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F. Wagner had completed college, finished his law course, and was admitted to the bar. At this juncture, he evinced further proof of his sturdiness of character. He might have found a berth in a firm of prosperous lawyers. He preferred to found a firm of his own. With Jeremiah Mahoney, aged twenty five years, he opened a law office. .
It was an election year. Contemporaneously with the opening of this office, Wagner called at the political headquarters in his district. “I am interested in politics,” he said, "and I would like to make a speech.”
The district leader gave the shabby youth a sweeping survey, and replied: “Want to make a speech, do you? Al right. Come around Thursday night and make one."
Robert F. Wagner departed, his heart beating high with hope and pride. Fortunately for both, he did not know that there was a dearth of volunteer speakers—that anyone who imagined he could was welcome to “make his speech.”
On that particular night, young Wagner made his speech-and made a friend. Dan Sheehan heard him and walked home with him. He counseled him with fatherly earnestness. He sent him law "cases."
A long period of unfailing friendship followed, and Dan Sheehan has been rewarded. He is an attendant in the Supreme Court and rises with the rest when the rustle of a heavy black-silk robe announces His Honor Judge Wagner's approach.
Slowly, steadily Robert Wagner built a substantial law practice. Rapidly his star rose, and luminously it shone in the political sky. He was elected to the State assembly, then to the senate. When but midway in his twenties, he was made majority leader of the senate; and was scarcely in his thirties when he was elected lieutenant-governor of the Empire State. His party offered him the nomination for governor. Because his heart was elsewhere, he declined.
Two years ago, the desire of his heart was fulfilled. Recognition of bis rank as a lawyer came when he was made Justice of the Supreme Court of New York.
For this he sacrificed the governorship of the chief State in the Union. For this he gave up a law practice that would have been worth $50,000 a year.
“Success should not be measured by money," he says. “The pendulum of enlightened public opinion is swinging slowly away from that standard. Success is making some contribution to the public for the benefit of posterity.”
One of his ideals is free speech. “Don't arrest a picket for an interview with a nonstriker,” he says in judicial language. "Let them talk about the principles involved. It is only by talking that they will reach an understanding. Nothing is ever gained by repression. That is what is the matter with Russia. It was repressed too long. It will right itself.”
When tenants were battling with the czarism of landlords, they hailed Judge Wagner as a deliverer. In a case involving those issues, he delivered an opinion that is regarded by the tenants as their Magna Charta.
AID one of Judge Wagner's closest
friends: “He has everything that a man should have.”
“What should a man have?" I asked.
The answer: "He has brains and integrity. He is a good fellow and he can be stern when it is necessary.”
A good summary of a man!
To this might be added that he remembers his friends. The school examiner, who secured him freedom from the school room, told him that the office of school examiner should be made permanent. And it was Robert Wagner made it so.
Judge Wagner has the fine habit of gathering his friends about him. Jeremiah Mahoney, his partner of more than twenty years, practices beneath the same roof which shelters Judge Wagner's chambers. I have told you that Dan Sheehan, who doled him advice and sent him his first law cases, is one of his court attendants. And so is the brother who did all he could to aid him in acquiring an education.
This is the success recipe of the janitor's son who became a Supreme Court Judge: “Determination. Industry. Desire to contribute something for the public good and the benefit of posterity.'
L IS political service has been a dis11 tinguished one. He is the author of the Workman's Compensation Law. He banished child labor from the canneries of his State. He wiped the blot of women's night-labor in the industries from the escutcheon of New York.
But his heart was in the law. His aim was a liberal and enlightened interpretation of it. President Wilson offered to make him postmaster of New York City. Mr. Wagner was grateful for the honor—but he had made up his mind to stick to law.
What it Means to Marry and Live Happily Ever After,
Even if You Are as Poor as Church Mice
Recorded by ELLIDA MURPHY
“AS poor as church mice,” applies with more than half a minute to consider what it
A especial nicety to ministers and their would mean to be the wife of a six-hundred- - families-- if we' are to believe story. dollar-a-year parson, for I was so absorbed in the books, the relief for indigent pastors committees, thought of what it would mean to be Paul's wife. and the ministers themselves, corroborated by “My father was a typical minister-selftheir wives and children.
sacrificing, improvident, and visionary. He was A woman who was born in a Methodist parson the most impractical man I ever knew and the age, who lived in an almost annual succession of most absent-minded. When he had a little ready them, and finally went as a bride into still an money it burned a hole in his pocket. He was other, claims—and with perfect right, I think continually being torn between charities, foreign to know all about church mice.
