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time to elicit all this, but when at last and his wife, and a slender young negro, the boy concluded, I surveyed him in whose back was turned. The cause of much perplexity.
disagreement, as I presently ascertained, "• Dallam, what on earth shall we do was about the price demanded for lodgwith him ?' said I, turning to my brother ing and breakfast, the coloured man officer.
alleging that he had been induced to “I don't know, indeed, unless you enter the house the evening before on leave him in some asylum in Baltimore,' the strength of a positive promise that was the reply. “Sending him home is the total sum of his accommodation not to be thought of.'
should not exceed seventy-five cents. “All this while Cæsar remained This statement was emphatically and squatted in a forlorn little heap upon the volubly denied by the others, who decabin floor, gazing from one strange face manded double the amount, referring to to another; but as he heard those words, their printed scale of prices, and threatenall at once he fetched an unearthly howl, ing to send for the police’ to enforce and falling again on his knees before me, their claim. he begged me to keep him.
“I done tole you I couldn' read none;' “I know I done ben a bad boy, maws; said the negro. · Wha's use showin' me but please, seh, jis try me. I kin wuk dat ah readin'?' roun' right smaht; kin clean shoes, an’ "I saw he was evidently a countryman tote wood an' wata, an' wait on de in the hands of sharpers ; besides, there kitchin. I min' you, maws, 'deed I will. was something in his lingo which was I woan' nuvva run 'way no mo'.'
strangely familiar; so I crossed the Well, the upshot of the matter was street, and paused on the sidewalk in that, after giving a good laugh to the front of the house, awaiting further ridiculous and a little sigh to the trouble- developments. some side of the business, I finally con- " A great deal of talking ensued, until sented to give him a trial. Dallam's finally the negro was fairly bullied into servant kindly undertaking to begin producing the demanded sum. teaching him his duties next day.
“I s'pose I got to pay you. I know “I have kept him ever since. There bett'n to come yeh 'gin, dough.'. never was a better servant.
We must see that man righted, as he was, he was with me all during the Cæsar,' I said. "If I don't mistake, he's war, serving me cheerfully and well, and from your State.' never but once expressing any regret for “ But Cæsar did not answer; he stood the home and kindred he had left behind. as one petrified, gazing on his fellowTwo or three days after we reached countryman with all his eyes. So, leaving Washington, finding him thoughtful, and him, I ran hastily up the steps. asking him what was the matter, he
66. Let me see that paper, if you told me he was studyin' 'bout Pompey, please.' adding, I mighty 'fraid Pompey gwine ** Shure an' I'll do nathin' of the ketch it when mammy fine out he done koind,' replied the Irishman, turning lemme run 'way wid de baskit.'
very red, as he crumpled his scale of “ Did he never see any of his home prices in his hand. people again ? ” I inquired, as the Com- “ You are right,' I replied. But I modore paused.
don't need it. Your sign-board here,' “ Yes, he did. He went to see them designating one attached to the side of four-five years ago. But I must tell the door, confirms this man's story in you how he found them. In May, '76, every respect. You'd better take the fourteen years afterward, I had him in amount he owes you at once, or I'll send New York with me. I was going over my man here after an officer, and he to Jersey City on some business one won't arrest the coloured man either.' morning, and was stepping down-town “ The landlord muttered something at a brisk pace, Cæsar following in my about busybodies interfering with other wake with my satchel, when my atten- people's business, taking care to pocket tion was attracted by an altercation the money, however; and I had already going on at the front door of a shabby- descended the steps, when the young looking boarding-house opposite. The negro, whose face I had scarcely seen, disputants were a stout burly Irishman turning to thank me, I started back
almost in consternation. He was Cæsar's honest face as the two stood facing each very counterpart ! In an instant it other like the two Dromios just before occurred to me who he was. * Isn't your the curtain drops. name Pompey?' I asked, interrupting “I gave Cæsar a holiday that day, his burst of gratitude.
which he spent with his double, who was “Yeas, seh,' surprisedly. •Pompey employed as deck hand on a boat plying Grymes, boss.
between Norfolk and New York. And ** I knowed it-I knowed it fus' time the next week the two reunited brethren I done yeahed 'im talk,' broke in Cæsar proceeded together to Middlesex County at this juncture, as he came forward, to see the old people for a month, which seizing his brother's hand, and relapsing is the longest period of my separation into his almost forgotten Virginia dialect. from him since that hot afternoon in * Howd'y, Pompey, howd'y ? Lawd bless 1862 when, like the master of the you, my brother Pompey, I-I's glad to fishing-boat, I carried · Cæsar and his see you,' the tears streaming down his fortunes.'”
