The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 31, May, 1860

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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 31, May, 1860

Author: Various

Release date: December 2, 2005 [eBook #9472]
Most recently updated: November 3, 2012

Language: English


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VOL. V, MAY, 1860, NO. XXXI


"Instinct is a great matter," quoth Falstaff, when called upon to find out a device, a "starting-hole," to hide himself from the open and apparent shame of having run away from the fight and hacked his sword like a handsaw with his own dagger. Like a valiant lion, he would not turn upon the true prince, but ran away upon instinct. Although the peculiar circumstances of the occasion upon which the subject was presented to Falstaff's mind were not very favorable to a calm consideration of it, he was undoubtedly correct in saying that instinct is a great matter. "If, then, the tree may be known by the fruit," says Falstaff, "as the fruit by the tree, then, peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that Falstaff"; and it is proper that his authority should be quoted, even upon a question of metaphysical science.

That psychological endowment of animals which we denominate instinct has in every age been a matter full of wonder; and men of thought have found few more interesting subjects of inquiry. But it is confessed that little has been satisfactorily made out concerning the nature and limitations of instinct. In former times the habits and mental characteristics of those orders of animated being which are inferior to man were observed with but a careless eye; and it was late before the phenomena of animal life received a careful and reverent examination. It is vain to inquire what instinct is, before there has been an accurate observation of its manifestations. It is only from its outward manifestations that we can know anything of that marvellous inward nature which is given to animals. We cannot know anything of the essential constitution of mind, but can know only its properties. This is all we know even of matter. "If material existence," says Sir William Hamilton, "could exhibit ten thousand phenomena, and if we possessed ten thousand senses to apprehend these ten thousand phenomena of material existence, of existence absolutely and in itself we should be then as ignorant as we are at present." But this limitation of human knowledge has not always been kept in view. Men have been solicitous to penetrate into the higher mysteries of absolute and essential existence. But in thus reaching out after the unattainable, we have often passed by the only knowledge which it was possible for us to gain. Much vague speculation concerning instinct has arisen from the attempt to resolve the problem of its ultimate nature; and perhaps much more might have been made out with certainty about it, if no greater task had been attempted than to classify the phenomena which it exhibits and determine the nature of its manifestations. In regard to instinct, as well as everything else, we must be content with finding out what it seems to us to be, rather than what it is. Even with this limitation, the inquiry will prove sufficiently difficult. The properties of instinct are a little more inscrutable than those of the human mind, inasmuch as we have our own consciousness to assist us in this case, while we are left to infer the peculiarities of instinct from its outward manifestations only. And moreover, the inquiry involves an understanding of the workings of the human mind; for it is only when viewed in contrast with the rational endowments of man that the character of instinct is best known. All other questions connected with the subject are subordinate to this one of the apparent difference between instinct and reason.

Many definitions have been given of instinctive actions. These differ widely in their extent, and are for the most part quite inadequate. Some writers have ranged under this term all those customary habits and actions which are common to all the individuals of a species. According to this definition, almost every action of animated life is instinctive. But the general idea of an instinctive action is much more restricted; it is one that is performed without instruction and prior to experience,—and not for the immediate gratification of the agent, but only as the means for the attainment of some ulterior end. To apply the term instinct to the regular and involuntary movements of the bodily organs, such as the beating of the heart and the action of the organs of respiration, is manifestly an extension of the ordinary acceptation of the term. Organic actions of a similar character are also performed by plants, and are purely mechanical. "In the lowest and simplest class of excited movements," says Müller, "the nervous system would not appear to be concerned. They result from stimuli directly applied to the muscles, which immediately excite their contractility; and they are evidently of the same character with the motions of plants." Thus, the heart is excited to pulsation by the direct contact of the blood with the muscle. The hand of a sleeping child closes upon any object which gently touches the palm. And it is in this way, doubtless, that the Sea Anemone entraps its prey, or anything else that may come in contact with its tentacles. But so far are these movements from indicating of themselves the action of any instinctive principle, that they are no proof of animality; for a precisely analogous power is possessed by the sensitive plant known as the Fly-Trap of Venus (Dionoea muscipula): "any insect touching the sensitive hairs on the surface of its leaf instantly causes the leaf to shut up and enclose the insect, as in a trap; nor is this all; a mucilaginous secretion acts like a gastric juice on the captive, digests it, and renders it assimilable by the plant, which thus feeds on the victim, as the Actinea feeds on the Annelid or Crustacean it may entrap." In the animal organization a large class of reflex actions are excited, not by a direct influence, but indirectly by the agency of the nerves and spinal cord. Such actions are essentially independent of the brain; for they occur in animals which have no brain, and in those whose brain has been removed. However marvellous these functions of organic life may be, there is nothing in them at all resembling that agency properly called instinct, which may be said to take the place in the inferior tribes of reason in man. To refer these operations to the same source as the wonderful instinct that guides the bird in its long migratory flight, or in the construction of its nest, would be to make the bird a curiously constructed machine which is operated by impressions from without upon its sentient nerves.

Those actions have sometimes been called instinctive which arise from the appetites and passions; and they have been referred to instinct, doubtless, because they have one characteristic of instinct,—that they are not acquired by experience or instruction. "But they differ," says Professor Bowen, "at least in one important respect from those instincts of the lower animals which are usually contrasted with human reason. The objects towards which they are directed are prized for their own sake; they are sought as ends; while instinct teaches brutes to do many things which are needed only as means for the attainment of some ulterior purpose." When the butterfly extracts the nectar from the flowers which she loves most, she meets a want of her physical nature which demands satisfaction at the moment; but when, in opposition to her appetite, she proceeds to the flowerless shrub to deposit her eggs upon the leaves best suited to support her unthought-of progeny, she is not influenced by any desire for the immediate gratification of her senses, but is led to the act by some dim impulse, in order that an ultimate object may be provided for to which she has no reference at the time. We are surprised to find it declared, in the very interesting "Psychological Inquiries" of Sir B.C. Brodie, that the desire for food is the simplest form of an instinct, and that such an instinct goes far towards explaining others which are more complicated. It is true that the appetites and passions of animals have an ultimate object, but they are impelled to action by a desire for immediate gratification only; but when we speak of an instinct, we mean something more than a mere want or desire,—we have chiefly in view the end beyond the blind instrumentality by which it is reached.

When we watch the movements of a young bee, as it first goes forth from its waxen cradle, we are forced to recognize an influence at work which is unlike reason, and which is neither appetite nor any mechanical principle of organic life. Rising upon the comb, and holding steadily with its tiny feet, with admirable adroitness the young bee smooths its wings for its first flight, and rubs its body with its fore legs and antennae; then walking along the comb to the mouth of the hive, it mounts into the air, flies forth into the fields, alights upon the proper flowers, extracts their juices, collects their pollen, and, kneading it into little balls, deposits them in the sacks upon its feet; and then returning to its hive, it delivers up the honey and the wax and the bread which it has gathered and elaborated. In the hive it works the wax with its paws and feelers into an hexagonal cell with a rhomboidal bottom, the three plates of which form such angles with each other as require the least wax and space in the construction of the cell. All these complex operations the bee performs as adroitly, on the first morning of its life, as the most experienced workman in the hive. The tyro gatherer sought the flowery fields upon untried wings, and returned to its home from this first expedition with unerring flight by the most direct course through the trackless air.

This is one instance of that great class of actions which are allowed on all hands to be strictly instinctive. In the fact, that the occult faculties which urge the bee to make honey and construct geometrical cells are in complete development when it first emerges from its cell, we recognize one of the most striking characteristics of instinct,—its existence prior to all experience or instruction. The insect tribes furnish us with many instances in which the young being never sees its parents, and therefore all possibility of its profiting from their instructions or of its imitating their actions is cut off. The solitary wasp, for example, is accustomed to construct a tunnelled nest in which she deposits her eggs and then brings a number of living caterpillars and places them in a hole which she has made above each egg; being very careful to furnish just caterpillars enough to maintain the young worm from the time of its exclusion from the egg till it can provide for itself, and to place them so as to be readily accessible the moment food is required. But what is most curious of all is the fact that the wasp does not deposit the caterpillars unhurt, for thus they would disturb or perhaps destroy the young; nor does she sting them to death, for thus they would soon be in no state of proper preservation; but, as if understanding these contingencies, she inflicts a disabling wound. Yet the wasp does not feed upon caterpillars herself, nor has she ever seen a wasp provide them for her future offspring. She has never seen a worm such as will spring from her egg, nor can she know that her egg will produce a worm; and besides, she herself will be dead long before the unknown worm can be in existence. Therefore she works blindly; without knowing that her work is to subserve any useful purpose, she works to a purpose both definite and important; and her acts are uniform with those of all solitary wasps that have lived before her or that will live after her; so that we are compelled to refer these untaught actions to some constant impulse connected with the special organization of the wasp,—an innate tact, uniform throughout the species, of which we, not possessing anything of the kind, can form only a poor conception, but which we call instinct.

There have been some philosophers, however, who have exercised their ingenuity in tracing so-called instinctive actions to the operation of experience. The celebrated Doctor Erasmus Darwin gave, as an illustration of this view, his opinion that the young of animals know how to swallow from their experience of swallowing in utero. Without going into any refutation of this position, we would only remark, in passing, that the act of swallowing is not an instinctive action at all, but a purely mechanical one. Would not Doctor Darwin have rejoiced greatly, if he could have brought to the support of his theory the observation of our own great naturalist, Agassiz, who, knowing the savage snap of one of the large, full-grown Testudinata, is said to have asserted, that, under the microscope, he has seen the juvenile turtle snapping precociously in embryo?

But not only is instinct prior to all experience, it is even superior to it, and often leads animals to disregard it,—the spontaneous impulse which Nature has given them being their best guide. The carrier-pigeon or the bird of passage, taken a long distance from home by a circuitous route, trusting to this "pilot-sense," flies back in a straight course; and the hound takes the shortest way home through fields where he has never previously set foot.

The existence of instinct prior to all experience or instruction, and its perfection in the beginning, render cultivation and improvement not only unnecessary, but impossible. As it is with the individual, so it is with the race. One generation of the irrational tribes does not improve upon the preceding or educate its successor. The web which you watched the spider weaving in your open window last summer, carefully measuring off each radius of her wheel and each circular mesh by one of her legs, was just such a web as the spider wove of old when she was pronounced to be "little upon the earth, yet exceeding wise."

This incapacity for education is what so widely separates instinct from the rational powers of man. Man gathers knowledge and transmits it from generation to generation. He is not born with a ready skill, but with a capacity for it. His mind is formed destitute of all connate knowledge, that it may acquire the knowledge of all things. "Man's imperfection at his nativity is his perfection; while the perfection of brutes at their nativity is their imperfection." No rational being has ever arrived at such perfection that he cannot still improve; he can travel on from one attainment to another in a perpetual progress of improvement. He is, moreover, free to choose his own path of action; while the being of instinct is governed by a power which is not subject to his will, and which confines him to a narrow path which he cannot leave. But instinct, within its narrow limits, in many cases quite transcends reason in its achievements.

  "Man's attainments in his own concerns,
  Matched with the expertness of the brutes in theirs,
  Are ofttimes vanquished and thrown far behind."

Perhaps man has never made a structure as perfect in all its adaptations as the honeycomb. Yet when Virgil spoke of the belief that bees have a portion of the mind divine, nothing was known of the wonderful mathematical properties of this beautiful fabric; and the demonstration of them which has been made within the present century is beyond the comprehension of far the larger part of mankind. If the bee comprehended the problem which it has been working out for these many ages before man was able to solve it, would its intellectual powers be inferior to his in degree, if they were the same in kind? The water-spider weaves for herself a cocoon, makes it impervious to water, and fastens it by loose threads to the leaves of plants growing at the bottom of a still pool. She carries down air in a bag made for this purpose, till the water is expelled from the cell through the opening below. The spider lived quite dry in her little air-chamber beneath the water ages before the diving-bell was invented; but that she understood anything of the doctrines of space and gravity, no one would venture to assert.

It has been the belief of some philosophers, and poets as well, that man has taken the hint for some of the arts he now practises from the brute creation. Democritus represents him as having derived the arts of weaving and sewing from the spider, and the art of building of tempered clay from the swallow; and we also read in Pliny's "Natural History," that the nest of the swallow suggested to Toxius, the son of Coelus, the invention of mortar. According to Lucretius, men learned music from the song of birds, and Pope describes them as learning from the mole to plough, from the nautilus to sail, and from bees and ants to form a political community. Perhaps we were behind the beaver in felling timber, in leading dams across rivers, and in building cabin villages,—behind the wasp in making paper, and behind the squirrel and spider in crossing streams upon rafts. So, if man had needed any example of war and violence and wrong, he had only to go to the ant-hill and see the red ants invade the camps of the black and bear off their little negro prisoners into slavery.

Whatever truth there may be in these ideas, it is at least conceivable that man may have profited from the example of these animals. He has copied from patterns set by Nature in tree and leaf and flower and plant; he has formed the Gothic arch and column from the trunks and interlacing boughs of the lofty avenue, the Corinthian capital from the acanthus foliage embracing a basket, and classic urns and vases from flowers. But no one could describe one species of the brute world as having derived a similar lesson from another, and much less from trees and plants. No species of animals has learnt anything new even from man, except within the narrow sphere of domestication.

It is only in particulars that instinct appears superior to reason in the works it achieves. When an animal is taken, ever so little, out of the ordinary circumstances in which its instincts act, it is apt to behave very foolishly. If a woodpecker's egg is hatched by a bird which builds an open nest upon the branches of a tree, when the young bird is grown large enough to shuffle about in the nest, induced by its instinct to suppose that its nest is in a hole walled round on all sides by the tree, with a long, narrow entrance down from above, it does not see that it has been inducted into the open nest of another bird, and is sure to tumble out. The bee and the ant, in a few particulars, show wonderful sagacity; but remove them from the narrow compass of their instincts, and all their wisdom is at an end. That animals are so wise in a few things and so wanting in wisdom in all others shows that they are endowed with a mental principle essentially of a different nature from that of the human race. "They do many things even better than ourselves," says Descartes; "but this does not prove them to be endowed with reason, for this would prove them to have more reason than we have, and that they should excel us in all other things also"; for reason can act not only in one direction, but in all.

But it will be said that instinct is not invariable,—that it often displays a capacity of accommodating itself, like reason, to circumstances, and is therefore a principle the same in kind with it,—or else that the animal has something of the rational faculty superadded to the instinctive. But does the animal make these variations in its conduct from a true perception of their meaning and purpose?

It is very natural for us to ascribe to reason those actions of other animals which would be ascribable to reason, if performed by man. "If," says Keller, (an old German writer,) "the fly be enabled to choose the place which suits her best for the deposition of her eggs, (as, for instance, in my sugar-basin, in which I placed a quantity of decaying wheat,) she takes a correct survey of every part and selects that in which she believes her ova will be the best preserved and her young ones well cared for." The fly, in this instance, apparently exercises an intelligent choice; but does any one doubt that the selection she makes is determined wholly by a blind, uncalculating instinct? The beaver selects a site for his dam at a place where the depth, width, and rapidity of the stream are most fit. There is a tree upon the bank, and food and materials for his work in the vicinity. If a man should attempt to build a beaver's dam, he would abstractly consider all these elements of fitness. The outward manifestations of the quality of abstraction are equally observable in either case. But we must not hastily conclude, because the beaver in one instance acts in a manner apparently reasonable, that he has any reason of his own; for, when we come to study the habits of this animal, we find that he displays all the characteristics of the instinctive principle. If animals are endowed with instincts which apparently act so much like reason in the ordinary course of their operations, we should not at once conclude that there is any need of endowing them with a modicum of reason to account for their deviations from this course, which do not outwardly resemble the acts of reason any more strongly. And besides, it is said, that, if we refer the variations to an intelligent principle, we must refer the ordinary conduct to the same principle. To use an old illustration,—if a bird is reasonable and intelligent, when, on perceiving the swollen waters of the stream approach her half-finished nest, she builds higher up the bank, she was intelligent while making her first nest, and was always intelligent; for how otherwise, it is asked, could she know when to lay down instinct and take up reason?

Instinct aims at certain definite ends; but these ends cannot always be reached by the same means, especially when places and circumstances are not the same. Accommodation is necessary, or it could not always produce the effects for which it is intended. Would the instinct of the spider be complete, if, after it has guided her to spin a web so neat and trim and regular, it did not also lead her to repair her broken snare, when the cords have been sundered by the struggles of some powerful captive? But this pliancy of the spider's instinct is no more remarkable than the contingent operation of the instincts of many species of animals. "It is remarkable," says Kirby, "that many of the insects which are occasionally observed to emigrate are not usually social animals, but seem to congregate, like swallows, merely for the purpose of emigration." When certain rare emergencies occur, which render it necessary for the insects to migrate, a contingent instinct develops itself, and renders an unsocial species gregarious.

It is probable that most of our domesticated species, exhibiting as they do in that condition attainments foreign to their natural habits and faculties in a wild state, were endowed with provisional instincts with a view to their association with man. But generally the docility of animals does not extend to attainments which are radically different from their habits and faculties in a wild state. Casual acquirements, which have no relation to their exigencies in their natural condition, never become hereditary, and are not, therefore, instinctive. A young pointer-dog, which has never been in the fields before, will not only point at a covey of partridges, but will remain motionless, like a well-trained dog. The fact that the sagacity of the pointer is hereditary shows that it is the development of an instinctive propensity; for simple knowledge is not transmitted by blood from one generation to another. We have heard of a pig that pointed game, and of another that was learned in letters; but we ascertain in every such instance that their foreign acquirements do not reappear in their progeny, but end with the pupils of the time being. The pig's peculiarity of pointing did not arise from the development of a provisional instinct, because it does not become hereditary; but the same act in the pointer-dog is instinctive,—for, when once brought out by associating with man, it has remained with the breed, being a part of the animal's nature, which existed in embryo till it was developed by a companionship with man, for whose use this faculty was alone intended.

Although the animals which especially display these exceptional or contingent instincts are those which are fitted for the use and comfort of man and may be domesticated, it is doubtless true that many other species are in some degree provided with them, and that they thus have a plasticity in their nature which enables them to exercise, under particular circumstances, unlooked-for attention, foresight, and caution. And besides, it is only in analogy with the laws of the physical world that instinct should admit of a slightly diversified application.

It is to be noticed in this connection that many animals are gifted with a wonderful sensibility of the senses,—the action of which is sometimes mistaken not only for the action of instinct, but for that of reason also. The acuteness of the sense of smell in the dog, which enables him to trace the steps of his master for miles through crowded streets by the infinitesimal odor which his footsteps left upon the pavement, is quite beyond our conception. Equally incomprehensible to us are the keenness of sight and wide range of vision of the eagle, which enable him to discover the rabbit nipping the clover amid the thick grass at a distance at which a like object would be to us altogether imperceptible. The chameleon is enabled to seize the little insects upon which it feeds by darting forth its wonderfully constructed tongue with such rapidity and with such delicacy of perception that "wonder-loving sages" have told us that it feeds upon the air.

It has been the belief of some observers that some animals have senses by which they are enabled to take cognizance of things which are not revealed directly to our senses. It is easy enough to conceive of beings endowed with a more perfect perception of the external world, both in its condition and the number of objects it presents, than we have, by means of other organs of outward perception. Voltaire, in one of his philosophical romances, represents an inhabitant of one of the planets of the Dog-Star as inquiring of the Secretary of the Academy of Sciences in the planet of Saturn, at which he had recently arrived in a journey through the heavens, how many senses the men of his globe had; and when the Academician answered, that they had seventy-two, and were every day complaining of the smallness of the number, he of the Dog-Star replied, that in his globe they had very near one thousand senses, and yet with all these they felt continually a sort of listless inquietude and vague desire which told them how very imperfect they were. But we shall not travel so far as this for our illustrations. We have all seen in the fields and about our houses birds and insects which seem to take cognizance of the electric state of the atmosphere; and we have learnt to feel quite sure, when, early in the morning of a summer's day, we see fresh piles of sand around the holes of the ants, that a storm is approaching, although the sky may as yet be cloudless and the air perfectly serene. In like manner birds perceive the approach of rain, and are all busy oiling and smoothing their feathers in preparation for it; and then, before the clouds break away, they come out from their retreats and joyfully hail the return of fair weather. So, by some analogous sense, the birds of passage are informed of the approach of winter and the return of spring.

It is doubtless true that in some animals the senses are immediately connected with instincts which assist and extend their operation. Metaphysicians and physiologists are agreed that the perception of distance is an acquired knowledge. The sense of sight by itself principally makes us conversant with extension only. The painting upon the retina of the eye presents all external things with flat surfaces and at the same distance. Before we can have any correct ideas of distance, we must be able to compare the result of the sense of sight with the result of the sense of feeling. By experience we in time come to judge something of distance by the size of the image which an object makes upon the retina, but more by our acquired knowledge of the form and color of external things. It is true that the eyes of many animals are constructed like those of man; but they do not learn to judge of distance by the same slow process. It is known from experiment that some animals have a perfect conception of distance at the moment of their birth; and the young of the greater part of animals possess some instinctive perception of this kind. "A flycatcher, for example, just come out of its shell, has been seen to peck at an insect with an aim as perfect as if it had been all its life engaged in learning the art." And so when the hen takes her chickens out into the field for the first time to feed, they seem to perceive very distinctly the relative distance of all objects about them, and will run by the straightest course when she calls them to pick up the little grains which she points out to them. Without this instinctive power of determining the relative distance and figure of objects, the young of most animals would perish before their sense of sight could be perfected, as ours is, by experience.

We have now noticed the chief characteristics of instinct: its existence prior to all experience or instruction; its incapacity of improvement, except within the narrow sphere of domestication; its limitation to a few objects, and the certainty of its action within these limits; the distinctness and permanence of its character for each species; and its constant hereditary nature. In regard to the uniformity of instinct throughout each species, it may be further remarked, that this seems to be very constantly preserved in the lowest divisions of the animal kingdom. Among the Articulates, also, instinct appears almost unvarying; and it is in this department among the insect tribes that the most striking manifestations of instinct are to be met with. When we arrive among the higher orders of the Vertebrates, we find in some species that each individual is capable of some modification of its actions, according to the particular circumstances in which it finds itself placed. But throughout the long series of animals, from the polype to man, there is instinctive action more or less in amount in every species, with, perhaps, the exception of man alone. The variety of that endowment, which is adapted to definite objects, means, and results, in each particular one of the five hundred thousand species estimated to be now living, may well call forth our admiration and astonishment at the magnitude and extent of the prospective contrivance of the Creator. How various the relations of all these animals to each other and to the inanimate world about them! and yet how admirable the adjustments of that immaterial principle which regulates their lives, so as to secure the well-being of each and the symmetry of the general plan!

There has been much diversity of opinion as to the existence of instincts in the human species,—some making the whole mind of man nothing but a bundle of instincts, and others wholly denying him any endowment of this nature, while others still have given him a complex mental nature, and have, moreover, declared that intellect and instinct in him are so interwoven that it is impossible to tell where the one begins and the other ends. But we believe, with the author of "Ancient Metaphysics," that in Nature, however intimately things are blended together and run into each other like different shades of the same color, the species of things are absolutely distinct, and that there are certain fixed boundaries which separate them, however difficult it may be for us to find them out. In regard to intelligence and instinct, the two principles seem to us to be not more distinctly and widely separated in their nature than in the provinces of their operation.

Sir Henry Holland, who believes that intelligence and instinct are blended in man, admits that instincts, properly so called, form the minimum in relation to reason, and are difficult of definition from their connection with his higher mental functions, but that, wherever we can truly distinguish them, they are the same in principle and manner of operation as those of other animals. He makes one distinction, however, between the instincts of man and those of lower animals,—that in the former they have more of individual character, are far less numerous and definite in relation to the physical conditions of life, and more various and extensive in regard to his moral nature. But, on the other hand, Sir B.C. Brodie seems to be of opinion that the majority of instincts belonging to man resemble those of the inferior animals, inasmuch as they relate to the preservation of the individual and the continuation of the species; and that when man first began to exist, and for some generations afterwards, the range of his instincts was much more extensive than it is at the present time. When authorities so eminent as these differ so widely upon the question, to what human instincts relate, we see at least that it is very difficult to define and distinguish these instincts, and we may be led to doubt their existence at all. Of that marvellous endowment which guides the bee to fabricate its cells according to laws of the most rigid mathematical exactness, and guides the swallow in its long flight to its winter home, we agree with Professor Bowen, that there is no trace whatever in human nature. The actions of man which have been loosely described as instinctive belong for the most part to those classes of actions which we have already shown to be in no proper sense of the word instinctive, that is, those concerned in the appetites and in the functions of organic life. There are also numerous automatic and habitual actions which are liable to be mistaken for instincts. Some have included in the category of instincts those intuitive perceptions and primary beliefs which are a part of our constitution, and are the foundation of all our knowledge. But these propensities of thought and feeling are of a higher nature than mere instincts; they are immutable laws of the human mind, which time and physical changes cannot reach: they do not seem to depend upon the physical organization, but to be inherent in the soul itself. If these are instincts, then, why are not all the ways in which the mind exerts itself instincts also, and reason itself an instinct?

There is hardly any human action, feeling, or belief, which has not been ranged under the term instinct. Hunger and thirst have been called instincts; so have the faculty of speech, the use of the right hand in preference to the left, the love of society, the desire to possess property, the desire to avoid danger and prolong life, and the belief in supernatural agencies, upon which is engrafted the religious sentiment. We cannot, in this paper, attempt to analyze these and many other similar examples which have been given as illustrations of instinct in treatises of high repute, and show that they do not at all come within that class of actions which we contrast with reason. In regard to those actions of early infancy which have often been adduced as illustrations of instinct, the physiologists of the present day are agreed that they are as mechanical as the act of breathing. To place these upon the same level with the complex and wonderful operations of the bee, the ant, and the beaver, is to admit that the instincts of the latter are merely reflex actions following impressions on the nerves of sense.

On the other hand, whether the animals inferior to man ever exercise any conscious process of reasoning is a question which has often been discussed, and upon which there is no general agreement. Instances of the remarkable sagacity of some domesticated animals are often adduced as proofs of reasoning on their part. Some of these wonderful feats may be traced to the unconscious faculty of imitation, which even in man often appears as a blind propensity, although he exercises an active and rational imitation as well. Sometimes the mere association of ideas, or the perception by animals that one thing is accompanied by another or that one event follows another, is mistaken for that higher principle which in man judges, reflects, and understands causes and effects. When the dog sees his master take down his gun, his blandishments show that he anticipates a renewal of the pleasures of the chase. He does not reflect upon past pleasures; but, seeing the gun in his master's hand, a confused idea of the feelings that were associated with the gun in times past is called up. So the ox and the horse learn to associate certain movements with the voice and gesture of man. And so a fish, about the most stupid of all animals, comes to a certain spot at a certain signal to be fed. These combinations are quite elementary. This is quite another thing from that reciprocal action of ideas on each other by which man perceives the relations of things, understands the laws of cause and effect, and not only forms judgments of the past, but draws conclusions which are laws for the future. We find in the brute no power of attending to and arranging its thoughts,—no power of calling up the past at will and reflecting upon it. The animal has the faculty of memory, and, when this is awakened, the object remembered may be accompanied by a train or attendance of accessory notions which have been connected with the object in the animal's past experience. But it never seems to be able to exercise the purely voluntary act of recollection. It is not capable of comparing one thing with another, so far as we can judge. If the animal could exercise any true act of comparison, there would be no limit to the exercise of it, and the animal would be an intelligent being; for the result of a simple act of comparison is judgment, and reasoning is only a double act of comparison. We have the authority of Sir William Hamilton for saying that the highest function of mind is nothing higher than comparison. Hence comes thought,—hence, the power of discovering truth,—and hence, the mind's highest dignity, in being able to ascend unassisted to the knowledge of a God. Those who hold that the minds of the inferior animals are essentially of the same nature with that of the human race, and differ only in degree, should reflect that the distinguishing attribute of the human mind does not admit of degrees. The faculty of comparison, in all its various applications, must be either wholly denied or else wholly attributed. Hence, Pope is not philosophical, when he applies the epithet "half-reasoning" to the elephant. "As reasoning," says Coleridge, "consists wholly in a man's power of seeing whether any two ideas which happen to be in his mind are or are not in contradiction with each other, it follows of necessity, not only that all men have reason, but that every individual has it in the same degree." We gather also from the same acute writer that in the simple determination, "black is not white," all the powers are implied that distinguish man from other animals. If, then, the brute reasoned at all, he would be a rational being, and would improve and gain knowledge by experience; and, moreover, he would be a moral agent, accountable for his conduct. "Would not the brute," asks an able writer in the "Zoölogical Journal," "take a survey of his lower powers, and would he not, as man does, either rightly use or pervert them, at his pleasure?"

It has been suggested by some one, that, by the law of merciful adaptation, which extends throughout the universe, thought would not be imprisoned and pent up forever in an intelligence wanting the power of expression. But it is also to be noticed that the want of an articulate language or a system of general signs puts it out of the power of animals to perform a single act of reasoning. The use of language to communicate wants and feelings is not peculiar to "word-dividing men," though enjoyed by them in a much higher degree than by other animals. Doubtless every species of social animals has some kind of language, however imperfect it may be. "We never watch the busy workers of the ant-hill," says Acheta Domestics, (the author of "Episodes of Insect-Life,") "stopping as they encounter and laying their heads together, without being pretty certain that they are saying to each other something quite as significant as 'Fine day.'" And when the morning wakes the choral song of the birds, they seem to be telling each other of their happiness. But though animals have a language appropriate to the expression of their sensations and emotions, they have no words, "those shadows of the soul, those living sounds." Words are symbols of thoughts, and may be considered as a revelation of the human mind. It is this use of language as an instrument of thought, as a system of general signs, which, according to Bishop Whately, distinguishes the language of man from that of the brute; and the same eminent authority declares that without such a system of general signs the reasoning process could not be conducted.

It is true, that we often see in the inferior animals manifestations of deductions of intellect similar to those of the human mind,—only that they are not made by the animals themselves, but for them and above their conscious perception. "When a bee," says Dr. Reid, "makes its combs so geometrically, the geometry is not in the bee, but in that great Geometrician who made the bee, and made all things in number, weight, and measure." Since the animal is not conscious of the intelligence and design which are manifested in its instincts, which it obeys and works out, the conscious life of the individual must be wholly a life within the senses. The senses alone can give the animal only an empirical knowledge of the world of its observation. The senses may register and report facts, but they can never arrive at an understanding of necessary truths; the source of this kind of knowledge is the rational mind, which has an active disposition to draw out these infallible laws and eternal truths from its own bosom. The main tendency of the rational mind is not towards mere phenomena, but their scientific explanation. It seeks to trace effects, as presented to us by the senses, back to the causes which produced them; or contemplating things wholly metaphysical, it seeks to follow out the laws which it has itself discovered, till they have gone through a thousand probable contingencies and lost themselves in numberless results. It is on account of this capacity and tendency of the human mind to look through fact to law, through individuals to classes, through effects to causes, through phenomena to general principles, that the late Dr. Burnap was led to declare, in a very interesting course of lectures which he delivered before the Lowell Institute a few years since, that he considered the first characteristic difference between the highest species of animals and the lowest race of man to be a capacity of science. But is not the whole edifice of human science built upon the simple faculty of comparison?

This is the ultimate analysis of all the highest manifestations of the human mind, whether of judgment, or reason, or intellect, or common sense, or the power of generalization, or the capacity of science. We have already quoted Hamilton to this effect, and we, moreover, have his authority for saying that the faculty of discovering truth, by a comparison of the notions we have obtained by observation and experience, is the attribute by which man is distinguished as a creature higher than the animals. We might also cite Leibnitz to the effect that men differ from animals in being capable of the formation of necessary judgments, and hence capable of demonstrative sciences.

But notwithstanding it seems so apparent that what is customarily called reason is the distinguishing endowment which makes man the "paragon of animals," we very often meet with attempts to set up some other distinction. We cannot here go into an examination of these various theories, or even allude to them specially. We will, however, briefly refer to a view which was recently advanced in one of our leading periodicals, inasmuch as it makes prominent a distinction which we wish to notice, although it seems to us to be only subordinate to the distinguishing attribute of the human mind which we have already pointed out. It is said that self-consciousness is what makes the great difference between man and other animals; that the latter do not separate themselves consciously from the world in which they exist; and that, though they have emotions, impulses, pains, and pleasures, every change of feeling in them takes at once the form of an outward change either in place or position. It is not intended, however, to be said that they have no conscious perception of external things. We cannot possibly conceive of an animal without this condition of consciousness. A consciousness of an outward world is an essential quality of the animal soul; this distinguishes the very lowest form of animal life from the vegetable world; and hence it cannot possibly be, as has been suggested by some, that there are any animate beings which have no endowments superior to those which belong to plants. The plant is not conscious of an outward world, when it sends out its roots to obtain the nourishment which is fitting for itself; but the polype, which is fixed with hundreds of its kind on the same coral-stock, and is able only to move its mouth and tentacles, is aware of the presence of the little craw-fish upon which it feeds, and throws out its lasso-cells and catches it. The world of which the polype has any perception is not a very large one. The outer world of a bird is vastly greater; and man knows a world without, which is immeasurably large beyond that of which any other animal is conscious, because both his physical organs and his mental faculties bring him into far the most diversified and intimate relations with all created things. He sees in every flower of the garden and every beast of the field, in the air and in the sea, in the earth beneath his feet and in the starry heavens above him, countless meanings which are hidden to all the living world besides. To him there is a world which has existed and a world that will exist. "Man," says Protagoras, "is the measure of the universe." But he has a greater dignity in being able to apprehend the world of thought within. "Whilst I study to find how I am a microcosm or little world," says Sir Thomas Browne, "I find myself something more than the great." Man can make himself an object to himself and gain the deepest insight into the workings of his own mind. This internal perception seems never to be developed in other animals. We have already observed that they have no thought of their own. The intelligence and design which they often manifest in their actions are not the workings of their own minds. The intelligence and design belong to Him who impressed the thought upon the animal's mind and unceasingly sustains it in action. They themselves are not conscious of any thought, but only of "certain dim imperious influences" which urge them on. They are conscious of feelings and desires and impulses. We could not conceive of the existence of these affections in animals without their having an immediate knowledge of them. Even "the function of voluntary motion," says Hamilton, "which is a function of the animal soul in the Peripatetic doctrine, ought not, as is generally done, to be excluded from the phenomena of consciousness and mind." The conscious life of the irrational tribes seems, then, to be a life almost wholly within the senses. They have nothing of that higher conscious personality which belongs to man and is an attribute of a free intellect.

A general statement of the points made out in the foregoing inquiry will more clearly show our conception of the nature and limitations of instinct. First, we limited the word instinct so as to exclude all those automatic and mechanical actions concerned in the simple functions of organic life,—as also to exclude the operations of the passions and appetites, since these seek no other end than their own gratification. Then it was shown that instinct exists prior to all experience or memory; that it comes to an instant or speedy perfection, and is not capable of any improvement or cultivation; that its objects are precise and limited; that within its proper sphere it often appears as the highest wisdom, but beyond this is only foolishness; that it uses complex and laborious means to provide for the future, without any prescience of it; that it performs important and rational operations which the animal neither intends nor knows anything about; that it is permanent for each species, and is transmitted as an hereditary gift of Nature; and that the few variations in its action result from the development of provisional faculties, or from blind imitation. We were led to conclude that instinct is not a free and conscious possession of the animal itself. We found some points of resemblance between intelligence in man and instinct in other animals,—but at the same time points of dissimilarity, such as to make the two principles appear radically unlike.

This brief summary presents nearly all that we can satisfactorily make out respecting instinct; and at the same time it shows how much is still wanting to a complete solution of all the questions which it involves. And then there are higher mysteries connected with the subject, which we do not attempt to penetrate,—mysteries in regard to the creation and the maintenance of instinctive action: whether it be the result of particular external conditions acting on the organization of animals, or whether, as Sir Isaac Newton thought, the Deity himself is virtually the active and present moving principle in them;—and mysteries, too, about the future of the brute world: whether, as Southey wrote,

        "There is another world
For all that live and move,—a better world."

If we ever find a path which seems about to lead us up to these mysteries, it speedily closes against us, and leaves us without any rational hope of attaining their solution.


"Oh, tell her, brief is life, but love is long."

"What have I got that you would like to have? Your letters are tied up and directed to you. Mother will give them to you, when she finds them in my desk. I could execute my last will myself, if it were not for giving her additional pain. I will leave everything for her to do except this: take these letters, and when I am dead, give them to Frank. There is not a reproach in them, and they are full of wit; but he won't laugh, when he reads them again. Choose now, what will you have of mine?"

"Well," I said, "give me the gold pen-holder that Redmond sent you after he went away."

Laura rose up in her bed, and seized me by my shoulder, and shook me, crying between her teeth, "You love him! you love him!" Then she fell back on her pillow. "Oh, if he were here now! He went, I say, to marry the woman he was engaged to before he saw you. He was nearly mad, though, when he went. The night mother gave them their last party, when you wore your black lace dress, and had pink roses in your hair, somehow I hardly knew you that night. I was in the little parlor, looking at the flowers on the mantelpiece, when Redmond came into the room, and, rushing up to me, bent down and whispered, 'Did you see her go? I shall see her no more; she is walking on the beach with Maurice.' He sighed so loud that I felt embarrassed; for I was afraid that Harry Lothrop, who was laughing and talking in a corner with two or three men, would hear him; but he was not aware that they were there. I did not know what to do, unless I ridiculed him. 'Follow them,' I said. 'Step on her flounces, and Maurice will have a chance to humiliate you with some of his cutting, exquisite politeness.' He never answered a word, and I would not look at him, but presently I understood that there were tears falling. Oh, you need not look towards me with such longing; he does not cry for you now. They seemed to bring him to his senses. He stamped his foot; but the carpet was thick; it only made a thud. Then he buttoned his coat, giving himself a violent twist as he did it, and looked at me with such a haughty composure, that, if I had been you, I should have trembled in my shoes. He walked across the room toward the group of men.—'Ah, Harry,' he said, 'where is Maurice?' 'Don't you know?' they all cried out; 'he has gone as Miss Denham's escort?' 'By Jove!' said Harry Lothrop,—'Miss Denham was as handsome as Cleopatra, to-night. Little Maurice is now singing to her. Did he take his guitar under his arm? It was here; for I saw a green bag near his hat, when we came in to-night.' Just then we heard the twang of a guitar under the window, and Redmond, in spite of himself, could not help a grimace.—Is it not a droll world?" said Laura, after a pause; "things come about so contrariwise."

She laughed such a shrill laugh, that I shuddered to hear it, and I fell a-crying. "But," she continued, "I am going, I trust, where a key will be given me for this cipher."

Tears came into her eyes, and an expression of gentleness filled her face.

"It is strange," she said, "when I know that I must die, that I should be so moved by earthly passions and so interested in earthly speculations. My heart supplicates God for peace and patience, and at the same moment my thoughts float away in dreams of the past. I shall soon be wiser; I am convinced of that. The doctrine of compensation extends beyond this world; if it be not so, why should I die at twenty, with all this mysterious suffering of soul? You must not wonder over me, when I am gone, and ask yourself, 'Why did she live?' Believe that I shall know why I lived, and let it suffice you and encourage you to go on bravely. Live and make your powers felt. Your nature is affluent, and you may yet learn how to be happy."

She sighed softly, and turned her face to the wall, and moved her fingers as sick people do. She waited for me to cease weeping: my tears rained over my face so that I could neither see nor speak.

After I had become calmer, she moved toward me again and took my hand: her own trembled.

"It is for the last time, Margaret. My good, skilful father gives me no medicine now. My sisters have come home; they sit about the house like mourners, with idle hands, and do not speak with each other. It is terrible, but it will soon be over."

She pulled at my hand for me to rise. I staggered up, and met her eyes.
Mine were dry now.

"Do not come here again. It will be enough for my family to look at my coffin. I feel better to think you will be spared the pain."

I nodded.


A sob broke in her throat.

"Margaret,"—she spoke like a little child,—"I am going to heaven."

I kissed her, but I was blind and dumb. I lifted her half out of the bed. She clasped her frail arms round me, and hid her face in my bosom.

"Oh, I love you!" she said.

Her heart gave such a violent plunge, that I felt it, and laid her back quickly. She waved her hand to me with a determined smile. I reached the door, still looking at her, crossed the dark threshold, and passed out of the house. The bold sunshine smote my face, and the insolent wind played about me. The whole earth was as brilliant and joyous as if it had never been furrowed by graves.

Laura lived some days after my interview with her. She sent me no message, and I did not go to see her. From the garret-windows of our house, which was half a mile distant from Laura's, I could see the windows of the room where she was lying. Three tall poplar-trees intervened in the landscape. I thought they stood motionless so that they might not intercept my view while I watched the house of death. One morning I saw that the blinds had been thrown back and the windows opened. I knew then that Laura was dead.

The day after the funeral I gave Frank his letters, his miniature, and the locket which held a ring of his hair.

"Is there a fire?" he asked, when I gave them to him; "I want to burn these things."

I went to another room with him.

"I'll leave everything here to-day; and may I never see this cursed place again! Did she die, do you know, because I held her promise that she would be my wife?"

He threw the papers into the grate, and crowded them down with his boot, and watched them till the last blackened flake disappeared. He then took from his neck a hair chain, and threw that into the fire also.

"It is all done now," he said.

He shook my hand with a firm grasp and left me.

A month later Laura's mother sent me a package containing two bundles of letters. It startled me to see that the direction was dated before she was taken ill:—"To be given to Margaret in case of my death. June 5th, 1848." They were my letters, and those which she had received from Harry Lothrop. On this envelop was written, "Put these into the black box he gave you." The gold pen-holder came into my hands also. Departure was engraved on the handle, and Laura's initials were cut in an emerald in its top. The black box was an ebony, gold-plated toy, which Harry Lothrop had given me at the same time Redmond gave Laura the pen-holder. It was when they went away, after a whole summer's visit in our little town, the year before. I locked the letters in the black box, and,

"Whether from reason or from impulse only,"

I know not, but I was prompted to write a line to Harry Lothrop. "Do not," I said, "write Laura any more letters. Those you have already written to her are in my keeping, for she is dead. Was it not a pleasant summer we passed together? The second autumn is already at hand: time flies the same, whether we are dull or gay. For all this period what remains except the poor harvest of a few letters?"

I received in answer an incoherent and agitated letter. What was the matter with Laura? he asked. He had not heard from her for months. Had any rupture occurred between her and her friend Frank? Did I suppose she was ever unhappy? He was shocked at the news, and said he must come and learn the particulars of the event. He thanked me for my note, and begged me to believe how sincere was his friendship for my poor friend.

"Redmond," he continued, "is, for the present, attached to the engineer corps to which I belong, and he has offered to take charge of my business while I am a day or two absent. He is in my room at this moment, holding your note in his hand, and appears painfully disturbed."

It was now a little past the time of year when Redmond and Harry Lothrop had left us,—early autumn. After their departure, Laura and I had been sentimental enough to talk over the events of their visit. Recalling these associations, we created an illusion of pleasure which of course could not last. Harry Lothrop wrote to Laura, but the correspondence declined and died. As time passed on, we talked less and less of our visitors, and finally ceased to speak of them. Neither of us knew or suspected the other of any deep or lasting feeling toward the two friends. Laura knew Redmond better than I did; at least, she saw him oftener; in fact, she knew both in a different way. They had visited her alone; while I had met them almost entirely in society. I never found so much time to spare as she seemed to have; for everybody liked her, and everybody sought her. As often as we had talked over our acquaintance, she was wary of speaking of Redmond. Her last conversation with me revealed her thoughts, and awakened feelings which I thought I had buffeted down. The tone of Harry Lothrop's note perplexed me, and I found myself drifting back into an old state of mind I had reason to dread.

As I said, the autumn had come round. Its quiet days, its sombre nights, filled my soul with melancholy. The lonesome moan of the sea and the waiting stillness of the woods were just the same a year ago; but Laura was dead, and Nature grieved me. Yet none of us are in one mood long, and at this very time there were intervals when I found something delicious in life, either in myself or the atmosphere.

  "Moreover, something is or seems
  That touches me with mystic gleams."

A golden morning, a starry night, the azure round of the sky, the undulating horizon of sea, the blue haze which rose and fell over the distant hills, the freshness of youth, the power of beauty,—all gave me deep voluptuous dreams.

I can afford to confess that I possessed beauty; for half my faults and miseries arose from the fact of my being beautiful. I was not vain, but as conscious of my beauty as I was of that of a flower, and sometimes it intoxicated me. For, in spite of the comforting novels of the Jane Eyre school, it is hardly possible to set an undue value upon beauty; it defies ennui.

As I expected, Harry Lothrop came to see me. The sad remembrance of Laura's death prevented any ceremony between us; we met as old acquaintances, of course, although we had never conversed together half an hour without interruption. I began with the theme of Laura's illness and death, and the relation which she had held toward me. All at once I discovered, without evidence, that he was indifferent to what I was saying; but I talked on mechanically, and like a phantasm the truth came to my mind. The real man was there,—not the one I had carelessly looked at and known through Laura.

I became silent.

He twisted his fingers in the fringe of my scarf, which had fallen off, and I watched them.

"Why," I abruptly asked, "have I not known you before?"

He let go the fringe, and folded his hands, and in a dreamy voice replied,—

"Redmond admires you."

"What a pity!" I said. "And you,—you admire me, or yourself, just now; which?"

He flushed slightly, but continued with a bland voice, which irritated and interested me.

"All that time I was so near you, and you scarcely saw me; what a chance I had to study you! Your friend was intelligent and sympathetic, so we struck a league of friendship: I could dare so much with her, because I knew that she was engaged to marry Mr. Ballard. I own that I have been troubled about her since I went away. How odd it is that I am here alone with you in this room! how many times I have wished it! I liked you best here; and while absent, the remembrance of it has been inseparable from the remembrance of you,—a picture within a picture. I know all that the room contains,—the white vases, and the wire baskets, with pots of Egyptian lilies and damask roses, the books bound in green and gold, the engravings of nymphs and fauns, the crimson bars in the carpet, the flowers on the cushions, and, best of all, the arched window and its low seat. But I had promised myself never to see you: it was all I could do for Laura. She is dead, and I am here."

I rose and walked to the window, and looked out on the misty sea, and felt strangely.

"Another lover," I thought,—"and Redmond's friend, and Laura's. But it all belongs to the comedy we play."

He came to where I stood.

"I know you so well," he said,—"your pride, your self-control, even your foibles: but they attract one, too. You did not escape heart-whole from Redmond's influence. He is not married yet, but he will be; he is a chivalrous fellow. It was a desperate matter between you two,—a hand-to-hand struggle. It is over with you both, I believe: you are something alike. Now may I offer you my friendship? If I love you, let me say so. Do not resist me. I appeal to the spirit of coquetry which tempted you before you saw me to-night. You are dressed to please me."

I was thinking what I should say, when he skilfully turned the conversation into an ordinary channel. He shook off his dreamy manner, and talked with his old vivacity. I was charmed a little; an association added to the charm, I fancy. It was late at night when he took his leave. He had arranged it all; for a man brought his carriage to the door and drove him to the next town, where he had procured it to come over from the railway.

When I was shut in my room for the night, rage took possession of me. I tore off my dress, twisted my hair with vehemence, and hurried to bed and tried to go to sleep, but could not, of course. As when we press our eyelids together for meditation or sleep, violet rings and changing rays of light flash and fade before the darkened eyeballs, so in the dark unrest of my mind the past flashed up, and this is what I saw:—

The county ball, where Laura and I first met Redmond, Harry Lothrop, and Maurice. We were struggling through the crowd of girls at the dressing-room door, to rejoin Frank, who was waiting for us. As we passed out, satisfied with the mutual inspection of our dresses of white silk, which were trimmed with bunches of rose-geranium, we saw a group of strangers close by us, buttoning their gloves, looking at their boots, and comparing looks. Laura pushed her fan against my arm; we looked at each other, and made signs behind Frank, and were caught in the act, not only by him, but by a tall gentleman in the group which she had signalled me to notice.

