Puslapio vaizdai

the Maharaj, through her tears, for the mysterious death of Moti. One thing only seemed absolutely clear to her, when she rose red-eyed and unrefreshed the next morning: her work was with the women as long as life remained, and the sole refuge for her present trouble was in the portion of that work which lay nearest to her hand. Meanwhile the man who loved her remained in Gokral Seetarun, in deadly peril of his life, that he might be within call of her; and she could not call him, for to summon him was to yield, and she dared not.

She took her way to the hospital. The dread for him that had assailed her yesterday had become a horror that would not let her think.

The woman of the desert was waiting as usual at the foot of the steps, her hands clasped over her knee, and her face veiled. Behind her was Dhunpat Rai, who should have been among the wards; and she could see that the courtyard was filled with people-strangers and visitors, who, by her new regulations, were allowed to come only once a week. This was not their visiting-day, and Kate, strained and worn by all that she had passed through since the day before, felt an angry impulse in her heart go out against them, and spoke wrathfully. "What is the meaning of this, Dhunpat Rai?" she demanded, alighting.

"There is commotion of popular bigotry within," said Dhunpat Rai. "It is nothing. I have seen it before. Only do not go in."

She put him aside without a word, and was about to enter when she met one of her patients, a man in the last stage of typhoid fever, being borne out by half a dozen clamoring friends, who shouted at her menacingly. The woman of the desert was at her side in an instant, raising her hand, in the brown hollow of which lay a long, broad-bladed knife.

"Be still, dogs!" she shouted in their own tongue."Dare not to lay hands on this peri, who has done all for you!"

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She is killing our people!" shouted a villager.

Maybe," said the woman, with a flashing smile; "but I know who will be lying here dead u you do not suffer her to pass. Are you Rajputs; or Bhils from the hills, hunters of fish and diggers after grubs, that you run like cattle because a lying priest from nowhere troubles your heads of mud? Is she killing your people? How long can you keep that man alive with your charms and your muntras!" she demanded, pointing to the stricken form on the stretcher. "Out-go out! Is this hospital your own village to defile? Have you paid one penny for the roof above you or the drugs in your bellies? Get hence before I spit upon you! She brushed them aside with a regal gesture. "It is best not to go in," said Dhunpat Rai

in Kate's ear. "There is local holy man in the courtyard, and he is agitating their minds. Also, I myself feel much indisposed."

"But what does all this mean?" demanded Kate again.

For the hospital was in the hands of a hurrying crowd, who were strapping up bedding and cooking-pots, lamps and linen, calling to one another up and down the staircases in subdued voices, and bringing the sick from the upper wards as ants bring eggs out of a broken hill, six or eight to each man- -some holding bunches of marigold flowers in their hands, and pausing to mutter prayers at each step, others peering fearfully into the dispensary, and yet others drawing water from the well and pouring it out around the beds.

In the center of the courtyard, as naked as the lunatic who had once lived there, sat an ash-smeared, long-haired, eagle-taloned, halfmad, wandering native priest, and waved above his head his buckhorn staff, sharp as a lance at one end, while he chanted in a loud, monotonous voice some song that drove the men and women to work more quickly.

As Kate faced him, white with wrath, her eyes blazing, the song turned to a yelp of fierce hatred.

She dashed among the women swiftly — her own women, whom she thought had grown to love her. But their relatives were about them, and Kate was thrust back by a bare-shouldered, loud-voiced dweller of the out-villages in the heart of the desert.

The man had no intention of doing her harm, but the woman of the desert slashed him across the face with her knife, and he withdrew howling.

"Let me speak to them," said Kate, and the woman beside her quelled the clamor of the crowd with uplifted hands. Only the priest continued his song. Kate strode toward him, her little figure erect and quivering, crying in the vernacular, " Be silent, thou, or I will find means to close thy mouth!"

The man was hushed, and Kate, returning to her women, stood among them, and began to speak impassionedly.

