Saturday morning, September 7, at eleven o'clock, we left the Touraine for Auburndale, where we lunched, then to Waltham, and from there due north by what is known as Waltham Street to Lexington, striking Massachusetts Avenue just opposite the town hall.

Along this historic highway rode Paul Revere; at his heels followed the regulars of King George. Tablets, stones, and monuments mark every known point of interest from East Lexington to Concord.

In Boston, at the head of Hull Street, Christ Church, the oldest church in the city, still stands, and bears a tablet claiming for its steeple the credit of the signals for Paul Revere; but the Old North Church in North Square, near which Revere lived and where he attended service, and from the belfry of which the lanterns were really hung, disappeared in the conflict it initiated. In the winter of the siege of Boston the old meeting-house was pulled down by the British soldiers and used for firewood. Fit ending of the ancient edifice which had stood for almost exactly one hundred years, and in which the three Mathers, Increase, Cotton, and Samuel, - father, son, and grandson, - had preached the unctuous doctrine of hell-fire and damnation; teaching so incendiary was bound sooner or later to consume its own habitation.

Revere was not the only messenger of warning. For days the patriots had been anxious concerning the stores of arms and ammunition at Concord, and three days before the night of the 18th Revere himself had warned Hancock and Adams at the Clarke home in Lexington that plans were on foot in the enemies' camp to destroy the stores, whereupon a portion was removed to Sudbury and Groton. Before Revere started on his ride, other messengers had been despatched to alarm the country, but at ten o'clock on the memorable night of the 18th he was sent for and bidden to get ready. He got his riding-boots and surtout from his house in North Square, was ferried across the river, landing on the Charlestown side about eleven o'clock, where he was told the signal-lights had already been displayed in the belfry. The moon was rising as he put spurs to his horse and started for Lexington.

The troops were ahead of him by an hour.

He rode up what is now Main Street as far as the "Neck," then took the old Cambridge road for Somerville.

To escape two British officers who barred his way, he dashed across lots to the main road again and took what is now Broadway. On he went over the hill to Medford, where he aroused the Medford minute-men. Then through West Medford and over the Mystic Bridge to Menotomy, - now Arlington, - where he struck the highway, - now Massachusetts Avenue, - to Lexington. Galloping up to the old Clarke house where Hancock and Adams were sleeping, the patriot on guard cautioned him not to make so much noise.

"Noise! you'll have enough of it here before long. The Regulars are coming."

Awakened by the voice, Hancock put his head out of the window and said, -

"Come in, Revere; we're not afraid of you."

Soon the old house was alight. Revere entered the "living room" by the side door and delivered his message to the startled occupants. Soon they were joined by Dawes, another messenger by another road. After refreshing themselves, Revere and Dawes set off for Concord. On the road Samuel Prescott joined them. When about half-way, four British officers, mounted and fully armed, stopped them. Prescott jumped over the low stone wall, made his escape and alarmed Concord. Dawes was chased by two of the officers until, with rare shrewdness, he dashed up in front of a deserted farm-house and shouted, "Hello, boys! I've got two of them," frightening off his pursuers.

Revere was captured. Without fear or humiliation he told his name and his mission. Frightened by the sound of firing at Lexington, the officers released their prisoner, and he made his way back to Hancock and Adams and accompanied them to what is now the town of Burlington. Hastening back to Lexington for a trunk containing valuable papers, he was present at the battle, - the fulfillment of his warning, the red afterglow of the lights from the belfry of Old North Church.

He lived for forty-odd years to tell the story of his midnight ride, and now he sleeps with Hancock and Adams, the parents of Franklin, Peter Faneuil, and a host of worthy men in the "Granary."

The good people of Massachusetts have done what they could to commemorate the events and obliterate the localities of those great days; they have erected monuments and put up tablets in great numbers; but while marking the spots where events occurred, they have changed the old names of roads and places until contemporary accounts require a glossary for interpretation.

Who would recognize classic Menotomy in the tinsel ring of Arlington? The good old Indian name, the very speaking of which is a pleasure, has given place to the first-class apartments, - steam-heated, electric-lights, hot and cold water, all improvements - in appellations of Arlington and Arlington Heights. A tablet marks the spot where on April 19 "the old men of Menotomy" captured a convoy of British soldiers. Poor old men, once the boast and glory of the place that knew you; but now the passing traveller curiously reads the inscription and wonders "Why were they called the old men 'of Menotomy'?" for there is now no such place.

Massachusetts Avenue - Massachusetts Avenue! there's a name, a great, big, luscious name, a name that savors of brown stone fronts and plush rockers: a name which goes well with the commercial prosperity of Boston. Massachusetts Avenue extends from Dorchester in Boston to Lexington Green; it has absorbed the old Cambridge and the old Lexington roads; the old Long Bridge lives in history, but, rechristened Brighton Bridge, the reader fails to identify it.

Concord remains and Lexington remains, simply because no real estate boom has yet reached them but Bunker Hill, there is a feeling that apartments would rent better if the musty associations of the spot were obliterated by some such name as "Buckingham Heights," or "Commonwealth Crest;" "The Acropolis" has been prayerfully considered by the freemen of the modern Athens; - whatever the decision may be, certain it is the name Bunker Hill is a heavy load for choice corners in the vicinity.

There are a few old names still left in Massachusetts, - Jingleberry Hill and Chillyshally** Brook sound as if they once meant something; Spot Pond, named by Governor Winthrop, has not lost its birthright; Powder-Horn Hill records its purchase from the Indians for a hornful of powder - probably damp; Drinkwater River is a good name, - Strong Water Brook by many is considered better. It is well to record these names before they are effaced by the commercialism rampant in the suburbs of Boston.

At the Town Hall in Lexington we turned to the right for East Lexington, and made straight for Follen Church, and the home of Dr. Follen close by, where Emerson preached in 1836 and 1837.

The church was not built until 1839. In January, 1840, the congregation had assembled in their new edifice for the dedication services. They waited for their pastor, who was expected home from a visit to New York, but the Long Island Sound steamer - Lexington, by strange coincidence it was called - had burned and Dr. Follen was among the lost. His home is now the East Lexington Branch of the Public Library.

We climbed the stairs that led to the small upper room where Emerson filled his last regular charge. Small as was the room, it probably more than sufficed for the few people who were sufficiently advanced for his notions of a preacher's mission. He did not believe in the rites the church clung to as indispensable; he did not believe in the use of bread and wine in the Lord's Supper; he did not believe in prayers from the pulpit unless the preacher felt impelled to pray; he did not believe in ritualism or formalism of any kind, - in short, he did not believe in a church, for a church, however broad and liberal, is, after all, an institution, and no one man, however great, can support an institution. A very great soul - and Emerson was a great soul - may carry a following through life and long after death, but that following is not a church, not an institution, not a living organized body, until forms, conventions, and traditions make it so; its vitalizing element may be the soul of its founder, but the framework of the structure, the skeleton, is made up of the more or less rigid conventions which are the results of natural and logical selection.

The ritual of Rome, the service of England, the dry formalism of Calvinism, the slender structure of Unitarianism were all equally repugnant to Emerson; he could not stretch himself in their fetters; he was not at ease in any priestly garment. Born a prophet, he could not become a priest. By nature a teacher and preacher, he never could submit to those restrictions which go so far to make preaching effective. He taught the lesson of the ages, but he mistook it for his own. He belonged to humanity, but he detached himself. He was a leader, but would acknowledge no discipline. Men cried out to him, but he wandered apart. He was an intellectual anarchist of rare and lovely type; few sweeter souls ever lived, but he defied order.

Not that Emerson would have been any better if he had submitted to the discipline of some church; he did what he felt impelled to do, and left the world a precious legacy of ideas, of brilliant, beautiful thoughts; but thoughts which are brilliant and beautiful as the stars are, scattered jewels against the background of night with no visible connection. Is it not possible that the gracious discipline of an environment more conventional might have reduced these thoughts to some sort of order, brought the stars into constellations, and left suggestions for the ordering of life that would be of greater force and more permanent value?

His wife relates that one day he was reading an old sermon in the little room in the Follen mansion, when he stopped, and said, "The passage which I have just read I do not believe, but it was wrongly placed."

The circumstance illustrates the openness and frankness of his mind, but it is also a commentary on the want of system in his intellectual processes. His habit through life was to jot down thoughts as they came to him; he kept note-books and journals all his life; he dreamed in the pine woods by day and walked beneath the stars by night; he sat by the still waters and wandered in the green fields; and the dreams and the visions and the fancies of the moment he faithfully recorded. These disjointed musings and disconnected thoughts formed the raw material of all he ever said and wrote. From the accumulated stores of years he would draw whatever was necessary to meet the needs of the hour; and it did not matter to him if thought did not dovetail into thought with all the precision of good intellectual carpentry. His edifices were filled with chinks and unfinished apartments.

He saw things in a big way, but did not always see them as through crystal, clearly; nor did he always take his staff in hand and courageously go about to see all sides of things. He never thought to a finish. His philosophy never acquired form and substance. His thoughts are not linked in chain, but are just so many precious pearls lightly strung on a silken thread.

In 1852 he wrote in his journal, "I waked last night and bemoaned myself because I had not thrown myself into this deplorable question of slavery, which seems to want nothing so much as a few assured voices. But then in hours of sanity I recover myself, and say, 'God must govern his own world, and knows his way out of this pit without my desertion of my post, which has none to guard it but me. I have quite other slaves to free than those negroes, to wit, imprisoned spirits, imprisoned thoughts, far back in the brain of man, far retired in the heaven of invention, and which, important to the republic of man, have no watchman or lover or defender but me,'" thereby naively leaving to God the lesser task.

But he wrongs himself in his own journal, for he did bestir himself and he did speak, and he did not leave the black men to God while he looked after the white; he helped God all he could in his own peculiar, irresolute way. At the same time no passage from the journals throws more light on the pure soul of the great dreamer. He was opposed to slavery and he felt for the negroes, but their physical degradation did not appeal to him so much as the intellectual degradation of those about him. To him it was a loftier mission to release the minds of men than free their bodies. With the naive and at the same time superb egoism which is characteristic of great souls, he consoles himself with the thought that God can probably take care of the slavery question without troubling him; he will stick to his post and look after more important matters.

What a treat it must have been to those assembled in the Follen house to hear week after week the very noblest considerations and suggestions concerning life poured forth in tones so musical, so penetrating, that to-day they ring in the ears of those who had the great good fortune to hear. There was probably very little said about death. Emerson never pretended to a vision beyond the grave. In his essay on "Immortality" he says, "Sixty years ago, the books read, the services and prayers heard, the habits of thought of religious persons, were all directed on death. All were under the shadow of Calvinism and of the Roman Catholic purgatory, and death was dreadful. The emphasis of all the good books given to young people was on death. We were all taught that we were born to die; and over that, all the terrors that theology could gather from savage nations were added to increase the gloom, A great change has occurred. Death is seen as a natural event, and is met with firmness. A wise man in our time caused to be written on his tomb, 'Think on Living.' That inscription describes a progress in opinion. Cease from this antedating of your experience. Sufficient to to-day are the duties of to-day. Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of the hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it."

