The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863

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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863

Author: Various

Release date: April 27, 2008 [eBook #25191]

Language: English

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Literature and National Policy.

Vol. III.—MARCH, 1863.—No. III.



[Pg 257]


The decline of the Turkish Empire has furnished an eloquent theme for historians, who have ever made it the 'point and commendation of their tale.' Judging from its decline, they have predicted its fall. Half a century ago, the historian of the middle ages expected with an assurance that 'none can deem extravagant,' the approaching subversion of the Ottoman power. Although deprived of some of its richest possessions and defeated in many a well-fought field, the house of Othman still stands—amid crumbling monarchies and subjugated countries; the crescent still glitters on the Bosphorus, and still the 'tottering arch of conquest spans the ample region from Bagdad to Belgrade.'

Yet, how sadly changed is Turkey from her former self—how varied the fortunes of her classic fields! The physical features of the country are the same as in the days of Solyman the Magnificent; the same noble rivers water the fertile valleys, and the same torrents sweep down the mountain sides; the waves of the Ægean and Mediterranean wash the same shores, fertile in vines and olive trees; the same heaven smiles over the tombs of the storied brave—but here no longer is the abode of the rulers and lawgivers of one half the world.

It has been said, and with some degree of truth, that the Turks are encamped, not settled in Europe. In their political and social institutions they have never comported themselves as if they anticipated to make it their continuing home. Their oriental legends relate how the belief arose in the very hour of conquest that the standard of the Cross should at some future day be carried to the Bosphorus, and that the European portion of the empire would he regained by Christians. From this superstitious belief they selected the Asiatic shore for the burial of true Mussulmans; nor was it altogether a fanciful belief, for in the sudden rise of Russia, Turkey foresaw the harbinger of her fall, and recognized in Muscovite warriors the antagonists of fate.

A nation to be long-lived must rise higher and higher in the scale of civilization; must approach nearer and nearer its meridian, but never culminate. The Athenians reached the zenith of their glory in the age of Pericles, and lost in fifty years what they had acquired in centuries. [Pg 258]The Turks attained their meridian greatness in the reign of Solyman the Magnificent—from which time dates their decline.

If we make a comparison between Turkey and her formidable neighbor, Russia, we shall find that the latter adopted, while the former resisted reforms. Turkey was in the fulness of her power when Russia had not yet a name. The spirit of the Ottomans was remarkably exclusive. They regarded themselves as a separate and distinct people; they were conquerors, and as such thought themselves a superior race—men who were to teach and not to learn. In their intercourse with other nations, they borrowed nothing, and out of themselves looked for nothing. Their feeling of national glory was not extinguished by national degradation, but cherished through ages of slavery and shame. But the world is a world of progress. A nation cannot remain stationary; she must advance or retrograde. Turkey is not what she was, while Russia, with the rest of Christendom, has advanced; her faults grew with her strength, but did not die with her decay. It will not be sufficient for her merely to regain her former power; she must overtake Christendom in the progress made during her decadence. Her spirit of vitality is not yet extinct; it wants guidance and development to strengthen and elevate it. There is still hope of reforming the Turkish empire without that baptism of blood which many have urged and are still urging. Indeed, Lord Palmerston declared in Parliament that Turkey has made a more rapid advance and been improved more during the last ten years (he made this statement in 1854, and Turkey has been rapidly progressing since) than any other country in Europe.

Before considering the question of reform, it will be necessary to take a cursory view of Turkish history and character.

While the monarchs of Constantinople were waging war with Persia, and both empires were tottering; while the Christian religion gave rise to different sects, hating each other with intense and fanatical hatred, a silent power was rising among the Turks, which was destined to subvert empires and found a new religion. Their original seat was among the Altai mountains, where they were employed by their masters in working iron mines. They rose in rebellion, threw off their allegiance, and made incursions into Persia and China, proving themselves formidable enemies. From being a weak and enslaved people they became the allies and conquerors of the Byzantine emperors. 'With the Koran in one hand,' says Macaulay, 'and the sword in the other, they went forth conquering and converting eastward to the Bay of Bengal, and westward to the Pillars of Hercules.' They became a terror to the nations that had beheld with contempt their rising greatness. Amid the expiring glories of the Roman world they made Constantinople the capital of their empire. It was all that the oriental imagination could desire. Rendered by its fortifications impregnable, and situated on the Bosphorus, whose dark blue waters flow between shores of unrivalled beauty, where nature and art had reared their grandest monuments, it surpassed in wealth and grandeur Nineveh and Babylon.

From this stronghold, which had been the cradle of Christianity, and which had witnessed the dying struggle of the Roman empire, the conquerors, maddened with the victories and crowned with the wealth which years of perpetual war had heaped upon them, mustered their armies and sallied forth. They subjugated many countries, but copied none of their virtues; and to-day their degenerate descendants still retain most of their original traits of character. Their religious sense is deep, but theirs is a religion which blunts and stupefies the intellectual faculties, and makes man fit only to perform a score of prostrations each[Pg 259] day. It inspires courage in war, but it also teaches blind resignation to defeat and disgrace: it teaches morality, but sensuality and ferocity are not inconsistent with its doctrines. Eat, drink, smoke—indulge all the passions to-day, for immortality begins to-morrow! No Turk is so high that he has not a master, none so low that he has not a slave; the grand vizier kisses the sultan's foot, the pasha kisses the vizier's, the bey the pasha's, and so on. Yet their many virtues half redeem their faults. They are proverbial for their hospitality, and charity, which 'covereth a multitude of sins,' is an oriental virtue. They have, too, great love of nationality. The beggar who seeks alms of the Turk with cries and entreaties, will not ask a single para of the Frank (a name applied to all foreigners).

Turkey in Europe, though smaller in extent than the Asiatic division of the empire, is by far the wealthier and more important. It extends from Russia to the Adriatic, and from Hungary to the Euxine sea, the command of which it shares jointly with Russia. The Straits of Constantinople, the Dardanelles, and the Sea of Marmora are free to all friendly nations. The situation of the country, its numerous and safe harbors, are all favorable to commerce. There is every variety of climate, and the soil in every part of the empire is fertile, and, when cultivated, yields productions in the greatest abundance. The agricultural, like the manufacturing industry, owing to the indolence of the people, is much neglected. This indolence is, in a great measure, the result of oppression. Before Russia extended her protection over the provinces, the Turks left agriculture to their tributaries, whom, when wealthy and prosperous, they plundered.

Let us now consider the causes which led to the decline of the empire. In the reign of Solyman, poetry, science, and art flourished. New privileges were conferred upon the ministers of religion; the Janissaries received increased pay; the coffers of the empire were filled to overflowing; the condition of the rayas was ameliorated; security to life, honor, and property was given to all, without distinction of creed or race. But even then there were causes at work destined to effect a decline. The sultan in person was ever at the head of his troops. Thus the vizier, or prime minister, who remained in the capital, became, by degrees, a more influential personage than 'the grand seignior' himself. The intrigues of the eunuchs in the imperial harem began to exert their baneful influences on the administration. The seraglio—in which many hundred females are immured, the most beautiful that can be found in the contiguous realms of Europe and Asia, wherever the Turk bears sway—from being the most beautiful appendage, became the moving spring of the Ottoman Porte. The inmates formed a faction hostile to the ministers of religion. The administration was transferred to Greeks, Jews, and Armenians, who filled the treasury of the sultan and enriched themselves by impoverishing the people, who, since they could no longer enjoy the fruits of their labor, became indolent. The army was more eager for booty and captives than for glory; slaves were multiplied; the higher classes revelled in wealth and luxury, while the poorer classes with difficulty obtained a livelihood.

It would be strange, indeed, if in an empire so extensive and with an immense and motley population, we did not find it difficult to introduce reforms, and instruct the people in the arts of more civilized nations, and remove old abuses, guarded by the fanaticism of the clergy. Political reforms can be made only by those in high places of authority; and to be sanctioned by the prejudiced and infatuated Ottoman they must assume the garb of religion. The sultan himself, wielding the sceptre over millions of subjects, uniting in[Pg 260] his own person all the powers of the state, claiming to reign by divine commission, and profanely styling himself the shadow of God—even he dares not venture to vary one iota from the teachings of the Koran and the Sunnah.

Selim III was the first royal reformer. While Europe was shaken to its very centre, and the continental monarchs trembled on their thrones, he applied himself assiduously to those civil and military reforms, which his successors promoted, and without which Turkey could not have maintained her position as a European power. Selim made a new organization of the army, made innovations in the judicial and administrative branches of the government, changed the system of taxation, and gave a decidedly new organization to the divan, where reform was most needed. He also attempted to make innovations in the financial department, but by depreciating the coin, in order to fill an exhausted treasury, signally failed. He deposed the then reigning hospodars of the Moldo-Wallachian provinces, and established others more favorable to his work of reform. Russia and England remonstrated at this measure, and war was declared. The Turkish army was defeated and driven across the Danube. The Janissaries, ignorantly attributing their defeat to Selim's reforms in military discipline, rose in rebellion. The well-meant but too mild sultan fell a victim to their violence, and was succeeded by Mustapha, who had instigated the insurgents to revolt. His short reign is signalized by the vigorous measures he took to destroy Selim's reforms. Shortly after his accession to the throne, the defeat of the Turkish fleet by the Russians spread consternation and terror through the capital. It was at this critical juncture that an Asiatic pasha, a friend of the deposed sultan, advanced with a powerful army, and laid siege to Constantinople, which yielded to him after a vigorous resistance of one year. Mahmoud ascended the throne. From Selim, his cousin, he had learned the lamentable condition of the empire and the necessity of reform. He had no sooner ascended the throne, than the Janissaries began to manifest a feverish anxiety for revolt. No time was to be lost; and Mahmoud acted with that energy which was one of the few redeeming traits of his character. Mustapha, the murderer of Selim and the destroyer of the work of a lifetime, was put to death; his son and wives shared his fate. Mahmoud was now firmly established. He was the last scion of the Othman race, and as such was vested with sacrosancta potestas. He resolved to annihilate the unruly corps and anathematize their name. He engaged the services of their aga, or commander-in-chief, to whom he made known his plans. His next step was to issue an order commanding each regiment to furnish one hundred and fifty men to be drilled after the manner of European soldiers. The friends of Mahmoud asked: 'Is he mad?' The soldiers exclaimed: 'Bismillah! he wants to make infidels of us. Does he think we are no better than infidel dogs?' The Janissaries reversed their kettles (the signal of revolt) in the Byzantine hippodrome, and calling upon their patron saint, proceeded to attack the royal palace. But Mahmoud was prepared to receive them. All his other troops, artillery, marines, and infantry, were under arms and at his command. The ulemas pronounced a curse of eternal dissolution upon the insurgents. Mahmoud unfurled the sacred standard of the prophet, and called on his people for assistance. A hundred cannon opened fire upon their barracks, and in an hour twenty-five thousand Janissaries were mowed down by grapeshot and scimitars. Their bodies broke the lingering fast of the hungry dogs, or were cast into the Bosphorus, and hurried by its rapid currents into the Sea of Marmora. The annihilation of the Janissaries took place in 1826.

It is more than probable that Mah[Pg 261]moud could have effected a salutary reform in the military system without resorting to extreme violence. He was naturally of a cruel disposition, and was also deficient in prudence and moderation. He gave the Janissaries cause to revolt; he made frivolous innovations in their long-cherished customs, by commanding them to shave their beards and forbidding them to wear the turban, a beautiful headdress, an ornament at once national and religious. These measures excited the disgust of all 'true believers,' while his enemies called him an infidel, and his warmest supporters and the strongest advocates of reform despaired of success. Innovations are expedient only when they remove evil, and when men are prepared to receive them. Command a Turk to shave his beard—by which he swears—the idol of his life. As well bid him cut off his right arm or pluck out an eye—he would obey one as soon as the other. The impolicy of changing the customs and dress of a half-civilized, warlike nation, has been made obvious in many instances—none more impressive than the mutiny of the Anglo-Indian army at Velore in 1806.

Mahmoud in destroying the Janissaries took for his model Peter the Great. Never were two sovereigns more unlike each other. Peter, generous and humane, leaving his throne and travelling in disguise to educate himself, stands in bold contrast with the parsimonious and cruel sultan. Moreover, Mahmoud's was a more difficult undertaking. The Strelitzes whom the czar annihilated were unsupported, were famous by no illustrious victory, and had not an enthusiastic religious feeling. The Janissaries, on the other hand, had strong family interests; they, too, had decided the fate of the empire at the battle of Varna, where their bravery established the Ottoman power, whose brightest triumphs were clustered around their names; they had fought many a bloody battle, and had never turned their backs to the foe; their leader was chosen from their own ranks, and no nobility controlled their ambition or prevented them from receiving the honor due to enterprise and valor; they held the sultan in check; the ulemas gave sanction to their laws, and they in turn sustained the authority of the ulemas with their swords. As long as they experienced no change in their discipline and customs they were invincible. But they too had participated in the universal degeneracy. Like the Prætorian bands of Rome, they had become the absolute masters of the empire. They pulled down and set up sultans at their will; their valor had departed, but their unconquerable pride remained as part of their heritage. Their ranks were filled with crowds of Greeks, Jews, and Moslems, without discipline and without order. Many who had purchased the privilege of being numbered in this formidable body, lived outside of the barracks, and assembled only on pay day or in times of tumult and rebellion. They despised all laws, civil and religious, and were a constant source of annoyance to the people, whose lives and property were at their mercy. Such were the subjects upon whom Mahmoud was to operate. In the destruction of the Strelitzes and the Janissaries, Peter and Mahmoud may be compared to two physicians: one practises on a healthy savage, while the other attempts to cut out a malignant cancer reaching the vitals, from the pampered sensualist. In annihilating these troops, as in his other reforms, Mahmoud began where he should have ended his labors; he mistook the end for the means.

Had he stopped with this act of violence, his supporters might defend him on the doubtful ground of expediency; but he did not stop here. For centuries the tyranny of the sultans had been restrained by the derebeys, or lords of the valleys. They had been confirmed in the possession of their lands by Mohammed II, from which[Pg 262] time they had continued to pay tribute to the sultan, and furnished him with quotas of troops. The sultan had no control over their lives or property. The subjects who tilled the productive lands of the valleys were suitably rewarded for their labor. The happiest and wealthiest peasants of the empire were found among the vassals of the beys, to whom they showed great devotion. These feudal lords, at a moment's warning, could summon twenty thousand men before their palace gates. They furnished the greater part of the sultan's cavalry force in war; and, unlike the pashas, had never raised the standard of rebellion; they had never wished for revolutions, and had never sanctioned insurrections. The possession of their property was guaranteed to them by inheritance, and they had no need of money with which to bribe the Sublime Porte.

Mahmoud was bent on depriving them of their wealth and curtailing their privileges. They were rich, did not bribe him, and held hereditary possessions. These were unpardonable crimes in the sight of this exemplary reformer. The beys, who never dealt in treachery, were unsuspicious of others, and fell an easy prey. The peasants ceased to cultivate the lands from which they could no longer profit; and many of the wealthiest possessions became desolate. We must not think it strange, therefore, that the military power was prostrated, when, after having annihilated the Janissaries, Mahmoud deprived the derebeys of their ancient authority; for the military power of the empire rested chiefly in these two bodies. These innovations were made in the midst of a destructive Greek war, and at a time when the Danube and the Balkan were no longer formidable barriers to the Muscovite descendants of Ivan the Terrible, who brought back memories of the past, and threatened to avenge deeply treasured wrongs. Even at this critical period, when his army was annihilated, his fleet defeated, and the legions of Russia within a few days' march of Constantinople, Mahmoud threatened to feed his horses at the high altar of St. Peter's, and proclaim the religion of the prophet in the Muscovite capital. A threat that savored more of the seraglio than of the throne!

His next step was to assail the privileges of the great provincial cities, the inhabitants of which elected from their own number ayans, or magistrates, distinguished for their wisdom and virtue. These magistrates had much influence among the people; they had always resisted exorbitant taxes and unjust decrees; their protection was extended to Mussulmans and Christians without distinction. Their power of veto was almost as effective as that of the tribuni plebis of Rome; they could point back to Solyman, the Solon of his time, as the author of their protective system. But their power originated with the people. To this Mahmoud would not submit. All power must emanate from him, the all-wise and innovating sultan, who raised the low and humbled the great, not as they were honest or corrupt, but as they fawned upon him, or refused to yield implicit obedience to his nod.

In their endeavors to institute a new financial system, the predecessors of Mahmoud reduced the standard of money gradually, in order not to produce a panic. But he wished to accomplish in one day the work of years. He issued a decree commanding the people to bring all their coin, gold and silver, to their respective governors—where they would receive less than half its value! He threatened the refractory with death. The capital resounded with the dreaded cry of rebellion; and the exasperated multitude that had surrounded the royal palace was not appeased until it witnessed the public execution of the mint officers, whose only crime was obedience to their master. This impolitic measure in the financial department impoverished the[Pg 263] people, and left the treasury still empty. Foreign speculators bought the money—the circulation of which had become illegal—and resold it to the sultan for sterling value!

Shortly after this he expelled about thirty thousand Christians from the capital, which they had embellished and enriched by their labor. Their fidelity had never been doubted. For this despicable act—their expulsion—Mahmoud could adduce no better reason than that 'it was solely on political grounds.' Strange politics this, for a sovereign, who professed to have the magnanimity of Christian rulers! On the expulsion of the Christians, Russia commenced hostilities, and a war followed, in which the sultan paid dearly for his rashness.

In short, Mahmoud could not have given a better lesson to his subjects than by reforming himself. He was cruel beyond measure—if the grand seignior can ever be so called, who is taught that he may lop off a score of heads each day 'for divine inspiration.' Still if he had been as thoroughly skilled as he professed to have been, he should have shown himself a humane as well as an innovating sovereign. Those who assisted him in his reforms, he rewarded with the bowstring. His character was blackened by ingratitude, an instinctive vice in oriental rulers. Obstinate as he was suspicious, deceitful as he was cunning, he could not rule his own passions, much less could he control the corrupt morals of his people. He was to an extraordinary degree avaricious, a quality everywhere odious, but especially in a land where generosity measures love—where in the highest and in the lowest stations liberality is the moving spring. While he mistook parsimony for economy, he did not scruple to make war on trifling pretexts and waste his amassed treasures in a hopeless cause.

In every attempted reform he wounded Ottoman pride and prejudice. Unlike his cousin, he did not humor the faults of the people while making innovations; he neither amused them with imposing shows, nor flattered them by the pompous spectacle of his appearance in public—in one word, he wanted the tact of a reformer. Selim, while he increased the navy and established manufactories, built gorgeous palaces, and by his magnificence dazzled the people, who were blind to his real designs; they even permitted him to set up printing presses in the large cities, on receiving assurance that the Koran would not be submitted to the unholy process of squeezing!

Mahmoud thought, or pretended to think, that he could reform the empire by imitating only the vices of Christianity, and manifesting a contempt for Moslem virtues. While he drank wine—and in many other breaches of the teachings of the sacred book provoked the faithful—his proclamations breathed a most orthodox and fanatical spirit. He was a sceptic; neither Mussulman nor Christian, but surprisingly inconsistent and capricious. His, we fear, were 'hangman's hands,' and 'not ordained to build a temple unto peace.'

Under Solyman the Magnificent, at once the most warlike monarch and munificent patron of literature and art, the constitution of the Janissaries was wise and effective. The children of Christians, taken by the Turks in war or in their predatory incursions, were exposed in the public markets of Constantinople, whence any person was at liberty to take them into his service, on making a contract with the government to return them at the demand of the sultan. These children were instructed in Islamism, and were trained by manly exercise and labor, calculated to strengthen the body and give elasticity to the spirits. From these hardy orphans the ranks of the Janissaries were recruited. They came eagerly to the camp; for they had been taught to regard it as the theatre of their future glory. From earliest infancy they looked forward with joy to the time[Pg 264] when they should be numbered among those brave soldiers, whose arms had maintained for a long series of years the supremacy of the crescent. There was no rank, no dignity in the Turkish army to which a Janissary could not aspire—a strong incentive to the display of bravery. Such was the constitution of the army when it was the most powerful in Europe: then it gained its victories, not by force of numbers, but by superior military discipline and valor. In the middle of the nineteenth century the capture of Christian children was abandoned. The land forces degenerated into a wretchedly organized army of less than three hundred thousand men, drafted from the lowest classes. Mothers put their children to death that they might be spared the pangs of seeing them torn away to pass their days in scenes of shame and dissipation.

Not till the army had become a laughing stock to the weakest European power did the sultans perceive the necessity of military reform. Selim III established a school for artillery and naval officers, and engaged Europeans, especially Frenchmen, as instructors in military science. We can readily comprehend the degeneracy of the Turkish army, when we remember that since the establishment of the school at Sulitzi for engineers, the Turks have learned from foreign teachers military tactics of which their own ancestors were the inventors, and which had been forgotten, although full accounts of them lay hidden in musty volumes in their military archives.

Foreign officers were at first regarded with contempt by Turkish soldiers, whose unconquerable pride has ever proved a great impediment to the regeneration of the empire. Moslem talent was not equal to the exigencies that arose from the impolitic measures of Mahmoud. We find a parallel case in Russia. Had Peter trusted to Muscovite genius to form and command the troops which superseded the Strelitzes, Charles XII would have quartered in the Kremlin.

Kutchuk Husseyin, the relative and favorite of Selim, made valuable additions to the navy in which his master took such pride. Husseyin, who had the welfare of his country at heart, was liberal and disinterested. Vested with the office of captain pasha, he sent to Greece for architects and engineers, with whose assistance he fortified Stamboul, Sinope, and Rhodes; he built arsenals and extensive docks, which he supplied with the necessary equipments of a powerful fleet. In a short time, twenty sail of the line, constructed on the newest European models, rode at anchor within sight of his palace. He also erected barracks for the troops, and greatly improved the naval school. The sudden death of Selim paralyzed the navy, which soon resumed its accustomed languor.

The events of 1821, in which the Turkish fleet was defeated by armed merchant vessels of Greece, gave a fresh impulse to the navy. Experienced officers were placed in command, who, as they grew in strength, grew in confidence, and trusted more to their own resources than to the protection of Allah. Six years after the defeat, the navy was in a state of greater practical efficiency than at any other time. After a protracted struggle of five years it had gained the undisputed supremacy of the Archipelago; and had it not been for the disastrous defeat at Navarino, it would have proved equal, if not superior, to the Russian fleet in the Black sea. The Turkish navy, to-day, numbers about sixty war vessels, six of which are ships of the line, and six steam frigates, built partly at London and Toulon.

The standing army in times of peace consists of 150,000 regulars; 60,000 auxiliaries (such as the Egyptian forces); and those of the northern provinces, 110,000; with a corps de reserve of 150,000—an aggregate of 470,000 men. The army is recruited by lot and con[Pg 265]scription (as in France), and not as formerly, by arbitrary compulsion. Christians are excluded from service in the infidel ranks, but pay a military tax. Partial infringements, however, have been made in this exclusion, by employing Armenians in the marine service and at the arsenals. Active service in the army continues for a period of seven years; and the discharged soldiers belong to the reserved force for five years more. The organization of the corps de reserve is the same as that of the regular army. Their arms and equipments are kept in the state arsenals, and are produced only when the soldiers are called out, which takes place once a year, after the harvest season. During one month, the members of this corps de reserve lead a military life, and receive regular pay.

The army is divided into six divisions of 25,000 each. The artillery is modelled after the most approved Prussian system, while the infantry and cavalry drill according to French tactics, and use French accoutrements and arms. Thus, Turkey, with a standing army of 150,000 men, can muster a force of nearly 500,000 at a few hours' notice; provided, however, she has money to pay the troops, for the religious prejudices of the Osmanlee do not tolerate the system of loans. So that Turkey, though she has neither the formidable land force of France nor the navy of England, is not crushed by the weight of a public debt, the principal of which can never be paid. This military system is the result of the labors of Rija Pasha and Redschid Pasha, by turn rivals and colleagues, disputing on matters of secondary importance, but ever cordially cooperating in the regeneration of the empire.

More attention has been given to military than to political reforms. The intolerant Moslem spirit manifests direct opposition to all innovation in the administration. As their fathers were, so they wish to be. Before the time of Selim no reform movements of importance had been made in the administrative branches. For five centuries the sultans had received, as an aphorism in their political education, that the subjects existed for the good of the sultan, and not the sultan for the welfare of the people. Selim proclaimed the rights of his subjects and their supremacy; and his words were confirmed by his deeds.

The administrative system was purely oriental, and bore scarcely any analogy to that of any other country. From the reign of Solyman to that of Selim—the protector (from whom there is no appeal) was kept closely confined in the seraglio walls; indeed, he was a state prisoner from his cradle to the day when he girt around him the imperial sabre. As the sultan reigned by divine commission, no education was considered good enough for him. Moreover, since his power was absolute, it had been received as a recognized principle of state policy that he should be as ignorant as possible, in order that he might prove more faithful to the will of Allah. Selim banished these antiquated notions, and instituted a new system—not that he lessened his own power, but established representative bodies to assist him in making laws, and tribunals to pass judgment upon and execute them.

The sultan is assisted by a divan; or council of ministers, and others, who are nominated to that dignity by himself. The grand vizier presides over this body, and is responsible for all measures adopted by it.

The legislative as well as the military system is borrowed from the French; but the sultan is the source of all law, civil and military; he is the summit, while the municipal institutions are the base, of the political fabric. In theory at least, these institutions are established on the broadest principles of freedom. Each community, like the communes of France, sends an aga, or representative, to the supreme council. By the famous ordinance of Gulhana,[Pg 266] Mussulmans, Jews, and Christians are represented, without distinction, in proportion to their number.

The administration of the interior belongs to the prime minister, who appoints civil governors to take charge of the general administration. The pashas had hitherto been both civil and military officers; purchased their appointments at extravagant prices, and repaid themselves by extortions practised upon the unfortunate subjects over whom they ruled. The appointment of civil governors removed this old abuse, and left the pashas vested only with military power. Each of the military chiefs has command of one of the six divisions of which the army is composed. All these officers receive a fixed salary; and the people, no longer subject to their avarice and tyranny, pay regular rates of taxation.

The reforms I have mentioned, great as they were, were only preliminary to the publishing of the hatti-scheriff of Gulhana, the magna charta and bill of rights of Turkey. The son of Mahmoud, Abdul Medjid, on ascending the throne, published this ordinance, which was to effect a reform in the internal administration more beneficial than any other, either before or after the destruction of the Janissaries. The ulemas, state officers, foreign ambassadors, and a vast multitude of subjects had assembled on the plains of Gulhana. The illustrious writings (as the name signifies) were read aloud in the presence of this solemn assembly by Redschid Pasha. The sultan, 'under the direct inspiration of the Most High and of his prophet,' desired to look for the prosperity of the empire in a good administration. The ulemas addressed a thanksgiving to heaven amid the acclamations of the assembled thousands. These reforms were threefold: The first guaranteed security to life, honor, and property; the second is a new system of taxation; the third, a remodelled plan for levying soldiers, and defining their time of service. The subject can best be illustrated by quoting a few extracts from the hatti-scheriff itself:

'The cause of every accused person shall be adjudged publicly, in conformity to our divine law, after due inquiry and investigation; and as long as sentence shall not have been regularly pronounced, no one shall, either publicly or privately, cause another to perish by prison or any other deadly means.'

'It shall not be permitted to any one to injure another, whosoever he may be.'

'Every man shall possess his own property, and shall dispose of it with the most entire liberty. Thus, for example, the innocent heirs of a criminal shall not be deprived of their legal rights, and the goods of the criminal shall not be confiscated.'

'The imperial concessions extend to all subjects, whatever may be their religion or sect; they shall reap the benefit of them without exception.'

'As to the other points, since they must be regulated by the concourse of enlightened opinion, our council of justice, with whom shall assemble, on certain days to be fixed by us, the notables of the land, shall meet together to lay down guiding laws on the points that affect the security of life, honor, and fortune, and the assessment of imposts.'

'As soon as a law shall be defined, in order to render it valid and binding, it shall be laid before us to receive our sanction, which we Will write with our imperial hand.'

'As these present institutions have no other object than to give fresh life and vigor to religion, the government, the nation, and the empire, we pledge ourselves to do nothing to counteract them. Whoever of the ulemas or chief men of the empire, or any other sort of person, shall violate these institutions, shall undergo the punishment awarded to his offence, without respect to his rank, or personal consideration and credit.'

'As all the functionaries of the government receive at the present day suitable salaries, and as those that are not sufficient shall be increased, a vigorous law shall be enacted against traffic in posts and favors, which the divine law reprobates, and which is one of the principal causes of the decline of the empire.'

As a pledge of his promise, the sultan, after having deposited the documents in the hall that contains the 'glorious mantle' of the prophet, in the presence of the ulemas and chief men, swore to them in the name of God, and administered the same oath to the priests and officers. The hatti-scheriff was published in every part of[Pg 267] the empire, and was well received, except by a few of the retrograde party, who lived by the old abuses, and vigorously resisted all attempts at reformation.

By this ordinance, the sources of the revenue consist of the frontier customs, the tithes, and a property tax. In two of these three sources of revenue there are great abuses. In collecting the taxes, the tax gatherers make exhorbitant demands, for which (owing to the partiality of justice) there is no redress, The salguin, or land tax, is also the cause of constant complaint. It presses equally upon the richest and the poorest provinces; in consequence of which many of the most fertile districts have been deserted. The government is not ignorant of these facts. Abdul Medjid, a short time previous to his death, ordered a new registration of property to be made, which will, in a great measure, remedy this evil. This new registration caused not a little astonishment and fear among the peasants, who could not approve of persons taking an inventory of their property and their flocks. We must not be surprised at this, for a parallel case is close at hand. When the Emperor Joseph endeavored to introduce the mode of distinguishing houses in the principal streets of Vienna, by numbers instead of the antiquated mode by printed signs, the people were impressed with the idea that the numbers were affixed for the purpose of more conveniently collecting a new house tax!

The new system of farming the revenue proved especially beneficial to the Christians. Under the old regime the Turks had been greatly favored. The poll tax formerly levied on all who were not professed followers of the prophet, has been abolished.

The empire is wealthy—immensely wealthy; but the money is in the hands of the few. If we except the province of Servia, feudal lords, and tax collectors, the whole Turkish population consists of peasants, who till the soil on an equality of wretchedness. Yet it is to these same suffering peasants, the bone and sinew of the land, that reformers must look for support. It was the peasantry of Servia, headed by George the Black, that in 1800-1812, rose in rebellion, and whose success infused life and vigor into the more passive provinces. They, too, were peasants—those brave and resolute men who expelled from the provinces the robber princes, and almost gained a national existence. Many of these same peasants, men in whose breasts still lingered the valor that made their ancestors famous, joined the Grecian army in the successful struggle for independence; even Moslem peasants left their ploughs in the furrow and their herds unattended, to join the insurgents, to whose success they greatly contributed. The heroes of all Turkish rebellions have been peasants—the men of strong arms and unswerving energy. They are naturally of a passive disposition, but when once roused to action by religion or patriotism, they are as firm and unyielding in their purpose as their own

'Pontic sea,
Whose icy currents and compulsive course
Ne'er feels returning ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont.'

In the hands of the peasantry lies the destiny of the empire, its regeneration or its fall. By ameliorating their condition and gaining their good will, the sultans cannot fail to succeed in their reforms. By working in opposition to them and exciting their enmity, success is impossible.

The social system introduced by the victorious Othmans among the conquered nations was not as oppressive as is generally believed. The Turks, unlike the Germanic nations, the Huns and Normans, did not take forcible possession of private property and divide it among their conquering hordes. From those who acknowledged themselves subject to their rule, the Turks exacted tribute, but protected their liberties and political institutions.[Pg 268] The conquerors introduced their laws into the country, but not forcibly. To those who still adhered to the Christian religion, they extended the rights of self-government, subject, however, to a military tax. This was very far from degrading the cultivators of the soil to servitude; this did not deprive them of their possessions, inherited or purchased. But by a gradual change in the government this civil equality and liberty in the possession of property was superseded by an aristocratic and almost absolute despotism. The Ottomans came in contact with a people ruling under Byzantine law, of which (as of the feudal system) they had but a confused knowledge. The feudal system having taken root in Greece, and having been already introduced into Albania, had necessarily much influence on the contiguous provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia, Servia and Bulgaria. Here the Greek emperors, with correct notions of right and wrong, had governed wisely and justly in a simple administration, which gave place to a complicated system of laws and refinements, as unintelligible as they were useless and ineffective. In the double heritage of Greece and Rome, the conquerors imitated only their faults, moral and intellectual, and thus made more prominent the fall of the two countries. The Turks were not sufficiently enlightened to understand the laws and customs of the Greeks and Romans, and profit thereby; nor could they resist the charm thrown around aristocracy and venality, but succumbed to their baneful influences. The degeneracy of the laws caused the misery of the peasantry, and paralyzed the energies of the empire. The pashas gained almost unlimited power, founded on the ruins of civil liberty. They did not scruple to persecute the suffering peasant, even in the sanctuary of his family—held in the highest veneration by the Turk. The peasants in many instances had no other alternative than to fly to the mountains for safety, and lead a wretched existence by rapine and murder. Some left Turkey to settle in Russia and Austria, in search of that liberty and protection which was denied them at home.

The Turkish peasants are not insensible to the degradation in which they are languishing. But accustomed, in suffering and privation, to find consolation in fatalism—which teaches implicit acquiescence in and obedience to the will of Allah—they drag out their days in passive submission. Seditions are almost always excited by unbelievers, who feel their wrongs more deeply. The devout Turkish peasant seeks no better fortune than the means wherewith to build a little cabin, with windows and doors religiously closed to vulgar eyes. He finds comfort in the words of his holy book: 'He is the happiest of mortals to whom God has given contentment.' He performs his daily labor, makes his prostrations, smokes his chibouk, and lives oblivious of care. He is far from being indifferent to reforms, but is loth to take the initiative in political innovations and social wars. His heart is with the cause, but here also he is resigned: 'God is great—His will be done.' This same spirit of resignation and submission to the divine will, from being a virtue becomes his greatest curse.

The Servians, a hardy and vigorous race, who pride themselves on their victories over the Moslems, stand in the van of the reform movement. By the new constitution given to Servia in 1838, there exists no longer any distinction of classes. All pay taxes, in proportion to the value of their property, to the municipal and general government. All the peasants are proprietors, and all the proprietors are peasants. The Servians and Albanians have never refused foreign aid. They gave a kind welcome to the legions that Nicholas sent across the Pruth, and worked in concert with the brave warriors of the north, in the hope of gaining a nationality and a recognized name.[Pg 269]

The moral condition of the Bulgarians does not differ essentially from that of the Servians; but there is a wide difference in their political organization. The Bulgarians are yet only peasants, unprotected against the violence and exactions of the sultan. They are more enterprising than the Servians, and, could they enjoy an equitable legislation, would soon vie with them in wealth and prosperity. They envy the national and democratic institutions of the Servians, who are related to them by blood, by religion, and a common tongue. They are eager for reforms, both social and political, which shall give them a constitution similar to that of Servia. In this they must ultimately succeed. The two people are one in their sympathies: one cannot enjoy privileges without exciting the jealousy of the other. Unless concessions are made, the day is not far distant when the Bulgarians will revolt, as the Servians did under Tzerny George, and gain the right of self-government.

The Illyrian peasants have not as promising a future. They are divided among themselves, both in politics and religion; the several clans and parties are engaged in ceaseless strife and bickering. On the most trivial pretence a community will rise in arms and carry ruin and desolation to its neighbor. The face of the country everywhere shows signs of the terror under which it groans. In many districts the humblest dwellings are fortified citadels, gloomy and threatening; observatories are stationed in trees and on high cliffs, to guard against surprisals; the streets of the towns and villages are traversed by gloomy figures of athletic savage warriors, with fierce and sinister expression of countenance, and their right hand resting on a belt garnished with its brace of pistols. They are in such a deplorable state of ignorance, and so blinded by mutual hatred, that they are incapable of perceiving their wants and obtaining their rights by concerted action.

The Servians and Bulgarians, although by nature not less warlike than the Illyrians, are more pacific. This quality is, to a certain degree, attributable to a better government; but their great advantage consists in their being friends of labor. They are not divided by internal factions; their pistols serve for ornaments, not offensive weapons; their rude exterior hides within a gentle, childlike nature. Though laborious, they seek not to amass wealth; kind to each other, to strangers they are hospitable and generous. They are extremely courteous and polite, and theirs is not the humility of the Austrian peasant, who kisses the scornful hand of his superior; it is the deference and respect that youth bears to age, or the attention which the host gives to a welcome guest.

In Servia and Bulgaria, Christianity has gained the ascendancy; the light of the gospel imparts comfort and happiness to all; but the Illyrians, through a blind zeal in their social dissensions, have debarred themselves from its vivifying and soothing influence.

During the early part of the last century, the peasants of the Moldo-Wallachian provinces were enfranchised, but have not yet obtained the right of property legislation. Being contiguous to Poland and Hungary, their attention is naturally called to all the noise of reform and to all the social questions that agitate the two countries. Unless concessions are made, unless the peasant is recognized as proprietor of the soil of which to-day he is but the farmer, a revolution will take place, in which the Sublime Porte will lose these provinces as effectually as it did the pashalies. It is not absolutely necessary, though it would be judicious, to give Moldavia and Wallachia the same political organization as Servia enjoys. The question now, is not of rulers, whether they shall be sent from the divan or chosen from the people; but is of property legislation and municipal institutions.[Pg 270]

In all his reforms, the sultan should remember that the material upon which he is to operate lies in the peasantry.

The empire, however, cannot be thoroughly reformed merely by enfranchising the peasants, by introducing European customs, by organizing new armies, building barracks, and establishing custom houses. These improvements are the sign of a vigorous national impulse and prosperity; they are the result, not the rudiments of civilization. The fact that the sultan wears French boots and supplies his seraglio with the latest Parisian modes signifies nothing.

In its palmy days, Turkey relied for success on its courage and love of military glory; now its welfare and very existence depend upon the peaceful arts of civilized life. The prosperity of the people measures the condition of the empire. But how can an ignorant people prosper? The time has come when a reform in the educational system of Turkey is emphatically demanded. There must be intelligence among the people, and educated men in the cabinet as well as brave men in the field. The innovating sultans of the last century have done much for the reconstruction of the broken political fabric of the empire; they have organized a new and powerful army and navy; they have facilitated commercial intercourse, but have done scarcely anything for the diffusion of knowledge among their subjects.

All the knowledge in the empire is concentrated in the ulemas and lawyers. The members of the Sublime Porte and other state officers, with but few exceptions, are unlettered men, who owe their elevation, to partiality or bribery. Under Mahmoud, beauty of person was the best recommendation to favor and promotion!

But Turkey has had her golden age of letters as well as her age of military glory. Her libraries and archives are filled with unread, musty manuscripts, comprising treatises on philosophy and metaphysics, histories, biographies, and poems, rich in the classic erudition of the Orient. In 1336, Sultan Orkan found leisure from war and conquest to establish, at Brusa, a literary institution, which became so famous for its learning, that Persians and Arabians did not disdain to avail themselves of its instruction. But with the death of its founder its glory passed away. It was no longer the fountain head of learning in the East.

The Turks, forgetful of the fact that antiquity is the youth of the world, still follow Aristotle as their guide in philosophy and metaphysics, and Ptolemy in geography! Missionaries have succeeded in introducing modern text books into some of the schools, but owing to the peculiar system of Turkish education, the result has not been so favorable as was anticipated.

To each mosque is attached a school, where the pupils devote several years in acquiring the rudiments of reading, writing, and arithmetic; which completes their education. But few foreign instructors are employed to teach in the schools, because the government is unwilling to pay a suitable salary. While on state officers wealth is lavished with the prodigality of oriental munificence, instructors receive only a nominal recompense, often not exceeding six cents a day!

A few favored youths receive a European education, especially in French and Austrian colleges. The oriental academy, established at Vienna by Maria Theresa for the education of diplomatists to conduct intercourse with the Porte, has formed many illustrious Turkish scholars. It is a singular but not unpleasant commentary on the vicissitudes of fortune, that Turkey should send her sons to be educated at Vienna, which only two centuries ago a sultan besieged at the head of an army of two hundred thousand men, and before whose gates he was defeated by the combined Christian forces, who recovered eighty thousand Christian cap[Pg 271]tives, among whom were fourteen thousand maidens, and fifty thousand children of both sexes!

The Christian subjects of the empire have made visible progress in their educational system, although it is yet in a very imperfect state. In the middle of the last century a body of Armenian monks formed a society for promoting the educational interests of their countrymen. These pious and benevolent men dwell alone on the little island of San Lazzaro, and publish works on literature, science, and religion, which are distributed among the Turkish Armenians.

Printing presses have lately been set up in the large cities, and books are rapidly multiplying. In Constantinople several newspapers are printed in French, Turkish, and Arabic; they are read in every coffee house and barber shop, the common lounging places of the Ottoman, where he smokes his pipe and discusses politics. Their columns are chiefly devoted to the discussion of state affairs, and notices of public functionaries. The sultan is the virtual editor, and consequently the papers are popular, as containing opinions on state policy ex cathedra. These presses were established with the reluctant sanction of the ulemas, and the vigorous opposition of the scribes, an influential body, protesting against the introduction of machinery, which was to supersede the use of their fingers.

The council of public instruction at Constantinople has established a medical and polytechnic school; in both, French, English, and German teachers are employed. To the medical college is attached a botanical garden and a natural history museum. The medical library consists chiefly of French works. The implements used to experiment in the physical sciences were made at Paris, London, and Vienna, and are of the most approved kind. The number of students in attendance, on an average, is seven hundred, comprising Turks, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, all of whom not only pay no tuition, but receive pecuniary assistance from the government. As science cannot well be taught in Turkish, French is the language of the school.

It should be borne in mind that Turkey, in her reform movement, commenced this century, four hundred years behind Europe. When we consider this, her advance in educational reformation appears in a better light. The present law makes it a penal offence in a Turkish parent not to send his children to school.

The universities, as well as the mosques and hospitals, are under the control of the ulemas, who have always been a privileged and a sanctioned order, and by their sanctity and great wealth are rendered the most formidable body in the empire. Selim and his successors somewhat lessened their power. By the innovations of 1854 an important change was effected in the vacoof, or church property. The church had hitherto held enormous possessions; and had not a check been placed on the system, in the course of a few centuries all the lands would have belonged to the priests. The property annexed to the mosques is held sacred by all, both high and low. True believers, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, alike, by a reversion of their property on failure of male issue, transferred it to the ulemas. The decree above mentioned restricted this privilege of the priests. The entire system will soon be abolished.

As before stated, the ulemas have charge of the schools connected with the principal mosques. The average number of scholars in each school, in the reign of Mahmoud, was four hundred. They were, for the most part, worthless, indolent fellows, and entirely under the control of the ulemas, who used them as tools, and made them figure conspicuously in all tumults and revolts. Their attempted assassination of Abdul Medjid was their death warrant. Each ulema was restricted to[Pg 272] four, in place of four hundred scholars. This measure caused not a little ill feeling among those opposed to reform; but as the most successful attempt at restricting the despotic power of the religious order, the decree was of vital importance, and gave the ulemas to understand that the power on the throne was paramount to theirs.

The ulemas—whose functions do not differ materially from those of the old doctors of the law among the Hebrews—have always claimed and enjoyed both magisterial and ecclesiastical authority; and, indeed, since the Mussulman's law and religion are convertible terms, we would expect priests to be vested with the same powers, and performing the same duties. Mohammed designed it should be so, and as long as war was waged in the name of religion, as long as the Koran and the sword went hand in hand together, the two professions were not incompatible; but when Islamism had gained undisputed ascendency, there arose an obvious discrepancy between the peaceful adoration of Allah and the settlements of disputes between man and man. Priest and jurist, each had distinct and qualified duties to perform. Before justice can be administered properly the religious and legal professions must be separated; the statutes must be distinct from the Koran and Sunnah, in the obscurities of which they are at present involved. The sheik-ul-Islam (pontifex maximus) is the head of the church and the bar; he appoints the bishops and the judges; and in his twofold character of minister and lawyer, he is the expounder of the Koran, the source of all laws, civil and religious; his decisions serve as precedents, and are as incontrovertible as the Koran itself.

By the late reforms, Christian testimony is admitted in courts of justice. But this is merely a nominal privilege; for what avails it that Christian evidence is received, if the Koran and Sunnah are to constitute the law, and a Mussulman judge is to be the expounder? Is it not evident that the 'true believer,' whether right or wrong, will be shielded by the strong arm of prejudice at the expense of the Christian? The purity of Turkish justice may be understood from the following humorous account given by Dr. Hamlin:

'I once had a case of law with a Turkish judge. It was tried nine times, and each time decided against me. After the ninth trial, the judge sent me word that if I gave him 9,000 piastres (about $800), he would decide the case in my favor, for all the world knew that justice was on my side!'

I look, however, upon the religious toleration extended to Christians in 1854 as the most important of all reforms; it is the keystone of the arch. Christianity has been on a gradual increase in Turkey; and it may not be deemed extravagant to hope that when a few generations shall have passed away, its supremacy will be acknowledged. As Constantine, finding the Christian element predominant in the Roman empire, made the religion of Christ that of his people, so some Selim or Abdul Medjid, urged by a power behind the throne, and more potent than the throne itself, will substitute the Bible for the Koran!

The fall of Islamism does not imply the downfall of Turkish rule. The one is religious, the other a civil power; the one may wane, the other rise.

The wars which brought the European powers in Turkish waters made a deep impression upon the Turks, and convinced them that they had been rescued from annihilation by foreign arms. This led to an important measure, viz.: the promulgation of the imperial edict of 1850, which was translated into all the languages of the empire, and read in all the mosques and churches. Besides securing the freedom of conscience and the equality of rights, it grants the right of apostasy, which had hitherto been a capital offence: 'As all forms of religious worship are and shall be freely professed in the empire, no person shall be hin[Pg 273]dered in the practice of the religion which he professes; nor shall he in any way be annoyed in this kind: in the matter of a man changing his religion, and joining another, no force shall be applied to him.' The decree bore directly upon Islamism. Turks, both private and official, now discuss freely the doctrines of the New Testament. The Bible, to-day, is widely circulated among the Turks. About seven thousand copies are sold annually to Mohammedans, while ten years ago they would not have been accepted as gifts. By all classes of people the Bible is purchased, read, and made the subject of discussion. The sultan himself reads it. Discussion leads to investigation, and investigation to the establishment of truth. This is one of the causes that have been silently at work, destined to effect the fall of Islamism.

