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Several translations appeared in Germany and France, and for the authorized French edition Mrs. Stowe wrote a new preface, which served thereafter for most of the European editions. I find no record of the order of the translations of the book into foreign languages, but those into some of the Oriental tongues did not appear till several years after the great excitement. The ascertained translations are into twenty-three tongues, namely: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Hungarian, Illyrian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, modern Greek, Russian, Servian, Siamese, Spanish, Swedish, Wallachian, and Welsh. Into some of these languages several translations were made. In 1878 the British Museum contained thirty-five editions of the original text, and eight editions of abridgments or adaptations.The narrative of the rise and fortunes of this book would be incomplete without some reference to the response that the author received from England and the Continent, and of her triumphant progress through the British Isles. Her letters accompanying the special copies were almost immediately replied to, generally in terms of enthusiastic and fervent thankfulness for the book, and before midsummer her mail contained letters from all classes of English society. In some of them appeared a curious evidence of the English sensitiveness to criticism. Lord Carlisle and Sir Arthur Helps supplemented their admiration by a protest against the remark in the mouth of one of the characters that "slaves are better off than a large class of the population of England." This occurred in the defense of the institution by St. Clare, but it was treated by the British correspondents as the opinion of Mrs. Stowe. The charge was disposed of in Mrs. Stowe's reply: "The remark on that subject occurs in the dramatic part of the book, in the mouth of an intelligent Southerner. As a fair-minded person, bound to state for both sides all that could be said, in the person of St. Clare, the best that could be said on that point, and what I know IS in fact constantly reiterated, namely, that the laboring class of the South are in many respects, as to physical comfort, in a better condition than the poor in England. This is the slaveholder's stereo-typed apology; a defense it cannot be, unless two wrongs make one right." One of the most remarkable documents which resulted from Uncle Tom was an address from the women of England to the women of America, acknowledging the complicity in slavery of England, but praying aid in removing from the world "our common crimes and common dishonor," which was presented to Mrs. Stowe in 1853. It was the result of a meeting at Stafford House, and the address, composed by Lord Shaftesbury, was put into the hands of canvassers in England and on the Continent, and as far as Jerusalem. The signatures of 562,848 women were obtained, with their occupations and residences, from the nobility on the steps of the throne down to maids in the kitchen. The address is handsomely engrossed on vellum. The names are contained in twenty-six massive volumes, each fourteen inches high by nine in breadth and three inches thick, inclosed in an oak case. It is believed that this is the most numerously signed address in existence. The value of the address, with so many names collected in haphazard fashion, was much questioned, but its use was apparent in the height of the civil war, when Mrs. Stowe replied to it in one of the most vigorous and noble appeals that ever came from her pen. This powerful reply made a profound impression in England. This is in brief the story of the book. It is still read, and read the world over, with tears and with laughter; it is still played to excited audiences. Is it a great novel, or was it only an event of an era of agitation and passion? Has it the real dramatic quality--the poet's visualizing of human life--that makes works of fiction, of imagination, live? Till recently, I had not read the book since 1852. I feared to renew acquaintance with it lest I should find only the shell of an exploded cartridge. I took it up at the beginning of a three-hours' railway journey. To my surprise the journey did not seem to last half an hour, and half the time I could not keep back the tears from my eyes. A London critic, full of sympathy with Mrs. Stowe and her work, recently said, "Yet she was not an artist, she was not a great woman." What is greatness? What is art? In 1862 probably no one who knew General Grant would have called him a great man. But he took Vicksburg. This woman did something with her pen,--on the whole, the most remarkable and effective book in her generation. How did she do it? Without art? George Sand said, "In matters of art there is but one rule, to paint and to move. And where shall we find conditions more complete, types more vivid, situations more touching, more original, than in Uncle Tom?" If there is not room in our art for such a book, I think we shall have to stretch our art a little. "Women, too, are here judged and painted with a master hand." This subtle critic, in her overpoweringly tender and enthusiastic review, had already inquired about the capacity of this writer. "Mrs. Stowe is all instinct; it is the very reason that she appears to some not to have talent. Has she not talent? What is talent? Nothing, doubtless, compared to genius; but has she genius? I cannot say that she has talent as one understands it in the world of letters, but she has genius as humanity feels the need of genius,--the genius of goodness, not that of the man of letters, but of the saint." It is admitted that Mrs. Stowe was not a woman of letters in the common acceptation of that term, and it is plain that in the French tribunal, where form is of the substance of the achievement, and which reluctantly overlooked the crudeness of Walter Scott, in France where the best English novel seems a violation of established canons, Uncle Tom would seem to belong where some modern critics place it, with works of the heart, and not of the head. The reviewer is, however, candid: "For a long time we have striven in France against the prolix explanations of Walter Scott. We have cried out against