The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 22, August, 1859

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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 22, August, 1859

Author: Various

Release date: November 1, 2005 [eBook #9265]
Most recently updated: November 3, 2012

Language: English


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Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team




We say dramatic element in the Bible, not dramatic element of the Bible, since that of which we speak is not essential, but incidental; it is an aspect of the form of the book, not an attribute of its inspiration.

By the use of the term dramatic in this connection, let us, in the outset, be understood to have no reference whatever to the theatre and stage-effect, or to the sundry devices whereby the playhouse is made at once popular and intolerable. Nor shall we anticipate any charge of irreverence; since we claim the opportunity and indulge only the license of the painter, who, in the treatment of Scriptural themes, seeks both to embellish the sacred page and to honor his art,—and of the sculptor, and the poet, likewise, each of whom, ranging divine ground, remarks upon the objects there presented according to the law of his profession. As the picturesque, the statuesque, the poetical in the Bible are legitimate studies, so also the dramatic.

But in the premises, is not the term dramatic interdicted,—since it is that which is not the Bible, but which is foreign to the Bible, and even directly contradistinguished therefrom? The drama is representation,—the Bible is fact; the drama is imitation,—the Bible narrative; the one is an embodiment,—the other a substance; the one transcribes the actual by the personal,—the other is a return to the simplest originality; the one exalts its subjects by poetic freedom,—the other adheres to prosaic plainness.

Yet are there not points in which they meet, or in which, for the purposes of this essay, they may be considered as coming together,—that is, admitting of an artistical juxtaposition?

In the first place, to take Shakspeare for a type of the drama, what, we ask, is the distinguishing merit of this great writer? It is his fidelity to Nature. Is not the Bible also equally true to Nature? "It is the praise of Shakspeare," says Dr. Johnson, "that his plays are the mirror of life." Was there ever a more consummate mirror of life than the Bible affords? "Shakspeare copied the manners of the world then passing before him, and has more allusions than other poets to the traditions and superstitions of the vulgar." The Bible, perhaps, excels all other books in this sort of description. "Shakspeare was an exact surveyor of the inanimate world." The Bible is full of similar sketches. An excellence of Shakspeare is the individuality of his characters. "They are real beings of flesh and blood," the critics tell us; "they speak like men, not like authors." How truly this applies to the persons mentioned in sacred writ! Goethe has compared the characters of Shakspeare to "watches with crystalline cases and plates, which, while they point out with perfect accuracy the course of the hours and minutes, at the same time disclose the whole combination of springs and wheels whereby they are moved." A similar transparency of motive and purpose, of individual traits and spontaneous action, belongs to the Bible. From the hand of Shakspeare, "the lord and the tinker, the hero and the valet, come forth equally distinct and clear." In the Bible the various sorts of men are never confounded, but have the advantage of being exhibited by Nature herself, and are not a contrivance of the imagination. "Shylock," observes a recent critic, "seems so much a man of Nature's making, that we can scarce accord to Shakspeare the merit of creating him." What will you say of Balak, Nabal, Jeroboam? "Macbeth is rather guilty of tempting the Weird Sisters than of being tempted by them, and is surprised and horrified at his own hell-begotten conception." Saul is guilty of tampering with the Witch of Endor, and is alarmed at the Ghost of Samuel, whose words distinctly embody and vibrate the fears of his own heart, and he "falls straightway all along on the earth." "The exquisite refinement of Viola triumphs over her masculine attire." The exquisite refinement of Ruth triumphs in the midst of men.

We see there are points in which dramatic representation and Scriptural delineation mutually touch.

A distinguished divine of Connecticut said he wanted but two books in his library, the Bible and Shakspeare,—the one for religion, the other to be his instructor in human nature. In the same spirit, St. Chrysostom kept a copy of Aristophanes under his pillow, that he might read it at night before he slept and in the morning when he waked. The strong and sprightly eloquence of this father, if we may trust tradition, drew its support from the vigorous and masculine Atticism of the old comedian.

But human nature, in every stage of its development and every variety of its operation, is as distinctly pronounced on the pages of Scripture as in the scenes of the dramatist. Of Shakespeare it is said, "He turned the globe round for his amusement, and surveyed the generations of men, and the individuals as they passed, with their different concerns, passions, follies, vices, virtues, actions, and motives." He has been called the "thousand-minded," the "oceanic soul." The Bible creates the world and peoples it, and gives us a profound and universal insight into all its concerns.

Another peculiarity of Shakspeare is his self-forgetfulness. In reading what is written, you do not think of him, but of his productions. "The perfect absence of himself from his own pages makes it difficult for us to conceive of a human being having written them." This remark applies with obvious force to the Bible. The authors of the several books do not thrust themselves upon your notice, or interfere with your meditations on what they have written; indeed, to such an extent is this self-abeyance maintained, that it is impossible, at this period of time, to determine who are the authors of some of the books. The narrative of events proceeds, for the most part, as if the author had never existed. How naïvely and perspicuously everything is told, without the colouring of prejudice, or an infusion of egotism on the part of the writer!

Coleridge says, Shakspeare gives us no moral highwaymen, no sentimental thieves and rat-catchers, no interesting villains, no amiable adulteresses. The Bible even goes farther than this, and is faithful to the foibles and imperfections of its favorite characters, and describes a rebellious Moses, a perjured David, a treacherous Peter.

"In nothing does Shakspeare so deeply and divinely touch the heart of humanity as in the representation of woman." We have the grandeur of Portia, the sprightliness of Rosalind, the passion of Juliet, the delicacy of Ophelia, the mournful dignity of Hermione, the filial affection of Cordelia. How shall we describe the Pythian greatness of Miriam, the cheerful hospitality of Sarah, the heroism of Rahab, the industry of Dorcas, the devotion of Mary? And we might set off Lady Macbeth with Jezebel, and Cleopatra with Delilah.

But the Bible, it may be said, so far as the subject before us is concerned, is chiefly historical, while Shakspeare is purely dramatic. The one is description,—the other action; the one relates to events,—the other to feelings; the department of the one is the general course of human affairs,—that of the other, the narrower circle of individual experience; the field of the one is that which the eye of philosophy may embrace,—while that of the other is what the human frame may portray.

However this may apply to the average of history, it will be found that the Bible, in its historical parts, is not so strictly historical as to preclude associations of another sort. The Bible is remarkable for a visual and embodied relief, a bold and vivid detail. We know of no book, if we may except the compositions of professed dramatists, that contains so much of personal feeling and incident. In simplicity and directness, in freedom from exaggeration, and in the general unreserve of its expression, it even exceeds the most of these. In it we may discover a succession of little dramas of Nature that will affect us quite as profoundly as those larger ones of Art.

If the structure of the drama be dialogistic, we find the Bible formed on the same model. If the writers of the former disappear under the personages of their fancy, the writers of the latter disappear under the personages of fact. As in the one, so in the other, strangers are introduced to tell their own story, each in his own way.

In the commencement of the Bible, after a brief prologue, the curtain rises, and we, as spectators, look in upon a process of interlocution. The scene is the green, sunny garden of Eden, that to which the memory of humanity reverts as to its dim golden age, and which ever expresses the bright dream of our youth, ere the rigor of misfortune or the dulness of experience has spoilt it. The dramatis personae are three individuals, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. There are the mysterious tree, with its wonderful fruit,—the beautiful, but inquisitive woman,—the thoughtful, but too compliant man,—and the insinuating reptile. One speaks, the other rejoins, and the third fills up the chasm of interest. The plot thickens, the passions are displayed, and the tragedy hastens to its end. Then is heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the cool (the wind) of the garden, the impersonal presence of Jehovah is, as it were, felt in the passing breeze, and a shadow falls upon the earth,—but such a shadow as their own patient toil may dissipate, and beyond the confines of which their hope, which has now taken the place of enjoyment, is permitted ever to look.

Without delaying on the moral of this passage, what we would remark upon is the clearness and freedom of the dialogue,—a feature which we find pervading the whole of the sacred writings.

In the account of Cain, which immediately succeeds, the narrative is inelaborate, casual, secondary; the dialogue is simple and touching. The agony of the fratricide and his remorse are better expressed by his own lips than could be done by any skill of the historian.

In the deception which Abraham put upon the Egyptians, touching his wife,—which it is no part of our present object to justify or to condemn,—what a stroke of pathos, what a depth of conjugal sentiment, is exhibited! "Thou art a fair woman to look upon, and the Egyptians, when they see thee, will kill me and save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister; that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee."

Viola appears very interesting and very innocent, when, in boy's clothes, she wanders about in pursuit of a lover. Is not Sarah equally interesting and equally innocent, when, under cover of an assumed name, and that a sister's, she would preserve the love of one who has worthily won it?

Will it be said that the dialogue of the Bible lacks the charm of poetry?—that its action and sentiment, its love and its sorrow, are not heightened by those efforts of the fancy which delight us in dramatic authors?—that its simplicity is bald, and its naturalness rough?—that its excessive familiarity repels taste and disturbs culture? If we may trust Wordsworth, simplicity is not inconsistent with the pleasures of the imagination. The style of the Bible is not redundant,—there is little extravagance in it, and it has no trickery of words. Yet this does not prevent its being deep in sentiment, brilliant with intrinsic thought or powerful effect.

In the "Two Gentlemen of Verona," Valentine thus utters himself touching his betrothed:—

  "What light is light, if Sylvia be not seen?
  What joy is joy, if Sylvia be not by?
  Except I see my Sylvia in the night,
  There is no music in the nightingale.
  Unless I look on Sylvia in the day,
  There is no day for me to look upon.
  She is my essence; and I cease to be,
  If I be not by her fair influence
  Fostered, illumined, cherished, kept alive."

Compare with this the language of Abraham. "Thou art fair, my wife. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister; that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee." The first is an instance of poetic amplification and abandon; we should contend, for the last, that it expresses poetic tenderness and delicacy. In the one case, passion is diffuse,—in the other, concentrated. Which is the more natural, others must judge.

"Euthanasy," "Theron and Aspasio," the "Phaedon" of Plato are dialogues, but they are not dramatic. It may be, that, for a composition to claim this distinction, it must embody great character or deep feeling,—that it must express not only the individuality, but the strength of the passions.

Observing this criticism, we think we may find any quantity of dramatic dialogue in Scripture. The story of Joseph, the march in the wilderness, the history of David, are full of it.

There are not only dramatic dialogue and movement, but dramatic monologue and episode. For illustration, we might refer to Hagar in the wilderness. Her tragic loneliness and shuddering despair alight upon the page of Scripture with the interest that attends the introduction of the veiled Niobe with her children into the Grecian theatre.

There are those who say, that the truth of particular events, so far as we are conscious of it, is a drawback on the pleasure as well as the dignity of the drama,—in other words, that the Bible is too true to afford what is called dramatic delight, while the semblance of truth in Shakspeare is exactly graduated to this particular affection. Between the advocates of this theory, and those who say that Shakspeare is true as truth itself, we can safely leave the point.

The subject has another aspect, which appears in the inquiry, What is the true object of the drama? If, as has been asserted, the object of the drama be the exhibition of the human character,—if, agreeably to Aristotle, tragedy purifies the affections by terror and pity,—or if, according to a recent writer, it interests us through the moral and religious principles of our nature,—or even if, according to Dr. Johnson, it be the province of comedy to bring into view the customs, manners, vices, and the whole character of a people,—it is obvious that the Bible and the drama have some correspondence. If, in the somewhat heated language of Mrs. Jameson, "whatever in religion is holy and sublime, in virtue amiable and grave, whatever hath passion or admiration in the changes of fortune or the refluxes of feeling, whatever is pitiful in the weakness, grand in the strength, or terrible in the perversion of the human intellect," be the domain of tragedy, this correspondence increases upon us.

If, however, it be the object of the drama to divert, then it occupies a wholly different ground from the Bible. If it merely gratifies curiosity or enlivens pastime, if it awakens emotion without directing it to useful ends, if it rallies the infirmities of human nature with no other design than to provoke our derision or increase our conceit, it shoots very, very wide of the object which the sacred writers propose.

It is worthy to be remarked, that the Jews had no drama, or nothing that answers to our idea of that term at the present time; they had no theatres, no writers of tragedy or comedy. Neither are there any traces of the dramatic art among the Egyptians, among whom the Jews sojourned four hundred years, nor among the Arabs or the Persians, who are of kindred stock with this people. On the other hand, by the Hindoos and Chinese, the Greeks and Romans, histrionic representation was cultivated with assiduity.

How shall we explain this national peculiarity? Was it because the religion of the Jews forbade creative imitation? Is it to be found in the letter or the spirit of the second commandment, which interdicts the making of graven images of any pattern in earth or heaven? We should hardly think so, since the object of this prohibition is rather to prevent idolatry than to discourage the gratification of taste. "Thou shalt not bow down to them nor serve them." The Jews did have emblematic observances, costume, and works of art. Yet, on the other hand, the Jews possessed something resembling the drama, and that out of which the dramatic institutions of all nations have sprung. The question, then, why the Jews had no drama proper, and still preserved the semblance and germ thereof, will be partially elucidated by a reference to the early history of dramatic art.

In its inception, the drama, among all nations, was a religious observance. It came in with the chorus and the ode. The chorus, or, as we now say, choir, was a company of persons who on stated occasions sang sacred songs, accompanying their music with significant gesture, and an harmonious pulsation of the feet, or the more deliberate march. The ode or song they sang was of an elevated structure and impassioned tone, and was commonly addressed to the Divinity. Instances of the ode are the lyrics of Pindar and David. The chorus was also divided into parts, to each of which was assigned a separate portion of the song, and which answered one another in alternate measures. A good instance of the chorus and its movement appears after the deliverance of the Jews from the dangers of the Red Sea. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord: 'I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously,'" etc. "And Miriam the prophetess took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances; and Miriam answered them, 'Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously.'" At a later period, in Jewish as in Greek history, choral exercises became a profession, and the choir constituted a detached portion of men and women.

"Those who have studied the history of Grecian antiquities," says Archbishop Potter, "and collected the fragments which remain of the most ancient authors, have all concurred in the opinion, that poetry was first employed in celebrating the praises of the gods. The fragments of the Orphic hymns, and those of Linus and Musaeus, show these poets entertained sounder notions of the Supreme Being than many philosophers of a later date. There are lyric fragments yet remaining that bear striking resemblance to Scripture."

So, says Bishop Horne, "The poetry of the Jews is clearly traceable to the service of religion. To celebrate the praises of God, to decorate his worship, and give force to devout sentiments, was the employment of the Hebrew Muse."

The choral song, that is, a sacred ode united with appropriate action, distinguished the Jews and Greeks alike. At a later period of Jewish history, the chorus became perfected, yet without receiving any organic change. Among the Greeks, however, the chorus passed by degrees into the drama. To simple singing and dancing they added a variety of imitative action; from celebrating the praises of the Divinity, they proceeded to represent the deeds of men, and their orchestras were enlarged to theatres. They retained the chorus, but subordinated it to the action. The Jews, on the other hand, did no more than dramatize the chorus. So, Bishop Horsley says, the greater part of the Psalms are a sort of dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between certain persons sustaining certain characters. In these psalms, the persons are the writer himself and a band of Levites,—or sometimes the Supreme Being, or a personation of the Messiah.

We find, then, the Jews and the Greeks running parallel in respect of the drama, or that out of which the drama sprung, the chorus, for a long series of years. The practice of the two nations in this respect exhibits a striking coincidence, indeed, Lowth conceives that the Song of Solomon bears a strong resemblance to the Greek drama. "The chorus of virgins," he says, "seems in every respect congenial to the tragic chorus of the Greeks. They are constantly present, and prepared to fulfil all the duties of advice and consolation; they converse frequently with the different characters; they take part in the whole business of the poem." They fulfilled, in a word, all the purpose of the Greek chorus on the Greek stage.

On certain occasions, the Greek chorus celebrated divine worship in the vicinity of the great altar of their god. Clad in magnificent vestments, they move to solemn measures about it; they ascend and descend the steps that lead to it; they offer sacrifices upon it; they carry in their hands lighted torches; they pour out lustral water; they burn incense; they divide into antiphonal bands, and sing alternate stanzas of their sacred songs.

So, in their religious festivals, the Jewish chorus surrounded the high altar of their worship, gorgeously dressed, and with an harmonious tread; they mounted and remounted the steps; they offered sacrifices; they bore branches of trees in their hands; they scattered the lustral water; they burnt incense; they pealed the responsive anthem.

But while we follow down the stream of resemblance to a certain point, it divides at last: on the Greek side, it is diverted into the lighter practice of the theatre; on the Jewish side, it seems to deepen itself in the religious feeling of the nation.

Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, seizing upon the chorus, elaborated it into the drama. The religious idea, indeed, seems never to have deserted the gentile drama; for, at a later period, we find the Romans appointing theatrical performances with the special design of averting the anger of the gods. A religious spirit, also, pervades all the writings of the ancient dramatists; they bring the gods to view, and the terrors of the next world, on their stage, are seen crowding upon the sins of this.

On the other hand, David, who may be denominated the Alfred of the Jews, seems to have contented himself with the chorus; he allotted its members, disciplined its ranks, heightened its effect, and supplied new lyrics for its use.

Another exemplification of singular coincidence and diversity between the two nations appears in this, that the goat was common in the religious observances of both; a similar ritual required the sacrifice of this animal: but with the Jews the creature was an emblem of solemnity, while with the Greeks he was significant of joy; the Jews sacrificed him on their fasts,—the Greeks in their feasts. And here we may observe, that tragedy, the most dignified and the primitive form of the drama, deduces its origin from the goat,—being, literally, the song of the goat, that is, the song accompanying the sacrifice of the goat.

Let us now endeavor to answer the question, Why, since the drama was generally introduced among surrounding nations, and Jewish customs and life comprised so many initial dramatic materials, this art was not known among that people?

It was owing to the earnestness and solemnity of their religious faith. We find the cause in the simple, exalted, and comparatively spiritual ideas they had of the Supreme Being; in a word, we shall state the whole ground to be this,—that the Greeks were polytheists, and the Jews monotheists.

Let us bear in mind that the chorus, and the drama that was built upon it, had a religious association, and were employed in religious devotion. We may add, moreover, that the Greeks introduced their gods upon the stage; this the Jews could not do. The Greeks, of course, had a great deal of religious feeling, but they could not cherish that profound reverence for the object of their worship which the Jews entertained towards theirs. The Jews accompanied the Greeks in the use of the chorus, but they could not go with them any farther. They both united in employing music and the dance, and all the pomp of procession and charm of ceremony, in divine worship; but when it came to displaying the object of their adoration in personal form to the popular eye, and making him an actor on the stage, however dignified that stage might be, the Jews could not consent.

This, we think, will explain, in part, why others of the ancient nations, the Arabs and Persians, rich as they were in every species of literature, had no theatre; they were monotheists.

But there is the department of comedy, of a lighter sort, which does not converse with serious subjects, or necessarily include reference to Deity; why do we find no trace of this among the Jews? We may remember, that all festivals, in very ancient time, of every description, the grave and the gay, the penitential and the jubilant, had a religious design, and were suggested by a religious feeling. We think the peculiar cast of the Judaic faith would hardly embody itself in such a mode of expression. Moreover, tragedy was the parent of comedy,—and since the Jews had not the first, we should hardly expect them to produce the last. It is not difficult to perceive how the Greeks could convert their goat to dramatic, or even to comic purposes; but the Jews could not deal so with theirs.

We approach another observation, that there is no comedy in the Bible. There is tragedy there,—not in the sense in which we have just denied that the Jews had tragedy, but in the obvious sense of tragic elements, tragic scenes, tragic feelings. In the same sense, we say, there are no comic elements, or scenes, or feelings. There is that in the Bible to make you weep, but nothing to move you to laughter. Why is this? Are there not smiles as well as tears in life? Have we not a deep, joyous nature, as well as aspiration, reverence, awe? Is there not a free-and-easy side of existence, as well as vexation and sorrow? We assent that these things are so.

But comedy implies ridicule, sharp, corroding ridicule. The comedy of the Greeks ridiculed everything,—persons, characters, opinions, customs, and sometimes philosophy and religion. Comedy became, therefore, a sort of consecrated slander, lyric spite, aesthetical buffoonery. Comedy makes you laugh at somebody's expense; it brings multitudes together to see it inflict death on some reputation; it assails private feeling with all the publicity and powers of the stage.

Now we doubt if the Jewish faith or taste would tolerate this. The Jews were commanded to love their neighbor. We grant, their idea of neighbor was excessively narrow and partial; but still it was their neighbor. They were commanded not to bear false witness against their neighbor, and he was pronounced accursed who should smite his neighbor secretly. It might appear that comedy would violate each of these statutes. But the Jews had their delights, their indulgences, their transports, notwithstanding the imperfection of their benevolence, the meagreness of their truth, and the cumbersomeness of their ceremonials. The Feast of Tabernacles, for instance, was liberal and happy, bright and smiling; it was the enthusiasm of pastime, the psalm of delectableness. They did not laugh at the exposure of another's foibles, but out of their own merry hearts.

Will it be said, the Bible is not true to Nature, if it does not represent the comical side of life, as well as Shakspeare does? We think the comical parts of Shakspeare, his extreme comical parts, are rather an exaggeration of individual qualities than a fair portraiture of the whole species. There is no Falstaff in the Bible, yet the qualities of Falstaff exist in the Bible and in Nature, but in combination, and this combination modifies their aspect and effect.

There is laughter in the Bible, but it is not uttered to make you laugh. There are also events recorded, which, at the time, may have produced effects analogous to comedy. The approach of the Gibeonites to the camp of Israel in their mock-beggarly costume might be mentioned. Shimei's cursing David has always seemed to us to border on the ludicrous.

But to leave these matters and return to the general thread of thought.
Dramas have been formed on the Bible. We hardly need name "Paradise
Lost," or "Samson Agonistes," or the "Cain" of Byron, the "Hadad" of
Hillhouse, or Mrs. More's "David and Goliah." "Pilgrim's Progress" has a
Scriptural basis.

Moreover, if we may trust the best critics, certain portions of the sacred volume are conceived in a dramatic spirit, and are propounded to a dramatic interpretation. These are the Book of Job, the Song of Solomon, and, possibly, the Apocalypse of St. John. If we were disposed to contend for this view, we need but mention such authorities as Calmet, Carpzov, Bishops Warburton, Percy, Lowth, Bossuet.

The Book of Job has a prose prologue and epilogue, the intermediate portions being poetic dialogue. The characters are discriminated and well supported. It does not preserve the unities of Aristotle, which, indeed, are found neither in the Bible nor in Nature,—which Shakspeare neglects, and which are to be met with only in the crystalline artificialness of the French stage. "It has no plot, not even of the simplest kind," says Dr. Lowth. It has a plot,—not an external and visible one, but an internal and spiritual one; its incidents are its feelings, its progress is the successive conditions of mind, and it terminates with the triumph of virtue. If it be not a record of actual conversation, it is an embodiment of a most wonderful ideality. The eternity of God, the grandeur of Nature, the profundity of the soul, move in silent panorama before you. The great and agitating problems of human existence are depicted with astonishing energy and precision, and marvellous is the conduct of the piece to us who behold it as a painting away back on the dark canvas of antiquity.

We said the Jews had no drama, no theatre, because they would not introduce the Divinity upon the stage. Yet God appears speaking in the Book of Job, not bodily, but ideally, and herein is all difference. This drama addresses the imagination, not the eye. The Greeks brought their divinities into sight, stood them on the stage,—or clothed a man with an enormous mask, and raised him on a pedestal, giving him also corresponding apparel, to represent their god. The Hebrew stage, if we may share the ordinary indulgence of language in using that term, with an awe and delicacy suitable to the dignity of the subject, permits the Divinity to speak, but does not presume to employ his person; the majesty of Infinitude utters itself, but no robe-maker undertakes to dress it for the occasion. In the present instance, how exalted, how inspiring, is the appearance of God! how free from offensive diminution and costumal familiarity! "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said." Dim indeed is the representation, but very distinct is the impression. The phenomenon conforms to the purity of feeling, not to the grossness of sense. Devotion is kindled by the sublime impalpableness; no applause is enforced by appropriate acting. The Greeks, would have played the Book of Job,—the Jews were contented to read it.

And here we might remark a distinction between dramatic reading and dramatic seeing; and in support of our theory we can call to aid so good an authority as Charles Lamb. "I cannot help being of opinion," says this essayist, "that the plays of Shakspeare are less calculated for performance on a stage than those of almost any other dramatist whatever."

How are the love dialogues of Romeo and Juliet, by the inherent fault of stage representation, sullied and turned from their very nature by being exposed to a large assembly! How can the profound sorrows of Hamlet be depicted by a gesticulating actor? So, to see Lear acted, to see an old man tottering about the stage with a walking-stick, turned out of doors by his daughters in a rainy night, has nothing in it but what is painful and disgusting. The contemptible machinery by which they mimic the storm in which he goes out is not more inadequate to represent the horrors of the real elements than any actor can be to represent Lear. In the acted Othello, the black visage of the Moor is obtruded upon you; in the written Othello, his color disappears in his mind. When Hamlet compares the two pictures of Gertrude's first and second husband, who wants to see the pictures? But in the acting, a miniature must be lugged out. "The truth is," he adds, "the characters of Shakspeare are more the objects of meditation than of interest or curiosity as to their actions."

All this applies with force to what we have been saying. The Jews, in respect of their dramatic culture, seem more like one who enjoys Shakspeare in the closet; the Greeks, like those who are tolled off to the theatre to see him acted. The Greeks would have contrived a pair of bellows to represent the whirlwind; mystic, vast, inaudible, it passes before the imagination of the Jew, and its office is done. The Jew would be shocked to see his God in a human form; such a thing pleased the Greek. The source of the difference is to be sought in the theology of the two nations. The theological development of the Jews was very complete,—that of the Greeks unfinished.

Yet the Jews were very deficient in art, and the Greeks perfect; both failed in humanity. The Greeks had more ideality than the Jews; but their ideality was very intense; it was continually, so to speak, running aground; it must see its conceptions embodied; and more,—when they were embodied, Pygmalion-like, it must seek to imbue them with motion and sensibility. The conception of the Jews was more vague, perhaps, but equally affecting; they were satisfied with carrying in their minds the faint outline of the sublime, without seeking to chisel it into dimension and tangibility. They cherished in their bosoms their sacred ideal, and worshipped from far the greatness of the majesty that shaded their imaginations. Hence we look to Athens for art, to Palestine for ethics; the one produces rhetoricians,—the other, prophets.

So, we see, the theologico-dramatic forms of the two nations—and there were no other—are different. The one pleases the prurient eye,—the other gratifies the longing soul; the one amuses,—the other inspires; the one is a hollow pageant of divine things,—the other is a glad, solemn intimation from the unutterable heart of the universe.

The Song of Solomon, that stumbling-block of criticism and pill of faith, a recent writer regards as a parable in the form of a drama, in which the bride is considered as representing true religion, the royal lover as the Jewish people, and the younger sister as the Gospel dispensation. But it is evidently conceived in a very different spirit from the Book of Job or the Psalms of David, and its theological character is so obscured by other associations as to lead many to inquire whether an enlightened religious sensibility dictated it.

We cannot dismiss this part of our subject without allusion to a species of drama that prevailed in the Middle Ages, called Mysteries, or Moralities. These were a sort of scenical illustration of the Sacred Scripture, and the subjects were events taken sometimes from the New Testament and sometimes from the Old. It is said they were designed to supply the place of the Greek and Roman theatre, which had been banished from the Church. The plays were written and performed by the clergy. They seem to have first been employed to wile away the dulness of the cloister, but were very soon introduced to the public. Adam and Eve in Paradise, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection were theatrized. The effect could hardly be salutary. The different persons of the Trinity appeared on the stage; on one side of the scene stretched the yawning throat of an immense wooden dragon; masked devils ran howling in and out.

"In the year 1437,"—we follow the literal history, as we find it quoted in D'Israeli,—"when the Bishop of Metz caused the Mystery of the Passion to be represented near that city, God was an old gentleman, a curate of the place, and who was very near expiring on the cross, had he not been timely assisted. He was so enfeebled that another priest finished his part. At the same time this curate undertook to perform the Resurrection, which being a less difficult task, he did it admirably well. Another priest, personating Judas, had like to have been stifled while he hung on the tree, for his neck slipped. This being at length luckily perceived, he was cut down, and recovered." In another instance, a man who assumed the Supreme Being becoming nearly suffocated by the paint applied to his face, it was wisely announced that for the future the Deity should be covered by a cloud. These plays, carried about the country, taken up by the baser sort of people, descended through all degrees of farce to obscenity, and, in England, becoming entangled in politics, at length disappeared. It is said they linger in Italy, and are annually reproduced in Spain.

The Bible is incapable of representation. For a man to act the Supreme Being would be as revolting in idea as profane in practice. One may in words portray the divine character, give utterance to the divine will. This every preacher does. But to what is the effect owing? Not to proprieties of attitude or arrangement of muscle, but to the spirit of the man magnified and flooding with the great theme, and to the thought of God that surrounds and subdues all; in other words, the imagination is addressed, not the sight,—the sentiments and affections are engaged, not the senses. As Lamb says of the Lear of Shakspeare, it cannot be acted; so, with greater force, we may say of the Bible, it cannot be acted. When we read or hear of the Passion of the Saviour, it is the thought, the emotion, burning and seething within it, at which by invisible contact our own thought and emotion catch fire; and the capabilities of impersonation and manufacture are mocked by such a subject.

But the Bible abounds in dramatic situation, action, and feeling. This has already been intimated; it only remains that we indicate some examples. The history of David fulfils all the demands of dramatic composition. It has the severe grandeur of Aeschylus, the moving tenderness of Euripides, and the individual fidelity of Shakspeare. Could this last-named writer, who, while he counterfeited Nature with such success, was equally commended for his historical integrity,—could Shakspeare have performed that service on this history, which Milton, More, and others have undertaken on other portions of the sacred volume,—could he have digested it into a regular dramatic form,—he would have accomplished a work of rare interest. It would include the characters of Samuel and Saul; it would describe the magnanimous Jonathan and the rebellious Absalom; Nathan, Nabal, Goliah, Shimei, would impart their respective features; it would be enriched with all that is beautiful in woman's love or enduring in parental affection. It is full of incident, and full of pathos. It verges towards the terrible, it is shaken with the passionate, it rises into the heroic. Pursued in the true spirit of Jewish theology, the awful presence of God would overhang and pervade it, while the agency of his providence should attend on the evolutions of events.

There is one effect which, in the present arrangement of the canon, is entirely lost to view, and which could be revived only by the synchronizing of the Psalms with their proper epochs. For instance, the eighth Psalm is referable to the youth of David, when he was yet leading a shepherd life. The dramatic form of his history would detach this from its present place, and insert it amid the occasions and in the years to which it belongs. What a scene we should then have! The youthful David, ruddy he was, and, withal, of a beautiful countenance, (marginal reading, fair of eyes,) and goodly to look to; and he was a cunning player on the harp. There is the glow of poetic enthusiasm in his eyes, and the fervor of religious feeling in all his moods; as he tends his flock amid the quietness and beauty of his native hills, he joins to the aspirations of his soul the melodies of music. So the night overtakes him, the labors of the day are past, his meditations withdraw him from the society of men, he is alone with Nature and with God;—at such a moment the spirit of composition and utterance is upon him, and he hymns himself in those lofty and touching stanzas,—

  "O Jehovah, our Lord,
  How excellent is thy name in all the earth!
  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
  The moon and the stars which thou hast ordained,
  What is man that thou art mindful of him,
  And the son of man that thou carest for him?
  Yet thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
  Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor;
  Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hand,
  Thou hast put all things under his feet,—
  All sheep and oxen,
  Yea, and the beasts of the forest,
  The birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea,
  And whatsoever passes through the deep.
  O Jehovah, our Lord,
  How excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

Again, the fifty-seventh Psalm is assigned, in respect of place, to the cave of En-gedi, into which David fled from the vengeance of Saul. Here, surrounded by lofty rocks, whose promontories screen a wide extent of vale, he breaks forth,—

  "Have pity upon me, O God, have pity upon me,
  For in thee doth my soul seek refuge!
  Yea, in the shadow of thy wings do I take shelter,
  Until these calamities be overpast!"

Dramatically touched, and disposed according to the natural unities of the subject, these sublime and affecting songs would appear on their motive occasions, and be surrounded by their actual accompaniments.

The present effect may be compared to that which would be felt, if we should detach the songs of the artificial drama from their original impulse and feeling, (for instance, the willow dirge of Desdemona, and the fantastic moans of Ophelia,) and produce them in a parlor. Not but that these lyrics have a universal fitness, and a value which no time can change or circumstance diminish; but as we are looking at them simply in a dramatic view, we claim the right to suggest their dramatic force and pertinency. This effect, we might remark, is particularly and most truthfully regarded in the Lament of David over Saul and Jonathan. That monody would be shorn of its interest, if it were inserted anywhere else. The Psalms are more impersonal and more strictly religious than that, and hence their universal application; only we say, we can easily conceive that the revival of them in the order of their history, and in all the purity of their native pathos, would render them more attractive.

In connection with what we would further observe of the Psalms of David, let us again call attention to the ancient chorus,—how it was a species of melodrama, how it sang its parts, and comprised distinct vocalists and musicians, who pursued the piece in alternate rejoinder. What we would observe is, that many of the Psalms were written for the chorus, and, so to speak, were performed by it. There are some of them which it is impossible to understand without attention to this dramatic method of rehearsal. Psalm cxviii., for instance, includes several speakers. Psalm xxiv. was composed on the occasion of the transfer of the ark to the tabernacle on Mount Zion. And David, we read, and all the house of Israel, brought up the ark with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. In the midst of the congregated nation, supported by a varied instrumental accompaniment, with the smoke of the well-fed altar surging into the skies, the chorus took up the song which had been prepared to their hand,—one group calling out, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?"—the other pealing their answer, "He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." Meanwhile, they dance before the Lord,—that is, we suppose, preserving with their feet the unities of the music.

It was during a melodrama like this, in the midst of its exciting grandeur and all-pervading transport, executed at the Feast of Tabernacles, in the open area of the Temple, when the Jews were wont to pour upon the altar water taken from the pool of Siloam, chanting at the same time the twelfth chapter of Isaiah, and one division of the chorus had just sung the words,—

"With joy we draw water from the wells of salvation,"

and before the other had replied,—it was at this moment, that Christ, as Dr. Furness very reasonably conjectures, took up the response in his own person, and overwhelmed attention by that memorable declaration, "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink; and from within him shall flow rivers of living water."

It is what we may term the dramatic proprieties that give to many of the Psalms, in the language of a recent commentator, "a greater degree of fitness, spirit, and grandeur"; and they impart to the history of David a certain decorousness of illustration and perspicuity of feature which it would not otherwise possess. They would produce upon it the same result as is achieved by the sister arts on this and other portions of the sacred volume, without marring the text or doing violence to truth. Not, let us repeat, that the Bible can be theatrized. Neither church nor playhouse can revive the forms of Judaism, without recalling its lost spirit. And that must be a bold hand, indeed, that shall undertake to mend again the shivered vail of the Temple, or collect from its ruins a ritual which He that was greater than Solomon typically denounced in foretelling the overthrow of that gorgeous pile. The Bible, as to its important verities and solemn doctrine, is transparent to the imagination and affections, and does not require the mediation of dumb show or scenic travesty.

It is not difficult to trace many familiar dramatic resemblances in the Old Testament. Shakspeare, who was certainly well read in the Bible and frequently quotes it, in the composition of Lear may have had David and Absalom in mind; the feigned madness of Hamlet has its prototype in that of David; Macbeth and the Weird Sisters have many traits in common with Saul and the Witch of Endor. Jezebel is certainly a suggestive study for Lady Macbeth. The whole story has its key in that verse where we read, "There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel, his wife, stirred up." As in the play, so in this Scripture, we have the unrestrained and ferocious ambition of the wife conspiring with the equally cruel, but less hardy ambition of the husband. When Macbeth had murdered sleep, when he could not screw his courage to the sticking-point, when his purpose looked green and pale, his wife stings him with taunts, scathes him with sarcasm, and by her own energy of intellect and storm of will arouses him to action. So Ahab came in heavy and displeased, and laid him down on his bed, and turned away his face, and so his wife inflames him with the sharpness of her rebuke. "Why art thou sad?" she asks. "Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise, eat bread, and be merry!" The lust of regal and conjugal pride, intermixed, works in both. Jezebel, whose husband was a king, would crown him with kingly deeds. Lady Macbeth, whose husband was a prince, would see him crowned a king. Jezebel would aggrandize empire, which her unlawful marriage thereto had jeoparded. Lady Macbeth will run the risk of an unlawful marriage with empire, if she may thereby aggrandize it. Jezebel is insensible to patriotic feelings,—Lady Macbeth to civil and hospitable duties. The Zidonian woman braves the vengeance of Jehovah,—the Scotch woman dares the Powers of Darkness; the one is incited by the oracles of Baal,—the other by the predictions of witches. Lady Macbeth has more intellectual force,—Jezebel more moral decision; Lady Macbeth exhibits great imagination,—Jezebel a stronger will. As the character of Lady Macbeth is said to be relieved by the affection she shows for her husband, so is that of Jezebel by her tenderness for Ahab. The grandness of the audacity with which Jezebel sends after the prophet Elisha, saying, "So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time," has its counterpart in the lofty terror of the invocation which Lady Macbeth makes to the "spirits that wait on mortal thoughts,"—

  "Fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
  Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood,
  Stop up the access and the passage of remorse!
  . . . . Come to my woman's breasts,
  And take my milk for gall, ye murdering ministers!"

But the last moments of these excessive characters are singularly contrasted. Jezebel scoffs at approaching retribution, and, shining with paint and dripping with jewels, is pitched to the dogs; Lady Macbeth goes like a coward to her grave, and, curdled with remorse, receives the stroke of doom.

If Shakspeare and the Old Testament are a just manifestation of human nature, the New is so different, its representation would seem to be almost fanciful or fallacious; or if the latter be accepted, the former would seem to be discarded. But both are faithful to the different ages and phases of man. The one is a dispensation of force,—the other of love; the one could make nothing perfect,—but the bringing in of a better covenant makes all things perfect. Through the tempest and storm, the brutality and lust of the Greek tragedians, and even of the barbarous times on which Shakspeare builds many of his plays, through the night of Judaical back-slidings, idolatry, and carnal commandments, we patiently wait, and gladly hail the morning of the Sun of Righteousness. The New Testament is a green, calm, island, in this heaving, fearful ocean of dramatic interest. How delightful is everything there, and how elevated! how glad, and how solemn! how energetic, and how tranquil! What characters, what incident, what feeling! Yet how different! So different, indeed, from what elsewhere appears, that we are compelled to ask, Can this be that same old humanity whose passions, they tell us, are alike in all ages, and the emphatic turbulence of which constitutes so large a portion of history?

But how shall we describe what is before us? The events open, if we may draw a term from our subject, with a prologue spoken by angels,—

"Peace on earth, and good-will towards men."

There had been Jezebels and Lady Macbeths enough; the memory of David still smelt of blood; the Roman eagles were gorging their beaks on human flesh; and the Samaritan everywhere felt the gnawing, shuddering sense of hatred and scorn. No chorus appears answering to chorus, praising the god of battles, or exulting in the achievements of arms; but the sympathies of Him who was touched with the feeling of our infirmities answer to the wants and woes of the race, and every thoughtful mind ecstatically encores. The inexorable Fate of the Greeks does not appear, but a good Providence interferes, and Heaven smiles graciously upon the scene. There is passion, indeed, grief and sorrow, sin and suffering,—but the tempest-stiller is here, who breathes tranquillity upon the waters, and pours serenity into the turbid deep. The Niobe of humanity, stiff and speechless, with her enmarbled children, that used sometimes to be introduced on the Athenian stage for purposes of terror or pity, is here restored to life, and she renders thanks for her deliverance and participates in the general joy to which the piece gives birth. No murderers of the prophets are hewn in pieces before the Lord; but from the agonies of the cross and the depths of a preternatural darkness, the tender cry is heard, on behalf of the murderers of the Son of God, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" No Alcestis is exhibited, doomed to destruction to save the life of her husband,—but One appears, moving cheerfully, voluntarily, forwards, to what may be termed the funeral pile of the world, from which, phoenix-like, he rises, and gloriously ascends, drawing after him the hearts, the love, the worship of millions of spectators. The key of the whole piece is Redemption, the spirit that actuates is Love. The chief actors, indeed, are Christ and Man; but innumerable subsidiary personages are the Charities. The elements of a spiritualized existence act their part. Humanity is not changed in its substance, but in its tendencies; the sensibilities exist, but under a divine culture. Stephen is as heroic as Agamemnon, Mary as energetic as Medea. Little children are no longer dashed in pieces,—they are embraced and blessed.

But let us select for attention, and for a conclusion to these remarks, a particular scene. It shall be from Luke. This evangelist has been fabled a painter, and in the apotheosis of the old Church he was made the tutelar patron of that class of artists. If the individuality of his conceptions, the skill of his groupings, and the graphicness gave rise to such an idea, it would seem to have its foundation as well in Nature as in superstition. Matthew has more detail, more thought; Luke is more picturesque, more descriptive. John has more deep feeling; Luke more action, more life. The Annunciation, the Widow of Nain, the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the incident to which we shall presently advert, are found in Luke alone.

The incident in question is the dining of Christ at the house of Simon the Pharisee, and, while they were reclining at meat, the entrance of a woman which was a sinner, who bathes the feet of Jesus with tears, and wipes them with the hair of her head. The place is the city of Nain; the hour noon. The dramatis personae are three,—Jesus, Simon, and the Woman,—and, if we choose to add them, the other guests, who are silent spectators of what transpires.

Let, us consider, first, the Woman. She "was a sinner." This is all, in fact, that we know of her; but this is enough. The term "sinner," in this instance, as in many others, does not refer to the general apostasy in Adam; it is distinctive of race and habit. She was probably of heathen extraction, as she was certainly of a dissolute life. The poetry of sin and shame calls her the Magdalen, and there may be a convenience in permitting this name to stand. The depth of her depravity Christ clearly intimates in his allusion to the debtor who owed five hundred pence, and the language of Simon teaches that the infamy of her life was well understood among the inhabitants of the city. If a foreigner, she had probably been brought into the country by the Roman soldiers and deserted. If a native, she had fallen beneath the ban of respectability, and was an outcast alike from hope and from good society. She was condemned to wear a dress different from that of other people; she was liable at any moment to be stoned for her conduct; she was one whom it was a ritual impurity to touch. She was wretched beyond measure; but while so corrupt, she was not utterly hardened. Incapable of virtue, she was not incapable of gratitude. Weltering in grossness, she could still be touched by the sight of purity. Plunged into extremest vice, she retained the damning horror of her situation. If she had ever striven to recover her lost position, there were none to assist her; the bigotry of patriotism rejected her for her birth,—the scrupulousness of modesty, for her history. The night, that consecrated so many homes and gathered together so many families in innocence and repose, was to her blacker than its own blackness in misery and turpitude; the morning, that radiated gladness over the face of the world, revealed the extent and exaggerated the sense of her own degradation. But the vision of Jesus had alighted upon her; she had seen him speeding on his errands of mercy; she hung about the crowd that followed his steps; his tender look of pity may have sometimes gleamed into her soul. Stricken, smitten, confounded, her yearnings for peace gush forth afresh. It was as if Hell, moved by contrition, had given up its prey,—as if Remorse, tired of its gnawing, felt within itself the stimulus of hope. But how shall she see Jesus? Wherewithal shall she approach him? She has "nothing to pay." She has tears enough, and sorrows enough,—but these are derided by the vain, and suspected by the wise. She has an alabaster box of ointment, which, shut out as she is from honorable gain, must be the product and the concomitant of her guilt. But with these she must go. We see her threading her lonely way through the streets, learning by hints, since she would not dare to learn by questions, where Jesus is, and stops before the vestibule of the elegant mansion of Simon the Pharisee.

Who is Simon the Pharisee? Not necessarily a bad man. We associate whatever is odious in hypocrisy or base in craft with the name Pharisee, while really it was the most distinguished title among the Jews. Many of the Pharisees were hypocrites; not all of them. The name is significant of profession, not of character. He could not have been an unprincipled, villanous man, or he would never have tendered to Jesus the hospitalities of his house. Indeed, Christ allows him, in the sense of moral indebtedness, to owe but fifty pence. He was probably a rich man, which might appear from the generous entertainment he made. He was a respectable man. The sect to which he belonged was the most celebrated and influential among the Jews; and when not debased by positive crime, a Pharisee was always esteemed for his learning and his piety. He had some interest in Christ, either in his mission or his character,—an interest beyond mere curiosity, or he would not have invited him to dine with him. He betrays a sincere friendliness, also, in his apprehension lest Christ should suffer any religious contamination.

The third person in the scene is Christ, who, to speak of him not as theology has interpreted him to us, but as he appeared to the eyes of his contemporaries, was the reputed son of Joseph and Mary, the Bethlehemites; who by his words and deeds had attracted much attention and made some converts; now accused of breaking the Jewish Sabbath, now of plotting against the Roman sovereignty; one who in his own person had felt the full power of temptation, and who had been raised to the grandeur of a transfiguration; so tender he would not bruise the broken reed, so gentle his yoke was rest; raying out with compassion and love wherever he went; healing alike the pangs of grief and the languor of disease; whom some believed to be the Messiah, and others thought a prophet; whom the masses followed, and the priests feared;—this is the third member of the company.

The two last, with the other guests, are engaged at their meal, and in conversation. The door is darkened by a strange figure; all eyes are riveted on the apparition; the Magdalen enters, faded, distressed, with long dishevelled hair. She has no introduction; she says nothing; indeed, in all this remarkable scene she never speaks; her silence is as significant as it is profound. She goes behind the couch where Jesus, according to Oriental custom, is reclined. She drops at his feet; there her tears stream; there the speechless agony of her soul bursts. Observe the workings of the moment. See how those people are affected. Surprise on the part of Simon and his friends turns to scorn, and this shades into indignation. Jesus is calm, collected, and intently thoughtful. The woman is overwhelmed by her situation. The lip of Simon curls, his eye flashes with fire of outraged virtue. Jesus meets his gaze with equal fire, but it is all of pure heavenly feeling. Simon moves to have the vagabond expelled; Christ interrupts the attempt. But the honor of the house is insulted. Yes, but the undying interests of the soul are at stake. But the breath of the woman is ritual poison, and her touch will bring down the curses of the law. But the look of Christ indicates that depth of spirituality before which the institutions of Moses flee away as chaff before the wind. Simon has some esteem for Jesus, and in this juncture his sensations take a turn of pity, spiced, perhaps, with a little contempt, and he says with himself,—"Surely, this man cannot be a prophet, as is pretended, or he would know who and what sort of woman it is that touches him; for she is a sinner; she is unclean and reprobate."

"Simon!" says Jesus, with a tone that pierced to the worthy host's heart, and arrested the force of his pious alarm,—"Simon!"

"Sir, say on," is the reply of the Pharisee, who is awed by this appeal into an humble listener.

Whereupon Jesus relates the story of the two debtors, and, with irresistible strength of illustration and delicacy of application, breaks the prejudice and wins the composure of the Jew. "If, then," he continues, "he loves much to whom much is forgiven, what shall we say of one who loves so much?"

"See," he goes on, pointing to the woman, "See this woman,—this wretch. I entered thy house; thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She kisses my feet; she anoints them with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much."

This scene, however inadequately it may be set forth, contains all that is sublime in tragedy, terrible in guilt, or intense in pathos. The woman represents humanity, or the soul of human nature; Simon, the world, or worldly wisdom; Christ, divinity, or the divine purposes of good to us ward. Simon is an incarnation of what St. Paul calls the beggarly elements; Christ, of spirituality; the woman, of sin. It is not the woman alone,—but in her there cluster upon the stage all want and woe, all calamity and disappointment, all shame and guilt. In Christ there come forward to meet her, love, hope, truth, light, salvation. In Simon are acted out doting conservatism, mean expediency, purblind calculation, carnal insensibility. Generosity in this scene is confronted with meanness, in the attempt to shelter misfortune. The woman is a tragedy herself, such as Aeschylus never dreamed of. The scourging Furies, dread Fate, and burning Hell unite in her, and, borne on by the new impulse of the new dispensation, they come towards the light, they ask for peace, they throng to the heaven that opens in Jesus. Simon embodies that vast array of influences that stand between humanity and its redemption. He is a very excellent, a very estimable man,—but he is not shocked at intemperance, he would not have slavery disturbed, he sees a necessity for war. Does Christ know who and what sort of a woman it is that touches him? Will he defile himself by such a contact? Can he expect to accomplish anything by familiarity with such matters? Why is he not satisfied with a good dinner? "Simon!" "Simon!"