In all parts of the empire, the Christian element is growing stronger and stronger; the Mohammedan weaker. Even in Asia, the chosen abode of the faithful, we find Christian cities and villages prosperous, and Mohammedan cities falling to decay. In another century the Sublime Porte will depend chiefly on the Christian element for its influence. To-day, the Mussulman mosque, the pagoda of the Hindoo, the fire temple of the Parsee, the Roman and Greek churches, meet together.

The adoration and prostrations of the Turk afford an imposing sight even to the Christian. 'Praises be to God, for He is great,' resounds at sunrise and at sunset, from ship to ship at sea, from kiosk to minaret on land.

According to the Koran, there is a paradise for all true believers. This paradise, Al Janat, signifies a pleasure garden, from which flows a river, the river of life, whose water is clear as crystal, cold as snow, and sweet as nectar. The believer who takes a draught shall thirst no more. Even the oriental imagination fails to describe the glories of this paradise—its fountains and flowers, pearls and gems, nectar and ambrosia, all in unmeasured profusion. To crown the enchantment of the place, to each faithful Moslem is allotted seventy-two houris, resplendent beings, free from every human defect, perpetually renewing their youth and beauty. Such is the Mohammedan conception of the future world.

The Turks, in common with other Mohammedans, believe in angels, and in the prophets Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus. One might suppose that such a belief would assist missionaries in converting the infidel; but far from assisting, its tendency is to make more difficult the inculcation of Christian doctrines. When asked to accept the religion of Christ, the Turk's ready answer is: 'We believe in Jesus! we believe in him already; you know only a part of the true faith; Mohammed has superseded Jesus.' Notwithstanding this, many Turks in Europe and Asia believe that in a long series of years, Jesus will return to earth, reanimate their faith and ancient valor, and with one unbroken religion, give them dominion to the end of the world. They, in short, expect Jesus—the same Jesus whom Christians worship—in the fullness of time to accomplish the work which their prophet only began. Christian missionaries should avail themselves of this remarkable belief, and turn it to the spiritual advantage of those who entertain it.

'Let the Turkish Government remain, if by her standing Islamism may fall! that we may carry back a purer literature to the land of Homer, a purer law to the land of Moses, and the Gospel of Christ to the land of the apostles.'

It only remains for me to say one word in regard to the now reigning sovereign. The ulemas—who have become what the Janissaries were, the hotbed of fanaticism—in their endeavors to overthrow the late sultan, Abdul Medjid, looked upon the present sultan as their champion. If he per[Pg 274]mits himself to become a tool in their hands, Turkey will lose during his reign what she gained in a century. If, on the other hand, he has the energy of Mahmoud, the humanity of Selim, and practises the conciliatory policy of his brother, a glorious future awaits the empire.


As one, who under pay of priest or pope,
Painteth an altar picture boldly bad,
Yet winning worship from the common eye,
Is less than one, who faltering day by day
Before the untouched canvas, dreams, and feels
An unaccomplished greatness: so is he
Who scrapes the skies and cleaves the patient air
For rhyming ecstasies to cheat the crowd,
That sees not in the stiller worshipper
The truer genius, who, in heights lone lost,
Forgets to interpret to a lesser sense.

O there do dwell among us minds divine,
In which th' etherial is so subtly mixed,
That only matter in its outward mien
To the observer shows. Such ever live
Unto themselves alone, in sweet still lives,
And die by all men misinterpreted.

Within a churchyard rise two honored urns
O'er graves not far removed. The one records
The 'genius of a Poet,' whose fitter fame
Lies in the volumes which his facile pen
Filled with the measure of redundant verse:
Before this urn the oft frequented sod
Is flattened with the tread of pensive feet.
The other simply bears the name and age
Of one who was 'a Merchant,' and bequeathed
A fair estate with numerous charities:
Before this urn the grass grows rank and green.

I knew them both in life, and thus to me
They measured in their lives their effigies:
He who the pen did wield with facile power,
Created what he wrote, and to the ear
With tact, not inspiration, wrought the sounds
[Pg 275]To careful cadence; but the heart was cold
As the chill marble where the sculptor traced
Curious conceits of fancy. Let him pass,
His name not undervalued, for his fame
Shall in maturer ages lie as still
As doth his neighbor's now.

Turn we to him.
He was a man to whom the general eye
Bent with the confidence of daily trust
In things of daily use: a man 'of means,
—Sagacious, honest, plodding, punctual,—
Revolving in the rank of those whose shields
Bear bags of argent on a field of gold,
His life, to most men, was what most men's are,—
Unceasing calculation and keen thrift;
Unvarying as the ever-plying loom,
Which, moving in same limits day by day,
Weaves mesh on mesh, in tireless gain of goods.
But I, that knew him better than the herd,
Yet saw him less, knew that in him which lives
Still gracious and still plentiful to me
Now he hath passed away from me and them.
This man, whose talk on busy marts to men
Teemed with the current coin of thrifty trade,
—Exchanges, credits, money rates, and all,—
Hath stood with me upon a silent hill,
When the last flush of the dissolving day
Fainted before the moonlight, and, as 'twere
Unconscious of my listening, uttered there
The comprehensions of a soul true poised
With elemental beauty, giving tongue
Unto the dumbness of the blissful air.
So have I seen him, too, within his home,
When, newspaper on knee, his earnest gaze
Seemed scanning issues from the money list;
But comments came not, till my curious eye
Led out his meditation into words,
Thought-winding upward into sphery light,
So utterly unearthly and sublime,
That all the man of fact fled out of sense,
And visual refinement filled the space.
Oft hath he told me, nothing was so blind
As the far-seeing wisdom of the world,
And none within it knew him, save himself,
And that so scantily, that but for faith
In a redeeming knowledge yet to come,
He would lie down and let his weakness die
In self-reclaiming dust.

After his death,
[Pg 276]I searched his papers, vainly, for a scrap
Whereon some dropped memento might record
His inner nature; but he nothing left—
Nothing of that deep life whose wondrous light
Guided him onward through the realms of sense,
And in a world of practical self-need
Sustained him with a glory unexpressed.

And thus it is that round the Poet's urn,
The sod is beaten down with pensive feet:
And thus it is that where the Merchant lies,
The grass, untrodden, groweth rank and green.


I had passed my last examinations, and had received my diploma authorizing me to practise medicine, and I still lingered in the vicinity of Edinburgh, partly because my money was nearly exhausted, and partly from the very natural aversion I felt from quitting a place where three very happy and useful years had been spent. After waiting many weeks—for the communication between the opposite shores of the Atlantic were not then so rapid as now—I received a large packet of letters from 'home,' all of them filled with congratulations on my success, and among them were letters from my dear father and a beloved uncle, at whose instance (he was himself a physician) my father had sent me abroad to complete my medical education. My father's letter was even more affectionate than usual, for he was highly gratified with my success, and he counselled me to take advantage of the peace secured by the battle of Waterloo to visit the continent, which for many years (with the exception of a brief period) had been closed to all persons from Great Britain; he enclosed me a draft on a London banker for a thousand pounds. My uncle's letter was scarcely less affectionate; my Latin thesis (I had sent my father and him a copy) had especially pleased him; and after urging me to take advantage of my father's kindness, he added that he had placed a thousand pounds at my disposition, with the same London banker on whom my draft was drawn. A letter of introduction to a French family was enclosed in the letter, and he engaged me to visit them, for they had been his guests for a long time when the first Revolution caused them to fly France, and they were under other obligations to him; which I afterward learned from themselves was a pecuniary favor more than once renewed during their residence with him. Ten thousand dollars was a good deal of money to be placed at the disposition of a young man as his pocket money for eighteen months, even after a large deduction had been made from it for a library and professional instruments.

Before I quitted Edinburgh, I received a letter from the gentleman to whom my uncle had given me an introduction; he acquainted me that my uncle had informed him that I was about visiting France, and that he had taken the liberty of introducing me to him. The Marquis de —— (such was his title—his name I omit for obvious rea[Pg 277]sons) expressed with great warmth his delight at having it in his power to exhibit the gratitude he felt to my uncle, and urged me with the most pressing terms to come at once to his home, and pass away there at least so much time as might accustom me to the spoken French language (I could easily read it), that my visit to Paris might be more profitable and agreeable—and it should be both, he was so good as to say, at least as far as it depended on himself and his friends. I wrote him by the return mail to thank him for his kindness, and to inform him that I should at once set out for his hospitable home. I shall never forget the six months I passed away in the Chateau de Bardy: the happiness of those days was checkered only by my departure and by the incident I shall presently relate. And even after I quitted that noble mansion, the kindness of its inmates still watched over me, and opened homes to me even in that great Maelstrom of life—Paris.

It was toward the end of the month of October—the most delightful month of the seasons in France—as I was returning on foot from Orleans to the Chateau de Bardy, from a rather prolonged pedestrian exploration in that interesting neighborhood, where I had accurately examined all of the curiosities, thanks to an ample memoir of my noble host (in those days 'Handbooks' were unknown, and Murray was busy publishing Byron and Moore), when I thought I caught a glimpse of some soldiers. I was not mistaken: on the road before me a Prussian regiment was marching. I quickened my pace to hear the military music, for I was extremely partial to it; but the band ceased playing, and no sound was heard except an occasional roll of the kettle-drum at long intervals to mark the uniform step of the soldiers. After following them for a half hour, I saw the regiment enter a small plain, surrounded by a fir grove. I asked a captain, whose acquaintance I had made, if his men were about to be drilled.

'No,' said he, 'they are about to try, and perhaps to shoot, a soldier of my company for having stolen something from the house where he was billeted.'

'What,' said I, 'are they going to try, condemn, and execute him, all in the same moment?'

'Yes,' said he, 'those are the provisions of the capitulation.'

This word 'capitulation' was to him an unanswerable argument, as if everything had been provided for in the capitulation, the crime and the punishment, justice and humanity.

'And if you have any curiosity to see it,' added the captain, 'I will place you where you may see everything. It won't be long.'

It may be from my professional education, but the truth is, I have always been fond of witnessing these melancholy spectacles; I persuade myself that I shall discover the solution of the enigma—death—on the face of a man in full health, whose life is suddenly severed. I followed the captain. The regiment was formed in a hollow square; in the rear of the second rank and near the edge of the grove, some soldiers were digging a grave. They were commanded by the third lieutenant, for in the regiment everything was done with order, and there is a certain form observed even in the digging of a man's grave. In the centre of the hollow square eight officers were seated on drums; a ninth officer was on their right, and some distance before them, negligently writing something, and using his knees as his desk; he was evidently filling up the forms simply because it was against the 'regulations' that a man should be killed without the usual forms. The accused was called up. He was a tall, fine-looking young man, with a noble and gentle face. A woman (the only witness in the cause) came up with him. But when the colonel began the examination of the woman, the soldier stopped him, saying:

'It is useless asking her any ques[Pg 278]tions. I am going to confess everything: I stole a handkerchief in that lady's house.

The Colonel. What! Piter! You have been stealing! We all thought you incapable of such a thing!

Piter. It is true, Colonel, I have always tried to pass as an honest man, and a good fellow. Oh! I tell you, it wan't for me I stole the handkerchief. 'Twas for Mary.

The Colonel. Who is Mary?

Piter. Mary? Oh! she lives yonder.... at home.... just outside of Areneberg.... don't you remember the big apple-tree?.... Oh! I shall never see her again....

The Colonel. I don't understand you, Piter; explain yourself.

Piter. Why, Colonel.... but read this letter.

He gave the colonel a letter, which the latter read aloud, and every word of which was engraved on my mind, and still is as present to my memory as though I heard them an hour ago. It was as follows:

My dear, dear Piter:—I take advantage of recruit Arnold's leaving, for he has enlisted in your regiment, to send you this letter, and a silk purse I have made for you. Oh! I have hidden from father to work it, for he is always scolding me for loving you so much, and is always telling me that you will never come back. But you will come back, won't you! Even if you never come back, I will always love you just the same. I promised myself to you the day you picked up my blue handkerchief at the Areneberg dance, and brought it to me. Oh! when shall I see you again? The only pleasure I have is to hear that your officers esteem you, and your comrades love you. Everybody says you are an honest man and a good fellow. But you have still two years to serve. Serve them quickly, because then we shall be married. Good-by, dear, dear Piter, and believe me, your own dear


P.S. Try to send me, too, something from France, not because I'm afraid I shall forget you, but I want something from you to carry always about me. Kiss what you send me. I know I shall find at once where you kissed it.

When the colonel finished reading the letter, Piter said:

'Arnold gave me this letter last night when I received my billet paper. For my life's sake I could not sleep; I lay awake all night long, thinking of home and of Mary. She asked for something from France. I had no money. I drew three months' advance last week to send home to my brother and my cousin. This morning, when I got up to go, I opened my window. A blue handkerchief was hanging on a clothes line; it looked like Mary's; it was the same color, the same white lines; I was so weak as to take it, and put it in my knapsack. I went out into the street; I was sorry for what I had done; I was going back to the house with it just when this lady ran after me. The handkerchief was found in my knapsack. This is all the truth. The capitulation orders me to be shot. Shoot me, but don't despise me.'

The judges could not conceal their emotion; but when the balloting took place, he was unanimously condemned to death. He heard his sentence with sang-froid; after it was passed on him, he went up to his captain and asked him to lend him four francs. The captain gave them to him. I then saw Piter go to the woman to whom the blue handkerchief had been restored, and I heard him say:

'Madame, here are four francs; I don't know whether your handkerchief is worth more, but even if it is, I pay dear enough for it to engage you to knock off the rest.'

Taking the handkerchief from her, he kissed it, and gave it to the captain.

'Captain,' said he, 'in two years you'll be returning home; when you go toward Areneberg, ask for Mary; give her this blue handkerchief, but don't tell her how dearly I purchased it.'[Pg 279]

Piter then kneeled and prayed fervently; when his prayers were ended, he arose and walked with a firm step to the place of execution. I forgot that I was a scientific man, and I walked down into the woods to avoid seeing the end of this cruel tragedy. A volley of musketry soon told me that all was over.

I returned to the fatal spot an hour afterward; the regiment had marched away; all was calm and silent. While following the edge of the grove, going to the highway, I perceived at a short distance before me traces of blood, and a mound of freshly heaped earth. I took a branch from one of the fir trees, and made a rude cross.

I placed it at the head of poor Piter's grave, now forgotten by every body except by me, and perhaps by Mary.


Gold, next to iron, is the most widely diffused metal upon the surface of our globe. It occurs in granite, the oldest rock known to us, and in all the rocks derived from it; it is also found in the veinstones which traverse other geological formations, but has never been found in any secondary formation. It is, however, much more common in alluvial grounds than among primitive and pyrogenous rocks. It is found disseminated, under the form of spangles, in the silicious, argillaceous, and ferruginous sands of certain plains and rivers, especially in their junction, at the season of low water, and after storms and temporary floods. It is the only metal of a yellow color; it is readily crystallizable, and always assumes one or more of the symmetrical shapes, such as the cube or regular octahedron. It affords a resplendent polish, and may be exposed to the atmosphere for any length of time, without suffering any change; it is remarkable for its beauty; is nineteen times heavier than water, and, next to platinum, the heaviest known substance; its malleability is such, that a cubic inch will cover thirty-five hundred square feet; its ductility is such, that a lump of the value of four hundred dollars could be drawn into a wire which would extend around the globe. It is first mentioned in Genesis ii, 11. It was found in the country of Havilah, where the rivers Euphrates and Tigris unite and discharge their waters into the Persian gulf.

The relative value of gold to silver in the days of the patriarch Abraham was one to eight; at the period of B.C. 1000, it was one to twelve; B.C. 500, it was one to thirteen; at the commencement of the Christian era, it was one to nine; A.D. 500, it was one to eighteen; A.D. 1100, it was one to eight; A.D. 1400, it was one to eleven; A.D. 1613, it was one to thirteen; A.D. 1700, it was one to fifteen and a half; which latter ratio, with but slight variation, it has maintained to the present day. Gold was considered bullion in Palestine for a long period after silver had been current as money. The first mention of gold money in the Bible is in David's reign (B.C. 1056), when that king purchased the threshing floor of Oman for six hundred shekels of gold by weight. In the early period of Grecian history the quantity of the precious metals increased but slowly; the circulating medium did not increase in proportion with the quantity of bullion. In the earliest days of Greece, the precious metals existed in great abundance in the Levant. Cabul and Little Thibet[Pg 280] (B.C. 500) were abundant in gold. It seems to be a well ascertained fact, that it was obtained near the surface; so that countries, which formerly yielded the metal in great abundance, are now entirely destitute of it. Crœsus (B.C. 560) coined the golden stater, which contained one hundred and thirty-three grains of pure metal. Darius, son of Hystaspes (B.C. 538), coined darics, containing one hundred and twenty-one grains of pure metal, which were preferred, for several ages throughout the East, for their fineness. Next to the darics were some coins of the reigns of the tyrants of Sicily: of Gelo (B.C. 491); of Hiero (B.C. 478); and of Dionysius (B.C, 404). Specimens of the two former are still preserved in modern cabinets. Darics are supposed to be mentioned in the latter books of the Old Testament, under the name of drams. Very few specimens of the daric have come down to us; their scarcity may he accounted for by the fact that they were melted down under the type of Alexander. Gold coin was by no means plenty in Greece until Philip of Macedon had put the mines of Thrace into full operation, about B.C. 360. Gold was also obtained by the Greeks from Asia Minor, the adjacent islands, which possessed it in abundance, and from India, Arabia, Armenia, Colchis, and Troas. It was found mixed with the sands of the Pactolus and other rivers. There are only about a dozen Greek coins in existence, three of which are in the British Museum; and of the latter, two are staters, of the weight of one hundred and twenty-nine grains each. About B.C. 207, gold coins were first struck off at Rome, and were denominated aurei, four specimens of which are in the institution before alluded to. Their weight was one hundred and twenty-one grains. Gold coins were first issued in France by Clovis, A.D. 489; about the same time they were issued in Spain by Amalric, the Gothic king; in both kingdoms they were called trientes. They were first issued in England A.D. 1257, in the shape of a penny. Florins were next issued, in 1344, of the value of six shillings. The guinea was first issued in 1663, of Guinea gold. In 1733 all the gold coins—nobles, angels, rials, crowns, units, lions, exurgats, etc., etc., were called in and forbidden to circulate. The present sovereign was first issued in 1817.

From the commencement of the Christian era to the discovery of America, the amount of gold obtained from the surface and bowels of the earth is estimated to be thirty-eight hundred millions of dollars; from the date of the latter event to the close of 1842, an addition of twenty-eight hundred millions was obtained. The discovery and extensive working of the Russian mines added, to the close of 1852, six hundred millions more. The double discovery of the California mines in 1848, and of the Australia mines in 1851 has added, to the present time, twenty-one hundred millions; making a grand total of ninety-three hundred millions of dollars. The average loss by wear and tear of coin is estimated to be one-tenth of one per cent, per annum; and the loss by consumption in the arts, by fire and shipwreck, at from one to three millions per annum.

A cubic inch of gold is worth (at £3 17s. 10½d., or $18.69 per ounce) two hundred and ten dollars; a cubic foot, three hundred and sixty-two thousand eight hundred and eighty dollars; a cubic yard, nine millions nine hundred and seventeen thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars. The amount of gold in existence, at the commencement of the Christian era, is estimated to be four hundred and twenty-seven millions of dollars; at the period of the discovery of America, it had diminished to fifty-seven millions; after the occurrence of that event, it gradually increased, and in 1600, it attained to one hundred and five millions; in 1700, to three hundred and fifty-one millions; in 1800, to eleven hundred and twenty-five millions; in 1843, to two[Pg 281] thousand millions; in 1853 to three thousand millions; and at the present time, the amount of gold in existence is estimated to be forty-eight hundred millions of dollars; which, welded into one mass, could be contained in a cube of twenty-four feet. Of the amount now in existence, three thousand millions is estimated to be in coin and bullion, and the remainder in watches, jewelry, plate, etc., etc.

The Russian gold mines were discovered in 1819, and extend over one third of the circumference of the globe, upon the parallel of 55° of north latitude. Their product, since their discovery to the present time, has amounted to eight hundred millions of dollars. The California gold mines were discovered by William Marshall, on the ninth day of February, 1848, at Sutter's Mill, upon the American Fork, a tributary of the Sacramento, and extend from 34° to 49° of north latitude. Their product, since their discovery to the present time, has amounted to one thousand and forty-seven millions of dollars. The Australia gold mines were discovered by Edward Hammond Hargraves, on the twelfth day of February, 1851, in the Bathurst and Wellington districts, and extend from 30° to 38° of south latitude. Their product, since their discovery to the present time, has amounted to nine hundred and eleven millions of dollars. The finest gold is obtained at Ballurat, and the largest nugget yet obtained weighed twenty-two hundred and seventeen ounces, valued at forty-one thousand dollars. In shape it resembled a continent with a peninsula attached by a narrow isthmus. The annual product of gold at the commencement of the Christian era is estimated at eight hundred thousand dollars; at the period of the discovery of America it had diminished to one hundred thousand dollars; after the occurrence of that event it gradually increased, and in 1600 it attained to two millions; and in 1700, to five millions; in 1800, to fifteen millions; in 1843, to thirty-four millions; in 1850, to eighty-eight millions; in 1852, to two hundred and thirty-six millions; but owing to the falling off of the California as well as the Australia mines, the product of the present year will not probably exceed one hundred and ninety millions.

Since 1792 to the present time, the gold coinage of the United States mint has amounted to seven hundred and forty millions of dollars, of which six hundred and fifty-five millions have been issued since 1850. The gold coinage of the French mint, since 1726, has amounted to eighty-seven hundred millions of francs, of which fifty-two hundred and fifty millions have been issued since 1850. The gold coinage of the British mint, since 1603, has amounted to two hundred and eighty millions of pounds sterling; of which seventy-five millions have been issued since 1850. The gold coinage of the Russian mint, since 1664, has amounted to five hundred and twenty-six millions of roubles, of which two hundred and sixty millions have been issued since 1850. The sovereign of England contains one hundred and twelve grains of pure metal; the new doubloon of Spain, one hundred and fifteen; the half eagle of the United States, one hundred and sixteen; the gold lion of the Netherlands, and the double ounce of Sicily, one hundred and seventeen grains each; the ducat of Austria, one hundred and six; the twenty-franc piece of France, ninety; and the half imperial of Russia, ninety-one grains. A commissioner has been despatched by the United States Government to England, France, and other countries of Europe, to confer with their respective governments upon the expediency of adopting a uniform system of coinage throughout the world, so that the coins of one country may circulate in any other, without the expense of recoinage—a consummation most devoutly to be wished.

The fact that the large amount of gold which has been thrown into the[Pg 282] monetary circulation of the world within the last fourteen years, has exercised so little influence upon the money market or prices generally, is at variance with the predictions of financial writers upon both sides of the Atlantic. The increase in the present production of gold, compared with former periods, is enormous; and it would not be surprising if, in view of the explorations which are going on in Africa, Japan, Borneo, and other countries bordering upon the equator, the product of the precious metals within the next decade should be a million of dollars daily. The price of gold has not diminished, although the annual product has increased fivefold within twenty years.


I am at last resolved. This taunting devil shall possess me no longer. At least I will meet him face to face. I have read that the face of a dead man is as though he understood the cause of all things, and was therefore profoundly at rest, I will know the cause of my wretched fate, and will be at rest. My pistols lie loaded by my side—I shall die to-night. To-morrow, twelve awestruck and trembling men will come and look at me. They will ask each other: 'What could have been his motive for the rash act.' Rash! my face will be calmer than theirs, for my struggles in this life will be over; and I shall have gained—perhaps knowledge, perhaps oblivion, but certainly victory. And to-night, as the clock strikes twelve, there will be shrieks and horror in this room. No matter: I shall have been more kind to those who utter them than they know of, for they will not have known the cause until they have read these lines.

And yet most people would esteem me a happy man. I am rich in all that the world calls riches. I sit in a room filled with luxuries; a few steps would bring me into the midst of guests, among whom are noble men and women, sweet music, rare perfumes, glitter and costly show. My life has been spent amid the influences of kind friends, good parents, and culture in all that is highest and worthiest in literature and art; and I can recall scenes as I write, of days that would have been most happy but for the blight that has been upon me always. I think I see now the pleasant parlor in the old house at home. Here sits our mother, a little gray, but brisk and merry as a cricket; there our father, a well-preserved gentleman of fifty, rather gratified at feeling the first aristocratic twinges of gout, and whose double eyeglass is a chief feature in all he says; there is Bill, poring over Sir William Napier's 'Peninsular War;' there is Charles, just rushing in, with a face the principal features in which are redness and hair, to tell us that there is another otter in the mill stream in the meadow; there is my little sister, holding grave talk with dear Dollie, and best (or worst) of all, there is cousin Lucy—cousin Lucy, with her brown hair, and soft, loving eyes and quiet ways. Where are they all now? Charley went to London, was first the favorite of the clubs, next a heartless rake, and finally, being worn out, and, like Solomon, convinced that all was vanity, went into the Church to become that most contemptible of all creatures, a fashionable preacher; my[Pg 283] father and mother are laid side by side in the aisle of the old church on the hill, where their virtues are sculptured in marble, for the information of anxiously curious mankind; sister Mary no longer talks to dolls, though a flock of little girls, who call her mother, do. Bill, poor Bill, lies far away in the Crimea, with the bullet of a gray-coated Russian in his heart. And Lucy—but it is to her I owe what I am, and what I am about to do.

I loved her—love her still. Will she know what these words mean, when she finds them here? I cannot tell. They are enough for me. Not for you are they written, ball-room lounger, whispering of endless devotion between every qaudrille; not to you, proud beauty, taking and absorbing declarations as you would an ice; not for you, chattering monkey of the Champs Elyseés, raving of your grande passion for Eloise, so charmante, so spirituelle; nor for you, Eloise aforesaid, with your devilish devices, stringing hearts in your girdle as Indians do scalps; not for you, dancing Spaniard, with your eternal castagnets, whispering just one word to your dark-eyed señorita, as you hand her another perfumed cigarette; not for you, lounging Italian, hissing intrigues under the shadow of an Athenian portico, or stealing after your veiled incognita, as her shadow flits over the place where the blood of Cæsar dyed the floor of the Capitol, or where the knife of Virginius flashed in the summer sun—not for one of you, for I have seen and despise you all. To you all love is a sealed book, which you shall never open—a tree of knowledge that will never turn into a curse for you—a beautiful serpent that, as you gaze upon its changing hues, will never sting you to the death.

I never told her. I would wait for hours to see her pass, if she went out alone—but I never told her. I would trace her footsteps where she had taken her daily walk; I would wait beneath her window at night, to see but her shadow upon the blind, until she put out her lamp, and left the stars and myself the only watchers there—but I never told her. I would lay flowers in her way, happy if she wore them on her bosom, or wreathed them in her hair, as she sometimes would—but she never knew from whom they came. I sickened at my heart for her; I pined, oh! how I pined for her, and worshipped her as a saint, the hope, the glory, the heaven of my life—but I never told her.

Did she love me? No. And, while I loved, I feared her. She never made me her companion, never took my arm; would always sit opposite me in the carriage instead of by my side; if in a game of forfeits, I forced the embrace I had won, she would struggle with tears of anger, though she had given her cheek to William with a blush but a few minutes before. If I had not been her abject slave, I could have torn her in pieces. Alas! alas! we were but boys, and she a girl still. How many, long years I have suffered since then!

One night I could not sleep, but sat up in my room thinking. Why should she not love me? I am esteemed well-looking and intelligent, thought I, looking into the glass, as if to confirm my satisfactory judgment of myself. I gazed long and earnestly. Yes, certainly handsome, said I with my lips, but—fool! fool! said my mocking eyes; for at that moment there came out of their depths—there came a devil! Yes, a devil that glared at me from the glass! a devil that was, and yet was not, myself! a devil that had my form, and looked out of my face, but with its own cruel, mocking eyes! And he and I confronted each other in that horrible glass. I know not how long, but they told me afterward that I was found next morning making ghastly faces at myself.

And then I was carried by spirits into a land of visions, where for a hundred years, or for a moment of time, I was flying through space, and clouds, and fire[Pg 284]!—groping through dark caverns, millions of miles long, crying wildly for light and air; now a giant, entangled in myriads of chains that I could not break; now a reptile, writhing away from footsteps that made the earth reel and tremble beneath their tread; and at last waking, as if out of sleep, a poor, puny thing, with limbs like shadows, laughing or crying by turns for very feebleness.

As I arose from that bed I knew that I was changed. It was a secret thought, a secret that I have kept till now. I was not quite sure at first, but it thus fell out that I knew it well:

One day William and I had been sitting for some time in the library, he reading and I looking at the faces that glowed in the red-hot coal, and thinking of Lucy and him.

'Where is Lucy?' said I, at length,

'Gone out into the village,' he answered, without looking from the book; 'first to buy gloves, then to see Miss Trip, the dancing mistress, who is ill, then to Hurst Park to tea, whence I am to fetch her at nine o'clock.'

'You seem to know all her movements,' I said, with a sneer.

'Certainly, he rejoined, 'she told me all that I have told you.'

'You always are in her confidence,' said I, very angrily, as my blood rose.

'I believe so,' said he, calmly; though he looked at me with some surprise.

'And I never,' said I, between my teeth.

'That,' he said, 'is a matter with which I have no concern.'

I ground my teeth, but I kept quiet. I kept quiet, though every nerve in my body tingled with rage, and my boiling blood rushed into my eyes till I could hardly see. 'Do you know,' I shouted, 'do you know that I love her—would die a thousand deaths for her?'

He clasped his hands with a quick motion, as he said in a low voice, 'And so do I; and so would I.'

'Beast, fiend!' I screamed, 'does she—does she——' I could not get out the accursed words.

'We have been engaged,' he answered, divining what I would have asked, 'we have been engaged for some time, and——'

He did not finish the sentence, for I sprang at him, crushed him to the floor, squeezed his throat till his face grew black and the froth oozed out from his lips, beat his head upon the hearthstones till he lay still and bleeding, and then sought my knife. It was up stairs. I flew to get it. It lay upon my dressing table before the glass, and I snatched at it. Great God! as I did so, another arm was thrust forth—not mine, I swear, if I live a thousand years; and as I recoiled, I saw in that glass a fiend step back. Not me, not me!—but a fiend with bloody hands, and a foul leer upon its face, and a fierce, cruel laugh in its glittering eyes. It was he, it was he! It was the devil that had possessed me before, come back again. And as I shuddered and gasped, and turned away, and then looked again into those eyes that pierced me through, and saw the cold, bitter smile that was on the face before me, I knew that the fiend would leave me never more, and that I was mad!

What was a quarrel with my brother now? I stole back, and, lifting him up, carried him to his room, where I washed the blood from his face. When he came to himself I fell at his feet and besought his pardon, and that he would keep what had happened a secret. He forgave me. And I believe the only lie he ever told in all his life was when he told Lucy that he had cut his head by falling on a jagged stone.

Oh, how often after that my fingers itched to be at his throat again; but I always quailed before his steady eye.

I pass over the next few years, except to say that I went to college, where I was shunned by all, though never alone: was a dunce, and plucked twice. Perhaps it was I who shunned others, for[Pg 285] had I not society in the constant presence of my Familiar? I was of course a dunce, for my brain was never steady enough to carry me over the Pons Asinorum, or to make a Latin verse with even decent correctness. I went away in disgust. I think if I had stayed longer I should have torn somebody, or else myself.

I went next into the army. It was a new era in my life, and, strange to say, my devil left me for a while, so that I was able to master the details of my profession, and to be esteemed a good and careful officer. There was hope, too, of active service; for the Russian Eagle was slowly unfolding his vast wings for a new descent into the plains of Europe. William, married to Her now, who was a lieutenant in the Foot Guards, wrote to me to say that he hoped we should be really brothers, now that we were to meet before an enemy; and the next day out came the declaration of war. When I had read it, I drew my sword, and, as I ran my eye along its cold, sharp blade from hilt to point, I thought how strange was its power to let out a man's life, and turn him, in a moment, into a heap of inanimate carrion.

Of course I am not going to tell the history of the great siege in the Crimea, for every child knows by heart the tale of the clambering fight up the Alma's steeps, of the withering volley that suddenly crashed out of the gray twilight on the hill of Inkerman, of the long months of starvation, of the final feu d'enfer, beneath which the Russian host crowded over the narrow bridge that saved them from their foe. But of the fatal charge of the Six Hundred I must speak, for I was one of them, and I have cursed its memory a thousand times.

I well remember that day—how restless I was the night before, and how I listened to the dropping shots on either side, hoping almost that one would find its way to my heart.

We were brigaded by daylight. Some manœuvres on an extensive scale were to be attempted, I believe, one of which was to outflank some batteries of field artillery by which we had suffered much loss. They were drawn up at the side and end of the valley of Balaklava, and we were at the other end, and were ordered, it has since been said in error, to charge down the valley upon them.

How beautiful the sun rose that day! The dewy odors from a thousand flowers came floating up from that green valley as he rolled away the mists from the mountain tops, and showed us the dusky masses far below, from which the shot came whizzing every now and then. Gods! how we exulted at the sight. Along our line rose a wild cheer, as our horses tugged and strained at their bits, and every man's bridle was drawn tight. Soon a puff of smoke came from a hillock near, and the stern command 'draw swords' ran along from troop to troop, as the bright steel flashed in the sunshine like a river of light. Then out pealed the trumpets, and away we went, amidst a storm of ringing harness, and clashing scabbards, and flying banners, and thundering hoofs that made the ground shake. On we dashed, straight across the valley, in front of a point-blank fire, that emptied many a saddle as we flew along, straight upon the mass of smoke and flame which hid those fatal batteries—straight at the gunners, dealing out wild blows upon them, while they fought with swords, or axes, or clubbed muskets, or gun spongers, or anything that could cut or strike a blow.

As for me, I only know that I was in the first line, and among the first in the mêlée; where my first blow lighted upon the bare head of a Russian, whose blood spouted high as I cut at him with all my force; for after that a mist came over my eyes, and I fought in the dark, and then came oblivion.

When I awoke to consciousness, which I did not for several days, I found that I was wounded, and had been in danger of my life, though I should most probably recover. As soon as I was strong enough to talk much, I[Pg 286] was told that my bravery had been very conspicuous, and that I had been honorably mentioned in the order of the day. Four Russians, it seemed, had died by my hand, and being at last cut on the head by a sabre, I was with difficulty held on my horse when the retreat was sounded. I had raved, it also appeared, incessantly; but now the fever had left me. Good. It was fever, they thought, which had held possession of me. But those who said so did not know what power it was that nerved my arm, and then, having worked his devilish wile, flung me away like a broken toy. Fever! They did not know that it was a 'fever' that had cursed me for twelve long years.

But I got well, as those who were about me said, and, having been reported fit for duty, made my appearance at parade, and afterward, the same day, at mess.

My brother was dead. One day, while I lay ill, he and a party of his brother officers were idly chatting in one of the more advanced trenches, when a minié ball struck him, and he died without a word or groan. They carried him out, and he lies at the little graveyard at Scutari, with thousands of others who fell in the Great Siege. His sword and other relics had been kept for me, and among them was a portrait of Cousin Lucy, which he had worn next his heart. I should have to take it to her. The general in command had already written to her, with the news of her bereavement.

I was saying that I rejoined the mess. All my comrades congratulated me but one. He was a young fellow, recently exchanged from another regiment, who would one day wear the strawberry leaf upon his coronet—a cold, supercilious, prying puppy, whom I hated at once. When we were introduced, our mutual bow was studied in its cold formality—on his side so much so as to be almost insulting, considering the place and circumstances. To this day I believe that he, the only one of all there, had suspected me, and I felt that I must be perpetually on my guard against his curious glances. I was sure that one day we should have to strive for the mastery. And we did—sooner than I expected; for, as the colonel filled his glass, and, calling upon the rest to follow his example, drank a welcome to me back among them, this knave, sitting opposite at the time, fixed his eyes upon me as he lifted his glass to his lips, and did not drink. As our looks met, I knew that he mocked me, and I flung my wine in his face, and raved.

Those present forced me away, and took me to my tent, where they made me lie down. I was supposed to be delirious from weakness and the effects of my wound, and I heard them say, 'He has come out too soon; that wine he drank at dinner was too much for him.' Good again! It was the wine! 'But,' thought I, 'as soon as this arm shall be able to strike or thrust, I will have the life of that sneering devil, or he mine.' And I kept my word. I met him within ten days afterward, walking at some distance from the camp, quite alone, as I was myself.

'Good morning,' said he; 'you are about again, as I am glad to see.'

I said to him, 'Do you forget the time when I was out before?'

'Surely not,' said he; 'but I knew that you had been ill, and was not master of yourself.'

'And so forgave me?' I rejoined, in a passion.

'And so forgave,' said he; 'why not?'

'Then learn,' said I, 'that I was master of myself; that I am now; that you insulted me grossly; that the only words I have for you are—draw, sir, draw!'

'Stop!' he cried, as I drew my sword; 'pray come back with me to the camp. You are ill; pray, come back; I have no quarrel with you, believe me.'

But I struck him on the breast with[Pg 287] my swordhilt, so that he nearly fell. Then he recovered himself, and, still crying out that he had no quarrel with me, drew and stood upon his guard, while I rushed upon him.

He was cool, and I furious. I believe he could have killed me easily if he had wished, but he only parried my rapid blows. At last, however, as I pressed him more closely, he grew paler, and began to fight in earnest. What then could he do against a madman? I bore him back, step by step, till a mass of rock stopped him; and there I kept him, with the hissing steel playing about his head, until he dropped upon one knee and his sword fell from his hand. Then I paused, waiting to see him die as I would a wounded hare, as die I knew he must, for I had pierced him with twenty wounds. He knelt thus, and looked, not at me, but at the setting sun; and then his head drooped and he rolled over, and was dead.

And as I wiped my sword on the grass, I shouted with glee.

Of course, I told no one. It was but another secret added to the many that had torn my heart and brain. Nor, when the body was found, stripped by camp followers, and supposed to be killed by a reconnoitring party of the enemy, did I betray myself by word or look.

At last the war was over, and we were ordered home. I bade farewell to the blue hills of the Crimea with secret joy, and as the shore faded from my sight, the memory of all that had happened to me during the Great Siege faded from my memory like a dream.

Upon our landing, I went as soon as possible home. How green the hedges were, how sweet the scent of the violets, how soft the grass, how grand the arching oaks and giant elms, as I journeyed along on foot. Surely I have suffered enough, I said to myself, as I passed through meadow, and copse, and lane, and over stiles, and to the old park at last. Surely I have suffered enough, I said, as I came to the lodge gate, where the keeper's wife looked curiously at my uniform and bronzed face, and the crape on my arm, and then ran into the lodge to tell her husband that here was Master Horace come back. Surely there was peace in that old house, with its pointed gables, and moss-clad turrets, and ivied walls, and little gothic windows—where the old butler grasped my hand; and the maids came peeping out; and the old dog licked my face; where poor Lucy wept upon my breast—wept for that I had come back alone; and then put her little girl into my arms, to kiss dear Uncle Horace, come home once more.

But, when I went to bed that night, in the same glass that showed me my Enemy years before, I saw him looking at me, with his cruel smile, shining out of my own eyes.

What more remains to be told? But little; for it was but the old story. It is enough to say that I struggled on, hoping against hope; that I cheated myself with the maddest hope of all—that she might be brought to love me; that I one day prayed her to become my wife, and that she broke from me with terror and loathing; that I fled her presence, and was once more a wanderer over the earth; that my weary feet dragged me over the snows of Siberia, where the furred noble and the chained serf worked side by side; over the burning sands, where the brown Arab careers along upon his steed, his white burnous fluttering in the hot wind; over the broad prairies of America, where the Indian prowls with his trusty rifle, waiting for the wild beast; over the paths of the trackless deep; over the still wilder deserts and still more lonely deeps of revelry and vice;—what more than that I have come back again; that many guests are here to do honor to my return; that these are the last words which I shall ever write![Pg 288]


When 'mid the loud notes of the drum
And fife tones shrilling on the ear,
The music of our nation's hymns
Rose 'neath the elm trees loud and clear;
When on the Common's grassy plain
The city poured her countless throng,
And blessings fell like April rain
On each one as he marched along;

We parted,—hand close clasped in hand,
Telling the thoughts tongue could not speak;
Was it unmanly that our eyes
O'erflowed with love upon the cheek?
I hear thy cheery voice outspeak,
'Courage, the months will quickly fly,
And ere November chill and bleak
We meet at home, Ned, you and I.'

A livelier strain came from the band,
'God bless you' went from each to each;
A gazing eye, a waving hand,
Where hearts were all too full for speech.
He marched, obeying duty's call,
Of noblest nature, first to hear;
I, bound by fond domestic thrall,
In path of duty lingered here.

Slowly the summer months rolled on,
October harvested the corn,
November came with shortening days,
Passed by in mist and rain,—was gone,—
Yet still he came not; winter's snow
In feathery vesture clothed the trees,
Or, iceclad in a jewelled glow,
They sparkled in the chilly breeze.

Spring glowed along Potomac vales,
While north her footsteps tardier came,
For him the golden jasmine trails
O'er bright azaleas all aflame;
Still upon Yorktown's trampled fields,
O'er grassy plain and wooded swell,
Her sunny wealth the summer yields,
And still the word comes, 'All is well.'
[Pg 289]


'All of which I saw, and part of which I was.'


In the afternoon the exercises at the meeting house were conducted by Preston, who publicly catechized the negroes very much in the manner that is practised in Northern Sunday schools. When the services were over, and the family had gathered around the supper table, I said to him:

'I've an idea of passing the evening with Joe; he has invited me. Would it be proper for you and Mrs. Preston to go?'

'Oh, yes; and we will. I would like to have you see his mother. She is a wonderful woman, and, if in the mood, will astonish you.'

'I think you told me she is a native African?'

'Yes, she is. She was brought from Africa when a child. She has a dim recollection of her life there, and retains the language and superstitions of her race,' replied Preston, rising from the table. 'I think you had better go at once, for she retires early; Lucy and I will follow you as soon as we can.'

Joe's cabin was located nearly in the centre of the little collection of negro houses, and a few hundred yards from the mansion. It was of logs, a story and a half high, and had originally been only about twenty feet square. To the primitive structure, however, an addition of the same dimensions had been made, and as it then stretched for more than forty feet along the narrow bypath which separated the two rows of negro shanties, it presented quite an imposing appearance. A second addition in its rear, though it did not increase its dignity in the eyes of 'street' observers, added largely to its proportions and convenience.

The various epochs in Joe's history were plainly written on his dwelling. The original building noted the time when, a common field hand, he had married a wife, and set up housekeeping; the front addition marked the era when his industry, intelligence, and devotion to his master's interest had raised him above the dead level of black servitude, and given him the management of the plantation; and the rear structure spoke pleasantly of the time when old Deborah, disabled by age from longer service at 'the great house,' and too infirm to clamber up the steep ladder which led to Joe's attic bedrooms, had come to doze away the remainder of her days under her son's roof.

The cabin was furnished with two entrance doors, and suspecting that the one in the older portion led directly into the kitchen, I rapped lightly at the other. In a moment it opened, and Joe ushered me into the living room.

That apartment occupied the whole of the newer front, and had a cheerful, cosy appearance. Its floor was covered with a tidy rag carpet, evidently of home manufacture, and its plastered walls were decorated with tasteful paper, and hung with a number of neatly framed engravings. Opposite the doorway stood a large mahogany bureau, and over it, suspended from the ceiling by leathern cords, was a curiously contrived shelving, containing a score or more of well-worn books. Among them I noticed a small edition of 'Shakespeare,' Milton's 'Poems,' Goldsmith's 'England,' the six volumes of 'Comprehensive Commentary,' Taylor's 'Holy Living and Dying,' the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' a 'United States Gazetteer,' and a complete set of the theological writings of Swedenborg. Neat chintz curtains covered the small windows, a[Pg 290] number of brightly burnished brass candlesticks ornamented a plain wooden mantle over the broad fireplace, and a yellow-pine table, oiled and varnished, on which the 'tea things' were still standing, occupied the centre of the apartment.

Through an open door, at the right of the bureau, I caught a glimpse of the dormitory of the aged Africaness. As on the exterior of the building a brief epitome of Joe's history was written, so in that room a portion of his character was traced. Its comfortable and almost elegant furnishings told, plainer than any words, that he was a devoted and affectionate son. With its rich Brussels carpet, red window hangings, cosy lounge, neat centre table, and small black-walnut bureau, it might have been mistaken for the private apartment of a white lady of some pretensions.

It was a little after nightfall when I entered the cabin, but a bright fire, blazing on the hearth, gave me a full view of its occupants. Aggy, a tidily clad, middle-aged yellow woman, was clearing away the supper table, and Joe's mother was smoking a pipe in a large arm chair, in the chimney corner.

The old negress wore a black levantine gown, open in front, and gathered about the waist by a silken cord; a red and yellow turban, from underneath which escaped a few frosted locks, and a white cambric neckerchief that fell carelessly over her shoulders, and almost hid her withered, scrawny neck. She was upward of seventy, but so infirm that she appeared nearly a hundred. One of her lean, skinny arms, escaping from the loose sleeve of her dress, rested on her knee; and her bowed, bony frame leaned against the arm of her chair, as if incapable of sitting upright. Her features, with the exception of her nose, which curved slightly upward, were thin and regular; and her eyes were large, deep, and densely black, and seemed turned inward, as if gazing with a half-wondering stare at the strange mechanism which held together her queer frame-work of bones and gutta percha.

She was the old woman who had greeted Preston so affectionately on our arrival.

Turning to her as he tendered me a chair, Joe said:

'Mudder, dis am Mr. Kirke.'

Making a feeble effort to rise, and reaching out her trembling hand she exclaimed, in a voice just above a whisper:

'You'm welcome yere, right welcome, sar.'

'Thank you, aunty. Pray keep your seat; don't rise on my account.'

'Tank you, massa Kirke, fur comin' yere. It'm bery good ob you. Ole missy lub you, sar; you'm so good ter massa Robert. He'm my own chile, sar!'

