man was sick and wasted, and he looked as if he was
not far from death. Tertulien stopped running away,
and commenced to take a great interest in him. "Look,
here," said he, "have you got a knife? I know
you haven't, because I've got it," pulling it out
of his pocket. "You dropped it when you were coming
in. Do you want it back? Look here, did your mother
ever whip you for running off?" The man stirred
under the coverlet.
tells on me sometimes; that little girl that comes in
here; did your sister ever tell on you?" The man
never answered; he brought his arms over his chest and
drew them tight. "I don't mind that," said
Tertulien. "How yellow you are, and your face is
full of holes. Why aren't you fat, like me? You're just
like old Pierre Moreau. Perhaps Sister Ste. Colombe
might come and take care of you if you haven't been
prattled on, the man watching him with dull eyes, but
never speaking. He had not opened his lips since he
came in. He kept his teeth clenched so that the muscles
of his jaws stood out under his skin. He lay propped
up by the back of a chair with a pillow for his head.
He never seemed to sleep.
sent for the cure, but the man hardly looked at him.
He would not answer the questions; the grip of his hands
and jaws only got a trifle tighter. Father Campeau sat
down beside him quietly, and stayed for an hour; neither
he nor the man spoke. The neighbors came by in twos
and threes to look and wonder at him. The women were
half frightened at his grimness and his silence. Tertulien
brought in all the neighbors' children one by one and
exhibited him to them. "See his eyes," said
Tertulien; "this is his knife, he gave it to me;
you needn't be afraid. He can't speak, but he's a good
day Tertulien was alone with him, when he raised his
arms, and waved them about in the air. Then they dropped
on the coverlet, his eyelids sank, he seemed to sleep.
His breathing was gentle and regular, his eyes were
not quite shut, his hands had relaxed by his side. Tertulien
crept up close to him; he had never seen him asleep
before, and he peered into his face. The man commenced
to talk, in his waking doze. He saw Tertulien. "You
are brave, go and see for yourself. Any one will show
you the way. The house has a gable and there is a dove-cote
in the yard."
was afraid to move; he was fascinated by the gleam through
the half-shut lids. "There is no need for so much
noise. Good-bye, we say, and we never come back."
Then the eyes shut and the man slept. He slept soundly,
and when Tertulien came back he had slipped away from
the chair and pillow. He went and told his mother. She
stooped over the sleeper to raise him. The rough shirt
was open. She noticed a sort of little hollow on his
breast, chaffed and callous, where something must have
pressed; slipping out of sight down his side was a leather
cord. She raised him gently and smoothed the hair back
from his forehead.
when the sun had commenced to go down, the man woke.
Tertulien had just come in and was standing close to
him. He reached out his hand suddenly and caught the
little boy by the arm and drew him close. Then he kissed
him once firmly and let him go. Tertulien did not move;
he threw his arms about the man's neck and gave him
a child's kiss, full on the lips. Then such a strange
look stole across the warn face, that Tertulien in fear
ran for his mother.
Dieu," she said, "run, run for someone."
Tertulien ran to the door and his mother hurried after
him. "Run, Tertulien; call Sister Ste. Colombe."
She was coming up the street with a bowl in her hands.
The sunlight had glorified everything about her; even
the bowl that she held was gilded. Her wan, transparent
face shone beneath her wimple. Sparrows fluttered across
her path. Tertulien, half abashed, could only point
to the door where his mother stood, and Sister Ste.
Colombe hurried on. Madame Dorion went back to prepare
the man. She found him with his head resting on the
floor, and, with a cry, she knelt behind him, raising
his head and letting it rest in the hollow of her hands.
Sister Ste. Colombe was coming along the passage. She
put down her bowl. Tertulien was pulling at her dress.
She reached the door. She saw Madame Dorion holding
up the half-dead face. She tottered and sank down, holding
her hands to her side. One sharp pang seemed to cross
her face, her lips moved. Tertulien, who was lingering
at the door, heard some half-articulated name, and the
look of pain was transfigured to a smile of ineffable
pity us," cried Madame Dorion, but added softly,
as she dropped her eyes to the head in her hands, and
caught the light that shone from the face, "Hush,
hush; he has seen heaven."
last light lingered in the sky. The vesper bell rang
softly from St. Joseph's. The disturbed swallows, eddying
far into the glow, swept round the steeple, their sharp
twitterings seeming to fall from each bell-stroke like
a shower of sparks from a whirling torch; until the
ringing ceased and they slipped one by one into their
vibrating nests. Then the drowsy hum of the bell faded
off, with the waning light, leaving the night voiceless
She was in
very truth a good angel of God.
it be true that the Democratic and Republican spirit
is doomed in the neighboring republic, owing to the
rapid absorption of the middle classes into the very
rich or the very poor, it is time that our neighbors
began to consider the form of aristocratic government
they would prefer. As long as there is the usual accompaniment
of pomp and titles, the wealthy classes will care very
little. Some may look upon this matter as a joke, but
the love of personal grandeur and family distinctions
has long permeated the classes outside the four hundred.