The silence of the woman is wonderful, it is awful. What is most profound, most agitating, most intense cannot speak; words are too little for the greatness of feeling. So Job sat himself upon the ground seven days and seven nights, speechless. Not in this case, as is said of Schiller's Robbers, did the pent volcano find vent in power-words; not in strong and terrible accents was uttered the hoarded wrath of long centuries of misrule and oppression. The volcano, raging, aching, threw itself in silence into the arms of one who could soothe and allay it. The thunder is noisy and harmless. The lightning is silent,—and the lightning splits, kills, consumes. Humanity had muttered its thunder for ages. Its lightning, the condensed, fiery, fatal force of things, leaped from the blackness of sin, threaded with terrific glare the vision of man, and, in the person of the woman, fell hot and blasting at the feet of Jesus, who quenched its fire, and of that destructive bolt made a trophy of grace and a fair image of hope. She could not speak, and so she wept,—like the raw, chilling, hard atmosphere, which is relieved only by a shower of snow. How could she speak, guilty, remorseful wretch, without excuse, without extenuation? In the presence of divine virtue, at the tribunal of judgment, she could only weep, she could only love. But, blessed be Jesus, he could forgive her, he can forgive all. The woman departs in peace; Simon is satisfied; Jesus triumphs; we almost hear the applauses with which the ages and generations of earth greet the closing scene. From the serene celestial immensity that opens above the spot we can distinguish a voice, saying, "This is my beloved Son; hear ye him!"

We speak of these things dramatically, but, after all, they are the only great realities. Everything else is mimetic, phantasmal, tinkling. Deeply do the masters of the drama move us; but the Gospel cleaves, inworks, regenerates. In the theatre, the leading characters go off in death and despair, or with empty conceits and a forced frivolity; in the Gospel, tranquilly, grandly, they are dismissed to a serener life and a nobler probation. Who has not pitied the ravings of Lear and the agonies of Othello? The Gospel pities, but, by a magnificence of plot altogether its own, by preserving, if we may so say, the unities of heaven and earth, it also saves.

Of all common tragedy, we may exclaim, in the words of the old play,—

  "How like a silent stream shaded with night,
  And gliding softly, with our windy sighs,
  Moves the whole frame of this solemnity!"

The Gospel moves by, as a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, from the throne of God and the Lamb; on its surface play the sunbeams of hope; in its valleys rise the trees of life, beneath the shadows of which the weary years of human passion repose, and from the leaves of the branches of which is exhaled to the passing breeze healing for the nations.



There are long stretches in the course of the Connecticut River, where its tranquil current assumes the aspect of a lake, its sudden bends cut off the lovely reach of water, and its heavily wooded banks lie silent and green, undisturbed, except by the shriek of the passing steamer, casting golden-green reflections into the stream at twilight, and shadows of deepest blackness, star-pierced, at remoter depths of night. Here, now and then, a stray gull from the sea sends a flying throb of white light across the mirror below, or the sweeping wings of a hawk paint their moth-like image on the blue surface, or a little flaw of wind shudders across the water in a black ripple; but except for these casual stirs of Nature, all is still, oppressive, and beautiful, as earth seems to the trance-sleeper on the brink of his grave.

In one of these reaches, though on either side the heavy woods sweep down to the shore and hang over it as if deliberating whether to plunge in, on the eastern bank there is a tiny meadow just behind the tree-fringe of the river, completely hedged in by the deep woods, and altogether hidden from any inland road; nor would the traveller on the river discover it, except for the chimney of a house that peers above the yellow willows and seems in that desolate seclusion as startling as a daylight ghost. But this dwelling was built and deserted and weather-beaten long before the date of our story. It had been erected and inhabited during the Revolution, by an old Tory, who, foreseeing the result of the war better than some of his contemporaries, and being unwilling to expose his person to the chances of battle or his effects to confiscation, maintained a strict neutrality, and a secret trade with both parties; thereby welcoming peace and independence, fully stocked with the dislike and suspicion of his neighbors, and a large quantity of Continental "fairy-money." So, when Abner Dimock died, all he had to leave to his only son was the red house on "Dimock's Meadow," and a ten-acre lot of woodland behind and around the green plateau where the house stood. These possessions he strictly entailed on his heirs forever, and nobody being sufficiently interested in its alienation to inquire into the State laws concerning the validity of such an entail, the house remained in the possession of the direct line, and in the year 18— belonged to another Abner Dimock, who kept tavern in Greenfield, a town of Western Massachusetts, and, like his father and grandfather before him, had one only son. In the mean time, the old house in Haddam township had fallen into a ruinous condition, and, as the farm was very small, and unprofitable chestnut-woodland at that, the whole was leased to an old negro and his wife, who lived there in the most utter solitude, scratching the soil for a few beans and potatoes, and in the autumn gathering nuts, or in the spring roots for beer, with which Old Jake paddled up to Middletown, to bring home a return freight of salt pork and rum.

The town of Greenfield, small though it was, and at the very top of a high hill, was yet the county town, subject to annual incursions of lawyers, and such "thrilling incidents" as arise from the location of a jail and a court-room within the limits of any village. The scenery had a certain summer charm of utter quiet that did it good service with some healthy people of well-regulated and insensitive tastes. From Greenfield Hill one looked away over a wide stretch of rolling country; low hills, in long, desolate waves of pasturage and grain, relieved here and there by a mass of black woodland, or a red farm-house and barns clustered against a hill-side, just over a wooden spire in the shallow valley, about which were gathered a few white houses, giving signs of life thrice a day in tiny threads of smoke rising from their prim chimneys; and over all, the pallid skies of New England, where the sun wheeled his shorn beams from east to west as coldly as if no tropic seas mirrored his more fervid glow thousands of miles away, and the chilly moon beamed with irreproachable whiteness across the round gray hills and the straggling pond, beloved of frogs and mud-turtles, that Greenfield held in honor under the name of Squam Lake.

Perhaps it was the scenery, perhaps the air, possibly the cheapness of the place as far as all the necessaries of life went, that tempted Judge Hyde to pitch his tent there, in the house his fathers had built long ago, instead of wearing his judicial honors publicly, in the city where he attained them; but, whatever the motive might be, certain it is that at the age of forty he married a delicate beauty from Baltimore, and came to live on Greenfield Hill, in the great white house with a gambrel roof and dormer windows, standing behind certain huge maples, where Major Hyde and Parson Hyde and Deacon Hyde had all lived before him.

A brief Northern summer bloomed gayly enough for Adelaide Howard Hyde when she made her bridal tour to her new home; and cold as she found the aspect of that house, with its formal mahogany chairs, high-backed, and carved in grim festoons and ovals of incessant repetition,—its penitential couch of a sofa, where only the iron spine of a Revolutionary heroine could have found rest,—its pinched, starved, and double-starched portraits of defunct Hydes, Puritanic to the very ends of toupet and periwig,—little Mrs. Hyde was deep enough in love with her tall and handsome husband to overlook the upholstery of a home he glorified, and to care little for comfort elsewhere, so long as she could nestle on his knee and rest her curly head against his shoulder. Besides, flowers grew, even in Greenfield; there were damask roses and old-fashioned lilies enough in the square garden to have furnished a whole century of poets with similes; and in the posy-bed under the front windows were tulips of Chinese awkwardness and splendor, beds of pinks spicy as all Arabia, blue hyacinths heavy with sweetness as well as bells, "pi'nies" rubicund and rank, hearts-ease clustered against the house, and sticky rose-acacias, pretty and impracticable, not to mention the grenadier files of hollyhocks that contended with fennel-bushes and scarlet-flowered beans for the precedence, and the hosts of wild flowers that bloomed by wood-edges and pond-shores wherever corn or potatoes spared a foot of soil for the lovely weeds. So in Judge Hyde's frequent absences, at court or conclave, hither and yon, (for the Judge was a political man,) it was his pretty wife's chief amusement, when her delicate fingers ached with embroidery, or her head spun with efforts to learn housekeeping from old Keery, the time-out-of-mind authority in the Hyde family, a bad-humored, good-tempered old maid,—it was, indeed, the little Southerner's only amusement,—to make the polish and mustiness of those dreary front-parlors gay and fragrant with flowers; and though Judge Hyde's sense of the ridiculous was not remarkably keen, it was too much to expect of him that he should do otherwise than laugh long and loud, when, suddenly returning from Taunton one summer day, he tracked his wife by snatches of song into the "company rooms," and found her on the floor, her hair about her ears, tying a thick garland of red peonies, intended to decorate the picture of the original Hyde, a dreary old fellow, in bands, and grasping a Bible in one wooden hand, while a distant view of Plymouth Bay and the Mayflower tried to convince the spectator that he was transported, among other antediluvians, by that Noah's ark, to the New World. On either hand hung the little Flora's great-grandmother-in-law, and her great-grandfather accordingly, Mrs. Mehitable and Parson Job Hyde, peering out, one from a bushy ornament of pink laurel-blossoms, and the other from an airy and delicate garland of the wanton sweet-pea, each stony pair of eyes seeming to glare with Medusan intent at this profaning of their state and dignity. "Isn't it charming, dear?" said the innocent little beauty, with a satisfaction half doubtful, as her husband's laugh went on.

But for every butterfly there comes an end to summer. The flowers dropped from the frames and died in the garden; a pitiless winter set in; and day after day the mittened and mufflered schoolboy, dragging his sled through drifts of heavy snow to school, eyed curiously the wan, wistful face of Judge Hyde's wife pressed up to the pane of the south window, its great restless eyes and shadowy hair bringing to mind some captive bird that pines and beats against the cage. Her husband absent from home long and often, full of affairs of "court and state,"—her delicate organization, that lost its flickering vitality by every exposure to cold,—her lonely days and nights,—the interminable sewing, that now, for her own reasons, she would trust to no hands but her own,—conscious incapacity to be what all the women about her were, stirring, active, hardy housekeepers,—a vague sense of shame, and a great dread of the future,—her comfortless and motherless condition,—slowly, but surely, like frost, and wind, and rain, and snow, beat on this frail blossom, and it went with the rest. June roses were laid against her dark hair and in her fair hands, when she was carried to the lonely graveyard of Greenfield, where mulleins and asters, golden-rod, blackberry-vines, and stunted yellow-pines adorned the last sleep of the weary wife and mother; for she left behind her a week-old baby,—a girl,—wailing prophetically in the square bedroom where its mother died.

Judge Hyde did not marry again, and he named his baby Mehitable. She grew up as a half-orphaned child with an elderly and undemonstrative father would naturally grow,—shy, sensitive, timid, and extremely grave. Her dress, thanks to Aunt Keery and the minister's wife, (who looked after her for her mother's sake,) was always well provided and neat, but no way calculated to cultivate her taste or to gratify the beholder. A district school provided her with such education as it could give; and the library, that was her resort at all hours of the day, furthered her knowledge in a singular and varied way, since its lightest contents were histories of all kinds and sorts, unless one may call the English Classics lighter reading than Hume or Gibbon.

But at length the district-schoolma'am could teach Mehitable Hyde no more, and the Judge suddenly discovered that he had a pretty daughter of fourteen, ignorant enough to shock his sense of propriety, and delicate enough to make it useless to think of sending her away from home to be buffeted in a boarding-school. Nothing was left for him but to undertake her education himself; and having a theory that a thorough course of classics, both Greek and Latin, was the foundation of all knowledge, half a score of dusty grammars were brought from the garret, and for two hours every morning and afternoon little Miss Hitty worried her innocent soul over conjugations and declensions and particles, as perseveringly as any professor could have desired. But the dreadful part of the lessons to Hitty was the recitation after tea; no matter how well she knew every inflection of a verb, every termination of a noun, her father's cold, gray eye, fixed on her for an answer, dispelled all kinds of knowledge, and, for at least a week, every lesson ended in tears. However, there are alleviations to everything in life; and when the child was sent to the garret after her school-books, she discovered another set, more effectual teachers to her than Sallust or the "Graeca Minora," even the twelve volumes of "Sir Charles Grandison," and the fewer but no less absorbing tomes of "Clarissa Harlowe"; and every hour she could contrive not to be missed by Keery or her father was spent in that old garret, fragrant as it was with sheaves of all the herbs that grow in field or forest, poring over those old novels, that were her society, her friends, her world.

So two years passed by. Mehitable grew tall and learned, but knew little more of the outside world than ever; her father had learned to love her, and taught her to adore him; still shy and timid, the village offered no temptation to her, so far as society went; and Judge Hyde was beginning to feel that for his child's mental health some freer atmosphere was fast becoming necessary, when a relentless writ was served upon the Judge himself, and one that no man could evade; paralysis smote him, and the strong man lay prostrate,—became bedridden.

Now the question of life seemed settled for Hitty; her father admitted no nursing but hers. Month after month rolled away, and the numb grasp gradually loosed its hold on flesh and sense, but still Judge Hyde was bedridden. Year after year passed by, and no change for better or worse ensued. Hitty's life was spent between the two parlors and the kitchen; for the room her dead mother had so decorated was now furnished as a bedroom for her father's use; and her own possessions had been removed into the sitting-room next it, that, sleeping or waking, she might be within call. All the family portraits held a conclave in the other front-parlor, and its north and east windows were shut all the year, save on some sultry summer day when Keery flung them open to dispel damp and must, and the school-children stared in reverentially, and wondered why old Madam Hyde's eyes followed them as far as they could see. Visitors came now and then to the kitchen-door, and usurped Keery's flag-bottomed chair, while they gossiped with her about village affairs; now and then a friendly spinster with a budget of good advice called Hitty away from her post, and, after an hour's vain effort to get any news worth retailing about the Judge from those pale lips, retired full of disappointed curiosity to tell how stiff that Mehitable Hyde was, and how hard it was to make her speak a word to one! Friends were what Hitty read of in the "Spectator," and longed to have; but she knew none of the Greenfield girls since she left school, and the only companion she had was Keery, rough as the east wind, but genuine and kind-hearted,—better at counsel than consolation, and no way adapted to fill the vacant place in Hitty's heart.

So the years wore away, and Miss Hyde's early beauty went with them. She had been a blooming, delicate girl,—the slight grace of a daisy in her figure, wild-rose tints on her fair cheek, and golden reflections in her light brown hair, that shone in its waves and curls like lost sunshine; but ten years of such service told their story plainly. When Hitty Hyde was twenty-six, her blue eyes were full of sorrow and patience, when the shy lids let their legend be read; the little mouth had become pale, and the corners drooped; her cheek, too, was tintless, though yet round; nothing but the beautiful hair lasted; even grace was gone, so long had she stooped over her father. Sometimes the unwakened heart within her dreamed, as a girl's heart will. Stately visions of Sir Charles Grandison bowing before her,—shuddering fascinations over the image of that dreadful Lovelace,—nothing more real haunted Hitty's imagination. She knew what she had to do in life,—that it was not to be a happy wife or mother, but to waste by a bedridden old man, the only creature on earth she loved as she could love. Light and air were denied the plant, but it grew in darkness,—blanched and unblooming, it is true, but still a growth upward, toward light.

Ten years more of monotonous patience, and Miss Hyde was thirty-six. Her hair had thinned, and was full of silver threads; a wrinkle invaded either cheek, and she was angular and bony; but something painfully sweet lingered in her face, and a certain childlike innocence of expression gave her the air of a nun; the world had never touched nor taught her.

But now Judge Hyde was dead; nineteen years of petulant, helpless, hopeless wretchedness were at last over, and all that his daughter cared to live for was gone; she was an orphan, without near relatives, without friends, old, and tired out. Do not despise me that I say "old," you plump and rosy ladies whose life is in its prime of joy and use at thirty-six. Age is not counted by years, nor calculated from one's birth; it is a fact of wear and work, altogether unconnected with the calendar. I have seen a girl of sixteen older than you are at forty. I have known others disgrace themselves at sixty-five by liking to play with children and eat sugar-plums!

One kind of youth still remained to Hitty Hyde,—the freshness of inexperience. Her soul was as guileless and as ignorant as a child's; and she was stranded on life, with a large fortune, like a helmless ship, heavily loaded, that breaks from its anchor, and drives headlong upon a reef.

Now it happened, that, within a year after Judge Hyde's death, Abner Dimock, the tavern-keeper's son, returned to Greenfield, after years of absence, a bold-faced, handsome man, well-dressed and "free-handed," as the Greenfield vernacular hath it. Nobody knew where Abner Dimock had spent the last fifteen years; neither did anybody know anything against him; yet he had no good reputation in Greenfield. Everybody looked wise and grave when his name was spoken, and no Greenfield girl cared to own him for an acquaintance. His father welcomed him home with more surprise than pleasure; and the whole household of the Greenfield Hotel, as Dimock's Inn was new-named, learned to get out of Abner Dimock's way, and obey his eye, as if he were more their master than his father.

Left quite alone, without occupation or amusement, Miss Hyde naturally grasped at anything that came in her way to do or to see to; the lawyer who had been executor of her father's will had settled the estate and gone back to his home, and Miss Hyde went with him, the first journey of her life, that she might select a monument for her father's grave. It was now near a year since Judge Hyde's death, and the monument was on its way from Boston; the elder Dimock monopolized the cartage of freight as well as passengers to the next town, and to him Miss Hyde intrusted the care of the great granite pillar she had purchased; and it was for his father that Abner Dimock called on the young lady for directions as to the disposal of the tombstone just arrived. Hitty was in the garden; her white morning-dress shone among the roses, and the morning air had flushed her pale cheek; she looked fair and delicate and gracious; but her helpless ignorance of the world's ways and usages attracted the world-hardened man more than her face. He had not spent a roué life in a great city for nothing; he had lived enough with gentlemen, broken-down and lost, it is true, but well-bred, to be able to ape their manners; and the devil's instinct that such people possess warned him of Hitty Hyde's weakest points. So, too, he contrived to make that first errand lead to another, and still another,—to make the solitary woman depend on his help, and expect his coming; fifty thousand dollars, with no more incumbrance than such a woman, was worth scheming for, and the prey was easily snared.

It is not to be expected that any country village of two streets, much less Greenfield, could long remain ignorant of such a new and amazing phase as the devotion of any man to any woman therein; but, as nobody liked to interfere too soon in what might only be, after all, a mere business arrangement, Greenfield contented itself with using its eyes, its ears, and its tongues, with one exception to the latter organ's clatter, in favor of Hitty Hyde; to her no one dared as yet approach with gossip or advice.

In the mean time Hitty went on her way, all regardless of the seraphs at the gate. Abner Dimock was handsome, agreeable, gentlemanly to a certain lackered extent;—who had cared for Hitty, in all her life, enough to aid and counsel her as he had already done? At first she was half afraid of him; then she liked him; then he was "so good to me!" and then—she pitied him! for he told her, sitting on that hard old sofa, in the June twilight, how he had no mother, how he had been cast upon the charities of a cruel and evil world from his infancy; reminded her of the old red school-house where they had been to school together, and the tyranny of the big boys over him,—a little curly, motherless boy. So he enlarged upon his life; talked a mildly bitter misanthropy; informed Miss Hyde by gradual insinuations that she was an angel sent on earth to console and reform a poor sinner like him; and before the last September rose had droped, so far had Abner Dimock succeeded in his engineering, that his angel was astounded one night by the undeniably terrestrial visitation of an embrace and a respectfully fervid kiss.

Perhaps it would have been funny, perhaps pathetic, to analyze the mixed consternation and delight of Mehitable Hyde at such bonâ-fide evidence of a lover. Poor woman's heart!—altogether solitary and desolate,—starved of its youth and its joy,—given over to the chilly reign of patience and resignation,—afraid of life,—without strength, or hope, or pleasure,—and all at once Paradise dawns!—her cold, innocent life bursts into fiery and odorous bloom; she has found her fate, and its face is keen with splendor, like a young angel's. Poor, deluded, blessed, rapture-smitten woman!

Blame her as you will, indignant maidens of Greenfield, Miss Flint, and Miss Sharp, and Miss Skinner! You may have had ten lovers and twenty flirtations apiece, and refused half-a-dozen good matches for the best of reasons; you, no doubt, would have known better than to marry a man who was a villain from his very physiognomy; but my heart must needs grow tender toward Miss Hyde; a great joy is as pathetic as a sorrow. Did you never cry over a doting old man?

But when Mrs. Smith's son John, a youth of ten, saw, by the light of an incautious lamp that illuminated a part of the south parlor, a good-night kiss bestowed upon the departing Abner by Miss Hitty Hyde and absolutely returned by said Abner, and when John told his mother, and his mother revealed it to Miss Flint, Miss Flint to Miss Skinner, and so forth, and so on, till it reached the minister's wife, great was the uproar in Greenfield; and the Reverend Mrs. Perkins put on her gray bonnet and went over to remonstrate with Hitty on the spot.

Whether people will ever learn the uselessness of such efforts is yet a matter for prophecy. Miss Hyde heard all that was said, and replied very quietly, "I don't believe it." And as Mrs. Perkins had no tangible proofs of Abner Dimock's unfitness to marry Judge Hyde's daughter, the lady in question got the better of her adviser, so far as any argument was concerned, and effectually put an end to remonstrance by declaring with extreme quiet and unblushing front,—

"I am going to marry him next week. Will you be so good as to notify Mr.

Mrs. Perkins held up both hands and cried. Words might have hardened Hitty; but what woman that was not half tigress ever withstood another woman's tears?

Hitty's heart melted directly; she sat down by Mrs. Perkins, and cried, too.

"Please, don't be vexed with me," sobbed she. "I love him, Mrs. Perkins, and I haven't got anybody else to love,—and—and—I never shall have. He's very good to love me,—I am so old and homely."

"Very good!" exclaimed Mrs. Perkins, in great wrath, "good! to marry Judge Hyde's daughter, and—fifty thousand dollars," Mrs. Perkins bit off. She would not put such thoughts into Hitty's head, since her marriage was inevitable.

"At any rate," sighed Hitty, on the breath of a long-drawn sob, "nobody else ever loved me, if I am Judge Hyde's daughter."

So Mrs. Perkins went away, and declared that things had gone too far to be prevented; and Abner Dimock came on her retreating steps, and Hitty forgot everything but that he loved her; and the next week they were married.

Here, by every law of custom, ought my weary pen to fall flat and refuse its office; for it is here that the fate of every heroine culminates. For what are women born but to be married? Old maids are excrescences in the social system,—disagreeable utilities,—persons who have failed to fulfil their destiny,—and of whom it should have been said, rather than of ghosts, that they are always in the wrong. But life, with pertinacious facts, is too apt to transcend custom and the usage of novel-writers; and though the one brings a woman's legal existence to an end when she merges her independence in that of a man, and the other curtails her historic existence at the same point, because the novelist's catechism hath for its preface this creed,—"The chief end of woman is to get married"; still, neither law nor novelists altogether displace this same persistent fact, and a woman lives, in all capacities of suffering and happiness, not only her wonted, but a double life, when legally and religiously she binds herself with bond and vow to another soul.

Happy would it have been for Hitty Hyde, if with the legal fiction had chimed the actual existent fact!—happy indeed for Abner Dimock's wife to have laid her new joy down at the altar, and been carried to sleep by her mother under the mulleins and golden-rods on Greenfield Hill! Scarce was the allotted period of rapture past half its term, scarce had she learned to phrase the tender words aloud that her heart beat and choked with, before Abner Dimock began to tire of his incumbrance, and to invent plans and excuses for absence; for he dared not openly declare as yet that he left his patient, innocent wife for such scenes of vice and reckless dissipation as she had not even dreamed could exist.

Yet for week after week he lingered away from Greenfield; even months rolled by, and, except for rare and brief visits home, Hitty saw no more of her husband than if he were not hers. She lapsed into her old solitude, varied only by the mutterings and grumblings of old Keery, who had lifted up her voice against Hitty's marriage with more noise and less effect than Mrs. Perkins, and, though she still staid by her old home and haunts, revenged herself on fate in general and her mistress in particular by a continual course of sulking, all the time hiding under this general quarrel with life a heart that ached with the purest tenderness and pity. So some people are made, like chestnuts; one gets so scratched and wounded in the mere attempt to get at the kernel within, that it becomes matter of question whether one does not suffer less from wanting their affection than from trying to obtain it. Yet Hitty Dimock had too little love given her to throw away even Keery's habit of kindness to her, and bore with her snaps and snarls as meekly as a saint,—sustained, it is true, by a hope that now began to solace and to occupy her, and to raise in her oppressed soul some glimmer of a bright possibility, a faint expectation that she might yet regain her husband's love, a passion which she began in her secret heart to fear had found its limit and died out. Still, Hitty, out of her meek, self-distrusting spirit, never blamed Abner Dimock for his absence or his coldness; rather, with the divine unselfishness that such women manifest, did she blame herself for having linked his handsome and athletic prime with her faded age, and struggle daily with the morbid conscience that accused her of having forgotten his best good in the indulgence of her own selfish ends of happiness. She still thought, "He is so good to me!" still idealized the villain to a hero, and, like her kind, predestined to be the prey and the accusing angel of such men, prayed for and adored her husband as if he had been the best and tenderest of gentlemen. Providence has its mysteries; but if there be one that taxes faith and staggers patience more than another, it is the long misery that makes a good woman cringe and writhe and agonize in silence under the utter rule and life-long sovereignty of a bad man. Perhaps such women do not suffer as we fancy; for after much trial every woman learns that it is possible to love where neither respect nor admiration can find foothold,—that it even becomes necessary to love some men, as the angels love us all, from an untroubled height of pity and tenderness, that, while it sees and condemns the sin and folly and uncleanness of its object, yet broods over it with an all-shielding devotion, laboring and beseeching and waiting for its regeneration, upheld above the depths of suffering and regret by the immortal power of a love so fervent, so pure, so self-forgetting, that it will be a millstone about the necks that disregard its tender clasping now, to sink them into a bottomless abyss in the day of the Lord.

Now had one long and not unhappy autumn, a lingering winter, a desolate spring, a weary summer, passed away, and from an all-unconscious and protracted wrestling with death Hitty Dimock awoke to find her hope fulfilled,—a fair baby nestled on her arm, and her husband, not all-insensible, smiling beside her.

It is true, that, had she died then, Abner Dimock would have regretted her death; for, by certain provisions of her father's will, in case of her death, the real estate, otherwise at her own disposal, became a trust for her child or children, and such a contingency ill suited Mr. Dimock's plans. So long as Hitty held a rood of land or a coin of silver at her own disposal, it was also at his; but trustees are not women, happily for the world at large, and the contemplation of that fact brought Hitty Hyde's husband into a state of mind well fitted to give him real joy at her recovery.

So, for a little while, the sun shone on this bare New England hill-side, into this grim old house. Care and kindness were lavished on the delicate woman, who would scarce have needed either in her present delight; every luxury that could add to her slowly increasing strength, every attention that could quiet her fluttering and unstrung nerves, was showered on her, and for a time her brightest hopes seemed all to have found fruition.

As she recovered and was restored to strength, of course these cares ceased. But now the new instincts of motherhood absorbed her, and, brooding over the rosy child that was her own, caressing its waking, or hanging above its sleep, she scarce noted that her husband's absences from home grew more and more frequent, that strange visitors asked for him, that he came home at midnight oftener than at dusk. Nor was it till her child was near a year old that Hitty discovered her husband's old and rewakened propensity,—that Abner Dimock came home drunk,—not drunk as many men are, foolish and helpless, mere beasts of the field, who know nothing and care for nothing but the filling of their insatiable appetite;—this man's nature was too hard, too iron in its moulding, to give way to temporary imbecility; liquor made him savage, fierce, brutal, excited his fiendish temper to its height, nerved his muscular system, inflamed his brain, and gave him the aspect of a devil; and in such guise he entered his wife's peaceful Eden, where she brooded and cooed over her child's slumbers, with one gripe of his hard hand lifted her from her chair, kicked the cradle before him, and, with an awful though muttered oath, thrust mother and child into the entry, locked the door upon them, and fell upon the bed to sleep away his carouse.

Here was an undeniable fact before Hitty Dimock, one she could no way evade or gloss over; no gradual lesson, no shadow of foreboding, preluded the revelation; her husband was unmistakably, savagely drunk. She did not sit down and cry;—drearily she gathered her baby in her arms, hushed it to sleep with kisses, passed down into the kitchen, woke up the brands of the ash-hidden fire to a flame, laid on more wood, and, dragging old Keery's rush-bottomed chair in front of the blaze, held her baby in her arms till morning broke, careless of anything without or within but her child's sleep and her husband's drunkenness. Long and sadly in that desolate night did she revolve this new misery in her mind; the fact was face to face, and must be provided for,—but how to do it? What could she do, poor weak woman, even to conceal this disgrace, much more to check it? Long since she had discovered that between her and her husband there was no community of tastes or interests; he never talked to her, he never read to her, she did not know that he read at all; the garden he disliked as a useless trouble; he would not drive, except such a gay horse that Hitty dared not risk her neck behind it, and felt a shudder of fear assail her whenever his gig left the door; neither did he care for his child. Nothing at home could keep him from his pursuits; that she well knew; and, hopeful as she tried to be, the future spread out far away in misty horror and dread. What might not, become of her boy, with such a father's influence? was her first thought;—nay, who could tell but in some fury of drink he might kill or maim him? A chill of horror crept over Hitty at the thought,—and then, what had not she to dread? Oh, for some loophole of escape, some way to fly, some refuge for her baby's innocent life! No,—no,—no! She was his wife; she had married him; she had vowed to love and honor and obey,—vow of fearful import now, though uttered in all pureness and truth, as to a man who owned her whole heart! Love him!—that was not the dread; love was as much her life as her breath was; she knew no interval of loving for the brute fiend who mocked her with the name of husband; no change or chance could alienate her divine tenderness,—even as the pitiful blue sky above hangs stainless over reeking battle-fields and pest-smitten cities, piercing with its sad and holy star-eyes down into the hellish orgies of men, untouched and unchanged by just or unjust, forever shining and forever pure. But honor him! could that be done? What respect or trust was it possible to keep for a self-degraded man like that? And where honor goes down, obedience is sucked into the vortex, and the wreck flies far over the lonely sea, historic and prophetic to ship and shore.

No! there was nothing to do! her vow was taken, past the power of man to break; nothing now remained but endurance. Perhaps another woman, with a strong will and vivid intellect, might have set herself to work, backed by that very vow that defied poor Hitty, and, by sheer resolution, have dragged her husband up from the gulf and saved him, though as by fire; or a more buoyant and younger wife might have passed it by as a first offence, hopeful of its being also the only one. But an instinctive knowledge of the man bereft Hitty of any such hope; she knew it was not the first time; from his own revelations and penitent confessions while she was yet free, she knew he had sinned as well as suffered, and the past augured the future. Nothing was left her, she could not escape, she must shut her eyes and her mouth, and only keep out of his way as far as she could. So she clasped her child more tightly, and, closing her heavy eyes, rocked back and forth till the half-waked boy slept again; and there old Keery found her mistress, in the morning, white as the cold drifts without, and a depth of settled agony in her quiet eyes that dimmed the old woman's only to look at.

Neither spoke; nor when her husband strode into the breakfast-room and took his usual place, sober enough, but scarcely regretful of the over-night development, did any word of reproach or allusion pass the wife's white lips. A stranger would have thought her careless and cold. Abner Dimock knew that she was heartbroken; but what was that to him? Women live for years without that organ; and while she lived, so long as a cent remained of the Hyde estate, what was it to him if she pined away? She could not leave him; she was utterly in his power; she was his,—like his boots, his gun, his dog; and till he should tire of her and fling her into some lonely chamber to waste and die, she was bound to serve him; he was safe.

And she offered no sort of barrier to his full indulgence of his will to drink. Had she lifted one of her slender fingers in warning, or given him a look of reproachful meaning, or uttered one cry of entreaty, at least the conscience within him might have visited him with a temporary shame, and restrained the raging propensity for a longer interval; but seeing her apparent apathy, knowing how timid and unresisting was her nature,—that nothing on earth will lie still and be trodden on but a woman,—Abner Dimock rioted and revelled to his full pleasure, while all his pale and speechless wife could do was to watch with fearful eyes and straining ears for his coming, and slink out of the way with her child, lest both should be beaten as well as cursed; for faithful old Keery, once daring to face him with a volley of reproaches from her shrill tongue, was levelled to the floor by a blow from his rapid hand, and bore bruises for weeks that warned her from interference. Not long, however, was there danger of her meddling. When the baby was a year and a half old. Keery, in her out-door labors,—now grown burdensome enough, since Mr. Dimock neither worked himself nor allowed a man on the premises,—Keery took a heavy cold, and, worn out with a life of hard work, sank into rest quickly, her last act of life being to draw Hitty's face down to her own, wrinkled and wan as it was, scarce so old in expression as her mistress's, and with one long kiss and sob speak the foreboding and anxious farewell she could not utter.

"Only you now!" whispered Hitty to her child, as Keery's peaceful, shrouded face was hidden under the coffin-lid and carried away to Greenfield Hill. Pitiful whisper! happily all-unmeaning to the child, but full of desolation to the mother, floating with but one tiny plank amid the wild wrecks of a midnight ocean, and clinging as only the desperate can cling to this vague chance of life.

A rough, half-crazed girl, brought from the alms-house, now did the drudgery of the family. Abner Dimock had grown penurious, and not one cent of money was given for comfort in that house, scarce for need. The girl was stupid and rude, but she worked for her board,—recommendation enough in Mr. Dimock's eyes; and so hard work was added to the other burdens loaded upon his silent wife. And soon came another, all-mysterious, but from its very mystery a deeper fear. Abner Dimock began to stay at home, to be visited at late hours by one or two men whose faces were full of evil and daring; and when, in the dead of the long nights, Hitty woke from her broken and feverish sleep, it was to hear muffled sounds from the cellar below, never heard there before; and once, wrapping a shawl about her, she stole down the stairways with bare feet, and saw streams of red light through the chinks of the cellar-door, and heard the ring of metal, and muttered oaths, all carefully dulled by such devices as kept the sounds from chance passers in the street, though vain as far as the inhabitants of the house itself were concerned. Trembling and cold, she stole back to her bed, full of doubts and fears, neither of which she dared whisper to any one, or would have dared, had she possessed a single friend to whom she could speak. Troubles thickened fast over Hitty; her husband was always at home now, and rarely sober; the relief his absences had been was denied her entirely; and in some sunny corner of the uninhabited rooms up-stairs she spent her days, toiling at such sewing as was needful, and silent as the dead, save as her life appealed to God from the ground, and called down the curse of Cain upon a head she would have shielded from evil with her own life.

Keen human legislation! sightless justice of men!—one drunken wretch smites another in a midnight brawl, and sends a soul to its account with one sharp shudder of passion and despair, and the maddened creature that remains on earth suffers the penalty of the law. Every sense sobered from its reeling fury, weeks of terribly expectation heaped upon the cringing soul, and, in full consciousness, that murderer is strangled before men and angels, because he was drunk!—necessary enough, one perceives, to the good of society, which thereby loses two worse than useless members; but what, in the name of God's justice, should His vicegerent, law, visit upon the man who wrings another life away by slow tortures, and torments heart and soul and flesh for lingering years, where the victim is passive and tenacious, and dies only after long-drawn anguish that might fill the cup of a hundred sudden deaths? Yet what escapes the vicegerent shall the King himself visit and judge. "For He cometh! He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity."

Six months passed after Keery's death, and now from the heights of Greenfield and her sunny window Hitty Dimock's white face looked out upon a landscape of sudden glory; for October, the gold-bringer, had come, pouring splendor over the earth, and far and wide the forests blazed; scarlet and green maples, with erect heads, sentinelled the street, gay lifeguards of autumn; through dark green cedars the crimson creeper threaded its sprays of blood-red; birches, gilded to their tops, swayed to every wind, and drooped their graceful boughs earthward to shower the mossy sward with glittering leaves; heavy oaks turned purple-crimson through their wide-spread boughs; and the stately chestnuts, with foliage of tawny yellow, opened wide their stinging husks to let the nuts fall for squirrel and blue-jay. Splendid sadness clothed all the world, opal-hued mists wandered up and down the valleys or lingered about the undefined horizon, and the leaf-scented south wind sighed in the still noon with foreboding gentleness.

One day, Abner Dimock was gone, and Hitty stole down to the garden-door with her little child, now just trying to walk, that he might have a little play on the green turf, and she cool her hot eyes and lips in the air. As she sat there watching the pretty clumsiness of her boy, and springing forward to intercept his falls, the influence of sun and air, the playful joy of the child, the soothing stillness of all Nature, stole into her heart till it dreamed a dream of hope. Perhaps the budding blossom of promise might become floral and fruitful; perhaps her child might yet atone for the agony of the past;—a time might come when she should sit in that door, white-haired and trembling with age, but as peaceful as the autumn day, watching the sports of his children, while his strong arm sustained her into the valley of shadow, and his tender eyes lit the way.

As she sat dreaming, suddenly a figure intercepted the sunshine, and, looking up, she saw Abner Dimock's father, the elder Abner, entering the little wicket-gate of the garden. A strange, tottering old figure, his nose and chin grimacing at each other, his bleared eyes telling unmistakable truths of cider-brandy and New England rum, his scant locks of white lying in confusion over his wrinkled forehead and cheeks, his whole air squalid, hopeless, and degraded,—not so much by the poverty of vice as by its demoralizing stamp penetrating from the inner to the outer man, and levelling it even below the plane of brutes that perish.

"Good-day! good-day!" said he to his son's wife, in a squeaking, tremulous tone, that drove the child to his mother's arms,—"Abner to home?"

"No, Sir," said Hitty, with an involuntary shudder, that did not escape the bleared blue eye that fixed its watery gaze upon her.

"Cold, a'n't ye? Better go in, better go in! Come, come along! How d'e do, little feller? don't know yer grandper, hey?"

The child met his advances with an ominous scream, and Hitty hurried into the house to give him to the servant's charge, while she returned to the sitting-room, where the old man had seated himself in the rocking-chair, and was taking a mental inventory of the goods and chattels with a momentary keenness in his look that no way reassured Hitty's apprehensive heart.

"So, Abner a'n't to home?"

"No, Sir."

"Don't know where he's gone, do ye?"

"No, Sir."

"Don't never know where he goes, I expect?"

"No, Sir."

"Well, when he comes home,—know when he's a-comin' home?"

"No, Sir."

"Well, when he doos, you tell him 't some folks come to the tavern last night, 'n' talked pretty loud, 'n' I heerd—Guess 'ta'n't best, though, to tell what I heerd. Only you tell Abner 't I come here, and I said he'd better be a-joggin'. He'll know, he'll know,—h'm, yes," said the old man, passing his hand across his thin blue lips, as if to drive away other words better left unsaid,—and then rising from his seat, by the aid of either arm, gained his balance, and went on, while he fumbled for his stick:—

"I'd ha' writ, but black and white's a hangin' matter sometimes, 'n' words a'n't; 'n' I hadn't nobody to send, so I crawled along. Don't ye forget now! don't ye! It's a pretty consider'ble piece o' business; 'n' you'll be dreffully on't, ef you do forget. Now don't ye forget!"

"No, I won't," said Hitty, trembling as she spoke; for the old man's words had showed her a depth of dreadful possibility, and an old acquaintance with crime and its manoeuvres, that chilled the blood in her veins. She watched him out of the gate with a sickening sense of terror at her heart, and turned slowly into the house, revolving all kinds of plans in her head for her husband's escape, should her fears prove true. Of herself she did not think; no law could harm her child; but, even after years of brutality and neglect, her faithful affection turned with all its provident thoughtfulness and care at once to her husband; all her wrongs were forgotten, all her sorrows obliterated by this one fear. Well did St. Augustine say, "God is patient because He is eternal": but better and truer would the saying have been, had it run, "God is patient because He is love": a gospel that He publishes in the lives of saints on earth, in their daily and hourly "anguish of patience," preaching to the fearful souls that dare not trust His long-suffering by the tenacious love of those who bear His image, saying, in resistless human tones, "Shall one creature endure and love and continually forgive another, and shall I, who am not loving, but Love, be weary of thy transgressions, O sinner?" And so does the silent and despairing life of many a woman weave unconsciously its golden garland of reward in the heavens above, and do the Lord's work in a strange land where it cannot sing His songs.

The day crept toward sunset, and Hitty sat with her wan face pressed to the window-pane, hushing her child in his cradle with one of those low, monotoned murmurs that mothers know; but still her husband did not come. The level sun-rays pierced the woods into more vivid splendor, burnished gold fringed the heavy purple clouds in the west, and warm crimson lights turned the purple into more triumphant glory; the sun set, unstained with mist or tempest, behind those blue and lonely hills that guard old Berkshire with their rolling summits, and night came fast, steel-blue and thick with stars; but yet he did not come, the untouched meal on the table was untouched still. Hour after hour of starry darkness crept by, and she sat watching at the window-pane; overhead, constellations marched across the heavens in relentless splendor, careless of man or sorrow; Orion glittered in the east, and climbed toward the zenith; the Pleiades clustered and sparkled as if they missed their lost sister no more; the Hyades marked the celestial pastures of Taurus, and Lyra strung her chords with fire. Hitty rested her weary head against the window-frame and sent her wearier thoughts upward to the stars; there were the points of light that the Chaldeans watched upon their plains by night, and named with mystic syllables of their weird Oriental tongue,—names that in her girlhood she had delighted to learn, charmed by that nameless spell that language holds, wherewith it plants itself ineradicably in the human mind, and binds it with fetters of vague association that time and chance are all-powerless to break,—Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgunebi, Bellatrix and Betelguese, sonorous of Rome and Asia both, full of old echoes and the dry resonant air of Eastern plains,—names wherein sounded the clash of Bellona's armor, and the harsh stir of palm-boughs rustled by a hot wind of the desert, and vibrant with the dying clangor of gongs, and shouts of worshipping crowds reverberating through horrid temples of grinning and ghastly idols, wet with children's blood.

Far, far away, the heavenly procession and their well-remembered names had led poor Hitty's thoughts; worn out with anxiety, and faint for want of the food she had forgotten to take, sleep crept upon her, and her first consciousness of its presence was the awakening grasp of a rough hand and the hoarse whisper of her husband.

"Get up!" said he. "Pick up your brat, get your shawl, and come!"

Hitty rose quickly to her feet. One faculty wretchedness gives, the power of sudden self-possession,—and Hitty was broad awake in the very instant she was called. Her husband stood beside her, holding a lantern; her boy slept in the cradle at her feet.

"Have you seen your father?" said she, with quick instinct.

"Yes, d—n you, be quick! do you want to hang me?"

Quick as a spirit Hitty snatched her child, and wrapped him in the blanket where he lay; her shawl was on the chair she had slept in, her hood upon a nail by the door, and flinging both on, with the child in her arms, she followed her husband down-stairs, across the back-yard, hitting her feet against stones and logs in the darkness, stumbling often, but never falling, till the shadow of the trees was past, and the starlight showed her that they were traversing the open fields, now crisp with frost, but even to the tread,—over two or three of these, through a pine-wood that was a landmark to Hitty, for she well knew that it lay between the turnpike-road and another, less frequented, that by various windings went toward the Connecticut Hue,—then over a tiny brook on its unsteady bridge of logs, and out into a lane, where a rough-spoken man was waiting for them, at the head of a strong horse harnessed to one of those wagons without springs that New-Englanders like to make themselves uncomfortable in. Her husband turned to her abruptly.

"Get in," said he; "get in behind; there's hay enough; and don't breathe loud, or I'll murder you!"

She clambered into the wagon and seated herself on the hay, hushing her child, who nestled and moaned in her arms, though she had carried him with all possible care. A sharp cut of the whip sent the powerful horse off at full speed, and soon this ill-matched party were fast traversing the narrow road that wound about the country for the use of every farm within a mile of its necessary course, a course tending toward the Connecticut.

Hour after hour crept by. Worn out with fatigue, poor Hitty dozed and fell back on the soft hay; her child slept, too, and all her troubles faded away in heavy unconsciousness, till she was again awakened by her husband's grasp, to find that dawn was gathering its light roseate fleeces in the east, and that their flight was for the present stayed at the door of a tavern, lonely and rude enough, but welcome to Hitty as a place of rest, if only for a moment. The sullen mistress of the house asked no questions and offered no courtesy, but, after her guests had eaten their breakfast, rapidly prepared, she led the way to a bedroom in the loft, where Abner Dimock flung himself down upon the straw bed and fell sound asleep, leaving Hitty to the undisturbed care of her child. And occupation enough that proved; for the little fellow was fretful and excited, so that no hour for thought was left to his anxious and timid mother till the dinner-bell awoke her husband and took him downstairs. She could not eat, but, begging some milk for her boy, tended, and fed, and sung to him, till he slept; and then all the horrors of the present and future thronged upon her, till her heart seemed to die in her breast, and her limbs failed to support her when she would have dragged herself out of doors for one breath of fresh air, one refreshing look at a world untroubled and serene.

So the afternoon crept away, and as soon as night drew on the journey was resumed. But this night was chill with the breath of a sobbing east wind, and the dim stars foreboded rain. Hitty shivered with bitter cold, and the boy began to cry. With a fierce curse Abner bade her stop his disturbance, and again the poor mother had hands and heart full to silence the still recurring sobs of the child. At last, after the midnight cocks had ceased to send their challenges from farm to farm, after some remote church-clocks had clanged one stroke on the damp wind, they began to pass through a large village; no lights burned in the windows, but white fences gleamed through the darkness, and sharp gable ends loomed up against the dull sky, one after another, and the horse's hoofs flashed sparks from the paved street before the church, that showed its white spire, spectre-like, directly in their path. Here, by some evil chance, the child awoke, and, between cold and hunger and fear, began one of those long and loud shrieks that no power can stop this side of strangulation. In vain Hitty kissed, and coaxed, and half-choked her boy, in hope to stop the uproar; still he screamed more and more loudly. Abner turned round on his seat with an oath, snatched the child from its mother's arms, and rolled it closely in the blanket.

"Hold on a minute, Ben!" said he to his companion; "this yelp must be stopped"; and stepping over to the back of the wagon, he grasped his wife tightly with one arm, and with the other dropped his child into the street. "Now drive, Ben," said he, in the same hoarse whisper,—"drive like the Devil!"—for, as her child fell, Hitty shrieked with such a cry as only the heart of a mother could send out over a newly-murdered infant. Shriek on shriek, fast and loud and long, broke the slumbers of the village; nothing Abner could do, neither threat nor force, short of absolute murder, would avail,—and there was too much real estate remaining of the Hyde property for Abner Dimock to spare his wife yet. Ben drove fiend-fashion; but before they passed the last house in the village, lights were glancing and windows grating as they were opened. Years after, I heard the story of such a midnight cry borne past sleeping houses with the quick rattle of wheels; but no one who heard it could give the right clue to its explanation, and it dried into a legend.

Now Hitty Dimock became careless of good or evil, except one absorbing desire to get away from her husband,—to search for her child, to know if it had lived or died. For four nights more that journey was pursued at the height of their horse's speed; every day they stopped to rest, and every day Hitty's half-delirious brain laid plans of escape, only to be balked by Abner Dimock's vigilance; for if he slept, it was with both arms round her, and the slightest stir awoke him,—and while he woke, not one propitious moment freed her from his watch. Her brain began to reel with disappointment and anguish; she began to hate her husband; a band of iron seemed strained about her forehead, and a ringing sound filled her ears; her lips grew parched, and her eye glittered; the last night of their journey Abner Dimock lifted her into the wagon, and she fainted on the hay.

"What in hell did you bring her for, Dimock?" growled his companion; "women are d——d plagues always."

"She'll get up in a minute," coolly returned the husband; "can't afford to leave a goose that lays golden eggs behind; hold on till I lift her up. Here, Hitty! drink, I tell you! drink!"

A swallow of raw spirit certainly drove away the faintness, but it brought fresh fire to the fever that burned in her veins, and she was muttering in delirium before the end of that night's journey brought them to a small village just above the old house on the river that figured in the beginning of this history, and which we trust the patient reader has not forgotten. Abner Dimock left his wife in charge of the old woman who kept the hovel of a tavern where they stopped, and, giving Ben the horse to dispose of to some safe purchaser, after he had driven him down to the old house, returned at night in the boat that belonged to his negro tenant, and, taking his unconscious wife from her bed, rowed down the river and landed her safely, to be carried from the skiff into an upper chamber of the old house, where Jake's wife, Aunt Judy, as Mr. Dimock styled her, nursed the wretched woman through three weeks of fever, and "doctored" her with herbs and roots.

The tenacious Hyde constitution, that was a proverb in Greenfield, conquered at last, and Hitty became conscious, to find herself in a chamber whose plastered walls were crumbling away with dampness and festooned with cobwebs, while the uncarpeted floor was checkered with green stains of mildew, and the very old four-post bedstead on which she lay was fringed around the rickety tester with rags of green moreen, mould-rotted.