Such was the burden of Emerson's message: make the very best of life; let not the present be palsied by fears for the future. A healthy, sane message, a loud clear voice in the wilderness of doubt and fears, the very loudest and clearest voice in matters spiritual and intellectual which America has yet produced.

It was during the days of his service in East Lexington that he went to Providence to deliver a course of lectures; while there he was invited to conduct the services in the Second (Unitarian) Church. The pastor afterwards said, "He selected from Greenwood's collection hymns of a purely meditative character, without any distinctively Christian expression. For the Scripture lesson he read a fine passage from Ecclesiasticus**, from which he also took his text. The sermon was precisely like one of his lectures in style; the prayers, or what took their place, were wholly without supplication, confession, or praise, but only sweet meditations on nature, beauty, order, goodness, love. After returning home I found Emerson with his head bowed on his hands, which were resting on his knees. He looked up to me and said, 'Now, tell me honestly, plainly, just what you think of that service.' I replied that before he was half through I had made up my mind that it was the last time he should have that pulpit. 'You are right,' he rejoined, 'and I thank you. On my part, before I was half through, I felt out of place. The doubt is solved.'"

He dwelt with time and eternity on a footing of familiar equality. He did not shrink or cringe. His prayers were sweet meditations and his sermon a lecture. He was the apostle of beauty, goodness, and truth.

Lexington Road from East Lexington to the Centre is a succession of historic spots marked by stones and tablets.

The old home of Harrington, the last survivor of the battle of Lexington, still stands close to the roadside, shaded by a row of fine big trees. Harrington died in 1854 at the great age of ninety-eight; he was a fifer-boy in Captain Parker's company. In the early morning on the day of the fight his mother rapped on his bedroom door, calling, "Jonathan, Jonathan, get up; the British are coming, and something must be done." He got up and did his part with the others. Men still living recall the old man; they heard the story of that memorable day from the lips of one who participated therein.

At the corner of Maple Street there is an elm planted in 1740. On a little knoll at the left is the Monroe Tavern. The square, two-storied frame structure which remains is the older portion of the inn as it was in those days. It was the head-quarters of Lord Percy; and it is said that an inoffensive old man who served the soldiers with liquor in the small bar-room was killed when he tried to get away by a rear door. When the soldiers left they sacked the house, piled up the furniture and set fire to it. Washington dined in the dining-room in the second story, November 5, 1789. The house was built in 1695, and is still owned by a direct descendant of the first William Monroe.

Not far from the tavern and on the same side of the street is a house where a wounded soldier was cared for by a Mrs. Sanderson, who lived to be one hundred and four years old.

Near the intersection of Woburn Street is a crude stone cannon which marks the place where Lord Percy planted a field pine pointing in the direction of the Green to check the advancing patriots and cover the retreat of the Regulars.

On the triangular "Common," in the very heart of the village, a flat-faced boulder marks the line where the minute-men under Captain Parker were formed to receive the Regulars. "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here" was Parker's command to his men and it was there the war did begin. The small band of patriots were not yet in line when the red-coats appeared at the east end of the meeting-house, coming on the double-quick. Riding ahead, a British officer called out, "Disperse, you rebels! Villains, disperse!" but the little band of rebels stood their ground until a fatal volley killed eight and wounded ten. Only two of the British were wounded.

The victors remained in possession of the Green, fired a volley, and gave three loud cheers to celebrate a victory that in the end was to cost King George his fairest colonies.

The soldiers' monument that stands on the Green was erected in 1799. In 1835, in the presence of Daniel Webster, Joseph Story, Josiah Quincy, and a vast audience, Edward Everett delivered an oration, and the bodies of those who fell in the battle were removed from the old cemetery to a vault in the rear of the shaft, where they now rest. The weather-beaten stone is over-grown with a protecting mantle of ivy, which threatens to drop like a veil over the long inscription. Here, for more than a century, the village has received distinguished visitors, - Lafayette in 1824, Kossuth in 1851, and famous men of later days.

The Buckman Tavern, where the patriots assembled, built in 1690, still stands with its marks of bullets and flood of old associations.

These ancient hostelries - Monroe's, Buckman's, Wright's in Concord, and the Wayside Inn - are by no means the least interesting features of this historic section. An old tavern is as pathetic as an old hat: it is redolent of former owners and guests, each room reeks with confused personalities, every latch is electric from many hands, every wall echoes a thousand voices; at dusk of day the clink of glasses and the resounding toast may still be heard in the deserted banquet-hall; at night a ghostly light illumines the vacant ballroom, and the rustle of silks and satins, the sound of merry laughter, and the faint far-off strains of music fall upon the ear.

We did not visit the Clarke house where Paul Revere roused Adams and Hancock; we saw it from the road. Originally, and until 1896, the house stood on the opposite side of the street; the owner was about to demolish it to subdivide the land, when the Historical Society intervened and purchased it.

Neither did we enter the old burying-ground on Elm Street. The automobile is no respecter of persons or places; it pants with impatience if brought to a stand for so much as a moment before a house or monument of interest, and somehow the throbbing, puffing, impatient machine gets the upper hand of those who are supposed to control it; we are hastened onward in spite of our better inclinations.

The trolley line from Lexington to Concord is by way of Bedford, but the direct road over the hill is the one the British followed. It is nine miles by Bedford and the Old Bedford Road, and but six miles direct.

A short distance out of Lexington a tablet marks an old well; the inscription reads, "At this well, April 19, 1775, James Hayward, of Acton, met a British soldier, who, raising his gun, said, 'You are a dead man.' 'And so are you,' replied Hayward. Both fired. The soldier was instantly killed and Hayward mortally wounded."

Grim meeting of two thirsty souls; they sought water and found blood; they wooed life and won death. War is epitomized in the exclamations, "You are a dead man," "And so are you." Further debate would end the strife; the one query, "Why?" would bring each musket to a rest. Poor unknown Britisher, exiled from home, what did he know about the merits of the controversy? What did he care? It was his business to shoot, and be shot. He fulfilled most completely in the same moment the double mission of the soldier, to kill and be killed. Those who do the fighting never do know very much about what they are fighting for, - if they did, most of them would not fight at all. In these days of common schools and newspapers it becomes ever more and more difficult to recruit armies with men who neither know nor think; the common soldier is beginning to have opinions; by and by he will not fight unless convinced he is right, - then there will be fewer wars.

Over the road we were following the British marched in order and retreated in disorder. The undisciplined minute-men were not very good at standing up in an open square and awaiting the onslaught of a company of regulars, - it takes regulars to meet regulars out in the open; but behind trees and fences, from breast-works and scattered points of advantage, each minute-man was a whole army in himself, and the regulars had a hard time of it on their retreat, - the trees and stones which a few hours before had been just trees and stones, became miniature fortresses.

The old vineyard, where in 1855 Ephraim Bull produced the now well known Concord grape by using the native wild grape in a cross with a cultivated variety, is at the outskirts of Concord.

A little farther on is "The Wayside," so named by Hawthorne, who purchased the place from Alcott in 1852, lived there until his appointment as Consul at Liverpool in 1853, and again on his return from England in 1860, until he died in 1864. But "The Wayside" was not Hawthorne's first Concord home. He came there with his bride in 1842 and lived four years in the Old Manse.

There has never been written but one adequate description of this venerable dwelling, and that by Hawthorne himself in "Mosses from an Old Manse." To most readers the description seems part and parcel of the fanciful tales that follow; no more real than the "House of the Seven Gables." We of the outside world who know our Concord only by hearsay cannot realize that "The Wayside" and the "Old Manse" and "Sleepy Hollow" are verities, - verities which the plodding language of prose tails to compass, unless the pen is wielded by a master hand.

Cut in a window-pane of one of the rooms were left these inscriptions: "Nat'l Hawthorne. This is his study, 1843." "Inscribed by my husband at sunset, April 3d, 1843, in the gold light, S. A. H. Man's accidents are God's purposes. Sophia A. Hawthorne, 1843."

Dear, devoted bride, after more than fifty years your bright, loving letters have come to light, and through your clear vision we catch unobstructed glimpses of men and things of those days. After years of devotion to your husband and his memory it was your lot to die and be buried in a foreign land, while he lies lonely in "Sleepy Hollow."

When the honeymoon was still a silver crescent in the sky she wrote a friend, "I hoped I should see you again before I came home to our paradise. I intended to give you a concise history of my elysian life. Soon after we returned my dear lord began to write in earnest, and then commenced my leisure, because, till we meet at dinner, I do not see him. We were interrupted by no one, except a short call now and then from Elizabeth Hoar, who can hardly be called an earthly inhabitant; and Mr. Emerson, whose face pictured the promised land (which we were then enjoying), and intruded no more than a sunset or a rich warble from a bird.

"One evening, two days after our arrival at the Old Manse, George Hilliard and Henry Cleveland appeared for fifteen minutes on their way to Niagara Falls, and were thrown into raptures by the embowering flowers and the dear old house they adorned, and the pictures of Holy Mothers mild on the walls, and Mr. Hawthorne's study, and the noble avenue. We forgive them for their appearance here, because they were gone as soon as they had come, and we felt very hospitable. We wandered down to our sweet, sleepy river, and it was so silent all around us and so solitary, that we seemed the only persons living. We sat beneath our stately trees, and felt as if we were the rightful inheritors of the old abbey, which had descended to us from a long line. The tree-tops waved a majestic welcome, and rustled their thousand leaves like brooks over our heads. But the bloom and fragrance of nature had become secondary to us, though we were lovers of it. In my husband's face and eyes I saw a fairer world, of which the other was a faint copy."

