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Red Heart Rose of Sharon
Red Heart Rose of Sharon
Night Visions

There was a young boy whose nightmare was so vivid that his memory of it remained still fresh enough to recall even after he grew to be an adult. For some reason the sight of tiny buildings, made incomprehensibly formidable, also made him uncomfortable. In the city where he grew up there was a small shed built like a fortress. It had thick walls of cement white washed on the outside with a thick steel door and slotted vents along top portions of the walls. It stood near the border of a lush green lawn in a park where it eventually ended at the banks of a river flowing through the center of the city. The parks department kept their lawn tools there.

Then there was an insurance company headquarters building in another of the neighborhoods where this child grew up, located near the foothills that bordered just outside of the growing town. The multi-storied brick building was large enough to take up a quarter of the block. Its property possessed a boundless treasure for the children of the neighborhood with its steep sloping, manicured and unfenced back yard lawn. It was there during those delightful summer evenings that he and a multitude of his friends immensely enjoyed playing King-of-Bunker-Hill or, once in a while, some variety of football. Here too, under that sloping lawn they had a partial cellar with thick cement walls and a locked heavy door that swung open like a garage-door as it opened out into the alley-way. It, too, was used for keeping lawn equipment.

A small building also appeared in the indelible images of his nightmare. Although the small edifice was lightly constructed it had an elevated opening (like a stage) and was similar to the high and extended doorway of a loading dock just down the alley and across from his home. It was there where he so often played and even as a small toddler climbed on so many times with his little friends at an hour when the doors were shut and the business was closed and they could play there on the outside. The small building of his nightmare was situated at the center of an empty lot wedged between that same alley-way as his home and the same river. It was a half block the other way from his home. His home was part of a duplex and his mother’s bedroom was elevated over the banks of the river on beams where the little boy also played and disobeyed his mom by wading in the river sometimes. The empty lot also bordered the banks of that same river, as mentioned above, that runs through the center of town; along with his first home a half-a-block away; with the park further down from the home a few blocks distant from that neighborhood where he first lived. There in that wedged-in empty lot, in an elevated doorway, were the chained and frightening monsters that confronted him in the images of his unforgettable nightmare. There he was irrestibly compelled (maybe by fate) to enter. The chained monster on the left with jaws like a bull dog but more huge took the head of the small tender boy within them to enclose upon him.

 

The Ruby Vessel
another name for the heart
I am a rose of Sharon, A lily of the valleys. —Song of Solomon

She turned ninety years old just yesterday. As her son sat next to her during the Sunday morning worship service a somewhat distant glance from the side made it apparent that the profile of their faces had the exact same lines. Their resemblance in this respect was striking though she was elderly and he was middle aged. A slanted straight line composed the outline of both their profiles, sloping out from the forehead and downward. The line was interrupted by another line that peaked at the nose. Then the slanted straight line resumed and continued on to the bottom of the chin where it ended.

In the neighborhood next to her neighborhood lived a family of four sons, with their parents. They were all members of the same church family. After she became a widow, the oldest son mowed her lawn for her. When he moved away the second oldest son mowed her lawn. And when he moved away the dad mowed the widow’s lawn. Years later, after she had passed away the second oldest son inquired of his mother the facts about her prayers for the people at church. She told the dad of her conversation with their son. It was then that the dad learned that this kind, beautiful (in a certain way) woman prayed every day for each member of the church congregation by naming them one by one as they were listed in the church directory.

Many years ago, even way before her husband passed away, she lost one of her sons who died as a soldier in the war. Her husband died a few years ago. Long before he died they had celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. In his elderly years there was a time when he became ill and homebound. Then something most extraordinary happened that brought about a significant change in health and attitude. It was the same as if he had been healed. Furthermore, the extraordinary event that brought about the change also resulted in the recognition that he had become one of the few people in these days to tell of having seen a vision. It was this vision that made the difference in his entire attitude and outlook.

He was at home laying in his bed feeling miserable, as usual, when his vision brought him to see another man beside him there. Particularly in the matter of health the man he saw beside him was even much worse off than himself. Throughout most of that other man’s life, because of his paralysis, the only way he could get around was by wheelchair. His body had grown all bent and twisted and when he spoke it was hard to understand what he said. And yet by his devotion and faithful commitment to the Lord he was an example of someone in the finest spiritual health. To the elderly man seeing him there he was the epitome both of illness and spiritual health: illness because of his paralytic disease; and, spiritual health by his unwavering faithfulness to Christ. Thus he made him his own example of fortitude and faith for righteousness, declaring to the Lord also present there with him in his vision that if this one so broken in health could be so faithful to the Lord in the way he lived and an example to others then certainly he could be too.

Dreaming
Prize Stockshow Bull
The King Becomes A Beast
Daniel, Chapter 4

All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

 

The Human Beast

There was once a time when I found, on my way through the downtown of a vast metropolis, one of the nicest shopping malls I’ve been in. At one end of the mall there was a plush hotel and a nice restaurant. Among the mall’s shops was an art gallery that I won’t easily forget. At the entrance and to the right it had a mosaic of Cain and Abel. It portrayed them as modern day farmers. A lot of the mosaic’s images were composed of small toys and toy parts. Button eyes, the kind made out of steel and clear plastic with a smooth black button inside, of various sizes filled the spaces of the background. Small toy tractors were a part of the scene as well. Its message was clearly a depiction of the quote from scripture that tells how God knew about Abel’s death because the voice of his blood cried out to him from the ground.

On further into the gallery I found what was to become one of my favorite works of art. It was another mosaic. This one was of king Nebuchadnezzar who, because of his ballistic pride, God condemned to live as a beast for a certain time. I especially remember that the mosaic portrayed his finger nails as talons of an eagle. I wish I could see these beautiful mosaics again but the gallery is no longer there and they may have been sold anyway.

Curdie’s Gift To Perceive What Beast

‘Come here, Lina,’ she said after a long pause.

From somewhere behind Curdie, crept forward the same hideous animal which had fawned at his feet at the door, and which, without his knowing it, had followed him every step up the dove tower. She ran to the princess, and lay down at her feet, looking up at her with an expression so pitiful that in Curdie’s heart it overcame all the ludicrousness of her horrible mass of incongruities. She had a very short body, and very long legs made like an elephant’s, so that in lying down she kneeled with both pairs. Her tail, which dragged on the floor behind her, was twice as long and quite as thick as her body. Her head was something between that of a polar bear and a snake. Her eyes where dark green, with a yellow light in them. Her under teeth came up like a fringe of icicles, only very white, outside of her upper lip. Her throat looked as if the hair had been plucked off. It showed a skin white and smooth.

‘Give Curdie a paw, Lina,’ said the princess.

The creature rose, and, lifting a long foreleg, held up a great doglike paw to Curdie. He took it gently. But what a shudder, as of terrified delight, ran through him, when, instead of the paw of a dog, such as it seemed to his eyes, he clasped in his great mining fist the soft, neat little hand of a child! He took it in both of his, and held it as if he could not let it go. The green eyes stared at him with their yellow light, and the mouth was turned up towards him with its constant half grin; but here was the child’s hand! If he could but pull the child out of the beast! His eyes sought the princess. She was watching him with evident satisfaction.

‘Ma’am, here is a child’s hand! said Curdie.

‘Your gift does more for you than it promised. It is yet better to perceive a hidden good than a hidden evil.’

George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie

 

Short Stories

The Man Of Adamant

Drowne›s Wooden Image

The Intelligence Office

The Artist of the Beautiful

 

 

Nathaniel Hawthorne Short Story Volumes

EARTH’s HOLOCAUST

THE GREAT STONEFACE

THE MIRACULOUS PITCHER

RAPPACCINI’S DAUGHTER

THE ANTIQUE RING

 

 

 

