Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"You must have too much to do; though work is a good friend."

He

"Thet's what Gramper says. says work b'ars no gredges an' tells no lies; good work stan's up an' says 'good, an' bad work stan's up an' says 'bad,' an' thar's no heshin' them, an' hit's true;" then rising, she took up the bag the servant had brought, and held out her hand to Agnes.

"Farwell," she said, "weuns'd be rale proud to see you down home."

"Thank you," Agnes said, smiling as Hannah, instead of shaking her hand, turned it over and looked at it curiously. Then she turned to Max. must come too, an' what name shell I name to Gramper?"

"You

66

Max Dudley," shaking hands in his turn; "we camped together one night. I was lost and came on his camp. I will bring Miss Welling down;" then he opened the door for Hannah.

V

"And answered with such craft as women use, Guilty or guiltless, to stave off a chanceThat breaks upon them perilously."

was

SUCCESSFUL as before, Hannah happy, for besides a little bag of flour, she had more money than she intended to show even to Mr. Warren. If he knew of this surplus he might reveal it in order to save her from hard words; and if Mrs. Warren knew, it would be stored away and she be left as helpless as before. She had made a long détour to reach Wilson's and engage Dock to plough, as she had the money to pay him. She would say four dollars, the rest she must save for other purposes.

66

Once more on the main road, she urged old Bess on. There was much excitement in her position, and she was anxious yet afraid. How would it be possible to see Mr. Warren alone first? She stopped the horse. "If I keeps on bein' afeard o' Granny," she said aloud, "I'll do sumpen rale mean some day.' Old Bess was urged on again. I'll go right in an' face her, crooked chance or straight chance." She dropped the reins on the horse's neck, and took the old deer-skin purse from her pocket. It was quite full with her two days' gains, and she drew a long sigh. She took out all the money save the four dollars intended for Dock's wages, and tying it up in her glove, hid it in her bosom, then put the purse back in her pocket.

[ocr errors]

"Hit looks right sneakin', but I must save hit 'ginst Si."

Reaching the gate, she unsaddled the horse with unusual celerity, and shouldering the saddle and the little bag of flour, went quickly into the house.

It had been a long and weary day to the old man. Hannah's errand was a bitter pill to Mrs. Warren. She had never done such a thing in her life, nor was it customary with women of her station. In those early days, "the man who would let his women-folks peddle was a poor sort of man." But the concealment of the expedition had wounded Mrs. Warren also.

Often she had complained that she did not understand Hannah, for though she usually held herself very much aloof, Hannah would yet do work and associate with people that shocked Mrs. Warren, and the irritation caused by what she deemed the girl's peculiarities was a very constant thing.

66

A goat raised a pup once, Mertildy," her husband had often said to her, "but she never could larn thet pup to butt; an' you'll never larn Hannah youuns ways.

All this ground, and the grievance about Si, had been gone over many times during the day. Mrs. Warren felt herself outwitted, for she was sure the difficulty of the ploughing had been solved. Her sequence had been-no man to plough-no money to pay a man-no crop, then want, or Si Durket.

"An' why not?" she had asked; "he's well-lookin',—he's well off-he's a man. He curses some; he gets drunk some, an' when he's mad, he is mad. But all the Durkets hes sperret, an' Si ain't none o' your soft-walkin'-stilltongued folks like the Warrens; an' when he walks, he stomps!"

Mr. Warren had told her of Hannah's first venture, how she had sat in the parlor, leaving Lizer in the kitchen -how she showed the "Durket sperret" about the apples, and how, after her purchases, Hannah had two dollars left.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

"When you is done rnbbin' 'gainst the pot, thar ain't no use a-fearing smut," Mrs. Warren put in, sharply. "Hannah Warren is done knowed fur a pedler alonger Lizer Wilson an' sich, an' she misewell sell the aigs."

"If you sesso, Granny, I'm surely willin'," and Hannah did not give a sign of the surprise she felt. "An' Dock Wilson says he'll come a-Monday, Gramper."

Mrs. Wilson looked up quickly. She saw some of her suspicions being made facts, and realized that Hannah was escaping her. "An' who's to pay?"

"I've got the money," Hannah answered. Then she went her way to the kitchen, where she stood still and drew a long breath of relief.

"That's right," Mr. Warren answered, heartily; "I 'members that feller, he's named Dudley, and he's rale well-spoken."

"That's hit," Hannah assented, "an' I said as you and Granny would be (To be continued.)

THE POINT OF

VIEW

T

66

ness.