Nearly two weeks later she continues in the same letter, "Sweet, dear Mary, nearly a fortnight has passed since I wrote the above. I really believe I will finish my letter to-day, though I do not promise. That magician upstairs is very potent! In the afternoon and evening I sit in the study with him. It is the pleasantest niche in our temple. We watch the sun, together, descending in purple and gold, in every variety of magnificence, over the river. Lately, we go on the river, which is now frozen; my lord to skate, and I to run and slide, during the dolphin death of day. I consider my husband a rare sight, gliding over the icy stream. For, wrapped in his cloak, he looks very graceful; impetuously darting from me in long, sweeping curves, and returning again - again to shoot away. Our meadow at the bottom of the orchard is like a small frozen sea now; and that is the present scene of our heroic games. Sometimes, in the splendor of the dying light, we seem sporting upon transparent gold, so prismatic becomes the ice; and the snow takes opaline hues from the gems that float above as clouds. It is eminently the hour to see objects, just after the sun has disappeared. Oh, such oxygen as we inhale! After other skaters appear, - young men and boys, - who principally interest me as foils to my husband, who, in the presence of nature, loses all shyness and moves regally like a king. One afternoon Mr. Emerson and Mr. Thoreau went with him down the river. Henry Thoreau is an experienced skater, and was figuring dithyrambic dances and Bacchic leaps on the ice, - very remarkable, but very ugly methought. Next him followed Mr. Hawthorne, who, wrapped in his cloak, moved like a self-impelled Greek statue, stately and grave. Mr. Emerson closed the line, evidently too weary to hold himself erect, pitching headforemost, half lying on the air. He came in to rest himself, and said to me that Hawthorne was a tiger, a bear, a lion, - in short, a satyr, and there was no tiring him out; and he might be the death of a man like himself. And then, turning upon me that kindling smile for which he is so memorable, he added, 'Mr. Hawthorne is such an Ajax, who can cope with him!'"

Of all the pages, ay, of all the books, that have been printed concerning Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau, there is not one which more vividly and accurately set the men before us and describe their essential characteristics than the casual lines of this old letter: - Thoreau, the devotee of nature, "figuring dithyrambic dances and Bacchic leaps on the ice," joyous in the presence of his god; the mystic Hawthorne, wrapped in his sombre cloak, "moved like a self-impelled Greek statue, stately and grave," - with magic force these words throw upon the screen of the imagination the figure of the creator of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale; while Emerson is drawn with the inspiration of a poet, "evidently too weary to hold himself erect, pitching headforemost, half lying on the air;" "half lying on the air," - the phrase rings in the ear, lingers in the memory, attaches itself to Emerson, and fits like a garment of soft and yielding texture.

The letter concludes as follows: "After the first snow-storm, before it was so deep, we walked in the woods, very beautiful in winter, and found slides in Sleepy Hollow, where we became children, and enjoyed ourselves as of old, - only more, a great deal. Sometimes it is before breakfast that Mr. Hawthorne goes to skate upon the meadow. Yesterday, before he went out, he said it was very cloudy and gloomy, and he thought it would storm. In half an hour, oh, wonder! what a scene! Instead of a black sky, the rising sun, not yet above the hill, had changed the firmament into a vast rose! On every side, east, west, north, and south, every point blushed roses. I ran to the study and the meadow sea also was a rose, the reflection of that above. And there was my husband, careering about, glorified by the light. Such is Paradise.

"In the evening we are gathered together beneath our luminous star in the study, for we have a large hanging astral lamp, which beautifully illumines the room, with its walls of pale yellow paper, its Holy Mother over the fireplace, and pleasant books, and its pretty bronze vase on one of the secretaries, filled with ferns. Except once, Mr. Emerson, no one hunts us out in the evening. Then Mr. Hawthorne reads to me. At present we can only get along with the old English writers, and we find that they are the hive from which all modern honey is stolen. They are thick-set with thought, instead of one thought serving for a whole book. Shakespeare is pre-eminent; Spencer is music. We dare to dislike Milton when he goes to heaven. We do not recognize God in his picture of Him. There is something so penetrating and clear in Mr. Hawthorne's intellect, that now I am acquainted with it, merely thinking of him as I read winnows the chaff from the wheat at once. And when he reads to me, it is the acutest criticism. Such a voice, too, - such sweet thunder! Whatever is not worth much shows sadly, coming through such a medium, fit only for noblest ideas. From reading his books you can have some idea of what it is to dwell with Mr. Hawthorne. But only a shadow of him is found in his books. The half is not told there."

Just a letter, the outpouring of a loving young heart, written with no thought of print and strange eye, slumbering for more than fifty years to come to light at last; - just one of many, all of them well worth reading.

The three great men of Concord were happy in their wives. Mrs. Hawthorne and Mrs. Alcott were not only great wives and mothers, but they could express their prayers, meditations, fancies, and emotions in clear and exquisite English.

It was after the prosperous days of the Liverpool Consulate that Hawthorne returned to Concord to spend the remainder of his all too short life.

He made many changes in "The Wayside" and surrounding grounds. He enlarged the house and added the striking but quite unpicturesque tower which rises from the centre of the main part; here he had his study and point of observation; he could see the unwelcome visitor while yet a far way off, or contemplate the lazy travel of a summer's day.

Just beyond is "Orchard House," into which the Alcotts moved in October, 1858.

A philosopher may not be a good neighbor, and Alcott lived just a little too near Hawthorne. "It was never so well understood at 'The Wayside' that its owner had retiring habits as when Alcott was reported to be approaching along Larch Path, which stretched in feathery bowers between our house and his. Yet I was not aware that the seer failed at any hour to gain admittance, - one cause, perhaps, of the awe in which his visits were held. I remember that my observation was attracted to him curiously from the fact that my mother's eyes changed to a darker gray at his advents, as they did only when she was silently sacrificing herself. I clearly understood that Mr. Alcott was admirable, but he sometimes brought manuscript poetry with him, the dear child of his own Muse. There was one particularly long poem which he had read aloud to my mother and father; a seemingly harmless thing, from which they never recovered."

The appreciation the great men of Concord had of one another is interesting to the outside world. Great souls are seldom congenial, - popular impression to the contrary notwithstanding. Minds of a feather flock together; but minds of gold are apt to remain apart, each sufficient unto itself. It is in sports, pastimes, business, politics, that men congregate with facility; in literary and intellectual pursuits the leaders are anti-pathetic in proportion to their true greatness. Now and then two, and more rarely three, are united by bonds of quick understanding and sympathy, but men of profound convictions attract followers and repel companions.

Emerson's was the most catholic spirit; he understood his neighbors better than they understood one another; his vision was very clear. For a man who mingled so little with the world, who spent so much of his life in contemplation - in communing with his inner self - Emerson was very sane indeed; his idiosyncrasies did not prevent his judging men and things quite correctly.

Hawthorne and Emerson saw comparatively little of each other; these two great souls respected the independence of each other too much to intrude. "Mr. Hawthorne once broke through his hermit usage, and honored Miss Ellen Emerson, the friend of his daughter Una, with a formal call on a Sunday evening. It was the only time, I think, that he ever came to the house except when persuaded to come in for a few moments on the rare occasions when he walked with my father. On this occasion he did not ask for either Mr. or Mrs. Emerson, but announced that his call was upon Miss Ellen. Unfortunately, she had gone to bed, but he remained for a time talking with my sister Edith and me, the school-mates of his children. To cover his shyness he took up a stereoscope on the centre-table and began to look at the pictures. After looking at them for a time he asked where those views were taken. We told him they were pictures of the Concord Court and Town Houses, the Common and the Mill-dam; on hearing which he expressed some surprise and interest, but evidently was as unfamiliar with the centre of the village where he had lived for years as a deer or a wood-thrush would be. He walked through it often on his way to the cars, but was too shy or too rapt to know what was there."

Emerson liked Hawthorne better than his books, - the latter were too weird, uncanny, and inconclusive. In 1838 he noted in his journal, "Elizabeth Peabody brought me yesterday Hawthorne's 'Footprints on the Seashore' to read. I complained there was no inside to it. Alcott and he together would make a man."

Later, when Hawthorne came to live in Concord, Emerson did his best to get better acquainted; but it was of little use; they had too little in common. Both men were great walkers, and yet they seldom walked together. They went to Harvard to see the Shakers, and Emerson recorded it as a "satisfactory tramp; we had good talk on the way."

After Hawthorne's death, Emerson made the following entry in his journal: "I thought him a greater man than any of his works betray; there was still a great deal of work in him, and he might one day show a purer power. It would have been a happiness, doubtless, to both of us, to come into habits of unreserved intercourse. It was easy to talk with him; there were no barriers; only he said so little that I talked too much, and stopped only because, as he gave no indication, I feared to exceed. He showed no egotism or self-assertion; rather a humility, and at one time a fear that he had written himself out. I do not think any of his books worthy his genius. I admired the man, who was simple, amiable, truth-loving, and frank in conversation, but I never read his books with pleasure; they are too young."

Emerson was greedy for ideas, and the pure, limpid literature of Hawthorne did not satisfy him.

Hawthorne's estimate of Emerson was far more just and penetrating; he described him very correctly as "a great original thinker" whose "mind acted upon other minds of a certain constitution with wonderful magnetism, and drew many men upon long pilgrimages to speak with him face to face. Young visionaries - to whom just so much of insight had been imparted as to make life all a labyrinth around them - came to seek the clew that should guide them out of their self-involved bewilderment. Gray-headed theorists - whose systems, at first air, had finally imprisoned them in an iron framework - travelled painfully to his door, not to ask deliverance, but to invite the free spirit into their own thraldom. People that had lighted on a new thought, or a thought that they fancied new, came to Emerson, as the finder of a glittering gem hastens to a lapidary to ascertain its quality and value. Uncertain, troubled, earnest wanderers through the midnight of the moral world beheld his intellectual face as a beacon burning on a hill-top, and, climbing the difficult ascent, looked forth into the surrounding obscurity more hopefully than hitherto. For myself, there had been epochs in my life when I, too, might have asked of this prophet the master word that should solve me the riddle of the universe, but, now, being happy, I feel as if there were no question to be put, and therefore admired Emerson as a poet of deep and austere beauty, but sought nothing from him as a philosopher. It was good nevertheless to meet him in the wood-paths, or sometimes in our avenue, with that pure, intellectual gleam diffused about his presence like the garment of a shining one; and he, so quiet, so simple, so without pretension, encountering each man alive as if expecting to receive more than he could impart."

It was fortunate for Hawthorne, doubly fortunate for us who read him, that he could withstand the influence of Emerson, and go on writing in his own way; his dreams and fancies were undisturbed by the clear vision which sought so earnestly to distract him from his realm of the imagination.

On first impressions Emerson rated Alcott very high. "He has more of the godlike than any man I have ever seen, and his presence rebukes, and threatens, and raises. He is a teacher." "Yesterday Alcott left us after a three days' visit. The most extraordinary man, and the highest genius of his time." This was in 1835. Seven years later Emerson records this impression. "He looks at everything in larger angles than any other, and, by good right, should be the greatest man. But here comes in another trait; it is found, though his angles are of so generous contents, the lines do not meet; the apex is not quite defined. We must allow for the refraction of the lens, but it is the best instrument I have ever met with."

