The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 23, September, 1859

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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 23, September, 1859

Author: Various

Release date: August 4, 2005 [eBook #16430]
Most recently updated: December 12, 2020

Language: English

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The Life and Works of Ary Scheffer
A Visit to Martha's Vineyard
The Eleusinia
The Minister's Wooing
Once and Now
A Trip to Cuba
Zelma's Vow
The Murder of the Innocents
My Double; and How He Undid Me
The Singer
The Professor at the Breakfast-Table
Reviews and Literary Notices
Recent American Publications

The Life and Works of Ary Scheffer.

No painter of this age has made so deep an impression on the popular mind of America as Ary Scheffer. Few, if any other contemporary artists are domesticated at our firesides, and known and loved in our remotest villages and towns. Only a small number, indeed, of his original works have been exhibited here,—yet engravings from them are not only familiar to every person of acknowledged taste and culture, but are dear to the hearts of many who scarcely know the artist's name. Young maidens delight in their tender pathos, and the suffering heart is consoled and elevated by their pure and lofty religious aspiration. An effect so great must have an adequate and peculiar cause; and we shall not have far to seek for it, but shall find it in the aim and character of the artist. Scheffer has two prominent qualities, by which he has won his place in the popular estimation. The first is his sentiment. His works are full of simple, tender pathos. His pictures always tell their story, first to the eye, next to the heart and soul of the beholder. His admirable knowledge of composition is always subordinate to expression. His meaning is not merely historical or poetical, but is true to life and every-day experience. "Mignon regrettant sa Patrie" is felt and appreciated by those who have never sung,

"Kennst du das Land wo die Citronen blühen,"—

and "Faust" and "Margaret" tell their story to all who have felt life's struggles and temptations, whether they have read them in Goethe's version or not. Added to this power of pathos and sentiment is the deep religious feeling which pervades every work of his pencil, whatever be its outward form. His religion is of no dogma or sect, but the inflowing of a life which makes all things holy and full of infinite meaning. Whether he paint the legends of the Catholic Church, as in "St. Augustine" and "St. Monica," or illustrate the life-poem of the Protestant Goethe, or tell a simple story of childhood, the same feelings are kindled, in our heart's faith in God, love to man, the sure hope of immortality. It is this genuine and earnest religion of humanity which has made his works familiar to every lover of Art and sentiment, and given us a feeling of personal love and reverence for the made artist.

It is now nearly a year since his labors on earth terminated, and yet no adequate account of his life and labors has appeared. It is very difficult to satisfy the craving desire to know more of the personal life and character of him who has been a household friend so long. Yet it is rather the privilege of succeeding generations, than of contemporaries, to draw aside the veil from the sanctuary, and to behold the works of a man in his greatest art,—the art of life. But the cold waters of the Atlantic, like the river of Death, make the person of a European artist sacred to us; and it is hard for us to realize that those whom we have surrounded with a halo of classic reverence were partakers of the daily jar and turmoil of our busy age,—that the good physician who tended our sick children so faithfully had lived in familiar intercourse with Goethe, and might have listened to the first performance of those symphonies of Beethoven which seem to us as eternal as the mountains. Losing the effluence of his personal presence, which his neighbors and countrymen enjoyed, we demand the privilege of posterity to hear and tell all that can be told of him. We can wait fifty years more for a biography of Allston, because something of his gracious presence yet lingers among us; but we can touch Scheffer only with the burin or the pen. So we shall throw in our mite to fill up this chasm. A few gleanings from current French literature, a few anecdotes familiarly told of the great artist, and the vivid recollection of one short interview are all the aids we can summon to enable our readers to call up in their own minds a living image which will answer to the name that has so long been familiar to our lips and dear to our hearts.

Ary Scheffer was born about the year 1795, in the town of Dordrecht, in Holland; but, as at that period Holland belonged to the French Empire, the child was entitled by birth to those privileges of a French citizen which opened to him important advantages in his artistic career. French by this accident of birth, and still more so by his education and long residence at Paris, he yet always retained traces of his Teutonic origin in the form of his head, in his general appearance, and in his earnest and religious character. He always cherished a warm affection for his native land.

Many distinguished artists have been the sons of painters or designers of superior note. Raffaello, Albert Dürer, Alonzo Cano, Vandyck, Luca Giordano are familiar instances. It seems as if the accumulation of two generations of talent were necessary to produce the fine flower of genius. The father of Ary Scheffer was an artist of considerable ability, and promised to become an eminent painter, when he was cut off by an early death. He left a widow, many unfinished pictures, and three sons, yet very young. The character of the mother we infer only from her influence on her son, from the devoted affection he bore to her, and from the wisdom with which she guided his early education; but these show her to have been a true woman,—brave, loving, and always loyal to the highest. The three sons all lived to middle age, and all became distinguished men. Ary, the eldest, very early gave unequivocal signs of his future destiny. His countrymen still remember a large picture painted by him at Amsterdam when only twelve years old, indicating extraordinary talent, even at that early age. His mother did not, however, overrate this boyish success, as stamping him a prodigy, but regarded it only as a motive for giving him a thorough artistic education. He went, accordingly, to Paris, and entered the atelier of Guérin, the teacher then most in vogue.

It was in the latter days of the Empire that Ary Scheffer commenced his studies,—a period of great stagnation in Art. The whole force of the popular mind had for many years been turned to politics and war; and if French Art had striven to emancipate itself from slavish dependence on the Greek, it still clung to the Roman models, which are far less inspiring. "The autocrat David, with his correct, but soulless compositions, was more absolute than his master, the Emperor." Only in the Saloon of 1819 did the Revolution, which had already affected every other department of thought and life, reach the ateliers. It commenced in that of Guérin. The very weakness of the master, who himself halted between two opinions, left the pupils in freedom to pursue their own course. Scheffer did not esteem this a fortunate circumstance for himself. His own nature was too strong and living to be crushed by a severe master or exact study, and he felt the want of that thorough early training which would have saved him much struggle in after life. He used to speak of Ingres as such a teacher as he would have chosen for himself. From the pupil of David, the admirer of Michel Angelo, the conservator of the sacred traditions of Art, the student might learn all the treasured wisdom of antiquity,—while the influences around him, and his own genius, would impel him towards prophesying the hope of the future. His favorite companions of the atelier at this time were Eugène Delacroix and Géricault. Delacroix ranks among the greatest living French artists; and if death early closed the brilliant career of Géricault, it has not yet shrouded his name in oblivion. The trio made their first appearance together in the Saloon of 1819. Géricault sent his "Wreck of the Medusa," Delacroix "The Barque of Dante," and Ary Scheffer "The Citizens of Calais."[1]

The works of these friends may be considered as the commencement of the modern French school of Art, still so little known, and so ill appreciated by us, but which is really an expression of the new ideas of Art and Humanity which have agitated France to its centre for half a century. Their hour of triumph has not yet come; but as the poet sings most touchingly of his love, neither when he rejoices in its happy consummation, nor in the hour of utter despair, but when doubt still tempers hope,—so does the artist labor with prophetic zeal to express those sentiments of humanity and brotherhood which are not yet organized into institutions. A careless eye might have perceived little departure from the old models in these pictures, but a keener one would have already discovered that Scheffer and his friends worked with a different aim from that of their predecessors. Not merely to paint a well-composed picture on a classical theme, but to give expression to thought and feeling, was now the object. "The Wreck of the Medusa" of Géricault is full of earnest, if niggling life. Delacroix has followed his own bent with such independent zeal as has made him the object of intense admiration to some, of bitter hatred to others. But Ary Scheffer has taken his rank at the head of the Spiritualist school, and has awakened a wider love and obtained a fuller appreciation than either of them. The spirit which found in them its first expression is continually increasing in power, and developing into richer life. The living artists of France are the exponents of her genuine Christian democracy.

"The entire collection of Rosa Bonheur's works," says a French writer, "might be called the Hymn to Labor. Here she shows us the ploughing, there the reaping, farther on the gathering in of the hay, then of the harvests, elsewhere the vintage,—always and everywhere labor." Edouard Frère, in his scenes from humble life, which the skilful lithographer places within the means of all, represents the incidents of domestic existence among the poor. "The Prayer at the Mother's Knee," "The Woman at her Ironing Table," "The Child shelling Peas," "The Walk to School amid Rain and Sleet," are all charming idyls of every-day life. With yet greater skill and deeper pathos does the peasant Millet tell the story of his neighbors. The washerwomen, as the sun sets upon their labors, and they go wearily homeward; the digger, at his lonely task, who can pause but an instant to wipe the sweat from his brow; the sewing-women bending over their work, while every nerve and muscle are strained by the unremitting toil; the girl tending her geese; the woman her cows:—such are the subjects of his masterly pencil. Do not all these facts point to the realization of Christian democracy? If the king is now but the servant of the people, so the artist who is royal in the kingdom of the mind finds his true glory in serving humanity. What a change from the classic subjects or monkish legends which occupied the pencils of David and his greater predecessors, Le Sueur and Poussin!

And yet those students of the antique have done French Art good service; they have furnished it with admirable tools, so that to them we are indebted for the thorough drawing, the masterly knowledge, which render Paris the great school for all beginners in Art. Such men as we have named do not scorn the past, but use it in the service of the present. While Scheffer always subordinated the material part of Art to its expression, he was never afraid of knowing too much, but often regretted the loss of valuable time in youth from incompetent instruction.

Encouraged by the success of his first essay, Scheffer continued to paint a series of small pictures, representing simple and affecting scenes from common life, some of which are familiar to all. "The Soldier's Widow," "The Conscript's Return," "The Orphans at their Mother's Tomb," "The Sister of Charity," "The Fishermen before a Storm," "The Burning of the Farm," and "The Scene of the Invasion in 1814," are titles which give an idea of the range of his subjects and the tenor of his thoughts at this time. The French have long excelled in the art of composition. It is this quality which gives the greatest value to the works of Le Sueur and Poussin. Scheffer possessed this power in a remarkable degree, but it was united to a directness and truth of feeling which made his art the perfection of natural expression. A very charming little engraving, entitled "The Lost Children," which appeared in "The Token" for 1830, is probably from a picture of this period. A little boy and girl are lost in a wood. Wearied with their fruitless attempts to find a path, the boy has at length sunk down upon a log and buried his face in his hands; while the little girl, still patient, still hopeful, stands, with folded hands, looking earnestly into the wood, with a sweet, sad look of anxiety, but not of despair. The contrast in the expression of the two figures is very touching and very true to Nature;—the boy was hopeful so long as his own exertions offered a chance of escape, but the courage of the girl appears when earthly hope is most dim and faint. The sweet unconsciousness of this early picture has hardly been surpassed by any subsequent work. "Naturalness and the charm of composition," says a French critic, "are the secrets of Scheffer's success in these early pictures, to which may be added a third,—the distinction of the type of his faces, and especially of his female heads,—a kind of suave and melancholy ideal, which gave so new a stamp to his works."

These small pictures were very successful in winning popular favor; but this success, far from intoxicating the young artist, only opened his eyes to his own faults. He applied himself diligently to repairing the deficiencies which he recognized in his work, by severe studies and labors. He knew the danger of working too long on small-sized pictures, in which faults may be so easily hidden. About the year 1826 he turned resolutely from his "pretty jewels," as he called them, and commenced his "Femmes Suliotes," on a large canvas, with figures the size of life. M. Vitet describes the appearance of the canvas when Scheffer had already spent eight days "in the fire of his first thought." It seemed to him rather like a vision than a picture, as he saw the dim outlines of those heroic women, who cast themselves from the rock to escape slavery by death. He confesses that the finished picture never moved him as did the sketch. Three years earlier Scheffer had sent to the Saloon of 1824, in company with three or four small pictures, a large picture of Gaston de Foix after the Battle of Ravenna. It was a sombre picture, painted with that lavish use of pigment and that unrestrained freedom which distinguished the innovators of that day. The new school were in raptures, and claimed Scheffer as belonging to them. The public judged less favorably; "they admired the noble head of Gaston de Foix, but, uninterested in the remainder of the picture, they turned off to look at 'The Soldier's Widow.'" Scheffer did not listen to his flatterers; but, remembering Michel Angelo's words to the young sculptor, "The light of the public square will test its value," he believed in the verdict of the people, and never again painted in the same manner. It was one of his peculiar merits, that, although open to conviction, and ready to try a new path which seemed to offer itself, he was also ready to turn from it when he found it leading him astray. "Les Femmes Suliotes" did not seem to have been designed by the same hand or with the same pencil as the "Gaston de Foix." The first sketch was particularly pleasing,—already clear and harmonious in color, although rather low in tone. Many counselled him to leave the picture, thus. "No," said Scheffer, "I did not take a large canvas merely to increase the size of my figures and to paint large in water-colors, but to give greater truth and thoroughness to my forms." In 1827 this picture was exhibited with ample success, and the critics were forced to acknowledge the great improvement in his style, although he had not entirely escaped from the influence of his companions, and some violent contrasts of color mar the general effect. The picture is now in the Luxembourg Gallery.

M. Vitet divides Scheffer's artistic life into three portions: that in which he painted subjects from simple life; that devoted to poetic subjects; and the last, or distinctively religious period. These divisions cannot, of course, be very sharply drawn, but may help us to understand the progress of his mind; and "Les Femmes Suliotes" will mark the transition from the first to the second period. Turning from the simple scenes of domestic sorrow, he now sought inspiration in literature. The vigorous and hearty Northern Muse especially won his favor; yet the greatest Italian poet was also his earnest study. Goethe, Schiller, Byron, Dante, all furnished subjects for his pencil. The story of Faust and Margaret took such hold of his imagination that it pursued him for nearly thirty years. Their forms appeared before him in new attitudes and situations almost to his last hour, so that, in the midst of his labors on religious pictures, he seized his pencils to paint yet another Faust, another Margaret. Nor can we wonder at this absorbing interest, when we reflect on the profound significance and touching pathos of this theme, which may wear a hundred faces, and touch every chord of the human heart. It is intellect and passion, in contrast with innocence and faith; it is natural and spontaneous love, thwarted by convention and circumstance; it is condemnation before men, and forgiveness before God; it is the ideal and the worldly; it is an epitome of human life,—love, joy, sorrow, sin,—birth, life, death, and the sure hope of resurrection. How pregnant with expression was it to a mind like Scheffer's, where the intellectual, the affectional, and the spiritual natures were so nicely blended! He first painted "Margaret at her Wheel," in 1831,—accompanied by a "Faust tormented by Doubt." These were two simple heads, each by itself, like a portrait, but with all the fine perception of character which constitutes an ideal work. Next he painted "Margaret at Church." Here other figures fill up the canvas; but the touching expression of the young girl, whose soul is just beginning to be torn by the yet new joy of her love and the bitter consciousness of her lost innocence, fills the mind of the spectator. This is the most inspired and the most touching of all the pictures; it strikes the key-note of the whole story; it is the meeting of the young girl's own ideal world of pure thought with the outward world. The sense of guilt comes from the reflection in the thoughts of those about her; and where all before was peace and love, now come discord and agony;—she has eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and is already cast out of her paradise. "Margaret on the Sabbath," "Margaret going out of Church," and "Margaret walking in the Garden," are all charming idyls, but have less expression. The last picture, painted just before Scheffer's death, and soon to be engraved, represents "Margaret at the Fountain." "It is full of expression, and paints the joy and pain of love still struggling in the young girl's heart, while conscience begins to make its chiding voice heard."

The "Mignons" are the best known of all Scheffer's works of this period. The youngest one, "Mignon regrettant sa Patrie," is the most satisfactory in its simple, unconscious expression. The wonderful child stands in the most natural attitude, absorbed in her own thought, and struggling to recall those dim memories, floating in beauty before her mind, which seem almost to belong to a previous state of existence. There is less of the weird and fantastic than Goethe has given to her,—but the central, deep nature is beautifully reproduced. "Mignon aspirant au Ciel," although full of spiritual beauty, is a little more constrained; the longing after her heavenly home is less naturally expressed than her childish regret; the pose is a little mannered; and the feeling is more conscious, but less deep. "Mignon with the Old Harper" is far less interesting; the old man's head does not express that mixture of inspiration and insanity, the result of a life of love, misery, and wrong, which Goethe has portrayed in this strange character.

A very different picture, painted at this period, is peculiarly interesting to us as our first acquaintance among Scheffer's works. An excellent copy or duplicate of it belongs to the Boston Athenæum. The original is in the Luxembourg at Paris. The subject is taken from Schiller's ballad of "Count Eberhard." After the victory in which his son has fallen, though the old Count has said to those who would have paused to mourn his death, "My son is like another man; on, comrades, to the foe!"—yet now he sits alone in his tent and looks upon the dead body of his child. The silent grief of the stern old man is very touching. This sorrow, so contrary to Nature, when old age stands by the grave of youth, always moves the deepest feeling; and Scheffer, in the noble old man and the brave and beautiful boy before him, has given it its simplest and most appropriate expression. This picture was painted in 1834. At that period Scheffer was engaged in some experiments in color, and this sad subject led him to employ the dark tints of Rembrandt. In 1850 he painted a duplicate of it, lighter and more agreeable in tone. He painted "The Giaour" and "Medora," from Byron, which pictures we have never seen. The wayward and morbid Muse of the English Lord does not seem to us a fit inspiration for the pure pencil of Scheffer.

The well-known composition of "Francesca da Rimini" may well conclude our brief notice of the pictures of this second epoch. M. Vitet regards it as the most harmonious and complete of all his works; but we think it has taken less hold on the popular heart than the "Mignons" and "Margaret." Yet it is a work of great skill and beauty. The difficult theme is managed with that moderation and good taste which recognize the true limits of the art. The crowd of spirits which Dante so powerfully describes as driven by the wind without rest are only dimly seen in the background. The horrors of hell are shown only in the anguish of those faces, in the despairing languor of the attitude, which not even mutual love can lighten. The love which made them one in guilt, one in condemnation, is stronger than death, stronger than hell; but it cannot bring peace and joy to these souls shut out from heaven and God.

" Se fosse amico il Re dell' universo,
Noi pregheremmo."

But even prayer is denied to him who feels that he has not God for a friend. There is no mark of physical torture; it is pure spiritual suffering,—restless, aimless weariness,—the loss of hope; it is death,—and love demands life. How strangely appropriate is this punishment of spirits driven hither and thither by the winds, with no hope of rest, to those who reject the firm anchorage of duty and principle, and allow themselves to float at the mercy of their impulses and passions! The overpowering compassion and sympathy of the poets is shown in their earnest faces. Neither here, nor in the well-known "Dante and Beatrice," which is too familiar to need description, does Scheffer quite do justice to our ideal of the sublime poet of Heaven and Hell; but neither do the portraits which remain of him. The picture was first exhibited in 1835. As it had suffered very much in 1850, Scheffer painted a repetition of it, with a few slight alterations, in which, however, his progress in his art during twenty years was very evident. This copy is very far superior to the engraving.

About this period Scheffer seems to have wandered a little from the true mission of Art, and to have esteemed it her province to represent abstract theological truths. His religious feeling seems to have become morbid, and his natural melancholy intensified. The death of his wife, and consequent loneliness, may have given this ascetic tinge to his feelings. But we must acknowledge, if it were so, that the sorrow which oppressed did not embitter his heart, and that a brave and humane spirit appears even in those works which have the least artistic merit to recommend them. The "Christus Consolator" is the best known of this class of pictures. It is cold, abstract, and inharmonious; but its religious spirit and the beautiful truth which it expresses have won for it a welcome which it seems hardly to merit. Yet it has touching beauty in the separate figures. The woman who leans so trustingly on her Saviour's arm has a very high and holy face, whose type we recognize in more than one of his pictures; and the mother and her dead child form a very touching group. But the various persons are not connected by any common story or mutual relation, and we feel a want of unity in the whole work. Perhaps the strongest tribute to its power of expression is the story, that religious publishers found it necessary to blot out the figure of the slave who takes his place among the recipients of Christ's blessing, in order to fit their reprint for a Southern market. As a companion to it, he painted the "Christus Remunerator," which is less interesting. To this same class of pictures we should probably refer "The Lamentations of Earth to Heaven," which we have never seen, but which is thus described by M. Anatole de la Lorge:—

"There are also treasures of disappointed pleasure and of bitterness in this picture of 'The Lamentations of Earth to Heaven,'—dim symbol of human suffering. How does one, in the presence of this poem, feel filled with the spirit of St. Augustine, the nothingness of what we call joy, happiness, glory, here below,—delights of a moment, which at most only aid us to traverse in a dream this valley of tears! Certain pages of 'The City of God,' funeral prayers of Bossuet, can alone serve us for a comparison, in order to express the effect produced upon those who have visited this chef d'oeuvre in Ary Scheffer's atelier. Before producing it, the artist must have thought long, suffered long; for each stroke of the pencil seems to hide a grief, each figure speaks to you in passing, and utters a complaint, a sigh, a prayer,—sad echoes of the despair of life! The religious tendency of the thinker is here fully shown; his poetic sympathy, his aspirations, his dreams, have found a free course. We must mark, also, with what freedom his lamentations spring from the ground, to carry even to the feet of the Creator the overwhelming weight of earthly woe. Ary Scheffer's picture is like the epitaph destined some day for the obsequies of the world; it breathes of death, and has the sombre harmony of the Miserere. And nevertheless,—a strange thing!—this dreaming painter, who seizes and afflicts us, is the same man who at the same time reassures and consoles us,—without doubt, because by dint of spiritualizing our thoughts he raises them above our sufferings, by showing the consoling light of eternity to those whom he would sever from the deceitful joys of earth."

If the picture be not overcolored by the critic's eye, we must believe this to be the culmination of the morbidly spiritualistic tendency which we meet in Scheffer's works. Yet it never exists unrelieved by redeeming qualities. Many will remember the original picture of the "Dead Christ," which was exhibited here by an Art Union about ten years ago. The engraving gives but a faint idea of the touching expression of the whole group. The deathly pallor of the corpse was in strange harmony with the face of the mother which bent over it, her whole being dissolved in grief and love. No picture of this scene recalls to us more fully the simple account in the Gospels. The cold, wan color of the whole scene seems like that gray pall which a public grief will draw across the sky, even when the meridian sun is shining in its glory. We have seen such days even in Boston. No wonder that darkness covered the land to the believing disciples even until the ninth hour.

His "St. Monica," which appeared in 1846, met with great success. "Ruth and Naomi" is yet unknown to us, but it seems to be a subject specially adapted to his powers. Of those works which he produced within the last twelve years, very few are yet engraved. When thus placed before the public, we believe the popular estimate of Scheffer will be raised even higher than at present.

His pictures of Christ are of very superior merit. His representation of the person of Jesus was not formal and conventional, but fresh in expression and feeling, and full of touching pathos and sentiment. He has neither the youthful beauty with which the Italians represent him, nor the worn and wasted features which the early Germans often gave him, but a thoughtful, earnest, tender beauty. The predominant expression is the love and tenderness born of suffering. Three of his finest representations of the life of Jesus of Nazareth are, "The Christ weeping over Jerusalem," the "Ecce Homo," and "The Temptation." The last is as original in design and composition; it is noble in expression. The two figures stand on the summit of a mountain, and the calm, still air around them gives a wonderful sense of height and solitude. You almost feel the frost of the high, rare atmosphere. Satan is a very powerful figure,—not the vulgar devil, but the determined will, the unsanctified power. The figure of Christ is simple and expressive,—even the flow of the drapery being full of significance and beauty. Another composition of great beauty represents a group of souls rising from earth, and soaring upwards to heaven. The highest ones are already rejoicing in the heavenly light, while those below seem scarcely awakened from the sleep of death. The whole picture is full of aspiration; everything seems mounting upwards.

Scheffer also painted a few pictures which can hardly be called his own. Such are "The Battle of Tolbiac," and "Charlemagne dictating his Statutes." These were painted by the command of Louis Philippe, who was his constant friend and patron. The young princes were his pupils; and Scheffer was careful to form them to better taste than that of the citizen monarch who has lined Versailles with poor pictures. For the King he painted "The Battle of Tolbiac," and we can only regret the time which was thus wasted; but for his pupils he designed "Francesca da Rimini" and the "Mignons."

A few masterly portraits by Scheffer's hand indicate his power of reproducing individual character. Among these we may name that of his mother, which is said to be his finest work,—one of the Queen,—a picture of Lamennais,—and another of Emilia Manin, to which we shall again refer. He occasionally modelled a bust, and sometimes engaged in literary labor, contributing some valuable articles on Art to "La Revue Française."

It would be impossible for us to analyze or even enumerate all of Scheffer's works. They are scattered throughout France and Holland, and a few have found their way to this country. Most of the engravings from his pictures are too well known to require description; and we feel that we have said enough to justify our placing Scheffer in the high rank which we claim for him. Engravings give us a juster idea of the French than of the Dutch or Italian artists; for their merit is rather in design and composition than in color. We agree with M. Vitet, that color need not be a prominent excellence in a work of high spiritual beauty, and that it should always be toned to a complete harmony with the prevailing feeling of the picture. In this aspect we look upon the cold color of the "Dead Christ" as hardly a defect; it is in keeping with the sad solemnity of the scene. But if color should not be so brilliant as to overpower the expression of form and sentiment, still less should it be so inharmonious as to distract the mind from it, as is sometimes the case with Scheffer. The "Dante and Beatrice" is a familiar instance. We can see no reason why Beatrice should be dressed in disagreeable pink, and Dante in brick-red. Surely, such color is neither agreeable to the eye nor harmonious with the expression of the scene. This defect in color has led many to prefer the engravings to Scheffer's original pictures; but no copy can quite reproduce the nice touches of thought and feeling given by the master's hand. Color is supposed by many to belong mainly to the representation of physical beauty; but has not Allston proved to us that the most subtile and delicate harmonies of color may be united with ethereal grace and spiritual beauty? Compare his "Beatrice" with that of Scheffer. But, in truth, the whole spiritual relation of color is yet but dimly understood; and there are, perhaps, influences in the climate and organization of the French nation which have rendered them inferior in this department of Art. Allowing this deduction—a great one, certainly,—still, if the expression of the highest thoughts in the most beautiful forms be the true aim of Art, Scheffer must rank among the very first painters of his age. Delaroche may surpass him in strength and vigor of conception, and in thorough modelling and execution; but Scheffer has taken a deeper hold of the feelings, and has risen into a higher spiritual region.

It has been reproachfully said that Scheffer is the painter for pretty women, for poets, and for lovers. The reproach is also a eulogium, since he must thus meet the demand of the human soul in its highest and finest development. Others have accused him of morbid sensibility. There is reason for the charge. He has not the full, round, healthy, development which belongs to the perfect type of Art. Compare the "St. Cecilia" of Scheffer—this single figure, with such womanly depth of feeling, such lofty inspiration, yet so sad—with the joyous and almost girlish grace of Raphael's representation of the same subject, and we feel at once the height and the limitation of Scheffer's genius. There is always pathos, always suffering; we cannot recall a single subject, unless it be the group of rising spirits, in which struggle and sorrow do not form the key-note.

" In all your music, one pathetic minor
Your ears shall cross;
And all fair sights shall mind you of diviner,
With sense of loss."

This is one view of human life, but it is a transitional and imperfect one,—neither that of the first healthy unconsciousness of childhood, nor of the full consciousness of a soul which has risen to that height of divine wisdom which feels the meaning of all suffering, of all life. The music of Beethoven expresses the struggle, the contest, the sufferings of humanity, as Art has never done before; but it always contains an eternal prophecy, rather than a mournful regret,—and in the last triumphant symphony it swells onward and upward, until at last it bursts forth in all the freedom and gush of song, and its theme is "The Hymn to Joy." How much the fatherless home of Scheffer's childhood, how much his own desolated life, when his beloved companion was so early taken from his side, may have had to do with this melancholy cast of thought, or how far it belonged to his delicate physical constitution, we are not prepared to say. It becomes less prominent in his later compositions, "as faith became stronger and sight clearer"; and perhaps in those pictures yet unknown to us we may find still brighter omens of the new life of rest and joy into which he has entered.

If we turn from Scheffer's works to his life, our task is no less grateful and pleasing. The admiration and affection which his countrymen express for his character surpass even what they feel for his works. He was a noble, generous, active, benevolent friend of humanity. He gave freely to all who were in need, counsel, money, advice, personal care, and love. Young artists found him ever ready to help them. "He gave them," says M. Vitet, "home, atelier, material, sympathy,—whatever they needed." Another writer, M. Anatole de la Lorge, said of him, while yet living,—"Ary Scheffer has the rare good luck not to be exclusive. His heart can pity every suffering as fully as his pencil can portray it. A faithful and intimate friend of a now fallen dynasty, (that of Orléans,) proud, even distrustful towards men in power, indifferent to their opinion, inaccessible to their offers, Ary Scheffer, in his original individuality, is one of the most independent and most honorable political men of our country. His studio is the rendezvous of all opinions, provided they are honest,—of all religions, provided they are sincere. There each one is received, not according to the habit which he wears, as the ancient proverb says, but according to the mind (esprit) which he has shown. We say mind, but it is heart that we should say; for Ary Scheffer seems to us to estimate the latter more highly than the former. His whole life proves it." Always an ardent friend of liberty, he was also a lover of law and order, and he rendered good service in their preservation in the capital during the Revolution of 1848, for which, he received honorable distinction.

The same writer quoted above gives an interesting description of his meeting with Ary Scheffer in the sick-room and by the death-bed of an Italian refugee, Emilia Manin. A young Venetian girl, full of devotion to her country and her proscribed father, she supported her exile with all a woman's courage, buoyed up by the hope of returning to her country, redeemed from its misery. She is described as possessing extraordinary powers of mind and great beauty of person. There were no questions, however sublime or abstract, which she did not treat with a surprising depth and sagacity. "Her speech, ordinarily timid and feeble, became emphatic and stirring; her great, dreamy eyes suddenly acquired unequalled energy; she spoke of the misfortunes of her country in terms so moving as to draw tears from our eyes." But the body which contained this burning soul was very frail, "and the poor Emilia, the silent martyr, turned her head upon her pillow, and took her first hour of repose. When no longer able to speak, she had traced with a trembling hand on a paper these last words,—'Oh, Venice! I shall never see thee more!' She yet retained the position in which she drew her last breath, when Ary Scheffer came, as Tintoret formerly came to the bedside of his daughter, to retrace, with a hand unsteady through emotion, the features of Emilia Manin. This holy image, snatched by genius from death, is one of the most admirable works we have ever seen. She lies there, extended and cold,—the poor child!—in that peace unknown to the life which she had lived in the body. It is, indeed, the intelligent brow from which the inspiration of her soul seemed to speak. It is the delicate mouth and the pale lips, which, never uttering a murmur, betrayed the celestial goodness of her heart. In truth, it would have been difficult to hide our emotion, in recognizing—thanks to the pure devotion of the painter—the touching features of this innocent victim, whom we had known, loved, and venerated during her life. Some hours later, we again found Ary Scheffer sustaining with us the tottering steps of Manin upon the freshly removed earth which was soon to cover the coffin of his child."

By the same loving and faithful hand were traced the features of the Abbé de Lamennais, a name so dear to those who live in the hope of new progress and liberty for humanity. "At the moment," says M. de la Lorge, "when death was yet tearing this great genius from the earth, the pencil of the artist restored him, in some sense alive, in the midst of us all, his friends, his disciples, his admirers. Hereafter, thanks to the indefatigable devotion of Ary Scheffer, we shall be permitted to see again the meagre visage, the burning eyes, the sad and energetic features of the Breton Apostle."

Into the domestic life of Scheffer it is not at present our privilege to enter. Some near friend—the brother, the daughter, the wife—may, perhaps, hereafter, lift the veil from the sacred spot, and reveal him to us in those relations which most deeply affect and most truly express a man's inmost nature. We close this notice with some slight sketch of his life in the atelier.

None could enter this room without a feeling of reverence and sacredness. In the failing light of a November afternoon, all was subdued to a quiet and religious tone. Large and commodious in size, it was filled with objects of the deepest interest. Nothing was in disorder; there was no smoke, no unnecessary litter; yet everywhere little sketches or hints of pictures were perceptible among the casts, which one longed to bring forth into the light. A few portraits especially dear to him—best of all, that of his mother—were on the walls; a few casts of the finest statues—among others, that of the Venus de Milo—around the room. His last copy of the "Francesca da Rimini," and the original picture of "The Three Marys," and the yet unfinished "Temptation on the Mount," were all there. On the easel stood the picture of the "Group of Spirits ascending to Heaven." Such was the aspect of this celebrated atelier, as we saw it in 1854. But "the greatest thing in the room was the master of it." Ary Scheffer was then about sixty years of age, but was still healthy and fresh in appearance. His face was rather German than French, and bore the stamp of purity and goodness in every line; but the eyes especially had the fire of genius tempered by gentleness and love. It was a face which satisfied you at once, answering to all you could ask of the painter of "Mignon," and the "Christus Consolator." His manner was quiet and reserved, but courteous. Unconscious modesty was the peculiar charm of his appearance. One of our party said that he reminded him strongly of Allston. It was a reverend presence, which forbade common topics, and strangers thus meeting had few words to say. As we turned away, we knew that we should never meet again on earth; but we had gained a new life, and we had beheld, as it were, the face of an angel.

Two American artists stood with us in that room: one a fair young girl, whose purity of soul was mirrored in her beautiful face, who had gone to Paris to continue her studies in an art which she loved as she did her life; the other, a man of mature age, whose high and reverent genius has always met with a loving and faithful appreciation among his countrymen, which does them as much honor as it did him. The young girl lay down to die amid her labors, and her frail body rests amid the flowers and trees of Montmartre; the grown man came home but to bid farewell to home, friends, and life; the great artist whom we met to honor has gone home too. A threefold halo of sanctity rests on that room to us.

To those who shared the privilege of Scheffer's friendship this room was endeared by hours of the richest social enjoyment. His liberal hospitality welcomed all ranks and all classes. It is related that Louis Philippe once sat waiting for him in the atelier, and answered a knock at the door. The visitor was delivering his messages to him, when the artist returned, and was somewhat surprised to find his royal friend playing the part of concierge. "It was not rare to meet in this atelier the great men of finance, who counted themselves among his most passionate admirers." Here was conversation, not without gayety, but without loud laughter or revelry. Scheffer was very fond of music of the highest order. He was a generous patron of musicians, and loved to listen to music while he was engaged in painting. His friends sometimes held an extemporaneous concert in his room, without preparation, programme, or audience. Think of listening to an andante of Mozart's, played in that room! "Music doubled her power, and painting seemed illuminated." Beethoven was his favorite composer; his lofty genius harmonized with, and satisfied the longings of, Scheffer's aspiring nature.

Ary Scheffer was a personal friend of the Orléans family. He was, however, an ardent lover of liberty; and his hospitalities were free to all shades of opinion. He did not forsake this family when their star went down. Hearing of the death of Hélène, the Duchess of Orléans, he hastened to England, to pay a last tribute of love and respect to her memory. The English climate had always been ungenial to him. He took a severe cold, which proved fatal in its results. He died soon after his return to Paris, on the 16th of June, 1858. Sadly as the news of his death struck upon our hearts, it seemed no great change for him to die. So pure and holy was his life, so spiritual his whole nature, so lofty his aspirations, that it seemed as if

" He might to Heaven from Paradise go,
As from one room to another."

Ary Scheffer was twice married. His first wife died early. Many years after her death he again married,—very happily, as we have heard. He leaves behind him one daughter, who is also an artist. Under her loving care, we trust every relic of his artistic labors and every trait of his personal life will be faithfully preserved.

Both his brothers lived to middle age. One, of whom we know little but that M. Vitet calls him "a distinguished man," died in 1855. The only surviving brother, Henri, is also a painter, of considerable reputation. He is a thorough and accomplished draughtsman, and a superior teacher. His atelier is one of the few in Paris which are open to women, and several American ladies have enjoyed its advantages.

We have spoken of Scheffer's love for his native country. By his will he bequeathed to his native town of Dordrecht "the portrait of Sir J. Reynolds, by Scheffer; a dog lying down, life-size, by the same; a copy of the picture of the 'Christus Remunerator,' on pasteboard, of the size of the original in England; a copy of the 'Christus Consolator,'—both by himself: also, his own statue, in plaster; his own bust, by his daughter; and the Virgin and Infant Jesus, by himself." The town of Dordrecht proposes to erect a statue in commemoration of the fame of the great artist.

It is too early to assign to Ary Scheffer the rank which he will finally occupy in the new era of French Art which is coeval with his labors. He will always stand as the companion of Ingres and Delaroche and Géricault; and if his successors surpass him even in his own path, they will owe much to him who helped to open the way. He lived through times of trouble, when a man's faith in humanity might well be shaken, yet he remained no less a believer in and lover of mankind. Brighter days for France may lead her artists to a healthier and freer development; but they can never be more single-hearted, true, and loving than Ary Scheffer.


[1] This picture is now in the Louvre. It is a composition of great dramatic power. Mrs. Stowe gives a graphic description of the effect it produced upon her, in her "Sunny Memories of Sunny Lands."

A Visit to Martha's Vineyard.

We have all, in our days of atlases and "the use of the globes," been made aware of the fact, that off the southern shore of Massachusetts lies a long and narrow island, called Martha's Vineyard, one of the many defences thrown out by the beleaguered New England coast against its untiring foe, the Atlantic.

But how many are those who know more than this? How many have visited it, inquired into its traditions, classified its curiosities, mineral, saline, and human? How many have seen Gay Head and the Gay-Head Indians? Not many, truly; and yet the island is well worth a visit, and will repay the tourist better for his time and labor than any jaded, glaring, seaside watering-place, with its barrack of white hotel, and its crowd of idle people.

In the first place, the delicious suggestiveness of the name,—Martha's Vineyard! At once we ask, Who was Martha? and how did she use her vineyard? Was she the thrifty wife of some old Puritan proprietor of untamed acres?—and did she fancy the wild grapes of this little island, fuller of flavor, and sweeter for the manufacture of her jellies and home-made wine, than those which grew elsewhere?—and did she come in the vintage season, with her children and her friends, to gather in the rich purple clusters, bearing them back as did the Israelitish spies, to show the fatness of the promised land?

It was one of the fairest days of the Indian summer, when Caleb, Mysie, and the Baron (a young gentleman four years old) set gayly forth to explore this new and almost unknown region.

The first stage of their journey was New Bedford; and at the neat and quiet hotel where they spent the night, Caleb ascertained that the steamer "Eagle's Wing" would leave its wharf, bound to the Vineyard.

Pending this event, the trio wandered about the quiet wharves, inspecting the shipping, and saturating themselves with nautical odors and information. They discovered that whaleships are not the leviathans of the deep which Mysie had supposed them, being very rarely of a thousand tons, and averaging five hundred. They were informed that whaling has ceased to be a profitable occupation to any but the officers of the ships, the owners frequently making only enough to repay their outlay from a voyage which has brought the captain and first mate several thousand dollars each.

Every member of a whaleship's crew, from the captain down to the cabin-boy, is paid, not fixed wages, but a "lay," or share of the profits of the voyage. Formerly, these "lays" were so graduated, that the chief advantage of the expedition was to the owners; but, of late years, matters have altered, so that now it is not uncommon for the captain to receive a twelfth, tenth, or even eighth of the entire profit, and the other officers in proportion.

The attention of our travellers was now directed to numerous squares and plateaus of great black objects buried in seaweed; these, they were informed, were casks of oil, stored in this manner instead of in warehouses, as less liable to leakage.

It was also asserted, as a fact, that the sperm whale, alarmed at the untiring rigor of his assailants, has almost disappeared from the navigable waters, retreating to the fastnesses of the Frozen Ocean, where he is still pursued, although at the greatest peril, by the dauntless New Bedford, Nantucket, and Vineyard whalemen, who, as the narrator proudly stated, have, time and again, come out unscathed from the perils under which Franklin and his crew succumbed. Many a man now walks the streets of these seaports who has conversed with the Esquimaux last in company with that ill-fated crew.

Full-fed with maritime and oleaginous lore, our travellers at last embarked upon the "Eagle's Wing," bound down the Vineyard Sound. As the steamer gained its offing, the view of New Bedford was very picturesque, reminding one of Boston seated at the head of her beautiful bay. The passage through the islands, though not long, is intricate, requiring skilful pilotage; and as the boat passed through the channel called Wood's Hole, certain feeble-minded sisters were positive that all on board were bound to immediate destruction; and, in truth, the reefs, between which the channel lies, approach too closely to leave much room for steering. The perils of the vasty deep, however, were finally surmounted, and the steamer made fast to its wharf at Holmes's Hole, one of the two principal ports of Martha's Vineyard.

Our trio disembarked, and found themselves at once the subjects of fierce contention to no less than three aspirants for the honor of conveying them and their luggage to their point of destination. One of these, called Dave, was a grave, saturnine Yankee, his hands in the pockets of his black trousers, his costume further exhibiting the national livery of black dress coat, black satin waistcoat and necktie, cow-hide boots, and stiff, shiny hat, very much upon the back of his head. The languid and independent offers of this individual were, however, quite drowned by the flood of vociferous overtures from his two rivals,—an original youth, about eighteen years old, and a man, or rather mannikin, who, judging by his face, might be in his fiftieth, and, by his back, in his tenth year.

Mannikin first succeeded in gaining the attention of Caleb,—the efforts of Mysie, meanwhile, barely sufficing to restrain the Baron from plunging over the side of the wharf, in his anxiety to witness the departure of the steamboat. Mannikin, asserting earnestly that he had a "good conveyance" close at hand, danced around the group with vehement gesticulations, intended to strike despair into the souls of his two adversaries, who, nevertheless, retained their ground,—Dave lounging in the middle distance, a grim smile of derision upon his face, and Youth dodging in with loud offers of service, wherever Mannikin left a point undefended.

Caleb, at last, demanding to see the "good conveyance," was led away to the head of the wharf, when Youth at once seized the opportunity to rush in, and breathlessly inquire of Mysie,—

"Wher' ye goin', Ma'am? Wher' ye want to be kerried?"

"We are going to Gay-Head Light-house; but my"—

"Ga'ed Light? I kin kerry ye there fust-rate, and cheap too;—kerry ye there for two dollars!"

"My husband has already spoken"—

"Wat! t' ole Ransom? Wy, he a'n't got nothin' but a weelbarry." And Caleb, returning at the same moment with a somewhat perplexed air, corroborated this statement by saying,—

"This man has no carriage, but will get us one in a short time."

"But this boy," retorted Mysie, "says he has a carriage, and will carry us to Gay Head for two dollars."

"You hear that, ole feller?—they're a-goin' with me!" crowed triumphant Youth at disconcerted Mannikin, who nevertheless rapidly proceeded to pile the luggage upon his barrow and trundle it away.

This coup d'état was checked by Caleb, but afterward allowed, upon discovering that Youth's carriage was still reposing in his father's stable, "jist up here"; and Mannikin was consoled by being allowed to earn a quarter of a dollar by transporting the luggage to that destination. The procession at once set forth, including Dave, who strolled in the rear, softly whistling, and apparently totally unconcerned, yet all the while alive with feline watchfulness.

Arrived at the stable, the travellers were requested to wait there while Youth went to find his father and "borry a wip."

At these last words, a "subtle smile, foreboding triumph," broke over Dave's composed features, as he muttered,—

"Reckin you'll need one 'fore you reach Ga'ed Light."

The coast clear, Dave became a little more communicative, expatiated upon the dangers and discomforts of the road, the incapacity of Youth's horse, and the improbability that his father would ratify the bargain, concluding by offering to "do the job himself in good shape for four dollars," which offer was held in abeyance until we should learn the result of Youth's interview with his father.

In the mean time, a matron suddenly made her appearance in the barn, with a hospitable entreaty that "the woman and child" would come up to the house and warm themselves; and Caleb strongly advocating the Idea, Mysie and the Baron proceeded houseward.

About half-way they encountered Paterfamilias, hastening with Youth toward the barn, and to him Matron at once recapitulated the affair, concluding with mentioning the stipulated price. At this Pater turned, with thunderous brow, toward Youth; but Matron interposed, with womanly tact,—

"You can do jest as you like, you know, about lettin' him go; but Dave's in the barn."

"Dave in my barn! Wat in thunder's he doin' there? Yes, go, boy,—go for nothin', if they ask you to, sooner than let that"—

The rest of the sentence was lost in the distance. But Mysie, following her guide to the house, felt quite sure of their conveyance; and, in fact, barely sufficient time elapsed for the hostess to possess herself of the leading facts in her guests' history, before the carriage was announced, and our travellers hastened down the lane, and found there awaiting them the evident model of the Autocrat's "One-Hoss Shay," in its last five years of senility;—to this was attached a quadruped who immediately reminded Mysie of a long-forgotten conundrum.

"What was the first created animal?"

Ans. "Shay-'oss."

Holding him ostentatiously by the head stood Youth, the "borried" whip flourished in his right hand, as he invited his passengers to seat themselves without reference to him.

This being done and the seat pretty thoroughly filled, Youth perched himself upon a bag and valise, which filled the front of the vehicle, and the journey commenced.

That ride! The first mile was not passed before the meaning of Dave's malicious smile, at mention of a whip, became painfully apparent; for never was weapon more perseveringly used, or with so little result, the cunning old beast falling into a jog-trot at the commencement, from which no amount of vociferation or whipping could move him.

"I wouldn't hurry him so much," interposed Mysie, her compassion aroused both for beast and Youth. "I don't like to see a horse whipped so much."

"Oh, you see, Ma'am, he's so used to it, he won't go noways without it; feels kind o' lonesome, I 'xpect. It don't hurt him none, nuther; his skin's got so thick an' tough, that he wouldn't know, if you was to put bilin' tar on him."

"Do you feed your horse on oats, much?" inquired Caleb, gravely, after a long and observant silence.

"No, Sir, we darsn't give him no oats, 'cause he'd be sure to run away; doos sometimes, as it is."

"I don't think you need fear it to-day," replied Caleb, quietly, as he settled himself into the corner, in the vain hope of a nap; but Youth was now loquaciously inclined.

"Reck'n Dave was disappinted," said he, with a chuckle. "He meant to kerry ye himself; but soon's I see him round, I says to myself, says I, 'Ole Chick, you sha'n't come it this time, if I go for nothin'.'"

"Competition is the soul of trade," drowsily murmured Caleb; but as Youth turned to inquire, "Whossay?" the bag upon which he was seated, and upon which, in the enjoyment of his triumph, he had been wriggling somewhat too vivaciously, suddenly gave way, and a pair of snow-white hose came tumbling out. They were at once caught and held admiringly up by Youth, with the ingenuous remark,—

"How wite them looks! An' if you'll blieve it, mine was jest as clean yis'day mornin',—an' now you look at 'em!" To facilitate which inspection, the speaker conscientiously drew up his corduroys, so as fully to display a pair of home-knit socks, which certainly had wofully deteriorated from the condition ascribed to them "yis'day mornin'."

"You see, I went clammin' las' night," pursued Youth; "an' that's death on clo's."

"What's clammin'?" inquired the Baron, changing the subject with unconscious tact, and quite surprised at the admiring kiss bestowed upon him by his mother, while Youth, readjusting his corduroys, replied with astonishment,—

"Clammin'? Wy, clammin's goin' arter clams; didn't ye never eat no clam-chowder?"

"N-o, I don't think I ever did," replied the Baron, reflectively. "Is it like ice-cream?"

"Well, I never eat none o' that, so I dunno," was the reply; and Youth and Child, each regarding the other with wondering pity, relapsed into silence.

Having now passed from the township of Holmes's Hole into Tisbury, the road lay through what would have been an oak forest, except that none of the trees exceeded some four feet in height,—Youth affirming this to be their mature growth, and that no larger ones had grown since the forest was cleared by the original settlers. A few miles more were slowly passed, and Mysie began to look hopefully from every eminence for a sight of the light-house, when she was stunned by the information, that they were then entering Chilmark, and were "'bout half-way."

Caleb, with an exclamation of disgust, leaped from "the shay," and accomplished the remaining ten miles, wrathfully, on foot,—while Mysie, wrapping her feminine patience about her as a mantle, resigned herself to endurance; but Youth, noticing, perhaps, her weary and disconsolate expression, applied himself sedulously to the task of entertaining her; and, as a light and airy way of opening the conversation, inquired,—

"Was you pooty sick aboard the boat?"

"Not at all."

"That's curous! Women 'most alluz is,—'specially wen it's so ruffly as it is to-day. Was bubby sick any?"


"Wa-al, that's very fortnit, for I don't blieve he'll be sick wen he grows up an' goes walin'. It's pooty tryin', the fust two or three weeks out, ginerally. How young is he a-goin' to begin?"