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Rainbow Lake, Montana ~-Roadsign that says 'Rainbow Lake 7 miles' with the end of a rainbow directly above it.
theManofAdamant
@~
@@(Mosses From An Old Manse, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. The Riverside Press, Cambridge. 1888.)
@#THE INTELLIGENCE OFFICE.
@@Nathaniel Hawthorne
A grave figure, with a pair of mysterious spectacles on his nose and a pen behind his ear, was seated at a desk in the corner of a metropolitan office. The apartment was fitted up with a counter, and furnished with an oaken cabinet and a chair or two, in simple and business-like stye. Around the walls were stuck advertisements of articles lost, or articles wanted, or articles to be disposed of; in one or another of which classes were comprehended nearly all the conveniences, or otherwise, that the imagination of man has contrived. The interior of the room was thrown into shadow, partly by the tall edifices that rose on the opposite side of the street, and partly by the immense show bills of blue and crimson paper that were expanded over each of the three windows. Undisturbed by the tramp of feet, the rattle of wheels, the hum of voices, the shout of the city crier, the scream of the newsboys, and other tokens of the multitudinous life that surged along in front of the office, the figure at the desk pored diligently over a folio volume, of ledger-like size and aspect. He looked like the spirit of a record—the soul of his own great volume—made visible in mortal shape.
But scarcely an instant elapsed without the appearance at the door of some individual from the busy population whose vicinity was manifested by so much buzz, and clatter, and outcry. Now, it was a thriving mechanic in quest of a tenement that should come within his moderate means of rent; now, a ruddy Irish girl from the banks of Killarney, wandering from kitchen to kitchen of our land, while her heart still hung in the peat smoke of her native cottage; now, a single gentleman looking out for economical board; and now—for this establishment offered an epitome of worldly pursuits—it was a faded beauty inquiring for her lost bloom; or Peter Schlemihl for his lost shadow; or an author of ten years’ standing for his vanished reputation; or a moody man for yesterday’s sunshine.
At the next lifting of the latch there entered a person with his hat awry upon his head, his clothes perversely ill suited to his form, his eyes staring in directions opposite to their intelligence, and a certain odd unsuitableness pervading his whole figure. Wherever he might chance to be, whether in palace or cottage, church or market, on land or sea, or even at his own fireside, he must have worn the characteristic expression of a man out of his right place.
“This,” inquired he, putting his question in the form of an assertion, “this is the Central Intelligence Office?”
“Even so,” answered the figure at the desk, turning another leaf of his volume; he then looked the applicant in the face and said briefly, “Your business?”
“I want,” said the latter, with tremulous earnestness, “a place!”
“A place! And of what nature?” asked the Intelligencer. “There are many vacant, or soon to be so, some of which will probably suit, since they range from that of a footman up to a seat at the council board, or in the cabinet, or a throne, or a presidential chair.”
The stranger stood pondering before the desk with an unquiet, dissatisfied air—a dull, vague pain of heart, expressed by a slight contortion of the brow—an earnestness of glance, that asked and expected, yet continually wavered as if distrusting. In short, he evidently wanted, not in a physical or intellectual sense, but with an urgent moral necessity that is the hardest of all things to satisfy, since it knows not its own object.
“Ah, you mistake me!” said he at length, with a gesture of nervous impatience. “Either of the places you mention, indeed, might answer my purpose; or, more probably, none of them. I want my place! my own place! my true place in the world! my proper sphere! my thing to do, which nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my lifetime! Whether it be a footman’s duty or a king’s is of little consequence, so it be naturally mine. Can you help me here?”
“I will enter your application,” answered the Intelligencer, at the same time writing a few lines in his volume. “But to undertake such a business, I tell you frankly, is quite apart from the ground covered by my official duties. Ask for something specific, and it may doubtless be negotiated for you on your compliance with the conditions. But were I to go further, I should have the whole population of the city upon my shoulders; since far the greater proportion of them are, more or less, in your predicament.”
The applicant sank into a fit of despondency, and passed out of the door without again lifting his eyes; and, if he died of the disappointment, he was probably buried in the wrong tomb, inasmuch as the fatality of such people never deserts them, and whether alive or dead they are invariably out of place.
Almost immediately another foot was heard on the threshold. A youth entered hastily, and threw a glance around the office to ascertain whether the man of intelligence was alone. He then approached close to the desk, blushed like a maiden, and seemed at a loss how to broach his business.
“You come upon an affair of the heart,” said the official personage, looking into him through his mysterious spectacles. “State it in as few words as may be.”
“You are right,” replied the youth. “I have a heart to dispose of.”
“You seek an exchange?” said the Intelligencer. “Foolish you, why not be contented with your own?”
“Because,” exclaimed the young man, losing his embarrassment in a passionate glow, “because my heart burns me with an intolerable fire; it tortures me all day long with yearnings for I know not what, and feverish throbbings, and the pangs of a vague sorrow; and it awakens me in the night-time with a quake when there is nothing to be feared. I cannot endure it any longer. It were wiser to throw away such a heart, even if it brings me nothing in return.”
“Oh, very well,” said the man of office, making an entry in his volume. “Your affair will be easily transacted. This species of brokerage makes no inconsiderable part of my business, and there is always a large assortment of the article to select from. Herein, if I mistake not, comes a pretty fair sample.”
Even as he spoke the door was gently and slowly thrust ajar, affording a glimpse of the slender figure of a young girl, who, as she timidly entered, seemed to bring the light and cheerfulness of the outer atmosphere into the somewhat gloomy apartment. We know not her errand there, nor can we reveal whether the young man gave up his heart into her custody. If so, the arrangement was neither better nor worse than in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, where the parallel sensibilities of a similar age, importunate affections, and the easy satisfaction of characters not deeply conscious of themselves, supply the place of any profounder sympathy.
Not always, however, was the agency of the passions and affections an office of so little trouble. It happened rarely, indeed, in proportion to the cases that came under an ordinary rule, but still it did happen—that a heart was occasionally brought hither of such exquisite material, so delicately attempered, and so curiously wrought, that no other heart could be found to match it. It might almost be considered a misfortune, in a worldly point of view, to be the possessor of such a diamond of the purest water; since in any reasonable probability it could only be exchanged for an ordinary pebble, or a bit of cunningly-manufactured glass, or, at least, for a jewel of native richness, but ill set, or with some fatal flaw, or an earthy vein running through its central lustre. To choose another figure, it is sad that hearts which have their well-spring in the infinite, and contain inexhaustible sympathies, should ever be doomed to pour themselves into shallow vessels, and thus lavish their rich affections on the ground. Strange that the finer and deeper nature, whether in man or woman, while possessed of every other delicate instinct, should so often lack that most invaluable one of preserving itself from contamination with what is of a baser kind! Sometimes, it is true, the spiritual fountain is kept pure by a wisdom within itself, and sparkles into the light of heaven without a stain from the earthy strata through which it had gushed upward. And sometimes, even here on earth, the pure mingles with the pure, and the inexhaustible is recompensed with the infinite. But these miracles, though he should claim the credit of them, are far beyond the scope of such a superficial agent in human affairs as the figure in the mysterious spectacles.
Again the door was opened, admitting the bustle of the city with a fresher reverberation into the Intelligence Office. Now entered a man of woe-begone and downcast look; it was such an aspect as if he had lost the very soul out of his body, and had traversed all the world over, searching in the dust of the highways, and along the shady footpaths, and beneath the leaves of the forest, and among the sands of the sea-shore, in hopes to recover it again. He had bent an anxious glance along the pavement of the street as he came hitherward; he looked also in the angle of the doorstep, and upon the floor of the room; and, finally, coming up to the man of Intelligence, he gazed through the inscrutable spectacles which the latter wore, as if the lost treasure might be hidden within his eyes.
“I have lost”—he began; and then he paused.
“Yes,” said the Intelligencer, “I see that you have lost—but what?”
“I have lost a precious jewel!” replied the unfortunate person, “the like of which is not to be found among any prince’s treasures. While I possessed it, the contemplation of it was my sole and sufficient happiness. No price should have purchased it of me; but it has fallen from my bosom where I wore it in my careless wanderings about the city.”
After causing the stranger to describe the marks of the lost jewel, the Intelligencer opened a drawer of the oaken cabinet which has been mentioned as forming a part of the furniture of the room. Here were deposited whatever articles had been picked up in the streets, until the right owners should claim them. It was a strange and heterogeneous collection. Not the least remarkable part of it was a great number of wedding-rings, each one of which had been riveted upon the finger with holy vows, and all the mystic potency that the most solemn rites could attain, but had, nevertheless, proved too slippery for the wearer’s vigilance. The gold of some was worn thin, betokening the attrition of years of wedlock; others, glittering from the jeweller’s shop, must have been lost within the honeymoon. There were ivory tablets, the leaves scribbled over with sentiments that had been the deepest truths of the writer’s earlier years, but which were now quite obliterated from his memory. So scrupulously were articles preserved in the depository, that not even withered flowers were rejected; white roses, and blush roses, and moss roses, fit emblems of virgin purity and shamefacedness, which had been lost or flung away, and trampled into the pollution of the streets; locks of hair—the golden and the glossy dark—the long tresses of woman and the crisp curls of man, signified that lovers were now and then so heedless of the faith intrusted to them as to drop its symbol from the treasure place of the bosom. Many of these things were imbued with perfumes, and perhaps a sweet scent had departed from the lives of their former possessors ever since they had so wilfully or negligently lost them. Here were gold pencil cases, little ruby hearts with golden arrows through them, bosom-pins, pieces of coin, and small articles of every description. Comprising nearly all that have been lost since a long time ago. Most of them, doubtless, had a history and a meaning, if there were time to search it out and room to tell it. Whoever has missed anything valuable, whether out of his heart, mind, or pocket, would do well to make inquiry at the Central Intelligence Office.
And in the corner of one of the drawers of the oaken cabinet, after considerable research, was found a great pearl, looking like the soul of a celestial purity congealed and polished.
“There is my jewel! My very pearl!” cried the stranger, almost beside himself with rapture. “It is mine! Give it me, this moment! or I shall perish!”
“I perceive,” said the Man of Intelligence, examining it more closely, “that this is the Pearl of Great Price.”
“The very same,” answered the stranger. “Judge, then, of my misery at losing it out of my bosom! Restore it to me! I must not live without it an instant longer.”
“Pardon me,” rejoined the Intelligencer, calmly. “You ask what is beyond my duty. This pearl, as you well know, is held upon a peculiar tenure; and having once let it escape from your keeping, you have no greater claim to it—nay, not so great—as any other person. I cannot give it back.”
Nor could the entreaties of the miserable man—who saw before his eyes the jewel of his life without the power to reclaim it—soften the heart of this stern being, impassive to human sympathy, though exercising such an apparent influence over human fortunes. Finally the loser of the inestimable pearl clutched his hands among his hair, and ran madly forth into the world, which was affrighted at his desperate looks. There passed him on the doorstep a fashionable young gentleman, whose business was to inquire for a damask rosebud, the gift of his lady love, which he had lost out of his button-hole within an hour after receiving it. So various were the errands of those who visited this Central Office, where all human wishes seemed to be made known, and so far as destiny would allow, negotiated to their fulfilment.
The next that entered was a man beyond the middle age, bearing the look of one who knew the world and his own course in it. He had just alighted from a handsome private carriage, which had orders to wait in the street while its owner transacted his business. This person came up to the desk with a quick, determined step, and looked the Intelligencer in the face with a resolute eye; though, at the same time, some secret trouble gleamed from it in red and dusky light.
“I have an estate to dispose of,” said he, with a brevity that seemed characteristic.
“Describe it,” said the Intelligencer.
The applicant proceeded to give the boundaries of his property, its nature, comprising tillage, pasture, woodland, and pleasure grounds, in ample circuit; together with a mansion-house, in the construction of which it had been his object to realize a castle in the air, hardening its shadowy walls into granite, and rendering its visionary splendor perceptible to the awakened eye. Judging from his description, it was beautiful enough to vanish like a dream, yet substantial enough to endure for centuries. He spoke, too, of the gorgeous furniture, the refinements of upholstery, and all the luxurious artifices that combined to render this a residence where life might flow onward in a stream of golden days, undisturbed by the ruggedness which fate loves to fling into it.
“I am a man of strong will,” said he, in conclusion, “and at my first setting out in life, as a poor, unfriended youth, I resolved to make myself the possessor of such a mansion and estate as this, together with the abundant revenue necessary to uphold it. I have succeeded to the extent of my utmost wish. And this is the estate which I have now concluded to dispose of.”
“And your terms?” asked the Intelligencer, after taking down the particulars with which the stranger had supplied him.
“Easy, abundantly easy!” answered the successful man, smiling, but with a stern and almost frightful contraction of the brow, as if to quell an inward pang. “I have been engaged in various sorts of business—a distiller, a trader to Africa, an East India merchant, a speculator in the stocks—and, in the course of these affairs, have contracted an incumbrance of a certain nature. The purchaser of the estate shall merely be required to assume this burden to himself.”
“I understand you,” said the man of Intelligence, putting his pen behind his ear. “I fear that no bargain can be negotiated on these conditions. Very probably the next possessor may acquire the estate with a similar incumbrance, but it will be of his own contracting, and will not lighten your burden in the least.”
“And am I to live on,” fiercely exclaimed the stranger, “with the dirt of these accursed acres and the granite of this infernal mansion crushing down my soul? How, if I should turn the edifice into an almshouse or a hospital, or tear it down and build a church?”
“You can at least make the experiment,” said the Intelligencer; “but the whole matter is one which you must settle for yourself.”
The man of deplorable success withdrew, and got into his coach, which rattled off lightly over the wooden pavements, though laden with the weight of much land, a stately house, and ponderous heaps of gold, all compressed into an evil conscience.
There now appeared many applicants for places; among the most noteworthy of whom was a small, smoke-dried figure, who gave himself out to be one of the bad spirits that had waited upon Doctor Faustus in his laboratory. He pretended to show a certificate of character, which, he averred, had been given him by that famous necromancer, and countersigned by several masters whom he had subsequently served.
“I am afraid, my good friend,” observed the Intelligencer, “that your chance of getting a service is but poor. Nowadays, men act the evil spirit for themselves and their neighbors, and play the part more effectually than ninety-nine out of a hundred of your fraternity.”
But, just as the poor fiend was assuming a vaporous consistency, being about to vanish through the floor in sad disappointment and chagrin, the editor of a political newspaper chanced to enter the office in quest of a scribbler of party paragraphs. The former servant of Doctor Faustus, with some misgivings as to his sufficiency of venom, was allowed to try his hand in this capacity. Next appeared, likewise seeking a service, the mysterious man in Red, who had aided Bonaparte in his ascent to imperial power. He was examined as to his qualifications by an aspiring politician, but finally rejected, as lacking familiarity with the cunning tactics of the present day.
People continued to succeed each other with as much briskness as if everybody turned aside, out of the roar and tumult of the city, to record here some want, or superfluity, or desire. Some had goods or possessions, of which they wished to negotiate the sale. A China merchant had lost his health by a long residence in that wasting climate. He very liberally offered his disease, and his wealth along with it, to any physician who would rid him of both together. A soldier offered his wreath of laurels for as good a leg as that which it had cost him on the battle-field. One poor weary wretch desired nothing but to be accommodated with any creditable method of laying down his life; for misfortune and pecuniary troubles had so subdued his spirits that he could no longer conceive the possibility of happiness, nor had the heart to try for it. Nevertheless, happening to overhear some conversation in the Intelligence Office respecting wealth to be rapidly accumulated by a certain mode of speculation, he resolved to live out this one other experiment of better fortune. Many persons desired to exchange their youthful vices for others better suited to the gravity of advancing age; a few, we are glad to say, made earnest efforts to exchange vice for virtue, and, hard as the bargain was, succeeded in effecting it. But it was remarkable that what all were the least willing to give up, even on the most advantageous terms, were the habits, the oddities, the characteristic traits, the little ridiculous indulgences, somewhere between faults and follies, of which nobody but themselves could understand the fascination.
The great folio, in which the Man of Intelligence recorded all these freaks of idle hearts, and aspirations of deep hearts, and desperate longings of miserable hearts, and evil prayers of perverted hearts, would be curious reading were it possible to obtain it for publication. Human character in its individual developments—human nature in the mass—may best be studied in its wishes; and this was the record of them all. There was an endless diversity of mode and circumstance, yet withal such a similarity in the real ground-work, that any one page of the volume—whether written in the days  before the Flood, or the yesterday that is just gone by, or to be written on the morrow that is close at hand, or a thousand ages hence—might serve as a specimen of the whole. Not but that there were wild sallies of fantasy that could scarcely occur to more than one man’s brain, whether reasonable or lunatic. The strangest wishes—yet most incident to men who had gone deep into scientific pursuits, and attained a high intellectual stage, though not the loftiest—were to contend with Nature, and wrest from her some secret or some power which she had seen fit to withhold from mortal grasp. She loves to delude her aspiring students, and mock them with mysteries that seem but just beyond their utmost reach. To concoct new minerals, to produce new forms of vegetable life, to create an insect, if nothing higher in the living scale, is a sort of wish that has often revelled in the breast of a man of science. An astronomer, who lived far more among the distant worlds of space than in this lower sphere, recorded a wish to behold the opposite side of the moon, which, unless the system of the firmament be reversed, she can never turn towards the earth. On the same page of the volume was written the wish of a little child to have the stars for playthings.
The most ordinary wish, that was written down with wearisome recurrence, was, of course, for wealth, wealth, wealth, in sums from a few shillings up to unreckonable thousands. But in reality this often-repeated expression covered as many different desires. Wealth is the golden essence of the outward world, embodying almost everything that exists beyond the limits of the soul; and therefore it is the natural yearning for the life in the midst of which we find ourselves, and of which gold is the condition of enjoyment, that men abridge into this general wish. Here and there, it is true, the volume testified to some heart so perverted as to desire gold for its own sake. Many wished for power; a strange desire indeed, since it is but another form of slavery. Old people wished for the delights of youth; a fop, for a fashionable coat; an idle reader, for a new novel; a versifier, for a rhyme to some stubborn word; a painter, for Titian’s secret of coloring; a prince, for a cottage; a republican, for a kingdom and a palace; a libertine for his neighbor’s wife; a man of palate, for green peas; and a poor man, for a crust of bread. The ambitious desires of public men, elsewhere so craftily concealed, were here expressed openly and boldly, side by side with the unselfish wishes of the philanthropist for the welfare of the race, so beautiful, so comforting, in contrast with the egotism that continually weighed self against the world. Into the darker secrets of the Book of Wishes we will not penetrate.
It would be an instructive employment for a student of mankind, perusing this volume carefully and comparing its records with men’s perfected designs, as expressed in their deeds and daily life, to ascertain how far the one accorded with the other. Undoubtedly, in most cases, the correspondence would be found remote. The holy and generous wish, that rises like incense from a pure heart towards heaven, often lavishes its sweet perfume on the blast of evil times. The foul, selfish, murderous wish, that steams forth from a corrupted heart, often passes into the spiritual atmosphere without being concreted into an earthly deed. Yet this volume is probably truer, as a representation of the human heart, than is the living drama of action as it evolves around us. There is more of good and more of evil in it; more redeeming points of the bad and more errors of the virtuous; higher upsoarings, and baser degradation of the soul; in short, a more perplexing amalgamation of vice and virtue that we witness in the outward world. Decency and external conscience often produce a far fairer outside than is warranted by the stains within. And be it owned, on the other hand, that a man seldom repeats to his nearest friend, any more than he realizes in act, the purest wishes, which, at some blessed time or other, have arisen from the depths of his nature and witnessed for him in this volume. Yet there is enough on every leaf to make the good man shudder for his own wild and idle wishes, as well as for the sinner, whose whole life is the incarnation of a wicked desire.
But again the door is opened, and we hear the tumultuous stir of the world—a deep and awful sound, expressing in another form some portion of what is written in the volume that lies before the Man of Intelligence. A grandfatherly personage tottered hastily into the office, with such an earnestness in his infirm alacrity that his white hair floated backward as he hurried up to the desk, while his dim eyes caught a momentary lustre from his vehemence of purpose. This venerable figure explained that he was in search of To-Morrow.
“I have spent all my life in pursuit of it,” added the sage old gentleman, “being assured that To-Morrow has some vast benefit or other in store for me. But I am now getting a little in years, and must make haste; for, unless I overtake To-Morrow soon, I begin to be afraid it will finally escape me.”
“This fugitive To-Morrow, my venerable friend,” said the Man of Intelligence, “is a stray child of Time, and is flying from his father into the region of the infinite. Continue your pursuit, and you will doubtless come up with him; but as to the earthly gifts which you expect, he has scattered them all among a throng of Yesterdays.”
Obliged to content himself with this enigmatical response, the grandsire hastened forth with a quick clatter of his staff upon the floor; and, as he disappeared, a little boy scampered through the door in chase of a butterfly which had got astray amid the barren sunshine of the city. Had the old gentleman been shrewder, he might have detected To-Morrow under the semblance of that gaudy insect. The golden butterfly glistened through the shadowy apartment, and brushed its wings against the book of wishes, and fluttered forth again with the child still in pursuit.
A man now entered, in neglected attire, with the aspect of a thinker, but somewhat too rough-hewn and brawny for a scholar. His face was full of sturdy vigor, with some finer and keener attribute beneath. Though harsh at first, it was tempered with the glow of a large, warm heart, which had force enough to heat his powerful intellect through and through. He advanced to the Intelligencer and looked at him with a glance of such stern sincerity that perhaps few secrets were beyond its scope.
“I seek for Truth,” said he.
“It is precisely the most rare pursuit that has ever come under my cognizance,” replied the Intelligencer, as he made the new inscription in his volume. “Most men seek to impose some cunning falsehood upon themselves for truth. But I can lend no help to your researches. You must achieve the miracle for yourself. At some fortunate moment you may find Truth at your side, or perhaps she may be mistily discerned far in advance, or possibly behind you.”
“Not behind me,” said the seeker; “for I have left nothing on my track without a thorough investigation. She flits before me, passing now through a naked solitude, and now mingling with the throng of a popular assembly, and now writing with the pen of a French philosopher, and now standing at the altar of an old cathedral, in the guise of a Catholic priest, performing the high mass. Oh weary search! But I must not falter; and surely my heart-deep quest of Truth shall avail at last.”
He paused and fixed his eyes upon the Intelligencer with a depth of investigation that seemed to hold commerce with the inner nature of this being, wholly regardless of his external development.
“And what are you?” said he. “It will not satisfy me to point to this fantastic show of an Intelligence Office and this mockery of business. Tell me what is beneath it, and what your real agency in life, and your influence upon mankind.”
“Yours is a mind,” answered the Man of Intelligence, “before which the forms and fantasies that conceal the inner idea from the multitude vanish at once and leave the naked reality beneath. Know, then, the secret. My agency in worldly action, my connection with the press, and tumult, and intermingling, and development of human affairs, is merely delusive. The desire of man’s heart does for him whatever I seem to do. I am no minister of action, but the Recording Spirit.”
What further secrets were then spoken remains a mystery, inasmuch as the roar of the city, the bustle of human business, the outcry of the jostling masses, the rush and tumult of man’s life in its noisy and brief career, arose so high that it drowned the words of these two talkers; and whether they stood talking in the moon, or in Vanity Fair, or in a city of this actual world, is more than I can say.
@`