Hitty sank back on her pillow with a sigh; she did not even question the old negress who sat crooning over the fire, as to where she was, or what had befallen her; but accepted this new place as only another misty delirium, and in her secret heart prayed, for the hundredth time, to die.

Slowly she recovered; for prayers to die are the last prayers ever answered; we live against our will, and tempt living deaths year after year, when soul and body cry out for the grave's repose, and beat themselves against the inscrutable will of God only to fall down before it in bruised and bleeding acquiescence. So she lived to find herself immured in this damp and crumbling house, with no society but a drinking and crime-haunted husband, and the ignorant negroes who served him,—society varied now and then by one or two men revolting enough in speech and aspect to drive Hitty to her own room, where, in a creaking chair, she rocked monotonously back and forth, watching the snapping fire, and dreaming dreams of a past that seemed now but a visionary paradise.

For now it was winter, and the heavy drifts of snow that lay on Dimock's meadow forbade any explorations which the one idea of finding her child might have driven her to make; and the frozen surface of the river no white-sailed ship could traverse now, nor the hissing paddle-wheels of a steamer break the silence with intimations of life, active and salient, far beyond the lonely precinct of Abner Dimock's home.

So the winter passed by. The noises and lights that had awoke Hitty at midnight in the house at Greenfield had become so far an institution in this lonely dwelling that now they disturbed her sleep no more; for it was a received custom, that, whenever Abner Dimock's two visitors should appear, the cellar should resound all night with heavy blows and clinking of metal, and red light as from a forge streamed up through the doorway; but it disturbed Hitty no more; apathy settled down in black mist on her soul, and she seemed to think, to care, for nothing.

But spring awoke the dead earth, and sleeping roots aroused with fresh forces from their torpor, and sent up green signals to the birds above. A spark of light awoke in Hitty's eye; she planned to get away, to steal the boat from its hidden cove in the bushes and push off down the friendly current of the river,—anywhere away from him! anywhere! though it should be to wreck on the great ocean, but still away from him! Night after night she rose from her bed to hazard the attempt, but her heart failed, and her trembling limbs refused their aid. At length moonlight came to her aid, and when all the house slept she stole downstairs with bare, noiseless feet, and sped like a ghost across the meadow to the river-bank. Poor weak hands! vainly they fumbled with the knotted rope that bound the skiff to a crooked elm over-hanging the water,—all in vain for many lingering minutes; but presently the obdurate knot gave way, and, turning to gather up her shawl, there, close behind her, so close that his hot breath seemed to sear her cheek, stood her husband, clear in the moonlight, with a sneer on his face, and the lurid glow of drunkenness, that made a savage brute of a bad man, gleaming in his deep-set eyes. Hitty neither shrieked nor ran; despair nerved her,—despair turned her rigid before his face.

"Well," said he, "where are you going?"

"I am going away,—away from you,—anywhere in the world away from you!" answered she, with the boldness of desperation.

"Ha, ha! going away from me!—that's a d—d good joke, a'n't it? Away from your husband! You fool! you can't get away from me! you're mine, soul and body,—this world and the next! Don't you know that? Where's your promise, eh?—'for better, for worse!'—and a'n't I worse, you cursed fool, you? You didn't put on the handcuffs for nothing; heaven and hell can't get you away from me as long as you've got on that little shiny fetter on your finger,—don't you know that?"

The maddened woman made a quick wrench to pull away from him her left hand, which he held in his, taunting her with the ring that symbolized their eternal bonds; but he was too quick for her.

"Hollo!" laughed he; "want to get rid of it, don't you? No, no! that won't do,—that won't do! I'll make it safe!"

And lifting her like a child in his arms, he carried her across the meadow, back to the house, and down a flight of crazy steps into the cellar, where a little forge was all ablaze with white-hot coal, and the two ill-visaged men she well knew by sight were busy with sets of odd tools and fragments of metal, while on a bench near by, and in the seat of an old chair, lay piles of fresh coin. They were a gang of counterfeiters.

Abner Dimock thrust his wife into the chair, sweeping the gilt eagles to the floor as one of the men angrily started up, demanding, with an oath, what he brought that woman there for to hang them all.

"Be quiet, Bill, can't you?" interposed the other man. "Don't you see he's drunk? you'll have the Devil to pay, if you cross a drunk Dimock!"

But Abner had not heard the first speaker; he was too much occupied with tying his wife's arms to the chair,—a proceeding she could nowise interfere with, since his heavy foot was set upon her dress so as to hold her own feet in helpless fixedness. He proceeded to take the ring from her finger, and, searching through a box of various contents that stood in one corner, extracted from it a delicate steel chain, finely wrought, but strong as steel can be; then, at the forge, with sundry tools, carefully chosen and skilfully used, he soldered one end of the chain to the ring, and, returning to his wife, placed it again upon her finger.

"Here, Bill," growled he, "where's that padlock off the tool-chest, eh? give it here! This woman's a fool,—ha, ha, ha!—she wanted to get away from me, and she's my wife!"

Another peal of dissonant laughter interrupted the words.

"What a d——d good joke! I swear I haven't laughed before, this dog's age! And then she was goin' to rid herself of the ring! as if that would help it! Why, there's the promise in black and white,—'love, honor, and obey,'—'I take thee, Abner,'—ha, ha! that's good! But fast bind, fast find; she a'n't going to get rid of the ring. I'll make it as tight as the promise; both of 'em 'll last to doomsday. Give me the padlock, you scoundrel!"

Bill, the man he addressed, knew too much to hesitate after the savage look that sent home the last words,—and, drawing from a bag of tools and dies a tiny padlock and key, he handed them to Dimock, who passed the chain about Hitty's thin white wrist, and, fastening it with the padlock, turned the key, and, withdrawing it from the lock, dropped it into the silvery heat of the forge, and burst into a fit of laughter, so savage and so inhuman that the bearded lips of his two comrades grew white with horror to hear the devil within so exult in his possession of a man.

Hitty sat, statue-like, in her chair; stooping, the man unbound her, and she rose slowly and steadily to her feet, looking him in the face.

"Look!" said she, raising her shackled arm high in air,—"I shall carry it to God!"—and so fled, up the broken stairway, out into the moonlight, across the meadow,—the three men following fast,—over the fallen boughs that winter had strewn along the shore, out under the crooked elm, swift as light, poising on the stern of the boat, that had swung out toward the channel,—and once more lifting her hand high into the white light, with one spring she dropped into the river, and its black waters rolled down to the sea.


  Wandering along a waste
  Where once a city stood,
  I saw a ruined tomb,
  And in that tomb an urn,—

  A sacred funeral-urn,
  Without a name or date,
  And in its hollow depths
  A little human dust!

  Whose dust is this, I asked,
  In this forgotten urn?
  And where this waste now lies
  What city rose of old?

  None knows; its name is lost;
  It was, and is no more:
  Gone like a wind that blew
  A thousand years ago!

  Its melancholy end
  Will be the end of all;
  For, as it passed away,
  The universe will pass!

  Its sole memorial
  Some ruined world, like ours;
  A solitary urn,
  Full of the dust of men!


There are numerous swarms of insects and many small quadrupeds, requiring partial darkness for their security, that come abroad only during the night or twilight. These would multiply almost without check, but that certain birds are formed with the power of seeing in the dark, and, on account of their partial blindness in the daytime, are forced by necessity to seek their food by night. Many species of insects are most active after dewfall,—such, especially, as spend a great portion of their lifetime in the air. Hence the very late hour at which Swallows retire to rest, the hour succeeding sunset providing them with a fuller repast than any other part of the day. No sooner has the Swallow disappeared, than the Whippoorwill and the Night-Jar come forth, to prey upon the larger kinds of aerial insects. The Bat, an animal of an antediluvian type, comes out at the same time, and assists in lessening these multitudinous swarms. The little Owls, though they pursue the larger beetles and moths, direct their efforts chiefly at the small quadrupeds that steal out in the early evening to nibble the tender herbs and grasses. Thus the night, except the hours of total darkness, is with many species of animals, though they pursue their objects with comparative stillness and silence, a period of general activity.

In this sketch, I shall treat of the Birds of the Night under two heads, including, beside the true nocturnal birds that go abroad in the night to seek their subsistence, those diurnal birds that continue their songs during a considerable portion of the night. Some species of birds are partly nocturnal in their habits. Such is the Chimney Swallow. This bird is seldom out at noonday, which it employs in sleep, after excessive activity from the earliest morning dawn. It is seen afterwards circling about in the decline of day, and is sometimes abroad in fine weather the greater part of the night, when the young broods require almost unremitted exertions, on the part of the old birds, to procure their subsistence.

The true nocturnal birds, of which the Owl and the Whippoorwill are conspicuous examples, are distinguished by a peculiar sensibility of the eye, that enables them to see clearly by twilight and in cloudy weather, while they are dazzled by the broad light of day. Their organs of hearing are proportionally delicate and acute. Their wing-feathers also have a peculiar downy softness, so that they fly without the usual fluttering sounds that attend the flight of other birds, and are able to steal unawares upon their prey, and make their predal excursions without disturbing the general silence of the hour. This noiseless flight is very remarkable in the Owl, as may be observed, if a tame one be allowed to fly about a room, when we can perceive his motions only by our sight. It is a fact worthy of our attention, that this peculiar structure of the wing-feathers does not exist in the Woodcock. Nature makes no useless provisions for her creatures; and hence this nocturnal bird, which obtains his food by digging into the soil, and gets no part of it while on the wing, has no need of this contrivance. Neither stillness nor stealth would assist him in securing his helpless prey.

Among the nocturnal birds, the most notorious is the Owl, of which there are many species, varying from the size of an Eagle down to the little Acadian, which is no larger than a Robin. The resemblance of the Owl to the feline quadrupeds has been a frequent subject of remark. Like the cat, he sees most clearly by twilight or the light of the moon, seeks his prey in the night, and spends the principal part of the day in sleep. The likeness is made stronger by his tufts of feathers, that correspond to the ears of the quadruped,—by his large head,—his round, full, and glaring eyes, set widely apart,—by the extreme contractility of the pupil,—and in his manners, by his lurking and stealthy habit of surprising his victims. His eyes are partially encircled by a disk of feathers that yields a peculiarly significant expression to his face. His hooked bill turned downwards, so as to resemble the nose in a human countenance, the general flatness of his features, and his upright position, give him a grave and intelligent look; and it was this expression that caused him to be selected by the ancients as the emblem of wisdom, and consecrated to Minerva.

The Owl is remarkable also for the acuteness of his hearing, having a large ear-drum, and being provided with an apparatus by which he can exalt this faculty, when under the necessity of listening with greater attention. Hence, while he is silent in his own motions, he is able to perceive the least sound from the motion of any other object, and overtakes his prey by coming upon it in silence and darkness. The stillness of his flight is one of the circumstances that add mystery to his character, and which have assisted in rendering him an object of superstitious dread.

Aware of his defenceless condition in the bright daylight, when his purblindness would prevent him from evading the attacks of his enemies, he seeks some obscure retreat where he may pass the day without exposing himself to observation. It is this necessity which has caused him to make his abode in desolate and ruined buildings, in old towers and belfries, and in the crevices of dilapidated walls. In these places he hides himself from the sight of other birds, who regard him as their common enemy, and who show him no mercy when he is discovered. Here also he rears his offspring, and with these solitary haunts his image is closely associated. In thinly settled and wooded countries, he selects the hollows of old trees and the clefts of rocks for his retreats. All the smaller Owls, however, seem to multiply with the increase of human population, subsisting upon the minute animals that accumulate in outhouses, orchards, and fallows.

When the Owl is discovered in his hiding-place, the alarm is given, and there is a general excitement among the small birds. They assemble in great numbers, and with loud chattering commence assailing and annoying him in various ways, and soon drive him out of his retreat. The Jay, usually his first assailant, like a thief employed as a thief-taker, attacks him with great zeal and animation; the Chickadee, the Nuthatch, and the small Thrushes peck at his head and eyes; while other birds, less bold, fly round him, and by their vociferation encourage his assailants and help to terrify their victim.

It is while sitting on the branch of a tree or on a fence, after his misfortune and his escape, that he is most frequently seen in the daytime; and here he has formed a subject for painters, who have commonly introduced him into their pictures as he appears in one of these open situations. He is likewise represented ensconced in his own select retreats, apparently peeping out of his hiding-place while half-concealed; and the fact of his being seen in these lonely places has caused many superstitions to be attached to his image. His voice is supposed to bode misfortune, and his spectral visits are regarded as the forewarnings of death. His connection with deserted houses and ruins has invested him with a peculiarly romantic character; while the poets, by introducing him to deepen the force of their gloomy and pathetic descriptions, have enlivened these associations; and he deserves, therefore, in a special degree, to be named among those animals which we call picturesque.

The gravity of the Owl's general appearance, combined with a sort of human expression in his countenance, undoubtedly caused him to be selected by the ancients as the emblem of wisdom. The moderns have practically renounced this idea, which had no foundation in the real character of the bird, who possesses only the sly and sinister traits that mark the feline race. A very different train of associations and a new series of picturesque images are now suggested by the figure of the Owl, who has been portrayed more correctly by modern poetry than by ancient mythology. He is now universally regarded as the emblem of ruin and desolation, true to his character and habits, which are intimately allied to this description of scenery.

I will not enter into a speculation concerning the nature and origin of those agreeable emotions which are so generally produced by the sight of objects that suggest the ideas of decay and desolation. It is happy for us, that, by the alchemy of poetry, we are able to turn some of our misfortunes into sources of melancholy pleasure, after the poignancy of grief has been assuaged by time. Nature has beneficently provided, also, that many an object, which is capable of communicating no direct pleasure to our senses, shall affect us agreeably through the medium of sentiment. The image of the Owl is calculated to awaken the sentiment of ruin, and to this feeling of the human soul we may trace the pleasure we derive from the sight of this bird in his appropriate scenery. Two Doves upon the mossy branch of a tree in a wild and beautiful sylvan retreat are the pleasing emblems of innocent love and constancy; but they are not more suggestive of poetic fancies than an Owl sitting upon an old gate-post near a deserted house.

I have alluded, in another page, to the faint sounds we hear when the Night Birds, on a still summer evening, are flying over short distances in a neighboring wood. There is a feeling of mystery excited by these sounds, that exalts the pleasure we derive from the delightful influence of the hour and the season. But the emotions thus produced are of a cheerful kind, and not equal in intensity to the effects of the scarcely perceptible sound occasioned by the flight of the Owl, as he glides by in the dusk of the evening or in the dim light of the moon. Similar in its influence is the dismal voice of this bird, which is harmonized with darkness, and, though in some cases not unmusical, is tuned, as it were, to the terrors of that hour when he makes secret warfare upon the sleeping inhabitants of the wood.

One of the most interesting of this tribe of birds is the little Acadian Owl, (Strix Acadica,) whose note has formerly excited a great deal of curiosity. In "The Canadian Naturalist," an account is given of a rural excursion in April, in the course of which the attention of one of the party is called by his companion, just after sunset, to a peculiar sound proceeding from a cedar swamp. It was compared to the measured tinkling of a cow-bell, or regular strokes upon a piece of iron, quickly repeated. The one appealed to is able to give no satisfactory information about it, but remarks, that, "during the months of April and May, and in the former part of June, we frequently hear, after nightfall, the sound just described. From its regularity, it is thought to resemble the whetting of a saw, and hence the bird from which it proceeds is called the Saw-Whetter." The author could not identify the bird that uttered this note, but conjectured that it might be a Heron or a Bittern. It has since been ascertained that this singular note proceeds from the Acadian Owl. It is like the sound produced by the filing of a mill-saw, and is said to be the amatory note of the male, being heard only during the season of incubation.

Mr. S.P. Fowler, of Danvers, informs me that "the Acadian Owl has another note, which we frequently hear in the autumn, after the breeding season is over. The parent birds, then accompanied by their young, while hunting their prey during a bright moonlight night, utter a peculiar note, resembling a suppressed moan or a low whistle. The little Acadian, to avoid the annoyance of the birds he would meet by day, and the blinding light of the sun, retires in the morning, his feathers wet with dew and rumpled by the hard struggles he has encountered in seizing his prey, to the gloom of the forest or the thick swamp, where, perched on a bough, near the trunk of the tree, he sleeps through a summer's day, the perfect picture of a used-up little fellow, suffering from the sad effects of a night's carouse. But he is an honest bird, notwithstanding his late hours and his idle sleeping days; he is also domestic in his habits, and the father of an interesting family, close at hand, in a hollow white-birch, and he is ever ready to give them his support and protection."

The Mottled Owl, (Strix Asio) or Screech Owl, is somewhat larger than the Acadian or Whetsaw, and not so familiar as the Barn Owl of Europe, though resembling it in general habits. He commonly builds in the hollow of an old tree, also in deserted buildings, whither he resorts in the daytime to find repose and to escape annoyance. His voice is heard most frequently in the latter part of summer, when the young Owlets are abroad, and use their cries for purposes of mutual salutation and recognition. This wailing note is singularly wild, and not unmusical. It is not properly a screech or a scream, like that of the Hawk or the Peacock, but rather a sort of moaning melody, half music and half bewailment. This wailing song is far from disagreeable, though it has a cadence which is expressive of dreariness and melancholy. It might be performed on a small flute, by commencing with D octave and running down by semitones to a fifth below, and frequently repeating the notes, for the space of a minute, with occasional pauses and slight variations, sometimes ascending as well as descending the scale. The bird does not slur the passages, but utters them with a sort of trembling staccato. The separate notes may be distinctly perceived, with intervals of about a semitone.

The Owl is not properly regarded as a useful bird. The generality of the tribe deserve to be considered only as mischievous birds of prey, and no more entitled to mercy and protection than the Falcons, to which they are allied. All the little Owls, however, though guilty of destroying small birds, are very serviceable in ridding our fields and premises of mischievous animals. They likewise destroy multitudes of large nocturnal insects, flying above the summits of the trees in pursuit of them, while at other times their flight is low, when watching for the small animals that run upon the ground. It is probably on account of its low flight that the Owl is seldom seen on the wing. Bats, which are employed by Nature for the same kind of services, fall victims in large numbers to the Owls of different species, who are the principal means of preventing their multiplication.

I should wander from my present purpose, were I to attempt a sketch of the large Owls, as I design only to treat of those birds which contribute, either as poetic or picturesque objects, to improve the charms of Nature. I shall say but a passing word, therefore, of the Great Snowy Owl, almost exclusively an inhabitant of the Arctic regions, where he frightens both man and beast with his dismal hootings,—or of the Cat Owl, the prince of these monsters, who should be consecrated to Pluto,—or of his brother monster, the Gray Owl, that will carry off a full-grown rabbit. There are several other species, more or less interesting, ridiculous, or frightful. I will leave them, to speak of birds of more pleasing habits and a more innocent character.

The next remarkable family of nocturnal birds comprises the Moth-Hunters, including, in New England, only two species,—the Whippoorwill and the Night-Hawk, or Piramidig. These birds resemble the Owls in some of their habits; but in their structure, in their mode of subsistence, and in their general traits of character, they are like Swallows. They are shy and solitary, take their food while on the wing, abide chiefly in deep woods, and come abroad only at twilight or in cloudy weather. They remain, like the Dove, permanently paired, lay their eggs on the bare ground, and, when perched upon the branch of a tree, sit upon it lengthwise, unlike other birds. They are remarkable for their singular voices, of which that of only one species, the Whippoorwill, can be considered musical. They are known in all parts of the world, but are particularly numerous in the warmer parts of America.

The Whippoorwill (Caprimulgus vociferus) is well known to the inhabitants of this part of the world, on account of his nocturnal song. This is heard only in densely wooded and retired situations, and is associated with the solitude of the forest, as well as the silence of night. The Whippoorwill is, therefore, emblematic of the rudeness of primitive Nature, and his voice always reminds us of seclusion and retirement. Sometimes he wanders away from the wood into the precincts of the town, and sings near some dwelling-house. Such an incident was formerly the occasion of superstitious alarm, being regarded as an omen of some evil to the inmates of the dwelling. The true cause of these irregular visits is probably the accidental abundance of a particular kind of insects, which the bird has followed from his retirement.

I believe the Whippoorwill, in this part of the country, is first heard in May, and continues vocal until the middle of July. He begins to sing at dusk, and we usually hear his note soon after the Veery, the Philomel of our summer evenings, has become silent. His song consists of three notes, in a sort of triple or waltz time, with a slight pause after the first note in the bar, as given below:—

[Illustration: SONG OF THE WHIPPOORWILL. Whip-poor-Will Whip-p'r-Will
Whip-p'r-Will Whip-]

I should remark, that the bird usually commences his song with the second syllable of his name, or the second note in the bar. Some birds fall short of these intervals; but there seems to be an endeavor, on the part of each individual, to reach the notes as they are written on the scale. A few sliding notes are occasionally introduced, and an occasional preluding cluck is heard when we are near the singer.

The note of the Quail so closely resembles that of the Whippoorwill, that I have thought it might be interesting to compare the two.

[Illustration: NOTE OF THE QUAIL. Bob White. More Wet.]

So great is the general similarity of the notes of these two birds, that those of the Quail need only to be repeated several times in succession, without pause, to be mistaken for those of the Whippoorwill. They are uttered with similar intonations; but the voice of the nocturnal bird is more harsh, and his song consists of three notes instead of two.

The song of the Whippoorwill, though wanting in mellowness of tone, as may be perceived when he is only a short distance from us, is to most people very agreeable, notwithstanding the superstitions associated with it. Some persons are not disposed to rank the Whippoorwill among singing-birds, regarding him as more vociferous than musical. But it would be difficult to determine in what respect his notes differ from the songs of other birds, except that they approach more nearly to the precision of artificial music. Yet it will be admitted that considerable distance is required to "lend enchantment" to the sound of his voice. In some retired and solitary districts, the Whippoorwills are often so numerous as to be annoying by their vociferations; but in those places where only two or three individuals are heard during the season, their music is the source of a great deal of pleasure, and is a kind of recommendation to the place.

I was witness of this, some time since, in one of my botanical rambles in the town of Beverly, which is, for the most part, too densely populated to suit the habits of these solitary birds. On one of these excursions, after walking several hours over a rather unattractive region, I arrived at a very romantic spot, known by the unpoetical name of Black Swamp. Nature uses her most ordinary materials to form her most delightful landscapes, and often keeps in reserve prospects of enchanting beauty, and causes them to rise up, as it were, by magic, where we should least expect them. Here I suddenly found myself encompassed by a charming amphitheatre of hills and woods, and in a valley so beautiful that I could not have imagined anything equal to it. A neat cottage stood alone in this spot, without a single architectural decoration, which I am confident would have dissolved the spell that made the whole scene so attractive. It was occupied by a shoemaker, whom I recognized as an old acquaintance and a worthy man, who resided here with his wife and children. I asked them if they could live contented so far from other families. The wife of the cottager replied, that they suffered in the winter from their solitude, but in the spring and summer they preferred it to the town,—"for in this place we hear all the singing-birds, early and late, and the Whippoorwill sings here every night during May and June." It was the usual practice of these birds, they told me, to sing both in the morning and the evening twilight; but if the moon rose late in the evening, after they had become silent, they would begin to sing anew, as if to welcome her rising. May the birds continue to sing to this happy family, and may the voice of the Whippoorwill never bode them any misfortune!

The Night-Hawk, or Piramidig, (Caprimulgus Americanus,) is similar in many points to the Whippoorwill, and the two species were formerly considered identical. The former, however, is a smaller bird; he has no song, and exhibits more of the ways of the Swallow. He is marked by a white spot on his wings, which is very apparent during his flight. He takes his prey in a higher part of the atmosphere,—being frequently seen, at twilight and in cloudy weather, soaring above the house-tops in quest of insects. The Whippoorwill finds his subsistence chiefly in the woods, and takes a part of it from the branches of trees, while poising himself on the wing, like a Humming-Bird. I believe he is never seen circling aloft like the Night-Hawk.

The movements of the Night-Hawk, during this flight, are performed, for the most part, in circles, and are very picturesque. The birds are usually seen in pairs, at such times, but occasionally there are numbers assembled together; and one might suppose they were engaged in a sort of aërial dance, or that they were emulating each other in their attempts at soaring to a great height. It is evident that these evolutions proceed in part from the pleasure of motion; but they are also connected with their courtship. While they are soaring and circling in the air, they occasionally utter the shrill and broken note which has been supposed to resemble the word Piramidig, whence the name is derived,—and now and then they dart suddenly aside, to seize a passing insect.

While performing these circumvolutions, the male frequently dives almost perpendicularly downwards, a distance of forty feet or more, uttering, when he turns at the bottom of his descent, a singular note, resembling the twang of a viol-string. This sound has been supposed to proceed from the action of the air, as the bird dives swiftly through it with open mouth; but this supposition is rendered improbable by the fact that the European species makes a similar sound while sitting on its perch. It has also been alleged that the diving motion of this bird is an act designed to intimidate those who seem to be approaching his nest; but this cannot be true, because the bird performs the manoeuvre when he has no nest to defend. This habit is peculiar to the male, and it is probably one of those fantastic motions which are noticeable among the males of the gallinaceous birds, and are evidently their artifices to attract the attention of the female; very many of these motions may be observed in the manners of tame Pigeons.

The twanging note produced during the precipitate descent of the Night-Hawk is one of the picturesque sounds of Nature, and is heard most frequently in the morning twilight, when the birds are busy collecting their repast of insects. During an early morning walk, while they are circling about, we may hear their cry frequently repeated, and occasionally the booming sound, which, if one is not accustomed to it, and is not acquainted with this habit of the bird, affects him with a sensation of mystery, and excites his curiosity in an extraordinary degree.

The sound produced by the European species is a sort of drumming or whizzing note, like the hum of a spinning-wheel. The male commences this performance about dusk, and continues it at intervals during a great part of the night. It is effected while the breast is inflated with air, like that of a cooing Dove. The Piramidig has the power of inflating himself in the same manner, and he utters this whizzing note when one approaches his nest.

The American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a more interesting bird than we should infer from his general appearance and physiognomy. He is mainly nocturnal in his habits, and his ways are worthy of study and observation. He obtains his food by scratching up the leaves and rubbish that lie upon the surface of the ground in damp and wooded places, and by boring into the earth for worms. He remains concealed in the wood during the day, and comes out to feed at twilight, choosing the open ploughed lands where worms are abundant; though it is probable that in the shade of the wood he is more or less busy in scratching among the leaves in the daytime.

The Woodcock does not commonly venture abroad in the open day, unless he be disturbed and driven from his retreats. He makes his first appearance here in the latter part of April, and at this season we may observe that soaring habit which renders him one of the picturesque objects of Nature. This soaring takes place soon after sunset, continues during twilight, and is repeated at the corresponding hour in the morning. If you listen at this time near the places of his resort, he will soon reveal himself by a lively peep, frequently uttered, from the ground. While repeating this note, he may be seen strutting about, like a turkey-cock, with fantastic jerkings of the tail and a frequent bowing of the head; and his mate, I believe, is at this time not far off. Suddenly he springs upward, and with a wide circular sweep, uttering at the same time a rapid whistling note, he rises in a spiral course to a great height in the air. At the summit of his ascent, he hovers about with irregular motions, chirping a medley of broken notes, like imperfect warbling. This continues about ten or fifteen seconds, when it ceases, and he descends rapidly to the ground. We seldom hear him while in his descent, but receive the first intimation of it by hearing a repetition of his peep, resembling the sound produced by those minute wooden trumpets sold at the German toy-shops.

No person could watch this playful flight of the Woodcock without interest; and it is remarkable that a bird with short wings and difficult flight should be capable of mounting to so great an altitude. It affords me a vivid conception of the pleasure with which I should witness the soaring and singing of the Skylark, known to me only by description. I have but to imagine the chirruping of the Woodcock to be a melodious series of notes, to feel that I am listening to that bird, which is so familiarized to our imaginations by English poetry that in our early days we always expect his greetings with a summer sunrise. It is with sadness that we first learn in our youth that the Skylark is not an inhabitant of the New World; and our mornings seem divested of a great portion of their charms, for the want of this poetical accompaniment.

There is another circumstance connected with the habits of the Woodcock which increases his importance as an actor in the melodrame of Nature. When we stroll away from the noise and din of the town, where the stillness permits us to hear distinctly all those faint sounds which are turned by the silence of night into music, we may hear at frequent intervals the hum produced by the irregular flights of the Woodcock, as he passes over short distances in the wood, where he is collecting his repast. It resembles the sound of the wings of Doves, rendered distinct by the stillness of all other things, and melodious by the distance. There is a feeling of mystery attached to these musical nights that yields a savor of romance to the quiet voluptuousness of a summer evening.

It is on such occasions, if we are in a moralizing mood, that we may be keenly impressed with the truth of the saying, that the secret of happiness consists in keeping alive our susceptibilities by frugal indulgences, rather than by seeking a multitude of pleasures, that pall in exact proportion to their abundance. The stillness and darkness of a quiet night produce this enlivening effect upon our minds. Our susceptibility is then awakened to such a degree, that slight sounds and feeble sparks of light convey to our souls an amount of pleasure which we seldom experience in the daytime from sights and sounds of the most pleasing description. Thus the player in an orchestra can enjoy such music only as would deafen common ears by its crash of sounds, in which they perceive no connection or harmony; while the simple rustic listens to the rude notes of a flageolet in the hands of a clown with feelings of ineffable delight. Nature, if the seekers after luxurious and exciting pleasures could but understand her language, would say to them, "Except ye become as this simple rustic, ye cannot enter into my paradise."

The American Snipe has some of the nocturnal habits of the Woodcock, and the same habit of soaring at twilight, when he performs a sort of musical medley, which Audubon has very graphically described in the following passage:—"The birds are met with in meadows and low grounds, and, by being on the spot before sunrise, you may see both (male and female) mount high, in a spiral manner, now with continuous beats of the wings, now in short sailings, until more than a hundred yards high, when they whirl round each other with extreme velocity, and dance, as it were, to their own music; for, at this juncture, and during the space of five or six minutes, you hear rolling notes mingled together, each more or less distinct, perhaps, according to the state of the atmosphere. The sounds produced are extremely pleasing, though they fall faintly on the ear. I know not how to describe them; but I am well assured that they are not produced simply by the beatings of their wings, as at this time the wings are not flapped, but are used in sailing swiftly in a circle, not many feet in diameter. A person might cause a sound somewhat similar by blowing rapidly and alternately, from one end to another, across a set of small pipes, consisting of two or three modulations. This performance is kept up till incubation terminates; but I have never observed it at any other period."

Among the Heron family we discover a few nocturnal birds, which, though not very well known, have some ways that are singular and interesting. Goldsmith considered one of these birds worthy of introduction into his "Deserted Village," as contributing to the poetic conception of desolation. Thus, in his description of the grounds which were the ancient site of the village, we read,—

  "Along its glades, a solitary guest,
  The hollow-sounding Bittern guards its nest."

"The Bittern is a shy and solitary bird; it is never seen on the wing in the daytime, but sits, generally with the head erect, hid among the reeds and rushes of extensive marshes, from whence it will not stir, unless disturbed by the sportsman. When it changes its haunts, it removes in the dusk of the evening, and then, rising in a spiral direction, soars to a vast height. It flies in the same heavy manner as the Heron, and might be mistaken for that bird, were it not for the singularly resounding cry which it utters, from time to time, while on the wing: but this cry is feeble when compared with the hollow booming noise which it makes during the night, in the breeding season, from its swampy retreats. From the loudness and solemnity of its note, an erroneous notion prevails with the vulgar, that it either thrusts its head into a reed, which serves as a pipe for swelling its note beyond its natural pitch, or that it immerges its head in water, and then produces its boomings by blowing with all its might."

The American Bittern is a smaller bird, but is probably a variety of the European species. It exhibits the same nocturnal habits, and has received at the South the name of Dunkadoo, from the resemblance of its common note to these syllables. This is a hollow-sounding noise, but not so loud as the voice of the Bittern to which Goldsmith alludes. I have heard it by day proceeding from the wooded swamps, and am at a loss to explain how so small a bird can produce so low and hollow a note. Among this family of birds are one or two other nocturnal species, including the Qua-Bird, which is common to both continents; but there is little to be said of it that would be interesting in this connection. The Herons, however, and their allied species, are birds of remarkable habits, the enumeration and account of which would occupy a considerable space. In an essay on the flight of birds in particular, the Herons would furnish a multitude of very interesting facts.

Let us now turn our attention to those diurnal birds that sing in the night as well as in the day, and which might be comprehended under the general appellation of Nightingales. These birds do not confine their singing to the night, like the true nocturnal birds, and are most vocal when inspired by the light of the moon. Europe has several of these minstrels of the night. Beside the true Philomel of poetry and romance, the Reed-Thrush and the Woodcock are of this character. In the United States, the Mocking-Bird enjoys the greatest reputation; the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the New York Thrush are also nocturnal songsters.

The Mocking-Bird (Turdus polyglottus) is well known in the Middle and Southern States, but seldom passes a season in New England, except in the southern part of Rhode Island and Connecticut, which seem to be the northern limit of its migrations. Probably, like the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, which is constantly extending its limits in an eastern direction, the Mocking-Bird may be gradually making progress northwardly, so that fifty years hence both of these birds may be common in Massachusetts. The Mocking-Bird is familiar in his habits, frequenting gardens and orchards, and perching on the roofs of houses when singing, like the common Robin. Like the Robin, too, who sings at all hours excepting those of darkness, he is a persevering songster, and seems to be inspired by living in the vicinity of man. In his manners, however, he bears more resemblance to the Red Thrush, being distinguished by his vivacity, and the courage with which he repels the attacks of his enemies.

The Mocking-Bird is celebrated throughout the world for his musical powers; but it is difficult to ascertain precisely the character and quality of his original notes. Hence some naturalists have contended that he has no song of his own, but confines himself to imitations. That this is an error, all persons who have listened to him in his native wild-wood can testify. I should say, from my own observations, not only that he has a distinct song, peculiarly his own, but that his imitations are far from being equal to his original notes. Yet it is seldom we hear him except when he is engaged in mimicry. In his native woods, and especially at an early hour in the morning, when he is not provoked to imitation by the voices of other birds and animals, he sometimes pours forth his own wild notes with full fervor. Yet I have often listened vainly for hours to hear him utter anything but a few idle repetitions of monotonous sounds, interspersed with some ludicrous varieties. Why he should neglect his own pleasing notes, to tease the listener with his imitations of all imaginable discords, is not easily explained.

Though his imitations are the cause of his notoriety, they are not the utterances upon which his true merit is based. He would be infinitely more valuable as a songster, if he were incapable of imitating a single sound. I would add, that as an imitator of the songs of other birds he is very imperfect, and in this respect has been greatly overrated by our ornithologists, who seem to vie with one another in their exaggerations of his powers. He cannot utter the notes of the rapid singers; he is successful only in his imitations of those birds whose notes are simple and moderately delivered. He is, indeed, more remarkable for his indefatigable propensity than for his powers. Single sounds, from whatever source they may come, from birds, quadrupeds, reptiles, or machines, he gives very accurately; but I have heard numbers of Mocking-Birds in confinement attempt to imitate the Canary, and always without success. There is a common saying, that the Mocking-Bird will die of chagrin, if placed in a cage by the side of a caged Bobolink, mortified because he cannot give utterance to his rapid notes. If this were the cause of his death, he would also die when caged in a room with a Canary, a Goldfinch, or any of the rapidly singing Finches. It is also an error to say of his imitations, as the generality of writers assert, that they are improvements upon the originals. When he utters the notes of the Red-Bird, the Golden Robin, or the Common Robin, he does not improve them; and when he gives us the screaming of the Jay or the mewing of the Cat, he does not change them into music.

As an original songster, judging him by what he is capable of performing, however unfrequently he may exercise his powers to the best advantage, the Mocking-Bird is probably equalled only by two or three of our singing-birds. His notes are loud, varied, melodious, and of great compass. They may be compared to those of the Red Thrush, more rapidly delivered, and having more flute notes and fewer guttural notes and sudden transitions. He also sings on the wing and with fervor, like the Linnet, while the other Thrushes sing only from their perch. But his song has less variety than that of the Red Thrush, and falls short of it in as many respects as it surpasses it. For the greater part of the time, the only notes of the Mocking-Bird, when he is not engaged in mimicry, are a sort of melodious whistle, consisting of two notes about a fourth apart, uttered in quick, but not rapid, succession, and hardly to be distinguished from those of the Red-Bird of Virginia.

I heard the notes of the Mocking-Bird the first time in his native wilds, during a railroad journey by night, through the Pine Barrens of North Carolina, in the month of June. The journey was very tiresome and unpleasant, nothing being seen, when looking out upon the landscape, but a gloomy stretch of level forest, consisting of tall pines, thinly scattered, without any branches, except at their tops. The dusky forms of these trees, pictured against the half-luminous sky, seemed like so many giant spectres watching the progress of our journey, and increased the loneliness of the hour. Before daylight, when the sky was faintly crimsoned around the place where the sun was to come forth, the train made a pause of half an hour, at one of the stations, and the passengers alighted. While I was looking at the dreary prospect of desert, tired of my journey and longing for day, suddenly the notes of the Mocking-Bird came to my ear, and changed all my gloomy feelings into delight.

It is seldom I have felt so vividly the power of one little incident to change the tone of one's feelings and the humor of the occasion. As a few drops of oil, cast upon the surface of the waters, will quiet the troubled waves, so did the glad voice of this merry bird suddenly dispel all those sombre feelings which had been fostered by dismal scenes and a lonely journey. Nature never seemed so lovely as when the rising dawn, with its tearful beams and purple radiance, was greeted by this warbling salutation, as from some messenger of light, who came to announce that Morning was soon to step forth from her throne, and extend over all things her smiles and her beneficence.

Of the other American birds that sing in the night I can say nothing from my own observation. The most important of these is the New York Thrush, (Turdus aquaticus,) which is said to resemble the River Nightingale of Europe. This bird, which is common in the Western States, is said to sing melodiously night and day. Wilson remarks of this species, "They are eminently distinguished by the loudness, sweetness, and expressive vivacity of their notes, which begin very high and clear, falling with an almost imperceptible gradation, till they are scarcely articulated. At these times the musician is perched on the middle branches of a tree, over a brook or river-bank, pouring out his charming melody, that may be distinctly heard for nearly half a mile. The voice of this little bird appeared to me so exquisitely sweet and expressive, that I was never tired listening to it." This description is exactly applicable to the song of the Veery, supposed to be silent by Wilson, who could not have fallen into such an error, except by having confined his researches chiefly to the Middle and Southern States.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Loxia rosea) is said to be an excellent songster, passing the greater part of the night in singing, and continuing vocal in confinement. This bird is common in the Western States, but until lately has seldom been seen in New England. I learn, however, from Mr. Fowler, that "the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is found in Essex County, and, though formerly seldom seen, is becoming every year more common. Like the Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager, it is retiring in its habits, and is usually found in the most sheltered part of the wood, where, perched about midway on a tree, in fancied concealment, it warbles its soft, clear, and melodious notes." He thinks this bird is not heard so frequently by night as by day, though it often sings in the light of the moon.

In connection with this theme, we cannot help feeling a sense of regret, almost like melancholy, when we reflect that the true Nightingale and the Skylark, the classical birds of European literature, are strangers to our fields and woods. In May and June there is no want of sylvan minstrels to wake the morn and to sing the vespers of a sweet summer evening. A flood of song wakes us at the earliest daylight; and the shy and solitary Veery, after the Vesper-Bird has concluded his evening hymn, pours his few pensive notes into the very bosom of twilight, and makes the hour sacred by his melody. But after twilight is sped, and the moon rises to shed her meek radiance over the sleeping earth, the Nightingale is not here to greet her rising, and to turn her melancholy beams into the cheerfulness of daylight. And when the Queen Moon is on her throne,

"Clustered around by all her starry Fays,"

the Whippoorwill alone brings her the tribute of his monotonous song, and soothes the dull ear of Night with sounds which, however delightful, are not of heaven. We have become so familiar with the Lark and the Nightingale, by the perusal of the romance of rural life, that "neither breath of Morn, when she ascends" without the charm of this her earliest harbinger, "nor silent Night" without her "solemn bird," seems holy, as when we contemplate them in the works of pastoral song. Poetry has hallowed to our minds the pleasing objects of the Old World; those of the New have to be cherished in song yet many more years, before they will be equally sacred to our imaginations.

By some of our writers the Mocking-Bird is put forward as equal in song to the Nightingale. This assumption might be worthy of consideration, if the American bird were not a mimic. But his mocking habits almost annihilate his value as a songster,—as the effect of a good concert would be spoiled, if the players were constantly introducing, in the midst of their serious performances, snatches of ridiculous tunes and uncouth sounds. I have never heard the Nightingale; but if I may judge from descriptions of its song, and from the notes of those Canaries which are said to give us perfect imitations of it, we have no bird in America that equals this classical songster. The following description, by Pliny, which is said to be superior to any other, may afford us some idea of the extent of its powers:—"The Nightingale, that for fifteen days and nights, hid in the thickest shades, continues her note without intermission, deserves our attention and wonder. How surprising that so great a voice can reside in so small a body! Such perseverance in so minute an animal! With what musical propriety are the sounds it produces modulated! The note at one time drawn out with a long breath, now stealing off into a different cadence, now interrupted by a break, then changing into a new note by an unexpected transition, now seeming to renew the same strain, then deceiving expectation. She sometimes seems to murmur within herself; full, deep, sharp, swift, drawling, trembling; now at the top, the middle, and the bottom of the scale. In short, in that little bill seems to reside all the melody which man has vainly labored to bring from a variety of musical instruments. Some even seem to be possessed of a different note from the rest, and contend with each other with great ardor. The bird, overcome, is then seen to discontinue its song only with its life."

The cause of the nocturnal singing of birds that do not go abroad during the night and are strictly diurnal in all their other habits has never been satisfactorily explained. It is natural that the Whippoorwill, which is a nocturnal bird, should sing during his hours of wakefulness and activity. There is also no difficulty in explaining why Ducks and Geese, and some other social birds, should utter their loud alarm-notes, when they meet with any midnight disturbance. These birds usually have a sentinel who keeps awake; and if he give an alarm, the others reply to it. The crowing of the Cock bears more analogy to the song of a bird, for it does not seem to be an alarm-note. This domestic bird may be considered, therefore, a nocturnal songster, if his crowing can be called a song; though it is remarkable that we seldom hear it during evening twilight. The Cock sings his matins, but not his vespers; he crows at the earliest dawn of day, and at midnight upon the rising of the moon, and whenever he is awakened by artificial light. Many singing-birds are accustomed to prolong their notes after sunset to a late hour, and become silent only to commence again at the earliest daybreak. But the habit of singing in the night is peculiar to a small number of birds, and the cause of it forms a curious subject of inquiry.

By what means are they enabled to sustain such constant watchfulness, singing and providing subsistence for their offspring during the day, and still continuing wakeful and musical while it is night? Why do they take pleasure in singing, when no one will come in answer to their call? Have they their worship, like religious beings, and are their midnight lays but the outpouring of the fervency of their spirits? Do they rejoice, like the clouds, in the presence of the moon, hailing her beams as a pleasant relief from the darkness that has surrounded them? Or in the silence of night, are their songs but responses to the sounds of the trees, when they bow their heads and shake their rustling leaves in the wind? When they listen to the streamlet, that makes audible melody only in the hush of night, do they not answer to it from their leafy perch? And when the moth flies hummingly through the recesses of the wood, and the beetle sounds his horn, what are their notes but cheerful responses to these sounds, that break sweetly upon the quiet of their slumbers?

Wilson remarks, that the hunters in the Southern States, when setting out on an excursion by night, as soon as they hear the Mocking-Bird sing, know that the moon is rising. He quotes a writer who supposes that it may be fear that operates upon the birds when they perceive the Owls flitting among the trees, and that they sing, as a timid person whistles in a lonely place, to quiet their fears. But the musical notes of birds are never used by them to express their fears; they are the language of love, sometimes animated by jealousy. It must be admitted that the moonlight awakes these birds, and may be the most frequent exciting cause of their nocturnal singing; but it is not true that they always wait for the rising of the moon; and if this were the fact, the question may still be asked, why these few species alone should be thus affected.

Since Philosophy can give no explanation of this instinct, let Fancy come to her aid, and assist us in our dilemma,—as when we have vainly sought from Reason an explanation of the mysteries of Religion, we humbly submit to the guidance of Faith. With Fancy for our interpreter, we may suppose that Nature has adapted the works of creation to our moral as well as our physical wants; and while she has instituted the night as a time for general rest, she has provided means that shall soften the gloomy effects of darkness. The birds, which are the harbingers of all rural delights, are hence made to sing during twilight; and when they cease, the nocturnal songsters become vocal, bearing pleasant sensations to the sleepless, and by their lulling melodies preparing us to be keenly susceptible of all agreeable emotions.


  Carolling bird, that merrily, night and day,
  Tellest thy raptures from the rustling spray,
  And wakest the morning with thy varied lay,
          Singing thy matins,—
  When we have come to hear thy sweet oblation
  Of love and joyance from thy sylvan station,
  Why, in the place of musical cantation,
          Balk us with pratings?

  We stroll by moonlight in the dusky forest,
  Where the tall cypress shields thee, fervent chorist!
  And sit in haunts of Echoes, when thou pourest
          Thy woodland solo.
  Hark! from the next green tree thy song commences:
  Music and discord join to mock the senses,
  Repeated from the tree-tops and the fences,
          From hill and hollow.

  A hundred voices mingle with thy clamor;
  Bird, beast, and reptile take part in thy drama;
  Out-speak they all in turn without a stammer,—
          Brisk Polyglot!
  Voices of Killdeer, Plover, Duck, and Dotterel;
  Notes bubbling, hissing, mellow, sharp, and guttural;
  Of Cat-Bird, Cat, or Cart-Wheel, thou canst utter all,
          And all-untaught.

  The Raven's croak, the chirping of the Sparrow,
  The scream of Jays, the creaking of Wheelbarrow,
  And hoot of Owls,—all join the soul to harrow,
          And grate the ear.
  We listen to thy quaint soliloquizing,
  As if all creatures thou wert catechizing,
  Tuning their voices, and their notes revising,
          From far and near.

  Sweet bird! that surely lovest the noise of folly;
  Most musical, but never melancholy;
  Disturber of the hour that should be holy,
          With sound prodigious!
  Fie on thee, O thou feathered Paganini!
  To use thy little pipes to squawk and whinny,
  And emulate the hinge and spinning-jenny,
          Making night hideous!

  Provoking melodist! why canst thou breathe us
  No thrilling harmony, no charming pathos,
  No cheerful song of love without its bathos?
          The Furies take thee,—
  Blast thy obstreperous mirth, thy foolish chatter,—
  Gag thee, exhaust thy breath, and stop thy clatter,
  And change thee to a beast, thou senseless prater!—
          Nought else can check thee!

  A lengthened pause ensues:—but hark again!
  From the new woodland, stealing o'er the plain,
  Comes forth a sweeter and a holier strain!—
          Listening delighted,
  The gales breathe softly, as they bear along
  The warbled treasure,—the delicious throng
  Of notes that swell accordant in the song,
          As love is plighted.

  The Echoes, joyful from their vocal cell,
  Leap with the wingèd sounds o'er hill and dell,
  With kindling fervor, as the chimes they tell
          To wakeful Even:—
  They melt upon the ear; they float away;
  They rise, they sink, they hasten, they delay,
  And hold the listener with bewitching sway,
          Like sounds from heaven!



The gentlemen of our party go one day to visit the Jesuit College in Havana, yclept "Universidad de Belen." The ladies, weary of dry goods, manifest some disposition to accompany them. This is at once frowned down by the unfairer sex, and Can Grande, appealed to by the other side, shakes his shoulders, and replies, "No, you are only miserable women, and cannot be admitted into any Jesuit establishment whatever." And so the male deputation departs with elation, and returns with airs of superior opportunity, and is more insufferable than ever at dinner, and thereafter.

They of the feminine faction, on the other hand, consult with more direct authorities, and discover that the doors of Belen are in no wise closed to them, and that everything within those doors is quite at their disposition, saving and excepting the sleeping-apartments of the Jesuit fathers,—to which, even in thought, they would on no account draw near. And so they went and saw Belen, whereof one of them relates as follows.