"I do not think he will ever go to sea."

"Not a-goin' to sea? Wy, his father's a captain, I 'xpect; a'n't he?"


"Mate, then, a'n't he?"

"He is not a sailor at all."

"Ha'n't never ben to sea?"


Oh, the look of wide-mouthed astonishment which took possession of Youth's hitherto vacant features, at thus encountering a strong-looking man, in the prime of life, who had never been to sea, and a healthy, sturdy boy, whose parents did not mean that he ever should! He had no more to say; every faculty was, for at least an hour, devoted to the contemplation of these lusus naturæ, thus presented to his vision.

At last, the road, which had long been in a condition of ominous second-childhood, suddenly died a natural death at the foot of a steep hill, where a rail-fence presented itself as a barrier to farther progress. The bars were soon removed by Youth, who triumphantly announced, as Cha-os walked slowly through the opening thus presented,—

"Now we're on Ga'ed, an' I'll run along and take down the next bars, if you kin drive. Git along, Tom,—you ha'n't got nothin' but two feathers ahind you now."

"How far is it to the Light-house?" inquired Mysie, faintly.

"Ony 'bout four mild," was the discouraging reply, as Youth "loped" on in advance.

"Four mild!" and such miles! The only road, a faint track in the grass, now undiscernible in the gathering gloom, now on the slope of steep hills marked by deep gullies worn by the impetuous autumn rains, and down which the poor old "shay" jerked along in a series of bumps and jolts threatening to demolish at once that patriarchal vehicle and the bones of its occupants.

At last, however, from the top of one of these declivities, the brilliant, flashing light of the long-watched-for Pharos greeted Mysie's despairing eyes, and woke new hopes of warmth, rest, and shelter. But never did bewildering ignisfatuus retire more persistently from the pursuit of unwary traveller than did that Light-house from the occupants of that creaking "shay"; and it was not till total darkness had settled upon the earth that they reached its door, and discovered, by the lamplight streaming out, that Caleb stood in the entrance, awaiting their arrival.

As the chaise stopped, he came forward and lifted the stiff and weary forms of "the woman and child" to the ground, and delivered them to the guidance of the hostess.

The first aspect of affairs was somewhat discouraging,—the parlor into which they were ushered being without fire and but dimly lighted, the bedroom not yet prepared for toilet purposes, and the hostess, as she averred, entirely unprepared for company.

Left alone in the dreary parlor, Caleb subsided into moody silence, and Mysie into tears, upon which the Baron followed suit, and produced such a ludicrous state of affairs, that the sobs which had evoked his changed to an irrepressible laugh, in which all parties soon joined. This pleasant frame of mind was speedily encouraged and augmented, first, by water and towels ad libitum, and then by an introduction to the dining-room, in whose ample grate now roared a fire, of what our travellers were informed was peat,—an article supplying, in the absence of all other indigenous fuel, nearly every chimney upon the island.

A good cup of tea and a substantial supper prepared the trio to accept the invitation of the excellent Mr. F. (the chief keeper, and their host) to go up with him "into the Light."

And now our travellers suddenly found that they had made a pilgrimage unawares. They had come to the island for sea-air and pebbles, to shoot ducks, see the Indians, and find out who Martha was, and had come to the Light-house, as the only "white" dwelling upon the Head,—the rest being all occupied by the descendants of the red men,—and now found themselves applauded by their host for having "come so far to see our Light;—not so far as some, either," continued he, "for we have had visitors from every part of the Union,—even from Florida; every one who understands such things is so anxious to see it."

"Why, is it different from common light-houses?" carelessly inquired Caleb.

"Don't you know? Haven't you come on purpose to see it?" asked the keeper, in astonishment,—and then proceeded to explain, that this is the famous Fresnel light, the identical structure exhibited at the great Exposition at Paris, bought there by an agent of the United States, and shipped by him to America.

Owing, however, to some inexplicable blunder, its arrival was not made known to the proper authorities,—and the papers which should have accompanied it being lost or not delivered, no one at the custom-house knew what the huge case contained. It was deposited in a bonded warehouse during the legal interval, but, never having been claimed, was then sold, still unexamined, to the highest bidder. He soon identified his purchase, and proceeded to make his own profit out of it,—the consequence being that government at last discovered that the Fresnel light had been some two years in this country, and was then upon exhibition, if the President and cabinet would like to take a peep. The particulars of the bargain which ensued did not transpire, but it resulted in the lantern being repacked and reshipped to Gay Head, its original destination.

While hearing this little history, the party were breathlessly climbing three steep iron staircases, the last of which ended at a trap-door, giving admittance to the clock-room, where the keeper generally sits; from here another ladder-like staircase leads up into the lantern. Arrived at the top, the Baron screamed with delight at the gorgeous spectacle before him.

The lamp (into the four concentric wicks of which a continual and superabundant supply of oil is forced by a species of clock-work, causing a flame of dazzling brilliancy) is surrounded by a revolving cover, about eight feet high by four or five in diameter, and in shape like the hand-glasses with which gardeners cover tender plants, or the shades which one sees over fancy clocks and articles of bijouterie. This cover is composed of over six hundred pieces of glass, arranged in a complicated and scientific system of lenses and prisms, very difficult to comprehend, but very beautiful in the result; for every ray of light from that brilliant flame is shivered into a thousand glittering arrows, reflected, refracted, tinted with all the rainbow hues, and finally projected through the clear plate-glass windows of the lantern with all the force and brilliancy of a hundred rays. If any one cares to understand more clearly the why and the how, let him either go and see for himself or read about it in Brande's Encyclopædia. Mysie and the Baron were content to bask ignorantly in the glittering, ever-changing, ever-flowing flood of light, dreaming of Fairy Land, and careless of philosophy. Only so much heed did they give to the outer world as always to place themselves upon the landward side of the lantern, lest unwittingly their forms should hide one ray of the blessed light from those for whose good it was put there.

Caleb, meanwhile, sat with his host in the clock-room, smoking many a meerschaum, and listening to the keeper's talk about his beautiful charge,—a pet as well as a duty with him, obviously.

With the same fond pride with which a mother affects to complain of the care she lavishes upon her darling child would the old man speak of the time necessary to keep his six hundred lenses clear and spotless, each one being rubbed daily with softest doeskin saturated with rouge, to keep the windows of the lantern free from constantly accumulating saline incrustations,—of the care with which the lamp, when burning, must be watched, lest intrusive fly or miller should drown in the great reservoir of oil and be drawn into the air-passages. This duty, and the necessity of winding up the "clock" (which forces the oil up into the wick) every half-hour, require a constant watch to be kept through the night, which is divided between the chief and two assistant keepers.

The morning after their arrival, our travellers, strong with the vigor of the young day, set forth to explore the cliffs, bidding adieu to original Youth, who, standing ready to depart, beside his horse, was carolling the following ditty in glorification of his native town:—

" Ga'ed Light is out o' sight,
Menemshee Crik is sandy,
Holmes's Hole's a pooty place,
An' Oldtown Pint's onhandy."

(Oldtown being synonymous with Edgartown, the rival seaport.)

Leaving this young patriot to his national anthem, a walk of a few hundred feet through deep sword-edged grass brought our explorers to the edge of a cliff, down which they gazed with awe-hushed breath. Below them, at a depth of a hundred and fifty feet, the thunderous waves beat upon the foot of the cliff over whose brink they peered, and which, stern and impassive as it had stood for ages, frowned back with the mute strength of endurance upon the furious, eager waves, which now and again dashed themselves fiercely against its front, only to be flung back shattered into a thousand glittering fragments.

The cliffs themselves are very curious and beautiful, being composed of red and black ochre, the largest cliff showing the one color on its northern and the other on its southern face. The forms are various,—some showing a sheer descent, with no vestige of earth or vegetation, their faces seamed with scars won in the elemental war which they have so long withstood. In other spots the cliff has been rent into sharp pinnacles, varied and beautiful in hue.

One spot, in particular, which became Mysie's favorite resort, was at once singular and beautiful in its conformation. About three feet above the water's edge lay a level plateau, its floor of loose, sandy, black conglomerate, abounding in sparkling bits of quartz and sulphate of iron; beneath this lay a bed of beautifully marbled and variegated clay, its edge showing all along the black border of the plateau like the brilliant wreath with which a brunette binds her dusky hair. Blocks of this clay, fallen upon the beach, and wet with every flowing wave, lay glistening in the sunlight and looking like—

"Castile soap, mamma," suggested the Baron, as Mysie was describing the scene in his presence, and hesitated for a simile.

At the back of the terrace, which, in its widest part, measured some fifty feet, rose suddenly and sharply the pinnacled cliffs, some snowy white, some black, some deep red, and others a cold gray. At either hand they extended quite down to the water's edge, so that, seated upon the plateau, nothing met the eye but ocean, sky, and cliffs; no work of man struck a discordant note in the grand harmony of these three simple, mighty elements of creation.

Mysie sometimes took a book here with her, but it was not a place to read in; the scene crushed and dwarfed human thoughts and words to nothingness; and to repeat to the ocean himself what had been said of him by the loftiest even of poets seemed tame and impertinent.

These cliffs extend about a mile along the shore, and then suddenly give place to a broad sandy beach, behind which lies a level, desolate moor, treeless, shrubless, and barren of all vegetation, save coarse grass and weeds, and a profusion of stunted dog-roses, which, in their season, must throw a rare and singular charm over their sterile home.

The beach, though smooth and even, is not flat, like those of Nantasket, Nahant, and Newport, but shelves rapidly down; and there is a belief among the islanders, that a short distance out it terminates suddenly at the brow of a submarine precipice, beyond which are no soundings.

Owing to the sharp declivity of the beach, the rollers break with great force, and the surf is very high. At one point is grouped a cluster of rocks, half in the water, half on the beach, among which, as the tide comes in, the waves break with furious force, dashing high over the outermost barrier, and then plunging and leaping forward, like a troop of wild horses, their white manes flung high in air, as they leap forward over one and another of the obstacles in their path.

Perched upon the crest of one of these half-submerged rocks, watching the mad waves fling themselves exhausted at her feet, it was Mysie's delight to sit, enjoying the half danger of her position, and retreating only when the waters had many times closed behind her throne, leaving, in their momentary absence, but a wet and slippery path back to the beach.

Along this beach, too, lay the road to Squipnocket, a pond famed for its immense flocks of wild geese and ducks,—fame shared by Menemshee Creek and Pond, as well as several others of similar aboriginal titles.

To these repaired, almost daily, Caleb, accompanied by one or another of his host's five sons; and the result of their efforts with the gun was no inconsiderable addition to the table at Ga'ed Light.

But greatest of all the wonders at the Head are the Fossil Cliffs.

A short time after the arrival of our travellers, their hostess inquired if they had yet found any fossils. Mysie frankly confessed that they did not know there were any to find, which was evidently as great a surprise to Mrs. F. as their ignorance of the Fresnel light had been to her husband. She at once offered the services of her daughter Clarissa as guide and assistant, and gave glowing accounts of the treasures to be found. The offer was gladly accepted; and Clarissa, a merry little romp, about twelve years old, soon made her appearance, armed with a pickaxe, hoe, and basket.

Thus laden, and in the teeth of a shrewd northeast wind, the little barefooted pioneer led the way directly over the brow of a cliff, which, had Mysie been alone, she would have pronounced entirely impracticable. Now, however, fired with a lofty emulation, she silently followed her guide, grasping, however, at every shrub and protection with somewhat convulsive energy.

"Here's a good place," announced Clarissa, pausing where a shelf of gravelly rock afforded tolerable foothold. "Professor Hitchcock told father that in here were strata of the tertiary formation, and there's where we get the fossils."

"But how do you come at the tertiary formation through all this sand and gravel?" asked Mysie, aghast at the prospect.

"Oh, dig; that's why I brought the pick and hoe; we must dig a hole about a foot deep, and then we shall come to the stuff that has the fossils in it. You may have the hoe, and I'll take the pick, 'cause that's the hardest."

"Then let me have it; I am stronger than you," exclaimed Mysie, suddenly roused to enthusiasm at the idea of "picking" her way into the tertiary formation of the earth, and exhuming its fossilized remains.

Seizing the pickaxe, she aimed a mighty blow at the clay and gravel conglomerate before her; but the instrument, falling wide of its intended mark, struck upon a rock, and sent such a jarring thrill up both her arms and such a tingle to her fingers' ends as suddenly quenched her antiquarian zeal, and reminded her of a frightful account she once read of a convent of nuns captured by some brutal potentate, who forced them to mend his highways by breaking stones upon them with very heavy hammers; and the historian mentioned, as a common occurrence, that, when any sister dislocated her shoulder, one of her comrades would set it, and the sufferer would then resume her labors.

Mysie, having this warning before her eyes, and being doubtful of Clarissa's surgical abilities, concluded to postpone her researches, and proposed to her companion to fill the basket with shells and pebbles from the beach, to which cowardly proposition Clarissa yielded but a reluctant consent.

The next day, however, Mr. F. and Caleb, learning the result of the fossil-search, offered to apply their more efficient skill and strength to a new attempt in the same direction; and, with high hopes for the result, Mysie, still accompanied by Clarissa, proceeded to another portion of the cliffs, where a low, wedge-shaped promontory, shadowed by beetling crags, was, as Mr. F. confidently stated, "sure for teeth."

The pickaxe, in the sinewy arms of its owner, soon dislodged great cakes of the upper deposit and laid bare a stratum of olive-green clay, which was announced to be a fossil-bed. Lumps of this clay being broken off and crumbled up, proved indeed rich in deposit. They found sharks' teeth, the edges still sharply serrated, firmly set in pieces of the jawbone,—whales' teeth,—vertebrae of various species,—fragments of bone, great and small,—several species of shell-fish, among which chiefly abounded a kind called quahaug,—and many nondescript fragments, not easily classified. One of these was a little bone closely resembling the tibia of a child's leg, and may have belonged to some antediluvian infant lost at sea, (if Noah's ancestors were mariners,) or perhaps drowned in the Deluge,—for Mr. F. quoted an eminent geologist who has visited the Vineyard, and who supposed these remains to have been brought here by that mighty Flood-tide. Another savant, however, supposes the island to have been thrown up from the sea by volcanic action; and that the fossils, now imbedded in cliffs a hundred feet high, were once deposited upon the bed of the ocean. There is certainly a great amount of conglomerate, which has evidently been fused by intense heat; and masses of rock, sea-pebbles, sand, and iron-ore are now as firmly integrated as a piece of granite.

However, the fossils came; here they certainly are; many of them perfect in form, and light and porous to the eye, but all hard and heavy as stone to the touch. Teeth, which are considered the most valuable of all the remains, are sometimes found as wide as a man's hand, and weighing several pounds; but Mysie was quite content with the more insignificant weight of those which filled her basket, especially when an immense reticulated paving-stone was added, which Mr. F. pronounced to be a whale's vertebra. She then was induced to trust the precious collection to Caleb's care, the more willingly that the ascent of the cliffs was now to be attempted. This was easily and quickly accomplished by Mr. F. and his little son, by going to the right spot before beginning to climb; but Mysie declaring that the ascent was quite practicable where they were, Caleb and Clarissa felt bound in honor to accompany her. For some distance, all went very well,—the face of the cliff presuming slight inequalities of surface, which answered for foot-and hand-holds, and not being very steep; but suddenly Mysie, the leader of the group, arriving within about three feet of the top, found the rock above her so smooth as to give no possible foothold by which she might reach the strong, coarse grass which nodded tauntingly to her over the brink.

Clinging closely to the face of the cliff, she turned her head to announce to Caleb that she could not go on, and, in turning, looked down. Before this she had felt no fear, only perplexity; but the sight of those cruel rocks below,—the hollow booming of the waves, as they lashed the foot of the cliff,—the consciousness that a fall of a hundred feet awaited her, should she let go her hold,—all this struck terror to Mysie's heart; and while a heavy, confused noise came throbbing and ringing through her head, she shut her eyes, and fancied she had seen her last of earth.

In an instant Caleb was beside her,—his arm about her, holding her safely where she was; but to continue was impossible for either.

"Ho! Mr. F.!" shouted Caleb; "come this way, will you, and give my wife your hand? She is a little frightened, and can't go on."

Presently a stout arm and hand appeared from among that nodding, mocking grass, and a cheery voice exclaimed,—

"Here, my dear lady, take right hold, strong;—you can't pull me over,—not if you try to."

Unclasping, with some difficulty, her fingers from the rock, into which they seemed to have grown, Mysie grasped the proffered hand, and the next moment was safe upon the turf.

"Oh, my good gracious!" muttered the kind old man; but whether the exclamation was caused by Mysie's face, pale, no doubt, by the effort necessary to raise her half-fainting figure, or by the idea of the peril in which she had been, did not appear.

Clarissa, calm and equable, was next passed up by Caleb, who, declining the proffered hand, drew himself up, by a firm grasp upon the rocky scarp of the cliff.

"Guess you was scart some then, wa'n't you?" inquired Clarissa, as the party walked homeward.

"Oh, no!" replied Mysie, quickly. "But I could not get over the top of the cliff alone,—it was so steep."

"Oh, that was the matter?" drawled the child, with a sidelong glance of her sharp black eyes.

The northeast wind which went fossilizing with Mysie and Clara on their first excursion was the precursor of a furious storm of rain and wind, ranking, according to the dictum of experienced weatherseers, as little inferior to that famous one in which fell the Minot's Ledge Light-house.

As the gale reached its height, it was a sight at once terrible and beautiful, to watch, standing in the lantern, the goaded sea, whose foam-capped waves could plainly be seen at the horizon line, breaking here and there upon sunken rocks, over which in their playful moods they scarcely rippled, but on which they now dashed with such white fury as to make them discernible, even through the darkness of night. One long, low ridge of submarine rocks, around which seethed a perpetual caldron, was called the Devil's Bridge; but when erected, or for what purpose, tradition failed to state.

Never, surely, did the wind rave about a peaceful inland dwelling as it did about that lonely light-house for two long nights. It roared, it howled, it shrieked, it whistled; it drew back to gather strength, and then rushed to the attack with such mad fury, that the strong, young light-house, whose frame was all of iron and stone, shrunk trembling before it, and the children in their beds screamed aloud for fear. But through all and beyond all, the calm, strong light sent out its piercing, warning rays into the black night; and who can tell what sinner it may that night have prevented from crossing the Devil's Bridge to the world which lies beyond?

There was but one wreck during the storm, so far as our travellers heard; and in this the lives were saved. Two men, caught out in a fishing-smack, finding that their little vessel was foundering, betook themselves to their small boat; but this filled more rapidly than they could bale it; and they had just given themselves up for lost, when their signals of distress were observed on board the light-ship stationed near Newport, which sent a life-boat to their assistance, and rescued them just as their little boat went to pieces.

When Mysie heard this occurrence mentioned, as they were journeying homeward, it recalled to her mind a little incident of the day succeeding the storm.

Walking with Clara upon the beach, they saw borne toward them, on the crest of a mighty wave, a square beam of wood, bent at an obtuse angle, which Clara at once pronounced to be the knee from some large boat, and, rushing dauntlessly into the water, the energetic little maid battled with the wave for its unwieldy toy, and finally dragged it triumphantly out upon the beach, and beyond the reach of the wave, only wishing that she had "a piece of chalk to make father's mark upon it." Failing the chalk, she rushed off home for "father and one of the boys," who soon bestowed the prize in a place of safety.

Mysie at first wondered considerably that persons should take so much trouble for a piece of wood, but ceased to do so when she remembered that on the whole island could not probably be found a tree of a foot in diameter, and that everything like board or joist at the light-house must be brought by sea to Holmes's Hole, Edgartown, or Menemshee, and thence carted over that road to Gay Head, becoming, by the time it reached "the Light," not a common necessary, but an expensive luxury. She was not, therefore, surprised at being accompanied in her next walk along the beach by quite a little party of wreckers, who, joyfully seizing every chip which the waves tossed within their reach, accumulated at last a very respectable pile of drift-wood.

"It would be a good thing for you, if the schooner "Mary Ann" should go to pieces off here," remarked Mysie to Clara, who had become her constant attendant.

"Why?" inquired she, expectantly.

"On account of her cargo. When hailed by another ship, and asked his name, the captain replied,—

' I'm Jonathan Homer, master and owner
Of the schooner Mary Ann;
She comes from Pank-a-tank, laden with oak plank,
And bound to Surinam.'"

"Did he really say so?" asked Clara, sharply.

"I don't know," said Mysie, laughing; "but that's what I heard about it when I was a little girl."

While the storm continued too violent for out-of-door exercise, Mysie cultivated an acquaintance with a remarkably pleasant and intelligent lady who fortunately was making a visit at the light-house. She had been for many years a resident of the Vineyard, and had taken great interest in its history, both past and present. From her Mysie derived much curious and interesting information.

It seems that the island was first discovered by a certain Thomas Mayhew, who, voyaging with others to settle in the Plymouth Colony during its early days, was driven by stress of weather into a safe and commodious bay, now Edgartown harbor, but then seen and used for the first time by white men. The storm over, his companions prepared to resume their voyage; but Mayhew, seeing the land fair and pleasant to look upon, decided to remain there, and landed with whoever in the ship belonged to him.

He, of course, found the land in the hands of its original possessors, a small and peaceful tribe of Indians, living quietly upon their own island, and having very little communication with their neighbors. With them Thomas Mayhew bargained for what land he wanted, selecting it in what is now the town of Chilmark, and paying for it, to the satisfaction of all parties, with an old soldier's coat which happened to be among his possessions.

In process of time, one of his sons, named Experience, having been educated for the purpose in England, returned to his father's home as a missionary to the kind and hospitable savages among whom he dwelt. So prosperous were the labors of himself, and afterward of his son Zachariah, that in a journal, kept by the latter, it is mentioned that there were then upon the island twelve thousand "praying Indians."

Experience Mayhew is still spoken of as "the great Indian missionary," and the house in which he lived was still standing a few years since upon the farm of Mr. Hancock in Chilmark.

The island is to this day full of Mayhews of every degree,—so far, at least, as distinctions of rank have obtained among this isolated and primitive people.

When Massachusetts erected herself into a State, and included the Vineyard within her bounds, it was divided into the townships of Edgartown, (or Oldtown,) Holmes's Hole, Tisbury, and Chilmark, and the district of Gay Head, which last, with the island of Chip-a-quid-dick, off Edgartown, and a small tract of land in Tisbury, named Christian-town, were made over in perpetuity to the Indians who chose to remain. They have not the power of alienating any portion of this territory, nor may any white man build or dwell there. If, however, one of the tribe marry out of the community, the alien husband or wife may come to live with the native spouse so long as the marriage continues; and the Indians have taken advantage of this permission to intermarry with the negroes, until there is not one pure-blooded descendant of the original stock remaining, and its physiognomy and complexion are in most cases undistinguishable in the combination of the two races.

Gay Head contains eleven hundred acres, seven of which are the birthright of every Indian child; but it is not generally divided by fences, the cattle of the whole tribe grazing together in amicable companionship. Much of the value of the property lies in the cranberry-meadows, which are large and productive, and in the beds of rich peat. A great deal of the soil, however, is valuable for cultivation, although but little used, as the majority of the men follow the example of their white co-islanders, and plough the sea instead of the land. They make excellent seamen, and sometimes rise to the rank of officers, although few white sailors are sufficiently liberal in their views to approve of being commanded by "a nigger," as they persist in calling these half-breeds.

The wigwams, which, no doubt, were at first erected here, have given place to neat and substantial frame buildings, as comfortable, apparently, as those in many New England villages. There is also a nice-looking Baptist church, of which denomination almost every adult is a member. Near this is a parsonage, occupied until lately by a white clergyman; but the spirit of Experience Mayhew is not common in these days; and his successor, finding the parish lonely and uncongenial, removed to a pleasanter one,—his pulpit being now filled by a preacher from among the Indians themselves.

Mysie took occasion to call at one of these quasi wigwams, soon after her arrival, but could discern only one aboriginal vestige in either inhabitants or customs. This existed in the shape of a dish of succotash, (corn and beans boiled together,) which the good woman was preparing for breakfast,—very possibly in ignorance that her ancestors had cooked and eaten and named the compound ages before the white intruders ever saw their shore.

Mysie pursued her morning walk in a somewhat melancholy mood. It is a sad and dreary sight to behold a nation in decay; saddest when the fall is from so slight an elevation as that on which the savage stood. Greece and Rome, falling into old age, proudly boast, "Men cannot say I did not have the crown"; each shows undying, unsurpassable achievements of her day of power and strength,—each, if she live no longer in the sight of the world, is sure of dwelling forever in its memory. But the aboriginal, when his simple routine of life is broken up by the intrusion of a people more powerful, more wicked, and more wise than himself, is incapable of exchanging his own purely physical ambitions and pursuits for the intellectual and cultivated life belonging to the better class of his conquerors, while his wild and sensuous nature grasps eagerly at the new forms of vice which follow in their train. Civilization to the savage destroys his own existence, and gives him no better one,—destroys it irremediably and forever. The life sufficient for himself and for the day is not that which stretches its hand into the future and sets its mark on ages not yet born; it dies and is forgotten,—forgotten even by the descendants of those who lived it.

Some of the Indian names still survive; and Mysie's indignation was roused, when a descendant of the Mayhews, pointing out the hamlets of Menemshee and Nashaquitsa, (commonly called Quitsy,) added, contemptuously,—

"But them's only nicknames given by the colored folks; it's all Chilmark by rights."

"I suppose they are the names used by the ancestors of these Indians, before a white man ever saw the island,—are they not?" inquired she, somewhat dryly.

"Like enough, like enough," replied the other, carelessly, and not in the least appreciating the rebuke.

From the lady before referred to Mysie received an answer to her oft-repeated question,—

"Is there any tradition how the island received its name?"

"Oh, yes," was the unexpected and welcome answer. "All the islands near here were granted by the King of England to a gentleman whose name is forgotten; but he had four daughters, among whom he divided his new possessions.

"This one, remarkable then, as now, in a degree, for its abundance of wild grapes, he gave to Martha as her Vineyard.

"The group to the north, consisting of Pennikeese, Cuttyhunk, Nashawena, Naushon, Pasqui, and Punkatasset, are called the Elizabeth Islands, from the daughter who inherited them.

"That little island to the southwest of us was Naomi's portion. It is now called Noman's Land, and is remarkable only for the fine quality of the codfish caught and cured there.

"The strangest of all, however, was the name given to the island selected by Ann, which was first called Nan-took-it, and is now known as Nantucket."

"Thank Heaven, that I at last know something about Martha!" ejaculated Mysie.

At length, every corner filled with specimens, every face deeply imbrowned by sun and wind, and the Baron with only the ghost of a pair of shoes to his feet, our travellers set their faces homeward,—Caleb resolving to renew his acquaintance with the birds at some future period, his imagination having been quite inflamed by the accounts of plover and grouse to be found here in their season. The latter, however, are very strictly protected by law during most of the season, on account of the rapidity with which they were disappearing. They are identical with the prairie-fowl, so common at the West, and are said to be delicious eating.

Desirous to improve their minds and manners by as much travel as possible, the trio resolved to leave the island by the way of Edgartown, the terminus of the steamboat route. Bidding adieu to their kind and obliging host and hostess, the twelve children, and the pleasant new friend, they set out, upon the most charming of all autumn days, for Edgartown, fully prepared to be dazzled by its beauty and confounded by its magnificence.

"Edgartown is a much finer place than Holmes's Hole, I understand," remarked Caleb to their driver.

"Well, I dunno; it's some bigger," was the reply.

"But it is a better sort of place, I am told; people from Edgartown don't seem to think much of Holmes's Hole."

"No, nor the Holmes's Hole folks don't think much of Oldtown; it's pretty much according to who you talk to, which place is called the handsomest, I reckon."

"Athens or Rome, London or Paris, Oldtown or Holmes's Hole, Mysie," murmured Caleb, as their driver stopped to reply to the driver of "a team," who was anxious to know when he was "a-goin' to butcher agin."

Edgartown proved to be a pretty little seaside town, with some handsome wooden houses, a little bank, and a very nice tavern, at which the travellers received very satisfactory entertainment. The next day, reembarking upon the "Eagle's Wing," they soon reached New Bedford.


The day that brightens half the earth
Is night to half. Ah, sweet!
One's mourning is another's mirth;—
You wear your bright years like a crown,—
While mine, dead garlands, tangle down
In chains about my feet.

The breeze which wakes the folded flower
Sweeps dead leaves from the tree;—
So partial Time, as hour by hour
He tells the rapid years,—cheu!
Brings bloom and beauty still to you,
But leaves his blight with me.

The rain which calls the violet up
Out of the moistened mould
Shatters the wind-flower's fragile cup;—
For even Nature has her pets,
And, favoring the new, forgets
To love and spare the old.

The shower which makes the bud a rose
Beats off the lilac-bloom.
I am a lilac,—so life goes,—
A lilac that has outlived May;—
You are a blush-rose. Welladay!
I pass, and give you room!

The Eleusinia.

What did the Eleusinia mean? Perhaps, reader, you think the question of little interest. "The Eleusinia! Why, Lobeck made that little matter clear long ago; and there was Porphyry, who told us that the whole thing was only an illustration of the Platonic philosophy. St. Croix, too,—he made the affair as clear as day!"

But the question is not so easily settled, my friend; and I insist upon it that you have an interest in it. Were I to ask you the meaning of Freemasonry, you would think that of importance; you could not utter the name without wonder; and it may be that there is even more wonder in it than you suspect,—though you be an arch-mason yourself. But in sight of Eleusis, freemasonry sinks into insignificance. For, of all races, the Grecian was the most mysterious; and, of all Grecian mysteries, the Eleusinia were the mysteries par excellence. They must certainly have meant something to Greece,—something more than can ever be adequately known to us. A farce is soon over; but the Eleusinia reached from the mythic Eumolpus to Theodosius the Great,—nearly two thousand years. Think you that all Athens, every fifth year, for more than sixty generations, went to Eleusis to witness and take part in a sham?

But, reader, let us go to Eleusis, and see, for ourselves, this great festival. Suppose it to be the 15th of September, B.C. 411, Anno Mundi 3593 (though we would not make oath to that). It is a fine morning at Athens, and every one is astir, for it is the day of assembling together at Eleusis. Then, for company, we shall have Plato, now eighteen years old, Sophocles, an old man of eighty-four, Euripides, at sixty-nine, and Aristophanes, at forty-five. Socrates, who has his peculiar notions about things, is not one of the initiated, but will go with us, if we ask him. These are the élite of Athens. Then there are the Sophists and their young disciples, and the vast crowd of the Athenian people. Some of the oldest among them may have seen and heard the "Prometheus Vinctus"; certainly very many of them have seen "Antigone," and "Oedipus," and "Electra"; and all of them have heard the Rhapsodists. Great wonders have they seen and heard, which, in their appeal to the heart, transcend all the wonders of this nineteenth century. Not more fatal to the poor Indian was modern civilization, bringing swift ruin to his wigwam and transforming his hunting-grounds into the sites of populous cities, than modern improvements would have been to the Greek. Modern strategy! What a subject for Homer would the siege of Troy have been, had it consisted of a series of pitched battles with rifles! Railways, steamboats, and telegraphs, annihilating space and time, would also have annihilated the Argonautic expedition and the wanderings of Ulysses. There would have been little fear, in a modern steamship, of the Sirens' song; one whistle would have broken the charm. A modern steamship might have borne Ulysses to Hades,—but it would never have brought him back, as his own ship did. And now do you think a ride to Eleusis by railway to-day would strike this Athenian populace, to say nothing of the philosophers and poets we have along with us?

But they are thinking of Eleusis, and not of the way to Eleusis; so that we may as well keep our suggestion to ourselves,—also those pious admonitions which we were just about to administer to our companions on heathenish superstitions. A strange fascination these Athenians have; and before we are aware, our thoughts, too, are centred in Eleusis, whither are tending, not Athens only, but vast multitudes from all Greece. Their movement is tumultuous; but it is a tumult of natural enthusiasm, and not of Bacchic frenzy. If Athens be, as Milton calls her, "the eye of Greece," surely Eleusis must be its heart!

There are nine days of the festival. This first is the day of the agurmos, (αγυρμος [Greek: agyrmos],) or assembling together the flux of Grecian life into the secret chambers of its Eleusinian heart. To-morrow is the day of purification; then, "To the sea, all ye that are initiated!" (Αλαδε, μυσται! [Greek: Alade, mystai!]) lest any come with the stain of impurity to the mysteries of God. The third day is the day of sacrifices, that the heart also may be made pure, when are offered barley from the fields of Eleusis and a mullet. All other sacrifices may be tasted; but this is for Demeter alone, and not to be touched by mortal lips. On the fourth day, we join the procession bearing the sacred basket of the goddess, filled with curious symbols, grains of salt, carded wool, sesame, pomegranates, and poppies,—symbols of the gifts of our Great Mother and of her mighty sorrow. On the night of the fifth, we are lost in the hurrying tumult of the torch-light processions. Then there is the sixth day, the great day of all, when from Athens the statue of Iacchus (Bacchus) is borne, crowned with myrtle, tumultuously through the sacred gate, along the sacred way, halting by the sacred fig-tree, (all sacred, mark you, from Eleusinian associations,) where the procession rests, and then moves on to the bridge over the Cephissus, where again it rests, and where the expression of the wildest grief gives place to the trifling farce,—even as Demeter, in the midst of her grief, smiled at the levity of Iambe in the palace of Celeus. Through the "mystical entrance" we enter Eleusis. On the seventh day, games are celebrated; and to the victor is given a measure of barley,—as it were a gift direct from the hand of the goddess. The eighth is sacred to Aesculapius, the Divine Physician, who heals all diseases; and in the evening is performed the initiatory ritual.

Let us enter the mystic temple and be initiated,—though it must be supposed that a year ago we were initiated into the Lesser Mysteries at Agræ. ("Certamen enim,—et præludium certaminis; et mysteria sunt quæ præcedunt mysteria.") We must have been mystæ (veiled) before we can become epoptæ (seers); in plain English, we must have shut our eyes to all else before we can behold the mysteries. Crowned with myrtle, we enter with the other mystæ into the vestibule of the temple,—blind as yet, but the Hierophant within will soon open our eyes.

But first,—for here we must do nothing rashly,—first we must wash in this holy water; for it is with pure hands and a pure heart that we are bidden to enter the most sacred inclosure. Then, led into the presence of the Hierophant, he reads to us, from a book of stone, things which we must not divulge on pain of death. Let it suffice that they fit the place and the occasion; and though you might laugh at them, if they were spoken outside, still you seem very far from that mood now, as you hear the words of the old man (for old he always was) and look upon the revealed symbols. And very far indeed are you from ridicule, when Demeter seals, by her own peculiar utterances and signals, by vivid coruscations of light, and cloud piled upon cloud, all that we have seen and heard from her sacred priest; and when, finally, the light of a serene wonder fills the temple, and we see the pure fields of Elysium and hear the choirs of the Blessed;—then, not merely by external seeming or philosophic interpretation, but in real fact, does the Hierophant become the Creator and Revealer of all things; the Sun is but his torch-bearer, the Moon his attendant at the altar, and Hermes his mystic herald. But the final word has been uttered: "Conx Ompax." The rite is consummated, and we are epoptæ forever!

One day more, and the Eleusinia themselves are completed. As in the beginning by lustration and sacrifices we conciliated the favor of the gods, so now by libation we finally commend ourselves to their care. Thus did the Greeks begin all things with lustration and end with libation, each day, each feast,—all their solemn treaties, their ceremonies, and sacred festivals. But, like all else Eleusinian, this libation must be sui generis, emptied from two bowls,—the one toward the East, the other toward the West. Thus is finished this Epos, or, as Clemens Alexandrinus calls it, the "mystical drama" of the Eleusinia.

Now, reader, you have seen the Mysteries. And what do they mean? Let us take care lest we deceive ourselves, as many before us have done, by merely looking at the Eleusinia.

Oh, this everlasting staring! This it is that leads us astray. That old stargazer, with whom Aesop has made us acquainted, deserved, indeed, to fall into the well, no less for his profanity than his stupidity. Yet this same star-gazing it is that we miscall reflection. Thus, in our blank wonder at Nature, in our naked analysis of her life, expressed through long lists of genera and species and mathematical calculations, as if we were calling off the roll of creation, or as if her depth of meaning rested in her vast orbs and incalculable velocities,—in all this we fail of her real mystery.

To mere external seeming, the Eleusinia point to Demeter for their interpretation. To her are they consecrated,—of her grief are they commemorative; out of reverence to her do the mystæ purify themselves by lustration and by the sacrifice that may not be tasted; she it is who is symbolized, in the procession of the basket, as our Great Mother, through the salt, wool, and sesame, which point to her bountiful gifts,—while by the poppies and pomegranates it is hinted that she nourishes in her heart some profound sorrow: by the former, that she seeks to bury this sorrow in eternal oblivion,—by the latter, that it must be eternally reiterated. The procession of the torches defines the sorrow; and by this wild, despairing search in the darkness do we know that her daughter Proserpine, plucking flowers in the fields of light, has been snatched by ruthless Pluto to the realm of the Invisible. Then by the procession of Iacchus we learn that divine aid has come to the despairing Demeter; by the coming of, Aesculapius shall all her wounds be healed; and the change in the evening from the mystæ to epoptæ is because that now to Demeter, the cycle of her grief being accomplished, the ways of Jove are made plain,—even his permission of violence from unseen hands; to her also is the final libation.

But the story of the stolen Proserpina is itself an afterthought, a fable invented to explain the Mysteries; and, however much it may have modified them in detail, certainly could not have been their ground. Nor is the sorrowing Demeter herself adequate to the solution. For the Eleusinia are older than Eleusis,—older than Demeter, even the Demeter of Thrace,—certainly as old as Isis, who was to Egypt what Demeter was to Greece,—the Great Mother[2] of a thousand names, who also had her endlessly repeated sorrow for the loss of Osiris, and in honor of whom the Egyptians held an annual festival. Thus we only remove the mystery back to the very verge of myth itself; and we must either give up the solution or take a different course. But perhaps Isis will reveal herself, and at the same time unveil the Mysteries. Let us read her tablet: "I am all that, has been, all that is, all that is to be; and the veil which is over my face no mortal hand hath ever raised!" Now, reader, would it not be strange, if, in solving her mystery, we should also solve the Sphinx's riddle? But so it is. This is the Sphinx in her eldest shape,—this Isis of a thousand names; and the answer to her ever-recurring riddle is always the same. In the Human Spirit is infolded whatsoever has been, is, or shall be; and mortality cannot reveal it!

Not to Demeter, then, nor even to Isis, do the Eleusinia primarily point, but to the human heart. We no longer look at them; henceforth they are within us. Long has this mystic mother, the wonder of the world, waited for the revelation of her face. Let us draw aside the veil, (not by mortal hand,—it moves at your will,) and listen:—

"I am the First and the Last,—mother of gods and men. As deep as is my mystery, so deep is my sorrow. For, lo! all generations are mine. But the fairest fruit of my Holy Garden was plucked by my mortal children; since which, Apollo among men and Artemis among women have raged with their fearful arrows. My fairest children, whom I have brought forth and nourished in the light, have been stolen by the children of darkness. By the Flood they were taken; and I wandered forty days and forty nights upon the waters, ere again I saw the face of the earth. Then, wherever I went, I brought joy; at Cyprus the grasses sprang up beneath my feet, the golden-filleted Horæ crowned me with a wreath of gold and clothed me in immortal robes. Then, also, was renewed my grief; for Adonis, whom I had chosen, was slain in the chase and carried to Hades. Six months I wept his loss, when he rose again and I triumphed. Thus in Egypt I mourned for Osiris, for Atys in Phrygia, and for Proserpina at Eleusis,—all of whom passed to the underworld, were restored for a season, and then retaken. Thus is my sorrow repeated without end. All things are taken from me. Night treads upon the heels of Day, the desolation of Winter wastes the fair fruit of Summer, and Death walks in the ways of Life with inexorable claims. But at the last, through Him, my First-begotten and my Best-beloved, who also died and descended into Hades, and the third day rose again,—through Him, having ceased from wandering, I shall triumph in Infinite Joy!"

That, reader, is not so difficult to translate into human language. Thus, from the beginning to the end of the world, do these Mysteries, under various names, shadow forth the great problem of human life, which problem, as being fundamental, must be religious, the same that is shadowed forth in Nature and Revelation, namely: man's sin, and his redemption from sin,—his great loss, his infinite error, and his final salvation.

Sorrow, so strong a sense of which pervaded these Mysteries that it was the name (Achtheia) by which Demeter was known to her mystic worshippers,—human sorrow it was which veiled the eyelids; toward which veiling (or muesis) the lotus about the head of Isis and the poppy in the hand of Demeter distinctly point. Hence the mystæ, whom the reader must suppose to have closed their eyes to all without them,—even to Nature, except as in sympathy she mirrors forth the central sorrow of their hearts. But this same sorrow and its mighty work, veiled from all mortal vision, shut out by very necessity from any sympathy save that of God, is a preparation for a purer vision,—a second initiation, in which the eyes shall be reopened and the mystæ become epoptæ; and of such significance was this higher vision to the Greek, that it was a synonyme for the highest earthly happiness and a foretaste of Elysium.

As this vision of the epoptæ was the vision of real faith, so the muesis, or veiling of the mystæ, was no mere affectation of mysticism. Not so easily could be set aside this weight of sorrow upon the eyelids, which, notwithstanding that, leading to self, it leads to wandering, leads also through Divine aid to that peace which passeth all understanding. Thus were the Hebrews led out of Egyptian bondage through wanderings in the Wilderness to the Promised Land. Even thus, through rites and ceremonies which to us are hieroglyphics hard to be deciphered, which are known only as shrouded in infinite sorrow,—as dimly shadowing forth some wild search in darkness and some final resurrection into light,—through these, many from Egypt and India and Scythia, from Scandinavia and from the aboriginal forests of America, have for unnumbered ages passed from a world of bewildering error to the heaven of their hopes. To the eye of sense and to shallow infidelity, this may seem absurd; but the foolishness of man is the wisdom of God to the salvation of His erring children. Happy, indeed, are the initiated! Blessed are the poor in spirit, the Pariah, and the slave,—all they whose eyes are veiled with overshadowing sorrow! for only thus is revealed the glory of human life!

There are many things, kind reader, which, in our senseless staring, we may call the signs of human weakness, but which, by a higher interpretation, become revelations of human power. The gross and pitiable features of the world are dissolved and clarified, when by an impassioned sympathy we can penetrate to the heart of things. We are about to pity the ragged vesture, the feeble knees, and the beseeching hand of poverty, and the cries of the oppressed and the weary; but, at a thought, Pity is slain by Reverence. We are ready to cry out against the sluggish movement of the world and its lazy flux of life; but before the satire is spoken, we are fascinated by an undercurrent of this same world, earnest and full toward its sure goal,—of which, indeed, we only dream; but "the dream is from God,"[3] and surer than sight. There is a profounder calm than appears to the eye, in the quiet cottages scattered up and down among the peaceful valleys; the rest of death is more untroubled than the marble face which it leaves as its visible symbol; and sleep, "the minor mystery of death," (ὑπνος τα μικρα του θανατου μυστηρια [Greek: hypnos ta mikra tou thanatou mystêria][4]) has a deeper significance than is revealed in any external token. So what is sneeringly called the credulity of human nature is its holy faith, and, in spite of all the hard facts which you may charge upon it, is the glory of man. It introduces us into that region where "nothing is unexpected, nothing impossible."[5] It was the glory of our childhood, and by it childhood is made immortal. Myth herself is ever a child,—a genuine child of the earth, indeed,—but received among men as the child of Heaven.

Upon the slightest material basis have been constructed myths and miracles and fairy-tales without number; and so it must ever be. Thus man asserts his own inherent strength of imagination and faith over against the external fact. Whatsoever is facile to Imagination is also facile to Faith. Easy, therefore, in our thoughts, is the transition from the Cinder-wench in the ashes to the Cinderella of the palace; easy the apotheosis of the slave, and the passage from the weary earth to the fields of Elysium and the Isles of the Blessed.

This flight of the Imagination, this vision of Faith,—these, reader, are only for the epoptæ. It matters not, that, by naked analysis, you can prove that the palaces of our fancy and the temples of our faith are but the baseless fabric of a dream. It may be that the greater part of life is made up of dreams, and that wakefulness is merely incidental as a relief to the picture. It may be, indeed, in the last analysis, that the ideal is the highest, if not the only real.

For the sensible, palpable fact can, by the nature of things, exist for us only in the Present. But, my dear reader, it is just here, in this Present, that the tenure by which we have hold upon life is the most frail and shadowy. For, by the strictest analysis, there is no Present. The formula, It is, even before we can give it utterance, by some subtile chemistry of logic, is resolved into It was and It shall be. Thus by our analysis do we retreat into the ideal. In the deepest reflection, all that we call external is only the material basis upon which our dreams are built; and the sleep that surrounds life swallows up life,—all but a dim wreck of matter, floating this way and that, and forever evanishing from sight. Complete the analysis, and we lose even the shadow of the external Present, and only the Past and the Future are left us as our sure inheritance. This is the first initiation,—the veiling of the eyes to the external. But, as epoptæ, by the synthesis of this Past and Future in a living nature, we obtain a higher, an ideal Present, comprehending within itself all that can be real for us within us or without. This is the second initiation, in which is unveiled to us the Present as a new birth from our own life.

Thus the great problem of Idealism is symbolically solved in the Eleusinia. For us there is nothing real except as we realize it. Let it be that myriads have walked upon the earth before us,—that each race and generation has wrought its change and left its monumental record upon pillar and pyramid and obelisk; set aside the ruin which Time has wrought both upon the change and the record, levelling the cities and temples of men, diminishing the shadows of the Pyramids, and rendering more shadowy the names and memories of heroes,—obliterating even its own ruin;—set aside this oblivion of Time, still there would be hieroglyphics,—still to us all that comes from this abyss of Time behind us, or from the abyss of Space around us, must be but dim and evanescent imagery and empty reverberation of sound, except as, becoming a part of our own life, by a new birth, it receives shape and significance. Nothing can be unveiled to us till it is born of us. Thus the epoptæ are both creators and interpreters. Strength of knowledge and strength of purpose, lying at the foundation of our own nature, become also the measure of our interpretation of all Nature. Therefore in each successive cycle of human history, as we realize more completely the great Ideal, our appreciation of the Past increases, and our hope of the Future. The difference lies not in the data of history, but in what we make of the data.

We cannot see too clearly that the great problem of life, in Philosophy, Art, or Religion, is essentially the same from the beginning. Like Nature, indeed, it repeats itself under various external phases, in different ages and under different skies. History whispers from her antediluvian lips of a race of giants; so does the earth reveal mammoths and stupendous forests. But the wonder neither of Man nor of Nature was greater then than now. We say much, too, of Progress. But the progress does not consist in a change of the fundamental problem of the race; we have only learned to use our material so that we effect our changes more readily, and write our record with a finer touch and in clearer outline. The progress is in the facility and elaboration, and may be measured in Space and Time; but the Ideal is ever the same and immeasurable. Homer is hard to read; but when once you have read him you have read all poetry. Or suppose that Orpheus, instead of striving with his mythic brother Cheiron, were to engage in a musical contest with Mozart, and you, reader? were to adjudge the prize. Undoubtedly you would give the palm to Mozart. Not that Mozart is the better musician; the difficulty is all in your ear, my friend. If you could only hear the nice vibrations of the "golden shell," you might reverse your decision.

So in Religion; the central idea, if you can only discern it, is ever the same. She no longer, indeed, looks with the bewildered gaze of her childhood to the mountains and rivers, to the sun, moon, and stars, for aid. In the fulness of time the veil is rent in twain, and she looks beyond with a clearer eye to the surer signs that are visible of her unspeakable glory. But the longing of her heart is ever the same.

What remains to us of ancient systems of faith is, for the most part, mere name and shadow. It is even more difficult for us to realize to ourselves a single ceremony of Grecian worship,—for instance, a dance in honor of Apollo,—in its subtile meaning, than it would be to appreciate the "Prometheus" of Æschylus. This ignorance leads oftentimes to the most shocking profanation; and from mere lack of vision we ridicule much that should call forth our reverence.