The shadow of a smile was travelling over his face as I caught his eye, but he turned away so suddenly that I had no opportunity for embarrassment. An usher gave us a place near the band, at the head of the hall.

"Do not be reckless, Laura," I said,—"at least till the music gives you an excuse."

"You are obliged to me, you know," she answered, "for directing your attention to such attractive prey. Being in bonds myself, I can only use my eyes for you: don't be ungrateful."

The band struck up a crashing polka, and she and Frank whirled away, with a hundred others. I found a seat and amused myself by contrasting the imperturbable countenances of the musicians with those of the dancers. The perfumes the women wore floated by me. These odors, the rhythmic motion of the dancers, and the hard, energetic music exhilarated me. The music ended, and the crowd began to buzz. The loud, inarticulate speech of a brilliant crowd is like good wine. As my acquaintances gathered about me, I began to feel its electricity, and grew blithe and vivacious. Presently I saw one of the ushers speaking to Frank, who went down the hall with him.

"Oh, my prophetic soul!" said Laura, "they are coming."

Frank came back with the three, and introduced them. Redmond asked me for the first quadrille, and Harry Lothrop engaged Laura. Frank said to me behind his handkerchief,—"It's en règle; I know where they came from; their fathers are brave, and their mothers are virtuous."

The quadrille had not commenced, so I talked with several persons near; but I felt a constraint, for I knew I was closely observed by the stranger, who was entirely quiet. Curiosity made me impatient for the dance to begin; and when we took our places, I was cool enough to examine him. Tall, slender, and swarthy, with a delicate moustache over a pair of thin scarlet lips, penetrating eyes, and a tranquil air. My antipodes in looks, for I was short and fair; my hair was straight and black like his, but my eyes were blue, and my mouth wide and full.

"What an unnaturally pleasant thing a ball-room is!" he said,—"before the dust rises and the lights flare, I mean. But nobody ever leaves early; as the freshness vanishes, the extravagance deepens. Did you ever notice how much faster the musicians play as it grows late? When we open the windows, the fresh breath of the night increases the delirium within. I have seen the quietest women toss their faded bouquets out of the windows without a thought of making a comparison between the flowers and themselves."

"My poor geraniums!" I said,—"what eloquence!"

He laughed, and answered,—

"My friend Maurice yonder would have said it twice as well."

We were in the promenade then, and stopped where the said Maurice was fanning himself against the wall.

"May I venture to ask you for a waltz, Miss Denham? it is the next dance on the card," said Maurice;—"but of course you are engaged."

I gave him my card, and he began to mark it, when Redmond took it, and placed his own initials against the dance after supper, and the last one on the list. He left me then, and I saw him a moment after talking with Laura.

We passed a gay night. When Laura and I equipped for our ten miles' ride, it was four in the morning. Redmond helped Frank to pack us in the carriage, and we rewarded him with a knot of faded leaves.

"This late event," said Laura, with a ministerial air, after we had started, "was a providential one. You, my dear Frank, were at liberty to pursue your favorite pastime of whist, in some remote apartment, without being conscience-torn respecting me. I have danced very well without you, thanks to the strangers. And you, Margaret, have had an unusual opportunity of displaying your latent forces. Three such different men! But let us drive fast. I am in want of the cup of tea which mother will have waiting for me."

We arrived first at my door. As I was going up the steps, Laura broke the silence; for neither of us had spoken since her remarks.

"By the way, they are coming here to stay awhile. They are anxious for some deep-sea fishing. They'll have it, I think."

I heard Frank's laugh of delight at Laura's wit, as the carriage drove off.

It was our last ball that season.

It was late in the spring; and when Redmond came with his two friends and settled at the hotel in our town, it was early summer. When I saw them again, they came with Laura and Frank to pay me a visit. Laura was already acquainted with them, and asked me if I did not perceive her superiority in the fact.

"Let us arrange," said Harry Lothrop, "some systematic plan of amusement by sea and land. I have a pair of horses, Maurice owns a guitar, and Redmond's boat will be here in a few days. Jones, our landlord, has two horses that are tolerable under the saddle. Let us ride, sail, and be serenaded. The Lake House, Jones again, is eight miles distant. This is Monday; shall we go there on horse-back Wednesday?"

Laura looked mournfully at Frank, who replied to her look,—

"You must go; I cannot; I shall go back to business to-morrow."

I glanced at Redmond; he was contemplating a portrait of myself at the age of fourteen.

"Shall we go?" Laura asked him.

"Nothing, thank you," he answered.

We all laughed, and Harry Lothrop said,—

"Redmond, my boy, how fond you are of pictures!"

Redmond, with an unmoved face, said,—

"Don't be absurd about my absent-mindedness. What were you saying?"

And he turned to me.

"Do you like our plan," I asked, "of going to the Lake House? There is a deep pond, a fine wood, a bridge,—perch, pickerel,—a one-story inn with a veranda,—ham and eggs, stewed quince, elderberry wine,—and a romantic road to ride over."

"I like it."

Frank opened a discussion on fishing; Laura and I withdrew, and went to the window-seat.

"I am light-hearted," I said.

"It is my duty to be melancholy," she replied; "but I shall not mope after Frank has gone."

"'After them the deluge,'" said I. "How long will they stay?"

"Till they are bored, I fancy."

"Oh, they are going; we must leave our recess."

Frank and she remained; the others bid us good-night.

"I shall not come again till Christmas," he said. "These college-chaps will amuse you and make the time pass; they are young,—quite suitable companions for you girls. Vive la bagatelle!"

He sighed, and, drawing Laura's arm in his, rose to go. She groaned loudly, and he nipped her ears.

"Good-bye, Margaret; let Laura take care of you. There is a deal of wisdom in her."

We shook hands, Laura moaning all the while, and they went home.

Frank and Laura had been engaged three years. He was about thirty, and was still too poor to marry.

Wednesday proved pleasant. We had an early dinner, and our cavalcade started from Laura's. I rode my small bay horse Folly, a gift from my absentee brother. His coat was sleeker than satin; his ears moved perpetually, and his wide nostrils were always in a quiver. He was not entirely safe, for now and then he jumped unexpectedly; but I had ridden him a year without accident, and felt enough acquainted with him not to be afraid.

Redmond eyed him.

"You are a bold rider," he said.

"No," I answered,—"a careful one. Look at the bit, and my whip, too. I cut his hind legs when he jumps. Observe that I do not wear a long skirt. I can slip off the saddle, if need be, without danger."

"That's all very well; but his eyes are vicious; he will serve you a trick some day."

"When he does, I'll sell him for a cart-horse."

Laura and Redmond rode Jones's horses. Harry Lothrop was mounted on his horse Black, a superb, thick-maned creature, with a cluster of white stars on one of his shoulders. Maurice rode a wall-eyed pony. Our friends Dickenson and Jack Parker drove two young ladies in a carriage,—all the saddle-horses our town could boast of being in use. We were in high spirits, and rode fast. I was occupied in watching Folly, who had not been out for several days. At last, tired of tugging at his mouth, I gave him rein, and he flew along. I tucked the edge of my skirt under the saddle-flap, slanted forward, and held the bridle with both hands close to his head. A long sandy reach of road lay before me. I enjoyed Folly's fierce trotting; but, as I expected, the good horse Black was on my track, while the rest of the party were far behind. He soon overtook me. Folly snorted when he heard Black's step. We pulled up, and the two horses began to sidle and prance, and throw up their heads so that we could not indulge in a bit of conversation.

"Brute!" said Harry Lothrop,—"if I were sure of getting on again, I would dismount and thrash you awfully."

"Remember Pickwick," I said; "don't do it."

I had hardly spoken, when the strap of his cap broke, and it fell from his head to the ground. I laughed, and so did he.

"I can hold your horse while you dismount for it."

I stopped Folly, and he forced Black near enough for me to seize the rein and twist it round my hand; when I had done so, Folly turned his head, and was tempted to take Black's mane in his teeth; Black felt it, reared, and came down with his nose in my lap. I could not loose my hands, which confused me, but I saw Harry Lothrop making a great leap. Both horses were running now, and he was lying across the saddle, trying to free my hand. It was over in an instant. He got his seat, and the horses were checked.

"Good God!" he said, "your fingers are crushed."

He pulled off my glove, and turned pale when he saw my purple hand.

"It is nothing," I said.

But I was miserably fatigued, and prayed that the Lake House might come in sight. We were near the wood, which extended to it, and I was wondering if we should ever reach it, when he said,—

"You must dismount, and rest under the first tree. We will wait there for the rest of the party to come up."

I did so. Numerous were the inquiries, when they reached us. Laura, when she heard the story, declared she now believed in Ellen Pickering. Redmond gave me a searching look, and asked me if the one-story inn had good beds.

"I can take a nap, if necessary," I answered, "in one of Mrs. Sampson's rush-bottomed chairs on the veranda. The croak of the frogs in the pond and the buzz of the bluebottles shall be my lullaby."

"No matter how, if you will rest," he said, and assisted me to remount.

We rode quietly together the rest of the way. After arriving, we girls went by ourselves into one of Mrs. Sampson's sloping chambers, where there was a low bedstead, and a thick feather-bed covered with a patchwork-quilt of the "Job's Trouble" pattern, a small, dim looking-glass surmounted by a bunch of "sparrow-grass," and an unpainted floor ornamented with home-made rugs which were embroidered with pink flower-pots containing worsted rose-bushes, the stalks, leaves, and flowers all in bright yellow. We hung up our riding-skirts on ancient wooden pegs, for we had worn others underneath them suitable for walking, and then tilted the wooden chairs at a comfortable angle against the wall, put our feet on the rounds, and felt at peace with all mankind.

"Alas!" I said, "it is too early for currant-pies."

"I saw," said one of the girls, "Mrs. Sampson poking the oven, and a smell of pies was in the air."

"Let us go into the kitchen," exclaimed Laura.

The proposal was agreeable; so we went, and found Mrs. Sampson making plum-cake.

"The pies are green-gooseberry-pies," whispered Laura,—"very good, too."

"Miss Denham," shrieked Mrs. Sampson, "you haven't done growing yet.—How's your mother and your grandmother?—Have you had a revival in your church?—I heard of the young men down to Jones's,—our minister's wife knows their fathers,—first-rate men, she says.—I thought you would be here with them.—'Sampson,' I said this morning, as soon as I dressed, 'do pick some gooseberries. I'll have before sundown twenty pies in this house.' There they are,—six gooseberry, six custard, and, though it's late for them, six mince, and two awful great pigeon pies. It's poor trash, I expect; I'm afraid you can't eat it; but it is as good as anybody's, I suppose."

We told her we should devour it all, but must first catch some fish; and we joined the gentlemen on the veranda. A boat was ready for us. Laura, however, refused to go in it. It was too small; it was wet; she wanted to walk on the bridge; she could watch us from that; she wanted some flowers, too. Like many who are not afraid of the ocean, she held ponds and lakes in abhorrence, and fear kept her from going with us. Harry Lothrop offered to stay with her, and take lines to fish from the bridge. She assented, and, after we pushed off, they strolled away.

The lake was as smooth and white as silver beneath the afternoon sun and a windless sky; it was bordered with a mound of green bushes, beyond which stretched deep pine woods. There was no shade, and we soon grew weary. Jack Parker caught all the fish, which flopped about our feet. A little way down, where the lake narrowed, we saw Laura and Harry Lothrop hanging over the bridge.

"They must be interested in conversation," I thought; "he has not lifted his line out of the water once."

Redmond, too, looked over that way often, and at last said,—

"We will row up to the bridge, and walk back to the house, if you,
Maurice, will take the boat to the little pier again."

"Oh, yes," said Maurice.

We came to the bridge, and Laura reached out her hand to me.

"Why, dear!" she exclaimed, "you have burnt your face. Why did you," turning to Redmond, "paddle about so long in the hot sun?"

Her words were light enough, but the tone of her voice was savage. Redmond looked surprised; he waved his hand deprecatingly, but said nothing. We went up toward the house, but Laura lingered behind, and did not come in till we were ready to go to supper.

It was past sundown when we rose from the ruins of Mrs. Sampson's pies. We voted not to start for home till the evening was advanced, so that we might enjoy the gloom of the pine wood. We sat on the veranda and heard the sounds of approaching night. The atmosphere was like powdered gold. Swallows fluttered in the air, delaying to drop into their nests, and chirped their evening song. We heard the plunge of the little turtles in the lake, and the noisy crows as they flew home over the distant tree-tops. They grew dark, and the sky deepened slowly into a soft gray. A gentle wind arose, and wafted us the sighs of the pines and their resinous odors. I was happy, but Laura was unaccountably silent.

"What is it, Laura?" I asked, in a whisper.

"Nothing, Margaret,—only it seems to me that we mortals are always riding or fishing, eating or drinking, and that we never get to living. To tell you the truth, the pies were too sour. Come, we must go," she said aloud.

Redmond himself brought Folly from the stable.

"We will ride home together," he said. "My calm nag will suit yours better than Black. Why does your hand tremble?"

He saw my shaking hands, as I took the rein; the fact was, my wrists were nearly broken.

"Nothing shall happen to-night, I assure you," he continued, while he tightened Folly's girth.

He contrived to be busy till all the party had disappeared down a turn of the road. As he was mounting his horse, Mrs. Sampson, who was on the steps, whispered to me,—

"He's a beautiful young man, now!"

He heard her; he had the ear of a wild animal; he took off his hat to
Mrs. Sampson, and we rode slowly away.

As soon as we were in the wood, Redmond tied the bridles of the horses together with his handkerchief. It was so dark that my sight could not separate him from his horse. They moved beside me, a vague, black shape. The horses' feet fell without noise in the cool, moist sand. If our companions were near us, we could not see them, and we did not hear them. Horses generally keep an even pace, when travelling at night,—subdued by the darkness, perhaps,—and Folly went along without swaying an inch. I dropped the rein on his neck, and took hold of the pommel. My hand fell on Redmond's. Before I could take it away, he had clasped it, and touched it with his lips. The movement was so sudden that I half lost my balance, but the horses stepped evenly together. He threw his arm round me, and recoiled from me as if he had received a blow.

"Take up your rein," he said, with a strange voice,—"quick!—we must ride fast out of this."

I made no reply, for I was trying to untie the handkerchief. The knot was too firm.

"No, no," he said, when he perceived what I was doing, "let it be so."

"Untie it, Sir!"

"I will not."

I put my face down between the horses' necks and bit it apart, and thrust it into my bosom.

"Now," I said, "shall we ride fast?"

He shook his rein, and we rode fiercely,—past our party, who shouted at us,—through the wood,—over the brow of the great hill, from whose top we saw the dark, motionless sea,—through the long street,—and through my father's gateway into the stable-yard, where I leaped from my horse, and, bridle in hand, said, "Good night!" in a loud voice.

Redmond swung his hat and galloped off.

Early next morning, Laura sent me a note:—

"DEAR MARGARET,—I have an ague, and mean to have it till Sunday night. The pines did it. Did you bring home any needles? On Monday, mother will give one of her whist-parties. I shall add a dozen or two of our set; you will come.

"P.S. What do you think of Mr. Harry Lothrop? Good young man, eh?"

I was glad that Laura had shut herself up for a few days; I dreaded to see her just now. I suffered from an inexplicable feeling of pride and disappointment, and did not care to have her discover it. Laura, like myself, sometimes chose to protect herself against neighborly invasions. We never kept our doors locked in the country; the sending in of a card was an unknown process there. Our acquaintances walked in upon us whenever the whim took them, and it now and then happened to be an inconvenience to us who loved an occasional fit of solitude. I determined to keep in-doors for a few days also. Whenever I was in an unquiet mood, I took to industry; so that day I set about arranging my drawers, making over my ribbons, and turning my room upside down. I rehung all my pictures, and moved my bottles and boxes. Then I mended my stockings, and marked my clothes, which was not a necessary piece of work, as I never left home. I next attacked the parlor,—washed all the vases, changed the places of the furniture, and distressed my mother very much. When evening came, I brushed my hair a good deal, and looked at my hands, and went to bed early. I could not read then, though I often took books from the shelves, and I would not think.

Sunday came round. The church-bells made me lonesome. I looked out of the window many times that day, and, fixing on the sash one of my father's ship-glasses, swept the sea, and peered at the islands on the other side of the bay, gazing through their openings, beyond which I could see the great dim ocean. Mother came home from church, and said young Maurice was there, and inquired about me. He hoped I did not take cold; his friend Redmond had been hoarse ever since our ride, and had passed most of the time in his own room, drumming on the window-pane and whistling dirges. Mother dropped her acute eyes on me, while she was telling me this; but I yawned all expression from my face.

As Monday night drew near, my numbness of feeling began to pass off; thought came into my brain by plunges. Now I desired; now I hoped. I dressed myself in black silk, and wore a cape of black Chantilly lace. I made my hair as glossy as possible, drew it down on my face, and put round my head a band composed of minute sticks of coral. When all was done, I took the candle and held it above my head and surveyed myself in the glass. I was very pale. The pupils of my eyes were dilated, as if I had received some impression that would not pass away. My lips had the redness of youth; their color was deepened by my paleness.

"How handsome I am!" I thought, as I set down the candle.

When I entered Laura's parlor, she came toward me and said,—

"Artful creature! you knew well, this warm night, that every girl of us would wear a light dress; so you wore a black one. How well you understand such matters! You are very clever; your real sensibility adds effect to your cleverness. I see how it is. Come into this corner. Have you got a fan? Good gracious! black, with gold spangles;—where do you buy your things? I can tell you now," she continued, "my conversation on the bridge the other day."

She hesitated, and asked me if I liked her new muslin. She did look well in it; it was a white fabric, with red rose-buds scattered over it. Her delicate face was shadowed by light brown curls. She was attractive, and I told her so, and she began again:—

"Harry Lothrop said, as he was impaling the half of a worm,—

"'Redmond is a handsome fellow, is he not?'

"'He is too awfully thin,' I answered, 'but his eyes are good.'

"He gave me a crafty side-look, like that of a parrot, when he means to bite your finger.

"'Your friend, too,' he added, 'is really one of the most beautiful girls I ever saw,—a coquette with a heart.'

"'Let down your line into the water,' I said.

"He laughed a little laugh. By-the-by, there is an insidious tenacity about Mr. Harry Lothrop which irritates me; but I like him, for I think he understands women. I feel at ease with him, when he is not throwing out his tenacious feelers. Then he said,—

"'Redmond is engaged to his cousin. The girl's mother had the charge of him through his boyhood. He is ardently attached to her,—the mother, I mean. She is most anxious to call Redmond her son.'

"'Didn't you have a bite?' I said.

"'Well, I think the bait is off the hook,' he answered; and then we were silent and pondered the water.

"There are some people I must speak to,"—and Laura moved away without looking at me.

I opened my fan, but felt chilly. A bustle near me caused me to raise my eyes; Redmond was speaking to a lady. He was in black, too, and very pale. He turned toward me and our eyes met. His expression agitated me so that I unconsciously rose to my feet and warned him off with my fan; but he seemed rooted to the spot. Laura took care of us both; she came and stood between us. I saw her look at him so sweetly and so mournfully, that he understood her in a moment. He shook his head and walked abruptly into another room. Laura went again from me without giving me a look. Maurice came up and I made room for him beside me. We talked of the riding-party, and then of our first meeting at the ball. He told me that Redmond's boat had arrived, and what a famous boat it was, and "what jolly sprees we fellows had, cruising about with her." I asked him about his guitar, and when we might hear him play. He grew more chatty and began to tell me about his sister, when Redmond and Harry Lothrop came over to us, which ended his chat.

The party was like all parties,—dull at first, and brighter as it grew late. The old ladies played whist in one room, and the younger part of the company were in another. Champagne was not a prevalent drink in our village, but it happened that we had some that night.

"It may be a sinful beverage," said an old lady near me, "but it is good."

Redmond opened a bottle for me, we clinked glasses, and drank to an indefinite, silent wish.

"One more," he asked, "and let us change glasses."

Presently a cloud of delicate warmth spread over my brain, and gave me courage to seek and meet his glance. There must have been an expression of irresolution in my face, for he looked at me inquiringly, and then his own face grew very sad. I felt awkward from my intuition of his opinion of my mood, when he relieved me by saying something about Shelley,—a copy of whose poems lay on a table near. From Shelley he went to his boat, and said he hoped to have some pleasant excursions with Laura and myself. He "would go at once and talk with Laura's mother about them." I watched him through the door, while he spoke to her. She was in a low chair, and he leaned his face on one hand close to hers. I saw that his natural expression was one of tranquillity and courage. He was not more than twenty-two, but the firmness of the lines about his mouth belied his youth.

"He has a wonderful face," I thought, "and just as wonderful a will."

I felt my own will rise as I looked at him,—a will that should make me mistress of myself, powerful enough to contend with, and resist, or turn to advantage any controlling fate which might come near me.

"Do you feel like singing?" Harry Lothrop inquired. "Do you know
Byron's song, 'One struggle more and I am free'?"

"Oh, yes!" I replied,—"it is set to music which suits my voice. I will sing it."

Laura had been playing polkas with great spirit. Since the Champagne, the old ladies had closed their games of whist for talking, and, as it was nearly time to go, the company was gay. There was laughing and talking when I began, but silence soon after, for the wine made my voice husky and effective. I sang as if deeply moved.

"Lord!" I heard Maurice say to Laura, as I rose from the piano, "what a girl! she's really tragic."

I caught Harry Lothrop's eye, as I passed through the door to go up-stairs; it was burning; I felt as if a hot coal had dropped on me. Maurice ran into the hall and sprang upon the stair-railing to ask me if he might be my escort home. That night he serenaded me. He was a good-hearted, cheerful creature; conceited, as small men are apt to be,—conceit answering for size with them,—but pleasantly so, and I learned to like him as much as Redmond did.

The summer days were passing. We had all sorts of parties,—parties in houses and out-of-doors; we rode and sailed and walked. Laura walked and talked much with Harry Lothrop. We did not often see each other alone, but, when we met, were more serious and affectionate with each other. We did not speak, except in a general way, of Redmond and Harry Lothrop. I did not avoid Redmond, nor did I seek him. We had many a serious conversation in public, as well as many a gay one; but I had never met him alone since the night we rode through the pines.

He went away for a fortnight. On the day of his return he came to see me. He looked so glad, when I entered the room, that I could not help feeling a wild thrill. I went up to him, but said nothing. He held out both his hands. I retreated. An angry feeling rushed into my heart.

"No," I said, "Whose hand did you hold last?"

He turned deadly pale.

"That of the woman I am going to marry."

I smiled to hide the trembling of my lips, and offered my hand to him; but he waved it away, and fell back on his chair, hurriedly drawing his handkerchief across his face. I saw that he was very faint, and stood against the door, waiting for him to recover.

"More than I have played the woman and the fool before you."


"I thought so. You seem experienced."

"I am."

"Forgive me," he said, gently; "being only a man, I think you can. Good
God!" he exclaimed, "what an infernal self-possession you show!"

"Redmond, is it not time to end this? The summer has been a long one,—has it not?—long enough for me to have learned what it is to live. Our positions are reversed since we have become acquainted. I am for the first time forgetting self, and you for the first time remember self. Redmond, you are a noble man. You have a steadfast soul. Do not be shaken. I am not like you; I am not simple or single-hearted. But I imitate you. Now come, I beg you will go."

"Certainly, I will. I have little to say."

August had nearly gone when Maurice told me they were about to leave.
Laura said we must prepare for retrospection and the fall sewing.

"Well," I said, "the future looks gloomy, and I must have some new dresses."

Maurice came to see me one morning in a state of excitement to say we were all going to Bird Island to spend the day, dine at the light-house, and sail home by moonlight. Fifteen of the party were going down by the sloop Sapphire, and Redmond had begged him to ask if Laura and I would go in his boat.

"Do go," said Maurice; "it will be our last excursion together; next week we are off. I am broken-hearted about it. I shall never be so happy again. I have actually whimpered once or twice. You should hear Redmond whistle nowadays. Harry pulls his moustache and laughs his oily laughs, but he is sorry to go, and kicks his clothes about awfully. By the way, he is going down in the sloop because Miss Fairfax is going,—he says,—that tall young lady with crinkled hair;—he hates her, and hopes to see her sick. May I come for you in the morning, by ten o'clock? Redmond will be waiting on the wharf."

"Tell Redmond," I answered, "that I will go; and will you ask Harry
Lothrop not to engage himself for all the reels to Miss Fairfax?"

He promised to fulfil my message, and went off in high spirits. I wondered, as I saw him going down the walk, why it was that I felt so much more natural and friendly with him than with either of his friends. I often talked confidentially to him; he knew how I loved my mother, and how I admired my father, and I told him all about my brother's business. He also knew what I liked best to eat and to wear. In return, he confided his family secrets to me. I knew his tastes and wishes. There was no common ground where I met Redmond and Harry Lothrop. There were too many topics between Redmond and myself to be avoided, for us to venture upon private or familiar conversation. Harry Lothrop was an accomplished, fastidious man of the world, I dreaded boring him, and so I said little. He was several years older than Redmond, and possessed more knowledge of men, women, and books. Redmond had no acquirements, he knew enough by nature, and I never saw a person with more fascination of manner and voice.

The evening before the sailing-party, I had a melancholy fit. I was restless, and after dark I put a shawl over my head and went out to walk. I went up a lonesome road, beyond our house. On one side I heard the water washing against the shore with regularity, as if it were breathing. On the other side were meadows, where there were cows crunching the grass. A mile farther was a low wood of oaks, through which ran a path. I determined to walk through that. The darkness and a sharp breeze which blew against me from limitless space made me feel as if I were the only human creature the elements could find to contend with, I turned down the little path into the deeper darkness of the wood, sat down on a heap of dead leaves, and began to cry.

"Mine is a miserable pride," was my thought,—"that of arming myself with beauty and talent and going through the world conquering! Girls are ignorant, till they are disappointed. The only knowledge men proffer us is the knowledge of the heart; it becomes us to profit by it. Redmond will marry that girl. He must, and shall. I will empty the dust and ashes of my heart as soon as the fire goes down: that is, I think so; but I know that I do not know myself. I have two natures,—one that acts, and one that is acted upon,—and I cannot always separate the one from the other."

Something darkened the opening into the path. Two persons passed in slowly. I perceived the odor of violets, and felt that one of them must be Laura. Waiting till they passed beyond me, I rose and went home.

The next morning was cloudy, and the sea was rough with a high wind; but we were old sailors, and decided to go on our excursion. The sloop and Redmond's boat left the wharf at the same time. We expected to be several hours beating down to Bird Island, for the wind was ahead. Laura and I, muffled in cloaks, were placed on the thwarts and neglected; for Redmond and Maurice were busy with the boat. Laura was silent, and looked ill. Redmond sat at the helm, and kept the boat up to the wind, which drove the hissing spray over us. The sloop hugged the shore, and did not feel the blast as we did. I slid along my seat to be near Redmond. He saw me coming, and put out his hand and drew me towards him, looking so kindly at me that I was melted. Trying to get at my handkerchief, which was in my dress-pocket, my cloak flew open, the wind caught it, and, as I rose to draw it closer, I nearly fell overboard. Redmond gave a spring to catch me, and the boat lost her headway. The sail flapped with a loud bang. Maurice swore, and we chopped about in the short sea.

"It is your destiny to have a scene, wherever you are," said Laura. "If I did not feel desperate, I should be frightened. But these green, crawling waves are so opaque, if we fall in, we shall not see ourselves drown."

"Courage! the boat is under way," Maurice cried out; "we are nearly there."

And rounding a little point, we saw the light-house at last. The sloop anchored a quarter of a mile from the shore, the water being shoal, and Redmond took off her party by instalments.

"What the deuse was the matter with you at one time?" asked Jack Parker. "We saw you were having a sort of convulsion. Our cap'n said you were bold chaps to be trifling with such a top-heavy boat."

"Miss Denham," said Redmond, "thought she could steer the boat as well as I could, and so the boat lost headway."

Harry Lothrop gave Redmond one of his soft smiles, and a vexed look passed over Redmond's face when he saw it.

We had to scramble over a low range of rocks to get to the shore. Redmond anchored his boat by one of them. Bird Island was a famous place for parties. It was a mile in extent. Not a creature was on it except the light-house keeper, his wife, and daughter. The gulls made their nests in its rocky borders; their shrill cries, the incessant dashing of the waves on the ledges, and the creaking of the lantern in the stone tower were all the sounds the family heard, except when they were invaded by some noisy party like ours. They were glad to see us. The light-house keeper went into the world only when it was necessary to buy stores, or when his wife and daughter wanted to pay a visit to the mainland.

The house was of stone, one story high, with thick walls. The small, deep-set windows and the low ceilings gave the rooms the air of a prison; but there was also an air of security about them: for, in looking from the narrow windows, one felt that the house was a steadfast ship in the circle of the turbulent sea, whose waves from every point seemed advancing towards it. A pale, coarse grass grew in the sand of the island. It was too feeble to resist the acrid breath of the ocean, so it shuddered perpetually, and bent landward, as if invoking the protection of its stepmother, the solid earth.

"It is perfect," said Redmond to me; "I have been looking for this spot all my life; I am ready to swear that I will never leave it."

We were sitting in a window, facing each other. He looked out toward the west, and presently was lost in thought. He folded his arms tightly across his breast, and his eyes were a hundred miles away. The sound of a fiddle in the long alley which led from the house to the tower broke his reverie.

"We shall be uproarious before we leave," I said; "we always are, when we come here."

The fun had already set in. Some of the girls had pinned up their dresses, and borrowed aprons from the light-house keeper's wife, and with scorched faces were helping her to make chowder and fry fish. Others were arranging the table, assisted by the young men, who put the dishes in the wrong places. Others were singing in the best room. One or two had brought novels along, and were reading them in corners. It was all merry and pleasant, but I felt quiet. Redmond entered into the spirit of the scene. I had never seen him so gay. He chatted with all the girls, interfering or helping, as the case might be. Maurice brought his guitar, and had a group about him at the foot of the tower-stairs. He sung loud, but his voice seemed to fluctuate;—now it rang through the tower, now it was half overpowered by the roar of the sea. His poetical temperament led him to choose songs in harmony with the place, not to suit the company,—melancholy words set to wild, fitful chords, which rose and died away according to the skill of the player. I had gone near him, for his singing had attracted me.

"You are inspired," I said.

He nodded.

"You never sung so before."

"I feel old to-day," he answered, and he swept his hands across all the strings; "my ditties are done."

After dinner Laura asked me to go out with her. We slipped away unseen, and went to the beach, and seated ourselves on a great rock whose outer side was lapped by the water. The sun had broken through the clouds, but shone luridly, giving the sea a leaden tint. The wind was going down. We had not been there long, when Redmond joined us. He asked us to go round the island in his boat. Laura declined, and said she would sit on the rock while we went, if I chose to go. I did choose to go, and he brought the boat to the rock. He hoisted the sail half up the mast, and we sailed close to the shore. It rose gradually along the east side of the island, and terminated in a bold ledge which curved into the sea. We ran inside the curve, where the water was nearly smooth. Redmond lowered the sail and the boat drifted toward the ledge slowly. A tongue of land, covered with pale sedge, was on the left side. Above the ledge, at the right, we could see the tower of the light-house. Redmond tied down the helm, and, throwing himself beside me, leaned his head on his hand, and looked at me a long time without speaking. I listened to the water, which plashed faintly against the bows. He covered his face with his hands. I looked out seaward over the tongue of land; my heart quaked, like the grass which grew upon it. At last he rose, and I saw that he was crying,—the tears rained fast.

"My soul is dying," he said, in a stifled voice; "I am not more than mortal,—I cannot endure it."

I pointed toward the open sea, which loomed so vague in the distance.

"The future is like that,—is it not? Courage! we must drift through it; we shall find something."

He stamped his foot on the deck.

"Women always talk so; but men are different. If there is a veil before us, we must tear it away,—not sit muffled in its folds, and speculate on what is behind it. Rise."

I obeyed him. He held me firmly. We were face to face.

"Look at me."

I did. His eyes were blazing.

"Do you love me?"


He placed me on the bench, hoisted the sail, untied the helm, and we were soon ploughing round to the spot where we had left Laura; but she was gone. On the rock where she was, perched a solitary gull, which flew away with a scream as we approached.

That day was the last that I saw Redmond alone. He was at the party at Laura's house which took place the night before they left. We did not bid each other adieu.

After the three friends had gone, they sent us gifts of remembrance.
Redmond's keepsake was a white fan with forget-me-nots painted on it.
To Laura he sent the pen-holder, which was now mine.

We missed them, and should have felt their loss, had no deep feeling been involved; for they gave an impetus to our dull country life, and the whole summer had been one of excitement and pleasure. We settled by degrees into our old habits. At Christmas, Frank came. He looked worried and older. He had heard something of Laura's intimacy with Harry Lothrop, and was troubled about it, I know: but I believe Laura was silent on the matter. She was quiet and affectionate toward him during his visit, and he went back consoled.

The winter passed. Spring came and went, and we were deep into the summer when Laura was taken ill. She had had a little cough, which no one except her mother noticed. Her spirits fell, and she failed fast. When I saw her last, she had been ill some weeks, and had never felt strong enough to talk as much as she did in that interview. She nerved herself to make the effort, and as she bade me farewell, bade farewell to life also. And now it was all over with her!

* * * * *

I fell asleep at length, and woke late. It seemed as if a year had dropped out of the procession of Time. My heart was still beating with the emotion which stirred it when Redmond and I were together last. Recollection had stung me to the quick. A terrible longing urged me to go and find him. The feeling I had when we were in the boat, face to face, thrilled my fibres again. I saw his gleaming eyes; I could have rushed through the air to meet him. But, alas! exaltation of feeling lasts only a moment; it drops us where it finds us. If it were not so, how easy to be a hero! The dull reaction of the present, like a slow avalanche, crushed and ground me into nothingness.

"Something must happen at last," I thought, "to amuse me, and make time endurable."

What can a woman do, when she knows that an epoch of feeling is rounded off, finished, dead? Go back to her story-books, her dress-making, her worsted-work? Shall she attempt to rise to mediocrity on the piano or in drawing, distribute tracts, become secretary of a Dorcas society? or shall she turn her mind to the matter of cultivating another lover at once? Few of us women have courage enough to shoulder out the corpses of what men leave in our hearts. We keep them there, and conceal the ruins in which they lie. We grow cunning and artful in our tricks, the longer we practise them. But how we palpitate and shrink and shudder, when we are alone in the dark!

After Redmond departed, I had locked up my feelings and thrown the key away. The death of Laura, and the awakening of my recollections, caused by the appearance of Harry Lothrop, wrenched the door open. Hitherto I had acted with the bravery of a girl; I must now behave with the resolution of a woman. I looked into my heart closely. No skeleton was there, but the image of a living man,—Redmond.

"I love him," I confessed. "To be his wife and the mother of his children is the only lot I ever care to choose. He is noble, handsome, and loyal. But I cannot belong to him, nor can he ever be mine.

  "'Of love that never found his earthly close
  What sequel?'

"What did he do with the remembrance of me? He scattered it, perhaps, with the ashes of the first cigar he smoked after he went from me,—made a mound of it, maybe, in honor of Duty. I am as ignorant of him as if he no longer existed; so this image must be torn away. I will not burn the lamp of life before it, but will build up the niche where it stands into a solid wall."

The ideal happiness of love is so sweet and powerful, that, for a while, adverse influences only exalt the imagination. When Laura told me of Redmond's engagement, it did but change my dream of what might be into what might have been. It was a mirage which continued while he was present and faded with his departure. Then my heart was locked in the depths of will, till circumstance brought it a power of revenge. I think now, if we had spoken freely and truly to each other, I should have suffered less when I saw his friend. We feel better when the funeral of our dearest friend is over and we have returned to the house. There is to be no more preparation, no waiting; the windows may be opened, and the doors set wide; the very dreariness and desolation force our attention towards the living.

"Something will come," I thought; and I determined not to have any more reveries. "Mr. Harry Lothrop is a pleasant riddle; I shall see him soon, or he will write."

It occurred to me then that I had some letters of his already in my possession,—those he had written to Laura. I found the ebony box, and, taking from it the sealed package, unfolded the letters one by one, reading them according to their dates. There was a note among them for me, from Laura.

"When you read these letters, Margaret," it said, "you will see that I must have studied the writer of them in vain. You know now that he made me unhappy; not that I was in love with him much, but he stirred depths of feeling which I had no knowledge of, and which between Frank, my betrothed husband, and myself had no existence. But 'le roi s'amuse.' Perhaps a strong passion will master this man; but I shall never know. Will you?"

I laid the letters back in their place, and felt no very strong desire to learn anything more of the writer. I did not know then how little trouble it would be,—my share of making the acquaintance.

It was not many weeks before Mr. Lothrop came again, and rather ostentatiously, so that everybody knew of his visit to me. But he saw none of the friends he had made during his stay the year before. I happened to see him coming, and went to the door to meet him. Almost his first words were,—

"Maurice is dead. He went to Florida,—took the fever,—which killed him, of course. He died only a week after—after Laura. Poor fellow! did he interest you much? I believe he was in love with you, too; but musical people are never desperate, except when they play a false note."

"Yes," I answered; "I was fond of him. His conceit did not trouble me, and he never fatigued me; he had nothing to conceal. He was a commonplace man; one liked him, when with him,—and when away, one had no thought about him."

"I alone am left you," said my visitor, putting his hat on a chair, and slowly pulling off his gloves, finger by finger.

He had slender, white hands, like a woman's, and they were always in motion. After he had thrown his gloves into his hat, he put his finger against his cheek, leaned his elbow on the arm of his chair, crossed his legs, and looked at me with a cunning self-possession. I glanced at his feet; they were small and well-booted. I looked into his face; it was not a handsome one; but he had magnetic eyes, of a lightish blue, and a clever, loose mouth. It is impossible to describe him,—just as impossible as it is for a man who was born a boor to attain the bearing of a gentleman; any attempt at it would prove a bungling matter, when compared with the original. He felt my scrutiny, and knew, too, that I had never looked at him till then.

"Do you sing nowadays?" he asked, tapping with his fingers the keys of the piano behind him.


"They suit you admirably; but I perceive you attend to your dress still. How effective those velvet bands are! You look older than you did two years ago."

"Two years are enough to age a woman."

"Yes, if she is miserable. Can you be unhappy?" he asked, rising, and taking a seat beside me.

There was a tone of sympathy in his voice which made me shudder, I knew not why. It was neither aversion nor liking; but I dreaded to be thrown into any tumult of feeling. I realized afterward more fully that it is next to impossible for a passionate woman to receive the sincere addresses of a manly man without feeling some fluctuation of soul. Ignorant spectators call her a coquette for this. Happily, there are teachers among our own sex, women of cold temperaments, able to vindicate themselves from the imputation. They spare themselves great waste of heart and some generous emotion,—also remorse and self-accusations regarding the want of propriety, and the other ingredients which go to make up a white-muslin heroine.

Harry Lothrop saw that my cheek was burning, and made a movement toward me. I tossed my head back, and moved down the sofa; he did not follow me, but smiled and mused in his old way.

And so it went on,—not once, but many times. He wrote me quiet, persuasive, eloquent letters. By degrees I learned his own history and that of his family, his prospects and his intentions. He was rich. I knew well what position I should have, if I were his wife. My beauty would be splendidly set. I was well enough off, but not rich enough to harmonize all things according to my taste. I was proud, and he was refined; if we were married, what better promise of delicacy could be given than that of pride in a woman, refinement in a man? He brought me flowers or books, when he came. The flowers were not delicate and inodorous, but magnificent and deep-scented; and the material of the books was stalwart and vigorous. I read his favorite authors with him. He was the first person who ever made any appeal to my intellect. In short, he was educating me for a purpose.

Once he offered me a diamond cross. I refused it, and he never asked me to accept any gift again. His visits were not frequent, and they were short. However great the distance he accomplished to reach me, he staid only an evening, and then returned. He came and went at night. In time I grew to look upon our connection as an established thing. He made me understand that he loved me, and that he only waited for me to return it; but he did not say so.

I lived an idle life, inhaling the perfume of the flowers he gave me, devouring old literature, the taste for which he had created, and reading and answering his letters. To be sure, other duties were fulfilled, I was an affectionate child to my parents, and a proper acquaintance for my friends. I never lost any sleep now, nor was I troubled with dreams. I lived in the outward; all my restless activity, that constant questioning of the heavens and the earth, had ceased entirely. Five years had passed since I first saw Redmond. I was now twenty-four. The Fates grew tired of the monotony of my life, I suppose, for about this time it changed.

My oldest brother, a bachelor, lived in New York. He asked me to spend the winter with him; he lived in a quiet hotel, had a suite of rooms, and could make me comfortable, he said. He had just asked somebody to marry him, and that somebody wished to make my acquaintance. I was glad to go. My heart gave a bound at the prospect of change; I was still young enough to dream of the impossible, when any chance offered itself to my imagination; so I accepted my brother's invitation with some elation.

I had been in New York a month. One day I was out with my future sister, on a shopping raid; with our hands full of little paper parcels, we stopped to look into Goupil's window. There was always a rim of crowd there, so I paid no attention to the jostles we received. We were looking at an engraving of Ary Scheffer's Françoise de Rimini. "Not the worst hell," muttered a voice behind me, which I knew. I started, and pulled Leonora's arm; she turned round, and the fringe of her cloak-sleeve caught a button on the overcoat of one of the gentlemen standing together. It was Redmond; the other was his "ancient," Harry Lothrop. Leonora was arrested; I stood still, of course. Redmond had not seen my face, for I turned it from him; and his head was bent down to the task of disengaging his button.

  "'Each only as God wills
  Can work; God's puppets, best and worst,
  Are we; there is no last nor first,'"

I thought, and turned my head. He instinctively took off his hat, and then planted it back on his head firmly, and looked over to Harry Lothrop, to whom I gave my hand. He knew me before I saw him, I am convinced; but his dramatic sense kept him silent,—perhaps a deeper feeling. There was an expression of pain in his face, which impelled me to take his arm.

"Let us move on, Leonora," I said; "these are some summer friends of mine," and I introduced them to her.

My chief feeling was embarrassment, which was shared by all the party; for Leonora felt that there was something unusual in the meeting. The door of the hotel seemed to come round at last, and as we were going in, Harry Lothrop asked me if he might see me the next morning.

"Do come," I answered aloud.

We all bowed, and they disappeared.

"What an elegant Indian your tall friend is!" said Leonora.

"Yes,—of the Camanche tribe."

"But he would look better hanging from his horse's mane than he does in a long coat."

"He is spoiled by civilization and white parents. But, Leonora, stay and dine with me, in my own room. John will not come home till it is time for the opera. You know we are going. You must make me splendid; you can torture me into style, I know."

She consented, provided I would send a note to her mother, explaining that it was my invitation, and not her old John's, as she irreverently called him. I did so, and she was delighted to stay.

"This is fast," she said; "can't we have Champagne and black coffee?"

She fell to rummaging John's closets, and brought out a dusty, Chinese-looking affair, which she put on for a dressing-gown. She found some Chinese straw shoes, and tucked her little feet into them, and then braided her hair in a long tail, and declared she was ready for dinner. Her gayety was refreshing, and I did not wonder at John's admiration. My spirits rose, too, and I astonished Leonora at the table with my chat; she had never seen me except when quiet. I fell into one of those unselfish, unasking moods which are the glory of youth: I felt that the pure heaven of love was in the depths of my being; my soul shone like a star in its atmosphere; my heart throbbed, and I cried softly to it,—"Live! live! he is here!" I still chatted with Leonora and made her laugh, and the child for the first time thoroughly liked me. We were finishing our dessert, when we heard John's knock. We allowed him to come in for a moment, and gave him some almonds, which, he leisurely cracked and ate.

"Somehow, Margaret," he said, "you remind me of those women who enjoy the Indian festival of the funeral pile. I have seen the thing done; you have something of the sort in your mind; be sure to immolate yourself handsomely. Women are the deuse."

"Finish your almonds, John," I said, "and go away; we must dress."

He put his hand on my arm, and whispered,—

"Smother that light in your eyes, my girl; it is dangerous. And you have lived under your mother's eye all your life! You see what I have done,"—indicating Leonora with his eyebrows,—"taken a baby on my hands."

"John, John!" I inwardly ejaculated, "you are an idiot."

"She shall never suffer what you suffer; she shall have the benefit of the experience which other women have given me."

"Very likely," I answered; "I know we often serve you as pioneers merely."

He gave a sad nod, and I closed the door upon him.

"Put these pins into my hair, Leonora, and tell me, how do you like my new dress?"

"Paris!" she cried.

It was a dove-colored silk with a black velvet stripe through it. I showed her a shawl which John had given me,—a pale-yellow gauzy fabric with a gold-thread border,—and told her to make me up. She produced quite a marvellous effect; for this baby understood the art of dress to perfection. She made my hair into a loose mass, rolling it away from my face; yet it was firmly fastened. Then she shook out the shawl, and wrapped me in it, so that my head seemed to be emerging from a pale-tinted cloud. John said I looked outlandish, but Leonora thought otherwise. She begged him for some Indian perfume, and he found an aromatic powder, which she sprinkled inside my gloves and over my shawl.

We found the opera-house crowded. Our seats were near the stage. John sat behind us, so that he might slip out into the lobby occasionally; for the opera was a bore to him. The second act was over; John had left his seat; I was opening and shutting my fan mechanically, half lost in thought, when Leonora, who had been looking at the house with her lorgnette, turned and said,—

"Is not that your friend of this morning, on the other side, in the second row, leaning against the third pillar? There is a queenish-looking old lady with him. He hasn't spoken to her for a long time, and she continually looks up at him."

I took her glass, and discovered Redmond. He looked back at me through another; I made a slight motion with my handkerchief; he dropped his glass into the lap of the lady next him and darted out, and in a moment he was behind me in John's seat.

"Who is with you?" he asked.

"Brother," I answered.

"You intoxicate me with some strange perfume; don't fan it this way."

I quietly passed the fan to Leonora, who now looked back and spoke to him. He talked with her a moment, and then she discreetly resumed her lorgnette.

"What happened for two years after I left B.? The last year I know something of."

"Breakfast, dinner, and tea; the ebb and flow of the tide; and the days of the week."

"Nothing more?" And his voice came nearer.

"A few trifles."

"They are under lock and key, I suppose?"

"We do not carry relics about with us."

"There is the conductor; I must go. Turn your face toward me more."

I obeyed him, and our eyes met. His searching gaze made me shiver.

"I have been married," he said, and his eyes were unflinching, "and my wife is dead."

All the lights went down, I thought; I struck out my arm to find
Leonora, who caught it and pressed it down.

"I must get out," I said; and I walked up the alley to the door without stumbling.

I knew that I was fainting or dying; as I had never fainted, I did not know which. Redmond carried me through the cloak-room and put me on a sofa.

"I never can speak to him again," I thought, and then I lost sight of them all.

A terribly sharp pain through my heart roused me, and I was in a violent chill. They had thrown water over my face; my hair was matted, and the water was dripping from it on my naked shoulders. The gloves had been ripped from my hands, and Leonora was wringing my handkerchief.

"The heat made you faint, dear," she said.

John was walking up and down the room with a phlegmatic countenance, but he was fuming.

"My new dress is ruined, John," I said.

"Hang the dress! How do you feel now?"

"It is drowned; and I feel better; shall we go home?"

He went out to order the carriage, and Leonora whispered to me that she had forgotten Redmond's name.

"No matter," I answered. I could not have spoken it then.

When John came, Leonora beckoned to Redmond to introduce himself. John shook hands with him, gave him an intent look, and told us the carriage was ready. Redmond followed us, and took leave of us at the carriage-door.

Leonora begged me to stay at her house; I refused, for I wished to be alone. John deposited her with her mother, and we drove home. He gave me one of his infallible medicines, and told me not to get up in the morning. But when morning came, I remembered Harry Lothrop was coming, and made myself ready for him. As human nature is not quite perfect, I felt unhappy about him, and rather fond of him, and thought he possessed some admirable qualities. I never could read the old poets any more without a pang, unless he were with me, directing my eye along their pages with his long white finger! I never should smell tuberoses again without feeling faint, unless they were his gift!

By the time he came I was in a state of romantic regret, and in that state many a woman has answered, "Yes!" He asked me abruptly if I thought it would be folly in him to ask me to marry him. The question turned the tide.

