the Hackney Club had the audacity to publish his letter, and now opinion is divided respecting the merit and motive of Mr. Gladstone's perversion from Conservatism to Whiggery and his ultimate degeneration to Radicalism.
ONE of the private or personal objects of Cardinal Manning's visit to Rome is, says a society journal, to obtain the nomination of Bishop Vaughan, of Salford, as his coadjutor with right of succession. In Bishop Vaughan the Cardinal sees, if not a second self, one who, sympathizing with his views will carry out his policy. Dr. Vaughan, who is a member of an old English Catholic family, would be more welcome, perhaps, to the leading laity, by whom he is well known, than to the clergy. It is not, however, very likely that Pope Leo XIII. will interfere on Cardinal Manning's account with the right of canons to present, when a vacancy occurs, three candidates to the Holy See for approval or rejection.
PULPIT popularity has come to have a false meaning. The popular preacher now is not the one who stirs men's hearts but the one who draws money at charity sermons. He is judged like an actor, by the receipts at the box-office. Whether or not his congregation show any advancement in spirituality under his exhortations, or his people learn to adorn their daily lives with simplicity, and earnestness, and trust, or the poor and unhappy find succour and comfort at his door, are questions which trouble the admiring public very little. They measure the popular clergyman's success by secular standards; and he is but too apt to accept their measure as a just one.
THE Exhibition that is to succeed the Fisheries has been at length resolved upon. It is to be a Food and Health Exhibition. This is a kindred theme to the Fisheries, and ought to be even more interesting and attractive. Cookery will play a part, and cheap lunching and dinners will move again to the fore, while there will be more certainty of the million being well and comfortably catered for. The evening entertainment will chime in excellently with the gastronomic feature. There will be a great competition of wines, and the champagne growers and dealers are already arranging to glean fame and profit. The buildings which have been in use will be turned to account, though, sooth to say, they were rather boothlike and deficient in proper accommodation. This ought to be rectified, as the Fisheries left an immense balance that can be dealt with, and the food show will doubtless add to the fund.
WHAT is the difference between a "Dhutuja Chula Chom Klao" and a "Phra Wongs Th'oe Ong Chow?" It ought to be something big, for a good deal of money and a vast amount of ceremonial is to be expended at the house of the Siamese Ambassador on Monday next in the conversion of his Excellency from one rank to the other. Oriental ceremonies always have a singular charm for the Western mind, and all and sundry of the great have been invited to the investiture of Prince Prisdang on Monday. The Siamese Ambassador to this country, in spite of the unpronounceable names of his various decorations and ranks is one of the most popular of the Corps Diplomatique. He must be equally popular in his own country, to judge by the distinction which is about to be conferred on him, and which in plain language means that he is to be elevated from the rank of a Councillor of the King to that of a Royal Prince, and virtually a member of his family. The attention paid by these potentates of the Far East to European manners and customs is a hopeful sign and a strange reversal of the ideas which used to prevail among them as to the barbarians of the West. There is now more than one Siamese Prince receiving his education in this country, while several have previously tasted the delights of Continental cities.
MR. TENNYSON has usually strong objections to 'prentice or other hands taking his life before he is done with it, but he has forborn his veto power in [sic] behalf of the pleasant sketch of him which Mrs. Ritchie, Thackeray's daughter contributes to the Christmas number of Harper's Magazine. For this he himself told her many things about his early life, which she supplements with reverent feeling and deft touch, from her own remembrances of the great poet as a guest and home-friend long ago at her father's house, and from reminiscences of the few living members of that famous and charming circle which included Tennyson, Thackeray, Carlyle, and other great men. One of them, Edward Fitzgerald, the translator of Omar Khayam, and friend of friends to Thackeray himself, has died since the article was in proof. Mrs. Ritchie's paper will be richly illustrated with views of Tennyson's birthplace and homes, and of places associated with his works, drawn by Alfred Parsons; with portraits, including a picture of Mr. Tennyson and the charming heads of the Tennyson children painted by G. F. Watts, R. A., which Mr. Tennyson permitted to be copied for this purpose; and with several unpublished sketches by Thackeray, Frederick Walker, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose early sketch of Tennyson reading "Maud" was lent by Mr. Robert Browning. — The Critic.
THE omission of a great public ceremony, generally observed in families of the Jewish persuasion in England, on the occasion of a marriage — that of the old traditional "Sitting for Joy" — occurred on the occasion of the great Sassoon wedding. Contrary to the usual custom, the ceremony was entirely private, none but members of the family being invited. The "Sitting for Joy" is one of the most beauiiful [sic] and touching ceremonies among all those bequeathed by the ancient Hebrews to their descendants. It answers in a pure and primitive manner to that of the signing of the contract observed abroad. The bridegroom and the bride-elect sit side by side and hand in hand in the best room in the house. The door is left open that all friends may enter. The relatives are first admitted — they alone are entitled to be seated. Then come the intimate friends, who pay their compliments in the ancient tongue, and then the host of acquaintances, who are entitled only to walk round the affianced pair and bow. On the table, before which the latter are placed, stands a bowl, in which are deposited the offerings of the company, from the shekels of gold and the shekels of silver contributed by the rich to the widow's mite and scanty obolum of the poor. The sum thus collected is always despatched to the chief rabbi to distribute among his Jewish pensioners, so that the wedding day may be one of rejoicing for high and low. In wealthy Jewish families the offerings sometimes rise to an immense sum, and large checks and bank-notes of importance are found among the gold and silver and even the humble copper coins that help to fill the joy bowl, which is always preserved as a sacred relic of the ceremony.
Digitized image of page 410: In Memoriam
Ever to us thy memory shall be green.
Love is not dead, and what to us doth seem
Involved in deepest mystery and woe,
Zephyr-like, across our wounded hearts shall blow.
And sheer us on our weary march across the plains,
Beckoning us to follow. And that which now remains,
Enfolded 'neath Mount Royal's wint'ry gloom,
Tells but of her who once again shall bloom—Holds but the casket—our jewel has gone home.
--Philip J. Elliott.
Montreal, Dec., 1883.
Digitized image of page 410: Led by Unseen Hands
A Christmas Trip to Montreal and its Consequences
By W. S. Humphreys
"Shall I be in time?"
The question repeated itself again and again as I sat in the comfortable railway carriage that was quickly conveying me to Montreal.
"But, in time for what?"
Ah! that I could not tell. My only feeling was an irresistible longing to get to the end of my journey — to meet I knew not what.
I had had a sort of dream the night before—nothing that I remembered very distinctly — nothing to cause me any unnecessary alarm; but I awoke in a cold perspiration, with an undefinable something buzzing in my head — a something confused and indistinct at first, but finally forming itself into a warning of impending peril to some one — some one connected with me — but I could not tell who.
I tried to shake off the feeling of uneasiness that almost overpowered me; but I tried in vain. The feeling grew—a feeling of dread of I knew not what. I felt I must act, and that quickly.
After swallowing a cup of coffee, and making a poor pretence at eating the savory breakfast prepared for me, I started to my room, hastily packed a small valise, and hurried out, with no purpose in view but that I was led by irresistible impulse.
My steps hurried me to the railway station, where I arrived a few minutes before the train started. Hastily procuring a ticket for Montreal, I jumped aboard, and the train was in motion.
