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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science
       April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25.

Author: Various

Release Date: August 9, 2004 [EBook #13145]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, William Flis and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.

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




APRIL, 1873.
Vol. XI.





SECOND PAPER. [Illustrated]389
















I. 459

II. 462









NOTES. 481


Books Received. 488


























[pg 369]



Sleepy travelers on the great route to Washington, having passed Philadelphia and expecting Baltimore, are attracted, if it is a way-train, by a phenomenon. The engine is observed to slacken, and a little elderly man with a [pg 370] lantern, looking in the twilight like an Arabian Night's phantom with one red eye in the middle of its body, places himself just in advance of the locomotive. He trots nimbly along, defending himself from incessant death by the sureness of his legs, and after a long race guides up to the station the clattering train, which is all the time threatening to catch him by the heel. "Wilmington!" shouts the brakesman. Every train into Wilmington is thus attended, as the palfrey of an Eastern pasha by the running footman. The man's life is passed in a perpetual race with destruction, and having beaten innumerable locomotives, he still survives, contentedly wagging his crimson eye, and hardly conscious that his existence is a perpetual escape.


Something quaint, peremptory, old-world and feudal strikes the traveler as adhering in this custom, by which Wilmington constantly pays for the general safety of her promenaders with the offering of a citizen's life and limbs. This impression is right. The city is the best-defined spot on the American map where the South begins and the North ends. Wilmington is, for its own part, a perfect crystal of Yankee grit, run out and fixed in a country which in the highest [pg 371] degree represents the soft, contented, lazy, incoherent Bourbon temper. We select it for our subject because it is so complete a terminal image. There is no other instance in the country of such sharp, close contrast. A man might step out to the city limit, and stand with one leg in full Yankeeland, thrilling with enterprise and emulation, and the other planted, as it were, in the "Patriarchal Times." Elsewhere along the effaced line of Mason and Dixon the sections die away into each other: here they stand face to face, and stare.


Wilmington's legend belongs to the general story of the settlements along the Delaware. The discoveries of its site overlapped each other, the Quakers discovering the Swedes, who had discovered the Dutch, who had discovered the Indians. It was first called Willing's Town, from a settler, and then Wilmington, from the earl of that name in England, to whom Thomson dedicated his poem of Winter. But the spirit of enterprise—the spirit whose results we are now to chronicle—came in only with William Shipley, for whose story we must refer the reader, strange as it may seem, to the latest novel of the first living master of English fiction.

This introduces to our notice the most singular literary partnership that ever was or ever will be. Dumas used to be helped out in his splendid fictions by Maquet, but Dumas and Maquet were Frenchmen, and had plenty of sympathies in common. Charles Reade, however, in his romance of The Wandering Heir, written to minister to the Tichborne excitement, takes for his helper the most unlikely colleague in nature—a grave, tranquil, intensely respectable Friend, a writer of colonial histories in a far pastoral retreat by the Delaware. Such workmen were never matched before; yet the words of Benjamin Ferris, the Wilmington antiquarian, form a part, and a telling part, of the exciting romance signed by Charles Reade. The [pg 372] words of Ferris, unexpectedly earning renown in a work of imagination, trace the true tale of the Quaker prophetess, Elizabeth Shipley, who brought her practical husband to Wilmington through the influence of a brilliant dream. The words of Ferris, adopted and sold to the publishers by Reade, describe the terrestrial Paradise now known as Wilmington in just those glowing and golden terms we should have needed for the prologue to this article if we had not been so anticipated. Reade, so long as he keeps up his partnership with Ferris, is safe, sane and true. It would have been well if he had kept it up a little longer, for the moment he lets go Ferris's coat-cuff he falls into mistakes—calling the Delaware hereabouts a "bay," and speaking of a prickly-pear hedge on a farm only sixty miles from Philadelphia.


The Reade Ferris legend, precluding any necessity of a story from us, brings good Elizabeth Shipley into Wilmington, which was then a garden and is now a mart, from her former home at Ridley, which was then a forest-clearing and is now a garden, being in truth the site of Ridley Park, the landscape-city which was described in this Magazine last September. The legend gives all proper emphasis to the location, endowing it with beauty enough to tempt a celestial guide from heaven for the meek Quakeress's benefit, and with practical advantages enough to tempt the worldly-minded husband. To get a high idea of the natural attractions of Wilmington, therefore, read The Wandering Heir, thus advertised gratuitously. Wilmington lies, says the author of [pg 373] Peg Woffington, "between the finger and thumb of two rivers," and also upon the broad palm of the Delaware. The two minor streams which embrace it are entirely different in character: one is a picturesque torrent, named by the Dutch Brand-wijn (Brandywine), from the circumstance of a ship loaded with brandy having foundered at its mouth; the other, serene and navigable, is the Christine, named by the Swedes from Christina, their favorite princess. Hereabouts George Fox, the first Quaker, built a fire in 1672 to dry his immortal leather breeches. "We came to Christian River," he says, "where we swam over our horses." The stream in that day, before the destruction of inland forests, had about six times its present volume, but it is still good for vessels of considerable burden. The thriving settlers made it carry down the harvests of the interior, and then made the Brandywine grind them. The focus of the rivers became a rich milling centre, and was also a post for whaling-ships. The Otaheitan prince stepped from the deck of the whaler to court with gifts of shells the demure Quaker maidens of Wilmington, and Kanaka sailors were almost as familiar on its wharves as Indian chiefs. About the time of the Revolution the town became a well-known station for the export of quercitron bark, and all the while the clacking mills were busy along the uneasy rapids of the Brandywine.

[pg 374]

Shall we take a glance at a historic mill? The best location for such a structure where water-power just met tide-water, and shallops drawing eight feet could load up at the shore, was selected in 1762 for mill-buildings which still stand, and which were for many years the most famous in the country, regulating the price of grain for the United States. The business soon overflowed, and necessitated the building, in 1770, of the structures represented in the engraving on page 371, the whole group, on the two sides of the stream, being under one ownership, and known as "Lea's Brandywine Mills." Hither would come the long lines of Conestoga wagons, from distant counties, such as Dauphin and Berks, with fat horses, and wagoners persuading them by means of biblical oaths jabbered in Pennsylvania Dutch. From these mills Washington removed the runners (or upper stones), lest they should be seized and used by the British, hauling them up into Chester county. When independence was secured the State of Delaware hastened to pass laws putting foreign trade on a more liberal footing than the neighbor commonwealths, thus securing for her mills the enviable commerce with the West Indies. Much shipping was thus attracted to Wilmington, and the trade with Cuba in corn-meal was particularly large. It was found, however, that the flour of maize invariably rotted in a tropical voyage, and thereupon the commodity known as kiln-dried corn was invented at the Brandywine Mills: two hundred bushels would be dried per day on brick floors, and be thought a large amount, though the "pan-kiln" now in use dries two thousand in the same time. The dried meal was delivered at Havana perfectly fresh, and pay received, in those good old days of barter, in Jamaica rum, sugar and [pg 375] coffees. In the old times flour was heaped in the barrels and patted down with wooden shovels: then, when full, a cloth was laid over the top, and the fattest journeyman on the premises clambered up to a seat on the heap, to "cheese it down" and imprint his callipyge upon it. Flour thus made and branded was always safe to bring a high price, but never so high as in the short epoch of the Continental currency, when the old entries of the Brandywine Mill books show (1780) wheat bought at twenty-four pounds a bushel, a pair of the miller's leather small-clothes at eighty pounds, and some three or four hundred barrels of his flour charged at a gross sum of twenty-one thousand pounds.


The fine old mills are still in lively operation, manufacturing into meal about a million bushels of wheat and Indian corn every year. The principal proprietor receives us in his domain, the living image of easy, old-fashioned prosperity, and narrates the long history of the structures, showing his little museum of curiosities—now a whale's jaw bequeathed from the old fishing days, now a Revolutionary cannon-ball—and helps us to realize the ancient times by means of the music of the mill, which is loquacious now as it was under George III.

Such is a specimen of one of the stout old industries of a hundred years ago, still surviving and hale as ever, though out of its former proportion amongst the immense enterprises of modern days. This article, however, must pass out of the atmosphere of ancient tradition as quickly as possible, being intended to show the handsome city of Wilmington with its sleeves rolled up as it were, and in the thick of the hardest work belonging to the nineteenth century. When steam was introduced to revolutionize labor, and railroads came to supplement water-transport, they found the manufacturers of this prosperous town ready to avail themselves of every improvement, and pass at once from the chrysalis state into the soaring development of modern enterprise.

That is a feature the citizens point out with a good deal of honest pride—the prosperity of the old families, enabling them at once to invest in the most enormous of modern mechanical applications. The wealthy companies now found here did not go to work by calling for capital from the large cities: they went to the old stocking, and found it there. The manufacturers show you, reared in a back office or sticking on a wall, the ancient family sign, which Washington and La Fayette regarded at the time of their disasters along the Brandywine. It is one continuity of thrift.

Take, for instance, some of these Lairds of America, who build ships along the Delaware as their prototypes upon the Clyde. The Harlan & Hollingsworth Company claims to be the oldest iron shipbuilding establishment in America. The money in this concern was local. The partners were old neighbors, relatives or friends. They worked along as a firm until 1868, when the huge proportions of their business induced them to incorporate themselves as a company, still distinguished by the good old proper names. We stroll into their domain by the river-side, and if we previously cherished any notion that shipbuilding was a decayed institution in America, the lively tumult here will effectually drive the insulting thought out of our heads. Among a shoal of leviathans stretched out beside the waters there is the iron steamer Acapulco, waiting for her compound engines from John Elder & Co. of Glasgow: she is three hundred feet long (and that is a dimension that looks almost immeasurable when dry on land), forty feet beam and twenty-five hundred tons burden. Another, of similar dimensions, is building beside her, and they are both intended for the Pacific Mail Company's line, and will ply between California and China. The various operations going on upon the ground—the laying of an iron keel three hundred feet long, the modeling into true and fine curves the enormous plates for a ship's side, the joining of these so neatly that the rivets are not visible, and the bending of stout iron timbers on vast iron floors—are interesting even as a mere spectacle; [pg 376] and the trains of men who go about to minister to the various great machines seem like races of beings suddenly diminished in the scale of magnitude, and to be so many wise Lilliputians attending around the bodies of creatures of Brobdingnag. It is true that neat mechanical contrivances save their muscle wherever it is possible. A great plate of iron or a bundle of deck flooring is picked up, by a hand which swings down from aloft, like a visiting-card by a lady: a single man turning a windlass, it sails into the air, gets up as high as it chooses to, and drops delicately just where it is wanted along the length of the structure. Out on the wharf a double "hoister," working by steam, and able to pick up and swing a hundred tons, is used in handling the materials of the works. The dry-docks are, in winter, a singular spectacle. They are a vast hospital of interesting invalids, the patients being steamers, barges and canal-boats. For instance, the old Edwin Forrest, which has paddled up the Delaware with excursionists since a time whereof the mind of man runneth not to the contrary, comes up into the dry-dock complaining of its bunions. The dry-dock accommodates a ship as long as three hundred and forty feet, and is one hundred feet across. The gouty steamer potters comfortably in, and lays up its tired keel, while the dock is being discharged, as serenely as a patient who lays his foot on the knee of a corn-doctor: in due time, relieved and sound, the invalid is ready to take the stage of life again. Another boat comes in to be lengthened: it has growing-pains, and wants assistance. The stern is sliced off, the keel is spliced, and the adolescent leaves the docks longer by twenty feet. On the steamers that are being finished we notice the extreme beauty of the upholstery and of the engraved, inlaid and polished woodwork: it is all done on the spot, and before we leave Wilmington we shall have many occasions to admire the luxury with which the higher kinds of joinery are prepared for the various structures made there. On our way to the car-works—for this versatile corporation is a great manufacturer of railway-carriages too—we notice the throngs of [pg 377] workers scattered like ants over every part of the huge area, and it occurs to us to ask if there are any strikes. Our conductor is Mr. J. Taylor Gause, a big, hearty, shrewd man, who knows every bolt and rivet on the whole premises as Bunyan knew the words of his Bible.


"We never have any trouble," replies Mr. Gause; "and it is owing to a way we have of nipping sea-lawyers in the bud."

And what, may we ask, are sea-lawyers?

"Sea-lawyer is a workman's term. The sea-lawyer is the calculating, dissatisfied, eloquent man. He is the Henri Rochefort of their assemblies. A supposed grievance arises, the men have a meeting, and the sea-lawyer begins to stir them up, big in his opportunity. We find who he is, pay him on the instant, and send him away. The men run about for a while with their complaints in their heads, but with nobody to utter them by. It ends by their coming to us in a body to receive back the mischief-maker, by this time repentant. This we generally do, getting a friend converted from an enemy."


In fact, the workmen of this city do not strike. The principal remedy for the disease is a simple one. They are householders, being aided to own their own houses. They are therefore committed to the interests of the place, and do not deal in revolutions which would make wandering Ishmaelites of them.

The Harlan & Hollingsworth Company makes great numbers of railway-cars, from the ordinary kind to the most luxurious saloon-cars, and the examination of the shops is entertaining enough. Pullman, in fact, is said to have had more of his luxurious parlor-cars built in Wilmington than in any other city. As we are going, however, to see these carriages constructed where their manufacture is a specialty, we will not linger here, where they occupy but a part of an enormous establishment.

[pg 378]

We will visit some more of the American Lairds. Pusey, Jones & Co. show you the vast extent of their premises, occupying ten acres and extending along the water in a thousand feet of wharfage. Their iron ships—one of which the artist has caught just after its completion—and other boats are moving to-day on nearly every river emptying into our Atlantic coast or the Gulf of Mexico. Steamboats of their build are now troubling the more distant waters of the Atrato, Magdalena, Orinoco, Amazon, Purus, Madeira, Tocantins, Ucayali, La Plata, Parana and Guayaquil Rivers of South America. They have other branches of manufacture, uniting the industries of the land to the toil of the sea. They turn out great quantities of machinery and many engines for paper-mills and iron-rolling mills, either of which they supply in every detail. This is an old and experienced firm, fully settled in character, credit and reputation.

Another great industrial combination is the Diamond State Works, established in 1853, occupying a whole block, and enjoying a frontage of three hundred and fifty feet on the Christine. Here are made the vast variety of things into which iron can be rolled or pinched. The eye is puzzled and pleased at the groups of intelligent machines standing up in their places and moulding with their steel fingers the rivets and the bolts; the railroad spikes, washers and fish-joints; the nuts, whether hot-pressed or cold-pressed; the lag-screws and the bolt-ends. Bars of all sizes and for an endless number of uses are pressed out like dough, and stored for sale in enormous warehouses. Mr. Mendinhall and Mr. Clement B. Smyth, the president and vice-president of this company, are of long experience in the management of their business; and the business of the company increases from year to year, demanding all the room in its commodious location, and necessitating an office in New York, where, at No. 71 Broadway, the large disbursing interests of the works are partly attended to.

Such are the bare commercial facts. But stand in one of these noisy working-grounds of a manufacturing place like Wilmington, or ride up to the top of one of their buildings on the steam-elevators which some of them employ. Think how these men of iron are changing the surface of the earth, spiking rails to the prairie in distant territories, or sending into Polynesian archipelagoes the rivet on whose integrity depends the safety of the iron ship. How needful to human progress is the conscientious perfection of their work! What tact they must employ in dealing with phalanxes of laborers of different nations and imperfect intelligence! What a stimulus to genius they are, with their readiness to catch at any labor-saving machine! See that astute-looking dwarf of an apparatus, biting off red-hot ends of rods, closing its jaws together upon them in such a way as to form a four-square mould, then smartly hitting one end so as to make a projecting head: a railroad spike is turned off in a moment. See this other making "nuts" as smartly as a baker makes ginger-nuts: some are raw and some are cooked—that is, some are punched hot and some cold, sufficing for different purposes: the cold are the softer, and the easier to "tap" or perforate with the screw—thread. Other machines are scissors trimming plates of iron like cardboard; others, in a careless kind of way, spend all their time in nipping off whatever bolts and bars are presented to them; and others make pretty rows of rivet-holes all along the edges of huge iron plates. These animated creatures of the mill, performing their tasks like child's play, are efforts of intellectual genius as truly as are the dramas of Shakespeare. And busy talents are growing up in our manufacturing centres as in hotbeds, each one trying to carry the domain of mechanical substitution a little farther, and so escape the necessity, so costly in America, of paying for man-power. In several ways a grand manufactory is a college, stimulating the human minds engaged there in the highest degree, setting a premium on intellect and culture, and reminding us that whoever [pg 379] caused some idea to take shape that never had an existence before, was called by the ancients a "poeta."


We will explore another of these great working-places—this time, a group of mills as large as a modest village, yet devoted to one special product. In 1864, Mr. Henry B. Seidel purchased a rolling-mill which had already been in operation with varied success for eighty years, and established the manufacture of large plates for iron ships and boilers. In a few years, associating with himself his superintendent, Mr. Hastings, he greatly enlarged his operations, and the firm found their edifice too small. An ample new one, one hundred and twenty-five feet long, was put up in 1870, upon the Church street side of their property, and with the introduction of all the new machines became capable of the quickest and completest operations. Seidel & Hastings now run both mills, and turn out, when working night and day, at the rate of between five and six thousand tons of plate iron per annum. They prepare their own "blooms" of charcoal iron at a great forge erected on their premises: this forge has five fires, and is provided with the engines and blowing-cylinders for the manufacture of boiler iron, and the monster steam-hammers necessary in its preparation. Nature's products are here taught manners with a witness: whatever shape they enter in, they leave in the form of pie-crust. The tough old genius of iron, which has been trying since the creation to build itself into mountains or dissipate itself in bogs, is taught by the powerful persuasions of these gentlemen to pack and toughen itself into cards, and is only recognized by the foreman when he takes count of stock as "plate inch and a half" or "plate one-eighth."


But the reader has had enough of iron. We will relieve him—though [pg 380] we cannot promise not to revert to the metals—with a glimpse of some different kinds of employment. Nothing, now, can be softer than kid, nothing more scholarly than a morocco book-binding, nothing is more brilliant in the autumn woods than sumach, nothing is more graceful than the pet goat of Esmeralda. We will pay a visit to one of the morocco-factories, premising that our independent little city of Wilmington has a wide reputation in the trade for her excellence in this special article, and that her product in morocco is actually the largest single item of her trade, the production last year having exceeded two million dollars' worth. We will enter a specimen factory, where the tame African goats playing about the yard, by putting their skins into contact with the powdered sumach lying up stairs in the bags, are to yield us specimens of about the best American morocco known to commerce. The superiority of the Wilmington product is attributed by buyers to something in the quality of the Brandywine water, but probably the high condition and tone of the workmen has more to do with it. In Wilmington, where a workman finds that a given rate of wages represents better living and more happiness than in any large city, the labor obtainable for the pay is naturally of a higher character; and this, in a business where everything depends upon hand manipulation, is a controlling influence. The factory we select is that of Pusey, Scott & Co., at Madison and Third streets, five stories high and a hundred and sixty feet deep. Over this scented labyrinth we go, up stairs and down; now among the slippery vats, where the hides are deprived of their hair; now into a bright room, where half a dozen pretty sewing-machine girls are stitching the wet, slimy [pg 381] skins into bags; now into gloomy cellars, where these bags are filled with sumach-dust and water. The scene in these dark apartments, where many of the workmen are negroes, is especially high-flavored and like a chapter in Vathek. Writers usually talk of "life in the iron-mills" as conducing to the development of herculean strength. But iron-workers are apt to be dry and wiry, their flesh half sweated off and their complexions unnaturally pale. For true muscular development, rather Flemish and beefy in quality, we would instance the workmen in this department of a morocco-factory. The skins when filled with water are very heavy, and the jolly fellows who play at aquatic games with them, now ducking into the tanks, now holding a bag under the hopper whence the sumach descends, and anon stirring, manipulating and inspecting the mass of floating pillows, are true heroes out of Rubens' pictures. The scenes up stairs again, where young Swedes and Irish boys dress the dry skins, painting them over with black, and polishing and graining them by rubbing them with stones (a back-breaking operation, apparently, in the attitude of laundresses bent over an eternal washboard), are all highly entertaining. In the store-rooms we see the handsome sheets of morocco, including the kangaroo skins from Australia, perforated here and there with the hunter's shot, and distinguishable by the enormous flap which has, in the creature's life, encased the tail. Among them all the little orphaned kid skins, clothed in mourning colors and so soft and small, look very innocent and interesting. The distinguishing claim of Wilmington is that of having been the pioneer to introduce machinery into this as into other kinds of business. Several kinds of labor-saving apparatus are explained to us, and the foresight in building the apartments so that the skins travel from stage to stage with the least possible lifting is pointed out. These economies are said to be unmatched in the world. In this manufacture the relations of employers with employed, and amongst each other, would appear to be particularly happy. The morocco-makers of Wilmington seem to believe that worth makes the man, that readiness to do a favor to fellow-manufacturers is what shows the true "grain," and that "the rest is naught but leather and prunello." In dealing with their men, Messrs. Pusey, Scott & Co. have kept up the best relations, and have solved the difficult, the crucial problem in these latitudes, of inducing whites and negroes to labor side by side at the same task in harmony. We believe that this one fact alone, if we were able to develop it eloquently, would be found to stamp the character of the principals with the best traits of benevolence, tact and sense. Mr. Warner, our guide through the premises, concludes the exhibition by showing us a curious set of great books in the counting house, where the foreman of each department records his answer daily to a list of printed questions, stating his figures, his ideas, reports, suggestions and complaints. This diurnal inquisition, which morally gives ventilation to the whole establishment, and relieves difficulties at their start, seems to be another indication of an enviable relationship, keeping up an excellent, old-fashioned sympathy between employers and operatives.

From morocco-dressing to carriages, which are curtained and cushioned with morocco, is not a difficult step. La Bruyère, who wrote a whole book without making any transitions, would have passed without effort from the establishment of Pusey, Scott & Co. to the coach-factory of McLear & Kendall. It should be premised that coach-building is another of the very special successes of Wilmington. She produced last year an amount, in cash value, of carriages greater than her iron ships, greater than her cotton fabrics, being one million four hundred thousand dollars. The engraving shows the outside magnitude of McLear & Kendall's factory, the largest in the city, but cannot show the curious effect of the great show-room, filled with rockaways, buggies of all kinds, and park phaetons. The building, which was put up in 1865, is on Ninth, King [pg 382] and French streets, and is two hundred and eighteen feet in length. These makers produce annually fifteen hundred vehicles, which are shipped to all parts of the United States. An engine of forty horse-power assists the workmen, of whom a hundred and seventy-five are kept in employment, earning the high wages commanded by skilled labor, or, on an average throughout the factory, twenty dollars per week.


After the ponderous establishments near the mouth of the Christine, and the neater sorts of industries which can be carried on within the city, we come to notice some of the mills and factories up stream. Many of these are of great antiquity.

Walton, Whann & Co. boast that fully one-half the arrivals and departures of shipping at Wilmington are in connection with their business. What is that business? Why, it is the revival of the fertility of the South, exhausted by the land-murdering agriculture of slavery. The demand from the cotton regions since the war has been enormous for the best artificial fertilizers, and the appreciation of the particular kind made by Walton, Whann & Co. is very marked. Planters have learned the fact, which science and experience demonstrate, that a reliable compost must be now used for the remunerative culture of cotton, as well as of their corn and other staples; and their preference for the superphosphate prepared by this firm over most other fertilizers is evinced by the fact that their demand has for several years been largely in excess of the supply. We need not wonder, then, at the formidable preparations made for this mighty overdriven business. The cargoes discharging by means of steam-power into the barges proceed from mills covering several acres of ground, and worked by three engines, aggregating one hundred horse-power. Think of it! the strength of one hundred horses overtasked day by day to provide this magic powder, through which the tired real horse is to drag the plough in so many thousands of distant acres! The machinery for grinding the organic materials is of the most approved excellence, and is tested by the turning out, with the power stated, of full fifteen hundred tons of the phosphate per month. A visit to the store-house of this factory is a strange sight, reminding the tourist of the open-air cemetery of the Capuchins at Rome. It is a realm of bones. Bones from the [pg 383] South American pampas, bones from the pork-packing houses of Cincinnati, bones from the grazing plains of Texas, come here to mingle. The skeletons of half a continent meet in these whirling mills for a prodigious Dance of Death, being most emphatically denied what is the last wish of all sentient creatures—rest for their bones.


This factory is on the Christine River, just outside the limit of the city. On Redclay Creek—a tributary to the Christine, running into it parallel with the Brandywine—a number of mills have seated themselves, attracted by its swift torrent, amid scenery of steeps and rapids comparable to that on the Lehigh about Mauch Chunk. Of these the most interesting traditions attach to the Faulkland Mills. Their name may remind the reader of the first novel of the late Lord Lytton—Falkland, written in 1828—but it was given to the spot long before in designation of a primitive settlement, Faulk's Land. The association with this site is that of Oliver Evans, the true inventor of the locomotive, who here worked and dreamed in a mill enriched with his contrivances.

Evans, like Fitch, is one of the world's lost renowns. Had the legislators of his time possessed sagacity enough to endow his inventions, the advantages of steam-transport would have been anticipated by several years, and the glory would have radiated from the Delaware River instead of from the Hudson. His design for a locomotive was sent to England in 1787, disputing priority with the "steam-wagons" of James Watt. He built steamboats at Philadelphia in 1802 and 1803, and ran them successfully, antedating by five years the Clermont of Robert Fulton—Fulton, whom people are beginning to regard, with Mr. Stone, author of the recent History of New York, as the man who has received the greatest quantity of undeserved praise of all who ever lived. Oliver Evans, born in 1755 of a respectable family, was a miller at Faulkland, where his smaller inventions were first put in use. [pg 384] The plank just under the apex of the roof, which he used to retire to as his private study, was shown until 1867, when the old mill was burned. Up among the swallows, as he lay on the board—to which, as Beecher expresses it, he "brought the softness"—the children of his genius were conceived and delivered. The mill was full of his labor-saving machines, which clattered to the babbling Redclay. One of his notions was the mill "elevator" (an improvement of something he had seen in Marshall's mill at Stanton), by which grain was raised to the top of the building in buckets set along a revolving belt which passed from the roof to the bottom, distributing the wheat with spouts to the bolt. This was set up, by contributions among the millers, at Shipley's great mill in Wilmington, and also introduced into his own, where his other inventions of the "conveyer" and the "hopper-boy" attracted the stares of the rival millwrights. Poor Oliver was known to the fat millers of this neighborhood as the inconvenient person who was always wanting the loan of a thousand dollars to carry out a new invention. The "thinking men" among them sagely argued that his improvements would benefit the consumer, by increasing the supply of flour and making it cheap—a clear detriment to the interests of capital. Then Oliver plunged desperately into his idea of steam-motion, losing the faint vestiges of his repute for wit, and died poor and heartbroken in 1819, the hero of an unwritten tragedy. The happy hours of his life were the hours on the dusty plank in the mill-gable at Faulkland.


Evans's mill was bought in 1828 by Mr. Jonathan Fell, and turned into the spice-grinding establishment which is still operated by his descendants on the same ground. But Fell's business was much older than that purchase, being a good representative of the ancestral industries that exist in such numbers among Penn's settlers. Early in this century the passengers in Front street in Philadelphia laughed at the juxtaposition of a sign just put up with an older one, the two reading thus: "James Scholl—Jonathan Fell." He had purchased the spice-grinding business of an English immigrant on that site, and now the same business is carried on at Faulkland, one hundred and seven years from its commencement, in the thirteenth generation of Fell's descendants, after a career of accumulated and undeviating success. Moving the factory to Faulkland, and [pg 385] retaining the Philadelphia situation as a warehouse, the family have kept the old system unchanged, served by employés as steady as themselves, two of the latter having died of old age after forty years in their service. The present works of C.J. Fell & Brother, combining steam and turbine-wheel power, are represented as the most complete in America, and produce a great variety of condiments, which season the traveler's meal in whatever State or Territory of the Union he may visit.


A chalybeate spring at Faulkland, formerly much resorted to, is now in railway communication with Wilmington, and will recover its ancient prestige. Under the ownership of Mr. Matthew Newkirk, the late railway manager of Philadelphia, a large hotel at the Brandywine Springs was filled with rich Southerners for many summers, but the house was destroyed by fire, and the flow of visitors turned aside. One of the smaller houses, with accommodation for two hundred guests, is the present claimant for watering-place custom. Its situation, with the fine water-scenery, and a natural coliseum of wooded hills, is very attractive, and the restorative properties of the spring are proved and valuable.

One more interest attaches to Faulkland. Close by were the earthworks where Washington protected his army, expecting the British attack, but, drawn from his intrenchments by a flank movement, was tempted on, to sustain disaster at Chadd's Ford on the Brandywine.

We have just mentioned the site as in railway communication with the city of Wilmington. It is time to speak of the town in its relation to means of transport and as a railroad centre.

The location of the burgh, so near the ocean, on the beach of an immense river, and in the clasp of two smaller but partly navigable streams, kept it, in the old times, outside the latitude of railway improvement. Its naval facilities were thought to be sufficient for what business it had. The Baltimore line from Philadelphia passed through it, and could move its freight either north or south. With the development of its iron manufactures, however, the necessity of other connections became pressing, and in 1869 a road was opened to the coal-regions at Reading, crossing the Pennsylvania Central at Coatesville. Another road leads to New Castle. And now a short road has been opened to the westward, through a very rich region for way-freight; and with some notice of [pg 386] this, an artery for various mines and quarries, we finish our duty toward Wilmington as a railway nucleus.


The Wilmington and Western Railroad has not yet got over the excitement of being constructed. The creative spirit, it may be said, was Mr. Joshua T. Heald, an enterprising Wilmingtonian, already a director of the Wilmington and Reading line. It was he who drummed up the stock-subscriptions among his fellow townsmen. On July 8, 1871, he struck the first pick into the line as president, and in October, 1872, the road was opened for travel as far as Landenberg in Pennsylvania. The Wilmington and Western Road crosses Christine River in the suburbs, then follows the valley of Redclay Creek, past all its mills and local improvements, sends visitors to Brandywine Springs, and passes the birthplace of the inventor Oliver Evans, while its contemplated extension will pass it close to the birthplace of Robert Fulton, in the Peachbottom slate region of Pennsylvania. No bad omen for a steam-road, to have had its ground first broken at the cradle of one steam inventor and to lead to the cradle of another!

Regarding a map, to the west of Wilmington we see that there is a continuous tier of counties, from one extremity of Pennsylvania to the other, which has no great railway running east and west. A few of these counties are penetrated by feeders to the Pennsylvania Railroad or by other lateral roads, but they are not opened by any general comprehensive system; yet this section of Pennsylvania is one of the richest in mineral wealth. It has limestone, slate, iron ore, bituminous coal and other deposits. From one extremity to the other it is a region well worth development, and sure to reward by a large and valuable traffic the line of railway which will carry its products to the tide-water markets for sale or transhipment. The road is still an infant, but a good symptom is, that within six weeks of its opening the gross earnings of the company had reached a sum more than equal to the weekly interest on its bonded debt. Its extension to Oxford and the Susquehanna River is a matter for the immediate future.

So much for the facilities of moving Wilmington's many products by railway. It would be too unjust, however, to pay court to these roads, which are matters of yesterday, and show no attention to the system of water-transport for the sake of which her site was chosen two hundred years since.

Long years ago, Wilmington millers, wishing to ship flour to Philadelphia, used to walk down to Market street wharf, and pulling a bellcord that hung outside a little brick office by the river, summon to his duty the easy-going and cheerful freight-clerk of the transport line. The old sign, with the name of "Warner" upon it, is still upon the office, but the bell is gone, and the premises of Charles Warner & Co. have blossomed [pg 387] out into store-sheds and coal-sheds beyond all calculation. The guiding instinct of the firm was found to be concentrated in the handsome head of Mr. E. Tatnall Warner, a son and now a partner; and it was he who sketched out the amplitude of the store-houses, and determined to bring the line into victorious competition with the rail for all the freight of the port that would bear slow moving. The wharves of Warner & Co. now extend from Water street to the Christine River, and from Market to King streets. There are three communications daily with Philadelphia, and tri-weekly ones with New York and Boston. Their Philadelphia line consists of two steam-barges of one hundred and fifty tons, and they are constructing a third at a shipyard we have yet to examine—that of the Jackson & Sharp Company—of two hundred and fifty tons burden. The four railroads of Wilmington—the Baltimore line, the Wilmington and Reading, the Western, and the Delaware Road—all run their cars by continuous rails to the wharves of Warner & Co., where freight is transferred from cars to steamers with extreme rapidity, by four steam-hoisters placed on the ground for the purpose. A stationary engine also takes hold of the cars, and moves them from place to place on the rail as wanted. The handling by steam-power—a great change from the days of the old bell under the eaves!—of course reduces greatly the [pg 388] necessity for mere human porters. The steamers ply to a wharf at Chestnut street, Philadelphia, and also, as aforesaid, to New York. In respect to the latter port, the Messrs. Warner anticipate an early day when various novel manufactures established at Wilmington will demand new freights from the New York market, and to hasten that day they offer very strong inducements for return cargoes. Such is a specimen of a transport-office, transformed from old-fashioned ideas to the newest ambitions of the time. While the iron road will always collect a large portion of moving merchandise, there will still be another large portion for which the superior cheapness of water-transport will be a successful inducement.


An immense bid which Wilmington makes for future greatness is in the excellence of her harbor. Shipping there is at once safe and unimpeded in its exit. The Delaware and its bay below the city are broad and without sudden bends. Ice does not gather, and the influence of the ocean, by its tidal movement and salt water, makes the breaking of a channel comparatively easy. The Christine harbor, from any point near its mouth, can be kept open to the sea in all ordinary winters by a stout and well-built tug. The Christine is much wider—probably by three times—than the Chicago River, upon which every ton of the magnificent commerce of that great city is delivered. It has a better entrance and deeper water, as well as greater breadth. Wilmington believes she has a better issue for her manufactures in the Christine and Delaware than Glasgow possesses in the Clyde. The Clyde is narrower and more difficult to keep in order than the Christine, and Glasgow's facilities for getting materials for shipbuilding are not as great as Wilmington's.

The difference in the cost of production of iron ships in Wilmington and on the Clyde, exclusive of the premium on gold, is at this time about ten per cent. only. Taking the present price of gold (fourteen), this increases the difference to about twenty-four per cent. The falling off in the price of gold, which is so generally expected, together with the advance in labor in Great Britain, and the consequent advance in the price of iron there, will soon bring the cost nearly equal in both countries. Indeed, if our shipbuilders would use the light and inferior iron in their ships that is used on the Clyde, the cost would not now materially differ. This will not be done, however, for reasons that are too evident to need stating; and by waiting until the prices have adjusted themselves naturally and permanently, a more lasting and desirable prosperity will be gained. Meditating these considerations, Wilmington is quite serene and fearless under the present temporary depression of American shipbuilding.

There are some features connected with the life and education of the operatives so abundant in this town, some additional industries, a few items of religious history, and a few evidences of modern taste or luxury, that we wish to consider; but these must be reserved for a second paper.

[pg 389]




The Roumi who leaves Constantina for Setif has a choice of two routes—one picturesque, lively and covered with Roman remains; the other perfectly arid, and distinguished by the fact that in five miles there are just four trees.

He turns, however, as he settles himself in his stirrup amongst the interested Arab population of Constantina, to cast a last look at the ugly French streets in which, as a tourist, his lot was cast. The Arab quarters, where life still flows on in the old African style, have seized his attention exclusively, and he remembers with a kind of contemptuous remorse that he has paid no regard to the smart modern edifices and offices that belong to French occupation. Yet one of these, at least, the staring Napoleonic Palais de Justice, would yield him a romance from time to time.

Here, in December, 1872, twenty-one natives of the Belezma were tried at a court of assizes for the massacre, last April, of twelve French colonists. The affair was a sequel of the French-Prussian war. The natives, for a long time past on good terms with strangers, became insolent, boasting that France was ruined, and that all the French would soon disappear from Algeria. Some of the tribes, however, remained, if not friendly, at least less hostile. The revolt had become almost general, and on the 21st of April the sheikh Brahim of the Halymias informed the little colony near Batna that they were no longer safe in the forest, and offered to escort them into Batna. These colonists were the workmen at the saw-mills of a M. Prudhomme, about ten miles out of the town. The Europeans, consisting of thirteen men, one woman named Dorliat and her four children, set out the next morning, accompanied by Brahim and about forty of his men. On arriving in a ravine they were suddenly attacked by a large body of the rebels. Six of the party, who were in the rear, succeeded in escaping, but twelve of the men were massacred. Madame Dorliat, it is said, owed her life to a native named Abdallah at the saw-mills, who, on seeing her in tears before starting, said to her: "Woman, you have nothing to fear: no harm will be done to you or to your children. As for the men, I will not answer [pg 390] for them." As she continued to weep, he added: "Listen! When you see the guns pointed at your breast, say this prayer: 'Allah! Allah! Mohammed racoul Allah!' and you will be saved." He also taught the same prayer to her children. In the midst of the slaughter several Arabs had leveled their firearms at her to shoot her, when she remembered Abdallah's lesson, and throwing herself on her knees to them repeated the invocation. The murderers stopped, made her say it over again, and asked, "Do you mean it?" On her replying in the affirmative they spared her, but stripped her entirely naked, and took from her three of her children: she only recovered them thirty-two days later, and one of them died from a sabre-cut in the head, received during the fight. The woman's husband was among the killed, and so was the proprietor of the mill, M. Prudhomme. Of the twenty accused brought to trial at Constantina, twelve were condemned to death and three to hard labor; the others, among whom was the sheikh Brahim, being acquitted.


Severe justice is the only condition on which French supremacy can be maintained in the country, and probably for the general Arab populace the rule of the Gauls is a judicious one. But it is to be questioned whether the rule of talion is the right one for the Kabyles. In 1871, at the height of the French troubles with the Commune, formidable revolts were going on among the descendants of those untamable wretches whom Saint Arnaud smoked out in a cave. In July the garrison at Setif heard the plaint of a friendly cadi, named D'joudi, who had been wantonly attacked for his loyalty to the French by some organized mutineers under Mohammed Ben-Hadad. The poor wretch had been obliged to flee, with his women and his flocks, into the protection of his country's oppressors. Since the chassepot has succeeded in reducing the Kabyles once more to a superficial obedience, the courts have been busy with the sentences of their insubordinate leaders. France imitates England's sanguinary policy in her treatment of rebellious and semi-civilized tribes. Eight of the leaders of the Kabyle revolt of 1871 have been condemned to death, and a number of others have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. The Kabyles will take their revenge when another European war places the Algiers colonists at their mercy.

The guides who accompany the traveler serve, in the absence of the trees, to attract his scrutiny. These mountain Arabs are superb fellows. Lips almost black, and shaded with lustrous beards, set off their perfect teeth, white, small, [pg 391] and separated like those of a young dog. Their black eyes are soft or stern at will. They are usually of middle size, large-chested, as befits Arabs from the hills, with small heads and finely-tapered wrists and ankles. They are dressed in red, with a covering of two bornouses—a white one beneath, and a black one fastened over. Long iron spurs are attached to their boots of red morocco, which come up to the knee; for the Algerian Arab, a bare-legged animal [pg 392] when walking, is a booted cavalier when mounted. The white haik, or toga, is fastened around the temples. The horse of the principal guide is a fine iron-gray, with an enormous tail of black—high-stepping, and carrying his elaborately-draped burden as proudly as a banner.


In contrast to this imposing guard of honor, the traveler minces along on a dumb, timid mule, who smells the ground in a sordid and vulgar manner, and is guided by a pitiful rope bridle. Such are the hackneys and the guides, engaged on the recommendation of the commandant of Constantina, who undertake to carry us to Setif and on to Bou-Kteun in Kabylia.


Setif, the ancient metropolis of this part of Mauritania, and celebrated for a brave defence against the invading Saracens, is now the healthiest spot occupied by the French in all Algeria. It lies on a great table a mile above the sea, is fortified, and has four good streets, but pays for its salubrity by the extreme outspokenness of the climate. It is subject to snow for six months, and is enveloped in a cloud of dust the other six. It is in the midst of a great grain-producing country, and is famed for its market, held every Sabbath. The surrounding folk dress for market, instead of dressing for Sunday, and exhibit the whitest of bornouses above the dustiest of legs as they sit crooning over trays of eggs or onions, brought far on foot through the powdery roads.

As we leave Setif we are overtaken by the lumbering stage-coach, which plunges and jolts over the road to Sibou-Areridj—a coach apparently about the age of the carriage of General Washington, for Algeria is the infirmary of all the worn-out French diligences. Sibou-Areridj is reached and passed, and a few miles farther on is encountered an Arab douar, or assemblage of tents forming a tribal fraction. This woven village, although we have attained the limits of Kabylia, reminds us that we have not yet reached the Kabylian abodes: an Arab lives in a tent in all localities outside the great cities—a Kabyle, never. However poor the hut in which the [pg 393] Kabylian artisan starves and labors, it must be a solid mansion founded upon the soil, and its master must feel himself a householder. Our douar proves to be an encampment belonging to the marabouts, or high religious orders, situated on a large plot of ground in the ownership of the saints, and extending up to the limits of Kabylia. Composed of a circle of tents numbering about fifty, and exhibiting numbers of fine horses picketed near the tent-doors, it is as fine a specimen as we shall see of the patriarchal life inherited from the unfatherly father of Ishmael. The pavilions are of a thick camel's hair stuff, very laboriously made by the women, which swells up in the rain and completely excludes moisture. They are striped brown and yellow, but a splendid tabernacle in the centre, of richer colors and finer fabric, bears at the apex a golden ball with plumes of ostrich feathers, the sign of authority. This tent is oval in form, resembling an overturned ship. It is the residence and office of the sheikh, or chief of the douar: several douars united form a tribe, governed by a caid. We venture to visit the sheikh, assured by our spahi guides that we shall be welcome. We are received blandly by the officer, offensively by his dogs, a throng of veritable jackals who scream around our feet as we enter. The interior, rich and severe at once, exhibits saddles and arms, gilded boxes and silken curtains, without a single article of furniture. The sheikh treats us to mild tobacco in chiboukhs—another sign that we are not yet in Kabylia: never is a Kabyle seen smoking. We reciprocate by offering coffee, made on the spot over our spirit-lamp—a process which the venerable sheikh watches as a piece of jugglery, and then dismisses us on our way with the polite but final air which Sarah may be supposed to have used in dismissing Hagar.


