THE FAIR WHITE CITY; OR, A STORY OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
 Many of you will remember the story I told you of Little
Blessed-Eyes and the wonderful power his fairy god-mother
gave him of seeing instantly the best that was in everybody.
To-day I want to tell you of some of the remarkable things
which happened after Blessed-Eyes had become chief
counsellor to the King, for, of course, the King was glad to
keep near him a man with such power as that.
Long years have passed since our last story said
Blessed-Eyes had been the King's Chief Counsellor for ten
years, or more, and the capital had become the most
renowned city on earth. One day Blessed-Eyes was walking
through its streets when he heard a deep sigh as of some one
in great trouble. He turned, and looking around saw a poor
laboring man with his head bent forward upon his hands, as
he sat on the doorstep of a house near by.
 "What is the matter?" said Blessed-Eyes gently, stopping in
front of the man.
"Ah," replied the poor man, "I can find nothing to do in
this great city. All the places in the shops and stores are
already taken and my children are starving for want of
"What large, strong arms you have!" said Blessed-Eyes.
"Yes," replied the man, "but of what use are they to me.
One can measure tape or weigh sugar with much smaller arms
"Why do you not seek the King?" continued Blessed-Eyes,
"and offer to go to yonder mountain range and quarry the
beautiful white marble which lies there. I have heard that
it is the most beautiful marble in the whole world. Those
great strong arms of yours could do a grand work in the
The man's face softened at once. "I will go," he
The King gladly accepted the strong man's offer and the next
day started him out with crow-bars and drills to the
mountain district, and soon there came a wagon load of
beautiful white marble, and then another and then
an-  other. The King was so pleased with the marble that he sent
ten men to help the strong man in his work, and then
twenty and then a hundred, until the mountain tops rang with
the sturdy blows of the quarrymen. And soon a vast pile of
the glistening, white marble had been collected in the
King's stoneyard, and
the poor and discouraged man with the strong arms had become
the most famous stonemason in the world.
Not long after this, Blessed-Eyes and the King walked one
fine evening to look at the shining white marble and to plan
how best it could be used to make beautiful the city. As
they reached the tall white pile, they noticed a man
standing beside it, evidently measuring it carefully with
"It is a fine sight," said Blessed-Eyes, "is it not?"
The man turned and looked sadly at him for a moment, then
taking a tablet from his pocket he wrote on it: "I cannot
hear a word that you say; I am totally deaf, and therefore I
am the loneliest man in all the King's realm."
Blessed-Eyes' heart was stirred with pity for the lonely
man. He took the pencil and wrote on the tablet: "You
evidently have a very correct eye for measurements."
 "Yes," replied the man, as soon as he had read these
words, "I can tell the difference of a hair's breath in the
height of any two lines, and I think I could estimate the
weight of any one of these great stones within half an
At this Blessed-Eyes seized the tablet and wrote rapidly on
it these words: "You have such good eyes for measurements
and weights you would surely be a good builder. This
is the King. Why do you not offer to make for him some
beautiful buildings out of this white marble?"
The lonely man's face brightened; he turned to the King. A
short consultation showed the King that he had found a
treasure, and the new architect was set to work at once
drawing plans for several buildings which were to surround
a charming lake that was in the King's park.
In a few months the quiet park became the scene of busy
activity. Scores of men were laying foundations; others were
hewing the white marble into shapely blocks; others were
polishing portions of it into tall and shining white
pillars, and others still, were carving beautiful capitals
for the same. All were working under the direction of the
new architect whose wonderful designs had so inspired
 the King that he decided to build the grandest and
handsomest group of buildings which the nations of the earth
had ever seen. When all was done and the buildings stood in
their full majestic beauty with their long colonnades
shining in the sunlight and their graceful towers rising
airily in the upper air and their beautiful gilded domes
crowning all, the scene resembled fairyland. The people
could hardly believe their eyes as they wandered through the
place. They came from the farthest ends of the earth to
enjoy its beauty, for the sad and lonely deaf man had now
become the most famous architect in the whole world, and was
surrounded by friends and admirers, who rejoiced in his
power to create such bewildering scenes of beauty. His face
lost its sad expression and each time that he met Blessed-Eyes
there came a joyful smile upon it.