This was undoubtedly a figure of speech, for the old woman's skin was altogether too black not to have given a trifle of its shading to the complexion of her children. It was not only black, but blue black, and of that peculiar hue which is seen only on the faces of native Africans.

Seeing that she had relinquished smoking, I said:

'Never mind me, aunty; I smoke myself sometimes.'

'Tank you, sar,' she replied, resuming her pipe, and relapsing into her previous position; 'ole wimmin lub 'backer, sar.'

The low tone in which this was said made me conclude that further conversation would be exhausting to her, so turning to Joe and Aggy—the latter had hurried through her domestic employments, and taken a seat near the fire—I entered into a general discussion of the old worthies that occupied Joe's book shelves.

I found the negro had taxed them for house room. He had levied on their best thoughts, and I soon experienced the uneasy sensation which one feels when he encounters a man who can 'talk him dry' on almost any[Pg 291] subject. On the single topic of the business to which I was educated, I might have displayed, had it not been Sunday night, a greater amount of information; but in the knowledge of every subject that was broached, the black was my superior.

The conversation had rambled on for a full half hour, the old negress meanwhile puffing steadily away, and giving no heed to it; when suddenly her pipe dropped from her mouth, her eyes closed, her bent figure became erect, and a quick, convulsive shiver passed over her. Thinking she was about to fall in a fit, I exclaimed:

'Joe! See! your mother!'

'Neber mind, sar,' he quietly replied; 'it'm nuffin'. Only de power am on her.'

A few more convulsive spasms succeeded, when the old woman's face assumed a settled expression; and swaying her body back and forth with a slow, steady motion, she commenced humming a low chant. Gradually it grew louder, till it broke into a strange, wild song, filling the room, and coming back in short, broken echoes from the adjoining apartments. Struck with astonishment, I was about to speak, when Joe, laying his hand on my arm, said:

'Hush, sar! It am de song ob de kidnap slave!'

It was sung in the African tongue, but I thought I heard, as it rose and fell in a wild, irregular cadence, the thrilling story of the stolen black; his smothered cries, and fevered moans in the slaver's hold; the shriek of the wind, and the sullen sound of the surging waves as they broke against the accursed ship; and, then—as the old negress rose and poured forth quick, broken volumes of song—the loud mirth of the drunken crew, mingling with what seemed dying groans, and the heavy splash of falling bodies striking the sea.

As she concluded, with a firm, stately step—showing none of her previous decrepitude—she approached me:

Seeing that I regarded her movements with a look of startled interest, Joe said:

'Leff har do what she likes, sar. She hab suffin' to say to you.'

Taking a small bag[1] from her bosom, and placing it in the open front of my waistcoat, she reached out her long, skinny arm, and placing her skeleton hand on the top of my head, chanted a low song. The words were mostly English, and the few I caught were something as follows:

'Oh, bress de swanga buckra man;
Bress wife an' chile ob buckra man.'
Bress all dat b'long to buckra man;
Barimo[2] bress de buckra man;
De good Lord bress de buckra man;
Bress, bress de swanga buckra man.'

As she finished the invocation, she took both my hands in hers, and leaning forward, and muttering a few low words, seemed trying to read the story imprinted on my palms. Her eyes were closed, and thinking she might be troubled to see me without the use of those organs, I looked inquiringly at her son.

'She don't need eyes, sar,' said Joe, answering my thought; 'she'll tell all 'bout you widout dem.'

As he said this, she dropped one of my hands, and raising her right arm, made several passes over my head, then resting her hand again upon it, she began chanting another low song:

'What der yer see, mudder?' asked Joe, leaning forward, with a look of intense interest on his face.

'A tall gemman-de swanga gemman—in a big city. De night am dark an' cole—bery cole. Pore little chile am wid him, an' he cole—bery cole; him cloes pore—bery pore. Dey come to a big hous'n—great light in de winders—an' dey gwo in—swanga gem[Pg 292]man an' pore chile. A great room dar, wid big fire, an' oh! sweet young missus. She jump up-swanga gemman speak to har, an' show de pore chile. She look sorry like, an' cry; den she frow har arm 'roun' de pore chile; take him to de fire, an' kiss him—kiss him ober an' ober agin.'

It was the scene when Kate first saw Frank, on the night of his mother's death. I said nothing, but Joe asked:

'Any more, mudder?'

'Yas. I sees a big city, anoder city, in de daytime. In dark room, upstars, am swanga gemman an' anoder buckra man—he bad buckra man. Buckra angel dar, too, a standin' 'side de swanga gemman, but swanga gemman doan't see har. She look jess like de pore chile. De swanga gemman git up, an' 'pear angry, bery angry, but he keep in. Talk hard to oder buckra man, who shake him head, an' look down. Swanga gemman den walk de room, an' talk fasser yit, but bad buckra man keep shakin' him head. Den swanga gemman stan' right ober de oder buckra man, an' de strong words come inter him froat. Him 'pears gwine to curse de buckra man, but de angel put har han' ober him moufh, an' say suffin' to him. Swanga gemman yeres, dough he doan't see har. Den he say nuffin' more, but gwo right 'way.'

It was the scene in Hallet's office, when I told him of his victim's death, and entreated him to provide for, if he did not acknowledge his child. The words which flashed upon my brain, and stayed the curse which rose to my lips, were those of the dying girl: 'Leave him to God!'

'Go on. Tell me what she said,' I exclaimed.

'Mudder doan't yere; she only see de pictur ob what hab been. Listen!' said Joe; and the old woman again spoke:

'I sees a big city—de fuss city, an' great hous'n—de fuss hous'n. De young missus am dar, wid de pore chile, an' a little chile dat look jess like she do; an' dar'm anoder bery little chile dar, too. Dey'm upstars in a room, wid a bed an' a candle burnin'. Dey'm gwine to bed. Young missus kneel down wid de two chil'ren, an' pray. An' side de pore chile, an' kneelin' down wid har arm roun' him neck, am de buckra angel. She pray, too. Swanga gemman in anoder room yere dem aprayin', an' he come an' look. He say nuffin', but he stan' dar, an' de big tear run down him cheek. De time come back to him when he wus a little chile, an' he pray like dem. He doan't pray 'nuff now!'

It was the last night I had passed at home. A feeling of indescribable awe crept over me, and I rose halfway from my seat.

'Sit still, sar,' said Joe, almost forcing me back into the chair. 'You'll break de power.'

'You know the past, old woman,' I exclaimed. 'Tell me the future!'

'Hush!' she replied, with an imperious tone. 'Dey'm comin'.'

During all this time she had stood with her hand on my head, as immovable as a marble statue. Her voice had a deep, strong tone, and her face wore a look of calm power. Nothing about her reminded me of the weak, decrepit old woman she had been but an hour before.

'Dey'm yere!' she said; and in another moment the door opened, and Preston and his wife entered.

Without rising or speaking, Joe motioned them to two vacant chairs. As they seated themselves, I exclaimed:

'She has told me all things that ever I did!'

'She has strange powers,' replied Preston.

'Hush, Robert Preston! De swanga gemman ax fur de future!'

Shading then her closed eyes with one hand, and leaning forward, as if peering into the far distance, the old negress laid her other hand again on my head, and continued:[Pg 293]

'I see a deep, wide riber flowin' on to de great sea. De swanga gemman, in strong boat, am on it; an' de young missus, an' de pore chile, an' one, two oder chile, am wid him. De storm strike de riber, an' raise de big wave, but de boat gwo on jess de same. De swanga gemman he doan't keer fur de storm, or de big wave, fur he got 'em all dar! An' I see anoder riber—not so deep, not so wide—flowin' on 'side de big riber, to de great sea; an' you' (looking at Preston), 'an' de good missus, an' one, two, free, four chile am dar. De wind blow ober dat riber an' raise de big wave, but de swanga gemman reach out him hand, an' de wave gwo down. An' I see a little riber flow out ob de big riber, an' de pore chile in a little boat am on it. An' a little riber come out ob de oder riber an' gwo into de oder little riber, an' a chile am on dat, too. De two little boats meet, an' de two chile gwo on togedder, but—de storm come dar, an'—de great rocks—oh! oh!' and, covering her face with her hands, she turned away.

'What more do you see? Tell me, Deborah!' exclaimed Preston, bending forward with breathless eagerness.

She raised her head, and seemed to look again in the same direction; then, in a low tone, said:

'I sees no more.'

'What of the other river? What of that?' he exclaimed, with the same breathless anxiety.

'I sees—de boat 'mong de rocks—de great rocks—an' you—dar—all by you'seff—all by you'seff—an'—O Barimo!' and, giving a low scream, she started back as if palsied with dread.

Springing to his feet, Preston seized her by both arms, and screamed out:

'What more! Tell me WHAT MORE!'

Drawing her tall form up to its full height, and looking at him with her closed eyes, she said, in a voice inexpressibly sad and tender:

'I sees de great rocks—de great fall—de great sea!' then pausing a moment, and pointing upward, she added: 'Robert Preston! Trust in God!'

Overcome with emotion, she staggered back to her seat. A few convulsive shudders passed over her; her eyes slowly opened, and—she was the same weak, old woman as before.

The next morning I bade adieu to my kind friends, and started again on my journey. Preston accompanied me as far as Wilmington, where we parted; he going on to Whitesville, in search of the new turpentine location; and I, proceeding by the Charleston boat, southward.


On my return to my home, a few weeks after the events narrated in the previous chapter, in pursuance of a promise made to Preston, I inserted an advertisement in the papers, which read somewhat as follows:

'Wanted, a suitable person to go South, as governess in a planter's family. She must be thoroughly educated, and competent to instruct a boy of twelve. Such a one may apply by letter;' etc., etc.

A score of replies flowed in within the few following days, but being excessively occupied with a mass of personal business, which had accumulated in my absence, I laid them all aside, till more than one week had elapsed. Then, one evening I took them home, and Kate and I opened the batch. As each one was read by my wife or myself, we commented on the character of the writers as indicated by the handwriting and general style of the epistles. Rejecting about two thirds as altogether unworthy of attention, we reserved the remaining half dozen for a second inspection. Among these, the one with the cramped, precise chirography was thought to come from an old maid. Another, whose five lines of rail fence covered a sheet nearly as large as a ten-acre lot, was the production of a strong-minded woman. A third, on tinted[Pg 294] paper, and dotted with blots and erasures, was from a fat lady, who wore her shoes down at the heel, and got up too late for breakfast. 'But here, Kate,' I exclaimed, as I opened the fourth missive, 'this one, in this firm yet lady-like hand—this one will do. Hear what it says:

Sir:—I think I can answer your requirements. A line addressed to Catharine Walley, B——, N.H., with full particulars, will receive immediate attention.

'That's the woman, Kate. A business man in petticoats! She can manage a boy of twelve!'

'Or a man of twice that age,' said Kate, quietly reading the letter. 'I wouldn't have that woman in my house.'

'Why not? She has character—take my word for it. Her letter is as short and sweet as a 'promise to pay.''

'She has too much character, and not of the right sort. There is no womanliness about her.'

'You women are always hard on your own sex. She'll have to manage Joe, and she'll need to be half man to do that. I think I had better write her to come here. I can tell what she is when I see her. I can read a woman like a book.'

There was a slight twinkle in my wife's eyes when I said this, and she made some further objections, but I overruled them; and, on the following morning, dispatched a letter, inviting Miss Walley to the city.

Returning to my office from ''Change,' one afternoon, a few days afterward, I found a lady awaiting me. She rose as I entered, and gave her name as Miss Walley. She was prepossessing and lady-like in appearance, and there was a certain ease and self-possession in her manner, which I was surprised to see in one directly from a remote country town. She wore a plain gray dress, with a cape of the same material; a straw hat, neatly trimmed with brown ribbon, and, on the inside, a bunch of deep pink flowers, which gave a slight coloring to her otherwise pale and sallow but intellectual face. Her whole dress bespoke refinement and taste. She was tall and slender, with an almost imperceptible stoop in the shoulders, indicative of a studious habit; but you forgot this seeming defect in her easy and graceful movements. Her brown hair was combed plainly over a rather low and narrow forehead; her face was long and thin, and her small, clear gray eyes were shaded by brown eyebrows meeting together, and, when she was talking earnestly, or listening attentively, slightly contracting, and deepening her keen and thoughtful expression. Her nose was long and rather prominent; and her mouth and chin were large, showing character and will; but their masculine expression was relieved by a short upper lip, which displayed to full advantage the finest set of teeth I ever saw.

Referring at once to the object of her visit, she handed me a number of credentials, highly commendatory of her character and ability as a teacher. I glanced over them, and assured her they were satisfactory. She then questioned me as to the compensation she would receive, and the position of the family needing her services. Answering these inquiries, I added that I was prepared to engage her on the terms I had named.

'I have been in receipt of the same salary as assistant in a school in my native village, sir,' she replied; 'but what you say of the family of Mr. Preston, and a desire to visit the South, will induce me to accept the situation.'

'When will you be ready to go, madam?' I asked.

'At once, sir. To-day, if necessary.'

Surprised and yet pleased with her promptness, I said:

'And are you entirely ready to go so far on so short notice?'

'Yes, sir. The cars leave in the morning, I am told. I will start then.'[Pg 295]

'And alone?'

'Yes, sir. We Yankee girls are accustomed to taking care of ourselves.'

'I admire your independence. But you pass the night in town; you will, I trust, spend it at my residence?'

'Thank you, sir.'

Ordering a carriage and stopping on the way at a hotel to get the single trunk which contained her wardrobe, I conveyed her at once to my residence.

After supper we all gathered in the parlor, and I set about entertaining our guest. I had to make little effort to do that, for her conversation soon displayed a knowledge of books and people, and a wit and keenness of intellect, as decidedly entertained me. She was not only brilliant, but agreeable; and in the course of the evening made some pleasant overtures to the children. Frank, with a book in his hand, had drawn his chair off to another part of the room, and showed, at first, uncommon reserve for a lad of his warm and genial nature; but gradually, as if in spite of himself, he edged his chair nearer to her. Our little 'four year old,' however, resisting the offered temptation of watch and chain, and even sugar-plums, repelled her advances, and hid his curly head only the more closely in the folds of his mother's dress. Kate listened and laughed, but I caught occasionally, as her eyes studied the visitor attentively, a troubled expression, which I well understood. After a while the lady expressed a readiness to retire that she might obtain the rest needed for an early start by the morning train, and Kate conducted her to her apartment.

I felt highly delighted with the idea of being able to send Mrs. Preston so agreeable a companion, and not a little vexed with my wife for not sharing my enthusiasm. When she returned to the parlor, I said:

'Kate, why do you not like her?'

'I can hardly tell why,' she replied, 'but my first impression is confirmed. I would not trust her. Why does she go South for the same salary she has had in New Hampshire?'

'Because she wants to see the world; she's a stirring Yankee woman.'

'No; because you told her of Mr. Preston's position in society; and because she hopes to win a plantation and a rich planter.'

'Nonsense,' I replied. 'You misjudge her.'

'I tell you, Edmund, she is a cold, selfish, sordid woman; all intellect, and no heart. If I had never seen her face, I should have known that by her voice, and the shake of her hand.'

But it was too late—I had engaged her; and at seven o'clock on the following morning she was on her way to the South.

I soon received information of her safe arrival at her destination, and the warm thanks of Preston for having sent him so agreeable a person, and one so well fitted to instruct his children.

The turpentine location was soon secured, and early in the following spring, Joe, with about a hundred 'prime hands,' commenced operations in the new field. Constantly increasing shipments soon gave evidence of the energy with which the negro entered upon his work; and by the end of the year, Preston had not only paid the advances we made on receiving the deed of the land, but also the note I had given for the purchase of Phyllis. For the first time in five years he was entirely out of our debt.

The next season he hired a force of nearly two hundred negroes, and generously gave Joe a small interest in the new business, with a view to the black's ultimately buying his freedom. His transactions soon became large and profitable both to him and to us. Shortly afterward he paid off the last of his floating debt, and his balances in our hands grew from nothing till they reached five and seven and often ten thousand dollars.

But heavy affliction overtook him[Pg 296] in the midst of his prosperity. His wife and two eldest daughters were stricken down by a prevailing epidemic, and died within a fortnight of each other. A letter which I received from him at this time, will best relate these events. It was as follows:

My dear Friend:—I have sad, very sad news to tell you. A week ago to-day I followed the remains of my beloved wife to the grave. Overcome by watching with our children, and grief at their loss, about three weeks since she took their disease, and sinking rapidly, soon resigned her spotless spirit to the hands of her Maker. Overwhelmed by this treble affliction, I have not been able to write you before. Even now I can hardly hold a pen. I am perfectly paralyzed; I can neither act nor think—I can only feel.

You, who have seen her in our home, can realize what she was to my family, but none can know what she was to me: companion, friend, guide! My stay and support through long years of trial, she is taken from me just as prosperity is dawning on me, and I was hoping to repay, by a life of devotion, some part of what she had borne and suffered on my account. Another angel has been welcomed in heaven, but I am left here alone—alone with my grief and my remorse!

My son is inconsolable, and even little Selly seems to realize the full extent of her loss. The poor little thing will not leave me for a moment. She is now the only comfort I have. Miss Walley has been unremitting in her kindness and attention, taking the burden of everything upon herself. Indeed, I do not know what I should have done without her.

Time may temper my affliction, but now, my dear friend, I am not

Robert Preston.

Nothing worthy of special mention occurred to the persons whose history I am relating till about a year after the death of Mrs. Preston. Then, one day late in the autumn, I received information of her husband's approaching marriage with the governess. In the letter which invited me to be present at the ceremony, Preston said: 'No one can ever fill the place in my heart that is occupied, and ever will be occupied by the memory of my sainted wife; but Miss Walley has rendered herself indispensable to me and my family. My studious habits and ignorance of business made me, as you know, even in my full health and strength, a poor manager; and during the past year, grief has so broken my spirits that I have been utterly unfitted for attending to the commonest duties. But for Miss Walley, everything would have gone to waste and ruin. With the efficiency of a business man, she has attended to my household, overseen my plantation, and managed my entire affairs. In the first moments of my bereavement, when grief so entirely overwhelmed me that I saw no one, I did not know to what censurious remark her disinterested devotion to my interests was subjecting her; but recently I have realized the impropriety of a young, unmarried woman occupying the position she holds in my household. Miss Walley, also, has felt this, and some time since notified me, though with evident reluctance, that she felt it imperatively necessary to leave my service. What, then, could I do? My people needed a mistress; my children a mother. She was both. Only one course seemed open, and after mature deliberation I offered her my hand, frankly stating that my heart was with the angel who, lost to me here, will be mine hereafter. Satisfied with my friendship and esteem, she has accepted me; and we are to be married on the 26th inst.; when I most sincerely trust that you, my dear friend, and your estimable wife, will be present.

That night I took the letter home to my wife. She read it, and laying it down, sadly said:[Pg 297]

'Oh, Edmund! He is, indeed, 'among the rocks!''

Two years went by, and I did not meet Preston, but our business relations kept us in frequent correspondence, and his letters occasionally alluded to his domestic affairs.

Very soon after his marriage with the governess, his son went to live with his uncle, Mr. James Preston, of Mobile, a wealthy bachelor, who long before had expressed the intention of having the boy succeed to his business and estate. 'Boss Joe' continued in charge of the turpentine plantation, and had built him a house, and removed his wife and aged mother to his new home. On one of my visits to the South I stopped overnight with him, and was delighted with his model establishment. Two hundred as cheerful-looking darkies as ever swung a turpentine axe, were gathered in tents and small shanties around his neat log cabin, and Joe seemed as happy as if he were governor of a province.

His operations had grown to such magnitude that Preston then ranked among the largest producers of the North Carolina staple, and his 'account' had become one of the most valuable on our books. Though we sent 'account currents' and duplicates of each 'account sales' to his master, our regular 'returns' were made to Joe, and no one of our correspondents held us to so strict an accountability, or so often expressed dissatisfaction with the result of his shipments, as he.

'I thinks a heap of you, Mr. Kirke,' he said at the close of one of his letters about this time; 'but the fact am, thar's no friendship in trade, and you did sell that lass pile of truck jess one day too sudden.'


Two more years rolled away. Frank was nearly sixteen. He had grown up a fine, manly lad, and never for one moment had Kate or I regretted the care we had bestowed on his education and training. He was all we could have wished for in our own son, and in his warm love and cheerful obedience we both found the blessing invoked on us by his dying mother.

His affection for Kate was something more than the common feeling of a child for a parent. With that was blended a sort of half worship, which made him listen to her every word, and hang on her every look, as if she were a being of some higher order than he. They were inseparable. He preferred her society to that of his young companions, and often, when he was a child, seated by her knee, and listening, when she told of his 'other mother' in the 'beautiful heaven,' have I seen his eye wander to her face with an expression, which plainly said: 'My heart knows no 'other mother' than you.' Kate was proud of him, and well she might be, for he was a comely youth; and his straight, closely knit, sinewy frame; dark, deepset eyes; and broad, open forehead, overhung with thick, brown hair; only outshadowed a beautiful mind, an open, upright, manly nature, whose firm and steady integrity nothing could shake.

About this time I received a letter from his father, which, as it had an important bearing on the lad's future career, I give to the reader:

Boston, September 20th, 185-.

Dear Sir:—A recent illness has brought my past life in its true light before me. I see its sin, and I would make all the atonement in my power. I cannot undo the wrong I have done to one who is gone, but I can do my duty to her child. You, I am told, have been a father to him. I would now assume that relation, and make you such recompense for what you have done, as you may require. I am too weak to travel, or indeed, to leave my house, but I am impatient to see my son. May I not ask you to bring him to me at once? Then I will arrange all things to your satisfaction.[Pg 298]

I need not tell you, after saying what I have, that I should feel greatly gratified to once more possess your confidence, and regard.

I am, sincerely yours,
John Hallet.

In another hand was the following postscript:

My dear Boy:—John is sincere. Thee can trust him. He has told me all. He will do the right thing. Come on with the lad as soon as thee can.

Love to Kate.
Thy old friend,

After conferring with my wife, I sent the following reply to these communications:

New York, September 22d, 185-.

David of Old;—Thou man after the Lord's own heart. I have Hallet's letter, seasoned with your P.S. He is shrewd; he knew that nothing but your old-fashioned hand would draw a reply from me, to anything written by him.

I've no faith in sick-bed repentances; and none in John Hallet, sick or well:

'When the devil was sick,
The devil a monk would be;
When the devil got well,
The devil a monk was he.'

However, as Hallet is capable of cheating his best friend, even the devil, I will take his letter into consideration; but it having taken him sixteen years to make up his mind to do a right action, it may take me as many days to come to a decision on this subject.

Frank is everything to us, and nothing but the clearest conviction that his ultimate good will be promoted by going to his father, will induce us to consent to it.

I do not write Hallet. You may give him as much or as little of this letter as you think will be good for him.

Kate sends love to you and to Alice; and dear David, with all the love I felt for you when I wore a short jacket, and sat on the old stool,

I am your devoted friend.

It was a dingy old sign. It had hung there in sun and rain till its letters were faint and its face was furrowed. It had looked down on a generation that had passed away, and seen those who placed it there go out of that doorway never to return; still it clung to that dingy old warehouse, and still Russell, Rollins & Co. was signed in the dingy old counting room at the head of the stairway. It was known the world over. It was heard of on the cotton fields of Texas, in the canebrakes of Cuba, and amid the rice swamps of Carolina. The Chinaman spoke of it as he sipped his tea and plied his chopsticks in the streets of Canton, and the half-naked negro rattled its gold as he gathered palm oil and the copal gum on the western coast of Africa. Its plain initials, painted in black on a white ground, waved from tall masts over many seas, and its simple 'promise to pay,' scrawled in a bad hand on a narrow strip of paper, unlocked the vaults of the best bankers in Europe. And yet it was a dingy old sign! Men looked up to it as they passed by, and wondered that a cracked, weather-beaten board, that would not sell for a dollar, should be counted 'good for a million.'

It was a dingy old warehouse, with narrow, dark, cobwebbed windows, and wide, rusty iron shutters, which, as the bleak October wind swept up old Long Wharf, swung slowly on their hinges with a sharp, grating creak. I heard them in my boyhood. Perched on a tall stool at that old desk, I used to listen, in the long winter nights, to those strange, wild cries, till I fancied they were voices of the uneasy dead, come back to take the vacant seats beside me, and to pace again, with ghostly tread, the floor of that dark old counting room. They were a mystery and a terror to me; but they never creaked so harshly, or cried so wildly, as on that October night, when for the first time in nine years I turned my steps up the trembling old stairway.[Pg 299]

It was just after nightfall. A single gas burner threw a dim, uncertain light over the old desk, and lit up the figure of a tall, gray-haired man, who was bending over it. He had round, stooping shoulders, and long, spindling limbs. One of his large feet, encased in a thick, square-toed shoe, rested on the round of the desk; the other, planted squarely on the floor, upheld his spare, gaunt frame. His face was thin and long, and two deep, black lines under his eyes contrasted strangely with the pallid whiteness of his features. His clothes were of the fashion of those good people called 'Friends,' and had served long as his 'Sunday best' before being degraded to daily duty. They were of plain brown, and, though not shabby, were worn and threadbare, and of decidedly economical appearance. Everything about him, indeed, wore an economical look. His scant coat tails, narrow pants, and short waistcoat showed that the cost of each inch of material had been counted, while his thin hair, brushed carefully over his bald head, had not a lock to spare; and even his large, sharp bones were covered with only just enough flesh to hold them comfortably together. He had stood there till his eye was dim and his step feeble, and though he had, for twenty years—when handing in each semiannual trial balance to the head of the house—declared that was his last, everybody said he would continue to stand there till his own trial balance was struck, and his earthly accounts were closed forever.

As I entered, he turned his mild blue eye upon me, and, taking my hand warmly in his, exclaimed:

'My dear boy, I am glad to see thee!'

'I am glad to see you, David. Is Alice well?'

'Very well. And Kate, and thy babies?'

'All well,' I replied.

'Thee has come to see John?'

'Yes. How is he?'

'Oh, better; he got out several days ago. He's inside now,' and opening the door of an inner office, separated from the outer one by a glass partition, he said, 'John, Edmund is here.'

A tall, dark man came to the door, and, with a slightly flurried and embarrassed manner, said:

'Ah, Mr. Kirke! I'm glad to see you. Please step in.'

As he tendered me a chair, a shorter and younger gentleman, who was writing at another desk, sprang from his seat, and slapping me familiarly on the back, exclaimed:

'My dear fellow, how are you?'

'Very well, Cragin; how are you?' I replied, returning his cordial greeting.

'Good as new—never better in my life. It's good for one's health to see you here.'

'I have come at Mr. Hallet's invitation.'

'Yes, I know, Hallet has told me you've a smart boy you want us to take. Send him along. Boston's the place to train a youngster to business.'

The last speaker was not more than thirty, but a bald spot on the top of his head, and a slight falling-in of his mouth, caused by premature decay of the front teeth, made him seem several years older. He had marked but not regular features, and a restless, dark eye, that opened and shut with a peculiar wink, which kept time with the motion of his lips in speaking. His clothes were cut in a loose, jaunty style, and his manner, though brusque and abrupt, betokened, like his face, a free, frank, whole-souled character. He was several years the junior of the other, and as unlike him as one man can be unlike another.

The older gentleman, as I have said, was tall and dark. He had a high, bold forehead, a pale, sallow complexion, and wore heavy gray whiskers, trimmed with the utmost nicety, and meeting under a sharp, narrow chin. His face was large, his jaws wide,[Pg 300] and his nose pointed and prominent, but his mouth was small and gathered in at the corners like a rat's; and, as if to add to the rat resemblance, its puny, white teeth seemed borrowed from that animal. There was a stately precision in his manner and a stealthy softness in his tread not often seen in combination, which might have impressed a close observer as indicative of a bold, pompous, and yet cunning character.

These two gentlemen—Mr. Hallet and Mr. Cragin—were the only surviving partners of the great house of Russell, Rollins & Co.

'Have you brought him with you?' asked Hallet, his voice trembling a little, and his pale face flushing slightly as he spoke.

'No, sir,' I replied; 'I thought I would confer with you first. I have not yet broached the subject to the lad.'

Some unimportant conversation followed, when Hallet, turning to Cragin, asked:

'Are all the letters written for tomorrow's steamers?'

'Yes,' said Cragin, rising; 'and I believe I'll leave you two together. As you've not spoken for ten years, you must have a good deal to say. Come, David,' he called out, as he drew on his outside coat, 'let's go.'

'No, don't take David,' I exclaimed; 'I want to talk with the old gentleman.'

'But you can see him to-morrow.'

'No, I return in the morning.'

'Well, David, I'll tell Alice you'll be home by nine.'

'Oh, that's it,' I said, laughing. 'It's Alice who makes you leave so early on steamer night.'

'Yes, sir; Alice that is, and Mrs. Augustus Cragin that is to be—when I get a new set of teeth. Good night,' and saying this, he took up his cane, and left the office.

When he was gone, Hallet said to me:

'Do you desire to have David a witness to our conversation?'

'I want him to be a party to it. We can come to no arrangement without his coöperation.'

Hallet asked the bookkeeper in. When he was seated, I said:

'Well, Mr. Hallet, what do you propose to do for your son?'

'To treat him as I do my other children. Do all but acknowledge him. That would injure him.'

'That is not important. But please be explicit as to what you will do.'

'David tells me that his inclinations tend to business, and that you have meant to take him into your office. I will take him into mine, and when he is twenty-one, if he has conducted himself properly, I will give him an interest.'

'I shall be satisfied with no contingent arrangement, sir. I know Frank will prove worthy of the position.'

'Very well; then I will agree definitely to make him a partner when he is of age.'

'Well, Mr. Hallet, if Frank will consent to come, I will agree to that with certain conditions. I told his mother, when she was dying, that I would consider him my own child; therefore I cannot give up the control of him. He must regard me and depend on me as he does now. Again, I cannot let him come here, and have no home whose influence shall protect him from the temptations which beset young men in a large city. David must take him into his family, and treat him as he treated me when I was a boy, and—this must be reduced to writing.'

Hallet showed some emotion when I spoke of Frank's mother, but his face soon assumed its usual expression, and he promptly replied:

'I will agree to all that, but I would suggest that the fact of his being my son should not be communicated to him; that it be confined to us three. I ask this, believe me, only for the sake of my family.

'I see no objection to that, sir, and I think, Frank, for his own sake, should not know what his prospects are.'[Pg 301]

Hallet signified assent, and turning to David, I asked:

'David, what do you say? Will you take him?'

'I will,' said the old bookkeeper, showing in his expenditure of breath the close economy which was the rule of his life.

'Nothing remains but to arrange his salary and the share he shall have when he becomes a partner,' I remarked to Hallet.

'Will an average of seven hundred a year, and an eighth interest when he's twenty-one, be satisfactory?'

'Entirely so. An eighth in your house will be better than a quarter in ours. As it is now all understood, let David draw up the papers. We will sign them, and leave them with him till I see Frank.'

'Very well. David, please to draw them up,' said Hallet; and then, his voice again trembling a little, he added, 'All is understood, Mr. Kirke, but the compensation I shall make you for your fatherly care of my much neglected son. Money cannot pay for such service, but it will relieve me to reimburse you for your expenditures.'

'I have had my pay, sir, in the love of the boy. I ask no more.'

Hallet was sensibly affected, but without speaking, he turned to the desk, and took down his bankbook. In a few moments he handed me a check. It was for five thousand dollars. I took it, and, hesitating an instant, said:

'I will keep this, sir; not for myself, but for Frank. It may be of service to him at some future time.'

'Keep it for yourself, sir, not for him. He will not need it. He shall share equally with my other children.'

'I am glad to see this spirit in you, sir. Frank will be worthy of all you may do for him.'

'It is not for his sake that I will do it,' replied Hallet, his voice tremulous with emotion; 'it is that I may have the forgiveness of the one I—I—' He said no more, but leaning his head on his hand, he wept!

If there is joy among the angels over one that repents, was there not, then, forgiveness in her heart for him?

No one spoke for some minutes; then David rose, and handing me one of the papers, laid the other before Hallet.

'This appears right,' I said, after reading it over carefully.

'Yes,' replied Hallet, taking up a pen and signing the other. Passing it to me, he added: 'Keep them both—take them now.'

'But Frank may not wish to come.'

'Then I will find some other way of helping him. He is my son! Take the papers.'

'Well, as you say,' I replied. 'David, please to witness this.'

Hallet pressed me to pass the night at his house, but I declined, and rode out to Cambridge with the old bookkeeper. With many injunctions to watch carefully over Frank, I left him about twelve o'clock, rode into town with Cragin, and the next morning started for New York.

That night, as I recounted the interview to Kate, I said:

'I never did believe in these double-quick conversions; but Hallet is an altered man.'

'Then, indeed, can the leopard change his spots.'

As usual, her womanly intuitions were right; my worldly wisdom was wrong!


Not long after the events I have just related, the mail brought me the following letter from Preston:

My very dear Friend:—Circumstances, which I cannot explain by letter, render it imperatively necessary that I should provide another home for my daughter. Her education has been sadly neglected, and she should be where she can have experienced tutors, and good social surroundings.[Pg 302] With her delicate organization, and sensitive and susceptible nature, she needs motherly care and affection, and I shrink from committing her to the hands of strangers. I should feel at rest about her only with you. You have been my steadfast friend through many years; you have stood by me in, sore trials—may I not then ask you to do me now a greater service than you have ever done, by receiving my little daughter into your family? I know this is an unusual, almost presumptuous request; but if you knew her as she is—gentle, loving, obedient—the light and joy of all about her, I am sure you, and your excellent lady, would love her, and be willing to make her the companion of your children. She is my only earthly comfort, and it will rend my heart to part with her, but—I must.

Write me at once. You are yourself a father—do not refuse me.

To this, on the next day, I sent the following reply:

My dear Friend:—I would most cheerfully take your daughter into my family, did my wife's health, which has been failing all the summer, allow of her assuming any additional care.

I think, however, I can provide Selma with a home equally as good as my own; one where good influences will be about her, and she will have the best educational advantages. I refer to the family of Mr. David Gray, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was my father's friend. The years I was a boy with Russell, Rollins & Co., I was an inmate of his house, and my adopted son, Frank, is now in his care. His daughter Alice is a most suitable person to have charge of a young girl. She is like a sister to me, and to oblige me, would no doubt take Selma.

Please advise me of your wishes; and believe, my dear friend, I will do all in my power to serve you.

I was sitting down at supper, one evening, about a fortnight after sending this letter, when a gentleman was announced as wishing to see me. I rose and went into the parlor. It was Preston, and with him was Selma, then a beautiful little girl of about eleven years.

Asking Preston to lay aside his outside coat, I was struck by his altered appearance. It was four years since we had met, but looking at him, I imagined it might be ten. His eyes were sunken, deep furrows were about his mouth, and his brown hair was thickly streaked with gray.

'My dear friend,' I exclaimed, as I grasped his hand a second time, 'you are not well!'

'I am as well as usual, Kirke. Time has not done this!'

Fatigued with the long journey, Selma had retired, and our own little ones were in bed, when Kate joined us in the parlor.

'You do look ill, Mr. Preston,' she said, seating herself beside him. 'You must stay a while with us, and rest.'

'I would be glad to stay here, madam—anywhere away from home.'

'The care of two plantations, such as yours, must be a burden!'

'It is not that, madam; Joe relieves me entirely from oversight of one of them. My difficulty is at home—mine is not what yours is.'

Kate's sympathizing words soon drew him out (she has a way of winning the confidence of people, and is the depositary of more family secrets than any other woman in the State); and he told us what his home had become since his union with the governess.

Within two months after the marriage her real character began to display itself, and she soon developed into a genuine Xantippe. Getting control of Mulock, who had been made overseer, she had the negroes dreadfully whipped and overworked; she treated young master Joe so badly that the lad rebelled, and in his father's absence ran[Pg 303] away to his uncle at Mobile; and locking Selma up in a dark room without food, or beating her till her back was actually discolored, she made the child's home intolerable to her.

After master Joe went away, no one dared complain; and shut up in his library, brooding over his still fresh grief for the death of his wife, Preston knew nothing of the real state of affairs till more than a year had elapsed. Then one day he found Selma in tears. He questioned her, and learned the whole. A scene followed, in which Mrs. Preston asserted her rights as mistress of the plantation, and defied him. She had run into all sorts of extravagance, the yearly bills which had come in a short time previous were appallingly large, but to secure peace, Preston consented to buy and furnish a winter residence at Newbern. To that she had removed, but with the coming spring she would return to the plantation, and in the mean time Selma must be provided with another home.

'Feel no anxiety about her, sir,' said Kate, as he concluded; 'if Alice Gray will not take her, we will.'

'I thank you, madam; I cannot thank you enough for saying that,' replied Preston, his eyes filling with tears.

I wrote at once to David, and soon received a letter from Alice consenting to take charge of the little girl. Thanksgiving, at which time Kate made annual visits to her early home, was approaching, and it was decided that Selma should accompany her to Boston.

This being arranged, Preston, at the end of a fortnight, took leave of us, and returned to the South. The parting between the father and the child gave evidence of what they were to each other. Preston wept like a woman; but as Kate brushed back the brown curls from the broad forehead of little Selly, she raised her eyes to my wife's face, and while her thin nostrils dilated, and her sensitive chin slightly quivered, said;

'I must not cry for poor papa's sake—it is so very hard for him to go home alone; and he will miss his little girl so much.'

'You are right, dear child,' said Kate, and, as if looking into the far future of the woman, and feeling that such a nature must suffer as well as enjoy keenly, she inwardly thanked God that with her delicate organization He had given her the unselfish and brave heart which those words expressed.

Four years had wrought great changes in David's quiet home. Alice had become Mrs. Augustus Cragin, and a little Alice tottled about the floor; but after supper, David still found his evening cigar on the oak stand, his needle-work slippers—wrought by Alice's own hand—in their place before the fender, and his big armchair rolled up close to the gas burner in the little back parlor at Cambridge.

Frank was twenty, and had fulfilled all the promises of his boyhood. His father, after the honeymoon of his repentance was over, showed no great interest in him, but Cragin, who knew nothing of my arrangement with Hallet, had given him all the advantages in his power.

Selma was only fifteen, but, like the flowers of her own South, she had blossomed early, and was already a woman. Preston had visited her every summer, but she never returned with him, having preferred passing her vacations at my house.

In David's loving household nothing had occurred to disturb her peaceful life. Beloved by her teachers and schoolmates, she everywhere received the homage due to her beauty and her goodness; and in the gay world into which her joyous nature often led her, she was the acknowledged and unenvied queen! Her father had spared no pains in her education; the best tutors had trained her fine ear and sweet voice, and taught her to give form and coloring to the pictures her glowing[Pg 304] imagination created; and, whether her fingers ran over the keys of a musical instrument, or wielded the brush, there was a delicacy and yet spirit in her touch which were the wonder and admiration of all.

I was not surprised, when visiting Boston about this time, to have Frank tell me that he loved her, and ask my consent to his regarding her as his future wife.

Kate and I were to leave for home the following day, and, calling at the office in the afternoon, I said to Frank:

'I have tickets for the opera, including Selma; of course you'd like to have her go.'

'Yes, father; she has never been, and I have promised to take her this winter. She'll be able now to appreciate it.'

The box I had selected was at a happy distance from the stage, and we gave Selma a front seat, that she might see to the best advantage. She was in high spirits; indeed, she was radiant in her beauty. She wore a dark blue dress of silk, fitting closely to her neck, and its short sleeves allowed the plump, fair arms to half disclose themselves from beneath the scarlet mantle Which fell around her shoulders. Her hair fell over her neck in the same simple fashion as in her childhood, except that the thick curls, which had lost their golden tint, and were darker and longer, were looped back from her broad brow, with a few simple flowers. There was the same contour of face and feature, but ennobled by thought and culture; the same sensitive mouth, only that the lips were fuller and of a deeper color; and as she talked or listened, the same rose tint deepened and faded beneath her rich, soft, dark skin, as sunlight shifts and fades across the evening sky. Her eyes, in whose dark depths the soul was reflected, met a stranger's calmly, but took a soft look of loving trust when meeting Frank's. They were shaded by long lashes, as black as the night; and when the lids fell suddenly, as they often did, and her face became quiet, and almost sad, you felt that she was communing with the angels.

The overture burst forth, and with glowing face, and eyes fixed upon the stage, Selma seemed lost to all but the enrapturing sounds; even Frank's whispered words were unheeded. As the opera—'Lucia di Lammermoor'—proceeded, I saw that every eye was attracted to our box, and, bending forward to catch Selma's expression, I called Kate's attention to her. With her head thrown slightly back, a bright spot burning on either cheek, her breath suspended, the large tears coursing from her eyes, and motionless as a statue, she sat with her small hands clasped on the front of the box, as if entranced, and all unconscious of the hundred eyes that were fixed upon her. I thought of the pictures I had seen in the old galleries of Europe, but I said, 'Surely, art cannot equal nature!'

When it was over, she took Frank's arm; I turned to question her, but Kate said:

'Let her alone; she cannot talk now.'

The transactions of Russell, Rollins & Co. extended the world over; but, since the death of Mr. Rollins, which occurred prior to Frank's going with them, they had cultivated particularly the Southern trade, and their operations in cotton had grown to be enormous. They bought largely of that staple on their own account, and for some extensive manufacturing establishments in England. Their purchases were mainly made in New Orleans, and, to attend to this business, Hallet had passed the winters in that city for several years.

His wealth had grown rapidly, and at the date of which I am writing, he ranked among the 'solid men' of Boston. Cragin was not nearly so wealthy. Being on intimate terms with the latter, I remarked, as we were enjoy[Pg 305]ing a cigar together one evening at David's, on the occasion of the visit to which I have referred in the last chapter:

'How is it, Cragin, that you pass for only a hundred thousand, when Hallet is rated at a million?'

'Because, Ned, I'm not worth any more.'

'But how is that, when you have two fifths of the concern?'

'Well, Hallet went into cotton like the devil some eight years ago; and I told him I wouldn't stand it; I like to feel the ground under me. Since then he has speculated on his own account—he and old Roye go it strong, and I guess they've made some pretty heavy lifts.'

'That's uncertain business.'

'Yes, devilish uncertain; but somehow they manage always to hold winning cards. Hallet has told me his New Orleans operations have netted him five hundred thousand.'

'And that, with what he got by his wife, has rolled him into a millionaire before he's forty-five! He's a lucky fellow.'

'Lucky! I wouldn't stand in his boots. What goes up may come down. He has no peace. His wife's a hyena. She makes home too hot for him; and somehow he's never easy. He walks about as if treading on torpedoes.

'If you dislike speculation, why don't you increase your legitimate business?'

'Hallet's away so much, I can't do it. I'm glued to the old office. I should have been in Europe half of the time the last three years, but I haven't been able to get away.'

'Why not send Frank? He's old enough now.'

'I mean to, in the spring, and I'm d—d if he shan't be a partner soon, and take some of this load off my shoulders. But do you know that Hallet has a decided dislike to him?'

'No! On what account?' I exclaimed. I had met Hallet only twice during four years, but on both occasions he had spoken favorably of his son. Frank himself had never alluded in other than respectful terms to his father.

'Well, I don't know, and it makes no difference. I'm captain at this end of the towline, and I swear he shall go in.

'As you feel so kindly toward Frank, I'll give him a chance to conciliate Hallet. I'll take him South this winter, and introduce him to our correspondents. With his address he ought to do something with them. Will you let him go?'

'Yes, and be right down glad to have him. When do you start?'

'About the middle of December.'

A fortnight afterward, with Selma and Frank, I again visited Preston's plantation.


It was Christmas morning when we rode up the long, winding avenue, and halted before the doorway of 'Silver Lake'—the new name which the Yankee schoolmistress, aping the custom of her Yankee cousins, had bestowed on Preston's plantation. The day was mild and sunshiny, and the whole population of the little patriarchate was gathered on the green in front of the mansion, distributing Christmas presents among the negroes. When we came in sight, from behind the thick cluster of live oaks which bordered the miniature lake, the whole assemblage sent up a glad shout, and hurried up to welcome us. And such a welcome! As she sprang from the carriage, Selma was caught in her father's arms, then in 'master Joe's,' and then, encircled by a cloud of dark beauties, each one vieing with the others in boisterous expressions of affection, she was the victim of such a demonstration as would have done the heart of Hogarth good to witness. In the midst of it a slight, delicate woman rushed from the house, and, crowding into the thick group around Selma, threw her[Pg 306] arms about her neck, and, nearly smothering her with kisses, exclaimed:

'My chile! my chile! I sees you at last!'

'Yes, Phylly!' said Selma, returning her caresses; 'and haven't I grown? I thought you wouldn't know me.'

'Know you! Ain't you my chile—my own dear chile!' and pressing Selma's cheeks between her two hands, and gazing at her beautiful face for a moment, she kissed her over and over again.

My arms had been nearly shaken off, when I noticed 'Boss Joe' limping toward me, his head uncovered, and his broad face shining from out his gray wool like the full moon breaking through a mass of clouds.

'How are you, old gentleman?' I exclaimed, grasping him warmly by the hand.

'Right smart! right smart, massa Kirke. Glad you'm come, sar.'

'And you're home for Christmas?'

'Yes, sar. I'se come to see massa Robert, an' to tend to hirin' a new gang. But darkies 'am high dis yar, sar.'

'How much are they?'

'Well, dey ax, round yere, one fifty, an' 'spences dar an' back; an' it'm a pile, when you tink we hab used up 'most all de new trees.'

'But you must have many second-year cuttings.'

'Yas, right smart; but No. 2 rosum doan't pay at sech prices fur darkies.'

Turning to Preston in a moment, I said:

'Do not let us interfere with the 'doin's'—it's just what we want to see.'

'Well, come, you folks,' said Joe, hobbling back to the green; 'leff us gwo on now.'

Preston, Selma, and Phylly went into the house, but the rest of us followed the grinning group of Africans to the centre of the lawn, where several large packing boxes, and a long table, something like a carpenter's bench, were piled high with a miscellaneous assortment of dry goods and groceries.

'Now, all you dat hab heads, come up yere,' shouted Joe, seating himself on the bench; 'but don't all come ter onst.'

