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Les Confidences: Being the Confessions of a Self-made American

(This article was written shortly after the Lusitania incident and appeared in Greenwich Village, the semi-monthiy forerunner of Bruno's Weekly.)

In the solitude of my garret have I thought about all this business that is setting aflame with barbaric rage one world and creating uneasiness, constraining personal liberty and sowing the seeds of hatred among brothers in the other.

And because I am an American citizen, and because I thank the belligerent countries for some of the best and most essential things of my life, I feel that I must voice these thoughts of my solitude and tell them to you, who were born and raised in America, and who might better understand after this, and to you who are citizens as I am by your own choice, but who perhaps had never time or inclination or the intuition to think about it all.

Well do I remember the day on which I resolved to make this country my own. It was nearly a year after my arrival in the United States. I had just finished reading the writings of Abraham Lincoln. I wanted to be a citizen of the country this man had lived and worked and finally died for.

Hero worship! But how I would wish to be as young again! My ideals carried me with uncurtailed wings high above all material matters — above disappointments not spared to any of us, and all those little disasters which are part of our lives.

I had admired Alexander the Great; Napoleon had been my ideal for years. Power, strength, determination of will, making other people do what he thought was best for them, — that had impressed me. To read the lives of these men, to study their methods and their actions brought me elevation and gave me ambition.

Being the product of a monarchistic system raised in an atmosphere of discipline, of castes and of traditions, I was to be deeply impressed with the European Republic — with France. Liberte! Egalite! Franternite!

I searched for it in France and I could not find it. Maybe I was too young in those days: maybe I was not able to translate the ideal into existing conditions. Maybe I was considering life as it was more than as it had been planned to be.

And I became a cynic: I lost my belief in real things. I wanted to live my own life outside of the community of men whom I did not trust, who seemed to me egotists, smiling under a false flag of idealistic endeavors. Too deeply rooted in me was my early education of respect for laws and regulations to do anything desperate, or to join the groups of the dissatisfied, of men who call themselves betterers of humanity and whom humanity calls outlaws, parasites or reformers.

And so I decided to live my own life in the "New World," to think as I wanted to think, to believe what I wished to believe, not to know anything of government, not to be a part of a system. As work which should furnish me with the necessities of life, I chose hard menial labor. Work that anybody could do who had strength and physical ability, where there were no questions asked, no contracts made. I came in the morning and received my pay in the evening, if I wished to. If I didn't like the work, I could quit it. And while I was working to earn my room and board, my thoughts were my own. And never in my life did I feel freer than in those days in which I had exchanged my pen for a shovel.

I frequented the libraries. In my work clothes I strolled in, asked for any book I wished to read. Can you recollect the red tape you have to go through if you ask for a book in France, in Germany or in Italy? Not the big tragedies of life made for unhappiness, but the small little annoyances spoil for us the pleasure of enjoying the world.

"I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and mean to keep doing so 'til the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything."

These are the words of Lincoln, uttered at a time when he seemed entangled in a labyrinth of political complications. I read his life, I read everything I could find about him, about his contemporaries, and now after more than fifty years have elapsed since his tragic death, these words of his have proven true. He had been far above the criticism of his time; he had seen only one goal for his life, one path leading to this goal, and he walked this path. He saw the ambushes; he anticipated the stones which would be hurled at him from behind, but he walked on. He had one life and the only vocation of his was to live that life of his. His words — and his words were his life — showed me what this country meant to the world, what America had been and was for all nations, for all races.

AND so I stood there before the clerk in a western city and desired to make my application for American citizenship. It was a formality of a couple of minutes. I glanced over the slip of paper he handed me. There it stood, black on white, glaring into my face, that I had to renounce the sovereign, the prince whose subject I then was.

There are moments in the life of every human being when his brain works with a hurrifying alacrity. Thoughts, memories, vivid pictures of scenes that have left an everlasting impression shoot through the brain in terrifying quick succession. They follow one another, covering as long a stretch of years as our conscious and unconscious memory goes back in our lives. It happened there to me. In the clerk's office while I was looking at the disinterested face of the man who wanted me to raise my hand and repeat the oath and to be done with me. I saw myself as a young boy singing patriotic songs. I saw myself as a youth in uniform with unsheathed sword swearing an oath of allegiance to my king. How terrible that oath was! "During day and night," the oath reads, "in water and on land, in peace and in war, will I follow his leadership, will I be loyal to him. Even against my father and my brothers will I be loyal to him."

And then I thought how I had been educated at his expense, being a beneficiary of a stipendium, how I had to thank him indirectly for my college and for my university education. And I thought of my father and of his father and of all of my ancestors, and I thought of my brothers who wore his coat and spent their lives in his service, and all this I thought in less than a minute, and I told the clerk that I would come back on another day to sign my declaration of intention.

I do not take myself more seriously than is necessary in order to be taken seriously by others. I always hated ceremonies and climaxes of any kind, but on that day I felt something that I never had felt before. I felt I was giving birth to myself. Instead of doing as I had done so often in questions of importance, to wait until the moment presented itself and then act, I decided to have it out with myself.

A man who wanted to live his own life, a man who could not give himself up to the narrowness of his surroundings, who was willing to give up everything, to sacrifice the fruits which long years of study and a professional training would have brought him, because he could not accept certain traditions and convictions — an iron ring around his head and an untransgressable wall enclosing his ambitions — must have the ability to forget, to erase out of mind completely what has been. Or the thoughts what could have been will come and torture him and make him regret and kill him.

For years I had not thought. I felt a stranger in my own past, as I was sitting there in my dark little hall room thinking of my allegiance to my king whom I had to abrogate in order to become an American citizen.

A TEACHER paid by him or by the government whose earthly impersonation he is, had taught me to read and to write. His schools gave me a military training and the military discipline taught me that great lesson millions of our brother citizens seem never to have learned: To keep my mouth shut and obey orders.