Why had I taken the train to Montreal was a question I could not answer. Something seemed to be drawing me on — a something utterly beyond my control. Did I dread evil to any friend in the Canadian metropolis? That could not be, for the only friend I once had in that city — one I had hoped to have called by a dearer name — was married, I had been told, and was away in Europe. I had no relatives or friends in Montreal that I knew of; and yet I was leaving a comfortable home in Boston to make a long and tedious journey in the midst of winter — for what? I could not answer; for ever and anon, all through the journey, the question flashed through my brain:
"Shall I be in time?"
The stoppages were not long, but at each one I chafed and fumed at the delay. I could not read — I could not sleep — I could not chat with my fellow-passengers; — my brain was in a whirl; and I longed for motion — rapid motion. In my eagerness I asked the conductor to put on extra steam, totally forgetful that the train had to make certain connections; and when an extra long stoppage, as I thought, occurred, I got out of the car, even went to the engine-driver and asked him to hurry up. What other foolish things I did I know not, but all the time the question kept repeating itself:
"Shall I be in time? Shall I be in time?"
But all journeys come to an end, and I could have jumped for joy — and perhaps I did, for I was not accountable for my actions during that memorable trip — when the lights of Montreal were seen from St. Lambert. Then the journey through the Bridge was made, and I found myself, with several other passengers, hurrying from the "classic" Bonaventure Depot.
Where next was I to go? I had arrived safely at Montreal, and something seemed to whisper to me that I was in time; but what was the next move? The same irresistible impulse that had controlled my actions so far, seemed still to have possession of my whole being, and I surrendered myself entirely, if such were possible to it.
The 'busses of the different hotels were in waiting, and almost before I was aware of the fact I found myself in the conveyance belonging to the St. Lawrence Hall. Why I went there I knew not; as I had never, during my former visits to the city, stopped at this hotel. But even when I reached there I could not rest. After seeing my scanty baggage safely carried to my room, I hurriedly washed the travel stains from my person, donned extra wraps, and start out, noticing as I passed the office, that the clock pointed to twenty minutes to twelve.
But where was I going? I had not the remotest idea when I left the Hall. I seemed to have no control over my actions. Something was leading me on, and I blindly followed.
Along St. James street, up Bleury, then along Dorchester street west. Was I led by this invisible power, when presently my steps were arrested by hearing voices singing in sweet strains. I drew nearer, and the words were wafted to my ears:
"Christians, awake! salute the happy morn,
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born;
Rise to adore the Mystery of love
Which hosts of angels chanted from above;
Sing the glad tidings first with cheer begun,
Of God made man, the Blessed Virgin's Son."
What does it mean? A Christmas carol! Can it be possible? I rapidly asked myself these questions, and then remember what I had forgotten all through my journey, that this was Christmas Eve — nay rather, Christmas Day, for it is now past midnight; and I had left my home in Boston at this joyous time — for what?
But while the choristers are singing their joyful strains on the midnight air, I am moving rapidly forward by no will of my own, and the words fade in the distance:
"This day hath God fulfilled His promised word,
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord!"
But what is that lurid glare in the sky? And hark! The ringing of bells — the rushing of horses — the shouting of men!
A terrible cry, so out of unison with the sweet strains I had so lately heard. As though on wings I flew in the direction of the illumination, and again the question flashes through my brain:
"Shall I be in time?"
I cannot tell how I reached the spot; but I arrived, panting and blowing with my exertions, to find that the burning building was a large mansion, evidently the residence of some wealthy man. My hasty glance told me this much, and I saw that the firemen were busily engaged in playing on the burning building.
But my eyes wandered in search of some one, some one I knew, but could not find. A cry, however, reached my ear:
"My daughter! Will no one save my daughter?"
And turning I saw a grey-haired old gentleman, wringing his hands, and tears glistening in his eyes.
"Where is she?" I hastily asked.
"In that part of the house they are now playing on," he answered pointing to the north end of the building, where the fire had apparently originated.
"A ladder! a ladder!" I cried, hurrying in the direction indicated by the old man.
"The ladder is there," some one replied; "but it is certain death to whoever ventures up."
"Nevertheless I will try," I hurriedly rejoin, rushing towards the ladder.
And then I paused to look up — but only for a moment, although the sight was one to make the stoutest heart quail. But, for myself, I seemed to have lost that very necessary adjunct to the "human form divine" — I had no more power over myself than I had had all day — an irresistible power still led me on.
The sight, however, was an awful one. The fire had broken out, apparently in the lower story, and had reached the second flat, flames pouring out of the windows in great tongues consuming everything within reach. Great volumes of smoke were ejected from the windows of the upper flats, and it was the third flat that I must reach.
All this I took in the momentary glance I cast upward, with my foot on the lower rung of the ladder. Then I bounded up, the warning cry ringing in my ears:
"Come back! Come back, or you are a dead man."
Up, up, through blinding smoke and scorching flame, the perspiration pouring in great beads down my forehead — my breath coming in short gasps — up, up — past the second story, the heat being almost unbearable; — up, up — the third story is reached, and I pause a moment before entering the opening window, through which dense clouds of smoke are ejected and volumes of hot vapers [sic] are pouring. Then I bound into the room, and grope my way in the darkness. What direction I took I cannot tell. I appeared to be hurried along and guided by the invisible but uncontrollable force that had guided all my actions during the whole of the day. I appeared to rush directly across the room to an open door, through which I passed, and entered a long passage, down which I hurried, and at the end of which I entered another room, when something impelled me to pause. Then the same invisible force prompted me to stoop and grope on the floor with my hands, and after a few moments' search they came in contact with something that I felt at once was the object of my search. Hastily lifting up the body I turned to retrace my steps by the same direction in which I had come. But now the smoke was of a much denser character, and was pouring out from all the crevices in the floor. I could hear the fire cracking under my feet, and occasionally a flame shot up right in my path. But I heeded none of these things, and, although well nigh suffocated, I held firmly to the burden I carried and rushed madly onward.
On — on — on I sped. The passage was passed, and I had just got to the door of the room I had first entered when a part of the flooring gave way and the flames shot upward right in front of me. But I heeded them not; in fact I had no power to stop myself; with a bound I jumped into the fiery furnace, and landed safely on the other side, well nigh exhausted.
Here a breath of air greeted me, and I knew I was near the window. Still groping in the dark, I soon found the opening; the ladder was still there. I stepped out, went down a few steps, — staggered, and I thought I should lose my hold, — recovered and went down — down — down — then heard a mighty shout — fell — and remembered no more.
How long I remained unconscious I know not. Presently I awoke, glanced round the apartment, but all was strange. I tried to think, but my head was confused, strange sounds seemed to be surging through my brain. My body seemed to be sore all over. I tried to turn on my pillow, but my arm gave a terrible twitch, warning me to lie still. Where I was or how I came there I could not tell; but while I was ruminating on my present condition and trying to find a solution to the mystery, the sweet strains fell upon my ear:
"Christians, awake! salute the happy morn,
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born."
Then memory returned and I remembered all that had transpired since I left Boston, and I involuntarily uttered:
"Oh! was I in time?"
It was little more than a whisper, but my words were heard and a kindly voice said:
"Did you speak, my boy?"
Surely I knew that voice; but where had I heard it before, were my thoughts, as I repeated my previous question:
"Was I in time?"
"In time for what, Fred?" said the same voice, and moving to my side of the bed the speaker bent over me.
Glancing up I was astonished to see Mr. Hartley, my old employer.
"Hr. [sic] Hartley?" I ejaculated.
"Yes, my boy; did you not know me?"
"But I don't understand," I began, confusedly. "How came I to be in your house?"
