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that they do not want more; and, there kept before the eyes of him who has fore, do not try to attain it. This it is nothing else to look upon. The wealthy that may stop the strenuous impulse, man may be a patron of the arts, a both of a moral and mental kind; for connoisseur, an amateur; he may be the intelligence, as well as the charac- supported by a deluding inward conter, may mistake the satisfactory devel- sciousness that had things been otheropment arrived at by helpful circum wise he might still have conquered stance, for natural endowment. But fame and opulence for himself. It is still this condition, this kind of "good- better that it should be so. Or rather, ness,” which is what, on the whole, the I would say, that since it is inevitable most favorably situated average human that it should be so, let him think that being may hope to attain, is of the kind it is better. For it is not given to us, which is the second best. For, after happily, to determine in which layer of admitting the value of money in pro the social strata we should like our curing the possession, or even in eking lives to be cast-whether with those out the perception, of the really good who have more, or have less, or with things in this world, we must recognize those who are between, in that middle that these are still but joys of the sec state which poets and thinkers have ond order. The chosen know some assured us is the golden, the happy thing else. There are, happily, some state of all. Shall we dare, in the face left in the world, who, having but little of their utterances, to hint that it is means, do not care about having more, not? And yet . . . why is it golden? all their desires and their possibilities why is it happiest? Because, presumbeing divinely absorbed in the posses- ably, it is the state which makes for a sion of some great and glorious gift, selfish well-being without responsibility or even, failing the gift, the contempla- as without incentive? Let us say boldly tion and pursuit of some lofty ideal. that the mind that can dare, endure,
The glowing spark of endeavor stren- attempt, would never choose to be uously kept alive by ceaseless effort "seated in the mean” if it could have until it is fanned into an unquenchable something else. The highest achieve flame; the passionate concentration of ment is not being contented with that purpose in the facing of privation; the seat, the highest striving is not comunconscious effort at readjustment that patible with it. No! in my heart I bemay inspire the genius in his need lieve that mediocrity is not golden. It with a fury of purpose to poise his is leaden-it weighs down aspiration, it balance with destiny more evenly,-all hinders accomplishment, it deadens this, in its fulness, is inconsistent with hope; it lacks alike the spur of poverty riches. There is something in the fact and the encouragement of wealth, it of the luxurious, cushioned existence, stagnates, instead of battling or rushflooded without any personal effort with ing. There lies the danger of the midlight and warmth, which seems in dle course, different, it may be, from some terrible way to put out forever that which menaces either riches or the flame from within, or, at best, to poverty, but danger still. prevent it from burning with more than But, since these different strata are a pale flicker. The mere fact of the governed by different conditions, and, possession of ample means is likely to as applied to detail, different standards; induce a greater variety of surround- since for some who are within the iron ings, of occupation, of intercourse, and grasp of necessity the alternatives are must break in on the determination to few, and for others for whom proclivity achieve the single-minded purpose, and not necessity may decide, more
numerous; since all alternatives make of society only, by which all the others, demands on character and aptitudes, nevertheless, attempt to grope their and since those, therefore, who have way. It would be possible for us to many alternatives have a more search face, once for all, the fact that we are ing test applied to them than those who not necessarily wicked if we are rich, have fewer, it would be inestimably nor good if we are poor; and that it is helpful to us all if we might have a not by trying to adopt the methods of code of life varied in detail according dealing with money that are desirable to different circumstances. Such a in the poor that the rich will remove code would be more pliable, more prac- the traditional stain attaching to their ticable, more possible than the crude, condition. inelastic rule intended for one section
Florence Bell. The Nineteenth century.
In ancient days when, under cloudless skies,
Spring's earliest swallows touched the Italian shore,
And cried, “Our darlings come to us once more.”
A pretty fancy which our wiser age
Has long outgrown. And yet-for England stands
At her behest, in those far Southern lands,
A thousand sons she mourns, untimely slain,
Like early flowers that fall beneath the scythe.
Over their graves your song was loud and blithe
A few short weeks ago. Perhaps a gleam
Lit heavy eyes that saw you swoop and dart,
Or windy down arose within the heart.
Wherefore to us, this spring, your song shall be
Fraught with a deeper meaning than of yore,
B. Paul Neuman.
THE HEART OF DARKNESS.
