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thing that Molly had never seen in her “I understand, Mr. Carroll, I undersacred home before—a wineglassful of stand,” said Charlie, thinking he did. toothpicks.
The secretary understood, through the Then they had another good laugh and steward who understood through Laura, life began again where they had left off be- something about the Carrolls' predicament fore the coming of the enemy.
during horse-show week. '. Other inquiries had confirmed his original surmise, made when they asked only two hundred dollars
rent for the week. It was clear that they were It was not until after the first of the fol- hard up, and it was shrewd to go direct to lowing month that they received their check. the unpractical artist, instead of dealing Fred passed it in silence over to Molly. through a real-estate agent. For, however
“Why it's only two hundred after all!” covertly and indirectly such approaches she cried in dismay.
were made, the news often leaked out that “Well," said Fred whimsically, “that Charles F. Sterling was the prospective saves us the trouble of returning the bal- buyer and straightway prices soared anance. So you needn't look so disappointed,” noyingly. he added.
"I am authorized," said the secretary, “I'm only disappointed in'de ole man,”” his beady little mouselike eyes now fastenshe said.
ing themselves on Carroll's face, "to offer Then they caught each other's glance, you the sum of twenty thousand dollars cash and blushed and laughed at themselves for your property." and thought this was the end of it. But it A smile flittered about the corners of wasn't.
Fred's mouth. He, too, was disappointed The old man was a very busy financier, in “de ole man." This was not a liberal and had forgotten to speak to Charlie. offer, but he did not like to tell the secretary But the very next week he remembered so; it might hurt his feelings. "You are how much he liked that little house he had most kind,” said Fred, “but-well, I don't occupied during the horse show; was re- care to sell any way." minded of it by the ladies of the family, for Evidently this artist was no fool; perhaps they liked it too. Such being the case the he, too, saw the real-estate future of the Sterlings decided to buy it. They had no neighborhood. “Mr. Carroll,” said Charlie house, as it happened, in just that part of urbanely, “usually these affairs are long the world, and they might want to build drawn out. I am obliged to settle this a place out there. Meanwhile, and in matter at once and take the return train for any case, this little house, they agreed am- the city.” He glanced at his watch, "I am icably, would do perfectly well. It would very busy to-day.” be convenient for the horse-show week, "I can sympathize with you," said Fred or if they ever wanted to go out and play thinking of the canvases he was preparing golf there.
for his exhibition next month on Fifth So Fred received another call from the Avenue. brisk young secretary. Charlie stated in a “Mr. Sterling told me that in order to close polite business-like manner that Mr. Ster- the deal at once I might give you twentyling was prepared to make an advantageous five thousand dollars for your property." offer for the property, if it could be done “Did he, indeed!” said Fred, "that was quietly and without delay—and if Mr. very generous of him, but it's out of the Carroll didn't ask too much for it. question."
“Indeed?” said Fred, not a little amused, “It's five thousand more than the place “I was not aware that this house was in the cost," said the secretary in his businessmarket.”
like manner. “But it will do no harm to make you an Fred resented this. “You are misoffer just in private," said the smiling little taken," he rejoined, “it is nearly six thousecretary. “You would not mind?” sand more than it cost.” This was merely
“Not in the least,” said Fred. “I'm to show that he, too, could be businesslike, sure it will be interesting, but I do not care when he tried. “But you see the great to sell.”
trouble is that I don't care to sell."
Charlie now regretted that he had not "I haven't any." put the matter in the hands of an agent “Do you want to sell or not?” demanded after all. But he had been told to get the the secretary impatiently. house, and get it he would, or else receive a “Not in the least,” laughed Fred. “I scowl of disapproval on his return to the said so in the first place, you know." office. A few minutes later he was offering Charlie picked up his hat. “I thought Fred thirty thousand for the property, you were bluffing.” then thirty-three and, finally, “just to make “That was your mistake. But in order it an even sum and close the deal” Fred that you may not make another one, just was obliged to refuse thirty-five thousand tell Mr. Sterling with my compliments of Charles F. Sterling's hard-earned cash. that he hasn't money enough to buy this
“I cannot tell you how flattered I am," place.” he said, now drawing an exquisite amuse- “Why not?” asked the other, laughing ment out of the situation, “to find my at the artist. humble home so greatly admired by one of “Because,” said Fred, “he couldn't Mr. Sterling's means and taste. Frankly, possibly appreciate my house." I had no idea that it could appeal to him so keenly, but— "
VI “You'll never get such an offer again," interrupted Charlie.