"This is not my house, Fred," the old gentleman answered. "My house, as you are aware, was burned down last night, and we are now temporarily domiciled with a kind neighbor. But, my boy, tell me, de [sic] you suffer any pain?" he added solicitously.
I had forgotten all about my wounded arm in my excitement at seeing my old employer, and had made an attempt to raise myself in bed, but a sharp twitch caused me to wince, as I replied:
"I feel a little pain; but tell me, Mr. Hartley, is your daughter safe?"
"Yes, my boy, thanks to you, she is alive and well to-day. No words of mine can express my gratitude to you for what you have done," the old man said, with feeling; "but Amy herself will thank you. I will go and fetch her."
"Oh, no, no, no!" I exclaimed, for I felt that I could not at that moment bear to meet the woman I had loved and lost.
"But, yes, yes, yes!" returned the old gentleman, chuckling, and leaving the room.
Left alone my mind wandered back to the happy days of long ago. I remembered, as a boy, entering the office of Mr. Hartley as a junior and gradually rising to the post of confidential clerk, treated by my employer more as a friend than an employee. I remembered being commissioned to go to his residence and meeting little Amy, his school-girl daughter; then later being invited to dine with his family and again meeting, not the school-girl, but the beautiful young woman. I remembered that I loved her as a school girl, but as a woman my love increased with tenfold force. I remembered the many happy evenings I spent in her society, enjoying to the full love's first young dreams. I remembered the first time I spoke to her of love, and the drooping eyelids of the fair maiden as she responded to my avowal. I remembered the first rapturous kiss of love imprinted on those pure lips, and the many plans we laid for the future. But that future! how dark it had been! Mr. Hartley, who had been my friend in all business affairs, would not hear of my engagement to his daughter. He could not think of it — the idea was preposterous — to think that his clerk had the presumption to think of marrying his only child and heiress. I offered to wait, telling him that I would go away and make a fortune and then return and claim the hand of his daughter. But, no! Mr. Hartley said he had other views in that direction, and that I must abandon all hope. I then went to Amy and asked her to marry me in defiance of her father, but the young lady declared positively that she could never marry without the consent of her parent. As it appeared impossible to obtain this consent I resigned my position in Mr. Hartley's employ, feeling that I could no longer remain in the same city as Amy and see some other man claim what I so ardently desired. I then went to Boston, and tried by hard work to forget Amy; but that I found impossible, notwithstanding that a little more than a year ago I had been informed that she had married the man of her father's choice — a cousin, and had gone to Europe on a wedding tour. All these things rapidly passed through my brain, and then came the remembrance that this was the woman that I had saved from an awful death the night before — the woman I loved more than my life, and whose deadly peril had brought me from Boston to her rescue — the wife of another man.
But my thoughts were interrupted by a slight rustle of silk, and I felt — for I could not yet look up — that a being was bending over me, and in a few moments the single word was uttered:
The sweet tones of that voice that I had known and loved so well in bygone days caused a quiver to run through my frame, and forgetting everything in the bliss of having her once more by my side, I cried out:
"Oh, Amy! my love! my love!"
And before I could think of what I was doing I had drawn the dear face down, and imprinted kisses upon the pure lips.
But the thought that she was another's quickly returned, and I released her, pushed her from me, and cried:
"Oh, what am I doing. Forgive me. What would your husband say could he see what I have done?"
"My husband?" she queried. "What mean you?"
"What do I mean? Only that I believe you to be the wife of your cousin, and that the liberty I have just taken, though very sweet to me, might be viewed by him in another light."
"But you are mistaken," she answered; "when we parted I told you I would be true to you, and I have kept my word."
"And you will be mine, Amy?" I pleaded, again holding up the one arm I had power over
"Yes, as I have always been, yours forever," she answered, burying her face on my shoulder.
After a few minutes of extreme bliss, we were interrupted by the entrance of Mr. Hartley. The old gentleman saw at a glance how matters stood, so advancing to our side he took Amy's hand and placed it in mine, said:
"Take her, Fred, my boy; you have fairly won her."
Then, after a pause, he continued:
"And now tell us how you came to be in Montreal at such an opportune moment, and how it was you failed to recognize the house that was burning or the old gentleman who asked you to save his daughter?"
And I told them all, just as I have related above; from the time I left Boston till I had awakened a short time ago, how I had been carried away by an uncontrollable impulse — from the beginning to the end hurried forward by some invisible force over which I had no control. When I concluded Mr. Hartley said: "Truly a wonderful narrative! Your love for Amy led you to her side when she was in imminent peril; therefore I feel perfectly safe in entrusting her to your keeping."
"But when I fell?" I queried. "I remember nothing after that."
"Your fall was only about ten feet," answered Mr. Hartley. "When you were seen descending the ladder, with your burden, the men below hurriedly placed on the ground bedding and other things at hand to break your fall, should you slip, and when you fell Amy was safely caught by waiting hands below. You were not so fortunate, but I trust you will be sufficiently recovered to be up this evening."
And so the result proved, for beyond a dislocation of the shoulder, some severe bruises, a few slight burns and the loss of my whiskers, I suffered no evil effects from my adventure of the previous night; and with Amy by my side, and surrounded by kind friends, Christmas night passed all too rapidly away.
Two days after I returned to Boston to settle up my affairs, returning shortly afterwards to Montreal, where I again entered business with my former employer, and in due time obtained the hand of his daughter, my bonny bride.
Many Christmases have passed since the occurrence of the above events, and another one dawns to-morrow. As I sit writing these lines I hear youthful voices, practising for the great festival, and the words recall bygone days. My wife, who enters at this moment, also sings the sweet words, and, laying down my pen, I lend my voice to the glorious invocation:
"Christians, awake! salute the happy morn,
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born;
Rise to adore the mystery of love
Which hosts of angels chanted from above
Sing the glad tidings first with cheer begun,
Of God made Man, the Blessed Virgin's Son."
IT seems agreed that if the electric machine could be kept at a distance the light in private dwellings would be much more general. And this is what has been accomplished on the Metropolitan line. Between Nottinghill Gate, Edgware road, Gower street, and King's Cross, a new system has been adopted, which at this moment is working with success. The engine is at Edgware road, and the electric current can be transmitted from this centre along the wires, a distances of fifteen miles. If this achievement can be improved upon we shall soon have the electric light not only at our doors but inside them.
Digitized image of page 410: Chapter II
"Malden, Mass., Feb. 1, 1880. Gentlemen— I suffered with attacks of sick headache."
Neuralgia, female trouble, for years in the most terrible and excruciating manner.
No medicine or doctor could give me relief or cure until I used Hop Bitters.
"The first bottle nearly cured me;"
The second made me "as well and strong as when a child,
"And I have been so to this day."
My husband was an invalid for twenty years with a serious
"Kidney, liver and urinary complaint.
"Pronounced by Boston's best physicians—
Seven bottles of your bitters cured him and I know of the
"Lives of eight persons"
In my neighborhood that have been saved by your bitters.
And many more are using them with great benefit.
—Mrs. E.D. Slack.
Digitized image of page 411: Jeanie Morrison
I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
Through many a weary way;
But never, never, can forget
The love of Life's young day!
The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en,
May weel be black gin yule;
But blacker fa' awaits the heart
Where first fond love grows cool.
O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
The thoughts o' by-gane years
Still fling their shadows o'er my path,
And blind my een wi' tears!
They blind my een, wi' saut saut, tears,
And sair and sick I pine,
As memory idly summons up
The blithe blink o' lang syne.
