Puslapio vaizdai

in repose.

place as coolly as if he were going for a slightly receding chin that caused his stroll of a summer evening. P. H. Pearse short, tightened upper lip to look indrawn was rather “rattled," and his head rolled and strained; and the big, ungainly, jutfrom side to side. He was, perhaps, a ting ears consorted oddly with the serious more emotional man than Thomas Mac- look of high purpose that marked his face Donagh, and he was frightfully tired.

It was as though Puck had I never saw P. H. Pearse, but I met turned poet and then had turned preacher. Thomas MacDonagh once. He was in- One looked at the fleshy lower lip and the terested in the Independent Theater of jutting ears, and thought of a careless, Ireland, and one evening I went to the impish creature; one looked at the shapely, tiny theater in Hardwicke Street to see pointing nose and the kindly, unflinching some performances he and his friends eyes, and thought of a man reckless of were giving there. I had only lately come himself in the pursuit of some fine purto Dublin, and I knew none of the people pose. connected with the Independent Theater. When the news of his execution was A friend introduced me to Thomas Vac- proclaimed, a woman wept in the street. Donagh. I remember him chiefly as a "Ah, poor Tom MacDonagh," she said. man who smiled very pleasantly. There “And he would n't have hurt a Ay!" was a look of great gentleness about him. I do not know what dream these men He sat beside my friend for a while, and had in their minds, but this much is cerI was so placed that I saw his face easily. tain, there was nothing unclean or mean

He was a man of middle height and about their motives. I think they were slender build. His high, broad brow was foolish men, and I think they did incalcucovered with heavy, rough, tufty hair that lable harm to their country; but whatever was brushed cleanly from his forehead and was their belief, they were prepared to cut tidily about the neck, so that he did suffer the hardest test for it-the test of not look unkempt. His long, straight death. nose was as large as the nose of a success- "We did not come here to surrender," ful entrepreneur, but it was not bulbous, some of the rebels said to an envoy, carry'nor were the nostrils wide and distended, ing a white flag, who came to demand as are the nostrils of many business men. their surrender; "we came here to die." It was a delicately shaped and pointed And when their stronghold was subsenose, with narrow nostrils that were as quently taken, only one man out of twensensitive as those of a race-horse: an ad- ty-three was still alive, and he died soon venturous, pointing nose that would lead afterward. its owner to valiant lengths, but would never lead him into low enterprises. His The rebellion was virtually over on the eves had a quick, perceptive look, so that Saturday following Easter Monday, but he probably understood things speedily, for the best part of the succeeding week and the kindly, forbearing look in them there was still some difficult work to be promised that his understanding would done in rounding up the snipers who had not be stiffened by harshness, that it taken to the roofs of houses. In places would be accompanied by sympathy so like Verrion Square they were virtually keen that, were it not for the hint of immune from discovery. They could run humor they also had, he might almost along the roofs, hidden by parapets, and have been mawkish, a sentimentalist too fire on the troops with the minimum easily dissolved in tears. His thick eye- chance of detection; but their position was brows clung closely over his eyes and gave a hopeless one. Death or discovery was him a look of introspection that mitigated inevitable, and in a few days the last of the shrewdness of his pointing nose. the snipers was taken. There was some weakness, but not much, About the middle of the second week I in the full, projecting lower lip and the was able to get across O'Connell Bridge One saw

into O'Connell Street. The official name failed because the followers were not of O'Connell Street is Sackville Street. A good enough for the leaders they had. soldier told me that Ypres was not much In this third rebellion leaders and followworse than O'Connell Street was. An ers were worthy of one another, matchAmerican lady who had seen Louvain said less in spirit and devotion; but they had that that town was not more battered not the people behind them, and they had and broken than the heart of Dublin. to fight an immeasurably superior force.