missions, and shoes for his children-literally “When I was twelve years old," she told me, speaking. “my father and mother and all of us eight “Imagine buying shoes for eight romping children moved for the tenth time. I was so youngsters, seven of them boys, on—" she accustomed to that nomadic existence that it hesitated and laughed—"will you believe me seemed the normal thing. I never lived in one when I say that father received the munificent house or one town long enough to make close sum of forty-two dollars a month until I was friends or to become attached to the place almost fifteen, and I was third from the youngest which was, perhaps, fortunate--and I grew to of his brood? think of home as a continual tearing up, an un- “Many ministers, right in our own State, were comfortable shifting, and then a struggle to getting much more than that, but they had city settle down in different quarters.”
churches with rich congregations. We always In spite of her gray hair, the speaker was still a lived in little towns, some of them hamlets of a young woman with a whimsical smile, twinkling few hundred people. And father eked out his brown eyes, and a marcel wave. As she paused salary by driving miles every Sunday afternoon, and smiled reminiscently, it was apparent that and sometimes during the week, to preach in cramped manses, petty privations and a super- rural churches where farmers and their families fluity of prayer meetings had not destroyed her came from miles around to hear the old-fashioned sense of humor.
gospel that he expounded. "Strange that I should choose another minister “Father was the distinctly hell-fire and brimfor a husband?” ber eyes sparkled. “Perhaps it stone preacher of a by-gone day. He could was—I dare say. And such a struggling young frighten the devout and superstitious half out of minister as he is, too.
their wits. At home, But I would have mar
he was the mildest and ried Paul if he had “T AM not much of a mathemati
sweetest of men; but, been a pirate, or a I cian,” said Carelessness, “but I
in the pulpit, he bepeddler, or a Confucan add to your troubles, I can
came a thunderous cianist. Almost any subtract from your earnings, I can
prophet. girl would marry 'the multiply your aches and pains, and
"I can see him now one man' regardless of I can divide your attention. I can
in his one good black his profession, and I take interest from your work and
coat--which mother was—and am--as ardiscount your chances for safety."
pressed and cherished dently in love as a girl
until it literally fell to could be. I don't think
-The Center Punch
pieces and had to be that I ever stopped for
replaced from her hard-accumulated savings-bis face crimson, his fear lest my new, black-kid shoes wouldn't show eyes flashing from beneath beetling brows, and to best advantage. his deep voice ringing through the church: 'Save “I was inclined to be vain of my feet," she yourselves! Save yourselves from eternal fire! whispered to me with a deprecating dimple Cast out the devil! Hark not to the voice of the twitching the corner of her mouth. tempter, but lift up your eyes!' For an hour and “I had a new blouse of white challie to wear a half at a time he would exhort his congrega- with the gray skirt, and a new blue silk dress for tions. And sometimes his impassioned utterances evenings, when there was to be a reception and a at the yearly revival meetings would bring a musical for the delegates. I was in ecstasy, for I flock of weeping, pallid, and frenzied folk to kneel had never owned two brand-new dresses and a as penitents and believers at his feet. He was blouse at once. I have often wondered since considered a Heaven-inspired orator in those what sacrifices they represented to my mother. days of tempestuous religion. My mother, in her “The day came with a downpour of rain, and I shabby cape and bonnet, would regard him with embarked clad in an old slicker, hat, and galoshes. warm, prideful eyes, while the boys stolidly It was the beginning of the Great Adventure. listened with the outward patience that comes to “When we reached F., 1 found that I was to be the growing offspring of ministers.
separated from Dr. Burdick and his wife, our two “We were moved about from town to town, other delegates, and I was carried off by a brisk never advancing, never more prosperous. That old lady to her big house where at least a dozen is the tragedy of the minister who is growing old other Sunday-school workers were her guests. It without having won signal success.” A look of was late afternoon, and I was led immediately sadness crossed her face. “He is sent on, ever into the parlor where the others were gathered more discouraged, ever more pitiful.
about a grate fire. Never had I felt so young, so "My father and mother, struggling to feed and confused, as when I faced that battery of eyes. clothe us, yearned to send my brothers to college. Someone helped me remove my streaming coat, But there was no money. Our only heritage was another took my bedraggled. hat, and my unplenty of pluck and an ambition to make some sightly galoshes disappeared. I sank into a chair thing of ourselves. And so, one by one, the boys and, when the conversation was resumed, tried to left home and worked their way through the regain my composure. State university. "I was seventeen, just out of high school, “]
M IDST the chattering, I suddenly noticed helping mother with the housework and the two IV a deeper, compelling voice. I looked younger lads, singing in the choir, working in up in voluntarily and met a pair of keen blue eyes the Sunday-school, the missionary society, the that held my gaze. Their owner was a tall young ladies' sewing circle, and eager to go to normal fellow with thick fair hair and a charming smile. school so that I could teach, when a real event Gradually the others fell silent to listen to him. occurred to change my whole life.