That was about all that I wanted to say thanks for to the country of my birth. I came to this conclusion after I had guided my thoughts through twenty-three years of my life. I surprised myself at musings of sympathy and of pity for many of those who had been associates of my youth. While my country gave me education, I had to go to other countries for food to sustain my real self. I had to go to the philosophers of Germany, I had to go to the poets and artists of France, I had to go to the singers and musicians of Italy and to the dramatists of England for all those essential things that make my real life worth living. And then I recollected those months that I had spent in this new country of my choice. I remembered how nobody asked me questions, how nobody put obstacles in my way, how everybody seemed to take me for granted, looking into my eyes and sizing me up as the man I seemed to be.

I summed up the impressions I had received during my stay in the United States. The streets of New York loomed up in my mind. I saw the Italian selling his Italian wares, the German the products of his country, the French the specialties of France, I saw Norwegian and Swedish skippers, I saw the ghetto with its typical life, I saw the Armenian with his carpets and I saw the Greek and the Turk and the Spaniard; in the Metropolitan Opera House there was German and Italian and French opera. The book stores were laden with the Anglicized literature of the world. The museums bore witness of everything beautiful that had ever been created in any part of the world at any age. The most remarkable, the most useful, the most beneficial things of the universe were brought here, put to the disposal of, annexed and assimilated by the American. And the American himself had come once from one of these countries and had taken possession of all that he found and had given in exchange for all that he had.

He had come as I did.

And I realized that to he American means to be cosmopolitan.

To be cosmopolitan means to be big, to be high above small hatred and petty jealousy and ill-directed ambition. It means to be a brother to mankind, a fellow-builder to this world.

While I had felt the laws of every country that I had lived in constraining personal liberty of the individual, I saw them here apparently made for the protection and for the benefit of the citizen. I was young in those days!

A PESSIMIST, he who has given up hope, turns easily into an enthusiast. Over there in my own country by not complying with the average requirements of that particular class to whom I belonged by birth and among whom to live would have been my fate I hardly could have done anything with my life. I always would have been the apostate.

Here all paths seemed to me open to any goal I might set for myself. I had just finished reading the writings of Lincoln and I felt that everybody could do things in this country. People would consider the merit of things done and would not ask, "Who is he — why did he do it?"

I felt they would give me a chance.

And how I wanted a chance!

And then I thought what I would do with my life. I decided to stay here for good, to make America my own country. And then and there I bade farewell to the past, to my king and to my country.

I became an enthusiast again. I wanted to give everything so as to be worthy to receive. I went up to that clerk's office on one of the next days and made tabula rasa. I swore off an allegiance which had become sham without flesh and without blood.

YEARS came and years passed. I found that there was a vast difference between a Lincoln and the lives of Americans I was confronted with every day. I found that not everything is gold that shines. The enthusiasm cleared away like clouds — beautiful clouds, dreamy, rose-colored clouds, but never did I miss the silver lining.

I know America from East to West and from North to South. I know its people, those wonderful people who till the soil, who raise cattle, who mine hundreds of yards beneath the surface; I know the people of the city who work and scheme and labor and slave. I know the rich who had more at the day of their birth than an average human being could ever earn in three-score years: I know those wonderful geniuses who molded their lives to their own desires, and I know the unfortunates who await on park benches the dawn of a new day of misery.

I KNOW this country, with the beauty of Italy, the romance of Spain and of Switzerland, with the marshes and pastures of France and of Germany. And the people are big-minded and big-hearted; they are dreamers but builders, lovers of the beautiful but utilizers of beauty; everything that is fit to survive — everything that was created to last forever is a part of this United States. It is the cosmopolis as a whole and in its smallest village.

INEVITABLY will there arise in every community which, through individual vote, expresses its individualism by the election of one leader, the occasion when he will have to act as the supreme executive. The President of the United States is the leader of every citizen. At a time of crisis he has in shoulder the gravest responsibility that ever burdened a human being. He has to think he has to come to conclusions which mean life and death to thousands, to millions of those who look up to him with trust and with confidence.

Would you call an American a loyal American citizen who interferes with his President while he is meditating the gravest problem perhaps ever to be solved by a President of the United States? Can he be called an American citizen who forgets his oath of allegiance to this country — be it acquired by birth or by his own free choice — and tries by means that can be called either "making use of his right of free speech" or open vulgar treason to interfere with the biggest executive who alone can act, who alone must act and who alone will be responsible to posterity for the occurrence during his administration?

Be it good or be it bad, be it wise or be it hasty, be it peace-bringing, or involving us in a disastrous war, like one man we must stand back of him whom we have chosen to be our President — in the time of crisis our leader.

WE, the descendants of all nations of the world, feel today better than ever that to be American means to be cosmopolitan. And while we rage against this nation or that nation we forget above all the most vital thing in life: good taste. We, who are brother citizens of the descendants of all nations, cannot, now or ever in the future, speak ill of any nation without hurting the feelings of a descendant of that nation who breathes our American air and who may be sitting at our table.

The decision of our President must be final with us. America does not know military conscription, but everybody is expected to be a soldier in time of need. A bad soldier is he who discusses the possible actions of his leader ahead of their event. And a failure in life is he who complains and mumbles and talks even after he realizes that his choice of leader was not the wisest. The individual ceases to have an own will and an own opinion if he is bound by his oath and by the honor of his manhood to follow one leader. A coward is he who resigns in the last second, who is not willing to sacrifice his individual convictions and even conscience for his country.

There are no hyphenated citizens. There are citizens and no citizens.

HYPOCRISY it is to hoist the American flag and at the same time incite hatred against nations. Just as cosmopolitan as the United States are, just as cosmopolitan as its people is — and therefore truly American, the American flag is the highest and supermost symbol of the universal love of the kindred of men. Abolished is the distinction of races. Black be the body of a man or white, as long as he has a soul he is one of us. And white are the stripes, next to the red, red as the blood that pulsates in the veins of everything that is alive, of everything that is created and might find its way to the hospitable shores of the land of liberty. And the dome of blue arches above all of us in all parts of both hemispheres and the stars are there, those kind benevolent eyes of eternity which follow us wherever we go, that bring peace to our hearts and hope and beauty, if we only lift our eyes to find them.

