"Well, I have had seven years of life, that is perhaps a little more than some people have, and I ought to be satisfied with that. The biggest chapter of my life is over and done and closed for ever and I will try not to look back or think of it too much. And I shall tell you the same as if I were making some solemn vow, that I will not try any more to regain the love I have lost."
This resolution of Marie's seemed to have helped her considerably, for her later letters are not quite so exclusively concerned with the unhappy aspect of her relations with Terry. The strong vitality of mind and temperament which enabled this factory girl and prostitute to adjust herself to a relatively intellectual and distinguished existence still stood her in good stead, and enabled her to meet the present deeply tragic situation step by step and not go under: her youth and vitality and her love of life triumphed, as we shall see, over even this terrible rupture; the consolatory philosophy of anarchism, which had educated her, largely fell away, with the love of the man who had created it for her. But the work of the social propagandist has been done on Marie: the woman is a thoroughly self-conscious individual, as capable of leading her life as only are very few really distinguished personalities. Her next letter shows again a more general interest, though still largely concerned with Terry:
"The other night Terry spoke for the Social Science League on 'The Lesson of the Haymarket'—referring, as you know, to the hanging of the anarchists in 1886. The Saturday Evening Post had quite a lengthy notice about it the day before the lecture, and nearly all the morning papers spoke of it the day after. The lecture hall was well filled with people who do not usually attend the S. S. League. And I think these people, who were not radical, were much shocked and disappointed, for Terry was not a bit gentle and well-mannered, nor as philosophical as he nearly always is. I thought his lecture good, though there was something forced about it. Perhaps because he no longer has so much faith was the cause of his greater violence. It was as if he was trying to remember what he had once felt; and that made the expression rougher than if it had been more spontaneous. I really do not believe that he is, at bottom, at all violent. But he tried to be so in this lecture. He advocated assassination and regicide and other most violent and blood-curdling things. His voice and manner, however, in saying these terrible things were not at all convincing. When replying to the critics, he was most violent, and was hissed and shamed, over half of the audience leaving the hall, very angry and indignant. I thought, for a while, that a regular free fist-fight would follow, and it very nearly did, but Terry had a few friends with him, among them a German hen-pecked anarchist I must write you about, and your friend Jimmy, both of whom were ready to stand by Terry.
"Needless to say, Terry was gloriously drunk, and utterly reckless, and after the meeting was over quite a bunch of us became as drunk as he, though not quite so gloriously. He was quite helpless toward the small hours, when our party broke up, and I took Terry home with me, as Katie was not there, and on the way I had the pleasure of acting as a referee when he and a stranger, who Terry fancied had insulted him, did really have a fist-fight; I gathered up their hats and neck-ties and kept out of the way, ready to call assistance if need be, which fortunately was not necessary, for they only rolled around in the dirt a little, and Terry only had his chin smashed slightly by the fall.
"Drunk as he was, he did not strike the other man, though being stronger he could have pounded the life out of him; he only tripped him up and rolled him on the ground. Terry is certainly instinctively and naturally gentle and chivalrous, and I loved him as much as ever as I took him home and put him to bed.
"I am beginning to think I am a genius in taking care of drunken men, for I have managed in some way to take home and care for quite a number of them, for instance, Harris, who is the most unmanageable and perverse creature when drunk. I had an experience taking him home which I would not dare write you; and I can hardly realise to this day how I even succeeded in half carrying and half dragging him to our home from away down town. He certainly was the limit.
"On Monday the papers were all shrieking for Terry's head—wanted him deported or persecuted or prosecuted. But Terry has a good many friends and too much of a reputation as a philosopher; and his friends and his reputation prevented his becoming a martyr. Two friends, both newspaper men, managed to eliminate the most objectionable parts of Terry's terroristic utterances from their respective papers, and Terry's sister, the lawyer, one sergeant of police, and the ferocious but humane Tim Quinn did the rest. For the present, therefore, Terry's desire to be acquainted with the inside of a prison, or otherwise to suffer for the cause which he still half-heartedly believes in, is frustrated.
"To me the most important aspect of the lecture was that he prepared it in our home. So, for another week, we enjoyed one another's company; and after the lecture he not only went home with me, as I have said, but he has remained ever since. I am trying not to build up any more hopes on this, because I know that Terry has been in a particularly reckless mood, and does not care much where he is. I am sorry that he could not find a better outlet for his mood than lecturing for the Social Science League, but that perhaps is a better and more harmless way than getting in with the criminals, as he has wanted to do so often of late. You may be sure, however, that his talk on the platform will not be forgotten, and should anything happen, in any way like the McKinley affair, for instance, I am sure things would be made very unpleasant for him. So I hope nothing will happen.
"Terry is really harmless. He expends all of his energy in desiring and thinking and talking, and has nothing left over for action. Whenever he had any scheme in mind I did not like, I used to encourage him to talk about it, knowing that he thus would be satisfied, without acting. He lives almost altogether in the head and in the imagination, and is really a teacher, in his own peculiar way, rather than an actor or practical man. That is why he takes offence at what seems to me such little things: they are not little to him, in his scheme of things, which is not the scheme of the world, and, alas! not even mine, I fear. He is so terribly alone, and growing more so, and I feel so awfully sorry for him.
"Especially since our rupture I have been compelled to be so careful not to hurt his feelings or trespass on his ideas of right and wrong; for he imagines he can feel what I am thinking and feeling, even if no words are said. He says words only conceal thought and do not express it. At times I feel so oppressed and depressed that I should experience the keenest ecstasy if I could hurt him in some physical way, use my muscles on him until I were exhausted. In imagination I sometimes know the fierce delight and exaltation of my flesh and spirit in hurting this man whom I love, in hurting him morally and physically—and I feel the lightness of my heart as the accumulated burden of my repression rolls away in the wildest, freest sensations.
"Of course, I have only felt this way at times; and at those times I know I was very passionate and unreasonable. I had regular fits of jealousy and anger, but at other times I had a boundless pity for him, there was something so pathetic about his gestures and his voice when he told me he knows just how I feel about him, that I could have cried out with the ache of my heart. It was so terrible to see how he suffered in his heroic attempt to suffice unto himself, to defy the world. He tries to think and feel deeper and higher than anyone else, but this is a terrible, terrible strain. It is all fearfully sad, and sometimes I wish I had never known him."
About his speech, Terry wrote:
"I am one of the by-products that do not pay just now, until some process comes along and sets the seal of its approval on me. Just now I am deemed worse than useless, and since my speech on 'The Lesson of the Haymarket Riot' the authorities are looking for a law that will deport me. This will suit me, as I will swear that I am a citizen of no man's land. What I really need is not deportation, but solitary confinement, for the sake of my meditations. For even with my scant companionship I feel as if I were a circus animal. I still clutch convulsively to the idea that thought is the only reality and all expression of it merely a grading down of what was most high. If I am shut up I must cease talking and may think about real things, that is, ideal things. That would help me to put up with the world, which cannot put up with me unless I am in cold storage. There is a mental peace which passeth all understanding, and perhaps I might find that peace in prison. I have been insidiously poisoning my own mind for some time, and unless I can stop this I had better cease from talking, which does not seem to purge me of my unconscious pose, and retire to solitude behind the prison bars. There, undisturbed, I can meditate and often remember peacefully the beautiful things I have known in literature and nature. Beauty is like rain to the desert, it is rare, but it vanishes only from the surface of things, and deep down who knows what secret springs it feeds? As my sands run out, the remembrance of the brief beauty I have known will break over me like the pleasant noise of far-off Niagara waters on the stony desert of my life.
