Short Stories and Essays
William Dean Howells

Part 3 out of 3

Whether the effect with the general is what the artist works for or not,
he, does not succeed without it. Their brute liking or misliking is the
final test; it is universal suffrage that elects, after all. Only, in
some cases of this sort the polls do not close at four o'clock on the
first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, but remain open
forever, and the voting goes on. Still, even the first day's canvass is
important, or at least significant. It will not do for the artist to
electioneer, but if he is beaten, he ought to ponder the causes of his
defeat, and question how he has failed to touch the chord of universal
interest. He is in the world to make beauty and truth evident to his
fellowmen, who are as a rule incredibly stupid and ignorant of both, but
whose judgment he must nevertheless not despise. If he can make
something that they will cheer, or something that they will hiss, he may
not have done any great thing, but if he has made something that they
will neither cheer nor hiss, he may well have his misgivings, no matter
how well, how finely, how truly he has done the thing.

This is very humiliating, but a tacit snub to one's artist-pride such as
one gets from public silence is not a bad thing for one. Not long ago I
was talking about pictures with a painter, a very great painter, to my
thinking; one whose pieces give me the same feeling I have from reading
poetry; and I was excusing myself to him with respect to art, and perhaps
putting on a little more modesty than I felt. I said that I could enjoy
pictures only on the literary side, and could get no answer from my soul
to those excellences of handling and execution which seem chiefly to
interest painters. He replied that it was a confession of weakness in a
painter if he appealed merely or mainly to technical knowledge in the
spectator; that he narrowed his field and dwarfed his work by it; and
that if he painted for painters merely, or for the connoisseurs of
painting, he was denying his office, which was to say something clear and
appreciable to all sorts of men in the terms of art. He even insisted
that a picture ought to tell a story.

The difficulty in humbling one's self to this view of art is in the ease
with which one may please the general by art which is no art. Neither
the play nor the playing that I saw at the theatre when the actor was
hissed for the wickedness of the villain he was personating, was at all
fine; and yet I perceived, on reflection, that they had achieved a
supreme effect. If I may be so confidential, I will say that I should be
very sorry to have written that piece; yet I should be very proud if, on
the level I chose and with the quality I cared for, I could invent a
villain that the populace would have out and hiss for his surpassing
wickedness. In other words, I think it a thousand pities whenever an
artist gets so far away from the general, so far within himself or a
little circle of amateurs, that his highest and best work awakens no
response in the multitude. I am afraid this is rather the danger of the
arts among us, and how to escape it is not so very plain. It makes one
sick and sorry often to see how cheaply the applause of the common people
is won. It is not an infallible test of merit, but if it is wanting to
any performance, we may be pretty sure it is not the greatest


The paradox lies in wait here, as in most other human affairs, to
confound us, and we try to baffle it, in this way and in that. We talk,
for instance, of poetry for poets, and we fondly imagine that this is
different from talking of cookery for cooks. Poetry is not made for
poets; they have enough poetry of their own, but it is made for people
who are not poets. If it does not please these, it may still be poetry,
but it is poetry which has failed of its truest office. It is none the
less its truest office because some very wretched verse seems often to do

The logic of such a fact is not that the poet should try to achieve this
truest office of his art by means of doggerel, but that he should study
how and where and why the beauty and the truth he has made manifest are
wanting in universal interest, in human appeal. Leaving the drama out of
the question, and the theatre which seems now to be seeking only the
favor of the dull rich, I believe that there never was a time or a race
more open to the impressions of beauty and of truth than ours. The
artist who feels their divine charm, and longs to impart it, has now and
here a chance to impart it more widely than ever artist had in the world
before. Of course, the means of reaching the widest range of humanity
are the simple and the elementary, but there is no telling when the
complex and the recondite may not universally please. 288

The art is to make them plain to every one, for every one has them in
him. Lowell used to say that Shakespeare was subtle, but in letters a
foot high.

The painter, sculptor, or author who pleases the polite only has a
success to be proud of as far as it goes, and to be ashamed of that it
goes no further. He need not shrink from giving pleasure to the vulgar
because bad art pleases them. It is part of his reason for being that he
should please them, too; and if he does not it is a proof that he is
wanting in force, however much he abounds in fineness. Who would not
wish his picture to draw a crowd about it? Who would not wish his novel
to sell five hundred thousand copies, for reasons besides the sordid love
of gain which I am told governs novelists? One should not really wish it
any the less because chromos and historical romances are popular.

Sometime, I believe, the artist and his public will draw nearer together
in a mutual understanding, though perhaps not in our present conditions.
I put that understanding off till the good time when life shall be more
than living, more even than the question of getting a living; but in the
mean time I think that the artist might very well study the springs of
feeling in others; and if I were a dramatist I think I should quite
humbly go to that play where they hiss the villain for his villany, and
inquire how his wickedness had been made so appreciable, so vital, so
personal. Not being a dramatist, I still cannot indulge the greatest
contempt of that play and its public.


No thornier theme could well be suggested than I was once invited to
consider by an Englishman who wished to know how far American politicians
were scholars, and how far American authors took part in politics. In my
mind I first revolted from the inquiry, and then I cast about, in the
fascination it began to have for me, to see how I might handle it and
prick myself least. In a sort, which it would take too long to set
forth, politics are very intimate matters with us, and if one were to
deal quite frankly with the politics of a contemporary author, one might
accuse one's self of an unwarrantable personality. So, in what I shall
have to say in answer to the question asked me, I shall seek above all
things not to be quite frank.


My uncandor need not be so jealously guarded in speaking of authors no
longer living. Not to go too far back among these, it is perfectly safe
to say that when the slavery question began to divide all kinds of men
among us, Lowell, Longfellow, Whittier, Curtis, Emerson, and Bryant more
or less promptly and openly took sides against slavery. Holmes was very
much later in doing so, but he made up for his long delay by his final
strenuousness; as for Hawthorne, he was, perhaps, too essentially a
spectator of life to be classed with either party, though his
associations, if not his sympathies, were with the Northern men who had
Southern principles until the civil war came. After the war, when our
political questions ceased to be moral and emotional and became economic
and sociological, literary men found their standing with greater
difficulty. They remained mostly Republicans, because the Republicans
were the anti-slavery party, and were still waging war against slavery in
their nerves.