And because every one of the belligerent countries gave me an essential part of my life, and because I lived in all of them, and because I claimed the United States as my own, and because I am looking to our President as to my leader and to the United States as my just claimant, I feel that to be an American means to be cosmopolitan.
                                        Guido Bruno

Some Personal Recollections of Greenwich Village
By Euphemia M. Olcott
(Continued from last issue)

OUR back yard — about 40 x 60 feet — contained a peach tree, an apricot tree and a grape vine. These bore plentifully and our peaches took a prize one year at the American Institute Fair. We also had beautiful roses and many other flowers. From one back window we could look up to Fifteenth Street and Sixth Avenue, where a frame Lutheran church stood, the singing of whose hymns we could distinctly hear on Sunday afternoons. The frame church was replaced by a stone one, but that was long since swept away by the onrush of business. Where the armory now stands, there was a marble yard, and it was one of our pleasures to pick up bits of the marble and use them for sharpening the then necessary but now obsolete slate-pencil. Just above Fourteenth Street on the west side of Sixth Avenue was a plot of ground, surrounded by a high wooden fence — and in this was a building from which I first learned the French word "creche." It was, of course, a day nursery and we used to stop at the fence and watch the little tots whose blue-checked gingham aprons I can still see. Ours was a neighborhood of young married people with constantly increasing families — the news of "a new baby at our house" being frequently heralded. We all knew each other and played together in the little court yards, on the balconies or on the front stoops. Paper doll families experienced all the vicissitudes of our own families, pin wheels at certain seasons were exposed on the balconies and sold for pins, small fairs were gotten up for charities, valentines were exchanged, and when the great revival of 1857-8 surged through the city, there were neighborhood children's prayer meetings held from house to house. When more active pursuits were craved, there was always opportunity to jump the rope or roll the hoople, and several of us achieved the coveted distinction of running entirely round the block through Sixth Avenue to Fourteenth Street, thence to Seventh Avenue and back to Thirteenth Street without letting the hoople drop. Partner afield was Union Square, to which our nurses accompanied us — a high fence surrounded it and dogs were excluded. I do not recall any pump there, but in "The Parade Ground" (Washington Square) I frequently turned at the pump and quenched my thirst from the public tin cup without fears of germs or any disastrous results. In my grandfather's backyard at Fourth and Mercer Streets there was also a pump — and to this day I do not understand physics well enough to know why was poured a dipper full of water into the pump before we could draw any, but we were always rewarded with a copious flow.

Fourteenth Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues I have seen with three sets of buildings — first, shanties near Sixth Avenue from the rear of which it was rumored a bogey would be likely to pursue and kidnap us. I remember the man from whom we fled; he was a chimney sweep of somewhat fierce aspect, but I doubt extremely that he had any malicious propensities. These shanties were followed by fine brownstone residences, and at the corners of Fifth Avenue lived Mr. I. M. Halsted, who had a garden, Mr. Myndert Van Schank, chief engineer for years of the Croton Aqueduct, Mr. Moses N. Grinnell, and Mr. Hemming, and perhaps earlier, Mr. Suffern. Some of these, however, I think came when there had ceased to be a village. Later on came business into Fourteenth Street — but I am passing the village period and getting into the time of the Civil War. I must not begin on those memories for they would never end, and there was no longer any Greenwich Village.

The old days were good, but I believe in every step of progress, and in spite of din and roar in spite of crowds, in spite of the foreign population crowding into what long continued to be the American section of the city, I still lift my head with St. Paul and say, "I am the citizen of no mean city."
(To be continued)


From an old
              English Chap Book


From an old English Chap Book

Quantum Mutata

        THERE was a time in Europe long ago,
            When no man died for freedom anywhere
            But England's lion leaping from its lair
            Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
            While England could a great Republic show.
            Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
            Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair
            The Pontiff in his painted portico
            Trembled before our stern ambassadors.
            How comes it then that from such high estate
            We have thus fallen, save that Luxury
            With barren merchandise piles up the gate
            Where nobler thoughts and deeds should enter by;
            Else might we still be Milton's heritors
                                        Oscar Wilde

Flasks and Flagons
By Francis S. Saltus

Kemmel

THY acrid fumes my laggard, sense excite.
There's war and wrangle hidden in thy heart
That make one's breast with expectation start,
Eager to seek armed enemies to smite.

Thy savor is a danger and delight,
For those of valorous souls, the favorite art,
Thy fire with all mine own becomes a part,
I yearn to battle madly for the right.

And so far Ukraines' snowy steppes I see
Pale, shackled Poles to far Siberia led,
Torn from the gentle pleasance of their homes,
And then I yearn to hasten and to free
Their hands, and trample upon Cossack dead,
Beneath the shade of Nijuis' golden domes!

Benedictions

BORN in the cloistral solitude and gloom
Of gray La Trappes and monasteries drear,
Distilled between the matin mass austere
And drearier Vespers, thou dost humbly bloom.

The damp, chill crypts a lighter guise assume,
And, with thy soothing perfume, disappear
Grim thoughts of death and of diurnal fear
While rosy glamours hover, o'er the tomb!

And when I sip thy cloying sweets, they bring
A faith, not wholly lost, unto my heart;
I trust again the twitter of the birds;
Sweet voices as of angels to me sing,
And strengthened, holier, I can live apart,
Finding new beauty in the Savior's words.

Replated Platitudes

To be different from others is a rather hard burden to carry on the path of life, but it is also the one and only pleasure.

Crowns are not being made to order; the head has to fit.

Morals are mostly a product of the fear of one's own self.

We do not worship the Golden Calf any more. It has become in the meantime a nice prize ox.

Whosoever's duty it is to preach to be good should be in constant fear of losing his bread if his listeners should take his advice.
                                        Cat's Paw


Ziegfiel's
              Midnight Frolics

Impressions of Ziegfield's Midnight Frolics — from the Balcony.
By Eastman

The Sorrow of a Little Violet

A CONNOISSEUR of the real and the beautiful strolled through the pleasances of his gardens on a sunny spring afternoon. The tender grass had been daring and the little blades were sticking out of the brown earth crumbs here and there and reminded one of the scarce yellow feathers of recently born geese. Bushes and trees were still naked and looked rather sordid towards the placid blue heaven. A handful of highly polished leaves stood close together at the knotty root of an old and white branched tree. They looked like remnants of last year's summer glory. Their stems were short; they had the shape of a heart and they almost lay on the dark withered moss.