"I once thought that I could help the mob to organise its own freedom. But now I see that we are all the mob, that all human beings are alike, and that all I or anyone can do is to save his own soul, to win his own freedom, and perhaps to teach others to do the same, not so much through social propaganda as by digging down to a deeper personal culture. Though I sometimes think that just now the prison would help me, yet I also long at times to talk to the crowd. I wish to tell the smug ones that we waste our lives in holding on to things that in our hearts we hold contemptible. I wish to tell the mob just why there are thirty thousand steady men out of work in this city: to do this I may take to the curbstone."
After his speech Terry returned to the home of Katie and Marie, as has been described by Marie, but on no basis of permanence. He thus speaks of it:
"You may think that I, too, have 'cashed in' my ideals; for I am back at the Salon—for how long nobody knows—by special proxy request of Katie. I will spare myself and you any moralising on my relapse."
Katie, explaining Terry's return, said: "When he went away, Marie was sad all the time. She could not eat nor sleep and was looking for her lover every day. After weeks had passed I said to her: 'When you see Terry at the Social Science League, bring him home.' 'Do you mean it, Katie?' asked Marie, her eyes sparkling. She did so, and Terry went quietly into his room, and the next morning I made coffee as usual and Terry came out, and it was all right; it might have been all right for good, if this damned Nietzsche business had not come up." But that is anticipating.
It was after Terry's return that the famous miner Haywood, just after his acquittal from the charge of murder in connection with the Idaho labour troubles, visited Chicago, and spent most of his time at the Salon with Terry and Marie and several of their friends. The Salon was temporarily revived, like the flash in the pan, under Haywood's stimulating influence. Terry wrote of him:
"Haywood has the stern pioneer pride of the West. There is a mighty simplicity about him. He is Walt Whitman's works bound in flesh and blood. He is a man of few words, and of instinctive psychic force, and is the big blond beast of Nietzsche. He knows just what he is doing and why, and has a great influence on the crowd: the mob went wild at his mere presence, and after his brief speech he came absolutely to be one of them. The swaying mass becomes, at his touch, in close contact with their instinctive leader. He is too much in touch with the people to agree with narrow trades-union policies. At a secret meeting in this city with Mitchell and Gompers he hinted that the Western Federation of Miners would amalgamate with the American Federation of Labour on the ground of no trade agreements and the open shop, and warned them that no man and no organisation was strong enough to stand in the way of this development. The Socialist party made him a big offer, but he replied that the Labour movement was big enough for him."
Of Haywood, Marie wrote: "He is a giant in size, but as gentle as the most delicate woman. He has only one eye, but that a very good one which does not miss things. He has been made into a regular hero by the people here, but he is the most modest man I have ever met. He is sincere and unassuming, so calm, with no heroic bluster about him. His voice is quiet and gentle. We had a blow-out for him, and all those present were very discreet. We all forgot our years and our troubles and we showed him a good time. I hardly think that even you, with all your democracy, could have stood for all the things that happened. Haywood is a big, good-natured boy, but quite sentimental, too. I think he liked me pretty well. I am sure he could have won many much more attractive girls than I, but somehow he took to me right from the start. I was introduced to him along with a whole bunch of girls, all good-lookers, too, but I sat back quietly and was the only one who did not say nice things to the hero."
Though Terry was back in what was formerly the Salon, and though the old spirit seemed at times to be still alive, yet it was more in appearance than in reality. It is difficult to regain an emotional atmosphere once lost; and it is especially difficult to live by the gospel of freedom, when once the eloquence of that gospel is no longer deeply felt. Then there is nothing left to take its place—no prosaic sense of duty, no steady habit, no enduring interest in work. As these two human beings drifted further and further apart from their common love and their common interest, the idealistic man became more self-centred, more unsocial, more fiercely individual, and the emotional and sensual woman became more self-indulgent, more hostile to any philosophy—anarchism such as Terry's, with its blighting idealism—which limited her simple joy in life and in mere existence.
So their quarrels became more brutal, more abrupt. Both intensely nervous, both highly individualised, their characters conflicted with the intensity of two real and opposing forces. A tragic aspect of it all was that it was due to Terry's teaching that Marie attained to the highly individualised character which was destined to rebel against the finally sterilising influence of her master. Even physical violence became part of their life, and words that were worse than blows. The strong bond which still lingered held them for a time together, notwithstanding what was becoming the brutality of their relations. One day Marie called Terry to his coffee and he refused. A quarrel followed, in the course of which she hit Terry on the head with a pitcher, and the resulting blood was smeared over them both. When calm came again she said to him:
"Terry, how can we live together?"
"Ain't we living together? Doesn't this prove it?" he replied, grimly.
And this man would use violence in return—and this was the delicate idealist, the idealist whose love for Marie had at one time been part and parcel of his high dreams for humanity and perfection, a part of his propaganda, a part of his hope: during which period he had been scrupulous not to use force of any kind, spiritual or physical, on the girl whom he doubly loved—the girl whom he held in his arms every night for years with a passionate tenderness due to his feeling of her physical fragility and her social unhappiness, rather than to any other instinct.
"Marie," he said, "did not fully understand the character of my love for her. She loved me intellectually and sensually, but not with the soul. She wanted my ideas, and sex, and more sex, but not the invisible reality, the harmony of our spirits. From the day that I fully understood this, my confidence in her and in all things seemed to go. She felt that I had withdrawn something from her, and it made her harder. She began cruelly to fling the amours that I had tolerated as long as I hoped for the spiritual best in my face. It was a kind of revenge on her part."
Practical troubles, too, lent their disturbing element to the little remaining harmony of the three.
"We shall probably be forced to leave our rooms in a short time," wrote Marie. "Our landlord has asked us to leave, without giving any other reasons than that he wanted a smaller family in these most desirable rooms! Terry is indignant, for we have been quiet and orderly, and Katie has always paid the rent in advance. We shall certainly stay until the police come and carry us out and our household goods with us.
"It is true that we have had unusual difficulty in paying the rent and in getting enough to eat and smoke; and this has not added to our good-nature. You have no doubt read about the 'money stringency' in this country. Times are indeed very hard, thousands of men are out of a job, and the so-called criminals are very much in evidence. For a long time Katie could not find work to do and could not get any of her money from the bank, so that things looked very 'bohemian' around here for a while. She could not get anything to do in her own line, and finally had to go out to 'service.' But this she could not stand more than a week, for Katie has fine qualities and is used to a certain amount of freedom, so she couldn't stand the slavishness of the servant life, though she had good wages and nice things to eat, which Katie likes very much.
"When Katie started in on this venture she had the proverbial thirty cents, which she divided up with me—Terry had not returned from his wanderings at that time—and I recklessly squandered ten cents of this going to and returning from the Social Science League. In a day or two there was nothing edible in our house but salt, so I squandered my remaining nickel for bread. I made that loaf last me nearly four days: I ate only when I was ravenously hungry, so that it would taste good, for I hate rye bread. I slept a good deal of the time. I suffered terribly, though, when my tobacco gave out, and I spent most of my time and energy hunting old stumps, and I found several very good ones in the unswept corners and under the beds. I even picked some out of the ashcan. These I carefully collected, picked out the tobacco and rolled it in fresh papers, as carefully as any professional hobo."
