Part 1 out of 4
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, William Flis and the Online Distributed
LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE OF POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE
Vol. XI, No. 25.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WILMINGTON AND ITS INDUSTRIES. [Illustrated]
THE ROUMI IN KABYLIA.
SECOND PAPER. [Illustrated]
A CHINESE STORY, by C.P. CRANCH.
BERRYTOWN, by REBECCA HARDING DAVIS.
THE GLACIERS OF PARADISE, by HJALMAR HJARTH BOYESEN.
THACKERAY'S "GRAY FRIARS," by AN OLD "GOWN-BOY."
A PRINCESS OF THULE, by WILLIAM BLACK.
CHAPTER IV. ROMANCE-TIME.
CHAPTER V. SHEILA SINGS.
MEDICAL EXPERT EVIDENCE, by H.C. WOOD, JR., M.D.
THE SWEET WATERS, by EDWIN DE LEON.
MADEMOISELLE STYLITES, by MARGARET VANDEGRIFT.
THE MYSTERY OF MASSABIELLE, by WILLIAM D. WOOD.
BENEDICTION, by HOWARD GLYNDON.
A NIGHT IN BEDFORD, VIRGINIA, by RICHARD B. ELDER.
OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
THE FATE OF DANGAN CASTLE.
INTERVIEWING CAPTAIN KIDD.
A DINNER EXCUSE.
LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
SHIP IN DRY-DOCK: HARLAN & HOLLINGSWORTH COMPANY.
WILMINGTON DEPOT OF THE PHILADELPHIA, WILMINGTON AND BALTIMORE RAILROAD.
THE BRANDYWINE, AND LEA'S MILLS.
IRON SHIP-BUILDING AND MACHINE-WORKS--P. 378.
CHRISTINE CREEK WITH THE DIAMOND STATE WORKS.
PLATE-IRON ROLLING-MILLS--P. 379.
MOROCCO-MAKING FACTORY.--P. 381.
COACH-BUILDING ESTABLISHMENT.--P. 381
STEAM MANUFACTORY OF SUPERPHOSPHATES.
FAUKLAND, THE SITE OF OLIVER EVANS'S MILL.
BRANDYWINE SPRINGS, ON REDCLAY CREEK.
HOUSE OF MR. J.T. HEALD.
DEPOT OF THE WILMINGTON AND WESTERN RAILROAD.
CHRISTINE RIVER, WITH WILMINGTON AND WESTERN RAILROAD BRIDGE.
CUTTING THROUGH CUBA HILL RIDGE.
VIEW OF THE WILMINGTON WHARVES.
FROM CONSTANTINA TO SETIF.
AN ARAB DOUAR.
THE STONE TURBAN.
TOBRIZ, AN ENEMY OF THE GUILLOTINE.
THE IRON GATES.
WILMINGTON AND ITS INDUSTRIES.
[Illustration: SHIP IN DRY-DOCK: HARLAN & HOLLINGSWORTH COMPANY.]
Sleepy travelers on the great route to Washington, having passed
Philadelphia and expecting Baltimore, are attracted, if it is a
way-train, by a phenomenon. The engine is observed to slacken, and
a little elderly man with a lantern, looking in the twilight like an
Arabian Night's phantom with one red eye in the middle of its body,
places himself just in advance of the locomotive. He trots nimbly
along, defending himself from incessant death by the sureness of his
legs, and after a long race guides up to the station the clattering
train, which is all the time threatening to catch him by the heel.
"Wilmington!" shouts the brakesman. Every train into Wilmington is
thus attended, as the palfrey of an Eastern pasha by the running
footman. The man's life is passed in a perpetual race with
destruction, and having beaten innumerable locomotives, he still
survives, contentedly wagging his crimson eye, and hardly conscious
that his existence is a perpetual escape.
[Illustration: WILMINGTON DEPOT OF THE PHILADELPHIA, WILMINGTON AND
Something quaint, peremptory, old-world and feudal strikes the
traveler as adhering in this custom, by which Wilmington constantly
pays for the general safety of her promenaders with the offering of
a citizen's life and limbs. This impression is right. The city is
the best-defined spot on the American map where the South begins and
the North ends. Wilmington is, for its own part, a perfect crystal
of Yankee grit, run out and fixed in a country which in the highest
degree represents the soft, contented, lazy, incoherent Bourbon
temper. We select it for our subject because it is so complete a
terminal image. There is no other instance in the country of such
sharp, close contrast. A man might step out to the city limit, and
stand with one leg in full Yankeeland, thrilling with enterprise and
emulation, and the other planted, as it were, in the "Patriarchal
Times." Elsewhere along the effaced line of Mason and Dixon the
sections die away into each other: here they stand face to face, and
[Illustration: THE BRANDYWINE, AND LEA'S MILLS.]
Wilmington's legend belongs to the general story of the settlements
along the Delaware. The discoveries of its site overlapped each other,
the Quakers discovering the Swedes, who had discovered the Dutch, who
had discovered the Indians. It was first called Willing's Town, from
a settler, and then Wilmington, from the earl of that name in England,
to whom Thomson dedicated his poem of _Winter_. But the spirit of
enterprise--the spirit whose results we are now to chronicle--came in
only with William Shipley, for whose story we must refer the reader,
strange as it may seem, to the latest novel of the first living master
of English fiction.
This introduces to our notice the most singular literary partnership
that ever was or ever will be. Dumas used to be helped out in his
splendid fictions by Maquet, but Dumas and Maquet were Frenchmen, and
had plenty of sympathies in common. Charles Reade, however, in his
romance of _The Wandering Heir_, written to minister to the Tichborne
excitement, takes for his helper the most unlikely colleague in
nature--a grave, tranquil, intensely respectable Friend, a writer of
colonial histories in a far pastoral retreat by the Delaware. Such
workmen were never matched before; yet the words of Benjamin Ferris,
the Wilmington antiquarian, form a part, and a telling part, of
the exciting romance signed by Charles Reade. The words of Ferris,
unexpectedly earning renown in a work of imagination, trace the true
tale of the Quaker prophetess, Elizabeth Shipley, who brought her
practical husband to Wilmington through the influence of a brilliant
dream. The words of Ferris, adopted and sold to the publishers by
Reade, describe the terrestrial Paradise now known as Wilmington in
just those glowing and golden terms we should have needed for the
prologue to this article if we had not been so anticipated. Reade,
so long as he keeps up his partnership with Ferris, is safe, sane
and true. It would have been well if he had kept it up a little
longer, for the moment he lets go Ferris's coat-cuff he falls into
mistakes--calling the Delaware hereabouts a "bay," and speaking of a
prickly-pear hedge on a farm only sixty miles from Philadelphia.
[Illustration: IRON SHIP-BUILDING AND MACHINE-WORKS--P. 378.]
The Reade Ferris legend, precluding any necessity of a story from us,
brings good Elizabeth Shipley into Wilmington, which was then a garden
and is now a mart, from her former home at Ridley, which was then
a forest-clearing and is now a garden, being in truth the site of
Ridley Park, the landscape-city which was described in this Magazine
last September. The legend gives all proper emphasis to the location,
endowing it with beauty enough to tempt a celestial guide from heaven
for the meek Quakeress's benefit, and with practical advantages enough
to tempt the worldly-minded husband. To get a high idea of the natural
attractions of Wilmington, therefore, read _The Wandering Heir_, thus
advertised gratuitously. Wilmington lies, says the author of _Peg
Woffington_, "between the finger and thumb of two rivers," and also
upon the broad palm of the Delaware. The two minor streams which
embrace it are entirely different in character: one is a picturesque
torrent, named by the Dutch Brand-wijn (Brandywine), from the
circumstance of a ship loaded with brandy having foundered at its
mouth; the other, serene and navigable, is the Christine, named by the
Swedes from Christina, their favorite princess. Hereabouts George Fox,
the first Quaker, built a fire in 1672 to dry his immortal leather
breeches. "We came to Christian River," he says, "where we swam over
our horses." The stream in that day, before the destruction of inland
forests, had about six times its present volume, but it is still good
for vessels of considerable burden. The thriving settlers made it
carry down the harvests of the interior, and then made the Brandywine
grind them. The focus of the rivers became a rich milling centre, and
was also a post for whaling-ships. The Otaheitan prince stepped from
the deck of the whaler to court with gifts of shells the demure Quaker
maidens of Wilmington, and Kanaka sailors were almost as familiar on
its wharves as Indian chiefs. About the time of the Revolution the
town became a well-known station for the export of quercitron bark,
and all the while the clacking mills were busy along the uneasy rapids
of the Brandywine.
[Illustration: CHRISTINE CREEK WITH THE DIAMOND STATE WORKS.]
[Illustration: PLATE-IRON ROLLING-MILLS--P. 379.]
Shall we take a glance at a historic mill? The best location for
such a structure where water-power just met tide-water, and shallops
drawing eight feet could load up at the shore, was selected in 1762
for mill-buildings which still stand, and which were for many years
the most famous in the country, regulating the price of grain for
the United States. The business soon overflowed, and necessitated the
building, in 1770, of the structures represented in the engraving on
page 371, the whole group, on the two sides of the stream, being under
one ownership, and known as "Lea's Brandywine Mills." Hither would
come the long lines of Conestoga wagons, from distant counties, such
as Dauphin and Berks, with fat horses, and wagoners persuading them
by means of biblical oaths jabbered in Pennsylvania Dutch. From these
mills Washington removed the runners (or upper stones), lest they
should be seized and used by the British, hauling them up into Chester
county. When independence was secured the State of Delaware hastened
to pass laws putting foreign trade on a more liberal footing than
the neighbor commonwealths, thus securing for her mills the enviable
commerce with the West Indies. Much shipping was thus attracted to
Wilmington, and the trade with Cuba in corn-meal was particularly
large. It was found, however, that the flour of maize invariably
rotted in a tropical voyage, and thereupon the commodity known as
kiln-dried corn was invented at the Brandywine Mills: two hundred
bushels would be dried per day on brick floors, and be thought a large
amount, though the "pan-kiln" now in use dries two thousand in the
same time. The dried meal was delivered at Havana perfectly fresh, and
pay received, in those good old days of barter, in Jamaica rum, sugar
and coffees. In the old times flour was heaped in the barrels and
patted down with wooden shovels: then, when full, a cloth was laid
over the top, and the fattest journeyman on the premises clambered up
to a seat on the heap, to "cheese it down" and imprint his callipyge
upon it. Flour thus made and branded was always safe to bring a high
price, but never so high as in the short epoch of the Continental
currency, when the old entries of the Brandywine Mill books show
(1780) wheat bought at twenty-four pounds a bushel, a pair of the
miller's leather small-clothes at eighty pounds, and some three or
four hundred barrels of his flour charged at a gross sum of twenty-one
The fine old mills are still in lively operation, manufacturing into
meal about a million bushels of wheat and Indian corn every year. The
principal proprietor receives us in his domain, the living image of
easy, old-fashioned prosperity, and narrates the long history of the
structures, showing his little museum of curiosities--now a whale's
jaw bequeathed from the old fishing days, now a Revolutionary
cannon-ball--and helps us to realize the ancient times by means of the
music of the mill, which is loquacious now as it was under George III.
