Puslapio vaizdai

Yet in the bottom of her heart Aglaia friend whom she had noticed on the tenfelt an inexplicable relief that Mme. Lin- der at Cherbourg. In evening dress, kow had not heard her sing.

their glossy hats well back on their heads, She, too, had grown distrait. Every gardenias in their buttonholes, cigars beday she was more impatient to get on to tween their white-gloved fingers, they Italy. An old English lady in their hotel, teasing a yellow-haired girl who leaned who claimed to know all the prima don- back against a pillar with a peculiar smile. nas except Mme. Linkow, had told her And Thallie perceived that he was treatthat there lived in Florence a singing- ing this creature to the same patronizing, teacher named Valentino Mughetto who Airtatious airs with which, on the starlit was "the last master of the true bel boat-deck, he had paid court to her! canto.One night when the Goodchilds Late that night, when all was still, she were sitting in a gay music-hall Aglaia's threw back her coverlet and turned on exasperation reached its climax.

the bedside lamp. It was their first experience with the Frossie did not awake. From her face, Parisian revue. On the stage, set to rep

framed by ruddy braids, half-buried in resent a statue-scattered grove, the chorus the pillow, slumber and shadows smoothed kept reappearing in ever scantier cos- away whatever had been too “strong." tumes. Throughout the first act the prin- Her half-open mouth showed an eager, cipals expressed by pantomime enough of nearly infantile curve.

nearly infantile curve. One would have their purpose to make Mr. Goodchild said that her soul was contemplating disdoubt his sight. But when the curtain tant regions which some day might afford, fell, the last tableau illustrating “A Frolic in her waking hours, an equal beauty. in the Parc-aux-Cerfs,” Aurelius rose, his Thallie approached the window. The head high, his eyes a-flash. a-.

café across the way was dark; the street "Come, children!"

was almost deserted. A taxicab passed, Frossie, her cheeks suffused, gained her bearing home two belated revelers: a wofeet, but hardly before Aglaia. The lat- man who resembled those of the musicter, for Thallie's benefit, exclaimed: hall supported against her shoulder the “Fine reasons for hanging on in Paris, profile of a slumbering man.

Thallie to see such shows as this !"

watched that couple until they disapAs they marched up the aisle, Thallie peared. Her thoughts pursued them still felt that all the shame of this adventure further-indefinite thoughts, here and had been unloaded upon her shoulders. there illumined by intuition with crimson She wondered if she could pass the last flashes. Then all her conjectures recoiled rows of chairs before bursting into tears. across the secret roofs of Paris. With a

But behind the orchestra-rail, the foyer, shiver, she turned from the window and too, was crowded. Here, on all sides, the entered Aglaia's room. demi-mondaines were engaged in their On nearing the bed, she saw her eldest evening promenade.

sister's eyes fixed steadily on hers. Aglaia, Aurelius and his daughters stared at as if she had been all the while awake, dethis haunting femininity of many types, manded: so insidiously bedizened, so similar to the "Well, what is it now?" frank flagrance of the stage. All the bril- Lying motionless, the bedclothes clingliants, all the aigrettes arranged like ing about her form, she appeared in the Apache war-bonnets, all the painted eyes, faint light like a fragile image chiseled swam together into a mist of sensuality, out of pale gold. Around her hung a in which these simple souls from Zenas- faint odor of roses from the cold cream ville found themselves swallowed up. with which of late she covered her face at Suddenly, in the core of that glitter night. Thallie caught sight of him,

"What is it?" Aglaia repeated none too He was with his big, sulky-looking warmly. "Perhaps you 've thought of



[ocr errors]


some other nice little thing that you 'd Aglaia's breast. Between gulps and hiclike to see in Paris!"

coughs she moaned: Sinking down on the edge of the bed, "It 's not what you think. It 's just Thallie lowered her face.

my pride that 's hurt." “O Aggie, don't be mean to me now! "So sensitive, Babykins! What 's life I 'm ready to go to-morrow,-to-day, that going to do to you, if you go on so— is,- if you want.”

Aglaia ended without the words – "over Aglaia studied her sister without any such trifles!” sign of satisfaction.



more! Not ever, ever again! “Why did you work it to stay on here, They'll see after this, men shall! I'll anyhow? You have n't been near your show them! Oh, how I hate them all! precious Louvre in three days."

And right before everyone, with that Thallie's head sank lower.

brazen French thing, and nothing at all “All the while that you 've been so pet- on her skinny back, and her big, ugly feet tish and needed so much babying, what like gunboats! () Aggie, I 've got your were you up to?"

ruffles all sopping! Forgive me for all Thallie began to weep.

those spats! I 've learned my lesson now. “I wish I 'd never left Zenasville! I From this night I 'll live for nothing but wish I'd never set foot on that old ship!" my art. And some day when I 'm world

Little by little, half incoherently, be- famous, if only I should ever meet him tween loud sobs, she confessed the tête-à- thentête on the boat-deck, the long, long wait- The future reappeared before her like ing, her glimpse of him to-night in the of the bizarre hallucinations of music-hall.

childhood. A wonderful staircase, the Aglaia's surprise gave place to a half- summit of which was lost in a silvery contemptuous pity. While patting Thal- glory, seemed thronged with all the great lie's hand, she reflected : "Love at twenty ! artists of ancient and modern times. A moment of talk in the starlight, and Among them she recognized Michelanall these tears!” Aloud, with unusual "

gelo, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Correggio, gentleness :

Degas, Raphael, Manet, Reynolds, even "Come, Babykins, don't spoil your Apelles. They smiled at her tenderly; bright eyes any more.

