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ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
BY CHRISTOPHER MORLEY
DOWN-SLIPPING Time, sweet, swift, and shallow stream,
WHY IS HE A GENERAL ?
BY NICHOLAI VELIMIROVIC
The circumstances under which this brief parable was written deserve to be told. When Bishop Nicholai, of Serbia, was in this country, pleading for funds for Serbian children, a friend presented him with a copy of Elbert Hubbard's Message to Garcia,' the point of which, as readers will commonly remember, was the absolute importance of giving genuine service for wages or for contract. A few days later the Bishop wrote his friend: ‘After I read your “Message to Garcia" I remembered a happening (which occurred during the tragic retreat of the Serbians), which I have tried to describe in this brief paper. The moral of it is similar to that of the "Message.”'— THE EDITOR.
Night and rain. Three of us were I visited Mrs. Haverfield's orphanage riding in a coach, ten miles away from at Uzice. She said, our destination. One of the horses col- “The peasants of the surrounding villapsed and fell down. Stop. No star in lages are most helpful to me, especially the sky, no counselor to comfort. What Marko. He is beyond description.' to do?
But who is Marko?' I asked, rememA man appeared, as a nightmare bering a dreadful emergency in my life. as if he came out of the rocks on which ‘Don't you know Marko? He is a man we were leaning.
of perfect service to everybody. You ‘My name is Marko,' he said. “Don't will see him to-morrow.' worry. In a few minutes everything will be all right.'
We were sitting at the open fire and And he disappeared. But soon after, listening to Marko. He is nothing more we found that our second horse had dis- than an ordinary Serbian peasant. appeared, too.
'Everybody must have learned a lesHe had stolen it; all of us thought so, son in the war. Mine is a strange one, smiling ironically at the unfair game of and yet the most valuable for the rest fate.
of my days.' Yet, in a few minutes, Marko re- Then he became reluctant. But we turned, riding on the horse, and leading insisted and he continued: another horse by the string.
'My sin against our General MWe asked questions: Who was he? was the cause of the lesson. We were where did he find a horse? and so forth. ten privates under the same tent. Our He murmured something, and kept busy duty was to attend the general and his about the horses and the coach. staff. We did our duty half-heartedly,
'Ready!' he said. “Good-night to and the officers often complained. One you.' And the darkness of night swal- day the general called all of us and lowed him up.
said, — "Thank God, there are still Christ- ""Brothers, you are called to do servian men in this world, we thought,' and ice to me and to my officers. Do it perstarted.
fectly and joyfully!”
We corrected ourselves a little. But
"That day the general asked for me. war continued endlessly. Day and night I was trembling with all my body and we were filled with the dreams of our soul. It was clear for me that he must homes, and we walked ceaselessly in have heard my remark about him two the camp like shadows, and did our nights before. service very badly. Water for the offi- ‘But, O Lord, he was all smiles. cers was not brought always in time; ""Brother Marko, did you ever read boots were not dried at fire and cleaned, the Gospel?” as they ought to be. And again and 'My lips were trembling, and I anagain officers remonstrated. They must swered nothing. have complained to the general. One «“Well," he continued, “take it once night the general opened our tent, look- more to-day and read the story how the ed in, and asked,
Captain of men, who is called by us the ““Brothers, are you all right?” Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, 'He went off. And I-'
was the perfect servant of men.” There Marko stopped, and his eyes 'I cried like a child found in a theft.' were shining with tears.
And Marko began to cry once again ‘And I said loudly: “Why is he a in telling his story, and we all were very general? He does nothing. We are do- much moved. ing everything. It is easy for him." Then he took courage again, and con
'The night was a very long one, but tinued: our sleep fast and our dreams of home ‘Then the general said: “My bro
ther, two nights ago you asked a quesS“What is that?" we all asked, as tion which I have to answer now. Liswith one voice, looking at a marvel. ten: I am your general because I am And the marvel was this: all the boots, supposed to be able to do my own both of the officers and our own, were 'invisible' and 'lordly' duty, but also perfectly cleaned and arranged at our because I am supposed to be fit to do in feet. We went to the officers' rooms. a most excellent way the service you, There, again, all the uniforms nicely the privates, are called to do.” hung up and cleaned, water-jars filled, ‘The general stopped and closed his and a big fire made in the hall, and the eyes. I never shall forget that moment. hall swept and put in order properly. I wished I were killed instantly by a "“Who did it?"
bullet, so overwhelming was the pres'No one of us knew. Of course, all ence of the general. I stood there all day we were talking of that.
misery and fear. *The next morning the same thing 'Finally the general lifted up his head happened. We were quite startled and and said, confused. “Is God perhaps sending an ““You must try your hardest to do angel to do this service for us?” This your service to men perfectly and joywe asked each other, and retold all the fully, now and always, not because of fairy tales we remembered from our the severe order and discipline, but bechildhood.
cause of joy hidden in every perfect ‘But now, behold.
service.” ‘We decided to watch. And our sen- "The general walked two or three tinel saw, soon after midnight, our steps toward the window and turned to general creeping into our tent. Oh, me and said, shame! the mystery was now revealed ““Now, brother Marko, I tell you and the lesson learned.
honestly, I enjoyed greatly cleaning VOL. 128-NO. 1
your boots, for I am greatly repaid by of eighteen months, the most beloved doing so. Don't forget, every perfect human being in his mountains. At the service hides a perfect payment in last election the people unanimously itself, because — because, brother, it asked him to go to represent them in
hides God in itself.”
the Parliament; but he declined. He ‘Of course, after that, the service in said, the general's camp was all right, and “That post is for the generals, and I the officers never since had to com- am merely a private still.' plain.'
