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of life. What wonder that it encountered every variety of human flotsam and jetsam, eternally floating, floating no whither; and that out of those contacts come contaminations and bedlam-like maunderings and sickness of the soul. To clean his cluttered mind of it he wrote it out in his letters, mostly to Theodosia. Perhaps it was this that saved him from the madhouse, upon whose steps on occasion he found himself. But of this I shall write no more.
Desperate as had been his life abroad, when Burr ventured to return the last stroke of Fate awaited him. The one tie which had everlastingly held him to the earth was broken forever when Theodosia, shipping from Georgetown to meet him in New York, never came home from sea. After that Burr existed as things exist that have no way to tear themselves out of life. For more than a score of years longer he floated about New York, making front as best he might-now up, now down; befriended, maligned; respected, feared; admired, besmirched—a man whose heart and soul were over the Horizon.
Measured by the positive, constructive things that came into being from Burr's hands, he does not attain to great stature. But measured by the load of obloquy, hate and venom which he bore without complaint he stands a colossus. His opportunities considered, perhaps there is none who had more to do with developing the political machinery of the country. Tested by modern canons of moralsadmitting the worst-he stands as clean as most men. And who is there to say in the end what the standards shall be? And who shall mark them right and wrong?
To men, Burr was prepossessing; to women irre
sistible. That came about through no fault or merit of his. The time will come when we shall admit that there are forces at work in both men and women quite beyond the control of finite wills. It is high time we threw open the shutters a bit. How dark our house is and how congested the galleries filled with faces that look like saints, which a little shifting of lights would prove to be devils; and what an array of devils, only men after all. So much depends on light and shadow!
Finally, what of Burr in his new frame? I trust indeed that the world, so long kept in ignorance of his real character, shall come to see him in a new light and appreciate him for what he was-nothing more, nothing less. He would have asked no higher favor than a fair appraisal, nor shall we who have striven to strip away the false and to affirm the truth touching his life and its place in history.
WALTER F. MCCALEB.