Page images


loo, that so offended the British ministry. He was a forcible man, but narrow and unimaginative. Napoleon could not have conversed with him on large and important subjects as he did with Montholon and Las Cases, and we consequently find that Gourgand's reports are meager and not particularly interesting. The most conspicuous fact in his diary is Napoleon's continual effort to cheer and encourage the spirit of his companions. Gourgand was still in the prime of life, and when other methods failed, Napoleon held forth to him the prospect of a favorable matrimonial alliance—which came to pass some ten years later by Gourgand's marriage to a French countess.

Lord Rosebery has examined the evidence in Surgeon O'Meara's case against Sir Hudson Lowe and finds much of it quite untrustworthy. This need not, however, make any serious difference to us. The civilized world has long ago condemned Sir Hudson Low, nor has he ever found an apologist for his absurdly spiteful behavior, and nobody cares to hear any further

discussion in regard to him. Rosebery himself admits that the general mass of evidence is decidedly against Sir Hudson. What still makes the “voice from St. Helena” interesting are Napoleon's commentaries on his battles and other important matters which it contains. O’Meara could not have invented these, and they agree remarkably well with the statements made afterwards by Montholon and Las Cases. O'Meara has this advantage over the others, that being unacquainted with the history of those times, he could ask Napoleon more direct and pertinent questions than they very well could, from fear of inquiring about matters which they might he supposed to know already. The best of the Napoleonic memoirs are those by Las Cases and Savary, both men of superior character and intelligence. Savary, the Duke of Rovigo, was a brave soldier, and brave men are much more likely to be truthful than those whose courage has never been tested; witness Grant and Sherman. Savary did not prove an able

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

hien are the most judicious of any among his contemporaries. Count Las Cases belonged to the old French nobility, and his writing has the tone of high cultivation. He fled to England at the outset of the reign of terror and supported himself there by the publication of what he called an atlas, but which would seem to have been an epitome of the history of nations.” He returned to France by favor of Napoleon's amnesty, and soon became so convinced of the good intentions of the Emperor that he accepted a position in the government Napoleon, however, saw or knew little of him, until after the battle of Waterloo he was surprised by Las Cases's determination to acompany him in exile.

Las Cases was sent away from St. Helena by Sir Hudson for secret though perfectly honorable communication with Napoleon's friends in Europe. Sir Hudson made a mistake, and attempted to rectify it by having Las Cases detained at the Cape of Good Hope for some six months, during which time he suffered severely from the vindictiveness of the British officials there. He was not permitted to land in England for fear of the information he might circulate concerning the ill-treatment of Napoleon, but he was hustled over to Rhenish Prussia, where he suffered similar grievances to those at the Cape. His book bears every mark of an honorable man and a conscientious writer.

* He afterwards republished this in Paris under a nom de plume, but the French Academy frowned upon it Las cases reports that one of the Academicians told him that “they did not believe in literary work which emanated from the nobility.” This was the way in which they afterwards treated Dr. Morton, the discoverer of

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic]




tions, Glen went on to say that there was food for deep reflection in the fact that the strictly native population, which complacent theorists hold up to us as able to “assimilate” unrestricted immigration, is sadly decreasing instead of increasing, in all the older sections of the country. In New England, for instance, he cited by substantiating figures, there are actually one and a half more deaths than births among every thousand people whose parents are native-born. “In our own State,” Glen exclaimed, pausing a moment to let the significance of his words sink home, “the conditions are even worse, the deaths exceeding the births by ten and four-tenths among each thousand native-born Americans. The families of foreign parentage, on the contrary, show an excess of births over deaths of fifty-eight and a half, while in the old Bay State the excess is almost as great —forty-five and six-tenths. In short, the last census shows that in many localities the number of native-born Americans is either standing still or actually decreasing, while the people whose parents are foreigners are increasing tremendously. “And yet,” Glen continued, raising his finger at the red-faced Speaker in the chair, “we go on playing politics for, petty, transient gain and give no i to the trend of these momentous

S UPPLEMENTING these condi

events, which, if unchecked, as surely spell the extermination of the old stook American and his free institutions and conquest of our Country as the unchecked coming of the AngloSaxon to these shores spelt the elimina

Copyright, 1908, by Winslow Hall.

