Part 2 out of 2
value, if I mentioned any price at all. I would not look at anything less
than forty thousand pounds for it."
"Would you not sell for thirty-five thousand pounds cash?"
Mr. McLain dropped his head slightly, and then suddenly replied: "No,
sir, but I would sell for forty thousand pounds cash, English money."
"Very well, Mr. McLain, make out the necessary papers, and on one
week from today I will pay you forty thousand pounds in Bank of
"All right, Major, I will meet you at the Montreal National Bank one week
from today, at 12 o'clock. I will bring the papers."
"All right," said the Major, and departed.
ALMOST A TRAGEDY
A day or two after the sale of the Majestic, while the preparation of
the transfer papers was going on, Mr. McLain's young man, who was acting
as his secretary and clerk, asked his employer to be relieved of his
"Why, what is the matter, Hiram?" asked Mr. McLain. "Don't you like
"Yes, sir," was the prompt reply, "but I have got a place that suits me
better, and, besides, I shall make more money."
"Where are you going?"
"Major Bancroft has given me the chief clerkship at the hotel."
"Ah, I didn't know that you had met the major. What will he do
"I do not know."
"Well, it will be several days before he gets possession. When do you
want to leave me?"
The reply was: "I should like to be released tonight, as Mr. Case is
going to show me how to do the work."
"Very well," replied Mr. McLain, "come to me tomorrow morning and I will
settle with you."
* * * * *
"Nick Hanson, Genesee House, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A: Come quick. Your man
is here. Risis--Montreal."
Hanson received this telegram at seven o'clock in the morning, while
eating his breakfast in the old Genesee House, Buffalo. In thirty minutes
he was on the Niagara Express. That night about ten o'clock two men
walked into the public room of the Majestic. Just outside the office
door, in a lounging chair, sat the prospective landlord, as everybody
called him. One of the newcomers was Ben Loring, a well-known detective
of the Montreal department; the other our old friend Nick Hanson.
"Hello, Blair!" exclaimed Nick, in his usual jovial tones, as if greeting
an old friend, as he confidently held out his hand.
At that instant, instead of receiving a handshake, he received a
tremendous blow on the neck, just the place which pugilists aim for. Nick
staggered and almost fell. This blow was not struck by the major, but by
his new clerk, who had not been observed by either of the newcomers.
"Two can play at that game," muttered Ben Loring, as he felled Hiram to
the floor with a sweeping blow, and in half a minute Ben had his nippers
on the young man's wrists. "I'll teach you to interfere with an officer
in the line of duty," he added.
In the meantime, as Nick staggered up, and the major saw him gaining his
equilibrium, he succeeded in drawing a revolver, but as he raised it to
about the level of Hanson's breast that athlete kicked the hand that held
it, and the gun flew upward, struck the ceiling, was discharged, and fell
harmlessly to the floor, while the dislocated hand of the major dropped
helplessly to his side. The other wrist was instantly handcuffed, and
within a few minutes both landlord and clerk were helpless prisoners on
their way to the police station. Arriving at that place, they were duly
searched by an officer and their pockets emptied. From the major was
taken a receipt signed by Case for a package of money said to contain
fifty thousand pounds. Then a doctor was found to examine his crippled
hand. There was a compound fracture in addition to the dislocation.
It was now nearly midnight. After the injured hand had been properly
treated and dressed the prisoners were locked up, and the officers
returned to the hotel, where Case handed over to them the package of
money. The two officers examined the notes and, finding them to be as the
major had represented, departed with them in their possession, pending
the proper disposition of the case. When they were gone the two
detectives sat discussing the event that had just occurred.
"But who is the fellow that gave you the lick which so nearly put you to
sleep?" asked Ben.
"O, that is Thurston, who is at the bottom of this whole Montreal
scheme. He came here and learned that McLain had a safe of his own, and
was the custodian of his own money, and knowing that no bank would
receive one of these notes, since they have all the numbers, and that
McLain would in all probability give no particular thought to the matter
of the numbered notes, they both determined to risk buying and paying
with this marked money, hold the property a while, sell out, if necessary
for less than they gave, and, by selling, get hold of money that they
"Nothing plainer," said Ben, when Nick had finished, "and tomorrow was
the day set for closing the deal and turning the property over to the
"This Thurston," said Nick, "is the fellow that slipped away from Job
Worth, taking Job's watch and one hundred pounds of his money."
Just as they were about to go to bed Mr. McLain arrived, and in the
conversation which ensued made it clear that while deploring the
unfortunate developments in the case, he really entertained no regret in
having failed to dispose of the Majestic.
The next day a consultation was held at the Montreal Police Headquarters.
There were present Nick Hanson, Ben Loring, the chief of police, the
mayor of the city, two attorneys, Mr. Cross, cashier of the First
National Bank, and Mr. McLain. The money was produced, together with the
announcement issued by the Bank of England, and the cashier showed the
list of numbers of the missing notes. The next point considered was the
official assurance of the Bank of England that should the money be
returned, prosecution would cease. All the money had been captured, or
returned, and yet they had two of the men prisoners. What should they do
with them? It was finally agreed to set them free. Before this was done,
however, Hanson cabled his chief in London identifying Thurston as the
man who had robbed Worth in Evansville, Indiana, but received the answer
that Thurston would not be prosecuted. Upon receipt of this order both
men were allowed to go free, and Nick in a few days sailed for Liverpool.
The major was taken to the hospital, but despite the most careful
treatment two of his fingers were lost. He went from bad to worse, and
was finally reduced to the state of a wretched pauper, but ever bearing
the derisive title of "Major Bancroft." They all remembered him as the
thief who bought the Majestic. Such was the end of a young man whose
future had been full of promise, the brightest student of his class in
Burrough Road Institute--a poor pauper, unpitied by all who learned the
history of his life. Thurston secured a place to drive an omnibus to and
from the railroad depot to the Majestic Hotel. He is now an old man,
white headed, unknown, forgotten, unloved, and alone.
O, the pity of it! Two young men of good parentage and of more than
ordinary ability, with gracious opportunities, wrecked in early manhood
by mad and reckless ambition. Haste to become rich. And after the
sacrifice of honor and self-respect and the securing that which they had
coveted--could not use it for any commercial purpose. Thinking that its
possession would make them rich they became poor indeed. They now drop
out of our story, followed by our deepest pity and commiseration.
