Puslapio vaizdai

you see.'

ther. No one was admitted to the farm. Again I asked her how long she had 'Are you a man?' said she.

lived on the fairy farm, and she answered “ 'Yes,' I answered, “and ever since I me as we sat side by side in the moonsaw you from the car of the balloon that light in the shade of the old apple-tree: lately passed this way, I have had thoughts ‘I was only a year old when I came, and for none other. O adorable one, wilt now I am seventeen,' said she. “My early thou share


life ran as quiet as the brook by which I "How daring!" said Mrs. Trembly, a sported.'” This phrase reminded me, I shadow of reproof in her tone.

do not know why, of an old school reader. “But inevitable in the circumstances, “ 'The man who built this building wished Charlotte," said the other, her head tilted to make some poor man happy, and so he to one side in a manner that was nothing sought out my father, who was a cabinetelse than lackadaisical.

maker on the East Side, an American, but 'Although I could see that she recog- very poor, and finding that he had been a nized me and loved me, she had evidently farmer's boy, he told him that if he would been too well brought up by her father to live on the roof of his great sky-scraper, Aly into my arms with a murmured 'Yes!' he would fashion it into an idyllic farm Such things may happen in nonsensical for him, and my father was only too glad. novels, but they seldom happen in real My mother had died when I was only six life. And, I ask you, was the mere fact months old. I was only a white-faced that this girl lived on a roof far removed tenement-house babe at the time of my from ordinary happenings sufficient to coming up here,—so my father has told change her whole nature?”

me, - but I had not lived here a twelve“No, no," assented both old ladies. Evi- month before I became the strong being dently the thing they admired about this somewhat unusual story was its truth to "I looked at her Juno-like proportions nature. And, oh, what a good time Mr. and said, 'All in a twelvemonth?' Bolingbroke was having!

“ 'The health, yes; the size, no,' said And so she asked me for time to col- she. lect her thoughts. She had been tossing “I took her hand in mine at these loose ends of hay into little mows against words, and like a new Paul and Virginia the next load, for in haying-time, it seems, we walked hand in hand across the freshshe and her father worked all night from clipped mead until we came to the runlet. preference, as the sun was hot in the day- Together we sat on the edge of the purltime, and when she heard the noise of the ing brook, and listened to the subdued elevator she had supposed that it was her noises of the city below. father coming up.

"Not consciously did we listen, for al" You shall have all the time there is ready we were all in all to each other, and if you will but be my bride,' I cried with to her there was no world but my voice, ardor. 'Tell

me, how long have you while I saw nothing but her pink and lived in this lovely place?' For it was shell-like ear, into which I murmured the lovely. I had noticed only the apple-tree soft nothings that a lover finds ready, in passing over, but I now saw there were even though he has never known love begraceful young elms and larches and bass- fore-even as a little chicken flies to a wood-trees and maples and sylvan birches scrap of meat the first day after it is and ashes. And there were bosky dells hatched, instinct, that great teacher, sugand murmuring fountains and a grot or gesting both actions. two and a miniature tarn that might have “I told her that I was willing to rehidden some dreadful miniature secret. nounce the world and live

up there on the Then, too, there were waterfalls and roof if she would be mine; that I had shaded lanes and a maze. Oh, it was a fit money, which I would gladly put into the place for the lovely creature who dwelt farm in the purchase of new and up-tothere. Everything in harmony, but all on date machinery; that I would build her a small scale, quite as if some master Jap- father new barns and a pergola and buy anese hand had fashioned everything." him a separator, if she would but say the

“I wish I might have seen it," said one little word of three letters. Mrs. Trembly, with a sigh.