Such is a specimen of one of the stout old industries of a hundred
years ago, still surviving and hale as ever, though out of its former
proportion amongst the immense enterprises of modern days. This
article, however, must pass out of the atmosphere of ancient tradition
as quickly as possible, being intended to show the handsome city of
Wilmington with its sleeves rolled up as it were, and in the thick of
the hardest work belonging to the nineteenth century. When steam was
introduced to revolutionize labor, and railroads came to supplement
water-transport, they found the manufacturers of this prosperous town
ready to avail themselves of every improvement, and pass at once from
the chrysalis state into the soaring development of modern enterprise.
That is a feature the citizens point out with a good deal of honest
pride--the prosperity of the old families, enabling them at once to
invest in the most enormous of modern mechanical applications. The
wealthy companies now found here did not go to work by calling for
capital from the large cities: they went to the old stocking, and
found it there. The manufacturers show you, reared in a back office or
sticking on a wall, the ancient family sign, which Washington and La
Fayette regarded at the time of their disasters along the Brandywine.
It is one continuity of thrift.
Take, for instance, some of these Lairds of America, who build ships
along the Delaware as their prototypes upon the Clyde. The Harlan
& Hollingsworth Company claims to be the oldest iron shipbuilding
establishment in America. The money in this concern was local. The
partners were old neighbors, relatives or friends. They worked along
as a firm until 1868, when the huge proportions of their business
induced them to incorporate themselves as a company, still
distinguished by the good old proper names. We stroll into their
domain by the river-side, and if we previously cherished any notion
that shipbuilding was a decayed institution in America, the lively
tumult here will effectually drive the insulting thought out of our
heads. Among a shoal of leviathans stretched out beside the waters
there is the iron steamer Acapulco, waiting for her compound engines
from John Elder & Co. of Glasgow: she is three hundred feet long (and
that is a dimension that looks almost immeasurable when dry on land),
forty feet beam and twenty-five hundred tons burden. Another, of
similar dimensions, is building beside her, and they are both intended
for the Pacific Mail Company's line, and will ply between California
and China. The various operations going on upon the ground--the laying
of an iron keel three hundred feet long, the modeling into true and
fine curves the enormous plates for a ship's side, the joining of
these so neatly that the rivets are not visible, and the bending of
stout iron timbers on vast iron floors--are interesting even as a
mere spectacle; and the trains of men who go about to minister to the
various great machines seem like races of beings suddenly diminished
in the scale of magnitude, and to be so many wise Lilliputians
attending around the bodies of creatures of Brobdingnag. It is true
that neat mechanical contrivances save their muscle wherever it is
possible. A great plate of iron or a bundle of deck flooring is picked
up, by a hand which swings down from aloft, like a visiting-card by
a lady: a single man turning a windlass, it sails into the air, gets
up as high as it chooses to, and drops delicately just where it is
wanted along the length of the structure. Out on the wharf a double
"hoister," working by steam, and able to pick up and swing a hundred
tons, is used in handling the materials of the works. The dry-docks
are, in winter, a singular spectacle. They are a vast hospital
of interesting invalids, the patients being steamers, barges and
canal-boats. For instance, the old Edwin Forrest, which has paddled up
the Delaware with excursionists since a time whereof the mind of man
runneth not to the contrary, comes up into the dry-dock complaining of
its bunions. The dry-dock accommodates a ship as long as three hundred
and forty feet, and is one hundred feet across. The gouty steamer
potters comfortably in, and lays up its tired keel, while the dock is
being discharged, as serenely as a patient who lays his foot on the
knee of a corn-doctor: in due time, relieved and sound, the invalid
is ready to take the stage of life again. Another boat comes in to
be lengthened: it has growing-pains, and wants assistance. The stern
is sliced off, the keel is spliced, and the adolescent leaves the
docks longer by twenty feet. On the steamers that are being finished
we notice the extreme beauty of the upholstery and of the engraved,
inlaid and polished woodwork: it is all done on the spot, and before
we leave Wilmington we shall have many occasions to admire the luxury
with which the higher kinds of joinery are prepared for the various
structures made there. On our way to the car-works--for this versatile
corporation is a great manufacturer of railway-carriages too--we
notice the throngs of workers scattered like ants over every part of
the huge area, and it occurs to us to ask if there are any strikes.
Our conductor is Mr. J. Taylor Gause, a big, hearty, shrewd man, who
knows every bolt and rivet on the whole premises as Bunyan knew the
words of his Bible.
[Illustration: MOROCCO-MAKING FACTORY.--P. 381.]
"We never have any trouble," replies Mr. Gause; "and it is owing to a
way we have of nipping sea-lawyers in the bud."
And what, may we ask, are sea-lawyers?
"Sea-lawyer is a workman's term. The sea-lawyer is the calculating,
dissatisfied, eloquent man. He is the Henri Rochefort of their
assemblies. A supposed grievance arises, the men have a meeting, and
the sea-lawyer begins to stir them up, big in his opportunity. We
find who he is, pay him on the instant, and send him away. The men
run about for a while with their complaints in their heads, but with
nobody to utter them by. It ends by their coming to us in a body
to receive back the mischief-maker, by this time repentant. This we
generally do, getting a friend converted from an enemy."
[Illustration: COACH-BUILDING ESTABLISHMENT.--P. 381]
In fact, the workmen of this city do not strike. The principal remedy
for the disease is a simple one. They are householders, being aided to
own their own houses. They are therefore committed to the interests of
the place, and do not deal in revolutions which would make wandering
Ishmaelites of them.
The Harlan & Hollingsworth Company makes great numbers of
railway-cars, from the ordinary kind to the most luxurious
saloon-cars, and the examination of the shops is entertaining
enough. Pullman, in fact, is said to have had more of his luxurious
parlor-cars built in Wilmington than in any other city. As we are
going, however, to see these carriages constructed where their
manufacture is a specialty, we will not linger here, where they occupy
but a part of an enormous establishment.
We will visit some more of the American Lairds. Pusey, Jones & Co.
show you the vast extent of their premises, occupying ten acres
and extending along the water in a thousand feet of wharfage. Their
iron ships--one of which the artist has caught just after its
completion--and other boats are moving to-day on nearly every river
emptying into our Atlantic coast or the Gulf of Mexico. Steamboats of
their build are now troubling the more distant waters of the Atrato,
Magdalena, Orinoco, Amazon, Purus, Madeira, Tocantins, Ucayali, La
Plata, Parana and Guayaquil Rivers of South America. They have other
branches of manufacture, uniting the industries of the land to the
toil of the sea. They turn out great quantities of machinery and many
engines for paper-mills and iron-rolling mills, either of which they
supply in every detail. This is an old and experienced firm, fully
settled in character, credit and reputation.
Another great industrial combination is the Diamond State Works,
established in 1853, occupying a whole block, and enjoying a frontage
of three hundred and fifty feet on the Christine. Here are made the
vast variety of things into which iron can be rolled or pinched.
The eye is puzzled and pleased at the groups of intelligent machines
standing up in their places and moulding with their steel fingers the
rivets and the bolts; the railroad spikes, washers and fish-joints;
the nuts, whether hot-pressed or cold-pressed; the lag-screws and
the bolt-ends. Bars of all sizes and for an endless number of
uses are pressed out like dough, and stored for sale in enormous
warehouses. Mr. Mendinhall and Mr. Clement B. Smyth, the president
and vice-president of this company, are of long experience in the
management of their business; and the business of the company
increases from year to year, demanding all the room in its commodious
location, and necessitating an office in New York, where, at No.
71 Broadway, the large disbursing interests of the works are partly
Such are the bare commercial facts. But stand in one of these noisy
working-grounds of a manufacturing place like Wilmington, or ride up
to the top of one of their buildings on the steam-elevators which some
of them employ. Think how these men of iron are changing the surface
of the earth, spiking rails to the prairie in distant territories,
or sending into Polynesian archipelagoes the rivet on whose integrity
depends the safety of the iron ship. How needful to human progress
is the conscientious perfection of their work! What tact they must
employ in dealing with phalanxes of laborers of different nations
and imperfect intelligence! What a stimulus to genius they are,
with their readiness to catch at any labor-saving machine! See that
astute-looking dwarf of an apparatus, biting off red-hot ends of
rods, closing its jaws together upon them in such a way as to form
a four-square mould, then smartly hitting one end so as to make a
projecting head: a railroad spike is turned off in a moment. See this
other making "nuts" as smartly as a baker makes ginger-nuts: some are
raw and some are cooked--that is, some are punched hot and some cold,
sufficing for different purposes: the cold are the softer, and the
easier to "tap" or perforate with the screw--thread. Other machines
are scissors trimming plates of iron like cardboard; others, in a
careless kind of way, spend all their time in nipping off whatever
bolts and bars are presented to them; and others make pretty rows of
rivet-holes all along the edges of huge iron plates. These animated
creatures of the mill, performing their tasks like child's play,
are efforts of intellectual genius as truly as are the dramas of
Shakespeare. And busy talents are growing up in our manufacturing
centres as in hotbeds, each one trying to carry the domain of
mechanical substitution a little farther, and so escape the necessity,
so costly in America, of paying for man-power. In several ways a grand
manufactory is a college, stimulating the human minds engaged there
in the highest degree, setting a premium on intellect and culture, and
reminding us that whoever caused some idea to take shape that never
had an existence before, was called by the ancients a "_poeta_."
[Illustration: STEAM MANUFACTORY OF SUPERPHOSPHATES.]
We will explore another of these great working-places--this time,
a group of mills as large as a modest village, yet devoted to one
special product. In 1864, Mr. Henry B. Seidel purchased a rolling-mill
which had already been in operation with varied success for eighty
years, and established the manufacture of large plates for iron
ships and boilers. In a few years, associating with himself his
superintendent, Mr. Hastings, he greatly enlarged his operations, and
the firm found their edifice too small. An ample new one, one hundred
and twenty-five feet long, was put up in 1870, upon the Church street
side of their property, and with the introduction of all the new
machines became capable of the quickest and completest operations.
Seidel & Hastings now run both mills, and turn out, when working night
and day, at the rate of between five and six thousand tons of plate
iron per annum. They prepare their own "blooms" of charcoal iron at a
great forge erected on their premises: this forge has five fires, and
is provided with the engines and blowing-cylinders for the manufacture
of boiler iron, and the monster steam-hammers necessary in its
preparation. Nature's products are here taught manners with a witness:
whatever shape they enter in, they leave in the form of pie-crust. The
tough old genius of iron, which has been trying since the creation to
build itself into mountains or dissipate itself in bogs, is taught by
the powerful persuasions of these gentlemen to pack and toughen itself
into cards, and is only recognized by the foreman when he takes count
of stock as "plate inch and a half" or "plate one-eighth."
[Illustration: FAUKLAND, THE SITE OF OLIVER EVANS'S MILL.]