Alcott visited Concord first in October, 1835, and found that he and Emerson had many things in common, but he entered in his diary, "Mr. Emerson's fine literary taste is sometimes in the way of a clear and hearty acceptance of the spiritual." Again, he naively congratulates himself that he has found a man who could appreciate his theories. "Emerson sees me, knows me, and, more than all others, helps me, - not by noisy praise, not by low appeals to interest and passion, but by turning the eye of others to my stand in reason and the nature of things. Only men of like vision can apprehend and counsel each other."

With the exception of Hawthorne, there was among the men of Concord a tendency to over-estimate one another. For the most part, they took themselves and each other very seriously; even Emerson's subtle sense of humor did not save him from yielding to this tendency, which is illustrated in the following page from Hawthorne's journal:

"About nine o'clock (Sunday) Hilliard and I set out on a walk to Walden Pond, calling by the way at Mr. Emerson's to obtain his guidance or directions. He, from a scruple of his eternal conscience, detained us until after the people had got into church, and then he accompanied us in his own illustrious person. We turned aside a little from our way to visit Mr. Hosmer, a yeoman, of whose homely and self-acquired wisdom Mr. Emerson has a very high opinion." "He had a fine flow of talk, and not much diffidence about his own opinions. I was not impressed with any remarkable originality in his views, but they were sensible and characteristic. Methought, however, the good yeoman was not quite so natural as he may have been at an earlier period. The simplicity of his character has probably suffered by his detecting the impression he makes on those around him. There is a circle, I suppose, who look up to him as an oracle, and so he inevitably assumes the oracular manner, and speaks as if truth and wisdom were attiring themselves by his voice. Mr. Emerson has risked the doing him much mischief by putting him in print, - a trial few persons can sustain without losing their unconsciousness. But, after all, a man gifted with thought and expression, whatever his rank in life and his mode of uttering himself, whether by pen or tongue, cannot be expected to go through the world without finding himself out; and, as all such discoveries are partial and imperfect, they do more harm than good to the character. Mr. Hosmer is more natural than ninety-nine men out of a hundred, and is certainly a man of intellectual and moral substance. It would be amusing to draw a parallel between him and his admirer, - Mr. Emerson, the mystic, stretching his hand out of cloudland in vain search for something real; and the man of sturdy sense, all whose ideas seem to be dug out of his mind, hard and substantial, as he digs his potatoes, carrots, beets, and turnips out of the earth. Mr. Emerson is a great searcher for facts, but they seem to melt away and become unsubstantial in his grasp."

They took that extraordinary creature, Margaret Fuller, seriously, and they took a vast deal of poor poetry seriously. Because a few could write, nearly every one in the village seemed to think he or she could write, and write they did to the extent of a small library most religiously shelved and worshipped in its own compartment in the town library.

Genius is egotism; the superb confidence of these men, each in the sanctity of his own mission, in the plenitude of his own powers, in the inspiration of his own message, made them what they were. The last word was Alcott's because he outlived them all, and his last word was that, great as were those who had taken their departure, the greatest of them all had fallen just short of appreciating him, the survivor. A man penetrates every one's disguise but his own; we deceive no one but ourselves. The insane are often singularly quick to penetrate the delusions of others; the man who calls himself George Washington ridicules the claim of another that he is Julius Caesar.

Between Hawthorne and Thoreau there was little in common. In 1860, the latter speaks of meeting Hawthorne shortly after his return from Europe, and says, "He is as simple and childlike as ever."

Of Thoreau, Mrs. Hawthorne wrote in a letter, "This evening Mr. Thoreau is going to lecture, and will stay with us. His lecture before was so enchanting; such a revelation of nature in all its exquisite details of wood-thrushes, squirrels, sunshine, mists and shadows, fresh vernal odors, pine-tree ocean melodies, that my ear rang with music, and I seemed to have been wandering through copse and dingle! Mr. Thoreau has risen above all his arrogance of manner, and is as gentle, simple, ruddy, and meek as all geniuses should be; and now his great blue eyes fairly outshine and put into shade a nose which I thought must make him uncomely forever."

In his own journal Hawthorne said, "Mr. Thoreau dined with us. He is a singular character, - a young man with much of wild, original nature still remaining in him; and so far as he is sophisticated, it is in a way and method of his own. He is as ugly as sin, long-nosed, queer-mouthed, and with uncouth and somewhat rustic, though courteous, manners, corresponding very well with such an exterior. But his ugliness is of an honest and agreeable fashion, and becomes him much better than beauty."

Alcott helped build the hut at Walden, and he and Emerson spent many an evening there in conversation that must have delighted the gods - in so far as they understood it.

Of Alcott and their winter evenings, Thoreau has said, "One of the last of the philosophers. Connecticut gave him to the world, - he peddled first his wares, afterwards, as he declares, his brains; these he peddles still, prompting God and disgracing man, bearing for fruit his brain only, like the nut in the kernel. His words and attitude always suppose a better state of things than other men are acquainted with, and he will be the last man to be disappointed as the ages revolve. A true friend of man, almost the only friend of human progress. He is perhaps the sanest man and has the fewest crotchets of any I chance to know, - the same yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow. Ah, such discourse as we had, hermit and philosopher, and the old settler I have spoken of, - we three; it expanded and racked my little home;" - to say nothing of the universe, which doubtless felt the strain.

Referring to the same evening, Alcott said, - probably after a chastening discussion, - "If I were to proffer my earnest prayer to the gods for the greatest of all human privileges, it should be for the gift of a severely candid friend. Intercourse of this kind I have found possible with my friends Emerson and Thoreau; and the evenings passed in their society during these winter months have realized my conception of what friendship, when great and genuine, owes to and takes from its objects."

Nearly twenty years after Thoreau's death, Alcott, while walking towards the close of day, said, "I always think of Thoreau when I look at a sunset."

Emerson was fourteen years older than Thoreau, but between the two men there existed through life profound sympathy and affection. Emerson watched him develop as a young man, and delivered the address at his funeral; for two years they lived in the same house, and concerning him Emerson wrote in 1863, a year after his death, "In reading Henry Thoreau's journal, I am very sensible of the vigor of his constitution. That oaken strength which I noted whenever he walked or worked, or surveyed wood-lots, the same unhesitating hand with which a field laborer accosts a piece of work which I should shun as a waste of strength, Henry shows in his literary task. He has muscle, and ventures in and performs feats which I am forced to decline. In reading him I find the same thoughts, the same spirit that is in me, but he takes a step beyond and illustrates by excellent images that which I should have conveyed in a sleepy generalization. 'Tis as if I went into a gymnasium and saw youths leap and climb and swing with a force unapproachable, tho these feats are only continuations of my initial grapplings and jumps." One is reminded of Mrs. Hawthorne's vivid characterization of the two men as she saw them on the ice of the Musketaquid twenty years before.

In our reverence for a place where a great man for a time has had his home, we must not forget that, while death may mark a given spot, life is quite another matter. A man may be born or may die in a country, a city, a village, a house, a room, or, - narrower still, - a bed; for birth and death are physical events, but life is something quite different. Birth is the welding of the soul to a given body; death is the dissolution of that connection; life is the relation of the imprisoned soul to its environment, and the content of that environment depends largely upon the individual; it may be as narrow as the village in which he lives, or it may stretch beyond the uttermost stars. A man may live on a farm, or he may visit the cities of the earth, - it does not matter much; his life is the sum total of his experiences, his sympathies, his loves, of his hopes and ambitions, his dreams and aspirations, his beliefs and convictions.

To live is to love, and to think, and to dream, and to believe, and to act as one loves and thinks and dreams and believes, that is life; and, therefore, no man's life is bounded by physical confines, no man lives in this place or that, in this house or that; but every man lives in the world he has conquered for himself, and no one knows the limits of the domains of another.

The farmer's boy who sows the seed and watches the tender blades part with volcanic force the surface of the earth, making it to heave and tremble, who sees the buds and flowers of the spring ripen into the fruit and foliage of autumn, who follows with sympathetic vision all the mysterious processes of nature, lives a broader and nobler life than the merchant who sees naught beyond the four walls of his counting-room, or the traveller whose superficial eye marks only the strange and the curious.

In the eyes of those about them Hawthorne "lived" a scant mile from Emerson; in reality they did not live in the same spheres; the boundaries of their worlds did not overlap, but, like two far-separate stars, each felt the distant attraction and admired the glow of the other, and that was all. The real worlds of Thoreau and Alcott and Emerson did at times so far overlap that they trod on common ground, but these periods were so brief and the spaces in common so small that soon they wandered apart, each circling by himself in an orbit of his own.

Words at best are poor instruments of thought; the more we use them the more ambiguous do they become; no man knows exactly what another means from what he says; every word is qualified by its context, but the context of every word is eternity. How long shall we listen to find out what a speaker meant by his opening sentence? - an hour, a day, a week, a month? - these periods are all too short, for with every added thought the meaning of the first is changed for him as well as for us.

"Life" in common speech may mean either mere organic existence or a metaphysical assumption; we speak of the life of a tree, and the life of a man, and the life of a soul, of the life mortal and the life immortal. Who can tell what we have in mind when we talk of life? No one, for we cannot tell ourselves. We speak of life one moment with a certain matter in mind, possibly the state of our garden; in the infinitesimal fraction of a second additional cells of our brain come into activity, additional areas are excited, and our ideas scale the walls of the garden and scatter over the face of the earth. If we attempt to explain, the very process implies the generation of new ideas and the modification of old, so that long before the explanation of what we meant by the use of a given word is finished, the meaning has undergone a change, and we perceive that what we thought we meant by no means included all that lurked in the mind.

In every-day speech we are obliged to distinguish by elaborate circumlocution between a man's place of residence and that larger and truer life, - his sphere of sympathies. Emerson lived in Concord, Carlyle in Chelsea; to the casual reader these phrases convey the impression that the life of Emerson was in some way identified with and bounded by Concord; that the life of Carlyle was in some way identified with and bounded by Chelsea; that in some subtle manner the census of those two small communities affected the philosophy of the two men; whereas we know that for a long time the worlds in which they really did move and have their being so far overlapped that they were near neighbors in thought, much nearer than they would have been if they had "lived" in the same village and met daily on the same streets.

The directory gives a man's abode, but tells us nothing, absolutely nothing, about his life; the number of his house does not indicate where he lives. It is possible to live in London, in Paris, in Rome without ever having visited any one of those places; in truth, millions of people really live in Rome in a truer sense than many who have their abodes there; of the inhabitants of Paris comparatively few really live there, comparatively few have any knowledge of the city, its history, its traditions, its charms, its treasures, but outside Paris there are thousands of men and women who spend many hours and days and weeks of their time in reading, learning, and thinking about Paris and all it contains, - in very truth living there.

Many a worthy preacher lives so exclusively in Jerusalem that he knows not his own country, and his usefulness is impaired; many an artist lives so exclusively in Paris that his work suffers; many an architect lives so long among the buildings of other days that he can do nothing of his own. In fact, most men who are devoted to intellectual, literary, and artistic pursuits live anywhere and everywhere except at home.

