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fore they were withdrawn depreciated to less than one all, does not this assignat business speak volumes for three hundredth of their face-value. Carlyle records modern science? Bankruptcy, we may say, was come, as that a hackney-coachman in Paris demanded six thou- in softening diffusion, in mild succession, was it hereby
the end of all Delusions needs must come: yet how gently, sand livres, about fifteen hundred dollars, as fare for made to fall;— like no all-destroying avalanche ; like a short ride, in the last days of the assignats. In re- gentle showers of a powdery impalpable snow, shower gard to the first issue, he says in the first volume of after shower, till all was indeed buried, and yet little was
destroyed that could not be replaced, be dispensed with! the “French Revolution":
To such length has modern machinery reached. BankWherefore, on the 19th day of December, a paper- standing miracle.
ruptcy we said was great; but indeed Money itself is a money of " Assignats," of Bonds secured, or assigned, on that Clerico-National Property, and unquestionably at least in payment of that,-is decreed: the first of a long The miracle of the assignats consisted in creating series of like financial performances, which shall astonish what appeared to be something out of nothing; bui it mankind. So that now, while old rags last, there shall be no lack of circulating medium: whether of commodi- returned in due season to nothing, leaving ruin and ties to circulate thereon is another question. But, after desolation behind it.
OPEN LETTERS. The Disputed Picture in Sparks's “Washington." be convinced that, unless they be the same, no two unre.
lated ladies ever so miraculously resembled each other, IN THE CENTURY for February, 1892, Mr. Charles or dressed so alike, even to the loops of the bow-knot at
Henry Hart undertakes to “refute” what is stated the breast, and ribbons floating out in the same way. I in my volume, “George Washington and Mount Ver- think, too, that Mr. Hart will admit that nothing less non,” concerning the error of Sparks in publishing a than a miracle could transform the lady of the Sparks picportrait of Washington's sister as that of his wife. But ture, especially as seen in my photograph from the origiMr. Hart, in his comparative study, deals with the wrong nal, into the Mrs. Washington by Charles Willson Peale picture! He contrasts the Sparks engraving with a pic- reproduced in his article in the February CENTURY. ture from Clarke County shown in our Centennial Loan It is not necessary for me to venture any theory as to Exhibition in 1889. Although to me it is plain that the the origin of the error in Sparks; but having some Virexhibited picture was meant for the same person as the ginia sentiment concerning the families connected by Sparks picture, it is a wretched daub, and looks like Mr. Hart with the matter, who are placed as I think in a some local artist's attempt to paint Betty Lewis in ad-false position, I must question the authenticity of his vanced age with the dress of her early portraits. How- statement that G. W. P. Custis and Mr. and Mrs. Lawever this may be, it is aside from the issue. The portrait rence Lewis are responsible for the publication in to be compared with the supposed Martha Washington Sparks. If indeed they believed the portrait to be that is the unquestionable Betty Lewis at Marmion, of which of Martha Washington, they may have got the notion an engraving appeared in THE CENTURY for April. from the book of Sparks, who might have got it from
A satisfactory comparison cannot, however, be made a negro housekeeper. None of them could remember between the two engravings. The Sparks engraver has Betty Lewis or Mrs. Washington at so early an age made the lady much younger than she is in the original, as that of the portrait, and they might easily have been and has slightly rearranged her beads, so far as I can misled. But were they misled? Mr. Custis does seem judge from a blue photograph of the original now be to allude to this portrait as that of his grandmother, but fore me. On the other hand, the Marmion lady appears evidently had no definite knowledge about it. He say older in black and white than in the original, which is it was painted in 1757 — the terrible year in which represented in New York by a full-sized copy, made Martha Custis, after the death of her two children, saw many years ago by a competent artist for the late Cap- her husband sinking into the grave. Is it to be suptain Coleman Williams, one of the Lewis family. Since posed that then, or in any of those years of affliction, this seeing the picture in the April CENTURY, I have closely bereaved mother and widow was painted in décollete compared the pictures again, and believe the only im- costume, and gayest colors, as shown in the original of portant difference between the undisputed Betty Lewis the Sparks picture? and the supposed Martha Washington is in a slight In 1855 Colonel Lewis Washington, who pointed out rearrangement of hair over the forehead. In the origi. the error in Sparks, made a careful investigation of all nals the two appear to be of the same age, and the the family pictures, and corresponded with Mr. Costis portraits were probably taken successively, Colonel on the subject. In a letter to Colonel Lewis Washing. Fielding Lewis ordering one picture of his bride for ton (August 4, 1855), Mr. Custis speaks of the " mahimself, another for her brother. In order to show that jestic” Betty Lewis, and adds, “There is a good por. they were not replicas, the artist has altered the hair trait of her.” To what portrait did he refer? Certainly slightly, and some few details ; the flower held in the not to the wretched daub with which alone Mr. Hart has right hand is changed, and the figure, standing in one compared the Sparks picture. No sane man could decase, is seated in the other. If Mr. Hart will call on me, scribe that as good, or its subject as majestic, Mr. Cus. he shall be shown the copy of the Marmion portrait be. tis could hardly mean Colonel Lewis Washington's own side the Sparks picture, and a photograph from the origi- picture of Betty Lewis. The “good portrait” may have mal represented by the latter. I do not doubt that he will been that at Marmion, whose characteristics he might
not remember. Or, finally, Mr. Custis may have been other words, the figures correspond, as they ought, with convinced in 1855, when Colonel Lewis Washington the facts of history and with the race movements. called his attention to the matter, that the portrait at The same principle holds true in regard to States. Arlington, which Sparks had engraved, was that of Communities cannot begin to produce native-born Betty Lewis.