“And she was just about to say it, she was just opening her lips to breathe the "The building was doomed from the joy-producing word, when there came a start, and when a stalwart fireman said to dreadful sound from the street below- me, 'Take the young lady and stay not on the sound of engine sirens, the clanging of the order of your going, but go at once,' bells, the beat of horses' hoofs, and the I lost not a moment. The firemen had shouts of excited men, and I knew that come up in the passenger-elevators, but I that dread thing, a fire at midnight, had went down in the freight-elevator, which come upon the city.

was still standing there. The faithful “And still I did not cease to press my

man at the bottom of the shaft responded suit. What was a fire to us? So selfish to my signal, and we were conveyed in does love make us.”

safety to the sidewalk, on which my loved "Ah, yes," said Mrs. Trembly, sadly. one's feet had never stepped since baby

“ 'We are above these mundane hap- hood. penings,' I said. “Let me hear the fateful "In the street a frantic old man with word?

an empty wain called on high heaven to "Suddenly alongside the brook, in some

save his child." dead grass, I saw a puff of smoke; a mo- “How fortunate that you had gone ment later a smoking bush caught fire, up!” said Mrs. Trembly, who was more and then there was an explosion in a bed loquacious, but no more appreciative, than of geraniums, and loam and fire and her companion. smoke shot into the air—"

“My words were short and to the “What had happened?” cried both old point. “She 's yours,' I said, handing the ladies, visibly excited.

beautiful girl to her parent. May she “The building was on fire. The farm be mine also ?' of my loved one was doomed."

“My goodness!" said Mr. Bolingbroke, “How awful!” said Mrs. Trembly,

Mrs. Trembly, interrupting himself. “They are closing sadly. “And just at the moment that the restaurant." meant so much to you!”

“Oh, what did the old man say?" asked “It was awful, but my loved one did both old ladies as they rose from their not blench, not even when the flames be- seats. gan licking the apple-tree on which she Mr. Bolingbroke helped them on with had sat when I flew by. It did not seem their wraps before he answered. Then more than a minute before helmeted fire- he said in a voice full of feeling: men, looking strangely out of place on "What could any man with a spark of that little glebe, poured into the rural gratitude say? He said, 'She shall be scene, and

vith fierce streams of water yours.' literally hosed the brook out of its little And perfectly contented, the romantic bed, watered the crops to their death, and old ladies went through the restaurant caused havoc and demolition to the little door, which Mr. Bolingbroke held open farm.

for them.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]



Author of “The Commercial Strength of Great Britain,” “Germany's Foreign Trade,” etc.

HROUGH a series of diplomatic the political thunder of those who were

blunders, misunderstandings, and about to enter upon a national and local unfortunate incidents, the United States campaign for office. With that notorious is now in a fair way to destroy one of her cowardice which is bred of elections to great foreign friendships, one which has office by an unrestricted franchise, nearly stood the test of the most notable and try- all of those who disapproved of the ining century in the history of human af- tent or purpose of the resolution or those fairs. Notwithstanding vivid contrasts who, while approving its alleged object, in the lives of her people and in her forms disapproved of the method adopted, held and methods of government as compared their peace in public at least. The dewith those of the United States, the peo- bate on the resolution was a one-sided afple and the rulers of Russia have long fair, for no man of great influence or shown the keenest and most friendly in- weight in the nation's councils led the terest in the progress and continued pros- opposition, and the friendship of Russia perity of the American people. This and the Russian people was swept aside friendly attitude has been of so marked a as an inconsiderable factor in the intercharacter, and even minor controversies national situation. have been so infrequent, that a treaty As a result, the Russian Government made in 1832 held the two countries to- was notified that the treaty was to be tergether until 1911, or for a period of minated by the United States. The lannearly eighty years.