The building is spacious, inclosing a hollow square, and with numerous galleries, like European cloisters, where the youth walk, study, and play. We were shown up-stairs, into a pleasant reception-room, where two priests soon waited on us. One of these, Padre Doyaguez, seemed to be the decoy-duck of the establishment, and soon fastened upon one of our party, whose Protestant tone of countenance had probably caught his attention. Was she a Protestant? Oh, no!—not with that intelligent, physiognomy!—not with that talent! What was her name? Julia (pronounced _H_ulia). Hulia was a Roman name, a Catholic name; he had never heard of a Hulia who was a Protestant;—very strange, it seemed to him, that a Hulia could hold to such unreasonable ideas. The other priest, Padre Lluc, meanwhile followed with sweet, quiet eyes, whose silent looks had more persuasion in them than all the innocent cajoleries of the elder man. Padre Doyaguez was a man eminently qualified to deal with the sex in general,—a coaxing voice, a pair of vivacious eyes, whose cunning was not unpleasing, tireless good-humor and perseverance, and a savor of sincerity. Padre Lluc was the sort of man that one recalls in quiet moments with a throb of sympathy,—the earnest eyes, the clear brow, the sonorous voice. One thinks of him, and hopes that he is satisfied,—that cruel longing and more cruel doubt shall never spring up in that capacious heart, divorcing his affections and convictions from the system to which his life is irrevocably wedded. No, keep still, Padre Lluc I think ever as you think now, lest the faith that seems a fortress should prove a prison, the mother a step-dame,—lest the high, chivalrous spirit, incapable of a safe desertion, should immolate truth or itself on the altar of consistency.

Between those two advocates of Catholicity, Hulia Protestante walks slowly through the halls of the University. She sees first a Cabinet of Natural History, including minerals, shells, fossils, and insects, all well-arranged, and constituting a very respectable beginning. Padre Lluc says some good words on the importance of scientific education. Padre Doyaguez laughs at the ladies' hoops, which he calls Malakoffs, as they crowd through the doorways and among the glass cases; he repeats occasionally, "Hulia Protestante?" in a tone of mock astonishment, and receives for answer, "Sí, Hulia Protestante." Then comes a very creditable array of scientific apparatus,—not of the order employed by the judges of Galileo,—electric and galvanic batteries, an orrery, and many things beside. The library interests us more, with some luxurious classics, a superb Dante, and a prison-cage of forbidden works, of which Padre Lluc certainly has the key. Among these were fine editions of Rousseau and Voltaire, which appeared to be intended for use; and we could imagine a solitary student, dark-eyed and pale, exploring their depths at midnight with a stolen candle, and endeavoring, with self-torment, to reconcile the intolerance of his doctrine with the charities of his heart. We imagine such a one lost in the philosophy and sentiment of the "Nouvelle Héloise," and suddenly summoned by the convent-bell to the droning of the Mass, the mockery of Holy Water, the fable of the Real Presence. Such contrasts might be strange and dangerous. No, no, Padre Lluc! keep these unknown spells from your heart,—let the forbidden books alone. Instead of the Confessions of Jean Jacques, read the Confessions of St. Augustine,—read the new book, in three volumes, on the Immaculate Conception, which you show me with such ardor, telling me that Can Grande, which, in the vernacular, is Parker, has spoken of it with respect. Beyond the Fathers you must not get, for you have vowed to be a child all your life. Those clear eyes of yours are never to look up into the face of the Eternal Father; the show-box of the Church must content them, with Mary and the saints seen through its dusty glass,—the august figure of the Son, who sometimes reproved his mother, crowded quite out of sight behind the woman, whom it is so much easier to dress up and exhibit. What is this other book which Parker has read? Padre Doyaguez says, "Hulia, if you read this, you must become a Catholic." Padre Lluc says, "If Parker has read this book, I cannot conceive that he is not a Catholic." The quick Doyaguez then remarks, "Parker is going to Rome to join the Romish Church." Padre Lluc rejoins, "They say so." Hulia Protestante is inclined to cry out, "The day that Parker becomes a Catholic, I, too, will become one"; but, remembering the rashness of vows and the fallibility of men, she does not adopt that form of expressing Never. Parker might, if it pleased God, become a Catholic, and then the world would have two Popes instead of one.

We leave at last the disputed ground of the library and ascend to the observatory, which commands a fine view of the city, and a good sweep of the heavens for the telescope, in which Padre Lluc seemed especially to delight. The observatory is commodious, and is chiefly directed by an attenuated young priest, with a keen eye and hectic cheek; another was occupied in working out mathematical tables;—for these Fathers observe the stars, and are in scientific correspondence with astronomers in Europe. This circumstance gave us real pleasure on their account,—for science, in all its degrees, is a positive good, and a mental tonic of the first importance. Earnestly did we, in thought, commend it to those wearied minds which have undergone the dialectic dislocations, the denaturalizations of truth and of thought, which enable rational men to become first Catholics and then Jesuits. For let there be no illusions about strength of mind, and so on,—this is effected by means of a vast machinery. As, in the old story, the calves were put in at one end of the cylinder and taken out leather breeches at the other, or as glass is cut and wood carved, so does the raw human material, put into the machine of the Catholic Church, become fashioned according to the will of those who guide it. Hulia Protestante! you have a free step and a clear head; but once go into the machine, and you will come out carved and embossed according to the old traditional pattern,—you as well as another. Where the material is hard, they put on more power,—where it is soft, more care; wherefore I caution you here, as I would in a mill at Lowell or Lawrence,—Don't meddle with the shafts,—don't go too near the wheel,—in short, keep clear of the machinery. And Hulia does so; for, at the last attack of Padre Doyaguez, she suddenly turns upon him and says, "Sir, you are a Doctrinary and a Propagandist." And the good Father suffers her to depart in peace. But first there is the chapel to be seen, with its tawdry and poor ornamentation,—and the dormitories of the scholars, with long double rows of beds and mosquito-nettings. There are two of these, and each of them has at one end a raised platform, with curtains and a bed, where rests and watches the shepherd of the little sheep. Lastly, we have a view of the whole flock, assembled in their play-ground, and one of them, looking up, sees his mother, who has kindly accompanied our visit to the institution. Across the distance that separates us, we see his blue eyes brighten, and, as soon as permission is given, he bounds like a young roe to her arms, shy and tender, his English blood showing through his Spanish skin,—for he is a child of mixed race. We are all pleased and touched, and Padre Lluc presently brings us a daguerreotype, and says, "It is my mother." To us it is an indifferent portrait of an elderly Spanish woman,—but to him, how much! With kindest mutual regard we take leave,—a little surprised, perhaps, to see that Jesuit priests have mothers, and remember them.


"Far from my thoughts, vain world, begone!"

However enchanting Havana may prove, when seen through the moonlight of memory, it seems as good a place to go away from as any other, after a stifling night in a net, the wooden shutters left open in the remote hope of air, and admitting the music of a whole opera-troupe of dogs, including bass, tenor, soprano, and chorus. Instead of bouquets, you throw stones, if you are so fortunate as to have them,—if not, boot-jacks, oranges, your only umbrella. You are last seen thrusting frantic hands and feet through the iron bars, your wife holding you back by the flannel night-gown which you will persist in wearing in this doubtful climate. At last it is over,—the fifth act ends with a howl which makes you hope that some one of the performers has come to grief. But, alas! it is only a stage dénouement, whose hero will die again every night while the season lasts. You fall asleep, but the welcome cordial has scarcely been tasted when you are aroused by a knock at the door. It is the night-porter, who wakes you at five by appointment, that you may enjoy your early coffee, tumble into a hired volante, and reach, half dead with sleep, the station in time for the train that goes to San Antonio.

Now, whether you are a partisan of early rising or not, you must allow that sunrise and the hour after is the golden time of the day in Cuba. So this hour of starting,—six o'clock,—so distasteful in our latitudes, is a matter of course in tropical climates. Arriving at the station, you encounter new tribulations in the registering and payment of luggage, the transportation of which is not included in the charge for your ticket. Your trunks are recorded in a book, and, having paid a real apiece for them, you receive a paper which entitles you to demand them again at your journey's end. The Cuban railways are good, but dear,—the charge being ten cents a mile; whereas in our more favored land one goes for three cents, and has the chance of a collision and surgeon's services without any extra payment. The cars have windows which are always open, and blinds which are always closed, or nearly so. The seats and backs of seats are of cane, for coolness,—hardness being secured at the same time. One reaches San Antonio in an hour and a half, and finds a pleasant village, with a river running through it, several streets of good houses, several more of bad ones, a cathedral, a cockpit, a volante, four soldiers on horseback, two on foot, a market, dogs, a bad smell, and, lastly, the American Hotel,—a house built in a hollow square, as usual,—kept by a strong-minded woman from the States, whose Yankee thrift is unmistakable, though she has been long absent from the great centres of domestic economy.

Mrs. L——, always on the watch for arrivals, comes out to receive us. We are very welcome, she hints, as far as we go; but why are there not more of us? The smallest favors should be thankfully received, but she hears that Havana is full of strangers, and she wonders, for her part, why people will stay in that hot place, and roast, and stew, and have the yellow fever, when she could make them so comfortable in San Antonio. This want of custom she continues, during our whole visit, to complain of. Would it be uncharitable for us to aver that we found other wants in her establishment which caused us more astonishment, and which went some way towards accounting for the deficiency complained of? wants of breakfast, wants of dinner, wants of something good for tea, wants of towels, wants of candles, wants of ice, or, at least, of the cooling jars used in the country. Charges exorbitant,—the same as in Havana, where rents are an ounce a week, and upwards; volantes difficult,—Mrs. L. having made an agreement with the one livery-stable that they shall always be furnished at most unreasonable prices, of which she, supposably, pockets half. On the other hand, the village is really cool, healthy, and pretty; there are pleasant drives over dreadful roads, if one makes up one's mind to the volante, and delightful river-baths, shaded by roofs of palm-tree thatch. One of the best of these is at the foot of Mrs. L.'s inclosure, and its use is included in the privileges of the house. The water is nearly tepid, clear, and green, and the little fish float hither and thither in it,—though men of active minds are sometimes reduced to angle for them, with crooked pins, for amusement. At the hour of one, daily, the ladies of the house betake themselves to this refreshment; and there is laughing, and splashing, and holding of hands, and simulation of all the Venuses that ever were, from the crouching one of the bath, to the triumphant Cytherea, springing for the first time from the wave.

Such are the resources of the house. Those of the neighborhood are various. Foremost among them is the cafetal, or coffee-plantation, of Don Juan Torres, distant a league from the village, over which league of stone, sand, and rut you rumble in a volante dragged by three horses. You know that the volante cannot upset; nevertheless you experience some anxious moments when it leans at an obtuse angle, one wheel in air, one sticking in a hole, the horses balking and kicking, and the postilion swearing his best. But it is written, the volante shall not upset,—and so it does not. Long before you see the entrance to the plantation, you watch the tall palms, planted in a line, that shield, its borders. An avenue of like growth leads you to the house, where barking dogs announce you, and Don Juan, an elderly gentleman in slippers and a Panama hat, his hair, face, and eyes all faded to one hue of grayness, comes out to accost us. Here, again, Hulia Protestante becomes the subject of a series of attacks, in a new kind. Don Juan first exhausts his flower-garden upon her, and explains all that is new to her. Then she must see his blind Chino, a sightless Samson of a Cooly, who is working resolutely in a mill. "Canta!" says the master, and the poor slave gives tongue like a hound on the scent. "Baila!" and, a stick being handed him, he performs the gymnastics of his country, a sort of war-dance without accompaniment. "El can!" and, giving him a broom, they loose the dog upon him. A curious tussle then ensues,—the dog attacking furiously, and the blind man, guided by his barking, defending himself lustily. The Chino laughs, the master laughs, but the visitor feels more inclined to cry, having been bred in those Northern habits which respect infirmity. A real dismisses the poor soul with a smile, and then begins the journey round the cafetal. The coffee-blossom is just in its perfection, and whole acres in sight are white with its flower, which nearly resembles that of the small white jasmine. Its fragrance is said to be delicious after a rain; but, the season being dry, it is scarcely discernible. As shade is a great object in growing coffee, the grounds are laid out in lines of fruit- trees, and these are the ministers of Hulia's tribulation; for Don Juan, whether in kindness or in mischief, insists that she shall taste every unknown fruit,—and as he cuts them and hands them to her, she is forced to obey. First, a little negro shins up a cocoa-nut-tree, and flings down the nut, whose water she must drink. One cocoa-nut she endures,—two,—but three? no, she must rebel, and cry out,—"No mi gusta!" Then she must try a bitter orange, then a sour bitter one, then a sweet lemon, then a huge fruit of triple verjuice flavor. "What is it good for?" she asks, after a shuddering plunge into its acrid depths. "Oh," says the Don, "they eat it in the castors instead of vinegar." Then come sapotas, mamey, Otaheite gooseberries. "Does she like bananas?" he cuts a tree down with his own hand, and sends the bunch of fruit to her volante;—"Sugar-cane?" he bestows a huge bundle of sticks for her leisurely rodentation;—he fills her pocket with coral beans for her children. Having, at last, exhausted every polite attention, and vainly offered gin, rum, and coffee, as a parting demonstration, Hulia and her partner escape, bearing with them many strange flavors, and an agonizing headache, the combined result of sun and acids. Really, if there exist anywhere on earth a society for the promotion and encouragement of good manners, it should send a diploma to Don Juan, admonishing him only to omit the vinegar-fruit in his further walks of hospitality.

We take the Sunday to visit the nearest sugar-plantation, belonging to Don Jacinto Gonzales. Sun, not shade, being the desideratum in sugar-planting, there are few trees or shrubs bordering the sugar-fields, which resemble at a distance our own fields of Indian corn, the green of the leaves being lighter, and a pale blue blossom appearing here and there. The points of interest here are the machinery, the negroes, and the work. Entering the sugar-house, we find the maquinista (engineer) superintending some repairs in the machinery, aided by another white man, a Cooly, and an imp of a black boy, who begged of all the party, and revenged himself with clever impertinence on those who refused him. The maquinista was a fine-looking man, from the Pyrenees, very kind and obliging. He told us that Don Jacinto was very old, and came rarely to the plantation. We asked him how the extreme heat of his occupation suited him, and for an answer he opened the bosom of his shirt, and showed us the marks of innumerable leeches. The machinery is not very complicated. It consists of a wheel and band, to throw the canes under the powerful rollers which crush them, and these rollers, three in number, all moved by the steam-engine. The juice flows into large copper caldrons, where it is boiled and skimmed. As they were not at work, we did not see the actual process. Leaving the sugar-house, we went in pursuit of the mayoral, or overseer, who seemed to inhabit comfortable quarters, in a long, low house, shielded from the sun by a thick screen of matting. We found him a powerful, thick-set man, of surly and uncivil manners, girded with a sword, and further armed with a pistol, a dagger, and a stout whip. He was much too important a person to waste his words upon us, but signified that the major-domo would wait on us, which he presently did. We now entered the negro quarter, a solid range of low buildings, formed around a hollow square, whose strong entrance is closed at nightfall, and its inmates kept in strict confinement till the morning hour of work comes round. Just within the doorway we encountered the trader, who visits the plantations every Sunday, to tempt the stray cash of the negroes by various commodities, of which the chief seemed to be white bread, calicoes, muslins, and bright cotton handkerchiefs. He told us that their usual weekly expenditure amounted to about twenty-five dollars. Bargaining with him stood the negro-driver, a tattooed African, armed with a whip. All within the court swarmed the black bees of the hive,—the men with little clothing, the small children naked, the women decent. All had their little charcoal fires, with pots boiling over them; the rooms within looked dismally dark, close, and dirty; there are no windows, no air and light save through the ever-open door. The beds are sometimes partitioned off by a screen of dried palm-leaf, but I saw no better sleeping-privilege than a board with a blanket or coverlet. From this we turned to the nursery, where all the children incapable of work are kept; the babies are quite naked, and sometimes very handsome in their way, black and shining, with bright eyes and well-formed limbs. No great provision is made for their amusement, but the little girls nurse them tenderly enough, and now and then the elders fling them a bit of orange or chaimito, for which they scramble like so many monkeys. Appeals are constantly made to the pockets of visitors, by open hands stretched out in all directions. To these "Nada"—"Nothing"—is the safe reply; for, if you give to one, the others close about you with frantic gesticulation, and you have to break your way through them with some violence, which hurts your own feelings more than it does theirs. On strict plantations this is not allowed; but Don Jacinto, like Lord Ashburton at the time of the Maine treaty, is an old man,—a very old man; and where discipline cannot be maintained, peace must be secured on any terms. We visit next the sugar-house, where we find the desired condiment in various stages of color and refinement. It is whitened with clay, in large funnel-shaped vessels, open at the bottom, to allow the molasses to run off. Above are hogsheads of coarse, dark sugar; below is a huge pit of fermenting molasses, in which rats and small negroes occasionally commit involuntary suicide, and from which rum is made.—N. B. Rum is not a wicked word in Cuba; in Boston everybody is shocked when it is named, and in Cuba nobody is shocked when it is drunk.

And here endeth the description of our visit to the sugar-plantation of Don Jacinto, and in good time, too,—for by this it had grown so hot, that we made a feeble rush for the volante, and lay back in it, panting for breath. Encountering a negress with a load of oranges on her head, we bought and ate the fruit with eagerness, though the oranges were bitter. The jolting over three miles of stone and rut did not improve the condition of our aching heads. Arriving at San Antonio, we thankfully went to bed for the rest of the morning, and dreamed, only dreamed, that the saucy black boy in the boiling-house had run after us, had lifted the curtain of the volante, screeched a last impertinence after us, and kissed his hand for a good-bye, which, luckily for him, is likely to prove eternal.


The Spanish government experiences an unwillingness to admit foreigners into the Morro, their great stronghold, the causes of which may not be altogether mysterious. Americans have been of late especially excluded from it, and it was only by a fortunate chance that we were allowed to visit it. A friend of a friend of ours happened to have a friend in the garrison, and, after some delays and negotiations, an early morning hour was fixed upon for the expedition.

The fort is finely placed at the entrance of the harbor, and is in itself a picturesque object. It is built of a light, yellowish stone, which is seen, as you draw near, in strong contrast with the vivid green of the tropical waters. We approached it by water, taking a rowboat from the Alameda. As we passed, we had a good view of a daily Havana spectacle, the washing of the horses. This being by far the easiest and most expeditious way of cleaning the animals, they are driven daily to the sea in great numbers, those of one party being tied together; they disport themselves in the surge and their wet backs glisten in the sun. Their drivers, nearly naked, plunge in with them, and bring them safely back to the shore.

But for the Morro. We entered without difficulty, and began at once a somewhat steep ascent, which the heat, even at that early hour, made laborious. After some climbing, we reached the top of the parapet, and looked out from the back of the fortress. On this side, if ever on any, it will be taken,—for, standing with one's back to the harbor, one sees, nearly on the right hand, a point where trenches could be opened with advantage. The fort is heavily gunned and garrisoned, and seems to be in fighting order. The outer wall is separated from the inner by a paved space some forty feet in width. The height of both walls makes this point a formidable one; but scaling-ladders could be thrown across, if one had possession of the outer wall. The material is the coralline rock common in this part of the island. It is a soft stone, and would prove, it is feared, something like the cotton-bag defence of New Orleans memory,—as the balls thrown from without would sink in, and not splinter the stone, which for the murderous work were to be wished. A little perseverance, with much perspiration, brought us to a high point, called the Lantern, which is merely a small room, where the telescope, signal-books, and signals are kept. Here we were received by an official in blue spectacles and with a hole in his boot, but still with that air of being the chiefest thing on God's earth common to all Spaniards. The best of all was that we brought a sack of oranges with us, and that the time was now come for their employment. With no other artillery than these did we take the very heart of the Morro citadel,—for, on offering them to the official with the hole, he surrendered at once, smiled, gave us seats, and sitting down with us, indeed, was soon in the midst of his half-dozenth orange. Having refreshed ourselves, examined the flags of all nations, and made all the remarks which our limited Spanish allowed, we took leave, redescended, and reëmbarked. One of our party, an old soldier, had meanwhile been busily scanning the points and angles of the fortress, pacing off distances, etc., etc. The result of his observations would, no doubt, be valuable to men of military minds. But the writer of this, to be candid, was especially engaged with the heat, the prospect, the oranges, and the soldiers' wives and children, who peeped out from windows here and there. Such trifling creatures do come into such massive surroundings, and trifle still!

Our ladies, being still in a furious mood of sight-seeing, desired to visit the University of Havana, and, having made appointment with an accomplished Cuban, betook themselves to the College buildings with all proper escort. Their arrival in the peristyle occasioned some excitement. One of the students came up, and said, in good English, "What do you want?" Others, not so polite, stared and whispered in corners. A message to one of the professors was attended with some delay, and our Cuban friend, having gone to consult with him, returned to say, with some embarrassment, that the professor would be happy to show the establishment to the ladies on Sunday, at two, P.M., when every male creature but himself would be out of it; but as for their going through the rooms while the undergraduates were about, that was not to be thought of. "Why not?" asked the ladies. "For your own sake," said the messenger, and proceeded to explain that the appearance of the skirted in these halls of learning would be followed by such ill-conduct and indignity of impertinence on the part of the shirted as might be intolerable to the one and disadvantageous to the other. Now there be women, we know, whose horrid fronts could have awed these saucy little Cubans into decency and good behavior, and some that we know, whether possessing that power or not, would have delighted in the fancied exercise of it. What strong-minded company, under these circumstances, would have turned back? What bolting, tramping, and rushing would they not have made through the ranks of the astonished professors and students? The Anniversary set, for example, who sweep the pews of men, or, coming upon one forlorn, crush him as a boa does a sheep. Our silly little flock only laughed, colored, and retreated to the volantes, where they held a council of war, and decided to go visit some establishment where possibly better manners might prevail.

Returning on the Sunday, at the hour appointed, they walked through the deserted building, and found spacious rooms, the pulpits of the professors, the benches of the students, the Queen's portrait, a very limited library, and, for all consolation, some pleasant Latin sentences over the doors of the various departments, celebrating the solace and delights of learning. This was seeing the College, literally; but it was a good deal like seeing the lion's den, the lion himself being absent on leave,—or like visiting the hippopotamus in Regent's Park on those days in which he remains steadfastly buried in his tank, and will show only the tip of a nostril for your entrance-fee. Still, it was a pleasure to know that learning was so handsomely housed; and as for the little rabble who could not be trusted in the presence of the sex, we forgave them heartily, knowing that soberer manners would one day come upon them, as inevitably as baldness and paternity.

Let me here say, that a few days in Havana make clear to one the seclusion of women in the East, and its causes. Wherever the animal vigor of men is so large in proportion to their moral power, as in those countries, women must be glad to forego their liberties for the protection of the strong arm. One master is better for them than many. Whatever tyranny may grow out of such barbarous manners, the institution springs from a veritable necessity and an original good intention. The Christian religion should change this, which is justifiable only in a Mohammedan country. But where that religion is so loosely administered as in Cuba, where its teachers themselves frequent the cock-pit and the gaming-table, one must not look for too much of its power in the manners and morals of men.

The Beneficenza was our next station. It is, as its name signifies, an institution with a benevolent purpose, an orphan asylum and foundling hospital in one. The State here charitably considers that infants who are abandoned by their parents are as much orphaned as they can become by the interposition of death,—nay, more. The death of parents oftenest leaves a child with some friend or relative; but the foundling is cut off from all human relationship,—he belongs only to the hand that takes him up, when he has been left to die. Despite the kind cruelty of modern theories, which will not allow of suitable provision for the sufferer, for fear of increasing the frequency of the crime by which he suffers, our hearts revolt at the miserable condition of those little creatures in our great cities, confounded with hopeless pauperism in its desolate asylums, or farmed out to starve and die. They belong to the State, and the State should nobly retrieve the world's offence against them. Their broken galaxy shows many a bright star here and there. Such a little wailing creature has been found who has commanded great actions and done good service among men. Let us, then, cherish the race of foundlings, of whom Moses was the first and the greatest. The princess who reared him saw not the glorious destiny which lay hid, as a birth-jewel, in his little basket of reeds. She saw only, as some of us have seen, a helpless, friendless babe. When he dedicated to her his first edition of the Pentateuch—But, nay, he did not; for neither gratitude nor dedications were in fashion among the Jews.

We found the Beneficenza spacious, well-ventilated, and administered with great order. It stands near the sea, with a fine prospect in view, and must command a cool breeze, if there be any. The children enjoy sea-bathing in summer. The superintendent received us most kindly, and presented us to the sisters who have charge of the children, who were good specimens of their class. We walked with them through the neat dormitories, and observed that they were much more airy than those of the Jesuit College, lately described. They all slept on the sackings of the cots, beds being provided only in the infirmary. In the latter place we found but two inmates,—one suffering from ordinary Cuban fever, the other with ophthalmia.—N.B. Disease of the eyes does not seem to be common in Cuba, in spite of the tropical glare of the sun; nor do people nurse and complain of their eyes there, as with us. We found a separate small kitchen for the sick, which was neat and convenient. The larger kitchen, too, was handsomely endowed with apparatus, and the superintendent told us, with a twinkle in his eye, that the children lived well. Coffee at six, a good breakfast at nine, dinner at the usual hour, bread and coffee before bed-time;—this seemed very suitable as to quantity, though differing from our ideas of children's food; but it must be remembered that the nervous stimulus of coffee is not found to be excessive in hot climates; it seems to be only what Nature demands,—no more. The kind nun who accompanied us now showed us, with some pride, various large presses, set in the wall, and piled to the top with clean and comfortable children's clothing. We came presently to where the boys were reciting their catechism. An ecclesiastic was hearing them;—they seemed ready enough with their answers, but were allowed to gabble off the holy words in a manner almost unintelligible, and quite indecorous. They were bright, healthy-looking little fellows, ranging apparently from eight to twelve in age. They had good play-ground set off for them, and shady galleries to walk up and down in. Coming from their quarter, the girls' department seemed quiet enough. Here was going on the eternal task of needlework, to which the sex has been condemned ever since Adam's discovery of his want of wardrobe. Oh, ye wretched, foolish women! why will ye forever sew? "We must not only sew, but be thankful to sew; that little needle being, as the sentimental Curtis has said, the only thing between us and the worst that may befall."

These incipient women were engaged in various forms of sewing,—the most skilful in a sort of embroidery, like that which forms the border of piña handkerchiefs. A few were reading and spelling. One poor blind girl sat amongst them, with melancholy arms folded, and learned nothing,—they told us, nothing; for the instruction of the blind is not thought of in these parts. This seemed piteous to us, and made us reflect how happy are our blinds, to say nothing of our deafs and dumbs. Idiocy is not uncommon here, and is the result of continual intermarriage between near relations; but it will be long before they will provide it with a separate asylum and suitable instruction.

But now came the saddest part of the whole exhibition,—a sight common enough in Europe, but, by some accident, hitherto unseen by us. Here is a sort of receptacle, with three or four compartments, which turns on a pivot. One side of it is open to the street, and in it the wretched parent lays the more wretched baby,—ringing a small bell, at the same time, for the new admittance; the parent vanishes, the receptacle turns on its pivot,—the baby is within, and, we are willing to believe, in merciful hands.

The sight of this made, for the first time, the crime real to me. I saw, at a flash, the whole tragedy of desertion,—the cautious approach, the frightened countenance, the furtive act, and the great avenging pang of Nature after its consummation. What was Hester Prynne's pillory, compared to the heart of any of those mothers? I thought, too, of Rousseau, bringing to such a place as this children who had the right to inherit divine genius, and deserting them for the sordid reason that he did not choose to earn their bread,—the helpless mother weeping at home, and begging, through long years, to be allowed to seek and reclaim them.

Well, here were the little creatures kindly cared for; yet what a piteous place was their nursery! Some of the recent arrivals looked as if ill-usage had been exhausted upon them before they were brought hither. Blows and drugs and starvation had been tried upon them, but, with the tenacity of infancy, they clung to life. They would not die;—well, then, they should live to regret it. Some of them lay on the floor, deformed and helpless; the older ones formed a little class, and were going through some elementary exercise when we passed. The babies had a large room allotted to them, and I found the wet-nurses apportioned one to each child. This appeared a very generous provision, as, in such establishments elsewhere, three and even four children are given to one nurse. They had comfortable cribs, on each of which was pinned the name of its little inmate, and the date of its entrance;—generally, the name and age of the child are found written on a slip of paper attached to its clothing, when it is left in the receptacle. I saw on one, "Cecilio, three weeks old." He had been but a few days in the establishment.

Of course, I lingered longest in the babies' room, and longest of all near the crib of the little Cecilio. He was a pretty baby, and seemed to me the most ill-used of all, because the youngest. "Could they not bear with you three weeks, little fellow?" I said. "I know those at whose firesides such as you would have been welcome guests. That New York woman whom I met lately, young, rich, and childless,—I could commend you to her in place of the snarling little spaniel fiend who was her constant care and companion."

But here the superintendent made a polite bow, saying,—"And now your Worships have seen all; for the chapel is undergoing repairs, and cannot be visited." And so we thanked, and departed.


  If I shall ever win the home in heaven
    For whose sweet rest I humbly hope and pray,
  In the great company of the forgiven
    I shall be sure to find old Daniel Gray.

  I knew him well; in fact, few knew him better;
    For my young eyes oft read for him the Word,
  And saw how meekly from the crystal letter
    He drank the life of his beloved Lord.

  Old Daniel Gray was not a man who lifted
    On ready words his freight of gratitude,
  And was not called upon among the gifted,
    In the prayer-meetings of his neighborhood.

  He had a few old-fashioned words and phrases,
    Linked in with sacred texts and Sunday rhymes;
  And I suppose, that, in his prayers and graces,
    I've heard them all at least a thousand times.

  I see him now,—his form, and face, and motions,
    His homespun habit, and his silver hair,—
  And hear the language of his trite devotions
    Rising behind the straight-backed kitchen-chair.

  I can remember how the sentence sounded,—
    "Help us, O Lord, to pray, and not to faint!"
  And how the "conquering-and-to-conquer" rounded
    The loftier aspirations of the saint.

  He had some notions that did not improve him:
    He never kissed his children,—so they say;
  And finest scenes and fairest flowers would move him
    Less than a horseshoe picked up in the way.

  He could see nought but vanity in beauty,
    And nought but weakness in a fond caress,
  And pitied men whose views of Christian duty
    Allowed indulgence in such foolishness.

  Yet there were love and tenderness within him;
    And I am told, that, when his Charley died,
  Nor Nature's need nor gentle words could win him
    From his fond vigils at the sleeper's side.

  And when they came to bury little Charley,
    They found fresh dew-drops sprinkled in his hair,
  And on his breast a rose-bud, gathered early,—
    And guessed, but did not know, who placed it there.

  My good old friend was very hard on fashion,
    And held its votaries in lofty scorn,
  And often burst into a holy passion
    While the gay crowds went by, on Sunday morn.

  Yet he was vain, old Gray, and did not know it!
    He wore his hair unparted, long, and plain,
  To hide the handsome brow that slept below it,
    For fear the world would think that he was vain!

  He had a hearty hatred of oppression,
    And righteous words for sin of every kind;
  Alas, that the transgressor and transgression
    Were linked so closely in his honest mind!

  Yet that sweet tale of gift without repentance,
    Told of the Master, touched him to the core,
  And tearless he could never read the sentence:
    "Neither do I condemn thee: sin no more."

  Honest and faithful, constant in his calling,
    Strictly attendant on the means of grace,
  Instant in prayer, and fearful most of falling,
    Old Daniel Gray was always in his place.

  A practical old man, and yet a dreamer,
    He thought that in some strange, unlooked-for way,
  His mighty Friend in heaven, the great Redeemer,
    Would honor him with wealth some golden day.

  This dream he carried in a hopeful spirit
    Until in death his patient eye grew dim,
  And his Redeemer called him to inherit
    The heaven of wealth long garnered up for him.

  So, if I ever win the home in heaven
    For whose sweet rest I humbly hope and pray
  In the great company of the forgiven
    I shall be sure to find old Daniel Gray.




The Doctor sat at his study-table. It was evening, and the slant beams of the setting sun shot their golden arrows through the healthy purple clusters of lilacs that veiled the windows. There had been a shower that filled them with drops of rain, which every now and then tattooed, with a slender rat-tat, on the window-sill, as a breeze would shake the leaves and bear in perfume on its wings. Sweet, fragrance-laden airs tripped stirringly to and fro about the study-table, making gentle confusions, fluttering papers on moral ability, agitating treatises on the great end of creation, mixing up subtile distinctions between amiable instincts and true holiness, and, in short, conducting themselves like very unappreciative and unphilosophical little breezes.

The Doctor patiently smoothed back and rearranged, while opposite to him sat Mary, bending over some copying she was doing for him. One stray sunbeam fell on her light brown hair, tinging it to gold; her long, drooping lashes lay over the wax-like pink of her cheeks, as she wrote on.

"Mary," said the Doctor, pushing the papers from him.

"Sir," she answered, looking up, the blood just perceptibly rising in her cheeks.

"Do you ever have any periods in which your evidences seem not altogether clear?"

Nothing could show more forcibly the grave, earnest character of thought in New England at this time than the fact that this use of the term "evidences" had become universally significant and understood as relating to one's right of citizenship in a celestial, invisible commonwealth.

So Mary understood it, and it was with a deepening flush she answered gently, "No, Sir."

"What! never any doubts?" said the Doctor.

"I am sorry," said Mary, apologetically; "but I do not see how I can have; I never could."

"Ah!" said the Doctor, musingly, "would I could say so! There are times, indeed, when I hope I have an interest in the precious Redeemer, and behold an infinite loveliness and beauty in Him, apart from anything I expect or hope. But even then how deceitful is the human heart! how insensibly might a mere selfish love take the place of that disinterested complacency which regards Him for what He is in Himself, apart from what He is to us! Say, my dear friend, does not this thought sometimes make you tremble?"

Poor Mary was truth itself, and this question distressed her; she must answer the truth. The fact was, that it had never come into her blessed little heart to tremble, for she was one of those children of the bride-chamber who cannot mourn, because the bridegroom is ever with them; but then, when she saw the man for whom her reverence was almost like that for her God thus distrustful, thus lowly, she could not but feel that her too calm repose might, after all, be the shallow, treacherous calm of an ignorant, ill-grounded spirit, and therefore, with a deep blush and a faltering voice, she said,—

"Indeed, I am afraid something must be wrong with me. I cannot have any fears,—I never could; I try sometimes, but the thought of God's goodness comes all around me, and I am so happy before I think of it!"

"Such exercises, my dear friend, I have also had," said the Doctor; "but before I rest on them as evidences, I feel constrained to make the following inquiries:—Is this gratitude that swells my bosom the result of a mere natural sensibility? Does it arise in a particular manner because God has done me good? or do I love God for what He is, as well as for what He has done? and for what He has done for others, as well as for what He has done for me? Love to God which is built on nothing but good received is not incompatible with a disposition so horrid as even to curse God to His face. If God is not to be loved except when He does good, then in affliction we are free. If doing us good is all that renders God lovely to us, then not doing us good divests Him of His glory, and dispenses us from obligation to love Him. But there must be, undoubtedly, some permanent reason why God is to be loved by all; and if not doing us good divests Him of His glory so as to free us from our obligation to love, it equally frees the universe; so that, in fact, the universe of happiness, if ours be not included, reflects no glory on its Author."

The Doctor had practised his subtile mental analysis till his instruments were so fine-pointed and keen-edged that he scarce ever allowed a flower of sacred emotion to spring in his soul without picking it to pieces to see if its genera and species were correct. Love, gratitude, reverence, benevolence,—which all moved in mighty tides in his soul,—were all compelled to pause midway while he rubbed up his optical instruments to see whether they were rising in right order. Mary, on the contrary, had the blessed gift of womanhood,—that vivid life in the soul and sentiment which resists the chills of analysis, as a healthful human heart resists cold; yet still, all humbly, she thought this perhaps was a defect in herself, and therefore, having confessed, in a depreciating tone, her habits of unanalyzed faith and love, she added,—

"But, my dear Sir, you are my best friend. I trust you will be faithful to me. If I am deceiving myself, undeceive me; you cannot be too severe with me."

"Alas!" said the Doctor, "I fear that I may be only a blind leader of the blind. What, after all, if I be only a miserable self-deceiver? What if some thought of self has come in to poison all my prayers and strivings? It is true, I think,—yes, I think," said the Doctor, speaking very slowly and with intense earnestness,—"I think, that, if I knew at this moment that my name never would be written among those of the elect, I could still see God to be infinitely amiable and glorious, and could feel sure that He could not do me wrong, and that it was infinitely becoming and right that He should dispose of me according to His sovereign pleasure. I think so;—but still my deceitful heart!—after all, I might find it rising in rebellion. Say, my dear friend, are you sure, that, should you discover yourself to be forever condemned by His justice, you would not find your heart rising up against Him?"

"Against Him?" said Mary, with a tremulous, sorrowful expression on her face,—"against my Heavenly Father?"

Her face flushed, and faded; her eyes kindled eagerly, as if she had something to say, and then grew misty with tears. At last she said,—

"Thank you, my dear, faithful friend! I will think about this; perhaps I may have been deceived. How very difficult it must be to know one's self perfectly!"

Mary went into her own little room, and sat leaning for a long time with her elbow on the window-seat, watching the pale shells of the apple-blossoms as they sailed and fluttered downward into the grass, and listened to a chippering conversation in which the birds in the nest above were settling up their small housekeeping accounts for the day.

After a while, she took her pen and wrote the following, which the
Doctor found the next morning lying on his study-table:—

"MY DEAR, HONORED FRIEND,—How can I sufficiently thank you for your faithfulness with me? All you say to me seems true and excellent; and yet, my dear Sir, permit me to try to express to you some of the many thoughts to which our conversation this evening has given rise. To love God because He is good to me you seem to think is not a right kind of love; and yet every moment of my life I have experienced His goodness. When recollection brings back the past, where can I look that I see not His goodness? What moment of my life presents not instances of merciful kindness to me, as well as to every creature, more and greater than I can express, than my mind is able to take in? How, then, can I help loving God because He is good to me? Were I not an object of God's mercy and goodness, I cannot have any conception what would be my feeling. Imagination never yet placed me in a situation not to experience the goodness of God in some way or other; and if I do love Him, how can it be but because He is good, and to me good? Do not God's children love Him because He first loved them?

"If I called nothing goodness which did not happen to suit my inclination, and could not believe the Deity to be gracious and merciful except when the course of events was so ordered as to agree with my humor, so far from imagining that I had any love to God, I must conclude myself wholly destitute of anything good. A love founded on nothing but good received is not, you say, incompatible with a disposition so horrid as even to curse God. I am not sensible that I ever in my life imagined anything but good could come from the hand of God. From a Being infinite in goodness everything must be good, though we do not always comprehend how it is so. Are not afflictions good? Does He not even in judgment remember mercy? Sensible that 'afflictions are but blessings in disguise,' I would bless the hand that, with infinite kindness, wounds only to heal, and love and adore the goodness of God equally in suffering as in rejoicing.

"The disinterested love to God, which you think is alone the genuine love, I see not how we can be certain we possess, when our love of happiness and our love of God are so inseparably connected. The joys arising from a consciousness that God is a benefactor to me and my friends, (and when I think of God, every creature is my friend,) if arising from a selfish motive, it does not seem to me possible could be changed into hate, even supposing God my enemy, whilst I regarded Him as a Being infinitely just as well as good. If God is my enemy, it must be because I deserve He should be such; and it does not seem to me possible that I should hate Him, even if I knew He would always be so.

"In what you say of willingness to suffer eternal punishment, I don't know that I understand what the feeling is. Is it wickedness in me that I do not feel a willingness to be left to eternal sin? Can any one joyfully acquiesce in being thus left? When I pray for a new heart and a right spirit, must I be willing to be denied, and rejoice that my prayer is not heard? Could any real Christian rejoice in this? But he fears it not,—he knows it will never be,—he therefore can cheerfully leave it with God; and so can I.

"Such, my dear friend, are my thoughts, poor and unworthy; yet they seem to me as certain as my life, or as anything I see. Am I unduly confident? I ask your prayers that I may be guided aright.

"Your affectionate friend,


There are in this world two kinds of natures,—those that have wings, and those that have feet,—the winged and the walking spirits. The walking are the logicians: the winged are the instinctive and poetic. Natures that must always walk find many a bog, many a thicket, many a tangled brake, which God's happy little winged birds flit over by one noiseless flight. Nay, when a man has toiled till his feet weigh too heavily with the mud of earth to enable him to walk another step, these little birds will often cleave the air in a right line towards the bosom of God, and show the way where he could never have found it.

The Doctor paused in his ponderous and heavy reasonings to read this real woman's letter; and being a loving man, he felt as if he could have kissed the hem of her garment who wrote it. He recorded it in his journal, and after it this significant passage from Canticles:—

"I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up nor awake this lovely one till she please."

Mrs. Scudder's motherly eye noticed, with satisfaction, these quiet communings. "Let it alone," she said to herself; "before she knows it, she will find herself wholly under his influence." Mrs. Scudder was a wise woman.


In the course of a day or two, a handsome carriage drew up in front of
Mrs. Scudder's cottage, and a brilliant party alighted. They were
Colonel and Madame de Frontignac, the Abbé Léfon, and Colonel Burr. Mrs.
Scudder and her daughter, being prepared for the call, sat in afternoon
dignity and tranquillity, in the best room, with their knitting-work.

Madame de Frontignac had divined, with the lightning-like tact which belongs to women in the positive, and to French women in the superlative degree, that there was something in the cottage-girl, whom she had passingly seen at the party, which powerfully affected the man whom she loved with all the jealous intensity of a strong nature, and hence she embraced eagerly the opportunity to see her,—yes, to see her, to study her, to dart her keen French wit through her, and detect the secret of her charm, that she, too, might practise it.

Madame de Frontignac was one of those women whose beauty is so striking and imposing, that they seem to kindle up, even in the most prosaic apartment, an atmosphere of enchantment. All the pomp and splendor of high life, the wit, the refinements, the nameless graces and luxuries of courts, seemed to breathe in invisible airs around her, and she made a Faubourg St. Germain of the darkest room into which she entered. Mary thought, when she came in, that she had never seen anything so splendid. She was dressed in a black velvet riding-habit, buttoned to the throat with coral; her riding-hat drooped with its long plumes so as to cast a shadow over her animated face, out of which her dark eyes shone like jewels, and her pomegranate cheeks glowed with the rich shaded radiance of one of Rembrandt's pictures. Something quaint and foreign, something poetic and strange, marked each turn of her figure, each article of her dress, down to the sculptured hand on which glittered singular and costly rings,—and the riding-glove, embroidered with seed-pearls, that fell carelessly beside her on the floor.

In Antwerp one sees a picture in which Rubens, who felt more than any other artist the glory of the physical life, has embodied his conception of the Madonna, in opposition to the faded, cold ideals of the Middle Ages, from which he revolted with such a bound. His Mary is a superb Oriental sultana, with lustrous dark eyes, redundant form, jewelled turban, standing leaning on the balustrade of a princely terrace, and bearing on her hand, not the silver dove, but a gorgeous paroquet. The two styles, in this instance, were both in the same room; and as Burr sat looking from one to the other, he felt, for a moment, as one would who should put a sketch of Overbeck's beside a splendid painting of Titian's.

For a few moments, everything in the room seemed faded and cold, in contrast with the tropical atmosphere of this regal beauty. Burr watched Mary with a keen eye, to see if she were dazzled and overawed. He saw nothing but the most innocent surprise and delight. All the slumbering poetry within her seemed to awaken at the presence of her beautiful neighbor,—as when one, for the first time, stands before the great revelations of Art. Mary's cheek glowed, her eyes seemed to grow deep with the enthusiasm of admiration, and, after a few moments, it seemed as if her delicate face and figure reflected the glowing loveliness of her visitor, just as the virgin snows of the Alps become incarnadine as they stand opposite the glorious radiance of a sunset sky.

Madame de Frontignac was accustomed to the effect of her charms; but there was so much love in the admiration now directed towards her, that her own warm, nature was touched, and she threw out the glow of her feelings with a magnetic power. Mary never felt the cold, habitual reserve of her education so suddenly melt, never felt herself so naturally falling into language of confidence and endearment with a stranger; and as her face, so delicate and spiritual, grew bright with love, Madame de Frontignac thought she had never seen anything so beautiful, and, stretching out her hands towards her, she exclaimed, in her own language,—

"Mais, mon Dieu! mon enfant, que tu es belle!"

Mary's deep blush, at her ignorance of the language in which her visitor spoke, recalled her to herself;—she laughed a clear, silvery laugh, and laid her jewelled little hand on Mary's with a caressing movement.

"He shall not teach you French, ma toute belle" she said, indicating the Abbé, by a pretty, wilful gesture; "I will teach you;—and you shall teach me English. Oh, I shall try so hard to learn!" she said.

There was something inexpressibly pretty and quaint in the childish lisp with which she pronounced English. Mary was completely won over. She could have fallen into the arms of this wondrously beautiful fairy princess, expecting to be carried away by her to Dream-land.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Scudder was gravely discoursing with Colonel Burr and M. de Frontignac; and the Abbé, a small and gentlemanly personage, with clear black eye, delicately-cut features, and powdered hair, appeared to be absorbed in his efforts to follow the current of a conversation imperfectly understood. Burr, the while, though seeming to be entirely and politely absorbed in the conversation he was conducting, lost not a glimpse of the picturesque aside which was being enacted between the two fair ones whom he had thus brought together. He smiled quietly when he saw the effect Madame de Frontignac produced on Mary.

"After all, the child has flesh and blood!" he thought, "and may feel that there are more things in heaven and earth than she has dreamed of yet. A few French ideas won't hurt her."

The arrangements about lessons being completed, the party returned to the carriage. Madame de Frontignac was enthusiastic in Mary's praise.

"Cependant" she said, leaning back, thoughtfully, after having exhausted herself in superlatives,—"cependant elle est dévote,—et à dix-neuf comment cela se peut il?"

"It is the effect of her austere education," said Burr. "It is not possible for you to conceive how young people are trained in the religious families of this country."

"But yet," said Madame, "it gives her a grace altogether peculiar; something in her looks went to my heart. I could find it very easy to love her, because she is really good."

"The Queen of Hearts should know all that is possible in loving," said

Somehow, of late, the compliments which fell so readily from those graceful lips had brought with them an unsatisfying pain. Until a woman really loves, flattery and compliment are often like her native air; but when that deeper feeling has once awakened in her, her instincts become marvellously acute to detect the false from the true. Madame de Frontignac longed for one strong, unguarded, real, earnest word from the man who had stolen from her her whole being. She was beginning to feel in some dim wise what an untold treasure she was daily giving for tinsel and dross. She leaned back in the carriage, with a restless, burning cheek, and wondered why she was born to be so miserable. The thought of Mary's saintly face and tender eyes rose before her as the moon rises on the eyes of some hot and fevered invalid, inspiring vague yearnings after an unknown, unattainable peace.

Could some friendly power once have made her at that time clairvoyant and shown her the reality of the man whom she was seeing through the prismatic glass of her own enkindled ideality! Could she have seen the calculating quietness in which, during the intervals of a restless and sleepless ambition, he played upon her heart-strings, as one uses a musical instrument to beguile a passing hour,—how his only embarrassment was the fear that the feelings he was pleased to excite might become too warm and too strong, while as yet his relations to her husband were such as to make it dangerous to arouse his jealousy! And if he could have seen that pure ideal conception of himself which alone gave him power in the heart of this woman,—that spotless, glorified image of a hero without fear, without reproach,—would he have felt a moment's shame and abasement at its utter falsehood?

The poet says that the Evil Spirit stood abashed when he saw virtue in an angel form! How would a man, then, stand, who meets face to face his own glorified, spotless ideal, made living by the boundless faith of some believing heart? The best must needs lay his hand on his mouth at this apparition; but woe to him who feels no redeeming power in the sacredness of this believing dream,—who with calculating shrewdness uses this most touching miracle of love only to corrupt and destroy the loving! For him there is no sacrifice for sin, no place for repentance. His very mother might shrink in her grave to have him laid beside her.

Madame de Frontignac had the high, honorable nature of the old blood of France, and a touch of its romance. She was strung heroically, and educated according to the notions of her caste and church, purely and religiously. True it is, that one can scarcely call that education which teaches woman everything except herself,—except the things that relate to her own peculiar womanly destiny, and, on plea of the holiness of ignorance, sends her without one word of just counsel into the temptations of life. Incredible as it may seem, Virginie de Frontignac had never read a romance or work of fiction of which love was the staple; the régime of the convent in this regard was inexorable; at eighteen she was more thoroughly a child than most American girls at thirteen. On entrance into life, she was at first so dazzled and bewildered by the mere contrast of fashionable excitement with the quietness of the scenes in which she had hitherto grown up, that she had no time for reading or thought,—all was one intoxicating frolic of existence, one dazzling, bewildering dream.

He whose eye had measured her for his victim verified, if ever man did, the proverbial expression of the iron hand under the velvet glove. Under all his gentle suavities there was a fixed, inflexible will, a calm self-restraint, and a composed philosophical measurement of others, that fitted him to bear despotic rule over an impulsive, unguarded nature. The position, at once accorded to him, of her instructor in the English language and literature, gave him a thousand daily opportunities to touch and stimulate all that class of finer faculties, so restless and so perilous, and which a good man approaches always with certain awe. It is said that he once asserted that he never beguiled a woman who did not come half-way to meet him,—an observation much the same as a serpent might make in regard to his birds.