ability until they have been in existence as communiMoncure D. Conway. ties for at least the lifetime of one generation. For this
reason the total amount of ability becomes less as we
pass from the old thirteen States to those founded just A Word More on the Distribution of Ability,
after the Revolution, and thence through the different In the abundant comment upon the article about stages until the newest States are reached, where prac“ The Distribution of Ability in the United States” tically nothing is shown in the tables, simply because which appeared in the September CENTURY, much crit- there has not been time for men and women to be born icism was mingled. To reply to this criticism in de- and to grow to maturity, and the active and able part of tail would be needless, and would occupy too much the population has of necessity come from outside. The space. But all of it, I think, can be met by a few general criticism that birthplace should not be the test for the statements, and the more easily as most of it proceeds classification by communities seems hardly to require from a misapprehension of the original inquiry and of an answer, for a moment's reflection ought to convince the system upon which it was conducted.
any one that no other is practicable. Place of birth is In the first place, I did not create the statistics; I no test of race, although it may be an indication, but merely collected them, and they are as free from error it is a test for determining the community which proas it is possible to be in tallying and classifying over duced a given man or woman. If we attempt to credit fifteen thousand names. I should have been glad to a person to the community in which he grew up or was give figures which would have gratified every one's educated, or in which he achieved his reputation, our local and race sensibilities; and if I had been making up only guide is discretion, and the classification could be the lists as a work of the imagination solely to please disputed in every instance. The place of birth may myself, I should not have reached the conclusion that sometimes be misleading as to the community which Connecticut among the States and the Huguenot French really produced a man or woman, but these errors are among the race stocks showed the highest percentage comparatively few; they balance, or tend to balance, one of ability. I gave the results exactly as I found them, another, and the test itself is not open to dispute and is and had no idea what they would be until all the names not a matter of personal discretion. had been tallied, classified, and finally counted.
In addition to these general points, there is one speAnother criticism has come from a failure to recog- cific objection which I wish to meet. Some of my critics nize the plainly stated system upon which the work was said that it was not surprising that New England and done. I adopted, for instance, a certain race classifica- New York showed such high figures, because “ Appletion. It is perfectly fair to criticize that classification ton's Cyclopædia of National Biography” was a Noras such, but it is absurd to say that I have misrepre- thern and Eastern publication, and its editors were a sented facts because the results of a different classifica- New-Yorker and a New-Englander. It was intimated tion are not the same as mine. For example, I classified that if the “Cyclopædia” had been edited and published the Irish and the Scotch-Irish as two distinct race elsewhere, and by other persons, the result would have stocks, and I believe the distinction to be a sound one been different, and that the place of publication and the historically and scientifically. It is possible, of course, unconscious bias of the editors had given the States which to take another view of this arrangement of races, and showed the best results an undue advantage. This critiperhaps to defend it. But to add a large part of the cism was susceptible of a test which I have accordingly Scotch-Irish to the Irish, as one of my critics has done, made. In regard to American ability the “Encyclopæand then to accuse me of misrepresentation because his dia Britannica,” whatever its merits or defects other. result based on one classification differs from mine wise, is at least a disinterested witness, unswayed by based on another and entirely different one, is unfair either the State or race partialities of the United States. and meaningless, and does not touch my conclusions. In the index of the “ Encyclopædia Britannica ” I find The Scotch-Irish from the north of Ireland, Protestant 317 names of Americans, who are not merely mentioned in religion and chiefly Scotch and English in blood and in lists, but of whom some account is given either under name, came to this country in large numbers in the their own names or in connection with some general eighteenth century, while the people of pure Irish stock subject. Of these at least 250 would be placed without came scarcely at all during the colonial period, and did dispute among the 300 most distinguished Americans. not immigrate here largely until the present century was of the remaining 67 the right of some to be in the list well advanced. There seems no good reason why a would be disputed, while that of others would be repeople who were not here except in very small num- jected, by American judges. These last names, howbers should perform the impossible feat of producing ever, whether removed or left in, are so divided among more ability than races which were here and which out- races and States as to make no difference in the general numbered them many times. In the table of persons result. These 317 names, therefore, selected by an born in the United States the number of pure Irish stock entirely outside authority, I have classified and arranged is small because there was very little of it. On the other just as I did those in the original article, and the results hand, in the emigrant table, which represents ability are given below. These tables explain themselves. It after the Irish movement began, the Irish stand high. will be seen that they not only confirm the general The Scotch-Irish and Huguenots show the reverse. trend and results of the Appleton tables, but accentuate They stand very high in the tables of persons born the differences among the States shown by the latter, here, and almost disappear in the emigrant table. In and fully sustain the conclusions of the original article
97 30 69 3 28 7 26 9 8 21 7 8 3
7 93 35 8
Note on “The Distribution of Ability." 6
The writer of “The Distribution of Ability in the United States " has omitted to mention one circumstance which strikes me as a very material one. Be one's ability what it may, it is the pen alone that can confer upon him even the immortality of the biographi. cal dictionary. Nearly all the writers and chroniclers
of the country have been Northerners, and largely 1317 New-Englanders. As a consequence, local prominence,
of whatever sort or degree, stood a much better chance there of falling in the way of the encyclopedia-maker, than if achieved among a people with whom literature was by far the most backward of all pursuits.