"O my women, what have I done?" she cried, still in the vernacular. "If there is any fault here, who should right it but your friend? Surely you can speak to me day or night." She threw out her arms. "Sunlo, hamaree bhain-log! Listen, my sisters! Have you gone mad, that you wish to go abroad now, half cured, sick, or dying? You are free to go at any hour. Only, for your own sake, and for the sake of your children, do not go before I have cured you, if God so please. It is summer in the desert now, and many of you have come from many coss distant.”

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Arre! But what can we do?" cried a feeble voice. "It is no fault of ours. I, at least, would fain die in peace, but the priest says-"

Then the clamor broke out afresh. "There are charms written upon the plasters —"

"Why should we become Christians against our will? The wise woman that was sent away asks it."

"What are the meanings of the red marks on the plasters?'

"Why should we have strange devil-marks stamped upon our bodies? And they burn, too, like the fires of hell."

"The priest came yesterday,- that holy man yonder, and he said it had been revealed to him, sitting among the hills, that this devil's plan was on foot to make us lose our religion"

"And to send us out of the hospital with marks upon our bodies—ay, and all the babies we should bear in the hospital should have tails like camels, and ears like mules. The wise woman says so; the priest says so."

"Hush! hush!" cried Kate, in the face of these various words. "What plasters? What child's talk is this of plasters and devils? Not one child but many have been born here, and all were comely. Ye know it! This is the word of the worthless woman whom I sent away because she was torturing you."


Nay; but the priest said-"

"What care I for the priest? Has he nursed you? Has he watched by you of nights? Has he sat by your bedside, and smoothed your pillow, and held your hand in pain? Has he taken your children from you and put them to sleep, when he needed an hour's rest?"

"He is a holy man. He has worked miracles. We dare not face the anger of the gods." One woman, bolder than the rest, shouted, "Look at this!" and held before Kate's face one of the prepared mustard-leaves lately ordered from Calcutta, which bore upon the back, in red ink, the maker's name and trade-mark. "What is this devil's thing?" demanded the woman, fiercely.

The woman of the desert caught her by the shoulder and forced her to her knees.

"Be still, woman without a nose!" she cried, her voice vibrating with passion. "She is not of thy clay, and thy touch would defile her. Remember thine own dunghill, and speak softly."

Kate picked up the plaster, smiling. "And who says there is devil's work in this?" she demanded.

"The holy man, the priest. Surely he should know."

"Nay, ye should know," said Kate, patiently. She understood now, and could pity. "Ye have worn it. Did it work thee any harm, Pithira ? " She pointed directly toward her. "Thou hast thanked me not once but many times for giving thee relief through this charm. If it was the devil's work, why did it not consume thee?" "Indeed, it burnt very much indeed," responded the woman, with a nervous laugh.

Kate could not help laughing. "That is true. I cannot make my drugs pleasant. But ye know that they do good. What do these people, your friends-villagers, camel-drivers, goatherds— know of English drugs? Are they so wise among their hills, or is the priest so wise, that they can judge for ye here, fifty miles away from them? Do not listen! Oh, do not listen! Tell them that ye will stay with me, and I will make ye well. I can do no more. It was for that I came. I heard of your misery ten thousand miles away, and it burnt into my heart. Would I have come so far to work you harm? Go back to your beds, my sisters, and bid these foolish people depart."

There was a murmur among the women, as if of assent and doubt. For a moment the decision swayed one way and the other.

Then the man whose face had been slashed shouted, "What is the use of talking? Let us take our wives and sisters away. We do not wish to have sons like devils. Give us your voice, O father!" he cried to the priest.

The holy man drew himself up, and swept away Kate's appeal with a torrent of abuse, imprecation, and threats of damnation; and the crowd began to slip past Kate by twos and threes, half carrying and half forcing their kinsfolk with them."

Kate called on the women by name, beseeching them to stay, reasoning, arguing, expostulating. But to no purpose. Many of them were in tears; but the answer from all was the same. They were sorry, but they were only poor women, and they feared the wrath of their husbands.

