1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of por.

The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) online

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the year when, still in skirts, Bobby
had stoutly protested that he was
quite big enough to pull her on his
sled. Yet now she answered, "No,
Robert. This last hour belongs to
your mother."

"Mother's busy."

"No, she'll be down in a few min-
utes, I'm sure. I must go home. I
didn't mean to stav so long."

"Well. I'll walk along with you."

"You'd better not. Think of what
this hour means to Aunt Helen."

"And does it mean nothing to you,
then?" Robert asked in a vexed tone.
He added before her embarassment
could let her reply, "I shall walk as far
as the Big Pine anyway."

They started off together; and as
Mrs. Gray saw them from Robert's
window, a shadow crossed her face-

"Those pesky girls!" said Aunt
Lizzie, looking up from her sewing.
"You'd think Louisa hadn't seen
Robert all summer, her coming up here
today of all days !"

"Oh well," said Mrs. Gray toler-
antly, "this is like their own home to



the girls. They've been welcome to
run in and out here since they were
babies, and it would seem strange if
they didn't come in every day.
Louisa's a very unselfish girl. Every-
body says so."

"Yes," admitted Aunt Lizzie with-
out enthusiasm.

"She's noted for making sacrifices.
She gave up college, so that her broth-
er could marry earlier."

"And a mighty poor match he made !
That Sallie Acton's a slacker, if ever
there was one. Did you see that hat
of hers, decked out like a vegetable
garden last Sunday ? I had a mind to
ask her what cabbages were bringing.
She didn't need a new hat any more
than I do."

"I've nothing to say as to Sallie
Acton's hats," said Mr.s. Gray. "I'm
more interested in Robert's at this
moment. So far as I can make out,
he's only taking the one on his head.
I'm sure he'll need his tweed cap."
And she rummaged about in the closet
until she found it on an upper shelf.
Having placed it in the trunk, she
stood regarding thoughtfully a pen-
ciled list in her hand, and then, with
a final pat to the now neat upper
tray, lowered the lid, and turned the
key.

"I can't for the life of me say,"
she then went on, turning to her sis-
ter-in-law, "why I can't seem to warm
up more to Louisa. She's exemplary.
There isn't a fault one can pick in
her."

"Hump!" said Aunt Lizzie. "I'm
shy of these perfect folks. Give me
somebody with half-a-dozen honest
faults."

"There are plenty of such folks to
be found," laughed Mrs. Gray.
"Here comes one now," as Alicia
Dale's running step was heard on
the stairs.

Robert and Louisa, meanwhile, had
paused on a cross-cut toward the
road, to stand for a moment by the
now deserted nest of the veery.






BY THE VEERY'S NEST



529



The nest was in the lowest crotch of
a vigorous white birch, that stretched
its gleaming white arms as if to cool
them in the dark enveloping green of
the pines. Here Lousia and Alicia
had played dolls as little girls, and
here Bobby used to halt his small
wooden cart to unload "groceries"
for the dolls' housekeeping. Later
the veery saw the advantages of the
retreat for her own housekeeping,
and the three children had kept un-
tiring guard of her nest.

Then as the hoy and his girl-
neighbors grew older, it was here
they met for secret consultations or
friendly talks.

"When you come home, you'll find
the veery here in her nest before you,"
said Louisa.

"I shall miss you girls like sin,"
said Robert. And then, looking at
Louisa, at her blue eyes and rose-
petal cheeks, he wished he had put it
differently. He would miss Alicia,
of course, — who wouldn't? But,
blame it, he hadn't known it would
feel like this to say good-bye to Louisa.
And now she had turned aside into
the road, and he must follow, though
he had rather they had stayed by the
veery' s nest.

"Go back now," said Louisa, when
they had walked some part of the
way in silence. "This time belongs
to your mother."

"Good-bye, then," said Robert-
There were things crowding to be
said ; but he could not say them.
They shook hands, somewhat formally,
and separated, Louisa walking brisk-
ly, and Robert slowly, turning more
than once to look back at the head
showing golden in the sunlight, and
fluttering lavender skirts. His mind
was full of Louisa, and regret at the
long separation ahead. But hers had
already left Robert, and had turned
to half -solved domestic problems. "I
shall be late about dinner," she
thought. "Uncle Dick will stop over
on his way to Kearsarge Village. "I'll



use the peaches for the dessert, that is
if Mother can eat them." Mrs. Acton
was convalescing from a recent illness.
Before Robert's slow pace brought
him to his own door he saw a tall,
dark-haired girl entering one of the
narrow wood paths that led to Tan-
glewild, and a bit of their accustomed
sunshine came back into his eyes.
"Alicia!" he called, quickening his
steps, but the girl was too far ahead,
and didn't hear

Chapter II

Alicia.

Alicia Dale hurried into the Gray
house, and finding none of the family
downstairs, ran up to Mrs. Gray in
Robert's room.

What was it about Alicia, his moth-
er asked herself. A hairpin had
slipped from the low coil of dark
brown hair, and a curly tendril es-
caped upon her neck which was deeply
tanned. Her white cotton waist was
snowy to be sure, but there was a
berry stain upon her dark blue skirt,
and one of her shoes had become
untied.

She threw a quick smile and nod to
Aunt Lizzie, whose face immediately
looked less grim, and then threw her
arms about her friend.

"Oh Mrs. Gray, I've no business
to come, at this last minute so ! But
I can't help it. I rriust see Bob to
say good-bye. Oh, but I hate to have
him go ! Why do people go and make
themselves so desirable? Now / do
better. I take care to be disagree-
able every now and then — say once
every two hours — and so — " c

"You foolish child ! Let me be !
There's Robert now."

"I'll go, I will really, Aunt Helen,
soon as I've seen him."

"No, stay now you're here. I'd
rather. It will make it easier when
he has left. What an old fool I am,
Alicia ! But he's my only boy. And
a year does seem an eternity."

"It does ! It's simply horrid."



530



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



"It's good to hear you say that.
Everybody has given me straight lies
about it for the last week. (You
needn't look so horrified, Lizzie)
Well, Robert, not much time left,"
as her son entered the room-

Now Alicia knew that she really
ought to go. But she didn't stir.

"We're all as impatient as can be!"
she said, with a saucy look. "No
more meekly asking if I may prac-
tice on your piano ! I shall thump
on it whenever I please."

"Is that so. Miss?' said Robert,
coming to stand in front of her." Not
if you have any mercy for my
mother !"

"Oh, poor Aunt Helen! Well,
then, I shall ride Hurricane till he
looks back on his life with you as an
idle dream."

"I've lent Hurry to Jack Merriman
till I get back. Ha! Ha!"

"Come downstairs with me,
Alicia," said Aunt Lizzie, rising and
folding her work.

"Must I?" asked Alicia's eyes
turned on Mrs. Gray.

"Rob and I haven't any last sec-
rets," said his mother. "It's almost
time, anyway, for his going. We
had our final say last night. Don't
forget, if you have a cold, there's
rhinitis in the little medicine case.
Do be careful not to stay out in wet
clothes. And write me the minute you
get there.

Robert promised everything. Aunt
Lizzie, with marked displeasure in the
look she threw Alicia in passing, had
gone to her own room. The girl
lowered her dark lashes, and would
not understand. But she turned to
the window and stood silent, when, at
the sound of carriage wheels, Robert
held his mother close. It was still si-
lently that Alicia turned as he came to
her, and gave him her firm brown
hand. Her eyes were sweet, and she
threw him one of her sudden
smiles, from which all the mischief
had fled.



"Be good to yourself, old Bob ! I'll
stay awhile with your mother," she
said.

"Good-bye, Alicia. May I give
her a kiss, Mother?" asked Robert,
smiling over his shoulder at Mrs.
Gray.

"No, Robert." she said sobferly-
"Alicia's a big girl now."

"Not so very," said Alicia, pouting,
"He's a whole head taller than I am."

But the kiss was not given, and
they all went downstairs, and out to
the carriage. Just as it was starting
off, Mrs. Gray remembered a letter
she wanted her son to post in the
city, and hurried indoors to get it.

Robert and Alicia stood waiting.
The driver, an ancient villager sup-
posed to be stone deaf, was deep
in a newspaper.

"Your mother said you mustn't,"
said Alicia in a low voice.

"Mustn't what?" asked Robert in-
nocently.

Alicia looked reproof. Then Rob-
ert remembered. He glanced at the
driver, whose head was nodding. He
bent, and there was something start-
ingly sweet in the touch of that
young brown cheek. ****He was off.
The carriage had hardly passed out
of the driveway, when a quavering
song came from the front seat.

' 'If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune,
With double sound and single,
Delight our lips would mingle,
With kisses glad as birds are
That get sweet rain at noon —
If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune.' " *

The face of the young man on the
back seat crimsoned, but there was
nobody to see, and the air ceased as
suddenly as it began.

Alicia, true to her word, stayed
for awhile with Mrs. Gray, talking
of what they would do to make the
year pass more quickly, and playing
a few sprightly airs on the piano.

* Swinburne.



