Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

6. The Department of the Navy.

of the President, who is, by the Constitution, Com7. The Department of the Interior.

mander-in-chief of the Army.*

The Secretary of the Treasury superintends the These departments are presided over by officers, national finances. He is the tax-gatherer and paystyled “Heads of Department,” and known re- master of the Government. From customs duties, inspectively as the Secretary of State, Secretary of ternal revenue, and other sources, millions flow anWar, Secretary of the Treasury, Attorney-general, nually into the public vaults, the key to which is kept Postmaster-general, Secretary of the Navy, and by the disbursing officer, or treasurer. The SecreSecretary of the Interior. Together, they forin tary must not let any of these funds slip away without the “Cabinet,” or body of “ confidential advisers ” of the President, whose instructions it is their duty to see carried out by the thousands of civil officers in the employ of the Government.

The duties of the various executive departments are, of course, almost infinite. The State Department was created on the 27th of July, 1789, by the name of “Department of Foreign Affairs ; " but this name was changed within two months afterward. The Secretary of State is first in rank of all the members of the Cabinet. He is the “ right-hand man”. of the President; attends to “the foreign interests of the country, through its ambassadors, ministers, and other agents abroad, or through the diplomatic representa- W. tives of foreign powers" accredited to the United States; conducts the correspondence between the President and the governors of the States; is custodian of the great seal, and of the treaties and laws of the United

TREASURY CLERKS LEAVING THE TREASURY BUILDING States, and in other ways is a very prominent

AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY'S WORK, officer.

The Secretary of War has charge of the military permission of law, and every cent received and exservice, and, in that department, executes the orders pended must be regularly accounted for. f

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

* Constitution, Art. II., Sec. II., Cl. 1.

+ See Constitution, Art. I., Sec IX., Cl. 7. The accounts of the government are stated by “fiscal" years, instead of by calendar years; that is, beginning on the ist of July instead of the ist of January. An idea may be formed of the magnitude of these financial operations from a few figures. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1884, the “net ordinary receipts" of the Government were $348,519,869.92, and its "gross receipts,” $555,397,755.92; and during the same period, its “net ordinary expenditures ” were $189,547,865.85, and its "gross expenditures," $504,646,934.83. And although up to the year 1861 neither the gross receipts nor the gross expenditures, in any one year, reached $100,000,000.00, but, on the contrary, averaged far below, the total gross receipts of the Government from its beginning in 1789 to June 30, 1884, amount to $21,078,087,835-31, and its gross expenditures to $20,650,486,065.71.

Vol. XII.--45.

The Attorney-general gives the President his tache with the other,- these are but a few speciopinion in regard to the meaning of congressional mens of those who follow in quick succession. legislation and other matters of doubt, when called The judicial power of the Government is vested upon for legal advice, and represents the Govern- in the Supreme Court and a number of inferior ment in all law-suits in which its interests are tribunals. * The Supreme Court consists now of involved.

the Chief-justice of the United States, with a salary The Postmaster-general looks after the trans- of $10,500 a year, and eight Associate Justices, mission of the mail, and, as his title implies, is receiving $10,000 each. They are appointed chief of all the postmasters, mail-carriers, and by the President, with the approval of the Senate. postal agents in the United States.

The existence of this, the highest court in the land, The Secretary of the Navy has charge of the can not be disturbed by legislative power, and the naval service, and therein executes the orders of justices can only be removed from office by prothe President as Commander-in-chief of the Navy. ceedings of impeachment.

The Secretary of the Interior looks after the Next to the Supreme Court come the nine Cir. Indians—the “wards of the nation,” the execu- cuit Courts and, then, the numerous District tion of the laws relating to patents, public lands, Courts of the United States, the judges of which and pensions, and he has charge of nearly every- are appointed in like fashion. The powers of these thing that does not come within the duties of the various courts are, in general, to decide all cases other departments.

which involve any Federal law; and, to assist them I have named the departments in the order of in their work and enforce their mandates and detheir establishment by Congress. The Department crees, there is a multitude of clerks, marshals, of the Interior was not established until 1849, and and other officers. the Attorney-general and Postmaster-general had Such, in brief, are the Executive and Judicial to wait some years before becoming cabinet officers. Departments of the Government.