a huddle of torn walls and And the third rebellion is, we pray, the twisted girders and rusty rails and stones last rebellion. MacDonagh and Pearse and ashes. I went hurriedly to Marl- and all who followed them had found borough Street, and found that the Abbey their highest aspiration in the desire to Theater had marvelously been untouched, die for Ireland. There are other Irishthough the houses immediately facing it men who turn away from that ambition were in ruins. The Royal Hibernian and look hopefully to a harder fight in Academy, where an exhibition of pictures which they shall spend themselves not in was being held, was a heap of cinders. the hope of dying for Ireland, but in the One had to walk warily because the hope of living for her. ground was covered with hot ashes, and That fortnight of ruin and rebellion if one was not careful, one sank into them was passed in sunshine and sweet mounand was burned.

tain airs. One looked at the trees in St. One wall of a house near the theater Stephen's Green, and saw them spreading still stood, and it contained the fireplace. out their fresh foliage, and wondered how There was a kettle sitting on the hob, and men could be content to lurk in their on the mantelpiece were two delf orna- shade with loaded rifles in their hands. ments, uninjured, and a clock; and by the Now and then the wild fowl in the lake side of the fireplace a photograph frame

cluttered in fright; but mostly they flew was hanging, a little askew. The post- about their domain, untroubled by the office was gutted; the Imperial Hotel and hatreds of humans. The warmth of the offices of the “Freeman's Journal” spring was everywhere except in human

” were level with the street. One looked things; and when the rebellion was over, around that pitiful pile of broken shops suddenly the skies slackened, and there and houses, at the broken wires and was heavy rain for three days. The end burned-out tram-cars and shattered walls, of all that misery has not yet come. A and wondered what was to be the end of man said to me that MacDonagh had no it all. High-minded men had led roman-, hope of a military success, but that he had

, tic boys to a futile enterprise, and the end every hope of a spiritual success. One of their work was a smashed city and a wonders, and, wondering, thinks that so ruined population.

much devotion and generosity of ideal Thomas MacDonagh, they say, was and high purpose might more worthily urgent against the rebellion, and so was

have been used. There is an old, ignoble The O'Rahilly, but the voting went phrase which has often been bandied against them, and they submitted to that about by Irish politicians: England's neoverruling and joined their friends. The cessity is Ireland's opportunity. It is O'Rahilly was killed in the fighting at the hardly an exalted sentiment even when post-office. Thomas MacDonagh died, one allows for the circumstances of Irish as he had lived, with a high heart. So history, and it is the tragedy of this re

bellion that noble-minded men sought to

prove the truth of a mean phrase. PerOne thinks of three big rebellions in Ire- haps in a different way than that for which land and of their failures. The first failed they hoped their ideal may be achieved, because there were no leaders good enough and Ireland yet come to unity, joined in for the followers they had; the second honorable friendship with England.

did they all.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]


*HE career of Jean Webster McKin- keepsie paper. She very nearly lost this

ney, who died last June on the day coveted position through a practical joke. that her little daughter was born, was re- Upon the occasion of a visit by a noted markable for its steady, sure progress. astronomer, some fanciful information Mourned by hundreds of thousands, her about him, imparted to her by a guileful great personal charm, her warm sympa- junior, created a considerable stir when thies, and above all her penetrating sense duly published. Jean Webster swallowed of hummor made her toward the last a very her chagrin, and turned the incident into potent influence in semi-public life. Abso- a short story that was published in a lutely the artist, yet absolutely without monthly magazine. Other stories of colthe usual vagaries of the artistic tempera- lege life followed, and at the end of her ment, and possessed of an indomitable senior year she collected them and offered will, only her untimely death prevented the manuscript for book publication. This her from reaching her goal-a place in volume was

soon published under the the front rank of American writers. title of "When Patty Went to College,”'

In all her busy, happy years she realized and stands to-day as the best volume of more completely than most of us the lines undergraduate stories that have emanated of Hen ley's poem: to the very

end she was from a woman's college, a book notable indeed the master of her fate. As a small for its spirit of youth and for its shrewd child she began to shape her course, to and humorous observation. manage her own affairs. Her real name At this time Jean Webster was living was Alice Jane Chandler Webster, the with her mother in the family home at Jane being after the mother of her great- Fredonia, New York. While negotiations uncle, Mark Twain. At boarding-school for her first book were pending, she her room-mate was also named Alice, and, packed her bag and came to New York. to avoid confusion, Alice Webster was She never went back. Like many other asked to take her second name. Girl-like, young writers, she found both her opporshe objected to the plainness of Jane, and tunity and her inspiration in that "stepso then and ever after she called herself mother" of American cities, and henceJean Webster.