Oh! mind ye, love, how aft we left
The deavin' dinsom town
To wander by the green burn-side,
And hear its water croon?
The simmer leaves hung ower our heads,
The flowers burst round our feet,
And in the gloamin' o' the wood
The throssil whistled sweet.
The throssil whistled in the wood
The burn sang to the trees,
And we with nature's heart in tune,
And on the knowe aboon the burn,
For hours thegither sat
In the silentness o' joy, till baith
Wi' very gladness grat!
Aye, aye, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Tears trinkled down your cheek
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
Had ony power to speak!
That was a time, a blessed time,
When hearts were fresh and young,
When freely gushed all feelings forth,
I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,
Gin I hae been to thee,
As closely twined wi' earliest thoughts
As ye hae been to me?
Oh, tell me gin their music fills
Thine ear as it does mine;
Oh, say gin e'er your heart grow a great
Wi' dreamings o' langsyne?
I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
I've borne a weary lot;
But in my wanderings far and near,
Ye never were forgot.
The fount that first burst frae this heart,
Still travels on its way;
And channels deeper as it rins,
The love of life's young day.
O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Since we were sindered young,
I've never seen your face, nor heard
The music o' your tongue;
But I could hug all wretchedness,
And happy could I dee,
Did I but ken your heart still dreamed
O' by-gone days and me!
William Motherwell, the author of this song, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1797. From the time he was able to read, he evinced a decided preference and taste for poetry, and in 1819 he became the editor of a quaint little publication called "The Harp of Renfrewshire." In the same year he was appointed sheriff clerk deputy of Renfrew — a position which he held for sixteen years. He was an enthusiastic antiquarian and devoted many of his leisure hours to the early history of Scottish literature — particularly poetry. In 1827 he edited and published a collection of Scottish ballads, with an historical introduction to the same, which at once set aside many popular but erroneous statements which had prevailed in connection with many of those interesting relics of a by-gone age. He also established a magazine in Paisley, to which he contributed a number of his finest songs, but which has long since ceased to exist. While busily engaged in collecting materials for a life of the poet Tannahill, he died suddenly in a fit of apoplexy at the age of thirty-eight. He was greatly beloved by a large circle of friends for his superior talents, tastes and qualities. A collected edition of his poems was published shortly after his death, and the warm acknowledgment it received from the public showed the respect in which the author had been held by all classes. There are very few Scottish songs of modern date that can equal in tenderness and feeling the one entitled "Jeanie Morrison." The heroine was a real schoolmate of Motherwell's, whose beauty and childish companionship left so indelible an impression on his young heart that he retained his love for her during all the future years of his existence. They parted when both were very young, and did not meet again until the above song made its appearance, nearly thirty years later.
But time and circumstances had then nearly obliterated from the memory of Jeanie Morrison "The Love of Life's Young Day." She had been married for many years and lived in the enjoyment of a happy home and in the possession of another sweet little Jeanie Morrison, who was a living picture of the one who had so captivated the heart of the school-boy lover. They, however, continued to be very warm friends until the death of the poet in 1835 parted them forever.
Digitized image of page 411: Little Dinners
The little dinner, to be a success, should consist of from six to twelve, well chosen guests, bright, clever, sociable people, who will keep the ball of conversation rolling, changing the topics from "grave to gay, from lively to severe." The room well lit, well warmed, and with a pretty, well arranged table, will alone give a sense of bienêtre to people coming in from the outside cold. The dinner for a small party ought to be small. Clear soup, fish, two nice entrées (a white and a dark), a joint, well hung saddle of mutton, being the best, game and two well-chosen sweets, one being an iced soufflé, and a savory will be quite enough. But everything should be well cooked, as hot, if not hotter than possible, the meat well hung, and the soup, fish, and entreés perfect of their kind. Let a dinner like this be served at a round table, and the wine be of the best quality of its kind; and what man, aye, and woman, too, but will say, "Fate cannot harm me; I have dined to-day." All this to be well done must entail trouble on the mistress of the house. But, if she is the right sort of woman, these cares will be pleasures; and if she is not of the right sort, no little dinner will ever be a success in her house, even with a round table. The table decorations are alone a test as to the capabilities of the mistress of the house. This is with some women an inborn gift; some have no artistic faculties whatever. A pretty arrangement at this time of year is a piece of peacock blue plush in the centre of the table, with low masses of maiden hair fern and large white or yellow Japanese chrysanthemums; and, if I had my way, no dessert should ever be put on the table. A clearly written menu to each guest. And let the dinner be helped with "feast of reason and the flow of soul," much being in the power of the hostess, if a bright, intelligent woman, able to start topics, and keep the conversation going without seeming to do so. Then let the dinner finish with a little dessert, some Chateau Margaux with the chill off, and good coffee well made. Most people after this will be in a genial mood when they reach the drawing-room, and will be ready to be entertained and to be entertaining.
It has been the misfortune of most of us to experience quite another sort of little dinner, where from first to last everything goes wrong. As we enter the door, a dire foreboding of our fate comes over us, as a mingled smell of cooking, grease and other abominatiens [sic] greet our olfactory nerves; the servant shows us into a cold primly furnished drawing-room, where the fire, half out, vainly struggles with the gloom of the badly-trimmed evil-smelling lamps. The mistress of the house is handsomely, but untastefully dressed, and from the higher regions come shrieks of woe. We go down to dinner; the soup is thin, the salmon is either half raw, or boiled to rags; the entreés, evidently from the pastry cook, consist of a vol-au-vent, with the legs of the chicken from last night's ball supper, a dish of cutlets evidently a rechauffé; the joint is tough and under-cooked, and the game not fit to eat; sweets, ill chosen and worse served. This is a little dinner at which the male element is gloomy, and the female bored. The mistress of the house leaves things in the hands of an incompetent staff of servants. We have all suffered like this at the hands of our friends, and registered a vow never to suffer the like again, if it is in our power to prevent it. Now, if the menu had only consisted of good soup, well-cooked fish, a good leg of mutton, a fruit tart and cream, with a bit of good cheese to finish up with in a well-warmed room, very few would have found anything to grumble at.
The little dinner is, if well done, a bright and cheerful episode in our life. But, if it is not in the power of the mistress of the house to have it well done, she had better leave it alone. When I say well done, I by no means intend that it must be a cause of great expense to the giver. It will be found quite possible, with care and good management, to have a faultless little dinner which both entertainer and entertained will feel much brighter and better for, without the cost being at all beyond the means of the sort of people I am referring to.
The great art of dinner giving is, never attempt more than your own staff can do well; have no dishes you have not proved your own cook can do, and let house, table, dinner, all show that every care has been taken by all concerned to make the little dinner a success. And if madame does ask her lord and master for a little more money for the month's bills, he knows he has got something for it; and, feeling how much social enjoyment he gives and receives, he will not grudge the expense, but will hardly grumble at its not infrequent repetition.
Digitized image of page 411: Theatre Vices
The stage has its vices as well as the audience. One of the worst of them is the slovenly enunciation of many of the actors of the present day. They do not pronounce their words with anything approaching distinctness; they do not take the trouble to speak loud enough to make all the audience hear. They mutter and mumble and shuffle off their words as if they were in a hurry to get through. Probably the "combination" system, with its demoralizing sameness, is largely responsible for this, though it is sometimes seen among the younger members of established stock companies. It is a refreshing contrast to this slipshod work when a well-trained actor — very often a young actor — appears, articulating his words distinctly and speaking in a tone, whether low or loud, that carries them to every part of the house. These careless players ought to remember that they are neglecting a detail which is one of the first requisites of success.
