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About The morning Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1899-1930 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 25, 1906)
THE MORNING ASTOIUAN. ASTORIA. OREGON.
A Candle to the
When Mr. Sulsky Played
By MARTHA S. BEN 5 LEY
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, ijofl.
N iiiiuhuiiI sound cimic from beyond 1 lio
JO Hump of MoNMotniiiK IHuch in Ontni
j l'ark iiml Vcttu stopped to IimU-m. Bho
wiih not mi imngiunlivo cliilil: the, two
Ihnimiiinl yciirM that Iht nniM'stors hud sociit in
Knrii'i'iiu li-t 1 iin did not quicken her cur to iintim
but even to her the hoiiiuI did not wi-iii like the note
of a bird. The hhiwouiiM iHMhleil ainl dipped ax tin
bfiilH'lieM were pushed iinidc mid the exiliiimt ion o
the naiHtt; u little boy holding a violin, croudci
The children ntood nnd slndied each other sol
cniiily, The 1mv miiw a plump little girl of the hlon
Jewish type, drewed in an ill fitting apron of tin
guiiily length, with a llamhoyuut purple how in her
tightly braided hair. She whh h thoroughly ph'beiitu
rhitd, stolid und luiconiprouiiHing, an enhroyo, Yil
dUlm-frau, true diwendimt of a long line of hotisi
Keeping niiei'Ktrewicx. The ragged bov liMiked lit her
out of WKity eye between curling black 1uk1hm. In
bis brown Hkin showed the nun of Italy, and bin hair
tw luted into ring and spirals ut the ends. The giri
mvmed pleaded with her inspection, and after a
inonierit'H hesitation, nhe turned resolutely toward a
bench at the edge of the path and seated herself with
the exaggerated hold nest of a shy child. The boy
followed and sat down nt the other end.
"I heard you play it," said the girl, pointing to
"Yen-oh, yeJ play-now I play if I wish,'
nod he hugged the violin ai though it were alive.
"What is your name?" she queried.
My name I urn Giovanni."
".My name in Yctta Sulsky," she volunteered.
"Mine father, Mr, Sulsky, he ha a place by Division
Strwt-ho makes clothes for the ladies oh, many
clothes-nmny, many ladii. Mv mutter she is dead
nine it was Yom Kippur and mine father he ain't
fot in., no new mutter again. My father, Mr. Sulsky,
he is a rich man now; we ain't no more living by
nOiu)gton Street. "
"Where do yon live?" inquired Giovanni.
e me uy Madison Avenue, since it was the
Purim-oh, by a lnrge swell house, and all the swell
",.),. eating by the table; but I ain't having a glad
t live by Madison Avenue -I ain't! There was a
Kit nf Jtli'il.l...... k. T I.,!-. C1. I
v ui'iua.i y jviviiiKiini nirm wnere we was
live; we ain't have no swrll house by Rivington
firm, but there was many children. Onlv was
home swell kids here-Mavis- theV ain't talk with me
-Oh. I ain't throw no glad no more!"
The girl's stolid face crinkled into n s..b and her
opaque blue eyes filled with tears, Giovanni had not
understood more than half of what she said, but his
lender little Italian heart was touched, and he edged
nearer along the bench.
"I, too," he said. "I too -I nm alone-See it is
," and he laid his hand on hers. "So I am in
Jtalia-Oh, the skyl-The Mower! The mountain!
All the day I am in the sun. All the day I make the
music of my country! Hut sec again! -Comes the
winter-there is no sun-there is not to eat-no
olive, no chestnut, no polenta! I die!" and the
curled lnshes closed over the vivid eyes, while the
curly head sank back in a pantomime of death.
"Comes the padrona. Says, 'See there is Amerika!
nil with the white bread, and the good oil. and the
onion. It is but to take and eat ! Come with me to
Amerika!' And I think I see the good white bread
of Amerika-I smell the good onion of Amerika I
come!-Do I hoc. the onion, the oil, the white bread?
Never-no! I make black the shoe of the man -the
hoe of the lady T give the money to the padrona.
And oli there is no blue of the sky. but always black
black no warm of the niiti no good oil and
onion-the padrona permits not that I make the
music Never! And always comes singing in my
heart the voice of my coimtry-my Italia ! Wait T
play it for you!" And from the violin under his
mm nc urew soiuy i no nir or Mima Lucia.
The girl listened in bewilderment. To her n
country was merely a location; not a personality
lhat. it should have n voice. She had no country of
her own; and in her race pat riot ism had become but
dream of a walled city; of kings nnnointed of God;
of n temple, and of treasures of gold and treasures
of silver. All 1 lie force which might have been love
of country, concentrated itself in love of family nnd
of race; and while Yetta did not grieve for her na
tive Oalicia, or the moro remote Jerusalem, or even
for Rivington Street as n place; she did long for the
Jewish children of the slums.
But to the little Italian tile music was a voice
of the living fatherland It spoko of the rocks nnd
hills that had been part of the Italian's soul even
since his remote ancestor crossed the Rubicon with
Ceasnr or shouted the name of Octavius on the field
of Phillippi ITis rnee hnd bred with every conquer
or; but though blood had mingled again nnd again,
all the diverse people had become children of the
same sky, loyal to the same mountains, voicing their
joy in the same laughing music, sons of the same
abundant mother and more loving of her than of
"Sm - see," Giovunni laughed, though the tears
were on his lashes, "It is my country -My Italia!"
Hut Yclta continued to watch him steadily as
the strain of Santa Lucia died away.
"Oh, Yelta - see -see - It is with me you shall
play - I have no one, too -See, I have left that pa
drona -I have run and run, till I have found here
my hlue sky and my Mower, and the little hill like
my great one in Italia." And the boy's eyes feasted
on the summer beauty of Central Hark. "And sec
- there is our tree; I lie beside it in the night and
the stars over me us in Italia und in the day
make the voice of my country," and he caressed the
violin. "Then the men and the ladies they give me
the money and I eat Sec-we I will show"
And he disappared in the bushes with his violin
In a moment he returned without the instrument
hut with a large, round cooky, a stick of striper
candy and four pennies m his hands. "See Yetta
see-sec. I have these all you shall eat also,
and sitting down Inside her on the bench, he thrust
the cooky into her hands, and bit off a piece of the
candy for himself. Yetta 'h white teeth met slowly in
a half-moon through the cake, arid she saw that the
candy was lieing held out to her, too; slowly she
laid the cooky on the seat between them and roaehe
for the candy, and as soon as her fingers had clown
on it, (liovanni snatched up the cake and bit out
another half-moon as nearly as possible like the oik
she had taken and was holding out to her again
She laid down the candy and took the cake, and the
boy instantly siczed and cracked off another pier
with his teeth. So turn and turn about, the children
ate, and then (liovanni caught the girl's hand and led
her onto the grass, where they played and chattered
happily until the spots of sun faded from the
meadow and warned Yetta that she must "go by
Madison Avenue to meet mine father, Mr. Slusky."
The next day and the next the children met in
the park and played under the trees. Yetta was
usually uncomprehending of Giovanni's poetic en
thusiasm, but line was fascinated' by her very mys
tifieation. There were plenty of children in the park
but these two were thrown upon each other for com
panionship, because not one of the trim nurse-maids
would allow her charges to play either with the rag
ged, barefoot Italian boy, or with the little Jewish
maiden, who proclaimed her motherless state as well
as her recent transplantation from the Ghetta by
every button of her ill-fitting shoes, in every ribbon
of her manbraided hair and in the heterogenous and
incoherent garments with which the affection of Mr.
Slusky adorned her small plump person.
One day Giovanni met her with an overflowing
burst of enthusiasm.
