Puslapio vaizdai


selves,” I said from my chair. “When they husband say much the same thing to her are critical about one another they are only if Amelia herself were not so splendid and reflecting the judgments of the men at so fearless and so big in all her nature, home -of husbands and fathers and bro- teaching him how to be human and generthers, who are always frightening the ous and kind, and not to judge people by women of their families by telling them their acts always, but more by their attiwhat other men say. Listen to this,” I tude toward their own acts ? Laugh at us went on, tucking a cushion under my head. who are the spinsters," I continued, “but Then I told her of a small boy and girl I one reason why our corners are so comhad met at a watering-place. He was

fortable is that we reflect no one man's eleven and precocious, being trusted with opinion in them.” his own sail-boat and his rifle. He lived in But my cousin only continued to stand a college town, and had caught the swag- by my door, lifting those little metal balls ger of the freshman from one of his older from the harp and letting them fall back brothers. She, the girl, was eight, and against the strings. Then suddenly she came from some quiet village where boys turned and went down the hall, with only and girls played together. She wanted to a good-by tossed back at me over her play now with the young Elisha, and she shoulder. used to go after him at all hours to join I never, I confess, have quite the same her in a game of tennis or croquet, and assurance with Susanna when discussing when it rained, a game of authors on her questions of judgment in the spring, for porch. Sometimes Elisha went; sometimes, having then spent the winter under her being a young man, he made his excuses. eye, as it were, she has all my mistakes of He was clearly embarrassed by her atten- the season to point to-a long list sometions. Finally he fell ill and went to bed times, filled with what I insist are experiwith a cold, and she, the little girl, brought ments, but which she pronounces failures, him flowers and candy. When she was not as if failures were not experiments, too, admitted to the house, she would stand proving just as many principles. under his window waiting for news of him. But now the winter with all its hopes is "Somebody ought to speak to Katharine," before me, and I can keep myself serene, he said to his mother. "She 's a little bit buoyed up by bright anticipations even too fresh. All the boys will be laughing at when my cousin takes me to task. For in the her.” I think he spoke to Katharine him- courage of my convictions at this season I self, for I used to see her, after this, hang- have that spirit of eternal hope which comes ing about her porch alone, a melancholy to us all who live our lives out in towns with little figure, suffering from her first harsh the summer once more behind us. lesson in self-consciousness before men. Marion will come, and Mildred and Elisha took to fishing every day. He was Eleanor, bringing their secrets, and we free then of her advances.

shall all be girls together as I listen, the “Tell me frankly," I said to my cousin logs piled high on my fire. Young Jonawhen the story was told, “has n’t Harry than will come with his merry smile, and said much the same thing to you a hundred Harold, bounding breathless up my stairs, times in these twenty-five years ? Has n't and Clarence, grown as tall as any giant, he said that he did n't want any man say- will try to lift me off my feet by my elbows ing things about his wife, and that they when he shows me how strong he has bewould say them if you did what the pretty come. And Jack will show me his sketches, woman across the street was doing? And and Alfred his new book. has n’t Harry junior checked the enthusi- And then- then in the autumn Richard asms of his sister as many times by saying, --yes, my Richard-always comes home 'I can't have the fellows talking about youagain. and they will talk if they see you speaking No wonder that the autumn is the springto So-and-so'? And would n't Amelia's time of the year to me.

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NDER the glare of the August I loved you. Basta! I'll go and fetch the sun stretched the smooth sea, tinker of souls. He can't keep you from

waveless as if molten. The dead burning afterward." Le air quivered hotly and reeked Then he went out and left her alone in with the smell of the tar oozing from the the hot green darkness. seams of the beached fishing-boats.

Antonio Vestri sat on a bench before his When he came in she was asleep. The door, mending a net, weaving the shuttle sun had slid far down the sky and sent a deftly in and out of the coarse brown mesh, shaft of orange light athwart the bed, showthe new cord leaving a white track as his ing up cruelly clear the death-like face, with hands crept along. The salt caught in the hollow, long-fringed eyes, on the dingy pilknots sparkled and hurt his eyes.

low. The man sat down, his big hands " Accidenti!” he said aloud, passing his dangling loose between his knees, and hairy arm over his face. Then he turned watched her. and peered into the blackness of the

open “Cristo!” he whispered, “Cristo!” His door behind him. The one window, cov- brutal face quivered. “I could hate and ered with a bean-flower, let in a faint green- yet live, I could love and yet live; but to ish light, by which the man could see part do both is more than I can stand. There's of a bed and a white plaster St. Joseph no God, that 's clear, but there is a devil.” on a bracket. The white of the pillow was The immaculate statue of St. Joseph blurred by a black mass, and the clothes simpered down at him across the bar of fell in sharp angles as on a dead person. light, and he raised his great fist in the air But she was not dead.

threateningly. “ 'Tonio," she said faintly, “come.” “Ed accidenti a voi —” he began furi