Another little stage vice which seems to be in vogue now is that of actors' reappearing to acknowledge applause after an exit during the progress of a scene. This completely destroys the illusions, and is in violation of the rules of art. Yet it has been seen during the past week in one of the best of the few stock companies in New York.
As for the vices of the audiences, their name is legion. The people who come in late, the people who talk loud, the people who talk in a sibilant whisper that is worse than talking aloud, the women who wear big hats, the men who go out every time the curtain drops, climbing over a whole row of persons to do it, and come back with bar-room odors clinging about them; the people who take the seats they are not entitled to and cause confusion and noise when they must be turned out — these are some of the criminal classes in a theatre audience.
Digitized image of page 411: A Conductor's Reminiscences
"Yes, sir," continued the conductor, "we railroad men have some funny adventures with the tramping fraternity. Nearly all of those who beat their way have money and prefer taking the risk incident to stealing a ride than pay their fare. In an accident some years ago a beat was killed who had on his person over $500 and papers showing him to be the proprietor of a livery stable in California. It is remarkable how persistant some can be. Some of them secreted themselves in the water tank of a 'dead' engine that was being hauled in the middle of a freight train, and when discovered refused to come out, and told the conductor that they would like to see him crawl in there and put them out. A better plan suggested itself — that of pulling the engine up to the tank and drowning them out. They capitulated, when about six inches of ice-cold water had been soused on them, and all came forth like drowned rats, with the exception of a big Irishman, who could not force himself through the hole until he had removed his clothing and the engineer had lubricated him with black oil.
"The engineers on a Western division were compelled to blow their engines out quite frequently, owing to the bad water. This is done by opening a cock that lets the water and steam out directly under the cab. While one of the express trains was rushing along in the night, the engineer found it necesssry [sic] to 'blow her out,' and opening a cock, a most unearthly scream went up from under his feet. Jumping to the air brake and reversing the engine, the train was quickly stopped, and all hands rushed back to ascertain that unusual cry. There, on the track, torn to pieces by the wheels and scalded beyond recognition, was the remains of a man who had been stealing a ride on the brake beam of the engine tank, so as to be near the heat of the fire box, and had received the full charge of the steam and hot water on his body and been blown from his insecure seat, without a moment's warning, into eternity, adding one more to that great list of 'missing.'"
Digitized image of page 411: Echoes from London
LONDON, Dec. 1
MR. ALFRED DE ROTHSCHILD has had his carriage illuminated by electricity stored in accumulators under the B. T. K. system.
COUNT GLEICHEN is at work on a bust of Miss Anderson. There may be some risk to him. Pygmaylion [sic] and Galatea may be paraphrased.
ANOTHER cable company has been formed in New York to lay two cables between England and America.
PREPARATIONS are, it is stated, nearly completed for the establishment of a new illustrated paper, to be "run" on the lines of the famous American illustrated magazines.
SOME journalists are about to get up a club on a joint-stock principle. The shares are to be £5 each, and people who read and do not write will be permitted, as a favor, to subscribe.
ONE of the extraordinary arguments used against the proposed underground railway from Paddington to Westminster is that it would kill all the roots of the trees and seriously affect the Serpentine. Prodigious!
THERE were nearly 300 competitors for the prize offered by the directors of the Alhambra Theatre for the best address in rhyme to be spoken at the opening of the theatre on Monday. The successful candidate is Mr. Vernon de Montgomery.
IT is understood that Sir Charles Dilke's visit to Windsor Castle this week was in consequence of a command from the Queen strongly indicative of Her Majesty's interest in the condition of the London poor.
A CURIOUS report got about a few days ago to the effect that Mr. Wilkie Collins was about to publish a novel in the Times, of all papers in the world. This was palpably absurd. The novel is to appear in certain weekly newspapers and in monthly parts in time.
THERE is no doubt that the ballet of "Excelsior" will be produced at Covent Garden Theatre this year. We are told that "all the arrangements are complete," and arrangements manifold there must be to bring out such a monster entertainment as this ballet is.
SHALL we have pensions for schoolmasters? The School Board for London proposed it. The National Teachers' League opposes it. This body must not be confounded with the Fair Trade League. Its original purpose was to put down co-operation, which Mr. William Morris wishes to make compulsory.
THERE will be an agitation next year against house property reverting to landlords who have leased land for eighty to ninety years for building purposes, also against the present method of assessing dilapidations, and making exorbitant landlords' claims on the expiration of leases for seven, fourteen, or twenty-one years.
CINDERELLAS are all the fashion as public subscription dances. Instead of the cotillon, for which there is no time, as the early closing idea is de rigueur, a jolly game of hunt the slipper might be introduced to wind up with, and would be quite in keeping with the Cinderella title.
THE outcry on behalf of better homes for the poor has caused the vestries to move for very shame. That of St. Matthew's, Bethnal green, has ordered the landlords of 300 dilapidated tenements to put them in proper order. The power to take this step existed long ago, but vestrydom has not moved, and, unfortunately, it will cease to do its work the moment public opinion grows quiescent.
THERE is a growing impression in theatrical circles that Mr. Irving's American tour is a mistake. It means, of course, a profit of £30,000, but artistically it is certain to be productive of much disappointment and vexation to him. The leading American papers pay him respect, as we see from the favorite criticisms telegraphed over here, but the smaller fry of journalism are treating him very badly indeed.
MR. CHARLES T. NEWTON, the keeper of Greek and Roman antiquities, has completed the arrangement of the new gallery at the British Museum. It contains the marbles of the Mausoleum, formerly scattered throughout the collection, but now for the first time brought together. This gallery, which is being decorated, it is hoped will be ready in the spring to receive visitors.
TRAMWAY companies have been casting a longing eye on the level stretch of roadway from Hammersmith to Piccadilly Circus. Wood pavement has just been laid down at an enormous cost and it would constitute a singularly easy surface on which the Tramway engineer might operate. It would be quite child's play to put down rails when the rate-payers had paid the bill for much of the previous necessary work.
BY-AND BY, somebody will have to lay down precisely what may be considered a fair showance of wines to each guest at a luncheon. The question has just been raised where twenty-one municipal officials disposed of forty-two bottles of champagne at the Mayor's luncheon — exactly two bottles per head. It was decided in this case, after a little discussion, that two bottles a head was not an extravagant supply.
FEW persons have ever witnessed so magnificent a meeting as that at the Mansion House to discuss the Transvaal question in view of the demands of the delegates of the Boer Government. When Mr. Forster declared that, though born a Quaker, he would sooner fight than concede the principal demands of the delegates, the enthusiasm of the audience knew no bounds. The Government will have to be very careful what they do in this matter.
THE Bar is alarmed at Lord Selbourn's new Bill for establishing District Courts, which has been published during the last day or two, and one of the first duties of the new Bar Committee now in course of erection will be to fulminate against it. Lord Selborne himself does not like the measure, which is, in fact, Mr. Joseph Cowen's Bill over again; but as he plausibly puts it, what is he to do? He is between the upper and the nether mill-stone. The provinces are clamoring for continuous sittings.