Editor's East Chair.
THERE appears to be too much electricity, with little personal responsibility, caused by
in the air this year, or else it is un- something akin to malaria, and to be cured evenly distributed. It is a year of uncommon by physical treatment. The so-called crimatmospheric disturbance, volcanic activity, inal should be pitied rather than punished. and general disaster. We cannot yet predict If a man is properly nurtured he will be these disturbances and disasters, but in our pure. This is so well settled that when an newly-acquired wisdom we fancy that we exception occurs in the case of a well-nurcan assign their cause. We watch what we tured man or woman who steals, we put the call electric storms in the sun, and its action out of the catalogue of crimes by ominous and changing spots, and though we calling it kleptomania. And the proof of are not sure that the sun's troubles induce this is that no poor and shabby person has our earthly calamities, yet we are inclined ever been known to have kleptomania. We to refer both to one cause. We fortunately are accustomed also to trace other delinhave an agency, about which we know little, quencies to like causes. We know that that can be made accountable for all our certain views of life and moral duty, called unexplained misfortunes. In our empirical by their authors systems of philosophy, condition electricity now is as useful in our are due to dyspepsia. We have recently perplexity as malaria is to the doctors in had Carlyle explained by a diagnosis of his their experiments: it is a handy scapegoat. stomach made by Mrs. Carlyle and Mr. We know, in fact, that electricity is the most Froude. We can tell the cause of most of skittish agency that man ever attempted to our latter-day poetry: we say at a glance harness to his uses. We have tamed it to that such a poem came from the under-crust go in single and double teams, duplex and of a pie, and that another one is the result of even quadruplex; we can send it round the anæmia, and that another has the sentiment globe on a wire, or we can store it and carry of gin, and that others show a clogged state it round in a trunk (subject, of course, when of the biliary duct. A proper course of it enters the port of New York, to a duty), medical treatment would cure most of these. and we make it repeat speech, turn machin- This is, as they say of evolution, a very ery, and dispel darkness. We have done all pretty working theory for philanthropists, this within a few years, and got to feel quite but it does not altogether satisfy us. Does comfortable in our ability to handle it, and it account for the suicides, of which there yet every few days it shows new freaks, has been an epidemic in 1883? Or for the mocks us with its subtle eccentricity, storms moral condition of what is called fast and the sun, tears the earth to pieces, and high society in London and Paris and New declares itself master instead of servant. York ? Not satisfactorily. But there is an
All this is so clearly outside the province agency that covers the whole like a mantle. of the Easy Chair that we should not have We do rot say that sin is merely perverted alluded to it but for another aspect of the electricity. But we do say that in all our electric agency, which is clearly within our observation of mankind it never before acted purview, and that is the moral. We know as it has done since the sun spots appeared. that it is usually held nowadays that crime There may always have been spots in the is either hereditary, or caused by badly | sun, as there has always been more or less cooked food, poor clothes, and unwholesome wickedness in the world; but we have been lodgings ; at any rate, that it is a disease, very slow to see the connection between the two. We can now, by the light of electricity with fond parental affection naturally supitself, so to speak, observe the close relation poses the offspring of his brain to be a little of electric disturbances to moral disorders. better than other offspring, to believe that If there is anything in this theory, when we the superiority does not equally impress have electric storms we ought not only to other observers. If the editor to whom the look out for atmospheric disasters, ship- poet sends the verses which have been wrecks, tidal waves, earthquakes, and for written with tears and deep emotion does collisions and railway and steamboat catas- not feel his heart tingling as he reads, and trophes, which are directly caused by human own the pathos and the fire, it is, in the stupidity and carelessness, but also for an secret judgment of the poet, because he is access of mental disorders, crimes, and the victim of his prejudices, and is resolved eccentricities. People are probably moved to recognise no charm and no value except to suicide and a general violation of the in the work of a clique of personal favourites. decalogue by electricity; the normal electric Were his mind not clouded with unworthy conductors of the system are disturbed. partialities, he would own that the sonnet Under such a disturbance some are made ill, upon a grasshopper's leg is far nobler in some fly to poetry, some steal, some slander, conception and of an infinitely subtler some run off with other people's husbands. melody than the lines to a locust's wing. This of course. But the question is, are we Or, again, how is it possible for any intellialways controlled in our actions by this gent mind not to see that the story which subtle fluid, even when there is no unusual is to-day declined is a hundredfold better display of it? For instance, is “affinity” than that which was yesterday accepted ? electricity? We have not space here to “I hope that I am not vain,” says Vanitas, pursue the subject, which our readers will “but I really think that I can distinguish see has infinite relations to human life. mica from silver and gold from tinsel, and if
