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search for God. If he seems burdened, it is as if the weight of the divine revelation might overpower him. His attitude is that of receptivity for truth, or as if passivity were the condition for seeing and receiving. His experience confirms what Wordsworth had taught:
Nor less I deem that there are powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
In a wise passiveness.
Think you 'mid all this mighty sum
But we must still be seeking?
In addition to his other work, Maurice gave much of his time and thought to the improvement of the working classes. So identified was he with the cause of social reform that he became known as the father of Christian Socialism. He was the founder of a college for workingmen whose success was mainly owing to his disinterested labors. He had a lofty conception of the capacity of men engaged in physical toil and without education to receive the higher forms of truth and the results of learning. He aimed to overcome their peculiar skepticism as to whether God were doing anything for the emancipation of society from its oppression. It was the spirit of his teaching that it was God who was raising up the very reformers who disowned Him, that it was a divine spirit which stirred up social discontent as the condition of social progress.
While the thought of Maurice does not lend itself easily to brief summaries, yet it is not difficult to trace in all his wwritings one common element which binds them together in a consistent whole. That "religious realism" which enabled him to grasp the fatherhood of God as an actual relationship which could not be broken may be discerned in every attitude of his mind. He looked upon religious institutions, not as identical with their divine idea, but as witnesses to a higher reality. Because the reality existed independently of its acknowledgment, he could be charitable while holding the strongest convictions, dogmatic while rejoicing in the largest freedom of thought. to the popular mind seemed like divine indifference to human affairs was to his mind the visible token of His presence. The religious doubt from which others fled in alarm, he welcomed as an aid to the deeper knowledge of God. Where others spoke of a lost and ruined world, he spoke of a world which had been redeemed by Christ. Some said that only those who had been baptized were the children of God; others, that to become a child of God one must have been converted and have the witness of an inward experience; he said that all men were children of God in virtue of their creation by the eternal Father. Against those who maintained that religion was repugnant to the natural man, he affirmed religion to be that which the heart needed and for which it craved. In contrast with the method of those who labored to overcome the natural depravity of the heart as the first step in religious experience, he preached the "God within," even to reprobates, as a divine appeal in order that they might claim the heritage of sonship. In the common thought the Church of God was identified with some existing institution; he regarded the institution as witnessing to the existence of the Church. The true Church did not require to be founded or carried, but to be proclaimed as having already an actual existence, the brotherhood of men in Christ. It was customary in speaking of the forms of human government to classify theocracy by itself, as if it had once existed among the Jewish people or been attempted as an experiment at various moments in history; but he maintained that theocracy, God's government, underlay all forms of human government as their pattern, the test by which they would be vindicated or condemned.
This reversal of ordinary judgments, to which men have become accustomed by long habit of training, constitutes a difficulty in reading Maurice which is not easily overcome -a difficulty akin to that which followed the Copernican discovery, when reality was placed in such strange contradiction to the testimony of the senses that it still requires
an effort of the mind to adjust the seeming appearance with the actual fact. There was one inference which Maurice urged with great strenuousness-that in the spiritual world relationships were timeless, or could not be expressed in terms of quantity; that eternal life and eternal death were phrases charged with spiritual potency without reference to their duration. This contention regarding the use of the word "eternal" goes to the heart of the Maurician theology, affording a glimpse into a higher order, where things are not what they seem; where, instead of the divine revolving around the human, God becomes the central sun of an infinite spiritual universe in whom men live and move and have their being. The relationship of fatherhood and sonship constitutes the law of spiritual gravitation from which there is no escape, in whose glad recognition and obedience consists eternal salvation.
