Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pared this last stroke himself the night before, when he had moved the lounge over the register that he might get the benefit of what little heat it gave out. The day being chilly, a brisk fire had been started in the furnace beneath, and he was just beginning to suffer from the effects of it, packed away, as he was, in that small compass and completely swaddled up in a heavy quilt.

The air became positively stilling. He felt the great beads of perspiration gathering on his forehead, running down his nose and back, tickling as they went, as if forty little imps were sticking straws in his nose and trailing feathers up and down his spine. Yet he had to endure it all without a wiggle, for the slightest move on his part would have betrayed his presence.

Still the young women continued their lively banter. For a while he lived on the faint hope that the lady of the house would come to his rescue, but she was busy about her morning work in another part of the house and quite unconscious of the predicament of her belated guest. Minutes gradually lengthened into an hour ; two hours passed, and still they showed no signs of departing. He could stand it no longer, for he began to feel a great weakness coming over him, from the effects of his violent sweating; and just as the young lady was preparing to execute her interrupted task of caring for her brother's clothes, Jim mustered sufficient courage to thump faintly upon the floor, and, like a tortoise, protruding his head from beneath the lounge, he very meekly murmured, “ Please, miss, those are my clothes, and I should like to put them on.” To say that the three

young ladies were startled is to express mildly the emotions that seized them upon hearing this mysterious rapping, followed by the apparition of a white face and wet disheveled locks, apparently rising like a materialized spirit from the very floor. The poor fellow looked anything but dangerous. He resembled more than anything else a person just restored to life from drowning. The girls, however, all screamed, and as soon as they could collect themselves from the first paralysis of fright, whisked out of the room like startled deer. Fortunately, they left the clothes behind them.

With all possible haste Jim emerged from his Turkish bath, slipped on his clothes, and was out of the window long before the intelligence of his predicament had reached the mistress of the house. To meet any member of the family after what he had undergone, knowing, as he did, that every one of them, guests and all, would be laughing at him, was more than a much more courageous man than Jim could have undergone.

As he dropped from the window he found himself in a small garden in the rear of the house. Separated from the garden by a fence was a long lane, sloping away to the pasture beyond. He noticed that the beaten path made by the cattle diverged at the foot of the lane, leading on the right to the open fields, on the left disappearing into a thicket of spruces and hemlocks. Hastily glancing about him to note whether he was observed or not, he climbed the fence, hurried down the lane, and taking the path on the left, quickly disappeared in the wood. Here he paused a moment, and throwing himself down on the thick yielding carpet of gray moss which wraps itself about the roots of the fir-trees, he gave way to all the pent-up bitterness to which hardly a day of his life had failed to contribute its share. As he lay there looking up at the blue sky, gleams of which he caught through the branches, the cool and peaceful stillness which surrounded him, the gentle whispering of the morning breeze among the tree-tops, broken at intervals by the melancholy and Aute-like note of some woodland bird, touched his throbbing temples with the cool and soothing effect of his mother's hand. Lulled by these soft infuences, his rebellious emotions of pride, resentment, and humiliation gradually subsided, and a mood of gentle melancholy took its place. He became tenderly reminiscent, calling up from his past life each little instance of helpless martyrdom of which he had been the victim ; and as he dwelt upon them one by one, a feeling of self-pity crept over him, which brought a lump into his throat and blurred the moving branches above his head. In the midst of this delicious melancholy, however, a sudden vision of the ridiculous and grotesque figure he had so recently cut Aashed upon him, changing all his pathetic musings to bathos. With a contemptuous sniff at his weakness he picked himself up and proceeded on his way. By making a détour of a mile or more he reached the village where he had alighted from the stage with such trepidation the night before, and at sunset he entered his home.

He did not, I believe, appear in public any more than was absolutely necessary for some time subsequent to this event, and even when he did he studiously avoided several persons.

« What finally became of him?” you ask. Well, I did not purpose to tell that, for fear that the stereotyped character of the ending might destroy the reality of my story. But to prepare you for the outcome, I would recall to your mind that the lives of the most prosaic of us are filled with little stories which would never be written, because, paradoxically speaking, they are too artificial. It was only a short time ago (and it was this, by the way, which suggested my story) that I received a card announcing Jim's marriage to no other person than the young woman who had expressed such contempt for faint-hearted men. It seems that the episode of that memorable morning, instead of breaking his courage, had so deeply stung his pride and self-respect that he had, during his self-inflicted banishment from society, sternly resolved to live down his weakness. But this time he followed the dictates of his own good sense, and appeared only as the Almighty intended him an honest, serious, and intelligent young man, taking a lesson from his own experiences and the old fable of the silly wren who undertook to deck herself out in the cast-off feathers of the canary. Since he had fallen lowest in the eyes of those three young ladies, he of course felt that he must first establish his reputation in that quarter. To me the result does not seem at all unnatural, in view of the long and earnest labor he was forced to devote to one of them in particular.