I should say that they also continued very largely the emotional
tradition in politics, and it is doubtful if in the nature of things the
politics of literary men can ever be otherwise than emotional. In fact,
though the questions may no longer be so, the politics of vastly the
greater number of Americans are so. Nothing else would account for the
fact that during the last ten or fifteen years men have remained
Republicans and remained Democrats upon no tangible issues except of
office, which could practically concern only a few hundreds or thousands
out of every million voters. Party fealty is praised as a virtue, and
disloyalty to party is treated as a species of incivism next in
wickedness to treason. If any one were to ask me why then American
authors were not active in American politics, as they once were, I should
feel a certain diffidence in replying that the question of other people's
accession to office was, however emotional, unimportant to them as
compared with literary questions. I should have the more diffidence
because it might be retorted that literary men were too unpractical for
politics when they did not deal with moral issues.

Such a retort would be rather mild and civil, as things go, and might
even be regarded as complimentary. It is not our custom to be tender
with any one who doubts if any actuality is right, or might not be
bettered, especially in public affairs. We are apt to call such a one
out of his name and to punish him for opinions he has never held. This
may be a better reason than either given why authors do not take part in
politics with us. They are a thin-skinned race, fastidious often, and
always averse to hard knocks; they are rather modest, too, and distrust
their fitness to lead, when they have quite a firm faith in their
convictions. They hesitate to urge these in the face of practical
politicians, who have a confidence in their ability to settle all affairs
of State not surpassed even by that of business men in dealing with
economic questions.

I think it is a pity that our authors do not go into politics at least
for the sake of the material it would yield them; but really they do not.
Our politics are often vulgar, but they are very picturesque; yet, so
far, our fiction has shunned them even more decidedly than it has shunned
our good society--which is not picturesque or apparently anything but a
tiresome adaptation of the sort of drama that goes on abroad under the
same name. In nearly the degree that our authors have dealt with our
politics as material, they have given the practical politicians only too
much reason to doubt their insight and their capacity to understand the
mere machinery, the simplest motives, of political life.


There are exceptions, of course, and if my promise of reticence did not
withhold me I might name some striking ones. Privately and
unprofessionally, I think our authors take as vivid an interest in public
affairs as any other class of our citizens, and I should be sorry to
think that they took a less intelligent interest. Now and then, but only
very rarely, one of them speaks out, and usually on the unpopular side.
In this event he is spared none of the penalties with which we like to
visit difference of opinion; rather they are accumulated on him.

Such things are not serious, and they are such as no serious man need
shrink from, but they have a bearing upon what I am trying to explain,
and in a certain measure they account for a certain attitude in our
literary men. No one likes to have stones, not to say mud, thrown at
him, though they are not meant to hurt him badly and may be partly thrown
in joke. But it is pretty certain that if a man not in politics takes
them seriously, he will have more or less mud, not to say stones, thrown
at him. He might burlesque or caricature them, or misrepresent them,
with safety; but if he spoke of public questions with heart and
conscience, he could not do it with impunity, unless he were authorized
to do so by some practical relation to them. I do not mean that then he
would escape; but in this country, where there were once supposed to be
no classes, people are more strictly classified than in any other.
Business to the business man, law to the lawyer, medicine to the
physician, politics to the politician, and letters to the literary man;
that is the rule. One is not expected to transcend his function, and
commonly one does not. We keep each to his last, as if there were not
human interests, civic interests, which had a higher claim than the last
upon our thinking and feeling. The tendency has grown upon us severally
and collectively through the long persistence of our prosperity; if
public affairs were going ill, private affairs were going so well that we
did not mind the others; and we Americans are, I think, meridional in our
improvidence. We are so essentially of to-day that we behave as if to-
morrow no more concerned us than yesterday. We have taught ourselves to
believe that it will all come out right in the end so long that we have
come to act upon our belief; we are optimistic fatalists.


The turn which our politics have taken towards economics, if I may so
phrase the rise of the questions of labor and capital, has not largely
attracted literary men. It is doubtful whether Edward Bellamy himself,
whose fancy of better conditions has become the abiding faith of vast
numbers of Americans, supposed that he was entering the field of
practical politics, or dreamed of influencing elections by his hopes of
economic equality. But he virtually founded the Populist party, which,
as the vital principle of the Democratic party, came so near electing its
candidate for the Presidency some years ago; and he is to be named first
among our authors who have dealt with politics on their more human side
since the days of the old antislavery agitation. Without too great
disregard of the reticence concerning the living which I promised myself,
I may mention Dr. Edward Everett Hale and Colonel Thomas Wentworth
Higginson as prominent authors who encouraged the Nationalist movement
eventuating in Populism, though they were never Populists. It may be
interesting to note that Dr. Hale and Colonel Higginson, who later came
together in their sociological sympathies, were divided by the schism of
1884, when the first remained with the Republicans and the last went off
to the Democrats. More remotely, Colonel Higginson was anti slavery
almost to the point of Abolitionism, and he led a negro regiment in the
war. Dr. Hale was of those who were less radically opposed to slavery
before the war, but hardly so after it came. Since the war a sort of
refluence of the old anti-slavery politics carried from his moorings in
Southern tradition Mr. George W. Cable, who, against the white sentiment
of his section, sided with the former slaves, and would, if the indignant
renunciation of his fellow-Southerners could avail, have consequently
ceased to be the first of Southern authors, though he would still have
continued the author of at least one of the greatest American novels.

If I must burn my ships behind me in alleging these modern instances, as
I seem really to be doing, I may mention Mr. R. W. Gilder, the poet, as
an author who has taken part in the politics of municipal reform, Mr.
Hamlin Garland has been known from the first as a zealous George man, or
single-taxer. Mr. John Hay, Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, and Mr. Henry Cabot
Lodge are Republican politicians, as well as recognized literary men.
Mr. Joel Chandler Harris, when not writing Uncle Remus, writes political
articles in a leading Southern journal. Mark Twain is a leading anti-


I am not sure whether I have made out a case for our authors or against
them; perhaps I have not done so badly; but I have certainly not tried to
be exhaustive; the exhaustion is so apt to extend from the subject to the
reader, and I wish to leave him in a condition to judge for himself
whether American literary men take part in American politics or not.
I think they bear their share, in the quieter sort of way which we hope
(it may be too fondly) is the American way. They are none of them
politicians in the Latin sort. Few, if any, of our statesmen have come
forward with small volumes of verse in their hands as they used to do in
Spain; none of our poets or historians have been chosen Presidents of the
republic as has happened to their French confreres; no great novelist of
ours has been exiled as Victor Hugo was, or atrociously mishandled as
Zola has been, though I have no doubt that if, for instance, one had once
said the Spanish war wrong he would be pretty generally 'conspue'.
They have none of them reached the heights of political power, as several
English authors have done; but they have often been ambassadors,
ministers, and consuls, though they may not often have been appointed for
political reasons. I fancy they discharge their duties in voting rather
faithfully, though they do not often take part in caucuses or