@#Little Ol’ You @!Music Video: (a slight adaptation of an old Jim Reeves song)
~~
Matthew 5 ¶ 9    You have heard how it was said to them of old time: You shall not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that whosoever looks on a wife, lusting after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Matthew 13 ¶ 10    Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant that seeks good pearls, which when he had found one precious pearl, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
@`
@# October Garden THE MAN OF ADAMANT
@~
@!An Apologue
@@by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In the old times of religious gloom and intolerance, lived Richard Digby, the gloomiest and most intolerant of a stern brotherhood. His plan of salvation was so narrow, that, like a plank in a tempestuous sea, it could avail no sinner but himself, who bestrode it triumphantly, and hurled anathemas against the wretches whom he saw struggling with the billows of eternal death. In his view of the matter, it was a most abominable crime—as, indeed, it is a great folly—for men to trust to their own strength, or even to grapple to any other fragment of the wreck, save this narrow plank, which, moreover, he took special care to keep out of their reach. In other words, as his creed was like no man’s else, and being well pleased that Providence had entrusted him, alone of mortals, with the treasure of a true faith, Richard Digby determined to seclude himself to the sole and constant enjoyment of his happy fortune.
‘And verily,’ thought he, ‘I deem it a chief condition of Heaven’s mercy to myself, that I hold no communion with those abominable myriads which it hath cast off to perish, Peradventure, were I to tarry longer in the tents of Kedar, the gracious boon would be revoked, and I also be swallowed up in the deluge of wrath, or consumed in the storm of fire and brimstone, or involved in whatever new kind of ruin is ordained for the horrible perversity of the generation.’
So Richard Digby took an axe, to hew space enough for a tabernacle in the wilderness, and some few other necessaries, especially a sword and gun, to smite and slay any intruder upon his hallowed seclusion; and plunged into the dreariest depths of the forest. On its verge, however, he paused a moment, to shake off the dust of his feet against the village where he had dwelt, and to invoke a curse on the meeting-house, which he regarded as a temple of heathen idolatry. He felt a curiosity, also, to see whether the fire and brimstone would not rush down from Heaven at once, now that the one righteous man had provided for his own safety. But, as the sunshine continued to fall peacefully on the cottages and fields, and the husbandmen labored and children played, and as there were many tokens of present happiness, and nothing ominous of a speedy judgment, he turned away, somewhat disappointed. The further he went, however, and the lonelier he felt himself, and the thicker the trees stood along his path, and the darker the shadow overhead, so much the more did Richard Digby exult. He talked to himself, as he strode onward; he read his Bible to himself, as he sat beneath the trees; and, as the gloom of the forest hid the blessed sky, I had almost added, that, at morning, noon, and eventide, he prayed to himself. So congenial was this mode of life to his disposition, that he often laughed to himself, but was displeased when an echo tossed him back the long, loud roar.
In this manner, he journeyed onward three days and two nights, and came, on the third evening, to the mouth of a cave, which, at first sight, reminded him of Elijah’s cave at Horeb, though perhaps it more resembled Abraham’s sepulchral cave, at Machpelah. It entered into the heart of a rocky hill. There was so dense a veil of tangled foliage about it, that none but a sworn lover of gloomy recesses would have discovered the low arch of its entrance, or have  dared to step within its vaulted chamber, where the burning eyes of a panther might encounter him. If Nature meant this remote and dismal cavern for the use of man, it could only be, to bury in its gloom the victims of a pestilence, and then to block up its mouth with stones, and avoid the spot forever after. There was nothing bright nor cheerful near it, except a bubbling fountain, some twenty paces off, at which Richard Digby hardly threw away a glance. But he thrust his head into the cave, shivered, and congratulated himself.
~@The finger of Providence hath pointed my way!…
‘The finger of Providence hath pointed my way!’ cried he, aloud, while the tomb-like den returned a strange echo, as if some one within were mocking him. ‘Here my soul will be at peace; for the wicked will not find me. Here I can read the Scriptures, and be no more provoked with lying interpretations. Here I can offer up acceptable prayers, because my voice will not be mingled with the sinful supplications of the multitude. Of a truth, the only way to Heaven leadeth through the narrow entrance of this cave—and I alone have found it!’
hand
In regard to this cave, it was observable that the roof, so far as the imperfect light permitted it to be seen, was hung with substances resembling opaque icicles; for the damps of unknown centuries, dripping down continually, had become as hard as adamant; and wherever that moisture fell, it seemed to possess the power of converting what it bathed to stone. The fallen leaves and sprigs of foliage, which the wind had swept into the cave, and the little feathery shrubs, rooted near the threshold, were not wet with a natural dew, but had been embalmed by this wondrous process. And here I am put in mind, that Richard Digby, before he withdrew himself from the world, was supposed by skilful physicians to have contracted a disease, for which no remedy was written in their medical books. It was a deposition of calculus particles within his heart, caused by an obstructed circulation of the blood, and unless a miracle should be wrought for him, there was danger that the malady might act on the entire substance of the organ, and change his fleshly heart to stone. Many, indeed, affirmed that the process was already near its consummation. Richard Digby, however, could never be convinced that any such direful work was going on within him; nor when he saw the sprigs of marble foliage, did his heart even throb the quicker, at the similitude suggested by these once tender herbs. It may be, that this same insensibility was a symptom of the disease.
Be that as it might, Richard Digby was well contented with his sepulchral cave. So dearly did he love this congenial spot, that, instead of going a few paces to the bubbling spring for water, he allayed his thirst with now and then a drop of moisture from the roof, which, had it fallen any where but on his tongue, would have been congealed into a pebble. For a man predisposed to stoniness of the heart, this surely was unwholesome liquor. But there he dwelt, for three days more, eating herbs and roots, drinking his own destruction, sleeping, as it were, in a tomb, and awaking to the solitude of death, yet esteeming this horrible mode of life as hardly inferior to celestial bliss. Perhaps superior; for, above the sky, there would be angels to disturb him. At the close of the third day, he sat in the portal of his mansion, reading the Bible aloud, because no other ear could profit by it, and reading it amiss, because the rays of the setting sun did not penetrate the dismal depth of shadow roundabout him, nor fall upon the sacred page. Suddenly, however, a faint gleam of light was thrown over the volume, and raising his eyes, Richard Digby saw that a young woman stood before the mouth of the cave, and that the sunbeams bathed her white garment, which thus seemed to possess a radiance of its own.
~@‘Good evening, Richard,’ said the girl, ‘I have come from afar to find thee.’
‘Good evening, Richard,’ said the girl, ‘I have come from afar to find thee.’
The slender grace and gentle loveliness of this young woman were at once recognized by Richard Digby. Her name was Mary Goffe. She had been a convert to his preaching of the word in England, before he yielded himself to that exclusive bigotry, which now enfolded him with such an iron grasp, that no other sentiment could reach his bosom. When he came a pilgrim to America, she had remained in her father’s hall, but now, as it appeared, had crossed the ocean after him, impelled by the same faith that led other exiles hither, and perhaps by love almost as holy. What else but faith and love united could have sustained so delicate a creature, wandering thus far into the forest, with her golden hair disheveled by the boughs, and her feet wounded by the thorns! Yet, weary and faint though she must have been, and affrighted at the dreariness of the cave, she looked on the lonely man with a mild and pitying expression, such as might beam from an angels eyes, towards an afflicted mortal. But the recluse, frowning sternly upon her, and keeping his finger between the leaves of his half closed Bible, motioned her away with his hand.
~@The slender grace and gentle loveliness of this young woman…
‘Off!’ cried he. ‘I am sanctified, and thou art sinful. Away!’
‘Oh, Richard,’ said she, earnestly, ‘I have come this weary way, because I heard that a grievous distemper had seized upon thy heart; and a great Physician hath given me the skill to cure it. There is no other remedy than this which I have brought thee. Turn me not away, therefore, nor refuse my medicine; for then must this dismal cave be thy sepulchre.’
drink of this hallowed water
‘Away!’ replied Richard Digby, still with a dark frown. ‘My heart is in better condition than thine own. Leave me, earthly one; for the sun is almost set; and when no light reaches the door of the cave, then is my prayer time!’
Now, great as was her need, Mary Goffe did not plead with this stony hearted man for shelter and protection, nor ask any thing whatever for her own sake. All her zeal was for his welfare.
‘Come back with me!’ she exclaimed, clasping her hands—‘Come back to thy fellow men; for they need thee, Richard; and thou hast tenfold need of them. Stay not in this evil den; for the air is chill, and the damps are fatal; nor will any, that perish within it, ever find the path to Heaven. Hasten hence, I entreat thee, for thine own soul’s sake; for either the roof will fall upon thy head, or some other speedy destruction is at hand.’
‘Perverse woman!’ answered Richard Digby, laughing aloud; for he was moved to bitter mirth by her foolish vehemence. ‘I tell thee that the path to Heaven leadeth straight through this narrow portal, where I sit. And, moreover, the destruction thou speakest of, is ordained, not for this blessed cave, but for all other habitations of mankind, throughout the earth. Get thee hence speedily, that thou may’st have thy share!’
So saying, he opened his Bible again, and fixed his eyes intently on the page, being resolved to withdraw his thoughts from this child of sin and wrath, and to waste no more of his holy breath upon her. The shadow had now grown so deep, where he was sitting, that he made continual mistakes in what he read, converting all that was gracious and merciful, to denunciations of vengeance and unutterable woe, on every created being but himself. Mary Goffe, meanwhile, was leaning against a tree, beside the sepulchral cave, very sad, yet with something heavenly and ethereal in her unselfish sorrow. The light from the setting sun still glorified her form, and was reflected a little way within the darksome den, discovering so terrible a gloom, that the maiden shuddered for its self-doomed inhabitant. Espying the bright fountain near at hand, she hastened thither, and scooped up a portioin of its water, in a cup of birchen bark. A few tears mingled with the draught, and perhaps gave it all its efficacy. She then returned to the mouth of the cave, and knelt down at Richard Digby’s feet.
‘Richard,’ she said, with passionate fervor, yet a gentleness in all her passion, ‘I pray thee, by thy hope of Heaven, and as thou wouldst not dwell in this tomb forever, drink of this hallowed water, be it but a single drop! Then, make room for me by thy side, and let us read together one page of that blessed volume—and, lastly, kneel down with me and pray! Do this; and thy stony heart shall become softer than a babe’s, and all be well.’
But Richard Digby, in utter abhorrence of the proposal, cast the Bible at his feet, and eyed her with such a fixed and evil frown, that he looked less like a living man than a marble statue, wrought by some dark imagined sculptor to express the most repulsive mood that human features could assume. And, as his look grew even devilish, so, with an equal change, did Mary Goffe become more sad, more mild, more pitiful, more like a sorrowing angel. But, the more heavenly she was the more hateful did she seem to Richard Digby, who at length raised his hand, and smote down the cup of hallowed water upon the threshold of the cave, thus rejecting the only medicine that could have cured his stony heart. A sweet perfume lingered in the air for a moment, and then was gone.
‘Tempt me no more, accursed woman,’ exclaimed he, still with his marble frown, ‘lest I smite thee down also! What hast thou to do with my Bible?—what with my prayers?—what with my Heaven’
~@And either it was her ghost that haunted the wild forest, or else a dreamlike spirit, typifying pure Religion.
No sooner had he spoken these dreadful words, than Richard Digby’s heart ceased to beat; while—so the legend says—the form of Mary Goffe melted into the last sunbeams, and returned from the sepulchral cave to Heaven. For Mary Goffe had been buried in an English churchyard, months before; and either it was her ghost that haunted the wild forest, or else a dreamlike spirit, typifying pure Religion.
Above a century afterwards, when the trackless forest of Richard Digby’s day had long been interspersed with settlements, the children of a neighboring farmer were playing at the foot of a hill. The trees, on account of the rude and broken surface of this acclivity, had never been felled, and were crowded so densely together, as to hide all but a few rocky prominences, wherever their roots could grapple with the soil. A little boy and girl, to conceal themselves from their playmates, had crept into the deepest shade, where not only the darksome pines, but a thick veil of creeping plants suspended from an overhanging rock, combined to make a twilight at noonday, and almost a midnight at all other seasons. There the children hid themselves, and shouted, repeating the cry at intervals, till the whole party of pursuers were drawn thither, and pulling aside the matted foliage, let in a doubtful glimpse of daylight. But scarcely  was this accomplished, when the little group uttered a simultaneous shriek and tumbled headlong down the hill, making the best of their way homeward, without a second glance into the gloomy recess. Their father, unable to comprehend what had so startled them, took his axe, and by felling one or two trees, and tearing away the creeping plants, laid the mystery open to the day. He had discovered the entrance of a cave, closely resembling the mouth of a sepulchre, within which sat the figure of a man, whose gesture and attitude warned the father and children to stand back, while his visage wore a most forbidding frown. This repulsive personage seemed to have been carved in the same gray stone that formed the walls and portal of the cave. On minuter inspection, indeed, such blemishes were observed, as made it doubtful whether the figure were really a statue, chiselled by human art, and somewhat worn and defaced by the lapse of ages, or a freak of Nature, who might have chosen to imitate, in stone, her usual handiwork of flesh. Perhaps it was the least unreasonable idea, suggested by this strange spectacle, that the moisture of the cave possessed a petrifying quality, which had thus awfully embalmed a human corpse.
There was something so frightful in the aspect of this Man of Adamant, that the farmer, the moment that he recovered from the fascination of his first gaze, began to heap stones into the mouth of the cavern. His wife, who had followed him to the hill, assisted her husband’s efforts. The children, also, approached as near as they durst, with their little hands full of pebbles, and cast them on the pile. Earth was then thrown into the crevices, and the whole fabric overlaid with sods. Thus all traces of the discovery were obliterated, leaving only a marvelous legend, which grew wilder from one generation to another, as the children told it to their grandchildren, and they to their posterity, till few believed that there had ever been a cavern or a statue, where now they saw but a grassy patch on the shadowy hill-side. Yet, grown people avoid the spot, nor do children play there. Friendship, and Love, and Piety, all human and celestial sympathies, should keep aloof from the hidden cave; for there still sits, and, unless an earthquake crumble down the roof upon his head, shall sit forever, the shape of Richard Digby, in the attitude of repelling the whole race of mortals—not from Heaven—but from the horrible loneliness of his dark, cold sepulchre.
@`
October Garden
@#Commentary on The Man of Adamant
@@Ideal Beauty—Queen Esther
Ideal Woman
~-Ideal Head Of A Woman, Antonio Canova. Image is not for reproduction.
 