Thus many Christian writers have sought to throw ridicule upon the Eleusinia. But we must remember, that, to Greece, throughout her whole history, they presented a well-defined system of faith,—that, essentially, they even served the function of a church by their inherent idea of divine discipline and purification and the hope which they ever held out of future resurrection and glory. Why, then, you ask, if they were so pure and full of meaning, why was not such a man as Socrates one of the Initiated? The reason, reader, was simply this: What the Eleusinia furnished to Greece, that Socrates furnished to himself. That man who could stand stock-still a whole day, lost in silent contemplation, what was the need to him of the Eleusinian veil? The most self-sufficient man in all Greece, who could find the way directly to himself and to the mystery and responsibility of his own will without the medium of external rites, to whom there were the ever-present intimations of his strange Divinity,—what need to him of the Eleusinian revealings or their sublime self-intuition (αυτοψια [Greek: autopsia])? He had his own separate tragedy also. And when with his last words he requested that a cock be sacrificed to Æsculapius, that, reader, was to indicate that to him had come the eighth day of the drama, in which the Great Physician brings deliverance,—and in the evening of which there should be the final unveiling of the eyes in the presence of the Great Hierophant!

Such were the Eleusinia of Greece. But what do they mean to us? We have already hinted at their connection with the Sphinx's riddle. It is through this connection that they receive their most general significance; for this riddle is the riddle of the race, and the problem which it involves can be adequately realized only in the life of the race. To Greece, as peculiarly sensitive to all that is tragical, the Sphinx connected her questions most intimately with human sorrow, either in the individual or the household.

"Who is it," thus the riddle ran, "who is it that in the morning creeps upon all-fours, touching the earth in complete dependence,—and at noon, grown into the fulness of beauty and strength, walks erect with his face toward heaven,—but at the going down of the sun, returns again to his original frailty and dependence?"

This, answered Oedipus, is Man; and most fearfully did he realize it in his own life! In the mysteries of the Eleusinia there is the same prominence of human sorrow,—only here the Sphinx propounds her riddle in its religious phase; and in the change from the mystæ to the epoptæ, in the revelation of the central self, was the great problem symbolically realized.

Greece had her reckoning; and to her eye the Sphinx long ago seemed to plunge herself headlong into precipitate destruction. But this strange lady is ever reappearing with her awful alternative: they who cannot solve her riddle must die. It is no trifling account, reader, which we have with this lady. For now her riddle has grown to fearful proportions, connecting itself with the rise and fall of empires, with the dim realm of superstition, with vast systems of philosophy and faith. And the answer is always the same: "That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been is named already,—and it is known that it is Man."

What is it that shall explain the difference between our map of the world and that of Sesostris or Anaximander? Geological deposits, the washing away of mountains, and the change of river-courses are certainly but trifling in such an account. But an Argonautic expedition, a Trojan siege, a Jewish exodus, Nomadic invasions, and the names of Hanno, Cæsar, William the Conqueror, and Columbus, suggest an explanation. It is the flux of human life which must account for the flowing outline of the earth's geography. As with the terrestrial, so with the celestial. The heavens change by a subtiler movement than the precession of the equinoxes. In Job, "Behold the height of the stars, how high they are!" but to Homer they bathe in the Western seas; while to us, they are again removed to an incalculable distance,—but at the same time so near, that, in our hopes, they are the many mansions of our Father's house, the stepping-stones to our everlasting rest.

But there is also another map, reader, more shadowy in its outline, of an invisible region, neither of the heavens nor of the earth,—but having vague relations to each, with a secret history of its own, of which now and then strange tales and traditions are softly whispered in our ear,—where each of us has been, though no two ever tell the same story of their wanderings. Strange to say, each one calls all other tales superstitions and old-wives' fables; but observe, he always trembles when he tells his own. But they are all true; there is not one old-wife's fable on the list. Necromancers have had private interviews with visitors who had no right to be seen this side the Styx. The Witch of Endor and the raising of Samuel were literal facts. Above all others, the Nemesis and Eumenides were facts not to be withstood. And, philosophize as we may, ghosts have been seen at dead of night, and not always under the conduct of Mercury;[6] even the Salem witchcraft was very far from being a humbug. They are all true,—the gibbering ghost, the riding hag, the enchantment of wizards, and all the miracles of magic, none of which we have ever seen with the eye, but all of which we believe at heart. But who is it that weirdly draws aside the dark curtain? Who is this mystic lady, ever weaving at her loom,—weaving long ago, and weaving yet,—singing with unutterable sadness, as she interweaves with her web all the sorrows and shadowy fears that ever were or that ever shall be? We know, indeed, that she weaves the web of Fate and the curtain of the Invisible; for we have seen her work. We know, too, that she alone can show the many-colored web or draw aside the dark curtain; for we have seen her revelations. But who is she?

Ay, reader, the Sphinx puts close questions now and then; but there is only one answer that can satisfy her or avert death. This person,—the only real mystery which can exist for you,—of all things the most familiar, and at the same the most unfamiliar,—is yourself! You need not speak in whispers. It is true, this lady has a golden quiver as well as a golden distaff; but her arrows are all for those who cannot solve her riddle.

Protagoras, then, was right; and, looking back through these twenty-two centuries, we nod assent to his grand proposition: "Man is the measure of all things,—of the possible, how it is,—of the impossible, how it is not." In the individual life are laid the foundations of the universe, and upon each individual artist depend the symmetry and meaning of the constructed whole. This Master-Artist it is who holds the keys of life and death; and whatsoever he shall bind or loose in his consciousness shall be bound or loosed throughout the universe. Apart from him, Nature is resolved into an intangible, shapeless vanity of silence and darkness,—without a name, and, in fact, no Nature at all. To man, all Nature must be human in some soul. God himself is worshipped under a human phase; and it is here that Christianity, the flower of all Faith, furnishes the highest answer and realization of this world-riddle of the Sphinx,—here that it rests its eternal Truth, even as here it secures its unfailing appeal to the human heart!

The process by which any nature is realized is the process by which it is humanized. Thus are all things given to us for an inheritance. Let it be, that, apart from us, the universe sinks into insignificance and nothingness; to us it is a royal possession; and we are all kings, with a dominion as unlimited as our desire. Ubi Cæsar, ibi Roma! Rome is the world; and each man, if he will, is Cæsar.

If he will;—ay, there's the rub! In the strength of his will lie glory and absolute sway. But if he fail, then becomes evident the frailty of his tenure,—"he is a king of shreds and patches!"

Here is the crying treachery; and thus it happens that there are slaves and craven hearts. This is the profound pathos of history, (for the Sphinx has always more or less of sadness in her face,) which enters so inevitably into all human triumphs. The monuments of Egypt, the palaces and tombs of her kings,—revelations of the strength of will,—also by inevitable suggestions call to our remembrance successive generations of slaves and their endless toil. Morn after morn, at sunrise, for thousands of years, did Memnon breathe forth his music, that his name might be remembered upon the earth; but his music was the swell of a broken harp, and his name was whispered in mournful silence! Among the embalmed dead, in urn-burials, in the midst of catacombs, and among the graves upon our hillsides and in our valleys, there lurks the same sad mockery. Surely "purple Death and the strong Fates do conquer us!" Strangely, in vast solitudes, comes over us a sense of desolation, when even the faintest adumbrations of life seem lost in the inertia of mortality. In all pomp lurks the pomp of funeral; and we do now and then pay homage to the grim skeleton king who sways this dusty earth,—yea, who sways our hearts of dust!

But it is only when we yield that we are conquered. "The daemon shall not choose us, but we shall choose our daemon."[7] It is only when we lose hold of our royal inheritance that Time is seen with his scythe and the heritage becomes a waste.

This is the failure, the central loss, over which Achtheia mourns. Happy are the epoptæ who know this, who have looked the Sphinx in the face, and escaped death! They are the seers, they the heroes!

But "Conx Ompax!"

And now, like good Grecians, let us make the double libation to our lady,—toward the East and toward the West. That is an important point, reader; for thus is recognized the intimate connection which our lady has with the movements of Nature, in which her life is mirrored,—especially with the rising, the ongoing, and the waning of the day; and you remember that this also was the relief of the Sphinx's riddle,—this same movement from the rising to the setting sun. But prominently, as in all worship, are our eyes turned toward the East,—toward the resurrection. In the tomb of Memnon, at Thebes, are wrought two series of paintings; in the one, through successive stages, the sun is represented in his course from the East to the West,—and in the other is represented, through various stages, his return to the Orient. It was to this Orient that the old king looked, awaiting his regeneration.

Thus, reader, in all nations,—by no mere superstition, but by a glorious symbolism of Faith,—do the children of the earth lay them down in their last sleep with their faces to the East.


[2] The worship of this Great Mother is not more wonderful for its antiquity in time than for its prevalence as regards space. To the Hindu she was the Lady Isani. She was the Ceres of Roman mythology, the Cybele of Phrygia and Lydia, and the Disa of the North. According to Tacitus, (Germania, c. 9,) she was worshipped by the ancient Suevi. She was worshipped by the Muscovite, and representations of her are found upon the sacred drums of the Laplanders. She swayed the ancient world, from its southeast corner in India to Scandinavia in the northwest; and everywhere she is the "Mater Dolorosa." And who is it, reader, that in the Christian world struggles for life and power under the name of the Holy Virgin, and through the sad features of the Madonna?

[3] Iliad, I. 63.

[4] Euripides.

[5] Archilochus.

[6] This function of Mercury, as Psycho-Pompos, or conductor of departed souls to Hades, is often misunderstood. He was a Pompos not so much for the safety of the dead (though that was an important consideration) as for the peace of the living. The Greeks had an overwhelming fear of the dead, as is evident from the propitiatory rites to their shades; hence the necessity of putting them under strict charge,—even against their will. (Horace, I. Ode xxiv. 15.) All Mercury's qualifications point to this office, by which he defends the living against the invasions of the dead. Hence his craft and agility;—for who so fleet and subtle as a ghost?

[7] Plato's Republic, at the close.

The Minister's Wooing.


Chapter XXII.

Mary returned to the house with her basket of warm, fresh eggs, which she set down mournfully upon the table. In her heart there was one conscious want and yearning, and that was to go to the friends of him she had lost,—to go to his mother. The first impulse of bereavement is to stretch out the hands towards what was nearest and dearest to the departed.

Her dove came fluttering down out of the tree, and settled on her hand, and began asking in his dumb way to be noticed. Mary stroked his white feathers, and bent her head down over them till they were wet with tears. "Oh, birdie, you live, but he is gone!" she said. Then suddenly putting it gently from her, and going near and throwing her arms around her mother's neck,—"Mother," she said, "I want to go up to Cousin Ellen's." (This was the familiar name by which she always called Mrs. Marvyn.) "Can't you go with me, mother?"

"My daughter, I have thought of it. I hurried about my baking this morning, and sent word to Mr. Jenkyns that he needn't come to see about the chimney, because I expected to go as soon as breakfast should be out of the way. So, hurry, now, boil some eggs, and get on the cold beef and potatoes; for I see Solomon and Amaziah coming in with the milk. They'll want their breakfast immediately."

The breakfast for the hired men was soon arranged on the table, and Mary sat down to preside while her mother was going on with her baking,—introducing various loaves of white and brown bread into the capacious oven by means of a long iron shovel, and discoursing at intervals with Solomon, with regard to the different farming operations which he had in hand for the day.

Solomon was a tall, large-boned man, brawny and angular; with a face tanned by the sun, and graven with those considerate lines which New England so early writes on the faces of her sons. He was reputed an oracle in matters of agriculture and cattle, and, like oracles generally, was prudently sparing of his responses. Amaziah was one of those uncouth over-grown boys of eighteen whose physical bulk appears to have so suddenly developed that the soul has more matter than she has learned to recognize, so that the hapless individual is always awkwardly conscious of too much limb; and in Amaziah's case, this consciousness grew particularly distressing when Mary was in the room. He liked to have her there, he said,—"but, somehow, she was so white and pretty, she made him feel sort o' awful-like."

Of course, as such poor mortals always do, he must, on this particular morning, blunder into precisely the wrong subject.

"S'pose you've heerd the news that Jeduthun Pettibone brought home in the 'Flying Scud,' 'bout the wreck o' the 'Monsoon'; it's an awful providence, that 'ar' is,—a'n't it? Why, Jeduthun says she jest crushed like an egg-shell";—and with that Amaziah illustrated the fact by crushing an egg in his great brown hand.

Mary did not answer. She could not grow any paler than she was before; a dreadful curiosity came over her, but her lips could frame no question. Amaziah went on:—

"Ye see, the cap'en he got killed with a spar when the blow fust come on, and Jim Marvyn he commanded; and Jeduthun says that he seemed to have the spirit of ten men in him; he worked and he watched, and he was everywhere at once, and he kep' 'em all up for three days, till finally they lost their rudder, and went drivin' right onto the rocks. When, they come in sight, he come up on deck, and says he, 'Well, my boys, we're headin' right into eternity,' says he, 'and our chances for this world a'n't worth mentionin', any on us; but we'll all have one try for our lives. Boys, I've tried to do my duty by you and the ship,—but God's will be done! All I have to ask now is, that, if any of you git to shore, you'll find my mother and tell her I died thinkin' of her and father and my dear friends.' That was the last Jeduthun saw of him; for in a few minutes more the ship struck, and then it was every man for himself. Laws! Jeduthun says there couldn't nobody have stood beatin' agin them rocks, unless they was all leather and inger-rubber like him. Why, he says the waves would take strong men and jest crush 'em against the rocks like smashin' a pie-plate!"

Here Mary's paleness became livid; she made a hasty motion to rise from the table, and Solomon trod on the foot of the narrator.

"You seem to forget that friends and relations has feelin's," he said, as Mary hastily went into her own room.

Amaziah, suddenly awakened to the fact that he had been trespassing, sat with mouth half open and a stupefied look of perplexity on his face for a moment, and then, rising hastily, said, "Well, Sol, I guess I'll go an' yoke up the steers."

At eight o'clock all the morning toils were over, the wide kitchen cool and still, and the one-horse wagon standing at the door, into which climbed Mary, her mother, and the Doctor; for, though invested with no spiritual authority, and charged with no ritual or form for hours of affliction, the religion of New England always expects her minister as a first visitor in every house of mourning.

The ride was a sorrowful and silent one. The Doctor, propped upon his cane, seemed to reflect deeply.

"Have you been at all conversant with the exercises of our young friend's mind on the subject of religion?" he asked.

Mrs. Scudder did not at first reply. The remembrance of James's last letter flashed over her mind, and she felt the vibration of the frail child beside her, in whom every nerve was quivering. After a moment, she said,—"It does not become us to judge the spiritual state of any one. James's mind was in an unsettled way when he left; but who can say what wonders may have been effected by divine grace since then?"

This conversation fell on the soul of Mary like the sound of clods falling on a coffin to the ear of one buried alive;—she heard it with a dull, smothering sense of suffocation. That question to be raised?—and about one, too, for whom she could have given her own soul? At this moment she felt how idle is the mere hope or promise of personal salvation made to one who has passed beyond the life of self, and struck deep the roots of his existence in others. She did not utter a word;—how could she? A doubt,—the faintest shadow of a doubt,—in such a case, falls on the soul with the weight of mountain certainty; and in that short ride she felt what an infinite pain may be locked in one small, silent breast.

The wagon drew up to the house of mourning. Cato stood at the gate, and came forward, officiously, to help them out. "Mass'r and Missis will be glad to see you," he said. "It's a drefful stroke has come upon 'em."

Candace appeared at the door. There was a majesty of sorrow in her bearing, as she received them. She said not a word, but pointed with her finger towards the inner room; but as Mary lifted up her faded, weary face to hers, her whole soul seemed to heave towards her like a billow, and she took her up in her arms and broke forth into sobbing, and, carrying her in, as if she had been a child, set her down in the inner room and sat down beside her.

Mrs. Marvyn and her husband sat together, holding each other's hands, the open Bible between them. For a few moments nothing was to be heard but sobs and unrestrained weeping, and then all kneeled down to pray.

After they rose up, Mr. Zebedee Marvyn stood for a moment thoughtfully, and then said,—"If it had pleased the Lord to give me a sure evidence of my son's salvation, I could have given him up with all my heart; but now, whatever there may be, I have seen none." He stood in an attitude of hopeless, heart-smitten dejection, which contrasted painfully with his usual upright carriage and the firm lines of his face.

Mrs. Marvyn started as if a sword had pierced her, passed her arm round Mary's waist, with a strong, nervous clasp, unlike her usual calm self, and said,—"Stay with me, daughter, to-day!—stay with me!"

"Mary can stay as long as you wish, cousin," said Mrs. Scudder; "we have nothing to call her home."

"Come with me!" said Mrs. Marvyn to Mary, opening an adjoining door into her bedroom, and drawing her in with a sort of suppressed vehemence,—"I want you!—I must have you!"

"Mrs. Marvyn's state alarms me," said her husband, looking apprehensively after her when the door was closed; "she has not shed any tears, nor slept any, since she heard this news. You know that her mind has been in a peculiar and unhappy state with regard to religious things for many years. I was in hopes she might feel free to open her exercises of mind to the Doctor."

"Perhaps she will feel more freedom with Mary," said the Doctor. "There is no healing for such troubles except in unconditional submission to Infinite Wisdom and Goodness. The Lord reigneth, and will at last bring infinite good out of evil, whether our small portion of existence be included or not."

After a few moments more of conference, Mrs. Scudder and the Doctor departed, leaving Mary alone in the house of mourning.

Chapter XXIII.

We have said before, what we now repeat, that it is impossible to write a story of New England life and manners for superficial thought or shallow feeling. They who would fully understand the springs which moved the characters with whom we now associate must go down with us to the very depths.

Never was there a community where the roots of common life shot down so deeply, and were so intensely grappled around things sublime and eternal. The founders of it were a body of confessors and martyrs, who turned their backs on the whole glory of the visible, to found in the wilderness a republic of which the God of Heaven and Earth should be the sovereign power. For the first hundred years grew this community, shut out by a fathomless ocean from the existing world, and divided by an antagonism not less deep from all the reigning ideas of nominal Christendom.

In a community thus unworldly must have arisen a mode of thought, energetic, original, and sublime. The leaders of thought and feeling were the ministry, and we boldly assert that the spectacle of the early ministry of New England was one to which the world gives no parallel. Living an intense, earnest, practical life, mostly tilling the earth with their own hands, they yet carried on the most startling and original religious investigations with a simplicity that might have been deemed audacious, were it not so reverential. All old issues relating to government, religion, ritual, and forms of church organization having for them passed away, they went straight to the heart of things, and boldly confronted the problem of universal being. They had come out from the world as witnesses to the most solemn and sacred of human rights. They had accustomed themselves boldly to challenge and dispute all sham pretensions and idolatries of past ages,—to question the right of kings in the State, and of prelates in the Church; and now they turned the same bold inquiries towards the Eternal Throne, and threw down their glove in the lists as authorized defenders of every mystery in the Eternal Government. The task they proposed to themselves was that of reconciling the most tremendous facts of sin and evil, present and eternal, with those conceptions of Infinite Power and Benevolence which their own strong and generous natures enabled them so vividly to realize. In the intervals of planting and harvesting, they were busy with the toils of adjusting the laws of a universe. Solemnly simple, they made long journeys in their old one-horse chaises, to settle with each other some nice point of celestial jurisprudence, and to compare their maps of the Infinite. Their letters to each other form a literature altogether unique. Hopkins sends to Edwards the younger his scheme of the universe, in which he starts with the proposition, that God is infinitely above all obligations of any kind to his creatures. Edwards replies with the brusque comment,—"This is wrong; God has no more right to injure a creature than a creature has to injure God"; and each probably about that time preached a sermon on his own views, which was discussed by every farmer, in intervals of plough and hoe, by every woman and girl, at loom, spinning-wheel, or wash-tub. New England was one vast sea, surging from depths to heights with thought and discussion on the most insoluble of mysteries. And it is to be added, that no man or woman accepted any theory or speculation simply as theory or speculation; all was profoundly real and vital,—a foundation on which actual life was based with intensest earnestness.

The views of human existence which resulted from this course of training were gloomy enough to oppress any heart which did not rise above them by triumphant faith or sink below them by brutish insensibility; for they included every moral problem of natural or revealed religion, divested of all those softening poetries and tender draperies which forms, ceremonies, and rituals had thrown around them in other parts and ages of Christendom. The human race, without exception, coming into existence "under God's wrath and curse," with a nature so fatally disordered, that, although perfect free agents, men were infallibly certain to do nothing to Divine acceptance until regenerated by the supernatural aid of God's Spirit,—this aid being given only to a certain decreed number of the human race, the rest, with enough free agency to make them responsible, but without this indispensable assistance exposed to the malignant assaults of evil spirits versed in every art of temptation, were sure to fall hopelessly into perdition. The standard of what constituted a true regeneration, as presented in such treatises as Edwards on the Affections, and others of the times, made this change to be something so high, disinterested, and superhuman, so removed from all natural and common habits and feelings, that the most earnest and devoted, whose whole life had been a constant travail of endeavor, a tissue of almost unearthly disinterestedness, often lived and died with only a glimmering hope of its attainment.

According to any views then entertained of the evidences of a true regeneration, the number of the whole human race who could be supposed as yet to have received this grace was so small, that, as to any numerical valuation, it must have been expressed as an infinitesimal. Dr. Hopkins in many places distinctly recognizes the fact, that the greater part of the human race, up to his time, had been eternally lost,—and boldly assumes the ground, that this amount of sin and suffering, being the best and most necessary means of the greatest final amount of happiness, was not merely permitted, but distinctly chosen, decreed, and provided for, as essential in the schemes of Infinite Benevolence. He held that this decree not only permitted each individual act of sin, but also took measures to make it certain, though, by an exercise of infinite skill, it accomplished this result without violating human free agency.

The preaching of those times was animated by an unflinching consistency which never shrank from carrying an idea to its remotest logical verge. The sufferings of the lost were not kept from view, but proclaimed with a terrible power. Dr. Hopkins boldly asserts, that "all the use which God will have for them is to suffer; this is all the end they can answer; therefore all their faculties, and their whole capacities, will be employed and used for this end.... The body can by omnipotence be made capable of suffering the greatest imaginable pain, without producing dissolution, or abating the least degree of life or sensibility.... One way in which God will show his power in the punishment of the wicked will be in strengthening and upholding their bodies and souls in torments which otherwise would be intolerable."

The sermons preached by President Edwards on this subject are so terrific in their refined poetry of torture, that very few persons of quick sensibility could read them through without agony; and it is related, that, when, in those calm and tender tones which never rose to passionate enunciation, he read these discourses, the house was often filled with shrieks and waitings, and that a brother minister once laid hold of his skirts, exclaiming, in an involuntary agony, "Oh! Mr. Edwards! Mr. Edwards! is God not a God of mercy?"

Not that these men were indifferent or insensible to the dread words they spoke; their whole lives and deportment bore thrilling witness to their sincerity. Edwards set apart special days of fasting, in view of the dreadful doom of the lost, in which he was wont to walk the floor, weeping and wringing his hands. Hopkins fasted every Saturday. David Brainerd gave up every refinement of civilized life to weep and pray at the feet of hardened savages, if by any means he might save one. All, by lives of eminent purity and earnestness, gave awful weight and sanction to their words.

If we add to this statement the fact, that it was always proposed to every inquiring soul, as an evidence of regeneration, that it should truly and heartily accept all the ways of God thus declared right and lovely, and from the heart submit to Him as the only just and good, it will be seen what materials of tremendous internal conflict and agitation were all the while working in every bosom. Almost all the histories of religious experience of those times relate paroxysms of opposition to God and fierce rebellion, expressed in language which appalls the very soul,—followed, at length, by mysterious elevations of faith and reactions of confiding love, the result of Divine interposition, which carried the soul far above the region of the intellect, into that of direct spiritual intuition.

President Edwards records that he was once in this state of enmity,—that the facts of the Divine administration seemed horrible to him,—and that this opposition was overcome by no course of reasoning, but by an "inward and sweet sense," which came to him once when walking alone in the fields, and, looking up into the blue sky, he saw the blending of the Divine majesty with a calm, sweet, and almost infinite meekness.

The piety which grew up under such a system was, of necessity, energetic,—it was the uprousing of the whole energy of the human soul, pierced and wrenched and probed from her lowest depths to her topmost heights with every awful life-force possible to existence. He whose faith in God came clear through these terrible tests would be sure never to know greater ones. He might certainly challenge earth or heaven, things present or things to come, to swerve him from this grand allegiance.

But it is to be conceded, that these systems, so admirable in relation to the energy, earnestness, and acuteness of their authors, when received as absolute truth, and as a basis of actual life, had, on minds of a certain class, the effect of a slow poison, producing life-habits of morbid action very different from any which ever followed the simple reading of the Bible. They differ from the New Testament as the living embrace of a friend does from his lifeless body, mapped out under the knife of the anatomical demonstrator;—every nerve and muscle is there, but to a sensitive spirit there is the very chill of death in the analysis.

All systems that deal with the infinite are, besides, exposed to danger from small, unsuspected admixtures of human error, which become deadly when carried to such vast results. The smallest speck of earth's dust, in the focus of an infinite lens, appears magnified among the heavenly orbs as a frightful monster.

Thus it happened, that, while strong spirits walked, palm-crowned, with victorious hymns, along these sublime paths, feebler and more sensitive ones lay along the track, bleeding away in life-long despair. Fearful to them were the shadows that lay over the cradle and the grave. The mother clasped her babe to her bosom, and looked with shuddering to the awful coming trial of free agency, with its terrible responsibilities and risks, and, as she thought of the infinite chances against her beloved, almost wished it might die in infancy. But when the stroke of death came, and some young, thoughtless head was laid suddenly low, who can say what silent anguish of loving hearts sounded the dread depths of eternity with the awful question, Where?

In no other time or place of Christendom have so fearful issues been presented to the mind. Some church interposed its protecting shield; the Christian born and baptized child was supposed in some wise rescued from the curse of the fall, and related to the great redemption,—to be a member of Christ's family, and, if ever so sinful, still infolded in some vague sphere of hope and protection. Augustine solaced the dread anxieties of trembling love by prayers offered for the dead, in times when the Church above and on earth presented itself to the eye of the mourner as a great assembly with one accord lifting interceding hands for the parted soul.

But the clear logic and intense individualism of New England deepened the problems of the Augustinian faith, while they swept away all those softening provisions so earnestly clasped to the throbbing heart of that great poet of theology. No rite, no form, no paternal relation, no faith or prayer of church, earthly or heavenly, interposed the slightest shield between the trembling spirit and Eternal Justice. The individual entered eternity alone, as if he had no interceding relation in the universe.

This, then, was the awful dread which was constantly underlying life. This it was which caused the tolling bell in green hollows and lonely dells to be a sound which shook the soul and searched the heart with fearful questions. And this it was that was lying with mountain weight on the soul of the mother, too keenly agonized to feel that doubt in such a case was any less a torture than the most dreadful certainty.

Hers was a nature more reasoning than creative and poetic; and whatever she believed bound her mind in strictest chains to its logical results. She delighted in the regions of mathematical knowledge, and walked them as a native home; but the commerce with abstract certainties fitted her mind still more to be stiffened and enchained by glacial reasonings, in regions where spiritual intuitions are as necessary as wings to birds.

Mary was by nature of the class who never reason abstractly, whose intellections all begin in the heart, which sends them colored with its warm life-tint to the brain. Her perceptions of the same subjects were as different from Mrs. Marvyn's as his who revels only in color from his who is busy with the dry details of mere outline. The one mind was arranged like a map, and the other like a picture. In all the system which had been explained to her, her mind selected points on which it seized with intense sympathy, which it dwelt upon and expanded till all else fell away. The sublimity of disinterested benevolence,—the harmony and order of a system tending in its final results to infinite happiness,—the goodness of God,—the love of a self-sacrificing Redeemer,—were all so many glorious pictures, which she revolved in her mind with small care for their logical relations.

Mrs. Marvyn had never, in all the course of their intimacy, opened her mouth to Mary on the subject of religion. It was not an uncommon incident of those times for persons of great elevation and purity of character to be familiarly known and spoken of as living under a cloud of religious gloom; and it was simply regarded as one more mysterious instance of the workings of that infinite decree which denied to them the special illumination of the Spirit.

When Mrs. Marvyn had drawn Mary with her into her room, she seemed like a person almost in frenzy. She shut and bolted the door, drew her to the foot of the bed, and, throwing her arms round her, rested her hot and throbbing forehead on her shoulder. She pressed her thin hand over her eyes, and then, suddenly drawing back, looked her in the face as one resolved to speak something long suppressed. Her soft brown eyes had a flash of despairing wildness in them, like that of a hunted animal turning in its death-struggle on its pursuer.

"Mary," she said, "I can't help it,—don't mind what I say, but I must speak or die! Mary, I cannot, will not, be resigned!—it is all hard, unjust, cruel!—to all eternity I will say so! To me there is no goodness, no justice, no mercy in anything! Life seems to me the most tremendous doom that can be inflicted on a helpless being! What had we done, that it should be sent upon us? Why were we made to love so, to hope so,—our hearts so full of feeling, and all the laws of Nature marching over us,—never stopping for our agony? Why, we can suffer so in this life that we had better never have been born!

"But, Mary, think what a moment life is! think of those awful ages of eternity! and then think of all God's power and knowledge used on the lost to make them suffer! think that all but the merest fragment of mankind have gone into this,—are in it now! The number of the elect is so small we can scarce count them for anything! Think what noble minds, what warm, generous hearts, what splendid natures are wrecked and thrown away by thousands and tens of thousands! How we love each other! how our hearts weave into each other! how more than glad we should be to die for each other! And all this ends—O God, how must it end?—Mary! it isn't my sorrow only! What right have I to mourn? Is my son any better than any other mother's son? Thousands of thousands, whose mothers loved them as I love mine, are gone there!—Oh, my wedding-day! Why did they rejoice? Brides should wear mourning,—the bells should toll for every wedding; every new family is built over this awful pit of despair, and only one in a thousand escapes!"

Pale, aghast, horror-stricken, Mary stood dumb, as one who in the dark and storm sees by the sudden glare of lightning a chasm yawning under foot. It was amazement and dimness of anguish;—the dreadful words struck on the very centre where her soul rested. She felt as if the point of a wedge were being driven between her life and her life's life,—between her and her God. She clasped her hands instinctively on her bosom, as if to hold there some cherished image, and said in a piercing voice of supplication, "My God! my God! oh, where art Thou?"

Mrs. Marvyn walked up and down the room with a vivid spot of red in each cheek and a baleful fire in her eyes, talking in rapid soliloquy, scarcely regarding her listener, absorbed in her own enkindled thoughts.

"Dr. Hopkins says that this is all best,—better than it would have been in any other possible way,—that God chose it because it was for a greater final good,—that He not only chose it, but took means to make it certain,—that He ordains every sin, and does all that is necessary to make it certain,—that He creates the vessels of wrath and fits them for destruction, and that He has an infinite knowledge by which He can do it without violating their free agency.—So much the worse! What a use of infinite knowledge What if men should do so? What if a father should take means to make it certain that his poor little child should be an abandoned wretch, without violating his free agency? So much the worse, I say!—They say He does this so that He may show to all eternity, by their example, the evil nature of sin and its consequences! This is all that the greater part of the human race have been used for yet; and it is all right, because an overplus of infinite happiness is yet to be wrought out by it!—It is not right! No possible amount of good to ever so many can make it right to deprave ever so few;—happiness and misery cannot be measured so! I never can think it right,—never!—Yet they say our salvation depends on our loving God,—loving Him better than ourselves,—loving Him better than our dearest friends.—It is impossible!—it is contrary to the laws of my nature! I can never love God! I can never praise Him!—I am lost! lost! lost! And what is worse, I cannot redeem my friends! Oh, I could suffer forever,—how willingly!—if I could save him!—But oh, eternity, eternity! Frightful, unspeakable woe! No end!—no bottom!—no shore!—no hope!—O God! O God!"

Mrs. Marvyn's eyes grew wilder,—she walked the door, wringing her hands,—and her words, mingled with shrieks and moans, became whirling and confused, as when in autumn a storm drives the leaves in dizzy mazes.

Mary was alarmed,—the ecstasy of despair was just verging on insanity. She rushed out and called Mr. Marvyn.

"Oh! come in! do! quick!—I'm afraid her mind is going!" she said.

"It is what I feared," he said, rising from where he sat reading his great Bible, with an air of heartbroken dejection. "Since she heard this news, she has not slept nor shed a tear. The Lord hath covered us with a cloud in the day of his fierce anger."

He came into the room, and tried to take his wife into his arms. She pushed him violently back, her eyes glistening with a fierce light. "Leave me alone!" she said,—"I am a lost spirit!"

These words were uttered in a shriek that went through Mary's heart like an arrow.

At this moment, Candace, who had been anxiously listening at the door for an hour past, suddenly burst into the room.

"Lor' bress ye, Squire Marvyn, we won't hab her goin' on dis yer way," she said. "Do talk gospel to her, can't ye?—ef you can't, I will."

"Come, ye poor little lamb," she said, walking straight up to Mrs. Marvyn, "come to ole Candace!"—and with that she gathered the pale form to her bosom, and sat down and began rocking her, as if she had been a babe. "Honey, darlin', ye a'n't right,—dar's a drefful mistake somewhar," she said. "Why, de Lord a'n't like what ye tink,—He loves ye, honey! Why, jes' feel how I loves ye,—poor ole black Candace,—an' I a'n't better'n Him as made me! Who was it wore de crown o' thorns, lamb?—who was it sweat great drops o' blood?—who was it said, 'Father, forgive dem'? Say, honey!—wasn't it de Lord dat made ye?—Dar, dar, now ye'r' cryin'!—cry away, and ease yer poor little heart! He died for Mass'r Jim,—loved him and died for him,—jes' give up his sweet, precious body and soul for him on de cross! Laws, jes' leave him in Jesus' hands! Why, honey, dar's de very print o' de nails in his hands now!"

The flood-gates were rent; and healing sobs and tears shook the frail form, as a faded lily shakes under the soft rains of summer. All in the room wept together.

"Now, honey," said Candace, after a pause of some minutes, "I knows our Doctor's a mighty good man, an' larned,—an' in fair weather I ha'n't no 'bjection to yer hearin' all about dese yer great an' mighty tings he's got to say. But, honey, dey won't do for you now; sick folks mus'n't hab strong meat; an' times like dese, dar jest a'n't but one ting to come to, an' dat ar's Jesus. Jes' come right down to whar poor ole black Candace has to stay allers,—it's a good place, darlin'! Look right at Jesus. Tell ye, honey, ye can't live no other way now. Don't ye 'member how He looked on His mother, when she stood faintin' an' tremblin' under de cross, jes' like you? He knows all about mothers' hearts; He won't break yours. It was jes' 'cause He know'd we'd come into straits like dis yer, dat he went through all dese tings,—Him, de Lord o' Glory! Is dis Him you was a-talkin' about?—Him you can't love? Look at Him, an' see ef you can't. Look an' see what He is!—don't ask no questions, and don't go to no reasonin's,—jes' look at Him, hangin' dar, so sweet and patient, on de cross! All dey could do couldn't stop his lovin' 'em; he prayed for 'em wid all de breath he had. Dar's a God you can love, a'n't dar? Candace loves Him,—poor, ole, foolish, black, wicked Candace,—and she knows He loves her,"—and here Candace broke down into torrents of weeping.

They laid the mother, faint and weary, on her bed, and beneath the shadow of that suffering cross came down a healing sleep on those weary eyelids.

"Honey," said Candace, mysteriously, after she had drawn Mary out of the room, "don't ye go for to troublin' yer mind wid dis yer. I'm clar Mass'r James is one o' de 'lect; and I'm clar dar's consid'able more o' de 'lect dan people tink. Why, Jesus didn't die for nothin',—all dat love a'n't gwine to be wasted. De 'lect is more'n you or I knows, honey! Dar's de Spirit,—He'll give it to 'em; and ef Mass'r James is called an' took, depend upon it de Lord has got him ready,—course He has,—so don't ye go to layin' on yer poor heart what no mortal creetur can live under; 'cause, as we's got to live in dis yer world, it's quite clar de Lord must ha' fixed it so we can; and ef tings was as some folks suppose, why, we couldn't live, and dar wouldn't be no sense in anyting dat goes on."

The sudden shock of these scenes was followed, in Mrs. Marvyn's case, by a low, lingering fever. Her room was darkened, and she lay on her bed, a pale, suffering form, with scarcely the ability to raise her hand. The shimmering twilight of the sick-room fell on white napkins, spread over stands, where constantly appeared new vials, big and little, as the physician, made his daily visit, and prescribed now this drug and now that, for a wound that had struck through the soul.

Mary remained many days at the white house, because, to the invalid, no step, no voice, no hand was like hers. We see her there now, as she sits in the glimmering by the bed-curtains,—her head a little drooped, as droops a snowdrop over a grave;—one ray of light from a round hole in the closed shutters falls on her smooth-parted hair, her small hands are clasped on her knees, her mouth has lines of sad compression, and in her eyes are infinite questionings.

Chapter XXIV.

When Mrs. Marvyn began to amend, Mary returned to the home cottage, and resumed the details of her industrious and quiet life.

Between her and her two best friends had fallen a curtain of silence. The subject that filled all her thoughts could not be named between them. The Doctor often looked at her pale cheeks and drooping form with a face of honest sorrow, and heaved deep sighs as she passed; but he did not find any power within himself by which he could approach her. When he would speak, and she turned her sad, patient eyes so gently on him, the words went back again to his heart, and there, taking a second thought, spread upward wing in prayer.

Mrs. Scudder sometimes came to her room after she was gone to bed, and found her weeping; and when gently she urged her to sleep, she would wipe her eyes so patiently and turn her head with such obedient sweetness, that her mother's heart utterly failed her. For hours Mary sat in her room with James's last letter spread out before her. How anxiously had she studied every word and phrase in it, weighing them to see if the hope of eternal life were in them! How she dwelt on those last promises! Had he kept them? Ah! to die without one word more! Would no angel tell her?—would not the loving God, who knew all, just whisper one word? He must have read the little Bible! What had he thought? What did he feel in that awful hour when he felt himself drifting on to that fearful eternity? Perhaps he had been regenerated,—perhaps there had been a sudden change;—who knows?—she had read of such things;—perhaps—Ah, in that perhaps lies a world of anguish! Love will not hear of it. Love dies for certainty. Against an uncertainty who can brace the soul? We put all our forces of faith and prayer against it, and it goes down just as a buoy sinks in the water, and the next moment it is up again. The soul fatigues itself with efforts which come and go in waves; and when with laborious care she has adjusted all things in the light of hope, back flows the tide, and sweeps all away. In such struggles life spends itself fast; an inward wound does not carry one deathward more surely than this worst wound of the soul. God has made us so mercifully that there is no certainty, however dreadful, to which life-forces do not in time adjust themselves,—but to uncertainty there is no possible adjustment. Where is he? Oh, question of questions!—question which we suppress, but which a power of infinite force still urges on the soul, who feels a part of herself torn away.

Mary sat at her window in evening hours, and watched the slanting sunbeams through the green blades of grass, and thought one year ago he stood there, with his well-knit, manly form, his bright eye, his buoyant hope, his victorious mastery of life! And where was he now? Was his heart as sick, longing for her, as hers for him? Was he looking back to earth and its joys with pangs of unutterable regret? or had a divine power interpenetrated his soul, and lighted there the flame of a celestial love which bore him far above earth? If he were among the lost, in what age of eternity could she ever be blessed? Could Christ be happy, if those who were one with Him were sinful and accursed? and could Christ's own loved ones be happy, when those with whom they have exchanged being, in whom they live and feel, are as wandering stars, for whom is reserved the mist of darkness forever? She had been taught that the agonies of the lost would be forever in sight of the saints, without abating in the least their eternal joys; nay, that they would find in it increasing motives to praise and adoration. Could it be so? Would the last act of the great Bridegroom of the Church be to strike from the heart of his purified Bride those yearnings of self-devoting love which His whole example had taught her, and in which she reflected, as in a glass, His own nature? If not, is there not some provision by which those roots of deathless love which Christ's betrothed ones strike into other hearts shall have a divine, redeeming power? Question vital as life-blood to ten thousand hearts,—fathers, mothers, wives, husbands,—to all who feel the infinite sacredness of love!

After the first interview with Mrs. Marvyn, the subject which had so agitated them was not renewed. She had risen at last from her sick-bed, as thin and shadowy as a faded moon after sunrise. Candace often shook her head mournfully, as her eyes followed her about her dally tasks. Once only, with Mary, she alluded to the conversation which had passed between them;—it was one day when they were together, spinning, in the north upper room that looked out upon the sea. It was a glorious day. A ship was coming in under full sail, with white gleaming wings. Mrs. Marvyn watched it a few moments,—the gay creature, so full of exultant life,—and then smothered down an inward groan, and Mary thought she heard her saying, "Thy will be done!"

"Mary," she said, gently, "I hope you will forget all I said to you that dreadful day. It had to be said, or I should have died. Mary, I begin to think that it is not best to stretch our minds with reasonings where we are so limited, where we can know so little. I am quite sure there must be dreadful mistakes somewhere.

"It seems to me irreverent and shocking that a child should oppose a father, or a creature its Creator. I never should have done it, only that, where direct questions are presented to the judgment, one cannot help judging. If one is required to praise a being as just and good, one must judge of his actions by some standard of right,—and we have no standard but such as our Creator has placed in us. I have been told it was my duty to attend to these subjects, and I have tried to,—and the result has been that the facts presented seem wholly irreconcilable with any notions of justice or mercy that I am able to form. If these be the facts, I can only say that my nature is made entirely opposed to them. If I followed the standard of right they present, and acted according to my small mortal powers on the same principles, I should be a very bad person. Any father, who should make such use of power over his children as they say the Deity does with regard to us, would be looked upon as a monster by our very imperfect moral sense. Yet I cannot say that the facts are not so. When I heard the Doctor's sermons on 'Sin a Necessary Means of the Greatest Good,' I could not extricate myself from the reasoning.

"I have thought, in desperate moments, of giving up the Bible itself. But what do I gain? Do I not see the same difficulty in Nature? I see everywhere a Being whose main ends seem to be beneficent, but whose good purposes are worked out at terrible expense of suffering, and apparently by the total sacrifice of myriads of sensitive creatures. I see unflinching order, general good-will, but no sympathy, no mercy. Storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, sickness, death, go on without regarding us. Everywhere I see the most hopeless, unrelieved suffering,—and for aught I see, it may be eternal. Immortality is a dreadful chance, and I would rather never have been.—The Doctor's dreadful system is, I confess, much like the laws of Nature,—about what one might reason out from them.

"There is but just one thing remaining, and that is, as Candace said, the cross of Christ. If God so loved us,—if He died for us,—greater love hath no man than this. It seems to me that love is shown here in the two highest forms possible to our comprehension. We see a Being who gives himself for us,—and more than that, harder than that, a Being who consents to the suffering of a dearer than self. Mary, I feel that I must love more, to give up one of my children to suffer, than to consent to suffer myself. There is a world of comfort to me in the words, 'He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?' These words speak to my heart. I can interpret them by my own nature, and I rest on them. If there is a fathomless mystery of sin and sorrow, there is a deeper mystery of God's love. So, Mary, I try Candace's way,—I look at Christ,—I pray to Him. If he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father, it is enough. I rest there,—I wait. What I know not now I shall know hereafter."

Mary kept all things and pondered them in her heart. She could speak to no one,—not to her mother, nor to her spiritual guide; for had she not passed to a region beyond theirs? As well might those on the hither side of mortality instruct the souls gone beyond the veil as souls outside a great affliction guide those who are struggling in it. That is a mighty baptism, and only Christ can go down with us into those waters.

Mrs. Scudder and the Doctor only marked that she was more than ever conscientious in every duty, and that she brought to life's daily realities something of the calmness and disengagedness of one whose soul has been wrenched by a mighty shock from all moorings here below. Hopes did not excite, fears did not alarm her; life had no force strong enough to awaken a thrill within; and the only subjects on which she ever spoke with any degree of ardor were religious subjects.

One who should have seen moving about the daily ministrations of the cottage a pale girl, whose steps were firm, whose eye was calm, whose hands were ever busy, would scarce imagine that through that silent heart were passing tides of thought that measured a universe; but it was even so. Through that one gap of sorrow flowed in the whole awful mystery of existence, and silently, as she spun and sewed, she thought over and over again all that she had ever been taught, and compared and revolved it by the light of a dawning inward revelation.

Sorrow is the great birth-agony of immortal powers,—sorrow is the great searcher and revealer of hearts, the great test of truth; for Plato has wisely said, sorrow will not endure sophisms,—all shams and unrealities melt in the fire of that awful furnace. Sorrow reveals forces in ourselves we never dreamed of. The soul, a bound and sleeping prisoner, hears her knock on her cell-door, and wakens. Oh, how narrow the walls! oh, how close and dark the grated window! how the long useless wings beat against the impassable barriers! Where are we? What is this prison? What is beyond? Oh for more air, more light! When will the door be opened? The soul seems to itself to widen and deepen; it trembles at its own dreadful forces; it gathers up in waves that break with wailing only to flow back into the everlasting void. The calmest and most centred natures are sometimes thrown by the shock of a great sorrow into a tumultuous amazement. All things are changed. The earth no longer seems solid, the skies no longer secure; a deep abyss seems underlying every joyous scene of life. The soul, struck with this awful inspiration, is a mournful Cassandra; she sees blood on every threshold, and shudders in the midst of mirth and festival with the weight of a terrible wisdom.

Who shall dare be glad any more, that has once seen the frail foundations on which love and joy are built? Our brighter hours, have they only been weaving a network of agonizing remembrances for this day of bereavement? The heart is pierced with every past joy, with every hope of its ignorant prosperity. Behind every scale in music, the gayest and cheeriest, the grandest, the most triumphant, lies its dark relative minor; the notes are the same, but the change of a semitone changes all to gloom;—all our gayest hours are tunes that have a modulation into these dreary keys ever possible; at any moment the key-note may be struck.

The firmest, best-prepared natures are often beside themselves with astonishment and dismay, when they are called to this dread initiation. They thought it a very happy world before,—a glorious universe. Now it is darkened with the shadow of insoluble mysteries. Why this everlasting tramp of inevitable laws on quivering life? If the wheels must roll, why must the crushed be so living and sensitive?

And yet sorrow is godlike, sorrow is grand and great, sorrow is wise and farseeing. Our own instinctive valuations, the intense sympathy which we give to the tragedy which God has inwoven into the laws of Nature, show us that it is with no slavish dread, no cowardly shrinking, that we should approach her divine mysteries. What are the natures that cannot suffer? Who values them? From the fat oyster, over which the silver tide rises and falls without one pulse upon its fleshy ear, to the hero who stands with quivering nerve parting with wife and child and home for country and God, all the way up is an ascending scale, marked by increasing power to suffer; and when we look to the Head of all being, up through principalities and powers and princedoms, with dazzling orders and celestial blazonry, to behold by what emblem the Infinite Sovereign chooses to reveal himself, we behold, in the midst of the throne, "a lamb as it had been slain."

Sorrow is divine. Sorrow is reigning on the throne of the universe, and the crown of all crowns has been one of thorns. There have been many books that treat of the mystery of sorrow, but only one that bids us glory in tribulation, and count it all joy when we fall into divers afflictions, that so we may be associated with that great fellowship of suffering of which the Incarnate God is the head, and through which He is carrying a redemptive conflict to a glorious victory over evil. If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.

Even in the very making up of our physical nature, God puts suggestions of such a result. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." There are victorious powers in our nature which are all the while working for us in our deepest pain. It is said, that, after the sufferings of the rack, there ensues a period in which the simple repose from torture produces a beatific trance; it is the reaction of Nature, asserting the benignant intentions of her Creator. So, after great mental conflicts and agonies must come a reaction, and the Divine Spirit, co-working with our spirit, seizes the favorable moment, and, interpenetrating natural laws with a celestial vitality, carries up the soul to joys beyond the ordinary possibilities of mortality.

It is said that gardeners, sometimes, when they would bring a rose to richer flowering, deprive it, for a season, of light and moisture. Silent and dark it stands, dropping one fading leaf after another, and seeming to go down patiently to death. But when every leaf is dropped, and the plant stands stripped to the uttermost, a new life is even then working in the buds, from which shall spring a tender foliage and a brighter wealth of flowers. So, often in celestial gardening, every leaf of earthly joy must drop, before a new and divine bloom visits the soul.

