Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

a

Samos, in Russia and in Northern ing, loathsome jackals which dog their India.

footsteps, in the breeding season, to The vast African deserts have prob- the most remote and barren wastes. ably afforded the only conditions The caprice of man has given the which rendered it possible for the os- southern variety of the ostrich a fresh trich to survive. Its hardihood, its lease of being And the foam-like speed, its wonderful power of vision, plumes, the very incarnation of purity and, above all, its fecundity, have and loveliness, are as though blown enabled it to triumph over extraordi- like derelict blossoms hither and thither nary difficulties. Probably a toll of four upon the unlovely, brown, rigorous fifths of the young is paid to the skulk- face of the unregarding wilderness.

a

THE BRIDE

BY RUTH COMFORT MITCHELL

Farewell to himself
That I left in his sleep,
And God save him kindly
And let him sleep deep.

And more shame to me,

Creeping out like a mouse
A seven weeks' bride
From my husband's house.

But I was born of the eastern world
And I'll never be knit to the western places,
And the hunger 's on me, fierce and keen,
For the morning look of the eastern faces;
And oh, my grief, but himself is queer,
With his cold, soft words and his cold, hard caring!
(It must have been I was daft myself
With the thought of the silks I would be wearing.)

Well, there'll be staring to see me home,
And there'll be clack and a nine days' talking;
But for all the binding book and bell,
This is the road that I must be walking.

And when they will ask him,
'But where is your bride?'
Then he will be weeping
The slow tears of pride.

And when they are prying,

But where was the blame?'

It's he will be blushing
The thin blush of shame.

a

But I'm destroyed with a homesick heart,
And the likes of me would best bide single!
I'll step it brisk till the evening damp,
And I'll sleep snug in a deep, soft dingle.
And I'll win back to the eastern world
By a way himself could never follow;
And I'll be lepping the streams for joy
And lifting a tune by hedge and hollow.
And if they'll look on the morning's morn,
Rising up in the sweet young weather,
Then they'll see me and the darling day
Footing it over the Hill together!

UNCLE SAM

BY MARGARET SHERWOOD

They who grow sad over our lack terpret him, that, as the years go on, of imaginative insight into the finer the latter expression of chivalric quest meanings of existence, and our conse- seems to deepen and to gain upon the quent barrenness in imaginative crea- other? tion, may find themselves rebuked, and Inexhaustible are his activities, and delightfully rebuked, in looking at our of endless variety the moments of cartoons in magazine and in newspa- thought and of action in which the soul per. Can one be wrong in thinking that of the nation has been thus caught and here, in these will-o'-the-wisp flashes fixed. Uncle Sam, farmer, householder, of light and of humor on life, one finds and landed proprietor, has domestic a keenness of penetration, insight, and responsibilities upon a scale never command of means of expression per- known before. One sees him, too comhaps not found elsewhere in American placently,

placently, - in a rich-Jonathan mo

life?

ment, - riding the reapers and gatherBest of all the cartoons which both ing in inexhaustible harvests; one sees reveal and point the way in our na- him waking sleepily from a Rip-vantional existence, and certainly the best Winkle drowsiness, to guard his forests among the symbols which represent and waterfalls from despoiling hands; great nations, stands Uncle Sam. De- or, with a face less firm than it should lightful and inexhaustible is the play have been, settling a dispute among of imaginative conception in him and the children, perhaps in a threatened about him; in no other representative nation-wide strike. character is personality so clearly de- There is often a fatherly or grandfined; in no other is the range of ex- fatherly touch about him; guardian of pression and of action so great. In is western lands and seas, he has not only steady wear of stars and stripes, with his own but his step-children to look his face constantly changing yet true after. Here he goes in the guise of a to type, one finds in him much of the rich old gentleman, fantastic, almost shrewd, old-fashioned Yankee, yet foolishly good-natured, holding by the more of Don Quixote. How many are hand a small colored boy whom he has the pictures wherein these two chief adopted, — the Danish West Indies, strains in him struggle with each other, promising him a gold watch and that keen, bargaining expression blend- chain; there he sits, impatient, baffled, ing in puzzling fashion with the wist- with fingers in ears, mouth grim, and ful look of errantry, of one who stakes hair in flying disorder, listening perall in a perhaps mistaken endeavor to force to the children's row of Mexico, help! Is it through a process of nation- Cuba, and Santo Domingo dancing beal growth in Uncle Sam, or a deepen- fore him in the guise of sprawling ining penetration on the part of those fants, with toot, toot, toot of cymbal, who irreverently and affectionately in- drum and horn Europe on the long

[ocr errors]

distance telephone and Uncle Sam un- words save phrase or brief sentence, able to hear.