The douar, like a city, has suburbs of greater squalor than its interior, and among them, under the palm trees, we see women washing clothes or engaged in the manufacture of couscoussou, a dish common to the Arab, the Kabyle and the traveler hereabouts, and so important that a description of its preparation may be acceptable.

In the opening of a small tent, then, we paused to watch an old moukere (or daughter of Araby), whose hands look [pg 394] as if she had been stirring up the compost-heap of bones, pickings and dirt before the door. With these hands she rolls dexterously a quantity of moistened flour upon a plate. Long habit has made it easy to her, and in an incredibly short time she has formed a multitude of small grains—her hands, it must be said, looking a great deal cleaner after the process. On the fire is a pot of water, just placed. She interrupts her labor to throw in a piece of kid, which, with a quantity of spices, she stirs around with her callous hand, almost to the boiling-pitch of the water. She then addicts herself once more to the manufacture of the flour-grains, of which she has directly made a perfect mountain. The water now boiling, she places the granulated paste in a second earthen pot or vase, whose bottom, pierced like a colander with holes, fits like a cover upon that in which the meat is boiling. The steam cooks the grains, which are afterward served upon a platter, with the meat on top and the soup poured over. All travelers agree that, when you do not witness the preparation, couscoussou is a toothsome and attractive dish, fit to be set beside the maccaroni of Rossini.


On the plateau outside the douar we find the cemetery, with its tombs; for the Arab, content to sleep under tissue while he lives, must needs sleep under mason-work after he is dead. Under the koubba, or dome, is seen a sarcophagus covered with a crimson pall, the tomb of a dead marabout: banners of yellow or green silk, the testimony of so many pilgrimages to Mecca, hang over the dead. In the graveyard round about are tombstones roughly sculptured, and the stone turbans indicating the cranium of a Mussulman; the Arab, again, after building his house of camel's hair, ordering his last turban to be woven by the stone-mason!

We pass along a sterile country, with chalky rocks cropping from the ground and making our way increasingly difficult. All is dry as a lime-basket. The climate here, completely wanting in the sense of a just medium, knows no resource between the utter desiccation of all the water-courses in summer and an outpouring in winter which carries away trees, crops and arable earth, presenting the farmer with a result of boulders and sand. The rocks sound beneath our animals' feet for an hour or two: we dip into a ravine and attain Bou-Kteun, our first Kabylian town.

It is night, and we invoke the hospitality of the village chief, called by the Kabyles the amin. Our prayers are not refused. The amin receives the [pg 395] strangers, not so much from a feeling of social etiquette, of which he knows little, as from his religion, which commands him to receive the guest as the messenger of God. He comes to the threshold, kisses our hands without servility, waits on us at a supper which he is too polite to share, and presents us with a prayer at our bedside. Bou-Kteun, situated halfway up the "Red Plateau," guards the pass called the Gates of Iron. It is an uninteresting village, the official house being alone respectable amidst a town of huts. As the amin accompanies us a little way outside the burgh, we remark, among the young orchards, stumps of olive and fig trees sawn away at the base. The amin shows them with sad satire, saying in explanation, "French Roumi:" it was the Christian French.

That is the term, meaning no compliment, which the Kabyle fits to all Europeans alike. In vain the Frenchman, writhing with intellectual repugnance, explains that he is not a Christian—that he is a Voltairean, a creature of reason, an illuminé. The Kabyle continues to call him a Roumi, which will bear to be translated Romanist, being imitated from the word Rome and applied to all Catholics. These same tribes doubtless called Saint Augustine a Roumi, and he returned the epithet Barbari or Berbers—a name which the emperors applied with vast contempt to the hordes and mongrel population of exiles and convicts that peopled Mauritania, and which the natives retained until the Arab invasion, when they changed Berber for Kebaïle.

The Romans conquered the shores and the plains. You find none of their ruins among the mountains, where the Berbers, from the Roman occupation to the French, have preserved an independence never completely subdued.

The Kabyle villages are united into federations. If these federations engage in quarrels—which is by no means rare—or if a village is menaced by an enemy, signals are placed in the minarets to appeal to the towns of the same party. These are easily seen, for all the villages are on hilly crests and visible from a distance. From the summit of Taourit el Embrank we can count more than twenty of these Kabyle towns, perched on the peaks around us, and separated by profound chasms.


Every trait points out the distinction between the Kabyles and the surrounding Arabs. The Arabs seek laziness as a sovereign good; the Kabyles are great artificers. The Arabs imprison their wives; the Kabyle women are almost as free as our own. The Kabylian adherence to the Mohammedan faith is but partial, and is variegated by a quantity of superstitions and articles of belief indicating quite another origin. While the Koran proclaims the law of retaliation, eye for eye and tooth for tooth, the more humane Kabyle law simply exiles the criminal for ever, confiscating his goods to the community. It is true, the family of a murdered person are expected to pursue the homicide with all the tenacity of a Corsican vendetta, but the tribal laws are kept singularly clean from the ferocity of individual habits. A strange thing, indicating probably a derivation from times at least as early as Augustine, is that the Kabyle code (a mixture, like all primitive codes, of law and religion) is called by the Greek term canon (kanoun). An institution of great protective use, in practice, is the safe-conduct, or anaya, a token given to a guest, traveler or prescript, and which protects the bearer as far as the acquaintance of the giver extends: it may be a gun, a stick, a bornouse or a letter. The anaya is the sultan of the Kabyles, doing charity and raising no taxes—"the finest sultan in the world," says the native proverb. The Kabyles press into all the towns and seaports for employment with the same independence as if they were a neighboring nationality. They build houses, they work in carpentry, they forge weapons, gun-barrels and locks, swords, knives, pickaxes, cards for wool, ploughshares, gun-stocks, shovels, wooden shoes, and frames for weaving. They weave neatly, and their earthenware is renowned. In addition, they are expert and shameless counterfeiters. [pg 396] Yes, the fact must be admitted: these rugged mountaineers, so proud, and, according to their own code, so honorable, never blush to prepare imitations of the circulating medium, which they only know as an appurtenance and invention of their civilized conquerors. In his rude hovel, with all the sublimities of Nature around him, this child of the wilderness looks up to the summits of the Atlas, "with peaky tops engrailed," and immediately thereafter looks down again to attend to the engrailing of his neat five-franc pieces, which can hardly be told from the genuine. This multiplication of finance was punished under the beys with death. The bey of Constantina arrested in one day the men of three tribes notorious for counterfeiting, and decapitated a hundred of them. There was lately to be seen at Constantina the executioner who was charged with this punishment, the very individual who cut off the ingenious heads of all these poor money-makers, and did not "cut them off with a shilling." He appeared to modern visitors as a modest coffee-house keeper in the Arab quarters, who would serve you, for two cents, a cup of coffee with the hand that had wielded the yataghan. He was an old Turk, with wide gray moustaches, dressed in a remarkable and theatrical fashion. He wore a yellow turban of colossal size, and an ample orange girdle over a dress of light green. Poor Tobriz—that [pg 397] was his name—was violently opposed to the introduction of the guillotine in Algeria. In the days of his prosperity an enormous sabre was passed through his flaming girdle. In the early years of the French conquest Tobriz was employed in the decapitations, which were executed with a saw, and must have been a horrible spectacle. He remembered well the execution of the hundred counterfeiters [pg 398] in one night, and their heads exposed in the market.


A rapid descent from Bou-Kteun to the bed of a river of the same name, and a pursuit of the latter to its confluence with the river Biban, lead through impressive ravines to the Iron Gates. The waters of the Biban, impregnated with magnesia, leave their white traces on the bottoms of the precipices which enclose them. The mules pick their way over paths of terrible inclination. At length, at a turn in the overhanging reddish cliffs, where a hundred men could hold in check an entire army, we find ourselves in front of the first gate. It is a round arch four yards in width, pierced by Nature between the rocks. The second is at twenty paces off, and two others are found at a short distance. Between the first and second we observe, chiseled in the stone above the reach of the water, "L'Armée Française, 1839," engraved by the sappers attached to the army of the duke of Orleans on the passage of the expedition.



None are so wise as they who make pretence

To know what fate conceals from mortal sense.

This moral from a tale of Ho-hang-ho

Might have been drawn a thousand years ago,

Long ere the days of spectacles and lenses,

When men were left to their unaided senses.

Two young short-sighted fellows, Chang and Ching,

Over their chopsticks idly chattering,

Fell to disputing which could see the best:

At last they agreed to put it to the test.

Said Chang: "A marble tablet, so I hear,

Is placed upon the Bo-hee temple near,

With an inscription on it. Let us go

And read it (since you boast your optics so),

Standing together at a certain place

In front, where we the letters just may trace.

Then he who quickest reads the inscription there

The palm for keenest eyes henceforth shall bear."

"Agreed," said Ching; "but let us try it soon:

Suppose we say to-morrow afternoon."

"Nay, not so soon," said Chang: "I'm bound to go,

To-morrow, a day's ride from Ho-hang-ho,

And sha'n't be ready till the following day:

At ten A.M. on Thursday let us say."

[pg 399]

So 'twas arranged. But Ching was wide awake:

Time by the forelock he resolved to take;

And to the temple went at once, and read

Upon the tablet: "To the illustrious dead—

The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang."

Scarce had he gone when stealthily came Chang,

Who read the same; but, peering closer, he

Spied in a corner what Ching failed to see—

The words, "This tablet is erected here

By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear."

So, on the appointed day—both innocent

As babes, of course—these honest fellows went

And took their distant station; and Ching said,

"I can read plainly, 'To the illustrious dead—

The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang.'"

"And is that all that you can spell?" said Chang.

"I see what you have read, but furthermore,

In smaller letters, toward the temple-door,

Quite plain, 'This tablet is erected here

By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear.'"

"My sharp-eyed friend, there are no such words!" said Ching.

"They're there," said Chang, "if I see anything—

As clear as daylight!" "Patent eyes, indeed,

You have!" cried Ching. "Do you think I cannot read?"

"Not at this distance, as I can," Chang said,

"If what you say you saw is all you read."

In fine, they quarreled, and their wrath increased,

Till Chang said, "Let us leave it to the priest:

Lo, here he comes to meet us." "It is well,"

Said honest Ching: "no falsehood he will tell."

The good man heard their artless story through,

And said, "I think, dear sirs, there must be few

Blest with such wondrous eyes as those you wear.

There's no such tablet or inscription there.

There was one, it is true; 'twas moved away,

And placed within the temple yesterday."


[pg 400]



A straggling old house, painted yellow, and set down between a corn-field and the village pasture for family cows; old walnut trees growing close to its back and front, young walnut trees thrusting themselves unhindered through beet and tomato patches, and even through the roof of the hennery in the rear, which had been rebuilt to accommodate them, spreading a heavy shade all about, picturesque but unprofitable.

Old Peter Guinness used to sit on the doorstep every hot summer evening, smoking his cigar, and watching the hens go clucking up to roost in the lower branches and the cattle gathered underneath.

"What a godsend the trees are to those poor beasts!" he said a dozen times every summer.

"Yes. We risk dampness and neuralgia and ague to oblige the town cows," Mrs. Guinness would reply calmly.

"I shall cut them down this fall, Fanny. I'm not unreasonable, I hope. Don't say a word more: I forgot your neuralgia, my dear. Down they come!"

But they never did come down. Mrs. Guinness never expected them to come down, any more than she expected Peter to give up his cigar. When they were first married she explained to him daily the danger of smoking, the effect of nicotine on the lungs, liver and stomach: then she would appeal to him on behalf of his soul against this debasing temptation of the devil. "It is such a gross way to fall," she would plead—"such a mean, sensual appetite!"

Peter was always convinced, yielding a ready assent to all her arguments: then he would turn his mild, cow-like regards on her: "But, my dear, I smoke the best Partagas: they're very expensive, I assure you."

Long ago his wife had left him to go his own way downward. As with smoking, so with other ungodly traits and habits. She felt his condemnation was sure. It was a case for submission at the female prayer-meeting; bemoaning his eternal damnation became indeed a part of her religion, but the matter was not one to render her apple-cheeks a whit less round or her smile less placid. The mode in which Peter earned their bread and butter interfered more with her daily comfort and digestion. Dealing in second-hand books, half of which were dramatic works, was a business not only irreligious, but ungenteel. She never passed under the swinging sign over the door without feeling that her cross was indeed heavy, and the old parlor, which had been turned into a shop, she left to the occupancy of her husband and Kitty.

Out of the shop, one summer afternoon, had come for an hour the perpetual scrape, scrape of Peter's fiddle. He jumped up at last, suddenly, bow in hand, and went to the doorstep, where his stepdaughter sat sewing. From the words he had overheard in the next room he was sure that the decisive hour of life had just struck for the girl, and there she was stitching her flannel and singing about "Alpine horns, tra-la!" She ought to have known, he thought, without hearing. A woman ought to be of the kindred of the old seeresses, and by the divine ichor or the animal instinct in her know when the supreme moment of love approached.

But what kind of love was this coming to Kitty?

He twanged the strings just over her head, to keep her from hearing, but quite out of tune, he was so agitated with the criticalness of the moment. But then most moments were critical to Peter Guinness, and agitation, his wife was wont smilingly to assure him, was his normal condition.

He anxiously watched Catharine's restless glances into the room where her [pg 401] mother and the clergyman sat in council. She had guessed their object then? She was opposed to it?

A thoughtful frown contracted her forehead. Suddenly it cleared: "Oysters? Yes, it is oysters Jane is broiling. I'm horribly hungry. I could go round the back way and bring us a little lunch in here, father. They'll never see us behind the books."

"Shame on you, Kit! You're nothing but a greedy child." But he laughed with a sudden sense of relief. She really was nothing yet but a healthy child with a very sharp remembrance of meal-times. It would be years before her mother or Mr. Muller would talk to her of the marriage or the work they had planned for her.

"Just as you please," taking up her flannel again. "Very likely it will be midnight before we have supper: Mr. Muller often forgets to eat altogether. From what mother tells me, I suppose approving conscience and a plate of grits now and then carry him through the day. It's different with me."

"Very different, Kitty. Don't flatter yourself that you will ever be like him in any way. William Muller is a Christian of the old type. Though, as for grits, a man should not disregard the requirements of the stomach too much," with an inward twinge as he smelt the oysters. He began to play thoughtfully, while Kitty looked again through the book-shop to the room beyond. The books about her always made unfamiliar pictures when one looked at them suddenly. They lay now in such weights of age and mustiness on the floor, the counters, the beams overhead, the yellow walls of them were lost in such depths of cobwebs and gloom, that they made a dark retreating frame, in which she sat like a clear, fine picture in the doorway, the yellow sunset light behind her. She could see her mother looking in at her, and the plump, neat little clergyman in his tight-fitting ribbed suit of brown and spotless shirt-front. He gently stroked his small black imperial as he talked, but his eyes behind their gold eye-glasses never wavered in their mild regard of her. Kitty grew restless under it.

"Mr. Muller is talking of the class of books you keep, father," she said, lowering her voice: "I'm sure of it. They are as unsavory in his nostrils as to the reformers in the village. They'd all excommunicate you if they could."

"Guinness, Book Agent, Kitty," finishing his tune with a complacent scrape, "has been known for twenty years, while Berrytown belongs to yesterday. But the intolerance of these apostles of toleration is unaccountable. They mean well, though. I really never knew people mean better; yet—" He finished the sentence with a shake of the head, solemnly burying the fiddle in its case.

Both he and Catharine turned involuntarily to the window. Five years ago there had been half a dozen old buildings like the Book-house stretched along Indian Creek, the roofs curled and black, the walls bulging with age and damp. Now, there was Berrytown.

Berrytown was the Utopia in actual laths, orchards and bushel-measures of the advance-guard of the reform party in the United States. It was the capital of Progress, where social systems and raspberries grew miraculously together. Thither hied every man who had any indictment against the age, or who had invented an inch-rule of a theory which was to bring the staggering old world into shape. Woman-Suffrage, Free-Love, Spiritualism, off-shoots from Orthodoxy in every sect, had there food and shelter. Radical New England held the new enterprise dear as the apple of her eye: Western New York stretched toward it hands of benediction. As Catharine looked out, not a tree stood between her and the sky-line. Row after row of cottages replete with white paint and the modern conveniences; row after row of prolific raspberry bushes on the right, cranberry bogs on the left—the great Improved Canning-houses for fruit flanking the town on one side, Muller's Reformatory for boys on the other. The Book-house behind its walnut trees, its yellow walls clammy with lichen, was undeniably a blot, the sole sign of age and conservatism [pg 402] in a landscape which, from horizon to horizon, Reform swept with the newest of brooms. No wonder that the Berrytownites looked askance at it, and at the book-fanciers who had haunted the place for years, knowing old Guinness to be the keenest agent they could put upon the trail of a pamphlet or relic.

The old man grew surly sometimes when sorely goaded by the new-comers. "There's not a man of them, Kitty," he would say, "but has ideas; and there's not an idea in the town five years old." But generally he was cordial with them all, going off into rapt admiration of each new prophet as he arose, and he would willingly have stood cheek by jowl with them in their planting and watering and increase if they had not snubbed him from the first. Book-shops full of old plays, and a man who talked of Scott's width of imagination and Clay's statesmanship, were indigestible matter which Berrytown would gladly have spewed out of her mouth. "What have aimless imagination and temporizing policy to do with the Advancement of Mankind? Dead weight, sir, dead weight! which but clogs the wheels of the machine." Any schoolboy in Berrytown could have so reasoned you the matter. While Catharine was growing up, therefore, the walnut trees had shut the Guinnesses into complete social solitude until deliverance came in the shape of Mr. Muller.


Besides her supper now, Catharine wanted her share of this visitor. Nothing else, in fact, came in or went out of her life. Outside lay emancipated Berrytown, to unemancipated Kitty only a dumb panorama: inside, her meals, her lessons and perpetual consultations with her mother on bias folds and gussets while they made their dresses or sewed for the Indian missions. Kitty was quite willing to believe that the Berrytown women were mad and unsexed, but ought the events of life to consist of beef and new dresses and far-off Sioux? She laughed good-humoredly at her own grumbling, but she looked longingly out of the window at the girls going by chattering in the evenings with their sweet-hearts; and certainly the Man coming into her life had affected her not unpleasantly. Not that the clergyman, with his small jokes and small enthusiasms, was any high revelation to her mind; but there was no other.

"It's something to hear a heavy step about the house, and to see the carpet kicked crooked," she said sometimes. Her mother would shake her hand gently and smile.

She shook her head and smiled in precisely the same way now. Mr. Muller, who had grown excited as he talked, felt a wave of insipid propriety wash over his emotions, bringing them to a dead level.

"However the matter may conclude," said Mrs. Guinness pleasantly, "why should you and I lose our self-control, Mr. Muller? Now, why should we? Ah?"

There was something numbing in the very note of prolonged interrogation. The folds of Mrs. Guinness's glossy alpaca lay calmly over her plump breast; her colorless hair (both her own and the switch) rolled and rose high above her head; her round cheeks were unchanging pink, her light eyes steady; the surprised lift of those flaxen eyelashes had made many a man ashamed of his emotions and his slipshod grammar together.

Mr. Muller was humbled, he did not know why. "It is practical enough, I suppose," he said irritably, "to ask what Catharine herself thinks of marriage with me?"

"You never tried to discover for yourself?" with an attempt at roguish shrewdness.

"No, upon my honor, no!" The little man fairly lost his breath in his haste. "I have a diffidence in speaking to her."

"To Kitty!" with an amused, indulgent smile, which worsted him again.

He struggled back into the hardest common sense: "Of course it is not diffidence in me. I feel no hesitation in discussing the question of marriage with [pg 403] anybody else. My family wish me to marry: my sister has suggested several young ladies to me in well-to-do religious families in the city. There are marriageable young women here, too, whose acquaintance I have made with that object in view. Very intelligent girls: they have given me some really original views on religion and politics. One can talk to them about anything—social evils or what not. But Catharine—she is so young! It is like broaching marriage to a baby!"

Mrs. Guinness was silent. The sudden silence struck like a dead wall before the little man, and bewildered and alarmed him: "Perhaps, Mrs. Guinness, you think I ought not to look upon Catharine as another man would? I should regard a wife only as a fellow-servant of the Lord? I oughtn't to—to make love to Kitty, in short?"

"She is a dear, pious child. I love to think of her in the midst of your Reformed boys," said the lady evasively.

There was another pause. "Of course, you know," he said with an anxious laugh, "I never had a serious thought of those young ladies chosen by my sister. Social position or wealth does not weigh with me, Mrs. Guinness—not a feather!" earnestly. If he really had meant to give her a passing reminder that marriage with Kitty would be a step down the social grade for him, he was thoroughly scared out of his intention. As he talked, reiterating the same thing again and again, the heat rose into his neatly-shaved face and little aquiline nose.

Mrs. Guinness observed his agitation with calm triumph. She knew but one ladder into heaven, and that, short and narrow, was through her own Church. Kitty was stepping up on a high rung of it. Once the wife of this good Christian man, and her soul was safe. A sudden vision of her flitted before her mother in grave but rich attire (fawn-colored velvet, for instance, for next winter, trimmed with brown fur), to suit her place as the wife of the wealthy Muller, head of the congregation and the Reformatory school: she would be instant, too, at prayer—meetings and Dorcas societies. This was Mrs. Guinness's world, and she reasoned according to the laws of it. She rejoiced as Hannah did when she had safely placed her child within the temple of the Lord.

And yet with that hint of the social position of the Mullers had come the certainty to her that this marriage could never be. A shadow had stood suddenly before her—a boy's face, the only one before which her calm, complacent soul had ever quailed or shrunk. The pleasant, apple-cheeked woman, like the rest of us, had her ghost—her sin unwhipped of justice. She stood calmly as Mr. Muller hurried his explanations, piling them one on top of the other, but she did not hear a word of them. If he should ever hear Hugh's story! Dead though he was, if that were known not a beggar in the street would marry Catharine.

But since Fanny Guinness was an amiable, pink-cheeked belle in the village choir, she had never turned her back on an enemy: why should she now? Hugh Guinness had hated her as the vicious always hate the good, but she was thankful she had smiled and greeted him with Christian forbearance to the very last. As for this danger coming from him, now that he was dead, the safest way was to drag it to the light at once. All things worked together for good to those who loved the Lord—if you managed them right.

"Of course," she said, as if just finishing a sentence, "you are indifferent to social rank. And yet it will be no slight advantage to you that Catharine has no swarm of needy kinsfolk. Her own father died when she was a baby. Mr. Guinness is the only near friend she has ever known except myself. He had a son when I married him—" The boy's name stuck in her throat. For a moment she felt as the murderer does, forced to touch his victim with his naked hand. "Hugh—Hugh Guinness—was the lad's name."

"I never heard of him," indifferently.

"No, it is not probable you should. Long before Berrytown was built he [pg 404] went to Nicaragua. He died there. Well," with a little wave of the hand, "there you have Kitty's whole family. It will be better that she should be so untrammeled, for the interests of the school."

"The school? I'm not a Reformatory machine altogether, I suppose!" He had been watching Catharine, who was moving about in the shop. When he was not in sight of her he always remembered that she was a mere child, to be instructed from the very rudiments up after marriage, and that the Guinnesses were ten degrees, at least, below him in the social scale. But she was near—she was coming! The complacent smile went out of his trig little features: he moved his tongue about to moisten his dry lips before he could speak. He was absolutely frightened at himself. "There's more than the school to be thought of, Mrs. Guinness," he blurted out. "I—I love Catharine. And I want this matter settled. Immediately—within the hour."

"Very well. You will be satisfied with the result, I am sure, Mr. Muller. I give Catharine to you with all my heart." But she did not look any more at ease than he. They both turned to look at Kitty, who came toward them in her usual headlong gait through the shop.


Her mother scanned Catharine when she came in as she had never done before. She was "taking stock" of her, so to speak: she wished to know what was in the girl to have secured this lover, or what there was to hold him should he ever hear Hugh's damning story. Her eye ran over her. She was able to hold her motherly fondness aside while she judged her. Kitty was flushed and awakened from head to foot with the excitement of this single visitor.

"At her age," thought Mrs. Guinness, "I could have faced a regiment of lovers. Kitty's weak: I always felt her brain was small—small. She has nothing of my face, or address either. There's no beauty there but youth, and her curious eyes." She never had been sure whether she admired Kitty's eyes or not.

But clergymen and reformers were as vulnerable as other men to soft, flushing cheeks and moist lips, and Mr. Muller, as she judged from his agitation, was no wiser than the rest. He pressed nervously forward, bridging his nose with his eye-glasses.

"Catharine, my child, will you walk out with me? I wish to consult you on a little matter."

"Oh, with pleasure," said Kitty.

Her mother stood aghast. Like the mass of women, she viewed the matter of love from the sentimental, L.E.L. stand-point. It had been a forbidden subject to Kitty. Her heart her mother supposed, slept, like the summer dawn, full of dreams, passion, dewy tenderness, waiting for the touch of the coming day. What kind of awakening would the plump "Will you marry me?" of this fat little clergyman be? In the street of Berry town, too! in the middle of the afternoon! If it were only moonlight!

"Pray wait until evening, Catharine: you're always famished for your supper," she cried anxiously.

"But I'm not hungry now at all," running up the stairs. For politeness' sake Kitty would lie with a smile on her mouth though a fox were gnawing at her stomach. Something in her running reminded Mr. Muller that she was a school-girl and he a middle-aged noted reformer. He fidgeted about the room, looking at the prints of La Fayette and Franklin on the whitewashed wall, and the Tomb of Washington done in faded chenilles by Mr. Guinness's first wife, buttoning his gloves with an anxious frown.

"I'm sure I don't know what my sister Maria will say to this," after one or two uneasy laughs. "I never mean to be eccentric, yet somehow I always am different from anybody else. Now, in church-matters—I never intended to leave the orthodox communion, yet when I showed how my Church was clinging to worn-out dogmas, and opened my Reformatory in Berrytown, the [pg 405] Free-Religionists in Boston seized me, and printed my opening sermon under one cover with that of an Oneidaite and a Spiritualist. Do I look like a medium or a Free-Lover? That was going a little too far, I take it."

"Ah?" came Mrs. Guinness's calm interrogatory. No more.

William Muller was a man of culture and a certain force in one direction, and when pleading the cause of the vicious children to whom he was giving his life could hold men of real mental strength attentive and subdued. He did not know why, when this commonplace little woman had her steady eye on him, he should always dribble out all his weakness to her. But he did it—talked on in a leaky way of his squabble with his church and the praises he had received in newspapers for his school, until he heard Kitty's step on the stairs.

"Ah! there she is!" he cried relieved.

Catharine came back, close buttoned in a brown dress, with high-laced boots, and a light stick in her hand. She used to call it her alpenstock, and make all Switzerland out of the New Jersey sands with it. She ran in to kiss her father good-bye, blushing and delighted. It was the first time she had ever walked with any man but himself. "Here's an adventure!" she whispered. Every day she and Peter expected an adventure before night. She drew back startled at the strange, uneasy look he gave her. Her mother, too, pulled her hastily away, and walked beside her to the gate.

"Child," she whispered breathlessly, "he is your lover."

"Lover?" said Kitty aloud. "Lover?" But Mr. Muller joined her at the moment, and opening the gate motioned for her to precede him. They went down the quiet street together.

Mrs. Guinness went back and watched them from the shop-window. "It is as I thought," she said triumphantly.

Peter nodded. She came behind him, leaning on his shoulder. "It was only proper for me to speak to him of—of—" It was fifteen years since Hugh's name had passed between them.

"Whatever was necessary to protect you and Catharine," he said quietly. She pressed her hands on his forehead beneath his wig, and presently he drew one of them down and held it to his lips, thinking how forbearing she had been with his boy. Mrs. Guinness went up stairs then and knelt down by the bed. She was rather fond of the exercise which she called praying—taking a larger image of herself into her confidence. Her one idea of Him was that He could provide comfortably here and elsewhere for herself and Catharine. But to-day her conscience irritated her like a nettle. Could it be that she was at soul tricky? Could God hold her, rigorous church-member, fond wife and mother as she was, guilty of this boy's blood? Nettles, however, do not sting very deeply. She rose presently, unfolded her work, and sat sewing and singing a hymn, a complacent smile on her good-humored face.

Down in the shop Peter had taken out the violin again, and was playing some nameless old air, into the two or three monotonous notes of which had crept an infinite stillness and longing. He often played it, but only when he was alone, for he would not allow Kitty to hear any but merry, vivacious music.


Meanwhile, Catharine and Mr. Muller walked down the street in absolute silence, Kitty bearing herself with her usual grave politeness, though there was a quizzical laugh in her eyes. "Lover? My lover?" she thought. But she did not blush, as some other innocent girls would have done. She had never talked an hour in her life to a young man, or heard from other girls their incessant chirping of "he—he," like that of birds in spring wooing their mates. Her nearest acquaintance with lovers was old Peter's rendering of Romeo or Othello. She remembered them well enough as her eye furtively ran over the jaunty little figure beside her. "Is his hose ungartered, his beard neglected, his shoe untied?" she thought. "Pshaw! he is [pg 406] not Orlando, any more than I am Rosalind." Her mother had been mistaken, that was all: she let the matter slip easily past her. There was a certain tough common sense in Catharine that summarily sent mistakes and sentimental fancies to the right about.

Mr. Muller, finding the words he wished to speak would not come at once, and ashamed of jogging on in silence, began to overflow with the ordinary ideas of which he was full. They passed the grape-packing house. "Eight thousand boxes despatched last season, Catharine! And there is the Freedmen's Agency. Three teachers supported, five hundred primers furnished to Virginia alone since January, and I really forget the number of Bibles. But the world moves: yes indeed. And I think sometimes Berrytown moves in the van."

"I've no doubt of that," said Kitty politely. "Dear me! Five hundred spelling-books!" But she felt humiliated. She had neither picked grapes nor taught freedmen. What thin wisps of hair these women had stopping to speak to Mr. Muller! She put her hand suddenly to the back of her head.

"Those are employees in the canning-house," he said as they passed on. "One is educating herself as a short-hand reporter, and the other has a lecture ready for next winter on Shakespeare's Women."

"What admirable persons they must be! Ah! now I have it right!" setting her hat higher on the light chestnut coils. Mr. Muller looked, and his eye rested there. She knew that, though the back of her head was toward him. But lover? Nonsense! He meant no doubt to propose that she should go into the typesetting business or stenography.

Now, to tell Kitty's secret, she had had her love-affair her mother knew nothing about, which made her purblind in this matter. It was this: There was a certain cave (originally a spring-house) behind the walnut trees, quite covered over with trumpet-vines and partridge-berries. She had a bench there, from which she could see only the shady old house and the sun going down. When she was a child of about eight, alone all day long, year in and out, she had taken down this bench, and working stealthily and blushing terribly, had made it large enough for two. She never allowed anybody, not even Peter, dearest of all, to come into the cave or sit on the bench afterward. What her childish fancy of an unknown friend was, or how it grew and altered with her years, only she knew, though after she was grown she told her father of a certain Sir Guy in some of his crusading stories in whom she had believed as a fact. "I actually thought he would come to woo me," she said laughing, "and I had a castle where I sat and waited for him. There never was a child so full of absurd fancies."

But she never said where the castle was, and she was fond still of sitting alone for hours on the old bench, over which the shade grew heavier year by year, and the moonlight crept with more mysterious glitter. She came in sometimes when she had been there in the evening, and the sound of old Peter's violin alone broke the silence, with her cheeks feverish, as though there had been an actual presence with her to share her secret thoughts. The only living being she had ever taken into her hiding-place was, oddly enough, a baby of whom she was fond. It happened to fall asleep in her arms one day, and Catharine stole out with it and sat on the old seat, feeling its warm breath on her breast. The girl was shaken by an emotion which she did not understand: her blood grew hot, her breath came and went, she stroked the baby's hand and foot, kissed it, glanced about her with eyes guilty yet pure.

But it is certain Kitty had no thought of her cave this afternoon. Mr. Muller and his affairs were quite another matter. There was an awkward silence. Mr. Muller was collecting his forces: he cleared his throat. "Catharine—" he said.

"Ah, William!" cried a clear, well-toned voice behind them. He turned, half annoyed and half relieved, to meet a young lady in gray, stepping alertly [pg 407] from the doorway of the Water-cure House.

"Maria? This is my sister Maria, Miss Vogdes."

The lady looked at Kitty—a steady, straightforward look—then held out her hand. It was a large, warm, hearty hand, and gripped yours like a man's. Kitty took it, but felt like shirking the eyes. She had no mind to be so weighed and measured. She had an uncomfortable consciousness that her inner nature was all bared and sorted by this agreeable young woman in this first moment to the last odd and end in it, though she could not have put the consciousness into words.

"Going to the school, William? I am."

"Well—yes, we will go there." He turned irresolutely, and they walked together down the plank pathway, Kitty with an oppressive sense of having fallen into the clutch of one of the Primal Forces, who was about to settle her destiny for her; in which she stumbled almost on the truth. Miss Muller was quite aware of the fact of her brother's visits at the book-shop, and their motive. She glanced at her watch: she could give herself half an hour to find out what stuff was in the girl, though it hardly needed so long. "A good type of the Domestic Woman in the raw state," she thought. (She always jotted down her thoughts sharply to herself, as a busy shopkeeper makes entries in his day-book.) "Pulpy, kissable. A vine to which poor William would appear an oak. A devoted wife, and, if he died, a gay widow, ready to be a fond wife to somebody else."

"What do you mean to make of yourself, Miss Vogdes?" she snapped suddenly, just as Kitty was counting the hen-coops of the society in the field they were passing, and wondering how she could contrive to get a pair of their Cochin Chinas.

"To make?" stammered Kitty ("I knew she would take me by the throat somehow," she thought)—"of myself?—Why, I am Peter Guinness's daughter."

"You poor child!" Miss Muller laughed. It was a very merry, infectious laugh. She laid her hand on Kitty's shoulder gently, as though she had been a helpless kitten. "Now you see how our social system works, William. Ask a boy that question, and his answer comes pat—a doctor, carpenter, what not. In any case, he has a career, an independent soul and identity. This poor girl is—Peter Guinness's daughter, is content to be that. Though perhaps," turning sharply on her, "she thinks of the day when she will be the wife of somebody, the mother of children. Those, two ideas are enough to fill the brains of most women."

Mr. Muller colored, and smiled significantly to himself. Catharine looked at her with a grave suspense, but made no answer.

"Yes," Miss Muller went on, a certain heat coming into her delicate face, "that contents the most of them—to be the fool or slave of a lover or a husband or son. 'The perfume and suppliance of a minute—no more but that.'"

She walked on in silence after this, and Catharine scanned her quietly. She was not at all the mad woman Mrs. Guinness had always described her—not at all what Kitty had fancied a lecturer on woman suffrage, a manager of the Water-cure and a skillful operating surgeon must be. She was little, pretty, frail, with a very genuine look and voice—almost as young as Kitty, and far more tastefully dressed. Catharine eyed her wonderful coiffure with envy, and was quite sure those rosy-tipped, well-kept fingers never had anything to do with cutting up dead babies.

Mr. Muller at the moment was comparing the two girls critically. The point on which he dwelt longest was that his sister's eyes, fine, limpid and brown, were those of an actress, acting to herself very probably. They went through the whole imperative mood—exhorted, commanded, entreated in five minutes: even a certain woeful sadness which came into them at times, and was there now, was quite bare and ready to be seen of all men.

"She is always on review before [pg 408] herself: she is conscious of herself from head to foot," he thought with shrewdness only born out of long knowledge. "Her very toes, I've no doubt, say to each other, 'I, Maria.'"

As for his future wife, her eyes were given her to see with, nothing more. "And she looks out with them, never in," he reflected complacently. For he had come by this time to regard her as his future wife. It seemed quite natural when Maria presently took Kitty in hand as one of the family, and began to manage for her as she did for them all, from Grandfather Hicks down to the dog Tar.

"I think, William, Miss Vogdes has the maternal instinct largely developed," looking at her face and the shape of her head as a naturalist would at a new bug. "You could find work for her in here," unlatching the gate of the Reformatory school. "She could serve humanity here just as well as if she had more—more—well, we'll say stamina."

"Precisely what I thought of," cheerfully. "You've hit the nail on the head about her, Maria." He was a peaceable, affectionate fellow at bottom. He had never hoped that his sister would tolerate Kitty, and women's squabbles in a family he abhorred, like every other man; and here she was extending a hospitable greeting, finding work for Kitty already. Io triumphe!

"Suppose you show Miss Vogdes the institution, sister?" he said, rubbing his eye-glasses and putting them on again in a flutter of pleasure and cordiality.

Miss Muller nodded authoritatively, and he fell into the background.

"You'll observe, Miss Vogdes," with a laugh and shrug, "Berrytown has given its best of æsthetic instincts here: five square stories painted white, with green shutters; pebble walks; six straight evergreens to testify of the Beautiful. Inside—here we are! Parlor: yellow-pine floors, spotless; green paper blinds in the windows, that hang stirless the year round. This is the kitchen: white boards, shining caldrons. William, show the soup."

Mr. Muller gravely held up a ladleful: "Beef and cabbage. To each child we allow per diem three parts of animal food, three purely farinaceous, four vegetable. The proper scale, I hold, of healthful nourishment," putting back the ladle. He had not spilled a drop.

"Dining-room," continued Miss Muller: "more white boards; shining tin plates; these three hundred little figures in blue jeans ranged against the wall are the—the patients. Now observe." Mr. Muller rapped once, they raised their hands; twice, they clasped them; three times, they rattled off the Lord's Prayer; the next moment they were shoveling their soup into their mouths in silence.

"Miss Vogdes does not approve their religious teaching, William. You see," turning to her, "how they need a real motherly care. You could give it to them."

But Kitty, who perhaps did "want stamina," and who was more of a child than any before her, made no answer. Vice and disease faced her as never before: those hundreds of hungry eyes fenced her in.

"Are you sick?" said Mr. Muller anxiously, seeing her face. "It is the smell of the soup, perhaps. Come out of this. Let me pass, Maria. You forget how foolishly tender her life has been: she never probably looked at crime before. Come out to the fresh air."

"You'd better stay," said Maria coolly, aside. "These children will plead your cause with such a girl as that better than you can do or have done, I take it. Now, my dear," putting Kitty's hand between her own, "this is my brother's work, in which he wishes you to join him. Put it to yourself whether it is not your duty. You're very young; you've dreamed a good deal, most likely: this wakening to the fact that there is work in the world besides marrying and nursing babies revolts and shocks most young girls. Yet here it is." Her voice was very gentle, and sincere in every cadence, the words true: there lay the terrible grinding power of them. "Talk over your future life with William, my dear. There is the matron. I must go and see about that charge for pepper she [pg 409] made last month. Pepper for these children's stomachs, indeed!"

Mr. Muller drew Catharine's hand in his arm. "I did not mean to bring you here to-day," he said, nervously mopping his face with his handkerchief. "Maria is so fond of managing! But—but it was as my wife I wanted your help."

"My wife." Kitty was not surprised. At eighteen one reasons as the bird flies. Since she passed the six straight evergreens yonder she had learned that life was not an old book-house, a few sad and merry tunes, meals, and a bench to dream on. It was work—for Christ. Not far-off pagans, but little children with sin and disease heavy upon them, asking her to take it away.

She might want stamina or any other intellectual power, but her emotions were hot and near the surface: these children and their misery wounded and bruised her as they had never done Mr. Muller or his sister: her sense of duty and affection for her God, too, was as real and urgent with her as that of a dog for his master.

"Take me home now," she said quietly.

"But, Catharine—This is no answer. And my love for you is of such long standing!" pleaded the little man, whose mouth, being once opened by his passion, found it difficult to close. He forgot, too, the hundreds of eyes staring at him over the soup-spoons.

"Shall we go out?" said Kitty with an impatient laugh, which would not be polite. "There's too much beef here. And cabbage."

They passed Miss Muller, who nodded down on Catharine from the heights of brusque sincerity of the Woman's Rights people: "Come and see me, my dear. You and I shall get on very comfortably, I dare say;" to which Kitty replied with her old-fashioned manner, which had a fine courteous quality in it, whether it meant anything or not.

They were out in the street again. The sun was still hot and glaring. Past the new row of Morse's blue-painted shops, down the factory alley, all along the cinder path, Mr. Muller pressed and urged his suit. She heard every word with sharp distinctness.

The children: her work for Christ. Under all was a dull consciousness that this thing had been coming on her since the day, years ago, when she had suffered conviction at a revival and been converted. All His followers must give their lives to His service. Give their lives! These were words which to the poor little girl had always been terribly real, never a hackneyed form. Now the time had come, there was a dreadful wrenching at her heart.

"Oh, God! oh, my God! I want to do what's right!" cried Kitty silently, looking away to the farthest horizon.

Mr. Muller remembered by this time some of his long-planned endearing speeches, and used them. But he could not bring a blush to her cheek. She did presently look straight at him, her eye passing quickly and critically over the neat paunchy little figure in its fashionably-cut coat and tight-fitting trowsers. When she was a girl of ten she had fancied that Dr. Brownlee would be her future husband—the actual Sir Guy. She would listen Sunday after Sunday to the gray-bearded old fellow dealing the thunders of Sinai from the pulpit overhead, in a rapt delight, thinking how sweet it would be to be guided step by step by so holy and great a man. Long after she grew out of that, indeed only a year or two ago, she used to tremble and grow hot to her finger-tips when young Herr Bluhm, the music-master, went by the gate. A nod of his curly bullet head or the tramp of his sturdy cowskin boots along the road made her nerves tingle as never before. "What was this that ailed her?" she had asked herself a dozen times a day. All Mr. Muller's love-making did not move her now as one note of Bluhm's voluntaries on the organ had done. She had thought him Mendelssohn and Mozart in one: the tears came now, thinking of that divine music. But one day Mrs. Guinness had brought him in, being a phrenologist, to "feel Kitty's head." She felt the astonished indignation yet which stunned her from his thick thumb and [pg 410] fore finger as they gripped and fumbled over her head as if she had been a log of wood. But what could poor Bluhm know of the delicate fancies about himself in her brain as he measured it, which his heavy paws, smelling of garlic and tobacco, were putting to flight? "Philoprogenitiveness—whew! this little girl will be fond of children, madam. Tune, time!—has no more notion of music than a frog."

"At least," thought Catharine now, "Mr. Muller is a gentleman. I shall never feel disgust for him."

They had reached the gate now. He waited. "I shall not come in. I've confused and startled you, Catharine. You want time to think," he said gently.

"I understand, oh, I quite understand. But I never thought of myself as your wife," she said quietly. "It would be better you gave me time."

"Good-bye, then, my—my darling."


She stood looking over the gate, the walnut branches dark overhead, a level ray of sunlight on her strange alluring eyes and full bosom. Mr. Muller lingered, smoothing his hat before he put it on.

"She has not at all the intellectual power of Maria," he thought. "Maria's the sort of woman I ought to have chosen, I suppose," being a reformer, first of all, in the very grain. But the silly thought of holding her hand or kissing her lips came to him at the moment, and tormented him thereafter with a feverish desire.


Catharine stood a long time by the gate.

"Don't question the child," said Peter to her mother. He would not even look at her when she came in, but fidgeted about, his leathery jaws red as a girl's at the thought that Kitty loved and was beloved.

"Is supper over? I'm hungry," was all she said. They watched her furtively as she ate.

"It's prayer-meeting night, Catharine," said Mrs. Guinness when she was through, taking her bonnet from the closet.

"I'm not going."

"Mr. Muller will miss you, my dear."

"Mr. Muller never has enough of prayer-meetings," recklessly, "but I have. I prefer going to bed to-night;" and she went up stairs.

Before her mother was gone, however, she began to change her dress, putting on one which, when the cape was not worn, left her shoulders and arms bare. She shook down her hair after the fashion of a portrait in the book-shop of Kitty Clive, Peg Woffington or some other ancient beauty more amiable than discreet. There was a delicious flavor of wickedness in the taking out of every hairpin. Then she came down to Peter where he sat smoking.

"In the dark, father? I'll light the candles;" which she did, scolding Jane savagely between-times. "We'll have some old plays to-night, father," bringing a book which her mother had forbidden, and then bringing his sheepskin-lined chair up to the table. Peter eyed her furtively as he puffed out his cigar to the last ash. On the stage or in the ball-room he had never seen, he thought, a finer woman than Catharine; and the old man's taste in beauty or dress or wine had been keen enough when he was a young blood on the town. He was annoyed and irritable.

"Catharine," he said sharply "bring your shawl: the night is chilly." But he read the plays with outward good-humor, and with an inward delight and gusto, which he would not betray. All his youth—that old Peter Guinness, for whom each day's bumpers had been frothed so high—came back in the familiar exits and entrances. The words were innocent enough as he altered them in reading for Kitty, though a good deal disjointed as to meaning; but she was not critical—forced herself to take an interest in his stories of Burton and Kean, and how he first saw old Jefferson.

"I suppose," moving uneasily on her stool at his feet, "that this now is 'the world, the flesh and the devil!' But," [pg 411] viciously snapping her eyes, "I like it, I like it! I wish I could think of something else to do."

In the middle of Peter's croaking of "Poor Yarico," to show her how Catalani sang it on the London boards, she jumped up and went to the window. People were coming home from prayer-meeting, husbands and wives together.

"I suppose every woman must marry, father?" she said.

Peter looked doubtfully at her over his spectacles, opened his mouth and shut it once or twice. "I judge that is the highest lot for a woman," he said slowly, "to be the wife of a good man."

"A good man? Oh yes, good enough!" and with that she flung herself down on the floor, and, putting her head on Peter's knee, cried as if her heart would break. For Kitty was never in the habit of carrying her pain off into solitary places: when she cried it must be with her head on somebody's knee.

This chapter of Catharine's history every wide-awake young woman among our readers has doubtless finished for herself: she knows the closing-in process by which society, expediency, propinquity, even moral obligations, hedge many a man and woman and drive them into marriage.

In the weeks that followed she saw but one path open to her: in it lay her work for Christ and her woman's birthright to be a wife and mother (for Kitty, ever since she was a baby nursing dolls, had meant to be both).

She spent most of her time shut up with her Bible and hymn-book, sometimes praying over them, sometimes sticking in her forefinger and opening at chance verses to try her fortune about this affair. During this time she was usually unnaturally humble and meek, but there were days when her temper was intolerable.

"Don't come complaining to me," said Peter testily to her mother. "The child's a good child enough. But when you force her to stretch her heart over three hundred vicious little imps, no wonder it breaks."

"Kitty's a free agent," she replied calmly.

Kitty was a free agent, and at the end of two weeks she accepted Mr. Muller.




Spring is waking, and the Yokul lifts on high his glittering shield,

Far and wide in sunny splendor gleams the ice-engirded field,

And the swelling freshet murmurs gay spring-ditties as it flows,

Till its noisy life it mingles in the ocean's grand repose;

And in silence,

Dream-fraught silence,

O'er its course the billows close.

On the strand they gayly played, where the trembling birch trees grow,

Children both with golden ringlets and with cheeks like maiden snow,

Wherein blushed fresh spring-like roses—blushed and hid, and blushed again,

While they plucked the shining pebbles, smooth-worn by the stormy main;

And in silence,

Rippling silence,

Chants the sea its old refrain.

[pg 412]

She, the fair and gladsome maiden, raised her head and called his name:

He was deep-eyed, light and slender, shy of mien and slight of frame.

Like a laughing brook she skippèd to and fro along the strand;

He was grave, like nodding fern-leaf, gently by the breezes fanned,

Which in silence,

Pensive silence,

Grows upon the brooklet's sand,

"Ragnas," said she, "when God's angels visit will this world of ours,

They descend, so mother told me, on the Yokul's shining towers.

Now, if I should die, then promise thou wilt climb the peaks of ice,

And my hand I'll reach to help thee up to God's bright paradise."

But in silence,

Wondering silence,

Gazed he in her innocent eyes.

It was summer: thrush and linnet sung their gladsome summer-lay;

Through the fir trees' cooling vista rose the cataract's white spray;

And the light blue smoke of even o'er the darksome forests fell—

Rose and lingered like a lover loath to bid his love farewell;

And in silence,

Wistful silence,

Shed its peace o'er sunlit dell.

On the pleasant hillside sat they, where the silvery birches grow,

And th' eternal sun of midnight bathed them in its fitful glow—

She a maid of eighteen summers, fresh and fair as Norway's spring;

Tall and dark-browed he, like pine-woods in whose gloom the Hulders1 sing,

When in silence,

Deep-toned silence,

Night lets droop her dusky wing.

It was now that he must leave her, and the waves and tempest breast:

Heavy-hearted sat they, gazing on the Yokul's flaming crest;

And she spoke: "O Ragnas, never, while yon airy peak shall gleam

O'er our home, shall I forget thee or our childhood's blissful dream,

Until silence,

Death and silence,

Freeze my heart and memory's stream."

Up he sprang, and boldly looked he toward the midnight-lighted west,

Seized her white, soft hand and pressed it closely to his throbbing breast,

And the love his childhood fostered, and in youth made warm his blood,

Trembled on his lips as trembles bursting flower in freezing bud:

Ah, but silence,

Fateful silence,

Held the mighty feeling's flood.

Years had passed with autumn's splendor, like a glistening shower of gems;

Doubly rich the sunlight streamèd from the Yokul's diadems;

[pg 413]

Once again in joyful rapture he his native vale beheld,

For the love long years had fostered whispered still of faith unquelled,

Spite of silence,

Hapless silence,

That the timid tongue had spelled.

And his boat shot swiftly onward: well the rowers plied their oar,

Till a heavy tolling reached them from the church-tower on the shore;

And a solemn train of barges slowly wound their pensive way

Through the hushèd waves that glittered o'er their image in the bay;

And the silence,

Listening silence,

Dimmed the splendor of the day.

O'er the barge that now drew nearer countless virgin lilies wept,

Telling that some white-souled maiden in the snowy bower slept.

Dumb he stood, and gazed in terror on the shroud and lilies sweet,

And a dread foreboding filled him, and his heart forgot to beat;

And in silence,

Deathlike silence,

Fell he at the boatman's feet.

So the parish-people told me; and as years went rolling by

Oft they saw him sadly staring on the flaming sunset sky;

Watched the purple-stainèd Yokul, half in joy and half in pain,

As if hoped he there to see her coming back to earth again;

Mourned his silence,

Fateful silence,

That had rent two lives atwain.

Till at length one Sabbath morning—deep-voiced church-bells shook the air—

While in festal garb the church-folk wandered to their house of prayer,

Reached their ears a hollow thunder from the glaciers overhead,

And huge blocks of ice came crashing downward to the river's bed,

And in silence,

Wrathful silence,

Down the seething stream they sped.

Ah, the breathless hush that followed! for amid the icy waste

They a human shape discernèd, madly, as by demons chased,

Up the crystal ledges climbing, pausing now where ice-walls screen

From the blast, then upward springing o'er abyss and dread ravine,

Until silence,

Glittering silence,

Reigned amid the icebergs' sheen.

They have searched for him, they told me, sought him far and sought him near:

Ne'er a trace was found to tell them of his grave so lone and drear;

But the legend goes that angels swift the shining ether clove,

And with them his youth's beloved bore him up to God above,

Where shall silence,

Deepest silence,

Never sunder hearts that love.


Footnote 1: (return)

The Hulder is the spirit of the forest, and is represented as a virgin of wonderful beauty. She plays her loor, a long birch-bark horn, at evening, and is the protecting genius of the cattle.

[pg 414]


There is an eloquent passage in one of Victor Hugo's novels in which the writer affectionately apostrophizes the Paris of his youth—those quaint old streets of the Quartier Latin so redolent of the happy associations which cling to the springtide of life. Were Thackeray living now, he would, we fancy, experience emotions very similar to those of his French confrère should he try to find his beloved "Gray Friars," which lives enshrined in the most pathetic scene he ever penned, and is ever and anon coming before us in the pages of his several stories. It is but a few years since the author of Vanity Fair passed away, yet already Gray Friars' surroundings are no longer those with which he was familiar.

Descending Holborn Hill five years ago, you found yourself, when at the foot of that celebrated thoroughfare, at Snow Hill, just at that point where the words, "Here he is, father!" struck upon the parental ears of Mr. Squeers as his son and heir manfully "went for" Smike. Turning to the left, instead of proceeding up Newgate street, a circuitous street took you to Smithfield, so long associated with stakes and steaks. Thence, when half-way through the forest of pens, you turned sharp off to the left, and then, after another hundred yards by a turn to the right, found yourself in a long narrow lane, called Charter-House lane. This brought you presently to some iron gates admitting you to a quaint and not very mathematical quadrangle, such as you would never have dreamed of stumbling upon there. This is Charter-House Square, which, still intensely respectable, was once eminently fashionable. At one corner of it is a little recess known as Rutland Square, for on this site once stood the abode of the dukes of that ilk, and near to it is a stately mansion with a high pitched roof which was in days long gone the residence of the Venetian ambassador. A garden occupies the centre of the square. Everything is neat, orderly and severely dull, the most dissipated tenants of the square being boarding-house keepers of a highly sedate description. The secret of all this tremendous respectability is to be found in the contiguity to the Charter-House itself, a portion of whose buildings abut on the square, which, with many of the streets adjoining, belongs to this wealthy institution. Four years ago the place was so secluded that a stranger to London might have walked around the spot a dozen times without suspecting its existence, and living in one of its comfortable old mansions supposed himself in the cathedral close of a provincial city. The entrance to the Charter-House itself is under an archway through venerable oaken portals, which are said—and there seems no reason to question the statement—to be the identical gates of the monastery which occupied the ground in the time of Henry VIII. This monastery had been a religious house of the Carthusians.2 The order first came to England in 1180, and was seated at a place called Witham Priory3 in Somersetshire, to this day known as Charter-House Witham. There Henry II. founded and endowed a monastery. The London branch of the establishment at Witham was founded by Sir Walter de Manni, seigneur de Manni in Cambrai, France, who was made a knight of the Garter by Edward III., in reward for gallant services. Manni founded the house in pious commemoration of a decimating pestilence, on which occasion not fewer than fifty thousand persons are said to have been buried within the thirteen acres which he bought and enclosed, and a gentle eminence known as the "hill" in the play-ground, separating [pg 415] what was called "Upper Green" from "Under Green," is said to owe its shape to the thousands of bodies buried there. Manni died in 1371: his funeral was conducted with the utmost pomp, and attended by the king and the princes of the blood.

A hundred and fifty years rolled on without aught very momentous to interrupt the daily routine of the monks of Charter-House, who, had there not been a woman in the case, might possibly be the occupants of the ground to this day. When, however, Henry's fancy for Anne Boleyn led him to look with favor on the Reformation, the Charter-House, in common with other such establishments, came in for an ample share of Thomas Cromwell's scrutinizing inquiries. And a sad fate its occupants had. Required to take the oath of allegiance to Henry VIII., they refused. Froude, who gives them an extended notice, says: "In general, the house was perhaps the best ordered in England. The hospitality was well sustained, the charities were profuse. Among many good, the prior, John Haughton, was the best. He was of an old English family, and had been educated at Cambridge. He had been twenty years a Carthusian at the opening of the troubles of the Reformation. He is described as small of stature, in figure graceful, in countenance dignified: in manner he was most modest, in eloquence most sweet, in chastity without stain."

On the 4th of May, 1535, Haughton was executed with all the horrors attending the punishment of death for high treason in those barbarous times. He and his companions, certain monks of Sion Priory, died without a murmur, and Haughton's arm was hung up under the archway of the Charter-House beneath which the visitor drives to-day, to awe his brethren. The remnant never gave in. Some were executed; ten died of filth and fever in Newgate; and thus the noblest band of monks in the country was broken up by Henry's ruthless hand.

The Charter-House was then granted to two men, by name Bridges and Hall, for their lives, after which it was bestowed in 1545 on Sir E. North. North's son sold it to the duke of Norfolk, who resided there, on and off, until decapitated in 1572. The duke was beheaded by Elizabeth for intriguing with Mary queen of Scots, and the papers proving his offence are said to have been found concealed beneath the roof of the stately mansion he had erected for himself at the Charter-House.

Before the duke came to grief that most erratic of sovereigns was a visitor at his house—as indeed where was she not?—coming thence from Hampton Court in 1568, and remaining a day with him; and when her successor, James I., came to take up her English sceptre, he, mindful of what the Howards had suffered for their sympathy with his mother's cause, came straight thither from Theobalds, his halting-place next to London, and remained on a visit of four days.

From the duke of Norfolk the Charter-House passed to his eldest son by his second wife, Lord Thomas Howard, who was created by James I. earl of Suffolk;4 and he about 1609 sold it to Mr. Thomas Sutton.

Sutton's career was remarkable. It was said of the late earl of Derby that even had he been born in a shepherd's cot on Salisbury Plain, instead of in the purple at Knowsley, he would still have [pg 416] proved himself a remarkable man. In local phraseology, he was "bound to get on," and so was Thomas Sutton. The son of a country gentleman at a place called Knaith in Lincolnshire, he inherited early in life a good property from his father, and spent some time in traveling abroad. Then he became attached to the household of the duke of Norfolk, probably as surveyor and manager of that great peer's vast estates, and in 1569, when a serious disturbance broke out in the north of England, he repaired thither, and greatly distinguished himself in aiding to quell it. He then received the appointment of master-general of ordnance for the North for life.

Whilst in the North he found another mode of making hay whilst the sun shone. Soon after his arrival he bought a lease of the bishop of Durham of the manors of Gateshead and Wickham, and worked the collieries on these properties to such good purpose that, on coming up to London in 1580 he brought with him two horse-loads of money, and was reputed to be worth fifty thousand pounds—a great sum in those days.

About 1582 he increased his wealth by marriage, and commenced business as a merchant in London. His large amount of ready money—a commodity especially scarce in those days—soon enabled him to carry on very large commercial operations; and amongst other sources of wealth he probably derived considerable profit from his office of victualer of the navy. In 1590, finding himself without prospect of children, he withdrew from business, and retired to the country, having already invested largely in real estate. Although very frugal, there are sufficient evidences of his liberality to the poor on his property; and it seems not improbable that his charitable schemes now began to take definite form, for after his death a credible witness stated that Sutton was in the habit of repairing to a summer-house in his garden for private devotion, and on one of these occasions he heard him utter the words: "Lord, Thou hast given me a large and liberal estate: give me also a heart to make use thereof."

About 1608, when he had quite retired from the world, he was greatly exercised by a rumor that he was to be raised to the peerage—an honor which it was contemplated to bestow with the understanding that he would make Prince Charles, subsequently Charles I., his heir. This was a court intrigue to get his money, but an urgent appeal to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere and the earl of Salisbury, prime minister, appears to have put an end to trouble in the matter. He died on the 12th of December, 1611, at the age of seventy-nine, leaving immense wealth, and on the 12th of December, 1614, his body was brought on the shoulders of his pensioners to Charter-House Chapel, and interred in a vault ready for it there, beneath the huge monument erected to his memory.

"The death-day of the founder is still kept solemnly by Cistercians. In their chapel, where assemble the boys of the school and the fourscore old men of the hospital, the founder's tomb stands, a huge edifice emblazoned with heraldic decorations and clumsy, carved allegories. There is an old hall, a beautiful specimen of the architecture of James's time. An old hall? Many old halls, old staircases, old passages, old chambers decorated with old portraits, walking in the midst of which we walk as it were in the early seventeenth century. To others than Cistercians, Gray Friars is a dreary place possibly. Nevertheless, the pupils educated there love to revisit it, and the oldest of us grow young again for an hour or two as we come back into those scenes of childhood.

"The custom of the school is that on the 12th of December, the Founder's Day, the head gown-boy shall recite a Latin oration in praise Fundatoris Nostri, and upon other subjects; and a goodly company of old Cistercians is generally brought together to attend this oration; after which5 ... we adjourn to a great dinner, where old condisciples meet, old toasts are given and speeches are made. Before marching from the oration-hall to chapel the stewards of the day's [pg 417] dinner, according to old-fashioned rite, have wands put into their hands, walk to church at the head of the procession, and sit there in places of honor. The boys are already in their seats, with smug fresh faces and shining white collars; the old black-gowned pensioners are on their benches; the chapel is lighted, and Founder's tomb, with its grotesque carvings, monsters, heraldries, darkles and shines with the most wonderful shadows and lights. There he lies, Fundator Noster, in his ruff and gown, awaiting the great Examination Day. We oldsters, be we ever so old, become boys again as we look at that familiar old tomb, and think how the seats are altered since we were here; and how the doctor—not the present doctor, the doctor of our time—used to sit yonder, and his awful eye used to frighten us shuddering boys on whom it lighted; and how the boy next us would kick our shins during service-time; and how the monitor would cane us afterward because our shins were kicked....

"The service for Founder's Day is a special one. How solemn the well-remembered prayers are!... how beautiful and decorous the rite! how noble the ancient words of the supplication which the priest utters, and to which generations of fresh children and troops of bygone seniors have cried Amen under those arches!"6

Having resolved to found a charity which should provide both for young and old, Sutton, who had ample reason fully to appreciate the unprincipled and grasping character of the court, proceeded to take every precaution that sagacity and ingenuity could suggest to keep his money secure from the hands of such harpies as Carr and "Steenie," and hedge it round with every bulwark possible. Perhaps he consulted "Jingling Geordie," then planning his own singular scheme,7 on the point, and got him to persuade the king, always vain of his scholarship, that it would well become him to become patron of an institution having for one of its main objects the education of youth in sound learning. Be this as it may, the fact is certain that a degree of royal and other powerful protection was somehow secured for the institution which for all time prevented its funds from being diverted to other purposes.

Sutton's bequest of the bulk of his estate to charitable uses was not unnaturally viewed with strong disapprobation by his nephew, one Simon Baxter, for whom he had, however, not neglected to provide, who brought a suit to set aside the will. However, notwithstanding that he had Bacon for his counsel, he failed to interfere with his uncle's disposition of his estate; the court holding that the claims of kinship had been sufficiently recognized.8

In the same year, 1614, the institution opened. The rules and orders for its government may yet be seen, bearing the autograph signature of Charles I., then prince of Wales. From that time almost every man in the country, of the first rank of eminence by birth or fortune, has been a governor, and the name of Cromwell may be seen not far from that of Charles on the roll. Up to about 1850 the patronage was vested exclusively in the governors. Amongst these were always included—though not necessarily—the sovereign, the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London. The remainder were men eminent in Church or State, "the master of the hospital,"9 who must not be confounded with the school-master, being the only official member. The sovereign had two nominations to the other governors' one. Thackeray makes the great marquis of Steyne a governor, and shows how little [pg 418] Rawdon Crawley benefited by that august personage's patronage: "When Lord Steyne was benevolently disposed he did nothing by halves, and his kindness toward the Crawley family did the greatest honor to his benevolent discrimination. His lordship extended his goodness to little Rawdon: he pointed out to the boy's parents the necessity of sending him to a public school; that he was of an age now when emulation, the first principles of the Latin language, pugilistic exercises and the society of his fellow-boys would be of the greatest benefit to the boy.... All objections disappeared before the generous perseverance of the marquis. His lordship was one of the governors of that famous old collegiate institution called the White Friars. It had been a Cistercian convent in old days, when Smithfield, which is contiguous to it, was a tournament-ground. Obstinate heretics used to be brought thither, convenient for burning hard by. Harry VIII., the Defender of the Faith, seized upon the monastery and its possessions, and hanged and tortured some of the monks who could not accommodate themselves to the pace of his reform. Finally, a great merchant bought the house and land adjoining, in which, and with the help of other wealthy endowments of land and money, he established a famous foundation hospital for old men and children. An extern school grew round the old almost monastic foundation, which subsists still with its Middle-Age costume and usages; and all Cistercians pray that it may long flourish. Of this famous house some of the greatest noblemen, prelates and dignitaries of the land are governors; and as the boys are very comfortably lodged, fed and educated, and subsequently inducted to good scholarships at the university and livings in the Church, many little gentlemen are devoted to the ecclesiastical profession from their tenderest years, and there is considerable emulation to procure nominations for the foundation.

"It was originally intended for the sons of poor and deserving clerics and laics, but many of the noble governors of the institution, with an enlarged and rather capricious benevolence, selected all sorts of objects for their bounty. To get an education for nothing, and a future livelihood and profession assured, was so excellent a scheme that some of the richest people did not disdain it, and not only great men's relations, but great men themselves, sent their sons to profit by the chance."

A boy on the foundation received his education entirely free. Whilst within the walls he was clothed in black cloth at the expense of the house, and even had shirts and shoes provided for him. His only expenses were a fee to the matron of twenty-five dollars a year, and the cost of books, stationery, etc., the whole amounting to a sum less than one hundred dollars a year. On leaving school for college he received an allowance—four hundred dollars for three years, and five hundred dollars for the fourth.

There may have been a time when much of the patronage was improperly bestowed, but this certainly was not the case in our day. The majority of the boys on the foundation were the sons of well-born and often distinguished gentlemen of small means, and the sort of perversion of patronage to which Thackeray alludes had ceased to take place. When some of the places on the foundation were thrown open, it was a subject of general remark that several of the boys who got scholarships were those whose parents could perfectly have afforded to give them a first-class education.

Probably there will some day be a reaction in England in this matter. The prevalent present plan is to give every advantage to the clever boy (which means a boy who has a faculty for acquirement, but often lacks those qualities most needed to make him a valuable citizen), and to let those who are not so bright at book-learning, and need every aid, scramble along as they can. It was certainly not the system which Sutton designed, and there are not a few who, without being by any means bigoted conservatives, consider that the utter [pg 419] indifference displayed of late years to the intentions of founders is quite unjustifiable, and offers little encouragement to those who would be disposed to make similar bequests.

At Oxford, for instance, nearly every scholarship is now thrown open to general competition. This sounds very fine, but is in utter disregard of the fact that the founder in most instances was induced to bequeath his money with the view that those who came from the part of the country to which he himself belonged should benefit. Of course, time had rendered necessary certain changes, but these have been sweeping to a degree which is inconsistent with a due regard to the wills of the dead, and meanwhile no one seems disposed to admit that the public schools or universities turn out men one whit better than in days gone by, or indeed do more for the general education of the people.

Recently a sweeping change has been made at the Charter-House, which had seemed to be almost proof against innovation. So far as nominating boys to the foundation, the governors' patronage will, after one more term apiece, be at an end, and the privilege of participating in Button's benefits will be open to all boys who have been for some months members of the school, and are clever enough to beat their fellows in competition. The governors reserve, however, their right of nominating aged or disabled men, whose number now, we believe, amounts to one hundred.

A school-day at Charter-House began at eight, with what we called "first school." Prayers, lasting about five minutes, took place in the large school-room. These were read by a "gown-boy" monitor. The lessons at first school consisted entirely of repetition—repeating Latin poetry, and occasionally prose. As each boy finished his repetition—the boys being taken up in the order in which they were numbered the previous day—he left the school and went to breakfast. Breakfast consisted of an almost unlimited supply of hot rolls and butter and milk, but this was supplemented in the case of almost every boy by edibles purchased with his pocket-money. For those who had the privilege of fagging this was recognized and allowed, and in regard to the rest it was connived at, and marmalades, potted meats and such-like relishes freely circulated, being supplied for the most part by the servants, who drove a lively trade in such comestibles.

Toasting was brought to the very highest perfection. Never before or since have we tasted anything of its kind so good as a buttered roll toasted. It was a French roll buttered all over outside, and then skillfully grilled until the outside was a rich crisp brown. This was brought by the fag to his master "hot and hot," and, being cut open, eaten with butter. The rooms were warmed by immense open fireplaces, there being no limit to the expenditure of coal, which was prodigious.

In our time (1847-1853) there was an immense deal of fagging, which has been, we believe very properly, much diminished. Under boys were called in to perform many menial offices which should have been done by servants. The task-work which by "gown-boys" was most disliked was what was called being basonite. This duty devolved upon the twelve junior boys occupying what was known as "the under bedroom." To this hour we recall with horror how on a gloomy, foggy, wintry Monday morning we remembered on waking that it was our basonite week—for a fresh set of three went to work each Monday morning—and that we must get up and call the monitors. This basonite duty consisted of the most elaborate valeting. Each monitor's clothes were brushed, warm water was fetched and poured out for him, and everything so arranged that he might lie in bed up to the last possible moment, and then one small boy being ready with his coat, another with his waistcoat, and a third with his cap—be able to dress in five minutes and rush into school. At midday, when the monitors washed their hands for dinner, similar work had to be done, and again in the evening, when they washed their hands for supper. [pg 420] The only set-off to all this was that each monitor had been a basonite, and each basonite had a very good chance of becoming a monitor. But it was carrying the fagging system to far too great an extent, and the practice is now greatly modified.

The domestic arrangements were in many respects rough and comfortless, and so intensely conservative were the ruling powers in these respects that complaint or remonstrance scarcely received any attention. On the other hand, the utmost liberality prevailed in most matters. The foundation scholars' dinner, for instance, was provided in a long, low, old-fashioned, oak-paneled hall, admirably adapted for the purpose. The food was excellent in quality, unlimited in quantity, and very comfortably served. The only drawback was want of variety, and the perennial reappearance of raspberry tartlets every Wednesday at length provoked a mutiny against that form of pastry, the order being passed down that no one was to touch it.

An upper boy had two fags, the inferior of the two being called his tea-fag. A good feeling nearly always subsisted between master and fag, inasmuch as the former generally selected a boy he liked; and indeed in many cases the connection engendered a warm and lasting regard between the parties. The fag had access to his master's study, could retreat there to do his lessons in quiet, and not unfrequently was assisted in them by his master.

Those who came off worst were dirty boys: no mercy was shown them. One such we can recall—now a very spruce, well-appointed government official—whose obstinate adherence to dirt was marvelous, seeing what it cost him.

There are always some bullies among a lot of boys, but serious bullying was uncommon, and not unfrequently a hideous retribution befell a bully through some "big fellow" resolving to wreak on him what he inflicted on others. We can recall one very bright, brilliant youth, now high in the Indian civil service, whose drollery when bullying was irresistible, even to those who knew their turn might come next. "Come here, F——," we remember his saying to a fat youth of reputed uncleanness: then dropping his voice to a tone of subdued horror and solemnity, "I was shocked to hear you use a bad word just now." "No indeed, B——," protested the trembling F——. "Ah, well, I'm certain that you are now thinking it; and, besides, at any rate, you look fat and disgusting; so hold down your hands;" and poor F—— retired howling after a tremendous "swinger"—i.e. swinging box on the ear.

The school was divided into six forms, the sixth being the highest. Below the first form were two classes called upper and lower petties. Up to 1850, classics were the almost exclusive study, but the changes then made in the curriculum of studies at Oxford rendered attention to mathematics absolutely necessary. Much less stress was laid upon Latin verses at Charter-House than at Eton, and a Latin prose composition was regarded as the most important part of scholarship, inasmuch as a certain proficiency in it is a sine qua non at Oxford. French was taught twice a week by a master of celebrity, who, however, did not understand the art of dinning learning into unwilling boys. It rarely happens in England that boys acquire any real knowledge of French at school: those who gain the prizes are almost invariably boys who have resided abroad and picked up the language in childhood. Music was taught by Mr. Hullah, and attendance on the part of gown-boys was compulsory. Drawing and fencing were extras.

Very great importance was attached to the annual examination, which was conducted by examiners specially appointed by the governors. The result, which was kept a close secret until "Prize Saturday," was as eagerly looked forward to as the Derby by a betting man. The different forms were divided into classes, as at Oxford, according to merit, and the names printed along with the examination papers in pamphlet form. After this examination boys went up to the form above them, each boy usually remaining a year in each form. [pg 421] The system of punishment was as follows. A book called the "Black Book" was kept by the school monitor of the week, there being four gown-boy—that is, foundation—monitors who took the duty of school monitor in rotation. A boy put down for three offences during the same week was flogged, but the end of each week cleared off old scores. The entries were in this wise:

Name of Boy. Offence. By whom put down.
Robinson 1 Idle Dr. Saunders.
Smith 1, 2 Talking in School Mr. Curtis.

"Go and put your name down," a master would say. "Oh please, sir, I'm down twice." "Then put it down a third time." Then would follow entreaties, which, unless the delinquent had been previously privately marked down for execution, would probably avail. When a flogging offence was committed a boy was put down thus:

Robinson 1, 2, 3 Impertinent Mr.——.

The flogging varied much in severity according to the crime. The process was precisely the same as at Eton. Partially denuded of his nether garments, the victim knelt upon the block, the monitor standing at his head. The birches were kept in a long box which served as a settee, and were furnished periodically by the man who brought the fire fagots. Now and again the box would, by the carelessness of the functionary called "the school-groom," be left open, and it was then considered a point of honor on the part of an under boy to promptly avail himself of the opportunity to "skin" the rods—i.e. draw them through a piece of stuff in such a way as to take the buds off, after which they hurt very much less.

Serious offences, such as insubordination and gross disobedience, were punished by a flogging with two birches, which was too severe a punishment. The degree of pain varied very much according to the delicacy of skin, and no doubt some boys—one of our comrades had been flogged about twenty-five times—did not feel much after many floggings, becoming literally case-hardened; whereas, we have known a boy compelled to stay in bed two or three days from the effects of a flogging which would have left little mark upon the "twenty-fiver." When a victim issued from the flogging-room the questions from an eager throng were, "How many cuts, old fellow? Did it take much? You howled like the devil!"10

The monitors were furnished with small canes, which they were permitted to use with moderation, but nothing like the horrible process of "tunding," as at Winchester, was known. The theory of entrusting this power to monitors is, that if you do not give certain boys the [pg 422] right to punish, might will be right, whilst the monitors, being duly made to feel their responsibility, will only punish where punishment is properly due, and will serve as a protection to the weak.

There was a half-holiday every Wednesday and Saturday. Every Saturday upper boys who had friends might go out from Saturday till Sunday night, and lower boys were allowed to do the same every other Saturday. These events were of course greatly looked forward to from week to week. Not the least agreeable feature was the probable addition to pocket-money, for in England it is the custom to "tip" school-boys, and we have ourselves come back joyous on a Sunday evening with six sovereigns chinking in our pockets. Alas, no one tips us now! Then there was the delight of comparing notes of the doings during the delightful preceding twenty-four hours. Thus, whilst Brown detailed the delights of the pantomime to which Uncle John had taken him on Saturday night, Robinson descanted on the marvels of the Zoological Gardens, with special reference to the free-and-easy life of monkeydom, and Smith never wearied of enlarging on the terrors and glories of the Tower of London. Altogether, there were fourteen weeks' holiday in the year—six weeks in August, five at Christmas and three at Whitsuntide, with two days at Easter.

There were several beds in each bedroom, and there was a very strict rule that the most perfect order should prevail—in fact, lower boys were forbidden to talk; but talk they always did, and long stories, often protracted for nights, were told; and for our part, we must confess that we have never enjoyed any fictions more than those.

Evening prayers took place in the several houses at nine, after which the lower boys went to bed. A junior master—there was one to each house—always attended at prayers, which were read by a monitor. Before prayers names were called over and every boy accounted for.

Although in the midst of brick and mortar, two large spaces, containing several acres, were available for cricket, whilst foot-ball—and very fierce games of it, too—was usually played in the curious old cloisters of the Chartreuse monks which opened on "Upper Green." The grass-plot of Upper Green was kept sacred from the feet of under boys except in "cricket quarter," as the summer quarter was termed. It was rolled, watered and attended to with an assiduity such as befalls few spots of ground in the world. The roof of the cloisters was a terrace flagged with stone, and on the occasion of cricket-matches a gay bevy of ladies assembled here to look at the exploits of the young Rawdon Crawleys and Pendennises of the day. Immediately opposite the terrace, across the green, on the immensely high blank wall, was the word "Crown" rudely painted, and above it what was intended as a representation of that sign of sovereignty. This had a history. It was said to have been written there originally by "the bold and strong-minded Law," commemorated by Macaulay in his Warren Hastings article, who became Lord Ellenborough, and the last lord chief-justice who had the honor of a seat in the cabinet. It was probably put up originally as a goal for boys running races, and for nearly a century was regularly repainted as commemorative of a famous alumnus who was so fondly attached to the place of his early education that he desired to be buried in its chapel, and an imposing monument to his memory may be seen on its walls. Between Upper and Under Greens, on the slight eminence to which we have alluded, stood "School," a large ugly edifice of brick mounted with stone, which derived an interest in the eyes of those educated there from the fact that the names of hundreds of old Carthusians were engraven on its face; for it was the custom of boys leaving school to have their names bracketed with those of friends; and when Brown took his departure his name was duly cut, with a space left for Robinson's name when the time of his departure came.

These stones have now exchanged the [pg 423] murky air of London for that of one of the pleasantest sites in Surrey. Charter-House School has, after passing two hundred and sixty years in the metropolis, changed its location, and must be looked for now on a delightful spot near Godalming in Surrey. The governors very wisely determined about five years ago that boys were much better in country than in town, and, having ample funds, took measures accordingly. Last October the new buildings were ready for the boys' reception, and they met there for the first time. The stones, however, were, with a sentiment most will appreciate, removed, in order to connect the past with the present, for the Charter-House must ever have many tender ties binding it to the site of the old monastery with its rich historic memories; and however famous may be the men who go forth from the new ground which Sutton's famous foundation occupies, it must derive a great part of its fame for a long time to come from the place which sent out into the world Addison, Steele, Thirlwall, Grote, Leech and Thackeray, not to mention a host of names of those who in arms and arts have done credit to the place of their education.11

The home for aged and infirm or disabled men will remain where it has always been. This establishment has indeed been a welcome refuge to thousands who have known better days. Men of all ranks and conditions, who have experienced in the afternoon of life contrary winds too powerful for them to encounter, have here found a haven for the remnant of their days. Some have held most important positions, and a lord mayor of London, who had received emperors at his table, was a few years ago one of Sutton's "poor brethren." The pensioners were always called cods by the boys, probably short for codgers. Each had a room plainly furnished, about one hundred and fifty dollars a year, rations, and a dinner every day in the great hall. The boys, who did not often know their names, gave them nicknames by which they became generally known. Thus three were called "Battle," "Murder" and "Sudden Death;" another "Larky," in consequence of a certain levity of demeanor at divine service. These old gentlemen were expected to attend chapel daily. Every evening at nine o'clock the chapel bell tolled the exact number of them, just as Great Tom at Christ Church, Oxford, nightly rings out the number of the students. Being for the most part aged men, soured by misfortune and failure, they are naturally enough often hard to please and difficult to deal with.

No passage in Thackeray's writings is more deeply pathetic than that in which he records the last scene of one "poor brother," that Bayard of fiction, Colonel Newcome: "At the usual evening hour the chapel-bell began to toll, and Thomas Newcome's hands outside the bed feebly beat time. And just as the last bell struck, a peculiar sweet smile shone over his face, and he lifted up his head a little, and quickly said, 'Adsum!' and fell back. It was the word he used at school when names, were called; and lo, he whose heart was as that of a little child had answered to his name and stood in the presence of the Master."


Footnote 2: (return)

The original seat of the Carthusian order was at Chartreux in Dauphiny, where it was founded by Saint Bruno.

Footnote 3: (return)

Witham, which is not far from Fonthill, became in 1763 the property of Alderman Beckford, the millionaire father of the celebrated author of Vathek.

Footnote 4: (return)

Lord Suffolk probably applied the purchase-money (thirteen thousand pounds) to help build the palace, called Audley End or Inn, he raised in Essex. It stands on abbey-land granted by Henry VIII. to his wife's father, Lord Audley of Walden, near Saffron-Walden in Essex, and was generally regarded as the most magnificent structure of its period, although Evelyn gives the preference to Clarendon House, that grand mansion of the chancellor's which provoked so much jealousy against him, and came to be called Dunkirk House, from the insinuation that it was built out of the funds paid by the French for Dunkirk. Abbey-lands are supposed by many to carry ill-luck with them, and quickly to change hands. Audley End has proved no exception to this hypothetical fate. Only a portion of it now remains, but this, though much marred by injudicious alterations, is amply sufficient to show how grand it was. It has long since passed out of the hands of the Howards, and now belongs to Lord Braybrooke, whose family name is Nevill. A relation of his, a former peer of the name, edited the best edition of Pepys' Diary, in which and in Evelyn is frequent reference to Audley End.

Footnote 5: (return)

The order of proceedings was subsequently inverted.

Footnote 6: (return)

The Newcomers: "Founder's Day at Gray Friars." On one of the last Founder's Days of his life Thackeray came with a friend early in the day, and scattered half sovereigns to the little gown-boys in "Gown-boys' Hall."

Footnote 7: (return)

Heriot's Hospital at Edinburgh.

Footnote 8: (return)

Simon Baxter was his only sister's son. Sutton had left him an estate which in 1615 he sold to the ancestor of the present earl of Sefton for fifteen thousand pounds—equal to about seventy-five thousand pounds now—and a legacy of three hundred pounds.

Footnote 9: (return)

This was a post which Thackeray coveted, and had he lived might possibly have filled. The master's lodge, a spacious antique residence, lined with portraits of governors in their robes of estate, by Lely, Kneller, etc., would in his hands have become a resort of rare interest and hospitality.

Footnote 10: (return)

In what is known as "The Charter-House Play," which describes some boyish orgies and their subsequent punishment, the latter is described in the pathetic lines:

Now the victim low is bending,

Now the fearful rod descending,

Hark a blow! Again, again

Sounds the instrument of pain.

Goddess of mercy! oh impart

Thy kindness to the doctor's heart:

Bid him words of pardon say—

Cast the blood-stained scourge away.

In vain, in vain! he will not hear:

Mercy is a stranger there.

Justice, unrelenting dame,

First asserts her lawful claim.

This is aye her maxim true:

"They who sin must suffer too."