Gradually, as months passed away, the floods grew still; the mighty rushes of the inner tides ceased to dash. There came first a delicious calmness, and then a celestial inner clearness, in which the soul seemed to lie quiet as an untroubled ocean, reflecting heaven. Then came the fulness of mysterious communion given to the pure in heart,—that advent of the Comforter in the soul, teaching all things and bringing all things to remembrance; and Mary moved in a world transfigured by a celestial radiance. Her face, so long mournfully calm, like some chiselled statue of Patience, now wore a radiance, as when one places a light behind some alabaster screen sculptured with mysterious and holy emblems, and words of strange sweetness broke from her, as if one should hear snatches of music from a door suddenly opened in heaven. Something wise and strong and sacred gave an involuntary impression of awe in her looks and words;—it was not the childlike loveliness of early days, looking with dovelike, ignorant eyes on sin and sorrow; but the victorious sweetness of that great multitude who have come out of great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. In her eyes there was that nameless depth that one sees with awe in the Sistine Madonna,—eyes that have measured infinite sorrow and looked through it to an infinite peace.

"My dear Madam," said the Doctor to Mrs. Scudder, "I cannot but think that there must be some uncommonly gracious exercises passing in the mind of your daughter; for I observe, that, though she is not inclined to conversation, she seems to be much in prayer; and I have, of late, felt the sense of a Divine Presence with her in a most unusual degree. Has she opened her mind to you?"

"Mary was always a silent girl," said Mrs. Scudder, "and not given to speaking of her own feelings; indeed, until she gave you an account of her spiritual state, on joining the church, I never knew what her exercises were. Hers is a most singular case. I never knew the time when she did not seem to love God more than anything else. It has disturbed me sometimes,—because I did not know but it might be mere natural sensibility, instead of gracious affection."

"Do not disturb yourself, Madam," said the Doctor. "The Spirit worketh when, where, and how He will; and, undoubtedly, there have been cases where His operations commence exceedingly early. Mr. Edwards relates a case of a young person who experienced a marked conversion when three years of age; and Jeremiah was called from the womb. (Jeremiah, i. 5.) In all cases we must test the quality of the evidence without relation to the time of its commencement. I do not generally lay much stress on our impressions, which are often uncertain and delusive; yet I have had an impression that the Lord would be pleased to make some singular manifestations of His grace through this young person. In the economy of grace there is neither male nor female; and Peter says (Acts, ii. 17) that the Spirit of the Lord shall be poured out and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Yet if we consider that the Son of God, as to his human nature, was made of a woman, it leads us to see that in matters of grace God sets a special value on woman's nature and designs to put special honor upon it. Accordingly, there have been in the Church, in all ages, holy women who have received the Spirit and been called to a ministration in the things of God,—such as Deborah, Huldah, and Anna, the prophetess. In our own days, most uncommon manifestations of divine grace have been given to holy women. It was my privilege to be in the family of President Edwards at a time when Northampton was specially visited, and his wife seemed and spoke more like a glorified spirit than a mortal woman,—and multitudes flocked to the house to hear her wonderful words. She seemed to have such a sense of the Divine love as was almost beyond the powers of nature to endure. Just to speak the words, 'Our Father who art in heaven,' would overcome her with such a manifestation that she would become cold and almost faint; and though she uttered much, yet she told us that the divinest things she saw could not be spoken. These things could not be fanaticism, for she was a person of a singular evenness of nature, and of great skill and discretion in temporal matters, and of an exceeding humility, sweetness, and quietness of disposition."

"I have observed of late," said Mrs. Scudder, "that, in our praying circles, Mary seemed much carried out of herself, and often as if she would speak, and with difficulty holding herself back. I have not urged her, because I thought it best to wait till she should feel full liberty."

"Therein you do rightly, Madam," said the Doctor; "but I am persuaded you will hear from her yet."

It came at length, the hour of utterance. And one day, in a praying circle of the women of the church, all were startled by the clear silver tones of one who sat among them and spoke with the unconscious simplicity of an angel child, calling God her Father, and speaking of an ineffable union in Christ, binding all things together in one, and making all complete in Him. She spoke of a love passing knowledge,—passing all love of lovers or of mothers,—a love forever spending, yet never spent,—a love ever pierced and bleeding, yet ever constant and triumphant, rejoicing with infinite joy to bear in its own body the sins and sorrows of a universe,—conquering, victorious love, rejoicing to endure, panting to give, and offering its whole self with an infinite joyfulness for our salvation. And when, kneeling, she poured out her soul in prayer, her words seemed so many winged angels, musical with unearthly harpings of an untold blessedness. They who heard her had the sensation of rising in the air, of feeling a celestial light and warmth, descending into their souls; and when, rising, she stood silent and with downcast drooping eyelids, there were tears in all eyes, and a hush in all movements as she passed, as if something celestial were passing out.

Miss Prissy came rushing homeward, to hold a private congratulatory talk with the Doctor and Mrs. Scudder, while Mary was tranquilly setting the tea-table and cutting bread for supper.

"To see her now, certainly," said Miss Prissy, "moving round so thoughtful, not forgetting anything, and doing everything so calm, you wouldn't 'a' thought it could be her that spoke those blessed words and made that prayer! Well, certainly, that prayer seemed to take us all right up and put us down in heaven! and when I opened my eyes, and saw the roses and asparagus-bushes on the manteltree-piece, I had to ask myself, 'Where have I been?' Oh, Miss Scudder, her afflictions have been sanctified to her!—and really, when I see her going on so, I feel she can't be long for us. They say, dying grace is for dying hours; and I'm sure this seems more like dying grace than anything that I ever yet saw."

"She is a precious gift," said the Doctor; "let us thank the Lord for his grace through her. She has evidently had a manifestation of the Beloved, and feedeth among the lilies (Canticles, vi. 3); and we will not question the Lord's further dispensations concerning her."

"Certainly," said Miss Prissy, briskly, "it's never best to borrow trouble; 'sufficient unto the day' is enough, to be sure.—And now, Miss Scudder, I thought I'd just take a look at that dove-colored silk of yours to-night, to see what would have to be done with it, because I must make every minute tell; and you know I lose half a day every week for the prayer-meeting. Though I ought not to say I lose it, either; for I was telling Miss General Wilcox I wouldn't give up that meeting for bags and bags of gold. She wanted me to come and sew for her one Wednesday, and says I, 'Miss Wilcox, I'm poor and have to live by my work, but I a'n't so poor but what I have some comforts, and I can't give up my prayer-meeting for any money,—for you see, if one gets a little lift there, it makes all the work go lighter,—but then I have to be particular to save up every scrap and end of time."

Mrs. Scudder and Miss Prissy crossed the kitchen and entered the bedroom, and soon had the dove-colored silk under consideration.

"Well, Miss Scudder," said Miss Prissy, after mature investigation, "here's a broad hem, not cut at all on the edge, as I see, and that might be turned down, and so cut off the worn spot up by the waist,—and then, if it is turned, it will look every bit and grain as well as a new silk;—I'll sit right down now and go to ripping. I put my ripping-knife into my pocket when I put on this dress to go to prayer-meeting, because, says I to myself, there'll be something to do at Miss Scudder's to-night. You just get an iron to the fire, and we'll have it all ripped and pressed out before dark."

Miss Prissy seated herself at the open window, as cheery as a fresh apple-blossom, and began busily plying her knife, looking at the garment she was ripping with an astute air, as if she were about to circumvent it into being a new dress by some surprising act of legerdemain. Mrs. Scudder walked to the looking-glass and began changing her bonnet cap for a tea-table one.

Miss Prissy, after a while, commenced in a mysterious tone.

"Miss Scudder, I know folks like me shouldn't have their eyes open too wide, but then I can't help noticing some things. Did you see the Doctor's face when we was talking to him about Mary? Why, he colored all up and the tears came into his eyes. It's my belief that that blessed man worships the ground she treads on. I don't mean worships, either,—'cause that would be wicked, and he's too good a man to make a graven image of anything,—but it's clear to see that there a'n't anybody in the world like Mary to him. I always did think so; but I used to think Mary was such a little poppet—that she'd do better for—Well, you know, I thought about some younger man;—but, laws, now I see how she rises up to be ahead of everybody, and is so kind of solemn-like. I can't but see the leadings of Providence. What a minister's wife she'd be, Miss Scudder!—why, all the ladies coming out of prayer-meeting were speaking of it. You see, they want the Doctor to get married;—it seems more comfortable-like to have ministers married; one feels more free to open their exercises of mind; and as Miss Deacon Twitchel said to me,—'If the Lord had made a woman o' purpose, as he did for Adam, he wouldn't have made her a bit different from Mary Scudder.' Why, the oldest of us would follow her lead,—'cause she goes before us without knowing it."

"I feel that the Lord has greatly blessed me in such a child," said Mrs. Scudder, "and I feel disposed to wait the leadings of Providence."

"Just exactly," said Miss Prissy, giving a shake to her silk; "and as Miss Twitchel said, in this case every providence seems to p'int. I felt dreadfully for her along six months back; but now I see how she's been brought out, I begin to see that things are for the best, perhaps, after all. I can't help feeling that Jim Marvyn is gone to heaven, poor fellow! His father is a deacon,—and such a good man!—and Jim, though he did make a great laugh wherever he went, and sometimes laughed where he hadn't ought to, was a noble-hearted fellow. Now, to be sure, as the Doctor says, 'amiable instincts a'n't true holiness'; but then they are better than unamiable ones, like Simeon Brown's. I do think, if that man is a Christian, he is a dreadful ugly one; he snapped me short up about my change, when he settled with me last Tuesday; and if I hadn't felt that it was a sinful rising, I should have told him I'd never put foot in his house again; I'm glad, for my part, he's gone out of our church. Now Jim Marvyn was like a prince to poor people; and I remember once his mother told him to settle with me, and he gave me 'most double, and wouldn't let me make change. 'Confound it all, Miss Prissy,' says he, 'I wouldn't stitch as you do from morning to night for double that money.' Now I know we can't do anything to recommend ourselves to the Lord, but then I can't help feeling some sorts of folks must be by nature more pleasing to Him than others. David was a man after God's own heart, and he was a generous, whole-souled fellow, like Jim Marvyn, though he did get carried away by his spirits sometimes and do wrong things; and so I hope the Lord saw fit to make Jim one of the elect. We don't ever know what God's grace has done for folks. I think a great many are converted when we know nothing about it, as Miss Twitchel told poor old Miss Tyrel, who was mourning about her son, a dreadful wild boy, who was killed falling from mast-head; she says, that from the mast-head to the deck was time enough for divine grace to do the work."

"I have always had a trembling hope for poor James," said Mrs. Scudder,—"not on account of any of his good deeds or amiable traits, because election is without foresight of any good works,—but I felt he was a child of the covenant, at least by the father's side, and I hope the Lord has heard his prayer. These are dark providences; the world is full of them; and all we can do is to have faith that the Lord will bring infinite good out of finite evil, and make everything better than if the evil had not happened. That's what our good Doctor is always repeating; and we must try to rejoice, in view of the happiness of the universe, without considering whether we or our friends are to be included in it or not."

"Well, dear me!" said Miss Prissy, "I hope, if that is necessary, it will please the Lord to give it to me; for I don't seem to find any powers in me to get up to it. But all's for the best, at any rate,—and that's a comfort."

Just at this moment Mary's clear voice at the door announced that tea was on the table.

"Coming, this very minute," said Miss Prissy, bustling up and pulling off her spectacles. Then, running across the room, she shut the door mysteriously, and turned to Mrs. Scudder with the air of an impending secret. Miss Prissy was subject to sudden impulses of confidence, in which she was so very cautious that not the thickest oak-plank door seemed secure enough, and her voice dropped to its lowest key. The most important and critical words were entirely omitted, or supplied by a knowing wink and a slight stamp of the foot.

In this mood she now approached Mrs. Scudder, and, holding up her hand on the door-side to prevent consequences, if, after all she should be betrayed into a loud word, she said, "I thought I'd just say, Miss Scudder, that, in case Mary should —— the Doctor,—in case, you know, there should be a —— in the house, you must just contrive it so as to give me a month's notice, so that I could give you a whole fortnight to fix her up as such a good man's —— ought to be. Now I know how spiritually-minded our blessed Doctor is; but, bless you, Ma'am, he's got eyes. I tell you, Miss Scudder, these men, the best of 'em, feel what's what, though they don't know much. I saw the Doctor look at Mary that night I dressed her for the wedding-party. I tell you he'd like to have his wife look pretty well, and he'll get up some blessed text or other about it, just as he did that night about being brought unto the king in raiment of needle-work. That is an encouraging thought to us sewing-women.

"But this thing was spoken of after the meeting. Miss Twitchel and Miss Jones were talking about it; and they all say that there would be the best setting-out got for her that was ever seen in Newport, if it should happen. Why, there's reason in it. She ought to have at least two real good India silks that will stand alone,—and you'll see she'll have 'em, too; you let me alone for that; and I was thinking, as I lay awake last night, of a new way of making up, that you will say is just the sweetest that ever you did see. And Miss Jones was saying that she hoped there wouldn't anything happen without her knowing it, because her husband's sister in Philadelphia has sent her a new receipt for cake, and she has tried it and it came out beautifully, and she says she'll send some in."

All the time that this stream was flowing, Mrs. Scudder stood with the properly reserved air of a discreet matron, who leaves all such matters to Providence, and is not supposed unduly to anticipate the future; and, in reply, she warmly pressed Miss Prissy's hand, and remarked, that no one could tell what a day might bring forth,—and other general observations on the uncertainty of mortal prospects, which form a becoming shield when people do not wish to say more exactly what they are thinking of.

[To be continued.]

Once and Now.

The Mourner lies in the solemn room
Where his Dead hath lately lain;
And in the drear, oppressive gloom,
Death-pallid with the dying moon,
There pass before his brain,
In blended visions manifold,
The present and the days of old.

Fair falls the snow on her grave to-day,
Shrouding her sleep sublime;
But he sees in the sunny far-away
None among maidens so fair and gay
As she in her sweet spring-time:
Where the song and the sport and the revel be,
None among maidens so fair as she.

He marks where the perfect crescent dips
Above the heaven of her eyes,
Her beamy hair in soft eclipse,
The red enchantment of her lips,
And all the grace that lies
Dreaming in her neck's pure curve,
With its regal lift and its swanlike swerve.

In pictures which are forever joys,
She cometh to him once more:
Once, with her dainty foot a-poise,
She drives the bird with a merry noise
From her lifted battledoor,
And tosses back, with impatient air,
The ruffled glory of her hair;—

Then gayly draping a painted doll,
To please an eager child;
Or pacing athwart a stately hall;
Or kneeling at dewy evenfall,
When clouds are crimson-piled,
And all the hushed and scented air
Is tremulous with the voice of prayer;—

Or standing mute and rapture-bound
The while her sisters sing;
From voice and lute there floats around
A golden confluence of sound,
Spreading in fairy ring;
And with a beautiful grace and glow
Her head sways to the music's flow.

One night of nights in lustrous June,
She walks with him alone;
Through silver glidings of the moon
The runnels purl a dreamy tune;
His arm is round her thrown:
But looks and sounds far lovelier
Thrill on his trancéd soul from her.

And then that rounded bliss, increased
To one consummate hour!
The marriage-robe, the stoléd priest,
The kisses when the rite hath ceased,
And with her heart's rich dower
She standeth by his shielding side,
His wedded wife and his own bright bride!

And then the sacred influence
That flushed her flower to prime!
Through Love's divine omnipotence
She ripened to a mother once,
But once, and for all time:
No higher heaven on him smiled
Than that young mother and her child.

Then all the pleasant household scenes
Through all the latter years!
No murky shadow intervenes,—
Her gentle aspect only leans
Through the soft mist of tears;
Her sweet, warm smile, her welkin glance,—
There is no speech nor utterance.

O angel form, O darling face,
Slow fading from the shore!
O brave, true heart, whose warmest place
Was his alone by Love's sweet grace,
Still, still, forevermore!
And now he lonely lieth, broken-hearted;
For all the grace and glory have departed.

Snow-cold in sculptured calm she lies,
Apparelled saintly white;
On her sealed lips no sweet replies,
And the blue splendor of her eyes
Gone down in dreamless night;
All empery of Death expressed
In that inexorable rest!

Now leave this fair and holy Thing
Alone with God's dear grace!
Her grave is but the entering
Beneath the shadow of His wing,
Her trusty hiding-place,
Till, in the grand, sweet Dawn, at last,
This tyranny be overpast.

A Trip to Cuba.

Can Grande's Departure.—The Dominica.—Lottery-Tickets.

I have not told you how Can Grande took leave of the Isle of Rogues, as one of our party christened the fair Queen of the Antilles. I could not tell you how he loathed the goings on at Havana, how hateful he found the Spaniards, and how villainous the American hotel-keepers. His superlatives of censure were in such constant employment that they began to have a threadbare sound before he left us; and as he has it in prospective to run the gantlet of all the inn-keepers on the continent of Europe, to say nothing of farther lands, where inn-keepers would be a relief, there is no knowing what exhaustion his powers in this sort may undergo before he reaches us again. He may break down into weak, compliant good-nature, and never be able to abuse anybody again, as long as he lives. In that case, his past life and his future, taken together, will make a very respectable average. But the climate really did not suit him, the company did not satisfy him, and there came a moment when he said, "I can bear it no longer!" and we answered, "Go in peace!"

It now becomes me to speak of Sobrina, who has long been on a temperance footing, and who forgets even to blush when the former toddy is mentioned, though she still shudders at the remembrance of sour-sop. She is the business-man of the party; and while philosophy and highest considerations occupy the others, with an occasional squabble over virtue and the rights of man, she changes lodgings, hires carts, transports baggage, and, knowing half-a-dozen words of Spanish, makes herself clearly comprehensible to everybody. We have found a Spanish steamer for Can Grande; but she rows thither in a boat and secures his passage and state-room. The noontide sun is hot upon the waters, but her zeal is hotter still. Now she has made a curious bargain with her boatmen, by which they are to convey the whole party to the steamer on the fourth day.

"What did you tell them?" we asked.

"I said, tres noches (three nights) and un dia, (one day,) and then took out my watch and showed them five o'clock on it, and pointed to the boat and to myself. They understood, perfectly."

And so, in truth, they did; for, going to the wharf on the day and at the hour appointed, we found the boatmen in waiting, with eager faces. But here a new difficulty presented itself;—the runner of our hotel, a rascal German, whose Cuban life has sharpened his wits and blunted his conscience, insisted that the hiring of boats for the lodgers was one of his (many) perquisites, and that before his sovereign prerogative all other agreements were null and void.—N.B. There was always something experimentative about this man's wickedness. He felt that he did not know how far men might be gulled, or the point where they would be likely to resist. This was a fault of youth. With increasing years and experience he will become bolder and more skilful, and bids fair, we should say, to become one of the most dexterous operators known in his peculiar line. On the present occasion, he did not heed the piteous pleadings of the disappointed boatmen, nor Sobrina's explanations, nor Can Grande's arguments. But when the whole five of us fixed upon him our mild and scornful eyes, something within him gave way. He felt a little bit of the moral pressure of Boston, and feebly broke down, saying, "You better do as you like, then," and so the point was carried.

A pleasant run brought us to the side of the steamer. It was dusk already as we ascended her steep gangway, and from that to darkness there is, at this season, but the interval of a breath. Dusk, too, were our thoughts, at parting from Can Grande, the mighty, the vehement, the great fighter. How were we to miss his deep music, here and at home! With his assistance we had made a very respectable band; now we were to be only a wandering drum and fife,—the fife particularly shrill, and the drum particularly solemn. Well, we went below, and examined the little den where Can Grande was to pass the other seven days of his tropical voyaging. The berths were arranged the wrong way,—across, not along, the vessel,—and we foresaw that his head would go up and his feet down, and vice versâ, with every movement of the steamer, and our weak brains reeled at the bare thought of what he was to suffer. He, good soul, meanwhile, was thinking of his supper, and wondering if he could get tea, coffee, and chocolate, a toasted roll, and the touch of cold ham which an invalid loves. And we beheld, and they were bringing up the side of the vessel trays of delicious pastry, and festoons of fowls, with more literal butcher's meat. And we said, "There will be no famine on board. Make the most of your supper, Can Grande; for it will be the last of earth to you, for some time to come." And now came silence, and tears, and last embraces; we slipped down the gangway into our little craft, and, looking up, saw, bending above us, between the slouched hat and the silver beard, the eyes that we can never forget, that seemed to drop back in the darkness with the solemnity of a last farewell. We went home, and the drum hung himself gloomily on his peg, and the little fife shut up for the remainder of the evening.

Has Mr. Dana described the Dominica, I wonder? Well, if he has, I cannot help it. He never can have eaten so many ices there as I have, nor passed so many patient hours amid the screeching, chattering, and devouring, which make it most like a cage of strange birds, or the monkey department in the Jardin des Plantes.—Mem. I always observed that the monkeys just mentioned seemed far more mirthful than their brethren in the London Zoölogical Gardens. They form themselves, so to speak, on a livelier model, and feel themselves more at home with their hosts.

But the Dominica. You know, probably, that it is the great café of Havana. All the day long it is full of people of all nations, sipping ices, chocolate, and so on; and all night long, also, up to the to me very questionable hour when its patrons go home and its garçons go to bed. We often found it a welcome refuge at noon, when the douche of sunlight on one's cervix bewilders the faculties, and confuses one's principles of gravitation, toleration, etc., etc. You enter from the Tophet of the street, and the intolerable glare is at once softened to a sort of golden shadow. The floor is of stone; in the midst trickles a tiny fountain with golden network; all other available space is crowded with marble tables, square or round; and they, in turn, are scarcely visible for the swarm of black-coats that gather round them. The smoke of innumerable cigars gives a Rembrandtic tinge to the depths of the picture, and the rows and groups of nodding Panama hats are like very dull flower-beds. In the company, of course, the Spanish-Cuban element largely predominates; yet here and there the sharper English breaks upon the ear.

"Yes, I went to that plantation; but they have only one thousand boxes of sugar, and we want three thousand for our operation."

A Yankee, you say. Yes, certainly; and turning, you see the tall, strong Philadelphian from our hotel, who calls for everything by its right name, and always says, "Mas! mas!" when the waiter helps him to ice. Some one near us is speaking a fuller English, with a richer "r" and deeper intonation. See there! that is our own jolly captain, Brownless of ours, the King of the "Karnak"; and going up to the British lion, we shake the noble beast heartily by the paw.

The people about us are imbibing a variety of cooling liquids. Our turn comes at last. The garçon who says, "I speke Aingliss," brings us each a delicious orange granizada, a sort of half-frozen water-ice, familiar to Italy, but unknown in America. It is ice in the first enthusiasm of freezing,—condensed, not hardened. Promoting its liquefaction with the spoon, you enjoy it through the mediation of a straw. The unskilful make strange noises and gurglings through this tenuis avena; but to those who have not forgotten the accomplishment of suction, as acquired at an early period of existence, the modus in quo is easy and agreeable.

You will hardly weary of watching the groups that come and go and sit and talk in this dreamy place. If you are a lady, every black eye directs its full, tiresome stare at your face, no matter how plain that face may be. But you have learned before this to consider those eyes as so many black dots, so many marks of wonder with no sentence attached; and so you coolly pursue your philosophizing in your corner, strong in the support of a companion, who, though deeply humanitarian and peaceful, would not hesitate to punch any number of Spanish heads that should be necessary for the maintenance of your comfort and his dignity.

The scene is occasionally varied by the appearance of a beggar-woman, got up in great decency, and with a wonderful air of pinched and faded gentility. She wears an old shawl upon her head, but it is as nicely folded as an aristocratic mantilla; her feet are cased in the linen slippers worn by the poorer classes, but there are no unsavory rags and dirt about her. "That good walk of yours, friend," I thought, "does not look like starvation." Yet, if over there were a moment when one's heart should soften towards an imposing fellow-creature, it is when one is in the midst of the orange granizada. The beggar circles slowly and mournfully round all the marble tables in turn, holding out her hand to each, as the plate is offered at a church collection. She is not importunate; but, looking in each one's face, seems to divine whether he will give or no. A Yankee, sitting with a Spaniard, offers her his cigar. The Spaniard gravely pushes the cigar away, and gives her a medio.

More pertinacious is the seller of lottery-tickets, male or female, who has more at stake, and must run the risk of your displeasure for the chance of your custom. Even in your bed you are hardly safe from the ticket-vender. You stand at your window, and he, waiting in the street, perceives you, and with nods, winks, and showing of his wares endeavors to establish a communication with you. Or you stop and wait somewhere in your volante, and in the twinkling of an eye the wretch is at your side to bear you company till you drive off again. At the Dominica he is especially persevering, and stands and waits with as much zeal as if he knew the saintly line of Milton. Like the beggar, however, he is discriminative in the choice of his victims, and persecutes the stony Yankee less than the oily Spaniard, whose inbred superstitions force him to believe in luck.

Very strange stories do they tell about the trade in lottery-tickets,—strange, at least, to us, who consider them the folly of follies. Here, as in Italy, the lotteries are under the care of the State, and their administration is as careful and important as that of any other branch of finance. They are a regular and even reputable mode of investment. The wealthy commercial houses all own tickets, sometimes keeping the same number for years, but more frequently changing after each unsuccessful experiment. A French gentleman in Havana assured me that his tickets had already cost him seven thousand dollars. "And now," said he, "I cannot withdraw, for I cannot lose what I have already paid. The number has not been up once in eight years; its turn must come soon. If I were to sell my ticket, some one would be sure to draw the great prize with it the week after." This, perhaps, is not very unlike the calculations of business risks most in vogue in our great cities. A single ticket costs an ounce (seventeen dollars); but you are constantly offered fractions, to an eighth or a sixteenth. There are ticket-brokers who accommodate the poorer classes with interests to the amount of ten cents, and so on. Thus, for them, the lottery replaces the savings-bank, with entire uncertainty of any return, and the demoralizing process of expectation thrown into the bargain. The negroes invest a good deal of money in this way, and we heard in Matanzas a curious anecdote on this head. A number of negroes, putting their means together, had commissioned a ticket-broker to purchase and hold for them a certain ticket. After long waiting and paying up, news came to Matanzas that the ticket had drawn the $100,000 prize. The owners of the negroes were in despair at this intelligence. "Now my cook will buy himself," says one; "my calesero will be free," says another; and so on. The poor slaves ran, of course, in great agitation, to get their money. But, lo! the office was shut up. The rascal broker had absconded. He had never run the risk of purchasing the ticket; but had coolly appropriated this and similar investments to his own use, preferring the bird in the hand to the whole aviary of possibilities. He was never heard of more; but should he ever turn up anywhere, I commend him as the fittest subject for Lynch-law on record.

Well, as I have told you, all these golden chances wait for you at the Dominica, and many Americans buy, and look very foolish when they acknowledge it. The Nassauese all bought largely during their short stay; and even their little children held up with exultation their fragments of tickets, all good for something, and bad for something, too.

If you visit the Dominica in the evening, you find the same crowd, only with a sprinkling of women, oftenest of your own country, in audacious bonnets, and with voices and laughter which bring the black eyes upon them for a time. If it be Sunday evening, you will see here and there groups of ladies in full ball-dress, fresh from the Paseo, the volante waiting for them outside. All is then at its gayest and busiest; but your favorite waiter, with disappointment in his eyes, will tell you that there is "no mas" of your favorite granizada, and will persuade you to take, I know not what nauseous substitute in its place; for all ices are not good at the Dominica, and some are (excuse the word) nasty. People sit and sip, prolonging their pleasures with dilatory spoon and indefatigable tongue. Group follows group; but the Spaniards are what I should call heavy sitters, and tarry long over their ice or chocolate. The waiter invariably brings to every table a chafing-dish with a burning coal, which will light a cigar long after its outer glow has subsided into ashy white. Some humans retain this kindling power;—vide Ninon and the ancient Goethe;—it is the heart of fire, not the flame of beauty, that does it. When one goes home, tired, at ten or eleven, the company shows no sign of thinning, nor does one imagine how the ground is ever cleared, so as to allow an interval of sleep between the last ice at night and the first coffee in the morning. It is the universal siesta which makes the Cubans so bright and fresh in the evening. With all this, their habits are sober, and the evening refreshment always light. No suppers are eaten here; and it is even held dangerous to take fruit as late as eight o'clock, P.M.

The Dominica has still another aspect to you, when you go there in the character of a citizen and head of family to order West India sweetmeats for home-consumption. You utter the magic word dulces, and are shown with respect into the establishment across the way, where a neat steam-engine is in full operation, tended by blacks and whites, stripped above the waist, and with no superfluous clothing below it. Here they grind the chocolate, and make the famous preserves, of which a list is shown you, with prices affixed. As you will probably lose some minutes in perplexity as to which are best for you to order, let me tell you that the guava jelly and marmalade are first among them, and there is no second. You may throw in a little pine-apple, mamey, lime, and cocoa-plum; but the guava is the thing, and, in case of a long run on the tea-table, will give the most effectual support. The limes used to be famous in our youth; but in these days they make them hard and tough. The marmalade of bitter oranges is one of the most useful of Southern preserves; but I do not remember it on the list of the Dominica. Having given your order, let me further advise you to remain, if practicable, and see it fulfilled; as you will find, otherwise, divers trifling discrepancies between the bill and the goods as delivered, which, though of course purely accidental, will all be, somehow, to the Dominica's advantage, and not to yours. If you are in moderate circumstances, order eight or ten dollars' worth; if affluent, twenty or thirty dollars' worth; if rash and extravagant, you may rise even to sixty dollars; but you will find in such an outlay food for repentance. One word in your ear: do not buy the syrups, for they are made with very bad sugar, and have no savor of the fruits they represent.

And this is all I can tell about the Dominica, which I recommend to all of you for refreshment and amusement. We have nothing like it in New York or Boston,—our salons of the same description having in them much more to eat and much less to see. As I look back upon it, the place assumes a deeply Moorish aspect. I see the fountain, the golden light, the dark faces, and intense black eyes, a little softened by the comforting distance. Oh! to sit there for one hour, and help the garçon's bad English, and be pestered by the beggar, and tormented by the ticket-vender, and support the battery of the wondering looks, which make it sin for you, a woman, to be abroad by day! Is there any purgatory which does not grow lovely as you remember it? Would not a man be hanged twice, if he could?

[To be continued.]

Zelma's Vow.

[Continued from the July Number.]

Part Second.

How it was Kept.

It was late when Zelma Burleigh returned to the Grange. As she stole softly into the hall, she startled an Italian greyhound, which was lying asleep on a mat near the door. As he sprang up, the little silver bells on his collar tinkled out his master's secret;—Sir Harry Willerton was still in the drawing-room with Bessie.

As Zelma passed up to her chamber, she said to herself bitterly,—"Thus openly and fearlessly can the rich and well-born woo and be wooed, while such as we must steal away to happiness as to crime, and plight our vows under the chill and shadow of night!" But the next moment she felt that there was about her love a piquant sense of peril and lawlessness, a wild flavor infinitely more to her taste than would be any prudent, commendable affection grown in drawing-rooms, nourished by conventionalism, and propped by social fitness; and remembering the manly beauty and brilliant parts of her lover, she felt that she would not exchange him for the proudest noble of the realm.

After a time Bessie came stealing up from the drawing-room, and lay down by her cousin's side, softly, for fear of waking her; and all night long Bessie's secret curled about her smiling mouth, and quivered through the lids of her shut eyes, and overran her red lips in murmurs of happy dreams; but Zelma's secret burned like slow fire in her deepest heart. Bessie dreamed of merry games and quiet rambles and country fêtes with the gay Sir Harry; but Zelma, when at last she slept, dreamed of wandering with her adventurous lover from province to province,—then of playing Juliet to his Romeo before a vast metropolitan audience.

Days went on, and Bessie's pure, transparent nature, a lily-bud of sweetest womanhood, seemed unconsciously revealing itself, leaf by leaf, to all the world, and blooming out its beautiful innermost life; but Zelma's secret still smouldered in her shut heart, never by any chance flaming up to her lips in words. Her month assumed a look of rigid resolution, almost of desperation; and her eyes shone with a hard, diamond-like brilliancy, fitful, but never soft or tearful. Her manner grew more and more moody and constrained, till even her matter-of-fact uncle and aunt, good easy souls, and her absorbed cousin, became curious and anxious. The little elfish black pony was in more frequent request than ever; for his mistress now went out at any hour that suited her whim, in any weather, chose the loneliest by-ways, and rode furiously. Often, at evening, she ascended a dark gorge of the western hills and plunged down on the other side, as though in hot pursuit of the setting sun; and at length there came a report from the gossiping post-mistress of a little village over there, that she came for letters, which she duly received, addressed in a dashing, manly hand. This story, coming to the ears of Roger Burleigh, quickened his dull suspicions that "something was wrong with that poor girl"; and just as he was getting positive and peremptory, and Bessie perplexed and alarmed, Zelma disappeared!

For several days there were anxious inquiries and vain searches in every direction,—storming, weeping, and sleeplessness in the Squire's usually happy household; and then came a letter, whose Scottish post-mark revealed much of the mystery. It was from Zelma, telling that she had left the Grange forever, and become the wife of "Mr. Bury, the strolling player"; and saying that she had taken this step of her own free will, knowing it to be a fatal, unpardonable sin against caste, and that it would set a great gulf between her and her respectable relatives. Yet, she asked, had not a gulf of feeling, as deep and wide, ever separated their hearts from the gypsy's daughter? and was it not better and more honest to break the weak social ties of protection and dependence which had stretched like wild vines across the chasm to hide it from the world? She then bade them all an abrupt and final farewell It was a letter brief, cold, and curt, almost to insolence; but beneath her new name, which was dashed off with somewhat of a dramatic flourish, there appeared hurriedly scrawled in pencil a woman's postscript, containing the real soul of the letter, a passionate burst of feeling, a bitter cry of long-repressed, sorrowful tenderness. It implored forgiveness for any pain she might ever have given them, for any disgrace she might ever bring upon them,—it thanked and blessed them for past kindness, and humbly prayed for them the choicest gifts and the most loving protection of Heaven. This postscript was signed "Zelle,"—the orphan's childish and pet name at the Grange, which she now put off with the peace and purity of maidenhood and domestic life.

When it was known how Zelma Burleigh had fled, and with whom, the neighboring gentry were duly shocked and scandalized. The village gossips declared that they had always foreseen some such fate for "that strange girl," and sagely prophesied that the master of Willerton Hall would abandon all thought of an alliance with a family whose escutcheon had suffered so severely. But they counted on the baronet, not on the man,—and so, for once, were mistaken.

As for honest Roger Burleigh, he was beside himself with amazement and indignation at the folly and ingratitude of his niece and the measureless presumption of "that infernal puppy of a play-actor," as he denominated Zelma's clever husband.

As he was one day talking over the sad affair with his friend Sir Harry, who best succeeded in soothing him down, he inveighed against all actors and actresses in the strongest terms of aversion and contempt, giving free expression to the violent provincial prejudice of his time against players of all degrees.

"But, my dear Sir," interrupted the young Baronet, "your niece has not become an actress,—only the wife of a promising actor."

"No,—but she will be one yet. She's stage-struck now, more than anything else; and mark my words,—that villain will have her on the boards before the year's end, and live by her ranting. Why, you see, Sir Harry, strolling is in the blood, and must out, I suppose. The girl, as you may have heard, is half gypsy. My brother, Captain Burleigh, was a sad scamp, and actually married a Spanish Zincala! He was drunk at the time, we have the consolation to believe, or he could never have so far belied his good old English blood, dissipated dog as he was. To be sure, she saved his life once, and really was a beautiful, devoted creature, by all accounts; and if Zelma had done no worse than she,—run away with any poor devil, provided only he were a gentleman,—or if she had gone off vagabondizing with one of her mother's people, it would not have been so infamous an affair as it is; she might still have been accounted an honest woman;—but, my God, Sir Harry, a strolling player!"

Mrs. Burleigh was but a dutiful echo of her husband's prejudices, and gave up her hapless niece as lost beyond redemption; but Bessie, though she grieved more than either, suffered from no sense of humiliation, and allowed no virtuous anger, no injurious doubts, to enter her blessed little heart. Yet she missed her lost companion, her strong friend, and, still vine-like in her instincts, turned wholly to the new support,—to one who submitted himself gladly to the sweet inthralment, and felt all the grander for the luscious weight and tendril-like clasp. And so Love came to pretty Bessie's heart "with healing in his wings."

Unspeakable was the dismay of Mr. Bury at finding that a very modest amount of personal property was all that his runaway wife could hope to receive from her relatives,—that she was utterly portionless, her father having more than exhausted the patrimony of a younger son. He had supposed, from Zelma's apparently honorable position in the household of her uncle, that she was, if not an heiress, at least respectably dowered. Had he been better informed, it is doubtful whether, improvident and enamored as he was, he would have ruralized and practicalized Romeo in the lane of Burleigh Grange. Zelma herself, too unworldly to suspect that self-interest had anything to do with her conquest, never alluded to her lack of dowry till it was too late. Then both manly shame and manly passion (for the actor loved her in his way, which was by no means her way, or the way of any large, loyal nature) restrained all unbecoming expression of chagrin and disappointment,—which yet sunk into his heart, and prepared the not uncongenial coil for a goodly crop of suspicion, jealousy, alienation, aversion, and all manner of domestic infelicities.

We cannot follow Zelma step by step, in her precarious and wandering life, for the six months succeeding her marriage. It was a life not altogether distasteful to her. She was not enough of a fine lady to be dismayed or humiliated by its straits and shifts of poverty, by its isolation and ostracism; while there was something in its alternations of want and profusion, in its piquant contrasts of real and mimic life, in its excitement, action, and change, which had a peculiar charm for her wild and restless spirit. But from many of the associations of the stage, from nearly all actors and actresses, and from all green-room loungers, she instinctively recoiled, and held herself haughtily aloof from the motley little world behind the scenes,—apparently by no effort, but as sphered apart by the atmosphere of refinement and superiority which enveloped her. Yet she almost constantly accompanied her husband to rehearsal and play, where, for a time, her presence was grateful both to the pride and a more amiable passion of her mercurial lord. But the sight of that shy, shadowy figure haunting the wings, of those keen, critical eyes ever following the business of the stage, at last grew irksome to him, and he would fain have persuaded her to remain quietly at their lodgings, whilst he was attending to his professional duties. But no, she would go with him,—not for pleasure, or even affection, but, as she always avowed, for artistic purposes. That she had cherished, ever since her marriage, the plan of adopting her husband's profession, she had never concealed from him. He usually laughed, in his gay, supercilious way, when she spoke of this purpose, or lightly patted her grand head and declared her to be a wilful, unpractical enthusiast,—too much a child of Nature to attempt an art of any kind,—born to live and be poetry, not to declaim it,—to inspire genius, not to embody it,—a Muse, not a Sibyl.

Once, when she was more than usually earnest in pleading for her plan,—not merely on the strength of her own deep, prophetic conviction of her fitness for a dramatic career, but on the ground of an urgent and bitter necessity for exertion on her part, to ward off actual destitution and suffering,—he exclaimed, somewhat impatiently,—"Why, Zelma, it is an impossibility, almost an absurdity, you urge! You could never make an actress. You are too hopelessly natural, erratic, and impulsive. You would follow no teaching implicitly, but, when you saw fit, would trample on conventionalities and venerable stage-traditions. You would set up the standard of revolt against the ancient canons of Art, and flout it in the faces of the critics, and—fail,—ay, fail, in spite of your great, staring eyes, the tragic weight of your brows, and the fiery swell of your nostril."

"I should certainly tread my own ways on the boards, as elsewhere," replied Zelma, quietly,—"move and act from the central force, the instinct and inspiration of Nature,—letting the passion of my part work itself out in its own gestures, postures, looks, and tones,—falling short of, or going beyond, mere stage-traditions. With all due deference for authorities, this would be my art, as it has been the art of all truly great actors. I shall certainly not adopt my husband's profession without his consent,—but I shall never cease importuning him for that consent."

Lawrence "laughed a laugh of merry scorn," and left her to her solitary studies and the patient nursing of her purpose.

It was finally, for Zelma's sake, through the unsolicited influence of Sir Harry Willerton, that "Mr. Lawrence Bury, Tragedian," attained to a high point in a provincial actor's ambition,—a London engagement.

After a disheartening period of waiting and idleness, during which he and his wife made actual face-to-face acquaintance with want, and both came near playing their parts in the high-tragedy of starvation in a garret, he made his first appearance before the audience of Covent Garden, in the part of Mercutio. He was young, shapely, handsome, and clever,—full of flash and dash, and, above all, new. He had chosen well his part,—Mercutio,—that graceful frolic of fancy, which less requires sustained intellectual power than the exaltation of animal spirits,—that brief sunburst of life, that brilliant bubble of character, which reflects, for a moment, a world of beauty and sparkle, and dies in a flash of wit, yet leaves on the mind a want, a tender regret, which follow one through all the storm and woe of the tragedy.

So it was little wonder, perhaps, that he achieved a decided success, though incomparably greater artists had failed where he triumphed, and that, in spite of the doubtful looks and faint praise of the critics, he became at once a public favorite,—the fashion, the rage. Ladies of the highest ton condescended to admire and applaud, and hailed as a benefactor the creator of a new sensation.

Very soon the young actor's aspiring soul rose above all secondary parts, dropped Mercutio and Horatio for Romeo and Hamlet, and had not the sense to see that he was getting utterly out of his element, dashing with silken sails into the tempest of tragedy, soaring on Icarian wings over its profoundest deeps and into the height and heat of its intensest passion.

Yet with the young, the unthinking, the eager, the curious, it was then as it is now and ever shall be,—confidence easily passed for genius, and presumption for power. Tributes of admiration and envy poured in upon him,—anonymous missives, tender and daring, odorous with the atmosphere of luxurious boudoirs, and coarse scrawls, scented with orange-peel and lamp-smoke, and seeming to hiss with the sibilant whisper of green-room spite; and the young actor, valuing alike the sentiments, kindly or malign, which ministered to his egoism, intoxicated with the first foamy draught of fame, grew careless, freakish, and arrogant, as all suddenly adopted pets of the public are likely to do.

At length Mr. Bury played before Royalty, and Royalty was heard to say to Nobility in attendance,—"What!—Who is he? Where did he come from? How old is he? Not quite equal to Garrick yet, but clever,—eh, my Lord?"

This gracious royal criticism, being duly reported and printed, removed the last let to aristocratic favor; fast young bloods of the highest nobility did not acorn to shake off their perfumes and air their profane vocabulary in the green-room, offering snuff and the incense of flattery together to the Tamerlane, the Romeo, or the Lord Hamlet of the night.

Happily, with the actor's fame rose his salary; and as both rose, the actor and his wife descended from their lofty attic-room—into whose one window the stars looked with, it seemed to Zelma, a startling nearness—to respectable lodgings on the second floor.

It was during this first London season that the manager of Covent Garden, himself an actor, remarked the rare capabilities of Zelma's face, voice, and figure for the stage, and in a matter-of-fact business way spoke of them to her husband. The leading actor looked annoyed, and sought to change the subject of conversation; but as the wife's dreamy eyes flashed with sudden splendor, revealing the true dramatic fire, the manager returned upon him with his artistic convictions and practical arguments, and at length wrung from him most reluctant consent that Zelma, after the necessary study, should make a trial of her powers.

Though well over the first summer-warmth of his romantic passion, Lawrence Bury had not yet grown so utterly cold toward his beautiful wife that he could see that trial approach without some slight sympathetic dread; but his miserable egoism forbade him to wish her success; in his secret heart he even hoped that an utter, irretrievable failure would wither at once and forever her pretty artistic aspirations.

Zelma chose for her début the part of Zara in "The Mourning Bride,"—not out of any love for the character, which was too stormy, vicious, and revengeful to engage her sympathies,—but because it was rapid, vehement, sharply defined, and, if realized at all, she said, would put her, by its very fierceness and wickedness, too far out of herself for failure,—sweep her through the play like a whirlwind, and give her no time to droop. It had for her heart, moreover, a peculiar charm of association, as her first play,—as that in which she had first beheld the hero of her dreams, "the god of her idolatry," before whom she yet bowed, but as with eyes cast down or veiled, not in reverence, but from a chill, unavowed fear of beholding the very common clay of which he was fashioned.

The awful night of the début arrived, as doomsday will come at last; and after having been elaborately arrayed for her part by a gossiping tire-woman, who would chatter incessantly, relating, for the encouragement of the débutante, tale after tale of stage-fright, swoons, and failure,—after having been plumed, powdered, and most reluctantly rouged, the rose of nineteen summers having suddenly paled on her cheek, Zelma was silently conducted from her dressing-room by her husband, who, as Osmyn, took his stand with her, the guards, and attendants at the left wing, awaiting the summons to the presence of King Manuel. As they were listening to the last tender bleating of Almeria, the same pretty actress whom Zelma had seen as Zara at Arden, and the gruff responses of her sire, an eager whisper ran through the group;—the King and Queen had entered the royal box! This was quite unexpected, and Zelma was aghast. Involuntarily, she stretched out her hand and grasped that of her husband;—as she did so, the rattle of the chains on her wrist betrayed her. The attendants looked round and smiled;—Lawrence frowned and turned away, with a boy's pettishness. He had been more than usually moody that day; but Zelma had believed him troubled for her sake, and even now interpreted his unkindness as nervous anxiety.

The next moment, everything, even he, was forgotten; for she stood, she hardly knew how, upon the stage, receiving and mechanically acknowledging a great burst of generous British applause.

It was a greeting less complaisant and patronizing than is usually given to débutantes. Zelma's youthful charms, heightened by her sumptuous dress, took her audience by surprise, and, while voice and action delayed, made for her friends and favor, and bribed judgment with beauty.

King Manuel receives his captives with a courteous speech,—only a few lines; but, during their reading, through what a lifetime of fear, of pain, of unimaginable horrors passed Zelma! Stage-fright, that waking nightmare of débutantes, clutched her at once, petrifying, while it tortured her. The house seemed to surge around her, the stage to rock under her feet. She fancied she heard low, elfish laughter behind the scenes, and already the hiss of the critics seemed to sing in her reeling brain. A thousand eyes pierced her through and through,—seemed to see how the frightened blood had shrunk away from its mask of rouge and hidden in her heart,—how that poor childish heart fluttered and palpitated,—how near the hot tears were to the glazed eyeballs,—how fast the black, obliterating shadows were creeping over the records of memory,—how the first instinct of fear, a blind impulse to flight, was maddening her.

She raised her eyes to the royal box, where sat a stout, middle-aged man, with a dull, good-humored face, a star and ribbon on his breast, and by his side a woman, ample and motherly, with an ugly tuft of feathers on her head, and a diamond tiara, which lit up her heavy Dutch features like a torch. The King, the Queen!

Just at this moment, his Majesty was in gracious converse with a lady on his right, a foreign princess, of an ancient, unpronounceable title,—a thin, colorless head and form, overloaded with immemorial family-jewels,—a mere frame of a woman, to hang brilliants upon. She was one shine and shiver of diamonds, from head to foot;—she palpitated light, like a glow-worm. Her Majesty, meanwhile, was regaling herself from a jewelled snuff-box, and talking affably over her shoulder to her favorite mistress of the robes, the fearful Schwellenberg.

But Zelma, looking through the transfiguring atmosphere of loyalty, beheld the royal group encompassed by all the ideal splendor and sacredness of majesty;—over their very commonplace heads towered the airy crowns of a hundred regal ancestors, piled round on round, and glimmering away into the clouds.

Ere she turned her fascinated eyes away from the august sight, her cue was given. She started, and struggled to speak, but her lips clung together. There was a dull roar and whirl in her brain, as of a vortex of waters. In piteous appealing she looked into the face of her husband, and caught on his lips a strange, faint smile of mingled pity and exultation. It stung her like a lash! Instantly she was herself, or rather Zara, a captive, but every inch a queen, and delivered herself calmly and proudly, though with a little tremble of her past agitation in her voice,—a thrill of womanly feeling, which felt its way at once to the hearts of her audience.

The first act, however, afforded her so little scope for acting, that she left the stage unassured of her own success. There was doubt before and behind the curtain. The critics had given no certain sign,—the general applause might have been merely an involuntary tribute to youth and beauty. Actors and actresses hung back,—even the friendly manager was guarded in his congratulations. But in the second act the débutante put an end to this dubious state of things,—at least, so far as her audience was concerned. "The Captive Queen" took captive all, save that stern row of critics,—the indomitable, the incorruptible. Their awful judgment still hung suspended over her head.

In a scene with Osmyn Zelma first revealed her tragic power. In her fitful tenderness, in the passionate reproaches which she stormed upon him, in her entreaties and imprecations, she was the poet's ideal, and more. She dashed into the crude and sketchy character bold strokes of Nature and illuminative gleams of genius, all her own.

Mr. Bury, as Osmyn, was cold and unsympathetic, avoided the eye of Zara, and was even more tender than was "set down in the book" to Almeria.

"How well he acts his part!" said to herself the generous Zelma.

"How anxiety for his wife dashes his spirit!" said the charitable audience.