The man rose sullenly, his jaw protrud- ously, when his ear caught the soft whispering, and went in.

ing of slow footsteps in the dry sand. He “ Chi c'è? What do you want now?” straightened up rigidly and squeezed his

“I am dying, Antonio, and I want Don cap tight in both hands. “It's Don BeBenedetto.”

nedett. And he is to know, by God! and I "You want to confess. The worst of 'em am never to know!” For a moment he hescome to that. Confession-rubbish !” itated, and then with a quick movement

"My husband! It is not true; that you dropped to the ground and slid quietly know. I have told you so often.”

under the bed. He took up his red woolen cap with its long tassel, and drew it over his rough, curly “And I have often been discontented, hair.

padre, and cross-che. It's been a hard “Yes, yes, you've told me, and I have n't life. And I 've lied often. I told Sabina believed you. You are a cursed liar -and Caltri that I had four strings of coral, and

more dreadful for him, poverett'. I am glad the baby died."

"My daughter, you have done very wrong, and I regard you as having been peculiarly under the protection of our Blessed Mother, or you would have had even worse sins on your conscience." "Poverett'," she murmured.

"And by the grace of God, my child, I may now promise you forgiveness, as you sincerely repent. Have you told me all ? " "Si, riverenza. That is all."

"Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis-" The priest went on to the end, then rose. "In an hour, my daughter, I will come with the blessed sacrament. Rest in peace."

Then silence fell on the poor room, and the light softened slowly as the sun sank in the sea. Antonio dared not move.

"Madonna mia and Gesù mio, San Giuseppe, and all the others, let her sleep, that I may get out! She is innocent, and I was a devil. Canaglia beast that I was!" He whispered the words into his cap, trembling from head to foot.


May I die of an apoplexy if I ever say a rough word to her! May I die without confession and without sacrament if I do not make her happy!" Then, as he waited breathless, he muttered aves as fast as he could say them. "Six big candles for this to Our Lady of the Sea. And I will go to Naples and do the stations of the cross on my knees next Holy Week."

At last he felt a new stillness in the air, and knew that she slept. Softly he crept out, stiff and weak, and slowly rose by the door. As he straightened up, his eyes fell on the statuette, and he lifted it down reverently and kissed its feet.

"Even if she should die," he said gently, "I can beg her pardon; I can tell herNo, she must not die!

Then he turned to the bed.

In the clear evening light she lay dead.


I've only three. Also-God forgive meI've not gone to mass regularly."

Don Benedetto shook his fat head. "Male figlia, mia. Very wrong. But the good God can forgive much, with the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Anything else?"

"Yes, padre." The man under the bed pressed his face roughly into his hands to keep from crying out.

"Yes, padre. You know, riverenza, I wished well to Gianbattista Pastore, and he to me? Then there was a quarrel, and he went away. I married Antonio. Poor Antonio! He wishes me very well, but he's a hard man and knows cruel words. Mamma mia, he has given me hard names! Ebbene, I did my best, but it 's ill being married to a man when-you-love another."

The old priest did not speak. He was listening but drowsily. A slight breeze had come up and was stirring the hairs on his red neck in an agreeable way.

"And I loved Gianbattista. Then Antonio went away, and-and-God forgive

me! Gianbattista used to come in the evenings and see me."

"My daughter, my daughter!"

"Yes, it was wrong," went on the dying woman, a new note of energy sounding in her voice; "but that was all, padre. Once he kissed me. But-che la Santissima Madonna me senta, -that the Blessed Virgin may listen to me,-the baby was Antonio's."

The priest's platitude was unheard both by the woman and the hidden man.

"I was bad, but not so bad as that. Antonio came back suddenly and found Gianbattista here, and struck him. Gianbattista knocked him down. He is very strong, Gianbattista! And, padre, Antonio does not believe me. I have sworn, and he gives me the lie. It is dreadful. But perhaps







Governor of Rhode Island


HE political boss of any His immediate source of power

is conState, when fully developed, trol of the State organization of the domiis readily cognizable by the nant political party. public. Not only is he It will be observed that, with scarcely known individually, but his an exception, the party dominant in any

general characteristics and State is the one which has the most money. powers are estimated correctly. He is not Occasionally the impoverished opposition popular with the people, not even with the wins a victory, but it is temporary at best, rank and file of his own party. The and usually but partial. In the Southern "workers ” like him, the party machine States the Democratic party is in permayields him a cheerful obedience, the leg- nent ascendancy; in the New England, islature does his will; but the masses dis- Middle, and Pacific States, the Republican trust him. He elects mayors, governors, party; and in a few of the Rocky Mounlegislators, but he himself can be elected tain States the Silver party is, or has been, to no office in the gift of the people. When dominant: but everywhere it is the richer he attains office, as he often does, it is by party. This portentous situation is due to executive appointment or through the the fact that money counts more and more agency of a legislative body. The one high every year in determining the result of office open to him is that of United States political campaigns. A strong party orsenator, as is evident from the political ganization, covering every section of a history of the States of Pennsylvania, New State, entails a large expenditure. The York, Maryland, and Ohio.

