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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 ABC 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 won. 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 gentle seas. Here, in the old days, lived
material for the poet of many a people who were not possessed by lands. We even find the greed of gain; with simple faith carrying practical man of business of their religion into their daily pleasures as countries leading in war and well as sorrows, brotherly toward one commerce giving thought to another, contented, healthful, beautiful, this ideal pastoral life as a joyous, - such were the Spanish-speakstate impossible, yet ardently ing inhabitants of early California. An longed for.
utter anomaly to the energetic, restless, It remained for California — land of discontented, money-making Anglo-Saxon, gold though she was — to furnish to the who came down upon them in their hapworld the realization of this vision of piness, wondered for a moment with peace.
Land of balmy air, soft skies, careless contempt at motives and desires they comprehended not, then engulfed to the time when our land first enters the them in the rush of modern civilization, domain of recorded history. The careless beneath which they sank as pastoral writer -- and his name is Legion — has people will when met by an inrushing been quite in the habit of deciding off wave of a commercial and manufacturing hand, that as the Pacific Coast under race.
Spanish rule did not grow rapidly in popA few rose again above the flood and ulation, commerce, and manufactories, as held their own in a steadfast immobility it has certainly done since the Ameri- never aggressively. These few we can occupation,-therefore the difference know, some two score or more. Beneath is due to the inherent indolence and lack the surface ah, there lie a numerous of ambition in the Spanish character as host, sad relics of bygone times. In against the thrift and energy of the Angloour cities, in poverty, wretchedness, and Saxon. Let us see if this be so. Were alas! too often in dissipation, or happier the inhabitants of Great Britain the first fate, in cañon or on hillside where wood- to take advantage of the new field of enman's ax is heard, one may find men terprise, to explore, colonize, and conwearily, sadly, often faithfully perform- quer ? Before the first
permanent ing their daily labor who were born heirs English speaking colony had its birth in to leagues of land where ranged mighty the old Dominion near the Atlantic coast, herds of cattle and horses, - men, who the Spanish had permanent settlements, as boys perhaps played their games of not only in Florida, but in the very heart quoits with golden slugs — “piezas of the dry lands of the West. They had from the Indian baskets sitting about the discovered, conquered, and partly colcourt-yards of their fathers' houses. onized America from Kansas to Buenos
To understand the past and present Ayres and from ocean to ocean. Balboa status of the Spanish families of our State had made his gallant march across the it is necessary to go back for a moment continent, discovered the Pacific Ocean,
and there built and launched the first there was a school of Indian authors, a ships of the new world.
long list of whose names I might give. In 1524 were founded in Mexico the Says Lummis :
“ The early Spanish first schools; and by 1540 so many of the spirit of finding out was almost superIndians could read that a book was made human." for them in their own language. In All this would prove that laziness and 1536 - eighty-four years before James- lack of ambition is not a necessary contown was settled -- came the first print- stituent of the Spanish character; thereing press to America. The oldest book fore we must look elsewhere for the cause that was known to come from it was of the trouble, and we find it in a great printed in the City of Mexico in 15.09, the measure in the conditions under which first music in 1584, and in a few years the different settlements were made.
England was a careless parent, her instructions. All commerce had to be children, neglected by the mother coun carried in Spanish vessels, so why should try, forced to earn their living while yet the settlers build ships? Trade between young, though having thus a sorry youth, sister colonies was forbidden, and no still, early developed strength, energy, foreign vessel could enter a harbor of a and ambition to do for themselves and Spanish possession or land a man without be free from parental rule.
. Spain, carrying a special permit. To prevent though she even fed and clothed her colonists trading with foreigners, death colonists, kept them strictly dependent and forfeiture of property were the upon her for the smallest as well as the penalties. To strengthen further her greatest needs, discouraging freedom of peculiar trade policy, Spain forbade the thought as well as action, governing by cultivation in the colonies of such raw a mass of rules to which was exacted products as came into direct competi
She thus kept a tion with home industries. The culture strong hold upon her most remote settle of hemp, tobacco, olives, grapes in vinements, which rendered it difficult, almost yard, and many other articles, came impossible, for the colonists to develop under this list. into independent citizenhood. Spanish Both the Atlantic and Pacific coast trade restrictions were deadly to the colonies made, or seemed to make, reyoung colonies and at length almost sui- ligion their first thought, but with this cidal to the parent land. No trade was difference, the aim of the padres was to allowed with other countries, and only convert and civilize the Indian, the New with Spain herself through the one port England settlers to enjoy religious liberty of Seville, where it was rigidly inspected for themselves and their children, withby the "House of Trade”- that board of out taking the natives into account. The regulators with the narrowest ideas and result of the earnest self-sacrificing work