At the close of this act the manager grasped Zelma's hand, and spoke of her success as certain. She thanked him with an absent air, and gazed about her wistfully. Surely her husband should have been the first to give her joy. But he did not come forward. She shrank away to her dressing-room, and waited for him vainly till she knew he was on the stage, where she next met him in the great prison-scene.

In this scene, some bitterness of feeling—the first sharp pangs of jealousy—gave, unconsciously to herself, a terrible vitality and reality to her acting. She filled the stage with the electrical atmosphere of her genius. Waxen Almeria, who was to have gone out as she entered, received a shock of it, and stood for a moment transfixed. Even Osmyn kindled out of his stony coldness, and gazed with awe and irrepressible admiration at this new revelation of that strange, profound creature he had called "wife." She, so late a shy woodland nymph, stealing to his embrace,—now an angered goddess, blazing before him, calling down upon him the lightnings of Olympus, with all the world to see him shrink and shrivel into nothingness! And all this power and passion, overtopping his utmost reach of art, outsoaring his wildest aspirations, he had wooed, fondled, and protected! At first he was overwhelmed with amazement; he could hardly have been more so, had a volcano broken out through his hearth-stone; but soon, under the fierce storm of Zara's taunts and reproaches, a sullen rage took possession of him. He could not separate the actress from the wife,—and the wife seemed in open, disloyal revolt. Every burst of applause from the audience was an insult to him; and he felt a mad desire to oppose, to defy them all, to assert a master's right over that frenzied woman, to grasp her by the arm and drag her from the stage before their eyes!

This scene closes with a memorable speech:—

" Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent
The base injustice thou hast done my love!
Ay, thou shalt know, spite of thy past distress,
And all the evils thou so long hast mourned,
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned!"

Zelma gave these lines as no pre-Siddonian actress had ever given them,—with a certain sublimity of rage, the ire of an immortal,—and swept off the scene before a wild tumult of applause, led by the vanquished critics. It followed her, surge on surge, to her dressing-room, whither she hastily retreated through a crowd of players and green-room habitués.

That sudden tempest shook even the royal box. The King, who a short time before had been observed to nod, not shaking his "ambrosial locks" in Jove-like approval, but somnolently, started up, exclaiming, "What! what! what's that?"—and the Queen—took snuff.

In her dressing-room Zelma waited for her husband. "Surely he will come now," she said.

She had already put off the tragedy-queen; she was again the loving wife, yearning for one proud smile, one tender word, one straining embrace. The tempest outside the curtain still rolled in upon her, as she sat alone, drooping and sad, a spent thunder-cloud. The sound brought her no sense of triumph; she only looked around her drearily, like a frightened child, and called, "Lawrence!"

Instead of him came the manager. She must go before the curtain; the audience would not be denied.

Lawrence led her out,—holding her hot, trembling fingers in his cold, nerveless hand, a moody frown on his brow, and his lips writhing with a forced smile.

As Zelma bent and smiled in modest acknowledgment of renewed applause, led by royalty itself,—her aspirations so speedily fulfilled, her genius so early crowned,—even at that supreme moment, the grief of the woman would have outweighed the triumph of the artist, and saddened all those plaudits into knell-like sounds, could she have known that the miserable fiends of envy and jealousy had grasped her husband's heart and torn it out of her possession forever.

In the death-scene, where the full tide of womanly feeling, which has been driven out of Zara's heart by the volcanic shocks of fierce passions, comes pouring back with whelming force, Zelma lost none of her power, but won new laurels, bedewed with tears from "eyes unused to weep."

Zara dies by her own hand, clinging to the headless body of King Manuel, believing it to be Osmyn's. Zelma gave the concluding lines of her part brokenly, in a tone of almost childlike lamenting, with piteous murmurs and penitent caresses:—

" Cold, cold!—my veins are icicles and frost!
Cover us close, or I shall chill his breast,
And fright him from my arms!—See! see! he slides
Still farther from me! Look! he hides his face!
I cannot feel it!—quite beyond my reach!—Ah,
now he's gone, and all is dark!"

With that last desolate moan of a proud and stormy spirit, sobbing itself into the death-quiet, a visible shudder crept through the house. Even the King threw himself back in his royal chair with an uncomfortable sort of "ahem!" as though choking with an emotion of common humanity; and the Queen—forgot to take snuff.

From the night of her triumphant début, the life of the actress ran in the full sunlight of public favor; but the life of the woman crept away into the shadow,—not of that quiet and repose so grateful to the true artist, but of domestic discomfort and jealous estrangement.

Nobly self-forgetful always, Zelma, in the first hour of success, feeling, in spite of herself, the pettiness and egoism of her husband's nature, with a sense of humiliation in which it seemed her very soul blushed, offered to renounce forever the career on which she had just entered. Mr. Bury, however, angrily refused to accept the sacrifice, though she pressed it upon him, at last, as a "peace-offering," on her knees, and weeping like a penitent. "It is too late," he said, bitterly. "The deed is done. You are mine no longer,—you belong to the public;—I wish you joy of your fickle master."

From that time Zelma went her own ways, calm and self-reliant outwardly, but inwardly tortured with a host of womanly griefs and regrets, a helpless sense of wrong and desolation. She flew to her beautiful art for consolation, flinging herself, with a sort of desperate abandonment, out of her own life of monotonous misery into the varied sorrows of the characters she personated. For her the cup of fame was not mantling with the wine of delight which reddens the lips and "maketh glad the heart." The costly pearl she had dissolved in it had not sweetened the draught; but it was intoxicating, and she drank it with feverish avidity.

But for Lawrence Bury, his powers flagged and failed in the unnatural rivalship; his acting grew more and more cold and mechanical. He became more than ever subject to moods and caprices, and rapidly lost favor with the public, till at last he was regarded only as the husband of the popular actress,—then, merely tolerated for her sake. He fell, or rather flung himself, into a life of reckless dissipation and profligacy, and sunk so low that he scrupled not to accept from his wife, and squander on base pleasures, money won by the genius for which he hated her. Many were the nights when Zelma returned from the playhouse to her cheerless lodgings, exhausted, dispirited, and alone, to walk her chamber till the morning, wrestling with real terrors and sorrows, the homely distresses of the heart, hard, absolute, unrelieved,—to which the tragic agonies she had been representing seemed but child's play.

At length, finding himself at the lowest ebb of theatrical favor, and hating horribly the scene of his humiliating defeat, Mr. Bury resolved to return to his old strolling life in the provinces. Making at the same moment the first announcement of his going and his hurried adieux to Zelma, who heard his last cold words in dumb dismay, with little show of emotion, but with heavy grief and dread presentiments at her heart, he departed. He was accompanied by the fair actress with whom he played first parts at Arden,—but now, green-room gossip said, not in a merely professional association. This story was brought to Zelma; but her bitter cup was full without it. With a noble blindness, the fanaticism of wifely faith, she rejected it utterly. "He is weak, misguided, mad," she said, "but not so basely false as that. He must run his wild, wretched course awhile longer,—it seems necessary for him; but he will return at last,—surely he will,—sorrowful, repentant, 'in his right mind,' himself and mine once more. He cannot weary out God's patience and my love."

After the first shock of her desertion was past, Zelma was conscious of a sense of relief from a weight of daily recurring care and humiliation, the torture of an unloving presence, chill and ungenial as arctic sunlight. Even in the cold blank of his absence there was something grateful to her bruised heart, like the balm of darkness to suffering eyes. Her art was now all in all to her,—the strong-winged passion, which lifted her out of herself and her sorrows. She was studying Juliet for the first time. She had been playing for more than a year before she could be prevailed upon to attempt a Shakspearian character, restrained by a profound modesty from exercising her crude powers upon one of those grand creations.

When, at length, she made choice of Juliet, what study was hers!—how reverent! how loving! how glad!—the perfect service of the spirit! She shut out the world of London from her sight, from her thoughts, till it seemed lost in one of its own fogs. The air, the sky, the passion, the poetry of Italy were above and around her. Again she revelled in that wondrous garden of love and poesy, with a background of graves, solemnizing joy. Now her fancy flitted, on swift, unresting wing, from beauty to beauty,—now settled, bee-like, on some rich, half-hidden thought, and hung upon it, sucking out its most sweet and secret heart of meaning. She steeped her soul in the delicious romance, the summer warmth, the moonlight, the sighs and tears of the play. She went from the closet to the stage, not brain-weary and pale with thought, but fresh, tender, and virginal,—not like one who had committed the part of Juliet, but one whom Juliet possessed in every part. She seemed to bear about her an atmosphere of poetry and love, the subtile spirit of that marvellous play. There was no air of study, not the faintest taint of the midnight oil;—like a gatherer of roses from some garden of Cashmere, or a peasant-girl from the vintage, she brought only odors from her toil,—the sweets of the fancy, a flavor of the passion she had made her own.

On her first night in this play, Zelma was startled by recognizing among the audience the once familiar faces of her uncle Roger, her cousin Bessie, and Sir Harry Willerton. They had all come up to London to draw up the papers and purchase the trousseau for the wedding, which would have taken place a year sooner, but for the death of Bessie's mother.

Squire Burleigh had been entrapped by his daughter and her lover into coming to the play,—he being in utter ignorance as to whom he was to see in the part of Juliet. When he recognized his niece in the ball-room scene, he was shocked, and even angry. He started up, impetuously, to leave the house; and it was only by the united entreaties of Bessie and Sir Harry that he was persuaded to stay. As the play went on, however, his sympathies became enlisted, in spite of his prejudices. Gradually his heart melted toward the fair offender, and irrepressible tears of admiration and pity welled up to his kindly blue eyes. He watched the progress of the drama with an almost breathless interest while she was before him, but grew listless and indifferent whenever she left the stage. The passion of Romeo, the philosophy of the Friar, the quaint garrulousness of the Nurse, the trenchant wit of Mercutio were alike without charm for him.

But though thus lost in the fortunes and sorrows of the heroine of the play, the dramatic illusion was far from complete for him. It was not Juliet,—it was Zelma, the wild, misguided, lost, but still beloved child of his poor brother; and in his bewildered brain her sad story was strangely complicated with that of the hapless girl of Verona. When she swallowed the sleeping-draught, he shrank and shuddered at the horrible pictures conjured up by her frenzied fancy; and in the last woful scene, he forgot himself, the play, the audience, everything but her, the forlorn gypsy child, the shy and lonely little girl whom long years ago he had taken on his knee, and smoothed down her tangled black hair, as he might have smoothed the plumage of an eaglet, struggling and palpitating under his hand, and glancing up sideways, with fierce and frightened eyes,—and now, when he saw her about to plunge the cruel blade into her breast, he leaped to his feet and electrified the house by calling out, in a tone of agonized entreaty,—"Don't, Zelle! for God's sake, don't! Leave this, and come home with us,—home to the Grange!"

It was a great proof of Mrs. Bury's presence of mind and command over her emotions, that she was not visibly discomposed by this strange and touching appeal, or by the laughter and applause it called forth, but finished her sad part, and was Juliet to the last.

When, obeying the stormy summons of the audience, the lovers arose from the dead, and glided ghost-like before the curtain, Zelma, really pale with the passion and woe of her part, glanced eagerly at the box in which she had beheld her friends;—it was empty. The worthy Squire, overcome with confusion at the exposure he had made of his weakness and simplicity, had hurried from the theatre, willingly accompanied by his daughter and Sir Harry.

On the following day, sweet Bessie Burleigh, with the consent, at the request even, of her father, sought out her famous cousin, bearing terms of reconciliation and proffers of renewed affection.

The actress was alone. She had just risen from her late breakfast, and was in a morning costume,—careless, but not untidy. She looked languid and jaded; the beautiful light of young love, which the night before had shone with a soft, lambent flame in every glance, seemed to have burned itself out in her hollow eyes, or to have been quenched in tears.

She flung herself on her cousin's breast with a laugh of pure joy and a child's quick impulse of lovingness; but almost immediately drew herself back, as with a sudden sense of having leaned across a chasm in the embrace. But Bessie, guessing her feeling, clung about her very tenderly, calling her pet names, smoothing her hair and kissing her wan cheek till she almost kissed back its faded roses. And infinite good she did poor Zelma.

Bessie—dear, simple heart!—was no diplomatist; she did not creep stealthily toward her object, but dashed at it at once.

"I am come, dearest Zelle, to win you home," she said. "You cannot think how lonely it is at the Grange, now that dear mamma is gone; and by-and-by it will be yet more lonely,—at least, for poor papa. He loves you still, though he was angry with you at first,—and he longs to have you come back, and to make it all up with you. Oh, I am sure, you must be weary of this life,—or rather, this mockery of life, this prolonged fever dream, this playing with passion and pain! It is killing you! Why, you look worn and anxious and sad as death by daylight, though you do bloom out strangely bright and beautiful on the stage. So, dear, come into the country, and rest and renew your life."

Zelma opened her superb eyes in amazement, and her cheek kindled with a little flush of displeasure; yet she answered playfully,—"What! would you resolve 'the new star of the drama' into nebulousness and nothingness again? Remember my art, sweet Coz; I am a priestess sworn to its altar."

"But, surely," replied Bessie, ingenuously, "you will not live on thus alone, unprotected, a mark for suspicion and calumny; for they say—they say that your husband has deserted you."

"Mr. Bury is absent, fulfilling a professional engagement. I shall await his return here," replied Zelma, haughtily.

Bessie blushed deeply and was silent. So, too, was the actress, for some moments; then, softened almost to tears, half closing her eyes, and letting her fancy float away like thistle-down over town and country, upland, valley, and moor, she said softly,—"Dear Burleigh Grange, how lovely it must be now! What a verdurous twilight reigns under the old elms of the avenue!—in what a passion of bloom the roses are unfolding to the sun, these warm May-days! How the honeysuckles drip with sweet dews! how thickly the shed hawthorn-blossoms lie on the grass of the long lane, rolling in little drifts before the wind! And the birds,—do the same birds come back to nest in their old places about the Grange, I wonder?"

"Yes," answered Bessie, smiling; "I think all the birds have come back, save one, the dearest of them all, who fled away in the night-time. Her nest is empty still. Oh, Zelle, do you remember our pleasant little chamber in the turret? I could not stay there when you were gone. It is the stillest, loneliest place in all the house now. Even your pet hound refuses to enter it."

"Now, my Cousin, you are really cruel," said Zelma, the tears at last forcing their way through her reluctant eyelids. "When I left Burleigh Grange, I went like Eve from Paradise,—forever."

"Ah, but Cousin dear, there is no terrible angel with a flaming sword guarding the gates of the Grange against you."

"Yes, the angel of its peace and ancient honor," said the actress; then added, pleasantly, "and he is backed by a mighty ogre, Respectability. No, no, Bessie, I can never go back to my old home, or my old self; it is quite impossible. But you and my uncle are very good to ask me. Heaven bless you for that! And, dear, when you are Lady Willerton, a proud wife, and, if God please, a happy mother, put me away from your thoughts, if I trouble you. Rest in the safe haven of home, anchored in content, and do not vex yourself about the poor waif afloat on wild, unknown seas. It is not worth while."

So Bessie Burleigh was obliged to abandon her dear, impracticable plan; and the cousins parted forever, though neither thought or meant it then. Bessie returned to Arden, married the master of Willerton Hall, and slid into the easy grooves of a happy, luxurious country-life; while Zelma rode for a few proud years on the topmost swell of popular favor,—then suddenly passed away beyond the horizon of London life, and so, as it were, out of the world.

One dreary November night, after having revealed new powers and won new honors by her first personation of Belvedera, Zelma went home to find on her table a brief, business-like letter from the manager of a theatre at Walton, a town in the North, stating that Mr. Lawrence Bury had died suddenly at that place of a violent, inflammatory disease, brought on, it was to be feared, by some excesses to which he had been addicted. The theatrical wardrobe of the deceased (of small value) had been retained in payment for expenses of illness and burial; his private papers were at the disposal of the widow. Deceased had been buried in the parish church-yard of Walton. This was all.

Zelma had abruptly dismissed her maid, that she might read quite unobserved a letter which she suspected brought news from her husband; so she was quite alone throughout that fearful night. What fierce, face-to-face wrestlings with grief and remorse were hers! What sweet, torturing memories of love, of estrangement, of loss! What visions of him, torn with the agonies, wild with the terrors of death, calling her name in vain imploring or with angry imprecations!—of him, so young, so sinful, dragged struggling toward the abyss of mystery and night, wrenched, as it were, out of life, with all its passions hot at his heart!

Hour after hour she sat at her table, grasping the fatal letter, still as death, and all but as cold. She yet wore the last dress of Belvedera, and was half enveloped by the black cloud of her dishevelled hair; but the simulated frenzy, which so late had drawn shuddering sighs from a thousand hearts, was succeeded by a silent, stony despair, infinitely more terrible. A sense of hopeless desolation and abandonment settled upon her soul; the distances of universes seemed to separate her from the dead. But to this suddenly succeeded a chill, awful sense of a presence, wrapped in silence and mystery, melting through all material barriers, treading on the impalpable air, not "looking ancient kindness on her pain," but lowering amid the shadows of her chamber, stern, perturbed, unreconciled. All these lonely horrors, these wild griefs, unrelieved by human sympathy or companionship, by even the unconscious comfort which flows in the breathing of a near sleeper, crowded and pressed upon her brain, and seemed to touch her veins with frost and fire.

For long weeks, Zelma lay ill, with a slow, baffling fever. Her mind, torn from its moorings, went wandering, wandering, over a vast sea of troubled dreams,—now creeping on through weary stretches of calm, now plunging into the heart of tempests and tossed upon mountainous surges, now touching momently at islands of light, now wrecked upon black, desert shores.

All was strange, vague, and terrible, at first; but gradually there stole back upon her her own life of womanhood and Art,—its scenes and changes, its struggles, temptations, and triumphs, its brief joy and long sorrow, all shaken and confused together, but still familiar. Now the faces of her audiences seemed to throng upon her, packing her room from floor to ceiling, darkening the light, sucking up all the air, and again piercing her through and through with their cold, merciless gaze. Now the characters she had personated grouped themselves around her bed, all distinct, yet duplicates and multiplications of herself, mocking her with her own voice, and glaring at her with her own eyes. Now pleasant summer-scenes at Burleigh Grange brightened the dull walls, and a memory of the long lane in the white prime of its hawthorn bloom flowed like a river of fragrance through her chamber. Then there strode in upon her a form of beauty and terror, and held her by the passion and gloom of his eye,—and with him crept in a chill and heavy air, like an exhalation from the rank turf of neglected graves.

Zelma recovered from this illness, if it could be called a recovery, to a state of only tolerable physical health, and a condition of pitiable mental apathy and languor. She turned with a half-weary, half-petulant distaste from her former pursuits and pleasures, and abandoned her profession with a sort of terror,—feeling that its mockery of sorrows, such as had fallen so crushingly on her unchastened heart, would madden her utterly. But neither could she endure again the constraint and conventionalities of English private life; she had died to her art, and she glided, like a phantom, out of her country, and out of the thoughts of the public, in whose breath she had lived, for whose pleasure she had toiled, often from the hidden force of her own sorrows, the elements of all tragedy seething in her secret heart.

Year after year she lived a wandering, out-of-the-way life on the Continent. It was said that she went to Spain, sought out her mother's wild kindred, and dwelt with them, making their life her life, their ways her ways, shrinking neither from sun-glare nor tempest, privation nor peril. But, at length, tired of wandering and satiated with adventure, she flung off the Zincala, returned to England, and even returned, forsworn, to her art, as all do, or long to do, who have once embraced it from a genuine passion.

She made no effort to obtain an engagement at Covent Garden; for her, that stage was haunted by a presence more gloomy than Hamlet, more dreadful than the Ghost. Nor did she seek to tread, with her free, unpractised step, the classic boards of Drury Lane,—where Garrick, the Grand Monarque of the Drama, though now toward the end of his reign, ruled with jealous, despotic sway,—but modestly and quietly appeared at a minor theatre, seeming, to such play-goers as remembered her brief, brilliant career and sudden disappearance, like the Muse of Tragedy returned from the shades.

She was kindly received, both for her own sake, and because of the pleasant memories which the sight of her, pale, slender, and sad-eyed, yet beautiful still, revived. Those who had once sworn by her swore by her still, and were loath to admit even to themselves that her early style of acting—easy, flowing, impulsive, the natural translation in action of a strong and imaginative nature—must remain what, in the long absence of the actress, it had become, a beautiful tradition of the stage,—that her present personations were wanting in force and spontaneity,—that they were efforts, rather than inspirations,—were marked by a weary tension of thought,—were careful, but not composed, roughened by unsteady strokes of genius, freshly furrowed with labor.

Mrs. Bury made a grave mistake in choosing for her second début her great part of Juliet; for she had outlived the possibility of playing it as she played it at that period of her life when her soul readily melted in the divine glow of youthful passion and flowed into the character, taking its perfect shape, rounded and smooth and fair. Through long years of sorrow and unrest, she had now to toil back to that golden time,—and there was a sort of sharpness and haggardness about her acting, a singular tone of weariness, broken by starts and bursts of almost preternatural power. Except in scenes and sentiments of pathos, where she had lost nothing, the last, fine, evanishing tints, the delicate aroma of the character, were wanting in her personation. It was touched with autumnal shadows,—it was comparatively hard and dry, not from any inartistic misapprehension of the poet's ideal, but because the fountain of youth in Zelma's own soul ran low, and was choked by the dead violets which once sweetened its waters.

She felt all this bitterly that night, ere the play was over; and though her audience generously applauded and old friends congratulated her, she never played Juliet again.

Yet, even in the darker and sterner parts, in which she was once so famous, she was hardly more successful now. In losing her bloom and youthful fulness of form, she had not gained that statuesque repose, or that refined essence of physical power and energy, which sometimes belongs to slenderness and pallor. She was often strangely agitated and unnerved when the occasion called most for calm, sustained power,—at times, glancing around wildly and piteously, like a haunted creature. Her passion was fitful and strained,—the fire of rage flickered in her eye, her relaxed lips quivered out curses, her hand shook with the dagger and spilled the poison. Her sorrows, real and imaginary, seemed to have broken her spirit with her heart.

But in anything weird and supernatural, awful with vague, unearthly terrors, she was greater than ever. Whenever, in her part of Lady Macbeth, she came to the sleep-walking scene, that shadowy neutral ground between death and life, where the perturbed, burdened spirit moans out its secret agony, she gave startling token of the genius which had electrified and awed her audiences of old. A solemn stillness pervaded the house; every eye followed the ghost-like gliding of her form, every ear hung upon the voice whose tones could sound the most mysterious and awful depths of human grief and despair.

It was during the first season of her reappearance that Mrs. Bury went to Drury Lane, on an off-night, to witness one of the latest efforts of Garrick as Richard the Third. He was, as usual, terribly great in the part; but, in spite of his overwhelming power, Zelma found herself watching the Lady Anne of the night with a strange, fascinated interest. This part, of too secondary and negative a character for the display of high dramatic powers, even in an actress who should be perfect mistress of herself, was borne by a young and beautiful woman, new to the London stage, though of some provincial reputation, who on this occasion was distressingly nervous and ill-assured. She had to contend not only with stage-fright, but Garrick-fright. "She met Roscius in all his terrors," and shrank from the encounter. The fierce lightnings of his dreadful eyes seemed to shrivel and paralyze her; even his demoniac cunning and persuasiveness filled her with mortal fear. Her voice shook with a pathetic tremor, became hoarse and almost inaudible; her eyes sank, or wandered wildly; her brow was bathed with the sweat of a secret agony; she might have given way utterly under the paralyzing spell, had not some sudden inspiration of genius or love, a prophetic thrill of power, or a memory of her unwearied babe, come to nerve, to upbear her. She roused, and went through her part with some flickering flashes of spirit, and through all her painful embarrassment was stately and graceful by the regal necessity of her beauty. The event was not success,—was but a shade better than utter failure; and when, soon after, that beautiful woman dropped out of London dramatic life, few were they who missed her enough to ask whither she had gone.

But Zelma, whose sad, searching eyes saw deeper than the eyes of critics, recognized from the first her grand, long-sought ideal in the fair unknown, whose name had appeared on the play-bills in small, deprecating type, under the overwhelming capitals of "MR. GARRICK"—"Mrs. Siddons." She looked upon that frightened and fragile woman with prophetic reverence and noble admiration: and as she walked her lonely chamber that night, she said to herself, somewhat sadly, but not bitterly,—"The true light of the English drama has arisen at last. 'Out, out, brief candle!'"

Season after season, year after year, Zelma continued to play in London, but never again with the fame, the homage, the flatteries and triumphs of a great actress. All these she saw at last accorded to her noble rival. Mrs. Bury had shone very acceptably in a doubtful dramatic period,—first as an inspired, impassioned enthusiast, and after as a conscientious artist, subdued and saddened, yet always careful and earnest; but, like many another lesser light, she was destined to be lost sight of in the long, splendid day of the Kembles.

Yet once again the spirit of unrest, the nomadic instinct, came back upon Zelma Bury,—haunted her heart and stirred in her blood till she could resist no longer, but, joining a company for a provincial tour, left London.

The health of the actress had been long declining, under the almost unsuspected attacks of a slow, insidious disease. She was more weak and ill than she would confess, even to herself; she wanted change, she said, only change. She never dreamed of rest. Week after week she travelled,—never tarrying long enough In one place to weary of it,—the peaceful sights and sounds of rural life tranquillizing and refreshing her soul, as the clear expanse of its sky, the green of its woods and parks, the daisied swell of its downs refreshed and soothed her eye, tired of striking forever against dull brick walls and struggling with smoke and fog.

Then May came round,—the haunted month of all the year for her. The hawthorn-hedges burst into flower,—the high-ways and by-paths and lanes became Milky Ways of bloom, and all England was once more veined with fragrance.

They were in the North, when one morning Zelma was startled by hearing the manager say that the next night they should play at Walton. It was there that Lawrence Bury died; it was there he slept, in the stranger's unvisited grave. She would seek out that grave and sink on it, as on the breast of one beloved, though long estranged. It would cool the dull, ceaseless fever of her heart to press it against the cold mound, and to whisper into the rank grass her faithful remembrance, her forgiveness, her unconquerable love.

But it was late when the players reached Walton; and, after the necessary arrangements for the evening were concluded, Zelma found that she had no time for a pilgrimage to the parish churchyard. She could see it from a window of her lodgings;—it was high-walled, dark and damp, crowded with quaint, mossy tomb-stones, and brooded over by immemorial yews. In the deepening, misty twilight, there was something awful in the spot. It was easy to fancy unquiet spectres lurking in its gloomy shadows, waiting for the night Yet Zelma's heart yearned toward it, and she murmured softly, as she turned away, "Wait for me, love!"

The play, on this night, was "The Fair Penitent." In the character of Calista Mrs. Bury had always been accounted great, though it was distasteful to her. Indeed, for the entire play she expressed only contempt and aversion; yet she played her part in it faithfully and carefully, as she performed all professional tasks.

In reading this tragedy now, one is at a loss to understand how such trash could have been tolerated at the very time of the revival of a pure dramatic literature,—how such an unsavored broth of sentiment, such a meagre hash of heroics, could have been relished, even when served by Kembles, after the rich, varied, Olympian banquets of Shakspeare.

The argument is briefly this:—

Calista, daughter of Sciolto, is betrothed to Altamount, a young lord, favored by Sciolto. Altamount has a friend, Horatio, and an enemy, Lothario, secretly the lover and seducer of Calista, whose dishonor is discovered by Horatio, shortly after her marriage with Altamount, to whom he reveals it. Calista denies the charge, with fierce indignation and scorn; and the young husband believes her and discredits his friend. But the fourth act brings the guilt of Calista and the villany of Lothario fully to light. Lothario is killed by the injured husband, Sciolto goes mad with shame and rage, and Calista falls into a state of despair and penitence.

The fifth act opens with Sciolto's elaborate preparations for vengeance on his daughter. The stage directions for this scene are,—

["A room hung with black: on one side Lothario's body on a bier; on the other a table, with a skull and other bones, a book, and a lamp on it. Calista is discovered on a couch, in black, her hair hanging loose and disordered. After soft music, she rises and comes forward."]

She takes the book from the table, but, finding it the pious prosing of some "lazy, dull, luxurious gownsman," flings it aside. She examines the cross-bones curiously, lays her hand on the skull, soliloquizing upon mortality, somewhat in the strain of Hamlet; then peers into the coffin of Lothario, beholds his pale visage, "grim with clotted blood," and the stern, unwinking stare of his dead eyes. Sciolto enters and bids her prepare to die; but while she stands meek and unresisting before him, his heart fails him; he rushes out, and is shortly after killed by Lothario's faction. Calista then dies by her own hand, leaving Altamount desperate and despairing.

Poor Calista is neither a lovely nor a lofty character; but there is something almost grand in her fierce pride, in her defiant hauteur, in her mighty struggle with shame. Mrs. Siddons made the part terribly impressive. Mrs. Bury softened it somewhat, giving it a womanly dignity and pathos that would seem foreign and almost impossible to the character.

When Zelma entered her dressing-room, on that first night at Walton, she found on her table a small spray of hawthorn-blossoms.

"How came these flowers here?" she asked, in a hurried, startled tone.

"I placed them there," replied her little maid, Susan, half-frightened by the strange agitation of her mistress. "I plucked the sprig in our landlady's garden; for I remembered that you loved hawthorn-blossoms, and used often to buy them in Covent-Garden Market."

"Ah, yes; thank you, Susan. I do indeed love them, and I will wear them to-night."

As she said this, she placed the flowers in her bosom,—but, the little maid noticed, not as an ornament, but quite out of sight, where her close bodice would crush them against her heart.

During the first acts of the play, Zelma was languid, absent, and more unequal than usual. A strange sense of evil, a vague foreboding, haunted her. It was in vain that she said to herself, "What have I, a lonely, disappointed woman, loveless and joyless, to fear of misfortune more,—since death itself were welcome as change, and doubly welcome as rest?" The nameless fear still clung to her, sending cold thrills along her veins, fiercely grasping and holding her palpitating heart.

When, in the last act, reclining on her sombre couch, she waited through the playing of the "soft music," there came to her a little season of respite and calm. Tender thoughts, and sweet, wild fancies of other days revisited her. The wilted hawthorn-blossoms in her bosom seemed to revive and to pour forth volumes of fragrance, which enveloped her like an atmosphere; and as she rose and advanced slowly toward the foot-lights, winking dimly like funeral lamps amid the gloom of the scene, it strangely seemed to her that she was going down the long, sweet lane of Burleigh Grange. The magic of that perfume, and something of kindred sweetness in the sad, wailing music, brought old times and scenes before her with preternatural distinctness. Then she became conscious of a something making still darker and deeper the gloomy shadows cast by the black hangings of the scene,—a presence, not palpable or visible to the senses, but terribly real to the finer perceptions of the spirit,—a presence unearthly, yet familiar and commanding, persistent, resistless, unappeasable,—moving as she moved, pausing as she paused, clutching at her hands, and searching after her eyes. The air about her seemed heavy with a brooding horror which sought to resolve itself into shape,—the dread mystery of life in death waiting to be revealed. Her own soul seemed groping and beating against the veil which hides the unseen; she gasped, she trembled, and great drops, like the distillation of the last mortal anguish, burst from her forehead.

She was roused by a murmur of applause from the audience. She was acting so well! Nerving herself by an almost superhuman effort, her phantom-haunted soul standing at bay, she approached the table, and began, in a voice but slightly broken, the reading of her melancholy soliloquy. But, as she laid her hand on the skull, she gave a wild start of horror,—not at the touch of the cold, smooth bone, nor at the blank, black stare of the eyeless sockets, but at finding beneath her hand a mass of soft, curling hair, damp, as with night-dew!—at beholding eyes with "speculation" in them,—ay, with human passions, luminous and full,—eyes that now yearned with love, now burned with hate,—ah, God! the eyes of Lawrence Bury!

With a shrill, frenzied shriek, Zelma sprang back and stood for a moment shuddering and crouching in a mute agony of fear. Then she burst into wild cries of grief and passionate entreaty, stretching her tremulous hands into the void air, in piteous imploring.

"She has gone mad! Take her away!" shouted the excited audience; but before any one could reach her, she had fallen on the stage in strong convulsions.

The actors raised her and bore her out; and as they did so, a little stream of blood was seen to bubble from her lips. A medical man, who happened to be present, having proffered his services, was hurried behind the scenes to where the sufferer lay, on a rude couch in the green-room, surrounded by the frightened players, and wept over by her faithful little maid.

The audience lingered awhile within sound of the fitful, frenzied cries of the dying actress, and then dispersed in dismay and confusion.

Zelma remained for some hours convulsed and delirious; but toward morning she sank into a deep, swoon-like sleep of utter exhaustion. She awoke from this, quite sane and calm, but marble-white and cold,—the work of death all done, it seemed, save the dashing out of the sad, wild light yet burning in her sunken eyes. But the bright red blood no longer oozed from her lips, and they told her she was better. She gave no heed to the assurance, but, somewhat in her old, quick, decisive way, called for the manager. Scarcely had he reached her side, when she began to question him eagerly, though in hoarse, failing tones, in regard to the skull used in the play of the preceding night. The manager had procured it of the sexton, he said, and knew nothing more of it.

She sent for the sexton. He came,—a man "of the earth, earthy,"—a man with a grave-ward stoop and a strange uneven gait, caught in forty years' stumbling over mounds. A smell of turf and mould, an odor of mortality, went before him.

He approached the couch of the actress, and looked down upon her with a curious, professional look, as though he were peering into a face newly coffined or freshly exhumed; but when Zelma fixed her live eyes upon him, angry and threatening, and asked, in abrupt, yet solemn tones, "Whose was that skull you brought for me last night?" he fell back with an exclamation of surprise and terror. As soon as he could collect himself sufficiently, he replied, that, to the best of his knowledge, the skull had belonged to a poor play-actor, who had died in the parish some sixteen or, it might be, eighteen years before; and compelled by the merciless inquisition of those eyes, fixed and stern, though dilating with horror, he added, that, if his memory served him well, the player's name was Bury.

A strong shudder shivered through the poor woman's frame at this confirmation of the awful revealment of the previous night; but she replied calmly, though with added sternness,—"He was my husband. How dared you disturb his bones? Are you a ghoul, that you burrow among graves and steal from the dead?"

The poor man eagerly denied being anything so inhuman. The skull had rolled into a grave he had been digging by the side of the almost forgotten grave of the poor player; and, as the manager had bespoken one for the play, he had thought it no harm to furnish him this. But he would put it back carefully into its place that very day.

"See that you do it, man, if you value the repose of your own soul!" said Zelma, with an awful impressiveness, raising herself on one elbow and looking him out of the room.

When he was gone, she sunk back and murmured, partly to herself, partly to her little maid, who wept through all, the more that she did not understand,—"I knew it was so; it was needless to ask. Well, 'tis well; he will forgive me, now that I come when he calls me, accomplishing to the utmost my vow. He will make peace with me, when I take my old place at his side,—when my head shall lie as low as his,—when he sees that all the laurels have dropped away,—when he sees the sorrow shining through the dark of my hair in rifts of silver."

After a little time she grew restless, and would return to her lodgings.

As the doctor and her attendant were about placing her in a sedan-chair to bear her away, a strange desire seized her to behold the theatre and tread the boards once more. They conducted her to the centre of the stage, and seated her on the black couch of Calista. There they left her quite alone for a while, and stood back where they could observe without disturbing her. They saw her gaze about her dreamily and mournfully; then she seemed to be recalling and reciting some favorite part. To their surprise, the tones of her voice were clear and resonant once more; and when she had ceased speaking, she rose and walked toward them, slowly, but firmly, turning once or twice to bow proudly and solemnly to an invisible audience. Just before she reached them, she suddenly pressed her hand on her heart, and the next instant felt forward into the arms of her maid. The young girl could not support the weight—the dead weight, and sank with it to the floor. Zelma had made her last exit.

The Murder of the Innocents.

A Second Epistle to Dolorosus.

So you are already mending, my dear fellow? Can it be that my modest epistle has done so much service? Are you like those invalids in Central Africa, who, when the medicine itself is not accessible, straightway swallow the written prescription as a substitute, inwardly digest it, and recover? No,—I think you have tested the actual materia medica recommended. I hear of you from all directions, walking up hills in the mornings and down hills in the afternoons, skimming round in wherries like a rather unsteady water-spider, blistering your hands upon gymnastic bars, receiving severe contusions on your nose from cricket-balls, shaking up and down on hard-trotting horses, and making the most startling innovations in respect to eating, sleeping, and bathing. Like all our countrymen, you are plunging from one extreme to the other. Undoubtedly, you will soon make yourself sick again; but your present extreme is the safer of the two. Time works many miracles; it has made Louis Napoleon espouse the cause of liberty, and it may yet make you reasonable.

After all, that advice of mine, which is thought to have benefited you so greatly, was simply that which Dr. Abernethy used to give his patients: "Don't come to me,—go buy a skipping-rope." If you can only guard against excesses, and keep the skipping-rope in operation, there are yet hopes for you. Only remember that it is equally important to preserve health as to attain it, and it needs much the same regimen. Do not be like that Lord Russell in Spence's Anecdotes, who only went hunting for the sake of an appetite, and who, the moment he felt any sensation of vitality in the epigastrium, used to turn short round, exclaiming, "I have found it!" and ride home from the finest chase. It was the same Lord Russell, by the way, who, when he met a beggar and was implored to give him something, because he was almost famished with hunger, called him a happy dog, and envied him too much to relieve him. From some recent remarks of your boarding-house hostess, my friend, I am led to suppose that you are now almost as well off, in point of appetite, as if you were a beggar; and I wish to keep you so.

How much the spirits rise with health! A family of children is a very different sight to a healthy man and to a dyspeptic. What pleasure you now take in yours! You are going to live more in their manner and for their sakes, henceforward, you tell me. You are to enter upon business again, but in a more moderate way; you are to live in a pleasant little suburban cottage, with fresh air, a horse-railroad, and good schools. For I am startled to find that your interest In your offspring, like that of most American parents, culminates in the school-room. This important matter you have neglected long enough, you think, foolishly absorbed in making money for them. Now they shall have money enough, to be sure, but wisdom in plenty. Angelina shall walk in silk attire, and knowledge have to spare. To which school shall you send her? you ask me, with something of the old careworn expression, pulling six different prospectuses from your pocket. Put them away, Dolorosus; I know the needs of Angelina, and I can answer instantly. Send the girl, for the present at least, to that school whose daily hours of session are the shortest, and whose recess-times and vacations are of the most formidable length.

No, anxious parent, I am not joking. I am more anxious for your children than you are. On the faith of an ex-teacher and ex-school-committee-man,—for what respectable middle-aged American man but has passed through both these spheres of uncomfortable usefulness?—I am terribly in earnest. Upon this point asserted,—that the merit of an American school, at least so far as Angelina is concerned, is in inverse ratio to the time given to study,—I will lay down incontrovertible propositions.

Sir Walter Scott, according to Carlyle, was the only perfectly healthy literary man who ever lived,—in fact, the one suitable text, he says, for a sermon on health. You may wonder, Dolorosus, what Sir Walter Scott has to do with Angelina, except to supply her with novel-reading, and with passages for impassioned recitation, at the twilight hour, from the "Lady of the Lake." But that same Scott has left one remark on record which may yet save the lives and reasons of greater men than himself, more gifted women (if that were possible) than Angelina, if we can only accept it with the deference to which that same healthiness of his entitles it. He gave it as his deliberate opinion, in conversation with Basil Hall, that five and a half hours form the limit of healthful mental labor for a mature person. "This I reckon very good work for a man," he said,—adding, "I can very seldom reach six hours a day; and I reckon that what is written after five or six hours' hard mental labor is not good for much." This he said in the fulness of his magnificent strength, and when he was producing, with astounding rapidity, those pages of delight over which every new generation still hangs enchanted.

He did not mean, of course, that this was the maximum of possible mental labor, but only of wise and desirable labor. In later life, driven by terrible pecuniary involvements, he himself worked far more than this. Southey, his contemporary, worked far more,—writing, in 1814, "I cannot get through more than at present, unless I give up sleep, or the little exercise I take (walking a mile and back, after breakfast); and, that hour excepted, and my meals, (barely the meals, for I remain not one minute after them,) the pen or the book is always in my hand." Our own time and country afford a yet more astonishing instance. Theodore Parker, to my certain knowledge, has often spent in his study from twelve to seventeen hours daily, for weeks together. But the result in all these cases has sadly proved the supremacy of the laws which were defied; and the nobler the victim, the more tremendous the warning retribution.

Let us return, then, from the practice of Scott's ruined days to the principles of his sound ones. Supposing his estimate to be correct, and five and a half hours to be a reasonable limit for the day's work of a mature brain, it is evident that even this must be altogether too much for an immature one. "To suppose the youthful brain," says the recent admirable report by Dr. Ray, of the Providence Insane Hospital, "to be capable of an amount of work which is considered an ample allowance to an adult brain is simply absurd, and the attempt to carry this fully into effect must necessarily be dangerous to the health and efficacy of the organ." It would be wrong, therefore, to deduct less than a half-hour from Scott's estimate, for even the oldest pupils in our highest schools; leaving five hours as the limit of real mental effort for them, and reducing this, for all younger pupils, very much farther.

It is vain to suggest, at this point, that the application of Scott's estimate is not fair, because the mental labor of our schools is different in quality from his, and therefore less exhausting. It differs only in being more exhausting. To the robust and affluent mind of the novelist, composition was not, of itself, exceedingly fatiguing; we know this from his own testimony; he was able, moreover, to select his own subject, keep his own hours, and arrange all his own conditions of labor. And on the other hand, when we consider what energy and genius have for years been brought to bear upon the perfecting of our educational methods,—how thoroughly our best schools are now graded and systematized, until each day's lessons become a Procrustes-bed to which all must fit themselves,—how stimulating the apparatus of prizes and applauses, how crushing the penalties of reproof and degradation,—when we reflect, that it is the ideal of every school, that the whole faculties of every scholar should be concentrated upon every lesson and every recitation from beginning to end, and that anything short of this is considered partial failure,—it is not exaggeration to say, that the daily tension of brain demanded of children in our best schools is altogether severer, while it lasts, than that upon which Scott based his estimate. But Scott is not the only authority in the case; let us ask the physiologists.

So said Horace Mann, before us, in the days when the Massachusetts school system was in process of formation. He asked the physiologists, in 1840, and in his next Report printed the answers of three of the most eminent. The late Dr. Woodward, of Worcester, promptly said, that children under eight should never be confined more than one hour at a time, nor more than four hours a day; and that, if any child showed alarming symptoms of precocity, it should be taken from school altogether. Dr. James Jackson, of Boston, allowed the children four hours' schooling in winter and five in summer, but only one hour at a time, and heartily expressed his "detestation of the practice of giving young children lessons to learn at home." Dr. S. G. Howe, reasoning elaborately on the whole subject, said, that children under eight should not be confined more than half an hour at a time,—"by following which rule, with long recesses, they can study four hours daily"; children between eight and fourteen should not be confined more than three-quarters of an hour at a time, having the last quarter of each hour for exercise in the playground,—and he allowed six hours of school in winter, or seven in summer, solely on condition of this deduction of twenty-five per cent, for recesses.

Indeed, the one thing about which doctors do not disagree is the destructive effect of premature or excessive mental labor. I can quote you medical authority for and against every maxim of dietetics beyond the very simplest; but I defy you to find one man who ever begged, borrowed, or stole the title of M.D., and yet abused those two honorary letters by asserting, under their cover, that a child could safely study as much as a man, or that a man could safely study more than six hours a day. Most of the intelligent men in the profession would probably admit, with Scott, that even that is too large an allowance in maturity for vigorous work of the brain.

Taking, then, five hours as the reasonable daily limit of mental effort for children of eight to fourteen years, and one hour as the longest time of continuous confinement, (it was a standing rule of the Jesuits, by the way, that no pupil should study more than two hours without relaxation,) the important question now recurs, To what school shall we send Angelina?

Shall we send her, for instance, to Dothegirls' Hall? At that seminary of useful knowledge, I find by careful inquiry that the daily performance is as follows, at least in summer. The pupils rise at or before five, A.M.; at any rate, they study from five to seven, two hours. From seven to eight they breakfast. From eight to two they are in the schoolroom, six consecutive hours. From two to three they dine. From three to five they are "allowed" to walk or take other exercise,—that is, if it is pleasant weather, and if they feel the spirit for it, and if the time is not all used up in sewing, writing letters, school politics, and all the small miscellaneous duties of existence, for which no other moment is provided during day or night. From five to six they study; from six to seven comes the tea-table; from seven to nine study again; then bed and (at least for the stupid ones) sleep.

Eleven solid hours of study each day, Dolorosus! Eight for sleep, three for meals, two during which out-door exercise is "allowed." There is no mistake about this statement; I wish there were. I have not imagined it; who could have done so, short of Milton and Dante, who were versed in the exploration of kindred regions of torment? But as I cannot expect the general public to believe the statement, even if you do,—and as this letter, like my previous one, may accidentally find its way into print,—and as I cannot refer to those who have personally attended the school, since they probably die off too fast to be summoned as witnesses,—I will come down to a rather milder statement, and see if you will believe that.

Shall we send her, then, to the famous New York school of Mrs. Destructive? This is recently noticed as follows in the "Household Journal":—"Of this most admirable school, for faithful and well-bred system of education, we have long intended to speak approvingly; but in the following extract from the circular the truth is more expressively given:—'From September to April the time of rising is a quarter before seven o'clock, and from April to July half an hour earlier; then breakfast; after which, from eight to nine o'clock, study,—the school opening at nine o'clock, with reading the Scriptures and prayer. From nine until half past twelve, the recitations succeed one another, with occasional short intervals of rest. From half past twelve to one, recreation and lunch. From one to three o'clock, at which hour the school closes, the studies are exclusively in the French language.... From three to four o'clock in the winter, but later in the summer, exercise in the open air. There are also opportunities for exercise several times in the day, at short intervals, which cannot easily be explained. From a quarter past four to five o'clock, study; then dinner, and soon after, tea. From seven to nine, two hours of study; immediately after which all retire for the night, and lights in the sleeping apartments must be extinguished at half past nine.'" You have summed up the total already, Dolorosus; I see it on your lips;—nine—hours—and—a quarter of study, and one solitary hour for exercise, not counting those inexplicable "short intervals which cannot easily be explained!"

You will be pleased to hear that I have had an opportunity of witnessing the brilliant results of Mrs. Destructive's system, in the case of my charming little neighbor, Fanny Carroll. She has lately returned from a stay of one year under that fashionable roof. In most respects, I was assured, the results of the school were all that could be desired; the mother informed me, with delight, that the child now spoke French like an angel from Paris, and handled her silver fork like a seraph from the skies. You may well suppose that I hastened to call upon her; for the gay little creature was always a great pet of mine, and I always quoted her with delight, as a proof that bloom and strength were not monopolized by English girls. In the parlor I found the mother closeted with the family physician. Soon, Fanny, aged sixteen, glided in,—a pale spectre, exquisite in costume, unexceptionable in manners, looking in all respects like an exceedingly used-up belle of five-and-twenty. "What were you just saying that some of my Fanny's symptoms were, Doctor?" asked the languid mother, as if longing for a second taste of some dainty morsel. The courteous physician dropped them into her eager palm, like sugar-plums, one by one: "Vertigo, headache, neuralgic pains, and general debility." The mother sighed once genteelly at me, and then again, quite sincerely, to herself;—but I never yet saw an habitual invalid who did not seem to take a secret satisfaction in finding her child to be a chip of the old block, though block and chip were both wofully decayed. However, nothing is now said of Miss Carroll's returning to school; and the other day I actually saw her dashing through the lane on the family pony, with a tinge of the old brightness in her cheeks. I ventured to inquire of her, soon after, if she had finished her education; and she replied, with a slight tinge of satire, that she studied regularly every day, at various "short intervals, which could not easily be explained."

Five hours a day the safe limit for study, Dolorosus, and these terrible schools quietly put into their programmes nine, ten, eleven hours; and the deluded parents think they have out-manoeuvred the laws of Nature, and made a better bargain with Time. But these are private, exclusive schools, you may say, for especially favored children. We cannot afford to have most of the rising generation murdered so expensively; and in our public schools, at least, one thinks there may be some relaxation of this tremendous strain. Besides, physiological reformers had the making of our public system. "A man without high health," said Horace Mann, "is as much at war with Nature as a guilty soul is at war with the spirit of God." Look first at our Normal Schools, therefore, and see how finely their theory, also, presents this same lofty view.

