« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
pendent parents didn't altogether
when children must bear the spoil the lives of their children.
burden of their parents' supBefore Marie had actually mar
port-almost as bad as when ried Mr. Cross, the “right
the burden of children is man" came
so heavy on parents that scene, and the girl chose
they refrain from havto do the unpleasant
ing them. What thing of breaking her
shall we do about engagement to the
it, then ? Make perfectly good man
the care of our she had intended
old age a charge to marry for money,
upon the in order to take the
strength of our other.
own youth by "I never expected
saving money enough to have money and
to live on? This is love both!" she said.
the good old-fashioned I can just hear
method drilled into us at school, the gentle reader
preached to us at church, hurled say virtuously, “I'd
at us by sanctimonious lecwork my fingers to
turers. But does anybody the bone before I'd
ever preach the ills that marry a man I
come from saving? No; didn't love, simply
they only tell us what because he was
hardships come rich!"
from being poor Perhaps you
and old, and would, mad
these am, but the truth is that
fectly well. neither Marie
I've watchnor Norine nor
ed more than Leonard had then,
one family struggle or has now, the
with this antedifaintest notion of how
luvian bugbear of to go about that praise
"You may have given us wisdom and strength Thrift. The Breeses
and goodness—you may have served us with all worthy process of your skill, your wit, your talents; but unless you
are fairly typical speciworking the fingers have also saved money you shall be made to feel mens of the sort. Mr. to the bone. It is not every indignity, and all your past services shall Breese inherited a a habit that is easily
small hardware store acquired after matur
in a small Eastern city. ity. The trouble lay not with the children; On the income derived from it he supthey were merely inclining as the twig had ported a wife and four children. He felt been bent. The parents were to blame. the responsibility of them quite as often as They had sacrificed their children to them- he felt the joy. To take chances with his selves, the future to the past. And even if business, he felt, was to take chances with the children had tried to work, even if they their future. So he hoarded up all the money hadn't been “society people," and had that might have bought them a comfortable known how, is it so sure they could have house, and the money that might have done it? Do you remember Jennie in bought them pretty clothes, and the money “Auld Robin Gray”?
that might have gone into rest and pleasure. My father couldna work, my mother couldna spin;
He got his four children into the saving I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win; game with him—six saving as one!—and toAuld Rob maintained them baith, and wi' tears in gether they amassed a fairly neat little sum.
his e'e, Said, “ Jennie, for their sakes, will you marry me?”
But just as they had the requisite num
ber of dollars invested to bring in about And in spite of sentiment and tradition, $1200 a year, Mr. Breese, instead of beginit is bad business for the community ning to live as he had intended, inconside
ately died. But unfortunately, the saving ually available for the old age of the marthat he did lives after him. His daughters, ried couple, and since it is a disadvantage teaching and saving in their turn, are past to the community to force children to supforty; one son has a good, responsible, port their parents, why should not society small-salaried position in a bank. None of make some other provision for them? them has been guilty of the extravagance The problems of keeping physical strength of marriage and children.
are the most personal and individual parts But if a matrimonial firm is neither to be of the great problem of old age. They can supported by its offspring nor to deny be solved after a fashion by each matriitself, and incidentally the community, sui- monial firm for itself. But the financial ficently to accumulate a sinking fund, what part of the problem cannot be correctly is it to do? Become a public charge? Well, solved except by the whole community why not? Do any of us labor under the de- working in unison. The three solutions for lusion that we support ourselves?
it which we have found by working indeI always remember with peculiar pleas- pendently—let the old be supported by their ure the story of how Colonel Newcome children, let them hamper their own young retired to the almshouse after his for- by saving for the future, let them eat the tune had been swept away. He felt no
bitter bread of charity-are all bad. shame of dependence in being there. Had A "Study of Workingmen's Insurance in he not in the days of his strength paid in Europe" states forcibly: “Provision for old service to the community many times over age is based upon services rendered in the for what they gave him now? Was he not past, and upon contributions of the most much farther-sighted than we of the United varied character to all forms of social and States, who, while we contribute $250,000,- community prosperity : ... a benefit of 000 a year to support the aged poor, yet this character .... should not be subput them to every indignity of segregation ject to defeat for any contingency whatand uniform and regulation?
but should be secured by the “Save at whatever cost, or you will be mere fact of survival. The idea is that the held in contempt like these,” would seem pension is a deferred and contingent adto be our cry. “You may have given us ditional compensation for past services." wisdom and strength and goodness-you And Section 10 of the bill to provide oldmay have taught our children, preached in age pensions which was introduced into our pulpits, run engines to bring us meat and the Sixty-second Congress says: bread, built houses for us to live in; you “This act shall be liberally administered may have served us all with your skill, to effect its purpose, which is to provide out your wit, your talents, but unless you have of the public purse sufficient income for the also saved money you shall be made to feel old to enable them to enjoy the last remainevery indignity, and all your past services ing years of their lives in such freedom from shall be forgotten."