Minute after minute the wards were depopulated of their occupants, as the priest resumed his song, and began to dance frenziedly in the courtyard. The stream of colors broke out down the steps into the street, and Kate saw the last of her carefully swathed women borne out into the pitiless sun-glare-only the woman of the desert remaining by her side.

Kate looked on with stony eyes. Her hospital was empty.

(To be continued.)




HE difficulty that confronts one who enters upon a general discussion of poetry is its universal range. The portals of his observatory tower before him, flashing yet frowning, and inscribed with great names of all the ages. Mount its stairway, and a chart of the field disclosed is indeed like that of the firmament. In what direction shall we first turn? To the infinite dome at large, or toward some particular star or group? We think of inspiration, and a Hebrew seer glows in the prophetic East; of gnomic wisdom and thought, and many fixed white stars shine tranquilly along the equinox, from Lucretius to Emerson; of tragedy and comedy, the dramatic coil and mystery of life, and group after group invite the lens-for us, most of all, that English constellation blazing since "the spacious times of great Elizabeth"; of beauty, and the long train of poetic artists, with Keats like his own new planet among them, swims into our ken. Asia is somewhere beyond the horizon, and in view are countless minor lights-the folk-singers and minstrels of many lands and generations.

The future lecturer will have the satisfaction of giving his attention to a single master or school-to the Greek dramatists, to Dante, or Milton, or Goethe; more than one will expend his resources upon the mimic world of Shakspere, yet leave as much for his successors to accomplish as there was before. Their privilege I do not assume; since these initiatory discourses have to do with the elements of which poetry is all compact, and with the spirit in fealty to which its orbs shine, and have their being, and rehearse the burthen of their radiant progress:

Beneath this starry arch

Nought resteth or is still :
But all things hold their march,
As if by one great will:

Moves one, move all: hark to the footfall!
On, on, forever!

Still, I wish in some way to review this progress of poesy. Essaying then, for the little that can be done, to look first at the broad

characteristics of the field, we see that there are, at all events, two streams into which its vast galaxy is divided-though they intersect each other again and again, and in modern times seem almost blended. These do not relate to the technical classification of poetry: to its partition by the ancients into the epic, dramatic, lyric, and the idyllic - unto which we have added the reflective, and have merged them all in the composite structures of modern art. Time has shown that we cannot overrate the method of those intuitive pagans. No one cares for Wordsworth's division of his own verse into poems of imagination, of fancy, and the like, the truth being that they all, with the exception of a few spontaneous lyrics, are poems of reflection, often glorified by the imagination, sometimes lightened by fancy, but of whose predominant spirit their author was apparently the least successful judge. The Greeks felt that the spirit shapes the form of art, and therefore is revealed by it. Assume, then, the fitness of poetic orders, styles, and measures; that these are known to you and me, and thus we may leave dactyls and choriambs to the metrical anatomists, and rhymes to the Walkers and Barnums. Passing to the more essential divisions of expression, you will find their types are defined by the amount of personality which they respectively hold in solution; that poetry is differentiated by the Me and the Not Me-by the poet's self-consciousness, or by the representation of life and thought apart from his own individuality.

That which is impersonal, and so very great at its best, appears the more creative as being a statement of things discerned by free and absolute vision. The other order is so affected by relations with the maker's traits and tastes that it betokens a relative and conditioned imagination; and is thus by far the larger division, since in most periods it is inevitable that the chief impulse to song should be a conscious or unconscious longing for personal expression.

THE gift of unconditioned vision has been vouchsafed both to the primitive world, and to races at their height of action and invention. The objective masterpieces of poetry consist, first, of those whose origin is obscure, and which are so naturally inwrought with history and