 
 
 
 
~~
And on the third day put Esther on her royal apparel, & stood in the court of the king’s palace within over against the king’s house. And the king sat upon his royal seat in the king’s palace over against the gate of the house. And when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she found grace in his sight. And the king held out the golden scepter in his hand toward Esther. So Esther stept forth, & touched the top of the scepter. Then said the king unto her: & what wilt thou queen Esther? and what requirest thou? ask even the half of the empire, & it shall be given thee. Esther said, If it please the king, let the king & Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared. The king said: cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said.
@@(Esther, The .v. Chapter.)
@`
@-Mule deer, Doe. Gibson Jack, Idaho
@# Mule deer, Doe. Gibson Jack, Idaho DROWNE’S WOODEN IMAGE
@@by Nathaniel Hawthorne
@~
One sunshiny morning, in the good old times of the town of Boston, a young carver in wood, well known by the name of Drowne, stood contemplating a large oaken log, which it was his purpose to convert into the figure-head of a vessel. And while he discussed within his own mind what sort of shape or similitude it were well to bestow upon this excellent piece of timber, there came into Drowne’s workshop a certain Captain Hunnewell, owner and commander of the good brig called the Cynosure, which had just returned from her first voyage to Fayal.
marble sculpture
~-Portrait of a Woman, Gian Cristoforo Romano. Image is not for reproduction
“Ah! that will do, Drowne, that will do!” cried the jolly captain, taping the log with his rattan. “I bespeak this very piece of oak for the figure-head of the Cynosure. She has shown herself the sweetest craft that ever floated, and I mean to decorate her prow with the handsomest image that the skill of man can cut out of timber. And, Drowne, you are the fellow to execute it.”
“You give me more credit than I deserve, Captain Hunnewell,” said the carver, modestly, yet as one conscious of eminence in his art. “But, for the sake of the good brig, I stand ready to do my best. And which of these designs would you prefer? Here—” pointing to a staring, half length figure, in a white wig and scarlet coat— “here is an excellent model, the likeness of our gracious king. Here is the valiant Admiral Vernon. Or, if you prefer a female figure, what say you to Britannia with the trident?”
“All very fine, Drowne; all very fine,” answered the mariner. “But as nothing like the brig ever swam the ocean, so I am determined she shall have such a figure-head as old Neptune never saw in his life. And what is more, as there is a secret in the matter, you must pledge your credit not to betray it.”
“Certainly,” said Drowne, marvelling, however, what possible mystery there could be in reference to an affair so open, of necessity, to the inspection of all the world, as the figure-head of a vessel. “You may depend, captain, on my being as secret as the nature of the case will permit.”
Captain Hunnewell then took Drowne by the button, and communicated his wishes in so low a tone, that it would be unmannerly to repeat what was evidently intended for the carver’s private ear. We shall, therefore, take the opportunity to give the reader a few desirable particulars about Drowne himself.
He was the first American who is known to have attempted,—in a very humble line, it is true,—that art in which we can now reckon so many names already distinguished, or rising to distinction. From his earliest boyhood, he had exhibited a knack—for it would be too proud a word to call it genius—a knack, therefore, for the imitation of the human figure, in whatever material came most readily to hand. The snows of a New England winter had often supplied him with a species of marble as dazzling white, at least, as the Parian or the Carrara, and if less durable, yet sufficiently so to correspond with any claims to permanent existence possessed by the boy’s frozen statues. Yet they won admiration from maturer judges than his schoolfellows, and were, indeed, remarkably clever, though destitute of the native warmth that might have made the snow melt beneath his hand. As he advanced in life, the young man adopted pine and oak as eligible materials for the display of his skill, which now began to bring him a return of solid silver, as well as the empty praise that had been an apt reward enough for his productions of evanescent snow. He became noted for carving ornamental pump-heads, and wooden urns for gate-posts, and decorations, more grotesque than fanciful, for mantelpieces. No apothecary would have deemed himself in the way of obtaining custom, without setting up a gilded mortar, if not a head of Galen or Hippocrates, from the skilful hand of Drowne. But the great scope of his business lay in the manufacture of figure-heads for vessels. Whether it were the monarch himself, or some famous British admiral or general, or the governor of the province, or perchance the favourite daughter of the ship-owner, there the image stood above the prow, decked out in gorgeous colours, magnificently gilded, and staring the whole world out of countenance, as if from an innate consciousness of its own superiority. These specimens of native sculpture had crossed the sea in all directions, and been not ignobly noticed among the crowded shipping of the Thames, and wherever else the hardy mariners of New England had pushed their adventures. It must be confessed, that a family likeness pervaded these respectable progeny of Drowne’s skill—that the benign countenance of the king resembled those of his subjects, and that Miss Peggy Hobart, the merchant’s daughter, bore a remarkable similitude to Britannia, Victory, and other ladies of the allegoric sisterhood; and, finally, that they had all had a kind of wooden aspect, which proved an intimate relationship with the unshaped blocks of timber in the carver’s workshop. But, at least, there was no inconsiderable skill of hand, nor a deficiency of any attribute to render them really works of art, except that deep quality, be it of soul or intellect, which bestows life upon the lifeless, and warmth upon the cold, and which, had it been present, would have made Drowne’s wooden image instinct with spirit.
The captain of the Cynosure had now finished his instructions.
“And Drowne,” said he, impressively, “you must lay aside all other business, and set about this forthwith. And as to the price, only do the job in first rate style, and you shall settle that point yourself.”
“Very well, captain,” answered the carver, who looked grave and somewhat perplexed, yet had a sort of smile upon his visage. “Depend upon it, I’ll do my utmost to satisfy you.”
From that morning, the men of taste about Long Wharf and the Town Dock, who were wont to show their love for the arts by frequent visits to Drowne’s workshop, and admiration of his wooden images, began to be sensible of a mystery in the carver’s conduct. Often he was absent in the day-time. Sometimes, as might be judged by gleams of light from the shop windows, he was at work until a late hour of the evening; although neither knock nor voice, on such occasions could gain admittance for a visitor, or elicit any word of response. Nothing remarkable, however, was observed in the shop at those hours when it was thrown open. A fine piece of timber, indeed, which Drowne was known to have reserved for some work of especial dignity, was seen to be gradually assuming shape. What shape it was destined ultimately to take, was a problem to his friends, and a point on which the carver preserved a rigid silence. But day after day, though Drowne was seldom noticed in the act of working upon it, this rude form began to be developed, until it became evident to all observers, that a female figure was growing into mimic life. At each new visit they beheld a larger pile of wooden chips, and a nearer approximation to something beautiful. It seemed as if the hamadryad of the oak had sheltered herself from the unimaginative world within the heart of her native tree, and that it was only necessary to remove the strange shapelessness that had incrusted her, and reveal the grace and loveliness of a divinity. Imperfect as the design, the attitude, the costume, and especially the face of the image, still remained, there was already an effect that drew the eye from the wooden cleverness of Drowne’s earlier productions, and fixed it upon the tantalizing mystery of this new project.
Copley, the celebrated painter, then a young man, and a resident of Boston, came one day to visit Drowne; for he had recognized so much of moderate ability in the carver as to induce him, in the dearth of any professional sympathy, to cultivate his acquaintance. On entering the shop, the artist glanced at the inflexible images of king, commander, dame, and allegory, that stood around; on the best of which might have been bestowed the questionable praise, that it looked as if a living man had here been changed to wood, and that not only the physical, but the intellectual and spiritual part, partook of the stolid transformation. But in not a single instance did it seem as if the wood were imbibing the ethereal essence of humanity. What  a wide distinction is here, and how far would the slightest portion of the latter merit have outvalued the utmost degree of the former!
“My friend Drowne,” said Copley, smiling to himself, but alluding to the mechanical and wooden cleverness that so invariably distinguished the images, “you are really a remarkable person! I have seldom met with a man, in your line of business, that could do so much; for one other touch might make this figure of General Wolfe, for instance, a breathing and intelligent human creature.”

“You would have me think that you are praising me highly, Mr. Copley,” answered Drowne, turning his back upon Wolfe’s image in apparent disgust. “But there has come a light into my mind. I know, what you know as well, that the one touch, which you speak of as deficient, is the only one that would be truly valuable, and that, without it, these works of mine are no better than worthless abortions. There is the same difference between them and the works of an inspired artist, as between a sign post daub and one of your best pictures.”
“This is strange!” cried Copley, looking him in the face, which now, as the painter fancied, had a singular depth of intelligence, though, hitherto, it had not given him greatly the advantage over his own family of wooden images. “What has come over you? How is it that, possessing the idea which you have now uttered, you should produce only such works as these?”
The carver smiled, but made no reply. Copley turned again to the images, conceiving that the sense of deficiency which Drowne had just expressed, and which is so rare in a merely mechanical character, must surely imply a genius, the tokens of which had heretofore been overlooked. But no; there was not a trace of it. He was about to withdraw, when his eyes chanced to fall upon a half-developed figure which lay in a corner of the workshop, surrounded by scattered chips of oak. It arrested him at once.
“What is here? Who has done this?” he broke out, after contemplating it in speechless astonishment for an instant. “Here is the divine, the life-giving touch! What inspired hand is beckoning this wood to arise and live? Whose work is this?”
“No man’s work,” replied Drowne. “The figure lies within that block of oak, and it is my business to find it.”
“Drowne,” said the true artist, grasping the carver fervently by the hand, “you are a man of genius!”
As Copley departed, happening to glance backward from the threshold, he beheld Drowne bending over the half created shape, and stretching forth his arms as if he would have embraced and drawn it to his heart; while, had such a miracle been possible, his countenance expressed passion enough to communicate warmth and sensibility to the lifeless oak.
“Strange enough!” said the artist to himself. “Who would have looked for a modern Pygmalion in the person of a Yankee mechanic!”
As yet, the image was but vague in its outward presentment; so that, as in the cloud-shapes around the western sun, the observer rather felt, or was led to imagine, than really saw what was intended by it. Day by day, however, the work assumed greater precision, and settled its irregular and misty outline into distincter grace and beauty. The general design was now obvious to the common eye. It was a female figure, in what appeared to be a foreign dress; the gown being laced over the bosom, and opening in front, so as to disclose a skirt or petticoat, the folds and inequalities of which were admirably represented in the oaken substance. She wore a hat of singular gracefulness, and abundantly laden with flowers, such as never grew in the rude soil of New England, but which, with all their fanciful luxuriance, had a natural truth that it seemed impossible for the most fertile imagination to have attained without copying from real prototypes. There were several little appendages to this dress, such as a fan, a pair of ear-rings, a chain about the neck, a watch in the bosom, and a ring upon the finger, all of which would have been deemed beneath the dignity of sculpture. They were put on, however, with as much taste as a lovely woman might have shown in her attire, and could therefore have shocked none but a judgment spoiled by artistic rules.
The face was still imperfect; but, gradually, by a magic touch, intelligence and sensibility brightened through the features, with all the effect of light gleaming forth from within the solid oak. The face became alive. It was a beautiful, though not precisely regular, and somewhat haughty aspect, but with a certain piquancy about the eyes and mouth which of all expressions, would have seemed the most impossible to throw over a wooden countenance. And now, so far as carving went, this wonderful production was complete.
“Drowne,” said Copley, who had hardly missed a single day in his visits to the carver’s workshop “if this work were in marble, it would make you famous at once; nay, I would almost affirm that it would make an era in the art. It is as ideal as an antique stature, and yet as real as any lovely woman whom one meets at a fireside or in the street. But I trust you do not mean to desecrate this exquisite creature with paint, like those staring kings and admirals yonder?”
“Not paint her?” exclaimed Captain Hunnewell, who stood by;— “not paint the figure-head of the Cynosure! And what sort of a figure should I cut in a foreign port, with such an unpainted oaken stick as this over my prow? She must, and she shall, be painted to the life, from the topmost flower in her hat down to the silver spangles on her slippers.”
“Mr. Copley,” said Drowne, quietly, “I know nothing of marble statuary, and nothing of a sculptor’s rules of art. But of this wooden image—this work of my hands—this creature of my heart—” and here his voice faltered and choked, in a very singular manner— “of this—of her—I may say that I know something. A well-spring of inward wisdom gushed within me, as I wrought upon the oak with my whole strength, and soul, and faith! Let others do what they may with marble, and adopt what rules they choose. If I can produce my desired effect by painted wood, those rules are not for me, and I have a right to disregard them.”
“The very spirit of genius!” muttered Copley to himself. “How otherwise should this carver feel himself entitled to transcend all rules, and make me ashamed of quoting them.”
He looked earnestly at Drowne, and again saw that expression of human love which, in a spiritual sense, as the artist could not help imagining, was the secret of the life that had been breathed into this block of wood.
The carver, still in the same secrecy that marked all his operations upon this mysterious image, proceeded to paint the habiliments in their proper colours, and the countenance with nature’s red and white. When all was finished, he threw open his workshop, and admitted the townspeople to behold what he had done. Most persons, at their first entrance, felt impelled to remove their hats, and pay such reverence as was due to the richly dressed and beautiful young lady, who seemed to stand in a corner of the room, with oaken chips and shavings scattered at her feet. Then came a sensation of fear; as if, not being actually human, yet so like humanity, she must therefore be something preternatural. There was, in truth, an indefinable air and expression that might reasonably induce the query—who and from what sphere this daughter of the oak should be. The strange rich flowers of Eden on her head; the complexion, so much deeper and more brilliant than those of our native beauties; the foreign, as it seemed, and fantastic garb, yet not too fantastic to be worn decorously in the street; the delicately wrought embroidery of the skirt; the broad gold chain about her neck; the curious ring upon her finger; the fan, so exquisitely sculptured in open work, and painted to resemble pearl and ebony;—where could Drowne, in his sober walk of life, have beheld the vision here so matchlessly embodied! And then her face! In the dark eyes, and around the voluptuous mouth, there played a look made up of pride, coquetry, and a gleam of mirthfulness, which impressed Copley with the idea that the image was secretly enjoying the perplexed admiration of himself and all other beholders.
“And will you,” said he to the carver, “permit this masterpiece to become the figure-head of a vessel? Give the honest captain yonder figure of Britannia—it will answer his purpose far better,—and send this fairy queen to England, where, for aught I know, it may bring you a thousand pounds.”
“I have not wrought it for money,” said Drowne.
“What sort of a fellow is this!” thought Copley. “A Yankee, and throw away the chance of making his fortune! He has gone mad; and thence has come this gleam of genius.”
There was still further proof of Drowne’s lunacy, if credit were due to the rumour that he had been seen kneeling at the feet of the oaken lady, and gazing with a lover’s passionate ardour into the face that his own hands had created. The bigots of the day hinted that it would be no matter of surprise if an evil spirit were allowed to enter this beautiful form, and seduce the carver to destruction.
The fame of the image spread far and wide. The inhabitants visited it so universally, that, after a few days of exhibition, there was hardly an old man or a child who had not become minutely familiar with its aspect. Even had the story of Drowne’s wooden image ended here, its celebrity might have been prolonged for many years, by the reminiscences of those who looked upon it in their childhood, and saw nothing else so beautiful in after life. But the town was now astounded by an event, the narrative of which has formed itself into one of the most singular legends that are yet to be met with in the traditionary chimney-corners of the New England metropolis, where old men and women sit dreaming of the past, and wag their heads at the dreamers of the present and the future.
@`
Sunrise, Jackson Hole
~-Sunrise, Jackson Hole
 
 
@~
One fine morning, just before the departure of the Cynosure on her second voyage to Fayal, the commander of that gallant vessel was seen to issue from his residence in Hanover street. He was stylishly dressed in a blue broadcloth coat, with gold lace at the seams and button-holes, an embroidered scarlet waistcoat, a triangular hat, with a loop and broad binding of gold, and wore a silver-hilted hanger at his side. But the good captain might have been arrayed in the robes of a prince or the rags of a beggar, without in either case attracting notice, while obscured by such a companion as now leaned on his arm. The people in the street started, rubbed their eyes, and either leaped aside from their path, or stood as if transfixed to wood or marble in astonishment.
“Do you see it?—do you see it?” cried one, with tremulous eagerness. “It is the very same!”
“The same?” answered another, who had arrived in town only the night before. “What do you mean? I see only a sea-captain in his shore-going clothes, and a young lady in a foreign habit, with a bunch of beautiful flowers in her hat. On my word, she is as fair and bright a damsel as my eyes have looked on this many a day!”
“Yes; the same!—the very same!” repeated the other. “Drowne’s wooden image has come to life!”
Here was a miracle indeed! Yet, illuminated by the sunshine, or darkened by the alternate shade of the houses, and with its garments fluttering lightly in the morning breeze, there passed the image along the street. It was exactly and minutely the shape, the garb, and the face, which the towns-people had so recently thronged to see and admire. Not a rich flower upon her head not a single leaf, but had had its prototype in Drowne’s wooden workmanship, although now their fragile grace had become flexible, and was shaken by every footstep that the wearer made. The broad gold chain upon the neck was identical with the one represented on the image, and glistened with the motion imparted by the rise and fall of the bosom which it decorated. A real diamond sparkled on her finger. In her right hand she bore a pearl and ebony fan, which she flourished with a fantastic and bewitching coquetry, that was likewise expressed in all her movements, as well as in the style of her beauty and the attire that so well harmonized with it. The face, with its brilliant depth of complexion, had the same piquancy of mirthful mischief that was fixed upon the countenance of the image, but which was here varied and continually shifting, yet always essentially the same, like the sunny gleam upon a bubbling fountain. On the whole, there was something so airy and yet so real in the figure, and withal so perfectly did it represent Drowne’s image, that people knew not whether to suppose the magic wood etherealized into a spirit, or warmed and softened into an actual woman.
@`