But, apart from his theological teaching, it is the supreme tribute to be paid to Maurice that he stood throughout his life as a confessor to his age, listening to the story of human doubt in deep sympathy, and never turning his ear away from any man who found difficulty in believing. Tennyson, who was his friend, has described him in what he did for himself and for others:
The faith, the vigor, bold to dwell
On doubts that drive the coward back,
He fought his doubts and gathered strength,
And power was with him in the night,
It was the testimony of Archdeacon Hare, while Maurice was still alive, that no one had done so much in reconciling the reason and the conscience of the thoughtful men of the age to the faith of the Church: "It is in great measure owing to him that the intellect of the rising generation is with us rather than against us." In the words of another eminent contemporary, Dr. Montagu Butler: "Wherever rich and poor are brought closer together, wherever men learn to think more worthily of God in Christ, the great work that he has labored at for nearly fifty years shall be spoken of as a memorial of him.” He held no high preferment in the Church of England, but the world recognized him for what he was and for what he had done. At his death in 1872 there was a demonstration of public feeling which for spontaneity and universality had not been witnessed since the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. Beneath his bust in Westminster Abbey is recorded the only estimate we need: "He was not that light; but was sent to bear witness of that light."
Our First Presidential Contest
By James M. Whiton
This summer is its centennial anniversary. Washington and John Adams were chosen in 1788 without opposition. In 1792 Washington was again unanimously chosen, and Adams was elected Vice-President by a vote of 77, to 50 for George Clinton, the candidate of the Republicans, nicknamed "Democrats " by the Federalists. In 1796 party lines were for the first time strictly drawn, and a strenuous struggle for the Presidency ensued.
The adoption of the Federal Constitution had been outly opposed on the ground that the Federal authority would override the local authority of the several States. But when its adoption brought the Federalists into power, the opposition naturally became a party of vigilant critics of its working, determined to restrict it to the letter of its provisions. This was then the fundamental principle for which, under the name of "Republicans," the opposition
contended, a strict construction of the Constitution. They held that whatever powers it did not expressly delegate to the Federal Government were reserved to the States-the "States-rights" theory. And yet Jefferson himself threw this principle away and acted like a Federalist when he bought Louisiana. The Federalists preferred a more elastic construction of the Constitution in favor of the Federal power. The stock objection of their party opponents was that they were monarchical and hostile to the rights of the people. This objection was constantly urged against Washington himself during his second term of office. Washington was a thorough Federalist. "Remember, especially," said he, in his farewell address, "that for the efficient management of your common interests in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable."
The name "Republican party was used first by Jefferson in a letter to Washington, May 13, 1792. On the appearance in 1793 of Washington's proclamation of neutrality in the war between England and France, a violent faction opposed both it and him. Their ruling idea was hostility to England and partiality to France. They condoned the worst excesses of the French Revolution as excusable vengeance on tyrants, and fiercely denounced Washington for negotiating Jay's commercial treaty with England. To these hot-heads, who were ready to drag us into war in behalf of France, the Federalists gave the then invidious name of "Democrats "-as disreputable as "Communists" to-day. When the Jeffersonian party crystallized, in 1796, this faction fell into its ranks. Hence the official style and title, which it has borne since then, of "Democratic-Republican," though the latter and older half of the name has been obsolete in popular phraseology since 1830.
The prelude to the contest for the Presidency was a struggle over the admission of Tennessee, with a population of sixty-six thousand white people, to be the sixteenth State in the Union. Then for the first time the admission of a State was advocated and opposed on the partisan grounds which have since been often taken. Tennessee was certain to re-enforce the Republican column by three electoral votes. In view of the probable closeness of the election the Federalists resisted this, but Tennessee was nevertheless admitted on the last day of the session, June 1, 1796. When Congress reassembled in December, Andrew Jack son, as her representative, made his appearance at the seat of government four months before Washington left it. When Washington, in his weariness of the burdens of State, determined to retire from office, the Federalists had no lack of able men to succeed him. The Republicans had but two at all competent-Jefferson and Madison. It was informally agreed among the Republican Congressmen that their party candidates should be Jefferson and Aaron Burr. This was the beginning of the so-called "Congressional Caucus," which appeared fully developed in 1800.