"No," I answered,—"not folly; for I have thought many times in the last two years, that I should marry you, if you said I must. But now I believe that it is not best. You have pursued me patiently; your self-love made the conquest of me a necessary pleasure. That was well enough for me; for you made me feel all the while, that, if I loved you, you were worth possessing. And you are. I like you. But my feeling for you did not prevent my fainting away at the opera-house last night, when Redmond told me that his wife was dead."

"So," he said, "the long-smothered fire has broken out again! Chance does not befriend me. He saw you last night, and yielded. He said yesterday he should not tell you. He asked me about you after we left you, and wished to know if I had seen you much for the last year. I offered him your last letter to read,—am I not generous?—but he refused it.

"'When I see her,' he asked, 'am I at liberty to say what I choose?'

"On that I could have said, 'No.' Redmond and I have not seen each other since the period of my first visit to you. He has been nursing his wife in the mean time, taking journeys with her, and trying all sorts of cures; and now he seems tied to his aunt and mother-in-law. He was merely passing through the city with her, and this morning they have gone again.—Well," after a pause, "there is no need of words between us. I have in my possession a part of you. Beautiful women are like flowers which open their leaves wide enough for their perfume to attract wandering bees; the perfume is wasted, though the honey may be hid."

"Alas, what a lesson this man is giving me!" I thought.

"Farewell, then," he said. He bit his lips, and his clenched hands trembled; but he mastered his emotion. "You must think of me."

"And see you, too," I answered. "Everything comes round again, if we live long enough. Dramatic unities are never preserved in life; if they were, how poetical would all these things be! But Time whirls us round, showing us our many-sided feelings as carelessly as a child rattles the bits of glass in his kaleidoscope."

"So be it!" he replied. "Adieu!"

That afternoon I staid at home, and put John's room in order, and cleaned the dust from his Indian idols, and was extremely busy till he came in. Then I kissed his whiskers, and told him all my sins, and cried once or twice during my confession. He petted me a good deal, and made me eat twice as much dinner as I wanted; he said it was good for me, and I obeyed him, for I felt uncommonly meek that day.

Soon after, Redmond sent me a long letter. He said he had been, from a boy, under an obligation to his aunt, the mother of his wife. It was a common story, and he would not trouble me with it. He was married soon after Harry Lothrop's first visit to me, at the time they had received the news of Laura's death. How much he had thought of Laura afterward, while he was watching the fading away of his pale blossom! His aunt had been ill since the death of her daughter, restless, and discontented with every change. He hoped she was now settled among some old friends with whom she might find consolation. In conclusion, he wrote,—"My aunt noticed our hasty exit from the opera-house that night, when I was brute enough to nearly kill you. I told her that I loved you. She now feels, after a struggle, that she must let me go. 'Old women have no rights,' she said to me yesterday. Margaret, may I come, and never leave you again?"

My answer may be guessed, for one day he arrived. It was the dusk of a cheery winter day, the time when home wears so bright a look to those who seek it. It was an hour before dinner, and I was waiting for John to come in. The amber evening sky gleamed before the windows, and the fire made a red core of light in the room. John's sandal-wood boxes gave out strange odors in the heat, and the pattern of the Persian rug was just visible. A servant came to the door with a card. I held it to the grate, and the fire lit up his name.

"Show him up-stairs," I said.

I stood in the doorway, and heard his step on every stair. When he came, I took him by the hand, and drew him into the room. He was speechless.

"Oh, Redmond, I love you! How long you were away!"

He kneeled by me, and put my arms round his neck, and we kissed each other with the first, best kiss of passion.

John came in, and I reached out my hand to him and said, "This is my husband."

"That's comfortable," he answered. "Won't you stay to dinner?"

"Oh, yes," replied Redmond; "this is my hotel."

"I see," said John.

But after dinner they had a long talk together. John sent me to my room, and I was glad to go. I walked up and down, crying, I must say, most of the time, asking forgiveness of myself for my faults, and remembering Laura and Maurice,—and then thinking Redmond was mine, with a contraction of the heart which threatened to stifle me.

John took us up to Leonora's that evening; he said he wanted to see if Puss would be tantalized with the sight of such a beautiful romantic couple just from fairy-land, who were now prepared "to live in peace."

We were married the next day in a church in a by-street. John was the only witness, and flourished a large silk handkerchief, so that it had the effect of a triumphal banner. Redmond put the ring on the wrong finger,—a mistake which the minister kindly rectified. All I had new for the occasion was a pair of gloves.

One morning after my marriage, when Redmond and John were smoking together, I was turning over some boxes, for I was packing to go home on a visit to our mother. I called Redmond to leave his pipe and come to me.

"You have not seen any of my property. Look, here it is:—

"One bitten handkerchief.

"A fan never used.

"A gold pen-holder.

"A draggled shawl."

"Margaret," he said, taking my chin in his hand and bringing his eyes close to mine, "I am wild with happiness."

"Your pipe has gone out," we heard John say.

* * * * *


  The pines were dark on Ramoth hill,
    Their song was soft and low;
  The blossoms in the sweet May wind
    Were falling like the snow.

  The blossoms drifted at our feet,
    The orchard birds sang clear;
  The sweetest and the saddest day
    It seemed of all the year.

  For, more to me than birds or flowers,
    My playmate left her home,
  And took with her the laughing spring,
    The music and the bloom.

  She kissed the lips of kith and kin,
    She laid her hand in mine:
  What more could ask the bashful boy
    Who fed her father's kine?

  She left us in the bloom of May:
    The constant years told o'er
  Their seasons with as sweet May morns.
    But she came back no more.

  I walk, with noiseless feet, the round
    Of uneventful years;
  Still o'er and o'er I sow the spring
    And reap the autumn ears.

  She lives where all the golden year
    Her summer roses blow;
  The dusky children of the sun
    Before her come and go.

  There haply with her jewelled hands
    She smooths her silken gown,—
  No more the homespun lap wherein
    I shook the walnuts down.

  The wild grapes wait us by the brook,
    The brown nuts on the hill,
  And still the May-day flowers make sweet
    The woods of Follymill.

  The lilies blossom in the pond,
    The bird builds in the tree,
  The dark pines sing on Ramoth hill
    The slow song of the sea.

  I wonder if she thinks of them,
    And how the old time seems,—
  If ever the pines of Ramoth wood
    Are sounding in her dreams.

  I see her face, I hear her voice:
    Does she remember mine?
  And what to her is now the boy
    Who fed her father's kine?

  What cares she that the orioles build
    For other eyes than ours,—
  That other hands with nuts are filled,
    And other laps with flowers?

  O playmate in the golden time!
    Our mossy seat is green,
  Its fringing violets blossom yet,
    The old trees o'er it lean.

  The winds so sweet with birch and fern
    A sweeter memory blow;
  And there in spring the veeries sing
    The song of long ago.

  And still the pines of Ramoth wood
    Are moaning like the sea,—
  The moaning of the sea of change
    Between myself and thee!


When that eccentric individual, Captain John Gabriel Stedman, resigned his commission in the English navy, took the oath of abjuration, and was appointed ensign in the Scots brigade employed for two centuries by Holland, he little knew that "their High Mightinesses the States of the United Provinces" would send him out, within a year, to the forests of Guiana, to subdue rebel negroes. He never imagined that the year 1773 would behold him beneath the rainy season in a tropical country, wading through marshes and splashing through lakes, exploring with his feet for submerged paths, commanding impracticable troops and commanded by an insufferable colonel, feeding on gree-gree worms and fed upon by mosquitoes, howled at by jaguars, hissed at by serpents, and shot at by those exceedingly unattainable gentlemen, "still longed for, never seen," the Maroons of Surinam.

Yet, as our young ensign sailed up the Surinam river, the world of tropic beauty came upon him with enchantment. Dark, moist verdure was close around him, rippling waters below; the tall trees of the jungle and the low mangroves beneath were all hung with long vines and lianas, a maze of cordage, like a fleet at anchor; odd monkeys travelled ceaselessly up and down these airy paths, in armies, bearing their young, like knapsacks, on their backs; macaws and humming-birds, winged jewels, flew from tree to tree. As they neared Paramaribo, the river became a smooth canal among luxuriant plantations, the air was perfumed music, redolent of orange-blossoms and echoing with the songs of birds and the sweet plash of oars; gay barges came forth to meet them; "while groups of naked boys and girls were promiscuously playing and flouncing, like so many tritons and mermaids, in the water." And when the troops disembarked,—five hundred fine young men, the oldest not thirty, all arrayed in new uniforms and bearing orange-flowers in their caps, a bridal wreath for beautiful Guiana,—it is no wonder that the Creole ladies were in ecstasy, and the boyish recruits little foresaw the day, when, reduced to a few dozens, barefooted and ragged as filibusters, their last survivors would gladly reëmbark from a country beside which even Holland looked dry and even Scotland comfortable.

For over all that earthly paradise there brooded not alone its terrible malaria, its days of fever and its nights of deadly chill, but the worse shadows of oppression and of sin, which neither day nor night could banish. The first object which met Stedman's eye, as he stepped on shore, was the figure of a young girl stripped to receive two hundred lashes, and chained to a hundred-pound-weight. And the few first days gave a glimpse into a state of society worthy of this exhibition,—men without mercy, women without modesty, the black man a slave to the white man's passions, and the white man a slave to his own. The present West Indian society in its worst forms is probably a mere dilution of the utter profligacy of those days. Greek or Roman decline produced nothing more debilitating or destructive than the ordinary life of a Surinam planter, and his one virtue of hospitality only led to more unbridled excesses and completed the work of vice. No wonder that Stedman himself, who, with all his peculiarities, was essentially simple and manly, soon became disgusted, and made haste to get into the woods and cultivate the society of the Maroons.

The rebels against whom this expedition was sent were not the original Maroons of Surinam, but a later generation. The originals had long since established their independence, and their leaders were flourishing their honorary silver-mounted canes in the streets of Paramaribo. Fugitive negroes had begun to establish themselves in the woods from the time when the colony was finally ceded by the English to the Dutch, in 1674. The first open outbreak occurred in 1726, when the plantations on the Seramica river revolted; it was found impossible to subdue them, and the government very imprudently resolved to make an example of eleven captives, and thus terrify the rest of the rebels. They were tortured to death, eight of the eleven being women; this drove the others to madness, and plantation after plantation was visited with fire and sword. After a long conflict, their chief, Adoe, was induced to make a treaty, in 1749. The rebels promised to keep the peace, and in turn were promised freedom, money, tools, clothes, and, finally, arms and ammunition.

But no permanent peace was ever made upon a barrel of gunpowder as a basis, and of course an explosion followed this one. The colonists naturally evaded the last item of the bargain, and the rebels, receiving the gifts and remarking the omission of the part of Hamlet, asked contemptuously if the Europeans expected negroes to subsist on combs and looking-glasses? New hostilities at once began; a new body of slaves on the Ouca river revolted; the colonial government was changed in consequence, and fresh troops shipped from Holland; and after four different embassies had been sent into the woods, the rebels began to listen to reason. The black generals, Captain Araby and Captain Boston, agreed upon a truce for a year, during which the colonial government might decide for peace or war, the Maroons declaring themselves indifferent. Finally the government chose peace, delivered ammunition, and made a treaty, in 1761; the white and black plenipotentiaries exchanged English oaths and then negro oaths, each tasting a drop of the other's blood during the latter ceremony, amid a volley of remarkable incantations from the black gadoman or priest. After some final skirmishes, in which the rebels almost always triumphed, the treaty was at length accepted by all the various villages of Maroons. Had they known that at this very time five thousand slaves in Berbice were just rising against their masters and were looking to them for assistance, the result might have been different; but this fact had not reached them, nor had the rumors of insurrection in Brazil, among negro and Indian slaves. They consented, therefore, to the peace. "They write from Surinam," says the "Annual Register" for January 23, 1761, "that the Dutch governor, finding himself unable to subdue the rebel negroes of that country by force, hath wisely followed the example of Governor Trelawney at Jamaica, and concluded an amicable treaty with them; in consequence of which, all the negroes of the woods are acknowledged to be free, and all that is past is buried in oblivion." So ended a war of thirty-six years, and in Stedman's day the original three thousand Ouca and Seramica Maroons had multiplied (almost incredibly) to fifteen thousand.

But for the slaves not sharing in this revolt it was not so easy to "bury the whole past in oblivion." The Maroons had told some very plain truths to the white ambassadors, and had frankly advised them, if they wished for peace, to mend their own manners and treat their slaves humanely. But the planters learned nothing by experience,—and indeed, the terrible narrations of Stedman were confirmed by those of Alexander, so lately as 1831. Of course, therefore, in a colony comprising eighty thousand blacks to four thousand whites, other revolts were stimulated by the success of this one. They reached their highest point in 1772, when an insurrection on the Cottica river, led by a negro named Baron, almost gave the finishing blow to the colony; the only adequate protection being found in a body of slaves liberated expressly for that purpose,—a dangerous and humiliating precedent. "We have been obliged to set three or four hundred of our stoutest negroes free to defend us," says an honest letter from Surinam in the "Annual Register" for September 5, 1772. Fortunately for the safety of the planters, Baron presumed too much upon his numbers, and injudiciously built a camp too near the sea-coast, in a marshy fastness, from which he was finally ejected by twelve hundred Dutch troops, though the chief work was done, Stedman thinks, by the "black rangers" or liberated slaves. Checked by this defeat, he again drew back into the forests, resuming his guerrilla warfare against the plantations. Nothing could dislodge him; bloodhounds were proposed, but the moisture of the country made them useless; and thus matters stood when Stedman came sailing, amid orange-blossoms and music, up the winding Surinam.

Our young officer went into the woods in the condition of Falstaff, "heinously unprovided." Coming from the unbounded luxury of the plantations, he found himself entering "the most horrid and impenetrable forests, where no kind of refreshment was to be had,"—he being provisioned only with salt pork and peas. After a wail of sorrow for this inhuman neglect, he bursts into a gush of gratitude for the private generosity which relieved his wants at the last moment by the following list of supplies:—"24 bottles best claret, 12 ditto Madeira, 12 ditto porter, 12 ditto cider, 12 ditto rum, 2 large loaves white sugar, 2 gallons brandy, 6 bottles muscadel, 2 gallons lemon-juice, 2 gallons ground coffee, 2 large Westphalia hams, 2 salted bullocks' tongues, 1 bottle Durham mustard, 6 dozen spermaceti candles." The hams and tongues seem, indeed, rather a poor halfpennyworth to this intolerable deal of sack; but this instance of Surinam privation in those days may open some glimpse at the colonial standards of comfort. "From this specimen," moralizes our hero, "the reader will easily perceive, that, if some of the inhabitants of Surinam show themselves the disgrace of the creation by their cruelties and brutality, others, by their social feelings, approve themselves an ornament to the human species. With this instance of virtue and generosity I therefore conclude this chapter."

But the troops soon had to undergo worse troubles than those of the commisariat. The rainy season had just set in. "As for the negroes," said Mr. Klynhaus, the last planter with whom they parted, "you may depend on never seeing a soul of them, unless they attack you off guard; but the climate, the climate, will murder you all." Bringing with them constitutions already impaired by the fevers and dissipation of Paramaribo, the poor boys began to perish long before they began to fight. Wading in water all day, hanging their hammocks over water at night, it seemed a moist existence, even compared with the climate of England and the soil of Holland. It was "Invent a shovel and be a magistrate," even more than Andrew Marvell found it in the United Provinces. In fact, Raynal evidently thinks that nothing but Dutch experience in hydraulics could ever have cultivated Surinam.

The two gun-boats which held one division of the expedition were merely old sugar-barges, roofed over with boards, and looking like coffins. They were pleasantly named the "Charon" and the "Cerberus," but Stedman thought that the "Sudden Death" and the "Wilful Murder" would have been titles more appropriate. The chief duty of the troops consisted in lying at anchor at the intersections of wooded streams, waiting for rebels who never came. It was dismal work, and the raw recruits were full of the same imaginary terrors which have haunted other heroes less severely tested: the monkeys never rattled the cocoa-nuts against the trees, but they all heard the axes of Maroon wood-choppers; and when a sentinel declared, one night, that he had seen a negro go down the river in a canoe, with his pipe lighted, the whole force was called to arms—against a firefly. In fact, the insect race brought by far the most substantial dangers. The rebels eluded the military, but the chigres, locusts, scorpions, and bush-spiders were ever ready to come half-way to meet them; likewise serpents and alligators proffered them the freedom of the forests and exhibited a hospitality almost excessive. Snakes twenty feet long hung their seductive length from the trees; jaguars volunteered their society through almost impenetrable marshes; vampire bats perched by night with lulling endearments upon their toes. When Stedman describes himself as killing thirty-eight mosquitoes at one stroke, we must perhaps pardon something to the spirit of martyrdom. But when we add to these the other woes of his catalogue,—prickly-heat, ring-worm, putrid-fever, "the growling of Colonel Fougeaud, dry, sandy savannas, unfordable marshes, burning hot days, cold and damp nights, heavy rains, and short allowance,"—we can hardly wonder that three captains died in a month, and that in two months his detachment of forty-two was reduced to a miserable seven.

Yet, through all this, Stedman himself kept his health. His theory of the matter almost recalls the time-honored prescription of "A light heart and a thin pair of breeches," for he attributes his good condition to his keeping up his spirits and kicking off his shoes. Daily bathing in the river had also something to do with it,—and, indeed, hydropathy (this may not be generally known) was first learned of the West India Maroons, who did their "packing" in wet clay,—and it was carried by Dr. Wright to England. But his extraordinary personal qualities must have contributed most to his preservation. Never did a "meagre, starved, black, burnt, and ragged tatterdemalion," as he calls himself, carry about him such a fund of sentiment, philosophy, poetry, and art. He had a great faculty for sketching, as the engravings in his volumes, with all their odd peculiarities, show; his deepest woes he coined always into couplets, and fortified himself against hopeless despair with Ovid and Valerius Flaccus, Pope's "Homer" and Thomson's "Seasons." Above all reigned his passion for natural history, a ready balm for every ill. Here he was never wanting to the occasion, and, to do justice to Dutch Guiana, the occasion never was wanting to him. Were his men sickening, the peccaries were always healthy without, and the cockroaches within the camp; just escaping from a she-jaguar, he satisfies himself, ere he flees, that the print of her claws on the sand is precisely the size of a pewter dinner-plate; bitten by a scorpion, he makes sure of his scientific description in case he should expire of the bite; is the water undrinkable, there is at least some rational interest in the number of legs possessed by the centipedes which preoccupy it. This is the highest triumph of man over his accidents, when he thus turns his pains to gains, and becomes an entomologist in the tropics.

Meanwhile the rebels kept their own course in the forests, and occasionally descended upon plantations beside the very river on whose upper waters the useless troops were sickening and dying. Stedman himself made several campaigns, with long intervals of illness, before he came any nearer to the enemy than to burn a deserted village or destroy a rice-field. Sometimes they left the Charon and the Cerberus moored by grape-vines to the pine-trees, and made expeditions into the woods single file. Our ensign, true to himself, gives the minutest schedule of the order of march, and the oddest little diagram of manikins with cocked hats, and blacker manikins bearing burdens. First, negroes with bill-hooks to clear the way; then the van-guard; then the main body, interspersed with negroes bearing boxes of ball-cartridges; then the rear-guard, with many more negroes, bearing camp-equipage, provisions, and new rum, surnamed "kill-devil," and appropriately followed by a sort of palanquin for the disabled. Thus arrayed, they marched valorously forth into the woods, to some given point; then they turned, marched back to the boats, then rowed back to camp, and straightaway went into the hospital. Immediately upon this, the coast being clear. Baron and his rebels marched out again and proceeded to business.

In the course of years, these Maroons had acquired their own peculiar tactics. They built stockaded fortresses on marshy islands, accessible by fords which they alone could traverse. These they defended further by sharp wooden pins, or crows'-feet, concealed beneath the surface of the miry ground,—and, latterly, by the more substantial protection of cannon, which they dragged into the woods, and learned to use. Their bush-fighting was unique. Having always more men than weapons, they arranged their warriors in threes,—one to use the musket, another to take his place, if wounded or slain, and a third to drag away the body. They had Indian stealthiness and swiftness, with more than Indian discipline; discharged their fire with some approach to regularity, in three successive lines, the signals being given by the captain's horn. They were full of ingenuity: marked their movements for each other by scattered leaves and blazed trees; ran zigzag, to dodge bullets; gave wooden guns to their unarmed men, to frighten the plantation negroes on their guerrilla expeditions; and borrowed the red caps of the black rangers whom they slew, to bewilder the aim of the others. One of them, finding himself close to the muzzle of a ranger's gun, threw up his hand hastily. "What!" he exclaimed, "will you fire on one of your own party?" "God forbid!" cried the ranger, dropping his piece, and was instantly shot through the body by the Maroon, who the next instant had disappeared in the woods.

These rebels were no saints: their worship was obi-worship; the women had not far outgrown the plantation standard of chastity, and the men drank "kill-devil" like their betters. Stedman was struck with the difference between the meaning of the word "good" in rebellious circles and in reputable. "It must, however, be observed that what we Europeans call a good character was by the Africans looked upon as detestable, especially by those born in the woods, whose only crime consisted in avenging the wrongs done to their forefathers." But if martial virtues be virtues, such were theirs. Not a rebel ever turned traitor or informer, ever flinched in battle or under torture, ever violated a treaty or even a private promise. But it was their power of endurance which was especially astounding; Stedman is never weary of paying tribute to this, or of illustrating it in sickening detail; indeed, the records of the world show nothing to surpass it; "the lifted axe, the agonizing wheel" proved powerless to subdue it; with every limb lopped, every bone broken, the victims yet defied their tormentors, laughed, sang, and died triumphant.

Of course, they repaid these atrocities in kind. If they had not, it would have demonstrated the absurd paradox, that slavery educates higher virtues than freedom. It bewilders all the relations of human responsibility, if we expect the insurrectionary slave to commit no outrages; if slavery have not depraved him, it has done him little harm. If it be the normal tendency of bondage to produce saints like Uncle Tom, let us all offer ourselves at auction immediately. It is Cassy and Dred who are the normal protest of human nature against systems which degrade it. Accordingly, these poor, ignorant Maroons, who had seen their brothers and sisters flogged, burned, mutilated, hanged on iron hooks, broken on the wheel, and had been all the while solemnly assured that this was paternal government, could only repay the paternalism in the same fashion, when they had the power. Stedman saw a negro chained to a red-hot distillery-furnace; he saw disobedient slaves, in repeated instances, punished by the amputation of a leg, and sent to boat-service for the rest of their lives; and of course the rebels borrowed these suggestions. They could bear to watch their captives expire under the lash, for they had previously watched their parents. If the government rangers received twenty-five florins for every rebel right-hand which they brought in, of course they risked their own right-hands in the pursuit. The difference was, that the one brutality was that of a mighty state, and the other was only the retaliation of the victims. And after all, Stedman never ventures to assert that the imitation equalled the original, or that the Maroons had inflicted nearly so much as they had suffered.

The leaders of the rebels, especially, were men who had each his own story of wrongs to tell. Baron, the most formidable, had been the slave of a Swedish gentleman, who had taught him to read and write, taken him to Europe, promised to manumit him on his return,—and then, breaking his word, sold him to a Jew. Baron refused to work for his new master, was publicly flogged under the gallows, fled to the woods next day, and became the terror of the colony. Joli Coeur, his first captain, was avenging the cruel wrongs of his mother. Bonny, another leader, was born in the woods, his mother having taken refuge there just previously, to escape from his father, who was also his master. Cojo, another, had defended his master against the insurgents until he was obliged by ill usage to take refuge among them; and he still bore upon his wrist, when Stedman saw him, a silver band, with the inscription,— "True to the Europeans." In dealing with wrongs like these, Mr. Carlyle would have found the despised negroes quite as ready as himself to take the total-abstinence pledge against rose-water.

In his first two months' campaign, Stedman never saw the trace of a Maroon; in the second, he once came upon their trail; in the third, one captive was brought in, two surrendered themselves voluntarily, and a large party was found to have crossed a river within a mile of the camp, ferrying themselves on palm-trunks, according to their fashion. Deep swamps and scorching sands,—toiling through briers all day, and sleeping at night in hammocks suspended over stagnant water, with weapons supported on sticks crossed beneath,—all this was endured for two years and a half, before Stedman personally came in sight of the enemy.

On August 20th, 1775, the troops found themselves at last in the midst of the rebel settlements. These villages and forts bore a variety of expressive names, such as "Hide me, O thou surrounding verdure," "I shall be taken," "The woods lament for me," "Disturb me, if you dare," "Take a tasting, if you like it," "Come, try me, if you be men," "God knows me and none else," "I shall moulder before I shall be taken." Some were only plantation-grounds with a few huts, and were easily laid waste; but all were protected more or less by their mere situations. Quagmires surrounded them, covered by a thin crust of verdure, sometimes broken through by one man's weight, when the victim sank hopelessly into the black and bottomless depths below. In other directions there was a solid bottom, but inconveniently covered by three or four feet of water, through which the troops waded breast-deep, holding their muskets high in the air, unable to reload them when once discharged, and liable to be picked off by rebel scouts, who ingeniously posted themselves in the tops of palm-trees.

Through this delectable region Colonel Fougeaud and his followers slowly advanced, drawing near the fatal shore where Captain Meyland's detachment had just been defeated, and where their mangled remains still polluted the beach. Passing this point of danger without attack, they suddenly met a small party of rebels, each bearing on his back a beautifully-woven hamper of snow-white rice: these loads they threw down, and disappeared. Next appeared an armed body from the same direction, who fired upon them once and swiftly retreated; and in a few moments the soldiers came upon a large field of standing rice, beyond which lay, like an amphitheatre, the rebel village. But between the village and the field had been piled successive defences of logs and branches, behind which simple redoubts the Maroons lay concealed. A fight ensued, lasting forty minutes, during which nearly every soldier and ranger was wounded, but, to their great amazement, not one was killed. This was an enigma to them until after the skirmish, when the surgeon found that most of them had been struck, not by bullets, but by various substitutes, such as pebbles, coat-buttons, and bits of silver coin, which had penetrated only skin-deep. "We also observed that several of the poor rebel negroes, who had been shot, had only the shards of Spa-water cans, instead of flints, which could seldom do execution; and it was certainly owing to these circumstances that we came off so well."

The rebels at length retreated, first setting fire to their village; a hundred or more lightly built houses, some of them two stories high, were soon in flames; and as this conflagration occupied the only neck of land between two impassable morasses, the troops were unable to follow, and the Maroons had left nothing but rice-fields to be pillaged. That night the military force was encamped in the woods; their ammunition was almost gone; so they were ordered to lie flat on the ground, even in case of attack; they could not so much as build a fire. Before midnight an attack was made on them, partly with bullets and partly with words; the Maroons were all around them in the forest, but their object was a puzzle: they spent most of the night in bandying compliments with the black rangers, whom they alternately denounced, ridiculed, and challenged to single combat. At last Fougeaud and Stedman joined in the conversation, and endeavored to make this midnight volley of talk the occasion for a treaty. This was received with inextinguishable laughter, which echoed through the woods like a concert of screech-owls, ending in a charivari of horns and hallooing. The Colonel, persisting, offered them "life, liberty, victuals, drink, and all they wanted"; in return, they ridiculed him unmercifully: he was a half-starved Frenchman, who had run away from his own country, and would soon run away from theirs; they profoundly pitied him and his soldiers; they would scorn to spend powder on such scarecrows; they would rather feed and clothe them, as being poor white slaves, hired to be shot at and starved for four-pence a day. But as for the planters, overseers, and rangers, they should die, every one of them, and Bonny should be governor of the colony. "After this, they tinkled their bill-hooks, fired a volley, and gave three cheers; which being answered by the rangers, the clamor ended, and the rebels dispersed with the rising sun."

Very aimless nonsense it certainly appeared. But the next day put a new aspect on it; for it was found, that, under cover of all this noise, the Maroons had been busily occupied all night, men, women, and children, in preparing and filling great hampers of the finest rice, yams, and cassava, from the adjacent provision-grounds, to be used for subsistence during their escape, leaving only chaff and refuse for the hungry soldiers. "This was certainly such a masterly trait of generalship in a savage people, whom we affected to despise, as would have done honor to any European commander."

From this time the Maroons fulfilled their threats. Shooting down without mercy every black ranger who came within their reach,—one of these rangers being, in Stedman's estimate, worth six white soldiers,—they left Colonel Fougeaud and his regulars to die of starvation and fatigue. The enraged Colonel, "finding himself thus foiled by a naked negro, swore he would pursue Bonny to the world's end." But he never got any nearer than to Bonny's kitchen-gardens. He put the troops on half-allowance, sent back for provisions and ammunition,—and within ten days changed his mind, and retreated to the settlements in despair. Soon after, this very body of rebels, under Bonny's leadership, plundered two plantations in the vicinity, and nearly captured a powder-magazine, which was, however, successfully defended by some armed slaves.

For a year longer these expeditions continued. The troops never gained a victory, and they lost twenty men for every rebel killed; but they gradually checked the plunder of plantations, destroyed villages and planting-grounds, and drove the rebels, for the time at least, into the deeper recesses of the woods or into the adjacent province of Cayenne. They had the slight satisfaction of burning Bonny's own house, a two-story wooden hut, built in the fashion of our frontier guard-houses. They often took single prisoners,—some child, born and bred in the woods, and frightened equally by the first sight of a white man and of a cow,—or some warrior, who, on being threatened with torture, stretched forth both hands in disdain, and said, with Indian eloquence,—"These hands have made tigers tremble." As for Stedman, he still went bare-footed, still quarrelled with his colonel, still sketched the scenery and described the reptiles, still reared gree-gree worms for his private kitchen, still quoted good poetry and wrote execrable, still pitied all the sufferers around him, black, white, and red, until finally he and his comrades were ordered back to Holland in 1776.

Among all that wasted regiment of weary and broken-down men, there was probably no one but Stedman who looked backward with longing as they sailed down the lovely Surinam. True, he bore all his precious collections with him,—parrots and butterflies, drawings on the backs of old letters, and journals kept on bones and cartridges. But he had left behind him a dearer treasure; for there runs through all his eccentric narrative a single thread of pure romance, in his love for his beautiful quadroon wife and his only son.

Within a month after his arrival in the colony, our susceptible ensign first saw Joanna, a slave-girl of fifteen, at the house of an intimate friend. Her extreme beauty and modesty first fascinated him, and then her piteous narrative,—for she was the daughter of a planter, who had just gone mad and died in despair from the discovery that he could not legally emancipate his own children from slavery. Soon after, Stedman was dangerously ill, was neglected and alone; fruits and cordials were anonymously sent to him, which proved at last to have come from Joanna, and she came herself, ere long, and nursed him, grateful for the visible sympathy he had shown to her. This completed the conquest; the passionate young Englishman, once recovered, loaded her with presents, which she refused,—talked of purchasing her and educating her in Europe, which she also declined, as burdening him too greatly,—and finally, amid the ridicule of all good society in Paramaribo, surmounted all legal obstacles and was united to the beautiful girl in honorable marriage. He provided a cottage for her, where he spent his furloughs, in perfect happiness, for four years.

The simple idyl of their loves was unbroken by any stain or disappointment, and yet always shadowed with the deepest anxiety for the future. Though treated with the utmost indulgence, she was legally a slave, and so was the boy of whom she became the mother. Cojo, her uncle, was a captain among the rebels against whom her husband fought. And up to the time when Stedman was ordered back to Holland, he was unable to purchase her freedom, nor could he, until the very last moment, procure the emancipation of his boy. His perfect delight at this last triumph, when obtained, elicited some satire from his white friends. "While the well-thinking few highly applauded my sensibility, many not only blamed, but publicly derided me for my paternal affection, which was called a weakness, a whim." "Nearly forty beautiful boys and girls were left to perpetual slavery by their parents of my acquaintance, and many of them without being so much as once inquired after at all."

But Stedman was a true-hearted fellow, if his sentiment did sometimes run to rodomontade; he left his Joanna only in the hope that a year or two in Europe would repair his ruined fortunes, and he could return to treat himself to the purchase of his own wedded wife. He describes, with unaffected pathos, their parting scene,—though, indeed, there were several successive partings,—and closes the description in a manner worthy of that remarkable combination of enthusiasms which characterized him. "My melancholy having surpassed all description, I at last determined to weather one or two painful years in her absence; and in the afternoon went to dissipate my mind at a Mr. Roux' cabinet of Indian curiosities; where as my eye chanced to fall on a rattlesnake, I will, before I leave the colony, describe this dangerous reptile."

It was impossible to write the history of the Maroons of Surinam except through the biography of our Ensign, (at last promoted Captain,) because nearly all we know of them is through his quaint and picturesque narrative, with its profuse illustrations by his own hand. It is not fair, therefore, to end without chronicling his safe arrival in Holland, on June 3d, 1777. It is a remarkable fact, that, after his life in the woods, even the Dutch looked slovenly to his eyes. "The inhabitants, who crowded about us, appeared but a disgusting assemblage of ill-formed and ill-dressed rabble,—so much had my prejudices been changed by living among Indians and blacks: their eyes seemed to resemble those of a pig; their complexions were like the color of foul linen; they seemed to have no teeth, and to be covered over with rags and dirt. This prejudice, however, was not against these people only, but against all Europeans in general, when compared to the sparkling eyes, ivory teeth, shining skin, and remarkable cleanliness of those I had left behind me." Yet, in spite of these superior attractions, he never recrossed the Atlantic; for his Joanna died soon after, and his promising son, being sent to the father, was educated in England, became a midshipman in the navy, and was lost at sea. With his elegy, in which the last depths of bathos are sadly sounded by a mourning parent,—who is induced to print them only by "the effect they had on the sympathetic and ingenious Mrs. Cowley,"—the "Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition" closes.

The war, which had cost the government forty thousand pounds a year, was ended, and left both parties essentially as when it began. The Maroons gradually returned to their old abodes, and, being unmolested themselves, left others unmolested thenceforward. Originally three thousand,—in Stedman's time, fifteen thousand,—they were estimated at seventy thousand by Captain Alexander, who saw Guiana in 1831,—and a recent American scientific expedition, having visited them in their homes, reported them as still enjoying their wild freedom, and multiplying, while the Indians on the same soil decay. The beautiful forests of Surinam still make the morning gorgeous with their beauty, and the night deadly with their chill; the stately palm still rears, a hundred feet in air, its straight gray shaft and its head of verdure; the mora builds its solid, buttressed trunk, a pedestal for the eagle; the pine of the tropics holds out its myriad hands with water-cups for the rain and dews, where all the birds and the monkeys may drink their fill; the trees are garlanded with epiphytes and convolvuli, and anchored to the earth by a thousand vines. High among their branches, the red and yellow mockingbirds still build their hanging nests, uncouth storks and tree-porcupines cling above, and the spotted deer and the tapir drink from the sluggish stream below. The night is still made noisy with a thousand cries of bird and beast; and the stillness of the sultry noon is broken by the slow tolling of the campañero, or bell-bird, far in the deep, dark woods, like the chime of some lost convent. And as Nature is unchanged there, so apparently is man; the Maroons still retain their savage freedom, still shoot their wild game and trap their fish, still raise their rice and cassava, yams and plantains,—still make cups from the gourd-tree and hammocks from the silk-grass plant, wine from the palm-tree's sap, brooms from its leaves, fishing-lines from its fibres, and salt from its ashes. Their life does not yield, indeed, the very highest results of spiritual culture; its mental and moral results may not come up to the level of civilization, but they rise far above the level of slavery. In the changes of time, the Maroons may yet elevate themselves into the one, but they will never relapse into the other.


She had remained, during all that day, with a sick neighbor,—those eastern wilds of Maine in that epoch frequently making neighbors and miles synonymous,—and so busy had she been with care and sympathy that she did not at first observe the approaching night. But finally the level rays, reddening the snow, threw their gleam upon the wall, and, hastily donning cloak and hood, she bade her friends farewell and sallied forth on her return. Home lay some three miles distant, across a copse, a meadow, and a piece of woods,—the woods being a fringe on the skirts of the great forests that stretch far away into the North. That home was one of a dozen log-houses lying a few furlongs apart from each other, with their half-cleared demesnes separating them at the rear from a wilderness untrodden save by stealthy native or deadly panther tribes.

She was in a nowise exalted frame of spirit,—on the contrary, rather depressed by the pain she had witnessed and the fatigue she had endured; but in certain temperaments such a condition throws open the mental pores, so to speak, and renders one receptive of every influence. Through the little copse she walked slowly, with her cloak folded about her, lingering to imbibe the sense of shelter, the sunset filtered in purple through the mist of woven spray and twig, the companionship of growth not sufficiently dense to band against her the sweet home-feeling of a young and tender wintry wood. It was therefore just on the edge of the evening that she emerged from the place and began to cross the meadow-land. At one hand lay the forest to which her path wound; at the other the evening star hung over a tide of failing orange that slowly slipped down the earth's broad side to sadden other hemispheres with sweet regret. Walking rapidly now, and with her eyes wide-open, she distinctly saw in the air before her what was not there a moment ago, a winding-sheet,—cold, white, and ghastly, waved by the likeness of four wan hands,—that rose with a long inflation and fell in rigid folds, while a voice, shaping itself from the hollowness above, spectral and melancholy, sighed,—"The Lord have mercy on the people! The Lord have mercy on the people!" Three times the sheet with its corpse-covering outline waved beneath the pale hands, and the voice, awful in its solemn and mysterious depth, sighed, "The Lord have mercy on the people!" Then all was gone, the place was clear again, the gray sky was obstructed by no deathly blot; she looked about her, shook her shoulders decidedly, and, pulling on her hood, went forward once more.

She might have been a little frightened by such an apparition, if she had led a life of less reality than frontier settlers are apt to lead; but dealing with hard fact does not engender a flimsy habit of mind, and this woman was too sincere and earnest in her character, and too happy in her situation, to be thrown by antagonism merely upon superstitious fancies and chimeras of the second-sight. She did not even believe herself subject to an hallucination, but smiled simply, a little vexed that her thought could have framed such a glamour from the day's occurrences, and not sorry to lift the bough of the warder of the woods and enter and disappear in their sombre path. If she had been imaginative, she would have hesitated at her first step into a region whose dangers were not visionary; but I suppose that the thought of a little child at home would conquer that propensity in the most habituated. So, biting a bit of spicy birch, she went along. Now and then she came to a gap where the trees had been partially felled, and here she found that the lingering twilight was explained by that peculiar and perhaps electric film which sometimes sheathes the sky in diffused light for very many hours before a brilliant aurora. Suddenly, a swift shadow, like the fabulous flying-dragon, writhed through the air before her, and she felt herself instantly seized and borne aloft. It was that wild beast—the most savage and serpentine and subtle and fearless of our latitudes—known by hunters as the Indian Devil, and he held her in his clutches on the broad floor of a swinging fir-bough. His long sharp claws were caught in her clothing, he worried them sagaciously a little, then, finding that ineffectual to free them, he commenced licking her bare white arm with his rasping tongue and pouring over her the wide streams of his hot, fetid breath. So quick had this flashing action been that the woman had had no time for alarm; moreover, she was not of the screaming kind; but now, as she felt him endeavoring to disentangle his claws, and the horrid sense of her fate smote her, and she saw instinctively the fierce plunge of those weapons, the long strips of living flesh torn from her bones, the agony, the quivering disgust, itself a worse agony,—while by her side, and holding her in his great lithe embrace, the monster crouched, his white tusks whetting and gnashing, his eyes glaring through all the darkness like balls of red fire,—a shriek, that rang in every forest hollow, that startled every winter-housed thing, that stirred and woke the least needle of the tasselled pines, tore through her lips. A moment afterward, the beast left the arm, once white, now crimson, and looked up alertly.

She did not think at this instant to call upon God. She called upon her husband. It seemed to her that she had but one friend in the world; that was he; and again the cry, loud, clear, prolonged, echoed through the woods. It was not the shriek that disturbed the creature at his relish; he was not born in the woods to be scared of an owl, you know; what then? It mast have been the echo, most musical, most resonant, repeated and yet repeated, dying with long sighs of sweet sound, vibrated from rock to river and back again from depth to depth of cave and cliff. Her thought flew after it; she knew, that, even if her husband heard it, he yet could not reach her in time; she saw that while the beast listened he would not gnaw,—and this she felt directly, when the rough, sharp, and multiplied stings of his tongue retouched her arm. Again her lips opened by instinct, but the sound that issued thence came by reason. She had heard that music charmed wild beasts,—just this point between life and death intensified every faculty,—and when she opened her lips the third time, it was not for shrieking, but for singing.

A little thread of melody stole out, a rill of tremulous motion; it was the cradle-song with which she rocked her baby;—how could she sing that? And then she remembered the baby sleeping rosily on the long settee before the fire,—the father cleaning his gun, with one foot on the green wooden rundle,—the merry light from the chimney dancing out and through the room, on the rafters of the ceiling with their tassels of onions and herbs, on the log walls painted with lichens and festooned with apples, on the king's-arm slung across the shelf with the old pirate's-cutlass, on the snow-pile of the bed, and on the great brass clock,—dancing, too, and lingering on the baby, with his fringed gentian eyes, his chubby fists clenched on the pillow, and his fine breezy hair fanning with the motion of his father's foot. All this struck her in one, and made a sob of her breath, and she ceased.

Immediately the long red tongue was thrust forth again. Before it touched, a song sprang to her lips, a wild sea-song, such as some sailor might be singing far out on trackless blue water that night, the shrouds whistling with frost and the sheets glued in ice,—a song with the wind in its burden and the spray in its chorus. The monster raised his head and flared the fiery eyeballs upon her, then fretted the imprisoned claws a moment and was quiet; only the breath like the vapor from some hell-pit still swathed her. Her voice, at first faint and fearful, gradually lost its quaver, grew under her control and subject to her modulation; it rose on long swells, it fell in subtile cadences, now and then its tones pealed out like bells from distant belfries on fresh sonorous mornings. She sung the song through, and, wondering lest his name of Indian Devil were not his true name, and if he would not detect her, she repeated it. Once or twice now, indeed, the beast stirred uneasily, turned, and made the bough sway at his movement. As she ended, he snapped his jaws together, and tore away the fettered member, curling it under him with a snarl,—when she burst into the gayest reel that ever answered a fiddle-bow. How many a time she had heard her husband play it on the homely fiddle made by himself from birch and cherry-wood! how many a time she had seen it danced on the floor of their one room, to the patter of wooden clogs and the rustle of homespun petticoat! how many a time she had danced it herself!—and did she not remember once, as they joined clasps for right-hands-round, how it had lent its gay, bright measure to her life? And here she was singing it alone, in the forest, at midnight, to a wild beast! As she sent her voice trilling up and down its quick oscillations between joy and pain, the creature who grasped her uncurled his paw and scratched the bark from the bough; she must vary the spell; and her voice spun leaping along the projecting points of tune of a hornpipe. Still singing, she felt herself twisted about with a low growl and a lifting of the red lip from the glittering teeth; she broke the hornpipe's thread, and commenced unravelling a lighter, livelier thing, an Irish jig. Up and down and round about her voice flew, the beast threw back his head so that the diabolical face fronted hers, and the torrent of his breath prepared her for his feast as the anaconda slimes his prey. Franticly she darted from tune to tune; his restless movements followed her. She tired herself with dancing and vivid national airs, growing feverish and singing spasmodically as she felt her horrid tomb yawning wider. Touching in this manner all the slogan and keen clan cries, the beast moved again, but only to lay the disengaged paw across her with heavy satisfaction. She did not dare to pause; through the clear cold air, the frosty starlight, she sang. If there were yet any tremor in the tone, it was not fear,—she had learned the secret of sound at last; nor could it be chill,—far too high a fervor throbbed her pulses; it was nothing but the thought of the log-house and of what might be passing within it. She fancied the baby stirring in his sleep and moving his pretty lips,—her husband rising and opening the door, looking out after her, and wondering at her absence. She fancied the light pouring through the chink and then shut in again with all the safety and comfort and joy, her husband taking down the fiddle and playing lightly with his head inclined, playing while she sang, while she sang for her life to an Indian Devil. Then she knew he was fumbling for and finding some shining fragment and scoring it down the yellowing hair, and unconsciously her voice forsook the wild war-tunes and drifted into the half-gay, half-melancholy Rosin the Bow.

Suddenly she woke pierced with a pang, and the daggered tooth penetrating her flesh;—dreaming of safety, she had ceased singing and lost it. The beast had regained the use of all his limbs, and now, standing and raising his back, bristling and foaming, with sounds that would have been like hisses but for their deep and fearful sonority, he withdrew step by step toward the trunk of the tree, still with his flaming balls upon her. She was all at once free, on one end of the bough, twenty feet from the ground. She did not measure the distance, but rose to drop herself down, careless of any death, so that it were not this. Instantly, as if he scanned her thoughts, the creature bounded forward with a yell and caught her again in his dreadful hold. It might be that he was not greatly famished; for, as she suddenly flung up her voice again, he settled himself composedly on the bough, still clasping her with invincible pressure to his rough, ravenous breast, and listening in a fascination to the sad, strange U-la-lu that now moaned forth in loud, hollow tones above him. He half closed his eyes, and sleepily reopened and shut them again.

What rending pains were close at hand! Death! and what a death! worse than any other that is to be named! Water, be it cold or warm, that which buoys up blue ice-fields, or which bathes tropical coasts with currents of balmy bliss, is yet a gentle conqueror, kisses as it kills, and draws you down gently through darkening fathoms to its heart. Death at the sword is the festival of trumpet and bugle and banner, with glory ringing out around you and distant hearts thrilling through yours. No gnawing disease can bring such hideous end as this; for that is a fiend bred of your own flesh, and this—is it a fiend, this living lump of appetites? What dread comes with the thought of perishing in flames! but fire, let it leap and hiss never so hotly, is something too remote, too alien, to inspire us with such loathly horror as a wild beast; if it have a life, that life is too utterly beyond our comprehension. Fire is not half ourselves; as it devours, arouses neither hatred nor disgust; is not to be known by the strength of our lower natures let loose; does not drip our blood into our faces from foaming chaps, nor mouth nor snarl above us with vitality. Let us be ended by fire, and we are ashes, for the winds to bear, the leaves to cover; let us be ended by wild beasts, and the base, cursed thing howls with us forever through the forest. All this she felt as she charmed him, and what force it lent to her song God knows. If her voice should fail! If the damp and cold should give her any fatal hoarseness! If all the silent powers of the forest did not conspire to help her! The dark, hollow night rose indifferently over her; the wide, cold air breathed rudely past her, lifted her wet hair and blew it down again; the great boughs swung with a ponderous strength, now and then clashed their iron lengths together and shook off a sparkle of icy spears or some long-lain weight of snow from their heavy shadows. The green depths were utterly cold and silent and stern. These beautiful haunts that all the summer were hers and rejoiced to share with her their bounty, these heavens that had yielded their largess, these stems that had thrust their blossoms into her hands, all these friends of three moons ago forgot her now and knew her no longer.

Feeling her desolation, wild, melancholy, forsaken songs rose thereon from that frightful aerie,—weeping, wailing tunes, that sob among the people from age to age, and overflow with otherwise unexpressed sadness,—all rude, mournful ballads,—old tearful strains, that Shakspeare heard the vagrants sing, and that rise and fall like the wind and tide,—sailor-songs, to be heard only in lone mid-watches beneath the moon and stars,—ghastly rhyming romances, such as that famous one of the "Lady Margaret," when

"She slipped on her gown of green
   A piece below the knee,—
And 'twas all a long, cold winter's night
   A dead corse followed she."