But assuming the physical, mental, and the paper which I send is not of finer quality moral interference of electricity with human then any of Sainte-Beuve's–I certainly do beings, and that it is as much the cause of not wish to overstate the matter—why, I am crime as it is of virtue—the latter resulting, profoundly mistaken.” This is the theme of of course, from a well-regulated electricity- endless variations, and when the neat and there is a practical suggestion to be made. courteous editorial circular arrives, stating Instead of coddling criminals, as we should that the paper kindly offered for publication do if they are simply unfortunate victims of is not found available by the editor, that disease, we ought to treat them by electricity. hapless word“ available," which, of all words Police courts ought to be provided with in the English language, seems to have been electrometers for measuring the quantity of made for the very purpose of expressing tho electric fluid in an object, and put those editorial decision without a suggestion of arraigned to a scientific test, not for the opinion upon the intrinsic value of the purpose of punishment, but of cure. A bad offering, is decried and denounced and man is merely an overcharged thunder-cloud. spurned as a justly degraded outcast and Of course he is dangerous. He ought to be criminal to be hounded through the world. shut up until his electric condition is made “Unavailable, indeed!” cries Vanitas, with normal. We cannot afford to run the risk a snort of contempt, "why does he not say of being struck by his lightning, and the plainly and in a manly way that he does not jails and penitentiaries ought to be under know me, and that he cannot waste time in charge of electricians. It is desirable, in considering the contributions of tyros and short, to apply electricity to moral diseases nobodies ? Unavailable! My prehistoric as well as to physical, and no one can tell novel unavailable! How is literature, for what wonders may be wrought. The treat- which the world is yearning, ever to flourish, ment can always be adjusted to the condition if its great works are to be suppressed by of the subject. The electrician can strike ignoramuses as unavailable?” rome of them with lightning at once, and It is melancholy to think of the wrath end all; or he can give just the right charge and scorn and lofty pity which these innoto induce a flow of virtue through the heart. cent circulars produce. The fact, also, that It must be matter of experiment for a time. they are printed and not written is a bitter But if the system works well in prisons, a aggravation. The editor of a magazine, still wider field is opened outside for this struggling with his vast work, planning for moral agency. A new era will dawn when future numbers, engaging such articles as we can rectify moral evil as easily as we can must be engaged far in advance, reading and whisper the tones of endearment into a considering the endless mass of contribeloved, delicate, pink ear fifty miles from butions of every kind, keeping himself our lips.
familiar with the general movement of
literature, and among busy men the busiest, The Easy Chair has preached more than receives a huge MS., addressed to him by an one little sermon from the text of alleged unknown author, requesting immediate editorial partiality. It is very difficult for attention to the work, and a prompt opinion the poet, or the story-teller, or essayist, who of its merits, and of the probable capacity of
The same decision would have been
the writer and the desirability of his pursu
their treatment of contributors, but yours is the only ing a literary career, and, if the MS. be
one that I can recall which is based on the promptness
of the editor in the consideration of the author's MS. declined, the reasons of the declination are
The MS. of your story was read within two hours after desired, and directions how to obviate the its reception. objections hereafter, with such general reflec- reached if I had kept you waiting for weeks, but would tions and details of counsel as may be useful you not with better reason have complained of the delay? to the inexperienced; but, above all, no
For years it has been my study to keep contributors printed circular. That would be deliberate waiting no longer than should be absolutely necessary
for my verdict upon their MSS. insult and outrage. If it must be so, let the
“I am not only the reader of MS. offered, but also MS. be returned, but without the wanton the responsible editor of the Magazine. From an exprovocation of a printed circular with its perience of twenty years I have learned how entirely hideous “ unavailable."
