Puslapio vaizdai

soon through with it. In most cases it ends at or before adolescence.

gage on him, a measure of his fortitude.

Let me illustrate with a story. In my camp were two or three groups, some Boy Scouts, some Woodcrafters. A youngster of twelve who wore the proud nickname of Hawkeye came to us, and at once applied for full membership in the Woodcraft tribe. I said:

This dream period seems to correspond with a stage of our racial development, an age of mysticism and of simple, actual contact with elementals. I am unable to place it definitely or historically, but I know that it must be dealt with gently and reverently, not "flogged out of them," as was urged by certain teachers of my own young days. Woodcraft's symbolism and activities seek in countless ways to turn this transient mysticism of the growing youth to good account.

One no longer questions the sanity of the play instinct, as was done in my youth, but there are others equally strong which are still taboo. For example, the instinct to initiate a newcomer. It is not simply a human habit; it is world-wide wherever there is a social group of animals. A new hen in the barnyard, a new horse in the pasture, or a new hound in the pack is initiated by the others; that is, is bullied, hustled about, and often maltreated until its merits and powers are measured, and the rest know just which it can lick and which be licked by. That is, its social status is fixed. The impulse is universal. There is a real instinct to initiate.

"If you enter the Woodcraft, you will have to face an initiation; if you enter the Boy Scouts, you will not. Now, which is it?"

"I want to be initiated," he replied promptly. They always do; it gives a chance to prove their fortitude.

"All right. Now, Hawkeye, what is your besetting sin?"

"I dunno; I guess I got a bunch of them," he answered.

"Yes, most of us have. But what do the fellows in camp say?"

Hawkeye looked at the sky and the grass, then said:

"The fellows all say I talk too much."

"Oh, ho! Now I am getting the facts. Your initiation must hit you where you are weakest. What are you doing to-morrow?"

"It is my day to wash the dishes and help the cook," he replied.

"A very good day to initiate you," was my answer. "Now this is what you are to do: continue your life and

When first I had to face it, and work in camp as planned, and for six could not suppress it, I said:

"Very good; if it must be, it shall be, but I will take charge of it. I will make it official and public; proper authorities shall prescribe and apply the initiation tests. Now we have a dozen initiations all aimed at giving the candidate and his companions a

hours do not open your mouth to speak a word. Sign or write if you like, but not one word of speech. Now, are you man enough to face it?" "Yes, sir."

"Remember now, it is not too late to go back. You can enter the Boy Scouts without initiation."

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His face was working as he said in sponse. accents of deep humiliation:

"I broke my vow."


"I spoke."

"Humph, you did, did you? You spoke? You could n't keep silent for six hours and you think you can join the Woodcraft heroes. I suppose you would take an initiation that a six-year-old girl could take; that would be about your size."

"Well, the fellows all laid traps for me," he blubbered as the tears ran. "Of course they did; that is part of it."

"Will you let me try again?" "No; certainly not. You failed. Go.

Go away and come back when you are older and wiser; come back in about a week."

"I can't come back in a week. Mother says I must come home Saturday."

"Well, that makes a difference," I said. "I don't want you to go back under the shadow of disgrace. I'll give you one more chance." Then I read him a lecture on citizenship and self-control, and wrote a note to the officer of the day, "Hawkeye is to

"Blunderer! Don't you see you have failed again?"

Then he broke down and wept. "I thought I had to answer when you spoke to me," he said.

After another rating I said:

"Now I'm going to overlook that, because I laid a trap for you, but you have lost fifteen minutes with your foolishness. Give me that paper." I took it and changed the date to read, "beginning at 11."

He received it in silence with a happy grin. That day he had a trying time, but at nine o'clock he was brought into my lodge triumphant; he had kept his mouth shut for six hours. His initiation was passed. His self-control proved, he was on the way to join the Woodcrafters.

Thus we gratify the instinct of initiation, provide some fun for the camp, and no one suffers harm.

There are three rules for having fun that we stick to closely.

First, your fun must be made, not bought with money. Our American boys have the idea that you can't have fun without spending money. We teach them to make their fun.

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There is an ancient and primitive custom that we have adopted of allowing our members, through some exploit, to win a name. This is the highest honor that can be conferred at the Council Fire. It is doubly desired by those unfortunates who are plagued by an evil nickname, for conferring the council name means wiping out all nicknames.

At one time we gave these too easily, but now we hold the honor so high that not more than two in a camp of fifty boys can win this honor in a summer, and the night before receiving this honorable name the candidate must keep vigil alone, far off in the woods.

About ten years ago there came into my camp a band of boys from a near city. One of them was a singular gawky youngster with some unpleasant habits that had won for him an equally unpleasant nickname, to which, however, he was quite indifferent. He was good-natured, self-reliant, and well liked, though laughed at. After two weeks the band were leaving. Ned came to me and said:

"May I stay awhile?"

"Why, you would be alone," I said. "I don't care. I like it. I have my books."

"I don't like boys to be alone in camp, but you may stay if you do not go in swimming alone."