BY JOSEPH CONRAD,
dence? "Anything since then?" asked
the other, hoarsely. 'Ivory,' jerked the "One evening, as I was lying flat on nephew; 'lots of it-prime sort-lotsthe deck of my steamboat, I heard most annoying, from him.' 'And with voices approaching—and there was the that?' questioned the heavy rumble. nephew and the uncle strolling along 'Invoice,' was the reply, fired out, so the bank. I laid my head on my arm to speak. Then silence. They had again, and had nearly lost myself in a been talking about Kurtz. doze, when somebody said in my ear, "I was broad awake by this time, but as it were: 'I am as harmless as lying perfectly at ease, remained still, little child, but I don't like to be dic having no inducement to change my tated to. Am I a manager-or am I position. 'How did that ivory come all not? I was ordered to send him there. this way? growled the elder man, who It's incredible.' . .. I became aware seemed very vexed. The other exthat the two were standing on the plained that it had come with a fleet of shore alongside the forepart of the canoes in charge of an English halfsteamboat, just below my head. I did caste clerk Kurtz had with him, that not move; it did not occur to me to Kurtz had apparently intended to remove. I was sleepy. 'It is unpleas turn himself, the station being by that ant,' grunted the uncle. 'He has asked time bare of goods and stores; but after the administration to be sent there,' coming 300 miles had suddenly decided said the other, 'with the idea of showing to go back, which he started to do alone what he could do; and I was instructed in a small dugout with four paddlers, accordingly. Look at the influence leaving the half-caste to continue down that man must have. Is it not frigh- the river with the ivory. The two felful? They both agreed it was fright- lows there seemed astounded at anyful, then made several bizarre remarks: body attempting such a thing. They ‘Make rain and fine weather-one man were at a loss for an adequate motive. -the council-by the nose'-bits of ab- As to me, I seemed to see Kurtz for the surd sentences that got the better of first time. It was a distinct glimpse. my drowsiness, so that I had pretty The dugout, four paddling savages and near the whole of my wits about me the lone white man turning his back when the uncle said, 'The climate may suddenly on the headquarters, on relief, do away with this difficulty for you. on thoughts of home-perhaps; setting Is he alone there ? 'Yes,' answered the his face toward the depths of the wilmanager; 'he sent his assistant down derness, toward his empty and desothe river with a note to me in these late station. I did not know the moterms: "Clear this poor devil out of the tive. Perhaps he was just simply a country, and don't bother sending more fine fellow who stuck to his work for of that sort. I had rather be alone than its own sake. His name, you underhave the kind of men you can dispose stand, had not been pronounced once. of with me.” It was more than a year He was 'that man.' The half-caste ago. Can you imagine such impu- who, as far as I could see, had con* Copyright by 8. 8. McClure & Co.
ducted a difficult trip with great pru
dence and pluck, was invariably alluded slender twig. His sagacious relative to as that scoundrel.' The 'scoundrel lifted his head. 'You have been well had said the 'man' had been ill—had since you came out this time?' he asked. recovered. ... The two below me The other gave a start. 'Who? I? O, moved away then a few paces and like a charm-like a charm. But the strolled back and forth at some little rest-o, my goodness! All sick. They distance. I heard: 'Military post-doc- die so quick, too, that I haven't the tor-200 miles-quite alone now-un- time to send them out of the countryavoidable delays-nine months-10 it's incredible! 'H'h. Just so,' grunted news-strange rumors.' They ap- the uncle. 'Ah, my boy, trust to this, proached again just as the manager I say trust to this. I saw him extend was saying, 'Nobody unless a species of his short flipper of an arm for a semiwandering trader—a pestilential fellow, circular gesture that took in the forest, snapping ivory from the natives.' Who the creek, the mud, the river, seemed was it they were talking about now? I to beckon with a dishonoring flourish gathered in snatches that this was before the sunlit face of the land a some man supposed to be in Kurtz's treacherous appeal to the lurking death, district, and of whom the manager did to the hidden evil, to the profound not approve.
