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poet, as is generally supposed, but after a builder of that name.

Leeward and windward, though of opposite meaning, are both described as 'towards the wind.'

A lexicographer is 'a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the significance of words.' Johnson was not above making fun of himself as well as others.

Network has indeed a portentous definition: it is 'anything reticulated, or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections.'

Oats is equally famous: 'A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.' 'Very true,' was the retort of Lord Elibank, 'and where will you find such men and such horses?'

Pastern is defined as 'the knee of a horse.' It led a lady to question him how this slip was made. Johnson's reply is historic: 'Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance.

And his definition of patriotism that is to say, 'reform'-is not in the Dictionary, but it should be worn as a sort of badge by every wouldbe reformer: "The last refuge of a scoundrel.'

A pension is 'an allowance made to anyone without an equivalent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.' When, subsequently, Johnson accepted a pension from the King, this definition was brought up against him, but it moved him not an iota. 'I wish,' he said, with a laugh, 'that my pension had been twice as large, that they could make twice as much fun of it.'

A poetess is a 'she poet.' I am afraid this is not a very gallant definition. Perhaps Johnson had in mind Anna Seward, alias 'the Swan of Lichfield,' as she loved to hear herself called.

A stockjobber is 'a low wretch who gets money by buying and selling shares in the funds.' We should now say 'stockbroker,' and it will occur to some that the definition is not obsolete.

Tory 'is a cant term derived' (Johnson supposes) 'from an Irish word signifying a savage,' but he indulges himself in one of his rolling periods by adding: 'One who adheres to the ancient constitution of the state, and the apostolical hierarchy of the Church of England.' No one doubts that Johnson was a Tory.

Whig is defined as 'the name of a faction'; and in conversation he did not hesitate to say that 'the first Whig was the Devil.'

But it was in the 'Grammar of the English Tongue' that Johnson made his most risible slip - where he says: 'H seldom, perhaps never, begins any but the first syllable.' Wilkes, the scamp, pounced on this instantly with the sarcastic remark: "The author of this observation must be a man of quick appre-hension, and of a most comprehensive genius.' Johnson, no doubt, felt the shaft, but malignancy, if it is to be kept in the air, must, like the shuttlecock, be struck from both sides: Johnson let it pass and the sneer was forgotten. It was not until the fourth edition that he paid his compliments to Wilkes in this sentence: 'It sometimes begins middle or final syllables in words compounded, as in block-head.' Johnson would never permit anyone to 'get his goat,' as we should now say.

The list might be longer, but to what end? Only, as Johnson said, that the 'few wild blunders might for a time furnish folly with laughter.' So much for his definitions. Scholars say that his etymologies are defective; Macaulay calls them wretched, and it may be that they are. I hate to quote Carlyle, that dyspeptic prophet, but,

after all, no one had a juster appreciation of Johnson than he. Listen to him: 'Had Johnson left nothing but his Dictionary, one might have traced there a great intellect, a genuine man. Looking to its clearness of definition, its genuine solidity, honesty, insight, and successful method, it may be called the best of all Dictionaries. There is in it a kind of architectural nobleness: it stands like a great solid squarebuilt edifice, finished: symmetrically complete; you judge that a true Builder did it.'

Johnson's Dictionary was based on a work compiled and published in 1721 by Nathaniel Bailey. Bailey's dictionary is a mere list of words. Johnson had an interleaved copy of it made, and worked therefrom. This book was exhibited at Stationers' Hall in London so recently as 1912. Who has it now? Johnson's own copy of the last edition of his Dictionary to be published in his lifetime is now one of the treasures of the John Rylands Library in Manchester. I wonder whether this is the copy that at the sale of Johnson's library after his death, in 'Mr. Christie's Great Room in Pall Mall,' brought the magnificent sum of thirteen shillings! But then, it was disfigured by his notes, and we must remember, too, that his first folio of Shakespeare, similarly disfigured, brought only twentytwo. And consider the price of the smallest scrap of Johnsoniana to-day!

