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it astonishes him, the more helpful to him and always with the desire to find out it will be. Probably Professor Butler of in the shortest possible time what the Columbia University may have aston- writer has to say. If the first glance does ished him by his recent address at Vassar not tell, seldom will the reader give you, College. "The newspaper is fast losing another. You must bring your man its moral influence," said Professor But- down with the first barrel; he will be ler. The able editor will not agree with gone before you can explode a second that; he does, in fact, publicly disagree, cartridge. Lucidity, simplicity, directand expresses his dissent from so sweep- ness, those are the qualities of style the ing a judgment with characteristic ener- young writer must try for. Others will
But Professor Butler's opinion is come after—it is easy to embroider or to nevertheless a fact, of which the able ed- add color-let those come first, and if he itor has to take account. And there are has anything to say he will gain atten. many other such facts; they are far more tion and keep it. numerous than the journalist, from his A man very different from Veuillot, journalistic point of view, is inclined to the editor of a very popular and successbelieve.
ful English journal which circulates very Let me return for a moment to one of largely among what in England is called those practical points which I passed over. the middle class, said to a friend that he I wish, though, most briefly, to urge upon was looking out for a new man for his the young writer, first of all, the value of editorial page. “I can tell you," said the being able to write. It sounds a truism. friend, “ of an excellent writer, and a It is, in fact, an elementary maxim seldom thinker as well.” The editor answered: practised, seldom carried into full effect, “I do not want an excellent writer; still seldom used as it ought to be, seldom ac- less a thinker. I want a man who can cepted by the beginner in its true sense. put commonplace ideas into pompous EngThe prevailing notion in journalism is lish.” There you have the two extremes that of Dogberry—“God hath blessed you -two conceptions of journalism by two with a good name; to be a well-favored men, each in his own way successful. man is the gift of fortune, but to write and Which do you prefer? read comes by nature." Well, Dogberry The same thought, says Pascal, changes was a considerable philosopher in his way, according to the words which express it. but he was not infallible. The object of The thought derives its dignity from the the writer is to gain access to the mind of words. There is in that, as in everything the reader. How is he to do that? Not the admirable Frenchman has written on merely by the possession of knowledge style, a profound meaning and a direct or of ideas which he wishes to impart to practical value. I do not know of a betothers. He may know history and hu- ter teacher or more useful guide. There man nature, he may have mastered every is no thinker who teaches you more suresubject on which he wishes to discourse, ly how to think, no writer whose style is but if he cannot discourse, his mission as of better example. The good French a teacher or journalist is doomed to fail- writers are all worth studying-I will ure. He would not expect to gain the state it in the most utilitarian way-for ear of an English audience if he addressed the purposes of journalism. They have them in Hebrew. If he be dull or con- the qualities which the best English fused or pedantic, he might as well speak writers lack or have in less degree—those in Hebrew
qualities I named above-lucidity, simpliM. Veuillot, editor of the great Paris city, directness, and others. They will ultramontane journal L'Univers, one of supplement and correct that training in the most effective writers of his time in English which the writer of English must the press, said: “The journalist who writes have, and can have only by deep study of a sentence which does not convey its full the best English writers. And if I were meaning to the reader at first sight-a asked for a piece of practical advice to the sentence which has to be read twice-does young writer of English, I would say to not know his business."
him, “Read French, and do not read GerThat need not be stretched to cover
And read Pascal above all other other kinds of writing, but it is true that great French writers. what is read in a newspaper is read rapid- If I dared, I should like to attempt a ly, often hurriedly-a very different thing critical review of the literature of journal
ism – that is, of its literary merits and ledge which was left us by our forefademerits-here and in England and in thers." France. But I suppose a man might hard- That is as true for us to-day as it was ly do that and escape alive. It were safer, for Burke and his countrymen rather though perhaps less honest, to rest con- more than a hundred years ago-true in tent with the accepted Jingo doctrine all things as in literature. It is precisely that whatever is American is right. But that appeal to the conservative instinct I will go so far as to ask you to reject which ought to be most effective with us. that doctrine, whether in literature or The press, above all other institutions, journalism or elsewhere; to open your ought, I think, to ground itself upon that. minds to whatever is true and just and Whether it does or not, every one can right, no matter what its place of origin, judge. Every one may know what the and, as Emerson said, to keep them open. aim of American journalism is, and to There is in the American press much ex- what extent it yields to ambitions more cellent writing, some which is supremely or less openly avowed. There are jourexcellent, and much more which is sloven- nals which seem to conceive that society ly. And there are in the best American exists in order to supply them with what papers certain neologisms, certain sole- is called news. Publicity is their panacisms, certain barbarisms, certain flippan- cea for all social ills. Well, there is only cies, the prevalence of which I think a too much publicity, yet the social ills serious menace to the American literature grow worse and not better.