those of Balzac, but on consideration have perceived that the painter of manners and character has never done too much, that every stroke of the pencil was needed for the general effect. Let us learn then to appreciate all kinds of treatment, where the effect is good, and where they bear the seal of a master hand." It must be admitted to the art critic that the book is defective according to the rules of the modern French romance; that Mrs. Stowe was possessed by her subject, and let her fervid interest in it be felt; that she had a definite purpose. That purpose was to quicken the sense of responsibility of the North by showing the real character of slavery, and to touch the South by showing that the inevitable wrong of it lay in the system rather than in those involved in it. Abundant material was in her hands, and the author burned to make it serviceable. What should she do? She might have done what she did afterwards in The Key, presented to the public a mass of statistics, of legal documents. The evidence would have been unanswerable, but the jury might not have been moved by it; they would have balanced it by considerations of political and commercial expediency. I presume that Mrs. Stowe made no calculation of this kind. She felt her course, and went on in it. What would an artist have done, animated by her purpose and with her material? He would have done what Cervantes did, what Tourgenieff did, what Mrs. Stowe did. He would have dramatized his facts in living personalities, in effective scenes, in vivid pictures of life. Mrs. Stowe exhibited the system of slavery by a succession of dramatized pictures, not always artistically welded together, but always effective as an exhibition of the system. Cervantes also showed a fading feudal romantic condition by a series of amusing and pathetic adventures, grouped rather loosely about a singularly fascinating figure. Mrs. Stowe had not Tourgenieff's artistic calmness. Her mind was fused into a white heat with her message. Yet, how did she begin her story? Like an artist, by a highly dramatized scene, in which the actors, by a few strokes of the pen, appear as distinct and unmistakable personalities, marked by individual peculiarities of manner, speech, motive, character, living persons in natural attitudes. The reader becomes interested in a shrewd study of human nature, of a section of life, with its various refinement, coarseness, fastidiousness and vulgarity, its humor and pathos. As he goes on he discovers that every character has been perfectly visualized, accurately limned from the first; that a type has been created which remains consistent, which is never deflected from its integrity by any exigencies of plot. This clear conception of character (not of earmarks and peculiarities adopted as labels), and faithful adhesion to it in all vicissitudes, is one of the rarest and highest attributes of genius. All the chief characters in the book follow this line of absolutely consistent development, from Uncle Tom and Legree down to the most aggravating and contemptible of all, Marie St. Clare. The selfish and hysterical woman has never been so faithfully depicted by any other author. Distinguished as the novel is by its character-drawing and its pathos, I doubt if it would have captivated the world without its humor. This is of the old-fashioned kind, the large humor of Scott, and again of Cervantes, not verbal pleasantry, not the felicities of Lamb, but the humor of character in action, of situations elaborated with great freedom, and with what may be called a hilarious conception. This quality is never wanting in the book, either for the reader's entertainment by the way, or to heighten the pathos of the narrative by contrast. The introduction of Topsy into the New Orleans household saves us in the dangerous approach to melodrama in the religious passages between Tom and St. Clare. Considering the opportunities of the subject, the book has very little melodrama; one is apt to hear low music on the entrance of little Eva, but we are convinced of the wholesome sanity of the sweet child. And it is to be remarked that some of the most exciting episodes, such as that of Eliza crossing the Ohio River on the floating ice (of which Mr. Ruskin did not approve), are based upon authentic occurrences. The want of unity in construction of which the critics complain is partially explained by the necessity of exhibiting the effect of slavery in its entirety. The parallel plots, one running to Louisiana and the other to Canada, are tied together by this consideration, and not by any real necessity to each other. It was the opinion of James Russell Lowell that the anti-slavery element in Uncle Tom and Dred stood in the way of a full appreciation, at least in her own country, of the remarkable genius of Mrs. Stowe. Writing in 1859, he said, "From my habits and the tendency of my studies I cannot help looking at things purely from an aesthetic point of view, and what I valued in Uncle Tom was the genius, and not the moral." This had been his impression when he read the book in Paris, long after the whirl of excitement produced by its publication had subsided, and far removed by distance from local influences. Subsequently, in a review, he wrote, "We felt then, and we believe now, that the secret of Mrs. Stowe's power lay in that same genius by which the great successes in creative literature have always been achieved,-- the genius that instinctively goes to the organic elements of human nature, whether under a white skin or a black, and which disregards as trivial the conventions and fictitious notions which make so large a part both of our thinking and feeling. . . . The creative faculty of Mrs. Stowe, like that of Cervantes in Don Quixote and of Fielding in Joseph Andrews, overpowered the narrow specialty of her design, and expanded a local and temporary theme with the cosmopolitanism of genius." Dickens' middle class possesses almost schizophrenic dichotomies of character. Its rational half cherishes and treasures a very detached and reserved, 'rational' manner, which Jaggers and Wemmick epitomize; Jaggers' extreme disinclination to recommend anyone or anything, his disdain of emotion or 'unbusinesslike airs, and his late-revealed