The trained eye of the connoisseur detected something beautiful right beneath, or among those old unpleasant looking leaves. He stopped, he bent over, and lo! he had broken a violet; the first one perhaps of the year. The beautiful little head bowed down modestly; it was deep blue, wonderful like the deep blue eyes of one true woman. He caressed it. He took it home. Busy were the servants of his household for the rest of the afternoon. In the sunniest window, a wonderfully chiseled silver receptacle was placed. Vases scented with rare and costly odors from still rarer and mystic flowers of the Orient were prepared for its bath. Two slaves were in constant attendance to look after the comfort and the needs of the newcomer.

The little violet was tired. It closed its leaves for a long restful night. Early in the morning, almost with the first rays of the new sun. the connoisseur came to the little violet. It lay there in its receptacle filled with perfumed waters. It seemed sad, so sad.

"Dear little violet," cried the connoisseur, and took it in his hands and fondled it and covered its little leaves with kisses, "Are you not happy in your new home?"

"Yes" but this answer sounded like the manifestation of utter despair and hopelessness.

"Did I not provide for you the most wonderful part of my house? Did I not give you the rarest perfumes for your bath? Did I not send the most skilled among my servants to look after your needs? What is it I overlooked, my dear little violet? There is no wish on earth that I will not make come true for you the instant you name it."

There was no answer from the violet. And the silence was heavy. The little golden rays danced merrily upon the silver vases and gold receptacles. The violet did not answer yet.

"Or is it because I broke you, and you are full of regret?"

"No not that," whispered the violet and its little head drooped down deep on its stem.

"I am sad because I never can be broken again."
                                        G. B.

Two Things by Cat's Paw

Noses

Noses may be divided into four classes — thus: Grecian: denoting amiability of disposition, equanimity of temper, imagination, patience in labor, and resignation in tribulation, — Roman: imperiousness, courage, presence of mind, choler, nobleness of heart. Cat or Tiger: cunning deceit, revenge, obstinacy and selfishness. Pug: imbecility of mind, and indecision of character. Of three of these, there are innumerable grades — the Grecian descends to the pug — the Roman to the aquiline — but the cat or tiger is suit generis. The Grecian nose is most conspicuous in quiet scenes of life — in the study. The Roman, in spirit-stirring scenes — in war. Men of science often, and of imagination always, have the Grecian nose. Daring soldiers and fearless adventurers generally have the Roman. Everyone knows what a pug is. We need not enter into any particulars of it — nature forms her thousands of them, and we regard them not. — The Cat or Tiger nose: Whoever has the least imagination will readily conceive what we mean by this definition; it is a long, flattish nose, not unlike that of the animals from whom we have borrowed the name. Avoid men with such noses— they are deceitful friends and dangerous enemies, whenever it suits their whim or interest!

Genius, Talent, Cleverness

Genius rushes like a whirlwind. Talent marches like a cavalcade of heavy men and heavy horses. Cleverness skims like a swallow in a summer evening, with a sharp, shrill note and a sudden turning. The man of genius dwells with men and with nature; the man of talent in his study; but the clever fellow dances here, there, and everywhere, like a butterfly in a hurricane, striking everything and enjoying nothing, but too light to be dashed to pieces. The man of talent will attack theories — the clever man assails the individual, and slanders private character; but the man of genius despises both; he heeds none, he fears none, he lives in himself; shrouded in the consciousness of his own strength — he interferes with none, and walks forth an example that "eagles fly alone — they are but sheep that herd together." It is true, that should a poisonous worm cross his path, he may tread it under foot; should a cur snarl at him, he may chastise it; but he will not, cannot, attack privacy of another. Clever men write verses, men of talent write prose, but the man of genius writes poetry.

I Wonder?

THERE are many books written about the stars. And in these books are strange bewildering stories of illimitable space — of burning suns and double suns — of swirling nebulae and cold dead worlds. Of darkness and of prodigious speed. And as I stand gazing up into the star dust of the Milky Way, I wonder if they are true — all these stories about the Vatican.
                                        Tom Sleeper

Tom Sleeper Likes This But Doesn't Know Its Authorship

LIFE'S little ills annoyed me
When those little ills were few
And the fine fly in the ointment
Put me in an awful stew
But experience has taught me
The little good to prize
And I joy to find "some" ointment
in my little pot of flies


The Poet
The Poet — from an old English Chap Book

A Modest Bard Swam Into Our Kennel

The following manifesto was delivered in person by its signer, at the Garret. He was armed with several blank verse dramas and one hundred and twenty stanzas of nine lines each of a lyric poem. The promise to print his manifesto quieted the ire of his self-glorification and he now expects someone to take up the glove of challenge. Whom will it be who will listen for one hour to the recitation of this man who says he is greater than Shakespeare? Bruno's Weekly was not prepared for the unexpected ultimatum and therefore we had to agree upon a modus vivendi. And so then, dear reader, here it is.

Dear Sir: —

Denied in narrow places, I appeal to a world more wide. I have written an Indian epic poem comprising over six thousand rhymed lines. Were this work placed before the impartial public, men no more would lament the decline of poetry, for here is the greatest song of love and war that ever was composed, but in seeking a publisher I offer pearls in vain.

Likewise have I written several blank verse dramas of an excellence never before approached in the new world, nor ever altogether equaled anywhere, as far at least, as poetic style is concerned, for as master of the classic style I surpass even Shakespeare himself.

As some slight evidence of the power I claim, I submit from a lyric poem containing one hundred and twenty stanzas, the following: —

            "When after many mediocre years,
            By reigning scribes and pharisees made mean,
            The poet that is prophet too appears,
            Through guise most humble is his glory seen:

            Not proud is his approach, nor yet serene,
            But like a martyr, bleeding doth he march,
            With only heaven for triumphal arch,
            Till high as Calvary he dares to climb,
            Where sorrow makes his utterance sublime."

I am prepared to appear before any gathering of literary authorities and prove in one hour's reading that a poet of the highest rank now is living, but never do I expect to be accorded such slight favor as that.

Bitterly it reflects upon prevailing conditions, when verse so transcendental must be advertised in a manner so apparently blatant. For this, will the pharisees that long have rejected my work themselves be judged anon.