It has been said that a happy people have no history. It is self-consciousness and discontent, rather than naturalness and cheerfulness, that fill the libraries. Thus
the Southerner, I opine, has come to be a maker of 157 books.
But this is somewhat from the point. It is of course impossible even to estimate the effect of a State's back
wardness in literature on the fame of her sons. That 87 it must have some weight the author of the article
mentioned will, I am sure, admit. Sallust said of the Athenians :
The exploits of the Athenians doubtless were great; and
yet I believe they were somewhat less than fame would 54 have us conceive of them. But because Athens abounde
in noble writers, the acts of that republic are celebrated throughout the whole world as most glorious; and the gallantry of those heroes who performed them has had the good fortune to be thought as transcendent as the clo quence of those who have described them.
Darid Dodge. KITTRELI., North CAROLINA.
9 34 2
This was the case with Mrs. Lucretia Moore. She was see no churches nor hear nothin' except jest what we a resident of a small town in eastern Maine, and one fall, can see here right along?"
greatly to the surprise of her neighbors, she announced “Of course I did. I see all there was to see, went to her intention of visiting a niece who lived in Boston. a fair and a picture-show, and nigh about wore myself
"I've got all wore out seein' the same folks from out. But, there, 't was n't what I expected, and I did n't year's end to year's end,” she said, “and I 'm a-goin' expect 't would be; so when Maria took me to see that where I sha'n't see a cow nor a neighbor fer a good show I jest begun to feel to home and enjoy myself
I don't s'pose 't will be likely to get so fur east as this, Aunt Lucretia was warmly welcomed. She was taken but if it should, I'd be willin' to pay Caleb's fare in to see Bunker Hill Monument (which was not as tall jest so he could see how he looks in that old linen as she expected), to the new Public Library, the Art duster. I'd give considerable to know that old feller's Museum, and to all the noted churches in the city. name; but I came off ’n’ left my libretto that had the
Still the old lady did not seem to be well entertained. names printed on it, and I can't seem to recall it.”
Alice Turner. woman who had never been beyond the limits of her
The Touch of Spring. native town, was blasé and indifferent in the extreme. One afternoon she went with her niece to see “ The
I HEARD), as the wind went by me,
A breath, or was it a sigh? Old Homestead.” She evidently enjoyed it, and that
Something too vague for rhyming, evening had a great deal to say about the play.
Too tuneless for melody. “There, that play was the most natural thing I've seen since I left home,” she said in a satisfied tone.
Light— lighter than moth-wings floating,
And yet, as it swept along, "I jest wish I could remember what that old feller's
It wrote on my heart a poem, name was that looked so much like Caleb Sprowl,” and
And drew from my soul a song. the old lady chuckled reminiscently. “If any of you are calculatin' to take me round any more, you can take me
Mary Ainge De Vere. to see that piece again. I don't want to urge it upon you,
Could n't Get By. but I should be perfectly willin' to go 'most any time.” Upon her return home, Aunt Lucretia had but little
I tried to climb Parnassus high, to say of her visit. But to each inquiring neighbor she
But gave up in despair ;
For at the foot 't was crowded by would relate, as nearly as she could recall them, the dif
The asses grazing there. ferent scenes in “The Old Homestead.” "Land, Mrs. Moore!” finally exclaimed an old lady
John Kendrick Bangs.
When Love is coming, coming,
Meet him with songs and joy, Bid him alight and enter,
Flatter and feast the boy ; Crown him with gems and roses,
Charm him with winning wiles, Bind him with lovely garlands
And kisses, and smiles. When Love is going, going,
Leaving you all alone, Craving, the fickle tyrant,
Some newer slave and throne, Hinder him not, but quickly,
Even though your heart may bleed, Saddle a horse for his journey,
And bid him God-speed!
In the Wintergreen Patch.
One morning, ere springtime was yet on the wane,
'T is said a wizard in the days of old
Samuel R. Elliott.
He held a firefly to the page, and read
Edith M. Thomas.
A Man's Woman.
She is not sweet, the woman that I love;
Nor is she fair,
From feet to hair.
To the Lamp-post!
She is not fair, the woman that I love ;
Nor is she wise,
Held in her eyes.
She is not wise, the woman that I love ;
Nor is she sweet,
Flame without heat.
Not fair, nor sweet, nor wise, is she I love.
Beyond a name,
No! Perish the heartless reviewer
Margaret Sutton Briscoe.
THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK.