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the children caught their parents' mal- even a passing note in our general litady.
erature or in the press that so wideMr. Grant White considers that he spread an evil existed. has found evidence showing that the h These considerations should suffice to was suppressed in England by all classes overthrow Mr. Grant White's theory, seventy-five years ago. “ This h breath
“ This h breath- which every well-bred Englishman of ing,” he says, “ is a fashion in speech middle age and beyond knows to be enwhich, I venture to say, is, among the tirely erroneous. (Men of over eighty
best people'in modern England, hard- in England can tell Mr. White — I ly more than seventy-five years old.” know it, because they have told me Now, apart from the circumstance that that at good schools in England, seventythe contrary is known, -I myself can five years ago, the same care was taken vouch strongly for this, because I have in teaching the correct use of the h as heard the conversation of hundreds of at the present day.) I need not, therepersons who were past middle life at the fore, occupy much time to consider the time Mr. Grant White mentions, and evidence which he regards as establishknow that they were as careful and cor- ing his position. Still it may be interrect about their h’s as I was taught from esting to touch on his chief points. my childbood upwards to be, - apart, I He notes that no English writer of say, from this, Mr. Grant White's idea, novels, tales, or humorous sketches, seyeven if accepted, would give no explana- enty-five years ago, makes fun of the tion of the suppression of the h, still less h peculiarity. This proves, if it proves of its forcible and wrongful introduction. anything, that the suppression of the So far from that, it would leave us two h was less common then in England problems of immense difficulty to deal than it is now; and this is well known with.
(in England) to have been the case. First, it would be very much harder The h malady has spread as the v-andto explain the difference between Eng- w malady has died out, — why, I canland, on the one hand, and Ireland, not say, but the fact is certain. The h America, and Australia, on the other; malady existed, of course, but was not for how could correctness of speech have common enough to attract the attention been derived from a people who all of humorists, as it does now. (Nor were spoke incorrectly in this respect ? Sec- humorists such close observers then as ondly, we should have to explain how now.) it is that, although the h malady is in
Mr. Grant White's attempt to prove curable when once fairly established, that the h malady was common, because there are, nevertheless, thousands of in the Bible "an" is often written beEnglishmen, using their h’s correctly, fore h, fails, when we consider that the who were lads at the time when Mr. distinctive use of an and a is a comparaGrant White says all Englishmen, even tively modern rule. Many still regard the best bred, dropped their h’s. To it as an unsatisfactory rule, - at least in this must be added the truly surpris- its present general form. Any one who ing circumstance that we should have will repeat aloud, and with full voice, amended a fault thus universal without the sentence “ I stayed at a hotel commanding a horizon eighty miles away ence of the letter h in the words Mr. will see that the Englishman who writes Grant White quotes as preceded by "an hotel," as I often do, or “an ho- an shows, when we consider the practirizon," as I almost always do, does not cal origin of spelling in English, that necessarily suppress the h. (I have often the h was sounded. It was probably to use the word horizon, in lecturing, sounded originally even in the words preceded by a or an, and nearly always hour, humble, honest, etc. I find that to give the h softly and cor- I think, however, it has been sufficientrectly it is far easier to say “ an hori- ly shown that the suppression of the h " than “
1 I have had occasion to notice (1) how Eng- to say that my youngest boy, with an American lish-born children (my own) catch the h malady mother and a father who uses the h correctly, said from nurses and servants, eventually losing it; a “orse" and a "'ouse" in England quite natu(2) how American-born children (step-children of rally; but my American daughter (actually stepmy own) are affected by it; and (3) how chil- daughter) of five, took the worst form of the h dren of mixed American and English parentage malady in a business-like way. “Mamma," she (my own, again) are affected. On the first point I said one day, "you say oven, don't you? Well, need not speak, nor specially on the third, except I say hoven!"
a horizon.") He considers was a fault of slurring, a liberty arising Miss Burney must have said an 'osier, from what may be called undue familiarbecause she wrote “an hosier ; ” on the ity with the language, while the concontrary, we may recognize in her use verse fault arose from a reaction against of an instead of a her care to avoid a the other, and showed itself (as it still gasping utterance of the aspirate. As shows itself) only where an attempt was for the Bible writers, the very exist- made at undue emphasis.