Let us allow our imagination to play for a moment and fancy that the tools of Johnson's trade- his librarycould be reassembled and resold in New York City to-morrow, at Mitchell Kennerley's Great Room. What competition there would be, with 'Dr. R.' and 'Brick Row' and 'Dunster House,' to say nothing of the 'Wells of English undefiled,' and Drake, and Beyer, and Walter Hill-all of the talent, with unlimited bids from Adam and Isham

and Young and Clark and Pforzheimer and Hearst, and all the lesser fry of Johnsonians who are numbered as the sands of the sea. I should have at such a sale just as much chance as a canary at a cats' congress; and yet, Doctor, if I did not set your ball a-rolling, I certainly gave it acceleration. They tell me that there are Johnson collectors in England; are there forsooth? And they put a price of five pounds on your Life by Boswell; we, of 'the Plantations,' put it at fifty, and it is worth a hundred. It is the greatest biography in the world, and the best part of it, a taste of its quality, was published the year after your death, and is known as A Tour to the Hebrides: it is the quintessence of Boswell.

Why is all the world 'Johnsonianissimus' to-day? Johnson had, according to Taine, 'the manners of a beadle and the inclinations of a constable.' Every Johnsonian will have a different answer, and they will all be right. This is Austin Dobson's opinion:

Turn now to his Writings. I grant, in his tales, That he made little fishes talk vastly like whales;

I grant that his language was rather emphatic, Nay, even-to put the thing plainly — dog

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A happy coincidence enables me to display to my friends an important manuscript of which not everyone, not even every Johnsonian, knows the existence.

In 1772, Johnson, then being in his sixty-third year, wrote in Latin a long ode addressed to himself, with a Greek title which translates, 'Know Thyself.' In it he compares himself and to his disadvantage - with the great French scholar, Scaliger, and says that indolence and a penury of mind coöperate to prevent him from taking on another task, if indeed he has the requisite knowledge. Instead of which he confesses that he seeks

At midnight clubs, where wit with noise conspires,

Where Comus revels and where wine inspires

(I am quoting from a translation), relief from the dull melancholy which at all times dogs his steps. The poem closes:

What then remains? Must I in slow decline
To mute inglorious ease old age resign?
Or, bold ambition kindling in my breast,
Attempt some arduous task? Or, were it best,
Brooding o'er Lexicons to pass the day,
And in that labor drudge my life away?

How he answered the self-imposed question is beyond the scope of this paper.

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Finally, and I seem to hear the sigh of relief which is occasionally audible in church at the end of a long sermon, - I wish to dip my flag to the latest descendant of Dr. Johnson's genius, the Concise Oxford Dictionary. I own that colossal monument of wordy learning, the New English Dictionary, so far as it is published, but its possession is a species of swank, and I seldom refer to it. But the Concise is ever at hand. It is a masterpiece of reference and condensation. Derivations do not much interest me, but I like to have some idea of the meaning of the words I am using, and, as I dictate more than I write, I have forgotten - if indeed I ever knew how to spell. Every foreign word that has worked its way into our language is given in it, and one small joke, for which I love it. I can imagine several learned old gentlemen, sitting and sipping their port after a dinner at the 'high table' in some Oxford college, debating whether the joke might be permitted: wisely they agreed that it might. Turn to the word 'wing': it is defined, 'One of the limbs or organs by which the flight of a bird, bat, insect, angel, &c., is effected.' How do we know that angels fly? Who ever saw one? But this is no place for skepticism: the authority of the greatest of universities is not to be challenged by an insect.




July 6, 1925 THE weeds in the acre on the prairie took me longer than I expected. I'm not used to that kind of work; it takes a Jap to do it, but I experimented, first one way and then another. First I straddled the row on my knees, one knee on each side of the row and with a hand weeder in one hand, hacking at the weeds, and the other hand pulling out plants where they were too thick. I got along pretty good, doing a row in about two hours. But then burning pain came on my knees and I found them red and swollen and some big blisters. That would never do, so I walked to the nearest house and borrowed two gunny sacks and some sack twine. No one lives on the acre I have rented. I rolled a sack around each knee and tied it, and started the second row. I finished the day that way, but it worried me to find that I had slowed down instead of speeding up. As the sun rose higher and became hotter, it was all I could do to keep up my morale and stick her out. I tried all kinds of ways to amuse my mind. I pictured you and the girls drinking iced lemonade on the deck of a beautiful ship, and J. fox-trotting with a handsome lieutenant, going out to the islands. My water jug did n't taste half so lukey after that. The rows were so long they looked like railroad tracks coming together at the far end. It brought a long-forgotten picture to my mind.