When Katie was temporarily hard up, that naturally put Terry and Marie "on the bum." But they remained "true blue" and did not go to work, Marie being willing to put up with all sorts of discomfort rather than try for a job. She continued:
"It is a strange thing that nobody came to our house during these six days. But on the sixth day, Terry came, and then I had a good square meal, and he even left me carfare and some of the horrible stuff he calls tobacco. Two more days elapsed before Katie returned. Until then I lived on that square meal. I had ten cents from Terry, but I was sick of rye bread. On the day that Katie returned, in fact only a few hours before, I was foolish enough to visit an anarchist friend, Marna. I was awfully lonely and thought a little change would do me good. So I went to Marna, but got there a little too late for supper. I must admit I was hungry. I hinted to Marna that I was, said I'd been in town all day, and things like that, but she did not catch on and I was stubborn and wouldn't ask. Stephen was there, and for a moment I thought I might eat. He had not had his supper, and he said that if Marna was not too tired to cook, he would go and buy a steak. I tell you, the thought of that steak was awfully nice and I had to put my handkerchief to my mouth to keep the water from flowing over. I offered to cook it for him, but he passed it up. I made one more desperate bluff and asked him if he would get some beer for us! And I reached for my purse, and for one wild moment I thought sure he had called my bluff and would really take my only nickel, my carfare home. I nearly fell over with suspense, but in the nick of time he went out, refusing my money. And I even taunted him, asked him if he thought it was tainted!
"When the beer came, I drank most of it. Beer is a great filler, but of course it went straight to my head and feet—that is, my head got light and my feet heavy. But I managed to navigate to the street car and so on home, where I found Katie, a cheerful fire and a delicious smell of cookery and coffee.
"Now, I must make you a confession. During these six days I had some thoughts of working, the only thing I could think of being a job as a waitress. But when a vision of ham and pert females and more impertinent males came to me my courage oozed away, and I did not even try. I don't think I'll ever work again. Did you ever read Yeats' story 'Where There is Nothing?'
"I love Marna, as you know, but when she talks to me about 'work,' 'health,' and the like, I feel like becoming even more solitary than I am. She says I am not ambitious! Ye gods, I think I am ever so much more ambitious than she! I am more ambitious to live in these little squalid rooms than in the mansions of the rich. My kind of happiness—I mean ideally—is not Marna's kind; and I am sure now that if I ever find it, it will be in the slums. Here I can sit and muse, undisturbed by the ambition of the world. Blake comes to me as an indulgent father to his tired and fretful child and sings to me his sunflower song. If I were in a castle I don't think even Blake could soothe my restless spirit.
"But, unfortunately, even in the slums one needs to eat. Without warning I tumble from my air castles because some horrible monster gnaws at me, and will not let me be, however much I try to ignore him. That mean, sneaking thing is hunger. And because I am only mortal, and because the will to live is stronger than I, I must eat my bread. I often cry when I think of this contemptible weakness. I have often tried to overcome this annoying healthiness of my body. How can people be gourmands? Even Shelley and Keats had to eat. What a repulsive word 'eat' is! I would I could eat my heart and drink my tears. The world is what it is because we must eat. See the whole universe eating and eating itself, over and over! If it were not for this fearful necessity, Terry and I should not, perhaps, have failed in our high attempt!
"'The chief thing,' said Oscar Wilde, 'that makes life a failure, from the artistic point of view, is the thing which lends to life its sordid security.'
"But alas! to this sordid security, or to the care for it, we are driven by our need of bread. If Terry and Katie and I had never had this need, we might have become angels of virtue and insight. But on account of this we never could really attain freedom; that embittered our souls and turned us at times viciously against each other."
Terry's growing jealousy, which seemed to surprise Marie, was a sign of the weakening of his philosophy, as far as it was social and not purely individual. It may seem strange that after his real love for her appeared to pass, his jealousy increased; but this was due to several causes: if his social interest in her—his propagandist interest—had continued, her sexual license would have continued to feed his passion for social protest. But when Marie had ceased to interest him as a "case," or a "type," or a "victim," the only bond remaining must be that of the pure individual soul or of the body. Terry's lack of sensuality—his predominating spiritual and mental character—precluded any strong tie of the physical kind. So there remained, as a possible tie, only a close spiritual relation between two individuals, a soul bond—and this Marie's character and conduct tended to prevent. Terry, if they were to be together, saw that the deeper personal relation must exist, now that there was no other—and so he was jealous of any conduct which showed in Marie a lack of sensibility for the deeper spiritual life; hence the physiological jealousy, which he had not felt, or had controlled at one time, showed itself. No doubt his increasing nervousness was an added reason—nervousness due to the long strain, physical and mental, which his life and social experiment had involved.
During these last weeks Marie had another lover, and was especially careless in not concealing any of its manifestations. She, too, on her side, was subject to greater and greater strain. Terry's growing loneliness and austerity, his melancholy and unsociability, his negative philosophy, all this tended more and more to inhibit her natural young joy in life and to give it violent expression. The philosophy of anarchism had increased her natural leaning to the free expression of her moods and passions, and now, with weakened nervous resources, she hardly cared to make any effort to restrain what she called her temperament.
"Yes, he became my lover," she wrote, "and we disappeared for a few days. Did you ever read George Moore's Leaves From My Lost Life? In it is a story called 'The Lovers of Orelay.' My lover and I spent our few days together in much the same way as did the lovers in the story. We had our nice secluded cool rooms and beautiful flowers. I threw my petticoats over the chairs and scattered ribbons and things on the dressing table just like the girl in the story. And we had nice things to drink and good cigarettes, and had all our breakfasts and suppers served in our rooms. The little adventure turned out better than such things usually do; nothing awkward happened to mar our pleasure in any way, and I'm glad it happened—and is over and done with.
"You may think me a very light-headed and heartless and altogether frivolous person from my actions. But I felt so humiliated and so sorry and so desperate about Terry that I was ready to embrace any excitement, just to forget that our great relation had gone. This time it was to get away from myself, not in the old physically joyous mood—and to get away from Terry's poisonous philosophy of life.
"This lover of mine was so joyous, so healthy, so vigorous, so full of life! He was very different from Terry, and I really needed him as a kind of tonic. And yet, of course, I did not care for him deeply at all. In fact, I want never again to have a deep relation to anybody, if this between Terry and me must go.
"This profound failure has made me reckless; Terry is sensitive now, and knows from my manner and face and the way I express myself just how I am feeling toward any other man. The other day an old lover of mine turned up in Chicago, and this brought about a scene with Terry.
"To explain this episode I must go back several years. I once knew a Swiss boy, a typical Tyrolean. The day I met him in Chicago he had just arrived from his native land, and seemed so forlorn and lonely and miserable that my heart went right out to him. He was such a big, handsome child, too, about twenty years old. He could not understand a word of English, and no one talked to him, but me, who, as you know, had parents who spoke German. He was delighted and told me his whole life story, how he became emancipated and one of the Comrades. His eyes sparkled so and his cute little blond curls jumped all over his head with the enthusiasm and joy of having found some one to talk to, that I was quite content to sit and watch and listen. And he thought me the most sympathetic person in the world.
"Had I only known the result of my impulse to say a few words to a lonely boy! For he did fall in love with me, and in such sturdy mountaineer fashion that I very nearly had nervous prostration—and he too—in trying to get away from his strenuous wooing. For he started out to win me in the same style that he would have used toward one of the cow-girls in his native Alps. He waylaid me and followed me around everywhere, just camped on my trail; wanted to carry me away to some place out West, where there were mountains. The more I discouraged him, the more lovesick and forlorn he became, until finally he became the laughing-stock of the 'movement,' and I was chaffed about it unmercifully. He knew I had a lover, but that was no obstacle; and he told me several times with fine enthusiasm that he would not object to sharing his love with another man! He had read something about free love, and thought he should like to be an Overman and superior to petty jealousies.