support of the helpless (evidenced in his support of Molly, Estella's mother, after her breakdown) serve to make him an exceedingly multifaceted character. Wemmick is very much the same, and even a better example: the dual character of the clerk mystifies Pip at first. This is perhaps best evidenced in Chapter 48, when Jaggers, Wemmick, and Pip dine together. In front of Jaggers, Wemmick assumes a tacit, efficient but impersonal manner: 'Wemmick drew his wine when it came round, quite as a matter of businessjust as he might have drawn his salary when that came roundand with his eyes on his chief, sat in a state of perpetual readiness for cross-examination.' (404). Pip, bewildered, supposes himself to have dined somehow with Wemmick's 'wrong twin all the timeonly externally like the Wemmick of Walworth.' (404). Pip's bewilderment is compounded by the suddenness of Wemmick's malleability: 'we had not gone half a dozen yards down Gerrard-street in the Walworth direction before I found that I was walking arm-in-arm with the right twin, and that the wrong twin had evaporated into the evening air.' (Calder, 404). Wemmick discusses 'portable property' with the utmost pragmatism and respect, while simultaneously living in his 'castle' of knickknacks, gadgets and toys which cherish the human spiritSuch a spell of self-searching has been in progress for several years past, and the critics of various countries have contributed theories of more or less lucidity and plausibility to the discussion. Their views of their own art, it appears, are quite as divergent as their views of the arts they more commonly deal with. One group argues, partly by direct statement and partly by attacking all other groups, that the one defensible purpose of the critic is to encourage the virtuous and oppose the sinful -- in brief, to police the fine arts and so hold them in tune with the moral order of the world. Another group, repudiating this constabulary functions, argues hotly that the arts have nothing to do with morality whatsoever -- that their concern is solely with pure beauty. A third group holds that the chief aspect of a work of art, particularly in the field of literature, is its aspect as a psychological document -- that if it doesn't help men to know themselves it is nothing. A fourth group reduces the thing to an exact science, and sets up standards that resemble algebraic formul~this is the group of metrists, of contrapuntists and of those who gabble of light-waves. And so, in order, follow groups five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, each with its theory and its proofs....The Spingarn-Croce-Carlyle-Goethe theory, for instance, throws a heavy burden upon the critic. It presupposes that he is a civilized and tolerant man, hospitable to all intelligible ideas and capable of reading them as he runs. This is a demand that at once rules out nine-tenths of the grownup sophomores who carry on the business of criticism in America. Their trouble is simply that they lack the intellectual resilience necessary for taking in ideas, and particularly new ideas. The only way they can ingest one is by transforming it into tfie nearest related formula -- usually a harsh and devastating operation. This fact accounts for their chronic inability to understand all that is most personal and original and hence most forceful and significant in the emerging literature of the country. They can get down what has been digested and redigested, and so brought into forms that they know, and carefully labelled by predecessors of their own sort -- but they exhibit alarm immediately they come into the presence of the extraordinary. Here we have an explanation of Brownell's alarmed appeal for a tightening of standards -- i. e., a larger respect for precedents, patterns, rubber-stamps -- and here we have an explanation of Phelps's inability to comprehend the colossal phenomenon of Dreiser, and of Boynton's childish nonsense about realism, and of Sherman's effort to apply the Espionage Law to the arts, and of More's querulous enmity to romanticism, and of all the fatuous pigeon-holing that passes for criticism in the more solemn literary weeklies.As practised by all such learned and diligent but essentially ignorant and unimaginative men, criticism is little more than a branch of homiletics. They judge a work of art, not by its clarity and sincerity, not by the force and charm of its ideas, not by the technical virtuosity of the artist, not by his originality and artistic courage, but simply and solely by his orthodoxy. If he is what is called a "right thinker," if he devotes himself to advocating the transient platitudes in a conventional manner, then he is worthy of respect. But if he lets fall the slightest hint that he is in doubt about any of them, or, worse still, that he is indifferent, then he is a scoundrel, and hence, by their theory, a bad artist. Such pious piffle is horribly familiar among us; I do not exaggerate its terms. You will find it running through the critical writings of practically all the dull fellows who combine criticism with tutoring; in the works of many of them it is stated in the plainest way and defended with much heat, theological and pedagogical. In its baldest form it shows itself in the doctrine that it is scandalous for an artist -- say a dramatist or a novelist -- to depict vice as attractive. The fact that vice, more often than not, undoubtedly is attractive -- else why should it ever gobble any of us? -- is disposed of with a lofty gesture. What of it? say these birchmen. The artist is not a reporter, but a Great Teacher. It is not his business to depict the world as it is, but as it ought to be.Against this notion American criticism makes but feeble headway. We are, in fact, a nation of evangelists: every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow-citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease. Thus the moral Privatdozenten have the crowd on their side, and it is difficult to shake their authority, even the vicious are still in favor of crying vice down. "Here is a novel," says the artist. "Why didn't you write a tract?" roars the professor -- and down the chute go novel and novelist. "This girl is pretty," says the painter. "But