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up tiny silverlike spheres which fall back and disappear, and while a robin, quite unheard, blurts out sweet notes and harsh, and an early song sparrow trills a bit, and flies away. At work, Jim is inefficient. His mind wanders, and a feeling of despondency creeps over him. The chances of succeeding in a job like his are few. He should have gone into some profession, say medicine, where people would have to come to him, and not he to them. During the lunch hour, he eats at a noisy soda-fountain -sandwich and milk: his usual meal at noon. But the sandwich tastes flat, and he clumps back to the office building to work till five. Then, glumly, he goes home, and eats a bad meal at the boarding house, a cold and tasteless meal. After it, he climbs up the stairs, whose creak is louder than ever before, to read a magazine till nine, and go to bed, his last thought being a sincere hope that to-morrow be more pleasant.

To me, there are two things wrong with the natures of both James and Jim: they lack a sense of humor, and a sense of the appreciation of beauty. By a sense of humor, I mean something entirely different from the common acceptation of that too-used phrase; I mean a sense of "mood"-pleasantness of mood—in all things, if viewed rightly; for this I feel is the true and the broadest meaning of the phrase. With this "mood," the appreciation of a good joke, or a well-timed pun, or the subtle touches of a bit of conversation between two wits, is not the boundary and limit, but rather the starting-point. A man who can see a joke may be far from having a sense of humor, for it may end there, and be carried no farther. With this faculty fully developed, all humor as we now know the word may drop entirely, or rather be left behind, and the humor which makes you appreciate things as you find them, see that beneath the early April rain there is some good, and since we cannot change good for better, we should realize its worth as something intended to make life pleasant, and not disagreeable—that humor will make our whole life take on a new meaning. Perhaps to describe it as a sense of pleasantness, and an appreciation of things would be better, for if we can catch the whole significance of the old saying that there is some good in everything, we can truly appreciate life and the things of life more fully.

And one way to do this, I think, is by a feeling for beauty. If James, as he looked from his bed-room window, could have realized the exquisite tone effects of the greys and the greygreens of his lawn and the trees on it; if, as he played solitaire by the window which opened on the porch, he could have seen the dim, hazy effects of the vista down the driveway, effects which Turner, whom he so praised at dinner, alone could have reproduced; if he had heard and appreciated, as the mouse-foot patterings of the rain on the breakfast-room panes disturbed his usual composure, the music of those rain-drops, and caught the thousand-fold rhythm of their patterings, he would have spent a far less unpleasant day. And if Jim, as he waited for his car which was ten minutes late, could have heard the rejoicing of the robin as it chattered over the luscious meals the rain would bring blindly crawling to the surface, or heard the few notes of the song-sparrow before it flew away; if he had only looked down at the puddle at his very feet, and seen the shining beauty of the rain-drops as they fell into it, rebounded as tiny glass spheres, and then fell back, and melted into the puddle, which trembled all over with little ripples, he would have better endured the drabness of work, and the sandwich at lunch-time.

R. C. Bates.

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VERHEAD a sea-gull shook its wings and shrieked once in the midst of the blue immensity. Michaelson stretched out his hand. "There," he said, simply, and he and his wife, standing high upon the edge, looked down into the big cut of the new South Island Ship Canal. It was a broad, deep gash struck through the wild shore hills, unfinished as yet, with only a few pools of muddy rain-water collected at the bottom, and filled with excavating machinery. Its raw banks stretched burning under the intense sun of open places, until a mile away at the other end they framed between them a great, silent patch of blue water, where the North Atlantic, sleeping out a summer day, heaved lazily against the beaches. Very far below a whistle sounded, and a puff of steam went away quietly on the dead air. A silly line of dump cars ran down the opposite slope and banged all together at the bottom, where steam shovels loaded them, the derrick engines clattering foolishly to themselves. A man shouted. The noises were vain and small, scarcely serving to trouble the living silence that hung over the empty hills falling away, lifeless and eternal, on either side. Michaelson looked out, his strong, heavy forehead puckered into some faint sort of question, to where the dune grasses ran in waving brown patches over the crests and valleys, and the chance scrub pine-trees caught dull green, glowing lights out of the hazy vastness of the sky. The loneliness of the sands lay, as it were, like some inscrutable prophecy over the little activities of the cut, and Michaelson, the chief engineer of the canal, felt it, inexpressibly, raising the faint interrogatories of life within him. His brows knit, and his eyes dreamed.