The charm of his personality seemed to hold the “I was elected one of three delegates from our little audience as much as what he was saying. church to a Sunday-school convention at F., He was Paul-brilliant, enthusiastic, and rather forty miles away.
threadbare. When I went upstairs, later, with “Excited! It was like a trip to New York the woman who was to share my room, I asked City for me! F. was a city compared to our little his name. She told me that he was the Reverend town. It had thirty thousand inhabitants, a Paul Winthrop, of W. street car, three department stores, numerous “I determined to wear my blue dress down to ice-cream parlors and a hotel five stories high. supper. I was guilty of wondering if he admired
“Romance and adventure no longer existed in dark eyes and hair. Half an hour later, I slipped Sunday-school conventions for my father and downstairs at the sound of the bell and tried to be mother, but they could understand my exquisite as inconspicuous as possible; but to my conthrill over those three days in F. Mother, like- sternation-and inner delight-young Mr. Winwise, could understand about clothes. We throp sat next to me and, presently, his boyish worked for days preparing for the trip. And we friendliness broke down my reserve and we sponged, pressed, sewed, and fussed, as women talked with growing interest. Afterward, at the will, over the wardrobe that was to go with me. church where the reception was held, Mr. Win
throp stayed at my side. I was in a haze of joy "M Y traveling dress was gray gaberdine all evening, very conscious of my handsome
IVI with rows of black braid and a black escort and awed by his evident attraction to me. satin girdle. It was so long that I was torn I felt very humble and, at the same time, exalted. between pride in my grown-up appearance and I had never known a man like him. The boys at
home who took me to church socials and sleighing and I strolled about the pretty little city and parties, had seemed to be just ordinary boys like talked to each other with the impetuosity of my brothers. This evening I was lifted up youth whenever we had a little time. Romance among the stars.
and budding May-a wonderful combination. “Mr. Winthrop told me of his new little The last evening was to close with a program, and church, of the poverty and ignorance that existed Mr. Winthrop was to be one of the speakersin that sandy hill country. And I told him of my the youngest of all those gray preachers, elders, ambition to go through normal school and of how and superintendents. I regarded this as the my brothers had worked their way through the perfect culmination of a perfect time. university. He asked
“And late that very if any of them, like
afternoon, Dr. Burdick father, had entered the
sent me word that he ministry. I said 'No,' The Fellow with Plenty of Time
and his wife must but that father and By CLARENCE ELMER
hurry home at once. mother hoped that
There was nothing for Donald, who was just
HERE'S a chap-if you've met him, me to do except swal& sophomore, would you'll never forget him,
low my bitter disapSo full of wild chatter is he. take up that work. I Constantly crowing, “My work keeps a
pointment and accomwas suddenly emboldgrowing!
pany them: I had been ened to ask Mr. Win
Shucks! Let it-that doesn't feeze me!" entrusted to their care. throp why he had
Then he'll yank out his “ticker," and, with a I did not even see the
snicker,chosen that profession. Unconsciously making a rhyme
young minister again, He explained that his Say, “Ten, to the second; 'twas later, I
but I left a little note parents had implanted reckoned.
for him with my hostthe idea in his mind Gosh! I've got plenty of time.”
ess. It was a stilted when he was very
effort to thank him for young; he thought He's always complaining, “Queer, I'm not
being kind to me and gaining that a life dedicated to Much on old Bill So and So;
to say good-by. I service was a fine thing. He's getting big money. Seems rather funny wanted to tell him that “I was silent. Un My pay keeps awfully low.
it nearly broke my accountably I hated to Bill's a swell dresser -a 'social progresser;'
heart to miss hearing They call me a 'shabby, old mime,' think of Mr. Winthrop Pooh! He's an old slaver, a get-it-done raver.
his address, but I wasting his life as my Fool! When there's plenty of time!"
couldn't express myfather seemed to have
self satisfactorily and wasted his. A queer And so he keeps ranting, blatantly chanting,
finally gave it up. attitude for a preachIdling the moments away.
“What a drab place er's daughter; but I Instead of real working, he's constantly
my world was after suffered no illusions reshirking,
that! .I began to hate Stealing-not earning-his pay. garding the ministry. So while Bill's mounting higher, our friend is the routine of house I knew that the averin mire
work and church age minister really Up to his neck in its slime.