Still the beast lay with closed eyes, yet never relaxing his grasp. Once a half-whine of enjoyment escaped him,—he fawned his fearful head upon her; once he scored her cheek with his tongue: savage caresses that hurt like wounds. How weary she was! and yet how terribly awake! How fuller and fuller of dismay grew the knowledge that she was only prolonging her anguish and playing with death! How appalling the thought that with her voice ceased her existence! Yet she could not sing forever; her throat was dry and hard; her very breath was a pain; her mouth was hotter than any desert-worn pilgrim's;—if she could but drop upon her burning tongue one atom of the ice that glittered about her!—but both of her arms were pinioned in the giant's vice. She remembered the winding-sheet, and for the first time in her life shivered with spiritual fear. Was it hers? She asked herself, as she sang, what sins she had committed, what life she had led, to find her punishment so soon and in these pangs,—and then she sought eagerly for some reason why her husband was not up and abroad to find her. He failed her,—her one sole hope in life; and without being aware of it, her voice forsook the songs of suffering and sorrow for old Covenanting hymns,—hymns with which her mother had lulled her, which the class-leader pitched in the chimney-corners,—grand and sweet Methodist hymns, brimming with melody and with all fantastic involutions of tune to suit that ecstatic worship,—hymns full of the beauty of holiness, steadfast, relying, sanctified by the salvation they had lent to those in worse extremity than hers,—for they had found themselves in the grasp of hell, while she was but in the jaws of death. Out of this strange music, peculiar to one character of faith, and than which there is none more beautiful in its degree nor owning a more potent sway of sound, her voice soared into the glorified chants of churches. What to her was death by cold or famine or wild beasts? "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him," she sang. High and clear through the frore fair night, the level moonbeams splintering in the wood, the scarce glints of stars in the shadowy roof of branches, these sacred anthems rose,—rose as a hope from despair, as some snowy spray of flower-bells from blackest mould. Was she not in God's hands? Did not the world swing at His will? If this were in His great plan of providence, was it not best, and should she not accept it?

"He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth."

Oh, sublime faith of our fathers, where utter self-sacrifice alone was true love, the fragrance of whose unrequired subjection was pleasant as that of golden censers swung in purple-vapored chancels!

Never ceasing in the rhythm of her thoughts, articulated in music as they thronged, the memory of her first communion flashed over her. Again she was in that distant place on that sweet spring morning. Again the congregation rustled out, and the few remained, and she trembled to find herself among them.

How well she remembered the devout, quiet faces; too accustomed to the sacred feast to glow with their inner joy! how well the snowy linen at the altar, the silver vessels slowly and silently shifting! and as the cup approached and passed, how the sense of delicious perfume stole in and heightened the transport of her prayer, and she had seemed, looking up through the windows where the sky soared blue in constant freshness, to feel all heaven's balms dripping from the portals, and to scent the lilies of eternal peace! Perhaps another would not have felt so much ecstasy as satisfaction on that occasion; but it is a true, if a later disciple, who has said, "The Lord bestoweth his blessings there, where he findeth the vessels empty."—"And does it need the walls of a church to renew my communion?" she asked. "Does not every moment stand a temple four-square to God? And in that morning, with its buoyant sunlight, was I any dearer to the Heart of the World than now?" "My beloved is mine, and I am his," she sang over and over again, with all varied inflection and profuse tune. How gently all the winter-wrapt things bent toward her then! into what relation with her had they grown! how this common dependence was the spell of their intimacy! how at one with Nature had she become! how all the night and the silence and the forest seemed to hold its breath, and to send its soul up to God in her singing! It was no longer despondency, that singing. It was neither prayer nor petition. She had left imploring, "How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord?" "Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death!" "For in death there is no remembrance of thee";—with countless other such fragments of supplication. She cried rather, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me";—and lingered, and repeated, and sang again, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

Then she thought of the Great Deliverance, when he drew her up out of many waters, and the flashing old psalm pealed forth triumphantly:—

"The Lord descended from above,
  and bow'd the heavens hie;
And underneath his feet he cast
  the darknesse of the skie.
On cherubs and on cherubins
  full royally he road:
And on the wings of all the winds
  came flying all abroad."

She forgot how recently, and with what a strange pity for her own shapeless form that was to be, she had quaintly sung,—

"Oh, lovely appearance of death!
  What sight upon earth is so fair?
Not all the gay pageants that breathe
  Can with a dead body compare!"

She remembered instead,—"In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore"; and, "God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me"; "He will swallow up death in victory." Not once now did she say, "Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions"—for she knew that "the young lions roar after their prey and seek their meat from God." "O Lord, thou preservest man and beast!" she said.

She had no comfort or consolation in this season, such as sustained the Christian martyrs in the amphitheatre. She was not dying for her faith; there were no palms in heaven for her to wave; but how many a time had she declared,—"I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness!" And as the broad rays here and there broke through the dense covert of shade and lay in rivers of lustre on crystal sheathing and frozen fretting of trunk and limb and on the great spaces of refraction, they builded up visibly that house, the shining city on the hill, and singing, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the city of the Great King," her vision climbed to that higher picture where the angel shows the dazzling thing, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, with its splendid battlements and gates of pearls, and its foundations, the eleventh a jacinth, the twelfth an amethyst,—with its great white throne, and the rainbow round about it, in sight like unto an emerald:—"And there shall be no night there,—for the Lord God giveth them light," she sang.

What whisper of dawn now rustled through the wilderness? How the night was passing! And still the beast crouched upon the bough, changing only the posture of his head, that again he might command her with those charmed eyes;—half their fire was gone; she could almost have released herself from his custody; yet, had she stirred, no one knows what malevolent instinct might have dominated anew. But of that she did not dream; long ago stripped of any expectation, she was experiencing in her divine rapture how mystically true it is that "he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

Slow clarion cries now wound from the distance as the cocks caught the intelligence of day and reechoed it faintly from farm to farm,—sleepy sentinels of night, sounding the foe's invasion, and translating that dim intuition to ringing notes of warning. Still she chanted on. A remote crash of brushwood told of some other beast on his depredations, or some night-belated traveller groping his way through the narrow path. Still she chanted on. The far, faint echoes of the chanticleers died into distance,—the crashing of the branches grew nearer. No wild beast that, but a man's step,—a man's form in the moonlight, stalwart and strong,—on one arm slept a little child, in the other hand he held his gun. Still she chanted on.

Perhaps, when her husband last looked forth, he was half ashamed to find what a fear he felt for her. He knew she would never leave the child so long but for some direst need,—and yet he may have laughed at himself, as he lifted and wrapped it with awkward care, and, loading his gun and strapping on his horn, opened the door again and closed it behind him, going out and plunging into the darkness and dangers of the forest. He was more singularly alarmed than he would have been willing to acknowledge; as he had sat with his bow hovering over the strings, he had half believed to hear her voice mingling gayly with the instrument, till he paused and listened if she were not about to lift the latch and enter. As he drew nearer the heart of the forest, that intimation of melody seemed to grow more actual, to take body and breath, to come and go on long swells and ebbs of the night-breeze, to increase with tune and words, till a strange, shrill singing grew ever clearer, and, as he stepped into an open space of moonbeams, far up in the branches, rocked by the wind, and singing, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace," he saw his wife,—his wife,—but, great God in heaven! how? Some mad exclamation escaped him, but without diverting her. The child knew the singing voice, though never heard before in that unearthly key, and turned toward it through the veiling dreams. With a celerity almost instantaneous, it lay, in the twinkling of an eye, on the ground at the father's feet, while his gun was raised to his shoulder and levelled at the monster covering his wife with shaggy form and flaming gaze,—his wife so ghastly white, so rigid, so stained with blood, her eyes so fixedly bent above, and her lips, that had indurated into the chiselled pallor of marble, parted only with that flood of solemn song.

I do not know if it were the mother-instinct that for a moment lowered her eyes,—those eyes, so lately riveted on heaven, now suddenly seeing all life-long bliss possible. A thrill of joy pierced and shivered through her like a weapon, her voice trembled in its course, her glance lost its steady strength, fever-flushes chased each other over her face, yet she never once ceased chanting. She was quite aware, that, if her husband shot now, the ball must pierce her body before reaching any vital part of the beast,—and yet better that death, by his hand, than the other. But this her husband also knew, and he remained motionless, just covering the creature with the sight. He dared not fire, lest some wound not mortal should break the spell exercised by her voice, and the beast, enraged with pain, should rend her in atoms; moreover, the light was too uncertain for his aim. So he waited. Now and then he examined his gun to see if the damp were injuring its charge, now and then he wiped the great drops from his forehead. Again the cocks crowed with the passing hour,—the last time they were heard on that night. Cheerful home sound then, how full of safety and all comfort and rest it seemed! what sweet morning incidents of sparkling fire and sunshine, of gay household bustle, shining dresser, and cooing baby, of steaming cattle in the yard, and brimming milk-pails at the door! what pleasant voices! what laughter! what security! and here——

Now, as she sang on in the slow, endless, infinite moments, the fervent vision of God's peace was gone. Just as the grave had lost its sting, she was snatched back again into the arms of earthly hope. In vain she tried to sing, "There remaineth a rest for the people of God,"—her eyes trembled on her husband's, and she could think only of him, and of the child, and of happiness that yet might be, but with what a dreadful gulf of doubt between! She shuddered now in the suspense; all calm forsook her; she was tortured with dissolving heats or frozen with icy blasts; her face contracted, growing small and pinched; her voice was hoarse and sharp,—every tone cut like a knife,—the notes became heavy to lift,—withheld by some hostile pressure,—impossible. One gasp, a convulsive effort, and there was silence,—she had lost her voice.

The beast made a sluggish movement,—stretched and fawned like one awaking,—then, as if he would have yet more of the enchantment, stirred her slightly with his muzzle. As he did so, a sidelong hint of the man standing below with the raised gun smote him; he sprung round furiously, and, seizing his prey, was about to leap into some unknown airy den of the topmost branches now waving to the slow dawn. The late moon had rounded through the sky so that her gleam at last fell full upon the bough with fairy frosting; the wintry morning light did not yet penetrate the gloom. The woman, suspended in mid-air an instant, cast only one agonized glance beneath,—but across and through it, ere the lids could fall, shot a withering sheet of flame,—a rifle-crack, half heard, was lost in the terrible yell of desperation that bounded after it and filled her ears with savage echoes, and in the wide arc of some eternal descent she was falling;—but the beast fell under her. I think that the moment following must have been too sacred for us, and perhaps the three have no special interest again till they issue from the shadows of the wilderness upon the white hills that skirt their home. The father carries the child hushed again into slumber; the mother follows with no such feeble step as might be anticipated,—and as they slowly climb the steep under the clear gray sky and the paling morning star, she stops to gather a spray of the red-rose berries or a feathery tuft of dead grasses for the chimney-piece of the log-house, or a handful of brown ones for the child's play,—and of these quiet, happy folk you would scarcely dream how lately they had stolen from under the banner and encampment of the great King Death. The husband proceeds a step or two in advance; the wife lingers over a singular foot-print in the snow, stoops and examines it, then looks up with a hurried word. Her husband stands alone on the hill, his arms folded across the babe, his gun fallen,—stands defined against the pallid sky like a bronze. What is there in their home, lying below and yellowing in the light, to fix him with such a stare? She springs to his side. There is no home there. The log-house, the barns, the neighboring farms, the fences, are all blotted out and mingled in one smoking ruin. Desolation and death were indeed there, and beneficence and life in the forest. Tomahawk and scalping-knife, descending during that night, had left behind them only this work of their accomplished hatred and one subtle foot-print in the snow.

For the rest,—the world was all before them, where to choose.

* * * * *


Hast thou forgotten whose thou art?
  To what high service consecrate?
I gave thee not a noble heart
  To wed with such ignoble fate.

I found thee where the laurels grow
  Around the lonely Delphian shrine;
There, where the sacred fountains flow,
  I found thee, and I made thee mine.

I gave thy soul to agony,
  And strange unsatisfied desire,
That thou mightst dearer be to me,
  And worthier of thy burning lyre.

O child, thy fate had made thee God,
  To thee such powers divine were given;
The paths of fire thou mightst have trod
  Had led thee to the stars of heaven.

And those who in the early dawn
  Of beauty sat and sang of day,
Deep in their twilight shades withdrawn,
  Had heard thy coming far away,—

With haunting music sweet and strange,
  And airs ambrosial blown before,
Vague breathings of the floral change
  That glorifies the hills of yore:

Had felt the joy those only find
  Who in their secret souls have known
The mystery of the poet mind
  That through all beauty feels its own:

Had felt the God within them rise
  To meet thy radiant soul divine;
Had searched with their prophetic eyes
  The midnight luminous of thine.

So fondly did Urania deem!
  So proudly did she prophesy!
Oh, ruin of a noble dream
  She thought too glorious to die!

Nor knew thy passionate songs of yore
  Were as a promise unfulfilled,—
A stately portal set before
  The palace thou shall never build!

For is it come to this, at last?
  And thou forever must remain
A godlike statue, formed and cast
  In marble attitude of pain,—

Proud lips that in their scorn are mute,
  And haunting eyes of anguished love,
One hand that grasps a silent lute,
  And one convulsèd hand above

That will not strike? Ah, scorn and shame!
  Shame for the apostate unforgiven,
Beholding an unconquered fame
  In undiscovered fields of heaven!

For Beauty not by one alone
  In her completeness is revealed:
The smiles and tears her face hath shown
  To thee from others are concealed.

Men see not in the midnight sky
  All miracles she worketh there:
It is the blindness of the eye
  That paints its darkness on the air.

Two friends who wander by the shore
  Look not upon the selfsame seas,
Hearing two voices in the roar,
  Because of different memories.

For him whose love the sea hath drowned,
  It moans the music of his wrong;
For him whose life with love is crowned,
  It breaks upon the beach in song.

So dreaming not another's dream,
  But still interpreting thine own,
By woodland wild and quiet stream
  Thou wanderest in the world alone.

Then what thou slayest none can save:
  Silent and dark oblivion rolls
Over the glory in the grave
  Of fierce and suicidal souls.

From that dark wave no pleading ghost
  With pointing hand shall ever rise,
To say,—The world hath treasure lost,
  And here the buried treasure lies!

Beware, and yet beware! my fear
  Unfolds a vision in the gloom
Of Beauty borne upon her bier,
  And Darkness crouching in the tomb.

Beware, and yet beware! her end
  Is thine; or else, her shadowy hearse
Beside, thy spirit shall descend
  The vast sepulchral universe,

And, with the passion that remains
  In desolated hearts, implore
The spectre sitting bound in chains
  To yield what he shall not restore:—

The mystery whose soul divine
  Breathed love, and only love, on thee;
Which better far had not been thine,
  Than, having been, to cease to be.


There have been in every age a few women of genius who have become the successful rivals of man in the paths which they have severally chosen. Three instances are of our time. Mrs. Browning is called a poet even by poets; the artists admit that Rosa Bonheur is a painter; and the mathematicians accord to Mary Somerville a high rank among themselves.

"In pure mathematics," said Humboldt, "Mrs. Somerville is strong." Of no other woman of the age could the remark have been made; and this would probably be true, were the walks of science as marked by the feminine footprint as are those of literature. To read mathematical works is an easy task; the formula can be learned and their meaning apprehended: to read the most profound of them, with such appreciation that one stands side by side with the great minds who originated them, requires a higher order of intellect; and far-reaching indeed is that which, pondering in the study on a few phenomena known by observation, develops the theory of worlds, traces back for ages their history, and sketches the outline of their future destiny.

Caroline Herschel, the sister of Sir William, was doubtless gifted with much of the Herschel talent, and, under other circumstances, her mind might have turned to original research; but she belonged rather to the last century, and Hanover was not a region favorable to intellectual efforts in her sex. She lived the life of a simple-hearted, truth-loving woman; most worthy of the name she bore, she made notes for her brother, she swept the heavens and found comets for him, she computed and tabulated his observations; it seems never to have occurred to her to be other than the patient, helping sister of a truly great man.

Mrs. Somerville's life has been more individual. She is the daughter of Admiral Fairfax, and was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, December 26, 1780, in the house of her uncle, the father of her present husband.

The home training and the school education of the daughters of Great Britain are very unlike those of their American sisters. The manners and customs of the Old World change so slowly, that one can scarcely assent to a remark made by Sir John Herschel:—"The Englishman sticks to his old ways, but is not cemented to them." The Englishwoman submits to authority from her infancy; belonging to the middle class, she does not expect the higher education of the nobility; a woman, she is not supposed to desire to enter into the studies of her brothers. A governess, generally the daughter of a curate, who prefers this position to that of "companion" to a fine lady, is provided for her in her early years. If the choice be fortunate and the parents watchful, the young girl is thoroughly taught in a few branches of what are commonly considered feminine studies. She learns to read and to speak French; tutors are employed for music and drawing: every young lady above the rank of the tradesman's daughter plays well upon the piano; every one has her portfolio of drawings, in which sketches from Nature can always be found, and frequently the family portraits. The history of the country is considered a study suitable for girls; the Englishman expects that his daughter shall know something of the past, of which he is so justly proud.

But the more solid book-learning given to the girls of New England, even in the public schools, is known only to the daughters of the higher classes, and among them an instance like that of Lady Jane Grey could scarcely now be found. As the girls and boys are never taught in the same schools, no taste is aroused by the example of manly studies. An English girl is astonished to hear that an American girl passes a public examination, like her brothers, and with them competes for prizes; she doubts the truthfulness of some of the representations of life found in American novels; and so little is the freedom of manners understood, that the American traveller is frequently asked,—"Can it really be as Mrs. Stowe represents in America? Does a young lady really give a party herself?"

The difference that one would expect is found between the women of England or Scotland and the women of New England. The young Englishwoman is tasteful and elegant, mindful of all the proprieties and graces of social life; she speaks slowly and cautiously, and gives her opinions with great modesty. These are not at present the characteristics of the American girl.

Mary Fairfax passed through the usual routine. At fourteen she had read the books to be found in her father's house, including the few works on Navigation which were necessary to him in his profession. She had thus obtained an idea of the world of science, and it was dull to return to worsted-work for amusement. The needle, which has been the fetter of so many women, became, however, in her hand, magnetic, and pointed her to her destiny. She was in the habit of taking her work into her brother's study, and listening to his recitations; the revelations of Geometry were thus opened to her; she listened and worked for a time, until the desire to know more of this region of form and law, of harmony and of relations, became too strong to be resisted; the worsted was thrown aside, and she ventured to ask the tutor to instruct her. The honest man told her that he was no mathematician: he could lend her Euclid, but he could do no more.

The first great step was now taken; Euclid was quickly read; other books were borrowed from other friends; Bonnycastle's and Euler's Algebra were obtained, and she exulted in the use of those mystic symbols, x, y, and z. Her parents looked on with indifference; so that the music were not neglected and the governess reported well of her studies, they felt there was no harm in her amusing herself as she chose. When the days of the governess were over, the young lady "came out" in Edinburgh, and mingled much with the best society. This most picturesque city had long been the resort of the most gifted minds; men of literature and men of science made the charm of its winter life. Never was it more the gathering-place of intellect than in the early part of this century; but there was no room for a woman of genius, and the young girl's friends advised her to conceal her pursuits. Move as quietly, however, and as unobtrusively as she might in the brilliant circle, her genius was not without recognition. There was a word of encouragement from Professor Playfair. "Persevere in your study," said he; "it will be a source of happiness to you when all else fails; for it is the study of truth." She had a champion, too, in the dreaded critic, Jeffrey. "I am told," said a friend, writing to him, "that the ladies of Edinburgh are literary, and that one of them sets up as a blue-stocking and an astronomer." "The lady of whom you speak," replied Jeffrey, "may wear blue stockings, but her petticoats are so long that I have never seen them."

Mrs. Somerville has been twice married. Her first husband, a gentleman of the name of Greig, regarded her pursuits as her parents had, simply with indifference. Dr. Somerville, her present husband, has taken the utmost pains to secure her time for her studies, and has himself relieved her from many household cares.

The simplicity of character which belonged to her in early life was not lost when her reputation became established. The Royal Society, whose doors do not open at every knock, admitted her to membership, and, by their order, her bust was sculptured by Chantrey, and now adorns the hall of the Society in Somerset House. During the sittings for this purpose, a lady, a friend of the sculptor, him to introduce her to Mrs. Somerville. Chantrey consented, and made a dinner-party for the purpose. The two ladies were placed side by side at table, and the benevolent artist rejoiced to perceive, from the flow of talk, that they were mutually pleased. The next day, to his astonishment, his friend called on him in a state of great indignation, believing herself the victim of a practical joke. "How could you do so?" said she. "You knew that I did not want to know that Mrs. Somerville; I wanted to know the astronomer: that lady talked of the theatre, the opera, and common things."

The anecdote so often told of Laplace's compliment is literally true. Mrs. Somerville dined with this great geometer in Paris. "I write books," said Laplace, "that no one can read. Only two women have ever read the 'Mécanique Céleste'; both are Scotch women: Mrs. Greig and yourself."

Upon the "Mécanique Céleste" Mrs. Somerville's greatest work is founded. "I simply translated Laplace's work," said she, "from algebra into common language." That is, she did what very few men and no other woman could do. It is of this work of Laplace that Bonaparte said, "I will give to it my first six months of leisure." The student who reads it by the aid of Dr. Bowditch's notes has little idea of the difficulties to be met in the original work. Even Dr. Bowditch himself said, "I never come across one of Laplace's 'Thus it plainly appears,' without feeling sure that I have got hours of hard study before me, to fill up the chasm and show how it plainly appears."

This "translation into common language" was undertaken at the request of Lord Brougham, who desired a mathematical work suited to the "Library of Useful Knowledge." The manuscript was submitted to Sir John Herschel, who expressed himself "delighted with it,—that it was a book for posterity, but quite above the class for which Lord Brougham's course was intended." It was published at once, and became the text-book for the students of Cambridge.

"The Connection of the Physical Sciences" and the "Physical Geography" are the later works of Mrs. Somerville. These volumes have probably been more read in our country than in Europe; for it is a common remark of the scientific writers of Great Britain, that their "readers are found in the United States." They contain vast collections of facts in all branches of Physical Science, connected together by the delicate web of Mrs. Somerville's own thought, showing an amount and variety of learning to be compared only to that of Humboldt.

Provided with an "open sesame" to her heart, in the shape of a letter from her old friend, Lady Herschel, we sought the acquaintance of Mrs. Somerville in the spring of 1858. She was at that time residing in Florence, and, sending the letter and a card to her by the servant, we awaited the reply in the large Florentine parlor, in the fireplace of which a wood-fire blazed, suggestive of English comfort,—a suggestion which in Italy rarely becomes a reality.

There was the usual delay; then a footstep came slowly through the outer room, and a very old man, exceedingly tall, with a red silk handkerchief around his head, entered, and introduced himself as Doctor Somerville. He is proud of his wife; a pardonable weakness in any man, especially so in the husband of Mary Somerville. He began at once to talk of her. "Mrs. Somerville," he said, "was much interested in the Americans, for she claimed a connection with the family of Washington. Washington's half-brother, Lawrence, married Anne Fairfax, who was of the Scotch family of that name. When Mrs. Somerville's father, as Lieutenant Fairfax, was ordered to America, General Washington wrote to him as a family relative, and invited him to his house. Lieutenant Fairfax applied to his commanding officer for leave to accept the invitation, and it was refused; they never met. Much to the regret of the Somervilles, the letter of Washington has been lost. The Fairfaxes of Virginia are of the same family, and occasionally some member of the American branch visits his Scotch cousins."

While Doctor Somerville was talking of these things, Mrs. Somerville came tripping into the room, speaking with the vivacity of a young person. She was seventy-seven years old, but appeared twenty years younger. Her face is pleasing, the forehead low and broad, the eyes blue,—the features so regular, that, as sculptured by Chantrey, in the bust at Somerset House, they convey the idea of a very handsome woman. Neither this bust nor the picture of her, however, gives a correct impression, except in the outline of the head and shoulders. She spoke with a strong Scotch accent, and was slightly affected by deafness.

At this time, Mrs. Somerville was re-writing her "Physical Geography." She said that she worked as well as when she was younger, but was more quickly fatigued; yet, in order to gain time, she had given up her afternoon nap, without apparent injury to her health. Her working hours were in the morning, and she never refused a visitor after noon. For her first work she said she computed a good deal; and here she stepped quickly into an adjoining room, and brought out a mass of manuscript computations made for that work, the mere sight of which would give a headache to most women. The conversation was rather of the familiar and chatty order, and marked by great simplicity. She touched upon the recent discoveries in chemical science,—upon California, its gold and its consequences, some good from which she thought would be found in the improvement of seamanship,—on the nebulae, more and more of which she thought would be resolved, while yet there might exist irresolvable nebulous matter, such as composed the tails of comets, or the satellites of the planets, which she thought had other uses than as their subordinates. Of Doctor Whewell's attempt to prove that our planet is the only one inhabited she spoke with disapprobation; she said she believed that the other planets might be inhabited by beings of a higher order than ourselves.

On subsequent visits, Mrs. Somerville had much to say of the Americans. She regretted that she so rarely received scientific articles from America; the papers of Lieutenant Maury alone reached her. She spoke of the late Doctor Bowditch with great interest, and said she had had some correspondence with one of his sons; of Professor Peirce as a great mathematician; and she was much interested in the successful photography of the stars by Mr. Whipple. To a traveller, thousands of miles from home, the mere mention of familiar names is cheering.

Mrs. Somerville resides in Florence on account of the health of her husband. A little garden, well-stocked with rose-bushes, which she shows with great pride to her visitors, furnishes her with a means of healthy recreation after her severe studies. Her children are a son by Mr. Greig and two daughters by Doctor Somerville. In early life, Mrs. Somerville was a fine musician: the daughters have inherited this talent; and having lived long in Florence, they speak Italian with a perfect accent. "I speak Italian," said Mrs. Somerville; "but no one could ever take me for other than a Scotchwoman."

No one can make the acquaintance of this remarkable woman without increased admiration for her. The ascent of the steep and rugged path of science has not unfitted her for the drawing-room circle; the hours of devotion to close study have not been incompatible with the duties of the wife and the mother; the mind that has turned to rigid demonstration has not thereby lost its faith in the truths which figures will not prove. "I have no doubt," said she, in speaking of the heavenly bodies, "that in another state of existence we shall know more about these things."



May has come again,—"the delicate-footed May," her feet hidden in flowers as she wanders over the Campagna, and the cool breeze of the Campagna blowing back her loosened hair. She calls to us from the open fields to leave the wells of damp churches and shadowy streets, and to come abroad and meet her where the mountains look down from roseate heights of vanishing snow upon plains of waving grain. The hedges have put on their best draperies of leaves and flowers, and, girdled in at their waist by double osier bands, stagger luxuriantly along the road like a drunken Bacchanal procession, crowned with festive ivy, and holding aloft their snowy clusters of elder-blossoms like thyrsi. Among their green robes may be seen thousands of beautiful wild-flowers,—the sweet-scented laurustinus, all sorts of running vetches and wild sweet-pea, the delicate vases of dewy morning-glories, clusters of eglantine or sweetbrier roses, fragrant acacia-blossoms covered with bees and buzzing flies, the gold of glowing gorses, and scores of purple and yellow flowers, of which I know not the names. On the gray walls, vines, grass, and the humble class of flowers which go by the ignoble name of weeds straggle and cluster; and over them, held down by the green cord of the stalk, balance the bursted balloons of hundreds of flaming scarlet poppies that seem to have fed on fire. The undulating swell of the Campagna is here ablaze with them for acres, and there deepening with growing grain, or snowed over with myriads of daisies. Music and song, too, are not wanting; hundreds of birds are in the hedges. The lark, "from his moist cabinet rising," rains down his trills of incessant song from invisible heights of blue sky; and whenever one passes the wayside groves, a nightingale is sure to bubble into song. The oranges, too, are in blossom, perfuming the air; locust-trees are tasselled with odorous flowers; and over the walls of the Campagna villa bursts a cascade of vines covered with foamy Banksia roses.

The Carnival of the kitchen-gardens is now commencing. Peas are already an old story, strawberries are abundant, and cherries are beginning to make their appearance, in these first days of May; old women sell them at every corner, tied together in tempting bunches, as in "the cherry-orchard" which Miss Edgeworth has made fairy-land in our childish memories. Asparagus also has long since come; and artichokes make their daily appearance on the table, sliced up and fried, or boiled whole, or coming up roasted and gleaming with butter, with more outside capes and coats than an ideal English coachman of the olden times. Finocchi, too, are here, tasting like anisette, and good to mix in the salads. And great beans lie about in piles, the contadini twisting them out of their thick pods with their thumbs, to eat them raw. Nay, even the signoria of the noble families do the same, as they walk through the gardens, and think them such a luxury that they eat them raw for breakfast. But over and above all other vegetables are the lettuces, which are one of the great staples of food for the Roman people, and so crisp, fresh, delicate, and high-flavored, that be who eats them once will hold Nebuchadnezzar no longer a subject for compassion, but rather of envy. Drowned in fresh olive-oil and strong with vinegar, they are a feast for the gods; and even in their natural state, without condiments, they are by no means to be despised. At the corners of the streets they lie piled in green heaps, and are sold at a baiocco for five heads. At noontide, the contadini and laborers feed upon them without even the condiment of salt, crunching their white teeth through the crisp, wet leaves, and alternating a bite at a great wedge of bread; and toward nightfall, one may see carts laden high up with closely packed masses of them, coming in from the Campagna for the market. In a word, the festa of the vegetables, at which they do not eat, but are eaten, and the Carnival of the kitchen-garden have come.

But—a thousand, thousand pardons, O mighty Cavolo!—how have I dared omit thy august name? On my knees, O potentest of vegetables, I crave forgiveness! I will burn at thy shrine ten waxen candles, in penance, if thou wilt pardon the sin and shame of my forgetfulness! The smoke of thy altar-fires, the steam of thy incense, and the odors of thy sanctity rise from every hypaethral shrine in Rome. Out-doors and in-doors, wherever the foot wanders, on palatial stairs or in the hut of poverty, in the convent pottage and the Lepre soup, in the wooden platter of the beggar and the silver tureen of the prince, thou fillest our nostrils, thou satisfiest our stomach. Thou hast no false pride; great as thou art, thou condescendest to be exchanged for a baiocco. Dear enchantress! to thee, and to thy glorious cousin Broccoli, that tender-hearted, efflorescent nymph, the Egeria of the osteria con cucina, the peerless maid that goes with the steak and accepts martyrdom without moan, to drive away the demon of Hunger from her devoted followers,—all honor! Far away, whenever I inhale thy odor, I shall think of "Roman Joys"; a whiff from thine altar in a foreign land will bear me back to the Eternal City, "the City of the Soul," the City of the Cabbage, the home of the Dioscuri, Cavolo and Broccoli! Yes, as Paris is recalled by the odor of chocolate, and London by the damp steam of malt, so shall Rome come back when my nostrils are filled with thy penetrative fragrance!

Saunter out at any of the city-gates, or lean over the wall at San Giovanni, (and where will you find a more charming spot?) or look down from the windows of the Villa Negroni, and your eye will surely fall on one of the Roman kitchen-gardens, patterned out in even rows and squares of green. Nothing can be prettier or more tasteful in their arrangement than these variegated carpets of vegetables. A great cistern of running water crowns the height of the ground, which is used for the purposes of irrigation, and towards nightfall the vent is opened, and you may see the gardeners imbanking the channelled rows to let the inundation flow through hundreds of little lanes of intersection and canals between the beds, and then banking them up at the entrance when a sufficient quantity of water has entered. In this way they fertilize and refresh the soil, which else would parch under the continuous sun. And this, indeed, is all the fertilization they need,—so strong is the soil all over the Campagna. The accretions and decay of thousands of years have covered it with a loam whose richness and depth are astonishing. Dig where you will, for ten feet down, and you do not pass through its wonderfully fertile loam into gravel, and the slightest labor is repaid a hundred-fold.

As one looks from the Villa Negroni windows, he cannot fail to be impressed by the strange changes through which this wonderful city has passed. The very spot on which Nero, the insane emperor-artist, fiddled while Rome was burning has now become a vast kitchen-garden, belonging to Prince Massimo, (himself a descendant, as he claims, of Fabius Cunctator,) where men no longer, but only lettuces, asparagus, and artichokes, are ruthlessly cut down. The inundations are not for mock sea-fights among slaves, but for the peaceful purposes of irrigation. And though the fiddle of Nero is only traditional, the trumpets of the French, murdering many an unhappy strain near by, are a most melancholy fact. In the bottom of the valley, a noble old villa, covered with frescoes, has been turned into a manufactory of bricks, and the very Villa Negroni itself is now doomed to be the site of a railway station. Yet here the princely family of Negroni lived, and the very lady at whose house Lucrezia Borgia took her famous revenge may once have sauntered under the walls, which still glow with ripening oranges, to feed the gold-fish in the fountain, or walked with stately friends through the long alleys of clipped cypresses, and pic-nicked alia Giorgione on lawns which are now but kitchen-gardens, dedicated to San Cavolo. It pleases me, also, descending in memories to a later time, to look up at the summer-house built above the gateway, and recall the days when Shelley and Keats came there to visit their friend Severn, the artist, (for that was his studio,) and look over the same alleys and gardens, and speak words one would have been so glad to hear,—and, coming still later down, to recall the hearty words and brave heart of America's best sculptor and my dear friend, Crawford.

But to return to the kitchen-gardens. Pretty as they are to the eye, they are not considered to be wholesome; and no Roman will live in a house near one of them, especially if it lie on the southern and western side, so that the Sirocco and the prevalent summer winds blow over it. The daily irrigation, in itself, would be sufficient to frighten all Italians away; for they have a deadly fear of all effluvia arising from decomposing vegetable substances, and suppose, with a good deal of truth, that, wherever there is water on the earth, there is decomposition. But this is not the only reason; for the same prejudice exists in regard to all kinds of gardens, whether irrigated or not,—and even to groves of trees and clusters of bushes, or vegetation of any kind, around a house. This is the real reason why, even in their country villas, their trees are almost always planted at a distance from the house, so as to expose it to the sun and to give it a free ventilation; these they do not care for; damp is their determined foe, and therefore they will not purchase the luxury of shade from trees at the risk of the damp it is supposed to engender. On the north, however, gardens are not thought to be so prejudicial as on the south and west,—as the cold, dry winds come from the former direction. The malaria, as we call it, though the term is unknown to Romans, is never so dangerous as after a slight rain, just sufficient to wet the surface of the earth without deeply penetrating it; for decomposition is then stimulated, and the miasma arising from the Campagna is blown abroad. So long as the earth is dry, there is no danger of fever, except at morning and nightfall, and then simply because of the heavy dews which the porous and baked earth then inhales and expires. After the autumn has given a thorough, drenching rain, Rome is healthy and free from fever.

Rome has with strangers the reputation of being unhealthy; but this opinion I cannot think well founded,—to the extent, at least, of the common belief. The diseases of children there are ordinarily very light, while in America and England they are terrible. Scarlet and typhus fevers, those fearful scourges in the North, are known at Rome only under most mitigated forms. Cholera has shown no virulence there; and for diseases of the throat and lungs the air alone is almost curative. The great curse of the place is the intermittent fever, in which any other illness is apt to end. But this, except in its peculiar phase of Perniciosa, though a very annoying, is by no means a dangerous disease, and has the additional advantage of a specific remedy. The Romans themselves of the better class seldom suffer from it, and I cannot but think that with a little prudence it may be easily avoided. Those who are most attacked by it are the laborers and contadini on the Campagna; and how can it be otherwise with them? They sleep often on the bare ground, or on a little straw under a capanna just large enough to admit them on all-fours. Their labor is exhausting, and performed in the sun, and while in a violent perspiration they are often exposed to sudden draughts and checks. Their food is poor, their habits careless, and it would require an iron constitution to resist what they endure. But, despite the life they lead and their various exposures, they are for the most part a very strong and sturdy class. This intermittent fever is undoubtedly a far from pleasant thing; but Americans who are terrified at it in Rome give it no thought in Philadelphia, where it is more prevalent,—and while they call Rome unhealthy, live with undisturbed confidence in cities where scarlet and typhus fevers annually rage.

It is a curious fact, that the French soldiers, who in 1848 made the siege of Rome, suffered no inconvenience or injury to their health from sleeping on the Campagna, and that, despite the prophecies to the contrary, very few cases of fever appeared, though the siege lasted during all the summer months. The reason of this is doubtless to be found in the fact that they were better clothed, better fed, and in every way more careful of themselves, than the contadini. Foreigners, too, who visit Rome, are very seldom attacked by intermittent fever; and it may truly be said, that, when they are, it is, for the most part, their own fault. There is generally the grossest inconsistency between their theories and their practice. Believing as they do that the least exposure will induce fever, they expose themselves with singular recklessness to the very causes of fever. After hurrying through the streets and getting into a violent perspiration, they plunge at once into some damp pit-like church or chill gallery, where the temperature is at least ten degrees lower than the outer air. The bald-headed, rosy John Bull, steaming with heat, doffs at once the hat which he wore in the street, and, of course, is astounded, if the result prove just what it would be anywhere else,—and if he take cold and get a fever, charges it to the climate, and not to his own stupidity and recklessness. Beside this, foreigners will always insist on carrying their home-habits with them wherever they go, and it is exceedingly difficult to persuade any one that he does not understand the climate better than the Italians themselves, whom he puts down as a poor set of timid ignoramuses. However, the longer one lives in Rome, the more he learns to value the Italian rules of health. There is probably no people so careful in these matters as the Italians, and especially the Romans. They understand their own climate, and they have a special dislike of death. In France and England suicides are very common; in Italy they are almost unknown. The American recklessness of life completely astounds the Italian. He enjoys life, studies every method to preserve it, and considers any one who risks it unnecessarily as simply a fool.

What, then, are their rules of life? In the first place, in all their habits they are very regular. They eat at stated times, and cannot be persuaded to partake of anything in the intervals. If it be not their hour for eating, they will refuse the choicest viands, and will sit at your table fasting, despite every temptation you can offer them. They are also very abstemious in their diet, and gluttony is the very rarest of vices. I do not believe there is another nation in Europe that eats so sparingly. In the morning they take a cup of coffee, generally without milk, sopping in it some light brioche. Later in the day they take a slight lunch of soup and macaroni, with a glass of wine. This lasts them until dinner, which begins with a watery soup; after which the lesso or boiled meat comes on and is eaten with one vegetable, which is less a dish than a garnish to the meat; then comes a dish of some vegetable eaten with bread; then, perhaps, a chop, or another dish of meat, garnished with a vegetable; some light dolce or fruit, and a cup of black coffee,—the latter for digestion's sake,—finish the repast. The quantity is very small, however, compared to what is eaten in England, France, America, or, though last, not least, Germany. Late in the evening they have a supper. When dinner is taken in the middle of the day, lunch is omitted. This is the rule of the better classes. The workmen and middle classes, after their cup of coffee and bit of bread or brioche in the morning, take nothing until night, except another cup of coffee and bread,—and their dinner finishes their meals after their work is done. From my own observation, I should say that an Italian does not certainly eat more than half as much as a German, or two-thirds as much as an American. The climate will not allow of gormandizing, and much less food is required to sustain the vital powers than in America, where the atmosphere is so stimulating to the brain and the digestion, or in England, where the depressing effects of the climate must be counteracted by stimulants. Go to any table d'hôte in the season, and you will at once know all the English who are new comers by their bottle of ale or claret or sherry or brandy; for the Englishman assimilates with difficulty, and unwillingly puts off his home-habits. The fresh American will always be recognized by the morning-dinner, which he calls a breakfast.

If you wish to keep your health in Italy, follow the example of the Italians. Eat a third less than you are accustomed to at home. Do not drink habitually of brandy, porter, ale, or even Marsala, but confine yourselves to the lighter wines of the country or of France. Do not walk much in the sun; "only Englishmen and dogs" do that, as the proverb goes; and especially take heed not to expose yourself, when warm, to any sudden changes of temperature. If you have heated yourself with walking in the sun, be careful not to go at once, and especially towards nightfall, into the lower and shaded streets, which have begun to gather the damps, and which are kept cool by the high, thick walls of the houses. Remember that the difference of temperature is very great between the narrow, shaded streets and the high, sunny Pincio. If you have the misfortune to be of the male sex, and especially if you suffer under the sorrow of the first great Caesar in being bald, buy yourself a little skullcap, (it is as good as his laurels for the purpose,) and put it on your head whenever you enter the churches and cold galleries. Almost every fever here is the result of suddenly checked transpiration of the skin; and if you will take the precaution to cool yourself before entering churches and galleries, and not to expose yourself while warm to sudden changes of temperature, you may live twenty years in Rome without a fever. Do not stand in draughts of cold air, and shut your windows when you go to bed. There is nothing an Italian fears like a current of air, and with reason. He will never sit between two doors or two windows. If he has walked to see you and is in the least warm, pray him to keep his hat on until he is cool, if you would be courteous to him. You will find that he will always use the same gentilezza to you. The reason why you should shut your windows at night is very simple. The night-air is invariably damp and cold, contrasting greatly with the warmth of the day, and it is then that the miasma from the Campagna drifts into the city. And oh, my American friends! repress your national love for hot rooms and great fires, and do not make an oven of your salon. Bake yourselves, kiln-dry yourselves, if you choose, in your furnaced houses at home, but, if you value your health, "reform that altogether" in Italy. Increase your clothing and suppress your fires, and you will find yourselves better in head and in pocket. With your great fires you will always be cold and always have colds; for the houses are not tight, and you only create great draughts thereby. You will not persuade an Italian to sit near them;—"Scusa, Signore" he will say, "mi fa male; se non gli dispiace, mi metto in questo cantone,"—and with your permission he takes the farthest corner away from the fire. Seven winters in Rome have convinced me of the correctness of their rule. Of course, you do not believe me or them; but it would be better for you, if you did,—and for me, too, when I come to visit you.

But I must beg pardon for all this advice; and as my business is not to write a medical thesis here, let me return to pleasanter things.

Scarcely does the sun drop behind St. Peter's on the first day of May, before bonfires begin to blaze from all the country towns on the mountain-sides, showing like great beacons. This is a custom founded in great antiquity, and common to the North and South. The first of May is the Festival of the Holy Apostles in Italy; but in Germany, and still farther north, in Sweden and Norway, it is Walpurgisnacht,—when goblins, witches, hags, and devils hold high holiday, mounting on their brooms for the Brocken. And it was on this night that Mephistopheles carried Faust on his wondrous ride, and showed him the spectre of Margaret with the red line round her throat. Miss Bremer, in her "Life in Dalecarlia," gives the following account of the origin of this custom:—"It is so old," she says, "that there is no perfect certainty either of its origin or signification. It is, however, believed that it derives its origin from a heathen sacrificatory festival; and there is ground for the acceptation that children were sacrificed alive at this very feast,—and this, in fact, in order to expel or reconcile the evil spirits, of whom the people believed, that, partly flying, partly riding, they commenced their passages over fields and woods at the beginning of spring, and which are to this day called enchanters, witches, nymphs, and so forth. It is also believed that about this time the spirits of the earth came forth from out of the bosom of the earth and the heart of the mountains in order to seek intercourse with the children of men. Fires were frequently kindled upon the sepulchral hills, and at these, sacrifices were offered, chiefly to the good powers, namely, to those who provide for a fruitful year. At present I should scarcely think there is an individual who believes in such superstitious stuff. But they still, as in days of yore, kindle fires upon the mountains on this night, and still look upon it as a bad omen, if any common or ugly-formed creature, whether beast or man, makes its appearance at the fire."

In the Neapolitan towns great fires are built on this festival, around which the people dance, jumping through the flames, and flinging themselves about in every wild and fantastic attitude. It is probably a relic of some old sacrificatory festival to Maia, who has given her name to this month,—the custom still remaining after its significance is gone.

The month of May is the culmination of the spring and the season of seasons at Rome. No wonder that foreigners who have come when winter sets in and take wing before April shows her sky sometimes growl at the weather, and ask if this is the beautiful Italian clime. They have simply selected the rainy season for their visit; and one cannot expect to have sun the whole year through, without intermission. Where will they find more sun in the same season? where will they find milder and softer air? Days even in the middle of winter, and sometimes weeks, descend as it were from heaven to fill the soul with delight; and a lovely day in Rome is lovelier than under any other sky on earth. But just when foreigners go away in crowds, the weather is settling into the perfection of spring, and then it is that Rome is most charming. The rains are over, the sun is a daily blessing, all Nature is bursting into leaf and flower, and one may spend days on the Campagna without fear of colds and fever. Stay in Rome during May, if you wish to feel its beauty.

The best rule for a traveller who desires to enjoy the charms of every clime would be to go to the North in the winter and to the South in the spring and summer. Cold is the speciality of the North, and all its sports and gayeties take thence their tone. The houses are built to shut out the demon of Frost, and protect one from his assaults of ice and snow. Let him howl about your windows and scrawl his wonderful landscapes on your panes and pile his fantastic wreaths outside, while you draw round the blazing hearth and enjoy the artificial heat and warm in the social converse that he provokes. Your punch is all the better for his threats; by contrast you enjoy the more. Or brave him outside in a flying sledge, careering with jangling bells over white wastes of snow, while the stars, as you go, fly through the naked trees that are glittering with ice-jewels, and your blood tingles with excitement, and your breath is blown like a white incense to the skies. That is the real North. How tame he will look to you, when you go back in August and find a few hard apples, a few tough plums, and some sour little things which are apologies for grapes! He looks sneaky enough then, with his make-believe summer, and all his furs off. No, then is the time for the South. All is simmering outside, and the locust saws and shrills till he seems to heat the air. You stay in the house at noon, and know what a virtue there is in thick walls which keep out the fierce heats, in gaping windows and doors that will not shut because you need the ventilation. You will not now complain of the stone and brick floors that you cursed all winter long, and on which you now sprinkle water to keep the air cool in your rooms. The blunders and stupidities of winter are all over. The breezy loggia is no longer a joke. You are glad enough to sit there and drink your wine and look over the landscape. Manuccia brings in a great basket of grapes that are grapes, which the wasp envies you as you eat, and comes to share. And here are luscious figs bursting with seedy sweetness, and apricots rusted in the sun, and velvety peaches that break into juice in your mouth, and great black-seeded cocomeri. Nature empties her cornucopia of fruits and flowers and vegetables all over your table. Luxuriously you enjoy them and fan yourself and take your siesta, with full appreciation of your dolce far niente. When the sun begins to slope westward, if you are in the country, you wander through the green lanes festooned with vines and pluck the grapes as you go; or, if you are in the city, you saunter the evening long through the streets, where all the world are strolling, and take your granito of ice or sherbet, and talk over the things of the day and the time, and pass as you go home groups of singers and serenaders with guitars, flutes, and violins,—serenade, perhaps, sometimes, yourself; and all the time the great planets and stars palpitate in the near heavens, and the soft air full of fragrance blows against your cheek. And you can really say, This is Italy! For it is not what you do, so much as what you feel, that makes Italy.

But pray remember, when you go there, that in the South every arrangement is made for the nine hot months, and not for the three cold and rainy ones you choose to spend there, and perhaps your views may be somewhat modified in respect of this "miserable people," who, you say, "have no idea of comfort,"—meaning, of course, English comfort. Perhaps, I say; for it is in the nature of travellers to come to sudden conclusions upon slight premises, to maintain with obstinacy preconceived notions, and to quarrel with all national traits except their own. And being English, unless you have a friend in India who has made you aware that cane-bottom chairs are India-English, you will be pretty sure to believe that there is no comfort without carpets and coal; or being an American, you will be apt to undervalue a gallery of pictures with only a three-ply carpet on the floor, and to "calculate," that, if they could see your house in Washington Street, they would feel rather ashamed. However, there is a great deal of human nature in mankind, wherever you go,—except in Paris, perhaps, where Nature is rather inhuman and artificial. And when I instance the Englishman and American as making false judgments, let me not be misunderstood as supposing them the only nations in that category. No, no! did not my Parisian acquaintance the other day assure me very gravely, after lamenting the absurdity of the Italians' not speaking French instead of their own language,—"But, Sir, what is this Italian? nothing but bad French!"—and did not another of that same polished nation, in describing his travels to Naples, say, in answer to the question, whether he had seen the grand old temples of Paestum,—"Ah, yes, I have seen Paestum; 'tis a detestable country!—like the Campagna of Rome"? I am perfectly aware that there are differences of opinion.

Let me, then, beg you to remain in Rome during the mouth of May, if you can possibly make your arrangements to do so.