~-Ruby Rose
 
 
@~
“One thing is certain,” muttered a Puritan of the old stamp. “Drowne has sold himself to the devil; and doubtless this gay Captain Hunnewell is a party to the bargain.”
“And I,” said a young man who overheard him, “would almost consent to be the third victim, for the liberty of saluting those lovely lips.”
“And so would I,” said Copley, the painter, “for the privilege of taking her picture.”
The image, or the apparition, whichever it might be, still escorted by the bold captain, proceeded from Hanover street through some of the cross-lanes that make this portion of the town so intricate, to Ann street, thence into Dock-square, and so downward to Drowne’s shop, which stood just on the water’s edge. The crowd still followed, gathering volume as it rolled along. Never had a modern miracle occurred in such broad daylight, nor in the presence of such a multitude of witnesses. The airy image, as if conscious that she was the object of the murmurs and disturbance that swelled behind her, appeared slightly vexed and flustered, yet still in a manner consistent with the light vivacity and sportive mischief that were written in her countenance. She was observed to flutter her fan with such vehement rapidity, that the elaborate delicacy of its workmanship gave way, and it remained broken in her hand.
Arriving at Drowne’s door, while the captain threw it open, the marvellous apparition paused an instant on the threshold, assuming the very attitude of the image, and casting over the crowd that glance of sunny coquetry which all remembered on the face of the oaken lady. She and her cavalier then disappeared.
“Ah!” murmured the crowd, drawing a deep breath, as with one vast pair of lungs.
“The world looks darker, now that she has vanished,” said some of the young men.
But the aged, whose recollections dated as far back as witch-times, shook their heads, and hinted that our forefathers would have thought it a pious deed to burn the daughter of the oak with fire.
“If she be other than a bubble of the elements,” exclaimed Copley, “I must look upon her face again!”
He accordingly entered the shop; and there, in her usual corner, stood the image, gazing at him, as it might seem, with the very same expression of mirthful mischief that had been the farewell look of the apparition when, but a moment before, she turned her face towards the crowd. The carver stood beside his creation, mending the beautiful fan, which by some accident was broken in her hand. But there was no longer any motion in the life-like image, nor any real woman in the workshop, nor even the witchcraft of a sunny shadow, that might have deluded people’s eyes as it flitted along the street. Captain Hunnewell, too, had vanished. His hoarse, sea-breezy tones, however, were audible on the other side of a door that opened upon the water.
“Sit down in the stern sheets, my lady,” said the gallant captain. “Come, bear a hand, you lubbers, and set us on board in the turning of a minute-glass.”
And then was heard the stroke of oars.
~@What painter or statuary ever had such a subject! No wonder that she inspired a genius into you, and first created the artist who afterwards created her image.
“Drowne,” said Copely, with a smile of intelligence, “you have been a truly fortunate man. What painter or statuary ever had such a subject! No wonder that she inspired a genius into you, and first created the artist who afterwards created her image.
Drowne looked at him with a visage that bore the traces of tears, but from which the light of imagination and sensibility, so recently illuminating it, had departed. He was again the mechanical carver that he had been known to be all his lifetime.
“I hardly understand what you mean, Mr. Copley,” said he, putting his hand to his brow. “This image! Can it have been my work? Well—I have wrought it in a kind of dream; and now that I am broad awake, I must set about finishing yonder figure of Admiral Vernon.”
And forthwith he employed himself on the stolid countenance of one of his wooden progeny, and completed it in his own mechanical style, from which he was never known afterwards to deviate. He followed his business industriously for many years, acquired a competence, and, in the latter part of his life, attained to a dignified station in the church, being remembered in records and traditions as Deacon Drowne, the carver. One of his productions, an Indian chief, gilded all over, stood during the better part of a century on the cupola of the Province House bedazzling the eyes of those who looked upward, like an angel of the sun. Another work of the good deacon’s hand—a reduced likeness of his friend Captain Hunnewell, holding a telescope and quadrant—may be seen, to this day, at the corner of Broad and State streets, serving in the useful capacity of sign to the shop of a nautical instrument maker. We know not how to account for the inferiority of this quaint old figure, as compared with the recorded excellence of the Oaken Lady, unless on the supposition, that in every human spirit there is imagination, sensibility, creative power, genius, which, according to circumstances, may either be developed in this world, or shrouded in a mask of dulness until another state of being. To our friend Drowne, there came a brief season of excitement, kindled by love. It rendered him a genius for that one occasion, but, quenched in disappointment, left him again the mechanical carver in wood, without the power even of appreciating the work that his own hands had wrought. Yet who can doubt, that the very highest state to which a human spirit can attain, in its loftiest aspirations, is its truest and most natural state, and that Drowne was more consistent with himself when he wrought the admirable figure of the mysterious lady, than when he perpetrated a whole progeny of blockheads?
There was a rumor in Boston, about this period, that a young Portuguese lady of rank, on some occasion of political or domestic disquietude, had fled from her home in Fayal, and put herself under the protection of Captain Hunnewell, on board of whose vessel, and at whose residence, she was sheltered until a change of affairs. This fair stranger must have been the original of Drowne’s Wooden Image.
@`
~~
@#Introduction
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, entitled “Drowne’s Wooden Image,” he writes of how an artist’s own intense creativity achieves a wonder of fulfillment in one specific object of his work. However, his inspiration for greatness lasts only this once due to its most precarious source. It is derived from the artist’s own intense affection, having, as its object, the unattainable love of a beautiful princess who comes to visit the city of his New England home from a far distant shore. She poses for him while dressed in the shimmering fashion of royalty. When the love he wishes for, kindled by the closeness of her presence, is lost with her departure across the sea, the coming disappointment drowns his creativity.
A lesson can also be made from this story. To created glory and its magnificence is given a powerful source of inspiration.
@#Commentary on Drowne’s Wooden Image
@@Lo, this only have I found, that God made man just and right, but they seek diverse subtleties; whereas no man hath wisdom and understanding, to give answer thereunto. (from Eccl. 7)
Hawthorne’s story contains within it a measure of the theme that all persons are capable of individually achieving a momentous work of perfection. This theme is affirmed in the writings of wise Solomon where he says, “Lo, this only have I found, that God made man just and right.” Therefore, it is only a matter of bringing into reality the foundational thoughts of goodness that God has put there. Look about you at the various people in so many diverse walks of life. Know that each one is capable, along with intense dedication, of a perfect achievement.
Here, in “Drowne’s Wooden Image” that perfection concerns the work of a striving and talented artist. Over, and over again Hawthorne describes the genius that is required in the workmanship brought about by artistic abilities. The sum of all these ways of artistic genius is that by putting his spirit and soul into the work, a highly gifted artist can bring his own work with inanimate natural material (or pen) to have both spirit and life, giving a spiritual aura surrounding an image of art or the resultant thoughts of truth and perception from what is written. Characteristically this requires that an artist be capable of transcending the rules of art that limit the potential of perfection. The artist of this design must be a complete ruler over what is taken into hand for the matter of artwork. As a result of the perfection, there is also the possibility that the artist may be swept away by one’s own work, e.g. Pygmalion, who carved an ivory statue of a maiden and fell in love with it. Then, too, there is the possibility of one losing one’s own soul in sacrificing everything (including that which is illegal to make a sacrifice of) for the most desirable achievement.
Just how far Drowne was able to go in bringing the inanimate to life is seen in the expression of the people on that final morning. His figure-head seemed the prototype for the beautiful fashion and appearance of the foreign maiden. Her dress, jewelry and appearance matched exactly the wooden carving and it was even believed, by some, that she was the expression of the wooden figure come to life. This way of thinking was brought about, first by seeing the maiden in paint and carved oak.
@#A Man of God’s Singularly Wonderful Inspiration
@@I Kings, The xiij. Chapter.
And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah with the word of God, to Bethel, as Jeroboam stood by the altar to offer; & cried against the altar at the commandment of the Lord and said: Altar, altar, thus saith: the Lord. Behold a child shall be born of the house of David, Josiah by name, which upon thee shall offer the priests of the hill altars that sacrifice upon thee & shall burn men’s bones upon thee. And he gave them the same time a sign saying: This is the sign of that the Lord hath promised. Behold the altar shall rent and the ashes that are in it shall fall out.
And when the king heard the saying of the man of God which he cried against the altar in Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar saying: Hold him. And his hand which he put forth toward him, dried up, that he could not pull it in again to him & the altar clave and the ashes ran out of the altar according to the token which the man of God had given at the commandment of the Lord. And the king answered & said unto the man of God: Oh pray unto the Lord thy God & make intercession for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord & his hand came to him again as well as before.
Then said the king unto the man of God: Come home with me and refresh thyself & I will give thee a reward. But the man of God answered the king, If thou wouldest give me half thine house I would not go with thee neither would I eat meat or drink water in this place. For so was it charged me through the word of God & said to me: eat no bread nor drink water nor turn again by the same way thou sentest. And so he went another way and returned not by the way he came to Bethel. And there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; and the words which he spoke unto the king they told their father also. And their father said to them: What way went he? for his sons had seen what way the man of God went which came from Judah. Then said he to his sons: Saddle mine ass. And they saddled him an ass. And he gat him up thereon and went after the man of God and found him sitting under an Oak & said unto him: Art thou the man of God that camst from Judah? And he said, Yea.
Then he said to him: Come home with me and eat bread. And the other said again I may not return with thee, to go with thee; neither may I eat bread or drink water with thee in this place. For it was said to me by the commandment of the Lord, eat no bread nor drink water in this place, nor turn again by the way thou wentest. And the old prophet said unto him: I am a prophet as well as thou & an Angel spoke unto me with the word of the Lord saying: bring him again with thee to thine house and let him eat bread and drink water & yet lied unto him. And so the other went again with him & ate bread in his house & drank water.
And as they sat at the table, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him again. And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying: Thus saith the Lord: because thou hast disobeyed thee the mouth of the Lord & hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee; but camest back again & hast eaten Bread and drunk water in the place in which he bade thee thou shouldest eat no Bread nor drink water: therefore thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulcher of thy fathers.
And when he had eaten bread & drunk, he saddled an ass for the prophet which he had brought again. And as he journeyed a lion met him by the way and slew him; & his carcass lay along in the way & the ass stood thereby; & the lion stood by the corpse also. And men that passed by saw the carcass cast along in the way and the lion standing thereby; and went and told it in the town where the old prophet dwelt. And when the prophet that brought him back again from the way heard thereof, he said: It is the man of God which disobeyed the mouth of the Lord. And therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion which hath rent him & slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he said to him. And he said to his sons: Saddle me an ass: & so they did. And he went & found the body cast along in the way and the ass and the lion standing thereby. And the lion had not eaten the carcass nor hurt the ass. And he took up the body of the man of God & put it upon the ass & brought it again & came to the city of the old prophet to lament him and to bury him. And he laid his body in his own grave & lamented over him, Oh my brother. And when he had buried him, he spoke to his sons saying: When I am dead, see that ye bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried and lay my bones by his. For the saying which he cried at the bidding of the Lord against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of hill altars which are in the cities of Samaria, shall come to pass.
Howbeit for all that, Jeroboam turned not from his wicked way: but turned away & made of the lowest of the people priests of the hill altars. Whosoever would, he filled their hands & they became priests of the hill altars. And this doing was sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to destroy it and to put it away from the face of the earth.
@`
@# Butterfly 
The Artist of the Beautiful @@By Nathaniel Hawthorne @~ An elderly man, with his pretty daughter on his arm, was passing along the street, and emerged from the gloom of the cloudy evening, into the light that fell across the pavement from the window of a small shop. It was a projecting window; and on the inside were suspended a variety of watches, pinchbeck, silver, and one or two of gold, all with their faces turned from the streets, as if churlishly disinclined to inform the wayfarers what o’clock it was. Seated within the shop, sidelong to the window, with his pale face bent earnestly over some delicate piece of mechanism on which was thrown the concentrated lustre of a shade lamp, appeared a young man. “What can Owen Warland be about?” muttered old Peter Hovenden, himself a retired watchmaker, and the former master of this same young man whose occupation he was now wondering at. “What can the fellow be about? These six months past I have never come by his shop without seeing him just as steadily at work as now. It would be a flight beyond his usual foolery to seek for the perpetual motion; and yet I know enough of my old business to be certain that what he is now so busy with is no part of the machinery of a watch.” “Perhaps, father,” said Annie, without showing much interest in the question, “Owen is inventing a new kind of timekeeper. I am sure he has ingenuity enough.” “Poh, child! He has not the sort of ingenuity to invent anything better than a Dutch toy,” answered her father, who had formerly been put to much vexation by Owen Warland’s irregular genius. “A plague on such ingenuity! All the effect that ever I knew of it was to spoil the accuracy of some of the best watches in my shop. He would turn the sun out of its orbit and derange the whole course of time, if, as I said before, his ingenuity could grasp anything bigger than a child’s toy!” “Hush, father! He hears you!” whispered Annie, pressing the old man’s arm. “His ears are as delicate as his feelings; and you know how easily disturbed they are. Do let us move on.” So Peter Hovenden and his daughter Annie plodded on without further conversation, until in a by-street of the town they found themselves passing the open door of a blacksmith’s shop. Within was seen the forge, now blazing up and illuminating the high and dusky roof, and now confining its lustre to a narrow precinct of the coal-strewn floor, according as the breath of the bellows was puffed forth or again inhaled into its vast leathern lungs. In the intervals of brightness it was easy to distinguish objects in remote corners of the shop and the horseshoes that hung upon the wall; in the momentary gloom the fire seemed to be glimmering amidst the vagueness of unenclosed space. Moving about in this red glare and alternate dusk was the figure of the blacksmith, well worthy to be viewed in so picturesque an aspect of light and shade, where the bright blaze struggled with the black night, as if each would have snatched his comely strength from the other. Anon he drew a white-hot bar of iron from the coals, laid it on the anvil, uplifted his arm of might, and was soon enveloped in the myriads of sparks which the strokes of his hammer scattered into the surrounding gloom. “Now, that is a pleasant sight,” said the old watchmaker. “I know what it is to work in gold; but give me the worker in iron after all is said and done. He spends his labor upon a reality. What say you, daughter Annie?” “Pray don’t speak so loud, father,” whispered Annie, “Robert Danforth will hear you.” “And what if he should hear me?” said Peter Hovenden. “I say again, it is a good and a wholesome thing to depend upon main strength and reality, and to earn one’s bread with the bare and brawny arm of a blacksmith. A watchmaker gets his brain puzzled by his wheels within a wheel, loses his health or the nicety of his eyesight, as was my case, and finds himself at middle age, or a little after, past labor at his own trade and fit for nothing else, yet too poor to live at his ease. So I say once again, give me main strength for my money. And then, how it takes the nonsense out of a man! Did you ever hear of a blacksmith being such a fool as Owen Warland yonder?” @` butterflies @~ “Well said, uncle Hovenden!” shouted Robert Danforth from the forge, in a full, deep, merry voice, that made the roof reecho. “And what says Miss Annie to that doctrine? She, I suppose, will think it a genteeler business to tinker up a lady’s watch that to forge a horseshoe or make a gridiron.” Annie drew her father onward without giving him time for reply. But we must return to Owen Warland’s shop, and spend more meditation upon his history and character than either Peter Hovenden, or probably his daughter Annie, or Owen’s old school-fellow, Robert Danforth, would have thought due to so slight a subject. From the time that his little fingers could grasp a penknife, Owen had been remarkable for a delicate ingenuity, which sometimes produced pretty shapes in wood, principally figures of flowers and birds, and sometimes seemed to aim at the hidden mysteries of mechanism. But it was always for purposes of grace, and never with any mockery of the useful. He did not, like the crowd of school-boy artisans, construct little windmills on the angle of a barn or watermills across the neighboring brook. Those who discovered such peculiarity in the boy as to think it worth their while to observe him closely, sometimes saw reason to suppose that he was attempting to imitate the beautiful movements of Nature as exemplified in the flight of birds or the activity of little animals. It seemed, in fact, a new development of the love of the beautiful, such as might have made him a poet, a painter, or a sculptor, and which was as completely refined from all utilitarian coarseness as it could have been in either of the fine arts. He looked with singular distaste at the stiff and regular processes of ordinary machinery. Being once carried to see a steam-engine, in the expectation that his intuitive comprehension of mechanical principles would be gratified, he turned pale and grew sick, as if something monstrous and unnatural had been presented to him. This horror was partly owing to the size and terrible energy of the iron laborer; for the character of Owen’s mind was microscopic, and tended naturally to the minute, in accordance with his diminutive frame and the marvelous smallness and delicate power of his fingers. Not that his sense of beauty was thereby diminished into a sense of prettiness. The beautiful idea has no relation to size, and may be as perfectly developed in a space too minute for any but microscopic investigation as within the ample verge that is measured by the arc of the rainbow. But, at all events, this characteristic minuteness in his objects and accomplishments made the world even more incapable than it might otherwise have been of appreciating Owen Warland’s genius. The boy’s relatives saw nothing better to be done—as perhaps there was not—than to bind him apprentice to a watchmaker, hoping that his strange ingenuity might thus be regulated and put to utilitarian purposes. Peter Hovenden’s opinion of his apprentice as already been expressed. He could make nothing of the lad. Owen’s apprehension, of the professional mysteries, it is true, was inconceivably quick; but he altogether forgot or despised the grand object of a watchmaker’s business, and cared no more for the measurement of time than if it had been merged into eternity. So long, however, as he remained under his old master’s care, Owen’s lack of sturdiness made it possible, by strict injunctions and sharp oversight, to restrain his creative eccentricity within bounds; but when his apprenticeship was served out, and he had taken the little shop which Peter Hovenden’s failing eyesight compelled him to relinquish, then did people recognize how unfit a person was Owen Warland to lead old blind Father Time along his daily course. One of his most rational projects was to connect a musical operation with the machinery of his watches, so that all the harsh dissonances of life might be rendered tuneful, and each flitting moment fall into the abyss of the past in golden drops of harmony. If a family clock was intrusted to him for repair,—one of those tall, ancient clocks that have grown nearly allied to human nature by measuring out the lifetime of many generations,—he would take upon himself to arrange a dance or funeral procession of figures across its venerable face, representing twelve mirthful or melancholy hours. Several freaks of this kind quite destroyed the young watchmaker’s credit with that steady and matter-of-fact class of people who hold the opinion that time is not to be trifled with, whether considered as the medium of advancement and prosperity in this world or preparation for the next. His custom rapidly diminished—a misfortune, however, that was probably reckoned among his better accidents by Owen Warland, who was becoming more and more absorbed in a secret occupation which drew all his science and manual dexterity into itself, and likewise gave full employment to the characteristic tendencies of his genius. This pursuit had already consumed many months. @` butterflies @~ After the old watchmaker and his pretty daughter had gazed at him out of the obscurity of the street, Owen Warland was seized with a fluttering of the nerves, which made his hand tremble too violently to proceed with such delicate labor as he was now engaged upon. “It was