THE Marquis Tseng says he does not understand the rage for old china. Why the French, for example, should prefer Chinese embroidery and porcelain to their own, which are daily improving in quality, he cannot understand. It is natural enough that old China should not be inestimably precious in the eyes of a Chinaman. He is able to see that in many respects the bric-â-brac [sic] of Europe is superior to the cups and saucers of his own country. But fashion has ordained that Chinese ware shall be chic, and the Marquis Tseng notwithstanding, people will continue to live up to their Chinese teapots.
Digitized image of page 411: Given Up By Doctors
"Is it possible that Mr. Godfrey is up and at work, and cured by so simple a remedy?"
"I assure you it is true that he is entirely cured, and with nothing but Hop Bitters; and only ten days ago his doctors gave him up and said he must die!"
"Well-a-day! That's remarkable! I will go this day and get some for my poor George — I know hops are good."
Digitized image of page 414: The Cure of the Æsthete
Once languished a foolish, quiet utter Æsthete,
Too ethereal to eat any vulgarsome meat,
So he nibbled a lily,
Till he became silly,
And couldn't make out for his life, willy nilly,
Which end was his head or his feet.
His physician then came and prescribed perfect quiet,
With a tangible change in this flowery diet,
So he sent him a feather
To twirl in damp weather,
And this (with the quietness added together)
Was the tangible change in his diet.
Then commenced this young Æsthete so utterly too,
To sputter with rage, "Is this all you can do?"
Æsculapius looked grave,
Next advised him to shave,
When his patient exclaimed, "You deceitful old knave!"
And up-tripped him ere he could say "Boo!"
"Halloa! my young Æsthete, you're not very ill,
Or you'd never have strength to give me such a spill;
I'll send you a bolus,
Which you may take solus,
Such finnikin fees as you Too-to.toos [sic] dole us,
Don't pay us for keeping you ill!"
"Now, suppose that you give yourself more exercise,
And get rid of that dead dead-alive glint in your eyes,
With walking and running,
Even you may look stunning,
And remember to give your "dim den" a bright sunning,
There!—I've finished 'my word to the wise.'"
That Æsthetic youth was quite taken aback,
For (strangely enough) of good brains he'd no lack,
And he felt he could tire
Of high art desire,
And even lank maidens could cease to admire,
In their "symphony" robes limp and slack.
"Æsculapius, it strikes me I'm getting some sense,
For I feel I'm no longer a Too-too Intense,
No more apathetie [sic],
I'll 'run' and I'll 'read' till I get quite athletic,
And my minimum brain grows immense."
"Then adieu to my lilies and feathers and dishes,
Adieu to my weary, weird, washy wan wishes,
I've had quite enough
Of such æsthetic stuff,
And I'll sell my outfit to the next noodle muff,
Who for 'souls' and 'affinities' fishes."
Thus out of his dado-dark den he is lured,
And now he can't see how he ever endured
Such a lymphatic life
Of simpering strife
After infinite "nothings" with silliness rife,
For behold! our young Æsthete is cured!
Digitized image of page 414: A Speculating Princess
The Fortunate Investments of a French-German Noblewoman
Pittsburg, Pa., Nov. 28, 1883
It is stated on excellent authority here that Marie Clementina, of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, a duchy whose Duke was the brother of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria of England, has been speculating in this country. Some years ago this lady, who is a widow, very wealthy and resides in Vienna, began operating in American stocks and bonds through a London firm of bankers and a couple of English capitalists who are members of two famous families — the Dudleys and Ruthven-Pyms. Her operations included securities of various kinds, but were chiefly stocks and bonds of railroads. The Duchess was no ordinary dabbler and did not purchase hundred share lots at a time, but dealt in thousands of shares. Whether she has been successful or not in the long run is not known, but a gentleman who is well informed in regard to some of her transactions says she has made money in every venture she has undertaken of which he has knowledge. She has advisers who are well posted, and their buying is in every case most opportune. As an instance of this, several thousands of shares of the stock of a Pittsburg railroad were bought by the Princess two or three years ago which were sold very recently at a profit of $5 or $6 a share, besides the handsome dividends she received while holding them. In the transfer papers of this stock the Princess is styled by the notary "Marie Clementina of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, of the Calaisburg, Vienna, widow." A power of attorney which accompanies the papers, and which was made before the American Consul at Vienna, is signed in a neat, fine, running hand "Clementina d'Orleans, Princess Auguste de Saxe-Coburg Gotha," and beside the name is a plain little red seal without armorial bearings or crest. Gustave de Trebenje, Chef de Chancellerie Ducale, and August D. Wladory, Cussier Ducale, were witnesses of the signature. The Duchy of Saxe-Coburg is part of the German Empire, and is prosperous and wealthy. The husband of the Princess became Duke after the ducal line of Gotha became extinct in, in [sic] 1825, when the duchy was given to the House of Coburg-Saalfeld. The Princess herself is a member of the House of Orleans.
Digitized image of page 414: Marcolini
It was midnight.
The great clock had struck, and was still echoing through every porch and gallery in the quarter of St. Mark, when a young citizen, wrapped in his cloak, was hastening home from an interview with his young mistress.
His step was very light, for his heart was so.
Her parents had just consented to their marriage. The very day was named.
"Lovely Giulietta!" he cried, "and shall I, then, call thee mine at last! Who was ever so blest as thy Marcolini?"
But as he spoke he stopped; for something glittered on the pavement before him.
It was a scabbard of rich workmanship; and the discovery, what was it but an earnest of good fortune?
"Rest thou there!" he cried, thrusting it gayly into his belt. "If another claims thee not thou has changed masters!"
And on he went as before, humming the burden of a song which he and his Giulietta had been singing together.
But little we know what the next minute will bring forth.
He turned by the Church of St. Geminiano, and in three steps met the watch.
A terrible murder had just been committed.
The Senator Renaldi had been found dead at his door, the dagger left in his heart.
The unfortunate Marcolini was dragged away for examination.
The place, the time, everything served to excite, to justify suspicion.
And no sooner had he entered the guardhouse than a damning witness appeared against him.
The bravo in his fight had thrown away his scabbard.
And smeared with blood — with blood not yet dry — it was now in the belt of Marcolini.
Its patrican ornaments struck every eye.
When the fatal dagger was produced and compared with it not a doubt of his guilt remained.
Still there is in the innocent an energy, a composure — an energy when they speak, a composure when they are silent — to which none can be altogether insensible; and the judge delayed for some time to pronounce the sentence, though he was a near relation of the dead.
At length, however, it came, and Marcolini lost his life and Giulietta her reason.
Not many years afterward the truth revealed itself, the real criminal in his last moments confessed the crime; and hence the custom in Venice, a custom that long prevailed, for a crier to cry out in the court before a sentence was passed, "Remember poor Marcolini!"
Digitized image of page 414: It Was the Napkins
"Sir!" replied the shabby-genteel, who had been asked to deposit fifty cents with the cashier before sitting down to table in a restaurant, "wheat is way down to nothing in price, and on the 1st of the month there were 30,000,000 bushels heaped up awaiting a market."
"Potatoes are a full crop, and the price is low."
"Potatoes are a full crop, and the price is low."
"Buckwheat is a shade firmer, but there is no panic. Corn was nipped, but the supply is all we need."
"While butter, beef, and poultry can be had at lower prices than have ruled for years. Suppose I should beat you out of a meal? The loss would be a mere trifle."
"My dear sir," replied the other, "you are gravely mistaken. It isn't the provisions you would consume, but it is the fact that paper napkins have advanced 10 cents per thousand. Please secure us in advance."