May is the month of the Madonna, and on every festa-day you will see at the corners of the streets a little improvised shrine, or it may be only a festooned print of the Madonna hung against the walls of some house or against the back of a chair, and tended by two or three children, who hold out to you a plate, as you pass, and beg for charity, sometimes, I confess, in the most pertinacious way,—the money thus raised to be expended in oil for the lamps before the Madonna shrines in the streets. The monasteries of nuns are also busy with processions and celebrations in honor of "the Mother of God," which are carried on pleasantly within their precincts and seen only of female friends. Sometimes you will meet a procession of ladies outside the gates following a cross on foot, while their carriages come after in a long file. These are societies which are making the pilgrimage of the Seven Basilicas outside the Walls. They set out early in the morning, stopping in each basilica for a half-hour to say their prayers, and return to Rome at Ave Maria.

Life, too, is altogether changed now. All the windows are wide open, and there is at least one head and shoulders leaning out at every house. And the poorer families are all out on their door-steps, working and chatting together, while their children run about them in the streets, sprawling, playing, and fighting. Many a beautiful theme for the artist is now to be found in these careless and characteristic groups; and curly-headed Saint Johns may be seen in every street, half naked, with great black eyes and rounded arms and legs. It is this which makes Rome so admirable a residence for an artist. All things are easy and careless in the out-of-doors life of the common people,—all poses unsought, all groupings accidental, all action unaffected and unconscious. One meets Nature at every turn,—not braced up in prim forms, not conscious in manners, not made up into the fashionable or the proper, but impulsive, free, and simple. With the whole street looking on, they are as unconscious and natural as if they were where no eye could see them,—ay, and more natural, too, than it is possible for some people to be, even in the privacy of their solitary rooms. They sing at the top of their lungs as they sit on their door-steps at their work, and often shout from house to house across the street a long conversation, and sometimes even read letters from upper windows to their friends below in the street. The men and women who cry their fruits, vegetables, and wares up and down the city, laden with baskets or panniers, and often accompanied by a donkey, stop to chat with group after group, or get into animated debates about prices, or exercise their wits and lungs at once in repartee in a very amusing way. Everybody is in dishabille in the morning, but towards twilight the girls put on their better dresses, and comb their glossy raven hair, heaping it up in great solid braids, and, hanging two long golden ear-rings in their ears and collane round their full necks, come forth conquering and to conquer, and saunter bare-headed up and down the streets, or lounge about the doorways or piazzas in groups, ready to give back to any jeerer as good as he sends. You see them marching along sometimes in a broad platoon of five or six, all their brows as straight as if they had been ruled, and their great dark eyes flashing out under them, ready in a moment for a laugh or a frown. What stalwart creatures they are! What shoulders, bosoms, and backs they have! what a chance for the lungs under those stout busti! and what finished and elegant heads! They are certainly cast in a large mould, with nothing belittled or meagre about them, either in feature or figure.

Early in the morning you will see streaming through the streets or gathered together in picturesque groups, some standing, some couching on the pavement, herds of long-haired goats, brown and white and black, which have been driven, or rather which have followed their shepherd, into the city to be milked. The majestical, long-bearded, patriarchal rams shake their bells and parade solemnly round,—while the silken females clatter their little hoofs as they run from the hand of the milker when he has filled his can. The shepherd is kept pretty busy, too, milking at everybody's door; and before the fashionable world is up at nine, the milk is gone and the goats are off.

You may know that it is May by the orange and lemon stands, which are erected in almost every piazza. These are little booths covered with canvas, and fantastically adorned with lemons and oranges intermixed, which, piled into pyramids and disposed about everywhere, have a very gay effect. They are generally placed near a fountain, the water of which is conducted through a canna into the centre of the booth, and there, finding its own level again, makes a little spilling fountain from which the bibite are diluted. Here for a baiocco one buys lemonade or orangeade and all sorts of curious little drinks or bibite, with a feeble taste of anisette or some other herb to take off the mawkishness of the water,—or for a half-baiocco one may have the lemonade without sugar, and in this way it is usually drunk. On all festa-days, little portable tables are carried round the streets, hung to the neck of the limonaro, and set down at convenient spots, or whenever a customer presents himself, and the cries of "Acqua fresca,—limonaro, limonaro,—chi vuol bere?" are heard on all sides; and I can assure you, that, after standing on tiptoe for an hour in the heat and straining your neck and head to get sight of some Church procession, you are glad enough to go to the extravagance of even a lemonade with sugar; and smacking your lips, you bless the institution of the limonaro as one which must have been early instituted by the Good Samaritan. Listen to his own description of himself in one of the popular canzonetti sung about the streets by wandering musicians to the accompaniment of a violin and guitar:—

  "Ma per altro son uomo ingegnoso,
    Non possiedo, ma sono padrone;
    Vendo l' acqua con spirto e limone
  Finche dura d' estate il calor.

  "Ho an capello di paglia,—ma bello!
    Un zinale di sopra fino;
    Chi mi osserva nel mio tavolino,
  Gli vien sete, se sete non ha.

  "Spaccio spirti, siroppi, acquavite
    Fo 'ranciate di nuova invenzione;
    Voi vedete quante persone
  Chiedon acqua,—e rispondo,—Son quà!"

The limonaro is the exponent, the algebraic power, of the Church processions which abound this month; and he is as faithful to them as Boswell to Johnson;—wherever they appear, he is there to console and refresh. Nor is his office a sinecure now; and let us hope that he has his small profits, as well as the Church,—though they spell theirs differently.

The great procession of the year takes place this month on Corpus Domini, and is well worth seeing, as being the very finest and most characteristic of all the Church festivals. It was instituted in honor of the famous miracle at Bolsena, when the wafer dripped blood, and is, therefore, in commemoration of one of the cardinal doctrines of the Roman Church, Transubstantiation, and one of its most theological miracles. The Papal procession takes place in the morning, in the piazza of Saint Peter's; and if you would be sure of it, you must be on the spot as soon as eight o'clock at the latest. The whole circle of the piazza itself is covered with an awning, festooned gayly with garlands of box, under which the procession passes; and the ground is covered with yellow sand, over which box and bay are strewn. The celebration commences with morning mass in the basilica, and that over, the procession issues from one door, and, making the whole circuit of the piazza, returns into the church. First come the Seminaristi, or scholars and attendants of the various hospitals and charity-schools, such as San Michele and Santo Spirito,—all in white. Then follow the brown-cowled, long-bearded Franciscans, the white Carmelites, and the black Benedictines, bearing lighted candles and chanting hoarsely as they go. You may see pass before you now all the members of these different conventual orders that there are in Rome, and have an admirable opportunity to study their physiognomies in mass. If you are a convert to Romanism, you will perhaps find in their bald beads and shaven crowns and bearded faces a noble expression of reverence and humility; but, suffering as I do under the misfortune of being a heretic, I could but remark on their heads an enormous development of the two organs of reverence and firmness, and a singular deficiency in the upper forehead, while there was an almost universal enlargement of the lower jaw and of the base of the brain. Being, unfortunately, a friend of Phrenology, as well as a heretic, I drew no very auspicious augury from these developments; and looking into their faces, the physiognomical traits were narrow-mindedness, bigotry, or cunning. The Benedictine heads showed more intellect and will; the Franciscans more dulness and good-nature.

But while I am criticizing them, they are passing by, and a picturesque set of fellows they are. Much as I dislike the conventual creed, I should be sorry to see the costume disappear. Directly on the heels of their poverty come the three splendid triple crowns of the Pope, glittering with gorgeous jewels, and borne in triumph on silken embroidered cushions, and preceded by the court jeweller. After them follow the chapters, canons, and choirs of the seven basilicas, chanting in lofty altos and solid basses and clear ringing tenors from their old Church books, each basilica bearing a typical tent of colored stripes and a wooden campanile and a bell which is constantly rung. Next come the canons of the churches and the monsignori, in splendid dresses and rich capes of beautiful lace falling below their waists; the bishops clad in cloth of silver with mitres on their heads; the cardinals brilliant in gold embroidery and gleaming in the sun; and at last the Pope himself, borne on a platform splendid with silver and gold, with a rich canopy over his head. Beneath this he kneels, or rather, seems to kneel; for, though his splendid draperies and train are skilfully arranged so as to present this semblance, being drawn behind him over two blocks which are so placed as to represent his heels, yet in fact he is seated on a sunken bench or chair, as any careful eye can plainly see. However, kneeling or sitting, just as you will, there he is, before an altar, holding up the ostia, which is the corpus Domini, "the body of God," and surrounded by officers of the Swiss guards in glittering armor, chamberlains in their beautiful black and Spanish dresses with ruffs and swords, attendants in scarlet and purple costumes, and the guardia nobile in their red dress uniforms. Nothing could be more striking than this group. It is the very type of the Church,—pompous, rich, splendid, imposing. After them follow the dragoons mounted,—first a company on black horses, then another on bays, and then a third on grays; foot-soldiers with flashing bayonets bring up the rear, and the procession is over. As the last soldiers enter the church, there is a stir among the gilt equipages of the cardinals which line one side of the piazza,—the horses toss their scarlet plumes, the liveried servants sway as the carriages lumber on, and you may spend a half-hour hunting out your own humble vehicle, if you have one, or throng homeward on foot with the crowd through the Borgo and over the bridge of Sant' Angelo.

This grand procession strikes the note of all the others, and in the afternoon each parish brings out its banners, arrays itself in its choicest dresses, and with pomp and music bears the ostia through the streets, the crowd kneeling before it, and the priests chanting. During the next ottava or eight days, all the processions take place in honor of this festival; and when the week has passed, everything ends with the Papal procession in Saint Peter's piazza, when, without music, and with uncovered heads, the Pope, cardinals, monsignori, canons, and the rest of the priests and officials, make the round of the piazza, bearing great Church banners.

One of the most striking of their celebrations took place this year at the church of San Rocco in the Ripetta, when the church was made splendid with lighted candles and gold bands, and a preacher held forth to a crowded audience in the afternoon. At Ave Maria there was a great procession, with banners, music, and torches, and all the evening the people sauntered to and fro in crowds before the church, where a platform was erected and draped with old tapestries, from which a band played constantly. Do not believe, my dear Presbyterian friend, that these spectacles fail deeply to affect the common mind. So long as human nature remains the same, this splendor and pomp of processions, these lighted torches and ornamented churches, this triumphant music and glad holiday of religion will attract more than your plain conventicles, your ugly meeting-houses, and your compromise with the bass-viol. For my own part, I do not believe that music and painting and all the other arts really belong to the Devil, or that God gave him joy and beauty to deceive with, and kept only the ugly, sour, and sad for himself. We are always better when we are happy; and we are about as sure of being good when we are happy, as of being happy when we are good. Cheerfulness and happiness are, in my humble opinion, duties and habits to be cultivated; but, if you don't think so, I certainly would not deny you the privilege of being wretched: don't let us quarrel about it.

Rather let us turn to the Artists' Festival, which takes place in this month, and is one of the great attractions of the season. Formerly, this festival took place at Cerbara, an ancient Etruscan town on the Campagna, of which only certain subterranean caves remain. But during the revolutionary days which followed the disasters of 1848, it was suspended for two or three years by the interdict of the Papal government, and when it was again instituted, the place of meeting was changed to Fidenae, the site of another Etruscan town, with similar subterranean excavations, which were made the head-quarters of the festival. But the new railway to Bologna having been laid out directly over this ground, the artists have been again driven away, and this year the festa was held, for the first time, in the grove of Egeria, one of the most beautiful spots on the whole Campagna,—and here it is to be hoped it will have an abiding rest.

This festival was instituted by the German artists, and, though the artists of all nations now join in it, the Germans still remain its special patrons and directors. Early in the morning, the artists rendezvous at an appointed osteria outside the walls, dressed in every sort of grotesque and ludicrous costume which can be imagined. All the old dresses which can be rummaged out of the studios or theatres, or pieced together from masking wardrobes, are now in requisition. Indians and Chinese, ancient warriors and mediaeval heroes, militia-men and Punches, generals in top-boots and pigtails, doctors in gigantic wigs and small-clothes, Falstaffs and justices "with fair round belly with good capon lined," magnificent foolscaps, wooden swords with terrible inscriptions, gigantic chapeaus with plumes made of vegetables, in a word, every imaginable absurdity is to be seen. Arrived at the place of rendezvous, they all breakfast, and then the line of march is arranged. A great wooden cart, adorned with quaint devices, garlanded with laurel and bay, bears the president and committee. This is drawn by great white oxen, who are decorated with wreaths and flowers and gay trappings, and from it floats the noble banner of Cerbara or Fidenae. After this follows a strange and motley train,—some mounted on donkeys, some on horses, and some afoot,—and the line of march is taken up for the grove of Egeria. What mad jests and wild fun now take place it is impossible to describe; suffice it to say, that all are right glad of a little rest when they reach their destination.

Now begin to stream out from the city hundreds of carriages,—for all the world will be abroad to-day to see,—and soon the green slopes are swarming with gay crowds. Some bring with them a hamper of provisions and wine, and, spreading them on the grass, lunch and dine when and where they will; but those who would dine with the artists must have the order of the mezzo baiocco hanging to their buttonhole, which is distributed previously in Rome to all the artists who purchase tickets. Some few there are who also bear upon their breasts the nobler medal of troppo merito, gained on previous days, and those are looked upon with due reverence.

But before dinner or lunch there is a high ceremony to take place,—the great feature of the day. It is the mock-heroic play. This year it was the meeting of Numa with the nymph Egeria at the grotto; and thither went the festive procession; and the priest, befilletted and draped in white, burned upon the altar as a sacrifice a great toy sheep, whose offence "smelt to heaven"; and then from the niches suddenly appeared Numa, a gallant youth in spectacles, and Egeria, a Spanish artist with white dress and fillet, who made vows over the smoking sheep, and then were escorted back to the sacred grove with festal music by a joyous, turbulent crowd.

Last year, however, at Fidenae, it was better. We had a travesty of the taking of Troy, which was eminently ludicrous, and which deserves a better description than I can give. Troy was a space inclosed within paper barriers, about breast-high, painted "to present a wall," and within these were the Trojans, clad in red, and all wearing gigantic paper helmets. There was old Priam, in spectacles, with his crown and robes,—Laocoön, in white, with a white wool beard and wig,—Ulysses, in a long, yellow beard and mantle,—and Aeneas, with a bald head, in a blue, long-tailed coat, and tall dickey, looking like the traditional Englishman in the circus who comes to hire the horse. The Grecians were encamped at a short distance. All had round, basket-work shields,—some with their names painted on them in great letters, and some with an odd device, such as a cat or pig. There were Ulysses, Agamemnon, Ajax, Nestor, Patroclus, Diomedes, Achilles, "all honorable men." The drama commenced with the issuing of Paris and Helen from the walls of Troy,—he in a tall, black French hat, girdled with a gilt crown, and she in a white dress, with a great wig hanging round her face in a profusion of carrotty curls. Queer figures enough they were, as they stepped along together, caricaturing love in a pantomime, he making terrible demonstrations of his ardent passion, and she finally falling on his neck in rapture. This over, they seated themselves near by two large pasteboard rocks, he sitting on his shield and taking out his flute to play to her, while she brought forth her knitting and ogled him as he played. While they were thus engaged, came creeping up with the stage stride of a double step, and dragging one foot behind him, Menelaus, whom Thersites had, meantime, been taunting, by pointing at him two great ox-horns. He walked all round the lovers, pantomiming rage and jealousy in the accredited ballet style, and then, suddenly approaching, crushed poor Paris's great black hat down over his eyes. Both, very much frightened, then took to their heels and rushed into the city, while Menelaus, after shaking Paris's shield, in defiance, at the walls, retired to the Grecian camp. Then came the preparations for battle. The Trojans leaned over their paper battlements, with their fingers to their noses, twiddling them in scorn, while the Greeks shook their fists back at them. The battle now commenced on the "ringing-plains of Troy," and was eminently absurd. Paris, in hat and pantaloons, (à la mode de Paris,) soon showed the white feather, and incontinently fled. Everybody hit nowhere, fiercely striking the ground or the shields, and always carefully avoiding, as on the stage, to hit in the right place. At last, however, Patroclus was killed, whereupon the battle was suspended, and a grand tableau of surprise and horror took place, from which at last they recovered, and the Greeks prepared to carry him off on their shoulders. Then terrible to behold was the grief of Achilles. Homer himself would have wept to see him. He flung himself on the body, and shrieked, and tore his hair, and violently shook the corpse, which, under such demonstrations, now and then kicked up. Finally, he rises and challenges Hector to single combat, and out comes the valiant Trojan, and a duel ensues with wooden axes. Such blows and counter blows were never seen, only they never hit, but often whirled the warrior who dealt them completely round; they tumbled over their own blows, panted with feigned rage, lost their robes and great pasteboard helmets, and were even more absurd than Richmond and Richard ever were on the country boards at a fifth-rate theatre. But Hector is at last slain and borne away, and a ludicrous lay figure is laid out to represent him, with bunged-up eyes and a general flabbiness of body and want of features, charming to behold. On their necks the Trojans bear him to their walls, and with a sudden jerk pitch him over them head first, and he tumbles, in a heap, into the city. Then Ulysses harangues the Greeks. He has brought out a quarteruola barrel of wine, which, with most expressive pantomime, he shows to be the wooden horse that must be carried into Troy. His proposition is joyfully accepted, and, accompanied by all, he rolls the cask up to the walls, and, flourishing a tin cup in one hand, invites the Trojans to partake. At first there is confusion in the city, and fingers are twiddled over the walls, but after a time all go out and drink, and become ludicrously drunk, and stagger about, embracing each other in the most maudlin style. Even Helen herself comes out, gets tipsy with the rest, and dances about like the most disreputable of Maenades. A great scena, however, takes place as they are about to drink. Laocoön, got up in white wool, appears, and violently endeavors to dissuade them, but in vain. In the midst of his harangue, a long string of blown up sausage-skins is dragged in for the serpent, and suddenly cast about his neck. His sons and he then form a group, the sausage-snake is twined about them,—only the old story is reversed, and he bites the serpent instead of the serpent biting him,—and all die in agony, travestying the ancient group.

All, being now drunk, go in, and Ulysses with them. A quantity of straw is kindled, the smoke rises, the Greeks approach and dash in the paper walls with clubs, and all is confusion. Then Aeneas, in his blue long-tailed circus-coat, broad white hat, and tall shirt-collar, carries off old Anchises on his shoulders with a cigar in his mouth, and bears him to a painted section of a vessel, which is rocked to and fro by hand, as if violently agitated by the waves. Aeneas and Anchises enter the boat, or rather stand behind it so as to conceal their legs, and off it sets, rocked to and fro constantly,—Aeolus and Tramontana following behind, with bellows to blow up a wind, and Fair Weather, with his name written on big back, accompanying them. The violent motion, however, soon makes Aeneas sick, and as he leans over the side in a helpless and melancholy manner, and almost gives up the ghost, as well as more material things, the crowd burst into laughter. However, at last they reach two painted rocks, and found Latium, and a general rejoicing takes place.—The donkey who was to have ended all by dragging the body of Hector round the walls came too late, and this part of the programme did not take place.

So much of the entertainment over, preparations are made for dinner. In the grove of Egeria the plates are spread in circles, while all the company sing part-songs and dance. At last all is ready, the signal is given, and the feast takes place after the most rustic manner. Great barrels of wine covered with green branches stand at one side, from which flagons are filled and passed round, and the good appetites soon make direful gaps in the beef and mighty plates of lettuce. After this, and a little sauntering about for digestion's sake, come the afternoon sports. And there are donkey races, and tilting at a ring, and foot-races, and running in sacks. Nothing can be more picturesque than the scene, with its motley masqueraders, its crowds of spectators seated along the slopes, its little tents here and there, its races in the valley, and, above all, the glorious mountains looking down from the distance. Not till the golden light slopes over the Campagna, gilding the skeletons of aqueducts, and drawing a delicate veil of beauty over the mountains, can we tear ourselves away, and rattle back in our carriage to Rome.

The wealthy Roman families, who have villas in the immediate vicinity of Rome, now leave the city to spend a month in them and breathe the fresh air of spring. Many and many a tradesman who is well to do in the world has a little vigna outside the gates, where he raises vegetables and grapes and other fruits; and every festa-day you will be sure to find him and his family out in his little villetta, wandering about the grounds or sitting beneath his arbors, smoking and chatting with his children around him. His friends who have no villas of their own here visit him, and often there is a considerable company thus collected, who, if one may judge from their cheerful countenances and much laughter, enjoy themselves mightily. Knock at any of these villa-gates, and, if you happen to have the acquaintance of the owner, or are evidently a stranger of respectability, you will be received with much hospitality, invited to partake of the fruit and wine, and overwhelmed with thanks for your gentilezza when you take your leave; for the Italians are a most good-natured and social people, and nothing pleases them better than a stranger who breaks the common round of topics by accounts of his own land. Everything new is to them wonderful, just as it is to a child. They are credulous of everything you tell them about America, which is to them in some measure what it was to the English in the days of Raleigh, Drake, and Hawkins, and say "Per Bacco!" to every new statement. And they are so magnificently ignorant, that you have carte blanche for your stories. Never did I know any one staggered by anything I chose to say, but once. I was walking with my respectable old padrone, Nisi, about his little garden one day, when an ambition to know something about America inflamed his breast.

"Are there any mountains?" he asked.

I told him "Yes," and, with a chuckle of delight, he cried,—

"Per Bacco! And have you any cities?"

"Yes, a few little ones,"—for I thought I would sing small, contrary to the general "'Ercles vein" of my countrymen. He was evidently pleased that they were small, and, swelling with natural pride, said,—

"Large as Rome, of course, they could not be"; then, after a moment, he added, interrogatively, "And rivers, too,—have you any rivers?"

"A few," I answered.

"But not as large as our Tiber," he replied,—feeling assured, that, if the cities were smaller than Rome, as a necessary consequence, the rivers that flowed by them must be in the same category.

The bait now offered was too tempting. I measured my respectable and somewhat obese friend carefully with my eye, for a moment, and then hurled this terrible fact at him:—

"We have some rivers three thousand miles long."

The effect was awful. He stood and stared at me, as if petrified, for a moment. Then the blood rushed into his face, and, turning on his heel, he took off his hat, said suddenly, "Buona sera," and carried my fact and his opinions together up into his private room. I am afraid that Don Pietro decided, on consideration, that I had been taking unwarrantable liberties with him, and exceeding all proper bounds, in my attempt to impose on his good-nature. From that time forward he asked me no more questions about America.

And here, by the way, I am reminded of an incident, which, though not exactly pertinent, may find here a parenthetical place, merely as illustrating some points of Italian character. One fact and two names relating to America they know universally,—Columbus and his discovery of America, and Washington.

"Sì, Signore," said a respectable person some time since, as he was driving me to see a carriage which he wished to sell me, and therefore desired to be particularly polite to me and my nation,—"a great man, your Vashintoni! but I was sorry to hear, the other day, that his father had died in London."

"His father dead, and in London?" I stammered, completely confounded at this extraordinary news, and fearing lest I had been too stupid in misunderstanding him.

"Yes," he said, "it is too true that his father Vellintoni is dead. I read it in the Diario di Roma."

But better than this was the ingenious argument of a Frate, whom I met on board a steamer in going from Leghorn to Genoa, and who, having pumped out the fact that I was an American, immediately began to "improve" it in a discourse on Columbus. So he informed me that Columbus was an Italian, and that he had discovered America, and was a remarkable man; to all of which I readily assented, as being true, if not new. But now a severe abstract question began to tax my friend's powers. He said, "But how could he ever have imagined that the continent of America was there? That's the question. It is extraordinary indeed!" And so he sat cogitating, and saying, at intervals, "Curioso! Straordinario!" At last "a light broke in upon his brain." Some little bird whispered the secret. His face lightened, and, looking at me, he said, "Perhaps he may have read that it was there in some old book, and so went to see if it were or no." Vainly I endeavored to show him that this view would deprive Columbus of his greatest distinction. He answered invariably, "But without having read it, how could he ever have known it?"—thus putting the earth upon the tortoise and leaving the tortoise to account for his own support.

Imagine that I have told you these stories sitting under the vine and fig-tree of some villetta, while Angiolina has gone to call the padrone, who will only be too glad to see you. But, ecco! at last our padrone comes. No, it is not the padrone, it is the vignarualo, who takes care of his grapes and garden, and who recognizes us as friends of the padrone, and tells us that we are ourselves padroni of the whole place, and offers us all sorts of fruits.

One old custom, which existed in Rome some fifteen years ago, has now passed away with other good old things. It was the celebration of the Fravolata or Strawberry-Feast, when men in gala-dress at the height of the strawberry-season went in procession through the streets, carrying on their heads enormous wooden platters heaped with this delicious fruit, accompanied by girls in costume, who, beating their tamburelli, danced along at their sides and sung the praises of the strawberry. After threading the streets of the city, they passed singing out of the gates, and at different places on the Campagna spent the day in festive sports and had an out-door dinner and dance.

One of these festivals still exists, however, in the picturesque town of Genzano, which lies above the old crater now filled with the still waters of Lake Nemi, and is called the Infiorata di Genzano, "The Flower-Festival of Genzano." It takes place on the eighth day of the Corpus Domini, and receives its name from the popular custom of spreading flowers upon the pavements of the streets so as to represent heraldic devices, figures, arabesques, and all sorts of ornamental designs. The people are all dressed in their effective costumes,—the girls in busti and silken skirts, with all their corals and jewels on, and the men with white stockings on their legs, their velvet jackets dropping over one shoulder, and flowers and rosettes in their conical hats. The town is then very gay, the bells clang, the incense steams from the censer in the church, where the organ peals and mass is said, and a brilliant procession marches over the strewn flower-mosaic, with music and crucifixes and Church-banners. Hundreds of strangers, too, are there to look on; and on the Cesarini Piazza and under the shadow of the long avenues of ilexes that lead to the tower are hundreds of handsome girls, with their snowy tovaglie peaked over their heads. The rub and thrum of tamburelli and the clicking of castanets are heard, too, as twilight comes on, and the salterello is danced by many a group. This is the national Roman dance, and is named from the little jumping step which characterizes it. Any number of couples dance it, though the dance is perfect with two. Some of the movements are very graceful and piquant, and particularly that where one of the dancers kneels and whirls her arms on high, clicking her castanets, while the other circles her round and round, striking his hands together, and approaching nearer and nearer, till he is ready to give her a kiss, which she refuses: of course it is the old story of every national dance,—love and repulse, love and repulse, until the maiden yields. As one couple panting and rosy retires, another fresh one takes its place, while the bystanders play on the accordion the whirling, circling, never-ending tune of the Tarantella, which would "put a spirit of youth in everything."

If you are tired of the festival, roam up a few paces out of the crowd, and you stand upon the brink of Lake Nemi. Over opposite, and crowning the height where the little town of Nemi perches, frowns the old feudal castle of the Colonna, with its tall, round tower, where many a princely family has dwelt and many an unprincely act has been done. There, in turn, have dwelt the Colonna, Borgia, Piccolomini, Cenci, Frangipani, and Braschi, and there the descendants of the last-named family still pass a few weeks in the summer.[1] Below you, silent and silvery, lies the lake itself,—and rising around it, like a green bowl, tower its richly wooded banks, covered with gigantic oaks, ilexes, and chestnuts. This was the ancient grove dedicated to Diana, which extended to L'Ariccia; and here are still to be seen the vestiges of an ancient villa built by Julius Caesar. Here, too, if you trust some of the antiquaries, once stood the temple of Diana Nemorensis,[2] where human sacrifices were offered, and whose chief-priest, called Rex Nemorensis, obtained his office by slaying his predecessor, and reigned over these groves by force of his personal arm. Times have, indeed, changed since the priesthood was thus won and baptized by blood; and as you stand there, and look, on the one side, at the site of this ancient temple, which some of the gigantic chestnut-trees may almost have seen in their youth, and, on the other side, at the campanile of the Catholic church at Genzano, with its flower-strewn pavements, you may have as sharp a contrast between the past and the present as can easily be found.

[Footnote 1: On the Genzano side stands the castellated villa of the Cesarini Sforza, looking peacefully across the lake at the rival tower, which in the old baronial days it used to challenge,—and in its garden-pond you may see stately white swans oaring their way with rosy feet along.]

[Footnote 2: The better opinion of late seems to be that it was on the slopes of the Val d'Ariccia. But "who shall decide, when doctors disagree?"]



  I heard you In your English home,—
I read you by my little brook,
  Thousands of miles from British foam,
Hid in my dear New England nook:
But heard you with a sullen look;
  But read you with a gloomy brow;
And thus unto my Muse I spoke:—
  Who is there to write history now?

  Hallam is dead! and Prescott gone!
And Irving sleeps at Sunnyside!
  And now that Lord has wandered on,
Whose laurels must with theirs abide:
I greatly mourned the man who died
  First on this dismal roll of death,—
And him, of all observers eyed,
  My townsman here, who spent his breath

  In telling of the things of Spain,
And doing friendly things to friends,
  Prescott, well known beyond the main
And past the Pillars, to earth's ends:
Both had my tears: but England sends
  Another word across the seas,
Might rouse the dying from his bed:
  Oh, bear it gently, ocean-breeze!
That bitter word,—Thy friend is dead!

  Macaulay dead, who made to live
Past kingdoms, with his vivid brain!
  Who could such warmth to shadows give,
By the mere magic of his pen,
That Charles and England rose again!
  Well sleeps he 'mid the Abbey's dust:
And, Laureate! thy funereal verse
  Shall have such echo as it must
From hearts just wrung at Irving's hearse.

  These are two names to mark the year
As one of memorable woe,
  Two men to the two nations dear
Laid in one fatal winter low!
About the streets the mourners go;
  But I within my chamber rest,
Or walk the room with measured tread,
  Murmuring, with head upon my breast,
My God! and is Macaulay dead?


In November, 1805, a good-looking foreigner, gentlemanlike in dress and in manner, and apparently fifty years of age, arrived in New York from England, and took lodgings at Mrs. Avery's, State Street. He called himself George Martin; but this incognito was intended only for the vulgar. Some of the principal citizens of New York, who recollected his first visit to this country twenty years before, knew him as Don Francisco de Miranda of Caracas, one of the most distinguished adventurers of that revolutionary era,—a favorite of the Empress of Russia, a friend of Mr. Pitt, and second in command under Dumouriez in the Belgian campaign of 1793. To these gentlemen he avowed that for many years he had meditated the independence of the Spanish-American Colonies, and meant to make an attempt to carry out his plans. On Evacuation Day, a New York festival, which is now nearly worn out, they invited him to a Corporation dinner, as a foreign officer of rank, and toasted him, wishing him the same success in South America that we had had here. He then went to Washington, under the name of Molini. There, as everywhere, he was received by the best society as General Miranda. The President and the Secretary of State, Mr. Madison, granted him several private interviews. In January he returned to New York,—and on the 2d of February departed thence mysteriously in the Leander, a ship belonging to Mr. Samuel G. Ogden, merchant.

While the Leander lay at anchor off Staten Island, a gentleman notified the Naval Officer of the Port, that large quantities of arms and ammunition had been taken on board of her in boats, at night. He was informed in return, that the Leander was cleared for Jacquemel, and that no law existed to prevent her from sailing. No other attempt was made to detain her; but a few weeks later, rumors affecting the character of the ship broke out in a more decided form. It was generally believed at the Tontine Coffee-House that the Leander had been fitted out by Miranda to attack the Spanish possessions in the West India Islands or on the Main. And yet the New York journals took no notice of her until the 21st of February, nineteen days after she sailed. In the mean time the Marquis Yrujo, backed by the French Ambassador, had made a formal complaint to Government, and had caused the insertion in the "Philadelphia Gazette" of a series of interrogatories to Mr. Madison, which indirectly accused the Administration of encouraging Miranda's preparations, or at least of conniving at the expedition. This perverse Marquis, who gave Mr. Jefferson a taste of the annoyance which Genet, Adet, and Fauchet had inflicted upon the previous administrations, was clamorous and persisting. The authorities in Washington thought it proper to order the arrest of Mr. Ogden, and of Colonel William Smith, son-in-law of John Adams and Surveyor of the Port of New York, under the Act of 1794. The prisoners were taken before Judge Tallmadge of the United States District Court. They were refused counsel, and were forced by threats of imprisonment to submit to a searching examination. They were then held to bail, both as principals and witnesses, in the sum of twenty thousand dollars. Soon after, the President removed Colonel Smith from his office.

Such a waste of editorial raw-material appears very singular to newspaper-readers of the present day, accustomed as they are to see in print everything that has happened or that might have happened; but we must recollect that our grandfathers found the excitement necessary to civilized man in party politics, national and local. This game they played with a fierce eagerness which is now limited to a small class of inferior men.

To the violence and personal spitefulness of their newspaper articles we have fortunately nothing comparable, even in the speeches of Honorable Members on Helper and John Brown. The "Tu quoque" and the "Vos damnamini" were their favorite logical processes, and "Fool" and "Liar" the simple and conclusive arguments with which they established a principle. Not that these ancients suffered at all from a lack of stirring news. Bonaparte's wonderful campaigns, (Austerlitz had just been heard of in New York,) the outrages on our sailors by English cruisers, our merchantmen plundered by French and Spanish privateers, the irritating behavior of the Dons in Louisiana, kept them abundantly supplied with this staff of mental life. But they did not care much for news in the abstract as news, unless they could work it up into political ammunition and discharge it at each other's heads. We must not forget, too, that newspaper-editing, the "California of the spiritually vagabond," as Carlyle calls it, was a recent discovery, and that the rich mine was but surface-worked. "Our own Reporter" was, like Milton's original lion, only half unearthed; and deep hidden from mortal eyes as yet lay the sensation-items-man, who has made the last-dying-speech-and-confession style of literature the principal element of our daily press.

At last the Federal editors gave tongue. It was high time; the town was in an uproar. They perceived that Miranda might become a useful ally against Mr. T. Jefferson. His expedition came opportunely, as the Mammoth Cheese and Black Sally were beginning to grow stale. Mr. Lang opened the cry in the "New York Gazette" by asserting the complicity of Government, on the authority of a "gentleman of the first respectability,"—meaning Mr. Rufus King.—Cheetham, of the "Citizen," barked back at Lang, a would-be "Solomon," "a foul and abominable slanderer." Mr. King, he could prove, had been examined, and had nothing to reveal.—Tom Paine wrote to the "Citizen" to mention that he had known Miranda in New York in 1783 and in Paris in 1793. Mr. Littlepage of Virginia, Chamberlain to the King of Poland, had then informed him that the Empress Catharine had given Miranda four thousand pounds "as a retaining fee," and that Mr. Pitt had also paid him twelve hundred pounds for his services in the Nootka Sound business.—All the Federal papers charged the Government with connivance. You knew the destination of the Leander; you did not prevent her from sailing; you nourished the offence until it attained maturity, and then, after permitting the principals to go upon this expedition, you seize upon the accessories who remain at home. And in how shameful and illegal a way! You examine them before a single judge, with no counsel to advise them. You force them to criminate themselves, and to sign their confessions, by the threat of imprisonment; and you punish Colonel Smith before you have tried him, by depriving him of his office. Why, such a proceeding is worse than any "Inquisitorial Tribunal" or "Star-Chamber Court."—Nonsense! answered the Democrats. Ogden's and Smith's testimony does not implicate the Government in the least. It only proves that Smith has been the dupe of Miranda. The President knew nothing about the matter. If the object of the Leander's outfit was so generally spoken of, why did it escape the notice of the Marquis Yrujo? Why did he not demand her seizure before she sailed? This charge against the Government is a mere Federal trick. Your friends, the British, are at the bottom of the expedition, and they have artfully employed Rufus King, a Federal chief, to throw the blame upon the Executive of the United States. By ascribing to those who administer the government the atrocities committed by Transatlantic rulers, you aim a deadly blow at the character of our system; and your conduct, base in any view we can take of it, is particularly reprehensible in the delicate state of our relations with Spain.

Mr. Cadwallader Golden, of counsel for the defendants, made a motion before Judge Tallmadge for an order to prevent the District Attorney from using the preliminary evidence taken at the private examinations. "It was a proceeding," he said, "arbitrary and subversive of the first principles of law and liberty,"—"which would have disgraced the reign of Charles and stained the character of Jeffries." The District Attorney was heard in opposition, and was successful.

On the 7th of April, the Grand Jury found a bill against Smith, Ogden, Miranda, and Thomas Lewis, captain of the Leander, for "setting on foot and beginning with force and arms a certain military enterprise or expedition, to be carried on from the United States against the dominions of a foreign prince: to wit, the dominions of the King of Spain; the said King of Spain then and there being at peace with the United States." The Grand Jury, as an evidence of their impartiality, or of the public feeling, also handed the Judge a presentment of himself, which he put into his pocket, censuring his conduct in the private examinations, because "unusual, oppressive, and contrary to law."

The trial was set down for the 14th of July. Messrs. Ogden and Smith did not wait so long for a hearing. They laid their case at once before the public, in two memorials addressed to Congress, complaining bitterly of the prosecution, not to say persecution, instituted against them by the authorities in Washington, and of the cruel and oppressive measures taken by Judge Tallmadge to carry out the mandates of his superiors. If they had done wrong, they urged, it was innocently. A war with Spain was imminent. The critical position of the Louisiana Boundary question, the President's Message of the 6th of December, and the documents accompanying it, left no doubts on that point. Were they not right, then, in supposing, that, under these circumstances, the President would encourage an expedition against the colonies of a hostile power? As evidence of Mr. Jefferson's knowledge of Miranda's schemes, they stated that the General had brought with him from England a letter to "a gentleman of the first consequence in New York," (Mr. King,) which contained a sketch of his project: this letter was forwarded to the Secretary of State and laid before the President by him. Miranda then went to Washington, saw the President and the Secretary, and wrote to the memorialists that he had fully unfolded his plans to both. In the course of a long conversation with Mr. Madison, he asked for pecuniary assistance and for open encouragement, on the ground that individuals might not be willing to join in the enterprise, if Government did not approve it,—particularly as a bill was then before Congress to prohibit the exportation of arms. He also requested leave of absence for Colonel Smith, who wished to accompany him. Mr. Madison answered, that the sentiments of the President could not be doubted, but that the Government of the United States could afford no assistance of any kind. Private individuals were at liberty to act as they pleased, provided they did not violate the laws; and New York merchants would always advance money, if they saw their advantage in it. As to the bill Miranda had spoken of, it was unlikely that it would pass,—and, in fact, it did not. It was impossible, Mr. Madison added, to grant leave of absence to Colonel Smith, although he thought him better fitted for military employment than for the custom-house. He closed the interview by recommending the greatest discretion.

Miranda, continued the memorialists, remained fourteen days in Washington after this conversation, and returned to New York confident of the silent approval of Government. Eleven days before the Leander sailed, he sent a letter to Mr. Madison, inclosing another to Mr. Jefferson, both of which he read to Ogden and to Smith. He assured Mr. Madison that he had conformed in every way to the intentions of Government, and requested him to keep the secret. To Mr. Jefferson he wrote in a strain more fashionable ten years before than then, but well adapted to the sentimentality, both scientific and political, of the "Philosophic President." Here it is:—

"I have the honor to send you, inclosed, the 'Natural and Civil History of Chili,' of which we conversed at Washington,—and in which you will, perhaps, find more than in those which have been before published on the same subject, concerning this beautiful country.

"If ever the happy prediction, which you have pronounced on the future destiny of our dear Columbia, is to be accomplished in our day, may Providence grant that it may be under your auspices, and by the generous efforts of her own children! We shall then, in some sort, behold the revival of that age, the return of which the Roman bard invoked in favor of the human race:—

"'The last great age foretold by sacred rhymes
  Renews its finished course; Saturnian times
  Roll round again; and mighty years, begun
  From this first orb, in radiant circles run.'"

On Miranda's reports, these letters, and the fact that the Leander had not been seized, they rested their case, and prayed for the interference of Congress in their behalf.

Congress unanimously granted the petitioners leave to withdraw. Such evidence as this, not only hearsay, but heard from the party most interested in misrepresenting the Administration, was not entitled to much consideration. It had, moreover, the additional disadvantage of proving nothing against the President and Secretary, even if every word of it were admitted as true.

Public attention was diverted from the Leander, Captain Lewis, to the Leander, Captain Whitby. This English frigate was cruising off Sandy Hook, bringing to inward and outward bound vessels, searching them for articles contraband of war, and helping herself to able-bodied seamen who looked like British subjects. All of which was meekly submitted to in 1806. Mr. Jefferson could not overcome his doubts as to the constitutionality of a fleet, and the Opposition had the twofold pleasure of chuckling over the insults offered by John Bull to a government with French proclivities, and of reproaching the party in power with its supineness and want of spirit.

But the accident of the 25th of April brought the American people to a proper sense of their situation, for the moment. On that day, His British Majesty's ship Leander fired a round-shot into the sloop Richard, bound to New York, and killed the man at the helm, John Pierce. The body was brought to the city and borne through the principal streets, in the midst of universal excitement, anger, and cries for vengeance. Black streamers were displayed from the houses; shops were closed; the newspapers appeared in mourning. A public funeral was attended by the whole population. Captain Whitby was indicted for murder, and took care to keep out of the reach of United States law-officers. This homicide happened just in time for the May election in New York. Both parties attempted to make use of it. The Federalists proclaimed that the blood of Pierce was on the head of Jefferson and his followers. These retorted, that the English pirates were the friends and comrades of the Federalists. Cheetham had seen the first lieutenant of the Leander, disguised, in company with eight or ten of them, some days after the murder!!! And the Democratic Republicans, as was and is still usual, had a majority at the polls.

From time to time short paragraphs appeared in the papers, advertising Miranda's success. "His flag was flying on every fort from Cumana to Laguayra." "The whole of this fine country may be considered as lost to Spain." Then came tidings of sadder complexion. He had been beaten off with the loss of forty men, taken prisoners. The Spaniards had threatened to hang them as pirates, but they would not dare to do it. The British had furnished Miranda with forty Spanish prisoners, as hostages, "to avenge the threatened insult to the feelings of every friend to the rights of self-government in every part of the world." At last, news arrived from the Gulf which left Miranda's failure in his first attempt to land no longer doubtful. This, of course, made the position of Ogden and Smith more dangerous, and their case more difficult to manage.

When the trial of Colonel Smith came on, public interest revived, and became stronger than before. The court-room was crowded by intelligent spectators during the whole course of the proceedings, The case was peculiar, and had almost a dramatic interest. Here was a Government prosecution against a man well known in the community, for an offence new to our courts; and the heads of that Government, Jefferson and Madison, were indirectly on trial at the same time:—"For, if Smith and Ogden are acquitted," said the Federal papers, "then must the whole guilt rest on the Administration." Apart from the political interest of the trial, the eminence of the counsel employed would have commanded an audience anywhere. Never, since New York has had courts of justice, have so many distinguished lawyers adorned and dignified her bar as in the first twenty years of this century. In this case, nearly all of the leaders were retained: Nathan Sandford, District Attorney, and Pierrepoint Edwards, for the prosecution; for the defence, Cadwallader Colden, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, Thomas Addis Emmet, Richard Harrison, and Washington Morton.[*]

[Footnote *: Judge Patterson, of the United States Court, occupied the bench with Judge Tallmadge, until ill-health obliged him to withdraw. He died soon after.]

Mr. Colden handed the Clerk a list of his witnesses, and requested him to call their names. Among them were those of Madison, Dearborn, Gallatin, Granger, and Robert Smith, all members of the Government. He then read the affidavit of service of subpoenas upon them on the 25th of May, and, inasmuch as these gentlemen had not obeyed the subpoena, and as Colonel Smith could not safely proceed to trial without their testimony, he moved that an attachment issue against them.

The District Attorney opposed the motion, on the ground that the testimony of these witnesses could not possibly be of any use to the defendant. None of them were present in New York when the Leander was fitted out. And even if it could be shown by these witnesses that the Administration had approved of this illegal expedition, it would not help the defendant. This is a country governed by laws, and not by arbitrary edicts. If Colonel Smith had violated these laws, he had rendered himself liable to punishment. He could not escape by making the President a particeps criminis. An amusing letter was read from Madison, Dearborn, and Smith, which stated, "that the President, taking into view the state of our public affairs, has specially signified to us that our official duties cannot consistently therewith be at this juncture dispensed with." They suggested that a commission should issue for the purpose of taking their respective testimonies.

Colden insisted that this was an attempt of the Executive to interfere with the Judiciary, which ought not to be tolerated. Counsel in criminal cases had always the right to stand face to face with witnesses. It was outrageous that the President should first approve of the conduct of Colonel Smith, then order a prosecution against him and forbid his witnesses to attend the trial.

The Court refused to grant an attachment. And later in the trial, when the defence offered Rufus King to prove the President's knowledge and approbation of the enterprise, the Court decided against the admission of the evidence.

The history of the expedition in New York, as shown by the testimony, was briefly this:—Colonel Smith introduced Miranda to Ogden; and Ogden agreed to furnish his armed ship Leander, and to load her with the necessary provisions, stores, arms, and ammunition. He estimated his expenditure at seventy thousand dollars. Miranda had brought with him from London a bill of exchange on New York for eight hundred pounds, which had been paid, and had drawn bills on England and on Trinidad for seven thousand pounds, which had not been paid. This was all that Ogden had received. But if the enterprise were successful, he was to be paid two hundred per cent, advance on the ship and cargo. Smith had engaged fifteen or twenty officers, without informing them of the object of the expedition, but expressly stipulating in writing that they would not be employed against England or France, and giving them a general verbal assurance that they would speedily make their fortunes. In this he was sincere, for he took his son from college and sent him with Miranda. Smith had employed John Fink, a Bowery butcher, to engage men who could serve on horseback. Fink enlisted twenty-three at fifteen dollars a month, and fifteen more as a bounty. They were not to be taken out of the territory of the United States. Some of them were told that the President was raising a mounted guard; others, that they were to guard the mail from Washington to New Orleans. One of Fink's papers was shown on the trial, indorsed, "Muster-Roll for the President's Guard." Smith had furnished the bounty-money, but it did not appear that he had authorized these misrepresentations of Fink, who developed a talent in this business which forty years later would have made his fortune as an emigrant-runner. Abundant proofs of the purchase of military clothing, arms, powder, shot, and cannon were produced.

The Counsel for Colonel Smith, unable to get the connivance of the Administration before the Jury in the shape of evidence, coolly assumed it as established, and urged it in defence of their client. They used his memorial to Congress as their brief, enlarged upon the arbitrary conduct of the Judge in the examinations and upon the tyrannical interference of the President with their witnesses. As Mr. Emmet cleverly and classically remarked, quoting from Tacitus's description of the funeral of Junia, "Perhaps their very absence rendered them more decided witnesses in our favor." They also maintained that the Act of 1794, under which the prisoner was indicted, did not prohibit an enterprise of this character. Even if it did, no proof existed that this expedition was organized in New York. On the contrary, it was known that Miranda had gone hence to Jacquemel, and had made his preparations there, in a port out of our jurisdiction.

This point made, they boldly went a step farther, and declared that the United States were actually at war with Spain. The affair of the Kempers, and of Flanagan in Louisiana, the obstruction of the Mobile Kiver, the depredations upon our commerce by Spanish privateers, were sufficient proof of a state of war. We had a right to meet force by force. The President must have been of this opinion, else he could not have violated his trust by authorizing this expedition.

The case for the defence, considered in a logical point of view, was desperate; but no case is desperate before a Jury; and when Mr. Colden, Mr. Hoffman, and Mr. Emmet had each in his own peculiar mode of eloquence appealed to the Jury to protect their client, already punished by removal from his place, without a trial or even a hearing, for an offence committed with, the sanction of his superior officers,—when they compared this State prosecution to the attempts made by despotic European governments to crush innocent men by the machinery of law, and asserted that it was instituted solely to gratify the malice of the King of Spain, a bitter enemy to the United States,—and when they enlarged upon the grandeur of an undertaking to give liberty to the down-trodden victims of Colonial tyranny, comparing Miranda and his friends to our own Revolutionary heroes, there could be but little doubt of the verdict. But there was an uneasy feeling after the District Attorney had closed. He demolished with ease the arguments of the other side, for not one of them had sufficient strength to stand alone. Smith's perpetual excuse, that he had been led astray by the belief of connivance in Washington, was preposterous. If he had been anxious to know the sentiments of Government on the subject, he might at any time within six days have ascertained whether Miranda told him truth or not. He spoke of the cruelty and reckless folly of all such attempts upon a neighboring people; asked the Jury how they would like to see an armed force landed upon our shores to take part with one or the other of the great political parties; and closed with a few strong words, as true at this day as then:—"If you acquit the defendant, you say to the world that the United States have renounced the law of nations,—that they permit their citizens not only to violate their own laws with impunity, but to invade the people of other countries with hostile force in a time of peace, as avarice, ambition, or the thought of plunder may dictate. Such a decision would justify the acts of the pirate on the ocean, and would sink our national character to the barbarism of savage tribes."