Each of these seven cabinet officers now receives a salary of eight thousand dollars a year. They are

CHAPTER XIX. appointed by the President “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate."

ARMS AND INSIGNIA. To attempt to give you an idea of all the subordinate civil offices created by Congress would be THIS great system, you will remember, is not perplexing. The assistants to the Executive are the work of a day. The three powers of governlegion in number, and scattered far and wide. ment were furnished by the Constitution; yet to The head-quarters of the Executive Departments provide for the wielding of those powers has deare, of course, at the city of Washington, and the manded a century of legislation. But, however splendid structures assigned to their use have, otherwise complete or incomplete in the organizawith the White House and Capitol, given to that tion of its government and its ability to transact city the complimentary title of the “ City of Pal business as a nation, it would have been humiliataces." Any one who passes the great Treasury ing indeed if the Republic, in its early days, had been Building in the afternoon at about four o'clock, too poor to display a Great Seal to give “authenticwhen the army of clerks is leaving for the day, ity” to its official acts and records, or to flourish a flag readily understands why some folks have the notion as evidence of national sovereignty! The old Revothat every resident in the Federal city is a Govern- lutionary forefathers understood“ the proprieties," ment officer. The clerks pour out from all the as well as the eternal fitness of things; and it is a doors in one continuous stream, to which there curious fact, as indicating the importance attached seems to be no end. They are of all ages and con- to a seal, that this matter was considered by the ditions. An old colored man, who has picked cotton Continental Congress on the very day on which beneath the lash of slavery, comes merrily along, the Declaration of Independence was read, and the proud of the fact that he can now work for greenbacks separate existence of the States was proclaimed to and support his family in comfort. A pretty girl, the world. After the signing of the Declaration, on thinking perhaps of a new hat or humming a tune the 4th of July, 1776, and before the adjournment from an opera; a gray-haired veteran, familiar for the day, a committee was appointed — consistwith the secrets of many an administration of by- ing of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and gone years; a middle-aged woman, with a face Thomas Jefferson — " to prepare a device for a furrowed by the iron fingers of care, struggling to seal for the United States of America." Although maintain her orphaned children; a happy-go- the committee made a report within a few weeks, lucky, dandy-looking stripling, twirling his cane no decisive action was taken for six years. On the with one hand and gracefully twisting his mus- 20th of June, 1782, however, the Congress of the

Constitution, Art. III., Sec. I., Cl. 1.

Confederation adopted a device for the Great Seal led to the following enactment, which is yet in of the United States.

force, approved on the 4th of April, 1818. This device is shown by the accompanying illustrations. * It was used by the old General Con

An Act to establish the flag of the United States. gress; and by an Act of the First Congress under Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the the Constitution (September 15, 1789), it was

United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and

after the 4th day of July next, the flag of the United States be thiradopted as the Great Seal of the United States, to

teen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be be kept by the Secretary of State, and affixed by twenty stars, white in a blue field. him to proclamations and other executive instru

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That on the admission of

every new State into the Union, one star be added to the union of ments and acts.

the flag; and that such addition shall take effect on the 4th day of The subject of a fag or standard was also consid- July then next succeeding such admission.

[graphic][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ered in the Continental Congress; and, on the Whenever, therefore, an American sees this 14th of June, 1777, this resolution was passed: glorious ensign of his country, the stripes recall to

his mind the birth of the Republic, with the events Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen that surrounded it: the stars suggest its wonderful stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars,

development in size, in resources, and in power ; white, in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

and, in homage to the national grandeur and proThe admission into the Union, after the estab- tective authority which it represents, wherever he lishment of the present Government, of Vermont beholds it,- whether in mid-ocean floating at the and Kentucky as new States, caused the number head of a passing ship, or waved aloft in the streets of stars and stripes to be increased to fifteen each; of foreign lands,— he lifts his hat to it with a paand the subsequent addition of five other States triotic feeling of filial love and pride.

* The eagle and arrows are familiar to all schoolboys. The "reverse,” or unfinished pyramid is seldom if ever used. The motto E pluribus Unum" – "one composed of many"—is well known. The mottoes on the reverse, " Annuit Cæptis" and " Novus ordo Seclorum," mean respectively, “Heaven favors the undertaking” and “A new order of things." For interesting particulars concerning the origin of this device see ST. NICHOLAS for November, 1883, p. 66.