So he stayed on. The next year the same gang came, and he stayed on three weeks alone, and the next year longer, and so on for five years. Meanwhile the uncouth twelve year-old lad had shot up into a seventeenyear-old stripling, six feet tall, thin and awkward, but with a square jaw and a clear eye that told of a strong soul within. That year he came on July 4, and when his companions returned, on September 1 he had been six weeks alone in camp. Tall and supple in figure, with something in face and in eyes that told of inner power, his appearance made a deep impression on them. They came to me and said:

"He has grown to be quite a fellow. Don't you think he has won a name?"

"Yes," I replied, "but maybe he does n't want it. He's different from other boys."

When asked, Ned said:

"There's nothing I 'd like better." "Good," I said; "but you will have to keep your vigil first. That is, sit alone by a fire all night up in the hills from sundown to sunrise, not sleeping, eating, smoking, reading, speaking, or going far away."

He was ready, and at sundown we led him to the vigil rock, gave him two blankets, a poncho, a hatchet, two matches, and some water to drink.

At eight next morning he was sent for. As he stepped into the assembled council I asked a formal and perfectly unnecessary question:

"Have you kept your vigil?"

His answer was quiet and simple: "I have."

Then one of the councilors said:

"Tell us about it. What did you feel?"

"No," I interrupted, "we have no right to ask such a question. When a man goes up alone into the mountain to keep vigil, he gets very close to the Great Spirit, and if a message is coming to him, it is on such a night that it comes. That is a private matter between them. We have no right to ask questions about it. Never theless, if he wishes to tell us, we shall be only too glad to listen."

"On this one," I said, "is written the ugly nickname, and I now commit it to the flames. Let no one even so much as hint at it. Now, acting for the council, I confer on you a name that reflects the opinion they have formed of you. 'Biminiji,' an old Indian name which means, 'Not afraid to walk alone.' 'Biminiji,' I salute you. This goes down on our roll of honor." The rest of the council saluted him. He was deeply moved. He tried to speak, but could

He spoke as though under strong not at first. Later he said: emotion.

"Not now. talk now."

"It marked the time when I got my

Some day; but I can't first glimpse of things spiritual. Some day I shall try to tell you what it meant to me."

We waited, and at length he went on: "This I should like to say to the fellows. I did not know what I was going to. I got light on myself that I did not expect. I know now why the young knight in the days of chivalry kept vigil before taking his vows. If I had known what it was, I should have taken it long ago; and, if it is permitted, I shall take it soon again."

We waited awhile, then I said: "Ned, you went to your vigil before you were to be named. Do you wish us to proceed with the naming?" I did not know but that, having had a spiritual experience, he might now think the naming trivial.

But he said:

"More than ever."

Every instinct of man proves the value of song; ceremony; color; the impressiveness of sensuous beauty; the joy in art and laughter; incense, with its appeal to memory through the nostrils; penance, with its soul satisfaction; fasting, with its body purgation and its spirit domination; vigil, with its spiritual insight; belief in the goodness and friendliness of the Creator. These things are established in human nature. These are the things of the world invisible, these are the thoughts that find their home in the circle about the fire. These are the fourth lamp of the Woodcraft fire, the things of the spirit. Who can expect to make a man with these left out? Who can expect an institution

So I produced two pieces of birch- to endure that dismisses these as

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The following pantomimic play by Oscar Wilde has hitherto escaped publication simply because it was not written for publication, but as a personal gift to Mrs. Chan-Toon, who has not seen fit to release it until now, even for inclusion in his collected works.

Mrs. Chan-Toon was Mabel Cosgrove, daughter of Ernest Cosgrove of Lancaster Gate, a great friend of the Wilde family. She married one of Oscar's friends, Chan-Toon, a nephew of the King of Burma, and a barrister of the Middle Temple. When the play was sent to Mrs. Chan-Toon, it was accompanied by the following letter:

My dear Mrs. Chan-Toon:

Tite St. Chelsea,
Nov. 27th, 1894.

Burmah calls to me.

I am greatly repentant being so long in acknowledging receipt of "Told on the Pagoda." I enjoyed reading the stories and much admired their quaint and delicate charm. Under another cover I am sending you a fairy play called "For Love of the King" just for your own amusement. It is the outcome of long and luminous talks with your distinguished husband in the Temple and on the river, in the days when I was meditating writing a novel as beautiful and as intricate as a Persian praying rug. I hope that I have caught the atmosphere?

I should like to see it acted in your Garden House on some night when the sky is a sheet of violet and the stars like women's eyes. Alas! it is not likely.

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I was at Oakley St. on Thursday, my mother tells me that she sends you a letter nearly every week. Constance desires to be warmly remembered, while I, who am bathing my brow in the perfume of water lilies, lay myself at the feet of you and yours. OSCAR WILDE.

In the instance of the discovery of so interesting an unpublished manuscript, there is always the possibility that some may question its authenticity. We can only say that the manuscript has come into our hands from Mrs. Chan-Toon through a trustworthy intermediary. It will, in any event, be diverting to watch the critics discuss the question of its genuineness.-THE EDITOR.

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