But the reader has had enough of iron. We will relieve him--though
we cannot promise not to revert to the metals--with a glimpse of some
different kinds of employment. Nothing, now, can be softer than kid,
nothing more scholarly than a morocco book-binding, nothing is more
brilliant in the autumn woods than sumach, nothing is more graceful
than the pet goat of Esmeralda. We will pay a visit to one of the
morocco-factories, premising that our independent little city of
Wilmington has a wide reputation in the trade for her excellence in
this special article, and that her product in morocco is actually
the largest single item of her trade, the production last year having
exceeded two million dollars' worth. We will enter a specimen factory,
where the tame African goats playing about the yard, by putting their
skins into contact with the powdered sumach lying up stairs in the
bags, are to yield us specimens of about the best American morocco
known to commerce. The superiority of the Wilmington product is
attributed by buyers to something in the quality of the Brandywine
water, but probably the high condition and tone of the workmen has
more to do with it. In Wilmington, where a workman finds that a given
rate of wages represents better living and more happiness than in any
large city, the labor obtainable for the pay is naturally of a higher
character; and this, in a business where everything depends upon hand
manipulation, is a controlling influence. The factory we select is
that of Pusey, Scott & Co., at Madison and Third streets, five stories
high and a hundred and sixty feet deep. Over this scented labyrinth we
go, up stairs and down; now among the slippery vats, where the hides
are deprived of their hair; now into a bright room, where half a dozen
pretty sewing-machine girls are stitching the wet, slimy skins into
bags; now into gloomy cellars, where these bags are filled with
sumach-dust and water. The scene in these dark apartments, where many
of the workmen are negroes, is especially high-flavored and like a
chapter in _Vathek_. Writers usually talk of "life in the iron-mills"
as conducing to the development of herculean strength. But
iron-workers are apt to be dry and wiry, their flesh half sweated off
and their complexions unnaturally pale. For true muscular development,
rather Flemish and beefy in quality, we would instance the workmen
in this department of a morocco-factory. The skins when filled with
water are very heavy, and the jolly fellows who play at aquatic games
with them, now ducking into the tanks, now holding a bag under the
hopper whence the sumach descends, and anon stirring, manipulating
and inspecting the mass of floating pillows, are true heroes out of
Rubens' pictures. The scenes up stairs again, where young Swedes
and Irish boys dress the dry skins, painting them over with black,
and polishing and graining them by rubbing them with stones (a
back-breaking operation, apparently, in the attitude of laundresses
bent over an eternal washboard), are all highly entertaining. In
the store-rooms we see the handsome sheets of morocco, including the
kangaroo skins from Australia, perforated here and there with the
hunter's shot, and distinguishable by the enormous flap which has,
in the creature's life, encased the tail. Among them all the little
orphaned kid skins, clothed in mourning colors and so soft and small,
look very innocent and interesting. The distinguishing claim of
Wilmington is that of having been the pioneer to introduce machinery
into this as into other kinds of business. Several kinds of
labor-saving apparatus are explained to us, and the foresight in
building the apartments so that the skins travel from stage to stage
with the least possible lifting is pointed out. These economies are
said to be unmatched in the world. In this manufacture the relations
of employers with employed, and amongst each other, would appear
to be particularly happy. The morocco-makers of Wilmington seem to
believe that worth makes the man, that readiness to do a favor to
fellow-manufacturers is what shows the true "grain," and that "the
rest is naught but leather and prunello." In dealing with their men,
Messrs. Pusey, Scott & Co. have kept up the best relations, and have
solved the difficult, the crucial problem in these latitudes, of
inducing whites and negroes to labor side by side at the same task
in harmony. We believe that this one fact alone, if we were able to
develop it eloquently, would be found to stamp the character of the
principals with the best traits of benevolence, tact and sense. Mr.
Warner, our guide through the premises, concludes the exhibition
by showing us a curious set of great books in the counting house,
where the foreman of each department records his answer daily to a
list of printed questions, stating his figures, his ideas, reports,
suggestions and complaints. This diurnal inquisition, which
morally gives ventilation to the whole establishment, and relieves
difficulties at their start, seems to be another indication of an
enviable relationship, keeping up an excellent, old-fashioned sympathy
between employers and operatives.
From morocco-dressing to carriages, which are curtained and cushioned
with morocco, is not a difficult step. La Bruyere, who wrote a whole
book without making any transitions, would have passed without effort
from the establishment of Pusey, Scott & Co. to the coach-factory of
McLear & Kendall. It should be premised that coach-building is another
of the very special successes of Wilmington. She produced last year
an amount, in cash value, of carriages greater than her iron ships,
greater than her cotton fabrics, being one million four hundred
thousand dollars. The engraving shows the outside magnitude of McLear
& Kendall's factory, the largest in the city, but cannot show the
curious effect of the great show-room, filled with rockaways, buggies
of all kinds, and park phaetons. The building, which was put up in
1865, is on Ninth, King and French streets, and is two hundred and
eighteen feet in length. These makers produce annually fifteen hundred
vehicles, which are shipped to all parts of the United States. An
engine of forty horse-power assists the workmen, of whom a hundred and
seventy-five are kept in employment, earning the high wages commanded
by skilled labor, or, on an average throughout the factory, twenty
dollars per week.
[Illustration: BRANDYWINE SPRINGS, ON REDCLAY CREEK.]
After the ponderous establishments near the mouth of the Christine,
and the neater sorts of industries which can be carried on within the
city, we come to notice some of the mills and factories up stream.
Many of these are of great antiquity.
Walton, Whann & Co. boast that fully one-half the arrivals and
departures of shipping at Wilmington are in connection with their
business. What is that business? Why, it is the revival of the
fertility of the South, exhausted by the land-murdering agriculture
of slavery. The demand from the cotton regions since the war has been
enormous for the best artificial fertilizers, and the appreciation
of the particular kind made by Walton, Whann & Co. is very marked.
Planters have learned the fact, which science and experience
demonstrate, that a reliable compost must be now used for the
remunerative culture of cotton, as well as of their corn and other
staples; and their preference for the superphosphate prepared by this
firm over most other fertilizers is evinced by the fact that their
demand has for several years been largely in excess of the supply.
We need not wonder, then, at the formidable preparations made for
this mighty overdriven business. The cargoes discharging by means
of steam-power into the barges proceed from mills covering several
acres of ground, and worked by three engines, aggregating one
hundred horse-power. Think of it! the strength of one hundred horses
overtasked day by day to provide this magic powder, through which
the tired _real_ horse is to drag the plough in so many thousands of
distant acres! The machinery for grinding the organic materials is of
the most approved excellence, and is tested by the turning out, with
the power stated, of full fifteen hundred tons of the phosphate per
month. A visit to the store-house of this factory is a strange sight,
reminding the tourist of the open-air cemetery of the Capuchins at
Rome. It is a realm of bones. Bones from the South American pampas,
bones from the pork-packing houses of Cincinnati, bones from the
grazing plains of Texas, come here to mingle. The skeletons of half
a continent meet in these whirling mills for a prodigious Dance of
Death, being most emphatically denied what is the last wish of all
sentient creatures--rest for their bones.
[Illustration: HOUSE OF MR. J.T. HEALD.]
This factory is on the Christine River, just outside the limit of
the city. On Redclay Creek--a tributary to the Christine, running
into it parallel with the Brandywine--a number of mills have seated
themselves, attracted by its swift torrent, amid scenery of steeps
and rapids comparable to that on the Lehigh about Mauch Chunk. Of
these the most interesting traditions attach to the Faulkland Mills.
Their name may remind the reader of the first novel of the late Lord
Lytton--_Falkland_, written in 1828--but it was given to the spot long
before in designation of a primitive settlement, Faulk's Land. The
association with this site is that of Oliver Evans, the true inventor
of the locomotive, who here worked and dreamed in a mill enriched with
Evans, like Fitch, is one of the world's lost renowns. Had the
legislators of his time possessed sagacity enough to endow his
inventions, the advantages of steam-transport would have been
anticipated by several years, and the glory would have radiated
from the Delaware River instead of from the Hudson. His design for a
locomotive was sent to England in 1787, disputing priority with the
"steam-wagons" of James Watt. He built steamboats at Philadelphia in
1802 and 1803, and ran them successfully, antedating by five years
the Clermont of Robert Fulton--Fulton, whom people are beginning to
regard, with Mr. Stone, author of the recent _History of New York_, as
the man who has received the greatest quantity of undeserved praise
of all who ever lived. Oliver Evans, born in 1755 of a respectable
family, was a miller at Faulkland, where his smaller inventions were
first put in use. The plank just under the apex of the roof, which he
used to retire to as his private study, was shown until 1867, when the
old mill was burned. Up among the swallows, as he lay on the board--to
which, as Beecher expresses it, he "brought the softness"--the
children of his genius were conceived and delivered. The mill was
full of his labor-saving machines, which clattered to the babbling
Redclay. One of his notions was the mill "elevator" (an improvement of
something he had seen in Marshall's mill at Stanton), by which grain
was raised to the top of the building in buckets set along a revolving
belt which passed from the roof to the bottom, distributing the wheat
with spouts to the bolt. This was set up, by contributions among the
millers, at Shipley's great mill in Wilmington, and also introduced
into his own, where his other inventions of the "conveyer" and the
"hopper-boy" attracted the stares of the rival millwrights. Poor
Oliver was known to the fat millers of this neighborhood as the
inconvenient person who was always wanting the loan of a thousand
dollars to carry out a new invention. The "thinking men" among them
sagely argued that his improvements would benefit the consumer, by
increasing the supply of flour and making it cheap--a clear detriment
to the interests of capital. Then Oliver plunged desperately into his
idea of steam-motion, losing the faint vestiges of his repute for
wit, and died poor and heartbroken in 1819, the hero of an unwritten
tragedy. The happy hours of his life were the hours on the dusty plank
in the mill-gable at Faulkland.
[Illustration: DEPOT OF THE WILMINGTON AND WESTERN RAILROAD.]
Evans's mill was bought in 1828 by Mr. Jonathan Fell, and turned
into the spice-grinding establishment which is still operated by his
descendants on the same ground. But Fell's business was much older
than that purchase, being a good representative of the ancestral
industries that exist in such numbers among Penn's settlers. Early in
this century the passengers in Front street in Philadelphia laughed
at the juxtaposition of a sign just put up with an older one, the two
reading thus: "James _Scholl_--Jonathan _Fell_." He had purchased the
spice-grinding business of an English immigrant on that site, and now
the same business is carried on at Faulkland, one hundred and seven
years from its commencement, in the thirteenth generation of Fell's
descendants, after a career of accumulated and undeviating success.
Moving the factory to Faulkland, and retaining the Philadelphia
situation as a warehouse, the family have kept the old system
unchanged, served by employes as steady as themselves, two of the
latter having died of old age after forty years in their service.
The present works of C.J. Fell & Brother, combining steam and
turbine-wheel power, are represented as the most complete in America,
and produce a great variety of condiments, which season the traveler's
meal in whatever State or Territory of the Union he may visit.
[Illustration: CHRISTINE RIVER, WITH WILMINGTON AND WESTERN RAILROAD
A chalybeate spring at Faulkland, formerly much resorted to, is now
in railway communication with Wilmington, and will recover its ancient
prestige. Under the ownership of Mr. Matthew Newkirk, the late railway
manager of Philadelphia, a large hotel at the Brandywine Springs
was filled with rich Southerners for many summers, but the house was
destroyed by fire, and the flow of visitors turned aside. One of the
smaller houses, with accommodation for two hundred guests, is the
present claimant for watering-place custom. Its situation, with the
fine water-scenery, and a natural coliseum of wooded hills, is very
attractive, and the restorative properties of the spring are proved
One more interest attaches to Faulkland. Close by were the earthworks
where Washington protected his army, expecting the British attack,
but, drawn from his intrenchments by a flank movement, was tempted on,
to sustain disaster at Chadd's Ford on the Brandywine.
We have just mentioned the site as in railway communication with the
city of Wilmington. It is time to speak of the town in its relation to
means of transport and as a railroad centre.
