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the kitchen-maid came out wiping her the day, and I looked no more through hands in her apron, and took the place the window until dark came on and the of her mistress at the hop-vine, where it moon, standing over the pines, made a swung its great masses of drooping green shining path like a bond between the tassels from the poles. Then Madame small house and mine. The inexplicaSuydam sat down on an inverted hen- ble hardness and obstinacy I had witcoop close by, and drew out her knit- nessed made a sore spot in my heart, ting. Thus she killed at least three and I pondered the matter with bitterbirds with one stone, for she had a vigi- ness that was deepened by the recolleclant eye. I wondered if it was vigilant tion of th use pretty baby-faces through enough to see all that penetrated my the pickets, until the clock struck midwindow to me: the violet hills over in night. Soon after, I was startled and the west, the quiver in the sunlight, the surprised to notice a figure steal up from warm green of the pines beyond the the corner of the window-pane and profields, the tiny house, and the two little ceed through the lane and so across the figures, just of a size, coming across the fields by the little path. The woman meadows, down by the bank, and so had a sunbonnet on that concealed her over the foot-bridge by the path. But face, and she carried a heavy basket. no; she was knitting away on the stock- She went on across the foot-bridge to ing, a little child's stocking, that was in the little house under the pines, where her hands. I remembered that the min- she paused an instant at the back porch ister's wife had told me of the old lady's and came back empty-handed. All this ceaseless charity to the poor.
I was enabled to see by aid of the clear The children came on until they stood moonlight. There was not in the city close by the fence--their small faces, such another sturdy walk or a second framed in by yellow curls, pressed square back like that-it was Madame against the pickets, as the four blue Suydam! eyes watched curiously the proceedings So it was that I surprised the old lady's in the garden. I drew in my breath, secret, and regarded it as a confidence for I felt that a crisis had come, and I had no right to break. Let the minishere were—the twins! Their grand- ter's wife rail at the hard heart, let the mother could have touched them, they church suspend from its communion, as stood so near. She seemed suddenly to it did, the member whose cruelty was so become aware of their presence, for her unchristian, was it my place to infringe hands fell, and the stocking--the child's upon the privacy to which I was unstocking-slipped down her lap to her wittingly admitted? Should I have told feet as she looked up. Her face was that the “Western uncle” was undoubtturned from me, so I could only guess edly the old mother, whose natural what was written on it. Did the chil- yearning circumvented her iron will ? dren look like her Annie? Surely, the Ought I to have borne witness to the strong old heart would melt now at midnight journies I made with her sight of those friendly baby smiles! across the snowy fields all that winter,
The old woman rose slowly to her and the losing battles I fought in spirit feet; stood, for what seemed to my im- with her on the side of mother-love patience, an eternity; then stooped to against the obstinate old Dutch pride? pick up her work, and, turning, walked I thought not, and I am of the same swiftly into the house, shutting the opinion still. kitchen door with loud emphasis. The Madame Suydam seemed to age rapidly babies smiled on impartially, including now, and the night walk across the fields the old white horse and the farm-boy, took longer each time. One day, in the the girl picking hops, and I thought spring-time, they laid her away in the even me, in their friendly glances. By- church-yard, and I said that my little and-by they grew tired of it all, and world-picture would be lonely without hand in hand wandered back to the tiny her. house, where the mother-welcome was But it was not, after all; for Annie doubtless always warm and sweet. came to live in the stone house, and two
As for me, the charm was gone from yellow-haired laddies went tripping back
and forth over the grandmother's old seemed to feel a spirit-finger laid on my paths to the hen-house, then to the barn, lips. I whispered, inwardly, "Fear not; and so across the garden to the kitchen. you shall have your own way, even in
One day, in early summer, the minis- the grave. Your very ashes may blow ter's wife came. “What a blessing it against the wind for all my hindrance!" is,” she said, " that the worthless hus- To the minister's wife, I said, “Did band is at last dead, and poor Annie has you ever hear of any person who could come into the inheritance of her mother's cure his own hereditary insanity? And family. What a hard old wretch that did you ever know anything that could Madame Suydam was, to be sure! Ab- break or bend an obstinate Dutch will? solutely unrelenting to the last!" In this case I believe that the heart that
Should I break the seal of secrecy suffered most and broke at last was that between the dead woman and me? I of old Madame Suydam."
A. E. P. Searing.
“When death cuts down a weed,
General Sherman, however, is the only one
who is left of the wonderful trio—Grant, Ah! death is blind."