BY THE VEERY'S NEST



531



But she broke off abruptly in the
middle of "All the blue bonnets are
over the border," and ran away to
the veery's nest. There in the crotch,
close by the nest, was the little brown
volume from which Robert had read
yesterday to Louisa and her. She
drew it out, and smoothed the crum-
bled leaves. The mark, a tiny silver
trill ium on narrow green ribbon, fell
into her lap, and she replaced it, re-
solving to leave the rest of the story
unread until Robert should return.

Alicia then thought she would go
on to the Acton's, and see Louisa for
awhile. But first she touched the
nest gently. Oh. that it were Spring,
and the veery had returned !

The book in her hand, she entered
the Acton's door. "Where are you,
Louisa," she called.

"Don't wake Mother up, Alicia!"
said Louisa, frowning slightly, as she
came down the front stairs. "Come
in here" And she led the way into
the back parlor, where she sat down
with some mending, and Alicia threw
herself on the sofa. "Did you see
Robert to say good-bye?"

"Yes, I stayed up to the last sec-
ond. Is't it hateful to have him go !"

"Oh, Alicia. I do think you ought
to have come away sooner." Alicia
colored, and didn't speak.

"You really ought not to have
stayed," went on Louisa. "His
mother must have counted on that last
hour or half-hour, with him, just
by themselves. I'm surprised you
stayed, Alicia."

Still Alicia had nothing to say.

"It's very hard for me to say this
to yon, Alicia, but it's for your own
good. I've noticed for quite a long
time that you're growing selfish."

After she had said this, Louisa
shut her lips firmly, till her lips made
a straight line. Her color was height-
ened, and she sewed faster.

Alicia sat up straight, the plump
pink sofa pillow slipping to the floor-



Louisa went over and picked it up.

"Oh, Louisa," said Alicia in a
troubled voice, "Am I selfish?"

"I'm afraid you are."

"Oh, dear!**** Do you think
Robert's noticed it?" she asked after a
pause.

"I don't see that it matters what
Robert notices. The thing is for you
to try to get over it."

"T know; but do you think so?"

"Alicia, you're too silly ! How do
/ know? I've noticed it, but you don't
suppose I've talked about it to any-
one."

"Oh, of course not. But oh, Lou-
isa, I wish I wasn't selfish ! I see
what you mean. Yes, I see. It zvas hor-
rible of me to stay so ! I do see
Aunt Helen must hate me," gloomily.

"I don't think Aunt Helen allows
herself to hate anyone. But you un-
doubtedly were in the way. I wanted
to stay, but I wouldn't let myself."

Alicia regarded her friend admir-
ingly. "Oh, Louisa, if I could only
be like you ! But I'm so afraid its
in me, and that I never can get
it out."

"You'd better try," said Louisa
"though I admit it would have been
better if you had tried when you
were younger. I'm sorry I can't stay
with you now, but I hear Mother
waking up."

She rose as she spoke, folding her
work neatlv.

"I'll go," said Alicia. "It was nice
of you to tell me. You must have
hated to."

"I did," said Louisa, leaving the
room- Alicia slowly left the house,
and with bent brown head passed
through the trim little garden and out
of the gate. She was unusually
quiet and thoughtful the rest of the
day, and her dog, Tim, looked won-
deringly at his young mistress as, for
the first time, she made no response
to his lively advances.

To be concluded.



A PROBLEM IN CONSTITUTIONAL
AMENDMENT



By L. D. White, University of Chicago.



The successive failures in 1920
and 1921 of the work of the Con-
stitutional Convention of New
Hampshire raise the question of the
wisdom of the present method of
amendment used in that State. In
this article it is proposed to review
the evidence which bears on the
matter, the general trend of which
seems to show that the New Hamp-
shire constitution is now almost,
if not quite impossible -to amend.

The present method of making
changes was introduced in the con-
stitution of 1784, and .somewhat re-
written in the constitution of 1792.
Every seven years the legislature
proposes the question, "Shall there
be a constitutonal convention?" If
a majority of the qualified electors
voting thereon approve, the legis-
lature proceeds to fix the date of
meeting. No amendment propos-
ed by the convention becomes part
of the constitution unless approved
by two-thirds of the qualified elec-
tors voting on the proposition. The
legislature has no power to propose
amendments and no express power
to call conventions at other than



the seven year period, although it
has exercised this prerogative ; and
there is no popular initiative in
New Hampshire.