Many years ago I saw Mansfield. I don't remember whom he played with, but I think it was Julia Marlowe. There was some misunderstanding and the heroine went back to her humble life in the country. The hero hunted her up and found her in the 'lettuce fields of France.' Those long rows of lettuce looked just like the long rows of beets. So after that it was n't in the beet fields I was weeding, it was in the 'lettuce fields of France.'

I stood it three days on my knees and then they were so bad I sat down and moved along like a frog in little jumps. In two days I did n't have any seat in my overalls and nothing to patch them with. "There's always something to take the joy out of life,' as Daddy says. Then I took the hoe and walked stooped, and hoed and pulled, and next day I could hardly get out of bed. My back seemed to have gone back on me. I made breakfast and washed the dishes three times a day for my board, and I planned to write letters nights, but was too tired. I talked to myself all day long; it helped me to forget the blazing sun overhead and the dust and the long, long rows. The utter hopelessness in Daddy's old eyes drives me on. I have thought how nice it would be if we had old-age pensions. Nothing to dread any more. No hunger, no cold. It would be heaven here on earth.

Boy and I have been reading Alice in Wonderland. He wants my little

'22' so he can 'get' that March hare who was so mean to Alice. That March hare lives in the woods just east of us he's seen him lots of times, he says. But out in the beet field the song the Mock Turtle sang rang in my head day after day, but the words were a little different. I tried to get rid of the jingle, but it persisted:

'Will you work a little faster?' said old Summer to the snail.

'For Old Winter's just behind me, and he's treading on my tail.'

It hustled me up all right. I had another acre of vegetables and beets at home and I could n't be at it all summer. Well, I finished it in seven days and came home to find my garden choked with weeds and drying up badly. Have been at it ever since. Except for two days when I loused chickens on a hen ranch down on the prairie. Gee, it was hot in that henhouse. I shed everything but my overalls, and I got thirty-five cents an hour, and we, another woman and I, did a hen and a half a minute. That's ninety hens an hour, but experienced workers do a hundred an hour. My job was to catch the hen with a miniature shepherd's crook that caught the leg, put a ring on the right leg, and pass her to the other woman, who put on lice poison and threw her into the hen yard.

The Spokane paper said the heat broke all records, going to 102 in the shade. There was no time for dreaming, or even thinking. I was glad I was little and thin, and my little crook was flying every minute faster and faster. Poor frightened hens! But I was happy, for I was earning a pair of new shoes for Daddy and a sack of flour. Daddy's wheat is all gone and we have been without bread some time. It's been hardest on the boy, but we'll have plenty from now on if I can pick up a

VOL. 139- NO. 4 D

day's work now and then. The future looks much brighter.

If I were to put down on paper one half of the struggle, one half of the hardships, or picture one winter, day by day, you could hardly believe it to be true, and yet my life is not half so hard as many here, up in these hills. I can plan ahead fairly well; I know food chemistry and what is needed to keep healthy. When winter comes, I'll have about the same amount of wheat for Daddy to thrash out with the old team, enough potatoes and vegetables and sugar beets to make molasses, which will give us all the sweets we need. Fruit is scarce, but I will have crab apples and rhubarb to can, and that will furnish the acids. A cow to make soups for Daddy and Boy. As Daddy says, 'We have taken our noble President's advice and are trying to raise everything we need on the farm.' If everyone would try this, it would be better for them. Every month some family is pulling out because they can't make it. M.'s have gone to live in a logging camp where he can work. S. went back to Oklahoma last week. B.'s lost their place because they could n't pay the interest on the mortgage. L. pulled out with his wife' and four lovely children. I asked him, 'Where are you going?' He said, 'God knows.' They lived closest to us, and how little we know even our nearest neighbors. When they left, Mrs. L. and the children walked on ahead and stopped to say good-bye to me. It was exactly twelve o'clock and I had a kettle of soup waiting for Daddy, as he had n't come in yet. The soup was made from field peas and a piece of pork and it was 'licking good,' as Boy says. 'You're starting early,' says I to Mrs. L. 'Have you already had your lunch, or are you going to picnic along the road?' She startled me by saying quietly: 'We have n't had anything to

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