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of New York, he would have had less difficulty with the bravos of his court. In fact Dumas, Ainsworth, Sir Walter Scott, and Stanley Weyman, in order that their heroes may be victors on all occasions, make them masters of the modern fencing school, an anachronism as absurd as it is foolish. The duel of the days of "Ivanhoe" and " The Three Musketeers" was a question more of brute strength and agility than of skill or science. The duel with rapiers in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was far from the graceful, picturesque performance that authors and artists would have us believe. The charming sword play that one usually sees in Hamlet is innocently ridiculous. It was learned by the modern actor of the fencing master of the day, and adapted to a play that was supposed to describe a Danish court in the Middle Ages. Hamlet might as well be in full evening dress and patent-leathers as to salute Laertes with the lunge, reversing of the point, saluting in carte and tierce, etc. Such fencing was not even perfected fifty years ago. The principles which are the A B C of sword-play today were absolutely unknown in the days of dueling and would have established the reputation of the courtier in the time of Louis XV. The history of the sword is a history of the evolution of man. The rough, unskillful fighting of the Middle Ages, which has been so wrongfully idealized by author and artist, was wholly in keeping with the reign of brute force in social life as well as politics. The mighty arm and the mighty weapon went together, although the weakling of today could have silenced both. The mace or glaive and armor played an equal part with the sword, and the strongest With the Renaissance came the wild, frantic, and vicious reign of the rapier. Armor was laid aside and the cavalier strove to outwit his antagonist instead of beating him down. There were no parries or thrusts, only a mad whirl and exhibi
tion of agilty. The sword play corresponded to the manner and literature of the time-it lacked balance. With the introduction of fire-arms, the sword lost its importance and became an article of dress, and its use an accomplishment like dancing. Not till then did the swordsman discover that the sword became really dangerous, only when handled with the least expenditure of strength and managed almost entirely by the wrist. Dueling is a thing of the past, and fencing is simply a pastime that combines the greatest amount of mental excitement with bodily exercise. It is unfortunate that the use of the foil became obsolete
when dueling became a crime. It can be made a game of skill that delights the brain as well as tasks the muscles.
The Office Boy. "Proof."
REAMS of Arcadia have formed material for the poet of many lands. We even find the practical man of business of countries leading in war and commerce giving thought to this ideal pastoral life as a state impossible, yet ardently longed for.
It remained for California- land of gold though she was-to furnish to the world the realization of this vision of peace. Land of balmy air, soft skies,
gentle seas. Here, in the old days, lived a people who were not possessed by greed of gain; with simple faith carrying their religion into their daily pleasures as well as sorrows, brotherly toward one another, contented, healthful, beautiful, joyous, such were the Spanish-speaking inhabitants of early California. An utter anomaly to the energetic, restless, discontented,money-making Anglo-Saxon, who came down upon them in their happiness, wondered for a moment with careless contempt at motives and desires
they comprehended not, then engulfed them in the rush of modern civilization, beneath which they sank as pastoral people will when met by an inrushing wave of a commercial and manufacturing
A few rose again above the flood and held their own in a steadfast immobility never aggressively. These few we know, some two score or more. Beneath the surface ah, there lie a numerous host, sad relics of bygone times. In our cities, in poverty, wretchedness, and alas! too often in dissipation, or happier fate, in cañon or on hillside where woodman's ax is heard, one may find men wearily, sadly, often faithfully performing their daily labor who were born heirs to leagues of land where ranged mighty herds of cattle and horses,- men, who as boys perhaps played their games of quoits with golden slugs-"piezas from the Indian baskets sitting about the court-yards of their fathers' houses.
To understand the past and present status of the Spanish families of our State it is necessary to go back for a moment
to the time when our land first enters the domain of recorded history. The careless writer and his name is Legion — has been quite in the habit of deciding off hand, that as the Pacific Coast under Spanish rule did not grow rapidly in population, commerce, and manufactories, as it has certainly done since the American occupation,-therefore the difference is due to the inherent indolence and lack of ambition in the Spanish character as against the thrift and energy of the AngloSaxon. Let us see if this be so. Were the inhabitants of Great Britain the first to take advantage of the new field of enterprise, to explore, colonize, and conquer? Before the first permanent English speaking colony had its birth in the old Dominion near the Atlantic coast, the Spanish had permanent settlements, not only in Florida, but in the very heart of the dry lands of the West. They had discovered, conquered, and partly colonized America from Kansas to Buenos Ayres and from ocean to ocean. Balboa had made his gallant march across the continent, discovered the Pacific Ocean,