the fear of want as they have earned by a By this admirable method do we so ter- long service for society, as citizens of the rify ourselves that the average middle-class Republic.” family puts about three hundred dollars Just suppose such a law were passed! every year into insurance and savings, at Think of a generation from which the fear whatever cost to its present efficiency. And
of want was suddenly removed, a generaas no public opinion can make those who save tion able to conserve its strength so that wise investors, a large part of this money is there should be no worn-out nor sick old entirely lost. According to the Massachusetts people, a generation able to serve the state report, 53.97 of the aged poor are dependent to its utmost capacity, because there was no because they have lost their property. Of
need to save. Would not the matrimonial these, 60.1%; have lost their money through firms which were assured these things extra expenses on account of sickness and greatly increase the products of matrimony emergencies; through business failures and -har:piness, service, and children of the bad investments, 25.4%; through fraud, right sort? Is not this problem of age, like 5.1%; through fire, 3.2%; while only 6.2% the problems of education, of home manowe their dependence to intemperance and agement, of marketing, of health, and of
children, one that no matrimonial firm can Since the chances are so greatly against solve for itself, but which all the profession that three hundred dollars a year being act- of matrimony can easily solve together?
Sarah and the Bokhara
Given a girl with youth, poverty, and an ambition to paint, and a young man
By Holworthy Hall
Illustrated by W. B. King
HE top floor of the Barker Build- ought to go to New York, and the neigh
ing was tenanted by people who bors who had convinced her said that called themselves artists, because Mary was conceited.
they sometimes drew pictures; Her departure caused much greater exbut even in New York, where art is a citement in Bison City than her arrival synonym for almost anything you please, bestirred in New York. It was hastened there were few top floors on which defense- by the third clause of Uncle Silas's will, less nature was portrayed with such vivid which the weekly newspaper heralded as "a
а imagination as in the Barker Building. munificent endowment to one of the fairest
Bison City's delegate to the congress of belles of our thriving city," and the neighgeniuses-elect was Mary Ann Atherton, pre- bors considered a sufficient reason for some destined by her physique and her vocabu- of the distant relatives to claim hallucinalary to be pointed out as a type. For the tion on the part of the testator. They did glory of the metropolis she was branded a not realize that many an artistic career has typical Westerner, in spite of Bison City's had less foundation than laurels in a suburb pride as a terminus of the least important and a thousand dollars from Uncle Silas. suburban trolley-line out of Pittsburgh. On the top floor of the Barker Building Mary Ann was tall, lively, and handsome Mary hired a dusty studio and a model in a grown-up sort of way; and when she named Sarah, and set bravely to work. walked, she swished. Fashionable ladies
She was very much in earnest, and she did swish no more—all that once was swishable not expect to achieve fame and fortune in has been elided from the wardrobe—but less than a twelvemonth. The subject of Mary Ann Atherton swished and spoke her first picture was a society woman in frankly and so typified to Manhattan the court costume. The subject was to sit in a personal attributes of the upper Middle genuine Sheraton chair, with one foot idly West.
straying over a genuine antique rug. It From her earliest youth her ambition had was to be a realistic portrait, with plenty been to be a painter. The neighbors of atmosphere and no parsimony in paint; praised with exceeding rapture her sketches and it was calculated to bring the élite of the of them-and told each other in strict confi- island to her door with an overwhelming dence that her work was all right, but that desire to be flattered on canvas. the medium of expression was all wrong. The model was accommodating, and Her talent, they said, entitled her to sweep agreed to furnish the gown—a black net triumphantly through life; but her imple- over black satin, with a permanent red rose ment should have been a broom instead of in the corsage. The chair was to be adapted a brush. When they met Mary in front from the pages of a Grand Rapids furniture of the butcher's, they revamped some of catalogue. For the present, the model disthe best phrases from the recent art lecture posed herself on a common divan in the at the Woman's Club, and exalted to im- attitude she had acquired the week before mortality her portrait of her uncle Silas- when sitting for an advertisement of masespecially the prismatic air and the brown sage cream, and Mary Ann Atherton tied under-basing. The result was natural and a gingham apron around her neck, and spontaneous: Mary was convinced that she began to paint.