They that have denied me would have mocked the Son of Mary; would have crowned with thorns the King.
                                        Nelson Gardner

An Episode in the Life of a Suffragette

SHE boarded a very crowded train. A gentleman got up and with a smile and a few kind words offered her his seat. She knocked his hat off and exclaimed:

"How dare you! Am I not your equal? I wish to be treated exactly like a man! Do you understand me, you fool?"

In the revolving door of the dining room in which she desired to take her dinner she collided with a young gentleman, who stepped back to let her pass.

"Please, ladies first," he said, trying to give the revolving door a push. Quicker than a flash she hit him in the middle of the face and knocked out five of his teeth.

"I am no lady!" she screamed. "I am a human being, just as you are yourself!"

The gentleman was very angry, called a policeman and had her arrested.

In the Tombs she smashed everything in the woman's cell where she was placed, and assaulted violently three guards.

"I don't want to be brought to a woman's cell," she hollered until she could be heard in the remotest corner of the prison. "I am the equal of any man here. I demand to be placed in a man's cell!"

After she had raved in such a manner and created a lot of disturbance she was condemned to solitary confinement. She had to be put into a straight jacket to prevent her from hurting herself. Her diet was reduced to bread and water. And then she started to cry and to scream:

"Such is the bestiality of men who are masters of the regulations. In such a detestable way they abuse the weak sex! I am a lady, and I request to be treated like a lady!"

Adultery

WASHINGTON SQUARE. A beach near the Garibaldi monument. Mamie and Tom are playing. Mamie has her wooden doll in an old cigar box. She plays with little Tom, "father and mother." The doll is their child. Tenderly Mamie hugs the doll in her arms. Tom, the father, has to leave them. He has to go out into the world. He has to earn a living. He has to bring food to mother and child. Tom passes through the Washington Arch. He crosses the street and walks towards Macdougal Alley. On the doorstep of one of the first houses stands Mary. Mary, the child of the lady with the big, black auto.

Mary walks towards Tom. She shows him her big, beautiful doll, with its blonde curls of real hair, and blue eyes that open and close automatically, a doll with a human face. A face that looks like his little baby sister. And then she shows him the carriage, a real baby carriage, with silk curtains and soft pillows.

And Tom plays "father and mother" with little Mary. Mamie is still sitting on the bench near the Garibaldi monument, rocking her baby and waiting patiently for Tom. The father does not come back. And she takes her cigar box and her wooden doll and moves to a bench in the most remote corner of Washington Square South.

Mamie starts to cry heart-breakingly.
                                        Guido Bruno

Clara Tice drawing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Clara Tice


From
                      the collection of Patrick Madigan

        From the collection of Patrick Madigan

Eight Thoughts of Suicide
By Martin Brown

A sad looking gentleman with glowing black eyes, very fair complexion, attired in a black broadcloth suit which contrasted vividly with his unusually glaring white linen, walked into the Garret a few days ago. He did not say a word by way of greeting, and his monotonous voice sounded so inhuman that I paid the utmost attention to his monologue. He mentioned off hand his name and that he had been been an actor for some past years. Suicide seemed all the interest he had in life. Monotonous as the ever-murmuring creek, without the slightest movement of face or body, he made me acquainted with the most intricate ways of committing suicide. Only the theoretical practice of suicide and its reflection upon ethics, eternal beauty, emotions created in the suicide candidate as well as in those he leaves behind, seemed to interest him. Elaborate were his studies and the cyclus of eight poems which he called "Thoughts of Suicide" because they are not accomplished facts yet, he laid down on my table neatly typewritten and tied with black ribbon.

Two thoughts on suicide in each issue are sufficient for each of my readers, I concluded.

Hanging

     The rope feels raw and rough on my neck
        It may be too long — what a horrible thing
        To find that my feet could reach down to the ground
        And stay my wild choking, my struggling swing.

        And then — ah that moment between life and death
        That terrible breathless drop into blank space,
        That moment before the rope tightens and breaks
        The thread of my life. With my eyes of your face
        With your name on my lips, with your voice in my heart
        Can I do it? — my trembling foot stumbles and slips —
        Yes, the curtain is down — I have finished my part.

A Razor

      A Razor is horribly commonplace, yet
        I want to be something she cannot forget.

        I want them to scream and to shudder away,
        Their hearts stop — their faces with terror turn grey

        When they find what I've done with this silvery knife,
        When they see the red ooze that was lately my life.

        It will not hurt much — see this cut in my hand
        First a tiny red streak, then a dripping red band.

        I know what I'm doing — I'll sharpen it there,
        To hell with the world it has not played me fair.

        They will call me insane, among other nice things
        But of course I'm insane what else? God, how it stings.

Honore d' Balzac
                                                                                                                Honre d' Balzac. By Aubrey Beardsley

The Last Petit Souper
(Greenwich Village in tha Air— Ahem!)
By Djuna Barnes

I HAVE often been amused, perhaps because I have not looked upon them with a benign as well as a conscientious glance, — to observe what are termed "Characters" going through the city and into some favorite cafe for tea.

The proletariat drinks his brew as a matter of pure reason, how differently does our dilettante drink.

He is conscious of the tea growing;  he perceives it quivering in the sun.  He knows when it died,  —  its death pangs are beating like wings upon his palate.   He feels it is its most unconscious moment,  when succumbing to the

Russian Ballet
Russian Ballet. By Djuna Barnes


courtship of scalding waters. He thrills ever so lightly to its last, and by far its most glorious pain. — when its life blood quickens the liquid with incomparable amber, and passes in high pomp down the passage of his throat.

I am not prepared to say that the one gets nothing out of his cup and the other all, I say only, what a dreary world this would be were it not for those charming dabblers. How barren and how dull becomes mere specialization. How

Drawing by Aubrey
                    Beardsley
Drawing. By Aubrey Beardsley


much do we owe to those of us who can flutter and find decorative joy in fluttering this small allotted hour. Content with color, perfume and imported accents; and accompanied by a family skeleton made of nothing less amusing than jade.