If the jourof the future. We permit ourselves an nal is to fulfil its high mission, to recover intolerable license of speech, intolerable its authority, to point the way to higher freedoms with an ancient and noble ideas of national life, it will ultimately tongue. These are perhaps but the diver- choose other methods than these. It sions of the young giant trying his mus- must appeal to the best and not to the cles. If he persists, they will end in per- worst-or even to the second best--elemanent deformities. He will have, as ments of social and political life. A Johnson said, the contortions of the sibyl greater degree of reserve, an absence of without her inspiration, the nodosity of self-assertion, a constant fidelity to ideas the oak without its strength. I entreat and principles, a uniform respect for the you to believe that these ravages upon immunities of both private and public the English tongue have no flavor of life, an appeal to conscience — these are patriotism in them. If nourish some of the means by which it may begrudges against England, this is not the come the real expression of that spirit way to pay them off.
We injure our- which is the spirit of the best people. It selves, not the English. We debase the is the best people, the thoughtful minorlanguage, which is as much our inherit- ity — the remnant, as Arnold said — the ance as theirs. What we received from students, the true patriots, the men of the Bible and Shakespeare and Milton and settled views, with convictions which are Burke-are we to put it to base uses, or to not at the mercy of accidents or of matreasure and reverence it?
jorities, who in the long-run govern this These are some of the questions which country. If they did not, there would the young American has to ask himself. presently be no country to govern. Let him not believe that standards of We often talk as if the majority govspeech consecrated by centuries of honor- erned. It never governs. Never in the able observance may be violated safely, history of the world has the majority or that the caprice of to-day is a better really governed. Force, said Pascal, is law for his guidance than the immemo- queen of the world, not opinion; but it is rial usage of the noblest of our race. opinion which makes use of force. And "We may put in our claim," said Burke, what is opinion? Mine is the unpopular in one of his memorable eulogies upon view, but in my view it is the opinion of England, “to as ample and as early a the instructed, thinking minority which share in all the improvements in science, presently takes possession of the minds in arts, and in literature which have illu- of the majority. Minority has come to minated and adorned the modern world be a word to which democracy refers in as any other nation in Europe. We think a tone of contempt. But it is only the one main cause of this improvement was minorities of the present who are scorned. our not despising the patrimony of know. Socrates, Christ and his apostles, the Prot
estants, the Puritans, the abolitionists- The more intelligent the majority, the they were all minorities. When they be- miore susceptible it will be to intellectual come historical they are respected. The influences, and the more docile to the pulpits, the learned professions, the col- thinking minority. It is for the Amerileges—they are all minorities. Which is can press to say whether it cares to have destined to leave a broader mark on the a part in this government by the few or history of America-a noble university not. It can choose for itself.
If it conlike Yale or Harvard, with its minority tinues to take for its motto that of the pluof three thousand students, its minority of tocrat of Horace-rem, quocunque modo, professors and its president, in a minority rem-it will continue to make money and of one or ten, or a hundred times that to lose power. If it will content itself number of good, honest, well-meaning, and with plain living and high thinking, it ill-taught Americans in any part of the may have a permanent share in that privy country who believe in themselves be- council of the wisest and best on whom cause they are the majority?
depends the future of this republic.
A MAN AND HIS KNIFE.
PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF JAMES BOWIE.
BY MARTHA MCCULLOCH-WILLIAMS.
CAN and blade had much in common. haps reprehensible to moralists of the
His faults were those of ronment; they owned like potentialities his time; his virtues came of nature and of good and evil; both wrought after the heredity. He was part and parcel of the lustiest Homeric fashion, and in the work- rough and ready era when life or death, ing earned renown as wide as the world. or fortune or honor, hung often upon the
One needs an inspired pen to write the sting and ping of a bullet, the flash of a chronicle of American heroes. Not in blade. straitlaced stiff and starch historic fash- Indubitably he was well born, albeit it ion, but to show them in their habit, is only tradition which traces his descent as they lived after the manner of Homer from the famous Maryland Bowies. It with his Greeks, or that dear babbler is perhaps worth while to say, in the beFroissart, the men of the Middle Ages. ginning, that the name is pronounced as A mighty moving recital it needs must though spelled “ Boo-ee,” with the accent prove—a story of daring, of endurance, on the first syllable. His father, Rezin of savage hardness, running sometimes Bowie, wedded Elvira Jones, his mother, into ruffianism, yet veined and threaded down in Burke County, Georgia, a very with romance, with chivalry, with the little after the colonies had won indepenloftiest patriotism, the most honorable dence. Rezin Bowie had not fought in punctilio, as in nature the igneous rocks the Continental army. He was but a boy are veined and threaded with gold and while the fighting went on. In those precious stones.
