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The graduate school with which I am best acquainted is an out-of-door school. Its term is from March to July; the requirements for matriculation are first of all good health, then some "The School of Excavations" first-hand knowledge of Greek Antiquities, and an acquaintance with Greek character and the modern Greek language. Although the work done in this school is one of original search and research, no degrees are granted. Is there any reader of the Monthly whose point of view is so modern that she asks, "If this school gives no degrees, why study there?" This is a useful question and for that reason seems particularly irrelevant to me whose business and pleasure it is to hunt for useless things, relics of a past before degrees were invented, when all schools were hypæthral and gardens and porticoes were the class rooms. Miss Patten of Boston and I were, I think, the first women members of this modern open-air graduate school, which seems, by the way, to need a name. Shall we call it the School of mines because its members are engaged in digging, or if that name is preëmpted, the School of Excavations?
The idea of excavating first occurred to me in February 1900. For many reasons coeducational excavations are impracticable and I therefore felt it no injustice that the women members of the American School at Athens should not be invited to join in the excavations at Corinth. But it did seem a pity that we should never have the experience of working up original material fresh from the soil. The most promising source of such material was undoubtedly Crete, but recently opened to the world. Before the appointment of Prince George of Greece as Prince High Commissioner of Crete, regular excavations could not be made because of the turbulence of the island. For this reason Crete remained virgin soil and here the chances of failure were reduced to a minimum.
Landing in Herakleion, April 12, with our servant, Aristides Pappadias, and his mother, Miss Patten and I proceeded to establish headquarters, renting a house for the sum of four dollars a month. The British scholars, Mr. Arthur Evans of Oxford and Mr. D. J. Hogarth, Director of the British School, were busy at Knossos not five miles away and were gaining phenomenal results. They had already unearthed the palace of Minos and the famous tablets which "when deciphered will serve to make the Mycenæan Age not pre-historic but historic"; and on the day of our visit to the excavations they brought to light "the oldest throne in Europe." This success had put all archæologists in high spirits and smoothed the way for our request to
be allowed to excavate. Letters of introduction from a friend of Queen Olga, who had visited Crete the previous year on a mission of a charity for Her Majesty, also assisted us greatly. But before our petition could be sent to the Ministry, it was necessary that we should select some site for work.
Following Mr. Hogarth's advice, we started on a prospecting trip through Central Crete, making the Isthmus of Hierapetra our eastern limit. We were a party of four, Aristides's mother having remained in Herakleion and her place being taken by our muleteer Constantinos. Mules are the carriages, trolley cars, and trains of Crete, for there are no roads in that mountainous island, only paths. On our first day from Herakleion we crossed the island to Ayios-Deka, the site of the ancient city of Gortyna, where we were hospitably received by M. Halbherr who placed the house of the Italian Archæological Mission at our disposal and showed us the ruins of Gortyna, as only their discoverer could do. On leaving Ayios-Deka to cross the Messara plain we were making our first throw in the game of chance, and in spite of favorable signs my heart was fearful. I had visited all the more important sites of Greece, but it is one thing to wander about, Baedeker or Pausanias in hand, verifying the conclusions of scholars or perhaps even daring to differ from them, but in either case with no weight of responsibility; it is quite another thing to make one's own observations on which dépends success or failure. Should I be one of those who "seeing do not see and hearing do not understand"? Much would depend on what the peasants should say and upon our ability to distinguish between idle stories and testimony of worth. At this juncture Aristides proved invaluable. He acted as advance-courier, and upon our arrival in a village we always found coffee ordered, the villagers assembled and impressed with an altogether undue notion of our importance. Under the spur of Aristides's eloquence the peasants were quick to report past discoveries and to bring in any small antiquities which they had in their possession. This traffic in antiquities had to be carried on in the absence of the gendarme, for it is illegal and yet at the same time necessary if one is to form an opinion of the value of a site. Three things led the Cretans to receive us with great kindness: first, their native hospitality which is phenomenal; second, their satisfaction in receiving our visit as a proof of the peace and security of their island; and third, their desire to please "Capitalists" looking about for a place in which to invest money.