The location of the burgh, so near the ocean, on the beach of an
immense river, and in the clasp of two smaller but partly navigable
streams, kept it, in the old times, outside the latitude of railway
improvement. Its naval facilities were thought to be sufficient for
what business it had. The Baltimore line from Philadelphia passed
through it, and could move its freight either north or south. With
the development of its iron manufactures, however, the necessity of
other connections became pressing, and in 1869 a road was opened to
the coal-regions at Reading, crossing the Pennsylvania Central at
Coatesville. Another road leads to New Castle. And now a short road
has been opened to the westward, through a very rich region for
way-freight; and with some notice of this, an artery for various
mines and quarries, we finish our duty toward Wilmington as a railway
[Illustration: CUTTING THROUGH CUBA HILL RIDGE.]
The Wilmington and Western Railroad has not yet got over the
excitement of being constructed. The creative spirit, it may be said,
was Mr. Joshua T. Heald, an enterprising Wilmingtonian, already a
director of the Wilmington and Reading line. It was he who drummed up
the stock-subscriptions among his fellow townsmen. On July 8, 1871,
he struck the first pick into the line as president, and in October,
1872, the road was opened for travel as far as Landenberg in
Pennsylvania. The Wilmington and Western Road crosses Christine River
in the suburbs, then follows the valley of Redclay Creek, past all its
mills and local improvements, sends visitors to Brandywine Springs,
and passes the birthplace of the inventor Oliver Evans, while its
contemplated extension will pass it close to the birthplace of Robert
Fulton, in the Peachbottom slate region of Pennsylvania. No bad omen
for a steam-road, to have had its ground first broken at the cradle of
one steam inventor and to lead to the cradle of another!
Regarding a map, to the west of Wilmington we see that there is a
continuous tier of counties, from one extremity of Pennsylvania to
the other, which has no great railway running east and west. A few of
these counties are penetrated by feeders to the Pennsylvania Railroad
or by other lateral roads, but they are not opened by any general
comprehensive system; yet this section of Pennsylvania is one of
the richest in mineral wealth. It has limestone, slate, iron ore,
bituminous coal and other deposits. From one extremity to the other it
is a region well worth development, and sure to reward by a large and
valuable traffic the line of railway which will carry its products to
the tide-water markets for sale or transhipment. The road is still an
infant, but a good symptom is, that within six weeks of its opening
the gross earnings of the company had reached a sum more than equal
to the weekly interest on its bonded debt. Its extension to Oxford and
the Susquehanna River is a matter for the immediate future.
So much for the facilities of moving Wilmington's many products by
railway. It would be too unjust, however, to pay court to these roads,
which are matters of yesterday, and show no attention to the system of
water-transport for the sake of which her site was chosen two hundred
Long years ago, Wilmington millers, wishing to ship flour to
Philadelphia, used to walk down to Market street wharf, and pulling a
bellcord that hung outside a little brick office by the river, summon
to his duty the easy-going and cheerful freight-clerk of the transport
line. The old sign, with the name of "Warner" upon it, is still upon
the office, but the bell is gone, and the premises of Charles Warner
& Co. have blossomed out into store-sheds and coal-sheds beyond
all calculation. The guiding instinct of the firm was found to be
concentrated in the handsome head of Mr. E. Tatnall Warner, a son
and now a partner; and it was he who sketched out the amplitude of
the store-houses, and determined to bring the line into victorious
competition with the rail for all the freight of the port that would
bear slow moving. The wharves of Warner & Co. now extend from Water
street to the Christine River, and from Market to King streets. There
are three communications daily with Philadelphia, and tri-weekly ones
with New York and Boston. Their Philadelphia line consists of two
steam-barges of one hundred and fifty tons, and they are constructing
a third at a shipyard we have yet to examine--that of the Jackson
& Sharp Company--of two hundred and fifty tons burden. The four
railroads of Wilmington--the Baltimore line, the Wilmington and
Reading, the Western, and the Delaware Road--all run their cars by
continuous rails to the wharves of Warner & Co., where freight is
transferred from cars to steamers with extreme rapidity, by four
steam-hoisters placed on the ground for the purpose. A stationary
engine also takes hold of the cars, and moves them from place to place
on the rail as wanted. The handling by steam-power--a great change
from the days of the old bell under the eaves!--of course reduces
greatly the necessity for mere human porters. The steamers ply to a
wharf at Chestnut street, Philadelphia, and also, as aforesaid, to New
York. In respect to the latter port, the Messrs. Warner anticipate an
early day when various novel manufactures established at Wilmington
will demand new freights from the New York market, and to hasten that
day they offer very strong inducements for return cargoes. Such is a
specimen of a transport-office, transformed from old-fashioned ideas
to the newest ambitions of the time. While the iron road will always
collect a large portion of moving merchandise, there will still
be another large portion for which the superior cheapness of
water-transport will be a successful inducement.
[Illustration: VIEW OF THE WILMINGTON WHARVES.]
An immense bid which Wilmington makes for future greatness is in the
excellence of her harbor. Shipping there is at once safe and unimpeded
in its exit. The Delaware and its bay below the city are broad and
without sudden bends. Ice does not gather, and the influence of the
ocean, by its tidal movement and salt water, makes the breaking of a
channel comparatively easy. The Christine harbor, from any point near
its mouth, can be kept open to the sea in all ordinary winters by a
stout and well-built tug. The Christine is much wider--probably by
three times--than the Chicago River, upon which every ton of the
magnificent commerce of that great city is delivered. It has a better
entrance and deeper water, as well as greater breadth. Wilmington
believes she has a better issue for her manufactures in the Christine
and Delaware than Glasgow possesses in the Clyde. The Clyde is
narrower and more difficult to keep in order than the Christine, and
Glasgow's facilities for getting materials for shipbuilding are not as
great as Wilmington's.
The difference in the cost of production of iron ships in Wilmington
and on the Clyde, exclusive of the premium on gold, is at this time
about ten per cent. only. Taking the present price of gold (fourteen),
this increases the difference to about twenty-four per cent. The
falling off in the price of gold, which is so generally expected,
together with the advance in labor in Great Britain, and the
consequent advance in the price of iron there, will soon bring the
cost nearly equal in both countries. Indeed, if our shipbuilders would
use the light and inferior iron in their ships that is used on the
Clyde, the cost would not now materially differ. This will not be
done, however, for reasons that are too evident to need stating; and
by waiting until the prices have adjusted themselves naturally and
permanently, a more lasting and desirable prosperity will be gained.
Meditating these considerations, Wilmington is quite serene
and fearless under the present temporary depression of American
There are some features connected with the life and education of the
operatives so abundant in this town, some additional industries, a
few items of religious history, and a few evidences of modern taste
or luxury, that we wish to consider; but these must be reserved for a
THE ROUMI IN KABYLIA.
[Illustration: FROM CONSTANTINA TO SETIF.]
The Roumi who leaves Constantina for Setif has a choice of two
routes--one picturesque, lively and covered with Roman remains; the
other perfectly arid, and distinguished by the fact that in five miles
there are just four trees.
He turns, however, as he settles himself in his stirrup amongst the
interested Arab population of Constantina, to cast a last look at the
ugly French streets in which, as a tourist, his lot was cast. The Arab
quarters, where life still flows on in the old African style, have
seized his attention exclusively, and he remembers with a kind of
contemptuous remorse that he has paid no regard to the smart modern
edifices and offices that belong to French occupation. Yet one of
these, at least, the staring Napoleonic Palais de Justice, would yield
him a romance from time to time.
Here, in December, 1872, twenty-one natives of the Belezma were tried
at a court of assizes for the massacre, last April, of twelve French
colonists. The affair was a sequel of the French-Prussian war. The
natives, for a long time past on good terms with strangers, became
insolent, boasting that France was ruined, and that all the French
would soon disappear from Algeria. Some of the tribes, however,
remained, if not friendly, at least less hostile. The revolt had
become almost general, and on the 21st of April the sheikh Brahim of
the Halymias informed the little colony near Batna that they were
no longer safe in the forest, and offered to escort them into Batna.
These colonists were the workmen at the saw-mills of a M. Prudhomme,
about ten miles out of the town. The Europeans, consisting of thirteen
men, one woman named Dorliat and her four children, set out the next
morning, accompanied by Brahim and about forty of his men. On arriving
in a ravine they were suddenly attacked by a large body of the rebels.
Six of the party, who were in the rear, succeeded in escaping, but
twelve of the men were massacred. Madame Dorliat, it is said, owed
her life to a native named Abdallah at the saw-mills, who, on seeing
her in tears before starting, said to her: "Woman, you have nothing
to fear: no harm will be done to you or to your children. As for the
men, I will not answer for them." As she continued to weep, he added:
"Listen! When you see the guns pointed at your breast, say this
prayer: 'Allah! Allah! Mohammed racoul Allah!' and you will be saved."
He also taught the same prayer to her children. In the midst of the
slaughter several Arabs had leveled their firearms at her to shoot
her, when she remembered Abdallah's lesson, and throwing herself on
her knees to them repeated the invocation. The murderers stopped, made
her say it over again, and asked, "Do you mean it?" On her replying
in the affirmative they spared her, but stripped her entirely naked,
and took from her three of her children: she only recovered them
thirty-two days later, and one of them died from a sabre-cut in the
head, received during the fight. The woman's husband was among the
killed, and so was the proprietor of the mill, M. Prudhomme. Of the
twenty accused brought to trial at Constantina, twelve were condemned
to death and three to hard labor; the others, among whom was the
sheikh Brahim, being acquitted.
[Illustration: MOUNTAIN ARABS.]
Severe justice is the only condition on which French supremacy can be
maintained in the country, and probably for the general Arab populace
the rule of the Gauls is a judicious one. But it is to be questioned
whether the rule of _talion_ is the right one for the Kabyles.
In 1871, at the height of the French troubles with the Commune,
formidable revolts were going on among the descendants of those
untamable wretches whom Saint Arnaud smoked out in a cave. In July the
garrison at Setif heard the plaint of a friendly cadi, named D'joudi,
who had been wantonly attacked for his loyalty to the French by some
organized mutineers under Mohammed Ben-Hadad. The poor wretch had been
obliged to flee, with his women and his flocks, into the protection
of his country's oppressors. Since the chassepot has succeeded in
reducing the Kabyles once more to a superficial obedience, the courts
have been busy with the sentences of their insubordinate leaders.
France imitates England's sanguinary policy in her treatment of
rebellious and semi-civilized tribes. Eight of the leaders of the
Kabyle revolt of 1871 have been condemned to death, and a number
of others have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. The
Kabyles will take their revenge when another European war places the
Algiers colonists at their mercy.
The guides who accompany the traveler serve, in the absence of the
trees, to attract his scrutiny. These mountain Arabs are superb
fellows. Lips almost black, and shaded with lustrous beards, set off
their perfect teeth, white, small, and separated like those of a young
dog. Their black eyes are soft or stern at will. They are usually of
middle size, large-chested, as befits Arabs from the hills, with small
heads and finely-tapered wrists and ankles. They are dressed in red,
with a covering of two bornouses--a white one beneath, and a black
one fastened over. Long iron spurs are attached to their boots of
red morocco, which come up to the knee; for the Algerian Arab, a
bare-legged animal when walking, is a booted cavalier when mounted.
The white haik, or toga, is fastened around the temples. The horse
of the principal guide is a fine iron-gray, with an enormous tail of
black--high-stepping, and carrying his elaborately-draped burden as
proudly as a banner.
[Illustration: AN ARAB DOUAR.]