The Jury were out two hours, and brought in a verdict of not guilty, which gave great satisfaction to Federal editors. A few days afterward, Mr. Ogden was acquitted.[1]

[Footnote 1: Mr. Jefferson, after the expiration of his second term, wrote to Don Valentino de Fornonda as follows:—

"Your predecessor [Yrujo] wished it to be believed that we were in unjustifiable coöperation in Miranda's expedition.

"I solemnly and on my personal truth and honor declare to you that this was entirely without foundation, and that there was neither coöperation nor connivance on our part. He informed us he was about to attempt the liberation of his native country from bondage, and intimated a hope of our aid, or connivance at least. He was at once informed, that, though we had great cause of complaint against Spain, and even of war, yet, whenever we should think proper to act as her enemy, it should be openly and aboveboard, and that our hostility should never be exercised by such petty means. We had no suspicion that he expected to engage men here, but merely to purchase military stores. Against this there was no law, nor, consequently, any authority for us to interpose. On the other hand, we deemed it improper to betray his voluntary communication to the agents of Spain. Although his measures were many days in preparation at New York, we never had the least intimation or suspicion of his engaging men in his enterprise until he was gone; and I presume that the secrecy of his proceedings kept them equally unknown to the Marquis Yrujo and to the Spanish Consul at New York, since neither of them gave us any information of the enlistment of men until it was too late for any measures taken at Washington to prevent their departure."]

This is a brief account of the first filibuster-trial in the United States. Other heroes of this profession, compared with whom Smith and Ogden were spotless, have since come before our courts only to be turned loose upon the world again. No other result is to be anticipated. It is an established principle with our fellow-citizens, that no man is happy, or ought to be, who lives under any other system of government than our own. Let a lawyer pronounce the magic formula, "Liberty to the oppressed," or "Free institutions to the victims of despotism," and, presto!—rascality is metamorphosed into merit. After all, it makes such a difference, when it is only our neighbor's ox that is gored!

Here closed the first act of the expedition. Colonel Smith lost his office, and Mr. Ogden stopped payment. The passengers by the Leander fared worse. There were two hundred men on board: one hundred and twenty belonged to the ship; the others had been engaged by Smith and his agent Fink as officers, dragoons, printers, and armorers. With the exception of two or three, none of them had seen their commander or knew their destination. The officers, all gentlemen "of crooked fortunes," supposed that they were sailing to enlarge the area of freedom somewhere in America; but what particular region of the Spanish dominions was to be subjected to this wholesome treatment they neither knew nor cared, provided they could improve their own financial condition. Both officers and privates were for the most part serviceable, steady men, worthy of a more efficient leader.

On the 12th of February, they were overhauled and searched by H.B.M. ship Cleopatra. Nineteen men with American protections were carried off in the frigate's boat, and twelve native Americans taken out of prizes sent back to replace them. The Leander's papers were examined and pronounced unsatisfactory. Miranda was obliged to go on board the Cleopatra, where he had a long private conversation with the captain. He returned with full liberty to proceed, and with a written pass to prevent detention or search by British cruisers. This adventure was made to give an air of respectability to the enterprise; and Miranda hinted to his suite that the English captain had promised to join him with his frigate. A day or two later, the Leander took other airs upon herself. Meeting a small Spanish schooner, laden with logwood, off the Haytian coast, Lewis fired into her, and ordered the captain on board with his papers, for the mere pleasure of exercising power. The Spaniard, as soon as he got back to his own craft, made the best of his way home and gave the first alarm.

On the 18th of February, they cast anchor at Jacquemel. Lewis went immediately to Port au-Prince, to engage the Emperor, a ship commanded by his brother, to join the expedition. Miranda remained behind to organize his followers. He at last announced to them that he intended to land near Caracas; the whole country would rise at his name; his brave Americans would form the nucleus and the heart of a great army; there was no Spanish force in the province to resist him. In a general order, "Parole, America; Countersign, Liberty," he assigned to his officers their rank in the Columbian army, distributing them into the Engineers, Artillery, Dragoons, Riflemen, and Foot. Another general order, "Parole, Warren; Countersign, Bunker's Hill," fixed the uniforms of the different corps,—to be distinguished by blue, yellow, or green facings. All hands were set to work upon the crowded deck. Printers struck off proclamations and blank commissions in the name of "Don Francisco de Miranda, Commander-in-Chief of the Columbian Army"; carpenters made pike-handles; armorers repaired the arms bought in New York; (they had cost little, and were worth less;) the regimental tailor and his disciples stitched the gay facings upon the new uniforms; files of awkward fellows were put through the manual exercise by an old drill-sergeant; and the young gentlemen officers read diligently in treatises on war, or listened to the discourses of their general upon the noble art. In the midst of this stir of preparation, Lewis returned unsuccessful, without the ship Emperor; but Miranda seemed in no hurry to depart. He continued his lectures and his drilling until the 28th of March. At last he hoisted the new Columbian flag,—a tricolor, blue, yellow, and red,—fired a grand salute, and stood gallantly out of the harbor, where he had wasted six precious weeks.

Captain Lewis had chartered at Port-au-Prince the Bee, a small, unarmed schooner, and had bought the Bacchus, a vessel of the same class, last from Laguayra, whose captain and men disappeared mysteriously after their arrival at Jacquemel. Some of the Leander's hands volunteered for the schooners, to get out of the crowded ship; others were forced on board, to make up a crew. The little fleet steered for Bonair, but, through the ignorance of their pilot, or of their captain, found themselves, after a ten-days' cruise, seventy miles to leeward, off the Gulf of Venezuela. The Leander was a dull sailer; and, with the wind and current against her, it took them four days to beat up to the Island of Aruba, and seven more to reach Bonair. On the evening of the 27th of April, they were lying to off Puerto Cabello, preparing to land, and sure of success, when they made out two Spanish guardacostas close in shore, beating up to windward. Miranda thought them unworthy of attention, and gave the order to stand in. But the pilot mistook the landmarks, owing to the darkness, and missed the point agreed upon for landing. The Bacchus was sent in to reconnoitre and did not return, although signals of recall were repeated throughout the night. About midnight signals were noticed passing between the fort at Puerto Cabello and the guardacostas; Captain Lewis beat to quarters, and kept his men at their guns until morning. At daybreak the Bacchus was seen close in shore, carrying a press of sail and closely pursued by the Spanish vessels. The Leander bore down with a flowing sheet upon the enemy, fired a few ineffective shot, and then, for some reason best known to her captain, or to Miranda, hauled on to the wind, and sailed away, leaving the schooners to take care of themselves. The guardacostas soon took possession of both, and carried their prizes, with sixty prisoners, into Puerto Cabello,[1] before the eyes of their astonished and indignant comrades, who could not understand such a want of courage or conduct on the part of their chief.

[Footnote 1: The unfortunate men taken in the schooners were tried at Puerto Cabello for piracy. Ten officers were hanged, their heads cut off and stuck upon poles, and six of them sent to Caracas, two to Laguayra, and two set up at Puerto Cabello. The other prisoners were sentenced to the chain-gang. The execution took place on the 21st of July, the day before Smith was acquitted in New York.]

After this disaster, the Leander sailed for Bonair for water. Miranda still assumed a confident tone, and called a council of war to deliberate whether they should attempt a landing at Coro. The council decided, that, in view of the loss they had sustained, it would be advisable to make for Trinidad in search of reinforcements. With wind and tide against them, and a slow ship, the voyage was long. They were reduced to their last barrel of bread, when they fell in with the English sloop-of-war Lily, Captain Campbell, who was looking for Miranda, and who sent supplies of all kinds on board. On the 6th of June, they ran into Bridgetown, Barbadoes. Admiral Cochrane, who commanded on that station, gave Miranda every assistance in his power, and offered to put some of his smaller vessels under his orders, upon condition that all goods imported into the new state of Columbia in British bottoms should be assessed ten per cent, lower than the products of any other nation, except the United States. Miranda signed a formal agreement to this effect, and sailed for Trinidad, accompanied by H.B.M. ships Lily and Express, and the Trimmer, a transport schooner. Captain Lewis, whose repeated quarrels with Miranda had affected the discipline of the force, resigned at Barbadoes. He was succeeded by Captain Johnson, a daring fellow, who risked and lost life and property in this expedition.

The Governor of Trinidad, like all the English of the Gulf, was well disposed to aid in an attack on the Spanish Provinces. Eighty volunteers of all nations, most of them worthless fellows and candidates for a commission, joined the fleet at this place. Miranda was once more in high spirits. His army amounted to four hundred men, and he had secured the cooperation of the English. Success seemed certain. He issued a new proclamation to his followers, headed "To Victory and Wealth," and set sail, accompanied by seven small British war-vessels and three transports.

On the 2d of August, the fleet anchored within nine miles of La Vela de Coro. The next day two hundred and ninety men were landed in the boats of the squadron. They were all "Mirandanians," the English furnishing only the means of transportation and the necessary supplies. As the boats approached the shore, they were fired upon from the bushes which lined the beach. The Columbians jumped into the water and charged; the Spaniards retreated to a fort near the shore. This was carried, sword in hand,—the Spaniards leaping from the walls and flying in all directions. Miranda then formed his party, and marched to the town, a quarter of a mile distant, which was evacuated by the Spaniards with such precipitation that they left their cannon loaded. The inhabitants had fled, as well as the military, carrying off all their movable property. The Columbian colors were hoisted, flags of truce sent in all directions, the printed proclamations distributed about the neighboring country; but in vain; nobody appeared.

The same evening the Liberators marched twelve miles in a northwesterly direction to Coro. They arrived an hour before dawn, and found the town silent and deserted. Dividing themselves into two parties, they entered cautiously on opposite sides, for fear of an ambuscade,—but, unfortunately, when the detachments met in the Grand Plaza, they mistook each other, in the dusk of the morning, for the enemy, and fired. Miranda's most efficient officer fell, shot through both thighs. One man was killed, and seven others badly wounded. Not a soul was found in the place, except those who were too old or too ill to move, and the occupants of the prison. The jailer presented himself, surrendered his keys, and informed the General that the Governor had forced the citizens to leave their homes. Miranda remained in the deserted town for five days, endeavoring, by the most alluring proclamations, to bring the inhabitants back. But it was useless. Not a man presented himself. He then lost heart, and, instead of advancing into the country, ordered a retreat to La Vela, and reembarked on the 19th.

Those he left behind in the Leander had been still more unfortunate. Captain Johnson had gone in the boats to a river three or four miles to the eastward, for water, and, while filling his casks, was set upon by a party of Spanish soldiers. He was killed, fighting bravely, with fifteen of his men. The remainder escaped with difficulty.

The discomfited invaders sailed for the Island of Aruba, where their English allies, pretty well satisfied that nothing could be done with this expedition, left them. Miranda landed his men and took formal possession of the island. He sent an ambassador to the Governor of the neighboring island of Curaçoa, requesting him to surrender. This request was declined. He was equally unsuccessful in a mission to Jamaica, begging for assistance from Admiral Dacres. Dacres refused, on the ground that he had no orders from his Government.

Miranda remained at Aruba, drilling, issuing proclamations, and holding courts martial, until the want of provisions brought the enterprise to an end. An English ship-of-war, which touched at the island, offered him a safe means of escape. On the 29th of October, after a passage of twenty-five days, the Liberators arrived at Trinidad, and disbanded in disgrace. The blue and yellow uniforms they had worn with pride, as "Columbians," on their last visit, were hastily laid aside to escape the scoff of the rabble, who jeered them as adventurers and merry-andrews. Miranda kept out of sight until he could get the opportunity of a passage to England. All his followers who could find means to quit the island made their way home as best they could. To conclude the business, the Leander was sold by order of the courts, and the few poor fellows who had remained by her received a small share of the proceeds. Nobody else was paid the smallest fraction of the sums the General had so liberally promised.

That a commander, safely landed with three hundred fighting men, in possession of Coro, whose peninsular situation might have afforded him an inexpugnable position, master of the sea, and backed by an English fleet, should have retreated, without effecting anything, from a country ripe for rebellion since the conspiracy of 1797, can be explained only in one way: he must have been ignorant of the real feelings of the people, and totally unfit to lead such an expedition. Miranda had what we may call a pretty talent for war. He had studied the principles of the art, and had seen some service. Excited by the splendid career of Washington, he, like a certain distinguished Frenchman, determined to imitate him and become the liberator of his country. When the Giant at a show bends the iron bar, it seems so easy that every strong man in the crowd thinks he can do as much, until he tries. It needs a Giant of the first class to handle a people in revolution. Miranda was not made of that kind of stuff. He was weak and inefficient, fond of mystery and pomp, easily affected by flattery, loving dearly to hear himself talk, and unable to control his temper. His incessant quarrels with Captain Lewis were one cause of the loss of the schooners off Puerto Cabello. A want of quickness and energy was felt in all his operations. Delays are proverbially dangerous, but in a coup de main fatal. The time wasted by him at Jacquemel and at Aruba was employed by the Spaniards in making preparations for defence. They had few troops, and did not dare to trust the natives with arms, but they succeeded in persuading them that Miranda and his men were pagans and pirates, whose triumph would be ten times more insufferable than the rule of the mother country.

If Miranda was incompetent to carry out a liberating expedition, he had wonderful success in talking it up. For twenty years he had carried this project about with him in America and in Europe. It was elaborated to perfection in every part, and there were answers prepared to every objection. The new government was to be modelled upon the English Constitution,—an hereditary chief, to be called Inca,—a senate, nominated by the chief, composed of nobles, but not hereditary,—and a chamber elected by suffrage, limited by a property qualification. He had collected all the statistics of population and of trade, to show what commercial advantages the world might expect from a free South American government. And, "rising upon a wind of prophecy," he already saw in the future a ship-canal across the Isthmus of Panama, and the Nicaragua route opened. He had laid these plans before Catharine of Russia, who gave him money to help them on. Mr. Pitt listened, promised him assistance in return for commercial privileges, and kept him in pay for years. The French Revolutionists were eager to furnish him with an army and a fleet. Rufus King, American Ambassador at London, sent word of the scheme to Hamilton and Knox, who both approved of it. Miranda seems to have made the same impression upon everybody. His extensive travels and acquaintance with distinguished men, his knowledge of facts, dates, and figures, his retentive and ready memory, his wonderful cleverness in persuading his hearers, are spoken of in the same terms by all. Dr. Rush wrote to a friend, that Miranda had dined with him, and had talked about European politics as if he had been "in the inside of all the kings and princes." He might have been a second Count de St. Germain, if he had lived in the reign of Louis XIV., instead of in an era when men had abandoned the philosopher's stone, and were seeking in politics for a new magnum opus, Constitutions, as the certain means of perfecting the human species.

Everybody was mistaken in him. Although he talked "like an angel," in action he was worthless. If he had never undertaken to carry out his plans, he might have left an excellent reputation, and have remained in South American memory as the possible Father of his Country: Capax imperii, nisi imperasset. A short sketch of his career may be interesting, before we dismiss him again to the oblivion from which we have evoked him for this month.

Miranda entered the Spanish army in America at the age of seventeen, and was advanced to be Colonel, a grade seldom or never before reached by a Creole. He left the service before the close of the Revolutionary War, travelled in the United States, and was admitted to the society of Washington and of the leading men of the day. Here, his attainments, quickness, and insatiable curiosity attracted attention. He knew the topography and strategy of every battle fought during the war better than our officers who had been on the field, and soon made himself familiar with parties, and even with family connections in this country. His constant topic was the independence of South America. After the peace of 1783, Miranda went to England: Colonel Smith was then Secretary of John Adams, the American Minister, and the acquaintance between them began in London, which ended so disastrously twenty years later in New York. Leaving England, he travelled over Europe. At Cherson, he attracted the notice of Prince Potemkin, who presented him to the Empress at Kiew. In 1790, when the dispute about Nootka Sound[*] threatened to produce a war between Great Britain and Spain, he reappeared in London, and proposed to Mr. Pitt his scheme for revolutionizing the American Colonies. Pitt at once engaged his services, but Spain yielded, and the project could not be carried out. Miranda crossed to France, accepted a command in the Republican army, and served, with credit, in the Netherlands, under Dumouriez, until the Battle of Neerwinden. In November, 1792, the French rulers conceived the idea of revolutionizing Spain, both in Europe and in America. Brissot suggested Miranda as the fittest person for this purpose. He was to take twelve thousand troops of the line from St. Domingo, enlist, in addition, ten or fifteen thousand "braves mulâtres," and make a descent, with this force, upon the Main. "Le nom de Miranda," wrote Brissot to Dumouriez, "lui vaudra une armée; et ses talens, son courage, son génie, tout nous répond du succès." Monge, Gensonné, Clavière, Pétion, were pleased with the plan, but Miranda started difficulties. The French system was too democratic for his taste, and the pressure of affairs in Europe soon turned the attention of Brissot and his friends in another direction.

[Footnote *: In May, 1789, the Spanish sloop-of-war Princesa seized four English vessels engaged in a trade with the natives of Vancouver's Island, and took them into a Mexican port as prizes, on the ground that they had violated the Spanish Colonial laws. The English government denied the claim of Spain to those distant regions, and insisted upon ample satisfaction. The King of Spain was obliged to submit to avoid war, but the question of territory was left open.]

After the disastrous affair of Neerwinden, Miranda was accused of misconduct, arrested, and sent to Paris for trial, but was acquitted by the Tribunal Révolutionnaire, and conducted home in triumph. He was again imprisoned for incivisme, during the Reign of Terror, and did not recover his liberty until the general jail-delivery which followed the death of Robespierre. He was seized for the third time in 1797, by the Directory, as an adherent of the Pichegru faction, and banished from France.

In January, 1798, Mr. Pitt again sent for Miranda, and a new plan was arranged for the emancipation of South America. On this occasion, the coöperation of the United States was confidently relied upon. Both Pitt and our own rulers foresaw that Spain must inevitably fall a prey to France, and that the whole of her American possessions would probably share her fate. Our relations with France were in so critical a condition, that we were making preparations for defence; and it was, of course, of the highest importance to our safety, that the Floridas and Louisiana should not fall into the hands of a powerful enemy. It was proposed, consequently, to form a commercial and defensive alliance between England, the United States, and South America. We were to get the Floridas and Louisiana to the Mississippi, and in return to furnish a land-force of ten thousand men. Great Britain would provide the fleet, in consideration of certain important advantages in trade. Miranda kept his friends in the United States fully advised of the progress of affairs. Hamilton and Knox were in favor of the project, provided war were declared. Our provisional army might then have played a brilliant part. But there was no war. President Adams refused to listen to Miranda's communications, and patched up our difficulties with France. Nothing was done by the English.

In 1801 Lord Sidmouth revived Miranda's hopes, but the Peace of Amiens put a stop to the preparations. In 1804 Mr. Pitt was again at the head of affairs, and renewed his intercourse with Miranda. Orders were given to prepare ships and to enrol men, when the hopes of the third coalition again suspended the execution of the project.

It was after this last blow from Fortune that Miranda came to New York and fitted out the expedition we have undertaken to describe. His disastrous failure seemed neither to destroy his hopes, nor to shake the confidence of his English friends in his pretensions. When he returned to England from Trinidad, he found ministers prepared to embark with energy in the South American scheme. This time a fleet and an army were really assembled at Cork, and Sir Arthur Wellesley was to command them,—when the Spanish Revolution broke out, altered at once the face of affairs in Europe, and turned Sir Arthur and his army toward Portugal, to begin that brilliant series of campaigns which drove the French out of the Peninsula.

Few men fix their minds pertinaciously upon an object, and adhere to the pursuit through life, without at least a partial attainment of it. Miranda, the victim of so many bitter disappointments, at last found himself for a few months in the position he had so often dreamed of. When the news of the fall of Seville, and of the dispersion of the Junta who governed in the name of Ferdinand VII., reached South America, open rebellion broke out at Caracas. King Joseph Bonaparte had sent over a proclamation, imploring his trusty and well-beloved South Americans to come to his paternal arms,—or, if they would not do that, at least to set up a government for themselves, and not take part with Ferdinand and England. His emissaries were hunted down and hanged, wherever caught. Revolutionary Juntas were established all over the country. On the 19th of April, 1810, the American Confederation of Venezuela, in Congress assembled, undertook to rule in the name of Ferdinand VII., but in reality as an independent government. Miranda was called to the command of the native army. On the 5th of July, 1811, the Congress published their Declaration of Independence, and a Constitution, both of them remarkable state-papers. In point of liberality of sentiment and elegance of style they will bear comparison with our own celebrated documents of '76 and '87. Indeed, in all these Spanish political plays, the plot has been good, the text admirable, but the actors so poor as to spoil the piece. So it fell out in Venezuela. At first the Patriots were successful; Miranda defeated the Royalists and took Valencia. The principal towns fell into the hands of the insurgents. Then, came the terrible earthquake of 1812, which not only shattered the resources of the Patriots, but was skilfully used by the Church as a proof that Providence had taken sides against the rebels. Monteverde, the Spanish general, recaptured Valencia. Congress placed the dictatorship with unlimited power in Miranda's hands, but he was not the man for desperate situations. On the 6th of July, the Royalists took Puerto Cabello; Caracas fell on the 28th; and Miranda, betrayed by his own party into the hands of the Spaniards, was sent a prisoner to Cadiz in October. Simon Bolivar and others, men of different mettle, regained all that had been lost, and cut loose the Colonies from Spain. From California to Cape Horn the inestimable system of self-government was established. According to the theory, the South Americans should have been prosperous and happy; but, unfortunately, the result has been murder, robbery, and general ruin. The burden of taking care of one's self, which the North American had the strength to bear, has crushed the poor half-caste Spaniard. There are persons who assert that a political regimen which agrees so well with us must therefore be good for all others. It may be instructive to such believers in system to compare Humboldt's narrative of the cultivation shown by the great Colonial Universities of Mexico, Quito, and Lima, of the pleasing Creole society that entertained him, and the peaceful quiet and security he noticed throughout country, with the relations of modern travellers or newspaper-correspondents who visit those semi-barbarous regions.

Don Francisco de Miranda did not live to hear of the freedom of his "Columbia." Before the close of the year 1812 he died in prison, at Cadiz. Thus perished the most gentlemanlike of filibusters, since the days when Jason sailed in the Argo to extend the blessing of Greek institutions over Colchis and to appropriate the Golden Fleece.

* * * * *




Colonel Sprowle's family arose late the next morning. The fatigues and excitements of the evening and the preparation for it were followed by a natural collapse, of which somnolence was a leading symptom. The sun shone into the window at a pretty well opened angle when the Colonel first found himself sufficiently awake to address his yet slumbering spouse.

"Sally!" said the Colonel, in a voice that was a little husky,—for he had finished off the evening with an extra glass or two of "Madary," and had a somewhat rusty and headachy sense of renewed existence, on greeting the rather advanced dawn,—"Sally!"

"Take care o' them custard-cups! There they go!"

Poor Mrs. Sprowle was fighting the party over in her dream; and as the visionary custard-cups crashed down through one lobe of her brain into another, she gave a start as if an inch of lightning from a quart Leyden jar had jumped into one of her knuckles with its sudden and lively poonk!

"Sally!" said the Colonel,—"wake up, wake up! What 'r' y' dreamin' abaout?"

Mrs. Sprowle raised herself, by a sort of spasm, sur son séant, as they say in France,—up on end, as we have it in New England. She looked first to the left, then to the right, then straight before her, apparently without seeing anything, and at last slowly settled down, with her two eyes, blank of any particular meaning, directed upon the Colonel.

"What time is't?" she said.

"Ten o'clock. What 'y' been dreamin' abaout? Y' giv a jump like a hoppergrass. Wake up, wake up! Th' party's over, and y' been asleep all the mornin'. The party's over, I tell ye! Wake up!"

"Over!" said Mrs. Sprowle, who began to define her position at last,—"over! I should think 'twas time 'twas over! It's lasted a hundud year. I've been workin' for that party longer 'n Methuselah's lifetime, sence I been asleep. The pies wouldn' bake, and the blo'monge wouldn' set, and the ice-cream wouldn' freeze, and all the folks kep' comin' 'n' comin' 'n' comin',—everybody I ever knew in all my life,—some of 'em's been dead this twenty year 'n' more,—'n' nothin' for 'em to eat nor drink. The fire wouldn' burn to cook anything, all we could do. We blowed with the belluses, 'n' we stuffed in paper 'n' pitch-pine kindlin's, but nothin' could make that fire burn; 'n' all the time the folks kep' comin', as if they'd never stop,—'n' nothin' for 'em but empty dishes, 'n' all the borrowed chaney slippin' round on the waiters 'n' chippin' 'n' crackin'. I wouldn' go through what I been through t'-night for all th' money in th' Bank,—I do believe it's harder t' have a party than t'"——

Mrs. Sprowle stated the case strongly.

The Colonel said he didn't know how that might be. She was a better judge than he was. It was bother enough, anyhow, and he was glad that it was over. After this, the worthy pair commenced preparations for rejoining the waking world, and in due time proceeded down-stairs.

Everybody was late that morning, and nothing had got put to rights. The house looked as if a small army had been quartered in it over night. The tables were of course in huge disorder, after the protracted assault they had undergone. There had been a great battle evidently, and it had gone against the provisions. Some points had been stormed, and all their defences annihilated, but here and there were centres of resistance which had held out against all attacks,—large rounds of beef, and solid loaves of cake, against which the inexperienced had wasted their energies in the enthusiasm of youth or uninformed maturity, while the longer-headed guests were making discoveries of "shell-oysters" and "patridges" and similar delicacies.

The breakfast was naturally of a somewhat fragmentary character. A chicken that had lost his legs in the service of the preceding campaign was once more put on duty. A great ham stuck with cloves, as Saint Sebastian was with arrows, was again offered for martyrdom. It would have been a pleasant sight for a medical man of a speculative turn to have seen the prospect before the Colonel's family of the next week's breakfasts, dinners, and suppers. The trail that one of these great rural parties leaves after it is one of its most formidable considerations. Every door-handle in the house is suggestive of sweetmeats for the next week, at least. The most unnatural articles of diet displace the frugal but nutritious food of unconvulsed periods of existence. If there is a walking infant about the house, it will certainly have a more or less fatal fit from overmuch of some indigestible delicacy. Before the week is out, everybody will be tired to death of sugary forms of nourishment and long to see the last of the remnants of the festival.

The family had not yet arrived at this condition. On the contrary, the first inspection of the tables suggested the prospect of days of unstinted luxury; and the younger portion of the household, especially, were in a state of great excitement as the account of stock was taken with reference to future internal investments, Some curious facts came to light during these researches.

"Where's all the oranges gone to?" said Mrs. Sprowle. "I expected there'd be ever so many of 'em left. I didn't see many of the folks eatin' oranges. Where's the skins of 'em? There ought to be six dozen orange-skins round on the plates, and there a'n't one dozen. And all the small cakes, too, and all the sugar things that was stuck on the big cakes.—Has anybody counted the spoons? Some of 'em got swallered, perhaps. I hope they was plated ones, if they did!"

The failure of the morning's orange-crop and the deficit in other expected residual delicacies were not very difficult to account for. In many of the two-story Rockland families, and in those favored households of the neighboring villages whose members had been invited to the great party, there was a very general excitement among the younger people on the morning after the great event. "Did y' bring home somethin' from the party? What is it? What is it? Is it frût-cake? Is it nuts and oranges and apples? Give me some! Give me some!" Such a concert of treble voices uttering accents like these had not been heard since the great Temperance Festival with the celebrated "colation" in the open air under the trees of the Parnassian Grove,—as the place was christened by the young ladies of the Institute. The cry of the children was not in vain. From the pockets of demure fathers, from the bags of sharp-eyed spinsters, from the folded handkerchiefs of light-fingered sisters, from the tall hats of sly-winking brothers, there was a resurrection of the missing oranges and cakes and sugar-things in many a rejoicing family-circle, enough to astonish the most hardened "caterer" that ever contracted to feed a thousand people under canvas.

The tender recollection of those dear little ones whom extreme youth or other pressing considerations detain from scenes of festivity—a trait of affection by no means uncommon among our thoughtful people —dignifies those social meetings where it is manifested, and sheds a ray of sunshine on our common nature. It is "an oasis in the desert,"—to use the striking expression of the last year's "Valedictorian" of the Apollinean Institute. In the midst of so much that is purely selfish, it is delightful to meet such disinterested care for others. When a large family of children are expecting a parent's return from an entertainment, it will often require great exertions on his part to provide himself so as to meet their reasonable expectations. A few rules are worth remembering by all who attend anniversary dinners in Faneuil Hall or elsewhere. Thus: Lobsters' claws are always acceptable to children of all ages. Oranges and apples are to be taken one at a time, until the coat-pockets begin to become inconveniently heavy. Cakes are injured by sitting upon them; it is, therefore, well to carry a stout tin box of a size to hold as many pieces as there are children in the domestic circle. A very pleasant amusement, at the close of one of these banquets, is grabbing for the flowers with which the table is embellished. These will please the ladies at home very greatly, and, if the children are at the same time abundantly supplied with fruits, nuts, cakes, and any little ornamental articles of confectionery which are of a nature to be unostentatiously removed, the kind-hearted parent will make a whole household happy, without any additional expense beyond the outlay for his ticket.

There were fragmentary delicacies enough left, of one kind and another, at any rate, to make all the Colonel's family uncomfortable for the next week. It bid fair to take as long to get rid of the remains of the great party as it had taken to make ready for it.

In the mean time Mr. Bernard had been dreaming, as young men dream, of gliding shapes with bright eyes and burning cheeks, strangely blended with red planets and hissing meteors, and, shining over all, the white, unwandering star of the North, girt with its tethered constellations.

After breakfast he walked into the parlor, where he found Miss Darley. She was alone, and, holding a school-book in her hand, was at work with one of the morning's lessons. She hardly noticed him as he entered, being very busy with her book,—and he paused a moment before speaking, and looked at her with a kind of reverence. It would not have been strictly true to call her beautiful. For years,—since her earliest womanhood,—those slender hands had taken the bread which repaid the toil of heart and brain from the coarse palms that offered it in the world's rude market. It was not for herself alone that she had bartered away the life of her youth, that she had breathed the hot air of school-rooms, that she had forced her intelligence to posture before her will, as the exigencies of her place required,—waking to mental labor,—sleeping to dream of problems,—rolling up the stone of education for an endless twelvemonth's term, to find it at the bottom of the hill again when another year called her to its renewed duties,—schooling her temper in unending inward and outward conflicts, until neither dulness nor obstinacy nor ingratitude nor insolence could reach her serene self-possession. Not for herself alone. Poorly as her prodigal labors were repaid in proportion to the waste of life they cost, her value was too well established to leave her without what, under other circumstances, would have been a more than sufficient compensation. But there were others who looked to her in their need, and so the modest fountain which might have been filled to its brim was continually drained through silent-flowing, hidden sluices.

Out of such a life, inherited from a race which had lived in conditions not unlike her own, beauty, in the common sense of the term, could hardly find leisure to develop and shape itself. For it must be remembered, that symmetry and elegance of features and figure, like perfectly formed crystals in the mineral world, are reached only by insuring a certain necessary repose to individuals and to generations. Human beauty is an agricultural product in the country, growing up in men and women as in corn and cattle, where the soil is good. It is a luxury almost monopolized by the rich in cities, bred under glass like their forced pine-apples and peaches. Both in city and country, the evolution of the physical harmonics which make music to our eyes requires a combination of favorable circumstances, of which alternations of unburdened tranquillity with intervals of varied excitement of mind and body are among the most important. Where sufficient excitement is wanting, as often happens in the country, the features, however rich in red and white, get heavy, and the movements sluggish; where excitement is furnished in excess, as is frequently the case in cities, the contours and colors are impoverished, and the nerves begin to make their existence known to the consciousness, as the face very soon informs us.

Helen Darley could not, in the nature of things, have possessed the kind of beauty which pleases the common taste. Her eye was calm, sad-looking, her features very still, except when her pleasant smile changed them for a moment, all her outlines were delicate, her voice was very gentle, but somewhat subdued by years of thoughtful labor, and on her smooth forehead one little hinted line whispered already that Care was beginning to mark the trace which Time sooner or later would make a furrow. She could not be a beauty; if she had been, it would have been much harder for many persons to be interested in her. For, although in the abstract we all love beauty, and although, if we were sent naked souls into some ultramundane warehouse of soul-less bodies and told to select one to our liking, we should each choose a handsome one, and never think of the consequences,—it is quite certain that beauty carries an atmosphere of repulsion as well as of attraction with it, alike in both sexes. We may be well assured that there are many persons who no more think of specializing their love of the other sex upon one endowed with signal beauty, than they think of wanting great diamonds or thousand-dollar horses. No man or woman can appropriate beauty without paying for it,—in endowments, in fortune, in position, in self-surrender, or other valuable stock; and there are a great many who are too poor, too ordinary, too humble, too busy, too proud, to pay any of these prices for it. So the unbeautiful get many more lovers than the beauties; only, as there are more of them, their lovers are spread thinner and do not make so much show.

The young master stood looking at Helen Darley with a kind of tender admiration. She was such a picture of the martyr by the slow social combustive process, that it almost seemed to him he could see a pale lambent aureole round her head.

"I did not see you at the great party last evening," he said, presently.

She looked up and answered, "No. I have not much taste for such large companies. Besides, I do not feel as if my time belonged to me after it has been paid for. There is always something to do, some lesson or exercise,—and it so happened, I was very busy last night with the new problems in geometry. I hope you had a good time."

"Very. Two or three of our girls were there. Rosa Milburn. What a beauty she is! I wonder what she feeds on! Wine and musk and chloroform and coals of fire, I believe; I didn't think there was such color and flavor in a woman outside the tropics."

Miss Darley smiled rather faintly; the imagery was not just to her taste: femineity often finds it very hard to accept the fact of muliebrity.


She stopped short; but her question had asked itself.

"Elsie there? She was, for an hour or so. She looked frightfully handsome. I meant to have spoken to her, but she slipped away before I knew it."

"I thought she meant to go to the party," said Miss Darley. "Did she look at you?"

"She did. Why?"

"And you did not speak to her?"

"No. I should have spoken to her, but she was gone when I looked for her. A strange creature! Isn't there an odd sort of fascination about her? You have not explained all the mystery about the girl. What does she come to this school for? She seems to do pretty much as she likes about studying."

Miss Darley answered in very low tones. "It was a fancy of hers to come, and they let her have her way. I don't know what there is about her, except that she seems to take my life out of me when she looks at me. I don't like to ask other people about our girls. She says very little to anybody, and studies, or makes believe study, almost what she likes. I don't know what she is," (Miss Darley laid her hand, trembling, on the young master's sleeve,) "but I can tell when she is in the room without seeing or hearing her. Oh, Mr. Langdon, I am weak and nervous, and no doubt foolish,—but—if there were women now, as in the days of our Saviour, possessed of devils, I should think there was something not human looking out of Elsie Venner's eyes!"

The poor girl's breast rose and fell tumultuously as she spoke, and her voice labored, as if some obstruction were rising in her throat.

A scene might possibly have come of it, but the door opened. Mr. Silas
Peckham. Miss Darley got away as soon as she well could.

"Why did not Miss Darley go to the party last evening?" said Mr.

"Well, the fact is," answered Mr. Silas Peckham, "Miss Darley, she's pootty much took up with the school. She's an industris young woman,—yis, she is industris,—but perhaps she a'n't quite so spry a worker as some. Maybe, considerin' she's paid for her time, she isn't fur out o' the way in occoopyin' herself evenin's,—that is, if so be she a'n't smart enough to finish up all her work in the daytime. Edoocation is the great business of the Institoot. Amoosements are objec's of a secondary natur', accordin' to my v'oo." [The unspellable pronunciation of this word is the touchstone of New England Brahminism.]

Mr. Bernard drew a deep breath, his thin nostrils dilating, as if the air did not rush in fast enough to cool his blood, while Silas Peckham was speaking. The Head of the Apollinean Institute delivered himself of these judicious sentiments in that peculiar acid, penetrating tone, wadded with a nasal twang, which not rarely becomes hereditary after three or four generations raised upon east winds, salt fish, and large, white-bellied, pickled cucumbers. He spoke deliberately, as if weighing his words well, so that, during his few remarks, Mr. Bernard had time for a mental accompaniment with variations, accented by certain bodily changes, which escaped Mr. Peckham's observation. First there was a feeling of disgust and shame at hearing Helen Darley spoken of like a dumb working animal. That sent the blood up into his cheeks. Then the slur upon her probable want of force—her incapacity, who made the character of the school and left this man to pocket its profits—sent a thrill of the old Wentworth fire through him, so that his muscles hardened, his hands closed, and he took the measure of Mr. Silas Peckham, to see if his head would strike the wall in case he went over backwards all of a sudden. This would not do, of course, and so the thrill passed off and the muscles softened again. Then came that state of tenderness in the heart, overlying wrath in the stomach, in which the eyes grow moist like a woman's, and there is also a great boiling-up of objectionable terms out of the deep-water vocabulary, so that Prudence and Propriety and all the other pious Ps have to jump upon the lid of speech to keep them from boiling over into fierce articulation. All this was internal, chiefly, and of course not recognized by Mr. Silas Peckham. The idea, that any full-grown, sensible man should have any other notion than that of getting the most work for the least money out of his assistants, had never suggested itself to him.

Mr. Bernard had gone through this paroxysm, and cooled down, in the period while Mr. Peckham was uttering these words in his thin, shallow whine, twanging up into the frontal sinuses. What was the use of losing his temper and throwing away his place, and so, among the consequences which would necessarily follow, leaving the poor lady-teacher without a friend to stand by her ready to lay his hand on the grand-inquisitor before the windlass of his rack had taken one turn too many?

"No doubt, Mr. Peckham," he said, in a grave, calm voice, "there is a great deal of work to be done in the school; but perhaps we can distribute the duties a little more evenly after a time. I shall look over the girls' themes myself, after this week. Perhaps there will be some other parts of her labor that I can take on myself. We can arrange a new programme of studies and recitations."

"We can do that," said Mr. Silas Peckham. "But I don't propose mater'lly alterin' Miss Darley's dooties. I don't think she works to hurt herself. Some of the Trustees have proposed interdoosin' new branches of study, and I expect you will be pootty much occoopied with the dooties that belong to your place. On the Sabbath you will be able to attend divine service three times, which is expected of our teachers. I shall continoo myself to give Sabbath Scriptur'-readin's to the young ladies. That is a solemn dooty I can't make up my mind to commit to other people. My teachers enjoy the Lord's day as a day of rest. In it they do no manner of work,—except in cases of necessity or mercy, such as fillin' out diplomas, or when we git crowded jest at the end of a term, or when there is an extry number of poopils, or other Providential call to dispense with the ordinance."

Mr. Bernard had a fine glow in his cheeks by this time,—doubtless kindled by the thought of the kind consideration Mr. Peckham showed for his subordinates in allowing them the between-meeting-time on Sundays except for some special reason. But the morning was wearing away; so he went to the school-room, taking leave very properly of his respected principal, who soon took his hat and departed.

Mr. Peckham visited certain "stores" or shops, where he made inquiries after various articles in the provision-line, and effected a purchase or two. Two or three barrels of potatoes, which had sprouted in a promising way, he secured at a bargain. A side of feminine beef was also obtained at a low figure. He was entirely satisfied with a couple of barrels of flour, which, being invoiced "slightly damaged", were to be had at a reasonable price.

After this, Silas Peckham felt in good spirits. He had done a pretty stroke of business. It came into his head whether he might not follow it up with a still more brilliant speculation. So he turned his steps in the direction of Colonel Sprowle's.

It was now eleven o'clock, and the battlefield of last evening was as we left it. Mr. Peckham's visit was unexpected, perhaps not very well timed, but the Colonel received him civilly.

"Beautifully lighted,—these rooms last night!" said Mr. Peckham.

The Colonel nodded.

"How much do you pay for your winter-strained?"

The Colonel told him the price.

"Very hahnsome supper,—very hahnsome! Nothin' ever seen like it in
Rockland. Must have been a great heap of things left over."

The compliment was not ungrateful, and the Colonel acknowledged it by smiling and saying, "I should think the' was a trifle! Come and look."

When Silas Peckham saw how many delicacies had survived the evening's conflict, his commercial spirit rose at once to the point of a proposal.

"Colonel Sprowle," said he, "there's meat and cakes and pies and pickles enough on that table to spread a hahnsome colation. If you'd like to trade reasonable, I think perhaps I should be willin' to take 'em off your hands. There's been a talk about our havin' a celebration in the Parnassian Grove, and I think I could work in what your folks don't want and make myself whole by chargin' a small sum for tickets. Broken meats, of course, a'n't of the same valoo as fresh provisions; so I think you might be willin' to trade reasonable."

Mr. Peckham paused and rested on his proposal. It would not, perhaps, have been very extraordinary, if Colonel Sprowle had entertained the proposition. There is no telling beforehand how such things will strike people. It didn't happen to strike the Colonel favorably. He had a little red-blooded manhood in him.

"Sell you them things to make a colation out of?" the Colonel replied. "Walk up to that table, Mr. Peckham, and help yourself! Fill your pockets, Mr. Peckham! Fetch a basket, and our hired folks shall fill it full for ye! Send a cart, if y' like, 'n' carry off them leavin's to make a celebration for your pupils with! Only let me tell ye this:—as sure's my name's Hezekiah Spraowle, you'll be known through the taown 'n' through the caounty, from that day forrard, as the Principal of the Broken-Victuals Institoot!"

Even provincial human-nature sometimes has a touch of sublimity about it. Mr. Silas Peckham had gone a little deeper than he meant, and come upon the "hard pan," as the well-diggers call it, of the Colonel's character, before he thought of it. A militia-colonel standing on his sentiments is not to be despised. That was shown pretty well in New England two or three generations ago. There were a good many plain officers that talked about their "rigiment" and their "caounty" who knew very well how to say "Make ready!" "Take aim!" "Fire!"—in the face of a line of grenadiers with bullets in their guns and bayonets on them. And though a rustic uniform is not always unexceptionable in its cut and trimmings, yet there was many an ill-made coat in those old times that was good enough to be shown to the enemy's front rank, too often to be left on the field with a round hole in its left lapel that matched another going right through the brave heart of the plain country captain or major or colonel who was buried in it under the crimson turf.

Mr. Silas Peckham said little or nothing. His sensibilities were not acute, but he perceived that he had made a miscalculation. He hoped that there was no offence,—thought it might have been mutooally agreeable, conclooded he would give up the idee of a colation, and backed himself out as if unwilling to expose the less guarded aspect of his person to the risk of accelerating impulses.

The Colonel shut the door,—cast his eye on the toe of his right boot, as if it had had a strong temptation,—looked at his watch, then round the room, and, going to a cupboard, swallowed a glass of deep-red brandy and water to compose his feelings.



(With a Digression on "Hired Help")

"Abel! Slip Cassia into the new sulky, and fetch her round."

Abel was Dr. Kittredge's hired man. He was born in New Hampshire, a queer sort of a State, with fat streaks of soil and population where they breed giants in mind and body, and lean streaks which export imperfectly nourished young men with promising but neglected appetites, who may be found in great numbers in all the large towns, or could be until of late years, when they have been half driven out of their favorite basement-stories by foreigners, and half coaxed away from them by California. New Hampshire is in more than one sense the Switzerland of New England. The "Granite State" being naturally enough deficient in pudding-stone, its children are apt to wander southward in search of that deposit,—in the unpetrified condition.

Abel Stebbins was a good specimen of that extraordinary hybrid or mule between democracy and chrysocracy, a native-born New-England serving-man. The Old World has nothing at all like him. He is at once an emperor and a subordinate. In one hand he holds one five-millionth part (be the same more or less) of the power that sways the destinies of the Great Republic. His other hand is in your boot, which he is about to polish. It is impossible to turn a fellow-citizen whose vote may make his master—say, rather, employer—Governor or President, or who may be one or both himself, into a flunky. That article must be imported ready-made from other centres of civilization. When a New-Englander has lost his self-respect as a citizen and as a man, he is demoralized, and cannot be trusted with the money to pay for a dinner.

It may be supposed, therefore, that this fractional emperor, this continent-shaper, finds his position awkward when he goes into service, and that his employer is apt to find it still more embarrassing. It is always under protest that the hired man does his duty. Every act of service is subject to the drawback, "I am as good as you are." This is so common, at least, as almost to be the rule, and partly accounts for the rapid disappearance of the indigenous "domestic" from the basements above mentioned. Paleontologists will by-and-by be examining the floors of our kitchens for tracks of the extinct native species of serving-man. The female of the same race is fast dying out; indeed, the time is not far distant when all the varieties of young woman will have vanished from New England, as the dodo has perished in the Mauritius. The young lady is all that we shall have left, and the mop and duster of the last Almira or Loïzy will be stared at by generations of Bridgets and Noras as that famous head and foot of the lost bird are stared at in the Ashmolean Museum.

Abel Stebbins, the Doctor's man, took the true American view of his difficult position. He sold his time to the Doctor, and, having sold it, he took care to fulfil his half of the bargain. The Doctor, on his part, treated him, not like a gentleman, because one does not order a gentleman to bring up his horse or run his errands, but he treated him like a man. Every order was given in courteous terms. His reasonable privileges were respected as much as if they had been guarantied under hand and seal. The Doctor lent him books from his own library, and gave him all friendly counsel, as if he were a son or a younger brother.

Abel had Revolutionary blood in his veins, and though he saw fit to "hire out," he could never stand the word "servant," or consider himself the inferior one of the two high contracting parties. When he came to live with the Doctor, he made up his mind he would dismiss the old gentleman, if he did not behave according to his notions of propriety. But he soon found that the Doctor was one of the right sort, and so determined to keep him. The Doctor soon found, on his side, that he had a trustworthy, intelligent fellow, who would be invaluable to him, if he only let him have his own way of doing what was to be done.

The Doctor's hired man had not the manners of a French valet. He was grave and taciturn for the most part, he never bowed and rarely smiled, but was always at work in the daytime and always reading in the evening. He was hostler, and did all the housework that a man could properly do, would go to the door or "tend table," bought the provisions for the family,—in short, did almost everything for them but get their clothing. There was no office in a perfectly appointed household, from that of steward down to that of stable-boy, which he did not cheerfully assume. His round of work not consuming all his energies, he must needs cultivate the Doctor's garden, which he kept in one perpetual bloom, from the blowing of the first crocus to the fading of the last dahlia.

This garden was Abel's poem. Its half-dozen beds were so many cantos. Nature crowded them for him with imagery such as no Laureate could copy in the cold mosaic of language. The rhythm of alternating dawn and sunset, the strophe and antistrophe still perceptible through all the sudden shifts of our dithyrambic seasons and echoed in corresponding floral harmonies, made melody in the soul of Abel, the plain serving- man. It softened his whole otherwise rigid aspect. He worshipped God according to the strict way of his fathers; but a florist's Puritanism is always colored by the petals of his flowers,—and Nature never shows him a black corolla.

Perhaps he may have little or nothing to do in this narrative; but as there must be some who confound the New-England hired man, native-born, with the servant of foreign birth, and as there is the difference of two continents and two civilizations between them, it did not seem fair to let Abel bring round the Doctor's mare and sulky without touching his features in half-shadow into our background.

The Doctor's mare, Cassia, was so called by her master from her cinnamon color, cassia being one of the professional names for that spice or drug. She was of the shade we call sorrel, or, as an Englishman would perhaps say, chestnut,—a genuine "Morgan" mare, with a low forehand, as is common in this breed, but with strong quarters and flat hocks, well ribbed up, with a good eye and a pair of lively ears,—a first-rate doctor's beast,—would stand until her harness dropped off her back at the door of a tedious case, and trot over hill and dale thirty miles in three hours, if there was a child in the next county with a bean in its windpipe and the Doctor gave her a hint of the fact. Cassia was not large, but she had a good deal of action, and was the Doctor's show-horse. There were two other animals in his stable: Quassia or Quashy, the black horse, and Caustic, the old bay, with whom he jogged round the village.