At more than one point we should have been tempted to put in the spade had it not been for the salutary laws which forbid unauthorized digging, and a wish on my own part to defer judgment until I had seen Kavousi, a place highly recommended by Mr. Evans. Here we were so well pleased with the indications afforded by walls, potsherds, and small antiquities that we hastened back to Herakleion to take out our government permission.
Without attempting to give the results of our excavations more than to say that we found houses, tombs, vases, small bronzes of the Homeric period, a stone table for a game (perhaps the pessos of Odyssey I.), and a group of small terra-cotta animals, I shall describe the way in which such work is conducted. We bought our tools in Herakleion-twenty pick-axes, twenty shovels, long knives for the more delicate work of removing vases and other objects from the earth in which they were imbedded, and fifty baskets for
carrying the earth. All these, as well as our camp-beds, our simple furnishings, and a few necessary stores, we took to Kavousi on mules. Our choice of a house was determined by its having a room with a wooden floor-there were only two in the village. Primitive indeed was our life, but not dull, because it touched many other lives. The peasants were glad to work for seven grossia a day (little more than a shilling). We had ten men at the start and forty-five at the finish, the usual number being twenty-six. In order to avoid " village politics" I kept in my own hands the power to hire and discharge the men and the task of paying them. Discipline was easy; at the end of the first week, following advice given me by Mr. Evans, I dismissed the least diligent workman as a warning to others, and this same man afterwards showed his magnanimity by giving us information concerning a good site. Paying the men was more difficult, for wages are reckoned in grossia, a coin that does not exist in Crete, and are paid in Turkish, French, and English money of many denominations. Change is so scarce that we were obliged to let a man's wages accumulate until they could be paid in pounds or napoleons.
The day's work began at five o'clock and continued, with a half hour's rest at eight for breakfast, until noon; then came lunch and the siesta, followed by work from two to five. The men labored faithfully and even zealously when we were having any luck. At other times, their sympathy was more depressing than failure itself. "Only buildings, Lady," they would say when we had spent a hard day in excavating unprofitable walls. Tombs give the most satisfactory results, but they are found more often by chance than by search. We discovered our best "bee-hive" tomb by persuading a peasant to open his house, destroy a corner of his wine vat, and lift a slab that lay beneath it which proved to be the cap-stone of the tomb. Another "bee-hive" was opened accidentally from the side by two of our least experienced boys who were digging a trench. Constant supervision is necessary to prevent the men from working havoc with the picks. Moreover the only way thoroughly to understand excavations is by watching them from hour to hour.
When our four weeks' work was finished all the finds were brought together in a vacant grocer's shop transformed into a museum, and there they were packed and sealed with the government stamp for transportation to Herakleion where they are deposited in the museum. As our sites were waste land, the sum paid to the peasants for damages amounted to only twelve dollars. The "campaign" brought a short era of prosperity to Kavousi, and to us great satisfaction from our first year's experience in the School of Excavations.
HARRIET A. BOYD '92.
If one were to think hard of the best place to sit and see all the ends of the world go by, he could hit on no better spot than a desk-chair by the door of a big magazine. At least most of the interestOutside the Editorial Door ing ends arrive there if he will have a little patience. Rich man, poor man, and all the others in the button doggerel, sooner or later come to, though not all go through, that Door. As one sits there, he first has a most disturbing vision
of a strange and simply uncountable army rushing pell-mell into print, and he seems to see an entire nation consumed by an unquenchable thirst for ink. This somewhat exaggerated impression is only natural when one sees for the first time, not only an infinite variety of writers in the flesh, but the great bundles of manuscript which come every day in the mails, and the big basketsful of newspapers from all over the world, and the serried ranks of piledup magazines and periodicals,—publications of which one never dreamed and at whose raison d'être one guesses in vain.
In Kentucky if a man makes a sudden motion in the direction of his hippocket, he is regarded with a certain degree of suspicion. But in the Editorial Rooms, the mere fact of a man's presence at the Door is indication of a manuscript in the pocket or at least up the sleeve, and he is a suspect from that moment until he is proved-guilty. It does not matter whether one recognizes him as distinguished along quite other than literary lines. He is probably guilty all the same. Nowadays any one whose head rises to a discernible altitude above the level craniums of his fellows, is subject to attacks from editors wishing articles about the thing he has done. There is a readiness, as Thackeray says in his advertisement of the Cornhill Magazine, to "listen to every guest who has an apt word to say." Consequently the threshold may be crossed not only by the author proper, but by men who have lived on the seas or in the slums, who have climbed steepies or climbed Alps, known kings and criminals, and hunted bric-à-brac or tigers. Their pockets may hold expert articles ranging from so small a thing as a mosquito to so big a thing as a trust.