she has left off her undershirt," protests the head-master -- and off goes the poor dauber's head. At its mildest, this balderdash takes the form of the late Hamilton Wright Mabie's White List of Books; at its worst, it is comstockery, an idiotic and abominable thing. Genuine criticism is as impossible to such inordinately narrow and cocksure men as music is to a man who is stone-deaf. The critic, to interpret his artist, even to understand his artist, must be able to get into the mind of his artist; he must feel and comprehend the vast pressure of the creative pasFion; as Spingarn says, "esthetic judgment and artistic creation are instinct with the same vital life." This is why all the best criticism of the world has been written by men who have had within them not only the reflective and analytical faculty of critics but also the gusto of artists -- Goethe, Carlyle, Lessing, Schlegel, Sainte-Beuve, and, to drop a story or two, Hazlitt, Hermann Bahr, Georg Brandes and James Huneker. Huneker, tackling Also spraCriticism, as humanly practised, must needs fall a good deal short of the intuitive re-creation of beauty, and what is more, it must go a good deal further. For one thing, it must be interpretation in terms that are not only exact but are also comprehensible to the vulgar, else it will leave the original mystery as dark as before -- and once interpretation comes in, paraphrase and transliteration comes in. What is recondite must be made plainer; the transcendental, to some extent at least, must be done into common modes of thinking. Well, what are morality, trochaics, hexameters, movements, historical principles, psychological maxims, the dramatic unities -- what are all these save common modes of thinking, short cuts, rubber stamps, words of one syllable? Moreover, beauty as we know it in this world is by no means an apparition in vacua. It has its social, its political, even its moral implications. The finale of Beethoven's C minor symphony is not only colossal as musicit is also colossal as revolt and defiance; it says something against something. Yet more, the springs of beauty are not within itself alone, nor even in genius alone, but often in things without. Brahms wrote his Deutsches Requiem, not only because he was a great artist, but also because he was a good German. And in Nietzsche there are times when the divine afflatus takes a back seat, and the spirochaete have the floor....Naturally enough, this moral obsession has given a strong colour to American literature. In truth, it has coloured it so brilliantly that American literature is set off sharply from all other literatures. In none other will you find so wholesale and ecstatic a sacrifice of aesthetic ideas, of all the fine gusto of passion and beauty, to notions of what is meet, proper and nice. From the books of grisly sermons that were the first American contribution to letters down to that amazing literature of "inspiration" which now flowers so prodigiously, with two literary Presidents among its chief virtuosi, one observes no relaxation of the moral pressure. In the history of every other literature there have been periods of what might be called moral innocence periods in which a naif pose de vivre has broken through all concepts of duty and responsibility, and the wonder and glory of the the universe have been hymned with unashamed zest. The age of Shakespeare comes to mind at once: the violence of the Puritan reaction offers a measure of the pendulum's wild swing. But in America no such general rising of the blood has ever been seen. The literature of the nation, even the literature of the enlightened minority, has been under harsh Puritan restraints from the beginning, and despite a few stealthy efforts at revolt -- usually quite without artistic value or even common honesty, as in the case of the cheap fiction magazines and that of smutty plays on Broadway, and always very short-lived -- it shows not the slightest sign of emancipating itself today. The American, try as he will, can never imagine any work of the imagination as wholly devoid of moral content. It must either tend toward the promotion of virtue, or be suspect and abominable.If any doubt of this is in your mind, turn to the critical artides in the newspapers and literary weeklies; you will encounter enough proofs in a month's explorations to convince you forever. A novel or a play is judged among us, not by its dignity of conception, its artistic honesty, its perfection of workmanship, but almost entirely by its orthodoxy of doctrine, its platitudinousness, its usefulness as a moral tract. A digest of the review of such a book as David Graham Phillips' Susan Lenox or of such a play as Ibsen's Hedda Gabler would make astounding reading for a Continental European. Not only the childish incompetents who write for the daily press, but also most of our critics of experience and reputation, seem quite unable to estimate a piece of writing as a piece of writing, a work of art as as work of art; they almost inevitably drag in irrelevant gabble as to whether this or that personage in it is respectable, or this or that situation in accordance with the national notions of what is edifying and nice. Fully ninetenths of the reviews of Dreiser's The Titan, without question the best American novel of its year, were devoted chiefly to indignant denunciations of the morals of Frank Cowperwood, its central character. That the man was superbly imagined and magnificently depicted, that he stood out from the book in all the flashing vigour of life, that his creation was an artistic achievement of a very high and difficult order -- these facts seem to have made no impression upon the reviewers whatever. They were Puritans write ing for Puritans, and all they could see in Cowperwood was an anti-Puritan, and in his creator another. It will remain for Europeans, I daresay, to discover the true stature of The Titan, as it remained for Europeans to discover the true stature of Sister Carrie.When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse. Of an intermediate balance, under the circumstances, there is no possibility. The city has its cunning wiles, no less than the infinitely smaller and more human tempter. There are large forces which