HE other day I completed my twenty. The real thing seems still to be in the future.

fifth year of living, and I am still con- We have not yet caught up with it. We

siderably impressed with that fact. It can't believe it. We have taken our places is a very important age, this present one of with the Olympians, but—if the children only mine, and I have a right to take it seriously. knew! Now there is more of a reason for all Is it not epochal? “ Do you realize," I might this than the mere mystery of unaccustomedurge that twenty-five years are a quarter That is what I want to speak about.

of a whole century? And see ! of We have discovered that a great mistake A Surprise in Life.

what consequence centuries have has been made about this age; or else about

been.” Is it not a desirable age? youth (extreme youth, seniors, if you prefer); Old men say, “when I was twenty-five" and or perhaps about both. No, rather, we have boys say " when I am twenty-five.” A dis- made the mistake, but those who have gone tinguished and significant age? For we are ahead of us are to blame for it. All through beginning the second of the three laps, and our long twenty-five years of life (a quarter of the most telling one of the race; we have a century !) we found poets and preachers, phileft off seeking education, directly, and are losophers and writers of fiction, parents and hunting for wealth and other things; a great advisers, all, indeed, who have sought, didactimany of us have fallen in love ; an alarming cally or æsthetically, to interpret life for us, number have married; and the rest of us agreeing to harp upon one strain : Youth : have bought wedding presents. We are hope, illusions. Manhood :-struggle, disilluquite in the thick of living. We are grown- sionment. Youth is happy, but, ah, so short. ups. We are the “Olympians" at last. Youth bounds blindly forward ; he little knows But this is not what I want to prove here, nor

what is before him. Alas, poor, poor, happy is this the way the thing impresses me. youth! etc., ad lugubrium--the result being

You who have passed the age may forget; that we began to think there must be some those very young persons who have not yet truth in it. And we used to take ourselves reached it cannot understand ; but my con- in hand, sometimes, and say: “ We are abtemporaries will agree, that we have been the surdly full of hope and pitifully happy now; coming generation so long that we do not but in a few years it will be terrible.” realize that we have come. We know that We grew to hate the thought of “bounding we are here, but we do not feel it. We are blindly" on to manhood. We were still twenty-five; it can be proved by records ; but somewhat curious about it, I admit, but how we cannot convince ourselves that we are as could we anticipate anything very desirable significantly mature as that sounds even to when a thousand voices, ancient and modern, our seniors, to whom it sounds young. We were shouting in our ears that we should unare as far along as they were at this age. doubtedly be miserable later on? How could Yes, but in our case it seems like a make-be- we persuade ourselves that Success-even lieve. We have settled down to the serious though it would be hollow—was waiting for pursuits of life, most of us; but are they so us when we looked up and saw all the classic serious? We eat farewell bachelor dinners satirists smiling indulgently at us, and the with boyhood friends, but-well, they are complacent moderns smiling quite as omnigetting married as if they were grown-ups. sciently?

owners.

Indeed, we began to feel as if we were are all careful. I believe it is a religious duty drawing near a great abyss, and, no matter to get all the money you can; get it fairly, how hard we tried to hold on, were soon to be religiously, honestly, and give away all you shoved over ; and then away we should drop, can." The man who spoke had started in out of sunshine and light, down to the bottom life without any money, and as the result of of reality. For my part, I remember writing the diligent exercise of unusual

A Religious a poem in lugubrious blank verse in a college business abilities had come to be

Duty. magazine, expressing my sincere senior-year one of the richest men in the world. desire to cling to “ that strange sweet, dream- He had also given much money away. The ing time, called Youth,” which was very beau- precepts that he uttered seemed to be such tiful and sad. But listen- the surprise of as he had followed himself. · He seemed to life-somehow we have glided across from have made it his religious duty to get all the dreaming to living, and—here we are ! It is money he could. He had been born to businot so bad over here after all. It's a pretty ness ability, and had developed his talent good place. In fact, we are rather happy. mightily. He had practised extreme thrift

To be sure this is a very real world and in his youth; he had been quick to see and living is a very real thing. It did not take seize opportunity, sagacious, indomitable. us long to find that out. And we have to Little by little he and others whom he had work more than we play now instead of its associated with himself had built up one of being the other way, though working is a the most marvellous money - making mapretty good game. We are not making so chines ever known, which, crushing out rivalmuch money as we could spend, and some ry and competition, presently controlled the things have not turned out as we should have production and sale in this country of a comliked. But this is only regrettable, not a great modity of almost universal use.

Its managesadness. Some of the childish imaginings ment was superlatively able. It made great with which we used to have fun we have lost fortunes for all its artificers and still continthe trick of building up, and some of our ues to pay a prodigious annual tribute to its youthful fancies that we used to think would be true joys we know are ignes fatui ; but No one has ever questioned that it is good what of that ? the poetry is still there, and for “business" to make such a machine as this, but every imaginary hoped-for happiness given there is novelty in the idea which is so readily up there is also an imaginary terror of dumb, deduced from the report of the address of its humorless childhood gone. What we have chief promoter, that it is religion also. When to be happy over is very real, very knowable we Americans talk about religion we usually and holdable and likable. That is the finest mean Christianity, and this thought of a great thing about this second lap; we feel so much and ruthless commercial engine riding down more sure of the path. We have been through all opposition, is curiously in conflict with the some very distasteful times with ourselves; notion of Christianity which most of us enperhaps we shall meet worse ones, but so far tertain. Our religious duty involves many we have nearly always come out fully decided things which are of high value in moneythat human nature, with all its foibles, laugh- making. It involves self-control, temperance, able and lovable, is a pretty good thing to have industry, a reasonable thrift, and a reliance around, and that there is a good God and a for many of our higher gratifications on things plan of salvation to believe in, almost, if not that are not material and which are not to be quite, like that of our parents. And that is bought. True religion does not blind; it enthe attitude we mean to assume now, willing lightens; it does not impair one's sagacity, but to take our chances of getting a less pleas- merely sets it to work on a higher plane. A ant surprise in life later on.