popular traits that they seem growths rather than works of art. Such are the Indian epics, the Northern sagas, the early ballads of all nations, and of course the Homeric poems of Greece. These are the lusty product of the youth of mankind, the song and story that come when life is unjaded, faith unsophisticated, and human nature still in voice with universal Pan. The less spontaneous but equally vital types are the fruit of later and constructive periods "golden" ages, whose masterpieces are composed with artistic design and still unwearied genius. Whether epic or dramatic, and whether traditional or the product of schools and nations in their prime, the significance of objective poetry lies in its presentment of the world outside, and not of the microcosm within the poet's self. His ideal mood is that of the Chinese sage, from whose wisdom, now twenty-six centuries old, the artist La Farge, himself imbued with the spirit of the "most eastern East," has cited for me these phrases: "I am become as a quiet water, or a mirror reflecting what may be. It keeps nothing, it refuses nothing. What it reflects is there, but I do not keep it: it is not I." And again: "One should be as a vacuum, so to be filled by the universe. Then the universe will fill me, and pour out again." Which dark saying I interpret here as an emblem of the receptivity of the artist to life at large. This it is his function to give out again, illumined, but unadulterate. The story is told, the song chanted, the drama constructed, with the simplest of understandings between audience and maker: as between children at their play, artisans at their handicraft, recounter and hearers around the desert fire. Every literature has more or less of this free, absolute poetry. But only in the drama, and at distinctively imaginative periods, have poets of the Christian era been quite objective; not even there and then, without in most cases having "unlocked" their hearts by expression of personal feeling. This process exemplified in the sonnets of Shakspere, and in the minor works of Dante, Tasso, Cervantes, Calderon, Camoëns — rarely suggested itself to the antique poets, whose verses were composed for the immediate verdict of audiences great or small, and in the Attic period distinctly as works of art: necessarily universal, and not introspective. Nor would much self-intrusion then have been tolerated. Imagine the Homeric laughter of an Athenian conclave, every man of them with something of Aristophanes in him, at being summoned to listen to the sonnetary sorrows of a blighted lover! There were few Werthers in those days. Bad poets, and bores of all sorts, were not likely to flourish in a society where ostracism, the custody of the Eleven, and the draught of hem

lock were looked upon as rather mild and exemplary modes of criticism.

Now, in distinction from unsophisticated and creative song, comes the voice of the poet absorbed in his own emotions and dependent on self-analysis for his knowledge of life. Here is your typical modern minor poet. But here also are some of the truest "bards of passion and of pain" that the world has known. Again, there are those who are free from the Parnassian egoism, but whose manner is so pronounced that every word they utter bears its author's stamp: their tone and style are unmistakable. Finally, many are confined implacably to certain limits. One cares for beauty alone, an artist pure and simple; another is a balladist; a third is gifted with philosophic insight of nature; still another has a genius for the psychological analysis of life. Each of these appears to less advantage outside his natural range. The vision of all these classes is conditioned.

An obvious limitation of the speechless arts is that they can be termed subjective only with respect to motive and style. We have the natural landscapist, and the figure-painter, while nearly all good painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, are recognizable, as you know, by their respective styles, but otherwise all arts, save those of language, are relatively impersonal and objective.

The highest faculties of vision and execution are required to design an absolutely objective poem, and to insure its greatness. There is no middle ground; it is great, or else a dull and perfunctory mechanism. The force of the heroic epics, whose authorship is in the crypt of the past, seems to be not that of a single soul but of a people; not that of a generation, but of a round of eras. Yet the final determination of poetic utterance is toward self-expression. The minstrel's soul uses for its medium that slave of imaginative feeling, language. It is a voice — a voice - and the emotion of its possessor will not be denied. The poet is the Mariner, whose heart burns within him until his tale is told:

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,

I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

RACES themselves have a bent toward one of the two generic types, so that with one nation or people the creative poet is the exception, and with another the rule. The Asiatic inspiration, even in its narrative reliquiæ, is more subjectively vague than that which we call the antique-that of the Hellenes. But the extreme Eastern field requires special study, and is beyond the limits of this course, so that I