Richard A. Proctor.
THE PROPHET OF THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS.
incident to being out of one's element.
Even after he had seated himself he Amos and his steed made their way noted a far, faint voice crying, “ Hy 're, along a parrow passage, growing wider, Amos !” in abysmal depths explored however, and taller, but darker and with only by the sound of his name. many short turns, an embarrassment And here it was that old Groundto the resisting brute's physical confor- hog Cayce evaded the law, and ran his mation.
still, and defied the revenue department, Suddenly there was a vague red and maintained his right to do as he haze in the dark, the sound of voices, would with his own. and an abrupt turn brought man and “Lord A’mighty, air the corn mine, horse into a great subterranean vault, or no ?” he would argue. “ Air the orwhere dusky distorted figures, wreathing chard mine or the raiders'? An' what smoke, and a flare of red fire suggested ails me ez I can't make whisky an'apTartarus.
ple-jack same ez in my dad's time, when “ Hy 're, Amos !” cried a hospitable him an' me run a sour mash still on the voice.
top o' the mounting in the light o' day, A weird tone repeated the words with up’ards o' twenty year, an' never hearn precipitate promptness. Again and again o' no raider. Tell me that's agin the the abrupt echoes spoke; far down the law, nowadays! Waal, now, who made unseen blackness of the cave a hollow that law? I never; an' I ain't a-goin' whisper announced his entrance, and he ter abide by it, nuther. Ez sure ez ye air seemed mysteriously welcomed by the born, it air jes' a Yankee trick fotched unseen powers of the earth. He was down hyar by the Fed'ral army. An' not an imaginative man nor observant, ef I hed knowed they war goin' ter gin but the upper regions were his sphere, tharse'fs ter sech persecutions arter the and he had all the acute sensitiveness war, I dunno how I'd hev got my consent ter fit alongside of 'em like I done • Waal, Amos," said a voice from out fower year fur the Union."
the darkness, “I'm middlin' glad ter see A rude furnace made of fire-rock was you-uns.
Hev a drink.” the prominent feature of the place, and A hand came out into the gleaming on it glimmered the pleasing rotundi- line of light, extending with a flourish ties of a small copper still. The neck of invitation a jug of jovial aspect. . curved away into the obscurity. There “ Don't keer ef I do,” said Amos powas the sound of gurgling water, with litely. He lifted the jug, and drank vague babbling echoes; for the never-fail- without stint. The hand received it ing rill of an underground spring, which back again, shook it as if to judge of rose among the rocks, was diverted to the the quantity of its contents, and then, unexpected purpose of flowing through with a gesture of relish, raised it to an the tub where the worm was coiled, and unseen mouth. of condensing the precious vapors, which Enny news 'round the mill, Amos ?” dripped monotonously into their rude re- demanded his invisible pot companion. ceiver at the extremity of the primitive “ None ez I knows on," drawled fixtures. The iron door of the furnace Amos. was open now as Ab Cayce replenished “ Grind some fur we-uns ter-morrer?' the fire. It sent out a red glare, reveal- asked Ab. ing the dark walls ; the black distances ; “I'll grind yer bones, ef ye'll send the wreaths of smoke, that were given 'em down," said Amos, accommodatinga start by a short chimney, and left to ly. “ All's grist ez goes ter the hopper. wander away and dissipate themselves How kem you-uns ter git the nightin the wide subterranean spaces; and mare 'bout'n the raiders? I waited fur the uncouth, slouching figures and illu- Sol an' the corn right sharp time Wednes. minated faces of the distillers. They day mornin'; jes' hed nuthin' ter do but lounged upon the rocks or sat on invert- ter sot an' suck my paws, like a b'ar ed baskets and tubs, and one stalwart in winter, till 't war time ter put out an' fellow lay at length upon the ground. go ter the gaynder-pullin'.” The shadows were all grotesquely elon- “ Waal” – there was embarrassment gated, almost divested of the semblance in the tones of the burly shadow, and all of humanity, as they stretched in un- the echoes were hesitant as Groundhog natural proportions upon the rocks. Cayce replied in Ab's stead : “ Mirandy Amos James's horse cast on the wall an Jane 'lowed ez she