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has spoken, and in this primitive creature there is no reason to make it question life's, command or quarrel with it. If in captivity when the message is received, the eel will do its utmost to obey; and failing, it will die. It seems quite incapable of reaching full sexual maturity apart from the peculiar conditions of pressure, salinity, and temperature characterizing its birthplace.
But even if it is able to follow the mystic call, it must die as soon as the goal is reached and its mission fulfilled. For the law of the eel is this: from the heart of the sea to the heart of the land and back again it may travel once, but to travel twice in either direction it is never permitted. Like a flower, it is doomed to die in turning to fruit. Upon its return to the destined spot there must follow some kind of courtship, some ecstatic dance through the darkling waters, but of all that we know nothing.
What we do know is that no sooner has the eel dropped its burden of milt or roe than the mark of death is upon it. It is as if its allotted store of vital energy had been passed on in its entirety to the new generation. The eel has done its duty, and the eel can go. Decay sets in: its bones grow soft; its flesh ulcerates; its teeth fall out; sight fades from its eyes. And at last the end comes, but just how who can tell? The story of the eel is finished, but only to begin all over again in everlasting reiteration.
For half a century American, Italian, and Danish men of science have been at work coaxing this wonderful tale from the reluctant lips of life, taking down a letter or a word at a time, and reconstructing every passage a score of times before they dared to grant it final acceptance. Even now the tale is not complete, but one need have no fear; it will be finished some day—up to a certain point.
EMBRANDT was his own best model. From the earliest of his self-portraits, painted when he was seventeen, to the Altman portrait here presented, which was one of the last, we have a most remarkable series of human documents, illustrating every stage of his strange career. In his first attempts he seems to have been more concerned with the study of light and shadow and less with an accurate likeness, and at times he posed before the mirror merely for the sake of a picturesque or grotesque costume. As he grew older he gave more heed to the resemblance, even catching the mood of the moment. In them all, even in the many etchings, we have the unmistakable features of the great painter: the wild, bushy hair, the keen, searching eyes, the thick nose, and the sensitive mouth barely hidden by the thin mustache. The Altman portrait is dated 1660, when he was fifty-three years old. This was a year of anxiety for him. He had just been declared a bankrupt. He saw his collection of art treasures disposed of at auction and himself deserted by his pupils and his friends, with no studio of his own in which to set up his easel. In this portrait we have a work of mature years, when he brought all the skill and resources of a lifetime to its creation. He does not hesitate to show by the wrinkled brow and the worried expression the troubled condition of his mind. Technically this portrait shows Rembrandt at his best. The hat, a rich black, and the background, a warm green, are smoothly painted. The shadows in the face are thin, warm, and transparent, while the lighter parts, as on the cheek, are laid on with a well-loaded brush, suggesting the texture of the flesh and made to glow with color. Over a red waistcoat Rembrandt wears a heavy, brownish coat. Though this great artist lived several years longer, they were years of misery, and he painted only one more great work, “The Syndics of the Cloth Hall,” now in the Ryks Museum in Amsterdam. His great reputation suffered an almost total eclipse, although to-day he is probably the most popular painter that ever lived. Yet he never lost his courage, and as we see him in this portrait he carries his head bravely and wears his hat jauntily, as if in defiance of the evils that engulfed him. Heretofore we may have felt acquainted with Rembrandt the painter, but now we know Rembrandt the man; for just so he must have looked to his neighbors in the troublous year 1660. A. T. VAN LAER.
STERN, arbitrary fathers, who Explode, and burst their waistcoat buttons,
Should read this simple story through.
Young Turkish Dick loved Sue, the child
Of Abu R. Chibouk Effendi;
"Espouse my gal you never can;
And l may add that such a hope 'll
Her dad exclaimed: 'Oh, what the deuce!'"
They made a comprehensive tour
"Here's where they heat 'em up
One hot, immeasurable vat,
When chiseled out, the lady's weight
Dick franked her dad-ward with a hate
Ful note which we abbreviate
"Of horror of an ill-assor
Ted match for Sue you 've been about
No need to fret on such a score.
Her dad exclaimed: "Oh, what the
My child, by thus so heavy growing,
Now, Turkish magistrates are frail
As well as venal; so our friend Dick's
On First Looking into a Subway Excavation
By CHRISTOPHER MORLEY
MUCH have I traveled, a commuter bold,
Where dynamite had swept the traffic clean,
I held my breath and improvised a prayer:
I gazed into the pit with doubtful eyes,
WHEN the Robbs invited me up to the Adirondacks for a week in October, I knew they meant hunting, and was disquieted; for my experience as a sportsman was limited. I had killed my spider and my garter-snake, I had a couple of thousand mosquitos to my credit, and once I had wounded a clay pipe in a Broadway shooting-gallery; but the pursuit of larger game was strange to me. I am not one to miss an opportunity, however. l accepted. And my first morning in camp, while the crowd was still huddled about the living-room fire, I took Alice Robb aside and made confession.
"Alice," I said, "I am going to put myself in your hands. I know so little about hunting that I don't know what I don't know. Won't you introduce me to one of your most presentable rifles, and let us get acquainted with each other out in a big field with a target or something in it?" Alice is as kind as she is beautiful. "We two are going out to get a little target-practice," she said to the crowd round the fire, and she took a couple of rifles off some pegs on the wall. Together we went out beyond the lesser campbuildings— laundries and ice-houses and
woodsheds and things—to where, between the lake and the gorgeous October woods, there was a stretch of tangled grass spotted with black stumps. At one end a fence inclosed a patch of withered plants that claimed to be a vegetable garden in summer. Over at the other end a wooden target lay on its face in the grass. Alice set it up against a stump. Then she returned with me to an unnecessary distance and proceeded to teach me the anatomy of riflery.
"The most important thing," she began, "is to know how to half cock the gun so as to make it absolutely safe. Look—you pull back the hammer, hold it hard, and then pull the trigger, letting the hammer gently down. Now—see?—it can't go off, no matter what happens. Then as an additional precaution you pull down this thing,"—here she disconnected a loop of metal that looked like the handle of half a pair of shears,—"now it 's perfectly safe."
Whereupon she promptly made it dangerous again and told me to do what she had done.
Timidly I seized the weapon, cocked it with a trembling finger, held hard, pulled