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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 22, 1907, Image 27

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1907-12-22/ed-1/seq-27/

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EDWARD EVERETT HALE
TORCH BEARER
First of a Series of Articles on "Helpful Americans"
IT was going on midnight, and still TJ T/^T4"TVT I-TT T'R'C'D I"1 ^"DT7TTCT7T For at eighty-five he was still
the little group lingered before Dy J L/IlIN IlUDljiV 1 UI\IjU OXjIj going about on pilgrimages of
the fireplace. The log had burned ^^^^^^^=^^^========^^==== love, telling the new generation
itself to ashes, now all but dead and how to live; when, at his advanced
cold. One after another the friends age. the fireside and freedom
had said something of the venerable sage of Boston,
Dr. Edward Everett Hale, whose humanities shine
like a star,?Hale, who for I know not how many
years has been helping everybody this wide world
over; maintaining, through his "Lend a Hand"
clubs, an open doorway, that with all reverence
may be called a clearing house for the woes and
sorrows of mankind; paying large dividends not
in the current coin but in the tine gold of charity.?
Hale, poet, orator, historian, preacher, citizen,
octogenarian;?and then I heard these words:
" It's too bad that you've not seen the Alpine
monastery of St. Bernard, and the hospice, as it is
called, where travelers rescued from death in the
terrible snow storms find food,
drink, and shelter. The beggar,
the drunkard, the thief,?no
matter,?each is welcomed as a
brother; and as you pass the
night in this desolate Alpine
fastness, and reflect on the
broad charity, a strange feeling
creeps over you,?the frailties
of mankind take on a new as
pect, pity rather than condem
nation,?and you realize that
these monks, self exiled, self
condemned, are among the first
real soldiers of religion, exem
plifying in their daily lives the
true brotherhood of man
kind."
The speaker, pausing a mo
ment, added, " When you meet
Dr. Hale, you will see, I am
sure, a true brother of the Alpine
pass. In his case, you do not
need to go on a long journey to
study a great man. He lives at
Roxbury, Boston, within ten
miles of this house."
His Sermon at Wellesley
CUXDAY morning dawned
bright and beautiful, a rare
autumnal day, and I went out
to Wellesley to hear Dr. Hale
preach. On the platform in the
Gothic chapel sat an aged man
in a simple black robe. He had
the aspect of the patriarch,?
long gray hair, gray beard, face
serious and kindly. Before him,
in sharp contrast, were seated
fifteen hundred young women in
their new autumn hats and
dresses, a picture of life's spring
time. The sage was sitting in a
massive golden-oak chair, and
behind him streamed the mel
low light through the pale
orange windows. Here then
were the spirit and the theme, earth and heaven,
the man and his message.
His sermon was more like the kindly injunction
<<f a father talking to his children. " Mv dear young
friends," he called them," and they sang Cowper's
hymn, "The Spirit Breathes Upon the Word."
There is something inspiriting in hymnal music
by fifteen hundred feminine voices, and Dr. Hale
told me afterward that he was deeply affected as he
joined in the refrain:
Till glory breaks upon my view
In brighter world above.
Then the aged preacher, trembling with the weight
cf his eighty-five years, slowly stood up and
opening his Bible glanced right and left, and bowed
reverently to the young lives as much as to say,
" You are the promise of your country; the spring
time of the coming generation which I shall not see
but which I shall try to help." His eyes sought the
Copyright. 19n#. by Vandi
brass letters on the wall, " I come not to be minis
tered unto, but to minister"; and upon that text
he preached that morning, in a' clear voice, with
simplicity, with infinite humanity. He talked of
God the Father, and of man the child. He knew, he
said, no life divided from the Lord. Religion, after
all, was a very simple matter. For instance. "Our
Father," and if you wish you may add. "who art."
Thus, putting the two ideas together, you get the
complete essence. "God hath made of one blood
all nations of men." I have read these words many
times, but never was impressed with them until I
heard venerable Dr. Hale.
After the sermon, I went with him on the train
er?t>de, N. Y.
Dr. Hale in His Study.
to Boston. I met hjm at the station, and he was
leaning on his staff; and though the day was as
balmy as spring, he wore a heavy overcoat, and his
daughter, who was with him, took his arm when
ever he moved a few steps. In the train, after we
had chatted awhile, his daughter said, " Now you
will have to excuse father; he has to take his nap
or he may not be well to-morrow." The old man
leaned his head against the car window and pre
pared to go to sleep. I remembered his words at
that moment,?why I know not,?"God is the
Father, and we are all His children."
The train rumbled through the beautiful New
England country, aflame with the colors of autumn;
beside the placid river Charles, of historic mem
ories; and the tired old man fell into a light
broken slumber. He reminded me of some heroic
figure by Michelangelo; a prophet, very old.
the last link between colonial times and the
present,?a voice from the long vanished past.
?from care should be his only thought. But
that would not be Dr. Hale, who coined and
sent round the world the phrase, " Lend a
hand.".
The Man in His Home
N1
rf
/ I
EXT day I went to Roxbury, to talk with
Dr. Hale again. I found the house with
out difficulty.?a street gamin, a mile away, told
me to look for the house with the big porch. I
entered a dooryard with a patch of green lawn;
and there is a gigantic elm beside the gate; the
porch is overrun with vines, screening the lower part
of the immense pillars; an old colonial home
stead. built on honor by a gen
_________ eration dead and gone these
many years; large, roomy, ram
bling; hall in the middle; quaint
mahogany furniture, marbles,
antiques; books everywhere; a
literary man's home. Dr. Hale's
study is to the right in the rear,
reached by a side hall that is
dark, with alcoves and doors
leading here and there in a way
that excites one's curiosity. You
recall houses in Hawthorne's
books.
I found the venerable philoso
pher in his big Morris chair; and
a few steps away is the broad
couch on which, when he is
tired, he takes his nap; for a
man at eighty-five has to
be extremely careful of his
strength, must rest often to
get through the day. "Sit
down," he said, "and make
yourself at home. Excuse me
a moment," he added. "I am
looking for a letter. Excuse me,
won't you?"
As. without rising from his
chair, he went through the pa
pers beside him, I took a look
about. What a quaint study!?
two rooms made into one,?no,
three,?and still others, behind
closed doors; walls in terra
cotta, old dull, harmonizing
with the air of venerable repose;
a bookish workshop used these
forty years and more; where
things are untouched and papers
and books accumulate in delight
ful confusion; to the right,
three broad windows with old
fashioned panes, opening on a
small dooryard, with an elm
tree whose nodding lower
f branches almost touch the win
dow beside Dr. Hale; to the
left, an alcove made by walling in an old veranda,
holding. I learned afterward, thousands of
pamphlets, newspaper clippings and letters,?from
the days of the Stamp Act to the Czar's recent
personal letter to Dr. Hale on universal peace. At
the far end of the study is a wide brick fireplace,
and over it rhe motto. "Olde woode to burne;
olde bookes to read; olde friendes to trust." Old
rose settees, built in, flank the sides of the fireplace;
Grandfather Throop's mahogany writing desk,
style of 1750, is at Dr. Hale's right; brass candle
sticks; old rose chairs; book shelves reaching to
the ceiling; books, old and new, by the thousand;
portraits of Revolutionary leaders.?a quaint,
cluttered study, very quiet, very sleepy,?and near
the fireplace a young woman, who also acts as
secretary, was filling in a few moments sewing. And
in the deep silence I heard a clock ticking from
another part of the house.
"Ah. yes, here is the missing letter." Dr. Hale

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