Annie herself!” murmured he. “I should have known it, by this throbbing of my heart, before I heard her father’s voice. Ah, how it throbs! I shall scarcely be able to work again on this exquisite mechanism to-night. Annie! dearest Annie! thou shouldst give firmness to my heart and hand, and not shake them thus; for if I strive to put the very spirit of beauty into form and give it motion, it is for thy sake alone. O throbbing heart, be quiet! If my labor be thus thwarted, there will come vague and unsatisfied dreams which will leave me spiritless to-morrow.” As he was endeavoring to settle himself again to his task, the shop door opened and gave admittance to no other than the stalwart figure which Peter Hovenden had paused to admire, as seen amid the light and shadow of the blacksmith’s shop. Robert Danforth had brought a little anvil of his own manufacture, and peculiarly constructed, which the young artist had recently bespoken. Owen examined the article and pronounced it fashioned according to his wish. “Why, yes,” said Robert Danforth, his strong voice filling the shop as with the sound of a bass viol, “I consider myself equal to anything in the way of my own trade; though I should have made but a poor figure at yours with such a fist as this,” added he, laughing, as he laid his vast hand beside the delicate one of Owen. “But what then? I put more main strength into one blow of my sledge hammer than all that you have expended since you were a ‘prentice. Is not that the truth?” “Very probably,” answered the low and slender voice of Owen. “Strength is an earthly monster. I make no pretensions to it. My force, whatever there may be of it, is altogether spiritual.” “Well, but, Owen, what are you about?” asked his old school-fellow, still in such a hearty volume of tone that it made the artist shrink, especially as the question related to a subject so sacred as the absorbing dream of his imagination. “Folks do say that you are trying to discover the perpetual motion.” “The perpetual motion? Nonsense!” replied Owen Warland, with a movement of disgust; for he was full of little petulances. “It can never be discovered. It is a dream that may delude men whose brains are mystified with matter, but not me. Besides, if such a discovery were possible, it would not be worth my while to make it only to have the secret turned to such purposes as are now effected by steam and water power. I am not ambitious to be honored with the paternity of a new kind of cotton machine.” “That would be droll enough!” cried the blacksmith, breaking out into such an uproar of laughter that Owen himself and the bell glasses on his work-board quivered in unison. “No, no, Owen! No child of yours will have iron joints and sinews. Well, I won’t hinder you any more. Good night, Owen, and success, and if you need any assistance, so far as a downright blow of hammer upon anvil will answer the purpose, I’m your man.” And with another laugh the man of main strength left the shop. “How strange it is,” whispered Owen Warland to himself, leaning his head upon his hand, “that all my musings, my purposes, my passion for the beautiful, my consciousness of power to create it,—a finer, more ethereal power, of which this earthly giant can have no conception,—all, all, look so vain and idle whenever my path is crossed by Robert Danforth! He would drive me mad were I to meet him often. His hard, brute force darkens and confuses the spiritual element within me; but I, too, will be strong in my own way. I will not yield to him.” He took from beneath a glass a piece of minute machinery, which he set in the condensed light of his lamp, and, looking intently at it through a magnifying glass, proceeded to operate with a delicate instrument of steel. In an instant, however, he fell back in his chair and clasped his hands, with a look of horror on his face that made its small features as impressive as those of a giant would have been. “Heaven! What have I done?” exclaimed he. “The vapor, the influence of that brute force,—it has bewildered me and obscured my perception. I have made the very stroke—the fatal stroke—that I have dreaded from the first. It is all over—the toil of months, the object of my life. I am ruined!” And there he sat, in strange despair, until his lamp flickered in the socket and left the Artist of the Beautiful in darkness. @` First butterfly @~ Thus it is that ideas, which grow up within the imagination and appear so lovely to it and of a value beyond whatever men call valuable, are exposed to be shattered and annihilated by contact with the practical. It is requisite for the ideal artist to possess a force of character that seems hardly compatible with its delicacy; he must keep his faith in himself while the incredulous world assails him with its utter disbelief; he must stand up against mankind and be his own sole disciple, both as respects his genius and the objects to which it is directed. For a time Owen Warland succumbed to this severe but inevitable test. He spent a few sluggish weeks with his head so continually resting in his hands that the towns-people had scarcely an opportunity to see his countenance. When at last it was again uplifted to the light of day, a cold, dull, nameless change was perceptible upon it. In the opinion of Peter Hovenden, however, and that order of sagacious understandings, who think that life should be regulated, like clockwork, with leaden weights, the alteration was entirely for the better. Owen now, indeed, applied himself to business with dogged industry. It was marvelous to witness the obtuse gravity with which he would inspect the wheels of a great old silver watch; thereby delighting the owner, in whose fob it had been worn till he deemed it a portion of his own life, and was accordingly jealous of its treatment. In consequence of the good report thus acquired, Owen Warland was invited by the proper authorities to regulate the clock in the church steeple. He succeeded so admirably in this matter of public interest that the merchants gruffly acknowledged his merits on ‘Change; the nurse whispered his praises as she gave the potion in the sick-chamber; the lover blessed him at the hour of appointed interview; and the town in general thanked Owen for the punctuality of dinner time. In a word, the heavy weight upon his spirits kept everything in order, not merely within his own system, but wheresoever the iron accents of the church clock were audible. It was a circumstance, though minute, yet characteristic of his present state, that, when employed to engrave names or initials on silver spoons, he now wrote the requisite letters in the plainest possible style, omitting a variety of fanciful flourishes that had heretofore distinguished his work in this kind. One day, during the era of this happy transformation, old Peter Hovenden came to visit his former apprentice. “Well, Owen,” said he, “I am glad to hear such good accounts of you from all quarters, and especially from the town clock yonder, which speaks in your commendation every hour of the twenty-four. Only get rid altogether of your nonsensical trash about the beautiful, which I nor nobody else, nor yourself to boot, could ever understand,—only free yourself of that, and your success in life is as sure as daylight. Why, if you go on in this way, I should even venture to let you doctor this precious old watch of mine; though, except my daughter Annie, I have nothing else so valuable in the world.” “I should hardly dare touch it, sir,” replied Owen, in a depressed tone; for he was weighed down by his old master’s presence. “In time,” said the latter,—“In time, you will be capable of it.” The old watchmaker, with the freedom naturally consequent on his former authority, went on inspecting the work which Owen had in hand at the moment, together with other matters that were in progress. The artist, meanwhile, could scarcely lift his head. There was nothing so antipodal to his nature as this man’s cold, unimaginative sagacity, by contact with which everything was converted into a dream except the densest matter of the physical world. Owen groaned in spirit and prayed fervently to be delivered from him. “But what is this?” cried Peter Hovenden abruptly, taking up a dusty bell glass, beneath which appeared a mechanical something, as delicate and minute as the system of a butterfly’s anatomy. “What have we here? Owen! Owen! There is witchcraft in these little chains, and wheels, and paddles. See! with one pinch of my finger and thumb I am going to deliver you from all future peril.” @` Butterflies @~ “For Heaven’s sake,” screamed Owen Warland, springing up with wonderful energy, “as you would not drive me mad, do not touch it! The slightest pressure of your finger would ruin me forever.” “Aha, young man! And is it so?” said the old watchmaker, looking at him with just enough penetration to torture Owen’s soul with the bitterness of worldly criticism. “Well, take your own course; but I warn you again that in this small piece of mechanism lives your evil spirit. Shall I exorcise him?” “You are my evil spirit,” answered Owen, much excited,—“you and the hard, coarse world! The leaden thoughts and the despondency that you fling upon me are my clogs, else I should long ago have achieved the task that I was created for.” Peter Hovenden shook his head, with the mixture of contempt and indignation which mankind, of whom he was partly a representative, deem themselves entitled to feel towards all simpletons who seek other prizes that the dusty one along the highway. He then took his leave, with an uplifted finger and a sneer upon his face that haunted the artist’s dreams for many a night afterwards. At the time of his old master’s visit, Owen was probably on the point of taking up the relinquished task; but, by this sinister event, he was thrown back into the state whence he had been slowly emerging. But the innate tendency of his soul had only been accumulating fresh vigor during its apparent sluggishness. As the summer advanced he almost totally relinquished his business, and permitted Father Time, so far as the old gentleman was represented by the clocks and watches under his control, to stray at random through human life, making infinite confusion among the train of bewildered hours. He wasted the sunshine, as people said, in wandering through the woods and fields and along the banks of streams. There, like a child, he found amusement in chasing butterflies or watching the motions of water insects. There was something truly mysterious in the intentness with which he contemplated these living playthings as they sported on the breeze or examined the structure of an imperial insect whom he had imprisoned. The chase of butterflies was an apt emblem of the ideal pursuit in which he had spent so many golden hours; but would the beautiful idea ever be yielded to his hand like the genial to the artist’s soul. They were full of bright conceptions, which gleamed through his intellectual world as the butterflies gleamed through the outward atmosphere, and were real to him, for the instant, without the toil, and perplexity, and many disappointments of attempting to make them visible to the sensual eye. Alas that the artist, whether in poetry, or whatever other material, may not content himself with the inward enjoyment of the beautiful, but must chase the flitting mystery beyond the verge of his ethereal domain, and crush its frail being in seizing it with a material grasp. Owen Warland felt the impulse to give external reality to his ideas as irresistibly as any of the poets or painters who have arrayed the world in a dimmer and fainter beauty, imperfectly copied from the richness of their visions. The night was now his time for the slow progress of re-creating the one idea to which all his intellectual activity referred itself. Always at the approach of dusk he stole into the town, locked himself within his shop, and wrought with patient delicacy of touch for many hours. Sometimes he was startled by the rap of the watchman, who, when all the world should be asleep, had caught the gleam of lamplight through the crevices of Owen Warland’s shutters. Daylight, to the morbid sensibility of his mind, seemed to have an intrusiveness that interfered with his pursuits. On cloudy and inclement days, therefore, he sat with his head upon his hands, muffling, as it were, his sensitive brain in a mist of indefinite musing; for it was a relief to escape from the sharp distinctness with which he was compelled to shape out his thoughts during his nightly toil. From one of these fits of torpor he was aroused by the entrance of Annie Hovenden, who came into the shop with the freedom of a customer, and also with something of the familiarity of a childish friend. She had worn a hole through her silver thimble, and wanted Owen to repair it. “But I don’t know whether you will condescend to such a task,” said she, laughing, “now that you are so taken up with the notion of putting spirit into machinery.” Where did you get that idea, Annie?” said Owen, starting in surprise. “Oh, out of my own head,” answered she, “and from something that I heard you say, long ago, when you were but a boy and I a little child. But come; will you mend this poor thimble of mine?” “Anything for your sake, Annie,” said Owen Warland,—“anything, even were it to work at Robert Danforth’s forge.” “And that would be a pretty sight!” retorted Annie, glancing with imperceptible slightness at the artist’s small and slender frame. “Well; here is the thimble.” “But that is a strange idea of yours,” said Owen, “about the spiritualization of matter.” @` Rust-orange butterfly @~ And then the thought stole into his mind that this young girl possessed the gift to comprehend him better than all the world besides. And what a help and strength would it be to him in his lonely toil if he could gain the sympathy of the only being whom he loved! To persons whose pursuits are insulated from the common business of life—who are either in advance of mankind or apart from it—there often comes a sensation of moral cold that makes the spirit shiver as if it had reached the frozen solitudes around the pole. What the prophet, the poet, the reformer, the criminal, or any other man with human yearnings, but separated from the multitude by a peculiar lot, might feel, poor Owen felt. “Annie,” cried he, growing pale as death at the thought, “how gladly would I tell you the secret of my pursuit! You, methinks, would estimate it rightly. You, I know, would hear it with a reverence that I must not expect from the harsh, material world.” “Would I not? to be sure I would!” replied Annie Hovenden, lightly laughing. “Come; explain to me quickly what is the meaning of this little whirligig, so delicately wrought that it might be a plaything for Queen Mab. See! I will put in motion.” “Hold!” exclaimed Owen, “hold!” Annie had but given the slightest possible touch, with the point of a needle, to the same minute portion of complicated machinery which has been more than once mentioned, when the artist seized her by the wrist with a force that made her scream aloud. She was affrighted at the convulsion of intense rage and anguish that writhed across his features. The next instant he let his head sink upon his hands. “Go, Annie,” murmured he; “I have deceived myself, and must suffer for it. I yearned for sympathy, and thought, and fancied, and dreamed that you might give it me; but you lack the talisman, Annie, that should admit you into my secrets. That touch has undone the toil of months and the thought of a lifetime! It was not your fault, Annie; but you have ruined me!” Poor Owen Warland! He had indeed erred, yet pardonably; for if any human spirit could have sufficiently reverenced the processes so sacred in his eyes, it must have been a woman’s. Even Annie Hovenden, possibly, might not have disappointed him had she been enlightened by the deep intelligence of love. The artist spent the ensuing winter in a way that satisfied any persons who had hitherto retained a hopeful opinion of him that he was, in truth, irrevocably doomed to unutility as regarded the world, and to an evil destiny on his own part. The decease of a relative had put him in possession of a small inheritance. Thus freed from the necessity of toil, and having lost the steadfast influence of a great purpose,—great, at least, to him,—he abandoned himself to habits from which it might have been supposed the mere delicacy of his organization would have availed to secure him. But when the ethereal portion of a man of genius is obscured, the earthly part assumes an influence the more uncontrollable, because the character is now thrown off the balance to which Providence had so nicely adjusted it, and which, in coarser natures, is adjusted by some other method. Owen Warland made proof of whatever show of bliss may be found in riot. He looked at the world through the golden medium of wine, and contemplated the visions that bubble up so gayly around the brim of the glass, and that people the air with shapes of pleasant madness, which so soon grow ghostly and forlorn. Even when this dismal and inevitable change had taken place, the young man might still have continued to quaff the cup of enchantments, though its vapor did but shroud life in gloom and fill the gloom with spectres that mocked at him. There was a certain irksomeness of spirit, which, being real, and the deepest sensation of which the artist was now conscious, was more intolerable than any fantastic miseries and horrors that the abuse of wine could summon up. In the latter case he could remember, even out of the midst of his trouble, that all was but a delusion; in the former, the heavy anguish was his actual life. From this perilous state he was redeemed by an incident which more than one person witnessed, but of which the shrewdest could not explain or conjecture the operation on Owen Warland’s mind. It was very simple. On a warm afternoon of spring, as the artist sat among his riotous companions with a glass of wine before him, a splendid butterfly flew in at the open window and fluttered about his head. “Ah,” exclaimed Owen, who had drank freely, “are you alive again, child of the sun and playmate of the summer breeze, after your dismal winter’s nap? Then it is time for me to be at work!” And, leaving his unemptied glass upon the table, he departed and was never known to sip another drop of wine. And now, again, he resumed his wanderings in the woods and fields. It might be fancied that the bright butterfly, which had come so spirit-like into the window as Owen sat with the rude revelers, was indeed a spirit commissioned to recall him to the pure, ideal life that had so etheralized him among men. It might be fancied that he went forth to seek this spirit in its sunny haunts; for still, as in the summer time gone by, he was seen to steal gently up wherever a butterfly had alighted, and lose himself in contemplation of it. When it took flight his eyes followed the winged vision, as if its airy track would show the path to heaven. But what could be the purpose of the unseasonable toil, which was again resumed, as the watchman knew by the lines of lamplight through the crevices of Owen Warland’s shutters? The towns-people had one comprehensive explanation of all these singularities. Owen Warland had gone mad! How universally efficacious—how satisfactory, too, and soothing to the injured sensibility of narrowness and dullness—is this easy method of accounting for whatever lies beyond the world’s most ordinary scope! From St. Paul’s days down to our poor little Artist of the Beautiful, the same talisman had been applied to the elucidation of all mysteries in the words or deeds of men who spoke or acted too wisely or too well. In Owen Warland’s case the judgment of his townspeople may have been correct. Perhaps he was mad. The lack of sympathy—that contrast between himself to make him so. Or possibly he had caught just so much of ethereal radiance as served to bewilder him, in an earthly sense, by its intermixture with the common daylight. One evening, when the artist had returned from a customary ramble and had just thrown the lustre of his lamp on the delicate piece of work so often interrupted, but still taken up again, as if his fate were embodied in its mechanism, he was surprised by the entrance of old Peter Hovenden. Owen never met this man without a shrinking of the heart. Of all the world he was most terrible, by reason of a keen understanding which saw so distinctly what it did see, and disbelieved so uncompromisingly in what it could not see. On this occasion the old watchmaker had merely a gracious word or two to say. “Owen, my lad,” said he, “we must see you at my house to-morrow night.” The artist began to mutter some excuse. “Oh, but it must be so,” quoth Peter Hovenden, “for the sake of the days when you were one of the household. What, my boy! Don’t you know that my daughter Annie is engaged to Robert Danforth? We are making an entertainment, in our humble way, to celebrate the event.” “Ah!” said Owen. That little monosyllable was all he uttered; its tone seemed cold and unconcerned to an ear like Peter Hovenden’s; and yet there was in it the stifled outcry of the poor artist’s heart, which he compressed within him like a man holding down an evil spirit. One slight outbreak, however, imperceptible to the old watchmaker, he allowed himself. Raising the instrument with which he was about to begin his work, he let it fall upon the little system of machinery that had, anew, cost him months of thought and toil. It was shattered by the stroke! Owen Warland’s story would have been no tolerable representation of the troubled life of those who strive to create the beautiful, if, amid all other thwarting influences, love had not interposed to steal the cunning from his hand. Outwardly he had been no ardent or enterprising lover; the career of his passion had confined its tumults and vicissitudes so entirely within the artist’s imagination that Annie herself had scarcely more than a woman’s intuitive perception of it; but, in Owen’s view, it covered the whole field of his life. Forgetful of the time when she had shown herself incapable of any deep response, he had persisted in connecting all his dreams of artistical success with Annie’s image; she was the visible shape in which the spiritual power that he worshipped, and on whose altar he hoped to lay a not unworthy offering, was made manifest to him. Of course he had deceived himself; there were no such attributes in Annie Hovenden as his imagination had endowed her with. She, in the aspect which she wore to his inward vision, was as much a creature of his own as the mysterious piece of mechanism would be were it ever realized. Had he become convinced of his mistake through the medium of successful love,—had he won Annie to his bosom, and there beheld her fade from angel into ordinary woman,—the disappointment might have driven him back, with concentrated energy, upon his sole remaining object. On the other hand, had he found Annie what he fancied, his lot would have been so rich in beauty that out of its mere redundancy he might have wrought the beautiful into many a worthier type than he had toiled for; but the guise in which his sorrow came to him, the sense that the angel of his life had been snatched away and given to a rude man of earth and iron, who could neither need nor appreciate her ministrations,—this was the very perversity of fate that makes human existence appear too absurd and contradictory to be the scene of one other hope or one other fear. There was nothing left for Owen Warland but to sit down like a man that had been stunned. He went through a fit of illness. After his recovery his small and slender frame assumed an obtuser garniture of flesh than it had ever before worn. His thin cheeks became round; his delicate little hand, so spiritually fashioned to achieve fairy task-work, grew plumper than the hand of a thriving infant. His aspect had a childishness such as might have induced a stranger to pat him on the head—pausing, however, in the act, to wonder what manner of child was here. It was as if the spirit had gone out of him, leaving the body to flourish in a sort of vegetable existence. Not that Owen Warland was idiotic. He