When of fun we've had our fill,

Justice then sends in her bill,

And as soon as we have read it,

Pay we must: she gives no credit.

There is some rather fine doggerel too, in which the doctor—the Dr. Portman Pendennis—apostrophizes a monitor in whom he had believed, but finds to have been as bad as the rest. The Doctor (with voice indicative of tears and indignation):

Oh, Simon Steady! Simon Steady, oh!

What would your father say to see you so?—

You whom I always trusted, whom I deemed

As really good and honest as you seemed.

Are you the leader of this lawless throng,

The chief of all that's dissolute and wrong?

Then with awful emphasis:

Bad is the drunkard, shameless is the youth

Who dares desert the sacred paths of truth;

But he who hides himself 'neath Virtue's pall,

The painted hypocrite, is worse than all!

In acting this play the manner of the real doctor (Mr. Gladstone's old tutor, now dean of Peterborough) was often imitated to the life, which of course brought down the house.

Footnote 11: (return)

In his curious London and the Country, Carbonadoed and Quartered into severall Characters (1632), Lupton writes under the head of


"This place is well described by three things—magnificence, munificence and religious government. The first shows the wealth of the founder; the second, the means to make the good thing done durable; the third demonstrates his intent that thus established it.... This one place hath sent many a famous member to the universities, and not a few to the wars. The deed of this man that so ordered this house is much spoken of and commended; but there's none (except only one—Sion College) that hath as yet either striven to equal or imitate that, and I fear never will."

[pg 424]




Early morning at Borva, fresh, luminous and rare; the mountains in the south grown pale and cloud-like under a sapphire sky; the sea ruffled into a darker blue by a light breeze from the west: and the sunlight lying hot on the red gravel and white shells around Mackenzie's house. There is an odor of sweetbrier about, hovering in the warm, still air, except at such times as the breeze freshens a bit, and brings round the shoulder of the hill the cold, strange scent of the rocks and the sea beyond.

And on this fresh and pleasant morning Sheila sat in the big garden seat in front of the house, talking to the stranger to whom she had been introduced the day before. He was no more a stranger, however, to all appearance, for what could be more frank and friendly than their conversation, or more bright and winning than the smile with which she frequently turned to speak or to listen? Of course this stranger could not be her friend as Mr. Ingram was—that was impossible. But he talked a great deal more than Mr. Ingram, and was apparently more anxious to please and be pleased; and indeed was altogether very winning and courteous and pleasant in his ways. Beyond this vague impression, Sheila ventured upon no further comparison between the two men. If her older friend had been down, she would doubtless have preferred talking to him about all that had happened in the island since his last visit; but here was this newer friend thrown, as it were, upon her hospitality, and eager, with a most respectful and yet simple and friendly interest, to be taught all that Ingram already knew. Was he not, too, in mere appearance like one of the princes she had read of in many an ancient ballad—tall and handsome and yellow-haired, fit to have come sailing over the sea, with a dozen merry comrades, to carry off some sea-king's daughter to be his bride? Sheila began to regret that the young man knew so little about the sea and the northern islands and those old-time stories; but then he was very anxious to learn.

"You must say Mach-Klyoda instead of Macleod," she was saying to him, "if you like Styornoway better than Stornoway. It is the Gaelic, that is all."

"Oh, it is ever so much prettier," said young Lavender with a quite genuine enthusiasm in his face, not altogether begotten of the letter y; "and indeed I don't think you can possibly tell how singularly pleasant and quaint it is to an English ear to hear just that little softening of the vowels that the people have here. I suppose you don't notice that they say gyarden for garden—"

"They!" As if he had paid attention to the pronunciation of any one except Sheila herself!

"—but not quite so hard as I pronounce it. And so with a great many other words, that are softened and sweetened, and made almost poetical in their sound by the least bit of inflection. How surprised and pleased English ladies would be to hear you speak! Oh, I beg your pardon—I did not mean to—I—I beg your pardon—"

Sheila seemed a little astonished by her companion's evident mortification, and said with a smile, "If others speak so in the island, of course I must too; and you say it does not shock you."

His distress at his own rudeness now found an easy vent. He protested that no people could talk English like the people of Lewis. He gave Sheila to understand that the speech of English folks was as the croaking of ravens compared with the sweet tones of the northern isles; and this drew him on to speak of his friends in the South and [pg 425] of London, and of the chances of Sheila ever going thither.

"It must be so strange never to have seen London," he said. "Don't you ever dream of what it is like? Don't you ever try to think of a great space, nearly as big as this island, all covered over with large houses, the roads between the houses all made of stone, and great bridges going over the rivers, with railway-trains standing? By the way, you have never seen a railway-engine!"

He looked at her for a moment in astonishment, as if he had not hitherto realized to himself the absolute ignorance of the remote princess. Sheila, with some little touch of humor appearing in her calm eyes, said, "But I am not quite ignorant of all these things. I have seen pictures of them, and my papa has described them to me so often that I will feel as if I had seen them all; and I do not think I should be surprised, except, perhaps, by the noise of the big towns. It was many a time my papa told me of that; but he says I cannot understand it, nor the great distance of land you travel over to get to London. That is what I do not wish to see. I was often thinking of it, and that to pass so many places that you do not know would make you very sad."

"That can be easily avoided," he said lightly. "When you go to London, you must go from Glasgow or Edinburgh in a night-train, and fall fast asleep, and in the morning you will find yourself in London, without having seen anything."

"Just as if one had gone across a great distance of sea, and come to another island you will never see before," said Sheila, with the gray-blue eyes under the black eyelashes grown strange and distant.

"But you must not think of it as a melancholy thing," he said, almost anxiously. "You will find yourself among all sorts of gayeties and amusements; you will have cheerful people around you, and plenty of things to see; you will drive in beautiful parks, and go to theatres, and meet people in large and brilliant rooms, filled with flowers and silver and light. And all through the winter, that must be so cold and dark up here, you will find abundance of warmth and light, and plenty of flowers, and every sort of pleasant thing. You will hear no more of those songs of drowned people; and you will be afraid no longer of the storms, or listen to the waves at night; and by and by, when you have got quite accustomed to London, and got a great many friends, you might be disposed to stay there altogether; and you would grow to think of this island as a desolate and melancholy place, and never seek to come back."

The girl rose suddenly and turned to a fuchsia tree, pretending to pick some of its flowers. Tears had sprung to her eyes unbidden, and it was in rather an uncertain voice that she said, still managing to conceal her face, "I like to hear you talk of those places, but—but I will never leave Borva."

What possible interest could he have in combating this decision so anxiously, almost so imploringly? He renewed his complaints against the melancholy of the sea and the dreariness of the northern winters. He described again and again the brilliant lights and colors of town-life in the South. As a mere matter of experience and education she ought to go to London; and had not her papa as good as intimated his intention of taking her?

In the midst of these representations a step was heard in the hall, and then the girl looked round with a bright light on her face.

"Well, Sheila?" said Ingram, according to his custom, and both the girl's hands were in his the next minute. "You are down early. What have you been about? Have you been telling Mr. Lavender of the Black Horse of Loch Suainabhal?"

"No: Mr. Lavender has been telling me of London."

"And I have been trying to induce Miss Mackenzie to pay us a visit, so that we may show her the difference between a city and an island. But all to no purpose. Miss Mackenzie seems to like hard winters and darkness and cold; [pg 426] and as for that perpetual and melancholy and cruel sea, that in the winter-time I should fancy might drive anybody into a lunatic asylum—"

"Ah, you must not talk badly of the sea," said the girl, with all her courage and brightness returned to her face: "it is our very good friend. It gives us food, and keeps many people alive. It carries the lads away to other places, and brings them back with money in their pockets—"

"And sometimes it smashes a few of them on the rocks, or swallows up a dozen families, and the next morning it is as smooth and treacherous and fair as if nothing had happened."

"But that is not the sea at all," said Sheila: "that is the storms that will wreck the boats; and how can the sea help that? When the sea is let alone the sea is very good to us."

Ingram laughed aloud and patted the girl's head fondly; and Lavender, blushing a little, confessed he was beaten, and that he would never again, in Miss Mackenzie's presence, say anything against the sea.

The King of Borva now appearing, they all went in to breakfast; and Sheila sat opposite the window, so that all the light coming in from the clear sky and the sea was reflected upon her face, and lit up every varying expression that crossed it or that shone up in the beautiful deeps of her eyes. Lavender, his own face in shadow, could look at her from time to time, himself unseen; and as he sat in almost absolute silence, and noticed how she talked with Ingram, and what deference she paid him, and how anxious she was to please him, he began to wonder if he should ever be admitted to a like friendship with her. It was so strange, too, that this handsome, proud-featured, proud-spirited girl should so devote herself to the amusement of a man like Ingram, and, forgetting all the court that should have been paid to a pretty woman, seem determined to persuade him that he was conferring a favor upon her by every word and look. Of course, Lavender admitted to himself, Ingram was a very good sort of fellow—a very good sort of fellow indeed. If any one was in a scrape about money, Ingram would come to the rescue without a moment's hesitation, although the salary of a clerk in the Board of Trade might have been made the excuse, by any other man, for a very justifiable refusal. He was very clever too—had read much, and all that kind of thing. But he was not the sort of man you might expect to get on well with women. Unless with very intimate friends, he was a trifle silent and reserved. Often he was inclined to be pragmatic and sententious, and had a habit of saying unpleasantly bitter things when some careless joke was being made. He was a little dingy in appearance; and a man who had a somewhat cold manner, who was sallow of face, who was obviously getting gray, and who was generally insignificant in appearance, was not the sort of man, one would think, to fascinate an exceptionally handsome girl, who had brains enough to know the fineness of her own face. But here was this princess paying attentions to him such as must have driven a more impressionable man out of his senses, while Ingram sat quiet and pleased, sometimes making fun of her, and generally talking to her as if she were a child. Sheila had chatted very pleasantly with him, Lavender, in the morning, but it was evident that her relations with Ingram were of a very different kind, such as he could not well understand. For it was scarcely possible that she could be in love with Ingram, and yet surely the pleasure that dwelt in her expressive face when she spoke to him or listened to him was not the result of a mere friendship.

If Lavender had been told at that moment that these two were lovers, and that they were looking forward to an early marriage, he would have rejoiced with an enthusiasm of joy. He would have honestly and cordially shaken Ingram by the hand; he would have made plans for introducing the young bride to all the people he knew; and he would have gone straight off, on reaching London, to buy Sheila a diamond necklace [pg 427] even if he had to borrow the money from Ingram himself.

"And have you got rid yet of the Airgiod-cearc12 Sheila?" said Ingram, suddenly breaking in upon these dreams; "or does every owner of hens still pay his annual shilling to the Lord of Lewis?"

"It is not away yet," said the girl, "but when Sir James comes in the autumn I will go over to Stornoway and ask him to take away the tax; and I know he will do it, for what is the shilling worth to him, when he has spent thousands and thousands of pounds on the Lewis? But it will be very hard on some of the poor people that only keep one or two hens; and I will tell Sir James of all that—"

"You will do nothing of the kind, Sheila," said her father impatiently. "What is the Airgiod-cearc to you, that you will go over to Stornoway only to be laughed at and make a fool of yourself?"

"That is nothing, not anything at all," said the girl, "if Sir James will only take away the tax."

"Why, Sheila, they would treat you as another Lady Godiva!" said Ingram, with a good-humored smile.

"But Miss Mackenzie is quite right," exclaimed Lavender, with a sudden flush of color leaping into his handsome face and an honest glow of admiration into his eyes. "I think it is a very noble thing for her to do, and nobody, either in Stornoway or anywhere else, would be such a brute as to laugh at her for trying to help those poor people, who have not too many friends and defenders, God knows!"

Ingram looked surprised. Since when had the young gentleman across the table acquired such a singular interest in the poorer classes, of whose very existence he had for the most part seemed unaware? But the enthusiasm in his face was quite honest: there could be no doubt of that. As for Sheila, with a beating heart she ventured to send to her champion a brief and timid glance of gratitude, which the young man observed, and never forgot.

"You will not know what it is all about," said the King of Borva with a peevish air, as though it were too bad that a person of his authority should have to descend to petty details about a hen-tax. "It is many and many a tax and a due Sir James will take away from his tenants in the Lewis, and he will spend more money a thousand times than ever he will get back; and it was this Airgiod-cearc, it will stand in the place of a great many other things taken away, just to remind the folk that they have not their land all in their own right. It is many things you will have to do in managing the poor people, not to let them get too proud, or forgetful of what they owe to you; and now there is no more tacksmen to be the masters of the small crofters, and the crofters they would think they were landlords themselves if there were no dues for them to pay."

"I have heard of those middlemen: they were dreadful tyrants and thieves, weren't they?" said Lavender. Ingram kicked his foot under the table. "I mean, that was the popular impression of them—a vulgar error, I presume," continued the young man in the coolest manner. "And so you have got rid of them? Well, I dare say many of them were honest men, and suffered very unjustly in common report."

Mackenzie answered nothing, but his daughter said quickly, "But, you know, Mr. Lavender, they have not gone away merely because they cease to have the letting of the land to the crofters. They have still their old holdings, and so have the crofters in most cases. Every one now holds direct from the proprietor, that is all."

"So that there is no difference between the former tacksman and his serf except the relative size of their farms?"

"Well, the crofters have no leases, but the tacksmen have," said the girl somewhat timidly; and then she added, "But you have not decided yet, Mr. Ingram, what you will do to-day. It is too clear for the salmon-fishing. Will you go over to Meavig, and show Mr. Lavender the Bay of Uig and the Seven Hunters?"

"Surely we must show him Borvabost first, Sheila," said Ingram. "He saw [pg 428] nothing of it last night in the dark; and I think, if you offered to take Mr. Lavender round in your boat and show him what a clever sailor you are, he would prefer that to walking over the hill."

"I can take you all round in the boat, certainly," said the girl with a quick blush of pleasure; and forthwith a message was sent to Duncan that cushions should be taken down to the Maighdean-mhara, the little vessel of which Sheila was both skipper and pilot.

How beautiful was the fair sea-picture that lay around them as the Maighdean-mhara stood out to the mouth of Loch Roag on this bright summer morning! Sheila sat in the stern of the small boat, her hand on the filler. Lufrath lay at her feet, his nose between the long and shaggy paws. Duncan, grave and watchful as to the wind and the points of the coast, sat amidships, with the sheets of the mainsail held fast, and superintended the seamanship of his young mistress with a respectful but most evident pride. And as Ingram had gone off with Mackenzie to walk over to the White Water before going down to Borvabost, Frank Lavender was Sheila's sole companion out in this wonderland of rock and sea and blue sky.

He did not talk much to her, and she was so well occupied with the boat that he could regard with impunity the shifting lights and graces of her face and all the wonder and winning depths of her eyes. The sea was blue around them; the sky overhead had not a speck of cloud in it; the white sand-bays, the green stretches of pasture and the far and spectral mountains trembled in a haze of sunlight. Then there was all the delight of the fresh and cool wind, the hissing of the water along the boat, and the joyous rapidity with which the small vessel, lying over a little, ran through the crisply curling waters, and brought into view the newer wonders of the opening sea.

Was it not all a dream, that he should be sitting by the side of this sea-princess, who was attended only by her deerhound and the tall keeper? And if a dream, why should it not go on for ever? To live for ever in this magic land—to have the princess herself carry him in this little boat into the quiet bays of the islands, or out at night, in moonlight, on the open sea—to forget for ever the godless South and its social phantasmagoria, and live in this beautiful and distant solitude, with the solemn secrets of the hills and the moving deep for ever present to the imagination, might not that be a nobler life? And some day or other he would take this island-princess up to London, and he would bid the women that he knew—the scheming mothers and the doll-like daughters—stand aside from before this perfect work of God. She would carry with her the mystery of the sea in the deeps of her eyes, and the music of the far hills would be heard in her voice, and all the sweetness and purity and brightness of the clear summer skies would be mirrored in her innocent soul. She would appear in London as some wild-plumaged bird hailing from distant climes, and before she had lived there long enough to grow sad, and have the weight of the city clouding the brightness of her eyes, she would be spirited away again into this strange sea-kingdom, where there seemed to be perpetual sunshine and the light music of the waves.

Poor Sheila! She little knew what was expected of her, or the sort of drama into which she was being thrown as a central figure. She little knew that she, a simple Highland girl, was being transformed into a wonderful creature of romance, who was to put to shame the gentle dames and maidens of London society, and do many other extraordinary things. But what would have appeared the most extraordinary of all these speculations, if she had only known of them, was the assumption that she would marry Frank Lavender. That the young man had quite naturally taken for granted, but perhaps only as a basis for his imaginative scenes. In order to do these fine things she would have to be married to somebody, and why not to himself? Think of the pride he would have in leading this beautiful girl, with her quaint manners and fashion of speech, into a [pg 429] London drawing-room! Would not every one wish to know her? Would not every one listen to her singing of those Gaelic songs? for of course she must sing well. Would not all his artist friends be anxious to paint her? and she would go to the Academy to convince the loungers there how utterly the canvas had failed to catch the light and dignity and sweetness of her face.

When Sheila spoke he started.

"Did you not see it?"


"The seal: it rose for a moment just over there," said the girl, with a great interest visible in her eyes.

The beautiful dreams he had been dreaming were considerably shattered by this interruption. How could a fairy princess be so interested in some common animal showing its head out of the sea? It also occurred to him, just at this moment, that if Sheila and Mairi went out in this boat by themselves, they must be in the habit of hoisting up the mainsail; and was such rude and coarse work befitting the character of a princess?

"He looks very like a black man in the water when his head comes up," said Sheila—"when the water is smooth so that you will see him look at you. But I have not told you yet about the Black Horse that Alister-nan-Each saw at Loch Suainabhal one night. Loch Suainabhal, that is inland and fresh water, so it was not a seal; but Alister was going along the shore, and he saw it lying up by the road, and he looked at it for a long time. It was quite black, and he thought it was a boat; but when he came near he saw it begin to move, and then it went down across the shore and splashed into the loch. And it had a head bigger than a horse, and quite black, and it made a noise as it went down the shore to the loch."

"Don't you think Alister must have been taking a little whisky, Miss Mackenzie?"

"No, not that, for he came to me just after he will see the beast."

"And do you really believe he saw such an animal?" said Lavender with a smile.

"I do not know," said the girl gravely. "Perhaps it was only a fright, and he imagined he saw it; but I do not know it is impossible there can be such an animal at Loch Suainabhal. But that is nothing: it is of no consequence. But I have seen stranger things than the Black Horse, that many people will not believe."

"May I ask what they are?" he said gently.

"Some other time, perhaps, I will tell you; but there is much explanation about it, and, you see, we are going in to Borvabost."

Was this, then, the capital of the small empire over which the princess ruled? He saw before him but a long row of small huts or hovels resembling bee-hives, which stood above the curve of a white bay, and at one portion of the bay was a small creek, near which a number of large boats, bottom upward, lay on the beach. What odd little dwellings those were! The walls, a few feet high, were built of rude blocks of stone or slices of turf, and from those low supports rose a rounded roof of straw, which was thatched over by a further layer of turf. There were few windows, and no chimneys at all—not even a hole in the roof. And what was meant by the two men who, standing on one of the turf walls, were busily engaged in digging into the rich brown and black thatch and heaving it into a cart? Sheila had to explain to him that while she was doing everything in her power to get the people to suffer the introduction of windows, it was hopeless to think of chimneys; for by carefully guarding against the egress of the peat-smoke, it slowly saturated the thatch of the roof, which at certain periods of the year was then taken off to dress the fields, and a new roof of straw put on.

By this time they had run the Maighdean-mhara—the "Sea Maiden"—into a creek, and were climbing up the steep beach of shingle that had been worn smooth by the unquiet waters of the Atlantic.

"And will you want to speak to me, Ailasa?" said Sheila, turning to a small [pg 430] girl who had approached her somewhat diffidently.

She was a pretty little thing, with a round fair face tanned by the sun, brown hair and soft dark eyes. She was bare-headed, bare-footed and bare-armed, but she was otherwise smartly dressed, and she held in her hand an enormous flounder, apparently about half as heavy as herself.

"Will ye hef the fesh, Miss Sheila?" said the small Ailasa, holding out the flounder, but looking down all the same.

"Did you catch it yourself, Ailasa?"

"Yes, it wass Donald and me: we wass out in a boat, and Donald had a line."

"And it is a present for me?" said Sheila, patting the small head and its wild and soft hair. "Thank you, Ailasa. But you must ask Donald to carry it up to the house and give it to Mairi. I cannot take it with me just now, you know."

There was a small boy cowering behind one of the upturned boats, and by his furtive peepings showing that he was in league with his sister. Ailasa, not thinking that she was discovering his whereabouts, turned quite naturally in that direction, until she was suddenly stopped by Lavender, who called to her and put his hand in his pocket. But he was too late. Sheila had stepped in, and with a quick look, which was all the protest that was needed, shut her hand over the half crown he had in his fingers.

"Never mind, Ailasa," she said. "Go away and get Donald, and bid him carry the fish up to Mairi."

Lavender put up the half crown in his pocket in a somewhat dazed fashion: what he chiefly knew was that Sheila had for a moment held his hand in hers and that her eyes had met his.

Well, that little incident of Ailasa and the flounder was rather pleasant to him. It did not shock the romantic associations he had begun to weave around his fair companion. But when they had gone up to the cottages—Mackenzie and Ingram not yet having arrived—and when Sheila proceeded to tell him about the circumstances of the fishermen's lives, and to explain how such and such things were done in the fields and in the pickling-houses, and so forth, Lavender was a little disappointed. Sheila took him into some of the cottages, or rather hovels, and he vaguely knew in the darkness that she sat down by the low glow of the peat-fire, and began to ask the women about all sorts of improvements in the walls and windows and gardens, and what not. Surely it was not for a princess to go advising people about particular sorts of soap, or offering to pay for a pane of glass if the husband of the woman would make the necessary aperture in the stone wall. The picture of Sheila appearing as a sea-princess in a London drawing-room was all very beautiful in its way, but here she was discussing as to the quality given to broth by the addition of a certain vegetable which she offered to send down from her own garden if the cottager in question would try to grow it.

"I wonder, Miss Mackenzie," he said at length, when they got outside, his eyes dazed with the light and smarting with the peat-smoke—"I wonder you can trouble yourself with such little matters that those people should find out for themselves."

The girl looked up with some surprise: "That is the work I have to do. My papa cannot do everything in the island."

"But what is the necessity for your bothering yourself about such things? Surely they ought to be able to look after their own gardens and houses. It is no degradation—certainly not, for anything you interested yourself in would become worthy of attention by the very fact—but, after all, it seems such a pity you should give up your time to these commonplace details."

"But some one must do it," said the girl quite innocently, "and my papa has no time. And they will be very good in doing what I ask them—every one in the island."

Was this a willful affectation? he said to himself. Or was she really incapable of understanding that there was anything incongruous in a young lady of [pg 431] her position, education and refinement busying herself with the curing of fish and the cost of lime? He had himself marked the incongruity long ago, when Ingram had been telling him of the remote and beautiful maiden whose only notions of the world had been derived from literature—who was more familiar with the magic land in which Endymion wandered than with any other—and that at the same time she was about as good as her father at planning a wooden bridge over a stream. When Lavender had got outside again—when he found himself walking with her along the white beach in front of the blue Atlantic—she was again the princess of his dreams. He looked at her face, and he saw in her eyes that she must be familiar with all the romantic nooks and glades of English poetry. The plashing of the waves down there and the music of her voice recalled the sad legends of the fishermen he hoped to hear her sing. But ever and anon there occurred a jarring recollection—whether arising from a contradiction between his notion of Sheila and the actual Sheila, or whether from some incongruity in himself, he did not stop to consider. He only knew that a beautiful maiden who had lived by the sea all her life, and who had followed the wanderings of Endymion in the enchanted forest, need not have been so particular about a method of boiling potatoes, or have shown so much interest in a pattern for children's frocks.

Mackenzie and Ingram met them. There was the usual "Well, Sheila?" followed by a thousand questions about the very things she had been inquiring into. That was one of the odd points about Ingram that puzzled and sometimes vexed Lavender; for if you are walking home at night it is inconvenient to be accompanied by a friend who would stop to ask about the circumstances of some old crone hobbling along the pavement, or who could, on his own doorstep, stop to have a chat with a garrulous policeman. Ingram was about as odd as Sheila herself in the attention he paid to those wretched cotters and their doings. He could not advise on the important subject of broth, but he would have tasted it by way of discovery, even if it had been presented to him in a tea-cup. He had already been prowling round the place with Mackenzie. He had inspected the apparatus in the creek for hauling up the boats. He had visited the curing-houses. He had examined the heaps of fish drying on the beach. He had drunk whisky with John the Piper and shaken hands with Alister-nan-Each. And now he had come to tell Sheila that the piper was bringing down luncheon from Mackenzie's house, and that after they had eaten and drunk on the white beach they would put out the Maighdean-mhara once more to sea, and sail over to Mevaig, that the stranger might see the wondrous sands of the Bay of Uig.

But it was not in consonance with the dignity of a king that his guests should eat from off the pebbles, like so many fishermen, and when Mairi and another girl brought down the baskets, luncheon was placed in the stern of the small vessel, while Duncan got up the sails and put out from the stone quay. As for John the Piper, was he insulted at having been sent on a menial errand? They had scarcely got away from the shore when the sounds of the pipes was wafted to them from the hillside above, and it was the "Lament of Mackrimmon" that followed them out to sea:

Mackrimmon shall no more return,

Oh never, never more return!

That was the wild and ominous air that was skirling up on the hillside; and Mackenzie's face, as he heard it, grew wroth. "That teffle of a piper John!" he said with an involuntary stamp of his foot. "What for will he be playing Cha till mi tuilich?"

"It is out of mischief, papa," said Sheila—"that is all."

"It will be more than mischief if I burn his pipes and drive him out of Borva. Then there will be no more of mischief."

"It is very bad of John to do that," said Sheila to Lavender, apparently in explanation of her father's anger, "for we have given him shelter here when [pg 432] there will be no more pipes in all the Lewis. It wass the Free Church ministers, they put down the pipes, for there wass too much wildness at the marriages when the pipes would play."

"And what do the people dance to now?" asked the young gentleman, who seemed to resent this piece of paternal government.

Sheila laughed in an embarrassed way.

"Miss Mackenzie would rather not tell you," said Ingram. "The fact is, the noble mountaineers of these districts have had to fall back on the Jew's harp. The ministers allow that instrument to be used—I suppose because there is a look of piety in the name. But the dancing doesn't get very mad when you have two or three young fellows playing a strathspey on a bit of trembling wire."

"That teffle of a piper John!" growled Mackenzie under his breath; and so the Maighdean-mhara lightly sped on her way, opening out the various headlands of the islands, until at last she got into the narrows by Eilean-Aird-Meinish, and ran up the long arm of the sea to Mevaig.

They landed and went up the rocks. They passed two or three small white houses overlooking the still, green waters of the sea, and then, following the line of a river, plunged into the heart of a strange and lonely district, in which there appeared to be no life. The river-track took them up a great glen, the sides of which were about as sheer as a railway-cutting. There were no trees or bushes about, but the green pasture along the bed of the valley wore its brightest colors in the warm sunlight, and far up on the hillsides the browns and crimsons of the heather and the silver-gray of the rocks trembled in the white haze of the heat. Over that again the blue sky, as still and silent as the world below.

They wandered on, content with idleness and a fine day. Mr. Mackenzie was talking with some little loudness, so that Lavender might hear, of Mr. John Stuart Mill, and was anxious to convey to Ted Ingram that a wise man, who is responsible for the well-being of his fellow-creatures, will study all sides of all questions, however dangerous. Sheila was doing her best to entertain the stranger, and he, in a dream of his own, was listening to the information she gave him. How much of it did he carry away? He was told that the gray goose built its nest in the rushes at the edge of lakes: Sheila knew several nests in Borva. Sheila also caught the young of the wild-duck when the mother was guiding them down the hill-rivulets to the sea. She had tamed many of them, catching them thus before they could fly. The names of most of the mountains about here ended in bhal, which was a Gaelic corruption of the Norse fiall, a mountain. There were many Norse names all through the Lewis, but more particularly toward the Butt. The termination bost, for example, at the end of many words, meant an inhabited place, but she fancied bost was Danish. And did Mr. Lavender know of the legend connected with the air of Cha till, cha till mi tuille?

Lavender started as from a trance, with an impression that he had been desperately rude. He was about to say that the gray gosling in the legend could not speak Scandinavian, when he was interrupted by Mr. Mackenzie turning and asking him if he knew from what ports the English smacks hailed that came up hither to the cod and the ling fishing for a couple of months in the autumn. The young man said he did not know. There were many fishermen at Brighton. And when the King of Borva turned to Ingram, to see why he was shouting with laughter, Sheila suddenly announced to the party that before them lay the great Bay of Uig.

It was certainly a strange and impressive scene. They stood on the top of a lofty range of hill, and, underneath them lay a vast semicircle, miles in extent, of gleaming white sand, that had in bygone ages been washed in by the Atlantic. Into this vast plain of silver whiteness the sea, entering by a somewhat narrow portal, stretched in long arms of a pale blue. Elsewhere, the great crescent of [pg 433] sand was surrounded by a low line of rocky hill, showing a thousand tints of olive-green and gray and heather-purple; and beyond that again rose the giant bulk of Mealasabhal, grown pale in the heat, into the southern sky. There was not a ship visible along the blue plain of the Atlantic. The only human habitation to be seen in the strange world beneath them was a solitary manse. But away toward the summit of Mealasabhal two specks slowly circled in the air, which Sheila thought were eagles; and far out on the western sea, lying like dusky whales in the vague blue, were the Pladda Islands—the remote and unvisited Seven Hunters—whose only inhabitants are certain flocks of sheep belonging to dwellers on the mainland of Lewis.

The travelers sat down on a low block of gneiss to rest themselves, and then and there did the King of Borva recite his grievances and rage against the English smacks. Was it not enough that they should in passing steal the sheep, but that they should also, in mere wantonness, stalk them as deer, wounding them with rifle-bullets, and leaving them to die among the rocks? Sheila said bravely that no one could tell that it was the English fishermen who did that. Why not the crews of merchant-vessels, who might be of any nation? It was unfair to charge upon any body of men such a despicable act, when there was no proof of it whatever.

"Why, Sheila," said Ingram with some surprise, "you never doubted before that it was the English smacks that killed the sheep."

Sheila cast down her eyes and said nothing.

Was the sinister prophecy of John the Piper to be fulfilled? Mackenzie was so much engaged in expounding politics to Ingram, and Sheila was so proud to show her companion all the wonders of Uig, that when they returned to Mevaig in the evening the wind had altogether gone down and the sea was as a sea of glass. But if John the Piper had been ready to foretell for Mackenzie the fate of Mackrimmon, he had taken means to defeat destiny by bringing over from Borvabost a large and heavy boat pulled by six rowers. These were not strapping young fellows, clad in the best blue cloth to be got in Stornoway, but elderly men, gray, wrinkled, weather-beaten and hard of face, who sat stolidly in the boat and listened with a sort of bovine gaze to the old hunchback's wicked stories and jokes. John was in a mischievous mood, but Lavender, in a confidential whisper, informed Sheila that her father would speedily be avenged on the inconsiderate piper.

"Come, men, sing us a song, quick!" said Mackenzie as the party took their seats in the stern and the great oars splashed into the sea of gold. "Look sharp, John, and no teffle of a drowning song!"

In a shrill, high, querulous voice the piper, who was himself pulling one of the two stroke oars, began to sing, and then the men behind him, gathering courage, joined in an octave lower, their voices being even more uncertain and lugubrious than his own. These poor fishermen had not had the musical education of Clan-Alpine's warriors. The performance was not enlivening, and as the monotonous and melancholy sing-song that kept time to the oars told its story in Gaelic, all that the English strangers could make out was an occasional reference to Jura or Scarba or Isla. It was, indeed, the song of an exile shut up in "sea-worn Mull," who was complaining of the wearisome look of the neighboring islands.

"But why do you sing such Gaelic as that, John?" said young Lavender confidently. "I should have thought a man in your position—the last of the Hebridean bards—would have known the classical Gaelic. Don't you know the classical Gaelic?"

"There iss only the wan sort of Kâllic, and it is a ferry goot sort of Kâllic," said the piper with some show of petulance.

"Do you mean to tell me you don't know your own tongue? Do you not know what the greatest of all the bards wrote about your own island?—'O et præsidium et dulce decus meum, agus, Tityre tu patulæ recubans sub tegmine [pg 434] Styornoway, Arma virumque cano, Macklyoda et Borvabost sub tegmine fagi?'"

Not only John the Piper, but all the men behind him, began to look amazed and sorely troubled; and all the more so that Ingram—who had picked up more Gaelic words than his friend—came to his assistance, and began to talk to him in this unknown tongue. They heard references in the conversation to persons and things with which they were familiar in their own language, but still accompanied by much more they could not understand.

The men now began to whisper awe-stricken questions to each other; and at last John the Piper could not restrain his curiosity. "What in ta name of Kott is tat sort of Kâllic?" he asked, with some look of fear in his eyes.

"You are not much of a student, John," said Lavender carelessly, "but still, a man in your position should know something of your own language. A bard, a poet, and not know the classical form of your own tongue!"

"Is it, ta Welsh Kâllic?" cried John in desperation, for he knew that the men behind him would carry the story of his ignorance all over Borvabost.

"The Welsh Gaelic? No. I see you will have to go to school again."

"There iss no more Kâllic in ta schools," said the piper, eagerly seizing the excuse. "It iss Miss Sheila, she will hef put away all ta Kâllic from ta schools."

"But you were born half a century before Miss Sheila: how is it you neglected to learn that form of Gaelic that has been sacred to the use of the bards and poets since the time of Ossian?"

There were no more quips or cranks for John the Piper during the rest of the pull home. The wretched man relapsed into a moody silence and worked mechanically at his oar, brooding over this mysterious language of which he had not even heard. As for Lavender, he turned to Mackenzie and begged to know what he thought of affairs in France.

And so they sailed back to Borvabost over the smooth water that lay like a lake of gold. Was it not a strange sight to see the Atlantic one vast and smooth yellow plain under the great glow of saffron that spread across the regions of the sunset? It was a world of light, unbroken but by the presence of a heavy coaster that had anchored in the bay, and that sent a long line of trembling black down on the perfect mirror of the sea. As they got near the shore the portions that were in shadow showed with a strange distinctness the dark green of the pasture and the sharp outlines of the rocks; and there was a cold scent of seaweed in the evening air. The six heavy oars plashed into the smooth bay. The big boat was moored to the quay, and its passengers landed once more in Borva. And when they turned, on their way home, to look from the brow of the hill, on which Sheila had placed a garden-seat, lo! all the west was on fire, the mountains in the south had grown dark on their eastern side, and the plain of the sea was like a lake of blood, with the heavy hull and masts of the coaster grown large and solemn and distant. There was scarcely a ripple around the rocks at their feet to break the stillness of the approaching twilight.

So another day had passed, devoid of adventure or incident. Lavender had not rescued his wonderful princess from an angry sea, nor had he shown prowess in slaying a dozen stags, nor in any way distinguished himself. To all outward appearance the relations of the party were the same at night as they had been in the morning. But the greatest crises of life steal on us imperceptibly, and have sometimes occurred and wound us in their consequences before we know. The memorable things in a man's career are not always marked by some sharp convulsion. The youth does not necessarily marry the girl whom he happens to fish out of a mill-pond: his future life may be far more definitely shaped for him at a prosaic dinner-table, where he fancies he is only thinking of the wines. We are indeed but as children seated on the shore, watching the ripples that come on to our feet; and while the ripples unceasingly repeat themselves, and while the hour that passes is but as the hour [pg 435] before it, constellation after constellation has gone by over our heads unheeded and unseen, and we awake with a start to find ourselves in a new day, with all our former life cut off from us and become as a dream.


A knocking at Ingram's door.

"Well, what's the matter?"

"Will ye be goin' to ta fishin', Mr. Ingram?"

"Is that you, Duncan? How the devil have you got over from Mevaig at this hour of the morning?"

"Oh, there wass a bit breeze tis morning, and I hef prought over ta Maighdean-mhara. And there iss a very goot ripple on ta watter, if you will tek ta other gentleman to try for ta salmon."

"All right! Hammer at his door until he gets up. I shall be ready in ten minutes."

About half an hour thereafter the two young men were standing at the front of Mackenzie's house, examining the enormous rod that Duncan had placed against the porch. It was still early morning, and there was a cold wind blowing in from the sea, but there was not a speck of cloud in the sky, and the day promised to be hot. The plain of the Atlantic was no longer a sheet of glass: it was rough and gray, and far out an occasional quiver of white showed where a wave was hissing over. There was not much of a sea on, but the heavy wash of the water round the rocks and sandy bays could be distinctly heard in the silence of the morning.

And what was this moving object down there by the shore where the Maighdean-mhara lay at anchor? Both the young men at once recognized the glimmer of the small white feather and the tightly-fitting blue dress of the sea-princess.

"Why, there is Sheila!" cried Ingram. "What in all the world is she about at such an hour?"

At this moment Duncan came out with a book of flies in his hand, and he said in rather a petulant way, "And it iss no wonder Miss Sheila will be out. And it wass Miss Sheila herself will tell me to see if you will go to ta White Water and try for a salmon."

"And she is bringing up something from the boat: I must go and carry it for her," said Lavender, making down the path to the shore with the speed of a deer.

When Sheila and he came up the hill there was a fine color in the girl's face from her morning's exertions, but she was not disposed to go indoors to rest. On the contrary, she was soon engaged in helping Mairi to bring in some coffee to the parlor, while Duncan cut slices of ham and cold beef big enough to have provisioned a fishing-boat bound for Caithness. Sheila had had her breakfast; so she devoted all her time to waiting upon her two guests, until Lavender could scarcely eat through the embarrassment produced by her noble servitude. Ingram was not so sensitive, and made a very good meal indeed.

"Where's your father, Sheila?" said Ingram when the last of their preparations had been made and they were about to start for the river, "Isn't he up yet?"

"My father?" said the girl, with the least possible elevation of her eyebrows—"he will be down at Borvabost an hour ago. And I hope that John the Piper will not see him this morning. But we must make haste, Mr. Ingram, for the wind will fall when the sun gets stronger, and then your friend will have no more of the fishing."

So they set out, and Ingram put Sheila's hand on his arm, and took her along with him in that fashion, while the tall gillie walked behind with Lavender, who was or was not pleased with the arrangement. The young man, indeed, was a trifle silent, but Duncan was in an amiable and communicative mood, and passed the time in telling him stories of the salmon he had caught, and of the people who had tried to catch them and failed. Sheila and Ingram certainly went a good pace up the hill and round the summit of it, and down again into [pg 436] the valley of the White Water. The light step of the girl seemed to be as full of spring as the heather on which she trod; and as for her feet getting wet, the dew must have soaked them long ago. She was in the brightest of spirits. Lavender could hear her laughing in a low pleased fashion, and then presently her head would be turned up toward her companion, and all the light of some humorous anecdote would appear in her face and in her eloquent eyes, and it would be Ingram's turn to break out into one of those short abrupt laughs that had something sardonic in them.

But hark! From the other side of the valley comes another sound, the faint and distant skirl of the pipes, and yonder is the white-haired hunchback, a mere speck in a waste of brown and green morass. What is he playing to himself now?

"He is a foolish fellow, that John," said the tall keeper, "for if he comes down to Borvabost this morning it iss Mr. Mackenzie will fling his pipes in ta sea, and he will hef to go away and work in ta steamboat. He iss a ferry foolish fellow; and it wass him tat wass goin' into ta steamboat before, and he went to a tailor in Styornoway, and he said to him, 'I want a pair o' troosers.' And the tailor said to him, 'What sort o' troosers iss it you will want?' And he said to him, 'I want a pair o' troosers for a steamboat.' A pair o' troosers for a steamboat!—he is a teffle of a foolish fellow. And it wass him that went in ta steamboat with a lot o' freens o' his, that wass a' goin' to Skye to a big weddin' there; and it wass a very bad passage, and when tey got into Portree the captain said to him, 'John, where iss all your freens that tey do not come ashore?' And he said to him, 'I hef peen down below, sir, and four-thirds o' ta whole o' them are a' half-trooned and sick and tead.' Four-thirds o' ta whole o' them! And he iss just the ferry man to laugh at every other pody when it iss a mistake you will make in ta English."

"I suppose," said Lavender, "you found it rather difficult to learn good English?"

"Well, sir, I hefna got ta goot English yet. But Miss Sheila she has put away all the Gaelic from the schools, and the young ones they will learn more of ta good English after that."

"I wish I knew as much Gaelic as you know English," said the young man.

"Oh, you will soon learn. It iss very easy if you will only stay in ta island."

"It would take me several months to pick it up, I suppose?"

"Oh, yes—nine or six—that will do," said Duncan. "You will begin to learn ta names o' ta islands and ta places. There now, as far as you can see is ta Seann Bheinn; and it means ta old hill. And there is a rock there: it is Stac-nan Balg—"

Here Duncan looked rather perplexed.

"Yes," said Lavender: "what does that mean?"

"It means—it means," said Duncan in still greater perplexity, and getting a little impatient, "it means—stac, tat iss a steep rock: Stac-nan-Balg—it means—well, sir, it is ower deep for ta English"

The tone of mortification in which Duncan uttered these words warned Lavender that his philological studies might as well cease; and indeed Sheila and Ingram had by this time reached the banks of the White Water, and were waiting Duncan and the majestic rod.

