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two? Have they not legs and millions? Have they not millions and legs? Mentality is not in fashion. It is a question of legs and millions. Let us have these things, and all else shall be added unto us.
This family is also the possessor of two "boys." One of these "boys" would be thirty-two, were it not for his millions. As it is, he is "such a dear child." The other is still in swaddling clothes. He is only a year older than I. The "boys" can "shake a leg or two" also. They are so clever. Moreover, they are "nice" to the girls. They work in "dear father's office," when there are no ballgames and the court is too wet for their dainty feet. The "boys" must not get their feet wet. They would most surely die of pneumonia. Their grandfather, a fine old gentleman long since departed, came to our town on a snowy winter's day with four cents in his pocket and no coat on his back. He survived this terrible exposure for upwards of fifty years, but we have improved since then. His grandchildren would die of pneumonia, if they should take a shower oftener than twice a week. So far as I know, they never even approach this dangerous limit. Truly, progress has come upon us.
I should wrong the town if I did not point out one other family, also within the view from my study windows. Their house is more than a hundred years old. Their trees are yet older. Flowers are arranged in colonial profusion in their yard. The master of the house is an old colonial. He is not very rich, but has quite enough to satisfy his wants. A quiet library far off from the street contains his favorite books. There are only about a thousand of them, but one can readily see that they have been read. The colonel loved to talk about them, but for several years now he has been too ill to read and too weak to talk much. His wife reads to him occasionally, but his attention. seems to wander. It is symbolic of
the passing of the good old times. Nobody reads the good old books any more. Everybody's attention seems to wander. There are so many new and interesting things to think about such things as the price of wool, the latest dancing pumps, the base-ball scores, the fickle debutante of last season's offering. Why read books, when it is so easy to be a book? Realism is the thing. Live your own fic
For five summers now, I have come home only to see things more muddled than before. All the millionaires are now away at the seashore, at the mountains, in Europe. The other classes, for the most part, are too weary for social contact with others. Practically everyone is in the same mental condition that he was ten years ago; those who are not have no mental condition. Practically everyone knows quite enough, does not wish to know any more, and would like to forget half of what he does know. A pitiable condition indeed!
For three long months each year, I am lonely for kindred spirits who have interests beyond business, and dancing, and base-ball and gossip. But here there are no spirits, only bodies, big, fat, and sloppy-no gods, but Mammon and Mrs. Grundy-no books, but the cheap novel, the Ledger, the Dance Programme, and the Score Card. All these are doubtless good in their way, in fact, I like them myself, but from them as a steady diet, good Lord, deliver us!
To be sure, I have a few intimates of a more or less satisfactory character, but when I say that, with the exception of an elderly Methodist minister, two Catholic priests, three young men of about my own age, my parents and relations, I have spoken to no living soul except in the most trivial terms, you may begin to appreciate my loneliness. When I add that the above-mentioned individuals are generally occupied when I am free, you may begin to understand my growing heaviness of spirit. I am becoming in
creasingly sentimental in consequence. My friends, the Roman priests, always warn me when there is to be a funeral mass. I always attend. Funeral masses encourage a mood that I am fast coming to like!
I have intimated that companionship with men of my sort is a necessary part of my life. My town does not give it to me. Occasionally, but all too frequently, a letter from a friend brings in a ray of happiness. Occasionally again, I find it possible to visit one of these friends, but most of my time is spent in my study. As a social organization for the exchange of ideas, my town is a failure. The great city is easily its superior. A sort of specious progress has entered upon us. Like the Troll community in Peer Gynt, we all must have our tails, said tails being golden eagles. Like the Saetter-girls, our maidens must dance across the stage of life. Like Peer Gynt, our men must ship heathen gods to the Chinese and missionaries to convert them. Then, like Peer Gynt, all must go to the Buttonmoulder, for none has the character, in good or in bad, to live forever.
Such are the men and women, yet many of them are college graduates. Diplomas from Yale, Brown, Wellesley, and Mount Holyoke grace our "study" walls. The only Harvard graduate of the town is a son of the Lutheran minister and he, under the kind dispensation of Providence, finds it convenient to summer elsewhere.
Proper relations with men being lacking, I naturally turn much attention to books. The few hundred volumes in my home are all thoroughly familiar; the newer books in my collection are all in Cambridge. Thus, the public library is my only recourse.
