Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
-- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.
T HE aphorism does really seem true: "Given the Circumstances, the Man will appear." But the man mustn't appear ahead of time, or it will spoil everything. In Robinson's case the Moment had been approaching for a quarter of a century--and meantime the future Conciliator was tranquilly laying bricks in Hobart. When all other means had failed, the Moment had arrived, and the Bricklayer put down his trowel and came forward. Earlier he would have been jeered back to his trowel again. It reminds me of a tale that was told me by a Kentuckian on the train when we were crossing Montana. He said the tale was current in Louisville years ago. He thought it had been in print, but could not remember. At any rate, in substance it was this, as nearly as I can call it back to mind.
A few years before the outbreak of the Civil War it began to appear that Memphis, Tennessee, was going to be a great tobacco entrepôt--the wise could see the signs of it. At that time Memphis had a wharfboat, of course. There was a paved sloping wharf, for the accommodation of freight, but the steamers landed on the outside of the wharfboat, and