The Constitution forbids any person to be chosen a Presidential elector who is either a Senator or Representative in Congress, or holds any office under the United States. It was against the spirit of this provision, which aims to exclude Congress from any control in the selection of the Chief Executive, for the Congressional caucus to dictate the Presidential nominations. This was at length so apparent, that "King Caucus" fell into disfavor, but it was not till 1824 that his reign ended. In 1828 the State Legislatures made the Presidential nominations. In 1832 the present nominating conventions undertook their extraconstitutional but necessary functions.
It was less easy for the Federalists than for the Republicans to select Presidential candidates. The party was rich, too rich, in leaders. Hamilton was its ablest man, but identified with measures which, though salutary, were unpopular-such as the funded debt, as exasperating to the non-commercial classes as a "gold-bug" is to a "Populist." Jay was a close second to Hamilton, but he had been brought into unjust odium by his British treaty. Finally, and mainly by men outside of Congress, it was
determined that Adams and Pinckney should be the Federalist nominees.
Thomas Pinckney had been Governor of South Carolina, had served as our Minister to London and Madrid, and had won great credit by negotiating a treaty with Spain.
Never since in our national history have two so illustrious and able statesmen competed for the Presidency as Adams and Jefferson. Each had sat in the Continental Declaration of Independence; each had been employed in Congress; each had had a hand in the preparation of the missions to European powers. Adams had been VicePresident for eight years. Jefferson had been Governor of Virginia, and had served as Secretary of State for three years. Adams was now sixty-one years of age, and Jefferson fifty-three. Their long and honored lives were to end on the same day, July 4, 1826.
Against such men party spirit could bring no serious charges. Nevertheless the game of defamation, to whose quadrennial recurrence we have become accustomed, was initiated with such material as seemed serviceable. Adams was accused of being an aristocrat and a monarchist. In 1770 a squad of British soldiers had fired upon rioters in Boston. Adams had defended them against the charge of murder, and secured their acquittal. This noble opposition to the popular fury was now brought up against him. On the other side, Jefferson was accused of being too much of a philosopher to be a practical administrator. He was taunted with cowardice in having fled, when Governor, from a raid of British cavalry. The most serious charge against him was infidelity. In fact, he and Adams, who was a Congregationalist, were pretty nearly at one in what would now pass for a moderate Unitarianism. Among the arguments employed in his behalf, one is singularly illustrative of that period of national weakness. Elect Jefferson, it was said, and conciliate France. Indeed, the election of Jefferson was almost effected by the impertinent intermeddling of the French Minister.
The promptness of our Government in sending Lord Sackville West his passports in 1888, for writing a private letter advising an inquirer, formerly a British subject, to vote for Mr. Cleveland, curiously reveals, by contrast, the weakness of the Government in 1796, which was obliged to tolerate the extreme impudence of Adet, the Minister of France. This person wrote four notes designed for publication as campaign documents. In these he complained of the unfriendliness which the Federalists had shown to France, and ostentatiously praised Jefferson by name. The consequence of this intervention was that the Quaker vote in Pennsylvania was diverted from Adams to Jefferson for the preservation of peace with France.
The Federalists, feeling sure of Pennsylvania, had carried a law for the choice of electors by general ticket, while the Republicans had contended for choice by districts. At that time, in most of the States, electors were chosen by the Legislature. But the unexpected diversion of the Quaker vote gave all but one of the fifteen Pennsylvania electors to the Republicans. Had not Virginia and North Carolina each given a single vote to Adams, Jefferson would have been at the top of the poll. The one hundred and thirty-eight electors of that year voted for thirteen different persons. Adams received 71 votes and Jefferson 68. When the votes were counted, February 8, 1797, Adams was declared elected as President and Jefferson as VicePresident. Pinckney had but 59 votes. and Burr 30. Schouler says that Burr coquetted with both parties and incurred the distrust of the Republicans. Next came Samuel Adams with 15, Oliver Ellsworth with 11, George Clinton with 7, John Jay with 5. Two votes were thrown away on Washington.