As for the other half of the question--how far American politicians are
scholars--one's first impulse would be to say that they never were so.
But I have always had an heretical belief that there were snakes in
Ireland; and it may be some such disposition to question authority that
keeps me from yielding to this impulse. The law of demand and supply
alone ought to have settled the question in favor of the presence of the
scholar in our politics, there has been such a cry for him among us for
almost a generation past. Perhaps the response has not been very direct,
but I imagine that our politicians have never been quite so destitute of
scholarship as they would sometimes make appear. I do not think so many
of them now write a good style, or speak a good style, as the politicians
of forty, or fifty, or sixty years ago; but this may be merely part of
the impression of the general worsening of things, familiar after middle
life to every one's experience, from the beginning of recorded time. If
something not so literary is meant by scholarship, if a study of finance,
of economics, of international affairs is in question, it seems to go on
rather more to their own satisfaction than that of their critics. But
without being always very proud of the result, and without professing to
know the facts very profoundly, one may still suspect that under an
outside by no means academic there is a process of thinking in our
statesmen which is not so loose, not so unscientific, and not even so
unscholarly as it might be supposed. It is not the effect of specific
training, and yet it is the effect of training. I do not find that the
matters dealt with are anywhere in the world intrusted to experts; and in
this sense scholarship has not been called to the aid of our legislation
or administration; but still I should not like to say that none of our
politicians were scholars. That would be offensive, and it might not be
true. In fact, I can think of several whom I should be tempted to call
scholars if I were not just here recalled to a sense of my purpose not to
deal quite frankly with this inquiry.


It has been the belief of certain kindly philosophers that if the one
half of mankind knew how the other half lived, the two halves might be
brought together in a family affection not now so observable in human
relations. Probably if this knowledge were perfect, there would still be
things, to bar the perfect brotherhood; and yet the knowledge itself is
so interesting, if not so salutary as it has been imagined, that one can
hardly refuse to impart it if one has it, and can reasonably hope, in the
advantage of the ignorant, to find one's excuse with the better informed.


City and country are still so widely apart in every civilization that one
can safely count upon a reciprocal strangeness in many every-day things.
For instance, in the country, when people break up house-keeping, they
sell their household goods and gods, as they did in cities fifty or a
hundred years ago; but now in cities they simply store them; and vast
warehouses in all the principal towns have been devoted to their storage.
The warehouses are of all types, from dusty lofts over stores, and
ammoniacal lofts over stables, to buildings offering acres of space, and
carefully planned for the purpose. They are more or less fire-proof,
slow-burning, or briskly combustible, like the dwellings they have
devastated. But the modern tendency is to a type where flames do not
destroy, nor moth corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. Such a
warehouse is a city in itself, laid out in streets and avenues, with the
private tenements on either hand duly numbered, and accessible only to
the tenants or their order. The aisles are concreted, the doors are
iron, and the roofs are ceiled with iron; the whole place is heated by
steam and lighted by electricity. Behind the iron doors, which in the
New York warehouses must number hundreds of thousands, and throughout all
our other cities, millions, the furniture of a myriad households is
stored--the effects of people who have gone to Europe, or broken up
house-keeping provisionally or definitively, or have died, or been
divorced. They are the dead bones of homes, or their ghosts, or their
yet living bodies held in hypnotic trances; destined again in some future
time to animate some house or flat anew. In certain cases the spell
lasts for many years, in others for a few, and in others yet it prolongs
itself indefinitely.

I may mention the case of one owner whom I saw visiting the warehouse to
take out the household stuff that had lain there a long fifteen years.
He had been all that while in Europe, expecting any day to come home and
begin life again, in his own land. That dream had passed, and now he was
taking his stuff out of storage and shipping it to Italy. I did not envy
him his feelings as the parts of his long-dead past rose round him in
formless resurrection. It was not that they were all broken or defaced.
On the contrary, they were in a state of preservation far more
heartbreaking than any decay. In well-managed storage warehouses the
things are handled with scrupulous care, and they are so packed into the
appointed rooms that if not disturbed they could suffer little harm in
fifteen or fifty years. The places are wonderfully well kept, and if you
will visit them, say in midwinter, after the fall influx of furniture has
all been hidden away behind the iron doors of the several cells, you
shall find their far-branching corridors scrupulously swept and dusted,
and shall walk up and down their concrete length with some such sense of
secure finality as you would experience in pacing the aisle of your
family vault.

That is what it comes to. One may feign that these storage warehouses
are cities, but they are really cemeteries: sad columbaria on whose
shelves are stowed exanimate things once so intimately of their owners'
lives that it is with the sense of looking at pieces and bits of one's
dead self that one revisits them. If one takes the fragments out to fit
them to new circumstance, one finds them not only uncomformable and
incapable, but so volubly confidential of the associations in which they
are steeped, that one wishes to hurry them back to their cell and lock it
upon them forever. One feels then that the old way was far better, and
that if the things had been auctioned off, and scattered up and down, as
chance willed, to serve new uses with people who wanted them enough to
pay for them even a tithe of their cost, it would have been wiser.
Failing this, a fire seems the only thing for them, and their removal to
the cheaper custody of a combustible or slow-burning warehouse the best
recourse. Desperate people, aging husbands and wives, who have attempted
the reconstruction of their homes with these

"Portions and parcels of the dreadful past"

have been known to wish for an earthquake, even, that would involve their
belongings in an indiscriminate ruin.


In fact, each new start in life should be made with material new to you,
if comfort is to attend the enterprise. It is not only sorrowful but it
is futile to store your possessions, if you hope to find the old
happiness in taking them out and using them again. It is not that they
will not go into place, after a fashion, and perform their old office,
but that the pang they will inflict through the suggestion of the other
places where they served their purpose in other years will be only the
keener for the perfection with which they do it now. If they cannot be
sold, and if no fire comes down from heaven to consume them, then they
had better be stored with no thought of ever taking them out again.