The one great merit of Walt Whitman is that he lived in America and in the nineteenth century; he did not live in the past; he did not live in Europe; he lived in the present and in the world about him, his home was America, his era was his own.

If we have no national literature, it is because those who write spend the better part of their lives abroad; they may not leave their own firesides, but all their sympathies are elsewhere, all their inspiration is drawn from other lands and other times.

We have very little art, very little architecture, very little music of our own for the same reasons. We have any number of painters, sculptors, composers, but few of them live at home; their sympathies are elsewhere; they seem to have little or nothing in common with their surroundings. Now and then a clear, fresh voice is heard from out of the woods and fields, or over the city's din, speaking with the convincing eloquence of immediate knowledge and first-hand observation; but there are so few of these voices that they do not amount to a chorus, and a national literature means a chorus.

All this will gradually change until some day the preacher will return from Jerusalem, the painter from Paris, the poet from England, the architect from Rome, and the overwhelming problems presented by the unparalleled development and opportunities of America will absorb their attention to the exclusion of all else.

The danger of travel, the danger of learning, the danger of reading, of profound research and extensive observation, lies in the fact that some age, city, or country, some man or coterie of men, may gain too firm a hold, may so absorb the attention and restrict the imagination that the sense of proportion is lost. It requires a level head to withstand the allurements of the past, the fascination of the foreign. Nothing disturbed Shakespeare's equanimity. Neither Stratford nor London bounded his life. On the wings of his imagination he visited the known earth and penetrated beyond the blue skies, he made the universe his home; and yet he was essentially and to the last an Englishman.

When we stopped before "Orchard House" it was desolate and forsaken, and the entrance to the "Hillside Chapel," where the "Concord School of Philosophy and Literature" had its home for nine years, was boarded up.

Parts of the house had been built more than a century and a half when Mrs. Alcott bought it in 1857. In her journal for July, 1858, the author of "Little Women" records, "Went into the new house and began to settle. Father is happy; mother glad to be at rest; Anna is in bliss with her gentle John; and May busy over her pictures. I have plans simmering, but must sweep and dust and wash my dishpans a while longer till I see my way."

Meanwhile the little women paper and decorate the walls, May in her enthusiasm filling panels and every vacant place with birds and flowers and mottoes in old English.

"August. Much company to see the new house. All seem to be glad that the wandering family is anchored at last. We won't move again for twenty years" (prophetic soul to name the period so exactly) "if I can help it. The old people need an abiding place, and now that death and love have taken two of us away, I can, I hope, soon manage to take care of the remaining four."

It is one of the ironies of fate that the fame of Bronson Alcott should hang upon that of his gifted daughter. It was not until she made her great success with "Little Women" in 1868 that the outside world began to take a vivid interest in the father. From that time his lectures and conversations began to pay; he was seized anew with the desire to publish, and from 1868 until the beginning of his illness in 1882 he printed or reprinted nearly his entire works, - some eight or ten volumes; it is no disparagement to the kindly old philosopher that his books were bought mainly on the success of his daughter's.

The Summer School of Philosophy was the last ambitious attempt of a spirit that had been struggling for half a century to teach mankind.

The small chapel of plain, unpainted boards, nestling among the trees on the hillside, has not been opened since 1888. It stands a pathetic memento to a vision. Twenty years ago the "school" was an overshadowing reality, - to-day it is a memory, a minor incident in the progress of thought, a passing phase in intellectual development. Many eminent men lectured there, and the scope of the work is by no means indicated by the humble building which remains; but, while strong in conversation and in the expression of his own views, Alcott was not cut out for a leader. All reports indicate that he had a wonderful facility in the off-hand expression of abstruse thought, but he had no faculty whatsoever for so ordering and systematizing his thoughts as to furnish explosive material for belligerent followers; the intellectual ammunition he put up was not in the convenient form of cartridges, nor even in kegs or barrels, but just poured out on the ground, where it disintegrated before it could be used.

Leaning on the gate that bright, warm, summer afternoon, it was not difficult to picture the venerable, white-haired philosopher seated by the doorstep arguing eloquently with some congenial visitor, or chatting with his daughter. One could almost see a small throng of serious men and women wending their way up the still plainly marked path to the chapel, and catch the measured tones of the lecturer as he expounded theories too recondite for this practical age and generation.

Philosophy is the sarcophagus of truth; and most systems of philosophy are like the pyramids, - impressive piles of useless intellectual masonry, erected at prodigious cost of time and labor to secrete from mankind the truth.

A little farther on we came to the fork in the road where Lincoln Street branches off to the southeast. Emerson's house fronts on Lincoln and is a few rods from the intersection with Lexington Street. Here Emerson lived from 1835 until his death in 1882.

It is singular the fascination exercised by localities and things identified with great men. It is not enough to simply see, but in so far as possible we wish to place ourselves in their places, to walk where they walked, sit where they sat, sleep where they slept, to merge our petty and obscure individualities for the time being in theirs, to lose our insignificant selves in the atmosphere they created and left behind. Is it possible that subtile** distillations of personality penetrate and saturate inanimate things, so that aromas imperceptible to the sense are given off for ages and affect all who come in receptive mood within their influence? It is quite likely that what we feel when we stand within the shadow of a great soul is all subjective, that our emotions are but the workings of our imaginations stirred by suggestive surroundings; but who knows, who knows?

When this house was nearly destroyed by fire in July, 1872, friends persuaded Emerson to go abroad with his daughter, and while they were away, the house was completely restored.

His son describes his return: "When the train reached Concord, the bells were rung and a great company of his neighbors and friends accompanied him, under a triumphal arch, to his restored house. He was greatly moved, but with characteristic modesty insisted that this was a welcome to his daughter, and could not be meant for him. Although he had felt quite unable to make any speech, yet, seeing his friendly townspeople, old and young, in groups watching him enter his own door once more, he turned suddenly back and going to the gate said, 'My friends! I know this is not a tribute to an old man and his daughter returned to their home, but to the common blood of us all - one family - in Concord.'"

The exposure incidental to the fire seriously undermined Emerson's already failing health; shortly after he wrote a friend in Philadelphia, "It is too ridiculous that a fire should make an old scholar sick; but the exposures of that morning and the necessities of the following days which kept me a large part of the time in the blaze of the sun have in every way demoralized me for the present, - incapable of any sane or just action. These signal proofs of my debility an decay ought to persuade you at your first northern excursion to come and reanimate and renew the failing powers of your still affectionate old friend."

The story of his last days is told by his son, who was also his physician:

"His last few years were quiet and happy. Nature gently drew the veil over his eyes; he went to his study and tried to work, accomplished less and less, but did not notice it. However, he made out to look over and index most of his journals. He enjoyed reading, but found so much difficulty in conversation in associating the right word with his idea, that he avoided going into company, and on that account gradually ceased to attend the meetings of the Social Circle. As his critical sense became dulled, his standard of intellectual performance was less exacting, and this was most fortunate, for he gladly went to any public occasion where he could hear, and nothing would be expected of him. He attended the Lyceum and all occasions of speaking or reading in the Town Hall with unfailing pleasure.

"He read a lecture before his townpeople** each winter as late as 1880, but needed to have one of his family near by to help him out with a word and assist in keeping the place in his manuscript. In these last years he liked to go to church. The instinct had always been there, but he had felt that he could use his time to better purpose."

"In April, 1882, a raw and backward spring, he caught cold, and increased it by walking out in the rain and, through forgetfulness, omitting to put on his over-coat. He had a hoarse cold for a few days, and on the morning of April 19 I found him a little feverish, so went to see him next day. He was asleep on his study sofa, and when he awoke he proved to be more feverish and a little bewildered, with unusual difficulty in finding the right word. He was entirely comfortable and enjoyed talking, and, as he liked to have me read to him, I read Paul Revere's Ride, finding that he could only follow simple narrative. He expressed great pleasure, was delighted that the story was part of Concord's story, but was sure he had never heard it before, and could hardly be made to understand who Longfellow was, though he had attended his funeral only the week before."

It was at Longfellow's funeral that Emerson got up from his chair, went to the side of the coffin and gazed long and earnestly upon the familiar face of the dead poet; twice he did this, then said to a friend near him, "That gentleman was a sweet, beautiful soul, but I have entirely forgotten his name."

Continuing the narrative, the son says: "Though dulled to other impressions, to one he was fresh as long as he could understand anything, and while even the familiar objects of his study began to look strange, he smiled and pointed to Carlyle's head and said, 'That is my man, my good man!' I mention this because it has been said that this friendship cooled, and that my father had for long years neglected to write to his early friend. He was loyal while life lasted, but had been unable to write a letter for years before he died. Their friendship did not need letters.

"The next day pneumonia developed itself in a portion of one lung and he seemed much sicker; evidently believed he was to die, and with difficulty made out to give a word or two of instructions to his children. He did not know how to be sick, and desired to be dressed and sit up in his study, and as we had found that any attempt to regulate his actions lately was very annoying to him, and he could not be made to understand the reasons for our doing so in his condition, I determined that it would not be worth while to trouble and restrain him as it would a younger person who had more to live for. He had lived free; his life was essentially spent, and in what must almost surely be his last illness we would not embitter the occasion by any restraint that was not absolutely unavoidable.

"He suffered very little, took his nourishment well, but had great annoyance from his inability to find the words which he wished for. He knew his friends and family, but thought he was in a strange house. He sat up in a chair by the fire much of the time, and only on the last day stayed entirely in bed.

"During the sickness he always showed pleasure when his wife sat by his side, and on one of the last days he managed to express, in spite of his difficulty with words, how long and happy they had lived together. The sight of his grandchildren always brought the brightest smile to his face. On the last day he saw several of his friends and took leave of them.

"Only at the last came pain, and this was at once relieved by ether, and in the quiet sleep this produced he gradually faded away in the evening of Thursday, April 27, 1882.

"Thirty-five years earlier he wrote one morning in his journal: 'I said, when I awoke, after some more sleepings and wakings I shall lie on this mattress sick; then dead; and through my gay entry they will carry these bones. Where shall I be then? I lifted my head and beheld the spotless orange light of the morning streaming up from the dark hills into the wide universe.'"

After a few more sleepings and a few more wakings we shall all lie dead, every living soul on this broad earth, - all who, at this mathematical point in time called the present, breathe the breath of life will pass away; but even now the new generation is springing into life; within the next hour five thousand bodies will be born into the world to perpetuate mankind; the whole lives by the constant renewal of its parts; but the individual, what becomes of the individual?