(To be continued.)

[graphic]

OUR FLAG IN 1776 AND IN 1885.

FROM BACH TO WAGNER.
(A Series of Brief Papers concerning the Great Musicians.)

BY AGATHA TUNIS.

IV.- MOZART.

Rome they heard Allegri's “Miserere," at the

Sistine chapel, a work so prized that people were “THERE can be but one Mozart." How often forbidden to copy it; but Wolfgang took a few have these words been repeated by all who are notes, and after reaching home, copied it all from familiar with the music of this immortal master, the memory. At Naples, the people thought his wonprince of melody! Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart derful improvisations were due to the magic propwas born at Salzburg, Austria, January 27, 1756. erties of a ring which he wore; but when he reHis musical career began in his infancy. His re- moved it, and still the enchanting sounds fell from markable genius, together with his serious face, his fingers, their admiration knew no bounds. caused the fear that he would not live to grow up. In 1773, the family returned to Salzburg, where His sister, Marianne, had considerable musical tal- young Mozart worked steadily until he was twentyent, and while her father was giving her lessons, one. He was now anxious to travel and establish Wolfgang would employ himself in picking out himself in his profession; and as his father was thirds. He soon received instruction with her on unable to leave his business, the mother accomthe clavier. He was a sweet, tractable child, ap- panied her boy to Paris; but to part with Wolfplying himself to whatever was set for him to gang was a severe trial to the father. learn; but soon everything was given up for music. From that time on, misfortune seemed to pursue At the age of six, he composed a concerto for the this gifted man. Thenceforth he was never free piano, so difficult that his father could not play it from trouble and sorrow. On arriving at Paris, and Wolfgang was obliged to show him how it he found that the public had forgotten the little should go. Wolfgang then began to study the boy who but a few years before had captured all violin, and one day, when some musicians were their hearts; his efforts to support himself were practicing together at his father's house, he begged unsuccessful, and it is pitiful to read of the slights that he might join them. His father requested he sometimes endured. In 1779 he returned to him to play very softly so as not to disturb the Salzburg unsuccessful and disheartened. He staid others; but he played so beautifully that the there until 1781, when he left for Vienna, which he second violin, whom he accompanied, soon ceased made his home for life. He now began a steady and left Wolfgang to finish alone. The child was battle against the poverty which was always threatof a sunny and loving disposition, and would often ening him. If he left the city, some creditor was say: “Next to God comes Papa." He wished he the last person to bid him farewell, and some could “put his papa under a glass case, so that he wretched debt was his first welcome on his return. could never escape from home," and once, when His wife, Constance Weber, to whom he was maraway from home, he “ sends his mamma a hun- ried in 1782, though devoted to him, was unfortudred million kisses, and kisses Marianne's nose and nately a poor manager; the young people conmouth."

stantly changed their lodgings, and the house was The father now determined to travel with his never in order. The Emperor, who could have little prodigies, and in 1762 they visited Vienna, relieved all Mozart's distresses by giving him a where they were enthusiastically received. The court position, was dissuaded from doing so by the emperor, when he first heard Wolfgang perform, jealous and inferior musicians who surrounded him. called him the “ little magician." The children It seemed as if nothing were too petty nor too cruel were petted by the whole court, and Wolfgang for some of these men to do, and no other musician hugged and kissed the Empress Maria Theresa and ever suffered such wrongs at the hands of his the little Princesses ; before leaving, the children brother artists as did Mozart. He worked inceswere painted in full court costume. They next santly at anything which would bring in money, played in London and Paris, completely fascinating even to giving lessons; yet he never had anythe public, and in Paris a painting was made in thing, and his appeals to his friends for help were which we see Wolfgang at the harpsichord, with pitiful. But through all his troubles Mozart kept his sister by his side, and behind them his father his sunny disposition; a friend who once found him playing on the violin. They next traveled in Italy, and his wife dancing about the room was astonished where they created a great sensation. While at when told they did it to keep warm, as there was no

wood in the house. In 1785, his father visited him, plate. No wonder that he felt saddened and deand was delighted to find his son's affairs in a better pressed. When Haydn, before his London visit, condition, and his position in the musical world very said farewell to Mozart, the latter replied: “This high. Haydn, who dined with them, said: “I rec- is our last farewell in this life.” Haydn, who ognize your son as the greatest composer I ever was sixty years of age, thought Mozart referred to heard of." The friendship between Haydn and him, but it was his own fate that Mozart propheMozart was strong and lasting; each loved and sied, and truly, for Mozart passed away while admired the other. In 1782 Mozart dedicated six Haydn was yet in London. After Mozart requartets to his “dear Papa Haydn.”