Presidential electors had not then been reduced, as now, to mere recording clerks, but retained the freedom of choice which the framers of the Constitution intended them to exercise. But for this, Pinckney, as well as Adams, would have distanced Jefferson. That he came in third was due to a quarrel among the Federalists. It was then the rule for each elector to write two names on his ballot, each of them as a candidate for the Presidency. When the votes were counted the highest total carried the Presi
dency, the next highest the Vice-Presidency. Now, Hamilton strongly desired Pinckney to lead Adams, who was no favorite of his. This might be effected if some Federalist electors could be induced to give scattering votes instead of votes for Adams. The Adams men believed that Hamilton had done this, and revenged themselves by giving scattering votes instead of votes for Pinckney. In this way, though New England was solid for the Federalists, as many as eighteen votes were lost to Pinckney in New England alone.
This is the first notable instance in our political history of the process known as "knifing." But its sequel showed that the transient gratification of the process is not always equaled by satisfaction with the results. In this instance the Federalists paid dear for it. By throwing out Pinckney they brought in Jefferson, their astute and implacable enemy. They gave him a coign of vantage in the VicePresidency. Here, in freedom from all political responsibility, he employed the opportunities of his position in directing the policy of his party, and in watching and counter-working that of his opponents, till at the end of four years more, by over-weaning and imprudent use of power, they had dug their own political grave. To their everlasting honor, they had wisely organized the political forms of our national life. Their opponents prevailed by adopting their work and administering their institutions in closer accord with popular demands.
A Man of Education in Prison
A Personal Experience
When a man of gentle education, who has never dreamed that such an evil as being convicted of crime could befall him, arrives in prison, he reminds himself of one of those trembling shades, of his classical reading, who awaited the unknown on the shores of the Styx. His coming has been timed by night, out of deference for that poor thing, his pride, and his reception by the Deputy Keeper is not unkindly.
"We've been looking for you for a week past," says that official, hospitably. "Let me see, you got five years, didn't you? Well, that means three years and seven months-forty-three months, all told. It will soon go by. Why, we have men coming back here regularly who would look on that as a mere fly-speck. They call this place a 'play-house,' you know. I'll just lock you in one of the detention-cells to-night, and to-morrow I'll rig you out and find you some easy job. Don't brood, don't look back; just take things as they are. Why, in eighteen months or so you may be pardoned. Come this way, will you?" This way leads into a lofty oblong building, dimly lighted. In the center rises a solid buttress of stone and iron, composed on either side of the long rows of cells, five tiers high. Around this is a wide corridor, and then the whitewashed walls, cut by tall, barred windows. At first breath the new arrival realizes his doom. The stench enlightens him. It lingers on his tongue, it permeates his blood, it contaminates his being. Oh, what must the life be when its very atmosphere reeks of filth and shame!
The detention-cell proves to be on the lowest row. There is the shooting of a bar, the turning of a key. "You'll find some water in that tin," says the Deputy. "Good-night." And then the grated door closes, and the new man is alone in a cold, narrow, dismal hole in the wall, in which the double-bunked bed of gas-pipe frame yields scarce enough room to turn around.
There come raps on the wall on either side: the hallmen in the adjoining cells are vainly seeking to satisfy their curiosity. There comes, too, a prolonged hiss, a peculiar prison signal, and the whisper, "How long did you git, Jack?" followed by the night-watchman's stealthy tread and flash of lantern. Then settles the normal quiet of the prison night, not tranquil nor continuous. From one tier resounds a groan; from another, a laugh, far more horrible. Hark to that pacing to and fro, now hurried, now deliberate ! It comes from the cell of one who is going
mad, whose screams before morning will send him to a strait-jacket in the hospital ward.
Up from the flagged corridor comes a sodden chill; down from the tiers circles the foul air. There are blasts of biting draughts from the side windows, followed by periods of stifling; and all the while clinging to the bars stands the new arrival, inertly watching the creep of insects along the walls, the scurrying of rats around the corners, until a light as pale and as forlorn as the whitewash breaks through the dingy panes, and the heavy steps of the unwashed kitchen-gang on the stairs announce the advent of a prison day.