"Strange to say, my curly-headed Swiss lover did not 'insult' me, as they call it, though I naturally enough supposed that he wanted to, but didn't have enough courage. But I was wrong, as I discovered later, when I grossly insulted him! Perhaps a girl is loved only once in a lifetime in just that way, perhaps not at all, and I often think I made a mistake in being so cruel to my boy lover. I might in time have learned to love him in the right way, but I couldn't at that time, perhaps because I was so much occupied with Terry, my own lover, and with the movement, which was new to me and very charming, for I had just discovered it.
"At times I had an immense pity for the poor boy and would have done anything to help him feel better. I had not the slightest physical feeling for him, but I should have been quite willing to indulge him, if he had asked me. That was part of our philosophy and my kindness. But he did not ask me, though he often had the opportunity. He was quite content to be with me and kiss my hands, and beg me to love him a little. When he saw I did not like to have him kiss me so much, he would grow so sad and forlorn and tiresome. One day he was at the Salon with others and annoyed me by hanging about me all the time, until I couldn't stand it any longer. I called him into another room and told him bluntly that I would indulge him, if that would help him, only he must for heaven's sake leave me alone!
"Now, this was a most indelicate thing for me to do, and I blush as I write of it, but I was so desperate and possibly a little under the influence of whiskey—a most convenient and universal excuse—and had tried all other means of ridding myself of this annoyance, even to slapping his face and forbidding him to come to the house! When I slapped him, he simply kissed the hand that smote him, and when I forbade him to return to the house, he followed me about the streets. If I told you all the silly and ridiculous things the youth did or all the mean, brutal things I did to cure him, you would scarcely believe me.
"Now when I made that abrupt proposal to him, he blushed to the tip of his ears, and then grew very angry, and called me an animal and a beast and said he had loved me because he thought I was different from that; that he did not want that kind of love from me. After a while his vehemence and anger turned to tears, and he kissed my hands and sobbed out his intention of going away. I was repentant and very sweet and kind to him while he stayed, but soon he did go West and I did not see him again till a few weeks ago, when, one Saturday night, I found him waiting for me at our rooms. I was astonished and not too glad to see him, especially now that Terry is so sensitive.
"When Terry came home, he looked suspiciously at me and at the poor Swiss, but though I was quite innocent, I could not turn the poor fellow away, after he had come so far to see me. But I did not feel at all friendly to him, and I did not speak to him the next day, especially as Terry went away for several days, to give me a chance, as he put it, to enjoy my love. Then I told the Swiss with heat that I never wanted to see him again, and he went away for good."
Marie, however, seemed about this time to have lost any sensibility about Terry's emotion that she may have possessed. Perhaps it was because, as I have said, she felt that the relation of mutual confidence was really broken and nothing very much mattered. Anyway, she went so far in her carelessness that Terry could not help coming in disagreeable contact with what was growing painful to him, though he would be far from admitting it.
Katie, describing these last weeks, said that Terry grew more and more jealous and inclined to violence. He was very imaginative, and saw in Marie's eyes "something wrong," as Katie put it. Marie could not be expressive to Terry after an "affair," and Katie saw that Terry understood the meaning of this inexpressiveness. Also, when Terry went away for a day or two, without an explanation, Marie was equally "imaginative." Both were intensely proud, both intensely interested in their "individuality." One day Terry went away, without an explanation, and returned, after a few days, "pleasantly piped," as he put it, sat down and began to undress. It was dark, and he had no idea that somebody else was there. But Marie called out harshly, "You can't sleep here."
"I understood," said Terry. But Katie replied, "That's all right," and she slept on the couch.
"This kind of thing," said Katie, "put them further and further apart. Terry couldn't help feeling the sting there was in it. Marie had done the same before, but it was in a different spirit. One of the last scenes was when H—— was visiting us. He and Marie were having coffee in her room, and Terry was in the other room. Marie and H—— called Katie to come and have coffee with them. Terry was not invited and this later brought about a terrible quarrel.
"But," said Katie, "it was not really jealousy, though that was part of it, that brought about the last break. They calmed down, but then began to read Nietzsche again, and I think went daffy over him. Terry tried the Overman theory on me and Marie. Americans cannot understand German philosophy."
Nietzsche's doctrine of the distinguished individual being "beyond good and evil," a man superior to the morality of society, his hatred of Christian civilisation and Christian ethics, his love of the big forcible blonde who takes his right by his strength only, all this was congenial to Terry's character, and especially so after the weakening of his social philosophy. The aloofness of the Overman, the individualistic teachings of Zarathustra, appealed to the anti-social Terry, to the man who more and more went back to his egotistic personality, to whom more and more the "communist" Christian anarchists made little appeal, who more and more became what is called an individualist anarchist, with whom there is little possibility of relationship, who is essentially anti-social, whose philosophy is really that of social destruction. This indeed is the anarchist who lives in the public mind—a destroyer. But what the public mind does not see is that this destructive anarchist is the result of a lost hope in anarchistic communism, a lost hope of radical extension of social love, in absolute solidarity.
"The winners fall by the wayside," wrote Terry, "while the losers must ever on—hearkening to some high request, hastening toward a nameless goal. I am loser, for my motives are large and my actions small. In my desire to embrace the universe I may neglect a comrade. I can be as hard as my life and as cruel as its finish. I have only an ideal, and whenever anything or anybody gets in the way of it I am ruthless in feeling. I must not give up all that I have—what is in my imagination: I have nothing else."
Yes, Terry is hard. He "passes up" remorselessly not only the individual, but all society; but it is the hardness of the idealist, of the man who is still religious in the sense that he sees a beyond-world with which to compare this world and find it totally lacking. So, more and more he "passed up" Marie, found her more and more lacking, more and more human. The fact of her being a social outcast no longer had its strong appeal. He became hard and cruel to her through idealism, just as she had been hard and cruel to him through sensuality and false philosophy. But her hardness never equalled his fine scorn.
For a year or two preceding this point in the situation I had been living in Europe, and had met a good many men and women who had given a larger part of their lives to the making of a social experiment. Some of them, discouraged, had returned to a "bourgeois" manner of life, some even to a "bourgeois" philosophy. Almost all of the anarchists I have known lost their philosophy and enthusiasm with middle age, and experience with the actual constitution of things, combined with disillusion regarding the ideal. Most of them had been hurt or broken by their attempt, but they all retained a certain something, a certain remaining dignity of having struggled against the inevitable, and had acquired insight into some of the deeper things in life, though having lost some of the childlike simplicity which is a characteristic of the social rebel.
I saw a great deal of an old Frenchman, who had known Bakunin, and had been astute in the dangerous work of the "International" in England and Germany. An associate of William Morris and the other English anarchists who at that time called themselves socialists, my friend came in contact with much that was distinguished in mind and energy; he afterward carried the propaganda of revolutionary socialism to Germany, where he was arrested and imprisoned for five years. He is now a handsome, white-haired, well-preserved old man, with fine simple manners and joy in simple things, love of children and of long conversations with friends, good will and peace. He has retained a certain mild contempt for the "bourgeois," for people who prefer an easy time in this world to an attempt, even a foolish one, for radical improvement. But he knows the world now, and I fancy many of his illusions are gone.
Another of my radical friends is now only thirty-six years old; but already he is tired and discouraged, socially speaking. He is a Frenchman, too, with all the easy mental grace and intellectual culture of his race. Soon after his student days at the Sorbonne, the social fever of our day, which burns in the blood of all who are sensitive, took possession of him. Like Terry, he was drawn emotionally to an interest in the social outcast; like Terry, a girl in that class interested him, and he took up the cause of the girls, and led an attack against the policiers des moeurs, the special police who attempt to regulate prostitution in Paris. He spent all the money he had in the attempt, lost his respectable friends, and, after several years of fruitless effort, hope left him. When I met him he was living quietly, in bohemian fashion, drawing a very small salary and devoting himself to abstract philosophy, to science, and to pessimistic memories of the days of his social enthusiasm, or what he now calls his social illusions.