Digitized image of page 414: Pathetic Story of a Parrot
There is a fruit and poultry dealer in town who owns a talking parrot and the quaint, philosophic utterances of the wise-looking creature furnish much amusement to passers-by. The parrot talks incessantly and the owner some months ago refused a large price offered for the bird by a married man, who said he wanted it as a sort of stand off for his wife. The poultry dealer positively refused to sell, however, but confidentially remarked to the other, "Fact is, that's what I keep the parrot for myself. When anybody starts in scolding, you observe, that bird always get furious and takes the first hand in the jawing match. Nobody else can get in a word edgeways, and if you swear at her, why you'd think you'd woke up half a dozen angry bull-whackers. No, sir," he added, looking sympathetically at the other married man, "I won't part with that bird for any price, but I'll set up the beer for you."
An oviparous story is told concerning the parrot, the burden of which falls, as a matter of course, upon an Irishman. He had never seen a bird of the kind before, and had been listening for half an hour to its wise sayings with the keenest interest, not unmixed with awe.
"It's a quare, wondherful burd, entirely. Do she lay anny eggs?" he asked of the market-man.
"Oh, yes; once in a while," replied the owner, who saw a chance to amuse himself.
"Could you sell me an egg from that burd?"
"Yes; if you come here in a day or two I'll have one for you," said the poultry-dealer, and the inquirer went away highly pleased. He was back again on the second day and asked for the promised egg. The dealer had forgotten the circumstance till now, but to carry out his joke walked to the back part of his store, and picking up an egg out of the nearest boxes, wrapped it up in paper and handed it to Paddy, who cheerfully paid the ten cents demanded and departed with a smile of satisfaction.
Two or three weeks passed before the poultry dealer saw his egg customer again, and then he noticed him one morning standing on the sidewalk and gazing at the parrot with a half sorrowful, half-reproachful air. Presently he stepped up to the dealer and whispered: "Luk here, misther, does that bird o' yours run around much o' nights!"
"Well, I don't know exactly," replied the dealer, with difficulty repressing a grin, as a suspicion of what was coming floated across his mind; "perhaps she may hop out into the back yard sometimes."
"Lemme give yez a pinter on that burd," said the Irishman in a sepulchral whisper — "there's a duck been laiding her asthray."
Digitized image of page 414: Varieties
THE minuet is again in full favor in high life, and it is true the style in which it is now danced so proficiently, exactly, and gracefully entitles it to this lasting favor. The costumes of the time of Louis XV. are at many houses de rigeur and not objected to, as it adds grace to grace.
THERE is a suggestion that Portland place ought to be planted with trees on each side of the road. It would add a trifle to its rurality, perhaps, but scarcely to its beauty, and the trees dripping with rain are not pleasant in busy thoroughfares, and such skeleton growths as London can produce scarcely ever give shelter.
MISS THACKERAY might have added to her personal sketch of the poet Laureate the following little incident which reaches us from Copenhagen. When asked to dine at the Palace, Mr. Tennyson was unable to accept the invitation for the characteristic but sufficient reason that he had no dress coat with him.
ONE of the fruits of Lord Coleridge's visit to this country has appeared in the plan to form a system of district courts throughout England after the model of the district courts of the United States. So favorably has the suggestion been received that a bill for this purpose has been prepared by Coleridge and accepted by the cabinet.
LORD SALISBURY has found it necessary to remove some misapprehension about his London property. He says it must not be supposed that streets which bear his family names necessarily belong to him. They once belonged to his family; but his ancestors were so thriftless that most of the property was sold, and the Salisbury estate in the metropolis is now very small; moreover, it is not in any of the overcrowded districts.
THE Borgia Museum, at the Propaganda, Rome, founded by Cardinal Borgia at the commencement of this century, and including very rich numismatical, geographical, ethnographical and palæographical collections, has been recently much enlarged by the addition of several spacious halls on the second story of the Propaganda. The museum is continually enriched by the contributions of missionaries from all parts of the world.
THE Cour des Tuileries was turned to the base use of trying experiments the other day in rendering the scenery of the opera-house incombustible. The flames which arose (from the portion not treated with the solution) alarmed the whole neighborhood, and to most recalled the memory of the bad old times. The experiment was a success with the scenery, which had been steeped in the solution; nothing would induce it to burn.
THE late little ferment about sherry and sandwiches in the vestries has set people's tongues wagging, and they assure us that good wine, and plenty of it, is not rare in city churches. Yea, verily, they have their cellars like unto other good houses; the lords thereof being even as are laymen in their likings, and, truly, more favored still, for they can obtain what they like without paying for it. Some church vestry cellars are said to contain much more than £50 worth of wine at a time.
THE fashion for envelopes has decided on something exceptional, which is grand and elegant. They are made of vellum of the purest white, and are bound round, north, south, east and west, with ribbon of any color by fancy cherished, which is tied into a knot and sealed with wax of the same hue as the ribbon. This operation takes place before the address is written that it may all be legible. Haut allure has decreed that the words monsieur and madame are henceforth to be left out before titles, and it will be proper to write Baron de V----, Marquis de B----, and so on.
A MORE extended sphere of usefulness has been discovered for the tricycle. The proprietors of one of the London daily papers have started a machine provided with a capacious square basket, covered with waterproof material, and of the startling red color affected by the Post Office Department for mail carts and pillar boxes, as an adjunct of their delivery service in the metropolitan district. The basket being in front of the rider, the contents are well under observation. Here is a good idea for the Postmaster-General in connection with the provincial Parcels Post.
THE Romans object to the electric light — they have a religious dislike to it rather than a practical one, and the people who love darkness are actually tuning up in hymns alleluas [sic] against electricity in Rome. The Romans have yet, it is clear, to advance, but were we not also bigoted? Did not the inventor of gas suffer contempt and menace at our hand? Franklin searched for light in fear and trembling, and Stephenson had a very hot time of it. The electric people will not be put down, but will insist in lighting up Rome in some parts. The king is benevolent to the idea.
THE question of the bestowal of a pension on the widow of the late Commander Moncrieff, who fell fighting against the Arabs at Suakim, has been warmly discussed between the Admiralty and the Foreign Office, neither of which authorities choose to take the responsibility of the gallant officer's action in his unfortunate sortie. As usual when there is the least doubt in a question of generosity, our authorities are always disposed to follow the advice of the old philosophers, "Dans le doute absts [sic] enttoi," and thus the grant of a pension has been refused. The late Lord Beaconsfield would not have hesitated an instant in his decision concerning the matter.
A CURIOUS event occurred last week, namely, the interment of a journalist, who had directed that his remains should be proceded [sic] by an Italian organ-grinder. How contrary to the hatred that the more nervous British man of letters has always shown towards this most charming purveyor of melody! Life was a joke with the Frenchman; he made lots of money, and spent it freely on amusing himself, which he did to the utmost. As a proof of his friendship to the craft to which he belonged he sent invitations from the dead (prepared before his death) to a large number of journalists to dine after his funeral at a first-rate hotel. The cost was to be defrayed out of his funds by his executors, and the request was made that nothing was to be spared at the repast. This is the way to have one's memory respected.
IN your very spirited article, M. de Rosaury, will you be good enough to inform us if you are lancing small pillets of jokes at mighty Russia? Or are you microscopic by nature, and draw, therefore, your inferences from "littleness," because you exclaim, "Blessed be Russia, her influence on us is all for good, while that of Germany is the reverse of satisfactory. The latter steals our trade, and starves our workmen by fabricating imitative articles of Paris, whereas Russia sends us meals and petroleum, splendid oak, and the celebrated powder for curing nervous disorders—the extract for turning grey hair into black or brown; the plaister that cures corns; the renowned liquor curing indigestion," and so on. What will Messieurs the Grand Dukes say to this? They will enjoy the joke, for they know one when they see it. Does M. the writer know one when he writes one?