This day forever after stands out distinct in the newcomer's mind as the acme of terror and degradation. Beyond it lies a monotonous waste. There is surprise, there is shock; in every sound. Now a hall-man thrusts through the grating pannikins containing coffee made of burnt crust and an unwholesome mosaic supposed to be head-cheese. Now a sharp-eyed officer marches by with book and slate. Now a gong clangs, the bolts snap back. He watches with stupefaction the hurrying lines of convicts. What an acrid dust they raise with their heavy brogans, what a hideous conglomeration they form of everything coarse, uncouth, and vile, as they jostle along, ill-shapen, grimy, malodorous, chewing tobacco and emitting a hum of curses, jeers, and guffaws. Each one looks in, winking or whispering, and it seems to him as if but one man had passed and was continually repassing, so little of individuality is he able to detect. Thence comes the terror. Will his personal self, for which, notwithstanding misfortune or crime, he has retained a certain respect, ever conform to this type? Oh, what can he do-oh, what will he not do, to avoid such a degeneration?
With the Deputy comes the degradation. The new man is taken to the barber-shop, where other neophytes, sullen, ugly, timid, or hysterical, are awaiting initiation. He receives a bath, and the very thought that he is supposed to need one seems an excess of ignominy; his hair is cropped with great horse-clippers, his beard is hacked and haggled, the convict barber good-naturedly trying to instill foul bravado the while; he dons the striped suit, ill-fitting, insufficient, and casts one glance at himself in the bit of glass. Yes, the worst that could happen has happened. He is no longer a citizen, a man-but a convict, a thing removed from the sympathy of kindred or the notice of humanity.
The Deputy now shows our convict to a cell. Fortunate for him if the prison population is decreasing and he be allowed to share his misery with himself alone; fortunate for him if from the debasing association by day he has not to dread a more evil companionship at night. Then the pair proceed to the shops-a scene of confusion and distraction to the newcomer. Here the dust is flying from the whir of machinery over the manufacture of pails; there benchful after benchful are hammering away on shoes; and, beyond, the sewing-machines are clicking for dear life. And the men so intently engaged, have they any more mind or soul than the tools and the gearings? The Deputy, true to his word, allots some light task, and then hurries away to start some other unfortunate in the prison life.
The day seems an endless dream to our convict; he is stunned, incapable of connected thought, and automatically repeating to himself, "Only forty-three months, all told." Keepers and inmates alike mercifully ignore him. He may bungle with his task as he will, but no one will cenHis apathy, which is really a period of incubation, is fully recognized in prison. When the whistle blows, some rough hand draws him into his place in line, some gruff voice, tobacco-sprayed, mutters, "You'll feel better to-morrow, Jack;" and then, like a wounded beast, he creeps into his cell. No watchfulness now. The dark is welcome; would that it might last forever; for suspense is gone, and an end has come to everything. In a living grave, what then remains? Rest. He throws himself on the straw pallet, with face to the wall; despite the noise, the filth, the vermin, the stench, he sleeps as one without hope; and when he awakes it is unto submission.
The following day becomes a type of the life, a link in
an endless chain of routine. Our convict soon appreciates what is expected of him, and how to do it. Each sound has significance, each hour is associated with duty. The round of eating, working, eating, working, eating, sleeping, becomes so familiar that he could fulfill his part with his eyes shut. His task requires little of his hand and naught of his brain, but it lacks interest and value. What else remains? In this dreary barrenness, how can he keep his mind unimpaired, his sensibilities from becoming blunt? And is it worth while to try?
For since the obsession of his entrance passed away, our convict has been conscious of the prison influence. His companions no longer look alike to him. Each one is an entity of flesh, blood, and virile force. He is surrounded by a super-vital magnetism whose touch is contagion, and whose trend is degeneration. "Come and be one with us," urges its voice; "you are one of us, you know. You wear the stripes, your name is Jack, you are without standing or character; come and be one with us. There is little in all this of temptation to the man of culture. If his despair be engrossing, it is far more apt to lead him to insanity or death. The danger that he will disregard the Deputy's advice, and both look back and brood. Then will follow loss of flesh, loss of appetite, a general anæmia with its inevitable consequences. Many a man commits suicide in prison by not keeping stout of heart.