That will be expensive, or it will be inexpensive, according to the sort
of storage they are put into. The inexperienced in such matters may be
surprised, and if they have hearts they may be grieved, to learn that the
fire-proof storage of the furniture of the average house would equal the
rent of a very comfortable domicile in a small town, or a farm by which a
family's living can be earned, with a decent dwelling in which it can be
sheltered. Yet the space required is not very great; three fair-sized
rooms will hold everything; and there is sometimes a fierce satisfaction
in seeing how closely the things that once stood largely about, and
seemed to fill ample parlors and chambers, can be packed away. To be
sure they are not in their familiar attitudes; they lie on their sides or
backs, or stand upon their heads; between the legs of library or dining
tables are stuffed all kinds of minor movables, with cushions, pillows,
pictures, cunningly adjusted to the environment; and mattresses pad the
walls, or interpose their soft bulk between pieces of furniture that
would otherwise rend each other. Carpets sewn in cotton against moths,
and rugs in long rolls; the piano hovering under its ample frame a whole
brood of helpless little guitars, mandolins, and banjos, and supporting
on its broad back a bulk of lighter cases to the fire-proof ceiling of
the cell; paintings in boxes indistinguishable outwardly from their
companioning mirrors; barrels of china and kitchen utensils, and all the
what-not of householding and house-keeping contribute to the repletion.

There is a science observed in the arrangement of the various effects;
against the rear wall and packed along the floor, and then in front of
and on top of these, is built a superstructure of the things that may be
first wanted, in case of removal, or oftenest wanted in some exigency of
the homeless life of the owners, pending removal. The lightest and
slightest articles float loosely about the door, or are interwoven in a
kind of fabric just within, and curtaining the ponderous mass behind.
The effect is not so artistic as the mortuary mosaics which the Roman
Capuchins design with the bones of their dead brethren in the crypt of
their church, but the warehousemen no doubt have their just pride in it,
and feel an artistic pang in its provisional or final disturbance.

It had better never be disturbed, for it is disturbed only in some futile
dream of returning to the past; and we never can return to the past on
the old terms. It is well in all things to accept life implicitly, and
when an end has come to treat it as the end, and not vainly mock it as a
suspense of function. When the poor break up their homes, with no
immediate hope of founding others, they must sell their belongings
because they cannot afford to pay storage on them. The rich or richer
store their household effects, and cheat themselves with the illusion
that they are going some time to rehabilitate with them just such a home
as they have dismantled. But the illusion probably deceives nobody so
little as those who cherish the vain hope. As long as they cherish it,
however--and they must cherish it till their furniture or themselves fall
to dust--they cannot begin life anew, as the poor do who have kept
nothing of the sort to link them to the past. This is one of the
disabilities of the prosperous, who will probably not be relieved of it
till some means of storing the owner as well as the' furniture is
invented. In the immense range of modern ingenuity, this is perhaps not
impossible. Why not, while we are still in life, some sweet oblivious
antidote which shall drug us against memory, and after time shall elapse
for the reconstruction of a new home in place of the old, shall repossess
us of ourselves as unchanged as the things with which we shall again
array it? Here is a pretty idea for some dreamer to spin into the filmy
fabric of a romance, and I handsomely make a present of it to the first
comer. If the dreamer is of the right quality he will know how to make
the reader feel that with the universal longing to return to former
conditions or circumstances it must always be a mistake to do so, and he
will subtly insinuate the disappointment and discomfort of the stored
personality in resuming its old relations. With that just mixture of the
comic and pathetic which we desire in romance, he will teach convincingly
that a stored personality is to be desired only if it is permanently
stored, with the implication of a like finality in the storage of its

Save in some signal exception, a thing taken out of storage cannot be
established in its former function without a sense of its comparative
inadequacy. It stands in the old place, it serves the old use, and yet
a new thing would be better; it would even in some subtle wise be more
appropriate, if I may indulge so audacious a paradox; for the time is
new, and so will be all the subconscious keeping in which our lives are
mainly passed. We are supposed to have associations with the old things
which render them precious, but do not the associations rather render
them painful? If that is true of the inanimate things, how much truer it
is of those personalities which once environed and furnished our lives!
Take the article of old friends, for instance: has it ever happened to
the reader to witness the encounter of old friends after the lapse of
years? Such a meeting is conventionally imagined to be full of tender
joy, a rapture that vents itself in manly tears, perhaps, and certainly
in womanly tears. But really is it any such emotion? Honestly is not it
a cruel embarrassment, which all the hypocritical pretences cannot hide?
The old friends smile and laugh, and babble incoherently at one another,
but are they genuinely glad? Is not each wishing the other at that end
of the earth from which he came? Have they any use for each other such
as people of unbroken associations have?

I have lately been privy to the reunion of two old comrades who are bound
together more closely than most men in a community of interests,
occupations, and ideals. During a long separation they had kept account
of each other's opinions as well as experiences; they had exchanged
letters, from time to time, in which they opened their minds fully to
each other, and found themselves constantly in accord. When they met
they made a great shouting, and each pretended that he found the other
just what he used to be. They talked a long, long time, fighting the
invisible enemy which they felt between them. The enemy was habit, the
habit of other minds and hearts, the daily use of persons and things
which in their separation they had not had in common. When the old
friends parted they promised to meet every day, and now, since their
lines had been cast in the same places again, to repair the ravage of the
envious years, and become again to each other all that they had ever
been. But though they live in the same town, and often dine at the same
table, and belong to the same club, yet they have not grown together
again. They have grown more and more apart, and are uneasy in each
other's presence, tacitly self-reproachful for the same effect which
neither of them could avert or repair. They had been respectively in
storage, and each, in taking the other out, has experienced in him the
unfitness which grows upon the things put away for a time and reinstated
in a former function.


I have not touched upon these facts of life, without the purpose of
finding some way out of the coil. There seems none better than the
counsel of keeping one's face set well forward, and one's eyes fixed
steadfastly upon the future. This is the hint we will get from nature if
we will heed her, and note how she never recurs, never stores or takes
out of storage. Fancy rehabilitating one's first love: how nature would
mock at that! We cannot go back and be the men and women we were, any
more than we can go back and be children. As we grow older, each year's
change in us is more chasmal and complete. There is no elixir whose
magic will recover us to ourselves as we were last year; but perhaps we
shall return to ourselves more and more in the times, or the eternity, to
come. Some instinct or inspiration implies the promise of this, but only
on condition that we shall not cling to the life that has been ours, and
hoard its mummified image in our hearts. We must not seek to store
ourselves, but must part with what we were for the use and behoof of
others, as the poor part with their worldly gear when they move from one
place to another. It is a curious and significant property of our
outworn characteristics that, like our old furniture, they will serve
admirably in the life of some other, and that this other can profitably
make them his when we can no longer keep them ours, or ever hope to
resume them. They not only go down to successive generations, but they
spread beyond our lineages, and serve the turn of those whom we never
knew to be within the circle of our influence.

