The Great American Myth

The Great American Myth

The Great American Myth

The Great American Myth

Excerpt

Always there have been men whom the world could not willingly let die. Such were Friedrich Barbarossa and Holger Danske. Such was the elusive Comte de Saint-Germain--that "odd man," who, said Horace Walpole, "professes that he does not go by his right name," and whom Andrew Lang styled "a will-o'-the-wisp." Such was Ahasuerus, whom the Bishop of Schleswig met at Hamburg in 1542 and who was encountered near Salt Lake City by the Mormon O'Grady as late as 1868. Such were the Duke of Monmouth, Goffe the Regicide, Alexander the First of Russia, Jack Sheppard, the "Lost Dauphin" of France.

In a corner of the Luxembourg Gardens, amid the early chill of a December morning of 1815, Marshal Ney was executed by a firing-squad. But years afterward, in the distant Carolinas, folk recognized the "Bravest of the Brave" in the person of a mysterious school-teacher. Far-flung but vain was official search for Johann Salvator, Archduke of Austria, who had vanished with the bark Santa Margarita. Yet rumors were to tell of him as a miner in Canada and a grocer in Texas; as factory worker in Ohio, soldier with the Boers, patient in a New York hospital.

Rudolf of Habsburg and Lord Kitchener alike reached certainly their mortal end, but, with Arnold's Scholar Gipsy, each

. . . long was seen to stray,
Seen by rare glimpses.

Saturnine Ambrose Bierce, enigmatic Lawrence of Arabia were both in common talk held back from Orcus and somewhere con-

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