W. R. DUNHAM.

[ocr errors]

AN IMPRESSION.
I gaze far off upon the dim horizon's line,

When suddenly my heart is filled with dread;
Lo - in the distance, how the mighty forests blaze,

Their lofty summits bathed in angry red!
The mad Alames dart in fury to the bending heav'ns

That gleam and glow with lurid, ruddy light,
Where all-pervading darkness reigned a moment since,

And the enfolding gloom of blackest night.
Away with timid, cowardly fear, poor soul! Are not

“Our Father" and the “ King of Glor one?
Could any pageant less magnificent proclaim
His messenger of day, the glorious sun ?

20
Sister SISTER CONSTANCE was ill. All the long hot June day she had tossed and

turned on her hard bed. Outside, the sun had beaten on the high gray walls Constance.

of the convent with a strength that must have penetrated them had they not

been so thick. Inside, up in the dormitory, with its rows of curtained cots, the air was cool, almost damp. Everything was scrupulously clean and white, and the only bits of color to be seen were the Aushed face and the closely clipped hair of Sister Constance. Never before during the ten years Sister Constance had been a nun had she been unable to attend the daily round of duties that devolved upon her. Someway, the dull routine, coarse fare, and weary monotony of convent life had only made her olive-tinted cheeks smoother and pinker, and the black eyes, which looked out from under her nun's hood, more clear and bright. She was very fair to look upon. Once, when a novice, she had been severely reprimanded by the Mother Superior because she had been seen looking in a mirror. From that time she had never seen herself but

It was the day after she had taken her vows as a nun, when she had renounced the world and all its vanities, and the little white hood of her novitiate had been removed, and her head shorn of its thick heavy hair. The sombre black habit of the Benedictines was put on her, and the black veil, and the thick knotted cord and heavy rosary. Margarita Hoseho was dead, and Sister Mary Constance came into being. On the way from the convent to the altar and votive picture of St. Benedict, which were placed in the open air, bubbled up a little spring that stole sparkling away through the grass, forming a little pool in its journey; then on again among the willows that grew along the lower boundary of the nunnery grounds. The water in the pool was clear and still. Sister Constance was young, and a wild desire came to her to see how she looked.

once.

more.

No one was in sight. With a half-frightened air she bent over and looked in, a veritable Psyche in a nun's robes. A quick smile of pleasure lit up her face, only to be followed by a Aush of shame for her vanity. Hurrying to the altar of St. Benedict, and hastily seizing her rosary, she murmured prayers for forgiveness.

Sister Constance was always cheerful and seemingly happy. Not one of the seventy nuns about her dreamed that she was anything else. They knew nothing of her except that she was a Spaniard and the youngest of the sisterhood. Did they care ? Probably not. Curiosity dies out after dull monotonous years, with nothing to see but the chapel altar, and nothing to hear but the chapel services, and nothing to think of but prayer and penance. There was only one in the convent, a little novice with serious gray eyes, that knew anything of the life and thoughts of the beautiful Spanish Sister Constance. During all the long June days Novice Julia had sat by the rough little cot up in the dormitory, bathing the feverish face of Sister Constance, or holding the hot hand in her own cool one. Night after night had she watched by her, hearing the ravings of a wandering mind. Sometimes, she would talk in an even and seemingly connected strain, then raise her voice higher and higher, until it ended in a sharp cry, then sinking again into low, quick murmurings. It was always in Spanish, wholly unintelligible, except one little word, which sounded to Novice Julia like “George.” But the accent was peculiar, and she was not sure that it was the English name.