Sheridan and Sherman—the only one, in fact,
who is left of any of those who stood in the Twice since the August number of this front rank of our war heroes. magazine reached its readers has the Ameri- General Sheridan was a natural soldier. can heart felt the shock of national sorrow. At West Point he was not one of the brillTwo illustrious men have joined the vast iant students, but as soon as the practical majority, and have left only the memories of opportunity was afforded, he showed his the daring and noble deeds of the soldier, great fitness and superiority. The traits Philip Henry Sheridan, on the one hand, burst forth, as it were, that in the war for and, perhaps, the more tangible records of the preservation of the Union carried him the life-work of the novelist, the Rev. head and shoulders above his fellows, and Edward Payson Roe, on the other.
placed his name in history side by side with Bravery in a soldier is expected; but it is the greatest military leaders. He is well none the less admired. There are, however, known as the “ Dashing Young Lieutenant," battles in which human courage is without but while realizing how much depended avail. Science had already revealed to the upon out-and-out audacity, upon incessant mourning country the fact of his approach- vigilance, and upon untiring energy, he had ing end, when the hero of Cedar Creek, Five underneath all these prime requisites of a Forks and Winchester declared he “would successful cavalry leader the judgment and not die this time," and the words served sim- the power of self-control to decide when not ply to show that the old-time courage still to act. He could command himself as well remained, and that Grim Death himself was as his gallant army. not regarded by the brave soldier as uncon- He has always received the love and
respect of his countrymen, and it will always The Civil War in this country furnished be remembered with pride that the country, the opportunity to the men of its period through its representatives, made special to show their patriotism and courage and effort to show its appreciation of the soldier skill, and the array of distinguished names is by making him on his death-bed a full Genone of which our nation may well be proud. eral in the army.
Quite another kind of greatness is that of he appealed to a reader who, as a rule, would the author, and the Rev. Edward Payson fail to appreciate the artistic in literature. Roe was certainly one of the most popular We have all, at one time or another, heard authors of the day, if not one of the high- orators who were brilliant and artistic, and est from a strictly literary standpoint. With who thrilled their audience, but the matter Mr. Roe, writing books was a profession, in whose oration was quickly lost. We have and he laughingly acknowledged that he also heard the less artistic orator, who thrills wrote his books to sell them and to make because he talks right from his own heart money. He knew that his success lay in direct to the hearts of his audience. The touching the public heart, and he always same conditions prevail in novel writing, and kept this in view. But he also invariably Mr. Roe was without doubt the foremost in the embodied in his novels the lesson of the rank of the unartistic but honest fiction writgreat peace and resignation that true Chris- ers. What he wrote, his readers remembered, tianity will bring to every mind. Mr. Roe and he placed himself so completely in his did not attempt to write an artistic novel: books that his readers became his friends.
with material growth. We have a sound It was not an accident, nor a chapter of mind in a sound body. We have not lived accidents, which foreshadowed the United long as a people, yet we have a history worthy States of America as the typical representa- of study—a history full of advanced lessons tive of Americanism in the Western Hemi- for all the world. sphere. Innumerable causes, ethical, polit- But it is a mistake to suppose that the true ical and material, converged to the same end, life of the nation began with the Declaration of planting a nation which should be known of Independence. The sources of the imdistinctively, pre-eminently, as the Ameri- pulse which led to this historical issue may be can people. The same ruling causes con- traced further back; the idea was inchoate tinue to give direction to its development in the general mind long before-it was an and growth, though varied and modified in experience, in anticipation, of the first settlers their forms of expression. On a soil un- on the continent. affected by previous growths that might ex- A new world, a new atmosphere, a new haust or weaken its native richness and theatre of activity were requisite to give full strength, in a climate whose pure air had not play to the intellectual forces set free in been tainted by the decaying influences of Europe during the latter half of the sixteenth worn-out races, in conflict with the powers century. The new field was occupied, and of nature whose resistance was but a means simultaneously with this event, the human of provoking skill, strength and self-reliance, mind everywhere showed signs of new this American nation was born, bred and growths. With these growths the American brought to manhood.