It was much too bright and pleasant a morning for good fishing, but there was a fair ripple on the pools of the stream, where ever and anon a salmon fresh run from the sea would leap into the air, showing a gleaming curve of silver to the sunlight. The splash of the big fish seemed an invitation, and Duncan was all anxiety to teach the stranger, who, as he fancied, knew nothing about throwing a fly. Ingram lay down on a rock some little distance back from the banks, and put his hands beneath his head and watched the operations going forward. But was it really Duncan who was to teach the stranger? It was Sheila who picked out flies for him. It was Sheila who held the rod while he put them on the line. It was Sheila who told him where the bigger salmon usually lay—under the opposite bank of the broad [pg 437] and almost lake-like pool into which the small but rapid White Water came tumbling and foaming down its narrow channel of rocks and stones.

Then Sheila waited to see her pupil begin. He had evidently a little difficulty about the big double-handed rod, a somewhat more formidable engine of destruction than the supple little thing with which he had whipped the streams of Devonshire and Cornwall.

The first cast sent both flies and a lump of line tumbling on to the pool, and would have driven the boldest of salmon out of its wits. The second pretty nearly took a piece out of Ingram's ear, and made him shift his quarters with rapidity. Duncan gave him up in despair. The third cast dropped both flies with the lightness of a feather in the running waters of the other side of the pool; and the next second there was a slight wave along the surface, a dexterous jerk with the butt, and presently the line was whirled out into the middle of the pool, running rapidly off the reel from the straining rod.

"Plenty o' line, sir, plenty o' line!" shouted Duncan in a wild fever of anxiety, for the fish had plunged suddenly.

Ingram had come running down to the bank. Sheila was all excitement and interest as she stood and watched every slackening or tightening of the line as the fish went up the pool and down the pool, and crossed the current in his efforts to escape. The only self-possessed person, indeed, was Lavender himself, who presently said, "Miss Mackenzie, won't you take the rod now and have the honor of landing him? I don't think he will show much more fight."

At this moment, however, the line slackened suddenly, and the fish threw himself clean out of the water, turning a complete summersault. It was a dangerous moment, but the captive was well hooked, and in his next plunge Lavender was admonished by Duncan to keep a good strain on him.

"I will take the second one," Sheila promised, "if you like; but you must surely land your first salmon yourself."

I suppose nobody but a fisherman can understand the generosity of the offer made by the young man. To have hooked your first salmon—to have its first wild rushes and plunges safely over—and to offer to another the delight of bringing him victoriously to bank! But Sheila knew. And what could have surpassed the cleverness with which he had hooked the fish, and the coolness and courage he showed throughout the playing of him, except this more than royal offer on the part of the young hero?

The fish was losing strength. All the line had been got in, although the fore finger of the fisherman felt the pulse of his captive, as it were, ready for any expiring plunge. They caught occasional glimpses of a large white body gliding through the ruddy-brown water. Duncan was down on his knees more than once, with the landing-net in his hand, but again and again the big fish would sheer off, with just such indications of power as to make his conqueror cautious. At length he was guided slowly in to the bank. Behind him the landing-net was gently let into the water—then a quick forward movement, and a fourteen-pounder was scooped up and flung upon the bank, landing-net and all. "Hurrah!" cried Ingram, and Lavender blushed like a school-girl; and Sheila, quite naturally and without thinking, shook hands with him and said, "I congratulate you;" and there was more congratulation in her glad eyes than in that simple little gesture.

It was a good beginning, and of course the young man was very much pleased to show Sheila that he was no mere lily-fingered idler about town. He buckled to his work in earnest. With a few more casts he soon got into the way of managing the big rod; and every time the flies fell lightly on the other side of the pool, to be dragged with gentle jerks across the foaming current of the stream. Ingram went back to his couch on the rock. He lay and watched the monotonous flinging back of the long rod, the light whistle of the line through the air, and the careful manipulation of the flies through the water. Or was it something [pg 438] else that he was watching—something that awakened in his mind a sudden sense of surprise and fear, and a new and strange consciousness that he had been guiltily remiss?

Sheila was wholly preoccupied with her companion and his efforts. He had had one or two rises, but had struck either too soon or too late, until at last there was a terrific plunge and rush, and again the line was whirled out. But Duncan did not like the look of it, somehow. The fish had been sheering off when it was hooked, and the deep plunge at the outset was ugly.

"Now will you take the rod?" said Lavender to Sheila.

But before she could answer the fish had come rushing up to the surface, and had thrown itself out of the water, so that it fell on the opposite bank. It was a splendid animal, and Duncan, despite his doubts, called out to Ingram to slacken his hold. There was another spring into the air, the fish fell with a splash into the water, and the line was flying helplessly in the air, with the two flies floating about.

"Ay," said Duncan, with a sigh, "it wass foul-hooked. It wass no chance of catching him whatever."

Lavender was more successful next time, however, with a pretty little grilse of about half a dozen pounds, that seemed to have in him the spirit and fight of a dozen salmon. How he rushed and struggled, how he plunged and sulked, how he burrowed along the banks, and then ran out to the middle of the pool, and then threw himself into the air, with the line apparently but not really doubling up under him! All these things can only be understood by the fisherman who has played in a Highland stream a wild and powerful little grilse fresh in from the salt water. And it was Sheila who held him captive, who humored him when he sulked, and gently guided him away from dangerous places, and kept him well in hand when he tried to cross the current, until at last, all the fierceness gone out of him, he let himself be tenderly inveigled into the side of the pool, where Duncan, by a dexterous movement, surrounded him with network and placed his shining body among the bright green grass.

But Ingram was not so overjoyed this time. He complimented Sheila in a friendly way, but he was rather grave, and obviously did not care for this business of fishing. And so Sheila, fancying that he was rather dull because he was not joining in the sport, proposed that he should walk back to the house with her, leaving Mr. Lavender with Duncan. And Ingram was quite ready to do so.

But Lavender protested that he cared very little for salmon-fishing. He suggested that they should all go back together. The sun was killing the wind, and soon the pools would be as clear as glass. Had they not better try in the afternoon, when perhaps the breeze would freshen? And so they walked back to the house.

On the garden-seat a book lay open. It was Mr. Mill's Essay on Liberty, and it had evidently been left there by Mr. Mackenzie, perhaps—who knows?—to hint to his friends from the South that he was familiar with the problems of the age. Lavender winked to Ingram, but somehow his companion seemed in no humor for a joke.

They had luncheon then, and after luncheon Ingram touched Lavender on the shoulder and said, "I want to have a word with you privately. Let's walk down to the shore."

And so they did; and when they had got some little distance from the house, Ingram said, "Look here, Lavender. I mean to be frank with you. I don't think it fair that you should try to drag Sheila Mackenzie into a flirtation. I knew you would fall in love with her. For a week or two, that does not matter—it harms no one. But I never thought of the chance of her being led into such a thing, for what is a mere passing amusement to you would be a very serious thing to her."


"Well? Is not that enough? Do you think it fair to take advantage of this girl's ignorance of the world?"

[pg 439]

Lavender stopped in the middle of the path, and said, somewhat stiffly, "This may be as well settled at once. You have talked of flirtation and all that sort of thing. You may regard it as you please, but before I leave this island I mean to ask Sheila Mackenzie to be my wife."

"Why, you are mad!" cried Ingram, amazed to see that the young man was perfectly serious.

The other shrugged his shoulders.

"Do you mean to say," continued Ingram, "that even supposing Sheila would consent—which is impossible—you would try to take away that girl from her father?"

"Girls must leave their fathers some time or other," said Lavender somewhat sullenly.

"Not unless they are asked."

"Oh well, they are sure to be asked, and they are sure to go. If their mothers had not done so before them, where would they be? It's all very well for you to talk about it and argue it out as a theory, but I know what the facts of the case are, and what any man in my position would do; and I know that I am careless of any consequences so long as I can secure her for my wife."

"Apparently you are—careless of any consequences to herself or those about her."

"But what is your objection, Ingram?" said the young man, suddenly abandoning his defiant manner: "why should you object? Do you think I would make a bad husband to the woman I married?"

"I believe nothing of the sort. I believe you would make a very good husband if you were to marry a woman whom you knew something about, and whom you had really learned to love and respect through your knowledge of her. I tell you, you know nothing about Sheila Mackenzie as yet. If you were to marry her to-morrow, you would discover in six months she was a woman wholly different from what you had expected."

"Very well, then," said Lavender with an air of triumph, "you can't deny this: you think so much of her that the real woman I would discover must be better than the one I imagine; and so you don't expect I shall be disappointed?"

"If you marry Sheila Mackenzie you will be disappointed—not through her fault, but your own. Why, a more preposterous notion never entered into a man's head! She knows nothing of your friends or your ways of life: you know nothing of hers. She would be miserable in London, even if you could persuade her father to go with her, which is the most unlikely thing in the world. Do give up this foolish idea, like a good fellow; and do it before Sheila is dragged into a flirtation that may have the most serious consequences to her."

Lavender would not promise, but all that afternoon various resolutions and emotions were struggling within him for mastery, insomuch that Duncan could not understand the blundering way in which he whipped the pools. Mackenzie, Sheila and Ingram had gone off to pay a visit to an old crone who lived in a neighboring island, and in whom Ingram had been much interested a few years before; so that Lavender had an opportunity of practicing the art of salmon-fishing without interruptions. But all the skill he had shown in the morning seemed to have deserted him; and at last he gave the rod to Duncan, and, sitting down on a top-coat flung on the wet heather, indolently watched the gillie's operations.

Should he at once fly from temptation and return to London? Would it not be heroic to leave this old man in possession of his only daughter? Sheila would never know of the sacrifice, but what of that? It might be for her happiness that he should go.

But when a young man is in love, or fancies himself in love, with a young girl, it is hard for him to persuade himself that anybody else can make her as happy as he might. Who could be so tender to her, so watchful over her, as himself? He does not reflect that her parents have had the experience of years in taking care of her, while he would be a mere novice at the business. The pleasure with which he regards the prospect [pg 440] of being constantly with her he transfers to her, and she seems to demand it of him as a duty that he should confer upon her this new happiness.

Lavender met Sheila in the evening, and he was yet undecided. Sometimes he fancied, when their eyes met unexpectedly, that there was something wistful as well as friendly in her look: was she too dreaming of the vague possibilities of the future? This was strange, too, that after each of those little chance reveries she seemed to be moved by a resolution to be more than usually affectionate toward her father, and would go round the table and place her hand on his shoulder and talk to him. Perhaps these things were but delusions begotten of his own imaginings, but the possibility of their being real agitated him not a little, and he scarcely dared to think what might follow.

That evening Sheila sang, and all his half-formed resolutions vanished into air. He sat in a corner of the curious, dimly-lit and old-fashioned chamber, and, lying back in the chair, abandoned himself to dreams as Sheila sang the mystic songs of the northern coasts. There was something strangely suggestive of the sea in the room itself, and all her songs were of the sea. It was a smaller room than the large apartment in which they had dined, and it was filled with curiosities from distant shores and with the strange captures made by the Borva fishermen. Everywhere, too, were the trophies of Mackenzie's skill with rod and rifle. Deer's horns, seal skins, stuffed birds, salmon in glass cases, masses of coral, enormous shells and a thousand similar things made the little drawing-room a sort of grotto; but it was a grotto within hearing of the sound of the sea, and there was no musty atmosphere in a room that was open all day to the cold winds of the Atlantic.

With a smoking tumbler of whisky and water before him, the King of Borva sat at the table, poring over a large volume containing plans for bridges. Ingram was seated at the piano, in continual consultation with Sheila about her songs. Lavender, in this dusky corner, lay and listened, with all sorts of fancies crowding in upon him as Sheila sang of the sad and wild legends of her home. Was it by chance, then, he asked himself, that these songs seemed so frequently to be the lamentation of a Highland girl for a fair-haired lover beyond the sea? First of all she sang the "Wail of Dunevegan," and how strangely her voice thrilled with the sadness of the song!—

Morn, oh mantle thy smiles of gladness!

Night, oh come with thy clouds of sadness!

Earth, thy pleasures to me seem madness!

Macleod, my leal love, since thou art gone.

Dunevegan, oh! Dunevegan, oh!

Dunevegan! Dunevegan!

It was as in a dream that he heard Ingram talking in a matter-of-fact way about the various airs, and asking the meaning of certain lines of Gaelic to compare them with the stiff and old-fashioned phrases of the translation. Surely this girl must have sat by the shore and waited for her absent lover, or how could she sing with such feeling?—

Say, my love, why didst thou tarry

Far over the deep sea?

Knew'st thou not my heart was weary,

Heard'st thou not how I sighed for thee!

Did no light wind bear my wild despair

Far over the deep sea?

He could imagine that beautiful face grown pale and wild with anguish. And then some day, as she went along the lonely island, with all the light of hope gone out of her eyes, and with no more wistful glances cast across the desolate sea, might not the fair-haired lover come at last, and leap ashore to clasp her in his arms, and hide the wonder-stricken eyes and the glad face in his bosom? But Sheila sang of no such meeting. The girl was always alone, her lover gone away from her across the sea or into the wilds.

Oh long on the mountain he tarries, he tarries:

Why tarries the youth with the bright yellow hair:

Oh long on the mountain he tarries, he tarries:

Why seeks he the hill when his flock is not there?

That was what he heard her sing, until it seemed to him that her singing was a cry to be taken away from these melancholy surroundings of sea and shore, and carried to the secure and comfortable South, to be cherished and tended [pg 441] and loved. Why should this girl be left to live a cruel life up in these wilds, and to go through the world without knowing anything of the happy existence that might have been hers? It was well for harder and stronger natures to withstand the buffetings of wind and rain, and to be indifferent to the melancholy influences of the lonely sea and the darkness of the northern winters; but for her—for this beautiful, sensitive, tender-hearted girl—surely some other and gentler fate was in store. What he, at least, could do he would. He would lay his life at her feet; and if she chose to go away from this bleak and cruel home to the sunnier South, would not he devote himself, as never a man had given himself to a woman before, to the constant duty of enriching her life with all the treasures of admiration and respect and love?

It was getting late, and presently Sheila retired. As she bade "Good-night" to him, Lavender fancied her manners was a little less frank toward him than usual, and her eyes were cast down. All the light of the room seemed to go with her when she went.

Mackenzie mixed another tumbler of toddy, and began to expound to Ingram his views upon deer-forests and sheep-farms. Ingram lit a cigar, stretched out his legs and proceeded to listen with much complacent attention. As for Lavender, he sat a while, hearing vaguely the sounds of his companions' voices, and then, saying he was a trifle tired, he left and went to his own room. The moon was then shining clearly over Suainabhal, and a pathway of glimmering light lay across Loch Roag.

He went to bed, but not to sleep. He had resolved to ask Sheila Mackenzie to be his wife, and a thousand conjectures as to the future were floating about his imagination. In the first place, would she listen to his prayer? She knew nothing of him beyond what she might have heard from Ingram. He had had no opportunity, during their friendly talking, of revealing to her what he thought of herself; but might she not have guessed it? Then her father—what action might not this determined old man take in the matter? Would his love for his daughter prompt him to consider her happiness alone? All these things, however, were mere preliminaries, and the imagination of the young man soon overleapt them. He began to draw pictures of Sheila as his wife in their London home, among his friends, at Hastings, at Ascot, in Hyde Park. What would people say of the beautiful sea-princess with the proud air, the fearless eyes and the gentle and musical voice? Hour after hour he lay and could not sleep: a fever of anticipation, of fear and of hope combined seemed to stir in his blood and throb in his brain. At last, in a paroxysm of unrest, he rose, hastily dressed himself, stole down stairs, and made his way out into the cool air of the night.

It could not be the coming dawn that revealed to him the outlines of the shore and the mountains and the loch? The moon had already sunk in the south-west: not from her came that strange clearness by which all these objects were defined. Then the young man bethought him of what Sheila had said of the twilight in these latitudes, and, turning to the north, he saw there a pale glow which looked as if it were the last faint traces of some former sunset. All over the rest of the heavens something of the same metallic clearness reigned, so that the stars were pale, and a gray hue lay over the sea, and over the island, the white bays, the black rocks and the valleys, in which lay a scarcely perceptible mist.

He left the house and went vaguely down to the sea. The cold air, scented strongly with the seaweed, blew about him, and was sweet and fresh on the lips and the forehead. How strange was the monotonous sound of the waves, mournful and distant, like the sound in a seashell! That alone spoke in the awful stillness of the night, and it seemed to be telling of those things which the silent stars and the silent hills had looked down on for ages and ages. Did Sheila really love this terrible thing, with its strange voice talking in the night, or did she not secretly dread it and shudder at it when she sang of all that old sadness? [pg 442] There was ringing in his ears the "Wail of Dunevegan" as he listened for a while to the melancholy plashing of the waves all around the lonely shores; and there was a cry of "Dunevegan, oh! Dunevegan, oh!" weaving itself curiously with those wild pictures of Sheila in London which were still floating before his imagination.

He walked away around the coast, seeing almost nothing of the objects around him, but conscious of the solemn majesty of the mountains and the stillness of the throbbing stars. He could have called aloud, "Sheila! Sheila!" but that all the place seemed associated with her presence; and might he not turn suddenly to find her figure standing by him, with her face grown wild and pale as it was in the ballad, and a piteous and awful look in her eyes? Did the figure accuse him? He scarcely dared look round, lest there should be a phantom Sheila appealing to him for compassion, and complaining against him with her speechless eyes for a wrong that he could not understand. He fled from her, but he knew she was there; and all the love in his heart went out to her as if beseeching her to go away and forsake him, and forgive him the injury of which she seemed to accuse him. What wrong had he done her that he should be haunted by this spectre, that did not threaten, but only looked piteously toward him with eyes full of entreaty and pain?

He left the shore, and blindly made his way up to the pasture-land above, careless whither he went. He knew not how long he had been away from the house, but here was a small fresh-water lake set round about with rushes, and far over there in the east lay a glimmer of the channels between Borva and Lewis. But soon there was another light in the east, high over the low mists that lay along the land. A pale blue-gray arose in the cloudless sky, and the stars went out one by one. The mists were seen to lie in thicker folds along the desolate valleys. Then a faintly yellow whiteness stole up into the sky, and broadened and widened, and behold! the little moorland loch caught a reflection of the glare, and there was a streak of crimson here and there on the dark-blue surface of the water. Loch Roag began to brighten. Suainabhal was touched with rose-red on its eastern slopes. The Atlantic seemed to rise out of its purple sleep with the new light of a new dawn; and then there was a chirruping of birds over the heath, and the first shafts of the sunlight ran along the surface of the sea, and lit up the white wavelets that were breaking on the beach. The new day struck upon him with a strange sense of wonder. Where was he? Whither had gone the wild visions of the night, the feverish dread, the horrible forebodings? The strong mental emotion that had driven him out now produced its natural reaction: he looked about in a dazed fashion at the revelation of light around him, and felt himself trembling with weakness. Slowly, blindly and hopelessly he set to walk back across the island, with the sunlight of the fresh morning calling into life ten thousand audible things of the moorland around him.

And who was this who stood at the porch of the house in the clear sunshine? Not the pale and ghastly creature who had haunted him during those wild hours, but Sheila herself, singing some snatches of a song, and engaged in watering the two bushes of sweetbrier at the gate. How bright and roseate and happy she looked, with the fine color of her face lit up by the fresh sunlight, and the brisk breeze from the sea stirring now and again the loose masses of her hair! Haggard and faint as he was, he would have startled her if he had gone up to her then. He dared not approach her. He waited until she had gone round to the gable of the house to water the plants there, and then he stole into the house and up stairs, and threw himself upon the bed. And outside he still heard Sheila singing lightly to herself as she went about her ordinary duties, little thinking in how strange and wild a drama her wraith had that night taken part.

Footnote 12: (return)

Pronounced Argyud-chark; literally, "hen-money."

[pg 443]


There is scarcely any position of more responsibility than that of the medical expert in cases of alleged poisoning. Often he stands with practically absolute power between society and the accused—the former looking to him for the proof of the crime and for the protection which discovery brings; the latter relying upon him for the vindication of his innocence. How profound and complete, then, should be his knowledge! how thorough his skill! how pure and spotless his integrity! how unimpeachable his results! Yet recently the humiliating spectacle has been repeatedly presented of expert swearing against expert, until the question at issue was apparently degraded into one of personal feeling or of professional reputation. So far has this gone that both judicial and public opinion seems to be demanding the abolition of expert testimony. The medical expert must, however, remain an essential feature in our criminal procedures, partaking as he does of the functions of the lawyer, inasmuch as he has, to some extent, the right to argue before the jury, partaking also of the judicial character in that it is his duty to express an opinion upon evidence, but differing from both judge and advocate in that as a witness he testifies to facts. Were the attempt made to do away with his functions, there would be an end to just convictions in the class of cases spoken of, because no one would be qualified to say whether any given death had been produced by poison or by a natural cause.

In many matters that come under the notice of medical experts there is room for honest differences of opinion. Of such nature are questions of sanity and insanity. It must be remembered that these are, after all, relative terms. Reason leaves its seat by almost imperceptible steps. Who can determine with exactness the line that separates eccentricity from madness—responsibility from irresponsibility? Moreover, the phenomena upon which opinion is based are, in such cases, so hidden, so complex, so obscure, that in the half-lights of a few short interviews they will often be seen differently by different observers.

In scarcely any of its parts does toxicology belong to this class of subjects—certainly not at all in so far as it deals with mineral poisons. To a great extent it is a fixed science—a science whose boundaries may be widened, whose processes may be rendered more delicate, but whose principles are in great measure settled for ever. Not in the imperfections of the science, but in the habits of the American medical profession and in the methods of our criminal procedures, lies the origin of the evils complained of.

Some of the causes of the present difficulties are readily to be seen. One is the common ignorance of legal or forensic medicine among the members of the profession. In none of our medical colleges is legal medicine taught as a part of the regular course or as an essential branch of study. Consequently, when the student graduates he has only heard a few passing allusions to the subject from professors of other branches. Unfortunately, this is more or less true of many other medical subjects of importance: helped out, however, by his mother wit, and impelled by necessity, the imperfectly-educated graduate after a time becomes very generally a skillful practitioner. During the period of growth his daily needs govern the direction of his studies, which are therefore more or less exclusively confined to the so-called practical branches. Forensic medicine is not one of these, poison cases are comparatively rare, and to be called upon to give a definite opinion upon such matters before a legal tribunal happens not once in the lifetime of most medical men. [pg 444] Consequently, to a great part of the American medical profession legal medicine is a veritable terra incognita.

Moreover, the whole drift of modern medicine is toward a division of labor, and forensic medicine is more widely separated from the ordinary specialties of the science than these are from one another. In a case of delicate eye-surgery who would value the opinion of a man whose attention had been devoted mainly to thoracic diseases? What specialist of the latter character would even offer an opinion? Yet physicians who acknowledge that they have paid no especial attention to toxicology do not hesitate to give the most positive opinions upon the most delicate questions of that science. Men who would, as in honor bound, ask for a consultation in any case of serious sickness outside of their line of private practice, on the witness-stand put forth with the utmost boldness their ignorant crudities, careless or forgetful of the fact that they may be imperiling the life of an innocent human being. On the trial of Mrs. Wharton for the attempted murder of Mr. Van Ness, Dr. Williams asserted that there are peculiar characteristic symptoms or groups of symptoms of tartar emetic poisoning;13 and both he and Dr. Chew—who with frankness acknowledged that he had not especially studied toxicology—did most positively recognize tartar emetic as the sole possible cause of certain symptoms which were but a little beyond the line of medicinal action, and for which obviously possible natural cause existed. Contrast these bold opinions with the cautious statement of a man who had given a lifetime of study to this particular subject. On the trial of Madeleine Smith, Professor Christison—at that time the first toxicologist of England—stated that if in any case the symptoms and post-mortem appearances corresponded exactly with those caused by arsenic, he should be led to suspect poisoning.

Another source of mischief lies in the fact that the law does not recognize the well-established principles of forensic medicine, and consequently the books in which these principles are laid down by the highest authorities are excluded by the courts, while the vivâ voce evidence of any medical man, however ignorant on such points, is admitted as that of an expert.

It is therefore not to be wondered at that juries give but little consideration to the knowledge or professional standing of expert witnesses. It is, in fact, notorious that the medical autocrat of the village, who has superintended the entrance of the majority of the jurymen into this troublous world, is a more important witness than the most renowned special student of the branch: indeed, the chief value of the real expert often rests on his ability to influence the local physician.14 At the late Wharton-Van Ness trial the defence desired to show that the work of the chemist employed by the prosecution was unreliable, because the analyses made by him in a previous case had "been condemned by the united voice of the whole scientific world." The court was not able to see the relevancy of this, and refused to allow the professional ability or standing of an expert to be called in question. The witness thus adjudged competent brought no results into court; had kept no laboratory notes; relied solely on a memory so deficient that although he had been teaching for [pg 445] thirty-five years, he could not tell the shape of a crystal of tartar emetic, the poison in question; and upon the stand made a statement different from one which he had furnished officially to the district attorney of Baltimore fourteen months before.

There are principles of toxicology which ought to have legal force and recognition, and ought to govern expert testimony in the same way that the principles of evidence govern ordinary testimony. Without presuming to enumerate these, I will cite two or three for illustration. Certain substances, the so-called irritant poisons, such as arsenic, tartar emetic and the like, induce their toxic effects by causing irritation and inflammation of the alimentary canal. All authorities agree that poisoning by these substances cannot be proved, or even rendered, very probable, by symptoms alone—that chemical evidence, the discovery of the poison in the food, dejections, or in case of death the body, is absolutely essential for making out a case. Irritation and inflammation of the alimentary canal occur so often and so suddenly from natural causes, which are sometimes apparent, but often hidden, that no especial weight can be attached to them.

In the case of the so-called neurotic poisons, those which act upon the nervous system, the symptoms are so closely simulated by natural disease that even when they agree in the most absolute manner with those usually developed by any such poison they only render poisoning highly probable, not certain.15 When in any case the symptoms diverge from the typical array, poisoning becomes improbable just in proportion to the amount of divergence.

All toxicological authorities also agree that in the case of the metallic poisons, such as tartar emetic and arsenic, the metal must be brought into court, and that the so-called "color tests" are not to be relied on. When sulphuretted hydrogen is passed through solutions of these metallic substances colored precipitates are thrown down, which at one time were thought to be absolute proof of the existence of the poison in the original solution. But in the celebrated Donnal case, tried at Falmouth, England, in 1817, Dr. Neale saved the accused by showing that a decoction of onions, of which the deceased had eaten a short time before death, yielded similar precipitates to those relied upon by the prosecution as establishing the presence of arsenic in the stomach. In regard to tartar emetic, Dr. Taylor, in his work on medical jurisprudence, says: "Antimony in the metallic state is so easily procured from a small quantity of material that on no account should this be omitted. A reliance on a small quantity of a colored precipitate would be most unsatisfactory as chemical evidence." In defiance of all the authorities the prosecution, on the trial of Mrs. Wharton for the murder of General Ketchum, rested its proof of poison upon these color tests and their sequences. The defence, however, found that the counterparts of three out of the four so-called characteristic reactions were readily performed with the substances known to have been in the stomach of General Ketchum at the time of his death.

Several cases of poisoning which have been tried recently in this State and Maryland have attracted much attention, and I propose now briefly to outline these, and show that the disgraceful scenes which have taken place were not due to deficiencies of toxicological science, but to the causes already spoken of.

First in time among these causes célèbres was the Schoeppe case, the facts of which may be briefly summed up as follows: [pg 446] Dr. Schoeppe, a young German practicing medicine in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, became engaged to be married to a Miss Stennecke, a maiden lady of sixty years of age. Miss Stennecke was somewhat of an invalid, not often actually sick, but habitually distressed by dyspeptic symptoms, etc. On the morning of the 27th of January, 1869, feeling unwell, she sent for Dr. Schoeppe, who gave her an emetic. In the afternoon, according to the testimony of her maid, she was weak, but apparently not ill. Between 7 and 8 P.M., however, she became much worse, and her servant noticed that she was very drowsy, so that if left alone she would immediately fall asleep whilst sitting in her chair. Shortly after this she was put to bed, and was not seen again until the next morning about six o'clock, when she was found comatose, with contracted pupils, irregular respiration and complete muscular relaxation. Late in the afternoon of the same day she died quietly.

Nothing was said about poisoning until some days afterward, when, a will having been produced in favor of Dr. Schoeppe, an accusation was made against him. The body of Miss Stennecke was exhumed, and underwent a post-mortem examination, which, for culpable carelessness and inexcusable omissions, stands unrivaled. Not a single organ in the whole body was thoroughly examined, and many of the more important parts were not looked at. Death, preceded by the symptoms exhibited in the case of Miss Stennecke, occurs not infrequently from insidious disease of the kidneys, yet these organs were not taken out of the body. The stomach was examined chemically by Professor Aiken of the University of Maryland, who reported that he had found prussic acid, and who testified on the trial that Miss Stennecke had received a fatal dose of that poison. When, however, his evidence was sifted, it was discovered that he had only obtained traces of the poison by the distillation of the stomach with sulphuric acid. As saliva contains ferrocyanide of potassium, out of which sulphuric acid generates prussic acid, the latter substance will always be obtained by the process adopted by Professor Aiken from any stomach which has in it the least particle of saliva. If, then, the professor did really get prussic acid, without doubt he manufactured it.

Dr. Hermann, however, testified that Miss Stennecke, whom he saw on the morning of her death, must have died of a compound poison, because her eye looked like that of a hawk killed by himself some years before with a dose of all the poisons he had in his apothecary's shop. Dr. Conrad confirmed the assertion of Dr. Hermann, that Miss Stennecke could not have died from a natural cause, and testified that as the liver was healthy, therefore the kidneys must have been so too—a conclusion which could only have been evolved from his inner consciousness.

In vain Professor Wormley protested, declaring that it was impossible Miss Stennecke could have been killed by prussic acid, because that poison always does its work in a few minutes, if at all, whereas Miss Stennecke lived nearly twenty-four hours after the alleged poisoning. What did it matter that Dr. Conrad had shown himself by his post-mortem examination ignorant of the first rudiments of legal medicine, and that Dr. Hermann was a village doctor of the olden type dragged into court from a mediæval contest with the diseases of simple country-folk, while Professor Wormley had devoted his life to toxicology and achieved a world-wide reputation? What did it matter that the written words of all authorities upon such subjects in every land were in absolute accord with Dr. Wormley? Under the ruling—which has been reaffirmed at Annapolis—the settled principles of science were overborne by ignorant conjecture, and to the mockery of justice, to the deep disgrace of our commonwealth, Dr. Schoeppe was condemned to death upon evidence which, from the same bench, was subsequently stigmatized as being insufficient to warrant his commitment for trial.

Three years of close confinement under [pg 447] the shadow of death followed. The governor refused a pardon, and Dr. Schoeppe heard the hammer driving the nails into his scaffold beneath the prison-window. He was measured for his coffin, but at the last moment was reprieved, and listened to the heavy thud as the drop fell and a man whose companion he was to have been on the scaffold was launched into eternity. Finally, moved by the incessant pleadings of Mr. Hepburn, the junior counsel, by the urgings of the public press, led by the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, and by the protests of numerous scientific bodies, the legislature passed a special act granting Dr. Schoeppe a new trial. On this occasion the judge allowed the weakness of the expert testimony for the prosecution to be demonstrated, and chiefly as a result of this demonstration—of what has been called the "coarse brutality" of showing Dr. Conrad's ignorance—Dr. Schoeppe was acquitted.

If the principles contended for in this article had been acknowledged, the processes and results in the case of Dr. Schoeppe would have been far different. In the first place, the post mortem would have been entrusted to some one qualified to make it—an expert in legal medicine—and very probably a natural cause for the death of Miss Stennecke would have been found. Such post mortem not having been made, the case, after Professor Aiken's analysis, would have been dropped, because it was impossible that prussic acid could have caused the death. Had, however, capable experts failed to detect a natural cause of death, a very serious case might have been made out against Dr. Schoeppe, even though the analyst had not found morphia in the stomach. The prosecution might have affirmed that the poison had been absorbed, and therefore was not in the stomach, and, for the support of the charge, relied upon the resemblance of the symptoms to those produced by morphia, and upon the absence of natural cause of death.

A case which has acquired even more celebrity than the last is that of Mrs. Wharton of Baltimore. The chief facts, as developed at the first trial at Annapolis, are as follows: General Ketchum, a man of over middle age and usually in good health, was very much engaged in attending to matters of business at Washington throughout the entire day of the 24th of June, 1871. The weather was very hot, yet he walked about hurriedly and steadily, getting no dinner, and returning in the evening to Mrs. Wharton's at Baltimore about 9 P.M., where he ate a very hearty meal, consisting partly of raspberries. During the night he was heard to go down stairs several times. The next day he complained of feeling unwell, but took at bed-time a glass of lemonade with brandy, and during the night had some slight vomiting and purging. In the morning he complained of sick stomach and giddiness, and at Mrs. Wharton's earnest request16 Dr. Williams was finally sent for, and on arriving at 4 P.M. found him sitting up and vomiting, and prescribed as for a slight attack of cholera morbus. The next morning General Ketchum thought himself so much better that he discharged his physician. He was, however, very drowsy during the day, and the evidence at the trial rendered it probable that he took laudanum on this day upon his own responsibility. In the evening he was found sleeping heavily upon the lounge, and again at Mrs. Wharton's request Dr. Williams was sent for, but did not think it worth while to come. The next morning Mrs. Wharton again sent for Dr. Williams, as General Ketchum was found still lying upon the lounge in a stupor. He remained in this state until his death, which took place in a convulsion at 3 P.M. He had had during the intervening period repeated convulsions, and about one o'clock had become very uneasy, uttering incoherent cries, but did not recover true consciousness. At the examination of the body, made the following morning, the spinal cord was not looked at: the inner membranes of the brain were found congested, and the brain-substance presented throughout [pg 448] "those dark points of blood which indicate passive congestion." No other lesions were found, and the stomach was handed for analysis to Professor Aiken, who in due time reported that he had "satisfied himself" of the existence of at least twenty grains of tartar emetic in it.

It is highly probable that this official announcement had much influence upon the minds of Drs. Williams and Chew, with their colleagues, and it is very certain that by it and their representations was created the public belief in Baltimore that General Ketchum had been poisoned. The false analysis remained for months uncontradicted, and backed up as it was by the whole intellectual and moral force of the University of Maryland, it could scarcely happen otherwise than that public opinion should become so set and hardened that no testimony at the trial could affect it, especially as local pride and local prejudice came to its support when experts from other cities questioned the work of the Baltimore physicians.

Mrs. Wharton's servants were first accused, but after a few days she was arrested, and with her daughter—who has clung throughout to her faith in her mother's purity and goodness—was thrust into a common felon's cell, with only the grated bars between her and the lowest of men in every stage of drunkenness and delirium. After nearly two weeks her lawyers obtained her removal to one of the better rooms of the jail, but it was months before anything was said in her favor.

The trial opened on December 4, 1871, at Annapolis, and lasted nearly two months. The circumstantial evidence certainly went no farther than to render it probable that if General Ketchum died of poison it was administered by Mrs. Wharton. The State attempted to prove as a motive that Mrs. Wharton owed the deceased money. They were signally unsuccessful in this, however; so that a very intelligent member of the jury said to the writer since the trial, "Whether Mrs. Wharton did or did not poison General Ketchum, certainly the State completely failed to prove a motive." The defence admitted that Mrs. Wharton had bought tartar emetic near the time of the alleged poisoning, but proved that she was in the habit of using it externally as a counter-irritant, and that it was purchased in the most open manner, through a third party, not with the secresy that marks the steps of the poisoner.

Thus the whole case centred in a rather remarkable degree upon the expert testimony, and the very point of it all was the chemical analysis. This is not the place to follow out in detail the scientific testimony, but only to point out some peculiarities of it. Almost all the medical witnesses for the prosecution were colleagues of Professor Aiken, none of them men of eminence in toxicological science—surgeons, physiologists, obstetricians, the whole faculty, trying apparently to hide the nakedness of their colleague. Never was strong language more justifiable than that of Mr. Hagner, when he said, "It seemed that the University of Maryland was on trial, and that blood was demanded to support it."

After all, the testimony of most of these gentlemen amounted only to this: that they did not believe the death of General Ketchum could have occurred from natural causes. On the other hand, the numerous medical witnesses for the defence, unconnected by any bond of common interest, testified that natural causes, were sufficient to account for the death; many of them asserting that the case in all its symptoms and post-mortem appearances tallied precisely with the so-called fulminating form of cerebro-spinal meningitis, which was prevalent in Baltimore at the time of General Ketchum's death.17

[pg 449]

The medical witnesses for the defence further called attention to the fact that the symptoms of General Ketchum's illness were wholly different from those produced by tartar emetic, and some denied that the latter could have caused the sickness. The chemical evidence for the prosecution was triumphantly refuted. It was shown that antimony did not conform in its reactions with at least one of the tests, which Professor Aiken said his precipitates did; that almost all the other reactions could be closely simulated with ordinary organic bodies; that the processes used were those universally condemned by authorities; and that carelessness was everywhere so manifest in their conduction as to entirely vitiate any results. It was also proved that Professor Aiken had simply estimated the amount of tartar emetic in General Ketchum's stomach by the ocular comparison of the bulk of precipitates, neither of which could have been pure, and in neither of which was the existence of antimony really proved. To weigh a precipitate was a labor not to be thought of when nothing more important than the life of a woman was involved: guessing was all that such a trifling issue demanded!

The most extraordinary event of this most extraordinary trial occurred when the chemists for the defence had completely broken down the testimony of Professor Aiken. With the knowledge, it is said, of at least one of the judges, without the presence of a representative of the defence, or even of a legal officer, the body of General Ketchum was secretly exhumed by the doctors who had shown themselves so eager for the execution of Mrs. Wharton. The viscera, which they removed, were put into the hands not of a chemist of national reputation, but of an individual who had been advanced from the position of hospital steward at Washington to that of professor of chemistry in a small local institute at Baltimore. This professor, when on the witness-stand, was singularly confused as to his weights and measures, and finally shared the ignominy of his predecessor. The defence had several chemists at Annapolis of world-wide reputation and unspotted integrity. If the prosecution really believed that General Ketchum had been poisoned, if they really did expect tartar emetic to be found, why did they not allow the presence of these gentlemen at the analysis, and thereby ensure the condemnation of Mrs. Wharton? The conviction is irresistible that they were afraid of the truth—that they were simply determined to procure the desired verdict at all hazards and by any means. Yet this was the procedure for the completion of which the court suspended the trial for two days, because, as Chief-Justice Miller stated from the bench, "it thought the ends of justice demanded it"! Is any further evidence needed of the strange ideas, of the perversion of truth and justice, which have grown out of the American method of using expert testimony?

Before leaving this trial I desire to quote from advanced sheets of the edition of Dr. Taylor's great work on medical jurisprudence, now passing through the press. Reviewing the trial in London with that freedom from bias which the isolation of distance produces, he says: "The trial lasted fifty-two days, and an astonishing amount of evidence was brought forward by the defence and prosecution, apparently owing to the high social position of the parties, for there is nothing, medically speaking, which might not have been settled in forty-eight hours. The general died after a short illness, but the symptoms, taken as a whole, bore no resemblance to those observed in poisoning with antimony; and but for the alleged discovery after death of tartar emetic in the stomach, no suspicion of poisoning would probably have arisen.... The chemical evidence," he adds, "does not conflict with the pathological evidence, for it failed to show with clearness and distinctness the presence and proportion of poison said to have been found. The evidence that antimony was really there was not satisfactory, and that twenty [pg 450] grains were in the stomach wholly unproven."18

What would have been the course of this trial if expert testimony were established upon proper principles? Professor Aiken having shown his complete incompetency in the Schoeppe case, the analysis would have been entrusted to some skillful chemist, who by failing to discover poison would have established the innocence of Mrs. Wharton, or by bringing positive results into court have ensured conviction; or, Dr. Aiken having made the analysis, and having broken all the laws of toxicological evidence, his testimony would have been ruled out, and the case dismissed because the bungling of the State's witness had destroyed the evidences of guilt or of innocence.

In January, 1873, Mrs. Wharton was tried at Annapolis for attempting to poison Eugene Van Ness. The facts of the case are briefly as follows: Mr. Van Ness, whose relations with the Wharton family had been extremely intimate for many years, was a bank-clerk, but during the spring and early summer of 1871, besides attending to his regular duties, was employed in settling a large estate. He habitually rose early, often at 5 A.M., and generally worked until eleven o'clock at night. During this period he suffered from severe nervous headaches, and probably from other symptoms of an overworked nervous system, but on this point the testimony disagreed. His stomach is at all times so sensitive that brandy nauseates him. On the 19th of June, after taking some claret on an empty stomach at Mrs. Wharton's, he felt very badly, suffering from lightness of the head or giddiness and general wretchedness, with stiffness and numbness in the back of his neck. On the 20th he stopped at Mrs. Wharton's about 4 P.M., having eaten nothing for seven or eight hours, and took raspberries with cream, and drank claret. This claret, he stated, "had a taste like peach leaves."19 Directly after this he had an attack similar to, but much more violent than, that of the day before. Some little time after this, whilst in a condition of profound relaxation, he took some brandy, and at once emptied his stomach by a single spasmodic effort of vomiting, with immediate relief. The weather was extremely hot during the whole time in which the various attacks here narrated took place.

On the 24th of June, Mr. Van Ness rose at 5 A.M., but was forced to return to bed by a severe headache. At 9 A.M., after dressing, he said to his wife that he would not eat at home, but would stop at Mrs. Wharton's on his way to the office, to get a cup of her "nice black tea." A piece of toast was all he ate before his return to Mrs. Wharton's from the banking-house at 4 P.M. Mrs. Wharton then offered him some lager beer, and, partly at his own suggestion, put into it something out of a bottle labeled "Gentian Bitters." He found the liquid so bitter that he took but a part of it.20

[pg 451]

Shortly afterward Mr. Van Ness became partially blind, and was "seized with the same feeling of giddiness" as on the day before. After this he had convulsions, with unconsciousness, for which large doses of chloroform and chloral were given. During the attack the patient repeatedly said it was of the same character as the preceding ones, and referred the trouble to the pit of the stomach and to indigestion.

The next morning (Sunday), about an hour after waking, he took some tea and toast, and in ten minutes was seized with nausea, followed by heartburn and retching, which lasted all day. On Monday morning some beef tea—two-thirds of a cupful—was given him, and in less than an hour as much more, which induced nausea with heartburn. In the evening he was roused, and more beef tea offered him, which he refused because the last dose had made him sick, and he was afraid this would have the same effect. He was, however, prevailed on to take it. After this he fell asleep, but in a short time woke up with violent nausea, burning at the pit of the stomach, and finally vomiting. Not until this occurred did he discover anything wrong with the beef tea: as he vomited it he found it had an acrid metallic taste.21

The circumstantial evidence in the case did not amount to any more than, or indeed as much as, in the previous trial. It was distinctly admitted that no motive could be found, Mr. Van Ness testifying that the relations between himself and Mrs. Wharton were most friendly; that he held four thousand dollars of her government bonds, for which she had not even a receipt; that she depended upon him for the completion of her pecuniary arrangements for a contemplated trip to Europe; or, in other words, that she had nothing to gain and much to lose by his death, and that there was no conceivable emotional motive, such as hate, revenge or envy.22

No attempt was made to prove that Mrs. Wharton had at any time in her possession strychnia, the poison alleged to have been used by her. As on the previous trial, the case centred upon the expert testimony, but there was no direct chemical evidence, neither the food, the matters vomited nor the bodily secretions having been examined. Some sediment found in a tumbler of punch was asserted by Dr. Aiken to consist largely of tartar emetic. This tumbler was not connected with Mrs. Wharton, except by being found at her house in a position where, in the language of one of the State's witnesses, "hundreds of persons" had access to it. It was carried about in the pocket of a lady inimical to Mrs. Wharton, and into at least one drug-store, before it reached Professor Aiken, whose analysis was as faulty as before. Any tartar emetic present in the sediment might have been procured in a pure form by the simple process of dialysis. The only apparatus necessary for this would [pg 452] have been a glass vessel divided into two compartments by a piece of hog's bladder stretched across it. These chambers having been partially filled with distilled water, and the sediment of the tumbler put into one of them, the tartar emetic would have left the other ingredients and passed into the second compartment. By taking the water out of this and evaporating it, the poison would have been obtained in a pure crystalline state, and might have been brought into court. But Dr. Aiken thought it sufficient for him to "satisfy himself:" as he stated on the witness-stand, he did not consider it his business whether other people were or were not satisfied. Consequently, the court was only favored with a memorized report of the color tests used by him, exactly as in the previous trial. One of the reactions which he said he obtained antimony does not conform to.

Drs. Williams and Chew unhesitatingly stated on the witness-stand that they recognized poisoning as early as the Saturday of Mr. Van Ness's illness.23 Yet they gave no antidote. They employed on Monday and Tuesday a treatment which, although well adapted to a case of natural disease presenting such symptoms, would in a case of poisoning have materially increased the risk to life. They did not save the matters vomited: they did not save the secretions, which would certainly have contained antimony if Mr. Van Ness had been poisoned as alleged. According to their testimony, Mr. Van Ness received six doses of poison on as many different days, four of the doses administered under their eyes; yet they gave no warning to the unfortunate victim or to his friends. If the theory they upheld be correct, that Mrs. Wharton poisoned both General Ketchum and Mr. Van Ness, the extraordinary spectacle was presented of one man lying dead in the house from the effect of poison, of another receiving day after day the fatal dose with the knowledge of the attending physician, yet no antidote given, no warning word put forth, no saving of the evidences of guilt! It would seem as though silence at a trial would best become gentlemen with such a record, yet they were the only experts who asserted that strychnia was the sole possible cause for the attack of the 24th of June, and tartar emetic of the subsequent attacks.

The experts for the defence asserted that the convulsion of Saturday could not have been caused by strychnia or other known poison; that although the symptoms of the later attacks resembled those of tartar emetic poisoning, they were not identical with those usually produced by that drug; and that it was exceedingly improbable that these attacks were due to the poison named, because obvious natural causes for them existed.24

The impropriety and total insufficiency of our methods of criminal prosecutions were very strongly shown by this trial. One member of the jury could barely write his name, and not more than one or two of them were in the lowest sense of the term educated; no record of the testimony was kept by the court, and none, except in the very beginning, by the jury, who must therefore [pg 453] have been guided chiefly by impressions, lawyers' speeches or newspaper records; the feeling amongst the populace, with whom the jurymen freely mingled, was so bitter that one of the experts was barred out of his lodgings at ten o'clock at night, openly because he was for the defence of Mrs. Wharton; the newspaper which circulated most largely in the place misrepresented the testimony, and devoted its columns to scurrilous attacks upon the integrity and professional ability of the medical witnesses for the defence. Yet under these influences, mazed and confused by the subtleties and partial statements of the lawyers, these twelve honest but ignorant men were called upon to decide between physicians offering precisely opposite opinions. It is well when this so-called administration of justice ends as a monstrous farce and not as a tragedy.

The conduct of the Wharton-Van Ness trial would have been far different if the expert testimony had been what it ought to have been. If the excretions of Mr. Van Ness had been put in the hands of a properly-qualified chemist, by finding the metal antimony or by proving its absence he would at once have settled the case. As it is, there is no proper evidence of the guilt of Mrs. Wharton. The probabilities are in favor of her innocence, because the symptoms were certainly widely divergent from those induced by poison, if not, as I believe, absolutely incompatible with poisoning. The medical gentlemen who attended Mr. Van Ness, by destroying all the evidence, have made a just conviction and an absolute proving of innocence equally impossible.

If it were necessary, further illustrations of the deficiencies of our criminal processes could be detailed. Some little time since, upon the chemical evidence of Professor Aiken, a poor colored woman was hung in Anne Arundel county, Maryland. She died protesting her innocence, and the general impression appears to be now that she did not commit the crime. A prominent member of the Maryland Bar told me recently of a case tried in that State, in which the accused, as he stated, certainly did kill the deceased with arsenic, yet in which, by showing the insufficiency of Professor Aiken's analysis of the stomach, he obtained the acquittal of the prisoner.

It cannot be stated too strongly that the trouble is not in the science of toxicology, nor in the real students of it. So far as mineral poisons are concerned, any qualified expert will determine the question of poisoning with the unwavering step of a mathematical demonstration.

The legal recognition of the true character and position of the expert, and of certain principles of medical jurisprudence, would probably improve the present status, but it is doubtful whether some other method of reform may not be more available. Professor Henry Hartshorne, at the last meeting of the American Medical Association, suggested that the court should appoint in poisoning cases a commission to collect the scientific testimony and make report on the same. This seems at first sight practicable, but suppose the court had appointed, as is not at all improbable they would have done, Professors Aiken and Chew and Dr. Williams as the commission in Mrs. Wharton's case? The result would certainly have been an unjust conviction.

In Spain and some other countries of Europe the custom is to refer the case to the local medical society. If the opinion afterward given is unanimous, the court is bound by it; if any member object to the opinion, the case is referred to the medical society of the province; if the disagreement continue, the matter is brought before the chief society of the capital. Evidently, this plan would not work well here. In Prussia it was formerly, and may still be, the custom for an expert holding a fixed appointment under the government to investigate the case, and to send his report to the Royal Medical College of Prussia. A standing committee of this body, after investigating the matter, sent the original report, with their comments, to the ministry, by whom it was referred to a permanent commission of experts. The report of the latter body, with all the other papers, was [pg 454] finally sent to the criminal court. This method seems complicated, but it resulted in giving to Prussia the best corps of experts the world has ever seen, as well as the most eminent individual medical jurists.

It is not, however, the object of the present paper to urge any especial method of reform, but to call attention to the need of it, and to show that the present evils do not grow out of the imperfections of medical jurisprudence, but out of the methods of our criminal procedures. Certainly, the matter needs investigation, and it is hardly possible but that some practicable means of relief could be devised by the deliberations of a mixed commission of lawyers and medical jurists of eminence.

H.C. WOOD, JR., M.D.

Footnote 13: (return)

The utter absurdity of Dr. Williams's assertion is shown by the fact that on the first and second trials of Mrs. Wharton he affirmed that the violent convulsions, the extreme muscular rigidity, the retentive stomach, seen in the last day of General Ketchum's life were due to tartar emetic, and that to tartar emetic were due the excessive vomiting, the motionless prostration and muscular relaxation of Mr. Van Ness on the Sunday and Monday of his illness. Tartar emetic the sole possible cause of precisely opposite symptoms!

Footnote 14: (return)

The parsimony of many legal authorities is an indication of their want of appreciation of the differences in men. Not rarely medical experts are forced to sue a borough or county for compensation, even when the fee has been agreed on beforehand. In Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, some time ago a woman was arrested on the charge of poisoning her mother-in-law, and the stomach of the deceased was sent to Professor Reese of this city for analysis. Warned by previous experience, he refused to make the analysis without a written agreement as to the fees. Nearly three months were spent by the authorities in vainly trying to get him to do it without such arrangement, and finally the stomach was returned unopened. During the whole of this time the poor woman, very probably innocent, was lying in prison with the dreadful charge hanging over her.

Footnote 15: (return)

A very forcible illustration occurs to me from my own experience. I was once summoned to see a woman in the Philadelphia Hospital to whom an assistant nurse of bad character had been seen to administer laudanum. At the time of my arrival she was apparently suffering from the advanced stages of opium poisoning. I spent about five hours in trying to restore her. The nurse protested that she had given only the medicinal dose ordered by the doctor, but was not believed. After death we found thrombosis of the brain—a rare affection, leaving such minute traces behind it that a careless examination will always fail to detect them. This was one of the affections which, as I had stated on the witness-stand some months before the occurrence just narrated, might have caused the death of Miss Stennecke with symptoms resembling those of opium poisoning.

Footnote 16: (return)

According to the testimony in both the cases of alleged poisoning by Mrs. Wharton, professional advice was called in at her request.

Footnote 17: (return)

I think the general opinion of the profession has endorsed the position of the defence. It is very probable that General Ketchum did die of the disease named, but there are other affections of which he I may have died; and certainly there were no sufficient grounds for asserting that the facts of his case were inconsistent with natural disease. The truth is, disease is often so hidden, its manifestations so obscure, its stamp upon the tissues so faint, that rarely is a physician justified in asserting from the symptoms and a partial negative post mortem, such as was performed on General Ketchum, that any given death could not have been due to a natural cause. Numerous cases of death from natural causes have occurred in which science has been apparently baffled. I have myself seen at least one sudden death in which a careful post mortem failed entirely to detect the cause.

Footnote 18: (return)

Since writing the present paper I have been shown a private letter of Judge Pierce, written last April in regard to the first trial of Mrs. Wharton. After considerable solicitation the judge has allowed the publication of an extract from it, which I insert here as the words of one of our most eminent criminal jurists, He says: "I had made up my mind, when Dr. Williams's first testimony was concluded, that the case would fail. When Professor Aiken's examination was concluded it was beyond recovery. All efforts to secure a conviction after that were a waste of time and money. The case could have been safely for the defendant given to the jury on the testimony of the prosecution alone. If I had been sitting as a judge in the case, I would have instructed the jury at the close of the case for the State, if there had been no other testimony, that the evidence would not warrant a conviction. And I would have set aside the verdict if the jury had found the defendant guilty. I do not know the lady who was so wantonly charged with this crime, and I do not know of any case in the annals of criminal jurisprudence which, from the evidence submitted in the case, had so baseless a foundation for so grave a charge."

Footnote 19: (return)

It is proper to state that Miss Wharton, in his presence, partook of the same claret, but perceived nothing peculiar either in its taste, as she told him at the time, or in its effects upon her afterward. According to Miss Wharton's testimony, Mrs. Wharton actually drank the claret left in the glass of Mr. Van Ness directly after he left the room.

Footnote 20: (return)

This bottle was found in the house after the arrest of Mrs. Wharton, with compound tincture of gentian in it.

I have outlined the circumstances as Mr. Van Ness told them. A peculiarity of this trial was the direct contradiction of witnesses. Mr. Van Ness for a long time refused to entertain the idea that Mrs. Wharton had poisoned him. Whilst he was being persuaded into this belief he sent for Mrs. Neilson, a prominent lady of Baltimore, with whom both he and Mrs. Wharton were very intimate, and dismissing his wife from the room had a private conversation with her. During this, according to Mrs. Neilson's testimony, he stated that Mrs. Wharton could not have poisoned him on the Saturday, because they had exchanged glasses when he complained of the bitterness of the one into which she had put the gentian. On the stand Mr. Van Ness flatly denied ever having said anything of the sort. In a point of such vital importance it is impossible to account for the contradiction by "failure of memory."

Miss Neilson also contradicted Mr. Van Ness, and the act was in this case especially impressive from the manner in which it was done. Miss Neilson being on the stand, a dispute arose as to whether Mr. Van Ness had or had not previously made a sufficient denial for contradiction. To settle this, Miss Neilson left the stand: Mr. Van Ness went up and took the oath. Then the question was put, "Did you say so and so?" He answered, "I certainly did not." Miss Neilson returning to the stand immediately after this, the question was put to her. The court-room was in the deepest silence while in a low but audible voice she replied, "He did say it." The testimony of these ladies was in no degree shaken by a severe cross-examination.

Footnote 21: (return)

An essential symptom of tartar emetic poisoning is purging as well as vomiting. Dr. Williams of course knows this. It is a singular circumstance that whilst Mr. Van Ness stated that his bowels were scarcely affected at all, Dr. Williams testified that there was frequent purging. No remedies calculated to arrest purging were employed by Dr. Williams, however, during the illness of Mr. Van Ness.

Footnote 22: (return)

Mrs. Wharton's trip to Europe had been arranged and her passage engaged months before the occurrence of these events. If the theory of the State of Maryland, that she poisoned General Ketchum, be true, by poisoning Mr. Van Ness she placed herself in the position of the criminal who voluntarily and without motive destroys his means of escape. Either she was insane, or the asserted crimes were not committed.

Footnote 23: (return)

It is well worthy of mention in this connection that Mr. I.G. Moale of Baltimore testified that he went for Dr. Chew on Sunday morning, on account of the sick stomach of Mr. Van Ness, and that Dr. Chew told him that the vomiting was the almost necessary result of the remedies used the day before—a truth which, previous to Mr. Moale's appearance in Annapolis, the experts for the defence had insisted upon. H. Clay Dallam also testified that Dr. Williams had told him on Saturday that the indisposition of Mr. Van Ness the day before had been a nervous attack from overwork. This opinion also was in absolute agreement with the opinion expressed by the experts for the defence.

Footnote 24: (return)

The detailed reasons for this opinion will be given in a medical journal at the proper time. It is allowable here to state, however, that not one of the symptoms laid down by authorities as characteristic of strychnia poisoning was present in the attack of the 24th of June, and that not one of the symptoms which characterizes the natural convulsion was absent. Further, there is a connection between the various portions of Mr. Van Ness's illness which is inconsistent with the theory advanced by the prosecution. Mr. Van Ness stated very positively that the attacks of the 19th, 20th and 24th of June commenced in the same way, with the same symptoms. Yet, according to the theory alluded to, they were the result of poisons which act in precisely opposite methods. On the other hand, the very simple natural explanation of the illness of Mr. Van Ness which was offered by the defence at the trial accounts for the unity and the diversity of the attacks, the basis of which, according to it, was over-susceptibility of the nervous system and of the stomach, produced by overwork and heat.


The denizens of great cities, whose weary eyes are doomed to rest eternally on long rows of buildings, unrelieved by anything softer or fresher than brownstone or marble fronts, thirst for an occasional glimpse of Nature, so healing to jaded mind and wearied body. So universal is this sentiment that provision for gratifying it is not confined to the cities which our modern civilization has reared, nor do the capitals of Christendom alone boast of their parks and similar places of resort. In effete and uncivilized Turkey the "institution" has long been established, and still flourishes; and the "Sweet Waters of Constantinople" draw quite as well, as regards both male and female visitors, as either Fairmount, Central or Hyde Park, or even the Bois de Boulogne, to which far-famed resort of all that is wise, wicked or witty in Paris these Turkish parks most nearly assimilate.

One of the two "Valleys of the Sweet Waters" is on the European, the other on the Asiatic, side of the Bosphorus. The former is more frequented by the Greek and other Christian populations, while the latter is chiefly resorted to by the higher classes among the Turks and the veiled ladies of their hareems, and is often visited by the sultan himself.

To the Asiatic Sweet Waters you must go by boat, or rather by caique, a peculiar little frail cockle-shell of a conveyance, rowed by the most truculent-looking and unmitigated ruffians, Turkish or Grecian, to be found on any waters or in any land, Christian or heathen. Picturesque in costume and exceedingly ragged and dirty, with the most cut-throat expression of face possible to conceive of, when you entrust your person and purse to their tender mercies you involuntarily remember with satisfaction that you insured your life for a good round sum before leaving your native country, and that this is one of the risks it covers.

To the European Sweet Waters you may go by carriage, but if wise will go there also by caique; for even the corduroy roads of our Southern country, so famous for their dislocating qualities, can be paralleled by the so-called road over which once (and once only), for our sins, we suffered ourselves to be shaken, not driven. It is the fashion at Constantinople to visit the Asiatic Sweet Waters only on Friday (the Mussulman Sabbath), and the European Sweet Waters on Sunday; and on those days all that may be seen of Turkish ladies is on full exhibition.

If you select the Asiatic Sweet Waters for your visit, you go down to the wharf at Tophane, where the rival boatmen (caiquejees) raise as loud a din and make as fierce a fight for your person and piastres as you ever encountered on your arrival at New York in a European steamer from rival hack-drivers or hotel "touters." Pulled, pushed and shoved [pg 455] about in all directions as fiercely as ever was the body of Patroclus in the Iliad, when Greek and Trojan contended for possession of it, you are at last hustled into a caique, and deposited in the bottom on soft cushions, your back supported by the end of the boat, your face to the two boatmen. The caique is gayly ornamented and pretty to look at, but it is the crankiest and tickliest of all nautical inventions—more resembling a Canadian birch-bark canoe than any other craft you are acquainted with. Admiring the view, you partially rise up and lean your elbow on the side of the boat. A warning cry from your boatmen and a sudden dip of your frail bark, which almost upsets you head-foremost to feed the fishes of the Bosphorus, admonish you to sit quietly, and you can scarcely venture to stir again during the long row. The caique is long and very narrow, and sharp at both ends—pointed, in fact. It is boarded over at these ends to prevent shipping seas. These planks are prettily varnished, with gilded rails, which give the boat a gay look.

The men row vigorously, and the frail skiff skims along the water at a rate of speed equal to an express-train. But the rushing of the rippling waters past the boat is the chief indication of the rapidity of our progress, so smoothly do we glide along. One peculiarity of the caique is that there are no rowlocks for the oars, which are held by a loop of leather fastened on the boat.

All the senses are soothed and steeped in Elysium during this rapid transit. The eye lazily runs over the squat-looking red houses with flat roofs which line the shore, to rest on the dark cypress trees which fill the intervening spaces, with the gilded balconies of some pleasure-palace of sultan or high Turk catching the sight occasionally. Caiques similar to your own are darting about in all directions, following, passing or meeting you, until at length you reach your destination, indicated by the crowd of caiques tied up there, like cabs on a grand-opera night waiting for their customers. Those of high Turkish functionaries or foreign ambassadors are very different from yours—as different as a coach-and-four from a common cab. Many of these have twelve rowers, all in fancy uniforms—red fezzes and jackets embroidered with gold—while the larger caiques are profusely and expensively ornamented.

Stepping ashore, you see a long line of carriages drawn up in several rows, and of every conceivable variety—from the Turkish araba to the most coquettish-looking Parisian coupé—gilded and adorned in a style to make a French lorette stare with amazement at a lavishness of expenditure exceeding her own.

The fair ones to whom these carriages belong may be seen in the distance squatting down on rugs spread out beneath the trees, and sipping coffee or sherbert while listening to musicians or story-tellers. You stroll toward them as near as their attendant guardians—grim-looking black eunuchs armed to the teeth, and quite ready to use those arms with very little provocation on the persons of any "dogs of infidels" who may interfere or seem to interfere with their fair charges—will permit. You see bundles of the gayest colored silks worn by women whose veils are thin as gossamer, and generally permit a very fair view of their charms, not only of face, but of bust as well. The bold black eyes of the caged birds flash out unshrinkingly on the strangers, who inspire curiosity, and not always aversion, if the language of those eyes be interpreted according to the Western code. In fact, the women seem to take a malicious pleasure in annoying their guards by encouraging such advances as can be made by the mute language of looks and signs.

Every Friday in the year the same pantomime is performed. The women go to the Sweet Waters to sit and stare at men whom they do not and never will know or speak to, and the men go to walk or waddle about and stare back at the women in the same way. This monotonous and melancholy pastime is varied by much stuffing of sweetmeats and cakes and sipping of colored beverages by the fair ones, and endless [pg 456] smoking by the men. There are strolling jugglers and musicians plying their trades for the amusement and paras of the public, and they are liberally patronized in the dreary dearth of amusement on these pleasure-grounds.

To the foreigner, after the sight has been seen a few times and divested of its novelty, the whole thing becomes tedious in the extreme; but we must remember that in his tastes the Turk is the very opposite of the Western man, and what would be death to us is fun to him. His idea of true enjoyment is that it should be passive, not active: his highest happiness is in "keff," a perfect repose of mind and body—an exaggeration of the Italian dolce far niente. This keff he enjoys at these weekly meetings, and the women in their way enjoy it too as the only public exposition of themselves they are permitted to make, and as a break in the monotony of their dreary and secluded lives.

But there is another mode of killing time there, evidently borrowed, as are the carriages, from Europe. The conveyances at intervals are driven round a circular road in two long files, going and coming, to permit people to stare at each other, just as in London, Paris or New York, minus the salutations to friends or conversation. As the poet says of the stars—

In silence all

Move round this dark terrestrial ball,

though the women, while sitting under the trees, chatter like magpies to one another. The etiquette is to recline languidly back in the carriage and speak through the eyes alone to the mounted cavaliers, who prance as near the carriages containing veiled inmates as the sable guards will permit, to the infinite amusement of Fatima and Zuleika, and boundless wrath and disgust of Hassan or Mustapha, "with his long sword, saddle, bridle, etc."

Two of these carriages are so peculiar to the place and people as to merit description. One of these, the "araba," is an heirloom from their old Tartar ancestry, and is only an exaggerated ox-cart with seats, and a scaffolding of poles around it. Over these poles there hangs a canopy of red to keep off the sun, and the seats are well-stuffed cushions, making a kind of bed of the bottom of the wagon. Into this curious conveyance are piled promiscuously the mother, children and slaves of the establishment—packed in as tightly as possible; and the contrast of costumes, faces, colors and ages between its occupants may be imagined, but cannot be described. For a genuine old-fashioned family carriage commend us to the araba.

This curious conveyance is drawn not by horses, but by white oxen, whose broad fronts are pleasingly painted between the eyes bright red with henna, the dye with which the Turkish ladies tinge their own fair hands and the soles of their feet. The oxen bear high wooden yokes covered with fringes and tassels, and their tails are often looped up with bright cords. Their pace, bearing their heavy burden of wood and flesh, is slow and stately, and the jolting of the springless wagon over the rough roads seemingly very severe. But the inmates seem used to their discomforts, and sit placidly and contentedly on their uneasy seats, apparently proud of their turn-out and the effect they are producing. These cumbrous vehicles are much affected by the elder ladies of the sultan's court, who constitute the Faubourg-Saint-Germain portion of society. True old-school Turks these, who look down with scorn on the new fashions, both in costume and carriage, stolen or adopted from the despised Franks.

Chief and most conspicuous of these latter is the small imitation brougham or coupé, termed a "teleki," and generally built at Paris regardless of cost, and resembling a Christian carriage about as nearly as the Turk resembles a European when he puts on a similar dress. The teleki is pumpkin-shaped, almost round, painted and gilded in the gayest colors, with large bunches of the brightest flowers painted on panels and on the glasses which shut it in all round. It is the most dazzling carriage the imagination of carriage-makers ever devised, and well [pg 457] adapted to the taste of the grown-up children it is intended for, who, clad in raiments of rose-color, pink, bright blue or scarlet, seem a fit lining for the gorgeous exterior. Unlike the French carriage, the teleki has no springs; so the exercise these fair ladies get is about equal to that of a ride on a hard-trotting horse.

Another peculiarity consists in the driver's dismounting from his box and walking gravely alongside the carriage, holding in his hands the colored silken reins to guide the well-bred horses.

On horseback alongside prance the ill-favored eunuchs, ready to swear at or smite the insolent Frank venturing too near the moon-eyed beauties in the teleki.

At these Sweet Waters the sultan has his own kiosk, a gilded monstrosity of architecture, and at its window, worn, pallid, haggard, gazing out with lacklustre and indifferent eye upon the scene below, this shadow of the Prophet might frequently be seen a few years since. It was etiquette for him to come sometimes, so he did it as a duty, not a pleasure; for the poor man had no pleasures, being the most utterly blasé man in this wide world. The drawback on all his pomp and power is the condition annexed to it, that no one is worthy of his society, and he must be ever alone, in public as in private. A representative of the faith as well as of the loyalty of his people, no one can be supposed to meet or associate with him on terms approaching equality, and hence his isolation from human sympathy or society.25

The fountain is covered by a square roof, and all around it are marble slabs with Turkish inscriptions in gilt letters praising the virtues of the water. In that scriptural phraseology so common in the East you are notified that "These waters are as sweet as those of the well of Zemzem, of which Abraham drank, and like unto those of the rivers of Paradise to the hot and thirsty who come here to taste them." The water was really very good water, but its praises struck us as rather hyperbolical, possibly because the Frank at Constantinople generally drinks and prefers other and more potent beverages.

But drinking the water is the least part of the performance here, and, unlike Saratoga, "flirtation around the spring" is a thing undreamed of where the sexes, at peril of life and limb, dare not even approximate, much less exchange courtesies over the draught.

There is a narrow road which leads you away from this busy spot to the sources of the fountains of these Sweet Waters. But road-making is not one of the triumphs of Turkish skill, and this is a very dirty and dusty road, full of holes which would smash the springs of any conveyances less primitive and strong than those in use. It is hedged in by fig trees growing to a size which would astonish those who have only seen the dwarf trees of the species which we possess. Passing along this road, we reach the inner valley. Here we find fewer people, but the same astonishing variety of race and costume which makes the other so curious and characteristic. The richness of the silk and satin dresses, all of the brightest colors, which adorn the women, and the gayly-embroidered jackets of the men, make the eyes ache which gaze upon them. Almost every specimen of the Eastern races may be seen here—all taking their pleasure in the same indolent way which distinguishes Eastern enjoyment. The Circassian and Georgian women are certainly very beautiful, as far as regularity of features, bold flashing eyes and great symmetry of form can make them; but they lack expression, the highest feminine charm, and softness is alien to those bold beauties. They remind you of Jezebel, and like her they "paint their faces" before going into public. Not only do they smear their faces freely with white and red, but they also join together their eyebrows by a thick black band of kohl, and with the same pigment blacken the lower lids of the eyes, giving a wicked and peculiar expression to [pg 458] the eyes. The tips of the fingers are stained red with henna; and without these appliances no Eastern woman deems her toilette complete. Many of them would doubtless be exceedingly lovely were they to let themselves alone, but Turkish taste requires these appliances, and an unpainted woman is a rarity.

It is an Eastern saying that a woman should be a load for a camel, and in deference to this taste they fatten themselves up until they become mountains of flesh. Where obesity is considered a charm, delicacy of outline ceases to be regarded, and a woman who has not rotundity is regarded as an unfortunate being. They are decidedly the greatest collection of well-fed females to be seen in the world.

The task of the black guards who accompany these houris is anything but a sinecure, and "nods and becks and wreathed smiles" are freely bestowed on the male passers-by in spite of etiquette and eunuchs. If the scandalous chronicles of the coffee-shops and bazaars are to be relied upon, "Love laughs at locksmiths" here as well as in more civilized lands, and Danger and Opportunity wink at each other. There is far less decorum and outward reserve of manner here than in our parks, but this freedom is all confined to looks and gestures, access and converse being both forbidden.

Frequently, however, the bad-tempered guardians of the hareem commit outrages on the persons of real or supposed aggressors in this way, and from these even members of the foreign embassies have not always been exempt. The difficulty of identifying the offender in such cases enhances the impunity of these wretches, for to arrest one on the spot would be impossible in the midst of a crowd which sympathizes with the offender, instead of the sufferer, and looks upon it as a proper punishment for the insolent Giaour. A private person unconnected with an embassy has still less chance for satisfaction, but must pocket the affront, even if smitten by whip or flat of sabre, considering himself fortunate to have escaped maiming or mutilation should he incautiously give a pretext for Ethiopian or Nubian intervention.

Few persons of foreign birth and training would go more than twice to visit the Sweet Waters of Asia, whose peculiarities and amusements have been thus briefly sketched. The spectacle at the European Sweet Waters differs somewhat from the routine already described. There, although you also meet the Turks, the greater proportion of the visitors are either Greeks or native Christians of different races. You see fewer arabas and telekis, and more carriages, or rather hacks, and men galloping along on raw-boned horses in a kind of imitation "Rotten-Row" style. The men wear the European dress, often surmounted by the red fez: the women dress in an insane imitation of French fashions, and glitter with jewelry—a passion with Eastern women of all races and creeds. Frequently a woman carries her whole fortune and her husband's in these ornaments, which, in a country where the difference between meum and tuum is so little observed by persons in authority, is regarded as the safest mode of investment.

The European Sweet Waters are rather more dull and less interesting than the Asiatic, owing to the causes already described, nor is compensation to be found in the superior beauty of the women; for, as a general rule, the Greek men are better looking than the women; and the intercourse between the sexes is regulated on the Eastern plan to a very great extent, though there is not the same absolute prohibition, nor the same peril attendant on the attempt to open an acquaintance. In all Eastern countries, however, the position and treatment of woman are modified by the prevailing prejudice, which places her on a much lower level than the man, and deprives her of most of the cherished privileges of her more favored Western sisters. If the Turk has failed in forcing his religious faith on his Christian vassals, he has succeeded in fixing the social status of their women on much the same basis as his own.

The day selected for visiting the [pg 459] European Sweet Waters by the native or Greek population is either Sunday or on the festival of some one of the many saints whose names are legion in the Greek calendar. Never was there a people so fond of holidays, or who take them oftener under religious pretexts. Yet they celebrate them in anything but a pious manner. Their fasts are much fewer and not so punctiliously observed.

As the restriction on intoxicating beverages is not such a cardinal article of faith at the European as at the Asiatic Sweet Waters, that element enters into the diversions at the former place, to the frequent scandal of the decorous and abstemious Turks. The fiery wines of Sicily and the Greek islands are freely indulged in, and tipsy cavaliers, caracoling on the hacks of Pera and Galata, are not infrequent accessories, aggravating the danger and discomfort to the stranger of the return in carriage or on horseback. The roughness of the road, its heat and dust, are bad enough; but to aggravate these discomforts you have a crowd of hacks and a swarm of cavaliers pursuing the same route, with all the collisions inevitable from unskillful coachmen and tipsy riders. It is a long, dreary drive too, with no scenery worth looking at on the route, even could you discern it through the dense clouds of dust which envelop you from its commencement to its close. When you reach your hotel you take a bath to refresh yourself, and go down to supper, exclaiming with a sigh of relief, "Well, thank Heaven! I have seen the Sweet Waters!"


Footnote 25: (return)

This rule was observed by Abdul Medjid, the late sultan, of whom I speak. It is said that his successor has broken through this restriction to a considerable extent, and is a social being.



The discussion between Mr. John Woodstock and his sister was becoming animated, and their aunt, who never could understand the difference between a discussion and a quarrel, was listening anxiously, expecting every moment to see Marjory flounce out of the room at one door, and John at the other, in their respective furies. It began in this way: John had just read a notice of an extraordinary concert to come off the next week, and had pushed the paper over to Marjory, with the remark, "Like to go, Peg?"

She. Of course I should like to go! You don't mean to say you have tickets for it? (Excitedly.)

He. No, of course I don't: I am not a thief.

She. No, you are only the next thing to it—a shabby fellow. Why did you ask me in that way when you knew we couldn't go?

He. How you do jump at lame and impotent conclusions! Who said we could not go? I am sure I did not.

She. John Woodstock, if you don't stop this, and tell me what you mean, I will never make you another shirt!

He. Small loss! Of all mean things, a homemade shirt is the meanest; and why a man of my native nobility of character should be condemned to wear them—

Their aunt (distressedly). Children! children!—

He (soothingly). Never mind, aunty: she did not mean it. She would not put it out of her power to say that she had made every shirt I ever wore for all the mines of Golconda.

She. What a small potato you are!

He. Now, my dear Marjory, how often must I tell you that calling a fellow names is not arguing? If you could keep from being abusive for five minutes, you might hear of something to your advantage. I have a little money, for a wonder, but it is like the turkey—too [pg 460] much for one, and not enough for two. You cannot go by yourself, for it is an evening affair; but if you were not so frightfully vain about your personal appearance, I think we could manage it. I heard you say yesterday that you had the money for a new pair of gloves: if you will sacrifice them, we can go, and in two weeks I can give you the gloves besides. I can't before, for my princely income is at present heavily mortgaged. Can you furbish up your old ones till then, and thereby prove yourself sensible for once?

She. You are a pretty good boy, after all; but really I have not a decent pair to my name: that last pair of light ones got lemonade all over them, and it took the color out, of course.

He. Now I'll tell you what! I can take them for you on my way down town, and leave them to be dyed, and then you can do some fancy-work on their backs; and what more do you want?

She (doubtfully). But would black gloves do?

He (conclusively). Of course they would for a thing like that. Fetch them out, and be quick about it; and bring your money too, for I had better buy the tickets this morning, and then we shall have some choice as to seats.

So it was arranged. Marjory's lofty mind did wince a little at the idea of dyed gloves, but she tried not to think of it. John brought the objectionable kids home in time for elaborate decoration "on their backs;" but, as he watched her in the pauses of his reading aloud, they both observed with anxiety that the black "came off a little," and Marjory asked him to warn her if he saw her let them go anywhere near her face.

Two children never enjoyed a holiday more than these two enjoyed that concert. Dyed gloves and all other sublunary trials were forgotten: Marjory did not touch her face once; and when the happy evening was over, the gloves were put away with a loving pat on their backs, and John had risen ten degrees in Marjory's respect.

If those gloves had but rested on their laurels! But if people of genius will not do that, can you expect it of dyed gloves? Few are the authors who have not followed up a brilliant success with something very like a failure, and Marjory's gloves seemed to catch the spirit of the times.

Before the two weeks were up which were to restore John to comparatively easy circumstances, and Marjory to respectability so far as her hands went, John asked her to go with him to hear a lecture. Just about that time he was rather wild concerning natural history, for which, I am sorry to say, Marjory did not care a pin. She indignantly repelled the idea of a gorilla somewhere toward the top of her family tree, asserting that she preferred to believe that she had descended from so mean a man as Adam, and so curious a woman as Eve, to that: furthermore, she was indifferent upon the subject. But there was not much she would not do to please John; so when he asked her to go with him to hear a lecture about the gorilla, she made a face to herself, and said certainly she would.

She consented with rather better grace from the fact that Mr. Pradamite—such was the lecturer's euphonious name—undertook to prove conclusively that man was not descended from the gorilla; but when the little old gentleman walked briskly upon the stage, she whispered John that he would have been a valuable advocate of the theory held by the other side: he wanted nothing but a little pointed felt hat, with a feather in it, to look very much like a small edition of the original gorilla reduced to earning his living by assisting a hand-organist.

The lecture, to John, was delightful—so clear, so logical, went so far back, and so deep down, and so high up. "Walked all around that fellow I heard last week on the other side," John said. But Marjory, who had herself taken a long walk that afternoon, thought the whole thing unutterably stupid: her eyelids would drop, her neck felt double-jointed and would not stay erect. Fortunately, their seats were far back, not very brilliantly lighted, and Marjory's had the advantage of being next a [pg 461] pillar. John, however, considered this fact unfortunate, for he could not obtain a good view of the remarkable figures with which the old gentleman was illustrating his lecture, talking in spasmodic jerks as he drew, and when John saw a dear and scientific friend on a front seat, with a vacant place beside him, he could not resist the temptation to take it. He looked at Marjory: she was half asleep, but still contending bravely for the other half. He surveyed their immediate neighbors—three strong-minded-looking women just behind them; a fatherly-looking old gentleman in the seat next his own; a pillar protecting Marjory on the other side, and two highly respectable-looking young men in the row of seats before them, who appeared to be listening intently and occasionally taking notes; at least, one of them was, and he submitted his note-book to the criticism of the other, who smiled approvingly. The seats immediately in front of his own and Marjory's were vacant.

"Would you mind, Peggy," said John, deprecatingly, "if I left you for a few minutes? I can't half see what he is drawing, and there is a vacant front seat. I'll only stay five minutes."

"Certainly, dear," said Marjory with sleepy amiability: "stay up there till he has finished, and then come back for me. I am not at all afraid."

"Oh no: I will not do that," answered John, considerately, "but I do want to go for a few minutes." So away he went, and, once up there, he of course "took no note of time," and Marjory was left to her own devices. These were few and simple, but small causes sometimes produce great effects. She had on those gloves, of course.

She never could recall that part of the evening very distinctly. A confused recollection that she found the pillar very comfortable for a while; that finally the ridges in it hurt her cheek; that she had one or two lucid intervals between her naps, in one of which she concluded that it would be better to take those gloves off for fear of marking her face; and that while she was doing so she caught a sentence or two of the lecture—something like this: "This one essential point of difference is in itself convincing proof of the theory which I hold. The difference in the formation of the hands is a difficulty which no theory of development can overcome." These few insignificant items were all which remained in her memory: then the little gentleman's voice gradually took to her ears the form of a chant: his "theory," as the simple rustic said about a matter less abstruse, "might be wrong, but it was awful soothin'," and pleasant dreams of having four hands, all available, and not of the objectionable sort whose bones the professor was dangling, beguiled the time for Marjory—how long she knew not.

What woke her? Surely somebody laughed? She started up: the lecture was over at last; John, with a penitent face, was hastening back to her; the people who had sat nearest her were gone, and so were her gloves!

"What, in thunder—" said John forcibly, looking at her face in blank amazement.

"Oh, I didn't mind," she answered mildly, thinking he was apologizing. "I believe I have had a little nap, Jack, but I can't find my gloves: will you look under the next seat, please?"

"My dear child," said John, shaking with suppressed laughter, "your face has 'found your gloves' with a vengeance! It's as black as—anything. Can't you put your veil down till we get out of this?"

Obediently hiding her countenance, Marjory, bewildered and still not quite awake, followed John after a few minutes' further and fruitless search for the missing gloves.

The brisk walk home through the frosty air restored her consciousness, and when John led her up to the looking-glass, kindly removing her veil at the same time, consciousness took the form of wrath.

"I never could have done all that myself," she exclaimed indignantly. "Why, I took those hateful gloves off, and put them on the cushion; and it is just my belief that one of those dreadful boys in front of us—"

[pg 462]

"Boys!" interrupted John. "Those fellows were enough older than you—or I either, for that matter."

"I don't care," said Marjory, with tears of vexation in her brown eyes. "They behaved like boys, for when I woke—I mean just before you came for me—I thought I heard somebody laugh, and then they were gone, and my gloves were gone too; and I just believe they managed to blacken my face somehow, and then stole my gloves."

"If I thought that—" exclaimed John savagely; and then added in a puzzled tone, "But how could they have done it, Peg, unless you were sleeping like a rock?"

"Well, I believe I was," answered the young woman candidly, "for I was tired to death, and couldn't understand half the gorilla said."

"It was all my fault for dragging you there, and then leaving you," said John, his penitence making him overlook this glaring disrespect to his hobby and its rider. "But those fellows looked like gentlemen; and besides, I know who that old man was who sat next me, and I am sure he would not have let any such trick be played right under his nose without stopping it."

"You can think what you please," said Marjory, a little crossly, for her naturally good temper had been severely tried, "but nothing will ever make me believe it was not those boys."


Some weeks had elapsed since that sorrowful result of praiseworthy economy. Marjory's feelings had been soothed by a pair of tan-colored kids, three-buttoned, stitched on the backs, accompanied by a glove-buttoner and a hug from John. The mention of dyed gloves still raised a flush on her round cheeks and painful recollections in her heart, but she was beginning to banish the sore subject from her mind, and to half smile to herself when she did think of it; for, in spite of the enormity of the supposed offence, the vision of her remarkable appearance when John raised her veil before the glass was too much for her risibles as it grew more and more retrospective. For she was one of those happy mortals who cannot help seeing a joke, even when it points their way.