At the exhibition of landscapes by Fred“I hope not,” said Fred, “and I hope erick Carroll, the following month, twoyou'll soon stop this bidding up of the price. thirds of the canvases were snapped up It may be businesslike, but it makes me during the first day of the sale. This dizzy."
made such a sensation that the rest sold “That is my limit," said the secretary quickly, like hot cakes. “Frederick Carrising to go.
roll, the former illustrator, has undoubt“Good," said Fred in sincere relief. edly arrived," wrote a well-known critic.
"I won't offer you a cent more," snapped Most of the canvases referred to were out the other somewhat angry at Fred's crated to the town address of Charles F. flippancy.
Sterling “I am so glad,” said Fred.
“And yet,” said Fred swaggeringly to “Oh, come!” cried the exasperated sec- Molly, “some people say painters aren't retary, "what is your price?"
ULTIMUS LABOR VOCAT
By C. A. Price
Lord, make thy conflict brief, for all day long
By James Ford Rhodes
PO English or American lover Twice have I taken luncheon in the garden
of history visits Rome with- where he wrote the last words of his history; out bending reverent foot- and on a third visit, after lunching at steps to the Church of Santa another inn, I could not fail to admire the Maria in Ara Cæli. Two penetration of the Swiss concierge. As I
visits are necessary, as on alighted, he seemed to divine at once the the first you are at once seized by the sac-object of my visit, and before I had half the ristan, who can conceive of no other motive words of explanation out of my mouth he for entering this church on the Capitol said, “Oh, yes. It is this way. But I canHill than to see the miraculous Bambino- not show you anything but a spot." I the painted doll swaddled in gold and have quoted from Gibbon's Autobiography silver tissue and “crusted over with mag- the expression of his inspiration of twentynificent diamonds, emeralds and rubies.” seven; a fitting companion-piece is the reWhen you have heard the tale of what has flection of the man of fifty. "I have prebeen called “the oldest medical practitioner sumed to mark the moment of conception," in Rome," of his miraculous cures, of these he wrote; “I shall now commemorate the votive offerings, the imaginary picture you hour of my final deliverance. It was on had conjured up is effaced; and it is better the day, or rather the night, of the 27th of to go away and come a second time when June, 1787, between the hours of eleven the sacristan will recognize you and leave and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the you to yourself. Then you may open your last page in a summer-house in my garden. Gibbon's Autobiography and read that it ... I will not dissemble the first emotions was the subtle influence of Italy and Rome of joy on the recovery of my freedom and that determined the choice, from amongst perhaps the establishment of my fame. many contemplated subjects of historical But my pride was soon humbled and a writing, of “The Decline and Fall of the sober melancholy was spread over my Roman Empire.” “In my Journal,” wrote mind by the idea that I had taken my everGibbon," the place and moment of concep- lasting leave of an old and agreeable tion are recorded; the 15th of October, companion.” 1764, in the close of the evening, as I sat Although the idea was conceived when musing in the Church of the Franciscan Gibbon was twenty-seven, he was thirtyfriars while they were singing vespers in one before he set himself seriously at work the Temple of Jupiter on the ruins of the to study his material. At thirty-six he Capitol.” Gibbon was twenty-seven when began the composition, and he was thirtyhe made this fruitful visit of eighteen weeks nine when in February, 1776, the first to Rome, and his first impression, though quarto volume was published. The hisoften quoted, never loses interest, showing, tory had an immediate success. "My as it does, the enthusiasm of an unemotion- book," he wrote, “was on every table and al man. "At the distance of twenty-five almost on every toilette; the historian was years," he wrote, “I can neither forget nor crowned by the taste or fashion of the day." express the strong emotions which agitated The first edition was exhausted in a few my mind, as I first approached and entered days, a second was printed in 1776 and the Eternal City. After a sleepless night, next year a third. The second and third I trod with a lofty step the ruins of the volumes, which ended the history of the Forum; each memorable spot where Western Empire, were published in 1781. Romulus stood or Cicero spoke or Cæsar and seven years later the three volumes fell was at once present to my eye.”