Under this constitutional pro-
vision, constitutional conventions
have been held in 1851, 1876, 1889,
1903, 1912, and 1918-21. The ex-
perience of these .six conventions
seems to indicate that it is becom-
ing increasingly difficult to make
the existing machinery function.
For many years the great difficulty
lay in securing a favorable vote at
the polls for calling a convention ;
then followed a period in which the
legislature assumed the right to
postpone, or failed to call a con-
vention authorized by the electors ;
more recently the requirement of
a two-thirds popular vote has be-
come the hurdle which wrecks
prospective amendments. It is to
the latter situation that attention
is here directed.

The following table gives data
showing the result of the popular
vote in the last six cases in which
amendments have been submitted.

This table indicates tne steuclilv



TABLE I.

Result of popular vote on Amendments proposed by Convention.



Year


Accepted


%


Rej


ected


%


Tot. voted on


1877


11


84.6




2


15.4


13


1889


5


71.4




2


28.6


7


1903


4


40.




6


60.


10


1912


4


33.3




8


66.7


12


1920





0.




7


100.


7


1921





0.




4


100.


4



(The elections of 1851-52 are omitted from this and succeeding tables. No one
of the fifteen amendments submitted in 1851 received even a majority vote; of the
three amendments re-submitted, one was adopted.)



CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT



533



increasing difficulty of sscuring the same indication is given in Table
requisite two-thirds majority. The II.



1921—
1920—

1912—



1903-



1889—



1877—



TABLE II.



Surplus Votes over the Required Two-thirds Majority.



Proposition


VII




VIII


"


X


• *


XI


Proposition


I


ii


11


yj


IV


*•


VIII


Proposition


I


ii


II


ii


III


»'


IV


"


VII


Proposition


II


ii


III


ii


IV


'


V




VI


i"


VII


ii


VIII


ii


IX


it


X


ii


XI


ii


XIII


interesting to


obs



1913
506
675
1798
4064
2825
102
2138
5015
4479
3447
4236
1437
6659
3960
3389
5568
1136
5
5176
7152
5194
4589
7542



Average-



Average —



Average —



1,223



2,282



3,723



Lverage-



4.579



It is interesting to observe the
regularity of the declining ratio,
which fell decade by decade in the
ratio of 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. It can hardly
be deduced from these declining
surpluses that the pendulum will
never swing in the opposite direc-
tion ; but it may nevertheless be
held that in any differentiating po-



litical society there will be a pro-
gressive likelihood of finding a
minority of one-third against any
proposition for change.

The same phenomenon is seen
when one examines particular pro-
positions on which a popular vote
has been repeatedly taken.

Have the conventions held in



TABLE III
Per Cent of Vote in Favor of Amendments



Year


Size of
House


Sectarian
Amendment


Inc. Tax


Inheritance


Item


Pension


1877




62.1%










1889




58.0










1903


60.8%


51.3




66.9%






1912


66.0


53.4


64.6%


65.5


65.7


58.3%


1920


63.3


45.4


60.4


65.2


63.6


58.1


1921


56.5




38.9


44.1







New Hampshire been unrepresenta- seem to indicate? As a matter of
tive to such a degree as the propor- fact, the convention has reflected
tion of popular rejections might with unusual faithfulness the ma-



534



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



jority opinion of the state. The
following summary indicates how
nearly the conventions have under-



stood the desires of their constitu-
ents.



TABLE IV.



Year Amendments receiving majority of Amendments failing to receive majority
those voting on proposition of th< se voti g .. the . • i



1877
1889
1903
1912
1920
1921



13
6
9

12

7
2





1
1


1

2



49



It thus appears that since 1877 in
only five instances have a majority
of the voters voting on constitution-
al amendments failed to approve
the work of the convention. There
has been and is a persistent desire
to reduce the size of the House of
Representatives, to reform the
revenue system, to remove obsolete
sectarian references from the con-
stitution — desires which the con-
ventions have again and again rec-
ognized only to find their work de-
feated at the polls by a small
minority.

The total vote cast at four elec-
tions on the proposition to reduce
the size of the House was, in favor
120,567; against, 75,413; on the pro-



319; on an income tax, three elec-
tions, in favor, 91,118; against, 76,-
819; on an inheritance tax, four
elections, in favor, 108,118; against,
73,700.

Examination of the vote by coun-
ties throws some light on those
parts of the state where the propor-
tion of votes for and against amend-
ments is greater or less as the case
may be. The proportion of the af-
firmative to the negative vote has
been found for each county on each
proposition from 1889 to 1912 in-
clusive, as well as for the state a.s a
whole. Twenty-nine propositions
were before the electors during this
period. The following table shows
the relative standing: of the ten



position to strike out certain sec- counties as compared with the ratio
tarian references, voted on five for the state as a whole,
times, in favor 123,739, against 108,-

TABLE V.