AN HYPOTHETICAL CASE
There seemed to come to Carl some improvement in his physical condition;
but there still came over him hours of great depression and despondency,
when even Tom could do little to cheer him.
Dr. Marmion in his correspondence with Bishop Albertson had hitherto made
no revelation of Carl's case. But the conviction came upon him that he,
himself, was guilty of what he condemned in others and especially in
Carl, in allowing the bishop to retain in his service a man who, in the
eyes of the law, was a criminal, the perpetrator of a great crime. He
concluded to write the bishop an hypothetical letter, describing this
case, asking his judgment; and in this way find out what course the
bishop would pursue if such a case should come into his life, and he
wrote the following:
"MY DEAR BISHOP ALBERTSON: To whom but you can I go for advice in an
important matter, which at this time is causing me much perplexity? I
feel sure that your conscientious judgment will help me to arrive at an
equitable conclusion. To you this may be hypothetical, but to me it is
"Suppose, then, a young man, well born, and so far well trained, at
twenty years of age, away from home, falls into bad company, and,
yielding to temptation, commits a great crime, but, escaping by a bit of
sagacious stratagem, succeeds in causing his parents to believe that he
is dead and mourn him as such, wholly unsuspicious in their minds that he
has committed a crime. In the meantime he, in a distant land, lives a
useful and honorable life, deeply repenting the sad mishap of his life,
and fully redeeming his crime, so that no one but himself and the unhappy
parents suffer by his unfortunate act. Furthermore, he occupies a most
honorable and useful position, his employer, of course, knowing nothing
of his previous misdeeds. Now, as already has been inferred, this young
man is living a pure and honorable life, loved by all who know him; but
he claims that to reveal to his parents the fact that he is alive would
entail more and deeper sorrow upon them than to allow them to continue to
believe him dead. He declares that they would suffer less in believing
him dead than to know him to be a living criminal.
"Now, my dear Bishop, I write this note to you, calling it hypothetical;
but to me, it is more than hypothetical--it is a real case. This young
man is one of my patients, and I love him as dearly as if he were my own
son for his noble qualities and his sincere penitence, as well as for the
pure life he lives. His physical condition is indeed precarious, and I
feel sure that his life will be shortened unless he receives relief.
Kindly give me your righteous judgment of this case. I have his
confidence, and cannot betray it; hence the secrecy of this inquiry.
A few days later the doctor received the following:
"MY DEAR DOCTOR MARMION: Your hypothetical (?) note is here. I have read
it several times, with increasing interest, and with a prayerful desire
to be able to assist you to arrive at a righteous decision in what seems
to be a very important matter.
"First. You say (if I understand correctly) that restitution has been
made to the parties against whom the crime was perpetrated. That is well
and so far satisfactory.
"But, second. The crime was a double one. When _that_ wrong was righted
to the first parties, then the second parties, in the deception practiced
upon them, suffered more and longer than the parties of the first part,
so that really the crime is only partially expiated until the wronged
parents are undeceived, and he has made his peace with them. I feel safe
in saying that this young man will never be happy, nor his physical
condition improved, until he pays the full price of his sin. All who have
been wronged must be righted. Depend upon it, his life will be chaotic,
unreliable, and unhappy until he makes a clean breast of it to his
parents. When he does this, if I were his father, I would take him to my
heart, and give him a father's love and forgiveness. If I were his
employer, and he came to me honestly confessing his sin, I should not
dare to withhold either my confidence or my love. I should pity as a
father pities, and I should say: "Go, sin no more."
"Now, my dear Doctor, in conclusion, this son (not you) should be the one
to undeceive the parents. I can and do understand the _delicate reason_
which actuates him in fearing to undeceive his parents in regard to his
being alive, while they have and do believe him dead. If you can remove
this deep impression from his mind, all will soon be right. _But he must
do this himself_, not by letter either, he must go to his father; yes, he
must arise and go to his father.
The bishop sat in his office six feet away from his secretary, while
writing this letter of reply, and when he had concluded it he did as was
his custom in his correspondence--passed both letters over to his
secretary to read aloud.
In a few moments Carl picked up Marmion's letter. After reading a few
sentences he halted, saying: "Bishop, this seems to be a confidential
letter. Shall I continue?"
"O, yes," replied the bishop, "there are no names mentioned; read on. I
want to know if my answer sounds right, and I can learn that best by
hearing it read."
Carl had grasped the spirit and meaning, and he already knew what was
coming. But he proceeded and somewhat hesitatingly read it through.
Having done this, he was in the act of handing both letters back, when
the good bishop, with a wave of his hand, said: "Now read my reply,
please, _that_ is the most important thing--read slowly, please."
The dismayed secretary felt that this was indeed crucifixion. Why had not
the doctor spared him this? Did he not know that the letter would come
under his eye? His first thought was to decline under the plea of
nervousness; then, he thought this would be cowardly and unmanly. No, he
would read, and at the close would decide. The bishop was a poor scribe,
and his writing was always difficult to decipher; so taking this as an
excuse, he plodded along slowly, and thereby gave himself a chance to
hide his real feelings. But still he found this a difficult task, for
his voice trembled perceptibly, and when he came to the latter part,
where the father said he would welcome his son back to his home and
heart, he stopped, his head dropped upon his hand on the table, and the
paper fell from his grasp to the floor. The bishop arose quickly, and
caught him in his arms, or he too would have fallen. In a few moments,
with the assistance of Alice, Carl was laid upon two chairs. The bishop
with the assistance of the registrar, who was hastily summoned from the
next room, bore the unconscious secretary into another room and laid him
upon the bed.
The terrible strain had been too much for the young man's weak condition.
It was not long, however, before he slowly opened his eyes, and, looking
up, he saw Alice gazing at him with anxious solicitude, while with her
soft hand she was bathing his temples and brow.
Then all the circumstances came back to him, and he heard the gentle
voice of the young girl bending over him. "Carl, dear," she was saying,
"you are better now, and will soon be all right again."
"Alice," said the young man, faintly, "I shall never be all right again.
It is too late."
"No, it is not too late, Carl," was the smiling reply, "you have many
happy years before you. You are not strong. You must have a rest, and
then your strength will return and so will your courage."