One of the most pathetic social experiments I have known was made by a young girl, whom I also knew at Paris. She generously determined that she would have no sex prejudices; and for several years she strove against the terribly strong social feeling in that regard. Not only theoretically but practically she persisted in thinking and acting in a way which the world calls immoral. She wanted to show that a girl could be good and yet not what the world calls chaste. She did not believe that sex-relations had anything to do with real morality. In one way, she has been successful. She is as good now—better—as when she began her experiment. She is broader and finer and bigger; but she has suffered. She has been disappointed in her idealism, disappointed in the way men have met her frank generosity, she has been injured in a worldly way. Her strongest desires are those of all good women—she deeply wants the necessary shelter for children and social quiet and pleasure, and these essentials are denied her because of her idealism. She half feels this now and is tired and discouraged.
Another woman who has paid heavily for her "social" interests is in quite a different position. She is married to a man who is also a social idealist. He is so emotionally occupied with "society" that nature and life in its more eternal and necessary aspects touch him lightly. He hardly realises their existence. She tries to follow him in this direction; strains her woman's nature, which is a large one, to the uttermost. It is probable that the loss of his child was due to this idealistic contempt for old wisdom. Not a moment must be lost, not a thought devoted to anything but the revolution; this necessitated social activity, and that exclusively. Where was the opportunity for the quiet development and care of an infant? The children of the "radicals" are few, and as a rule do not grow up in the best conditions. This certainly is a terrible sacrifice entailed upon the social idealist.
Writers in France and in Europe generally are much more interested in radical ideas of society and politics than they are in this country. The most distinguished among them are from the American point of view radical, at least. There is hardly a play of note produced in France or Germany that does not in some way trench upon modern social problems. Anatole France is a philosophical anarchist, and so is Octave Misbeau. It is not a disreputable thing to be so in France. An Emma Goldman there would be an object of respect. The prime minister of France was generally regarded as an anarchist before he went into office. A man of the type of Herve would be deemed a madman here. Even a man as little radical as Jaures would be considered a terrible social danger in America and could not conceivably have the power he exerts in France, where they have a respect for ideas as such.
But, combined with this interest in social things and this willingness to entertain the most radical ideas, there is a note of pessimism and disillusionment. Anatole France's work shows this double tendency well. He reflects the social revolt and lack of respect for the old society in a most subtle way, but also he mirrors the failing hope of the social enthusiast. He has a deep sympathy for the social idealist, but nearly every book suggests the inevitable wreckage of enthusiasm on the rocks of actuality.
When, after an absence of several years, I returned from Europe and went again to Chicago, I found Terry alone, disheartened, and different from the Terry I had known. Soon I saw that in him had taken place a process not unlike that which had happened to my friends abroad and which was reflected in European literature. His letters and Marie's had already indicated, as we have seen, his social disappointment. But I found him more bitter even than I had expected; cut off even from the anarchists, nourishing almost insanely his individuality, full of Nietzsche's philosophy of egotism, rejecting everything passionately, turning from his friends, turning from himself. Old society had long been dead for him and now he had no hope for the new!
Besides, Marie was not with him: she had revolted and run away. I had expected to see her in Chicago; she had written me that she would be there, but when I arrived I learned from Terry and Katie that she had gone away. During the few weeks preceding my return to Chicago, the quarrels between the three had grown in poignancy. Terry, unlike some of the disappointed anarchists I have known, could not settle back into an easy acceptance of life. With him it was all or nothing. More and more fiercely he rejected all society, even, as we have seen anarchist society. Of course, Marie came more and more in the way of this general anathema. She was young and pleasure-loving, and at last her nature could no longer stand this general rejection, the absence of the simple pleasures of life. It was not their quarrels, even when they came to blows, that determined her action. It was a revolt from the radical sterility of Terry's philosophy. Katie furnished her with the necessary money, and she went away to California. There this tired creature, this civilised product of the slums, this thoughtful prostitute, this striving human being full of the desire for life and as eager for excellence as is the moth for the star, went into camp, and there, in the bosom of nature, her terrible fatigue was well expressed in the great sense of relief that resulted: a new birth, as it were, a refreshing reaction from slum life and overstrained mental intensity. This new birth and this reaction from Terry's philosophy are well expressed in her letters to Terry and to me. To me she wrote:
"I have not dared to write you before for fear of your anger toward me for my abrupt dismissal of our plans of meeting, but I could not help it. The life instinct in me would not be doomed, but was insistent in its demands and made me flee from insanity and death. So here I am, far away from civilisation, from the madding crowd, away up in the mountains, making a last effort to live the straight free life of Nature's children, a suckling at the breasts of Mother Earth. And truly her milk is passing sweet and goes to the head like wine, for I feel intoxicated with the beauty and joy of all things here in this new, wonderful world. I did not know that such beauty existed, and my appreciation of it is so intense that it produces sensations of physical pain. I live much as the birds do, or at least try to—no thought of the morrow, or of the past, except when I receive a letter from dear old Katie or from Terry. Katie asks me if I have found a job yet, and Terry has some sweet reflections about death or dead things. But I recover in an amazingly short time from these blows, climb to the mountain-top, extend my arms to the heavens, and embrace passionately the great, grand, throbbing stillness.
"I have been here now a whole month and have not yet wearied of it for a moment. Each day brings a new, wonderful experience; and each day I feel a real part of the great wonderful scheme of things. Indeed, I am becoming a part of nature. I have grown so straight and tall, and so beautifully thin and supple that I can dart in and out of the stream without bumping myself against the rocks, can climb steep hills, and let the winds blow me where they will. I should not be at all surprised to awaken some morning and find that I had become one of the tall reeds that sway to and fro along the banks of our mountain stream.
"In one of my brief periods of returning civilisation, just after receiving a terrible letter from Terry, I had myself weighed at the store and post-office of the town not far away from our camp; my weight was exactly eighty pounds! It seemed to me that I was fading away into something wild and strange. But I have never felt such physical and mental well-being since I can remember. I hardly need to eat, but our camp cook actually forces me to swallow something. He is a German 'radical' of the old school. Frightfully tired of the radical bunch as I am, I like this simple old man. He is like a part of Nature, has lived on her bosom all his life, and loves her and no other. We have visitors at our camp occasionally, and they bring things to eat and drink. When they are gone, the cook and I live on what is left and get along as best we may. There are lots of wild fruits and nuts growing about here and they are delicious. Neither of us has any money nor care for the morrow.
"After I arrived here, all the bitterness of life vanished. I thought and felt very beautifully of Terry, and always shall, for I have made an ideal of him, and his grand, noble head, like a blazing tiger-lily perched upon a delicate and slender stem, will always be for me the greatest, most wonderful recollection of all the years. But I have no longer any desire to be with him, yet I do love and adore him, my own wonderful, sweet, great Terry!"
To Terry she wrote: "I am intoxicated by all this beauty and love the very air and earth. I feel the ecstasy of the aesthetic fanatic. Were I not disturbed by thoughts of you, I would indeed become another Eve before the fall, though I have strange desires and my blood beats as in the veins of married women. But no lovers can quench my fever. All the tiresome males are far away and I feel new-born and free. The air is scented with balsam and bey, and a pure crystal stream flows through this valley between two hills covered with giant redwood trees, and rare orchids of the most curious shape and colour toss wantonly in the breeze on the tree and hilltops. Birds and fishes and reptiles disport themselves in the sunshine, and giant butterflies of the most marvellous colours flutter so bravely among the ferns and flowers. There are no tents here in our camp, but we are covered with the fragrant branches of the spicy pines and nutmeg trees. It is a Paradise, and I think of you always when I am in the midst of beauty.