In contrast to this imposing guard of honor, the traveler minces along
on a dumb, timid mule, who smells the ground in a sordid and vulgar
manner, and is guided by a pitiful rope bridle. Such are the hackneys
and the guides, engaged on the recommendation of the commandant of
Constantina, who undertake to carry us to Setif and on to Bou-Kteun
[Illustration: THE WASHERWOMEN.]
Setif, the ancient metropolis of this part of Mauritania, and
celebrated for a brave defence against the invading Saracens, is now
the healthiest spot occupied by the French in all Algeria. It lies on
a great table a mile above the sea, is fortified, and has four good
streets, but pays for its salubrity by the extreme outspokenness of
the climate. It is subject to snow for six months, and is enveloped
in a cloud of dust the other six. It is in the midst of a great
grain-producing country, and is famed for its market, held every
Sabbath. The surrounding folk dress for market, instead of dressing
for Sunday, and exhibit the whitest of bornouses above the dustiest of
legs as they sit crooning over trays of eggs or onions, brought far on
foot through the powdery roads.
As we leave Setif we are overtaken by the lumbering stage-coach, which
plunges and jolts over the road to Sibou-Areridj--a coach apparently
about the age of the carriage of General Washington, for Algeria is
the infirmary of all the worn-out French diligences. Sibou-Areridj is
reached and passed, and a few miles farther on is encountered an Arab
douar, or assemblage of tents forming a tribal fraction. This woven
village, although we have attained the limits of Kabylia, reminds us
that we have not yet reached the Kabylian abodes: an Arab lives in
a tent in all localities outside the great cities--a Kabyle, never.
However poor the hut in which the Kabylian artisan starves and labors,
it must be a solid mansion founded upon the soil, and its master
must feel himself a householder. Our douar proves to be an encampment
belonging to the marabouts, or high religious orders, situated on a
large plot of ground in the ownership of the saints, and extending
up to the limits of Kabylia. Composed of a circle of tents numbering
about fifty, and exhibiting numbers of fine horses picketed near
the tent-doors, it is as fine a specimen as we shall see of the
patriarchal life inherited from the unfatherly father of Ishmael. The
pavilions are of a thick camel's hair stuff, very laboriously made
by the women, which swells up in the rain and completely excludes
moisture. They are striped brown and yellow, but a splendid tabernacle
in the centre, of richer colors and finer fabric, bears at the apex
a golden ball with plumes of ostrich feathers, the sign of authority.
This tent is oval in form, resembling an overturned ship. It is the
residence and office of the sheikh, or chief of the douar: several
douars united form a tribe, governed by a caid. We venture to visit
the sheikh, assured by our spahi guides that we shall be welcome. We
are received blandly by the officer, offensively by his dogs, a throng
of veritable jackals who scream around our feet as we enter. The
interior, rich and severe at once, exhibits saddles and arms, gilded
boxes and silken curtains, without a single article of furniture. The
sheikh treats us to mild tobacco in chiboukhs--another sign that we
are not yet in Kabylia: never is a Kabyle seen smoking. We reciprocate
by offering coffee, made on the spot over our spirit-lamp--a process
which the venerable sheikh watches as a piece of jugglery, and then
dismisses us on our way with the polite but final air which Sarah may
be supposed to have used in dismissing Hagar.
[Illustration: THE STONE TURBAN.]
The douar, like a city, has suburbs of greater squalor than its
interior, and among them, under the palm trees, we see women washing
clothes or engaged in the manufacture of couscoussou, a dish common
to the Arab, the Kabyle and the traveler hereabouts, and so important
that a description of its preparation may be acceptable.
In the opening of a small tent, then, we paused to watch an old
moukere (or daughter of Araby), whose hands look as if she had been
stirring up the compost-heap of bones, pickings and dirt before the
door. With these hands she rolls dexterously a quantity of moistened
flour upon a plate. Long habit has made it easy to her, and in an
incredibly short time she has formed a multitude of small grains--her
hands, it must be said, looking a great deal cleaner after the
process. On the fire is a pot of water, just placed. She interrupts
her labor to throw in a piece of kid, which, with a quantity of
spices, she stirs around with her callous hand, almost to the
boiling-pitch of the water. She then addicts herself once more to
the manufacture of the flour-grains, of which she has directly made
a perfect mountain. The water now boiling, she places the granulated
paste in a second earthen pot or vase, whose bottom, pierced like a
colander with holes, fits like a cover upon that in which the meat is
boiling. The steam cooks the grains, which are afterward served upon a
platter, with the meat on top and the soup poured over. All travelers
agree that, when you do not witness the preparation, couscoussou is a
toothsome and attractive dish, fit to be set beside the maccaroni of
On the plateau outside the douar we find the cemetery, with its tombs;
for the Arab, content to sleep under tissue while he lives, must needs
sleep under mason-work after he is dead. Under the koubba, or dome,
is seen a sarcophagus covered with a crimson pall, the tomb of a dead
marabout: banners of yellow or green silk, the testimony of so many
pilgrimages to Mecca, hang over the dead. In the graveyard round about
are tombstones roughly sculptured, and the stone turbans indicating
the cranium of a Mussulman; the Arab, again, after building his
house of camel's hair, ordering his last turban to be woven by the
We pass along a sterile country, with chalky rocks cropping from the
ground and making our way increasingly difficult. All is dry as a
lime-basket. The climate here, completely wanting in the sense of a
just medium, knows no resource between the utter desiccation of all
the water-courses in summer and an outpouring in winter which carries
away trees, crops and arable earth, presenting the farmer with a
result of boulders and sand. The rocks sound beneath our animals' feet
for an hour or two: we dip into a ravine and attain Bou-Kteun, our
first Kabylian town.
It is night, and we invoke the hospitality of the village chief,
called by the Kabyles the amin. Our prayers are not refused. The
amin receives the strangers, not so much from a feeling of social
etiquette, of which he knows little, as from his religion, which
commands him to receive the guest as the messenger of God. He comes
to the threshold, kisses our hands without servility, waits on us at a
supper which he is too polite to share, and presents us with a prayer
at our bedside. Bou-Kteun, situated halfway up the "Red Plateau,"
guards the pass called the Gates of Iron. It is an uninteresting
village, the official house being alone respectable amidst a town of
huts. As the amin accompanies us a little way outside the burgh, we
remark, among the young orchards, stumps of olive and fig trees sawn
away at the base. The amin shows them with sad satire, saying in
explanation, "French Roumi:" it was the Christian French.
That is the term, meaning no compliment, which the Kabyle fits to all
Europeans alike. In vain the Frenchman, writhing with intellectual
repugnance, explains that he is not a Christian--that he is a
Voltairean, a creature of reason, an _illumine_. The Kabyle continues
to call him a Roumi, which will bear to be translated Romanist, being
imitated from the word Rome and applied to all Catholics. These same
tribes doubtless called Saint Augustine a Roumi, and he returned the
epithet Barbari or Berbers--a name which the emperors applied with
vast contempt to the hordes and mongrel population of exiles and
convicts that peopled Mauritania, and which the natives retained until
the Arab invasion, when they changed Berber for Kebaile.
The Romans conquered the shores and the plains. You find none of
their ruins among the mountains, where the Berbers, from the Roman
occupation to the French, have preserved an independence never
The Kabyle villages are united into federations. If these federations
engage in quarrels--which is by no means rare--or if a village is
menaced by an enemy, signals are placed in the minarets to appeal
to the towns of the same party. These are easily seen, for all the
villages are on hilly crests and visible from a distance. From the
summit of Taourit el Embrank we can count more than twenty of these
Kabyle towns, perched on the peaks around us, and separated by
[Illustration: TOBRIZ, AN ENEMY OF THE GUILLOTINE.]
Every trait points out the distinction between the Kabyles and the
surrounding Arabs. The Arabs seek laziness as a sovereign good; the
Kabyles are great artificers. The Arabs imprison their wives; the
Kabyle women are almost as free as our own. The Kabylian adherence to
the Mohammedan faith is but partial, and is variegated by a quantity
of superstitions and articles of belief indicating quite another
origin. While the Koran proclaims the law of retaliation, eye for
eye and tooth for tooth, the more humane Kabyle law simply exiles
the criminal for ever, confiscating his goods to the community. It
is true, the family of a murdered person are expected to pursue the
homicide with all the tenacity of a Corsican vendetta, but the tribal
laws are kept singularly clean from the ferocity of individual habits.
A strange thing, indicating probably a derivation from times at least
as early as Augustine, is that the Kabyle code (a mixture, like all
primitive codes, of law and religion) is called by the Greek term
canon (_kanoun_). An institution of great protective use, in practice,
is the safe-conduct, or _anaya_, a token given to a guest, traveler or
prescript, and which protects the bearer as far as the acquaintance of
the giver extends: it may be a gun, a stick, a bornouse or a letter.
The _anaya_ is the sultan of the Kabyles, doing charity and raising no
taxes--"the finest sultan in the world," says the native proverb. The
Kabyles press into all the towns and seaports for employment with
the same independence as if they were a neighboring nationality. They
build houses, they work in carpentry, they forge weapons, gun-barrels
and locks, swords, knives, pickaxes, cards for wool, ploughshares,
gun-stocks, shovels, wooden shoes, and frames for weaving. They weave
neatly, and their earthenware is renowned. In addition, they are
expert and shameless counterfeiters. Yes, the fact must be admitted:
these rugged mountaineers, so proud, and, according to their own code,
so honorable, never blush to prepare imitations of the circulating
medium, which they only know as an appurtenance and invention of their
civilized conquerors. In his rude hovel, with all the sublimities
of Nature around him, this child of the wilderness looks up to the
summits of the Atlas, "with peaky tops engrailed," and immediately
thereafter looks down again to attend to the engrailing of his neat
five-franc pieces, which can hardly be told from the genuine. This
multiplication of finance was punished under the beys with death.
The bey of Constantina arrested in one day the men of three tribes
notorious for counterfeiting, and decapitated a hundred of them. There
was lately to be seen at Constantina the executioner who was charged
with this punishment, the very individual who cut off the ingenious
heads of all these poor money-makers, and did not "cut them off with
a shilling." He appeared to modern visitors as a modest coffee-house
keeper in the Arab quarters, who would serve you, for two cents, a
cup of coffee with the hand that had wielded the yataghan. He was an
old Turk, with wide gray moustaches, dressed in a remarkable and
theatrical fashion. He wore a yellow turban of colossal size, and an
ample orange girdle over a dress of light green. Poor Tobriz--that was
his name--was violently opposed to the introduction of the guillotine
in Algeria. In the days of his prosperity an enormous sabre was passed
through his flaming girdle. In the early years of the French conquest
Tobriz was employed in the decapitations, which were executed with a
saw, and must have been a horrible spectacle. He remembered well the
execution of the hundred counterfeiters in one night, and their heads
exposed in the market.
[Illustration: THE IRON GATES.]
A rapid descent from Bou-Kteun to the bed of a river of the same name,
and a pursuit of the latter to its confluence with the river Biban,
lead through impressive ravines to the Iron Gates. The waters of the
Biban, impregnated with magnesia, leave their white traces on the
bottoms of the precipices which enclose them. The mules pick their
way over paths of terrible inclination. At length, at a turn in the
overhanging reddish cliffs, where a hundred men could hold in check
an entire army, we find ourselves in front of the first gate. It is a
round arch four yards in width, pierced by Nature between the rocks.