The public — or in other words that part of ourselves that we are ashamed of — always turns up the lip when a dilettante is mentioned, all in a patriotic attempt to remain faithful to that little home in the fifties with its wax flowers, its narrow rockers and its localisms, and above all, to that mother whose advice was always as correct as it was harmful.

There are three characters that I can always picture to myself. Let us call them Vermouth, Absinthe and Yvette, the last a girlish name ordinarily associated with a drink transmitting purely masculine impulses.

Vermouth I used to see sitting over a cold and lonely cup of French coffee, between ten and eleven of the morning, marking him, at once, above a position and beneath despair.

With him he always carried a heavy blonde cane and a pair of yellow gloves.

He would stare, for long minutes together, at the colored squares of the window, entirely forgetful of the fact that he could not look out. Undoubtedly he was seeing everything a glass could reveal, and much more.

Sometimes damson jam would appear beside the solitary pot and the French rolls, proving, in all probability, that someone had admired and carried off some slight "trifle," composed, written or painted in that simple hour of inspiration.

He was never unhappy in a sad way, indeed he seemed singularly and supremely happy, though often beset with pains, and sustaining himself with his cane as he went out.

If he was sad, one thing alone betrayed it: that quick sharp movement of the head, given only to those special children of Nature, — the sparrow who cannot rest but must fly, and the mortal who cannot fly, and is therefore condemned to rest.

Then there was Yvette and Absinthe. Yvette had his God in his hip pocket. It was unrolled on every occasion, and when it was at last uncovered, it turned out to be merely a "Mon Dieu, my dear!" whereat it was quickly rolled up again, only to come popping out as quickly, like a refrain, to do battle with Vermouth's patient "Lieber Gott!"

Yvette's coat was neatly shaped, frayed but decidedly gentile. It possessed a sort of indefinite reluctance about admitting itself passe. It had what must be called — skirts, and Yvette's legs swung imperially beneath them, as the tongue of the Liberty Bell beneath its historical metal.

A soft felt hat was held in a hand sporting several uncut stones, standing in relation to jewelry, as free verse to poetry. As he passed, one caught the odor of something intricate, such as struggles from between the pattern of an Indian incense
burner. And lastly, there came with Yvette, the now famous silver wattled cane.

Drawing By Aubrey Beardsley
Drawing. By Aubrey Beardsley

This cane was tall, alert and partial. It was to him what the stem is to the flower. It enhanced as well as sustained his bloom, while he meant to life what the candle means to the nun.

Absinthe was like this cane, tall, energetic, but acutely pale. He seemed composed of plaster, his lips alone animate and startlingly scarlet. He spoke with that distinct English accent heard only in America.

He had a habit of laying bis hands upon his face, presumably for the same reason ferns are laid beside roses.

The nails of these hands were long; longer than Japan had ever thrust beneath the cuticle of any native Yellow Jacket, — and they were silvered or gilded with gold.

There are moments in the lives of all of us, or shall I say some of us, that must be lived in French. As these gentlemen had all passed through that stage, dust could, as a consequence, be discovered upon their discourse, they passed each other the snuff boxes of-their-thoughts as though they had been antiques, each statement was as carefully preserved. In other words they valued that hour.

These men summed up all those little alien things that in their mother country are merely the dialect of the physique nor were these men ever so pleased with themselves as when they were recollecting.

Yvette had the most unmistakeable traces of foreign sojourns of the three; that unconscious product of a conscious programme.

He was a leopard who had chosen his own partictilar spots and this is perhaps, that difference between what we call ourselves, and those other odd ones, who extend their travels beyond ours, on into the mental world, on a journey of so-called non-reason.

Yvette was feminine, he could not only look the part, he acted girlish in much that he did. Yet one should have admired him instead of ridiculing him, for it gave him the ease to say:

"But my dear fellow, you make a grave mistake. German women are not fat, they are merely plentiful," or his "Ah me. I miss the reputations of the boulevards far more than their realities."

Vermouth would smile and answer: —

"Yes, yes, I know, but just imagine living in a country where one can have miscarriages by telephone and bruises by telegraph."

Thus one saw how inscrutable Vermouth had grown along with Absinthe. Together they had spent too many hours contemplating a black tasseled curtain, perhaps because of what it contained or because of what it concealed.

He contended that his head was forever in the clouds. To prove it, he ordered chocolate ice cream and tea, and this at twelve at night. For it is a theory of our dilettante, that bad dinners make profound diners, and there he was.

And here also am I, at the identical point that I wanted to reach — the twelve o'clock souper and its significance.

In the most profound and religious moments of the philosopher Marcus Aurelius, he came to this conclusion, that each day should be treated as the last.

And there is the secret of the dilettante.

He is always about to pass through that incomparable hour, the hour before and the hour after the supper that may prove the last. And so it is that he, dreaming his dreams, making a liqueur of his tears to be drunk upon this last and holiest occasion, has discovered that little something; that makes the difference between him and the you, who have ordered supplies home for a week.

And I, who have been in the presence of this thing, have learned to understand.

Bruno's Weekly, published weekly by Charles Edison, and edited and written by Guido Bruno, both at 58 Washington Square, New York City. Subscription $2 a year.

Entered as second class matter at the Post Office of New York, N. Y., October 14th, 1915, tinder the Act of March 3d, 1879.

Guido Bruno In His Garret


BRUNO CHAP BOOKS
EDITED BY GUIDO BRUNO IN HIS GARRET ON WASHINGTON SQUARE

                                                                                               
                                                                                                No 1.    The Harlot's House, by Oscar Wilde
                                                                                                            
The first American reprint of one of the most wonderful poems of this author....................... $ .25
                                                                                               
                                                                                                No 2.    Setting Hens, Frogs' Legs, by D. Molby
                                                                                                             D. Molby, my true amanuensis since my arrival in Greenwich Village ad faithful keeper of
                                                                                                             the Garett, whenever the crude necessity of life urges me to leave that peaceful seclusion
                                                                                                             on the Square to make a pilgrimage to the palaces of the publishers of popular magazines
                                                                                                             and to Newspaper Row, in order to dispose of some of the children of my pen. He passes
                                                                                                             the white elephant unremarked, but writes an essay in the mosquito's neck and the
rhythm
                                                                                                             of the little wings before the stings and annoys .....................................................................    .25