Handsome and attractive as were the outsides of these
buildings, within they were cold and bare, and Blessed-Eyes
and the King often consulted as to how the inner walls might
be made as beautiful as were the outer ones. It chanced one
day that as Blessed-Eyes was walking alone through the "Court
of Honor," (this was the name now given to that part
of the lake which was surrounded by
 the white marble buildings), he observed a group of boys and
young men, evidently having great sport with some object
in their midst. When he came near he saw it was an
embarrassed and harassed looking stranger whom they were
With a feeling of indignation he pressed forward into their
"What is your difficulty, sir?" he said quietly and
The stranger blushed and faltered, then he stammeringly
"I-I-I ca-ca-canno-no-not sp-speak your language
At this the men roared with laughter. Again Blessed-Eyes
turned an angry look upon them, and quietly slipping his arm
through the stranger's he said: "Will you walk with me?
I have something to say to you." And the two walked off
together, leaving the crowd rather abashed and ashamed of
its rudeness. When they had gone some distance in silence,
Blessed-Eyes said: "As soon as I saw you I noticed you had
strong, shapely and artistic hands. Surely you must be
able to draw and paint." The stranger's face
lighted up with a radiant smile.
 "How very odd," he stammered, "th-th-that you should see
I was an artist, I had hoped to get work here."
Blessed-Eyes took him at once to the King, and soon the
three were deep in plans for decorating and making beautiful
the inner walls of the wonderful white buildings which
surrounded the "Court of Honor." It was not long before the
stammering stranger had proved that he was not only an
artist but a master artist. Lesser artists and new pupils
flocked to him from all parts of the land and soon the
interior of the handsome buildings presented scenes as busy
as the outside had before shown. In less than a year
the walls of all the buildings had been decorated in soft,
beautiful colors, and on many of them were wonderful
pictures of far-away landscapes; of beautiful sunset clouds;
of fair, floating angel forms, and, best of all, true and
lifelike portraits of the noblest men and women of the
nation. Long before this was accomplished the stammering
stranger had become recognized as the greatest artist of the
The next question which arose in the mind of the King and
his ever faithful counsellor, Blessed-Eyes, was as to the
best way to use
 the now truly magnificent buildings, so that all the people
might enjoy them. While still full of these thoughts,
Blessed-Eyes one day noticed a man wearily pacing up and
down the court with bowed head, and hands clasped behind his
body. On coming nearer Blessed-Eyes saw that he was blind.
At the sound of his
approaching footsteps the man stopped and said:—
"Ah! that is the step of Blessed-Eyes! Much as he has
been able to help his fellow men, there is nothing that he
can do for me!"
"Indeed," said Blessed-Eyes, cheerily, "I am not so sure
of that. If you can tell a man by his step you must
certainly have very good hearing."
"Ah!" said the man, "I can hear a leaf fall to the
ground a block away."
"Indeed!" exclaimed Blessed-Eyes gladly, "You are just the
man for whom I have been looking. Surely a man whose hearing
is so acute must be a good musician."
"Yes, yes!" said the man impatiently, "I am the finest
conductor of an orchestra in the whole world, but that
avails me but little in these days. Nobody cares for good
music now!" With these words he shrugged his shoulders and
was about to pass on.
 "Come with me to the King," cried Blessed-Eyes,
"I think he has need of you."
