The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 17, No. 098, February, 1876

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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 17, No. 098, February, 1876

Author: Various

Release date: August 10, 2004 [eBook #13154]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Sandra Brown and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.


Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.




February, 1876.

Vol. XVII.









II. 172





















Books Received. 264



































[pg 137]




From showing the world's right to the epoch of '76, and sketching the progress of the century in its wider aspect, a natural transition is to the part played in illustrating the period by the people from whose political birth it dates, and who have made the task of honoring it their own. They have reached their first resting-place, and pardonably enjoy the opportunity of looking back at the road they have traversed. They pause to contemplate its gloomy beginning, the perilous precipices along which it wound, and the sudden quagmires that often interrupted it, all now softened by distance and by the consciousness of success. Opening with a forest-path, it has broadened and brightened into a highway of nations.

So numerous and various were the [pg 138] influences, formative and impellent, which combined to bring the colonies up to the precise ripening-point of their independence, as to make it difficult to assign each its proper force. In the concentric mass, however, they stand out sharp and clear, and the conjoint effect seems preordained. That the event should have come when it did, and not before or after, is as obvious as any of history's predictions after the fact. Looking through the glasses of to-day, we find it hard to realize that the Continental Congress renewed its expressions of loyalty to the king three weeks after the battle of Bunker Hill, so distinct before us rises the completed and symmetrical edifice of separation ready for its capstone, from its foundations growing steadily through the past.

Thirteen years—one for each State—were occupied in the topping-off. The Seven Years' War, that created the new central power of modern Europe, had a great deal to do with creating the new American power. It taught the colonies their strength, gave them several thousand native soldiers, and sent them from over the water the material, some of it completely wrought, for more in the German immigration consequent upon it. Out of it grew the obnoxious enactments that brought on the end. So closely simultaneous were these with the king's proclamation of October 7, 1763, prohibiting all his subjects "from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking possession of any of the lands, beyond the sources of any of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or north-west," as to support the suspicion that the British ministry had a premonitory sense of the coming struggle, and meant to prepare for it by checking the expansion of the colonies. The pressure applied to front and rear was part of one and the same movement; and is incompatible with the accepted view that neither cabinet nor Parliament anticipated, in the first instance, any American opposition to the Stamp Act and the system of legislation to which it was the opening wedge. The England of that day proposed to rule America after much the same fashion with Ireland, the Alleghanies presenting themselves very conveniently for an Indian Pale. This line of policy was in harmony with the ideas then predominant in England, and was fully understood by the colonists. They could not possibly have been blind to it, in view of the continuous and repeated claims of absolute legislative supremacy formally put forth, from the bill to that effect passed coincidently with the repeal of the Stamp Act down to the alterations made in the Massachusetts charter in 1774; the latter proceeding being in close harmony, both in time and motive, with the extension of the province of Quebec to the Ohio—one of the very rare evidences of sagacity and foresight discernible in the course of the ministry; for, while it did not avail to dam the westward flood, it certainly contributed, with other concessions made at the same time to the Canadians, to save the St. Lawrence to the Crown.

As apropos to this point, we transcribe from the original manuscript, written in the round, clear, unhesitating but steady hand characteristic of all Washington's letters, the following to James Wood of Winchester, afterward governor of Virginia, but then little more than a stripling:

"MOUNT VERNON, Feb'y 20th, 1774.

"DEAR SIR: I have to thank you, for your obliging acc't of your trip down the Mississippi, contained in a Letter of the 18th of Octob'r from Winchester—the other Letter, therein refer'd to, I have never yet receiv'd, nor did this come to hand till some time in November, as I was returning from Williamsburg.

"The contradictory acc'ts given of the Lands upon the Mississippi are really astonishing—some speak of the Country as a terrestrial Paradise, whilst others represent it as scarce fit for anything but Slaves and Brutes. I am well satisfied, however, from your description of it, that I have no cause to regret my disappointment:—The acc't of Lord Hillsborough's sentiments of the Proclamation of 1763, I can view in no other light than as one, among many other proofs, [pg 139] of his Lordship's malignant disposition towards us poor Americans, formed equally in malice, absurdity, and error; as it would have puzzled this noble Peer, I am persuaded, to have assigned any plausible reason in support of this opinion.

"As I do not know but I may shortly see you in Frederick, and assuredly shall before the Assembly, I shall add no more than that, it will always give me pleasure to see you at this place whenever it is convenient to you, and that with compliments to your good Mother I remain, D'r Sir, Y'r most Obed't H'ble Serv't,



This private note, discussing casually and curtly the great river of the West, and the minister who endeavored to make it a flumen clausum to the colonists, nearly equidistant in date between the Boston Tea-party and the meeting of the Assembly which called the first Continental Congress, has some public interest. The West always possessed a peculiar attraction for Washington. He explored it personally and through others, and lost no occasion of procuring detailed information in regard to its capabilities. He acquired large bodies of land along the Ohio at different points, from its affluents at the foot of the Alleghany to the Great Kanawha and below. Now we see him gazing farther, over the yet unreddened battle-grounds of Boone and Lewis, to the magnificent province France and Spain were carefully holding in joint trusteeship for the infant state he was to nurse. The representative in the provincial legislature of a frontier county stretching from the Potomac to the Ohio, we may fancy him inspired, as he looked around from his post on the vertebral range of the continent, with "something of prophetic strain." If so, he was not long to have leisure for indulging it. Within eighteen months his life's work was to summon him eastward to the sea-shore. The Dark and Bloody Ground must wait. For its tillage other guess implements than the plough were [pg 140] preparing—the same that beckoned him to Cambridge and the new century.

The slender driblet of population which at this juncture flowed toward the Lower Mississippi was due to the anxiety of Spain to get a home-supply of wheat, hemp and such-like indispensables of temperate extraction for her broad tropical empire. A newspaper of August 20, 1773 gives news from New York of the arrival at that port of "the sloop Mississippi, Capt. Goodrich, with the Connecticut Military Adventurers from the Mississippi, but last from Pensacola, the 16th inst." They had "laid out twenty-three townships at the Natchez," where lands were in process of rapid occupation, the arrivals numbering "above four hundred families within six weeks, down the Ohio from Virginia and the Carolinas." The Connecticut men doubtless came back prepared, a little later, to vindicate their martial cognomen; and to aid them in that they were met by Transatlantic recruits in unusual force. The same journal mentions the arrival at Philadelphia of 1050 passengers in two ships from Londonderry; this valuable infusion of Scotch-Irish brawn, moral, mental and muscular, being farther supplemented by three hundred passengers and servants in the ship Walworth from the same port for South Carolina. The cash value to the country of immigrants was ascertainable by a much less circuitous computation then than now; many of them being indentured for a term of years at an annual rate that left a very fair sum for interest and sinking fund on the one thousand dollars it is the practice of our political economist of to-day to clap on each head that files into Castle Garden. The German came with the Celt in almost equal force—enough to more than balance their countrymen under Donop, Riedesel and Knyphausen. The attention drawn to the colonies by the ministerial aggressions thus contributed to strengthen them for the contest.

But with all these accessions in the nick of time, two millions and a quarter of whites was a meagre outfit for stocking a virgin farm of fifteen hundred miles square, to say nothing of its future police and external defence against the wolves of the deep. It barely equaled the original population, between the two oceans, of nomadic Indians, who were, by general consent, too few to be counted or treated as owners of the land. It fell far short of the numbers that had constituted, two centuries earlier, the European republic from which our federation borrowed its name. The task, too, of the occidental United States was double. Instead of being condensed into a small, wealthy and defensible territory, they had at once to win their independence from a maritime power stronger than Spain, and to redeem from utter crudeness and turn into food, clothing and the then recognized appliances of civilized life the wilderness thus secured. The result could not vary nor be doubted; but that the struggle, in war and in peace, must be slow and wearing, was quite as certain. It is dreary to look back upon its commencement now, and upon the earlier decades of its progress; and we cannot wonder that those who had it to look forward to half shrank from it. Among them there may have been a handful who could scan the unshaped wilderness as the sculptor does his block, and body forth in imagination the glory hidden within. That which these may have faintly imagined stands before us palpable if not yet perfected, the amorphous veil of the shapely figure hewn away, and the long toil of drill and chisel only in too much danger of being forgotten.

Population, the most convenient gauge of national strength and progress, is far from being a universally reliable one. We shall find sometimes as wide a difference between two given millions as between two given individuals. Either may grow without doing much else. They may direct their energies to different fields. Compared with the United States, France and Germany, for example, have advanced but little in population. They have, however, done wonders for themselves and the world by activities which we have, in comparison, neglected. The old city of London gains in wealth as it loses in inhabitants. [pg 141]


Yet success in the multiplication of souls within their own borders—depopulate as they may elsewhere—is eagerly coveted and regularly measured by all the nations. Since 1790, when we set them the example, they have one by one adopted the rule of numbering heads every five, six or ten years, recognizing latterly as well, more and more, the importance of numbering other things, until men, women and children have come to be embedded in a medley of steam-engines, pigs, newspapers, schools, churches and bolts of calico. For twenty centuries this taking of stock by governments had been an obsolete practice, until revived by the framers of the American Constitution and made a vital part of that instrument. The right of the most—and not of the richest, the best, the bravest, the cleverest, or the oldest in blood—to rule being formally recognized and set down on paper, it became necessary to ascertain at stated intervals who were the most. The lords of the soil, instead of being inducted into power on the death of their parents with great pother of ointment, Te Deum, heraldry, drum and trumpet, were chosen every ten years by a corps of humble knights of the pencil and schedule.

To these disposers of empire, the enhancement and complication of whose toil has been a labor of love with each decennial Congress, we owe the knowledge that eighty years, out of the hundred, brought the people of the Union up from a tally of 3,929,214 in 1790 to 38,558,371 in 1870, and that down to the beginning of the last decade the rate of increment adhered closely to 35 per cent. On that basis of growth the latest return falls nearly four millions short. One of the causes of this is "too obvious" (and too disagreeable) "to mention;" but it is inadequate. The sharp demarcation of the western frontier by the grasshopper and the hygrometer is another, which will continue to operate until, by irrigation, tree-planting or some other device, a new climate can be manufactured for the Plains. The teeming West, that of old needed only to be tickled with a hoe to laugh with a harvest, has disappeared. At least what is left of it has lost the power of suction that was wont to reach across the ocean, pull Ballys and Dorfs up by the roots and transplant them bodily to the Muskingum and the Des Moines. A third cause, operating more especially within the current decade, is attributable to another mode in which that attractive power has been exerted—the absorption from the [pg 142] European purse for the construction of railways of seven or eight times as much as the thirty-five millions in specie it took to fight through the Revolutionary war. For a while, Hans came with his thalers, but they outfooted him—"fast and faster" behind came "unmerciful disaster," and he was fain to turn his back on the land of promise and promises. Similar set-backs, however, are interspersed through our previous history, and the influence of the last one may be over-rated.

In truth, the Old World's fund of humanity is not sufficiently ample to keep up the pace; and the rate of natural increase is no longer what it was when the country was all new, and cornfield and nursery vied in fecundity. That the former source of augmentation is gaining in proportion upon the latter is apparent from the last three returns. The ratio of foreign-born inhabitants to the aggregate in 1850 was 9.68 per cent. in 1860, 13.16, and in 1870, 14.44. In the last-named year, moreover, 10,892,015, or 28 per cent. of the entire population, white and black, are credited with foreign parentage on one or both sides. Excluding the colored element, ranked as all native, this proportion rises to 32 per cent.

Judged by the test of language, three-fifths of those who are of foreign birth disappear from the roll of foreigners, 3,119,705 out of 5,567,229 having come from the British Isles and British America. Germany, including Bohemia, Holland and Switzerland, sums up 1,883,285; Scandinavia, 241,685; and France and Belgium, 128,955. The Celtic influx from Ireland, and the Teutonic and Norse together, form two currents of almost identical volume. Compared with either, the contribution of the Latin or the Romance races sinks into insignificance—an insignificance, however, that shows itself chiefly in numbers, the traces of their character and influence being, relatively to their numerical strength, marked. The immigrants from Northern and Southern Europe have a disposition, in choosing their new homes, to follow latitude, or rather the isotherms; the North-men skirting the Canadian frontier and grouping themselves on the coldest side of Lake Michigan, while the Italians, Spaniards and French drift toward the Gulf States. The Irish and Germans are more cosmopolitan, each in a like degree. They disperse with less regard to climate or surroundings, and are more rapidly and imperceptibly absorbed and blended, thus promoting rather than marring the homogeneity of the American people. The Germans are, however, more prone to colonizing than the Irish—a circumstance due in great measure to their differing in language from the mass of their new neighbors. This cause of isolation is gradually losing its weight, the recognition of the German tongue by State legislatures, municipalities, etc. being less common than formerly, notwithstanding the immense immigratior so calculated to extend it.

While assimilation has been growing more complete, and a fixed resultant becoming more discernible, the ingredients of this ethnic medley do not seem to have materially varied in their proportions since the beginning of the century. They present a tolerably close parallel to the like process in Northern France, where Celt and Teuton combined in nearly equal numbers, with, as in our case, a limited local infusion of the Norse. The result cannot, however, be identical, the French lacking our Anglo-Saxon substratum, with its valuable traditions and habitudes of political thought. The balance between impulse and conservatism has never been, in this country, long or seriously disturbed, and is probably as sound now as a hundred years ago. In the discussions of the twenty years which embrace our Revolutionary period we find abundance of theory, but they were never carried by abstractions out of sight of the practical. Our publicists were not misled by convictions of the "infinite perfectibility of the human mind," the motive proclaimed by Condorcet, writing in sweet obliviousness of the guillotine, as explaining "how much more pure, accurate and profound are the principles upon which the constitution and laws of France have been formed than those [pg 10] which directed the Americans." The lack of this equilibrium among the pure, and, as we may venture to term them, the untrained races, we have occasional opportunities of noting on our own soil when for a passing cause they resort to isolated action.


A race-question of a character that cannot be supplied by differentiation within Caucasian limits haunts us as it has done from the very birth of the colonies. Like the Wild Huntsman, we have had the sable spectre close beside us through the whole run. But, more fortunate than he, we see it begin to fade. At least its outlines are contracting. The ratio of colored inhabitants to the aggregate, in 1790 19.26 per cent., or one-fifth, fell in 1860 to 14.12, or one-seventh, and in 1870 to 12.65, or an eighth. The next census will beyond doubt point more strongly in the same direction. If, whilst dwindling in magnitude, the dusky shape perplex us by assuming suddenly a novel form, we may yet be assured that it is the same in substance and in manageability. Its hue is whitening with the fleece of five millions of cotton bales. The cloud has a silver lining—a golden one in fact—for ours is pecuniarily a serviceable phantom to the extent of adding to our annual income a sum equal to eight or ten times the entire yearly export of the colonies. Should he lead us, like the Land—und—Wild—Graf, into the pit of ruin, he will have first bottomed it with an ample and soft cushion of lint whereon to fall.

Extremes meet, and modern culture, like ancient anarchy, drives its people into cities. Such is the tendency on both sides of the ocean. Improvement must result from associated effort, and of that cities are the last expression. All the European towns are outgrowing the rural districts. With us the change states itself in an advance, since 1790, of the city population from 3.4 to 20.9 per cent. of the aggregate. Broadcloth has gained on homespun in the proportion of six to one, Giles having thus six mouths to fill where he formerly had but one. We shall show farther on how gallantly he meets this draft. New York, with its suburbs, contains more Germans than [pg 144] any German city save Vienna and Berlin, more Irish than Dublin, and more English-speaking inhabitants than Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds together. All the colonial towns in a lump would scarce add a twentieth to her numbers, and her militia embraces nearly twice as many men as served, first and last, in the Continental army.


But the column that sums the souls does not state the complete life of the cities. Man has in our day a host of allies that work with him and at his command— slaves of iron, steel and brass wholly unknown to our great—grand-fathers— fed also by the farmer, through the miner as an intermediate. Steam-engines, to the number of 40,191, and of 1,215,711 horse-power—all of the stationary variety, and exclusive of nearly half as many that traverse the country and may be classed among the rural population—have succeeded the websters and spinners who were wont to clothe all the world and his wife, and who survive only in the surnames of some of our statesmen and financiers. Not that they confine their labors to textile fabrics. Their iron fingers are in every pie, including that of the printer, who is answered, when he calls the roll of his serfs of steam, by 691 whistles. And he is one of the smallest of the slaveholders—a mere ten-bale man. India-rubber, a product known a century ago only by some little black lumps used by draughtsmen to erase pencil-marks, owns enough of them to equal 4412 horses or 22,000 No. 1 field hands. Boots and shoes not of the India-rubber variety employ 3212 horse-power or 15,000 steam Crispins, over and above their Christian fellows who stick solitary to the last, and who, it must be owned, produce an article more of the Revolutionary type and more solid and durable. As a cord-wainer Steam is a failure; but he works cheaply, and will continue to hammer on, and disseminate his commodity of brown paper throughout the temperate zone. Three-fourths of the population of the globe still runs unshod, however, and it is obvious that this crying want cannot be met by the old system. Steam will perforce keep pegging away till Cathay, Xipangu, India and all the isles awaken to the absurdity of walking on cotton or undressed human skin. Could one of our 299 fire-fed cobblers have been set to work at Valley Forge, backed by one of the 1057 makers of woolen that are similarly nourished!

But we do Mr. Watt's lusty bantling [pg 145] injustice in assigning him exclusively the tastes of a cit. He is not insensible to pastoral charms, and often selects a home among the hemlocks and under the broad-armed oaks, by bosky glen or open mead, wherever the brooklet brawls or dreams, for he sticks to the waterside like a beaver. Here he sits down, like an artist as he is, until he has got all the choice bits of the grove. The large and bustling family of the sawyers, both top and bottom, he has utterly banished from their ancient haunts. 'There would be needed a million and a half of them to take the places of 11,199 steam-engines, of 314,774 horse-power, that are devastating our forests. An equal number is replaced by the 16,559 water-wheels, of 326,728 horse-power, engaged in the same field of havoc. Armed with the handsaw, all the Revolutionary patriots and Tories together, withdrawing their attention entirely from military affairs, as well as from all other mundane concerns, would not have turned out one-sixth of the quantity of lumber demanded by their descendants of a period that boasts itself the age of iron, and has as little as possible to do with wood. And if we place in the hands of the patriarchs the ancestral axes, and tell them to get out charcoal for three millions of tons of iron, to be hauled an average of a hundred miles to market by oxen over roads whose highest type was the corduroy, the imagination reels at the helplessness of the heroes.


The paternal thoughtfulness of the home government employed itself in relieving the colonist from such exhausting drafts upon his energies. It sedulously prohibited his throwing himself away on the manufacture of iron or anything else. In 1750 it placed him under a penalty of £200 for erecting a rolling-mill, tilt-hammer or steel-furnace. Lest the governor of the colony should fail to enforce this statute and protect the pioneer from such a waste of time, it held that functionary to a personal forfeit of £500 for failing, within thirty days after presentment by two witnesses on oath, to abate as a nuisance every such mill, engine, etc. As this mulct would have made a serious inroad on the emoluments of the royal governors, even with the addition of the inaugural douceur customarily given by the provincial assemblies to each new incumbent—in Virginia regularly £500, doubled in the instance of Fauquier in [pg 146] 1758, when it was desired to drive the entering wedge of disestablishment and razee the parsons—we are prepared to believe that the iron business was not flourishing. Under a despotism tempered so very moderately by bribes, a similar blight fell upon all other branches of manufacture. Among these, wool, flax, paper, hats and leather are specified in a Parliamentary report as interfering with "the trade, navigation and manufactures" of the mother-country. An act of Parliament accordingly forbade the exportation of hats to foreign countries, and even from one colony to another.

That, after such a course of repression, the country found itself wholly unprepared on the attainment of independence to make any headway in this field, is no matter of surprise. Thirty years elapsed before the manufacturing statistics of the Union became presentable. In 1810 they were reckoned at $198,613,471. This embraces every fruit of handicraft, from a barrel of flour and a bushel of lime to a silk dress. We had 122,647 spindles and 325,392 looms, made 53,908 tons of pig iron, and refined about one pound of sugar for each head of the population. In 1870, after sixty years of tossing between the Scylla and Charybdis of tariffs, "black" and white, the yield of our factories had mounted to the respectable sum of $4,232,325,442. They employed 2,053,996 operatives. Of these, the average wages were $377, against $289 in 1860 and $247 in 1850, yearly. The advance in the product of refined sugar may be cited as illustrative of the progress of the people in comfort and luxury. It reached a value of one hundred and nine millions, representing nearly ten times as many pounds, or twenty-eight pounds a head. This exemplification is but one in an endless list.

Manufactures have come to figure respectably in our exports. They exceed in that list, by three or four to one, the entire exports of all kinds in 1790; and they equal the average aggregate of the years from 1815 to 1824. But the multiplication of the wants of a people rapidly growing in numbers and refinement will, with the comparatively high price of labor, scarcity of capital and distance of most of our ports from the markets supplied by European manufactures, for a long time to come make the home-supply the chief care of our artisans. They have, for such and other reasons, in some points lost ground of late. The revolution in the propulsion and construction of ships, for instance, has not found them prepared to take the advantage they have usually done of improvements. Not only do the British screw-steamers take undisputed possession of our trade with their own country, but they expel our once unrivaled craft from the harbors of other quarters of the globe, and threaten to monopolize the most profitable part of our carrying-trade with all countries. This result is more easily explained than the inroads made on our more ordinary foreign traffic, in sailing vessels, by the mercantile marine of second- and third-rate powers. This is eloquently told by the annual government returns and the daily shipping-list. While our coastwise tonnage increases, that employed in foreign trade remains stationary or declines. The bearing of this upon our naval future becomes an imperative question for our merchants and legislators. The United States is benevolently and gratuitously building up a marine for each of half a dozen European states which possess little or no commerce of their own, and multiplying the ships and sailors of our chief maritime rival. We have long since ceased to import locomotives, and have, within the past two years, almost ceased to import railroad iron. Our iron-workers obtain coal at nearly or quite as low prices as do those of Birkenhead or the Clyde. They have recently sent to sea some large screw-steamers that perform well. No insurmountable difficulty appears to prevent the launching of more until we have enough to serve at least our direct trade with Europe and China. That determined, it may be possible to ascertain whether we cannot assist Norway, Belgium and Sicily in carrying our cotton, wheat and tobacco to the purchasers of it.

[pg 147]


This decline in American tonnage is, it must be added, only relative, whether the comparison be made with other countries or with our own past. The returns show a carrying capacity in our ships more than twentyfold that of 1789, and three times that of 1807; when, on the other hand, it exceeded in the ratio of fourteen to twelve that of 1829, twenty-two years later. This interest is peculiarly subject to fluctuations; some of which in the past have been less explicable than the one it is now undergoing. Another decade may turn the tables, and restore the flag of the old Liverpool liners to their fleeter but less shapely supplanters. The steamer and the clipper are both American inventions. Why not their combination ours as well? The centenary of Rumsey's boat, not due till December 11, 1887, should not find its descendants lording the ocean under another flag.

The monthly Falmouth packet of a century ago, sufficient till within the past two generations for the mail communication of the two continents, has grown into six or eight steamships weekly, each capable of carrying a pair of the old sloops in her hold, and making the passage westwardly in a fifth and eastwardly in a third of the time. Can it be but ninety years ago that the latest dates at New York (February 14, 1786) from London (December 7, 1785) brought as a leading item from Paris (November 20) the news that Philippe Égalité had by his father's death just come into four millions of livres a year, that six hundred thousand livres paid by the Crown to his father thereupon devolved to Monsieur (afterward Louis XVIII.), and that the latter had kept up the game of shuttlecock with the treasure of the French by "a donation of all his estates to the duke of Normandy, the younger son of their Majesties, preserving for himself the use and profits thereof during his life"? That was a short winter-passage, too—more speedy than the land-trip of a letter in the same journal "from a gentleman in the Western country to his friend in Connecticut, dated River Muskingum, November 5, 1785," describing a voyage down the Ohio from Fort Pitt and the wonders of the country much as Livingstone and Du Chaillu do those of Africa. The time is less now to Japan, and about the same to New South Wales, with both which countries we have postal conventions-i.e., a practically consolidated service—far cheaper and more convenient than that maintained on the adoption of [pg 148] the present Constitution between our own cities. Our foreign service with leading countries is combined, moreover, with an institution undreamed of in that day—the money-order system. Under this admirable contrivance the post-offices of the world will ere long be so many banks of deposit and exchange for the benefit of the masses, effecting transfers mutually with much greater facility, rapidity and security than the regular banks formerly attained.

Still in its infancy, the international money-order system has already reached importance in the magnitude of its operations. The sums sent by means of it were, in 1874, $1,499,320 to Great Britain, $701,634 to Germany, and to the little inland republic of Switzerland $72.287.

The dimensions to which this new method of financial intercourse between the different peoples of the globe is destined to reach may be inferred from the growth of the domestic money—order service. In 1874 the number of orders issued was 4,620,633, representing $74,424,854. The erroneous payments having been but one in 59,677, it is plain that this mode of remittance must make further inroads on the old routine of cheque and draft, and become, among its other advantages, a currency regulator of no trifling value.

Our post-office may almost be said to head the development of the century. The other lines of progress in some sense converge to it. The advance of intelligence, of settlement, of transit by land and water and of mechanical and philosophical discovery have all fostered the post, while its return to them has been liberal. Thus aided and spurred, its extension has approached the rate of geometrical progression. Its development resembles that from the Annelids to the Vertebrata, the simple canal which constitutes the internal anatomy of the simplest animal forms finding a counterpart in the line of mails vouchsafed by the British postmaster-general to the colonies in 1775 from Falmouth to Savannah, "with as many cross-posts as he shall see fit." Fifteen years of independence had caused the accretion of wonderfully few ganglia on this primeval structure. In 1790 four millions of inhabitants possessed but seventy-five post-offices and 1875 miles of post-roads. The revenue of the department was $37,935—little over a thousandth of what it is at present under rates of postage but a fraction of the old. New York and Boston heard from each other three times a week in summer and twice in winter. Philadelphia and New York were more social and luxurious, and insisted on a mail every week-day but one, hurrying it through in two days each way, or a twentieth of the present speed. On the interior routes chaos ruled supreme. Newspapers and business-men combined to employ riders who meandered along the mud roads as it pleased Heaven.

When the new government machine had smoothed down its bearings matters rapidly improved. In 1800 we had 903 post-offices and 20,817 miles of road. In 1820 these figures changed to 4500 and 92,492, and in 1870 to 28,492 offices and 231,232 miles. Five years later 70,083 miles of railway, 15,788 by steamboat and 192,002 of other routes represented the web woven since the Falmouth and Savannah shuttle commenced its weary way. Of course, neither the number of offices nor extent of routes fully measures the change from past to present; mails having become more frequent over the same route, and a new style of office, the locomotive variety, having been added to the old. This innovation, of mounting postmaster and post-office with the mailbags on wheels, and hurling the whole through space at thirty or forty miles an hour, already furnishes us with gigantic statistics. In 1875 there were sixty-two lines of railway postal-cars covering 16,932 miles with 40,109 miles of daily service and 901 peripatetic clerks. These gentlemen, under the demands of the fast mail-trains, will ere long swell from a regiment into a brigade, and so into a division, till poets and painters be called on to drop the theme of "waiting for the mail."

The greater portion of the fifty-odd thousand employés of the department do [pg 149] not give it their whole time, many of the country postmasters being engaged in other business. But the undivided efforts of them all, with an auxiliary corps, would be demanded for the handling of eight hundred and fifty millions of letters and cards, and a greater bulk of other mail-matter, under the old plan of rates varying according to distance and number of sheets, and not weight—stamps unknown. The introduction of stamps, with coincident reduction and unification of rates, has been the chief factor in the extraordinary increase of correspondence within the past thirty years; the number of letters passing through the mails having within that period multiplied twenty-fold. The number transmitted in the British Islands, then three times greater than in the United States, is now but little in excess, having been in 1874 nine hundred and sixty—seven millions. The immense difference between the two countries in extent, and consequently in the average distance of transportation, is enough to account for the contrast between the two balance-sheets, our department showing a heavy annual deficit, while in Great Britain this is replaced by a profit. As regards post-office progress in the United States, the question is rather an abstract one; for there is not the least probability of an advance in rates. The discrepancy between receipts and expenses will be attacked rather by seeking to reduce the latter at the same time that the former are enhanced by natural growth and by improvement in the details of service and administration.


Difficult as it is adequately to state or to measure the extension of the mails within the century, it is far from telling the whole story of the amplitude and celerity with which the people of our day interchange intelligence.

Only to the last third of the period under review has the electric telegraph been known. It is now a necessity of the public and private life of every civilized spot upon the globe. It traverses all lands and all seas. The forty miles of wire with which it started from Washington City have become many millions. Its length of line in the United States is about the same with that of the mail-routes, and a similar equality probably obtains in other parts of the world. We have nearly as much line as all Europe together, though the extent of wire may not be so great. It is little to say that this continent, so dim to the founders of the Union, has been by the invention of Morse compressed within whispering distance, the same advantage having been conferred on other countries. It is the property of mankind, and the comparison must be between present and past, not between any two countries of the present. Strictly, a comparison is not possible, nothing like magnetic communication having been known forty years ago, unless to the half imagination, [pg 150] half realization of one or two scientific experimenters. Steam and stamps wrought a difference in degree—the telegraph one of kind. Against eighteen hundred miles of wagon-road we set seventy-three thousand of railway; but two hundred thousand miles of telegraph are opposed by nothing, unless by Franklin's kite-string. Looked at along the perspective of poles, the old days disappear entirely—the patriots become pre-historic. Yet modern self-conceit is somewhat checked by the reflection that the career of these two great agents of intercommunication has but just opened; that their management even yet remains a puzzle to us; and that the next generation may wonder how we happened to get hold of implements whose use and capabilities we so poorly comprehended. So far as prediction can now be ventured, a force and pathway more economical than coal and the rail will not soon be forthcoming; nor is Canton apt to "interview" New York at the rate of more words in a minute over a single wire than she can now. Some day dynamite may be harnessed to the balloon, which stands, or drifts, where it did with Montgolfier, and we may all become long-range projectiles; but even this age of hurry will contentedly wait a little for that.

Possibly the Post-office Department would be less of a valetudinarian, financially, had it confined itself to its legitimate occupation, the speeding of intercourse and wafting of sighs, and not yielded to the heavy temptation of disseminating shoes, pistols and *garden-seeds over three millions of square miles. Newspapers are enough to test its powers as a freight-agent. Where these and their literary kindred of books, magazines, etc. used to be estimated by the dozen and the ounce, the ton is becoming too small a unit.

West of the Blue Ridge, or the front line of the Alleghany, so called in most of its length, there was not a newspaper published in 1776. Ten years later, scarcely more than one—the Pittsburg Gazette—existed west of the mountains. The few in the seaboard towns kept alive the name, and little more. In 1850, '60 and '70 the periodicals of the Union numbered, respectively, 2526, 4051 and 5871, with an average circulation, at the three periods, of twenty-one hundred, thirty-four hundred and thirty-six hundred copies each. The circulation thus outgrew the numbers in the proportion of nearly two to one. And both are largely in excess of the increase of the population, that being in the twenty years but 65 percent. The number of daily papers (254 in 1850 and 574 in 1870) must now be equal to the entire number of periodicals in France outside of Paris (796 in 1875), with an average issue less than half that of ours. The proportion of readers to the population, certainly in this class of literature, thus appears to be rapidly growing: and the change is most striking if we take, for example, that group of periodicals which are most purely literary and most remote from the mere chronicle. The returns for the three periods place the monthlies at, respectively, 100, 280 and 622—an advance of sixfold.

The magazine leads us to the door of the library; and here the exhibit is still more marked, significant and gratifying. The census figures are, for many reasons, extremely confused, but in the general result they cannot be outrageously wrong, and they can mislead us only in degree as to the immense multiplication of books in both public and private libraries. The returns are manifestly far below the truth. To give them here without the explanations accompanying them in the census volumes would mislead; and those explanations, or a fair synopsis of them, would occupy too much space, and would, after all, leave the problem unsolved. That the supply of books has fully kept pace with every other means of culture is patent enough. The Congressional Library has risen in half the century from the shelves of a closet to nearly four hundred thousand volumes—an accumulation not surpassed in '76 by more than two libraries in Europe. It now demands a separate edifice of its own, fit to stand by the side of the fine structures which have within a generation recreated the architectural aspect of the Federal metropolis with the most stately [pg 151] government-offices in the world. Other public libraries, belonging to colleges, schools, societies and independent endowments, show similar progress. While none of them are equal, for reference, to some of the great European establishments, they are generally better adapted to the purposes of popular instruction. Their literary wealth is fresh and available, little encumbered by lumber kept merely because old or curious. Thus adjuncts, in some sort, of the newspaper and the common school, their catalogues prove, as do the bookcases of private houses, that the newest and deepest results of European thought and inquiry are eagerly sought and used by our people.


Our system of public schools, long classed among the "peculiar institutions" of the country, is notably gaining in scope and efficiency, be the English and Prussians right or not in their claim of greater thoroughness and a higher curriculum. The different States have engaged in a series of competitive experiments for the common good, and cities and counties, in their sphere, labor to the same end. Schools of higher grade are being multiplied, and the examination of teachers, still lax enough, becomes more exact and faithful, as befits the drill of an army of two hundred and forty thousand charged with the intellectual police of eight millions of children—the number said by the new "National Bureau of Education" to have been enrolled in 1875, against 7,209,938, 5,477,037 and 3,642,694 by the censuses of 1870, '60 and '50. Little more than half this number is estimated by the Bureau to represent the average daily attendance, which is quite compatible with the attendance, for the greater part of the school-year, of nine-tenths of the whole number on the lists. A comparison of the number enrolled and the entire supposed number of children between six and sixteen leaves an excess of nearly two millions and a half outside the public schools. Of these private schools will account, and account well, for a large proportion. These are fulfilling indispensable offices, one being that of normal schools—a want likely to be inadequately satisfied for a long time to come.

In one respect our public schools are beyond, though not above, comparison with those of the most advanced European states. An annual outlay of a trifle less than seventy-five millions of dollars, with an investment in buildings, ground, etc. of a hundred and sixty-six millions, implies a determination that should be rewarded with the most [pg 152] unexceptionable results. It reaches eighteen dollars yearly, leaving out the interest on the fixed stock, for each child in daily attendance. Such an expenditure, trebling, we believe, that of Prussia, ought to secure better teachers and a higher range of instruction. It must be said, however, that the duties of the school-boards are as honestly and economically discharged as those of any other public bodies; that the cost for each pupil is highest where common schools have been longest established and most thoroughly studied; and that the statistics certainly show a steady advance in their efficiency. That is the truest test. Any pecuniary means are justifiable by the end. If common schools, themselves a means to a higher education, mental and moral, than they can directly afford, take some part of the wealth we accumulate to prevent our men's decaying, it is well used. It helps to purchase for us progress more genuine than that whereof railways and cotton-factories are the exponents.

It is thus a guarantee of a brighter century even than the one just closed that, in the wildest quarter of the still unkempt continent, the school actually precedes the pioneer. Choose his homestead where he may, the sixteenth section is staked out before it. From it the rills of knowledge soon trickle along the first furrows, as strange to the soil as its new products. It provides the modern settler in advance with an equipment, mental and material, if not moral, altogether superior to that of his colonial prototype, that enables him in a shorter time to impart a higher stamp to his surroundings. He attacks the prairie with a plough unimagined by his predecessor; cuts his wheat with a cradle—or, given a neighbor or two, a reaper—instead of a sickle; sends into the boundless pasture the nucleus of a merino flock, and returns at evening to a home rugged enough, in unison with its surroundings, but brightened by traits of culture and intelligence which must adhere to any ménage of to-day and were out of reach of any of the olden time. The civilization that travels West now is a different thing from that which went West a hundred years ago.

Science has done much for the farmer, though not as much as he has done for it and its hotbeds, the towns. In one point his shortcomings are notable. He has not learned how to eat his cake and have it. He works the virgin soil as the miner does the coal-seam. What Nature has placed in it he takes out, and, until forced by the pressure of his friends and enemies, the cities, returns no nest-egg of future fertility. So it is that many portions of the rural East have to be resettled and started afresh in the process of agricultural redemption. A hundred years ago England grew fifteen bushels of wheat to the acre. Her standard is now thirty-two. Within three-quarters of the century New York has fallen from twenty-five to twelve; and half that period, again, has brought Ohio and Indiana from thirty to fifteen. But this process is a natural part of the sum of American progress. Land was the only property of the country originally, and subsequently of different parts of it in succession. It was used like any other commodity, and worn out like leather or cloth. The original cuticle of the continent has disappeared for ever. The task, now is to induce the granulation of a new one. The restorative process may be complete by the time we have four hundred souls to the square mile, like England and Flanders. Meanwhile, the exporting of Iowa and California in the shape of wheat is going on at what must be esteemed a profitable rate; for our farmers, as a class, do not seem to be losing ground. Their glebes have risen in value from thirty-two hundred millions in 1850 to sixty-six hundred ten years later, and ninety-three hundred in 1870. This has been accompanied by a diminution of their average extent, the farm of 1870 covering a hundred and fifty-three acres. This is small enough, considering the capital necessary for stock in these days of improved and costly implements, when a farmer can no longer pack his entire kit in a cart. It matches closely the size of English holdings, where agricultural science is at its height. The [pg 153] French peasant-farmers, with their plats of three and four acres, are chained to the spade and hoe, and their steading becomes a poultry-yard—a consummation we are not yet in sight of, as is proved by the legions of pigs and beeves, barreled or bellowing, that roll in from the ancient realms of Pontiac and the Prophet with a smoothness and velocity unattained by the most luxurious coach that carried a First Congressman.

Everything that makes a nation, we are told, and the nation itself, is the product of the soil. But the less immediate, finer and most delicate fruits cannot usually be garnered until the soil is thoroughly subdued. The mass of matter keeps the intellectual in abeyance. Were Europe enlarged one-half, and her population reduced to one-eighth what it actually is, the spectacle of culture she now presents would be an impossibility. It is our merit that, thus brought to American conditions, she would in no way compare with American achievement. An offset wherewith we must at the same time be debited is the aid we have, in so many forms, derived from her. Making every allowance for this, it is a clear credit in our favor that one-tenth of Christendom should have done so much more than a tenth of its effective thinking simultaneously with taming the most savage half of its domain. We have more than our share of laborers in the mental vineyard, though fewer of them are master-workmen. We utilize for Europe herself, and send back to her in its first available shape, much of what her students produce. As between thought and substance, the two continents interchange offices. We import the crude material her philosophers harvest or mine, work it up and return it, just as she takes the yield of our non-metaphorical fields and strata and restores it manufactured. Much of the social, political and industrial advancement of Europe within the century she may be said to owe to the United States. Her governmental reforms certainly and confessedly found here their germ. These gave birth to others of a social character. In this manner, as well as more directly by our commerce, inventions and example, we have stimulated her industry. We have spread before her the two oceans, and taught her to traverse them with a firm and masterful mien, no longer

As one who in a lonely road doth walk in fear and dread.

We have created cities upon her havens, Parliaments in her capitals, and stronger hearts and quicker hands in her villages. No community on her varied surface but is the better for America. That our people and their labors have done it all it would be absurd to say; but the Old World's progress in the period under review can be but very partially accounted for by any internal force of its own. None of its rulers or peoples adventure a reform of any kind without a preliminary, if often only a half-conscious, glance of inquiry westward. Collectively as members of a European republic of nations, and internally each within itself, they have in this way learned, after many recalcitrant struggles, to recognize and respect local independence. Municipal law has gained new life. The commune has become an entity everywhere, and the nations which it informs have established the right to readjust or recast their constitutions without being hounded down as disturbers of the peace. The contribution of the American Union to such results would earn it honor at the hands of history were it to sink into nothing to-morrow. Had no such tangible fruits hitherto ripened, some portion of such honor would still accrue to it for having shown that a people may grow from a handful to an empire without hereditary rulers, without a privileged class, without a state Church, without a standing army, without tumult in the largest cities and without stagnant savagery in the remotest wilds.

[pg 154]




Let our demonstration to-day be on the monarchical citadel of England, the core and nucleus of her kingly associations, her architectural eikon basiliké, Windsor. To reach the famous castle it will not do to lounge along the river. We must cut loose from the suburbs of the suburbs, and launch into a more extended flight. Our destination is nearly an hour distant by rail; and though it does not take us altogether out of sight of the city, it leads us among real farms and genuine villages, tilled and inhabited as they have been since the Plantagenets, instead of market-gardens and villas.

We go to Paddington and try the Great Western, the parent of the broad gauges with no very numerous family, Erie being one of its unfortunate children. That six-foot infant is not up to the horizontal stature of its seven-foot progenitor, but has still sixteen inches too many to fare well in the contest with its little, active, and above all numerous, foes of the four-feet-eight-and-a-half-inch "persuasion." The English and the American giants can sympathize with each other. Both have drained the bitter cup that is tendered by a strong majority to a weak minority. Neither the American nor the British constitution, with their whole admirable array of checks and balances, has shielded them from this evil. In the battle of the gauges both have gone to the wall, and will stay there until they can muster strength enough to reel over into the ranks of their enemies.

This relative debility is, at the same time, more apparent to the stockholders than to their customers. The superstructure and "plant" of the Erie has lately stood interested inspection from abroad with great credit, and that of the Great Western is unexceptionable. The vote of travelers may be safely allotted to the broad gauge. They have more elbow room. The carriages attain the requisite width without unpleasantly, not to say dangerously, overhanging the centre of gravity; and, other things equal, the [pg 155] movement is steadier. Nor is the financial aspect of the question apt to impress gloomily the tourist as he enters the Paddington station and looks around at its blaze of polychrome and richness of decoration generally. As the coach doors are slammed upon you, the guard steps into his "van," the vast drivers, taller than your head plus the regulation stove-pipe, slowly begin their whirl, and you roll majestically forth through a long file of liveried servants of the company, drawn up or in action on the platform, the sensation of patronizing a poverty-stricken corporation is by no means likely to harass you. You cease to realize that the Napoleon of engineers, Monsieur Brunel, made a disastrous mistake in the design of this splendid highway, and that, as some will have it, it was his Moscow. His error, if one there was, existed only in the selection of the width of track. Whatever the demerits of the design in that one particular, the execution is in all above praise. The road was his pet. Once finished, it was his delight, as with the breeder of a fine horse, to mount it and try its mettle. Over and again would he occupy the footboard between London and Bristol, and rejoice as a strong man in running his race at close to seventy miles an hour. He and Stephenson were capital types of the Gaul and Briton, striving side by side on the same field, as it will be good for the world that they should ever do.


Combats of another character—in fact, of two other characters—recur to our reflections as we find that we have shuffled off the coil of bricks and mortar and are rattling across Wormwood Scrubs. More fortunate than some who have been there before us, we have no call to alight. Calls to this ancient field of glory, whether symbolized by the gentlemanly pistol or the plebeian fist, have ceased to be in vogue. Dueling and boxing are both frowned down effectually, one by public opinion and the other by the police. It is only of late years that they finally succumbed to those twin discouragers; but it seems altogether improbable that the ordeal by combat in either shape will again come to the surface in a land where tilting-spear and quarter-staff were of old so rife. In France chivalry still asserts, in a feeble way, the privilege of winking and holding out its iron, and refuses to be comforted with a suit for damages.

Southall, a station or two beyond, suggests sport of a less lethal character, being an ancient meeting-place for the queen's stag-hounds. John Leach may have collected here some of his studies of Cockney equestrianism. The sportsmen so dear to his pencil furnished him wealth of opportunities on their annual concourse at the cart's tail. The unloading of the animal, his gathering himself up for a leisurely canter across country, the various styles and degrees of horsemanship among his lumbering followers, and the business-like replacing [pg 156] of the quarry in his vehicle, to be hauled away for another day's sport, served as the most complete travesty imaginable of the chase. It has the compensation of placing a number of worthy men in the saddle at least once in the year and compelling them to do some rough riding. The English have always made it their boast that they are more at home on horseback than any other European nation, and they claim to have derived much military advantage from it. Lever's novels would lose many of their best situations but for this national accomplishment and the astounding development it reaches in his hands.


To the left lies the fine park of Osterley, once the seat of the greatest of London's merchant princes, Sir Thomas Gresham. An improvement proposed by Queen Bess, on a visit to Gresham in 1578, does not speak highly for her taste in design. She remarked that in her opinion the court in front of the house would look better split up by a wall. Her host dutifully acceded to the idea, and surprised Her Majesty next morning by pointing out the wall which he had erected during the night, sending to London for masons and material for the purpose. The conceit was a more ponderous one than that of Raleigh's cloak—bricks and mortar versus velvet.

A greater than Gresham succeeded, after the death of his widow, to the occupancy of Osterley—Chief-justice Coke. His compliment to Elizabeth on the occasion of a similar visit to the same house took the more available and acceptable shape of ten or twelve hundred pounds sterling in jewelry. She had more than a woman's weakness for finery, and Coke operated upon it very successfully. His gems outlasted Gresham's wall, which has long since disappeared with the court it disfigured. In place of both stands a goodly Ionic portico, through which one may pass to a staircase that bears a representation by Rubens of the apotheosis of Mr. Motley's hero, William the Silent. The gallery offers a collection of other old pictures. Should we, however, take time for even a short stop in this vicinity, it would probably be for the credit of saying that we walked over Hounslow Heath intact in purse and person. The gentlemen of the road live only in the classic pages of Ainsworth, Reynolds and, if we may include Sam Weller in such worshipful company, that bard of "the bold Turpin." Another class of highwaymen had long before them been also attracted by the fine manoeuvring facilities of the heath, beginning with the army of the Cæsars and ending with that of James II. Jonathan Wild and his merry men were saints to Kirke and his lambs.

Hurrying on, we skirt one of Pope's outlying manors, in his time the seat of his friend Bathurst and the haunt of Addison, Prior, Congreve and Gay, and leave southward, toward the Thames, Horton, the cradle of Milton. A marble in its ivy-grown church is inscribed to the memory of his mother, ob. 1637. At Horton were composed, or inspired, Lycidas, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus and others of his nominally minor but really sweetest and most enjoyable poems. In this retirement the Muse paid him her earliest visits, before he had thrown himself away on politics or Canaanitish mythology. Peeping in upon his handsome young face in its golden setting of blonde curls,

Through the sweetbrier or the vine,

Or the twisted eglantine,

[pg 157]

she wooed him to better work than reporting the debates of the archangels or calling the roll of Tophet. Had he confined himself to this tenderer field, the world would have been the gainer. He might not have "made the word Miltonic mean sublime," but we can spare a little of the sublime to get some more of the beautiful.

To reach Milton, however, we have run off of the track badly. His Eden is no station on the Great Western. We shall balance this southward divergence with a corresponding one to the north from Slough, the last station ere reaching Windsor. We may give a go-by for the moment to the halls of kings, do homage to him who treated them similarly, and point, in preference, to where,

in many a mouldering heap,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

They show Gray's tomb in Stoke Pogis church, and his house, West End Cottage, half a mile distant. The ingredients of his Elegy—actually the greatest, but in his judgment among the least, of his few works—exist all around. "The rugged elm," "the ivy-mantled tower," and "the yew tree's shade," the most specific among the simple "properties" of his little spectacle, are common to so many places that there are several competitors for the honor of having furnished them. The cocks, ploughmen, herds and owls cannot, of course, at this late day be identified. Gray could not have done it himself. He drew from general memory, in his closet, and not bit by bit on his thumb-nail from chance-met objects as he went along. Had his conception and rendering of the theme been due to the direct impression upon his mind of its several aspects and constituents, he would have more thoroughly appreciated his work. He could not understand its popularity, any more than Campbell could that of Ye Mariners of England, which he pronounced "d——d drum-and-trumpet verses." Gray used to say, "with a good deal of acrimony," that the Elegy "owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and the public would have received it as well had it been written entirely in prose." Had it been written in prose or in the inventory style of poetry, it would have been forgotten long ago, like so much else of that kind.


Not far hence is Beaconsfield, which gave a home to Burke and a title to the wife of Disraeli, the nearest approach to a peerage that the haughty Israelite, soured by a life of struggle against peers and their prejudices, would deign to accept. We know it will be objected to this remark that Disraeli is, and has been for most of his career, associated with Toryism. But that was part of his game. A man of culture, thought and fastidious taste, he would, had he been of the sangre azul, have been the steadiest and sincerest of Conservatives. Privilege would have been his gospel. As it is, it has only been his weapon, to use in fighting for himself. "The time will come when you shall listen to me," were his words when he was first coughed down. The time has come. The most cynical of premiers, he governs England, and he scorns to take a place among those who ruled her before him.

Extending our divergence farther west toward "Cliefden's proud alcove, the bower of wanton Shrewsbury and love," we find ourselves in a luxuriant rolling country, rural and slumberous. Cookham parish, which we should traverse, claims quite loudly American kinship on the strength of its including an estate once the property of Henry Washington, who is alleged, without sufficient ground, to have been a relative of the general. But [pg 158] we are within the purlieus of Windsor. The round tower has been looking down upon us these many miles, and we cannot but yield to its magnetism.


Eton, on the north bank, opposite Windsor, and really a continuous town with that which nestles close to the castle walls, is on our way from Slough. The red-brick buildings of the school, forming a fine foil to the lighter-colored and more elegantly designed chapel, are on our left, the principal front looking over a garden toward the river and Windsor Home Park beyond. We become aware of a populace of boys, the file-closers of England's nineteenth century worthies, and her coming veterans of the twentieth. We may contemplatively view them in that light, but it has little place in their reflections. Their ruddy faces and somewhat cumbrous forms belong to the animal period of life that links together boyhood, colthood and calfhood. Education of the physique, consisting chiefly in the indulgence and employment of it in the mere demonstration of its superabundant vitality, is a large part of the curriculum at English schools. The playground and the study-room form no unequal alliance. Rigid as, in some respects, the discipline proper of the school may be, it does not compare with the severity of that maintained by the older boys over the younger ones. The code of the lesser, and almost independent, republic of the dormitory and the green is as clear in its terms as that of the unlimited monarchy of the school-room, and more potent in shaping the character. The lads train themselves for the battle of the world, with some help from the masters. It is a sound system on the whole, if based, to appearance, rather too much on the principle of the weaker to the wall. The tendency of the weaker inevitably is to the wall, and if he is to contend against it effectively, it will be by finding out his weakness and being made to feel it at the earliest possible moment.


Not on land only, but on the river, whereinto it so gradually blends, does lush young England dissipate. Cricket and football order into violent action [pg 159] both pairs of extremities, while the upper pair and the organs of the thorax labor profitably at the oar. The Thames, in its three bends from Senly Hall, the Benny Havens of Eton, down to Datchet Mead, where Falstaff overflowed the buck-basket, belongs to the boys. In this space it is split into an archipelago of aits. In and out of the gleaming paths and avenues of silvery water that wind between them glide the little boats. The young Britons take to the element like young ducks. Many a "tall admiral" has commenced his "march over the mountain wave" among these water-lilies and hedges of osier.

Shall we leave the boys at play, and, renewing our youth, go ourselves to school? Entering the great gate of the western of the two quadrangles, we are welcomed by a bronze statue of the founder of the institution, Henry VI. He endowed it in 1440. The first organization comprised "a provost, four clerks, ten priests, six choristers, twenty-five poor grammar-scholars, and twenty-five poor infirm men to pray for the king." The prayers of these invalids were sorely needed by the unhappy scion of Lancaster, but did him little good in a temporal sense. The provost is always rector of the parish. Laymen are non-eligible. Thus it happens that the list does not include two names which would have illuminated it more than those of any of the incumbents—Boyle the philosopher, "father of chemistry and brother of the earl of Cork," and Waller the poet. The modern establishment consists of a provost, vice-provost, six fellows, a master, under-master, assistants, seventy foundation scholars, seven lay clerks and ten choristers, with a cortege of "inferior officers and servants"—a tolerably full staff. The pay-students, as they would be termed in this country, numbering usually five to six hundred, do not live in the college precincts, but at boarding-houses in the town, whence their designation of oppidans, the seventy gowns-men only having dormitories in the college. The roll of the alumni contains such names as the first earl of Chatham, Harley, earl of Oxford, Bolingbroke, Fox, Gray, Canning, Wellington and Hallam. That is enough to say for Eton. The beauties of the chapel, the treasures of the library and the other shows of the place become trivial by the side of the record.


Over the "fifteen-arch" bridge, which has but three or four arches, we pass to the town of Windsor, which crouches, on the river-side, close up to the embattled walls of the castle—so closely that the very irregular pile of buildings included in the latter cannot at first glance be well distinguished from the town. High [pg 160] over all swells the round tower to a height above the water of two hundred and twenty feet—no excessive altitude, if we deduct the eminence on which it stands, yet enough, in this level country, to give it a prospect of a score or two of miles in all directions. The Conqueror fell in love with the situation at first sight, and gave a stolen monastery in exchange for it. The home so won has provided a shelter—at times very imperfect, indeed—to British sovereigns for eight centuries. From the modest erection of William it has been steadily growing—with the growth of the empire, we were near saying, but its chief enlargements occurred before the empire entered upon the expansion of the past three centuries. It is more closely associated with Edward III. than with any other of the ancient line. He was born at Windsor, and almost entirely rebuilt it, William of Wykeham being superintending architect, with "a fee of one shilling a day whilst at Windsor, and two shillings when he went elsewhere on the duties of his office," three shillings a week being the pay of his clerk. It becomes at once obvious that the margin for "rings" was but slender in those days. The labor question gave not the least trouble. The law of supply and demand was not consulted. "Three hundred and sixty workmen were impressed, to be employed on the building at the king's wages; some of whom having clandestinely left Windsor and engaged in other employments to greater advantage, writs were issued prohibiting all persons from employing them on pain of forfeiting all their goods and chattels." In presence of so simple and effective a definition of the rights of the workingman, strikes sink into nothingness. And Magna Charta had been signed a hundred and fifty years before! That document, however, in honor of which the free and enlightened Briton of to-day is wont to elevate his hat and his voice, was only in the name and on behalf of the barons. The English people derived under it neither name, place nor right. English liberty is only incidental, a foundling of untraced parentage, a filius nullius. True, its growth was indirectly fostered by aught that checked the power of the monarch, and the nobles builded more wisely than they knew or intended when they brought Lackland to book, or to parchment, at Runnymede, not far down the river and close to the edge of the royal park. The memorable plain is still a meadow, kept ever green and inviolate of the plough. A pleasant row it is for the Eton youngsters to this spot. On Magna Charta island, opposite, they may take their rest [pg 161] and their lunch, and refresh their minds as well with the memories of the place. The task of reform is by no means complete. There is room and call for further concessions in favor of the masses. These embryo statesmen have work blocked out for them in the future, and this is a good place for them to adjust to it the focus of their bright young optics.


The monarchical idea is certainly predominant in our present surroundings. The Thames flows from the castle and the school under two handsome erections named the Victoria and Albert bridges; and when, turning our back upon Staines, just below Runnymede, with its boundary-stone marking the limit of the jurisdiction of plebeian London's fierce democracy, and inscribed "God preserve the City of London, 1280," we strike west into the Great Park, we soon come plump on George III, a great deal larger than life. The "best farmer that ever brushed dew from lawn" is clad in antique costume with toga and buskins. Bestriding a stout horse, without stirrups and with no bridle to speak of, the old gentleman looks calmly into the distance while his steed is in the act of stepping over a perpendicular precipice. This preposterous effort of the glyptic art has the one merit of serving as a finger-board. The old king points us to his palace, three miles off, at the end of the famous Long Walk. He did not himself care to live at the castle, but liked to make his home at an obscure lodge in the park, the same from which, on his first attack of insanity, he set out in charge of two of his household on that melancholy ride to the retreat of Kew, more convenient in those days for medical attendance from London, and to which he returned a few months later restored for the time. Shortly after his recovery he undertook to throw up one of the windows of the lodge, but found it nailed down. He asked the cause, and was told, with inconsiderate bluntness, that it had been done during his illness to prevent his doing himself an injury. The perfect calmness and silence with which he received this explanation was a sufficient evidence of his recovery.


Bidding the old man a final farewell, we accept the direction of his brazen hand and take up the line of march, wherein all traveling America has preceded us, to the point wherefrom we glanced off so suddenly in obedience to the summons of Magna Charta. On either hand, as we thread the Long Walk, open glades that serve as so many emerald-paved courts to the monarchs of the grove, some of them older than the whole Norman dynasty, with [pg 162] Saxon summers recorded in their hearts. One of them, thirty-eight feet round, is called after the Conqueror. Among these we shall not find the most noted of Windsor trees. It was in the Home Park, on the farther or northern side of the castle, that the fairies were used to perform their

—dance of custom round about the oak

Of Herne the hunter.

Whether the genuine oak was cut down at the close of the last century, or was preserved, carefully fenced in and labeled, in an utterly leafless and shattered state, to our generation, is a moot point. Certain it is that the most ardent Shakespearean must abandon the hope of securing for a bookmark to his Merry Wives of Windsor one of the leaves that rustled, while "Windsor bell struck twelve," over the head of fat Jack. He has the satisfaction, however, of looking up at the identical bell-tower of the sixteenth century, and may make tryst with his imagination to await its midnight chime. Then he may cross the graceful iron bridge—modern enough, unhappily—to Datchet, and ascertain by actual experiment whether the temperature of the Thames has changed since the dumping into it of Falstaff, "hissing hot."


Back at the castle, we must "do" it, after the set fashion. Reminders meet us at the threshold that it is in form a real place of defence, contemplative of wars and rumors of wars, and not a mere dwelling by any means in original design. A roadway, crooked and raked by frowning embrasures, leads up from the peaceful town to the particularly inhospitable-looking twin towers of Henry VIII.'s gateway, in their turn commanded by the round tower on the right, in full panoply of artificial scarp and ditch. Sentinels in the scarlet livery that has flamed on so many battlefields of all the islands and continents assist in proving that things did not always go so easy with majesty as they do now. But two centuries and more have elapsed since there happened any justification for this frown of stone, steel and feathers; Rupert's futile demonstration on it in 1642 having been Windsor's last taste of war, its sternest office after that having been the safe-keeping of Charles I., who here spent his "sorrowful and last Christmas." Once inside the gate, visions of peace [pg 163] recur. The eye first falls on the most beautiful of all the assembled structures, St. George's Chapel. It, with the royal tomb house, the deanery and Winchester tower, occupies the left or north side of the lower or western ward. In the rear of the chapel of St. George are quartered in cozy cloisters the canons of the college of that ilk—not great guns in any sense, but old ecclesiastical artillery spiked after a more or less noisy youth and laid up in varnished black for the rest of their days. Watch and ward over these modern equipments is kept by Julius Cæsar's tower, as one of the most ancient erections is of course called. Still farther to our left as we enter are the quarters of sundry other antiquated warriors, the Military Knights of Windsor. These are a few favored veterans, mostly decayed officers of the army and navy, who owe this shelter to royal favor and an endowment. The Ivy tower, west of the entrance, is followed in eastward succession by those of the gateway, Salisbury, Garter and Bell towers.


The fine exterior of St. George's is more than matched by the carving and blazonry of the interior. The groined roof bears the devices of half a dozen early kings, beginning with Edward the Confessor. Along the choir stretch the stalls of the sovereign and knights-companions of the order of the Garter, each hung with banner, mantle, sword and helmet. Better than these is the hammered steel tomb of Edward IV., by Quentin Matsys, the Flemish blacksmith. In the vaults beneath rest the victim of Edward, Henry VI., Henry VIII., Jane Seymour and Charles I. The account of the appearance of Charles' remains when his tomb was examined in 1813 by Sir Henry Halford, accompanied by several of the royal family, is worth quoting. "The complexion of the face was dark and discolored. The forehead and temples had lost little or nothing of their muscular substance. The cartilage of the nose was gone; but the left eye, in the moment of first exposure, was open and full, though it vanished almost immediately, and the pointed beard so characteristic of the reign of King Charles was perfect. The shape of the face was a long oval; many of the teeth remained; and the left ear, in consequence of the interposition of some unctuous matter between it and the cere-cloth, was found entire. The hair was thick at the back part of the head, and in appearance nearly black. A portion of it, which has since been cleaned and dried, is of a beautiful dark-brown color. That of the beard was a reddish-brown. On the back part of the head it was not more than an inch in length, and had probably been cut so short for the convenience of the executioner, or perhaps by the piety of friends after death in order to furnish memorials of the unhappy king. On holding up the head to determine the place of separation from the body, the muscles of the neck had evidently contracted themselves considerably, and the fourth cervical vertebra [pg 164] was found to be cut through its substance transversely, leaving the face of the divided portions perfectly smooth and even—an appearance which could have been produced only by a heavy blow inflicted with a very sharp instrument, and which furnished the last proof wanting to identify Charles I."


A highly-edifying spectacle this must have been to the prince regent and his brother Cumberland. The certainties of the past and the possibilities of the future were calculated to be highly suggestive. A French sovereign had but a few years before shared the fate of Charles, and a cloud of other kings were drifting about Europe with no very flattering prospect of coming soon to anchor. Napoleon was showing his banded foes a good double front in Germany and Spain. His dethronement and the restoration of the Bourbons were not as yet contemplated. The Spanish succession was whittled down to a girl—that is, by Salic law, to nothing at all. The Hanoverian was in a similar condition, or worse, none of the old sons of the crazy old king having any legitimate children. The prince regent himself was highly unpopular with the mass of his people; and the classes that formed his principal support were more so, by reason of the arrogance and exactions of the landed interest, the high price of grain and other heavy financial burdens consequent on the war, the arbitrary prosecutions and imprisonment of leaders of the people, and the irregularities of his private life.

But these sinister omens proved illusory. Leigh Hunt, Wraxall and the rest made but ineffectual martyrs; the Bourbons straggled back into France and Spain, with such results as we see; George IV. weathered, by no merit of his own, a fresh series of storms at home; the clouds that lowered upon his house were made glorious summer by the advent of a fat little lady in 1819—the fat old lady of 1875; and we step from the tomb of Charles in St. George's Chapel to that where George and William slumber undisturbed in the tomb-house, elaborately decorated by Wolsey. Wolsey's fixtures were sold by the thrifty patriots of Cromwell's Parliament, and bought in by the republican governor of the castle as "old brass." George was able, too, to add another story to the stature of the round tower or keep that marks the middle ward of the castle and looks down, on the rare occasion of a sufficiently clear atmosphere, on prosperous and no longer disloyal London. This same keep has quite a list of royal prisoners; John of France and David II. and James I. of Scotland enjoyed a prolonged view of its interior; so did the young earl of Surrey, a brother-poet, a century removed, of James.

Leaving behind us the atmosphere of shackles and dungeons, we emerge, through the upper ward and the additions of Queen Bess, upon the ample terrace, where nothing bounds us but the horizon. Together, the north, east and south terraces measure some two thousand feet. The first looks upon Eton, the lesser park of some five hundred acres which fills a bend of the Thames [pg 165] and the country beyond for many miles. The eastern platform, lying between the queen's private apartments and an exquisite private garden, is not always free to visitors. The south terrace presents to the eye the Great Park of thirty-eight hundred acres, extending six miles, with a width of from half a mile to two miles. The equestrian statue at the end of the Long Walk is a conspicuous object. The prevailing mass of rolling woods is broken by scattered buildings, glades and avenues, which take from it monotony and give it life. Near the south end is an artificial pond called Virginia Water, edged with causeless arches and ruins that never were anything but ruins, Chinese temples and idle toys of various other kinds, terrestrial and aquatic. The ancient trees, beeches and elms, of enormous size, and often projected individually, are worth studying near or from a distance. The elevation is not so great as to bring out low-lying objects much removed. We see the summits of hills, each having its name, as St. Leonard's, Cooper's, Highstanding, etc., and glimpses of the river and of some country-seats. St. Anne's Hill was the home of Fox; at St. Leonard's dwelt the father of his rival and rival of his father, and at Binfield, Pope, of whom it is so hard to conceive as having ever been young, "lisped in numbers, for the numbers came," natural descriptions, ethical reflections, vers de societé and all, for around him here there was food for them all. To descend from Pope in point of both time and romance, the view includes the scenes of Prince Albert's agricultural experiments. Quite successful many of them were. He was a thoroughly practical man—a circumstance which carried him by several routes across ploughed fields and through well-built streets, straight to the hearts of the English people. His memory is more warmly cherished, and impressed upon the stranger by more monuments, than that of any other of the German strain. It might have been less so had he succeeded in the efforts he is now known to have made soon after his marriage to attain a higher nominal rank. He possessed, through the alliance of Leopold and Stockmar and the devotion of Victoria, kingly power without the name and the responsibility, and with that he became content. He used it cautiously and well when he employed it at all. His position was a trying one, but he steered well through its difficulties, and died as generally trusted as he was at first universally watched. The love-match of 1840 was every way a success.


Another figure, more rugged and less majestic, but not less respectable, will be associated with Victoria in the memories, if not the history proper, of her reign. This is John Brown, the canny and impassive Scot, content, like the Rohans, to be neither prince nor king, and, prouder [pg 166] than they, satisfied honestly to discharge the office of a flunkey without the very smallest trace of the flunkey spirit. He too has lived down envy and all uncharitableness. Contemptuous and serene amid the hootings of the mob and the squibs of the newspapers, he carries, as he has done for years, Her Majesty's shawl and capacious India-rubbers, attends her tramps through the Highlands and the Home Park, engineers her special trains and looks after her personal comfort even to the extent of ordering her to wear "mair claes" in a Scotch mist. The queen has embalmed him in her books, and he will rank among the heroes of royal authors as his namesake and countryman the Cameronian, by favor of very similar moral qualities, does with those of more democratic proclivities.


We cannot apply literally to the view from Windsor Thackeray's lines on "the castle towers of Bareacres:"

I stood upon the donjon keep and viewed the country o'er;

I saw the lands of Bareacres for fifty miles or more.


We scan what was once embraced in Windsor Forest, where the Norman laid his broad palm on a space a hundred and twenty miles round, and, like the lion in the fable of the hunting-party, informed his subjects that that was his share. The domain dwindled, as did other royal appurtenances. Yet in 1807 the circuit was as much as seventy-seven miles. In 1789 it embraced sixty thousand acres. The process of contraction has since been accelerated, and but little remains outside of the Great and Little Parks. Several villages of little note stand upon it. Of these Wokingham has the distinction of an ancient hostelry yclept the Rose; and the celebrity of the [pg 167] Rose is a beautiful daughter of the landlord of a century and a half ago. This lady missed her proper fame by the blunder of a merry party of poets who one evening encircled the mahogany of her papa. It was as "fast" a festivity as such names as Gay and Swift could make it. Their combined efforts resulted in the burlesque of Molly Mog. These two and some others contributed each a verse in honor of the fair waiter. But they mistook her name, and the crown fell upon the less charming brow of her sister, whose cognomen was depraved from Mary into Molly. Wiclif's Oak is pointed out as a corner of the old forest, a long way east of the park. Under its still spreading branches that forerunner of Luther is said to have preached. Messrs. Moody and Sankey should have sought inspiration under its shade.

In the vast assemblage of the arboreal commonwealth that carpets the landscape the centuries are represented one with another. It is a leafy parliament that has never been dissolved or prorogued. One hoary member is coeval with the Confessor. Another sheltered William Rufus, tired from the chase. Under another gathered recruits bound with Coeur de Lion for the Holy Land. Against the bole of this was set up a practicing butt for the clothyard shafts that won Agincourt, and beneath that bivouacked the pickets of Cromwell. As we look down upon their topmost leaves there floats, high above our own level, "darkly painted on the crimson sky," a member, not so old, of another commonwealth quite as ancient that has flourished among their branches from time immemorial. There flaps the solitary heron to the evening tryst of his tribe. Where is the hawk? Will he not rise from some fair wrist among the gay troop we see cantering across yonder glade? Only the addition of that little gray speck circling into the blue is needed to round off our illusion. But it comes not. In place of it comes a spirt of steam from the railway viaduct, and the whistle of an engine. Froissart is five hundred years dead again, and we turn to Bradshaw.


Yet we have a "view of an interior" to contemplate before facing the lower Thames. And first, as the day is fading, [pg 168] we seek the dimmest part. We dive into the crypt of the bell-tower, or the curfew-tower, that used to send far and wide to many a Saxon cottage the hateful warning that told of servitude. How old the base of this tower is nobody seems to know, nor how far back it has served as a prison. The oldest initials of state prisoners inscribed on its cells date to 1600. The walls are twelve feet thick, and must have begotten a pleasant feeling of perfect security in the breasts of the involuntary inhabitants. They did not know of a device contrived for the security of their jailers, which has but recently been discovered. This is a subterranean and subaqueous passage, alleged to lead under the river to Burnham Abbey, three miles off. The visitor will not be disposed to verify this statement or to stay long in the comparatively airy crypt. Damp as the British climate may be above ground, it is more so below. We emerge to the fine range of state apartments above, and submit to the rule of guide and guide-book.


St. George's Hall, the Waterloo gallery, the council-chamber and the Vandyck room are the most attractive, all of them for the historical portraits they contain, and the first, besides, for its merit as an example of a Gothic interior and its associations with the order of the Garter, the knights of which society are installed in it. The specialty of the Waterloo room is the series of portraits of the leaders, civil and military, English and continental, of the last and successful league against Napoleon. They are nearly all by Lawrence, and of course admirable in their delineation of character. In that essential of a good portrait none of the English school have excelled Lawrence. We may rely upon the truth to Nature of each of the heads before us; for air and expression accord with what history tells us of the individuals, its verdict eked out and assisted by instructive minutiæ of lineament and meaning detected, in the "off-guard" of private intercourse, by the eye of a great painter and a lifelong student of physiognomy. We glance from the rugged Blucher to the wily Metternich, and from the philosophic Humboldt to the semi-savage Platoff. The dandies George IV. and Alexander are here, but Brummel is left out. The gem of the collection is Pius VII., Lawrence's masterpiece, widely familiar by engravings. Raphael's Julius II. seems [pg 169] to have been in the artist's mind, but that work is not improved on, unless in so far as the critical eye of our day may delight in the more intricate tricks of chiaroscuro and effect to which Lawrence has recourse. "Brunswick's fated chieftain" will interest the votaries of Childe Harold. Could he have looked forward to 1870, he would perhaps have chosen a different side at Waterloo, as his father might at Jena, and elected to figure in oils at Versailles rather than at Windsor. Incomparably more destructive to the small German princes have been the Hohenzollerns than the Bonapartes.


We forget these nineteenth-century people in the council-chamber, wherein [pg 170] reign Guido, Rembrandt, Claude, and even Da Vinci. If Leonardo really executed all the canvases ascribed to him in English collections, the common impressions of his habits of painting but little, and not often finishing that, do him great injustice. Martin Luther is here, by Holbein, and the countess of Desmond, the merry old lady

Who lived to the age of twice threescore and ten,

And died of a fall from a cherry tree then,

is embalmed in the bloom of one hundred and twenty and the gloom of Rembrandt. The two dozen pictures in this room form nearly as odd an association as any like number of portraits could do. Guercino's Sibyl figures with a cottage interior by Teniers, and Lely's Prince Rupert looks down with lordly scorn on Jonah pitched into the sea by the combined efforts of the two Poussins. The link between Berghem's cows and Del Sarto's Holy Family was doubtless supplied to the minds of the hanging committee by recollections of the manger. Our thrifty Pennsylvanian, West, is assigned the vestibule. Five of his "ten-acre" pictures illustrate the wars of Edward III. and the Black Prince. The king's closet and the queen's closet are filled mostly by the Flemings. Vandyck's room finally finishes the list. It has, besides a portrait of himself and several more of the first Charles and his family in every pose, some such queer, or worse than queer, commoners as Tom Killigrew and Sir Kenelm Digby and Venetia his hopeful spouse, so dear to novelists of a certain school.


Vast sums have been expended on the renovation and improvement of the castle during the past half century. With Victoria it has been more popular as a residence than with any of her predecessors since the fourteenth century. What, however, with its greater practical proximity to London, due to railways, and what with the queen's liking for solitude since the death of her consort, the more secluded homes of Osborne and Balmoral have measurably superseded it in her affections. Five hundred miles of distance to the Dee preclude the possibility of the dumping on her, by means of excursion trains, of loyal cockneydom. She is as thoroughly protected from that inundation in the Isle of Wight, the average Londoner having a fixed horror of sea-sickness. The running down, by her private steamer, of a few more inquisitive yachts in the Solent would be a hazardous experiment, if temporarily effective in keeping home invaders at bay. Holding as her right and left bowers those two sanctuaries at the opposite ends of her island realm, she can play a strong hand in the way of personal independence, and cease to feel that hers is a monarchy limited by the rights of the masses. It is well for the country that she should be left as far as possible to consult her own comfort, ease and health at least as freely as [pg 171] the humblest of her subjects. The continuance of her life is certainly a political desideratum. It largely aids in maintaining a wholesome balance between conservatism and reform. So long as she lives there will be no masculine will to exaggerate the former or obstruct the latter, as notably happened under George III. and William IV. Her personal bearing is also in her favor. Her popularity, temporarily obscured a few years ago, is becoming as great as ever. It has never been weakened by any misstep in politics, and so long as that can be said will be exposed to no serious danger.

We are far from being at the end of the upper Thames. Oxford, were there no other namable place, is beyond us. But we have explored the denser portion—the nucleus of the nebula of historic stars that stretches into the western sky as seen from the metropolis. We lay aside our little lorgnette. It has shown us as much as we can map in these pages, and that we have endeavored to do with at least the merit of accuracy.



I am an idle reed;

I rustle in the whispering air;

I bear my stalk and seed

Through spring-time's glow and summer's glare.

And in the fiercer strife

Which winter brings to me amain,

Sapless, I waste my life,

And, murmuring at my fate, complain.

I am a worthless reed;

No golden top have I for crown,

No flower for beauty's meed,

No wreath for poet's high renown.

Hollow and gaunt, my wand

Shrill whistles, bending in the gale;

Leafless and sad I stand,

And, still neglected, still bewail.

O foolish reed! to wail!

A poet came, with downcast eyes,

And, wandering through the dale,

Saw thee and claimed thee for his prize.

He plucked thee from the mire;

He pruned and made of thee a pen,

And wrote in words of fire

His flaming song to listening men;

Till thou, so lowly bred,

Now wedded to a nobler state,

Utt'rest such pæans overhead

That angels listen at their gate.


[pg 172]



I had now learned to place myself unreservedly in the hands of Bhima Gandharva. When, therefore, on regaining the station at Khandallah, he said, "The route by which I intend to show you India will immediately take us quite away from this part of it; first, however, let us go and see Poona, the old Mahratta capital, which lies but a little more than thirty miles farther to the south-eastward by rail,"—I accepted the proposition as a matter of course, and we were soon steaming down the eastern declivity of the Gháts. As we moved smoothly down into the treeless plains which surround Poona I could not resist a certain feeling of depression.

"Yes," said Bhima Gandharva when I mentioned it to him, "I understand exactly what you mean. On reaching an unbroken expanse of level country, after leaving the tops of mountains, I always feel as if my soul had come bump against a solid wall of rock in the dark. I seem to hear a dull thud of discouragement somewhere back in my soul, as when a man's body falls dead on the earth. Nothing, indeed, could more heighten such a sensation than the contrast between this and the Bombay side of the Gháts. There we had the undulating waters, the lovely harbor with its wooded and hilly islands, the ascending terraces of the Gháts: everything was energetic, the whole invitation of Nature was toward air, light, freedom, heaven. But here one spot is like another spot; this level ground is just the same level ground there was a mile back; this corn stands like that corn; there is an oppressive sense of bread-and-butter about; one somehow finds one's self thinking of ventilation and economics. It is the sausage-grinding school of poetry—of which modern art, by the way, presents several examples—as compared with that general school represented by the geniuses who arise and fly their own flight and sing at a great distance above the heads of men and of wheat."

Having arrived and refreshed ourselves at our hotel, whose proprietor was, as usual, a Parsee, we sallied forth for a stroll about Poona. On one side of us lay the English quarter, consisting of the houses and gardens of the officers and government employés, and of the two or three hundred other Englishmen residing here. On the other was the town, extending itself along the banks of the little river Moota. We dreamed ourselves along in the lovely weather through such of the seven quarters of the town as happened to strike the fancy of my companion. Occasionally we were compelled to turn out of our way for the sacred cattle, which, in the enjoyment of their divine prerogatives, would remain serenely lying across our path; but we respected the antiquity, if not the reasonableness, of their privileges, and murmured not.

Each of the seven quarters of Poona is named after a day of the week. As we strolled from Monday to Tuesday, or passed with bold anachronism from Saturday back to Wednesday, I could not help observing how these interweavings and reversals of time appeared to take an actual embodiment in the scenes through which we slowly moved, particularly in respect of the houses and the costumes which went to make up our general view. From the modern-built European houses to the mediæval-looking buildings of the Bhoodwar quarter, with their massive walls and loop-holes and crenellations, was a matter of four or five centuries back in a mere turn of the eye; and from these latter to the Hindu temples here and there, which, whether or not of actual age, always carry one straight into antiquity, was a further retrogression to the obscure depths of time. So, too, one's glance would often sweep in a twinkling from a European clothed in [pg 173] garments of the latest mode to a Hindu whose sole covering was his dhotee, or clout about the loins, taking in between these two extremes a number of distinct stages in the process of evolution through which our clothes have gone. In the evening we visited the Sangam, where the small streams of the Moola and the Moota come together. It is filled with cenotaphs, but, so far from being a place of weeping, the pleasant air was full of laughter and of gay conversation from [pg 174] the Hindus, who delight to repair here for the purpose of enjoying the cool breath of the evening as well as the pleasures of social intercourse.


But I did not care to linger in Poona. The atmosphere always had to me a certain tang of the assassinations, the intrigues, the treacheries which marked the reign of that singular line of usurping ministers whose capital was here. In the days when the Peishwas were in the height of their glory Poona was a city of a hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, and great traffic was here carried on in jewelry and such luxuries among the Mahratta nobles. The Mahrattas once, indeed, possessed the whole of India practically; and their name is composed of Mahu, a word meaning "great," and often to be met with in the designations of this land, where so many things really are great, and Rachtra, "kingdom," the propriety of the appellation seeming to be justified by the bravery and military character of the people. They have been called the Cossacks of India from these qualities combined with their horsemanship. But the dynasty of the usurping ministers had its origin in iniquity; and the corruption of its birth quickly broke out again under the stimulus of excess and luxury, until it culminated in the destruction of the Mahratta empire in 1818. So, when we had seen the palace of the Peishwa, from one of whose balconies the young Peishwa Mahadeo committed suicide by leaping to the earth in the year 1797 through shame at having been reproved by his minister Nana Farnavese in presence of his court, and when we had visited the Hira-Bâgh, or Garden of Diamonds, the summer retreat of the Peishwas, with its elegant pavilion, its balconies jutting into the masses of foliage, its cool tank of water, reposing under the protection of the temple-studded Hill of Pararati, we took train again for Bombay.

The Great Indian Peninsula Railway's main line leads out of Bombay over the Gháts to Jabalpúr, six hundred miles; thence a railway of some two hundred and twenty miles runs to Allahabad, connecting them with the great line, known as the East Indian Railway, which extends for more than a thousand miles north-westward from Calcutta viâ Patna, Benares, Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Agra and Delhi. Our journey, as marked out by Bhima Gandharva, was to be from Bombay to Jabalpúr by rail; thence by some slow and easy conveyance across country to Bhopal, and from Bhopal northward through Jhansi to Delhi and the northern country, thence returning by rail to Calcutta.

As one ascends the Western Gháts shortly after leaving Bombay one has continual occasion to remark the extraordinary resources of modern railway engineering. Perhaps the mechanical skill of our time has not achieved any more brilliant illustrations of itself than here occur. For many miles one is literally going up a flight of steps by rail. The word Ghát indeed means the steps leading up from pools or rivers, whose frequent occurrence in India attests the need of easy access to water, arising from the important part which it plays both in the civil and religious economies of the Hindu. The Gháts are so called from their terraced ledges, rising one above another from the shores of the ocean like the stairs leading up from a pool. In achieving the ascent of these gigantic stairs all the expedients of road-makers have been resorted to: the zigzag, the trestle, the tunnel, the curve, have been pushed to their utmost applications; for five continuous miles on the Thull Ghát Incline there is a grade of one in thirty-seven, involving many trying curves, and on nineteen miles of the Bhore Ghát Incline there are thirty tunnels.

That which gives tone and character to a general view of the interior of a railway-car in traveling is, from the nature of things, the head-covering of the occupants, for it is this which mostly meets the eye; and no one who has traveled in the United States, for example, can have failed to observe the striking difference between the aspect of a car in the South, where the felt slouch prevails, and of one in the North, where [pg 175] the silk hat is more affected. But cars full of turbans! There were turbans of silk, of muslin, of woolen; white turbans, red, green and yellow turbans; turbans with knots, turbans with ends hanging; neat turbans, baggy turbans, preternatural turbans, and that curious spotted silk inexpressible mitre which the Parsee wears.


Bhima Gandharva was good enough [pg 176] to explain to me the turban; and really, when within bounds, it is not so nonsensical a headdress as one is apt at first to imagine. It is a strip of cloth from nine to twelve inches wide, and from fifteen to twenty-five yards long. They are known, however, of larger dimensions, reaching to a yard in width and sixty yards in length. The most common color is white; next, perhaps, red, and next yellow; though green, blue, purple and black are worn, as are also buff, shot colors and gray, these latter being usually of silk; but this does not exhaust the varieties, for there are many turbans made of cotton cloth printed in various devices to suit the fancies of the wearers.

"The puttee-dar (pugri, or turban)," continued my companion, "is a neat compact turban, in general use by Hindus and Mohammedans; the joore-dar is like the puttee-dar, except that it has the addition of a knot on the crown; the khirkee-dar is the full-dress turban of gentlemen attached to native courts; the nustalik is a small turban which fits closely to the head, and is worn for full dress at the Mohammedan durbars or royal receptions; the mundeel is the military turban, with stripes of gold and ends; the séthi is like the nustalik, and is worn by bankers; the shumla is a shawl-turban; and I fear you do not care to know the other varieties—the morassa, the umamu, the dustar, the—"

"Thank you," I said: "life is short, my dear Bhima, and I shall know nothing but turbans if this goes on, which will be inconvenient, particularly when I return to my home and my neighbor Smith asks me that ghastly question, 'What do I think of India?'"

"It is a more 'ghastly' question as to India than as to any other country in the world," said the Hindu. "Some years ago, when Mr. Dilke was traveling in this country, a witty officer of one of the hill-stations remarked to him that all general observations about India were absurd. This is quite true. How could it be otherwise? Only consider, for example, the languages of India—the Assamese, with its two branches of the Deccan-göl and the Uttar-göl; the Bengalee; the Maithilee, Tirhutiya or Tirabhucti, spoken between the Coosy and the Gunduck; the Orissan, of the regions around Cuttack; the Nepalese; the Kosalese, about Almora; the Dogusee, between Almora and Cashmere; the Cashmiran; the Panjabee; the Mooltanee, or Vuchee, on the middle Indus; the two dialects of Sindhí, or Tatto, on the lower Indus; the Cutché, on the west coast of the peninsula; the Guseraté, spoken on the islands of Salsette and Bombay and the opposite coast of the Coucan, as well as by the Parsees in the cities, where it is corrupted with many words of other languages through the influence of commercial relations; the Coucané, from Bombay to Goa and along the parallel Gháts where it is called Ballagate; the Bikaneeré, the Marvaré, the Jeyporé, the Udayaporé, of Rajpootana; the Vraja-bhasha (the cow-pen language) of the Doab, between the Ganges and the Jumna, which is probably the parent of Hindi (or Oordú); the Malooé, of the tableland of Malwa; the Bundelakhandé, of the Bundelkhand; the Mogadhé, of Behar; the Maharachtré, of the country south of the Vindhyas; the—"

"It gives me pain to interrupt you, Bhima Gandharva," I said (fervently hoping that this portion of my remark might escape the attention of the recording angel); "but I think we are at Jabalpúr."

Apropos of Jubbulpoor, it is well enough to remark that by the rules of Indian orthography which are now to be considered authentic, the letter "a" without an accent has a sound equivalent to short "u," and a vowel with an acute accent has what is usually called its long sound in English. Accordingly, the word written "Jabalpúr" should be pronounced as if retaining the "u" and the "oo" with which it was formerly written, "Jubbulpoor". The termination púr, so common in the designation of Indian places, is equivalent to that of ville in English, and means the same. The other common termination, abad, means "dwelling" or "residence": e.g., Ahmedabad, the residence of Ahmed. Jabalpúr is but about a mile from the [pg 177] right bank of the Nerbadá (Nerbudda) River; and as I wished to see the famous Marble Rocks of that stream, which are found a short distance from Jabalpúr, my companion and I here left the railway, intending to see a little of the valley of the Nerbadá, and then to strike across the Vindhyas, along the valley of the Tonsa, to Bhopal, making our journey by such slow, irregular and easy stages as should be compatible with that serene and philosophic disposition into which the Hindu's beautiful gravity had by this time quite converted my American tendencies toward rushing through life at the killing pace.


It was a little past midday when we made our first journey along the river between the Marble Rocks. Although the weather was as nearly perfect as weather could be, the mornings being deliciously cool and bracing and the nights cold enough to produce often a thin layer of ice over a pan of water left exposed till daybreak, yet the midday sun was warm enough, especially after a walk, to make one long for leaves and shade and the like. It would be difficult, therefore, to convey the sensations with which we reclined at our ease in a flat-bottomed punt while an attendant poled us up toward the "Fall of Smoke," where the Nerbadá leaps out eagerly toward the low lands he is to fertilize, like a young poet anxious to begin his work of grace in the world. On each side of us rose walls of marble a hundred feet in height, whose pure white was here and there striped with dark green or black: all the colors which met the eye—the marmoreal whites, the bluish grays of the recesses among the ledges, the green and black seams, the limpid blue of the stream—were grateful, calm-toned, refreshing; we inhaled the coolness as if it had been a mild aroma out of a distant flower. This pleasant fragrance, which seemed to come up out of all things, was presently intensified by a sort of spiritual counterpart—a gentle breath that blew upon us from the mysterious regions of death; for on a ghát we saw a small company of Hindus just launching the body of a pious relative into the waters of Mother [pg 178] Nerbadá in all that freedom from grief, and even pleasant contemplation, with which this singular people regard the transition from present to future existence. These corpses, however, which are thus committed to the wave, do not always chime so happily in with the reveries of boating-parties on the Nerbadá. The Marble Rocks are often resorted to by pic-nic parties in the moonlit evenings; and one can easily fancy that to have a dusky dead body float against one's boat and sway slowly round alongside in the midst of a gay jest or of a light song of serenade, as is said to have happened not unfrequently here, is not an occurrence likely to heighten the spirits of revelers. Occasionally, also, the black, ugly double snout of the magar (or Nerbadá crocodile) may pop up from the surface, which may here serve as a warning to the young lady who trails her hand in the water—and I have yet to be in a boating-party where the young lady did not trail her hand in the water—that on the Nerbadá it is perhaps as well to resign an absent-minded hand to the young officer who sits by her in the boat lest Magar should snap it off.

Leaving the Nerbadá we now struck off northward toward the Tonsa, intending to pass round by way of Dumoh, Sangor, Bhilsa and Sanchi to Bhopal. We might have pursued a route somewhat more direct by following directly down the valley of the Nerbadá to Hoshangabad, and thence straight across to Bhopal, but my companion preferred the circuitous route indicated, as embracing a greater variety of interesting objects. He had procured for our conveyance a vehicle which was in all respects suitable to the placidity of his temper; and I make bold to confess that, American as I am—born on the railroad, so to speak—I have never enjoyed traveling as I did in this novel carriage. It was what is called a chapaya. It consisted of a body nearly ten feet in length by more than five in breadth, and was canopied by a top supported upon sculptured pillars of wood. The wheels were massive and low. There were no springs; but this deficiency was atoned for by the thick cushionment of the rear portion of the vehicle, which allowed us to lie at full length in luxurious ease as we rolled along. Four white bullocks, with humps and horns running nearly straight back on the prolongation of the forehead line, drew us along in a very stately manner at the rate of something like a mile and a half an hour.