The five thousand bodies that are born within the hour take the place of the something less than five thousand bodies that die within the hour; the succession is preserved; the life of the aggregate is assured; but the individual, what becomes of the individual? Is he immortal, and if immortal whence came he and whither does he go? if immortal, whence come these new souls which are being delivered on the face of the globe at the rate of nearly a hundred a minute? Are they from other worlds, exiled for a time to this, or are they souls revisiting their former habitation? Hardly the latter, for more are coming than going.

One midsummer night, while leaning over the rail of an ocean steamer and watching the white foam thrown up by the prow, the expanse of dark, heaving water, the vast dome of sky studded with the brilliant jewels of space, an old man stopped by my side and we talked of the grandeur of nature and the mysteries of life and death, and he said, "My wife and I once had three boys, whom we loved better than life; one by one they were taken from us, - they all died, and my wife and I were left alone in the world; but after a time a boy was born to us and we gave him the name of the oldest who died, and then another came and we gave him the name of my second boy, and then a third was born and we gave him the name of our youngest; - and so in some mysterious way our three boys have come back to us; we feel that they went away for a little while and returned. I have sometimes looked in their eyes and asked them if anything they saw or heard seemed familiar, whether there was any faint fleeting memories of other days; they say 'no;' but I am sure that their souls are the souls of the boys we lost."

And why not? Is it not more than likely that there is but one soul which dwells in all things animate and inanimate, or rather, are not all things animate and inanimate but manifestations of the one soul, so that the death of an individual is, after all, but the suppression of a particular manifestation and in no sense a release of a separate soul; so that the birth of a child is but a new manifestation in physical form of the one soul, and in no sense the apparition of an additional soul? It is difficult to think otherwise. The birth and death of souls are inconceivable; the immortality of a vast and varying number of individual souls is equally inconceivable. Immortality implies unity, not number. The mind can grasp the possibility of one soul, the manifestation of which is the universe and all it contains.

The hypothesis of individual souls first confined in and then released from individual bodies to preserve their individuality for all time is inconceivable, since it assumes - to coin a word - an intersoulular space, which must necessarily be filled with a medium that is either material or spiritual in its character; if material, then we have the inconceivable condition of spiritual entities surrounded by a material medium; if the intersoulular space be occupied by a spiritual medium, then we have simply souls surrounded by soul, - or, in the final analysis, one soul, of which the so-called individual souls are but so many manifestations.

To the assumption of an all-pervading ether which is the physical basis of the universe, may we not add the suprasumption** of an all-pervading soul which is the spiritual basis of not only the ether but of life itself? The seeming duality of mind and matter, of the soul and body, must terminate somewhere, must merge in identity. Whether that identity be the Creator of theology or the soul of speculation does not much matter, since the final result is the same, namely, the immortality of that suprasumption, the soul.

But the individual, what becomes of the individual in this assumption of an all-pervading, immortal soul, of which all things animate and inanimate are but so many activities?

The body, which for a time being is a part of the local manifestation of the pervading soul, dies and is resolved into its constituent elements; it is inconceivable that those elements should ever gather themselves together again and appear in visible, tangible form. No one could possibly desire they ever should; those who die maimed, or from sickness and disease, or in the decrepitude and senility of age, could not possibly wish that their disordered bodies should appear again; nor could any person name the exact period of his life when he was so satisfied with his physical condition that he would choose to have his body as it then was. No; the body, like the trunk of a fallen tree, decays and disappears; like ripe fruit, it drops to the earth and enriches the soil, but nevermore resumes its form and semblance.

The pervading soul, of which the body was but the physical manifestation, remains; it does not return to heaven or any hypothetical point in either space or speculation. The dissolution of the body is but the dissolution of a particular manifestation of the all-pervading soul, and the immortality of the so-called individual soul is but the persistence of that, so to speak, local disturbance in the one soul after the body has disappeared. It is quite conceivable, or rather the reverse is inconceivable, that the activity of the pervading soul, which manifests itself for a time in the body, persists indefinitely after the physical manifestation has ceased; that, with the cessation of the physical manifestation, the particular activity which we recognize here as an individuality will so persist that hereafter we may recognize it as a spiritual personality. In other words, assuming the existence of a soul of which the universe and all it contains are but so many manifestations, it is dimly conceivable that with the cessation, or rather the transformation, of any particular manifestation, the effects may so persist as to be forever known and recognizable, - not by parts of the one soul, which has no parts, but by the soul itself.

Therefore all things are immortal. Nothing is so lost to the infinite soul as to be wholly and totally obliterated. The withering of a flower is as much the act of the all-pervading soul as the death of a child; but the life and death of a human being involve activities of the soul so incomparably greater than the blossoming of a plant, that the immortality of the one, while not differing in kind, may be infinitely more important in degree. The manifestation of the soul in the life of the humming-bird is slight in comparison with the manifestation in the life of a man, and the traces which persist forever in the case of the former are probably insignificant compared with the traces which persist in the case of the latter; but traces must persist, else there is no immortality of the individual; at the same time there is not the slightest reason for urging that, whereas traces of the soul's activity in the form of man will persist, traces of the soul's activity in lower forms of life and in things inanimate will not persist. There is no reason why, when the physical barriers which exist between us and the soul that is within and without us are destroyed, we should not desire to know forever all that the universe contains. Why should not the sun and the moon and the stars be immortal, - as immortal in their way as we in ours, both immortal in the one all-pervading soul?

"The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched the chambers and the magazine of the soul. In its experiments there has always remained, in the last analysis, a residuum it could not solve," said Emerson in the lecture he called "Over-Soul."

What a pity to use the phrase "Over-Soul," which removes the soul even farther aloof than it is in popular conception, or which fosters the belief of an inner and outer, or an inferior and a superior soul; whereas Emerson meant, as the context shows, the all-pervading soul.

But, then, who knows what any one else thinks or means? At the most we only know what others say, what words they use, but in what sense they use them and the content of thought back of them we do not know. So far as the problems of life go we are all groping in the dark, and words are like fireflies leading us hither and thither with glimpses of light only to go out, leaving us in darkness and despair.

It is the sounding phrase that catches the ear. "For fools admire and like all things the more which they perceive to be concealed under involved language, and determine things to be true which can prettily tickle the ears and are varnished over with finely sounding phrase," says Lucretius. We imagine we understand when we do not; we do not really, truly, and wholly understand Emerson or any other man; we do not understand ourselves.

We speak of the conceivable and of the inconceivable as if the words had any clear and tangible meaning in our minds; whereas they have not; at the best they are of but relative value. What is conceivable to one man is inconceivable to another; what is beyond the perception of one generation is matter of fact to the next.

The conceivable is and ever must be bounded by the inconceivable; the domain of the former is finite, that of the latter is infinite. It matters not how far we press our speculations, how extravagant our hypotheses, how distant our vision, we reach at length the confines of our thought and admit the inconceivable. The inconceivable is a postulate as essential to reason as is the conceivable. That the inconceivable exists is as certain as the existence of the conceivable; it is in a sense more certain, since we constantly find ourselves in error in our conclusions concerning the existence of the things we know, while we can never be in error concerning the existence of things we can never know, being sure that beyond the confines of the finite there must necessarily be the infinite.

We may indulge in assumptions concerning the infinite based upon our knowledge of the finite, or, rather, based upon the inflexible laws of our mental processes. We may say that there must be one all-pervading soul, not because we can form any conception whatsoever of the true nature of such a soul, but because the alternative hypothesis of many individual souls is utterly obnoxious to our reason.

To those who urge that it is idle to reason about what we cannot conceive, it is sufficient answer to say that man cannot help it. The scientist and the materialist in the ardent pursuit of knowledge soon experience the necessity of indulging in assumptions concerning force and matter, the hypothetical ether and molecules, atoms and vortices, which are as purely metaphysical as any assumptions concerning the soul. The distinction between the realist and the idealist is a matter of temperament. All that separated Huxley from Gladstone was a word; each argued from the unknowable, but disputed over the name and attributes of the inconceivable. Huxley said he did not know, which was equivalent to the dogmatic assertion that he did; Gladstone said he did know, which was a confession of ignorance denser than that of agnosticism.

Those men who try not to think or reason concerning the infinite simply imprison themselves within the four walls of the cell they construct. It is better to think and be wrong than not to think at all. Any assumption is better than no assumption, any belief better than none.

Hypotheses enlarge the boundaries of knowledge. With assumptions the intellectual prospector stakes out the infinite. In life we may not verify our premises, but death is the proof of all things.

We stopped at Wright's tavern, where patriots used to meet before the days of the revolution, and where Major Pitcairn is said - wrongfully in all probability - to have made his boast on the morning of the 19th, as he stirred his toddy, that they would stir the rebels' blood before night.

One realizes that "there is but one Concord" as the carriages of pilgrims are counted in the Square, and the swarm of young guides, with pamphlets and maps, importune the chance visitor.

We chose the most persistent little urchin, not that we could not find our way about so small a village, but because he wanted to ride, and it is always interesting to draw out a child; his story of the town and its famous places was, of course, the one he had learned from the others, but his comments were his own, and the incongruity of going over the sacred ground in an automobile had its effect.

It was a short run down Monument Street to the turn just beyond the "Old Manse." Here the British turned to cross the North Bridge on their way to Colonel Barrett's house, where the ammunition was stored. Just across the narrow bridge the "embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world." A monument marks the spot where the British received the fire of the farmers, and a stone at the side recites "Graves of two British soldiers," - unknown wanderers from home they surrendered their lives in a quarrel, the merits of which they did not know. "Soon was their warfare ended; a weary night march from Boston, a rattling volley of musketry across the river, and then these many years of rest. In the long procession of slain invaders who passed into eternity from the battle-field of the revolution, these two nameless soldiers led the way." While standing by the grave, Hawthorne was told a story, a tradition of how a youth, hurrying to the battle-field axe in hand, came upon these two soldiers, one not yet dead raised himself up painfully on his hands and knees, and how the youth on the impulse of the moment cleft the wounded man's head with the axe. The tradition is probably false, but it made its impression on Hawthorne, who continues, "I could wish that the grave might be opened; for I would fain know whether either of the skeleton soldiers has the mark of an axe in his skull. The story comes home to me like truth. Oftentimes, as an intellectual and moral exercise, I have sought to follow that poor youth through his subsequent career and observe how his soul was tortured by the blood-stain, contracted as it had been before the long custom of war had robbed human life of its sanctity, and while it still seemed murderous to slay a brother man. This one circumstance has borne more fruit for me than all that history tells us of the fight."

There are souls so callous that the taking of a human life is no more than the killing of a beast; there are souls so sensitive that they will not kill a living thing. The man who can relate without regret so profound it is close akin to remorse the killing of another - no matter what the provocation, no matter what the circumstances - is next kin to the common hangman.

