Puslapio vaizdai

It was needful to know, in solving the problems of the self-propelling wagon, just what the process of turning a corner

In the horse-drawn vehicle, the true George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Chief-Justice Marshall, Union-andConstitution-forever way is to have the front axle turn on a pivot, the fifth wheel. Whichever way it turns, it is always at right angles to the plane in which each wheel revolves.

But an automobile engine is too heavy to be trusted on a pivot. How are you going to turn a corner, then? Get out and heave her head around?

A device whereby the front wheels revolve on spindles, elbow-jointed to the unmoving front axle, swerved this way and

You might not have been able to invent it in the first place, but you can understand it now. You may not have known when you started out which was the way to turn a nut to loosen it, but, willy-nilly, gasolene forces you to get a mechanistic mind. When you break down nine miles from anywhere, you 've got to find out what is wrong, what this thing is for, and that thing, how it works, what is the process.


"You've got to find out what is wrong"

that by the steering-gear, and never at right angles to the front axle except when going straight ahead, and not quite parallel to each other at any time-it is a device that works admirably. It can turn shorter than the fifth wheel, but I'm sure it is n't constitutional.

You may not know for certain which wheel tends to rise going around a corner, but you can see that the outer wheel must run considerably faster than the inner. But the rear axle is the driving-axle. If you had never seen a differential, how would you go about it to devise a way so that either driving-wheel will automatically go faster or slower according as it is the outer or the inner wheel going around a corner?

With two million automobiles in the country now and more being bought every day, is it not fair to suppose that gasolene intends that the mechanistic mind. shall become general? And then what? The world at present is very far short of applying the machine process to all it has to do. The machine process is not exclusively an affair of greasy cogs. "Wherever manual dexterity, the rule of thumb, and the fortuitous conjuncture of the seasons," says Professor Veblen, "have been replaced by a reasoned procedure based on a systematic knowledge of the forces employed, there is the machine process, though there be no mechanical contrivances." Applied to agriculture, to education, to the political and social structure, what may we not expect from the machine process when we learn more of its possibilities?

Even now upon the screen of time is flashed the legend, "One minute, please." The operator of the moving-picture show is engaged in changing the reel that has run so long.

A New Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe


IME has recently revealed a picture


of Poe and two of his friends that has been carefully hidden away for more than half a century. Few people outside the Allan family ever knew of its existence.

This portrait of Poe, which represents him as standing while his two companions are sitting, is most interesting. It has never been certainly ascertained who Poe's companions are, but it is supposed that they were his chosen friends at the University of Virginia-Miles George of Richmond and Thomas Goode Tucker of Virginia.

The daguerreotype from which this group is copied was in the possession of Poe's foster-father, Mr. John Allan, and at his death passed into the hands of his second wife, who died about 1880. From the time of Mrs. Allan's death the picture had been carefully preserved, with Mr. Allan's personal letters, family relics, books, and private papers, until April, 1914, when Mrs. William Price Pryor, granddaughter of Mr. John Allan, unpacked the carefully stored mementos, and showed the picture to a few friends in my presence. It is now in the possession of Mr. Orrin Chalfonte Painter of Baltimore, a patron and lover of art and literature whose devotion to Poe's fame and memory led him to give thousands of dollars to the new monument now being executed by Sir Moses Ezekiel, and also lovingly and faithfully to guard Poe's monument in Westminster churchyard, making it beautiful with flowers in winter as well as in summer. I am permitted to use this picture through the courtesy of Mr. Painter.

The handsome old home in Richmond, corner of Fifth and Main streets, where Mr. Allan died, has long since passed away. Poe occupied the second-story back


Mrs. Pryor tells me: "My old mammy said that my grandfather had three mirrors put in this room, which was Poe's [it was octagon-shaped] 'because

Old Marster knew that Marster Edgar loved to see hisself, so he had them built that a-way.' That octagon-room was afterward mine. It had a high-posted bed, with a very handsome canopy over it, and the bust of Pallas stood in an alcove 'just above the chamber door.''

The country house was on the plantation known as Poplar Hill. This was Mr. Allan's summer home, fifty miles above Richmond, on the James River. Here Mr. Allan raised tobacco, and much of his wealth came from this source.

Poplar Hill plantation was closely associated with Poe's holidays when a student at the University of Virginia.

[ocr errors]

The old mammy who cared for Mrs. Pryor when as a child she resided with her grandmother, the second Mrs. Allan, remembered Poe distinctly, and described him as "the handsomest young gentleman ever seen. She used to tell how "Marster Edgar" would come over from the university, about twenty miles distant through the country, with a party of young college friends, and indulge in his favorite pastime, which was to gather together at night all the horses, mules, and cows on the place, tie tin pans to their tails, and drive them for miles up the road.

Much has been said, in various biographies, of the kindness of the first Mrs. Allan to Poe, and it has been insinuated, if not actually stated, that the second wife was in part the cause of the rupture between Poe and his foster-father. This statement, however, is denied by the Allan family. Mrs. Pryor has frequently told me that the second Mrs. Allan had never seen Poe but twice, and then only for a moment. "My grandmother earnestly declared to me that Poe was beloved by my grandfather, so much more than his own children," she said, "that even if she had had the disposition to separate them, she would have found it an impossible undertaking."