But if our convict determines to resist unto the end, he perceives that he must keep busy. His energies may at first direct themselves towards cleanliness-the most evident sign of an inner grace. There is something pathetic. There is something pathetic in the eagerness with which he keeps his quarters in order; for neatness seems to him to be a quiet protest against his condition. If he still has means or friends-contingencies alike remote-he will also learn to lessen the rigor of his Sabine fare with such simple delicacies as can be manufactured from eggs and condensed milk. Much has been written of what can be done with a chafing-dish; but still more might be of what can be done over a prison lamp. Such domestic cares work a mitigation of feelings, and, all unknowing, he scrubs and cooks unto sanity.
Those remote contingencies may also furnish suitable books. Though prison authorities passively ignore a man who is industrious, obedient, and uncomplaining, they will strive to grant any reasonable request which he may make. Thus it may come about that our convict will receive permission to burn his light after hours after 9 P.M.-on the express conditions of silence and of drawing some rude curtain, a blanket perhaps, across the grated door so that the shadow on the wall may not arouse jealousy. Then, by the dim lamp, with a board for a desk, half-stifled yet exultant, he will write and study, and in the realms of the imagination forget the sights of squalor and the sounds of ignominy. Iron bars have never yet been wrought which can form a cage for a free and constant mind.
In such wise our convict wards off physical and mental decay; and, with such a purely personal routine, he might wear out his term without exchanging a word or recognizing a face. For the man who attends strictly to his own affairs is never molested in prison. Convicts fight shy of reserve they know, for one thing, that there are awful potentialities of temper behind it. But such isolation would render him sullen, sour, and selfish. Better far if from aversion he comes to feel sympathy and pity for his fellows; better far if that prison voice, "You are one of us; you wear the stripes; your name is Jack," keeps him humble and considerate.
The average convict has two heroes: the thorough-paced villain and the gentleman. The one he emulates, the other he reverences. He is quick to disregard assumption and to torment an impostor; for the latter distinction is only accorded through acute observation. The gentleman must be neat and cleanly. He may be dignified and melancholyindeed, a touch of sorrow will help him-but he must continue affable and obliging. He must refrain from slang, from profanity, from interest in criminal subjects for thus the difference which he does not claim becomes manifest. He must show no curiosity, yet be receptive to confidences when offered. He must be generous, and democratic in
his generosity. If our convict does all this--that is, if he is naturally a gentleman--he will find himself set apart and honored without an effort. Inmates will seek to do him a favor to relieve him from some of those things which they argue he must mind, but which they think nothing whatever about-knowing that if he has a match, for instance, or a bit of tobacco, he will willingly bestow it. They will call on him to read letters, to write replies, and to give advice, revealing with singular candor all the weaknesses, vices, and virtues of prison life.
Such association is elevating to both sides, and its continuance depends solely on our convict. From it he learns that there is a spark of the divine in the grossest breast, and that unfortunate parentage, lack of education, press of circumstance, and public neglect have much to do with the molding of a habitual criminal. From it, too, comes that recompense which unselfish interest always returns. In the knowledge of so much unappreciated wretchedness the acuteness of his own misery seems less of a curse.
For though our convict endure to the end, he can never become used to prison life. From first to last it must be loathsome to his nature, or else that nature will be irretrievably ruined. He cannot acquire the average convict's insensibility to cold, heat, foul air, and filth. He cannot eat ravenously tough and tainted meat which is carved with a spoon, nor nibble contentedly on a crust which has been carried for days in the pocket. He cannot look forward to Saturday as a red-letter day because then he will receive a chunk of molasses-stuck twigs called tobacco. He cannot sleep at any time and under all circumstances. He cannot find delight in gossip, and ambition in tales of criminal achievement. He cannot look forward for months to turkey at Thanksgiving, nor wonder throughout a year whether there will be music next Fourth of July. He cannot welcome a former inmate returning with a fresh sentence as if he were an alumnus revisiting his school, nor take pride in his growing notoriety. The prison is no "play-house' for him. It is a place of hardships without honor; of incessant struggle for the bare right of existence.