Mrs. Albertson came in at this point, bringing a cup of tea and a
wafer, and succeeded in getting the patient to drink the tea. Then the
bishop returned quietly and took a chair by the bedside, and soon both
This incident had been a revelation to the slowly acting powers of the
bishop's mind; a quicker perception would have grasped the whole case
much sooner, and might have obviated much trouble. But now the revelation
had forced itself upon the unsuspecting mind of the prelate. Now he fully
understood Dr. Marmion's letter, and, also, the cause of Carl's fainting.
All his fatherly instincts were aroused, and taking the hand of the
revived youth, he said, very tenderly: "My poor boy."
"O, Bishop," sobbed the young man, "Let me go! Turn me out! I have been a
living lie to you and yours."
In his rapidly returning strength he arose as he thus spoke. "Forgive
me," he continued, disconsolately, "and let me get away out of your
sight. I will disgrace you no longer." He had secured his hat and moved
toward the door, but the bishop gently detained him, saying: "Wait, Carl.
Do nothing in haste. If you are sufficiently strong let us walk out into
the park. The fresh air will help you."
It was a beautiful autumn day. All around them the scene was bright and
peaceful. The trees were beginning to cast off their leaves. In the
exercise grounds the laughter of the students in their games was heard,
emphasizing the happiness of life and the joy of living. They sat down on
one of the rustic seats. After a few moments of silence, and when Carl
seemed to have become more calm, the bishop in a subdued tone said: "My
dear boy, I am glad this hour has come. You have my sincere forgiveness,
as well as my unbroken confidence. Let that suffice between you and me; I
forgive you, as I hope to be forgiven, and I love you more than ever.
But, Carl, there is yet another duty which you must perform. It has been
left too long undone already. It should have had the first place, but it
is not too late."
"I know, I know," interrupted the youth, desperately, "but it is
impossible. How can I tell my father and mother that their son lives, and
that he is a criminal and a liar? Can I inflict this upon them? They have
by this time passed through the bitterest pang in believing me to be
dead. Why now bring a deeper sorrow to their hearts?"
"Listen, my son; let me talk a moment without interruption. You are not
_now_ responsible for consequences. _You owe this debt and it must be
paid_. It is just as much a part of the debt you owe--yes, just as much
as the money that you returned. You cannot repudiate it and retain your
self-respect. No man can respect himself any more than he can respect
another who is able and yet refuses to pay a just debt. Now, you have
paid your debt to the bank, and they have forgiven you. You have
confessed your fault to me, and I gladly pardon you, and this confession
and repentance enhances my love for you. Now, think you that your father
and mother will do less? You are both unjust and unkind to him whom I
have known and loved from my earliest manhood; and I must, also, add,
that if you still refuse to pay this part of your debt, my confidence in
your repentance will be lessened."
"Bishop," said the youth, slowly, as if weighing well his words, "I see
it all now. But how can I do this? Can you not, will you not, write to
"No, Carl," was the reply, "you must, in response to your honest heart,
do this yourself, nor must it be done through a letter."
Carl was thoughtful for a few moments. Then he arose. "Bishop," said he,
"I will follow your advice. I will leave at once for England."
"This, my boy," said the bishop, also rising, "is what you must do. I
was sure you would see it in this light. It is the only course."
At midnight Carl caught the New York boat, landing in that city in time
for early breakfast.
Carl could not pass through the city without calling upon his kind friend
Marmion. The Doctor was delighted to see him, and especially when he
learned the young man's errand--that he was on his way to pay the last
installment of his debt.
He prevailed upon Carl to stay with him until the following Saturday, and
then accompanied him to the steamer Europa, on which Carl sailed for
THE PRODIGAL'S RETURN
The Right Reverend Leonidas McLaren, Bishop of Durham, paced his room
with nervous tread that was uncommon with him. He was _thinking_, and
every few moments he turned to look at his wife, who had been engaged
with a piece of embroidery upon her lap. The day was closing, and a soft
melody from the piano, at which the young daughter sat, was the only
sound which broke the stillness of the twilight hour. Frequently at this
hour the little family found themselves indulging in thoughts of the sad
experience which had come to them. More than a year and a half had passed
since had been enacted the tragedy which brought to them their great
trouble, and yet resignation had hardly been perfected--a sad lingering
hope still clung to them even in the midst of their apparent despair.
"Tomorrow would have been his anniversary day," murmured the mother,
sadly, "who knows, but that, after all, he may come back."
"My dear," said the bishop, pausing in front of her, and laying his hand
gently upon her shoulder, "I think we mistake in trying to deceive
ourselves. It is better to cultivate the spirit of resignation."
At this moment, Joseph, the house man, entered and quietly approaching
the bishop, handed him a card. Glancing at the card, the bishop said:
"Conduct him to the reception room. I will be there presently." Written
with pencil on the card were the words: "A stranger desires to see you."
That was all.
The bishop laid the card upon the stand by his wife's side and
left the room.
The visitor's back was toward the bishop as he entered. He wore a long
duster, and held his hat in his hand. The bishop's quiet salutation
caused the man to turn partially around, and at the sight of his face the
bishop started slightly and asked: "Whom have I the pleasure of
"Father! Don't you know me?" burst from the visitor's lips, and then his
eyes fell, as if he were overwhelmed with a sense of shame and remorse.
The bishop raised his hand in a gesture of blank amazement. Surely this
mature man could not possibly be his son!
But at this moment his wife pushed past him exclaiming: "It is Edward, it
is Edward!" She threw her arms around Carl's neck, and the next moment he
was supporting her unconscious form, for she had fainted. The bishop
recovering from his astonishment assisted Carl in placing her upon a
sofa, and an instant later Eleen, the daughter, was at her side. The
bishop embraced the trembling, tearful prodigal, but could only
inarticulately murmur: "My boy--my boy--you have come back--you have come
back! Can it really be you--Edward?"
"Yes, father," sobbed the young man, "I am, indeed, Edward, your son; but
I am no more worthy to be thus called. I have sinned, father, against you
and in heaven's sight."
"Sinned," said his father, still embracing him. "What of that? Are you
not my son, and are you not living? O, how is this? We had so nearly
given you up."
Nor was his sister's welcome less affectionate. "You are my brother
Eddie," she exclaimed, kissing him fondly, "and you are alive! You were
not drowned. O, we hardly dared to hope for this!"