She came down stairs one evening arrayed in her best bib and tucker, and was speedily joined by John, whose appearance likewise indicated some approaching festivity—all but his face, which wore a rather disgusted expression. "What a bore parties are!" said that world-weary individual from the height of his twenty-third year.

"That depends," answered Marjory with the superior wisdom of eighteen. "If one meets bright people, they are not a bore. And I'll give you some advice, Jack: don't always take it for granted that the girls can only talk gossip and fashions. Take it for granted that they have at least as much sense as you have, and talk about something worth while."

"The descent of man, for instance?" suggested John, somewhat mischievously. "From the interest you take in that, I've no doubt the rest of the girls would be charmed."

"What is that thing somebody said about the man of one book?" asked Marjory, looking abstracted.

"Don't know," replied John—"never met him."

The party was about as lively and about as stupid as parties generally are. There was a little pleasant music, a little innocent "square dancing," a very well-ordered supper, and a good deal of conversation.

Toward the close of the evening the hostess came to Marjory. "My dear," she said, "I have a young friend here whom I wish to introduce to you and your brother: he told me he had heard of John's interest in scientific matters, and as he has just come to live in the city, he has not many acquaintances. He is a very nice fellow. I know all about him, and I want him to have a few pleasant visiting-places: I always feel so sorry for a young man away from his family in a large city. May I bring him and introduce him to you?"

"Certainly, if he is not stupid," said [pg 463] Marjory, smiling. "There is John: I will make him come here before you have captured your young man, and then we can be introduced together.".

John, however, was talking biology or protoplasm or something else to an interested listener on the other side of the room, and was blind to all Marjory's "nods and becks and wreathèd smiles." So, when the amiable old lady returned with her prize, whom she appeared to have "captured" without either difficulty or delay, Marjory had the introduction all to herself. She was not one of those wonderful inventions, a girl who can meet a man's eyes with a steady stare, and for the first few minutes after their hostess left them she only noticed that her new acquaintance looked and spoke like a gentleman, that he had a very pleasant voice, and that, without being pedantic, he was not talking nonsense. Imagine the sensation which took place in her head when, at some bright speech from her antagonist—for they had immediately fallen into an argument—she raised her laughing eyes to his face, and saw—one of the youths who had fallen under her righteous indignation on the memorable night of the gorilla lecture! Marjory had what are called "speaking eyes." It afflicted her greatly that, no matter what the emergency, her feelings would appear in her face; so—although she struggled hard to go on as if nothing had happened, resolving, after a hasty mental review of the situation, to behave as if she had never seen him before, and upon better acquaintance demand the truth if she liked him, and let him severely alone if she did not—anybody could have seen her countenance change, and to her intense chagrin she felt herself blushing. To make matters worse, he blushed too, and over his intelligent face flitted just the shadow of a smile.

This was too much! Marjory fanned herself vigorously, and hazarded an original observation in a constrained voice. "Don't you think it is very warm here?" she said.

"Very!" replied the student of nature. "Shall we walk in the hall for a few minutes?" and he offered her his arm. She rested the tips of her fingers on his sleeve, and they proceeded to walk up and down the hall, she being saved only by her escort from collision with various other couples similarly employed. This interesting exercise lasted for some minutes, varied by attempts at conversation which were about as natural as spasms. Marjory took a desperate resolution. This absurd state of things should not last much longer, if she could help it. "I never could act as if nothing was the matter when something was," she began, "and I can't help it if this is not polite; but I think, from what Mrs. Grove said about you, that you will tell me the truth if I ask you something. Will you?" and she looked up once more.

"Certainly I will," he answered gravely, meeting her glance with steady, honest eyes, and somehow, short as their acquaintance had been, she believed him.

She had meant to ask him deliberately if he or his companion, or both, had stolen her gloves and decorated her face, but she felt unable to do that with those eyes on hers; so she changed her tactics, and said, rather meekly, considering what her former feelings had been: "Will you please tell me exactly what happened the evening that man lectured about the gorilla, and you sat nearly in front of my brother and me?"

"That was your brother, then?" he said quickly, and then stopped, looking a little foolish.

"Yes," she answered, with a surprised glance at his face; "but you said you would answer."

"I beg your pardon," he replied. "I will, of course, and I know you will believe me. After your brother left you, you leaned your head against the pillar, and then, as if the grooving hurt your face, you put your hand between; and then—I must apologize for my apparent impoliteness, but I promised to tell the truth;" and he smiled a little—"then you seemed to fall fast asleep. A mosquito lit on your nose, and woke you. When you raised your head, your cheek was quite black from your glove; you rubbed your nose and made that black [pg 464] too; then you went to sleep again, and directly a curl of your hair fell over your other cheek, and woke you again, and you gave your cheek a little slap, thinking, I suppose, that the mosquito had come back: that left the mark of your fingers, and you rubbed it a little and made it yet blacker. Then you took your gloves off and fell asleep again; and then—you will believe now that I am telling you 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,' for I am risking your displeasure by telling what came next;" and he flushed up to his hair—"I made up my mind that it was my duty to secure those gloves, and prevent thereby the possibility of such an accident in the future. So I put my arm over the back of the seat carelessly, and when nobody was looking I picked them up and pocketed them. It was not I who laughed, but my brother, who did not notice your face—after you had blackened it, that is—until he rose to go, when he laughed involuntarily, and I collared him and took him off. Now you know all about it, and I await my sentence. Can you forgive me for stealing your gloves? The motive at least was good."

Marjory's face had cleared as this highly circumstantial narrative progressed, and when it was finished she looked up smiling. "Yes," she said, "I quite forgive you: the motive is everything. But do please tell me, were you really so interested in what that little gorilla said as you seemed to be? You were taking notes, you know—I saw that before I went to sleep. Now what was there that was worth making a note of? I am sure I heard nothing."

"Would you like to see my notes?" he asked, drawing a little book from his waistcoat pocket.

"Yes, if they are not long," she answered doubtfully; "but Jack will tell you how stupid I am on all such subjects as that."

He placed the book in her hand, open, and she saw a clever sketch of herself and the pillar: underneath was written, "Mademoiselle Stylites."

"Did you draw that?" she asked, smiling in spite of herself.

"Yes," he replied, answering her smile. "I am fond of sketching from nature." Then, as he glanced at the picture, he added hastily, "I forgot that absurd inscription: George, my brother, did that."

Marjory did not look deeply offended, even at the "absurd inscription;" and the conversation continued, upon different and indifferent subjects, until John bethought himself of his duty, and came to find her. She introduced her squire to him, and after a few minutes more of pleasant conversation they separated, Mr. Owen—such was the natural philosopher's name—having received John's assurance of a speedy call upon him, and given his address with an alacrity which proved, John thought, that they were kindred spirits.

As they walked home, John suddenly exclaimed, "You know I never remember faces, Peg, but somehow I feel as if I had seen that fellow before. He's an uncommonly good fellow, and Mrs. Grove says he is very fond of my hobby, as you call it, so I shall go to see him soon."

Of course Marjory gave him an outline of her evening's adventure "upon this hint," and he laughed heartily at the whole thing, assuring her that he had never believed for a moment in such an absurd possibility as she had fancied.

Well, what of it all? Nothing particular. Mr. Owen and John are fast friends by this time. Marjory is beginning to take an interest in natural history. Also, she has lost all faith in conviction upon circumstantial evidence. She is "o'er young to marry yet," her aunt thinks, and so do I of course, for this is not a love-story: I wish that to be distinctly understood.


[pg 465]


It was a mild and pleasant day in the middle of February, and the bright sunlight streamed through the windows of the poor little room where Madame Soubirons sat alone. The table, with its dishes neatly arranged for the noonday meal, stood in the middle of the room. A pot hung in the large fireplace, and a skillet sat upon the few remaining coals. There was nothing with which to replenish the fire, and Madame Soubirons sat gazing at the flickering embers with a rueful face. "A cold hearth is more chilling than the mountains," she said; and she rose and went out of the poor little apartment, which, with all its poverty, would not have been cheerless had a bright fire glowed upon the neatly-kept hearth, and sat down upon the doorstep, where the sunlight fell warmly.

From this position was afforded a view of a picturesque and romantic landscape, presenting in the foreground a portion of the quaint village of Lourdes, with the cross of the old church brightly gleaming in the sunlight above the thickly-clustered cottage roofs. Farther away stood the great mill, and grimly from its rocky seat frowned the ancient castle, of which the people of Lourdes never wearied of telling that it had been besieged by Charlemagne centuries ago. In the distance glanced the river Gave, fighting its rock-riven way to the sea. The prospect, growing continually more grand as it receded, was finally hedged about by the majestic Pyrenees, which lifted their glimmering snows against the pale winter sky.

But Madame Soubirons was familiar with these scenes, and had no eyes for them. She sat leaning her cheek upon her hand, and as she glanced down the crooked walk she murmured, "They have had time to get back, if they hurried as I charged them." Presently a cheery whistle rang out upon the air, and looking up she saw a man in miller's dress approaching. It was Jean Soubirons, her husband, coming home to dinner. She waited until he arrived, and they then went into the house together.

"Can you eat a cold dinner to-day, Jean?" she asked. "I have only bread and milk to give you."

"Yes, with thanks, Louise," he replied; "but where are Bernadette and Marie?"

"They went with Jeanne Abadie to gather fagots, but they should have been back long since. You might then have had a warm dinner."

"All is well if they come to no harm, but it is somewhat chilly for our Bernadette."

"I gave her a pair of stockings to wear. She can't go like Marie, poor child! who can hardly endure her sabots, even in winter. But I do not see what detains them."

They sat down and ate in silence, the two vacant places seeming to fill them with a feeling of desolation.

"I am sorry," said Jean Soubirons as he rose from the table, "that I am so poor a man that my little girls must bring the wood for the pot."

"Perhaps we shall be richer some day, Jean," said Louise, as if she had hope.

"Perhaps so—in heaven," said he sadly, "where there are no poor;" and he went back to his work.

Meantime the three girls had been wandering. Of the two sisters, Marie was rosy and strong, but Bernadette pale and delicate, being afflicted with asthma. Bernadette appeared to be only ten years old, but was fourteen. Previous to this time almost all her life had been passed away from home, she having lived at Bastres with a friend of her mother, where she had been provided with a home for the small sum of five francs a month and her service in tending the sheep: she was not strong enough for more laborious work. Here Bernadette lived a calm and uneventful life, her duties causing her to be much in solitude, [pg 466] which she whiled away in petting her lambs. Very often the time had been set when she was to return home, but it was as often postponed. Her friends at Bastres could not bear to give her up, and year after year she had lingered with them. She had been at home only two weeks upon that day when she went with Jeanne and Marie to gather sticks.

The three girls, dressed in their black woolen frocks, white capulets and wooden shoes—Bernadette alone having stockings, in consideration of her health—trudged on, enjoying the pure air. They crossed the bridge of the Gave, passed the mill and went on through the meadow, turning their steps toward the grotto of Massabielle, which was not far distant. There are, properly speaking, several grottoes in the rocks of Massabielle, which consist of numerous excavations formed by Nature in the great crags. One of these, however, is usually referred to as "The Grotto," and is a cavern of quite extensive dimensions, being about thirteen feet high by fifty wide. There are two other excavations in the rock above this cavern, one of which rudely resembles the broken window of a ruined church—suggesting that idea the more forcibly perhaps from the fact that it admits light into the lower cavern.

Before reaching the entrance of the grotto, however, there was a small stream to be crossed. There was no bridge, but this was only a slight hindrance to Jeanne and Marie, who took off their shoes, and, springing from stone to stone, were soon over. They were in advance of Bernadette, who stopped frequently to cough, and when she came up to the stream they were putting on their wooden shoes.

"How cold the water is!" she heard one say, and she hesitated to step into the cold stream. Jeanne saw her pausing upon the brink, and called out, "Cross as we did: give long leaps and come over." She called to them then to throw stones in for her to step upon, but they were busily engaged piling up sticks, and paid no attention to her, so she began to pull off her shoes and stockings. When she bent down she heard a great rushing sound, as of the water and the wind. It seemed as if a great storm were breaking, but when she looked up all was calm. The leaves scarcely stirred in the breeze, and the trails of ivy that hung over the rocky windows of the grotto swayed gently to and fro. So she proceeded to pull off her stockings unalarmed. After a few seconds the noise increased, and when Bernadette again looked up she saw a beautiful vision standing in the window or upper entrance of the grotto, which was filled with the lustre of its halo. The apparition was dressed in pure white, and bore a chaplet upon its arm, and had no resemblance to Bernadette's ideal of the Virgin. The child was filled with awe, but felt no fear, and reverently kneeling she continued to gaze at the vision, which smiled upon her and made the sign of the cross. Bernadette did likewise. The appearance then vanished, and for some time Bernadette remained spell-bound and still kneeling and gazing abstractedly into the grotto, from which the luminous quality had faded. After a short time she recovered from her transport, and looking around her found the appearance of nothing changed. The stream rushed on, the trees were the same, and in the hollow of the grotto the wild brier grew in its accustomed place, and the clinging moss and the ivy trails were unchanged.

Bernadette made her way across the stream as quickly as she could, and hastening onward soon overtook Marie and Jeanne, who looked up in surprise at her haste. When she had reached them their surprise deepened into wonder as they observed the emotion depicted in her face.

"Have you seen nothing?" inquired Bernadette, her eyes all aglow with excitement.

"No: what is it?" said Marie.

"It is something strange," said Bernadette.

"It could not have been stranger than you look now, with your staring eyes and your flying hair," said Jeanne.

"What have you seen, Bernadette?" asked Marie.

[pg 467]

"Some one in white, bright and gleaming," said Bernadette.

"What did it do? Describe it," exclaimed Jeanne.

"I cannot describe it. If you haven't seen it, I can't tell you what it was like," she said.

The two other girls were frightened. "Will it hurt us?" asked Marie.

"I am afraid of such things," said Jeanne: "let us hurry home as fast as we can."

Bernadette was not afraid, but, habitually passive, she hurried with them without protest. When they arrived at home she told her mother her experience, and Madame Soubirons, being incredulous, attempted to convince Bernadette that her vision was only a creature of her fancy; but with no avail. The child was silenced, but not convinced. Madame Soubirons said she would not allow her daughter to go to the grotto any more, as it filled her with such ideas; and she expected to hear no more about the matter. But the next day Bernadette talked incessantly of her "Dame," and on the following day, when some one inquired what her vision was like, she replied that she had seen such a face at church; and on the third day, which was Sunday, she prevailed upon her mother to allow her to go to the grotto again.

Marie and Jeanne accompanied her as before. Having arrived at the grotto, Bernadette knelt before the aperture: Marie and Jeanne followed her example, and when they turned to look at her they were amazed at her appearance. She seemed to be transfigured. Her face was radiant. With her eyes fixed, her lips partly open and her hands clasped, she appeared to listen with the greatest attention. Her companions were frightened by her strange behavior, and implored her to rise and go home with them.

"Bernadette, get up! Come: we are afraid of you when you look so strange."

She seemed to hear them no more than if she had been a statue, and for a few moments the group remained silent and motionless. There was no sound except the swirling of the stream and the rustling of the leaves, and to Marie and Jeanne the very silence seemed to be a spell of enchantment. Presently the rapturous light died out of the face of Bernadette, and she appeared as usual, much to the relief of the others.

Upon their arrival at home the same story was told by Bernadette as before, and again it was disbelieved. No restriction was placed upon her going to the grotto, however, and she continued to visit it, when her vision arose before her again and again. In course of time the singular event became much talked about, especially among the peasantry of that vicinity, who believed implicitly that the Virgin Mary appeared to the child.

People began to accompany Bernadette upon her visits to the grotto, and the number and interest of her observers daily increased. Many who were entirely skeptical went for the purpose of gratifying their curiosity. Among this class were Madame Millet and Mademoiselle Antoinette Peyret, who accompanied the little girl one day with the intention of questioning her after they had studied her conduct. On this occasion she excited their suspicions by leading them by an unaccustomed route down a steep and rocky path, where they had great difficulty in following her. They finally arrived at the grotto, and were astounded to observe the change that came over her. She seemed to be in a state of ecstatic awe.

The ladies were so solemnly impressed by her appearance that they felt deep regret for having intruded upon so reverent a scene.

"It is a profanation for us to be here," said one.

"You must remain," said Bernadette immediately, as if she had been directed to stop them.

"Ask who she is," exclaimed Madame Millet, greatly excited. "Here, take this card and pencil, and beg of her that she will write down her wishes."

Bernadette took them, and the ladies heard her repeat the request as she approached the excavation and the divine radiance lighted up her face. She [pg 468] paused, and for several moments remained in an apparent state of rapture: then she returned to them, and in reply to their inquiries said that her "Dame" had said that she saw no necessity to write her wishes, for she knew Bernadette would obey.

"Obey what?" asked Mademoiselle Peyret. "What did she command you to do?"

"To come to meet her at the grotto every day for fifteen days."


"I don't know why."

"But did she not say anything more?"

"Yes, madame."


"She promised that if I did so I should be happy in a future world."

Madame Millet and Mademoiselle Peyret went home mystified. The story of their futile attempt to discover deception in Bernadette got abroad, "and still the wonder grew." The interest in the visions intensified, and vast crowds, numbered not by tens, but by hundreds, assembled to watch Bernadette during the appointed fifteen days. The entire population of Lourdes appeared to be included in the crowd. The presence of this observing multitude exerted no influence whatever upon Bernadette, who passed among them as they made way for her without looking to the right or to the left, as if she had too great thoughts on her mind to give any heed to the people. Day after day she repeated her visits, kneeling in her accustomed place and giving herself up to a state of ecstasy.

About this time, so great had become the popular excitement over the child, the attention of the authorities was attracted by it. Accordingly, M. Massy, prefect of the commune, and M. Jacomet, commissaire de police, conferred together, and decided to arrest Bernadette as an impostor. It was on the 11th of February, 1858, when the girl had her first vision, and about ten days thereafter, in the presence of a great crowd, a police-officer approached her, and laying his hand upon her shoulder took her to the commissaire for examination.

Imagine this simple and artless child boldly confronting the commissaire, who must have been, in her eyes, a person of high dignity! M. Jacomet plied her with questions and cross-questions, and used all his power to implicate her in some inconsistency or contradiction; but his efforts were futile, and he was obliged to confess that he could not make out any case against the child, whom he allowed to go home. Still, his dignity required some show of authority; so he commanded Jean Soubirons that he should not permit Bernadette to go to the grotto of Massabielle, under penalty of imprisonment. Then he wrote to M. Rouland, minister of public instruction, for advice.

Soubirons kept his daughter at home for a day or two: then, observing her to grieve under the restraint, decided to risk the wrath of M. Jacomet, and allowed her to go where she wished. The people upheld Soubirons, and the crowds at the grotto assembled again. It was then proposed by some to consult Peyramale, the curé, who was known to discredit the stories of Bernadette, and it was thought might disabuse her mind of its illusions or detect her imposture, as the case might be; but Peyramale would not make any efforts in that direction. However, Bernadette, of her own accord, came to him one day, saying she wished to speak to him.

"Are you the daughter of the miller Soubirons?" asked Peyramale.

"Yes, monsieur le curé," she said.

"What is it you wish?"

"I came to say that the Lady who appears to me in the grotto of Massabielle—"

"Hush, child!" interrupted Peyramale. "Do not repeat this foolish tale to me. You have stirred the whole country round with the story of your vision, but do not bring such tales to me. What do you mean by this? I tell you, child, the Virgin sees you now, and if you practice imposture the door of heaven will be for ever shut against you."

Bernadette was in no wise disturbed, and resumed her narrative without faltering.

[pg 469]

"What, then, is the name of your vision?" asked Peyramale when she had told him the story of her experience.

"I don't know," she replied.

"Was it the Virgin?"

"I do not say that it was the Virgin," said Bernadette, "but I know that I see her as plainly as I see you now, and she speaks to me distinctly; and she commanded me to say to you that she wishes a church to be built on the rock of Massabielle."

Peyramale was astonished at the strange language and the firmness of the child, and replied: "Your story, Bernadette, is beyond reason: still, your manner is honest. Do not give yourself up, I pray you, to an illusion of your mind. You have some fancy, it may be, that deceives you. The Virgin could command me as well as yourself. You say there is a brier growing in the grotto: if your vision wants me to build a church on the cliff, tell her she must first cause that brier to bring forth roses in this winter season."

Having received this reply, Bernadette withdrew. When she next saw her vision she delivered the message of Peyramale, but it was not regarded. The apparition commanded her to go as far as she could on her hands and knees, and when Bernadette had done so, to the great wonder of her observers she was commanded to drink. She rose, and was about to go to the stream, when the vision called her back and told her to drink of the fountain, not of the stream. Now, there was no fountain, but Bernadette instinctively dug a small hole in the earth with her hands, and a very small stream of water flowed forth from the earth and filled it. She dipped some up with her hands and drank. This little stream continued to flow, and increased in size. On the following day it was many times its original size. Travelers are to this day shown the stream near the grotto of Massabielle, which, it is declared, thus sprang from a miraculous source. Three hundred people are declared to have seen this miracle, and in different regions of France many people may still be found who declare that they were present upon that occasion.

After this, still greater crowds flocked to the grotto of Massabielle, and again the authorities interfered. MM. Massy and Jacomet for a long time waged their war with the people until the emperor telegraphed, ordering that all interference should be stopped. Thus the people were left in peaceful possession of their fountain, and reports of its marvelous cures filled all the papers, and visitors came from far and near, bringing cans and bottles to fill at the wondrous stream.

It will be remembered that Peyramale had demanded that the brier should blossom before a church should be built. In spite of his decision there now stands not far from the grotto a church that has already cost two and a half millions of francs, though not completed, and numerous convents are projected to occupy sites in the vicinity. A statue of the Virgin stands in the grotto where the vision appeared, and on the rock are hung numerous crutches and staffs, which it is claimed were left there by those cripples whom the waters of the spring have healed.

Bernadette became day by day an object of still greater interest—in some cases of reverence. Many offers were made to provide for herself and her family, but they were declined, and both her parents died poor, her mother so late as December 18, 1866. Marie Soubirons and a brother, it is said, still live at Lourdes, but Bernadette became a Sister of Charity, and is now an inmate of the Hospice of Nevers, under the name of Sister Marie Bernard. At this institution she took the veil, and she occupies herself, when health admits, in tending the sick. She lives a life of great seclusion, and is almost utterly ignorant of all that occurs outside the hospice walls. From the letter of a graphic writer I quote as follows: "She is now twenty-five. She is not beautiful in feature, but in expression. Her look has a soft, melting attraction. She is a great sufferer, and is tried by cruel pains in her chest, which she bears very patiently, [pg 470] saying the Virgin told her she should be happy in heaven."

Early in October, 1872, a cable despatch from Paris appeared in all the dailies, announcing that fifty thousand pilgrims were then journeying through France toward Lourdes. Their object was to assemble at the grotto of Massabielle to pray for the salvation and regeneration of France, so lately desolated by war. A large proportion of the pilgrims came from Paris, where their journey had been inaugurated by services at Notre Dame des Victoires. Indeed, it may be said that their entire journey was one long religious service, for litanies were chanted unceasingly upon the route. The grand service at the grotto took place October 6th, when five bishops conducted mass and vespers at five altars reared among the rocks; and other services were conducted at numerous chapels and shrines among the mountains for miles around by various pilgrim priests. A sermon was delivered to the great host by the bishop of Tarbes, the subject being the disasters of the nation. He closed by exhorting them to patriotism. Raising his arms to the multitude, he asked, "Will you promise to serve and love your country as I mean?"

"Yes! yes! yes!" answered the vast host in thunderous response.

"Will you cry 'Vive la France!' as children should who have been nurtured from the breast of a cherishing mother?"

"Vive la France!" resounded from rock and valley.

Then turning toward the statue of the Virgin, the bishop cried, "Vive the Church, the Rock of Ages!" Again the mighty voice of the crowd responded, and with the final cry of "Vive the Holy Father, Pius IX.!" the assemblage broke up.

Probably there were no scenes incidental to the pilgrimage more imposing than its processions, formed in the public square of Lourdes. One of them was a mile long, and the van had entered the meadow before the rear had left the square. It was composed of people of all classes, who sang hymns as with one mighty voice. It bore banners of violet, green, rose, blue and other colors, magnificently decorated with gilding, paintings and embroidery. These banners numbered nearly three hundred, and came from various parts of the country. Even far-off Algeria was represented. The banner of Alsace and Lorraine was in mourning, and was borne by girls in white. As it passed many persons pressed forward to kiss its hanging tassels. The banner from Nantes was so profusedly embellished with gold and other decorations that six strong men labored to support it; and those from Paris, Bordeaux, Rheims, Lille, etc. were not greatly inferior to it in elegance. The sun shone brightly, and with the grandeur of the banners and the pomp of the prelates in their rich sacerdotal robes formed a scene of indescribable splendor.

At the farther end of the meadow or valley an altar had been erected. Here the banners drew up in a vast semicircle enclosing the great audience, and vespers were sung, after which the fifty thousand worshipers knelt and received the benediction, which was pronounced by eight bishops simultaneously. The services before the altar being thus concluded, the bearers of the banners again formed in procession for the purpose of carrying them to the church upon the rock, in which they were to be placed. At this time the sun was sinking behind the blue Pyrenean peaks, and as it threw its last red gleams upon the splendid train that wound in and out along the craggy mountain-path it lighted up a picture of resplendent glory. As fast as the banners arrived at the church they were placed upon its walls, which were soon completely covered with their gorgeous hangings. Owing to the length of the procession, it was after sunset when the last banner had been placed in the church, which, with its brilliant adornments flashing in the blaze of wax tapers, was one grand glow of glittering splendor. After a brief service of thanksgiving the congregation withdrew, and descended the mountain in the light of bonfires that burned upon numerous cliffs.

A spectacle of equal brilliancy, though [pg 471] less pompous, was presented by the grand torchlight procession which formed one evening in the square of Lourdes, where all were provided with candles. Thirty thousand persons were in this procession. They marched to the grotto of Massabielle and to the church upon the rock, moving slowly and singing hymns. As they moved they formed a great stream of glittering light, which rolled on and on and up and up, across the meadow and up the sinuous mountain-path. This impressive display lasted until midnight, when the greater number of the lights had died out and their bearers retired. But a goodly company still remained in the crypt of the church at prayer, in some instances fighting off sleep by marching up and down in companies, chanting night-prayers.

Thus a nation's ardent worshipers assembled in devotion at the spot sanctified by the visions of Bernadette Soubirons. And what shall we say of her? Her professed visions cannot be set aside as impostures against the voice of thousands whose skepticism, as great as ours, has been abashed. It could not have been in the nature of this artless child, unencouraged and alone, to have been an impostor. Such would have been a rôle thoroughly foreign to her character. Perhaps there may have been illusion, a self-nourished fancy, evoked from the silent reveries of those solitary days at Bastres, when her mind was for long periods given up to undisturbed imaginings. Who can say?



Good-bye, good-bye, my dearest!

My bravest and my fairest!

I bless thee with a blessing meet

For all thy manly worth.

Good-bye, good-bye, my treasure!

My only pride and pleasure!

I bless thee with the strength of love

Before I send thee forth.

Mine own! I fear to bless thee,

I hardly dare caress thee,

Because I love thee with a love

That overgrows my life;

And as the time gets longer

Its tender throbs grow stronger:

My maiden troth but waits to be

The fondness of the wife.

Alas! alas! my dearest,

The look of pain thou wearest!

The kisses thou dost bend to give

Are parting ones to-day!

Thy sheltering arms are round me,

But the cruel pain hath found me.

What shall I do with all this love

When thou art gone away?

[pg 472]

Ah well! One poor endeavor

Shall nerve me while we sever:

I will not fret my hero's heart

With piteous sobs and tears.

I send thee forth, my dearest,

My truest and my rarest,

And yield thee to the keep of Him

Who blessed our happier years.

Once more good-bye! and bless thee!

My faltering lips caress thee.

When shall I feel thy hand again

Go kindly o'er my hair?

Let the dear arms that fold me

One last sweet moment hold me:

In life or death our love shall be

No weaker for the wear!



"The general has been sending his ambulance"—Bless these ambulances! they are as common in Virginia as hen-nest grass or clumps of sassafras—"to the dépôt every morning for three or four days for you."

"The deuce he has! Then why didn't he let me know by letter, as I asked him to do?"

"Can't say, really."

This conversation took place in the main street of the extraordinary city of Lugston—a city so very peculiar that I must give it an entire article some day.

Repairing forthwith to a newspaper office, I wrote to the general how sorry I was that he had been put to so much trouble—I had not received the letter which he must have written—obliged to go home in the morning—hoped at some future time to have the pleasure, etc., etc. Then I went to my lodgings on Federal Hill, and, behold! there was the letter. "Although the ambulance"—ever blessed!—"had been so often to the dépôt, it would be there on Monday morning, and again on Tuesday evening. Don't fail to," etc. Whereupon I called for paper and wrote the general that, in spite of the necessity for my returning home the next day, I would be at Blank Station on Tuesday evening and meet that ambulance—blessed ambulance!—or die in the struggle. Go I would, and go I went—if that is grammar.

A newspaper editor—there is no end of editors in Virginia: wherever there is a tank, a tan-yard or a wood-pile, there you find one—a learned professor who had a flourishing school a few miles up the road (public instruction is playing hob with most of the private schools in Virginia), and a judge on a lecturing-tour (how is a Virginia judge to support his family without lecturing, wood-sawing or other supplementary business?) entertained me most agreeably on my way to the station.

A cadet from Annapolis was the first object that met my eye when I got out.

"'S death! a Virginian in that hated uniform?"

I said no such thing, felt no such thing, but was inwardly pleased that Uncle Sam's money (he gets ten millions a year out of Virginia tobacco, and then brags [pg 473] about what he does for our children, the sly old dog!) was educating some of our boys who otherwise might not be educated half so well, if at all. Moreover, the broad shoulders, the trim flanks, the aquiline nose, brown hair and ruddy cheeks of the young fellow recalled the best specimens of British lads whom I had seen in Canada and elsewhere. In truth, I could hardly persuade myself that he was not English.

Albion was in the air, for on the other side of the dépôt there was a lot of trunks and other baggage, the make of which could not be mistaken. I soon learned that one of the best estates in the neighborhood had been sold to an Englishman, who had arrived that very day.

"Furies! the sacred soil of Virginia again passing into the hands of the blarsted Hinglish, from whom it was wrested a century ago by the blood and treasure of George Washington's hatchet! A Federal cadet on one side and an Englishman on the other of Blank Dépôt, away off here in Bedford! What are we coming to?"

I did not say or think this either, but was delighted to find John Bull pervading the Old Dominion.

Another and a bitterer pill, had I been as disloyal as I was five years ago, and ought to be now, awaited me, as you shall hear.

But where is that ambulance? The blessed vehicle was there, and, after so long and painful a separation, we should have met face to face if it had not been backed up to the platform to receive—whom? me? No, a parcel of ladies, who filled every seat. My inflammable Southside soul would have burst into a high blaze at this if a gentleman had not immediately stepped forward with a snug jug of whisky. Whisky in any vessel I love, but whisky in a jug not too big to handle easily I adore. My viznomy relaxed, a beam of joy began to irradiate my features, when to my extreme surprise the benevolent jug-gentleman said, "Take a glass of claret punch"—he had the glass as well as the jug—"won't you, sir?"

Amazement! claret punch in a jug at a dépôt in the heart, or at any rate the pericardium, of Bedford county! Where was I? who was I? what was my name? and where was I going to? In my life I was never more nonplussed.

The ambulance drove off, and I was consigned to a spring wagon with a white boy for a driver.

"How far is it to the general's?" I ventured to ask as I stepped in.

"Eight miles."


"Never mind, sir: we shall be there in an hour and a half."

And off we went like the wind. He drove very boldly and at the same time very cautiously, avoiding the numerous stumps, stones and ruts with admirable dexterity. I began to suspect that the boy was not a Virginia boy. When at length we reached the smooth stage-road I began to question him: "Are you the general's son?"

"No, sir: that was my father at the station"—he of the jug.

"How do you like this country?"

My habit from childhood had been to take the life of any stranger who had the audacity to tell me that he did not like any and every part of Virginia, but of late I have contented myself with slicing off his ears.

"The longer I live here the better I like it."

Smart boy! he had saved his auditory organs. But as yet his accent had not been sufficiently defined to enable me to tell his nationality. "You are not from England, are you?"

"No, indeed, sir—from New Hampshire."

The appalling truth was out. First, a Yankee uniform; second, an Englishman; third, a whole raft, a "hull lot," of New Hampshire Yankees; and yet they call this Virginia!

No wonder I was silent. Night had fallen, we had entered a dark forest, there was an unreconstructed penknife (somehow or other, I always forget my bowie-knife and Derringers now-a-days) recently sharpened in my pocket. Why did I not cut the throat of this little Oppressor and fatten the soil of my native [pg 474] land with the blood of the small ruthless Yankee Invader?

It was just because at this moment we caught up with the ambulance. The two vehicles halted, a young girl and a little boy left the ambulance and took seats by the side of my driver, and the greeting of the brother and sister—the latter having just returned from a visit to her native granite hills—was actually as affectionate, beautiful and sweet as if they had been born in the middle of the Mother of States and of Statesmen. And as the ambulance drove on there came floating back to us ever and anon on the night wind a still sweeter voice. It came from a young lady—a young Yankee lady at that—and it sounded sweet to me—to me myself, my own dear, unadulterated, real Old Virginia self.

Turning from the main road, we wound around among the rocky ravines in a fashion truly bewildering to a body with weak eyes, but my little Yankee driver seemed so much at home that I felt no shadow of fear. Arriving safely at the general's capacious mansion, I bade my Northern friends good-night, and sat down to a supper without fried chickens or coffee. In lieu of the latter we had cold tea, with a slice of lemon in each goblet. After a long talk on matters of no concern to the reader, during which the general related a number of capital war-anecdotes, I contrived, as is my wont, to turn the conversation upon agricultural topics, with the view of imparting to him a modicum of that consummate farming wisdom which appertains to every thoroughly conceited scribbler.

"Fine country you have, general."

"Yes: from Lugston to the Tennessee line, two hundred good miles, the country is as fine as the sun ever shone upon."

"Appears to be thinly settled."

"You may well say so. Between my house and the station there are eight or nine thousand acres, most of it excellent land, belonging to only five or six owners."

"Indeed! What are such immense tracts good for now-a-days?"

"Good for grass."

"But they seem to pay little attention to grass."

"True. It is a splendid cheese country, as I have proved, but our people are not up to that as yet."

"They will grow tobacco. I saw some fine timber sacrificed for the sake of new-ground tobacco."

"And why not? A man gets tired of paying taxes for twenty or thirty years on timber which yields him nothing."

I smiled an invisible smile, reverting in my thoughts to an assault I had made the week before upon my kinsman in Buckingham. "William," said I, "why will you Southside people continue to exhaust your land with tobacco?"

"Dick," he replied, "you are the doggonedest fool out of jail. You, raised in Virginia, and ask a question like that! Wheat is uncertain, corn doesn't pay, we are too far from market for vegetables, too poor to put our lands in grass, and tobacco is the only thing that will fetch money. As for exhausting land, plenty of tobacco is raised in Ohio and Connecticut, and you never hear anybody talk about exhausting land there."

"Yes, but there they manure heavily, giving back to the land as much as they take, or more."

"Well, old-field pine is good enough manure for a man who has plenty of land and can take his time."

Thus in two instances my anti-tobacco wisdom turned out to be about as profitable as King James's memorable Counterblast against the beloved weed of Virginia.

"But, general," said I, "surely your neighbors don't want to retain such vast tracts of land."

"Certainly not. Men do not like to part with good land, and if my friends could set their farms well in grass, so that a few hands could attend to them, they would only sell at very high figures; but being unable to do this, they are willing, and many of them anxious, to sell on most reasonable terms."

"What is the trouble, then?"

"The trouble is about houses."


[pg 475]

"Wealthy people seldom emigrate. The men who leave home have generally but limited means, and coming here they find just the soil and climate they desire, but no place to lay their heads; and few if any of them can afford to buy land and build houses at the same time. This, I am satisfied, is the main difficulty in the way of the speedy filling up of Virginia with the best class of yeoman settlers."

"A difficulty not easily remedied."

"No, for our people, rich in land, are even poorer in money than the immigrants themselves."

"How on earth, then, did you manage to sell to the New Hampshire gentleman who came with me this evening, and who, as I learn, bought a part of your farm?"

"Why, I had a roomy house, and I just opened my doors to him and his family, and kept them here free of charge till their own house was finished."

"Well, general," dropping my voice to the Secesh conspirator level, "how do you like him?"

The general, known by the antique name of Jones (though the Sixth Pennsylvania and other Northern cavalry were acquainted with him under another cognomen), like all the strapping sons of thunder who went actively into the field instead of staying at home and abusing Jeff. Davis, does not regard his late enemies with that intense hatred which is so gratifying to myself and some other people.

He spoke out aloud: "I like him first rate. He is an admirable neighbor—a man of sense, practical, sagacious and industrious; and his family, wife, sons and daughters, are in all respects worthy of him. I wish the county had a thousand of just such people."

This was a crusher for me. Drawing myself up to my full height—which ought to be but is not six feet—I seized a kerosene lamp with my right hand, and looking the unfortunate man full in the eye, I said very respectfully, "General, good-night."

Undismayed, he eyed me back, and, in a tone of what I took to be cordiality, replied, "Maybe you'd like a little whisky-and-water before going to bed?"

I thanked him "No," mounted the lofty staircase, divested myself of sundry sartorial cerements and plunged my earthly tabernacle into the centre of a big delicious bed. There, while the thunder rolled among the mountains, the rain plashed upon the window-shutters and the wind blew like the very devil, I muttered to myself, "Here is a man bearing worthily one of the most honored names in the Commonwealth—a member, in fact, of one of the first—the first—first fam—families in Vir—gin—ia, actually pr—prais—praising Yan—Yank—Yankees in—in's own hou—" I was asleep.

On the morrow, when I returned to the station and saw how very lovely the country was, how fertile—the rounded mountains, when cleared of their royal forests, arable to their very summits, the air like Olympian nectar, the sunshine a divine balm, the whole scene a Sabbath-land of peace and of boundless plenty, awaiting only the cohorts of the North and of the white-cliffed isle—I would fain have cried, "Come, ye moderately pecunious Bulls, and you, ye hyperborean Vandals from the far Lake of Winnipiseogee and the uttermost Cape of Cod—come to this Canaan, not like carpet-bagging spies to steal our big bunch of grapes and tote it off on a stick between two of you (as per authentic pictures in Sunday-school books), but with your shekels, your deniers, your pence, pounds sterling and crisp greenbacks: come to this beauteous land, take it, own it, possess it, buy freely, and be sure you reserve enough cash to build a house with; or, better still, bring your houses ready made, in nests like buckets or painted pails (I am sure you have them in your inventive realm). Come, I say, and oust these mutton-headed Virginians, or sit down beside them, work with them, teach them to work (you are so certain you can), and make this American republic the Storehouse of the nations, the Cornucopia of all creation!"

I got to the station just three hours after the train I intended to take had [pg 476] left, and had to wait only two hours for the next train; which was doing pretty well for Virginia. Possessing my Southside soul in patience, I bought two not very bad cigars for ten cents, and fell to contemplating some eight or nine of the Down-Trodden who were hanging around. I must say that the Down-Trodden did not appear to have been much flattened by the heel of the Oppressor. As I gazed, a foolish parody started itself in my idle brain:

When the fair land of Bedford

Was ploughed by the hoof

Of the ruthless invader—

There the thing broke down, and—the events of the night before, the Englishman, the happy Northern family and the thoroughly reconstructed general, suggesting it in some queer cerebral way—a still more foolish negro song, which I had forgotten for years, popped up in my brain-pan:

Lit-tel gal, I give you ninepunce

Ef you will dance de Haul-back;

And I kin dance de Haul-back,

And you kin dance de Haul back,

And we kin dance de Haul-back.

The relevancy of this utterly absurd thing did not then strike me. I see it now. A certain people—whom I do love with my whole heart, not in spite of their faults, but because of them: are they not my own?—have been dancing the Haul-back for many generations, and now, under my own eye and quite perceptibly in the rural parts of Virginia, the dance is coming to an end. Slowly but surely we are lapsing into Bullo-doodledom, with a momentary preponderance of Bull. Tempora—do, I entreat you, allow me the use of my solitary dear delightful old bit of Latin—mutantur; ay! and we mutate with them. The world moves, and no amount of Haul-back will stay it.




The death was announced a few weeks ago of a lady whose name will awaken a train of recollection in the minds of all who take an interest in English family history. This was Miss Tylney-Long, sister to the ill-fated Mrs. Tylney-Long-Wellesley-Pole.