We were now in the Góndwana, in some particulars one of the most interesting portions of the country. Here are the Highlands of Central India; here rise the Nerbadá and the Tapti—which flow to the westward in a generally parallel direction, and empty into the Gulf of Cambaye, the one at Broode and the other at Surat—as well as the Sôn, the Keyn (or Cane) and the Tonsa, which flow northward into the Jumna. The valley of the Keyn and that of the Tonsa here run across the Vindhyas, which are known to the eastward of this as the Kyrmores, and afford communication between Northern and Southern India. It is along the depression of the latter stream that the railway has been built from Jabalpúr to Allahabad.

The eight hundred thousand Gónds of the Góndwana are supposed to be members of the great autochthonal family of ancient India. These hills of the Góndwana country appear to have been considered by the incoming Aryans for a long time as a sort of uncanny land, whose savage recesses were filled with demons and snakes: indeed, in the epics of the Máhábháráta and Rámáyana this evil character is attributed to that portion of India lying south of the Vindhyas. The forest of Spenser's Fairy Queen, in which wandering knights meet with manifold beasts and maleficent giants, and do valorous battles against them in the rescue of damsels and the like—such seem to have been the Góndwana woods to the ancient Hindu imagination. It was not distressed damsels, however, whom they figured as being assisted by the arms of the errant protectors, but religious devotees, who dwelt in the seclusion of the forest, and who were protected from the pranks and machinations of the savage denizens by opportune heroes [pg 179] of the northern race. It appears, however, that the native demons of the Góndwana had fascinating daughters; for presently we find the rajahs from the north coming down and marrying them; and finally, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the keen urgency of the conquering Mohammedans sends great numbers of Rajpúts down into the Góndwana, and a considerable mixture of the [pg 180] two bloods takes place. With this incursion of Hindu peoples come also the Hindu gods and tenets; and Mahadeo, the "great god," whose home had been the Kailas of the Himalayas, now finds himself domesticated in the mountains of Central India. In the Mahadeo mountain is still a shrine of Siva, which is much visited by pilgrims and worshipers.


The Gónd—he who lives back in the hills, far off from the neighborhood of the extensive planting districts, which have attracted many of those living near them to become at least half-civilized laborers in harvest-time—is a primitive being enough.

"Only look," said Bhima Gandharva, "at that hut if you desire to see what is perhaps one of the most primitive houses since ever the banyan tree gave to man (as is fabled) the idea of sheltering himself from the elements artificially." It was simply made of stakes driven into the ground, between which were wattled branches. This structure was thatched with grass, and plastered with mud.

The Gónd, like the American Indian, has his little patch of grain, which he cultivates, however, in a fashion wholly his own. His sole instrument of agriculture seems to be the axe. Selecting a piece of ground which presents a growth of small and easily-cut saplings—and perhaps, by the way, thus destroying in a few hours a whole cargo of teak trees worth more than all the crops of his agricultural lifetime—he hews down the growth, and in the dry season sets fire to the fallen timber. The result is a bed of ashes over a space of two or three acres. His soil is now ready. If the patch thus prepared happens to be level, he simply flings out a few handfuls of grain, coarse rice, kútki (ponicum) or kódon (paspalum), and the thing is done. The rest is in the hands of the god who sends the rains. If the patch be on a declivity, he places the grain at the upper part, where it will be washed down by the rains over the balance of the field. Next year he will burn some more wood—the first burning will have left many charred stumps and trunks, which he supplements with a little wood dragged from other parts of the forest—on the same spot, and so the next year, by which time it will become necessary to begin a new clearing, or dhya. The dhya thus abandoned does not renew the original growth which clothed it, like the pinelands of the Southern United States, which, if allowed to run waste after having been cleared and cultivated, clothe themselves either with oaks or with a wholly different species of pine from the original growth. The waste dhya, which may have perhaps nourished a splendid growth of teak, becomes now only a dense jungle.

The Gónd also raises pumpkins and beans; and this vegetable diet he supplements with game ensnared in the dhyas, to which peafowl, partridges, hares and the like resort. Many of the villages, however, have a professional huntsman, who will display the most incredible patience in waiting with his matchlock for the game to appear.

Besides these articles of diet, the aborigines of the Góndwana have their mhowa tree, which stands them in much the same multifarious stead as the palm does to its beneficiaries. The flowers of the mhowa fall and are eaten, or are dried and pressed, being much like raisins: they also produce a wine by fermentation and the strong liquor of the hill-people by distillation. Of the seed cakes are made, and an oil is expressed from them which is an article of commerce.

In addition, the poor Gónd appears to have a periodical godsend resulting from a singular habit of one of the great Indian plants. The bamboo is said to undergo a general seeding every thirty years: at this period, although, in the mean time, many individual bamboos may have passed through the process of reproduction, it is said that the whole bamboo growth of a section will simultaneously drop its leaves and put forth large panicles of flowers, after which come great quantities of seeds much like rice. These are gathered for food by the inhabitants with all the greater diligence in consequence of a tradition—which, however, does not seem to be at all supported by facts—that the general seeding of the [pg 181] bamboo portends a failure of the regular crops. The liberal forests of the Góndwana furnish still other edibles to their denizens. The ebony plums, the wild mango, the seeds of the sál tree, the beans of the giant banhinia creeper, a species of arrowroot, and a wild yam, are here found and eaten.


It is not long since the Gónds had arrived at a melancholy condition under the baleful influences of the kulars, or liquor-dealers, who resided among them and created an extraordinary demand for their intoxicating wares by paying for service and for produce in liquor. The kulars have, however, been thrown [pg 182] into the background by wise efforts toward their suppression, and matters have improved for the poor autoch-thones.

We spent our first night in our chapaya, my companion having so arranged matters that we were quite independent of the bungaloos which the Englishmen have erected at suitable distances along the great roads for the convenience of travelers. The night was clear; betwixt the corner pillars which upheld our canopy a thousand friendly salutations from the stars streamed in upon us; the tranquil countenance of my friend seemed, as he lay beside me, like the face of the Past purified of old errors and calm with great wisdom got through great tribulation, insomuch that betwixt the Hindu and the stars I felt myself to be at once in communication with antiquity and with eternity.

Thus we pursued our ambulatory meditations through the Góndwana. If we had been sportsmen, we should have found full as varied a field for the bagging of game as for that more spiritual hunt after new ideas and sensations in which we were engaged. Gray quail, gray partridges, painted partridges (Francolinus pictus), snipe and many varieties of water-fowl, the sambor, the black antelope, the Indian gazelle or ravine deer, the gaur or Indian bison, chewing the cud in the midday shade or drinking from a clear stream, troops of nilgaé springing out from the long grass and dwarf growth of polás and jujube trees which covered the sites of abandoned villages and fields,—all these revealed themselves to us in the most tempting situations. But although I had been an ardent devotee of the double-barrel, the large and manly tenderness which Bhima Gandharva invariably displayed toward all animals, whether wild or tame, had wrought marvels upon me, and I had grown fairly ashamed—nay, horrified—at the idea that anything which a generous and brave man could call sport should consist wholly in the most keen and savage cruelties inflicted upon creatures whom we fight at the most unknightly odds, we armed, they unarmed. While I knew that our pleasures are by the divine order mostly distillations from pain, I could not now help recognizing at the same time that this circumstance was part of an enormous plan which the slaughter of innocent creatures in the way of "sport" did in nowise help to carry out.

The truth is, although I had been for some days wavering upon the brink of these conclusions in a quiet way, I found the old keen ardor of the sportsman still burning too strongly, and I had started out with a breech-loader, intent upon doing much of the Góndwana route gun in hand. It was not long before a thoughtless shot operated to bring my growing convictions sharply face to face with my decreasing practice, and thus to quite frown the latter out of existence. It happened in this wise: One day, not far from sunset, I was walking idly along behind the chapaya, in which Bhima Gandharva was dreamily reclining, when suddenly a pair of great sáras cranes rose from the low banks of a small stream and sailed directly across the road. Quick as thought—indeed, quicker than thought; for if I had thought, I would not have done it—I fired, and brought down one of the monstrous birds. As I started to approach it, Bhima Gandharva said, in a tone just a trifle graver than usual, "Stop! wait a moment," and at the same time halted the chapaya. The mate of the bird I had shot, seeing him fall, alighted on the same spot, then flew up, then returned, flew up again, returned again, with an exhibition of sad and lingering affection of which I had not dreamed, and which penetrated me beyond expression; so I stood half stolid outwardly and wholly ashamed and grieved inwardly. "The sáras," said my friend, "is the type of conjugal affection among the Hindus. The birds nearly always go in pairs; and when one is killed, the other invariably makes those demonstrations of tenderness which you have just seen."

As we journeyed along in the dusk came notes from another pair of feathered lovers, "chukwa, chukwi," "chukwa, chukwi," in a sort of mournful [pg 183] alternation. They were the branning ducks, he on one side, she on the other side of the stream, as is their habit, whence they are fabled to be a pair of lovers who must yearn unavailingly through the long nights from opposite banks of the river.

That night, when Bhima Gandharva was asleep, I gently arose, took my double-barrel—thou dear Manton! how often has not Jonesville admired thee returning from the field at late evening slanting at a jaunty angle high above my bagful of snipe or of quail as the case might be!—yes, I took this love of a gun, together with the cartridges, accoutrements and all other rights, members and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, and slid the whole lot softly into a deep green pool of the very stream from which had flown my sáras.

The taste of gypsy life which I was now enjoying contributed to add a sort of personal element to that general interest which hangs about the curious Banjaris, whom we met constantly, with their families and their bullocks, along our road. Banjara is literally "forest-wanderer." The women were especially notable for their tall stature, shapely figures and erect carriage; which circumstances are all the more wonderful from the life of hardship which they lead, attending as they do at once to the foraging of the cattle, the culinary preparations for the men and the cares of the children. From the profusion of ornaments which they wore, one may imagine, however, that they were well cared for by their lords in return for their affectionate labors; and the general bearing of the tall Banjara who bore a long two-handed sword gave evidence of a certain inward sense of protection over his belongings which probably found vent in many an affectionate gift of rings and bracelets to his graceful partner. It must be confessed that the gypsying of these Eastern Bohemians is not so free a life as is popularly supposed. The naik or sovereign of each tanda, or camp, seems to be possessed of absolute power, and in this connection the long two-handed sword suggested much less gentle reflections. The Banjara, however, though a nomad, is a serviceable one, for he is engaged in trade. With his bullocks he is the carrier of Central India, and is to be met with all over that section, bringing salt and other commodities and returning with interior produce.


Fra Aloysius, vexed with skeptic fears,

Nigh crazed with thought to all the saints did pray

For faith in those mysterious words that say,

"One day is with the Lord a thousand years,

A thousand years with Him are as a day."

An erudite and holy monk was he,

And yet his brethren trembled lest his brain

Should lose its poise, so long he dwelt in vain

On that perplexing verse to find its key,

And strove to make its hidden meaning plain.

[pg 184]

Racked by a sleepless night, one fresh spring morn

Forth from the cloister Aloysius strolled.

The wood was dewy-bright, clear beams of gold

Illumined it, and to his heart was borne

A sense of freedom, peace and joy untold.

Beside a laughing brook he sat to rest,

Above whose wave did long-haired willows weep;

Midmost the dense green forest, still and deep,

Lulled by the trickling waters and possessed

By tranquil thoughts, the friar fell asleep.

And, overworn, he slept the livelong day,

Nor waked until the twilight shadows fell,

That flung a brown night o'er that leafy dell.

Then up he rose refreshed and went his way,

And, half ashamed, he heard the vesper-bell.

Back to the convent fared he; at the gate

A stranger gave him entrance, but he passed

Into the chapel with meek eyes downcast,

In truant guise returning home thus late,

And toward his wonted seat made seemly haste.

Too late! a stranger filled it. Looking round,

Amazed, he could discern no face he knew.

The abbot's self had changed; his wonder grew,

When, after the familiar chant, he found

These crazy monks held him for crazy too.

They gathered round with curious, eager eyes.

"What cloister's this?" he asked. They named its name:

The one he left that morning was the same.

His name he gave; with many a wild surmise

They guessed who he might be and whence he came.

He asked them where the abbot was at last,

From whom he parted but the night before.

"He hath been dead three hundred years and more!"

They answered with a single voice, aghast.

Then spake a friar versed in monkish lore:

"Brethren, a miracle! This man I know:

'Tis Aloysius, who, as I have read,

Beset with doubts, forth from this convent fled,

And vanished, some three hundred years ago,

And all the world hath counted him as dead."

Then Aloysius felt the blessed tears

Fulfill his eyes, whence dropped the scales away.

Kneeling, he cried, "Oh, brethren, let us pray.

One day is with the Lord a thousand years,

A thousand years with Him are as a day."


[pg 185]


The beauty of this country is that no turbulent sea confines its borders, nor are martello-towers needed to guard its coast: no jealous neighbor threatens its frontier, no army oppresses its citizens, and no king can usurp its throne. Its locality is hard to define: like the Fata Morgana, it is here to-day and gone to-morrow, for its territory is the mind of men, and in extent it is as boundless as thought. Natives of every clime are enrolled among its freemen, and all lands contain its representatives, but it is in the picturesque streets of the older continental cities of Europe, where rambling lodgings and cheap apartments are many, that the invisible mother-country founds her colonies. I will tell you how I went and what I saw there.

Afra was a cosmopolite, and consequently knew Bohemia, its byways and thoroughfares. If any one could fill the office of guide thereto, Afra could, and when one evening she rushed into my room saying, "Come along if you want to go to Bohemia," I did not hesitate a moment, but made ready for the journey, with the simple precaution of putting on my bonnet and shawl.

"A cab?" I asked as we moved from the door.

"Who ever heard of entering Bohemia in a cab?" laughed Afra dryly. "People have been known to drive out in their own carriages, but they always make their first appearance there on foot, or at best in an omnibus."

"As you please," I replied, trying to keep pace with her rapid step, which showed constant practice.

"I wonder you did not propose a balloon," she continued pettishly. "The gods don't give everything to one person: now, they give us brains, and they give other people—money."

"If you would understand, I—"

"No, you wouldn't. I sha'n't ride in cabs until I can pay for them myself; meanwhile, I have gros sous enough in my pocket for an omnibus fare, and if you have the same we will stop here." At this she entered a bureau, and as I followed I saw her get some tickets from a man who sat behind a small counter, and then composedly sit down on a bench while she said, "We shall have some time to wait for our luxury:" then showing me the tickets, "Twelve and thirteen: it is a full night, and all these people ahead of us."

"Is it a lottery?" I asked ignorantly.

"Very much of a lottery," Afra replied grimly—"like all the ways of Bohemia, remarkably uncertain. You get a ticket for something in the giving of the Muses, and you wait until your number is called. The worst of it is, the most unlikely people are called before you, and some get disgusted and leave: there goes one out at the door at this moment. Well, he may be better or he may be worse off than those who finally win: who knows if any race is worth the running? Still, if you have courage to hold on, I believe there is no doubt that every one ultimately gets something." Seeing my perplexity, she twisted the round tickets between her fingers and added, "Do not be alarmed: these are only good for a seat in the first empty 'bus that comes up. The conductor will call out the numbers in rotation, and if ours is among them we shall go. It is frightful that you have never ridden in a 'bus before. I wonder where we should get ideas if we shut ourselves up in cabs and never walked or were hungry or tired, and thought only of our own comfort from morning till night? You don't know what you miss, you poor deluded, unfortunate rich people. I will tell you of something I saw the other evening; and, as it is worthy of a name, it shall be called 'The Romance of an Omnibus.' Listen! isn't that our numbers I heard? Yes: come quick or we shall lose our chance."

"Well," said I when we had successfully [pg 186] threaded the crowd and were seated—"the romance."

"You have no idea of the fitness of things. My story is pathetic: it will look badly to see you drowned in tears—people will stare."

"I promise not to cry."

"Oh, if you are one of those stolid, unemotional beings who are never moved, I sha'n't waste my tale upon you. Wait until to-morrow: we will get Monsieur C—— to recount, and you shall hear something worth listening to. He is a regular troubadour—has the same artless vanity they were known to possess, their charming simplicity, their gestures, and their power of investing everything with romance. One is transported to the Middle Ages while he speaks: no book written on the subject could so fully give you the flavor of the times. He recalls Froissart. If you are not affected by C——'s stories, you had better pretend to be. But that, I am sure, will not be necessary: a great tragedian was lost when he became a great painter."

"Might I ask how and when and where I am to meet this wonderful man?"

"At the garden-party."

"In what way am I to get there?"

"By strategy. There is a little reunion to-night of what may be called female Bohemians. They are going to settle the preliminaries of this party, and if you happen to be present they will invite you; not that they particularly care for your company, but because, as I said, you happen to be there. Only don't get yourself into a mess by tramping on any one's toes."

"Have they corns?"

"Yes, on every inch of surface: they are dreadfully thin-skinned. But they hate sham even more than a hard knock, and are quicker than a police-officer in detecting it; so be careful not to talk about anything you are ignorant of."

"Give me a few rules, and I promise to conduct myself properly."

"Well, don't be snobbish and patronize them, and don't look shocked at any strange opinions you hear, nor act as if you were at an animal show and were wondering what would happen next. Be sure not to assent when you see they wish to argue, and don't argue when they expect acquiescence. If any of them speak in broken English, and you can't for the life of you understand, don't ask them to repeat, but answer immediately, for you can imagine when one has taken pains to learn a foreign language one likes it to be appreciated, and don't—But here we are. In short, make yourself at home, as if you had been there all your life."

"Afra," I said, laying my hand on her arm as she took to her swift pace again, "perhaps I had better go home: I am afraid I can't—I think—that is—"

"Nonsense! as if you could not get on after all those hints! Anyway, you cannot return alone, and I am unable to go with you. Make up your mind to blunder, and do it. There was an amateur visited the studio about three months ago: her absurdities have lasted us for laughing material ever since. As she is getting rather stale, you can take her place. This is the house: come in."

With this doubtful prospect in view I followed my peremptory guide from the narrow street into what appeared to be a spacious court, but as the only light it received was from a blinking candle in the window of the conciergerie, I could not determine. After exchanging some cabalistic sentences with a toothless old woman, the proprietor of the candle, Afra turned to the right, and walking a few steps came to a door opening on a stairway, which we mounted. I can think of nothing black enough for comparison with the darkness surrounding us. At last a faint glimmer showed an old lamp standing in a corner of a hall bare and carpetless. A series of doors flanked the place, looking to my unaccustomed eyes all alike, but Afra without a moment's hesitation went to one of them and knocked. It was opened by a lady, who smiled and said, "Enter. You are just in time: school is over and the model about going."

I found myself in a high-ceiled room, at one end of which was suspended a row of perhaps a dozen lamps. Here, at least, there was-no lack of light: it [pg 187] required some moments to accustom our eyes to the sudden contrast. The yellow blaze was directed by reflectors into the space immediately beneath the lamps, which left the rest of the room pleasantly tempered. Some easels, a few chairs and screens, plaster casts on shelves, sketches in all stages of progress on the wall, a tea-kettle singing over a bright fire in a stove, and a curtain enclosing a corner used as a bedroom, completed the list of furniture. It was a night-school for lady artists. The class had finished for the evening, and a number of the students were moving about or seated near the fire, talking in an unlimited number of languages.

I was given several random introductions, and did my best to follow Afra's directions; but there was an indescribable quaintness about the appearance and manners of my new acquaintance that made it difficult not to stare. I found, however, that little notice was taken of me, as a lively discussion was being carried on over a study of an arm and hand which one of them was holding up for inspection.

"It is a style I should call the lantern," said she. "The redness of the flesh can only be accounted for on the supposition that a light is shining through it."

"I should call it raw beef," remarked another.

"It is a shame, mademoiselle!" began the model in an injured tone. She had been tying on her bonnet before a bit of looking-glass she had taken from her pocket. "Does my arm look like that?" Here she indignantly drew up her sleeve and held out that dimpled member, meanwhile gazing wrathfully at the sketch. "It ought not to be allowed. The silver tones of my flesh are entirely lost; and see how you have caricatured the elegance of my beautiful hand. Will not some one help mademoiselle to put it right before my reputation is ruined?"

"Jeanne, a model is not a critic," said the author of the drawing, coming forward and grasping the canvas with no gentle hand.—"Ladies, if you wish to find fault, turn to your own studies. That proportion is frightful"—she pointed to different sketches as she spoke—"that ear is too large; and, madame, if you take a crust of paint like yours for freedom of touch, I pity you."

This dispute was by no means the last during the evening. Opinions seemed to be plentiful in Bohemia, each individual being furnished with a set of her own on every subject broached; and as no diffidence was shown in putting them forth, the company quarreled with great good-nature and evident enjoyment. A pot of tea was then brewed by the owner of the studio, who had been English before she became Bohemian, and the beverage was handed round in tea-cups which, like the opinions of the guests, differed widely from each other. In the silence that attended this diversion Afra took the floor and said, "How about the garden-party to the country? Who is going?"

Several spoke, and one asked, "Shall we take lunch with us?"

"No, something will be provided for us there."

"So much the better. When are we to meet, and where?"

"Twelve o'clock, midday, at ——."

"What messieurs are going?"

"Quite a number—a tenor from the Grand Opera, and the leader of the orchestra, who is a magnificent violinist; that new Spanish painter who plays the guitar divinely; a poet—that is, he has written some pretty songs—besides plenty more."

"That promises well."

"You will bring your friend?" and the speaker nodded her head toward me.

"I shall be delighted: I am so curious to see those eccentric—" Here a warning glance from Afra stopped me.

But the lady only laughed and said, "You will see eccentricity enough to-morrow, if that is what you want. People who devote their minds to great objects have no time to think of little things. You had better see that Afra has on her bonnet or she will go without one."

"Nonsense!" replied Afra.—"Miss," this to the owner of the studio, who was so called in honor of her English birth, "are you ever troubled by the ghost of [pg 188] that young painter who hung himself up there?"

"Those who have occasion to commit suicide are not likely to come back: they have had enough of this world," said the Englishwoman.

"Did some one really die here?" I asked.

"Yes, really;" and Afra mimicked my tone of horror. "You know, a Bohemian is at home anywhere, so a change of country don't affect him much. If we find a place disagreeable, we travel."

"Was he insane?"

"Not more than the rest of us, but you can't understand the feeling that would induce a man to do such a thing. This young fellow painted a picture: he put his mind, his soul, himself, into it, and sent it to the Exhibition. It was rejected—that is, he was rejected—and he came here and died. They found him suspended from that beam where the lamps hang now."

"I thought your Bohemia was so gay?"

"So it is, but the brightest light makes the deepest shadows."

The conversation went on. These ladies discussed politics, literature, art and society with absolute confidence. One of the topics was Alfred de Musset. The Englishwoman was praising the English Alfred, when a pale-faced girl, who up to this moment had been intently reading, oblivious of all about her, closed her book with a snap (it was a much-worn edition of one of the classics, bought for a few sous on the quay) and broke out with—"Your Tennyson is childish. His King Arthur puts me in mind of our Louis Philippe and his umbrella. Did you know Louis carried an umbrella with him when he was obliged to fly from Paris? One would have looked well held over Arthur's dragon helmet that disagreeable night he left the queen to go and fight his nephew. But perhaps Guinevere had lent it to Launcelot, and even the best friends, alas! do not return umbrellas. Your poet writes in white kid gloves, and thinks in them too. Imagine the magnificent rush and struggle of those ancient days, the ecstasy of battle, the intensity of life, and then read your Tennyson's milk-and-water tales, with their modern English-ménage feelings. Arthur would have been much more likely to give his wife a beating, as did the hero of the Nibelungen Lied, than that high-flown lecture; and it would have done the Guinevere of that time more good."

"And what is your Alfred, Anita?"

"He is divine."

"After the heathen pattern. He dipped his pen in mire."

"What is mire?—water and earth. What are we?—water and earth. Mire is humanity, and holds in itself not only the roots of the tree, but the germ of the flower. A poet who is too delicate to plant his thought in earth must be content to give it but the life of a parasite: it can have no separate existence of its own."

"But one need not be bad to be great."

"Nor need one be good to be great," returned Anita sarcastically. "Alfred de Musset was a peculiar type of a peculiar time. He did not imagine: he felt, he lived, he was himself, and was original, like a new variety of flower or a new species of insect. Tennyson has gleaned from everybody's fields: our Alfred gathered only from his own. The one is made, the other is born."

"Come away," said Afra impatiently: "no one can speak while Anita is on her hobby. Besides, I must get home early to trim a bonnet for to-morrow;" and without more leavetaking than a "Good-evening," which included every one, we found ourselves in the street.

"Who is Anita?" I asked.

"She is nobody just now: what she will be remains to be seen. Her family wish her to be an artist: she wishes to adopt the stage as a profession, and is studying for it sub rosa. Did you ever see a more tragic face?"

"Poor thing!" I involuntarily exclaimed.

"Don't pity her," said Afra, more seriously than she had yet spoken. "The best gift that can be bestowed upon a mortal is a strong natural inclination for any particular life and the opportunity of following it. The man or woman who has [pg 189] that can use the wheel of Fate for a spinning-wheel."

The next morning at the appointed time I met Afra at the station. "How do I look?" she asked, standing up for my inspection as soon as I appeared in sight, at the same time regarding as much of her dress as it was possible for her to see. But before I could reply the satisfied expression of her face changed: an unpleasant discovery had been made. "I have shoes on that are not mates," she exclaimed—"cloth and leather: that looks rather queer, doesn't it? Do you think it will be noticed? I could not decide which pair to wear, and put on one of each to see the effect: afterward I forgot them. Now, I suppose that would be thought eccentric, though any one might make the same mistake. It shows I have two pairs of shoes," she added more cheerfully, "and they are both black. How is my bonnet?"

The bonnet was black velvet, and we were in midsummer. The material, however, was skillfully draped with a veil, and a profusion of pink flowers gave it a seasonable air. A crimson bow was also tied at her neck; she complacently remarked that "pink and crimson harmonize beautifully;" and others of the party arriving at that moment, I was saved the trouble of making a polite answer.

The ride through ripening grain-fields and moss-thatched hamlets need not be described; suffice it to say, it was France and June. An omnibus was waiting at the station where we dismounted: it carried us near, but not to, our destination. After leaving it we walked through the streets of a low-roofed village, then followed a path bordered with wild mignonette and apple trees that wound up the side of a hill covered with vineyards. A couple of chattering magpies ran before us, an invisible cuckoo was heard between snatches of Italian melody warbled by the tenor sotto voce and the little company overflowed with gayety.

The house we arrived at looked as if it might be a castle in the air materialized—pointed windows hidden in ivy, through which you saw the chintz-covered walls of the interior; turrets on the roof and a stair-tower; odd nooks for pigeons and cattle; the color a weather-toned red, met by gray roofs, green trees and blue sky. We passed through it to the quaint garden: rows of dwarf pears bordered its paths, and trellises and walls supported nectarines and vines, with sunshine and shadow caressing the half-ripe fruit.

The shady spaces were occupied by guests who had arrived before us, and we saw with pleasure that ceremony had not been invited to attend. The host's kindly manner was sufficient to put the company at once at ease. We wandered at will from group to group, listening or conversing: introductions were sometimes given, but more often not.

At one table some ladies and gentlemen were playing the artistic game of "five points." A more difficult pastime was never invented. The materials necessary are simply a piece of paper and a pencil: it is their use that is extraordinary. A person puts five dots on the paper in whatever position fancy may dictate: on this slight foundation another is expected to design a figure, the puzzle being to include all the marks given. One that I saw had four of the dots placed unusually close together, and the fifth in a distant corner: this latter, in the opinion of the lookers-on, would surely prove refractory. After some moments of consideration, with pencil suspended and eye attentive, the artist commenced drawing. In ten minutes the sketch was finished. It was an angel: her upturned head took in the highest of the group of dots; one hand hanging by her side the next; a knee the third; and the flowing hem of her robe the fourth; but the fifth in the corner—what could reach it? With a touch of the pencil the angel's other hand appeared flinging up a censer attached to a long chain, which struck the solitary dot like a shot amid acclamations. To show that he did not consider the feat a tour de force, the artist turned the paper, and taking the same marks drew a devil in an entirely different attitude, the difficult point being reached by his pitchfork. [pg 190] This gave rise to a learned discussion as to whether the devil's emblematic pitchfork was not a descendant of Neptune's trident, which I did not stay to hear, as Afra whispered she wanted to present me to Monsieur C——, and I was taken to a gentleman of no great height, but of such wondrous width that Nature must have formed him in a most generous mood.

"You are American?" said this wide man to me as I was introduced, and without waiting for a reply went on: "I like your country-people: they admire frankly. Show them a picture, they exclaim, 'Beautiful! magnificent! lovely! exquisite! name your price;' and they buy it. Here the public look and look. 'Not bad,' they say, 'but the color is from Veronese, and that attitude is surely Raphael's. What a mine that man's genius has been to ambitious but less gifted artists!' and so they go on. I wish they would let the dead rest in peace. Are you acquainted with Mr. B—— of New York?"

I was obliged to say "No."

"I wish to send a message to him," he continued grandly: "tell him that I paint now for him alone."

"You are court-painter to Mr. B——," I remarked laughingly.

"Don't speak of courts," he exclaimed pettishly. "I was to have painted the baptism of the prince imperial for the state: it gave me no end of annoyance, and in the end was never finished."

"I understood that you insisted on painting the little prince nude, after the Rubens manner, and that was one ground of objection to the design," said Afra.

"The baby would have had on plenty of clothes: one of his dresses was sent from the Tuileries for Monsieur C—— to paint, and I sewed a rosette on it myself." This from the painter's wife.

"A countryman of yours sat for the head of a young priest at the ceremony. He had a fine countenance: he was studying art with me at the time, and has since been professor of drawing at your Naval Academy. Teaching is a sad trade—Pegasus dragging the plough."

"At least, your other great picture brought you nothing but praise."

"The public have since repented of being so good to me. Then, they could not say enough in my favor: now, if a person asks what I am doing, every one repeats like a parrot, 'C—— doesn't paint, C—— doesn't paint.' I have heard it so often that I begin to believe it myself, and when I am asked join the general cry, 'C—— doesn't paint.'"

I laughed, thinking this a joke, but I soon found that though C—— might be cynical, sarcastic or bitter, though he might excite unintentional laughter by his remarks, he was too sensitive a man to take any but a serious view of life. The imperfections of the world excited his disgust, his anger, never his mirth.

"Ah but, monsieur," said Afra, "you should be satisfied, and leave some little honor for the rest of us to gather. The stories one hears of your youth are like fairy-tales."

"And they are true," replied the artist with evident enjoyment. "In those days I was pointed out to people when I walked the street; which, by the way, gave rise to an odd incident. A gentleman thought he had seen me in a crowd, but he had taken an older and taller man for the great painter. He believed big pictures were painted by big men, and I had not then my present circumference. This gentleman sent me an invitation to dine with him. On the day appointed I arrived at the house, and was met at the door by my host, a look of surprise and annoyance on his face which he tried to conceal by a low bow, at the same time asking politely, 'How is your father?'—'Very well, thank you,' I returned, although I could not understand why my father's health should be a matter of interest to him.—'You have come to tell me of some catastrophe which prevents his attendance here to-day?'—'Not at all: I have come to dine with you, according to this invitation.' Here I pulled out the card, which I happened to have in my pocket.—'Are you the person here addressed?' he said, staring at me.—'I am'.—'I beg your pardon, there is a mistake: I meant it for your father, [pg 191] the painter of the "Décadence des Romains."'—'I am the painter of the "Décadence," but I am not my father.'—'You ought to be an older man.'—'I should have been, monsieur, had I been born sooner.'—At that moment a friend, overhearing the conversation and divining the cause, came and explained to my wonder-struck host that I was really the artist in question. With many apologies I was led into a hall adorned with floral arches in my honor, next to a beautiful salon, likewise decorated, and finally we reached the dining-room, which was arranged to represent my picture. Columns wreathed with flowers supported the roof; flowers festooned the white table-linen and adorned the antique vessels that covered it; couches of different colored silk were laid after the Roman fashion for the guests to recline upon; and lovely women dressed in costly Roman costumes, their heads crowned with flowers, were placed in the attitudes that you will see on my celebrated canvas. Was it not a graceful tribute to my genius?"

"If a Frenchman wants to pay a compliment, he never uses one that has done duty before, but invents something new," said Afra emphatically.

"What are you painting now, monsieur?" I asked.

"A series of pictures called 'Pierrot the Clown.' He succeeds in tricking the world in every station of life. I am just finishing his deathbed. All his friends are weeping about him: the doctor feels his pulse and gives some learned name to the disease—doctors know so much—while hidden everywhere around the room are empty bottles. The drunken clown plays with even death for a mask."

"I thought he painted such romantic pictures," said I to Afra as we turned from the master.

"So he does: there is one in his studio now. A girl clad in gray and shadow—open-air shade which in his hands is so clear and luminous. She walks along a garden-path, her head bent down, dreaming as she goes, and unconsciously nearing a half-open gateway, through which the sunshine is streaming. Above the rustic gate two doves are billing and cooing. You feel sure the girl is about to pass through this typical, sunshiny, invitingly half-open door; and—what is beyond?"

Just then we were called to lunch, a plentiful but not luxurious repast. There was no lack of lively repartees and anecdotes, and we had speeches and songs afterward. I wonder if I ever heard "'Tis better to laugh than be sighing" given with more zest than on that day? One could easily imagine that it was such an occasion as this that had inspired it.

Lunch being over, Monsieur C—— was asked to relate one of his own stories. I cannot give it entire, but the plot was this: A pilgrim, whom he called poor Jacques, hearing much of heaven, set out to find his way to the blessed abode, with only a little dog to accompany him on the journey. As he went he met many of his contemporaries, who had made what a walker would style but poor time. The allusions to well-known peculiarities in the various people and their occupation in the other life caused much amusement. For instance, Ingres the painter was seated by the roadside playing Rossini's music on the violin, on which instrument he was a great proficient. But he was known to detest the Italian's music before he started heavenward: his taste must then have grown en route. (Critics might object to this supposition.) However, Jacques was anxious to push on, and spent little time listening. But he was a good-hearted man, and, though he would not delay for his own amusement, he could not refuse to stop when fellow-pilgrims asked him for assistance. Little children were continually straying from the path, and without Jacques and his little dog would inevitably have been lost. Feeble old people were standing looking with despair at some obstacle that without Jacques's friendly arm they would have found it impossible to pass. Young men who never looked where they were walking were continually calling on him for a hand to help them out of the ditch where they had fallen; and young girls—well, one would have supposed they had never been given feet of their own to walk with, from the trouble they were to poor Jacques. The worst of it was, [pg 192] that when all these good people were well over their troubles they called Jacques a simpleton for his pains, and refused to have any intercourse with him, giving him the worst side of the road and laughing at his old-fashioned staff and scrip, and even at his little dog, to which they gave many a sly kick. Nor was it any wonder, for there were many in the company robed in silk, wearing precious stones and with well-filled wallets by their sides. Jacques was but human, and often he wished he had never set out for heaven at all in such company; but even in their bitterest moods neither Jacques nor the little dog could ever hear a cry of distress without forgetting all unkindness and rushing at once to the rescue.

These labors exhausted Jacques's strength: the little dog, too, was worn to a shadow, and so timid from ill-treatment that it was only when some great occasion called out his mettle that you saw what a noble little dog-heart he had. He did his best to comfort his master, but when Jacques's sandals were worn out and his cloak in rags, and when he looked forward and saw nothing yet of the holy city in view, though he still tried to go forward, Nature gave way: he sank to the ground, and the little dog licked his hands in vain to awaken him.

There is a band of angels who each night descend the holy mount whereon is built the city, in search of such pilgrims as have failed through fatigue to reach the gate. They are clothed in robes woven of good deeds, which never lose their lustre, for they are renewed every day. It was this company which found Jacques in his swoon by the roadside. One gently touched his tired body, and more than the vigor of youth leapt through his veins. Another whispered "Come," and he rose and walked with them. As he moved on with eyes abashed, thinking of the rents in his garments and regretting their poverty, he noticed that they too were changed, and were as bright as those of his companions. "Who has done this?" he said, venturing to address the one that walked at his right hand. "You wore them always," he answered with an angelic smile, "but it is this light which shows their beauty;" and he pointed to that which streamed from the celestial walls.

There was much applause. I saw Afra wipe a tear from her eye; only, a thin-faced individual who sat near me whispered that it was too long. The delicacy and pathos of expression and language it is impossible to give, and, though old in form, the story was skillfully new in incident; nor must I forget that the little dog slipped through the eternal gate with his master. Some one asked the troubadour why he did not write it out. He shook his head and threw up his hands as he replied, "I wrote one book and gave it to a literary man for correction. You should have seen the manuscript when he sent it home: not a page but was scarred and cut. He called that 'style.' Now, what did I want with style? I wanted to write as I talked."

"Certainly," said one. "What did you do?"

"I quickly put Monsieur le Rédacteur's style out of my book; then I published it. George Sand promised to write the preface, but some busybody told her that I was attacking the whole world, so she would have nothing to do with it. She was misled: I blamed nothing in my book but what deserved censure."

Having heard this excellent representation of the ancient minstrel, we were shortly given a touch of the modern usurper of the name. A gentleman was present who in the many turns of Fortune's wheel had once found himself a follower of the burnt-cork persuasion. He gave us a negro melody with a lively accompaniment on the guitar. A melancholy Spanish song followed. The company again dispersed into congenial groups, and in the long twilight you heard the murmur of voices broken by occasional snatches of melody or the nightingale's song.

"And what do you think of Bohemia?" asked Afra as we returned that night.

"It is different from what I expected. They are refined, and, though frank, never rude. I think—"

[pg 193]

Afra laughed: "You had unconsciously thought them a set of sharpers; but there is a great difference between living by your brains and living by your wits. My dear, you have broken bread with giants to-day: such men live in another world that they may rule this one."



The two words that recur most frequently perhaps in the discussion of matters of education are "teacher" and "professor;" yet there are no two that are used so carelessly and loosely. It seems as if the thought that they may not be synonymous seldom, if ever, occurs to those using them. If one of our writers or speakers upon education were suddenly called upon to state exactly what he meant by a "professor" in distinction from a "teacher," he would be at a loss for an answer. He might reply, after some hesitation, "Why, a teacher is a man who teaches at a school or an academy, and a professor is a man who teaches at a college." If he were pressed still more closely, and asked to give the precise difference between a "school or an academy" and a "college," it is safe to assume that he would find himself nonplussed. There are colleges in the country, some large and others small, some old and others young, some good and others poor; but aside from the fact that they provide a curriculum of four years and teach a certain amount of Latin, Greek and mathematics, they do not possess features enough in common to enable us to define with exactness "a college." It is not in the power of language to devise a formula so elastic as to embrace Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Trinity, Cornell and Michigan University, without at the same time ignoring the characteristic features of one or the other. Even if we admit that there is a vague ideal unity underlying the so-called college system, by virtue of which it is a system and not a mere aggregate, we shall not make much progress in our search after the proper definition of the term "professor." The utmost that can be said of our college system, as a system, is that it stands on a somewhat higher plane than the schools, that it is supposed to finish a young man's education, and consequently that the men whom it employs for such a purpose—its professors—are, or at least ought to be, abler men than the teachers proper. The difference, then, between professor and teacher is one of degree, and not of kind. Both teach, and both teach in great part the same subjects and in substantially the same way; that is, by means of textbook and recitation. Herein lies the explanation of the disposition evinced by some of our best schools to call their teachers "professors." An institution like Phillips Exeter or Andover can scarcely be said to assume more than it is entitled to in putting itself on an equality with Hobart College or Racine.

On turning to Germany, we observe no such laxity in the use of the term "professor." He, and he only, is professor who "professes" to have made himself eminent in his special branch, and whose claims have been allowed officially by a university or by the government. He is not even a teacher in the English or American sense. He is a scholar and investigator who has produced results worthy of distinction, and it is upon the strength of those results, and not because of his real or supposed ability to impart knowledge and stimulate industry among students, that he receives his call to a university chair. 1

[pg 194]

The words of one who is himself a leading professor in one of the most renowned universities are so explicit upon this point that they deserve to be translated and carefully studied. Heinrich von Sybel, in his academic address delivered at Bonn in 1868, says: "The excellence of our universities is to be found in the fact that they are not mere institutions where instruction is given, but are workshops of science2—that their vital principle is unceasing scientific productivity. Hence it is that the state assembles the best men of all Germany as professors at its universities, so that the phenomenon, common enough in England and France, of a distinguished savant without a university chair is with us a very unusual exception. Hence it is that in appointing to such a chair the first and last demand is for published evidences of such activity. As for the so-called ability to teach (Lehrtalent im formellen Sinne), we are satisfied if it is not utterly and notoriously wanting. The question upon which everything turns is, Has the candidate given evidence of his capacity for original investigation and production? Whoever has this capacity is sufficiently qualified, according to our German notions, for fulfilling the essential function of university instruction."

In other words, a German professor is a man who has devoted himself to special and original research—to "science" as Von Sybel uses the term—and whose discoveries and works give strength and increase of dignity to the university with which he is connected. He is appointed upon his merits as a discoverer or an author. The further consideration—namely, whether he is what we Americans style a "good teacher"—was not so much as an afterthought in the minds of those who gave him his call. The explanation of this disregard of the personal element in the professorial character is obvious. The professor is not called upon to teach. It does not constitute any part of his vocation to spur up the sluggish, to keep the idle busy, to give each student enough to do, and make first principles perfectly clear to all. So far from coming down to the level of the students, the professor expects that the students will make every possible exertion to rise to his level, while he himself can scarcely be said to lend a helping hand. To the sentimentalist, then, he might appear a very selfish mortal. But by going beneath the surface of the relation between professor and student, and examining into its essence, we shall find that it is an eminently healthful relation, because it is based upon the recognition of mutual rights and duties. The professor, as a man of science, has a right to the free direction of his talents. The student has the right to develop what there is in him without supervision or interference. He is to make a man of himself by seeking diligently after the truth in a manly, independent spirit. All that the professor can do for him is to point out the road to the truth.

This view of the functions of a professor may appear obscure and exaggerated to one who has not studied at a German university. But it gives the clew to the entire German system of university education, and accounts in great part for the high standard of scholarship. Only in part, for the innate proneness of the German mind to research must be credited with some share in the result. It is safe to say that Germany, under any system, would be a land of erudition.

However pleasant it might be to go into the details of the professional position and character in Germany, it will be more profitable, and certainly more practical, to compare this fundamental German idea, as already given, with the salient features of professional life in America. The American professor, then, is a teacher. Unless he is the fortunate occupant of an exceptionally favored chair, his chief, and even his sole, function [pg 195] in the college body is to teach, in the strictest sense of the term. He has to prescribe textbooks, assign and hear lessons, grade recitations, mark examination-papers, submit carefully prepared term and annual reports to the faculty. When the question of conditioning or dismissing a student on the ground of defective scholarship comes up for decision, his opinion must be given and weighed in connection with that of others, in order that the faculty may strike a fair general average. The number of hours that he is compelled, by the college curriculum, to pass per week in the recitation-room is seldom less than fifteen, and may be as high as twenty. The classes themselves are ill-sorted and often troublesome, and are usually unwieldy by reason of their size. The professor's mind must be continually on the watch to prevent disorder and enforce attention. Besides, as every one knows full well who has tried it, there is nothing so exhausting as to supply "brains" to those who either have not received their portion from Nature or else have squandered it for a mess of pottage. Every professor-teacher can bear witness to the truism that one hour in the recitation-room is fully equal, in its drain upon the vital energy, to two passed in private study or authorship. The sense of responsibility, we might say, is omnipresent. It does not cease with the recitation: it follows him to his study, and haunts him with the recollection of absurd blunders made by young men who should have done better—the dispiriting reflection that despite his best efforts the stupid and indifferent will not learn. If to this normal wear and tear and these every-day annoyances we add the participation in what is pleasingly styled enforcement of discipline—that is, protracted faculty-meetings, interviews with anxious or irate parents, exhortations to the vicious to mend their ways—we shall probably come to the conclusion that the professor's burden is anything but light. We all have heavy burdens. But while admitting the universality of the adage, we are nevertheless at liberty to ascertain if we cannot make the burden of a particular man or class easier to bear by fitting it to the back.

Editors, essayists, college presidents and reformers assure us that we are on the verge of a change, and perhaps a great change, in our system of higher education. They dilate upon the indisputable fact that most of our older colleges have made rapid strides within the past ten years, augmenting their endowments, erecting handsome buildings, establishing new departments of study and increasing the number of students. Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Amherst, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, were never so well off, in point of money and men, as they are at this day. The inference is, of course, if so much has been done in ten years, what may we not expect by the end of the century? The University of Virginia holds its own, notwithstanding the desolation wrought by the late civil war, and Ann Arbor and Cornell have shot up with extraordinary vigor. There can be no doubt that our institutions of learning are full of robust life. And it is no less certain that this growth of resources is due to private enterprise. Our colleges have grown because graduates, and even non-graduates, have taken an interest in them, and endowed them with a munificence which seems incredible to a Frenchman or a German. But in studying the aspect of higher education it behooves us not to lose sight of the fundamental principle that education is something spiritual in its nature, and that it cannot be gauged by buildings, by endowments, by the trappings of wealth—in short, by anything material. Endowments and buildings are only the means; unless the end to which these means are subservient be clearly perceived and persistently followed, the means themselves may prove a hindrance rather than a help. Of this Oxford is a notable proof.

Have, then, the end and aim, the method and agencies, of college instruction changed essentially within the past fifteen years, or are they likely to change essentially within the coming twenty-five? In the year 1770 the greatest genius of [pg 196] Germany entered the walls of the old university-town of Strasburg, there to complete his education. He has bequeathed to us a faithful record of his studies, his amusements, his daily life. Connecting this Strasburg experience with the previous experience at Leipsic, we know what it meant in the eighteenth century to be a German student. We know that the professors in those days were pedagogues in the Anglo-American sense, and that university-life stood little if at all higher than our own present college-life. But when Goethe died, in 1832, the universities of Germany had reached their prime. Since then they have made no gain. It may be doubted if the professors, on the whole, rank quite so high to-day for originality and vigor of research as did their predecessors forty years ago. Wherein lies the secret, then, of this wonderful change wrought in the brief span of two generations, between 1770 and 1830, and amid the dire confusion of the great Revolution and the Napoleonic era? The change was twofold. It consisted, first, in allowing to the professor the free play of his individuality; second, in providing him with a properly trained body of students. From the practical recognition of these two principles, which have nothing to do with wealth and buildings, proceed the power and glory of the German universities. Viewed from the English, or even the American point, some of these universities might be pronounced poor, not to say starvelings. The buildings are old and out of repair, the professors are scantily paid, the students are needy, there is a general atmosphere of want and discomfort. But the work they do is noble, and its nobility consists in its freedom, its heartiness, its strict devotion to truth.

We are not concerned in this place with the study of the growth of the German school system that prepares the German student. We have to do with the professor. Although the gymnasium and the university are not to be dissevered in actual practice, the one being the necessary prelude to the other, still we can discuss either one of them separately with a view to ascertaining its salient features.

The German university allows to the professor the free play of his individuality. By this is meant that each professor has his specialty, which he teaches as a specialty and after his own fashion. He has been appointed because of his specialty, and to the end that he may teach it. His salary is paid to him, not so much for what he does as for what he is. It is in a measure the reward for having made for himself a name. His standing in the university is based, not so much upon the number of students that he may attract to his lectures as upon the quality of scholarship that he exhibits and his general repute in the world of letters. He has the satisfaction of feeling that his researches, even the most abstruse, can be brought to bear directly upon his official intercourse with his students. A discovery that he makes is usually communicated to them in the first instance, before it finds its way into print. The neglect to take account of this element of originality in the lectures of a German professor has led to an unfair estimate of the lecture-system. Americans and English are apt to regard it as merely the oral inculcation of established truths. Were that the case, we might be right in questioning its superiority over our method of teaching by textbook. But it is not the case. The lecture is the vehicle for conveying the latest discoveries made either by the professor himself or gleaned by him from the labors of his colleagues. So far from merely repeating established truths, it rather promulgates truths in process of establishment. German university lectures, taken all in all, represent the most advanced stage of thought. The instances are not infrequent where a professor refrains from publishing his lectures, lest he should lose his hearers, who are attracted to him by reports of his originality and thoroughness.

The evident tendency of such a system is to encourage productivity and the highest degree of accuracy. A man who has to teach only one subject, and teach it to such students only as are ready and [pg 197] anxious to receive it, can afford to take the time for being thorough. The tendency of the American system, on the other hand, is to beget a spirit of routine and to check productivity. The professor falls into a way of contenting himself with meeting the requirements of the college curriculum. The effects of this curriculum upon the professors are deeper and farther-reaching than is usually perceived. It is in accordance with facts to call American professors, as a class, unproductive. But it would be unjust and inconsiderate to ascribe this want of productivity to the disposition called laziness. Laziness is not a national fault of Americans. On the contrary, we are pushing, active, restless: we yearn, Alexander-like, for something new to overcome. Our professors are of the same stock as our business-men, our lawyers, our doctors, our politicians. But the spirit of progress, if we choose to call it by that name, has been repressed in them. The spirit of emulation, of aggressive competition, which marks our trade, our banking, our manufacturing interests, our railroads, and even our professions, stops at the threshold of our colleges. There is rivalry, true, between Harvard and Yale, for instance. If the former erects a handsome dormitory, the latter must have one larger and finer. If the former establishes a new professorship, the latter must do likewise. The colleges compete among themselves. But we see no signs of competition among the professors of a college, or between the professors of different colleges—competition, be it observed, in the sense that the individual professor regards his attainments and views as a proper subject for comparison with the attainments and views of another professor in the same branch. Once established in his chair, his individuality is merged in the general character of the college. His time, his knowledge and his energy are subordinated to the curriculum. He can teach only so much as may be fitted into his share of the time and may be suited to the capacities of a mixed audience. It matters little whether the curriculum be good or bad, whether it take in a wide or a narrow range of subjects, whether it be behind or up to the times: so long as it is a real curriculum it tends to prevent the full assertion of his individual excellence. He may study for himself, but he cannot teach more than the regulations permit. However advanced he may be in his specialty, however sincere and earnest his wish to impart the choicest fruits of his research, he must admit to himself that there is a point beyond which he is unable to carry his students. They are borne off to something else; they have no more time for him; they slip from his hold, perhaps at the very moment when he flatters himself that he has acquired some formative influence over them.

If this view of the necessary effect of a curriculum is correct, it will enable us to set a more accurate value upon the so-called improvements that have been introduced of late years in our colleges. These improvements, stripped of the éclat with which they are invested, will be found to amount to little more than expansions and slight modifications of a system which remains unaltered in its fundamental features. New studies have been introduced, such as physics, chemistry, geology, the share of attention assigned to modern languages has been increased, a higher standard of admission is enforced, and the salaries of professors have been raised. But in all this there is no radical change of the method of instruction. The establishment of a chair of physics, for instance, can scarcely be said to enable the professor of Greek to exhibit his attainments more fully. The professor of Latin does not perceive that his pupils, because they are now instructed in physical geography, can be carried by him to a more advanced stage of Latin scholarship. In fact, so far as the older studies are concerned, those which made up the curriculum thirty years ago, they seem to be slightly the worse for the recent improvements. The college course of 1840 or 1850 was a comparatively simple thing. It covered only a few studies, and those of a general nature; it taught more thoroughly and with less pretence to universality; in short, it did its work [pg 198] more after the fashion of a good school. At the present day the curriculum embraces a much wider range of subjects—we need only recall to our minds the introduction of general history, chemistry, physiology and the modern languages—but the time has not been lengthened by a single year. The student's time is more broken up than before: the direct influence exerted by the professor is less. Our recognition of these and kindred facts, however, should be something more than a vain regret for the good old past. All these changes are concessions made to the spirit of the age. Our generation demands—and very rightfully, too—that the sphere of knowledge be enlarged, that the sciences of Nature receive sufficient attention. To attempt to undo what has been done, to restore the curriculum to the antiquated cadre of Latin and Greek, trigonometry, mental science and rhetoric, would be a reaction as senseless as hopeless.

Let us be just to ourselves and just to our colleges. We, the public, clamored for new studies, and the colleges had to meet the demand, because, by force of circumstances, they were the only places where the changes could be effected. But in our praisworthy desire for progress we have not considered sufficiently whether the colleges were in truth the proper places for innovation; whether we were bringing in our innovations in the right way and at the right time; whether we were in a fair way of making our colleges what we seek to make them—namely, centres of learning. To discuss all these points would be equivalent to discussing the question of education in all its phases, from the primary school to the university. For the present we must limit ourselves to understanding and appreciating fairly the position of our professors.

That position is not only a trying, but a discouraging one. The greater part of the professor's time is spent—from the point of view of pure science we might almost say wasted—in teaching the same things over and over again. After a few years' practice his round of hours becomes mechanical. Familiarity with the textbooks and with the uniformly-recurring blunders of each successive class begets a feeling of weariness that is not remote from aversion and contempt. So far as his prescribed official duties are concerned, he feels that he has nothing more to learn. There being, then, no stimulus from without, he is open to one of two temptations—either to rest on his past labors, or, which is far more likely, to keep on studying for himself, but to keep the results to himself. It is not only more soothing to our pride, it is juster to our professors, to regard them thus as men who have hid their lights under a bushel, and also to confess that we, our institutions and ways of thinking, have made the bushel for them and held it down over their heads. It is not every man who has the persistency and stamina of Professor Whitney, for instance, who can toil for years with beginning classes in French and German, never losing sight of his real aim, never neglecting an opportunity of bringing it forward, until at last he achieves the success he has especially desired, and is acknowledged to be one of the foremost comparative philologists and Sanskrit scholars in the world. Where a Professor Whitney may succeed in spite of untoward circumstances, a dozen will probably fail because of circumstances. We naturally look to our colleges for the evidences of learning, of enlightenment and culture. We think of the capital invested in them, of the part they play in moulding the character of our young men, and we deem it a matter of course that they should be continually producing something original and independent. But when we compare them with the German universities—and the comparison is forced upon us whenever one of our graduates goes abroad to complete his studies or whenever we look into a recent German publication—we are forced to exclaim, "What are our colleges about? Are they incompetent, or asleep?" Neither one nor the other. Most of our professors do the best they can. But they are fettered by routine: they are not stimulated and sustained by the consciousness that their private studies may [pg 199] be made directly available in the classroom. They lead two lives, as it were—one as professor, the other as thinker and reader—and there is not the proper action and reaction between the two.

The remedy is as easy to propose as it would be difficult to apply. We have only to convert our colleges into universities, our college instructors into professors after the German model. Let us relegate all teaching, so called, to the schools, and let us give our professors permission to expand into veritable scholars discoursing to young men of kindred spirit. Any one can see at a glance that from the wish to the accomplishment is a long way. Upon some of us the consciousness is beginning to dawn that perhaps we have not even taken the first decisive step. The best that can be said of our colleges is that they are in a state of transition. We have increased the number of studies, as well as the number of colleges; we have established schools of law and schools of science, sometimes independent of, sometimes co-ordinate with or subordinate to, the college. We have also established post-graduate courses, in the hope of inducing our young men to complete their studies at home. Yet every year we see a larger number going abroad. In those days of golden memory, both for Germany and for America, when Longfellow was gliding down the Rhine with Freiligrath, and Bancroft and Bismarck were comrades at Göttingen, an American in Germany was something of a rarity. In most instances he was a man of wealth and high social standing, who looked upon his semester or two as a romantic episode. But now every outward-bound steamer carries with it one or more who, emerging from obscurity and poverty, have saved up a few hundred dollars and are bent upon plain, hard, practical business. "We go," they can be imagined as saying, "because we can get in Germany what we cannot get at home. Your schools of science and your post-graduate courses may be well enough in their way, but they do not give us what we are after, and we cannot afford to wait until they may be able to give it. Some of the professors are first-rate men—perhaps just as good as any we may meet in Germany—but what does their learning, their science, avail us, so long as they are obliged to withhold from us the best that they know? They trained themselves in Germany, and if we are ever to rival them we must do the same."

It is not pleasant to listen to such reasonings, much less to see them carried into effect. But the defect which they bring to light will not be cured by closing our eyes to it and trusting to time, the sovereign healer. Time is a negative factor: it only enables the forces of Nature to do their positive work. But schools and colleges are not the product of the elemental forces of Nature: they are distinctively the work of man as a free agent. If we are free to shape any of our institutions to suit our needs, we are certainly free to shape our educational institutions. By having a definite result in view, and willing its attainment, we may succeed; but if we fail either in clearness of vision or persistency of will, we cannot expect the result to come of itself. The present university system of Germany, which might seem to a careless observer the natural outgrowth of German life, is the result of hard thinking and strenuous, well-directed effort. We should not commit much of an exaggeration were we to call it the deliberate creation of Frederick the Great, Von Zedlitz and Wolf, who dragged with them Prussia, and the other German states in her wake. They and their associates and followers, Schleiermacher and William von Humboldt, clear-headed, iron-willed men, perceived what was needed, and bent all their energies to the task. They emancipated the schools from the control of the clergy, and established the principle that teaching is a distinct vocation, requiring special training, over which the state has supervision; furthermore, that the state should pronounce who is fit and who is not fit for university education, thereby abolishing entrance-examinations, and putting an end to the ignoble practice on the part of the universities of lowering the standard for the purpose of increasing the number of [pg 200] students. They abolished the last vestiges of the scholastic system by raising the faculty of philosophy from its position as a quasi-preparatory course to the others, and placing it on a footing of perfect equality with law, theology and medicine.3 They removed all restrictions from the Lehrfreiheit, or professional freedom of instruction, while at the same time they preserved the right of the state to control indirectly the quality of university instruction by means of state-examinations for pastors, teachers, lawyers, physicians and officeholders. Ever since then the university system of Germany has rested upon a secure and lasting basis.

Is the course pursued by Prussia to be regarded as a mere incident in history, or may it serve as an example and model for us? Prussia is a monarchy, clothed with some constitutional forms but at bottom a state where the personal will of the sovereign has always made, and continues to make, itself felt in the final instance. We are a republic, or rather a cluster of republics under an imperfectly centralized national government. It is evident that the agencies and mode of reform with us must differ from those that have been employed in Prussia and in the rest of Germany. But it does not follow that the reform itself is impossible. What has elsewhere sprung from the autocratic will of a single man and his cabinet may be effected here through that other force, equally great and perhaps more pervasive, to which we give the vague name of "popular opinion." We know that popular opinion in our country is irresistible. It makes everything bend to it. It broke up the Tweed Ring, seemingly impregnable, in a single campaign. But this popular opinion is not a natural product: it is the work of a few men who devote themselves to awakening the sense of right and wrong and guiding the understanding of their fellows. But for popular leaders like Mr. O'Conor and Governor Tilden, the late Tweed Ring might be in power at this day. Education is not so different from politics but that we can regard it as subject to similar laws of cause and effect. Our present common-school system is an off-spring of popular opinion, as that opinion was created and led to action by a few men. And whether our common schools are to stand or fall is again becoming a question of the day, and will be decided according as popular opinion may be swayed by a few zealous friends or enemies. Our colleges, it may be said, do not occupy the same relation to the state that our schools do. They are nearly all private corporations, enjoying vested rights which the state is powerless to touch. Undoubtedly true, but it is no less true that what cannot be done directly may be done indirectly. The state need not make so much as the attempt to lay hands upon college property or to interfere with college studies. It has only to say, "I, the state, exact such and such qualifications of all who seek to practice law or medicine within my limits or to become my officeholders. I establish my own free colleges and schools of law and medicine, and I proceed to tax all others at their full valuation." There is not a college in the country, not even Harvard, that could compete upon such terms. The state need not even express its sovereign will so precisely. It can content itself with establishing a university of its own, and facilitating the direct influence of this university over the public and private schools. We see the operations of such a system very plainly in Michigan. Not only does the university at Ann Arbor overshadow completely the private colleges, but the "union schools," administered under its auspices, are—to borrow the expression of one of its graduates—"killing" the private schools. We may rest assured that whatever the people of a State or of the United States is earnestly bent upon having, will come.

Whether all our States are to act as Michigan has done—whether we are indeed ripe for thorough change—whether a change is to be effected by direct State [pg 201] action or indirectly by the mere pressure of public sentiment—whether we have real need of a body of professors and a set of universities such as Germany possesses—whether we are to make our higher as well as our primary education non-sectarian,—are all questions which may rest in abeyance for a long time to come. It is also possible that one or the other of them may, in legal phraseology, be sprung upon us at any time. Not to be taken unawares, we have to bear steadily in mind several fixed principles and to disabuse ourselves of one misconception.

The misconception is this: that what Germany accomplished in the eighteenth century we cannot accomplish in the nineteenth, because circumstances are so very different, chiefly because Germany is an old country and we are a young country. The circumstances are not so very different, and the difference, however great it may be estimated, is in our favor. We are a union of thirty or forty States: in the Germany of the eighteenth century there were three hundred. Ever since the adoption of our Federal Constitution we have enjoyed common rights of citizenship, common laws of commerce, common legal protection. Will it be necessary to remind the student of history that the Germans have acquired these blessings only within our own day? We are a nation of forty millions, rich and prosperous, free to develop our resources. The Germany of 1775 could count barely twenty millions, its soil was poorly tilled, its mineral wealth undeveloped, manufactures in an embryonic state, trade fettered in a thousand ways, the peasantry brutally ignorant and servile, the national character—to all appearance—ruined by cruel religious wars, the sense of national unity blunted by the recollections of a hundred petty feuds reaching back to the gloom of the Middle Ages, the national taste dominated by poor French models to an extent that now seems incredible, learning either dry pedantry or shallow cox-combry. We are indeed a young country, but we are young in hope; Germany was old, but it was old in weakness, in poverty, in despondency. Whoever doubts our ability to do as much as Germany did one hundred years ago, fails to profit by the teachings of history—overlooks the fact that Germany in 1840 was only where she had been in 1618. That we should take Germany for our standard of comparison, rather than England or France, is a postulate which has one circumstance unmistakably in its favor. Although we are connected with England by common descent, institutions and language, although the politics and philosophy of France have exerted considerable influence over our own, we do not observe our young men going in numbers to England and France to receive their final training. Their instinct leads them to Germany. For one American graduate of Oxford or Cambridge or of the French écoles, it would be easy to count ten doctors of Göttingen or Heidelberg. Our young men are not attracted to the German universities by such factitious considerations as cheapness of living or the acquisition of the language, but by sympathy with German methods and academic liberty.

Some of the most important fixed principles have been already touched upon, but only one can be developed in this place. It is, that if we are to establish a system of higher education, we must begin by recognizing freely and fully the distinction between teacher and professor. We must perceive the importance of having two sets of men—the one to teach, the other to investigate; the one engaged in training boys to learn, the other in showing young men how to think. When and how this distinction is to be established, in what special form it is to be embodied, is a secondary matter. The chief thing is to admit that it is essential and feasible. The young man who returns after a three years' absence in Germany, exhibiting with dignified pride his well-earned doctor's diploma, looks of course upon the institution that conferred it as the ne plus ultra. But riper experience, contact with the sharp corners of American prejudices and peculiarities, renewed familiarity with our social, political, commercial and [pg 202] literary life, will gradually convince him that a German university is not a thing to be plucked up by the roots and transplanted bodily to American soil. We have rather to take our native stock as we find it, and engraft upon it a slip from the German. One trial may fail, another may succeed. Our first efforts will be like those of a man groping about in the dark. More than one department in a German university will be of little avail in an American, and conversely we shall have to create some that do not exist elsewhere. For instance, in view of the great power exerted by the newspaper press, it might be desirable to have a course of study for those who think of taking up journalism as a profession. In such a course, political economy, constitutional and international law, English and American history, and the modern languages and literatures should constitute a full and serious discipline. It is not probable that the study of philology will ever attract the same attention here that it does abroad. Our needs lie in the direction of the natural sciences rather than in the direction of history and linguistics. But we should be derelict to our duty were we to sacrifice these sciences of the spirit, as the Germans call them, to the sciences of Nature. A culture without them would be the bleakest and most repulsive materialism.

The practical recognition of the difference between teacher and professor would be a decided step. By the side of it those which we have already taken would appear insignificant. The addition of chemistry, geology, or physiology to the previous curriculum does not change its character, so long as the professors of those branches instruct after the fashion of the professors of Latin and Greek. The advantage that the men of natural science have over their colleagues is one which the nature of the subject brings with it. In order to teach at all, they must come in close personal contact with their pupils, and to escape falling behind in their department, where new theories succeed one another with such rapid bounds, they must continue a certain amount at least of original research. Supplementing the present curriculum by post-graduate courses will hardly suffice. Such courses are open to serious objections. If conducted by the regular professors, they impose additional burdens upon men who have already more than enough. If conducted by special professors, they will tend to raise those professors at the expense of the regular faculty. A lecturer to graduates must necessarily appear, in the eyes of the undergraduate, superior to the man who hears recitations and prepares term-reports. Besides, young men who have passed four years at one college need "a change of air:" they will develop more rapidly if brought into contact with new ideas and new instructors. Every institution has an atmosphere of its own, which ceases after a time to act upon the student as a stimulant.

There is one additional point that should not be overlooked. A careful discrimination between the functions of the professor and those of the teacher would benefit both classes of men. Such has been the effect in Germany. The gymnasium-teacher has a high sense of the dignity of his vocation and a keen sense of its responsibilities, because he perceives that he must bring his labors to a well-rounded conclusion. He knows that the university does not supplement the gymnasium—that the university professors do not undertake to make good his shortcomings. The gymnasial course is a completed phase of training. It aims at giving the pupil all the general knowledge that he requires previous to his professional studies. What is lost or overlooked in the gymnasium cannot be acquired at the university. Hence the peculiar conscientiousness of the German teacher, his almost painful anxiety to make sure that his pupils master every subject, his unwillingness to let them go before they are "ripe." With us the change from school to college is not an abrupt transition, like that from gymnasium to university. The college course, certainly during the two lower years at least, is a continuation of the school course: the same or similar subjects are [pg 203] taught, and taught in the same way. Hence the school-teacher is tempted to regulate his efforts according to the college standard of admission. If he can only "get his men into college," as the saying is, he thinks that he is doing enough. To say this of all schools and all teachers would be flagrant injustice. Not a few of our older schools compare favorably with the best German gymnasiums, and in the large cities we find schools of even recent origin that endeavor faithfully to give a well-rounded discipline. But it remains nevertheless true that our schools, taken as a whole, give no more than the colleges require, and that only too many of them give less, trusting to the colleges to be lenient and eke out the deficiency. Moreover, when we read in the daily papers advertisements like the following, "Mr. Smith, a graduate of Harvard (or Yale or some other college, as the case may be), prepares young men for college," what inference are we to draw? Simply, that Mr. Smith, having gone through Harvard or Yale, knows exactly what is required there, and will undertake to "coach" any young man for admission in two or three years. Such coaching, if the young man is dull or backward, will consist in cramming him with required studies, to the neglect of everything not required. Teaching is not easy work. In many respects it is more difficult to be a good teacher than to be an original investigator. Whatever operates to strengthen and elevate the teacher's position, therefore, must be a gain. The highest incentive would be the consciousness that his school is not a mere stepping-stone to another school of larger growth, but the place where he must in truth prepare the youthful mind for independent study.




Where is the power I fancied mine?

Can I have emptied my soul of thought?

In yesterday's fullness lay no sign

That to-day would be a time of drought.

What if thought fail me for evermore?

The world that awaits a well-filled plan

Must, railing, cry at my long-closed door,

"He cannot finish what he began."


Thought dashes on thought within my soul:

Time will not serve for the bounding-line.

I think it would fail to mete the whole

If old Methuselah's years were mine.

Like the famous spring that is sometimes dry,

Then flows with a river's whelming might,

The current of thought now runs so high

It covers the earthy bed from sight.


[pg 204]





Four years had come and gone since Mr. Dundas had laid his second wife in the grave beside his first, and the county had discussed the immorality of taking cherry-water as a calmant. For it was to an overdose of this that the verdict at the coroner's inquest had assigned the cause of poor madame's awful and sudden death; though why the medicine should have been found so loaded with prussic acid as to have caused instant death on this special night, when it had been taken so often before with impunity, was a mystery to which there was no solution. Not a trace of poison was to be found anywhere in the house, and no evidence was forthcoming to show how it might have been bought or where procured. Alick Corfield, who understood it all, was not called as a witness, and he told no one what he knew. On the contrary, he burdened his soul with the, to him, unpardonable crime of falsehood that he might shield Leam from detection; for when his father, missing the sixty-minim bottle of hydrocyanic acid, asked him what had become of it, Alick answered, with that wonderful coolness of virtue descending to sin for the protection of the beloved which is sometimes seen in the ingenuous, "I broke it by accident, father, and forgot to tell you."

As the boy had never been known to tell a falsehood in his life, he reaped the reward of good repute, and his father, saying quietly, "That was a bad job, my boy," laid the matter aside as a caput mortuum of no value.

To be sure, he thought more than once that it was an odd coincidence, but he could see no connection between the two circumstances of madame's sudden death and Alick's fracture of that bottle of hydrocyanic acid; and even if there should be any, he preferred not to trace it. So the inquest was a mere show so far as getting at the truth was concerned, and madame died and was buried in the mystery in which she had lived.

Meantime, Leam had been sent to school, whence she was expected to return a little more like other English girls than she had been hitherto, and Mr. Dundas shut up Ford House—he went back to the original name after madame's death—and left England to shake off in travel the deadly despair that had fallen like a sickness on him and taken all the flavor out of his life. He had never cared to search out the real history of that fair beloved woman. Enough had come to his knowledge, in the bills which had poured in from several Sherrington tradesmen on the announcement of her marriage and then of her death, to convince him that he had been duped in facts if not in feeling. For among these bills was one from the local geologist for "a beginner's cabinet of specimens," delivered just about the time when he, Sebastian, had spent so many pleasant hours in arranging the fragments which madame said represented both her knowledge and her lost happiness; also one from the fancy repository, which sold everything, for sundry water-color drawings and illuminated texts, a Table of the Ten Commandments illustrated, and the like, which sufficiently explained all on this side, and settled for ever the dead woman's claims to the artistic and scientific merit with which Mr. Dundas and the rector had credited her.

Also, certain ugly letters from a person of the name of Lowes, in London, put him on the track, had he cared to follow it up, of a deception even worse than that of pretended art or mock science. These letters, written in the same handwriting as that wherein Julius de Montfort, her brother-in-law, the present [pg 205] marquis, had told her of the defalcations of the family solicitor and trustee, called Virginie, Madame la Marquise de Montfort, plain Susan bluntly, and reminded her of the screw that would be turned if the writer was not satisfied; and were letters that demanded money, always money, as the price of continued silence.

But Sebastian had loved his second wife too well to seek to know the truth, if that truth would be to her discredit. He preferred to be deceived; and he had what he preferred. He stifled all doubts, darkened all chinks by which the obtrusive light might penetrate, kept his love if not his faith unshaken, caring only to remember her as beautiful, seductive, soothing, and mourning her as deeply, doubtful as she had proved herself to be, as he had loved her fondly when he believed her honest. It was a curious mental condition for a man to cherish, but it satisfied him, and his regret was not robbed of its pathos by knowledge.

Now that the four years were completed, the widower had to return to his desolate home and make the best he could of the fragments of peace and happiness left to him. Leam was nineteen: it was time for her to be taken from school and given the protection of her father's house. It went against the man's heart to have her, but he was compelled, if he wished to stand well with his friends, and he hoped that the girl would be found improved from these years of discipline and training, and be rational and like other people. Wherefore he came home one dry dull day in October, and the neighborhood welcomed him, if not as their prodigal returned, yet as their lunatic restored to his right mind.

During these four years a few changes had taken place at North Aston. Carry Fairbairn had married—not Frank Harrowby: he had found a rich wife, not in the least to his personal taste, but greatly to his profit; and Carry, after having cried a good deal for a month, had consoled herself with a young clergyman from the North, whom she loved quite as much as if she had never fancied Frank at all, and spoilt in the first months by such submission as caused her to repent for all the years of her life after.

The things of the rectory were much in their old state. Little Fina, madame's child, was there under Mrs. Birkett's motherly care; but as the child was nearly six years old now, the good creature's instinctive love for infants was wearing out, and she was often heard to say how much she wished she could have kept Fina always a baby, and, sighing, how difficult she was to manage! She was an exceedingly pretty little girl, with fair skin, fair hair and dark eyes—willful of course, and spoilt of course; the only one in the house who took her in hand to correct being Adelaide. And as she took her in hand too smartly, Mrs. Birkett generally interfered, and the servants combined to screen her; the result being that the little one was mistress of the situation, after the manner of willful children, and made every one more or less anxious and uncomfortable as her return for their care.

Alick Corfield was the rector's curate. On the whole, this was the most important of all the North Aston events which had taken place during the last four years. Soon after madame's death and Leam's transfer from home to school Alick had a strange and sudden illness. No one knew what to make of it, nor how it came, nor what it was, but the doctor called it cerebral fever, and when the families got hold of the word they were content. Cerebral fever does as well as anything else for an illness of which no one knows and no one seeks to know the cause, and to the origin of which the patient himself gives no clew. It was a peg, and a peg was all that was wanted.

On his recovery he announced his intention of going to Oxford to read for holy orders. His mother was piteously distressed, as might be expected. She feared all sorts of evil for her boy, from damp sheets and unmended linen to over-study, wine-parties and bold-faced minxes weaving subtle webs of fascination. But for the first time in his life Alick stood out against her insistance, [pg 206] and his will conquered hers. The sequel of the struggle was, that he went to Oxford, took his degree, read for orders, passed, and that Mr. Birkett gave him his title as his curate.

It could hardly be said that the relations were entirely harmonious between the military-minded rector, who held to the righteousness of helotry and the value of ignorance in the class beneath him, and the young curate burning with zeal and oppressed with the desire to put all the crooked things of life straight. The one pooh-poohed the enthusiasm of the other, derided his belief in humanity and assured him of failure: the other felt as if he had been taken behind the scenes and shown the blue fire of which the awful lightning of his youth was made. Mr. Birkett could not quite forbid the greater faith, the more loving endeavor which the young man threw into his ministrations, but he was the Sadducee who scoffed and made the work heavy and uphill throughout. He gave a grudging assent to the Bible-classes, the Wednesday evening services at the Sunday-school, the lectures on great men on the first Monday in the month, which Alick proposed and established. He thought it all weariness to the flesh and a waste of time and energy; but the traditions of his order were strong, if he himself did not share them, and he had to give way in the end. He consoled himself with the reflection that the boy would find out his mistake before long, and that then he would know who had been right throughout.

But even zeal and hope and diligence in his work could not lighten the persistent sadness which was Alick's chief characteristic now. Gaunt and silent, with the eyes of a man whose inner self is absent and whose thoughts are not with his company, he looked as if he had passed through the fire, and had not passed through unscathed. No one knew what had happened to him, and, though many made conjectures, none came near the truth. Meanwhile, he seemed as if he lived only to work, and, the clearer-sighted might have added, to wait.

For a further local change, Lionnet was tenanted again by a strange and solitary man, who never went to church and did not visit in the neighborhood. He was in consequence believed to be a forger, an escaped convict in hiding, or, by the more charitable, a maniac as yet not dangerous. North Aston held him in deeper horror than it had held even Pepita, and his true personality exercised its wits more keenly than had even the true personality of madame. In point of fact, he was a quiet, inoffensive, amiable man, who gave his mind to Sanskrit for work and to entomology for play, and did not trouble himself about his own portrait as drawn in the local vernacular. Nevertheless, for all his reserved habits and quiet ways, he had learnt the whole history of the place and people before he had been at Lionnet a month.

At the Hill things remained unchanged for the ladies, save for the additional burden of years and the pleasant news that Edgar was expected home daily. Adelaide, now twenty-four, took the news as a personal grace, and blossomed into smiles and glad humor of which only Josephine understood the source. But Josephine held her tongue, and received the confidence of her young friend with discretion. As she had never dispossessed her own old idol, she could feel for Adelaide, and she was not disposed to look on her patient determination with displeasure. The constancy of the two, however, was very different in essential meaning. With Josephine it was the constancy that is born of an affectionate disposition and the absence of rival Lotharios: with Adelaide it was the result of calculation and decision. The one would have worshiped Sebastian as she worshiped him now had he been ruined, a cripple, a criminal even: the other would have shut out Edgar inexorably from her very dreams had not his personality included the Hill. With the one it was self-abasement—with the other self-consideration; but it came to the same thing in the end, and the men profited equally.

All these changes Sebastian Dundas found to have taken place when he [pg 207] returned to North Aston with gray hair instead of brown, his smooth, fair skin tanned and roughened, and his weak, finely-cut, effeminate mouth hidden by a moustache of a reddish tint, mingled with white. Still, he was Sebastian; and after the first shock of his altered appearance had been got over, Josephine carried her incense in the old way, and found her worship as dear and as tantalizing as ever.

Lastly, as the crowning change of all, Leam came home from school; no longer the arrogant, embittered child, looking at life through the false medium of pride and ignorance, saying rude things and doing odd ones with the most perfect unconsciousness; but well-bred, graceful, sufficiently instructed not to make patent mistakes, and more beautiful by far than she had even promised to be. Her very eyes were lovelier, lovely as they had always been: they had more variety of expression, were more dewy and tender, and, if less tragic, were more spiritual. That hard, dry, burning passion which had devoured her of old time seemed to have gone, as also her savage Spanish pride. She had rounded and softened in body too, as in mind. Her skin was fairer; her lips were not so firmly closed, so rigid in line, so constricted in motion; her brows were more flexible and not so often knit together; and her slight, lithe figure was perfect in line and movement. Still, she had enough of her former manner of being for identity. Grave, quiet, laconic, direct, she was but a modification of the former Leam as they had known her—Leam, Pepita's daughter, and with blood in her veins that was not the ordinary blood of the ordinary British miss.

Her father's artistic perceptions were gratified as he met her at the station and Leam turned her cheek to him voluntarily with tears in her eyes. Turning her cheek was apparently her idea of kissing; but if not too intense an expression of affection, it was at least an improvement on the old hard repulsion, and Sebastian accepted it as the concession it was meant to be. Indeed, they met somewhat as foes reconciled, or rather seeking to be reconciled, and Mr. Dundas did not wish to keep open old sores. Her cheek, turned to him somewhere about the ear, represented to his mind a peace-offering: her eyes full of tears were as a confession of past sins and a promise of amendment. Not that he understood why she was so much more effusive than of old, but if it augured a happier life together, he was glad.

As they drove up to the door of the old home, crowded with memories and associations, a shudder passed over the girl: she grasped her father's hand in her own almost convulsively, and he heard her say below her breath, "Poor papa!"

He wondered why she pitied him. The place must surely be full of memories of her mother for her: why did she say "Poor papa!" to him? He did not see what she saw—that peaceful September evening, and the bottle of cherry-water on the table, with the little phial of thirty deaths in her hand; and now the contents emptied into the harmless draught; and now madame pale and dead. The whole scene transacted itself vividly before her, and she shuddered at her memories and her past self, as always with a kind of vague wonder how she could have been so wicked, and where did she get the force, the courage, for such a cruel crime?

For all these four years at school the shadow of that dreadful deed had been ever in the background of her life; and as time went on, and she came to a better understanding of morality, it grew clear to her as a crime. Its consciousness of guilt had broken down her pride, and thus had made her more malleable, more humble. She could no longer harden herself in her belief that she was superior to every one else. Those girls, her companions—they had not had an Andalusian mother, truly; they did not pray to the saints, and the Holy Virgin took no care of them; they were Protestants and English, frogs and pigs; but they had not committed murder. If she should stand up in the middle of the room and tell them what she had done, which of them would touch her hand [pg 208] again? which of them speak to her? English and Protestants as they were, how far superior in their innocence to her, an Andalusian Catholic, in her guilt! But no one lives with remorse. It comes and goes gustily, fitfully; but the things of the present are stronger than the things of the past, else the man with a shameful secret in his life would go mad.

One of these gusty storms broke over Leam as she passed through the gates of the old home, and for the moment she felt as if she must confess the truth to her father and tell him what evil thing she had done. Yet it passed, as other such storms had passed: the things of the present took their natural place of prominence, and those of the past sank again into the background, shadows that never faded quite away, but that were not actualities pressing against her.

The news of Leam's home-coming created quite a pleasurable excitement in the neighborhood, and the families flocked to Ford House to welcome her among them as one of themselves, all anxious to see if the Ethiopian of North Aston had shed her skin, if the leopardess had changed her spots. They were divided among themselves as to whether she had or had not. Some said she was charming, and like any one else, but others shook their heads, and, like experts in brain disease, professed to see traces of the old lunacy, and to be doubtful as to her cure. At the worst, however, here she was—one of themselves whom they must receive; and common sense dictated that they should make the best of her, and hope all things till they proved some.

There was one among them whom Leam longed yet dreaded to meet. This was Alick Corfield. She wondered what he knew, or rather what he suspected, and she was anxious to have her ordeal over. But, though Mrs. Corfield came, and was just the same as ever, bustling, inquisitive, dogmatic, before ten minutes were over having put the girl through her scholastic facings and got from her the whole of her curriculum, yet Alick did not appear. He waited until after Sunday, when he should see her first in church, and so nerve himself as it were behind the barrier of his sacred office; but after Sunday had passed and he had seen her in her old place, he called, and found her alone.

When they met, and she looked into his face and laid her hand in his, she knew all. He shared her secret, and knew what she had done. It was not that he was either distant or familiar, cold or disrespectful, or anything but glad and reverent; nevertheless, he knew. He was no longer the boy adorer, her slave, her dog: he was her friend, and he wished to make her feel that she was safe with him—known, in his power, but safe.

"You are changed," he said awkwardly.

He thought of her as Leam, heard her always called Leam, but he dared not use the familiar name, and yet she was not "Miss Dundas" to him.

"It is four years since you saw me," she said with a grave smile. "It was time to change."

"But you are your old self too," he returned eagerly. He would have no disloyalty done to the queen of his boyish dreams: what worm soever was at its root, his royal pomegranate flower should be always set fair in the sun where he might be.

"You seem much changed too," she said after a short pause—"graver and older. Is that because you are a clergyman?"

Alick turned his eyes away from the girl's face, and looked mournfully out onto the autumn woods. "Partly," he said.

"And the other part?" asked Leam, pressing to know the worst.

"And the other part?" He looked at her, and his wan face grew paler. "Well, never mind the other part. There are things which sometimes come into a man's life and wither it for ever, as a fire passing over a green tree, but we do not speak of them."

"To no one?"

"To no one."

Leam sighed. No proclamation could have made the thing clearer between [pg 209] them. Henceforth she was in Alick's power: let him be faithful, chivalrous, loyal, devoted, what you will, she was no longer her own unshared property. He knew what she was, and in so far was her master.

Poor Alick! This was not the light in which he held his fatal secret. True, he knew what she had done, and that his young queen, his ideal, was a murderess, who, if the truth were made public, would be degraded below the level of the poorest wretch that had kept an honest name; but he felt himself more accursed than she, in that he had been the means whereby she had gotten both her knowledge and the power to use it. He was the doomed if innocent, as of old tragic times—the sinless Cain guilty of murder, but guiltless in intent. It was for this, as much as for the love and poetry of the boyish days, that he felt he owed himself to Leam—that his life was hers, and all his energies were to be devoted for her good. It was for this that he had prayed with such intensity of earnestness it seemed to him sometimes as if his soul had left his body, and had gone up to the Most High to pluck by force of passionate entreaty the pardon he besought: "Pardon her, O Lord! Turn her heart, enlighten her understanding, convince her of her sin; but pardon her, pardon her, dear Lord! And with her, pardon me."

The man's whole life was spent in this one wild, fervid prayer. All that he did was tinged with the sentiment of winning grace for her and pardon for both. In his own mind they stood hand in hand together; and if he was the intercessor, they were both to benefit, and neither would be saved without the other. And he believed in the value of his prayers and in the objective reality of their influence.

For the final changes in the ordering of home and society at North Aston, the week after Leam returned Edgar Harrowby came from India, and took up his position as the owner of the Hill estate; and the child Fina was brought to Ford House, and formally invested with her new name and condition as Miss Fina Dundas, Sebastian's younger daughter. Mindful of the past, Mr. Dundas expected to have a stormy scene with Leam when he told her his intentions respecting poor madame's child; but Leam answered quietly, "Very well, papa," and greeted Fina when she arrived benevolently, if not effusively. She was not one of those born mothers who love babies from their early nursery days, but she was kind to the child in her grave way, and seemed anxious to do well by her.

The ladies all bestowed on her their nursery recipes and systems in rich abundance—especially Mrs. Birkett, who, though glad to be relieved from the hourly task of watching and contending, was still immensely interested in the little creature, and gave daily counsel and superintendence. So that on the whole Leam was not left unaided with her charge. On the contrary, she ran great risk of being bewildered by her multiplicity of counselors, and of entering in consequence on that zigzag course which covers much ground and makes but little progress.



Thirty-two years of age; tall, handsome, well set-up, and every inch a soldier; manly in bearing, but also with that grace of gesture and softness of speech which goes by the name of polished manner; a bold sportsman, ignorant of physical fear, to whom England was the culmination of the universe, and such men as he—gentlemen, officers, squires—the culmination of humanity; a man who loved women as creatures, but despised them as intelligences; who respected socially the ladies of his own class, and demanded that they should be without stain, as befits the wives and mothers and sisters of gentlemen, but who thought women of a meaner grade fair game for the roving fowler; a conservative, holding to elemental differences whence arise the value of races, the dignity of family and the righteousness of caste; an [pg 210] hereditary landowner, regarding landed property as a sacred possession meant only for the few and not to be suffered to lapse into low-born hands; a gentleman, incapable of falsehood, treachery, meanness, social dishonor, but not incapable of injustice, tyranny, selfishness, even cruelty, if such came in his way as the privilege of his rank,—this was Edgar Harrowby as the world saw and his friends knew him, and as North Aston had henceforth to know him.

His return caused immense local excitement and great rejoicing. It seemed to set the social barometer at "fair," and to promise a spell of animation such as North Aston had been long wanting. And indeed personally for himself it was time that Major Harrowby was at home and at the head of his own affairs. Matters had been going rather badly on the estate without him, and the need of a strong hand to keep agents straight and tenants up to the mark had been making itself somewhat disastrously felt during the last three or four years. Wherefore he had sold out, broken all his ties in India handsomely, as he had broken them in London handsomely once before, when, mad with jealousy, he had fled like a thief in the night, burned his boats behind him, and, as he thought, obliterated every trace by which that loved and graceless woman could discover his real name or family holding; and now had come home prepared to do his duty to society and himself. That is, prepared to marry a nice girl of his own kind, keep the estate well in hand, and set an example of respectability and orthodoxy, family prayers and bold riding, according to the ideal of the English country gentleman.

But, above all, he must marry. And the wife provided for him by the eternal fitness of things was Adelaide Birkett. Who else could be found to suit the part so perfectly? She was well-born, well-mannered; though not coarsely robust, yet healthy in the sense of purity of blood; and she was decidedly pretty. So far to the good of the Harrowby stock in the future. Neither was she too young, though by reason of her quiet country life her twenty-four years did not count more to her in wear and tear of feeling and the doubtful moulding of experience than if she had lived through one London season. She was a girl of acknowledged good sense, calm, equable, holding herself in the strictest leash of ladylike reserve, and governing all her emotions without trouble, patent or unconfessed. Hers was a character which would never floreate into irregular beauties to give her friends anxiety and crowd her life with embarrassing consequences. She despised sentiment and ridiculed enthusiasm, thought skepticism both wicked and disreputable, but at the same time fanaticism was silly, and not nearly so respectable as that quiet, easy-going religion which does nothing of which society would disapprove, but does not break its heart in trying to found the kingdom of God on earth.

All her relations with life and society would be blameless, orthodox, ladylike and thoroughly English. As a wife she would preach submission in public and practice domination and the moral repression belonging to the superior being in private. As a mother she would take care to have experienced nurses and well-bred governesses, who would look after the children properly, when she would wash her hands of further trouble and responsibility, save to teach them good manners at luncheon and self-control in their evening visit to the drawing-room for the "children's half hour" before dinner. As the mistress of an establishment she would be strict, demanding perfect purity in the morals of her servants, not suffering waste, nor followers, nor kitchen amusements that she knew of, nor kitchen individuality anyhow. Her servants would be her serfs, and she would assume to have bought them by food and wages in soul as well as body, in mind as well as muscle. She would give broken meat in moderation to the deserving poor, but she would let those who are not deserving do the best they could with want at home and inclemency abroad; and she would have called it fostering vice had she fed the husbandless mother when hungry or clothed the drunkard's [pg 211] children when naked. She would never be talked about for extremes or eccentricities of any kind; and the world would be forced to mention her with respect when it mentioned her at all, having indeed no desire to do otherwise. For she was of the kind dear to the heart of England—one of those who are called the salt of the earth, and who are assumed to keep society safe and pure. She was incredulous of science, contemptuous of superstition, impatient of new ideas—appreciating art, but holding artists as inferior creatures, like actors, acrobats and newspaper writers. She was loyal to the queen and royal family, the nobility and Established Church, bracketing republicans with atheists, and both with unpunished felons; as also classing immorality, the facts of physiology and the details of disease in a group together, as things horrible and not to be spoken of before ladies. She was not slow to believe evil of her neighbors, maintaining, indeed, that to be spoken of at all was proof sufficient of undesirable conduct; but she would never investigate a charge, preferring rather to accept it in its vile integrity than to soil her hands by attempting to unweave its dirty threads; hence she would be pitiless, repellent, but she would never make herself the focus of gossip. She was a human being if you will, a Christian in creed and name assuredly; but beyond and above all things she was a well-mannered, well-conducted English lady, a person of spotless morals and exquisite propriety, in the presence of whom humanity must not be human, truth truthful, nor Nature natural.

This was the wife for Edgar Harrowby as a country gentleman—the woman whom Mrs. Harrowby would have chosen out of thousands to be her daughter-in-law, whom his sisters would like, who would do credit to his name and position; and whom he himself would find as good for his purpose as any within the four seas.

For when Edgar married he would marry on social and rational grounds: he would not commit the mistake of fancying that he need love the woman as he had loved some others. He would marry her, whoever she might be, because she would be of a good family and reasonable character, fairly handsome, unexceptionable in conduct, not tainted with hereditary disease nor disgraced by ragged relatives, having nothing to do with vice or poverty in the remotest link of her connections—a woman fit to be the keeper of his house, the bearer of his name, the mother of his children. But for love, passion, enthusiasm, sentiment—Edgar thought all such emotional impedimenta as these not only superfluous, but oftentimes disastrous in the grave campaign of matrimony.

It was for this marriage that Adelaide had saved herself. She believed that any woman can marry any man if she only wills to do so; and from the day when she was seventeen, and they had had a picnic at Dunaston, she had made up her mind to marry Edgar Harrowby. When he came home for good, unmarried and unengaged, she knew that she should succeed; and Edgar knew it too. He knew it so well after he had been at home about a week that if anything could have turned him against the wife carved out for him by circumstance and fitness, it would have been the almost fatal character of that fitness, as if Fortune had not left him a choice in the matter.

"And what do you think of Adelaide?" asked Mrs. Harrowby one day when her son said that he had been to the rectory. "You have seen her twice now: what is your impression of her?'"

"She is prettier than ever—improved, I should say, all through," was his answer.

Mrs. Harrowby smiled. "She is a girl I like," she said. "She is so sensible and has such nice feeling about things."

"Yes," answered Edgar, "she is thoroughly well-bred."

"We have seen a great deal of her of late years," Mrs. Harrowby continued, angling dexterously. "She and the girls are fast friends, especially she and Josephine, though there is certainly some slight difference of age between them. But Adelaide prefers their society to that of any one about the neighborhood. And [pg 212] I think that of itself shows such good taste and nice feeling."

"So it does," said Edgar with dutiful assent, not exactly seeing for himself what constituted Adelaide's good taste and nice feeling in this preference for his dull and doleful sisters over the brighter companionship of the Fairbairns, say, or any other of the local nymphs. To him those elderly maiden sisters of his were rather bores than otherwise, but he was not displeased that Adelaide Birkett thought differently. If it "ever came to anything," it would be better that they satisfied her than that she should find them uncongenial.

"She is coming up to dinner this evening," Mrs. Harrowby went on to say; and Edgar smiled, pulled his moustaches and looked half puzzled if wholly pleased.

"She is a pretty girl," he said with the imbecility of a man who ought to speak and who has nothing to say, also who has something that he does not wish to say.

"She is better than pretty—she is good," returned Mrs. Harrowby; and Edgar, not caring to discuss Adelaide on closer ground with his mother, strolled away into his private room, where he sat before the fire smoking, meditating on his life in the past and his prospects in the future, and wondering how he would like it when he had finally abjured the freedom of bachelorhood and had taken up with matrimony and squiredom for the remainder of his natural life.

Punctually at seven Adelaide Birkett appeared. This, too, was one of her minor virtues: she was exact. Mind, person, habits, all were regulated with the nicest method, and she knew as little of hurry as of delay, and as little of both as of passion.

"You are such a dear, good punctual girl!" said Josephine affectionately—Josephine, whose virtues had a few more, loose ends and knots untied than had her friend's.

"It is so vulgar to be unpunctual," said Adelaide with her calm good-breeding. "It seems to me only another form of uncleanliness and disorder."

"And Edgar is so punctual too!" cried Josephine by way of commentary.

Adelaide smiled, not broadly, not hilariously, only to the exact shade demanded by conversational sympathy. "Then we shall agree in this," she said quietly.

"Oh I am sure you will agree, and in more than this," Josephine returned, almost with enthusiasm.

Had she not been the willing nurse of this affair from the beginning?—if not the open confidante, yet secretly holding the key to her younger friend's mind and actions? and was she not, like all the kindly disappointed, intensely sympathetic with love-matters, whether wise or foolish, hopeful or hopeless?

"Who is it that you are sure will agree with Miss Adelaide, if any one indeed could be found to disagree with her?" asked Edgar, standing in the doorway.

Josephine laughed with the silliness of a weak woman "caught." She looked at Adelaide slyly. Adelaide turned her quiet face, unflushed, unruffled, and neither laughed sillily nor looked slyly.

"She was praising me for punctuality; and then she said that you were punctual too," she explained cheerfully.

"We learn that in the army," said Edgar.

"But I have had to learn it without the army," she answered.

"Which shows that you have by the grace of nature what I have attained only by discipline and art," said Edgar gallantly.

Adelaide smiled. She did not disdain the compliment. On the contrary, she wished to impress it on Edgar that she accepted his praises because they were her due. She knew that the world takes us if not quite at our own valuation, yet as being the character we assume to be. It all depends on our choice of a mask and to what ideal self we dress. If we are clever and dress in keeping, without showing chinks or discrepancies, no one will find out that it is only a mask; and those of us are most successful in gaining the good-will of our fellows who understand this principle the most clearly and act on it the most consistently.

The evening was a pleasant one for Adelaide, being an earnest of the future [pg 213] for which, if she had not worked hard, she had controlled much. Edgar sang solos to her accompaniment, and put in his rich baritone to her pure if feeble soprano; he played chess with her for an hour, and praised her play, as it deserved: naturally, not thinking it necessary to make love to his sisters, he paid her almost exclusive attention, and looked the admiration he felt. She really was a very pretty young woman, and she had unexceptionable manners; and having cut himself adrift from his ties and handsomely released himself from his obligations, he was not disposed to take much trouble in looking far afield for a wife when here was one ready-made to his hand. Still, he was not so rash as to commit himself too soon. Fine play is never precipitate; and even the most lordly lover, if an English gentleman, thinks it seemly to pretend to woo the woman whom he means to take, and who he knows will yield.

And on her side Adelaide was too well-bred for the one part, and too wise for the other, to clutch prematurely at the prize she had willed should be hers. Her actions must be like her gestures, graceful, rhythmic, rather slow than hurried, and bearing the stamp of purpose and deliberation. When Edgar should make his offer, as she knew he would, she would ask for time to reflect and make up her mind. This would be doing the thing properly and with due regard to her own dignity; for no husband of hers should ever have cause to think that she held her marriage with him as a thing so undeniably advantageous there was no doubt of her acceptance from the first. Every woman must make herself difficult, thought Adelaide, if she wishes to be prized, even the woman who for seven years has fixed her eyes steadily on one point, and has determined that she will finally capture a certain man and land him as her lifelong possession.

Thus the evening passed, with a subtle undercurrent of concealed resolves flowing beneath its surface admiration that gave it a peculiar charm to the two people principally concerned—the one feeling that she had advanced her game by an important move; the other, that the eternal fitness of things 'was making itself more and-more evident, and that it was manifest to all his senses whom Providence had destined for his wife, and for what ultimate matrimonial end he had been shaped and spared.

A book of photographs was on the table.

"Are you here?" asked Edgar, lowering his bright blue eyes on Adelaide as she sat on a small chair at Mrs. Harrowby's feet, carrying daughterly incense to that withered shrine.

"Yes, I think so," she answered.

He turned the pages carefully—passing over his sisters in wide crinolines and spoon bonnets; his mother, photographed from an old picture, in a low dress and long dropping bands of hair, like a mouflon's ears, about her face; Fred and himself, both as boys in Scotch suits, set stiffly against the table like dolls—with gradual improvement in art and style, till he came to a page where Adelaide's fair vignetted head of large size was placed side by side with another, also vignetted and also large.

"Ah! there you are; and what a capital likeness!" cried Edgar, with the joyous look and accent of one meeting an old friend, giving that gauge of interest which we all unconsciously give when we first see the photograph of a well-known face. He looked at the portrait long and critically. "Only not so pretty," he added gallantly. "Those fellows cannot catch the spirit: they give only the outside forms, and not always these correctly. Here is a striking face," he continued, pointing to Adelaide's companion-picture—a girl with masses of dark hair, dark eyes, large, mournful, heavily fringed with long lashes, and a grave, sad face, that seemed listening rather than looking. "Who is she? She looks foreign."

Adelaide glanced at the page, as if she did not know it by heart. "That? Oh! that is only Leam Dundas," she said with the faintest, finest flavor of scorn in her voice.

"Leam Dundas?" repeated Edgar—"the daughter of that awful woman?"

[pg 214]

"Yes, and nearly as odd as the mother," answered Adelaide, still in the same cold manner and with the same accent of superior scorn.

"At least she used to be, you mean, dear, but she is more like other people now," said kindly Josephine, more just than politic.

Adelaide looked at her calmly, indifferently. "Yes, I suppose she is rather less savage than of old," was her reply, "but I do not see much of her,"

"I do not remember to have ever seen her: she must have been a mere child when I was here last," said Edgar.

"She is nineteen now, I think," said Mrs. Harrowby.

"Not more?" repeated Adelaide. "I imagined she was one-and-twenty at the least. She looks so very much older than even this—five or six and twenty, full; dark people age so quickly."

"She seems to be superbly handsome," Edgar said, still looking at the portrait.

"For those who like that swarthy kind of beauty. For myself, I do not: it always reminds me of negroes and Lascars."

Adelaide leaned forward, and made pretence to examine Leam's portrait with critical independence of judgment. She spoke as if this was the first time she had seen it, and her words the thought of the moment resulting.

"There is no negroid taint here," Edgar answered gravely. "It is the face of a sibyl, of a tragedian."

"Do you think so? It is fine in outline certainly, but too monotonous to please me, and too lugubrious; and the funny part of it is, there is nothing in her. She looks like a sibyl, but she is the most profoundly stupid person you can imagine."

"Not now, Addy: she has wakened up a good deal," again interposed Josephine with her love of justice and want of tact.

"But do you not see the mother in her, Josephine? I do, painfully; and the mother was such a horror! Leam is just like her. She will grow her exact counterpart"

"A bad model enough," said Edgar; "but this face is not bad. It has more in it than poor old Pepita's. How fat she was!"

"So will Leam be when she is as old," said Adelaide quietly. "And do you think these dark people ever look clean? I don't,"

"That is a drawback certainly," laughed Edgar, running through the remainder of the book.

But he turned back again to the page which held Leam and Adelaide side by side, and he spoke of the latter while he looked at the former. The face of Leam Dundas, mournful, passionate, concentrated as it was, had struck his imagination—struck it as none other had done since the time when he had met that grand and graceful woman wandering, lost in a fog, in St. James's Park, and had protected from possible annoyance till he had landed her in St. John's Wood. He was glad that Leam Dundas lived in North Aston, and that he should see her without trouble or overt action; and as he handed Adelaide into her carriage he noticed for the first time that her blue eyes were not quite even, that her flaxen hair had not quite enough color, and that her face, if pure and fair, was slightly insipid.

"Poor, dear Adelaide!" he said when he returned to the drawing-room, "how nice she is! but how tart she was about this Leam Dundas of yours! Looks like jealousy; and very likely is. All you women are so horribly jealous."

"Not all of us," said Maria hastily.

"And I do not think that Adelaide is," said Josephine. "She has no cause; for though Leam is certainly very lovely, and seems to have improved immensely for being at school, still she and Addy do not come into collision any way, and I do not see why she should be jealous."

"Perhaps Edgar admired her photograph too much," said Fanny, who was the stupid one of the three, but on occasions made the shrewdest remarks.

Edgar laughed, not displeasedly. "That would be paying me too high a compliment," he said.

Whereat his three sisters echoed "Compliment!" in various tones of deprecation, [pg 215] and Josephine added a meaning little laugh for her own share, for which Edgar gave her a kiss, and said in a bantering kind of voice, "Now, Joseph! mind what you are about!"



It was a gray and gusty day in November, with heavy masses of low-lying clouds rolling tumultuously overhead, and a general look of damp and decay about the fields and banks—one of those melancholy days of the late autumn which make one long for the more varied circumstances of confessed winter, when the deep blue shadows in the crisp snow suggest the glory of southern skies, and the sparkle of the sun on the delicate tracery of the frosted branches has a mimicry of life, such as we imagine strange elves and fairies might create.

There was no point of color in the landscape save the brown foliage of the shivering beech trees, a few coarse splashes of yellow weeds, and here and there a trail of dying crimson leaves threading the barren hedgerows. Everything was "sombre, lifeless, mournful", and even Edgar Harrowby, though by no means sentimentally impressionable to outward conditions, felt, as he rode through the deserted lanes and looked abroad over the stagnant country, that life on the off-hunt days was but a slow-kind of thing at North Aston, and that any incident which should break the dead monotony of the scene would be welcome.

He had been thinking a great deal of Adelaide for the last four or five days, since she had dined at the Hill, and making up his mind to take the final plunge before long. He was not in love with her, but she suited, as has been said; and that was as good as love to Edgar, who had now to take up his squiredom and country gentleman's respectability, after having had his share of a young man's "fling" in rather larger proportion than falls to the lot of most. All the same, he wished that her face had more expression and that her eyes were perfectly straight; and he wanted to see Leam Dundas.

He had made a long round to-day, and was turning now homeward, when, as he had almost crossed the moor, athwart which his road led, he saw standing on a little hillock, away from the main track, the slight figure of a woman sharply defined against the sky. She was alone, doing nothing, not seeming to be looking at anything—just standing there on the hillock, facing the north-west, as if for pleasure in the rough freshness of the breeze.

The wind blew back her dress, and showed her girlish form, supple, flexible, graceful, fashioned like some nymph of olden time. From her small feet, arched and narrow, gripping the ground like feet of steel, to the slender throat on which her head was set with so much grace of line, yet with no sense of over-weighting in its tender curves, an expression of nervous energy underlying her fragile litheness of form, a look of strength—not muscular nor the strength of bulk or weight, but the strength of fibre, will, tenacity—seemed to mark her out as something different from the herd.

Edgar scarcely gave this vague impression words in his own mind, but he was conscious of a new revelation of womanhood, and he scented an adventure in this solitary figure facing the north-west wind on the lonely moor.

Her very dress, too, had a character of its own in harmony with the rest—black all through, save for the scarlet feather in her hat, which burnt like a flame against the gray background of the sky; and her whole attitude had something of defiance in its profound stillness, while standing so boldly against the strong blasts that swept across the heights, which caught his imagination, at that moment ready to be inflamed. All things depend on times and moods, and Edgar's mood at this moment of first seeing Leam Dundas was favorable for the reception of new impressions.

For, of course, it was Leam—Leam, who, since her return from school, alone and without companionship, was feverish [pg 216] often, and often impelled to escape into the open country from something that oppressed her down in the valley too painfully to be borne. She had never been a confidential nor an expansive schoolfellow; not even an affectionate one as girls count affection, seeing that she neither kissed nor cried, nor quarreled nor made up—neither stood as a model of fidelity nor changed her girl-lovers in anticipation of future inconstancies—writing a love-letter to Ada to-day and a copy of verses to Ethel to-morrow—but had kept with all the same quiet gravity and gentle reticence which seemed to watch rather than share, and to be more careful not to offend than solicitous to win.

All the same, she missed her former comrades now that she had lost them; but most of all she missed the wholesome occupation and mental employment of her studies. Left as she was to herself, thoughts and memories were gathering up from the background where they had lain dormant if extant all these years, and through her solitude were getting a vitality which made her stand still in a kind of breathless agony, wondering where they would lead her and in what they would end. At times such a burning sense of sin would flash over her that she felt as if she must confess that hideous fact of her girlish past. It seemed so shameful that she should be living there among the rest, a criminal with the innocent, and not tell them what she was. Then the instinct of self-preservation would carry it over her conscience, and she would press back her thoughts and go out, as to-day, to cool her feverish blood, and grow calm to bear and strong to hold the heavy burden which she had fashioned by her own mad deed and laid for life on her own hands.

If only the ladies had not insisted so strongly on mamma's personality in heaven! if only they had not lighted up her imagination, her loyalty, by this tremendous torch of faith and love! How bitterly she regretted the childish fanaticism which had made her imagine herself the providence of that beloved memory, the avenger of those shadowy wrongs! Oh, if she could undo the past and call madame back to life! She would kiss her now, and even call her mamma if it would please her and papa. So she stood on the hillock facing the north-west, thinking these things and regretting in vain.

As Edgar came riding by his large black hound dashed off to Leam and barked furiously, all four paws planted on the ground as if preparing for a spring. The beast had probably no malice, and might have meant it merely as his method of saying, "Who are you?" but he looked formidable, and Leam started back and cried, "Down, dog! go away!" in a voice half angry and half afraid.

Then Edgar saw the face, and knew who she was. He rode across the turf, calling off his dog, and came up to her. It was an opportunity, and Edgar Harrowby was a man who knew how to take advantage of opportunities. It was in his creed to thank Providence for favorable chances by making the most of them, and this was a chance of which it would be manifestly ungrateful not to make the most. It was far more picturesque to meet her for the first time, as now, on the wild moor on a gusty gray November day, than in the gloomy old drawing-room at the Hill. It gave a flavor of romance and the forbidden which was not without its value in the beginning of an acquaintance with such a face as Leam's. Nevertheless, in spite of the romance that hung about the circumstance, his first words were common-place enough. "I hope my dog has not alarmed you?" he said, lifting his hat.

Leam looked at him with those wonderful eyes of hers, that seemed somehow to look through him. She, standing on her hillock, was slightly higher than Edgar sitting on his horse; and her head was bent as she looked down on him, giving her attitude and gesture something of a dignified assumption of superiority, more like the Leam of the past than of the present. "No, I was not alarmed," she said. "But I do not like to be barked at," she added, an echo of the old childish sense of injury from [pg 217] circumstance that was so quaint and pretty in her half-complaining voice.

"I suppose not: how should you?" answered Edgar with sympathetic energy. "Rover is a good-old fellow, but he has the troublesome trick of giving tongue unnecessarily. He would not have hurt you, but I should be very sorry to think he had frightened you. To heel, sir!" angrily.

"No, he did not frighten me." repeated Leam.

Never loquacious, there was something about this man's face and manner, his masterful spirit underneath his courteous bearing, his look of masculine power and domination, his admiring eyes that fixed themselves on her so unflinchingly—not with insolence, but as if he had the prescriptive right of manhood to look at her, only a woman, as he chose, he commanding and she obeying—that quelled and silenced her even beyond her wont. He was the first gentleman of noteworthy appearance who had ever spoken to her—not counting Alick, nor the masters who had taught her at school, nor Mr. Birkett, nor Mr. Fairbairn, as gentlemen of noteworthy appearance—and the first of all things has a special influence over young minds.

"You are brave to walk so far alone: you ought to have a dog like Rover to protect you," Edgar said, still looking at her with those unflinching eyes, which oppressed her even when she did not see them.

"I am not brave, and I do not care for dogs. Besides, I do not often walk so far as this; but I felt the valley stifling to-day," answered Leam, in her matter-of-fact, categorical way.

"All the same, you ought to have protection," Edgar said authoritatively, and Leam did not reply.

She only looked at him earnestly, wondering against what she should be protected, having abandoned by this time her belief in banditti and wild beasts.

If his eyes oppressed her, hers half embarrassed him. There was such a strange mixture of intensity and innocence in them, he scarcely knew how to meet them.

"It is absurd to pretend that we do not know each other," then said Edgar after a short pause, smiling; and his smile was very sweet and pleasant. "You are Miss Dundas—I am Edgar Harrowby."

"Yes, I know," Leam answered.

"How is that?" he asked, "I knew you from your photograph—once seen not to be forgotten again," gallantly—"but how should you know me?"

Leam raised her eyes from the ground where she had cast them. Those slow full looks, intense, tragic, fixed, had a startling effect of which she was wholly unconscious. Edgar felt his own grow dark and tender as he met hers. If the soul and mind within only answered to the mask without, what queen or goddess could surpass this half-breed Spanish girl, this country-born, unnoted, but glorious Leam Dundas? he thought.

"And I knew you from yours," she answered.

"An honor beyond my deserts," said Edgar.

Not that he thought the notice of a girl, even with such a face as this, beyond his deserts. Indeed, if a queen or a goddess had condescended to him, it would not have been a grace beyond his merits; but it sounded pretty to say so, and served to make talk as well as anything else. And to make talk was the main business on hand at this present moment.

"Why an honor?" asked Leam, ignorant of the elements of flirting.

Edgar smiled again, and this time his smile without words troubled her. It seemed the assertion of superior intelligence, contemptuous, if half pitiful of her ignorance. Once so serenely convinced of her superiority, Leam was now as suspicious of her shortcomings, and was soon abashed.

Edgar did not see that he had troubled her. Masterful and masculine to an eminent degree, the timid doubts and fears of a young girl were things he could not recognize. He had no point in his own nature with which they came in contact, so that he should sympathize with them. He knew the whole fence and foil of [pg 218] coquetry, the signs of silent flattery, the sweet language of womanly self-conscious love, whether wooing or being won; but the fluttering misgivings of youth and absolute inexperience were dark to him. All of which he felt conscious was that here was something deliciously fresh and original, and that Leam was more beautiful to look at than Adelaide, and a great deal more interesting to talk to.

"If you will allow me, now that I have had the pleasure of meeting you, I will see you safe for at least part of your way home," he said, passing by her naïve query "Why an honor?" as a thing to be answered only by that smile of superior wisdom.

Flinging himself from his horse, he took the bridle in his hand and turned toward home, looking to the girl to accompany him. Leam felt that she could not refuse his escort offered as so much a matter of course. Why should she? It was very pleasant to have some one to walk with—some one not her father, with whom she still felt shy, if not now absolutely estranged; nor yet Alick, in whose pale face she was always reading the past, and who, though he was so good and kind and tender, was her master and held her in his hand. This handsome, courteous gentleman was different from either, and she liked his society and superior ways. And as he began now to talk to her of things not trenching on nor admitting of flirtation—chiefly of the places he had visited, India, Egypt, Italy, Spain—she was not so much abashed by his unflinching looks and masterful manner.

When he entered on Spain and his recollections of what he had seen there, the girl's heart throbbed, and her pale face grew whiter still with the passionate thrill that stirred her. The old blood was in her veins yet, and, though modified, and in some sense transformed, she was still Pepita's daughter and the child of Andalusia. And here was truth; not like that poor wretched madame's talk, which even she had found out to be false and only making believe to know what she did not know. Spain was the name of power with Learn, as it had been with her mother, and she lifted her face, white with its passionate desires, listening as if entranced to all that Edgar said.

It was a good opening, and the handsome soldier-squire congratulated himself on his lucky hit and serviceable memory. Presently he touched on Andalusia, and Leam, who hitherto had been listening without comment, now broke in eagerly. "That is my own country!" she cried. "Mamma came from Andalusia, beautiful Andalusia! Ah! how I should like to go there!"

"Perhaps you will some day," Edgar answered a little significantly.

Had she been more instructed in the kind of thing he meant, she would have seen that he wished to convey the idea of a love-journey made with him.

She shook her head and her eyes grew moist and dewy. "Not now," she said mournfully. "Poor mamma has gone, and there is no one now to take me."

"I will make up a party some day, and you shall be one of us," said Edgar.

She brightened all over. "Ah! that would be delightful!" she cried, taking him seriously. "When do you think we shall go?"

"I will talk about it," Edgar answered, though smiling again—Leam wished he would not smile so often—a little aghast at her literalness, and saying to himself in warning that he must be careful of what he said to Leam Dundas. It was evident that she did not understand either badinage or a joke. But her very earnestness pleased him for all its oddity. It was so unlike the superficiality and levity of the modern girl—that hateful Girl of the Period, in whose existence he believed, and of whose influence he stood in almost superstitious awe. He liked that grave, intense way of hers, which was neither puritanical nor stolid, but, on the contrary, full of unspoken passion, rich in latent concentrated power.

"They are very beautiful, are they not?" Leam asked suddenly.

"What? who?" was Edgar's answer.

"The Andalusian women, and the men," returned Leam.

"The men are fine-looking fellows [pg 219] enough," answered Edgar carelessly—"a little too brutal for my taste, but well-grown men for all that. But I have seen prettier women out of Spain than in it."

"Mamma used to say they were so beautiful—the most beautiful of all the women in the world; and the best." Leam said this with a disappointed air and her old injured accent.

Edgar laughed softly. "The prettiest Andalusian woman I have ever seen has an English father," he answered, with a sudden flush on his handsome face as he bent it a little nearer to hers.

"How odd!" said Leam. "An English father? That is like me."

Edgar looked at her, to read how much of this was real ingenuousness, how much affected simplicity. He saw only a candid inquiring face with a faint shade of surprise in its quiet earnestness, unquestionably not affected.

"Just so," he answered. "Exactly like you."

His voice and manner made Leam blush uncomfortably. She was conscious of something disturbing, without knowing what it was. She first looked up into his face with the same expression of inquiry as before, then down to the earth perplexedly, when suddenly the truth came upon her; he meant herself—she was the prettiest Andalusian he had ever seen.

She was intensely humiliated at her discovery. Not one of those girls who study every feature, every gesture, every point, till there is not a square inch of their personality of which they are not painfully conscious, Leam had never taken herself into artistic consideration at all. She had been proud of her Spanish blood, of her mantilla, her high comb and her fan; but of herself as a woman among women she knew nothing, nor whether she was plain or pretty. Indeed, had she had to say offhand which, she would have answered plain. The revelation which comes sooner or later to all women of the charms they possess had not yet come to her; and Edgar's words, making the first puncture in her ignorance, pained her more by the shock which they gave her self-consciousness than they pleased her by their flattery.

She said no more, but walked by his side with her head held very high and slightly turned away. She was sorry that he had offended her. They had been getting on together so well until he had said this foolish thing, and now they were like friends who had quarreled. She was quite sorry that he had been so foolish as to offend her, but she must not forgive him—at least not just yet. It was very wrong of him to tell her that she was prettier than the true children of the soil; and she resented the slight to Spain and to her mother, as well as the wrong done to herself, by his saying that which was not true. So she walked with her little head held high, and Edgar could get nothing more out of her. When Leam was offended coaxings to make her forget were of no avail. She had to wear through an impression by herself, and it was useless to try for a premature pardon.

Edgar saw that he had overshot the mark, and that his best policy now was absence; wherefore, after a few moments' silence, he remounted his horse, looking penitent, handsome, full of admiration and downcast.

"I hope we shall soon see you at the Hill, Miss Dundas," he said, holding her hand in his for his farewell a little longer than was quite necessary for good breeding or even cordiality.

"I very seldom go to the Hill," answered Leam, looking past his head.

"But you will come, and soon?" fervently.

"Perhaps: I do not know," answered Leam, still looking past his head, and embarrassed to a most uncomfortable extent.

"Thank you," he said, as if he had been thanking her for the grace of his life; and with a long look, lifting his hat again, he rode off, just escaping by a few hundred yards the danger of being met walking with Leam by his sisters and Adelaide Birkett. They were all driving together in the phaeton, and the sisters were making much of their young friend.

At that moment Edgar preferred to be met alone and not walking with Leam. He did not stop the carriage—simply [pg 220] nodded to them all with familiar kindness, as a group of relatives not demanding extra courtesy, flinging a few words behind him as he rode on smiling. Nor did the ladies in their turn stop for Leam, whom they met soon after walking slowly along the road; but Josephine said, as they passed, how pretty Learn looked to-day, and how much softer her face was than it used to be; and Maria, even Maria, agreed with kindly Joseph, and was quite eulogistic on the object of her old disdain. Adelaide sat silent, and did not join in their encomiums.

It would have been a nice point to ascertain if the Misses Harrowby would have praised the girl's beauty as they did had they known that she had grown soft and dewy-eyed by talking of Spain with their brother Edgar, though she had hardened a little afterward when he told her that she was the prettiest Andalusian he had ever seen.

During the dinner at the Hill, where Adelaide was one of the family party, Edgar mentioned casually how that he had met Miss Dundas on the moor, and had had to speak to her because of Rover's misbehavior.

"Yes? and what do you think of her?" asked Mrs. Harrowby with a sharp glance.

"I scarcely know: I have hardly seen her as yet," he answered.

"Did she say or do anything very extraordinary to-day?" asked Adelaide with such an air of contemptuous curiosity as seemed to him insufferably insolent.

"No, nothing. Is she in the habit of saying or doing extraordinary things?" he answered back, arching his eyebrows and speaking in a well-affected tone of sincere inquiry.

"At times she is more like a maniac than a sane person," said Adelaide, breaking her bread with deliberation. "What can you expect from such a parentage and education as hers?"

Edgar looked down and smiled satirically. "Poor Pepita's sins lie heavy on your mind," he answered.

"Yes, I believe in race," was her reply.

"Mother," then said Edgar after a short silence, "why do you not have Miss Dundas to dine here with Adelaide? It would be more amusing to her, for it must be dull"—turning to their guest and speaking amiably, considerately—"I am afraid very dull—to be so often quite alone with us."

He did not add what he thought, that it was almost indelicate in her to be here so often. He was out of humor with her to-day.

"She is such an uncertain girl we never know how she may be. I had her to stay here once, and I do not want to repeat the experiment," was Mrs. Harrowby's answer.

"But, mamma, that was before she went to school, when she was quite a child. She is so much improved now," pleaded Josephine.

"Good little soul!" said Edgar under his breath.—"Wine, Joseph?" aloud, as his recognition of her good offices.

"And I like coming alone best, thanks," said Adelaide with unruffled calmness. "Leam has never been my friend; indeed, I do not like her, and you all," to the sisters, with a gracious smile and prettily, "have always been my favorite companions."

"Still, she is very lonely, and it would be kind. Besides, she is good to look at," said Edgar.

"Do you think so?" said Mrs. Harrowby with crisp lips and ill-concealed displeasure.

"Do I think so, mother? I should have no eyes else. She is superb. I have never seen such a face. She is the most beautiful creature I have ever known of any nation."

Adelaide's delicate pink cheeks turned pale, and then they flushed a brilliant rose as she laid down her spoon and left her jelly untasted.

There were no trials of skill at chess, no duets, no solos, this evening. After dinner Edgar went to his own room and sat there smoking. He felt revolted at the idea of spending two or three hours with what he irreverently called "a lot of dull women," and preferred his own thoughts to their talk. He sauntered into the drawing-room about ten minutes before Adelaide had to leave, apologizing for his absence on the man's easy plea [pg 221] of "business," saying he was sorry to have missed her charming society, and he hoped they should see her there soon again, and so on—all in the proper voice and manner, but with a certain ring of insincerity in the tones which Adelaide detected, if the others did not. But she accepted his excuses with the most admirable tact, smiling to the sisters as she said, "Oh, we have been very happy, Josephine, have we not? though," with a nice admission of Edgar's claims, not too broadly stated nor too warmly allowed, "of course it would have been very pleasant if you could have come in too."

"It has been my loss," said Edgar.

She smiled "Yes" by eyes, lips and turn of her graceful head. In speech she answered, "Of that, of course, you are the best judge for yourself; but none of us here feel as some girls do, lost without gentlemen to amuse them. We can get on very well by ourselves. Cannot we, Joseph?"

And Josephine said gallantly, "Yes," but her heart was more rueful than her voice, and she thought that some gentlemen were very nice, and that Sebastian Dundas especially made the dull time pass pleasantly.



Nothing surprised the North Astonians more than what it was the fashion to call "the admirable manner in which Leam behaved to the child Fina." If the world which praised her had known all the compelling circumstances, would it have called her admirable then? Yet beyond those natural promptings of remorse which forced her to do the best she could for the child whom her fatal crime had rendered motherless, Leam did honestly behave well, if this means doing irksome things without complaint and sacrificing self to a sense of right. And this was all the more praiseworthy in that sympathy of nature between these two young creatures there was none, and the girl's maternal instinct was not of that universal kind which makes all children pleasant, whatever they may be. Hence, she did nobly when she did her duty with the uncompromising exactness characteristic of her; but then it was only duty, it was not love.

How should it be love? Her tenacity and reserve were ill matched with Fina's native inconstancy of purpose and childish incontinence of speech; her pride of race resented her father's adoption of a stranger into the penetralia of the family; and to share the name she had inherited from her mother with the daughter of that mother's rival seemed to her a wrong done to both the living and the dead. Naturally taciturn, unjoyful, and ever oppressed by that brooding consciousness of guilt hanging like a cloud over her memory, formless, vague, but never lifting, Fina's changeful temper and tumultuous vivacity were intensely wearisome to her. Nevertheless, she was forbearing if not loving, and the people said rightly when they said she was admirable.

Her grave patience with the little one did more to open her father's heart to her than did even her own wonderful beauty, which gratified his paternal pride of authorship, or than her efforts after docility to himself—efforts that would have been creditable to any one, and that with her were heroic. For Mr. Dundas, being of those clinging, clasping natures which must love some one, had taken poor madame's child into his affections in the wholesale manner so emphatically his own, now in these first days of his new paternity seeming to live only for the little Fina, and never happy but when he had her with him. It was the first time that he felt he had had a child of his own; and he gave her the love which would have been Leam's had Pepita been less of a savage than she was, and more discreet in the matter of doll-dressing.

The little round, fair-haired creature, with her picturesque Gainsborough head and rose-red lips, pretty, pleasant, facile, easily amused if easily made cross, divertible from her purpose if she was but coaxed and caressed, and if the substitute offered was to her liking—without [pg 222] tenacity, fluid, floating on the surface of things and born of their froth; loving only those who ministered to her pleasure and were in sight; forgetting yesterday's joys as though they had never been, and her dearest the moment they were absent—a child deliciously caressing because sensual by temperament and instinctively diplomatic, with no latent greatness to be developed as time went on and the flower set into the fruit. Epitomizing the characteristics of the class of which her mother had been a typical example, she was the pleasantest thing of his life to a man who cared mainly to be amused, and who liked with a woman's liking to be loved.

The strong love of children inherent in him, which had never been satisfied till now, seemed now to have gathered tenfold strength, and the love of the man, who had never cared for his own, for this his little daughter by adoption was almost a passion. If Leam could have been jealous where she did not love, she would have been jealous of her father and Fina. But she was not. On the contrary, it seemed to soften some of the bitterness of her self-reproach, and she was glad that madame's motherless child was not deserted, but had found a substitute for the protection which she had taken from her; for Leam, criminal, was not ignoble.

A few days after the meeting on the moor between Learn and Edgar, Mr. Dundas drove to the Hill, carrying Fina with him. Leam had a fit of shyness and refused to go: thus Sebastian had the child to himself, and was not sorry to be without his elder and less congenial daughter. He owned to himself that she was good, very good indeed, and a great deal better than he ever expected she would be; yet for all that, with her more than Oriental gravity and reserve, and that look of tragedy haunting her face, she was not an amusing companion, and the little one was.

Mr. Dundas had begun to take up his old habits again with the Harrowbys. He found the patient constancy of his friend Josephine not a disagreeable salve for a wounded heart and broken life; albeit poor dear Joseph was getting stout and matronly, and took off the keen edge of courtship by a willingness too manifest for wisdom. Sebastian liked to be loved, but he did not like to be bored by being made overmuch love to. The things are different, and most men resent the latter, how much soever they desire the former.

Edgar was in the drawing-room when Mr. Dundas was announced. He was booted and spurred, waiting his horse to be brought round. "What a pretty little girl!" he said after a time. True to his type, he was fond of children and animals, and children and animals liked him. "Come and speak to me," he continued, holding out his hand to Fina.—"Whose child is she?" vaguely to the company in general.

"Mine," said Mr. Dundas emphatically—"my youngest daughter, Fina Dundas."

Edgar knew what he meant. He had often heard the story from his sisters, and since his return home he had had Adelaide Birkett's comments thereon. He looked then with even more interest on the pretty little creature in dark-blue velvet and swansdown, careless, unconscious, happy, as the child of a mystery and a tragedy in one.

"Ah!" he said sympathetically. "Come to me, little one," again, coaxingly.

Fina, with her finger in her mouth, went up to him half shyly, half boldly, and wholly prettily. She let him take her on his knee and kiss her without remonstrance. She was of the kind to like being taken on knees and kissed—especially by gentlemen who were strong and matronly women who were soft—and she soon made friends. Not many minutes elapsed before, kneeling upon his knees, she was stroking his tawny beard and plaiting it in threes, pulling his long moustache, playing with his watch-guard, and laughing in his face with the pretty audacity of six.

"What a dear little puss!" cried Edgar, caressing her. "Very like you, Joseph, I should think, when you were her age, judging by your picture. Is she not, mother?"

[pg 223]

"They say so, but I do not see it," answered Mrs. Harrowby primly.

She did not like to hear about this resemblance. There was something in it that annoyed her intensely, she scarcely knew why, and the more so because it was true.

"Poor madame used to say so: she saw it from the first, when Fina was quite a little baby," said Josephine in a low voice.

She was kneeling by her brother's side caressing Fina. She always made love to the little girl: it was one of her methods of making love to the father.

"Is she like her mother?" asked Edgar in the same low tones, looking at the child critically.

"A little," answered Josephine—"not much. It is odd, is it not, that she should be more like me?"

Just then Fina laid her fresh sweet lips against Edgar's, and he kissed her with a strange thrill of tenderness.

"Why, Edgar, I never saw you take so to a child before," cried Mrs. Harrowby, not quite pleasantly; and on Sebastian adding with his nervous little laugh, which meant the thing it assumed only to play at, "I declare I shall be quite jealous, Edgar, if you make love to my little girl like this." Edgar, who had the Englishman's dislike to observation, save when he offered himself for personal admiration, laughed too and put Fina away.

But the child had taken a fancy to him, and could scarcely be induced to leave him. She clung to his hand still, and went reluctantly when her stepfather called her. It was a very little matter, but men being weak in certain directions, it delighted Edgar and annoyed Sebastian beyond measure.

"I hope your elder daughter is well," then said Edgar, emphasizing the adjective, the vision of Leam as he first saw her, breasting the wind, filling his eyes with a strange light.

"Leam? Quite well, thanks. But how do you know anything about her?" was Sebastian's reply.

"I met her yesterday on the moor, and Rover introduced us," answered Edgar laughing.

"How close she is!" said her father fretfully. "She never told me a word about it."

"Perhaps she thought the incident too trifling," suggested Edgar, a little chagrined.

"Oh no, not at all! In a place like North Aston the least thing counts as an adventure; and meeting for the first time one of the neighbors is not an incident to be forgotten as if it were of no more value than meeting a flock of sheep."

Mr. Dundas spoke peevishly. To a man who liked to be amused and who lived on crumbs this reserved companionship was disappointing and tiresome.

"Leam is at home making music," said Fina disdainfully. She had caught the displeased accent of her adopted father, and echoed it.

"Does she make much music?" asked Edgar with his hand under her chin, turning up her face.

The child shrugged her little shoulders. "She makes a noise," she said; and those who heard her laughed.

"That is not a very polite way of putting it," said Edgar a little gravely.

"No," said Josephine.

"You should speak nicely of your sister, my little one," put in Sebastian.

Fina looked up into his face reproachfully. "You called it a noise yourself, papa," she said, pouting. "You made her leave off yesterday as soon as you came in, because you said she made your head ache with her noise, and set your teeth—something, I don't know what."

"Did I, dear?" he repeated carelessly. "Well, we need not discuss the subject. I dare say it amuses her to make music, as you call it, and so we need say no more about it."

"But you did say it was a noise," persisted Fina, climbing on to his knees and putting her arms round his neck. "And I think it a noise too."

"Poor Leam's music cannot be very first-rate," remarked Maria, who was a proficient and played almost as well as a "professional." "Four years ago she did not know her notes, and four years' [pg 224] practice cannot be expected to make a perfect pianiste."

"But a person may play very sweetly and yet not be what you call perfect," said Edgar.

"Do you think so?" Maria answered with a frosty smile. "I do not." Of what use to have toiled for thirty years early and late at scales and thorough-bass if a stupid girl like Leam could be allowed to play sweetly after four years' desultory practice? "Adelaide Birkett, if you will, plays well," she added; "but Leam, poor child! how should she?"

"I hope I shall have an opportunity of judging for myself," said Edgar with his company manner.—"When will you come and dine here, Dundas?—to-morrow? You and your elder daughter: we shall be very glad to see you."

He looked to his mother. Mrs. Harrowby had drawn her lips tight, and wore an injured air doing its best to be resigned. This was Edgar's first essay in domestic mastership, and it pained her, not unnaturally.

"Thanks," said Sebastian. "Willingly, if—" looking to Mrs. Harrowby.

"I have no engagement, and Edgar is master now," said that lady.

"And mind that Leam comes too," said Josephine, sharing her favorite brother's action by design.

"And me," cried Fina.

Whereat they all laughed, which made Fina cry, to be consoled only by some sweetmeats which Josephine found in her work-basket.

It was agreed, then, that the next day Leam and her father should dine at the Hill.

"Only ourselves," Edgar said, wanting the excuse of her "being the only lady" to devote himself to Leam. It was strange that he should be so anxious to see her nearer, and in company with his sisters and mother; for after all, why should he? What was she to him, either near or afar off, alone or in the inner circle of his family?

But when the next day came Mr. Dundas appeared alone. Leam had been taken with a fit of shyness, pride—who shall say?—and refused to accept her share of the invitation. Her father made the stereotyped excuse of "headache;" but headaches occur too opportunely to be always real, and Leam's to-night was set down to the fancy side of the account, and not believed in by the hearers any more than by the bearer.

Edgar raged against her in his heart, and decided that she was not worth a second thought, while the ladies said in an undertone from each to each, "How rude!" Maria adding, "How like Leam!" the chain of condemnation receiving no break till it came to Josephine, whose patient soul refrained from wrath, and gave as her link, "Poor Leam! perhaps she is shy or has really a headache."

In spite of his decision that she was not worth a second thought, the impression which Leam had made on Edgar deepened with his disappointment, and he became restless and unpleasant in his temper, casting about for means whereby he might see her again. He cast about in vain. This fit of shyness, pride, reluctance—who knows what?—continued with Leam for many days after this. If she went out at all, she went where she knew she should not be met; and if Edgar called at Ford House, she was not to be found. She mainly devoted herself to Fina and some books lent her by Alick, and kept the house with strange persistency. Perhaps this was because the weather was bad, for Leam, who could bear wind and frost and noonday sun, could not bear wet. When it rained she shut herself up in her own room, and pitied herself for the ungenial skies as she had pitied herself for some other things before now.

Sitting thus reading one miserably dark, cold, misty day, the child Fina came in to her with her lessons, which she repeated well. They were very small and insignificant little lessons, for Leam had a fellow-feeling for the troubles of ignorance, and laid but a light hand on the frothy mind inside that curly head. When they were finished the little one said coaxingly, "Now play with me, Leam! You never play with me."

"What can I do, Fina?" poor Leam replied.

[pg 225]

She had never learnt to play when she was a child: she had never built towers and towns, made railway trains and coaches with the sofa and chairs, played at giants through the dark passages and screamed when she was caught. She had only sat still when mamma was asleep, or when she was awake played on the zambomba, or listened to her when she told her of the things of Spain, and made up stories with her dolls that were less edifying than those of Mother Bunch. She could scarcely, however, unpack that old box full of waxen puppets, with the one dressed in scarlet and black, with fishbone horns and a worsted tail, and a queer clumped kind of foot made of folds of leather, cleft in the middle, that used to go by the name of "El señor papa." What could she do?

"Shall I tell you a story?" she then said in a mild fit of desperation, for story-telling was as little in her way as anything else.

"Yes, yes, tell me a story!" Fina clapped her chubby hands together and climbed up into Leam's lap.

"What shall it be about—bears or tigers, or what?" asked Leam dutifully.

"Tell me about mamma, my own mamma, not Aunty Birkett," said Fina.

Leam shuddered from head to foot. This was the first time the little girl had mentioned her mother's name to her. Indeed, she did not know that she had ever heard of her at all—ever known that she had had a mother; but the servants had talked, and the child's curiosity was aroused. The dead mother is as much a matter of wondering inquiry as the angels and the stars; and Fina's imagination was beginning to bestir itself on the mysteries of childish life.

"I have nothing to tell you about her," said Leam, controlling herself, though she still shivered.

"Yes, you have—everything," insisted Fina. "Was mamma pretty?" playing with a corner of her sister's ribbon.

"People said so," answered Leam.

"As pretty as Cousin Addy?" she asked.

"About," said Leam, who thought neither supreme.

"Prettier than you?"

"I don't know: how can I tell?" she answered a little impatiently.

The mother's blood that ran in her, the mother's mould in which she had been formed, forbade her to put herself below madame in anything; but, as she was neither vain nor conscious, she found Fina's question difficult to answer.

"Oh," cried Fina, in a tone of disappointment, "then she could not have been very pretty."

"I dare say she was, but I do not know," returned Leam.

"And she died?" continued Fina, yawning in a childishly indifferent manner.

"Yes, she died."

"Why? Who killed her? Did papa?" asked Fina.

Leam's face was very white: "No, not papa."

"Did God?"

"I cannot tell you, Fina," said Leam, to whom falsehoods were abhorrent and the truth impossible.

"Did you?" persisted Fina with childish obstinacy.

"Now go," said Leam, putting her off her lap and rising from her chair in strange disorder. "You are troublesome and ask too many questions."

Fina began to cry loudly, and Mr. Dundas, from his library below, heard her. He came up stairs with his fussy, restless kindness, and opened the door of the room where his two daughters, of nature and by adoption, were.

"Heyday! what's all this about?" he cried. "What's the matter, my little Fina? what are you crying for? Tut, tut! you should not cry like this, darling; and, Leam," severely, "you should really keep the child better amused and happy. She is as good as gold with me: with you there is always something wrong."

Fina ran into his arms sobbing. "Leam is cross," she said. "She will not tell me who killed mamma."

The man's ruddy face, reddened and roughened with travel, grew white and pitiful. "God took her away, my darling," he said with a sob. "She was too [pg 226] good for me, and He took her to live with the angels in heaven,"

"And Leam's mamma? Is she in heaven too with the angels?" asked Fina, opening her eyes wide through their tears,

"I hope so," Sebastian answered in an altered voice.

Leam covered her face in her hands; then lifting it up, she said imploringly, "Papa, do not talk to her of mamma. It is sacrilege."

"I agree with you, Leam," said Mr, Dundas in a steady voice. "We meet at the same point, but perhaps by different methods."




CAPE TOWN, October 16, 1875.

Safe, safe at last, after twenty-four days of nothing but sea and sky, of white-crested waves—which made no secret of their intention of coming on board whenever they could or of tossing the good ship Edinburgh Castle hither and thither like a child's plaything—and of more deceitful sluggish rolling billows, looking tolerably calm to the unseafaring eye, but containing a vast amount of heaving power beneath their slow, undulating water-hills and valleys. Sometimes sky and sea have been steeped in dazzling haze of golden glare, sometimes brightened to blue of a sapphire depth. Again, a sudden change of wind has driven up serried clouds from the south and east, and all has been gray and cold and restful to eyes wearied with radiance and glitter of sun and sparkling water.

Never has there been such exceptional weather, although the weather of my acquaintance invariably is exceptional. No sooner had the outlines of Madeira melted and blended into the soft darkness of a summer night than we appeared to sail straight into tropic heat and a sluggish vapor, brooding on the water like steam from a giant geyser. This simmering, oily, exhausting temperature carried us close to the line. "What is before us," we asked each other languidly, "if it be hotter than this? How can mortal man, woman, still less child, endure existence?" Vain alarms! Yet another shift of the light wind, another degree passed, and we are all shivering in winter wraps. The line was crossed in greatcoats and shawls, and the only people whose complexion did not resemble a purple plum were those lucky ones who had strength of mind and steadiness of body to lurch up and down the deck all day enjoying a strange method of movement which they called walking.

The exceptional weather pursued us right into the very dock. Table Mountain ought to be seen—and very often is seen—seventy miles away. I am told it looks a fine bold bluff at that distance, Yesterday we had blown off our last pound of steam and were safe under its lee before we could tell there was a mountain there at all, still less an almost perpendicular cliff more than three thousand feet high. Robben Island looked like a dun-colored hillock as we shot past it within a short distance, and a more forlorn and discouraging islet I don't think I have ever beheld. When I expressed something of this impression to a cheery fellow-voyager, he could only urge in its defence that there were a great many rabbits on it. If he had thrown the lighthouse into the bargain, I think he would have summed up all its attractive features. Unless Langalibalele is of a singularly unimpressionable nature, he must have found his sojourn on it somewhat monotonous, but he always says he was very comfortable there.

[pg 227]

And now for the land. We are close alongside of a wharf, and still a capital and faithful copy of a Scotch mist wraps houses, trees and sloping uplands in a fibry fantastic veil, and the cold drizzle seems to curdle the spirits and energies of the few listless Malays and half-caste boys and men who are lounging about. Here come hansom cabs rattling up one after the other, all with black drivers in gay and fantastic head and shoulder gear; but their hearts seem precisely as the hearts of their London brethren, and they single out new-comers at a glance, and shout offers to drive them a hundred yards or so for exorbitant sums, or yell laudatory recommendations of sundry hotels. You must bear in mind that in a colony every pot-house is a hotel, and generally rejoices in a name much too imposing to fit across its frontage. These hansoms are all painted white with the name of some ship in bright letters on the side, and are a great deal cleaner, roomier and more comfortable than their London "forbears." The horses are small and shabby, but rattle along at a good pace; and soon each cab has its load of happy home-comers and swings rapidly away to make room for fresh arrivals hurrying up for fares. Hospitable suggestions come pouring in, and it is as though it were altogether a new experience when one steps cautiously on the land, half expecting it to dip away playfully from under one's feet. A little boy puts my thoughts into words when he exclaims, "How steady the ground is!" and becomes a still more faithful interpreter of a wave-worn voyager's sensations when, a couple of hours later, he demands permission to get out of his delicious little white bed that he may have the pleasure of getting into it again. The evening is cold and raw and the new picture is all blurred and soft and indistinct, and nothing seems plain except the kindly grace of our welcome and the never-before-sufficiently-appreciated delights of space and silence.


How pleasant is the process familiarly known as "looking about one," particularly when performed under exceptionally favorable circumstances! A long and happy day commenced with a stroll through the botanic gardens, parallel with which runs, on one side, a splendid oak avenue just now in all the vivid freshness of its young spring leaves. The gardens are beautifully kept, and are valuable as affording a sort of experimental nursery in which new plants and trees can be brought up on trial and their adaptability to the soil and climate ascertained. For instance, the first thing that caught my eye was the gigantic trunk of an Australian blue-gum tree, which had attained to a girth and height not often seen in its own land. The flora of the Cape Colony is exceptionally varied and beautiful, but one peculiarity incidentally alluded to by my charming guide struck me as very noticeable. It is that in this dry climate and porous soil all the efforts of uncultivated nature are devoted to the stems of the vegetation: on their sap-retaining power depends the life of the plant, so blossom and leaf, though exquisitely indicated, are fragile and incomplete compared to the solidity and bulbous appearance of the stalk. Everything is sacrificed to the practical principle of keeping life together, and it is not until these stout-stemmed plants are cultivated and duly sheltered and watered, and can grow, as it were, with confidence, that they are able to do justice to the inherent beauty of penciled petal and veined leaf. Then the stem contracts to ordinary dimensions, and leaf and blossom expand into things which may well be a joy to the botanist's eye. A thousand times during that shady saunter did I envy my companions their scientific acquaintance with the beautiful green things of earth, and that intimate knowledge of a subject which enhances one's appreciation of its charms as much as bringing a lamp into a darkened picture-gallery. There are the treasures of form and color, but from ignorant eyes more than half their charms and wonders are held back.

A few steps beyond the garden stand the library and natural history museum. The former is truly a credit to the Colony. [pg 228] Spacious, handsome, rich in literary treasures, It would bear comparison with similar institutions in far older and wealthier places. But I have often noticed in colonies how much importance is attached to the possession of a good public library, and how fond, as a rule, colonists are of books. In a new settlement other shops may be ill supplied, but there is always a good bookseller's, and all books are to be bought there at pretty nearly the same prices as in England. Here each volume costs precisely the same as it would in London, and it would puzzle ever so greedy a reader to name a book which would not be instantly handed to him.

The museum is well worth a visit of many more hours than we could afford minutes, and, as might be expected, contains numerous specimens of the Bok family, whose tapering horns and slender legs are to be seen at every turn of one's head. Models are there also of the largest diamonds, and especially well copied is the famous "Star of South Africa," a magnificent brilliant of purest water, sold here originally for something like twelve thousand pounds, and resold for double that sum three or four years back. In these few hours I perceive, or think I perceive, a certain soreness, if one may use the word, on the part of the Cape Colonists about the unappreciativeness of the English public toward their produce and possessions. For Instance, an enormous quantity of wine is annually exported, which reaches London by a devious route and fetches a high price, as it is fairly entitled to do from its excellence. If that same wine were sent direct to a London merchant and boldly sold as Cape wine, it is said that the profit on it would be a very different affair. The same prejudice exists against Cape diamonds. Of course, as in other things, a large proportion of inferior stones are forced into the market and serve to give the diamonds that bad name which we all know is so fatal to a dog. But it is only necessary to pretend that a really fine Cape diamond has come from Brazil to ensure its fetching a handsome price, and in that way even jewelers themselves have been known to buy and give a good round sum, too, for stones they would otherwise have looked upon with suspicion. Already I have seen a straw-colored diamond from "Du Zoit's pan" in the diamond-fields cut in Amsterdam and set in London, which could hold its own for purity, radiance and color against any other stone of the same rare tint, without fear or favor; but of course such gems are not common, and fairly good diamonds cost as much here as in any other part of the world.

The light morning mists from that dampness of yesterday have rolled gradually away as the beautiful sunshine dried the atmosphere, and by midday the table-cloth, as the colonists affectionately call the white, fleece-like vapor which so often rests on their pet mountain, has been folded up and laid aside in Cloudland for future use. I don't know what picture other people may have made to their own minds of the shape and size of Table Mountain, but it was quite a surprise and the least little bit in the world of a disappointment to me to find that it cuts the sky (and what a beautiful sky it is!) with a perfectly straight and level line. A gentle, undulating foreground broken into ravines, where patches of green velts or fields, clumps of trees and early settlers' houses nestle cosily down, guides the eye half-way up the mountain. There the rounder forms abruptly cease, and great granite cliffs rise, bare and straight, up to the level line stretching ever so far along. "It is so characteristic," and "You grow to be so fond of that mountain," are observations I have heard made in reply to the carping criticisms of travelers, and already I begin to understand the meaning of the phrases. But you need to see the mountain from various points of view and under different influences of sun and cloud before you can take in its striking and peculiar charms.

On each side of the straight line which is emphatically Table Mountain, but actually forming part of it, is a bold headland of the shape one is usually accustomed to in mountains. The "Devil's Peak" is uncompromising enough for [pg 229] any one's taste, whilst the "Lion's Head" charms the eye by its bluff form and deep purple fissures. These grand promontories are not, however, half so beloved by Cape Colonists as their own Table Mountain, and it is curious and amusing to notice how the influence of this odd straight ridge, ever before their eyes, has unconsciously guided and influenced their architectural tastes. All the roofs of the houses are straight—straight as the mountain; a gable is almost unknown, and even the few steeples are dwarfed to an imperceptible departure from the prevailing straight line. The very trees which shade the Parade-ground and border the road in places have their tops blown absolutely straight and flat, as though giant shears had trimmed them; but I must confess, in spite of a natural anxiety to carry out my theory, that the violent "sou'-easters" are the "straighteners" in their case.

Cape Town is so straggling that it is difficult to form any idea of its real size, but the low houses are neat and the streets are well kept and look quaint and lively enough to my new eyes this morning. There are plenty of people moving about with a sociable, business-like air; lots of different shades of black and brown Malays, with pointed hats on the men's heads: the women encircle their dusky, smiling faces with a gay cotton handkerchief and throw another of a still brighter hue over their shoulders. When you add to this that they wear a full, flowing, stiffly-starched cotton gown of a third bright color, you can perhaps form some idea of how they enliven the streets. Swarms of children everywhere, romping and laughing and showing their white teeth in broadest of grins. The white children strike me at once as looking marvelously well—such chubby cheeks, such sturdy fat legs—and all, black or white, with that amazing air of independence peculiar to baby-colonists. Nobody seems to mind them and nothing seems to harm them. Here are half a dozen tiny boys shouting and laughing at one side of the road, and half a dozen baby-girls at the other (they all seem to play separately): they are all driving each other, for "horses" is the one game here. By the side of a pond sit two toddles of about three years old, in one garment apiece and pointed hats: they are very busy with string and a pin; but who is taking care of them and why don't they tumble in? They are as fat as ortolans and grin at us in the most friendly fashion.

We must remember that this chances to be the very best moment of the whole year in which to see the Cape and the dwellers thereat. The cold weather has left its bright roses on the children's cheeks, and the winter rains exceptionally having this year made every blade of grass and leaf of tree to laugh and sing in freshest green. After the dry, windy summer I am assured there is hardly a leaf and never a blade of grass to be seen in Cape Town, and only a little straggling verdure under the shelter of the mountain. The great want of this place is water. No river, scarcely a brook, refreshes one's eye for many and many a league inward. The necessary water for the use of the town is brought down by pipes from the numerous springs which trickle out of the granite cliffs of Table Mountain, but there is never a sufficiency to spare for watering roads or grassplots. This scarcity is a double loss to residents and visitors, for one misses it both for use and beauty.

Everybody who comes here rides or drives round the "Kloof." That may be; but what I maintain is that very few do it so delightfully as I did this sunny afternoon with a companion who knew and loved every turn of the romantic road, who could tell me the name of every bush or flower, of every distant stretch of hills, and helped me to make a map in my head of the stretching landscape and curving bay. Ah! how delicious it was, the winding, climbing road, at whose every angle a fresh fair landscape fell away from beneath our feet or a shining stretch of sea, whose transparent green and purple shadows broke in a fringe of feathery spray at the foot of bold, rocky cliffs, or crept up to a smooth expanse of silver sand in a soft curling line of foam! "Kloof" means simply cleft, and [pg 230] is the pass between the Table Mountain and the Lion's Head, The road first rises, rises, rises, until one seems half-way up the great mountain, and the little straight—roofed white houses, the green velts or fields and the parallel lines of the vineyards have sunk below one's feet far, far away. The mountain gains in grandeur as one approaches it, for the undulating spurs which run from it down to the sea-shore take away from the height looking upward. But when these are left beneath, the perpendicular Walls of granite, rising sheer and straight up to the bold sky-line, and the rugged, massive strength of the buttress-like cliffs, begin to gain something of their true value to the stranger's eye. The most beautiful part of the road, however, to my taste, is the descent, when the shining expanse of Camp's Bay lies shimmering in the warm afternoon haze with a thousand lights and shadows from cloud and cliff touching and passing over the crisp water-surface. By many a steep zigzag we round the Lion's Head, and drop once more on a level road running parallel to the sea-shore, and so home in the balmy and yet bracing twilight. The midday sun is hot and scorching even at this time of year, but it is always cool in the shade, and no sooner do the afternoon shadows grow to any length than the air freshens into sharpness, and by sundown one is glad of a good warm shawl.


Another bright, ideal day, and the morning passed in a delicious flower-filled room looking over old books and records and listening to odd, quaint little scraps from the old Dutch records. But directly after luncheon (and how hungry we all are, and how delicious everything tastes on shore!) the open break with four capital horses comes to the door, and we start for a long, lovely drive. Half a mile or so takes us out on a flat red road with Table Mountain rising straight up before it, but on the left stretches away a most enchanting panorama. It is all so soft in coloring and tone, distinct and yet not hard, and exquisitely beautiful!

The Blue-Berg range of mountains stretch beyond the great bay, which, unless a "sou'-easter" is tearing over it, lies glowing in tranquil richness. This afternoon it is colored like an Italian lake. Here are lines of chrysoprase, green-fringed, white with little waves, and beyond lie dark, translucent, purple depths, which change with every passing cloud. Beyond these amethystic shoals again stretches the deep blue water, and again beyond, and bluer still, rise the five ranges of "Hottentots' Holland," which encircle and complete the landscape, bringing the eye round again to the nearer cliffs of the Devil's Peak. When the Dutch came here some two hundred years ago, they seized upon this part of the coast and called it Holland, driving the Hottentots beyond the neighboring range and telling them that was to be their Holland—a name it keeps to this day. Their consciences must have troubled them after this arbitrary division of the soil, for up the highest accessible spurs of their own mountain they took the trouble to build several queer little square houses called "block-houses," from which they could keep a sharp look-out for foes coming over the hills from Hottentots' Holland. The foes never came, however, and the roofs and walls of the block-houses have gradually tumbled in, and the gun-carriages—for they managed to drag heavy ordnance up the steep hill-side—have rotted away, whilst the old-fashioned cannon lie, grim and rusty, amid a tangled profusion of wild geranium, heath and lilies, I scrambled up to one of the nearest block-houses, and found the date on the dismounted gun to be more than a hundred years old. The view was beautiful and the air fresh and fragrant with scent of flowers.

But to return to our drive. I could gaze and gaze for ever at this lovely panorama, but am told this is the ugliest part of the road. The road itself is certainly not pretty just here, and is cloudy with a fine red dust, but this view of sea and distant hills is enchanting. Soon we get under the lee of the great mountain, and then its sheltering arms show their protective power; for splendid oak [pg 231] avenues begin to border the road all the way, and miniature forests of straight-stemmed pines and shimmering belts of the ghostly silver tree run up all the mountain-clefts. Stem and leaf of the silver tree are all of purest white; and when one gets a gleam of sunlight on a distant patch of these trees, the effect is quite indescribable, contrasting, as they do, with green of field and vineyard. The vines all about here and towards Constantia, thirteen miles off, are dwarf-plants, and only grow to the height of gooseberry-bushes. It is a particular species, which is found to answer best as requiring less labor to train and cultivate, and is less likely to be blown out of the ground by the violent "sou'-easters" which come sweeping over the mountain. These gales are evidently the greatest annoyance which Cape Colonists have to endure; and although everybody kindly suggests that I ought to see one, just to understand what it is like, I am profoundly thankful that I only know it from their description and my own distinct recollection of the New Zealand "nor'-westers." Those were hot winds, scorching and curling up everything, whereas this is rather a cold breeze, although it blows chiefly in summer. It whirls along clouds of dust from the red clay roads and fields which penetrates and clings to everything in the most extraordinary manner. All along the road the stems and lower branches of the trees are dyed a deep brick-dust color, and I hear moving and pathetic stories of how it ruins clothes, not only utterly spoiling black silk dresses, but staining white petticoats and children's frocks and pinafores with a border of color exactly like the ruddle with which sheep are branded. Especially is it the terror of sailors, rendering the navigation along the coast dangerous and difficult; for it blends land and water into one indistinct whirl of vaporous cloud, confusing and blurring everything until one cannot distinguish shore from sea.

The vineyards of Constantia originally took their pretty name from the fair daughter of one of the early Dutch governors, but now it has grown into a generic word, and you see "Cloete's Constantia," "Von Reybeck Constantia," written upon great stone gateways leading by long avenues into the various vine-growing plantations. It was to the former of these constantias, which was also the farthest off, that we were bound that pleasant summer afternoon, and from the time we got out of the carriage until the moment we re-entered it—all too soon, but it is a long drive back in the short cold twilight—I felt as though I had stepped through a magic portal into the scene of one of Washington Irving's stories. It was all so simple and homely, so quaint and so inexpressibly picturesque. The house had stood there for a couple of hundred years, and looks as though it might last for ever, with its air of cool, leisurely repose and comfort and strength.

In the flagged hall stands a huge stalactite some ten feet high, brought a hundred years ago from caves far away in the distant ranges. It is shaped something like a Malay's hat, only the peak tapers to a point about eight feet high. The drawing-room—though it seems a profanation to call that venerable stately room by so flippant and modern a name—is large, ceiled with great beams of cedar, and lighted by lofty windows, which must contain many scores of small panes of glass. There were treasures of rarest old china and delfware, and curious old carved stands for fragile dishes. A wealth of swinging-baskets of flowers and ferns and bright girl-faces lighted up the solemn, shady old room, in which we must not linger, for there is much to see outside. First to the cellar, as it is called, though it is far from being under ground, and is, in fact, a spacious stone building with an elaborately-carved pediment. Here are rows and rows of giant casks, stretching on either hand into avenues in the black distance, but these are mere children in the nursery, compared to those we are going to see. First we must pause in a middle room full of quaintest odds and ends—crossbows, long whips of hippopotamus hide, strange rusty old swords and firearms—to look at a map of South Africa drawn somewhere [pg 232] about 1640. It hangs on the wall and is hardly to be touched, for the paint and varnish crack and peel off at a breath. It is a marvel of accurate geographical knowledge, and is far better filled in than the maps of yesterday. All poor Livingstone's great geographical discoveries are marked on it as being—perhaps only from description—known or guessed at all that long time ago. It was found impossible to photograph it on account of the dark shade which age has laid over the original yellow varnish, but a careful tracing has been made and, I believe, sent home to the Geographical Society. It is in the long corridor beyond this that the "stuck-vats" live—puncheons which hold easily some thousand gallons or so, and are of a solemn rotundity calculated to strike awe into the beholder's heart. Here is white constantia, red constantia, young constantia, middle-aged constantia, and constantia so old as to be a liqueur almost beyond price. When it has been kept all these years, the sweetness by which it is distinguished becomes so absorbed and blended as to be hardly perceptible.

Presently one of the party throws a door suddenly open, and, behold, we are standing right over a wild wooded glen with a streamlet running through it, and black washerwomen beating heaps of white clothes on the strips of shingle. Turtle-doves are cooing, and one might almost fancy one was back again on the wild Scotch west coast, until some one else says calmly, "Look at the ostriches!" Here they come, with a sort of dancing step, twisting their long necks and snake-like heads from side to side in search of a tempting pebble or trifle of hardware. Their wings are slightly raised, and the long fringe of white feathers rustles softly as they trot easily and gracefully past us. They are young male birds, and in a few months more their plumage, which now resembles that of a turkey-cock, will be jet black, except the wing-feathers. A few drops of rain are falling, so we hurry back to where the carriage is standing under some splendid oak trees, swallow a sort of stirrup-cup of delicious hot tea, and so home again as fast as we can go.


It is decided that I must take a drive in a Cape cart; so directly after breakfast a smart workman-like-looking vehicle, drawn by a pair of well-bred iron-gray cobs, dashes up under the portico. There are capital horses here, but they fetch a good price, and such a pair as these would easily find purchasers at one hundred and fifty pounds. The cart itself is very trim and smart, with a framework sort of head, which falls back at pleasure, and it holds four people easily. It is a capital vehicle, light and strong and uncommonly comfortable, but I am warned not to imagine that all Cape carts are as easy as this one. Away we go at a fine pace through the delicious sparkling morning sunshine and crisp air, soon turning off the red high-road into a sandy, marshy flat with a sort of brackish back-water standing in pools here and there. We are going to call on Langalibalele, and his son, Malambuli, who are located at Uitvlugt on the Cape downs, about four miles from the town. It is a sort of farm-residence; and considering that the chief has hitherto lived in a reed hut, he is not badly off, for he has plenty of room out of doors as well as a good house over his head. We bump over some strange and rough bits of sandy road and climb up and down steep banks in a manner seldom done on wheels. There is a wealth of lovely flowers blooming around, but I can't help fixing my eyes on the pole of the cart, which is sometimes sticking straight up in the air, its silver hook shining merrily in the sun, or else it has disappeared altogether, and I can only see the horses' haunches. That is when we are going down hill, and I think it is a more terrible sensation than when we are playfully scrambling up some sandy hillock as a cat might.

Here is the location at last, thank Heaven! and there is Langalibalele sitting in the verandah stoep (pronounced "stoup") on his haunches on a brick. He looks as comfortable as if he were in an arm-chair, but it must be a difficult thing to do if you think seriously of it. The etiquette seems to be to take [pg 233] no notice of him as we pass into the parlor, where we present our pass and the people in authority satisfy themselves that we are quite in rule. Then the old chief walks quietly in, takes off his soft felt hat and sits himself down in a Windsor arm-chair with grave deliberation. He is uncommonly ugly; but when one remembers that he is nearly seventy years of age, it is astonishing to see how young he looks. Langalibalele is not a true Kafir at all: he is a Fingor, a half-caste tribe contemptuously christened by the Kafirs "dogs." His wool grows in distinct and separate clumps like hassocks of grass all over his head. He is a large and powerful man and looks the picture of sleek contentment, as well he may. Only one of his sons, a good-natured, fine young man, black as ebony, is with him, and the chief's one expressed grievance is that none of his wives will come to him. In vain he sends commands and entreaties to these dusky ladies to come and share his solitude. They return for answer that "they are working for somebody else;" for, alas! the only reason their presence is desired is that they may cultivate some of the large extent of ground placed at the old chief's disposal. Neither he nor his stalwart son would dream for a moment of touching spade or hoe; but if the ladies of the family could only be made to see their duty, an honest penny might easily be turned by oats or rye. I gave him a large packet of sugar-plums, which he seized with childish delight and hid away exactly like the big monkeys at the Zoo.

By way of a joke, Malambuli pretended to want to take them away, and the chattering and laughing which followed was almost deafening. But by and by a gentleman of the party presented a big parcel of the best tobacco, and the chuckling old chief made over at once all my sweetmeats "jintly" to his son, and proceeded to hide away his new treasure. He was dressed exactly like a dissenting minister, and declared through the interpreter he was perfectly comfortable. The impression here seems to be that he is a restless, intriguing and mischief-making old man, who may consider himself as having come out of the hornets' nest he tried to stir up uncommonly well.

We don't want to bump up and down the sandy plain again, so a lively conversation goes on in Dutch about the road between one of my gentlemen and somebody who looks like a "stuck-vat" upon short legs. The dialogue is fluent and lively, beginning with "Ja, ja!" and ending with "All right!" but it leads to our hitting off the right track exactly, and coming out at a lovely little cottage-villa under the mountain, where we rest and lunch and then stroll about up the hill spurs, through myrtle hedges and shady oak avenues. Then, before the afternoon shadows grow too long, we drive off to "Groote Schuur," the ancient granary of the first settlers, which is now turned into a roomy, comfortable country-house, perfect as a summer residence, and securely sheltered from the "sou'-easters." We approach it through a double avenue of tall Italian pines, and after a little while go out once more for a ramble up some quaint old brick steps, and so through a beautiful glen all fringed and feathered with fresh young fronds of maiden-hair ferns, and masses of hydrangea bushes, which must be beautiful as a poet's dream when they are covered with their great bunches of pale blue blossom. That will not be until Christmas-tide, and, alas! I shall not be here to see, for already my three halcyon days of grace are ended and over, and this very evening we must steam away from a great deal yet unvisited of what is interesting and picturesque, and from friends who three days ago were strangers, but who have made every moment since we landed stand out as a bright and pleasant landmark on life's highway.

[pg 234]


"Yay, Jim, there ain't no doubt but Sairy Macy's a mighty nice gal, but, thee sees, what I'm a-contendin' fur is that she's tew nice fur thee—that is, not tew nice egzackly, but a leetle tew fine-feathered. No, not that egzackly, nuther; but she's a leetle tew fine in the feelin's, an' I don't b'lieve that in the long run thee an' she'll sort well tugether. Shell git eout o' conceit with thy ways—thee ain't the pootiest-mannered feller a gal ever see—an' thee'll git eout o' conceit with hern. Thee'll think she's a-gittin' stuck up, an' she'll think thee's a-gittin'low-minded. Neow, Jim, my 'dvice is good; an' ef thee'll take it, an' not go on with this thing no furder, thee'll both be glad on it arterwa'ds. 'Spesh'ly 's she ain't very rugged, an' sickly gals had oughter hev rich husbands."

"But, father, Sairy an' me loves o' 'nother."

"Oh, wal, then it's tew late ter say nothin'," said the old man with a mingled sigh and smile as, raising his basket of quahaugs to his shoulder, he walked off, pressing his bare feet into the yielding sand with the firm but clumsy tread of vigorous old age. The rough hat of plaited straw was pushed back from a brow that with a cultivated nature would have been considered as evidence of considerable intellectual power, but, as it was, only showed the probable truth of the opinion of his neighbors, that "Stephen Starbuck was a shrewd, common-sense ole feller."

Jim was of a little finer grade than his father, having inherited some of the traits of his gentle mother, but the young Hercules could by no means have been mistaken for an Apollo; neither did his somewhat heavy features bear the expression of unselfish loyalty which would have given better promise than any mere refinement of features or manner for the future happiness of Sarah Macy. But she found nothing wanting in her lover as she stood on the cliff-head gazing down upon him. Sarah knew that the man she loved was not considered her equal, but because she loved him she believed him capable of becoming all that she or others could desire. There is in the world no faith so absolute as that of a woman in the possibilities of the man she loves. Had Sarah read of Sir Galahad—but this was in 1779, and the fame of the search for the Holy Grail had not reached the popular ear—she would have said to herself, "My Jim is just so pure and holy." Had "her Jim" been a Royalist during the English Revolution, Prince Rupert's laurels would not have been unshared. Had Jim been a Puritan—though the little Quaker maiden did not love Puritans over well, and did not fancy her Jim as fighting on that side—England's Protector would not have borne the name of Cromwell. Or if Jim were not one of the peace-loving Friends, and would enlist in the present struggle for liberty, the fame of Commodore James Starbuck should soon eclipse that of Paul Jones.

Not for the world would Sarah have given voice to the heretical desire, but in her inmost heart was even now a wish that her dear Jim held religious opinions that would not interfere with his showing to the country how talented, noble and valiant he was; while the fair-haired, sunburnt, indolent young Hercules idly gazing out to sea was fired with no higher ambition for himself than to be able soon to erect on the Head another small house like that of his father, to which he might bring "the sweet little girl who loved him, so much." For Sarah had committed the common mistake of loving women, and had let Jim see how dear he was to her. So now, instead of dwelling on his love for her and scheming how he might be worthy of her heart, he was fully satisfied with himself, and inclined to grumble at Fortune for not at once bestowing the trifle he asked at her hands.

[pg 235]

"Jim, how long's thee goin' ter stan' there? If the water is pretty, thee can see it any day, so 't ain't worth while to look at it all day ter a time."

As, the sweet tones floated down the cliff Jim turned lazily to smile up at the speaker, and, raising his heavy basket of quahaugs, came leisurely up the steep sand-path, which seemed to shrink from his weight at every step: "Wal', Sairy, I wa'n't a-thinkin' much o' the water: I was a-thinkin' o' thee, an' o' what fayther said a little spell ago."

"What was that, Jim?" Sarah's tone was a little anxious, for she knew that there was a jealousy among some of the islanders of the facts that her father had brought with him a few heavy articles of "real mahogany furnitur," and that her stepmother had always been able to hire others to do her spinning and weaving, and even to "help her at odd spells with the heft o' the housework."

"Oh, nothin'," replied Jim, passing his free arm carelessly round the girl's waist—"othin', undly th' old story 'beout heow we'd best not merry, 'cause by'm-by thee'll git ter feelin' better nor me."

"But thee don't believe him, Jim? Thee knows better. Thee knows," adding this with the sweet and sincere but often sadly mistaken humility of love—"thee knows thou art better than me. Thou art so grand and so noble! If folks only knew thee better they would wonder at thee fur puttin' up wi' me. I wish I could make thee a better wife. But, Jim, if I ain't very strong, I'm pretty good at contrivin', an' I don't believe but what I can manage so's to git along a'most as well as them that's tougher."

"Git along? O' course thee'll git along," answered Jim patronizingly. "I telled mother th'other day that I didn't cafe ef thee wa'n't 's strong as Mary Allen: thee was a good deal smarter, an' I'd be willin' tu resk but what I'd hev as little waitin' on ter dew fur thee 's fur her. Besides"—and here a gleam of real if shallow affection sprang from Jim's eyes as he looked down at the loving creature by his side—"besides, I'd like to take care o' thee, Sairy—I would indeed."

It is said that the sky has no color of its own—that the deep blue we think so beautiful is only owing to the atmosphere through which we view it. To Sarah this very slight expression of her lover's care for her bore more weight than the most passionate protestations of affection could have done to a colder nature, for it was colored by the glowing tints of her own warm love; and when the two parted that day she carried with her a sweet, satisfying sense of being beloved by the "best man on the earth" even as she loved him; while he whistled cheerily over his net-mending, thinking "what a sweet little thing it was!" "how pretty its eyes were!" and "how kitten-like its ways!" and only checked his whistling once in a while to wonder whether the day would ever really come when "Sairy would feel herself better than him," and to think it also a little hard that old Thomas Macy was "so sot agin' the match" that he would give his daughter no portion but an outfit of clothes and household linen. "He might jest's well's not," reasoned Jim to himself, "give us a little lift: I guess he would if Sairy's own mother was alive; but them step-mothers never wants to give nothin' ter the fust wives' childern." In which opinion Jim did the second Mrs. Macy much injustice, for it was owing solely to her influence that Sarah's father had consented to provide his daughter with even a new dress in which to be married to "that big, lazy boy o'old Steve Starbuck's."

Meantime, sad, gentle old Mrs. Starbuck had been turning over many things in her mind. She felt her son's defects; she knew that warm-hearted, imaginative Sarah Macy would be doing a foolish thing to marry Jim—as foolish a thing as in her inmost heart she felt, rather than acknowledged, that she herself had done when she married Jim's father. But the mother-heart longed that her son should grow to be what she desired (and what poor Sarah thought he already was), and she hoped much from the elevating influence of so good a wife.

So, as she sat knitting, while Jim and his father sat, hats on heads and pipes [pg 236] in mouths, mending their nets, old Mrs. Starbuck had "made a plan." "Father," said, she at last, "I've be'n thinkin'—"

"Yay," replied the old man gruffly but not unkindly—"yay, I 'spect so. Thee's pooty nigh allus a-thinkin' o' suthin. What is it neow? Eout with it!"

"I've be'n thinkin' that Jim's all the child we've got—"

"Wal, yay. Hain't had no other—not's I knows on. What o' that?"

"Well, I was a-thinkin' that, that bein' so, an' Jim an' Sairy thinkin' so much o' 'nother, it wa'n't o' no use fur them ter keep waitin' along year eout an' year in fur a chance tu keep house by 'emselves. They'd best git married right off an' come an' live along o' us."

"W'y, ole woman!"

"W'y, mother!"

"Yay; I hear both on ye," said the gentle old mother with a half smile. "I s'posed likely ye'd think strange on't at fust; but ye h'ain't no need ter, fur it's a sens'ble thing ter dew, an' yell see't so when ye've thought on't a spell: see if ye don't."

So well was the proposal liked that very soon the simple ceremony of the Friends made James and Sarah husband and wife; and for a while all seemed happiness in the humble cottage on the cliff—cottage so humble that it scarcely deserved even that lowly name.

Sarah Macy's father owned one of the largest dwellings on Nantucket—a two-story "double house" with two rooms on each side of a broad hall running through the house from front to rear. On one side of this hall was the "best bedroom," ghostly with tightly-closed white shutters and long white dimity curtains to the "four-poster" and shining white sanded floor, and the "best-room," terrible in its grandeur of cold white walls, straight hard sofa, "spider-legged" table, grenadier-like chairs and striped woolen carpet underlaid with straw. In the rear, on the other side of the hall, was the kitchen with its big brick oven, its yawning fireplace overhung with corpulent iron pots or shining copper kettles depending from numerous gallows-like cranes; with its glittering copper, brass and pewter utensils arrayed on snowy-shelves; with its spotless tables, Its freshly-sanded floor and its heavily-beamed, whitewashed ceiling, from which hung many a bunch of savory herbs or string of red pepper-pods or bunch of seed-corn, or perhaps even a round-backed ham, to get a little browner in the smoke that would sometimes pour out from the half-ignited mass of peat. In front of the kitchen was the "living-room," in one corner of which stood a carved high-post bedstead—glory of the Macys and envy of their neighbors—with its curtains of big figured chintz, brown sunflowers sprawling over a white ground, drawn aside in the daytime to display the marvelous patchwork of the quilt beneath. Fuel was scarce even then on the sandy isle; and economy compelled Mr. and Mrs. Macy to make use of this living-room as a bedchamber also, since Thomas Macy confessed to "bein rather tender," and to liking a warm room to sleep In, though his neighbors often insinuated that he was killing himself by the Indulgence. And indeed the heat must have been stifling when we consider the size of the fireplace, nine feet wide by four deep, with a yawning throat, through which the rain poured freely down on stormy nights, putting out the best arranged mass of coals, ashes and peat, and, in spite of the little gutter purposely made round the broad brick hearth, sometimes overflowing and drenching a portion of the neat rag carpet, in which, with true Quaker consistency, no gay-colored fragment had been allowed a place.

In striking contrast to all this magnificence was the lowly home to which James Starbuck brought his happy bride. This little house was "double" also—that Is, it was entered in the centre by a small square passage just big enough for the outer door to swing in. On one side of this entry was a tiny parlor, as dismal as rag carpet, fireless hearth, dingy paper and dark-green paper shades to the small windows could make it. On the other side of the entry was the tiny and cold bedroom of the senior Starbucks. In the centre of the house rose a massive chimney, big enough to retain all the [pg 237] heat from a dozen fires. Across the rear of parlor, chimney and bedroom ran the long, low sunshiny kitchen. At one end of this certain ladder-like stairs conducted to the loft, which had served Jim for a "roosting-place" ever since he had grown big enough to be trusted o' nights so far away from his mother. On Sarah's advent into the family the dismal "best-room" was made habitable by the addition of a "four-poster"—which Mrs. Starbuck senior regretted was only of cherry-wood and not carved—and by sundry little feminine contrivances of Sarah's own.

I said that for a time all seemed to go on happily in this humble home. And the seeming would have been reality had Jim possessed the faith in his wife which she had in him. True, he loved and believed in her after his fashion, and his mother was a strong ally on his wife's side; but Jim had one fatal weakness of character. He resented the slightest look that was anything but simple admiration on the part of his wife. A strong nature is not afraid of censure, but a weak one, pleading sensitiveness, is easily roused to small retaliations, repaying what is good in intention with what is evil. Jim, as his father had truly told him, was "not the pootiest-mannered feller a gal ever see," and in the daily home-life this became apparent to Sarah as it had never been in all the years they had been near neighbors. Naturally, she wished her husband to be pleasing to her father, and at last ventured to hint, as delicately as she could, at various little points in which improvements might be made. At first Jim did not seem very restless under such reproofs, given, as they were, with many a loving kiss and winsome look; but as months went on his wife's caresses were more carelessly received, and her hinted corrections with more of resentment. One evening stately old Thomas Macy had "happened in," and Jim had greatly grieved his wife by his curt, uncivil manner to her father. After he had gone Sarah spoke in a low tone and kindly as always, but with more spirit than she had ever before manifested or felt, of her husband's disrespectful ways to the aged.

For a moment after his wife had ceased, Jim sat with his hat pulled closely over his eyes, fiercely biting into the apple he was eating—biting and throwing the bits into the glowing mass of peat on the hearth. Then he sprang to his feet, exclaiming, "I see! It's all come true, what ev'rybody said. Thee thinks thee an' thy folks is better'n me an' my folks, an' keeps all the time a-naggin' on me. I wish I'd merried Mary Allen! I won't stan' no more o' this talk. If I ain't to be maaster o' my own house I won't stay in't." (The house was his father's, but angry men never think of such trifles.) And waxing pitiful of himself, he continued in a broken and injured tone, "The bed o' the sea's the bes' place fur a man whose own wife's got tew big feelin' ter put up wi' his ways."

With this dignified burst of eloquence the angry fellow flung himself out of the house, letting in at the door as he went a dash of cold, sleety rain and a gust of wind that put out the flickering tallow dip that was enabling Sarah to take the last stitches in the tiny white slip that now fell from her fingers. Too sorely wounded for resentment, too fond of her husband to wish even his parents to see him in the light in which he was now revealed to her, Sarah silently stooped to recover her work, and as she did so her hand was met under the table by a sympathizing pressure from that of her mother-in-law. This was too much, and, laying her head in the elder woman's lap, poor Sarah wept without restraint; while the mother sorrowfully and tenderly stroked her soft brown tresses. The father, quietly puffing at his pipe, seemed to take no notice, only now and then glancing with kindly eye covertly from under his hat-brim at the two grieving women.

Silently, but for the roaring of the wind and surf and fitful dashing of the rain, the hours passed on till the high clock in the kitchen corner sharply struck eleven. This was a late hour for those times, and a faint fear began to come upon them all. Could it be that Jim had really meant what he said? "Had he—" And the [pg 238] two women looked blankly at each other. Not a word had been uttered, but each felt the other's dread.

The father rose and said with a well-affected yawn, "Guess likely Jim's went deown ter Uncle Will'amses, an' they thought as 't's so stormy he'd bes' not come back. So guess I'll jest go eout ter the shed and git some more peat, fur ter keep the fire."

Thus leaving the mother and wife partially reassured, the old father slipped out and down the track, cut deeply in the sand by the one-horse carts, to "Uncle Will'amses," as fast as the storm would permit. But no Jim had been seen there; and still more anxiously the stout old man fought his way back against winds that seemed strong" enough to blow him like a feather over the cliff's edge, and against the spray which shot up from the beach below, smitten by the sounding surf, clear over the high top of Sankota Head.

Reaching his door during a brief lull in the wind, he heard faintly but distinctly the booming of guns fired by a ship in distress. "It mus' be some vessil on the shoals, an' mos' likely Jim's heard her an' got some o' th' other boys, an' 's went off in 's boat ter help her. Poor soul!" With this comforting reflection the father cheered the watchers inside, who had grown fearfully anxious, as the clock had long ago struck for midnight.

"We mus' build a fire on the Head ter light 'em," said the old man. "There hed oughter be a light'us here, but 's there ain't none, we mus' dew the bes' we kin,"

So saying, he harnessed the horse—almost as old as himself—and with the aid of the two women loaded the sled with dry wood and started with it to the cliff, while the mother and daughter followed behind as best they might, struggling to keep alive without being set on fire by the coals in the iron pot which they carried between them. It was a weary half mile, wind, spray and rain all contending against the feeble folk who had come out to help back to land and home the brave fellows who had gone to succor the distressed. They made all the more sure that this was the case, because Jim's new boat, the pride and joy of his life, was not to be found at the spot where he had only that day drawn, it high above the reach of even such a storm as this, ready for building over it on the morrow its winter house of pine-boughs and turf.

At last a fire was kindled; and leaving the women to watch it, old Stephen took several weary trips back to the cottage after fuel, making serious inroads upon a stock at the best not too large to meet the demands of the coming winter. The flame, fanned by the blast even more than dashed by the spray and rain, sprang upward, casting its ruddy lances of light backward over the sandy downs, destitute even then of tree or shrub to break the force of the gale, and forward over the frothing white tops and deep, black troughs of waves that seemed to the excited eyes of the watching women like so many separate fiends leaping upward and stretching out white hands to clutch helpless victims and hurry them to the hell beneath. And all the while the surf thundered at the foot of the trembling cliff. No form could be discovered through the darkness beyond the near neighborhood of the shore; and but for the flash of the gun, which was seen continually, though its sound was but seldom heard above the surf and the wind, the watchers would have thought there was no ship near.

By and by the rain ceased, but there was no moon, and impenetrable wind-clouds still hid the stars. Out through the blackness of the night the flame-light quivered in long, bright streams over the endless lines of ever-advancing waves, but revealed to the watchers no ship, no boat, no tokens even of wreck, only the ceaseless reaching upward of the beckoning white hands; and the wind bore no sound, save at intervals the dull distant boom of the cannon. But ever the solemn surf thundered on the beach below, and the sand-cliff trembled and crumbled beneath its resounding blows.

The old man, who, with a seaman's owl-like eyesight, kneeled intently gazing out through the darkness in the [pg 239] direction of the flash, suddenly exclaimed, "I don't un'erstan' it! That air ship hadn't oughter be in 'stress off where she is. She ain't on no shoal, nor nothin'. She's jest a-lyin' tew. An' I don't see no signs o' no boats nuther; an's fur's I kin see, them folks is a firin' off that air gun jest fur the musicalness on't. Blast 'em! Come, gals: we mought as well be walkin' along hum as ter stop a-yawpin' here in the wind an' spray, a-burnin' up the winter's kindlin' fur folks 'at's a-foolin' on us. 'Spesh'ly as I think she's a Britisher. Blast her!"

The old Quaker was not accustomed to use strong language of any sort, but evidently the human nature in him was so powerful in this instance that he could not help indulging in the most emphatic admissible invective.

But the mother and wife were not so easily satisfied. In their eyes the strange ship and all on board her were not of as much consequence as the unworthy missing Jim, whose fate they associated with it. Jim's boat, they said, was gone. No one could have taken her but Jim himself. He would never have put out on such a night as this save to go to the help of the distressed ship; and if he was on the water, the light burning on Sankota Head would guide him safely back. So, in the midst of spray and wind, the three kneeled on the cliff and kept the blaze alight till the rising dawn made it useless, when, to the dismay of the watchers, the ship hoisted sail and bore away. She showed no colors, but the old islander, once a whaler, declared that she was a British man-o'-war.

But where was Jim? The unanswering surf still boomed at the foot of the cliff, though the height of the waves was rapidly diminishing, and the water was gradually assuming the peculiarly bland expression that often comes after a storm, reminding one of the cat that has "eaten the canary," but there was no sign of incoming boat or men.

Chilled to the bone with the wind and cold sea-spray of the November night, and to the heart with sorrow and disappointment, the three returned to the lonely house. Running to meet them came Mary Allen, breathlessly crying, "Where's Eben and Jim?"

Poor Sarah could not answer, but the brave old mother, a veteran in sorrows, replied with trembling lips, "We don't know anythin' o' thy brother, Mary; an' Jim hain't b'en hum sence las' night. His boat's gone, an' we thought he might ha' went out to help the ship that was a-firin' all night. But she's sailed off this mornin' all right; an' father, he says she was a Britisher an' undly a-firin' ter fool us folks. So I don't know nothin' about it," uttering the last words in a drearily hopeless tone that gave them exceeding pathos.

For a moment Mary stood in dismay; then she cried wildly, "Oh, they're drowned, they're drowned! Jim come deown ter eour heouse las' night a-sayin' he'd heard the firin' o' a ship in 'stress, an' askin' Eb ter go with him an' help him git his boat eout, an' telled me ter run along deown to Zack Tumnaydoo's An' ax Zack an' Ellery ter go with 'em. An' I did, an' that's the las' anybody's seen o' any one on 'em. Oh dear! oh dear!" And wringing her hands, the sobbing girl ran back as quickly as she had come to impart to her mother and sisters the full extent of her evil tidings.

The cold, sad, desolate weeks and months that now rolled slowly on are to this day remembered on Nantucket as those of the "hard winter." Provisions were scarce, fuel was difficult to obtain, the harbor was frozen over, so that few fish could be taken there, and all communication with "the main" was cut off by British cruisers. In January the cherished old horse was killed because there was no longer hay to feed him, and even oats were "too precious to be fed to dumb beasts." In February the stalwart old Stephen lay grimly down to die, saying pityingly, "It's time, gals: I can't dew ye no more good by stayin'; an' I'm so tired."

The day succeeding the silent funeral, where two women had dropped the few tears that were left them to shed, good old Thomas Macy came and took his daughter and her mother to his own home. And in windy, still frozen March [pg 240] the wail of a tiny baby was heard in the house.

Under all the trouble the two brave women made no moan. Silently clinging together, never losing sight of each other for more than a few moments at a time, they yet said nothing of their greatest grief, that Jim should have disappeared with such unworthy words on his lips and thoughts in his heart, until, a few days after the baby's birth, Sarah said to her mother, "I know he's not dead. If he'd ha' died, he'd ha' come back and told me he was sorry. Fur I dew think he'd be sorry. Don't thee, mother?" And the mother nodded assent and smiled through her tears.

But, in truth, they had a more substantial reason than poor Sarah's wistful fancy for thinking that Jim was living. When the ice broke up, his boat was found in a little cove, where it had floated right-side up, without any serious injury except the carrying away of the sails. Of course this discovery roused new hopes in the homes of the missing men. It did not "stand to reason" that four big strong, temperate young fellows, brought up to the hardy, amphibious island-life, had all fallen overboard, any more than it "stood to sense" that the boat had upset and then righted of itself. Besides, "none of the boy's corpuses had ever floated up." So the Tucketers took courage and felt sure that, whatever had become of the missing men, they were not drowned.

But still the slow months came and went, till the summer and autumn and another winter had passed by; and patient old Rachel Starbuck grew daily a little quieter and a little grayer; and the brave young wife grew a little stronger to bear, but not a whit less loving or prone to suffer, and stately old Thomas Macy grew daily more gentle and pitying in his ways as he looked long at the winsome face of the happy, wee grandchild, that throve and crowed and tried to utter sweet little hesitating words as gayly as if the world had never a sin, a sorrow or a weakness in it.

One day Sarah and her mother had carried the baby down to the small cottage at the back of the cliff, whither they went to attend to some little household matter; for, although they did not mention the subject, even to themselves, they still kept all there in readiness against Jim's coming home. Here, in the soft May sunshine, the red-frocked baby was sitting on the green turf step, playing with some "daffies," first of the season, which Sarah had plucked from the little garden in the rear. The mother and daughter were in the house, when both were alarmed by a scream from the usually merry child. A man had it closely clasped in his arms, kissing it and calling it between half-choked sobs his "own pretty, pretty baby." The man was thin, pock-marked, bald, and clad in a ragged uniform of a British sailor, but to the faithful, longing eyes of mother and wife there was no mistaking their Jim.

It was long ere the story could be told, but at last they learned that on that sad November night Jim and his companions had gone out to the relief of the signaling ship. She was, as old Stephen had conjectured, a British man-o'-war. Being short of hands, and having on board as pilot a renegade native of the island, who knew where a ship could "lay-to" in safety, she had taken advantage of the storm to attract strong men within the range of her guns, then to command them to surrender, and thus to impress them into "His Majesty's service" as "able seamen."

For a long time Jim had managed to keep alive his resentful feelings toward his wife, accusing of being the source of all his misfortunes the poor little woman who was loving and longing so sincerely for him. But when illness came he could hold out no longer. "I made up my mind then," said he, "that if ever I got hum agin, I'd go deown on my knees an' ax pardin' o' my Sairy."

But she had never been angry, and was now only too thankful that Jim and his friends had escaped safely.

"Ah!" said Jim in telling his adventures, "we hed a clus run on 't, Sairy, but thee'd better believe that air British navy's a fust-rate place fur larnin' a feller ter know when he's well off. An' [pg 241] Sairy, when I longed so fur thee an' mother, an' thought o' what a wretch I was to speak so ter the dearest little woman in the world, I c'u'd see that I hadn't knowed when I was well off."

Jim's was not an unselfish kind of repentance, but it was the best it was in his nature to offer, and Sarah had long ago learned that her Jim was not the saint and hero she had once dreamed, but only a weak and common-place man; and she asked for nothing higher from him. To his best she had a right, and with that she was content, smiling on her husband with eyes full of a love as tender and true as when in the old days she had gazed down upon her lover from the cliff-head, while the mother laid her hand softly on his scanty hair, and said solemnly, "May God keep thee thus, my son!" adding, after a moment's pause, "But I wish thy fayther was here to see." And a tender silence for the memory of the rough but kindly-natured old man fell over them all; while the baby, reconciled to the stranger, poked her little fingers in the marks on his face, and cried because she could not get them off.




The eastern sky is just beginning to assume that strange neutral tint which tells of the approaching dawn when we open the heavy hall door and step out into the crisp, frosty air. No moonlight hunting for me, with the cold, deceitful light making phantom pools of every white sand-patch in the road, and ghostly logs and boulders of every wavering shadow. You are always gathering up your reins for leaps over imaginary fence-panels, which your horse goes through like a nightmare, and always unprepared for the real ones, which he clears when you are least expecting it. If the cry bears down on you, and you rein up for a view, the fox is sure to dodge by invisibly under cover of some dark little bay, and you get home too late for a morning nap and too early for the breakfast, which you have been longing after for the last two hours. Then, too, your horse has lost his night's rest, and will be jaded for two days in consequence. No: the time to throw the dogs off for a fox-hunt is that weird hour which the negroes significantly call "gray-day:" it is the surest time to strike a trail, and by the time Reynard begins to dodge and double there will be plenty of light to ride by and to get a good view. If the fox gets away or the cover is drawn without a find, you are always sure of having your spirits raised by the cheerful sunrise: by the time you get home, tired and spattered, the ladies are down stairs ready to make pretty exclamations over the brush or to chaff you pleasantly for your want of success; and then there is just time to get your hair brushed and your clothes changed before the mingled aromas of fried sausage and old Java put the keen edge on your already whetted appetite.

A ride across country after a rattling pack of English hounds on a thoroughbred hunter with a field of red-coated squires is an experience which few hunters on this side of the water have ever enjoyed, but with the incidents of which every reader of English novels is familiar. The chase of the red fox in Maryland or Virginia has some features in common with the British national sport, but that of the gray fox in the more southern States differs materially from both. The latter animal is smaller and possessed of less speed and endurance than his [pg 242] more northern brother, but he is far more common and quite as cunning. He makes shorter runs, but over very different ground, always keeping in the woods and dodging about like a rabbit, so that a different style of horse and a different method of riding are required for his capture. There is no risk of breaking your neck over a five-barred gate or a stone wall, but you may be hung in a grapevine, or knocked out of the saddle by a low limb, or have your knee scraped against a tree-trunk. It is true you may catch your fox in twenty minutes, and three hours is an extraordinary run, but then you may catch four or five between daylight and ten o'clock of an autumn morning.

The horses stretch their necks toward the stables and whinny as they think of the bundles of untasted fodder: the dogs require no notes of the horn to rouse them, for they know the signs and are already capering about in eager merriment, throwing their heads into the air occasionally to utter a long and musical bay. This wakes up the curs about the negro-yard, and their barking stirs up the geese, the combined chorus rousing all the cocks in the various poultry-houses, so that we ride off amid a hub-bub of howling, cackling, neighing and crowing which would awaken the Seven Sleepers. We are first at the meet, and the old woods ring with the mellow, winding notes of our horns—no twanging brass reeds in the mouth-pieces, but honest cow-horn bugles, which none but a true hunter can blow. The hounds grow wild at the cheering sound, and howl through every note of the canine gamut; the echoes catch the strain and fling it from brake to bay; the dying cadence strengthens into an answering blast, and the party is soon increased to half a dozen bold riders and twenty eager dogs. Venus, the beautiful "flag-star of heaven," is just toning her brilliancy into harmony with the pale light which creeps slowly up from the eastern horizon, and some wakeful crow in the pine-thicket gives an answering caw to the goblin laugh of the barred owl in the cypress, as we leap our horses into a field of sedge and cheer on the dogs to their work. For half an hour we ride in silence save the words of encouragement to the hounds, which are snuffing about unsuccessfully and whipping the hoar-frost with their tails from the dry yellow stems of the grass. Now and then some eager young dog opens on the trail of a rabbit which has started from its form, but the crack of a whip restrains him, and the other hounds pay no attention to him. Suddenly a sharp, quick yelp comes from the farthest corner of the field, and the older dogs stop instantly and raise their heads to listen. Hark to old Blucher! There he is again, and the whole pack give tongue and dash off to the call which never deceives them. We catch a glimpse of the old fellow's white throat as he trots about in a zigzag course, poking his tan muzzle into every clump of tall grass and giving tongue occasionally as he sniffs the cold trail. Presently a long, quavering cry comes from old Firefly; again and again Blucher opens more and more eagerly; another and another dog takes it up, and the trot quickens into a lope. The trail grows warmer as they follow the line of fence, and just as we settle ourselves in the saddle for a run it all stops and the dogs are at fault. But Blucher is hard to puzzle and knows every trick of his cunning game. Running a few panels down the fence, he rears up on it and snuffs the top rail, and then, with a yell of triumph, dashes over it into the woods, with the whole pack in full cry at his heels. A ringing cheer announces that the fox has "jumped," and the field scatters in pursuit. Two only, the subscriber being one, follow the dogs with a flying leap. Some dash off in search of a low panel, others to head off the cry through the distant gate, while others stop to pull the rails and make a gap. For ten minutes we keep well behind the hounds, with a tight rein and heads bent to avoid the hanging oak limbs. But the fox has turned and plunged into a brake which no horse can go through, and we draw up and listen to decide where we can head him off with the greatest certainty; then turn in different directions and spur [pg 243] through the young black-jacks. Ah! there he goes, with dragging brush and open mouth, and the pack, running close enough together to be covered by a table-cloth, not sixty yards behind him. I am in at the death this time, for he cannot run a hundred yards farther, and the brush is mine, for there's no one else in sight. With a savage burst the dogs dash after him into the thicket and then—dead silence, not a yelp, as they scatter and run backward and forward, nosing under every dead leaf and up the trunk of every tree. The fault is complete, and the young dogs give it up and lie down panting, while the older hounds try every expedient to puzzle out the trail and take up the scent again. He certainly has not treed, there is neither earth nor hollow to hide him, and yet the scent has gone! And it never came back. If any reader can tell what became of that fox, he is a wiser man than I. Certain it is that we never heard of him again; and for aught I know to the contrary, he may have been that identical Japanese animal which turns into tea-kettles and vanishes in puffs of smoke. It does not take long, however, to make another find, and we go home after a three hours' chase with two fine brushes and appetites which would ruin any hotel-keeper in a week.

After breakfast a walk to the cotton-houses would be in order, for the successful planter is he who trusts nothing to the overseer which can have his personal supervision, and he must excuse himself to such of his guests as prefer a cigar by the library fire to an hour spent in observing the details of plantation work. In the days of which I write horse-power was preferred to steam, and negro-power to both; and few planters of the fine black-seed cotton could be convinced that any "power-gin" could be invented which would not injure the long, silky "staple" or fibre of the lint. The old-time "foot-gins" were used exclusively, and the gin-house was a place of curious interest to all visitors. In one end of the long room was the huge pile of seed-cotton which was to pass through the rollers as the first step toward its preparation for the market. How simply does a sudden stroke of inventive genius solve a problem which wise men have regarded as insoluble! Not much more than a century ago a commission of practical English savans discouraged the cultivation of a textile fabric which "might be useful but for the impossibility of clearing it of the seeds!" But the foot-gin appeared on the scene, and indigo went down before cotton. Ranged along the walls of the room are some twenty rough wooden frames, looking like a compromise between a straw-cutter and a sewing-machine, each furnished with two strong rollers operated by a treadle and acting precisely like those of a clothes-wringer. Behind each of these machines stands a man or woman with one ever-moving foot upon the treadle-board, feeding the seed-cotton from a large bag to the greedy rollers, which seize it and pass the lint in fleecy rolls into another bag prepared for it, while the seed, like shirt-buttons touched by the afore-mentioned wringer, rolls off from the hither side to form a pile upon the floor. Thence it will be carted to the seed-house to be rotted into manure for the next crop, there being no better fertilizer for cotton than a compost of which it forms the base. A portion of it, however, will be reserved to be boiled with cow-peas and fed to the milch-cattle, no food being superior to its rich, oily kernel in milk-producing qualities. The negro mothers use it largely in decoction as a substitute for cocoa, and the white mothers under similar circumstances having it parched and ground like coffee, when it makes an exceedingly palatable and nutritious beverage. The "green-seed" or short-staple variety is far inferior to the black for this purpose, and produces white, sticky, cottony-looking butter; indeed, most dairywomen insist that "you can pick the lint out of it." The ginned cotton is carried to the platforms, where it is "specked" by the women—leaves, dirt and other impurities being picked out by hand—and spread out to dry and bleach in the sun; thence we follow it to the "moting-room," where it is thoroughly and finally overhauled, every minute particle of dirt or other [pg 244] foreign matter and every flock of stained and discolored cotton being picked out. This room is always in the second story, and at one end of it a circular hole is cut in the floor; through this hole hangs the bag of strong, close gunny-cloth, very different from the coarse covering which suffices for the lower grades of "short-staple," supported by a stout iron hoop larger by some inches than the hole in the floor, and to which the end of the bag is securely sewed. The cotton is thrown into this bag and packed with an iron rammer by a man who stands in it, his weight assisting in the packing, each bag being made to contain upward of four hundred pounds.

Everything seeming to go on as it ought and all the necessary orders and directions being given, we walk out to take a look at the poultry. There are fowls in abundance and superabundance, but our kind host is most proud of his flock of three hundred white turkeys; and a beautiful sight they are, scattered over the grassy lawn. Ranging, as these fine birds will, over a mile or two of woods abounding in their wild brethren, convenient mistakes were often made by the pineland gunners, whose rifles were always ready to pick off a stray gobbler without waiting to know whether he was wild or tame, and so the old gentleman introduced the white stock to prevent the possibility of such errors. For a similar reason no ducks were raised except those which wear top-knots. It is no unusual thing for wild gobblers and mallards to come up with the tame stock to the poultry-yard, and the bronze feathers and shy habits of many of the young turkeys show evidence of their free parentage.

It is just impossible for a city man to remain indoors in the country with the broad fields, the shady woods, the bright blue sky and the merry pipe of birds calling him out to active exercise and unaccustomed sport. He is sure to think himself a sportsman, even if uncertain whether the shot or powder should first enter the gun; and if an old hand at the trigger, his uneasiness while in the house becomes almost painful. Every article of hunting-gear is overhauled again and again; boots are greased, shot-pouches filled, powder-charges remeasured, guns cleaned and ramrods oiled; and I once had a fine Manton—as sweet a piece as ever came to the shoulder—almost ruined by an eager friend, who, after going through all this during a stormy morning, insisted on taking off the locks and triggers, just to while away the time. The introduction of the breech-loader most happily obviates all this, since such lagging hours may now be occupied in charging and crimping cartridges. But there is nothing to detain us longer to-day: the "Bob Whites" are waiting for us among the pea-vines, and the snipe among the tussocky grass of the old rice-field. Di and Sancho have caught sight of the guns, and are capering about in the wildest excitement, for it is a long time since they have seen anything more "gamey" than a city pigeon. Birding over good dogs is the very poetry of field-sports. The silken-haired setter and the lithe pointer are as far the superiors of the half-savage hound as the Coldstream Guards are of the Comanches. The hound has no affection and but little intelligence, and the qualities which make him valuable are purely those of instinct. The long, hungry cry with which he follows the deer and the sharp, angry yelp which he utters when chasing the fox tell plainly that the motives which prompt him thus to use his delicate nose and unwearying powers of endurance are precisely those which carry the Indian to the hunt or on the war-path. He hunts for any master who will cheer him on, has no tactics but to stick to the trail and give tongue as long as the scent will lie, and must be whipped off the game when caught to prevent his devouring it on the spot. The setter, on the other hand, is intelligent, affectionate and faithful. If properly trained and reared, he loves his master and will hunt for no one else, learns to understand human language to an astonishing degree and exhibits reasoning powers of no mean order. He hunts purely for sport, understands the habits of his game, and regulates his tactics accordingly, and delivers the birds [pg 245] uninjured to his master, sometimes controlling his appetite and carrying the game long distances for this purpose. I have frequently discovered that my dogs, brought up in the house, understood words which had never been taught them. My old favorite Di always answers the dinner-bell and stands near my chair for odd scraps. Being somewhat annoyed one day by her eagerness, I said playfully, "Go to the kitchen and tell Annie to feed you." She at once rushed off and scratched the kitchen door until the girl opened it, and then stood by the tray of scraps looking at her and wagging her tail. Wanting one of my little sons one evening, I said, "Di, go find the boys!" She rushed off, looking and smelling about their usual haunts, but returned unsuccessful. I scolded and sent her a second and third time, with the same result: a few minutes after she came quietly behind me with the hat of my youngest boy in her mouth: she had taken it from a table in the passage, and her wagging tail said plainly, "Will this answer? It's the best I can do." The same dog will creep carefully upon partridges, and stand as if cut in marble lest they should fly, but will chase turkeys at full speed, giving tongue like a hound, and then lie still for hours while they are called up and shot, nor will she ever confound the different habits of the two birds or the different methods of hunting them.

Such are the highly-bred and intelligent animals which are eagerly waiting for us to-day—Di, with her white coat, soft as wavy silk, her chestnut ears and one spot on the back alone marring its snowy purity; Sancho, jet black, with "featherings" like a King Charles spaniel. They are over the fence already, and tearing about the field so recklessly in the exuberance of their joy that they must certainly startle any game which may be there. The timid little field-buntings glide away on silent wing through the grass; the meadow-larks rise with gentle flappings and sail off with that easy flight so tempting to very young wing-shots; now and then a flock of doves whistle off too far for a certain shot, and clouds of crow-blackbirds rise with hoarse chirps and seek less public feeding-grounds; a rabbit dashes off from a brier-patch and both dogs rush pell-mell at his heels, but a single note from the whistle brings them to a sudden halt and makes them look thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Off they go again, as wild as deer; but suddenly Di's whole action changes: crouching to the ground and beating her sides rapidly with her tail, she runs hither and thither, snuffing eagerly in the grass. Now Sancho comes up and catches the cold trail, for a covey has certainly been in that place to-day. Most probably they rose from the spot, frightened by the swoop of a hawk, and made for the nearest cover, for the dogs can do nothing with the scent. But that little whiff of the exciting effluvia has brought them down to their work, and a beautiful sight it is as they quarter the ground with quickly-beating tails and noses high in the air, crossing and recrossing the wind in zigzag lines and concentric circles, hunting the ground so closely that no trail, however cold, can escape their keen sense of smell. A wave of the hand to Sancho, and the sagacious fellow is off toward the far corner of the field, when suddenly Di stops in mid-career with a jerk that must try every sinew in her frame. The birds are right under her nose, and she dares not move a muscle, but stands as if changed into stone, her eyes starting with excitement, her nostrils expanded, her feathery stern quivering stiffly out behind and every line of her figure standing out like whipcord. "Toho!" The black dog catches the sound and turns his head: he sees her rigid form, and backs her where he stands as firmly as if he too had the scent. There is no hurry, for the dogs are true as steel and will stand there as long as the frightened birds lie, while the latter, obedient to the instinct of sudden terror, will cower where they are for an hour, with their heads drawn back, their mottled breasts pressed to the earth and their legs gathered under them, ready to spring into the air. We cock our guns, agree to shoot respectively at the birds which go right or left or straight [pg 246] before us, and then advance to flush the covey ourselves. The staunch dog never winces as we pass her: two paces, three, a sudden rush and whirr as of many wings, five sharp reports in quick succession and four birds down! Another, wild with fright, rises straight up for twenty feet and darts off behind us, but his beautiful head droops as the crack of my last barrel resounds on the air and a cloud of feathers floats downward. The shot has struck him in the line of flight, and he goes to the ground with a bounce, some thirty yards away, as if hurled there by a vigorous arm. The well-trained dogs come to the "Down! charge!" while we reload our guns, and then seek the dead birds and bring them carefully in to us.

Leaving the broken covey to be worked up on our return, we push on to another part of the large pea-field, where, perched upon the topmost limb of a tall dead pine, we see a red-tailed hawk engaged in quiet observation. There is no surer sign of birds, but it takes close hunting to find them, for they dare not move about while their savage enemy is on the watch. As we approach the hawk stretches out his neck, jerks his wings two or three times and oscillates his ungainly body, and then, with a loud scream of angry disappointment, he is off. The tree stands in a little piece of sedge, not far from a dense growth of pine-saplings, and we know that the moment the hawk left his perch the birds started for the cover, and our only chance for shooting is to head them off and turn them. The dogs have struck the running trail, and their action is totally different from what it was with the first covey. Crouching flat to the ground, they glide after the startled birds with a snake-like movement, now stopping, now running swiftly in. Suddenly Di leaves the trail and dashes off at full speed to the right. Making a wide circuit, she skirts the pines, and, turning short round, comes to a firm stand in the very face of the retreating covey, while Sancho lies prone with his nose between his paws. It is an old trick of hers thus to "huddle" running birds, and we follow her example, come up behind her, and get six with four barrels as the birds rise in a bunch.

But if the reader follows us too closely, he will have all the fatigue of a long tramp without the compensation of healthful excitement and full game-pockets. Thirty-five fine birds in a pile on the pantry-table offer a capital raison d'être for weary feet and soiled fingers when we reach home just in time for the supper-bell. There have been some arrivals while we were gone, for Christmas is near at hand, and the old house is filling up with guests. To-morrow the "St. John's Hunting-Club" has its monthly deer-hunt and dinner at Black Oak, and we need a good night's rest to prepare us for an experience the omission of which would render imperfect any truthful reminiscence of life at the old plantation.

During the months spent at the plantation there is little social visiting among the gentlemen, and, except on Sundays and occasions of public meetings, the various local clubs offer their only opportunities for seeing each other, Another object—at least, under the old régime—was to bring together those who occupied somewhat different social positions. Formerly the clubs were strictly exclusive, and, indeed, this feature was never lost, but in every community there would be some novi homines, clever men many of them, whom the old gentry were quite willing to recognize, though a marked difference in culture prevented family visiting. These could be admitted to membership, and at the club-house could be met on equal terms. The hunting feature was always preserved, though few of the older members ever joined in the sport. Under the rules there was a place, a day and an hour for the weekly meet; and I remember when it was a safe thing to be at "the White Bridge" on the Santee Canal any Saturday morning at nine o'clock. Somebody was sure to be there with dogs and driver, prepared for a "wallet-hunt"—i.e., an all-day hunt with wallets at the crupper well filled with hunter's cheer. Once a month the club met for dinner, each member "finding" in turn, and on that day a single drive, or at most two, was all that could be enjoyed. The club-house was a plain frame building in the woods, with [pg 247] a huge fireplace at each end, heavy stationary pine table extending the length of the room, and broad soft-pine benches. The dishes, wines, liquors and cigars were all specified in the rules, the finder being allowed two extra dishes at will, and supplying all the crockery, cutlery and glass. The kitchen was a rough shed close to the cool and shaded spring of pure, clear water. Being myself but a guest, I have not the privilege of extending an invitation to the reader; so, by his leave, we will drop the present tense and I will assume the part of raconteur. How vividly do the scenes of that day come back through the highways of memory, crowded as they are with experiences of more than twenty varied years! As I rode up to the bridge on that bright December morning I found a party which promised rare sport. There was Kit Gillam with his crooked nose, and Tom Clifton with his deadly Manton and fine cry of dogs, and cheery Jack Parker, who hunted only for the good company, and whose gun was as likely as not to be unloaded when the deer came out to him. Two drives were decided on which might be relied on for shooting, and yet were small enough to give ample time for reaching the club-house before dinner.

As we rode toward our stands I thought it a good chance to settle a point which had long excited my curiosity. "Kit," said I, "I have often wondered how your nose got out of plumb. What caused it?"

"When I was a little bit of a boy I fell down and stepped on it."

This very satisfactory explanation brought us to our ground, and we were soon at our respective stands and listening eagerly for the trail-notes of the old hounds. The deer have regular runs, from which they rarely deviate, and which do not vary in the course of years. These are guarded by the standers while the game is driven down from the opposite direction. A large drive may have a dozen of these stands, by one of which the deer will almost certainly pass, but which one nobody knows. Quiet is absolutely necessary and a cigar is fatal to sport, but concealment is useless, as these animals see imperfectly in daylight.

I had not to wait long before I caught the distant cheering and hand-clapping of the drivers as they encouraged the dogs to hunt. In the quiet of the sombre woods every sound was distinctly audible. Suddenly three or four quick, sharp yelps brought my gun to the "ready," and the hammers clicked as a burst of music followed. But above the clamor of the hounds came the crack of the driver's whip, and his voice, mellowed by distance, was heard in angry tones: "Come back yah, you good-for-nuttin', wutless lee' rabbit-dog, you! I sway maussa ha' for shoot da' puppy 'fore he spile ebery dog in de pack!"

Soon, however, came another open, deep and musical, and there was no mistaking old Drummer's trail-note: then Killbuck joined in, and then the cry became general. For a while the broken, quavering tongue tells that the dogs are only trailing and the deer is still cowering in his bed, or perhaps has sneaked out of the drive at the first sound of the horn. Hark! what a burst! They had "started" within two hundred yards of me. The next moment there was a rustle of leaves, and a yearling doe dashed by. I am not a dead shot, and have nothing to say about that first barrel, but the second sent her down and over with a roll that almost broke her neck. The dogs were stopped and the deer thrown over the pommel of one of the boys, and we rode on to try the Brunswick swamp. The boy had assured us that "One pow'ful big buck bin in day (there) las' night. I see all he track gwine in, an' I nebber see none come out."

We were soon strung along the narrow dam across which the game was to be forced by the drivers, who had to make their way through an ugly bog among cypress "knees" and dense brier-patches. Jack Parker stood next to me, fidgeting about uneasily, because it was against rules to talk on stand. Jack's prominent feature was his nose, and he had an incorrigible trick of blowing it "out loud" whenever there was a particular reason for keeping perfectly quiet. The dogs had begun to open, and their loose, scattering trail-notes indicated [pg 248] turkeys. Looking directly before me, I saw seven noble gobblers stepping cautiously toward my stand. Their glossy breasts glittered with coppery lustre in the straggling sunbeams as, with drooping wings and expanded tails, they advanced, looking fearfully about and uttering their low alarm-notes, "Quit! quit! quit!" Three more steps will make a certain shot, and—out rang Jack's nasal clarion, loud and clear as the morte at a fox-chase. I looked round in horror, and there stood my hunter complacently eying me and flourishing his white silk handkerchief, while his gun leaned against a tree ten paces distant: "Expect I'd better go back to my stand, eh? Are those dogs barking at a deer?"

I jumped to my feet for a snap-shot at the old gobbler which flew over me, making a clear miss. Bang! bang! went two more guns; a woodcock whistled up from the bog and two swamp-rabbits dashed into the brier. The dogs came out, shaking the water from their coats, and the spattered drivers rode through the creek. There was not a feather to show, and of course everybody was "down" on Jack, but with an air of deep injury he put it off on me with the question, "Why didn't you tell me the turkeys were coming? How can a fellow help having a cold?"

We reached the club-house just in time to take our seats as dinner was served, and were in capital condition to enjoy the rich mutton, the fat turkey, the juicy home-cured ham and the rare old madeira which graced the board. This last was a specialty with the gentlemen of those days, and probably no cellars in the world could boast choicer vintage than the "Newton & Gordon" and "Old Leacock" which cheered the table of that "hunting-club." There were stronger liquors, too, though these were chiefly used as appetizers before dinner. The moderate use of brandy was universal, but the drunkenness which blots these days of prohibitory laws was comparatively rare. Few ever left the club-house "disguised" by liquor except the young men, who then, as now and always, would occasionally indulge in a "frolic." With the clearing of the board came the regular and volunteer toasts, and then an hour of "crop-talk" and "horse-talk" and hunting-stories over the wine and cigars. With the departure of the older members came the inevitable quarter-race, with its accompaniment of riding feats which would have done credit to a Don Cossack. The equestrian performance was commenced by Kit Gillam (who now dismounts and leads over every little ditch) forcing his active chestnut up the wooden steps and into the club-room, and rearing him on the dining-table. Then came a leaping-match over a ten-railed fence, resulting in the barking of some shins and the demolition of sundry panels of rail. Joe Keating, the wildest rider I ever knew, had emptied his tumbler too often, and insisted on running his horse home through the woods. An hour after he was overtaken trudging along the road, perfectly sober, with the saddle on his shoulders and the bridle over his arm.

"Why, Joe, where's your horse?"

"Dead!" was the laconic reply.

Sure enough. He had run full against a huge pine, and the horse had gone down with a broken skull. He never tried it again.

Christmas Eve has come at last, and the old plantation is in all its glory. Carriage after carriage has deposited its freight of blooming girls and merry-eyed children at the broad, open hall-door. There is not a vacant stall in the stables, nor an unoccupied bedroom among all the seventeen of the spacious mansion. The broad dinner-table is set diagonally in the long dining-room, and to-morrow, at least, the guests will have to take two turns at filling its twenty seats, while the children go through the same manoeuvre in the pantry. Where they will all sleep to-night is a mystery which none can unravel save the busy, hospitable "lady of the manor;" but it makes little difference, for there will be little sleeping done. The day passes in riding-parties and rowing-parties and similar amusements, as each freely follows the bent of his inclination. "Brass," the negro fiddler, has been summoned, and "Newport" comes with his [pg 249] stirrup and steel for the "triangle" accompaniment, and the merry feet of the dancers are soon keeping time to the homely but inspiriting music. The "German" and the "Boston" have not usurped the places of the old-time cotillon, quadrille and Virginia reel, and the dance is often varied by romping games of "Blindman's Buff," "Move-House" and "Stage-Coach," in which old and young unite with equal zest.

But this is not the limit of the fun. From time immemorial Christmas Eve has been licensed for the performance of all sorts of tricks, and demure little faces are flitting about convulsed by the effort to conceal the merry sense of mischief. The stockings are duly hung for Saint Nicholas, and the holly, with its glossy leaves and scarlet berries, stands ready to be planted in the parlor, to bloom to-morrow into all kinds of rich flowers and gift-fruit. At nine o'clock the work of arranging the Christmas tree begins. The ladies retire, and after a quiet smoke by the roaring hall-fire the gentlemen follow suit. To bed, but not to sleep. Jack Parker is the first man ready, and bounces into the best bed to secure the softest place; but the bars have been skillfully removed, and he is the centre of a rather mixed pile on the floor. I feel another, to be sure that all is right, and slip cozily between the sheets, but some graceless little wretch has placed a walking-cane "athwart-ships," which nearly breaks my back. None escape. Some find their sheets strewed with chaff or cockle-burs, some find no sheets at all. At midnight a fearful roar comes from the girls' room, followed by pretty shrieks and terrible confusion; but it is only the old Cochin rooster, which was slyly shut up in the empty chimney-place before they retired, indulging in his first crow.

Daylight puts an end to all sleep, for the boys are on the piazza ready to welcome Christmas with innumerable packages of fire-crackers. We rise to find our pantaloons sewed up, our boots stuffed with wet cotton, our tooth-brushes dusted with quinine and our café noir sweetened with salt. These practical jokes are all taken in good part and made to contribute to the jollity of the season. At the breakfast-table lumps of cracked marble serve admirably for loaf-sugar, except that the hottest coffee will not dissolve them, and boiled eggs tempt the appetite only to disappoint with their sawdust filling. Then all assemble on the piazza to witness the merriment of the crowd of negroes who have assembled to claim little gifts of tobacco and sugar and to receive the annual glass of whisky which a time-honored custom bestows. The liquor is served in a wine-glass, and swallowed eagerly by men, women and boys from ten years old upward. Then they disperse to get their portion of the Christmas beef which has been slaughtered for their special benefit, and we prepare for service at the parish church, which stands among the shadows of the old forest oaks an easy walk from the house. There the solemn services temper and soften, but do not check or lessen, the joy and good-will which so well become the season, and which find their appropriate manifestation in all kinds of innocent amusement. The religious and the social observances of the day react each upon the other, and harmonize most admirably in the impressions which they produce. The interchange of gifts and tokens around the Christmas tree follows most appropriately, and the Christmas feast is marked by profuse hospitality and keen enjoyment unmarred by riot or excess.

Ah, well! there are piles of dusty memories in the old cockloft still untouched, but I shall rummage no more to-night. The scenes which have floated past me with the wreathing smoke of my cigar are green and fragrant to me with a freshness which time can never blight, but they never can harden into reality again for any mortal experience. They have gone into the irretrievable past with a state of things which some may regret and others rejoice in, and well will it be if the new régime shall supply their places with other pictures which twenty years hence it may be no less pleasant to remember.


[pg 250]



From the 27th to the 30th of September all Stuttgart flocks to Cannstatt for the Volksfest; and this year every good Würtemberger was bound to feel an additional interest in the fête on account of the opening ceremony, the inauguration of a statue to the late king, Wilhelm I.—and "well beloved," one is tempted to add from the way in which his people still speak of him. "The old king" and "this one" they say with an inflection of voice anything but flattering to the latter. Our landlady assures us that let the weather look as threatening as it would, the sun always contrived to burst out when in former times the late king rode into the arena to give the prizes; and she is evidently by no means certain it will not pour all three days of the fair this year. However, to judge from the skies, "this one" is not so bad as he might be: the sun shines propitious on him too, and consequently on us as we set forth to see what we can see. The second is the great day, as the prizes are then distributed; but already on Monday the booths and shows were on the field, and Cannstatt was gay with banners and wreaths and garlands of green. The carpenters were still hard at work hammering at seats for us to occupy next day, but the wonderful triumphal arch stood quite completed and worthy of sincere admiration. No one knows who has not seen it worked into an architectural design how beautiful a string of onions can be, how gorgeous a row of vegetable-marrows, how delicate a cluster of turnips. It sounds puerile, but it was lovely nevertheless. Imagine a temple-like construction all composed of odorous pine, with an arched portal on either hand, and then every line and curve, every niche and pillar and balustrade, defined with glowing fruit. It was looped in festoons and hung in tassels of red and white and gold: the arms of Wüuuml;rtemberg even were traced in yellow corn, while above it all rose a graceful column, a mosaic from base to summit of every fruit that autumn can bring to perfection.

That was the great show: after that, mammoth cucumbers and carrots or rows of agricultural implements did not detain us long. The next best thing was to see the booths and the crowd on the outskirts of the exhibition. There the circus was in full blast, and triumphant, brazen-throated opposition to all smaller attractions that had ventured into that neighborhood. The performing dogs in red petticoats were reduced to making an appearance before their tent to entice spectators, and Harlequin and Columbine had to shout themselves hoarse inviting people to come in and split with laughter for sixpence. Those who did not aspire to a seat under painted canvas gathered round a melancholy bear dancing a pas seul on the grass with heartbroken gravity. Then came the Schützhallen, where the marksmen stationed themselves three feet from the target and cracked away at it with no other visible effect than that produced on a monkey doing its tricks close by: at every shot the poor little creature stopped fiddling and looked over its shoulder with a distressed air of "If I'm not hit this time!" Hand-organs, penny trumpets and rattles quite drowned the voice of a street-songstress with a large assortment of vocal music before her, from which she was giving the public a selection. Whether the songs had any reference to the pictures that formed her background we did not discover, but, at all events, the latter were tragic in the extreme. "The twenty-four-year-old murderer of his mother and six brothers and sisters" was there portrayed in a neat suit of black, with a hatchet in his hand and a very irresolute expression of countenance, while the various members of his family, seen through the open bedroom doors, awaited their fate in peaceful slumber. The booths, with toys, gingerbread, [pg 251] sausages, cheese and light literature tastefully intermingled, went on and on like the restaurants that lined each side of the long avenue. Around primitive tables family parties clinked foaming glasses and hailed with demonstrative hospitality any stray cousin who chanced that way. In one of the last of these improvised Trinkhallen we came upon a young man and maiden who had the place quite to themselves. Her brown parasol kept the sun off them both, and it was of no sort of consequence that they had nothing more interesting than the back of a shed to look at. Future prospects were the only ones they cared for: the present had no need of anything but a faint beeriness, conducive to day-dreaming.

As we get into the carriage again our coachman says we must see the new statue. Accordingly, we drive through the town and halt before it in the square. It is very fine, glowing like gold from the mint. The king sits his charger well, and gazes majestically at nothing in particular: still, one must be a little critical, and we imagine the horse's tail is not quite right. But then is not the whisk of a tail in bronze almost impossible to conceive of? If the artist suffers no severer censure than that, he will probably call himself a happy man. The inscription on the pedestal of the statue reads, "From his grateful people." High and low have contributed to it, and gladly. "That was a man!" says our driver. He was a soldier under him, and knows. And in fact the old king seems to have been always doing something for the country, so that the gratitude is not without a cause. The inhabitants of Cannstatt have special reason to remember him kindly: he himself was grateful to them and showed it. In the troublous times of 1848 he was sadly in need of money: Ludwigsburg (another satellite of Stuttgart) refused it, while Cannstatt came up to the mark handsomely. The royal creditor never forgot that. He instituted the Volksfest as a sort of memorial, and Cannstatt is proud and prosperous, while Ludwigsburg is like a city of the dead. So the coachman affirms; and once conversation is opened between us it flows without intermission. His head is over his shoulder all the way as we roll back to the city under the beautiful trees of the palace grounds. "If the old king had been living, Würtemberg would never have joined in the last war: he would have told Prussia to fight it out by herself." Apropos of the war, we ask what he thinks of Bismarck. He evidently thinks a great deal of him, though not perhaps in the generally accepted sense of that expression. He states as a fact that there are limits, leaving it to us to understand that the chancellor of the empire has overstepped them. He declares further that a Prussian, and especially a Berliner, is always to him an obnoxious member of society through his insisting on knowing everything (except his own place) better than anybody else. "Now, there was the Prussian general before this last one," he continues, changing from politics to court-gossip (naturally, since 1870, military matters in Würtemberg flourish under Prussian auspices): "the first ball he went to at the palace he asked the queen to dance! Our queen!! And then he took his whole family, and they sat in chairs that never were meant for them, so that the king had to say to him next day, "Mr. General, first come I, and then my ministers, and then this one, and then that one, and then you." He went back to Berlin soon after. It is pleasanter to sit one's self down where one doesn't belong than to be set down by somebody else." Our driver chuckles, and then bursts out afresh, "Asking the queen to dance!" He certainly has perfect faith in his own stories.