Civilization imparts itself by some such means, and the lower classes are
clothed in the cast conduct of the upper, which if it had been stored
would have left the inferiors rude and barbarous. We have only to think
how socially naked most of us would be if we had not had the beautiful
manners of our exclusive society to put on at each change of fashion when
it dropped them.

All earthly and material things should be worn out with use, and not
preserved against decay by any unnatural artifice. Even when broken and
disabled from overuse they have a kind of respectability which must
commend itself to the observer, and which partakes of the pensive grace
of ruin. An old table with one leg gone, and slowly lapsing to decay in
the woodshed, is the emblem of a fitter order than the same table, with
all its legs intact, stored with the rest of the furniture from a broken
home. Spinning-wheels gathering dust in the garret of a house that is
itself falling to pieces have a dignity that deserts them when they are
dragged from their refuge, and furbished up with ribbons and a tuft of
fresh tow, and made to serve the hollow occasions of bric-a-brac, as they
were a few years ago. A pitcher broken at the fountain, or a battered
kettle on a rubbish heap, is a venerable object, but not crockery and
copper-ware stored in the possibility of future need. However carefully
handed down from one generation to another, the old objects have a
forlorn incongruity in their successive surroundings which appeals to the
compassion rather than the veneration of the witness.

It was from a truth deeply mystical that Hawthorne declared against any
sort of permanence in the dwellings of men, and held that each generation
should newly house itself. He preferred the perishability of the wooden
American house to the durability of the piles of brick or stone which in
Europe affected him as with some moral miasm from the succession of sires
and sons and grandsons that had died out of them. But even of such
structures as these it is impressive how little the earth makes with the
passage of time. Where once a great city of them stood, you shall find a
few tottering walls, scarcely more mindful of the past than "the cellar
and the well" which Holmes marked as the ultimate monuments, the last
witnesses, to the existence of our more transitory habitations. It is
the law of the patient sun that everything under it shall decay, and if
by reason of some swift calamity, some fiery cataclysm, the perishable
shall be overtaken by a fate that fixes it in unwasting arrest, it cannot
be felt that the law has been set aside in the interest of men's
happiness or cheerfulness. Neither Pompeii nor Herculaneum invites the
gayety of the spectator, who as he walks their disinterred thoroughfares
has the weird sense of taking a former civilization out of storage, and
the ache of finding it wholly unadapted to the actual world. As far as
his comfort is concerned, it had been far better that those cities had
not been stored, but had fallen to the ruin that has overtaken all their


No, good friend, sir or madam, as the case may be, but most likely madam:
if you are about to break up your household for any indefinite period,
and are not so poor that you need sell your things, be warned against
putting them in storage, unless of the most briskly combustible type.
Better, far better, give them away, and disperse them by that means to a
continuous use that shall end in using them up; or if no one will take
them, then hire a vacant lot, somewhere, and devote them to the flames.
By that means you shall bear witness against a custom that insults the
order of nature, and crowds the cities with the cemeteries of dead homes,
where there is scarcely space for the living homes. Do not vainly fancy
that you shall take your stuff out of storage and find it adapted to the
ends that it served before it was put in. You will not be the same, or
have the same needs or desire, when you take it out, and the new place
which you shall hope to equip with it will receive it with cold
reluctance, or openly refuse it, insisting upon forms and dimensions that
render it ridiculous or impossible. The law is that nothing taken out of
storage is the same as it was when put in, and this law, hieroglyphed in
those rude 'graffiti' apparently inscribed by accident in the process of
removal, has only such exceptions as prove the rule.

The world to which it has returned is not the same, and that makes all
the difference. Yet, truth and beauty do not change, however the moods
and fashions change. The ideals remain, and these alone you can go back
to, secure of finding them the same, to-day and to-morrow, that they were
yesterday. This perhaps is because they have never been in storage, but
in constant use, while the moods and fashions have been put away and
taken out a thousand times. Most people have never had ideals, but only
moods and fashions, but such people, least of all, are fitted to find in
them that pleasure of the rococo which consoles the idealist when the old
moods and fashions reappear.


There was not much promise of pleasure in the sodden afternoon of a mid-
March day at Pittsburg, where the smoke of a thousand foundry chimneys
gave up trying to rise through the thick, soft air, and fell with the
constant rain which it dyed its own black. But early memories stirred
joyfully in the two travellers in whose consciousness I was making my
tour, at sight of the familiar stern-wheel steamboat lying beside the
wharf boat at the foot of the dilapidated levee, and doing its best to
represent the hundreds of steamboats that used to lie there in the old
days. It had the help of three others in its generous effort, and the
levee itself made a gallant pretence of being crowded with freight, and
succeeded in displaying several saturated piles of barrels and
agricultural implements on the irregular pavement whose wheel-worn
stones, in long stretches, were sunken out of sight in their parent mud.
The boats and the levee were jointly quite equal to the demand made upon
them by the light-hearted youngsters of sixty-five and seventy, who were
setting out on their journey in fulfilment of a long-cherished dream, and
for whom much less freight and much fewer boats would have rehabilitated
the past.


When they mounted the broad stairway, tidily strewn with straw to save it
from the mud of careless boots, and entered the long saloon of the
steamboat, the promise of their fancy was more than made good for them.
From the clerk's office, where they eagerly paid their fare, the saloon
stretched two hundred feet by thirty away to the stern, a cavernous
splendor of white paint and gilding, starred with electric bulbs, and
fenced at the stern with wide windows of painted glass. Midway between
the great stove in the bow where the men were herded, and the great stove
at the stern where the women kept themselves in the seclusion which the
tradition of Western river travel still guards, after well-nigh a hundred
years, they were given ample state-rooms, whose appointments so exactly
duplicated those they remembered from far-off days that they could have
believed themselves awakened from a dream of insubstantial time, with the
events in which it had seemed to lapse, mere feints of experience. When
they sat down at the supper-table and were served with the sort of
belated steamboat dinner which it recalled as vividly, the kind, sooty
faces and snowy aprons of those who served them were so quite those of
other days that they decided all repasts since were mere Barmecide
feasts, and made up for the long fraud practised upon them with the
appetites of the year 1850.


A rigider sincerity than shall be practised here might own that the table
of the good steamboat 'Avonek' left something to be desired, if tested by
more sophisticated cuisines, but in the article of corn-bread it was of
an inapproachable preeminence. This bread was made of the white corn
which North knows not, nor the hapless East; and the buckwheat cakes at
breakfast were without blame, and there was a simple variety in the
abundance which ought to have satisfied if it did not flatter the choice.
The only thing that seemed strangely, that seemed sadly, anomalous in a
land flowing with ham and bacon was that the 'Avonek' had not imagined
providing either for the guests, no one of whom could have had a
religious scruple against them.