guage of this notification was rendered as In the year 1911 a successful politician, diplomatic as possible by President Taft, who had become chairman of the Com- and the disagreeable task of conveying the mittee on Foreign Affairs in the Ameri- American ultimatum to the Russian Govcan House of Representatives, though he ernment by the American ambassador at lacked broad statesmanlike qualifications St. Petersburg was performed in a manfor that exalted position, brought forth an ner calculated to do the least harm. The idea that could but canker or sacrifice that fact remained, however, and soften it as friendship, affronting Russia and surpris- one may, it was received by the Russian ing the world. It may be stated here that Government as a man might take an unthe evidence of some of the ablest and most expected blow from some one he trusted prominent of the Hebrew race of American and looked upon as a friend. The Govcitizens is to the effect that this attack ernment was first surprised, then hurt, made upon Russia was a serious error in and then angry. The crux of the Amerthat, while at the time it seemed to serve ican contention was to the effect that an political purposes in America, the ulti- American passport entitled its holder to mate result has been to do harm rather enter Russia and there enjoy a liberty of than good to the Russian people it was action and occupation denied to Russian intended to benefit.

subjects. Instead of conveying to the Russian The British, French, and German govGovernment in the usual way through ernments were promptly called upon by diplomatic channels the expression of a their own people to express themselves as desire to revise a treaty which in many to the merits of the controversy, as this details was obsolete and needed revision, was not a case where American passports a resolution was introduced in Congress, had been or were to be discriminated violent in its language and arbitrary in its against. The citizens of all foreign counintended result. This resolution was the tries are placed upon a basis of equal medium through which was discharged rights in the administration of Russian interior affairs. Sir Edward Grey, the five per cent. differential tariff rate in British Foreign Minister, in reply to a favor of goods imported in American botquestion in the House of Commons, toms, this provision was held to be inpromptly repudiated the action of the operative against countries with which United States, stating briefly that his the United States had favored-nation Government did not maintain that the treaties. There being no treaty with Rusholder of a British passport was exempt

sia at the time, and this being exceptional, in any way from observing the laws and the adoption of the differential was held regulations of Russia when traveling or to be purposely unfriendly to Russian attempting to travel in that country. trade. Whether the differential clause France and Germany quickly followed holds in the end or not, this impression suit with like declarations, thus leaving naturally still prevails. the United States alone in a position held Closely following upon this action to be untenable not only by Russia, but comes the unfortunate scandal attached to by other European countries even more the appointment of an American ambasdeeply and intensely concerned in the wel- sador to St. Petersburg, a place which has fare of foreign peoples than the United been vacant since June, 1913, when, by States. It may be noted also that in all all rights, to fill this post promptly and these countries the native-born and the efficiently, in view of the strained relanaturalized citizens of Russian origin and tions existing between the two countries, those bound to them by ties of race or it should have been a first consideration religion play a far greater part in the of a newly inaugurated state department. government of the country than they do The whole impression given by the inciin the United States.

dents attendant upon the selection of a The Russian Government was at first man for St. Petersburg is one of Amerinclined to active resentment against the ican indifference not only to the critical United States, and promptly called atten- situation which actually exists, but to tion to the indignation which would be the importance of Russia as a possible aroused in America should Russia attempt friend and a valuable business colleague, to dictate as to the administration of the one more than ready to facilitate a free American immigration laws under which exchange of civilities and commodities beseveral million Russian subjects are ineli- tween the two countries. gible for admission to the United States, If instead of terminating the treaty of passport or no passport. It was also re- 1832 between the United States and Ruscalled that in a given period of sixty days sia in the brutal manner in which it was nearly two hundred Russians had been done, the United States Government had deported from America, while in the same suggested the making of a new conventime two American passports had been tion, such suggestion would have been refused the visé required for travel in in- agreed to. The pourparler preceding such terior Russia. When the first and most a convention would have given opportuacute stage of indignation and regret had nity for a full and free discussion of all passed, however, and it was tided over points at issue and allowed of final comwith skill and efficiency by the American promise, which could only have resulted ambassador then stationed in St. Peters- advantageously for all American citizens, burg, it was succeeded by an attitude of native-born or naturalized. It would also indifference, which still maintains.

have made possible an agreement with A careful study of Russian trade with Russia providing for a relinquishment of America shows that, treaty or no treaty, all claims upon Russian subjects who befriendship or no friendship, her people came citizens of the United States. This can buy what they must from the United principle was first brought into treaty obStates without let or hindrance, and that ligations by the United States, and obtains a large percentage of what is bought with all countries with which this country from Russia will be taken regardless of has made treaties in recent years. In the international complications.