IT is all the volcanoes. Our sunsets are due to volcanic eruptions. That beautiful crimson glow which has made the sky look like a fire, and rendered all our architecture in London ghostly, came from Java. It was, according to one authority, the home [sic] of the house, due to volcanic dust in the region much above the highest clouds. "The vesicular nature of pumice, each particle consisting of a small bubble of glass, would allow it, after being shot up by the eruption to an enormaus [sic] height, to be carried without precipitation to all quarters of the globe, and at the altitude attained it would be far removed from the action of vapour and weather. Nothing like this diffused atmospheric glow after dark and one or two hours before sunrise has been observed before, and a singular effect must have its origin in a singular cause. On two evenings the glass, which was of an amber color, did not come bright until about an hour after sunset, and was partially obscured by clouds." We might surely get our clouds from some place nearer than Java.
AT a recent dinner given in one of the old English country houses, the table ornaments and appointments were unique. The centre was covered with a large mirror stand surrounded by a silver Louis XIV., gallery, mounted on low silver stags' feet, so that it was a little raised above the cloth. The mirror was strewn with cut flowers and foliage, and on this bed were placed groups of figures in Dresden china, half screened by bowers and gladiolas and other tall plants. A wreath of odorless flowers surrounded the plate of each guest, and a very tiny one encircled each champagne glass. Miniature gardeners in silver pushed before them, little barrows, containing salt and pepper, and gilded shovels took the place of spoons. The menu was written on a sheet of ivory in red Gothic characters, a red coral seal depending from each by a ribbon. A cut glass scent bottle, matching the wine glasses, was filled with perfume and placed before each lady guest, for those who disliked the smell of game.
HOW TO GET SICK—Expose yourself day and night, eat too much without exercise, work too hard without rest, doctor all the time, take all the vile nostrums advertised, and then you will want to know
HOW TO GET WELL—Which is answered in three words—Take Hop Bitters!
Digitized image of page 415: The Death of the Year
A cloud came out of the golden west,
A bell rang over the silent air,
The sun god hurried away to test,
Flushing with kisses each cloud he prest,
And oh! but the day was fair!
"How bright the year goes out!" they said;
"The glow of the sunset lingers long,
Knowing the year will be over and dead,
Its sad hours over—its sweet hours fled—
With service of evensong."
"How sadly the year came in!" they said.
I listened and wondered in dusk of night.
To me the year that might come instead
Of the old friend numbered among the dead,
Could ever be half so bright.
The sun-kissed clouds grew pale and grey,
The bells hung silent in high mid-air,
Waiting to ring the year away
In strains that were never so glad and grey
For me as I listen there.
Oh, hearts! that beat in a million breasts,
Oh lips! that utter the same old phrase,
I wonder that never a sorrow rests
In words you utter to friends and guests
In the new year's strange new days!
Is it just the same as it used to be!
Have new years only a gladder sound?
For ever and always it seems to me
That no new faces can be sweet to see
As the old ones we have found.
* * * * *
There is no cloud in the darkened west,
The bell is silent in misty air,
The year has gone to its last long rest,
And I who loved and knew it best
Shall meet it—God knows where!
Digitized image of page 415: Our Chess Column
J. W. S., Montreal.—Letter and paper to hand.
Correct solution received of Problem No. 463.
C. E., de St. Giles, Sorel, P.Q.—Letter received.
Many thanks for Problems. They came too late for insertion in to-day's Column.
A week or two ago we spoke of comparing the best play of the experts in chess of the present time with that
of the great masters of sixty or eighty years ago. Within the last few days we have come across a pleasing article on the same subject, which originally appeared in the "Milwaukee Sunday Telegraph." The article is evidently written by one who is much interested in the subject, and we are sorry we cannot give the whole of his remarks. He says: "As we look over records of chess play of the past, we cannot but wonder whether the giants of old who fought the battles on the checkered field, could hold their own auainst [sic] the experts of to-day. In actual warfare, science has advanced wonderfully. The impregnable fortress of the last century would melt away like snow under a tropical sun before the batteries of a modern gunner. How would it be if Steinitz could meet Deschappelles? Who would be the winner in a match between Philidor and Blackburne?" Further on he says: "Philidor's games have many of them been preserved, and if we can step back eighty years it is possible to judge of his strength. The lover of chess should go over his games; he will be puzzled to decide who would win, Blackburne or Philidor. But if Deschappelles was living, how would he come out with Steinitz as an opponent? The question to us is an open one. We are prepared to be convinced either way." It is evident from these extracts that the writer declines to settle the matter, and, no doubt, wisely. It is now impossible to test the question by trial. The modern players are here, but the heroes of days gone by, have gone, and have left but few specimens of their skill to enrich our chess literature. Philidor's games, and the games played between La Bourdonnais and McDonnell, which are to some extent fair specimens to compare with the skill of modern players, will always afford an intellectual treat to the chess student, but it would take a long time with close study before any decision could be given of their merits when compared with the best games of our own time. It may be well to consider, also, that the professional player of to-day was not known sixty or eighty years ago. Philidor, we believe, gave lessons in chess, but by profession he was a musician, as is stated in the article from which we have quoted. In his time, chess was looked upon as an intellectual recreation, every well-educated man was supposed to know something of it, and most games were played in the social circle. All this is to be taken into account if we are to arrive at conclusions with reference to the strength of the old players by comparing their games with those of our living experts. Altogether, the subject is an interesting one, and worthy of careful consideration, which no doubt it will receive, when the excitement of chess tourneys is out of fashion, and the pleasure of quiet inquiry into matters of chess history has taken its place.
Digitized image of page 415: Dr. Zukertort's Visit
The intelligence that Dr. Zukertort, the famous chess player, is to visit Canada, which was made known through those columns a few days ago, has been received with much satisfaction by lovers of the game here. The places mentioned as likely to be visited by him were Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Montreal. Since that time an invitation has been sent to the doctor by the Dominion of Canada Chess Association to attend their tournament in Ottawa during the coming session of Parliament. Sufficient time has not yet elapsed to receive a reply to the invitation, but as Dr. Zukertort, so far as is known, having no fixtures ahead that would conflict, the probability is that he will accept.
A letter addressed to Herr Zukertort, care of this office, has been forwarded to the Doctor's address in New York.
Dr. Zukertort, in response to the challenge of Herr Steinitz to play him a match at the Paris Chess Club upon the Doctor's return to Europe, writes as follows: — "I do not propose to play Herr Steinitz outside of London. Neither of us is a member of the Paris Chess Club. It is a mistake to suppose that I will only play in the St, [sic] George's Club, of which I am captain. I will play Herr Steinitz in any respectable club in London." — Toronto Globe.
Digitized image of page 415: Mr. Blackburne at Newcastle
On Tuesday, 13th current, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Mr. Blackburne played 22 simultaneous games, of which he won 19, lost one (to Mr. F. Downey), and drew two (with Miss Kate Spence and Mr. J. Campbell respectively): and on Thursday, the 15th current, he played eight games, simultaneous and blindfold, at the Newcastle Art Gallery, of which he won five, lost one (to Mr. Zellner), and drew two (with Messrs, [sic] J. Nicholson and W. Park respectively).