hed seen a strango image so gigantic that it seemed as if man bout'n the spring, an' thought it the past and the present were mysteri- war a raider, — though he'd hev been in ously united, and he stood stabled be- a mighty ticklish place fur a raider, all side the grim mastodon whom the cave by himself. Mirandy Jane hev fairly had sheltered from the rigors of his got the jim-jams, seein' raiders stiddier day long before Groundhog Cayce was snakes; we-uns can't put no dependence moved to seek a refuge. The furnace in the gal. An' mam, she drempt the door clashed; the scene faded ; only a raiders hed camped on Chilhowee Mounglittering line of vivid white light, emit- ting. An' D'rindy, she turned fool: fust ted between the ill-fitting door and the she 'lowed ez we-uns would all be ruined unhewn rock, enlivened the gloom. ef we went ter the gaynder-pullin', an’ Now and then, as one of the distillers then she war powerful interrupted when moved, it fell upon him, and gave his we 'lowed we would n't go, like' ez ef face an abnormal distinctness in the sur- she wanted us ter go most awful. I axed rounding blackness, like some curiously this hyar Pa'son Kelsey, ez rid by that cut onyx.
mornin', ef he treed enny raiders in his
mind. An' he 'lowed, none, 'ceptin' the tention, subordination, and acquiescence. devil a-raidin' 'roun' his own soul. But It was not his habit to allow any man 'mongst 'em we-uns jest bided away that to so completely absorb public attention. day. I would n't hev done it, 'ceptin' “ Look a hyar, Amos, fur Gawd's D'rindy tuk ter talkin' six ways fur sake, shet up that thar foolishness !” he Sunday, an' she got me plumb cata- stuttered at last. “ Thar 's n-no tellin' wampus, so ez I did n't rightly know how f-f-fur yer servigrus bellerin' kin what I wanted ter do myself.”
be hearn. An' besides, ye 'll b-b-bring It was a lame story for old Ground- the rocks down on to we-uns d-d’rectly. hog Cayce to tell. Even the hesitating They tell me that it air dangerous ter echoes seemed ashamed of it. Mirandy f-f-f-fire pistols an' jounce 'round in a Jane's mythical raider, and mam's Bring the roof down.” dream, and D'rindy's folly, — were “ That air jes' what I'm a-aimin' ter these to baffle that stout-hearted old do, Pete,” said Amos, with his comical soldier? Amos James said no more. gravity. “I went ter meetin' week 'fore If old Cayce employed an awkward sub- las', an' the pa'son read 'bout Samson ; terfuge to conceal the enterprise of the an' it streck my ambition, an' I'm jes' rescue, he had no occasion to intermed- a-honin' ter pull the roof down on the dle. Somehow, the strengthening of Philistine.” his suspicions brought Amos to a new “ Look a hyar, Amos Jeemes, ye air realization of his despair. He sought to the b-b-banged-est critter on this hyar modify it by frequent reference to the m-mounting! Jes' kem hyar ter our jug, which came his way at hospitably s-still an'c-c-call me a Ph-Ph-Philisshort intervals. But he had a strong tine!” head, and had seen the jug often before; The jug had not been stationary, and and although he thought his grief would as Pete thrust his aggressive face forbe alleviated by getting as drunk as a ward the vivid quivering line of light “fraish b'iled owel,” that consumma- from the furnace showed that it was tion of consolation was coy and tardy. flushed with liquor and that his eyes He was only mournfully frisky after a were bloodshot. His gaunt head, with while, feeling that he should presently long, colorless hair, protruding teeth, and be obliged to cut his throat, yet laugh- homely, prominent features, as it hung ing at his own jokes when the moon- there in the isolating effect of that sharp shiners laughed, then pausing in sudden and slender gleam, — the rest of his seriousness to listen to the elfin merri- body canceled by the darkness,
had a ment evoked among the lurking echoes. singularly unnatural and sinister aspect. And he sang, too, after a time, a merry The light glanced back with a steely catch, in a rich and resonant voice, with glimmer. The drunken man had a knife long, dawdling, untutored cadences and in his hand. distortions of effect, — sudden changes Storp it, now,” his younger brother of register, many an abrupt crescendo drawlingly admonished him. “ Who be and diminuendo, and "spoken " interpo- ye a-goin' ter cut?” lations and improvisations, all of hu- “ Call m-m-me a Philistine! I'll bust morous intent.