sincerely religious man may become a great And you may smile if you like. We don't money-maker, as, luckily for all communimind.

ties, often happens; but still it seems a good

deal safer to regard his money - making as HERE was a story in one of the news- something concurrent with his religious duty, papers not very long ago about a very rather than the realization of it. The motives

rich man who addressed a Bible-class of for money-getting are already so powerful boys on a Saturday evening, and said to them, and so obvious that they appear rather to need among other things : “ I hope you young men restraint than encouragement, and it seems

T

the office of religion rather to limit their in- that its limitations are coming to be recogfluence than to commend and indorse it. It nized. Genius, as heretofore, can do any. is an admirable thing, if we have the gift for thing with it, and enrich literature in the procmoney-getting, to use our gains generously ess; the man who has a story to tell can do and wisely for the benefit of our fellows, but well with it even if not a genius; but it looks we are faulty and greedy creatures at the as though the condition with which we have best, prone to make our consciences and our been recently threatened, that sociology, pamoral standards submissive to our material thology, penology, not to speak of psychology interests; prone to take an ell where duty and theology, could be only discussed through seems to warrant us in taking an inch. If we its medium, would be healthily averted. The make it our religious duty to get all the successors and imitators of the “Heavenly money that we can (honestly of course), that Twins ” had brief and unfruitful lives; the we may have the more to give, shall we not world listened very languidly indeed to the be more than ever in danger of being care- report that Nordau intended a novel; critics less how our money comes, and whose loss have been found already to intimate that Mr. is involved in our profit? and of cajoling our Bellamy's “ Equality” is dull. Even “ Robconsciences by a liberality made possible by ert Elsmere ” could not communicate its vienterprises in the development of which piety tality to its successors. Mr. Hardy is said to and human kindness have had no share? contemplate abandoning the note of “ Tess"

Man's religious duty is to seek righteous- and “ Jude." It begins to appear that while ness, to be honest, to be merciful, to be just the public will welcome now and then a novel It is his privilege to gather all the money he of Zeit- und Streitfragen, it will not permit can without sacrificing his higher obligations the turning of the novel into the chief vehicle as a creature with a soul, a citizen, and a of discussion. For awhile it seemed othermember of the human brotherhood. Whether wise ; and the judicious, foreseeing a time he gains more money or less is of minor con- when fiction would be something to be" kept sequence. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of up with,” grieved accordingly. God and his righteousness," said the Master, The whole tendency of things just now is, “and all these things shall be added unto not to rate the novel too highly as a form, you.” Money gains appear then as the in- which would be impossible, but to give to too cident, not the aim; and nothing in modern many really“ trumpery concoctions” the benexperience seems to impeach the wisdom of efit of the traditions of good fiction. There that attitude toward them.

is very little discriminating criticism of any

sort left even in the old journals by the new UST at the moment when the critics are journalism; but even with the lack of it it is

talking about the undue ascendancy of amazing to see with what seriousness the

the novel, and the Jubilee essayists endless succession of minor novels is handled. are pointing out that it has been a dom- No wonder the possessor of a

inant literary form of the Vic- tion ” is bewildered by the rapidity alike of Fiction as a Dolly.

torian period, Mr. Blackmore, in a its rise and fall; lucky if he can efface him

published letter, makes the com- self with the good-humor of Mr. Beerbohm, plaint that fiction is undervalued. “Nine “already outmoded,” to make room for people out of ten speak with happy contempt younger men“ with months of activity still of a novel as a trumpery concoction.

before them.” It makes one long for Mr. For generations yet to come fiction will be Bludyer; it makes one long for the “ happy looked upon as a dolly for an infant." This contempt” of Mr. Blackmore's nine people is certainly an extraordinary utterance for the out of ten. There is good local color in Jones's author of one of the best novels of his time, little book-so good that his friend Brown, and one of the most seriously accepted; and who has been asked to write a “ biographical suggests a moment of mere petulance, or that essay" on him, says it is sometimes “really the ten people with whom Mr. Blackmore Robinsonian " (referring to a third friend's comes most in contact have been carefully already vanishing fame)—but why talk of it chosen for his discipline.

in terms which even Mr. Blackmore would “A dolly for an infant !” The danger deprecate ? This is what does injury to would be that the novel would become a ty- Jones, more than any amount of that lack of rant over strong men if there were not signs hospitality to young talent which is the favor

J

- fad reputa

« AnkstesnisTęsti »