From the windows of the "Old Manse," the Rev. William Emerson, grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson, looked out upon the battle, and he would have taken part in the fight had not his neighbors held him back; as it was, he sacrificed his life the following year in attempting to join the army at Ticonderoga, contracting a fever which proved fatal.

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery lies on Bedford Street not far from the Town Hall. We followed the winding road to the hill where Hawthorne, Thoreau, the Alcotts, and Emerson lie buried within a half-dozen paces of one another.

Thoreau came first in May, 1862. Emerson delivered the funeral address. Mrs. Hawthorne writes in her diary, "Mr. Thoreau died this morning. The funeral services were in the church. Mr. Emerson spoke. Mr. Alcott read from Mr. Thoreau's writings. The body was in the vestibule covered with wild flowers. We went to the grave."

Hawthorne came next, just two years later. "On the 24th of May, 1864 we carried Hawthorne through the blossoming orchards of Concord," says James T. Fields, "and laid him down under a group of pines, on a hillside, overlooking historic fields. All the way from the village church to the grave the birds kept up a perpetual melody. The sun shone brightly, and the air was sweet and pleasant, as if death had never entered the world. Longfellow and Emerson, Channing and Hoar, Agassiz and Lowell, Greene and Whipple, Alcott and Clarke, Holmes and Hillard, and other friends whom he loved, walked slowly by his side that beautiful spring morning. The companion of his youth and his manhood, for whom he would willingly, at any time, have given up his own life, Franklin Pierce, was there among the rest, and scattered flowers into the grave. The unfinished 'Romance,' which had cost him so much anxiety, the last literary work on which he had ever been engaged, was laid in his coffin."

Eighteen years later, on April 30, 1882, Emerson was laid at rest a little beyond Hawthorne and Thoreau in a spot chosen by himself.

A special train came from Boston, but many could not get inside the church. The town was draped; "even the homes of the very poor bore outward marks of grief." At the house, Dr. Furness, of Philadelphia, conducted the services. "The body lay in the front northeast room, in which were gathered the family and close friends." The only flowers were lilies of the valley, roses, and arbutus.

At the church, Judge Hoar, standing by the coffin, spoke briefly; Dr. Furness read selections from the Scriptures; James Freeman Clarke delivered the funeral address, and Alcott read a sonnet.

"Over an hour was occupied by the passing files of neighbors, friends, and visitors looking for the last time upon the face of the dead poet. The body was robed completely in white, and the face bore a natural and peaceful expression. From the church the procession took its way to the cemetery. The grave was made beneath a tall pine-tree upon the hill-top of Sleepy Hollow, where lie the bodies of his friends Thoreau and Hawthorne, the upturned sod being concealed by strewings of pine boughs. A border of hemlock spray surrounded the grave and completely lined its sides. The services were very brief, and the casket was soon lowered to its final resting-place. The grandchildren passed the open grave and threw flowers into it."

In her "Journal," Louisa Alcott wrote, "Thursday, 27th. Mr. Emerson died at nine P.M. suddenly. Our best and greatest American gone. The nearest and dearest friend father ever had, and the man who has helped me most by his life, his books, his society. I can never tell all he has been to me, - from the time I sang Mignon's song under his window (a little girl) and wrote letters ... la Bettine to him, my Goethe, at fifteen, up through my hard years, when his essays on Self-Reliance, Character, Compensation, Love, and Friendship helped me to understand myself and life, and God and Nature. Illustrious and beloved friend, good-by!

"Sunday, 30th. - Emerson's funeral. I made a yellow lyre of jonquils for the church, and helped trim it up. Private service at the house, and a great crowd at the church. Father read his sonnet, and Judge Hoar and others spoke. Now he lies in Sleepy Hollow among his brothers under the pines he loved."

On March 4, 1888, Bronson Alcott died, and two days later Louisa Alcott followed her father. They lie near together on the ridge a little beyond Hawthorne. Initials only mark the graves of her sisters, but it has been found necessary to place a small stone bearing the name "Louisa" on the grave of the author of "Little Women." She had made every arrangement for her death, and by her own wish her funeral was in her father's rooms in Boston, and attended by only a few of her family and nearest friends.

"They read her exquisite poem to her mother, her father's noble tribute to her, and spoke of the earnestness and truth of her life. She was remembered as she would have wished to be. Her body was carried to Concord and placed in the beautiful cemetery of Sleepy Hollow, where her dearest ones were already laid to rest. 'Her boys' went beside her as 'a guard of honor,' and stood around as she was placed across the feet of father, mother, and sister, that she might 'take care of them as she had done all her life.'"

Louisa Alcott's last written words were the acknowledgment of the receipt of a flower. "It stands beside me on Marmee's (her mother) work-table, and reminds me tenderly of her favorite flowers; and among those used at her funeral was a spray of this, which lasted for two weeks afterwards, opening bud by bud in the glass on her table, where lay the dear old 'Jos. May' hymn-book, and her diary with the pen shut in as she left it when she last wrote there, three days before the end, 'The twilight is closing about me, and I am going to rest in the arms of my children.' So, you see, I love the delicate flower and enjoy it very much."

Reverently, with bowed heads, we stood on that pine-covered ridge which contained the mortal remains of so many who are great and illustrious in the annals of American literature. A scant patch of earth hides their dust, but their fancies, their imaginings, their philosophy spanned human conduct, emotions, beliefs, and aspirations from the cradle to the grave.

The warm September day was drawing to a close; the red sun was sinking towards the west; the hilltop was aflame with a golden glow from the slanting rays of the declining sun. Slowly we wended our way through the shadowy hollow below; looking back, the mound seemed crowned with glory.

Leaving Concord by Main Street we passed some famous homes, among them Thoreau's earlier home, where he made lead-pencils with the deftness which characterized all his handiwork; turning to the left on Thoreau Street we crossed the tracks and took the Sudbury road through all the Sudburys, - four in number; the roads were good and the country all the more interesting because not yet invaded by the penetrating trolley. It would be sacrilegious for electric cars to go whizzing by the ancient tombs and monuments that fringe the road down through Sudbury; the automobile felt out of place and instinctively slowed down to stately and measured pace.

In all truth, one should walk, not ride, through this beautiful country, where every highway has its historic associations, every burying-ground its honored dead, every hamlet its weather-beaten monument. But if one is to ride, the automobile - incongruous as it may seem - has this advantage, - it will stand indefinitely anywhere; it may be left by the roadside for hours; no one can start it; hardly any person would maliciously harm it, providing it is far enough to one side so as not to frighten passing horses; excursions on foot may be made to any place of interest, then, when the day draws to a close, a half-hour suffices to reach the chosen resting-place.

It was getting dark as we passed beneath the stately trees bordering the old post-road which leads to the door of the "Wayside Inn."

Here the stages from Boston to Worcester used to stop for dinner. Here Washington, Lafayette, Burgoyne, and other great men of Revolutionary days had been entertained, for along this highway the troops marched and countermarched. The old inn is rich in historic associations.

The road which leads to the very door of the inn is the old post-road; the finely macadamized State road which passes a little farther away is of recent dedication, and is located so as to leave the ancient hostelry a little retired from ordinary travel.

A weather-beaten sign with a red horse rampant swings at one corner of the main building.

  "Half effaced by rain and shine, 
  The Red Horse prances on the sign."

For nearly two hundred years, from 1683 to 1860, the inn was owned and kept by one family, the Howes, and was called by many "Howe's Tavern," by others "The Red Horse Inn."

Since the publication of Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside Inn," the place has been known by no other name than the one it now bears.

  "As ancient is this hostelry 
  As any in the land may be, 
  Built in the old Colonial day, 
  When men lived in a grander way, 
  With ampler hospitality; 
  A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, 
  Now somewhat fallen to decay, 
  With weather-stains upon the wall, 
  And stairways worn, and crazy doors, 
  And creaking and uneven floors, 
  And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall."

A portrait of Lyman Howe, the last landlord of the family, hangs in the little bar-room,

  "A man of ancient pedigree, 
  A Justice of the Peace was he, 
  Known in all Sudbury as 'The Squire.' 
  Proud was he of his name and race, 
  Of old Sir William and Sir Hugh."

And now as of yore

  "In the parlor, full in view, 
  His coat-of-arms, well framed and glazed, 
  Upon the wall in colors blazed."

The small window-panes which the poet describes as bearing

  "The jovial rhymes, that still remain, 
  Writ near a century ago, 
  By the great Major Molineaux, 
  Whom Hawthorne has immortal made,"

are preserved in frames near the mantel in the parlor, one deeply scratched by diamond ring with name of Major Molineaux and the date, "June 24th, 1774," the other bears this inscription, -

  "What do you think? 
  Here is good drink, 
  Perhaps you may not know it; 
  If not in haste, Do stop and taste, 
  You merry folk will show it."

A worthy, though not so gifted, successor of the jolly major rendered the following "true accomp.," which, yellow and faded, hangs on the bar-room wall:

"Thursday, August 7, 1777" 
                     L s. d. 
        Super &Loging . . . . . . . 0 1 4 8th. Brakfast, Dinar and 0 1 9 
        Super and half mug of tody 0 2 6 9th. Lodging, one glass rum half 0 2 6 
        &Dinar, one mes oats 0 1 4 
        Super half mug flyp 0 3 0 10th Brakf. - one dram 0 1 8 
        Dinner, Lodging, horse-keeping 0 2 0 
        one mug flyp, horse bating 0 3 0 11th. horse keeping 1 13th. glass rum &Diner 1 8 14th. Horse bating 0 0 6 
        Horse Jorney 28 miles 0 5 10

        A true accomp. - total 1 14 6 
                William Bradford, 
        Dilivered to Capt. Crosby 2 2 6

Alas! the major's inscription and the foregoing "accomp." are hollow mockeries to the thirsty traveller, for there is neither rum nor "flyp" to be had; the bar is dry as an old cork; the door of the cupboard into which the jovial Howes were wont to stick the awl with which they opened bottles still hangs, worn completely through by the countless jabs, a melancholy reminder of the convivial hours of other days. The restrictions of more abstemious times have relegated the ancient bar to dust, the idle awl to slow-consuming rust.

It is amazing how thirsty one gets in the presence of musty associations of a convivial character. The ghost of a spree is a most alluring fellow; it is the dust on the bottle that flavors the wine; a musty bin is the soul's delight; we drink the vintage and not the wine.

Drinking is a lost art, eating a forgotten ceremony. The pendulum has swung from Trimalchio back to Trimalchio. Quality is lost in quantity. The tables groan, the cooks groan, the guests groan, - feasting is a nightmare.