primitive and parlous times men and Walhalla it must be, rather than Pan- maids came early to the holy estate of theon. The transplanted Anglo-Saxon matrimony. Grooms of eighteen took has not lost his ancestor's amazing stom- brides of fifteen, or thereabout. The ach for fighting. It is more than a ques- wedding was an all-night frolic, the intion, indeed, if in contact with the red fare an all-next-day one; then the young enemy he has not developed new capacity husband took his new wife up behind in that line. Certainly he has acquired a him and rode off to his own cabin. fine originality of combat, and stands con- Sometimes it had a puncheon floor and fessed most picturesque of all ravagers a door of riven boards. Then the couple who since time began have wrested em- belonged to the aristocracy of their time. pires from hands too weak to hold them. Oftener the floor was of dirt, the door
Never a better type of him trod shoe shutter a blanket, or one of the patchleather than James Bowie-a type most work quilts, without which no girl would engaging to the natural man, though per have dreamed of getting married. Forks
driven into the floor, and springy poles rifle, and found existence tolerable and laid across to a convenient crack between to be endured, though he could not help the logs, served to hold the feather bed, or a bit of envy when he heard the bearthe straw tick, or the leaves which made hunting tales of adventurous passers-by. sleep a downy thing. A hearth of stone In '1796 his son James was born. Beand clay took up all one end. In the fore he was big enough to hold a plough gable above it there was a wide opening or rifle the fit had seized his father again for the smoke to eddy through. Blocks -a family moving was on. This time it chopped from handy logs served for seats; was not a matter of loading household besides, the man had his rifle and hunt stuff into the ox-cart, setting the mother ing-knife, the woman her wheel and upon an ambling brood-mare, with one cards. If, in addition, the pair could child in her lap, another behind her, and show an iron pot, a skillet, some pewter the rest of her brood running and racing plates, or crockery ones, their house was after live-stock mighty loath to quit its exceptionally well furnished.
Instead there was but the brief doors, possession of a cow and calf and passage to a flat-boat built upon the banks a pig or two marked them as persons of of Red River, which runs down to the estate and substance.
Cumberland, as that stream in turn runs With such an establishment moving is down to the Ohio. Into the square unno great task, particularly when the wille wieldy hulk went all the Bowies and all ing mind of a great hunter is incited to their possessions, which by this time inthe change by diminishing game at hand, cluded a slave or so. The waters, good and tales of abundance in a near new- hap, and good boating did the rest.
Iner land. Rezin Bowie all his life was side six months the family was safely esa mighty hunter. In all, he moved his tablished in Louisiana. residence four times, and always upon They throve and prospered there, in the track of the vanishing wilderness. Catahoula Parish, but after a mannerly, First he went from Georgia north west modest fashion. Land might be had for into Tennessee, where he staid for seven a song, the richest land in the world; but years, killing bear and deer galore, and hunters born of the Bowie pattern rarebetween whiles fighting the marauding ly yearn to become territorial magnates. redskins. Then the emigrant drift, as Ears ever open to the lurings of woods irresistible as ever was glacier drift, tow- . and waters, senses craving the tense thrill ards the plains and barrens between the of moving accidents by flood and field, are mountains and the Great Lakes picked deaf and cold to the siren-song of riches. him up, but dropped him a long way Besides, riches came in the main through southward of the Ohio.
a cotton or sugar plantation. Rezin His third cabin was built in what is Bowie lacked equally the will and the now Logan County, Kentucky, which money for setting up either. Sometimes lies southerly in the State, barely above he went afield with his few slaves and the Tennessee line. To-day it is a fat and his flock of lusty lads. Oftener he left fertile region of big farms and golden the house and the negroes to his wife's agriculture. In Bowie's time it was all management, and took his sons with him " barrens "—that is, a land of small scrub- to slay and spare not whatever ran or by timber spots with wide savannas be- flew or swam in prairie, marsh, or bayou. tween. The open was covered with “bar- Naturally the sons came early to the rens grass," which grew so rank upon the poise and confidence of manhood. At strong unctuous black soil you might ride eighteen James set up for himself. It through it upon a tall horse, and tie the was in the humblest honest fashion. He heads either side of you above the good was poor and proud-too proud to pit his beast's neck. Deer, elk, and buffalo ranged smatter of education against lads of better it plentifully. Fighting varmint, such as learning. But he stood six foot three, bear and panthers, abounded more in the and owned one hundred and eighty land of streams and cane, which lay along pounds of superb bone and muscle. In the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the spite of his weight, he appeared lean and Mississippi. But Rezin Bowie was for a rawboned almost to lankness. while content. He took up land, worked muscle quick as lightning, informed by some of it in shambling, haphazard fash- nerves as firm as steel, and governed by ion what time he was not out with lis an eye unerring as death.