Nor, when his sentence draws to a close, can our convict view release with the unheeding rapture of his associates. He realizes the blight of his conviction; the distrust, the cold surprise, which seems to ask, "Why didn't you die?" He knows that for him cares will be more carking and the needs of life more difficult to gain; that his path must be on the shady side, his residence in the east end of town. And yet, if he has kept himself unspotted from deterioration that one active prison influence-if he has scorned to barter his soul for brutish content, he will return to those who are near and dear to him with sober thankfulness.
In order to gain a true picture of fourteenth century life, every school boy and girl should become acquainted with the interesting company described by Chaucer in his Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, which of itself would have made the poet famous. In those days persons of all ranks and conditions, were in the habit of making pilgrimagesfor pleasure as well as from a sense of duty-to the shrine of some saint; the favorite one being Thomas á Becket. The most popular public house where pilgrims assembled before their departure, was the Tabard of Chaucer; socalled on account of its sign, which was that of a coat or sleeveless jacket; a garment commonly worn by noblemen and others. After a beautiful description of spring in the opening Prologue, Chaucer goes on to say, that, one day while resting at the Tabard, ready to go on his pilgrimage, there arrived toward night a company of all sorts of people, nine and twenty of them, all pilgrims to Canterbury. He soon made their acquaintance, and it was agreed that they should rise early in the morning and journey together, as traveling alone was unsafe on account of bad roads and numerous robbers. The genial host agreed to accompany them if each would promise to tell two tales going, and two See also "Chaucer for Children" in The Outlook, July 18.
more on the way home; "for mirth is none," said he, "if one ride by the way dumb as a stone." In those days story-telling was a necessary accomplishment, as newspapers did not exist, and books were few and expensive.
As Chaucer portrays these characters from real life, with their various occupations, personal appearance, dress, and manners, we are convinced that no one ever more thoroughly understood human nature, or possessed a finer sense of the picturesque.
We seem to hear the laughter and jest with which the gay company started on their journey that bright spring morning, with the jingle of bells upon the horses. They were led by a Knight who was the most popular character of his time. No one had ridden farther than he in Christian and in heathen lands. He had been in fifteen mortal battles, and had always slain his foe. Although so great a warrior, he was gentle as a woman in speech and manners, and loved truth, honor, and courtesy. In fact, "he was a very noble, perfect knight." With him was his son, a young Squire, with curly locks and handsome face. "Of twenty years he was of age, I guess " ("I guess," was one of Chaucer's "yankeeisms "). He had nobly borne himself in wars also, in the hope of finding favor in his lady's eyes. He could sing, compose songs, recite, make pictures, play the flute, and dance; all of which accomplishments made him a delightful companion. He was accompanied by a Yeoman (his servant), who was "clad in coat and hood of green." "A sheaf of peacock arrows, bright and keen, under his belt he bear full thriftily." Next came a coquettish Nun, who lisped in bad French, as that of Paris was unknown to her. Although she used an occasional oath, it was mild compared with those in common use among other ladies. Her table manners were considered elegant, as she "let no morsel fall from her lips while eating." She was so tender-hearted that she would weep if she but saw a dead mouse; and she fed her pet dogs with finest bread and roasted meat and milk; but no mention is made of her feeding the poor.
She was rather tall of stature, with straight nose, and eyes as "gray as glass" (a special mark of beauty), and her mouth was small and red. She was dressed in a violet cloak and plaited wimple, and around her neck she wore a rosary of small coral beads, divided by others of a green color, and from them hung a golden locket. She was attended by another nun and three priests. Next came a
jolly, bald-headed Monk, who liked hunting more than anything else, and when he rode men might hear his "bridle jingle in a whistling wind as clear and loud as a chapel bell."
A frisky, begging Friar followed him, who could not be outdone in "fair talk and playfulness." In giving absolution, "pleasant was his way when men made it worth his while to be." He ignored the poor, but sought the company of those who gave good dinners. Chaucer seems to have little respect for monks, nuns, or friars. In striking contrast to these he portrays the character of the poor Parson, who, though "poor in condition," was "rich in holy thought and work," and who, while he taught "Christ's and his apostles' lore," first followed it himself.