allure with all the soulfulness of expression possible in the most cultured human. The gleam of a thousand lights is often as effective as the persuasive light in a wooing and fascinating eye. Half the undoing of the unsophisticated and natural mind is accomplished by forces wholly superhuman. A blare of sound, a roar of life, a vast array of human hives, appeal to the astonished senses in equivocal terms. Without a counsellor at hand to whisper cautious interpretations, what falsehoods may not these things breathe into the unguarded ear! Unrecognised for what they are, their beauty, like music, too often relaxes, then weakens, then perverts the simpler human perceptions.Caroline, or Sister Carrie, as she had been half affectionately termed by the family, was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. Self-interest with her was high, but not strong. It was, nevertheless, her guiding characteristic. Warm with the fancies of youth, pretty with the insipid prettiness of the formative period, possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence, she was a fair example of the middle American class--two generations removed from the emigrant. Books were beyond her interest--knowledge a sealed book. In the intuitive graces she was still crude. She could scarcely toss her head gracefully. Her hands were almost ineffectual. The feet, though small, were set flatly. And yet she was interested in her charms, quick to understand the keener pleasures of life, ambitious to gain in material things. A half-equipped little knight she was, venturing to reconnoitre the mysterious city and dreaming wild dreams of some vague, far-off supremacy, which should make it prey and subject--the proper penitent, grovelling at a woman's slipper.Lest this order of individual should permanently pass, let me put down some of the most striking characteristics of his most successful manner and method. Good clothes, of course, were the first essential, the things without which he was nothing. A strong physical nature, actuated by a keen desire for the feminine, was the next. A mind free of any consideration of the problems or forces of the world and actuated not by greed, but an insatiable love of variable pleasure. His method was always simple. Its principal element was daring, backed, of course, by an intense desire and admiration for the sex. Let him meet with a young woman once and he would approach her with an air of kindly familiarity, not unmixed with pleading, which would result in most cases in a tolerant acceptance. If she showed any tendency to coquetry he would be apt to straighten her tie, or if she "took up" with him at all, to call her by her first name. If he visited a department store it was to lounge familiarly over the counter and ask some leading questions. In more exclusive circles, on the train or in waiting stations, he went slower. If some seemingly vulnerable object appeared he was all attention-- to pass the compliments of the day, to lead the way to the parlor car, carrying her grip, or, failing that, to take a seat next her with the hope of being able to court her to her destination. Pillows, books, a footstool, the shade lowered; all these figured in the things which he could do. If, when she reached her destination he did not alight and attend her baggage for her, it was because, in his own estimation, he had signally failed.Here was a type of the travelling canvasser for a manufacturing house--a class which at that time was first being dubbed by the slang of the day "drummers." He came within the meaning of a still newer term, which had sprung into general use among Americans in 1880, and which concisely expressed the thought of one whose dress or manners are calculated to elicit the admiration of susceptible young women--a "masher." His suit was of a striped and crossed pattern of brown wool, new at that time, but since become familiar as a business suit. The low crotch of the vest revealed a stiff shirt bosom of white and pink stripes. From his coat sleeves protruded a pair of linen cuffs of the same pattern, fastened with large, gold plate buttons, set with the common yellow agates known as "cat's-eyes." His fingers bore several rings--one, the ever-enduring heavy seal--and from his vest dangled a neat gold watch chain, from which was suspended the secret insignia of the Order of Elks. The whole suit was rather tight-fitting, and was finished off with heavy-soled tan shoes, highly polished, and the grey fedora hat. He was, for the order of intellect represented, attractive, and whatever he had to recommend him, you may be sure was not lost upon Carrie, in this, her first glance.When she awoke at eight the next morning, Hanson had gone. Her sister was busy in the dining-room, which was also the sitting- room, sewing. She worked, after dressing, to arrange a little breakfast for herself, and then advised with Minnie as to which way to look. The latter had changed considerably since Carrie had seen her. She was now a thin, though rugged, woman of twenty- seven, with ideas of life coloured by her husband's, and fast hardening into narrower conceptions of pleasure and duty than had ever been hers in a thoroughly circumscribed youth. She had invited Carrie, not because she longed for her presence, but because the latter was dissatisfied at home, and could probably get work and pay her board here. She was pleased to see her in a way but reflected her husband's point of view in the matter of work. Anything was good enough so long as it paid--say, five dollars a week to begin with. A shop girl was the destiny prefigured for the newcomer. She would get in one of the great shops and do well enough until--well, until something happened. Neither of them knew exactly what. They did not figure on promotion. They did not exactly count on marriage. Things would go on, though, in a dim kind of way until the better thing would eventuate, and Carrie would be rewarded for coming and toiling in the city. It was under such auspicious circumstances that she started out this morning to look for work.Before following her in her round of seeking, let us look at the sphere in which her future was to lie. In 1889 Chicago had the peculiar qualifications of growth which made such