Wine is a subject, not a beverage; it is discussed, not drunk; it is sipped, tasted, and swallowed reluctantly; it lingers on the palate in fragrant and delicious memory; it comes a bouquet and departs an aroma; it is the fruition of years, the distillation of ages; a liquid jewel, it reflects the subtle colors of the rainbow, running the gamut from a dull red glow to the violet rays that border the invisible.

But, alas! the appreciation of wine is lost. Everybody serves wine, no one understands it; everybody drinks it, no one loves it. From a fragrant essence wine has become a coarse reality, - a convention. Chablis with the oysters, sherry with the soup, sauterne with the fish, claret with the roast, Burgundy with the game, - champagne somewhere, anywhere, everywhere; port, grand, old ruddy port - that has disappeared; no one understands it and no one knows when to serve it; while Madeira, that bloom of the vinous century plant, that rare exotic which ripens with passing generations, is all too subtle for our untutored discrimination.

And if, perchance, a good wine, like a strange guest, finds its way to the table, we are at loss how to receive it, how to address it, how to entertain it. We offend it in the decanting and distress it in the serving. We buy our wines in the morning and serve them in the evening to drink the sediment which the more fastidious wine during long years has been slowly rejecting; we mix the bright transparent liquid with its dregs and our rough palates detect no difference. But the lover of wine, the more he has the less he drinks, until, in the refinement and exaltation of his taste, it is sufficient to look upon the dust-mantled bottle and recall the delicious aroma and flavor, the recollection of which is far too precious to risk by trying anew; he knows that if a bottle be so much as turned in its couch it must sleep again for years before it is really fit to drink; he knows how difficult it is to get the wine out of the bottle clear as ruby or yellow diamond; he knows that if so much as a speck of sediment gets into the decanter, to precisely the extent of the speck is the wine injured.

In serving wines, we of the Western world may learn something from the tea ceremonies of the Japanese, - ceremonies so elaborate that to our impatient notions they are infinitely tedious, and yet they get from the tea all the exquisite delight it contains, and at the same time invest its serving with a halo of form, tradition, and association. Surely, if wine is to be taken at all, it is as precious as a cup of tea; and if taken ceremoniously, it will be taken moderately.

What is the use of serving good wine? No one recognizes it, appreciates it, or cares for it. It is served by the butler and removed by the footman without introduction, greeting, or comment. The Hon. Sam Jones, from Podunk, is announced in stentorian tones as he makes his advent, but the gem of the dinner, the treat of the evening, the flower of the feast, an Haut Brion of '75, or an Yquem of '64, or a Johannisberger of '61, comes in like a tramp without a word. Possibly some one of the guests, whose palate has not been blunted by coarse living or seared by strong drink, may feel that he is drinking something out of the ordinary, and he may linger over his glass, loath to sip the last drop; but all the others gulp their wine, or leave it - with the indifference of ignorance.

Good wine is loquacious; it is a great traveller and smacks of many lands; it is a bon vivant and has dined with the select of the earth; it recalls a thousand anecdotes; it reeks with reminiscences; it harbors a kiss and reflects a glance, but it is a silent companion to those who know it not, and it is quarrelsome with those who abuse it.

It seemed a pity that somewhere about the inn, deep in some long disused cellar, there were not a few - just a few - bottles of old wine, a half-dozen port of 1815, one or two squat bottles of Madeira brought over by men who knew Washington, an Yquem of '48, a Margaux of '58, a Johannisberger Cabinet - not forgetting the "Auslese" - of '61, with a few bottles of Romani Conti and Clos de Vougeot of '69 or '70, - not to exceed two or three dozen all told; not a plebeian among them, each the chosen of its race, and all so well understood that the very serving would carry one back to colonial days, when to offer a guest a glass of Madeira was a subtle tribute to his capacity and appreciation.

It is a far cry from an imaginary banquet with Lucullus to the New England Saturday night supper of pork and beans which was spread before us that evening. The dish is a survival of the rigid Puritanism which was the affliction and at the same time the making of New England; it is a fast, an aggravated fast, a scourge to indulgence, a reproach to gluttony; it comes Saturday night, and is followed Sunday morning by the dry, spongy, antiseptic, absorbent fish-ball as a castigation of nature and as a preparation for the austere observance of the Sabbath; it is the harsh, but no doubt deserved, punishment of the stomach for its worldliness during the week; inured to suffering, the native accepts the dose as a matter of course; to the stranger it seems unduly severe. To be sent to bed supperless is one of the terrors of childhood; to be sent to bed on pork and beans with the certainty of fishballs in the morning is a refinement of torture that could have been devised only by Puritan ingenuity.

At the very crisis of the trouble in China, when the whole world was anxiously awaiting news from Pekin, the papers said that Boston was perturbed by the reported discovery in Africa of a new and edible bean.

To New England the bean is an obsession; it is rapidly becoming a superstition. To the stranger it is an infliction; but, bad as the bean is to the uninitiated, it is a luscious morsel compared with the flavorless cod-fish ball which lodges in the throat and stays there - a second Adam's apple - for lack of something to wash it down.

If pork and beans is the device of the Puritans, the cod-fish ball is the invention of the devil. It is as if Satan looked on enviously while his foes prepared their powder of beans, and then, retiring to his bottomless pit, went them one better by casting his ball of cod-fish.

  "But from the parlor of the inn 
  A pleasant murmur smote the ear, 
  Like water rushing through a weir; 
  Oft interrupted by the din 
  Of laughter and of loud applause

  "The firelight, shedding over all 
  The splendor of its ruddy glow, 
  Filled the whole parlor large and low."

The room remains, but of all that jolly company which gathered in Longfellow's days and constituted the imaginary weavers of tales and romances, but one is alive to-day, - the "Young Sicilian."

  "A young Sicilian, too, was there; 
  In sight of Etna born and bred, 
  Some breath of its volcanic air 
  Was glowing in his heart and brain, 
  And, being rebellious to his liege, 
  After Palermo's fatal siege, 
  Across the western seas he fled, 
  In good king Bomba's happy reign. 
  His face was like a summer night, 
  All flooded with a dusky light; 
  His hands were small; his teeth shone white 
  As sea-shells, when he smiled or spoke."

To the present proprietor of the inn the "Young Sicilian" wrote the following letter:

Rome, July 4, 1898.

Dear Sir, - In answer to your letter of June 8, I am delighted to learn that you have purchased the dear old house and carefully restored and put it back in its old-time condition. I sincerely hope that it may remain thus for a long, long time as a memento of the days and customs gone by. It is very sad for me to think that I am the only living member of that happy company that used to spend their summer vacations there in the fifties; yet I still hope that I may visit the old Inn once more before I rejoin those choice spirits whom Mr. Longfellow has immortalized in his great poem. I am glad that some of the old residents still remember me when I was a visitor there with Dr. Parsons (the Poet), and his sisters, one of whom, my wife, is also the only living member of those who used to assemble there. Both my wife and I remember well Mr. Calvin Howe, Mr. Parmenter, and the others you mention; for we spent many summers there with Professor Treadwell (the Theologian) and his wife, Mr. Henry W. Wales (the Student), and other visitors not mentioned in the poem, till the death of Mr. Lyman Howe (the Landlord), which broke up the party. The "Musician" and the "Spanish Jew," though not imaginary characters, were never guests at the "Wayside Inn." I remain,

Sincerely yours, Luigi Monti (the "Young Sicilian").

But there was a "Musician," for Ole Bull was once a guest at the Wayside,

  "Fair-haired, blue-eyed, his aspect blithe, 
  His figure tall and straight and lithe, 
  And every feature of his face 
  Revealing his Norwegian race."

The "Spanish Jew from Alicant" in real life was Israel Edrehi.

The Landlord told his tale of Paul Revere; the "Student" followed with his story of love:

  "Only a tale of love is mine, 
  Blending the human and divine, 
  A tale of the Decameron, told 
  In Palmieri's garden old."

And one by one the tales were told until the last was said.

  "The hour was late; the fire burned low, 
  The Landlord's eyes were closed in sleep, 
  And near the story's end a deep 
  Sonorous sound at times was heard, 
  As when the distant bagpipes blow, 
  At this all laughed; the Landlord stirred, 
  As one awaking from a swound, 
  And, gazing anxiously around, 
  Protested that he had not slept, 
  But only shut his eyes, and kept 
  His ears attentive to each word. 
  Then all arose, and said 'Good-Night.' 
  Alone remained the drowsy Squire 
  To rake the embers of the fire, 
  And quench the waning parlor light; 
  While from the windows, here and there, 
  The scattered lamps a moment gleamed, 
  And the illumined hostel seemed 
  The constellation of the Bear, 
  Downward, athwart the misty air, 
  Sinking and setting toward the sun. 
  Far off the village clock struck one."

Before leaving the next morning, we visited the ancient ballroom which extends over the dining-room. It seemed crude and cruel to enter this hall of bygone revelry by the garish light of day. The two fireplaces were cold and inhospitable; the pen at one end where the fiddlers sat was deserted; the wooden benches which fringed the sides were hard and forbidding; but long before any of us were born this room was the scene of many revelries; the vacant hearths were bright with flame; the fiddlers bowed and scraped; the seats were filled with belles and beaux, and the stately minuet was danced upon the polished floor.

The large dining-room and ballroom were added to the house something more than a hundred years ago; the little old dining-room and old kitchen in the rear of the bar still remain, but - like the bar - are no longer used.

The brass name plates on the bedroom doors - Washington, Lafayette, Howe, and so on - have no significance, but were put on by the present proprietor simply as reminders that those great men were once beneath the roof; but in what rooms they slept or were entertained, history does not record.

The automobile will bring new life to these deserted hostelries. For more than half a century steam has diverted their custom, carrying former patrons from town to town without the need of half-way stops and rests. Coaching is a fad, not a fashion; it is not to be relied upon for steady custom; but automobiling bids fair to carry the people once more into the country, and there must be inns to receive them.

Already the proprietor was struggling with the problem what to do with automobiles and what to do for them who drove them. He was vainly endeavoring to reconcile the machines with horses and house them under one roof; the experiment had already borne fruit in some disaster and no little discomfort.

The automobile is quite willing to be left out-doors over night; but if taken inside it is quite apt to assert itself rather noisily and monopolize things to the discomfort of the horse. Stables - to rob the horse of the name of his home - must be provided, and these should be equipped for emergencies.

Every country inn should have on hand gasoline - this is easily stored outside in a tank buried in the ground - and lubricating oils for steam and gasoline machines; these can be kept and sold in gallon cans.

In addition to supplies there should be some tools, beginning with a good jack strong enough to lift the heaviest machine, a small bench and vise, files, chisels, punches, and one or two large wrenches, including a pipe-wrench. All these things can be purchased for little more than a song, and when needed they are needed badly. But gasoline and lubricating oils are absolutely essential to the permanent prosperity of any well-conducted wayside inn.