The visit of the morning was followed by several others. Madame de Frontignac seemed to conceive for Mary one of those passionate attachments which women often conceive for anything fair and sympathizing, at those periods when their whole inner being is made vital by the approaches of a grand passion. It took only a few visits to make her as familiar as a child at the cottage; and the whole air of the Faubourg St. Germain seemed to melt away from her, as, with the pliability peculiar to her nation, she blended herself with the quiet pursuits of the family. Sometimes, in simple straw hat and white wrapper, she would lie down in the grass under the apple-trees, or join Mary in an expedition to the barn for hen's eggs, or a run along the sea-beach for shells; and her childish eagerness and delight on these occasions used to arouse the unqualified astonishment of Mrs. Katy Scudder.

The Doctor she regarded with a naïve astonishment, slightly tinctured with apprehension. She knew he was very religious, and stretched her comprehension to imagine what he might be like. She thought of Bossuet's sermons walking about under a Protestant coat, and felt vaguely alarmed and sinful in his presence, as she used to when entering under the shadows of a cathedral. In her the religious sentiment, though vague, was strong. Nothing in the character of Burr had ever awakened so much disapprobation as his occasional sneers at religion. On such occasions she always reproved him with warmth, but excused him in her heart, because he was brought up a heretic. She held a special theological conversation with the Abbé, whether salvation were possible to one outside of the True Church,—and had added to her daily prayer a particular invocation to the Virgin for him.

The French lessons, with her assistance, proceeded prosperously. She became an inmate in Mrs. Marvyn's family also. The brown-eyed, sensitive woman loved her as a new poem; she felt enchanted by her; and the prosaic details of her household seemed touched to poetic life by her innocent interest and admiration. The young Madame insisted on being taught to spin at the great wheel; and a very pretty picture she made of it, too, with her earnest gravity of endeavor, her deepening cheek, her graceful form, with some strange foreign scarf or jewelry waving and flashing in odd contrast with her work.

"Do you know," she said, one day, while thus employed in the north room at Mrs. Marvyn's,—"do you know Burr told me that princesses used to spin? He read me a beautiful story from the 'Odyssey,' about how Penelope cheated her lovers with her spinning, while she was waiting for her husband to come home;—he was gone to sea, Mary,—her true love,—you understand."

She turned on Mary a wicked glance, so full of intelligence that the snowdrop grew red as the inside of a sea-shell.

"Mon enfant! thou hast a thought deep in here!" she said to Mary, one day, as they sat together in the grass under the apple-trees.

"Why, what?" said Mary, with a startled and guilty look.

"Why, what? petite!" said the fairy princess, whimsically mimicking her accent. "Ah! ah! ma belle! you think I have no eyes;—Virginie sees deep in here!" she said, laying her hand playfully on Mary's heart. "Ah, petite!" she said, gravely, and almost sorrowfully, "if you love him, wait for him,—don't marry another. It is dreadful not to have one's heart go with one's duty."

"I shall never marry anybody," said Mary.

"Nevare marrie anybodie!" said the lady, imitating her accents in tones much like those of a bobolink. "Ah! ah! my little saint, you cannot always live on nothing but the prayers, though prayers are verie good. But, ma chère," she added, in a low tone, "don't you ever marry that good man in there; priests should not marry."

"Ours are not priests,—they are ministers," said Mary. "But why do you speak of him?—he is like my father."

"Virginie sees something!" said the lady, shaking her head gravely; "she sees he loves little Mary."

"Of course he does!"

"Of-course-he-does?—ah, yes; and by-and-by comes the mamma, and she takes this little hand, and she says, 'Come, Mary!' and then she gives it to him; and then the poor jeune homme, when he comes back, finds not a bird in his poor little nest. Oh, c'est ennuyeux cela!" she said, throwing herself back in the grass till the clover-heads and buttercups closed over her.

"I do assure you, dear Madame!"—

"I do assure you, dear Mary, Virginie knows. So lock up her words in your little heart; you will want them some day."

There was a pause of some moments, while the lady was watching the course of a cricket through the clover. At last, lifting her head, she spoke very gravely,—

"My little cat! it is dreadful to be married to a good man, and want to be good, and want to love him, and yet never like to have him take your hand, and be more glad when he is away than when he is at home; and then to think how different it would all be, if it was only somebody else. That will be the way with you, if you let them lead you into this; so don't you do it, mon enfant."

A thought seemed to cross Mary's mind, as she turned to Madame de
Frontignac, and said, earnestly,—

"If a good man were my husband, I would never think of another,—I wouldn't let myself."

"How could you help it, mignonne? Can you stop your thinking?"

Mary said, after a moment's blush,—

"I can try!"

"Ah, yes! But to try all one's life,—oh, Mary, that is too hard! Never do it, darling!"

And then Madame de Frontignac broke out into a carolling little French song, which started all the birds around into a general orchestral accompaniment.

This conversation occurred just before Madame de Frontignac started for Philadelphia, whither her husband had been summoned as an agent in some of the ambitious intrigues of Burr.

It was with a sigh of regret that she parted from her friends at the cottage. She made them a hasty good-bye call,—alighting from a splendid barouche with two white horses, and filling their simple best-room with the light of her presence for a last half-hour. When she bade good-bye to Mary, she folded her warmly to her heart, and her long lashes drooped heavily with tears.

After her absence, the lessons were still pursued with the gentle, quiet little Abbé, who seemed the most patient and assiduous of teachers; but, in both houses, there was that vague ennui, that sense of want, which follows the fading of one of life's beautiful dreams! We bid her adieu for a season;—we may see her again.


The summer passed over the cottage, noiselessly, as our summers pass. There were white clouds walking in saintly troops over blue mirrors of sea,—there were purple mornings, choral with bird-singing,—there were golden evenings, with long, eastward shadows. Apple-blossoms died quietly in the deep orchard grass, and tiny apples waxed and rounded and ripened and gained stripes of gold and carmine; and the blue eggs broke into young robins, that grew from gaping, yellow-mouthed youth to fledged and outflying maturity. Came autumn, with its long Indian summer, and winter, with its flinty, sparkling snows, under which all Nature lay a sealed and beautiful corpse. Came once more the spring winds, the lengthening days, the opening flowers, and the ever-renewing miracle of buds and blossoms on the apple-trees around the cottage. A year had passed since the June afternoon when first we showed you Mary standing under the spotty shadows of the tree, with the white dove on her hand—a year in which not many outward changes have been made in the relations of the actors of our story.

Mary calmly spun and read and thought; now and then composing with care very English-French letters, to be sent to Philadelphia to Madame de Frontignac, and receiving short missives of very French-English in return.

The cautions of Madame, in regard to the Doctor, had not rippled the current of their calm, confiding intercourse; and the Doctor, so very satisfied and happy in her constant society and affection, scarcely as yet meditated distinctly that he needed to draw her more closely to himself. If he had a passage to read, a page to be copied, a thought to express, was she not ever there, gentle, patient, unselfish? and scarce by the absence of a day did she let him perceive that his need of her was becoming so absolute that his hold on her must needs be made permanent.

As to his salary and temporal concerns, they had suffered somewhat for his unpopular warfare with reigning sins,—a fact which had rather reconciled Mrs. Scudder to the dilatory movement of her cherished hopes. Since James was gone, what need to press imprudently to new arrangements? Better give the little heart time to grow over before starting a subject which a certain womanly instinct told her might be met with a struggle. Somehow she never thought without a certain heart-sinking of Mary's look and tone the night she spoke with her about James; she had an awful presentiment that that tone of voice belonged to the things that cannot be shaken. But yet, Mary seemed so even, so quiet, her delicate form filled out and rounded so beautifully, and she sang so cheerfully at her work, and, above all, she was so entirely silent about James, that Mrs. Scudder had hope.

Ah, that silence! Do not listen to hear whom a woman praises, to know where her heart is! do not ask for whom she expresses the most earnest enthusiasm! but if there be one she once knew well, whose name she never speaks,—if she seem to have an instinct to avoid every occasion of its mention,—if, when you speak, she drops into silence and changes the subject,—why, look there for something! just as, when going through deep meadow-grass, a bird flies ostentatiously up before you, you may know her nest is not there, but far off, under distant tufts of fern and buttercup, through which she has crept with a silent flutter in her spotted breast, to act her pretty little falsehood before you.

Poor Mary's little nest was along the sedgy margin of the sea-shore, where grow the tufts of golden-rod, where wave the reeds, where crimson, green, and purple sea-weeds float up, like torn fringes of Nereid vestures, and gold and silver shells lie on the wet wrinkles of the sands.

The sea had become to her like a friend, with its ever-varying monotony. Somehow she loved this old, fresh, blue, babbling, restless giant, who had carried away her heart's love to hide him in some far-off palmy island, such as she had often heard him tell of in his sea-romances. Sometimes she would wander out for an afternoon's stroll on the rocks, and pause by the great spouting cave, now famous to Newport dilettanti, but then a sacred and impressive solitude. There the rising tide bursts with deafening strokes through a narrow opening into some inner cavern, which, with a deep thunder-boom, like the voice of an angry lion, casts it back in a high jet of foam into the sea.

Mary often sat and listened to this hollow noise, and watched the ever-rising columns of spray as they reddened with the transpiercing beams of the afternoon sun; and thence her eye travelled far, far off over the shimmering starry blue, where sails looked no bigger than miller's wings; and it seemed sometimes as if a door were opening by which her soul might go out into some eternity,—some abyss, so wide and deep, that fathomless lines of thought could not sound it. She was no longer a girl in a mortal body, but an infinite spirit, the adoring companion of Infinite Beauty and Infinite Love.

As there was an hour when the fishermen of Galilee saw their Master transfigured, his raiment white and glistening, and his face like the light, so are there hours when our whole mortal life stands forth in a celestial radiance. From our daily lot falls off every weed of care,—from our heart-friends every speck and stain of earthly infirmity. Our horizon widens, and blue, and amethyst, and gold touch every object. Absent friends and friends gone on the last long journey stand once more together, bright with an immortal glow, and, like the disciples who saw their Master floating in the clouds above them, we say, "Lord, it is good to be here!" How fair the wife, the husband, the absent mother, the gray-haired father, the manly son, the bright-eyed daughter! Seen in the actual present, all have some fault, some flaw; but absent, we see them in their permanent and better selves. Of our distant home we remember not one dark day, not one servile care, nothing but the echo of its holy hymns and the radiance of its brightest days,—of our father, not one hasty word, but only the fulness of his manly vigor and noble tenderness,—of our mother, nothing of mortal weakness, but a glorified form of love,—of our brother, not one teasing, provoking word of brotherly freedom, but the proud beauty of his noblest hours,—of our sister, our child, only what is fairest and sweetest.

This is to life the true ideal, the calm glass, wherein looking, we shall see, that, whatever defects cling to us, they are not, after all, permanent, and that we are tending to something nobler than we yet are;—it is "the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession." In the resurrection we shall see our friends forever as we see them in these clairvoyant hours.

We are writing thus on and on, linking image and thought and feeling, and lingering over every flower, and listening to every bird, because just before us there lies a dark valley, and we shrink and tremble to enter it.

But it must come, and why do we delay?

Towards evening, one afternoon in the latter part of June, Mary returned from one of these lonely walks by the sea, and entered the kitchen. It was still in its calm and sober cleanness;—the tall clock ticked with a startling distinctness. From the half-closed door of her mother's bedroom, which stood ajar, she heard the chipper of Miss Prissy's voice. She stayed her light footsteps, and the words that fell on her ear were these:—

"Miss Marvyn fainted dead away;—she stood it till he came to that; but then she just clapped both hands together, as if she'd been shot, and fell right forward on the floor in a faint!"

What could this be? There was a quick, intense whirl of thoughts in Mary's mind, and then came one of those awful moments when the powers of life seem to make a dead pause and all things stand still; and then all seemed to fail under her, and the life to sink down, down, down, till nothing was but one dim, vague, miserable consciousness.

Mrs. Scudder and Miss Prissy were sitting, talking earnestly, on the foot of the bed, when the door opened noiselessly, and Mary glided to them like a spirit,—no color in check or lip,—her blue eyes wide with calm horror; and laying her little hand, with a nervous grasp, on Miss Prissy's arm, she said,—

"Tell me,—what is it?—is it?—is he—dead?"

The two women looked at each other, and then Mrs. Scudder opened her arms.

"My daughter!"

"Oh! mother! mother!"

Then fell that long, hopeless silence, broken only by hysteric sobs from Miss Prissy, and answering ones from the mother; but she lay still and quiet, her blue eyes wide and clear, making an inarticulate moan.

"Oh! are they sure?—can it be?—is he dead?" at last she gasped.

"My child, it is too true; all we can say is, 'Be still, and know that I am God!'"

"I shall try to be still, mother," said Mary, with a piteous, hopeless voice, like the bleat of a dying lamb; "but I did not think he could die! I never thought of that!—I never thought of it!—Oh! mother! mother! mother! oh! what shall I do?"

They laid her on her mother's bed,—the first and last resting-place of broken hearts,—and the mother sat down by her in silence. Miss Prissy stole away into the Doctor's study, and told him all that had happened.

"It's the same to her," said Miss Prissy, with womanly reserve, "as if he'd been an own brother."

"What was his spiritual state?" said the Doctor, musingly.

Miss Prissy looked blank, and answered mournfully,—

"I don't know."

The Doctor entered the room where Mary was lying with closed eyes. Those few moments seemed to have done the work of years,—so pale, and faded, and sunken she looked; nothing but the painful flutter of the eyelids and lips showed that she yet breathed. At a sign from Mrs. Scudder, he kneeled by the bed, and began to pray,—"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations,"—prayer deep, mournful, upheaving like the swell of the ocean, surging upward, under the pressure of mighty sorrows, towards an Almighty heart.

The truly good are of one language in prayer. Whatever lines or angles of thought may separate them in other hours, when they pray in extremity, all good men pray alike. The Emperor Charles V. and Martin Luther, two great generals of opposite faiths, breathed out their dying struggle in the self-same words.

There be many tongues and many languages of men,—but the language of prayer is one by itself, in all and above all. It is the inspiration of that Spirit that is ever working with our spirit, and constantly lifting us higher than we know, and, by our wants, by our woes, by our tears, by our yearnings, by our poverty, urging us, with mightier and mightier force, against those chains of sin which keep us from our God. We speak not of things conventionally called prayers,—vain mutterings of unawakened spirits talking drowsily in sleep,—but of such prayers as come when flesh and heart fail, in mighty straits;—then he who prays is a prophet, and a Mightier than he speaks in him; for the "Spirit helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered."

So the voice of supplication, upheaving from that great heart, so childlike in its humility, rose with a wisdom and a pathos beyond what he dreamed in his intellectual hours; it uprose even as a strong angel, whose brow is solemnly calm, and whose wings shed healing dews of paradise.


The next day broke calm and fair. The robins sang remorselessly in the apple-tree, and were answered by bobolink, oriole, and a whole tribe of ignorant little bits of feathered happiness that danced among the leaves. Golden and glorious unclosed those purple eyelids of the East, and regally came up the sun; and the treacherous sea broke into ten thousand smiles, laughing and dancing with every ripple, as unconsciously as if no form dear to human hearts had gone down beneath it. Oh! treacherous, deceiving beauty of outward things! beauty, wherein throbs not one answering nerve to human pain!

Mary rose early and was about her morning work. Her education was that of the soldier, who must know himself no more, whom no personal pain must swerve from the slightest minutiae of duty. So she was there, at her usual hour, dressed with the same cool neatness, her brown hair parted in satin bands, and only the colorless cheek and lip differing from the Mary of yesterday.

How strange this external habit of living! One thinks how to stick in a pin, and how to tie a string,—one busies one's self with folding robes, and putting away napkins, the day after some stroke that has cut the inner life in two, with the heart's blood dropping quietly at every step.

Yet it is better so! Happy those whom stern principle or long habit or hard necessity calls from the darkened room, the languid trance of pain, in which the wearied heart longs to indulge, and gives this trite prose of common life, at which our weak and wearied appetites so revolt! Mary never thought of such a thing as self-indulgence;—this daughter of the Puritans had her seed within her. Aërial in her delicacy, as the blue-eyed flax-flower with which they sowed their fields, she had yet its strong fibre, which no stroke of the flail could break; bruising and hackling only made it fitter for uses of homely utility. Mary, therefore, opened the kitchen-door at dawn, and, after standing one moment to breathe the freshness, began spreading the cloth for an early breakfast. Mrs. Scudder, the mean while, was kneading the bread that had been set to rise over-night; and the oven was crackling and roaring with a large-throated, honest garrulousness.

But, ever and anon, as the mother worked, she followed the motions of her child anxiously.

"Mary, my dear," she said, "the eggs are giving out; hadn't you better run to the barn and get a few?"

Most mothers are instinctive philosophers. No treatise on the laws of nervous fluids could have taught Mrs. Scudder a better rôle for this morning, than her tender gravity, and her constant expedients to break and ripple, by changing employments, that deep, deadly under-current of thoughts which she feared might undermine her child's life.

Mary went into the barn, stopped a moment, and took out a handful of corn to throw to her hens, who had a habit of running towards her and cocking an expectant eye to her little hand, whenever she appeared. All came at once flying towards her,—speckled, white, and gleamy with hues between of tawny orange-gold,—the cocks, magnificent with the bladelike waving of their tails,—and, as they chattered and cackled and pressed and crowded about her, pecking the corn, even where it lodged in the edge of her little shoes, she said, "Poor things, I am glad they enjoy it!"—and even this one little act of love to the ignorant fellowship below her carried away some of the choking pain which seemed all the while suffocating her heart. Then, climbing into the hay, she sought the nest and filled her little basket with eggs, warm, translucent, pinky-white in their freshness. She felt, for a moment, the customary animation in surveying her new treasures; but suddenly, like a vision rising before her, came a remembrance of once when she and James were children together and had been seeking eggs just there. He flashed before her eyes, the bright boy with the long black lashes, the dimpled cheeks, the merry eyes, just as he stood and threw the hay over her when they tumbled and laughed together,—and she sat down with a sick faintness, and then turned and walked wearily in.

[To be continued.]





Directly above the Piazza di Spagna and opposite to the Via di Condotti, rise the double towers of the Trinità de' Monti. The ascent to them is over one hundred and thirty-five steps, planned with considerable skill, so as to mask the steepness of the Pincian, and forming the chief feature of the Piazza. Various landings and dividing walls break up their monotony; and a red granite obelisk, found in the gardens of Sallust, crowns the upper terrace in front of the church. All day long, these steps are flooded with sunshine, in which, stretched at length, or gathered in picturesque groups, models of every age and both sexes bask away the hours when they are free from employment in the studios. Here, in a rusty old coat and long white beard and hair, is the Padre Eterno, so called from his constantly standing as model for the First Person of the Trinity in religious pictures. Here is the ferocious bandit, with his thick black beard and conical hat, now off duty, and sitting with his legs wide apart, munching in alternate bites an onion, which he holds in one hand, and a lump of bread, which he holds in the other. Here is the contadina, who is always praying at a shrine with upcast eyes, or lifting to the Virgin the little child, among whose dark curls, now lying tangled in her lap, she is on a vigorous hunt for the animal whose name denotes love. Here is the invariable pilgrim, with his scallop-shell, who has been journeying to St. Peter's and reposing by the way near aqueducts or broken columns so long that the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, and who is now fast asleep on his back, with his hat pulled over his eyes. When the forestieri come along, the little ones run up and thrust out their hands for baiocchi; and so pretty are they, with their large, black, lustrous eyes, and their quaint, gay dresses, that new comers always find something in their pockets for them. Sometimes a group of artists, passing by, will pause and steadily examine one of these models, turn him about, pose him, point out his defects and excellences, give him a baiocco, and pass on. It is, in fact, the model's exchange. [Footnote: During this last winter, the government have prohibited the models, for I know not what reason, from gathering upon these steps; and they now congregate at the corner of the Via Sistina and Capo le Case, near the Pizzicheria, from which they supply themselves with groceries.]

All this is on the lower steps, close to the Piazza di Spagna; but as one ascends to the last platform, before reaching the upper piazza in front of the Trinità de' Monti, a curious squat figure, with two withered and crumpled legs, spread out at right angles and clothed in long stockings, comes shuffling along on his knees and hands, which are protected by clogs. As it approaches, it turns suddenly up from its quadrupedal position, takes off its hat, shows a broad, stout, legless torso, with a vigorous chest and a ruddy face, as of a person who has come half-way up from below the steps through a trap-door, and with a smile whose breadth is equalled only by the cunning which lurks round the corners of the eyes, says, in the blandest and most patronizing tones, with a rising inflection, "Buon giorno, Signore! Oggi fa bel tempo," or "fa cattivo tempo," as the case may be. This is no less a person than Beppo, King of the Beggars, and permanent bore of the Scale di Spagna. He is better known to travellers than the Belvedere Torso of Hercules at the Vatican, and has all the advantage over that wonderful work, of having an admirable head and a good digestion. Hans Christian Andersen has celebrated him in "The Improvvisatore," and unfairly attributed to him an infamous character and life; but this account is purely fictitious, and is neither vero nor ben trovato. Beppo, like other distinguished personages, is not without a history. The Romans say of him, "Era un Signore in paese suo"—"He was a gentleman in his own country,"—and this belief is borne out by a certain courtesy and style in his bearing which would not shame the first gentleman in the land. He was undoubtedly of a good family in the provinces, and came to Rome, while yet young, to seek his fortune. His crippled condition cut him off from any active employment, and he adopted the profession of a mendicant, as being the most lucrative and requiring the least exertion. Remembering Belisarius, he probably thought it not beneath his own dignity to ask for an obolus. Should he be above doing what a general had done? However this may be, he certainly became a mendicant, after changing his name,—and, steadily pursuing this profession for more than a quarter of a century, by dint of his fair words, his bland smiles, and his constant "Fa buon tempo" and "Fa cattivo tempo," which, together with his withered legs, were his sole stock in starting, he has finally amassed a very respectable little fortune. He is now about fifty-five years of age, has a wife and several children; and a few years ago, on the marriage of a daughter to a very respectable tradesman, he was able to give her what was considered in Rome a more than respectable dowry. The other day, a friend of mine met a tradesman of his acquaintance running up the Spanish steps.

"Dove andate in una tanta affretta?" he inquired.

"Al Banchiere mio."

"Al Banchiere? Ma quale Banchiere sta in su le scale?"

"Ma Beppo," was the grave answer. "Ho bisogna di sessanta scudi, e lui mele presterà senza difficoltà."

"Da vero?" said my friend.

"Eh sicuro, come gli pare," said the other, as he went on to his banker. [Footnote: "Where are you going in such haste?"]

"To my banker."

"To your banker? But what banker is there above the steps?"

"Only Beppo. I want sixty scudi, and he can lend them to ma without difficulty."


"Of course."

Beppo hires his bank—which is the upper platform of the steps—of the government, at a small rent per annum; and woe to any poor devil of his profession who dares to invade his premises! Hither, every fair day, at about noon, he comes mounted on his donkey and accompanied by his valet, a little boy, who, though not lame exactly, wears a couple of crutches as a sort of livery,—and as soon as twilight begins to thicken and the sun is gone, he closes his bank, (it is purely a bank of deposit,) crawls up the steps, mounts a stone post, and there majestically waits for his valet to bring the donkey. But he no more solicits deposits. His day is done; his bank is closed; and from his post he looks around, with a patronizing superiority, upon the poorer members of his profession, who are soliciting, with small success, the various passers by, as a king smiles down upon his subjects. The donkey being brought, he shuffles on to its crupper and makes a joyous and triumphant passage down through the streets of the city to his home. The bland business smile is gone. The wheedling subserviency of the day is over. The cunning eye opens largely. He is calm, dignified, and self-possessed. He mentions no more the state of the weather. What's Hecuba to him, at this free moment of his return? It is the large style in which all this is done that convinces me that Beppo was a "Signore in paese suo." He has a bank, and so has Sir Francis Baring. What of that? He is a gentleman still. The robber knights and barons demanded toll of those who passed their castles, with violence and threats, and at the bloody point of their swords. Whoso passes Beppo's castle is prayed in courtesy to leave a remembrance, and receives the blandest bow and thanks in return. Shall we, then, say, the former are nobles and gentlemen,—the other is a miserable beggar? Is it worse to ask than to seize? Is it meaner to thank than to threaten? If he who is supported by the public is a beggar, our kings are beggars, our pensions are charity. Did not the Princess Royal hold out her hand, the other day, to the House of Commons? and does any one think the worse of her for it? We are all, in measure, beggars; but Beppo, in the large style of kings and robber-barons, asks for his baiocco, and, like the merchant-princes, keeps his bank. I see dukes and guardie nobili, in shining helmets, spurs, and gigantic boots, ride daily through the streets on horseback, and hurry to their palaces; but Beppo, erectly mounted on his donkey in his short-jacket, (for he disdains the tailored skirts of a fashionable coat, though at times over his broad shoulders a great blue cloak is grandly thrown, after the manner of the ancient emperors,) is far more impressive, far more princely, as he slowly and majestically moves at nightfall towards his august abode. The shadows close around him as he passes along; salutations greet him from the damp shops; and darkness at last swallows up for a time the great square torso of the "King of the Beggars."

Begging, in Rome, is as much a profession as praying and shop-keeping. Happy is he who is born stroppiato, with a withered limb, or to whom Fortune sends the present of a hideous accident or malady; it is a stock to set up trade upon. St. Vitus's dance is worth its hundreds of scudi annually; epileptic fits are also a prize; and a distorted leg and hare-lip have a considerable market value. Thenceforth the creature who has the luck to have them is absolved from labor. He stands or lies in the sun, or wanders through the Piazza, and sings his whining, lamentable strophe of, "Signore, povero stroppiato, datemi qualche cosa per amor di Dio!"—and when the baiocco falls into his hat, like ripe fruit from the tree of the stranger, he chants the antistrophe, "Dio la benedica, la Madonna e tutti santi!" [Footnote: Signore, a poor cripple; "give me something, for the love of God!—May God bless you, the Madonna, and all the saints!"] No refusal but one does he recognize as final,—and that is given, not by word of mouth, but by elevating the fore-finger of the right hand, and slowly wagging it to and fro. When this finger goes up he resigns all hope, as those who pass the gate of the Inferno, replaces his hat and lapses into silence, or turns away to some new group of sunny-haired foreigners. The recipe to avoid beggars is, to be black-haired, to wear a full beard, to smoke in the streets, speak only Italian, and shake the fore-finger of the right hand when besieged for charity. Let it not be supposed from this that the Romans give nothing to the beggars, but pass them by on the other side. This is quite a mistake. On the contrary, they give more than the foreigners; and the poorest class, out of their little, will always find something to drop into their hats for charity.

The ingenuity which the beggars sometimes display in asking for alms is often humoristic and satirical. Many a woman on the cold side of thirty is wheedled out of a baiocco by being addressed as Signorina. Many a half-suppressed exclamation of admiration, or a prefix of Bella, softens the hearts of those to whom compliments on their beauty come rarely. The other day, as I came out of the city gate of Siena, a ragged wretch, sitting, with one stump of a leg thrust obtrusively forward, in the dust of the road, called out, "Una buona passeggiata, Signorino mio!" (and this although my little girl, of thirteen years, accompanied me.) Seeing, however, that I was too old a bird for that chaff, he immediately added, "Ma prima pensi alia conservazione dell' anima sua." [Footnote: "A pleasant walk, young gentleman!"—"But first pay heed to the salvation of your soul."] A great many baiocchi are also caught, from green travellers of the middle class, by the titles which are lavishly squandered by these poor fellows. Illustrissimo, Eccellenza, Altezza, will sometimes open the purse, when plain "Mosshoe" will not.

The profession of a beggar is by no means an unprofitable one. A great many drops finally make a stream. The cost of living is almost nothing to them, and they frequently lay up money enough to make themselves very comfortable in their old age. A Roman friend of mine, Conte C., speaking of them one day, told me this illustrative anecdote:—

"I had occasion," he said, "a few years ago, to reduce my family," (the servants are called, in Rome, the family,) "and having no need of the services of one under-servant, named Pietro, I dismissed him. About a year after, as I was returning to my house, after nightfall, I was solicited by a beggar, who whiningly asked me for charity. There was something in the voice which struck me as familiar, and, turning round to examine the man more closely, I found it was my old servant, Pietro. 'Is that you, Pietro?' I said; 'you begging here in the streets! what has brought you to this wretched trade?' He gave me, however, no very clear account of himself, but evidently desired to avoid me when he recognized who I was. But, shocked to find him in so pitiable a condition, I pressed my questions, and finally told him I could not bear to see any one who had been in my service reduced to beggary; and though I had no actual need of his services, yet, rather than see him thus, he might return to his old position as servant in my house, and be paid the same wages as he had before. He hesitated, was much embarrassed, and, after a pause, said,—'A thousand thanks, your Excellency, for your kindness; but I cannot accept your proposal, because, to tell you the truth, I make more money by this trade of begging.'"

But though the beggars often lay by considerable sums of money, so that they might, if they chose, live with a certain degree of comfort, yet they cannot leave off the habit of begging after having indulged it for many years. They get to be avaricious, and cannot bring their minds to spend the money they have. The other day, an old beggar, who used to frequent the steps of the Gesù, when about to die, ordered the hem of her garment to be ripped up, saying that there was money in it. In fact, about a thousand scudi were found there, three hundred of which she ordered to be laid out upon her funeral, and the remainder to be appropriated to masses for her soul. This was accordingly done, and her squalid life ended in a pompous procession to the grave.

The great holidays of the beggars are the country festas. Thronging out of the city, they spread along the highways, and drag, drive, roll, shuffle, hobble, as they can, towards the festive little town. Everywhere along the road they are to be met,—perched on a rock, seated on a bank, squatted beneath a wall or hedge, and screaming, with outstretched hand, from the moment a carriage comes in sight until it is utterly passed by. As one approaches the town where the festa is held, they grow thicker and thicker. They crop up along the road like toadstools. They hold up every hideous kind of withered arm, distorted leg, and unsightly stump. They glare at you out of horrible eyes, that look like cranberries. You are requested to look at horrors, all without a name, and too terrible to be seen. All their accomplishments are also brought out. They fall into improvised fits; they shake with sudden palsies; and all the while keep up a chorus, half whine, half scream, which suffers you to listen to nothing else. It is hopeless to attempt to buy them all off, for they are legion in number, and to pay one doubles the chorus of the others. The clever scamps, too, show the utmost skill in selecting their places of attack. Wherever there is a sudden rise in the road, or any obstacle which will reduce the gait of the horses to a walk, there is sure to be a beggar. But do not imagine that he relies on his own powers of scream and hideousness alone,—not he! He has a friend, an ambassador, to recommend him to your notice, and to expatiate on his misfortunes. Though he himself can scarcely move, his friend, who is often a little ragged boy or girl, light of weight and made for a chase, pursues the carriage and prolongs the whine, repeating, with a mechanical iteration, "Signore! Signore! datemi qualche cosa, Signore!" until his legs, breath, and resolution give out at last; or, what is still commoner, your patience is wearied out or your sympathy touched, and you are glad to purchase the blessing of silence for the small sum of a baiocco. When his whining fails, he tries to amuse you; and often resorts to the oddest freaks to attract your notice. Sometimes the little rascal flings himself heels over head into the dust, and executes somersets without number, as if they had some hidden influence on the sentiment of compassion. Then, running by the side of the carriage, he will play upon his lips with both hands, making a rattling noise, to excite your curiosity. If you laugh, you are lost, and he knows it.

As you reach the gates of the town, the row becomes furious. There are scores of beggars on either side the road, screaming in chorus. No matter how far the town be from the city, there is not a wretched, maimed cripple of your acquaintance, not one of the old stumps who have dodged you round a Roman corner, not a ragged baron who has levied toll for passage through the public squares, a privileged robber who has shut up for you a pleasant street or waylaid you at an interesting church, but he is sure to be there. How they got there is as inexplicable as how the apples got into the dumplings in Peter Pindar's poem. But at the first ring of a festa-bell, they start up from under ground, (those who are legless getting only half-way up,) like Roderick Dhu's men, and level their crutches at you as the others did their arrows. An English lady, a short time since, after wintering at Rome, went to take the baths at Siena in the summer. On going out for a walk, on the first morning after her arrival, whom should she meet but King Beppo, whom she had just left in Rome! He had come with the rest of the nobility for recreation and bathing, and of course had brought his profession with him.

Owing to a great variety of causes, the number of beggars in Rome is very large. They grow here as noxious weeds in a hot-bed. The government neither favors commerce nor stimulates industry. Its policy is averse to change of any kind, even though it be for the development of its own resources or of the energies of the people. The Church is Brahmanic, contemplating only its own navel. Its influence is specially restrictive in Rome, because it is also the State there. It restrains not only trade, but education; it conserves exploded ideas and usages; it prefers not to grow, and looks with abhorrence upon change.

Literature may be said to be dead in Rome. There is not only no free press there, but no press at all. The "Diario Romano" contains about as much news as the "Acta Diurna" of the ancient Romans, and perhaps less. I doubt whether at present such facts as those given by Petronius, in an extract from the latter, would now be permitted to be published. However, we know that Augustus prohibited the "Acta Diurna,"—and the "Diario Romano" exists still; so that some progress has been made. And it must be confessed that Tuscany is scarcely in advance of Rome in this respect; and Naples is behind both. Even the introduction of foreign works is so strictly watched and the censorship so severe, that few liberal books pass the cordon. The arguments in favor of a censorship are very plain, but not very conclusive. The more compressed the energies and desires of a people, the more danger of their bursting into revolution. There is no safety-valve to passions and desires like the utterance of them,—no better corrective to false ideas than the free expression of them. Freedom of thought can never be suppressed, and ideas kept too long pent up in the bosom, when heated by some sudden crisis of passion, will explode into license and fury. Let me put a column from Milton here into my own weak plaster; the words are well known, but cannot be too well known. "Though all the winds of doctrine," he says, "were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing." Here in Rome genius rots. The saddest words I almost ever heard were from a young Italian of ability and esprit.

"Why," said I, in conversation with him, one day, "do you not devote your talents to some worthy object, instead of frittering them away in dancing, chatting, fencing, and morning-calls?"

"What would you have me do?" he answered.

"Devote yourself to some course of study. Write something."

"Mio caro" was his reply, "it is useless. How can I write what I think? How can I publish what I write? I have now manuscript works begun in my desk, which it would be better to burn. Our only way to be happy is to be idle and ignorant. The more we know, the unhappier we must be. There is but one avenue for ambition,—the Church. I was not made for that."

This restrictive policy of the Church makes itself felt everywhere, high and low; and by long habit the people have become indolent and supine. The splendid robes of ecclesiastical Rome have a draggled fringe of beggary and vice. What a change there might be, if the energies of the Italians, instead of rotting in idleness, could have a free scope! Industry is the only purification of a nation; and as the fertile and luxuriant Campagna stagnates into malaria, because of its want of ventilation and movement, so does this grand and noble people. The government makes what use it can, however, of the classes it exploits by its system; but things go in a vicious circle. The people, kept at a stand-still, become idle and poor; idleness and poverty engender vice and crime; crime fills the prisons; and the prisons afford a body of cheap slaves to the government.

To-day, as I am writing, some hundreds of forçats, in their striped brown uniforms, are tugging at their winches and ropes to drag the column of the Immaculate Virgin to its pedestal on the Piazza di Spagna. By the same system of compulsory labor, the government, despite its limited financial resources, is enabled to carry out public projects which, with well-paid workmen, would be too expensive to be feasible. In this manner, for instance, for an incredibly small sum, was built the magnificent viaduct which spans with its triple tier of arches the beautiful Val di L'Arriccia. But, for my own part, I cannot look upon this system as being other than very bad, in every respect. And when, examining into the prisons themselves, I find that the support of these poor criminal slaves is farmed out by the government to some responsible person at the lowest rate that is offered, generally for five or six baiocchi apiece per diem, and often refarmed by him at a still lower rate, until the poor wretches are reduced to the very minimum of necessary food as to quantity and quality, I confess that I cannot look with pleasure on the noble viaduct at L'Arriccia, or the rich column to the Immaculate Virgin, erected by the labor of their hands.

Within a few years the government seemed to become conscious of the great number of beggars in Rome, and of the reproach they offered to the wise and paternal regulations of the priestcraft. Accordingly, for a short time, they carried on a move in the right direction, which had been begun by the Triumvirate of 1849, during their short career. Some hundreds of the beggars were hired at the rate of a few baiocchi a day to carry on excavations in the Forum and in the Baths of Caracalla. The selection was most appropriate. Only the old, decrepit, and broken-down were taken,—the younger and sturdier were left. Ruined men were in harmony with the ruined temples. Such a set of laborers was never before seen. Falstaff's ragged regiment was a joke to them. Each had a wheelbarrow, a spade, or pick, and a cloak; but the last was the most important part of their equipment. Some of them picked at the earth with a gravity that was equalled only by the feebleness of the effort and the poverty of the result. Three strokes so wearied them that they were forced to pause and gather strength, while others carried away the ant-hills which the first dug up. It seemed an endless task to fill the wheelbarrows. Fill, did I say? They were never filled. After a bucketful of earth had been slowly shovelled in, the laborer paused, laid down his spade carefully on the little heap, sighed profoundly, looked as if to receive congratulations on his enormous success, then, flinging, with a grand sweep, the tattered old cloak over his left shoulder, lifted his wheelbarrow-shafts with dignity, and marched slowly and measuredly forward towards the heap of deposit, as Belisarius might have moved at a funeral in the intervals of asking for oboli. But reduced gentlemen, who have been accustomed to carry round the hat as an occupation, always have a certain air of condescension when they work for pay, and, by their dignity of deportment, make you sensible of their former superior state. Occasionally, in case a forestiere was near, the older, idler, and more gentlemanlike profession would be resumed for a moment, (as by parenthesis,) and if without success, a sadder dignity would be seen in the subsequent march. Very properly for persons who had been reduced from beggary to work, they seemed to be anxious both for their health and their appearance in public, and accordingly a vast deal more time was spent in the arrangement of the cloak than in any other part of the business. It was grand in effect, to see these figures, incumbered in their heavy draperies, guiding their wheelbarrows through the great arches of Caracalla's Baths or along the Via Sacra. It often reminded me of modern bassi-rilievi and portrait statues, in which gentlemen looking sideways with very modern faces, and both hands full of swords, pens, or books, stand impotently swaddled up in ancient togas or the folds of similar enormous cloaks. The antique treatment with the modern subject was evident in both. If sometimes, with a foolish spirit of innovation, one felt inclined to ask what purpose in either case these heroic mantles subserved, and whether, in fact, they could not be dispensed with to advantage, he was soon made to know that his inquiry indicated ignorance, and a desire to debase in the one case Man, in the other Art.

It would, however, be a grievous mistake to suppose that all the beggars in the streets of Rome are Romans. In point of fact, the greater number are strangers, who congregate in Rome during the winter from every quarter. Naples and Tuscany send them by thousands. Every little country town of the Abruzzi Mountains yields its contribution. From north, south, east, and west they flock here as to a centre where good pickings may be had of the crumbs that fall from the rich men's tables. In the summer season they return to their homes with their earnings, and not one in five of those who haunted the churches and streets in the winter is to be seen.

It is but justice to the Roman government to say that its charities are very large. If, on the one hand, it does not encourage commerce and industry, on the other, it liberally provides for the poor. In proportion to its means, no government does more, if so much. Every church has its Cassa dei Poveri. Numerous societies, such as the Sacconi, and other confraternities, employ themselves in accumulating contributions for the relief of the poor and wretched. Well-endowed hospitals exist for the care of the sick and unfortunate; and there are various establishments for the charge and education of poor orphans. A few figures will show how ample are these charities. The revenue of these institutions is no less than eight hundred and forty thousand scudi annually, of which three hundred thousand are contributed by the Papal treasury, forty thousand of which are a tax upon the Lottery. The hospitals, altogether, accommodate about four thousand patients, the average number annually received amounting to about twelve thousand; and the foundling hospitals alone are capable of receiving upwards of three thousand children annually. Besides the hospitals for the sick, there is also a hospital for poor convalescents at Sta Trinità dei Pellegrini, a lunatic asylum containing about four hundred patients, one for incurables at San Giacomo, a lying-in hospital at San Rocco, and a hospital of education and industry at San Michele. There are also thirteen societies for bestowing dowries on poor young girls on their marriage; and from the public purse, for the same object, are expended every year no less than thirty-two thousand scudi. In addition to these charities, are the sums collected and administered by the various confraternities, as well as the sum of one hundred and seventy-two thousand scudi distributed to the poor by the commission of subsidies. But though so much money is thus expended, it cannot be said that it is well administered. The proportion of deaths at the hospitals is very large; and among the foundlings, it amounted, between the years 1829 and 1833, to no less than seventy-two per cent.

The arrangements at these institutions were very much improved during the career of the Triumvirate, and, under the auspices of the Princess Belgiojoso, cleanliness, order, and system were introduced. The heroism of this noble-hearted woman during the trying days of the Roman siege deserves a better record than I can give. She gave her whole heart and body to the regeneration of the hospitals, and the personal care of the sick and wounded. Her head-quarters were at the Hospital dei Pellegrini. Day after day and night after night she was at her post, never moving from her chair, except to visit the various wards, and to comfort with tender words the sufferers in their beds. Their faces, contorted with pain, smoothed at her approach; and her hand and voice carried consolation wherever she went. Many a scene have I witnessed there more affecting than any tragedy, in which I knew not which most to admire, the heroism of the sufferers or the tender humanity of the consoler and nurse. In all her arrangements she showed that masterly administrative faculty in which women are far superior to men. When she came to the Pellegrini, all was in disorder; but a few days sufficed to reduce a chaotic confusion to exact and admirable system. Hers was the brain that regulated all the hospitals. Always calm, she distributed her orders with perfect tact and precision, and with a determination of purpose and clearness of perception which commanded the minds of all about her. The care, fatigue, and labor which she underwent would have broken down a less determined spirit. Nothing moved except from her touch. In a little damp cell, a pallet of straw was laid on the brick floor, and there, when utterly overcome, she threw herself down to sleep for a couple of hours,—no more; all the rest of the time she sat at her desk, writing orders, giving directions, and supervising the new machinery which owed its existence to her.

With the return of the Papal government came the old system. Certain it is that that system does not work well. Despite the enormous sums expended in charity, the people are poor, the mortality in the hospitals is very large. "Something is rotten in the state of" Rome.

There is one noble exception not to be forgotten. To the Hospital of San Michele Cardinal Tosti has given a new life and vigor, and set an example worthy of his elevated position in the Church. This foundation was formerly an asylum for poor children and infirm and aged persons; but of late years an industrial and educational system has been ingrafted upon it, until it has become one of the most enlarged and liberal institutions that can anywhere be found. It now embraces not only an asylum for the aged, a house of correction for juvenile offenders and women, and a house of industry for children of both sexes, but also a school of arts, in which music, painting, drawing, architecture, and sculpture are taught gratuitously to the poor, and a considerable number of looms, at which from eight hundred to one thousand persons are employed for the weaving of woollen fabrics for the government. A stimulus has thus been given to education and to industry, and particularly to improvements in machinery and manufacture. Once a year, during the holy week, religious dramas and operas, founded on some Biblical subject, are creditably performed by the pupils in a private theatre connected with the establishment. I was never present but at one of these representations, when the tragical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Ahednego was performed. Honor to Cardinal Tosti for his successful efforts in this liberal direction!

At many of the convents in Rome, it is the custom at noon to distribute, gratis, at the door, a quantity of soup, and any poor person may receive a bowlful on demand. Many of the beggars thus become pensioners of the convents, and may be seen daily at the appointed hour gathering round the door with their bowl and wooden spoon, in expectation of the Frate with the soup. This is generally made so thick with cabbage that it might be called a cabbage-stew; but Soyer himself never made a dish more acceptable to the palate of the guests than this. No nightingales' tongues at a banquet of Tiberius, no edible birds-nests at a Chinese feast, were ever relished with more gusto. The figures and actions of these poor wretches, after they have obtained their soup, make one sigh for human nature. Each, grasping his portion as if it were a treasure, separates himself immediately from his brothers, flees selfishly to a corner, if he can find one empty, or, if not, goes to a distance, turns his back on his friends, and, glancing anxiously at intervals all around, as if in fear of a surprise, gobbles up his cabbage, wipes out his bowl, and then returns to companionship or disappears. The idea of sharing his portion with those who are portionless occurs to him only as the idea of a robber to the mind of a miser.

Any account of the beggars of Rome without mention of the Capuchins and Franciscans would be like performing the "Merchant of Venice" with no Shylock; for these orders are founded in beggary and supported by charity. The priests do not beg; but their ambassadors, the lay-brothers, clad in their long, brown serge, a cord around their waist, and a basket on their arm, may be seen shuffling along at any hour and in every street, in dirty sandalled feet, to levy contributions from shops and houses. Here they get a loaf of bread, there a pound of flour or rice, in one place fruit or cheese, in another a bit of meat, until their basket is filled. Sometimes money is given, but generally they are paid in articles of food. There is another set of these brothers who enter your studio or ring at your bell and present a little tin box with a slit in it, into which you are requested to drop any sum you please, for the holidays, for masses, for wax candles, etc. As a big piece of copper makes more ring than gold, it is generally given, and always gratefully received. Sometimes they will enter into conversation, and are always pleased to have a little chat about the weather. They are very poor, very good-natured, and very dirty. It is a pity they do not baptize themselves a little more with the material water of this world. But they seem to have a hydrophobia. Whatever the inside of the platter may be, the outside is far from clean. They walk by day and they sleep by night in the same old snuffy robe, which is not kept from contact with the skin by any luxury of linen, until it is worn out. Dirt and piety seem to them synonymous. Sometimes I have deemed, foolishly perhaps, but after the manner of my nation, that their goodness would not wash off with the soil of the skin,—that it was more than skin-deep; but as this matter is above reason, in better moods I have faith that it would. Still, in disbelieving moments, I cannot help applying to them Charles Lamb's famous speech,—"If dirt were trumps, what a hand they would have of it!" Yet, beggars as they are, they have the reputation at Rome of being the most inoffensive of all the conventual orders, and are looked upon by the common people with kindliness, as being thoroughly sincere in their religious professions. They are, at least, consistent in many respects in their professions and practice. They really mortify the flesh by penance, fasting, and wretched fare, as well as by dirt. They do not proclaim the virtues and charms of poverty, while they roll about in gilded coaches dressed in "purple and fine linen," or gloat over the luxuries of the table. Their vices are not the cardinal ones, whatever their virtues may be. The "Miracles of St. Peter," as the common people call the palaces of Rome, are not wrought for them. Their table is mean and scantily provided with the most ordinary food. Three days in the week they eat no meat; and during the year they keep three Quaresime. But, good as they are, their sour, thin wine, on empty, craving stomachs, sometimes does a mad work; and these brothers in dirt and piety have occasionally violent rows and disputes in their refectories over their earthen bottles. It is only a short time since that my old friends the Capuchins got furious together over their wine, and ended by knocking each other about the ears with their earthen jars, after they had emptied them. Several were wounded, and had time to repent and wash in their cells. But one should not be too hard on them. The temper will not withstand too much fasting. A good dinner puts one at peace with the world, but an empty stomach is the habitation often of the Devil, who amuses himself there with pulling all the nerve-wires that reach up into the brain. I doubt whether even St. Simeon Stylites always kept his temper as well as he did his fast.

As I see them walking up and down the alleys of their vegetable garden, and under the sunny wall where oranges glow and roses bloom, without the least asceticism, during the whole winter, I do not believe in their doctrine, nor envy them their life. And I cannot but think that the one hundred and fifty thousand Frati who are in the Roman States would do quite as good service to God and man, if they were an army of laborers on the Campagna, or elsewhere, as in their present life of beggary and self-contemplation. I often wonder, as I look at them, hearty and stout as they are, despite their mode of life, what brought them to this pass, what induced them to enter this order,—and recall, in this connection, a little anecdote current here in Rome, to the following effect:—A young fellow, from whom Fortune had withheld her gifts, having become desperate, at last declared to a friend that he meant to throw himself into the Tiber, and end a life which was worse than useless. "No, no," said his friend, "don't do that. If your affairs are so desperate, retire into a convent, become a Capuchin." "Ah, non!" was the indignant answer; "I am desperate; but I have not yet arrived at such a pitch of desperation."