"Those who have had much to do with students, especially with the female portion," said a Normal School Report a few years since, "well know the sort of martyr-spirit that extensively prevails,—how ready they often are to sacrifice everything for the sake of a good lesson,—how false are their notions of true economy in mental labor, ... sacrificing their physical natures most unscrupulously to their intellectual. Indeed, so strong had this passion for abuse become [in this institution], that no study of the laws of the physical organization, no warning, no painful experiences of their own or of their associates, were sufficient to overcome their readiness for self-sacrifice." And it appears, that, in consequence of this state of things, circulars were sent to all boarding-houses in the village, laying down stringent rules to prevent the young ladies from exceeding the prescribed amount of study.

Now turn from theory to practice. What was this "prescribed amount of study" which these desperate young females persisted in exceeding in this model school? It began with an hour's study before daylight (in winter),—a thing most dangerous to eyesight, as multitudes have found to their cost. Then from eight to half past two, from four to half past five, from seven to nine,—with one or two slight recesses. Ten hours and three quarters daily, Dolorosus! as surely as you are a living sinner, and as surely as the Board of Education who framed that programme were sinners likewise. I believe that some Normal Schools have learned more moderation now; but I know also what forlorn wrecks of womanhood have been strewed along their melancholy history, thus far; and at what incalculable cost their successes have been purchased.

But it is premature to contemplate this form of martyrdom, for Angelina, who has to run the gantlet of our common schools and high schools first. Let us consider her prospects in these, carrying with us that blessed maxim, five hours' study a day,—"Nature loves the number five," as Emerson judiciously remarks,—for our aegis against the wiles of schoolmasters.

The year 1854 is memorable for a bomb-shell then thrown into the midst of the triumphant school-system of Boston, in the form of a solemn protest by the city physician against the ruinous manner in which the children were overworked. Fact, feeling, and physiology were brought to bear, with much tact and energy, and the one special point of assault was the practice of imposing out-of-school studies, beyond the habitual six hours of session. A committee of inquiry was appointed. They interrogated the grammar-school teachers. The innocent and unsuspecting teachers were amazed at the suggestion of any excess. Most of them promptly replied, in writing, that "they had never heard of any complaints on this subject from parents or guardians"; that "most of the masters were watchful upon the matter"; that "none of them pressed out-of-school studies"; while "the general opinion appeared to be, that a moderate amount of out-of-school study was both necessary for the prescribed course of study and wholesome in its influence on character and habits." They suggested that "commonly the ill health that might exist arose from other causes than excessive study"; one attributed it to the use of confectionery, another to fashionable parties, another to the practice of "chewing pitch,"—anything, everything, rather than admit that American children of fourteen could possibly be damaged by working only two hours day more than Walter Scott.

However, the committee thought differently. At any rate, they fancied that they had more immediate control over the school-hours than they could exercise over the propensity of young girls for confectionery, or over the improprieties of small boys who, yet immature for tobacco, touched pitch and were defiled. So by their influence was passed that immortal Section 7 of Chapter V. of the School Regulations,—the Magna Charta of childish liberty, so far as it goes, and the only safeguard which renders it prudent to rear a family within the limits of Boston:—

"In assigning lessons to boys to be studied out of school-hours, the instructors shall not assign a longer lesson than a boy of good capacity can acquire by an hour's study; but no out-of-school lessons shall be assigned to girls, nor shall the lessons to be studied in school be so long as to require a scholar of ordinary capacity to study out of school in order to learn them."

It appears that since that epoch this rule has "generally" been observed, "though many of the teachers would prefer a different practice." "The rule is regarded by some as an uncomfortable restriction, which without, adequate reason (!) retards the progress of pupils." "A majority of our teachers would consider the permission to assign lessons for study at home to be a decided advantage and privilege." So say the later reports of the committee.

Fortunately for Angelina and the junior members of the house of Dolorosus, you are not now directly dependent upon Boston regulations. I mention them only because they represent a contest which is inevitable in every large town in the United States where the public-school system is sufficiently perfected to be dangerous. It is simply the question, whether children can bear more brain-work than men can. Physiology, speaking through my humble voice, (the personification may remind you of the days when men began poems with "Inoculation, heavenly maid!") shrieks loudly for five hours as the utmost limit, and four hours as far more reasonable than six. But even the comparatively moderate "friends of education" still claim the contrary. Mr. Bishop, the worthy Superintendent of Schools in Boston, says, (Report, 1855,) "The time daily allotted to studies may very properly be extended to seven hours a day for young persons over fifteen years of age"; and the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, in his recent volume, seems to think it a great concession to limit the period for younger pupils to six.

And we must not forget, that, frame regulations as we may, the tendency will always be to overrun them. In the report of the Boston sub-committee to which I have referred, it was expressly admitted that the restrictions recommended "would not alone remedy the evil, or do much toward it; there would still be much, and with the ambitious too much, studying out of school." They ascribed the real difficulty "to the general arrangements of our schools, and to the strong pressure from various causes urging the pupils to intense application and the masters to encourage it," and said that this "could only be met by some general changes introduced by general legislation." Some few of the masters had previously admitted the same thing: "The pressure from without, the expectations of the committee, the wishes of the parents, the ambition of the pupils, and an exacting public sentiment, do tend to stimulate many to excessive application, both in and out of school."

This admits the same fact, in a different form. If these children have half their vitality taken out of them for life by premature and excessive brain-work, it makes no difference whether it is done in the form of direct taxation or of indirect,—whether they are compelled to it by authority or allured into it by excitement and emulation. If a horse breaks a blood-vessel by running too hard, it is no matter whether he was goaded by whip and spur, or ingeniously coaxed by the Hibernian method of a lock of hay tied six inches before his nose. The method is nothing,—it is the pace which kills. Probably the fact is, that for every extra hour directly required by the teacher, another is indirectly extorted in addition by the general stimulus of the school. The best scholars put on the added hour, because they are the best,—and the inferior scholars, because they are not the best. In either case the excess is destructive in its tendency, and the only refuge for individuals is to be found in a combination of fortunate dulness with happy indifference to shame. But is it desirable, my friend, to construct our school-system on such a basis that safety and health shall be monopolized by the stupid and the shameless?

Is this magnificent system of public instruction, the glory of the world, to turn out merely a vast machine for grinding down Young America, just as the system of middle-men, similarly organized, has ground down the Irish peasantry? Look at it! as now arranged, committees are responsible to the public, teachers to committees, pupils to teachers,—all pledged to extract a maximum crop from childish brains. Each is responsible to the authority next above him for a certain amount, and must get it out of the victim next below him. Constant improvements in machinery perfect and expedite the work; improved gauges and metres (in the form of examinations) compute the comparative yield to a nicety, and allow no evasion. The child cannot spare an hour, for he must keep up with the other children; the teacher dares not relax, for he must keep up with the other schools; the committees must only stimulate, not check, for the eyes of the editors are upon them, and the municipal glory is at stake: every one of these, from highest to lowest, has his appointed place in the tread-mill and must keep step with the rest; and only once a year, at the summer vacation, the vast machine stops, and the poor remains of childish brain and body are taken out and handed to anxious parents (like you, Dolorosus):—"Here, most worthy tax-payer, is the dilapidated residue of your beloved Angelina; take her to the sea-shore for a few weeks, and make the most of her."

Do not you know that foreigners, coming from the contemplation of races less precociously intellectual, see the danger we are in, if we do not? I was struck by the sudden disappointment of an enthusiastic English teacher, (Mr. Calthrop,) who visited the New York schools the other day and got a little behind the scenes. "If I wanted a stranger to believe that the Millennium was not far off," he said, "I would take him to some of those grand ward-schools in New York, where able heads are trained by the thousand. I spent four or five days in doing little else than going through these truly wonderful schools. I staid more than three hours in one of them, wondering at all I saw, admiring the stately order, the unbroken discipline of the whole arrangements, and the wonderful quickness and intelligence of the scholars. That same evening I went to see a friend, whose daughter, a child of thirteen, was at one of these schools. I examined her, and found that the little girl could hold her own with many of larger growth. 'Did she go to school to-day?' asked I. 'No,' was the answer, 'she has not been for some time, as she was beginning to get quite a serious curvature of the spine; so now she goes regularly to a gymnastic doctor!'"

I am sure that we have all had the same experience. How exciting it was, last year, to be sure, to see Angelina at the grammar-school examination, multiplying mentally 351,426 by 236,145, and announcing the result in two minutes and thirteen seconds as 82,987,492,770! I remember how you stood trembling as she staggered under the monstrous load, and how your cheek hung out the red flag of parental exultation when she can out safe. But when I looked at her colorless visage, sharp features, and shiny consumptive skin, I groaned inwardly. It seemed as if that crop of figures, like the innumerable florets of the whiteweed, now overspreading your paternal farm, were exhausting the last vitality from a shallow soil. What a pity it is that the Deity gave to these children of ours bodies as well as brains! How it interferes with thorough instruction in the languages and the sciences! You remember the negro-trader in "Uncle Tom," who sighs for a lot of negroes specially constructed for his convenience, with the souls left out? Could not some of our school-committees take measures to secure the companion set, possessing merely the brains, and with the troublesome bodies conveniently omitted?

The truth is, that we Americans, having overcome all other obstacles to universal education of the people, have thought to overcome even the limitations imposed by the laws of Nature; and so we were going triumphantly on, when the ruined health of our children suddenly brought us to a stand. Now we suddenly discover, that, in the absence of Inquisitions, and other unpleasant Old-World tortures, our school-houses have taken their place. We have outgrown war, we think; and yet we have not outgrown a form of contest which is undeniably more sanguinary, since one-half the community actually die, under present arrangements, before they are old enough to see a battle-field,—that is, before the age of eighteen. It is an actual fact, that, if you can only keep Angelina alive up to that birthday, even if she be an ignoramus, she will at least have accomplished the feat of surviving half her contemporaries. Can there be no Peace Society to check this terrific carnage? Dolorosus, rather than have a child of mine die, as I have recently heard of a child's dying, insane from sheer overwork, and raving of algebra, I would have her come no nearer to the splendors of science than the man in the French play, who brings away from school only the general impression that two and two make five for a creditor and three for a debtor.

De Quincey wrote a treatise on "Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts," and it is certainly the fine art which receives most attention in our schools. "So far as the body is concerned," said Horace Mann of these institutions, "they provide for all the natural tendencies to physical ease and inactivity as carefully as though paleness and languor, muscular enervation and debility, were held to be constituent elements in national beauty." With this denial of the body on one side, with this tremendous stimulus of brain on the other, and with a delicate and nervous national organization to begin with, the result is inevitable. Boys hold out better than girls, partly because they are not so docile in school, partly because they are allowed to be more active out of it, and so have more recuperative power. But who has not seen some delicate girl, after five consecutive hours spent over French and Latin and Algebra, come home to swallow an indigestible dinner, and straightway settle down again to spend literally every waking hour out of the twenty-four in study, save those scanty meal-times,—protracting the labor, it may be, far into the night, till the weary eyes close unwillingly over the slate or the lexicon,—then to bed, to be vexed by troubled dreams, instead of being wrapt in the sunny slumber of childhood,—waking unrefreshed, to be reproached by parents and friends with the nervous irritability which this detestable routine has created?

For I aver that parents are more exacting than even teachers. It is outrageous to heap it all upon the pedagogues, as if they were the only apostolical successors of him whom Charles Lamb lauded "the much calumniated good King Herod." Indeed, teachers have no objection to educating the bodies of their small subjects, if they can only be as well paid for it as for educating their intellects. But, until recently, they have never been allowed to put the bodies into the bill. And as charity begins at home, even in a physiological sense,—and as their own children's bodies required bread and butter,—they naturally postponed all regard for the physical education of their pupils until the thing acquired a marketable value. Now that the change is taking place, every schoolmaster in the land gladly adapts himself to it, and hastens to insert in his advertisement, "Especial attention given to physical education." But what good does this do, so long as parents are not willing that time enough should be deducted from the ordinary tasks to make the athletic apparatus available,—so long as it is regarded as a merit in pupils to take time from their plays and give it to extra studies,—so long as we exult over an inactive and studious child, as Dr. Beattie did over his, that "exploits of strength, dexterity, and speed" "to him no vanity or joy could bring," and then almost die of despair, like Dr. Beattie, because such a child dies before us? With girls it is far worse. "Girls, during childhood, are liable to no diseases distinct from those of boys," says Salzmann, "except the disease of education." What mother in decent society, I ask you, who is not delighted to have her little girl devote even Wednesday and Saturday afternoons to additional tasks in drawing or music, rather than run the risk of having her make a noise somewhere, or possibly even soil her dress? Papa himself will far more readily appropriate ten dollars to this additional confinement than five to the gymnasium or the riding-school. And so, beset with snares on every hand, the poor little well-educated thing can only pray the prayer recorded of a despairing child, brought up in the best society,—that she might "die and go to heaven and play with the Irish children on Saturday afternoons."

And the Sunday Schools coöperate with the week-day seminaries in the pious work of destruction. Dolorosus, are all your small neighbors hard at work in committing to memory Scripture texts for a wager,—I have an impression, however, that they call it a prize,—consisting of one Bible? In my circle of society the excitement runs high. At any tea-drinking, you may hear the ladies discussing the comparative points and prospects of their various little Ellens and Harriets, with shrill eagerness; while their husbands, on the other side of the room, are debating the merits of Ethan Allen and Flora Temple, the famous trotting-horses, who are soon expected to try their speed on our "Agricultural Ground." Each horse, and each girl, appears to have enthusiastic backers, though the Sunday-School excitement has the advantage of lasting longer. From inquiry, I find the state of the field to be about as follows:—Fanny Hastings, who won the prize last year, is not to be entered for it again; she damaged her memory by the process, her teacher tells me, so that she can now scarcely fix the simplest lesson in her mind. Carry Blake had got up to five thousand verses, but had such terrible headaches that her mother compelled her to stop, some weeks ago; the texts have all vanished from her brain, but the headache unfortunately still lingers. Nelly Sanborn has reached six thousand, although her anxious father long since tried to buy her off by offering her a new Bible twice as handsome as the prize one: but what did she care for that? she said; she had handsome Bibles already, but she had no intention of being beaten by Ella Prentiss. Poor child, we see no chance for her; for Ella has it all her own way; she has made up a score of seven thousand one hundred texts, and it is only three days to the fatal Sunday. Between ourselves, I think Nelly does her work more fairly; for Ella has a marvellous ingenuity in picking out easy verses, like Jack Horner's plums, and valuing every sacred sentence, not by its subject, but by its shortness. Still, she is bound to win.

"How is her health this summer?" I asked her mother, the other day.

"Well, her verses weigh on her," said the good woman, solemnly.

And here I pledge you my word, Dolorosus, that to every one of these statements I might append, as Miss Edgeworth does to every particularly tough story,—"N.B. This is a fact." I will only add that our Sunday-School Superintendent, who is a physician, told me that he had as strong objections to the whole thing as I could have; but that it was no use talking; all the other schools did it, and ours must; emulation was the order of the day. "Besides," he added, with that sort of cheerful hopelessness peculiar to his profession, "the boys are not trying for the prize much, this year; and as for the girls, they would probably lose their health very soon, at any rate, and may as well devote it to a sacred cause."

Do not misunderstand me. The supposed object in this case is a good one, just as the object in week-day schools is a good one,—to communicate valuable knowledge and develop the powers of the mind. The defect in policy, in both cases, appears to be, that it totally defeats its own aim, renders the employments hateful that should be delightful, and sacrifices the whole powers, so far as its influence goes, without any equivalent. All excess defeats itself. As a grown man can work more in ten hours than in fifteen, taking a series of days together, so a child can make more substantial mental progress in five hours daily than in ten. Your child's mind is not an earthen jar, to be filled by pouring into it; it is a delicate plant, to be wisely and healthfully reared; and your wife might as well attempt to enrich her mignonette-bed by laying a Greek Lexicon upon it as try to cultivate that young nature by a topdressing of Encyclopædias. I use the word on high authority. "Courage, my boy!" wrote Lord Chatham to his son, "only the Encyclopædia to learn!"—and the cruel diseases of a lifetime repaid Pitt for the forcing. I do not object to the severest quality of study for boys or girls;—while their brains work, let them work in earnest. But I do object to this immoderate and terrific quantity. Cut down every school, public and private, to five hours' total work per diem for the oldest children, and four for the younger ones, and they will accomplish more in the end than you ever saw them do in six or seven. Only give little enough at a time, and some freshness to do it with, and you may, if you like, send Angelina to any school, and put her through the whole programme of the last educational prospectus sent to me,—"Philology, Pantology, Orthology, Aristology, and Linguistics."

For what is the end to be desired? Is it to exhibit a prodigy, or to rear a noble and symmetrical specimen of a human being? Because Socrates taught that a boy who has learned to speak is not too small for the sciences,—because Tiberius delivered his father's funeral oration at the age of nine, and Marcus Aurelius put on the philosophic gown at twelve, and Cicero wrote a treatise on the art of speaking at thirteen,—because Lipsius is said to have composed a work the day he was born, meaning, say the commentators, that he began a new life at the age of ten,—because the learned Licetus, who was brought into the world so feeble as to be baked up to maturity in an oven, sent forth from that receptacle, like a loaf of bread, a treatise called "Gonopsychanthropologia,"—is it, therefore, indispensably necessary, Dolorosus, that all your pale little offspring shall imitate these? Spare these innocents! it is not their fault that they are your children,—so do not visit it upon them so severely. Turn, Angelina, ever dear, and out of a little childish recreation we will yet extract a great deal of maturer wisdom for you, if we can only bring this deluded parent to his senses.

To change the sweet privilege of childhood into weary days and restless nights,—to darken its pure associations, which for many are the sole light that ever brings them back from sin and despair to the heaven of their infancy,—to banish those reveries of innocent fancy which even noisy boyhood knows, and which are the appointed guardians of its purity before conscience wakes,—to abolish its moments of priceless idleness, saturated with sunshine, blissful, aimless moments, when every angel is near,—to bring insanity, once the terrible prerogative of maturer life, down into the summer region of childhood, with blight and ruin;—all this is the work of our folly, Dolorosus, of our miserable ambition to have our unconscious little ones begin, in their very infancy, the race of desperate ambition, which has, we admit, exhausted prematurely the lives of their parents.

The worst danger of it is, that the moral is written at the end of the fable, not the beginning. The organization in youth is so dangerously elastic, that the result of these intellectual excesses is not seen until years after. When some young girl incurs spinal disease for life from some slight fall which she ought not to have felt for an hour, or some businessman breaks down in the prime of his years from some trifling over-anxiety which should have left no trace behind, the popular verdict may be, "Mysterious Providence"; but the wiser observer sees the retribution for the folly of those misspent days which enfeebled the childish constitution, instead of ripening it. One of the most admirable passages in the Report of Dr. Ray, already mentioned, is that in which he explains, that, though hard study at school is rarely the immediate cause of insanity, it is the most frequent of its ulterior causes, except hereditary tendencies. "It diminishes the conservative power of the animal economy to such a degree, that attacks of disease, which otherwise would have passed off safely, destroy life almost before danger is anticipated. Every intelligent physician understands, that, other things being equal, the chances of recovery are far less in the studious, highly intellectual child than in one of an opposite description. The immediate mischief may have seemed slight, but the brain is left in a condition of peculiar impressibility, which renders it morbidly sensitive to every adverse influence."

Indeed, here is precisely the weakness of our whole national training thus far,—brilliant immediate results, instead of wise delays. The life of the average American is a very hasty breakfast, a magnificent luncheon, a dyspeptic dinner, and no supper. Our masculine energy is like our feminine beauty, bright and evanescent. As enthusiastic travellers inform us that there are in every American village a dozen, girls of sixteen who are prettier than any English hamlet of the same size can produce, so the same village undoubtedly possesses a dozen very young men who, tried by the same standard, are "smarter" than their English peers. Come again fifteen years after, when the Englishmen and Englishwomen are reported to be just in their prime, and, lo! those lovely girls are sallow old women, and the boys are worn-out men,—with fire left in them, it may be, but fuel gone,—retired from active business, very likely, and just waiting for consumption to carry them off, as one waits for the omnibus.

To say that this should be amended is to say little. Either it must be amended, or the American race fails;—there is no middle ground. If we fail, (which I do not expect, I assure you,) we fail disastrously. If we succeed, if we bring up our vital and muscular developments into due proportion with our nervous energy, we shall have a race of men and women such as the world never saw. Dolorosus, when in the course of human events you are next invited to give a Fourth-of-July Oration, grasp at the opportunity, and take for your subject "Health." Tell your audience, when you rise to the accustomed flowers of rhetoric as the day wears on, that Health is the central luminary, of which all the stars that spangle the proud flag of our common country are but satellites; and close with a hint to the plumed emblem of our nation, (pointing to the stuffed one which will probably be exhibited on the platform,) that she should not henceforward confine her energies to the hatching of short-lived eaglets, but endeavor rather to educate a few full-grown birds.

As I take it, Nature said, some years since,—"Thus far the English is my best race; but we have had Englishmen enough; now for another turning of the globe, and a step farther. We need something with a little more buoyancy than the Englishman; let us lighten the ship, even at the risk of a little peril in the process. Put in one drop more of nervous fluid and make the American." With that drop, a new range of promise opened on the human race, and a lighter, finer, more highly organized type of mankind was born. But the promise must be fulfilled through unequalled dangers. With the new drop came new intoxication, new ardors, passions, ambitions, hopes, reactions, and despairs,—more daring, more invention, more disease, more insanity,—forgetfulness, at first, of the old, wholesome traditions of living, recklessness of sin and saleratus, loss of refreshing sleep and of the power of play. To surmount all this, we have got to fight the good fight, I assure you, Dolorosus. Nature is yet pledged to produce that finer type, and if we miss it, she will leave us to decay, like our predecessors,—whirl the globe over once more, and choose a new place for a new experiment.

My Double; and How He Undid Me.

It is not often that I trouble the readers of the "Atlantic Monthly." I should not trouble them now, but for the importunities of my wife, who "feels to insist" that a duty to society is unfulfilled, till I have told why I had to have a double, and how he undid me. She is sure, she says, that intelligent persons cannot understand that pressure upon public servants which alone drives any man into the employment of a double. And while I fear she thinks, at the bottom of her heart, that my fortunes will never be remade, she has a faint hope, that, as another Rasselas, I may teach a lesson to future publics, from which they may profit, though we die. Owing to the behaviour of my double, or, if you please, to that public pressure which compelled me to employ him, I have plenty of leisure to write this communication.

I am, or rather was, a minister, of the Sandemanian connection. I was settled in the active, wide-awake town of Naguadavick, on one of the finest water-powers in Maine. We used to call it a Western town in the heart of the civilization of New England. A charming place it was and is. A spirited, brave young parish had I; and it seemed as if we might have all "the joy of eventful living" to our hearts' content.

Alas! how little we knew on the day of my ordination, and in those halcyon moments of our first housekeeping! To be the confidential friend in a hundred families in the town,—cutting the social trifle, as my friend Haliburton says, "from the top of the whipped-syllabub to the bottom of the sponge-cake, which is the foundation,"—to keep abreast of the thought of the age in one's study, and to do one's best on Sunday to interweave that thought with the active life of an active town, and to inspirit both and make both infinite by glimpses of the Eternal Glory, seemed such an exquisite forelock into one's life! Enough to do, and all so real and so grand! If this vision could only have lasted!

The truth is, that this vision was not in itself a delusion, nor, indeed, half bright enough. If one could only have been left to do his own business, the vision would have accomplished itself and brought out new paraheliacal visions, each as bright as the original. The misery was and is, as we found out, I and Polly, before long, that, besides the vision, and besides the usual human and finite failures in life, (such as breaking the old pitcher that came over in the "Mayflower," and putting into the fire the Alpenstock with which her father climbed Mont Blanc,)—besides these, I say, (imitating the style of Robinson Crusoe,) there were pitch-forked in on us a great rowen-heap of humbugs, banded down from some unknown seed-time, in which we were expected, and I chiefly, to fulfil certain public functions before the community, of the character of those fulfilled by the third row of supernumeraries who stand behind the Sepoys in the spectacle of the "Cataract of the Ganges." They were the duties, in a word, which one performs as member of one or another social class or subdivision, wholly distinct from what one does as A. by himself A. What invisible power put these functions on me, it would be very hard to tell. But such power there was and is. And I had not been at work a year before I found I was living two lives, one real and one merely functional,—for two sets of people, one my parish, whom I loved, and the other a vague public, for whom I did not care two straws. All this was in a vague notion, which everybody had and has, that this second life would eventually bring out some great results, unknown at present, to somebody somewhere.

Crazed by this duality of life, I first read Dr. Wigan on the "Duality of the Brain," hoping that I could train one side of my head to do these outside jobs, and the other to do my intimate and real duties. For Richard Greenough once told me, that, in studying for the statue of Franklin, he found that the left side of the great man's face was philosophic and reflective, and the right side funny and smiling. If you will go and look at the bronze statue, you will find he has repeated this observation there for posterity. The eastern profile is the portrait of the statesman Franklin, the western of Poor Richard. But Dr. Wigan does not go into these niceties of this subject, and I failed. It was then, that, on my wife's suggestion, I resolved to look out for a Double.

I was, at first, singularly successful. We happened to be recreating at Stafford Springs that summer. We rode out one day, for one of the relaxations of that watering-place, to the great Monsonpon House. We were passing through one of the large halls, when my destiny was fulfilled! I saw my man!

He was not shaven. He had on no spectacles. He was dressed in a green baize roundabout and faded blue overalls, worn sadly at the knee. But I saw at once that he was of my height, five feet four and a half. He had black hair, worn off by his hat. So have and have not I. He stooped in walking. So do I. His hands were large, and mine. And—choicest gift of Fate in all—he had, not "a strawberry-mark on his left arm," but a cut from a juvenile brickbat over his right eye, slightly affecting the play of that eyebrow. Reader, so have I!—My fate was sealed!

A word with Mr. Holley, one of the inspectors, settled the whole thing. It proved that this Dennis Shea was a harmless, amiable fellow, of the class known as shiftless, who had scaled his fate by marrying a dumb wife, who was at that moment ironing in the laundry. Before I left Stafford, I had hired both for five years. We had applied to Judge Pynchon, then the probate judge at Springfield, to change the name of Dennis Shea to Frederic Ingham. We had explained to the Judge, what was the precise truth, that an eccentric gentleman wished to adopt Dennis under this new name into his family. It never occurred to him that Dennis might be more than fourteen years old. And thus, to shorten this preface, when we returned at night to my parsonage at Naguadavick, there entered Mrs. Ingham, her new dumb laundress, myself, who am Mr. Frederic Ingham, and my double, who was Mr. Frederic Ingham by as good right as I.

Oh, the fun we had the next morning in shaving his beard to my pattern, cutting his hair to match mine, and teaching him how to wear and how to take off gold-bowed spectacles! Really, they were electro-plate, and the glass was plain (for the poor fellow's eyes were excellent). Then in four successive afternoons I taught, him four speeches. I had found these would be quite enough for the supernumerary-Sepoy line of life, and it was well for me they were. For though he was good-natured, he was very shiftless, and it was, as our national proverb says, "like pulling teeth" to teach him. But at the end of the next week he could say, with quite my easy and frisky air,—

  1. "Very well, thank you. And you?" This for an answer to casual salutations.
  2. "I am very glad you liked it."
  3. "There has been so much said, and, on the whole, so well said, that I will not occupy the time."
  4. "I agree, in general, with my friend the other side of the room."

At first I had a feeling that I was going to be at great cost for clothing him. But it proved, of course, at once, that, whenever he was out, I should be at home. And I went, during the bright period of his success, to so few of those awful pageants which require a black dress-coat and what the ungodly call, after Mr. Dickens, a white choker, that in the happy retreat of my own dressing-gowns and jackets my days went by as happily and cheaply as those of another Thalaba. And Polly declares there was never a year when the tailoring cost so little. He lived (Dennis, not Thalaba) in his wife's room over the kitchen. He had orders never to show himself at that window. When he appeared in the front of the house, I retired to my sanctissimum and my dressing-gown. In short, the Dutchman and his wife, in the old weather-box, had not less to do with each other than he and I. He made the furnace-fire and split the wood before daylight; then he went to sleep again, and slept late; then came for orders, with a red silk bandanna tied round his head, with his overalls on, and his dress-coat and spectacles off. If we happened to be interrupted, no one guessed that he was Frederic Ingham as well as I; and, in the neighborhood, there grew up an impression that the minister's Irishman worked day-times in the factory-village at New Coventry. After I had given him his orders, I never saw him till the next day.

I launched him by sending him to a meeting of the Enlightenment Board. The Enlightenment Board consists of seventy-four members, of whom sixty-seven are necessary to form a quorum. One becomes a member under the regulations laid down in old Judge Dudley's will. I became one by being ordained pastor of a church in Naguadavick. You see you cannot help yourself, if you would. At this particular time we had had four successive meetings, averaging four hours each,—wholly occupied in whipping in a quorum. At the first only eleven men were present; at the next, by force of three circulars, twenty-seven; at the third, thanks to two days canvassing by Auchmuty and myself, begging men to come, we had sixty. Half the others were In Europe. But without a quorum we could do nothing. All the rest of us waited grimly for our four hours, and adjourned without any action. At the fourth meeting we had flagged, and only got fifty-nine together. But on the first appearance of my double,—whom I sent on this fatal Monday to the fifth meeting,—he was the sixty-seventh man who entered the room. He was greeted with a storm of applause! The poor fellow had missed his way,—read the street signs ill though his spectacles, (very ill, in fact, without them,)—and had not dared to inquire. He entered the room,—finding the president and secretary holding to their chairs two judges of the Supreme Court, who were also members ex officio, and were begging leave to go away. On his entrance all was changed. Presto, the by-laws were amended, and the Western property was given away. Nobody stopped to converse with him. He voted, as I had charged him to do, in every instance, with the minority. I won new laurels as a man of sense, though a little unpunctual,—and Dennis, alias Ingham, returned to the parsonage, astonished to see with how little wisdom the world is governed. He cut a few of my parishioners in the street; but he had his glasses off, and I am known to be near-sighted. Eventually he recognized them more readily than I.

I "set him again" at the exhibition of the New Coventry Academy; and here he undertook a "speaking part,"—as, in my boyish, worldly days, I remember the bills used to say of Mlle. Céleste. We are all trustees of the New Coventry Academy; and there has lately been "a good deal of feeling" because the Sandemanian trustees did not regularly attend the exhibitions. It has been intimated, indeed, that the Sandemanians are leaning towards Free-Will, and that we have, therefore, neglected these semi-annual exhibitions, while there is no doubt that Auchmuty last year went to Commencement at Waterville. Now the head master at New Coventry is a real good fellow, who knows a Sanskrit root when he sees it, and often cracks etymologies with me,—so that, in strictness, I ought to go to their exhibitions. But think, reader, of sitting through three long July days in that Academy chapel, following the programme from

Tuesday Morning. English Composition. "Sunshine." Miss Jones.

round to

Trio on Three Pianos. Duel from the Opera of "Midshipman Easy." Marryatt.

coming in at nine, Thursday evening! Think of this, reader, for men who know the world is trying to go backward, and who would give their lives if they could help it on! Well! The double had succeeded so well at the Board, that I sent him to the Academy. (Shade of Plato, pardon!) He arrived early on Tuesday, when, indeed, few but mothers and clergymen are generally expected, and returned in the evening to us, covered with honors. He had dined at the right hand of the chairman, and he spoke in high terms of the repast. The chairman had expressed his interest in the French conversation. "I am very glad you liked it," said Dennis; and the poor chairman, abashed, supposed the accent had been wrong. At the end of the day, the gentlemen present had been called upon for speeches,—the Rev. Frederic Ingham first, as it happened; upon which Dennis had risen, and had said, "There has been so much said, and, on the whole, so well said, that I will not occupy the time." The girls were delighted, because Dr. Dabney, the year before, had given them at this occasion a scolding on impropriety of behavior at lyceum lectures. They all declared Mr. Ingham was a love,—and so handsome! (Dennis is good-looking.) Three of them, with arms behind the others' waists, followed him up to the wagon he rode home in; and a little girl with a blue sash had been sent to give him a rosebud. After this début in speaking, he went to the exhibition for two days more, to the mutual satisfaction of all concerned. Indeed, Polly reported that he had pronounced the trustees' dinners of a higher grade than those of the parsonage. When the next term began, I found six of the Academy girls had obtained permission to come across the river and attend our church. But this arrangement did not long continue.

After this he went to several Commencements for me, and ate the dinners provided; he sat through three of our Quarterly Conventions for me,—always voting judiciously, by the simple rule mentioned above, of siding with the minority. And I, meanwhile, who had before been losing caste among my friends, as holding myself aloof from the associations of the body, began to rise in everybody's favor. "Ingham's a good fellow,—always on hand"; "never talks much,—but does the right thing at the right time"; "is not as unpunctual as he used to be,—he comes early, and sits through to the end." "He has got over his old talkative habit, too. I spoke to a friend of his about it once; and I think Ingham took it kindly," etc., etc.

This voting power of Dennis was particularly valuable at the quarterly meetings of the Proprietors of the Naguadavick Ferry. My wife inherited from her father some shares in that enterprise, which is not yet fully developed, though it doubtless will become a very valuable property. The law of Maine then forbade stockholders to appear by proxy at such meetings. Polly disliked to go, not being, in fact, a "hens'-rights hen," and transferred her stock to me. I, after going once, disliked it more than she. But Dennis went to the next meeting, and liked it very much. He said the armchairs were good, the collation good, and the free rides to stockholders pleasant. He was a little frightened when they first took him upon one of the ferry-boats, but after two or three quarterly meetings he became quite brave.

Thus far I never had any difficulty with him. Indeed, being of that type which is called shiftless, he was only too happy to be told daily what to do, and to be charged not to be forthputting or in any way original in his discharge of that duty. He learned, however, to discriminate between the lines of his life, and very much preferred these stockholders' meetings and trustees' dinners and Commencement collations to another set of occasions, from which he used to beg off most piteously. Our excellent brother, Dr. Fillmore, had taken a notion at this time that our Sandemanian churches needed more expression of mutual sympathy. He insisted upon it that we were remiss. He said, that, if the Bishop came to preach at Naguadavick, all the Episcopal clergy of the neighborhood were present; if Dr. Pond came, all the Congregational clergymen turned out to hear him; if Dr. Nichols, all the Unitarians; and he thought we owed it to each other, that, whenever there was an occasional service at a Sandemanian church, the other brethren should all, if possible, attend. "It looked well," if nothing more. Now this really meant that I had not been to hear one of Dr. Fillmore's lectures on the Ethnology of Religion. He forgot that he did not hear one of my course on the "Sandemanianism of Anselm." But I felt badly when he said it; and afterwards I always made Dennis go to hear all the brethren preach, when I was not preaching myself. This was what he took exceptions to,—the only thing, as I said, which he ever did except to. Now came the advantage of his long morning-nap, and of the green tea with which Polly supplied the kitchen. But he would plead, so humbly, to be let off, only from one or two! I never excepted him, however. I knew the lectures were of value, and I thought it best he should be able to keep the connection.

Polly is more rash than I am, as the reader has observed in the outset of this memoir. She risked Dennis one night under the eyes of her own sex. Governor Gorges had always been very kind to us; and when he gave his great annual party to the town, asked us. I confess I hated to go. I was deep in the new volume of Pfeiffer's "Mystics," which Haliburton had just sent me from Boston. "But how rude," said Polly, "not to return the Governor's civility and Mrs. Gorges's, when they will be sure to ask why you are away!" Still I demurred, and at last she, with the wit of Eve and of Semiramis conjoined, let me off by saying, that, if I would go in with her, and sustain the initial conversations with the Governor and the ladies staying there, she would risk Dennis for the rest of the evening. And that was just what we did. She took Dennis in training all that afternoon, instructed him in fashionable conversation, cautioned him against the temptations of the supper-table,—and at nine in the evening he drove us all down in the carryall. I made the grand star-entrée with Polly and the pretty Walton girls, who were staying with us. We had put Dennis into a great rough top-coat, without his glasses,—and the girls never dreamed, in the darkness, of looking at him. He sat in the carriage, at the door, while we entered. I did the agreeable to Mrs. Gorges, was introduced to her niece, Miss Fernanda,—I complimented Judge Jeffries on his decision in the great case of D'Aulnay vs. Laconia Mining Co.,—I stepped into the dressing-room for a moment,—stepped out for another,—walked home, after a nod with Dennis, and tying the horse to a pump;—and while I walked home, Mr. Frederic Ingham, my double, stepped in through the library into the Gorges's grand saloon.

Oh! Polly died of laughing as she told me of it at midnight! And even here, where I have to teach my hands to hew the beech for stakes to fence our cave, she dies of laughing as she recalls it,—and says that single occasion was worth all we have paid for it. Gallant Eve that she is! She joined Dennis at the library-door, and in an instant presented him to Dr. Ochterlong, from Baltimore, who was on a visit in town, and was talking with her, as Dennis came in. "Mr. Ingham would like to hear what you were telling us about your success among the German population." And Dennis bowed and said, in spite of a scowl from Polly, "I'm very glad you liked it." But Dr. Ochterlong did not observe, and plunged into the tide of explanation, Dennis listening like a prime-minister, and bowing like a mandarin,—which is, I suppose, the same thing. Polly declared it was just like Haliburton's Latin conversation with the Hungarian minister, of which he is very fond of telling. "Quæne sit historia Reformationis in Ungariâ?" quoth Haliburton, after some thought. And his confrère replied gallantly, "In seculo decimo tertio," etc., etc., etc.; and from decimo tertio[8] to the nineteenth century and a half lasted till the oysters came. So was it that before Dr. Ochterlong came to the "success," or near it, Governor Gorges came to Dennis and asked him to hand Mrs. Jeffries down to supper, a request which he heard with great joy.

Polly was skipping round the room, I guess, gay as a lark. Auchmuty came to her "in pity for poor Ingham," who was so bored by the stupid pundit,—and Auchmuty could not understand why I stood it so long. But when Dennis took Mrs. Jeffries down, Polly could not resist standing near them. He was a little flustered, till the sight of the eatables and drinkables gave him the same Mercian courage which it gave Diggory. A little excited then, he attempted one or two of his speeches to the Judge's lady. But little he knew how hard it was to get in even a promptu there edgewise. "Very well, I thank you," said he, after the eating elements were adjusted; "and you?" And then did not he have to hear about the mumps, and the measles, and arnica, and belladonna, and chamomile-flower, and dodecathem, till she changed oysters for salad,—and then about the old practice and the new, and what her sister said, and what her sister's friend said, and what the physician to her sister's friend said, and then what was said by the brother of the sister of the physician of the friend of her sister, exactly as if it had been in Ollendorff? There was a moment's pause, as she declined Champagne. "I am very glad you liked it," said Dennis again, which he never should have said, but to one who complimented a sermon. "Oh! you are so sharp, Mr. Ingham! No! I never drink any wine at all,—except sometimes in summer a little currant spirits,—from our own currants, you know. My own mother,—that is, I call her my own mother, because, you know, I do not remember," etc., etc., etc.; till they came to the candied orange at the end of the feast,—when Dennis, rather confused, thought he must say something, and tried No. 4,—"I agree, in general, with my friend the other side of the room,"—which he never should have said but at a public meeting. But Mrs. Jeffries, who never listens expecting to understand, caught him up instantly with, "Well, I'm sure my husband returns the compliment; he always agrees with you,—though we do worship with the Methodists;—but you know, Mr. Ingham," etc., etc., etc., till the move was made up-stairs;—and as Dennis led her through the hall, he was scarcely understood by any but Polly, as he said, "There has been so much said, and, on the whole, so well said, that I will not occupy the time."

His great resource the rest of the evening was, standing in the library, carrying on animated conversations with one and another in much the same way. Polly had initiated him in the mysteries of a discovery of mine, that it is not necessary to finish your sentences in a crowd, but by a sort of mumble, omitting sibilants and dentals. This, indeed, if your words fail you, answers even in public extempore speech,—but better where other talking is going on. Thus,—"We missed you at the Natural History Society, Ingham." Ingham replies,—"I am very gligloglum, that is, that you were mmmmm." By gradually dropping the voice, the interlocutor is compelled to supply the answer. "Mrs. Ingham, I hope your friend Augusta is better." Augusta has not been ill. Polly cannot think of explaining, however, and answers,—"Thank you, Ma'am; she is very rearason wewahwewoh," in lower and lower tones. And Mrs. Throckmorton, who forgot the subject of which she spoke, as soon as she asked the question, is quite satisfied. Dennis could see into the card-room, and came to Polly to ask if he might not go and play all-fours. But, of course, she sternly refused. At midnight they came home delighted,—Polly, as I said, wild to tell me the story of victory; only both the pretty Walton girls said,—"Cousin Frederic, you did not come near me all the evening."

We always called him Dennis at home, for convenience, though his real name was Frederic Ingham, as I have explained. When the election-day came round, however, I found that by some accident there was only one Frederic Ingham's name on the voting-list; and, as I was quite busy that day in writing some foreign letters to Halle, I thought I would forego my privilege of suffrage, and stay quietly at home, telling Dennis that he might use the record on the voting-list and vote. I gave him a ticket, which I told him he might use, if he liked to. That was that very sharp election in Maine which the readers of the "Atlantic" so well remember, and it had been intimated in public that the ministers would do well not to appear at the polls. Of course, after that, we had to appear by self or proxy. Still, Naguadavick was not then a city, and this standing in a double queue at town-meeting several hours to vote was a bore of the first water; and so, when I found that there was but one Frederic Ingham on the list, and that one of us must give up, I staid at home and finished the letters, (which, indeed, procured for Fothergill his coveted appointment of Professor of Astronomy at Leavenworth,) and I gave Dennis, as we called him, the chance. Something in the matter gave a good deal of popularity to the Frederic Ingham name; and at the adjourned election, next week, Frederic Ingham was chosen to the legislature. Whether this was I or Dennis, I never really knew. My friends seemed to think it was I; but I felt, that, as Dennis had done the popular thing, he was entitled to the honor; so I sent him to Augusta when the time came, and he took the oaths. And a very valuable member he made. They appointed him on the Committee on Parishes; but I wrote a letter for him, resigning, on the ground that he took an interest in our claim to the stumpage in the minister's sixteenths of Gore A, next No. 7, in the 10th Range. He never made any speeches, and always voted with the minority, which was what he was sent to do. He made me and himself a great many good friends, some of whom I did not afterwards recognize as quickly as Dennis did my parishioners. On one or two occasions, when there was wood to saw at home, I kept him at home; but I took those occasions to go to Augusta myself. Finding myself often in his vacant seat at these times, I watched the proceedings with a good deal of care; and once was so much excited that I delivered my somewhat celebrated speech on the Central School-District question, a speech of which the "State of Maine" printed some extra copies. I believe there is no formal rule permitting strangers to speak; but no one objected.

Dennis himself, as I said, never spoke at all. But our experience this session led me to think, that, if, by some such "general understanding" as the reports speak of in legislation daily, every member of Congress might leave a double to sit through those deadly sessions and answer to roll-calls and do the legitimate party-voting, which appears stereotyped in the regular list of Ashe, Bocock, Black, etc., we should gain decidedly in working-power. As things stand, the saddest State prison I ever visit is that Representatives' Chamber in Washington. If a man leaves for an hour, twenty "correspondents" may be howling, "Where was Mr. Pendergrast when the Oregon bill passed?" And if poor Pendergrast stays there! Certainly, the worst use you can make of a man is to put him in prison!

I know, indeed, that public men of the highest rank have resorted to this expedient long ago. Dumas's novel of the "Iron Mask" turns on the brutal imprisonment of Louis the Fourteenth's double. There seems little doubt, in our own history, that it was the real General Pierce who shed tears when the delegate from Lawrence explained to him the sufferings of the people there,—and only General Pierce's double who had given the orders for the assault on that town, which was invaded the next day. My charming friend, George Withers, has, I am almost sure, a double, who preaches his afternoon sermons for him. This is the reason that the theology often varies so from that of the forenoon. But that double is almost as charming as the original. Some of the most well-defined men, who stand out most prominently on the background of history, are in this way stereoscopic men, who owe their distinct relief to the slight differences between the doubles. All this I know. My present suggestion is simply the great extension of the system, so that all public machine-work may be done by it.

But I see I loiter on my story, which is rushing to the plunge. Let me stop an instant more, however, to recall, were it only to myself, that charming year while all was yet well. After the double had become a matter of course, for nearly twelve months before he undid me, what a year it was! Full of active life, full of happy love, of the hardest work, of the sweetest sleep, and the fulfilment of so many of the fresh aspirations and dreams of boyhood! Dennis went to every school-committee meeting, and sat through all those late wranglings which used to keep me up till midnight and awake till morning. He attended all the lectures to which foreign exiles sent me tickets begging me to come for the love of Heaven and of Bohemia. He accepted and used all the tickets for charity concerts which were sent to me. He appeared everywhere where it was specially desirable that "our denomination," or "our party," or "our class," or "our family," or "our street," or "our town," or "our county," or "our State," should be fully represented. And I fell back to that charming life which in boyhood one dreams of, when he supposes he shall do his own duty and make his own sacrifices, without being tied up with those of other people. My rusty Sanskrit, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and English began to take polish. Heavens! how little I had done with them while I attended to my public duties! My calls on my parishioners became the friendly, frequent, homelike sociabilities they were meant to be, instead of the hard work of a man goaded to desperation by the sight of his lists of arrears. And preaching! what a luxury preaching was when I had on Sunday the whole result of an individual, personal week, from which to speak to a people whom all that week I had been meeting as hand-to-hand friend! I never tired on Sunday, and was in condition to leave the sermon at home, if I chose, and preach it extempore, as all men should do always. Indeed, I wonder, when I think that a sensible people, like ours,—really more attached to their clergy than they were in the lost days, when the Mathers and Nortons were noblemen,—should choose to neutralize so much of their ministers' lives, and destroy so much of their early training, by this undefined passion for seeing them in public. It springs from our balancing of sects. If a spirited Episcopalian takes an interest in the alms-house, and is put on the Poor Board, every other denomination must have a minister there, lest the poor-house be changed into St. Paul's Cathedral. If a Sandemanian is chosen president of the Young Men's Library, there must be a Methodist vice-president and a Baptist secretary. And if a Universalist Sunday-School Convention collects five hundred delegates, the next Congregationalist Sabbath-School Conference must be as large, "lest 'they'—whoever they may be—should think 'we'—whoever we may be—are going down."

Freed from these necessities, that happy year, I began to know my wife by sight. We saw each other sometimes. In those long mornings, when Dennis was in the study explaining to map-peddlers that I had eleven maps of Jerusalem already, and to school-book agents that I would see them hanged before I would be bribed to introduce their textbooks into the schools,—she and I were at work together, as in those old dreamy days,—and in these of our log-cabin again. But all this could not last,—and at length poor Dennis, my double, over-tasked in turn, undid me.

It was thus it happened.—There is an excellent fellow,—once a minister,—I will call him Isaacs,—who deserves well of the world till he dies, and after,—because he once, in, a real exigency, did the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, as no other man could do it. In the world's great football match, the ball by chance found him loitering on the outside of the field; he closed with it, "camped" it, charged it home,—yes, right through the other side,—not disturbed, not frightened by his own success,—and breathless found himself a great man,—as the Great Delta rang applause. But he did not find himself a rich man; and the football has never come in his way again. From that moment to this moment he has been of no use, that one can see, at all. Still, for that great act we speak of Isaacs gratefully and remember him kindly; and he forges on, hoping to meet the football somewhere again. In that vague hope, he had arranged a "movement" for a general organization of the human family into Debating-Clubs, County Societies, State Unions, etc., etc., with a view of inducing all children to take hold of the handles of their knives and forks, instead of the metal. Children have bad habits in that way. The movement, of course, was absurd; but we all did our best to forward, not it, but him. It came time for the annual county-meeting on this subject to be held at Naguadavick. Isaacs came round, good fellow! to arrange for it,—got the town-hall, got the Governor to preside, (the saint!—he ought to have triplet doubles provided him by law,) and then came to get me to speak. "No," I said, "I would not speak, if ten Governors presided. I do not believe in the enterprise. If I spoke, it should be to say children should take hold of the prongs of the forks and the blades of the knives. I would subscribe ten dollars, but I would not speak a mill." So poor Isaacs went his way, sadly, to coax Auchmuty to speak, and Delafield. I went out. Not long after, he came back, and told Polly that they had promised to speak,—the Governor would speak,—and he himself would close with the quarterly report, and some interesting anecdotes regarding Miss Biffin's way of handling her knife and Mr. Nellis's way of footing his fork. "Now if Mr. Ingham will only come and sit on the platform, he need not say one word; but it will show well in the paper,—it will show that the Sandemanians take as much interest in the movement as the Armenians or the Mesopotamians, and will be a great favor to me." Polly, good soul! was tempted, and she promised. She knew Mrs. Isaacs was starving, and the babies,—she knew Dennis was at home,—and she promised! Night came, and I returned. I heard her story. I was sorry. I doubted. But Polly had promised to beg me, and I dared all! I told Dennis to hold his peace, under all circumstances, and sent him down.

