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“Don’t you know? We only go to school three months in winter and three in summer. I thought you did so in America. I know Mr. Webster did. I read it in his Life.” I was on the point of saying that we knew now how to train more powerful men than Mr. Webster, but the words stuck in my throat, and the boy rattled oil. “The teachers have to be there all the time, except when they go in retreat. They take turns about retreat. But we are in two choroi; I am chorosboy now, James is anti-choros. Choros have school in January, February, March, July, August, September. Next year I shall be anti-choros.” “Which do you like best, — off-term or school f" said I. “O, both is as good as one. When either begins, we like it. We get rather sick of either before the three months are over.” “What do you do in your off-terms ?” said I, -“go fishing ** “No, of course not,” said he, “except Strep, and Hipp, and Chal, and those boys, because their fathers are fishermen. No, we have to be in our fathers’ offices, we big boys; the little fellows, they let them stay at home. If I was here without you now, that truant - officer we passed just now would have had me at home before this time. Well, you see they think we learn about business, and I guess we do. I know I do,” said he, “and sometimes I think I should like to be a Proxenus when I am grown up, but I do not know.” I asked George about this, the same evening. He said the boy was pretty nearly right about it. They had come round to the determination that the employment of children, merely because their wages were lower than men's, was very dangerous economy. The chances were that the children were overworked, and that their constitution was fatally impaired. “We do not want any Manchester-trained children here.” Then they had found that steady brain-work on girls, at the
growing age, was pretty nearly slow murder in the long run. They did not let girls go to school with any persistency after they were twelve or fourteen. After they were twenty, they might study what they chose. “But the main difference between our schools and yours,” said he, “is that your teacher is only expected to hear the lesson recited. Our teacher is expected to teach it also. You have in America, therefore, sixty scholars to one teacher. We do not pretend to have more than twenty to one teacher, We do this the easier because we let no child go to school more than half the time; nor, even with the strongest, more than four hours a day, “Why,” said he, “I was at a college in America once, where, with splendid mathematicians, they had had but one man teach any mathematics for thirty years. And he was travelling in Europe when I was there. The others only heard recitations of those who could learn without being taught.” “I was once there,” said I.
THE boat's repairs still lingered, and on Sunday little Phil. came round with a note from his mother, to ask if I would go to church with them. If I had rather go to the cathedral or elsewhere, Phil. would show me the way. I preferred to go with him and her together. It was a pretty little church, — quite open and airy it would seem to us, excellent chance to see dancing vines, or flying birds, or falling rains, or other “meteors outside,” if the preacher proved dull or the hymns undevout. But I found my attention was well held within. Not that the preaching was anything to be repeated. The sermon was short, unpretending, but alive and devout. It was a sonnet, all on one theme; that theme pressed, and pressed, and pressed again, and, of a sudden, the preacher was done. “You say you know God loves you,” he said. “I hope you do, but I am going to tell you once more that he loves you, and once more and once more.” What pleased me in it all was a certain unity of service, from the beginning to the end. The congregation's singing seemed to suggest the prayer; the prayer seemed to continue in the symphony of the organ; and, while I was in revery, the organ ceased ; but as it was ordered, the sermon took up the theme of my revery, and so that one theme ran through the whole. The service was not ten things, like the ten parts of a concert, it was one act of communion or worship. Part of this was due, I guess, to this, that we were in a small church, sitting or kneeling near each other, close enough to get the feeling of communion, — not parted, indeed, in any way. We had been talking together, as we stood in the churchyard before the service began, and when we assembled in the church the sense of sympathy continued. I told Kleone that I liked the home feeling of the church, and she was pleased. She said she was afraid I should have preferred the cathedral. There were four large cathedrals, open, as the churches were, to all the town; and all the clergy, of whatever order, took turns in conducting the service in them. There were seven successive services in each of them that Sunday. But each clergyman had his own special charge beside, – I should think of not more than a hundred families. And these families, generally neighbors jn the town, indeed, seemed, naturally enough, to grow into very familiar personal relations with each other.
I AskED Philip one day how long his brother George would hold his office of host, or Proxenus. Philip turned a little sharply on me, and asked if I had any complaints to make, being, in fact, rather a quick-tempered person. I soothed him by explaining that all that I asked about was the tenure of office in their system, and he apologized.