Whatever your

they held out their hands to her, and young man may be, he 's not worth that." the tableau of her reception into those

"I know he is n't. He 's not worth a ranks recalled to her Titian's “Presentagood girl's second thought.”

tion in the Temple." Then, as she But Thallie wept all the harder. turned, to look down triumphantly on the

“Hush, now, or dad 'll wake up and past, she saw far below, gaping up at come in.

We'll go right away from her in despair, the young man of the boathere. Before you know it you'll have deck, the blonde girl cringing beside him. forgotten him.

Her head in the hollow of Aglaia's "Yes,” Thallie uttered in a strangled arm, Thallie fell asleep.

But Aglaia, wail, "I'll wipe him right out of my though even her shoulder grew numb, did mind." But she felt that a lifetime would not stir. To forget her discomfort, she not suffice to heal the wound in her heart. planned their next movements-through "Oh! oh! oh!”

Switzerland as fast as possible, down into “Here, you climb into bed with me." Italy. Italy, the birthplace of modern

Gratefully Thallie crept into that melody and of opera! Florence, where warm nest, snuggled close, and shed her dwelt the Maestro Valentino Mughetto, tears, in a soft, rose-scented luxury, on last teacher of the true bel canto!

(To be continued)


The Writing on the Wall

The Truth about Preparedness


Eric FISHER Wood was an attaché at the American embassy in Paris shortly after the outbreak of the war, where his executive and linguistic abilities became of extraordinary value in the critical days when most of the embassies had fled from the capital of France and their affairs had been turned over to the capable hands of our American representatives. Because of Mr. Wood's unusual opportunities for observation, his intimate connection with military and diplomatic affairs, his present views on military preparedness should have special weight with our readers. A peace-man in the truest sense, he yet believes that we shall have to fight for peace. His recently published volume, "The Note-book of an Attaché," which has been characterized by Professor Phelps of Yale as the best book on the war yet published, develops clearly and dramatically the mental processes by which he has arrived at the unavoidable conclusions set forth in the following pages.- THE EDITOR.

[ocr errors]

Americans are alive to-day who suffering of the boy who dies in battle is as

saw Washington burned and sacked nothing. The suffering of the civil populain 1814, and few still live who dwelt in tion stretches out beyond its own generathe Shenandoah Valley in 1864. This tion to future generations, robbed of their generation of Americans have passed their very birthright; it stretches out for twenlives in quiet pastures and beside the still ty-five, fifty, even a hundred years, and is waters. It is difficult for them to picture the penalty which a nation pays for being what war and invasion really involve. over-confident and unwilling to face facts. They do not clearly distinguish between With the exception of a few persons the war of history and romance and that like myself whom chance has thrust other war which is hell. They fail, for amidst scenes of war in foreign countries, instance, to comprehend that it is not the no Americans have beheld the horrible soldier-boy who suffers most in war-time, reality with their own eyes ; few have seen, but the women of an unprepared country and therefore few have understood. We who in the day of reckoning have no who have worked in the ruined countries trained and organized bodies of men to know what invasion

means. We have defend them from the poverty and degra- seen the proud cities of yesterday to-day dation which invariably exist in a con- smoldering in ashes. We have seen naquered land.

The real agony of war is tions of happy artisans and farmers reendured by the civil population of the de- duced in a twinkling to a starving mob of feated and invaded nation; beside that the dumb creatures whom Fate has robbed of


all the fruits of a life of faithful toil. the suddenness with which glowering war We have seen dear old white-haired men may burst in upon a tranquil nation, we and women wandering cold, hungry, and are surprised to find Americans lacking in penniless across a desolated land. We any stronger sentiments than a conventional have seen refined women, the élite of a disapproval of the violation of Belgium nation, insane with fear, pain, and sorrow. and an equally conventional pity for the We have seen the counterpart of every sufferings of the soldier on the fightingAmerican woman we know, alone, un- line. We know full well that modern wars protected, and hopeless, with the look of

are such complicated affairs that even laa hunted animal in her eyes. Verily the tent power is valueless if it has not been supreme agony of war is not to be found organized in advance. We know that it is on the march, in camp, or upon the field equally useless if it has been wrongly or of battle.