Thus finished Marko his story. The This is Private Marko's lesson from soft words of his good general were soft- the war, through which he has become ened still more, and all the time, with involuntarily a captain of men. Marko's warm tears.
For I have given you an example, that Later on, I was told by many people ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, that Marko, who before the war was verily, I say unto you, the servant is not not at all considered a very kind
man, greater than his lord; neither he that is and much less a man of stern principles, sent greater than he that sent him. If ye has become, through his perfect service know these things, happy are ye if ye do to everybody within a time of existence them. — St. John 13, 15–17.
WORLD WITHOUT END
BY GERTRUDE HENDERSON
The body of Mrs. Sarah Pennefather long. You patch and mend and freshen lay on the bed, and her spirit linger- one way and another, and try to make ed, considering it. 'Curious fashion!' it do for another season
put off as mused the spirit. 'I wonder I could long as you can throwing it aside and have worn it all these years!'
getting something new The spirit was only this moment dis- The spirit drifted, eddied, not quite encumbered. It floated above its late yielding yet to the breeze between the habiliments, wavered, and loitered still. worlds that impelled it away.
'I remember being proud of it when 'I suppose there's really nothing I it was new — comparatively new. The can do• for them nothing more. colors I thought were pretty. They They'll all sleep until morning, and it's have n't worn well. And how it has really much better they should. I'm wrinkled! It looks incredibly clumsy. glad to be going this way, without any One sees these things so much more fuss. Dear children! I hope they won't clearly, getting a little away. It's been be unhappy. Miss me, but not be unextremely uncomfortable lately — very happy. They have their lives — and I ill-fitting. I wonder I put up with it so must go on with mine.'
The wind that blows between the other, it seems a little harsh, and worlds blew stronger, filled space and perhaps selfish, — but I do almost wish overfilled it, surged over its little boun- they had n't put in the ouija connecdaries, obliterating them, and swept on, tions. It was so much more peaceful mighty and resistless; and the spirit that before.' was Mrs. Pennefather's floated out and ‘Oh, that kind of people! If it were out upon it and away to the Uttermost, n't the ouija, it would be something beyond the reach of thinking — drifted, else! They're always clamoring for atdrifted, with peace flowing about it tention. Why don't we just systematilike currents of smooth air — drifted, cally refuse it?' drifted, deep in æons of unconsciousness “Some of us would,' said a third - drifted, drifted, through sunrise col- speaker. 'I would do so myself — at ors and the sparkle of adventure, and least, I think I would; but this has been waked in the World to Come.
my home for so long, there is no one
who would now be at all likely to call Heaven lay all about, and the spirit me, and you cannot be perfectly sure of Mrs. Pennefather sat sipping her af- what you would do till the emergency ternoon nectar in deep contentment, arises.' nibbling the crisp edge of a bit of admir- There was a subtle suggestion of able ambrosia, and exchanging ideas Revolutionary times about her, deepenwith a group of spirit ladies similarly ing as she talked on. You could scarcely refreshing themselves — congenial spir- say it was a matter of costume, for, of its. One of them paused in the obser- course, this was not a material universe; vation she was about to make. Mrs. but in some indescribable, ethereal way Pennefather lowered her poised cup, she conveyed it. It may have been perlooked, and saw the courteous attend- sonality. She impressed one increasant waiting deferentially.
ingly as a Martha Washington kind of 'Ouija for Mrs. Pennefather,' he lady, though, of course, not Martha said.
Washington. The slightest possible shade crossed ‘Still, I think I myself should refuse,' Mrs. Pennefather's face. She rose, and she went on. “But a lady like Mrs. excused herself.
Pennefather, with her soft, warm heart, *Don't keep the tray for me,' she and her sense of responsibility and lifesaid. 'I may be some time. I really had long habit of regarding others rather finished.'
than herself, so lately come away, She moved away toward the ouija too, and loving her children so tenderly, booths and closed the door of the one you can see she really could not. I where the call was waiting.
can scarcely imagine her refusing any 'It's just a shame!' said one of the claim that might be put upon her.' remaining ladies explosively. She's The gentle spirit who had deplored the sweetest thing that ever drew the the ouija connections 'hemmed'apolobreath of heaven, and I know she never getically and was about to speak again. will say a word to them; but I wish she She might have been from Cranford. would! They've kept her stirred up There was something in her manner one way and another ever since she got that made one feel it, vaguely - like here. She is n't getting her rest at all. the perfume emanating from the spirit And now if they have n't begun on the of a sprig of lavender. ouija!'
‘Oh, I suppose you can't refuse,' said 'I really sometimes wish,' said an- the vehement first speaker, breaking in