The thing, indeed, which was first and last conspicuous in the
passengers, was their perfectly American race and character. At the
start, when with an acceptable observance of Western steamboat tradition
the 'Avonek' left her wharf eight hours behind her appointed time, there
were very few passengers; but they began to come aboard at the little
towns of both shores as she swam southward and westward, till all the
tables were so full that, in observance of another Western steamboat
tradition; one did well to stand guard over his chair lest some other who
liked it should seize it earlier. The passengers were of every age and
condition, except perhaps the highest condition, and they seemed none the
worse for being more like Americans of the middle of the last century
than of the beginning of this. Their fashions were of an approximation
to those of the present, but did not scrupulously study detail; their
manners were those of simpler if not sincerer days.

The women kept to themselves at their end of the saloon, aloof from the
study of any but their husbands or kindred, but the men were everywhere
else about, and open to observation. They were not so open to
conversation, for your mid-Westerner is not a facile, though not an
unwilling, talker. They sat by their tall, cast-iron stove (of the oval
pattern unvaried since the earliest stove of the region), and silently
ruminated their tobacco and spat into the clustering, cuspidors at their
feet. They would always answer civilly if questioned, and oftenest
intelligently, but they asked nothing in return, and they seemed to have
none of that curiosity once known or imagined in them by Dickens and
other averse aliens. They had mostly faces of resolute power, and such a
looking of knowing exactly what they wanted as would not have promised
well for any collectively or individually opposing them. If ever the
sense of human equality has expressed itself in the human countenance it
speaks unmistakably from American faces like theirs.

They were neither handsome nor unhandsome; but for a few striking
exceptions, they had been impartially treated by nature; and where they
were notably plain their look of force made up for their lack of beauty.
They were notably handsomest in a tall young fellow of a lean face,
absolute Greek in profile, amply thwarted with a branching mustache, and
slender of figure, on whom his clothes, lustrous from much sitting down
and leaning up, grew like the bark on a tree, and who moved slowly and
gently about, and spoke with a low, kind voice. In his young comeliness
he was like a god, as the gods were fancied in the elder world: a chewing
and a spitting god, indeed, but divine in his passionless calm.

He was a serious divinity, and so were all the mid-Western human-beings
about him. One heard no joking either of the dapper or cockney sort of
cities, or the quaint graphic phrasing of Eastern country folk; and it
may have been not far enough West for the true Western humor. At any
rate, when they were not silent these men still were serious.

The women were apparently serious, too, and where they were associated
with the men were, if they were not really subject, strictly abeyant, in
the spectator's eye. The average of them was certainly not above the
American woman's average in good looks, though one young mother of six
children, well grown save for the baby in her arms, was of the type some
masters loved to paint, with eyes set wide under low arched brows. She
had the placid dignity and the air of motherly goodness which goes fitly
with such beauty, and the sight of her was such as to disperse many of
the misgivings that beset the beholder who looketh upon the woman when
she is New. As she seemed, so any man might wish to remember his mother

All these river folk, who came from the farms and villages along the
stream, and never from the great towns or cities, were well mannered, if
quiet manners are good; and though the men nearly all chewed tobacco and
spat between meals, at the table they were of an exemplary behavior. The
use of the fork appeared strange to them, and they handled it strenuously
rather than agilely, yet they never used their knives shovel-wise,
however they planted their forks like daggers in the steak: the steak
deserved no gentler usage, indeed. They were usually young, and they
were constantly changing, bent upon short journeys between the shore
villages; they were mostly farm youth, apparently, though some were said
to be going to find work at the great potteries up the river for wages
fabulous to home-keeping experience.

One personality which greatly took the liking of one of our tourists was
a Kentucky mountaineer who, after three years' exile in a West Virginia
oil town, was gladly returning to the home for which he and all his
brood-of large and little comely, red-haired boys and girls-had never
ceased to pine. His eagerness to get back was more than touching; it was
awing; for it was founded on a sort of mediaeval patriotism that could
own no excellence beyond the borders of the natal region. He had
prospered at high wages in his trade at that oil town, and his wife and
children had managed a hired farm so well as to pay all the family
expenses from it, but he was gladly leaving opportunity behind, that he
might return to a land where, if you were passing a house at meal-time,
they came out and made you come in and eat. "When you eat where I've
been living you pay fifty cents," he explained. "And are you taking all
your household stuff with you?" "Only the cook-stove. Well, I'll tell
you: we made the other things ourselves; made them out of plank, and they
were not worth-moving." Here was the backwoods surviving into the day of
Trusts; and yet we talk of a world drifted hopelessly far from the old


The new ideals, the ideals of a pitiless industrialism, were sufficiently
expressed along the busy shores, where the innumerable derricks of oil-
wells silhouetted their gibbet shapes against the horizon, and the myriad
chimneys of the foundries sent up the smoke of their torment into the
quiet skies and flamed upon the forehead of the evening like baleful
suns. But why should I be so violent of phrase against these guiltless
means of millionairing? There must be iron and coal as well as wheat and
corn in the world, and without their combination we cannot have bread.
If the combination is in the form of a trust, such as has laid its giant
clutch upon all those warring industries beside the Ohio and swept them
into one great monopoly, why, it has still to show that it is worse than
competition; that it is not, indeed, merely the first blind stirrings of
the universal cooperation of which the dreamers of ideal commonwealths
have always had the vision.

The derricks and the chimneys, when one saw them, seem to have all the
land to themselves; but this was an appearance only, terrifying in its
strenuousness, but not, after all, the prevalent aspect. That was rather
of farm, farms, and evermore farms, lying along the rich levels of the
stream, and climbing as far up its beautiful hills as the plough could
drive. In the spring and in the Mall, when it is suddenly swollen by the
earlier and the later rains, the river scales its banks and swims over
those levels to the feet of those hills, and when it recedes it leaves
the cornfields enriched for the crop that, has never failed since the
forests were first cut from the land. Other fertilizing the fields have
never had any, but they teem as if the guano islands had been emptied
into their laps. They feel themselves so rich that they part with great
lengths and breadths of their soil to the river, which is not good for
the river, and is not well for the fields; so that the farmers, whose
ease learns slowly, are beginning more and more to fence their borders
with the young willows which form a hedge in the shallow wash such a
great part of the way up and down the Ohio. Elms and maples wade in
among the willows, and in time the river will be denied the indigestion
which it confesses in shoals and bars at low water, and in a difficulty
of channel at all stages.