One by one the men and boys filed past him, and, selecting a hat or cap from a couple of boxes near, he adjusted a covering to each woolly cranium that presented itself; interspersing the exercise with humorous remarks on their respective phrenological developments:

'Pomp, you's made fur a preacher, shore. Dat dar head ob your'n gwoes up jess like a steeple. I'll hab ter gib you a cap, Dave; you'm so big ahind de yeres none ob dese hats'll fit, nohow. Jess show de back ob you' head to any gemman, an' he'll say you'm one ob de great ones ob de 'arth. None ob dese am big 'nuff fur you, Ally,' he continued, as a tall, well-clad mulatto man stepped up to him. 'You' bumps hab growed so sense you took to de swamp, dat nuffin'll cober you 'cept massa Robert's hat, or de gal Rosey's sunshade.'

The yellow man laughed, but kept on trying the hats. Finding one at last of suitable dimensions, he turned away to make room for another candidate for cranial honors. As I caught a full view of his face, I exclaimed:

'Why, Ally, is that you?'

'Yas, massa; it'm me,' he replied, making a respectful bow.

'And you live here yet?'

'Yas, massa. Hope you's well, massa?'

'Very well; and your mother—how is she?'

'Oh, she'm right smart, sar.'

'Yas, massa, I'se right smart; an' I'se bery glad ter see 'ou, massa,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Dinah, no longer clad in coarse osnaburg, but arrayed in a worsted gown, and a little grayer and a little bulkier than when I saw her eight years before.

'Why, Dinah, how well you look!'[Pg 307] I exclaimed, giving her my hand. 'And you've come up to spend Christmas with Ally?'

'No, massa, I libs yere. I'se FREE now, massa!'

'Free! So you've made enough to buy yourself? I'm glad to hear it.'

'No, massa. Ally—de good chile—he done it, massa.'

'Ally did it! How could he? He's not more than twenty now!'

'No more'n he hain't, massa; but he'm two yar in massa Preston's swamp, wid a hired gang. Massa Preston put de chile ober 'em, an' gib him a haff ob all he make, an' he'm doin' a heap dar, massa.'

'And with his first earnings he bought his mother!'

'Yas, massa; wid de bery fuss.'

'Ally, give me your hand,' I exclaimed, with unaffected pleasure; 'you're a man! You're worthy of such a mother!'

'Yas, he am dat, massa! He'm wordy ob anyting, an' he'm gwine to hab a wife ter day, massa. Boss Joe am gwine ter marry 'em, an' ter gib 'em him own cabin fur dar Chrismus giff.'

'Well, Joe is a trump. I'll remember him in my will for that, aunty, sure.'

'Dat'm bery good ob 'ou, massa; but I reckon 'ou can't tink who Ally'm gwine ter hab, massa,' said the old woman, her face beaming all over.

'No, I can't, Dinah. Who is she?'

'It'm little Rosey, dat 'ou buy ob de trader, massa; an' she'm de pootiest little gal all roun' yere; ebery one say dat, massa.'

'Indeed! And they are to be married to-day?'

'Yas, massa, ter day—dis evenin'. 'Ou'll be dar, woan't 'ou, massa?'

'Yes, certainly I will.'

The old woman and Ally then mingled with the crowd of negroes, and I turned my attention once more to Joe's operations. The men had been supplied with head gear, and the women were receiving their turbans—gaudy pieces of red and yellow muslin.

'Now, all you boys an' gals,' shouted Joe, as he dealt out a handkerchief to the last of the dusky demoiselles, 'you all squat on de groun', an' shovel off you' shoes.'

Down they went in every conceivable attitude, and, uncovering their feet, commenced pelting each other with the cast-off leathers. When the sport had lasted a few minutes, Joe sang out:

'Come! 'nuff ob dat; now ter bisness. Yere, you yaller monkeys (to several small specimens of copper and chrome yellow), tote dese 'mong 'em.'

The young chattels did as they were bidden, and, as each heavy brogan was fitted to the pedal extremity of some one of the darkies, the newly-shod individual sprang to his feet, and commenced dancing about as if he were the happiest mortal in existence.

'Dat'm it,' shouted Joe; 'frow up you' heels; an' some ob you gwo an' fotch de big fiddle. We'll hab a dance, an' show dese Nordern gemmen de raal poker.'

'But we hain't hed de dresses—nor de soogar—nor de 'backer—nor none ob de whiskey,' cried a dozen voices.

'Shet up, you brack crows! You can't hab anudder ting till ye'se hed a high ole heel-scrapin'. Yere, massa Joe; you come up yere, an' holp me wid de 'strumentals,' said Boss Joe, grinning widely, and getting up on the carpenter's bench.

In a few moments, the 'big fiddle,' one or two smaller fiddles, and three or four banjoes were brought out, and the two Joes, and several ebony gentlemen, seating themselves on the boxes of clothing, began tuning the instruments. Soon 'Boss Joe' commenced sawing away with a gusto that might have been somewhat out of keeping with his gray hairs, his sixty years, and his clerical profession. 'Massa Joe' and the others striking in, the male and female darkies paired off two by two, and to a lively air began dancing a sort of 'cotillion breakdown.' Other[Pg 308] dances followed, in which the little negroes joined, and soon the air rang with the creak of the fiddles and the merry shouts of the negroes. In the midst of it my arm was touched lightly, and, turning round, I saw Rosey and Dinah.

'I'se got de little gal yere, massa,' said the latter, looking as proud as a hen over her first brood of chickens. 'She glad to see 'ou, massa.'

I gave Rosey my hand, and made a few good-natured compliments on her beauty and her tidy appearance. She had a simple, guileless expression, and met my half-bantering remarks with an innocent frankness that charmed me. She was only sixteen, but had developed into a beautiful woman. Her form was slight and graceful, with just enough embonpoint to give the appearance of full health; and her thin, delicate features, large, wide-set eyes, and clear, rosy complexion bore a strong resemblance to Selma's. It was evident they were children of the same father; and yet, one was to be the wife of a poor negro, the other to marry the son of a 'merchant prince.'

As the dancing concluded, Boss Joe's fiddle gave out a dying scream, and, turning to me, he sang out:

'War dar eber sprightlier nigs dan dese, massa Kirke? Don't dey beat you' country folks all holler?'

'Yes, they do, Joe. They handle their heels as nimbly as elephants.'

I spoke the truth; most of them did.

The distribution of the presents was resumed; and, as each negro received his full supply of flour, sugar, tea, coffee, molasses, tobacco, and calico, grinning with joy over his new acquisitions, he staggered off to his quarters. When the last box was nearly emptied, with young Preston and Frank, I adjourned to the mansion.

The exterior of the 'great house' was unchanged, but its interior had undergone a complete transformation. The plain oak flooring of the hall had been replaced by porcelain tiling, and the neat, simple furniture of the parlors by huge mirrors; rosewood and brocatelle sofas and lounges; velvet tapestry carpets, in which one's feet sank almost out of sight; and immense paintings, whose aggregate cost might have paid off one half of the mortgage that encumbered the plantation.

Selma and her father were engaged in earnest conversation when we entered the drawing room, and, being unwilling to interrupt them, I was about to retire, but he rose, and said:

'Come in, Kirke; I will call Mrs. Preston. She will be glad to see you.'

The lady soon entered. It was eight years since we had met, but time had touched her gently. Her face wore its old, decided, yet quiet expression, and her manner showed the easy self-possession I had noticed at our first interview. She was richly dressed, and had on a heavy satin pelisse, and a blue velvet bonnet, as if about to ride out.

When the usual greetings were over, she remarked:

'You have been here some time, sir?'

'Yes, madam; we arrived about two hours ago; but I met some old friends outside, and the pleasure of seeing them has made me a little tardy in paying my respects to you.'

'The negroes, you mean, sir,' she replied, with a slight toss of the head, and a look of cool dignity which well became her.

'Yes, madam. I have many friends among the blacks. On many plantations they look for my coming as they do for Christmas.'

'It is quite rare to find a white gentleman so fond of negroes,' she rejoined, with an air slightly more supercilious.

I remembered her as the humble schoolmistress, whose entire possessions were packed in one trunk; and, forgetting myself, said, in a tone which bore a slight trace of indignation:

'More rare, I fear, than it should be; and you and I, madam, who are Yan[Pg 309]kees, and have 'worked for a living,' surely cannot despise the negroes because they are compelled to work for theirs.'

'Oh! no, sir! not by any means! But you must excuse me; the carriage is waiting to take me to church;' and, rising, she bowed herself stiffly out of the door.

'Ah, you hit her there!' exclaimed Joe, springing to his feet in great glee, and striding to the window. 'See here, Mr. Kirke! See what a turnout the Yankee 'schulemarm' has worried out of father!'

'My son, you must not speak so; she is your mother!' said Preston.

'No, I'm d—d if she is! Call her anything but that, father; that's an—'he checked himself; but I thought he would have added—'insult to my dead mother!'

Preston made no reply.

Looking out of the window, I saw Mrs. Preston being handed into a magnificent barouche by one of the black gentry she so much despised. Another one in gaudy gold livery sat on the box, and a mounted outrider, also bound up in gold braid, stood behind the carriage.

'There's a two-thousand-dollar turnout, and two fifteen-hundred-dollar niggers, to tote a woman who ought to go afoot. It's a poor investment, I swear,' said Joe, turning away from the window.

Preston made no reply; but I laughingly remarked:

'Come, Joe, she isn't your wife. Let your father spend his money as he pleases; he can afford it.'

'He can't afford it; that woman is running him to the devil at a two-forty gait. You have more influence with him than any one, Mr. Kirke—do try to stop it!'

The young man spoke in a decided but regretful tone, and his manner showed more respect to his father than his words implied. Unwilling to interfere in such an affair, I said nothing; but Preston, in a moment, remarked:

'It is true, Kirke! Her extravagance has ruined my credit at home, and forced me to use Joe's indorsements; besides, I have had to borrow ten thousand dollars of him to keep my head above water.'

[Mr. James Preston—the Squire's uncle—had died the year before, and the young man had succeeded to his large property and business.]

I was thunderstruck; but, before I could reply, Joe said:

'I don't care a rush for the money. Father can have every dollar I've got; but I do want to see him rid of that woman. I've been here sick for two months, and I've seen the whole. She is worrying the very life out of him. She's made him an old man at forty.'

It was true. His face was lean and haggard, and his hair already thickly streaked with white.

Preston rose, and, walking the room, said:

'But what am I to do? You yourself, Joe, would not have all this made public. You've as much pride about it as I have.'

'I've not a bit of pride about it, father; and it's public now. Everybody knows it, and everybody says you ought to cut her adrift.'

'What had I better do? Tell me, my friend,' said Preston, still walking the room.

'I cannot advise, you, Preston. An outsider should express no opinion on such matters.'

In a moment Preston said:

'Well, Joe, no more of this now. I'll do what is right, however much it may wound my pride.'

The conversation turned to other subjects, till Mrs. Preston's return from church, shortly after which dinner was announced. The lady presided at the table with as much ease and grace as if she had been born to the position; and in her charming conversation, I almost forgot the revelations of the morning. The rest of the day I[Pg 310] spent with Joe and Frank, strolling over the plantation and mingling among the negroes, who, freed from work, were enjoying themselves in a very 'miscellaneous manner.' Preston remained at the house with Selma.


It was nearly dark when we returned to the mansion. Looking in at the parlor, and not finding his father there, Joe led the way at once to the library. The door was ajar, and, as we entered the passage way, loud voices were issuing from it.

'I tell you, Mr. Preston, I am mistress of this plantation. He shall NOT go!'

'Pardon me, madam, he shall, and to-night,' returned a mild but decided voice, which I recognized as Preston's. Being unwilling to overhear more, I turned away, but Joe caught me by the arm, exclaiming:

'If you are my father's friend, go in. If you don't, he will back down; he has done so forty times.'

Preston was a man of more than ordinary firmness, but his wife had the stronger will. She seemed possessed of a sort of magnetic power, which enabled her to control others almost arbitrarily.

Reluctantly I followed the young man into the room. Preston was seated before the fire; and Selma, with her arm around his neck, was standing near him. Mulock, better clad than when I witnessed his purchase by the 'fast' young planter, and wearing a sullen, dogged expression, was leaning against the centre table; and Mrs. Preston, gesticulating wildly, and her face glowing with mingled rage and defiance, stood within a few feet of her husband. Not heeding our entrance, she exclaimed:

'I will have my way. If you send him off, I will never darken your doors again.'

'That is as you please, madam,' replied Preston. 'Mr. Kirke and Frank, pray be seated.'

Stung by her husband's coolness, the lady turned fiercely upon Joe, and, shaking her clenched hand in his face, cried out:

'This is your work. I will teach you better than to meddle with my affairs.'

'Madam, you act well,' said the young man, taking a step toward the door. 'Pray come out to the quarters; poor as they are, every negro will give a bit to see you play.'

In uncontrollable rage, she struck him a smart blow in the face, and rushed from the room.

When she had gone, Preston turned to Mulock:

'Now go. The amount due you I shall retain to offset, in part, what you have tempted the negroes to steal. You can come here once a week—on Sunday—to see Phylly; but if you have any more dealings with the hands, I will prosecute you on the instant.'

Mulock rose, put on his slouched hat, and, a dull fire burning in his cold, snake-like eyes, slowly said:

'Wall, Squire, I'll gwo, but 'counts 'tween you an' me ain't settled yit.'

As he went, Selma leaned forward, and, kissing Preston's cheek, said;

'O father! I'm so glad you didn't speak harshly to her.'

Preston put his arm about her, and replied:

'You helped me, my child. I should be a better, happier man, if you were with me.'

'And I will be, father; I won't go away any more.'

'But Frank?' said Preston, again kissing her.

'Oh, you know we're not to be married for a good while yet. I'll stay with you till then, father.'

'Ah! there she goes,' said Joe, looking out at the window, which commanded a view of the porte cochere; 'she can't get to Newbern till ten, but the night air won't hurt her.'

'Then she makes Newbern her home now?'[Pg 311]

'Yes, she spends the winters there; she came here only yesterday.'


Ally and Rosey were to be married[3] in the little church, and, directly after supper, we all went to the wedding. The seats had been removed from the centre of the building, for, though duly consecrated to the use of the saints, the sinners were to exercise their heels in it after the ceremony was over. At its farther extremity, the carpenter's bench of which I have spoken, elongated at both ends, and covered with a white table cloth, was piled high with eatables; indicating that a time of 'great refreshment' was at hand. The bounteous supply of ham, chicken, wild duck, roast pig, fish, hoecake, wheat bread, tea, coffee, milk, and pumpkin and sweet-potato pies under which the bench groaned, showed that some liberal hand had catered for the occasion.

Black Joe, dressed in his 'Sunday best,' was seated on the rustic settee at the back of the desk, and Phyllis and Dinah occupied chairs inside the low railing, which faced the pulpit. Phyllis looked careworn and sad, but Ally's mother was as radiant as a brass kettle in a blaze of light wood. She wore a white dress, stiffly starched and expanded by immense hoops, and a crimped nightcap, whose broad border flapped about like the wings of a crowing rooster; and she looked, for all the world, like a black ghost in a winding sheet, escaped from below, and bound on a 'good time generally.' Two 'shining lights,' on either side of the pulpit, held aloft blazing torches of pine, which illuminated the sea of grinning darkness, and sent up a smoke like that arising from the pit which is said to be bottomless. About a hundred darkies were present; and the number of glossy coats, fancy turbans, gaudy bonnets, red shawls, and flaming dresses, which the light disclosed, was amazing. The poor worm that grubbed in the earth, had appeared ('for that occasion only') as a butterfly; and Lazarus, rid of his rags, had come forth dressed like a Broadway dandy.

Any person of sensitive olfactories would have halted in the doorway; but I elbowed through the woolly gathering, and followed Frank and Selma to the family pew. Tittering, laughing, and flaunting their red and yellow kerchiefs, the black people were enjoying themselves amazingly, when 'Dar dey comes,' 'Dar'm de happy pussons,' went round the assemblage, and the bride and groom, attended by two sable couples, entered the building. After some ludicrous mistakes, they got 'into position' in front of the railing, and Black Joe took a stand before them.

Rosey was dressed in white, with a neat fillet of pink and blue ribbon about her head; and Ally wore a black frock coat, with white vest, and white cotton gloves. One of the groomsmen—a rustic beau from a neighboring plantation—wore an immensely long-tailed blue coat with brass buttons, a flaming red waistcoat, yellow woollen mittens, and a neckerchief that looked like a secession flag hugging a lamp-post. Both of these gentry had hats of stove-pipe pattern, very tall, and with narrow brims; and—they wore them during the ceremony.

'Silence in de meetin',' cried Joe.

The boisterous sea of black wool subsided to a dead calm. Those not already standing rose, and Joe commenced reading the marriage service of the Episcopal Church.

The parties immediately interested appeared to have conned their lessons well; for they made all the responses with great propriety; but some of the congregation seemed less familiar with the service. When Joe repeated the words, 'If any man kin show cause why dese folks should not be lawfully jined togedder, leff him now speak, or else for[Pg 312]eber hole his peace,' Dinah turned to the audience, and cried out:

'Yas, jess leff him come out wid it now. I'd like ter see de man dat's got onyting agin it.'

No one appeared to have 'onyting agin it,' and Joe proceeded to read the words: 'I require and charge you, if either of you know any impediment,' etc. In the midst of it a voice called out:

'Dar ain't no 'pedimen', Boss Joe; I knows dat. Gwo on, sar!' 'Dat's so, brudder,' said another voice. 'Dat's de Lord's trufh,' echoed a third. 'Doan't be 'sturbin' de meetin'; de young folks want de 'splicin' done,' cried a fourth; and 'Amen,' shouted a dozen.

'Shet up, all on you,' yelled Joe, turning on them with an imperious gesture; 'ef you hain't no more manners dan dat, clar out.'

Silence soon ensued, and Joe went on without interruption to the place where the minister asks the bride-groom: 'Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife?' Then Dinah, unable to contain herself longer, joyfully exclaimed:

'Ob course he will—ony youn' feller'd be glad to hab har.'

[Never having gone through the ceremony herself, the poor woman could not be expected to know what was appropriate to the occasion.]

No further interruption occurred, and soon the happy couple were 'bone of one bone, and flesh of one flesh.' The assemblage still standing, Joe then turned to Ally and Rosey, and, with a manner so solemn and impressive that he seemed altogether a different person from the merry darky who had entered so heartily into the 'high ole heel scrapin'' of the morning; he spoke somewhat as follows:

'My chil'ren, love one anoder; bar wid one anoder; be faithful to one anoder. You hab started on a long journey; many rough places am in de road; many trubbles will spring up by de wayside; but gwo on hand an' hand togedder; love one anoder; an' no matter what come onter you, you will be happy—fur love will sweeten ebery sorrer, lighten ebery load, make de sun shine in eben de bery cloudiest wedder. I knows it will, my chil'ren, 'case I'se been ober de groun'. Ole Aggy an' I hab trabbled de road. Hand in hand we hab gone ober de rocks; fru de mud; in de hot, burnin' sand; ben out togedder in the cole, an' de rain, an' de storm, fur nigh onter forty yar, but we hab clung to one anoder; we hab loved one anoder; and fru eberyting, in de bery darkest days, de sun ob joy an' peace hab broke fru de clouds, an' sent him blessed rays down inter our hearts. We started jess like two young saplin's you's seed a growin' side by side in de woods. At fust we seemed way 'part, fur de brambles, an' de tick bushes, an' de ugly forns—dem war our bad ways—war atween us; but love, like de sun, shone down on us, and we grow'd. We grow'd till our heads got above de bushes; till dis little branch an' dat little branch—dem war our holy feelin's—put out toward one anoder, an' we come closer an' closer togedder. And dough we'm old trees now, an' sometime de wind blow, an' de storm rage fru de tops, and freaten to tear off de limbs, an' to pull up de bery roots, we'm growin' closer an' closer, an' nearer an' nearer togedder ebery day. And soon de old tops will meet; soon de ole branches, all cobered ober wid de gray moss, will twine round one anoder; soon de two ole trunks will come togedder and grow inter one foreber—grow inter one up dar in de sky, whar de wind neber'll blow, whar de storm neber'll beat; whar we shill blossom an' bar fruit to de glory ob de Lord, an' in His heabenly kingdom foreber!

'Yas, my chil'ren, you hab started on a long journey, an' nuffin' will git you fru it but love. Nuttin' will hole you up, nuffin' will keep you faithful to one anoder, nuffin' will make you bar wid one anoder, but love. None ob[Pg 313] us kin lib widout it; but married folks want it most ob all. Dey need it more dan de bread dey eat, de water dey drink, or de air dey breafe. De worle couldn't gwo on widout it. De bery sun would gwo out in de heabens but fur dat! An' shill I tell you why? You hab heerd massa Robert talk 'bout de great law dat make de apple fall from de tree, de rock sink in de water; dat bines our feet to de round 'arth so we don't drop off as it gwo fru de air; dat holes de sun an' de stars in dar 'pointed places, so dat, day after day, an' yar after yar, dough dey'm trabblin' fasser dan de lightnin' eber went, dey'm right whar dey should be. He call it 'traction, an' all de great men call it so; but dat ain't de name! It am LOVE. It am God, fur God am love, an' love am God, an' love bines de whole creashun togedder! An' shill I tell you how it do it? Does you see dis hand? how I open de fingers; how I shet'm up; how I rise de whole arm? Does you see dis foot, dat I does wid jess de same? Does you see dis whole body, how I make it, in a twinklin', do jess what I like? Now what am it dat make my hand move, an' my whole 'body turn round so sudden, dat I'se only to say: 'Do it,' an' it'm done? Why, it am ME. It'm me, dat libs up yere in de brain, an' sends my will fru ebery part—fru ebery siner, an' ebery muscle, an' ebery little jint, an' make'm all do jess what I like. Now man am made in de image of God, an' dis pore, weak ole body am a small pattern ob de whole creashun. Eberyting go on jess as it do. Eberyting am held togedder, an' moved 'bout, jess as it am—but it'm God dat move it, not me! He libs up dar in de sky—which am His brain—wid de stars fur His hands, de planets fur His feet, an' de whole univarse fur His body; an' He sends His will—which am love—fru ebery part ob de whole, an' moves it 'bout, an' make it do jess as He likes. So you see, it am my will sent fru ebery muscle, an' ebery little siner, dat moves my body; so it am His will sent fru what de'stronomers an' de poets call de heabenly ether, dat moves His body—which am de 'arth, an' de sun, an' de stars, an' you an' me, an' ebery libin' ting in all creashun! His will move 'em all; an' His will am love! An' don't you see dat you can't do widout His love? Dat it am de bery breaf ob life? Dat, ef it war tooken 'way from you, fur jess one moment, you'd drop down, an' die, an' neber come to life agin—no, not in dis worle, nor in any oder worle? It am so, my chil'ren; an' de more you hab ob dat love, de happier you'll be; de more you'll love one ander; de easier you'll gwo fru you' life—de more joyfuller you'll meet you' deafh—de happier you'll be all fru de long, long ages dat'm comin' in de great Yereafter! Den, O my chil'ren! Love God, Love one anoder! You can't be happy widout you love God, an' you can't love Him widout you love one anoder!'

When Joe had concluded, he saluted the bride in a manner that many another sooty gentleman present would have been glad to imitate, and then took a stand at the head of the supper table. An immense tureen, filled with steaming oysters, was soon brought in and placed before him, and looking up, he said grace, in which he thanked Him who feedeth the ravens for putting it into his master's heart to feed His other black creatures, the darkies present on that occasion. He asked for his master many a happy 'Chrismus down yere,' and an eternal 'Chrismus in heaben,' and he added: 'An' knowin' dat dou hatest long prayers, an' long faces, an' dose folks dat gwo 'bout grumblin', as ef dy happy 'arth war nuffin' but a graveyard; may we enjoy dis feast an' dis day as dy true chil'ren—de chil'ren ob a good Fader, who am all joy an' all gladness—an' while we'm eatin' an' drinkin' an' dancin', may we make merry in our hearts to Thee. Amen.'

When he concluded, Preston stepped[Pg 314] to his side, and taking the big ladle from his hand, said:

'Stand aside, Joe, you have done work enough for to-night;' and turning to 'we white folks' in the family pew, he added: 'If any man among you would be master, let him now be the servant of all. Let him try his hand at the waiter business, and see if he can't throw these shady people into the shade.'

Selma, Frank, 'massa Joe,' and I went forward, and tying the negroes' aprons about our waists, took appropriate places around the table.

'Now all of you find seats,' cried Preston; and amid a hurricane of giggling and merry laughter, the black people seated themselves on the floor, on the platform, and on the row of benches ranged along the walls. Preston proceeded to fill up the bowls with the savory stew, and we dispensed the eatables among them, and for half an hour I witnessed as much enjoyment as often falls to the lot of black sinners in this 'vale of tears.'

'Now, ef dis doan't beat all,' exclaimed old Dinah, as I handed her a huge chunk of gingerbread; 'ef 'ou ain't right smart at waitin', massa Kirke, I'd like ter know it.'

'Keep dark, ole 'ooman,' shouted Black Joe; 'doan't you say nuffin' 'bout dat, or de traders'll be a hole ob him. He'd sell fur a right likely hand, shore.'

'I woan't do nuffin' but keep dark, Boss Joe,' rejoined Dinah, grinning till her face opened from ear to ear. 'I'll hab 'ou know, sar, dat none but white ladies paints!'

'Good fur you, ole lady,' cried the preacher. 'After dat you'll gib me de pleasure ob your hand in de fuss dance.'

'Ob course, I will, mister Joe; an' ef 'ou'm tired ob de ole 'ooman, I'll gib 'ou my han' in anoder dance.'

'No, you woan't, I doan't gwo fur second marridges,' rejoined Joe, looking slyly at Preston; 'dey ain't made in heaben.'

'No more' dey ain't,' said the old woman, heaving a long sigh, and also looking at Preston.

'You ain't a gwine to leff dese folks dance in de church, am you, Boss Joe?' asked a prim, demure-looking darky, in a black suit, with a white neckerchief and stiff shirt collar; probably some neighboring preacher.

'I reckon so,' replied Joe, dryly.

'An' I reckons so, too, mister I scare-you-out (Iscariot),' cried the old negress. 'Ain't de planets de Lord's feet, an' doant dey dance! I reckons we ain't no better dan de Lord is; an' ef He mobes him feet, 'ou'd better mobe 'our'n. We b'lieve in sarvin' Him wid our han's an' our feet, too; we does, mister I-scare-you-out.'

She did scare him out, for the 'pious gemman' left suddenly.

When about all of the eatables had found their way down the cavernous—and ravenous—throats of the darkies, Boss Joe rose and called out:

'Yere, you massa Joe, you pull off you' apern, an' take de big fiddle—I'm 'gaged fur de fuss dance.'

Young Preston seated himself on the platform, and several sable gentlemen with banjoes and fiddles took places beside him.

'Now all you men folks s'lect you' pardners,' cried the preacher, taking Dinah by the hand, and leading her out to the middle of the floor.

They all paired off, the fiddles broke into a merry tune, and soon the little church, which had so often echoed with the groans of the saints, shook with the heels of the sinners. When the first dance was over, Boss Joe again called out:

'Now, massa Joe, strike up de waltz—Dinah an' I am gwine to show dese folks some highfalutin dancin'.'

The waltz struck up, and off they whirled; Dinah went into it as if she were working for pay, and as Joe held her closely in his arms, her wide hoops expanded till she looked like a[Pg 315] topsail schooner scudding under bare poles.

As Joe was wiping the perspiration from his face, at the end of the waltz, an old negro entered, and whispered something in his ear. Joe's countenance fell in an instant, and, without saying a word, he left the room.

'Massa Joe,' relinquishing the big fiddle, then took the floor with Rosey, and gave the audience a genuine breakdown. His heels bobbed around like balls at a cricket match, and Rosey's petticoats fluttered about like the contents of a clothes line caught out in a hurricane. A better-looking couple were never seen in a ball room.

'He's a natural born darky,' said his father, laughing; 'he takes to dancing as a duck takes to water.'

A general dance followed. In the midst of it the old negro who had called Joe out, again came in, and making his way to where Preston and I were standing, said, in a low tone:

'Massa Robert, Ole Jack am dyin'; will 'ou come?'

'Dying!' exclaimed Preston. 'Yes, I'll be there at once. Kirke, you remember the old man—come with me.'


[1] This was the conjuror's bag of the Africans. It is called 'waiter,' or 'kunger,' by the Southern blacks, and is supposed to have the power to charm away evil spirits, and to do all manner of miraculously good things for its wearer. Those that I have seen are harmless little affairs, consisting only of small pieces of rags sewed up in coarse muslin.

[2] The name of the African god.

[3] Usually there is no marriage performed at the union of slaves. They simply agree, tacitly or otherwise, to live together till death or their master parts them.


Come to the field, boys, come!
Come at the call of the stirring drum—
Come, boys, come!
Yonder's the foe to our country's fame,
Waiting to blot out her very name—
Where is the man that would see her shame?
Come, boys, come!

Form, my brave men, form!
Stand in good order to 'meet the storm'—
Form, men, form!
Sacred to us is our native land!
Shrivelled for aye be each traitor hand
Lifted to shatter so bright a band—
Form, men, form!

Charge, my soldiers, charge!
From the steep hill to the river's marge,
Charge! charge! charge!
Think of our wives and mothers dear;
Think of the hopes that have led us here;
Think of the hearts that will give us cheer—
Charge, boys, charge!

Die with me, boys, die!
There's a place for all in yon bannered sky,
If we die, boys, die!
Think of the names that are shining bright,
Written in letters of living light!
Rather than give up the sacred Right,
Let's die, boys, die!
[Pg 316]


'Tis the soft twilight. 'Round the shining fender,
Two at my feet and one upon my knee,
Dreamy-eyed Elsie, bright-lipped Isabel,
And thou, my golden-headed Raphael,
My fairy, small and slender,
Listen to what befel
Monk Gabriel,
In the old ages ripe with mystery—
Listen, my darlings, to the legend tender.

A bearded man, with grave, but gentle look—
His silence sweet with sounds
With which the simple-hearted Spring abounds:
Lowing of cattle from the abbey grounds,
Chirping of insect, and the building rook,
Mingled like murmurs of a dreaming shell;
Quaint tracery of bird and branch and brook
Flitting across the pages of his book,
Until the very words a freshness took—
Deep in his cell,
Sate the Monk Gabriel.

In his book he read
The words the Master to His dear ones said:
'A little while and ye
Shall see,
Shall gaze on Me;
A little while, again,
Ye shall not see Me then.'
A little while!
The monk looked up—a smile
Making his visage brilliant, liquid-eyed:
'O Thou, who gracious art
Unto the poor of heart,
O Blessed Christ!' he cried,
'Great is the misery
Of mine iniquity;
But would I now might see,
Might feast on Thee!'
The blood, with sudden start,
Nigh rent his veins apart—
(O condescension of the Crucified!)
In all the brilliancy
Of His Humanity,
[Pg 317]The Christ stood by his side!

Pure as the early lily was His skin,
His cheek out blushed the rose,
His lips, the glows
Of autumn sunset on eternal snows:
And His deep eyes within,
Such nameless beauties, wondrous glories dwelt,
The monk in speechless adoration knelt.
In each fair hand, in each fair foot, there shone
The peerless stars He took from Calvary:
Around His brows, in tenderest lucency,
The thorn-marks lingered, like the flush of dawn;
And from the opening in His side there rilled
A light, so dazzling, that the room was filled
With heaven: and transfigured in his place,
His very breathing stilled,
The friar held his robe before his face,
And heard the angels singing!
'Twas but a moment—then, upon the spell
Of this sweet Presence, lo! a something broke:
A something, trembling, in the belfry woke,
A shower of metal music flinging
O'er wold and moat, o'er park and lake and fell,
And, through the open windows of the cell,
In silver chimes came ringing.

It was the bell
Calling Monk Gabriel
Unto his daily task,
To feed the paupers at the abbey gate.
No respite did he ask,
Nor for a second summons idly wait;
But rose up, saying in his humble way:
'Fain would I stay,
O Lord! and feast alway
Upon the honeyed sweetness of Thy beauty—
But 'tis Thy will, not mine, I must obey;
Help me to do my duty!'
The while the Vision smiled,
The monk went forth, light-hearted as a child.

An hour thence, his duty nobly done,
Back to his cell he came.
Unasked, unsought, lo! his reward was won!
Rafters and walls and floor were yet aflame
With all the matchless glory of that Sun,
And in the centre stood the Blessed One—
(Praised be His Holy Name!)
Who, for our sakes, our crosses made His own.
[Pg 318]And bore our weight of shame!
Down on the threshold fell
Monk Gabriel,
His forehead pressed upon the floor of clay;
And, while in deep humility he lay,
Tears raining from his happy eyes away,
'Whence is this favor, Lord?' he strove to say.
The Vision only said,
Lifting its shining head:
'If thou hadst staid, O son! I must have fled!'




There is nothing which the world dreads so much as an unpitying truth. The history of ideas is that of men trying to persuade themselves that special miracles of amiability are ever being worked, from the cradle to the grave, in their favor. Of the tremendous inconsistency and destructiveness which such miracles imply, they take no heed. The most unpalatable fact in physics is that of the Struggle for Life.

Ideas once born may never die, but it is worth noting how many men must die ere their ideas can live. The Indo-Germanic race has always been blessed with many of those self-cursed martyrs, the Anticipators, or the men who have outstripped their age. Like the advance guard of the summer swallows, they have generally died by frosts and lived in fables.

Germany is very proud of her Berchthold Schwartz, and in her pride has made a proverb declaring that his invention was the proof of supreme wisdom. When they describe a fool, they say there that he did not discover gunpowder. But 'the first handful of gunpowder' did not, as Carlyle claims, drive Monk Schwartz's pestle through the ceiling. Long before Schwartz, lived Bacon; and a century or so before Bacon, there were in existence Norman-Latin recipes, says Palsgrave—who had seen them—ad faciendum le craké, for making firecrackers—at least, for making gunpowder which would crack merrily when fired. Stained glass windows, according to the cheap and easy explanations of those who used to send us to natural scenery for every origin in architecture, were suggested by beholding the winter sunset lines of the sky through the bare gothic-window tracery of a leafless forest. Recent research finds the stained window in the antique burning East, where no studies were made by frost or forest light—nay, the leaves carved by tradition-loving Gothic Free Masons in churches often keep a peculiar Eastern form.

I am not, however, lecturing of Lost Arts in the strain which sings 'there is nothing new under the sun,' and which in a chilling manner benumbs the faith in progress by shaking with a grin before the wearied inventor some skeleton puppet of buried ages, which resembles his great thought as a hut resembles a palace. On the contrary, I find in this strange frequency of anticipation among Indo-Germanic races, and[Pg 319] in its premature failures, a vast proof of inventive vitality and of promise of great rising truths into all future ages. 'Steam power is nothing new,' say the advocates of the genius of the past. Hero of Alexandria invented a steam toy—as he who can read his Spiritalia published by the Jesuits in 1693 may learn for himself. But the power now roaring and whizzing all over the world, and which would build every pyramid and every monument of Egypt now extant in twenty-four hours, is no toy. When I think of this, there is no ingenious trifle for amusement which does not inspire a droll awe. Possibly those walking dolls now performing their weary pilgrimages on level glass-pane floors in Broadway windows—gravely lifting those enormous gilded boots, which remind me of Miss Kilmansegg and Queen Berta à grands piés, in one—have a good reason for their dignity of gait. For may they not be golden-footed and solemn, like her who rose from the waves of old to prophesy to her son?—and if she was silver-footed, it makes no difference, for so are some of the autoperiper—nay, that word finishes me, and I go no further. Such a block of Greek would bring even a German sentence down with a crash to a verbless conclusion. What I would have said was, that it may be that these dolls are heralds of greater dolls yet to come, which shall be wound up to fetch and carry, to sew on buttons—nay, it is even possible (in the wildest of dreams) that they may be made to boil potatoes properly. And I have been told that a recent improvement in boys' rocking horses, by means of which a trotting motion is given to the legs of those docile animals, has suggested to a mechanic of this city the construction of a very good automatic steed, whose only fault is slowness. May I suggest that a very great improvement indeed may yet be made on that horse, and that the two-forty of a coming generation may be the result, not of oats and hay, but of steel springs and cylinders? The first wooden horse burnt Troy—what will the last do?

I have been reminded of the strange tendency in man—but more especially of the Indo-Germanic or Aryan man—to anticipate by invention the wants of an age, sometimes centuries beforehand—by turning over that very curious work, the 'Century of Inventions,' by the Marquis of Worcester, in which, as in the commonplace book of an author, one may find jotted down many an undeveloped idea of great promise. In this connection we may be allowed to borrow somewhat from a biography by Charles F. Partington, published in 1825.

Edward Lord Herbert, the sixth earl and second Marquis of Worcester, was born at Ragland near Monmouth; and his family, long distinguished for the most devoted loyalty, possessed the largest landed estate of any then attached to the British court. What this was in those times is set forth by the fact that in 1628 the father of the marquis had a revenue of upward of twenty thousand pounds. In 1642, the year in which his son was created marquis, the young heir raised, supported, and commanded an army of 1,500 foot and near 500 horse soldiers.

He had a stormy life before him, this young marquis, with many more scenes, adventures, and changes than are to be found in Woodstock and Peveril of the Peak. How he fought well, recapturing Monmouth among other things from the Puritan General Massey, how he was appointed, in consequence of his daring cavaliering raids, by Charles II to negotiate with the Irish Catholics; how the king often visited him at Ragland, is all a fine story, well worth reading. We can get glimpses of that REGAL life—as Mr. Partington admiringly small-caps his climax, from the 'list of the Ragland household' with the earl's order of dining—castle gates closed at eleven o'clock in the morning, the entry of the earl with a grand escort, 'the retiral of the steward'—the[Pg 320] advance of 'the Comptroller, Mr. Holland, attended by his staff'—'as did the sewer, the daily waiters, and many gentlemen's sons, with estates from two to seven hundred pounds a year, who were bred up in the castle, and my lady's gentlemen of the chamber.' Therein, too, we see the rattling of trenchers, and hear the gurgling of bottles, at the first table, of the noble family, and such stray nobility as came there; at the second table, of knights and honorables—at the second 'first table' in the hall of 'Sir Ralph Blackstone, Steward; the Comptroller, the Master of the Horse, the Master of the Fish Ponds, my Lord Herbert's Preceptor,' and such gentlemen as were under degree of a knight—these all being 'plentifully served with wine.' Of the second table there is no note of much wine, but it still had 'hot meats from my Lord's table,' and at it sat the Sewer with gentlemen waiters and pages to the number of twenty-four—and even now we are not yet come to the vulgar. For at the third table sat my Lord's Chief Auditor, his Purveyor of the Castle, Keeper of the Records—Ushers of the Hall—Clerk—Closet Keeper—Master of the Armory—and below these divers Masters of the Hounds—Twelve Master Grooms of the Stables, Master Falconer—Keepers of the Red Deer Park—and below these yet one hundred and fifty 'footmen, grooms, and other menial servants.'

Bright gleams vanish—the stately dinner parties grow dim, Masters of Horses and Hounds go to battle, the plate is melted down, and all is sad and sere. The young lord is sent by King Charles abroad, and Parliamentary Fairfax comes thundering at the gate, where admittance is refused by the venerable old marquis. Fairfax besieges boldly and is gallantly attacked by repeated sallies. I had rather the Puritans, with whom all my head goes, and with it half my heart, had behaved better than they did on this occasion. For after the venerable old marquis had fought nobly and surrendered on honorable terms, I am sorry to say he was most dishonorably treated, the conditions of capitulation being disgracefully violated, and the old marquis put in close prison, where he soon died in his eighty-fifth year.—Well, well—there was abundance of such false faith and dark villany on both sides ere the war was over. Be it remembered that these same nobles had kept the honor too closely to themselves, and ridiculed it out of life quite too sharply in the 'base mechanicals' to fairly expect mastery in gentility from them. And in these same Partingtonian Biographies, I am often inclined to suspect that the lions do some of their own carving.

Puritans sequestered and smashed the estate right and left—lead sold for six thousand pounds, woods cut down and sold for one hundred thousand more. 'Pity!' do you say? Reader mine, there is enough land in parks at this present day in broad England to feed that wretched one eighth of her population who are now buried at public expense. That dis-parking business was at any rate not badly done.

Little more is seen of the young lord through the war. In 1654 he is at King Charles's court in France—is sent to London to procure supplies of money for the king—is caught and Towered, where he rests for several years, sorrowfully poor, if we may judge from a letter to Colonel Copley, in which he declares that 'I am forced to begge, if you could possible, eyther to helpe me with tenne pownds to this bearer, or to make vse of the coache and to goe to Mr. Clerke, and if he could this daye helpe me to fifty pownds then to paye yourself the five pownds I owe you out of them.' A melancholy letter, after all that glittering Arthur's-court splendor of first, second, and third tables of nobility, Masters of Robes and Records—a letter in which there seems some trace of getting money by 'projects' and 'bubbles'—whether of do[Pg 321]ing little bills or by Notable Inventions, I will not say. Prison does not, it is true, last forever, but its doors open on a scene of baseness blacker than that which brought the brave old marquis with sorrow to his grave. The tale is told in a paragraph:

'On the king's restoration, the Marquis of Worcester was one of the first to congratulate his Majesty on the happy event, though the situation of the unfortunate nobleman was little bettered by the change; indeed it appeared but as the signal for new persecutions, as one of the earliest public acts of the ungrateful monarch may be characterized as an insidious attempt to set aside the claims of his earliest and best friend.'

'Put not thy trust in princes.' To contrast this treatment of poor Worcester with the fervent written promises of the ungrateful 'C. R.' or Carolus Rex, might have shook the faith of Dr. Johnson in his beloved 'merry monarch.' The earlier letters of the king to the marquis, when something was expected of the 'gallant cavalier,' and the latter had 'money to lend,' are painfully amusing:

Oxford, Feb. 12. * * 'I am sensible of the dangers yu will undergo, and ye greate trouble and expences you must be at, not being able to assist yu who have already spente aboue a Million of Crowns in my Service, neither can I saye more then I well remembr to have spoke and written to you that allready words could not expresse your merits nor my gratitude: and that next to my wife and children I was most bound to take care of you, whereof I have besides others, particularly assured yor Cosin Biron as a person deare unto you. * * And rest assured, if God should crosse me wth your miscarrying I will treate your Sonne as myne owne, and that yw labour for a deare friende as well as a thankfull Master when tyme shall afforde meanes to acknowledge how much I am

'Yor most assured real constant
and thankfull friend
'Charles R.'

There are other letters from Charles R., very little to his credit as regards the keeping of promises, and likewise several strange papers of the Worcester people, showing that they had their clouds and humors, like other families. Of our marquis—the reader will readily pardon me all that I have digressed to say of his early history—it must suffice to tell that, after the Restoration, he appears as a poor inventor, and that on the 3d April, 1663, a bill was brought into Parliament for granting to him and his successors the whole of the profits that might arise from the use of a water-raising engine, described in the last article in the 'Century' of Inventions. The 'Century' itself had been presented to the king and commons some months previously. This invention, coupled with its penultimate and antepenultimate ninety-ninth and ninety-eighth inventions, may indeed be justly considered as the wonder of the 'Century,' since, when united with the sixty-eighth, they appear, in Partington's opinion, to suggest all the data essential for the construction of a modern steam engine. The injustice which he encountered during life, seems to have followed Worcester for two centuries after death; for Lord Orford declares that the bill granting the marquis such advantages as his invention might give birth to, was passed on a simple affirmation of the discovery that he (the marquis) had made. 'His lordship's want of candour in this statement will be apparent when it is known that there were no less than seven meetings of committees on the subject, composed of some of the most learned men in the house, who, after considerable amendments, finally passed it on the 12 May.'

It is touching to see the absolute, extreme, life-giving faith in the merit of his invention which inspired the marquis—and in this strange faith, like a prophecy, even more than in his invention itself, considering the way in which he probably came by it, do we recognize that Genius which rises here and there in the past history of the Aryan races, and that so all-sidedly and confidingly as to seem miraculous. I confess that when I look closely and deeply into the knowledge of Dante and Lionardo da Vinci, of Fiar Bacon, and the Cavalier Marquis of Worcester,[Pg 322] an awe comes over me. All of them seem to have been so great, some of their order so unearthly great; and they held the keys to so many mysteries, and to doors of science which were not unlocked for long centuries after their death; and there was in all of them such a strange sympathy and knowledge with the other great men as yet unborn, who were to come after them, and for whom they seem to have labored, and to whom they talked with the confidence of friends. I never pause before a certain passage in Dante's 'Inferno,' without the feelings of one standing before a great prophet—some marvellous earthly ancient of days, who foresaw all to come:

'Di là fosti cotanto quant'io scesi:
Quando mi volsi, tu possasti 'l punto
Alqual si troggon d'ogni parte i pasi.'

'Thou wast on the other side so long as I
Descended; when I turned thou didst o'erpass
That point to which from every part is dragged
All heavy unbalance!'

It was well thought by Monti that, had this passage been noted by Newton, it might have given him a better hint than the falling apple. Perhaps it did, for Newton was no poet, and it is the poetic, associative-minded men of genius who have always preceded the greatest, strictly scientific minds, and far surpassed the latter in the comprehensiveness of their views. Bear with me, ye men of Induction, for I believe in the coming age, at whose threshold we even now stand, when ye and the poets shall be one.

The Marquis of Worcester was not like the indifferentist philosopher, so well set forth by Charles Woodruff Shields in his Philosophia Ultima,[4] as one who would not invade, but only ignore the province of revelation, regarding its mysteries as matters entirely too vague to be taken into the slightest account in his exact science. For our good Lord Herbert thought Heaven had a great deal to do with his inventions, as is proved by his 'ejaculatory and extemporary Thanksgiving Prayer, when first with his corporeal eyes he did see finished a perfect trial of his Water-commanding Engine, delightful and useful to whomsoever hath in recommendation either knowledge, profit, or pleasure.' And—never mind the delay, reader—we will even look at that prayer, in which this world and the next blend so strangely;

'Oh! infinitely omnipotent God! whose mercies are fathomless, and whose knowledge is immense and inexhaustible; next to my creation and redemption I render thee most humble thanks from the very bottom of my heart and bowels, for thy vouchsafing me (the meanest in understanding) an insight in soe great a secret of nature, beneficent to all mankind, as this my water-commanding engine. Suffer me not to be puffed up, O Lord, by the knowing of it, and many more rare and unheard off, yea, unparalleled inventions, tryals, and experiments. But humble my haughty heart, by the true knowledge of myne owne ignorant, weake, and unworthy nature; proane to all euill. O most merciful Father my creator, most compassionatting Sonne my redeemers, and Holyest of Spiritts the sanctifier, three diuine persons and one God, grant me a further concurring grace with fortitude to take hould of thy goodnesse, to the end that whatever I doe, unanimously and courageously to serve my king and country, to disabuse, rectifie, and convert my undeserved yet wilfully incredulous enemyes, to reimburse thankfully my creditors, to reimmunerate my benefactors, to reinhearten my distressed family, and with complacence to gratifie my suffering and confiding friends, may, voyde of vanity or selfe ends, be only directed to thy honour and glory everlastingly. Amen!'