[graphic][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]




HEN one who was much loved has passed away, there often follows for the bereaved some periods of incredulity, as if the tragic fact might presently be proved a dream. Thus it was with Frossie after the funeral of Camillo Olivuzzi.

He had been so rich in vital energy, so serenely confident of happiness, that at times it was hard to think of him as vanquished. Surely such strength and courage and tenderness had not been banished from the earth? Sometimes, as the hours came round when he had been accustomed to appear, she found herself growing tense with an irrational expectancy. Perhaps in another moment she would see him approaching with his quick, lithe step, smiling as on that afternoon in the Cascine when he had told her, "It is folly to doubt for an instant." Ah, how passionately she would then throw herself into his arms, cling to his dear body, and cry, "I have had a dreadful hallucination; yet I felt all the while that it could not be true; the future owes us too much."

But those trysting-hours passed. Once more night let down upon the world its mourning-veils. To all her father's timid suggestions of a change of air Frossie responded:

"His grave is here."

And whenever she went out, Camillo's grave was her objective.

But invariably her cab stopped first at the flower-stalls in the Mercato Nuovo. The flower-women, who had somehow learned her story, stared after her as she drove on, rigid in her black gown, the fine bouquet of white roses laid across her knees. Alas! it was too late for violets in June, the month that was to have provided her wedding-day.

Sister Aggie wrote from England a letter full of genuine distress, perhaps the sincerest and kindest lines that she had ever penned. John Holland, who had read of the tragedy in a newspaper, sent a note from Alexandria; he was as far away as that! And one day Domenico, the little door-porter, brought Frossie another card from Baron di Campoformio. She remarked, in her new, colorless voice:

"I'm not at home, Domenico. And you can say so, without coming to me, any time that gentleman calls."

But there were visitors to whom she could be kinder.

After a decent interval Fava and Azeglio had resumed their visits. Once more Federico solemnly set the tea-table beneath the palmetto; cigarette-smoke adulterated the perfume of the flowers; Giannina, the maid, looking from a window above the gallery, muttered to herself:

1 Copyright, 1915, by STEPHEN WHITMAN. All rights reserved.

"Like June a year ago except for a black dress and an empty chair!"

For always, when the company were assembled, there seemed to be one chair too many, which nobody had the courage

to remove.

Nor could they refrain for long from speaking of the absent one. In this fragrant place, vivid with many blossoms, swimming in the sunshine of an afternoon which had been intended for delight, their voices unconsciously were hushed, as if they felt near them an invisible presence, or at least that influence which is said to impregnate spots where the dead attained their highest earthly raptures. Certainly, if his shade were capable of haunting Florence, it would come straightway here, where he had been happiest, where those who had loved him were assembled now.

Then they were silent till Toto Fava rose with a sigh. Frossie gave him a warm hand-clasp.

"You are good to come here and talk of him," she faltered.

"Eh, Signorina, I shall come as long as I am permitted, and as often," answered Fava. And he sent at Thallie, from his squint-eye, one more entreating look.

But Thallie, knowing just what look was coming, had averted her head.

Nowadays she was sorry for Fava; she wished for his sake that he would get over his desire to marry her. For though many another girl, in pique or weariness or cynical self-immolation, might have accepted him long since, Thallie felt that if he proposed to her a thousand times her thousandth answer would be "No." It was not that she still regarded him as ugly these months of familiarity had somehow lessened the extravagance of Toto's features. Nor was it that she found him uncongenial now: one could not help thinking kindly of him since Camillo's death. But even if she could have brought herself to marry a man with whom she was not in love, that step would have been prevented by another scruple. In her morbid introspection Thallie always perceived an indelible stain on her heart.

Of a nature extremely sensitive and unsophisticated, imbued with an acute appreciation of morality, she suffered the most exquisite torments when contemplating, in her bed at night, the consequences of her fault. Out of the artless past her innumerable dreams of love rose up to mock the future: the wedding-scene that she had so often pictured even in her childhood was engulfed by a cloud the color of lead, from the midst of which a great hand, adorned for some reason with a graved carnelian, emerged to point accusingly at her breast. The march from "Lohengrin" was drowned out by a terrific thunder-clap; the wedding-guests fled through the gloom with gestures of aversion, and in the ensuing silence a clear peal of laughter sounded, the laugh of the black-haired woman of the Cherbourg tender.

At least it would disarm them all if she entered a religious order. She saw herself in a medieval cloister that was bathed in an eternal peace, wearing the chaste robes of a penitent sister, meekly painting altarpieces.

But the churches, those famous sanctuaries of conservatism, had as yet no use for altarpieces in the Post-Impressionist style!

And even Mr. Goodchild found it hard in these sad days to make progress with his tragic poem.

Here it was mid-June, and the legacy had not arrived. Aurelius, in fact, was becoming anxious on that score. As for Aggie, one saw from her letters that the delay was getting on her nerves.

But, then, everything was getting on Aggie's nerves just now. She believed that England was an unlucky place for her. Cyril, to be sure, was as much the worshiping lover as during the honeymoon, while the Bellegrams, perhaps because of the young couple's present expectations, were now quite amiable. But Aggie was losing the poise and shrewdness. with which she had formerly been well equipped; and this mental disability, keeping pace with her physical distress, proved especially annoying at the moment. Just

« AnkstesnisTęsti »