Though the Franciscans live upon charity, they have almost always a garden connected with their convent, where they raise multitudes of cabbages, cauliflowers, finocchi, peas, beans, artichokes, and lettuce. Indeed, there is one kind of the latter which is named after them,—capuccini. But their gardens they do not till themselves; they hire gardeners, who work for them. Now I cannot but think that working in a garden is just as pious an employment as begging about the streets, though perhaps scarcely as profitable. The opinion, that, in some respects, it would be better for them to attend to this work themselves, was forced upon my mind by a little farce I happened to see enacted among their cabbages, the other day, as I was looking down out of my window. My attention was first attracted by hearing a window open from a little three-story-high loggia, opposite, hanging over their garden. A woman came forth, and, from amid the flower-pots which half-concealed her, she dropped a long cord to the ground. "Pst, Pst," she cried to the gardener at work below. He looked up, executed a curious pantomime, shrugged his shoulders, shook his fore-finger, and motioned with his head and elbow sideways to a figure, visible to me, but not to her, of a brown Franciscan, who was amusing himself in gathering some finocchi, just round the corner of the wall. The woman, who was fishing for the cabbages, immediately understood the predicament, drew up her cord, disappeared from the loggia, and the curtain fell upon the little farce. The gardener, however, evidently had a little soliloquy after she had gone. He ceased working, and gazed at the unconscious Franciscan for some time, with a curious grimace, as if he were not quite satisfied at thus losing his little perquisite.

These brown-cowled gentlemen are not the only ones who carry the tin box. Along the curbstones of the public walks, and on the steps of the churches, sit blind old creatures, and shake at you a tin box, outside of which is a figure of the Madonna, and inside of which are two or three baiocchi, as a rattling accompaniment to an unending invocation of aid. Their dismal chant is protracted for hours and hours, increasing in loudness whenever the steps of a passer-by are heard. It is the old strophe and antistrophe of begging and blessing, and the singers are so wretched that one is often softened into charity. Those who are not blind have often a new Diario or Lunario to sell towards the end of the year, and at other times they vary the occupation of shaking the box by selling lives of the saints, which are sometimes wonderful enough. One sad old woman, who sits near the Quattro Fontane, and says her prayers and rattles her box, always touches my heart, there is such an air of forlornness and sweetness about her. As I was returning, last night, from a mass at San Giovanni in Laterano, an old man glared at us through great green goggles,—to which Jealousy's would have yielded in size and color,—and shook his box for a baiocco. "And where does this money go?" I asked. "To say masses for the souls of those who die over opposite," said he, pointing to the Hospital of San Giovanni, through the open doors of which we could see the patients lying in their beds.

Nor are these the only friends of the box. Often in walking the streets one is suddenly shaken in your ear, and, turning round, you are startled to see a figure entirely clothed in white from head to foot, a rope round his waist, and a white capuccio drawn over his head and face, and showing, through two round holes, a pair of sharp black eyes behind them. He says nothing, but shakes his box at you, often threateningly, and always with an air of mystery. This is a penitent Saccone; and as this confraternità is composed solely of noblemen, he may be one of the first princes or cardinals in Rome, performing penance in expiation of his sins; or, for all you can see, it may be one of your intimate friends. The money thus collected goes to various charities. They always go in couples,—one taking one side of the street, the other the opposite,—never losing sight of each other, and never speaking. Clothed thus in secresy, these Sacconi can test the generosity of any one they please with complete impunity, and they often amuse themselves with startling foreigners. Many a group of English girls, convoyed by their mother, and staring into some mosaic or cameo shop, is scared into a scream by the sudden jingle of the box, and the apparition of the spectre in white who shakes it. And many a simple old lady retains to the end of her life a confused impression, derived therefrom, of Inquisitions, stilettos, tortures, and banditti, from which it is vain to attempt to dispossess her mind. The stout old gentleman, with a bald forehead and an irascibly rosy face, takes it often in another way,—confounds the fellows for their impertinence, has serious notions, first, of knocking them down on the spot, and then of calling the police, but finally concludes to take no notice of them, as they are nothing but Eye-talians, who cannot be expected to know how to behave themselves in a rational manner. Sometimes a santa elemosina is demanded after the oddest fashion. It was only yesterday that I met one of the confraternità, dressed in a shabby red suit, coming up the street, with the invariable oblong tin begging-box in his hand,—a picture of Christ on one side, and of the Madonna on the other. He went straight to a door, opening into a large, dark room, where there was a full cistern of running water, at which several poor women were washing clothes, and singing and chatting as they worked. My red acquaintance suddenly opens the door, letting in a stream of light upon this Rembrandtish interior, and, lifting his box with the most wheedling of smiles, he says, with a rising inflection of voice, as if asking a question,—"Prezioso sangue di Gesù Christo?"—( Precious blood of Jesus Christ?)

The last, but by no means the meanest, of the tribe of pensioners whom I shall mention, is my old friend, "Beefsteak,"—now, alas! gone to the shades of his fathers. He was a good dog,—a mongrel, a Pole by birth,—who accompanied his master on a visit to Rome, where he became so enamored of the place that he could not be persuaded to return to his native home. Bravely he cast himself on the world, determined to live, like many of his two-legged countrymen, upon his wits. He was a dog of genius, and his confidence in the world was rewarded by its appreciation. He had a sympathy for the arts. The crowd of artists who daily and nightly flocked to the Lepre and the Caffè Greco attracted his notice. He introduced himself to them, and visited them at their studios and rooms. A friendship was struck between them and him, and he became their constant visitor and their most attached ally. Every day, at the hour of lunch, or at the more serious hour of dinner, he lounged into the Lepre, seated himself in a chair, and awaited his friends, confident of his reception. His presence was always hailed with a welcome, and to every new comer he was formally presented. His bearing became, at last, not only assured, but patronizing. He received the gift of a chicken-bone or a delicate titbit as if he conferred a favor. He became an epicure, a gourmet. He did not eat much; he ate well. With what a calm superiority and gentle contempt he declined the refuse bits a stranger offered from his plate! His glance, and upturned nose, and quiet refusal, seemed to say,—"Ignoramus! know you not I am Beefsteak?" His dinner finished, he descended gravely, and proceeded to the Caffè Greco, there to listen to the discussions of the artists, and to partake of a little coffee and sugar, of which he was very fond. At night, he accompanied some one or other of his friends to his room, and slept upon the rug. He knew his friends, and valued them; but perhaps his most remarkable quality was his impartiality. He dispensed his favors with an even hand. He had few favorites, and called no man master. He never outstayed his welcome "and told the jest without the smile," never remaining with one person for more than two or three days at most. A calmer character, a more balanced judgment, a better temper, a more admirable self-respect,—in a word, a profounder sense of what belongs to a gentleman, was never known in any dog. But Beefsteak is now no more. Just after the agitations of the Revolution of '48, with which he had little sympathy,—he was a conservative by disposition,—he disappeared. He had always been accustomed to make a villegratura at L'Arriccia during a portion of the summer months, returning only now and then to look after his affairs in Rome. On such visits he would often arrive towards midnight, and rap at the door of a friend to claim his hospitality, barking a most intelligible answer to the universal Roman inquiry of "Chi è?" "One morn we missed him at the accustomed" place, and thenceforth he was never seen. Whether a sudden homesickness for his native land overcame him, or a fatal accident befell him, is not known. Peace to his manes! There "rests his head upon the lap of earth" no better dog.

In the Roman studio of one of his friends and admirers, Mr. Mason, I had the pleasure, a few days since, to see, among several admirable and very spirited pictures of Campagna life and incidents, a very striking portrait of Beefsteak. He was sitting in a straw-bottomed chair, as we have so often seen him in the Lepre, calm, dignified in his deportment, and somewhat obese. The full brain, the narrow, fastidious nose, the sagacious eye, were so perfectly given, that I seemed to feel the actual presence of my old friend. So admirable a portrait of so distinguished a person should not be lost to the world. It should be engraved, or at least photographed.


  Under Mount Etna he lies;
      It is slumber, it is not death;
  For he struggles at times to arise,
  And above him the lurid skies
      Are hot with his fiery breath.

  The crags are piled on his breast,
      The earth is heaped on his head;
  But the groans of his wild unrest,
  Though smothered and half suppressed,
      Are heard, and he is not dead.

  And the nations far away
      Are watching with eager eyes;
  They talk together and say,
  "To-morrow, perhaps to-day,
      Enceladus will arise!"

  And the old gods, the austere
      Oppressors in their strength,
  Stand aghast and white with fear,
  At the ominous sounds they hear,
      And tremble, and mutter, "At length!"

  Ah, me! for the land that is sown
      With the harvest of despair!
  Where the burning cinders, blown
  From the lips of the overthrown
      Enceladus, fill the air!

  Where ashes are heaped in drifts
      Over vineyard and field and town,
  Whenever he starts and lifts
  His head through the blackened rifts
      Of the crags that keep him down!

  See, see! the red light shines!
      'Tis the glare of his awful eyes!
  And the storm-wind shouts through the pines
  Of Alps and of Apennines,
      "Enceladus, arise!"


The decree of October 1, 1830, approved by a royal ordinance, March 21, 1831, created two battalions of Zouaves. To perceive the necessity for this body of troops, to understand the nature of the service required of them, and to obtain a just notion of their important position in African affairs, it will be necessary to glance, for a moment, at the previous history of Algeria under the Deys, and especially at the history of that Turkish militia which they were to replace,—a body of irresponsible tyrants, which, since 1516, had exercised the greatest power in Africa, and had rendered their name hated and feared by the most distant tribes.

Algeria was settled in 1492, by Moors driven from Spain. They recognized a kind of allegiance to the Sultan of Turkey, which was, however, only nominal; he appointed their Emirs, but further than this there was no restraint on their actions. Hard pressed by the Spaniards in 1509, the Emirs sent in haste to Turkey for aid; and Barbarossa, a noted pirate, sailed to their help, drove out the Christians, but fixed upon the Moors the yoke of Turkish sovereignty. In 1516, he declared himself Sultan, or Dey, of Algiers; and his brother succeeding him, the Ottoman power was firmly established in the Northwest of Africa. Hated by the people of this great territory, both Moors and Arabs, menaced not only by their dissensions, but frequently attacked by the Christians from the North, there was but one method by which the Dey could maintain his power. He formed a large body of mercenary soldiers, drawn entirely from Turkey, united with himself and each other by a feeling of mutual dependence and common danger, and bound by no feeling of interest or affection to the inhabitants of the soil. Brave they were, as they proved in 1541, against Charles the Fifth, whose forces they defeated and nearly destroyed at Haratsch,—in 1565, at the siege of Malta,—in 1572, in the seafight of Lepanto,—in many smaller combats at different times, defending their land triumphantly in 1775 against the Spaniards under O'Reilly and Castejon. Hardy and ready they were, from the very necessity of the case; for they were hated and dreaded beyond measure by the Arabs, and theirs was a life of constant exertion. Other than united they could not be; for they were in continual warfare of offence or of defence; they suppressed rebellion and anarchy,—for without a leader and union they had been cut off by the restless foe, whose piercing eyes watched, and whose daggers waited only for the time. In constant danger, they could not sink into that sloth that eats out the heart of Eastern and Southern nations; for it was only in unrest that safety lay;—he who slumbered on those burning plains, no less than the sleeper on Siberian ice, was lost utterly and without remedy.

This body of troops, called the Odjack, elected or deposed Deys at pleasure; the Dey, nominally their ruler, was in reality their tool. In one period of twenty years there were six Deys, of whom four were decapitated, one abdicated through fear, and one died peacefully in the exercise of his governing functions. [Footnote: Voyage pour la Rédemption des Captifs aux Royaumes d'Alger et de Tunis, fait en 1720. Paris, 1721.] In 1629, they declared the kingdom free from the domination of Turkey; soon after, they expelled the Koulouglis, or half-breed Turks, and enslaved the Moors. Admitting some of the latter to service in the militia, they never allowed them to hope for advancement in the State, or, what was the same thing, the army. Only Turks, or in some instances renegade Christians, could lead the soldiers, whom thus no feeling of local patriotism mollified in their course of savage cruelty, grinding the face of the poor natives till spirit and hope were lost and resistance ceased to be a settled idea in their minds.

Now when the French navy came up to the port of Algiers, June 12, 1830, the unity between the soldiers and their master, Hussein Pacha, was tottering on the verge of dissolution; a plot against his life had just been discovered, he had punished the ringleaders with death, and many who had been concerned in the conspiracy felt that there was no safety for them with him. Beaten constantly in every skirmish or battle, they conceived a high respect for the military genius of the invaders, and, ere the close of the summer campaign, offered their services in a body to General Clausel; this offer he promptly declined, and they thereupon withdrew, carrying their swords to the aid of other powers less scrupulous.

The news, however, that the terrible Odjack had offered themselves to serve under the French spread a lively terror through the Arab tribes, who, believing themselves about to suffer an aggravation of their already intolerable oppression, experienced a sensation of relief and an elevation of spirit no less marked, on hearing that the newly formed government had rejected their services. Perceiving the fear in which these Algerine Praetorians were held by the tribes, Marshal Clausel conceived the plan of replacing them by a corps of light infantry, consisting of two battalions, to perform the services of household troops, and to receive some name as significant as that held by their predecessors under the old régime. Consequently, after some consideration, the newly constituted body was called by the name of Zouaves, from the Arabic word Zouaoua.

The Zouaoua are a tribe, or rather a confederation of tribes, of the Kabyles, who inhabit the gorges of the Jurjura Mountains, the boundary of Algeria on the east, separating it from the province of Constantine. They are a brave, fierce, laborious people, whose submission to the Turks was never more than nominal; yet they were well known in the city of Algiers, whither they came frequently to exchange the products of their industry for the luxuries of comparative civilization. As they had the reputation of being the best soldiers in the Regency, and had occasionally lent their services to the Algerine princes, their name was given to the new military force; while, to give it the character of a French corps, the number of native soldiers received into its ranks was limited, and all its officers, from the highest to the lowest grade, were required to be native-born Frenchmen. The service in this corps was altogether voluntary, none being appointed to the Zouaves who did not seek the place; but there were found enough young and daring spirits who embraced with enthusiasm this life, so harassing, so full of privation, of rude labor, of constant peril. The first battalion was commanded by Major Maumet; the second by Captain Duvivier, (since General,) who died in Paris, 1848, of wounds received in the African service. Levaillant, (since General of Division,) Verge, (now General of Brigade,) and Mollière, who died Colonel, of wounds received at the siege of Rome, were officers in these first two battalions.

Scarcely six weeks had elapsed since their formation, when the Zouaves took the field under Marshal Clausel, marching against Medeah, an important station in the heart of Western Algeria. On the hill of Mouzaïa they fought their first battle, in which they were completely successful. They remained two months as a garrison in Medeah. Here they showed proofs of a valor and patience most extraordinary. Left alone in a frontier post, constantly in the vicinity of a savage foe, watching and fighting night and day, leaving the gun only to take up the spade, compelled to create everything they needed, reduced to the last extremities for food, cut off from all communications,—it was a rough trial for this little handful of new soldiers. The place was often attacked; they were always at their posts; till in the last days of April they were recalled, and the fortress yielded up to the feeble Bey whom the French had decided to establish there. In June, troubles having again arisen, General Berthezène conducted some troops of the regular army to Medeah, to which was added the second battalion of Zouaves, under its gallant captain, Duvivier. On his return, the troops were attacked with fury on the hill of Mouzaïa, the spot where the Zouaves had in February of the same year received their baptism of fire. Wearied with the long night-march, borne down by insupportable heat, stretched in a long straggling line through mountain-passes, the commander of the van severely wounded at the first discharge, they themselves separated, without chiefs, and surrounded by enemies, the French troops recoiled; when Duvivier, seeing the peril that menaced the army, advanced with his battalion. Shouting their war-cry, they rushed on the Kabyles, supported by the Volunteers of the Chart, or French Zouaves, thundering forth the Marseillaise; turning the pursuers into pursued, they covered the retreat of their associates to the farm of Mouzaïa, where the army rallied and proceeded without further loss to Algiers. This retreat, and its attendant circumstances, made the Zouaves, before regarded, if not with contempt, at least with dislike, free of the camp.

But now the losses sustained by the two battalions began to be seriously felt,—for the growing hostility of the Arabs rendered it difficult to recruit from native sources; and an ordinance of the king, dated March 7,1833, united the two battalions into one, consisting of ten companies, eight of which were to be exclusively European, and two to be not exclusively Algerine,—it being required that in each native company there should be at least twelve Frenchmen. Duvivier was called to Bougie; Maumet was compelled by his wounds to return to Paris; Captain Lamoricière was, therefore, appointed chief of the united battalion, having given proof of his capacity in every way,—whether as soldier, linguist, or negotiator,—being a wise and prudent man. It is to the training the Zouaves received under this remarkable man that much of their subsequent success must be ascribed. In his dealings with the Arabs he had shown himself the first who could treat with them by other means than the rifle or bayonet. [Footnote: Annales Algériennes, Tom. ii. p. 72.] In his capacity of Lieutenant-Colonel of Zouaves he showed talents of a high order. He infused into them the spirit, the activity, the boldness and impetuosity which he himself so remarkably possessed, with a certain independence of character which demanded from those who commanded them a resolute firmness on essential, and a dignified indulgence on unessential points. [Footnote: Conquête d'Alger. Par A. Nettement. p. 546.] To the course of discipline used by him, and still maintained in this arm of the service, are due their tremendous working power, their tirelessness, their self-dependence, and all their qualities differing from those of other soldiers; so that by his means one of the most irregular species of warfare has produced a body of irresistible regular soldiers, and border combats have given rise to the most rigid discipline in the world.

The post of Dely Ibrahim was assigned to the Zouaves. At this place they were obliged to work laboriously, making for themselves whatever was needed; whether as masons, ditchers, blacksmiths, carpenters, or farmers,—whatever business was to be performed, they were, or learned to be, sufficient for it. No idlers in that camp,—each must earn his daily bread. What time was not devoted to labor was given to the practice of arms and the acquisition of instruction in all departments of military science; so that many a soldier was there fitted for the position he afterwards acquired, of officer, colonel, or general. To fence with the mounted bayonet, to wrestle, to leap, to climb, to run for miles, to swim, to make and to destroy temporary bridges, to throw up earth-walls, to carry great weights, to do, in short, what Indians learn to do, and much that they do not learn,—these served as the relaxations of the unwearied Zouaves. To vary the monotony of such a life, there was enough adventure to be found for the seeking,—now an incursion into the Sahel, or into the plains of Mitidja, or a wild foray through the northern gorges of the Atlas. Day by day progress appeared; they learned to march rapidly and long, to sustain the extremes of hunger, thirst, and weather, and to manoeuvre with intelligent precision; diligently fitting themselves, in industry, discipline, and warlike education, for the position they had to fill. Their costume and equipment were brought near perfection; they wore the Turkish dress, slightly modified,—a dress perfectly suited to the changes of that climate, and without which their movements would have been cramped and constrained. Only the officers retained the uniform of the hussars, which is rich and easy to wear. The cost of a suitable Turkish uniform would have been too heavy for them, besides that the dress of a Turk of rank is somewhat ridiculous. Certain officers on the march used, however, to wear the fez, or, as the Arabs called it, the chechia. Lamoricière was known in Algeria as Bou Chechia, or Papa with the Cap,—as he was known later in Oran as Bou Araoua, Papa with the Stick. One finds, however, nothing of Orientalism in the regulations of this body of troops; not the least negligence or slovenliness is allowed in the most trifling detail. In fine, the care, and that descending to note the smallest minutiae, which brought this race of soldiers to such a pitch of perfection, leaving them their gayety and sprightliness, and, notwithstanding the rigidness of the discipline, giving solidity and precision to irregular troops, was rewarded by success unparalleled in history. It was the best practical school for soldiers and officers; and many of the best generals in the French army began their military career in the wild guerrilla combats or the patient camp-life of this band of heroes.

Nearly two years had passed away in this training, when Marshal Clausel returned to Africa, and led the Zouaves, whose fitness for the service he well knew, into Oran. Here they added fresh laurels to those already acquired. In the expedition of Mascara, where they fought under the eye of the Duke of Orléans, they covered themselves with glory; insomuch that on his return to Paris he procured a decree, 1835, constituting the First Regiment of Zouaves, of two battalions, of six companies each, and, should occasion justify the measure, of ten companies. Lamoricière continued in command.

In 1836 the Zouaves again took the hill of Mouzaïa. This time they razed its fortifications even with the ground, and returned to Algiers, where they remained during General Clausel's first and unfortunate expedition into Constantine, the eastern province of French Africa. In 1837 the second expedition was made, and in this the Zouaves took part. One of the divisions of the army was under the command of the Duke of Némours. In this division were the Zouaves under Lamoricière, who here showed themselves worthy of their renown. Fighting by the side of the most excellent soldiers in the regular army, they proved themselves bravest where all were brave. They were placed at the head of the first column of attack. Lamoricière was the first officer on the breach, and carried all before him. The soldiers whom he had trained supported him nobly; but when they had won the day, they found that many companies were decimated, some nearly annihilated; numbers of their officers were dead in the breach, "Those who are not mortally wounded rejoice at this great success," said an officer to the Duke; and it was a significant sentence. [Footnote: Verbal report of Colonel Combes to the Duke of Némours,—conclusion.]

To form some notion of those troops, among whom the Zouaves showed themselves like the gods in the war of Troy, one anecdote will suffice, chosen from many which prove the valor of the army my generally. The rear-guard at Mansourah was under the command of Changarnier; it was reduced to three hundred men; he halted this little troop and said, "Come, my men, look these fellows in the face; they are six thousand, you are three hundred; surely the match is even." This speech was sufficient. The Frenchmen awaited the onset till the enemy was within pistol-shot; then, after a murderous volley, they charged on the Arabs, who broke and fled in dismay. During the remainder of the day they would not approach this band nearer than long rifle range. [Footnote: Moniteur, December 16, 1833; report of Marshal Clausel.]

The siege of Constantine may properly be said to have ended the war of occupation in Africa. Hitherto we have seen the Zouaves only in time of active war, or in the defence of hill-forts, obliged to unity through fear of an ever-menacing foe, and laboring for their own preservation or comfort only; but now commenced a new training for them, no less severe and dangerous, in which they showed themselves equally willing and competent,—a war against stubborn Nature in all her most forbidding aspects. Under the blazing suns of that tropical climate they recommenced at Coleah the work already begun at Dely Ibrahim; ditches were to be dug, works thrown up, roads made, draining accomplished, farms tended, all that was necessary for the establishment of those permanent colonies which France was so anxious to settle in Algeria was to be done by the Zouaves; yet, despite that terrible labor, the danger and hardship, the sickness and death, the ranks of the regiment filled up rapidly; and, joined by the wrecks of the battalion of Mechouar, they were kept full to overflowing. This battalion of Mechouar was a troop left by Clausel in the mechouar, or citadel, of Tlemcen, in the West of Oran, under the command of Captain Cavaignac; on the conclusion of the war, in 1837, they, of course, returned to their regiment at Coleah.

This deceitful peace lasted only till 1839. In this year the vigilant colonel of Zouaves perceived in his native troops alarming symptoms of mutiny, and learned, to his surprise, that they were in a ripe condition for revolt. Wild Santons of the desert, emissaries, doubtless, of Abd-el-Kader, held secret meetings near the camp; many soldiers attended them, and were seduced by artfully prepared inflammatory harangues and prophecies. In the month of December, 1839, at the raising of the standard of Islam, the natives flocked in vast numbers to rid the land of the Christians; and most of the native Zouaves deserted to join the fortunes of the prince whom they reverenced as a prophet. Old soldiers, trained in the French service to a thorough acquaintance with European tactics, and gray with battling long for Lamoricière, suddenly left him, and by their knowledge of the art of war gave great advantage to the Arab force. In their combats with the Sultan, the Zouaves not infrequently found that a sharp resistance or a masterly retreat on the part of the enemy was executed under the direction of one of their former comrades in arms. It was a critical moment for the Zouaves; but at the announcement of the renewal of hostilities volunteers flowed in on all sides, whether of young men full of ardor and excitement, or, as in many instances, of old soldiers who had already served their time. After a winter of petty skirmishing and reestablishing in Algeria the semblance of security, the Duke of Orléans led the army, considerably reinforced, in a raid against the Arabs under Abd-el-Kader in their own territory. The Zouaves accompanied this expedition, and whether in their charges against the mountaineers, who, with the aid of the Arab regulars, defended each pass, or sustaining the shock of the provincial cavalry, or even standing unmoved before the attack of Abd-el-Kader's terrible "Reds," [Footnote: The mounted body-guard of Abd-el-Kader, so called by the French from their complete red uniform.] they maintained their character of rapid, intrepid, and successful soldiers. What names we find in this regiment! Lamoricière, Regnault, Renault, (now General of Division,) Cavaignac, Leflô, (now General of Brigade,) and St. Arnaud, who died Marshal of France two days after the victory of the Alma.

A singular instance of the handiness of the Zouaves is found in the notice of their forced march on this campaign, undertaken May 20th, to support the retreating Seventeenth Light Infantry. Their cartridges were fired away, the regulars of Abd-el-Kader were upon them, and nothing seemed to remain but an heroic death, when, "Comrades," cried one, "see, here are stones!" Not a word more; each caught the hint, and, with simultaneous volleys of stones, drove off the charging enemy, and broke their way to where the remains of the Seventeenth rallied under Colonel Bedeau, after a retreat more properly to be called a continual attack!

Hard at work during the winter of 1840-41, General Bugeaud found these indefatigable soldiers in perfect condition to take the field again, when he landed in April. There had been sharp fighting during the past year at Mouzaïa, in which the Zouaves always led the van, and were, as in every engagement they ever fought, covered with honor. "The Second, electrified by the example of its officers, and led by Colonel Changarnier, flung itself on the intrenchments; the redoubts were carried, etc. At the same time, in the other column, Lamoricière led the way with his Zouaves, followed by the other troops. The Zouaves surmounted the almost impassable cliffs, attacked and carried two lines of intrenchment, and, in the teeth of a murderous fire, forced a third; a few moments later the two columns joined, and, rushing up the acclivity, planted the flag of France on the highest peak of the Atlas." [Footnote: Report of Marshal Valée: Moniteur.] Little variation is found in the reports of generals concerning the Zouaves at this time; they say of these troops always, "The First," or "The Second, was covered with glory."

But now, with the arrival of Bugeaud, the war in Africa was changed; hitherto it had been a mere war of occupation,—a holding of the ground already French against the attacking Arabs; now it was to be a duel, a war of devastation; thus only could France hope to tame the indefatigable Abd-el-Kader, and permanently hold her own. The trouble was not so much to fight him as to get near enough to fight him; for he pursued a truly Fabian policy, and being lighter armed, was consequently swifter than the invaders. Under Marshal Clausel, the French, drawing with them the heavy wagons and munitions of European warfare, were obliged to follow the high-roads, and the Arabs could never be taken by surprise; scouts gave information of their numbers, and after harassing marches they would find that the foe had either retreated to unknown fastnesses or assembled on the spot in prodigious force. Now Lamoricière proposed a plan, in the execution of which he was eminently successful. Bugeaud's design was, to follow the Arabs into the desert, to climb the steep mountains, to plunge into their chasms, to storm every hill-fort, and to drive, step by step, the swift Abd-el-Kader far from the land which his presence so troubled; but how? for swift troops are light-armed, carry no luggage, and but little provision; and to follow without food the Arabs who concealed food in silos, caches in the ground, seemed hopeless. Lamoricière required but his Zouaves, who carried only four days' provisions, and no baggage of any sort; when they drew near any of these silos, which were always, of course, in the vicinity of the deserted villages, he spread out his troops in a long crescent, and they advanced slowly, rooting up the ground with their bayonets till some one struck on the stone or pebbles covering the precious deposit. Thus, without wagons, trained to tireless activity, they could follow the Arabs from douar to douar with little delay, and with fatal effect.

Great reinforcements were sent to Africa, and the Zouaves were not forgotten; for, in the royal ordinance of September 8th, 1841, the regiment was raised to three battalions of nine companies; only one of the nine, however, could receive natives, so that but three native companies now existed, and few Algerines were found even in these. The reasons seem to have been threefold: first, the danger from mutiny; second, the evils arising from the mixture of the two races, which had augmented their vices, without a corresponding improvement in their good qualities; third, and perhaps most important of all, the discontent very properly felt by the French Zouaves, who were compelled to work at the trenches, to dig, to plant, etc., while the Mussulmans utterly refused to take part in this, to their mind, degrading toil. The Gordian knot was cut, and all difficulty done away, by making the regiment, in effect, exclusively European. Thus reorganized and reinforced, the regiment, on receiving the standard sent it by the king, immediately separated,—one battalion marching for Oran, one for Constantine, while the other remained at Blidah, in Algeria.

The year 1842 was full of great results; the new system worked well, great numbers of tribes laid down their arms and swore fealty to France, and the provinces were more than nominally in the hands of the French. Still many of the more distant and powerful tribes held to their allegiance to the Prophet Sultan. The war gradually took on itself the form of a civil contest, and mutual animosities gave rise to many occasions for sanguinary combats; one of these, in the valley of the Cheliff, September, 1842, lasted unintermittingly for thirty-six hours! In this battle, and that of Oued Foddah, and, in fact, in almost every battle of those years, the Zouaves took an honorable part. In mountain fights, long marches over burning sands, repulses of cavalry, at Jurjura, Ouarsanis, among the Beni Menasser, at the Smalah, in the struggles of Bedeau with the Moroccan cavalry, and in the memorable battle of Isly, they did good service; their history was but a narrative of brilliant exploits. In many of their hill fights, the deserters of 1839 gave much trouble. In a skirmish, 1844, on the south side of the Aurès, in which Captain Espinasse (died General of Division, Magenta, June 6th, 1859) was concerned, and wounded four times, an old native Zouave commanded the Kabyles, and defended their principal position with much skill.

In fine, to recount the hundredth part of their deeds,—to make out a list of their soldiers, sub-officers, or officers who have been since promoted to high honors,—to trace minutely each step by which they mounted to their present position, would be to write, not an article, but a book. In 1842 the natives disappeared finally from their ranks; the best and bravest soldiers of the African army eagerly sought their places, attracted by the uniform, the manner of life, the constant danger and no less constant excitement, the liberty allowed, the glory ever open to all. As their numbers were decimated by the continual warfare, the ranks were immediately filled by the descendants of those brave Gauls who once said, "If the heavens fall, what care we? We will support them on the points of our lances!" In 1848, the Zouaves received a large accession from Paris; the gamins of the Revolution were sent to them in great numbers; out of this unpromising, rebellious material, some of the finest of these admirable troops have been made. And now, when the entry into this regiment was longed for by so many, as a species of promotion, on the 13th of February, 1852, Louis Napoleon, then President of the Republic, decreed that three regiments of Zouaves be formed, each on one of the three battalions as a nucleus, taking the number of the battalion as its own. Thus the first regiment was formed at Blidah, in Algiers; the second at Oran, in Oran; the third at Constantine, in the province of Constantine. Officers of the corps of infantry were eligible to the new regiments, holding the same grade; the men were to be drawn from any infantry corps in the army, on their own application, if the Minister of War saw proper. None were accepted but men physically and morally in excellent condition; the officers had, for the most part, already served with credit; the under-officers and soldiers had been many years in the service; and even many corporals, and not a few ensigns and lieutenants, voluntarily relinquished their positions to serve in the rank-and-file of the new corps. So, occupied in pacificating and securing the three provinces, the regiments lost nothing of their former renown; obedient to orders, and fearless of danger, it was no idle compliment paid them by Louis Napoleon, when, in the winter of 1853-4, be said, "If the war break out, we must show our Zouaves to the Russians." They were a body trained in the school of a terrible experience of twenty-four years; they had learned, like the lion-hunter, Gerard, to take death by the mane, and look into his fiery eyes without blenching; they were fit for this service, which demanded the best nerve of the two most powerful nations of the world. What they did there is known to all; at the battle of the Alma, Marshal St. Arnaud was unable to repress his admiration, calling them "the bravest soldiers in the world." All Europe, at first wondering at these strange troops, with their wild dress, their half-savage manners, and strange method of warfare, found speedy cause to admire their courage and success; France was proud of their renown, and they became immensely popular in Paris, sure proof of their remarkable qualities. Their oddities, their courage, their imperfect knowledge of the distinctions of meum and tuum, their wondering, childlike simplicity, furnished themes for endless songs and caricatures; the comedy of "Les Zouaves" met with great success; and the cant name for them, "Zouzou," is to be heard at any time in the streets. In 1855, the Fourth Zouaves was created, consisting of but two battalions, and enrolled in the Imperial Guard; they are distinguished from the others by wearing a white turban, while that of the other regiments is green; since the formation of this regiment, no new corps have been added. The peace with Russia, in 1856, was not peace for the Zouaves, who returned, desiring nothing better, to Africa, where, in the continued war, they found congenial employment till the final submission of the last tribes, July 15, 1857, dissolved the army of Kabylia, and made them, perforce, peaceful, till the 26th of April of this year brought them to win fresh laurels on a new field.

Vague reports, assertions without proof, have been not infrequently made, to the effect that the Zouaves are in character cruel, dissolute, and excessively given to hard drinking. That they are absolutely free from the first charge I shall not attempt to deny; that they are more so than other men, in like circumstances, there is no proof; there is even good reason to state the contrary, if we may judge by instances, of which, for want of space, one shall suffice here. The Zouaves were in the van of the army, on their march toward the Tell; in their charge was a large body of prisoners, wounded, and helpless women, old men, and children, whom they were conducting to the Tell, to restore them to their homes. The weather was intensely hot, even for Africa; the nearest well was eleven leagues distant; and the sufferings of the poor people must have been dreadful indeed. Mothers flung down their infants on the burning sand, and pressed madly on to save themselves from the most horrible of deaths; old men and boys sunk exhausted, panting, declaring they could go no farther. "Then it was," says an eyewitness, "that the Zouaves behaved like very Sisters of Charity, rather than rough bearded soldiers; they divided their last morsel with these unfortunates, gave them drink from their own scanty stores, and, putting their canteens to the mouths of the dying, revived them with the precious draught. They raised the screaming infants, overturned and held ewes, that they might suckle the poor creatures, abandoned in despair by their mothers, and, in many instances, carried them the whole distance in their arms. At night they ate nothing, giving their food to the helpless prisoners, whose lives they thus saved at the risk of their own." If in war they "imitate the action of the tiger," we have every reason to believe that in peace they are, to say the least, not less humane than others.

The author of "Recollections of an Officer" [Footnote: Souvenirs d'un Officier du 2me de Zouaves. Paris, 1859.] sums up the character of the Zouaves in a few words which clear them from the other two charges, those of dissoluteness and drunkenness. He says,—"Beside the condition of success resulting from the first organization, it must be said, that, somewhat later, the happy idea came to be adopted, of giving to the Zouaves destined to fight in the light-armed troops the costume of Chasseurs-à-pied. The recruitment added also not a little to the reputation which the Zouaves so rapidly acquired; the soldiers are all drawn, not from conscripts, but from applicants for the service. Many are Parisians, or, at all events, inhabitants of the other great French cities; most have already served,—are therefore inured to the work,—accustomed to privations, which they undergo gayly,—to fatigues, at which they joke,—to dangers in battle, which they treat as mere play. They are proud of their uniform, which does not resemble that of any other corps,—proud of that name, Zouave, of mysterious origin,—proud of the splendid actions with which each succeeding day enriches the history of their troops,—happy in the liberty they experience, both in garrison and on expeditions. It is said that the Zouaves love wine; it is true; but they are rarely seen intoxicated; they seek the pleasures of conviviality, not the imbrutement of drunkenness. These regiments count in their ranks officers, who, ennuied by a lazy life, have taken up the musket and the chechia,—under-officers, who, having already served, brave, even rash, seek to win their epaulettes anew in this hard service, and gain either a glorious position or a glorious death,—old officers of the garde mobile,—broad-shouldered marines, who have served their time on shipboard, accustomed to cannon and the thunderings of the tempest,—young men of family, desirous to replace with the red ribbon of the Legion of Honor, bought and colored with their blood, the dishonor of a life gaped wearily away on the pavements of Paris.

"Composed of such elements, one can scarcely imagine the body of Zouaves other than brilliant in the field of battle. The officers are generally chosen from the regiments of the line, men remarkable for strength, courage, and prudence; full of energy, pushing the love of their colors to its last limit, always ready to confront death and to run up to meet danger, they seek glory rather than promotion. To train up their soldiers, to give them an example, in their own persons, of all the military virtues,—such are their only cares. Our ancestors said, 'Noblesse, oblige'; these choose the same motto. Their nobility is not that of old family-titles, but the uniform in which they are clothed, the title of officer of Zouaves. Esprit de corps, that religion of the soldier, is carried by the Zouaves to its highest pitch; the common soldiers would not consent to change their turban for the epaulettes of an ensign in the other service; and many an ensign, and not a few captains, have preferred to await their advancement in the Zouaves rather than immediately obtain it by entering other regiments. There exists, moreover, between the soldiers and officers, a military fraternity, which, far from destroying discipline, tends rather to draw more closely its bonds. The officer sees in his men rather companions in danger and in glory than inferiors; he willingly attends to their complaints, and strives to spare them all unnecessary privations. Where they are exposed to difficulties, he does not hesitate to employ all the means in his power to aid them. In return, the soldier professes for his officer an affection, a devotion, a sort of filial respect. Discipline, he knows, must be severe, and he does not grumble at its penalties. In battle, he does not abandon his chief; he watches over him, will die for his safety, will not let him fall into the hands of the enemy if wounded. At the bivouac he makes the officer's fire, though his own should die for want of fuel; cares for his horse, arranges his furniture; if any delicacy in the way of food can be procured, he brings it to the chief. Convinced of the desire of their master that the soldiers shall be well fed, the Zouaves often insist that a part of their pay be expended for procuring the provisions of the tribe. [Footnote: In accordance with Arab customs, the Zouaves, who (to use the ordinary expression) "live in common," compose a circle to which they give the name of tribe. In the tribe, each one has his allotted task: one attends to making the fires and procuring wood; another draws water and does the cooking; another makes the coffee and arranges the camp, etc.] The colonel is the man most venerated by these soldiers, who look upon him as the father of the family. They are proud of the colonel's success, and happy to have contributed to his honor or advancement. When an order comes directly from him, be sure it will be religiously obeyed. 'When papa says anything,' they repeat, one to another, 'it must be done. Papa knows it is already done; be wants us to be the best children possible.' In critical moments, the colonel can use the severest Draconian code, without having anything to fear from the disapprobation of his men."


  I mourn no more my vanished years:
      Beneath a tender rain,
  An April rain of smiles and tears,
      My heart is young again.

  The west winds blow, and, singing low,
      I hear the glad streams run;
  The windows of my soul I throw
      Wide open to the sun.

  No longer forward nor behind
      I look in hope or fear;
  But, grateful, take the good I find,
      The best of now and here.

  I plough no more a desert land,
      To harvest weed and tare;
  The manna dropping from God's hand
      Rebukes my painful care.

  I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
    Aside the toiling oar;
  The angel sought so far away
    I welcome at my door.

  The airs of Spring may never play
      Among the ripening corn,
  Nor freshness of the flowers of May
      Blow through the Autumn morn;—

  Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
      Through fringed lids to heaven,
  And the pale aster in the brook
      Shall see its image given;—

  The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
      The south wind softly sigh,
  And sweet, calm days in golden haze
      Melt down the amber sky.

  Not less shall manly deed and word
      Rebuke an age of wrong;
  The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
      Make not the blade less strong.

  But smiting hands shall learn to heal,
      To build as to destroy;
  Nor less my heart for others feel
      That I the more enjoy.

  All as God wills, who wisely heeds
      To give or to withhold,
  And knoweth more of all my needs
      Than all my prayers have told!

  Enough that blessings undeserved
      Have marked my erring track,—
  That, wheresoe'er my feet have swerved,
      His chastening turned me back,—

  That more and more a Providence
      Of love is understood,
  Making the springs of time and sense
      Sweet with eternal good,—

  That death seems but a covered way
      Which opens into light,
  Wherein no blinded child can stray
      Beyond the Father's sight,—

  That care and trial seem at last,
      Through Memory's sunset air,
  Like mountain-ranges overpast,
      In purple distance fair,—

  That all the jarring notes of life
      Seem blending in a psalm,
  And all the angles of its strife
      Slow rounding into calm.

  And so the shadows fall apart,
      And so the west winds play;
  And all the windows of my heart
      I open to the day!



There has been a sort of stillness in the atmosphere of our boarding-house since my last record, as if something or other were going on. There is no particular change that I can think of in the aspect of things; yet I have a feeling as if some game of life were quietly playing and strange forces were at work, underneath this smooth surface of every-day boarding-house life, which would show themselves some fine morning or other in events, if not in catastrophes. I have been watchful, as I said I should be, but have little to tell as yet. You may laugh at me, and very likely think me foolishly fanciful to trouble myself about what is going on in a middling-class household like ours. Do as you like. But here is that terrible fact to begin with,—a beautiful young girl, with the blood and the nerve-fibre that belong to Nature's women, turned loose among live men.

Terrible fact?

Very terrible. Nothing more so. Do you forget the angels who lost heaven for the daughters of men? Do you forget Helen, and the fair women who made mischief and set nations by the ears before Helen was born? If jealousies that gnaw men's hearts out of their bodies,—if pangs that waste men to shadows and drive them into raving madness or moping melancholy,—if assassination and suicide are dreadful possibilities, then there is always something frightful about a lovely young woman.—I love to look at this "Rainbow," as her father used sometimes to call her, of ours. Handsome creature that she is in forms and colors,—the very picture, as it seems to me, of that "golden blonde" my friend whose book you read last year fell in love with when he was a boy, (as you remember, no doubt,)—handsome as she is, fit for a sea-king's bride, it is not her beauty alone that holds my eyes upon her. Let me tell you one of my fancies, and then you will understand the strange sort of fascination she has for me.

It is in the hearts of many men and women—let me add children—that there is a Great Secret waiting for them,—a secret of which they get hints now and then, perhaps oftener in early than in later years. These hints come sometimes in dreams, sometimes in sudden startling flashes,—second wakings, as it were,—a waking out of the waking state, which last is very apt to be a half-sleep. I have many times stopped short and held my breath, and felt the blood leaving my cheeks, in one of these sudden clairvoyant flashes. Of course I cannot tell what kind of a secret this is; but I think of it as a disclosure of certain relations of our personal being to time and space, to other intelligences, to the procession of events, and to their First Great Cause. This secret seems to be broken up, as it were, into fragments, so that we find here a word and there a syllable, and then again only a letter of it; but it never is written out for most of us as a complete sentence, in this life. I do not think it could be; for I am disposed to consider our beliefs about such a possible disclosure rather as a kind of premonition of an enlargement of our faculties in some future state than as an expectation to be fulfilled for most of us in this life. Persons, however, have fallen into trances,—as did the Reverend William Tennent, among many others,—and learned some things which they could not tell in our human words.

Now among the visible objects which hint to us fragments of this infinite secret for—which our souls are waiting, the faces of women are those that carry the most legible hieroglyphics of the great mystery. There are women's faces, some real, some ideal, which contain something in them that becomes a positive element in our creed, so direct and palpable a revelation is it of the infinite purity and love. I remember two faces of women with wings, such as they call angels, of Fra Angelico,—and I just now came across a print of Raphael's Santa Apollina, with something of the same quality,—which I was sure had their prototypes in the world above ours. No wonder the Catholics pay their vows to the Queen of Heaven! The unpoetical side of Protestantism is, that it has no women to be worshipped.

But mind you, it is not every beautiful face that hints the Great Secret to us, nor is it only in beautiful faces that we find traces of it. Sometimes it looks out from a sweet sad eye, the only beauty of a plain countenance; sometimes there is so much meaning in the lips of a woman, not otherwise fascinating, that we know they have a message for us, and wait almost with awe to hear their accents. But this young girl has at once the beauty of feature and the unspoken mystery of expression. Can she tell me anything? Is her life a complement of mine, with the missing element in it which I have been groping after through so many friendships that I have tired of, and through—Hush! Is the door fast? Talking loud is a bad trick in these curious boarding-houses.

You must have sometimes noted this fact that I am going to remind you of and to use for a special illustration. Riding along over a rocky road, suddenly the slow monotonous grinding of the crushing gravel changes to a deep heavy rumble. There is a great hollow under your feet,—a huge unsunned cavern. Deep, deep beneath you, in the core of the living rock, it arches its awful vault, and far away it stretches its winding galleries, their roofs dripping into streams where fishes have been swimming and spawning in the dark until their scales are white as milk and their eyes have withered out, obsolete and useless.

So it is in life. We jog quietly along, meeting the same faces, grinding over the same thoughts,—the gravel of the soul's highway,—now and then jarred against an obstacle we cannot crush, but must ride over or round as we best may, sometimes bringing short up against a disappointment, but still working along with the creaking and rattling and grating and jerking that belong to the journey of life, even in the smoothest-rolling vehicle. Suddenly we hear the deep underground reverberation that reveals the unsuspected depth of some abyss of thought or passion beneath us.——

I wish the girl would go. I don't like to look at her so much, and yet I cannot help it. Always that same expression of something that I ought to know,—something that she was made to tell and I to hear,—lying there ready to fall off from her lips, ready to leap out of her eyes and make a saint of me, or a devil or a lunatic, or perhaps a prophet to tell the truth and be hated of men, or a poet whose words shall flash upon the dry stubble-field of worn-out thoughts and burn over an age of lies in an hour of passion.

It suddenly occurs to me that I may have put you on the wrong track. The Great Secret that I refer to has nothing to do with the Three Words. Set your mind at ease about that,—there are reasons I could give you which settle all that matter. I don't wonder, however, that you confounded the Great Secret with the Three Words.

I LOVE YOU is all the secret that many, nay, most women have to tell. When that is said, they are like China-crackers on the morning of the fifth of July. And just as that little patriotic implement is made with a slender train which leads to the magazine in its interior, so a sharp eye can almost always see the train leading from a young girl's eye or lip to the "I love you" in her heart. But the Three Words are not the Great Secret I mean. No, women's faces are only one of the tablets on which that is written in its partial, fragmentary symbols. It lies deeper than Love, though very probably Love is a part of it. Some, I think,—Wordsworth might be one of them,—spell out a portion of it from certain beautiful natural objects, landscapes, flowers, and others. I can mention several poems of his that have shadowy hints which seem to me to come near the region where I think it lies. I have known two persons who pursued it with the passion of the old alchemists,—all wrong evidently, but infatuated, and never giving up the daily search for it until they got tremulous and feeble, and their dreams changed to visions of things that ran and crawled about their floor and ceilings, and so they died. The vulgar called them drunkards.

I told you that I would let you know the mystery of the effect this young girl's face produces on me. It is akin to those influences a friend of mine has described, you may remember, as coming from certain voices. I cannot translate it into words,—only into feelings; and these I have attempted to shadow by showing that her face hinted that revelation of something we are close to knowing, which all imaginative persons are looking for either in this world or on the very threshold of the next.

You shake your head at the vagueness and fanciful incomprehensibleness of my description of the expression in a young girl's face. You forget what a miserable surface-matter this language is in which we try to reproduce our interior state of being. Articulation is a shallow trick. From the light Poh! which we toss off from our lips as we fling a nameless scribbler's impertinences into our waste-baskets, to the gravest utterance which comes from our throats in our moments of deepest need, is only a space of some three or four inches. Words, which are a set of clickings, hissings, lispings, and so on, mean very little, compared to tones and expression of the features. I give it up; I thought I could shadow forth in some feeble way, by their aid, the effect this young girl's face produces on my imagination; but it is of no use. No doubt your head aches, trying to make something of my description. If there is here and there one that can make anything intelligible out of my talk about the Great Secret, and who has spelt out a syllable or two of it on some woman's face, dead or living, that is all I can expect. One should see the person with whom he converses about such matters. There are dreamy-eyed people to whom I should say all these things with a certainty of being understood;—

  That moment that his face I see,
  I know the man that must hear me:
      To him my tale I teach.

——I am afraid some of them have not got a spare quarter for this
August number, so that they will never see it.

——Let us start again, just as if we had not made this ambitious attempt, which may go for nothing, and you can have your money refunded, if you will make the change.

This young girl, about whom I have talked so unintelligibly, is the unconscious centre of attraction to the whole solar system of our breakfast-table. The little gentleman, leans towards her, and she again seems to be swayed as by some invisible gentle force towards him. That slight inclination of two persons with a strong affinity towards each other, throwing them a little out of plumb when they sit side by side, is a physical fact I have often noticed. Then there is a tendency in all the men's eyes to converge on her; and I do firmly believe, that, if all their chairs were examined, they would be found a little obliquely placed, so as to favor the direction in which their occupants love to look.

That bland, quiet old gentleman, of whom I have spoken as sitting opposite to me, is no exception to the rule. She brought down some mignonette one morning, which she had grown in her chamber. She gave a sprig to her little neighbor, and one to the landlady, and sent another by the hand of Bridget to this old gentleman.