adventuresome pilgrimages even on the part of young girls plausible. Its many and growing commercial opportunities gave it widespread fame, which made of it a giant magnet, drawing to itself, from all quarters, the hopeful and the hopeless--those who had their fortune yet to make and those whose fortunes and affairs had reached a disastrous climax elsewhere. It was a city of over 500,000, with the ambition, the daring, the activity of a metropolis of a million. Its streets and houses were already scattered over an area of seventy-five square miles. Its population was not so much thriving upon established commerce as upon the industries which prepared for the arrival of others. The sound of the hammer engaged upon the erection of new structures was everywhere heard. Great industries were moving in. The huge railroad corporations which had long before recognised the prospects of the place had seized upon vast tracts of land for transfer and shipping purposes. Street-car lines had been extended far out into the open country in anticipation of rapid growth. The city had laid miles and miles of streets and sewers through regions where, perhaps, one solitary house stood out alone--a pioneer of the populous ways to be. There were regions open to the sweeping winds and rain, which were yet lighted throughout the night with long, blinking lines of gas-lamps, fluttering in the wind. Narrow board walks extended out, passing here a house, and there a store, at far intervals, eventually ending on the open prairie.In the central portion was the vast wholesale and shopping district, to which the uninformed seeker for work usually drifted. It was a characteristic of Chicago then, and one not generally shared by other cities, that individual firms of any pretension occupied individual buildings. The presence of ample ground made this possible. It gave an imposing appearance to most of the wholesale houses, whose offices were upon the ground floor and in plain view of the street. The large plates of window glass, now so common, were then rapidly coming into use, and gave to the ground floor offices a distinguished and prosperous look. The casual wanderer could see as he passed a polished array of office fixtures, much frosted glass, clerks hard at work, and genteel businessmen in "nobby" suits and clean linen lounging about or sitting in groups. Polished brass or nickel signs at the square stone entrances announced the firm and the nature of the business in rather neat and reserved terms. The entiInto this important commercial region the timid Carrie went. She walked east along Van Buren Street through a region of lessening importance, until it deteriorated into a mass of shanties and coal-yards, and finally verged upon the river. She walked bravely forward, led by an honest desire to find employment and delayed at every step by the interest of the unfolding scene, and a sense of helplessness amid so much evidence of power and force which she did not understand. These vast buildings, what were they? These strange energies and huge interests, for what purposes were they there? She could have understood the meaning of a little stone-cutter's yard at Columbia City, carving little pieces of marble for individual use, but when the yards of some huge stone corporation came into view, filled with spur tracks and flat cars, transpierced by docks from the river and traversed overhead by immense trundling cranes of wood and steel, it lost all significance in her little world.Once across the river and into the wholesale district, she glanced about her for some likely door at which to apply. As she contemplated the wide windows and imposing signs, she became conscious of being gazed upon and understood for what she was--a wage-seeker. She had never done this thing before, and lacked courage. To avoid a certain indefinable shame she felt at being caught spying about for a position, she quickened her steps and assumed an air of indifference supposedly common to one upon an errand. In this way she passed many manufacturing and wholesale houses without once glancing in. At last, after several blocks of walking, she felt that this would not do, and began to look about again, though without relaxing her pace. A little way on she saw a great door which, for some reason, attracted her attention. It was ornamented by a small brass sign, and seemed to be the entrance to a vast hive of six or seven floors. "Perhaps," she thought, "they may want some one," and crossed over to enter. When she came within a score of feet of the desired goal, she saw through the window a young man in a grey checked suit. That he had anything to do with the concern, she could not tell, but because he happened to be looking in her direction her weakening heart misgave her and she hurried by, too overcome with shame to enter. Over the way stood a great six- story structure, labelled Storm and King, which she viewed with rising hope. It was a wholesale dry goods concern and employed women. She could see them moving about now and then upon the upper floors. This place she decided to enter, no matter what. She crossed over and walked directly toward the entrance. As she did so, two men came out and paused in the door. A telegraph messenger in blue dashed past her and up the few steps that led to the entrance and disappeared. Several pedestrians out of the hurrying throng which filled the sidewalks passed about her as she paused, hesitating. She looked helplessly around, and then, seeing herself observed, retreated. It was too difficult a task. She could not go past themThe nature of these vast retail combinations, should they ever permanently disappear, will form an interesting chapter in the commercial history of our nation. Such a flowering out of a modest trade principle the world had never witnessed up to that time. They were along the line of the most effective retail organisation, with hundreds of stores coordinated into one and laid out upon the most imposing and economic basis. They were handsome, bustling, successful affairs, with a host of clerks and a swarm of patrons. Carrie passed along the busy aisles, much affected by the remarkable displays of trinkets, dress goods, stationery, and jewelry. Each separate counter was a show