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place as coolly as if he were going for a stroll of a summer evening. P. H. Pearse was rather "rattled," and his head rolled from side to side. He was, perhaps, a more emotional man than Thomas MacDonagh, and he was frightfully tired.
I never saw P. H. Pearse, but I met Thomas MacDonagh once. He was interested in the Independent Theater of Ireland, and one evening I went to the tiny theater in Hardwicke Street to see some performances he and his friends. were giving there. I had only lately come to Dublin, and I knew none of the people connected with the Independent Theater. A friend introduced me to Thomas MacDonagh. I remember him chiefly as a man who smiled very pleasantly. There was a look of great gentleness about him. He sat beside my friend for a while, and I was so placed that I saw his face easily.
He was a man of middle height and slender build. His high, broad brow was covered with heavy, rough, tufty hair that was brushed cleanly from his forehead and cut tidily about the neck, so that he did not look unkempt. His long, straight nose was as large as the nose of a successful entrepreneur, but it was not bulbous, nor were the nostrils wide and distended, as are the nostrils of many business men. It was a delicately shaped and pointed nose, with narrow nostrils that were as sensitive as those of a race-horse: an adventurous, pointing nose that would lead its owner to valiant lengths, but would never lead him into low enterprises. His eyes had a quick, perceptive look, so that he probably understood things speedily, and the kindly, forbearing look in them promised that his understanding would not be stiffened by harshness, that it would be accompanied by sympathy so keen that, were it not for the hint of humor they also had, he might almost have been mawkish, a sentimentalist too easily dissolved in tears. His thick eyebrows clung closely over his eyes and gave him a look of introspection that mitigated the shrewdness of his pointing nose. There was some weakness, but not much, in the full, projecting lower lip and the
slightly receding chin that caused his short, tightened upper lip to look indrawn and strained; and the big, ungainly, jutting ears consorted oddly with the serious look of high purpose that marked his face in repose. It was as though Puck had turned poet and then had turned preacher. One looked at the fleshy lower lip and the jutting ears, and thought of a careless, impish creature; one looked at the shapely, pointing nose and the kindly, unflinching eyes, and thought of a man reckless of himself in the pursuit of some fine pur
When the news of his execution was proclaimed, a woman wept in the street.
"Ah, poor Tom MacDonagh," she said. "And he would n't have hurt a fly!"
I do not know what dream these men had in their minds, but this much is certain, there was nothing unclean or mean about their motives. I think they were foolish men, and I think they did incalculable harm to their country; but whatever was their belief, they were prepared to suffer the hardest test for it-the test of death.
"We did not come here to surrender," some of the rebels said to an envoy, carrying a white flag, who came to demand their surrender; "we came here to die." And when their stronghold was subsequently taken, only one man out of twenty-three was still alive, and he died soon afterward.
THE rebellion was virtually over on the Saturday following Easter Monday, but for the best part of the succeeding week there was still some difficult work to be done in rounding up the snipers who had taken to the roofs of houses. In places like Merrion Square they were virtually immune from discovery. They could run along the roofs, hidden by parapets, and fire on the troops with the minimum chance of detection; but their position was a hopeless one. Death or discovery was inevitable, and in a few days the last of the snipers was taken.
About the middle of the second week I was able to get across O'Connell Bridge
into O'Connell Street. The official name
of O'Connell Street is Sackville Street. A soldier told me that Ypres was not much worse than O'Connell Street was. An American lady who had seen Louvain said that that town was not more battered and broken than the heart of Dublin. One saw a huddle of torn walls and twisted girders and rusty rails and stones and ashes. I went hurriedly to Marlborough Street, and found that the Abbey Theater had marvelously been untouched, though the houses immediately facing it were in ruins. The Royal Hibernian Academy, where an exhibition of pictures was being held, was a heap of cinders. One had to walk warily because the ground was covered with hot ashes, and if one was not careful, one sank into them and was burned.
One wall of a house near the theater still stood, and it contained the fireplace. There was a kettle sitting on the hob, and on the mantelpiece were two delf ornaments, uninjured, and a clock; and by the side of the fireplace a photograph frame was hanging, a little askew. The postoffice was gutted; the Imperial Hotel and the offices of the "Freeman's Journal" were level with the street. One looked around that pitiful pile of broken shops and houses, at the broken wires and burned-out tram-cars and shattered walls, and wondered what was to be the end of it all. High-minded men had led romantic boys to a futile enterprise, and the end of their work was a smashed city and a ruined population.
Thomas MacDonagh, they say, was urgent against the rebellion, and so was The O'Rahilly, but the voting went against them, and they submitted to that overruling and joined their friends. The O'Rahilly was killed in the fighting at the post-office. Thomas MacDonagh died, as he had lived, with a high heart. So did they all.
