Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword or section
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Adventures and Letters

Adventures and Letters

Ratings: (0)|Views: 41 |Likes:
Published by jweathers

More info:

Published by: jweathers on Aug 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

01/27/2013

pdf

text

original

 
A&L 1
ADVENTURES AND LETTERS
OF
RICHARD HARDING DAVIS
EDITED BYCHARLES BELMONT DAVIS
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I.THE EARLY DAYSII.COLLEGE DAYSIII.FIRST NEWSPAPER EXPERIENCES
 
IV. NEW YORK 
 
V.FIRST TRAVEL ARTICLESVI.THE MEDITERRANEAN AND PARISVII.FIRST PLAYSVIII.CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICAIX.MOSCOW, BUDAPEST, LONDON
 
X.CAMPAIGNING IN CUBA, AND GREECEXI.THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 
 
XII.THE BOER WAR 
 
XIII.THE SPANISH AND ENGLISH CORONATIONSXIV.THE JAPANESE-RUSSIAN WAR 
 
XV.MOUNT KISCO
 
XVI.THE CONGO
 
XVII.A LONDON WINTER 
 
XVIII.MILITARY MANOEUVRES
 
XIX.VERA CRUZ AND THE GREAT WAR 
 
XX.THE LAST DAYS
 
A&L 2
CHAPTER ITHE EARLY DAYS
Richard Harding Davis was born in Philadelphia on April 18, 1864, but, so far as memoryserves me, his life and mine began together several years later in the three-story brick house onSouth Twenty-first Street, to which we had just moved. For more than forty years this was our home in all that the word implies, and I do not believe that there was ever a moment when it wasnot the predominating influence in Richard's life and in his work. As I learned in later years, thehouse had come into the possession of my father and mother after a period on their part of hardendeavor and unusual sacrifice. It was their ambition to add to this home not only the comforts andthe beautiful inanimate things of life, but to create an atmosphere which would prove a constanthelp to those who lived under its roof²an inspiration to their children that should endure so long asthey lived. At the time of my brother's death the fact was frequently commented upon that, unlikemost literary folk, he had never known what it was to be poor and to suffer the pangs of hunger andfailure. That he never suffered from the lack of a home was certainly as true as that in his work heknew but little of failure, for the first stories he wrote for the magazines brought him into a prominence and popularity that lasted until the end. But if Richard gained his success early in lifeand was blessed with a very lovely home to which he could always return, he was not brought up ina manner which in any way could be called lavish. Lavish he may have been in later years, but if hewas it was with the money for which those who knew him best knew how very hard he had worked.In a general way, I cannot remember that our life as boys differed in any essential from that of other boys. My brother went to the Episcopal Academy and his weekly report never failed to fill thewhole house with an impenetrable gloom and ever-increasing fears as to the possibilities of hisfuture. At school and at college Richard was, to say the least, an indifferent student. And whatmade this undeniable fact so annoying, particularly to his teachers, was that morally he stood sovery high. To "crib," to lie, or in any way to cheat or to do any unworthy act was, I believe, quite beyond his understanding. Therefore, while his constant lack of interest in his studies goaded histeachers to despair, when it came to a question of stamping out wrongdoing on the part of thestudent body he was invariably found aligned on the side of the faculty. Not that Richard in anyway resembled a prig or was even, so far as I know, ever so considered by the most reprehensibleof his fellow students. He was altogether too red-blooded for that, and I believe the students whomhe antagonized rather admired his chivalric point of honor even if they failed to imitate it. As aschoolboy he was aggressive, radical, outspoken, fearless, usually of the opposition and, indeed,often the sole member of his own party. Among the students at the several schools he attended hehad but few intimate friends; but of the various little groups of which he happened to be a member his aggressiveness and his imagination usually made him the leader. As far back as I can remember,Richard was always starting something²usually a new club or a violent reform movement. And inschool or college, as in all the other walks of life, the reformer must, of necessity, lead a somewhattempestuous, if happy, existence. The following letter, written to his father when Richard was a
 
A&L 3
student at Swarthmore, and about fifteen, will give an idea of his conception of the ethics in thecase:SWARTHMORE²1880.DEAR PAPA:I am quite on the Potomac. I with all the boys at our table were called up, there is seven of us, before Prex. for stealing sugar-bowls and things off the table. All the youths said, "O President, Ididn't do it." When it came my turn I merely smiled gravely, and he passed on to the last. Then hesaid, "The only boy that doesn't deny it is Davis. Davis, you are excused. I wish to talk to the rest of them." That all goes to show he can be a gentleman if he would only try. I am a natural born philosopher so I thought this idea is too idiotic for me to converse about so I recommend silenceand I also argued that to deny you must necessarily be accused and to be accused of stealing wouldof course cause me to bid Prex. good-by, so the only way was, taking these two considerations witheach other, to deny nothing but let the good-natured old duffer see how silly it was by retaining a placid silence and so crushing his base but thoughtless behavior and machinations.DICK.In the early days at home²that is, when the sun shone²we played cricket and baseball andfootball in our very spacious back yard, and the programme of our sports was always subject toRichard's change without notice. When it rained we adjourned to the third-story front, where we played melodrama of simple plot but many thrills, and it was always Richard who wrote the plays, produced them, and played the principal part. As I recall these dramas of my early youth, the actionwas almost endless and, although the company comprised two charming misses (at least I knowthat they eventually grew into two very lovely women), there was no time wasted over anything sosentimental or futile as love-scenes. But whatever else the play contained in the way of greatscenes, there was always a mountain pass²the mountains being composed of a chair and twotables²and Richard was forever leading his little band over the pass while the band, whollyindifferent as to whether the road led to honor, glory, or total annihilation, meekly followed itsleader. For some reason, probably on account of my early admiration for Richard and being onlytoo willing to obey his command, I was invariably cast for the villain in these early dramas, and theend of the play always ended in a hand-to-hand conflict between the hero and myself. As Richard,naturally, was the hero and incidentally the stronger of the two, it can readily be imagined that thefight always ended in my complete undoing. Strangulation was the method usually employed tofinish me, and, whatever else Richard was at that tender age, I can testify to his extraordinaryability as a choker.But these early days in the city were not at all the happiest days of that period in Richard's life.He took but little interest even in the social or the athletic side of his school life, and his failures in

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->