We have a public library, of course. All country towns have them. Ours is housed in a very fine building, a memorial gift to the town. One walks. up fine granite steps, between formal gardens, to a marble façade. Surely so stately a building should hold a
veritable treasure of books, but such is not entirely the case.
About twelve thousand volumes comprise the collection. The stacks are open to the public. Books in English, German, Polish, Italian and French are on the shelves. The foreign books are intended for the town's large foreign population. For the most part, they are of the popular sort. The English books are largely of an ephemeral nature, though standard books make up perhaps ten per cent of the collection. The library is notably weak in philology, in art, in science, and in philosophy. It is fairly rich in essays, in religion, and in history. I find it impossible to get the newer books of Conrad, of Hardy, and of Moore. The books of Galsworthy are entirely absent, as are many of the works of the older masters. Fielding is represented only by Tom Jones. I have asked in vain for Bergson. I was referred to Münsterberg!
The records show that Sienkiewitz's Quo Vadis in several volumes has had a great vogue among the Poles of the town. I was much impressed, until I was told that Volume I had never been out and that Volume IV was by far the most popular! A characteristic order of reading was as follows: Volume IV, Volume VI. Volume II, Volume V. Let me add that the Poles are not the only philistines in the town. The volumes of Scott have not been out for over a year, some of them for over two years. Conrad's Lord Jim lacks readers, while that libelous book The Wandering Jew-present to the extent of two copies!-has had a very large circulation. Perhaps everyone should at some time read The Wandering Jew, but does this not also apply to Lord Jim?
Money is somehow found to buy one or two copies of all the new novels, but the library is too poor to buy Francke's History of German Literature. They cannot afford Bergson, although they have Münsterberg in
plenty. They have the Catholic Encyclopedia which, so far as I know, is never used, but they manage to do without so needful a work as a standard French dictionary. Really, the funds are sufficient, but the choice is bad. Why should they buy Münsterberg's Psychotherapy instead of Bergson's Creative Evolution? Why should they buy dozens of books on Africa, when they do not own a single volume on Alaska later than the early nineties? I have asked the head librarian these questions. She asserts that the library must cater to the demands of its users. Very well said, but she does not know the demands of her patrons. They do not want books on Africa, as their small circulation shows. Why does she not try Alaska for a change, or even Mexico?
In spite of all its defects, I have happened upon many a treat while browsing in our library's stacks-I had never read Trine until this Summer, nor yet William Morris-but whenever I particularly want a book for reference or what not, that book is sure to be among those that the library does not own.
Through lack of suitable books, I am thrown pretty much into magazine reading. Several of the magazines, I purchase myself. Others I find at the library. Magazine reading is good in its way, but it can hardly serve to replace weightier work. In the line of reading, I find myself nearly as badly off as in human companionship. I have found it desirable to make a deep study of some particular work during the summer. This year it is Faust; last year, it was Brand and Peer Gynt; the year before that, Shakespeare. This detailed study results in a profound appreciation of the few works examined. After all, this is perhaps the better way. But when an old lady asks what you think of What's-his-name's new novel, it is hard to confess ignorance of that novel's existence. It is, I suppose, the price one must pay for being "educated," for being a "highbrow."
Books and men! Would that they were both available here in this little town! They are not, so there is an end to that. Nature only is left, and I find that Nature is almost as attractive in the memory as in the reality. Really, I enjoy Nature almost as much in Cambridge as I do here. In Cambridge, I enjoy the memory of days spent in the woods; here, I spend them in the woods. When I feel particularly lonely, I get out my old bicycle and start for the uncut forests.
About three miles from the town is a small pond. The roadway divides it into two parts. One part is clear as crystal; into this part, a brook flows. Almost any day in Summer, it serves a useful function as a "swimmin' hole." The other part is dotted with stumps. Lily pads cover its surface; beautiful lilies open every morning, spreading a sickly-sweet perfume. Frogs and lizards are not lacking. Great black snakes creep cautiously along the shores, darting away at a strange approach. It is to this pond that I most often turn my wheel. It is there that I have my open air study. It is there that I dream my daydreams.
In early morning, this spot is cool and pleasant. From the banks, I like to watch the water-bugs skim across the surface; I like to watch the lilies unfold; I like to watch the butterflies flit from place to place; I like to watch the birds taking their morning bath. All is interesting.