"A long ride to-day?" said Abel, as he brought up the equipage.

"Just out of the village,—that's all.—There's a kink in her mane,—pull it out, will you?"

"Goin' to visit some of the great folks," Abel said to himself. "Wonder who it is."—Then to the Doctor,—"Anybody get sick at Sprowles's? They say Deacon Soper had a fit, after eatin' some o' their frozen victuals."

The Doctor smiled. He guessed the Deacon would do well enough. He was only going to ride over to the Dudley mansion-house.



If that primitive physician, CHIRON, M.D., appears as a Centaur, as we look at him through the lapse of thirty centuries, the modern country-doctor, if he could be seen about thirty miles off, could not be distinguished from a wheel-animalcule. He inhabits a wheel-carriage. He thinks of stationary dwellings as Long Tom Coffin did of land in general; a house may be well enough for incidental purposes, but for a "stiddy" residence give him a "kerridge." If he is classified in the Linnaean scale, he must be set down thus: Genus Homo; Species Rotifer infusorius,—the wheel-animal of infusions.

The Dudley mansion was not a mile from the Doctor's; but it never occurred to him to think of walking to see any of his patients' families, if he had any professional object in his visit. Whenever the narrow sulky turned in at a gate, the rustic who was digging potatoes, or hoeing corn, or swishing through the grass with his scythe in wave-like crescents, or stepping short behind a loaded wheel-barrow, or trudging lazily by the side of the swinging, loose-throated, short-legged oxen, rocking along the road as if they had just been landed after a three-months' voyage,—the toiling native, whatever he was doing, stopped and looked up at the house the doctor was visiting.

"Somebody sick over there t' Haynes's. Guess th' old man's ailin' ag'in. Winder's haäf-way open in the chamber,—shouldn't wonder 'f he was dead and laid aout. Docterin' a'n't no use, when y' see the winders open like that. Wahl, money a'n't much to speak of to th' old man naow! He don't want but tew cents,—and old Widah Peake, she knows what he wants them for!"

Or again,—

"Measles raound pootty thick. Briggs's folks's' buried two children with 'em laäst week. Th' old Doctor, he'd h' ker'd 'em threugh. Struck in 'n' p'dooeed mot'f cation,—so they say."

This is only meant as a sample of the kind of way they used to think or talk, when the narrow sulky turned in at the gate of some house where there was a visit to be made.

Oh, that narrow sulky! What hopes, what fears, what comfort, what anguish, what despair, in the roll of its coming or its parting wheels! In the spring, when the old people get the coughs which give them a few shakes and their lives drop in pieces like the ashes of a burned thread which have kept the threadlike shape until they were stirred,—in the hot summer noons, when the strong man comes in from the fields, like the son of the Shunamite, crying, "My head, my head,"—in the dying autumn days, when youth and maiden lie fever-stricken in many a household, still-faced, dull-eyed, dark-flushed, dry-lipped, low-muttering in their daylight dreams, their fingers moving singly like those of slumbering harpers,—in the dead winter, when the white plague of the North has caged its wasted victims, shuddering as they think of the frozen soil which must be quarried like rock to receive them, if their perpetual convalescence should happen to be interfered with by any untoward accident,—at every season, the narrow sulky rolled round freighted with unmeasured burdens of joy and woe.

The Doctor drove along the southern foot of The Mountain. The "Dudley mansion" was near the eastern edge of this declivity, where it rose steepest, with baldest cliffs and densest patches of over-hanging wood. It seemed almost too steep to climb, but a practised eye could see from a distance the zigzag lines of the sheep-paths which scaled it like miniature Alpine roads. A few hundred feet up The Mountain's side was a dark, deep dell, unwooded, save for a few spindling, crazy—looking hackmatacks or native larches, with pallid green tufts sticking out fantastically all over them. It shelved so deeply, that, while the hemlock-tassels were swinging on the trees around its border, all would be still at its springy bottom, save that perhaps a single fern would wave slowly backward and forward like a sabre, with a twist as of a feathered oar,—and this, when not a breath could be felt, and every other stem and blade were motionless. There was an old story of one having perished here in the winter of '86, and his body having been found in the spring,—whence its common name of "Dead-Man's Hollow." Higher up there were huge cliffs with chasms, and, it was thought, concealed caves, where in old times they said that Tories lay hid,—some hinted not without occasional aid and comfort from the Dudleys then living in the mansion-house. Still higher and farther west lay the accursed ledge,—shunned by all, unless it were now and then a daring youth, or a wandering naturalist who ventured to its edge in the hope of securing some infantile Crotalus durissus, who had not yet cut his poison-teeth.

Long, long ago, in old Colonial times, the Honorable Thomas Dudley, Esquire, a man of note and name and great resources, allied by descent to the family of "Tom Dudley," as the early Governor is sometimes irreverently called by our most venerable, but still youthful antiquary,—and to the other public Dudleys, of course,—of all of whom he made small account, as being himself an English gentleman, with little taste for the splendors of provincial office,—early in the last century, Thomas Dudley had built this mansion. For several generations it had been dwelt in by descendants of the same name, but soon after the Revolution it passed by marriage into the hands of the Venners, by whom it had ever since been held and tenanted.

As the Doctor turned an angle in the road, all at once the stately old house rose before him. It was a skilfully managed effect, as it well might be, for it was no vulgar English architect who had planned the mansion and arranged its position and approach. The old house rose before the Doctor crowning a terraced garden, flanked at the left by a double avenue of tall elms. The flower-beds were edged with box, which diffused around it that dreamy balsamic odor, full of ante-natal reminiscences of a lost Paradise, dimly fragrant as might be the bdellium of ancient Havilah, the land compassed by the river Pison that went out of Eden. The garden was somewhat neglected, but not in disgrace,—and in the time of tulips and hyacinths, of roses, of "snowballs," of honeysuckles, of lilacs, of syringas, it was rich with blossoms.

From the front-windows of the mansion the eye reached a far blue mountain-summit,—no rounded heap, such as often shuts in a village-landscape, but a sharp peak, clean-angled as Ascutney from the Dartmouth green. A wide gap through miles of woods had opened this distant view, and showed more, perhaps, than all the labors of the architect and the landscape-gardener the large style of the early Dudleys.

The great stone chimney of the mansion-house was the centre from which all the artificial features of the scene appeared to flow. The roofs, the gables, the dormer-windows, the porches, the clustered offices in the rear, all seemed to crowd about the great chimney. To this central pillar the paths all converged. The single poplar behind the house,—Nature is jealous of proud chimneys, and always loves to put a poplar near one, so that it may fling a leaf or two down its black throat every autumn,—the one tall poplar behind the house seemed to nod and whisper to the grave square column, the elms to sway their branches towards it. And when the blue smoke rose from its summit, it seemed to be wafted away to join the azure haze which hung around the peak in the far distance, so that both should bathe in a common atmosphere.

Behind the house were clumps of lilacs with a century's growth upon them, and looking more like trees than like shrubs. Shaded by a group of these was the ancient well, of huge circuit, and with a low arch opening out of its wall about ten feet below the surface,—whether the door of a crypt for the concealment of treasure, or of a subterranean passage, or merely of a vault for keeping provisions cool in hot weather, opinions differed.

On looking at the house, it was plain that it was built with Old-World notions of strength and durability, and, so far as might be, with Old-World materials. The hinges of the doors stretched out like arms, instead of like hands, as we make them. The bolts were massive enough for a donjon-keep. The small window-panes were actually inclosed in the wood of the sashes, instead of being stuck to them with putty, as in our modern windows. The broad staircase was of easy ascent, and was guarded by quaintly turned and twisted balusters. The ceilings of the two rooms of state were moulded with medallion-portraits and rustic figures, such as may have been seen by many readers in the famous old Philipse house,—Washington's headquarters,—in the town of Yonkers. The fireplaces, worthy of the wide-throated central chimney, were bordered by pictured tiles, some of them with Scripture stories, some with Watteau-like figures,—tall damsels in slim waists and with spread enough of skirt for a modern ballroom, with bowing, reclining, or musical swains of what everybody calls the "conventional" sort,—that is, the swain adapted to genteel society rather than to a literal sheep-compelling existence.

The house was furnished, soon after it was completed, with many heavy articles made in London from a rare wood just then come into fashion, not so rare now, and commonly known as mahogany. Time had turned it very dark, and the stately bedsteads and tall cabinets and claw-footed chairs and tables were in keeping with the sober dignity of the ancient mansion. The old "hangings" were yet preserved in the chambers, faded, but still showing their rich patterns,—properly entitled to their name, for they were literally hung upon flat wooden frames like trellis-work, which again were secured to the naked partitions. There were portraits of different date on the walls of the various apartments, old painted coats-of-arms, bevel-edged mirrors, and in one sleeping-room a glass case of wax-work flowers and spangly symbols, with a legend signifying that E.M. (supposed to be Elizabeth Mascarene) wished not to be "forgot"

  "When I am dead and lay'd in dust
  And all my bones are"——

Poor E.M.! Poor everybody that sighs for earthly remembrance in a planet with a core of fire and a crust of fossils!

Such was the Dudley mansion-house,—for it kept its ancient name in spite of the change in the line of descent. Its spacious apartments looked dreary and desolate; for here Dudley Venner and his daughter dwelt by themselves, with such servants only as their quiet mode of life required. He almost lived in his library, the western room on the ground-floor. Its window looked upon a small plat of green, in the midst of which was a single grave marked by a plain marble slab. Except this room, and the chamber where he slept, and the servants' wing, the rest of the house was all Elsie's. She was always a restless, wandering child from her early years, and would have her little bed moved from one chamber to another,—flitting round as the fancy took her. Sometimes she would drag a mat and a pillow into one of the great empty rooms, and, wrapping herself in a shawl, coil up and go to sleep in a corner. Nothing frightened her; the "haunted" chamber, with the torn hangings that flapped like wings when there was air stirring, was one of her favorite retreats.

She had been a very hard creature to manage. Her father could influence, but not govern her. Old Sophy, born of a slave mother in the house, could do more with her than anybody, knowing her by long instinctive study. The other servants were afraid of her. Her father had sent for governesses, but none of them ever stayed long. She made them nervous; one of them had a strange fit of sickness; not one of them ever came back to the house to see her. A young Spanish woman who taught her dancing succeeded best with her, for she had a passion for that exercise, and had mastered some of the most difficult dances.

Long before this period, she had manifested some most extraordinary singularities of taste or instinct. The extreme sensitiveness of her father on this point prevented any allusion to them; but there were stories floating round, some of them even getting into the papers,—without her name, of course,—which were of a kind to excite intense curiosity, if not more anxious feelings. This thing was certain, that at the age of twelve she was missed one night, and was found sleeping in the open air under a tree, like a wild creature. Very often she would wander off by day, always without a companion, bringing home with her a nest, a flower, or even a more questionable trophy of her ramble, such as showed that there was no place where she was afraid to venture. Once in a while she had stayed out over night, in which case the alarm was spread, and men went in search of her, but never successfully,—so that some said she hid herself in trees, and others that she had found one of the old Tory caves.

Some, of course, said she was a crazy girl, and ought to be sent to an Asylum. But old Dr. Kittredge had shaken his head, and told them to bear with her, and let her have her way as much as they could, but watch her, as far as possible, without making her suspicious of them. He visited her now and then, under the pretext of seeing her father on business, or of only making a friendly call.

* * * * *

The Doctor fastened his horse outside the gate, and walked up the garden-alley. He stopped suddenly with a start. A strange sound had jarred upon his ear. It was a sharp prolonged rattle, continuous, but rising and falling as if in rhythmical cadence. He moved softly towards the open window from which the sound seemed to proceed.

Elsie was alone in the room, dancing one of those wild Moorish fandangos, such as a matador hot from the Plaza de Toros of Seville or Madrid might love to lie and gaze at. She was a figure to look upon in silence. The dancing frenzy must have seized upon her while she was dressing; for she was in her bodice, bare-armed, her hair floating unbound far below the waist of her barred or banded skirt. She had caught up her castanets, and rattled them as she danced with a kind of passionate fierceness, her lithe body undulating with flexuous grace, her diamond eyes glittering, her round arms wreathing and unwinding, alive and vibrant to the tips of the slender fingers. Some passion seemed to exhaust itself in this dancing paroxysm; for all at once she reeled from the middle of the floor, and flung herself, as it were in a careless coil, upon a great tiger's-skin which was spread out in one corner of the apartment.

The old Doctor stood motionless, looking at her as she lay panting on the tawny, black-lined robe of the dead monster, which stretched out beneath her, its rude flattened outline recalling the Terror of the Jungle as he crouched for his fatal spring. In a few moments her head drooped upon her arm, and her glittering eyes closed,—she was sleeping. He stood looking at her still, steadily, thoughtfully, tenderly. Presently he lifted his hand to his forehead, as if recalling some fading remembrance of other years.

"Poor Catalina!"

This was all he said. He shook his head,—implying that his visit would be in vain to-day,—returned to his sulky, and rode away, as if in a dream.

* * * * *


The romance of "The Marble Faun" will be widely welcomed, not only for its intrinsic merits, but because it is a sign that its writer, after a silence of seven or eight years, has determined to resume his place in the ranks of authorship. In his preface he tells us, that in each of his previous publications he had unconsciously one person in his eye, whom he styles his "gentle reader." He meant it "for that one congenial friend, more comprehensive of his purposes, more appreciative of his. success, more indulgent of his short-comings, and, in all respects, closer and kinder than a brother,—that all-sympathizing critic, in short, whom an author never actually meets, but to whom he implicitly makes his appeal, whenever he is conscious of having done his best." He believes that this reader did once exist for him, and duly received the scrolls he flung "upon whatever wind was blowing, in the faith that they would find him out." "But," he questions, "is he extant now? In these many years since he last heard from me, may he not have deemed his earthly task accomplished, and have withdrawn to the paradise of gentle readers, wherever it may be, to the enjoyments of which his kindly charity on my behalf must surely have entitled him?" As we feel assured that Hawthorne's reputation has been steadily growing with the lapse of time, he has no cause to fear that the longevity of his gentle reader will not equal his own. As long as he writes, there will be readers enough to admire and appreciate.

The publication of this new romance seems to offer us a fitting occasion to attempt some description of the peculiarities of the genius of which it is the latest offspring, and to hazard some judgments on its predecessors. It is more than twenty-five years since Hawthorne began that remarkable series of stories and essays which are now collected in the volumes of "Twice-Told Tales," "The Snow Image and other Tales," and "Mosses from an Old Manse." From the first he was recognized by such readers as he chanced to find as a man of genius, yet for a long time he enjoyed, in his own words, the distinction of being "the obscurest man of letters in America." His readers were "gentle" rather than enthusiastic; their fine delight in his creations was a private perception of subtile excellences of thought and style, too refined and self-satisfying to be contagious; and the public was untouched, whilst the "gentle" reader was full of placid enjoyment. Indeed, we fear that this kind of reader is something of an Epicurean,—receives a new genius as a private blessing, sent by a benign Providence to quicken a new life in his somewhat jaded sense of intellectual pleasure; and after having received a fresh sensation, he is apt to be serenely indifferent whether the creator of it starve bodily or pine mentally from the lack of a cordial human shout of recognition.

There would appear, on a slight view of the matter, no reason for the little notice which Hawthorne's early productions received. The subjects were mostly drawn from the traditions and written records of New England, and gave the "beautiful strangeness" of imagination to objects, incidents, and characters which were familiar facts in the popular mind. The style, while it had a purity, sweetness, and grace which satisfied the most fastidious and exacting taste, had, at the same time, more than the simplicity and clearness of an ordinary school-book. But though the subjects and the style were thus popular, there was something in the shaping and informing spirit which failed to awaken interest, or awakened interest without exciting delight. Misanthropy, when it has its source in passion,—when it is fierce, bitter, fiery, and scornful,—when it vigorously echoes the aggressive discontent of the world, and furiously tramples on the institutions and the men luckily rather than rightfully in the ascendant,—this is always popular; but a misanthropy which springs from insight,—a misanthropy which is lounging, languid, sad, and depressing,—a misanthropy which remorselessly looks through cursing misanthropes and chirping men of the world with the same sure, detecting glance of reason,—a misanthropy which has no fanaticism, and which casts the same ominous doubt on subjectively morbid as on subjectively moral action,—a misanthropy which has no respect for impulses, but has a terrible perception of spiritual laws,—this is a misanthropy which can expect no wide recognition; and it would be vain to deny that traces of this kind of misanthropy are to be found in Hawthorne's earlier, and are not altogether absent from his later works. He had spiritual insight, but it did not penetrate to the sources of spiritual joy; and his deepest glimpses of truth were calculated rather to sadden than to inspire. A blandly cynical distrust of human nature was the result of his most piercing glances into the human soul. He had humor, and sometimes humor of a delicious kind; but this sunshine of the soul was but sunshine breaking through or lighting up a sombre and ominous cloud. There was also observable in his earlier stories a lack of vigor, as if the power of his nature had been impaired by the very process—which gave depth and excursiveness to his mental vision. Throughout, the impression is conveyed of a shy recluse, alternately bashful in disposition and bold in thought, gifted with original and various capacities, but capacities which seemed to have developed themselves in the shade, without sufficient energy of will or desire to force them, except fitfully, into the sunlight. Shakspeare calls moonlight the sunlight sick; and it is in some such moonlight of the mind that the genius of Hawthorne found its first expression. A mild melancholy, sometimes deepening into gloom, sometimes brightened into a "humorous sadness," characterized his early creations. Like his own Hepzibah Pyncheon, he appeared "to be walking in a dream"; or rather, the life and reality assumed by his emotions "made all outward occurrences unsubstantial, like the teasing phantasms of an unconscious slumber." Though dealing largely in description, and with the most accurate perceptions of outward objects, he still, to use again his own words, gives the impression of a man "chiefly accustomed to look inward, and to whom external matters are of little value or import, unless they bear relation to something within his own mind." But that "something within his own mind" was often an unpleasant something, perhaps a ghastly occult perception of deformity and sin in what appeared outwardly fair and good; so that the reader felt a secret dissatisfaction with the disposition which directed the genius, even in the homage he awarded to the genius itself. As psychological portraits of morbid natures, his delineations of character might have given a purely intellectual satisfaction; but there was audible, to the delicate ear, a faint and muffled growl of personal discontent, which showed they were not mere exercises of penetrating imaginative analysis, but had in them the morbid vitality of a despondent mood.

Yet, after admitting these peculiarities, nobody who is now drawn to the "Twice-Told Tales," from his interest in the later romances of Hawthorne, can fail to wonder a little at the limited number of readers they attracted on their original publication. For many of these stories are at once a representation of early New-England life and a criticism on it. They have much of the deepest truth of history in them. "The Legends of the Province House," "The Gray Champion," "The Gentle Boy," "The Minister's Black Veil," "Endicott and the Red Cross," not to mention others, contain important matter which cannot be found in Bancroft or Grahame. They exhibit the inward struggles of New-England men and women with some of the darkest problems of existence, and have more vital import to thoughtful minds than the records of Indian or Revolutionary warfare. In the "Prophetic Pictures," "Fancy's Show-Box," "The Great Carbuncle," "The Haunted Mind," and "Edward Fane's Rose-Bud," there are flashes of moral insight, which light up, for the moment, the darkest recesses of the individual mind; and few sermons reach to the depth of thought and sentiment from which these seemingly airy sketches draw their sombre life. It is common, for instance, for religious moralists to insist on the great spiritual truth, that wicked thoughts and impulses, which circumstances prevent from passing into wicked acts, are still deeds in the sight of God; but the living truth subsides into a dead truism, as enforced by commonplace preachers. In "Fancy's Show-Box," Hawthorne seizes the prolific idea; and the respectable merchant and respected church-member, in the still hour of his own meditation, convicts himself of being a liar, cheat, thief, seducer, and murderer, as he casts his glance over the mental events which form his spiritual biography. Interspersed with serious histories and moralities like these, are others which embody the sweet and playful, though still thoughtful and slightly saturnine action of Hawthorne's mind,—like "The Seven Vagabonds," "Snow-Flakes," "The Lily's Quest," "Mr. Higgenbotham's Catastrophe," "Little Annie's Ramble," "Sights from a Steeple," "Sunday at Home," and "A Rill from the Town-Pump."

The "Mosses from an Old Manse" are intellectually and artistically an advance from the "Twice-Told Tales." The twenty-three stories and essays which make up the volumes are almost perfect of their kind. Each is complete in itself, and many might be expanded into long romances by the simple method of developing the possibilities of their shadowy types of character into appropriate incidents. In description, narration, allegory, humor, reason, fancy, subtilty, inventiveness, they exceed the best productions of Addison; but they want Addison's sensuous contentment and sweet and kindly spirit. Though the author denies that he has exhibited his own individual attributes in these "Mosses," though he professes not to be "one of those supremely hospitable people who serve up their own hearts delicately fried, with brain-sauce, as a titbit for their beloved public,"—yet it is none the less apparent that he has diffused through each tale and sketch the life of the mental mood to which it owed its existence, and that one individuality pervades and colors the whole collection. The defect of the serious stories is, that character is introduced, not as thinking, but as the illustration of thought. The persons are ghostly, with a sad lack of flesh and blood. They are phantasmal symbols of a reflective and imaginative analysis of human passions and aspirations. The dialogue, especially, is bookish, as though the personages knew their speech was to be printed, and were careful of the collocation and rhythm of their words. The author throughout is evidently more interested in his large, wide, deep, indolently serene, and lazily sure and critical view of the conflict of ideas and passions, than he is with the individuals who embody them. He shows moral insight without moral earnestness. He cannot contract his mind to the patient delineation of a moral individual, but attempts to use individuals in order to express the last results of patient moral perception. Young Goodman Brown and Roger Malvin are not persons; they are the mere, loose, personal expression of subtile thinking. "The Celestial Railroad," "The Procession of Life," "Earth's Holocaust," "The Bosom Serpent," indicate thought of a character equally deep, delicate, and comprehensive, but the characters are ghosts of men rather than substantial individualities. In the "Mosses from an Old Manse," we are really studying the phenomena of human nature, while, for the time, we beguile ourselves into the belief that we are following the fortunes of individual natures.

Up to this time the writings of Hawthorne conveyed the impression of a genius in which insight so dominated over impulse, that it was rather mentally and morally curious than mentally and morally impassioned. The quality evidently wanting to its full expression was intensity. In the romance of "The Scarlet Letter" he first made his genius efficient by penetrating it with passion. This book forced itself into attention by its inherent power; and the author's name, previously known only to a limited circle of readers, suddenly became a familiar word in the mouths of the great reading public of America and England. It may be said, that it "captivated" nobody, but took everybody captive. Its power could neither be denied nor resisted. There were growls of disapprobation from novel-readers, that Hester Prynne and the Rev. Mr. Dimmesdale were subjected to cruel punishments unknown to the jurisprudence of fiction,—that the author was an inquisitor who put his victims on the rack,—and that neither amusement nor delight resulted from seeing the contortions and hearing the groans of these martyrs of sin; but the fact was no less plain that Hawthorne had for once compelled the most superficial lovers of romance to submit themselves to the magic of his genius. The readers of Dickens voted him, with three times three, to the presidency of their republic of letters; the readers of Hawthorne were caught by a coup d'état, and fretfully submitted to a despot whom they could not depose.

The success of "The Scarlet Letter" is an example of the advantage which an author gains by the simple concentration of his powers on one absorbing subject. In the "Twice-Told Tales" and the "Mosses from an Old Manse" Hawthorne had exhibited a wider range of sight and insight than in "The Scarlet Letter." Indeed, in the little sketch of "Endicott and the Red Cross," written twenty years before, he had included in a few sentences the whole matter which he afterwards treated in his famous story. In describing the various inhabitants of an early New-England town, as far as they were representative, he touches incidentally on a "young woman, with no mean share of beauty, whose doom it was to wear the letter A on the breast of her gown, in the eyes of all the world and her own children. And even her own children knew what that initial signified. Sporting with her infamy, the lost and desperate creature had embroidered the fatal token in scarlet cloth, with golden thread and the nicest art of needle-work; so that the capital A might have been thought to mean Admirable, or anything, rather than Adulteress." Here is the germ of the whole pathos and terror of "The Scarlet Letter"; but it is hardly noted in the throng of symbols, equally pertinent, in the few pages of the little sketch from which we have quoted.

Two characteristics of Hawthorne's genius stand plainly out, in the conduct and characterization of the romance of "The Scarlet Letter," which were less obviously prominent in his previous works. The first relates to his subordination of external incidents to inward events. Mr. James's "solitary horseman" does more in one chapter than Hawthorne's hero in twenty chapters; but then James deals with the arms of men, while Hawthorne deals with their souls. Hawthorne relies almost entirely for the interest of his story on what is felt and done within the minds of his characters. Even his most picturesque descriptions and narratives are only one-tenth matter to nine-tenths spirit. The results that follow from one external act of folly or crime are to him enough for an Iliad of woes. It might be supposed that his whole theory of Romantic Art was based on these tremendous lines of Wordsworth:—

             "Action is momentary,—
  The motion of a muscle, this way or that:
  Suffering is long, obscure, and infinite."

The second characteristic of his genius is connected with the first. With his insight of individual souls he combines a far deeper insight of the spiritual laws which govern the strangest aberrations of individual souls. But it seems to us that his mental eye, keen-sighted and far-sighted as it is, overlooks the merciful modifications of the austere code whose pitiless action it so clearly discerns. In his long and patient brooding over the spiritual phenomena of Puritan life, it is apparent, to the least critical observer, that he has imbibed a deep personal antipathy to the Puritanic ideal of character; but it is no less apparent that his intellect and imagination have been strangely fascinated by the Puritanic idea of justice. His brain has been subtly infected by the Puritanic perception of Law, without being warmed by the Puritanic faith in Grace. Individually, he would much prefer to have been one of his own "Seven Vagabonds" rather than one of the austerest preachers of the primitive church of New England; but the austerest preacher of the primitive church of New England would have been more tender and considerate to a real Mr. Dimmesdale and a real Hester Prynne than this modern romancer has been to their typical representatives in the world of imagination. Throughout "The Scarlet Letter" we seem to be following the guidance of an author who is personally good-natured, but intellectually and morally relentless.

"The House of the Seven Gables," Hawthorne's next work, while it has less concentration of passion and tension of mind than "The Scarlet Letter," includes a wider range of observation, reflection, and character; and the morality, dreadful as fate, which hung like a black cloud over the personages of the previous story, is exhibited in more relief. Although the book has no imaginative creation equal to little Pearl, it still contains numerous examples of characterization at once delicate and deep. Clifford, especially, is a study in psychology, as well as a marvellously subtile delineation of enfeebled manhood. The general idea of the story is this,—"that the wrong-doing of one generation lives into the successive ones, and, divesting itself of every temporary advantage, becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief"; and the mode in which this idea is carried out shows great force, fertility, and refinement of mind. A weird fancy, sporting with the facts detected by a keen observation, gives to every gable of the Seven Gables, every room in the House, every burdock growing rankly before the door, a symbolic significance. The queer mansion is haunted,—haunted with thoughts which every moment are liable to take ghostly shape. All the Pyncheons who have resided in it appear to have infected the very timbers and walls with the spiritual essence of their lives, and each seems ready to pass from a memory into a presence. The stern theory of the author regarding the hereditary transmission of family qualities, and the visiting of the sins of the fathers on the heads of their children, almost wins our reluctant assent through the pertinacity with which the generations of the Pyncheon race are made not merely to live in the blood and brain of their descendants, but to cling to their old abiding-place on earth, so that to inhabit the house is to breathe the Pyncheon soul and assimilate the Pyncheon individuality. The whole representation, masterly as it is, considered as an effort of intellectual and imaginative power, would still be morally bleak, were it not for the sunshine and warmth radiated from the character of Phoebe. In this delightful creation Hawthorne for once gives himself up to homely human nature, and has succeeded in delineating a New-England girl, cheerful, blooming, practical, affectionate, efficient, full of innocence and happiness, with all the "handiness" and native sagacity of her class, and so true and close to Nature that the process by which she is slightly idealized is completely hidden.

In this romance there is also more humor than in any of his other works. It peeps out, even in the most serious passages, in a kind of demure rebellion against the fanaticism of his remorseless intelligence. In the description of the Pyncheon poultry, which we think unexcelled by anything in Dickens for quaintly fanciful humor, the author seems to indulge in a sort of parody on his own doctrine of the hereditary transmission of family qualities. At any rate, that strutting chanticleer, with his two meagre wives and one wizened chicken, is a sly side fleer at the tragic aspect of the law of descent. Miss Hepzibah Pyncheon, her shop, and her customers, are so delightful, that the reader would willingly spare a good deal of Clifford and Judge Pyncheon and Holgrave, for more details of them and Phoebe. Uncle Venner, also, the old wood-sawyer, who boasts "that he has seen a good deal of the world, not only in people's kitchens and back-yards, but at the street-corners, and on the wharves, and in other places where his business" called him, and who, on the strength of this comprehensive experience, feels qualified to give the final decision in every case which tasks the resources of human wisdom, is a very much more humane and interesting gentleman than the Judge. Indeed, one cannot but regret that Hawthorne should be so economical of his undoubted stores of humor,—and that, in the two romances he has since written, humor, in the form of character, does not appear at all.

Before proceeding to the consideration of "The Blithedale Romance," it is necessary to say a few words on the seeming separation of Hawthorne's genius from his will. He has none of that ability which enabled Scott and enables Dickens to force their powers into action, and to make what was begun in drudgery soon assume the character of inspiration. Hawthorne cannot thus use his genius; his genius always uses him. This is so true, that he often succeeds better in what calls forth his personal antipathies than in what calls forth his personal sympathies. His life of General Pierce, for instance, is altogether destitute of life; yet in writing it he must have exerted himself to the utmost, as his object was to urge the claims of an old and dear friend to the Presidency of the Republic. The style, of course, is excellent, as it is impossible for Hawthorne to write bad English, but the genius of the man has deserted him. General Pierce, whom he loves, he draws so feebly, that one doubts, while reading the biography, if such a man exists; Hollingsworth, whom he hates, is so vividly characterized, that the doubt is, while we read the romance, whether such a man can possibly be fictitious.

Midway between such a work as the "Life of General Pierce" and "The Scarlet Letter" may be placed "The Wonder-Book" and "Tanglewood Tales." In these Hawthorne's genius distinctly appears, and appears in its most lovable, though not in its deepest form. These delicious stories, founded on the mythology of Greece, were written for children, but they delight men and women as well. Hawthorne never pleases grown people so much as when he writes with an eye to the enjoyment of little people.

Now "The Blithedale Romance" is far from being so pleasing a performance as "Tanglewood Tales," yet it very much better illustrates the operation, indicates the quality, and expresses the power, of the author's genius. His great books appear not so much created by him as through him. They have the character of revelations,—he, the instrument, being often troubled with the burden they impose on his mind. His profoundest glances into individual souls are like the marvels of clairvoyance. It would seem, that, in the production of such a work as "The Blithedale Romance," his mind had hit accidentally, as it were, on an idea or fact mysteriously related to some morbid sentiment in the inmost core of his nature, and connecting itself with numerous scattered observations of human life, lying unrelated in his imagination. In a sort of meditative dream, his intellect drifts in the direction to which the subject points, broods patiently over it, looks at it, looks into it, and at last looks through it to the law by which it is governed. Gradually, individual beings, definite in spiritual quality, but shadowy in substantial form, group themselves around this central conception, and by degrees assume an outward body and expression corresponding to their internal nature. On the depth and intensity of the mental mood, the force of the fascination it exerts over him, and the length of time it holds him captive, depend the solidity and substance of the individual characterizations. In this way Miles Coverdale, Hollingsworth, Westervelt, Zenobia, and Priscilla become real persons to the mind which has called them into being. He knows every secret and watches every motion of their souls, yet is, in a measure, independent of them, and pretends to no authority by which he can alter the destiny which consigns them to misery or happiness. They drift to their doom by the same law by which they drifted across the path of his vision. Individually, he abhors Hollingsworth, and would like to annihilate Westervelt, yet he allows the superb Zenobia to be their victim; and if his readers object that the effect of the whole representation is painful, he would doubtless agree with them, but profess his incapacity honestly to alter a sentence. He professes to tell the story as it was revealed to him; and the license in which a romancer might indulge is denied to a biographer of spirits. Show him a fallacy in his logic of passion and character, point out a false or defective step in his analysis, and he will gladly alter the whole to your satisfaction; but four human souls, such as he has described, being given, their mutual attractions and repulsions will end, he feels assured, in just such a catastrophe as he has stated.

Eight years have passed since "The Blithedale Romance" was written, and during nearly the whole of this period Hawthorne has resided abroad. "The Marble Faun," which must, on the whole, be considered the greatest of his works, proves that his genius has widened and deepened in this interval, without any alteration or modification of its characteristic merits and characteristic defects. The most obvious excellence of the work is the vivid truthfulness of its descriptions of Italian life, manners, and scenery; and, considered merely as a record of a tour in Italy, it is of great interest and attractiveness. The opinions on Art, and the special criticisms on the masterpieces of architecture, sculpture, and painting, also possess a value of their own. The story might have been told, and the characters fully represented, in one-third of the space devoted to them, yet description and narration are so artfully combined that each assists to give interest to the other. Hawthorne is one of those true observers who concentrate in observation every power of their minds. He has accurate sight and piercing insight. When he modifies either the form or the spirit of the objects he describes, he does it either by viewing them through the medium of an imagined mind or by obeying associations which they themselves suggest. We might quote from the descriptive portions of the work a hundred pages, at least, which would demonstrate how closely accurate observation is connected with the highest powers of the intellect and imagination.

The style of the book is perfect of its kind, and, if Hawthorne had written nothing else, would entitle him to rank among the great masters of English composition. Walter Savage Landor is reported to have said of an author whom he knew in his youth, "My friend wrote excellent English, a language now obsolete." Had "The Marble Faun" appeared before he uttered this sarcasm, the wit of the remark would have been pointless. Hawthorne not only writes English, but the sweetest, simplest, and clearest English that ever has been made the vehicle of equal depth, variety, and subtilty of thought and emotion. His mind is reflected in his style as a face is reflected in a mirror; and the latter does not give back its image with less appearance of effort than the former. His excellence consists not so much in using common words as in making common words express uncommon things. Swift, Addison, Goldsmith, not to mention others, wrote with as much simplicity; but the style of neither embodies an individuality so complex, passions so strange and intense, sentiments so fantastic and preternatural, thoughts so profound and delicate, and imaginations so remote from the recognized limits of the ideal, as find an orderly outlet in the pure English of Hawthorne. He has hardly a word to which Mrs. Trimmer would primly object, hardly a sentence which would call forth the frosty anathema of Blair, Hurd, Kames, or Whately, and yet he contrives to embody in his simple style qualities which would almost excuse the verbal extravagances of Carlyle.

In regard to the characterization and plot of "The Marble Faun," there is room for widely varying opinions. Hilda, Miriam, and Donatello will be generally received as superior in power and depth to any of Hawthorne's previous creations of character; Donatello, especially, must be considered one of the most original and exquisite conceptions in the whole range of romance; but the story in which they appear will seem to many an unsolved puzzle, and even the tolerant and interpretative "gentle reader" will be troubled with the unsatisfactory conclusion. It is justifiable for a romancer to sting the curiosity of his readers with a mystery, only on the implied obligation to explain it at last; but this story begins in mystery only to end in mist. The suggestive faculty is tormented rather than genially excited, and in the end is left a prey to doubts. The central idea of the story, the necessity of sin to convert such a creature as Donatello into a moral being, is also not happily illustrated in the leading event. When Donatello kills the wretch who malignantly dogs the steps of Miriam, all readers think that Donatello committed no sin at all; and the reason is, that Hawthorne has deprived the persecutor of Miriam of all human attributes, made him an allegorical representation of one of the most fiendish forms of unmixed evil, so that we welcome his destruction with something of the same feeling with which, in following the allegory of Spenser or Bunyan, we rejoice in the hero's victory over the Blatant Beast or Giant Despair. Conceding, however, that Donatello's act was murder, and not "justifiable homicide," we are still not sure that the author's conception of his nature and of the change caused in his nature by that act, are carried out with a felicity corresponding to the original conception.

In the first volume, and in the early part of the second, the author's hold on his design is comparatively firm, but it somewhat relaxes as he proceeds, and in the end it seems almost to escape from his grasp. Few can be satisfied with the concluding chapters, for the reason that nothing is really concluded. We are willing to follow the ingenious processes of Calhoun's deductive logic, because we are sure, that, however severely they task the faculty of attention, they will lead to some positive result; but Hawthorne's logic of events leaves us in the end bewildered in a labyrinth of guesses. The book is, on the whole, such a great book, that its defects are felt with all the more force.

In this rapid glance at some of the peculiarities of Hawthorne's genius, we have not, of course, been able to do full justice to the special merits of the works we have passed in review; but we trust that we have said nothing which would convey the impression that we do not place them among the most remarkable romances produced in an age in which romance-writing has called forth some of the highest powers of the human mind. In intellect and imagination, in the faculty of discerning spirits and detecting laws, we doubt if any living novelist is his equal; but his genius, in its creative action, has been heretofore attracted to the dark rather than the bright side of the interior life of humanity, and the geniality which evidently is in him has rarely found adequate expression. In the many works which he may still be expected to write, it is to be hoped that his mind will lose some of its sadness of tone without losing any of its subtilty and depth; but, in any event, it would be unjust to deny that he has already done enough to insure him a commanding position in American literature as long as American literature has an existence.

* * * * *


Le Prime Quattro Edizioni della Divina Commedia Letteralmente Ristampate per Cura di G.G. WARREN LORD VERNON. Londra: Presso Tommaso e Guglielmo Boone. MDCCCLVIII. 4to. pp. xxvi., 748.

The zeal with which the study of Dante has been followed by students in every country of Europe, during the last forty years, is one of the most illustrative facts of the moral as well as of the intellectual character of the period. The interest which has attracted men of the most different tempers and persuasions to this study is not due alone to the poetic or historic value of his works, however high we may place them in these respects, but also and especially to the circumstance that they present a complete and distinct view of the internal life and spiritual disposition of an age in which the questions which still chiefly concern men were for the first time positively stated, and which exhibited in its achievements and its efforts some of the highest qualities of human nature in a condition of vigor such as they have never since shown. Dante himself combined a power of imagination beyond that of any other poet with an intensity and directness of individual character not less extraordinary. The tendency of modern civilization is to diminish rather than to strengthen the originality and independence of individuals. Autocracy and democracy seem to have a like effect in reducing men to a uniform level of thought and effort. And thus during a time when these two principles have been brought into sharp conflict, it is not surprising that the most thoughtful students should turn to the works of a man who by actual experience, or by force of imagination, comprehended all the conditions of his own age, and exhibited in his life and in his writings an individualism of the noblest sort. The conservative and the reformer, the king and the radical, the priest and the heretic, the man of affairs and the man of letters, have taken their seats, side by side, on the scholars' benches, before the same teacher, and, after listening to his large discourse, have discussed among themselves the questions in religion, in philosophy, in morals, politics, or history, which his words suggested or explained.

The success which has attended these studies has been in some degree proportioned to the zeal with which they have been pursued. Dante is now better understood and more intelligently commented than ever before. Much remains to be done as regards the clearing up of some difficult points and the explanation of some dark passages,—and the obscurity in which Dante intentionally involved some portions of his writings is such as to leave little hope that their absolute meaning will ever be satisfactorily established. The history of the study of the poet, of the comments on his meaning or his text, of the formation of the commonly received text, and of the translations of the "Divina Commedia," affords much curious and entertaining matter to the lover of purely literary and bibliographic narrative, and incidentally illustrates the general character of each century since his death. As regards the settlement of the text, no single publication has ever appeared of equal value to that of the magnificent volume the title of which stands at the head of this notice. Lord Vernon has been known for many years as the most munificent fosterer of Dantesque publications. One after another, precious and costly books upon Dante have appeared, edited and printed at his expense, showing both a taste and a liberality as honorable as unusual.

The first four editions of the "Divina Commedia," of which this volume is a reprint, are all of excessive rarity. Although each is a document of the highest importance in determining the text, few of the editors of the poem have had the means of consulting more than one or two of them. The volumes are to be found united only in the Library of the British Museum, and it is but a few years that even that great collection has included them all. They were printed originally between 1470 and 1480 at Foligno, Jesi, Mantua, and Naples; and their chief value arises from the fact that they present the various readings of three, if not four, early and selected manuscripts. The doubt whether four manuscripts are represented by them is occasioned by the similarity between the editions of Foligno and Naples, which are of such a sort (for instance, correspondence in the most unlikely and odd misprints) as to prove that one must have served as the basis of the other. But at the same time there are such differences between them as indicate a separate revision of each, and possibly the consultation by their editors of different codices.

Unfortunately, there is no edition of the "Divina Commedia" which can claim any special authority,—none which has even in a small degree such authority as belongs to the first folio of Shakspeare's plays. The text, as now received, rests upon a comparison of manuscripts and early printed editions; and as affording to scholars the means of an independent critical judgment upon it, a knowledge of the readings of these earliest editions is indispensable. But reprints of old books are proverbially open to error. The reprint of the first folio Shakspeare is so full of mistakes as to be of comparatively little use. The character of the Italian language is such that inaccuracies are both easier and more dangerous than in English. Unless the reprint of the first four editions were literally correct, it would be of little value. To secure this correctness, so far as was possible, Lord Vernon engaged Mr. Panizzi, the chief librarian of the British Museum, to edit the volume. A more competent editor never lived. Mr. Panizzi is distinguished not more for his thorough and appreciative acquaintance with the poetic literature of his country than for the extent and accuracy of his bibliographical knowledge and the refinement of his bibliographic skill. There can be no doubt that the reprint is as exact as the most rigid critic could desire. It is a monument of patience and of unpretending labor, as well as of typographic beauty,—the work of the editor having been well seconded by that well-known disciple of Aldus, Mr. Charles Whittingham.

Nor is it only in essential variations that these four texts are important, but also in the illustration which their different spelling and their varying grammatical forms afford in regard to the language used by Dante. At the time when these editions appeared, the orthography of the Italian tongue was not yet established, and its grammatical inflections not in all cases definitely settled. Printing had not yet been long enough in use to fix a permanent form upon words. Moreover, the misprints themselves, which in these early editions are very numerous, often give hints as to the changes which they may have induced, or as to the misplacing of letters most likely to occur, and consequently most likely to lead to unobserved errors of the text.

The style of the printing in these first editions, and the aid it may give, or the difficulty it may occasion, are hardly to be understood without an extract. We open at Paradiso, xv. 70. Cacciaguida has just spoken to his descendant, and then follows, according to the Foligno, the following passage:—

  Io mi uolfi abeatrice et quella udio
    pria chio parlaffi et arofemi un cenno
    che fece crefcer lali aluoler mio

  Poi cominciai con leefftto elfenno
    come laprima equalita napparfe
    dun pefo per ciafchun di noi fi fenno

  Pero chel fole che nallumo et arfe
    colcaldo et conlaluce et fi iguali
    che tutte fimiglianze fono fcarfe.

This looks different enough from the common text, that, for example, of the Florentine edition of 1844.

  I' mi volsi a Beatrice, e quella udio
    Pria ch' io parlassi, ed arrisemi un cenno
    Che fece crescer l' ale al voler mio.

  Poi cominciai cosi: L' affetto e il senno,
    Come la prima egualità v' apparse,
    D' un peso per ciascun di voi si fenno;

  Perocchè al Sol, che v' allumò ed arse
    Col caldo e con la luce, en sì iguali,
    Che tutte simiglianze sono scarse.

"I turned to Beatrice, and she heard before I spoke, and smiled on me a sign which added wings to my desire. Then I began thus: Love and wisdom, as soon as the primal Equality has appeared to you, become of one weight in each one of you; since in that Sun, which illuminates and warms you with heat and light, they are so equal, that every comparison falls short."

The three other ancient texts are each quite as different from the modern one as that which we have given, nor is the passage one that affords example of unusual variations. It would have been easy to select many others varying much more than this, but our object is to show the general character of these first editions. The second line of the quotation offers a various reading which is supported by the arrossemi of the Jesi edition, and the arossemi of that of Naples, as well as by the text of the comment of Benvenuto da Imola, and some other early authorities. But even were the weight of evidence in its favor far greater than it is, it could never be received in place of the thoroughly Dantesque and exquisite expression, arrisemi un cenno, which is found in the Mantua edition. The napparse and the noi of the fifth and sixth lines and the nallumo of the seventh are plainly mistakes of the scribe, puzzled by the somewhat obscure meaning of the passage. Not one of the four editions before us gives us the right pronouns, but they are found in the Bartolinian codex, (as well as many others,) and they are established in the rare Aldine edition of 1502, the chief source of the modern text. In the eighth line, where we now read en sì iguali, the four give us et or e si iguali, a reading from which it is difficult to extract a meaning, unless, with the Bartolinian, we omit the che in the preceding line, and suppose the pero chel to stand, not for perocchè al, but for perocchè il,—or, retaining the che, read the first words perocch' è il Sol, and take the clause as a parenthesis. The meaning, according to the first supposition, would be, "Love and wisdom are of one measure in you, (since the Sun [sc. the primal Equality] warmed and enlightened you,) and so equal that," etc. According to the second supposition, we should translate, "Since it [the primal Equality] is the sun which," etc. Benvenuto da Imola gives still a third reading, making the e si iguali into ee si iguale, or, in modern orthography, è sì iguale; but, as this spoils the rhyme, it may be left out of account. There seems to us to be some ground for believing the second reading suggested above,

  Perocch' è il Sol che v' allumò ed arse
  Con caldo e con la luce, e sì iguali.

to be the true one, not only from its correspondence with most of the early copies, but from the rarity of the use of en by Dante. There is but one other passage in the poem where it is found (Purgatory, xvi. 121).

Such is an example, taken at random, of the doubts suggested and the illustration afforded by these editions in the study of the text. Of course such minute criticism is of interest only to those few who reckon Dante's words at their true worth. The common reader may be content with the text as he finds it in common editions, But Dante, more than any other author, stimulates his student to research as to his exact words; for no other author has been so choice in his selection of them. He is not only the greatest modern master of condensation in style, but he has the deepest insight into the value and force of separate words, the most delicate sense of appropriateness in position, and in the highest degree the poetic faculty of selecting the word most fitting for the thought and most characteristic in expression. It rarely happens that the place of a word of any importance is a matter of indifference in his verse, no regard being had to the rhythm; and every one sufficiently familiar with the language in which he wrote to be conscious of its indefinable powers will feel, though he may be unable to point out specifically, a marked distinction in the quality and combinations of the words in the different parts of the poem. The description of the entrance to Hell, in the third canto of the Inferno is, for instance, hardly more different from the description of the Terrestrial Paradise, (Purgatory, xxviii.,) in scenery and imagery, than it is in the vague but absolute qualities of language, in its rhythmical and verbal essence.

But, leaving these subtilties, let us look at some of the disputed passages of the poem, upon which the texts before us may give their evidence.

In the episode of Francesca da Rimini, Mr. Barlow has recently attempted to give currency to a various reading long known, but never accepted, in the line (Inferno, v. 102) in which Francesca expresses her horror at the manner of her death. She says, il modo ancor m' offende, "the manner still offends me." But for il modo Mr. Barlow would substitute il mondo, "the world still offends me,"—that is, as we suppose, by holding a false opinion of her conduct. Mr. Barlow's suggestions are always to be received with respect, but we cannot but think him wrong in proposing this change. The spirits in Hell are not supposed to be aware of what is passing upon earth; they are self-convicted, (Purgatory, xxvi. 85, 86,) and Francesca being doomed to eternal woe, the world could not do her wrong by taxing her with sin; while, further, the shudder at the method of her death, lasting even in torment, seems to us a far more imaginative conception than the one proposed in its stead. Our four texts read elmodo.

