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had fifty years ago. She had grown accustomed to the sound and heard it no more.
The old fashioned people had passed away, and with them, their customs. The old grandmother was left a stranger in a strange land. Her schoolmates and friends had long since gone and their places had remained unfilled. Between herself and those whom she now knew there was little sympathy. She lived in the past, they in the future. Her amusement was a recollection of what she had once enjoyed, while those about her lived in the anticipation of what was to come. She was continually regretting what might have been, they were dreaming of what they wished would be. Instead of caring for others as she used to do, she herself was being cared for. Petted by everyone, as it seemed to her, more out of pity than love, she felt that she was but a relic of the past, a useless encumbrance to the present. After all these years of patience and sorrow she could but wait-and wait to die.
Now and then the chimes of the sleigh bells sounded sharply in the clear night air. To the old lady they seemed to announce the birth of youth and the death of age, to ring in the new year and ring out the old. She thought she could hear Mab singing, but it was only another voice with the same careless tone of happiness. How long they were staying out! The baby was crying now and no one was there to go to her. Why not bring her in by the warm fire?
It was a long time since the old lady had moved without help, but she thought of how lonely it must be in the dark and how lonely she herself felt. Holding on to the chairs, as when herself a little child, she walked slowly into the other room. The baby was heavy, far too heavy for her, but she did not think of this. She could hardly realize what it meant to be old. It seemed only the other night that she had put her own child to sleep.
Rocked softly by the fire the baby stopped crying and slept peacefully in the old lady's arms. The sleighers kept going by but she did not worry about who they
might be or when Mabel would come home. Somehow she felt happier that evening than for a long time before. The fire seemed to crackle more merrily on the hearth; life seemed worth the living. What more could be desired than pleasant company 'round a fire on a cold winter's night?
Thus they sat for a short time talking silently together in a language known only to the young and old. But gradually the old lady settled back in her chair. It was years since she had walked about unaided and the effort had made her a bit tired. The baby now was sleeping, why could she not take a nap as well! Slowly the gray head nodded forward and so bending down the old lady seemed still to be keeping guard over the sleeping child. A last lingering gaze was on the upturned face before her and the dim eyes closing wearily seemed still to retain the picture as a dream.
The old clock ticked on in the same ceaseless fashion; the fire had given a last dying struggle and had gone out. The merry party of sleighers tripped noiselessly up the beaten path. They were going to surprise grandma. Slowly they opened the door and looked in. The baby was awake now and crying softly to herself. But the old lady did not hear. Grandma had gone to sleep.
Roger S. Baldwin.
South lie the lakes, the Past's broad monotone,
Save where an islet shows a hope fulfilled.
Knowing the cloud-wrapped Future, heaven-willed.
Walter D. Makepeace.
THE DRAMA IN THE COLLEGES.
Hamlet. My lord, you played once in the university you say? Polonius. That I did my lord, and was accounted a good actor. . . . I did enact Julius Cæsar, and was killed in the Capital; Brutus killed me.
POOR Polonius! What a Julius Cæsar he must have
made! Even Hamlet himself was not so insane nor melancholy but he had to smile at the thought of stupid Polonius acting the part of such a fierce warrior and wiley statesman as Cæsar; and remarks that "It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there." But doubtless Polonius was quite as good a performer at Wittenberg, as was the young Schiller at Stuttgart, taking the leading role in Goethe's "Clavigo "—a wretched actor; of most unprepossessing appearance; shrieking and ranting away with extraordinary vocal power, which seems to have been his only recommendation for the part. This prominent featured and nervously energetic young man was evidently not cut out for an actor, but he had an opportunity to find this out for himself while at the university, and so turned from the histrionic art to become the greater Schiller.
Even the far-seeing Luther knew the dreariness of continual study of the classics,-alas we have no more Luthers!--and himself sanctioned and encouraged the occasional laying them aside for a bit of dramatics. A gay sight it was, in those days, to see the processions of knights and ladies riding down from the high hills above the old town of Heidelberg to the University. They came to witness and applaud the acting of the trim students. It was that Reuchlin who founded the German drama who wrote their plays. Not so good or elaborate, however, as those the great Racine wrote for the students who played at the court of Louis XIV., with no less a person for a patroness than Madame de Maintenon. In fact at that time, to be allowed to witness these performances was one of the greatest honors the court could bestow, and these gatherings afford us the purest picture
of that impure age. With such patrons and the glowing genius of these playwrights, what could hinder the universities from producing the best comedies and tragedies of that day? This they did, and we find the whole dramatic interest of the world centering about these institutions. Even in staid and slow old England, the travelling miracle play gave place to the broader and more artistic productions of the colleges. There were no more of those old comedies where the stage was divided into three floors, one above the other-Heaven, Earth and Hell-with Abraham in the garb of the clergy leaning from the upper window to look down upon the suffering Lazarus, begging from the foolish Dives. At the end Lazarus went up a story, the rich man down one. But now the more legitimate comedy and tragedy has taken its place, and "Ralph Roister Doister" is upon the university boards-the first English comedy-and "Gammer Gurton's Needle" follows it on the Cambridge stage. The students, wilder and more irrepressible than we are to-day, rush on in the second act, and with a will let out their hearty old drinking song—
"Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold,
But belly, God send thee good ale enough
About this time the first lines of English tragedy were echoing inside the brilliant gardens and massive walls of the Inner Temple. The law students themselves were the actors nor did "Gorboduc" suffer at their hands.
Before long we find Queen Elizabeth listening with the utmost satisfaction to the students' plays, until she has some of her pet hobbies carelessly tread upon by these reckless chaps at Oxford. Then the air is suddenly filled with the great round oaths that express her majesty's royal wrath and indignation; the huge yeomen of the guard, with glistening armor and flashing torches, look thirsty for blood; but the young actors have made their escape in the dark.
To be sure the youthful Milton could find no words to express his disgust, as he witnessed the plays at Cambridge-but we know everything at Cambridge shared the same fate in Milton's estimation. It was not beneath the famous David Garrick to design scenes for the headmaster at Westminster.
In the meantime, however, our Puritan ancestors were at work establishing customs, schools and colleges for us. Staunch hearted and of honest mind, but both needed a deal of stretching. They failed to get it, and our yankee characters have felt the lack-a marked trait which we like to call conservatism; but its real name is "puritanism." When our colleges were founded this was in its prime, and we find it powerfully stamped on all their early institutions. Its heaviest weapons were used against anything like mirth. Doubtless the first law of prohibition was aimed at the "stage play "—outlawed from the start-and the ink that wrote it was indelible.
But as Yale and Harvard grew, they introduced the drama to a sort of clandestine existence in their secret societies. Even the old "Linonia" peeped out of her shell, where she had been debating "Can a Finite Nature Commit an Infinite Crime?" or "Is a Tax on Hogs Politick?" and presented a comedy; this was in 1769. Two years later came "The Beaux's Strategem" with the famous Nathan Hale in the title rôle. But these were either persecuted straightway or completely ignored. Later it was attempted, somewhat cautiously, in public, and at last the colleges, if they never knew it before, learned what an interest the country at large took in their proceedings. The hew and cry that went up was discouraging--apalling! The result was another postponement and a long one. Time enough was given for that generation of plaintiffs to depart where they would find no "stage plays" or for collegiate independence to grow to a point where it could defy criticism. Finally there stepped upon the boards several college dramatic societies such as the "Hasty Pudding" and "Mask and Wig." A long life to them all! And then Yale-" conservative”