It is as noon-day comes along that the snakes come down to the shore in search for edibles. Though I do not like them, I find them interesting in a vague sort of way. They never come very near me, if they did well, I suppose I should run. In the bright sunlight, one occasionally sees great turtles climb upon the stumps. Occasionally, too, game birds hover over the water, or swoop down into it momentarily.
In the early afternoon, the boys begin to come from neighboring farms. They pass along the path behind me,
divesting themselves of their clothes. as they go. Across the road is the "swimming hole," and they are out for a lark. Somehow, this seems to fit in perfectly with the surroundings. Even the boys seem to be getting back to Nature-physically, if not mentally. Their fat young bodies are completely tanned from many such exposures. Most of them, too, are astonishingly well developed. Their conversation, too, is natural, touching on great questions of fundamental importance to the race. If their excellent mothers could overhear some of their remarks, there would be much going to bed without supper these summer nights. But they do not mean any harm. They are merely saying aloud to their little friends many things that we hide darkly, that we ourselves sometimes express when conditions are safe. They are going back to Nature, and Nature is not squeamish.
In and about this pond, I have had many a delightful hour, but there are many other places that I like to visit. I like to take my bicycle and go for miles about the country. Little vil
lages interest me greatly. I like to sit upon village greens. I like to stop, hot and weary, by the roadside and drink from an ice-cold spring. The
water tastes so much better than it does at home. What matter if you must stand on your head to drink it! And how good the evening meal tastes, when you are home again! If I ate as much in Cambridge as I do at home, my board bill at a cheap restaurant would look as though the Copley-Plaza were the creditor!
And then, at night, how pleasant a walk in treeless fields! Often midnight finds me miles from home, walking along dusty roads with only the light of the stars to light my way. But such stars they are! Brilliant, twinkling little spots in a great dark field. Light-bearers straight from God, they seem to me. Somehow, like a veil, the Divine Presence seems to fall about me. I get into that strange state where coherent thoughts seem impossible, the state where ideas float by with inconceivable lightness-and fade never to be recalled. If a person could but record these fleeting fancies, elaborating them, literature would hold him inspired as no man yet has been. Then home and to bed -to dream marvelous dreams, where the landscape shifts like the scenery in a play, where each new act, though entirely different from its predeces(Continued on page 86)
A VISION OF PEACE By WINFIELD VAUGHN
I saw in dream, or was it dream? For so
Is one vast forelook,-there I saw, entranced,
The Angel of the Lord, in panoply
Of power, his sword unsheathed, his shield upflung,
His eye flame-flashing like a God of WarAnd yet I knew, and know not how I knew,
The sinewy hand and mighty stride of Peace;
The leader of the legions of the Lord. Close to the fountain's edge he drew apace, Dipping a sandaled foot therein, and then Pressing once more the marble stairs, he
A flowery fragrance followed as he swept Upward and Onward with unceasing wing, The darkness then, the heavy murk of doubt
"A dream!" I muttered, moving on, but loUpon the marble stairway printed fair The footstep of the Messenger of Peace, And in my mind one ringing word"PREPARE!"
PORTLAND AND ITS RESOURCES
By EMMA CLARA FREEMAN
S New England justly deserves the title of "America's Vacation Land," SO Portland stands in the foremost ranks of beautiful cities in this particular section of the country. Situated at the head of Casco Bay, it commands one of the grandest maritime views imaginable and is essentially a commercial city, also the leading manufacturing center of the State. It is a city of many attractive residences and elm-embowered streets, spacious and well kept. The large number of massive public buildings include City Hall, a pretentious edifice completed three years ago at a cost of $1,000,000. It is of Colonial architecture and contains the finest organ in the world-the gift of Mr. Cyrus Curtis, publisher of the Ladies' Home Journal and a native of Port
land, the Post Office, an imposing building of Vermont marble, County Court House, Public Library-a beautiful structure on Congress Street and a gift to the city from the Hon. James Baxter, Y. M. C. A. Building, Elks' Home and many others. Portland is the gate-way to the summer playground of the East. Its site and surroundings lure thousands who seek recuperation from a season of social life and business in the large cities. The vast army of tourists continue to come and go through Portland from early summer until late in the fall. Even these seem loath to leave "Forest City" and its charming resorts. Being the terminus of three railway systems, Boston and Maine, Maine Central and Grand Trunk roads, Portland's population of 62,000 is increased during the summer to 100,000.