place of dazzling interest and attraction. She could not help feeling the claim of each trinket and valuable upon her personally, and yet she did not stop. There was nothing there which she could not have used--nothing which she did not long to own. The dainty slippers and stockings, the delicately frilled skirts and petticoats, the laces, ribbons, hair-combs, purses, all touched her with individual desire, and she felt keenly the fact that not any of these things were in the range of her purchase. She was a work-seeker, an outcast without employment, one whom the average employee could tell at a glance was poor and in need of a situation.With the wane of the afternoon went her hopes, her courage, and her strength. She had been astonishingly persistent. So earnest an effort was well deserving of a better reward. On every hand, to her fatigued senses, the great business portion grew larger, harder, more stolid in its indifference. It seemed as if it was all closed to her, that the struggle was too fierce for her to hope to do anything at all. Men and women hurried by in long, shifting lines. She felt the flow of the tide of effort and interest--felt her own helplessness without quite realising the wisp on the tide that she was. She cast about vainly for some possible place to apply, but found no door which she had the courage to enter. It would be the same thing all over. The old humiliation of her plea, rewarded by curt denial. Sick at heart and in body, she turned to the west, the direction of Minnie's flat, which she had now fixed in mind, and began that wearisome, baffled retreat which the seeker for employment at nightfall too often makes. In passing through Fifth Avenue, south towards Van Buren Street, where she intended to take a car, she passed the door of a large wholesale shoe house, through the plate-glass windows of which she could see a middle-aged gentleman sitting at a small desk. One of those forlorn impulses which often grow out of a fixed sense of defeat, the last sprouting of a baffled and uprooted growth of ideas, seized upon her. She walked deliberately through the door and up to the gentleman, who looked at her weary face with partially awakened interest.It is no easy thing to get up early in the morning when one is used to sleeping until seven and eight, as Carrie had been at home. She gained some inkling of the character of Hanson's life when, half asleep, she looked out into the dining-room at six o'clock and saw him silently finishing his breakfast. By the time she was dressed he was gone, and she, Minnie, and the baby ate together, the latter being just old enough to sit in a high chair and disturb the dishes with a spoon. Her spirits were greatly subdued now when the fact of entering upon strange and untried duties confronted her. Only the ashes of all her fine fancies were remaining--ashes still concealing, nevertheless, a few red embers of hope. So subdued was she by her weakening nerves, that she ate quite in silence going over imaginary conceptions of the character of the shoe company, the nature of the work, her employer's attitude. She was vaguely feeling that she would come in contact with the great owners, that her work would be where grave, stylishly dressed men occasionally look on.Drouet did not call that evening. After receiving the letter, he had laid aside all thought of Carrie for the time being and was floating around having what he considered a gay time. On this particular evening he dined at "Rector's," a restaurant of some local fame, which occupied a basement at Clark and Monroe Streets. There--after he visited the resort of Fitzgerald and Moy's in Adams Street, opposite the imposing Federal Building. There he leaned over the splendid bar and swallowed a glass of plain whiskey and purchased a couple of cigars, one of which he lighted. This to him represented in part high life--a fair sample of what the whole must be. Drouet was not a drinker in excess. He was not a moneyed man. He only craved the best, as his mind conceived it, and such doings seemed to him a part of the best. Rector's, with its polished marble walls and floor, its profusion of lights, its show of china and silverware, and, above all, its reputation as a resort for actors and professional men, seemed to him the proper place for a successful man to go. He loved fine clothes, good eating, and particularly the company and acquaintanceship of successful men. When dining, it was a source of keen satisfaction to him to know that Joseph Jefferson was wont to come to this same place, or that Henry E. Dixie, a well-known performer of the day, was then only a few tables off. At Rector's he could always obtain this satisfaction, for there one could encounter politicians, brokers, actors, some rich young "rounders" of the town, all eating and drinking amid a buzz of popular commonplace conversation.For the most part he lounged about, dressed in excellent tailored suits of imported goods, a solitaire ring, a fine blue diamond in his tie, a striking vest of some new pattern, and a watch-chain of solid gold, which held a charm of rich design, and a watch of the latest make and engraving. He knew by name, and could greet personally with a "Well, old fellow," hundreds of actors, merchants, politicians, and the general run of successful characters about town, and it was part of his success to do so. He had a finely graduated scale of informality and friendship, which improved from the "How do you do?" addressed to the fifteen-dollar-a-week clerks and office attaches, who, by long frequenting of the place, became aware of his position, to the "Why, old man, how are you?" which he addressed to those noted or rich individuals who knew him and were inclined to be friendly. There was a class, however, too rich, too famous, or too successful, with whom he could not attempt any familiarity of address, and with these he was professionally tactful, assuming a grave and dignified attitude, paying them the deference which would win their good feeling without in the least compromising his own bearing and opinions. There were, in the last place, a few good followers, neither rich nor poor, famous, nor yet remarkably successful, with whom he was friendly on the score of good-fellowship. These