devoted to the Eastern Empire saw the The admirer of Gibbon as he travels light. The last sentence of the work, writnorthward will stop at Lausanne and visit ten in the summer-house at Lausanne, is the hotel which bears the historian's name. “It was among the ruins of the Capitol that I first conceived the idea of a work mony of Gibbon's design,” and Bury which has amused and exercised near writes, “If we take into account the vast twenty years of my life, and which, how- range of his work, his accuracy is amazever inadequate to my own wishes, I finally ing." Men have wondered and will long deliver to the curiosity and candour of the wonder at the brain with such a grasp and public.”
with the power to execute skilfully so This is a brief account of one of the mighty a conception. “The public is selgreatest historical works, if indeed it is dom wrong" in their judgment of a book, not the greatest, ever written. Let us wrote Gibbon in his Autobiography, and, imagine an assemblage of English, German if that be true at the time of actual publicaand American historical scholars called tion to which Gibbon intended to apply the upon to answer the question, Who is the remark, how much truer it is in the long greatest modern historian? No doubt can run of years. “The Decline and Fall of exist that Gibbon would have a large ma- the Roman Empire" has had a life of over jority of the voices; and I think a like meet- one hundred and thirty years, and there is ing of French and Italian scholars would no indication that it will not endure as long endorse the verdict. “Gibbon's work will as any interest is taken in the study of hisnever be excelled," declared Niebuhr. tory. “I have never presumed to accept "That great master of us all," said Free- a place in the triumvirate of British hisman, “whose immortal tale none of us can torians," said Gibbon, referring to Hume hope to displace." Bury, the latest editor and Robertson. But in our day Hume and of Gibbon, who has acutely criticized and Robertson gather dust on the shelf, while carefully weighed “The Decline and Fall," Gibbon is continually studied by students concludes "that Gibbon is behind date and read by serious men. in many details. But in the main things work covering Gibbon's vast range he is still our master, above and beyond of time would have been impossible for date." His work wins plaudits from those Thucydides or Tacitus. Historical sceptiwho believe that history in its highest cism had not been fully enough developed. form should be literature and from those There had not been a sufficient sifting and who hold that it should be nothing more criticism of historical materials for a masthan a scientific narrative. The disciples ter's work of synthesis. Nor had Thucydiof Macaulay and Carlyle, of Stubbs and des a model. Tacitus could indeed have Gardiner would be found voting in unison drawn inspiration from the Greek, while in my imaginary Congress. Gibbon, writes Gibbon had lessons from both showing a Bury, is the historian and the man of profound study of Tacitus and a thorough letters,” thus ranking with Thucydides and acquaintance with Thucydides. Tacitus. These three are put in the high- If circumstances then made it impossible est class, exemplifying that "brilliance of for the Greek or the Roman to attempt hisstyle and accuracy of statement are per- tory on the grand scale of Gibbon, could fectly compatible in an historian.” Ac- Gibbon have written contemporary history cepting this authoritative classification it with accuracy and impartiality equal to his is well worth while to point out the salient great predecessors? This is one of those differences between the ancient historians delightful questions that may be ever disand the modern. From Thucydides we cussed and never resolved. When twentyhave twenty-four years of contemporary three years old, arguing against the desire history of his own country. If the whole of his father that he should go into Parliaof the Annals and Histories of Tacitus had ment, Gibbon assigned, as one of the reacome down to us we should have had sons, that he lacked “necessary prejudices eighty-three years; as it is we actually have of party and of nation”; and when in forty-one of nearly contemporary history middle life he embraced the fortunate opof the Roman Empire. Gibbon's tale portunity of becoming a member of the covers 12 40 years. He went far beyond his House of Commons he thus summed up his own country for his subject; and the date experience: “The eight sessions that I sat of his termination is three centuries be- in Parliament were a school of civil prufore