At the end of the twentieth day she laid “ Good morning," she said. "I believe
I down ber paletit, and sighed heavily: you have some rugs?" "Oh, dear!" she said. “I wish I had a rug!" The illustrator had rheumatism, and he
The model was a philosopher. For three had just been reproved over the telephone decades we had advised struggling young for limning a lady in a motor-car when the artists - Fake it," she suggested kindly. author of the story had written a few thou
“Oh. I can't," said Mary. "It's too sand words about a horse. “No, I haven't,” important. It's the key to the whole said Higginson. "Do I look like a secondthing.“
hand shop?" * Then use yours," said the model. “All Mary went bravely down the corridor to you have to do is make a square place, and the next room, where she faced a landscape fill it in with green.”
painter, who came impatiently to the Mary gazed sorrowfully at her three-by- threshold with a brush between his teeth. six Brussels velvet, and shook her head. “Good morning," said she cheerfully. "It can't be done. You're supposed to be “Do you own any rugs?" somewhere around number ten in the Four The landscape artist satisfied his curiosity Hundred, and Brussels won't go.
before he removed the brush from his teeth. Sarah, this rug has got to look expensive. “What kind of rugs?" I'll have to copy it out of a window on “Baluchistans, Kazaks, Bokharas—” Fifth Avenue.”
The artist raised a deprecating hand. “Calm yourself," said Sarah pensively. * Thanks for the compliment,” he said. "I “I think one of the boys on this floor's got had one last year, until the second instala rug. I posed for him once for a Goddess ment came due. You're a dealer, aren't of Liberty. It looked sort of silky, with you? I'm very busy." designs on it-the rug, I mean. Is that Number Four was out; Number Five what you want?”
was out; and Number Six had been out the “That listens very Oriental, Sarah. night before. Number Seven owned an inWhat was his name?”
grain carpet, and was proud of it; but Num“Well, now that you ask me,” said Sarah, ber Eight, who painted worse than any man “I don't remember."
on the floor, gave her the first smile and the Mary sighed again. "Well, we'll try to first encouragement. He was a well-built go on without it,” she said.
young man in a Norfolk-jacket, and he was But an hour later she removed the apron smoking a pipe. His mouth was large and in despair, and began to fluff her hair before sympathetic, and his eyes were an angelic
, the mantel mirror. “It's no use, Sarah,” gray. she announced. “I simply can't get the "What variety of rug are you after?” spirit of tainted wealth into it unless I returned the young man to her query.
If there's a real rug on this Mary drew a long breath, and recited her floor I'm going to borrow it. Don't you list. "Baluchistans, Kazaks, Bokharas-" remember the man's name, or even what it "Yes," interrupted Number Eight, wavwas like?”
ing his hand reassuringly. “All of them. I “No, I don't. McCarthy-Smith---I've can use more if they're good onesforgotten. Anyway, he had gray eyes." don me! Did you want to buy or sell?”
"Gray eyes?" said Mary hopefully. "I'll "I'm a painter,” explained Mary. "I'm be back as soon as I've worked the Noor, doing a society sketch, and I want to borrow Sarah. It ought not to take me more than a rug.
The lady has one foot on it. I'll fifteen minutes to borrow a rug. You can pay
for any damage she does.” be resting while I'm gone."
"Come in and pick it out," invited the Her studio was at the rear of the building; young man, and through a curtain of frashe strode boldly to the front and knocked grant smoke she passed into a luxurious on a door that bore the inscription:
little chamber where, surrounded by furni
ture of plutocratic appearance, and charmHIGGINSON
ingly offset by the cheap mahogany stain Illustrator
of the foor, were half a dozen marvelous
rugs -soft, silky, mellow Oriental rugs. ise, the door was opened. They caught the light and shimmered; they trator, and Mary stated yielded softly to the tread, and they posithout introduction, sessed the soul of Mary Ann.
have a rug.
“What a grand studio!" she
she gasped. “Look at those bronze things in the corner! Why, you must be a real artist!”
“I'm not,” said Number Eight. “I'm probably the worst artist in the world. I paint things up here to keep from working. This place represents years of saving and selfsacrifice on the part of my father. And yet” -- he exhaled softly“and yet my debts aren't so large that, by exercise of the strictest economy,
he can't eventually pay them."
Her face was so horrified that he hastened to recant.
“Don't take it literally," he pleaded. "I say it rather often because it generally takes well. But it's perfectly true that I don't make any money here. It's a recreation. Now, you're probably paying your model by the hour, so I won't detain you with a monologue. Take your choice of the rugs.'
“Oh, may I?”
“Take two if you like.”
“I think I forgot to identify myself," said Mary. “My shop's at the end of the hall."
“It's quite all right,” said Number Eight. “Pick out your rug. What's your colorscheme, blonde or brunette?"
"Brunette," said Mary, “but only recently. It doesn't matter. May I have the big one?"
"I admire your judgment,” said the
“I'm a painter," explained Mary. "I'm doing a society sketch, and I want to borrow a rug"