will only confess my belief that much of our fashionable adaptation of Hindu, Chinese, Japanese literature represents more honestly the ethics and poetic spirit of its western students than the Oriental feeling and conceptions; that it is a latter-day illumination of Brahmanic esoterics rather than the absolute Light of Asia, - whether better or worse, not a veritable transfer, but the ideal of Christendom grafted on the Buddhist stock. It is doubtful, in fact, whether the Buddhists themselves fully comprehend their own antiquities; and if our learned virtuosos, from Voltaire and Sir William Jones to Sir Edwin Arnold, fail to do so, they nevertheless have found the material for a good deal of interesting verse. It will be a real exploit when some one does for the Buddhist epos and legendary what John Payne and Captain Burton have done for the Arabic "Thousand Nights and One Night." Then we shall at least know those literatures as they are; nor will it be strange if they prove to be, in some wise, as much superior to our conception of them as Payne's rendering of the "Arabian Nights" is to that of Galland, or as Butcher and Lang's prose translation of Homer is to Lord Derby's verse. Of such a paraphrase as Fitzgerald's "Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám," one at once declares, in Landor's phrase, that it is more original than the originals: the western genius in this instance has produced an abiding poem, unique in its interfusion of the Persian and the neo-English dispositions.

But with Hebrew poetry, that of the Bible, we have more to do, since we derive very closely from it. There is no literature at once so grand and so familiar to us. Its inherent, racial genius was emotional and therefore lyrical (though I am not with those who deem all lyrical poetry subjective), and a genius of so fiery and prophetic a cast that its personal outbursts have a loftiness beyond those of any other literature. The Hebrew was, and the orthodox Israelite remains, a magnificent egoist. Himself, his past, and his future, are a passion. But-and this is what redeems his egoism they are not his deepest passion; he has an intenser emotion concerning his own race, the chosen people, a more fervent devotion to Jehovah his own Jehovah, if not the God of a universe. Waiving the question whether the ancient Jew was a monotheist, we know that he trusted in the might of his own God as overwhelmingly superior to that of all rivals. His God, moreover, was a very human one. But the Judaic anthropomorphism was of the most transcendent type that ever hath entered into the heart of man.

I do not, then, class the Hebrew poetry, which, though lyrical, gives vent not so much to the self-consciousness of the psalmist or

VOL. XLIV.-20.

prophet or chieftain as to the pride and rapture of his people, with that which is personal and relative, any more than I would count the winged Pindar in his splendid national odes, or even his patriotic Grecian followers, as strictly subjective, however lyrical and impassioned. Such bards are trumpet-tongued with the exaltation of their time and country: they speak not of themselves, but for their people. To the burning imagination of Moses and the prophets, and to the rhythmical eloquence of the Grecian celebrants, I may refer when noting the quality of inspiration. I think the national and religious utterance of the Hebrews even more characteristic than their personal outgivings; they were carried out of and above themselves when moved to song. But there is no more wonderful poetry of the emotional order than the psalms of David and his compeers relating to their own trials and agonies, their loves and hates and adoration. As we agonize and triumph with a supreme lyrical nature, its egoism becomes holy and sublime. The stress of human feeling is intense in such poetry as that of the sixth Psalm, where the lyrist is weary with groaning, and waters the couch with his tears, exclaiming, "But thou, O Lord, how long?" and that of the thirteenth, when he laments: "How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever?" and in successive personal psalms wherein the singer, whether David or another, avows his trust in the Deity, praying above all to overcome his enemies and to have his greatness increased. These petitions, of course, do not reach the lyrical splendor of the psalms of praise and worship: "The heavens declare the glory of God," "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof;" and those of Moses-"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High," and its immediate successors. But the Hebrew, in those strains where he communes with God alone, other protectors having failed him, is at the climax of emotional song.

Modern self-expression is not so direct and simple. We doubt the passion of one who wears his heart upon his sleeve. The naïveté of the Davidic lyre is beyond question, and so is the superb unrestraint of the Hebrew prophecy and pans. We feel the stress of human nature in its articulate moods. This gives to the poetry of the Scriptures an attribute possessed only by the most creative and impersonal literature of other tongues-that of universality. Again, it was all designed for music, by the poets of a musical race, and the psalms were arranged by the first composers - the leaders of the royal choir. It retains forever the fresh tone of an epoch when lyrical composition was the normal form of expression. Then its rhythm is free, unrestrained, in extreme opposition to

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