ONE thinks of three big rebellions in Ireland and of their failures. The first failed because there were no leaders good enough for the followers they had; the second
failed because the followers were not good enough for the leaders they had. In this third rebellion leaders and followers were worthy of one another, matchless in spirit and devotion; but they had not the people behind them, and they had to fight an immeasurably superior force. And the third rebellion is, we pray, the last rebellion. MacDonagh and Pearse and all who followed them had found their highest aspiration in the desire to die for Ireland. There are other Irishmen who turn away from that ambition and look hopefully to a harder fight in which they shall spend themselves not in the hope of dying for Ireland, but in the hope of living for her.
That fortnight of ruin and rebellion was passed in sunshine and sweet mountain airs. One looked at the trees in St. Stephen's Green, and saw them spreading out their fresh foliage, and wondered how men could be content to lurk in their shade with loaded rifles in their hands. Now and then the wild fowl in the lake cluttered in fright; but mostly they flew about their domain, untroubled by the hatreds of humans. The warmth of spring was everywhere except in human things; and when the rebellion was over, suddenly the skies slackened, and there was heavy rain for three days. The end of all that misery has not yet come. A man said to me that MacDonagh had no hope of a military success, but that he had every hope of a spiritual success. One wonders, and, wondering, thinks that so much devotion and generosity of ideal and high purpose might more worthily have been used. There is an old, ignoble phrase which has often been bandied about by Irish politicians: England's necessity is Ireland's opportunity. It is hardly an exalted sentiment even when one allows for the circumstances of Irish history, and it is the tragedy of this rebellion that noble-minded men sought to prove the truth of a mean phrase. Perhaps in a different way than that for which they hoped their ideal may be achieved, and Ireland yet come to unity, joined in honorable friendship with England.
HE career of Jean Webster McKin
ney, who died last June on the day that her little daughter was born, was remarkable for its steady, sure progress. Mourned by hundreds of thousands, her great personal charm, her warm sympathies, and above all her penetrating sense of humor made her toward the last a very potent influence in semi-public life. Absolutely the artist, yet absolutely without the usual vagaries of the artistic temperament, and possessed of an indomitable will, only her untimely death prevented her from reaching her goal-a place in the front rank of American writers.
In all her busy, happy years she realized more completely than most of us the lines of Henley's poem: to the very end she was indeed the master of her fate. As a small child she began to shape her course, to manage her own affairs. Her real name was Alice Jane Chandler Webster, the Jane being after the mother of her greatuncle, Mark Twain. At boarding-school her room-mate was also named Alice, and, to avoid confusion, Alice Webster was asked to take her second name. Girl-like, she objected to the plainness of Jane, and so then and ever after she called herself Jean Webster.
Having chosen her own name, it was not long after that she began more or less consciously to work toward a literary career. It is recorded that Mark Twain as a boy of ten held spellbound his entire family with the simple narrative of his small adventures. Jean Webster seems to have had in common with her uncle this same gift of narration. Her letters from boarding-school and later from Vassar were the delight of her parents, and it was natural that the English courses should claim her chief interest.
It was the daily theme, invented, I believe, by Barrett Wendell of Harvard, that gave her her first real opportunity to develop her natural gifts, and in recognition of them the young freshman was appointed local correspondent to a Pough
keepsie paper. She very nearly lost this coveted position through a practical joke. Upon the occasion of a visit by a noted. astronomer, some fanciful information about him, imparted to her by a guileful junior, created a considerable stir when duly published. Jean Webster swallowed her chagrin, and turned the incident into a short story that was published in a monthly magazine. Other stories of college life followed, and at the end of her senior year she collected them and offered the manuscript for book publication. This volume was soon published under the title of "When Patty Went to College," and stands to-day as the best volume of undergraduate stories that have emanated from a woman's college, a book notable. for its spirit of youth and for its shrewd and humorous observation.
At this time Jean Webster was living with her mother in the family home at Fredonia, New York. While negotiations for her first book were pending, she packed her bag and came to New York. She never went back. Like many other young writers, she found both her opportunity and her inspiration in that "stepmother" of American cities, and henceforth she was a part of its life.
In those early days she spent most of her summers abroad, and Italy became the land of her heart's desire. Its great charm for her is reflected in three of her later works: "Jerry, Junior," "The Wheat Princess," and an unpublished comedy, "The Pigs of Palestrina."
Two factors in her success as a writer were her native wit and her genius for hard work. Though all her little comedies have the spontaneous air of being "dashed off," they were the product of months of painstaking labor and much revision. While she was writing her famous "Daddy-Long-Legs" at a friend's home in Greenwich, Connecticut, she spent her leisure moments in talking with an Italian boy named Mario who worked about the house. They usually talked of Italy and