To-day conventionality rules the world; there is no
ordinary family in the States, Canada, or England that
would refuse ennoblement of some sort. The large number
of American heiresses who have placed millions in the
scale against a worn-out or impoverished lordling have
proved the theory to be true. It is all very well to
say this only represents the wealthy classes, but as
the poorer classes depend largely on the wealthy for
their living, they are likely to grow more and more
subservient for the sake of material gain, and will
be quite willing to pander to the aristocratic tendency
so long as their personal interests are ensured. If
all this tendency be on the increase, and it be necessary
for Columbia to choose a sovereign of some sort to act
as crowned head, she could not do better than choose
the duke of Veragua, the lineal descendant of the one
man who ever had any right claim of sovereignty over
this continent. This gentleman, who has been closely
associated with all the recent celebration display at
Chicago and New York, would probably make as good a
figure-head ruler as any crowned head of modern days.
He is of noble blood and had the great discoverer 400
years behind him as an impressive background to begin
on. Then those wealthy families who have already bought
up the most of the junk shop duchies and earldoms that
Europe has to spare might bargain with the old world
governments for the sole right of the patent. This would
give the Columbian empire or monarchy as decent a nobility,
as far as numbers and wealth go, as could be found anywhere.
This idea might also be a new inducement to Canada in
the direction of annexation, doing away with the objection
many would have to a change in the form of government,
and might obviate the difficulty where a knighthood
or a C.M.G. might stand between a man and his natural
inclinations. I throw out this stray idea as a hint.
It is not copyrighted, and the only compensation I would
ask of our Columbian friends in case they might at some
future time adopt my idea is that they kindly forbear
from associating my memory with the suggestion.
a great deal of the glory has departed from Boston,
it yet remains and will remain a city of much intellectual
importance and much individuality of character. There
is still in Boston something which suggests the capacity
to originate great intellectual and spiritual movements,
a thing which can hardly be said, so far as I know,
of any other American city. Emerson, Lowell, Hawthorne,
Channing, Longfellow and Whittier are gone, and there
are no great personalities to take their place, but
they have implanted in the heart of the city that shared
their fame the vital seed of their spirit. In its multitude
of sweet and serious minds it carries on the tradition
of high thought and noble purpose given by them. There
is great good, great seriousness, great humanity, in
Boston, and it may be that when the social movement,
which the increasing strain of the present condition
of things is bringing daily nearer, really begins, it
will proceed from Boston, just as the anti-slavery movement
did forty years ago. In Boston, even in our day, there
is very little of the exaggerated luxury and display
which disgrace the wealthy classes of New York, and
make the observer tremble for the possible outcome of
so colossal a madness, so reckless a taunt flung in
the faces of the millions whom their huge fortunes leave
destitute. I am told that among the richest and oldest
circles in Boston there are many people, first and foremost
the women, who set aside the vanities of dress and appearance,
with an almost Spartan scorn, and that these persons
may generally be known by the bareness and simplicity
of their garb and manner. With these sensitive and delicate-minded
people the very possession of inordinate wealth seems
a reproach, and the continual spectacle of human suffering,
together with the consciousness of the great difficulty
of properly relieving it, breeds in them a sort of melancholy
and restlessness, which is becoming one of the hopeful
signs of our time.
have been wandering recently about the streets of Boston.
It appeared to me at first that the people whom I saw
were thinner and paler than the people of our Canadian
cities, a feebler and wearier generation; but when I
came in contact with some of them personally I found
myself mistaken. I perceived that there was a degree
of strength and energy in them which was not at first
evident. What I had noted simply amounted to this: that
the aspect of the average Boston face was less robust
and more keenly intellectual than the average Toronto
or Montreal face. There is a greater quietness and seriousness
in the look and bearing of the Bostonian than in that
of the Canadian, and there is also, it seems to me,
a tenderer kindliness and a quicker sympathy. This must
necessarily be so, for he is in the midst of a sweeter
culture, breathing a wider intellectual air. The Boston
young man of the better sort, for instance, has less
exuberant gaiety, developing often into horse-play,
than the average Canadian young gentleman, but he has
more ideas, he feels deeper, he is more companionable
for a thinking man. If what I learned is true, he is
also a purer and more wholesome specimen of the race.
He has in fact reached a higher level of development.
The Boston women are brave, clever, independent, and
they show it in the grace and freedom, and I had almost
said majesty, of their bearing. I admire this bearing,
different as it is from the fine manner of the English
or older-fashioned Canadian women. The grace and freedom
which we perceive in the bearing of English or Canadian
women generally has its source in the consciousness
of superior culture and position; in American women
it springs from the sense of their own independence,
of their own fearlessness, of their own self-control.
It is democratic and founded, like every beautiful thing,
upon a true and indestructible principle. Something
of this fine grace and dignity we are beginning to see
in our own women of the young generation, and for the
same reason they are being democratized, they are entering
consciously upon a new and nobler life—a life
of unlimited activities.
the eye Boston is one of the most interesting of American
cities. In the variety of its architecture, the peculiarity
of its situation, the narrowness, crookedness and irregularity
of its streets in the more crowded parts, the curious
remnants of age to be frequently met with, the beauty
of its great Central park, the common and the adjoining
public gardens, it has abundant charm for the stranger,
accustomed to the desperate neatness and uniformity
of more recent cities. The roar and confusion at midday
in the narrow and winding thoroughfares of its congested
business portion are a joy to the heart of the loafer,
and the unintelligible complexity of its street railway
system is enough to turn the head of the stranger who
has a number of places to go to, and wants to reach
them in a hurry. Boston is said by some people to be
a very expensive place to live in; by others to be a
comparatively cheap one. The dearness or cheapness of
it in reality depends upon one's knowledge of the city
and skill in shopping.