"My trip here included an eighteen-mile walk—in one day—think of that! I am getting as thin and strong as a greyhound. I don't wear clothes at all, but when I do, it is the old man's overalls, which I put on to go to town to get groceries or call for the mail. At night, our old cook builds a huge fire of redwood logs, and then his tongue loosens and he quotes poetry by the column or talks of his experience as a preacher, actor, village schoolmaster, and vagabond. Without a cent he travels all over California, as strong and rugged as any redwood tree that grows in this wonderful valley.
"It is so secluded here that no one would suspect campers were about. The trail leads down a steep descent. How stately it is between the huge stems of the trees, along our beautiful creek, cool and clear as crystal, and filled with trout and other fishes. There I sit in the sun and allow the water to pour over my shoulders."
In another letter to Terry she writes:
"Our sylvan retreat has been somewhat disturbed by the advent of Mrs. Johns, her children and her dog. Annie is also here, but they will not remain long, it is too quiet, too lonely, and the nights are too mysterious and uncanny, strange noises to disturb the slumbers of the timid. And besides there is nothing to do, no hurry or bustle or activity. The spirit of repose, of rest, of sweet laziness broods over this spot, inviting us to dream away the hours among the spicy pine trees. And for two such active ladies it is very dull here. Even when they go to town they return disgusted and weary in spirit because of the slowness of the natives, who are half Spanish, half Mexican. Even the beautiful trail winding in and out among the mountains does not compensate them for the dreadful slowness of the natives. I, however, love this slowness and converse amicably with the natives. And when I am a little active I go fishing, or climb about, or take a lesson in Spanish from my old philosopher-cook. I am now learning a little peasant song, the refrain being, 'Hula, tula, Palomita,' and it does sound so beautiful that I repeat it over and over. It means, 'Fly, fly, little dove!'
"The fishing I do not care for much. It is exciting for a time, but soon grows a bit too strenuous for my lazy temper. The little stream is filled with trout; one has flies for bait which have to be kept on the move continually. Walking and jerking the lines out of the water continually soon makes my arms and legs tired. I like best of all to lie in a bed of fragrant leaves, my head in the shade and the rest of me in the sun, the murmur of the brook in my ears, the skies mirrored in my eyes, fantastic dreams in my mind—in these you are seldom absent. At night I sleep as I have never slept—a deep, dreamless slumber. I awake to a cold plunge in the stream. Oh, it just suits me! I am tired of people, tired of tears and laughter, of men that 'laugh and weep,' and 'of what may come hereafter, for men that sow to reap.'"
A letter from Terry came like a dart into her solitude and for a moment disturbed her mood—her deeply hygienic, fruitful mood. She wrote to him:
"Your letter was a dreadful, an overwhelming shock. It aroused passions in me which I thought were laid to rest. But, after getting very drunk, I had sense enough to sleep over it, so that this morning I am almost my new self again. Last night I felt like cursing you with all the wrath of the earth and heaven. The last three weeks I have been camping here, caught in the spell of the wonder and beauty of nature. I have written you the half crazy rhapsodies of a girl intoxicated with the joy of life and health. Now I do indeed think that life is beautiful and worth the living. No, I do not worry about you. I am as happy and care-free as the birds, and live in and for the moment. Everything in the past is dead. Only when your letter came, these old things of my old self raised their heads for a little time, but they too shall die speedily, if I mistake not. Life is too wonderful, too beautiful to be marred thus by the ends of frayed and worn-out passions, by memories or regrets of you. I have become happy, healthy, and free, free without hardness, and in my freedom and joy I have found my love, my beautiful Terry, whom I may love passionately, tenderly and for ever, the dear ideal one. Is it not wonderful? I crown myself with flowers and go forth to meet him every day. I kneel at his feet and caress his dear hands. For I love him dearly, this very new Terry. Yet, my dear, if you should come near me, I mean, you, my old poisonous Terry, I would flee from you as from a pest. I would loath myself and the sun and flowers and all the other beautiful things of earth. I do not think of you at all, my old Terry, but I think of you and love and adore you, my new, wonderful Terry, and I make myself beautiful for you. So, my dear old Terry, I will leave you to 'lice and liberty,' to your 'hard free life,' and I will now lave myself with the pure crystal waters and make myself clean again, and then look on the sun once more and dream again of my own adorable Terry."
In this letter, Marie said, by implication, a deep truth about social revolt. She could never have lived her life without him, this strange, poetic man. He awoke in this outcast, rather vicious girl, a keen longing for the excellent, for the pleasures of the intelligence and the temperament; he gave her an assured sense of her own essential dignity and worth; defended her against the society that rejected her. This was a truly Christ-like thing to do, and this she could never forget or do without. So, in her wilderness, she holds fast to her ideal Terry. But with this idealist she could not live, practically. The growing irritation felt by him because of his radical mal-adjustment to this world rendered him step by step more impossible to live with. Harshness, injustice, became forced upon him as qualities of his acts. How could he be fair when he had no understanding of the nature of actuality? It is probable that no woman can ever get so far away from actuality as a few rare idealists of the male sex. Marie's relative good sense, her vitality and love of life, finally rebelled against an idealism so exquisite that it became cruelty and almost madness. And this is the way with the world. The world cannot, in the end, endure the idealist, though it has great need of him. The world can endure a certain amount of irritation, a certain amount of fundamental revolt, but when that revolt reaches the point of absolute rejection, the world rebels, the worm turns. Marie represents the world and the worm.
Plato said there should be no poets in his Republic. Poets are too disturbing, they fit into no social organisation, for the truth they see is larger and often other than the truth of mankind's housekeeping, of human society. So they are against society. They are for nature, both God's nature and man's nature, but man's organisation arouses their passionate hostility. Therefore, said Plato, let us have no poets in our Republic. But Plato was a poet, and he probably knew that poets, though inimical to the actual working of any actual society, yet are necessary to keep alive the deeper ideals of humankind, to arouse perpetually the instinct for something better than what we have, something deeply better, something radically better, not the mere improvements, palliatives, of the practical man and the conservative, bourgeois reformer.
Terry had given Marie life, and she had finally used this vitality to free herself from him and his too exigent idealism. The result of his relation to her seems from this point of view pathetically ironical; but it is only a symbol of the ironical pathos of his relation to society in general; he and his kind act as a stimulant and a tonic to the society which rejects and crushes them. The anarchist is in a double sense the victim of society. He is, in the first place, generally a "labour" victim, is generally the maimed result of our factory system; and, in the second place, his philosophy, needed by society, reacts against himself and turns the world against him. So he is a double victim, a reiterated social sacrifice.
When I went to Chicago this last time I found Terry, as I have said, despondent and disillusioned; and intensely savage in his rejection, not only of capitalistic society, but apparently of all society. In a way, he had left his old moorings, the "proletariat" no longer appealed to him. This mood was not a part of his philosophy: it was an expression of his disappointment, of his disillusionment. He talked about his own life and Marie's with an almost brutal frankness. He seemed to take a sad pleasure in stripping the illusion of human worth and beauty to the bare bones. In spite of his words, in spite of his previous letters, it seemed clear to me that Marie had not lost her hold on him entirely, and that he deeply felt her defection. Through her he had failed socially and personally. Around her much of his life, intellectual and personal, had been wound. Lingeringly he talked of her, of her qualities; he seemed to try to steel himself against all need of human relation; incidentally he rejected me and other friends, finding us wanting. Marie, too, was not perfect, and must be "passed up"; but his mind rested, in spite of himself, on this woman and his life with her. Some of the things he said and wrote to me about this time indicate his present mood toward me, Marie, the anarchists, proletariat, and the world in general.