Wide was his parish, with houses far assunder,
In sickness or in woe, to visit all;
In the poor Clerk of Oxenford, who followed him, with his sober look and threadbare coat, we have a picture of the typical scholar who prefers books to fine clothes. Next came a merchant with so steady a countenance that no one suspected he was in debt," and in his company was a white bearded Frankelyn, under whose hospitable roof it fairly "snowed of meat and drink every day of the year. Then came a Sergeant-at-Law, who always "appeared busier than he really was.' Then followed a learned Doctor of Physic, who knew the cause of every disease, and was "well grounded in astronomy," and with him were a Haberdasher, a Carpenter, a Dyer, a Webber, and a Cook, who could bake, broil, fry and stew; also, a woman called the Wife of Bath, who was a great shrew, and
had already worried five husbands into the grave. Then came an honest Ploughman, who "loved God best of all, and his neighbor as himself." Near him were a Miller, a Mauciple, and a Reve. Then came a Summoner, with a fiery, red face which frightened children, and with him was his friend the Pardoner. Both were great cheats, but the latter could read the church service with fine effect, and sing the offertory better than any one else. As we now take leave of Chaucer's interesting pilgrims, after so brief a glance at them, it is with the hope that some boy or girl may be inspired to more thoroughly make their acquaintance; and as "The Canterbury Tales" may be found with modernized spelling and partly in prose, it will no longer seem a task to read the best work of the "first great poet of our literature."
With a Difference
By Annie Eliot
The grass that grew in the paths worn by the gentle tread of mourners, and clothed the mounds lying unevenly to right and left, was warm and dry. That the sleepers beneath the mounds were indifferent to the sunny peace about them seemed impossible; as the breeze rustled through the group of pines that bordered the hill, it was as if a sigh of contentment breathed from many wearied breasts. It's a beautiful monument," said Mrs. Fretwell, with a lingering intonation that bespoke conscious enjoyment. "So it is; it's handsome," replied her companion.
"And I like that golding of 'em over. I s'pose it's expensive, but I don't think when you come to putting up a monument that that's the time to skimp—at least, that's the way I feel about it."
"No more it is," returned the other, looking at Mrs. Fretwell with a certain respect, as one who might be called upon at any hour to put theory into practice, and who was ready to do it.
"I like the shape of the urn, too-it's more tasty, to my mind, than the one old Mr. Prome put up for his first," and Mrs. Fretwell cast a look of momentary criticism across the next enclosure.
"They say he spared no expense," suggested Mrs. Wedup.
"No more'n he did time in getting his second," asserted "I declare it Mrs. Fretwell, grimly, as she turned away. makes me feel as if some of them widowers worked on contract rather'n by the day, they're in such a hurry to get through their time of mournin'."
""Twas kind of sudden the way he got his third," commented Mrs. Wedup, pausing in front of the Prome lot.
"I mistrusted there was something goin' on," said Mrs. Fretwell, nodding, "when I see how he was sprucin' up them two graves-and first thing I knew he was married again over to Savin. He seemed to have a great deal of proper feelin' about some things."
"Twas in the Congo he was married, wasn't it?" "Land, yes! You wouldn't get him to be married anywhere but in the Congo. He'd be all out of the way of it."
'The following guide to middle English pronunciation will be found useful: a long as in father. a as in wait was not established until the eighteenth century.
a short as in at.
ai as ah-e, not as in wait.
an as ah-oo.
origin, and like j before e and i in words of French origin.
i long, not like modern i, but more like i in still or almost e.
i short as in fish.
Consonant I like J, as for instance,
Ieus pronounced Jesus.
oi like joy, oo like mote.
ou like rood.
r was always trilled.
re same as er.
sch as in shall.
tion like si-oun.
u as in puir, French.
v same as u.
wr like roi, French.
y, vowel like i, pronounced ee.