After a long talk with the
King, and some experiments by which they tested the man's
fine sense of hearing, the King felt quite sure that he was
exactly the man needed as leader for the great orchestra
which he generously supported that the people might learn to
love good music, so he was at once put in charge of the
same. The new musician proved to be such a wonderful
leader that no man in the whole orchestra dared play a false
note, and soon their music under this remarkable director,
was famed throughout the land, until thousands upon
thousands came to hear the afternoon concerts which were
given each day in the largest of the beautiful, white marble
One bright, spring morning Blessed-Eyes started out to enjoy
the sunshine and the perfume of the flowers and the glad
song of the birds. "Ah," thought he, as he walked along,
drinking in great draughts of the fine, fresh air, "no human
being can possibly be sad on such a morning as this." But
while he was yet speaking, his eyes fell upon the
tear-stained face of a woman. As it was impossible for
Blessed-Eyes to pass any one who was
 in trouble, he stopped and said gently, "Dear Madam, is
there anything I can do for you?"
"Alas, alas!" said the poor
woman, "What can you, or anyone else, do for a broken-hearted
mother whose four little children have been taken by death
from her arms. Unless I have children to love, life has no
brightness for me."
"Surely," said Blessed-Eyes softly and compassionately,
"there are yet many children who need your love. Will you
not come with me to the palace of the King?"
The woman looked puzzled and perplexed, but so sweet and
gentle had been the tone of his voice that she instinctively
followed him. I do not know just what happened in the
consultation with the King, but this I do know, that only a
few days elapsed before the "Court of Honor" rang each day
with the voices of happy children as they followed the no
longer sad-faced woman around to the concert hall to hear
the sweet music, or off to the buildings whose walls were
covered with beautiful pictures, or back again to their own
handsome building, set apart for their particular use by the
Here she told them stories and taught them songs and led
them in charming games and
 plays, and trained their little hands into skillful work
until throughout the kingdom there was no happier band of
children than those who had once been the waifs of the
city, wandering through its streets. So full of motherly
love was the woman's work with her new children that other
beautiful and noble women came, in time, and joined her in
it, until at last there was no child in the whole city who
had not learned how to use his hands skillfully, how to love
sweet music, how to enjoy beautiful pictures and how to be
kind and thoughtful towards others.
In time many of these children grew into manhood and
womanhood and became musicians, artists, authors,
physicians, clergymen, and wonderfully skilled workmen of
all sorts. Many of the women married and became loving and
wise mothers because of the training they had received from
the pale-faced, childless woman in the King's "Court of
At last the good King died, and the question arose, "Who
shall be our next King?"
The counsellors of the nation met
together to decide the matter. They sent to the
stonemasons far away in the back country and the great
master-mason cried, "Let Blessed-Eyes be our King! Did
he not teach me how to
 use my strong arms? Has he not furnished bread for us and
our families?" And the hundreds of stone-cutters and miners
and diggers round about shouted aloud, "Long live King
Then they sent to the various villages and towns of the
Kingdom and the architects said,
"Let Blessed-Eyes be King!
Has he not created the great Court of Honor from which we
have all learned to make beautiful whatever we build!"
And the carpenters and joiners and plasterers and painters
all cried out, "Long live King Blessed-Eyes!"
Then they sent to the mills and the factories of the great
cities and the masterworkmen and designers answered and
said, "Why not make Blessed-Eyes our King? It was he who
first introduced Art into our land and showed us how to
make as beautiful as pictures our carpets and curtains and
walls. Have not these things made our merchandise sought
for all over the world." Then the spinners and
weavers and dyers all shouted aloud, "Long live King
Then they sent to all the colleges and schools in the land
and the grave presidents and superintendents said, "We
know of no better man than Blessed-Eyes. He first
taught us that a
 love of the beautiful should be part of each child's
education." Then the youths and the maidens, the boys and
the girls, and even the little children shouted until they
were hoarse, "Long live King Blessed-Eyes!"
Then the whole nation seemed to cry out, "Blessed-Eyes,
Blessed-Eyes, Long live King Blessed-Eyes!" There is none
among us whom he has not helped. When the news was brought
to Blessed-Eyes that all the people desired him to rule over
them, he smiled gently and said, "I had hoped to rest now,
but if I can serve my country I must do it." So he was made
King and the nation became wise and great and powerful under
his reign. For the little children grew up learning to love
the beautiful and to see it everywhere until at last there
was a whole nation of blessed-eyes, and every city in the
land became as beautiful as was the White City by the