A year or two ago he wrote me: "No one, very close to me geographically, can ever get much out of me. This is a family trait and is too deep for me. So don't be downcast if we should ever meet again and you should find me as stoical as some crustacean of the past. Some such antediluvian feeling animates me to take advantage of your distance and clamour up out of the depths."
He did, indeed, "clamour up out of the depths" very eloquently, but when I saw him in Chicago I found that I had somehow "lost touch," like the rest of the world, with him. He felt it and wrote me:
"While you were in Italy, I sent you a letter in which I represented myself as one clamouring up out of the depths of his being to you who might understand. Now I sincerely and deeply regret having made this attempt with you. In the same letter I predicted that your return might find me back in the depths of my being, where I belong. I regret I did not stay there when you came along. This feeling is due to no fault of yours or mine; but points to the fact that I must become still more exclusive and circumspect."
Of Marie he wrote: "This attachment between two human beings is in all circumstances very terrible. The bond between Marie and myself was as strong as death, and partly so because of our great and essential differences. The first night we spent together struck one of the deep things in our discord. I was too nervous and sensitive to touch her that night, and in the morning she bitterly reproached me. The first book that really aroused her to the meaning of life was 'Mademoiselle de Maupin.' Deeper than this difference was her galling interference in my affairs which never prompted me to meddle in hers. And her failure to appreciate or reciprocate my respect for the integrity of her personality is the hardest blow she can ever give to me. I have the same fatal charge to make against almost all men; the exceptions are so few and doubtful that I doubt whether I can ever gain from another that intense receptive attitude which I am willing to bestow. Fortunately for me, this illusion that there are such intense perceivers re-creates itself out of the veriest dust and dross of humanity. Like Shelley's 'Cloud,' my illusion may change, but it cannot die. Now I am in a state of mind when I am willing to let everything go by default—everything except my last illusion, that I can never let myself out to anyone. To Marie—and to you—and one or two others—I have been sorely tempted to lay myself out—but not even the moon can seduce me to reveal myself. My dead and buried self is my first and last seduction. This is crazy, of course, but I am heartily sick of all the 'sense' I know or can know. I believe, however, that I have lived so close to the 'truth' that its shadow has been cast over all my life. If, in the last analysis, all is illusion, I shall stick to the most powerful one—myself. My feeling for Marie arises largely from the fact that she is an expression of the irreparable part of my life—of its deepest essence.
"A year ago to-day, on the thirteenth of August," he wrote, "occurred my first, last, and only breakaway from the best pal I have ever hoped to have, Marie. Now that it has passed, I see it in its proper proportions, just as if it had happened to someone else, but to one as near and dear to me as myself. I have broken away from the Mob, too. My sympathy for what is called the People has been worn down to a mere thread that might easily be broken and turn me against them. When one has been stoned long enough, one may easily turn into something as hard as stone itself. I am like the knight of old, turned inside out. I am developing a coating of internal mail, as so many of the attacks come from within. But worse than attacks from within or without is the sordid security and mental inertia of all the people about me: they are strangling me just as surely as if they put a rope around my neck. By day they hurry on like ghosts about their business, and by night they gather in the little tombs of many rooms they call their homes.
"You may call it madness, this my cutting off of all things. I know that I have kept off madness a long while now. I have shrunk from 'business' to social anarchy and pure beings, from these again I have shrunk to books and poetry, from these again into the solitude of myself where only I am really at home. Though I have lost my general bearings, I still stand at the helm of myself. I am going to pieces on the rocks of the world, but I still inhabit the realm of the soul.
"When I could no longer see my ideals rise out of my work, I quit that work; for then the work was no longer an expression of myself. This is the origin of all modern problems. A man stands to his job because of the visions that come to him only when at work. He sees in imagery his own possibilities arise out of the thing on which he is at work, and easily links himself to his fellows. Thus does the worker make of his eternal cerebral rehearsals an endless chain of imaged solidarity binding him in a maze from which he can never think his way out. The fixed gaze of those who try to grasp the abstract is proof of this.
"When I could no longer see my ideals arise out of human solidarity, I quit my fanatical belief in the possibility of a Utopia. So that now I am not even an anarchist. I am ready to pass it all up."
When I saw Terry for the last time, and found him in this almost crazy crisis of extreme individualism, where he hopelessly "passed up" everything—human society, love and friendship, all the things his warm and loving Irish heart really desired, I felt that here indeed was a complete expression of the spirit of revolt. It was so extreme that I and no one else could follow him in it. It had passed beyond the point where social rebellion may be useful or stimulating or suggestive poetically and had reached the sad absurdity of all extreme attitudes. One lesson Terry's proud and strenuous soul has never learned: that the deeper and simpler things in social growth we must take on faith. We cannot demand an ideal reason or justification for all social organisation, for the ways that human beings have of living together. The elementary social forms at least must be instinctively and blindly accepted. To go beyond in one's rejection the anarchism of the social communist into what is called individualistic anarchism is mere egotistic madness and has as its only value the possible poetry of a unified personal expression. Into this it was that Terry fell, and of course he could find no support for it except in his own soul, which could not bear the strain. No soul could, for, struggle as we may, we are largely social and cannot stand alone. Terry's life well shows the sympathetic source of social rebellion and its justification, but it also shows the ultimate sterility of its extreme expression.
The latest word I have about Marie is that she is at work "keeping house for a respectable family" in San Francisco. Her experience in camping-out seems to have rendered her normal to, for her, an extreme degree. Going to work certainly represented as radical a reaction from Terry and his philosophy as well could be imagined. A friend of mine in San Francisco writes of her: "She is now to all appearances a good, respectable girl. She wants to live a new life, is working hard, and is trying to break away from smoking. Sometimes she feels the restraint severely, and comes to our house where she knows she can smoke and express herself. She is in better health, and I think now is in close enough touch with nature not to want to go back for nourishment to ideas and the slum."
The latest word I have from Terry shows him faithful to the end—faithful to his character and his mood:
"There is a rumour that Marie has got a job at general housework. This gave me the blues—after all our life together, this the end! I'd rather have her do general prostitution, with the chance of having an occasional rest in the hospital. But perhaps her drudgery will kill her enthusiasm for 'vita nuova!'
"I should have answered your letter had I not been suffering from an old malady of mine which is accompanied by such mental depression that I could not answer the communication of even a lost soul. I had to seek surcease in my old remedy of hasheesh and chloroform, which was a change from suffering to stupidity. But I shall not swell the cosmic chorus of woe by raising my cracked voice against impending fate. I am more and more alone, more and more conscious of a growing something that is keeping me apart from all whom I can possibly avoid."
Terry is nearing his logical end, while Marie is still struggling for life, life given her in the beginning by this strange man, whose influence was then to take it away from her; and from this, like the world, she rebelled. "Anarchism" she embraced as long as it enhanced her being; as long as this deeply emotional philosophy added to the fulness of her life, she saw its meaning and its use; when it finally tended to sterilise her new existence, its "pragmatic" value was nothing.
