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mentary; it was antagonistic to the tenets of the Senatorial faith-cure. One might as well speak of the evergreen falling into the sere and yellow leaf.
Despite such occasional and trilling physical detriments, oratory in the Senate is eminently respectable—an adjective, by the way, in no wise indicative of brilliancy. While the almost universal habit of speaking from the written page is incompatible with eloquence of the Webster and Hayne sort, it may be doubted whether the spirit of the age cares much for soaring flights. It is so lonesome up there! At all events, when the leading silver advocate of the Senate, who is picturesque enough with his towering stature, his patriarchal beard and glittering eye, begins to indulge in improvisations, there is an exodus of spectators and associates alike. And he is not the only Senator whose eloquence meets with a scant amount of atten
tion. Yet, now and again, when occasion WILLIAM R. COX
demands, the air vibrates, the rafters rattle, Secretary of the Senate.
and auditors draw near and hang upon an vival of the impressions made upon the pop- orator's lips. ular imagination by the disappointments of From its very conspicuousness, the Senate Clay, Webster, and Blaine.
has always been a shining mark for public Doubtless Presidential hopes have much opinion. Before the Civil War it was praised to do with the tenacity with which certain for the most part, and, when censured, never Senators cling to office despite the burden of belittled. But of late years there has been years, the spirit remaining willing long after much popular disfavor, althougb there are the flesh has become weak. For the rule may be laid down that the older the Senator the stouter his determination to be just as young as he used to be. There is something pathetic in the sight of these aged men feebly brandishing their intellectual weapons before the statue of Ambition, and piping in shrill treble, “O Cæsar, we, about to die, salute thee !" Yet in general the Senators are well-preserved; for there is a stability of health which comes from the consciousness of an unimpeachable position. Decay is quickly summoned by the wail, “ All is vanity.” One or two of the members, it is true, may have become somewhat inarticulate of speech. Others may be reluctant in hearing the questions of their adversaries in debate. But what then ?-all this is far from the sans everything of the seventh age. One thing is certain: infirmities are not reflected in the Senatorial mirror. A new member, with breath scarcely recovered from his first race, caught a verbal Tartar last session, by referring to the Nestor of the Senate as "superannuated.” This term, it must be emphasized,
SENATOR MARION BUTLER
Of North Carolina. was worse than indecorous; it was unparlia
The youngest member of the Senate.
indications that the pendulum is about to may use his position to relieve himself? swing the other way again. Certainly, at After all, the proper criterion is character; Washington, at least, the House suffers in either wealth or poverty is merely a condicomparison on such minor details as bold- tion, and a man can be a man for a' that. ness, sagacity, and patriotism. The most Much of the popular prejudice is derived frequent sneer, of course, is that the Senate from the belief that the Senate is so inis nothing but a millionaires' club. In reply trenched by time and power that it is disto this gibe it may be said that it is doubtful dainful. This is far from the fact; a man whether the aggregate wealth of the Senate may be assured and yet not indifferent. Ambears anything like the proportion to the bition, if nothing else, stimulates the Senaaggregate wealth of the country that it did tors to keep in touch with the times. Many in the early days of the Republic. It is still of them complain bitterly that this is difficult more doubtful whether its wealth is unduly to do; that they feel themselves cut off from proportioned to the
the frank and free ability of its mem
discussion of public bers. In other words,
issues which they would not any ninety
had found so commen of similar attain
mon in private life. ments and promi
This, however, seems nence, chosen from
to be a defect inherthe country at large,
ent in the system. If show at least equal
it is wise to have possessions? Wealth
legislators elected for has always been a de
a term of six years, sirable concomitant
they can hardly be to a public career;
expected to represent indeed, the Consti
current opinion. But tutional Convention
is current opinion gravely considered
always the best? the advisability of
Ought it not to stand making it one of the
the test of at least essentials to high
two years' consideraoffice. No one can
tion by the country? deny that freedom
If this be reasonable, from carking care
then the Senate is gives to a statesman
abreast with popular broader opportunities
judgment; for onefor usefulness. Oh,
third of its memberbut, it will be said,
ship changes every there are Senators REV. WILLIAM H. MILBURN
two years. who never would
Chaplain of the Senate.