One day a thunder-storm came up in the afternoon. Sister Constance had been unusually restless all the morning, but as the rain began to beat against the window she grew calmer, and presently fell asleep, with her hand in that of her faithful attendant. About five o'clock, just as the rain ceased, Sister Constance opened her eyes, and the light of reason beamed in them once

She smiled at the novice, and tried to raise her head, but the effort was too much. A determined light came into her eyes, and again, by sheer force of will, she raised herself at last to a sitting posture, and lay panting. Novice Julia was frightened, but before she could speak Sister Constance said, in a whisper,

" Where are they gone ? “To vespers,” Julia replied; “no one is here but you and I.” Sister Constance looked around as if to see for herself, then said in a low tone, and at intervals, “I tell you — something."

something." As Julia tried to prevent her, she said rather sharply, “No, no, do not interrupt. I must tell you now. See, the rain ceases, — and the west sky is red, red. But before the evening star ascends, I shall be dead.” As Julia grew pale, Sister Constance smiled and continued in a tone that showed her frightful weakness,

“It is June now, -I am thirty years. Ten, twelve years ago, I live — with my father. My father was suppose rich, — for he own fruit-lands — and grain-lands — and trade with Americans. But the Americans cheat

my

father and he lose his wealth. Then he borrow money from a friend, a Mexican, Señor Pedaro - an old man, wicked man. My father - could not pay the debt, and Señor Pedaro was angry and — threaten my father. I was the prettiest — girl in Mexico — and the old Señor, he like my young face — and my singing, — and he tell my father, -ah, I do not know how you say it, — but I mean the old Señor — would marry me, and not ask for the money. My father was glad, and say yes. Ah, but I hate Señor Pedaro, and I would not marry him for all the gold in Mexico. Then I have another lover, an American; but Americans cheat my father, and he hate them,— and he say I must marry Señor Pedaro. My father and the Mexican fix the day we marry. Ah, I am wild, — I will not marry the old Señor. One day when he ride over

I

say to him, “I will not marry you. only George White, my American,' — and the old Señor laugh, and I tell him I kill him, and he laughs some more and go away. The night before the wedding, - I see George and tell him I love him, and then he fall dead, and Señor Pedaro come up and laugh again. I draw my little dagger, — and when the Mexican try to kiss me, I stab him one, - two time, — and he fall, too,

- and I laugh. I tell my father, and my father curse me, and tell me to go away. I go away and I do not go back, because Father Leo take me on a burro to the Mission, — and I stay, and by and by, — I am a nun here.”

Her voice grew stronger toward the end, and she smiled lovingly on the serious face of Novice Julia.

I marry

S. C. W.

Tufts College
Publications.

She took the hand of the novice in both hers, saying softly and sweetly, “ Yes, to you I will tell my story, because you love me and are good and never did bad. I did bad, but the Holy Virgin tell me she forgive me. Jesus forgive me, too. I am happy. See, I am growing weak now. When the evening star,” and her voice trembled, “ rise, I go to my George, my American. Kiss me, Julia — I lie down now - I can talk no more don't go away from me — tell the priest I could not have you go. Yes, I shall — go before — the star — rise —”

Sister Constance died without receiving the Blessed Sacrament, but a solemn requiem mass was said next morning in chapel, and one sincere, fervent voice joined in the prayer, “ O God, let perpetual light shine upon her, and may she rest in peace. Amen.”

20 It has long been evident to the men who have had it in charge, and to those who have watched it with knowledge of the conditions, that the TUFTONIAN is attempting to do a very difficult thing — that is, to be

at once a publication representing the literary side of college life and a college newspaper. According to the individual characteristics of the editor-in-chief, one or the other of these interests is likely to predominate, while both are treated only indifferently well. In this connection some suggestions from one who has had experience in conducting the TUFTONIAN and in the active work of journalism may not be ill-timed.

It seems clear that the college in the present stage of its development needs a newspaper — a complete and thorough record of the events of college life, conducted with the vigor and enterprise of any journal whose function is the dissemination of the latest news in a thorough manner. Such a newspaper ought, if it fulfilled its mission, to strengthen the esprit de corps in which Tufts seems just now to be so wofully deficient. It should keep the various members of the college body in better touch with each other, and give them a more complete understanding of the full life of the institution. I say should, for I know that it might fail to do any of this useful work. Much must depend on the men in charge, but such an opportunity would be open to it. It must appear at least once a week. It should be in the hands of a well-organized corps of bright, active men, in touch with all the departments of college life, and capable of giving them intelligent and sympathetic treatment. Such a paper, for a college of the size of this, need not be large, or expensive in its production. Indeed, it should not be. There is too much money put into most college publications, considering the value of the work they attempt to preserve. Eight pages like those of the present TUFTONIAN, or four somewhat larger ones, on good, but not costly paper, would be sufficient. The material to fill such a paper would be the current news of the college,and many events occurring on the Hill deserve fuller reporting than the TUFTONIAN is able to give them,- concise discussions, necessarily brief, editorial and contributed, on current matters of interest, and notices of an official or a semi-official character. There are many notices of the Faculty which should be put forth in a more satisfactory way than by means of the bulletin, which is not always seen by those for whom certain notices are intended. I make the suggestion solely as an individual that it would be worth while to ascertain whether the college authorities would not be willing to pay a certain amount for the use of space in a weekly college newspaper for official college notices, the space so used to be under the control of the secretary of the Faculty. If such an arrangement could be made it would provide for the publication of matter useful to all concerned, and would increase, in a small degree, the income of the paper. It would appear, in view of the need at times of such a frequently appearing medium of communication, that a proposition of this kind might be acceptable. So much for the newspaper side of the question.