turned to Vienna, he began to write the “ReShortly after his opera of “Figaro" had been quiem." His melancholy increased, and, finally, successfully produced in May, 1786, Mozart gladly his health broke down; he felt that he was writing accepted an offer to play at Prague. On arriving, his own requiem, and told his wife so; but he was, he found the streets ringing with his music. nevertheless, much absorbed in his work, often Every one,” he wrote home, “dances here to greatly tasking his strength. During his last illthe music of 'Figaro'; nothing is sung but ness, he asked some friends who had called upon 'Figaro'; no opera so crowded as ‘Figaro'; him, to take the different parts of the “Requiem" forever 'Figaro.'” Perhaps nowhere in Mozart's and sing it with him; all went well till the “Lacricareer did he meet with higher appreciation than mosa" (a special section of the “Requiem" near during this visit.

the middle of the score), when he burst into tears, In October, 1787, after his return to Vienna, and was unable to proceed. His last words were Mozart produced his greatest opera, “Don Gio- an effort to tell where, in the “Requiem,” the ketvanni." As late as the night before the perform- tle-drums should play. He died on December 5, ance the overture had not been copied. Mozart 1791. His wife was too poor to buy a grave for wrote on until late into the night, and his wife could him, and, as in the case of Bach before him, no only keep him awake by telling him the old fairy stone was placed to mark his grave; a furious tales, such as he loved when a child ; at times he storm raged during the funeral, and but a handwould break from laughter to tears, until, growing ful of men out of all the great city of Vienna more and more weary, he fell asleep. At seven the followed him to the grave. next morning, he arose and finished the score, the This same great city of Vienna, in which his ink in some parts being scarcely dry when the laborious life was passed in so much poverty and copies were placed on the musicians' desks. The distress, has just devoted $50,000 dollars to raising musicians had to play the overture at sight, but its a monument to his memory. This is more money beauties aroused the greatest enthusiasm both in than Mozart received for all the work of his life, the players and the audience. Mozart superin- and as a recent writer says: “It is a striking tended all the rehearsals, and inspired the singers inconsistency of fortune that this tribute should be with his own ideas and feelings. He taught the paid the great composer by the children of those hero to dance a minuet, and when one of the sing. who allowed his life to be cut short by penury, ers failed to conquer his score, Mozart altered it on hardship and neglect.” the spot. At last the Emperor bestowed a court Few are they who could follow the career of this position on Mozart, but the salary was so meager — gifted man without the deepest pity and sympathy. it was less than $500—that it was of little help to Fortunate, indeed, it was for him, that he had an him, while his duty, to compose dance-music for ideal childhood, for his manhood was as great a the court, was humiliating. Well could he reply, contrast to it as is darkness to light. Nothing but when asked his income by the tax-gatherer, “ Too his genius enabled him to bear up under the povmuch for what I do; too little for what I could do.” erty and persecution which beset him at every

Handel's music had a profound influence over step. No one less gifted could have lived on, him, and on hearing a motet of Bach's, he was pouring out strain after strain of deathless music. amazed, and said, “Here is a man from whom we He could not help writing, and outward circumcan learn something," and he never ceased to study stances were nothing to him. He frequently Bach as long as he lived. At last poverty, per- worked out an idea in his head, and wrote it with secution, and misfortunes of all kinds began to tell the greatest ease, “as people write letters." He upon Mozart, and his light spirits deserted him; preferred to compose at night, and some of his he grew very gloomy, and felt that he had not loveliest creations were born with the morning long to live, nor did this feeling ever after forsake light. His music always told the story of his him. During 1789 Mozart was obliged to travel heart, and so every one loves it. As long as in order to eke out his income, and to procure music lives Mozart will live; his music is his the funds to start on his journey he pawned his monument.

« AnteriorContinuar »