Senators also bithave been chosen except for their great terly complain that the Senate has been slanriches. This is true; the entrance to the dered by its own members, even as the eagle Senate is far from being a needle's eye; but is shot with a feathered shaft. There have so long as our material civilization prevails, been demagogical Senators, as there have wealth must continue to be a mighty agent been millionaire Senators; and it is hard to in the procurance of any desirable thing. But say which type is the more dangerous to free that it gives Senatorial standing and influ. institutions. Certain of the former have made ence is not so apparent. The leading Sena- more reckless and outrageous charges on the tors, to-day, are men of moderate means. floor of the Senate against their own associThere are, too, not a few poor Senators, who ates than were ever hatched in the heat of live on their salaries and try to save money. yellow journalism. To these men, largely, must The spectacle of the scrimping they have to popular scandal be attributed. Why should do is not edifying. And here a different not the people believe what the Senate itself phase of the money question naturally pre- asserts ? Yet it must be remembered that it sents itself. Ifa Senator is financially pressed is an evil bird that fouls its own nest. The and embarrassed, is there not danger that he Senators who have disparaged the Senate
have not by their works
States Senate as a part brought credii upon it,
of the governmental nor raised the standard
machinery been more of Sena'orial efficiency.
evident than at the On the contrary, fail
present time, when the ing of celebrity, they
final act in a great epihave sought notoriety
sode of American hisat the cost of self.
tory awaits its action. respect.
In the ratification of But granted that the
the treaty with Spain, Senate has deteriora
as in the question of ted, what then is the
a general arbitration remedy? Abolish it as
treaty with Great Brita useless fifth wheel,
ain, Senators have says the fierce and
shown a determination radical reformer. Easy,
to assert their constidoesn't that sound, in
tutional powers with a half-hour's flowing
great plainness. invective? Yet, if it
But the politicians were once attempted,
suggest another remthe Constitution itself
edy. Let the Senate could scarcely with
be chosen by popular stand the shock of the
vote, they say. Every change. The Senate is
session some such a fundamental part of
measure is passed by our institutions. Its
the House, from purely prerogatives and duties
disinterested motives permeate and are inter
doubtless. Disregardwoven with every de
ing the obvious and partment. Alone of
fatal defect in such a our great governmental
scheme that the Senate functions, it partakes
would never approve it, of the characteristics
A. P. GARDEN
what reason is there to of the Executive, the
Captain of Capitol Police.
suppose that any imLegislative, and the Judicial branches. Not provement would result from the change? only does it enact laws, but it passes upon Is the quality of a State political convention nominations and treaties, and may sit as a any higher than that of a State Legislature ? high court of impeachment. Above all, it is Should it not be easier to raise the standard a check, that most felicitous device adopted of the latter, rather than that of the former, by the founders of the Republic, to conserve since its members are elected and sworn to the rational liberty of the individual. What perform their duty ? No, no; reform should would the House do without the safety-valve be from within and not from without; new of the Senate ? What would it not do, rather? methods are only a confession of governThe fierce and radical reformer would find mental weakness. As the people are, so foemen worthy of his steel in a reckless the Senate will be. It is a representative oligarchy backed by a subservient majority. body, and can justly retort, “ Physician, heal Never has the importance of the United thyself.”