The mother's eyes at last opened, and she motioned for her son to come
and sit by her side on the sofa. Then, with mother's arms around him, and
father and sister near, he told the sad story of his fall, with all the
consequences that had followed--the return of the money, and his
confession to Bishop Albertson. "The Lord has forgiven me," he said, "the
bank has lost nothing and forgiven my crime. Bishop Albertson has
blotted it all out and loves me more dearly than ever, and gives me, as
before, his full confidence. But all this was not sufficient to give me
peace, and I have crossed the sea to confess to you my sin against you,
and ask your pardon." The mother's arms were around his neck, the
father's hands were upon his head, and Eleen held his hands in her own.
All wept in silence a moment or two, but the tears were tears of joy.
Then the father spoke with trembling voice: "My son was dead and is alive
again," he said. "He was lost and is found. Pardoned? Yes, joyously
pardoned! Forgiven by heaven, forgiven on earth. My heart gratefully
pardons all your errors toward me and mine. And now, my son, consecrate
yourself this day to God's service, and may your future life be so loyal
and noble that he who has been so loving and forbearing to us all and
restored you to his favor, may at last crown you with 'Well done, good
and faithful servant.'"
It was past midnight before they became aware of it. Joseph came in to
escort Mr. Edward, as he familiarly called him, to his room, but the
young man excused himself, since he had engaged a room at the hotel and
his baggage was there; but tomorrow he would come to them.
He returned to his lodging, where he slept as he had not slept during one
and a half years.
The next day was a great occasion at the episcopal residence. The early
morning service conveyed the strange, but glad, news to all who were
present that the good bishop's long absent son had returned, and they in
turn transmitted it to their friends. He was supposed to have been
drowned more than a year ago, and this day was the twentieth anniversary
of his birth. The house was filled with callers from early morning until
late at night. And thus it was for many days.
If anyone associated the reported drowning with the event of the bank
robbery, they never so expressed themselves, nor was his whereabouts
during his absence discussed in other than a friendly way. Nevertheless,
the returned wanderer was not wholly at ease. He suspected that the
kindly and refined nature of these friends silenced many questions which
doubtless were in their minds, and often a lull in the conversation
filled him with fear and dread of an inadvertent inquiry.
THE NEW LIFE
The chief regret now in this young man's mind was the loss of two college
years. Bishop Albertson greatly desired his return to the Monastery to
take up and finish his collegiate course, and receive his diploma from
that institution. But the father seriously objected, because this would
necessitate his absence again from home. After much discussion and
correspondence, the two bishops concluded to leave its decision to the
young man himself. As soon as Eleen learned this her woman's sagacity
told her what the decision would be. She had her brother's confidence,
young as she was, and he had shown her Alice's photograph. She was
correct in her conclusions. It was not many days before he made known his
determination to return to the Monastery and finish his studies. This
would only take two years.
Edward McLaren now felt how irksome this change of name would be among
his friends at the Monastery, for there he was known only as "Carl." But
this must be met honestly, so he returned at once to his true name in all
his correspondence. Edward's expected return to the Monastery was hailed
with delight by all. Two great loves welcomed him: first, Alice, of
course, knowing how much she had done in his decision to return to
America, and that but for his love for her he probably would not have
returned, gave to him her implicit confidence and all the wealth of
affection contained in her womanly heart. Then Tom, who had been bereaved
sorely for four months, was in rapture; he, however, could not tolerate
any name but the old one, "Carl." Nor was Bishop Albertson far behind
these two in his expressions of affection and confidence. All matters of
business, of a secular character, were placed in Edward's hands and his
judgment was seldom overruled. But, finally, on account of his studies,
Edward had to give these up. So with great reluctance he resigned his
office as secretary. This was greatly regretted by the bishop, but he
could not conscientiously oppose it. But at the suggestion of the
retiring secretary Alice was appointed to fill the vacant place, with the
promise that Edward, when possible, would render her his assistance. And
thus the collegiate year commenced. The number of students matriculated
was larger than ever before.
Edward again assumed charge of the organ and was recognized as music
director of Monastery University and church. Tom, too, was entered in
the last year of the preparatory department. Edward and he still
occupied the room at the farm known as Carl and Tom's room. This was a
great help to the boy, as they had set apart three hours each evening for
their respective studies, and the elder student rendered Tom much
At the close of the year Tom passed out of the preparatory department and
was admitted into the classical course, and Edward McLaren entered upon
his senior year. Edward was likewise recommended as a licentiate for the
ministry. But the committee ordered that before this should be fully
granted the old custom should be observed and he should preach a "trial
sermon," and the date was set for that occasion. If possible, this
occasion was of more importance to Tom than to Edward. He was continually
referring to it and hoping that it might be a great success. The
committee had appointed Sunday afternoon as the time, and the service was
announced throughout a wide territory.
The day for the sermon was clear and beautiful. The bishop and faculty
were surprised at the amount of interest shown. Many persons remained
after the morning service, having brought their luncheons with them, and,
as the appointed hour, three o'clock, approached, it was seen that the
college chapel would not contain the great crowd, and it was concluded
that the service must be held in the auditorium of the church. The large
audience room was filled to its utmost capacity. It was truly an ordeal
for the young man to pass through. Tom was the most nervous person in the
twelve hundred present. "Will my Carl stand the test?" asked Tom of
himself. But of course he would. Two young clergymen had charge of the
opening exercises. Alice presided at the organ, and a full choir rendered
the music, doing justice to the hour and the service.
The young preacher was pale and somewhat nervous when he arose to
announce his text. At first he could scarce be heard ten yards away;
but he quickly corrected the fault and went on with fuller confidence
He spoke from Psalm 119. 59: "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet
unto thy testimonies."
"Thinking is royal," he said. "Thought is king. Everything of beauty or
usefulness is the child of thought. Here is the distinction between man
and the brute. Here is the cause of difference between the savant and the
savage. And here is the difference between men. Some think; others do
not. And what fields for thought are spread out before the human mind!
For instance, nations and cities once great and influential are now
blotted out. Babylon, Rome, Palmyra, Jerusalem. What destroyed them?
They refused to acknowledge God, and he left them to perish. Ah! They
forsook God and he left them.
"Again. Notice the nations that have come up out of barbaric obscurity to
become the world power today--England, Germany, the United States. What
has thus lifted them to their peerless position? They acknowledge God to
be their God and King of all kings and all nations. Surely, then, this is
a nation's palladium, just as it is the individual standard of character.