How this great invention faded and was forgotten till the days of Watt and Fulton, is hardly worth surmising. It had been born and died long before. Was it not in 1514 that Blasco de Garay set a steamboat afloat on the Tagus? Sometimes, as in the case of John Fitch, it seems to have grown spontaneously from the instinctive impulse to create, as Fichte calls art. I have seen old men, who had known Fitch: their account of his severely won improvements, and more recently his 'Life,' make me believe that he owed noth[Pg 323]ing to precedent. But the marquis, I am sorry to say, notwithstanding his prayer and his bold claim to originality, cannot come off with so clear a record, so far as invention is concerned. He certainly gave a good, plausible account of the discovery, or it was given for him, and this went current for many years in books of inventions. It was said that the marquis, while confined in the Tower of London, was preparing some food in his apartment, and the cover of the vessel, having been closely fitted, was, by the expansion of the steam, suddenly forced off and driven up the chimney. 'This circumstance, attracting his attention, led him to a train of thought, which terminated in the completion of his 'water-commanding engine.''

E ben trovato. Unfortunately, within a few years, and since Partington published the 'Century of Invention,' there was unearthed from the gossiping letters of a gay French court-belle, who little dreamed what ill service she was doing her gallant, and what good service to history, a chance bit of trifling, as she probably deemed it, which sends the marquis's story exploding up the chimney after the lid of his apocryphal kettle. It seems that when the marquis was in France, he, in accordance with the elegant and refined custom which prevailed there and in England, as the reader may gather from Boswell's 'Johnson'—went with this lady to visit the madmen confined in the public prison.

I have already digressed so widely in this article, that a sin more or less, of the kind, need not be noted too severely. Reader, if you are one of those who think that mankind do not progress in heart, what think you of this pretty custom of the last century, according to which gentlemen and ladies of the highest rank, 'persons of quality,' made up parties to visit public madhouses, which, by the way, were common shows, at one penny entrance fee, and where the young gentlemen poked the mad people with sticks, and pelted them, shook their chains, and jeered them, till they foamed and raved, and the young misses giggled and gave pretty screams, and cried, 'Oh, fie!' and 'lor!' and then the visitors all laughed together? Then Miss ——, a little bolder, hissed at the lunatics herself, and poked them with a stick—and then there was a fresh storm of tears and howls and blasphemy and obscenity; and the keepers, rushing in with heavy cudgels, beat the 'patients' right and left like cattle—and it was all 'so horrible!' Bad, think you? These were the ladies and gentlemen of the old school—the Grandisons and Chesterfields and their dames. At the present day there are still vulgar people who haunt insane asylums and prisons, and scenes of domestic affliction and courts, for the sake of gratifying a gross love of excitement, which they disguise to themselves under various ingenious pretences. But the tendency of the age is to discourage such meddling and prying into the mysteries and miseries of humanity. It is low, it is mean, and the better nurtured and higher minded leave it to boors—be they of Peoria or the Fifth avenue.

Well, our marquis, then the first gentleman in Great Britain, one of 'the barons of England who fought for the crown,' when in France as particular friend of His Majesty Charles II, went one day on such a party of pleasure, and somewhat annoyed his pretty companion by persisting in listening to the drivelling talk of a madman—one Solomon de Caus—who, while he rattled his chains, talked of a great invention he had made, whereby chariots were to go by steam, and weights be raised, and all manner of brave work be effected, at small cost or labor to man. And the marquis talked to the madman, and the lady laughed, and the chains rattled, and the straw rustled, and—well, it has been made the subject of a very good picture—which you, reader, may have seen, either in original or engraving.[Pg 324]

I will not pretend to say how far what is known of the life of this French inventor is reconcilable with this story of the madhouse. It is certain that Solomon de Caus, a French engineer, architect, and author, died about 1635, that he was born probably at Dieppe, and devoted himself to mathematics. The marquis might have met him in a better place than a bedlam, since in 1612 De Caus went to London, where he was attached to the Prince of Wales, and afterward to Charles I. From 1614 to 1620 he lived in Heidelberg at the court of the Elector Frederic V, and returned to France in 1624, where he received the title of royal engineer and architect. More than this, he wrote books on mechanics, in one of which, Les Raysons des Forces Mouvantes, he speaks of the expansion and condensation of steam in a manner which has been supposed to suggest the alternate action of the piston, the principle of the steam engine, and, finally, 'the great discovery' of and to the Marquis of Worcester. How far all this may be supposed to contradict the lady's story, I will not say. Certain it is, that many a man who has done quite as well in worldly honors, has, after all, come to misery and madness through unfortunately making an invention.

Inventors have, on the whole, a little easier time of it in these days—and yet not so very much easier, as the reader who has chanced, like myself, to study law in an office where there are many 'patent cases,' will bear witness. Eighteen hundred years ago, the inventor was crucified—lest his malleable glass should injure Ephesian or other silversmiths. During the middle ages, they burnt him alive. In the times of Worcester he seldom escaped prison, for to be a 'projector' was a charge which greatly aggravated that of treason; while in France, where they managed these things better, according to the views of the day, they simply cast him into a dungen among madmen. In America in the nineteenth century he has indeed occasionally better luck, and yet in most cases not so much better as most think. For, apart from the fact that he must generally sell his invention to richer men endowed with business faculty, who get nearly all the profits, and, not unfrequently, by clapping their names to the project, all the credit, he must also wage a weary, heart-breaking legal war on infringers of patents and other thieves; so that by the time his time has expired, he has seldom much to show for his brain-work.[5] 'Serves him right, he has no business capacity,' cry the multitude. We need not look far for examples. I am not sure that Eli Whitney, when he fell with his cotton gin among the thieves of the South, did not fare quite as badly and suffer quite as much as Solomon de Caus. For to be clapped fair and square into a dungeon is at all events a plain martyrdom, with which one can grapple philosophically or go mad à discretion, while to be only half honored and nine-tenths plundered, dragged meanwhile through courts and newspapers, may be better or worse, according to one's measure. After all, the good old Roman plan of putting a man to death for inventing malleable glass had its advantages—it was at least more merciful from a Christian point of view, and would, at the present day, save a vast amount of yards of Patent Law red tape.

Artis et Naturæ proles, 'the offspring of Nature and of Art.' Such is the motto with which the Marquis of Worcester prefaced his 'Century of the Names and Scantlings of such inventions as he could in the year 1663 call to mind,' and which he presented to Government in the bold hope that by their purchase or other disposition he might even out-go the six or seven hundred thousand pounds already sac[Pg 325]rificed for the king, as he asserts, but rather meaning, I imagine, that he might get some portion of it back again. Let no one laugh at the character of many of these 'Scantlings.' Science was young then; thaumaturgy, or the working of mere wonders, was still the elder sister of art; astrology might be found in every street; alchemists still labored in lonely towers all over England; and witches were still burned to the glory of GOD. The 'Mathematicall Magick, or the Wonders that may be performed by Mechanicall Geometry'—now by chance open before me—by Bishop Wilkins, the brother-in-law of Cromwell, with its disquisitions on 'Perpetuall Motion,' 'Volant Automata,' and 'Perpetuall Lamps,' passed for sound sense, and with it passed much occult nonsense of a darker dye. Manners and morals were as yet badly organized. Gambling was a daily amusement with all the gentry, and its imitators; for the Revolution, though it had very promptly driven out of England the very little merriment and cheerfulness which the Reformation had spared, had by no means taken away vice, and to cheat at cards was a part of all play in the best society—which it had not been in the olden time. Political plots were still rife, and cipher alphabets, signals by knots and signs, deadly secret weapons, and devices to escape prison were in daily demand, just as patent apple-parers and ice-cream freezers are at the present day. The marquis, who had lived well through his times, knew what would be popular, and, though a man of honor as times went, and a pious Christian, never dreamed that he did not play his part as a good citizen in supplying such grotesque wants.

First among his Inventions is one which, revived in modern times, meets the eye of every one daily on the face of every letter. As he designed it, it was, however, very elaborate, embracing 'several sorts of seals, some showing by screws, others by gauges, fastening or unfastening all the marks at once: others by additional points and imaginary places, proportionable to ordinary escutcheons and seals at arms, each way palpably and punctually setting down (yet private from all others but the owner, and by his assent) the day of the month, the day of the week, the month of the year, the year of our Lord, the names of the witnesses, and the individual place where anything was sealed, though in ten thousand several places, together with the very number of lines contained in a contract, whereby falsification may be discovered and manifestly proved.' Upon these seals, too, one could keep accounts of receipts and disbursements, from one farthing to millions, and, finally, as a climax to their mystery, by their means any letter, 'though written but in English, may be read and understood in eight several languages, and in English itself, to clear contrary and different sense, unknown to any but the correspondent, and not to be read or understood by him neither, if opened before it arrive unto him.'

It is believed that the secret of these seals is simply this: a number of movable metallic circles are made to slide within each other, on one common centre, the whole being enclosed in an outer frame. Within these circles may be placed either movable types, or letters and figures may be engraved on the circles themselves, and these, according to a key, of which the corresponding parties must possess a duplicate. To fully understand the secret of the composition of a sentence 'in eight several languages,' we must have recourse to invention No. 32 of the 'Century,' teaching 'how to compose an universal character, methodical and easily to be written, yet intelligible in any language .... distinguishing the verbs from the nouns, the numbers, tenses, and cases, as properly expressed in their own language as it was written in English.' Such a system was com[Pg 326]posed by the Bishop Wilkins already referred to; Bacon had busied himself with a 'pasigraphy' long before; Leibnitz, Dalgaru, Frischius, Athanasius Kircher, Pére Besnier, and some twenty others have done the same. The most practical solution of the problem seems to have been that of John Joachim Becher, who in 1661 published a Latin folio, which, apart from its main subject, is valuable from its observations on grammar, and on the affinities existing between seven of the ancient and modern tongues. With this he gives a Latin dictionary, in which every word corresponds with one or more Arabic numerals. 'Every word is assumed as distinctive, or denoting the same word in all languages; and consequently nothing more is required than to compose a dictionary for each, similar to that which he has given for the Latin.' Certain determinate numbers being given for the declensions and conjugations, and the cases, moods, tenses, and persons, the whole grammar becomes extremely easy of acquisition. Let us suppose that a Frenchman wishes to write to a German: La guerre est un grand mal—'War is a great evil.' He seeks in his index guerre, and finds 13. The verb etre, 'to be,' is 33. Grand, or 'great,' is 67; and mal, or 'evil,' is 68. The sentence then reads:

13. 33. 67. 68.

The sentence might be understood by these four numbers, but the author perfects it. Guerre, or 'war,' is the nominative case, and is appropriately designated by the Arabic numeral 1. The third person, singular, present tense, of the indicative mood of a verb, is characterized by 15. Grand and mal being each in the nominative case, also require the figure 1. He will therefore write:

13. 1 | 33. 15 | 67. 1 | 68.1

—the numbers being separated by a vertical dash, to avoid confusion. The German, inverting the process, turns to hisdictionary, and finds Der Krieg ist ein grosses Uebel.

If the world were to be persuaded to adopt these dictionaries, and with them some uniform oral system of counting, such as might be learned in a day, who shall say in what conversation might result! Fancy an orator counting '83.1—10.16—225.2'—interrupted by enthusiastic cries of '2.30' and '11.45!' Fancy a lover breathing his tender passion in '837.25—29.1,' and extracting a reluctant '12' from his adored. Fancy a drunken Delaware Democrat—a Saulsbury—flourishing a revolver, and gurgling out '54.40' to the Sergeant-at-Arms in particular, and decency in general, as a proof of his fitness to be regarded as a mate for his Southern colleagues. Fancy Brignoli singing '1.2.3,' as he reminds us by his good singing and wooden acting of a nightingale imprisoned in a pump—

Or fancy the appearance of a page of Shakspeare or Homer thus metamorphosed.

'He lisped in numbers for, the numbers came.'

It is something to the marquis's credit that he evidently, to judge from the sixth article of his 'Century,' had discovered the telegraph, an invention not much used in Europe until the commencement of the French Revolution. It had indeed been understood in a rude form by the ancients. 'Polybius describes a method of communication which was invented by Cleoxenus, which answered both by day and night,' but that of Worcester's is thought to have been far superior to anything known before his time. The following paragraphs all indicate inventions greatly in advance of his age:

'No. IX.—An engine portable in one's pocket, which may be carried and fastened in the inside of the greatest ship, tanquam aliud agens, and at any appointed minute, though a week after, either of day or night, it shall irrecoverably sink that ship.'

A bombshell filled with gunpowder, a gunlock, and a small clock, have been suggested as forming the compo[Pg 327]nents of this invention. I am satisfied however, that several very dangerous detonating powders were well known to the alchemists; and the condensed pocket size of the machine described, would evidently require some such preparation.

'No. X.—A way from a mile off to dive and fasten a like engine to any ship so as it may punctually work the same effect either for time or execution.'

Precisely the same experiment has within a week of the time at which I am now writing, been made at Washington, as it was by Mr. Fulton half a century ago with his Torpedo-harpoon. If the marquis contemplated simply human agency as the aid to apply his portable powder-machine, it must be admitted that he had at least contemplated a more effective diving bell than any known to modern times. Submarine transit was indeed a subject to which he had devoted special study.

'No. XI.—How to prevent and safeguard any ship from such an attempt by day or night.

'No. XII.—A way to make a ship not possible to be sunk, though shot at an hundred times between wood and water by cannon, and should she lose a whole plank, yet, in half an hour's time, should be made to sail as fit as before.'

It is thought that a great number of airtight compartments was the secret here hinted at; but the spirit of positive confidence with which the marquis speaks, and the great number of successful shots which he defies, seems to hint at something like the Ericsson Monitor of these days. Not without interest is the following:

'No. XIII—How to make such false decks as in a moment should kill and take prisoners as many as should board the ship, without blowing the real decks up, or destroying them from being reducible; and in a quarter of an hour's time should recover their former shape, and to be made fit for any employment, without discovering the secret.'

The words italicized set forth the startling marvel of the whole. It is said that a false deck of thick plank may be easily blown into the air, when a number of small iron boxes, open at the top, and filled with gunpowder, are placed beneath. How this could be done and yet kept secret is indeed a wonder, and we must therefore conjecture that the marquis had some other device in his mind. Certain it is, that the idea of converting vessels into traps of destruction, or of so defending them as to destroy assailants after boarding the decks, has not been very extensively developed.

'No. XVI.—How to make a sea castle or a fortification cannon proof, capable of a thousand men, yet sailable at pleasure to defend a passage, or in an hour's time to divide itself into three ships, as fit and trimmed to sail as before; and even whilst it is a fort or castle, they shall be unanimously steered, and effectually be driven by an indifferent strong wind.'

It is to be regretted that Parliamentary or other inducements were not employed to obtain from the marquis, at least the publication of his views as regards making vessels cannon proof. From the general character of his inventions, and from comparison of them, it appears he had full faith in cannon-proof floating batteries as a means of defence, and, we may consequently and justly infer, as superior to the latter. Among his inventions there are but two in reference to 'fortifications,' and both of these are after a manner a transfer of the floating battery to land, or an application of the principle of mobile defences. These are as follows:

'No. XXIX.—A portable fortification, able to contain five hundred fighting men, and yet, in six hours' time, may be set up and made cannon proof, upon the side of a river or pass, with cannon mounted upon it, and as complete as a regular fortification, with halfmoons and counterscarps.

'No. XXX.—A way in one night's time to raise a bulwark, twenty or thirty foot high, cannon proof, and cannon mounted upon it; with men to overlook, command, and batter a town, for though it (the bulwark) contain but four pieces, they shall be able to discharge two hundred bullets each hour.'

[Pg 328]

There can be but little question, from all I have cited, that the Marquis of Worcester was singularly in advance of his age as regarded the great principles of warfare. We have found him thus far, in all probability, acquainted with the construction of permutable seals, and indeed of the grand principle of permutation applied to technology in several respects (vide "Century" Nos. III, IV, V,) of the telegraph, of sinking vessels by torpedoes, and, finally, of floating batteries and cannon-proof vessels. In No. 30, we have, however, a hint that the marquis had studied the principles of revolving firearms, when he speaks of four cannon discharging two hundred bullets each hour. That he had, theoretically, at least, anticipated Colt, appears from

'No. LVIII.—How to make a pistol discharge a dozen times with one loading, and without so much as once new priming requisite, or to change it out of one hand into the other, or stop one's horse.'

I call attention to the words which I have italicized. It is well known that the mere principle of revolving barrels in firearms was already old, even when Worcester wrote. I have seen guns of the kind over three hundred years old, and they are not uncommon in foreign museums. But it would appear that the marquis was acquainted with the principle of the self-cocking pistol. How else could he propose to discharge a gun a dozen times, without changing it from one hand to another? And this, I believe, was not known before his day. But how this could have been conveniently carried out, without some application of detonating powders in place of flint, steel, and gunpowder, I do not understand. That he was very probably familiar with the application of such chemical detonating agents has already been suggested. In another number, he suggests the application of this principle to 'carbines.' So in No. LXII, he proposes 'a way for a harquebuss, a crock, or ship musket, six upon a carriage, shooting with such expedition as, without danger, one may charge, level, and discharge them sixty times in a minute of an hour, two or three together.' To which he adds the following:

'No. LXIV.—A seventh, tried and approved before the late king (of ever blessed memory), and an hundred lords and commons, in a cannon of eight inches and half a quarter, to shoot bullets of sixty-four pounds weight, and twenty-four pounds of powder, twenty times in six minutes; so clear from danger, that after all were discharged, a pound of butter did not melt, being laid upon the cannon britch, nor the green oil discoloured that was first anointed and used between the barrel thereof, and the engine having never in it, nor within six foot, but one charge at a time.'

Several improvements of this kind are suggested in the 'Century,' which evidently involve different principles from that of the modern revolver, in reference to which difference we are informed in a 'note by the author,' that 'when I first gave my thoughts to make guns shoot often, I thought there had been but one only exquisite way inventible; yet, by several trials, and much charge, I have perfectly tried all of these.'

I cannot venture in a single article to exhaust the suggestions in the Century, and must refer my reader to the volume himself, assuring him that he will there find many curious hints, several of which have, since its publication, been very practically realized. It is worth noting, however, that the author seems to have fully anticipated a very remarkable modern invention, in declaring that 'a woman even may with her delicate hand, vary the ways of coming to open a lock ten millions of times, beyond the knowledge of the smith that made it, or of me who invented it.' From this, as I have already suggested, it appears that he had, far in advance of his age, mastered a very great principle in mechanics; and as he appears to have understood, in theory at least, several others, it is no more than justice to rank him far above those mere charlatans of science,[Pg 329] and hunters for marvels by means of isolated observation and experiment, with whom many would place him. That the 'Century' contains much which would be very discreditable to any man of science at the present day, is very true. Perpetual motion, perfect aerostation, devices for idle tricks and mere thaumaturgy, appear in company with schemes to take unfair advantages at card playing, and for the construction of false dice boxes—of which latter it is indignantly observed by honest Partington, that, there are few who profess the science of cheating at cards or dice, or to be encouragers of those who do; and it may fairly be conceded that there are not two periods in our regal annals, in which this detestable meanness had become fashionable enough to sanction a nobleman in inscribing to a king and his parliament a method by which it might be advantageously effected! We may, however, believe that a second period has at the present dawned over England, not much inferior as regards 'detestable meanness,' to that of Charles the Second. A recent transaction has shown that noblemen and their friends in the year 1862, are not above ascertaining from Johnson's Dictionary, the obsolete spelling of a word, such as rain-deer, betting a hundred pounds with an American as to its true orthography, and agreeing with him to abide by Johnson's authority; a piece of swindling quite as detestable in its meanness as the using of loaded dice. Neither can I see that the conduct of a majority of the British people, in fomenting Abolition for many years, and then giving her aid and countenance to our Southern rebels, on the flimsy, and, at best, brazenly selfish plea of the Morrill Tariff, is less detestable or less mean. We may regret to see a vice in individuals tolerated in high places; but when the blackest inconsistency, and the most contemptible avarice are elevated by a Christian nation into principles of conduct toward another nation struggling to free the oppressed, we may well doubt whether another period has not approached in England, over which the future historiographer may not sigh as deeply as over that of Charles the Second.

I attach no serious value to the efforts of the Marquis of Worcester, save as illustrating the principle with which I prefaced this article: that according to the mental peculiarities of the most vigorous of races—the Indo-Germanic above others—there is a tendency in certain active minds to generalize and draw practical conclusions, not unfrequently centuries in advance of the wants of their age. The partial and premature forcing of these principles into practice, is sometimes quoted in after years as derogatory to the merit due to modern inventors, and as illustrating to a degree never contemplated by him who uttered it, the maxim that there's 'nothing new under the sun.' Nothing? Why, everything is new under the sun when it first assumes fit time and place. Were this not true, we might as well return to 'Nature's Centenary of Inventions,' as set forth by a pleasant pen in Household Words:

'Before the first clumsy sail was hoisted by a savage hand, the little Portuguese man-of-war, that frailest and most graceful nautilus boat, had skimmed over the seas with all its feathery sails set in the pleasant breeze; and before the great British Admiralty marked its anchors with the Broad Arrow, mussels and pinna had been accustomed to anchor themselves by flukes to the full as effective as the iron one in the Government dockyards. The duck used oars before we did; and rudders were known by every fish with a tail, countless ages before human pilots handled tillers; the floats on the fishermen's nets were pre-figured in the bladders on the sea weed; the glowworm and firefly held up their light-houses before pharas or beacon-tower guided the wanderer among men; and, as long before Phipps brought over the diving bell to this country as the creation, spiders were making and using airpumps to descend into the deep. Our bones were moved by tendons and muscles long before chains and cords were made to pull heavy weights from place to place. Nay, until quite lately—leaving these discoveries to themselves—we took no[Pg 330] heed of the pattern set us in the backbone, with the arching ribs springing from it, to construct the large cylinder which we often see now attaching all the rest of a set of works. This has been a very modern discovery; but, prior even to the first man, Nature had cast such a cylinder in every ribbed and vertebrate animal she had made. The cord of plaited iron, too, now used to drag machinery up inclined planes, was typified in the backbone of the eels and snakes in Eden; tubular bridges and hollow columns had been in use since the first bird with hollow bones flew through the wood, or the first reed waved in the wind. Strange that the principle of the Menai Straits' railway bridge, and of the iron pillars in the Crystal Palace, existed is the Arkite dove, and in the bulrushes that grew round the cradle of Moses! Our railway tunnels are wonderful works of science, but the mole tunnelled with its foot, and the pholas with one end of its shell, before our navvies handled pick or spade upon the heights of the iron roads: worms were prior to gimlets, ant-lions were the first funnel makers, a beaver showed men how to make the milldams, and the pendulous nests of certain birds swung gently in the air before the keen wit of even the most loving mother laid her nursling in a rocking cradle. The carpenter of olden time lost many useful hours in studying how to make the ball-and-socket joint which he bore about with him in his own hips and shoulders; the universal joint, which filled all men with wonder when first discovered, he had in his wrist; in the jaws of all flesh-eating animals his huge one-hinge joint; in the graminivora and herbivora the joint of free motion; for grinding millstones were set up in our molars and in the gizzards of birds before the Egyptian women ground their corn between two stones; and the crushing teeth of the hyena make the best models we know of for hammers to break stones on the road. The tongue of certain shell fish—of the limpet, for instance—is full of siliceous spines which serve as rasp and drill; and knives and scissors were carried about in the mandibles and beaks of primeval bees and parrots.

Yes, they were all there—and if the undeveloped germ may be taken for the great fruit-bearing tree, there is nothing new under the sun, labor and effort are of no avail, and it is not worth while for man to live threescore years and ten, since a much less time would suffice to show his utter worthlessness. But the bee and the wild bird, the pearly nautilus driving before the fresh breeze, and the reed waving in the wind, should teach us a higher lesson. They teach us that life is beautiful and to be enjoyed, that infinite laws and infinite ingenuity were not displayed to be called idle and vain, and that, as the insect works according to his instinct, man should labor, from the dictates of reason, with heart and soul to do his best to turn to higher advantage the innumerable advantages afforded him.


[4] Philosophia Ultima, Charles Woodruff Shields. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott, 1861.

[5] One of the greatest inventors of this or of any age, and one whom the world regards as 'successful,' is said to have advised an ingenious friend, never in any case or under any circumstances to take out a patent for an invention. He 'had been through the mill,' and knew what it cost.


A Tale.


'Nor private grief nor malice holds my pen,
I owe but kindness to my fellow men.
And, South or North, wherever hearts of prayer
Their woes and weakness to our Father bear,
Wherever fruits of Christian love are found
In holy lives, to me is holy ground.'

My young mistress! frown not on me! come! my heart is beating low!
Softly raise the quilt—my babe! Ah, smile on her ere I go!

Yes, the smile comes warm as sunshine, and it falls on my sick heart
[Pg 331]As if Heaven were shining through it, and new hopes within me start.

Your clear eyes shine blue upon me through the clouds of sunny curls,
Sadder now, but still as kindly, as when we were little girls.

Your poor slave and you, fair mistress, were born in the same hour,
As if God himself had marked me from my birth to be your dower.

Oft have I laid my dusky hand upon your neck of snow,
To see it sparkle through the jet—how long that seems ago!

So long! before young master came to woo Virginia's daughter,
And tempt her to the cotton fields on Mississippi's water.

I could not leave you, mistress, so I followed to the swamp,
Where fevers fire the burning blood and the long moss hangs damp.

I left poor Sam, he loved me well, but you were my heart's god;
My mother's tears fell hot and fast—I followed where you trod.

Sin and sorrow fell upon me! and soon you felt it shame
To have lost Amy near you, and you blushed to hear her name.

Reared near virgin purity, you could not understand
How I could break from virtue's laws, and form a lawless band.

Then you questioned kindly, sternly,—but you could not make me tell;
I would not wring your trusting heart with tales scarce fit for hell!

You deemed me hardened, sunk in vice; I choked down every moan,
Turned from your breast the poisoned dart to bury in my own.

Driven from your presence, mistress, in agony and shame
I bore a wretched infant—she must never know her name!

How I crawled around your windows when your joyous boy was born,
To hear your voice, to catch a glimpse,—the sun rose fair that morn.

Ah! not mine to hold your darling! not mine to soothe his cries
When the stern death-angel seized him and bore him to the skies!

Then judgment came—the fever fell—young master gasped for breath—
God's hand was on him—vain were prayers,—how still he lay in death!

I heard you shriek—I rushed within—I held you in my arms
That frenzied night when sudden woe had wrought its worst of harms.

When reason dawned on you again, sweet pity stirred within,
You heard my cough, my labored breath, and saw me ghastly, thin.

Then you took my hand so kindly, gazing on my faded face:
'Speak, and tell me truly, Amy, how you fell in such disgrace.'

If he had lived, sweet mistress, I had borne it to the grave;
I would not mar your happiness, child, self or race to save.

Say! must I speak of one you loved now sleeping 'neath the sod?
[Pg 332]Your 'yes' is bitter; but we owe the naked truth to God!

The truth to God, for guiltless you must stand before His face,
Nor wrong my pallid baby, nor scorn my suffering race.

Am I too bold? Death equals all—my heart beats faint and low;
Turn not away, sweet mistress, hear the truth before I go!

Gaze upon my shivering baby, scan the little pallid face,
Mark the forehead, eyes of azure—Ha! you do the likeness trace!

Nay, start not in horror from me! Oh, it was no fault of mine;
I would have died a thousand deaths ere wronged a thought of thine.

He came at midnight to my hut—abhorrent to my sense—
Force—threats of shame—foul violence—a slave has no defence!

Wronged—soiled—and outraged—sick at heart—what right had I to feel?
He deemed his chattel honored,—God! how brain and senses reel!

We're women, though our hair is crisped, and though our skin be black:
Men, ask your virgin daughters what's the maiden's deadliest rack!

I scorned myself! I hated him! but felt a living goad
Writhe and crawl beneath my bosom—shameful burden! sinful load!

Sick and faint, I loathed my master, loathed his inant, loathed my life
Till its flame burned dim within me, choked by shame, rage, hate, and strife.

Better feelings woke within me when the helpless girl was born;
Mother's love poured wild upon her: how love conquers rage and scorn!

But my tortured heart was broken, and a slave girl ought to die
When a tyrant master wrongs her, and she dreads her mistress' eye:

Dreads one she loves may read in her, in spite of silence deep,
That which would blight all happiness, and pale the rosy cheek:

Dreads that a wife may shuddering read a husband's naked heart—
Humbled and crushed by treachery, may into madness start.

But Amy dies: she has forgiven—forgive with her the wrong!
Smile on the helpless baby—make her truthful, pure, and strong.

Let her wait upon you, mistress; twine your ringlets golden still;
Take her back to old Virginia, to the homestead by the hill.

My heart clings to you with wild love—wherefore I scarce dare whisper—
Forgive—I am your father's child! pity your ruined sister!

The hot white blood in my baby's veins, though mixed with duskier flow,
Will make her wretched if a slave; let her in freedom go!

Oh make her free, sweet mistress, that such a fate as mine
Blanch not her cheek with agony, nor blast her ere her prime!

You smile—I need no promise; angel-like to me you seem;
[Pg 333]Will you open heaven for me? bring the seraphs? how I dream!

I go to God. He made me. All His children, black and white,
Will meet in heaven if pure and true, clad in the eternal Light.

I die—God bless you, mistress!'... Sigh, and gasp—then all is o'er!
And the lady kneels beside a corpse upon the cabin floor.

Her thoughts are busy with the past, with love in falsehood spoken,
While her dusky sister's faithful heart had in silent anguish broken.

She takes the cold hand in her own: 'Poor Amy, can it be
That thou wert of a race accursed, unworthy to be free?

Man's falsehood! God! Thy right hand rests upon the dusky brow;
Thou starr'st it round with virtues brighter than our boasted snow!

I have learned a bitter lesson; to my slave I've been to school;
God has humbled me, but chastened; I will keep His Golden Rule.

Slaves and chattels! God forgive us! they are men and women—Thine!
If Christ may dwell within them, shall I dare to call them mine?

No woman must be outraged, nor owned by man, if we
Would hold our sanctity intact—all women must be free.

Sacred from every touch profane, yes, holy things and pure;
A wrong to one is wrong to all; we must the weak secure.

United we must strike the shame; if known aright our power,
Slavery and crime would perish: Sisters, peal their final hour!

Mothers, maidens, wives, no longer aid your dusky sisters' shame!
Strike for our common womanhood, uphold our spotless fame!

Its majesty is in your hands, trail it not in the dust,
Nor keep your shrinking slaves as prey for lovers', husbands' lust!

All womanhood is holy! it shall not be profaned!
Our sanctity is threatened: Men! it shall not thus be stained!

Break up your harems! free our slaves! we will not share your shame!
O mothers of the living, chaste must be life's sacred flame!

Fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands, their chains must be untwined!
Touch not the ark where purity in woman's form is shrined!

Poor Amy! love has conquered! the veil is raised, I see
Sister spirits 'neath the dusky hue; thy people shall go free!'

The lady rose with high resolve upon her pale sad face;
And moved among the slave girls, the angel of their race.

Angel of freedom, charity, she breathes, and fetters melt,
And the holy might of Purity in Southern heart is felt.

Ah! the stars upon our banner, driven apart and dimmed with blood,
Might again in glory cluster through a perfect womanhood!
[Pg 334]


When his father called Fred Fontevrault, then a boy of fifteen, into his sick chamber, and made him subscribe to the whimsical conditions of the will, the female gendarmerie, so well versed in my affairs, declared that my husband had wretchedly repented his early marriage, and resolving his son should walk into fate with eyes unbandaged, forbade his alliance before the age of twenty-six. Though Mr. Fontevrault was fifty and I sixteen when I married him, he was not unhappy. He occupied himself in looking after his money, and making a collection of mosaics. We never had any matrimonial disturbances. I think they are vulgar. Any woman can do as she pleases without a remonstrant word, provided she has mind enough. It is the brainless women who scold. But scolds do not rule.

Fred was unreasonably fond of his father, and assented to his wishes without demur, even when the great Fontevrault estates hung on his fidelity to a useless oath. Then he died, and I settled into the blank stupidity of my widowhood. I, who had known no master but my own sweet will, now found myself in a hundred ways restricted. I was ruled through Fred. He must graduate at Harvard; the great establishment, splendid but tedious, must be maintained. So our residence in Boston was necessitated. I shut myself up in the legitimate manner, and—mourned of course. If it had not been for novels, worsted work, and my beauty, I should have gaped myself out of existence the first year. What nonsense it is to say the prime of a woman's loveliness passes before the thirties! For, look at me, am I old or faded? Would you believe that Fred, so tall and splendidly developed, was my son? From me he took his wealth of nature, for Mr. Fontevrault was one of those dried, wrinkled old men, women like me often marry; not because of the settlements only, but because of the foil. My figure was moulded like the Venus they copied in the colder marble from Pauline. Shoulders and arms, delicious in their curves, shining with a rosy fairness. A creamy skin, with a faint coralline tinge in the cheeks. The forehead is too low, some say; and yet artists have praised its bend, and the Greek line of the nose; not intellectual, but womanly, you know. Hair of a bright brown, feeling like floss silk. Eyes, I believe, few people ever fairly saw. Men are bewitched by them, women cannot understand their charm. Perhaps you have seen Wilson's portrait of me, the one with the grayish green background; you notice that the eyes were turned from the spectator, and half shaded by white lid and gilded lash. He could not catch the flitting spark that made them mine, and refused to paint them at all. My son promises to be as perfect in his way as I in mine. Just now a student, he is too Raphael-angel-like to suit me; but the very fellow to bewilder girls and set the boarding schools crazy. Luckily he is bound against inthralment.

By and by the house grew so lonely that I was fain to send for Leonora to make durance less vile. It was positively refreshing to hear her voice sing through the solemn old hall. Very warm was the welcome she received from both Fred and me. He had often said she was the only woman he could talk to without suppressing a yawn. It was ungallant of him, but I could sympathize with the sentiment. Women usually weary me. I told Leonora she must make up her mind to stay with me, as long as she remained unmarried.[Pg 335]

Fred, holding her hand, laughingly made her promise never to take a husband without his consent. While I passed on, he drew her back; the mirror above the door framed a picture prettier than I liked to see.

'There is but one man I will authorize you to marry,' said my son.

Then it suddenly flashed on my mind that Fred was of the age of Scott's heroes, and would be sure to fall in love with a woman older than himself. The love did not matter so much, but marriage would be an absurdity. I expected to have a daughter-in-law some day or other; but it was never to be Leonora. In a hundred ways she had resisted me, and overcome me. I was as resolutely opposed to her, as if she had been my enemy. She was a connection of the family, independent, yet in some sort alone in the world. If it had been conferring a favor on her, to ask her to stay with me, be sure I never would have uttered a persuasive word. But it was asking her to leave gay society, and the incense of admiration, to bury herself in a dull house. Then she was 'ornamental;' I liked to see her about; she was satirical, and pleased me by a little spicy abuse. They called her handsome. She was too small, I think, too slight, perhaps; and then her complexion was almost swarthy. But her hair was fine, her eyes large and brilliant, and her mouth mobile and sweet. The face was nothing to me; but her companionship was enlivening.

The young lady professed herself glad of a winter of exclusion, and when I saw how she set herself at work with books and embroidery, I confess I was astonished at her resignation. Then I saw her look at my son, and perceived she did not find it so very stupid after all. Slowly she snarled him in her meshes.

One time my husband had a friendless youth for his secretary, called Denis Christopher. His name attracted me before his person. Mr. Fontevrault became so deeply interested in his character and talents, that he used his extensive influence, and gave Mr. Christopher an enviable lift over the world's rough places. Fontevrault was like a grieved child when he left us. I was sorry, but concealed it. One of the young man's agreeable privileges had been to attend me in public, thus relieving Mr. Fontevrault. I assure you he was more knightly than his master, whose stiff protection I never missed while under Launcelot's tender care. I never fully admitted to myself the power I found in the hitherto unknown fascination of a young man's society; nor how much pleasure I took in touching those hidden chords that only respond to a woman's touch. That he adored me, I saw in his eyes. I liked it well, and the strange, unwonted feeling that shivered through me, now, when by chance my hand touched his.

Well—people began to talk, as people will, and Mr. Fontevrault sent him to Malaga. He came to bid me good-by; 'forever,' he thought; ah me! It was forever in one sense. Fred was a mere boy then, who heard and saw everything. I had hard work to get him out of the house that morning. I wanted Denis's last look all to myself. Before he left me, Christopher offered me a bracelet of cornelians, cut rarely as seals. Each gem bore an exquisite device. On one were a few words in Latin. When I was alone, I pressed the seal on a drop of hot wax, and read his dedication.

All that was years ago; he is here again, and I am free. I sat before the glass long the day I expected him, threading my brown hair, and longing to wear his color—blue. But then the widow's cap suited me divinely, and the folds of crape set off my peculiar tints as nothing else can. I came before him; he started forward to seize both hands, and gaze in my face, to find no change. Then he pressed his lips to my warm white fingers. A new boldness became his, a new timidity mine.[Pg 336]

Fresh from lessons of my own, I could read a change in Leonora, and perceive mischief in the air. Her extreme quietness when my son entered the apartment, the faint shade of shyness in his manner of addressing her attracted me curiously. He began to linger in our haunts so long and on such frivolous pretexts, that I began seriously to think what was to be done with such a lovesick page. To oppose Fred would be worse than useless. Opposition determined him. If I could have sent her away, solitude would be my bane; for not one of the Fontevraults could I endure. Then as I pondered, I laughed at the absurdity of the whole thing. Not only was Leonora older than the student, a woman in society, but she had been engaged (with that fact I resolved to frighten Fred), nor would she wait five years for him to declare his passion. And his flickering fancy the slightest breath of doubt would change: a nature easily moulded by the inexorable. I resolved to let affairs take their own course, and trust her common sense, and my own gentle diplomacy.

What memorable meetings had we four during those sharp winter days! I lived as in an Arabian dream. There was Denis Christopher, with his brown face and thrilling eyes; Fred lackadaisical, but handsome as Antinous; Leonora, and I.

A very orderly company, but what hot feeling repressed, what romantic possibility, what fates unfulfilled lay under the courteous conventionality of the time! Fred leaned over Leonora at the piano. Their voices sounded well together, and if he could not declare his admiration of her, no doubt he conveyed it to her in some tender refrain or serenade. Their blended, passionate voices often moved me in a strange excitement, for I was not musical. I had no way of relieving myself, as these singers and painters have, who crystallize an emotion or a sorrow into a picture or a cadence. I can only gnaw the bedpost, or tear up something, in the mere need of expression. Denis watched them awhile, and then it became a trio instead of a duet. Mr. Christopher brought Spanish music. Light, rippling airs, dances, whose strange swaying rhythm had been borne to his ears in the Malaga nights.

My son grew jealous, therefore unreasonable. He would not play subordinate, so left Leonora no choice but to lend herself gracefully to Denis's companionship. These two were sure to misunderstand one another. Fred was contradictory. With intense and variable feeling, he possessed the traits of slower natures. A kind of natural prudence retarded him. He puzzled Leonora. One moment he cooed over her, the next became Horatian. Painfully sensitive, and proud withal, she was never sure of his opinion of her. Having little faith in the firmness of any man's admiration of her, she believed less than was avowed. And Fred, exacting much, was too inexperienced to understand her. They were drifting apart, I thought; but in avoiding Scylla, had I not plunged into Charybdis?

I had been a widow a year when Mr. Christopher left Spain. Another had now passed, and with it my seclusion. While Denis had talked to me, I had cared to hear no other man speak; but now, in a kind of thirst, I drank deep of pleasure. I played with the warm avowals of men past the reasoning age, and made Fred's classmates melancholy. Denis did not even disapprove. He was often near me now, but silent as a shadow.

How it stormed the night of the seventh of February, and like the whirling snow I danced! Christopher led me through the last Lancers, and then we stopped to rest. Hanging on his arm, and heedless of to-morrow, was I not happy? We passed through the long rooms, while the soft waltz music began to swell, and the untiring dancers took the floor.[Pg 337]

I remember he asked for Leonora, and then if Fred meant to marry her. I would not say no, but would acknowledge that his fancy was heated.

'She will be a pleasant vision of boy-love a few years hence,' I said. 'Leonora has too much good sense to marry him, Mr. Christopher.'

'I don't know,' said he, meditatively, and drew my hand through his arm. The cornelian bracelet slipped into view. 'Mrs. Fontevrault,' uttered he, in a ceremonious tone—my warm pulse grew still—'do you never forget?'

'Do you desire it?' I answered, gaily:

''If to remember, or forget,
Can give a longing, or regret,

command me.'

He smiled, and, stopping at a side table, poured out two glasses of wine.

'Here's to the past,' said he, eagerly; 'drink Lethe.'

We drained the glasses. Then I understood he withdrew his claim.

I wanted to go home after that; so Mr. Christopher summoned the carriage. The walks were white, and I trembled—was it with cold?—as he handed me in, and bade me good night.

The house at midnight was silent and warm. I went up stairs, and stood in the threshold of the library. The sleet driving against the window panes prevented their hearing me, I suppose. They seemed to be translating something or other. Fred's arm lay over the back of her chair. Very fast and earnestly he was talking. Marginal notes suggested by the text of Sismondi?

'What, home so early!' was his exclamation, on discovering me.

Leonora looked, up with a deep rose in her dark cheeks, a dangerous fire melting in her eyes. I had left her pale, with a headache.

'You are better, I conclude. I expected to find you among your pillows,' said I, accusative.

'I have cured her,' said Fred, coming forward and clasping my hands in his firm, cool hold. 'What ails you, mamma? You look as if you had a fever, and wickedly handsome. What have you been about?' He slipped off my ermine cloak, and kissed me with a mixture of pride and love. The boy bewildered me.

As fate would have it, Fred was right. I felt very ill. I believe I resisted a fever, for I have a sensation of struggle connected with that sickness. But I cannot separate the pictures of my distempered fancy from the actualities of the time. Leonora took devoted care of me. Night after night Fred sat by me, and they relieved each other. Like one bound in an enchantment, I lay unable to prevent their mutual confidence, and the return of her young lover's adoring regard.

He sat beside her as the fire burned low; his blonde hair touched her dusky cheek as he bent over her.

'Leo, darling, I wish I was sick, like mamma.'

'Hush!' said she.

'Then you would soothe me, and part my hair with your soft fingers, that refuse to touch mine now. You would be sorry for me, and give me a little caressing, and I should be so happy I would not get well.'

'Don't talk so, Fred. You used to be an even-tempered, comfortable kind of young man to know. But now you are really teasing.'

'Do I really annoy you?'

'Very much.'

'And you don't believe in me. Sometimes a dumb kind of philosophy possesses me, and I say to myself, let her think of me as she will. I cannot be frank, and must take the consequences. Then again——'

Here she rose, and he put both arms around her. Audacious boy!

'Fred!' was uttered in a stifled voice.

'Promise me to send off Christopher,' ejaculated the young man.

The corners of the room seemed to stretch away indefinitely. A heavy[Pg 338] perfume suffocated me. I groaned. In another moment Leonora was beside me, and the fresh air was blowing in from a window my son had opened.

I made haste to get well. The physicians say my constitution and good nursing saved me; but it was all resolution. My will was stronger than the disease. As soon as I could sit up and see him, Denis Christopher was admitted. I used to hear a dulcet strain on the stairs, formed by her delicate note and his melodious base, and then he would follow Leonora in to pay his respects to me; always bringing something to brighten up my boudoir, and render her imprisonment less unendurable. Afterward he would never be exiled to the drawing rooms. Fred frowned at the ease with which he invaded our retirement, but only frowned. He and I began to wonder if Christopher would win her. Valiantly but cautiously was he wooing. Fred went off on a boating excursion, and I grew weary. I wished I had died. The secret of my good looks was confessed. Perfect health had kept my beauty undimmed. But colorless and hollow-eyed the fever left me. I could look at myself no more; so I looked at Leonora. She was pretty, with a charm that did not depend on tint or outline. Her new friend was penetrated by her real graces and his ideal rendering of them; but would he conquer? I was sure not. Because separation is sure alienation at a certain age, I resolved on Fred's speedy withdrawal from the scene. Why not go abroad immediately after his graduation, which was to occur in a few weeks? On his return I suggested it. He gloomily consented.

'Will you come, too, mamma?'

'Not yet; in the course of a year perhaps;' and I looked over to the corner where Leonora was winding worsted from Mr. Christopher's fingers.

'Come, now,' said he, 'take Leonora, and we will set up housekeeping in the easy continental style.'

'She has her hands full just now.' Literally as well as figuratively true, for she had wound two enormous green balls.

'Perhaps she will go over with Mr. Christopher. Would you like a call from the bride and groom?'

My young Fontevrault looked at me.

'Do you speak as you know, mamma?'

'Look for yourself, my hoodwinked Cupid. Girls are all alike, Fred. He can ask her to marry him, and has that advantage over you.'

So it was decided that Fred should go to Paris, and be happy. Mrs. Blanchard gave him a farewell party, and all the young ladies were at their sweetest. Fred behaved with sullen dignity, as a lion should. He refused to be comforted by Adelaide and Rose, walking about with one or another, and looking at Leonora, at whom all mankind were gazing that night. She was in dashing spirits, a glorious color diffused her cheeks, her eyes fairly danced. Her dress was of feathery black tulle, and a broad silver ribbon, like an order, went over her shoulders. In the shining black braids glistened fern leaves of silver filigree. Fortunately, Fred and I discovered them—Leonora and her inseparable cavalier, Denis, I mean—in an alcove of roses and jessamines. She admiring the flowers, and he talking with a fervor very easy to read. She listening, as women always listen when the pleader is eloquent. But in her downcast face I read only pain, while my son translated the deep blush differently. When we were at home, and I waited to bid him good night, he took me in his strong arms:

'You love me, mamma, don't you?'

He was all I had in the world, so I told him.

Then followed a week we long remembered—the first week of Denis's absence. Leonora was gloomy and distraite; Fred cool as a peak of the Andes, and about as unapproachable; I immersed in the hurry and confusion of my son's departure. He had a suite[Pg 339] of rooms over mine, and, the night before he went away, leaned over the ballusters, and called, as in old time:


She gave a glad start, and ran up to him. So I followed, of course. I wanted to put some flannels into his trunk, which stood in his bedroom. The doors were open between us. He had a bundle of her letters tied up in a bulky packet, and began to talk with great discretion.

'I have been putting my affairs in order,' said the systematic young man. 'I may never come back, and at any rate, my absence will be long. I thought it would be better to give you these, lest they fall into alien hands.'

'Why not burn them?' suggested his listener.

'I could not, Leo.'

'I am not so sentimental,' she returned, taking up the packet. 'They shall blaze directly. Do you want your own?'

'Oh, Fred, what a bungler you are!' I thought.

'You misunderstand,' he began, in a desperate tone.

'Fred!' I screamed, as if I were twenty rods distant, 'do come and open this bureau drawer. I can't move it.'

He came, pulling it open, with such needless strength, that all the toilette bottles garnishing the top were shaken off, and lay in fragments on the floor. She followed to note the disaster, and I took her down stairs, and watched over her like a dragon all that evening. I would not let Leonora go to the steamer with us, but compelled him to say farewell in my presence, I like a scene. He held her hand long, uttering some incoherent sentences. Admirable was the self-composure she showed! The delicate muscles about the mouth were as steady as if she did not love him. She never raised her eyes until the last. As I saw their sad beauty, a pang seized me, and I turned away. He came after, hurried me into the carriage, and off we whirled.

'Are you going to write to her?' I asked.

'She says no,' Fontevrault answered, and looked vigorously out of the window.

One evening, two years after my son left me, we were sitting round the library fire. Christoper, now a captain in one of the famous Massachusetts regiments, sat near me, a little older and a little graver than when I saw him last. We were talking with flushed cheeks and beating hearts of the subject nearest our hearts just then—war.

A familiar foot pressed the stair. All the color left Leonora's lips; she knew who was coming. In another moment I was in my darling's arms. He shook hands with Leonora, but neither of them spoke a word; then turned to Cristopher, who welcomed him with the hearty cordiality men use.

'You have come home to fight, I know, Fontevrault.'

'So I have,' answered my son. 'Every true-hearted American should be striking his blow. I couldn't travel fast enough. Mother, are you a Spartan?'

He looked at Leonora. What did she think of this magnificent-mustached Saxon? Not much like the fair-cheeked student we remembered.

'Let us be army nurses,' said Leonora, when they had gone to Washington. Indeed we could not stay where we were, nor flit off to Newport to banish care. I grew sleepless, and a sudden sound would send the blood to my heart. Leonora maintained an undaunted front, but she grew thin in spite of her cheerfulness. At last I said:

'We will follow the army; I shall die to live in this way.'

So, just before the battle of Antietam, we were in Washington.

Just after—ah me!—a singular scene occurred. We four had met again, not as in the happy nights long gone. Denis, the veteran of seven battles, still stood unscathed; but my boy could[Pg 340] fight no more. Manfully he bore his affliction; I only wept.

This morning of which I write, he was so bright, that we admitted Denis at once, who came to bid us farewell before leaving to join his regiment.

'Stop a minute,' said Fred. 'Leonora.' She came toward him with a face of gentle inquiry.

'To-day is my birthday,' prefaced the soldier. 'I am twenty-six, and a free man to say I love you.' Denis minced and motioned to withdraw his hand. (Not so fast, old fellow.) This I say because I have been waiting years to speak my mind on this day. But now, I have nothing to offer you. I have no future. I am a cripple; even my love for you has been a cheat to you; and now is selfishness in me. Here stands a man as true to you as I; I know how he loves you. Which of us will you marry, Leonora?'

While he was speaking, the lost carnation came back to her cheeks. The soft eyes kindled to a languid fire. She never looked at Denis, who stood in his erect strength, his worshipping eyes on her face. She came to Fred's bedside, and knelt down there. Denis dropped his hand.

'You do not answer,' Fred whispered; 'I cannot bear suspense.'

How did she satisfy him? I do not know. In emotion that almost overmastered me, I snapped the bracelet—Denis's bracelet; it lay upon the floor. He passed me without a word, without a look. His heavy heel ground the enchased seal to rosy dust. I heard the door swung loudly to, and then the clatter of his horse's hoofs, as he rode rapidly away.


We are indebted to an accomplished gentleman in Philadelphia for the following translation from the Revue Nationale of M. Laboulaye. Any extended comment from our pen would only serve to weaken the effect of this eloquent and truthful passage. We may, however, express our gratification to find that some generous spirits in Europe still remain superior to the jealousies and the malevolence which have so largely affected the ruling classes there, and led them so generally to hope for and to predict the downfall of our suffering country. Hitherto we have indeed recognized the truth that 'the opinion of Europe is a power;' but we have felt it chiefly in its worst influence, against us, and in favor of the rebellion. Now, however, in this the darkest hour of our mortal struggle, it affords real relief to hear the most enlightened men of that continent proclaiming that 'the arguments of the South are beginning to fail,' and 'that all the ingenuity in the world cannot lift up its fallen cause.' Nor is it at all difficult to give entire credence to these statements, for there is evidently an altered tone even in those organs of European opinion which have been, and still are consistently hostile to us. It was perhaps unavoidable that misunderstanding should prevail in the outset, and that the ear of Europe should have been complacently open to the representations of the plausible South, urged as they were by the ablest and most unscrupulous of her advocates. But truth was destined certainly to make its way in the end. It was only doubtful whether the triumph of[Pg 341] right would take place soon enough to bring the force of European opinion to bear on the contest and to deprive the South of that moral support which alone has enabled her to prolong the hopeless struggle to the present time. But, according to M. Laboulaye, the 'fatal service' which its advocates have done the South, is just now about to bear its appropriate fruit; for the delusive promise of support which has thus far sustained the rebel cause is utterly gone, and with it, all possibility of ultimate success.

Seldom have we read a nobler passage than that in which this accomplished writer appeals to the French sentiment of national unity to justify our Northern people in their mighty struggle to subdue this 'impious revolt.' Americans themselves, though fully imbued with the instinctive feeling which it defends, could not more forcibly have presented the point. And, indeed, if we may believe the statements now prevalent, attributing to eminent statesmen and large parties a disposition to accede to the separation of the sections, the very sentiment of nationality has lost it force among us, and we would be compelled to acknowledge our obligations to this eminent Frenchman for stimulating our expiring patriotism and awakening us to the vital importance of our national unity and to the shame and disgrace of surrendering it. If any American has ever, for a moment, admitted the idea of consenting to a separation of the Union, let him read the burning words of this enlightened and disinterested foreigner, and blush for his want of comprehension of the true interests and glory of his country. It is not a mere sentimental enthusiasm which leads us to combat disunion and to cherish the greatness and oneness of our country. Our dearest rights and our noblest interests are alike involved, and we would be craven wretches, unworthy of our high destiny, if we did not risk everything and sacrifice everything to preserve them. 'The North only defends itself,' says M. Laboulaye. 'It is its very life that it wishes to save.'

Briefly, but with the hand of a master, does this article point out the consequences of disunion. The touches by which the sketch is drawn, are few and rapidly made; but they faithfully portray the great features of the case, and present a true and living picture to the mind of every thoughtful man. The jealousies, the rivalries, the antipathies of the sections; the foreign intrigues and eventual foreign domination among our fragmentary governments; the large standing armies, and the competing naval forces; and finally, 'the endless war and numberless miseries' which will inevitably result—all these mighty evils will not only afflict our own unhappy country, but 'peace will be exiled from the world.' The interests of mankind are involved in this tremendous struggle.

But we no longer keep our readers from the perusal of this interesting extract. Let it be remembered that it comes from the quarter understood to be most unfriendly to us, where the wily emperor of the French is supposed to be plotting for the destruction of our nationality and power. The appeal to the interests of France against the ambition of England is striking and powerful. Whatever disposition the emperor may cherish against us, the French people ought to be our friends; they have a common interest in maintaining the freedom of the seas, and we have yet to complain that any port of France has sent out cruisers to assail our commerce on the ocean.

Let us take courage, even in this hour of disaster. Noble spirits abroad are still watching us with generous sympathy and praying for the success of our sacred cause. Let us be true to ourselves and to our country, and the hour of final triumph will soon be at hand. Though dissensions tend now to distract and weaken us, and though darkness, more impenetrable than ever be[Pg 342]fore, seems lately to have gathered around us, we already discern the first glimmerings of the dawn in the east. The full day will soon break upon us, and we shall rejoice in the splendor of returning peace and renewed prosperity.


(From the French of Edouard Laboulaye, published in the 'Revue Nationale,' December 10th, 1862.)

The civil war which has been dividing and ruining the United States for two years also affects us in Europe. The scarcity of cotton causes great suffering. The workmen of Rouen and Mulhouse are as severely tried as the spinners and weavers of Lancashire; entire populations are reduced to beggary, and to exist through the winter they have no resource and no hope save in special charity or assistance from the government. In so severe a crisis, and in the midst of such unmerited sufferings, it is but natural that public opinion should become restless in Europe, and condemn the ambition of those who prolong a fratricidal war. Peace in America, peace is a necessity at any price, is the cry of thousands of men among us who are suffering from hunger, innocent victims of the passions and madness which steep the United States in blood.

These complaints are only too just. The civilized world is at present, so bound together, that peace is one great condition of the existence of modern industrial nations; unhappily, although it is easy to point out the remedy, it is almost impossible to apply it. Just now it is by war alone that ending of the war may be looked for. To throw herself armed between the combatants would be an attempt in which Europe would exhaust her strength; and to what purpose? As Mr. Cobden has justly said, it would be less costly to feed the work people who are ruined by the American crisis on game and champagne. To offer to-day our friendly mediation is not only to expose ourselves to a refusal, and perhaps so exasperate one of the parties as to push it to more violent measures, but to diminish the chances of our mediation being accepted at a more favorable moment. Thus we are forced to remain spectators of a deplorable war, which is the cause of infinite evil to us; thus forced to offer up prayers that exhaustion and misery may appease these mortal enemies and oblige them to accept either reunion or separation. A sad situation, doubtless, but one which neutrals have always occupied, and from which they cannot depart without throwing themselves among unknown dangers.

If we have not the right to interfere, we can at least complain, and try to discover those who are really wrong in this war, which so affects us. The opinion of Europe is a power. It can hasten matters and restore peace better than arms can. Unfortunately, for two years opinion has wandered from the proper path, and by taking the wrong side of the question, prolongs instead of stopping resistance. The South has found many and clever advocates in England and in France, who have presented her cause as that of justice and liberty. They have proclaimed the right of secession, and have not feared to apologize for slavery. Their arguments to-day are beginning to fail. Thanks to those publicists who do not traffic with humanity; thanks to M. de Gasparin, above all, the light has made things clear; we know now how things stand as to the origin and character of the rebellion. To every disinterested observer, it is evident that the South is wrong in every way. It needs not a Montesquieu to understand that a party not menaced in the least, which, through ambition or pride, tears its country to pieces and destroys its national unity, has no right to the sympathies of the French. As to declaring slavery sacred, that is a work which must be left to the preachers of the[Pg 343] South. All the ingenuity in the world cannot lift up this fallen cause. Had the confederates a thousand reasons for complaint and for revolt, there would always rest on their rebellion an indelible stain. No Christian, no liberal person will ever interest himself for men who, in this nineteenth century, insolently proclaim their desire to perpetuate and extend slavery. Though it is still permitted to the planters to listen to theories that have infatuated and lost them, such sophistries will never cross the ocean.

The advocates of the South have done it a fatal service; they have made it believe that Europe, enlightened or seduced, would range itself on its side and finally throw into the balance something more than empty promises. This delusion has and still maintains the resistance of the South, it prolongs the war, and with it our sufferings. If, as the North had a right to expect, the friends of liberty had, from the first, boldly pronounced against the policy of slavery, if the advocates of peace upon the seas, if the defenders of the rights of neutrals had spoken in favor of the Union and rejected a separation, which could only profit England, it is probable that the South would have been less anxious to start on a journey without visible end. If, in spite of the courage and devotion of its soldiers; if, in spite of the ability of its generals, the South fails in an enterprise which, in my opinion, cannot be too much blamed, let it lay the fault on those who have so poor an opinion of Europe as to imagine that they will subject its opinion to a policy against which patriotism protests, and which the gospel and humanity condemn.

We will grant, they may say, that the South is altogether wrong; nevertheless it wishes to separate, it can no longer live with the people of the North. The war alone, whatever may be its origin, is a new cause of disunion. By what right can twenty millions of men force ten millions (of those ten millions there are four millions of slaves whose will is not consulted in the least) of their countrymen to continue a detested alliance, to respect a contract which they wish to break at any price? Is it possible to imagine that after two or three years of fighting and misery, conquerors and conquered can be made to live harmoniously together? Can a country two or three times the size of France be subjugated? Would there not always be bloodshed between the parties? Separation is perhaps a misfortune, but now it is an irreparable one. Let us grant that the North has law, the letter and spirit of the Constitution on her side; there always remains an indisputable point—the South wishes to govern itself. You have no right to crush a people that defends itself so valiantly. Give it up!

If we were less enervated by the luxury of modern life and by the idleness of a long peace, if there still lingered in our hearts some remnant of that patriotism which, in 1792, urged our forefathers to the banks of the Rhine, the answer would be simple; to-day I fear it will not be understood. If the south of France should revolt to-morrow and demand a separation; if Alsace and Lorraine should wish to withdraw, what would be, I will not say our right only, but our duty? Would we count voices to see if a third or a half of the French had a right to destroy our nationality, to annihilate France, to break up the glorious heritage our sires bought for us with their blood? No! we would shoulder our muskets and march. Woe to the man who does not feel his country to be sacred, and that it is a noble act to defend it, even at the price of extreme misery and every danger!

'America is not like France; it is a confederation, not a nation.' Who says this? It is the South, and to justify its faults; the North asserts the contrary, and for two years she has declared, by numberless sacrifices, that the[Pg 344] Americans are one people, and that no one shall divide their country. This is a grand and noble sentiment, and if anything astonishes me, it is that France can witness this patriotism unmoved. Is not love of country the crowning virtue of the Frenchman?

What is this South, and whence does it derive this right of secession it proclaims so loudly? Is it a conquered nation which resumes its independence, as Lombardy has done? Is it a distinct race which will not continue an oppressive alliance? No! it is a number of colonies, established on the territory of the Union by American hands. Take a map of the United States. Except Virginia, the two Carolinas and Georgia, which are old English colonies, all the rest of the South is situated on lands purchased and paid for by the Union. This proves that the North has sustained the greatest part of the expense. Ancient Louisiana was sold to the Americans, in 1804, by the first consul at a price of fifteen millions of dollars; Florida was bought from Spain, in 1820, for five millions; and it required the war with Mexico, a payment of ten millions, and heavy losses besides, to acquire Texas. In a few words, of all the rich countries which border on the Mississippi and Missouri, from their sources to their mouths, there is not one inch of ground for which the Union has not paid, and which does not belong to her. The Union has driven out or indemnified the Indians. The Union has built fortifications, constructed shipyards, light-houses, and harbors. It is the Union that has made all this wilderness valuable and rendered its settlement possible. It is the men of the North as well as those of the South who have cleared and planted these lands, and transformed them from barren solitudes to a flourishing condition. Show us, if you can, in old Europe, where unity is entirely the result of conquest, a title to property so sacred, a country which is more the common work of one people! And shall it now be allowed to a minority to take possession of a territory which belongs to all, and, moreover, to choose the best portion of it? Shall a minority be permitted to destroy the Union, and to imperil those who were its first benefactors, and without whom it would never have existed? If this does not constitute an impious revolt, then any whim that seizes a people is just and right. It is not only political reasons that oppose a separation; geography, the positions of places force the United States to form a single nation. Strabo, meditating on this vast country now called France, said, with the certainty of genius, that, to look at the nature of the territory, and the course of the waters, it was evident that the forests of Gaul, inhabited by a thinly scattered people, would become the abode of a great people. Nature has disposed our territory to be the theatre of a great civilization. This is also true of America, which is really but a double valley, whose place of separation is imperceptible, and which contains two large water courses, the Mississippi, and the St. Lawrence. There are no high mountains which isolate and separate the people, no natural barriers like the Alps and Pyrenees. The West cannot live without the Mississippi; it is a question of life and death to the Western farmers to hold the mouth of the river. The United States felt this from the first day of their existence. When the Ohio and Mississippi were yet but streams lost in the forest, when the first planters were only a handful of men scattered in the wilderness, the Americans already knew that New Orleans was the key of the house. They would not leave it either to Spain or France. Napoleon understood this; he held in his hands the future greatness of the United States; he was glad to cede this vast territory to America, with the intention, he said, 'to give to England a maritime rival which sooner or later would lower the pride of our enemies.' (Here the[Pg 345] author refers to his pamphlet, entitled, Les Etats Unis et la France, and to L'histoire de la Louisiane, by Barbé Marbois.) He could have satisfied the United States by only giving up the left bank of the river, which was all they asked for then; he did more (and in this I think he was very wrong), with a stroke of his pen he ceded a country as large as the half of Europe, and renounced our last rights on this beautiful river which we had discovered. Sixty years have quickly passed since this cession. The States which are now called Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Oregon, and the territories of Nebraska, Dacotah, Jefferson and Washington, which will soon become States, have been established on the immense domain abandoned by Napoleon. Without counting the slaveholding population which wishes to break up the Union, there are ten millions of free citizens between Pittsburg and Fort Union, who claim the course and mouth of the Mississippi as having been ceded to them by France. It is from us that they hold their title and their possession. They have a right of sixty years, a right consecrated by labors and cultivation, a right which they have received from a contract, and, better still, from nature, and from God.

See what it is they are reproached for defending; they are, forsooth, usurpers and tyrants, because they wish to hold what is their own, because they will not place themselves at the mercy of an ambitious minority. What would we say, if, to-morrow, Normandy, rising, should pretend to hold for herself alone Rouen and Havre, and yet what is the interest of the Seine compared to that of the Mississippi, which has a course of two thousand two hundred and fifty miles, and which receives all the waters of the West?

To possess New Orleans is to command a valley which embraces two thirds of the United States.

They say 'we will neutralize the river.' We know what such promises are worth. We have seen what Russia did at the mouth of the Danube; the war of the Crimea was necessary to give to Germany the free use of her great river. If a new war were to break out between Austria and Russia, we might be sure that the possession of the Danube would be the stake played for. It could not be otherwise in America, from the day the Mississippi would flow for more than three hundred miles between two foreign servile banks: the effect of the war has already been to prevent the exportation of wheat and corn, the riches of the West. In 1861 it was necessary to burn useless harvests, to the great prejudice of Europe, who profited by their exportation. The South itself feels the strength of its position so well that its ambition is to separate the valley of the Mississippi from the Eastern States, and to unite itself to the West, consigning the Yankees of New England to a solitude which would ruin them. With the Mississippi for a bait, the Confederates hope to reestablish to their profit, that is, to the profit of slavery, the Union which they have broken for fear of liberty[6]. We now see what is to be thought of the pretended tyranny of the North, and if it is true that it wishes to oppress and to subjugate the South. On the contrary, the North only defends itself. In maintaining the Union, it defends its rights, and it is its very life that it wishes to save.

Thus far I have only spoken of the material interests—interests which are lawful, and which, founded on solemn titles, give sacred rights; but if we examine moral and political interests which are of a superior order, we will understand better still that the North cannot give up without destroying itself. The United States is a republic,[Pg 346] the most free, and at the same time the mildest and most happy form of government the world has ever seen. Whence comes this prosperity of the Americans? Because they are alone upon an immense territory; they have never been obliged to concentrate their power and enfeeble liberty in order to resist the jealousy and ambition of their neighbors. In the United States there was no standing army, no naval force; the Americans employed the immense sums which we expend to avert or to sustain war, in opening schools, and in giving to all their citizens, poor or rich, that education and that instruction which form the moral greatness and the true riches of the people. Their foreign policy was comprised in this maxim: 'Never to mingle in the quarrels of Europe on the sole condition that Europe will not interfere with their affairs, and will respect the liberty of the seas.' Thanks to these wise principles, which Washington left them in his immortal testament, the United States have enjoyed, for eighty years, a peace which has only been disturbed by Europe when, in 1812, they were forced to resist England and sustain the rights of neutrals. We must count by hundreds of millions those sums that we have used during the last seventy years in the upholding our liberty in Europe; these hundreds of millions the United States have employed in improvements of every description. Here is the secret of their prodigious fortune; it is their perfect independence which makes their prosperity.

Let us now suppose the separation finally accomplished, and that the new confederation comprises all the Slave States; the North has at once lost both its power and the foundations of that power. The Republic has received a mortal blow. There are in America two nations, side by side, two jealous rivals who are always on the point of attacking each other. Peace will not remove their antipathies; it will not efface the memory of the past greatness of the Union now destroyed; the victorious South will, without doubt, be quite as friendly toward slavery, and as fond of domination as ever. The enemies of slavery, now masters of their own policy, will certainly not be soothed by the separation. What will the Southern confederacy be to the North! It will be a foreign power established in America, with a frontier of one thousand five hundred miles, unprotected on every side, and consequently continually threatening or menaced. This power, hostile, because of its vicinity alone, and still more so by its institutions, will possess a very considerable portion of the New World; it will have half the coasts of the Union; it will command the Gulf of Mexico, an inland sea one third the size of the Mediterranean; it will be the mistress of the mouths of the Mississippi, and can ruin at its pleasure the inhabitants of the West. The fragments of the old Union will have to be always ready to defend themselves against their rivals. Questions of customs and of frontiers; rivalries, jealousies, in fact all the scourges of old Europe will overwhelm America at once and together; she will have to establish custom houses over an extent of five hundred leagues; to build and arm forts on this immense frontier, to keep on foot large standing armies, to maintain a naval force; in other words, she will have to renounce her old Constitution, to weaken her municipal independence by the centralization of power. Farewell to the old and glorious liberty! Farewell to those institutions which made America the common refuge of all who could not exist in Europe! The work of Washington will be destroyed; the situation will be full of dangers and difficulties. I understand how the prospect of such a future can delight those who have never been able to forgive America her prosperity and greatness; history is full of such sad jealousies. Still better I understand and approve of this, that a[Pg 347] people accustomed to liberty should risk its last man and give its last dollar to preserve the inheritance of its fathers. I do not understand why there are persons in Europe who believe themselves liberal when they reproach the North for its generous resistance by advising her disgracefully to relinquish her rights. War is certainly a frightful evil, but from war a durable peace may issue, the South may tire of a struggle which exhausts its strength, the old Union may again arise in its glory, and the future may be saved. What but endless war and numberless miseries can result from a separation? This dismemberment of a country is an irreparable evil; no people, no nation, will submit to such a calamity until it no longer has any power to resist.

Up to this time I have reasoned in the supposition that the South would remain an independent power. But unless the West joins the confederates, and the Union reestablishes itself against New England, this independence is a chimera: it might last for some time; but in ten or twenty years, when the free population of the West would have doubled or trebled itself, how would the South, necessarily much enfeebled by slave culture, compare with a people, thirty millions in number, enclosing it on two sides? To resist successfully, the South would be forced to rely on Europe; it could only live when protected by a great naval power, and England is the only one in a condition to guarantee for it its sovereignty. Here is a new danger for free America and for Europe. The South has no commercial marine, nor with slavery ever will have; England will at once seize the monopoly of cotton, and will furnish capital and vessels to the South. In two words, the triumph of the South is the reinstatement of England on the continent, whence the policy of Louis XVI and Napoleon has driven her; it is enfeebled neutrality; it is France plunged anew into all the questions concerning the liberty of the seas, which have already cost her two centuries of struggles and suffering. In defending its own rights, the American Union assured the independence of the ocean. The Union once destroyed, the English will again resume their preponderance, peace will be exiled from the world, and a policy will return which has only benefited our rivals.

This is what Napoleon felt; this is what is forgotten to-day. It would seem that history is but a collection of frivolous tales, good enough, perhaps, to amuse children; it would seem that no one wishes to understand the lessons of the past. If the experience of our fathers were not lost on our ignorance, we would see that, while fighting for her independence, while upholding her national unity, the North is defending our cause as well as her own. All our prayers should be for our old and faithful friends. The weakness of the United States will be our weakness, and on the first quarrel with England, we will too late regret having abandoned a policy that for forty years has been our security.

In writing these pages, I do not expect to convert those persons who have in their hearts an innate love of slavery; I write for those honest souls who allow themselves to be captivated by the grand visions of national independence which are continually shown to them in order to dazzle and mislead. The South has never been menaced, and at this late hour can return to the Union even with her slaves [the reader will remember that this article was published in December, 1862], and is only required not to destroy the national unity, and not to ruin political liberty. It cannot be repeated too often that the North is not an aggressor—it only defends what every true citizen will defend—the national compact, the integrity of the country. It is very sad that it should have found so little sympathy in Europe, and, above all, in France. It counted on us, its hopes were in us; we have forsaken it, as if those sacred[Pg 348] words Country and Liberty no longer found an echo in our breasts. Where is the time when all France cheered the young Lafayette giving his sword to serve the Americans? Who has imitated him? Who has recalled this glorious memory? Have we become so old that our memory has failed?

It is impossible to foresee what will be the issue of this war. The South may succeed; the North may split up, and wear itself out in internal struggles. Perhaps the Union is already but a great memory. But, whatever fortune may have in the future, it is the plain duty of every man who has not allowed himself to be carried away by present successes, to sustain and encourage the North to the last, to condemn those whose ambition threatens the most beautiful and patriotic work the world has ever beheld, to remain faithful until the end of the war, and even after defeat, should it come, to those who will have fought to the last for the right and for liberty.


[6] This point of view has been thoroughly exposed by one of the wisest citizens of America, Edward Everett, in 'The Questions of the Day,' New York, 1861.


The warmer climes of the South induced many Huguenots to settle in the colony of Virginia, and their neat little cottages, covered with French grapevines, and the wild honeysuckle, might be seen scattered along James river, not far above Richmond. One writer of that day, says: 'Most of the French who lived at that town (Monacan) on James river, removed to Trent river, in North Carolina, where the rest were expected daily to come to them, when I came away, which was in August, 1708.' In 1690, King William sent to Virginia many of the Huguenot Refugees, his followers, who had taken shelter in England. Here they were naturalized by an especial act in 1699. Six hundred more came over, conducted by their pastor, Philip de Richebourg, locating themselves, about twenty miles above Richmond, on lands formerly occupied by a powerful tribe of Indians. There is a church now near the spot, retaining its Indian name to this day. In 1700, the Virginia assembly exempted these French settlers from taxation, and fully protected their rights.

We have seen a curious relic of the Huguenots in Virginia, which was found in the family of a descendant. It is entitled: 'A register, containing the baptisms made within the church of the French Refugees, in the Manakin town, in Virginia, within the parish of King William, in the year of our Lord 1721, the 25th of March. Done by Jacques Soblet, clerk.' This manuscript contains about twenty-five pages of foolscap paper, and remains a standing evidence of the fidelity of the Virginia Huguenots to their Christian duties and ordinances. As a specimen of their entries, we copy the following, literally, not even correcting their orthography:

'Jean Chastain fils de Jean ett de Marianne Chastain les pere et mere nee le 26 Septembre, 1721, est baptise le 5 Octobre, par M. Fountaine. Ils ava pour parun et marene Pierre David et Anne sa femme le quels ont declaree que cest enfan nee le jour et an que deshus.

Jacque Soblet,

John Chastain, son of John Chastain and of Marianne Chastain, the father and mother, born the 26th of September, 1721, was baptized the 5th of October, by Mr. Fontaine. He had for godfather and godmother Peter David and Anne, his wife, who have declared[Pg 349] that this infant was born the day and year aforesaid.

Signed, Jacque Soblet, Clerk.

Two or three of the pages contain records of deaths. Here is one:

'Le 29 de Janvier, 1723-4, morut le Sieur Authonoine Trabue, agee danviron sinquaint six a sept annees fut en terree le 30 du meme moy.

J. Soblett, Clerk.'

Jan. 29th, 1723-4, died Sir Anthony Trabue, aged about fifty six or seven years. He was buried the 30th of the same month.

J. Soblett, Clerk.

Huguenot names found in this old register of baptism:

'Chastain, David, Monford, Dykar, Neim, (Minister) Dupuy, Bilbo, Dutoi, Salle, Martain, Allaigre, Vilain, Soblet, Chambou, Levilain, Trabu, Loucadon, Harris, Gasper, Wooldridge, Flournoy, Amis, Banton, Ford, Laisain, Lolaigre, Givodan, Mallet, Dubruil, Guerrant, Sabbatie, Dupre, Bernard, Amonet, Porter, Rapine, Lacy, Watkins, Cocke, Bondurant, Goin, Pero, Pean, Deen, Robinson, Edmond, Brook, Brian, Faure, Don, Bingli, Reno, Lesuer, Pionet, Trent, Sumpter, Moiriset, Jordin, Gavain.

Names of Negroes: Thomberlin (Northumberland), Ivan, Jaque, Janne, Anibal, Guillaume, Jean, Pierre, Olive, Robert, Jak, Julienne, Francois, Susan, Primus, Moll, Chamberlain, Dick, Pegg, Nanny, Tobie, Dorole, Agar, Agge, Pompe, Frank, Cæsar, Amy, Joham, Debora, Tom, Harry, Cipio, Bosen, Sam, Tabb, Jupiter, Essek, Cuffy, Orange, Robin, Belin, Samson, Pope, Dina, Fillis, Matilda, Ester, Yarmouth, Judy, and Adam.'

We find in Beverly's 'History of Virginia,' a very interesting account of the Manakin French Refugees: 'The assembly was very bountiful to those who remained at this town, bestowing on them large donations, money and provisions for their support; they likewise freed them from every public tax for several years to come, and addressed the governor to grant them a brief to entitle them to the charity of all well-disposed persons throughout the country, which, together with the king's benevolence, supported them very comfortably, till they could sufficiently supply themselves with necessaries, which they now do indifferently well, and begin to have stocks of cattle, which are said to give abundantly more milk than any other in the country. I have heard that these people are upon a design of getting into the breed of buffaloes, to which end they lay in wait for their calves, that they may tame and raise a stock of them; in which, if they succeed, it will in all probability be greatly for their advantage; for these are much larger than other cattle, and have the benefit of being natural to the climate. They now make many of their own clothes, and are resolved, as soon as they have improved that manufacture, to apply themselves to the making of wine and brandy, which they do not doubt to bring to perfection.' The Rev. J. Fontaine, a Calvinistic clergyman, first preached to his Refugee French brethren in England and Ireland (1688). Then his sons emigrated to Virginia, and became settled ministers. From this stock alone, including his son-in-law, Mr. Maury, have descended hundreds of the best citizens of that commonwealth—ministers, members of the bar, legislators, and public officers. The Rev. Dr. Hawks estimates the relations of these Fontaine families, in the United States, at not less than two thousand.

A few years ago, he found in a family under his parochial charge, a manuscript autobiography of one of its ancestors. This was a James Fontaine, who was a persecuted Huguenot, and endured much for the sake of his religion. The work has been translated and published, and is full of interest—'A Tale of the Huguenots; or, Memoirs of a French Refugee Family, with an Introduction, by F. L. Hawks, D.D.'

M. Fontaine was a noble example of a true Huguenot. In his early life, he was accustomed to the enjoyments of wealth, education, and refined society; but, for conscience' sake, he was stripped of them all, and forced to leave his native land. An exile in England, ignorant of its language, and unaccustomed to labor, he soon accommodated himself to his altered circumstances. He became a skillful artisan, and worked[Pg 350] successfully at his trade; at first he opened a little store, with a school also, to teach the French language, and he says: 'We were in great hopes, that with both together we should be able to pay our way.' M. Fontaine next undertook the manufactory of worsted goods, which he profitably carried on for some time, but became tired of the business. He was anxious to unite with a French church, and, knowing that there were many Refugees in the land, went to Cork in 1695.

At first he preached in the English church, after its regular pastor had finished his services. Next, the French Refugees obtained the court room for their worship, and, finally, he gave up a large apartment on the lower floor of his own house, which was properly arranged with a pulpit and seats for religious meetings. M. Fontaine writes at the time: 'I was now at the height of my ambition; I was beloved by my hearers, to whom I preached gratuitously. Great numbers of zealous, pious, and upright persons had joined our communion. This state of things was altogether too good to last. My cup of happiness was now full to overflowing, and, like all the enjoyments of this world, it proved very transitory.' Dissensions grew up; M. Fontaine was a Presbyterian, and some of his hearers required him to receive Episcopal ordination, and this circumstance produced discussion, until he felt it his duty to resign his charge. In answer to his request, his elders gave a reluctant and sorrowful consent, thanking him most humbly for the service he had rendered to this church, during two years and a half, without receiving any stipend or equivalent whatsoever for his unceasing exertions. '... We have been extremely edified by his preaching, which has always been in strict accordance with the pure Word of God. He has imparted consolation to the sick and afflicted, and set a bright example to the flock of the most exemplary piety and good conduct.'

Our French Refugee next removed to Bear Haven, and entered largely into the fishing business; and now he became a justice of the peace, exerting himself to break up the contraband traffic, which he found generally carried on 'between the Irish robbers and the French privateers,' then swarming the Irish coast. From eight to ten of these desperate characters were sent to Cork for trial at every assize of Bear Haven. They swore vengeance upon the upright magistrate; and in the year 1704, a French privateer hove in sight—soon anchoring, he faced M. Fontaine's house. The vessel mounted ten guns, with a crew of eighty seamen. The Huguenot mustered all his men, amounting to twenty, and, sending the Papists away, he supplied the Protestants with muskets. This reduced his force to seven men, besides himself, wife, and children, and four or five of these were of but little use.

Fontaine posting himself in a tower over the door, the rest of the party occupied the different windows. The lieutenant now landed with twenty men, and, approaching the dwelling, he took aim and fired at M. Fontaine, but missed him. The Huguenot then discharged a blunderbuss, with small leaden balls, one of which entered the neck of the privateersman, and another his side, when his men carried him back wounded to the ship. This unexpected resistance from a minister made the captain furious, when he sent to the attack twenty more men, under another commander, with two small cannons. 'I must acknowledge,' he says, 'that being unaccustomed to this sort of music, I felt some little tremors of fear when the first cannon ball struck the house; but I instantly humbled myself before my Maker, and having committed myself, both soul and body, to His keeping, my courage revived, and I suffered no more from fear. I put my head out of the window to see what effect the ball had produced on our stone wall, and when I perceived it had only made[Pg 351] a slight scratch, I cried out for joy, 'Courage, my dear children, their cannon balls have no more effect on our stone walls than if they were so many apples.'

The wife of M. Fontaine displayed the greatest self-possession and bravery on this trying occasion, carrying ammunition, acting as surgeon, and encouraging all by her words and actions. 'Courage, my children,' said she, 'we are in the hands of God, and it is not fear that will insure our safety; on the contrary, God will bless our courage. If you cannot fire yourselves, you can load the muskets for your father and others who are older and stronger than you are; drive away all fear, if you can, and leave the care of your persons to God.' The fight continued from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon, without intermission. Only two of the Huguenot family were wounded—a man, and one of the children slightly in his finger. The pirates finally withdrew, with three men killed and seven wounded. During the whole action the Huguenot minister did not permit any one 'to taste a drop of wine or spirits, or strong beer.' A second attack was feared, but soon the privateer weighed anchor and sailed away; when the pious family returned thanks to God for their 'glorious deliverance.'

A full account of this bold and courageous affair was transmitted to Lord Cox, then chancellor of Ireland, and the Duke of Ormond, the lord lieutenant. Fontaine recommended to them that a fort should be built there, when 'it would be a great place for the settlement of French Refugees, and would also prove a safeguard to the commerce of the whole kingdom.' In the year 1704, he himself erected a fortification at the back of his house, purchased some six-pounders, which had been obtained from a vessel lost on the Irish coast, and the Government supplied him with powder and balls. The Council of Dublin also voted him £50, and Queen Anne, in 1705, granted him a pension of five shillings a day for his services, and as a French Refugee.

From this daring defence, the name of M. Fontaine and wife became known and famous throughout all Europe. The French corsairs especially remembered it, and threatened another attack. Indeed, the family constantly apprehended such a visit, and it did take place in 1704. Leaving their vessels at midnight, the enemy soon reached the dwelling of the Huguenot, and, firing the outbuildings and stacks of grain, in less than half an hour the whole were completely enveloped in flames. On this occasion, the entire garrison consisted of the two parents, children, with four servants, two of whom were cowboys. By two o'clock in the afternoon, the pirates had made a breach through the wall of the house; but the children, protected by a mattress, in front of the opening, fired one after another at the assailants as they possibly could. The Huguenot leader, having overcharged his musket, it burst, throwing him down, and broke three of his ribs and right collar bone. For a short time he was insensible, but remarks: 'I had already done my part, for, during the course of the morning, I had fired five pounds of swan shot from my now disabled piece. Notwithstanding this unfortunate accident, an incessant fire was kept up on both sides, until a parley took place. Life and liberty were then guaranteed to the family, as the terms of capitulation, while the pirates were to have the plunder; and they swore to these conditions as Frenchmen and men of honor. When the officer and men entered the dwelling, and, looking anxiously around, saw only five youths, and four cowherds, they suspected that an ambush had been laid for them.

'You need not fear anything dishonorable from me,' said the French preacher; 'you see all our garrison.'

'Impossible!' he replied; 'these children could not possibly have kept up all the firing.'[Pg 352]

The house was then stripped of everything, not excepting the coats, which had been thrown off in the heat of the action; and the booty filled six boats. When they departed, M. Fontaine with his two eldest boys and two servants were taken away as prisoners. In vain did the brave good man protest that this was an infraction of the treaty. The remonstrance availed nothing with the freebooters. In a few days, the children with the servants were set ashore, but he was detained, when orders were given to raise the anchor. During all these severe trials, his noble and pious companion did not sit down, quietly lamenting her misfortunes. She first went to the parish priest, who was under great obligations to her husband, entreating him for his liberation. But he positively refused. Perceiving the privateer under sail, she resolved to follow it along the shore, as long as she could, and, reaching a promontory, she made a signal with her apron, on the top of a stick. A boat came near the shore, and she carried on a conversation with its crew through a speaking trumpet. After much bargaining, they agreed to set M. Fontaine at liberty, upon the payment of £100 sterling. Of this sum the excellent lady could only borrow £30, and the captain of the privateer consented to take this amount, with one of her sons as a hostage, until the remaining £70 were paid, calling her at the same time 'a second Judith.'

Mrs. Fontaine repaired forthwith to Cork, for the purpose of raising the sum wanted, and could easily have obtained it, but the merchants of that city objected to any payment of the kind. The privateer hovered about the Irish coast for some time, expecting the ransom money; but when the governor of Brest heard the circumstances, he condemned the captain strongly for bringing a hostage away with him, contrary to the law of nations. The difficulty did not terminate here. As soon as he was able, the French preacher visited Kinsale, and made an affidavit of the outrage he had suffered. At this place were a government officer and a prison, and immediately all the French officers who had been taken in the war then existing were ironed. Numbers of the same description were treated in a similar manner. These retaliatory measures excited great public feeling against the captain of the privateer, and he was summoned to appear before the governor of Brest, who imprisoned and even threatened to hang him. Upon his promising to set at liberty the young hostage, and convey him to the place from whence he had been taken, the officer was liberated.

M. Fontaine now determined to live in Dublin, and support his family by teaching the Latin, Greek, and French languages; and in the mean time the grand jury of Cork awarded him £800 for his losses at Bear Haven. In his new abode he was able to give his children an excellent education; one became an officer in the British service, and three entered college. The former was John Fontaine, and the family determined that he should visit America for information; and after travelling through Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, he purchased a plantation in Virginia. Peter, another brother, received ordination from the bishop of London, and with Moses, who studied law, both embarked for Virginia in 1716. Francis, the last son, remained at college.

There were two daughters in his family. The eldest, Mary Anne, married Matthew Maury, a Protestant Refugee from Gascony, in 1716, and the next year he joined his relations in this country. His son was the Rev. James Maury, of Albemarle, Virginia, a very estimable and useful clergyman of the Church of England. James was another son of the French preacher who made America his home, bringing with him his wife, child, mother-in-law, and thirteen servants, in 1717. Francis, in 1719,[Pg 353] was ordained by the Bishop of London, on the particular recommendation of the Archbishop of Dublin, and then also sailed for Virginia. He became a very eloquent and popular preacher, and settled in St. Margaret's parish, King William county.

In the year 1721, Mr. Fontaine lost his most faithful, exemplary, and pious companion. 'A melancholy day,' he records in his autobiography, 'it was, that deprived me of my greatest earthly comfort and consolation. I was bowed down to the very dust; but it made me think of my own latter end, and made preparations to join her once more.' At the conclusion of his memoirs, he uses the following remarkable language:

'I feel the strongest conviction, that if you will take care of these memoirs, your descendants will read them with pleasure; and I here declare that I have been most particular as to the truth of all that is herein recorded.

'I hope God will bless the work, and that by His grace it may be a bond of union among you and your descendants, and that it may be an humble means of confirming you all in the fear of the Lord.

I am, dear children,
'Your tender father,
'James Fontaine.'

Little did the faithful Huguenot preacher imagine that a century after he wrote thus kindly to his own children, myriads who have been born from the same noble and holy ancestry would be animated, cheered, and profited by his useful life and example. Though dead he yet speaketh.

We have dwelt thus at length upon the heroic history of this Huguenot minister and his family; for where can we find an example so worthy of imitation? He was a Huguenot in its fullest sense, bearing himself, at all times, with a noble spirit of the true man, for the work before him. Never losing trust in God, nor proper confidence in himself, he proved that, when thus true, no man need ever despair. His long line of descendants in the United States may well cherish and honor his memory.

As we have said before, we dwell more particularly upon the character and history of Mr. Fontaine, as a striking example of a true Huguenot; and how truth and the right will finally triumph over all obstacles. Wherever the French Protestants settled in America, they exhibited this same excellent trait; and among their families of Virginia were those who distinguished themselves as brave soldiers and able magistrates in the councils of the then young Republic.


[G. H. BOKER.]

'The sun is sinking low,
Upon the ashes of his fading pyre;
The evening star is stealing after him,
Fixed, like a beacon on the prow of night;
The world is shutting up its heavy eye
Upon the stir and bustle of to-day;—
On what shall it awake?'
[Pg 354]


In the beginning of the year 1860, there existed in the city of Montgomery, Alabama, a strong, active, and apparently indestructible Union party. Three months after the close of the year there remained in the city no trace of Union sentiment. To show how this feeling was destroyed, sinking slowly, and with many reactions, under influences in themselves insignificant, and to narrate, as they fell under personal observation, that short train of events which make up the historic period of this first capital of the Southern confederacy, will be the object of the present sketch.

Early in the summer of 1860 it became evident to every dispassionate observer in the South that the country was swiftly approaching a great crisis. So dexterously had politicians managed the excitement which arose on the discovery of the plot of John Brown, that at the very beginning of the year a small and united party had been formed, having for its aim the immediate separation of the States. This party, following this well-defined object, was the only fixed thing in Southern society during the year. In the midst of all changes it was permanent. Even before the presidential election, when men's minds wavered about things so permanent as party lines and party creeds, about old political dogmas associated with favorite political leaders, it remained unaffected. The presence of this restless and determined insurrectionary element in the party politics of the time gave to the struggle preceding the presidential election a character of unusual intensity. The city of Montgomery, as the home of Mr. Yancey, and consequently of his warmest admirers, and most bitter opponents, felt the full influence of this excitement, and soon became one of the natural centres of the growing struggle of opinions.

From causes difficult then to trace, there appeared early in the year in the money market of the South an unusual condition of prostration. Banks were unaccountably cautious. Money was scarce. Debts of more than a year's standing were unpaid, and business of all kinds languished. Not even were the customary advances made by the banks in the East for the purchase of cotton, nor did the money scattered through the country by those sales which did take place relieve the financial pressure under which everything labored. In October capitalists refused to venture their funds on anything which did not promise the most immediate return.

In these signs, in the inexplicable shrinking of capital to its hiding places, and in the universal darkening of business, it would seem that all might have discovered the approach of that storm which has since burst with such fury upon the land. But this was not the case. Although every one looked forward with anxiety to the time of election, it was only a portion of the so-called Breckinridge party who saw with any distinctness the point toward which all things were tending. Nor did these men make public the extent of their hopes.

They were satisfied at first to do nothing more than familiarize the minds of the people with the idea of secession. They spread the doctrine that the only hope of Union lay in the defeat of Mr. Lincoln. Expressing the worst fears of all, this doctrine was thought to be peculiarly calculated to increase the numbers of the Union or Bell party, and was therefore readily adopted by those who would at first have repelled with patriotic horror the alternative it suggested.

It is impossible to estimate the influence of this lurking fallacy. Not merely[Pg 355] were multitudes of well-meaning, but unreasoning men, who were confident of the success of their party, brought to acquiesce in a proposition utterly false in its base, but the whole conservative element in society was placed in a position from which it would be thrown by defeat into a most dangerous reaction. Thus consciously or unconsciously all parties were using every effort in their power to prepare the popular mind for the question of secession.