In the famous simile (Inferno, iii. 112-114) in which Dante compares the spirits falling from the bank of Acheron to the dead leaves fluttering from a bough in autumn, giving, as Mr. Ruskin says, "the most perfect image possible of their utter lightness, feebleness, passiveness, and scattering agony of despair," our common texts have

infin che il ramo Rende alla terra tutte le sue spoglie,

"Until the branch gives to the earth all its spoils"; but the texts of Jesi and Mantua, as well as those of the Bartolinian and the Aldus, and many other early authorities, here put the word Vede in place of Rende, giving a variation which for its poetic worth well deserves to be marked, if not to be introduced into the received text. "Until the branch sees all its spoils upon the earth" is a personification quite in Dante's manner. A confirmation of the value of this reading is given by the fact that Tasso preferred it to the more common one, and in his treatise on the "Art of Poetry" praises it as full of energy.

The value of this work of Lord Vernon's to the students of Dante, in enabling them to secure accuracy in their statements in regard to the early texts, has been illustrated to us by finding that Blanc, in his useful and excellent "Vocabolario Dantesco," has not unfrequently fallen into error through his inability to consult those first editions. For example, in the line, (Inferno, xviii. 43,) Perciò a figuralo i piedi affissi, as it is commonly given, or, Perciò a firgurarlo gli occhi affissi, as it appears in some editions, Blanc, who prefers the latter reading, states that gli occhi is found in "toutes les anciennes éditions." But the truth is, that those of Foligno and Naples read ipedi, that of Jesi has in piedi, and that of Mantua i pie. The Aldine of 1502 is the earliest edition we have seen which has gli occhi.

In the episode of Ugolino, (Inferno, xxxiii.,) the verse which has given rise to more comment, perhaps than any other is that (the 26th) in which the Count says, according to the usual reading, that the narrow window in his tower had shown him many moons before he dreamed his evil dream: Più lune già, quand' i' feci il mal sonno, "Many moons already, when I had my ill slumber." But another reading, found in a majority of the early MSS. and editions, including those of Jesi and Mantua gives the variation, più lume; while the editions of Foligno and Naples give lieve, which, affording no intelligible meaning, must be regarded as a mere misprint. In spite of the weight of early authority for lume, the reading lune is perhaps to be preferred, as giving in a word a brief expressive statement of a weary length of imprisonment,—while lume would only serve to fix the moment of the dream as having been between the first dawn and the full day. It is rare that the difference between an n and an m is of such marked effect.

In the sixth canto of Purgatory, verse 58, Virgil says, "Behold there a soul which a posta looks toward us." Such at least is the common reading, and the words a posta are explained as meaning fixedly. But this signification is somewhat forced, a posta, or apposta, being more properly used with the meaning of on purpose or deliberately,—and the first four editions supply a reading without this difficulty, and one which adds a new and significant feature to the description. They unite in the omission of the letter a. The passage then bears the meaning,—"But behold there a soul which, fixed, or placed, alone and all apart, looks toward us." This reading, beside being supported by the weight of ancient authority, finds confirmation, in the context, in the terms in which Sordello's aspect is described: "How lofty and disdainful didst thou stand! how slow and decorous in the moving of thy eyes!"

A curious example of the mistakes of the old copies is afforded in the charming description of the Terrestrial Paradise in the twenty-eighth canto of the Purgatory. Dante says, that the leaves on the trees, trembling in the soft air, were not so disturbed that the little birds in their tops ceased from any of their arts,—

che gli augelletti per le cime Lasciasser d' operare ogni lor arte.

The lines are so plain that a mistake is difficult in them; but, of our four editions, the Jesi is the only one which gives them correctly. Foligno and Naples read angeleti for augelletti, while Mantua gives us the astonishing word intelletti. Again, in line 98 of the same canto, all four read, exaltation dell' acqua, for the simple and correct esalazion dell' acqua. And in line 131, for Eunoe si chiama, Jesi supplies the curious word curioce si chiama.

These examples of error are not of great importance in themselves, and are easily corrected, but they serve to illustrate the great frequency of error in all the early texts of the "Divina Commedia," and the probability that many errors not so readily discovered may still exist in the text, making difficulties where none originally existed. They are of value, furthermore, in the wider range of critical studies, as illustrating in a striking way the liability to error which existed in all books so long as they were preserved only by the work of scribes. Here is a poem which was transmitted in manuscript for only about one hundred and fifty years, the first four printed editions of which show differences in almost every line. It is no exaggeration to say that the variations between the editions of Foligno, Jesi, and Mantua, in orthography, inflection, and other grammatical and dialectic forms, not to speak of the less frequent, though still numerous differences in the words themselves, greatly exceed, throughout the poem, the number of lines of which it is composed. Yet by a comparison of them one with another a consistent and generally satisfactory text has been formed. The bearing of this upon the views to be taken of the condition of the text of more ancient works, as, for instance, that of the Gospels, is plain.

The work before us is so full of matter interesting to the student of Dante, that we are tempted to go on with further illustrations of it, though well aware that there are few who have zeal or patience enough to continue the examination with us. But the number of those in America who are beginning to read the "Divina Commedia," as something more than a mere exercise in the Italian language, is increasing, and some of them, at least, will take pleasure with us in this inquiry concerning the words, that is, the thoughts of Dante. Why should the minute, but not fruitless criticism of texts be reserved for the ancient classic writers? The great poet of the Middle Ages deserves this work at our hands far more than any of the Latin poets, not excluding even his own master and guide.

The eleventh canto of the Paradiso is chiefly occupied with the noble narrative of the life of St. Francis. Reading it as we do, at such a distance from the time of the events which it records, and with feelings that have never been warmed into fervor by the facts or the legends concerning the Saint, it is hard for us to appreciate at its full worth the beauty of this canto, and its effect upon those who had seen and conversed with the first Franciscans. Not a century had yet passed since the death of St. Francis, and the order which he had founded kept his memory alive in every part of the Catholic world. A story which may be true or false, and it matters little which, tells us that Dante himself in his early manhood had proposed to enter its ranks. There is no doubt that its vows of poverty and chastity, its arduous but invigorating rule during its early days, appealed with strong force to his temperament and his imagination, as promising a withdrawal from those worldly temptations of which he was conscious, from that pressure of private and public affairs of which he was impatient. The contrast between the effects which the life of St. Francis and that of St. Dominic had upon the poet's mind is shown by the contrast in tone in which in successive cantos he tells of these two great pillars of the Church.

In lines 71 and 72, speaking of Poverty, the bride of the Saint, he says,—

  Si che dove Maria rimase giuso,
  Ella con Cristo salse in sulia croce:

"So that whilst Mary remained below, she mounted the cross with Christ," Such is the common reading. Now in all four of the editions which are in Lord Vernon's reprint, in Benvenuto da Imola, in the Bartolinian codex, in the precious codex of Cortona, and in many other early manuscripts and editions, the word pianse is found in the place of salse; "She lamented upon the cross with Christ." The antithesis, though less direct, is not less striking, and the phrase seems to us to become simpler, more natural, and more touching. Yet this reading has found little favor with recent editors, and one of them goes so far as to say, "che non solo impoverisce, ma adultera l' idea."

Passing over other variations, some of them of importance, in this eleventh canto, we find the last verses standing in most modern editions,—

  E vedrà il coreggier che argomenta
  U' ben s' impingua, se non si vaneggia.

And the meaning is explained as being,—"And he who is girt with a leathern cord (i.e. the Dominican) will see what is meant by 'Where well they fatten, if they do not stray.'" But to this there are several objections. No other example of coreggier thus used is, we believe, to be found. Moreover, the introduction of a Dominican to learn this lesson is forced, for it was Dante himself who had had a doubt as to the meaning of these words, and it was for his instruction that the discourse in which they were explained was held. We prefer, therefore, the reading which is found in the editions of Jesi, Foligno, and Naples, (in part in that of Mantua,) and which is given by many other ancient texts: Vedrai or E vedrai il correger che argomenta: "Thou wilt see the reproof which 'Where well they fatten, if they do not stray,' conveys." This reading has been adopted by Mr. Cayley in his remarkable translation.

One more instance of the value of Lord Vernon's work, and we have done. The 106th, 107th, and 108th verses of the twenty-sixth canto of the Paradiso are among the most difficult of the poem, and have given rise to great variety of comment. In the edition of Florence of 1830, in those of Foscolo, and of Costa, and many others, they stand,—

  Perch' io la veggio nel verace speglio
  Che fa di se pareglie l' altre cose
  E nulla face lui di se pareglio.

And they are explained by Bianchi as meaning, "Because I see it in that true mirror (i. e. God) which makes other things like to themselves, (that is, represents them as they are,) while nothing can represent Him like to Himself." Those who love the quarrels of commentators should look at the notes in the Variorum editions of Padua or Florence to see with what amusing asperity they have treated each other's solutions of the passage. Italian words of abuse have a sonorous quality which gives grandeur to a skirmish of critics. One is declared by his opponent to have ingarbugliato the clearest meaning; another guasta il sentimento and sproposita in grammatica; a third brings falso and assurdo to the charge, and, not satisfied with their force, adds blasfemo; a fourth declares that the third has contrived capovolgere la consegitenza; and so on;—from all which the reader, trying to find shelter from the pelting of hard words, discovers that the meaning is not clear even to the most confident of the critics. But, standing apart from the battle, and looking only at the text, and not at the bewildered comment, we find in the editions of Foligno, Jesi, and Naples, and in many other ancient texts, a reading which seems to us somewhat easier than the one commonly adopted. We copy the lines after the Foligno:—

Per chio laueggio neluerace speglio che fa dise pareglio alaltre cose et nulla face lui dise pareglio.

And we would translate them, "Because I see it in that true mirror who in Himself affords a likeness to [or of] all other things, while nothing gives back to Him a likeness of Himself." Here pareglio corresponds with the Provençal parelh and the later French pareil,—and the Provençal phrase rendre le parelha affords an example of similar application to that of the word in Dante.

With us in America, criticism is not rated as it deserves; it is little followed as a study, and the love for the great masters and poets of other times and other tongues than our own fails to stimulate the ardor of students to the thorough examination of their thoughts and words. No doubt, criticism, as it has too often been pursued, is of small worth, displaying itself in useless inquiries, and lavishing time and labor upon insoluble and uninteresting questions. But such is not its true end. Verbal criticism, rightly viewed, has a dignity which belongs to few other studies; for it deals with words as the symbols of thoughts,—with words, which are the most spiritual of the instruments of human power, the most marvellous of human possessions. It makes thought accurate, and perception fine. It adds truth to the creations of imagination by teaching the modes by which they may be best expressed, and it thus leads to fuller and more appreciative understanding and enjoyment of the noblest works of the past. There can, indeed, be no thorough culture without it.

To restore the balance of our lives, in these days of haste, novelty, and restlessness, there is a need of a larger infusion into them of pursuits which have no end of immediate publicity or instant return of tangible profit,—of pursuits which, while separating us from the intrusive world around us, should introduce us into the freer, tranquiller, and more spacious world of noble and everlasting thought. The greener and lonelier precincts of our minds are now trampled upon by the hurrying feet of daily events and transient interests. If we would keep that spiritual region unpolluted, we need to acquaint ourselves with some other literature than that of newspapers and magazines, and to entertain as familiars the men long dead, yet living in their works. As Americans, our birthrights in the past are imperfect; we are born into the present alone. But he who lives only in present things lives but half a life, and death comes to him as an impertinent interruption: by living also in the past we learn to value the present at its worth, to hold ourselves ready for its end. With Dante, taking him as a guide and companion in our privater moods, we may, even in the natural body, pass through the world of spirit.

It will be a good indication of the improvement in the intellectual disposition of our people, when the study of Dante becomes more general. Meanwhile, on the part of his few students in America, we would offer our thanks to Lord Vernon and to Mr. Panizzi for the aid which the liberality of the one and the skill and learning of the other have given to us, and for the honor they have done to the memory of our common Author and Leader.

Notes of Travel and Study in Italy. By CHARLES ELIOT NORTON. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1860. pp. x., 320.

There is, perhaps, no country with which we are so intimate as with Italy,—none of which we are always so willing to hear more. Poets and prosers have alike compared her to a beautiful woman; and while one finds nothing but loveliness in her, another shudders at her fatal fascination. She is the very Witch-Venus of the Middle Ages. Roger Ascham says, "I was once in Italy myself, but I thank God my abode there was but nine days; and yet I saw in that little time, in one city, more liberty to sin than ever I heard tell of in our noble city of London in nine years." He quotes triumphantly the proverb,—Inglese italianato, diavolo incarnato. A century later, the entertaining "Richard Lassels, Gent., who Travelled through Italy Five times as Tutor to several of the English Nobility and Gentry," and who is open to new engagements in that kind, declares, that, "For the Country itself, it seemed to me to be Nature's Darling, and the Eldest Sister of all other Countries; carrying away from them all the greatest blessings and favours, and receiving such gracious looks from the Sun and Heaven, that, if there be any fault in Italy, it is, that her Mother Nature hath cockered her too much, even to make her become Wanton." Plainly, our Tannhäuser is but too ready to go back to the Venus-berg!

A new book on Italy seems a dangerous experiment. Has not all been told and told and told again? Is it not one chief charm of the land, that it is changeless without being Chinese? Did not Abbot Samson, in 1159, Scotti habitum induens, (which must have shown his massive calves to great advantage.) probably see much the same popular characteristics that Hawthorne saw seven hundred years later? Shall a man try to be entertaining after Montaigne, aesthetic after Winckelmann, wise after Goethe, or trenchant after Forsyth? Can he hope to bring back anything so useful as the fork, which honest Tom Coryate made prize of two centuries and a half ago, and put into the greasy fingers of Northern barbarians? Is not the "Descrittione" of Leandro Alberti still a competent itinerary? And can one hope to pick up a fresh Latin quotation, when Addison and Eustace have been before him with their scrap-baskets?

If there be anything which a person of even moderate accomplishments may be presumed to know, it is Italy. The only open question left seems to be, whether Shakespeare were the only man that could write his name who had never been there. We have read our share of Italian travels, both in prose and verse, but, as the nicely discriminating Dutchman found that "too moch brahndee was too moch, but too moch lager-beer was jost hright," so we are inclined to say that too much Italy is just what we want. After Des Brosses, we are ready for Henri Beyle, and Ampère, and Hillard, and About, and Gallenga, and Julia Kavanagh; "Corinne" only makes us hungry for George Sand. That no one can tell us anything new is as undeniable as the compensating fact that no one can tell us anything too old.

There are two kinds of travellers,—those who tell us what they went to see, and those who tell us what they saw. The latter class are the only ones whose journals are worth the sifting; and the value of their eyes depends on the amount of individual character they took with them, and of the previous culture that had sharpened and tutored the faculty of observation. In our conscious age the frankness and naïveté of the elder voyagers is impossible, and we are weary of those humorous confidences on the subject of fleas with which we are favored by some modern travellers, whose motto should be (slightly altered) from Horace,—Flea-bit, et toto cantabitur orbe. A naturalist self-sacrificing enough may have this experience more cheaply at home.

The book before us is the record of a second residence in Italy, of about two years. This in itself is an advantage; since a renewed experience, after an interval of absence and distraction, enables us to distinguish what had merely interested us by its strangeness from what is permanently worthy of study and remembrance. In a second visit we know at least what we do not wish to see, and our first impressions have so defined themselves that they afford us a safer standard of comparison. To most travellers Italy is a land of pure vacation, a lotus-eating region, "in which it seemeth always afternoon." But Mr. Norton, whose book shows bow well his time had been employed at home, could not but spend it to good purpose abroad. The word "study" has a right to its place on his title-page, and his volume is worthy of a student. He shows himself to be one who, like Wordsworth, "does not much or oft delight in personal talk"; there is no gossip between the covers of his book, no impertinent self-obtrusion. Familiar with what has been written about Italy by others, he has known how to avoid the trite highways, and by going back to what was old has found topics that are really fresh and delightful. The Italy of the ancient Romans is a foreign country to us, and must always continue so; but the Italy of the Middle Ages is nearer, not so much in time, as because there is no impassable rift of religious faith, and consequently of ideas and motives, between us and it. Far enough away in the centuries to be picturesque, it is near enough in the sympathy of belief and thought to be thoroughly intelligible. The chapter on the Brotherhood of the Misericordia at Florence is remarkably interesting, and the coincidence which Mr. Norton points out in a note between the circumstances which led to its foundation and those in which a somewhat similar society originated in California so lately as 1859 is not only curious, but pleasant, as showing that there is a natural piety proper to man in all ages alike. In his account of the building of the Cathedral of Orvieto, and his notices of Rome as it was when Dante and Petrarch saw it, Mr. Norton has struck a rich vein, which we hope he will find time to work more thoroughly hereafter. By the essential fairness of his mind, his patience in investigation, and his sympathy with what is noble in character and morally influential in events, he seems to us peculiarly fitted for that middle ground occupied by the historical essayist, to whom literature is something coördinate with politics, and who finds a great book more eventful than a small battle.

But if, as a scholar and lover of Art, Mr. Norton naturally turns to the past, he does not fail to tell us whatever he finds worth knowing in the present. His tone of mind and habitual subjects of thought may be inferred from the character of the topics that interest him. The glimpses he gives us of the actual condition of the people of Italy, as indicated by their practical conception of the religious dogmas of their Church, by the quality of the cheap literature that is popular among them, of the tracts provided for their spiritual aliment by ecclesiastical authority, and of the caricatures produced in 1848-9, (as in his notice of "Don Pirlone,") are of special value, and show that he knows where to look for signs of what lies beneath the surface. His appreciation of the beautiful in Art has not been cultivated at the expense of his interest in the moral, political, and physical well-being of man. His touching sketch of the life of Letterato, the founder of Ragged Schools, shows that moral loveliness attracts his sympathy as much when embodied in a life of obscure usefulness as when it gleams in the saints and angels of Fra Angelico. A conscientious Protestant, he exposes the corruptions of the Established Church in Italy, not as an anti-Romanist, but because he sees that they are practically operative in the social and political degradation of the people. What good there is never escapes his attention, and we learn from him much that is new and interesting concerning public charities and private efforts for the elevation of the lower orders. The miles of statuary in the Vatican do not weary him so much that he cannot at night make the round of evening schools for the poor.

We have not read a pleasanter or more instructive book of Italian travel than this. Mr. Norton's range of interest is so wide that we are refreshed with continual variety of topic; and his style is pure, clear, and chaste, without any sacrifice of warmth or richness. It is always especially agreeable to us to encounter an American who is a scholar in the true sense of the word, in which sense it is never dissociated from gentleman. When, as in the present instance, scholarship is united with a deep and active interest in whatever concerns the practical well-being of men, we have one of the best results of our modern civilization. We are no lovers of dilettantism, but we see in these scholarly tastes and habits which do not seclude a man from the duties of real life and useful citizenship the only safeguard against the evils which the rapid heaping-up of wealth is sure to bring with it.

We do not always agree with Mr. Norton in his estimate of the comparative merit of different artists. We think he sometimes makes Mr. Ruskin's mistake of attributing to positive religious sentiment what is rather to be ascribed to the negative influence of circumstances and date. We cannot help thinking that the mere arrangement of their figures by such painters as Cima da Conegliano and Francesco Francia, the architectural regularity of their disposition, the sculpturesque dignity of their attitudes, and the consequent impression of simplicity and repose which they convey, have much to do with the religious effect they produce on the mind, as contrasted with the more dramatic and picturesque conceptions of later artists. When we look at John Bellino's "Gods come down to taste the Fruits of the Earth," we cannot think him essentially a more religious man than his great pupil who painted that truly divine countenance of Christ in "The Tribute-Money." At the same time we go along with Mr. Norton heartily, where, in the concluding pages of his book, with equal learning and eloquence, he points out the causes and traces the progress of the moral and artistic decline which came over Italy in the sixteenth century, and whose effect made the seventeenth almost a desert. This is one of the most striking passages in the volume, and the lesson of it is brought home to us with a force and fervor worthy of the theme. It also affords a good type of the quiet vigor of thought and the high moral purpose which are characteristic of the author.

1. An American Dictionary of the English Language, etc., etc. By NOAH WEBSTER, LL. D. Revised and enlarged by CHAUNCEY A. GOODRICH, Professor in Yale College. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam. 1859. pp. ccxxxvi., 1512.

2. A Dictionary of the English Language. By JOSEPH E. WORCESTER, LL. D. Boston: Hickling, Swan, & Brewer. 1860. pp. lxviii,, 1786.

Since the famous Battle of the Books in St. James's Library, no literary controversy has been more sharply waged than that between the adherents of the rival Dictionaries of Doctors Worcester and Webster. The attack was begun thirty years ago, by Dr. Webster's publishers, when Dr. Worcester's "Comprehensive Dictionary" first appeared in print. On the publication of his "Universal and Critical Dictionary," in 1846, it was renewed, and, not to speak of occasional skirmishes during the interval, the appearance of Dr. Worcester's enlarged and finished work brought matters to the crisis of a pitched battle.

From this long conflict Dr. Worcester has unquestionably come off victorious. Dr. Webster seemed to assume that he had a kind of monopoly in the English language, and that whoever ventured to compile a dictionary was guilty of infringing his patent-right. He drew up a list of words, and triumphantly asked Dr. Worcester where he had found them, unless in his two quartos of 1828. Dr. Worcester replied by showing that most of the words were to be found in previous English dictionaries, and added, with sly humor, that he freely acknowledged Dr. Webster's exclusive property in the word "bridegoom," and others like it, which would be sought for vainly in any volumes but his own. Dr. Webster's attack was as unfair as the result of it was unfortunate for himself.

We have several reasons, which seem to us sufficient, for preferring Dr. Worcester's Dictionary; but we are not, on that account, disposed to underrate the remarkable merits of its rival. Dr. Webster was a man of vigorous mind, and endowed with a genuine faculty of independent thinking. He has hardly received justice at the hands of his countrymen, a large portion of whom have too hastily taken a few obstinate whimsies as the measure of his powers. Utterly fanciful as are many of his etymologies, we should be false to our duty as critics, if we did not acknowledge that Dr. Webster possessed in very large measure the chief qualities which go to the making of a great philologist. The very tendency to theorize, which led him to adopt those oddities of spelling by which he may be said to be chiefly known, united as it was to an understanding of uncommon breadth and clearness, would under more favorable auspices have given him a very eminent place among the philosophic students of language. His great mistake was in attempting to force his peculiar notions upon the world in his Dictionary, instead of confining them to his Preface, or putting them forward tentatively in a separate treatise. The importance which he attached to these trifles ought to have given him a hint that others might be as obstinate on the other side, and that the prejudices of taste have much tougher roots than those of opinion. We are inclined to think that many of the changes proposed by Dr. Webster will be adopted in the course of time. But it is a matter of little consequence, and the progress of such reforms is slow. Already two hundred years ago, James Howel (the author of Charles Lamb's favorite "Epistolae Ho-Elianae") advocated similar reforms, and, as far as the printers would let him, carried them out in practice. "The printer hath not bin so careful as he should have bin," he complains. He especially condemns the superfluous letters in many of our words, choosing to write don, com, and som, rather than done, come, and some. "Moreover," he says, "those words that have the Latin for their original, the author prefers that orthography rather than the French, whereby divers letters are spar'd: as Physic, Logic, Afric, not Physique, Logique, Afrique; favor, honor, labor, not favour, honour, labour, and very many more; as also he omits the Dutch k in most words; here you shall read peeple, not pe-ople, tresure, not tre-asure, toung, not ton-gue, &c.; Parlement, not Parliament; busines, witnes, sicknes, not businesse, witnesse, sicknesse; star, war, far, not starre, warre, farre; and multitudes of such words, wherein the two last letters may well be spar'd. Here you shall also read pity, piety, witty, not piti-e, pieti-e, witti-e, as strangers at first sight pronounce them, and abundance of such like words."

Howel gives a weak reason for making the changes he proposes, namely, that the language will thereby be simplified to foreigners. He hints at the true one when he says that "we do not speak as we write." Dr. Webster also, speaking of certain words ending in our, says, "What motive could induce them to write these words, and errour, honour, favour, inferiour, &c., in this manner, following neither the Latin nor the French, I cannot conceive." Had Dr. Webster's knowledge of the written English language been as great as it undoubtedly was of its linguistic relations, he would have seen that the spelling followed the accent. The third verse of the Prologue to the "Canterbury Tales" would have satisfied him:—

"And bathéd every root in such licoúr";

and a little farther on,—

"Or swinken with his houdés and laboúre."

In this respect the spelling of our older writers, where it can be depended on, and especially of reformers like Howel, is of value, as throwing some light on the question, how long the Norman pronunciation lingered in England. Warner, for instance, in his "Albion's England," spells creator and creature as they are spelt now, but gives the French accent to both; and we are inclined to think that the charge of speaking "right Chaucer," brought against the courtiers of Queen Elizabeth, referred rather to accent than diction.

The very title of Dr. Webster's Dictionary indicates a radical misapprehension as to the nature and office of such a work. He calls the result of his labors an "American Dictionary of the English Language," as if provincialism were a merit. He evidently thought that the business of a lexicographer was to regulate, not to record. Sometimes also his zeal as an etymologist misled him, as in his famous attempt to make the word bridegroom more conformable to its supposed Anglo-Saxon root and its modern Teutonic congeners. It never occurred to him that we were still as far as ever from the goal, and that it would be quite as inconvenient to explain that the termination goom was a derivation from the Anglo-Saxon guma as that it was a corruption of it; the point to be gained being, after all, that we should be able to find out the meaning of the English word bridegroom, having no pressing need of guma for conversational purposes. We have spoken of this word only because we have heard it brought up against Dr. Webster as often as anything else, and because the disproportionate antipathy produced by this and a few similar oddities shows, that, the primary object of all writing being the clear conveyance of meaning, and not only so, but its conveyance in the most winning way, a writer blunders who wilfully estranges the reader's eye or jars upon its habitual associations, and that a lexicographer blunders still more desperately, who, upon system, teaches to offend in that kind. And it is amusing in respect to this very word bridegoom, that the whimsey is not Dr. Webster's own, but that the bee was put into his bonnet by Horne Tooke.

Webster in these matters was a bit of a Hotspur. He thought to deal with language as the vehement Percy would have done with the Trent. The smug and silver stream was to be allowed no more wilful windings, but to run

"In a new channel fair and evenly."

He found an equally hot-headed Glendower, wherever there was an educated man, ready with the answer,—

  "Not wind? it shall; it must; you see it

"You see it doth" is an argument whose force no theorist ever takes into his reckoning.

We said that the title "American Dictionary of the English Language" was an absurdity. Fancy a "Cuban Dictionary of the Spanish Language." It would be of value only to the comparative philologist, curious in the changes of meaning, pronunciation, and the like, which circumstances are always bringing about in languages subjected to new conditions of life and climate. But we must not forget to say that the title chosen by Dr. Webster conveyed also a meaning creditable to his spirit and judgment. He always stoutly maintained the right of English as spoken in America to all the privileges of a living language. In opposition to the purists who would have clasped the language forever within the covers of Johnson, he insisted on the necessity of coining new words or adapting old ones to express new things and new relations. It is many years since we read his "Remarks" (if that was the title) on Pickering's "Vocabulary," and in answer to the rather supercilious criticisms on himself in the "Anthology"; but the impression left on our mind by that pamphlet is one of great respect for the good sense, acuteness, and courage of its author. And of his Dictionary it may safely be said, that, with all its mistakes, no work of the kind had then appeared so learned and so comprehensive. It may be doubted if any living language possessed at that time a dictionary, or one, at least, the work of a single man, in all respects its equal.

But etymologies are not the most important part of a good working dictionary, the intention of which is not to inform readers and writers what a word may have meant before the Dispersion, but what it means now. The pedigree of an adjective or substantive is of little consequence to ninety-nine men in a hundred, and the writers who have wielded our mother-tongue with the greatest mastery have been men who knew what words had most meaning to their neighbors and acquaintances, and did not stay their pens to ask what ideas the radicals of those words may possibly have conveyed to the mind of a bricklayer going up from Padanaram to seek work on the Tower of Babel. A thoroughly good etymological dictionary of English is yet to seek; and even if we should ever get one, it will be for students, and not for the laity. Nor is it the primary object of a common dictionary to trace the history of the language. Of great interest and importance to scholars, it is of comparatively little to Smith and Brown and their children at the public school. It is a work apart, which we hope to see accomplished by the London Philological Society in a manner worthy of comparison with what has been partly done for German by the brothers Grimm,—alas that the illustrious duality should have been broken by death! A lexicon of that kind should be an index to all the more eminent books in the language; but we do not hold this to be the office of a dictionary for daily reference. A dictionary that should embrace every unusual word, every new compound, every metaphorical turn of meaning, to be found in our great writers, would be a compendium of the genius of our authors rather than of our language; and a lexicographer who rakes the books of second and third-rate men for out-of-the-way phrases is doing us no favor. A dictionary is not a drag-net to bring up for us the broken pots and dead kittens, the sewerage of speech, as well as its living fishes. Nor do we think it a fair test of such a work, that one should seek in it for every odd word that may have tickled his fancy in a favorite author. Like most middle-aged readers, we have our specially private volumes. One of these—but we will not betray the secret of our loves—contains some rare words, such as the Gallicism mistresse-piece, and the delightful hybrid pundonnore for trifling points-of-honor; yet we by no means complain that we can find neither of them in Worcester, and only the former (with a ludicrously mistaken definition) in Webster.

A conclusive reason with us for preferring Dr. Worcester's Dictionary is, that its author has properly understood his functions, and has aimed to give us a true view of English as it is, and not as he himself may have wished it should be or thought it ought to he. Its etymologies are sufficient for the ordinary reader,—sometimes superfluously full, as where the same word is given over and over again in cognate languages. We do not see the use, under the word PLAIN, of taking up room with a list like the following: "L. planus; It. piano; Sp. piano; Fr. plain." Not content with this, Dr. Worcester gives it once more under PLAN: "L. planus, flat; It. piano, a plan; Sp. piano; Fr. plan.—Dut., Ger., Dan., and Sw. plan." Even yet we have not done with it, for under PLANE we find "L. planus; It. piano; Sp.plano, Fr. plan." One would think this rather a Polyglot Lexicon than an English Dictionary. It seems to us that no Romanic derivative of the Latin root should he given, unless to show that the word has come into English by that channel. And so of the Teutonic languages. If we have Danish, Swedish, German, and Dutch, why not Scotch, Icelandic, Frisic, Swiss, and every other conceivable dialectic variety?

Another fault of superfluousness we find in the number of compounded words, where the meaning is obvious,—such, for instance, as are formed with the adverb out, which the genius of the language permits without limit in the case of verbs. Dr. Worcester gives us, among many others,—

"OUT-BABBLE, v. a. To surpass in Idle prattle; to exceed in babbling. Milton."

"OUT-BELLOW, v. a. To bellow more or louder than; to exceed or surpass in bellowing. Bp. Hall."

"OUT-BLEAT, v. a. To bleat more than; to exceed in bleating. Bp.

"OUT-BRAG, v. a. To surpass in bragging. Shak."

"OUT-BRIBE, v, a. To exceed in bribing. Blair."

"OUT-BURN, v. a. To exceed in burning. Young." [The definition here is hardly complete; since the word means also to burn longer than.]

"OUT-CANT, v. a. To surpass in canting. Pope."

"OUT-CHEAT, v. a. To surpass in cheating."

"OUT-CURSE, v. a. To surpass in cursing."

"OUT-DRINK, v. a. To exceed in drinking. Donne."

"OUT-FAWN, v. a. To excel in fawning. Hudibras."

"OUT-FEAT, v. a. To surpass in feats. Smart."

"OUT-FLASH, v. a. To surpass in flashing. Clarke."

Similar words occur at frequent intervals through nine columns. Dr. Webster is equally relentless, (even roping in a few estrays in his Appendix,) and we hardly know which has out-worded the other. We were surprised to find in neither the useful and legitimate substantive form of outgo, as the opposite of income. This superfluousness (unless we apply Voltaire's saying, "Le superflu, chose bien nécessaire" to dictionaries also) is the result, we suppose, of the rivalry of publishers, who have done their best to persuade the public that numerosity is the chief excellence in works of this kind, and that whoever buys their particular quarto may be sure of an honest pennyworth and of owning a thousand or two more words than his less judicious neighbors. In this way a false standard is manufactured, to which the lexicographer must conform, if he would have a remunerative sale for his book. He accordingly explores every lane and impasse in the purlieus of Grub Street, and pounces on a new word as a naturalist would on a new bug,—the stranger and uglier, the better. We regret that this kind of rivalry has been forced on Dr. Worcester; but he is so thorough, patient, and conscientious, that he leaves little behind him for the gleaner. We confess that the amplitude of his research has surprised us, highly as we were prepared to rate him in this respect by our familiarity with his former works. We have subjected his Dictionary to a pretty severe test. From the time of its publication we have made a point of seeking in it every unusual word, old or new, that we met with in our reading. We have been disappointed in hardly a single instance, and we are not acquainted with any other dictionary of which we could say as much.

An attempt has been made to damage Dr. Worcester's work by a partial comparison of his definitions with those of Dr. Webster; and here, again, the assumption has been, that number was of more importance than concise completeness. In the case of a quarto dictionary, we suppose an honest reviewer may confess that he has not read through the subject of his criticism. We have opened Dr. Webster's volume at random, and have found some of his definitions as extraordinarily inaccurate as many of his etymologies. They quite justify a double-entendre of Daniel Webster's, which we heard him utter many years ago in court. He had forced such a meaning upon some word in a paper connected with the case on trial, that the opposing counsel interrupted him to ask in what dictionary he found the word so defined. He silenced his questioner instantly with a happy play upon the name common to himself and the lexicographer: "In Webster's Dictionary, Sir!" We find in Webster, for example, the following definition of a word as to whose meaning he could have been set right by any coasting-skipper that sailed out of New Haven:—

"AMID-SHIPS; in marine language, the middle of a ship with regard to her length and breadth." Now, when one ship runs into another at sea and strikes her amid-ships, how is she to contrive to accomplish it so as to satisfy the requirements of this definition? Or if a sailor is said to be standing amidships, must he be planted precisely in what he would probably agree with Dr. Webster in spelling the center of the main-hatch? Dr. Worcester, quoting Falconer, is of course right.

We give another of Dr. Webster's definitions, which caught our eye in looking over his array of words compounded with out. "OUTWARD-BOUND; proceeding from a port or country." Now Dr. Webster does not tell his readers that the term is exclusively applicable to vessels; and we should like to know whence a vessel is likely to proceed, unless from a port,—and where ports are commonly situated, unless in countries? If an American ship be "proceeding from" the port of Liverpool to some port in the United States, how soon does she enter on what lexicographers call "the state of being" homeward-bound? The narrow limits to which Dr. Webster confines the word would not extend beyond the jaws of the harbor from which the ship is sailing. Dr. Worcester's definition is, "OUTWARD-BOUND. (Naut.) Bound outward or to foreign parts. Crabb."

Under the word MORESQUE we find in Webster the following definition: "A species of painting or carving done after the Moorish manner, consisting of grotesque pieces and compartments promiscuously interspersed; arabesque. Gwilt." (The Italics are our own.) We have not Mr. Gwilt's Encyclopaedia at hand; but if this be a fair representation of one of its definitions, it is a very untrustworthy authority. The last term to be applied to arabesque-work is grotesque, or promiscuously interspersed; and the description here given leaves out the most beautiful kind of arabesque, namely, the inlaid work of geometrical figures in colored marbles, in which the Arabs far surpassed the older opus Alexandrinum. Nothing could be less grotesque, less promiscuously interspersed, or more beautiful in its harmonious variety, than the work of this kind in the famous Capella Reale at Palermo.

Dr. Webster defines NIGHT-PIECE as "a piece of painting so colored as to be supposed seen by candle-light,"—a description which we suspect would have somewhat puzzled Gherardo della Notte.

We might give other instances, had we time and space; but our object is not to depreciate Webster, but only to show that the claim set up for him of superior exactness in definition is altogether gratuitous. We have found no inaccuracies comparable with these in Dr. Worcester's Dictionary, which we tried in precisely the same way, by opening it here and there at random. Moreover, looking at his work, not absolutely, but in comparison with Dr. Webster's, (as we are challenged to do,) we cannot leave out of view that the former is a first edition, while the latter has had the advantage of repeated revisions.

Under the word MAGDALEN, we find Webster superior to Worcester. Under ULAN, we find them both wrong. Dr. Worcester says it means "a species of militia among the modern Tartars"; and Dr. Webster, "a certain description of militia among the modern Tartars." In any Polish dictionary they would have found the word defined as meaning "lancer," and the Uhlans in the Austrian army can hardly be described as modern Tartar militia. Both Dictionaries give SLAW, and neither explains it rightly. The word does not properly belong in an English dictionary, unless as an American provincialism of very narrow range. As such, it will be found, properly defined, in Mr. Bartlett's excellent Vocabulary. Lexicographers who so often cite the Dutch equivalents of English words should own Dutch dictionaries. Under IMAGINATION, a good kind of test-word, we find Worcester much superior to Webster, especially in illustrative citations.

We have been astonished by some instances of slovenly writing to be found here and there in Dr. Webster's Dictionary, because he was capable of writing pure and vigorous English. Under MAGAZINE (and by the way, Dr. Webster's definition omits altogether the metaphorical sense of the word) we read that "The first publication of this bind in England was the Gentleman's Magazine, which first appeared in 1731, under the name of Sylvanus Urban, by Edward Cave, and which is still continued." A reader who knew nothing about the facts would be puzzled to say what the name of the new periodical really was, whether Gentleman's Magazine or Sylvanus Urban; and a reader who knew little about English would be led to think that "appeared by" was equivalent to "was commenced by," unless, indeed, he came to the conclusion that its apparition took place in the neighborhood of some cavern known by the name of Edward.

We have only a word to say as to the illustrations, as they are called, a mistaken profuseness in which disfigures both Dictionaries, another evil result of bookselling competition. The greater part of them, especially those in Webster, are fitter for a child's scrap-book than for a volume intended to go into a student's library. Such adjuncts seem to us allowable only, if at all, somewhat as they were introduced by Blunt in his "Glossographia," to make terms of heraldry more easily comprehensible. They might be admitted to save trouble in describing geometrical figures, or in explaining certain of the more frequently occurring terms in architecture and mechanics, but beyond this they are childish. The publishers of Webster give us all the coats-of-arms of the States of the American Union, among other equally impertinent woodcuts. We enter a protest against the whole thing, as an equally unfair imputation on the taste and the standard of judgment of intelligent Americans. If we must have illustrations, let them be strictly so, and not primer-pictures. Both Dictionaries give us the figure of a crossbow, for instance, as if there could be anywhere a boy of ten years old who did not know the implement, at least under its other name of bow-gun. Neither cut would give the slightest notion of the thing as a weapon, nor of the mode in which it was wound up and let off. Dr. Worcester says that it was intended "for shooting arrows," which is not strictly correct, since the proper name of the missile it discharged was bolt,—something very unlike the shaft used by ordinary bowmen.

We believe Dr. Worcester's Dictionary to be the most complete and accurate of any hitherto published. He intrudes no theories of his own as to pronunciation or orthography, but cites the opinions of the best authorities, and briefly adds his own where there is occasion. He is no bigot for the present spelling of certain classes of words, but gives them, as he should do, in the way they are written by educated men, at the same time expressing his belief that the drift of the language is toward a change, wherever he thinks such to be the case. We reprobate, in the name of literary decency, the methods which have been employed to give an unfair impression of his work, as if it had been compiled merely to supplant Webster, and as if the whole matter were a question of blind partisanship and prejudice. The assigning of such motives as these, even by implication, to such men, among many others, as Mr. Marsh and Mr. Bryant, both of whom have expressed themselves in favor of the new Dictionary, is an insult to American letters. Mr. Marsh, by the extent of his learning, is probably better qualified than any other man in America to pronounce judgment in such a case; and Mr. Bryant has not left it doubtful that he knows what pure and vigorous English is, whether in verse or prose, or that he could not employ it except to maintain a well-grounded conviction.

Apart from more general considerations, there are several reasons which would induce us to prefer Dr. Worcester's Dictionary. It has the great advantage, not only that it is constructed on sounder principles, as it seems to us, but that it is the latest. Stereotyping is an unfortunate invention, when it tends to perpetuate error or incompleteness, and already the Appendix of added words in Webster amounts to eighty pages. For all the words it contains, accordingly, the reader is put to double pains: he must first search the main body of the work, and then the supplement. Again, in Worcester, the synonymes are given, each under its proper head, in the main work; in Webster they form a separate treatise. One other advantage of Worcester would be conclusive with us, even were other things equal,—and that is the size of the type, and the greater clearness of the page, owing to the freshness of the stereotype-plates.

We know the inadequacy of such hand-to-mouth criticism as that of a monthly reviewer must be upon works demanding so minute an examination as a dictionary deserves. For ourselves, we should wish to own both Webster and Worcester, but, if we could possess only one, we should choose the latter. It is a monument to the industry, judgment, and accuracy of the author, of which he may well be proud.

Elements of Mechanics, for the Use of Colleges, Academies, and High Schools. By WILLIAM G. PECK, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia College. New York: A.S. Barnes & Burr. 1859.

Text-books on Mechanics are of three sorts. Many teachers, school-committees, and parents wish to add a taste of Mechanics to the smatterings of twenty or thirty different subjects which constitute "liberal education," as understood in American high schools and colleges. For this purpose it is of the first importance that the text-book should be brief, for the time to be devoted to it is very short; secondly, it must divest the subject of every perplexity and difficulty, that it may be readily understood by all young persons, though of small capacity and less application. Such a text-book can contain nothing beyond the statement, without proof, of the more important principles, illustrated by familiar examples, and simple explanations of the commonest phenomena of motion, and of the machines and mechanical forces used in the arts. To a few it seems that more light comes into a room through two or three broad windows, though they be all on one side, than through fifty bull's-eyes, scattered on every wall. But the many prefer bull's-eyes,—fifty narrow, distorted glimpses in as many directions, rather than a broad, clear view of the heavens and the earth in one direction. Hence superficial, scanty text-books on science are the only ones which are popular and salable.

The thorough study of Mechanics is, or should be, an essential part of the training of an architect, an engineer, or a machinist; and there are several text-books, like Weisbach's Mechanics and Engineering, intended for students preparing for any of these professions, which are complete mathematical treatises upon the subject. Such text-books are invaluable; they become standard works, and win for their authors a well-deserved reputation.

Professor Peck's book belongs to neither of the two classes of text-books indicated, but to a class intermediate between the two. It is at once too good, too difficult a book for general, popular use, and too incomplete for the purposes of the professional student. As it assumes that the student is already acquainted with the elements of Algebra, Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, and the Calculus, the successful use of this text-book in the general classes of any academy or college will be good evidence that the Mathematics are there taught more thoroughly than is usual in this country. In few American colleges is the study of the Calculus required of all students. In preparing a scientific text-book of this sort, originality is neither aimed at nor required. A judicious selection of materials, correct translation from the excellent French and German hand-books, with such changes in the notation as will better adapt it for American use, and a clear, logical arrangement are the chief merits of such a treatise; and these are merits which seldom gain much praise, though their absence would expose the author to censure. The definitions of Professor Peck's book are exact and concise, every proposition is rigidly demonstrated, and the illustrations and descriptions are brief, pointed, and intelligible. Professor Peck says in the Preface, that the book was prepared "to supply a want felt by the author when engaged in teaching Natural Philosophy to college classes"; but surely a teacher who prepares a text-book for his own classes must need a double share of patience and zeal. Every error which the book contains will be exposed, and the author will have ample opportunity to repent of all the inaccuracies which may have crept into his work. Again, the instructor who uses his own text-book encounters, besides the inevitable monotony of teaching the same subject year after year, the additional weariness of finding in the pages of his text-book no mind but his own, which he has read so often and with so little satisfaction. Even in teaching Mechanics, there is no exception to the general rule, that two heads are better than one.

* * * * *

Stories from Famous Ballads. For Children. By GRACE GREENWOOD, Author of "History of my Pets," "Merrie England," etc., etc. With Illustrations by BILLINGS. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

All "famous ballads" are so close to Nature in their conceptions, emotions, incidents, and expressions, that it seems hardly possible to change their form without losing their soul. The present little volume proves that they may be turned into prose stories for children, and yet preserve much of the vitality of their sentiment and the interest of their narrative. Grace Greenwood, well known for her previous successes in writing works for the young, has contrived in this, her most difficult task, to combine simplicity with energy and richness of diction, and to present the events and characters of the Ballads in the form best calculated to fill the youthful imagination and kindle the youthful love of action and adventure. Among the subjects are Patient Griselda, The King of France's Daughter, Chevy Chase, The Beggar's Daughter of Bednall Green, Sir Patrick Spens, and Auld Robin Gray. Much of the author's success in giving prose versions of these, without making them prosaic, is due to the intense admiration she evidently feels for the originals. Among American children's books, this volume deserves a high place.

* * * * *

Mary Staunton; or the Pupils of Marvel Hall. By the Author of "Portraits of, my Married Friends." New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This story has a practical aim, the exposure of the faults of fashionable boarding-schools. "A good plot, and full of expectation," as Hotspur said; but the author had not the ability to execute the design. The satire and denunciation are both weak, and are not relieved by the introduction of a very silly and threadbare love-story.

* * * * *

Poems. By the Author of "John Halifax," "A Life for a Life," etc. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

Some of the verses in this little volume are quite pretty, especially those entitled, "By the Alma River," "The Night before the Mowing," "My Christian Name," and "My Love Annie." Miss Muloch is not able to take any high rank as a poetess, and very sensibly does not try.

* * * * *

Title-Hunting. By E. L. LLEWELLYN, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co.

This is a miraculously foolish book. Titled villains, impossible parvenus, abductions, and convents abound in its pages, and all are as stupid as they are improbable.



The Haunted Homestead, and other Nouvellettes. With an Autobiography of the Author. By Mrs. Emma D.E.N. Southworth, Author of "India," "Lady of the Isle," etc., etc. Philadelphia. Peterson and Brothers. 12mo. pp. 292. $1.25.

Adela, the Octoroon. By H. L. Hosmer. Columbus. Follett, Foster, & Co. 12mo. pp. 400. $1.00.

The Caxtons: A Family Picture. By Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Hart. Library Edition. In Two Volumes. Philadelphia. Lippincott & Co. 16mo. pp. 398, 387. $2.00.

Julian Home: A Tale of College Life. By Frederic W. Farrar, M.A.,
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Author of "Eric; or, Little by
Little." Philadelphia. Lippincott & Co. 16mo. pp. 420. $1.00.

Bible History: A Text-Book for Seminaries, Schools, and Families. By
Sarah E. Hanna, (formerly Miss Foster,) Principal of the Female
Seminary, Washington, Pa. New York. Barnes & Burr. 12mo. pp. 290. 76

Elements of Mechanics: For the Use of Colleges, Academies, and High
Schools. By William G. Peck, M. A,, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia
College. New York. Barnes & Burr. 12mo. pp. 338. $1.50.

The Human Voice: its Right Management in Speaking, Reading, and
Debating, including the Principles of True Eloquence; together with the
Functions of the Vocal Organs,—the Motion of the Letters of the
Alphabet,—the Cultivation of the Ear,—the Disorders of the Vocal and
Articulating Organs,—Origin and Construction of the English
Language.—Proper Methods of Delivery,—Remedial Effects of Reading and
Speaking, etc. By the Rev. W. W. Cazalet, A. M., Cantab. New York.
Fowler & Wells. 16mo. paper, pp. 46. 10 cts.

American Normal Schools: their Theory, their Workings, and their Results, as embodied in the Proceedings of the First Annual Convention of the American Normal School Association, held at Trenton, New Jersey, August 19th and 20th, 1859. New York. Barnes & Burr. 8vo. pp. 113. $1.25.

History of the Early Church, from the First Preaching of the Gospel, to the Council of Nicea. For the Use of Young Persons. By the Author of "Amy Herbert." New York. Appleton & Co. 16mo. pp. x., 383. 60 cts.

Our Bible Chronology, Historic and Prophetic, Critically Examined and
Demonstrated, and Harmonized with the Chronology of Profane Writers:
Embracing an Examination and Refutation of the Theories of Modern
Egyptologists. Accompanied with Extensive Chronological and
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