there is no need of sound issuing from One cannot touch the many aspects those thin, flexible lips to make his of his whimsical, doubting, deter- meaning known. His constant changes mined, sensitive face. Nearly the whole of expression suggest his great vitality, range of human feeling, of human ex- his sensitiveness to ideas - for he is

pression is there. Fear he knows, and quick and flexible, and capable of undeep sympathy; his hand is ever swift imagined growth. There is nothing to his pocket upon tidings of distress about him irrevocably fixed and deteranywhere upon the green earth. Per- mined; his task is yet to do. Let the plexity and he are oldest friends; to greatest come to him; he will achieve wavering he is no stranger, and he is it! The oddest mixture of worldliness blind at times, yet not incurably blind. and unworldliness that earth has ever Honestly he tries to secure a right seen, he is in this long struggle for the balancing of the scales of justice for his game, for the stakes, for the fun to be multifarious offspring, yet often finds got in the playing, for the wrongs to this delicate adjustment puzzling be- be righted, as, chivalry in shirt-sleeves, yond his power to endure. Swift are he unsheathes his scythe-like sword. the changes whereby his Hamlet mo- If one finds a great range of expresments of indecision slip into his Napo sion and of determination in the Uncle leonic moments of great deeds. Some- Sam of days of peace, following the thing of woman's intuition is in him, ways of duty or of pleasure, there is a and sometimes, too, woman's over- still greater range, and a profounder ready action in the line of eager and revelation, in the Uncle Sam of warsudden conviction; yet again, sinewy, time. A Dutch cartoon gives us a virile, he shows the muscles stiffening brawny, square-shouldered Uncle Sam, along his arm, and he is become the with a grim, heroic, determined face, very incarnation of lean and powerful wearing not a shade of thought, and

a masculinity, moving determinedly to grasping a strong sword with a heavy a goal seen steadily from the beginning. arm; yet to us who know him he is

He is usually and rightly pictured hardly this untroubled man of wrath. all slimness and agility; they err great. Rather, in this great crisis, we feel him ly, and fail to see, who make him cor- catching his breath, with something in pulent. Grossness is not in him, de- his look of a Thoreau, suddenly conspite the swollen fortunes of the many fronted with a grisly practical problem, under his protection; and they are dull and as unprepared as he if surprised of mind and vision who find it there. by the beat of drums and the tramp of He is all will, dynamic force, giving armed men when cooking his lone supan impression of endless power and per of Indian meal, busy with dreams resourcefulness, working out in many of peace. There is something of conways, asking for new worlds to con- sternation in his face, as of one who quer, beseeching difficulties, his energy can recall no weapon save jack-knife or sometimes applied to airy nothing- pitch-fork, and who cannot think where nesses, for there is even in him a ten- either may be at this moment. The dency to tilt at windmills when nothing long knight-errantry among homely else is doing; he is sometimes erratic, things has hardly prepared him for and sometimes hits the nail on the this plunge into fighting ranks among head as it has never been hit before. the armies of the world. He is a bit

Always a man of deeds, never of awkward in putting on his armor; in

6

this great land of peace only straw soul of him is another sketch, where, helmets are needed; the look of iron beating plough-shares into swords, he comes slowly to his face as he recog- is saying, 'I hate this barbarous stuff, nizes the need of forging helmets of but if I must, I must!' So he toils, his iron. Here is a bewildered Uncle Sam sleeves rolled up, the wind of destiny up a tree, a German wolf symbolizing blowing his beard, his face all resoluthe submarine campaign, at the foot, tion above his starry vest, his arm all while a satchel labeled 'merchandise' inspired muscle. is at hand, and the cartoon bears the Again we see him, weary and forlegend, 'Gentleman now holding re- spent, the hair on his brow wet with persponsible position wants chance to spiration, wading intrepidly through travel.'

the sea, with a large bag of food on his There is a touch of vulgarity — is it shoulder, a bag of dollars under his arm, in subject or in artist? — in a London

а

the coast-line of America in the distance, Uncle Sam (Land and Water), as, hands pity and resolve in his tired face, as, in pockets, cigar in mouth, swallow- *submarines or no submarines,' he cartails impertinently flying, he steps up ries aid to stricken Europe. Here, as in to a burly German with a mixture of another, depicting Uncle Sam climbing bravery and bravado, saying, ‘Well!' out of the slough, and just beginning Yet we who read his mind from within to get his feet on firm ground, with his know that he has not for a moment eyes on the hills ahead, he takes on held this attitude of swagger.

the aspect of the immortal Pilgrim, Well we recognize the truth of the progressing slowly, and in burdened puzzled Uncle Sam in a sketch by one fashion, toward that heaven of being of our own cartoonists, as, with revol- of service which is the only Heavenly ver in hand, arms uplifted, he is held City that modern eyes discern - and by a peace-at-any-price personage in a heaven enough it is for the present, if

Quaker hat, while a grim hand holds a we but reach it. v U-boat at the water's edge, and a ban- In all this our own artists can best

dit-like personage cries, 'Hands up!' depict him: oddly true in externals as And we know, and share, his sadness are many of the caricatures coming of heart, as in another he crowds Old- from foreign lands, sympathetic as are Lady Pacifist over the precipice into many of the cartoons done nowadays

in England and in France, all are Springing to his ship-building, toil- drawn more or less from the outside. ing at the forge, policing the seas, sadly. Only his own sons can truly interpret calling out his boys, he has known no Uncle Sam and the grand national admoment's rest since his decision was venture of democracy; Uncle Sam and made. Finer than in many of the the epic, sometimes the comic epic, of humorous cartoons he is in James republicanism; Uncle Sam, inheritor Montgomery Flagg's war poster, cry- and protector of the Rights of Man, ing out to youth to enlist in the navy. of all the revolutionary ferment of the The direct, commanding finger, the eighteenth century, of all the struggle steady mouth, the piercing, deter- of the nineteenth toward justice and mined eyes, hint something of his best, equality and opportunity. Who else as firm as he would like forever to would be wise enough to see him as be while Brother Jonathan's practical Laocoön, his spent sons, the Senate genius carries out something of Don and the House, beside him, all writhQuixote's inspiration. True to the very ing in the coils of the giant serpent,

war.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »