March 14, 1902

To J. A. B. Wilmington, Del., the lines to which you call my attention occur in Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur. I have never seen them elsewhere. Gen. Wallace makes the beautiful daughter of Balthasar sing them in Greek, as she rows down the lake in her gondola; while Ben Hur listens enraptured and entranced in a cluster of palms nearby. The full song follows:

“l sigh as I sing for the story land,
Across the Syrian sea.
The odorous winds from the musky sand.
Were breaths of life to me;
They play with the plumes of the whispering palm
For me, alas! no more;
No more does the Nile in the moonlit calm
Moan past the Memphian shore.

“O. Nilus! thou God of my fainting soul
in dreams thou comest to me;
And dreaming I play with the lotus bowl,
And sing old songs to thee;
And hear from afar the Menuonia strain
And calls from dear Simbel[1],
And wake to a passion of grief and pain
That e’er I said farewell.”

Your second question would doubtless receive a better answer from a theologian, or a metaphysician, than I can give. We all have our mental as well as our physical sufferings. l, myself, have been through the fire; and perhaps will never fully recover from its awful scathing. But we must remember that every road has its turning; that every storm is followed by a clearing sky; and though sadness and sorrow may fill the heart and becloud the facilities for a season, yet the bright light of the morning sun always dispels the mist of the evening. For the latter we must hope.

“Comparisons are oderiforous [sic].” This remark was made to me publicly. We agree with the gentleman who called our attention, and say there are many attractions from Borneo, that we cannot digest here. Will our attachés please note that this correspondent is not from Bridgeville nor Laurel, and every word that the Milton correspondent writes to the Milford Chronicle is true. Col. Townsend[2] depends on his Milton correspondent. He knows him, and that is enough. In this we may say, that “coming events cast their shadows before us.” We have overheard and collided with Webster’s Unabridged, date 1900, also with Worcester’s, and we cannot contrast the phraseology and the diapason given by our interlocutors. However, it is all right. We commenced this communication with the intention of saying something about “Fast girls,” but we have been led by our thought into paths that are wide and prospects that are vain. The “Fast girls” of Milton like, possibly, the fast girls of another town, or any other town, are many, and it is part of our duty as a newspaper correspondent to note these. We may have some ourself [sic] in the caravanserai[3]–we think not, however. The question is, “To your tents, O lsrael!” “I have nourished and brought up children. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider.[4]” It is advisable and right for people to have a care over their daughters.

It has been erroneously supposed by many that Joseph M. Lank, the recently appointed Notary Public, is appointed merely to do the work of the bank of the Sussex Safe Trust and Deposit Company. Mr. Lank is appointed as a Notary for Broadkiln Hundred, with full power to transact any business in that line.

Mr. .John Ponder, the florist, is doing an extensive business at his nurseries near town. He deals in all of the late varieties known to horticulture, and pomolegy[5] [sic].

On account of illness, Prof. C. B. Morris, principal of the South Milton Public School, has been unable to attend to his duties during the week passed.

Milton is the best station for both passengers and freight that the Queen Anne railroad has on its schedule between Lewes and Queenstown; yet, notwithstanding this, the officials of the road take every advantage that comes in their way to cut Milton. The managers of the road appear to have but one idea, and that is to run excursions. They are some on excursions.

The song of the robin is again heard in the land. We noticed the first in town on Monday.

Work on the engine house was resumed the present week.

Ploughing is commenced by some of our early gardeners.

The meeting of the Milton Board of Trade that was held last week, resulted in the election of the following officers: President: Prof. W. G. Fearing; vice-president, Oscar S. Betts; Secretary, W. W. Conwell; treasurer, J. Carey Palmer. .Mr. Conwell, the secretary, made an elaborate address, stating the business done by the Board during the past year, and the advantages that had accrued to the town therefrom. Many additional members were admitted.

The following has been handed us by Prof. W. G. Fearing, president of the Milton Board of Trade. Prof. Fearing rightly thinks that the respect shown by the young to the older should be appreciated and noticed: “I am glad to compliment a young man of Milton for his politeness. On Sunday last, as l was walking up a street, my hat was blown from my head by the wind. A young man, who was talking with his mother nearby, instead of laughing at my mishap, as many would have done, caught the hat and politely returned it to me. As an occurrence of this kind seldom happens, I think praise should in given where praise is due.”

Forty dollars was raised at the M. P. Church on Sunday to help liquidate the minister’s salary. Also, five persons were admitted into full membership with the church.

A new lamp has been put in front of the blink of the Sussex safe, Title and Deposit Company, on Federal Street. If Milton could be lighted with lamps its close together as they are from Conwell‘s office to the M. E. Church, people could not grumble for lights.

Fishermen are mending their nets and otherwise preparing for the annual spring catch.

Louis Fox, dealer in horses and mules, 117-119 South Paca Street, between Lombard and Pratt Streets, Baltimore, Md., advertises to sell on the Wednesday of each week any stock suitable to purchasers. “A specialty made in carriages and dogs[6].” Many of our people will remember Louis Fox, of Milton.

The Goddess of Atvatabar[7], within a few years ago, is now under the critical pen of Dr. Leonard of the Milton Sanhedrim. Dr. Leonard’s argument is not that gravitation decreases with the square or the distance; but goes upward to use a homely phraseology.

We have not space to elaborate on Dr. Leonard’s argument.

Theodore Messick, former editor and proprietor of the “Milton Times.“ has removed with his wife and father to Camden, N J. Mr. Messick, the younger, has had a good position offered him for some time. Like many Delawareans he is a home boy and would not agree to so unless his father would accompany him. This his father has consented to do: and they leave on Wednesday.

The firm of Mason & Morris open this week Mr. Mason, the senior member of the firm, has served an apprenticeship in the store of C. H. Atkins, than who no better training could be given to a man. This firm opens with all the éclat that society can give it, and its history is merged with that of the unborn future. They will get there.

Winona Tribe, No. 1, Improved Order or Pocahontas, will be organized in Milton on Wednesday evening, 19th inst., by Winona Tribe, No. 1 of Wilmington.

Forty-two herrings were caught in the Broadkiln on Monday.


[1] Site of the massive Abu Simbel temples, near Egypt’s border with Sudan.

[2] Colonel Theodore Townsend (1855 – 1936), editor and publisher of the Milford Chronicle.

[3] David A. Conner had six daughters, three of which were still unmarried in 1902. He uses “caravanserai” in keeping with the Old Testament quotation and the image of Israelites as nomadic tribes.

[4] From the Old Testament, Isaiah 1:3. As with many of Conner’s citations, it is an awkward fit within the context. It is either a chastisement of “fast girls” or a rebuke to their parents. The verse has been interpreted as meaning, in essence, that even the dumbest of domestic animals recognize their master, but the people of Israel forget their God. The most charitable interpretation with respect to “fast girls” is that it doesn’t take much intellectual power to comprehend what is morally right on the part of the girls, and the duty of parents to see to that. As to what he means by “fast girls,” it is hard to know. It is not likely that he is referring to prostitutes, but to girls and young women still living with their parents but given to inappropriate behavior, which could mean anything from flirting, kissing publicly, carousing, or worse.

[5] The actual word is “pomology,” the branch of botany that studies and cultivates fruit

[6] “Dog” in this context is probably a “dog cart,” a small open carriage made for sporting that had a box for holding retriever dogs in the back that could be converted into a two seat bench.

[7] A character in the science fiction novel The Goddess of Atvatabar: being the history of the discovery of the interior world, and conquest of Atvatabar, by William R. Bradshaw (1851 – 1927).