"Oh, Yetta it is that we. shall always be together
Yetta and Gio always See, see I know I And
I shall have always the sky of blue and make you
to hear the voice of my Italia" And the violin
ireathed forth Santa Lucia as he talked "Yes, it
is so! See, it was but. yesterday when I say Ah,
the dear Virgin. I have not given one candle for her
since I have come to Amerika I have forgot all
the time And now, see, if I give not a candle she
will make to go all the sun. and the Mower! Yetta
will come no more! And I must make black the
shoe of the man and the lady so I go quick and buv
me one little candle, and go with it to the top of
the hill where is one so large rock there is not the
Holy Mother to see, but I think her eyes shall look
all the way from my Italia So I make the candle
to burn and then I ask the blessed Maria that she
shall not divide me from my Yetta and will let me
make always the music of my country and not to
make black the shoes So, Yetta, it is that 1 have
give a candle to the Holy Virgin, and she shall make
it all well for us
Yetta looked at him blankly what was this talk
of candles and virgins that she should regard it
more than still air? Her little housewifely heart
did not hasten nor her full blue eyes lighten in res
The next day was Sunday, and Mr. Sulsky kept
it in the Christian fashion to the extent of refrain
ing from business, arraying himself in splendid
raiment, and walking with Yetta in the park. His
silk hat gleamed as brightly as his shoes, he puffed
a long, black cigar, and proudly he led by the hand
a little daughter resplendent in an amazingly incon
gruous collection of cheap finery. Suddenly the
Santa Lucia came faintly from the distance. Yetta
grasped her father's hand more tightly, and he,
having no preference in the matter of direction,
permitted her to lead him toward the sound. The
air grew louder and stopped in a chorus of handclap
ping as they rounded a turn in the path. Giovanni
stood before them, and into the little brown hand
that he held out in lieu of a cap, a crowd of pleas
ure seekers were dropping pennies, and nickles, and
even dimes. When the boy saw Yetta, he ran for
ward, and caught her hand, telling her impulsively
of a squirrel he had seen that morning and, then
turning quickly, he caught his violin again under
his chin and swung once more into Santa Lucia A
new set of people were passing by this time and they,
too, paused, and the harvest of pennies was again
bountiful . Mr. Sulsky watched with a rapidly cal
culating eye, He did not have the most rudimentary
knowledge of music, but. he had the delight of his
race in the performance of children; and the commer
cial instiet which had enabled him to exchange
Rivington Street for Madison Avenue on the strcnirth
of a clothing store in the Ghetto, was mentally trans
lating (iiovanni from the gravel path to the vaude
ville stage. Yetta had told him of the boy, but the
account had not interested him until now that the
object of it was actually before his eyes. He chewed
his cigar meditatively as the boy came back to Yetta
after his performance. He noticed how full the lit
tle brown hand was of money, and with sudden de
eision, asked Giovanni if he would like to come home
with them to dinner. On the boy's joyful assent, the
three left the park and made their way to the Madi
son Avenue boarding-house.
While the children amused each other Mr. Sulsky
walked up and down, perfecting the details of his
scheme ; and emitting clouds of smoke and incoherent
Yiddish exclamations. The boy stayed with them
that night arid slept for the first time in his vagrant
little life in a real bed with sheets, pillows and
coverlets. It could not be said that he exactly slent
in the bed but he lay upon it, in all of his few
clothes, and tried to sleep. It was so different a bed
room from the ground under the lilac bushes where
he was used to lie, that he was restless, and got up
again and again to examine different things in the
room which the traveling squares of moonlight from
the window brought into view. For him it was not
a night of rest, but a night of wonder at the com
mon things of life.
On Monday Mr. Slusky visited the studio of the
great Ilerr Klaf. The musician was discouraging
at first he had seen so many of these natural geni
uses who had nothing more than a Utile facility of
the fingers to recommend them and was not anxi
ous to listen to another. But at last Mr. Sulsky 's
jierseverance won, and Ilerr Klaf agreed to see
"All right," he said. "Bring him in on Wednes
day I'll see him after lunch. Bring his music along
and I'll see is he has anything in him don't forget
Mr. Sulsky went away in perplexity Could the
boy play from music ? Or could he not?
"Giovanni," said he after ninner, "make for us
some music by your viddle hein ?
The boy snatched up his violin and swung into
his beloved Santa Lucia; then swept on to other airs
winch had rung in his ears from the streets of Naples
till they beat in the very rhythm of his blood.