“He will be in as long as he chooses, probably. In theory, he remains in until a majority of the voters, which is to say the adult men and women, join in a petition for his removal. Then
he will be removed at once. The government will appoint a temporary substitute, and order an election of his successor.” “Do you mean there is no fixed election-day?” “None at all,” said Philip. “We are always voting. When we stopped just now I went in to vote for an alderman of our ward, in place of a man who has resigned. I wish I had taken you in with me, though there was nothing to see. Only three or four great books, each headed with the name of a candidate. I wrote my name in Andrew Second's book. He is, on the whole, the best man. The books will be open three months. No one, of course, can vote more than once, and at the end of that time there will be a count, and a proclamation will be made. Then about removal; any one who is dissatisfied with a public officer puts his name up at the head of a book in the election office. Of course there are dozens of books all the time. But unless there is real incapacity, nobody cares. Sometimes, when one man wants another's place, he gets up a great breeze, the newspapers get hold of it, and everybody is canvassed who can be got to the spot. But it is very hard to turn out a competent officer. If in three months, however, at all the registries, a majority of the voters express a wish for a man's removal, he has to go out. Practically, I look in once a week at that office to see what is going on. It is something as you vote at your clubs." “Did you say women as well as men : " said I. “O, yes,” said Philip, “unless a woman or a man has formally withdrawn from the roll. You see, the roll is the list, not only of voters, but of soldiers. For a man to withdraw, is to say he is a coward and dares not take his chance in war. Sometimes a wo. man does not like military service, and if she takes her name off I do not think the public feeling about it is quite the same as with a man. She may have things to do at home.”
“But do you mean that most of the women serve in the army 2” said I. “Of course they do,” said he. “They wanted to vote, so we put them on the roll. You do not see them much. Most of the women's regiments are heavy artillery, in the forts, which can be worked just as well by persons of less as of more muscle if you have enough of them. Each regiment in our service is on duty a month, and in reserve six. You know we have no distant posts.” “We have a great many near-sighted men in America,” said I, “who cannot serve in the army.” “We make our near-sighted men work heavy guns, serve in light artillery, or, in very bad cases, we detail them to the police work of the camps,” said he. The deaf and dumb men we detail to serve the military telegraphs. They keep secrets well. The blind men serve in the bands. And the men without legs ride in barouches in state processions. Everybody serves somewhere.” “That is the reason,” said I, with a sigh, “why everybody has so much time in Sybaris' "
But the reader has more than enough of this. Else I would print my journal of “A Week in Sybaris.” By Thursday the boat was mended. I hunted up the old fisherman and his boys. He was willing to go where my Excellency bade, but he said his boys wanted to stay. They would like to live here.
“Among the devils?” said I.
vol. xx. — No. 117. 6
The old man confessed that the place for poor men was the best place he ever saw; the markets were cheap, the work was light, the inns were neat, the people were civil, the music was good, the churches were free, and the priests did not lie. He believed the 'reason that nobody ever came back from Sybaris was, that nobody wanted to. The Proxenus nodded, well pleased. “So Battista and his brother would like to stay a few months; and he found he might bring Caterina too, when my Excellency had returned from Gallipoli; or did my Excellency think that, when Garibaldi had driven out the Bourbons, all the world would be like Sybaris P’’ My Excellency hoped so; but did not dare promise.
“You see now,” said George, “why you hear so little of Sybaris. Enough people come to us. But you are the only man I ever saw leave Sybaris who did not mean to return.”
“And I,” said I, -“do you think I am never coming here again f'
“You found it a hard harbor to make,” said the Proxenus. “We have published no sailing directions since St. Paul touched here, and those which he wrote—he sent them to the Corinthians yonder — neither they nor any one else have seemed to understand.”
“God bless you!
Good by.” And
hung but loosely in its bed, and that him, and his brothers and his cousins, there was nothing available for us to never to be lured to make a voyage rig a jury-tiller on. This discovery, as there, and never to run for those coves, it became more and more clear to each though schools of golden fish should of us four in succession, abated suc- lead the way. It was not till this mocessively the volleys of advice which ment, that, trying to make him look we were offering, and sent us back to upon the map, I read myself there the our more quiet “Santa Madres” or to words, at the mouth of the Crathis meditations on what was next to best.” River, “Sybaris Ruine."