This is the test of all social theory: How It Works Out. In Marie's case, as in the case of many proletarians, it worked out well, as a general civilising and consoling philosophy, for a time, but when carried to an "idealistic" extreme, it tended rapidly towards general death—from which all live things react. So it was with Marie: she left her "poisonous" Terry and sought for another vitalising experience. Goethe said that the best government is that which makes itself superfluous. Terry's spiritual influence on Marie, important for her in the beginning as rendering her self-respecting and mentally ambitious, had become superfluous. But it had been of great value to the girl. So, too, with our society. The extreme rebellious attitude educates us—sometimes to the point where rebellion is superfluous.
The Autobiography of a Thief
A true story of the life of a criminal taken down and edited by Mr. Hapgood.
Cloth. 349 pp. $1.25 postpaid.
COMMENTS OF THE CRITICS
"The book as a whole impresses the reader as an accurate presentation of the thief's personal point of view, a vivid picture of the society in which he lived and robbed and of the influences, moral and political, by which he was surrounded. The story indeed has something of the quality of Defoe's 'Colonel Jacque'; it is filled with convincing details."—New York Evening Post.
"To one reader at least—one weary reader of many books which seem for the most part 'flat, stale and unprofitable'—this is a book that seems eminently 'worth while.' Indeed, every word of the book, from cover to cover, is supremely, vitally interesting. Most novels are tame beside it, and few recent books of any kind are so rich in suggestiveness."—Interior.
"What is the value of such an autobiography of a thief as Mr. Hapgood has given us? It is this. Professional crime is one of the overprosperous branches of industry in our large cities. As a nation we are casting around for means to check it, or, in other words, to divert the activities of the professional criminals into some other industry in which these men can satisfy their peculiar talents and at the same time get a living with less inconvenience to the mass of citizens. The criminal, being as much a human being as the rest of us, must be known as he is before we can either influence him personally or legislate for him effectually. If we treat him as we would the little girl who stole her brother's candy mice or as the man who under great stress of temptation yields to the impulse to steal against his struggling will, we will fail, for we overlook the very essence of the matter—his professionalism. It is safe to say that perusal of Mr. Hapgood's book will help many a student of criminology to find his way through the current tangle of statistics, reform plans, analyses of 'graft' and what not, by the very light of humanity that is in it."—Chicago Record-Herald.
"The manner and style of 'The Autobiography of a Thief' is that which attracts even the fastidious lovers of literature. It is the life-story of a real thief unmistakably impressive in its force and truth. As a matter of course, the book is on the hinge of a novel, but it contains the gem and sparkle of genuineness and its complication has the flavor of accuracy."—New Orleans Item.
"It is not only a powerful plea for the reform of abuses in our penitentiaries, but it is an extraordinary revelation of the life of a criminal from his birth up, and an explanation of the conditions which impelled him first to crime and later to attempted reformation."—New York Herald.
"The truth found in 'The Autobiography of a Thief' is not only stranger but far more interesting than much of the present day fiction. The autobiography of 'Light-fingered Jim' is absorbing, in many pages startling, in its graphicness.... In spite of its naturalness, daring and directness, the work has a marked literary style—a finish that could not have been given by an unexperienced hand. But this adds to rather than detracts from the charm of the book."—Philadelphia Public Ledger.
"No more realistic book has been written for a long time than Hutchins Hapgood's 'The Autobiography of a Thief.' No books on criminology and no statistics regarding penal institutions can carry the weight of truth and conviction which this autobiography conveys."—Chicago Chronicle.
"As a study in sociology it is splendid; as a human story it will hold attention, every page of it."—Nashville American.
"It is a clear and graphic insight into the lives of the lower world and is written with impressive force. It is a remarkable addition to the literature of the season."—Grand Rapids Herald.
"An illuminating and truly instructive book, and one of terrible fascination."—Christian Endeavor World.
"As a contribution to the study of sociology as illustrated from life and not from mere text-books, the story recorded by Mr. Hapgood will be welcomed by all philanthropic people."—New York Observer.
"It is an absorbing story of the making of a criminal, and is rightly classed by the publishers as a 'human document.' It is absorbing alike to the reader who reads for the diversion of reading and to those who are really thoughtful students of the forces which are working in the life round about them."—Brooklyn Life.
"Those in whom the sense of human oneness and social responsibility is strong will be intensely interested in these genuine experiences and in the naive, if perverted, viewpoint of a pick-pocket, thief and burglar who has served three terms in State's prison."—Booklovers' Library.
"It may be that 'Jim' puts things strongly sometimes, but the spirit of truth at least is plain in every chapter of the book. That, in general, it is the real thing is the feeling the reader has after he has finished with 'The Autobiography of a Thief.' It is not a pleasant book; it is anything but a book such as the young person should receive as a birthday gift. It is a book however which the man anxious to keep track of life in this country should read and ponder over."—JOSIAH FLYNT, in the Bookman.
DUFFIELD AND COMPANY
36 EAST 21ST ST. NEW YORK
* * * * *
"The Spirit of Labor"
"A straightforward narrative which has the tremendous advantage of disclosing more things about the greater life of Chicago—and more which are not generally known to the more sheltered classes—than any book of its size ever written. Those who wish to be written down as loving their fellow-men should read this volume with care. It is a real book, and worth anybody's while."—The Interior, Chicago.
"Much of the story is set down in this man's own words, and the whole is made vividly interesting and really meaningful by the author's broad understanding and sincerity of purpose."—Life, New York.
"Mr. Hapgood's portrayal of the American workingman is a 'moving picture' in two senses of this equivocal phrase. It is kinetoscopic, first of all, in its lifelikeness and the convincing reality of the actions it pictures. Then, again, it is emotionally moving; for the character of Anton, the big, honest, alert and energetic Chicago laborer, can hardly fail to arouse in the reader intense admiration, lively sympathy and not a little amusement free from all cynicism and class feeling. In 'The Spirit of Labor' we are brought into living contact with the men and women we meet on the streets, the great American public with whom every business man, every pastor and every politician has daily to reckon. Teamsters, masons, unionists, saloonkeepers, policemen, wash-women, newsboys, walking delegates, waitresses, ward heelers, local bosses, anarchists—the procession seems endless and the medley beyond all hope of disentanglement. But it is real life and no parade of puppets."—New York Tribune.
"We cannot doubt, however, that Anton is a true type and represents a large portion of the men of this land with whom workers and students in social matters must meet. The book deals intimately with the questions arising between labor and capital, and is especially interesting in its analysis of the Chicago spirit as it relates to these matters."—The Christian Advocate, New York.
"The story of Anton and his socialistic, anarchistic, and trade union comrades is a faithful and photographic picture of aspects of the urban activity of vast multitudes of industrials combining to assist each one in his fellow in the struggle for existence and fullness of life. The forces revealed are full of danger, the temper is ugly, the manners are always urbane, the judgment not always well informed, the range of knowledge often limited; but there is wondrous power, vigor, and the chaotic promise of a better and larger morality than anything the churches yet have taught, or the mere book students have ever dreamed. Miss Jane Addams has discovered this larger morality in seeming coarseness and evil, and Mr. Hapgood has given us glimpses of it in the biography of his man of toil and rebellion. The Philistine needs the Anarchist to wake him, as Hume did Kant, from his dogmatic slumbers, and the Philistine may (let us hope rarely) wear cap and gown."—The Dial, Chicago.
Transcriber's Notes: Page 54: woman amended to women Page 97: acount amended to account Page 102: interst amended to interest Page 145: pamplets amended to pamphlets Page 148: envolved sic Page 154: senstive amended to sensitive Page 166: inconsistences amended to inconsistencies Page 172: beause amended to because Page 241: concious amended to conscious Punctuation has been standardised. Where a word is hyphenated and unhyphenated an equal number of times, both versions have been retained: pickpocket/ pick-pocket; upstairs/up-stairs.