"Gut-gut," Mr. Sulsky said after each com
position; and when the boy stopped he went down
to the parlor of the boarding-house and, taking the
first piece of music from the top of the piano,
brought it up and requested Giovanni to play that.
The boy looked at it helplessly and shook his head.
"I can not hear it sing, Senor these marks in
the paper I can not get it in my ears that I should
make it sing again for you. I I I am sorry,
Mr. Sulsky was discontented. Should the beau
tiful scheme which he had been elaborating since
the day before fail for such a cause? Hut his com
mercial ingenuity brought him a saving idea.
"Tlay the music for me again, already," he
commanded, and at the end of the Santa Lucia he
stopped Giovanni and inquired the name of what
he had played and wrote it down in his note book.
After every piece he wrote its name till he had as
complete a list as the boy was capable of giving of
That night Mr. Sulsky brought home two bun
dlesOne contained the music of as many of Gio
vanni's pieces as he could find. The other contain
ed clothes .or the boy. In the purchase of these
clothes Mr. Sulsky 'tt florid fancy had been curbed
only by the limitations in color and cut of the ready
made clothing market. And it took all Giovanni's
sumptuous coloring to keep in the background the
blue trousers, pink shirt and crimson tie in which,
he appeared before Ilerr Klaff.
At that interview Mr. Sulsky exhibited a mas
terly generalship, and proved himself worthy the
proud place he was destined to occupy in the cloth
ing trade. The master arranged the music stand at
the proper height for the boy and stationed him
before it ; then Mr. Sulsky placed upon it the first
piece of music in his hand and said to the boy,
"Santa Lucia, Giovanni." The master had taken
up his own violin to accompany the boy, but as the
little fellow swung into the air and the beloved
voice of Italia spoke from under his bow the man's
instrument dropped and he merely beat time Mr.
Sulsky was watching Ilerr Klaff with the eyes of a
cat and they glittered when he saw the musician's
pleasure. Quick as Giovanni stopped he was ready
with another sheet of music, and placing it before
the child, announced its name, and the boy obed
iently played what the man told him without in
the least understanding why the paper with the
black spots was put before him. He played on and
on whatever the man who had befriended him asked
for, and the old bearded master kept time with his
bow, and with half-shut eyes drank in the purity of
the sound. When the voice of Italia had at last
died away the old musician turned his back on the
boy and looked out of the window over the roofs of
New York for a long moment. Then he pressed a
fervid German kiss upon the boy's cheek.
"Yes yes I will take him, Mr. Sulsky he shall
study he shall play It shall not only be the voice
of Italy that speaks through him, but the voice of
all the world Oh, yes I will take him Heir Gott
-Will I not?"
On the way back to the boarding-house "by
Madison Avenue," Mr. Sulsky watched his little
protege with a mixture of pleasurable sensations.
Foremost among them was the feeling of the spec
ulator who views what is likely to prove a profitable
investment; but there was also the Jewish love of
children, and the self-eongratulation of one who is
doing a praiseworthy action.
"Oh, Yetta Mia," laughed the boy to the girl
that day, "is it not as I said? It is that I shall
never make black the shoe of the man or of the lady
once more but always to be with you and play
play. It was all that little candle to the Virgin
Her eyes say it clear from Italia, Yetta Mia!"
"Having suffered for veers with a very
obstinate case of dandruff and falling hair,
I had almost despaired when a lady friend
induced me to try Newbro's Herpicide .
Now after a thorough trial I cannot say enough
in praise of it. From a dull lustreless head of
linir I have beautiful head of glossy hair which I can
only thank Herpicide for."
(Signed) MADAME THEKA.
New York, N. Y. Care New York Clipper.
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and popularity account for tlio increasing number of
imitations of it.
..Why Not get the original?
Substitutes are always disappointing.
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ing scalp and falling hair. Extraordinary results fol
low its use. Stops itching of scalp instantly. At
Drug Stores. Send ioc in-stamps to The Herpicide
Co., Dept. N., Detroit, Midi., for a sample.
T. F. LAURIN SL
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ll ' ' III