Lions of all descriptions enter the editorial den and on the whole roar very satisfactorily. To have them at close range gives even an encyclopedia paragraph life. From the seat by the Door one can see how the men and women who fill the histories and encyclopedias walk and talk and say good morning and sign their names, and what their faces are like and their hands. From there one hears Mark Twain's wonderful drawl, that irritating, exasperating, fascinating drawl; or can catch the famous vice-presidential grin; or enjoy the capital stories which reach the outer room in Mr. Jefferson's clear-carrying voice. There is here, what is rapidly becoming an anomaly, a place of much business where there is also time for wit and good fellowship.
But the Lions do not supply all the entertainment. There is a vast body of Unknowns, some of them occasional contributors to the magazine; others, just contributors who “merely circulate their writings among editors." And the delightful, unexpected doings of the Unknowns are a never-ceasing joy. Many of the Unknowns are in a very ferment of literary activity and send in something every week. Sometimes they are vaguely threatening, and hint darkly that if this contribution, the twenty-fifth, is returned, the editors need never again look for similar favors; sometimes mildly pleading,-"Is not this better than much that you publish?" or heroically persistent," I shall keep on sending things until you are tired of sending them back." More often, however, the literary attack of an Unknown is brief. One writes that he is merely trying to earn a new piano. Music affects him greatly. He worked out the enclosed poem under the spell of music,-on the old piano, one is forced regretfully to conclude. Another is so emboldened by the
acceptance of a very ordinary sketch that he announces his intention of leaving the telegraph business to devote himself to literary labors. He is hurriedly advised not to. Some of the Unknowns begin very young. The proud parent forwards a few little verses with the superfluous information that
This is the very first poem my little son, aged ten, has ever written. Can you find room for it?" Of course many of the Unknowns write for bread and butter, and as many more for the satisfaction of seeing their names in print.
Most take their rejections good-humoredly or in silence. But among these can not be included a peppery Southern major who wrote with withering scorn to the effect that he was well aware of the hostile feeling still existing between North and South, but had hardly supposed that a Northern editor would carry it so far as to refuse all contributions which came from south of Mason and Dixon's line. Another sent back the usual, non-committal formula, which is enclosed in nearly all rejected manuscripts, with a circular of his own, regretting that he was unable to make use of the enclosed slip, as he was already over-stocked with somewhat similar material, and believed that the enclosure could be placed to better advantage elsewhere.
There are a number of popular illusions among contributors. One great one is that their manuscripts are never read. In spite of the funny papers and their hoary jests about waste-baskets and fireplaces, some member of the staff does read everything that is submitted, and this, often with dire results to himself. One reader sadly testifies that the power of placing quotations, on which he had once prided himself, had been entirely lost. He explains it by saying that so much of what is written is simply imitation that all, echoes and originals alike, have become an indistinguishable jumble.
Another illusion of contributors is that if a manuscript is accepted it can be published at once. If it happens to be what is known as a "stock" article, that is, one good at almost any date, it would have to take its chances with sixty or more of the same kind, some of which have been waiting as long as ten years. If, on the other hand, it is a "timely" article with an immediate point, it would stand a much better chance. Contributors often can not understand why an Easter poem sent in March is not in high season for the April number. Time is often taken to explain that the Easter number was planned at Christmas-time,-some of its features even long before; that the April number has been ready for the newsdealers for two weeks past; and that if the editors were to fit the poem into their present plans, it might just squeeze into July, and unfortunately it is lacking in Fourth of July flavor.
Still another illusion shared by many beside contributors is that editors do everything about the magazine. One woman came sternly to ask the editorin-chief why she had not received her magazine for that month. She was politely referred to another department. Her amazement that there should be another department increased enormously when it was explained to her that beside the editorial department, where the reading material for the magazine was gotten together, there was another big department for planning the art work, a separate one for advertisements in the magazine, another for advertising the magazine itself, a shipping department, a special