Unfortu- case of Russia, however, there having been nately, the arbitrary termination of the no recent treaty, no such agreement extreaty is not the only cause for irritation. ists. It was time that a new convention When Congress adopted the idea of a should have been projected in order that new and more intelligent relations might Government, as a matter of courtesy to be brought about. It was not necessary, its own and foreign peoples, has mainhowever, that the then-existing treaty tained the status quo existing under the should be beaten to death with a club. It recent treaty in its treatment of Ameriwould have died a natural and easy death cans and American commerce. This, howwhen its successor appeared as a result of ever, will not go on forever, and uncerthe joint and friendly efforts of the two tainty as to the future has given a halt to governments. The fact remains, however, an expansion of American trade in Rusthat the United States chose the offensive sia, which two years ago promised to beand destructive method without a hint come one of the most notable features of from constructive statesmanship as to

to American enterprise abroad. Millions of what should take the place of that which American money are in Russian banks to was destroyed.

guarantee American securities; thousands The diplomatic attitude of Russia to- of men are employed in America in manuday is easily stated. It is in effect that facturing goods for shipment to Russia; the United States, having seen fit to do fifty million dollars' worth of American away with the treaty, it rests with the cotton goes annually to serve the Russian United States to ask for a new agree- spinners, whose cloth is sewed into shape ment. It is also equally well understood by American machines in Russian hands. that Russia cannot and will not yield on The virgin ground of southern Siberia is the main point which has held public at being turned over by American machintention in the United States, and this not ery, and the shiploads of grain that find through any obstinacy, but because of in- their way out to the trade channels of the terior political and economic conditions world are made ready for market by inrequiring, in the judgment of the Russian

struments born of the ingenuity of Amerauthorities, a continuation for a while ican inventive genius. at least of the present policy toward for- To sacrifice principle for material gain eigners visiting Russia, no matter from is no part of American purpose, and such what country they may come.

It is be

a course, if pursued by the Government at lieved in Russia not only by the people at Washington, would bring a prompt verlarge, but by the government officials dict of disapproval throughout the counthemselves, that the present passport sys- try; but to destroy American opportunity tem should be thoroughly revised and sim- in a mistaken and futile effort to control plified. As now administered, it is a cum- the domestic affairs of a great and solvent bersome and vexatious affair, acting in re- European nation is a justing against straint of social intercourse and com- windmills which brings only harm and merce. The legislative program of the humiliation to an international Don QuixDuma for the near future includes a plan ote, and accentuates the troubles of those for a revision of this now obsolete insti- in that foreign land through a natural retution, but such revision will not be dic- actionary feeling of irritation at the part tated by any foreign government, nor will they play in bringing about an attempt at it, when finally complete, take from the interference by outsiders. Russian government authorities supervi- It is difficult to grasp the potentialities sory rights over the comings and goings of the Russian Empire. A bald statement of those who travel to and from the em- of its size, population, and activities conpire. The purpose is to make travel easier

veys some comparative idea, but even this and to make the ordinary tourist less fails to call up the picture as it exists. aware of police surveillance. That free With an area of nearly nine million hand should be given, however, to those square miles as compared with the fewer who wilfully or unwittingly are ready to than four million of the United States; add to the great difficulties attendant with an annual ordinary expenditure of upon the maintenance of order and safety over fifteen hundred million dollars as in that vast and complex community can against the less than seven hundred milhardly be expected by any one with even lions disbursed by the United States; with a cursory knowledge of Russian conditions. a population of nearly one hundred and

In the meantime, while diplomacy waits sixty millions, increasing without immiupon action at Washington, the Russian gration at the rate of nearly three mil

« AnkstesnisTęsti »