could talk, and not irrationally. Somewhat of a babbler, indeed, did people begin to think him; for he was apt to discourse at wearisome length of marvels of mechanism that he had read about in books, but which he had learned to consider as absolutely fabulous. Among them he enumerated the Man of Brass, constructed by Albertus Magnus, and the Brazen Head of Friar Bacon; and, coming down to later times, the automata of a little coach and horses, which it was pretended had been manufactured for the Dauphin of France; together with an insect that buzzed about the ear like a living fly, and yet was but a contrivance of minute steel springs. There was a story, too, of a duck that waddled, and quacked, and ate; though, had any honest citizen purchased it for dinner, he would have found himself cheated with the mere mechanical apparition of a duck. “But all these accounts,” said Owen Warland, “I am now satisfied are mere impositions.” Then, in a mysterious way, he would confess that he once thought differently. In his idle and dreamy days he had considered it possible, in a certain sense, to spiritualize machinery, and to combine with the new species of life and motion thus produced a beauty that should attain to the ideal which Nature has proposed to herself in all her creatures, but has never taken pains to realize. He seemed, however, to retain no very distinct perception either of the process of achieving this object or of the design itself. “I have thrown it all aside now,” he would say. “It was a dream such as young men are always mystifying themselves with. Now that I have acquired a little common sense, it makes me laugh to think of it.” Poor, poor and fallen Owen Warland! These were the symptoms that he had ceased to be an inhabitant of the better sphere that lies unseen around us. He had lost his faith in the invisible, and now prided himself, as such unfortunates invariably do, in the wisdom which rejected much that even his eye could see, and trusted confidently in nothing but what his hand could touch. This is the calamity of men whose spiritual part dies out of them and leaves the grosser understanding to assimilate them more and more to the things of which alone it can take cognizance; but in Owen Warland the spirit was not dead nor passed way; it only slept. How it awoke again is not recorded. Perhaps the torpid slumber was broken by a convulsive pain. Perhaps, as in a former instance, the butterfly came and hovered about his head and reinspired him,—as indeed this creature of the sunshine had always a mysterious mission for the artist,—reinspired him with the former purpose of his life. Whether it were pain or happiness that thrilled through his veins, his first impulse was to thank Heaven for rendering him again the being of thought, imagination, and keenest sensibility that he had long ceased to be. “Now for my task,” said he. “Never did I feel such strength for it as now.” Yet, strong as he felt himself, he was incited to toil the more diligently by an anxiety lest death should surprise him in the midst of his labors. This anxiety, perhaps, is common to all men who set their hearts upon anything so high, in their own view of it, that life becomes of importance only as conditional to its accomplishment. So long as we love life for itself, we seldom dread the losing it. When we desire life for the attainment of an object, we recognize the frailty of its texture. But, side by side with this sense of insecurity, there is a vital faith in our invulnerability to the shaft of death while engaged in any task that seems assigned by Providence as our proper thing to do, and which the world would have cause to mourn for should we leave it unaccomplished. Can the philosopher, big with the inspiration of an idea that is to reform mankind, believe that he is to be beckoned from this sensible existence at the very instant when he is mustering his breath to speak the word of light? Should he perish so, the weary ages may pass away—the world’s, whose life sand may fall, drop by drop—before another intellect is prepared to develop the truth that might have been uttered then. But history affords many an example where the most precious spirit, at any particular epoch manifested in human shape, has gone hence untimely, without space allowed him, so far as mortal judgment could discern, to perform his mission on the earth. The prophet dies, and the man of torpid heart and sluggish brain lives on. The poet leaves his song half sung, or finishes it, beyond the scope of mortal ears, in a celestial choir. The painter—as Allston did—leaves half his conception on the canvas to sadden us with its imperfect beauty, and goes to picture forth the whole, if it be no irreverence to say so, in the hues of heaven. But rather such incomplete designs of this life will be perfected nowhere. This so frequent abortion of man’s dearest projects must be taken as a proof that the deeds of earth, however etherealized by piety or genius, are without value, except as exercises and manifestations of the spirit. In heaven, all ordinary thought is higher and more melodious than Milton’s song. Then, would he add another verse to any strain that he had left unfinished here? @` Large butterfly @~ But to return to Owen Warland. It was his fortune, good or ill, to achieve the purpose of his life. Pass we over a long space of intense thought, yearning effort, minute toil, and wasting anxiety, succeeded by an instant of solitary triumph: let all this be imagined; and then behold the artist, on a winter evening, seeking admittance to Robert Danforth’s fireside circle. There he found the man of iron, with his massive substance thoroughly warmed and attempered by domestic influences. And there was Annie, too, now transformed into a matron, with much of her husband’s plain and sturdy nature, but imbued, as Owen Warland still believed, with a finer grace, that might enable her to be the interpreter between strength and beauty. It happened, likewise, that old Peter Hovenden was a guest this evening at his daughter’s fireside, and it was his well-remembered expression of keen, cold criticism that first encountered the artist’s glance. “My old friend Owen!” cried Robert Danforth, starting up, and compressing the artist’s delicate fingers within a hand that was accustomed to gripe bars of iron. “This is kind and neighborly to come to us at last. I was afraid your perpetual motion had bewitched you out of the remembrance of old times.” “We are glad to see you,” said Annie, while a blush reddened her matronly cheek. “It was not like a friend to stay from us so long.” “Well, Owen,” inquired the old watchmaker as his first greeting, “how comes on the beautiful? Have you created it at last?” The artist did not immediately reply, being startled by the apparition of a young child of strength that was tumbling about on the carpet,—a little personage who had come mysteriously out of the infinite, but with something so sturdy and real in his composition that he seemed moulded out of the densest substance which earth could supply. This hopeful infant crawled towards the new-comer, and setting himself on end, as Robert Danforth expressed the posture, stared at Owen with a look of such sagacious observation that the mother could not help exchanging a proud glance with her husband. But the artist was disturbed by the child’s look, as imagining a resemblance between it and Peter Hovenden’s habitual expression. He could have fancied that the old watchmaker was compressed into this baby shape, and looking out of those baby eyes, and repeating, as he now did, the malicious question:— “The beautiful, Owen! How comes on the beautiful? Have you succeeded in creating the beautiful?” “I have succeeded,” replied the artist, with a momentary light of triumph in his eyes and a smile of sunshine, yet steeped in such depth of thought that it was almost sadness. “Yes, my friends, it is the truth. I have succeeded.” “Indeed!” cried Annie, a look of maiden mirthfulness peeping out of her face again. “And is it lawful, now, to inquire what the secret is?” “Surely; it is to disclose it that I have come,” answered Owen Warland. “You shall know, and see, and touch, and possess the secret! For, Annie,—if by that name I may still address the friend of my boyish years,—Annie, it is for your bridal gift that I have wrought this spiritualized mechanism, this harmony of motion, this mystery of beauty. It comes late, indeed; but it is as we go onward in life, when objects begin to lose their freshness of hue and our souls their delicacy of perception, that the spirit of beauty is most needed. If,—forgive me, Annie—if you know how-to value this gift, it can never come too late.” He produced, as he spoke, what seemed a jewel box. It was carved richly out of ebony by his own hand, and inlaid with a fanciful tracery of pearl, representing a boy in pursuit of a butterfly, which, elsewhere, had become a winged spirit, and was flying heavenward; while the boy, or youth, had found such efficacy in his strong desire that he ascended from earth to cloud, and from cloud to celestial atmosphere, to win the beautiful. This case of ebony the artist opened, and bade Annie place her fingers on its edge. She did so, but almost screamed as a butterfly fluttered forth, and, alighting on her finger’s tip, sat waving the ample magnificence of its purple and gold-speckled wings, as if in prelude to a flight. It is impossible to express by words the glory, the splendor, the delicate gorgeousness which were softened into the beauty of this object. Nature’s ideal butterfly was here realized in all its perfection; not in the patter of such faded insects as flit among earthly flowers, but of those which hover across the meads of paradise for child-angels and the spirits of departed infants to disport themselves with. The rich down was visible upon its wings; the lustre of its eyes seemed instinct with spirit. The firelight glimmered around this wonder—the candles gleamed upon it; but it glistened apparently by its own radiance, and illuminated the finger and outstretched hand on which it rested with a white gleam like that of precious stones. In its perfect beauty, the consideration of size was entirely lost. Had its wings overreached the firmament, the mind could not have been more filled or satisfied. @` Butterflies @~ “Beautiful! Beautiful!” exclaimed Annie. “Is it alive? Is it alive?” “Alive? To be sure it is,” answered her husband. “Do you suppose any mortal has skill enough to make a butterfly, or would put himself to the trouble of making one, when any child may catch a score of them in a summer’s afternoon? Alive? Certainly! But this pretty box is undoubtedly of our friend Owen’s manufacture; and really it does him credit.” At this moment the butterfly waved its wings anew, with a motion so absolutely lifelike that Annie was startled, and even awestricken; for, in spite of her husband’s opinion, she could not satisfy herself whether it was indeed a living creature or a piece of wondrous mechanism. “Is it alive?” she repeated, more earnestly than before. “Judge for yourself,” said Owen Warland, who stood gazing in her face with fixed attention. The butterfly now flung itself upon the air, fluttered round Annie’s head, and soared into a distant region of the parlor, still making itself perceptible to sight by the starry gleam in which the motion of its wings enveloped it. The infant on the floor followed its course with his sagacious little eyes. After flying about the room, it returned in a spiral curve and settled again on Annie’s finger. “But is it alive?” exclaimed she again; and the finger on which the gorgeous mystery had alighted was so tremulous that the butterfly was forced to balance himself with his wings. “Tell me if it be alive, or whether you created it.” “Wherefore ask who created it, so it be beautiful?” replied Owen Warland. “Alive? Yes, Annie; it may well be said to possess life, for it has absorbed my own being into itself; and in the secret of that butterfly, and in its beauty,—which is not merely outward, but deep as its whole system,—is represented the intellect, the imagination, the sensibility, the soul of an Artist of the Beautiful! Yes; I created it. But”—and here his countenance somewhat changed—“this butterfly is not now to me what it was when I beheld it afar off in the daydreams of my youth.” “Be it what it may, it is a pretty plaything,” said the blacksmith, grinning with childlike delight. “I wonder whether it would condescend to alight on such a great clumsy finger as mine? Hold it hither, Annie.” @` Butterflies @~ By the artist’s direction, Annie touched her finger’s tip to that of her husband; and, after a momentary delay, the butterfly fluttered from one to the other. It preluded a second flight by a similar, yet not precisely the same, waving of wings as in the first experiment; then, ascending from the blacksmith’s stalwart finger, it rose in a gradually enlarging curve to the ceiling, made one wide sweep around the room, and returned with an undulating movement to the point whence it had started. “Well, that does beat all nature!” cried Robert Danforth, bestowing the heartiest praise that he could find expression for; and, indeed, had he paused there, a man of finer words and nicer perception could not easily have said more. “That goes beyond me, I confess. But what then? There is more real use in one downright blow of my sledge hammer than in the whole five years’ labor that our friend Owen has wasted on this butterfly.” Here the child clapped his hand and made a great babble of indistinct utterance, apparently demanding that the butterfly should be given him for a plaything. Owen Warland, meanwhile, glanced sidelong at Annie, to discover whether she sympathized in her husband’s estimate of the comparative value of the beautiful and the practical. There was, amid all her kindness towards himself, amid all the wonder and admiration with which she contemplated the marvelous work of his hands and incarnation of his idea, a secret scorn—too secret, perhaps, for her own consciousness, and perceptible only to such intuitive discernment as that of the artist. But Owen, in the latter stages of his pursuit, had risen out of the region in which such a discovery might have been torture. He knew that the world, and Annie as the representative of the world, whatever praise might be bestowed, could never say the fitting word nor feel the fitting sentiment which should be the perfect recompense of an artist who, symbolizing a lofty moral by a material trifle,—converting what was earthly to spiritual gold,—had won the beautiful into his handiwork. Not at this latest moment was he to learn that the reward of all high performance must be sought within itself, or sought in vain. There was, however, a view of the matter which Annie and her husband, and even Peter Hovenden, might fully have understood, and which would have satisfied them that the toil of years had here been worthily bestowed. Owen Warland might have told them that this butterfly, this plaything, this bridal gift of a poor watchmaker to a blacksmith’s wife, was, in truth, a gem of art that a monarch would have purchased with honors and abundant wealth, and have treasured it among the jewels of his kingdom as the most unique and wondrous of them all. But the artist smiled and kept the secret to himself. “Father,” said Annie, thinking that a word of praise from the old watchmaker might gratify his former apprentice, “do come and admire this pretty butterfly.” “Let us see,” said Peter Hovenden, rising from his chair, with a sneer upon his face that always made people doubt, as he himself did, in everything but a material existence. “Here is my finger for it to alight upon. I shall understand it better when once I have touched it.” But, to the increased astonishment of Annie, when the tip of her father’s finger was pressed against that of her husband, on which the butterfly still rested, the insect drooped its wings and seemed on the point of falling to the floor. Even the bright spots of gold upon its wings and body, unless her eyes deceived her, grew dim, and the glowing purple took a dusky hue, and the starry lustre that gleamed around the blacksmith’s hand became faint and vanished. “It is dying! it is dying!” cried Annie, in alarm. “It has been delicately wrought,” said the artist, calmly. “As I told you, it has imbibed a spiritual essence—call it magnetism, or what you will. In an atmosphere of doubt and mockery its exquisite susceptibility suffers torture, as does the soul of him who instilled his own life into it. It has already lost its beauty; in a few moments more its mechanism would be irreparably injured.” “Take away your hand, father!” entreated Annie, turning pale. “Here is my child: let it rest on his innocent hand. There, perhaps, its life will revive and its colors grow brighter than ever.” Her father, with an acrid smile, withdrew his finger. The butterfly then appeared to recover the power of voluntary motion, while its hues assumed much of their original lustre, and the gleam of starlight, which was its most ethereal attribute, again formed a halo round about it. At first, when transferred from Robert Danforth’s hand to the small finger of the child, this radiance grew so powerful that it positively threw the little fellow’s shadow back against the wall. He, meanwhile, extended his plump hand as he had seen his father and mother do, and watched the waving of the insect’s wings with infantine delight. Nevertheless, there was a certain odd expression of sagacity that made Owen Warland feel as if here were old Pete Hovenden, partially, and but partially, redeemed from his hard skepticism into childish faith. “How wise the little monkey looks!” whispered Robert Danforth to his wife. “I never saw such a look on a child’s face,” answered Annie, admiring her own infant, and with good reason, far more than the artistic butterfly. “The darling knows more of the mystery than we do.” As if the butterfly, like the artist, were conscious of something not entirely congenial in the child’s nature, it alternately sparkled and grew dim. At length it arose from the small hand of the infant with an airy motion that seemed to bear it upward without an effort, as if the ethereal instincts with which its master’s spirit had endowed it impelled this fair vision involuntarily to a higher sphere. Had there been no obstruction, it might have soared into the sky and grown immortal. But its lustre gleamed upon the ceiling; the exquisite texture of its wings brushed against that earthly medium; and a sparkle or two, as of stardust, floated downward and lay glimmering on the carpet. Then the butterfly came fluttering down, and, instead of returning to the infant, was apparently attracted towards the artist’s hand. “Not so! not so!” murmured Owen Warland, as if his handiwork could have understood him. “Thou hast gone forth out of thy master’s heart. There is no return for thee.” @` Butterflies @~ With a wavering movement, and emitting a tremulous radiance, the butterfly struggled, as it were, towards the infant, and was about to alight upon his finger; but while it still hovered in the air, the little child of strength, with his grandsire’s sharp and shrewd expression in his face, made a snatch at the marvelous insect and compressed it in his hand. Annie screamed. Old Peter Hovenden burst into a cold and scornful laugh. The blacksmith, by main force, unclosed the infant’s hand, and found within the palm a small heap of glittering fragments, whence the mystery of beauty had fled forever. And as for Owen Warland, he looked placidly at what seemed the ruin of his life’s labor, and which was yet no ruin. He had caught a far other butterfly than this. When the artist rose high enough to achieve the beautiful, the symbol by which he made it perceptible to mortal senses became of little value in his eyes while his spirit possessed itself in the enjoyment of the reality. @`
@#Art & Life
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The Artist of the Beautiful, besides art and beauty, is a story of contention. Like many minor details in Hawthorne’s writing the name Owen Warland is not insignificant. Without any visible armies or skirmishes on the battlefield Owen Warland lives in a land of war—of conflict and devastation. Although a rather meek and fragile person, his name, Owen, has a traditional Welsh meaning of “young warrior.” Here the battle is between physical and spiritual, practical and beautiful, constructing and tearing down, the artist and the critic, and the strife against the power of Nature. In a tentative sort of way, the artistic minded jeweler of the story could be compared with Hawthorne himself. Only by monumental effort does the writer do the same as Owen Warland has done by imparting his own spirit in bringing life to the mechanical. With Hawthorne it would be the mechanics of writing that bring an imaginary story to life for the reader. (The written word can only come to life by skills won through harsh isolation and intense devotion.) However, in the case of Hawthorne’s writing, he, sometimes, thoughtfully reckons with the tenuous wonders of temporal scientific achievement, won in its struggle to outperform Nature. 
As words concern life so there is more to be said. If a person ever lived who never spoke falsely nor told lies; never slandered his neighbor; nor detracted from his speech with profane cursing; and never blasphemed: that person must have been powerful. Then too, it may be seen that God has chosen the written word as a vital means of his revelation. Although there are many imitations, the Holy Bible is the only authentic scripture authored by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells of how all heaven and earth came about because God spoke it into being. Also, the Only Begotten Son of God is the Word of God.
According to Bible scholars, in ancient times words had a powerful bearing on life. To the person whose life was pure, spoken words turned into action and what was said was done. Then, too, names could identify the major characteristic of the person, in some cases even prophetically from the time they were given. God, after he created, named what he created. Adam follows God in this respect by continuing to name what God has created. Most enlightening about the weighty significance of words is the prophet Isaiah’s confession of terrible sin as he stands condemned in God’s presence. It is not that he is a thief, nor an adulterer, nor a murderer; but that he is a man of unclean lips and lives among a people of unclean lips. The angel brings about the remedy when Isaiah’s lips are purged with a live coal from the altar.
Such matters of life and words are wonderfully personal. According to many scientific minds of this modern age the world is populated with people by sheer accident. As certain as there are people in the world today there could as well not have been. However, there is almost no more wonderful thought to me than why I am here at all in this vast, old world, full of billions of persons. If all of them are only accidentally here, then there is, way beyond that, absolutely no reason at all for me to be here.
Within thoughts about God there is a reason I exist. Interpreting the Bible properly requires an understanding of how words are used. Since the Bible is inspired the inflection of a word has a bearing on its interpretation. Church doctrine can be based even on the case of a noun or the tense of a verb. God’s name is ‘I Am That I Am’, or ‘I Will Be That I Will Be’. His name itself means that God is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting. That there is a word ‘I’ holds that there are also derivatives; not only of the forms of the word, but also of life. If there is an ‘I’ there is also a ‘he’ and a ‘she’. Moreover, ‘I’ implies ‘me.’ Since ‘me’ is a word it has a part in becoming a reality. ‘Me,’—that is, I, exist as a necessary derivative pronoun to an all significant one. Solely from an etymological basis there can be a reason my life has come about.
Ever how unbelievable that trivial matters could be paired with weighty causes in fate and destiny, it is Providence that in such an unlikely way makes God so closely personal.
 