Of a fair, florid countenance, with deep- ance of Mr. Fear." What so natural as set gray eyes, high cheek-bones, and a that he should leave off sawing, which thatch of red-sandy hair, he had scant meant heaps of work for mighty little claim to good looks; yet so winning was pay, and take up a profitable venture his smile, so quick and hearty the twinkle whose sole disadvantage was the risk of of his eye, he was accounted a fine young it? The United States had not long supfellow. Open - handed, open - hearted, pressed the slave trade. There were plenfrankly good-natured, a tiger in anger, a ty, still, of lowland planters, with money superb hater, a rock of steadfastness to in both pockets, ready to buy whatever of those he called friends, he came easily to “ black ivory"other men would fetch in. dominate the men about him, though he Lafitte, the Louisiana pirate, kept up the did no more than saw boards for a living business of such fetching in. His haunts
It was with a whip-saw-something were no great ways from the Bowie habthis generation knows not. For it the itat; moreover, young James was in the log is set nearly upright. One sawyer way of coming upon the pirate whenever stands upon a scaffold at one side, the the business of board - rafting took bim other in a pit opposite the scaffold. Be- to New Orleans. He was too shrewdly tween them the saw plays, impelled by American not to grudge such fair profits the force of massy arms. Hard work, to a pack of foreigners. In company heart-breaking, even, amid languid South- with his brother, Rezin Bowie junior, and ern airs, under a fervid sun.
two others of like adventurous minds, he the sawing all. When the boards lay undertook to get a fair sharing in it. fair and straight, they must needs be Money was needed to begin. Bowie rafted down to the city of purchase. sold his land to get it. Then the four Rafting is slow work, something perilous, entered into treaty with Lafitte. He sold and certainly toilsome upon the creep- them sound and likely blacks off his slaveing gliddery bayou waters or the slack ships at the rate of a dollar a pound. That and sluggish lower Mississippi. Notwith- made the average price something like a standing, young Bowie kept a good heart hundred and forty dollars the head. In for sport. As a hunter he did more than the open market the blacks would fetch credit to his blood and training. Off- from five hundred to a thousand each. hand with a rifle he could bring down a But there was another and a better chance wild-goose flying high overhead, and put of gain, which the trading crew were quick his bullet in the neck five times out of to seize upon. Under the laws then standseven. But marksmanship bordering on ing, all Africans brought in in violation the marvellous was a common attribute of the statute were confiscated and sold thereabout. What gave the young saw- out of hand, one-half the price going to yer distinction was another story. the authorities, the other to the informer.
Several sorts of another story, in fact. Bowie and his comrades made a practice He could not merely shoot deer running, of informing upon themselves; then when but lasso them in fair chase over the the slaves were seized and sold they bid prairie, give them a fall, and, if it pleased them in, pocketed half the money they him so to do, fetch them in alive and un- paid, and found themselves free to offer harmed. He could likewise lasso a horse their purchases wheresoever they chose. from the wild herds, mount him without For the blacks were now lawfully within anybody's help, and stay upon his back, United States boundaries, and a commodno matter what was done, until the terri- ity as staple and as marketable as cotton fied beast had run himself tame. By way or sugar-or even newly sawed boards. of variety, sometimes the lasso was cast The profit was enormous-nobody ever over a big bull alligator waddling from bid against the partners at the forced swamp to swamp.
When it had been sales, though there were a lively crying drawn taut, holding tail and jaws in and a swift mounting of prices at the later leash, young Bowie mounted the scaly vendings. Altogether the company realback and rode there, laughing and shout- ized a profit of some sixty-five thousand ing, while the astounded saurian went dollars within a couple of years. But bellowing with rage toward his swampy the business involved such mummery and haunts.
flummery of false names, pretended disThroughout his life James Bowie, like guises, and pretended seizures that the Lord Nelson, “never made the acquaint- Bowies pretty soon tired of it. They dis