——Sarvant, Ma'am! Much obleeged,—he said, and put it gallantly in his button-hole.—After breakfast he must see some of her drawings. Very fine performances,—very fine!—truly elegant productions,—truly elegant!—Had seen Miss Linley's needle-work in London, in the year (eighteen hundred and little or nothing, I think he said,)—patronized by the nobility and gentry, and Her Majesty,—elegant, truly elegant productions, very fine performances; these drawings reminded him of them;—wonderful resemblance to Nature; an extraordinary art, painting; Mr. Copley made some very fine pictures that he remembered seeing when he was a boy. Used to remember some lines about a portrait written by Mr. Cowper, beginning,—

  "Oh that those lips had language! Life has past
  With me but roughly since I saw thee last."

And with this the old gentleman fell to thinking about a dead mother of his that he remembered ever so much younger than he now was, and looking, not as his mother, but as his daughter should look. The dead young mother was looking at the old man, her child, as she used to look at him so many, many years ago. He stood still as if cataleptic, his eyes fixed on the drawings till their outlines grew indistinct and they ran into each other, and a pale, sweet face shaped itself out of the glimmering light through which he saw them.—What is there quite so profoundly human as an old man's memory of a mother who died in his earlier years? Mother she remains till manhood, and by-and-by she grows, as it were, to be as a sister; and at last, when, wrinkled and bowed and broken, he looks back upon her in her fair youth, he sees in the sweet image he caresses, not his parent, but, as it were, his child.

If I had not seen all this in the old gentleman's face, the words with which he broke his silence would have betrayed his train of thought.

——If they had only taken pictures then as they do now!—he said.—All gone! all gone! nothing but her face as she leaned on the arms of her great chair; and I would give a hundred pound for the poorest little picture of her, such as you can buy for a shilling of anybody that you don't want to see.—The old gentleman put his hand to his forehead so as to shade his eyes. I saw he was looking at the dim photograph of memory, and turned from him to Iris.

How many drawing-books have you filled,—I said,—since you began to take lessons?—This was the first,—she answered,—since she was here; and it was not full, but there were many separate sheets of large size she had covered with drawings.

I turned over the leaves of the book before us. Academic studies, principally of the human figure. Heads of sibyls, prophets, and so forth. Limbs from statues. Hands and feet from Nature. What a superb drawing of an arm! I don't remember it among the figures from Michel Angelo, which seem to have been her patterns mainly. From Nature, I think, or after a cast from Nature.—Oh!——

——Your smaller studies are in this, I suppose,—I said, taking up the drawing-book with a lock on it.——Yes,—she said.—I should like to see her style of working on a small scale.—There was nothing in it worth showing,—she said; and presently I saw her try the lock, which proved to be fast. We are all caricatured in it, I haven't the least doubt. I think, though, I could tell by her way of dealing with us what her fancies were about us boarders. Some of them act as if they were bewitched with her, but she does not seem to notice it much. Her thoughts seem to be on her little neighbor more than on anybody else. The young fellow John appears to stand second in her good graces. I think he has once or twice sent her what the landlady's daughter calls bó-kays of flowers,—somebody has, at any rate.—I saw a book she had, which must have come from the divinity-student. It had a dreary title-page, which she had enlivened with a fancy portrait of the author,—a face from memory, apparently,—one of those faces that small children loathe without knowing why, and which give them that inward disgust for heaven so many of the little wretches betray, when they hear that these are "good men," and that heaven is full of such.—The gentleman with the "diamond"—the Koh-i-noor, so called by us—was not encouraged, I think, by the reception of his packet of perfumed soap. He pulls his purple moustache and looks appreciatingly at Iris, who never sees him, as it should seem. The young Marylander, who I thought would have been in love with her before this time, sometimes looks from his corner across the long diagonal of the table, as much as to say, I wish you were up here by me, or I were down there by you,—which would, perhaps, be a more natural arrangement than the present one. But nothing comes of all this,—and nothing has come of my sagacious idea of finding out the girl's fancies by looking into her locked drawing-book.

Not to give up all the questions I was determined to solve, I made an attempt also to work into the little gentleman's chamber. For this purpose, I kept him in conversation, one morning, until he was just ready to go up-stairs, and then, as if to continue the talk, followed him as he toiled back to his room. He rested on the landing and faced round toward me. There was something in his eye which said, Stop there! So we finished our conversation on the landing. The next day, I mustered assurance enough to knock at his door, having a pretext ready.—No answer.—Knock again. A door, as if of a cabinet, was shut softly and locked, and presently I heard the peculiar dead beat of his thick-soled, misshapen boots. The bolts and the lock of the inner door were unfastened,—with unnecessary noise, I thought,—and he came into the passage. He pulled the inner door after him and opened the outer one at which I stood. He had on a flowered silk dressing-gown, such as "Mr. Copley" used to paint his old-fashioned merchant-princes in; and a quaint-looking key in his hand. Our conversation was short, but long enough to convince me that the little gentleman did not want my company in his chamber, and did not mean to have it.

I have been making a great fuss about what is no mystery at all,—a schoolgirl's secrets and a whimsical man's habits. I mean to give up such nonsense and mind my own business.—Hark! What the deuse is that odd noise in his chamber?

——I think I am a little superstitious. There were two things, when I was a boy, that diabolized my imagination,—I mean, that gave me a distinct apprehension of a formidable bodily shape which prowled round the neighborhood where I was born and bred. The first was a series of marks called the "Devil's footsteps." These were patches of sand in the pastures, where no grass grew, where even the low-bush blackberry, the "dewberry," as our Southern neighbors call it, in prettier and more Shakspearian language, did not spread its clinging creepers,—where even the pale, dry, sadly-sweet "everlasting" could not grow, but all was bare and blasted. The second was a mark in one of the public buildings near my home,—the college dormitory named after a Colonial Governor. I do not think many persons are aware of the existence of this mark,—little having been said about the story in print, as it was considered very desirable, for the sake of the institution, to hush it up. In the northwest corner, and on the level of the third or fourth story, there are signs of a breach in the walls, mended pretty well, but not to be mistaken. A considerable portion of that corner must have been carried away, from within outward. It was an unpleasant story; and I do not care to repeat the particulars; but some young men had been using sacred things in a profane and unlawful way, when the occurrence, which was variously explained, took place. The story of the Appearance in the chamber was, I suppose, invented afterwards; but of the injury to the building there could be no question; and the zig-zag line, where the mortar is a little thicker than before, is still distinctly visible. The queer burnt spots, called the "Devil's footsteps," had never attracted attention before this time, though there is no evidence that they had not existed previously, except that of the late Miss M., a "Goody," so called, or sweeper, who was positive on the subject, but had a strange horror of referring to an affair of which she was thought to know something.—I tell you it was not so pleasant for a little boy of impressible nature to go up to bed in an old gambrel-roofed house, with untenanted, locked upper-chambers, and a most ghostly garret,—with the "Devil's footsteps" in the fields behind the house, and in front of it the patched dormitory where the unexplained occurrence had taken place which startled those godless youths at their mock devotions, so that one of them was an idiot from that day forward, and another, after a dreadful season of mental conflict, took holy orders and became renowned for his ascetic sanctity.

There were other circumstances that kept up the impression produced by these two singular facts I have just mentioned. There was a dark storeroom, on looking through the keyhole of which, I could dimly see a heap of chairs and tables, and other four-footed things, which seemed to me to have rushed in there, frightened, and in their fright to have huddled together and climbed up on each other's backs,—as the people did in that awful crush where so many were killed, at the execution of Holloway and Haggerty. Then the Lady's portrait, up-stairs, with the sword-thrusts through it,—marks of the British officers' rapiers,—and the tall mirror in which they used to look at their red coats,—confound them for smashing its mate!—and the deep, cunningly wrought arm-chair in which Lord Percy used to sit while his hair was dressing;—he was a gentleman, and always had it covered with a large peignoir, to save the silk covering my grandmother embroidered. Then the little room down-stairs, from which went the orders to throw up a bank of earth on the hill yonder, where you may now observe a granite obelisk,—"the study," in my father's time, but in those days the council-chamber of armed men,—sometimes filled with soldiers;—come with me, and I will show you the "dents" left by the butts of their muskets all over the floor.—With all these suggestive objects round me, aided by the wild stories those awful country-boys that came to live in our service brought with them,—of contracts written in blood and left out over night, not to be found the next morning,—removed by the Evil One, who takes his nightly round among our dwellings, and filed away for future use,—of dreams coming true,—of death-signs,—of apparitions,—no wonder that my imagination got excited, and I was liable to superstitious fancies.

Jeremy Bentham's logic, by which he proved that he couldn't possibly see a ghost, is all very well—in the day-time. All the reason in the world will never get those impressions of childhood, created by just such circumstances as I have been telling, out of a man's head. That is the only excuse I have to give for the nervous kind of curiosity with which I watch my little neighbor, and the obstinacy with which I lie awake whenever I hear anything going on in his chamber after midnight.

But whatever further observations I may have made must be deferred for the present. You will see in what way it happened that my thoughts were turned from spiritual matters to bodily ones, and how I got my fancy full of material images,—faces, heads, figures, muscles, and so forth,—in such a way that I should have no chance in this number to gratify any curiosity you may feel, if I had the means of so doing.

Indeed, I have come pretty near omitting my periodical record this time. It was all the work of a friend of mine, who would have it that I should sit to him for my portrait. When a soul draws a body in the great lottery of life, where every one is sure of a prize, such as it is, the said soul inspects the said body with the same curious interest with which one who has ventured into a "gift enterprise" examines the "massive silver pencil-case" with the coppery smell and impressible tube, or the "splendid gold ring" with the questionable specific gravity, which it has been his fortune to obtain in addition to his purchase.

The soul, having studied the article of which it finds itself proprietor, thinks, after a time, it knows it pretty well. But there is this difference between its view and that of a person looking at us:—we look from within, and see nothing but the mould formed by the elements in which we are incased; other observers look from without, and see us as living statues. To be sure, by the aid of mirrors, we get a few glimpses of our outside aspect; but this occasional impression is always modified by that look of the soul from within outward which none but ourselves can take. A portrait is apt, therefore, to be a surprise to us. The artist looks only from without. He sees us, too, with a hundred aspects on our faces we are never likely to see. No genuine expression can be studied by the subject of it in the looking-glass.

More than this; he sees us in a way in which many of our friends or acquaintances never see us. Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend. For, in the first place, each puts a special reflection of himself upon us, on the principle of assimilation referred to in my last record, if you happen to have read that document. And secondly, each of our friends is capable of seeing just so far, and no farther, into our face, and each sees in it the particular thing that he looks for. Now the artist, if he is truly an artist, does not take any one of these special views. Suppose he should copy you as you appear to the man who wants your name to a subscription-list, you could hardly expect a friend who entertains you to recognize the likeness to the smiling face which sheds its radiance at his board. Even within your own family, I am afraid there is a face which the rich uncle knows, that is not so familiar to the poor relation. The artist must take one or the other, or something compounded of the two, or something different from either. What the daguerreotype and photograph do is to give the features and one particular look, the very look which kills all expression, that of self-consciousness. The artist throws you off your guard, watches you in movement and in repose, puts your face through its exercises, observes its transitions, and so gets the whole range of its expression. Out of all this he forms an ideal portrait, which is not a copy of your exact look at any one time or to any particular person. Such a portrait cannot be to everybody what the ungloved call "as nat'ral as life." Every good picture, therefore, must be considered wanting in resemblance by many persons.

There is one strange revelation which comes out, as the artist shapes your features from his outline. It is that you resemble so many relatives to whom you yourself never had noticed any particular likeness in your countenance.

He is at work at me now, when I catch some of these resemblances, thus:—

There! that is just the look my father used to have sometimes; I never thought I had a sign of it. The mother's eyebrow and grayish-blue eye, those I knew I had. But there is a something which recalls a smile that faded away from my sister's lips—how many years ago! I thought it so pleasant in her, that I love myself better for having a trace of it.

Are we not young? Are we not fresh and blooming? Wait a bit. The artist takes a mean little brush and draws three fine lines, diverging outwards from the eye over the temple. Five years.—The artist draws one tolerably distinct and two faint lines, perpendicularly between the eyebrows. Ten years.—The artist breaks up the contours round the mouth, so that they look a little as a hat does that has been sat upon and recovered itself, ready, as one would say, to crumple up again in the same creases, on smiling or other change of feature.—Hold on! Stop that! Give a young fellow a chance! Are we not whole years short of that interesting period of life when Mr. Balzac says that a man, etc., etc., etc.?

There now! That is ourself, as we look after finishing an article, getting a three-mile pull with the ten-foot sculls, redressing the wrongs of the toilet, and standing with the light of hope in our eye and the reflection of a red curtain on our cheek. Is he not a POET that painted us?

"Blest be the art that can immortalize!"


——Young folks look on a face as a unit; children who go to school with any given little John Smith see in his name a distinctive appellation, and in his features as special and definite an expression of his sole individuality as if he were the first created of his race. As soon as we are old enough to get the range of three or four generations well in hand, and to take in large family histories, we never see an individual in a face of any stock we know, but a mosaic copy of a pattern, with fragmentary tints from this and that ancestor. The analysis of a face into its ancestral elements requires that it should be examined in the very earliest infancy, before it has lost that ancient and solemn look it brings with it out of the past eternity; and again in that brief space when Life, the mighty sculptor, has done his work, and Death, his silent servant, lifts the veil and lets us look at the marble lines he has wrought so faithfully; and lastly, while a painter who can seize all the traits of a countenance is building it up, feature after feature, from the slight outline to the finished portrait.

——I am satisfied, that, as we grow older, we learn to look upon our bodies more and more as a temporary possession, and less and less as identified with ourselves. In early years, while the child "feels its life in every limb," it lives in the body and for the body to a very great extent. It ought to be so. There have been many very interesting children who have shown a wonderful indifference to the things of earth and an extraordinary development of the spiritual nature. There is a perfect literature of their biographies, all alike in their essentials; the same "disinclination to the usual amusements of childhood"; the same remarkable sensibility; the same docility; the same conscientiousness; in short, an almost uniform character, marked by beautiful traits, which we look at with a painful admiration. It will be found that most of these children are the subjects of some constitutional unfitness for living, the most frequent of which I need not mention. They are like the beautiful, blushing, half-grown fruit that falls before its time because its core is gnawed out. They have their meaning,—they do not live in vain,—but they are windfalls. I am convinced that many healthy children are injured morally by being forced to read too much about these little meek sufferers and their spiritual exercises. Here is a boy that loves to run, swim, kick football, turn somersets, make faces, whittle, fish, tear his clothes, coast, skate, fire crackers, blow squash "tooters," cut his name on fences, read about Robinson Crusoe and Sinbad the Sailor, eat the widest-angled slices of pie and untold cakes and candies, crack nuts with his back teeth and bite out the better part of another boy's apple with his front ones, turn up coppers, "stick" knives, call names, throw stones, knock off hats, set mousetraps, chalk doorsteps, "cut behind" anything on wheels or runners, whistle through his teeth, "holler" Fire! on slight evidence, run after soldiers, patronize an engine-company, or, in his own words, "blow for tub No. 11," or whatever it may be;—isn't that a pretty nice sort of a boy, though he has not got anything the matter with him that takes the taste of this world out? Now, when you put into such a hot-blooded, hard-fisted, round-cheeked little rogue's hand a sad-looking volume or pamphlet, with the portrait of a thin, white-faced child, whose life is really as much a training for death as the last month of a condemned criminal's existence, what does he find in common between his own overflowing and exulting sense of vitality and the experiences of the doomed offspring of invalid parents? The time comes when we have learned to understand the music of sorrow, the beauty of resigned suffering, the holy light that plays over the pillow of those who die before their time, in humble hope and trust. But it is not until he has worked his way through the period of honest, hearty animal existence, which every robust, child should make the most of,—not until he has learned the use of his various faculties, which is his first duty,—that a boy of courage and animal vigor is in a proper state to read these tearful records of premature decay. I have no doubt that disgust is implanted in the minds of many healthy children by early surfeits of pathological piety. I do verily believe that He who took children in His arms and blessed them loved the healthiest and most playful of them just as well as those who were richest in the tuberculous virtues. I know what I am talking about, and there are more parents in this country who will be willing to listen to what I say than there are fools to pick a quarrel with me. In the sensibility and the sanctity which often accompany premature decay I see one of the most beautiful instances of the principle of compensation which marks the Divine benevolence. But to get the spiritual hygiene of robust natures out of the exceptional regimen of invalids is just simply what we Professors call "bad practice"; and I know by experience that there are worthy people who not only try it on their own children, but actually force it on those of their neighbors.

——Having been photographed, and stereographed, and chromatographed, or done in colors, it only remained to be phrenologized. A polite note from Messrs. Bumpus and Crane, requesting our attendance at their Physiological Emporium, was too tempting to be resisted. We repaired to that scientific Golgotha.

Messrs. Bumpus and Crane are arranged on the plan of the man and the woman in the toy called a "weather-house," both on the same wooden arm suspended on a pivot,—so that when one comes to the door, the other retires backwards, and vice versâ. The more particular speciality of one is to lubricate your entrance and exit,—that of the other to polish you off phrenologically in the recesses of the establishment. Suppose yourself in a room full of casts and pictures, before a counter-full of books with taking titles. I wonder if the picture of the brain is there, "approved" by a noted Phrenologist, which was copied from my, the Professor's, folio plate in the work of Gall and Spurzheim. An extra convolution, No. 9, Destructiveness, according to the list beneath, which was not to be seen in the plate, itself a copy of Nature, was very liberally supplied by the artist, to meet the wants of the catalogue of "organs." Professor Bumpus is seated in front of a row of women,—horn-combers and gold-beaders, or somewhere about that range of life,—looking so credulous, that, if any Second-Advent Miller or Joe Smith should come along, he could string the whole lot of them on his cheapest lie, as a boy strings a dozen "shiners" on a stripped twig of willow.

The Professor (meaning ourselves) is in a hurry, as usual; let the horn-combers wait,—he shall be bumped without inspecting the antechamber.

Tape round the head,—22 inches. (Come on, old 23 inches, if you think you are the better man!)

Feels of thorax and arm, and nuzzles round among muscles as those horrid old women poke their fingers into the salt-meat on the provision-stalls at the Quincy Market. Vitality, No. 5 or 6, or something or other. Victuality, (organ at epigastrium,) some other number equally significant.

Mild champooing of head now commences. Extraordinary revelations! Cupidipbilous, 6! Hymeniphilous, 6+! Paediphilous, 5! Deipniphilous, 6! Gelasmiphilous, 6! Muslkiphilous, 5! Uraniphilous, 5! Glossiphilous, 8!! and so on. Meant for a linguist.—Invaluable information. Will invest in grammars and dictionaries immediately.—I have nothing against the grand total of my phrenological endowments.

I never set great store by my head, and did not think Messrs. Bumpus and Crane would give me so good a lot of organs as they did, especially considering that I was a dead-head on that occasion. Much obliged to them for their politeness. They have been useful in their way by calling attention to important physiological facts. (This concession is due to our immense bump of Candor.)

A short Lecture on Phrenology, read to the Boarders at our Breakfast-Table.

I shall begin, my friends, with the definition of a Pseudo-science. A Pseudo-science consists of a nomenclature, with a self-adjusting arrangement, by which all positive evidence, or such as favors its doctrines, is admitted, and all negative evidence, or such as tells against it, is excluded. It is invariably connected with some lucrative practical application. Its professors and practitioners are usually shrewd people; they are very serious with the public, but wink and laugh a good deal among themselves. The believing multitude consists of women of both sexes, feeble-minded inquirers, poetical optimists, people who always get cheated in buying horses, philanthropists who insist on hurrying up the millennium, and others of this class, with here and there a clergyman, less frequently a lawyer, very rarely a physician, and almost never a horse-jockey or a member of the detective police.—I did not say that Phrenology was one of the Pseudo-sciences.

A Pseudo-science does not necessarily consist wholly of lies. It may contain many truths, and even valuable ones. The rottenest bank starts with a little specie. It puts out a thousand promises to pay on the strength of a single dollar, but the dollar is very commonly a good one. The practitioners of the Pseudo-sciences know that common minds, after they have been baited with a real fact or two, will jump at the merest rag of a lie, or even at the bare hook. When we have one fact found us, we are very apt to supply the next out of our own imagination. (How many persons can read Judges xv. 16 correctly the first time?) The Pseudo-sciences take advantage of this.—I did not say that it was so with Phrenology.

I have rarely met a sensible man who would not allow that there was something in Phrenology. A broad, high forehead, it is commonly agreed, promises intellect; one that is "villanous low" and has a huge hind-head back of it, is wont to mark an animal nature. I have as rarely met an unbiassed and sensible man who really believed in the bumps. It is observed, however, that persons with what the Phrenologists call "good heads" are more prone than others toward plenary belief in the doctrine.

It is so hard to prove a negative, that, if a man should assert that the moon was in truth a green cheese, formed by the coagulable substance of the Milky Way, and challenge me to prove the contrary, I might be puzzled. But if he offer to sell me a ton of this lunar cheese, I call on him to prove the truth of the caseous nature of our satellite, before I purchase.

It is not necessary to prove the falsity of the phrenological statement. It is only necessary to show that its truth is not proved, and cannot be, by the common course of argument. The walls of the head are double, with a great air-chamber between them, over the smallest and most closely crowded "organs." Can you tell how much money there is in a safe, which also has thick double walls, by kneading its knobs with your fingers? So when a man fumbles about my forehead, and talks about the organs of Individuality, Size, etc., I trust him as much as I should if he felt of the outside of my strong-box and told me that there was a five-dollar- or a ten-dollar-bill under this or that particular rivet. Perhaps there is; only he doesn't know anything about it. But this is a point that I, the Professor, understand, my friends, or ought to, certainly, better than you do. The next argument you will all appreciate.

I proceed, therefore, to explain the self-adjusting mechanism of Phrenology, which is very similar to that of the Pseudo-sciences. An example will show it most conveniently.

A. is a notorious thief. Messrs. Bumpus and Crane examine him and find a good-sized organ of Acquisitiveness. Positive fact for Phrenology. Casts and drawings of A. are multiplied, and the bump does not lose in the act of copying.—I did not Hay it gained.—What do you look so for? (to the boarders.)

Presently B. turns up, a bigger thief than A. But B. has no bump at all over Acquisitiveness. Negative fact; goes against Phrenology.—Not a bit of it. Don't you see how small Conscientiousness is? That's the reason B. stole.

And then comes C., ten times as much a thief as either A. or B.,—used to steal before he was weaned, and would pick one of his own pockets and put its contents in another, if he could find no other way of committing petty larceny. Unfortunately, C. has a hollow, instead of a bump, over Acquisitiveness. Ah, but just look and see what a bump of Alimentiveness! Did not C. buy nuts and ginger-bread, when a boy, with the money he stole? Of course you see why he is a thief, and how his example confirms our noble science.

At last comes along a case which is apparently a settler, for there is a little brain with vast and varied powers,—a case like that of Byron, for instance. Then comes out the grand reserve-reason which covers everything and renders it simply impossible ever to corner a Phrenologist. "It is not the size alone, but the quality of an organ, which determines its degree of power."

Oh! oh! I see.—The argument may be briefly stated thus by the
Phrenologist: "Heads I win, tails you lose." Well, that's convenient.

It must be confessed that Phrenology has a certain resemblance to the
Pseudo-sciences. I did not say it was a Pseudo-science.

I have often met persons who have been altogether struck up and amazed at the accuracy with which some wandering Professor of Phrenology had read their characters written upon their skulls. Of course the Professor acquires his information solely through his cranial inspections and manipulations.—What are you laughing at? (to the boarders).—But let us just suppose, for a moment, that a tolerably cunning fellow, who did not know or care anything about Phrenology, should open a shop and undertake to read off people's characters at fifty cents or a dollar apiece. Let us see how well he could get along without the "organs."

I will suppose myself to set up such a shop. I would invest one hundred dollars, more or less, in casts of brains, skulls, charts, and other matters that would make the most show for the money. That would do to begin with. I would then advertise myself as the celebrated Professor Brainey, or whatever name I might choose, and wait for my first customer. My first customer is a middle-aged man. I look at him,—ask him a question or two, so as to hear him talk. When I have got the hang of him, I ask him to sit down, and proceed to fumble his skull, dictating as follows:—


                                   Each to be accompanied with a wink.

    Amativeness, 7. Most men love the conflicting sex, and all
                               men love to be told they do.

    Alimentiveness, 8. Don't you see that he has burst off his
                               lowest waistcoat-button with feeding,—hay?

Acquisitiveness, 8. Of course. A middle-aged Yankee.

Approbativeness, 7+. Hat well brushed. Hair ditto. Mark the effect of that plus sign.

Self-esteem, 6. His face shows that.

Benevolence, 9. That'll please him

Conscientiousness, 8-1/2. That fraction looks first-rate.

Mirthfulness, 7. Has laughed twice since he came in.

Ideality, 9. That sounds well.

Form, Size, Weight, Color, } Locality, Eventuality, etc.,} 4 to 6. Average everything that etc., } can't be guessed.

And so of the other faculties.

Of course, you know, that isn't the way the Phrenologists do. They go only by the bumps.—What do you keep laughing so for? (to the boarders.) I only said that is the way I should practise "Phrenology" for a living.

End of my Lecture.

——The Reformers have good heads generally. Their faces are commonly serene enough, and they are lambs in private intercourse, even though their voices may be like

The wolf's long howl from Oonalaska's shore,

when heard from platform. Their greatest spiritual danger is from the perpetual flattery of abuse to which they are exposed. These lines are meant to caution them.



  No fear lest praise should make us proud!
    We know how cheaply that is won;
  The idle homage of the crowd
    Is proof of tasks as idly done.

  A surface-smile may pay the toil
    That follows still the conquering Right,
  With soft, white hands to dress the spoil
    That sunbrowned arms have clutched in fight.

  Sing the sweet song of other days,
    Serenely placid, safely true,
  And o'er the present's parching ways
    Thy verse distils like evening dew.

  But speak in words of living power,—
    They fall like drops of scalding rain
  That plashed before the burning shower
    swept o'er the cities of the plain!

  Then scowling Hate turns deadly pale,—
    Then Passion's half-coiled adders spring,
  And, smitten through their leprous mail,
    Strike right and left in hope to sting.

  If thou, unmoved by poisoning wrath,
    They feet on earth, they heart above,
  Canst walk in peace they kingly path,
    Unchanged in trust, unchilled in love,—

  Too kind for bitter words to grieve,
    Too firm for clamor to dismay,
  When Faith forbids thee to believe,
    And Meekness calls to disobey,—

  Ah, then beware of mortal pride!
    The smiling pride that calmly scorns
  Those foolish fingers, crimson dyed
    In laboring on thy crown of thorns!


War has been pronounced the condition of humanity; and it is certain that conflict of some kind rages everywhere and at all times. The most combative people on earth are the advocates of universal and perpetual peace. There is something essentially defiant in the action of men who avowedly seek the abolition of a custom that has existed since the days of Cain, and which was well known to those magnificent beasts that ranged over the earth's face long before man began to dream or was dreamed of. To fight seems a necessity of the animal nature, whether the animal be called tiger, bull, or man. Those who have fought assure us that there is a positive pleasure in battle. That clever young woman, Miss Flora Mac-Ivor, who passed most of her life in the very highest fighting society, assures us, that men, when confronted with each other, have a certain instinct for strife, as we see in other male animals, such as dogs, bulls, and so forth. It is even so; and, further, the fondness that men have for accounts and details of battles is another evidence of the popularity of war, and an absolute stumbling-block in the way of the Peace Society, which has the hardest of combats to fight.

The journals of the world are at this time full of the details of a war such as that world has not witnessed since 1815, and in comparison with which even the Russian War was but a second-rate contest. The old quarrel between Austria and France, which has repeatedly caused the peace of Europe to be broken since the days of Frederick III. and Louis XI., has been renewed in our time with a fierceness and a vehemence and on a scale that would have astonished Francis I., Charles V., Richelieu, Turenne, Condé, Louis XIV., Eugène, and even Napoleon himself, the most mighty of whose contests with Austria alone cannot be compared with that which his nephew is now waging with the House of Lorraine. For, in 1805 and in 1809, Napoleon was not merely the ruler of France, but had at his control the resources of many other countries. Belgium and Holland were then at the command of France, and now they are independent monarchies, holding strictly the position of neutrals. In 1809, Napoleon had those very German States for his active allies that now threaten Napoleon III.; and some of the hardest fighting on the French side, in the first days of the campaign, was the work of Bavarians and other German soldiers. That part of Poland which then constituted the Grand Duchy of Warsaw was among his dependent principalities; and Russia sent an army to his aid. In 1805, Napoleon I. had far more of Italian assistance than Napoleon III. has had at the time we write; and in 1809, the entire Peninsula obeyed his decrees as implicitly as they were obeyed by France. Napoleon III. entered upon the war with the hereditary rival of his country with no other ally than Sardinia, though it is now evident that there was an "understanding" between him and the Czar, not pointing to an attack on England, but to prevent the intervention of the Germans in behalf of Austria, by holding out the implied threat of an attack on Germany by Russia, should its rulers or people move against the allies.

Whatever may be thought of the motives of the French Emperor, and however little most men may be disposed to believe in his generosity, it is impossible to refrain from admiring the promptness and skill with which he has acted, or to deny to him the merit of courage in daring to pronounce so decidedly against the Austrians at a time when he could not have reasonably reckoned upon a single ally beyond the limits of Italy, when England, under Tory rule, was more disposed to act against him than with him, and when the hostility of Germany, and its readiness to support the Slavonic empire of Austria, were unequivocally expressed. So great indeed, were the odds against him, that we find in that fact the chief reason for the indisposition of the world to believe in the possibility of war, and its extraordinary surprise when war actually broke out.

To those who had closely scanned the affairs of Europe, and who observed them by the light of the history of nearly four centuries, the coming of war was no surprise. They foresaw it, and predicted its occurrence some time before that famous lecture which the Emperor of the French administered to the Emperor of Austria in the person of Baron Hübner. With them, the question was not, Shall there be a war?—but it was, When will the war break out? They reasoned from the cause of the quarrel between the two empires; while those who so long clung to the belief that peace would be preserved, and who so plausibly argued in support of their theory as to impose upon wellnigh the whole world, concerned themselves only with its occasion. The former referred to things that lay beyond the range of temporary politics, and, while admitting that the shock of actual conflict might be postponed even for a few years, were certain that such conflict must come, even if in the interval there should happen an entire change of government in France. France might be imperial, or royal, or republican, she might be Bonapartean, or Henriquist, or Orléansist, or democratic,—tri-color, white, blue or red,—but the quarrel would come, and cause new campaigns. The latter thinking that the dispute was on the Italian question only, and knowing that that was susceptible of diplomatic settlement, and believing that there would be a union of European powers to accomplish such settlement, rather than allow peace to be disturbed, never could suppose that the balance of probabilities would be found on the side of war. It is due to them to say, that a variety of causes conduced not merely to make them firm in their faith, but to win for their views the general approbation on mankind. Prominent among these was the striking fact, that there had been no European was, strictly so called, with the single exception of the Russian contest,—and that was highly exceptional in its character,—for four-and-forty years. The generation that is passing away, and the generation that is most active in discharging the business of the world, never had seen a grand conflict between Christian states, in which mighty armies had operated on vast and various fields. Old men recollected the wars of Napoleon, but the number of such men is not large, and their influence on opinion is small. Of quarrels and threats of war all had seen enough; but this only tended to make them slow to believe that war was really at hand. If so many quarrels had taken place, and had been settled without resort to arms, assuredly the new quarrel might be settled, and Europe get on peaceably for a few years more without warfare. Neither the invasion of Spain in 1823, nor the revolution of 1830, nor the Eastern question of 1840, nor the universal outbreaks of 1848-9, nor the threats of Russia against Turkey when she sought to compel the Sultan to give up those who had eaten his salt to the gallows of Arad, nor the repeated discussions of the practicability of a French conquest of England had led to a general war. If so many and so black clouds had been dispersed without storms, it was not reasonable to believe that the cloud which rose in the beginning of 1859 might also break, and leave again a serene sky. It may be added that we have all of us come to the conclusion that this is the best age the world has ever known, as in most respects it is; and it seemed scarcely compatible with our estimate of the age's excellence to believe that it could send a couple of million of men into the field for the purpose of cutting one another's throats, except clearly as an act of self-defence. Man is the same war-making animal now that he was in the days of Marathon, but he readily admits the evils of war, and is peremptory in demanding that they shall not be incurred save for good and valid reasons. He is as ready to fight as ever he was, but he must fight for some definite cause,—for a cause that will bear examination: and it did not seem possible that a mere dispute concerning the manner in which Austria governed her Italian dominions was of sufficient moment to light up the flames of war anew on a scale as gigantic as ever they were made to blaze during the days of Napoleon. Then, so far as the Russian War threw any light upon the policy of France, the fair inference was that she at least was not disposed to fight. France made the peace by which that war was brought to a sudden end. She dictated that peace, much to the disgust of the English, who had just become thoroughly roused, and who, little anticipating the Indian mutiny, were for carrying on the contest until Russia should be thoroughly humiliated. Considering all these things, it was not unreasonable to believe that peace could be maintained, and that Austria, far from taking the initiative in the war, would be found ready to make such concessions as should lead to the indefinite postponement of hostilities.

Those who reasoned from the mere occasion of the war were perfectly right, from their point of view. Unfortunately for their reputation for sagacity, their premises were entirely wrong, and hence the viciousness of their conclusion. If we would know the cause of the war, we must banish from our minds all that is said about the desire of Napoleon III for vengeance on the conquerors of his uncle, all that we are told of his sentimental wish for the elevation of the Italian people to a national position, and all that is predicated of his ambitious longings for the reconstruction of the First Empire. We must regard Napoleon III in the light of what he really is, namely, one of the greatest statesmen that ever lived, or we shall never be able to understand what are his purposes. We have nothing to do with his morals, but have to regard him only as the chief of France, pursuing the policy he believes best calculated to advance that country's interests, and doing so in strict accordance with her historical traditions, and in the same manner in which it was pursued by the ablest of the Valois kings, by Henry IV. and Sully, by Richelieu and Mazarin, by Louis XIV., by the chiefs of the First Republic, and by Napoleon I. He may be a good man or a bad man, but his character is entirely aside from the question, the nature and merits of which have no necessary connection with the nature and merits of the men engaged in effecting its solution. Let us examine the subject, and see if we cannot find an intelligent, reasonable cause for Napoleon's course of action, that shall harmonize with the duties, we might almost say the instincts, of a great French statesman. The examination will embrace nothing recondite, but we are confident it will show that the French Emperor is no Quixote, and that he has been forced into the war by the necessities of his situation, and by the very natural desire he feels to prevent France from being compelled to descend to a secondary place in the scale of European nations.

Modern Europe, in the sense in which we understand the term, dates from the last quarter of the Fifteenth Century. Then England ceased to attempt permanent conquests on the continent. Then Spain assumed European rank and definite position. But two powers then began especially to show themselves, and to play parts which both have maintained down to the present time. The one was France, which then ceased to dread English invasions, from the effects of which she was rapidly recovering, whereby she was left to employ her energies on foreign fields. The other was the House of Austria, which, by a series of fortunate marriages, became, in the short period of forty years, the most powerful family the modern world has ever known. On the day when Maximilian, son of Frederick III., Emperor of Germany, wedded Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, the rivalry between France and the Austrian family began. Philip, son of that marriage, married Juana, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella; and their son, Charles I. of the Spains, became Charles V. of Germany. Thus there centred in his person a degree of power such as no other sovereign could boast, and which alone would have sufficed to make him the rival of the King of France, Francis I., had no personal feeling entered into the relations between them. But such feeling existed, and grew out of their competition for the imperial crown. The previous ill-will between the Valois and the Hapsburg was greatly increased, and assumed such force as permanently to color the course of European history from that day to this. The rivalry of Charles and Francis was the cause of many contests, and the French monarch, though he was "The Most Christian King," in the opinion of some, more than once aided, or offered to aid, the German Protestants against the Emperor. To Philip II. and Henry II. the rivalry of their fathers descended as an inheritance. It was in their warfare that the Battle of St. Quentin was fought. The progress of the Reformation led monarchs in those days to take a view of affairs not much unlike that which monarchs of this century took in the days of the Holy Alliance, and after the revolution of 1830. The hatred of Protestantism led the two kings to draw together, though Henry II. had had no mean part in that work which had enabled the Protestant Maurice of Saxony to render abortive all the plans of Charles V. for the full restoration of Catholicism in Germany. During the thirty years that followed the death of Henry II., the dissensions of France had rendered her unable to contend with the House of Austria, then principally represented by the Spanish branch of that family; and Philip II. at one time thought of obtaining the crown of that country for a member of his own house. But no sooner had Henry IV. ascended the French throne, and established himself firmly thereon, than the rivalry of France and Austria became as clearly pronounced as it had been in the reign of Francis I.; and at the time of his death that most popular of the Bourbon kings was engaged on a plan having for its object the subversion of the Austrian power. His assassination changed the course of events for a few years; but Richelieu became the ally of the Swedes and Protestant Germans in the Thirty Years' War, though he was a Cardinal, had destroyed the political power of the Huguenots, and might have aspired to the Papacy. Mazarin, another Cardinal, followed Richelieu's policy. Louis XIV. was repeatedly at war with the House of Austria, though he was the son of an Austrian princess, and was married to another. His last war with that house was for the throne of Spain, when the elder branch of the Hapsburgs died out, in 1700. Louis XV. had two contests with Austria; but in 1756, under the lead of Count Kaunitz, France and Austria were united, and acted together in the Seven Years' War, the incidents and effects of which were by no means calculated to reconcile the French to the departure of their government from its ancient policy. One of the causes of the French Revolution was the Austrian alliance, and one of its effects was the complete rupture of that alliance. Austria was the most determined foe that the French Republic and Empire ever encountered. Including the war of 1815, there were six contests between Austria and republican and imperial France. In all these wars Austria was the aggressor, and showed herself to be the enemy of France as well as of those French principles which so frightened the conservatives of the world in those days. In the first war, she took possession of French places for herself, and not for the House of Bourbon; and in the last she purposed a partition of France, long after Louis XVIII. had been finally restored, and when Napoleon was at or near St. Helena. She demanded that Alsace and Lorraine should be made over to her, in the autumn of 1815. She sought to induce Prussia to unite with her by offering to support any demand that she might make for French territory; and, failing to move that power, endeavored to get the smaller German States to act with her,—the same States, indeed, that are now so hostile to France, and which talk of a march upon Paris, and of a reduction of French territorial strength. Nothing prevented the Austrian idea from being reduced to practice but the opposition of Russia and England, neither of which had any interest in the spoliation of France, while both had no desire to see Austria rendered stronger than she was. It was to England that Austria owed her Italian possessions, which, in 1814, she at first had the sense not to wish to be cumbered with; and to make her still more powerful north of the Alps was not to be thought of even by the Liverpools and Castlereaghs. The Czar, too, had in his thoughts a closer connection with France than it suited him then to avow, and for purposes of his own; and therefore he could not desire the sensible diminution of the power of a country the resources of which he expected to employ. Nicholas inherited his brother's ideas and designs, and we are to attribute much of the ill-feeling that he exhibited towards the Orléans dynasty to his disappointment; for the revolution that elevated that dynasty to the French throne destroyed the hope that he had entertained of having French aid to effect the conquest of Turkey. There never would have been a siege of Sebastopol, if the elder branch of the Bourbons had continued to rule in France. It required even a series of revolutions to bring France to that condition in which the Western Alliance was possible. But there would have been something more than "an understanding" between France and Russia concerning Austria, had the government of the Restoration endured a few years beyond 1830. It suited the Austrian government to show considerable coldness towards the Orléans dynasty; but assuredly so wise a man as Prince Metternich, and who had such excellent means of information, never could have believed otherwise than that the establishment of that dynasty saved Austria from being assailed by both Russia and France.

The rivalry of France and Austria being understood, and that rivalry leading to war whenever occasion therefor chances to arise, it remains to inquire what is the occasion of the existing contest. When Napoleon III. became head of France, as Prince-President, at the close of 1848, Austria was the last power with which he could have engaged in war, supposing that he had then been strong enough to control the policy of France, and it had suited him to make an occasion for war. She was then engaged in her death-and-life struggles with Hungarians, Italians, and others of her subjects who that year threw off her yoke, while the Sardinians had endeavored to obtain possession of Lombardy and Venice. Francis Joseph became chief of the Austrian Empire at the same time that Louis Napoleon ascended to the same point in France. Certainly, if the object of France had been the mere weakening and spoliation of Austria, then was the time to assail her, when one half her subjects were fighting the other half, when the Germans outside of her empire were by no means her friends, and when it was far from clear that she could rely upon assistance from Russia. Austria was then in a condition of helplessness apparently so complete, that many thought her hour had come; but those who knew her history, and were aware how often she had recovered from just such crises, held no belief of the kind. Yet if France had assailed her at that time, Austria must have lost all her Italian provinces; and it is now generally admitted, that, if Cavaignac had sent a French army into Italy immediately after the victory won by Radetzky over Charles Albert at Somma Campagna, (July 26th, 1848,) the "Italian question" would then have been settled in a manner that would have been satisfactory to the greater part of Europe, and have rendered such a war as is now waging in Italy quite impossible. Russia could have done nothing to prevent the success of the French arms, and it is probable that Austria would have abandoned the contest without fighting a battle. At an earlier period she had signified her readiness to allow the incorporation of most of Lombardy with Sardinia, she to retain the country beyond the Mincio, and to hold the two great fortresses of Peschiera (at the southern extremity of the Lago di Garda, and at the point where the river issues from the lake) and Mantua. She even asked the aid of France and England to effect a peace on this basis, but unsuccessfully. Cavoignac's anomalous political position prevented him from aiding the Italians. He was a Liberal, but the actual head of the reactionists in France of all colors, of men who looked upon the Italians as ruffians wedded to disorder, while Austria, in their eyes, was the champion of order. France did nothing, and in December Louis Napoleon became President. An opportunity was soon afforded him to interfere in Italian affairs. The armistice that had existed between the Austrians and the Sardinians after the 9th of August, 1848, was denounced on the 12th of March, 1849, by the latter; and Radetzky closed the order of the day, issued immediately after this denunciation was made, with the words,—"Forward, soldiers, to Turin!" The intentions of the Sardinians must have been known to Louis Napoleon, but he took no measures to aid them. He saw Piedmont conquered in a campaign of "hours." He saw Brescia treated by Haynau as Tilly treated Magdeburg. He saw the long and heroical defence of Venice against the Austrians, during the dreary spring and summer of '49,—a defence as worthy of immortality as the War of Chiozza, and indicating the presence of the spirit of Zeno, and Contarini, and Pisani in the old home of those patriots. But nothing moved him. He would not even mediate in behalf of the Venetians; and it was by the advice of the French consul and the French admiral on the station that Venice finally surrendered, but not until she had exhausted the means of defence and life. At that time, few men in America but were in the habit of denouncing the French President for his indifference to the Italian cause. He was charged with having been guilty of a blunder and a crime. His consent to the expedition to Rome aggravated his offence, for it was an act of intervention on the wrong side. But the passage of ten years enables us to be more just to him than it was possible for us to be in 1849. He was not firm in his seat. He was but a temporary chief of the State. He was surrounded by enemies, political and personal, who were seeking his overthrow, without any regard for the tenure of his office. He knew not his power. His object was the restoration of internal peace to France, her recovery from the weakness info which she had fallen or had been precipitated. He dared not offend the Catholics, who saw then, as they see now, a champion in Austria. He was the victim of circumstances, and he had to bow before them, in order that he might finally become their master. Then he had no occasion for a quarrel with Austria. She was at the lowest ebb her fortunes had known since the day that the Turks appeared for the second time before Vienna. She could not have maintained herself in Italy, even after the successes of Radetzky, had not Nicholas sent one hundred and fifty thousand men to her assistance in Hungary. What had France to fear from her? No more than she had to fear from her on the day after Austerlitz.

Years rolled on, and brought with them great changes; and the greatest of those changes was to be seen in Italy, in reference to the position of Austria there, and its effect upon France. Austria rapidly reëstablished her power in Italy, not only over Lombardy and Venice, but over every part of the Peninsula, excepting Sardinia. Tuscany was connected with her by various ties, and was ruled as she wished it to be ruled. Parma and Modena were hers in every sense. She was the patron and protector of the abominable Bomba, and her support alone enabled him to defy the sentiment of the civilized world, and to indulge in cruelties such as would have added new infamy to the name of Ezzelino. She upheld the misgovernment of the Papal States, which has made Rome the scandal of Europe. All the nominal rulers of the Italian States, with the honorable exception of the King of Sardinia, were her vassal princes, and were no more free to act without her consent than were the kings the Roman Republic and Empire allowed to exist within their dominions free to act without the consent of the proconsuls. What the proconsul of Syria was to the little potentates mentioned in the New Testament, the Austrian viceroy in the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom was to the nominal rulers of the various Italian States. It only remained to bring Sardinia within this ring-fence of sea and mountains to convert all Italy into an Austrian dependency. There is nothing like this in history, we verily believe. In the short period of ten years after the capture of Milan by Radetzky, (August 4, 1848,) the Austrians had established themselves completely in nearly every part of Italy. Of the twenty-seven millions of people that compose her population, twenty-two millions were as much at the command of Austria as were the Hungarians and Bohemians. Had she had the sense to use her power, not with mildness only, but beneficially to this great mass of men, and had nothing occurred to disturb her plans, she would have nearly doubled the number of her subjects, and have more than doubled her resources. She would have become a great maritime state, and have converted the Mediterranean into an Austrian lake. Had they been well governed, the Italians might, and most probably would, have accepted their condition, and have become loyal subjects of the House of Lorraine. Foreign rule is no new thing to them, nor have they ever been impatient under its existence, when it has existed for their good. The people rarely are hostile to any government that is conducted with ordinary fairness. There is no greater error than that involved in the idea that revolutions or changes of any kind originate from below, that they proceed from the people. Almost invariably they come from above, from governmental action; and it is ever in the power of a government to make itself perpetual. The term of its existence is in its own hands. At the very worst for Austria, she might have accomplished in Italy what was accomplished there three centuries ago by Spain, then ruled by the elder branch of the Hapsburgs. She might have commanded almost everything within its limits, with Sardinia to play some such part as was then played by Venice.

This is said on the supposition, first, that her government should have been mild and conciliatory, active only for good, and that all her interference with local rule should have been on the side of humanity; and, second, that no foreign power should have interfered to prevent the full development of her policy. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for other nations, and especially so for Italy, she not only did not govern well, but governed badly; and there was a great power which was deeply, vitally interested—moved by the all-controlling principle of self-preservation—in watching all her movements, and in finding occasion to drive her out of Italy. She was not content with upholding misgovernment in Naples, Rome, Tuscany, Modena, Parma, and elsewhere, but she meant to subvert the constitutional polity established in the Sub-Alpine Kingdom of Sardinia. The enemy of constitutionalism and freedom everywhere, she was especially hostile to their existence in the little state that bordered on a portion of her Italian possessions, whence they always threatened Lombardy with a plague she detests far more heartily than she detests cholera. No natural boundary or cordon militaire could suffice to stay the march of principles. Nothing would answer but the subversion of the Sardinian constitution and the bringing of that nation's government into harmony with the admirable rule that existed, under the double-headed eagle's protection, in Naples and Modena. Unless all Austrian history be false, Austria's object for years has been a revolution in Sardinia, and Rome has aided her. This is the necessity of her moral situation with reference to her little neighbor. The world has smiled at Austria's late complaint that Sardinia menaced her, it seemed so like the wolf's protestation that the lamb was doing him an injury; but it was really well founded, though not entitled to much respect. Sardinia did menace Austria. She menaced her by the force of her example,—as the honest man menaces the rogue, as the peaceful man menaces the ruffian, as the charitable man menaces the miser, as the Good Samaritan menaced the priest and Levite. In the sense that virtue ever menaces vice, and right constantly menaces wrong, Sardinia was a menace to Austria;—and as we often find the wrongdoer denouncing the good as subverters of social order, we ought not to be astonished at the plaintive whine of the master of thrice forty legions at the conduct of the decorous, humane, and enlightened Victor Emanuel.