were the kind of men with whom he would converse longest and most seriously. He loved to go out and have a good time once in a while--to go to the races, the theatres, the sporting entertainments at some of the clubs. He kept a horse and neat trap, had his wife and two children, who were well established in a neat house on the North Side near Lincoln Park, and was altogether a very acceptable individual of our great American upper class--the first grade below the luxuriously rich.Drouet, for one, was lured as much by his longing for pleasure as by his desire to shine among his betters. The many friends he met here dropped in because they craved, without, perhaps, consciously analysing it, the company, the glow, the atmosphere which they found. One might take it, after all, as an augur of the better social order, for the things which they satisfied here, though sensory, were not evil. No evil could come out of the contemplation of an expensively decorated chamber. The worst effect of such a thing would be, perhaps, to stir up in the material-minded an ambition to arrange their lives upon a similarly splendid basis. In the last analysis, that would scarcely be called the fault of the decorations, but rather of the innate trend of the mind. That such a scene might stir the less expensively dressed to emulate the more expensively dressed could scarcely be laid at the door of anything save the false ambition of the minds of those so affected. Remove the element so thoroughly and solely complained of--liquor--and there would not be one to gainsay the qualities of beauty and enthusiasm which would remain. The pleased eye with which our modern restaurants of fashion are looked upon is proof of this assertion.To one not inclined to drink, and gifted with a more serious turn of mind, such a bubbling, chattering, glittering chamber must ever seem an anomaly, a strange commentary on nature and life. Here come the moths, in endless procession, to bask in the light of the flame. Such conversation as one may hear would not warrant a commendation of the scene upon intellectual grounds. It seems plain that schemers would choose more sequestered quarters to arrange their plans, that politicians would not gather here in company to discuss anything save formalities, where the sharp- eared may hear, and it would scarcely be justified on the score of thirst, for the majority of those who frequent these more gorgeous places have no craving for liquor. Nevertheless, the fact that here men gather, here chatter, here love to pass and rub elbows, must be explained upon some grounds. It must be that a strange bundle of passions and vague desires give rise to such a curious social institution or it would not be.The true meaning of money yet remains to be popularly explained and comprehended. When each individual realises for himself that this thing primarily stands for and should only be accepted as a moral due--that it should be paid out as honestly stored energy, and not as a usurped privilege--many of our social, religious, and political troubles will have permanently passed. As for Carrie, her understanding of the moral significance of money was the popular understanding, nothing more. The old definition: "Money: something everybody else has and I must get," would have expressed her understanding of it thoroughly. Some of it she now held in her hand--two soft, green ten-dollar bills--and she felt that she was immensely better off for the having of them. It was something that was power in itself. One of her order of mind would have been content to be cast away upon a desert island with a bundle of money, and only the long strain of starvation would have taught her that in some cases it could have no value. Even then she would have had no conception of the relative value of the thing; her one thought would, undoubtedly, have concerned the pity of having so much power and the inability to use it.She conceived a true estimate of Drouet. To her, and indeed to all the world, he was a nice, good-hearted man. There was nothing evil in the fellow. He gave her the money out of a good heart--out of a realisation of her want. He would not have given the same amount to a poor young man, but we must not forget that a poor young man could not, in the nature of things, have appealed to him like a poor young girl. Femininity affected his feelings. He was the creature of an inborn desire. Yet no beggar could have caught his eye and said, "My God, mister, I'm starving," but he would gladly have handed out what was considered the proper portion to give beggars and thought no more about it. There would have been no speculation, no philosophising. He had no mental process in him worthy the dignity of either of those terms. In his good clothes and fine health, he was a merry, unthinking moth of the lamp. Deprived of his position, and struck by a few of the involved and baffling forces which sometimes play upon man, he would have been as helpless as Carrie--as helpless, as non-understanding, as pitiable, if you will, as she.Now, in regard to his pursuit of women, he meant them no harm, because he did not conceive of the relation which he hoped to hold with them as being harmful. He loved to make advances to women, to have them succumb to his charms, not because he was a cold-blooded, dark, scheming villain, but because his inborn desire urged him to that as a chief delight. He was vain, he was boastful, he was as deluded by fine clothes as any silly-headed girl. A truly deep-dyed villain could have hornswaggled him as readily as he could have flattered a pretty shop-girl. His fine success as a salesman lay in his geniality and the thoroughly reputable standing of his house. He bobbed about among men, a veritable bundle of enthusiasm--no power worthy the name of intellect, no thoughts worthy the adjective noble, no feelings long continued in one strain. A Madame Sappho would have called him a pig; a Shakespeare would have said "my merry child"; old, drinking Caryoe thought him a clever, successful businessman. In short, he was as good as his intellect conceived.
• Location: University Heights,Cary Woods,Moores Mill,Grove Hill University Heights,Cary Woods,Moores Mill,Grove Hill Alabama
• Post ID: 126467787 Auburn