Edmund Spenser: a Tercentenary Survey
By H. C. Shelley
Illustrated with Photographs by the Author DMUND SPENSER'S footprints are traveled lands and distant oceans; English K hidden under the detritus of three citizens were growing in wealth and impor
hundred years. It was an age of tance; the farmers made the soil give up national cataclysm in which the bright lamp thrice its former yield; the nobility, however of his spirit was untimely extinguished; fierce their private feuds and rivalries might England still felt the afterglow of the Armada, be, gathered around the Queen as their cenand the pride of conquest infused the country ter.” In this new haste of life there was no with a strength for which it had no conscious time to carve deeper the footprints of a poet outlet. The life of the nation ran high, who had been an exile so many years; the " English adventurers were exploring un- men who could have done it, if they would, joined their friend in the silent land with that mitted unless they could read and write and labor left undone. And the life of the nation say the catechism in either English or Latin; rushed ever on and on. Years after, when the school hours, both summer and winter, patient eyes sought those footprints, and tried were from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M., with an interval to map out again the earthly pilgrimage of between 11 and 1 o'clock; three times each that rare spirit, little was left to aid their day the pupils, “kneeling on their knees," pious quest.
were to say the prayers appointed “ with due Less is known of the parents of Spenser tract and pawsing." than of those of almost any other great poet How came Spenser to be sent to Camof the modern world. Two facts practically bridge? Some light is thrown upon this exhaust our certain knowledge. His father question by a further consideration of the was related to that family of Spensers from history of the Merchant Taylors' School. A which the victor of Blenheim sprung; "the few years after that school was founded the nobility of the Spensers," wrote Gibbon, Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London sug. “has been illustrated and enriched by the gested to the Merchant Taylors the advisatrophies of Marlborough; but I exhort them bility of founding a scholarship at one of the to consider the · Faerie Queene'as the most universities. The company replied that, as precious jewel of their coronet.” What ex- they had been to so much expense in estab actly the relationship was it is impossible to lishing the school, they could not burden their say; that there was such a connection be- funds with that further charge, but they were tween the poet and the ancestors of the willing to suggest that such scholarship might Spenser-Churchill family has never been ques- be founded at the cost of any individual tioned. To three of the daughters of Sir member who might feel so disposed. Until John Spenser—the head of the family in his that was done, however, the school did not time-Spenser dedicated poems, and in those lack for friends willing to carry out the Lord dedications, and elsewhere in his verse, he Mayor's suggestion. asserts his kinship with those ladies and Robert Nowell died early in the year 1569, their house.
and in the accounts of his funeral there is a East Smithfield is pointed out as the list giving the names of six boys of the locality of Spenser's birth; the year 1552 as Merchant Taylors' School, to whom two the date. Few districts in London have yards of cloth were given to make their gowns, altered so utterly out of recognition as the The name of Edmund Spenser stands first reputed scene of the poet's birth. Its vicinity on that list. Two months later his name to ‘Tower Hill, then a focus of court life, is appears again in the accounts of Robert suggestive enough of its importance as a Nowell, the entry, under date April 28th, residential district in Elizabethan times. reading : “to Edmond Spensore, scholler Although careful search has been made of the m'chante tayler scholl, at his gowamong the registers of all the churches in inge to penbrocke hall in chambridge, Xs." the neighborhood, no entry of Spenser's birth On the 20th of the following month, that is, or baptism has been discovered ; for the May, 1569, Spenser entered Pembroke Hall place and for the date tradition is our only (now Pembroke College), as a sizar, and dur. authority. It is true that one of Spenser's ing his student days there he was several sonnets is cited as evidence that he was born times indebted to the Nowell funds for small in 1552, but in offering such a witness two gifts of money. He probably needed them facts have to be taken for granted: i.e., that all. Poverty and ill health marked his unithe sonnet was written in 1593, and that its versity career. The college records prove “fourty” years were forty years, rather than the latter; his position as sizar, independent a lesser or greater period expressed in even of his description as a " poure scholler " in numbers for poetic purposes.
the Nowell accounts, the former. It was in 1561 that the Merchant Taylors Of Spenser as a Cambridge student we bethought themselves of founding a school, have but a shadowy picture. He took his intended principally for the children of the B.A. in 1573, his M.A. in 1576; he made citizens of London, and the estate purchased two friends in the persons of Gabriel Harvey for the purpose included several buildings and Edward Kirke; he planted, if tradition and a chapel. The statutes framed for the speaks truly, the mulberry-tree which still administration of the school are suggestive of survives in the garden of his college. Some its character. Children were not to be ad- biographers would have us believe that his