But the period was not without its traits of patriotism. In October strong efforts were made in the States of Alabama and Georgia to unite the three parties in the South on one of the three candidates; thus securing a President to the South, and the certainty of the Union. The Breckinridge Democrats, however, contemptuously refused to be party to every arrangement of the kind. The insurrectionary element, gathering to itself the excitable and disaffected spirits of every class, had now gained the command of this party, and no longer attempted to conceal its revolutionary intentions. At the head of this element, exercising a vast influence over all its movements, and embodying in himself, more than any other man (except, perhaps, Mr. Yancey), the fierceness of its spirit, stood Mr. Toombs, of Georgia. He was now invited to speak in Montgomery. As a man of large political experience, some statesmanship, and master of a grave and sonorous eloquence, it was expected that he would influence a class of men who had hitherto held themselves studiously aloof from the insurrectionary ranks—that calm, conservative class, which is recognized by all as the basis of every society which has acquired, or having acquired, hopes to retain, stability of government and security of morals. The sentiments of the speaker were too well known to admit of any doubts as to the probable character of his address. He appeared as the undisguised advocate of secession. No form of appeal or argument was neglected which could have had weight with a people peculiarly susceptible to the influence of oratory. Setting aside the question of the approaching election, to which he scarcely alluded, the orator strove only to show that it was an imperative social necessity that the South should have a vast and constantly increasing slave territory; that in the path of this necessity the only obstacle was the Federal Union, and that the time for its destruction had now come. These were the representative arguments of his party before the election, and he did not speak to an unsympathizing audience. For when toward the close, raising his voice until it broke almost in a scream, he exclaimed, 'Let the night which decides the election of Mr. Lincoln be ushered in by the booming of the hostile cannon of the South,' the hall rang again and again with the shouts of his excited hearers. But nemo repente turpissimus semper fuit. These were not the sentiments of all. There was a large class present who did not applaud—but neither did they hiss. They seemed for the time overawed by the energy of the spirit which had suddenly sprung up among them.

In the following week, however, a singular, though, unfortunately, but momentary check was given to the progress of insurrectionary sentiments in the vicinity of the city. Senator Douglas, who had been slowly advancing, in his oratorical tour, down the coast, was about this time announced to speak in Montgomery. Since his speech in Norfolk, where he was thought to have expressed himself too clearly against secession, a strong prejudice had grown up in the South against him, and it now threatened to manifest itself in acts of positive violence. Such was the state of popular feeling, that for a time it seemed uncertain whether it would be desirable for him to attempt to speak. Hints of peculiar personal outrages were thrown out by men of a certain class; and[Pg 356] threats were made of something still more ominous in case he should attempt to repeat the sentiments of his Norfolk speech.

He arrived in the evening, and was met at the cars by a large crowd, and a procession formed from a coalition, for the occasion, of his party with that of Mr. Bell. It was feared that the short ride to the hotel would not be accomplished without some act of violence on the part of the excited throng by which his carriage was surrounded. A few eggs were thrown, but otherwise the ride was performed without interruption. From further outrages the crowd restrained itself until something positive should appear on the part of the orator himself. Unintimidated, however, by these unmistakable evidences of the public feeling, Mr. Douglas on the following morning presented himself on the steps in front of the capitol, where it had been announced that his speech would be delivered. The city was filled with strangers, who had come from all parts of the country to be present at the State fair which was held there that week. On Capitol Hill, therefore, an immense throng was early assembled, which coldly awaited the arrival of the orator. Everything was chilly and unfavorable. But the spirit of the obstinate debater seemed to rise with the difficulties by which he was surrounded. At first even his manner of speaking operated to his disadvantage. The sharp, syllabic emphasis, which he was accustomed to adopt in addressing large assemblages in the open air, grated harshly on ears accustomed to the smooth and carefully modulated elocution of Mr. Yancey. Beginning, however, by enunciating general principles of government, in which all could agree, he gradually conciliated, by an unexpected appearance of moderation, the favorable attention of his audience. As he advanced upon his customary sketch of the history of the different political parties during the past few years—a work which a hundred repetitions enabled him to perform with a dramatic energy of style and expression singularly effective—he was occasionally interrupted by exclamations of acquiescence. As he described the various successes of the Democratic party, these became frequent, and before he had finished the resumé, his voice was drowned amid the enthusiastic cheers of the crowd.

It was a triumph of oratory. He repeated every sentiment of his Norfolk speech, and the men who in the morning had thrown out dark hints of 'stoning,' joined in the applause. He accepted as a certainty the election of Mr. Lincoln, but caused the crowd to shout with exultation at the prospect of tying all his activity by the constitutional check of a Democratic majority in Congress. In short, he came amid general execration, and departed amid universal regret. I had heard Mr. Douglas before, but never when he gave any evidence of the wonderful power which he exhibited on this occasion. With few tricks of rhetoric, with no extraordinary bursts of eloquence, he accomplished all the results of the most impassioned oratory. The qualities of a great debater—unshaken presence of mind, tact in adapting himself to his audience, the power of arranging facts in a form at once simple and coherent, and yet most favorable to his own cause, the strange influence by which one mind compels from others the recognition of its supremacy—have long been conceded to the late Senator from Illinois, but never did he exhibit these qualities with greater effect than before the excited populace of Montgomery.

This was the last strictly Union speech which was delivered in that city. No one after this was found bold enough to stand up in the defence of the cause that from this day began slowly to succumb to the fierce spirit to which it was opposed. For several days the effects of the speech were visi[Pg 357]ble in the moderate tone of 'popular feeling;' but they were soon lost in the tumultuous excitement attending the return of Mr. Yancey from his tour in the North, and the still more intense feeling produced by the election which immediately followed.

It was impossible in these last hours of distinct political organizations not to be struck with the differences that characterized the opposing parties—differences which, both before and since, have had much to do with the progress of the rebellion. The Union gatherings were easy, jovial, fond of speeches adorned with the quips and turns of political oratory, and filled with the spirit 't'will all come right in the end.' In the Breckinridge—or, as they had now practically become—the secession meetings, a different spirit prevailed. It was the spirit of insurrection, fierce, stormy, unrestrained. It was the spirit of hatred; hatred of the North, hatred of the Union, hatred of Mr. Bell, whose success would deprive them of their only weapon for the destruction of that Union.

But with the 4th of November came a change. Three days after election there remained in Montgomery no trace of party organizations. All the widely divergent streams of public opinion seemed suddenly to have joined in one, and that running fiercely, and unrestrained toward disunion. The election of Mr. Lincoln united the people. On all sides prevailed the deepest enthusiasm in favor of secession. Mass meetings, attended by all parties, were held, and passed resolutions advocating in the strongest terms immediate disunion. Secessionists were astonished at the change, and in their anxiety to avoid anything which might shock the newly awakened sentiment, appeared in many cases the most conservative members of the community. But indeed nothing was too violent for the state of public feeling. War committees were appointed, and active measures taken to put the State in a position to maintain her independence as soon as the ordinance of secession should have received the sanction of the convention. Troops were despatched to take possession of the arsenal, and agents were sent North to purchase additions to the already large supply of arms in the State. Immediate secession seemed to be the desire of every class. But this condition of things was not always to continue. The reaction which had carried the Unionists from a state of perfect confidence in the success of their candidate, to one of deep disappointment, and of rage at the section to which they attributed their defeat, having at length spent itself, signs of a returning movement began to make their appearance. At first these were not strongly marked. All were yet in favor of secession, but a large party, composed of most of the former partisans of Mr. Bell, together with the conservative element of every class, began at length to object to a too great precipitancy, and finally to demand that the action of Alabama should be made to depend upon the decision of the other Southern States. This movement was understood by the secessionists to have for its ultimate object the defeat of their hopes of disunion; and such, unquestionably, was its aim; for whatever may have been the plans of some of the leaders of the Coöperationists, as this party was called, it is certain that the great body of the party had no other end in view, and was sustained in its action by no other hope than the perpetuation of the Union.

At the caucus meetings which preceded the election of delegates to the State convention the two parties, as now formed, first came into conflict. At once important differences became apparent. Although nearly equal in numbers, in spirit the two parties were signally unequal. While the secessionists were bold, vigilant, and uncompromising, the Coöperationists were timid and passionless, though full of a passive confidence that the Union would in some way be[Pg 358] preserved. A knowledge of this difference explains many things, in themselves apparently inexplicable. It shows how it was possible that a State so confessedly loyal that it would have rejected the ordinance of secession if it had been submitted directly to the people, could yet, on this very issue, elect a convention with a majority in favor of disunion. The whole question was decided in the caucus meetings. The secessionists of all parts of the State were bound together by watchful associations, and were everywhere on the alert. In counties where by their number they were entitled to no representative, attending the caucus meeting in force, they effected—as they easily could while there was no distinct party organization—a union of the tickets, and thus secured to themselves one of the two candidates. So frequently was this repeated in different parts of the country, that it was afterward estimated that by this simple expedient of a union ticket the whole question of the secession of this State was decided.

From these political struggles, however, the interest of the community was suddenly withdrawn by an event which instantly absorbed all attention, and struck terror into every household. In the little town of Pine Level, a village situated a few miles from Montgomery, traces were discovered of a plot having for its object a general uprising of the negroes on the evening preceding Christmas.

In the progress of the investigations which were immediately begun, it came to light that the plot was not simply local, but extended over many counties, including in its circuit the city of Montgomery, and involving in its movements many hundred negroes. Further examination revealed all the horrible details which were to attend the consummation of the plot—the butchery of the whites, the allotment of females, the division of property. The whole surrounding country was alive with excitement. Active measures were taken to crush at once the spirit of insurrection. The ringleaders and some of the poor whites, with whom the plot is said to have originated, were seized and, after a brief trial, immediately hung. In Montgomery feeling was such as to demand the adoption of the most stringent precautionary measures. Military companies were called out and placed in nightly guard over the capitol and arsenal. On Christmas eve the plot was to go into execution, and as the time approached, the anxiety became painfully intense. It was whispered that one of Mr. Yancey's slaves had been detected in an attempt to poison her master. The police was doubled, soldiers with loaded muskets were stationed in all the prominent streets, while mounted guards ranged the thinly inhabited section of the outskirts. The night, however, passed without alarm, and the excitement from that time slowly subsided.

It is scarcely worthy of notice, perhaps, that with the returning sense of security came also the flippant confidence which had been for a time put to flight. The blacks were again a timid and affectionate race, and it was soon not difficult to find multitudes who declared themselves willing to meet alone a hundred insurrectionary slaves. Sitting in this evening calm, listening to such remarks, it was difficult to accept as real the events of the hot and excited day which had gone before. Surely they were dreams—the hurried trials, the hangings, the nightly tread of soldiers, the brooding terror that whitened the lips of mothers. A home guard, however, was immediately formed, including all citizens, irrespective of age or station, capable of bearing arms, and not in other military organizations.

On the 7th of January, the convention met. South Carolina had already passed her ordinance of secession; but what others would follow the example of this excitable State was yet uncer[Pg 359]tain. All eyes were now anxiously directed toward Alabama, upon whose decision would to a great degree depend that of the two great conservative States, Louisiana and Georgia. Nor was this anxiety diminished by the accounts given of the composition of the convention of this State. Both sides claimed a majority; and it was evident that, without some unexpected defection, the two parties would narrowly escape a tie. This singular uncertainty was soon, however, to cease. Immediately on convening, it became evident that the command of the body lay with the secessionists. It was found by secret estimates that the two parties were divided by ten votes. Of the hundred delegates, fifty-five were in favor of disunion. Although this majority gave the secessionists power to carry their wishes into instant effect, it was not thought politic to do so while the difference between the two parties remained so small. The passage of the ordinance was, therefore, for several days delayed, while the Coöperationists were plied with arguments to induce them to acquiesce in that which it was now impossible for them to prevent. At length, after four days of deliberation, it became evident that all of this party had succumbed whom it seemed possible to change, and on the morning of the 11th of January it was publicly announced that the ordinance of secession had passed the convention by a vote of sixty-one in the affirmative against thirty-nine in the negative.

By the insurrectionists the announcement was received with transports of joy, but by the Unionists it was met with demonstrations of grief, which they made no efforts to conceal. Women wept, and houses were closed as for a day of mourning. In the northern part of the State the manifestations of disappointment were still more unmistakable. Indignation meetings were held, and one of the delegates received a telegram from his constituents, charging him with having betrayed them on the very issue for which he was elected, and demanding explanations. At length the loyal feeling of the State seemed aroused, and had the ordinance of secession been now submitted to the people, all admitted that it would have been rejected by an unquestionable majority. But the ordinance was not submitted to the people, and the Union sentiment, which had already, within the interval of a few weeks, passed through two complete oscillations—vibrating from the loyalty which preceded the presidental election through all the changes of the strong disunion reaction which followed—was now again in the ascendant. But from this point it soon began to recede, descending slowly along an arc of which no eye can see the end, with a momentum that permits no prediction as to the time of its return.

A multitude of influences began at once to weaken the energy of the Union sentiment. From the first, it had been the policy of the disunion leaders to represent the question of secession as lying wholly with the South. In case this section should decide upon disunion, there would be little reason, it was said, to fear any prolonged opposition on the part of the North—least of all a war. Nothing appeared on the part of the Federal Executive to refute these assertions. It was by a large class believed, therefore, that the leaders were right when they said that the secession would be a mere withdrawal of the Southern States, for the formation of a government perfectly friendly to the North, with which, indeed, a board of commissioners would soon arrange the terms of a peaceful international trade. After the passage of this ordinance, however, a slight modification of this argument became necessary. Peace was conditioned upon unanimity. Unionists were now called upon to render their support to the new government in order to secure peace. If it was clear that the State was united in favor of the changed condition of[Pg 360] things, there would be no difficulty, it was said, to procure, amid the divisions of the North, a peaceful recognition of the confederacy. The factions of the Northern States would never allow the Federal Government to attempt to coerce a united people. Thus the very weapons which loyalty had used to arm herself were here wrested to her own destruction. To insure peace, men became insurrectionists.

It is useless now to surmise what would have been the result if the action of the Federal Government in reference to the question of secession at the beginning of the rebellion, had been less ambiguous. It is enough to know, what was for many weeks so painfully realized by every Northerner in the South, that had the Southern people, by any means, been brought to understand that Federal laws were protected by sanctions, and that an attempt at disunion would certainly be followed by war, the question of secession would never have become a formidable issue. But while men believed, as many of the Unionists did, that secession was an experiment, attended with no danger to themselves, and which would more than likely result, after a few years, in a peaceful reconstruction of the Union on terms more favorable to the South, there is little occasion for wonder that the cause of disunion met with no very earnest, or, at least, prolonged opposition.

The passage of the ordinance of secession gave to the disunionists an incalculable advantage. It is true, the Union feeling was deep, and in many places strongly aroused, but the State had seceded, the new government was quietly and apparently solidly forming itself, profitable offices were in its gift, and, added to all, the conservative spirit whispered its old motto, quieta non movere, and the hands which had been raised in weak resistance fell harmlessly back.

In the mean while, at the capitol, another work was going on. The convention, having established by ordinance the independence of the State, was now engaged in tearing down and remodelling to meet the petty wants of the Republic of Alabama the august structure of the Federal Constitution. The work was soon completed, and on the 29th of January this body, which in a brief session of three weeks had carried through measures involving some of the most stupendous changes possible to a civil State, adjourned to meet again on the 4th of March, cutting off, by this, all possibility of any of the questions which it had discussed being brought before the people by a new election. On the week following the adjournment of the convention, the confederate congress assembled in Montgomery.

This body immediately showed a fine appreciation of the state of public feeling, and drew to itself the confidence of the people by selecting for president and vice-president of the temporary government men who were thought to represent the more conservative element in community. Mr. Davis, at the time of his election, was in Mississippi, but on receiving the official announcement of the event, started at once for Montgomery, passing through Southern Tennessee, then a loyal State, along a path nearly parallel to the one in which Mr. Lincoln was at the same time moving a little farther north.

He reached the city in the night, but a large crowd was awaiting his arrival at the depot. A procession of carriages, filled with members of the confederate congress, led the way to the hotel. It was preceded by a military band, and at regular intervals rockets were discharged, announcing to the distant beholder the progress of the procession. All felt that by attention to these honorary details they were assisting to give dignity to the newly formed confederacy. On arriving at the hotel, Mr. Davis was announced to speak from the balcony. The crowd pressed curiously forward. Two candles threw a[Pg 361] faint, yellow light over a spare, angular form, rather below the medium height, lighting up, at the same time, the sunken cheeks and strongly marked jaws of a face now working with the emotions which the unusual events of the evening were so well calculated to excite.

The ceremonies of inauguration were postponed to the beginning of the following week. Early on Monday morning, however, the hill before the capitol was covered with a vast throng, collected from all parts of the new confederacy. For the accomodation of the members of congress, a temporary platform had been erected in front of the capitol. Standing on this, and glancing over the city, the eye rested on the rich valley of the Alabama, stretching away many miles to the north, broken here and there by the dark green foliage of the pine forests, which now twinkled in the soft light of a day mild even for the latitude. At the extreme rear of the platform, behind a small table, was seated the chairman of the congress, Howell Cobb. Corpulent even to grossness, he formed a curious contrast to the small and wasted forms of the two presidents elect, who sat at his side. The events of this day have given to every trait of these men a lasting and unenviable interest. Neither looked like a great man, neither like a man thoroughly bad. All the impressions produced by the first appearance of Mr. Davis were strengthened, without being changed, by a farther acquaintance. To a physique by no means imposing, he joins a manner too reserved to make him at any time a favorite of the populace. His whole bearing, in fact, declares him a stranger to that deep and contagious enthusiasm which has so often in enterprises like this drawn to a leader the admiration and unconquerable fidelity of the common people. Nor, on the other hand, is there anything in his appearance to indicate the presence of the broad and comprehensive energy which, in the mind of the thoughtful, can take the place of such an enthusiasm. Still, he is in many respects peculiarly suited to take the head of the rebellion. Elected at a time when State distinctions were lost sight of in the warmth of the first formation of the confederacy, he soon lost his sectional character, and represents, as no one now elected could, the people alike of Virginia and those along the Gulf. He is shrewd, cautious, determined. But his caution may easily become scarcely distinguishable in its results from timidity. His determination is never far removed from stubbornness. Mr. Stevens, who sat, or, rather, had sunk, in his chair by the side of Mr. Davis, was a thin, sickly looking man, whose small round face was characterized by the pallid self-concentrated expression peculiar to invalids. On rising at the administration of the oath, which he did with the laborious movement of one to whom weakness had become a habit, he revealed a form of about the medium height, but broken, as by some physical disfigurement. During most of the ceremonies, he wore the air of an uninterested spectator, amusing himself with the head of a slight and rather jaunty cane, which he held between his knees. Although greatly inferior, so far as mere physical appearances are concerned, to his colleague, there is yet something in the expression and bearing of Mr. Stevens which suggests a depth and comprehensiveness of intellect for which one searches in vain the face of Mr. Davis. On the platform were gathered nearly all those restless spirits which have, during the past twenty years, disturbed the peace of the country. Conspicuous among them appeared the bristling head of Mr. Toombs. He sat during the whole ceremony, with his face, wearing the imperious expression which had become habitual to it, turned upon the people. With uncovered heads, and in perfect silence, the crowd listened to the oath of office. Immediately on the completion of this ceremony the two presidents and the congress withdrew to the senate chamber.[Pg 362]

A levee was announced for the evening. The hall which had been selected for this gathering was a large, low room in the upper story of a building near the centre of the city.

Some efforts had been made by the ladies to conceal the rudeness of the apartment, but it was expected that every deficiency of this kind would be forgotten in the presence of that courtly society which had hitherto given all the attractiveness to occasions like this on the banks of the Potomac. It is but fair to suppose that these expectations were disappointed, for early in the evening the hall was crowded with a throng of men and boys, who, standing with uncovered heads, talking loudly of the hopes of the new confederacy, or moved uneasily about, seeking a favorable position from which to watch the 'president shake hands.' This was the ambition of the evening. Every standing point in the vicinity of Mr. Davis was taken advantage of. Chairs and benches served as footstools to elevate into positions of prominence long rows of men dressed in the yellow jeans of the country, who stood, during all the long hours of the evening, watching with unchanging countenances the multiplied repetitions of the short double shake and spasmodic smile which Mr. Davis meted out to each of the constantly forming column that filed before him. The platform was filled with the same class, and even the arch of evergreen, under which it was intended that Mr. Davis should stand, was pushed aside, to give place to those unwinking faces which pressed to every loophole of observation. The ladies, who appeared here and there in the crowd, sparkling with jewels, and dressed in the rich robes naturally suited to the occasion, only increased by their presence the rude incongruities of the gathering. Men were surprised at the manifestations on every hand of a vulgarity and coarseness which they had been accustomed to think the natural products and exclusive characteristics of a state of society farther north. To the eyes of the fastidious, a new class had suddenly arisen in their midst. Perhaps the lesson was not a new one. Many nations before, when in the midst of revolutions, have been called mournfully to learn that there are grades in every society, that rebellions are not always tractable, and that the class which guides their opening rarely controls their close. But if the scene of the evening had any prophecies of this kind—and I do not say that it had—it wailed them, like Cassandra, to ears divinely closed.

From this time the ferment of public opinion disappeared. A tangible government existed, against which to speak was treason, and the friends of the Union—and in spite of all changes, the number of these was yet considerable—now for the first time ceased from the expression of those objections by which they had hitherto indicated the direction of their sympathies. All classes of men were longing for something permanent, and eagerly grasped at these appearances of a settled government, as promising to supply that which they so much desired. The establishment of a calm and united state of public feeling seemed, therefore, the almost instant effect of the inauguration of Mr. Davis. As might be expected, the events which have been related had not taken place in the South without affecting the condition of the Northern stranger who chanced to be within the gate. To him every change had been for the worse. During the fluctuations of public opinion in the early part of the season, his position, though unpleasant, had still some relieving circumstances; the condition of the country was not yet utterly hopeless, and the vanity of being stable in the midst of universal change, ministered a mild though secret pleasure, which, in the painful anxieties of the period, was not without its consolatory value. But when the tide of public opinion had turned strongly in one direction, and[Pg 363] that in favor of secession, all those pleasures, so mild and spiritual, were at once destroyed. Nor was this a condition without change. Every week added some new restraints to those by which the Unionist was already surrounded. But never was the pressure of these restraints felt to be so great as in this singular calm, which followed the inauguration of Mr. Davis. The loyal spirit seemed extinct. Union sentiments were no longer expressed in even the private circles. Now, however, hints were occasionally dropped of the possibility of a future reconstruction, and in this direction it was evident the small remnant of the Union party was now turning its hopes.

Notwithstanding the general appearance of unanimity, one thing remained which seemed to indicate a want of perfect confidence on the part of the people generally in the permanency of the new order of affairs. This was, the little interest which was manifested in the transactions of the rebel congress. With nothing else to occupy their minds, the people allowed the most important measures of public policy to pass almost without remark. To the congress itself this apathy did not extend. There appeared here, on the contrary, a germ even of the old State antagonisms; for when Mr. Toombs, carrying out the former policy of his State, introduced a bill imposing a tax on imports, declaring, at the same time, that no government could ever be sustained without depending chiefly upon this source of revenue, every member from South Carolina was on his legs. After a warm debate, and against the strongest protests of these members, the bill was carried and went into effect. Notwithstanding this, many in England still secretly believe that the Federal tariff was the real cause of the secession.

The astonishing promptness with which the rebel government, immediately after the fall of Fort Sumter, equipped and placed upon the field an enormous and fairly organized army, has given rise to a strong impression concerning the energy put forth by the executive department during the two months which intervened between this event and the inauguration. No mistake could be greater. On the very day of the election of Mr. Lincoln the South possessed a military establishment quite equal, in proportion to its population, to that of either France or Russia. At the time of the John Brown excitement, a rumor was spread through the South that large bodies of men were gathering in different parts of the North, having for their object an invasion of the Southern States. Among all the reports which this excited period produced, none was more sedulously diffused, and none more generally believed.

Whatever had been the original design of the story, its instant effect, in the excited state of the public mind, was the formation of companies in every county and village throughout the South for military drill.

These organizations, of which there were frequently several in a single village, were equipped entirely at the expense of the individual members. As they were under constant drill during the winter and summer, they presented at the opening of the year 1861 the singular spectacle of a great army, organized and equipped at its own expense, ready at any moment to march at the command of the recognized government. This, it is unnecessary to say, was the grand basis of that army which was afterward placed upon the field; and thus it was that a secretary of war so palpably inefficient as Mr. Walker was able, with an empty treasury, for many months to surpass the North in the supply of troops, equipped, and at once prepared for duty.

It was in full appreciation of this great armed mass that lay at his hand in a condition to be easily formed into an organized and efficient army, that Mr. Davis, after much entreaty, and[Pg 364] repeated postponement, reluctantly gave his assent to the first strong act of the executive department, and ordered the attack upon Fort Sumter.

Without anticipating what were to be the effects of this act in the North, which was, indeed, open to the conjecture of no man, Mr. Davis on this occasion simply exhibited a hesitancy in venturing on extreme measures, which will be found to be a characteristic feature of his administration.

For several days the city was filled with rumors concerning the anticipated attack, but early on Friday morning it was announced that the bombardment had already begun. In the general excitement, business was suspended. Crowds filled the streets. The war department was in constant receipt of telegraphic messages announcing the progress of the bombardment. But nothing came during the day to diminish the growing anxiety. It was found that the fleet of war vessels said to be outside the bar would take advantage of the night to come to the succor of the fort. Sleep was impossible. Men who had gone to bed arose again and joined the crowd which thronged the streets. At length, shortly after midnight, Mr. Walker came forth and announced the last and most favorable telegraphic report concerning the progress of the siege, uttering at the same time the famous boast which has linked his name with an indissoluble association of folly. Shortly past noon on Saturday, the message came which announced the surrender of the fort. The city was frantic with joy. For hours, no forms of manifestation seemed adequate to express the excitement which filled all classes of society. Standing on the housetop in the evening, a wild crowd could be seen flitting before bonfires, or ranging the streets, and shouting in the ecstasy of an excitement which none could control. Immediately on the arrival of the despatch, messengers had started into the country with the welcome tidings, and deep in the night the ear was startled by the dull roar of the cannon announcing the arrival in some distant village of the joyful intelligence.

'That will be the end of the war,' said a man of well known conservatism, who stood by at the announcement in Montgomery of the surrender of the fort. It was the last expression of that fatal fallacy which had lured so large a class quietly to acquiesce in the fact of secession in the hope of thus securing the peaceful recognition of the North. In a few days more, the whole deception had passed away. But the correction had come too late. The Union party was extinct. Twice, in the course of that great change, by the progress of which, a people, in majority loyal, was converted into one totally disloyal and revolutionary, it lay within the power of the Federal Executive, by firmness and a proper exhibition of its powers, to have sustained the Union party in the South and crushed the rebellion—before the election of Mr. Lincoln, and at the time of the strong Union reaction in the election of delegates to the State convention. At both these periods the Union feeling was strong and increasing, immediately after each; pressed upon by arguments which the course of the Executive had failed to answer, it slowly declined. But no great sentiment is destroyed at once. There is reason to believe that, if left to itself, the tide of Union feeling might again have flowed back, and the faint traces of a reconstruction party which appeared in the short interval of quiet that belonged to the rebel confederacy indicates, perhaps, the path along which it would have returned. But the time for these things had passed.

The fall of Sumter brought the doctrines of secession into instant popularity, and roused a spirit of military enthusiasm in the South scarcely less intense than that which the same event excited in the North. At once, in every direction, disappeared all those sober scruples which, during the hottest ex[Pg 365]citement of the preceding months, had quietly controlled the judgment of a small but influential class in every community. The change in north Alabama and central Tennessee, where the principles of secession had been steadily rejected by the people, was almost instantaneous. The excitement and pride of a sectional victory, and a false sympathy for the individuals who had ventured their lives in a cause in itself, perhaps, objectionable, effected what the most cunning fallacies of the leaders had been unable to accomplish. As this movement of the popular feeling had many points of resemblance with the revolution of feeling which took place just after the election of Mr. Lincoln, there were some who believed that it would be followed by a similar reaction. The excitement of the war into which the whole country was immediately precipitated, cut off, however, every chance of any such retrogressive movement. No reaction took place. The surrender of Fort Sumter completed the change of opinion which had been so long progressing in the South.

Those who look for an immediate restitution of Union feeling in the South, as a result of Federal victories, will be disappointed. It will be the result of a gradual movement—a movement resembling in every important particular that by which the secession sentiment was established in the interval between the election of Mr. Lincoln and the surrender of Fort Sumter. Operating particularly upon that class in society which is by nature passive rather than active, conservative rather than headlong, the movement, as in that case, will be at first slow and attended with many reactions, but the result will not be uncertain. Already the progress of the war has destroyed nearly all the motives by which the Union party of the South was formerly led to adopt the cause of secession. This great party, therefore, stretching through all parts of the South, forming an important element in the population of every village and county which threatened at one time with its passive resistance to overturn the whole scheme of the rebellion, stands now exposed to the full influence of the reactionary tide which has now begun to set back toward the Union. The change may not be at once, but the same motive which led the Union man of Tennessee to return to loyalty, will prove equally effective with his whole party, wherever distributed.


'O England!—model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with, a mighty heart,—
What might'st thou do, that honor would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see thy fault! the South in thee finds out
A nest of hollow bosoms, which it fills
With treacherous crowns! they would o'erthrow our country,
And by their hands the grace of Freedom die,
If hell and treason hold their promises.'
Henry V, Act II, Scene i.
[Pg 366]




My previous numbers, comparing the progress, in the aggregate, of all the Slave States, with all the Free States, of Massachusetts and New Jersey, with Maryland and South Carolina, and of New York with Virginia, demonstrate the fatal effect of slavery upon material advance, and moral and intellectual development. In further proof of the uniformity of this great law, I now institute a similar comparison between two great neighboring Western States, Missouri and Illinois. The comparison is just, for while Missouri has increased since 1810, in wealth and population, much more rapidly than any of the Slave States, there are several Free States whose relative advance has exceeded that of Illinois. The rapid growth of Missouri is owing to her immense area, her fertile soil, her mighty rivers (the Mississippi and Missouri), her central and commanding position, and to the fact, that she has so small a number of slaves to the square mile, as well as to the free population.

The population of Illinois, in 1810, was 12,282, and in 1860, 1,711,951; the ratio of increase from 1810 to 1860 being 13,838.70. (Table 1, Cens. 1860.) The population of Missouri in 1810, was 20,845, and in 1860, 1,182,012; the ratio of increase from 1810 to 1860 being 5,570.48. (Ib.) The rank of Missouri in 1810 was 22, and of Illinois 23. The rank of Missouri in 1860 was 8, and of Illinois, 4.

Area.—The area of Missouri is 67,380 square miles, being the 4th in rank, as to area, of all the States. The area of Illinois is 55,405 square miles, ranking the 10th. Missouri, then, has 11,975 more square miles than Illinois. This excess is greater by 749 square miles than the aggregate area of Massachusetts, Delaware, and Rhode Island, containing in 1860 a population of 1,517,902. The population of Missouri per square mile in 1810 exceeded that of Illinois .08; but, in 1860, the population of Missouri per square mile was 17.54, ranking the 22d, and that of Illinois, 30.90, ranking the 13th. Illinois, with her ratio to the square mile and the area of Missouri, would have had in 1860 a population of 2,082,042; and Missouri; with her ratio and the area of Illinois, would have had in 1860 a population of 971,803, making a difference in favor of Illinois of 1,110,239 instead of 529,939. The absolute increase of population of Illinois per square mile from 1850 to 1860 was 15.54, and of Missouri 7.43, Illinois ranking the 6th in this ratio and Missouri the 14th. These facts prove the vast advantages which Missouri possessed in her larger area as compared with Illinois.

But Missouri in 1810, we have seen, had nearly double the population of Illinois. Now, reversing their numbers in 1810, the ratio of increase of each remaining the same, the population of Illinois in 1860 would have been 2,005,014, and of Missouri, 696,983. If we bring the greater area of Missouri as an element into this calculation the population of Illinois in 1860 would have exceeded that of Missouri more than two millions and a half.

Mines.—By Census Tables 9, 10, 13 and 14, Missouri produced, in 1860, pig iron of the value of $575,000; Illinois, none. Bar and rolled iron—Missouri, $535,000; Illinois, none. Lead—Missouri, $356,660; Illinois, $72,953. Coal—Missouri, $8,200; Illinois, $964,-[Pg 367]187. Copper—Missouri, $6,000; Illinois, none. As to mines, then, Missouri has a decided advantage over Illinois. Indeed, the iron mountains of Missouri are unsurpassed in the world. That Illinois approaches so near to Missouri in mineral products, is owing to her railroads and canals, and not to equal natural advantages. The number of miles of railroad in operation in 1860 was, 2,868 in Illinois, and 817 in Missouri; of canals, Illinois, 102 miles; Missouri, none. (Tables 38, 39.) But if Missouri had been a free State, she would have at least equalled Illinois in internal improvements, and the Pacific Railroad would have long since united San Francisco, St. Louis, and Chicago.

Illinois is increasing in a progressive ratio, as compared with Missouri. Thus, from 1840 to 1850 the increase of numbers in Illinois was 78.81, and from 1850 to 1860, 101.01 per cent., while the increase of Missouri from 1840 to 1850 was 77.75, and from 1850 to 1860, 73.30. Thus, the ratio is augmenting in Illinois, and decreasing in Missouri. If Illinois and Missouri should each increase from 1860 to 1870, in the same ratio as from 1850 to 1860, Illinois would then number 3,441,448, and Missouri, 2,048,426. (Table 1.) In 1850, Chicago numbered 29,963, and in 1860, 109,260. St. Louis, 77,860 in 1850, and 160,773 in 1860. (Table 40.) From 1840 to 1850 the ratio of increase of Chicago was 570.31, and from 1850 to 1860, 264.65, and of St. Louis, from 1840 to 1850, 372.26 per cent., and from 1850 to 1860, 106.49. If both increased in their respective ratios from 1860 to 1870 as from 1850 to 1860, Chicago would number 398,420 in 1870, and St. Louis, 331,879. It would be difficult to say which city has the greatest natural advantages, and yet when St. Louis was a city, Chicago was but the site of a fort.

Progress of Wealth.—By Census Table 36, the cash value of the farms of Illinois in 1860, was $432,531,072, and of Missouri, $230,632,126, making a difference in favor of Illinois, of $201,898,946, which is the loss which Missouri has sustained by slavery in the single item of the value of her farm lands. Abolish slavery there, and the value of the farm lands of Missouri would soon equal those of Illinois, and augment the wealth of the farmers of Missouri over two hundred millions of dollars. But these farm lands of Missouri embrace only 19,984,809 acres (Table 36), leaving unoccupied 23,138,391 acres. The difference between the value of the unoccupied lands of Missouri and Illinois, is six dollars per acre, at which rate the increased value of the unoccupied lands of Missouri, in the absence of slavery, would be $138,830,346. Thus, it appears, that the loss to Missouri in the value of her lands, caused by slavery, is $340,729,292. If we add to this the diminished value of town and city property in Missouri, from the same cause, the total loss in that State in the value of real estate, exceeds $400,000,000, which is nearly twenty times the value of her slaves. By Table 35, the increase in the value of the real and personal property of Illinois from 1850 to 1860, was $715,595,276, being 457.93 per cent., and of Missouri, $363,966,691, being 265.18 per cent. At the same rate of increase from 1860 to 1870, the total wealth of Illinois would then be $3,993,000,000, and of Missouri, $1,329,000,000, making the difference against Missouri, in 1870, caused by slavery, $2,664,000,000, which is much more than three times the whole debt of the nation, and more than twice the value of all the slaves in the Union. While, then, the $20,000,000 proposed to be appropriated to aid Missouri in emancipating her slaves, is erroneously denounced as increasing federal taxation, the effect is directly the reverse. The disappearance of slavery from Missouri would ensure the overthrow of the rebellion, and the perpetuity of the Union, and bring the war much sooner to a close, thus saving a monthly expenditure, far exceeding the whole ap[Pg 368]propriation. But this vast increase of the wealth of Missouri, caused by her becoming a free State, if far less than one billion of dollars, would, by increasing her contribution to the national revenue, in augmented payments of duties and internal taxes, diminish to that extent the rate of taxation to be paid by every State, Missouri included.

The total wealth of the Union in 1860 exceeded $16,000,000,000. If this were increased $1,000,000,000 in time, by the augmented wealth of Missouri, and our revenue from duties and taxes should be $220,000,000, as estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury, the increased income, being one-seventeenth of the whole, would exceed $12,000,000 per annum; or, if the increase of wealth should be only $200,000,000, then the augmented proportional annual revenue would be $2,750,000, or nearly one-eightieth part of the whole revenue, thus soon extinguishing the principal and interest of the debt of $20,000,000, and leaving a large surplus to decrease the percentage of taxation in every State, Missouri included. The bill then might be justly entitled, an act to restore the Union, to advance the public credit, to hasten the overthrow of the rebellion, to augment the national wealth, and DECREASE THE RATE OF TAXATION. By overthrowing the rebellion, the taxes to pay the national debt will be collected from all the States, instead of being confined to those that are loyal. The rebel confederate debt, never having had any existence in law or justice, but having been created only to support a wicked rebellion, will of course be expunged by the reëstablishment of the Union. Indeed, by a new mathematical and philosophical principle, far transcending the most sublime discoveries of Newton, Leibnitz, or La Place, the rebel debt is redeemable six months after the end of eternity, namely, six months after it is an independent nation, they shall have ratified a treaty of peace with us! All the rebel State debts incurred since the revolt, for the purpose of overthrowing the Government, will, of course, have no legal existence. Under the Federal Constitution, no State Legislature can have any lawful existence, except in conformity with its provisions, accompanied by a prior oath of every member to support the Constitution of the United States. These assemblages, then, since the revolt in the several States, calling themselves State Legislatures, never had any legal existence or authority, and were mere assemblages of traitors. Such is the clear provision of the Federal Constitution, and of the law of nations and of justice. It would be strange, indeed, if conventicles of traitors in revolted States, could legally or rightfully impose taxes on the people of such States, loyal or disloyal, to overthrow the Government. Indeed, if justice could have her full sway, the whole debt of this Government, incurred to suppress this rebellion, ought to be paid by the traitors alone.

With a restoration of the Union, the prosperity of all sections will be enormously increased. The South, with peace and with ports reopened, relieved from rebel taxes and conscription, will again have a profitable market for their cotton, rice, naval stores, sugar, and tobacco; the West for breadstuffs and provisions; the North for commerce, navigation and manufactures; and our revenue, from duties, would be vastly augmented, soon justifying a reduction of internal taxation. There is one item of almost fabulous value that must not be omitted. The cotton now in the Confederate States, of the unsold crops of 1860-'61, 1861-'62, and 1862-'63, exceeds 5,000,000 of bales. This cotton, sold at present prices, payable in federal paper, would be worth $1,800,000,000, or $1,134,000,000 in gold. If we diminish this one-half, as cotton might fall in price from time to time by the gradual reopening of our ports, this cotton would still be worth $900,000,000 in our paper, and $567,000,000 in gold. This cotton, while[Pg 369] putting all our spindles and those of the world into full operation, would turn the balance of foreign trade at once immensely in our favor, and bring back streams of gold to our shores. We would at once commence the liquidation of the national debt, with a large sinking fund, as a sacred trust applicable to that important subject.

Next to maintaining our finances and the public credit, followed by decisive victories in the field, the speedy success of emancipation in Missouri is most important. Missouri is larger by more than 6,000 square miles than any State east of the Mississippi, and occupies a central position between the North and the South, the East and the West. She is larger by 16,458 square miles than England proper, containing a population of nineteen millions. She is larger by 1,098 square miles than New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Delaware. She is larger by 5,264 square miles than all the New England States. She has a greater white population than the aggregate numbers of North and South Carolina and Florida, or of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, or of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, or of Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina and Mississippi, or Louisiana; and a larger white population than all Virginia, East and West. She had, if disloyal, by her position and large white population, more power to imperil the Union than any of the slaveholding States. She has been true—she has suffered much in our cause, her fields and towns have been laid waste, thousands of her brave sons now fill our armies, and thousands more have fallen in our cause, and we will be recreant to truth and justice, to the safety of the Union, and forfeit the nation's pledge, if we do not now aid her in becoming a Free State. The southern boundary of Missouri (lat. 36°) is several miles south of Nashville, Tennessee; but, if we take altitude also into consideration, then, according to well established meteorological principles, the southern boundary of Missouri is at least a degree south of Nashville, reaching the northern boundary of Alabama. There is then a very large area of Missouri well calculated for the production of cotton. To accomplish this, the levee system of the Mississippi must be extended from the southern boundary of Missouri to the first highlands in that State, above the mouth of the Ohio; and a proper system of drainage adopted. These lands would thus be entirely secured from overflow, and greatly improved in salubrity. With these improvements, Missouri would contain an area of rich alluvial lands, well adapted to the profitable culture of cotton, embracing an extent capable of producing at least one million of bales of the great staple. These lands, considering latitude and altitude, would possess a climate similar to that of Middle Tennessee and North Alabama, where cotton is already cultivated with great profit. If emancipation prevailed in Missouri, these lands would soon be cultivated in cotton by free labor, and its immense superiority over the servile system would soon be demonstrated. Such a proof of the superiority of free over slave labor, even in the culture of cotton, would soon have an immense effect in reconciling the South to the disappearance of a system so fatal to her own prosperity, and endangering so much the harmony and perpetuity of the Union. This Missouri cotton would be nearer the North and Northwest than that grown in any other part of the Southwest, and thus supplied at a cheaper rate to our manufacturers, while opening new and augmented markets for the provisions and breadstuffs of the Northwest. This cotton would, in part, pass up the Ohio to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and thence to New York, Philadelphia, and New England. It would also in part pass through Indiana and Ohio by their railroads and canals. The great central railroad of Illinois would carry large por[Pg 370]tions of it also from Cairo to Chicago; but perhaps the largest portion eventually would pass up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and enlarged canals to Chicago, and thence eastward. With the proposed enlargement of the canal connecting the Illinois river with Lake Michigan, and the enlargement of the locks of the great Erie canal, extended by a similar enlargement of the Chenango branch, and down the Susquehanna to tide water, cotton steam propellers would carry the great staple by this route to the Hudson and New England, to Baltimore or Philadelphia, at a rate much lower than any other Southwestern cotton. The Mississippi would thus have a quintuple outlet, as well into the lakes and the Hudson, the St. Lawrence, the Delaware, and Chesapeake, as into the Gulf of Mexico, and Missouri would be united by new ties with the North, and Northwest, as well as with the Middle States. Cairo, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo would become considerable cotton depots, and slave labor would cease to monopolize the cotton culture. But there are other considerations still more momentous. Missouri extends from the 36th parallel to 40½, and from the 89th meridian to the 96th, thus embracing four degrees and a half of latitude, and seven degrees of longitude. She fronts for many hundred miles upon the great Mississippi, and commands its western shore; she commands also the mouth of the Missouri river, and both its banks for several hundred miles, and all its tributaries. The Missouri river and its tributaries are nearly double the length of the Mississippi and its branches. Missouri by her position dominates the whole valley of her great river, and commands Kansas and Western Iowa, and Nebraska, and Colorado, Dacotah and New Mexico. If Missouri had joined the Southern confederacy, and its power had ever been established, she would have forced with her all the vast region to which we have referred, containing, including Missouri, an area equal to twenty States of the size of Ohio. To separate Missouri forever from the proposed Southern confederacy, is to render the permanent establishment of such a government impossible. It not only severs Missouri from them, but all the vast region identified with the destiny of that great State. Secure Missouri permanently and cordially to the Union, and the rebellion is doomed to certain overthrow. With the fall of slavery in Missouri by her consent, and her cordial coöperation and sympathy with the North and Northwest, the days of the rebellion are numbered. With Missouri as a Free State, Arkansas, adjacent, cannot retain the institution. Such a result, aided by victories, and the reëstablishment of our finances, would soon give full effect to the edict of emancipation in Arkansas, and Louisiana would soon follow. With Missouri as a Free State by her consent, and her cordial coöperation and sympathy, slavery would soon disappear from the whole region west of the Mississippi, and Louisiana cordially be reunited to the Republic. With such a result, holding New Orleans and the mouth of the Mississippi and all the region west of that great stream, how could Tennessee or Mississippi remain in the Southern confederacy? The truth is, Missouri is the pivot upon which the rebellion turns. Had she gone with the South, and given to its cause a cordial support, it would have been difficult to subdue the rebellion. That she has gone with the Union is a momentous fact, and demands for her our heartfelt gratitude. I have shown, it is true, how greatly it is the interest of Missouri to become a Free State; but it is still more the interest of the nation to secure this great result. Give her what is needed to render emancipation certain, and we shall have secured the perpetuity of the Union. Missouri had no participation in introducing African slaves into this continent. The slaves that cultivate her soil are the descend[Pg 371]ants of those who were forced here under the British flag, or by the ships of the North, then in a state of colonial dependence; and it is just, and the national honor demands, that she should receive full compensation. As the existence of slavery in any State is a great evil and reproach, and a source of much weakness to the whole country, so should the nation compensate for any loss that may be occasioned by the abandonment of the system in any loyal State. Not only is this just, but the faith of the nation is solemnly pledged by resolutions adopted by Congress at its last session to carry this policy into full effect with the consent of any State. Twenty millions of dollars to secure such a result should be regarded as of little moment. Gladly would the nation pay a much larger sum for a single victory. But the moral and geographical and strategical victory secured by emancipation in Missouri by her consent, will be far more important than any triumph yet achieved by our arms. It is a victory that relieves a great State now and forever from the curse of slavery. It is a victory that secures the whole valley of the mighty Missouri to the Union. It is a triumph that sweeps slavery from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, dissevers the Southern confederacy, and restores the whole Mississippi, from its mouth to its source, to the Union.