tion of the American Indian and the conquest by numbers of his once proud domains. If, Sir,” he exclaimed, “we of the lineage of Washington, of Stark, of Sullivan and Lafayette, are prepared to follow the Indian into virtual bondage and ultimate extinction, then, Sir, we can in no wise hasten the day more surely than by putting into control those who have no heed for the future of the country, but who content their small souls with gratifying their selfish lusts while the ship of State holds her wayward course toward the ominous clouds on the rockfretted near horizon.” Amid the burst of spontaneous applause, in which even some of the administrative members were compelled by the tense excitement to join, a uniformed messenger sped down the aisle and handed a yellow envelope to one of the group which sat closely round Glen's towering young form, on chairs and the nearby desks of other members. At a nod from Glen he opened the telegram and, hastily reading the contents, his face grew grave and reddened. “Impossible to reach Judge before night,” he read in a whisper, over Glen's shoulder. “Last train fivethirty. Let damn rascals hang themselves; outraged people will attend obsequies. Back on special. Terrill.” Glen made no move or sound to indicate the depths of his disappointment. Just pausing sufficiently long to gain a full knowledge of the message,

he went on, in a lowered tone, still ad

dressing the Speaker: “And so, Sir, with a firm conviction that my act is right, I adhere to what

All rights reserved.

I have so often stated, and pronounce again, if it will in any measure clear the atmosphere, that neither on the first ballot nor on any subsequent one may you expect me to vote for the nominee of your caucus if permitted to retain my seat in this assembly. If, because of that decision, I am marked for punishment at your hands, then, with a free conscience and no misgivings I await your pleasure.” An almost painful silence filled the chamber as Glen sat down. His hearers were too profoundly moved for present outburst of applause or temper. Presently one member, more conscious of the presence of the mastermind behind the scenes than others, moved the previous question. Then the storm broke out anew, and while members of the opposition clamored for opportunity to speak upon the motion and the gallery shook with the tumult of contending voices, the Speaker, rising, put the original motion in a voice unheard by all save the recording clerk and announced it carried. What might have occurred, when the fact went home to the understanding of the opposition and of the gallery crowd, that the crowning act of grave injustice had been put through by form of legal process, it would be difficult to hazard, but just as the Speaker's gavel fell, Glen, who was watching it, slowly rose, his pale face set, and gathered the few papers on his desk together. His slow, methodical, unimpassioned bearing, and tall young form as it rose above the heads of his friends about him, seemed to catch and hold the absorbed attention of the gathering, and as he turned and moved down the aisle the tumult ceased, and an almost complete silence lent its weight to the closing scene of this impressive drama. Men bowed and smiled to him, and women in the gallery waved their dainty handkerchiefs, but he seemed not to note the interest centered on

him until he had reached the rear of the

dense-thronged chamber. Then he looked up at the animate scene above him, and, realizing that all this was

meant for him, he smiled and bowed slightly in recognition. But then, of a sudden, as he again moved on, his great, young form erect and graceful, his face changed, and a glow of red mantled to his temples. For, amid the hundred faces bent down upon him from above, his quick vision had picked out one—but one, the fair, suffused face of Constance Carter. He passed out of the high-arched door, and as he disappeared the tense strain behind him broke and such a storm of appreciation for him rolled from gallery to floor and floor to dome as shook the vast chamber to its foundations. With a few friends he escaped the throng of wrought-up people who surged down the stairways, and by a side entrance gained the street and hurried to his apartment in the oldtime hostelry. There he was joined by others who had stood by him in the crisis, and later in the afternoon the Major came, towering like an angry thunder cloud, and, while Glen rested, insisted on hearing every scrap of what had been said during the afternoon repeated by those who had been present. It suffices for our story to relate, that that evening, in the Major's chamber, there was formed an organization known as the Constitution Party Club, with the Major as its first president and Glen as its secretary and treasurer, which was to have a potent bearing on future politics. That information, and the kindred statement, that, as this factor in local civic life was being born, the Legislature met in grand committee and carried out the bargain of its Master, by electing the Honorable Theopilus I. Burland to the high office which he had contracted for, must close the portal leading further on

down the labyrinthic way of practipal politics, into which our little #

for a brief time inadvertently w dered.

When Glen Noble arrived home at Stonestead station, he came little like a discredited hero.

« PreviousContinue »