Showing Ratios by Counties on Constitutional Amendments, 1889-1912 inclusive,
as greater or less than the ratio for the State.



County



Greater



I. •■'?.<



County



Greater



Less



Belknap

Carroll

Cheshire

Coos

Grafton



22


7


Hillsborough


10


19


Merrimack


24


5


Rockingham


17


12


Strafford


26


3


Sullivan



17


12


20


9


5


24


13


16


18


11



From this table it appears that
strong support for constitutional
amendment can be found in Graf-
ton, Cheshire, Belknap and Merri-
mack Counties while on the other



hand, Rockingham and Carroll
Counties will normally reduce the
majorities secured elsewhere.

The amendments which have
been successful in the last three con-



CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT



535



ventions have by no means been
the most important. There follows
a statement of these amendments,



with the surplus vote over the re-
quired two-thirds majority.



TABLE VI.



1921 —
1920 —
1912 —



Prop.



1903-



Prop.



VII

VIII

X

XI

I

II
III

VII



None approved
None approved
Disqualification for violation of

election laws 1,913

Plurality elections 506

Jurisdiction of police courts 675
Changing basis of representation

from ratable polls to population 1,798

Literacy test for voting 4,064

Exam, for military appointees 2,825

Inheritance Tax 102

Anti-Trust 2,138



Of these only propositions one,
three, and seven in 1903 raised any
fundamental question ; and the nar-
row margin of success in the case
of the inheritance tax should be ob-



served.

On the other hand, during this
same period the following proposi-
tions have been defeated.



TABLE VII.



Year



Proposition
Voted on



No. of votes
less than 2-3



1921-



1920 —



1912—



1903-



Prop.



Prop.



Prop.



Prop.



I

II

III

IV

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

I

II
III

IV

V

VI

IX

XII

III

V

VI

VII

IX



Income tax 15,353

Inheritance tax 11,864

Reduction of House Representatives 5,422

Eliminating word "male" 6,000

Income tax 4,766

Inheritance tax 1,010

Item Veto 2,252

Reduction of House Representatives 2,548

Re-conscientious Objectors 9,029

Anti-Sectarian 16,491-

Pensions 6,511

Reduction of House Representatives 168

Size of Senate 2,806

Tax on Intangibles 721

Inheritance Tax 989

Corporation Tax 367

Anti-Sectarian 4.025

Pensions 2,057

Item Veto 236
Appointment of Commissary General 738

Jurisdiction of Police Courts 947

Anti-Sectarian " 4,948

Woman Suffrage 10,162

Reduction in size of House 1,948



By no means all of these pro-
positions are of first class impor-
tance; but some of them relate to
almost indispensable changes in the
constitution. This is particularly
true of the proposals for an income



tax, for a modernized inheritance
tax, for the reduction in the size of
the House of Representatives, and
for a system of pensions. All of
these propositions have been ap-
proved two or more times by a ma-



536



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



jority of those voting on the amend-
ments.

The above analysis raises very
clearly the question whether the
first concern of those who have the
welfare of New Hampshire at heart
is not to agitate for an easier meth-
od of constitutional amendment.
A financial crisis has failed to move
the existing machinery ; and the in-
terests of the state are now suffer-
ing on account of the unchangeable
provisions of an eighteenth century
constitution.

Only one attempt to alter the
existing provisions for constitution-
al amendment has ever been made.
In 1851 a convention proposed to
permit the State legislature once
in six years, to propose amend-
ments to the electors, to be approv-
ed by them, however, only if two-
thirds of those voting on the pro-
position acquiesced. This was de-
feated by a vote of 13,223 ayes to
26,165 noes. The Convention of
1903 defeated plans for legislative
submission of amendments by a
vote of 41 to 276; the Convention
of 1912 killed a similar plan by a
vote of 65 to 189; the Convention
of 1918-21 paid little attention to
five different proposals along this
line, only one of which went so far



as to affect the two-thirds rule.

New Hampshire is the only State
in the Union in which the power to
propose amendments is not vested
expressly or by implication in the
legislature. The awkwardness of
calling a convention whenever any
issue pushes itself into the fore-
ground has often been pointed out.
The undesirable features of this
situation were apparent in the New
Hampshire Convention of 1918-21.
The Convention was called to deal
with one issue, taxation, to which
.was added the perennial problem
of New Hampshire politics, the size
of the lower House. The election
of delegates revealed the lack of
popular interest in the whole affair.
The four hundred odd delegates



Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 55 of 57)