money comes chiefly from candidates, the The devil is said to be persevering, and, holders of lucrative offices, and the beneno doubt, finds the one good quality essen- ficiaries of legislation, all of whom are to tial to the success of his calling. In like be found in much greater numbers and manner, and unquestionably for a like rea- stimulated by much higher hopes in the son, the boss has the single virtue of being permanently dominant party. true to his word in all business transac- The distribution of the large sums detions. Whether acting as the paid agent of rived from these several sources is not an individual or a corporation, or whether made by the contributors themselves, but dealing with sub-bosses and heelers, his through one individual, the boss. He depromises are to be relied upon. Only in his termines the destination of the fund, in relations to the public does the rule not what directions it shall be paid out, and hold good. The people he fools and de- from whom it shall be withheld. Reputable ceives unhesitatingly and openly.

candidates, aware that their contributions What is the cause of bossism? Why is to the campaign are to be used corruptly, its power constantly augmenting, its field do not desire any itemized account of excontinually widening? Or, to put the case penditures. All they ask for is the delivery more definitely, by what means is the State of the goods. boss able to name the governor and domi- Just how a State boss controls a legisnate the legislature of his State ?

lature was once explained to a company of



gentlemen in my presence by Benjamin State legislature to enact unpopular laws F. Thurston, Esq., of Providence, Rhode and elect a United States senator who is Island, who, when living, had an enviable not only offensive to a majority of the national reputation as a lawyer in patent entire electorate, but who is far from being cases. The modus operandi when, for in- the choice of a majority of the members stance, the boss wished to get rid of a of his own party. By the lavish but juditroublesome State senator was described cious outlay of the campaign fund, in as follows:

packing caucuses, hiring workers, corruptWhen, a few weeks before the campaign ing active opponents, bringing out the vote, opened, a wire-puller from the obnoxious and, when necessary, bribing the voters, senator's town called, according to custom, it is manifest that the will of the people to see the boss, a conversation of the fol- finds but a small chance of gaining its lowing nature would ensue:

ends through an ordinary election. Boss : “Can't you send up for senator a Only in extraordinary times, when pubbetter man than Mr. A.?"

lic sentiment is stirred to its depths, when Wire-puller : “Oh, no. He's very pop- citizens, usually indifferent, devote time

ar, and, besides, it is the custom of our and thought and some money in support town to give senators a second term.” of a popular movement-only on such Boss: “It 's a nice day.”

exceptional and infrequent occasions is the Wire-puller, after a long pause: “How supremacy of the boss really endangered. will it be about funds this election ?" When, after a long interval of quiescence,

Boss: “Oh, there will be no money this such a period of awakening occurs, it too year.”

often happens that the immediate grievWhereupon the visitor, taking his depar- ance felt by the public is a comparatively ture, indulges in a brown study; but about small one, and the remedy applied, though a week later he appears again, when the for the time effectual, is only superficial. same topic of conversation is revived. The temporary vigilance soon passes :

Boss : “So you are going to reëlect Sen- that slow-moving giant, the public, goes to ator A., are you?”

sleep again, and the boss resumes undisWire-puller, hesitatingly: “ I suppose so. puted sway. It would be hard work to beat him in The stronghold of the State boss is the caucus."

legislature. When he selects a candidate Boss: “Can't B. defeat him in caucus ?” for governor or other elective executive

Wire-puller: "Perhaps so, but it would officer, he finds it necessary, in most States, take a lot of money.”

to take into account the voters. The larBoss: “Oh, you can have all the money gest constituency in the State is the most you want for that purpose."

difficult to deceive and the most costly to From this typical conversation it may corrupt. Moreover, the people have somebe understood how the manager of the thing of a prejudice in favor of a respectadominant party, by holding the purse- ble figurehead as candidate for governor, strings, can easily keep a majority of both and even for mayor. They have been branches of the legislature subservient to known, in so boss-ridden a State as Pennhis will. In the event of his failing to de- sylvania, to stampede to the opposing feat an objectionable candidate at the pri- candidate. But the bosses are not greatly mary meeting, he is ready to furnish money distressed at losing a governor, since the for use against him at the polls, and in this real power in a State, the legislature, is way, not infrequently, to secure the ser- rarely carried in both branches by popular vices of his successful opponent. Every uprisings, however extended. The boss of powerful boss has at his disposal, in a any State, if able to retain control of either pinch, some members of the legislature senate or house of representatives, frewho nominally belong to the opposition quently manages to carry his pet measures party.

through the other branch; and, at the very With a boss at the head of a State worst, he can hold radical reforms in abeymachine, acting through sub-bosses, each ance until after another election, at which of whom is intimately acquainted either he is quite sure to find, the energy of the with a city or with an extensive rural com- public being exhausted, an easy victory all munity, it is easy to see how he can force a along the line.


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