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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, September 25, 1904, Image 37

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1904-09-25/ed-1/seq-37/

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w\V If if IH) (TDi if \v IHi c=3 ill R< n ln>
MRS. F L A N D E R S
was in her first
youth when she
lost her husband. With the lapse of years, instead of
.1 sorrow he became a pleasant memory. She re
• ..lined in seihisicn for awhile, and then, after a
long ■son of travel with her boy, and of life after
ward, while he was in college, in a villa over terraced
gardens where the shadow of the ilex-trees made
brighter the sunshine of the orange, where amply to
breathe the lemon-laden air was luxury, and where the
infill inhales Bang all night long, she came home and
opened her bouse with frequent gaieties, line dinners
and theater parties, and now and then
a costly ball, and evenings in which
held ■ sort of salon and sharpened
her wit in the encounter with that >>f
men and women of more or less cele
brity. Pleased with her success, she
permitted few people to see the other
1 her nature, a nature whose chief
evercase was in a complete adoration
r son Paul, a hoy who had inner
bo much of his mother that BOtne
ne seemed another self.
She had not been completely satts
rith Paul's college career. She
I respectability, and honored
aL She v. ouhl not have
.. milksop, as she phrased it;
ished him to have the strength
and no farther; not to
■ If back, but not to wish to
rd where it was distinctly ill—
1 d and more or less injurious. Since
I beei a part of the gay life at
too, there had been more than
. i' 'Ti when her sensibility had
.■•eked by his want of
:'v more than twenty-one, still
\ in his aff< Brewing ways.
:■•• b! power of loving, a angular
: mess and much talent, he was
:.<lp th«. world along, and yet
.../■■..: it as
• il in it Of late it was
c in a hundred that he
me borne at night master of
Hi • ther' ■ai I stood still
tin light, the certain
knowledge, that there was nothing
: h< r s- .ul,
an hiebiiati bsj drunkard's
grave.
She was not a woman given to
The l»oy himself did not
know how dear he was to her. If he
thought at all about it. he thought her
r.i. : • d in h.r so, ial life, in
salon, in making her dinners and
Lions brilliant, without much ten
bvt always animated couceru
••.,. »ks. music, the new
g at what she styled
the childishness of re
lief, "f attempting to prove
iwifift the spiritual
when everything we see is material.
this way lie adored
her "My mother beUevet in nothing, M
she once heard th<- boy say, when
bjs tutor wished him to go to the
"1 bdaeve in noth
j ( too." She did not know why
wa^ unpleasant to her. She
: !,< d herself for a weakness in finding it so.
'ill was young, and fair to see; but her lirst
oomins*; the tirst lines were cutting
info the smooth face, with terror and sufferi-i^ at
her boy's behavior. But when she delicately alluded
■object, he smiled in a superior way — he was a
Utd a man n.ust see life. When she ask»-d him
f<<r her ;t a v he. k upon his inclinations, he
:,'.thrr and drank her health. When
She begged him for the sake of his own future to
: "i«d that he knew what he was
Dold not I* dictated to by even the
nan in the world.
.-.as in an unhapj y frame when her old school
friend, Maty Brace, a woman of some achievement
I ' .line to •. isit her. Finding Mrs. Bru c,
he had not s<«-i; iii many years, with an entirely
• outlook from her own apon lif<- here and
Mi . Flanders did not make the ■ isit a
I d of same, hut spent most of the tune they were
ment that should convince her friend
</. tin- f llv of her faith., or of the superiority of her
.'I'NDAY MAGAZINE for SEPTEMBER. 25, 1904
By Klaiiririiett Pirescotttt SpolnFoFdl
own mental equipment. It would have tried another
person; it did try Mary Bruce. Sometimes she felt
that she was dwelling in the tents of Kedar; but again
she doubted if it was not a field for work, and as for
the boy— for hoy he was. in spite of his twenty-one
y. ,vrs and more— it made her heart ache to suspect,
t< i kn< rw, the truth.
'Dear." she said to her friend, the night before
she was leaving, having extended her st.iy ..■ l< ng
as it was possible, "I don't suppose argument ever
To Hi» Amazement His Mclher Was Fraying
convinced anyone. You have to feel things in religion
before you believe them, maybe."
"I don't know how I am going to fed at Last,
I do know just how I am going to feel— when I take up
my paper and read things like these," said tin- other:
'Great fire in such a city, a thousand families home
less; terrible railroad accident on such a line, so many
killed and injured; dreadful panic in such a theater,
women and children crushed and burned; collapse <,i
a building on such a street, a hundred working-girls
buried in the ruins, crime on the increase; shocking
murder; child run over by an automobile; shameful
embezzlement of the widows' and orphans' fund,' and
all the rest. And you think th<-re is a 1 ■ ing Father
overseeing it all. in tender relations to each indh lual.
How is it possible to believe that there is ;,:i all-seeing
and all-pi werful ruler who also is not an <•■. i:-,li posed
one?" And Mrs. Flanders threw down her paper and
adjusted her hair with composure.
••j ,],,;; \ -.<■ • how \ .a can !"■ happy a moment,
feeling bo " aid her friend.
••] don't se.- what my feeling happy lias to do with
the truth. However, I
shouldn't be if I thought
it mattered; but in this
world it is up to everyone to take care <>f himself.
There doesn't seem to be anyone else to do it. It
there is, I don't want to be taken care of in the style
<•! tiling 1 see in every morning paper. And I rather
would believe there is no ruler "i the universe at all
than such a cruel one as to make people suffer."
"Perhaps in this moment < f suffering there is a
presence <>f companionship. 1 knew there would be
with me. "When thou passest through the waters
1 will I'* 1 with thee; when thou walkesl through
the tire thou shall not be burned."
"Hut they are burned."
'Well. I don'l suppose the fact of
the existence of a ruler of the universe
depends upon whether one believes it
or not."
" It does for me."
How <ame the universe here?"
"1 suppose that's a conundrum,"
she 1. pulling out a gray hair as she
looked in the glass. "I iie\er was good
at guessing conundrums."
"Some one must have created it."
"And left it to run itself? I don't
know what tin- some one is about; but
as to fancying thai h< !■- stooping to
help me down stairs or upstairs, I
don't."
"You admit, though, that he WOUld
ha •■ to stoop."
"Oh, I don't admit anything, I don't
deny anything, except 'i:.it ■■ . art
■ ■ it h as mdix i<h;.
"I suppose, 1 ! ■ ■••• hen \ t
y tairs \"U hope not to fall?
Isn't thai dealing with you a-> an indi
vidual tilling you with hope which is
so constant that you are not even
of it?"
'Ai d when I do fall?" said Mrs
Flanders triumphantly. "There you
I've read of a snake
thai h each < arrj ■
. ■ d f« >r the snakes;
but h< • about the man he bites?"
" The i y I>e a * urvi\ al i>f
wallowed in
md may > ease aa other
m< mstera h.r- c ■!■
"Y'.'.t don't know that it will."
"The others have. Plainly the phys
ical world has worked up > ut of slime;
and thai is what the human world is
doing, and the spiritual world is doing,
I don't know why the world was made
thai i\ But I am sun- that if there
had been a better way it would have
been used. If we were perfect in the
beginning, what angels and archangels
we should be! It would be harder to
understand than the fact thai we are
working up toward perfection. But
we are going to be perfect through
constant struggle. The muscle does:i't
grow that is not exercised. The worm
never would become a butterfly that
didn't struggle out of his sheath. And
just as tlie whole body may have
developed from a cell, the soul may
develop from its primal spark to that
full lijjht of which, you know, he
'maketh his ministers a flaming sword.'"
"You have it all cut and dried. I
should think you were quite in the counsels.
"Well, of course if you love God, you have a greater
— what shall I say- intimacy."
"What a preposterous notion!" cried Mrs. Flanders,
running her jeweled chain through her fingers like a
rain of li^ht. "Intimacy with the mighty Maker of
this universe beyond universe? Intimacy?"
"I am y}-n\ you say 'mighty, 1 dear; because then
you see how fruitless it is to suppose you can fathom
that mighty thought. As if that ant creeping along
your skirt knew where you were going or what you
were thinking! "
"Well, really, there is some difference between an
ant and me! "
"Perhaps not so much as you think. The ant is
called the most intelligent being after ourselves."
"I guess that ant fathoms my thought enough to
know I am going to kill him. by the way he runs.
How in the world he K"t in hen — "
"Why n. t let the little fellow live?"
"Oh, according to your idea that nothing is lost
I just dismiss him to a higher form of life. There!
v

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