an editor depends upon contributors for the success of Why should editors be put without the and I see no other possible view for an editor to take),
the periodical committed to his charge. From this view pale of humanity ? Has there been some what motive could I have for slighting any author's MS.? Dred Scott dictum against them? What “I shall be very glad to have the opportunity of contribunal has adjudged that editors have no sidering other stories from your pen; but if you should rights which authors are bound to respect ? again receive back your MS. within four or five days, I Recently a letter of biting satire was received shall expect your thanks rather than your blame.
“I am sorry that you should do your work so little by one of this fraternity. It hinted that credit as to suppose that a MS. of yours had been ac; although the injustice and partiality and cepted through the interest of your uncle. That would other wickedness of the editorial sanctum have been impossible.
Sincerely yours." were well known, and although modest, unlaurelled, and struggling literary aspirants
Such a letter will do much more than had little chance of fair treatment, it was many sermons of the Easy Chair to persuade nevertheless generally supposed among them contributors that the fate of their articles that at least the mere form of opening their depends, not upon the fame of the writer or manuscripts would be observed, and that the personal favour of the editor, but upon although they might not be actually read, the merit and the timeliness--in a word, the appearance of attention would be vouch- upon the availability-of the article itself. safed even by the most scornful editor. But The editor of a magazine is a trustee. The even this, it seemed, was too extravagant an character and the prosperity of the trust expectation. The MIŚS. were not even opened, committed to him, as well as his own repumuch less read. For if they were, how could tation and his own personal and pecuniary it happen that a contribution received on a interest, depend upon the success of the certain day, at a certain hour, should be magazine. But how can he promote that returned on the same day, at a certain other success by accepting the work of his perhour, marked with fatal precision by the post- sonal friends, or of a little clique of writers, office upon the envelope ? Unavailable, to the exclusion of the better work of unindeed! It was not unavailable, but unread. known men ? It is the editor's acceptance Would the editor, in the midst of his vast of this last which has made the fame of labours, graciously pause long enough to ex- many of the best known of living writers. plain this extraordinary rapidity in the con- 'My dear," said the wise nurse to the sideration and condemnation of a contri- young child, “bugaboos beset us on every bution ?
hand. But look steadily at them and they There was no doubt whatever that this will vanish. The man who came home at writer sincerely believed that he had been midnight saw an awful spectre, with outthe victim of an unfaithful editor, and that stretched, wide-flying arms, warning him his MS. had been received, and, without from his own door. Yet he marched bravely reading, immediately returned. There was on, and lo! it was one of his own shirts also no doubt that he believed a previous dangling in the night wind upon the clothescontribution from him to have been accepted, line." not upon its merit, but through the influence of a relation. He was evidently of opinion THERE was undoubtedly as much surprise that a magazine is edited, as an unreformed as disappointment at the result of the art civil service is filled, by mere personal competition which was opened some months favouritism, and this particular editorial since by the publishers of this Magazine. sinner should be distinctly apprised that he They made a munificent and most adhad been found out. But this was the vantageous offer for the best original elitorial reply that he received:
illustration of Domett's “ Christmas Hymn,"
which should be designed expressly for the “ I very well remember the MS. about which you competition, and should be suitable for pubwrite. The character and the incidents are fresh in lication in the Magazine. In response to my remembrance now; I could rehearse nearly every the announcement three hundred and thirtyevent related by you which occurred during that period eight drawings were offered, and twentyof dreadful suspense at the agency. graphic, but very far exceeded the space at my command three were received after the date fixed for for a short story.
closing the competition, and therefore too “I have read many complaints against editors and late for consideration. The committee, with ToL. LK II.-No. 402.460.