inefficiently developed. The volunteer We who have beheld the present gigan- system by which armies are organized tic struggle with our own eyes feel and only after the beginning of hostilities is understand how far-reaching it is, and doomed to certain failure. It is curious how much more far-reaching it may well

to find that America's great men have become. When we return from Europe ever opposed it even since the very birth and find

countrymen apparently of the nation. Washington inveighed asleep to all this, we are utterly amazed against it; so did Hamilton and Monroe. at their apathy. We become possessed by In 1790, Washington said, “In time of an almost irrepressible impulse to shake peace prepare for war.” Later, in the them until they are thoroughly awake; we first year of his Presidency, when addresslong to open their sleepy eyes to the full ing a joint session of Congress, he cried, significance of the fact that the casualties "To be prepared for war is one of the of the first year of this war are probably

most effectual means of preserving peace.” greater than the casualties of all the other Four years later, in his annual address, wars in the last thousand years. We wish he said: to impress upon them the fact that in

The United States ought not to indulge a 1815, at the close of the last world war,

persuasion that, contrary to the order of the combined total of all the armies of the

human events, they will forever keep at a allies and of Napoleon numbered only

distance those painful appeals to arms with 250,000 men, while the armies now em

which the history of every other nation battled number more than one hundred

abounds. There is a rank due to the United times that many. That last world conflict

States among nations which will be witheventually reached across the broad At

held if not absolutely lost by the reputation lantic to bring America the War of 1812

of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, and the Louisiana Purchase. How soon

we must be able to repel it; if we desire to will the present struggle spread across the

secure peace, one of the most powerful in-. now narrowed ocean, and what fate will

struments of our rising prosperity, it must it bring to America? At present her citi

be known that we are at all times ready for zens do not consider that there is any possibility that it may ever touch them except slightly to increase or decrease their In 1787, Alexander Hamilton stated business.

that “The rights of neutrality will only We who have beheld the very letters be respected when they are defended by an of the writing on the wall and have adequate power." copied them down to bring to our fellow- In 1822, James Monroe said, "The hiscountrymen are met with reserve. We tory of the late wars in Europe furnishes are called jingoes, the one thing which a complete demonstration that no system men who have looked upon the actual face of conduct, however correct in principle, of war can never be. Having now seen can protect neutral powers from injury



from any party; that a defenseless position conclusion that is concurred in by each and distinguished love of peace are the and every American who has had opporsurest invitations to war; and that there is tunity to study the appalling conditions no way to avoid it, otherwise than by be- now prevailing in Europe, which is that ing always prepared and willing, for just the only rational insurance against unprocause, to meet it."

voked attack is reasonable military preReasonable military preparedness does paredness. Among the most ardent of its not necessarily imply the possession of an advocates whom I have interviewed since increased standing army, but only of an the war's beginning are Americans who efficient military system for defense. It had journeyed to Switzerland as delegates does not even entail for America a larger to an international peace conference, and expenditure than is now devoted to the were there caught by the sudden outbreak maintenance of our army. It does, how- oí hostilities. They could not fail to perever, require that what is spent shall be ceive that reasonable military preparedefficiently spent; it implies that our mili- ness, and that alone, had saved Switzertary budget must be laid out by the na- land from war. They still demand peace, tion's competent military experts, and not but they now demand it at the price of by party politicians. The citizens of other preparedness. great countries do not permit their poli- The nations of the earth have entered ticians to juggle and traffic with the na- upon a political era of cold blooded agtional safety. Among the nations of the gression wherein burglary and violation earth we are almost the only one which are ordinary proceedings and wherein the still allows laymen almost entirely to individual nations are acting with brutal manage the expenditures of the budget for selfishness. Each works solely for its own national defense. In consequence, our in- interest, and without the least consideraeffective standing army now costs tion for the interests of the others. Ger$100,000,000 a year,

but can put into the many's violation of Belgium is, alas! only field to protect our land fewer than 50,- typical of this era. It has become notori000 men. The efficient Swiss system of ous in the eyes of America because Germilitary preparedness, which is run by many happens to be the nation which gave trained military experts, costs only $8,- the first and most spectacular demonstra000,000 a year in peace-time, and yet can tion of the modern political immorality. promptly put into the field a compact In the more recent months of the war army of nearly 400,000 trained soldiers. neither Great Britain nor Russia has This comparison shows that it costs the shown any respect for Persian neutrality. United States one hundred times more They violated it just as Germany violated per year for each man available to repel that of Belgium. In the operations invasion than it does Switzerland.

against Constantinople Great Britain has There

very strong arguments violated Greek neutrality by seizing an against our possessing a large standing island for a naval base. It has thus been army, but there is no valid argument shown that any great nation will unhesiagainst reasonable military preparedness. tatingly violate the neutrality of a counIn this country those who do not demand try which is unprepared vigorously to debetter preparation for national defense fend herself. Even the United States did have either not had sufficient opportu- not arbitrate with Colombia over Pannity to study the matter, or they suffer ama; nor did our forefathers arbitrate from a mental blind spot-a blind spot

with the American Indians, driven step like that which renders the habitual crim- by step from the land they loved and in inal incapable of seeing that crime does which they had lived for a thousand years;

nor did the Southern States arbitrate with My various observations and experi- the unprepared Union. No world power ences in the war-zone have led me to a of to-day would arbitrate any vital matter



not pay.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »