The ways of men PDF Book by Eliot Gregory


Click here to Download The ways of men PDF Book by Eliot Gregory Language English having PDF Size 1.1 MB and No of Pages 112.

The gentleman who graced the gubernatorial armchair of our state when this century was born happened to be an admirer of classic lore and the sonorous names of antiquity. It is owing to his weakness in bestowing pompous cognomens on our embryo towns and villages that to-day names like Utica.

The ways of men PDF Book by Eliot Gregory

Name of Book The ways of men
PDF Size 1.1 MB
No of Pages 112
Language English
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Syracuse, and Ithaca, instead of evoking visions of historic pomp and circumstance, raise in the minds of most Americans the picture of cocky little cities, rich only in trolley-cars and Methodist meeting-houses. When, however, this cultured governor, in his ardor, christened one of the cities Troy, and the hill in its vicinity Mount Ida.

He little dreamed that a youth was living on its slopes whose name was destined to become a household word the world over, as the synonym for the proudest and wealthiest republic yet known to history, a sobriquet that would be familiar in the mouths of races to whose continents even the titles of Jupiter or Mars had never penetrated.

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A little before this century began, two boys with packs bound on their stalwart shoulders walked from New York and established a brickyard in the neighborhood of what is now Perry Street, Troy. Ebenezer and Samuel Wilson soon became esteemed citizens of the infant city, their kindliness and benevolence winning for them the affection and respect of the community.

The younger brother, Samuel, was an especial favorite with the children of the place, whose explorations into his deep pockets were generally rewarded by the discovery of some simple “sweet” or home-made toy. The slender youth with the “nutcracker” face proving to be the merriest of playfellows, in their love his little band of admirers gave him the pet name of “Uncle Sam,”.

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By which he quickly became known, to the exclusion of his real name. This is the kindly and humble origin of a title the mere speaking of which to-day quickens the pulse and moistens the eyes of millions of Americans with the same thrill that the dear old flag arouses when we catch sight of it, especially an unexpected glimpse in some foreign land.

With increasing wealth the brickyard of the Wilson brothers was replaced by an extensive slaughtering business, in which more than a hundred men were soon employed—a vast establishment for that day, killing weekly some thousand head of cattle. During the military operations of 1812 the brothers signed a contract to furnish the troops at Greenbush with meat.

“Packed in full bound barrels of white oak”; soon after, Samuel was appointed Inspector of Provisions for the army. It is a curious coincidence that England also should have taken an ex-armycontractor as her patron saint, for if we are to believe tradition, St. George of Cappadocia filled that position unsatisfactorily before he passed through martyrdom to sainthood. The ways of men PDF Book

If a foreign tourist, ignorant of his whereabouts, were to sail about sunset up our spacious bay and view for the first time the eccentric sky-line of lower New York, he would rub his eyes and wonder if they were not playing him a trick, for distance and twilight lend the chaotic masses around the Battery a certain wild grace suggestive of Titan strongholds or prehistoric abodes of Wotan.

Rather than the business part of a practical modern city. “But,” as John Drew used to say in The Masked Ball, “what a difference in the morning!” when a visit to his banker takes the new arrival down to Wall Street, and our uncompromising American daylight dispels his illusions.

Years ago spiritual Arthur Gilman mourned over the decay of architecture in New York and pointed out that Stewart’s shop, at Tenth Street, bore about the same relation to Ictinus’ noble art as an iron cooking stove! It is well death removed the Boston critic before our city entered into its present Brobdingnagian phase. The ways of men PDF Book

If he considered that Stewart’s and the Fifth Avenue Hotel failed in artistic beauty, what would have been his opinion of the graceless piles that crowd our island to-day, beside which those older buildings seem almost classical in their simplicity? One hardly dares to think what impression a student familiar with the symmetry of Old World structures must receive on arriving for the first time.

Let us say, at the Bowling Green, for the truth would then dawn upon him that what appeared from a distance to be the ground level of the island was in reality the roof line of average four-story buildings, from among which the keeps and campaniles that had so pleased him (when viewed from the Narrows) rise like gigantic weeds gone to seed in a field of grass.

It is the heterogeneous character of the buildings down town that renders our streets so hideous. Far from seeking harmony, builders seem to be trying to “go” each other “one story better”; if they can belittle a neighbor in the process it is clear gain, and so much advertisement. Certain blocks on lower Broadway are gems in this way! The ways of men PDF Book

Any one who has glanced at an auctioneer’s shelves when a “job lot” of books is being sold, will doubtless have noticed their resemblance to the sidewalks of our down town streets. Dainty little duodecimo buildings are squeezed in between towering in-folios, and richly bound and tooled octavos chum with cheap editions.

Our careless City Fathers have not even given themselves the trouble of pushing their stone and brick volumes into the same line, but allow them to straggle along the shelf—I beg pardon, the sidewalk—according to their own sweet will. The expression “Little Englander,” much used of late to designate an inhabitant of the Mother Isle in contra-distinction to other subjects of Her Majesty.

Expresses neatly the feeling of our insular cousins not only as regards ourselves, but also the position affected toward their colonial brothers and sisters. Have you ever noticed that in every circle there is some individual assuming to do things better than his comrades—to know more, dress better, run faster, pronounce more correctly? The ways of men PDF Book

Who, unless promptly suppressed, will turn the conversation into a monologue relating to his own exploits and opinions. To differ is to bring down his contempt upon your devoted head! To argue is time wasted! Human nature is, however, so constituted that a man of this type mostly succeeds in hypnotizing his hearers into sharing his estimate of himself.

And impressing upon them the conviction that he is a rare being instead of a commonplace mortal. He is not a bad sort of person at bottom, and ready to do one a friendly turn—if it does not entail too great inconvenience. In short, a good fellow, whose principal defect is the profound conviction that he was born superior to the rest of mankind.