It is also desirable that there be a college magazine, a representative of the more thoughtful side of college life. Necessarily, this involves a more expensive form. It should be published not over six times a year, for it will command more respect by few issues and good ones. It should fulfil a double function. The college newspaper will appeal almost wholly to those actively connected with the college. The magazine should not only represent the literary life and serious thought of the college ; it should also be the main reliance for putting the college in communication with its alumni. It should therefore have a high standard always before it, that it may command the respect of men of mature and cultivated minds. The publication of articles in its pages should be made a distinction to be sought for, as one of the literary honors of the college. The alumni should be contributors to its pages. We have not a large enough number of graduates to support a publication like the Harvard Graduates' Magazine, but we need to have the same work done among our graduates that is done by that admirable quarterly among those of Harvard. I therefore suggest for the college magazine the co-operation of undergraduates and graduates, that the magazine have a graduate and an undergraduate editor, with an advisory board of graduates and undergraduates. The magazine will be made of interest to graduates by broad and dignified discussion of college questions, in which the two views of alumnus and student might often be profitably given, by reviews of college progress, and by an ably conducted department relating to the graduate personnel. All this would be of interest to the students also, and in addition the magazine would give them a desirable means of literary representation, which the college should have in order to stimulate its literary impulses to their highest life.

One thing is clear. The character of a literary magazine and that of a newspaper are so distinct that the direction of the two must be in different hands if either is to live its best. It is the opinion of the writer that both can be so conducted that they will live and be powers for good in the college, and that such an arrangement as is proposed would be a marked improvement on the existing college publication. Many may differ from me, but if this article stimulates interest in the question and discussion of it it will not have been ill said.

EDWIN A. START 20 Our Alumni.

62. Edwin Ginn, the head of one of the the movement to widen Tremont Street. At a best-known publishing-houses of Boston, was meeting of the Board of Aldermen, on May 22, one of the speakers at the regular monthly upon the motion of Mr. Presho it was unanimeeting and dinner of the Citizens' Municipal mously voted to request Mayor Curtis to Union held at The Thorndike on Tuesday petition the legislature for authority to borrow evening, May 28. The subject for discussion a sum sufficient to widen Tremont Street from was “ Public Highways and Their Construc- Park Street to Scollay Square. The Boston tion.” Mr. Ginn has taken a deep interest in Record says

of him : the subject of the commercial value of well- “ It will be noticed that Mr. Presho's order built and capacious streets, and his opinions are does not limit the sum to be borrowed. We much sought and highly valued.

have heard it stated that $3,000,000 would

effect this widening, including the cost of pulling 67. The Rev. E. A. Perry, formerly pastor

down the Park Street Church and the Albion of the Universalist Church at Fort Plain, New

and Chadwick Buildings. Mr. Presho, howYork, has removed to Cooperstown, in the

ever, is a wise man. He does not, even by same State.

implication, commit himself to such a limita°79. The Rev. G. W. Penniman, of tion, because he knows that these plans when Brockton, Massachusetts, was

one of the once started always involve much heavier prominent speakers at the recent convention of expenditures than the originators name. In his the Woman's Suffrage Association, held at the

order he is perfectly frank with the people in Park Street Church, Boston. He was intro

that he does not seek to delude them as to the duced as the eloquent advocate of the cause of

cost of the widening." Woman's Suffrage in the Massachusetts Legis- '84. A call has been extended to the Rev. lature.

Frank O. Hall, of Lowell, Massachusetts, to '81. Hon. Edward W. Presho, member of

become pastor of the North Avenue Universa

list Church, Cambridge. the Boston Board of Aldermen from the Charlestown District, is one of the leaders in '85. James W. Crosby has been for two

« AnteriorContinuar »