"There, Lucy," he said, "I promised to bring you up. This is a wild country. Something about it that gives a man the pause, now and then; something curious-"

But he did not finish. His wife was looking at the dump cars. She was a tall young woman, almost as tall as Michaelson, and

thin and fair. Her face was sharpened by an inner energy, that might easily have become consuming; her hair, carelessly arranged, escaped across her forehead in wisps that she thrust back, occasionally, with impatience. Her eyes were large and deep-set and restless, and she suddenly flung back and fixed them upon her husband.

"How could you do it, Hal?" she said, half in anger. The puzzled wrinkle between his brows faded and the dreamer was thrust behind him; he turned toward her.

"Do what?" he demanded, with a very level voice.

"Don't be so exasperating. You know, you know as well as I do what I mean. It was heartless of you."

"Drop it Lucy. That doesn't do a bit of good."

She bit her lips impatiently. "Yes, that's easy enough for you to say afterwards. Forget it, drop it. Do you suppose they will forget it? But you bring me up here to look at the sandhills as a substitute. Anything will amuse women and children." He was shocked, but he concealed it. "It amuses me, Lucy. I thought you would like the view."

"But I don't."

"Then we'll go down?"

She did not answer him for a moment, but stood pulling the needles off a little pine. He thrust his hands in his pockets and stared at her. But he couldn't keep silent. "Whichever you say," he offered, rather tactlessly.

She burst out at him. what? What do I care

"Oh, Hal, are you stupid or clever or whether we go down or stay up? I wasn't thinking about that. It's wicked of you!"

There they stood, the sea-gull wheeling above them, the silence round about, and the little noises of the world far below. Both were striking people. Michaelson's great, fair head was bent forward, watching his wife, but at the moment quite sure of his own ground. He seemed to be dealing with her almost as he would deal with some difficult engineering problem, bending all the strength of a powerful personality to remove some natural obstacle that stood between him and a very definite goal.

"Lucy," he began slowly, "this is quite useless. Why must you trouble yourself, and myself too, over it in this way?"

"Trouble myself! But that's stupid-that's- Oh, how can I reach you, how can I touch you?"

"Why should you want to try?"

His wife turned away for a moment and gazed at nothing. When she spoke, it was in a very calm voice, held down by some sheer force within her.

"Exactly. Why should I try? I, your own wife. You command everything. You will see nothing but your own wishes. You are heartless, utterly heartless."

"You cannot believe that, Lucy. You know very well how much a part of me you are. But it is because of that very thing that I cannot let you go on in this way."

She disregarded him. "You are heartless. You won't see. You are heartless and stupid. You are trying to domineer over me as you domineered over the men when they laid their grievances before you. You crushed them, like that."

"Of course. I couldn't afford a strike. You must have known that. And yet you sympathize with them. You don't know what you are doing when you make scenes like this."

"Scenes!—No, I am not going to get angry. That would mean nothing to you—”

He interrupted her, with a sudden note of pain. "Lucy! How can you have the heart to do this? How can you trample on me? Don't you actually realize how you are playing me?"

She answered coolly enough. "No, Hal, that sort of thing is quite useless too."

He stiffened and returned to his former quiet manner. "Then let us go down."

It was her turn to wince. "There it is again! You are impervious, absolutely impervious. It was just that way the other time. I know those people down there. Ever since we came here, I've been going among them, seeing how they live, or try to live. You encouraged me yourself; I thought you were interested in my work. My work! But you were always calculating your yards of earth, and your depths and slopes. I believe you wanted to get me out of your way. And then the men struck. Anyone would have; they deserved better than this. I know it; I've seen it!"

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