he was born. Milman spoke of “the dence, the first and most essential virtue amplitude, the magnificence and the har- of an historian.” At the end of this political career, Gibbon, in a private letter to an recorded the conclusion: “The American intimate Swiss friend, gave the reason why war had been once the favorite of the he had embraced it. “I entered Parlia- country; the pride of England was irritated ment,” he said, "without patriotism and by the resistance of her colonies and the without ambition, and I had no other aim executive power was driven by national than to secure the comfortable and honest clamor into the most vigorous and coercive place of a Lord of Trade. I obtained this measures.” But it was a fruitless contest. place at last. I held it for three years, from Armies were lost; the debt and taxes were 1779 to 1782, and the net annual product increased; the hostile confederacy of of it, being £750 sterling, increased my France, Spain and Holland was disquietrevenue to the level of my wants and de- ing. As a result the war became unpopusires." His retirement from Parliament lar and Lord North's ministry fell. Dr. was followed by ten years' residence at Johnson thought that no nation not absoLausanne, in the first four of which he com- lutely conquered had declined so much in pleted his history. A year and a half after so short a time. “We seem to be sinking," his removal to Lausanne, he referred, in he said. “I am afraid of a civil war." Dr. a letter to his closest friend, Lord Shef- Franklin, according to Horace Walpole, said field, to the "abyss of your cursed politics," "he would furnish Mr. Gibbon with mateand added: “I never was a very warm rials for writing the History of the Decline patriot and I grow every day a citizen of the of the British Empire.” With his counworld. The scramble for power and profit try tottering, the self-centred but truthful at Westminster or St. James's, and the Gibbon could not avoid mention of his names of Pitt and Fox become less interest- personal loss, due to the fall of his patron, ing to me than those of Cæsar and Lord North. “I was stripped of a conPompey."
venient salary," he said, “after having These expressions would seem to indi- enjoyed it about three years.” cate that Gibbon might have written con- The outbreak of the French Revolution temporary history well and that the candor intensified his conservatism. He was then displayed in “The Decline and Fall” at Lausanne, the tranquillity of which was might not have been lacking had he written broken up by the dissolution of the neighof England in his own time. But that sub- boring kingdom. Many Lausanne famiject he never contemplated. When twenty- lies were terrified by the menace of bankfour years old he had, however, considered ruptcy. “This town and country," Giba number of English periods, and finally bon wrote, "are crowded with noble exiles fixed upon Sir Walter Raleigh for his hero; and we sometimes count in an assembly a but a year later he wrote in his journal: dozen princesses and duchesses." “I shrink with terror from the modern Bitter disputes between them and the history of England, where every character triumphant Democrats disturbed the haris a problem, and every reader a friend or mony of social circles. Gibbon espoused an enemy; where a writer is supposed to the cause of the royalists. “I beg leave to hoist a fag of party and is devoted to subscribe my assent to Mr. Burke's creed damnation by the adverse faction. ...I on the Revolution of France,” he wrote. must embrace a safer and more extensive “I admire his eloquence, I approve his theme."
politics, I adore his chivalry and I can How well Gibbon knew himself! De- almost excuse his reverence for churches spite his coolness and candor, war and tablishments.” Thirteen days after the revolution revealed his strong Tory preju- massacre of the Swiss guard in the attack dices, which he undoubtedly feared might on the Tuileries in August, 1792, Gibbon color any history of England that he might wrote to Lord Sheffield, “The last revoluundertake. “I took my seat,” in the House tion of Paris appears to have convinced of Commons, he wrote, “at the beginn- almost everybody of the fatal consequences ing of the memorable contest between of Democratical principles which lead by Great Britain and America; and sup- a path of flowers into the abyss of hell." ported with many a sincere and silent vote Gibbon, who was astonished by so fer the rights though perhaps not the inter- things in history, wrote Sainte-Beuve, was ests of the mother country." In 1782 he amazed by the French Revolution. Nothi