forth she was a part of its life. Having chosen her own name, it was In those early days she spent most of not long after that she began more or less her summers abroad, and Italy became the consciously to work toward a literary land of her heart's desire. Its great charm career. It is recorded that Mark Twain for her is reflected in three of her later as a boy of ten held spellbound his entire works: “Jerry, Junior," "The Wheat family with the simple narrative of his Princess," and an unpublished comedy, small adventures. Jean Webster seems to “The Pigs of Palestrina." have had in common with her uncle this Two factors in her success as a writer same gift of narration. Her letters from were her native wit and her genius for boarding school and later from Vassar hard work. Though all her little comwere the delight of her parents, and it was edies have the spontaneous air of being natural that the English courses should "dashed off," they were the product of claim her chief interest.

months of painstaking labor and much reIt was the daily theme, invented, I be- vision. While she was writing her famous lieve, by Barrett Wendell of Harvard, “Daddy-Long-Legs” at a friend's home in that gave her her first real opportunity to Greenwich, Connecticut, she spent her develop her natural gifts, and in recogni- leisure moments in talking with an Italian tion of them the young freshman was boy named Mario who worked about the appointed local correspondent to a Pough- house. They usually talked of Italy and in his native tongue. Once he was asked her last published work, "Dear Enemy,” if he had ever read one of Miss Webster's which, beneath the light, engaging lovestories. He said he had. Which one? story that plays about the surface, presents Why, the one she put in the scrap-basket! the last word in the care of dependent These were the discarded chapters of children-a book destined to do more ef"Daddy-Long-Legs"; for it was this au- fective service in behalf of these unfortuthor's practice enormously to over-write a nates than all the treatises yet published. story and then cut it to what she deemed Such is the magic of personality when its proper proportions, a rare trait in these combined with a seeing eye and a singing days of so much per word. So Mario pen. The names of her characters, whimhad the honor of reading some passages in sically enough, she usually chose from the the careers of Daddy and Judy that no telephone-book, but the characters themone else will ever see.

selves were always taken from life both in Jean Webster's large-hearted interest her fiction and in her play-writing. in humanity was always the actuating mo- She had evolved a thorough technic; she tive of her pen. There is a pretty play was master of the tools she wrought with ; of sentiment in everything she wrote, but and at the time of her death she lacked her wholesome sense of humor always only complete maturity of mind and exsaved her from sentimentality, and no perience to achieve the great things she writer of our time was more skilful than was potentially capable of. As it is, what she in those pleasing contrasts of humor she has left us will stand the test of time, and pathos that are characteristic of mod- I believe, as the best of its kind. ern American fiction.

Only a few intimates know of the wide Jean Webster was in no sense a re- benefactions and the generous giving of former. “Daddy-Long-Legs” was the time and thought that filled the days of spontaneous creation of her brain, in- her busy life. But those who have caught spired, no doubt, by her passionate love of in her writings the friendliness and good children. As a play, even more than in humor of her attitude toward life will not book form, it did more good than a be surprised to know that she lived as she thousand tracts in pointing the need of wrote. And there is poignant pathos in institutional reforms. Its effect was so the fact that this sturdy optimist who did immediate and so wide-spread that the so much in her later years for the cause of author found herself at the center of a childhood should at the last have given reform movement. As a result she wrote her life for a little child. D. Z. D.

To J. W.
EAN WEBSTER went in golden, glowing June,

Upon a full-pulsed, warm-breathed, vital day,
With rich achievement luring her to stay,

Putting her keen, kind pen aside too soon
In the ripe promise of her ardent noon.

Yet, sturdy-souled and whimsical and gay,
I think she would have chosen it that way,

On the high-hill note of her life's clear tune.
And while gray hearts grow green again with mirth,

And wakened joy and beauty go to find

The small, blue-ginghamed lonely ones of earth,
While charm and cheer and color work their will

In the glad gospel that she left behind,
She will be living, laughing with us still.

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