great regret, did not feel themselves justified duction with his name to millions of readers. by the terms of the competition in awarding It opens to him also the most American form any prize whatsoever. Even the best draw- of art work, in the sense that it has been ing which was submitted was not suitable carried to the greatest excellence in America. for publication in the Magazine. But, un- The Yankee faculty and mechanical ingenwilling to relinquish the purpose of pro- uity are offered especial opportunity in the moting the interest of art in the country by process of wood-engraving and printing. stimulating a generous rivalry in production, Under the spur of American superiority in the proposers of the competition have re- this art, English magazines are beginning to opened it upon somewhat different terms. emulate, but not yet to rival, the American.
Alfred Domett, whose hymn was selected The art, indeed, in its present excellence, is for illustration, is a poet who has a peculiar almost an American art, and the work of interest as the Waring of Robert Browning's the successful competitor for the Harper charming poem,
prize will be engraved in the most perfect “What's become of Waring
manner, and his success will be capital at Since he gave us all the slip?-
once supplied to him, whose increase will Chose land travel or sea-faring?”
depend only and wholly upon himself. The hymn is a series of pictures of various
It is an error to suppose that talent is not aspects of Christmas at different epochs and stimulated or evoked by such competition, under widely different conditions. It has a and that prize poems and prize pictures are strikingly sonorous rhythmic sweep, and in- always valueless. Such has not been the vites illustration by its graphic form and its experience of that modern school of art, rich suggestion. But whether this
France, whose cleverest pupils, sent to study
very literary excellence did not discourage the in Italy, have made their names famous. young artist by challenging him to cope
The broad and generous offer now proposed with the work of a mature master in another may not, indeed, produce a work worthy of art is a fair question. A sensitive beginner the award. Nevertheless, it invites a friendly might feel that he could only follow the lead competition of excellence, and even if the of so intrepid and confident a tread as that response should be inadequate, the endeavour of Domett in the poem, and so be deprived is wise. The mere fact that the art demand at the very beginning of that perfect freedom and activity in the country suggest and of movement which is indispensable to the justify, such an offer is in itself stimulating best design.
to artistic taste and ability. It is an eviBut whatever the feeling of the committee dence of the prosperity of art which tends to may have been—and a more competent and make it still more prosperous. It is a hint sympathetic tribunal no aspirant could to the young artist of the direction in which desire-they have suggested that the com
he should turn his talent, and if another petition be re-opened under conditions which surprise and disappointment should be in impose no restraint upon the invention of store for us, such considerations will be our the artist except that which is imposed by
consolation. the object itself. The publishers' intention is to engrave the most suitable design among
Amid all the centennial commemorations those which satisfy the terms of the offer for with which we have become familier, none the December or Christmas number of the is more worthy of the universal observance Magazine for the next year, 1881, It is to
which it will receive than the four-hundredth be à Christmas illustration, and the simple which occurs on the 10th of November. At
anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther, requirement of the competition is that the Eisleben, his birthplace, and throughout work be an original illustration to Christmas, suitable for publication in the Germany, and everywhere in the countries Magazine, of which it will occupy one page.
that lead civilisation, will the auspicious Any sacred or secular aspect of Christmas day be gratefully remembered and reverentiy may be selected. The church, the home, the celebrated. For in the truest sense Luther religious rite, the domestic feast, in any of is the father of modern civilisation. He their details or suggestions, are open to the emancipated the human mind from ecclesidesigner. But of course the combination of astical slavery. He proclaimed that freedom different designs in the same picture is to be of thought without which it is easy to see avoided. This proposal leaves every artist that, despite the great modern inventions, to range, like Queen Elizabeth, although in indefinitely prolonged, and the course of another sense,
modern civilisation must have been essenti“In maiden meditation, fancy-free."
ally different. It was the spiritual freedom The advantage which this competition which Luther asserted that produced politioffers to the young artist is not only the cal freedom and the freedom of the press; money and the opportunity of study of the Luther's spirit was to make the invention of great works of art in Europe, but it is also Gutenberg the true servant of humanity, the reputation which is at once secured to him and to open to the benign genius of liberty by the publication of his work, and its intro- the lands to which Gioja's mariner's compass