Meanwhile the fields flourish in spite of their unwise largesse to the
stream, whose shores the comfortable farmsteads keep so constantly that
they are never out of sight. Most commonly they are of brick, but
sometimes of painted wood, and they are set on little eminences high
enough to save them from the freshets, but always so near the river that
they cannot fail of its passing life. Usually a group of planted
evergreens half hides the house from the boat, but its inmates will not
lose any detail of the show, and come down to the gate of the paling
fence to watch the 'Avonek' float by: motionless men and women, who lean
upon the supporting barrier, and rapt children who hold by their skirts
and hands. There is not the eager New England neatness about these
homes; now and then they have rather a sloven air, which does not discord
with their air of comfort; and very, very rarely they stagger drunkenly
in a ruinous neglect. Except where a log cabin has hardily survived the
pioneer period, the houses are nearly all of one pattern; their facades
front the river, and low chimneys point either gable, where a half-story
forms the attic of the two stories below. Gardens of pot-herbs flank
them, and behind cluster the corn-cribs, and the barns and stables
stretch into the fields that stretch out to the hills, now scantily
wooded, but ever lovely in the lines that change with the steamer's

Except in the immediate suburbs of the large towns, there is no ambition
beyond that of rustic comfort in the buildings on the shore. There is no
such thing, apparently, as a summer cottage, with its mock humility of
name, up or down the whole tortuous length of the Ohio. As yet the land
is not openly depraved by shows of wealth; those who amass it either keep
it to themselves or come away to spend it in European travel, or pause to
waste it unrecognized on the ungrateful Atlantic seaboard. The only
distinctions that are marked are between the homes of honest industry
above the banks and the homes below them of the leisure, which it is
hoped is not dishonest. But, honest or dishonest, it is there apparently
to stay in the house-boats which line the shores by thousands, and repeat
on Occidental terms in our new land the river-life of old and far Cathay.

They formed the only feature of their travel which our tourists found
absolutely novel; they could clearly or dimly recall from the past every
other feature but the houseboats, which they instantly and gladly
naturalized to their memories of it. The houses had in common the form
of a freight-car set in a flat-bottomed boat; the car would be shorter or
longer, with one, or two, or three windows in its sides, and a section of
stovepipe softly smoking from its roof. The windows might be curtained
or they might be bare, but apparently there was no other distinction
among the houseboat dwellers, whose sluggish craft lay moored among the
willows, or tied to an elm or a maple, or even made fast to a stake on
shore. There were cases in which they had not followed the fall of the
river promptly enough, and lay slanted on the beach, or propped up to a
more habitable level on its slope; in a sole, sad instance, the house had
gone down with the boat and lay wallowing in the wash of the flood. But
they all gave evidence of a tranquil and unhurried life which the soul of
the beholder envied within him, whether it manifested itself in the lord
of the house-boat fishing from its bow, or the lady coming to cleanse
some household utensil at its stern. Infrequently a group of the house-
boat dwellers seemed to be drawing a net, and in one high event they
exhibited a good-sized fish of their capture, but nothing so strenuous
characterized their attitude on any other occasion. The accepted theory
of them was that they did by day as nearly nothing as men could do and
live, and that by night their forays on the bordering farms supplied the
simple needs of people who desired neither to toil nor to spin, but only
to emulate Solomon in his glory with the least possible exertion. The
joyful witness of their ease would willingly have sacrificed to them any
amount of the facile industrial or agricultural prosperity about them and
left them slumberously afloat, unmolested by dreams of landlord or tax-
gatherer. Their existence for the fleeting time seemed the true
interpretation of the sage's philosophy, the fulfilment of the poet's

"Why should we only toil, that are the roof and crown of things."

How did they pass their illimitable leisure, when they rested from the
fishing-net by day and the chicken-coop by night? Did they read the new
historical fictions aloud to one another? Did some of them even meditate
the thankless muse and not mind her ingratitude? Perhaps the ladies of
the house-boats, when they found themselves--as they often did--in
companies of four or five, had each other in to "evenings," at which one
of them read a paper on some artistic or literary topic.


The trader's boat, of an elder and more authentic tradition, sometimes
shouldered the house-boats away from a village landing, but it, too, was
a peaceful home, where the family life visibly went hand-in-hand with
commerce. When the trader has supplied all the wants and wishes of a
neighborhood, he unmoors his craft and drops down the river's tide to
where it meets the ocean's tide in the farthermost Mississippi, and there
either sells out both his boat and his stock, or hitches his home to some
returning steamboat, and climbs slowly, with many pauses, back to the
upper Ohio. But his home is not so interesting as that of the
houseboatman, nor so picturesque as that of the raftsman, whose floor of
logs rocks flexibly under his shanty, but securely rides the current. As
the pilots said, a steamboat never tries to hurt a raft of logs, which is
adapted to dangerous retaliation; and by night it always gives a wide
berth to the lantern tilting above the raft from a swaying pole. By day
the raft forms one of the pleasantest aspects of the river-life, with its
convoy of skiffs always searching the stream or shore for logs which have
broken from it, and which the skiffmen recognize by distinctive brands or
stamps. Here and there the logs lie in long ranks upon the shelving
beaches, mixed with the drift of trees and fence-rails, and frames of
corn-cribs and hencoops, and even house walls, which the freshets have
brought down and left stranded. The tops of the little willows are
tufted gayly with hay and rags, and other spoil of the flood; and in one
place a disordered mattress was lodged high among the boughs of a water-
maple, where it would form building material for countless generations of
birds. The fat cornfields were often littered with a varied wreckage
which the farmers must soon heap together and burn, to be rid of it, and
everywhere were proofs of the river's power to devastate as well as
enrich its shores. The dwellers there had no power against it, in its
moments of insensate rage, and the land no protection from its
encroachments except in the simple device of the willow hedges, which, if
planted, sometimes refused to grow, but often came of themselves and kept
the torrent from the loose, unfathomable soil of the banks, otherwise
crumbling helplessly into it.

The rafts were very well, and the house-boats and the traders' boats, but
the most majestic feature of the riverlife was the tow of coal-barges
which, going or coming, the 'Avonek' met every few miles. Whether going
or coming they were pushed, not pulled, by the powerful steamer which
gathered them in tens and twenties before her, and rode the mid-current
with them, when they were full, or kept the slower water near shore when
they were empty. They claimed the river where they passed, and the
'Avonek' bowed to an unwritten law in giving them the full right of way,
from the time when their low bulk first rose in sight, with the chimneys
of their steamer towering above them and her gay contours gradually
making themselves seen, till she receded from the encounter, with the
wheel at her stern pouring a cataract of yellow water from its blades.
It was insurpassably picturesque always, and not the tapering masts or
the swelling sails of any sea-going craft could match it.