his brains out!" asseverated Pete. The others listened with the universal “ Ye 're drunk, Pete,” said old greedy appetite for entertainment which Groundhog Cayce, in an explanatory might have been supposed to have manner. There was no move to defend dwindled and died of inanition in their the threatened guest. Perhaps Amos serious and deprived lives. Pete Cayce James was supposed to be able to take first revolted from the strain on his at- care of himself.
“ Call me a Ph-Philistine
choly hour, - for in these suniess depths listine !” exclaimed Pete, steadying him- one knew nor day nor night, — stories self on the keg on which he sat, and of bloody vendettas, and headless ghosts, peering with wide, light eyes into the and strange previsions, and unnamed darkness, as if to mark the whereabouts terrors. And Amos James recounted of the enemy before dealing the blow. the fable of a mountain witch, inter“ Jes' got insurance - C-c-c-call me a spersed with a wild vocal refrain : Philistine!”
“Shet up, Pete. I'll take it back," said Amos gravely. “ I'm the Philis
Cu-vo! Cu-vo! Kil-dar! Kil-dar! Kil-dar! tine myself ; fur pa’son read ez Samson killed a passel o’ Philistines with the Thus she called her hungry dogs, that jawbone of an ass, an’ ez long ez ye be fed on human flesh, while the winds talkin' I feel in an' about dead."
were awhirl, and the waning mood was Amos James had bent close attention
red, and the Big Smoky lay in densest to the sermon, and had brought as much glooin. accurate information from meeting as The white line of light had yellowed, was consistent with hearing so sensa- deepened, grown dull. The furnace tional a story as Samson's for the first needed fuel. Ab suddenly leaned down time. In the mountains men do not re- and threw open the door. The flare of gard church privileges as the opportu- the pulsing coals resuscitated the dim nity of a quiet hour to meditate on secu- scene and the long, dun-colored shadlar affairs, while a gentle voice drones on Here in the broad red light were antiquated themes. To Amos, Samson the stolid, meditative faces of the distilwas the latest thing out.
lers, each with his pipe in his mouth Pete did not quite catch the full and his hat on his head; it revealed meaning of this sarcasm. He was con- the dilated eye and unconsciously dratent that Amos should seem to recant. matic gesture of the story-teller, sitting He replaced his knife, but sat surly and upon a barrel in their midst; the horse muttering, and now and then glancing was distinct in the background, now toward the guest.
dreaming and now lifting an impatient Meantime that vivid white gleam fore-foot, and his gigantic stall-mate, the quivered across the dusky shadows; now simulacrum of the mastodon, moved as and then the horse pawed, raising mar- he moved, but softly, that the echoes tial echoes, as of squadrons of cavalry, might not know,- the immortal echoes, among the multitudinous reverberations who were here before him, and here of the place, while his stall-companion, still. that the light could conjure up, was And behind all were the great walls always noiseless ; the continuous fresh of the vault, with its vague apertures sound of water gurgling over the rocks leading to unexplored recesses ; with mingled with the monotonous drip from many jagged ledges, devoted to shelfthe worm; occasionally a gopher would like usage, and showing here a jug, and scud among the heavily booted feet, here a shot-pouch, and here a rat
fat and the jug's activity was marked by and sleek, thanks to the plenteous waste the shifting for an interval of the red of mash and grain - looking down with sparks which indicated the glowing pipes a glittering eye, and here a bag of meal, of the burly shadows around the still. and here a rifle.
The stories went on, growing weird Suddenly Amos James broke off. as the evening outside waned, in some “ Who's that?” he exclaimed, and all unconscious sympathy with the melan- the echoes were sharply interrogative.