We saw the successor of that presumptuous military man next day among the greater and lesser lights that revolve around the throne of Würtemberg. We ourselves were stationary, crowded into the foremost of the tiers of seats that rose surrounding the immense enclosure, and in the best place for observation, close by the royal pavilion. The hills, bright in the sun and velvet in shadow, made a natural amphitheatre beyond, a little church with its pretty tower looked picturesquely down from a neighboring [pg 252] height, and the whole place was gay with flags and branches, glittering uniforms and gorgeous liveries. We were to see the hohe Herrschaften come in at the farthest entrance and drive around directly before our seats. As the trumpets flourish and the first magnificence sweeps by we hear all about us, "The princess Vera," and "No, the duchess of Uhra," and "Is it?" "Isn't it?" "Which is it?" till we finally settle down to the serene conclusion that it is either one or the other. There is no mistaking the queen, however, with the outriders, six superb black horses and postilions in scarlet and gold. The Majesty herself looks pale and resigned, bending to the right and left in answer to the bows and hochs. Our neighbors "the Weimars" come in full force. A superfluous prince of that family appears to have drifted to these regions, and makes our street aristocratic for us. Young Weimar looks uncommonly well in his hussar uniform, and the old prince and his wife and daughter are resplendent. We met them later that same day in town, but they had taken off their best clothes, and truth compels us sadly to admit that we should hardly have known them.

In the course of time, after various false alarms on our part, the band confidently strikes up "God Save the King!" and there is a flashing and prancing in the distance that creates a great stir. The citizen guard, a stately body of burghers, rides out with the king on this day of all the year, and comes caracoling by in fine style, he in the midst bowing and smiling. And now, after the Herrschaften—hohe and höchste—come the animals. First, horses haughtily stepping, and then splendid bulls with wreaths on their horns and garlands round their—waists shall we say?—are led before the king, standing at the foot of the steps and handing the prizes to the farmers, who present themselves, ducking and scraping. It seems a shame to tie up the creatures' legs so, and put rings through their noses: some have even a cloth bound over their heads; and if all these precautionary measures are necessary, it ought to be a relief when the procession of mild cows begins, They look out amiably from under the floral crowns that have slipped low on their brows, or turn with half-conscious pride to the handsome little calves that trot beside them. The sheep, seeking to attract too early the notice of royalty, dash out in a flock, and are driven back with jeering and hooting, as they deserve to be. Then the pigs stagger by: their garlands are excessively unbecoming. Such of the family of swine as are too young to stagger are wheeled in handcarts in the rear; and so the ceremonies are closed, except for a couple of races which take place immediately, and with no great éclat. The burgher races these are called, while on the third and last day are the officers' races. The rain prevented our attending them, and we consoled ourselves, hearing it intimated by those who had been at Ascot and Longchamps that we had not lost a great deal.



The threads from which the tissue of history is being woven are ever in unceasing and rapid motion in the hands of the Fates. But these deities for the most part love to work unseen, like the bees. It is only when the spinning is going on with exceptional rapidity and vigor that the movements of the threads and the characteristics of the operation can be observed on the surface of social life, Such is the case in these days at Rome, and it is not necessary to watch the actions of governments or listen to the discussions of legislative chambers in order to assure one's self of the fact. One cannot walk the streets without having the phenomena which are the outward and visible signs of it thrust in a thousand ways on the observation of our senses. The other day I read a whole chapter of contemporary history compressed into the appearance of a pair of wheels engaged in their ordinary daily duty in the streets. It was in that central and crowded part of the city which is between the church of the Gesù and the Farnese palace, a labyrinth of tortuous [pg 253] streets and lanes, not often visited by foreigners unless when bent on some special expedition of sight-seeing. There are no sidewalks for foot-passengers in these streets. They are narrow, very tortuous and very crowded. Foot-passengers and vehicles of all sorts find their way along as best they may in one confused mass. It was there I saw the historic pair of wheels in question. They were attached to the barrow of a coster-monger, who was retailing a stock of onions, carrots and "cavolo Romano" which he had just purchased at the neighboring market of the "Campo de' Fiori." His wares, I fear, had been selected from the refuse of the market, and he and his barrow were in a state of dilapidated shabbiness that matched his stock in trade. But not so the wheels on which his barrow was supported. They were wheels of the most gorgeous description. The spokes and the circumference were painted of the most brilliant scarlet, and the entire nave was gilded so as to have the appearance of a solid mass of gold. It is impossible to imagine anything more bizarre than the effect of these magnificent wheels doing the work of carrying such an equipage. Nevertheless, the apparition seemed to attract very little attention in the crowded street. The grand scarlet and gilded wheels flamed along among the crowd of shabby men and shabby vehicles with their load of onions and cabbages, and scarcely anybody turned his head to stare at them. I suppose the denizens of the district were used to the apparition of them. To me they looked as if they had been the originals from which Guido Reni painted those of the car in which he has placed the celebrated Aurora of his world-famous fresco. They were solidly and heavily built wheels—very barbarous an English carriage-builder would have considered them in their heavy and clumsy magnificence—but they were very gorgeous. What could be the meaning of their appearance in public under such circumstances? I was walking with an Italian friend at the time, who saw my state of amazement at so strange a phenomenon, and explained it all by a single remark.

"Yes," said he, "there go a pair of His Eminence's wheels. They are sharing the fortunes of their late master in a manner that is at once dramatic and historical."

The wheels from a cardinal's carriage! Of course they were. How was it possible that such wheels should be mistaken for any other in the world? A few years ago, when pope and cardinals had not yet suffered the horrible eclipse which has overtaken them, one of the most notable features of the Roman streets and suburban roads used to consist of the carriages of the members of the Sacred College taking their diurnal drive. It was not etiquette for a cardinal to walk in the streets, or indeed anywhere else, without his carriage following him. There was no mistaking these barbarously gorgeous vehicles. They were all exactly like each other, and unlike any other carriages to be seen in the nineteenth century—heavy, clumsy, coarsely built and gorgeously painted of the most flaming scarlet, and largely gilded. They were drawn by long-tailed black horses covered with heavy harness richly plated with silver, or something that looked like it, and driven by a coachman whose livery, always as shabby as magnificent, was as heavily laden with huge masses of worsted lace of the kind that used to be placed on carriage-linings some five-and-twenty years ago. Two similarly bedizened footmen always stood on the monkey-board at the rear, who descended and walked behind His Eminence and his chaplain when the cardinal left his carriage to get his constitutional. Ichabod! Ichabod! The glory has departed! Such cavalcades are no longer to be seen crawling along the Via Appia, or following His Eminence on a fine and sunny afternoon about four o'clock as he walks on the footpath between the Porta Pia and the Basilica of St. Agnes in search of an appetite for his dinner. The world will never see such carriages and such servants any more. Fuit Ilium! I thought of the old lines on the "high—mettled racer," and of "imperial Cæsar, dead and turned to clay, stopping a hole to keep the wind away." To see such [pg 254] splendor reduced to the service of such vile uses! Yes, as my Italian friend said, "There go the cardinal's wheels," and it is impossible not to feel sure that the phenomenon is symbolical of the way the cardinal is going himself. When an institution, a dignity, a social arrangement of any sort, has grown to be purely ornamental, has become so splendid that its splendor has come to be the essence of it, it will no longer be able to exist shorn of its splendor, however much it may in its origin have been adapted for use rather than for show. The wheels were heavy, cumbrous and ill put together; they were not well adapted for the costermonger's purpose, and will probably fall to pieces before long. Their fate is a type of that of their once master. That ornamental individual, shorn of his ornamental character, is useless. His raison d'être is gone as entirely as Othello's occupation was. And it will probably not be long before the fate of the cardinal's wheels overtakes the cardinal himself.

The second little bit of street incident which recently occurred to me was in itself less striking, but seemed to me to symbolize changes of yet higher moment and wider significance. This time what I saw was in the Ghetto. Many of my readers probably know what the Ghetto at Rome is, but untraveled stayers-at-home may very excusably never have heard of it. The Ghetto is the Jews' quarter in Rome—the district in which they were for many generations compelled to reside and to be locked in by night, and where from habit the greater part, especially of the poorer members of the Jewish community, still live. As will be easily believed, it is the worst and most wretched quarter of the city—the lowest physically as well as morally—and inundated with tolerable certainty every year by the rising of the Tiber. The dilapidated and filthy streets of the other parts of old papal Rome used to look clean and spruce by comparison with the lurid and darksome dens of the Ghetto. There are Ghettos in London—streets where the children of Israel congregate, not in obedience to any law old or new, but drawn together by mutual attraction and similarity of occupation. And the occupations there are very much of the same nature as those pursued in the Ghetto of Rome—the buying and selling of old clothes and second-hand property of all sorts, the preparation and distribution of fried fish, and here and there a little usury. But the genius loci here impresses on the trade in discarded odds and ends a peculiar character of its own. A much larger number of old pictures figure among the hoards of useless "property" than would be the case elsewhere. The constant decay of noble and once wealthy families furnishes to the second-hand market a much more abundant supply of the remains of articles that were once rich and rare in their day—old damask hangings torn from walls that have witnessed the princely revelry of many a generation; rich brocades and stuffs that have made part of the moving pageant in the same saloons; lace of the finest and rarest from the vestments of deceased prelates, whose heirs, as regards such property, have probably been their serving-men; purple and scarlet articles from the wardrobes of cardinals and princes of the Church; and odds and ends of various sorts widely different in kind from aught that could be found in similar repositories in other cities. And another specialty of the Roman Ghetto is that it is not altogether easy to obtain a sight of the miscellaneous treasures of this rag-fair. Partly because the low-lying and narrow lanes of the Ghetto are too murky and filthy to permit of the advantageous exposure of the merchandise in question; partly, probably, from an habitual consciousness on the part of the dealers that the details of their traffic in all its particulars are not of a nature to be safely submitted to the public eye; partly from that secretiveness which is the natural result of living for many generations from father to son under the tyranny of an alien race, whose bitterly hostile prejudices were but little restrained by law or justice; and partly also, no doubt, from the genuine Roman laziness, which in its perfection is capable of overriding even Jewish keenness of trade,—the Jew brokers [pg 255] of the Ghetto are often unwilling to show their hidden stores to the first comer. Some amount of diplomacy and some show of the probability of effecting an advantageous deal must be had recourse to in order to attain the purpose of the explorer.

On the recent occasion to which I have referred these difficulties had been overcome, and I had made my way into the interior of one of the dens I have described in the company of a lady friend who is a confirmed and irreclaimable lace-hunter, and who in pursuit of her game would have confronted worse obstacles than any that we had to encounter. For, in truth, the exterior appearance and the entrance-chambers are the worst part of the Ghetto dwellings. One is curiously reminded of the old mediæval stories of Jewish dwellings, where the utmost squalor and poverty of exterior was a mere blind for an interior gorgeous with every manifestation of wealth and luxury. I will not say that much of the latter is to be found in the dwellings of the Ghetto, but a degree of comfortable decency and indications of the possession of capital may be met with which the exterior appearances would not have led one to anticipate. Well, we had reached the third floor of one of these sinister-looking abodes, conducted by a fat old Jewess with a pair of huge black eyes, a large smooth face as yellow as a guinea, and a vast development of bust clad in dirty white wrappers of some sort. A door on the landing-place jealously locked with two huge keys admitted us into a suite of three good-sized rooms crammed from floor to ceiling with a collection of articles more heterogeneous than can easily be conceived—far more so than can be described.

Those who have ever accompanied a lady lace-hunter when she has struck a promising trail know that the business in hand is likely to be a somewhat long one. My companion on the present occasion very soon convinced the Jewess that she knew quite as much about the matter as she, the dealer, did. But I presume that some of the old yellow stores produced were "the real thing;" for my friend and the old Jewess soon became immersed in an eager and, as it seemed to me interminable, discussion as to qualities, condition and values. Meantime, I had to amuse myself as best I might by looking at the multifarious objects. I must content myself with mentioning one article, the appearance of which in such a place struck me as strange and not a little significant. It was simply an old parasol, very much faded and a little tattered, but not such a parasol as your fair hands ever carried, my dear madam, nor such as the once equally fair hands of any generation of your ancestors ever carried. The article in question was more like the shelter which we see represented in Chinese paintings as carried over the heads of persons of high rank among the Celestials. It was very large, not much curved into the shape of a dome when expanded, very clumsily and coarsely put together, but of gorgeous magnificence of material. It was made of a very thick and rich damask silk, additionally ornamented by embroidery in gold and silver thread, and the handle and points of the supports were richly gilt. In a word, I perceived at once, not being a novice in such matters, that the article before me was one of the canopies used for holding over the "Host" when the holy sacrament is carried by the priest through the streets to a dying person. It needs but a moment's reflection on the Roman Catholic theory of the sacrament of the "Last Supper" to be aware of the extremely sacred nature of the uses to which this parasol had been put, and of the associations connected with it. Nevertheless, I found this bit of sacred church property in the hands of a Jew broker, exposed to sale for a few francs to the first comer, heretic, scoffer or infidel, that might take a fancy to buy it. This would hardly have been the case when the pope was absolute master of Rome and of all in it. The thing could not have happened save by the dishonesty and cynical disbelief of some priest, and indeed probably of more than one. And, upon the whole, it struck me as a second curious indication of the somewhat breakneck [pg 256] speed with which the threads of history are spinning themselves in these days and in these latitudes.



A great deal of discussion has recently taken place on the subject of medical education in the United States. To a foreigner, or to one not acquainted with the influences that have led to and have kept up this discussion, it might seem to be the result of a spontaneous outburst of popular feeling, earnestly demanding much-needed progress. Really, however, the very reverse is the case; and the revolutionists are those whose kind and sympathetic interest in the welfare of the community is prompted solely by selfish considerations. The changes urged by these self-condemning philanthropists are not demanded by the medical profession nor by the public; neither have they been, nor will they be, sustained by both or by either. This assertion is clearly proved by the experience of the University of Pennsylvania, In 1846 the American Medical Association recommended to all medical colleges certain changes and improvements in their courses of instruction. In consequence of this recommendation the University of Pennsylvania extended its session to six months: not a single medical college in the country followed its progressive lead, and after continuing the experiment for six years at great pecuniary loss, it was reluctantly obliged to retrace its steps, and to return to the old standard as to length of session. During the period of this advance the classes of the University fell off greatly, and the classes of other medical schools correspondingly increased. Even medical men sent their sons to other medical schools, to save the time and money necessary for the longer course. Indeed, medical men, as a rule, have sought to evade the restrictions as to length of time of study, etc. more than any other class; and the statement, that the "student usually dates his medical studies from the time he buys his first Chemistry" applies more frequently to the sons of physicians than to any others. Hence, I declare that these proposed changes are not demanded by the medical profession nor by the public.

The writer of a recent article in Lippincott's Magazine (Dr. H.C. Wood) on "Medical Education in the United States" seems to have been so lost in admiration at the methods of instruction followed in European medical colleges as to be utterly blind to the good in the system of medical education as it exists in this country—a system the necessary result of our political, social, financial and territorial conditions; a system which, though in the abstract may not be the best, is certainly, judging from its results, the best possible under our peculiar circumstances. This much abused system of medical education (only greatly improved in its extent and thoroughness—improvements developed by the constant advances in knowledge) is the same system which has produced the great medical men of the United States during the past seventy-five years—medical practitioners whose success has been surpassed by none in Europe; surgeons whose skill has been, and is, world-wide in reputation; authors whose works are standard authorities everywhere. It is the same system of medical instruction—I quote verbatim (italics mine) from this article that holds it up to scorn—which "accomplished such splendid results during the late rebellion." The writer says: "The great resources of the medical profession were proved during the civil war, when there was created in a few months a service which for magnitude and efficiency has rarely if ever been equaled. Indeed, military medicine was raised by it to a point never reached before that time in Europe and the results achieved have, in many points, worked a revolution in science." After this frank declaration of the inestimable value and glorious results of American medical education, the writer draws the logical(?) sequence that it (American medical education) is responsible for a case of most heartrending malpractice, which he relates, compared to which the Japanese hari-kari were merciful mildness, and approaching more nearly the tortures by crucifixion as administered by this same kind-hearted people. With about as much reason and justice might he conclude that the American system of Sunday-school education is lamentably inferior to that of Great Britain, because(!) Jesse Pomeroy was a possibility in that most respectable town of Boston.

Dr. Wood alludes to the ignorance of the American medical student, and makes a statement "not founded on the authority of official publication," in which he endeavors to show that from "six to ten per cent." of American medical students have an ignorance of vulgar fractions and rudimentary astronomy that would exclude them from an ordinary infant-school. Every one familiar with the [pg 257] students attending our first-class American medical colleges knows perfectly well that in origin and in culture they compare favorably with the young men engaged in the study of law and divinity, or with those entering upon mercantile or manufacturing pursuits. True, there are some imperfectly educated, but certainly not "six or ten per cent." destitute of that knowledge taught even in American infant-schools, and without knowing, and without the statement "being founded on the authority of any official publication," I infer that in Europe, owing to their "better methods," similar knowledge is communicated to the average European child many months before its birth.

Next follows a comment on the poverty of the American medical student. Dr. Wood says: "Even worse than this, however, is the fact that the summer between the winter courses is often not spent in study, but in idleness, or, not rarely, in acquiring in the school-room or harvest-field the pecuniary means of spending the subsequent winter in the city." Alas! this is too true. Providence seems to have ordained that our young American doctors are not always reared in the lap of luxury and wealth as the fittest preparation for the trials, hardships and self-denials of their future lives. It is also true that some other young American professional men have been compelled "in the school-room or harvest-field" to acquire the means to prosecute their professional studies. Daniel Webster, the son of a New England farmer, taught school at Fryeburg, Maine, "upon a salary of about one dollar per diem." "His salary was all saved ... as a fund for his own professional education and to help his brother through college." "During his residence at Fryeburg, Mr. Webster borrowed (he was too poor to buy) Blackstone's Commentaries." Mr. Webster's great rival, Henry Clay, also was compelled to resort to the "school-room and harvest-field to obtain the pecuniary means," etc. etc. etc. The son of the poor widow with seven children "applied himself to the labor of the field with alacrity and diligence;" "and there yet live those who remember to have seen him oftentimes riding his sorry horse, with a rope bridle, no saddle, and a bag of grain." "By the familiar name of the Mill-boy of the Slashes do these men ... perpetuate the remembrance of his lowly yet dutiful and unrepining employments." American biography is so filled with similar instances, showing how the great characters of her great men acquired their development and strength in the stern gymnasium of poverty, even in "the school-room and harvest-field," that I could fill volumes with the glowing records. The youngest American school-boy recognizes Abraham Lincoln and Henry Wilson in this American galaxy. Whose heart has not been stirred by the life-story of the great Hugh Miller, the stonecutter's pick earning for him humble means, thereby enabling him to acquire that learning which made his name a household word even in America. Truth, then, as I have remarked, obliges me to admit that we have in our medical colleges some young men who labor "in harvest-fields and school-rooms" in order that they may honorably pay their way, rather than eat the bread or accept the gratuities of pauperism.

Last March there graduated at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania one of these self-supporting young men. He was the son of a missionary clergyman: the father was poor in pocket, but the son was not poor in spirit. During the interval between his winter courses of lectures, rather than be a burden to his father, rather than accept gratuitous instruction from the school, he went into the coal regions of Pennsylvania and worked in a coal-mine, as a common miner, to procure funds to enable him to complete his professional studies; and, strange as it may seem, this young miner passed an excellent examination, and received the unanimous vote of the medical faculty for his degree. I mention this case, but every year there are several similar; and we always find that the school-teachers and miners are by no means at the foot of the graduating class.

Concerning clinical teaching, we have the following statement: "The clinical teaching in an American hospital is comprised in the following routine: Once or twice a week, from one to five hundred men being congregated in an amphitheatre, the professor lectures upon a case brought into the arena, perhaps operates, and when the hour has expired the class is dismissed. Evidently, under such circumstances there cannot be the training of the senses, the acquiring of a knowledge of the hourly play of symptoms of disease and of familiarity with the proper handling of the sick and wounded, which is of such vital importance, and which can be the outcome only of daily contact with patients." What can the writer of this sentence mean? Certainly, no [pg 258] one knows better than he does that such is not the practice in the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in Bellevue and in many other large hospitals, where clinics and dispensary services are held for several hours daily throughout the year, and where the student has furnished him abundant opportunities four "acquiring a knowledge of the ... symptoms of disease, ... of handling the sick and wounded," etc. etc. That the American medical student profits by these opportunities, and learns his clinic lessons well, is proved by the unexpected and evidently unintended testimony which occurs toward the close of the article, where Dr. Wood says, "The great resources of the medical profession in America were proved during the civil war, when there was created in a few months a service which for magnitude and efficiency has rarefy if ever been equaled. Indeed, military medicine was raised by it to a point never reached before that time in Europe, and the results achieved have in many points worked a revolution in science." The italics in this quotation are mine, as they also are in those which follow.

But (says the article under review) "the largest proportion of our prominent physicians have educated themselves after graduation." As if this were an extraordinary or unusual circumstance! Certainly, they have; and so have all prominent men in all professions and all pursuits of life, in every age and every country, not even excepting the much-lauded men of Great Britain and the continent of Europe. What young lawyer is entrusted with an important cause immediately after admission to the Bar? And as the young doctor (according to the aforesaid showing) "gains his first practical knowledge while serving as a hospital resident, under the supervision of experienced men," so the young lawyer, even in Great Britain, must gain his first practical knowledge by constant attention at the courts, and by diligently following the proceedings of his preceptor's and other offices. Even the young clergyman, whose business it is to save souls, has to do very much as the young doctor does, and, like him, is often "thrown at once on his own resources, gaining his experience without supervision, and at the expense of the poorer classes, who naturally fall to his charge, and whose ignorance precludes them from an even approximately correct estimate of" his fitness. "It is one of the saddest features of our system that the famed skill of our best" (clergymen) "should so often be acquired at such a cost."

What can be more unphilosophical and illogical than to compare the young doctor, or any other young professional man, to a new piece of machinery, fresh from the manufactory, complete and perfect in all its parts? And yet something like this is attempted in the article before us. Even as Minerva sprang from the brain of Jove the complete and perfect goddess of learning, so would our Utopian writer have the young doctors to come from the brains of their medical professors complete and perfect; only, if his idea be correct, their medical professors have so little brains that the annual graduating medical classes of the United States would be immediately reduced from the frightful army of three thousand "legalized murderers" to the comparatively small and easily counted number of one graduate (of course, springing from one head). No; the young doctor, at graduation, cannot be compared to a new, complete and perfect machine fresh from the manufactory; rather, let him be compared to the young marsupial creature at birth, extremely rudimentary, whose natural, and hence fittest, place is the parental pouch, but which in due time becomes the vigorous and well-developed specimen. I suppose, if I compare the young doctor to the young marsupial, I should also say that his protecting parental pouch, in which he acquires growth and vigor, is the hospital where he goes after graduation, or the practice which he sees under his preceptor's supervision.

The article continues: "The remarks which follow do not apply to the medical department of Harvard College or to one or two other schools" (the italics are mine); and farther on it continues: "In other words, Harvard has copied the European plan of medical teaching in some of its essential features, and as a consequence its medical diploma is the only one issued by any prominent medical American college which is a guarantee that its possessor has been well educated in the science and practice of medicine." Where can we find meekness and modesty like this?—modesty as becoming as it is unexpected and surprising, seeing that the writer fills two professorships in the University of Pennsylvania, Does he hang his head so low in his—I was about to say singular—self-abasement (but, considering, the two professorships, I suppose I should say doubled self-abasement) that he cannot see? or are his eyes so blinded by the effulgence of [pg 259] "Harvard" and "European" plans that he fails to recognize and appreciate the immense advantages offered by his own home institutions? I do not propose to make any invidious remarks concerning Harvard, but I maintain that an honest and just comparison of the schools, of their requirements, of the character of their teachings and the facilities they furnish their students, must show that modesty alone prevented Professor "H.C. Wood, Jr., M.D.," also excepting from his sweeping denunciations the two great schools of Philadelphia, though I only speak for and defend the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania from an attack unjust, uncalled-for and untrue.


The party opposed to any reforms in medical education has, of course, a right to be heard, and Dr. Penrose is well entitled to represent it both by his position and by the evident heartiness with which he is prepared to defend the existing system at every point. In impugning the motives of those who have attacked it he lays himself open to an obvious retort; but it is sufficient to remark that the contest is not of a nature to call for or justify the use of personalities, which could serve only to divert attention from the real issues.

The arguments put forward by Dr. Penrose may be summarized as follows: 1st, that the proposed changes are not demanded either by the public or by the profession; 2d, that the present system is the best possible in a nation constituted like ours; 3d, that the preparatory education of our medical students is equal to that of law or divinity students, or of young men entering upon mercantile or manufacturing pursuits; 4th, that in certain cases obstacles in the way of a regular and thorough training have been overcome and success achieved in spite of them; and 5th, that it is unavoidable and proper that medical men, as well as members of other professions, should educate themselves after graduation.

It will be observed that none of these arguments except the last, which is based on a mere verbal ambiguity, touches the two subjects discussed in Dr. Wood's article—namely, the need of reform and the methods by which, if practicable, it is to be effected. Dr. Penrose does not venture to assert that the existing system is perfect, or to deny that the suggested changes are in the nature of improvements. What he wishes us to believe is that the system, whatever its defects, is as good a one as Americans have a right to demand, and that it is so closely interwoven with our political and social institutions as to admit of no separate handling. Similar arguments are frequently urged against the desire to raise the standard and widen the avenues of the "higher education." We are thus taught to regard ourselves as a poor and struggling nation with no claim to the possession of intellectual luxuries, or as having bound ourselves to forego any aspirations to an equality with other nations in respect of culture when we secured the advantages of popular government and its social concomitants. It would seem, however, to be a sounder, as it is certainly a more gratifying belief, that precisely because we have attained these advantages it will be easier for us to appropriate all the benefits which civilization has to offer—possible for us to make more rapid strides than have been made by other nations, impeded by a diversity of interests and conflicts between the government and the people. No doubt the comparative youthfulness of the nation will account for our backward condition in certain respects; but surely it is time to abandon this and every similar plea as an argument against any attempt at progress.

We have not space, and for the reasons indicated we see no necessity, to discuss Dr. Penrose's positions in detail. It will be sufficient to notice generally what seems to us their inherent weakness. His assertion that no changes are now demanded by the public or the profession is, he thinks, "clearly proved" by the fact that thirty years ago some that were introduced in the University of Pennsylvania at the suggestion of the American Medical Association ended in failure. But what this experience really proves is, that the defects of the system were even then admitted, while the remedies are still to be applied. At Harvard [pg 260] this has been done; and the question for other medical schools is whether they are to follow the example or to be deterred by a bugbear—whether, for example, the University of Pennsylvania, after raising her scientific and art departments to a higher level, shall be content to let her medical school remain stationary. It is the opinion of intelligent physicians who are not parties to this controversy that the experiment which failed in 1846 would succeed now. The new plan adopted at Harvard, which exacts three years of study, and embraces lectures, recitations, clinical conferences and written examinations of the most stringent character, has, we are informed, attracted a class of very superior men. Compared with the effort made here in 1846, this change may be described as a revolution, and it has proved a success.

We are at a loss to understand what Dr. Penrose wishes to prove by his citation of cases in which eminence has been reached—chiefly, it is to be noticed, in politics or the law—by persons who have had insufficient opportunities for study. If the disadvantage was imaginary, where was the merit of overcoming it? If it was real, as most people would admit, what is the objection to insisting on it as such? In the great majority of cases it is not overcome, and the result is, that the country is overstocked with men engaged in the practice of professions for which they are inadequately qualified. As to the skill that is gained by practice, the ripe knowledge that may result from experience, this cannot without a confusion of terms be described as "education." It will in general be most surely and rapidly acquired by those who have received the best training, and the great object of our higher educational institutions should be to provide such training—not, by maintaining a low standard, to facilitate the efforts of those who, from whatever cause, would find it difficult to meet the demands of a higher one. Such persons may have a claim to encouragement and assistance in their endeavors to reach the mark; but they have no right to expect that the distance shall be regulated to suit their convenience.

Dr. Wood's admissions in regard to the excellence of the army medical service during the war are seized upon with natural exultation by his opponent, who draws from them a legitimate inference in favor of the general status of medical skill and knowledge throughout the country. If Dr. Wood really intended to say—what his language, we confess, would seem to imply—that the service attained its high state of efficiency in a few months, we do not well see how he is to resist the conclusion thus pressed upon him. But we conceive the truth to be that either his phraseology or his recollection of the facts was at fault. It is well known that at the beginning of the war it was impossible to find competent surgeons in anything like the number that was needed, and that the examining boards were consequently forced to be ridiculously lenient. We know of an able surgeon who after a battle found that he had not a single assistant in his corps who could be trusted to perform an operation. This state of matters was the direct result of the imperfect education given in the schools. Not one man in ten who leaves them has ever been practically exercised in operations on the cadaver, and the proportion was still smaller before the war. It is easy therefore to understand, while it would be painful to recall, the circumstances under which the great bulk of our army surgeons acquired the requisite proficiency. The ultimate success of our medical service, like the final triumph of our armies, was preceded by many woeful blunders and mishaps, and, like that, was due in great measure to a lavish outlay which would scarcely have been possible in any European war, and to the general devotion and united efforts which drew out all the resources of the country, of whatever kind, and directed them to the furtherance of a single aim.


In looking over the contents of the old newspapers of this country, of which there was a considerable number as early as the year 1730, one is specially struck by the number of advertisements of slave sales and of runaway slaves, [pg 261] apprentices and servants. The following are common examples:

"To be sold, a very likely Negro woman about 30 years of Age, has been in this city about 10. She is a fine Cook, has been brought up to all sorts of House Work, and speaks very good English. She has had the small Pox, and has now a Young Child. Enquire further concerning her and the Conditions of Sale of Mary Kippen, or the Printer hereof."—New York Weekly Journal, May 9, 1735.

"Just arrived from Great Britain, and are to be Sold on board the Ship Alice and Elizabeth, Capt. Paine Commander several likely Welch and English Servant Men, most of them Tradesmen. Whoever inclines to purchase any of them may agree with said Commander, or Mr. Thomas Noble, Merchant, at Mr. Hazard's, in New York; where also is to be Sold several Negro Girls and a Negro Boy, and likewise good Cheshire Cheese."—New York Gazette, Sept. 11, 1732.

Here is a notice from the same paper, date 1735, which shows very clearly the position of the apprentice one hundred and forty years ago:

"Run away on the 5th. Instant from John Bell of the city of New York Carpenter, an Apprentice Boy named James Harding, aged about 19 years, being a tall well-set Lad of a Fresh Complexion, he wears a Wig, he is spley-footed and shuffles with his feet as he Walks, has a Copper coloured Kersey Coat with large flat white Mettle Buttons, a grey Duroy Coat lined with Silk, it is pretty much faded by wearing, a broad blue striped Waistcoat and Breeches and a pair of blue striped Tickin Breeches, in warm weather he often bleeds at the nose." Then follows the offer of forty shillings to any one who will give information whereby his master, John Bell, can regain possession of the runaway.

That the women of that time were strong-minded, or at least that they were disposed to assist in the reformation of bad husbands, is shown by the following from the same journal, date December 31, 1733. The subject, or victim, was one William Drinkwater, living near New York, who had proved quarrelsome with his neighbors and abusive to his wife: "The good Women of the Place took the Matter into Consideration and laid hold of an Opportunity, to get him tied to a Cart, and there with Rods belaboured him on his Back, till, in striveing to get away, he pulled one of his Arms out of Joint, and then they unti'd him. Mr. Drinkwater Complained to Sundrie Magistrates of this useage, but all he got by it was to be Laughed at; Whereupon he removed to New Milford where we hear he proves a good Neighhour and a loving Husband. A Remarkable Reformation ariseing from the Justice of the good Women."

Another advertisement indicates a toilet article now out of fashion:

"To be Sold by Peter Lynch, near Mr. Rutgers Brewhouse, very good Orange Butter, it is excellent for Gentlewomen to comb up their Hair with, it also cures Children's sore Heads."

The next sounds quite as odd:

"James Munden Partner with Thomas Butwell from London, Maketh Gentlewomens Stays and Childrens Coats in the Newest Fashion, that Crooked Women and Children will appear strait," Same paper, date February, 1735.

It is a curious fact that the deaths at that time, both in the New York and New England papers, were announced not by the names of the deceased, but by the churches to which they belonged. For example: "Buried in the city last week, viz., Church of England 26, Dutch 24, Lutheran 2, French 1, Presbyterians 3. The number of Blacks we refer till Next Week."—New England Weekly Journal, Nov. 1, 1731. Sometimes the number is recorded as four or five, or even less: therefore the record must be very imperfect, and there seems to have been no notice taken of those who were not buried from any church.


[pg 262]


Dante and his Circle; with the Italian Poets preceding him. Edited and translated in the original Metres by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Revised and rearranged edition, Boston: Roberts Bros.

Dante is so great a figure in Italian literature that he hides from sight the host of minor poets who preceded him, and throws his own contemporaries so into the shade that we are apt to think that Italian poetry began with him, and that its second exponent is Petrarch. Such a view is to be regretted, not only because it overlooks much that is in itself valuable, but because it attributes to a period of slow development a phenomenal character. There were many poets worth listening to before the great Florentine wrote the New Life or the Divine Comedy, and many whom he listened to and praised, although his prophetic foresight told him that he would one day bear their glory from them.

It was to make us acquainted with these forgotten singers that Mr. Rossetti wrote some years ago his charming book. The Early Italian Poets, which, after being long out of print, he now presents to us in a revised and rearranged edition. The author's wish is not merely to give us a glimpse of the quaint conceits of a school that continued in Italy the waning influence of the Troubadours, but to open to us the intimate social life of the literary men of that period as reflected in their vague Platonic rhapsodies, their friendly letters, their jests and quarrels, their joy and sadness. Interwoven with all this are stately canzoni, and dainty sonnets full of quaint conceits, like that wherein Jacopo da Lentino (1250) sings Of his Lady in Heaven:

I have it in my heart to serve God so

That into Paradise I shall repair—

The holy place through the which everywhere

I have heard say that joy and solace flow.

Without my lady I were loath to go—

She who has the bright face and the bright hair—

Because if she were absent, I being there,

My pleasure would be less than naught, I know.

Look you, I say not this to such intent

As that I there would deal in any sin:

I only would behold her gracious mien,

And beautiful soft eyes, and lovely face,

That so it should be my complete content

To see my lady joyful in her place.

We seem, in turning over these pages, to see the brilliant, ever-changing current of Italian thirteenth and fourteenth century life—from Palermo, where Frederick II. held an almost Oriental court, to the communes of Central Italy, the best type of which is the merchant-city of the Arno, whose sons in those days could fight as well as wield the yardstick, and sing in strains that have rarely been equaled. In the first division of the work the great poet and his friends are brought vividly before us from the time when, a sensitive child, his eyes first beheld Beatrice and his new life began, to the painful hours of bereavement and exile. The poet, it is known, made a curious sonnet out of a dream he had after his first meeting with Beatrice, and, in accordance with the fashion of the day, sent it to various well-known poets, asking them to interpret his vision. The answers are all given here; and among those whose attention was thus attracted to the precocious youth was one whom he calls his "first friend," Guido Cavalcanti—after Dante one of the most interesting literary personages of the day. Rash and chivalrous, we can follow him in his poems from the time he made his pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, and fell in love on the way with Mandetta of Toulouse, to the turbulent days of Florentine party strife, when he rides down Messer Corso Donati, "the baron," and wounds him with his javelin, and then goes into exile at Sarzana, where he sings his dying song and sends it to his lady, "who," he says, "of her noble grace shall show thee courtesy." All the poets were not as constant as their own lines would have us believe. Dante reproaches the famous Cino da Pistoja for fickleness, and the latter confesses the charge, and declares he cannot get "free from Love's pitiless aim." Guido Cavalcanti rebukes Dante himself for his way of life after the death of Beatrice; and this valuable sonnet should be read in connection with the beautiful passage in the Purgatory (xxx. 55-75) where Beatrice herself upbraids the tearful poet.

In the second part, comprising Poets chiefly before Dante, we have specimens of the Sicilian school—a canzone by the great Frederick, and a sonnet by his luckless son Enzo, who died in prison at Bologna after a confinement [pg 263] of nearly twenty-three years. Of more importance are the poems of Guido Guinicelli, of which the philosophical one entitled "Of the Gentle Heart" was a nine days' wonder, but which, even in Rossetti's elegant version, seems cold and formal. The most natural and pleasing pieces among much that is artificial and conventional are a ballad and two "catches" by Sacchetti, who died just after 1400, and properly does not belong to Dante's circle. Mr. Rossetti's readers will, however, be grateful to him for his delightful versions of the two catches, one "On a Fine Day," the other "On a Wet Day," giving the experiences of a band of young girls who have gone to spend the afternoon in the fields and are overtaken by a shower.

Poems like these, unfortunately, are rare. The range is a limited one—Platonic love in its conventional form, or the still more conventional form of chivalric love, imported bodily from the Troubadours. Scattered here and there are some noble poems; as, for instance, the one attributed to Fazio degli Uberti on his lady's portrait, which begins—

I look at the crisp golden-threaded hair,

Whereof, to thrall my heart, Love twists a net;

Using at times a string of pearls for bait,

And sometimes with a single rose therein.

Mr. Rossetti has performed his task in a way to deserve the warmest praise. The difficulties he has overcome are very great, consisting not merely of intricate rhyme and assonance, which he has faithfully reproduced, but a text often corrupt and meaning often obscure. He says himself in his preface that "The life-blood of rhythmical translation is this commandment—that a good poem shall not be turned into a bad one;" and this commandment, as far as we can see, he has not broken in a single case, while in some instances, we are bold enough to say, the translation is better than the original.

History of the Army of the Cumberland, its Organization, Campaigns and Battles. Written at the request of Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas, chiefly from his private military journal and other official documents furnished by him. By Thomas B. Van Horne, U.S. Army. Illustrated with campaign and battle maps compiled by Edward Ruger, late Superintendent Topographical Engineer Office, Head quarters Department of the Cumberland. 2 vols. and atlas. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co.

It was natural that General Thomas should make choice of some one to whom he could entrust the task of writing his military history. For that purpose he chose Mr. T.B. Van Home, a chaplain in the regular army, and the work, which was begun in 1865 and finished in 1872, was subject to Thomas's own examination. The result is now, after this long delay, presented to the public in a shape that does great credit to the publishers, whose imprint is almost synonymous with good workmanship. Of the literary skill, or want of it, on the part of the author not much need be said: he is evidently zealous in his anxiety to do honor to the memory of General Thomas, and to do justice to all who served with him; but he is sadly lacking in the art of suitably clothing his ideas with fitting words, and much of his elaborate composition is badly wasted in trying to find extravagant language for the recital of important events. In some cases, where the official reports printed at the close of each chapter recite in simple words the actual occurrences, the text of the book is overlaid with unusual words and involved sentences, in which the statement of the same facts is lost in a cloud of phraseology of a very curious and original kind. "Primal success," "the expression of a stride," "the belligerence of the two armies," "philosophy of the victory," "palpable co-operation," "the expression of an insurrection,"—these are some of the odd inventions of the author; and for instances of passages just as odd, but too long for citation, we refer to the description of the battle of Shiloh—a weak imitation of Kinglake's worst style—where we are told that "change is the prophecy of unexpected conditions." Fortunately, the second volume is much less marred by such faults, and the great event of Thomas's career, the battle of Nashville, is told with clearness and in full detail.

Although Thomas is the hero of the book from the time when he took command at Camp Dick Robinson in August of 1861, it was not till October, 1863, which brings us to page 394 of the first volume, that he succeeded to the command of the Army of the Cumberland, after Rosecrans, who had followed Buell and Sherman and Anderson. Under the other generals Thomas had served with marked ability and fidelity, and his dealing with them is fairly reflected by the author of this work, for he rarely criticises either of Thomas's commanding officers—for the most part merely records the operations of the army, and puts in most prominence Thomas's own [pg 264] services, just as his military journal no doubt supplied the material. Of all that long and dreary marching and countermarching through Kentucky and Tennessee the account is full and clear, and we find Buell and Halleck saying that they know nothing of any plan of campaign in the very midst of their operations. At last with Halleck, and still more with Grant in authority, there were movements ordered that had some relation to each other and a general plan of operations, and then the overwhelming strength of the North began to turn the scale. Thomas was called on by Rosecrans, as he had been by Buell, for advice, but he was obliged to act independently too; and then, as at Stone River, he showed an energy and a capacity that ought to have secured his earlier promotion. At Chickamauga he was actually left in command by Rosecrans, and while the latter was looking for new help elsewhere, Thomas at the front saved the shattered army and led it safely back to Chattanooga, where it underwent its famous long siege. The measures for its relief were planned by Rosecrans, approved by Grant, and executed by Thomas, with large assistance from "Baldy" Smith, whose skill as an engineer was fully attested then. When Thomas did at last succeed to the command of the Army of the Cumberland, he showed his superiority to his predecessors by marked improvement in his method of securing supplies, in his use of cavalry, and in the increased efficiency of his infantry. When Johnston, thanks to Davis's unwise interference with the Confederate armies, gave way to Hood, the latter almost at once gave token of his inferior skill by being defeated by the Army of the Cumberland—by less than half of it, in fact—in an attack intended to destroy three armies of more than five times the number of the Union force actually engaged. Thomas was in command at this battle of Peach-tree Creek, one of the sharpest and most significant actions of the campaign, though no official report is found at the end of the chapter in which it is described. The events that led up to the victory of Nashville are always worth the telling, and the account given in this work may be looked upon as in some respects Thomas's own version of them. A brief chapter by Colonel Merrill of the Engineers gives a very good description of three of the leading features of the work done by that corps in the Army of the Cumberland. To cross great rivers there was need of pontoon-bridges; to protect the long lines of railroads it was necessary to provide block-houses; to go through a country that was often a trackless forest, and always badly provided with real high-roads, it was all-important to have maps, and to reproduce them rapidly and plentifully. Colonel Merrill's chapter is pithy, pointed and to the purpose, showing how well our technical troops did their share of work, and how large and important that share was in securing the general result. The maps are also well done, and therefore useful in enabling a reader to follow out the details of the narrative.

Books Received.

Dissertations and Discussions; Political, Philosophical and Historical. By John Stuart Mill. Vol. V. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

From Everglade to Canon with the Second Dragoons, 1836-75, Compiled by Theo. F. Rodenbough. New York: D. Van Nostrand.

Grand'ther Baldwin's Thanksgiving, with other Ballads and Poems. By Horatio Alger, Jr. Boston: Loring.

Shakespeare Hermeneutics; or, The Still Lion. By C.M. Ingleby, M.A., LL.D. London: Trübner & Co.

Minutes of the Ohio State Archæological Convention. Columbus: Printed for the Society by Paul & Thrall.

Strength of Beams under Transverse Loads. By Prof. W. Allan. New York: D. Van Nostrand.

The Illustrated Catholic Family Almanac for 1876. New York: Catholic Publication Society.

Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1874. Washington: Government Printing-office.

Our Poetical Favorites. Second Series. By Aschel C. Kendrick. New York: Sheldon &Co.

Camp-Life in Florida. By Charles Hallock. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing Co.

Lectures on Art. Second Series. By H. Taine. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Pretty Miss Bellew. By Theo. Gift. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Drawn from. Life. By Charles Dickens. New York: E.J. Hale & Son.

The Conquest of Europe: A Poem of the Future. By Confucius.

Cartoons. By Margaret J. Preston. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Footnote 1: (return)

The circumstance that some of the gymnasium-teachers in Germany have the title of "professor" does not affect the above view. The title has been expressly conferred upon them by the government as a mark of special distinction, either for long services or for unusual scholarship—in most cases for the latter. Where schools of the highest order are so numerous as they are in Germany, it is not surprising that they should count among their teachers men of profound scholarship. The official recognition paid to such men is only an additional proof of the care with which the title is used. It is given to the teacher, not so much because he is a good teacher, as because he has done something over and above school-room work.

Footnote 2: (return)

Science is used here in the broad German sense to denote any study, whether in the direction of natural phenomena, history or philosophy, which is pursued systematically and with a view to eliciting truth.

Footnote 3: (return)

The subordination of the philosophical faculty as a sort of preparatory course to the others remained in force in Austria until 1850. It is not surprising, then, that Austria should have compared so unfavorably with Germany in philology, history, philosophy and literary criticism until within our own times.