mind began its
Its significant Its development and growth has been in- and characteristic elements appear early in tellectual as well as material. The same tend- the history of civilized life on the North encies that led to and carried forward this American continent. It was not any form development and growth to such material of physical discomfort or suffering which proportions as to render it a distinct figure brought men of intellectual force and stamp among the nations of the world, have in to the New World, but rather the inspiration like measure contributed to the formation of larger privileges of thought and conduct. of the American mind—a positive reality, The minds of men emancipated themselves, a distinct individuality. No apparently un- and then began the rule of ideas, a free defavorable circumstances, no opposing causes, mocracy by divine right. no contrary or conflicting tendencies, no insidious influences, thus far have been able to It is, therefore, now nearly three hundred distort or warpits healthy growth. The most years since American literature made its first assuring evidence of the robust and healthful beginnings. Its founders were few and comcondition of the American mind is the fact that paratively unknown to the world as men of all foreign influences, life, customs, thought, thought. There was not a Milton, nor a that come to it are converted, assimilated and Des Cartes, nor a Luther among them. But made integral parts of a homogeneous char- there were those whose minds, fashioned by acter-a definite and symmetrical type. and filled with the free spirit of the poetry,
With no other nation in the world's his- the philosophy and the religious thought tory is it so true as with ours, that universal just then breaking upon the world, found intellectual development has kept even pace greater freedom for thought and action in
the New World. For until then the human countries. The powers of the mind were then mind had employed itself with materials so engaged in physical efforts to secure a footgathered from the past; with histories of hold and maintain life as to leave but little nations begun and ended; with mythologies ambition to give pleasing expression to its and traditions; with the doubtful enterprises tastes, its sentiments, and its passions. Unof heroes and kings; and with the literatures questionably there was much in the Colonial of defunct peoples.
life which was susceptible of being shaped Whether we have a national literature char- into representative ideals that would adorn acteristic and definable has long since ceased any literature, but that life was itself an allto be a debatable question. A most forcible absorbing present. showing of the fact is at hand in The Library The development of thought having disof American Literature (Chas. L. Webster & tinctive American traits was rapid, as comCo., N. Y. 10 vols., dvo), compiled and pared with the growth of the literatures of edited by Edmund Clarence Stedman and other peoples. It is true that it began with Ellen Mackay Hutchinson. The capabilities the advantage of a language already fitted to of the editors for a literary task so important bear up the most ambitious flights of imaginand comprehensive was already established ation as well as to disclose and portray the when this work was undertaken. After some most subtle whims and passions of the human seven years of arduous labor, their work, soul, but to be American in the Colonial period inarked by a scrupulous painstaking, and a it must deal with the motives and experiences critical discrimination in thechoice of material of men impelled to separate from the old which no reviewer will venture to gainsay, is civilization of Europe and construct for themso far along toward completion as to justify selves a new-world society. Life was full of publication. It is issued in large octavo vol- intense realities. There was very little of the umes of about five hundred pages, beautifully romantic in their views of things. We find printed in large and clear type on excellent very few examples of true poetry in this early paper. It will be illustrated with about one literature. Thought was chiefly retrospective hundred and fifty portraits of American writ- and religious. This tendency culminates in ers, some of them procured with great diffi- the great mind of Jonathan Edwards, but we culty, doubtless, being rare and exceedingly read the same spirit and prevailing ideas of valuable. The work is to be comprised in the period in many examples of other writers. ten volumes, four of which are printed and The student of psychology will find abundant now before us.
material for reflection and speculation in the It will be difficult to imagine a literary en- religious phenomena of the Colonial period terprise of more importance to the American as reflected in the writings of William Bradpublic. Nor will English readers and critics ford, Thos. Hooker, Roger Williams, Increase of this work find it easy to show that we as and Cotton Mather, and many others who, a people have not well employed the more though less known, afford scarcely less inthan fifty years that have elapsed since one terest and instruction. Here we meet with Smith, a reverend wit, or witty reverend, as phases of mind and thought which give to you please, now almost forgotten, asked the the intellectual life of that day a chilling, not question, “Who reads an American book?” to say repulsive aspect. And yet, sitting in It is safe to say that the time has long gone the broad and cheerful light of to-day, we by when any intelligent man on the continent may find here something more than amuseof Europe would care openly to admit that ment in the grotesque superstitions—mental he had not read American books.
vagaries, produced under the strain of experThis Library of Literature is a gathering iences as real and trying as death itself. together of what the best American minds But the minds of men were not altogether have thought since the first settlement in 1607. hidden in the caverns of a gloomy theology. It proceeds by a method at once interesting A life of activity and freedom was leading and instructive, taking in its course every them away from these shadowy regions. department of thought. The method is his- They began to make political history. Very torical, teaching, by illustrious examples, the early we come upon the intellectual germs progress of the American mind occupied with of American independence. Freedom of the stirring events and active lives of a new thought and action grew together; or, rather, era. It is not designed to be a history of Amer- were reciprocally moving causes. ican thought, but the reader who follows the ficial story of these times can give us so true selections page by page in the order they are an understanding of the efficient causes of presented cannot fail to see that there is here our American civilization as a careful study an intellectual development parallel with the of what men thought while preparing its chronology of events. The first beginnings foundations. of American literature are, of course, con- For several years preceding and during cerned chiefly with the struggles and adven- the French and Indian wars (1754) the enertures incident to the settlement of new gies of the colonies were wholly engaged in
struggles with the savages, in the defence of for the teacher of the youth who would their acquired homes, and in support of the practice the true art of instruction.