                                                                                               No. 3.    Mushrooms, by Alfred Kreymborg
                                                                                                            Mr. Kreymborg's Mushrooms are recognized poetry. The Mushroom stands for a simple
                                                                                                            expression of thought in simple musical rhythm. Mr. Kreymborg is one man who speaks to
                                                                                                            his fellow men
-- just to the one who might find in four or six simple lines of rhythm and
                                                                                                                                                     the harmony of his own simple life .........................................................................................     .25
                                                                                                   
                                                                                              No. 4.    Tahiti, by Robert Carlton Brown .........................................................................................    .25

                                                                                              No. 5.     Four Letters, by Oscar Wilde ...............................................................................................    .25

                                                                                                         No. 6.      Anarchists ...............................................................................................................................    .25

                                                                                             No. 7.      To My Mother, by Alfred Kreymborg .................................................................................    .25

                                                                                             No. 8.      Vignettes, by Hubert Crackanthorpe
                                                                                                           Mr. Crackanthorpe had three chief gifts: skill in dramatic narration -- a sense of situation, a
                                                                                                           lively feeling for the value and interpretation of gesture, posture, circumstance; secondly
                                                                                                           analytic skill in the conception and presentation of chaacter; thirdly, descriptive and pictorial
                                                                                                           power, readiness of vision, with a faculty of sifting and selecting its reports. Lionel Johnson
                                                                                                           in Acad., March 20, 1897 .......................................................................................................      .50

                                                                                            No. 9.     Tanka and Haika, by Sadakichi Hartmann .......................................................................      .25
                                                                                                           The son of a German father and a Japanese mother, of a burgomaster's son from Mecklen-
                                                                                                           burg, the only European state without a Constitution, and the daughter of a ronin, a roving
                                                                                                           soldier of Old Japan. Sadakicki is much more Japanese than German. His style is extrava-
                                                                                                           gant 
but suave. Some of his short stories are as excessive and intense as Poe's, on strictly
                                                                                                           realis
tic lines. The utmost bounds of expression are reached, even his originality is
                                                                                                          aggressive
................................................................................................................................     .25


                                                                                         No. 10.     Richard Wagner, the Egoist, by Guido Bruno ....................................................................     .25

                                                                                        No. 11.      Edna, the Girl of die Street, by Alfred Kreymborg
                                                                                                          Cause: our social conditions.
                                                                                                          Motive: just to live.
                                                                                                          Problem: eternal.
                                                                                                          Solution: none.   ....................................................................................................................      .25

                                                                                       No. 12.      Songs of the Cosmos, by Charles Keeler
                                                                                                         Like the weaver of wonderful brocades, he selected thread after thread and up loomed those
                                                                                                         wonderful pictures before my eyes, creations of simple words, dipped in red blood, tinted
                                                                                                         by the golden sun, formed and shaped by hands who know the labors and pains of millions
                                                                                                         scented with good will towards everybody and emitted with pure love ...............................       .15

                                                                                      No. 13.      Teaspoons and Violet Leaves, by Guido Bruno ................................................................       .50

                                                                                      No. 14.      The Tragedy in the Birdhouse, by Guido Bruno ..............................................................       .50

                                                                                      No. 15.      Exotics, by John W. Draper
                                                                                                        It lay a luscious yellow band
                                                                                                        Creaming upon umbrageous green
                                                                                                        The spray was satin to the hand;
                                                                                                        And to the eye a topaz bright.
                                                                                                        And dazzling as the noonday sand.
                                                                                                                                    From "The Yellow Orchid" ........................................................................      .15

                                                                                    No. 16.       Imagists, by Richard Aldington
                                                                                                       One of the original group of the English Imagists tells all about Imagism and its aims. This
                                                                                                       paper deals deals a severe blow to all imitators and producers of vers libre who think them-
                                                                                                       selves poets of the "new group" because they don't write in rhyme
.....................................
.        .25

                                                                                    No. 17.      Lord Alfred Douglas — Salome: A Critique, the Beauty of Unpunctuality: an Essay
                                                                                                                and Three Poems 
                                                                                                      There was a time when Lord Alfred Douglas would have laughed at the idea that he would
                                                                                                      write a book explaining away his friendship with Oscar Wilde. As editor of "The Spirit Lamp"
                                                                                                      a magazine published by James Thornton, High Street, Oxford, and edited by Lord Alfred
                                                                                                      Douglas, he seemed to be a diligent imitator of his friend Oscar. He imitated his style in prose
                                                                                                      and in poetry. Whenever he received a contribution from Oscar Wilde it was the main and
                                                                                                      leading feature of the issue .................................................................................................          .25

                                                                                   No. 18.       Sadakichi Hartmann — Permanent Peace: Is It a Dream? ..........................................         .25

                                                                                   No. 19.      Charles Kains-Jackson — John Addington Symonds: A Portrait
                                                                                                     The life-long friend Af the English poet gives a vivid picture of the personality and life and
                                                                                                     life-work of Symonds. This essay was written a few days after the death of Symonds, on the
                                                                                                     19th of April, 1893, and was first published in the Quarto a since forgotten literary periodical
                                                                                                     of England, in 1897 .............................................................................................................         .25

                                                                                  No. 20.      Djuna Barnes — The Book of Repulsive Women — 8 Rhythms and 5 Drawings .......         .25

                                                                                  No. 21.     Edna W. Underwood —The Book of the White Peacocks ...............................................        .25

                                                                                  No. 22.     H. Thompson Rich —Lumps of Clay — 16 Rhythms ......................................................        .25

                                                                                 No. 23.      D. Molby — Hippopotamus Tails — 28 Every-day Musings ...........................................       .25

                                                                                 No. 24.      H. Thompson Rich — The Red Shame — 17 War Poems ...............................................        .25

                                                                                 No. 25.     Theodor Schroeder, Erothogenesis of Religion, a bibliography .......................................        .25

                                                                                 No. 26.     Sadakichi Hartmann, My Rubayat .....................................................................................        .50

                                                                                 No. 27.     Mushrooms, by Kreymborg .................................................................................................        .50

                                                                                 No. 28.     Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America .................................................................................       .50


Bruno's Garret and Its Story

AGAIN I am sitting here, in these old time worn rooms, whose floors seem even more rickety, whose ceilings appear even lower than before the fire, that mercifully wanted to assist Father Time, but did not succeed, in destroying prematurely this oldest of all the houses of Greenwich Village.

