Disillusionment is the keynote of the age. History refutes herself, and under the merciless glare of modern research our once-revered idols totter on feet of veriest clay. Mark Twain started the thankless job. Unflinchingly he exposed the Father of our country, showing not only that the magnificent truth about the cherry tree was a sagacious bit of publicity which led directly to the Presidency, but that his supplementary statement that "he could not tell a lie" was even more carefully calculated to preserve his name to perpetuity. Now a beacon-light of politics is shattered when we learn that Washington never said "avoid entangling alliances". True, no less an authority than Jefferson did say it, but the effect is no longer the same. It is well known that Jefferson was a Democrat, so of course he was prejudiced.
The latest revelation has, however, gone too far in the direction of realism. It belies itself. The "Mayflower", of all impeccable ships, is now accused of carrying cows, and actually,--pigs. The horror of the imputation would be unspeakable,--but fortunately we know better. With the authentic load of hymn-books, blunderbusses, bed-warmers and spinning-wheels, could there have been also room for swine? The question is rhetorical; there could not. But the trend of things is obvious. How soon will someone discover that Douglas wrote the Gettysburg Address?