The British crown, in its conflicts with France for presence and skill of the teacher should not territory. There was timely discipline in destroy nor weaken the native power of the the military schooling thus received, and a mind of the learner to think and act for itconsequent awakening of conscious power. self, but should rather awaken and strengthen Intellectual activity logically follows, and it. There is always a highest place for the course of events brings us to the begin- originality in the literature of thought. ning of the Revolutionary period, 1765- There can, in fact, be no real education of the 1787--twenty-two years of American his mind that is not self-born. First must come tory, weighted with events of immeasurable the desire for knowledge, which instruction importance!
may stimulate, and then the effort of the The turning points of history are usually learner to secure it; it only becomes comperiods of short duration. This was the be- plete and clear in the mind of the learner ginning of an epoch. The idea of intellect- when by himself reproduced and expressed ual freedom had at last developed into signifi- in thought. The highest quality of an educant clearness in the general consciousness. cated mind is its ability to think well in
During our century of national life just fitly chosen words. Literature furnishes us ended, civilization has advanced with a ten- with models illustrating this quality. It is fold rapidity, largely due to impulses arising noteworthy that the specimens before us are in the Revolutionary times. What intelli- just such models, and, being American, gent mind can afford to neglect the litera- should claim a first consideration. ture of that period ?
In the writings of Franklin we find reThe third volume of The Library of Amer- markable anticipations of the present. For ican Literature begins with the writings of the American mind he stands the typical Benjamin Franklin. This is peculiarly fit- representative and pioneer of the newspaper ing as an opening of the Revolutionary in all that has made it a power to influence, period. It is a new and suggestive point of control and create public opinion. The departure for American thought. This litera- practical printer has become the all-powerful ture had not been wanting in those higher ediror and political philosopher. The debt qualities which are afforded by philosophy. of American literature to Franklin the printer There were prophetic hints in the true is incalculable. The example of Franklin liberal-mindedness of Roger Williams' toler- in his adopted vocation leads on to attainant views; Jonathan Edwards had con- ments that qualify for great usefulness in sidered, among speculative questions, “ideas" eminent places. But not less remarkable is of “Liberty,'
“ Moral Agency, “ Cause his example in the domain of science. The and Effect," with great power, and from a latest and most brilliant feats of the faculty theological point of view had arrived at pure of discovery and invention have been exidealism; while the subtle Berkeley himself, hibited in the department of electricity. Of the greatest of idealists next to Plato, from all the forces of nature, this-subtle, fugihis country house at Newport, had contrib- tive, destructive-is the most intimate atuted to American literature before the time tendant and servant of the human mind. of Franklin.
How it is brought into service we learn from It is not strange that a lasting interest re- Franklin's own discoveries and writings upon mains in the life and writings of Benjamin the subject, which is peculiarly American in Franklin, for every mind—for that of the in- its incipient stages, as well as in its vastly quisitive, book-loving boy, as well as for extended bearings and applications, since the that of the mature and practical-minded discussion of a theoryofelectricity by Franklin sage. His life in youth and early manhood has grown to a body of scientific learning is a most admirable instance of self-help and that requires a good share of a lifetime to self-education. The story, as told by him- compass it. Franklin's philosophy, replete self, has lost nothing of its interest and with wisdom, often profound, yet never apart value, and has proved worthy of imitation from every-day uses, is but the record and in many cases of youth-at least in the gen- reflection of his life, private and publiceration preceding this, when the privileges noble specimen of democracy in thought and of schooling and employment for wages conduct, standing at the entrance into the were scant and unpromising. This illustrious world of a permanent democratic civilization. example of self-culture, with others not a But there were other great minds in the few in number in our history, are not to be Revolutionary period, whose writings are taken as against schools and the many ad- fully exemplified in The Library of Amerivantages for acquiring knowledge of our can Literature, and in whom there must conday. But there is here in the unassisted tinue an interest as lasting as time. Each literary efforts of one of our greatest Amer- one, like Franklin, occupies a place which ican writers an obvious and striking lesson no other could fill so well.