So at least the travellers thought who were here revisiting the earliest
scenes of childhood, and who perhaps found them unduly endeared. They
perused them mostly from an easy seat at the bow of the hurricane-deck,
and, whenever the weather favored them, spent the idle time in selecting
shelters for their declining years among the farmsteads that offered
themselves to their choice up and down the shores. The weather commonly
favored them, and there was at least one whole day on the lower river
when the weather was divinely flattering. The soft, dull air lulled
their nerves while it buffeted their faces, and the sun, that looked
through veils of mist and smoke, gently warmed their aging frames and
found itself again in their hearts. Perhaps it was there that the water-
elms and watermaples chiefly budded, and the red-birds sang, and the
drifting flocks of blackbirds called and clattered; but surely these also
spread their gray and pink against the sky and filled it with their
voices. There were meadow-larks and robins without as well as within,
and it was no subjective plough that turned the earliest furrows in those
opulent fields.

When they were tired of sitting there, they climbed, invited or
uninvited, but always welcomed, to the pilothouse, where either pilot of
the two who were always on watch poured out in an unstinted stream the
lore of the river on which all their days had been passed. They knew
from indelible association every ever-changing line of the constant
hills; every dwelling by the low banks; every aspect of the smoky towns;
every caprice of the river; every-tree, every stump; probably every bud
and bird in the sky. They talked only of the river; they cared for
nothing else. The Cuban cumber and the Philippine folly were equally far
from them; the German prince was not only as if he had never been here,
but as if he never had been; no public question concerned them but that
of abandoning the canals which the Ohio legislature was then foolishly
debating. Were not the canals water-ways, too, like the river, and if
the State unnaturally abandoned them would not it be for the behoof of
those railroads which the rivermen had always fought, and which would
have made a solitude of the river if they could?

But they could not, and there was nothing more surprising and delightful
in this blissful voyage than the evident fact that the old river traffic
had strongly survived, and seemed to be more strongly reviving. Perhaps
it was not; perhaps the fondness of those Ohio-river-born passengers was
abused by an illusion (as subjective as that of the buds and birds) of a
vivid variety of business and pleasure on the beloved stream. But again,
perhaps not. They were seldom out of sight of the substantial proofs of
both in the through or way packets they encountered, or the nondescript
steam craft that swarmed about the mouths of the contributory rivers, and
climbed their shallowing courses into the recesses of their remotest
hills, to the last lurking-places of their oil and coal.


The Avonek was always stopping to put off or take on merchandise or men.
She would stop for a single passenger, plaited in the mud with his
telescope valise or gripsack under the edge of a lonely cornfield, or to
gather upon her decks the few or many casks or bales that a farmer wished
to ship. She lay long hours by the wharf-boats of busy towns, exchanging
one cargo for another, in that anarchic fetching and carrying which we
call commerce, and which we drolly suppose to be governed by laws. But
wherever she paused or parted, she tested the pilot's marvellous skill;
for no landing, no matter how often she landed in the same place, could
be twice the same. At each return the varying stream and shore must be
studied, and every caprice of either divined. It was always a triumph,
a miracle, whether by day or by night, a constant wonder how under the
pilot's inspired touch she glided softly to her moorings, and without a
jar slipped from them again and went on her course.

But the landings by night were of course the finest. Then the wide fan
of the search-light was unfurled upon the point to be attained and the
heavy staging lowered from the bow to the brink, perhaps crushing the
willow hedges in it's fall, and scarcely touching the land before a
black, ragged deck-hand had run out through the splendor and made a line
fast to the trunk of the nearest tree. Then the work of lading or
unlading rapidly began in the witching play of the light that set into
radiant relief the black, eager faces and the black, eager figures of the
deck-hands struggling up or down the staging under boxes of heavy wares,
or kegs of nails, or bales of straw, or blocks of stone, steadily mocked
or cursed at in their shapeless effort, till the last of them reeled back
to the deck down the steep of the lifting stage, and dropped to his
broken sleep wherever he could coil himself, doglike, down among the
heaps of freight.

No dog, indeed, leads such a hapless life as theirs; and ah! and ah! why
should their sable shadows intrude in a picture that was meant to be all
so gay and glad? But ah! and ah! where, in what business of this hard
world, is not prosperity built upon the struggle of toiling men, who
still endeavor their poor best, and writhe and writhe under the burden of
their brothers above, till they lie still under the lighter load of their
mother earth?


Absence of distinction
Aim at nothing higher than the amusement of your readers
Anise-seed bag
Any man's country could get on without him
Begun to fight with want from their cradles
Blasts of frigid wind swept the streets
Clemens is said to have said of bicycling
Could not, as the saying is, find a stone to throw at a dog
Disbeliever in punishments of all sorts
Do not want to know about such squalid lives
Early self-helpfulness of children is very remarkable
Encounter of old friends after the lapse of years
Even a day's rest is more than most people can bear
Eyes fixed steadfastly upon the future
Face that expresses care, even to the point of anxiety
For most people choice is a curse
General worsening of things, familiar after middle life
Happy in the indifference which ignorance breeds in us
Hard to think up anything new
Heart of youth aching for their stoical sorrows
Heighten our suffering by anticipation
If one were poor, one ought to be deserving
Lascivious and immodest as possible
Literary spirit is the true world-citizen
Look of challenge, of interrogation, almost of reproof
Malevolent agitators
Meet here to the purpose of a common ostentation
Neatness that brings despair
Noble uselessness
Openly depraved by shows of wealth
People have never had ideals, but only moods and fashions
People might oftener trust themselves to Providence
People of wealth and fashion always dissemble their joy
Plagiarism carries inevitable detection with it
Pure accident and by its own contributory negligence
Refused to see us as we see ourselves
Should be very sorry to do good, as people called it
So many millionaires and so many tramps
So touching that it brought the lump into my own throat
Solution of the problem how and where to spend the summer
Some of it's good, and most of it isn't
Some of us may be toys and playthings without reproach
Superiority one likes to feel towards the rich and great
Take our pleasures ungraciously
The old and ugly are fastidious as to the looks of others
They are so many and I am so few
Those who decide their fate are always rebelling against it
Those who work too much and those who rest too much
Unfailing American kindness
Visitors of the more inquisitive sex
We cannot all be hard-working donkeys
We who have neither youth nor beauty should always expect it
Whatever choice you make, you are pretty sure to regret it


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