'We will not be free darkness of its heart. It was so startfrom unfair competition until one of ling that I leaped to my feet and looked these fellows is hanged for an ex- back at the edge of the forest, as ample,' he said. "Certainly,' grunted the though I had expected an answer of other; ‘get him hanged! Why not? Any- some sort to that black display of conthing-anything can be done in this fidence. You know the foolish notions country. That's what I say; nobody that come to one sometimes. The high here, you understand, here, can en- stillness confronted these two figures danger your position. And why? You with its ominous patience, waiting for stand the climate-you outlast them all. the passing away of a fantastic invaThe danger is in Europe; but there be sion. fore I left I took care to— They moved “They swore aloud together-out of off and whispered, then their voices sheer fright, I believe-then, pretending rose again. "The extraordinary series not to know anything of my existence, of delays is not my fault. I did my pos- turned back to the station. The sun sible.' The fat man sighed, 'Very sad.' was low, and, leaning forward side by 'And the pestiferous absurdity of his side, they seemed to be tugging paintalk,' continued the other; "he bothered fully uphill their two ridiculous shadme enough when he was here. Each ows of unequal length, that trailed bestation should be like a beacon on the hind them slowly over the tall grass road towards better things, a centre without bending a single blade. for trade, of course, but also for hu- "In a few days the Eldorado expedimanizing, improving, instructing. Con- tion went into the patient wilderness, ceive you-that ass! And he wants to that closed upon them as the sea be manager! No, its—' Here he got closes over a diver. Long afterward choked by excessive indignation, and I the news came that all the donkeys lifted my head the least bit. I was were dead. I know nothing as to the surprised to see how near they were fate of the less valuable animals. They, right under me; I could have spat upon no doubt, like the rest of us, found their hats. They were looking on the what they deserved. I did not inquire. ground absorbed in thought. The man. I was then rather excited at the prosager was switching his leg with a pect of meeting Kurtz very soon. When I say very soon, I mean comparatively. a lookout for the signs of dead wood It was just two months from the day we could cut up in the night for next we left the creek when we came to the day's steaming. When you have to bank below Kurtz's station.
attend to things of that sort, to the “Going up that river was like trav. mere incidents of the surface, the realelling back to the earliest beginnings ity-the reality, I tell you-fades. The of the world, when vegetation rioted inner truth is hidden-luckily, luckily. on the earth, and the big trees were But I felt it all the same; I felt often kings. An empty stream, a great si. its mysterious stillness watching me at lence, an impenetrable forest. The air my monkey tricks, just as it watches was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. you fellows performing on your reThere was no joy in the brilliance of spective tight ropes for-what is it? sunshine. The long stretches of the Half a crown a tumble" waterway ran on, deserted, into the “Try to be civil, Marlow," growled á gloom of overshadowed distances. On voice, and I knew there was at least silvery sandbanks hippos and alligators one listener awake beside myself. sunned themselves side by side; the “I beg your pardon. I forgot the broadening waters flowed through a heartache which makes up the rest of the mob of wooded islands. You lost your price. And, indeed, what does the price way on that river as you would in a matter if the trick be well done? You desert, and butted all day long against do your tricks very well. And I don't shoals, trying to find the channel, till do badly, either, since I managed not you thought yourself bewitched and cut to sink that steamboat on my first trip. off forever from everything you had It's a wonder to me yet. Imagine a known once-somewhere-far away-in blindfolded man set to drive a van over another existence, perhaps. There a bad road. I sweated and shivered were moments when one's past came over that business considerably, I can back to one, as it will sometimes when
After all, for a seaman to you have not a moment to spare to scrape the bottom of the thing that's yourself; but it came in the shape of an supposed to float all the time under his unrestful and noisy dream, remembered care, is the unpardonable sin. No one with wonder among the overwhelming may know of it, but you never forget * realities of this strange world of plants, the thump-eh? A blow on the very water and silence. And this stillness heart. You remember it, you dream of of life did not in the least resemble a it, you wake up at night and think of peace. It was the stillness of an im- it-years after and go hot and cold all placable force brooding over an inscru- over. I don't pretend to say that steamtable intention. It looked at you with boat floated all the time. More than a vengeful aspect. I got used to it once she had to wade for a bit with 20 afterward; I did not see it any more; cannibals splashing around and pushI had no time. I had to keep guessing ing. We had enlisted these chaps on at the channel; I had to discern, mostly the way for a crew. Fine fellows-canby inspiration, the signs of hidden nibals-in their place. They were men banks; I watched for sunken stones; I one could work with, and I am grate. · was learning to clap my teeth smartly ful to them. And, after all, they did
before my heart flew out, when I not eat each other before my face; they shaved, by a fluke, some infernal sly had brought along a provision of hippo old snag that would have ripped the meat, which went rotten and made the life out of the tinpot steamboat and mystery of the wilderness stink in my drowned all the pilgrims; I had to keep nostrils. Phoo! I can sniff it now. I