The second is at twenty paces off, and two others are found at a
short distance. Between the first and second we observe, chiseled in
the stone above the reach of the water, "_L'Armee Francaise_, 1839,"
engraved by the sappers attached to the army of the duke of Orleans on
the passage of the expedition.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A CHINESE STORY.
None are so wise as they who make pretence
To know what fate conceals from mortal sense.
This moral from a tale of Ho-hang-ho
Might have been drawn a thousand years ago,
Long ere the days of spectacles and lenses,
When men were left to their unaided senses.
Two young short-sighted fellows, Chang and Ching,
Over their chopsticks idly chattering,
Fell to disputing which could see the best:
At last they agreed to put it to the test.
Said Chang: "A marble tablet, so I hear,
Is placed upon the Bo-hee temple near,
With an inscription on it. Let us go
And read it (since you boast your optics so),
Standing together at a certain place
In front, where we the letters just may trace.
Then he who quickest reads the inscription there
The palm for keenest eyes henceforth shall bear."
"Agreed," said Ching; "but let us try it soon:
Suppose we say to-morrow afternoon."
"Nay, not so soon," said Chang: "I'm bound to go,
To-morrow, a day's ride from Ho-hang-ho,
And sha'n't be ready till the following day:
At ten A.M. on Thursday let us say."
So 'twas arranged. But Ching was wide awake:
Time by the forelock he resolved to take;
And to the temple went at once, and read
Upon the tablet: "To the illustrious dead--
The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang."
Scarce had he gone when stealthily came Chang,
Who read the same; but, peering closer, he
Spied in a corner what Ching failed to see--
The words, "This tablet is erected here
By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear."
So, on the appointed day--both innocent
As babes, of course--these honest fellows went
And took their distant station; and Ching said,
"I can read plainly, 'To the illustrious dead--
The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang.'"
"And is that all that you can spell?" said Chang.
"_I_ see what you have read, but furthermore,
In smaller letters, toward the temple-door,
Quite plain, 'This tablet is erected here
By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear.'"
"My sharp-eyed friend, there are no such words!" said Ching.
"They're there," said Chang, "if I see anything--
As clear as daylight!" "Patent eyes, indeed,
You have!" cried Ching. "Do you think I cannot read?"
"Not at this distance, as I can," Chang said,
"If what you say you saw is all you read."
In fine, they quarreled, and their wrath increased,
Till Chang said, "Let us leave it to the priest:
Lo, here he comes to meet us." "It is well,"
Said honest Ching: "no falsehood he will tell."
The good man heard their artless story through,
And said, "I think, dear sirs, there must be few
Blest with such wondrous eyes as those you wear.
There's no such tablet or inscription there.
There was one, it is true; 'twas moved away,
And placed _within_ the temple yesterday."
A straggling old house, painted yellow, and set down between a
corn-field and the village pasture for family cows; old walnut trees
growing close to its back and front, young walnut trees thrusting
themselves unhindered through beet and tomato patches, and even
through the roof of the hennery in the rear, which had been rebuilt to
accommodate them, spreading a heavy shade all about, picturesque but
Old Peter Guinness used to sit on the doorstep every hot summer
evening, smoking his cigar, and watching the hens go clucking up to
roost in the lower branches and the cattle gathered underneath.
"What a godsend the trees are to those poor beasts!" he said a dozen
times every summer.
"Yes. We risk dampness and neuralgia and ague to oblige the town
cows," Mrs. Guinness would reply calmly.
"I shall cut them down this fall, Fanny. I'm not unreasonable, I hope.
Don't say a word more: I forgot your neuralgia, my dear. Down they
But they never did come down. Mrs. Guinness never expected them to
come down, any more than she expected Peter to give up his cigar.
When they were first married she explained to him daily the danger of
smoking, the effect of nicotine on the lungs, liver and stomach: then
she would appeal to him on behalf of his soul against this debasing
temptation of the devil. "It is such a gross way to fall," she would
plead--"such a mean, sensual appetite!"
Peter was always convinced, yielding a ready assent to all her
arguments: then he would turn his mild, cow-like regards on her: "But,
my dear, I smoke the best Partagas: they're very expensive, I assure
Long ago his wife had left him to go his own way downward. As with
smoking, so with other ungodly traits and habits. She felt his
condemnation was sure. It was a case for submission at the female
prayer-meeting; bemoaning his eternal damnation became indeed a part
of her religion, but the matter was not one to render her apple-cheeks
a whit less round or her smile less placid. The mode in which Peter
earned their bread and butter interfered more with her daily comfort
and digestion. Dealing in second-hand books, half of which were
dramatic works, was a business not only irreligious, but ungenteel.
She never passed under the swinging sign over the door without feeling
that her cross was indeed heavy, and the old parlor, which had been
turned into a shop, she left to the occupancy of her husband and
Out of the shop, one summer afternoon, had come for an hour the
perpetual scrape, scrape of Peter's fiddle. He jumped up at
last, suddenly, bow in hand, and went to the doorstep, where his
stepdaughter sat sewing. From the words he had overheard in the next
room he was sure that the decisive hour of life had just struck for
the girl, and there she was stitching her flannel and singing about
"Alpine horns, tra-la!" She ought to have known, he thought, without
hearing. A woman ought to be of the kindred of the old seeresses,
and by the divine ichor or the animal instinct in her know when the
supreme moment of love approached.
But what kind of love was this coming to Kitty?
He twanged the strings just over her head, to keep her from hearing,
but quite out of tune, he was so agitated with the criticalness of
the moment. But then most moments were critical to Peter Guinness, and
agitation, his wife was wont smilingly to assure him, was his normal
He anxiously watched Catharine's restless glances into the room where
her mother and the clergyman sat in council. She had guessed their
object then? She was opposed to it?
A thoughtful frown contracted her forehead. Suddenly it cleared:
"Oysters? Yes, it is oysters Jane is broiling. I'm horribly hungry.
I could go round the back way and bring us a little lunch in here,
father. They'll never see us behind the books."
"Shame on you, Kit! You're nothing but a greedy child." But he laughed
with a sudden sense of relief. She really was nothing yet but a
healthy child with a very sharp remembrance of meal-times. It would
be years before her mother or Mr. Muller would talk to her of the
marriage or the work they had planned for her.
"Just as you please," taking up her flannel again. "Very likely it
will be midnight before we have supper: Mr. Muller often forgets
to eat altogether. From what mother tells me, I suppose approving
conscience and a plate of grits now and then carry him through the
day. It's different with me."
"Very different, Kitty. Don't flatter yourself that you will ever be
like him in any way. William Muller is a Christian of the old type.
Though, as for grits, a man should not disregard the requirements of
the stomach too much," with an inward twinge as he smelt the oysters.
He began to play thoughtfully, while Kitty looked again through
the book-shop to the room beyond. The books about her always made
unfamiliar pictures when one looked at them suddenly. They lay now
in such weights of age and mustiness on the floor, the counters, the
beams overhead, the yellow walls of them were lost in such depths of
cobwebs and gloom, that they made a dark retreating frame, in which
she sat like a clear, fine picture in the doorway, the yellow sunset
light behind her. She could see her mother looking in at her, and the
plump, neat little clergyman in his tight-fitting ribbed suit of brown
and spotless shirt-front. He gently stroked his small black imperial
as he talked, but his eyes behind their gold eye-glasses never wavered
in their mild regard of her. Kitty grew restless under it.
"Mr. Muller is talking of the class of books you keep, father," she
said, lowering her voice: "I'm sure of it. They are as unsavory in his
nostrils as to the reformers in the village. They'd all excommunicate
you if they could."
"Guinness, Book Agent, Kitty," finishing his tune with a complacent
scrape, "has been known for twenty years, while Berrytown belongs
to yesterday. But the intolerance of these apostles of toleration is
unaccountable. They mean well, though. I really never knew people
mean better; yet--" He finished the sentence with a shake of the head,
solemnly burying the fiddle in its case.
Both he and Catharine turned involuntarily to the window. Five years
ago there had been half a dozen old buildings like the Book-house
stretched along Indian Creek, the roofs curled and black, the walls
bulging with age and damp. Now, there was Berrytown.
Berrytown was the Utopia in actual laths, orchards and bushel-measures
of the advance-guard of the reform party in the United States. It was
the capital of Progress, where social systems and raspberries grew
miraculously together. Thither hied every man who had any indictment
against the age, or who had invented an inch-rule of a theory which
was to bring the staggering old world into shape. Woman-Suffrage,
Free-Love, Spiritualism, off-shoots from Orthodoxy in every sect, had
there food and shelter. Radical New England held the new enterprise
dear as the apple of her eye: Western New York stretched toward
it hands of benediction. As Catharine looked out, not a tree stood
between her and the sky-line. Row after row of cottages replete with
white paint and the modern conveniences; row after row of prolific
raspberry bushes on the right, cranberry bogs on the left--the great
Improved Canning-houses for fruit flanking the town on one side,
Muller's Reformatory for boys on the other. The Book-house behind its
walnut trees, its yellow walls clammy with lichen, was undeniably a
blot, the sole sign of age and conservatism in a landscape which, from
horizon to horizon, Reform swept with the newest of brooms. No wonder
that the Berrytownites looked askance at it, and at the book-fanciers
who had haunted the place for years, knowing old Guinness to be the
keenest agent they could put upon the trail of a pamphlet or relic.
The old man grew surly sometimes when sorely goaded by the new-comers.
"There's not a man of them, Kitty," he would say, "but has ideas; and
there's not an idea in the town five years old." But generally he
was cordial with them all, going off into rapt admiration of each new
prophet as he arose, and he would willingly have stood cheek by jowl
with them in their planting and watering and increase if they had not
snubbed him from the first. Book-shops full of old plays, and a man
who talked of Scott's width of imagination and Clay's statesmanship,
were indigestible matter which Berrytown would gladly have spewed out
of her mouth. "What have aimless imagination and temporizing policy
to do with the Advancement of Mankind? Dead weight, sir, dead weight!
which but clogs the wheels of the machine." Any schoolboy in Berrytown
could have so reasoned you the matter. While Catharine was growing
up, therefore, the walnut trees had shut the Guinnesses into complete
social solitude until deliverance came in the shape of Mr. Muller.
Besides her supper now, Catharine wanted her share of this visitor.
Nothing else, in fact, came in or went out of her life. Outside lay
emancipated Berrytown, to unemancipated Kitty only a dumb panorama:
inside, her meals, her lessons and perpetual consultations with her
mother on bias folds and gussets while they made their dresses or
sewed for the Indian missions. Kitty was quite willing to believe that
the Berrytown women were mad and unsexed, but ought the events of
life to consist of beef and new dresses and far-off Sioux? She laughed
good-humoredly at her own grumbling, but she looked longingly out of
the window at the girls going by chattering in the evenings with their
sweet-hearts; and certainly the Man coming into her life had affected
her not unpleasantly. Not that the clergyman, with his small jokes and
small enthusiasms, was any high revelation to her mind; but there was
"It's something to hear a heavy step about the house, and to see the
carpet kicked crooked," she said sometimes. Her mother would shake her
hand gently and smile.
She shook her head and smiled in precisely the same way now. Mr.
Muller, who had grown excited as he talked, felt a wave of insipid
propriety wash over his emotions, bringing them to a dead level.