What this individual is to his environment, Englishmen are to the world at large. It is the misfortune, not the fault, of the rest of the human race, that they are not native to his island; a fact, by the way, which outsiders are rarely allowed to lose sight of, as it entails a becoming modesty on their part. The ways of men PDF Book Download

Few idiosyncrasies get more quickly on American nerves or are further from our hearty attitude toward strangers. As we are far from looking upon wandering Englishmen with suspicion, it takes us some time to realize that Americans who cut away from their countrymen and settle far from home are regarded with distrust and reluctantly received.

When a family of this kind prepares to live in their neighborhood, Britons have a formula of three questions they ask themselves concerning the new-comers: “Whom do they know? How much are they worth?” and “What amusement (or profit) are we likely to get out of them?” If the answer to all or any of the three queries is satisfactory, my lord makes the necessary advances and becomes an agreeable.

If not a witty or original, companion. Given this and a number of other peculiarities, it seems curious that a certain class of Americans should be so anxious to live in England. What is it tempts them? It cannot be the climate, for that is vile; nor the city of London, for it is one of the ugliest in existence; nor their “cuisine”—for although we are not good cooks ourselves. The ways of men PDF Book Download

We know what good food is and could give Britons points. Neither can it be art, nor the opera,—one finds both better at home or on the Continent than in England. So it must be society, and here one’s wonder deepens! In the early seventies a group of students—dissatisfied with the cut-and-dried instruction of the Paris.

Art school and attracted by certain qualities of color and technique in the work of a young Frenchman from the city of Lille, who was just beginning to attract the attention of connoisseurs—went in a body to his studio with the request that he would oversee their work and direct their studies. The artist thus chosen was Carolus-Duran.

Oddly enough, a majority of the youths who sought him out and made him their master were Americans. The first modest workroom on the Boulevard Montparnasse was soon too small to hold the pupils who crowded under this newly raised banner, and a move was made to more commodious quarters near the master’s private studio. The ways of men PDF Book Free

Sargent, Dannat, Harrison, Beckwith, Hinckley, and many others whom it is needless to mention here, will—if these lines come under their notice—doubtless recall with a thrill of pleasure the roomy one-storied structure in the rue Notre-Dame des Champs where we established our atelier d’élèves, a self-supporting cooperative concern.

Each student contributing ten francs a month toward rent, fire, and models, “Carolus”— the name by which this master is universally known abroad—not only refusing all compensation, according to the immutable custom of French painters of distinction, but, as we discovered later, contributing too often from his own pocket to help out the massier at the end of a difficult season.

Or smooth the path of some improvident pupil. Those were cloudless, enchanted days we passed in the tumbled down old atelier: an ardent springtime of life when the future beckons gayly and no doubts of success obscure the horizon. Our young master’s enthusiasm fired his circle of pupils, who, as each succeeding year brought him increasing fame. The ways of men PDF Book Free

Revelled in a reflected glory with the generous admiration of youth, in which there is neither calculation nor shadow of envy. A portrait of Madame de Portalais, exhibited about this time, drew all art-loving Paris around the new celebrity’s canvas. Shortly after, the government purchased a painting (of our master’s beautiful wife), now known as La Femme au Gant, for the Luxembourg Gallery.

It is difficult to overestimate the impetus that a master’s successes impart to the progress of his pupils. My first studious year in Paris had been passed in the shadow of an elderly painter, who was comfortably dozing on the laurels of thirty years before. The change from that sleepy environment to the vivid enthusiasm and dash of Carolus-Duran’s studio was like stepping out.

Of a musty cloister into the warmth and movement of a market-place. Here, be it said in passing, lies perhaps the secret of the dry rot that too often settles on our American art schools. We, for some unknown reason, do not take the work of native painters seriously, nor encourage them in proportion to their merit. In consequence they retain but a feeble hold upon their pupils. The ways of men PDF Book Free

But it is wrong to joke on this subject. The state of affairs is becoming too serious. When sane human beings form a “Baronial Order of Runnymede,” and announce in their prospectus that only descendants through the male line from one (or more) of the forty noblemen who forced King John to sign the Magna Charta are what our Washington Mrs. Malaprop would call “legible.”

The action attests a diseased condition of the community. Any one taking the trouble to remember that eight of the original barons died childless, and that the Wars of the Roses swept away nine tenths of what families the others may have had, that only one man in England (Lord de Ros) can at the present day prove male descent further back than the eleventh century.

Must appreciate the absurdity of our compatriots’ pretensions. Burke’s Peerage is acknowledged to be the most “faked” volume in the English language, but the descents it attributes are like mathematical demonstrations compared to the “trees” that members of these new American orders climb. When my class was graduated from Mr. McMullen’s school. The ways of men PDF Book Free

We little boys had the brilliant idea of uniting in a society, but were greatly put about for an effective name, hitting finally upon that of Ancient Seniors’ Society. For a group of infants, this must be acknowledged to have been a luminous inspiration. We had no valid reason for forming that society, not being particularly fond of each other.

Living in several cities, we rarely met after leaving school and had little to say to each other when we did. But it sounded so fine to be an “Ancient Senior,” and we hoped in our next school to impress new companions with that title and make them feel proper respect for us in consequence. Pride, however, sustained a fall when it was pointed out that the initials formed the ominous word “Ass.”

I have a shrewd suspicion that the motives which prompted our youthful actions are not very different from those now inciting children of a larger growth to band together, blackball their friends, crown queens, and perform other senseless mummeries, such as having the weathercock of a departed meeting-house brought in during a banquet, and dressing restaurant waiters in knickerbockers for “one night only. The ways of men PDF Book Free

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