Emmanuel--God with us.
"And to think of ourselves is truly ennobling. I do not mean as the
egotist thinks. But to think of our individual capacity and obligations.
The Greeks had a motto over their temple at Delphi, it was 'Know
Thyself.' To know ourselves is the beginning of wisdom. Young men, learn
to know yourselves and your responsibility; but none of these is the
subject of David's thought.
"'_I thought on my ways_.' Our ways toward God. We have not treated
anyone as we have treated God. We have shut him out of our homes, lives,
hearts, while he stood at the door knocking; while he cried, 'Behold I
stand at the door and knock.' Men live through years without thinking of
God, until illness or affliction comes, then they call upon him for help.
Ah! It is indeed humiliating to think of our ways toward our dearest
Friend, who loves us and gave himself for us. It is wise and should,
also, be profitable to think of our ways toward our fellow-men. We have
not always treated them as directed by God's Word. How selfishness has
inspired our conduct toward them in many instances! Who of us today can
look back and see ourselves ever doing to others as we would have them do
unto us? Who of us can say, 'I have always loved my neighbor as myself'?
"Well might this be the cry of David's repentant heart. He thought of a
brave and honest soldier, whose wife he coveted, and in order to possess
her he ordered the soldier to be placed in the most dangerous place in
the battle, where he was slain. First, murder; next, adultery. Well might
David's soul cry out, 'I thought on my ways.' It is not likely that I am
at this time speaking to anyone who would be guilty of such gross sins as
here cited, but you, citizens of this fair commonwealth, nevertheless,
can well afford to consider your ways toward your fellow-men, remembering
that no man has come to the full stature of Christian manhood who does
not love his neighbor as himself.
"Now, in conclusion. Your thinking brings results: David turned his feet
unto the testimonies of the Lord. Thought, if worthy of the name, prompts
a man to do something or to leave off doing something." With strength
and effectiveness the young preacher dwelt upon the latter part of the
text, and closed with a warning against procrastination, declaring it
senseless, dangerous, and, in many cases, cruel.
The doxology was sung and the people began to disperse, though many of
those present pressed toward the chancel to congratulate the young
preacher. The bishop, too, was generous in his words of praise, "The Lord
thinks kindly of you, my son," he said, warmly, "or you could not have
preached that good sermon. God bless you."
That evening and for several days afterward Tom was exultant. In his
estimation no man had ever preached such a sermon in the Monastery church
at the opening service, not even Bishop McLaren himself.
"Mother," cried the lad, as he returned to the farmhouse, "don't you
think that my Carl preached better than his father?"
"I don't know about that, my boy," was her reply, "but I know that he
preached a noble and practical sermon today. Yes," she added, "I think it
was remarkable as a first attempt."
AN UNDREAMED OF PROMOTION
Three years have passed since Edward McLaren preached his trial sermon.
One year later he graduated, and then came a surprise.
At the annual meeting of the board of trustees, the Rev. Peregrine Worth,
D.D., Professor of Greek and Greek Literature, submitted his resignation.
He had occupied his present chair eighteen years, but the infirmities of
age were reminding him of the need of rest, and he felt that a younger
man might be able to do better work. This was an unexpected action to the
board, and it was thought at first that the retirement of Dr. Worth
should be postponed, pending their effort to secure a suitable successor
to fill the vacant place. But Dr. Worth remarked that he could not see
any need for delay, as he was fully prepared to make a nomination in the
matter of a successor. This, at first, startled them, and he was
requested to state to whom he referred. But the venerable doctor
preferred to do one thing at a time. "You must first declare the chair
vacant," he said. "When you accept my resignation I shall, if you desire,
nominate a suitable man to succeed me, one who will, I feel certain,
receive the unanimous vote of this Board."
After some discussion it was moved and seconded that Dr. Worth's
resignation be accepted with regret. The motion carried and the chair was
declared vacant. Then it was that Mr. J.M. Quintin arose and moved that
they at once proceed to elect a man to fill the vacant chair. After some
debate, this motion prevailed. Dr. Worth then arose and said: "It now
becomes my privilege, as well as pleasure, to put in nomination the name
of a man whom I deem fully competent to fill the vacant chair. One who
has just graduated with honor and esteem. He is a conscientious student,
a thorough scholar, and an able preacher. It gives me pleasure to present
the name of Edward McLaren for the chair of Greek in this Institution."
The fact that he had but just graduated had shut him out of their minds
as a probable candidate. While there was nothing objectionable in the man
named save his youth and inexperience, still the nomination was
productive of no little surprise. The bishop, although secretly indorsing
the nomination, feared for its success because of its being sprung upon
them so suddenly, so he suggested its postponement until next day. But
Mr. Quintin arose and expressed his belief that they were as well
prepared to decide the matter then as they would be tomorrow. As for
himself, he was glad he had the privilege of seconding the nomination of
this young man, whom he had known for some time and most favorably. His
remarks created a good impression, and after due deliberation the vote
was taken and Edward McLaren was declared unanimously elected to occupy
the chair of Greek and Greek Literature in Monastery University.
That evening the president's banquet was a season of universal rejoicing.
The president, the retiring professor, Dr. Worth, and the new professor
welcomed the many guests.
The courtship of Edward McLaren and Alice Albertson was not of the usual
character. In this instance love did run smoothly. It was such a union of
souls as needed no rapturous expressions. It was made up of esteem,
appreciation, and confidence, resulting in simple, sincere affection that
was unselfish and unflinching.
A formal betrothal had seemed scarcely necessary. From their first
meeting their love had been mutual. Every glance of the eye, every word
of the lip, was a pledge of loyalty and affection. There was no fearful
ordeal of gaining her father's consent. They simply loved each other
unfalteringly, strongly, devotedly, and the bishop and his wife were wise
enough to see and heed.
And their marriage was of a similar unique character. No great
announcements were sent out. Bishop Albertson simply invited his many
friends to witness the ceremony, and the University Chapel, in which the
ceremony was performed, was filled to its utmost capacity. No presents
were accepted. Bishop McLaren and Eleen crossed the ocean for the
occasion, and a warm welcome was given them by the great circle of
friends. Tom was Edward's best man, and Eleen was Alice's bridesmaid. The
great choir sang the grand old "Marriage Jubilate," and the two bishops
made them one.