It was not half an hour more before he returned, wild with excitement,—in a perfect Irish fury,—which it was long before I understood. But I knew at once that he had undone me!

What happened was this.—The audience got together, attracted by Governor Gorges's name. There were a thousand people. Poor Gorges was late from Augusta. They became impatient. He came in direct from the train at last, really ignorant of the object of the meeting. He opened it in the fewest possible words, and said other gentlemen were present who would entertain them better than he. The audience were disappointed, but waited. The Governor, prompted by Isaacs, said, "The Honorable Mr. Delafield will address you." Delafield had forgotten the knives and forks, and was playing the Ruy Lopez opening at the chess-club. "The Rev. Mr. Auchmuty will address you." Auchmuty had promised to speak late, and was at the school-committee. "I see Dr. Stearns in the hall; perhaps he will say a word." Dr. Stearns said he had come to listen and not to speak. The Governor and Isaacs whispered. The Governor looked at Dennis, who was resplendent on the platform; but Isaacs, to give him his due, shook his head. But the look was enough. A miserable lad, ill-bred, who had once been in Boston, thought it would sound well to call for me, and peeped out, "Ingham!" A few more wretches cried, "Ingham! Ingham!" Still Isaacs was firm; but the Governor, anxious, indeed, to prevent a row, knew I would say something, and said, "Our friend Mr. Ingham is always prepared,—and though we had not relied upon him, he will say a word, perhaps." Applause followed, which turned Dennis's head. He rose, fluttered, and tried No. 3: "There has been so much said, and, on the whole, so well said, that I will not longer occupy the time!" and sat down, looking for his hat; for things seemed squally. But the people cried, "Go on! go on!" and some applauded. Dennis, still confused, but flattered by the applause, to which neither he nor I are used, rose again, and this time tried No. 2: "I am very glad you liked it!" in a sonorous, clear delivery. My best friends stared. All the people who did not know me personally yelled with delight at the aspect of the evening; the Governor was beside himself, and poor Isaacs thought he was undone! Alas, it was I! A boy in the gallery cried in a loud tone, "It's all an infernal humbug," just as Dennis, waving his hand, commanded silence, and tried No. 4: "I agree, in general, with my friend the other side of the room." The poor Governor doubted his senses, and crossed to stop him,—not in time, however. The same gallery-boy shouted, "How's your mother?"—and Dennis, now completely lost, tried, as his last shot, No. 1, vainly: "Very well, thank you; and you?"

I think I must have been undone already. But Dennis, like another Lockhard, chose "to make sicker." The audience rose in a whirl of amazement, rage, and sorrow. Some other impertinence, aimed at Dennis, broke all restraint, and, in pure Irish, he delivered himself of an address to the gallery, inviting any person who wished to fight to come down and do so,—stating, that they were all dogs and cowards and the sons of dogs and cowards,—that he would take any five of them single-handed. "Shure, I have said all his Riverence and the Misthress bade me say," cried he, in defiance; and, seizing the Governor's cane from his hand, brandished it, quarterstaff fashion, above his head. He was, indeed, got from the hall only with the greatest difficulty by the Governor, the City Marshal, who had been called in, and the Superintendent of my Sunday-School.

The universal impression, of course, was, that the Rev. Frederic Ingham had lost all command of himself in some of those haunts of intoxication which for fifteen years I have been laboring to destroy. Till this moment, indeed, that is the impression in Naguadavick. This number of the "Atlantic" will relieve from it a hundred friends of mine who have been sadly wounded by that notion now for years;—but I shall not be likely ever to show my head there again.

No! My double has undone me.

We left town at seven the next morning. I came to No. 9, in the Third Range, and settled on the Minister's Lot. In the new towns in Maine, the first settled minister has a gift of a hundred acres of land. I am the first settled minister in No. 9. My wife and little Paulina are my parish. We raise corn enough to live on in summer. We kill bear's meat enough to carbonize it in winter. I work on steadily on my "Traces of Sandemanianism in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries," which I hope to persuade Phillips, Sampson, & Co. to publish next year. We are very happy, but the world thinks we are undone.


[8] Which means, "In the thirteenth century," my dear little bell-and-coral reader. You have rightly guessed that the question means, "What is the history of the Reformation in Hungary?"

The Singer.

A star into our twilight fell,
'Mong peasant homes in vales remote;
Men marvelled not till all the dell
Was waked as by a bugle-note.

They wondered at the wild-eyed boy,
And drank his song like draughts of wine;
And yet, amid their new-born joy,
They bade him tend the herds and swine.

But he knew neither swine nor herds,—
His shepherd soul was otherwhere;
The flocks he tended were the birds,
And stars that fill the folds of air.

To sweeter song the wind would melt
That fanned him with its perfumed wing;
Flowers thronged his path as if they felt
The warm and flashing feet of Spring.

The brooklet flung its ringlets wide,
And leapt to him, and kept his pace,—
Sang when he sang, and when he sighed,
Turned up to him its starry face.

Through many a dawn and noon and night,
The singing boy still kept his course;
For in his heart that meteor light
Still burned with all its natal force.

He sang,—nor cherished thought of care,—
As when, upon the garden-vine,
A blue-bird thrills the April air,
Regardless of the herds and swine.

The children in their May-time plays,
The maidens in their rosy hours,
And matrons in their autumn days,
All heard and flung him praise or flowers.

And Age, to chimney-nooks beguiled,
Caught the sweet music's tender closes,
And, gazing on the embers, smiled
As on a bed of summer roses.

And many a heart, by hope forsook,
Received his song through depths of pain,
As the dry channels of a brook
The freshness of a summer rain.

But when he looked for house or bread,
The stewards of earth's oil and wine
Shook sternly the reproving head,
And bade him tend the herds and swine!

He strayed into the harvest plains,
And 'mid the sultry windrows sung,
Till glowing girls and swarthy swains
Caught music from his charmed tongue,—

Caught music that from heart to brain
Went thrilling with delicious measure,
Till toil, which late had seemed a pain,
Became a sweet Arcadian pleasure.

The farmer, at the day's decline,
Sat listening till the eve was late;
Then, offering neither bread nor wine,
Arose, and barred the outer gate,—

And said, "Would you have where to sleep
On wholesome straw, good brother mine,
You need but plow, and sow, and reap,
And daily tend the herds and swine."

The poet's locks shook out reply;
He turned him gayly down the rill;
Yet left a light which shall not die,
A sunshine on the farmer's sill.

He strewed the vale with flowers of song;
He filled the homes with lighter grace,
Which round those hearth-stones lingered long,
And still makes beautiful the place.

The country, hamlet, and the town
Grew wiser, better, for his songs;—
The roaring city could not drown
The voice that to the world belongs.

To beds of pain, to rooms of death,
The soft and solemn music stole,
And soothed the dying with its breath,
And passed into the mourner's soul.

And yet what was the poet's meed?
Such, Bard of Alloway, was thine!
The soul that sings, the heart must bleed,
Or tend the common herds and swine.

The nation heard his patriot lays,
And rung them, like an anthem, round,
Till Freedom waved her branch of bays,
Wherewith the world shall yet be crowned.

His war-songs fired the battle-host,
His mottoes on their banners burned;
And when the foe had fled the coast,
Wild with his songs the troops returned.

Then at the feast's triumphal board,
His thrilling music cheered the wine;—
But when the singer asked reward,
They pointed to the herds and swine.

"What! he a bard? Then bid him go
And beg,—it is the poet's trade!
Dan Homer was the first to show
The rank for which the bards were made!

"A living bard! What's he to us?
A bard, to live, must first be dead!
And when he dies, we may discuss
To whom belongs the poet's head!"

'Neath suns that burn, through storms that drench,
He went, an outcast from his birth,
Still singing,—for they could not quench
The fire that was not born of earth.

At last, behind cold prison-bars,
By colder natures unforgiven,
His frail dust starved! but 'mid the stars
His spirit found its native heaven.

Now, when a meteor-spark, forlorn,
Descends upon its fiery wing,
I sigh to think a soul is born,
Perchance, to suffer and to sing:—

Its own heart a consuming pyre
Of flame, to brighten and refine:—
A singer, in the starry choir,
That will not tend the herds and swine.

The Professor at the Breakfast-Table.

What He Said, What He Heard, and What He Saw.

One of our boarders—perhaps more than one was concerned in it—sent in some questions to me, the other day, which, trivial as some of them are, I felt bound to answer.

1.—Whether a lady was ever known to write a letter covering only a single page?

To this I answered, that there was a case on record where a lady had but half a sheet of paper and no envelope; and being obliged to send through the post-office, she covered only one side of the paper (crosswise, lengthwise, and diagonally).

2.—What constitutes a man a gentleman?

To this I gave several answers, adapted to particular classes of questions.

  1. Not trying to be a gentleman.
  2. Self-respect underlying courtesy.
  3. Knowledge and observance of the fitness of things in social intercourse.
  4. £. s.d. (as many suppose.)

3.—Whether face or figure is most attractive in the female sex?

Answered in the following epigram, by a young man about town:—

Quoth Tom, "Though fair her features be,
it is her figure pleases me."
"What may her figure be?" I cried.
"One hundred thousand!" he replied.

When this was read to the boarders, the young man John said he should like a chance to "step up" to a figger of that kind, if the girl was one of the right sort.

The landlady said them that merried for money didn't deserve the blessin' of a good wife. Money was a great thing when them that had it made a good use of it. She had seen better days herself, and knew what it was never to want for anything. One of her cousins merried a very rich old gentleman, and she had heerd that he said he lived ten year longer than if he'd staid by himself without anybody to take care of him. There was nothin' like a wife for nussin' sick folks and them that couldn't take care of themselves.

The young man John got off a little wink, and pointed slyly with his thumb in the direction of our diminutive friend, for whom he seemed to think this speech was intended.

If it was meant for him, he didn't appear to know that it was. Indeed, he seems somewhat listless of late, except when the conversation falls upon one of those larger topics that specially interest him, and then he grows excited, speaks loud and fast, sometimes almost savagely,—and, I have noticed once or twice, presses his left hand to his right side, as if there were something that ached, or weighed, or throbbed in that region.

While he speaks in this way, the general conversation is interrupted, and we all listen to him. Iris looks steadily in his face, and then he will turn as if magnetized and meet the amber eyes with his own melancholy gaze. I do believe that they have some kind of understanding together, that they meet elsewhere than at our table, and that there is a mystery, which is going to break upon us all of a sudden, involving the relations of these two persons. From the very first, they have taken to each other. The one thing they have in common is the heroic will. In him, it shows itself in thinking his way straightforward, in doing battle for "free trade and no right of search" on the high seas of religious controversy, and especially in fighting the battles of his crooked old city. In her, it is standing up for her little friend with the most queenly disregard of the code of boarding-house etiquette. People may say or look what they like,—she will have her way about this sentiment of hers.

The poor relation is in a dreadful fidget whenever the little gentleman says anything that interferes with her own infallibility. She seems to think Faith must go with her face tied up, as if she had the toothache,—and that if she opens her mouth to the quarter the wind blows from, she will catch her "death o' cold."

The landlady herself came to him one day, as I have found out, and tried to persuade him to hold his tongue.—The boarders was gettin' uneasy,—she said,—and some of 'em would go, she mistrusted, if he talked any more about things that belonged to the ministers to settle. She was a poor woman, that had known better days, but all her livin' depended on her boarders, and she was sure there wasn't any of 'em she set so much by as she did by him; but there was them that never liked to hear about such things, except on Sundays.

The little gentleman looked very smiling at the landlady, who smiled even more cordially in return, and adjusted her cap-ribbon with an unconscious movement,—a reminiscence of the long-past pairing-time, when she had smoothed her locks and softened her voice, and won her mate by these and other bird-like graces.—My dear Madam,—he said,—I will remember your interests, and speak only of matters to which I am totally indifferent.—I don't doubt he meant this; but a day or two after, something stirred him up, and I heard his voice uttering itself aloud, thus:—

—It must be done, Sir!—he was saying,—it must be done! Our religion has been Judaized, it has been Romanized, it has been Orientalized, it has been Anglicized, and the time is at hand when it must be AMERICANIZED! Now, Sir, you see what Americanizing is in politics;—it means that a man shall have a vote because he is a man,—and shall vote for whom he pleases, without his neighbor's interference. If he chooses to vote for the Devil, that is his lookout;—perhaps he thinks the Devil is better than the other candidates; and I don't doubt he's often right, Sir! Just so a man's soul has a vote in the spiritual community; and it doesn't do, Sir, or it won't do long, to call him "schismatic" and "heretic" and those other wicked names that the old murderous Inquisitors have left us to help along "peace and good-will to men"!

As long as you could catch a man and drop him into an oubliette, or pull him out a few inches longer by machinery, or put a hot iron through his tongue, or make him climb up a ladder and sit on a board at the top of a stake so that he should be slowly broiled by the fire kindled round it, there was some sense in these words; they led to something. But since we have done with those tools, we had better give up those words. I should like to see a Yankee advertisement like this!—(the little gentleman laughed fiercely as he uttered the words,—)

—Patent thumb-screws, warranted to crush the bone in three turns.

—The cast-iron boot, with wedge and mallet,—only five dollars!

—The celebrated extension-rack, warranted to stretch a man six inches in twenty minutes,—money returned, if it proves unsatisfactory.

I should like to see such an advertisement, I say, Sir! Now, what's the use of using the words that belonged with the thumb-screws, and the Blessed Virgin with the knives under her petticoats and sleeves and bodice, and the dry pan and gradual fire, if we can't have the things themselves, Sir? What's the use of painting the fire round a poor fellow, when you think it won't do to kindle one under him,—as they did at Valencia or Valladolid, or wherever it was?

—What story is that?—I said.

Why,—he answered,—at the last auto-da-fé, in 1824 or '5, or somewhere there,—it's a traveller's story, but a mighty knowing traveller he is,—they had a "heretic" to use up according to the statutes provided for the crime of private opinion. They couldn't quite make up their minds to burn him, so they only hung him in a hogshead painted all over with flames!

No, Sir! when a man calls you names because you go to the ballot-box and vote for your candidate, or because you say this or that is your opinion, he forgets in which half of the world he was born, Sir! It won't be long, Sir, before we have Americanized religion as we have Americanized government; and then, Sir, every soul God sends into the world will be good in the face of all men for just so much of His "inspiration" as "giveth him understanding"!—None of my words, Sir! none of my words!

—If Iris does not love this little gentleman, what does love look like when one sees it? She follows him with her eyes, she leans over toward him when he speaks, her face changes with the changes of his speech, so that one might think it was with her as with Christabel,—

That all her features were resigned
To this sole image in her mind.

But she never looks at him with such intensity of devotion as when he says anything about the soul and the soul's atmosphere, religion.

Women are twice as religious as men;—all the world knows that. Whether they are any better, in the eyes of Absolute Justice, might be questioned; for the additional religious element supplied by sex hardly seems to be a matter of praise or blame. But in all common aspects they are so much above us that we get most of our religion from them,—from their teachings, from their example,—above all, from their pure affections.

Now this poor little Iris had been talked to strangely in her childhood. Especially she had been told that she hated all good things,—which every sensible parent knows well enough is not true of a great many children, to say the least. I have sometimes questioned whether many libels on human nature had not been a natural consequence of the celibacy of the clergy, which was enforced for so long a period.

The child had met this and some other equally encouraging statements as to her spiritual conditions, early in life, and fought the battle of spiritual independence prematurely, as many children do. If all she did was hateful to God, what was the meaning of the approving or else the disapproving conscience, when she had done "right" or "wrong"? No "shoulder-striker" hits out straighter than a child with its logic. Why, I can remember lying in my bed in the nursery and settling questions which all that I have heard since and got out of books has never been able to raise again. If a child does not assert itself in this way in good season, it becomes just what its parents or teachers were, and is no better than a plaster image.—How old was I at the time? I suppose about 5823 years old,—that is, counting from Archbishop Usher's date of the Creation, and adding the life of the race, whose accumulated intelligence is a part of my inheritance, to my own. A good deal older than Plato, you see, and much more experienced than my Lord Bacon and most of the world's teachers.—Old books are books of the world's youth, and new books are fruits of its age. How many of all these old folios round me are like so many old cupels! The gold has passed out of them long ago, but their pores are full of the dross with which it was mingled.

And so Iris—having thrown off that first lasso, which not only fetters, but chokes those whom it can hold, so that they give themselves up trembling and breathless to the great soul-subduer, who has them by the windpipe—had settled a brief creed for herself, in which love of the neighbor, whom we have seen, was the first article, and love of the Creator, whom we have not seen, grew out of this as its natural development, being necessarily second in order of time to the first unselfish emotions which we feel for the fellow-creatures who surround us in our early years.

The child must have some place to worship. What would a young girl be who never mingled her voice with the songs and prayers that rose all around her with every returning day of rest? And Iris was free to choose. Sometimes one and sometimes another would offer to carry her to this or that place of worship; and when the doors were hospitably opened, she would often go meekly in by herself. It was a curious fact, that two churches as remote from each other in doctrine as could well be divided her affections.

The Church of Saint Polycarp had very much the look of a Roman Catholic chapel. I do not wish to run the risk of giving names to the ecclesiastical furniture which gave it such a Romish aspect; but there were pictures, and inscriptions in antiquated characters, and there were reading-stands, and flowers on the altar, and other elegant arrangements. Then there were boys to sing alternately in choirs responsive to each other, and there was much bowing, with very loud responding, and a long service and a short sermon, and a bag, such as Judas used to hold in the old pictures, was carried round to receive contributions. Everything was done not only "decently and in order," but, perhaps one might say, with a certain air of magnifying their office on the part of the dignified clergymen, often two or three in number. The music and the free welcome were grateful to Iris, and she forgot her prejudices at the door of the chapel. For this was a church with open doors, with seats for all classes and all colors alike,—a church of zealous worshippers after their faith, of charitable and serviceable men and women, one that took care of its children and never forgot its poor, and whose people were much more occupied in looking out for their own souls than in attacking the faith of their neighbors. In its mode of worship there was a union of two qualities,—the taste and refinement, which the educated require just as much in their churches as else where, and the air of stateliness, almost of pomp, which impresses the common worshipper, and is often not without its effect upon those who think they hold outward forms as of little value. Under the half-Romish aspect of the Church of Saint Polycarp, the young girl found a devout and loving and singularly cheerful religious spirit. The artistic sense, which betrayed itself in the dramatic proprieties of its ritual, harmonized with her taste. The mingled murmur of the loud responses, in those rhythmic phrases, so simple, yet so fervent, almost as if every tenth heartbeat, instead of its dull tic-tac, articulated itself as "Good Lord, deliver us!"—the sweet alternation of the two choirs, as their holy song floated from side to side,—the keen young voices rising like a flight of singing-birds that passes from one grove to another, carrying its music with it back and forward,—why should she not love these gracious outward signs of those inner harmonies which none could deny made beautiful the lives of many of her fellow-worshippers in the humble, yet not inelegant Chapel of Saint Polycarp?

The young Marylander, who was born and bred to that mode of worship, had introduced her to the chapel, for which he did the honors for such of our boarders as were not otherwise provided for. I saw them looking over the same prayer-book one Sunday, and I could not help thinking that two such young and handsome persons could hardly worship together in safety for a great while. But they seemed to mind nothing but their prayer-book. By-and-by the silken bag was handed round.—I don't believe she will;—so awkward, you know;—besides, she only came by invitation. There she is, with her hand in her pocket, though,—and sure enough, her little bit of silver tinkled as it struck the coin beneath. God bless her! she hasn't much to give; but her eye glistens when she gives it, and that is all Heaven asks.—That was the first time I noticed these young people together, and I am sure they behaved with the most charming propriety,—in fact, there was one of our silent lady-boarders with them, whose eyes would have kept Cupid and Psyche to their good behavior. A day or two after this I noticed that the young gentleman had left his seat, which you may remember was at the corner diagonal to that of Iris, so that they have been as far removed from each other as they could be at the table. His new seat is three or four places farther down the table. Of course I made a romance out of this, at once. So stupid not to see it! How could it be otherwise?—Did you speak, Madam? I beg your pardon. (To my lady-reader.)

I never saw anything like the tenderness with which this young girl treats her little deformed neighbor. If he were in the way of going to church, I know she would follow him. But his worship, if any, is not with the throng of men and women and staring children.

I, the Professor, on the other hand, am a regular church-goer. I should go for various reasons, if I did not love it; but I am happy enough to find great pleasure in the midst of devout multitudes, whether I can accept all their creeds or not. One place of worship comes nearer than the rest to my ideal standard, and to this it was that I carried our young girl.

The Church of the Galileans, as it is called, is even humbler in outside pretensions than the Church of Saint Polycarp. Like that, it is open to all comers. The stranger who approaches it looks down a quiet street and sees the plainest of chapels,—a kind of wooden tent, that owes whatever grace it has to its pointed windows and the high, sharp roof,—traces, both, of that upward movement of ecclesiastical architecture which soared aloft in cathedral-spires, shooting into the sky as the spike of a flowering aloe from the cluster of broad, sharp-wedged leaves below. This suggestion of mediæval symbolism, aided by a minute turret in which a hand-bell might have hung and found just room enough to turn over, was all of outward show the small edifice could boast. Within there was very little that pretended to be attractive. A small organ at one side, and a plain pulpit, showed that the building was a church; but it was a church reduced to its simplest expression.

Yet when the great and wise monarch of the East sat upon his throne, in all the golden blaze of the spoils of Ophir and the freights of the navy of Tarshish, his glory was not like that of this simple chapel in its Sunday garniture. For the lilies of the field, in their season, and the fairest flowers of the year, in due succession, were clustered every Sunday morning over the preacher's desk. Slight, thin-tissued blossoms of pink and blue and virgin white in early spring, then the full-breasted and deep-hearted roses of summer, then the velvet-robed crimson and yellow flowers of autumn, and in the winter delicate exotics that grew under skies of glass in the false summers of our crystal palaces without knowing that it was the dreadful winter of New England which was rattling the doors and frosting the panes,—the whole year told its history of life and growth and beauty from that simple desk. There was always at least one good sermon,—this floral homily. There was at least one good prayer,—that brief space when all were silent, after the manner of the Friends at their devotions.

Here, too, Iris found an atmosphere of peace and love. The same gentle, thoughtful faces, the same cheerful but reverential spirit, the same quiet, the same life of active benevolence. But in all else how different from the Church of Saint Polycarp! No clerical costume, no ceremonial forms, no carefully trained choirs. A liturgy they have, to be sure, which does not scruple to borrow from the time-honored manuals of devotion, but also does not hesitate to change its expressions to its own liking.

Perhaps the good people seem a little easy with each other;—they are apt to nod cheerfully, and have even been known to whisper before the minister came in. But it is a relief to get rid of that old Sunday—no,—Sabbath face, which suggests the idea that the first day of the week is commemorative of some most mournful event. The truth is, these people meet very much as a family does for its devotions, not putting off their humanity in the least, considering it on the whole quite a cheerful matter to come together for prayer and song and good counsel from kind and wise lips. And if they are freer in their demeanor than some very precise congregations, they have not the air of a worldly set of people. Clearly they have not come to advertise their tailors and milliners, nor for the sake of exchanging criticisms on the literary character of the sermon they may hear. There is no restlessness and no restraint among this quiet, cheerful people. One thing that keeps them calm and happy during the season so evidently trying to many congregations is, that they join very generally in the singing. In this way they get rid of that accumulated nervous force which escapes in all sorts of fidgety movements, so that a minister trying to keep his congregation still reminds one of a boy with his hand over the nose of a pump which another boy is working,—this spirting impatience of the people is so like the jets that find their way through his fingers, and the grand rush out at the final Amen! has such a wonderful likeness to the gush that takes place when the boy pulls his hand away, with such immense relief, as it seems, to both the pump and the officiating youngster.

How sweet is this blending of all voices and all hearts in one common song of praise! Some will sing a little loud, perhaps,—and now and then an impatient chorister will get a syllable or two in advance, or an enchanted singer so lose all thought of time and place in the luxury of a closing cadence that he holds on to the last semibreve upon his private responsibility; but how much more of the spirit of the old Psalmist in the music of these imperfectly trained voices than in the academic niceties of the paid performers who take our musical worship out of our hands!

I am of the opinion that the creed of the Church of the Galileans is not quite so precisely laid down as that of the Church of Saint Polycarp. Yet I suspect, if one of the good people from each of those churches had met over the bed of a suffering fellow-creature, or for the promotion of any charitable object, they would have found they had more in common than all the special beliefs or want of beliefs that separated them would amount to. There are always many who believe that the fruits of a tree afford a better test of its condition than a statement of the composts with which it is dressed,—though the last has its meaning and importance, no doubt.

Between these two churches, then, our young Iris divides her affections. But I doubt if she listens to the preacher at either with more devotion than she does to her little neighbor when he talks of these matters.

What does he believe? In the first place, there is some deep-rooted disquiet lying at the bottom of his soul, which makes him very bitter against all kinds of usurpation over the right of private judgment. Over this seems to lie a certain tenderness for humanity in general, bred out of life-long trial, I should say, but sharply streaked with fiery lines of wrath at various individual acts of wrong, especially if they come in an ecclesiastical shape, and recall to him the days when his mother's great-grandmother was strangled on Witch Hill, with a text from the Old Testament for her halter. With all this, he has a boundless belief in the future of this experimental hemisphere, and especially in the destiny of the free thought of its northeastern metropolis.

—A man can see further, Sir,—he said one day,—from the top of Boston State-House, and see more that is worth seeing, than from all the pyramids and turrets and steeples in all the places in the world! No smoke, Sir; no fog, Sir; and a clean sweep from the Outer Light and the sea beyond it to the New Hampshire mountains! Yes, Sir,—and there are great truths that are higher than mountains and broader than seas, that people are looking for from the tops of these hills of ours,—such as the world never saw, though it might have seen them at Jerusalem, if its eyes had been open!—Where do they have most crazy people? Tell me that, Sir!

I answered, that I had heard it said there were more in New England than in most countries, perhaps more than in any part of the world.

Very good. Sir,—he answered.—When have there been most people killed and wounded in the course of this century?

During the wars of the French Empire, no doubt,—I said.

That's it! that's it!—said the little gentleman;—where the battle of intelligence is fought, there are most minds bruised and broken! We're battling for a faith here, Sir.

The divinity-student remarked, that it was rather late in the world's history for men to be looking out for a new faith.

I didn't say a new faith,—said the little gentleman;—old or new, it can't help being different here in this American mind of ours from anything that ever was before; the people are new, Sir, and that makes the difference. One load of corn goes to the sty, and makes the fat of swine,—another goes to the farm-house, and becomes the muscle that clothes the right arms of heroes. It isn't where a pawn stands on the board that makes the difference, but what the game round it is when it is on this or that square.

Can any man look round and see what Christian countries are now doing, and how they are governed, and what is the general condition of society, without seeing that Christianity is the flag under which the world sails, and not the rudder that steers its course? No, Sir! There was a great raft built about two thousand years ago,—call it an ark, rather,—the world's great ark! big enough to hold all mankind, and made to be launched right out into the open waves of life,—and here it has been lying, one end on the shore and one end bobbing up and down in the water, men fighting all the time as to who should be captain and who should have the state-rooms, and throwing each other over the side because they could not agree about the points of compass, but the great vessel never gelling afloat with its freight of nations and their rulers;—and now, Sir, there is and has been for this long time a fleet of "heretic" lighters sailing out of Boston Bay, and they have been saying, and they say now, and they mean to keep saying, "Pump out your bilge-water, shovel over your loads of idle ballast, get out your old rotten cargo, and we will carry it out into deep waters and sink it where it will never be seen again; so shall the ark of the world's hope float on the ocean, instead of sticking in the dock-mud where it is lying!"

It's a slow business, this of getting the ark launched. The Jordan wasn't deep enough, and the Tiber wasn't deep enough, and the Rhone wasn't deep enough, and the Thames wasn't deep enough,—and perhaps the Charles isn't deep enough; but I don't feel sure of that, Sir, and I love to hear the workmen knocking at the old blocks of tradition and making the ways smooth with the oil of the Good Samaritan. I don't know, Sir,—but I do think she stirs a little,—I do believe she slides;—and when I think of what a work that is for the dear old three-breasted mother of American liberty, I would not take all the glory of all the greatest cities in the world for my birthright in the soil of little Boston!

—Some of us could not help smiling at this burst of local patriotism, especially when it finished with the last two words.

And Iris smiled, too. But it was the radiant smile of pleasure which always lights up her face when her little neighbor gets excited on the great topics of progress in freedom and religion, and especially on the part which, as he pleases himself with believing, his own city is to take in that consummation of human development to which he looks forward.

Presently she looked into his face with a changed expression,—the anxiety of a mother that sees her child suffering.

You are not well,—she said.

I am never well,—he answered.—His eyes fell mechanically on the death's-head ring he wore on his right hand. She took his hand as if it had been a baby's, and turned the grim device so that it should be out of sight. One slight, sad, slow movement of the head seemed to say, "The death-symbol is still there!"

A very odd personage, to be sure! Seems to know what is going on,—reads books, old and new,—has many recent publications sent him, they tell me,—but, what is more curious, keeps up with the every-day affairs of the world, too. Whether he hears everything that is said with preternatural acuteness, or whether some confidential friend visits him in a quiet way, is more than I can tell. I can make nothing more of the noises I hear in his room than my old conjectures. The movements I mention are less frequent, but I often hear the plaintive cry,—I observe that it is rarely laughing of late;—I never have detected one articulate word, but I never heard such tones from anything but a human voice.

There has been, of late, a deference approaching to tenderness, on the part of the boarders generally, so far as he is concerned. This is doubtless owing to the air of suffering which seems to have saddened his look of late. Either some passion is gnawing at him inwardly, or some hidden disease is at work upon him.

—What's the matter with Little Boston?—said the young man John to me one day.—There a'n't much of him, anyhow; but 't seems to me he looks peakeder than ever. The old woman says he's in a bad way, 'n' wants a nuss to take care of him. Them nusses that take care of old rich folks marry 'em sometimes,—'n' they don't commonly live a great while after that. No, Sir! I don't see what he wants to die for, after he's taken so much trouble to live in such poor accommodations as that crooked body of his. I should like to know how his soul crawled into it, 'n' how it's goin' to get out. What business has he to die, I should like to know? Let Ma'am Allen (the gentleman with the diamond) die, if he likes, and be (this is a family-magazine); but we a'n't goin' to have him dyin'. Not by a great sight. Can't do without him anyhow. A'n't it fun to hear him blow off his steam?

I believe the young fellow would take it as a personal insult, if the little gentleman should show any symptoms of quitting our table for a better world.

—In the mean time, what with going to church in company with our young lady, and taking every chance I could get to talk with her, I have found myself becoming, I will not say intimate, but well acquainted with Miss Iris. There is a certain frankness and directness about her that perhaps belong to her artist nature. For, you see, the one thing that marks the true artist is a clear perception and a firm, bold hand, in distinction from that imperfect mental vision and uncertain touch which give us the feeble pictures and the lumpy statues of the mere artisans on canvas or in stone. A true artist, therefore, can hardly fail to have a sharp, well-defined character. Besides this, many young girls have a strange audacity blended with their instinctive delicacy. Even in physical daring many of them are a match for boys; whereas you will find few among mature women, and especially if they are mothers, who do not confess, and not unfrequently proclaim, their timidity. One of these young girls, as many of us hereabouts remember, climbed to the top of a jagged, slippery rock lying out in the waves,—an ugly height to get up, and a worse one to get down, even for a bold young fellow of sixteen. Another was in the way of climbing tall trees for crows' nests,—and crows generally know about how far boys can "shin up," and set their household establishments above high-water-mark. Still another of these young ladies I saw for the first time in an open boat, tossing on the ocean ground-swell, a mile or two from shore, off a lonely island. She lost all her daring, after she had some girls of her own to look out for.

Many blondes are very gentle, yielding in character, impressible, unelastic. But the positive blondes, with the golden tint running through them, are often full of character. They come from those deep-bosomed German women that Tacitus portrayed in such strong colors. The negative blondes, or those women whose tints have faded out as their line of descent has become impoverished, are of various blood, and in them the soul has often become pale with that blanching of the hair and loss of color in the eyes which makes them approach the character of Albinesses.

I see in this young girl that union of strength and sensibility which, when directed and impelled by the strong instinct so apt to accompany this combination of active and passive capacity, we call genius. She is not an accomplished artist, certainly, as yet; but there is always an air in every careless figure she draws, as it were of upward aspiration,—the elan of John of Bologna's Mercury,—a lift to them, as if they had on winged sandals, like the herald of the gods. I hear her singing sometimes; and though she evidently is not trained, yet is there a wild sweetness in her fitful and sometimes fantastic melodies,—such as can come only from the inspiration of the moment,—strangely enough, reminding me of those long passages I have heard from my little neighbor's room, yet of different tone, and by no means to be mistaken for those weird harmonies.

I cannot pretend to deny that I am interested in the girl. Alone, unprotected, as I have seen so many young girls left in boarding-houses, the centre of all the men's eyes that surround the table, watched with jealous sharpness by every woman, most of all by that poor relation of our landlady, who belongs to the class of women that like to catch others in mischief when they are too mature for indiscretions, (as one sees old rogues turn to thief-catchers,) one of Nature's gendarmerie, clad in a complete suit of wrinkles, the cheapest coat-of-mail against the shafts of the great little enemy,—so surrounded, Iris spans this commonplace household-life of ours with her arch of beauty, as the rainbow, whose name she borrows, looks down on a dreary pasture with its feeding flocks and herds of indifferent animals.

These young girls that live in boarding-houses can do pretty much as they will. The female gendarmes are off guard occasionally. The sitting-room has its solitary moments, when any two boarders who wish to meet may come together accidentally, (accidentally, I said, Madam, and I had not the slightest intention of Italicizing the word,) and discuss the social or political questions of the day, or any other subject that may prove interesting. Many charming conversations take place at the foot of the stairs, or while one of the parties is holding the latch of a door,—in the shadow of porticos, and especially on those outside balconies which some of our Southern neighbors call "stoops," the most charming places in the world when the moon is just right and the roses and honeysuckles are in full blow,—as we used to think in eighteen hundred and never mention it.

On such a balcony or "stoop," one evening, I walked with Iris. We were on pretty good terms now, and I had coaxed her arm under mine,—my left arm, of course. That leaves one's right arm free to defend the lovely creature, if the rival—odious wretch!—attempt to ravish her from your side. Likewise if one's heart should happen to beat a little, its mute language will not be without its meaning, as you will perceive when the arm you hold begins to tremble,—a circumstance like to occur, if you happen to be a good-looking young fellow, and you two have the "stoop" to yourselves.

We had it to ourselves that evening. The Koh-i-noor, as we called him, was in a corner with our landlady's daughter. The young fellow John was smoking out in the yard. The gendarme was afraid of the evening air, and kept inside. The young Marylander came to the door, looked out and saw us walking together, gave his hat a pull over his forehead and stalked off. I felt a slight spasm, as it were, in the arm I held, and saw the girl's head turn over her shoulder for a second. What a kind creature this is! She has no special interest in this youth, but she does not like to see a young fellow going off because he feels as if he were not wanted.

She had her locked drawing-book under her arm.—Let me take it,—I said.

She gave it to me to carry.

This is full of caricatures of all of us, I am sure,—said I.

She laughed, and said,—No,—not all of you.

I was there, of course?

Why, no,—she had never taken so much pains with me.

Then she would let me see the inside of it?

She would think of it.

Just as we parted, she took a little key from her pocket and handed it to me.—This unlocks my naughty book,—she said,—you shall see it. I am not afraid of you.

I don't know whether the last words exactly pleased me. At any rate, I took the book and hurried with it to my room. I opened it, and saw, in a few glances, that I held the heart of Iris in my hand.

—I have no verses for you this month, except these few lines suggested by the season.


Here! sweep these foolish leaves away,—
I will not crush my brains to-day!—
Look! are the southern curtains drawn?
Fetch me a fan, and so begone!

Not that,—the palm-tree's rustling leaf
Brought from a parching coral-reef!
Its breath is heated;—I would swing
The broad gray plumes,—the eagle's wing.

I hate these roses' feverish blood!—
Pluck me a half-blown lily-bud,
A long-stemmed lily from the lake,
Cold as a coiling water-snake.

Rain me sweet odors on the air,
And wheel me up my Indian chair,
And spread some book not overwise
Flat out before my sleepy eyes.

—Who knows it not,—this dead recoil
Of weary fibres stretched with toil,—
The pulse that flutters faint and low
When Summer's seething breezes blow?

O Nature! bare thy loving breast
And give thy child one hour of rest,—
One little hour to lie unseen
Beneath thy scarf of leafy green!

So, curtained by a singing pine,
Its murmuring voice shall blend with mine,
Till, lost in dreams, my faltering lay
In sweeter music dies away.

Reviews and Literary Notices.

Life and Liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour in the United States and Canada in 1857-8. By Charles Mackay, LL.D., F.S.A. London: Smith, Elder, & Co. 1859.

"Let him come back and write a book about the 'Merrikins as'll pay all his expenses and more, if he blows 'em up enough," urged Mr. Anthony Weller, by way of climax to his scheme for Mr. Pickwick's liberation from the Fleet Prison. Whether Mr. Dickens, in putting forth this suggestion through one of his favorite characters, had or had not a view to subsequent operations of his own, has long been a sore question among his admirers on this side of the Atlantic. We believe that he had not; and that such "blowing-up" as he imparted to the people of this country was wholly unpremeditated and spontaneous, besides being of so harmless a nature that the patriot of most uneasy virtue need have been nowise distressed in consequence. The language can show few more amusing books than the "American Notes," especially the serious parts thereof.

Mr. Dickens had plenty of objects besides his future self at which to aim his satirical shot. At the time he discharged it, the literary market of England was overstocked with books on America, the authors of which had apparently tasked the best energies of their lungs in incessant "blowings-up" of all that came within range of their breath. Up to that period, though viewing America from various stand-points, they had seldom failed to recognize this one essential element of success. Since then, however, attempts have been made to satisfy the prejudices of all sides,—in which the bitter and the sweet have been deftly mingled, with the obvious belief that persons aggrieved, while suffering from the authors' stings, would derive comfort from the consciousness of accompanying honey. These hopes generally proved fallacious, and the authors, falling to the ground between the two stools of American sensitiveness and British asperity, were regarded in the light of stern warnings by many of their successors, who straightway became pitiless.

The critical works on America by English writers, published during the last fifty years, may be numbered by hundreds. Of these, nearly half have at different times been reprinted in this country. Most of them are now unknown, having passed to that oblivion of letters from whose bourn no short-sighted and narrow-minded traveller ever ought to return. The annual harvest began to appear about a half-century ago, when little more than descriptions of scenery and geographical statistics were ventured upon,—although one quaint explorer, John Lambert, vouchsafed, in 1810, some sketches of society, from which we learn, among other interesting facts, that a species of Bloomerism pervaded New York, and flourished on Broadway, even at that early day. Our visitors very soon enlarged the sphere of their observations, and entered upon the widest discussions of republican manners and morals. Slavery, as was to be expected, received immediate attention. In the course of ten years, "American Tours" had set in with such rigor, that one writer felt called upon to apologize for adding another to the already profuse supply. This was in 1818. For the next fifteen years, the principle of unlimited mockery was quite faithfully observed. The Honorable De Roos, who made a naval examination in 1826, and satisfied himself that the United States could never be a maritime power,—Colonel Maxwell, who entered upon a military investigation, and came to a similar conclusion respecting our prospects as to army, and who gained great credit for independent judgment by pronouncing Niagara a humbug,—Mrs. Kemble, frisky and fragmentary, excepting when her father was concerned, and then filially diffuse,—Mrs. Trollope, who refused to incumber herself with amiability or veracity,—Mr. Lieber, who was principally troubled by a camp meeting at which he assisted,—Miss Martineau, who retailed too much of the gossip that had been decanted through the tunnel of her trumpet,—and Captain Marryatt, who was simply clownish,—afford fair examples of the style which dominated until about 1836 or 1837. Then works of a better order began to appear. America received scientific attention. It had been agriculturally worked up in 1818 by Cobbett, whose example was now followed by Shirreff and others. In 1839, George Combe subjected us to phrenological treatment, and had the frankness to acknowledge that it was impossible for an individual to properly describe a great nation. Afterwards came Lyell, the geologist, who did not, however, confine himself to scientific research, but also analyzed the social deposits, and ascertained that Slavery was triturable. The manufacturers of gossip, meanwhile, had revolutionized the old system. Mr. Dickens blew hot and cold, uniting extremes. Godley, in 1841, disavowed satire, and was solemnly severe. Others evinced a similar disposition, but the result was not triumphant. Alexander Mackay, in 1846, returned to ridicule; and Alfred Bunn, a few years after, surpassed even Marryatt in his flippant falsehood. Mr. Arthur Cunynghame, a Canadian officer, entertained his friends, in 1850, with a dainty volume, in which the first personal pronoun averaged one hundred to a page, and the manner of which was as stiff as the ramrods of his regiment. Of our more recent judges, the best remembered are Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley who gave to the world the details of her private experiences,—Mr. Chambers, of whose book there is really nothing in particular to say,—Mr. Baxter, who considered Peter Parley a shining light of American literature,—Miss Murray, who sacrificed her interests at St. James's upon the shrine of Antislavery,—Mr. Phillipps, scientific,—Mr. Russell, agricultural,—Mr. Jobson, theological,—and Mr. Colley Grattan, who may be termed the Sir Anthony Absolute of American censors, insisting that the Lady Columbia shall be as ugly as he chooses, shall have a hump on each shoulder, shall be as crooked as the crescent, and so forth.

Last of all comes Mr. Charles Mackay's book. Before proceeding to the few general words we have to say of it, let us look for a moment at a question which he, like a number of his predecessors, has considered with some attention. Why it is that the people of the United States manifest such acute sensibility to the strictures of English writers, and receive their criticisms with so much suspicion, Mr. Mackay is unable fully to determine. He is forced to believe that it is only their anxiety "to stand well in English opinion which causes them to wince"; particularly as "French and Germans may condemn, and nobody cares what they say." This is but a part of the truth. Unquestionably, Americans do, as Mr. Mackay says, "attach undue importance to what English travellers may say"; but this does not account for the universal feeling of mortification which follows the appearance of each new tourist's story. Americans have not failed to observe, that, of the hundreds of writers who come over, only a few of the most prominent of whom we have mentioned above, not one in fifty is animated by a sincere impulse of honest good-will. They have learned to mistrust them all, as triflers with our reputation, if not predetermined calumniators. They have witnessed over and over again the childish ignorance, the discourtesy, the vulgar deceptions of this class of bookmakers. They are not blind to these repeated struggles to digest a mass of mental food for years, in days or weeks. They know their nation cannot be understood by these chance viewers, feebly glancing through greenest spectacles, any more than the Atlantic can be sounded with a seven-fathom line. They have become familiar with the English traveller only to regard him with contempt. Each new production has opened the old wound. Each new announcement awakens only derisive expectations. As for "French and Germans," with them it is very different; and Mr. Mackay ought to know it. They commonly write, if not with comprehensive vision, at least with integrity of purpose. The best works on America are by Frenchmen. What Englishman has shown the sincerity and fairness of De Tocqueville or Chevalier? Knowing, then, that absurd malice and a capacity for microscopic investigation of superficial irregularities in a society not yet defined are the principal, and in many cases the only, qualifications deemed necessary to accomplish an English book on America, is it matter for wonder that Americans should hesitate to kiss the clumsy rods so liberally dispensed?

We hasten to say that Mr. Charles Mackay's "Life and Liberty in America" is unusually free from the worst of these faults. Hasty judgments, offences against taste, inaccuracies, occasional revelations of personal pique it has; but it is not malicious. Sometimes it is even affecting in its tenderness. It breathes a spirit of paternal regard. But it is, perhaps, the dullest of books. If not "icily regular," it is "splendidly null." The style is as oppressive as a London fog. It is marked, to use the author's own words, by "elegant and drowsy stagnation." After the first few pages, it is with weariness that we follow him. We are inclined to think Mr. Mackay has written too much, Mr. Squeers had milk for three of his pupils watered up to the necessities of five. Mr. Mackay's experiences might have sustained him through a single small volume, but he has diluted them to the requirements of two large ones. This would injure the prospects of his work in America, but may not interfere with them in England. Minute details of toilet agonies, pecuniary miseries, laundry tribulations, and anxieties of appetite may possess an interest abroad which we are unable to appreciate here. We are not excited by the intelligence that Mr. Mackay had an altercation with a negro servant on board a Sound steamer, because he could not have lager-beer at table. Such things have been noticed before. We do not shed a sympathetic tear over the two dollars which he once had to disgorge in New York, in payment for a ride of two miles; nor do we mourn for the numerous other dollars with which he reluctantly parted to satisfy the rapacity of hack-drivers all over the Union. We do not thrill with indignation, when we learn that he was, on a certain occasion, swept by crinolines into the middle of Broadway. Neither are we in any way stirred by such information as, that he, like an English lord of whom he tells, was accustomed to eat oysters every night in New York; or that he "was pervaded, permeated, steeped, and bathed in a longing desire to behold Niagara," and that, when he beheld it, his "feelings were not so much those of astonishment as of an overpowering sense of Law"; or that a peddler in a railroad-car sold nine bottles of quack medicine at a dollar a bottle; or that he had eight pages of interview with a Baltimore madman, who proved his insanity by perpetually calling Mr. Mackay the "Prince of the Poets of England." The dreary solemnity with which these incidents are narrated renders them doubly tedious. A flash of humor might enliven them, but we never see a spark. Mr. Mackay's comic stories, too, of which there are not a few, are most lamentable specimens of wit, suggesting forcibly the poppy-seeds spoken of by Mr. Pillicoddy, which are soporific in tendency, and which, if taken incessantly for a period of three weeks, produce instant death.

Mr. Mackay's experiences were not of a startling character. He travelled leisurely, and recorded discreetly. His blunders on a large scale are not numerous; but of minor facts, he announces many which may be classed among the remarkable discoveries of the season. He states that New York, New Jersey,(!) and Brooklyn form one city; that Broadway, N.Y., is decorated with elms, willows, and mountain-ashes, "drooping in green beauty"; that persons with decent coats and clean shirts in Boston may be safely put down as lecturers, Unitarian ministers, or poets; that Maryland and Virginia are one commonwealth; that eighteen months before every Presidential election, a cause of quarrel is made with England by both the principal political parties, for the purpose of securing the Irish rote; that measly pork is caused by too hasty insertion in brine after killing, and consequent rapid fermentation; that the people of the United States, unless they have travelled in Europe, are quite unable to appreciate wit. [Mr. Mackay's wit? If so, certainly.] These are but random pluckings from a rich blossoming.

The subject upon which the author has labored most earnestly is that of Slavery. If the views he sets forth are the result of his own investigation, he is entitled to credit for unusual exactness. There is nothing new about them, to be sure; but there is also nothing absurd, which is a great point. He maintains the argument against Slavery, that it is to be practically considered in its injurious influences on the white people of the Slave States, and, through them, on the nation at large. When he undertakes an emotional view of the "institution," he becomes feeble again. He thus describes his sensations while visiting a slave-market in New Orleans:—"I entertained at that moment such a hatred of slavery, that, had it been in my power to abolish it in an instant off the face of the earth by the mere expression of my will, slavery at that moment would have ceased to exist,"—an avowal which will hardly be likely to confound the American people by its boldness.

The statistical information in these volumes is as accurate as that of ordinary gazetteers. In most cases, the author appears to have drawn his information from proper sources. The principal exceptions to this are shown in one or two statements which he makes on the authority of his Pylades, Colonel Fuller, and in his remarks upon Canada, which are colored with excessive warmth. Mr. Mackay rests greater hopes upon the future of Canada than upon that of the United States. He considers the Canadians as the rivals in energy, enterprise, and industry of the people of the United States. His testimony differs from that of Lord Durham, who had good opportunities for knowing something about the matter when he had charge of Canadian affairs, and who declared, that "on the American side of the frontier all is activity and bustle," etc., "on the British side all seems waste and desolate."