"However the matter may conclude," said Mrs. Guinness pleasantly, "why
should you and I lose our self-control, Mr. Muller? Now, why should
There was something numbing in the very note of prolonged
interrogation. The folds of Mrs. Guinness's glossy alpaca lay calmly
over her plump breast; her colorless hair (both her own and the
switch) rolled and rose high above her head; her round cheeks were
unchanging pink, her light eyes steady; the surprised lift of those
flaxen eyelashes had made many a man ashamed of his emotions and his
slipshod grammar together.
Mr. Muller was humbled, he did not know why. "It is practical enough,
I suppose," he said irritably, "to ask what Catharine herself thinks
of marriage with me?"
"You never tried to discover for yourself?" with an attempt at roguish
"No, upon my honor, no!" The little man fairly lost his breath in his
haste. "I have a diffidence in speaking to her."
"To Kitty!" with an amused, indulgent smile, which worsted him again.
He struggled back into the hardest common sense: "Of course it is not
diffidence in me. I feel no hesitation in discussing the question of
marriage with anybody else. My family wish me to marry: my sister has
suggested several young ladies to me in well-to-do religious families
in the city. There are marriageable young women here, too, whose
acquaintance I have made with that object in view. Very intelligent
girls: they have given me some really original views on religion and
politics. One can talk to them about anything--social evils or what
not. But Catharine--she is so young! It is like broaching marriage to
Mrs. Guinness was silent. The sudden silence struck like a dead wall
before the little man, and bewildered and alarmed him: "Perhaps, Mrs.
Guinness, you think I ought not to look upon Catharine as another man
would? I should regard a wife only as a fellow-servant of the Lord? I
oughtn't to--to make love to Kitty, in short?"
"She is a dear, pious child. I love to think of her in the midst of
your Reformed boys," said the lady evasively.
There was another pause. "Of course, you know," he said with an
anxious laugh, "I never had a serious thought of those young ladies
chosen by my sister. Social position or wealth does not weigh with me,
Mrs. Guinness--not a feather!" earnestly. If he really had meant to
give her a passing reminder that marriage with Kitty would be a step
down the social grade for him, he was thoroughly scared out of his
intention. As he talked, reiterating the same thing again and again,
the heat rose into his neatly-shaved face and little aquiline nose.
Mrs. Guinness observed his agitation with calm triumph. She knew but
one ladder into heaven, and that, short and narrow, was through her
own Church. Kitty was stepping up on a high rung of it. Once the wife
of this good Christian man, and her soul was safe. A sudden vision of
her flitted before her mother in grave but rich attire (fawn-colored
velvet, for instance, for next winter, trimmed with brown fur),
to suit her place as the wife of the wealthy Muller, head of the
congregation and the Reformatory school: she would be instant, too, at
prayer--meetings and Dorcas societies. This was Mrs. Guinness's world,
and she reasoned according to the laws of it. She rejoiced as Hannah
did when she had safely placed her child within the temple of the
And yet with that hint of the social position of the Mullers had come
the certainty to her that this marriage could never be. A shadow had
stood suddenly before her--a boy's face, the only one before which
her calm, complacent soul had ever quailed or shrunk. The pleasant,
apple-cheeked woman, like the rest of us, had her ghost--her sin
unwhipped of justice. She stood calmly as Mr. Muller hurried his
explanations, piling them one on top of the other, but she did not
hear a word of them. If he should ever hear Hugh's story! Dead though
he was, if that were known not a beggar in the street would marry
But since Fanny Guinness was an amiable, pink-cheeked belle in the
village choir, she had never turned her back on an enemy: why should
she now? Hugh Guinness had hated her as the vicious always hate
the good, but she was thankful she had smiled and greeted him with
Christian forbearance to the very last. As for this danger coming from
him, now that he was dead, the safest way was to drag it to the light
at once. All things worked together for good to those who loved the
Lord--if you managed them right.
"Of course," she said, as if just finishing a sentence, "you are
indifferent to social rank. And yet it will be no slight advantage to
you that Catharine has no swarm of needy kinsfolk. Her own father died
when she was a baby. Mr. Guinness is the only near friend she has ever
known except myself. He had a son when I married him--" The boy's
name stuck in her throat. For a moment she felt as the murderer
does, forced to touch his victim with his naked hand. "Hugh--Hugh
Guinness--was the lad's name."
"I never heard of him," indifferently.
"No, it is not probable you should. Long before Berrytown was built
he went to Nicaragua. He died there. Well," with a little wave of the
hand, "there you have Kitty's whole family. It will be better that she
should be so untrammeled, for the interests of the school."
"The school? I'm not a Reformatory machine altogether, I suppose!" He
had been watching Catharine, who was moving about in the shop. When
he was not in sight of her he always remembered that she was a mere
child, to be instructed from the very rudiments up after marriage,
and that the Guinnesses were ten degrees, at least, below him in the
social scale. But she was near--she was coming! The complacent smile
went out of his trig little features: he moved his tongue about
to moisten his dry lips before he could speak. He was absolutely
frightened at himself. "There's more than the school to be thought of,
Mrs. Guinness," he blurted out. "I--I love Catharine. And I want this
matter settled. Immediately--within the hour."
"Very well. You will be satisfied with the result, I am sure, Mr.
Muller. I give Catharine to you with all my heart." But she did not
look any more at ease than he. They both turned to look at Kitty, who
came toward them in her usual headlong gait through the shop.
Her mother scanned Catharine when she came in as she had never done
before. She was "taking stock" of her, so to speak: she wished to know
what was in the girl to have secured this lover, or what there was
to hold him should he ever hear Hugh's damning story. Her eye ran
over her. She was able to hold her motherly fondness aside while she
judged her. Kitty was flushed and awakened from head to foot with the
excitement of this single visitor.
"At her age," thought Mrs. Guinness, "_I_ could have faced a regiment
of lovers. Kitty's weak: I always felt her brain was small--small. She
has nothing of my face, or address either. There's no beauty there
but youth, and her curious eyes." She never had been sure whether she
admired Kitty's eyes or not.
But clergymen and reformers were as vulnerable as other men to soft,
flushing cheeks and moist lips, and Mr. Muller, as she judged from his
agitation, was no wiser than the rest. He pressed nervously forward,
bridging his nose with his eye-glasses.
"Catharine, my child, will you walk out with me? I wish to consult you
on a little matter."
"Oh, with pleasure," said Kitty.
Her mother stood aghast. Like the mass of women, she viewed the
matter of love from the sentimental, L.E.L. stand-point. It had been a
forbidden subject to Kitty. Her heart her mother supposed, slept, like
the summer dawn, full of dreams, passion, dewy tenderness, waiting for
the touch of the coming day. What kind of awakening would the plump
"Will you marry me?" of this fat little clergyman be? In the street
of Berry town, too! in the middle of the afternoon! If it were only
"Pray wait until evening, Catharine: you're always famished for your
supper," she cried anxiously.
"But I'm not hungry now at all," running up the stairs. For
politeness' sake Kitty would lie with a smile on her mouth though a
fox were gnawing at her stomach. Something in her running reminded Mr.
Muller that she was a school-girl and he a middle-aged noted reformer.
He fidgeted about the room, looking at the prints of La Fayette and
Franklin on the whitewashed wall, and the Tomb of Washington done in
faded chenilles by Mr. Guinness's first wife, buttoning his gloves
with an anxious frown.
"I'm sure I don't know what my sister Maria will say to this," after
one or two uneasy laughs. "I never mean to be eccentric, yet somehow
I always am different from anybody else. Now, in church-matters--_I_
never intended to leave the orthodox communion, yet when I showed how
my Church was clinging to worn-out dogmas, and opened my Reformatory
in Berrytown, the Free-Religionists in Boston seized me, and printed
my opening sermon under one cover with that of an Oneidaite and a
Spiritualist. Do _I_ look like a medium or a Free-Lover? That was
going a little too far, I take it."
"Ah?" came Mrs. Guinness's calm interrogatory. No more.
William Muller was a man of culture and a certain force in one
direction, and when pleading the cause of the vicious children to
whom he was giving his life could hold men of real mental strength
attentive and subdued. He did not know why, when this commonplace
little woman had her steady eye on him, he should always dribble out
all his weakness to her. But he did it--talked on in a leaky way
of his squabble with his church and the praises he had received in
newspapers for his school, until he heard Kitty's step on the stairs.
"Ah! there she is!" he cried relieved.
Catharine came back, close buttoned in a brown dress, with high-laced
boots, and a light stick in her hand. She used to call it her
alpenstock, and make all Switzerland out of the New Jersey sands with
it. She ran in to kiss her father good-bye, blushing and delighted.
It was the first time she had ever walked with any man but himself.
"Here's an adventure!" she whispered. Every day she and Peter expected
an adventure before night. She drew back startled at the strange,
uneasy look he gave her. Her mother, too, pulled her hastily away, and
walked beside her to the gate.
"Child," she whispered breathlessly, "he is your lover."
"Lover?" said Kitty aloud. "Lover?" But Mr. Muller joined her at the
moment, and opening the gate motioned for her to precede him. They
went down the quiet street together.
Mrs. Guinness went back and watched them from the shop-window. "It is
as I thought," she said triumphantly.
Peter nodded. She came behind him, leaning on his shoulder. "It was
only proper for me to speak to him of--of--" It was fifteen years
since Hugh's name had passed between them.
"Whatever was necessary to protect you and Catharine," he said
quietly. She pressed her hands on his forehead beneath his wig, and
presently he drew one of them down and held it to his lips, thinking
how forbearing she had been with his boy. Mrs. Guinness went up stairs
then and knelt down by the bed. She was rather fond of the exercise
which she called praying--taking a larger image of herself into her
confidence. Her one idea of Him was that He could provide comfortably
here and elsewhere for herself and Catharine. But to-day her
conscience irritated her like a nettle. Could it be that she was at
soul tricky? Could God hold her, rigorous church-member, fond wife
and mother as she was, guilty of this boy's blood? Nettles, however,
do not sting very deeply. She rose presently, unfolded her work, and
sat sewing and singing a hymn, a complacent smile on her good-humored
Down in the shop Peter had taken out the violin again, and was playing
some nameless old air, into the two or three monotonous notes of which
had crept an infinite stillness and longing. He often played it, but
only when he was alone, for he would not allow Kitty to hear any but
merry, vivacious music.
Meanwhile, Catharine and Mr. Muller walked down the street in absolute
silence, Kitty bearing herself with her usual grave politeness,
though there was a quizzical laugh in her eyes. "Lover? My lover?"
she thought. But she did not blush, as some other innocent girls would
have done. She had never talked an hour in her life to a young man, or
heard from other girls their incessant chirping of "he--he," like that
of birds in spring wooing their mates. Her nearest acquaintance with
lovers was old Peter's rendering of Romeo or Othello. She remembered
them well enough as her eye furtively ran over the jaunty little
figure beside her. "Is his hose ungartered, his beard neglected, his
shoe untied?" she thought. "Pshaw! he is not Orlando, any more than I
am Rosalind." Her mother had been mistaken, that was all: she let the
matter slip easily past her. There was a certain tough common sense in
Catharine that summarily sent mistakes and sentimental fancies to the
Mr. Muller, finding the words he wished to speak would not come at
once, and ashamed of jogging on in silence, began to overflow with
the ordinary ideas of which he was full. They passed the grape-packing
house. "Eight thousand boxes despatched last season, Catharine! And
there is the Freedmen's Agency. Three teachers supported, five hundred
primers furnished to Virginia alone since January, and I really forget
the number of Bibles. But the world moves: yes indeed. And I think
sometimes Berrytown moves in the van."