Edward and Alice accompanied the Bishop and Eleen to Durham, making this
their bridal trip, returning by way of London, being absent two months.
Upon their return there was no choice left them but to live with Alice's
parents, at the Bishop's residence, which was a joy to the parental
hearts as well as a great pleasure to the newly-married couple.
TEN YEARS LATER
The Monastery Church has assumed the size and somewhat the character of a
cathedral and the good bishop has begun to feel the irksomeness of his
accumulating labors. True, he is able to attend to his episcopal duties,
but even they have in many instances been laid upon his gifted
son-in-law. This has been almost entirely true of the University
superintendency, so much so, in fact, that McLaren has acquired the title
of Dean and is now seldom, addressed by, or spoken of, by any other
official title than Dean.
Alice has become quite matronly, and her two boys, Leonidas and Tom, make
cheerful the episcopal residence, and enliven the episcopal heart. The
students in the preparatory department speak of her as Mother McLaren,
because of her sweet and loving guardianship; and the older students
bring their trouble and confidences to her for comfort and advice. Tom
Sparrow, after he graduated, spent three years at Heidelberg and won the
degree of Ph.D. But while these honors came to Tom, and still greater
honors had come to McLaren, they were still the same to each other. To
Tom, McLaren, although addressed as "Doctor" by others, was still "my
Carl," and in return the younger man to McLaren was simply "Tom." Nothing
seemed able to change these relations; nor did the parties most deeply
interested desire to change them.
Tom in his travels had been to Durham. Yes, it turned out that he had
spent _much_ of his spare time in that ancient city, and that his home at
those visits was usually at the episcopal residence.
Tom and Eleen had met at McLaren's wedding, and it did not take long for
the old, old story to find a place in their lives. Of course anyone from
America who was acquainted with their son was welcomed by the bishop and
his wife. But knowing the intimate relations existing between these two,
Tom was made doubly welcome. Besides this, Tom had developed into a
splendid man in both body and mind. He was six feet high and well
proportioned. He had inherited a healthy constitution, lived a clean and
natural life, and was in the best sense a handsome man, one whom in
passing you would incline to glance at a second time. He soon became
quite popular at Heidelberg with both lecturers and students, so when he
visited Barnard's Castle, the family of Grandpa Sparrow, received Billy's
son with open arms and hearts. The unsophisticated old people just sat
and looked at him and listened to his words about his father and mother,
and the great farm which he was operating so successfully. Cliff Farm was
a little more than a mile from Barnard's Castle, and as Elder Sparrow was
very popular with the people, many of them came to see Billy's son, both
young men and maidens, and many a delightful time they had together.
Though gifted with personal grace of person, Tom's real attractiveness
was his naturalness. He was just as simple and natural as when, years
ago, he went to the warehouse and talked to God about Carl. And so, now
at twenty-one, he had a pleasant greeting and a happy word for everyone.
The young girls were charmed and the young men listened admiringly. He
talked to the young farmers about farming. Horses, breeds of cows, sheep
hogs, fertilizers, until the young men went away feeling that they knew
but little about real farming.
The aged rector of Ascension Church, who had known Billy when a child,
came to Cliff Farm to see Billy's son. He likewise knew something of the
Monastery, and more about Bishop Albertson, with whom he had been
associated in his collegiate days at Oxford. The aged clergyman was much
interested in the curriculum at Monastery University, and perhaps no one
was better able to satisfy his quest than Tom. Tom might safely have
written, if such had been his ambition, "Veni, vidi vici," but nothing
of this spirit inspired this young man of nature; and perhaps while he
would not have been adjudged a remarkable scholar, yet he was an
encyclopedia of general information, and out of the fullness of a healthy
heart and memory his mouth spoke to the edification and enjoyment of all
who heard him.
We have said that Tom was not a remarkable scholar; yet he was a scholar,
he was cyclopaedic. He had a general knowledge, and never forgot
anything. He was an unconscious student all the time.
But his attractiveness was not in his scholarship, but in his heart and
character. He possessed and was actuated by an unselfish and clean heart
and a pure conscience. He did not need to write upon his hat, I am a
Christian. The Golden Rule was the standard of his life and he was hardly
conscious of it.
THE FAREWELL COMMENCEMENT
Commencement exercises this year were very interesting; more than
ordinarily so. There were twenty-two graduates in the classical course,
and twenty-seven seniors in the theological class. There were four
hundred and sixty students in all. This was a much larger number than in
any preceding year. Nothing had occurred during the year to mar the peace
of the institution. Sixteen professors, clothed in their official
garments, with the president, occupied the platform, which was profusely
decorated with plants and cut flowers, while an immense American flag
floated over the president's table. But, somehow, there was a feeling of
sadness pervading the whole program; probably no one could have told what
The four addresses, delivered by as many graduates, were of a high
order--vivacious, brilliant, and one or two of them quite exhilarating
and fine. Yet there was prevalent something like the feeling of a funeral
occasion--a feeling which follows the loss of a friend. But no one was
dead. Even the applause at the end of any well-given number was gentle
and subdued. The president and Professor McLaren presented the diplomas.
After the graduating classes were again seated the president arose to
deliver his annual address.
This was Bishop Albertson's thirtieth time during his presidential
career. How changed since he delivered the first address to seventeen
students, and with only three professors by his side! Now four hundred
and sixty students in his audience; sixteen professors sat by his side
and he had just delivered forty-nine diplomas to as many graduates.
Usually the annual address was mainly to the graduates. This address took
a wider scope. It was intended and did touch everyone who had an interest
in this great institution. It was full of affectionate counsel and
expressions of honest gratitude. The atmosphere which had been
unconsciously affecting the people throughout the program was beginning
to be analyzed. Farewell words were of course expected at this time; such
were customary at such a time. But these were no common words. There was
more than a common "Good-by" in them. This president had spoken similar
words twenty-nine times, but never just such words. His eyes were growing
misty when at the end he said: "My dear friends, this is not simply a
'Good-by' that I speak, but a sincere, heartfelt 'Farewell.'" A few
minutes later seven hundred persons stood with eyes suffused with tears,
and with bowed heads to receive the apostolic benediction.
Next day at ten o'clock the joint board met in the board room, in its
annual meeting. The attendance was large--trustees, faculty, and visiting
brethren. The word had gone out that important changes would likely take
place, but none knew just what they would be.