Mr. Mackay gives correctly the most prominent names of American literature, but his list of artists is very imperfect. The little that he says about American music is all wrong. The first opera by an American was produced in 1845; and it is not true that this is a solitary example. Were it possible for us to pursue them, we should run down more errors of this kind than a prudent man would have put into print.

Altogether, while we readily admit that Mr. Mackay has honestly, and, in general, good-naturedly, performed his duty as an American chronicler, renouncing in a great measure the old principle of "blowing-up," and that his essays do not reek with ignorance, like those of many of his predecessors, it is yet proper to say that he has achieved a stupendous bore. His two volumes are to us a melancholy remembrance. Their life is spiced with no variety. The same dead level of dry personal detail speaks through each chapter; or if occasional relief is afforded, it is "in liquid lines mellifluously bland," and prosier than all the rest. The one source of amusement that the reader will discover is the complacent self-confidence which no assumption of modesty can hide. "A controversy had been raging for at least a week" in Philadelphia about the author's letters in the "Illustrated London News." His defender was "one of the most influential and best-conducted papers of the Union"; his assailant behaved "scurvily." We cannot lavish examples. This is the type of a hundred. Mr. Mackay seems to expect that his Jeremiad on tobacco-chewing and spitting will act in America as St. Patrick's spells did on the vermin of Ireland. Unfortunately, it will not. Mr. Dickens attempted the same thing in a much better manner,—excepting where Mr. Mackay has copied him exactly, as he has once or twice,—and even the novelist's efforts were fruitless. On the other hand, the main source of annoyance will be found in the needless elevation of minute evils, and the determination to form general judgments from isolated experiences. But of this we do not much complain. Rome derived some benefit from the cackling of a goose. Possibly we may be made in some respects a wiser and a better nation through Mr. Mackay's influence. For ourselves, however, if our aspirations ever turn toward a literary Paradise, we shall pray that it may be one where travellers cease from troubling and dull tourists are at rest.

1. The New and the Old; or California and India in Romantic Aspects. By J.W. Palmer, M.D. New York: Rudd & Carleton. 1859.

2. Up and Down the Irawaddi; being Passages of Adventure in the Burman Empire. By the Same.

It has passed into a scornful proverb, that it needs good optics to see what is not to be seen; and yet we should be inclined to say that the first essential of a good traveller was to be gifted with eyesight of precisely that kind. All his senses should be as delicate as eyes; and, above all, he should be able to see with the fine eye of imagination, compared with which all the other organs with which the mind grasps and the memory holds are as clumsy as thumbs. The demand for this kind of traveller and the opportunity for him increase as we learn more and more minutely the dry facts and figures of the most inaccessible corners of the earth's surface. There is no hope of another Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, with his statistics of Dreamland, who makes no difficulty of impressing "fourscore thousand rhinocerots" to draw the wagons of the King of Tartary's army, or of killing eight hundred and fifty thousand men with a flourish of his quill,—for what were a few ciphers to him, when his inkhorn was full and all Christendom to be astonished?—but there is all the more need of voyagers who give us something better than a census of population, and who know of other exports from strange countries than can be expressed by $——. Give us the traveller who makes us feel the mystery of the Figure at Saïs, whose veil has a new meaning for every beholder, rather than him who brings back a photograph of the uncovered countenance, with its one unvarying granite story for all. There is one glory of the Gazetteer with his fixed facts, and another of the Poet with his variable quantities of fancy. The fixed fact may be unfixed next year, like an almanac, but the hasty sketch of the true artist is good forever.

Critics have a good-natured way of stigmatizing, for the initiated, all poetry that is not poetry, by saying that it is "elegant," "harmonious," or, worse than all, "descriptive." This last commonly means that the author has done for his readers precisely what they could do for themselves,—that he has made a catalogue of the natural objects to be found in a certain number of acres, which differs from the literary efforts of an auctioneer only in this, that each line begins with a capital and contains the same number of syllables. He counts the number of cabbages in a field, of cows in a pasture, and tells us how many times a squirrel ran up (or down) a given tree in a given time. He informs us that the bark of the shagbark is shaggy, that the sleep-at-noon slumbers at mid-day, that moss is apt to grow on fallen tree-trunks in damp places,—treats us as the old alchemists do, who give us a list of the materials out of which gold (if it had any moral sense) would at once consent to be made, but somehow won't,—and leaves us impressed with that very dead certainty, that things are so-and-so, which is the result of verses that are only so-so.

Readers of the "Atlantic" need not be told that Dr. Palmer is not a descriptive poet of this fashion. They have known how to appreciate his sketches of East Indian life, so vivid, picturesque, and imaginative that they could make "Griffins" feel twinges of liver-complaint, and so true that we have heard them pronounced "incomparable" by men familiar with India. Dr. Palmer is no mere describer; he sees with the eye of a poet, touches only what is characteristic, and, while he seems to surrender himself wholly to the Circe Imagination, retains the polished coolness of the man of the world, and the brownness of the man of the nineteenth century. He not only knows how to observe, but how to write,—both of them accomplishments rare enough in an age when everybody is ready to contract for their display by the column. His style is nervous and original, not harassingly pointed like a chestnut-burr, but full of esprit or wit diffused,—that Gallic leaven which pervades whole sentences and paragraphs with an indefinable lightness and palatableness. It is a thoroughly American style, too, a little over-indifferent to tradition and convention, but quite free of the sic-semper-tyrannis swagger. Uncle Bull, who is just like his nephew in thinking that he has a divine right to the world's oyster, cannot swallow it properly till he has donned a white choker, and refuses to be comforted when Jonathan disposes of it in his rapid way with the shell for a platter. We confess that we prefer the free-and-easy manner in its proper place to the diplomatic way of always treating the reader with sentiments of the highest consideration, and like a book all the more for having an Occidental flavor.

But it is not merely or chiefly as being among the cleverest and liveliest of modern light literature that we value Dr. Palmer's books. They have a true poetic value, and instruct as much as they entertain. While he is telling us a San Francisco story, the truth of the accessories and the skill with which they are grouped bring the California of 1849 before us with unmatched vividness. We have been getting knowledge and learning a deep moral without suspecting it, as if by our own observation and experience. In the same way "Asirvadam the Brahmin" is a prose poem that lets us into the secret of the Indian revolt. It is seldom that we meet with volumes of more real power than these, or whose force is so artistically masked under ease and playfulness. We prefer the "Old" part of the book to the "New." It seems to us to show a better style of handling. There is something of melodrama in the style of the California stories,—a flavor of blue lights and burnt cork. At the same time, we must admit that there is a melodramatic taint in our American life:—witness the Sickles vulgarity. Young America is b'hoyish rather than boyish, and perhaps the "New" may be all the truer to Nature for what we dislike in it.

"The New and the Old" is fittingly dedicated to the Autocrat of all the Breakfast-Tables, than whom no man has done more to demonstrate that wit and mirth are not incompatible with seriousness of purpose and incisiveness of thought.

Napoleonic Ideas. By Prince Napolean Louis Bonaparte. Translated by James A. Dorr. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1859.

This publication has at least that merit which is one of the first in literature,—it is timely. Though we look upon the Emperor of the French as a kind of imperial Jonathan Wild, it does not the less concern us to make a true estimate of his intellectual capacity. Nothing is more unwise than to assume that a man's brain must be limited because his moral sense is small; yet no mistake is more common. Napoleon the Third may play an important part in History, though by no possibility an heroic one. In reading this little volume, one cannot fail to be struck with the presence of mind and the absence of heart of which it gives evidence. It is the advertisement of a charlatan, whose sole inheritance is the right to manufacture the Napoleonic pill, and we read with unavoidable distrust the vouchers of its wonderful efficacy. We do not fancy the Bonapartist grape-cure, nor believe in it.

Mr. Dorr's translation is excellent. He understands French, and is able to do it into English elegantly and accurately without any trace of foreign idiom. This is no easy thing; for our general experience has been that translators read French like Englishmen and write English like Frenchmen.

Country Life. By R. Morris Copeland. Boston: John P. Jewett & Company. 1859.

In an article on "Farming Life in New England," published in a former volume of the "Atlantic," a valued contributor drew attention to the painful lack of beauty in the lives and homes of our rural population. Some attempts were made to show that his statements were exaggerated; but we are satisfied that they were true in all essential particulars. The abolition of entails, (however wise in itself,) and the consequent subdivision of estates, will always put country life, in the English sense of the words, out of the question here. Our houses will continue to be tents; trees, without ancestral associations, will be valued by the cord; and that cumulative charm, the slow result of associations, of the hereditary taste of many generations, must always be wanting. Age is one of the prime elements of natural beauty; but among us the love of what is new so predominates, that we have known the largest oak in a county to be cut down by the selectmen to make room for a shanty schoolhouse, simply because the tree was of "no account," being hollow and gnarled, and otherwise delightfully picturesque. Our people are singularly dead also to the value of beauty in public architecture; and while they clear away a tree which the seasons have been two centuries in building, they will put up with as little remorse a stone or brick abomination that shall be a waking nightmare for a couple of centuries to come. But selectmen are not chosen with reference to their knowledge of Price or Ruskin.

Mr. Copeland's book is specially adapted to the conditions of a community like ours. Its title might have been "Rural Æsthetics for Men of Limited Means, or the Laws of Beauty considered in their Application to Small Estates." It is a volume happily conceived and happily executed, and meets a palpable and increasing want of our civilization. Whatever adds grace to the daily lives of a people, and awakens in them a perception of the beauty of outward Nature and its healthful reaction on the nature of man,—whatever tends to make toil unsordid, and to put it in relations of intelligent sympathy with the beautiful progression of the seasons,—adds incalculably to the wealth of a country, though the increase may not appear in the Report of the Secretary of the Interior.

Mr. Copeland's volume is calculated to do this, and his own qualifications for the task he has undertaken are manifold. Chief among them we should reckon a true enthusiasm for the cause he advocates, and a hearty delight in out-of-doors-life. He writes with the zeal and warmth of a reformer; but these are tempered by practical knowledge, and such a respect for the useful as will not sacrifice it to the merely pretty. His volume contains not only suggestions in landscape-gardening, guided always by the true principle of making Nature our ally rather than attempting to subdue her, but minute directions for the greenhouse, grapery, conservatory, farm, and kitchen-garden. One may learn from it how to plant whatever grows, and to care for it afterwards. Engravings and plans make clear whatever needs illustration. The book has also the special merit of not being adapted to the meridian of Greenwich.

We do not always agree with Mr. Copeland; we dissent especially from his prejudice against the noble horsechestnut-tree, with its grand thunder-cloud of foliage, its bee-haunted cones of bloom, and its polished fruit so uselessly useful to children,—Bushy Park is answer enough on that score; but we cordially appreciate his taste and ability. His book will justify a warm commendation. It is laid out on true principles of landscape-farming. The stiff and square economical details are relieved by passages of great beauty and picturesqueness. The cockney who owns a snoring-privilege in the suburbs will be stimulated to a sense of latent beauty in clouds and fields; and the farmer who looks on the cosmic forces as mere motive-power for the wheels of his money-mill will find the truth of the proverb, that more water runs over the dam than the miller wots of, and learn that Nature is as lavish of Beauty as she is frugal in Use. Even to the editor, whose only fields are those of literature, and whose only leaves grow from a composing-stick, the advent of a book like this is refreshing. It enables him to lay out with a judicious economy the gardens attached to his Spanish manor-houses, and to do his farming without risk of loss, in the most charming way of all, (especially in July weather,)—by proxy. Without leaving our study, we have already raised some astonishing prize-vegetables, and our fat cattle have been approvingly mentioned in the committee's report. We have found an afternoon's reading in Mr. Copeland's book almost as good as owning that "place in the country" which almost all men dream of as an ideal to be realized whenever their visionary ship comes in.

High Life in New York. By Jonathan Slick. Philadelphia: Peterson & Brothers.

The advantages of a favorable introduction are very obvious. A person who enters society fortified with eulogistic letters, giving assurance of his trustworthiness, so far as respectability and good behavior are concerned, is tolerably sure of a comfortable reception. But if, unable to sustain the character his credentials ascribe to him, he immediately begin to display bad manners, ignorance, and folly, he not only forfeits the position to which he has gained accidental access, but also brings discredit upon his too hasty indorser.

In literature it is not different. The collection of printed matter which appears under the title of "High Life in New York" is accompanied by a note, signed by the publishers, who are naturally supposed to know something of the real value of the works they issue, in which "editors are forewarned that it is a volume which, for downright drollery and hearty humor, has never had its equal in the productions of any American pen," and are otherwise admonished in various ways calculated to inspire lofty expectations, and to fill the mind with exalted visions of coming joy. But when it appears, on examination, that the book is as utterly unworthy of these elaborate commendations as any book can possibly be,—that it is from beginning to end nothing but a dead level of stagnant verbiage, a desolate waste of dreary platitude,—the reader cannot but regard the publishers' ardent expressions of approbation as going quite beyond the license allowable in preliminary puffs.

"High Life in New York" represents a class of publications which has, of late, in many ways, been set before the public with too great liberality. The sole object seems to be to exhibit the "Yankee" character in its traditional deformities of stupidity and meanness,—otherwise denominated simplicity and shrewdness. Mr. Jonathan Slick is in no respect different from the ordinary fabulous Yankee. An illiterate clown he is, who, visiting New York, contrives by vice of impudence, to interfere very seriously with certain conventionalities of the metropolis. He overthrows, by his indomitable will, a great many social follies. He eats soup with a knife and fork; wears no more than one shirt a week; forces his way into ladies' chambers at unseemly hours, to cure them of timidity; and introduces sundry other reforms, all of which are recorded as evidences of glorious independence and a true nobility of spirit. Sometimes he goes farther,—farther than we care to follow him. It would be easy to show wherein he is offensive, not to say disgusting; but we are not so disposed. It is not considered necessary for the traveller who has dragged his way over a muddy road to prove the nastiness of his pilgrimage by imparting the stain to our carpets.

In this book, as in most of its class, the Yankee dialect is employed throughout, the author evidently believing that bad spelling and bad grammar are the legitimate sources of New England humor. This shows that he mistakes means for ends,—just as one who supposes that Mr. Merryman, in the circus, must, of necessity, be funny, because he wears the motley and his nose is painted red. The Yankee dialect is Mr. Jonathan Slick's principal element of wit; his second is the onion. The book is redolent of onions. That odorous vegetable breathes from every page. A woman weeps, and onions are invoked to lend aromatic fragrance to a stale comparison. In one place, onions and education are woven together by some extraordinary rhetorical machinery; in another, religion is glorified through the medium of the onion; until at last the narrative seems to resolve itself into a nauseating nightmare, such as might torture the brain of some unhappy dreamer in a bed of onions.

Why such works are ever written at all, it is difficult to imagine; but how it is, that, when written, they find publishers, is inconceivable.

Great Auction-Sale of Slaves, at Savannah, Georgia. New York: Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society.

This little pamphlet, reprinted from the columns of the "New York Tribune," possesses a double interest. It furnishes the best and most minute description of an auction-sale of slaves that has ever been published; and it admirably illustrates the enterprise and prompt energy which often distinguish the journalism of America above that of any other country.

The slave-sale of which it is a record took place on the second and third days of March last, in the city of Savannah. For many reasons, it had been looked forward to with more than usual interest. The position of the owner, Mr. Pierce M. Butler, of Philadelphia, and the large number (no less than four hundred and thirty-six) and superior quality of the human chattels offered for sale, added to the importance of the event. The "Tribune" had one of its best descriptive writers, Mr. Mortimer Thomson, on the spot. The duty Mr. Thomson undertook was not without danger; for a somewhat extensive notoriety as an attaché of the "Tribune" was not likely to insure him the most cordial reception at the South. Had his presence been discovered, the temper of the people of Savannah would speedily have betrayed itself; and had his purpose been suspected, their wrath would assuredly have culminated in wreakages of a nature unfavorable to his personal comfort. But with caution, and the aid of Masonic influences, he escaped detection, and accomplished his aim. The result of his observations was a report of considerable length, in which every striking incident of the sale was narrated with accurate fidelity. Although written mostly on the rail and against time, under circumstances which would be fatal to the labors of any man not inured by newspaper experience to all sorts of literary hardships, the style is clear, distinct, and often eloquent. The scene and the transaction are brought vividly to the reader's mind. The throng of eager speculators,—the heavy-eyed and brutal drivers,—the sprightlier representatives of Chivalry,—the unhappy slaves, abandoning hope as they enter the mart, excepting in rare cases, where, grasping at straws, they pray in trembling tones that their ties of love may remain unsevered,—the operations of the sale,—the shrinking women, standing submissively under the vile jests of the reckless crowd,—are portrayed with all the emphasis of truth. One little episode in particular, the love-story of Jeffrey and Dorcas, is a more affecting history than romance can show.

The effect of this publication in the "Tribune" was prodigious. It was widely circulated through all the journals of the North. The Anti-Slavery Society preserved it in a pamphlet. The ire of a good portion of the Southern journals was ludicrous to witness, and proved how keenly the blow was felt. The report was republished in Great Britain,—first in the London "Times," and subsequently, as a pamphlet, in Edinburgh, in Glasgow, and in Belfast. In one publisher's announcement, at least, it was advertised as "Greeley's Account of the Great Slave-Sale."

Popular Tales from the Norse. By George Webbe Dasent, D.C.L. With an Introductory Essay on the Origin and Diffusion of Popular Tales. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. lxix., 379.

The tales of which this volume presents the first English translation—though, as regards some of them, hardly the first English version—appear to have been collected about twenty or twenty-five years ago. Two gentlemen, Messrs. Asbjörnsen and Moe, (the name of the first of whom begets much confidence in his ability for the task,) went out among the most unlettered and rudest of the common folk of Norway and Sweden, and there, from the lips of old women and little children, gathered these stories of the antique time. Of what age the stories are, nobody knows,—those who listened to them in their childhood, to relate them in turn in their declining years, least perhaps of all. For they are a part of the inheritance common to all the races that have sprung from the Asiatic ancestor, who, at periods the nearest of which is far beyond the ken of history, and at intervals of centuries, sent off descendants to find a resting-place in Europe; and it is one great object, if not the principal object, of the original collectors and the translator of these tales to exhibit in them a bond of union among all European peoples.

Indeed, the tales in their present form may be regarded as examples in point appended to the translator's Essay which opens the volume. For they will add little to our stock of available stories, for either youthful or adult reading. The best of them already are a part of our nursery lore, and are known to the English race under forms better adapted to English taste and sympathies than those under which they are here presented; and nearly all of those that are exceptions to this remark are unfitted for "home consumption," either by the objectionable nature of their subjects, by the still more objectionable tendency of their teaching, or by a yet more fatal demerit,—their lack of interest. They are in some respects notably tame and puerile,—with a puerility which is not childish simplicity, but a lack of inventive fancy, and which exhibits itself in bald repetition. The giant, for instance, always complains of a smell of Christian blood, and is always answered by the formula, that a crow flew over the chimney and must have dropped a bone down it; the hero almost always meets three old women, or three Trolls, or three enchanted beasts or birds, of whom he in that case always asks the same questions, receiving the same replies, verbatim. There is a reason for this sameness, which is indicative of the rude condition of the people among whom the tales have been perpetuated; but the sameness palls none the less upon more cultivated minds. Mr. Dasent characterizes these people as "an honest and manly race,—not the race of the towns and cities, but of the dales and fells, free and unsubdued, holding its own in a country where there are neither lords nor ladies, but simple men and women. Brave men and fair women," etc. (p. lxviii.) And he says of the tales, that in no other collection is "the general tone so chaste, are the great principles of morality better worked out, and right and wrong kept so steadily in sight." (p. lxii.) We cannot agree with him in this appreciation of the moral tone of the stories, many of which certainly speak ill for the honesty and manliness of the race among which they have been for centuries cherished household-treasures. For in a large proportion of those that have a successful hero, he obtains his success either by lying or some kind of deceit or treachery, by stealing, or by imposing upon the credulity or feebleness of age; and of those in which the hero is himself victorious over oppression, we are not able to recollect one which exhibits the beauty of moderation and magnanimity, not to say of Christian charity and forgiveness. Mr. Dasent mentions it as an admirable trait of the tales, that, "in the midst of every difficulty and danger, arises that old Norse feeling of making the best of everything and keeping a good face to the foe." Certainly the heroes of these tales do make the best of everything, but they are not at all scrupulous as to their way of making it; and they do also keep a good face to the foe, when (often by craft, theft, or violence) they have obtained some implement or other gift of supernatural power which places their opponents entirely at their mercy and with no risk to themselves. But of a manful contest on equal terms, or of a victory obtained over tyrannous power by a union of patience, boldness, and honest skill, or even by undegrading stratagem, the collection affords no instance that we remember.

The story of Shortshanks may be taken as a fair, and even a favorable example of the tone of these Norse tales. Shortshanks and King Sturdy are twin brothers, who set out to seek their fortunes within a few minutes of their birth, driven thereto by a precocious perception of the res angustæ domi. They part at two roads almost immediately, and the story follows the fortunes of Shortshanks, the younger; for in these miniature romances the elder is, as usual, continually snubbed, and the younger is always the great man. Shortshanks has not gone far before he meets "an old crook-backed hag," who has only one eye; and he commences his career by gouging out or "snapping up" the single comfort of this helpless creature. To get her eye back again, she gives Shortshanks a sword that will put a whole army to flight; and he, charmed with the result of his first manoeuvre, puts it in practice successively upon two other decrepit, half-blind women, who, to get their eyes again, give him, one, a ship that can sail over fresh water and salt water and over high hills and deep dales, the other, the art how to brew a hundred lasts of malt at one strike. The ship takes him to the king's palace, on arriving at which he puts his vessel in his pocket, when he summons his craft to his aid, and gets a place in the king's kitchen to carry wood and water for the maid. The king's daughter has for some inscrutable reason been promised to three ogres, who come successively to fetch her; and a certain Ritter Red professes to be man enough to rescue her, but on the approach of the first ogre proves to be a coward and climbs a tree. But Shortshanks slips off from his scullery; and having a weapon which can put a whole army to flight by a single stroke, he is very brave, and keeps a remarkably good face to the foe, giving him with his tongue as good as he sends, and, laughing the ogres' dubs to scorn, cuts off the ogrous heads, (there are five on the first individual, ten on the second, and fifteen on the third,) and carries off much treasure from the ships in which his foes came to fetch their victim. Ritter Red descends, and takes the lungs and the tongues of the ogres, (though, as the latter were thirty in number and of gigantic size, he must have had trouble in carrying them,) and wishes to pass them off as evidence that he is the deliverer of the princess, of which they would seem to have been very satisfactory proof: but the gold, silver, and diamonds carry the day; Shortshanks has the princess and half the kingdom, and Ritter Red is thrown into a pit full of snakes,—on the French general's principle, we suppose, who hung his cowards "pour encourager les autres." But the king has another daughter, whom an ogre has carried off to the bottom of the sea. Shortshanks discovers her while the ogre is out looking for a man who can brew a hundred lasts of malt at one strike. He finds the man at home, of course, and puts him to his task. Shortshanks gets the ogre and all his kith and kin to help the brew, and brews the wort so strong, that, on tasting it, they all fall down dead, except one, an old woman, "who lay bed-ridden in the chimney-corner," and to her our hero carries his wort and kills her too. He then carries off the treasure of the ogres, and gives this princess and the other half of the kingdom to his brother Sturdy.

Now we have no particular fault to find with such stories as these, when they are produced as characteristic specimens of the folk-lore of a people; as such, they have a value beside their intrinsic interest;—but when we are asked to receive them as part of the evidence that that people is an honest and manly race, and as an acceptable addition to our stock of household tales, we demur. The truth is, that the very worth of these tales is to be found not only in the fact that they form a part of the stock from which our own are derived, but in the other fact that they represent that stock as it existed at an earlier and ruder stage of humanitarian development. They were told by savage mothers to savage children; and although some of them teach the few virtues common to barbarism and civilization, they are filled with the glorification of savage vice and crime;—deceit, theft, violence, even ruthless vengeance upon a cruel parent, are constantly practised by the characters which they hold up to favor. Such humor as they have, too, is of the coarsest kind, and is expressed chiefly in rude practical jokes, or the bloody overreaching of the poor thick-headed Trolls, who are the butts of the stories and the victims of their heroes. There is good ethnological and mythological reason why the Trolls should be butts and victims, it is true; but that is not to the present purpose.

But although this judgment must be passed upon the collection, considered merely as tales to be told and read at this stage of the world's progress, there are several notable exceptions to it,—tales which are based upon healthy instincts, and which appeal to sympathies that are never entirely undeveloped in the breasts of human beings above the grade of Bushmen, or in which the fun does not depend upon the exhibition of unexpected modes of inflicting death, pain, or discomfort. It is not, however, in these that we are to look for the chief attraction and compensating value of the collection. Those are to be found, as we have already hinted, in the relative aspects of the tales, which the general reader might consider for a long time fruitlessly, save for the help of Mr. Dasent's Introductory Essay. This is at once an acute and learned commentary upon the tales themselves, and a thoroughly elaborated monograph upon mythology in its ethnological relations. We know no other essay upon this subject that is so comprehensive, so compact, so clear, and so well adapted to interest intelligent readers who have little previous knowledge on the subject, as Mr. Dasent's, although, of necessity, it presents us with results, not processes. A perusal of this Essay will give the intelligent and attentive reader so just a general notion of the last results of philological and ethnological investigation into the history of the origin and progress of the Indo-European races, that he can listen with understanding to the conversation of men who have made that subject their special study, and appreciate, in a measure at least, the value of the many references to it which he meets in the course of his miscellaneous reading. And should he be led by the contagion of Mr. Dasent's intelligent enthusiasm to desire a more intimate acquaintance with a topic which rarely fails to fascinate those whose tastes lead them to enter at all upon it, he may start from this Essay with hints as to the plan and purpose of his reading which will save him much otherwise blind and fruitless labor.

This, however, is not all. It is but right also to say that the readers whose religion is one of extreme orthodoxy, that is, who deem it their bounden duty to believe exactly and literally as somebody else believed before them,—such readers will find their orthodoxy often shocked by the tales which Mr. Dasent has translated, and yet oftener and more violently by conclusions which Mr. Dasent draws from a comparison of these stories with others that bear the same relation to other races which these do to the Norsemen. The man who believes that Hell is a particular part of the universe, filled with flames and melted brimstone, into which actual devils, with horns, hoofs, and tails, dip, or are to dip, wicked people, whom, for greater convenience, they have previously perforated with three-tined pitchforks,—such a man will be puzzled by the story, "Why the Sea is Salt," and horrified with this comment in Mr. Dasent's Essay:—

"The North had its own notion on this point. Its mythology was not without its own dark powers; but though they, too, were ejected and dispossessed, they, according to that mythology, had rights of their own. To them belonged all the universe that had not been seized and reclaimed by the younger race of Odin and Æsir; and though this upstart dynasty, as the Frost-Giants in Æschylean phrase would have called it, well knew that Hel, one of this giant progeny, was fated to do them all mischief, and to outlive them, they took her and made her queen of Niflheim, and mistress over nine worlds. There, in a bitterly cold place, she received the souls of all who died of sickness or old age; care was her bed, hunger her dish, starvation her knife. Her walls were high and strong, and her bolts and bars huge. 'Half blue was her skin, and half the color of human flesh. A goddess easy to know, and in all things very stern and grim.' But though severe, she was not an evil spirit. She only received those who died as no Norseman wished to die. For those who fell on the gory battle-field, or sank beneath the waves, Valhalla was prepared, and endless mirth and bliss with Odin. Those went to Hel who were rather unfortunate than wicked, who died before they could be killed. But when Christianity came in and ejected Odin and his crew of false divinities, declaring them to be lying gods and demons, then Hel fell with the rest,—but, fulfilling her fate, outlived them. From a person she became a place; and all the Northern nations, from the Goth to the Norseman, agreed in believing Hell to be the abode of the Devil and his wicked spirits, the place prepared from the beginning for the everlasting torments of the damned. One curious fact connected with this explanation of Hell's origin will not escape the reader's attention. The Christian notion of Hell is that of a place of heat; for in the East, whence Christianity came, heat is often an intolerable torment,—and cold, on the other hand, everything that is pleasant and delightful. But to the dweller in the North heat brings with it sensations of joy and comfort, and life without fire has a dreary outlook; so their Hel ruled in a cold region, over those who were cowards by implication, while the mead-cup went round, and huge logs blazed and crackled, for the brave and beautiful who had dared to die on the field of battle. But under Christianity the extremes of heat and cold have met, and Hel, the cold, uncomfortable goddess, is now our Hell, where flames and fires abound, and where the devils abide in everlasting flame."

Still more will orthodoxy be shocked by Mr. Dasent's neglect to except Christianity from the conclusion, (no new one, it need hardly be said, to those who know anything of the subject,) that the mythologies or personal histories of all religions have been evolved the one from the other, or grafted the one upon the other,—and by his intimation, that Christianity, keeping pure in its spirit and undiverted from its purpose, has yet not hesitated to adapt its outward forms to the tough popular traditions which it found deeply rooted in the soil where it sought to grow, thus making itself "all things to all men, that it might by all means save some."

It will be seen that this book is not milk for babes, but meat for strong men. Among the tales are some—and those, perhaps, the most interesting—which Mr. Dasent justly characterizes as "intensely heathen," and yet in which the Saviour of the world or his apostles appear as interlocutors or actors, which alone unfits the volume for the book-table of the household room. We are led to insist upon this trait of the collection the more, because the translator's choice of language often seems to be the result of a desire to adapt himself to very youthful readers,—though why should even they be led to believe that such phrases as the following are correct by seeing them in print?—"Tore it up like nothing"; "ran away like anything"; "it was no good" [i.e. of no use]; "in all my born days"; "after a bit" [i.e. a little while]; "she had to let him in, and when he was, he lay," etc.; "the Giant got up cruelly early." These, and others like them, are profusely scattered through the tales, apparently from the mistaken notion that they have some idiomatic force. They jar upon the ear of the reader who comes to them from Mr. Dasent's admirably written Introductory Essay.

The book is one which we can heartily recommend to all who are interested in popular traditions for their own sake, or in their ethnological relations.

Love, From the French of M.J. Michelet. Translated from the Fourth Paris Edition, by J.W. Palmer, M.D., Author of "The New and The Old," "Up and Down the Irawaddi," etc.

M. Michelet perhaps longs, like Anacreon, to tell the story of the Atrides and of Cadmus, but here we find him singing only of Love. It is a surprise to us that the historian should have chosen this subject;—the book itself is another surprise. It starts from a few facts which it borrows from science, and out of them it builds a poem,—a drama in five acts called Books, to disguise them. Two characters figure chiefly on the stage,—a husband and a wife. The unity of time is not very strictly kept, for the pair are traced from youth to age, and even beyond their mortal years. Moral reflections and occasional rhapsodies are wreathed about this physiological and psychological love-drama.

Here, then, is a book with the most taking word in the language for its title, and one of the most distinguished personages in contemporary literature for its author. It has been extensively read in France, and is attracting general notice in this country. Opinions are divided among us concerning it; it is extravagantly praised, and hastily condemned.

On the whole, the book is destined, we believe, to do much more good than harm. Admit all its high-flown sentimentalism to be half-unconscious affectation, such as we pardon in writers of the Great Nation,—admit that the author is wild and fanciful in many of his statements, that he talks of a state of society of which it has been said that the law is that a man shall hate his neighbor and love his neighbor's wife,—admit all this and what lesser faults may be added to them, its great lessons are on the side of humanity, and especially of justice to woman, founded on a study of her organic and spiritual limitations.

Woman is an invalid. This is the first axiom, out of which flow the precepts of care, bodily and mental, of tenderness, of consideration, with which the book abounds. To show this, M. Michelet has recourse to the investigations of the physiologists who during the present century have studied the special conditions which according to the old axiom make woman what she is. As nothing short of this can by any possibility enable us to understand the feminine nature, we must not find fault with some details not commonly thought adapted to the general reader. They are given delicately, but they are given, and suggest a certain reserve in introducing the book to the reading classes. Not only is woman an invalid, but the rhythmic character of her life, "as if scanned by Nature," is an element not to be neglected without total failure to read her in health and in disease. There is a great deal relating to this matter, some of it seeming fanciful and overwrought, but not more so than the natures of many women. For woman herself is an hyperbole, and the plainest statement of her condition is a figure of speech. Some of those chapters that are written, as we might say, in hysteric paragraphs, only more fitly express the extravagances which belong to the nervous movements of the woman's nature.

The husband must create the wife. Much of the book is taken up with the precepts by which this new birth of the woman is to be brought about, M. Michelet's "entire affection" hateth those "nicer hands" winch would refuse any, even the humblest offices. The husband should be at once nurse and physician. He should regulate the food of the body, and measure out the doses of mental nourishment. All this is kind and good and affectionate; but there is just a suspicion excited that Madame might become slightly ennuyée, if she were subjected to this minute surveillance over her physical and spiritual hygiene. Everything must depend on individual tendencies and aptitudes; we have known husbands that were born for nurses,—and others, not less affectionate, that worried more than they helped in that capacity.

We cannot follow M. Michelet through his study of the reaction of the characters of the husband and wife upon each other, of the influence of maternity on conjugal relations, of the languishing of love and its rejuvenescence. Still less can we do more than remotely allude to those chapters in which his model woman is represented as ready on the slightest occasion to prove the name of her sex synonymous with frailty. We really do not know what to make of such things. The cool calculations of temptation as certain, and failure as probable,—the serious advice not to strike a wife under any circumstances,—such words have literally no meaning to most of our own American readers. Our women are educated to self-reliance,—and our men are, at least, too busy for the trade of tempters.

In a word, this book was written for French people, and is adjusted to the meridian of Paris. We must remember this always in reading it, and also remember that a Frenchman does not think English any more than he talks it. We sometimes flatter ourselves with the idea that we as a people are original in our tendency to extravagance of thought and language. It is a conceit of ours. Remember Sterne's perruquier.

"'You may immerge it,' replied he, 'into the ocean, and it will stand.'

"'What a great scale is everything upon, in this city!' thought I. 'The utmost stretch of an English periwig-maker's ideas could have gone no farther than to have dipped it into a pail of water.'"

How much such experiences as the following amount to we must leave to the ecclesiastical bodies to settle.

"The Church is openly against her, [woman,] owing her a grudge for the sin of Eve."

"It is very easy for us, educated in the religion of the indulgent God of Nature, to look our common destiny in the face. But she, impressed with the dogma of eternal punishment, though she may have received other ideas from you, still, in her suffering and debility, has painful foreshadowings of the future state."

But here are physiological statements which we take the liberty to question on our own responsibility.

"A French girl of fifteen is as mature as an English one of eighteen." What will Mr. Roberton of Manchester, who has exploded so many of our fancies about the women of the East, say to this?

"A wound, for which the German woman would require surgical aid, in the French woman cures itself." We must say of such an unproved assertion as the French General said of the charge at Balaklava,—"C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la"—médecine.

"Generally, she [woman] is sick from love,—man, from indigestion." What a pity Nature never makes such pretty epigrams with her facts as wits do with their words!

We have enough, too, of that self-assertion which Carlyle and Ruskin and some of our clerical neighbors have made us familiar with, and which gives flavor to a work of genius. "I was worth more than my writings, more than my discourses. I brought to this teaching of philosophy and history a soul as yet entire,—a great freshness of mind, under forms often subtle,—a true simplicity of heart," etc.

M. Michelet does not undervalue the importance of his work. He thinks he has ruined the dancing-gardens by the startling revelations respecting woman contained in his book. He announces a still greater triumph:—"I believe I have effectually suppressed old women. They will no longer be met with." M. Michelet has not seen the columns of some of our weekly newspapers.

These are scales from the husk of his book, which, with all its fantasies, is a generous plea for woman. Wise persons may safely read it, though they be not Parisians.

The translation is, and is generally considered, excellent. We notice two errors,—Jerres, instead of Serres,—and would, for should, after the Scotch and Southern provincial fashion;—with some questionable words, as reliable, for which we have Sir Robert Peel's authority, which cannot make it as honest a word as trustworthy,—masculize, which is at least intelligible,—and fast, used as college-boys use it in their loose talk, but not with the meaning which sober scholars are wont to give it. With these slight exceptions, the translation appears to us singularly felicitous, notwithstanding the task must have been very difficult, which Dr. Palmer has performed with such rare success.

Farm-Drainage. The Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land, with Wood, Stones, Ploughs, and Open Ditches, and especially with Tiles; including Tables of Rainfall, Evaporation, Filtration, Excavation, Capacity of Pipes; Cost, and Number to the Acre, of Tiles, etc., etc.; and more than One Hundred Illustrations. By Henry E. French. New York: A.O. Moore & Co. 1859. 8vo. pp. 384.

We remember standing, thirty years ago, upon the cupola of a court-house in New Jersey, and, while enjoying the whole panorama, being particularly impressed with the superior fertility and luxuriance of one farm on the outskirts of the town. We recollect further, that, on inquiry, we found this farm to belong to a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, who also exercised the trade of a potter, and underdrained his land with tile-drains. His neighbors attributed the improvement in his farm to manure and tillage, and thought his attempts to introduce tile-drains into use arose chiefly from his desire to make a market for his tiles. Thirty years have made a great change; and a New Hampshire Judge of the Court of Common Pleas gives us a book on Farm-Drainage which tells us that in England twenty millions of dollars have been loaned by the government to be used in underdraining with tile!

We believe that Judge French has given the first practical guide in draining to the American farmer,—indeed, the first book professing to be a complete practical guide to the farmers of any country. His right to speak is derived from successful experiments of his own, from a visit to European agriculturists, and from a personal correspondence with the best drainage-engineers of England and America, as well as from the study of all available magazines and journals. No one could handle the subject in a more pleasant and lucid style; flashes of wit, and even of humor, are sparkling through every chapter, but they never divert the mind of the reader from the main purpose of elucidating the subject of deep drainage. The title-page does not promise so much as the book performs; and we feel confident that its reputation will increase, as our farmers begin to understand the true effects of deep drainage on upland, and seek for a guide in the improvement of their farms.

The rain-tables, furnished by Dr. E. Hobbs, of Waltham, afford some very interesting statistics, by which our climate may be definitely compared with that of our mother country. In England, they have about 156 rainy days per annum, and we but 56. In England, one inch in 24 hours is considered a great rain; but in New England six inches and seven-eighths (6.88) has been known to fall in 24 hours. In England, the annual fall is about 21,—in New England, 42 inches. The experiments on the retention of water by the soil are also interesting; showing that ordinary arable soil is capable of holding nearly six inches of water in every foot of soil.

Not the least valuable portion of the book is a brief discussion of some of the legal questions connected with drainage; the rights of land-owners in running waters, and in reference to the water in the soil; the rights of mill-owners and water-power companies; and the subject of flowage, by which so many thousand acres of valuable arable land are ruined to support unprofitable manufacturing companies. The rights of agriculturists, and the interests of agriculture, demand the care of our governments, and the hearty aid of our scientific men; and we are glad to find a judge who, at least when off the bench, speaks sound words in their behalf.

Agriculture in the Atlantic States is beginning to attract the attention which its great importance demands. Thorough draining is, as yet, little used among us, but a beginning has been made; and Judge French's book will, doubtless, be of value in extension of the practice. If any reader has not yet heard what thorough draining is, we would say, in brief, that it consists in laying tile-pipes, from one and a half to three inches in diameter, four feet under ground, at from twenty to sixty feet apart, so inclined as to drain out of your ground all the water that may be within three feet of the surface. This costs from $30 to $60 per acre, and is in almost all kinds of arable land an excellent investment of capital,—making the spring earlier, the land warmer, rain less injurious, drought less severe, the crops better in quality and greater in quantity. In short, thorough draining is, as our author says, following Cromwell's advice, "trusting in Providence, but keeping the powder dry."

The Novels of James Fenimore Cooper. Illustrated with Steel Engravings from Drawings by Darley. New York: W.A. Townsend & Co.

The British Museum, it is said, has accumulated over twenty-seven thousand novels written since the publication of "Waverley." With the general diffusion of education the ambition of authorship has had a corresponding increase; and people who were not inspired to make rhymes, nor learned enough to undertake history, philosophy, or science, as well as those who despaired of success in essays, travels, or sermons, have all thought themselves capable of representing human life in the form of fiction. Very few of the twenty-seven thousand, probably, are wholly destitute of merit. Each author has drawn what he saw, or knew, or did, or imagined; and so has preserved something worthy, for those who live upon his plane and see the world with his eyes. The difficulty is, that the vision of most men is limited; they observe human nature only in a few of its many aspects; they cannot so far lift themselves above the trivial affairs around them as to take in the whole of humanity at a glance. Even when rare types of character are presented to view, it is only a genius who can for the time assimilate himself to them, and so make their portraits life-like upon his canvas. In every old-fashioned town there are models for new Dogberrys and Edie Ochiltrees; our seaports have plenty of Bunsbys; every great city has its Becky Sharpe and Major Pendennis. One has only to listen to a group of Irish laborers in their unrestrained talk to find that the delicious non sequitur, which is the charm of the grave-diggers' conversation in "Hamlet," is by no means obsolete. But who can write such a colloquy? It would be easier, we fancy, for a clever man to give a sketch of Lord Bacon, with all his rapid and profound generalization, than to follow the slow and tortuous mental processes of a clodhopper.

To secure the attention of his readers, the novelist must construct a plot and create the characters whose movements shall produce the designed catastrophe, and, by the incidents and dialogue, exhibit the passions, the virtues, the aspirations, the weaknesses, and the villany of human nature. It is needless to say that most characters in fiction are as shadowy as Ossian's ghosts; the proof is, that, when the incidents of the story have passed out of memory, the persons are likewise forgotten. Of all the popular novelists, not more than half a dozen have ever created characters that survive,—characters that are felt to be "representative men." After Shakspeare and Scott, Dickens comes first, unquestionably; although, in analysis, philosophy, force, and purity of style, he is far inferior to Thackeray. Parson Adams will not be forgotten, nor that gentle monogamist, the good Vicar of Wakefield. But as for Bulwer, notwithstanding his wonderful art in construction and the brilliancy of his style, who remembers a character out of his novels, unless it be Doctor Riccabocca?

After this rather long preamble, let us hasten to say, that Cooper, in spite of many and the most obvious faults, has succeeded in portraying a few characters which stand out in bold relief,—and that his works, after years of criticism and competition, still hold their place, on both continents, among the most delightful novels in the language. Other writers have appeared, with more culture, with more imagination, with more spiritual insight, with more attractiveness of style; but Leatherstocking, in the virgin forest, with the crafty, painted savage retreating before him, and the far-distant hum of civilization following his trail, is a creation which no reader ever can or would forget,—a creation for which the merely accomplished writer would gladly exchange all the fine sentences and word-pictures that he had ever put on paper. It is also due to Cooper to say, that "The Pilot" was the first, and still is the best, of nautical novels; we say this in fell recollection of its trace of stupid heroines. The very air of the book is salt. As you read, you hear the wind in the rigging,—a sound that one never forgets. The form and motion of waves, the passing of distant ships, the outlines of spars and cordage against the sky, the blue above and the blue below, all the scenery of the sea, here for the first time found an appreciative artist.

We have not space to mention these novels separately. We are glad to see an edition which is worthy of the author's genius,—each volume graced with the designs of Darley. The style in which the work has been issued is creditable to the publishers, and cannot fail to be remunerative.

Ettore Fieramosca; or, the Challenge of Barletta. The Struggles of an Italian against Foreign Invaders and Foreign Protectors. By Massimo D' Azeglio. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 16mo.

The recent war led to the publication of a great number of books upon the state of Italy and the relative positions of the contending powers; now that the wave has receded, all these are left high and dry. This novel, however, does not depend upon any transient interest in the affairs of Italy for its success. As the production of an eminent author, who is also one of the first of Italian statesmen, it demands a respectful consideration. The condition of the country in the sixteenth century presents a striking counterpart to that of the present year: two foreign monarchs were at war in the Peninsula; and then, as now, it was a question whether unhappy Italy had not as much to fear from her allies as from her invaders.

The scene of the story is laid in the little town of Barletta, on the Adriatic coast, in the present kingdom of Naples. The action turns upon the fortunes of the day in a contest à l'outrance, wherein a dozen French knights, the flower of the invading army, were met and vanquished by an equal number of Italians, of whom the hero, Ettore Fieramosca, was the chief. The English reader will not expect to find in this book any of the traits with which he is familiar in the novels of our own authors. There is little scenery-painting, few wayside reflections, and no attempt at portraying the comic side of human nature, or even the ordinary gayety of domestic life. The times did not suggest such topics; and if they did, we suspect that the Italian novelists would turn from such commonplace affairs to the more stirring events with which History has been heretofore concerned. But the story before us has no lack of incident. When the persons of the drama are fairly brought upon the stage, the action begins at once; surprise follows surprise, plot is matched by plot, until the fortunes of the actors are entwined inextricably. The portraits of the famous Colonna and of the infamous Cæsar Borgia (the latter being the arch "villain" of the story) are drawn in sharp and decisive lines. The tournament which forms the scene of the catastrophe is a brilliant picture, though not a pleasing one for a Friend or a member of the Peace Society.

Of course the element of Love is not wanting; two golden threads run through the crimsoned web; but whether they meet before Atropos comes with the fatal shears, it is not best to say. When the modern novel-reader can answer the momentous question, "Did they marry?" the charm of the most exciting story, for him, is gone.

Aside from the interest which one feels in the changing fortunes of the hero, the book is especially valuable for the light it throws upon that period of Italian history, and upon the subtilties of Italian character.

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The Goodness of God. Sermons by Charles Kingsley. New York. Burt, Hutchinson, & Abbey. 12mo. pp. 370. $1.00.

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The Roman Question. By E. About. Translated from the French, by H.C. Coape. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 219. 60 cts.

Tent and Harem. Notes of an Oriental Trip. By Caroline Paine. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 300. $1.00.

The French Revolution of 1789, as viewed in the Light of Republican Institutions. By J.S.C. Abbott. With One Hundred Engravings. New York. Harper & Brothers. 8vo. pp. 439. $2.50.

Popular Tales from the Norse. By George Webbe Dasent, D.C.L. With an Introductory Essay on the Origin and Diffusion of Popular Tales. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 379. $1.00.

Personal Recollections of the American Revolution. A Private Journal. Prepared from Authentic Domestic Records. Together with Reminiscences of Washington and Lafayette. Edited by Sidney Barclay. New York. Rudd & Carleton. 12mo. pp. 251. $1.00.

Hartley Norman. A Tale of the Times. By Allen Hampden. New York. Rudd & Carleton. 12mo. pp. 429. $1.25.

The Science of Education and Art of Teaching. In Two Parts. By John Ogden, A.M. Cincinnati. Moore, Wilstach, & Keys. 12mo. pp. 478. $1.25.

Observations on the Growth of the Mind. By Sampson Reed. Fifth Edition. Boston. Crosby, Nichols, & Co. 16mo. pp. 99. 50 cts.

Italy and the War of 1859. With Biographical Notices of Sovereigns, Statesmen, and Military Commanders; Description and Statistics of the Country; Causes of the War, etc. By Julia de Marguerittes. With an Introduction, by Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie. With Map and Portraits. Philadelphia. Geo. G. Evans. 12mo. pp. 359. $1.25.

Here and Beyond; or, The New Man, the True Man. By Hugh Smith Carpenter. New York. Mason Brothers. 12mo. pp. 345. $1.00.

Temper. A Novel. By Miss Marryatt. (Daughter of Captain Marryatt.) New York. Dick and Fitzgerald. 12mo. pp. 365. $1.00.

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Ettore Fieramosca; or, The Challenge of Barletta. The Struggles of an Italian against Foreign Invaders and Foreign Protectors. By Massimo d'Azeglio. Boston. Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 16mo. pp. 356. $1.00.

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The Pilot. A Tale of the Sea. By J. Fenimore Cooper. Illustrated from Drawings by F.O.C. Darley. New York. W.A. Townsend & Co. crown 8vo. pp. 486. $1.50.

The Mathematical Monthly for July and August. Cambridge. John Bartlett.

From Dawn to Daylight; or, The Simple Story of a Western Home. By a Minister's Wife. New York. Derby & Jackson. 12mo. pp. 339. $1.00.

A System of Surgery; Pathological, Diagnostic, Therapeutic, and Operative. By Samuel D. Gross, M.D., Professor of Surgery in the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, etc. Illustrated by Nine Hundred and Thirty-Six Illustrations, a Large Number of which are from Original Drawings. Philadelphia. Blanchard & Lea. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 1162, 1198. $12.00.