The duke of Wellington's second brother, William, succeeded in 1778 to the large Irish estates of a kinsman, Mr. Pole, and assumed that name in addition to his own. Mr. Wellesley-Pole, who was eventually created a peer as Lord Maryborough, had a son, who became, on the death of his uncle, the marquis Wellesley, earl of Mornington. Never had the peerage a more unworthy member. Starting in life with every advantage, Mr. Wellesley-Pole seemed bent upon showing how effectually he could foil the efforts of Fortune to serve him. When he reached an age for marriage the greatest heiress of the time was Miss Tylney-Long. By a succession of failures of male heirs the vast wealth of the family of Child had devolved on this lady, and Mr. Wellesley-Pole became the successful suitor for her hand. One of her seats was Wanstead in Essex, some fifteen miles from London. Originally a royal manor, Wanstead was granted by Edward VI. to Lord Rich, who sold it to Elizabeth's favorite, Leicester. Subsequently, on its reverting to the Crown, James I. gave it to Sir Henry Mildmay, but, he having been one of Charles I.'s judges, it became forfeited, and once more returned to the sovereign. Charles II. gave it to his brother James, who sold it to Sir Robert Brooke, and he in turn sold it to Sir Joshua Child.

The Childs were the greatest mercantile family of their time. Sir Joshua [pg 477] founded the banking-house of the name which still flourishes (the oldest in London), and of which the young earl of Jersey is, through his great-grandmother, also a Child heiress, the principal partner. Sir Joshua's son was raised to a peerage as Earl Tylney, and about 1715 employed a celebrated architect of the day, Colin Campbell, to build a magnificent mansion. Wanstead was deemed on its completion in many respects the most magnificent house in England. It was of Portland stone, two hundred feet in length and seventy deep. The great hall was fifty-three by forty-five feet, the ball-room seventy-five by twenty-seven. This abode was furnished in a style of the most lavish splendor, and Mr. Wellesley-Pole's income was more than adequate to maintain it in befitting style. But no income is adequate to meet the expenses of a gambler and spendthrift, and such was Mr. Wellesley-Pole.

Some of his wife's property was happily settled on her and her heirs, and could not be got hold of by her rascally husband; but Wanstead, after being leased for some time to the duc de Bourbon—who here received intelligence of the death of his unfortunate son, the duc d'Enghien—came to the hammer. The sale of the effects in 1822 exceeded anything of the kind which had been known in England up to that date. The catalogue consisted of four hundred quarto pages, published in three parts, at five shillings each, and it is said that not less than twenty thousand copies were sold. It is not a little remarkable that the contents of Fonthill Abbey (the celebrated seat of the author of Vathek), which teemed with even greater riches, were sold almost at the same time. Nor were the contents of the mansion only disposed of. The fabric itself, which had cost three hundred and sixty thousand pounds, was sold for eight thousand pounds, it being a condition of the sale that it should be razed and the materials removed within a definite number of months.

Had Tylney-Long-Wellesley-Pole (for such was the polysyllabic name he bore after his marriage) been only a spendthrift and a gambler, his case might not have seemed remarkable. But he showed himself in every way a heartless scoundrel as regarded his wife and his children, who had to seek legal protection against him. About a year after the sale of her splendid home his wife died, and the event is thus spoken of in a leading journal of the time: "The premature death of an amiable and accomplished lady born to large possessions, and against whom the voice of calumny never so much as breathed a slander, calls, we think, for a passing comment, as illustrating and furnishing, we trust, a lasting and useful lesson to the heartlessness of too many men of the present day. With a fortune that made her a prize for princes, this amiable woman gave her hand and heart to the man of her choice, and with them all that unbounded wealth could bestow. What her fate has been all the world knows: what it ought to have been the world is equally well aware. To her, riches have been worse than poverty; and her life seems to have been scarified and her heart broken through the very means that should have cherished and maintained her in the happiness and splendor which her fortune and disposition were alike qualified to produce. Let her fate be a warning to all of her sex who, blessed with affluence, think the buzzing throng which surrounds them have hearts, when in fact they have none; and if there be such a feeling as remorse accessible in the quarter where it is most called for, let the world witness, by a future life of contrition, something like atonement for the past."

So far, however, as the world could discover, the atonement never came. Lord Mornington, as he became, actually found another woman to marry him: he ill-used her, and having sunk into narrow circumstances, neglected to provide her with the barest necessaries, so that the applications of the countess of Mornington to the London police magistrates for assistance became of frequent occurrence. It may seem strange that the Wellesley family should not have stepped in to prevent such a scandal. Probably they thought that the woman [pg 478] who in the teeth of his evil reputation had chosen to marry him should take the consequences. He died in 1857. His son, whose life his father's conduct had sadly embittered, did not long survive him, and bequeathed the remnant of his estates, including Draycot, a large mansion (which had been strictly entailed) in Wiltshire, to his cousin, Lord Cowley, then ambassador at Paris. His title passed to the duke of Wellington.


Lord Cowley, on being created an earl, selected for his second title that of Viscount Dangan, thus perpetuating the memory of the old seat of the Wellesleys in Ireland. It is a somewhat remarkable circumstance that although no family in the United Kingdom has within the last century acquired such fame and honors as the Wellesleys, they have long since ceased to own a rood of ground in the country whence they derived the affluence and rank which were to the famous sons of Garrett, earl of Mornington, the first stepping-stones to fame.

The Wellesleys are only Wellesleys—or Wesleys, as the name was formerly spelt—in the female line. Richard Colley, son of Henry Colley, of Castle Carbery, county Cork, succeeded on the 23d of September, 1728, to the estates of his cousin, Garrett Wesley, Esq., of Dangan, county Meath, assumed the name and arms of "Wesley," and was created baron of Mornington July 9, 1746. He married, December 23, 1819, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Doctor John Sale, M.P. for Carysfort, and died January 31, 1758, when he was succeeded by his only son, Garrett, father of the duke of Wellington, who was created in 1760 Viscount Wellesley and earl of Mornington.

In October, 1748, Mrs. Delany writes: "Last Monday we set out for Dangan, Lord Mornington's. He is the same good-humored, agreeable man he was seventeen years ago. My godson, Master Wesley [Wellington's father] is a most extraordinary boy: he was thirteen last month, is a very good scholar, and whatever study he undertakes masters it most surprisingly. He began with the riddle last year, and now plays everything at sight." [In after years Lord Mornington acquired considerable distinction as a composer.]

"This place, Dangan Castle, is really magnificent: the old house that was burnt down is rebuilding. They live at present in the offices: the garden (or rather improvements and parks, for it is too extensive to be called a garden) consists of six hundred Irish acres, between eight and nine hundred English. There is a gravel-walk fifty-two feet broad and six hundred yards long from the house to the great lake. The lake contains twenty-six acres, is of an irregular shape, with a fort built in all its forms. My godson is governor of the fort. He hoisted all his colors, and was not a little mortified that I declined the compliment of being saluted from the fort and ship. The ground, so far as you can see every way, is waving in hills and dales."

Dangan stands about seven miles from Trim and twenty from Dublin. The Marquis Wellesley (husband of Miss Caton of Maryland), who succeeded his father as second earl of Mornington, sold it to a Mr. Burroughs, who, after greatly improving it, let it to Mr. Roger O'Connor, a near relative of the Chartist agitator of the name. Whilst in his possession the house and demesne were stripped of everything that could be turned into money; the timber, which was remarkable both for quantity and quality, was cut down; and the gardens were permitted to run to waste. At length the house—being heavily insured—was found to be on fire, and was burnt before assistance could be obtained. One part of the building, of which the walls were extraordinarily thick, is now inhabited by a farmer who superintends the property.

The present duke of Wellington (whose wife, formerly well known as Lady Douro, is a daughter of Lord Tweeddale, and sister of the wife of Sir Robert Peel) is childless. His only brother, Lord Charles Wellesley, left two sons, but if these should die issueless the dukedom will be extinct, and the Irish [pg 479] earldom of Mornington will pass to Lord Cowley.


Mr. Editor: The following, which I cut from the New York Herald of July 17, 1699 (accidentally in my possession), may interest some of your readers. I was not before aware that the Herald's files went back so far, but it was a greater surprise to discover that interviewing flourished at so early a date.


[From Herald Special Correspondent.]
BOSTON, 16th July, 1699.

Your correspondent arrived here last evening, and found (as already telegraphed) that the arrest and imprisonment of Captain Kidd, the champion pirate of the world, continues to form the all-absorbing topic of conversation. Little Boston has got a sensation at last, and is determined to keep it. Merchants and brokers talk Kidd on 'Change. Groups at the hotels discuss the nautical hero. Badly-executed pictures of him stare at you from the shop-windows. Cotton Mather, the great gun of the clergy here, blazes away at this "child of iniquity" from the pulpit; and it is understood that a prominent publishing-house has already arranged to bring out The Autobiography of a Buccaneer. On dit, that certain parties are negotiating to have him appear next season as a lecturer in case he isn't wanted on another platform.

The first paroxysm of excitement, which looked to nothing short of hanging him from the steeple of the Old South Church, has given place to a conviction that the law had better be suffered to take its course, inasmuch as the unfortunate captain will surely drift among the breakers when he is tossed about on the sea of criminal jurisprudence.

By the politeness of the colonial authorities, your correspondent obtained a permit to visit the noted son of Neptune at the Stone Prison. Sending in his card, he was at once invited into the small but comfortable apartment where the "scourge of the seas" is confined.

Captain Kidd graciously extended his hand and bade your correspondent welcome. He is a short, broad-shouldered, powerfully-built man, of perhaps forty-five or forty-seven years of age. His hair, which is of dark chestnut and inclined to curl, was combed back from a medium forehead, and his face was sun-burnt into a rich mahogany hue. His cold gray eyes were deep set under thick brows that arched and met. His manner was courteous and dignified. He was dressed in light gray trowsers of perfect cut, patent-leather boots and a red-and-black spotted shirt, which displayed in its front a set of superb diamond studs. From under a Byron collar, parfaitement starched, peeped the ends of a pale lilac scarf. A magnificent seal-ring decorated the third finger of his left hand.

The day being excessively warm, his coat and vest had been laid aside. The room was plainly furnished. The table was littered with charts and papers, while on a stand were flowers sent to the prisoner by ladies of Boston.

With the instinct of a true gentleman, he proceeded to put on his coat and vest, when the following conversation ensued:

Rep. "Pray, captain, keep your coat off."

Capt. K. "Thank you, if the same to you?"

Rep. "Quite the same, I assure you. My visit is informal." (Handing him a cigar.)

Capt. K. "Thanks: I take things coolly—waive ceremony. You know that's [pg 480] a habit I acquired at sea. You are a reporter?"

Rep. "Yes, for the New York Herald. I call to ascertain your views of the situation. The public are anxious to hear your defence; and, if proper, I would like to ask you a few questions."

Capt. K. "Certainly" (lighting his cigar). "You newspaper men haven't given me a fair show. There's a heap of lying going on about me. They are hounding me—that's a fact. I've got the evidence to prove that I'm an injured man. I have a clear conscience, that's one comfort."

Rep. "A great comfort, no doubt. May I ask, captain, what particular falsehood has gained currency?"

Capt. K. "Yes, sir. I will name one that is an unmitigated slander. They say that when I came across Moore and corrected him with a bucket for his impertinence, he was grinding a chisel. Now, sir, that is as false as ——!"

Rep. "Indeed?"

Capt. K. "Yes, sir, 'twas a screwdriver."

Rep. "That shall be corrected, captain. Anything else?"

Capt. K. "Yes, sir—a bigger lie still. There is a scurrilous broadside circulating all over the country. Here it is." (He handed me a copy of verses printed in the Herald of last Tuesday.) "Read that, if you please, sir: 'My name is Robert Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed.' Now, sir, that is a villainous falsehood."

Rep. "You didn't sail under that name, then, captain?"

Capt. K. "Never. Why, bless your innocent heart, my baptismal name is William. It is of a piece with all their malignant lying, this persisting in calling me Robert."

Rep. "It is hard." (Pause.) "Pray, captain, permit me to ask if the story is true that Mrs. Kidd's trunk was seized by the authorities, and kept with its contents of gold-dust and diamonds?"

Capt. K. "In part true, sir. A perfect outrage, sir. Mrs. Kidd came on from New York post-haste when she heard that the Antonio had arrived, and no sooner had she set foot in Boston than the authorities gobbled up her trunk, leaving her in a strange community with nothing but a band-box. The public have exaggerated the contents. They were silver mugs, porringers and plate generally for family use, that we had been years accumulating. They locked it up in the castle, and—Poor Sarah! poor Sarah!" (Here the stout man buried his head in his hands and appeared deeply affected. Your correspondent improved the opportunity to perfect his notes.)

Rep. (after a few minutes). "I am glad to assure you, Captain Kidd, that it will probably be returned to her to-morrow."

Capt. K. (brightening up). "To-morrow? Well, that's good. It wellnigh broke Sarah's heart. By the way, you are lately from New York, I suppose. How is my old friend, Colonel Livingstone? Well, I hope?"

Rep. "I haven't the honor of his acquaintance, but I have no doubt he is well. New York men usually are. He is a staunch friend of yours, captain?"

Capt. K. "Ay, that he is. He has always stood by me, ever since he got me that appointment to command the 'Adventure galley.'"

Rep. "You have no doubt, captain, of your ability to substantiate your entire innocence of these charges brought against you?"

Capt. K. "Not the slightest, not the slightest, sir. There was Captain Wright of the Quedah—you remember him, I dare say: had command of that nigger crew—what did he say when I went aboard his ship? Said he, 'Kidd, you remind me of the new-born babe.' I suppose I can't prove that, for Wright, poor fellow! has been dropped into the sea, with a twenty-four-pound shot at his heels.

"But what if the jury does convict me? Can't I have a bill of exceptions? Can't I sue out an injunction to stay proceedings? What did they let me walk the streets of Boston a whole week for, if I was such a criminal as some of 'em pretend? I tell you what it is—this thing is a put-up job. That ring of East India speculators is at the bottom of it. They [pg 481] just run Bellamont. They know I stand in their way; but I'll be even with them yet. Mark my word, Mr. Reporter: William Kidd is going to march down these streets head up, colors flying and the band playing 'Carry the news to Hiram.'"

Rep. "I hope so, captain. One word more. If not too bold, may I inquire about these stories of your burying treasure on Gardner's Island?"

Capt. K. "True as gospel preaching! I buried doubloons all over that island—used to work moonlight nights at it. You can't show me a square yard of soil there that isn't stuck full of shiners. You see, it grew to be a perfect passion with me. I stopped on my way up Boston harbor here, and planted about three millions of pounds sterling. I forget now which island it was. However, I shall publish a complete guide to all these points, with diagrams and directions for getting up stock companies, in the book I'm preparing." (Just then a card was brought in. Captain K. nodded affirmatively to the attendant, and your correspondent rose to withdraw.) "I am sorry not to talk with you longer, but a delegation of the ministry are just outside the door. They propose to sit down and discuss with me the exceeding sinfulness of a greed of worldly gain, especially when it runs into piracy.—My best compliments to you, sir. Good-morning."

Rep. "Good-morning, captain."

Your correspondent encountered six white-chokered gentlemen on their way to interview the great nautical backslider. He is certainly the lion of the hour.

From what your correspondent has been able to gather it is probable that a few friends of the captain will succeed in their efforts to secure Samuel Adams and a promising young lawyer named Choate to conduct his defence. In this event his chances of a discharge from custody will prove favorable. It may be that Bellamont and the council will conclude to send him over for trial in the King's Bench.

Your correspondent inclines to the view that the distinguished marine plunderer can hardly be held for piracy, but may be convicted of the murder of the gunner Moore. The story is here that Kidd, with an iron-hooped bucket, not only finished up things for William Moore, but left that unhappy man in his gore. As regards jurisdiction, the government will allege that the awful deed was committed not many leagues from shore.


Apologies for poor dinners are generally out of place. But when a lady has a forgetful husband, who, without warning, brings home a dozen guests to sit down to a plain family dinner for three or four, it is not in human nature to keep absolute silence. What to say, and how to say it, form the problem. Mrs. Tucker, the wife of Judge Tucker of Williamsburg, solved this problem most happily many years ago. She was the daughter or niece (I am uncertain which) of Sir Peyton Skipwith, and celebrated for her beauty, wit, ease and grace of manner. Her temper and tact were put to the proof one court-day, when the judge brought with him the accustomed half score or more of lawyers, for whom not the slightest preparation had been made, the judge having quite forgotten to remind his wife that it was court-day, and she herself, strange to tell, having overlooked the fact.

The dinner was served with elegance, and Mrs. T. made herself very charming. Upon rising to leave the guests to their wine she said: "Gentlemen, you have dined to-day with Judge Tucker: promise me now that you will all dine to-morrow with me"

This was all her apology, whereupon the gentlemen swore that such a wife was beyond price. The judge then explained the situation, and the next day there was a noble banquet.

Moral: Never worry a guest with apologies.


A Turkish paper gives an account of a curious forced emigration which has recently produced great excitement on [pg 482] classic ground. On the European banks of the Hellespont stands the city of Gallipoli, interesting as the first possession of the Turks in Europe in 1357; and nearly opposite to it is Lamsaki, a village long renowned for the vineyards in its neighborhood, and situated near the site of the celebrated Lampsacus of classic times. During the autumn the authorities of Gallipoli came to the conclusion that there were in that town—as where are there not?—too many owner-less dogs about; and instead of issuing death-warrants against these vagrants, they took the extraordinary course of exporting them to their opposite neighbors across the Hellespont, who were already plentifully provided with canine treasures. On the arrival of these two thousand immigrants, who were very unruly on the passage, they started, in quest of food it may be supposed, to the mountains, but not finding anything to suit their palates, returned to the town. Here the tug of war commenced. The Lamsakian canines, on recognizing the situation, turned out to a dog, and a frightful conflict, with terrible howlings and barkings, ensued for four hours. At the end of that time the foreign foe was worsted, and, beating a retreat, endeavored to allay the pangs of hunger by eating the grapes, and thus doing really serious damage. The people then had to turn out: two hundred dogs were killed, and the rest retreated, but of course only to return. The Djeridéi Havadis concludes the account by mildly saying that the Lamsakians are much disgusted by the eccentric conduct of the Gallipoli magistrates, who ought of course to have sent their canine emigrants to a desert island. But how thankful would Philadelphians be if somebody, imitating the Gallipoli magistrates, would but deport two thousand of the cats which make night-life hideous—to the New Jersey shore, say!

The pie is almost an "institution" in America. A single New York bakery claims that it produces nine hundred pies an hour from one of its ten capacious ovens, and a total of fifty thousand pies daily, the year round, forcing the supply occasionally up to sixty-five thousand—probably on Fourths of July or other festal occasions. Let the reader busy himself with imagining the total production of pies by this and all other bakeries of the country during a twelve-month! Nevertheless, these facilities would be inadequate to popular demand were the majority of our countrymen of a stomach as unbounded as that of the Dundee laborer whom a Scotch journal commemorates. This extraordinary person, having not long since eaten nine large twopenny pies at a Dundee pie-shop within fourteen and a half minutes, announced his purpose to eat on the following Monday twelve pies within twenty-five minutes; and in fact, when the delicacies were put before him in the shape of a six-pound pile, fourteen inches high, he consumed half a dozen in five minutes, the next three at the end of eleven minutes, and the last three in six minutes more, having ended his repast eight minutes sooner than he had designed—possibly owing to the pangs of hunger, since he expressed a willingness to occupy the spare moments with devouring another half dozen pies.

With this item of news in fresh remembrance we chanced to read in a very old English newspaper the supper eaten, many years ago, by Mr. Oakley of Stanton, Derbyshire—a repast which makes the Scotchman's, just recorded, rather frugal by comparison. His first dish, says the report, was two quarts of milk, thirty eggs, half a pound of butter, half a pound of sugar, three penny loaves, a quantity of ginger and nutmeg and an ounce of mustard, all boiled together; his second course was "apiece of cheese and a pound of bread to it;" the third was half a pound of bacon, a penny loaf and a quart of ale, followed by three halfpennies' worth of ginger-bread and a pint of ale; his fourth dish was a custard of two pounds, an ounce of mustard, some black pepper, a pint of milk and three pints of ale to it. This banquet he finished in an hour, and then ungratefully complained of not having had enough; so, after running three [pg 483] hundred yards by way of appetizer, he sat down with the rest of the company, who had witnessed his prowess, and drank pretty freely. Yet even this exploit is hardly equal to the marvel in digestion reported in the same ancient newspaper of a Truro porter, who, for a bet of five shillings, ate two pairs of worsted stockings fried in train oil, and half a pound of yellow soap into the bargain. The losers of this wager might have been more cautious had they known that the same atrocious glutton once undertook to eat as much tripe as would make himself a jacket with sleeves, and was accordingly measured by a tailor, who regularly cut out the materials, when, to general surprise, the voracious fellow ate up the whole in twenty minutes. Compared with these performances some of the current prodigies of gormandism which the papers so often report are surely as trifling in amount as they are tame and uninventive in the character of their details.

The strange accident of Albertacce brought to general notice an obscure Corsican custom which singularly contrasts with the ordinary funeral ceremonies of Christendom. The vocero, as this rite is styled, is palpably an inheritance from the classical conquerors of the island, now preserved only in some of the interior villages. When the head of a family dies, the body, after being robed in its handsomest garments, is laid in state on a table in the largest room, surrounded with lights. Then, five or six hours before the burial, all the women of the village and the district, clothed in black and with bare heads, assemble around the corpse, the mother and sisters of the dead at the feet, the nearest relations next, and so on. When this assemblage is formed the most renowned poetesses or singers of their number, with hair disheveled and bleeding faces, and a white handkerchief waving in the hand, chant in verse the history, virtues and destiny of the dead. The mournful cadence, the profuse weeping and the dramatic gestures of the ceremony are striking. The chief mourner amid her wailing sometimes raises the head or the arm of the corpse, and plucks out her own hair or freshly tears at her face till the blood pours again from the wounded skin, while the half-stifled sobbing of the whole company adds to the effect. When at length the priest arrives, all is hushed, but the women follow the corpse in procession to the church, where the ceremony sometimes lasts several hours. Such, at least, is the account of the vocero given by a correspondent of the XIX'e Siècle, who visited the scene of the Albertacce accident, where a roomful of celebrants were suddenly precipitated into the cellar by the giving way of the floor. The mere mention of the accident came by telegraph, but it appears that twenty dead and fourteen mangled women were taken from the wreck of the house where they had been singing their mournful vocero.

Unless the Paris postmen are more patient than those of Madrid (who were on strike a few weeks since), their temper must be ruffled by the transformations now going on in the names of streets. In France, and especially in Paris, each overthrow of a dynasty produces a corresponding revolution in the city directory, for all unpopular names must be effaced, and the streets which bore them must be rebaptized in accordance with the political favorites of the hour. Decrees have already turned the Avenue de l'Empereur into the Avenue des Lacs; the Avenue Napoléon into the Avenue de l'Opéra; the Place Napoléon into the Place de l'Opéra; the Avenue de l'Impératrice into the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne; the Boulevard Voltaire into the Boulevard de Belfort; the Rue Magnan into the Rue d'Angoulême-Saint-Honoré (its old name); the Rue Billault into the Rue de l'Oratoire-du-Roule, also its old appellation; while there has been a general effacing of those names which the Communists set up upon the streets and avenues during their brief lease of power. Scores of other old names of streets are already changed or are in train of alteration; but the preceding will suffice for examples. Now, when one reflects that [pg 484] at the overthrow of Charles X., and again at the overthrow of Louis Philippe, and again at the overthrow of the Second Republic, and again at the overthrow of the Second Empire, and again at the overthrow of the Commune, these alterations wept on, it is seen that the puzzle offered to Paris people in general, and to Paris postmen in particular, must be anything but amusing. Should the Third Republic perish to-morrow, a new christening of streets would have to be made; but the event only would determine whether the new names should celebrate Imperialism, or Communism, or Bourbonism, or Orleanism, or each in its turn. It is rather strange that, with such an experience, Paris should not take refuge in that tame but enduring system of street nomenclature which is based on the letters of the alphabet and the ordinal numbers.

An English magazine not long since described some of the curious theories and superstitions which prevail among devotees of the lottery and the gaming-table, regarding "lucky numbers." There are traditionally fortunate and unfortunate combinations, and there are also newer favorites, based very often on figures connected with the chronology of famous men. The career of Napoleon III. would seem to be considered by gamblers a specially successful one, for since his death they have been betting furiously on all numbers supposed to bear a relation to sundry pivotal events of his life. In Vienna, in Milan, in Rome, the newspapers notice this universal rage among regular patrons of the lottery for staking their fortunes on Napoleonic numbers; and, what is also curious, these numbers have in several instances turned out lucky. Thus, in a late Vienna paper we read that "the death of the Man of Sedan has brought good luck to the old women of this city who give themselves up with unquenchable passion to the lottery." At the last drawing, as the paper goes on to say, the numbers most eagerly seized upon were 3, for Napoleon III.; 65, for his age; 20, for his birthday, it falling on the twentieth of the month; 90, as the highest number in the lottery, hence interpreted to signify "emperor;" and finally 52, the year of his accession to the throne. To the joy of all the old lottery-gossips, the luck fell on these numbers, 3, 20, and 90. At Rome the death of Napoleon. III. has furnished new combinations for all the devotees of the lottery. At Milan the same infatuated class have "pointed a moral" of their own from the event—a moral quite different from the one extracted by sermonizers. They have been playing heavily on number 20 (a gold Napoleon being worth twenty francs), and on number 13, which latter, as the proverbially unlucky one, is interpreted to mean the ex-emperor's death. On the first drawing after his death these two numbers proved to be the lucky ones of the lottery, and it was then found that there had been a great number of winners.

Is this present year, 1873, to be, like some famous ones in history, specially fatal to crowned heads, and to heads that have once been crowned? During the whole twelve months of 1872 the only European sovereign who died was Charles XV. of Sweden, while none suffered irremediable misfortune; and in European royal families the only two losses by death were Archduke Albrecht and the duke of Guise. But within the first six weeks of 1873 no less than three persons died who had at some time worn imperial crowns, and one monarch resigned his sceptre. First died Napoleon III., on the 9th of January. Then, on the 25th, at Lisbon, died the dowager-empress Amelia, daughter of Prince Eugene, wife of Pedro I. of Brazil, and stepmother of the present emperor, Pedro II. On February 8 the empress Caroline Augusta, widow of Francis I. of Austria, and grandmother of the reigning emperor, died at Vienna. In Spain the abdication of Amadeo is an incident to be mentioned in a year opening so ominously to crowned and discrowned heads.

[pg 485]


Santo Domingo, Past and Present; with a Glance at Hayti. By Samuel Hazard. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Mr. Hazard, who has already obliged us with one of the best accounts of Cuba extant in modern literature, now does a similar service for Santo Domingo, which he declares to be much more highly favored by Nature, and which he examined with the United States commission of 1871. This book has the advantage of being prepared within reach of the British Museum, whose stores of Americo-Spanish authorities have enabled him to write up with much fullness the historical sketch which occupies a third of his space. This is a fair, faithful and skillful condensation, and the most readable narrative we have seen of poor Dominica's tale of revolutions and wrongs. The personal portion begins with the author's arrival at the Salt Keys and Puerto Plata, and follows the steps of the commissioners, with a great many anecdotes and a sprinkling of artistic sketches, to Samana and Santo Domingo City; thence overland to the great inland tobacco-mart of Santiago; and so back to Puerto Plata and Monte Christo, where the commission ceased its labors, being discouraged by the Haytians from an exploration within their domain; while Mr. Hazard, resuming his capacity of private citizen, took his life in his hand and ventured into the proud Mumbo-Jumbo republic. It is here that the really lively part of the story commences, and the author becomes the hero of quite a tragedy of errors. At the first Haytian port, Dauphin Bay, he meets the port-captain who cannot read his passport, the port-general who bows and sends him to the chef de police, the chef who asks for half a dollar without countersigning the document, and lets the pilgrim go on in quest of the American consul. The only hotel is closed and "busted:" the consul indicates a billiard-room, whose proprietor feeds the stranger, informing him at the same time that the authorities take him for a United States commissioner, and have doubled the guards. The next visit is to a banker, who plays him a curious practical joke. Demanding Haytian bank-notes for a few hundred dollars on a letter of credit, the tourist, after a time of waiting, sees the street on which the banker lives completely blocked with donkey-carts, drays, mules, horses with panniers and carts drawn by bullocks. A negro drayman informs him that "the American commissioner, having come over-night from Monte Christo, is drawing a draft in Haytian specie, and that the carts are to load up with it." The banker, being consulted, offers to store the currency cheap in a warehouse, but advises as a friend that the draft be reduced, the bullocks sent away, and that the traveler take a beer. "I took the beer," says Mr. Hazard. A dollar in gold means just four hundred dollars in Haytian paper: a cocktail cost the traveler "thirty dollars," and other things in proportion. These beginnings of make-believe pomposity are followed up by the strangest revelations wherever the adventurer sets his foot. Going from Cape Haytien to the citadel and "Sans-Souci" palace of Christophe, the traveler is charged "two thousand dollars" by the drunken negro guide, and "a dollar" by the sable sentry of whom he happens to ask a question. The town of Cape Haytien he finds surrounded by the rotting bodies of dead animals; the ruins of fine old country-seats are occupied by filthy black squatters; the new houses going up are built by the process of throwing single bricks one after the other from the ground to the bricklayer. Squalor and braggadocio he finds everywhere. The general who has given him a permit to inspect Christophe's stronghold sends a messenger secretly in advance with instructions reversing his order: the commandant refuses lodgings to "the American who has come to take the fort." Some friends of the consul who had received a general invitation to accompany the excursion had previously backed out, because the stranger was an American, a reputed commissioner, and very unsafe company. Mr. Hazard could only obtain permission to swing his hammock in the house of a negress; a citizen who pointed him out to the others made the signs of throat-cutting; and he left behind him the filibustering reputation of the American who came to take the citadel. Naturally disgusted by this time, [pg 486] the author renounced his intention of further land-traveling, and passed in a steamer around the western end of the island to Port-au-Prince. Here he was delighted with the entertainment of our present minister to Hayti, Mr. Bassett, a Philadelphia quadroon of uncommon qualities and collegiate education. "Some of my most delightful hours," says the writer, "were spent enjoying the kind hospitalities of Mr. Bassett and his lady." He represents the minister as living in a palace built for the emperor Soulouque, and playing a part in the revolutionary conflicts of the island similar to that of Minister Washburne in revolutionary Paris. The brave conduct of Mr. Bassett during the brief presidency of the unhappy Salnave deserves mention. About three thousand humble blacks, frightened by the rebellion of the "aristocracy," fled to the protection of our flag, and the minister, though shot at in the streets and without the support of a single man-of-war, saved and fed them all. It seems to be not much to its credit that our nation, though very tender of Hayti when the question of Dominican annexation is raised, has never reimbursed its ambassador for this drain on his private purse for the succor of Haytian lives. With Port-au-Prince, where the writer awaited his steamer's departure for the United States, the journey terminates. The traveler's evident disgust with almost every manifestation of Haytian attempts at self-government is balanced by his rapture with the natural features of the other end of the island. He writes as an ardent annexationist—not so much from the humanitarian view of President White and Dr. Howe, as from the belief that Santo Domingo, if once made our territory, would soon enrich our treasury from its commerce and its uncommon adaptability as a watering-place. We have spoken of this book as very thorough. It is so in every respect—historical, pictorial and narrative. The list of books pertaining to the subject occupies alone eight pages of small print: as the author, however, evidently wishes this list to be approximately complete, and as he seems to be aware of but few books except those in the British Museum, we will oblige him, as possibly useful for a future edition, with the titles of some which he does not give: one of these especially, Dr. Brown's History and Present Condition of St. Domingo, we are surprised he does not include, as it is one of the most popular and useful books on the topic, and a manual of which we imagined every commissioner to have got a chapter by heart daily when on the way to Samana:

Las Casas, "Destruccion de las Indias," Sevilla, 1552; Desportes, "Histoire des Maladies de Saint Domingue," Paris, 1770, 3 vols.; Petit, "Droit Publique des Colonies Françaises" (containing the "Black Code"), Paris, 1777; Nicolson, "Histoire Naturelle de Saint Domingue," Paris, 1776; Valverde, "Idea del Valor de la Isla Española," Madrid, 1785; Puységur, "Navigation aux Côtes de St. Domingue," Paris, 1787; D'Auberteuil, "Considérations sur la Colonie, etc.," 1776; Coulon, "Troubles en Saint Domingue," 1798; Malouet, fourth volume of his "Colonial History," 1802; Dubroca, "Toussaint l'Ouverture," 1802; Tonnerre, "Mémoires, Histoire d'Haïti," Port-au-Prince, 1804; Laujon and Montpenay, "Précis," 1805, 1811, 1814 and 1819; Bercy, "De St. Domingue," Paris, 1814; Hérard Dumesle, "Voyage," Port-au-Prince, 1824; Clausson, "Révolution de Saint Domingue," 1819; Malo, "Histoire d'Haïti," Paris, 1825; Wallez, "Biography of General Boyer," 1826; Macaulay, "Abolition d'Esclavage," 1835; J. Brown, M.D., "History and Present Condition of Saint Domingo," 1837; Chaucheprat, "Le Routier des Antilles," 1843; Schoelcher, "Résultats de l'émancipation anglaise," 1843; Emile Nau, "Histoire des Caciques d'Haïti," 1855; Saint-Amand, "Histoire des Révolutions d'Haïti," Paris, 1860; Pradine (ex-minister to England), "Digest of Laws of Hayti," Paris, 1860.

Thorvaldsen: his Life and Works. From the French of Eugene Plon, by I.M. Luyster. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Thorwaldsen's life lasted from 1770 to 1844, and was very industrious. He was the son of a Copenhagen ship-carver, and received all his bent from the study of the antique in Italy. The works he left are almost innumerable, and some of them will have lasting reputation. The finest perhaps is his medallion of Night, "launched with infinite lightness into space, carrying in her arms her two children, Sleep and Death." This masterpiece is said to have been conceived during a sleepless night in 1815, and modeled in one day. His Lion at Lucerne, made to commemorate the Swiss guards at Paris who fell in defending the Tuileries, August 10, 1792, is known to every tourist: it is altogether conventional, but it is not commonplace. "Never having seen a live lion," says his biographer, "he went to antique statues for inspiration:" he thus, at two or three removes from Nature, secured a grand, monumental conception, fully charged with human intelligence. The colossi of Christ and his Twelve, now to be seen with the artist's other works at Copenhagen, and [pg 487] formerly exhibited at the World's Fair in New York, are imposing and classical, while they perhaps show the absence of the Christian idea noted in his other clerical subjects. Thorvaldsen, born a Lutheran, was a spectator in Rome of bigotry and skepticism, and took refuge in artistic impartiality. A friend once observing that his want of religious faith must make it difficult to express Christian ideas in his works, "If I were altogether an unbeliever," he replied, "why should that give me any trouble? Have I not represented pagan divinities?—still, I don't believe in them." The life of this artist was one of consummate worldly success; the kings of Bavaria and Denmark were the personal friends of the unlettered son of the ship-carver, as were Horace Vernet, Walter Scott, Andersen, and Mendelssohn; his casket of decorations was the amusement of his lady visitors; and his invitations were so constant that he could not always remember the name of his host: he was at once parsimonious and charitable, cheerful and melancholy. His artistic influence was very strong, exhibiting itself in the style of Tenerani, Galli, Rauch, Drake and Bissen. The life of him by Plon is methodical and complete, and the American version is illustrated by thirty-five careful engravings printed in Paris and gummed upon the sheets.

Expiation. By Mrs. Julia C.R. Dorr, author of "Sibyl Huntington," etc. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.

Expiation is an interesting American story, with a background of lonely woods that protect the rustic privacy of Altona, and a list of characters that combine city culture and country eccentricity. Patsy, the grim and self-sacrificing "help," who observes drily of a statue representing Eve with the apple that "some things is decent and some things ain't," is the best delineation in it, but the style is always lively, always feminine and pure, and the conception of the high-bred, aristocratic family, come to bury their mistakes and miseries in a forest seclusion, would have been thought worthy of being worked up by Emily Bronté. The catastrophe, where a dumb nun turns out to be a lost wife given over to the undertakers in a state of catalepsy, is perhaps not quite new, but it is striking and vigorously told, and her union at last with her husband's sons and the girlish bride of one of them is very touching. The novel is full of local American color, and entices the attention from the reader's first plunge to the end.

Wanderings in Spain. By Augustus J.C. Hare, author of "Memorials of a Quiet Life," "Walks in Rome," etc. London: Strahan & Co.; New York: Dodd & Mead.

This companionable book tells you how to travel over the Spanish Peninsula by means of a slight knowledge of the Castilian tongue, a bold infidelity to Murray's Guide, a cake of soap and some Liebig's broth, and a habit of universal politeness. "Pardon me, my sister," said the author to a beggar-woman at Barcelona: "does not your worship see that I am drawing?" "Ah, Dios!" she answered, "blind that I was! worm that I am! So your worship draws? And I—I too am a lover of the arts." On the other hand, a stiff-necked Englishman traveling from Seville to Xeres sent his driver to dine in the kitchen of an inn on the road. The driver, who in his heart thought that he would have been doing great honor to a heretic by sitting at the same table with him, concealed his indignation at the time, but in the middle of the road, three or four leagues from Xeres, in a horrible desert full of bogs and brambles, pushed the Englishman out of the carriage, and cried out as he whipped on his horse, "My lord, you did not find me worthy to sit at your table; and I, Don José Balbino Bustamente y Orozco, find you too bad company to occupy a seat in my carriage. Good-night!" Another story, of time-honored repetition, is here restored to what may possibly have been its true parentage. A gypsy, on his knees to his priest, is tempted by the father's snuffbox and steals it. "Father," he says immediately, "I have one more confession: I accuse myself of stealing a snuffbox." "Then, my son, you must certainly restore it." "Will you have it yourself, my father?" "I? certainly not," answered the confessor. "The fact is," proceeded the gypsy, "that I have offered it to the owner, and he has refused it." "Then you can keep it with a good conscience," answered the father. Such are the glimpses of Spanish character. We could easily bear to have more of them; but the author, accompanied with ladies, and an antiquarian by habit and nature, gives more sketches of ruins, and of landscapes which are usually [pg 488] found "hideous," than of the infinite whims of national manners. His contempt for Spanish landscape appears to us to amount to a disease: he scorns honest Murray for describing Valencia's mud huts as "pearls set in emeralds," and says that O'Shea's eulogy of her as "the sultana of Mediterranean cities" is a glowing picture of what is dismal enough in reality. In fact, we are afraid that Mr. Hare has not exactly the artist's eye, and cannot easily admire a scene in which he is not physically comfortable. But he has rich and heart-warm descriptions of the Alhambra, the Escorial, and the ruins of Poblet near Tarragona, where an order of patrician monks lived in incredible luxury until a time within present memory, when they were scattered by a tumult and their sculptured home crushed into dry and haggard ruin. This book cannot compare with his Walks in Rome, which was the careful record of a familiar and a resident; but it is the result of a very lively curiosity and the record of a mind evidently stored with history and romance. Excepting Colonel Hay's inimitable Castilian Days, it is the best recent book about the country which it skims over.

Marie Derville: A Story of a French Boarding-school. From the French of Madame Guizot de Witt, by Mary G. Wells. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.

French fiction when playing off innocence or when intended for uncontaminated ears attains a blank intensity of virtue that our own literature cannot hope to rival. The French "juvenile" still guards that beauteous ignorance of slang or of other small vice which the American schoolboy regards as poverty of resource or incapacity, and which he has put off with his frocks and his Parent's Assistant and his Sanford and Merton. But Marie Derville, when its accent of Berquin is allowed for, is a varied and interesting tale, affording many a glimpse into that country guarded about with such jealous walls—middle-class childhood in France. Marie is the child of a sea-captain who goes to China, disappears for many years, and comes back at last, after a narrow escape from massacre, saying, "How strange it was to find myself on the eve of becoming a martyr—to die for the Christian religion when one is so poor a Christian as I!" His wife and two or three of Marie's grandparents meantime unite to conduct a boarding-school on the sea-shore, the history of which enterprise forms the bulk of the tale. Here the American reader learns with surprise that the French little girl, who is never actually seen otherwise than perfect and doll-like, is really subject in private to a few of the faults common to Miss Edgeworth's heroines, such as selfishness, gluttony and laziness. But the story of the school is on the whole sunshiny and prosperous, and Marie Derville's young readers will follow with delight the career of these prim little beings, so much more governed than themselves, as they go picnicking on the sea-beach for mussels, make flannels for the cholera-patients of a fishing village, or learn to recite the fable of "The Country Rat" without making it all one word in their hurry. The story is very healthy and happy, and the translation excellent.

Books Received.

The Teacher's Companion to the American Drawing-slates and Cards. With Cards. By Walter Smith, Art Master, South Kensington, London, State Director of Art Education in Massachusetts. Boston: Noyes, Holmes & Co.

Keel and Saddle: A Retrospect of Forty Years of Military and Naval Service. By Joseph W. Revere. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co.

Helps over Hard Places. For Boys. Second series. By Lynde Palmer. Illustrated. Troy, N.Y.: H.B. Nims & Co.

Cyclopedia of the Best Thoughts of Charles Dickens. By F.C. DeFontaine. Nos. 2-5. New York: E.J. Hale & Son.

Liza: A Russian Novel. By Ivan S. Turgénieff. Translated by W.R.S. Ralston. New York: Holt & Williams.

The Witch of Nemi, and other Poems. By Edward Brennan. London: Longmans, Green & Co.

The First Differential Coefficient. By John Newton Lyle, A.M. St. Louis: Review Steam Press.

A Lonely Life. By J.A. St. John Blythe. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

Life of Major-General Meade. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

Sunshine and Shadows in Kattern's Life. Boston: Henry Hoyt.

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