J. M. Quintin, chairman of the board, presided. Reports from each officer
were made. The secretary of the board read his report; it was a model of
perspicuity and encouragement. Each member of the faculty presented an
account of his work. A glowing report was made by Quintin of Sparrow's
work on the farm, and a resolution of appreciation was sent to the
farmer. Indeed, the board had never received such reports of the
prosperous condition of the Monastery. Then came the president's annual
report. This was his thirtieth annual report; nor was it very different
from the twenty-nine that had preceded it. It was permeated with
hopefulness for the future and gratitude for the past. Then came that
which seemed to be the great burden of his heart. This was to be his last
official message. He said, in substance, that the wise man's description
of old age was fast coming into his experience. The keepers of the house
begin to tremble, the grinders were ceasing because they were few. He
was beginning to be afraid of that which was high. The almond was
flourishing; the grasshopper was becoming a burden; desire was beginning
to fail. In a word, three score and ten years reminded him that he must
be relieved of some of his official burdens. He did not dare to interfere
with his episcopal duties, feeling that possibly for a year or two more
he might be able to meet and discharge them. But that from the arduous
duties of the University he must be relieved and a younger man asked to
become its president. And he wished that these remarks be considered as
his positive resignation as president of Monastery University.
It was now four o'clock. They had been in session since ten o'clock. So,
by motion, they, without remarks, adjourned to meet at seven o'clock in
In reality the president's resignation was a surprise to many. "What
now?" was the question. As the hour approached the men were seen in
groups, engaged in earnest discussion. But when they came together it was
soon manifest that there was no concert of thought, much less readiness
for concert of action. The prevailing thought seemed to be to postpone
any attempt to elect a president, it being the feeling that it was too
precipitous. But a majority of the board insisted on at once proceeding
to fill the vacant presidency, their chief argument being that the new
incumbent might have time to prepare for the fall term, and, further,
that no outside parties might be formed and no politics should be allowed
Bishop Albertson was asked to preside, and when the board was called to
order, Mr. Quintin arose and modestly asked permission to address them.
All were glad to hear this faithful servant of the institution.
He begged them not to construe his remarks into self-praise, but to
understand them as intending to simply show his unselfish interest in the
prosperity of the Monastery. Only this and nothing more. Thirty-one years
ago he had been made a trustee. He was then nineteen years of age, and at
their first meeting he was elected treasurer of said board. From, that
date every dollar received or paid out in the interest of this
institution had passed through his hands. He had planned every building
and paid for its erection; laid off the Monastery Park, superintended the
farm, stocked it with all its live stock, purchased and paid for all the
agricultural implements. He had planned, built and paid for the erection
of the new church building. He had charge of Mr. Thorndyke's endowment
fund, to which had been added fifty thousand dollars, making now one
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which was safely invested at six per
cent interest per annum. All this had been simply a labor of love, he
never having received a dollar for his services. This was not boasting,
but simply to show them his love for the interests of Monastery
University and church. And this love alone inspired him to nominate a man
for the vacant presidency. And to still further gain their confidence in
his unselfish judgment and love, he continued: "Seventeen years ago, when
Mr. Rixey died, I engaged a young man twenty-six years of age to work our
farm. Surely I made no mistake. There is no better man than William
Sparrow, and no better farm in the county. Ten years ago, I made bold to
nominate a man for the place made vacant by the resignation of Dr. Worth.
Did I make any mistake in that nomination? Did you make any mistake in
confirming that nomination? And now our beloved president is retiring,
full of honors and esteem, and that great and responsible place is
vacant, and I confess that my past successes make me confident as I
pronounce the name of a successor. I have consulted no man, not even the
man whose name I shall speak. I do not know but he may decline the
nomination, but my best judgment and unbiased conscience unite and prompt
me to nominate Edward McLaren, LL.D., for presidency of Monastery
This nomination did not seem to surprise anyone except the man
nominated. The thought of such an occurrence had not so much as come to
him. Several weeks before the bishop had in an incidental way intimated
that he was seriously contemplating shaking off some of his
responsibilities, but nothing more had been said, and Edward had
forgotten the remark. And when the bishop had presented his resignation,
and it was accepted, McLaren simply concluded that this would entail
extra work upon him for a month or two, until the trustees found a
suitable man to fill the vacancy. But now as he heard his name spoken, it
came like an electric shock, and he sprang to his feet, exclaiming: "O,
no! This must not be. It cannot be!" He then moved a postponement of the
election. He said: "It is only thirteen years since I stood in front of
that old farmhouse, tired and hungry, a timid wandering youth, seeking
work and bread, but more, seeking rest of soul and conscience. The farmer
and his precious wife took me in and have been to me more than brother
and sister." Then, turning round and facing the bishop, he continued:
"And this man has been more than a father; but for him and the wife he
gave me, I should not be here today. No! no! You have honored me too much
already, and I move a postponement of this election until a future
meeting of the board of trustees."
There was not a man but what was affected by these unselfish and
grateful words; but they affected the auditors in just the opposite
direction from that intended--really they insured his election.
A moment of silence followed. Then Mr. Quintin arose and said. "Mr.
President, I hear no second to Dr. McLaren's motion to postpone. His
words have indeed touched my heart, and in their modesty and
unselfishness I see only a confirmation that I am making a wise
nomination. I am thoroughly convinced that I am commending the right man,
and with all due respect to the opinion of Dr. McLaren, I now renew my
The chairman, with his usual dignity, put the question, and Edward
McLaren, LL.D., was unanimously elected president of Monastery
Such election of course created another vacancy in the faculty of the
Monastery. The chairman proceeded at once to state this fact. Again there
"Cannot the work of this chair be divided among the other professors for
a time?" asked Professor Ware, the Professor of Belles-Lettres.
Mr. Smithson, one of the trustees, moved to adjourn, but the motion was
defeated by a large majority.
"What now is the pleasure of the board?" asked the chairman. Then
someone moved to proceed at once to the election of a professor to fill
the vacant chair of Greek and Greek Literature.
This motion prevailed, and the chair announced its readiness to hear
nominations for the vacant chair.
Abram Smithson, Jr., son of one of the trustees, who graduated the day
before, was nominated. But this nomination met with no second.