duties. I was irritated couldn't afford children
Not caring or trying, disdainfully crying,
at my father's preoc--this from actual ex
cupation and my perience that even his
mother's unending pawife would have been
tience. I told myself a luxury if she were not needed as an assistant in that my lot was one of lifelong drudgery. many phases of bis work; that he must live in The days dragged on to the end of summer. I shabby old houses furnished by the parish, and tried to put out of mind the fancies that had that he could barely afford everyday comforts, crept upon me during those few days at F. But much less to study or travel. I remembered pry the newly awakened woman in me clamored ing, sanctimonious deacons and gossiping women. against fate. I was subject to queer moods, a With a prickle of shame I thought of the worn- deep reserve came over me. In my heart I felt out clothes bestowed upon us by smug parishion- oddly apart from my old self and desires. And ers. I wondered how long Mr. Winthrop's trim then there came a letter. frock-coat would stand the wear and tear, and if “Paul Winthrop boped that I had not forgotten he could afford a new one when it gave out him, for he remembered our friendship with the
“The three days of the convention passed in a deepest pleasure. He expected to be in our town whirl of excitement for me. My young minister Thursday and-might he call on me?”
"I wore the blue-silk dress again and was as self-conscious as a school-girl when he came. He, too, was constrained at first, but father and mother relieved us of conversational responsibility for a time. When they finally left us to ourselves, Paul and I strolled away to the gorgeous autumn woods. At dusk we returned hand in hand. It seems that, in his mind-as in mine there had never been any doubt concerning the fact that we two, in all the world, were destined for each other.
“We told mother and father that we were to be married, and they blessed us tearfully. We were very young and happy.
“During those next months, mother often looked at me long and lovingly. I felt sure that a warning lay close to her lips, but she never uttered it. How well she knew that I realized the hardships a struggling young minister must face. Perhaps, in considering Paul's ability and ambition, she saw for me a different life than she had led. With the optimism of youth and love, I was confident that Paul and I could rise triumphant over every obstacle. The thought of working by his side thrilled me more than the anticipation of wealth could have done.
should they pay ours? We would have to look out for ourselves. I didn't blame them-much. But it wrung my heart to see Paul, so thin and worn, going uncomplainingly about his tasks, asking aid of no one and glad that he was back on his feet to shoulder the new load of debt. In addition to his regular duties, he began to do secretarial work for a college professor who was writing a book on his researches. As the only thing I could do to help, I moved our bed into the crowded trunk-closet and rented the bedroom. This was not only inconvenient and cramping, but we were in continued suspense lest the elders disapprove of such an act.
“I was so tired out and dispirited that I began to neglect first my house and then my children and husband. Horrible as I knew it to be, I found myself contrasting our comparative ease before the babies came, with this struggle. Sometimes Paul, returning home, would find me in tears while Junior stormed excitedly about and Marjorie wailed in her crib.
“But such a miserable state of affairs could not last forever. Gradually I began to regain strength and, with it, courage. Paul and I again took up life with zest. And one day he rushed into the house like a madman, uttering loud, unministerial yells, and threw a check for one hundred and fifty dollars into my lap. An article that he had written, in secret, had been accepted for publication by a magazine.
“Encouragement was all that Paul needed. He began to write in earnest during his spåre hours, and I, by taking over as many of his duties as possible, helped him a little. When, at length, a prominent paper asked him for a series of articles, we felt that fortune was smiling on us.
“D AUL and I were married in the spring and
I went to live in a meagerly furnished cottage adjoining his little country church. We called the two acres—where we raised vegetables and chickens with intense enthusiasm and in. different success—our farm. The cottage was our playhouse. I never wearied of dusting and polishing it, of rearranging the tiny parlor, of attempting new culinary feats on my old smoking stove.
“When Paul, Junior, arrived, life seemed even brighter. He was the gayest, healthiest baby that ever toddled about a parsonage, and didn't mind in the least having to wear cotton rompers instead of expensive frocks.
“When Junior was three we moved to M., a much larger place, with a consequent increase in salary. But, to offset that, Marjorie arrived, and when she was barely two years old we all had scarlet fever. We were just struggling back to health when Paul had a relapse, and for weeks his life hung in the balance. The children were sent home to my mother during that dark time. At length, my husband began to convalesce, and far too soon he was out again and working harder than ever.
“But we were just about down and out Paul's church, which had been hiring a 'supply' pastor, did not feel that it could do much to help us. I suppose the people figured that no one paid their doctor's bills when they were sick—so why
“NTOT many days after the last article had
IV gone on its way, Paul handed his resignation to the church board. We had determined after nights of discussion, to make a drastic move: Paul was to leave the ministry and begin a career as a writer. He was determined to succeed.
“Some unexpected fund of nerve stood us in good stead during the lean months that followed. For another year we remained in M., while Paul devoted his time to studying the subject in which he was most interested and writing potboilers. We lived in a little three-room flat which always had a scrambled look because it was so crowded with the children continually underfoot, and a typewriter clattering busily. We considered the arrival of our third baby, Roger, as proof positive of our complete optimism-or foolhardiness-to any one inclined to sympathize with us.
(Continued on page 109)