The entire constitutionality of such a proceeding by compact with a State, was demonstrated by me in the November number of the Continental Monthly, p. 575. Referring to the case of Texas, I there said: 'The principle, however, was adopted of State action by irrevocable compact with the Federal Government, by which provision therein was made for abolishing slavery in all such States, north of a certain parallel of latitude (embracing a territory larger than New England), as might be thereafter admitted by the subdivision of the State of Texas. The power of action on this subject, by compact of a State with the General Government, was then clearly established, in perfect accordance with repeated previous acts of Congress then cited by me. The doctrine rests upon the elemental principle of the combined authority of the nation, and a State, acting by compact within its limits.' When Missouri, with her consent, shall have become a Free State, the leaders of the Southern rebellion will feel that they have received a mortal blow. Especially will this be the case in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. We shall have cut the gordian knot of slavery, and the death agonies of the hydra would soon be visible. The importance of the result would be felt in the North also, and the wretched traitors there, far more guilty even than those of the South, will shrink from their atrocious conspiracy to dissolve this Union. The dark plot of severing New England from the Republic and of reuniting the rest of the States with the Southern confederacy, will be abandoned. That such a scheme is contemplated by Northern traitors, and that it is tolerated in the South, on condition that all shall become Slave States, is beyond controversy. New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Northwest are to abandon their free institutions, become slaveholding States, and be admitted as such into the Southern confederacy. I had supposed that crime had achieved its climax when the Southern rebellion was inaugurated; but something more base, more vile, more cowardly, debasing, and pusillanimous, it seems, is now contemplated. It is that New England shall be expelled, and that the rest of the Free States shall come under the dominion of the Southern confederacy. But the leaders of this scheme seem to have forgotten the fact, that New England, to a vast extent, has peopled the Northwest, and carried there their love of free institutions. The descendants of the pilgrims are scattered[Pg 372] throughout the Northwest, and churches, and free schools, and love of liberty have gone with them. The scheme is as base and cowardly as it is impracticable. No! New England can never be expelled from this Union. There the grand idea of the American Union was first conceived; there the cradle of liberty was first rocked, before as well as amid the storms of the Revolution; there the first blood was shed, the first battles fought, the first flag of Union and Liberty unfurled, and there it shall float forever. There are Lexington, and Concord, and Bunker Hill, and no traitor hand shall ever sever them from the American Union. Not an acre of the soil of New England or a drop of all its waters shall ever be surrendered by this great Republic; and from Lake Champlain and the Housatonick to the St. Croix and St. Johns, the flag of the Union shall ever float in undiminished glory. Lake Champlain unites Vermont and New England with the Hudson, the lakes, and St. Lawrence; and Long Island Sound, commanding the deepest approaches to New York, completes the connection, which is a geographical and political necessity. I am not a New Englander by parentage, birth, or education, but if the other Free States of the North and Northwest should submit to the disgrace of uniting themselves with a Southern confederacy, I should remove to New England, and breathe an air uncontaminated by slavery or treason. And there are hundreds of thousands who would pursue the same course. When, in 1798, the great Washington feared that the South might be separated by traitors from the Union, he declared that, in such an event, he would remove to the North; and, in such a contingency, there are thousands, even in the South, who would remove to New England.[7]

Those of the North and Northwest, who should remain and carry their States into the Southern confederacy, would be regarded in the South with loathing and contempt; the whole civilized world would consider their degradation as complete and eternal. They would soon loathe themselves, and feel that it was not only the negroes who were enslaved, but that they had put fetters upon their own limbs, and rendered themselves worthy to be worked as slaves on the plantations of Southern masters. I do not believe any of the Free States of the North and Northwest can thus be disgraced and humiliated. There is one of these States, I am sure, that will never submit to such degradation. It is the State of Pennsylvania. There the Declaration of American Independence was first proclaimed. There the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were framed. There are Germantown, Paoli, and Brandywine: there Washington crossed the Delaware at midnight, and fought the two great battles of the war of independence. There Franklin sleeps within her soil, the great patriot, philosopher, and statesman whom New England gave to Pennsylvania, the Union, and the world. No! No! from the Delaware and Susquehanna to the Ohio and Lake Erie, the people of a mighty State would consign to the scaffold and the block the wretched traitors who would attempt to sever Pennsylvania from New England. Ice and granite are called the principal products of New England, but our Revolution and this rebellion prove that her great staples are intellect, education, liberty, courage, and patriotism. She is said to have Puritan angularities and to love money; but she pours out now, as in 1776, lavish expenditures of her treasure in defence of the Union; and the blood of her sons empurples the ocean and the lakes in every naval conflict, and moistens all the battle fields of the nation. No! all the traitors of the South, and all the Burrs, Arnolds, and Catalines of the North can never sever New England from the Republic. And now, in this[Pg 373] hour of our country's peril, Missouri stretches her hands to New England, and to all the free and loyal States, and proposes, with their assistance, to abolish slavery, and link her destiny with theirs in the bonds of a perpetual Union. And shall we hesitate for a moment, on such a question? The money consideration is far less than a month's cost of the war, and sinks into insignificance compared with the momentous results and consequences. Emancipation in Missouri, with her consent and the aid of Congress, is the first grand decisive victory of the Union in this contest, insures eventual success, and must now be placed beyond all hazard or contingency.


[7] 7th vol. Hamilton's 'Republic,' p. 189, and Jefferson's 'Autograph.'


Where shall we lay our comrade down?
Where shall the brave one sleep?
The battle's past, the victory won,
Now we have time to weep!
Bury him on the mountain's brow,
Where he fought so well;
Bury him where the laurels grow—
There he bravely fell!

There lay him in his generous blood,
For there first comes the light
When morning earliest breaks the cloud,
And lingers last at night!

What though no flow'ret there may bloom
To scent the chilly air,
The sky shall stoop to wrap his tomb,
The stars will watch him there!

What though no stone may mark his grave,
Yet Fame shall tell his race
Where sleeps the one so kind, so brave,
And God will find the place!
Bury him on the mountain's brow,
Where he fought so well;
Bury him where the laurels grow—
There he bravely fell!
[Pg 374]


The Results of Emancipation, by Augustin Cochin, Ex-Mayor and Municipal Councillor of Paris. Work crowned by the Institute of France. Translated by Mary L. Booth, translator of Count de Gasparin's works on America, &c. Boston: Walker, Wise & Co. 1863.

Augustin Cochin, author of the work before us, is a man of a class in France from which we are specially well pleased to see vindications of Emancipation and of the policy of the Federal Union arise. His position is well and briefly stated in the preface as that of a Legitimist, a fast friend and ally of Count de Montalembert in his effort to raise up a Catholic Liberal party for the development of republican sentiments and institutions, and the ardent coadjutor of Pére Lacordaire, Monseigneur d'Orleans, Viscount de Melun, and a host of other moderate reformers in behalf of freedom. He has some little reputation as a writer on public and political topics; is highly connected, and, what is perhaps more to the purpose than aught else, is a very practical man, and son-in-law to Benoist d'Azy, who, possessed of an immense fortune, an extensive landowner and proprietor of iron forges, has done perhaps more than any other man to advance the material interests of his country by railway building, mining, and agricultural improvements. We say that this is more to the purpose, since it is of importance that the men who actively employ capital should understand the falsehood of slavery as a productive force in any system of labor, anywhere, at the present day. And it is highly significant when we find such men so far enlightened in France at this time, where, although, as we learn, very advanced views in political economy are set forth, we have still apprehended that a deeply based attachment to slavery, common to all the Latin races, prevails. That the Radicals should oppose slavery is but natural, but such views among the highly cultivated aristocracy are indeed encouraging.

We cannot agree with M. Villemain, who, in his report from the Academy, decreeing a prize of three thousand francs to M. Cochin for this work, speaks of it as inspired with 'eloquent zeal' and 'ardor.' It is very far from what it might have been as a literary production; and to one not interested in the facts and subject, is even—with the exception of its excellent Introduction—dry. The author is decidedly an economist, but he is not 'an apostle,' as his eulogist claims, unless it be in the sense in which any great collector and publisher of truths may be termed such. But on its true basis the work is indeed a great one, fully deserving the publisher's advertisement words, 'opportune and important.' The volume before us is a complete history, in a minor degree, of Slavery, and to a very full degree of Emancipation in the English and French colonies, with some account of the same in those belonging to Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. Having made for many years a specialty of the subject, and having had placed at his disposal the published and unpublished papers and records of every ministry of Europe, as, for instance, of the English Board of Trade, M. Cochin has accumulated a mass of extremely valuable material—all of which is presented in a very clear, perfectly well arranged form—and which we need not say should be read by every one in public, since there is certainly no intelligent American at the present day on whom the necessity of acquiring full information on this subject is not almost a solemn duty. Next after crushing rebellion, the great task of the Federal Government should be to organize labor and adopt a vigorous central and industrial policy. To do this, the relations of free and of slave labor to circumstances should be extensively studied. As in the case of all wars involving an institution, the question between the North and the South at the present day is simply one between ignorance and knowledge—knowledge such as books like this are eminently adapted to disseminate.[Pg 375]

Passing by religious and philosophic argument, neither of which has been of much practical avail in this country, since we see the Church of the South quite as zealous in upholding slavery on Biblical grounds as that of the North is in opposing it, we come to Cochin's first real argument—that political economy affirms the superiority of free over forced labor. Policy and charity unite in this—'charity detests slavery because it oppresses; policy, more elevated, condemns it because it corrupts the inferior race.'

We call attention to this sentence because it accurately expresses the difference between mere 'Abolition,' which regarded only the sufferings of the blacks, and that higher and more comprehensive policy of 'Emancipation for the sake of the White Man,' which declares that slavery always in time inevitably makes of the slaveholder an intolerable neighbor to the free white laborer. From this point our author sets forth the gradual growth of the aversion to slavery all over the Continent, with the reactionary tendency in its favor in the Cotton United States and in England. It is needless to say that, before the overwhelming light of facts presented, especially when these facts are drawn from the past as well as the present, and from every country instead of one, slavery is shown to be more than deadly-conservative; more than cruel; more than a mere dead wall in the way of the onward march of the century. The time will come when such a curse will be rooted out of a country by the strong hand of all civilized nations. Had England and France been truly enlightened to their own interests, this war would never have taken place.

The history of the African slave trade and the efforts to destroy it, the Emancipation of the French Convention and the reëstablishment of slavery by the Consulate, from 1794 to 1802, form the first chapter of this work. Hence we have its history, its abolition in 1848, and, after this, that most important part, a careful examination of the results of Emancipation, showing—as Sewall and others have done—the grossness of the current falsehood to the effect that it has led to evil results. For those who can see only a part instead of the whole, who regard the amount of good done to themselves as the test of everything, who make no allowance for a social transition, or for a future (like our own 'treason-Democrats'), and who see in the black, whether slave or free, simply a creature whose whole mission is to benefit the white, it is true that Emancipation in certain isolated cases may not appear to have fully succeeded. The truth is, that freed labor has nowhere diminished—it has simply assumed new forms, more advantageous, for the time, to the laborer, while in most cases it has increased its profits. If slaves were overworked, there was no real gain;—if schools and marriage, cleanly independence and good clothing have increased tenfold among those who were once naked, starved, and ignorant, there has been a gain, although here and there less sugar is exported. And so the reader may trace the arguments and facts to the end.

Yet, after all, we feel almost ashamed that such a book should be really needed! What true scholar and honest man requires arguments of this kind? A thousand or two years ago, any king's daughter, any young lady, anybody walking in a lonely spot, was in danger of being kidnapped and sold to prostitution or slavery. Philosophers, poets, and artists were owned by brutal wretches; pious priests purchased gentlemen of noble birth for slaves. The pirate's galley swept every coast to steal any human being. Time rolled on, and slavery was modified. White slaves became serfs, serfs became free. The cause of emancipation is clear as that of any progressive reform—and yet, right in the face of history and God's truth, we see the Southern Confederacy and the British people daring to put themselves forward as the advocates of a crime so rapidly becoming obsolete. Yes—that is what the land of Wilberforce is now practically doing, while several of her writers, turning on their tracks, are beginning to 'reconsider' the subject in their writings!

War Songs for Freemen. Dedicated to the Army of the United States. Third Edition. Printed for the New York Volunteers. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

Have you a friend in the army, especially one who sings occasionally, or if he be not canorous, say a friend who likes to read songs and hear them sung by others? In other words, would you, young lady reader (or any other reader), like to give some soldier at least half an hour's amusement for a[Pg 376] very trivial outlay? In such case we recommend you to purchase this little pamphlet, and investing in a postage stamp, send it off without delay to the Army of the ——, whatever that may be.

The work in question contains thirty songs of the war, mostly written expressly for the book, and each accompanied by the music, in nearly all cases with the bass. Among the contributors are Dr. O. W. Holmes, who has given two capital lyrics, 'Union' and 'Liberty,' and a superb trumpet song, well adapted to Was blasen die Trompeten? or 'What are the trumpets blowing?' a spirited German air. Mrs. Julia Ward Howe contributes a 'Harvard Student's Song', which is of course brilliant, earnest, and beautiful. It is set to the glorious old Slavonian—subsequently German air:

'Denkst du duran mein tapf'rer Lagienka?'

which no one ever heard without loving. C. T. Brooks, has given to the grand and swelling Landesvater words in every way worthy of it:

'Comrades plighted,
Fast united,
Firm to death for Freedom stand!
See your country torn and bleeding,
Hear a mother's solemn pleading!
Rescue Freedom's promised land.'

The same author also gives the well known 'Korner's Prayer,' and 'The Vow.' From Mrs. T. Sedgwick we find a fine bold song, 'For a' that and a' that,' of course to the good old air of that name—a lyric of such decided merit in most respects that we regret to notice in it the venerable bull of 'polar stars,' quizzed long ago in another writer. Our contributor, Henry Perry Leland, has in this collection two songs, both strongly marked with the camp, neither setting forth the slightest earthly claim to be regarded as 'elevated poesie,' yet both remarkably sing-able, and probably destined to become broadly popular. Of these, 'Bully Boy Billy,' is set to a lilting 'devil may care' Low-Dutch camp tune—one of the kind which 'sings itself,' and is well adapted to a roaring chorus. From the same we find a lyric detailing the loss of a briarwood pipe stolen in a raid, which the grieving 'sojer' trusts (as we most sincerely do with him) may be found when Richmond's taken. Among the remaining lyrics are five by Charles Godfrey Leland, including 'We're at War,' to the bold French air of the Chœur des Girondins, 'Northmen Come Out,' to the Burschen heraus, and 'Shall Freedom Droop and Die?' to the fine old air of 'Trelawney.' 'The Cavalry Song' has a brave air, composed for it by John K. Paine. Very spirited and merry is 'Overtures from Richmond,' set to the quaint air of 'Lilliburlero, bullen a la,' which is said to have 'sung a deluded prince out of three kingdoms.' We trust that some of the old charm still sticks to the magic words, and that it may do as much for King Jeff. as it once did for King James. Among the remaining lyrics are the following: 'Put it Through,' and 'Old Faneuil Hall,' by E. E. Hale; 'Our Country is Calling,' to 'Wohlauf Kameraden!' by Rev. F. H. Hedge, and a translation of Luther's Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott by the same; Hauff's 'Night Guard,' an exquisite German air, and 'I'll be a Sergeant,' and 'Would you be a Soldier, Laddy?' both of them capital spirited soldier-songs. Last, not least, we have the 'Lass of the Pamunkey,' by F. J. Child. We know not whether the incident detailed be strictly autobiographic or borrowed; it is at any rate well told and merrily music-ed.

The reader will do well to observe that this collection, which has already become immensely popular, and has furnished material for more than one excellent patriotic concert, is prepared solely for the benefit of the solders, and that the proceeds of the sale of the book are all devoted to distributing it in the army. All who wish to make a most acceptable little gift at a trifling price; all who are 'sending things' to the army; all who would secure an interesting specimen of the songs of the war, and, finally, all who would own a really excellent musical work, should send an order for the above mentioned to Messrs. Ticknor & Fields.

The National Almanac and Annual Record for 1863. 12mo, pp. 704. Philadelphia: George W. Childs. New York: Charles T. Evans.

If Dickens's illustrious statistician, Mr. Gradgrind, were in the flesh to-day, how he would gloat over this book! The 'facts' presented in its seven hundred double-columned pages would satisfy, even to repletion, his voracious cravings; and once crammed with them, he would go forth into society a walking cyclopedia of all that ap[Pg 377]pertained to the civil, military, agricultural, industrial, financial, educational, charitable, and religious condition of these United States.

But though we make no claim to belong to the Gradgrind family, we acknowledge with pleasure our gratification with this book. It has long been matter of reproach against us on the part of foreign writers on commerce and statistical science, that we produced no statistical works worthy the name. The publication of this work will forever put that reproach to silence. We have examined the book with care, and have been at a loss which most to admire, the patient and extraordinary labor which had brought together so vast a collection of important facts, or the complete and exhaustive treatment of every subject.

It is a marked characteristic of the work that, while omitting nothing necessary to a full elucidation of the past condition of the country, it brings all its statistics up to the latest dates. The United States debt is given to December 1, 1862; the Government receipts and expenditures for the financial year 1862; the issues of the mint to the autumn of 1862; the contributions of each State to the volunteer army to December, 1862; the finances of most of the States to the same date; even the Pacific States being brought up to last autumn; and the condition of the Rebel army and finances to January 1, 1863. Such enterprise deserves, and must achieve success.

Noticeable, too, for its completeness and thoroughness, is the 'Record of Events' of the war, occupying nearly eighty pages, and forming a continuous and admirable journal of the war up to the close of last year. In the States, also, the fulness and variety of detail of the finances, debts, banks, railroads (a new feature), educational institutions, charitable and correctional organizations, agriculture, manufactures, and military organization of each State, possess a deep interest to any man who desires to know the actual condition and resources of his country. We were particularly pleased with a series of diagrams, prepared by Prof. Gillespie of Union College, illustrating at a glance the changes which have taken place in the relative population of the different States, the relative proportion of increase of white and of slave population, and the effect produced by this upon different sections. We have not, at the late hour at which we write, time or room to indicate a tithe of the valuable features of this remarkable book; we can only say, that whoever expends the small sum necessary for its purchase, will most assuredly obtain an ample equivalent for his money.

The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers. Second Series. New York: Carleton, 413 Broadway. 1863.

During the present decade the American public has welcomed almost annually a new humorist. Thus we have seen in rapid succession John Phœnix, Doesticks, Fanny Fern, and Artemus Ward enjoying extraordinary popularity, and then new 'lords of misrule' 'reigning in their stead.' The last popular favorite is 'Orpheus C. Kerr'—a name thinly disguising that of Office Seeker, and which is not indeed too well chosen, since in the volume before us little or nothing relative to the very suggestive subject of office-seeking, on the part of the author at least, is to be found. The book itself is, however, marvellously laugh provoking, abounding in the oddest conceits, strangest stories, and drollest extravaganzas in the most ultra American vein. If the men who best ridicule great failures in war and in politics, are the ones most to be dreaded, it must be admitted that 'Orpheus C. Kerr' is the sharpest thorn which has been as yet planted in the side of the 'Young Napoleons' of our army, whose ability seems to consist in building up the strength of the enemy by delay and in canvassing indirectly for the Presidency. There is no cause so good as to be without abuses, and the abuses which have crept into our management of the war are touched off in these papers as merrily as unmercifully. They have done 'yeoman's service' in the press, hitting all sides, but bearing most heavily on 'Young Napoleon' and the status quo Democracy. It cannot be denied that the humor of these sketches is often merely extravagant, sometimes harshly strained, and occasionally bare and thin enough in all conscience, while the stories of the Cosmopolite Club seem like mere 'filling up' to 'make pages;' yet with all this there is more real wit, humor, and life-knowledge in this volume than would give tone and strength to half a dozen ordinary popular essayists[Pg 378] of the Country Parson school. Extravagance is however to American narrative what it is to Arab conversation, something much less outré to those who are born to it than to strangers, who are unable to discount like the natives as fast as the sums total are set down. Making every allowance for every defect, there remains in 'Orpheus C. Kerr' a residuum of irresistible humor, provoking scores of hearty laughs, and many indications of a basis of thought and of literary ability which place him far in advance of the later writers of his school. He takes a wider range, too wide indeed at times, since he occasionally becomes 'Cockneyfied.' We wish that 'Villiam' and the Willis-y 'my boy' were less frequently mentioned. Yet as all this is atoned for by abundance of true American fun, we readily pardon such echoes, trusting that in his future writings our humorist will endeavor to be in all things truly original. He can be so by the very simple process of pruning.

Poems. By Thomas Bailey Aldrich. New York: Carleton. 1863.

Most of these very pleasant little strains of word-music and of graceful thought have been frequently brought before the American public, and become familiar favorites. They now reappear to advantage in a delicate blue-and-gold volume, with a medallion portrait of the poet.

Modern War: Its Theory and Practice Illustrated from Celebrated Campaigns and Battles. With Maps and Diagrams. By Emeric Szabad, Captain U. S. A. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1863.

An excellent work, of an eminently practical nature, which may be read with interest and profit by every one in a time when there are so few who do not assume to be more or less critical in the art of war.

The Pirates of the Prairies; or, Adventures in the American Desert. By Gustave Aimard. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson. New York: Frederic A. Brady. 1863.

A very trashy wildcat romance, highly spiced with sensation sentiment, "r-r-revenge," and other melo-dramatic attributes. Its author is well known as an extensive contributor to what may be called the Sadly-Neglected-Apprentice school of literature and of readers.

Andree de Taverney, or the Downfall of French Monarchy. By Alexander Dumas. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers. 1863.

When we, on the publishers' authority, inform the reader that this is really 'the final conclusion' of the 'Countess of Charny,' the 'Memoirs of a Physician,' and a small library of other works, we shall doubtless send a thrill of joy to more than one heart. Incredible as it may appear, the Dumas factory, as Maquet termed it, has actually finished one of its valuable historical series—unless indeed the director-in-chief should see fit to republish the long-forgotten first volume, as a subsequent final conclusion to this of 'Andree de Taverney.'

Verner's Pride; a Tale of Domestic Life. By Mrs. Henry Wood. In two volumes. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers. 1863.

A decidedly English novel, of a type well known to our public, embracing few novelties of character, yet well written, with the story well told. It has, we believe, been so fortunate as to secure a wide circulation.[Pg 379]


It is a dangerous task for the editor of a monthly review, in times like these, to comment on what has been or is likely to be done by the army, when no one knows what a day may bring forth. But, as regards those of the enemy among us who are scheming to aid and abet their Southern friends, we may speak more confidently. These traitors, though they have of late cast off the mask, and no longer pretend to aid the Administration and the cause of the Union, are still obliged to move with the caution without which trachery and cowardice would soon perish. It is, however, a bitter and a humiliating thought that they are so openly active among us, that they hold meetings where the ruin of the country is calmly meditated, that they form clubs, that they stir up the mob of their degraded hangers-on to hurrah for Jefferson Davis in our streets, and that finally no amount of exposure and of denunciation in the patriotic press seems to have the slightest effect in attracting to them the punishment they deserve.

The traitors of whom we speak are of two classes, the leaders and the dupes. The latter, careless of the fact that even if a sudden peace could be brought about it must overwhelm the country in financial ruin, believe in a restitution of the status quo ante bellum. They think that their leaders will, in unison with Davis and his colleagues, reunite, annul Emancipation, disavow the acts of the Lincoln Administration, and reëstablish Slavery. Cotton is again to be king, and all go on as of old, save that New England is to be thrown out of the confederacy. They are encouraged in this belief by lying or cunningly managed letters from the South, and by assurances that the confederate leaders are secretly working to this end and aim. 'We got along very well before the war,' is their constant complaint, 'and we could do as well again, were it not for the Emancipationists.' Among the lukewarm, the cowardly, the meanly selfish and avaricious, and the habitual grumblers, such doctrines are readily made plausible. Those especially, who measure the propriety of carrying on a war solely by the amount of success which they desire, and who are incapable of great thoughts and principles, are easily duped by intriguing villany.

The leaders of these dupes have no faith whatever in restoring the Union. They have no desire to restore it. Men like Fernando Wood hope from their very hearts for a complete disintegration—the more thorough, for them, the better. They could never expect to command the ship, and so they are willing to wreck her, in the hope of each securing a fragment. Ruined in character in the eyes of all honest men, their names a byword for treason, and in most cases for literal crimes, political outcasts of the stamp who are said to vibrate between the legislature and the penitentiary, these desperadoes are now working with all their might to mass the cowardice of the North into a body powerful enough to do collectively, that for which an individual has in all countries and in all ages been judged worthy the gallows. But for this war they must have been confined to representing the dangerous classes of our cities—the ignorance and vice which finds in them congenial leaders. As it is, they hope for wider fields and more absolute sway.

There is reason to apprehend that the men who are really true to the Union do not appreciate the extent to which treason is working among us. Worse than all, there are many, who, while believing themselves true to the good cause, are, by constant grumbling and complaint, aiding the very worst form of disunion. Could we prevail with one prayer upon the heart of every Federal freeman, it would be to implore him in this hour of trial not to withold his warmest support from the Administration and to fall into the common weakness of fault-finding and despairing. Such enormous wars as this never have been ended in a few months;[Pg 380] wars especially which involve the deepest antagonism of social principles in existence. And our winnings have been neither few nor light. The Southern Border States, with little exception, are now ours, and will inevitably be fully won in time: New Orleans is a pledge, with other important points, and the enemy admit that every Southern seaboard town is destined to be taken. Does this look like the wild boasting of the South two years ago, when the North was to be plundered, Washington taken, and the Free States trampled under the heel of a chivalry fiercely crying, Væ victis!'—'Woe to the conquered!'? There is no danger now from the enemy: as he himself admits, two years more of the war would not, at the rate in which we progress, leave him a single State; and be it borne in mind that a speedy return to peace is only to be purchased at the price of a terrible financial crisis.

But we are in danger from the traitors at home. Jefferson Davis is less deadly to the Federal Union and less to be dreaded than the men who are scheming to make of New York a free city, and of every State and county a feudal principality.

The intentions of Louis Napoleon as regards Mexico are beginning to excite interest. Whatever they may be, there is one thing which it would be well for the French Emperor never to forget. He holds France simply as a pledge to the Revolution. So long as he remains true to the cause of liberty—and, despite names and circumstances, he has been truer to it than many suppose—he will remain in power. When he is false to it he will perish. It was through forgetting this that his uncle died at St. Helena—it was through forgetting this that Louis Philippe quitted Paris in a very citizenly but most un-kingly manner. The bourgeoisie of France and the gossips of Paris may storm at the Federal Union, épiciers may growl for our sugar, and operatives for cotton, but this class—on whom Louis Philippe made the mistake of solely relying, with a little help from the aristocracy—are not the men who guide the storms of revolution in France. The arch spirits of mischief are more secret, and of late years they have learned much. They are no longer so much inclined to Socialism, Père Cabét and 'national ateliérs,' still less to guillotines and noyades. But they are firm as ever, as jealous of despotism as ever, and, for an oppressor, as powerful as ever. And we believe that this class of men are firmly attached to the great cause of progressive freedom as represented by the Federal States and by the present Administration. Every day sees the truth spreading in France, and with its extension goes a deeply seated interest in the abolition of slavery. France—unlike England—feels shame at the idea of being chronicled in history as aiding oppression. The Frenchman is not so enormously conceited, so pitiably vain as to believe, like the Briton, that a crime is a virtue when for his own peculiar interest. Vain as the French may be, they have not quite come to that.

It must be admitted that the French are a shrewd nation. We were wont to think of old that there was more spite than intelligence in the epithet by which they characterized John Bull as 'perfidious.' They were right, for time has shown us that Venice, in the full bloom of her night-shade iniquity and poniard policy, was never falser at heart than this great, brawling, boasting, beef-eating England—this 'merry England' of paupers and prisons, where one man in every eight is buried at public expense—this Mother England, which starves away annually half a million of emigrants—this Honest Old England, which floods the world with pick-pockets, burglars, and correspondents for the Times.

It was a trifling thing which brought on the French Revolution of 1848—the return of foreign refugees to Austria, and other significant indications of joining with the old powers in oppressing freedom. Let Louis Napoleon beware of an anti-American policy—for to every such policy there will be an opposition, with a spectre of the Revolution in the background.

When these remarks meet the eye of the reader, the infamous conduct of the drunken Delaware Southern-ape Senator, Saulsbury, will in all probability have been forgotten. We have for so many years been so familiarized with the ribald or rowdy pranks of the chivalry, and of those more miserable wretches their Northern servants, that the mass of the public seems even yet quite willing to endure, for the poor payment of an[Pg 381] apology, conduct which should anywhere have promptly consigned to imprisonment, at least, the guilty one. Not but that the apology of Saulsbury was humble enough in all conscience. But it is time that our halls of legislation were thoroughly purified, now that 'chivalric' brigandage and the Southern system of personal retaliation no longer prevail. The first legislator who shall dare to draw a weapon in a place sacred to the councils of his country, should be permanently expelled from those councils, and made to feel by rigorous imprisonment, and life-long disfranchisement, the enormous infamy of his offence. We wonder that the English press treats us as a nation of boors and fools, and yet permit a representative on the floor of the Senate to set forth in his own person the worst of which a boor or fool is capable, and accept as full reparation a drunken-headaching apology!

These are the days of reform, and we sincerely trust that the reform will extend to the conduct of all our representatives, especially in Congress. The man who shall dare to apply, not merely to the President, but to any fellow member, while in either House, any terms of personal abuse, should incur a punishment which would teach him for the future to keep a civil tongue in his head, and make him endeavor to assume in future, at least the outward deportment of a gentleman. The going armed into such an assembly should however be promptly visited with a penalty of the extremest severity. It is time that the North freed itself entirely of these Southern 'dead rabbits' of the Saulsbury stamp, and indicated by every means in its power its determination to progress in the path of justice, order, and civilization.

All contributions, letters, &c., intended for the editors of The Continental Magazine, should be addressed to the care of John F. Trow, Esquire, No. 50 Greene street, New York. Correspondents directing to Mr. Leland are particularly requested to bear this address in mind, as that gentleman is no longer a resident of Boston.

We publish the poetical tale, The Lady and her Slave, by an American lady, subscribing herself Incognita. This is a poem of great genius and power. Whilst it possesses the inspiration of poetry, it has all the merits of a truthful and most interesting tale, combined with a splendid intellectual argument against slavery. This poem unites the logic of Pope with the genius and poetical inspiration of Goldsmith. It is a tragedy, and might be transferred to the stage. We trust Incognita will continue her favors to The Continental.

R. J. W.

The rise in specie and in exchange is, we observe, spoken of as 'unprecedented'. The following extract from a work entitled, 'The British Empire in America,' written in 1740, shows that we are as yet far from having attained the differences in these respects:

'As to Money, they have none, Gold or Silver: About 50 Years ago they had some coined at Boston; but there's not enough now for Retailers. All Payments are in Province Bills, even so low as Half a Crown; thus every Man's Money is his Pocket Book. This makes the Course of Exchange so exorbitant, that 100l. in London made out lately 225l. in New-England; and if a Merchant sells his Goods from England at 220l. Advance upon 100l. in the Invoice, he would be a Loser by the Bargain, considering the incidental Charges on his Invoice.'

So that after all, they had as great 'ups and downs' of old as do we of the present day.

Apropos of the old book in question, it abounds in quaint bits of information, given in a dry, free and easy style seldom found at the present day in any work of the kind. Thus it tells us, among the anecdotes of ELLIOT the missionary, that an Indian in a religious conference asked how GOD could create man in his own image, since according to the second commandment it was forbidden to make any such image?

'To qualify him for the Work he was going about, Mr Elliot learnt the Indian Language as barbarous as can come out of the Mouth of Man, as will be seen by these Instances:

'Nummatchekodtantamoonganunnonash, is in English, Our Lusts; a Word that the Reverend Mr Elliot must often have occasion to make Use of. As long as it is, we meet with a longer still:

'Kummogkodonattoottummoooctiteaongannunonash, meaning Our Question.

'Gannunonash' seems to be 'our,' because we find it in the End of the First Word, as well as the second, * * and this appears again in another Word:[Pg 382]

'Noowomantammooonkanunnonash, 'Our Loves.'

'The longest of these Indian Words is to be measured by the Inch, and reaches to near half a Foot; and if Mr Elliot did put as many of these Words in a Sermon of his, as Mr Peters put English Words in one of his Sermons, everyone of them must have made a sizeable Book and have taken up three or four Hours in utterance.'

The Peters referred to was the celebrated Hugh Peters, Cromwell's chaplain. Our author vindicates this clergyman from certain scandalous charges, declaring that he had asked of his daughter, Miss Peters, if they were so, which she had utterly denied! Less credulous is he as regarded 'William Pen' (with whom he seems to have been on terms of great personal intimacy), since he hints very broadly in one passage, that he put no faith whatever in a certain assertion of 'Pen' as to his own (Penn's) good behavior when amiably smiled on by a belle sauvage, who, as the French would say, was not savage at all. 'Scandal, scandal all,' we doubt not. There are gossipers in every age, tattlers in every corner of history, and who escapes them? Cato did not, Washington could not, and 'Mr Pen' even must fill his place with the great maligned. Let us trust that our incautious dip from the old work may not, suggest to any novel maker 'Penn and the Princess,—a Tale of the Olden Time.'

The following poem, which we find in the Philadelphia Press, is among the best of the many sad lyrics which the war has inspired. The music of the refrain is remarkable:


By George H. Boker

Close his eyes; his work is done!
What to him is friend or foeman,
Rise of moon, or set of sun,
Hand of man, or kiss of woman?
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow:
What cares he? he cannot know:
Lay him low!

As man may, he fought his fight,
Proved his truth by his endeavor;
Let him sleep in solemn night,
Sleep forever and forever.
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow:
What cares he? he cannot know:
Lay him low!

Fold him in his country's stars;
Roll the drum and fire the volley!
What to him are all our wars,
What but death bemocking folly?
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow:
What cares he? he cannot know:
Lay him low!

Leave him to God's watching eye;
Trust him to the Hand that made him.
Mortal love weeps idly by:
God alone has power to aid him.
Lay him low, lay him low,
In the clover or the snow:
What cares he? he cannot know:
Lay him low!

Much has been said of the high price paid to opera singers. The celebrated Berlioz once reduced it to details in the following word:

'The first tenor,' he said, 'has 100,000 frcs. per annum, and he sings for it about seven times during the month, or eighty-four times during the year. This would be about 1,100 francs per evening. Admitted then that his part would contain 1,100 notes or syllables, the price of each syllable would be 1 franc. Consequently in William Tell:

'Ma (1 fr.) presence (3 fr.) pourvous est peut etre un outrage (9 fr.)
Mathilde (3 fr.) mes pas indiscret (100 sous).
On osée jusqu'a vous se frayer une passage! (13 fr.)

'These three lines therefore cost 34 francs. A great sum! Engaging under these circumstances a Prima Donna, at the miserable pittance of 40,000 francs, the answer of Mathilde amounts to much less, for every syllable would then cost but 8 sous: but even that is not so bad after all.

'We laugh,' adds Berlioz, 'but the theatres have to pay. They will pay until the treasury is empty, and after that the 'Immortals' will have to condescend to give singing lessons (i.e., those who know enough for it), or to sing at public places with accompaniment of one guitar, four candles, and a green carpet. After that we may be able to construct the Temple of Music on a firmer basis.'

At these rates, the old form of declaring that any thing went for 'a mere song,' would not say much for its cheapness. But if—as Berlioz seems to think—these high prices are to be regretted, we still cannot see how they are to be remedied. The public, for want of better amusement, keep up the[Pg 383] opera, and the different opera houses keep up the prices by outbidding each other. When municipal governments shall recognize the fact that amusement is a constant quantity in the administration of a state, and provide first-class entertainments gratis or at nominal rates, there will be much vice done away with and many rum shops closed—which would be bad, by the way, for the Democrato-Rum-elected Governor Seymour, for the whole alcoholic vote was cast in his favor. There will, we believe, come a time when the party of progress will urge an enlarged provision of education and recreation for the people, with the same earnestness which it now shows in forwarding Emancipation.

England has by her Southern sympathy fairly put a serpent girdle of her treachery around the earth. For further particulars consult the following:


Oh don't you remember sweet Ireland, John Bull?
Green Erin beyond the blue sea?
And the patriots there whom you starved, hung, and shot,
Because they desired to be free.
On the lone heather wild, in the dark silent glen,
The peasant still shows you the graves
Of the heroes who fell in the year ninety-eight
And died ere they'd live as your slaves.

And don't you remember your own words, John Bull,
Of the Southern Confed—er—a—cie?
When you said in the Times, that your heart went of course
With a brave race which sought to be free.
Oh what do you think of Old Ireland, John Bull?
There's a race that's as brave as your own,
And one that would like very well to be free,
If you only would let it alone.

And don't you remember great India, John Bull?
With the Sepoys you blew from your guns,
And the insult and murder of Brahmins, John Bull,
For some outrage endured from their sons?
The outrage was proved a black lie, as you know,
A lie, as your own books declare:
Your hell-hounds of Havelocks stirred up the war,
And what business had they to be there?

And don't you remember great China, John Bull,
Where you smeared yourself blacker with sin?
Where the Emperor tried to keep opium out,
And you fought to force opium in?
It was Government opium from India, too,
Which poisons both body and soul;
You have fought against freedom with steel, Johnny Bull;
With the steel and the cord and the bowl.

And do you believe in a God, Johnny Bull,
Or anything after the grave?
Then tell us what waits for the sinner who aids
The tyrant to trample the slave?
I'll not ask if you've faith in a Devil, John Bull:
One might think he were laid on the shelf,
To see you unpunished—but now I believe
That you are the False One himself.

We are indebted to a friend for the following tales of foraging, which are vouched for as authentic:

A company of the Two—th cavalry of volunteers, no matter in what State, were out on a forage, with the usual orders to respect the enemy's property. But coming on a plantation where chickens and turkeys were dallying in the sunshine, the officer in command, tired of pork and plaster-pies, alias hard biscuit, gave the boys leave to club over as many of the 'two-legged things in feathers' as they could conveniently come at. The result was that a good number were despatched, and being tied together by the legs, were slung over the pommel of the saddle of 'Benny,' an old sabreur, who had frontiered it for years, been in more Indian fights than you could shake a stick at, and could tell, if he wanted to, of some high-old-hard times with these same Mdewakantonwar, Wahpekute, Ihanktonwannas, and Minnikanyewazhipu red-skinned fiends.

Returning to camp, as ill luck would have it, they met the colonel of their regiment riding out to a neighboring camp. Just before they met him, in fact when they were nearly up to him, for a curve in the road had hid him from sight till then, the officer in command rode by Benny with the command:

'D—n it, man, why don't you sling those chickens the other side your saddle? The colonel will see them, hanging that way.'

'Can't be done! got fourteen turkeys there on a balance!'

By remarkably good fortune the colonel did not see the chickens, so they and the turkeys were safely smuggled into camp,[Pg 384] Benny getting full credit for maintaining the balance of power, when the odds were dead against him.

Story ye second:

When the Forty-eleventh P.M. were camped near Boonesboro', what time the rebels were driven out of Maryland, the colonel of the said regiment duly issued orders that all provender taken by troops under his command should be fairly paid for without defalcation for value received. Now it happened one bright morning that the major of the aforesaid regiment riding out near camp, saw a private deliberately lift up what is known in Southern tongue as a 'rock,' and throwing the same with great skill, instantly kill a small pig that with half a dozen other small pigs were following their mother at full speed away from the neighborhood of this same private.

The soldier, who was an Irishman, picked up the pig, and hiding it under his army sack, was returning to camp, when, lifting up his head, he saw before him the major, who, assuming his most solemn look, thus spoke to him:

'What have you under your coat, there?'

'Shure it's an empty stomach, sirr!—and a small pig that's hurted itself—poor little thing!—and I'm taking it home to mend its leg, to be sure:—the poor crayture wud be after dying if left all alone in the cold, the raw morning.'

The major dearly relished the joke, but discipline is discipline, and there was but one way to overlook this breach of it: that was to punish Paddy by giving him a three-mile walk down the road, and over the fields back to camp, before he could bring his pig in.

'You say the pig is lame?' asked the officer.

'Shure, that's the truth, sirr; and I'm afther belaving it'll niver be able to run any more at all, at all: be the same token its tail's out of curl entirely; and had'nt I better be afther taking it home than letting it die like a haythin in the road here?'

'Do you see that old sow down the road there with those other pigs? you follow her home at once, sir, and leave the lame pig there!'

Saying which, the major continued his ride, and the Irishman duly followed the old sow to—a turn in the road, when he 'obeyed orders,' and left the lame pig 'at home,' where that night at least one mess had roast pig with 'ubi beans ibi patria,' sauce at discretion.




Ye Mariners of England,
That shame your country's fame;
That peddle chains to bind the slave,
In the blood-royal name!
Your glorious standard hide away,
Hoist slave flags in its place,
And steal o'er the deep,
With our Yankee ships in chase:
And ye peddlers, shun the starry flag,
While the Yankee cruisers chase.

The spirits of your fathers
Shall start from every wave!
For the ocean was their field of fame,
And ye insult their grave.
Where they like bold men fought and fell,
Ye take a part that's base,
And steal o'er the deep
With our Yankee ships in chase:
And ye peddlers, shun the starry flag,
While the Yankee cruisers chase.

Britannia needeth cotton,
And so your honor'll sleep;
Your market's o'er the mounting wave,
Your greed of gain lies deep.
Your sovereign bids you walk upright;—
Her fair fame you disgrace,
And steal o'er the deep,
With our Yankee ships in chase:
And ye peddlers, shun the starry flag,
While our Yankee cruisers chase.

The meteor flag of England
Should redder burn for shame,
When it waves o'er chains for slaves
In Princess Royal's name.
Mourn, mourn, ye ocean hucksters!
Your goods and ships are lost:
To the shame of your name
Get you home and count the cost:
For your Princess Royal's gone for good;
Get you home and count the cost.


Continental Monthly.

The readers of the Continental are aware of the important position it has assumed, of the influence which it exerts, and of the brilliant array of political and literary talent of the highest order which supports it. No publication of the kind has, in this country, so successfully combined the energy and freedom of the daily newspaper with the higher literary tone of the first-class monthly; and it is very certain that no magazine has given wider range to its contributors, or preserved itself so completely from the narrow influences of party or of faction. In times like the present, such a journal is either a power in the land or it is nothing. That the Continental is not the latter is abundantly evidenced by what it has done—by the reflection of its counsels in many important public events, and in the character and power of those who are its staunchest supporters.

Though but little more than a year has elapsed since the Continental was first established, it has during that time acquired a strength and a political significance elevating it to a position far above that previously occupied by any publication of the kind in America. In proof of which assertion we call attention to the following facts:

1. Of its political articles republished in pamphlet form, a single one has had, thus far, a circulation of one hundred and six thousand copies.

2. From its literary department, a single serial novel, "Among the Pines," has, within a very few months, sold nearly thirty-five thousand copies. Two other series of its literary articles have also been republished in book form, while the first portion of a third is already in press.

No more conclusive facts need be alleged to prove the excellence of the contributions to the Continental, or their extraordinary popularity; and its conductors are determined that it shall not fall behind. Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a thousand journals have attributed to it, it will greatly enlarge its circle of action, and discuss, fearlessly and frankly, every principle involved in the great questions of the day. The first minds of the country, embracing the men most familiar with its diplomacy and most distinguished for ability, are among its contributors; and it is no mere "flattering promise of a prospectus" to say that this "magazine for the times" will employ the first intellect in America, under auspices which no publication ever enjoyed before in this country.

While the Continental will express decided opinions on the great questions of the day, it will not be a mere political journal: much the larger portion of its columns will be enlivened, as heretofore, by tales, poetry, and humor. In a word, the Continental will be found, under its new staff of Editors, occupying a position and presenting attractions never before found in a magazine.


Two copies for one year,Five dollars.
Three copies for one year,Six dollars.
Six copies for one year,Eleven dollars.
Eleven copies for one year,Twenty dollars.
Twenty copies for one year,Thirty-six dollars.

Postage, Thirty-six cents a year, to be paid by the Subscriber.


Three dollars a year, in advance. Postage paid by the Publisher.

JOHN F. TROW, 50 Greene St., N. Y.,

pointing finger

As an Inducement to new subscribers, the Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

pointing finger

Any person remitting $3, in advance, will receive the magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing the whole of Mr. Kimball's and Mr. Kirke's new serials, which are alone worth the price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a subscriber can take the magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the Pines," or of "Undercurrents of Wall Street," by R. B. Kimball, bound in cloth, or of "Sunshine in Thought," by Charles Godfrey Leland (retail price, $1. 25.) The book to be sent postage paid.

pointing finger

Any person remitting $4.50, will receive the magazine from its commencement, January, 1862, to January, 1864, thus securing Mr. Kimball's "Was He Successful? "and Mr. Kirke's "Among the Pines," and "Merchant's Story," and nearly 3,000 octavo pages of the best literature in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their own postage.

Finest Farming Lands



At FROM $8 to $12 PER ACRE,

Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the blessings of Civilization.

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of their Railroad. 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms for enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to make for themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they can call THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,666, and a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great staples, Corn and Wheat.


Nowhere can the Industrious farmer secure such immediate results from his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200 miles, is well adapted to Winter.


Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch, and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising portion of the State.


of Corn is from 60 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and Chicago and Dunleith, (a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147 miles by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are produced in great abundance.


The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 35,000,000 bushels, while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco, Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.


In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to enter with the fairest prospects of like results. Dairy Farming also presents its inducements to many.


The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in the growth and perfection of this plant.


Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.


There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.


Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the Great Western Empire.


80 acres at $10 per acre, with interest at 6 per ct. annually on the following terms:

Cash payment $48 00
Paymentin one year48 00
"in two years48 00
"in three years48 00
"in four years236 00
"in five years224 00
"in six years212 00

40 acres, at $10 00 per acre:

Cash payment $24 00
Paymentin one year24 00
"in two years24 00
"in three years24 00
"in four years118 00
"in five years112 00
"in six years106 00

Number 16.        25 Cents.




Literature and National Policy.

APRIL, 1863.



The Wonders of Words,385
The Chech,395
Pictures from the North,398
The New Rasselas,404
The Chained River. By Charles Godfrey Leland,410
How the War affects Americans. By Hon. F. P. Stanton,411
Henrietta and Vulcan. By Delia M. Colton,421
Ethel. By Martha Walker Cook,435
The Skeptics of the Waverley Novels. By Charles Godfrey Leland,439
A Merchant's Story. By Edmund Kirke,451
A Chapter on Wonders. By Perth Granton,461
The Return. By Edward Sprague Rand, jr.,464
The Union. By Hon. R. J. Walker,465
Down in Tennessee,469
Poetry and Poetical Selections,474
Flag of our Sires. By Hon. R. J. Walker,480
A Fancy Sketch,482
Our Present Position; its Dangers and its Duties,488
The Complaining Bore,496
Literary Notices,500
Editors' Table,503

'MY SOUTHERN FRIENDS,' by the author of 'Among the Pines,' is just issued from the press of G. W. Carleton, 413 Broadway, N. Y. Price, $l, cloth; 75 cts., paper covers.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by James R. Gilmore, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

John F. Trow, Printer.