There were some indications of surprise, which brought Professor Cummins
to his feet, and with some asperity to say that he saw no reasons for
expressions of surprise. It was certainly not the first time that this
chair had been filled by a man who had recently graduated. This made
several men smile, among them McLaren, who had been elected to fill that
chair the day after his graduation.
Then the bishop stated that during the thirty years in the past he had
never made a nomination, but that he now felt inclined to do so; and he
would nominate Thomas Sparrow, Ph.D., for the vacant chair of Greek and
Greek Literature. Sparrow was one of their own graduates. First, in their
preparatory course; then in classics, and afterward three years in
Heidelberg, where he had won the Philosophy Doctorate.
At this moment the newly-elected president who had been sitting with
drooping head, as if he had been rebuked instead of having received their
highest honor, arose and stated that he would be greatly pleased if Dr.
Sparrow could be elected to fill the vacant chair, but he feared they
were too late. Forty-eight hours ago the joint board of Burrough Road
Institute, a noted school in London, had elected him to fill the chair of
Belles-Lettres and History, and he feared that Sparrow had before now
telegraphed his acceptance.
"Then," said Quintin, "I move that we elect him anyhow--even if I have to
cross the sea to give Burrough Road satisfaction."
The inspiration was complete; every man was ready to vote, and did vote
for the man who was wanted in London--and Tom Sparrow became Dr. Sparrow,
Professor of Greek and Greek Literature in Monastery University, a result
which none ever regretted.
An earnest throng clustered around the newly-elected president, with
hearty congratulations. Not only the trustees, but more than two hundred
students, graduates included, who had been nervously waiting outside to
hear the news--rushed impetuously as far as they could into the board
room, and seizing McLaren, hoisted him to the shoulders of four sturdy
men, and then marched out from the chapel into the park singing
boisterously their latest college song:
Rah! Rah! Monastery,
Biggest Lion of them all,
Albertson and Mack and Quintin,
Rah! Rah! Rah!
A full moon made it almost as light as day, and even dignified Albertson
joined in the jovial song, while Billy Sparrow, dressed in his best blue
broadcloth with its bright brass buttons, joined lustily in the chorus:
"Rah! Rah! Rah! Albertson, Mack, and Jerry Quintin."
Quintin's team stood at the gate, and its owner told the driver to drive
to the farmhouse and wait there. Quintin himself was somewhat nervous,
knowing that he had something more to accomplish before he slept.
The leader in this carnival of pleasure and song was Joe Elliot, a next
year's senior. He was a stalwart man, the largest in the crowd, six feet
four inches in height, broad-shouldered and clear-eyed--a leader in
everything he undertook. He stalked in front, bearing a United States
flag, setting the pace in both step and song.
Quintin after some effort succeeded in reaching Joe's side, and said to
the leader: "Joe, get to the farm as soon as you can and set him down, I
want to speak to him as soon as possible. Stop with three cheers for
Mack." Joe took the hint, and with march and song, he halted his men in
front of the farmhouse, and setting McLaren down, took off his cap, an
example which was immediately followed, and they gave three tremendous
cheers for the new president of the Monastery and dispersed.
Immediately, grasping McLaren's arm, Quintin said: "We must find Tom and
learn whether he has cabled to London." They entered the house and found
Nancy at once, as if she had been awaiting their coming, who, without
being asked, remarked: "Tom waited until the president was elected, and
then started to Centerville, taking Leon with him to cable to London his
acceptance. It is about half an hour since they started."
"How did he go?" asked Quintin.
"On foot; he took the boy with him for company. It is such a beautiful
night, and the lad wanted to go."
"That is enough," exclaimed Quintin. "Jump in, we may catch him yet. Now,
Cyrus, let them go," and they did go. In ten minutes they were in front
of the telegraph office at the wharf at Centerville Landing. Just as they
began to ascend the stairs a man and a boy came out of the office--Tom
"Tom, what have you done?" exclaimed McLaren.
"I have just sent my acceptance to London," and, thinking that perhaps
he had done wrong in bringing the boy, added, "and it was such a
beautiful night, I brought Leon for company."
"But, Tom, why were you so hasty in the matter? Why did you not consult
In the meantime Quintin pushed past them into the office, where Reid, the
"Reid," asked Quintin, "have you sent Dr. Sparrow's message?"
"No, sir," was the prompt reply, "but two minutes more and it would have
been on the wires; here it is," holding up the yellow paper.
"Hold on, then. It must not go in its present shape."
Reid at once laid the message down on his desk, and turned to other work,
feeling assured that it was all right if Quintin and McLaren were
interrupting its transit. In the meanwhile McLaren had pushed Tom into a
small private room adjoining, and the younger man heard for the first
time that he had been elected to the chair of Greek at the Monastery.
Then heavy steps were heard and Billy Sparrow rushed into the room
exclaiming: "Tom, what have you done?"
"Father," said the young man, "I did what I thought was best. They kindly
offered me an honorable place at Burrough Road, and I had no expectation
of anything of the kind here, and really did not think that anyone would
object, so I accepted; that is all there is to it. I am truly sorry if
you don't like what I have done. Had I known it, I might not have been so
quick in replying. _But it is now too late_, and we must make the best of
it. But you must remember my future wife is in England."
"No! No!" interrupted Quintin, "It is not too late," and he held up the
unsent message. "It has not been sent. Here it is, and your acceptance
would be the most unnatural and ungrateful thing you could do. Here is
your father and mother. Here is one, who has been to you more than a
brother, and here is the fostermother that has fitted you for your great
career, and now offers you one of her most important professorships. We
are all aware that the girl who is to be your future wife is in England,
but think you that Eleen would urge you because of that to make the
sacrifice that your acceptance of the Burrough Road professorship
demands? No. She would say: 'We are young. We can wait. Stay with your
father and mother a while--it will be best.'"
Tom was visibly affected, and after a moment's silence he turned to
McLaren. "Carl," he said, "take the blank and fill it out as you think
best. You can sign my name," and taking Leon by the hand, together they
went out, descended the stairs, and started homeward.
Without a word, McLaren took the blank and wrote: "Honor appreciated,
but cannot accept. T. Sparrow, Professor of Greek, Monastery University."
Thus ended a most eventful day at the Monastery.
Quintin was not to be seen. His work for the day was ended when Tom told
McLaren to fill out the cablegram; he had slipped away and by this time
was in his bed, but not before he had told Cyrus to take the party back
to the farm.