Meanwhile the boat was flying, un- Surely enough, this howling Eurocder the sail she had before, straight be- lydon — for Euroclydon it now was fore the wind, up the Gulf of Tarentum. - was bearing me and mine directly
If you cannot have what you like, it to Sybaris! is best, in a finite world, to like what A nd here was this devout old fisheryou have. And while the old man man confirming the words of Smith's brought up from the cuddy his wretched Dictionary, when it said that nobody and worthless stock of staves, rope- had been there and returned, for genends, and bits of iron, and contemplated eration upon generation. them ruefully, as if asking them which At a dozen knots an hour, as things would like to assume the shape of a were, I was going to Sybaris ! Nor rudder-head and tiller, if his fairy was I many hours from it. For at that godmother would appear on the top moment we cannot have been more of the mast for a moment, I was ply- than five-and-thirty miles from the ing the boys with questions, - what beach, where, in less than four hours, would happen to us if we held on at Euroclydon flung us on shore. this tearing rate, and rushed up the The memory of the old green settees, bay to the head thereof. The boys and of Hutchinson and Wheeler and knew no more than they knew of Pa- the other Latin-school boys, sustained linuro. Far enough, indeed, were we me beneath the calamity which imfrom their parish. The old man at pended. Nor do I think at heart the last laid down the bit of brass which boys felt so bad as their father about he had saved from some old waif, the djins and the devils, the powers and listened to me as I pointed out to of the earth and the powers of the air. them on my map the course we were Is there, perhaps, in the youthful mind, making, and, without answering me a rather a passion for “seeing the folly" word, fell on his knees and broke into of life a little in that direction ? None most voluble prayer, - only inter- the less did we join him in rigging out rupted by sobs of undisguised agony. the longest sweep we had aft, lashing The boys were almost as much sur- it tight under the little rail which we had prised as I was. And as he prayed been leaning on, and trying gentle exand sobbed, the boat rushed on! periments, how far this extemporized
Santa Madre, San Giovanni, and rudder might bring the boat round to Sant'Antonio, we needed all their the wind. Nonsense the whole. By help, if it were only to keep him qui- that time Euroclydon was on us, so et; and when at last he rose from his that I would never have tried to put knees, and came to himself enough to her about if we had had the best gear I tend the sheets a little, I asked, as ever handled, and our experiments only modestly as I could, what put this succeeded far enough to show that we keen edge on his grief or his devotions. were as utterly powerless as men could Then came such stories of hobgoblins, be. Meanwhile day was just beginning witches, devils, giants, elves, and fairies, to break. I soothed the old man with at this head of the bay ! - no man ever such devout expressions as heretic returned who landed there; his fa- might venture. I tried to turn him ther and his father's father had charged from the coming evil to the present necessity. I counselled with him ties, varying as the waves did on which whether it might not be safer to take we rose and fell so easily. As she in sail and drift along. But from this forged on, it was clear at last that to he dissented. Time enough to take in some wanderers, at least, Sybaris had sail when we knew what shore we were some hospitality. A long, low spit coming to. He had no kedge or grap- made out into the sea, with never a ple or cord, indeed, that would pretend house on it, but brown with stormto hold this boat against this gale. worn shrubs, above the line of which We would beach her, if it pleased the were the stone-pines and chestnuts Virgin ; and if we could not, — shaking which had first given character to the his head, — why, that would please the shore. Hard for us, if we had been Virgin, too.
flung on the outside of this spit. But And so Euroclydon hurried us on to we were not. Else I had not been Sybaris.
writing here to-day. We passed it by The sun rose, O how magnificently! fifty fathom clear. Of course under Is there anywhere to see sunrise like its lee was our harbor. Battista let go the Mediterranean ? And if one may the halyards in a moment, and the wet not be on the top of Katahdin, is there sails came rattling down. The old any place for sunrise like the very man, the boy, Battista, and I seized the level of the sea ? Already the Cala- best sweeps he had left. Two of us at brian mountains of our western hori. each, working on the same side, we zon were gray against the sky. One or brought her head round as fast as she another of us was forward all the time, would bear it in that fearful sea. Inch trying to make out by what slopes the by inch we wrought along to the hills descended to the sea. Was it smoother water, and breathed free at cliff of basalt, or was it reedy swamp, last, as we came under the partial prothat was to receive us. I insisted at tection of the friendly shore. last on his reducing sail. For I felt Battista and his brother then hauled sure that he was driving on under a up the sail enough to give such sort of fatality which made him dare headway to the boat as we thought the worst. I was wholly right, for the our sweeps would control. And we boat now rose easier on the water, and crept along the shore for an hour, seewas much more dry.
ing nothing but reeds, and now and Perhaps the wind flagged a little then a distant buffalo, when at last a as the sun rose. At all events, he very hard knock on a rock the boy took courage, which I had never lost. ahead had not seen under water startI made his boy find us some oranges. ed the planks so that we knew that I made them laugh by eating their cold was dangerous play; and, without more polenta with them. I even made him solicitation, the old man beached the confess, when I called him aft and sent boat in a little cove where the reeds Battista forward, that the shore we gave place for a trickling stream. I were nearing looked low. For we told them they might land or not, as were near enough now to see stone they pleased. I would go ashore and pines and chestnut-trees. Did any- get assistance or information. The old body see the towers of Sybaris ? man clearly thought I was going to ask
Not a tower! But, on the other my assistance from the father of lies hand, not a gnome, witch, Norna's himself. But he was resigned to my Head, or other intimation of the under- will,—said he would wait for my return. world. The shore looked like many I stripped, and waded ashore with my other Italian shores. It looked not clothes upon my head, dressed as very unlike what we Yankees call salt- quickly as I could, and pushed up from marsh. At all events, we should not the beach to the low upland. break our heads against a wall! Nor C learly enough I was in a civilized will I draw out the story of our anxie- country. Not that there was a gallows,