"I've no doubt of that," said Kitty politely. "Dear me! Five hundred
spelling-books!" But she felt humiliated. She had neither picked
grapes nor taught freedmen. What thin wisps of hair these women had
stopping to speak to Mr. Muller! She put her hand suddenly to the back
of her head.
"Those are employees in the canning-house," he said as they passed on.
"One is educating herself as a short-hand reporter, and the other has
a lecture ready for next winter on Shakespeare's Women."
"What admirable persons they must be! Ah! now I have it right!"
setting her hat higher on the light chestnut coils. Mr. Muller looked,
and his eye rested there. She knew that, though the back of her head
was toward him. But lover? Nonsense! He meant no doubt to propose that
she should go into the typesetting business or stenography.
Now, to tell Kitty's secret, she had had her love-affair her mother
knew nothing about, which made her purblind in this matter. It was
this: There was a certain cave (originally a spring-house) behind
the walnut trees, quite covered over with trumpet-vines and
partridge-berries. She had a bench there, from which she could see
only the shady old house and the sun going down. When she was a child
of about eight, alone all day long, year in and out, she had taken
down this bench, and working stealthily and blushing terribly, had
made it large enough for two. She never allowed anybody, not even
Peter, dearest of all, to come into the cave or sit on the bench
afterward. What her childish fancy of an unknown friend was, or how
it grew and altered with her years, only she knew, though after she
was grown she told her father of a certain Sir Guy in some of his
crusading stories in whom she had believed as a fact. "I actually
thought he would come to woo me," she said laughing, "and I had a
castle where I sat and waited for him. There never was a child so full
of absurd fancies."
But she never said where the castle was, and she was fond still of
sitting alone for hours on the old bench, over which the shade grew
heavier year by year, and the moonlight crept with more mysterious
glitter. She came in sometimes when she had been there in the evening,
and the sound of old Peter's violin alone broke the silence, with her
cheeks feverish, as though there had been an actual presence with her
to share her secret thoughts. The only living being she had ever taken
into her hiding-place was, oddly enough, a baby of whom she was fond.
It happened to fall asleep in her arms one day, and Catharine stole
out with it and sat on the old seat, feeling its warm breath on
her breast. The girl was shaken by an emotion which she did not
understand: her blood grew hot, her breath came and went, she stroked
the baby's hand and foot, kissed it, glanced about her with eyes
guilty yet pure.
But it is certain Kitty had no thought of her cave this afternoon. Mr.
Muller and his affairs were quite another matter. There was an awkward
silence. Mr. Muller was collecting his forces: he cleared his throat.
"Catharine--" he said.
"Ah, William!" cried a clear, well-toned voice behind them. He turned,
half annoyed and half relieved, to meet a young lady in gray, stepping
alertly from the doorway of the Water-cure House.
"Maria? This is my sister Maria, Miss Vogdes."
The lady looked at Kitty--a steady, straightforward look--then held
out her hand. It was a large, warm, hearty hand, and gripped yours
like a man's. Kitty took it, but felt like shirking the eyes. She
had no mind to be so weighed and measured. She had an uncomfortable
consciousness that her inner nature was all bared and sorted by this
agreeable young woman in this first moment to the last odd and end in
it, though she could not have put the consciousness into words.
"Going to the school, William? I am."
"Well--yes, we will go there." He turned irresolutely, and they walked
together down the plank pathway, Kitty with an oppressive sense of
having fallen into the clutch of one of the Primal Forces, who was
about to settle her destiny for her; in which she stumbled almost on
the truth. Miss Muller was quite aware of the fact of her brother's
visits at the book-shop, and their motive. She glanced at her watch:
she could give herself half an hour to find out what stuff was in the
girl, though it hardly needed so long. "A good type of the Domestic
Woman in the raw state," she thought. (She always jotted down her
thoughts sharply to herself, as a busy shopkeeper makes entries in his
day-book.) "Pulpy, kissable. A vine to which poor William would appear
an oak. A devoted wife, and, if he died, a gay widow, ready to be a
fond wife to somebody else."
"What do you mean to make of yourself, Miss Vogdes?" she snapped
suddenly, just as Kitty was counting the hen-coops of the society in
the field they were passing, and wondering how she could contrive to
get a pair of their Cochin Chinas.
"To make?" stammered Kitty ("I knew she would take me by the throat
somehow," she thought)--"of myself?--Why, I am Peter Guinness's
"You poor child!" Miss Muller laughed. It was a very merry, infectious
laugh. She laid her hand on Kitty's shoulder gently, as though she
had been a helpless kitten. "Now you see how our social system works,
William. Ask a boy that question, and his answer comes pat--a doctor,
carpenter, what not. In any case, he has a career, an independent soul
and identity. This poor girl is--Peter Guinness's daughter, is content
to be that. Though perhaps," turning sharply on her, "she thinks of
the day when she will be the wife of somebody, the mother of children.
Those, two ideas are enough to fill the brains of most women."
Mr. Muller colored, and smiled significantly to himself. Catharine
looked at her with a grave suspense, but made no answer.
"Yes," Miss Muller went on, a certain heat coming into her delicate
face, "that contents the most of them--to be the fool or slave of a
lover or a husband or son. 'The perfume and suppliance of a minute--no
more but that.'"
She walked on in silence after this, and Catharine scanned her
quietly. She was not at all the mad woman Mrs. Guinness had always
described her--not at all what Kitty had fancied a lecturer on woman
suffrage, a manager of the Water-cure and a skillful operating surgeon
must be. She was little, pretty, frail, with a very genuine look and
voice--almost as young as Kitty, and far more tastefully dressed.
Catharine eyed her wonderful coiffure with envy, and was quite sure
those rosy-tipped, well-kept fingers never had anything to do with
cutting up dead babies.
Mr. Muller at the moment was comparing the two girls critically. The
point on which he dwelt longest was that his sister's eyes, fine,
limpid and brown, were those of an actress, acting to herself very
probably. They went through the whole imperative mood--exhorted,
commanded, entreated in five minutes: even a certain woeful sadness
which came into them at times, and was there now, was quite bare and
ready to be seen of all men.
"She is always on review before herself: she is conscious of herself
from head to foot," he thought with shrewdness only born out of long
knowledge. "Her very toes, I've no doubt, say to each other, 'I,
As for his future wife, her eyes were given her to see with,
nothing more. "And she looks out with them, never in," he reflected
complacently. For he had come by this time to regard her as his future
wife. It seemed quite natural when Maria presently took Kitty in hand
as one of the family, and began to manage for her as she did for them
all, from Grandfather Hicks down to the dog Tar.
"I think, William, Miss Vogdes has the maternal instinct largely
developed," looking at her face and the shape of her head as a
naturalist would at a new bug. "You could find work for her in here,"
unlatching the gate of the Reformatory school. "She could serve
humanity here just as well as if she had more--more--well, we'll say
"Precisely what I thought of," cheerfully. "You've hit the nail on
the head about her, Maria." He was a peaceable, affectionate fellow at
bottom. He had never hoped that his sister would tolerate Kitty, and
women's squabbles in a family he abhorred, like every other man; and
here she was extending a hospitable greeting, finding work for Kitty
already. _Io triumphe!_
"Suppose you show Miss Vogdes the institution, sister?" he said,
rubbing his eye-glasses and putting them on again in a flutter of
pleasure and cordiality.
Miss Muller nodded authoritatively, and he fell into the background.
"You'll observe, Miss Vogdes," with a laugh and shrug, "Berrytown has
given its best of aesthetic instincts here: five square stories painted
white, with green shutters; pebble walks; six straight evergreens to
testify of the Beautiful. Inside--here we are! Parlor: yellow-pine
floors, spotless; green paper blinds in the windows, that hang
stirless the year round. This is the kitchen: white boards, shining
caldrons. William, show the soup."
Mr. Muller gravely held up a ladleful: "Beef and cabbage. To each
child we allow per diem three parts of animal food, three purely
farinaceous, four vegetable. The proper scale, I hold, of healthful
nourishment," putting back the ladle. He had not spilled a drop.
"Dining-room," continued Miss Muller: "more white boards; shining
tin plates; these three hundred little figures in blue jeans ranged
against the wall are the--the patients. Now observe." Mr. Muller
rapped once, they raised their hands; twice, they clasped them; three
times, they rattled off the Lord's Prayer; the next moment they were
shoveling their soup into their mouths in silence.
"Miss Vogdes does not approve their religious teaching, William. You
see," turning to her, "how they need a real motherly care. _You_ could
give it to them."
But Kitty, who perhaps did "want stamina," and who was more of a child
than any before her, made no answer. Vice and disease faced her as
never before: those hundreds of hungry eyes fenced her in.
"Are you sick?" said Mr. Muller anxiously, seeing her face. "It is
the smell of the soup, perhaps. Come out of this. Let me pass, Maria.
You forget how foolishly tender her life has been: she never probably
looked at crime before. Come out to the fresh air."
"You'd better stay," said Maria coolly, aside. "These children will
plead your cause with such a girl as that better than you can do or
have done, I take it. Now, my dear," putting Kitty's hand between her
own, "this is my brother's work, in which he wishes you to join him.
Put it to yourself whether it is not your duty. You're very young;
you've dreamed a good deal, most likely: this wakening to the fact
that there is work in the world besides marrying and nursing babies
revolts and shocks most young girls. Yet here it is." Her voice was
very gentle, and sincere in every cadence, the words true: there lay
the terrible grinding power of them. "Talk over your future life with
William, my dear. There is the matron. I must go and see about that
charge for pepper she made last month. Pepper for these children's
Mr. Muller drew Catharine's hand in his arm. "I did not mean to
bring you here to-day," he said, nervously mopping his face with his
handkerchief. "Maria is so fond of managing! But--but it was as my
wife I wanted your help."
"_My wife._" Kitty was not surprised. At eighteen one reasons as the
bird flies. Since she passed the six straight evergreens yonder she
had learned that life was not an old book-house, a few sad and merry
tunes, meals, and a bench to dream on. It was work--for Christ. Not
far-off pagans, but little children with sin and disease heavy upon
them, asking her to take it away.
She might want stamina or any other intellectual power, but her
emotions were hot and near the surface: these children and their
misery wounded and bruised her as they had never done Mr. Muller or
his sister: her sense of duty and affection for her God, too, was as
real and urgent with her as that of a dog for his master.
"Take me home now," she said quietly.
"But, Catharine--This is no answer. And my love for you is of such
long standing!" pleaded the little man, whose mouth, being once opened
by his passion, found it difficult to close. He forgot, too, the
hundreds of eyes staring at him over the soup-spoons.
"Shall we go out?" said Kitty with an impatient laugh, which would not
be polite. "There's too much beef here. And cabbage."
They passed Miss Muller, who nodded down on Catharine from the heights
of brusque sincerity of the Woman's Rights people: "Come and see me,
my dear. You and I shall get on very comfortably, I dare say;" to
which Kitty replied with her old-fashioned manner, which had a fine
courteous quality in it, whether it meant anything or not.
They were out in the street again. The sun was still hot and glaring.
Past the new row of Morse's blue-painted shops, down the factory
alley, all along the cinder path, Mr. Muller pressed and urged his
suit. She heard every word with sharp distinctness.
The children: her work for Christ. Under all was a dull consciousness
that this thing had been coming on her since the day, years ago, when