 
 
(Ps. 12) The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
 
(Isa. 46) With one word is my device accomplished, and fulfilleth all my pleasure. I call a bird out of the East, and all that I take in hand, out of far countries; as soon as I command, I bring it hither: as soon as I think to devise a thing, I do it!
 
(Jer. 1) After this, the Lord spoke unto me saying; Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said: I see a waking rod. Then said the Lord: thou has seen right, for I will watch diligently upon my word to perform it.
 
(The waking rod is another name for an almond branch. The almond branches are the first branches that blossom in the Spring.—Almond tree has the meaning of keep watch, or be wakeful over. It is interesting, also, that the almond nut is in the shape of an eye.)
 
 
 
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@#“An Unbelievable Story Beginning and Ending with Toothpicks”
@@by Callie Williamson
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This story might sound unbelievable to some but I know it’s true because I witnessed it all from beginning to end.
My brother Wyatt drove up here in a compact rental car in Nov. 2016. While he was here we made a stop at the Youth Ranch Thrift Store, where he found and purchased a very nice lady’s gold color wool coat for his wife Cindy.
Wyatt just made another trip up here driving a compact rental car. (Just wanted to point out the similarities with the rental cars because he flew up here in June 2017.)
He arrived here Mon., Aug. 13th, late afternoon. While we were out at dinner with Edith we made plans to meet Tue. morn. for breakfast at Elmer’s. As we were leaving Elmer’s, Wyatt stopped at the front counter to get a toothpick, but the dispenser was empty.
When we left Elmer’s, we decided to go to the thrift stores. We were looking for particular items for a friend’s craft project.
Our first stop was the Youth Ranch Store where Wyatt found and purchased a very nice gold color camel hair blazer type jacket that matched Cindy’s coat. Amazing!!!

After going to two more thrift stores Wyatt wanted to take the jacket to the cleaners. While in there he checked the pockets and what he found in one was very surprising (to say the least.) There were several toothpicks. Some in clear cellophane wrappers and some in paper wrappers with Coatesville, PA printed on the wrappers.
Wyatt was born in Coatesville PA in 1951.
We moved to Idaho when he was a baby.
How did this jacket with these Coatesville PA toothpicks find its way to Pocatello??? And Wyatt who was born there and happened to be the one to find it in Pocatello.
Wonder if we’ll ever know!!!
 
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Coatesville PA
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I didn’t know how to put this in the coat and toothpick story, so I’ll add it as a footnote.
Edith crochets accessory scarves. She sent one back with Wyatt in Nov. 2016 for Cindy to go with her new coat that she always wears with it.
 
 
@#Love, Wonder & Beauty
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Romans 8 — Therefore brethren we are now debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if you live after the flesh, you must die. But if you mortify the deeds of the body, by the help of the Spirit, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God: they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage to fear any more, but you have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba Father." The same Spirit certifies our spirit that we are the sons of God. If we be sons, we are also heirs, the heirs I mean of God, and heirs annexed with Christ: if so be that we suffer together, that we may be glorified together.
 
PS. III. TREATISE 77 ¶ 4 — At the last, I came to this point that I thought: O why art thou so foolish? the right hand of the most highest can change all. Therefore will I remember the works of the Lord, and call to mind the wonders of old time. I will speak of all thy works and my talking shall be of thy doings.
 
The xxvii. Psalm — One thing have I desired of the Lord, which I will require: namely, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to visit his temple.
 
The L. Psalm — The Lord even the mighty God hath spoken & called the world from the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same. Out of Zion appeareth the glorious beauty of God. Our God shall come & not keep silence: there goeth before him a consuming fire and a mighty tempest round about him. He shall call the heavens from above & the earth that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me, those that set more by the covenant than by any offering. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness, for God is judge himself. Selah.
 
Isaiah 61. — The Spirit of the Lord God is with me, for the Lord hath anointed me & sent me to preach good tidings unto the poor; that I might bind up the wounded hearts; that I might preach deliverance to the captive and open the prison to them that are bound: that I might declare the acceptable year of the Lord & the day of the vengeance of our God: that I might comfort all them that are in heaviness that I might give unto them that mourn in Zion beauty in the stead of ashes, joyful ointment for sighing, pleasant raiment for an heavy mind: That they might be called excellent in righteousness, a planting of the Lord for him to rejoice in.
 
Ezekiel 16. — Thou didest eat nothing but simnels, honey & oil: marvelous goodly wast thou & beautiful; yea even a very Queen wast thou. Insomuch, that thy beauty was spoken of among the Heathen; for thou wast excellent in my beauty, which I put upon thee saith the Lord God. But thou hast put confidence in thine own beauty & played the harlot; when thou hadst gotten thee a name. Thou hast committed whoredom with all that went by thee; & hast fulfilled their desires: yea thou hast taken thy garments of diverse colours & deckt thine altars therewith; whereupon thou mightest fulfill thine whoredom, of such a fashion as never was done, nor shall be. The goodly ornaments & Jewels which I gave thee of mine own gold and silver, hast thou taken, and made thee images thereof; & committed whoredom withal.
 
The xcvi. Psalm — Thanksgiving and worship are before him, power & honour are in his Sanctuary. Ascribe unto the Lord (O ye kindreds of the Heathen) ascribe unto the Lord worship and strength. Ascribe unto the Lord the honour of his name, bring presents and come into his court. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
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