The only foreign power that had a direct, immediate, positive interest in preventing the establishment of Austrian power over Italy was France. Several other powers had some interest adverse to the success of the Austrian scheme, but it was so far below that which France felt, that it is difficult to make any comparison between the several cases. England, speaking generally, might not like the idea of a new naval power coming into existence in the Mediterranean, which, with great fleets and greater armies, might come to have a controlling influence in the East, and prevent the establishment of her power in Egypt and Syria. She might see with some jealousy the further development of Austrian commerce, which has been so successfully pursued in the Mediterranean and the Levant since 1815. But then England is not very remarkable for forethought, and she has a just confidence in her own naval power. Besides, would not Austria, in the event of her adding Italy virtually to her dominions, become the ally of England in the business of supporting Turkey against Russia, and in preventing the further extension of Russian power to the South and the East? The old traditionary policy of England pointed to an Austrian alliance, and nations are tenacious of their traditions. The war in Italy was unquestionably precipitated by Austria's belief that in the last resort she could rely upon English support; and she made a fatal delay in her military movements in deference to English interposition. Prussia could not be expected to see the increase of the power of the House of Austria with pleasure; but it was possible that the extension of its dominions to the South, by giving it new objects of ambition, and forcing upon it a leading part in Eastern affairs, might cause that house to pay less regard to German matters, leaving them to be managed by the House of Hohenzollern. Russia, under the system that Nicholas pursued, could not have seen Austria absorb Italy without resisting the process at any cost; but Alexander IV., [Footnote: I call the present czar Alexander the Fourth, as there have been three other Alexanders sovereigns of Russia; but he is generally styled Alexander the Second.] a wiser man than his father was, never would have gone to war to prevent it, his views being directed to those internal reforms the success of which is likely to create a Russian People, and to place his empire in a far higher position than it has ever yet occupied. Yet Russia could not have witnessed Austria's success with pleasure; and the readiness with which she has agreed to aid France, should the Germans aid Austria, is proof sufficient that she is desirous that Austria should not merely be prevented from extending her territory, but actually reduced in extent and in means. From no part of Europe have come more decided condemnations of the course of Austria than from the Russian capital. The language of the St. Petersburg journals touching the Treaties of Vienna has been absolutely contemptuous; and that language is all the more oracular and significant because we know that the editors of those journals must have been inspired by the government. It has been justly regarded as expressing the views of the Czar, and of the statesmen who compose his cabinet. Though not disposed for war, and probably sincerely desirous of the preservation of peace everywhere, the rulers of Russia are quite ready to support France in all proper measures that she may adopt to drive the Austrians from every part of the Italian Peninsula. They are too sagacious not to see that France cannot hold a league of Italian territory, and the reduction of Austrian power is just so much gained towards the ultimate realization of their Oriental policy.

Of the other European powers, and of their opinions respecting the effect of Austrian supremacy, little need be said. Such countries as Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Portugal have little weight in the European system, individually or collectively. Even Spain, though she is not the feeble nation many of our countrymen are pleased to represent her, when seeking to find a reason for the seizure of Cuba,—even Spain, we say, could not be much moved by the prospect of Austria's reaching to that condition of vast strength which would necessarily follow from her undisputed ascendency in Italy. The lesser German States would probably have seen Austria's increase with pleasure, partly because it would have helped to remove their fears of France and Russia, and partly because it would have been flattering to their pride of race, the House of Austria being Germanic in its character, though ruling directly over but few Germans,—few, we mean, in comparison with the Slaves, Magyars, Italians, and other races that compose the bulk of its subjects. Turkey alone had a direct interest in Austria's success, as promising her protection against all the other great European powers; but Turkey is not, properly speaking, a member of the European Commonwealth.

But the case was very different with France. She is the first nation of Continental Europe,—a position she has held for nearly four centuries, though sometimes her fortunes have been reduced very low, as during the closing days of the Valois dynasty, and in 1815; but even in 1815 she had the melancholy consolation of knowing that it required the combined exertions of all Europe to conquer her. Her wonderful elasticity in rising superior to the severest visitations has often surprised the world, and those who remember 1815 will be most astonished at her present position in Europe, or rather in Christendom. Her position, however, has always been the result of indefatigable exertions, and a variety of circumstances have made those exertions necessary on several occasions. Great as France is now, and great as she has been at several periods of her history since the death of Mazarin, it may be doubted if she is so great as she was at the date of the Treaty of Westphalia, the work of her arms and her diplomacy (1648). At that time, and for many years afterwards, several nations had no pronounced political existence that now are powers of the first class. Russia had no weight in Europe until the last years of Louis XIV., and her real importance commenced fifty years after that monarch was placed in his grave. Prussia, though she attained to a respectable position at the close of the seventeenth century, the date of the creation of her monarchy, did not become a first-class power until two generations later, and as the result of the Seven Years' War. The United States count but eighty-three years of national life; and they have had international influence less than half of that time. England, which the restoration of the Stuarts caused to sink so low in those very years during which Louis XIV. was at the zenith of his greatness, has been for one hundred and seventy years the equal of France. On the other hand, the two nations with which France was formerly much connected, Turkey and Sweden, have ceased to influence events. France allied herself with Turkey in the early years of her struggle with the House of Austria, to the offence of Christian peoples; and the relations between Paris and Constantinople were long maintained on the basis of common interest, the only tie that has ever sufficed to bind nations. Both countries were the enemies of Austria. The second half of the Thirty Years' War was maintained, on the part of the enemies of Austria, by the alliance of France and Sweden; and between these countries a good understanding frequently prevailed in after-times, the growth of Russia serving to force Sweden into the arms of France. Poland has disappeared from the list of nations, and her territory has augmented the resources of two countries that had no political weight in the first century of the Bourbon kings, and those of France's rival. Thus France has relatively fallen. That ancient international system of which she was the centre for nearly one hundred and fifty years—say from the middle of the reign of Henry IV. to the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, (1599-1748)—has passed entirely away from the world, and never can be restored. France has seldom seriously thought of attempting its restoration, though some of her statesmen, and probably a large majority of the more intelligent of her people, have from time to time warmly favored the idea of the reconstruction of Poland; and of all the errors of Napoleon I., his failure to realize that idea was unquestionably the greatest. The turn that things took in the French Revolution enabled France to establish an hegemony in Europe, which might have been long preserved but for the disasters of 1812; but the empire of Napoleon I. was never a political empire, being only of a military character. France then led Europe, but she lost her ascendency on the first reverse, like Sparta after Leuctra. History has no parallel to the change that the France of 1814 presented to the France of 1812. On the 1st of October, 1812, the French were at Moscow; on the 1st of April, 1814, the allies were in Paris. Eighteen months had done work that no man living at the first date had expected to see accomplished. What happened in 1815 was but the complement of 1814. Then France was struck down, trampled upon, spoiled, insulted, and mulcted in immense sums of money; and finally forced to pay the cost of an armed police, headed by Wellington himself, which held her chief fortresses for three years, and saw that her chains were kept bright and strong. Never, since Lysander demolished the Long Walls of Athens to the music of the Spartan flute, had the world seen so bitter a spectacle of national humiliation, so absolute a reversal of fortune,—the long-conquering legions perishing by the sword, and him who had headed so many triumphal processions perishing as it were in the Mamertine dungeon.

It was from the nadir to which she had thus fallen, that the rulers of France, acting as the agents of its people, have been laboring to raise her ever since 1815. They have had a twofold object in view. They have sought territory, in order that France might not be driven into the list of second-class nations,—and military glory, to make men forget Vittoria, and Leipzig, and Waterloo. All the governments of France have been alike in this respect, no matter how much they have differed in other respects. The legitimate Bourbons,—of whom an American is bound to speak well, for they were our friends, and often evinced a feeling towards us that exceeded largely anything that is required by the terms or the spirit of a political alliance,—the solitary Orléans King, the shadowy Republic of '48, and the imperial government, all have endeavored to do something to elevate France, to win for her new glories, and to regain for her her old position. The expedition into Spain, in 1823, ostensibly made in the interest of Absolutism, was really undertaken for the purpose of rebaptizing the white flag in fire. Charles X. and M. de Polignac were engaged in a great scheme of foreign policy when they fell, the chief object of which, on their side, was the restoration to France of the provinces of the Rhine,—and which Russia favored, because she knew, that, unless the Bourbons could do something to satisfy their people, they must remain powerless, and it did not answer her purpose that they should be otherwise than powerful. The conquest of Algiers was made for the purpose of gratifying the French people, and with the intention of spreading French dominion over Northern Africa. It was a step towards the acquisition of Egypt, for which land France has exhibited a strange longing. In this way the loss of French India and French America, things of the old monarchy, were to be compensated. The government of Louis Philippe expended mines of gold and seas of blood in Africa, much to the astonishment of prudent men, who had no idea of the end upon which its eyes were fixed. When the Republic of 1848 was improvised, even Lamartine, not an unjust man, could talk of the rights of France in Italy, and of her proper influence there; and the wicked attack on the Romans, in 1849, was prompted by a desire to make French influence felt in that country in a manner that should be clear to the sense of mankind.

When Louis Napoleon became President of France, it was impossible for him to devote much attention to foreign affairs. His aim was to make himself Emperor, to restore the Napoleon dynasty. This, after a hard struggle, he effected in 1851-'52. It must be within the recollection of all that the French invasion question was never more vehemently discussed in England than during the ten or twelve months that followed the coup d'état. This happened because it was assumed that the Emperor must do something to revenge the injuries his house and France had suffered from that alliance of which England was the chief member and the purse-holder. Whether he ever thought of assailing England, no man can say; for he never yet communicated his thoughts on any important subject to any human being. We may assume, however, that he would not have attacked England without having made extensive preparations for that purpose; and long before such preparations could have been perfected, the Eastern question was forced upon the attention of Europe, and the two nations which were expected to engage in war as foes united their immense armaments to thwart the plans of Russia. Blinded by his feelings, and altogether mistaking the character of the English people, the Czar treated Napoleon III. contemptuously, and sought to bring about the partition of Turkey by the aid of England alone. It will always furnish material for the ingenious writers of the history of things that might have been, whether the French Emperor would have accepted the Czar's proposition, had it been made to him. Certainly it would have enabled him to do great things for France, while by the same course of action he could have struck heavy blows at both England and Austria. As it was, he joined England to oppose Russia, and the English have borne full and honorable testimony to his fidelity to his engagements. The war concluded, his attention was directed to Italy, and he sought to meliorate the condition of that country; but Austria would not hear even of the discussion of Italian affairs. The events that marked the course of things in Paris, in the spring of 1856, showed that nothing could be hoped for Italy from Austria. She spoke, through Count Buol, as if she regarded the whole Peninsula as peculiarly her property, meddling with which on the part of other powers was sheer impertinence, and not to be borne with good temper, or even the show of it.

The twenty-second meeting of the Congress of Paris, held the 8th of April, was long, exciting, and important; for then several European questions were discussed, among them being the affairs of Italy. The protocol of that day proves the sensitiveness of the Austrian plenipotentiaries and the earnestness of those of Sardinia. Eight days later, the Sardinian plenipotentiaries, Cavour and De Villa Marina, addressed to the governments of France and England a Memorial relating to the affairs of Italy, in the course of which occur expressions that must have had a strong effect on the mind of Napoleon III. "Called by the sovereigns of the small states of Italy, who are powerless to repress the discontent of their subjects," says the Memorial, "Austria occupies militarily the greater part of the Valley of the Po and of Central Italy, and makes her influence felt in an irresistible manner, even in the countries where she has no soldiers. Resting on one side on Ferrara and Bologna, her troops extend themselves to Ancona, the length of the Adriatic, which has become in a manner an Austrian lake; on the other, mistress of Piacenza, which, contrary to the spirit, if not to the letter, of the Treaties of Vienna, she labors to transform into a first-class fortress, she has a garrison at Parma, and makes dispositions to deploy her forces all along the Sardinian frontier, from the Po to the summit of the Apennines. This permanent occupation by Austria of territories which do not belong to her renders her absolute mistress of nearly all Italy, destroys the equilibrium established by the Treaties of Vienna, and is a continual menace to Piedmont." In conclusion, the plenipotentiaries say,—"Sardinia is the only state in Italy that has been able to raise an impassable barrier to the revolutionary spirit, and at the same time remain independent of Austria. It is the counterpoise to her invading influence. If Sardinia succumbed, exhausted of power, abandoned by her allies,—if she also was obliged to submit to Austrian domination, then the conquest of Italy by this power would be achieved; and Austria, after having obtained, without its costing her the least sacrifice, the immense benefit of the free navigation of the Danube, and the neutralization of the Black Sea, would acquire a preponderating influence in the West. This is what France and England would never wish,—this they will never permit."

These are grave and weighty words, and were well calculated to produce an effect on the mind of Napoleon III.; and we are convinced that they furnish a key to his conduct toward Austria, and set forth the occasion of the Italian War. The supremacy of Austria once completely asserted over Italy, France would necessarily sink in the European scale in precisely the same proportion in which Austria should rise in it. The subjects of Francis Joseph would number sixty millions, while those of Napoleon III. would remain at thirty-six millions. The sinews of war have never been much at the command of Austria, but possession of Italy would render her wealthy, and enable her to command that gold which moves armies and renders them effective. Her commerce would be increased to an incalculable extent, and she would have naval populations from which to conscribe the crews for fleets that she would be prompt to build. Her voice would be potential in the East, and that of France would there cease to be heard. She would become the first power of Europe, and would exercise an hegemony far more decided than that which Russia held for forty years after 1814. It was to be expected that the Italians would cease fruitlessly to oppose her, and, their submission leading to her abandonment of the repressive system, they might become a bold and an adventurous people, helping to increase and to consolidate her power. They might prove as useful to her as the Hungarians and Bohemians have been, whom she had conquered and misruled, but whose youth have filled her armies. All these things were not only possible, but they were highly probable; and once having become facts, what security would France have that she would not be attacked, conquered, and partitioned? With sixty millions of people, and supported by the sentiment and arms of Germany, Austria could seize upon Alsace and Lorraine, and other parts of France, and thus reduce her strength positively as well as relatively. All that was talked of in 1815, and more than all that, might be accomplished in sixty years from that date, and while Napoleon III. himself should still be on the throne he had so strangely won. That degradation of France which the uncle's ambition had brought about at the beginning of the century would be more than equalled at the century's close through the nephew's forbearance. The very names of Napoleon and Bonaparte would become odious in France, and contemptible everywhere. On the other hand, should he interfere successfully in behalf of Italian nationality, he would reduce the strength of Austria, and prevent her from becoming an overshadowing empire. Her population and her territory would be essentially lessened. She would be cut off from all hope of making Italy her own, would be compelled to abandon her plans of commercial and maritime greatness, would be disregarded in the East, would not be courted by England, would lose half her influence in Germany, and would not be in a condition to menace France in any quarter. The glory of the French arms would be increased, the weight of France would be doubled, new lustre would shine from the name of Napoleon, the Treaties of Vienna would be torn up by the nation against which they had been directed, the most determined foe of the Bonaparte family would be punished, and that family's power would be consolidated.

Such, we verily believe, were the reasons that led Napoleon III. to plan an attack on Austria, that attack which has been so brilliantly commenced. That he has gone to war for the liberation of Italy, merely as such, we do not suppose; but that must follow front his policy, because in that way alone can his grand object be effected. The freedom of the Peninsula will be brought about, because it is necessary for the welfare of France, for the maintenance of her weight in Europe, that it should be brought about. That the Emperor is insensible of the glory that would come from the rehabilitation of Italy, we do not assert. We think he is very sensible of it, and that he enjoys the satisfaction that comes from the performance of a good deed as much as if he were not a usurper and never had overthrown a nominal republic. But we cannot agree with those who say that the liberation of Italy was the pure and simple purpose of the war. He means that Austria shall not have Italy, and his sobriety of judgment enables him to understand that France cannot have it. That country is to belong to the children of the soil, who, with ordinary wisdom and conduct, will be able to prevent it from again relapsing under foreign rule. The Emperor understands his epoch, and will attempt nothing that shall excite against himself and his dynasty the indignation of mankind. If not a saint, he is not a senseless sinner.

Our article is so long, that we cannot discuss the questions, whether Napoleon III. is not animated by the desire of vengeance, and whether, having chastised Russia and Austria, he will not turn his arms against Prussia and England. Our opinion is that he will do nothing of the kind. Prussia is not likely to afford him any occasion for war; and if he should make one, he would have to fight all the other German powers at the same time, and perhaps Russia. The only chance that exists for a Prussian war is to be found in the wrath of the Germans, who, at the time we write, have assumed a very hostile attitude towards France, and wish to be led from Berlin; but the government of Prussia is discreet, and will not be easily induced to incur the positive loss and probable disgrace that would follow from a Russian invasion, like that which took place in 1759. As to England, the Emperor would be mad to attempt her conquest; and he knows too well what is due to his fame to engage in a piratical dash at London. An invasion of England can never be safely undertaken except by some power that is master of the seas; and England is not in the least disposed to abandon her maritime supremacy. There would have to be a Battle of Actium before her shores could be in danger, and she must have lost it; and no matter what is said concerning the excellence of the French navy, that of England is as much ahead of it in all the elements of real, enduring strength, as it has been at any other period of the history of the two countries.


The Iron-Manufacturer's Guide to the Furnaces, Forges, and Rolling-Mills of the United States. By J.P. LESLEY. New York: John Wiley. 1859.

This valuable book is published by the Secretary of the American Iron-Association, and by authority of the same. This Association—now four years old—is not a common trades-union, nor any impotent combination to resist the law of supply and demand. Its general objects, as stated in the constitution, are "to procure regularly the statistics of the trade, both at home and abroad; to provide for the mutual interchange of information and experience, both scientific and practical; to collect and preserve all works relating to iron, and to form a complete cabinet of ores, limestones, and coals; to encourage the formation of such schools as are designed to give the young iron-master a proper and thorough scientific training, preparatory to engaging in practical operations." In pursuance of this wise and liberal policy, the Association has now published this "Iron-Manufacturer's Guide," containing, first, a descriptive catalogue of all the furnaces, forges, and rolling-mills of the United States and Canada; secondly, a discussion of the physical and chemical properties of iron, and its combinations with other elements; thirdly, a complete survey of the geological position, chemical, physical, or mechanical properties, and geographical distribution of the ores of iron in the United States.

The directory to the iron-works of the United States and Canada enumerates 1545 works of various kinds, of which 386 are now abandoned; 560 blast-furnaces, 389 forges, and 210 rolling-mills are now in operation; and the directory states the position, capacity, and prominent characteristics of each furnace, forge, or mill, the names of the owners or agents, and, in many cases, the date of the construction of the works, and their annual production. The great importance of the iron-manufacture, as a branch of industry, in this country, is clearly demonstrated by this very complete catalogue. It shows that in the year 1856 there were nearly twelve hundred active iron-factories in the United States, and that they produced about eight hundred and fifty thousand tons of iron, worth fifty millions of dollars. When we consider that the greater part of the iron thus produced is left in a rough and crude state, merely extracted from its ores and made ready for the use of the blacksmith, the machinist, and the engineer,—when we remember that human labor multiplies by hundreds and by thousands the value of the raw material, that a bar of iron which costs five dollars will make three thousand dollars' worth of penknife-blades and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of watch-springs, we begin to understand the importance of the iron-manufacture, as an element of national wealth, independence, and power.

A fourth part of all the iron-works which have been constructed in this country have been abandoned by their projectors, in despair of competing with the cheap iron from abroad, which the low ad-valorem tariffs have admitted to the American market. The story which these ruined works might tell, of hopes disappointed, capital sunk, and labor wasted, would be long and dreary. From an excellent diagram, appended to the "Guide," illustrating the duties on iron, the importations, and the price of the metal, for each year since 1840, we learn that the average annual importation of iron under the specific tariff of 1842 was 77,328 tons, while under the ad-valorem tariff of 1846 it was 373,864 tons. The increase in the importation of foreign iron under the tariff of 1846 was more than ten times the increase of the population, and more than thirty-eight times the increase in the domestic production. The iron-masters of this country have been compelled to struggle against a host of formidable difficulties,—adverse legislation, the ruinous competition of English iron, the dearness of labor, and the high rates of interest on borrowed capital. These have all been met and, let us hope, in good part overcome. Slowly, and with many hindrances and disasters, the iron-business is gaining strength, and achieving independence of foreign competition and the tender mercies of legislators. Very conclusive evidence of this gradual growth is presented in the unusually accurate statistics of the "Iron-Manufacturer's Guide." Of the 1,209,913 tons of iron consumed in the United States in the year 1856, 856,235 tons, or seventy-one per cent, of the whole, was of domestic manufacture. The catalogue of iron-works shows that the country now possesses many extensive and well-constructed works, of which some are still owned by the men who built them, but the larger part have descended, at great sacrifices, to the hands of more fortunate proprietors. Beside the accumulated stock of machinery, knowledge of the ores and fuel has been gained, experience has refuted many errors and pointed out the dangers and difficulties to he overcome, the natural channels of communication throughout the country have been opened, and a large body of skilled workmen has been trained for the business and seeks steady employment. Whenever a rise in the price of iron stimulates the manufacture, the domestic production of iron suddenly expands, and increases with a rapidity which gives evidence of wonderful elasticity and latent strength. Twice within twenty years the production of American iron has nearly doubled in a period of three years. Twelve years ago no railroad-iron was made in the United States. In 1853 we imported 300,000 tons of rails, and in 1854 280,000 tons; but in 1855 only 130,000 tons were imported, while 135,000 tons were made at home, and in 1856, again, nearly one half of the 310,000 tons of rails consumed was of domestic production. The admitted superiority of the American rails has undoubtedly contributed to this result.

In spite of these encouraging signs, these sure indications of the success which at no distant day will reward this branch of American industry, it must not be imagined that checks and reverses are hereafter to be escaped. The production of the year 1857 promised in the summer to be much larger than that of 1856; but the panic of September wrought the same effect in the iron-business as in all the other manufactures of the country, and in the spring of 1858 more than half of the iron-works of the United States were standing idle. Mr. Lesley states that the returns received in answer to the circular issued by the Iron-Association, July 1, 1858, were, almost without exception, unfavorable, and that these replies are sufficient to prove a very serious diminution in the production of iron for the year 1858. When the manufacture of iron, in its various branches, has expanded to its true proportions, and has reached a magnitude and importance second only to the agricultural interest of the country, the iron-masters of that generation may read in this first publication of the Iron-Association the record of the struggles and trials of their more adventurous, but less fortunate predecessors.

The construction of the directory which constitutes the first part of the "Guide" might be improved in several respects. An alphabetical arrangement of the furnaces, forges, and rolling-mills, in each State, would be much more convenient for reference than the obscure and uncertain system which has been followed. If a State can be divided, like Pennsylvania, into two or three sections, by strongly marked geological features, it would, perhaps, be well to subdivide the list of its iron-works into corresponding sections, and then to make the arrangement of each section alphabetical. But convenience of reference is the essential property of a directory; and to that convenience the natural desire to follow a geological or geographical arrangement should he sacrificed. Some important items of information, such as the means of transportation, and the distance of each furnace or forge from its market, are not given in all cases; the power by which the works are driven, whether steam or water, is not uniformly stated; and the pressure of the blast used, that very important condition of success in the management of a furnace, is stated in only a very few instances. A useful piece of information, seldom given in the descriptions of forges and rolling-mills, is the source from which the iron used in the works is obtained; and it is also desirable that the nature of the work done in each forge or mill should be invariably stated. It would he interesting to know the number of men employed in the iron-manufacture throughout the country, and it would not seem difficult for the Association to add this fact to the very valuable statistics which they have already collected. The descriptions of abandoned works are not all printed in small type. If this rule is adopted in the directory, it should be uniformly adhered to. The maps accompanying the directory, which were made by the photolithographic process, are all on too small a scale, and consequently lack clearness. The colored lithographs, which exhibit the anthracite furnaces of Pennsylvania and the iron works of the region east of the Hudson River, are altogether the best illustrations in the book.

An elaborate discussion of iron as a chemical element occupies another division of the book. Its purpose is to instruct the iron master in the chemical properties and relations of the metal with which he deals; and to this end it should be clear, concise, and definite, and, leaving all disputed points, should explain the known and well-determined characteristics of iron and its compounds with other elements. Mr. Lesley, the compiler of the book, distinctly states in the Preface that he is no chemist, and we are therefore prepared to meet the occasional inaccuracies observable in this chemical portion of the "Guide." It lacks condensation and system; matters of very little moment receive disproportionate attention; and pages are filled with discussions of nice points of chemical science still in dispute among professed chemists, and wholly out of place in what should be a brief elementary treatise on the known properties of iron. If these questions in dispute were such as the practical experience of the iron-master might settle, or, indeed, throw any light upon, there would be an obvious propriety in stating the points at issue; but if the question concerns the best chemical name for iron-rust, or the largest possible per cent. of carbon in steel, the practical metallurgist should not be perplexed with problems in analytical chemistry which the best chemists have not yet solved.

Valuable space is occasionally occupied by the too rhetorical statement of matters which would have been better presented in a simpler way; thus, the fervid description of oxygen, however appropriate in Faraday's admirable lectures before the Royal Institution, is out of place in the "Iron-Manufacturer's Guide." We must also enter an earnest protest against the importation, upon any terms, of such words as "ironoxydulcarbonate," "ironoxydhydrate," and the adjective "anhydrate." Some descriptions of considerable imaginative power have found place even in the directory of works. From the description of the Allentown furnaces we learn, with some surprise, that "no finer object of art invites the artist"; and again, "that the repose of bygone centuries seems to sit upon its immense walls, while the roaring energy of the present day fills it with a truer and better life than the revelry of Kenilworth or the chivalry of Heidelberg." The average age of the Allentown works subsequently appears to be nine years.

Another principal division of Mr. Lesley's book treats of the ores of iron in the United States. This portion of the book contains much valuable and interesting information, which has never been published before in so complete and satisfactory a form. The geographical and geological position of every ore-bank in the country, which has been opened and worked, is fully described, with many details of the peculiar properties, mineralogical associations, and history of each bed or mine. The inexhaustible wealth of the country in ores of iron is clearly shown, and the superiority of the American ores to the English needs no other demonstration than can be found on the pages of this catalogue of our ore-beds. Two or three geological maps, to illustrate the distribution of the ores, would have been an instructive addition to the book. In this section, as in the preceding one on the chemistry of iron, much space is misapplied to the discussion of questions of structural geology, of opposing theories of the formation of veins, and other scientific problems with which the iron-master is not concerned, and which he cannot be expected to understand, much less to solve. We regret the more this unnecessary introduction of comparatively irrelevant matters, when we find, at the close of the volume, that the unexpected length of the discussion of the ores has prevented the publication of several chapters on the machinery now in use, the hot-blast and anthracite coal, the efforts to obtain malleable iron directly from the ore, and the history and present condition of the iron-manufacture in America.

The American Iron-Association, by their Secretary, have accomplished a very laborious and valuable work, in accumulating and digesting the mass of facts and statistics embodied in this, the first "Iron-Manufacturer's Guide"; but the subject is as inexhaustible as the mineral wealth of the country, and we shall look for the future publications of the society with much interest.

An Essay on Intuitive Morals. Being an Attempt to Popularize Ethical Science. Part I. Theory of Morals. First American Edition, with Additions and Corrections by the Author. Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co. 1859. pp. 294.

Four years ago last March this book appeared in England, published by Longman; a thin octavo, exciting little attention there, and scarcely more on this side the water, where the best English books have of late years found their first appreciation. The first notice of it printed in this country, so far as we know, appeared in the "Harvard Magazine" for June, 1855,—a publication so obscure, that, to most readers of the ATLANTIC, this will be their first knowledge of its existence. About two years later, Part II appeared in England, and then both books were reviewed in the "Christian Examiner"; yet, to all intents and purposes, this new edition is a new book, and we shall treat it as such. We have as yet a reprint of Part I. only, but we trust the publishers will soon give us the other,—"The Practice of Morals,"—which, if less valuable than this, is still so much better than most works of its kind as to demand a republication.

The author—a woman—(for, to the shame of our virile secus be it said, a woman has written the best popular treatise on Ethics in the language)—divides her First Part into four chapters:—

    I. What Is the Moral Law?
   II. Where the Moral Law is found.
  III. That the Moral Law can be obeyed.
   IV. Why the Moral Law should be obeyed.

This, as will be seen, is an exhaustive analysis. To the great question of the first chapter, after a full discussion, she gives this answer:—

"The Moral Law is the resumption of the eternal necessary Obligation of all Rational Free Agents to do and feel those Sentiments which are Right. The identification of this law with His will constitutes the Holiness of the Infinite God. Voluntary and disinterested obedience to this law constitutes the Virtue of all finite creatures. Virtue is capable of infinite growth, of endless approach to the Divine nature and to perfect conformity with the law. God has made all rational free agents for virtue, and all worlds for rational free agents. The Moral Law, therefore, not only reigns throughout His creation, (all its behests being enforced thereon by His omnipotence,) but is itself the reason why that creation exists."—pp. 62-63.

This is certainly good defining, and the passage we have Italicized has the true Transcendental ring. Indeed, the book is a system of Kantian Ethics, as the author herself says in her Preface; and the tough old Königsberg professor has no reason to complain of his gentle expounder. Unlike most British writers,—with the grand exception of Sir William Hamilton, the greatest British metaphysician since Locke and Hume,—she understands Kant, admires and loves him, and so is worthy to develop his knotty sublimities. This alone would be high praise; but we think she earns a more original and personal esteem.

The question of the second chapter she thus answers:—

"The Moral Law is found in the Intuitions of the Human Mind. These Intuitions are natural; but they are also revealed. Our Creator wrought them into the texture of our souls to form the groundwork of our thoughts, and made it our duty first to examine and then to erect upon them by reflection a Science of Morals. But He also continually aids us in such study, and He increases this aid in the ratio of our obedience. Thus Moral Intuitions are both Human and Divine, and the paradoxes in their nature are thereby solved."—p. 136.

This statement may, perhaps, be received without cavil by most readers; but the reasoning on which it depends is the weakest part of the book, and we shall be surprised if some hard-headed divine, who fears that this doctrine of Intuition will pester his Church, does not find out the flaws in the argument. It will be urged, for instance, that, in confessing that the Science of Morals can never be as exact as that of Mathematics, because we have no terminology for Ethics so exact as for Geometry, she, in effect, yields the whole question, and leaves us in the old slough of doubt where Pyrrho and Pascal delighted to thrust us, and where the Church threatens to keep us, unless we will pay her tolls and pick our way along her turnpike. But though her major and minor premises may not be on the best terms with each other,—even though they may remind us of that preacher of whom Pierrepont Edwards said, "If his text had the smallpox, his sermon would not catch it,"—her conclusion is sound, and as inspiring now as when the poet said,—

"Est Deus in nobis, agitante calescimus illo,"—

or when George Fox trudged hither and thither over Europe with the same noble tune sounding in his ears.

In the third chapter the old topics are treated, which, according to Milton, the fallen angels discussed before Adam settled the debate by sinning,—

"Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,"—

and it is concluded that the Moral Law can be obeyed:—

"1st. Because the Human Will is free. 2d. Because this freedom, though involving present sin and suffering, is foreseen by God to result eventually in the Virtue of every creature endowed therewith."

In this chapter the history of the common doctrine of Predestination is admirably sketched, (pp. 159-164, note.) and the grounds for our belief in Free Will more clearly stated than we remember to have seen elsewhere. Especially fine is her method of reducing Foreordination to simple Ordination, by directing attention to the fact that with God there is no Past and Future, but an Endless Now; as Tennyson sings in "In Memoriam,"—

  "Oh, if indeed that eye foresee,
  Or see, (in Him is no before.)"—

and as Dante sang five centuries ago.

But it is the last chapter which best shows the power of the author and the pure and generous spirit with which the whole book is filled. Here she shows why the Moral Law should be obeyed; and dividing the advocates of Happiness as a motive into three classes, Euthumists, Public Eudaimonists, and Private Eudaimonists, she refutes them all and establishes her simple scheme, which she states in these words:—

"The law itself, the Eternal Right, for right's own sake, that alone must be our motive, the spring of our resolution, the ground of our obedience. Deep from our inmost souls comes forth the mandate, the bare and simple law claiming the command of our whole existence merely by its proper right, and disdaining alike to menace or to bribe."

The terms Euthumism and Eudaimonism are, perhaps, peculiar to this essay, and may need some explanation. The Euthumist is one who assumes moral pleasure as a sufficient reason why virtue should be sought; the Eudaimonist believes we should be virtuous for the sake of affectional, intellectual, and sensual pleasure; if he means the pleasure of all mankind, he is a Public Eudaimonist; but if he means the pleasure of the individual, he is a Private Eudaimonist. Democritus is reckoned the first among Euthumists; and in England this school has been represented, among others, by Henry More and Cumberland, by Sharrock, [Footnote: Sharrock is a name unfamiliar to most readers. His [Greek: Hypothesis aethikae] published in 1660, contains the first clear statement of Euthumism made by any Englishman. See p.223.] Hutcheson, and Shaftesbury. Paley thrust himself among Public Eudaimonists, and our author well exposes his grovelling morals, aiming to produce the "greatest happiness of the greatest number," a system which has too long been taught among the students of our colleges and high schools. But he properly belongs to the Private Eudaimonists; for this interpreter of ethics to the ingenuous youth of England and America says, "Virtue is the doing good to mankind in obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of everlasting happiness. According to which definition, the good of mankind is the subject, the will of God the rule, and everlasting happiness the motive of virtue."

It is such heresies as this, and the still grosser pravities into which the ethics of expediency run, that this book will do much to combat. Nothing is more needed in our schools for both sexes than the systematic teaching of the principles here set forth; and we have no doubt this volume could be used as a text-book, at least with some slight omissions and additions, such as a competent teacher could well furnish. Portions of it, indeed, were some years since read by Mrs. Lowell to her classes, and are now incorporated in her admirable book, "Seed Grain"; nor does there seem to be any good reason why it should not be introduced at Cambridge. With a short introduction containing the main principles of metaphysics, and with the omission of some rhetorical passages unsuited to a text-book, it might supplant the books of both intellectual and moral philosophy now in use in our higher schools.

But it is not as a school-book that this essay is to be considered; it will find a large and increasing circle of readers among the mature and the cultivated, and these will perceive that few have thought so profoundly or written so clearly on these absorbing topics. Take, for example, the classification of possible beings, made in the first chapter:—

"Proceeding on our premises, that the omnipotence of God is not to be supposed to include self-contradictions, we observe at the outset, that (so far as we can understand subjects so transcendent) there were only, in a moral point of view, three orders of beings possible in the universe:—1st. One Infinite Being. A Rational Free Agent, raised by the infinitude of his nature above the possibility of temptation. He is the only Holy Being. 2d. Finite creatures who are Rational Free Agents, but exposed by the finity of their natures to continual temptations. These beings are either Virtuous or Vicious. 3d. Finite creatures who are not rational nor morally free. These beings are Unmoral, and neither virtuous nor vicious."—pp. 24-25.

Nothing can be shorter or more thorough than this statement, and, if accepted, it settles many points in theology as well as in ethics.

Then, too, the comparison, in the last chapter, of the Law of Honor, considered as a system of morals, with the systems of Paley and Bentham, shows a fine perception of the true relation of chivalry to ethics, and gives occasion for one of the most eloquent passages in the book:—

"I envy not the moralist who could treat disdainfully of Chivalry. It was a marvellous principle, that which could make of plighted faith a law to the most lawless, of protection to weakness a pride to the most ferocious. While the Church taught that personal duty consisted in scourgings and fastings, and social duty in the slaughter of Moslems and burning of Jews, Chivalry roused up a man to reverence himself through his own courage and truth, and to treat the weakest of his fellow-creatures with generosity and courtesy…. Recurring to its true character, the Law of Honor, when duly enlarged and rectified, becomes highly valuable. We perceive, that, amid all its imperfections and aberrations, it has been the truest voice of intuition, amid the lamentations of the believer in 'total depravity,' and the bargaining of the expediency-seeking experimentalist. While the one represented Virtue as a Nun and the other as a Shop-woman, the Law of Honor drew her as a Queen,—faulty, perhaps, but free-born and royal. Much service has this law done to the world; it has made popular modes of thinking and acting far nobler than those inculcated from many a pulpit; and the result is patent, that many a 'publican and sinner,' many an opera-frequenting, betting, gambling man of the world, is a far safer person with whom to transact business than the Pharisee who talks most feelingly of the 'frailties of our fallen nature.'"—pp. 267-270.

The learning shown in the book, though not astonishing, like Sir William Hamilton's, is sufficient and always at the author's service. The text throughout, and especially the notes on Causation, Predestination, Original Sin, and Necessary Truths, will amply support our opinion. But better than either learning or logic is that noble and devout spirit pervading every page, and convincing the reader, that, whether the system advanced be true or false, it is the result of a genuine experience, and the guide of a pure and generous life.

The volume is neatly printed, but lacks an index sadly, and shows some errors resulting from the distance between the author and the proof-reader. Such is the misuse of the words "woof" and "warp" on page 56; evidently a slip of the pen, since the same terms are correctly used elsewhere in the volume.

Memoirs of the Empress Catharine II. Written by herself. With a Preface by A. HERZEN. Translated from the French. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 309.

It would seem, that, if any one of the women celebrated in history should, more than all the others, have shrunk from writing her own memoirs, that woman was the petty German princess whom opportunity and her own crafty ambition made absolutest monarch of all the Russias under the name of Catharine II. And of that abandoned and shameless personal career which has made her name a reproach to her sex, and covered her memory with an infamy that the administrative glories of her reign serve only to cast into a blacker shadow, even she has shrunk from committing the details to paper. Indeed, in these Memoirs, she alludes to but one of her amours,—that with Sergius Soltikoff, which was the first, (if we may be sure that she had a first,)—and which seems clearly to have been elevated, if not purified, by a true and deep affection. That it was so appears not by any protestation or even calm assertion of her own, which in an autobiography might be reasonably doubted, but from the unstudied tenderness of her allusions to him; from the fact, which indirectly appears, that he first cooled towards her, and the pang—not of wounded vanity—which this gave her; and yet more unmistakably from the forgiveness which she, imperious and relentless as she was, extended, manifestly, again and again, to her errant lover.

The Memoirs are confined to events which occurred between 1744 and 1760,—the period of Catharine's girlhood and youthful womanhood; but although she brings herself before us, a young creature of fifteen, "with her hair dressed à la Moise," (which, in the benightment of our bearded ignorance, we suppose to mean that astounding style in which the excellent Mistress Hannah More is represented in the frontispiece to her Memoirs, with each particular hair standing on end,—a crimped glory of radiating powder,) she appears no less ambitious, crafty, designing, selfish, and self-conscious then than when she drops her pen as she is deepening the traits of the matured woman of thirty. She went to Russia to be betrothed to the Grand Duke, afterwards Peter III., to whom she was at first utterly indifferent, and whom she soon began to despise and regard with personal aversion; and yet when there was a chance that she might be released from this union, she seems not to have known the slightest thrill of joy or felt the least sensation of relief, although she was then not sixteen years old,—so entirely was her mind bent upon the crown of Russia. Partly to attain her end, and partly because it suited her intriguing, managing nature, she set herself immediately to the acquirement of the favor of the Empress on the one hand, and popularity on the other. The first she sought by an absolute submission of her will to that of Elizabeth, giving her self-negation an air of grateful deference; the latter she obtained, as most very popular people obtain their popularity, by adroit flattery,—the subtlest form of which was, in her case, as it ever is, the manifestation of an interest in the affairs of persons utterly indifferent to the flatterer. This moral emollient she applied, as popular people usually do, without discrimination. She remarks that she was liked because she was "the same to everybody"; and it is noteworthy that the same is said almost invariably of very popular persons, and in way of eulogy, by the very people into whose favor they have licked their way; the latter always seeming to be blinded by the titillation of their own cuticles to the fact that the most worthless and disagreeable individuals—those with whom they would scorn to be put upon a level—have received the same coveted evidences of personal regard. When will the world learn that the man, of whom we sometimes hear and read, who is absolutely without an enemy, must either be very unscrupulous or very weak? Catharine's duplicity in this respect seems to have been as constant as it was artful, during the years in which it was necessary for her purpose to make friends; and it was rewarded, as it almost always is, when skilfully practised, with entire success.

Catharine seems to have written these Memoirs partly for her own satisfaction and partly to justify her course to her son Paul and his successors. Therefore they record much that is of little value or interest to the general reader; and that, indeed, is unintelligible, except to those who are intimately acquainted with the Russian Court during the reign of Elizabeth. Such persons will find in these pages much authentic matter which will confirm or unsettle their previous belief as to the secret intrigues of that court, political and personal. To the great mass of readers, the revelations of the internal economy of the Court of Russia in the middle of the last century, and of the manners and morals of the persons who composed it, which are freely made by the author of these imperial confessions, will constitute their principal, if not their only interest. In this respect they will well repay the attentive perusal of every person who likes the study of human nature. The picture which they present is striking, and its various parts keep alive the attention which its first sight awakens. Yet it cannot be regarded with pleasure by any reader of undepraved taste; and a consideration of it is absolutely fatal to the faith which is cherished by many deluded minds in the social, if not in the ethical virtues of an ancient aristocracy. In this respect Catharine's "Memoirs" are not peculiar. For it is remarkable, that in all the published memoirs, journals, and confessions of members of royal households, (there may be an exception, but we do not remember it,) court-life within-doors has appeared devoid of every grace and beauty, and deformed by all that is coarse, brutal, sordid, and grovelling. Even that grace, almost a virtue, which has its name from courts, seems not to exist in them in a genuine form; and instead of it we find only a hollow, glittering sham, which has but an outward semblance to real courtesy, and which itself even is produced only on occasions more or less public and for purposes more or less selfish.

Russia in its most civilized parts was half barbarous in the days of Catharine's youth, and society at the Court of St. Petersburg seems to have been distinguished from that in the other circles of the empire only by an addition of the vices of civilization to those of barbarism. The women blended the manners and tastes of Indian squaws and French marquises of the period; the men modelled themselves on Peter the Great, and succeeded in imitating him in everything except his wisdom and patriotism. The business of life was, first, to avoid being sent to Siberia or Astracan,—next and last, to get other people sent thither; its pleasure, an alternation of gambling and orgies. Catharine makes some excuse for her unrestrained sexual license, which shows that she wrote for posterity. For what need of extenuation in this regard for a woman whose immediate predecessors were Catharine I., and. Anne and Elizabeth, and who lived in a court where, on the simultaneous marriage of three of its ladies, a bet was made between the Hetman Count Rasoumowsky and the Minister of Denmark,—not which of the brides would be false to her marriage vows,—that was taken for granted with regard to all,—but which would be so first! It turned out that he who bet on the Countess Anne Voronzoff, daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of the Empire, and bride to Count Strogonoff, who was the plainest of the three and at the time the most innocent and childlike, won the wager. The bet was wisely laid; for she was likely to be soonest neglected by her husband.

What semblance of courtesy these highborn gamblers, adulterers, and selfish intriguers showed in their daily life appears in their behavior to a M. Brockdorf, against whom Catharine had ill feelings, more or less justifiable. This M. Brockdorf, who was high in favor with the Grand Duke, was unfortunately ugly—having a long neck, a broad, flat head, red hair, small, dull, sunken eyes, and the corners of his mouth hanging down to his chin. So, among those court-bred people, "whenever M. Brockdorf passed through the apartments, every one called out after him 'Pelican,'" because "this bird was the most hideous we knew of." But what regard for the feelings of a person of inferior rank could be expected from his enemies, in a court where the dearest ties and the tenderest sorrows were dashed aside with the formal brutality recorded by Catharine in the following remarkable paragraph?—

"A few days afterwards, the death of my father was announced to me. It greatly afflicted me. For a week I was allowed to weep as much as I pleased; but at the end of that time, Madame Tchoglokoff came to tell me that I had wept enough,—that the Empress ordered me to leave off,—that my father was not a king. I told her, I knew that he was not a king; and she replied, that it was not suitable for a Grand Duchess to mourn for a longer period a father who had not been a king. In fine, it was arranged that I should go out on the following Sunday, and wear mourning for six weeks."

It is worthy of especial note that these people, though they led this sensual, selfish, heartless life, trampling on natural affection and doing as they would not be done by, prided themselves very much on the orthodoxy of their faith, were sorely afraid of going to hell, and were consequently very regular and rigid in the performance of their religious duties. Catharine was no whit behind the rest in this respect. Though bred a Lutheran, she was most exemplary in her observance of all the requirements of the Greek Church; and even carried her hypocrisy so far, that, when, on occasion of a dangerous and probably fatal illness, it was proposed that she should see a Lutheran clergyman, she replied by asking for Simon Theodorsky, a prelate of the Greek Church, who came and had an edifying interview with her. And all this was done, as she says, for effect, chiefly with the soldiers and common people, among whom it made a sensation and was much talked of. This, by the way, is the only reference which occurs in the Memoirs to any interest below that of the highest nobility. As for the people of Russia, the right to draw their blood with the knout and make them sweat roubles into the royal treasury was taken as much for granted as the light and the air, by those who, either through fraud or force, could sit in the seat of Peter the Great. They regarded it as no less an appanage or perquisite of that seat than the jewels in the imperial diadem, and would as soon have thought of defending a title to the one as to the other. And the possession of the throne, with the necessary consent of the dominant party of the high nobility, seems to have been, and still to be, the only requisite for the unquestioned exercise of this power; for, as to legitimacy and divine dynastic right, was not Catharine I. a Livoman peasant? Catharine II. a German princess, who dethroned and put to death the grandson of Peter the Great? and does she not confess in these Memoirs that her son, the Emperor Paul, was not the son of Peter's grandson, but of Sergius Soltikoff? so that in the reigning house of Russia there is not a drop of the blood of Romanoff. And Catharine's confession, which M. Herzen emphasizes so strongly, conveys to the Russian nobles no new knowledge on this subject; for an eminent Russian publicist being asked, on the appearance of this book, if it were generally known in Russia that Paul was the son of Soltikoff, replied,—"No one who knew anything ever doubted it." And perhaps the descendants of the Boiards are quite content that their sovereign should have illegally sprung from the loins of a member of one of the oldest and noblest of the purely Russian families, rather than from those of a prince of the petty house of Holstein Gottorp. But then what is this principle of Czarism, which is not a submission to divine right, but which causes one man to sustain, perhaps to place, another in a position which puts his own life at the mercy of the other's mere caprice?

Catharine tells many trifling, but interesting incidents, of various nature, in these Memoirs: of how, after the birth of her first child, she was left utterly alone and neglected, so that she famished with thirst for the lack of some one to bring her water; how her child was taken from her at its birth, and kept from her, she hardly being allowed even to see it; how it was always wrapped in fox-skins and seal-skins, till it lay in a continual bath of perspiration; how the members of the royal family itself were so badly accommodated, that sometimes they were made ill by walking through passages open to wind and rain, and sometimes stifled by over-crowded rooms; how at the imperial masquerades, during one season, the men were ordered to appear in women's dresses, and the women in the propria quae maribus,—the former hideous in large whaleboned petticoats and high feathered head-dresses, the latter looking like scrubby little boys with very thick legs,—and all that the Empress Elizabeth might show her tall and graceful figure and what beautiful things she used to walk with, which Catharine says were the handsomest that she ever saw; how in this court, where marriage was the mere shadow of a bond, it was yet deemed a matter of the first nuptial importance that a lady of the court should have her head dressed for the wedding by the hands of the Empress herself, or, if she were too ill, by those of the Grand Duchess; how Catharine used, at Oranienbaum, to dress herself from head to foot in male attire, and go out in a skiff, accompanied only by an old huntsman, to shoot ducks and snipe, sometimes doubling the Cape of Oranienbaum, which extends two versts into the sea,—and how thus the fortunes of the Russian Empire, during the latter half of the eighteenth century, were at the mercy of a spring-tide, a gust of wind, or the tipping of a shallop. There is even a recipe for removing tan and sunburn, which the beautiful Grand Duchess used at the instance of the beautiful Empress; and, as both the imperial belles testify to its great efficacy, it would be cruel not to give all possible publicity to the fact that it was composed of white of egg, lemon juice, and French brandy; but, alas! the proportion in which these constituents are to be mixed is not recorded.

Of the authenticity of these Memoirs there appears to be no reasonable doubt, and we believe that none has been expressed. They were found, after the death of Catharine, in a sealed envelope addressed to her son Paul, in whose lifetime no one saw them but the friend of his childhood, Prince Kourakine. He copied them; and, about twenty years after the death of Paul, three or four copies were made from the Kourakine copy. The Emperor Nicholas caused all these to be seized by the secret police, and it is only since his death that one or two copies have again made their appearance at Moscow (where the original is kept) and St. Petersburg. From one of these M. Herzen made his transcript. They fail to palliate any of Catharine's crimes, or in the least to brighten her reputation, and add nothing to our knowledge of her sagacity and her administrative talents; but they are yet not without very considerable personal interest and historical value.

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Selection of Milch Cows, with a full Explanation of Guenon's Method; the
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Cheese: embodying the most recent Improvements, and adapted to Farming
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Comprising the Breeds, Breeding and Management, in Health and Disease of Dairy and other Stock; the Selection of Milch Cows, with a full explanation of Guenon's Method; the Culture of Forage Plants, and the production of


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