And now the landlord has put a roof over my head, made minor repairs here and there, and if the winds do not blow too wildly and the snow does not fall too heavily, I will be safe until the mild spring winds usher in friend summer.

It is a real garret and be it not the quaintest in New York, surely it is down here in Greenwich Village.

The little shack which at present shelters Bruno's Weekly, Bruno Chap Books and myself, is nearly one hundred years old. It was the tool house of a city undertaker, the residence of Governor Lucius Robinson and a stage house where the stage coaches stopped and waited until the mail was delivered and new mail taken on, it was a road house where people used to come to spend their Sunday afternoons, and then in quick succession, it was a saloon and an inn.

In the same rooms where a city undertaker prepared the bodies of the city's poor for their last resting place on Washington Square, then Potter's Field, where a Governor lived and held splendid receptions, where weary travelers found a night's lodging before they continued their journey towards Albany, I am sitting and writing these lines by the light of an old kerosene oil lamp. It is Sunday. The lawns on the Square are covered with mud, mud that had intended to be snow, will soon be soft green and the trees budding with new life. The population of little Italy, back on Third Street, is taking its weekly airing at the feet of their beloved Garibaldi on the Square, the buses bring joy riders from the far north points of the city; and I think — how wonderful is life.

From 1789 to 1823 Washington Square was a potter's field where the fountains, Washington's Memorial Arch, asphalted walks and the homes of many aristocrats stand, the poorest of the poor of our city were once buried in nameless graves by the thousands.

Number 58 Washington Square, the corner of West Third Street, formerly Amity Street, an old time fashionable thoroughfare, is the most forlorn looking two story frame building that can be found in Greater New York. It saw its best days when the horse drawn street cars were in vogue.

Historians of Manhattan Island have known that Washington Square in its early years, was the burial field of the poorest of the city. But no chronicler has ever told the name of the grave digger. Hidden away in the records of the Title Guarantee & Trust Company is his name, Daniel Megie. And more than the name is the interesting fact that in 1819 he purchased from John Ireland, one of the big merchants, the comer plot, now 58 Washington Square South, 21 x 80 feet, the same dimensions today. For this little plot $500 was paid, and there very likely, Mr. Megie built a wooden shack, where he could keep his wooden tools and sleep.

The potter's field had formerly been on Union Square. A little before 1819 the latter was fitted up more appropriately as a park, and the potter's burying ground moved westward to Washington Square, then an out-of-the-way part of the city. For three years Daniel Megie held the official position of keeper of the potter's field, and as such his name appears in the directories of 1819, 1820 and 1821. Then the square was abandoned as a burial place and the potter's field moved northward again to Bryant Park. Mr. Megie by this change evidently lost his job, for in 1821 he sold his Washington Square corner to Joseph Dean, and two years later the latter sold it for $850. It was about ten years later before prices showed any great advance. Then fashion captured the park, and, despite the enormous growth northward, the aroma of fashion still permeates the square, and the fine old fashioned houses on the north side continue to be occupied by some of the first families of the city.

It is a singular fact and one that the old real estate records do not explain, that this our corner was never fully improved. It is still covered for its depth of eighty feet with two story wooden buildings, the corner being an ice cream store, and they present a decidedly incongruous appearance by the side of the fine old houses adjoining.

Tradition in the neighborhood states that these wooden buildings were once a tavern and one of the stage headquarters in the days of the early stage lines. In 1825, Alfred S. Pell, of the well known family, bought the plot for $1,000. In 1850 his heirs sold it to Frederick E. Richards and he transferred it to Peter Gilsey in 1897 for $9,100. In 1867 John de Ruyter bought it for $14,650, and then Samuel McCreery acquired it in 1882 for $13,500 — showing a lower valuation.

Early in the past century, John Ireland, who sold the corner to the grave digger, owned the entire plot of about 100 feet front on the square, extending through to Third Street, then known as Amity Street. The fifty foot plot adjoining the corner is now occupied by two fine old houses similar in architecture to those on the north side of the square. Each cover a twenty-five foot lot, being 59 and 60 Washington Square, respectively. The latter is known as the Angelsea and has for years been a home for artists. The plot at 59 was also sold in 1819 by John Ireland for $500 to James Sedgeberg, a drayman, and it included the use of the 19 foot alley way on Thompson Street, now covered by a three story brick house. James N. Cobb, a commission merchant, got the property with the house in 1842, and kept it until 1881, when his executors sold it to Samuel McCreery.

BRUNO CHAP BOOKS
BOUND IN BOARDS
    VOLUME I, $2.50
     VOLUME II, $2.00


BRUNO'S GARRET

Catalogues of Exhibits

Clara Tice (7 Plates)
   
TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-EIGHT DRAWINGS BY CLARA TICE expressing her own conception of the frollies and frolics of her contemporaries (male and female.)
   Tacked, from the tenth until the twentieth day of May, 1915, on the walls of BRUNO'S GARRET, situated at 58 Washington Square, opposite the Bus Station .........................    .75

Bernhardt Wall (8 Plates)

    New York has its new romancer. Another O. Henry is among us. A man who conveys to us the life of the four million, tuho who shows us the New Yorker as he it, as he
    lives and loves: at his work. O. Henry, the unsurpassed master of observation, of observatton from among those that he observes, creates pictures in vivid colors with his
    words. Bernhardt Wall tells us stories, stories that never could be told in words, in hist etchings .......................................................................................................................    .50


Book-Plates with Nudes (17 Plates)
........................................................................................................................................................................................................................    .75

Calton Waugh— Women and Minxes
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................    .27



QUAINT AND ODD BOOKS 
 
ANCIENT AND RARE FASHION PLATES, BOOK PLATES 
 
AND BOOKS ON BOOK PLATES. 
 
IN BRUNO'S GARRET, 58 Washington Square 
 
Collectors are Invited. 





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